Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies

3 years 2 months

Aug 4, 2013 — 11:53 pm

Kate has been testing my patience lately by sheer force of the whines, but she can also be so damn sweet. It was a bit of a rough week, my truck was in the shop for 3 days so we were stuck at home with nothing much to do except drive me crazy. She was just hyper and not listening at all. Getting out these last few days has helped a ton, she needs to get that energy out!

Today in the afternoon we sat at the table so she could go through a sticker book – stickers, a crossword puzzle, some connect-the-dots. She was really into it, she’s been enjoying matching things and was even starting to look for matching words in the crossword… but then she saw me circle some words and decided that was far more fun. She’d circle things like “APCAWODQ,” she’d read each letter outloud and then say, “What word is that?!” She did not like my answer that it, umm, wasn’t a word. She was so adorably earnest, and she did a really great job of circling the words with her markers.

When we were done and I got up to clean the kitchen she said, “Thank you for helping me, Mama!” So. Damn. Sweet.

Before bed I set out the TV remote and some cereal and water for when she wakes up in the morning. The last few days I’ve also put out a coloring page and the cup of crayons. It was so sweet to come walking out to see her bent over the table, coloring away, TV still off. And look at this, pretty good for a barely 3 years old. This is the kid who would not color anything, she would whine that she couldn’t and beg me to do it. Now that she figured it out she’s really taken off.


And this from a few weeks ago, tracing letters:



She is very fond right now of saying NEVER. Today she was lagging behind her cousins at the park and when I encouraged her to hurry it up she wailed, “I never catch them again!”  Other new favorite words are either, as in, “I don’t know either!”

She is also all about HELPING… which is not often actually helpful. The wanting to help is really adorable; however, screaming, “I WANT HELP YOOUUU!!” while I attempt to do anything at all in the kitchen gets a bit twitch-worthy. She actually is good at helping me unload the dishwasher, just a little slow at it. And she knows she can’t help with knives. But she really really loves to help me cook and it drives her nuts to have to stand aside at the stove. I let her stand on her step-stool and watch, but she has to stay off to the side out of reach. Her attempts at helping me sweep and vacuum only slow me down, but it’s a great place to start!

For being a 3 year old girl she’s not very combative at all, my biggest complaint is the constant way everything is expressed as a whine. She’s still super sensitive and needs a lot of hugs and reassurances. I often think I give her too much praise though, typical oldest child, needs that constant attention and praise… it’s hard not to say “Good job!” especially given that I am frequently amazed at everything she can do! She is so big and capable, she loves to do things herself and I try to remind myself to give her lots of opportunities to be self-sufficient.



And one thing I can absolutely, positively say about Kate is that she loves her little sister. She gets upset if Ember grabs her things, but other than that she is still always holding her hand (pulling her along), giving her hugs (knocking her over), giving her toys and food and kisses and love. She frequently exclaims “I love my sister!” The two of them are almost always together. It makes my heart so happy.


14.5 Months

Aug 16, 2013 — 12:53 am

Ember seems like such a toddler now! She has figured out how to climb onto the couch (using her chair to climb over the couch arm), climb and sit on the kid chairs in the house, and thankfully also how to get off furniture feet-first without injury – though there was a spectacular roll off the couch the other day that landed her flat on her back. She’s turning into a monkey, and as she gets taller she can reach more too; every time I turn around my computer mouse is missing.

I’ve noticed big change is in her language skills. She doesn’t have a whole lot of actual words yet, she says “Mama” and “Da-dye” which stands for bye-bye and/or night-night. But she understands so much more. I ask her if she wants to eat and she runs to her highchair. She’ll run over to her daddy when I ask her where he is. She blows kisses on command.  I ask her if she wants more food and she makes the sign for more and waits expectantly. I need to brush up on some signing words to teach her, as she’s picking things up pretty quickly now.

We are also in transition with her sleep. She still ends up in bed with me in the middle of the night but she’s starting the night in the crib. We’ve gone from refusing to settle in the crib at all, to laying down on my hand and gripping it while she falls asleep, to laying down without any help from me. Now we’re working on her falling asleep without me in the room, but it is being slightly complicated by the dreaded molars. (I knew I wouldn’t have a long time between teething episodes so I am not surprised, just full of sighs for stupid teeth.) Along with falling asleep on her own she’s putting herself back to sleep on her own, which is pretty huge. Also huge: Den was able to put her to bed while I was out one evening last week. Huge! For over a year I have had to come home and put her to bed, no matter what time it was I knew I had to hurry home because she’d be tired and cranky and refusing to sleep until I nursed her to sleep. The night I came home to find both kids in their beds I did a little dance!

