A Few Moments of Gabbie-Awesomeness

This weekend was full of Gabbie-Awesomeness (as well as a few large puddles on the floor, but we'll ignore those for now. Potty training! I think it is what is going to break me!) She was mostly a happy, fun toddler, and acted adorably, even while being dragged around Ikea for nearly five hours on Sunday.

The best thing about Gabbie lately, I have to say, is all the talking and the kinds of things she tells us. At said Ikea we bought her a play tent because of how well she behaved. We set it up first thing when we got home and then let her play while we started dinner. Well, she wanted us to come play too, so she stood in the doorway to the kitchen and yelled. "Hey Guys! C'mon!" She calls us "guys" all the time lately and it's adorable.

Later that night I decided to tackle the large box of medications, dental floss, bandages, and other accoutrement that have existed under the sink since we moved. More than a year ago. So I sat on the bathroom floor and sorted. When the box was empty I had quite the mess on the floor to put away somewhere. This is when Gabbie came running around the corner, then froze in her tracks, eyes wide, paused for a second and then said, "Mama! Clean that up!" I had to go to the bathroom (like always these days) so I told her I would in a minute after I went potty. During the minute I was in there, she told me to, "Clean that up!" two more times. She's a little bossy sometimes. We say she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to let us know.

Gabbie accompanied me to the grocery store the other night and wanted to be mama's big helper, so I let her walk next to the cart, pick up the items I needed off the shelf, and put them in the cart. As she did, she's ask what each item was. "What's that, Mommy?" I'd let her know, and with each item, especially the bacon, she'd excitedly exlaim, "Ooo! I lika bacon too!" It was nice seeing all the smiles and giggles coming from the other shoppers. I was giggling along with them. She's just so cute and fun these days!

But my absolute favorite is how excited she gets when she does something for herself, which is what she tries to do all the time lately. She dresses herself, buckles herself into her car seat and booster at the table, climbs onto the couch, and on, and on. When she manages to accomplish what she's trying to do, she will typically excitingly exclaim, "I dood it!" I know it's far from proper English, but it's so cute I can't bring myself to correct her.

Bedroom Action (Not what you think)

My brain is full of all sorts of uninteresting-to-a-blog-audience types of things (Logic models! All those emails I have to deal with! Meeting agendas! Oh my!). This new job while still wrapping up my old job thing is kind of kicking my ass.

So! A couple of semi-interesting (probably to only me) things going on right now include bedrooms. Gabbie's bedroom, our bedroom, and the soon-to-be nursery, to be exact. The top floor of our house is full of change and excitement (and sleep, thankfully)!

Gabbie's room has been painted (I need to get a better picture than I've been able to capture so far) a lovely pale lilac. It took us the better part of a day, but I have to say that Aaron and I do a darn fine job painting. It looks great!

This weekend we added a new feature to her room: a big girl bed. I really don't know how she's old enough for this already, but it seems she is. Instead of anything fancy, she has a twin-sized matress on the floor. The main reason for this is that she seems to have inherited a less-than-desirable trait from me: the propensity to fall out of bed on a regular basis. We are definitely lacking in the grace department overall, but most definitely in the falling category. My mom started me out in a regular bed, but then, after a couple of black eyes from hitting the floor with a great big smack, she learned her lesson and put me on a mattress on the floor. I'm taking that lesson learned and running with it because my heart cannot take too many additional falls (like the tumble she took down the stairs, or the near-fall in the shower, or when she tried to fall backwards onto her beanbag chair but missed and smacked her head on the couch (the hard part), all of which happened in less than 24 hours between Friday night and Saturday morning). She's trying to kill me, I swear it! We need to add a few finishing touches, like something on the walls, a lamp by our reading chair, and a bedspread (not that she keeps one on her) and then her big girl room will be complete.

Our room is also set to undergo quite the transformation. We bought a bedroom set last year, but now we want to paint the walls and trim (we have the paint purchased, just have to slap it up on the walls), put in wood floors, add a sitting area (i.e. purchase some more furniture), and possibly buy and mount a small television, and we'll be all set. Aaron wants to have this all done by the time I hit my third trimester (in just under six short weeks!) so that we have a nice, relaxing retreat. He's adorable, and I think I'll keep him around.

