Friday, February 29, 2008

NOT a morning person

I've never been one of those people who can sleep to noon but I do love my sleep. I am convinced that every infant goes through a period where they have to figure out things. One is whether they are morning people or night owls. The way I see it, this could easily be a case of nature vs. nurture. It is in our nature to be up with the sun. Yet, if I have anything to say about it, I get an hour or more beyond that. Phoebe is trying on both hats. She wakes about 10pm or so and starts to chat and smile and be very active and charming. (Of course, I'm falling asleep. So I send her to her father.) Then lately she also wakes at 6 or so and wants to chat and have morning play. This must stop. Maybe I should wake her in the middle of one of her naps (many) and want to play and chat. Unfortunately she will just complain and she does that much more effectively than I can. The downside to having words is that we have to use them. With some things Phoebe's way of communicating gets much better and far quicker results. In any case I plan to nurture her out of that morning person act as quickly as possible.

I did manage to get Vivi to sleep in but Beatrice still wakes up fairly early. She has an internal clock that just knows when it is 7am. She will shuffle around the room, bump into things, make all sorts of noise that gets me to cringe and announce several times. "morning time. get up. morning time. mama. get up" to which I reply "go away."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Field Trips

When one has small children there are many ways to get through the day. I'm considering any suggestions and working on a list. This week we decided to take the girls to a local fitness club to swim. Vivienne was beside herself. Beatrice kept chanting pool, pool, pool. Phoebe, well she just does what she does....shrieks loudly and smiles.....a lot. I got the girls little floaty suits so that in theory we wouldn't be completely glued to them. It turns out no matter how floaty they are (Vivi's is rated life saving by the coast guard) you will still be glued to them unless they are trying to pry themselves away to go running around the pool. Bebe did slightly better than V which is interesting because her suit is not rated to keep her head above water. She did actually take in some water but was not discouraged. Just as long as she was able to clutch tightly to Mama, everything was peachy. It was still fun and I will go again (19 times to be exact since I bought a punch card for the pool) I hope that some day we can get down to some swimming and less clutching. It's a great pool though. In the basement of an old woolen mill which has been carved from a hillside of rock. The wall are rough rock with just a small bank of windows/door. Will calls it the grotto.

We also go almost weekly to a great science museum that has all sorts of fish, turtles, and frogs and things. It is geared toward kids and they can touch starfish or just play with little boats in a watershed "experiment". There is also a little room to romp thru a play lighthouse, in a sailboat and mini mountain to "climb". Most of the time we meet up with a woman I work with and her daughter who is a little younger than V. Today we were alone. I have to admit it is fun to dish with the other mom and have a second pair of eyes to track down Bebe when she wanders off but it is fun to be with just my girls. They sometimes impress me with their ability to step up and listen when I really need them to. Today went off with only a teeny incident. There is lots of water at this place and the girls tend to get really wet playing. I have learned to take a change of clothes to be able to take them out to the car, in the cold, DRY. Apparently I did not pick the right top for B today since when I handed her a dry fleece she flung it to the ground and said "no" Since I am sleep deprived and was in no mood today, I simply said "fine, I'm going home now. Bye bye." After momentarily debating whether she wanted to really throw a tantrum I guess she decided it wasn't worth it and put on her shirt. Thank you B for being kind.

While the younger two were having their naps V and I had tea. Vivi like apple "tea" warm.

While we sip tea she crosses her legs like me and says that she loves all her family. I'm really glad we had that chat.

While I'm thinking of it....Beatrice is such a funny creature. She can't stand to have anything rolled up or pushed up. Don't push her sleeves up to wash her hands and don't roll her waist band over so her pants won't be too long. I just picked her up and she got irritated with me because her pants were stuck on her calves and not down at her ankles. Oh, excuse me. Miss OCD must have things precisely the way she must have them. Life with a two year old....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I wanna cuddle

I have a blessing and a cursing. My girls love to cuddle...all the time. This is great in the morning when I'm not ready to get up and they come into bed and cuddle. This is great at night when I have nothing more to do and we can read a book and then cuddle off to sleep. It's not so great in the afternoon when I'm trying to clean, do laundry or some other activity that actually requires me to move. You see my girls have a very unique way of cuddling that totally disables the participant. Vivienne from a very young age has to have a hand up your sleeve. Beatrice needs to be touching your neck. I can't do a thing when my girls are cuddling. I can't read. I can't knit. I can't even talk on the phone. It drives me a little crazy if I'm sitting there thinking of things that I need to get done but I'm trapped by two cuddlers. Even as I write this Bebe follows Will around the house chanting "i wanna cuddle". It's 10:30 in the morning. Go play. I suppose I should be happy that I can snuggle with my babies but sometimes it's just not going to happen. It does make me wonder though what disabling quirk Phoebe will come up with. So far she just likes it when you hold her hand.