At some point I’m going to need to night wean her so that she and I can actually sleep all night long – I am not even sure my body would know what to do without being woken up every couple hours. Night is really the only time she actually nurses a lot, she’s down to nursing just a couple times during the day, she’s just too busy and distracted. Kate at this age was very needy (from what I remember), nursing often. Ember’s just totally fine without it. She doesn’t dive or tug at my shirt at all. If she’s hurt or sad she just hugs me and nuzzles onto my shoulder. If she’s tired she’ll flop around on my lap until I nurse her, but then won’t actually nurse more than a couple seconds until I take her in a dark room. Once in a great while I’ll nurse her in public, usually when it’s past her nap time and she’s starting to lose it, but it’s a pain in the butt and doesn’t really accomplish much.

She’s taken over one of Kate’s nalgene no-spill water bottles and drinks water all day long when she feels like it. She won’t drink milk at all still – takes a mouthful and then lets it all dribble out of her mouth. I’m hoping that someday she actually decides to drink some, but I got tired of putting milk in a sippy cup just to have it spit all over. Food at least is going much better than the milk! Once she figured out chewing and textures she’s been doing just fine with table food and can handle most things without issue. She’s definitely not a kid who will eat anything and everything, she has her preferences and will drop food over the side of the highchair if she’s not keen on it. She loves meat, I can pretty much count on her eating whatever meat is with the meal. Fruits and veggies are more hit or miss. Grapes and blueberries are completely rejected. Banana, strawberry, watermelon and such are all eaten though it’s clearly not her favorite thing ever. Actually I’m not sure she really has a food that she totally loves, she’s just very measured in her appreciation.

She has continued bonding with Den. When she’s mildly upset by some bump or disappointment, if I’m not immediately available she runs right over to him for a hug and a cuddle – and sometimes after going to me she goes to him as well, double the consolation I guess! She loves to play with him, I always tell the girls that he is the fun guy (so go jump on him, not me!).

Maybe our memory is blurry, but it seems like Ember is really good at figuring things out. She’s solid on her feet and trying to jump already. She has really good fine motor skills and is always doing things that surprises us. She uses the toy vacuum around the living room, puts the balls in the dragon toy so they come out the various chutes, threads sticks through holes. I know none of this seems amazing to other people, but she just seems to pick things up really quickly after watching, and she experiments and figures things out herself. I guess watching babies grow and learn will just never get boring!


Aug 26, 2013 — 11:47 pm

Kate is starting preschool. I feel like I should be sad in some way but I admit, I was just really excited for her. We bought her a backpack (purple with owls on it), some clothes, I still need to buy her some new sneakers since her feet have grown. I used to love starting each year of school, the fresh new binders and pens, the prospect of new classes and things to learn. Of course she has no school supplies and is too young to really understand what’s coming, but she knows enough that she’s going to school and she thinks that is awesome.

Today was orientation – an hour in her school so she can get to know the setting and teacher while I and the other parents were shown around. They have a classroom with art supplies and alphabet decorations and a throw rug with the solar system on it. They will have swim lessons, music lessons, and physical education, in addition to learning their letters and numbers and colors and such (which Kate already knows). Play time is incorporated every day, some indoors, some on the playground. There will be a winter and spring music concert. They’ll take field trips, including to the pumpkin patch. I mean, seriously, it sounds freaking awesome. I truly think Kate is going to love every minute of it. She ran straight into the classroom and took a seat at the table to color with the others. Nope, no concerns about this one.

I will be able to be the parent helper for some of the swim classes during the year, so I’ll get to watch her progress. They apparently get all the kids swimming independently by the end of the year. Which would be so awesome! Right now Kate can swim with her puddle jumper on, but she’s extremely hesitant and takes a long time every time we go to the pool for her to work herself back up to swimming without holding on to me. And considering I have to have a grip on Ember 100% of the time it’s a little difficult for me to manage both! I would love to see her confidence go up in a few things, really. This time away from me is going to be really good for her, I think. She wants to be independent in that three-year-old I-do-it-myself way, but she is always looking to me.

And of course I’m really excited about having a couple hours where someone else is occupying her. She’s a bright kid, she’s happy and energetic. I do love to watch and listen but man it’s exhausting (especially since she hasn’t been napping except in the car). I don’t want much, but just a couple hours for someone else to handle the reins while I catch my breath, maybe go to a store with just the quiet one.