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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Prince and I

I have gotten to spend some quality time with the little Prince over the past 5 days. The hubby took Adrienne to Chicago for a big birthday party and family time. Nate and I were responsible for holding down the fort here, which was unfortunate because we love big birthday parties too. But looking on the bright side, it meant five days of undivided Nate-y time! The timing worked out well because recently I have been coming to the not-so-subtle realization that this little guy is growing up and growing up fast. Every day brings changes with him. He does more things and has less clothes that fit him. Some mornings I swear he is bigger than when I but him in his crib the night before. He is on the go, crawling and climbing, scouting and discovering, babbling and goofing off. And he EATS. Big boy dinners. And sleeps big boy sleeps. And cuddles the best little baby cuddles ever.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be discovering who he is, to see his personality emerge, to witness him developing ideas of his own. I like that he has a sense of humor and laughs when I'm goofy. I admire his determination, especially for hidden toys and getting in those darn baby-proofed cabinets. I see that he is a bit more cautious around strangers than his big sister ever was. And definitely more of a climber. Yet, I find that I can't bring myself to clean out his drawers for clothes that he has clearly outgrown. I'll do it later, I keep telling myself. Or maybe he is still little enough to squeeeeeeeze into that 6M onsie. It was just so cute and he barely wore it! How can my baby be beyond that baby phase already?!  

I remember when I found out I was pregnant with Nate, I worried about how we would have enough time for him. Because, of course, with your first baby, you can utilize every spare minute to lavish love and affection on that child. But with the second, would there be time? And energy, for that matter? As a second child, would he feel as loved and as important as the first? Of course, you quickly realize that there isn't as much time, certainly, but there is just as much love. Still, I was looking forward to the five days of undivided Nate time for the extra lavishing of attention. And we did enjoy ourselves--peaceful walks in the stroller, errands with mommy, playing 'chase' around the house, messy dinners, and long baths. It was great. But I can tell you that we are both excited for the chaos and craziness brought back into the house by the almost 3 year old and her father. Because undivided attention is great, but being a family is better.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Hands and Feet

Earlier this week, my husband sent me this picture of my adorable children sitting on the couch holding hands. It totally made my day. In other news, we may have made the most of Nate's 6M and Adrienne's 2T pajamas.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Butterflies, spiders, and bees--Oh my!

I mentioned in my last post that Adrienne wasn't crazy about some of the bugs we saw at the Natural History Museum on our labor day outing. This was a great place for the kids. There were some crazy bugs on exhibit. Hissing 6-inch cockroaches, hairy tarantulas, snake-like millipedes, large scorpions, foot-long stick bugs. The scientist in me thought they were awesome--they rest of me was grateful for the glass cages that they were securely confined in. Following this exhibit, you go exploring in the 'butterfly zoo', as Adrienne has been calling it. This was a beautiful 4 story glass atrium filled with tropical plants, flowers, and, of course, lots of butterflies fluttering by. This was good fun for both of the kiddos, who are a bit young to get a real appreciation of all the learning aspects they had but young enough to be totally entertained by each new butterfly that went by. Nate spent most of his time exploring with his tongue hanging out, probably hoping that he might get lucky enough to have one land on there. Adrienne really, really tried to master the 'sit still and they might land on you' approach. However, do you know how hard it is for a two-almost-three year old to sit still?! Its almost impossible. Especially when there are beautiful butterflies flying around you! Adrienne was worse than a bobble head at that point. But it was good fun by all. And also made the best of list for the hubby: Best part of the day--sitting contentedly with Nate while butterflies landed on them.  

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The best and worst of...

Recently I made a small addition to our bedtime routine. Following book time, we now have 'the best of and the worst of'. This is where we ask Adrienne about the best and worst parts of her day and we, in turn, tell her about the best and worst parts of our days. I read the suggestion some time ago and thought it sounded cute, but gave it a try many months ago and Adrienne clearly wasn't ready or interested yet. The idea resurfaced a few weeks ago, probably around the time that I went back to work. Partly because I wasn't around all day to assume I already knew what the best and worst parts of the day were. And Adrienne is now willing to do anything to stay up an extra 5 minutes, including eating her gummy vitamins in tiny bites, attempting to read us a book at night (she does a pretty good job at this!), and putting away all her toys in a slow-motion fashion. So she is happy to stay out of bed to tell you about the best and worst parts of her days in a long winded tirade in that adorable almost-three year old speak. Truthfully, since I'm at work all day now, I'm happy to give her a legitimate excuse to stay up an extra five minutes as well. Those hours after work go so fast! Unlike when I was at home, where I was trying to convince her to go to bed 15 minutes early whenever possible (which was not often successful, I might add). 

Even more than just enjoying a little extra time together, she actually has some opinions and insights from her day that I didn't expect. The best parts of the day are usually not so surprising: going to the park, playing with friends, jumping in the bounce house, videos on my phone, etc... It's the worst of the day that is usually more interesting. I have learned that Adrienne really doesn't like drains. Like the big rain-gutter drains on the street. And also the bathtub drain. She is afraid she'll get sucked down them and we'll have to get a tow truck to pull her out. The end of bathtime is often the worst part of the day because we have to pull the plug. She doesn't like puddles with too much mud in them or being dirty. Or washing her hands. She also doesn't like the nasty bees we saw at the Natural History museum, even though she seemed very fascinated by them while we were there. Ditto with the big spider ("scary!") unless the big spider wants to feed her flowers like in the 'Miss Spider's Tea Party' story, in which case that will become the best part of the day. She must take after me because the worst part of my day a few weeks ago was seeing a large cockroach at work. Now every day she wants me to be careful of the cucarachas (which Adrienne fittingly calls "pooparachas"). If we didn't ask before bedtime, I'm sure that bedtime would actually be the worst part of the day.

As for me, I like the new addition to the bedtime routine and hope we can keep it around. I like hearing about Adrienne's day and reflecting briefly on mine. I like that my husband plays along. I look forward to the day that Nate can share his bests and worsts, too.  And more than that, I hope that Adrienne remembers someday in the future that, frequently, the best part of my day is often those extra five minutes of listening to 'the best and worst of' her day.