The nursery is getting the least amount of work done - we have to paint it, reassemble the crib, and move in my old dresser and the glider. Maybe some artwork on the walls too, we'll see. We're waiting until after my ultrasound this Friday, during which we'll get a firm answer on the baby's sex (HOPEFULLY!) and then we'll finalize our paint color decision (I'm pretty sure it will be green either way).

Having a house is a lot of work. Finally getting it the way you want it is even more. And the anxiety and challenges that accompany moving a toddler to a big girl bed? May just be what pushes me over the edge. I'm knocking on wood that she stays put just like she has the past two nights. I can deal with it taking her 45 minutes to fall asleep if only she promises not to wander in the middle of the night. Seriously, I don't think my heart can handle one more fright.

This is the toughest job I've ever had, that's for sure!

Since I have the world's most OCD toddler, I should know better than to do things like leave my pajamas on the bathroom floor after a shower, or sit in the wrong chair at breakfast, or even wait longer than five minutes to throw away my popsicle stick. "Whassat, Mommy?" I hear every time something is out of place. Or, "No, Mommy! There!" when I've put something somewhere other than where it's supposed to go.

I know kids this age are very routine-driven and that the routines help them have some control over their mostly control-less world, but sometimes I don't want to get up right away because I just settled in and am finally comfortable. Sometimes I am slightly out of breath (because the baby is stealing my air, I swear it) and I want to sit down rather than bend over and pick up something I left on the floor. But if I do things my way instead of hers, I hear about it. Oh, boy, do I hear about it.

It's a hard balance, my wishes against her will. Sometimes she has to do things my way, because my way is the safe way, or the polite way, or we're finally going to get this potty training thing down, damnit (although, I know I can't force that one). Sometimes, I let things slide. I pick my battles. I may not let her play with playdoh on the carpet, but I'll let her have a cookie right before dinner. (The kid is way too skinny, so I let her get away with a lot of things food-wise. Still she picks fruits and vegetables most of the time.) I make her hold my hand when we're walking through parking lots or crossing streets, even though she hates it. If she doesn't hold my hand, we don't move. That one is slowly sinking in. However, if she insists on turning on the hallway light, because that's the one she can reach, or buckling herself into her carseat, I let her.

Two is tough. It's tough (yet kind of cute and funny) when someone is shrieking, "NO THANK YOU!" in your face because they don't want to change their diaper that you can smell from two rooms away. It's tough when she is disagreeing just for the sake of disagreeing because she wants her own way. It's tough not to tell her to shut up when she's being obnoxious. But I don't want to squash her personality, her will to fight for what she wants and speak up for her preferences. I tell her to play nice, but I don't want her to fall into that trap that many women do, where we only do the nice thing and compromise ourselves. I want her to be herself, but sometimes I just want her to do what I want her to do because I'm tired and I can't handle all the noise or run around or play on the floor like I used to. (I guess two and pregnant may be harder than just two by itself.) How do I balance my wants against her will? Raising her to be a good, polite citizen of the world without squashing her individuality?

There are many tough but important jobs out in the world, but in my opinion, being a good parent is the toughest and yet the most important. Because, maybe, if I'm good enough at my job, she'll go out there and change the world.

Lazy Weekend

Following a weekend away and a hellishly busy work week during which I worked both my former and new jobs, our house looks not unlike a small tornado had gone through. Aaron and I were both looking forward to the weekend in order to get the place back into shape.

Then Saturday morning happened, when we all lazed around in bed until a time we haven't woken up to see in quite some time, then decided to head out for a day of family fun and togetherness. Nearly ten hours later we made it back home, having eaten breakfast, seen some ballet dancers, bought paint, gone for a walk, and then out to dinner. Then we all fell into bed.

Sunday was going to be it. We were going to get things done! We made a long list of everything we needed to accomplish and set out to get it done. Gabbie I made banana muffins while Aaron did some yard work. Then Aaron came in to check out something on the computer, which turned into a quick round of our new favorite computer game (Ticket to Ride, and yes I'm aware of what huge dorks we are). While Gabbie colored and played with her babies (and may have watched a movie - mama needed a nap), Aaron and I switched off playing our game until dinner time. This is not to say that we didn't get anything done - I framed some pictures and Aaron cleaned the kitchen and, um, that might have been it. However, those were just a very few of the things on our very long to-do list.

