Suddenly, Toddlerhood

So. Last week was a rough one. There were a lot of things going on, including my special monthly visitor, that really didn't help the situation, which ultimately was this: my baby is not so much a baby anymore and it kind of hit me all at once and really hard.

Last week was her first full week in the toddler room at daycare. She loves it there and is truly thriving, trying to catch up with the bigger kids. What this also meant, though, is that she went from taking two to three bottles per day to zero, pretty much overnight. So I went from nursing/pumping from six to eight times a day (usually eight) to three or four overnight and the resulting hormone mess was a nightmare. I had zero patience with anyone and I couldn't stop crying over every single thing.

And then there was Thursday morning, when I realized I was out of bottles to pump into because I was still pumping but Sophie wasn't eating any of it. That's when I went back to bed, and stayed there most of the day.

Sophie is so great. Much more challenging in many ways than her quiet, compliant older sister, but really great. She is a cuddly, smily, fun girl. It just seems like she went from being a baby to a toddler within a month. No gradual transition at all, just BAM! Toddler. A walking, getting into things, eating real people food, signing and using words, responding to questions, toddler.

I knew this day would come, I just didn't know I would have such a hard time with it.

In my defense: I did fold one (small) load of laundry

Since yesterday was MLK day, my office was closed in observation of the holiday. Aaron's office, however, was not, and daycare was open, and since we still would have had to pay for the day whether we sent the girls or not, I chose to send them to school and take the day to do whatever I wanted.

And whatever I wanted included eating snack foods without having to share, finishing a crochet project (that I started 3 years ago), and watching some shows without distraction. I accomplished basically nothing else, but I did eat an entire bag of popcorn without a three year old scolding me to not eat it all. I also watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey. That crochet project is very nearly finished - I only have about a foot of the border left to do and I plan to accomplish that tonight after putting the girls to bed and starting up the first episode of Downton Abbey season two.

I think that Aaron was a little annoyed that I didn't get anything done - the house really needs some picking up, and while I did load the dishwasher, I apparently forgot to actually push the button to start it. However, a day all to myself was sorely needed (insert some slightly whiny statement about Sophie weaning a bit during the same week I'm about to get my monthly visitor, resulting wacky hormones), and greatly appreciated.

As an aside: I totally recommend Downton Abbey, if you couldn't gather that from the above paragraphs. (Very slightly spoilerish information ahead.) The only problem is I can't decide if I like or dislike most of the characters. I mean some (Thomas and O'Brien) are easy to dislike, while others (Sybil) are mostly likeable). However, I kind of feel sorry for the otherwise mostly unlikeable Edith, and Mary is a brat but I want her to get what she wants. Also, Matthew's blue eyes are second only in awesomeness to my husband's.

In sum, it was an awesome day. The only thing that would have made it better was a house staff even a fraction of the size of that in Downton Abbey. (A cook and a house maid would be fantastic.)

The Things We're Doing These Days

I was sick last week with some sort of weird bug that had me down for the count with a headache, light-headedness, a little bit of congestion, and a whole lot of exhaustion. I am feeling better for the most part, save for still having a headache and now with the added fun of constant heartburn. So what I'm saying is, I kind of feel like crap still and planning to have tomato soup for dinner tonight was not my smartest idea ever. What proves to be even a less smart idea is that I'm still totally going to eat that tomato soup because it sounds really damn delicious.

Not feeling well, of course, put me in an excellent mood over the weekend. Aaron caught the bug, too, coming down with it on Friday (which actually made me a little better, because the symptoms are so weird I thought maybe it was just me, but no! Confirmation!). So we shared that excellent mood. The girls fed off of our bad moods, so it was really fun to be in our house this weekend, I'm sure.

Despite our household-wide surliness, we did have some fun this weekend. Gabbie got to go to the neighborhood park and play with the neighborhood kids. Reportedly they played some sort of tag (Aaron went along and also played tag, while Sophie and I napped), which sounds like a lot of fun. There aren't many kids Gabbie's age in the neighborhood, but there are a lot of girls, who have adopted Gabbie as one of their own, and if she's around they include her in their games. It's pretty fantastic.

Sophie is working really hard at walking. She can actually walk, but lacks the confidence to do so. She'll walk halfway across the room, stop when she realizes what she's doing, and then she'll drop and crawl. Alternately, she'll wait until we're all watching, take a few steps, then stand there and clap for herself. She's pretty darn adorable, overall.

I'm really excited for Aaron, who started with a running group last night through a local shoe store. I think this will be really good for him and it sounds like a great group. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous, because I totally am. This will definitely be an adjustment, as he'll be out of the house for runs two nights a week and on Saturday mornings until his 10K in May. However, I'm all about it given his family history and my desire to keep him around for a long time. One of his grandpas died in his forties from a sudden and massive heart attack, and I'd like to avoid that happening to him if at all possible. So, support for excersize it is! I can't wait to go cheer him on in his sure-to-be many races in the future!

As for me, well, I'm working on things. I need to get out of the house more too. I feel kind of bad that my hermit-tendencies make Aaron feel bad for wanting to go out and do things with other people. I need to make more friends and find time for the friends I already have. I'm sure once Sophie is a little less dependent on me due to nursing, I'll be more likely to feel like I can go out. I meant to sign up for a cake decorating class at Joann's this month, but forgot to do it on Saturday, which ended up being the first day of the month-long class. Hopefully they'll offer it again soon! We're also talking about finding a church we can all agree on, with families with young kids, and then possibly we can make some friends there. I'm still in that being-a-mom-is-lonely phase of babyhood and I'm starting to get itchy to get out of it.

2012, Here I come!

I don't know if it was the time off over the holidays, finishing two big soul-sucking projects, or what it was, but I feel absolutely restored to my full self here at the beginning of 2012. We'll see if that feeling lasts, now that I'm back to the daily grind. (I really hope it does, and I'm working to make it so!) I feel like I have the energy to take on this year and make it my best yet, which is saying something, because I have had some pretty great years!

Aaron and I have both felt like we've put ourselves on the backburner in recent years. Two kids in 2.5 years will do that to you, I guess! Anyway, we talked about our resolutions this year (something we've never really done before) and they center on taking better care of ourselves, our relationship, our family, and our home. Here are my resolutions for 2012!

1. Read more - 26 books at least!
2. Be a better friend - that means go out with friends, make new ones, and call or write people more often.
3. Get in better shape - I am going to do that couch to 5k program this year. I'm going to!
4. Do something new - this is starting out with a cake decorating class. I can bake delicious cakes, but they sure are ugly. It's time to do something about that (and perhaps make new friends in the process?).
5. Spend at least 15 minutes a day cleaning the house - I tend to procrastinate, and save it all for the weekend, and then on the weekend I'm so exhausted from the week that half the stuff I want to get done
6. Read more to the kids - we have a ton of books, and while I read to them nearly every day, I want to start a bedtime routine of reading a book or two before they go to sleep every night.
7. Be present when I'm at home - no playing on my phone or the computer until after the kids are in bed and my chores are done!
8. Communicate with my husband - I know this is last on the list, but it should be number one as far as priorities go. Far too often we expect each other to just intuit what we need, but that obviously is not the best method for keeping a relationship going. We are going to work on using our words this year.

Now She Is One

I don't have enough time in the world to do justice to describing Sophie and her first year. She is my soul, and I can't imagine life without her. It's not surprising that the second child gets her happy birthday post more than a week late, but that's mostly because I've spent the past week playing and snuggling with she and her sister, time that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

Here she is a year ago:

And now:

Happy, happy, happy Birthday my sweet girl. I love you to the moon and back!
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