Friday, December 7, 2012

Favorite moments: Conversations with a three year old

Being a pretty verbal person myself, one of my all-time favorite developments of parenthood is watching our children learn to talk. They go from a language of (approximate) imitation, that only you can understand, to an explosion of understanding and then the creation of their own, new ideas. Such as this conversation I had with Eden the other day:

Eden: Do you like Bob Dylan?
Me: Why, do you?
Eden (shocked): No! I don't like Bob Dylan.
Me: Well, a lot of people don't.
Eden: He puts black holes in CANDYLAND!
Me: What?! And then what?
Eden (indignantly): We have to cut them out!
Me: And...then what?

Whoa. Like talking to somebody on acid, but way more kinetic energy.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eden!

Happy birthday to our impish, energetic and delightful girl! I have to say that three might be one of my favorite stages yet--coordinated, capable, hilarious (though still given to major meltdowns). We love hearing her offbeat take on life and impromptu singing sessions. We love you so much, Eden!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy 5 Year Anniversary to Us!

It's crazy to think that five years ago today, we were standing on a beach in Mexico getting married. I know everybody says this, but I think we can claim with the best of them that we had no idea what the next five years would hold. We've been through some amazing times and some painful times-- truly, higher highs and lower lows than I think either one of us could have imagined. We've doubled our family size and traveled literally thousands of miles together. Matt, I love you more every day and have only begun to realize the possibilities of our life together. Thank you for all you are and all that you do!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here today

We're here. We're busy. Life is crazy and sometimes very stressful. Almost three years and two kids into it, I'm starting to realize that parenting will probably never level off and feel easy (again. There was that brief period between about 8 and 14 months of Eden's life when momentarily, we felt like we have this). My friends with teenagers tell me they would kill for toddlers again. Meanwhile, a baby and a toddler (nearly preschooler) is nearly killing ME. And Matt. Somehow lightning struck us twice and we have TWO KIDS WHO BARELY SLEEP. Eden hasn't napped well since she turned one, though she usually sleeps through the night. Eve slept at night for about two weeks a month ago and since then is back to not just night waking, but getting up at 4:30, ready to start the day. Naps for her are hit or miss. They take turns with a 5am wakeup call. I never thought 6 or 6:30am would feel like such luxury, but nowadays it would, as would even a 30 minute daytime interlude where both were sleeping or independently occupied. Throw in a couple of back-to-back sleepless nights at births and WOW, it's amazing we're all doing as well as we are. But both girls seem to be in rather high-needs periods and I feel like I can't set somebody down for a minute without angry, indignant shrieking, reaching, clinging. Eve, like Eden did before her, is shedding her happy-go-lucky baby complacency now that she's turned one and has feelings, opinions, and suddenly (we didn't see this coming) a voice and an appetite to match or even drown out her older sister's. Who knew?

Yet, through it all, we're hanging together and managing to do mostly pretty well. The past week or so, sleep deprivation has had me just putting one foot in front of the other. Today, I actually felt like I got some of my joy of mothering back. Nothing major, just able to savor little moments, like: the pile of small bodies on mine first thing in the morning, looking down at those two little faces, all upturned noses and long eyelashes. Both of them laughing in swings at the park on a perfect spring morning. Eve making steady progress toward independent movement, while Eden is out the door in a flash after a bath and five minutes later is garden-filthy again. Eve nodding off on my shoulder (thankyouGod) at bedtime, and Eden growing heavy on my lap while I read her A Fish Out of Water. A few blessed minutes to actually get some work done before it's time to feed the baby and try to get some sleep.

A good day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Favorite moments: Coming home

I worked from noon to seven today at the hospital. As soon as I got off work, I called Matt's phone, which he passed over to Eden. She excitedly asked, "When you coming home? You going put me to bed?!" Matt said he would hold her off so that I could, and when I pulled in the driveway, there was a curly-haired little girl in her pajamas waiting for me with a big smile on her face.

And, while Eve was already in bed, Eden was kind enough to let me know that "Eve happy you're home, too." What better thing to come home to?

Another favorite thing? Kids clutching stuffed animals. What is cuter?? In addition to her central favorite, Pound Puppy Hunt Chief (pictured above, and inherited from my childhood), Eden also maintains bedtime ties with a yellow lamb, several Elmos, a few baby dolls, and several farm animal hand puppets. Eve is a bit simpler, focusing mainly on her favorite, a red stuffed octopus. There's nothing better than walking in on them asleep and clutching one of their buddies, or in Eden's case, traipsing into our bedroom in the morning (or the middle of the night) trailing one or all of them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Favorite moments: Two sick girls

My 6:30am wakeup call this morning consisted of collecting each of the girls from her bed and thinking, "Wow, you feel hot." I wasn't surprised, since I've been trying to sleep off some kind of sinus malady for the past week or so, and the last few days had seen the uptick in clinging and whining (from the children, that is) which so often signal that some kind of illness is afoot. It was reminiscent of this time, only double time, so Matt and I spent the day trading our hot, limp little armfuls so that people could nurse and eat and go to the bathroom as needed. 

Without a doubt, it was one of the finest days I can remember. Both of our girls spent most of their time napping on one or the other of our bodies, the napping itself being almost as remarkable as the extended snuggle time since Eden hasn't napped in many months and Eve seems to have received the same inexplicable transmission that Eden did around the age of a year, whereby she has decided that 30-45 minutes, once a day, is all we get for her nap (or I guess I should say all she gets--but let's face it, delightful as she is, it feels more like the former). Ensconced in feverish bodies, we shared a lazy day all in bed together, just passing time. It's probably the most concentrated time we've all four spent in such close proximity since around a year ago when Eve was born. It's the kind of day I'm sure I'll look back on when I'm old.

That being said, every time the girls get sick and we treasure the extra cuddle time with them, my heart breaks for mothers all over the world for whom the appearance of a fever or diarrhea signals not extra time with their baby or child, but the beginning of the end. I can't ever imagine the frantic desperation of hopelessly watching that listless little life go out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Favorite Moments: Since regular blogging is clearly beyond me right now...

...and by far the most useful function of the blog is the one it serves for us, kind of a family scrapbook/journal, I've decided to at least try to post periodically some of my favorite everyday moments with our family, so that someday we can look back and remember what life was like with two small children, after (all too soon) they're grown and gone.

Today: spending a long while reading books with Eden, out on the swing on a sunny afternoon. Her current favorites (all from my childhood as well, and actually all written before 1962): A Fish Out of Water, Little Bear's Visit, and A Big Ball of String. She's got a surprisingly long attention span for how active she is, and we spend a lot of time these days reading books. We do a lot of fill-in-the-blanks when we read, both because it keeps her engaged and because I love to hear her talk ("I can do anysing with my big ball of fwing!"). Snuggling on a swing with a wiggly, dirt-smeared, curly-haired little girl: life doesn't get much better than that.