There was one thing about this weekend that we did accomplish, though. We all spent the weekend happy, which was a distinctly different mood from how we came into the weekend - exhausted and crabby at the world. So far the happiness has held, which makes me realize that I don't care if my house is in need of a little tidying up, what matters much more to me is that I have a house full of a happy family who had a great time hanging out together all weekend. That lazy weekend was just exactly what we all needed.

Snippets of the past two plus weeks

  • On Friday the 23rd, we had our middle-of-the-pregnancy ultrasound. It went well, the baby looks healthy, but was also pretty uncooperative. We are fairly sure we're having another girl (!!!), but we will get another look to make sure (along with a better look at her heart, diaphragm, and her profile, as she was hiding these things too) on August 20th. I can't wait to get another peek in there at this little baby who insists on kicking me pretty much continuously these days! (I absolutely love that she kicks me pretty much continuously these days!)

  • Last Thursday I finally got word that I got the promotion I had applied for last month! Which is totally awesome, but also comes with a buttload more work, because I still have to keep on doing some of my former position duties. All in all though, this promotion is a great thing. I'm excited to go to work again! My days have flown by lately, and before I know it it's time to go home, and once I get home, I blink and it's time to go to bed. This is why I've sucked at blogging lately (among other lazy reasons). 

  • Aaron and I escaped for a weekend up north on Friday. We took Gabbie to my parents' house and then headed up to our favorite place in the state - Traverse City. We stayed in a really, incredibly lovely bed and breakfast, and spent the whole weekend eating and sleeping and enjoying being together. It was wonderful, and I'm really glad we took the chance to get away just the two of us. We really needed it.

  • Weird pregnancy factoid - I have never in my life liked any kind of olives. I have tried to like them, but I just can't. Until lately, that is, because now I want sliced black olives on everything. So weird!

  • Weird pregnancy factoid #2 - Not that I've tested this out *ahem*, but this pregnancy has made fantastic changes to my hair, including the ability to go at least 3 days without showering and it still looks fresh. One of those pregnancy things I wish would stay around forever.

  • I found myself wishing today that I could vote a split ticket in the state's primaries. We have crap choices for our next governor, especially on the democrat side. I care much more about which republican candidates don't make it past the primary (there are some seriously shady and way-too-conservative choices over there), but I chose the most ethical choice and stuck to the democratic candidate who has better records and policy toward women and the environment. I still wish I could have played spoiler on the republican side though. Michigan polictics are such a mess (*ahem*Kwame*ahem*)!

  • Speaking of polictics, if you made it past that last painfully boring bullet point, there's something that has been cracking me up lately. I listen to NPR in the car (another weird pregnancy thing - I have a hard time listening to music or being around loud noise, it's just too much to handle), and they are frequently interviewing republican politicians who spend the whole interview complaining about Obama and the other democrats playing politics. I'm sorry, isn't that kind of their whole job as politicians? There are quite a few lawmakers over there that need to stop whining and actually do their jobs. (Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now.)

  • Okay, I'll end with something fun. (At least it's fun for people other than me.) Lately, when Gabbie doesn't want to do something she lets us know by saying, "No thank you," which yes, is polite. Until you hear it a million times or have it screamed in your face. Then it becomes less funny and polite. My family thought it was hilarious until they heard it a million times this past weekend. A couple of weeks ago, we were home in the afternoon, and Gabbie really needed to take a nap. She had refused to clean up her toys (instead kicking them under the couch), screamed at me for a treat (she is so two these days), and was throwing a huge tantrum. So, I picked her up and took her upstairs to her crib. She spent the next 30 minutes, laying down, kicking the matress and slats, and screaming, "NO THANK YOU" at the top of her lungs. I finally couldn't take it anymore (see the above weird noise thing) and took her downstairs and plopped her in front of a movie. But, even though it's annoying, I chuckled a little bit at her using politeness during a tantrum and I'm sure we'll look back at this a few years from now and think that it was all very adorable.
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