Phoebe is funny though. She will not be labeled or pigeon-holed into any one thing. I thought she would suck her thumb. She did when she was 3 days old. She seems to like the two middle fingers the best. She won't pick a hand though. She won't even consistently pick the same fingers....sometimes it the index and middle...sometimes it's the ring and middle....occasionally she will even put her thumb in for good measure. She has times when she will try to get all her fingers in and days when only a pacifier will do. She does keep me guessing but through it all she becomes contented so quickly and is so happy when you guess right. I love that about her.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

coming out of retirement

I must admit that although I am terrible at keeping a blog I am so inspired by the everyday advances of my children and changes in my life that I feel I must try, just try, to keep track of them all. We all fear (not the right word, but you know what I mean) that we will become like our mothers. We want to be our own individuals, not someone that already exists, n'est pas? Yet I find that when I ask my mom what it was like when I was a wee little one her response is usually "I don't remember." Now, she either doesn't want to tell me something or she really doesn't remember. I already am trying to remember 3 and a half years since Vivi was born what it was like when she was a baby. Heck I'm trying to remember 21 months after Bebe was born what it was like when she was a baby. So I know that in this case I will be like my mother and when my daughters ask me, "what was it like when I was little...hopefully I can say, "hummm, let's see..."

So I tried to start a blog when Beatrice was born because I felt I just didn't have it in me to keep a journal and since I do emails almost everyday then maybe I could just jot down a few things. I did okay for a couple of months then nothing. Not that I didn't have anything to say I just was so tired and uninspired....let's face it, I was pooped. Not that anything has changed much but I think I have a handle on functioning a little better in a sleep deprived state. It's kind of like living at a high altitude. You get used to it and can actually breathe well in the thiner air. So hopefully this time I won't pass out from exhaustion. And equally, can make sense to my girls when they try to decode this in years beyond.

Vivienne is a pretty normal almost 4 year old. She wants to do lots of things and sometimes seems fairly grown up for a little person. Then she makes a mistake and you have to remind yourself that she is not even 4. I find that is a good mantra to have with a toddler. (not even 4, not even 4...)Then you won't set yourself up for a downfall. Anyway I think we finally have a grip on the potty training. V only occasionally gets distracted (once every couple of weeks) and has an accident. She gets so excited when she gets it right though. Christmas was all about come see my poopee....look how big....this one is the biggest ever. How we do love to celebrate in this house.

No one likes to change clothes more than Vivienne. It's maddening. We finally put a lock on her closet so that she wouldn't be able to change 20 or so times a day. Now if we could just get her clothes into the closet to begin with.

Beatrice is a very funny 2 year old. She will not be hard to potty train because she talks about using the potty all the time. She had my mom so convinced one day that she had to use the potty that she got her clothes off about 3 times in the hour I was away from the house. Once she figures it out there will be no accidents.

She has no fuss approach to things. She hurts herself and a little kiss sends her right back into harm's way. She has not learned the value of pain and will do something over and over. Will says she will be the goalie if she plays hockey. She walks around taking her clothes off and yelling "ta-da"!! It's a bit alarming but I think she may tire of this by the time she makes it to school. It is funny so you can't get too upset about it.

She likes to throw a good tantrum but it is too funny to take seriously. Unlike Viv who makes me think she has mortally wounded herself when she doesn't get her way, Bebe dramatically throws herself on the floor and in cartoon fashion pounds with her fists and kicks her feet. And she is the best at becoming a noodle if she doesn't want to do something. I mean just like water she puddles every time you try to move her. It's amazing.

And just so I don't forget....she is quick. If she gets caught doing something she knows is bad she recovers beautifully. One day I caught her on a chair in the kitchen digging into the butter and licking her fingers. She knows this is unacceptable. Just when I'm about to blow up because I see the mess she jumps back and says, "toast, pease" (this is at about 18 months) I say, "oh, you'd like toast" She nods and earnestly says "with butter" I think she has moved past her butter phase but I don't let her know where I keep my chocolate.

Phoebe is a calm anchor. A sweet little angel baby. It is almost as if God said "I need to throw her an easy one this time. Don't want her to strike out every time and get discouraged." I just see her smile and it makes me smile. Not that I don't smile at all my girls and LOVE their smiles but this one smiles all the time. If she is crying you know she's hungry or sleepy or needs a new diaper. As soon as she get what she needs, it's all smiles. Just like flipping a switch. And she is careful to watch her big sisters. She will do everything the first time because she will have already figured it all out. She is already pushing up and trying to get to crawl position. And she already is trying to get places. I left her one day in the office on the floor (behind a gate so that she wouldn't get pounced) playing and then I hear her screaming crying. Alarmed I ran and couldn't see her. The room is 8x11 so she couldn't go far. Turns out she had gotten under the bed and just wanted to be pulled out please. She was all smiles once I picked her up. Who knew at 3 months you could travel several feet to get under a bed in just a matter of minutes? I don't leave her on the floor too much anymore.