Friday, December 26, 2014

2 Years Old

We have a two year old.  Really?  It's really hard to believe our little baby turned two today.  I had a little party all planned out with party favors and all and then I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a train.  We decided to cancel instead of risking infecting guests and I could barely move to bake the chocolate cake or run last minute errands.  Little Polly didn't seem to mind or notice any difference.  Ben went and bought her a balloon, a cupcake, and some DayQuil for mom.   We put her big number two candle on her little tiny cupcake and when we came into the dining room singing her happy birthday she had the sweetest little grin on her face that I'll never forget.  Now that she's two I guess we'll have to decide if we are still going to take a monthly picture, I guess we'll see.  The NyQuil is starting to kick in so I better get on with this months highlights or who knows what will happen.

  • Tomorrow Polly is going to be confused by why she doesn't get presents.
  • She really started to understand Santa this year.  Her first request was a screwdriver.  We have a small cute little stuffed Santa and she sweetly asked him to bring one to her one night and Ben and I almost fell over.  Her request later grew to a screwdriver, chocolates, and books.  She got all of these and then some.
  • Christmas is so damn fun again.  Ben and I used to do a good job of making Christmas fun for one another but nothing compares to watching her discover her new books and tools.  
  • The only way we got the pic above was with chocolate.  She was refusing to have her picture taken and I was too tired to be patent so I gave her chocolate and immediately regretted it because just look at her.  Just like that you create a chocolate monster and I don't really like bribery as a motivator so that was it!
  • I cannot get this child to eat vegetables regularly.  Any suggestions out there?  It really stresses me out.
  • She likes to sing and "play the piano".  She really likes to be accompanied by a guitar. Her songs include great hits like, "I'm Singing", or "We're Both Singing" where she just says these words over and over again while hitting the keys.  The other day I found her playing piano with a purple crayon.  That didn't go over well.
  • She's been sick twice this month and has formed a habit of wanting me to rock her in her chair in the middle of the night and right before bedtime.  She specifically needs her blanket wrapped around her,  baby bear, little lamb and bear.  I don't mind because I know it's not going to last forever.
  • She's starting to pretend to read books to me and her versions of books are my favorite because she skips and adds words that crack me up.  Her most recent version of Good Night Moon included, "Good night kittens, good night dogs."  There are not dogs in the book.  
  • NyQuil is really setting in sooooooo good night nobody, good night mushhhhh.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

23 Months

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more thankful for getting to spend this week away from work, hanging out with this kid.  Here are a few thoughts about this month:

  • This month she really is just a kid.  There is hardly any baby left in there.  The last two days have been mommy/daughter days and we are starting to have straight up conversations.
  • She loves accomplishing something and yelling, "I DID IT!".
  • She has her way of doing things.  In the morning she hates it when one of us is still in bed after the other gets her out of her bed.  She refuses to come into our bedroom, she wants to get down to playing immediately.  No time for laziness.  
  • I'm proud of how independent she is.  I've had to go out of town twice over the last two months for work and she's done great!  Technology bridges the gap and it helps that she has a great dad and babysitter that she loves.  
  • Being a passionate working mom with other interests outside of work is really hard.  I constantly feel guilty either about work, projects or Polly.  In the new year, I'm going to really focus on giving myself a break.  Not that I'll slack in any of my priorities but I need to be okay with things just being okay sometimes.  I want things to be perfect all too often.  
  • I laugh inside when Polly says things to strangers like, "don't touch me" or "walk away".  I just love seeing her assert herself and her boundaries.  I hope she never loses that but perhaps is a little more polite unless the situation calls for yelling.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

22 Months

What a big kid!  She might just look like me in this pic.  This month flew by but I believe I think, say and feel that every month.  We are all settled into our new house at this point save a few projects here and there.  Here are a few highlights in Polly's world.

  • She loves to be outside.  Everyday as we pull into the drive way she says, "I don't want to go in the house. "  Yes, she says all of those words!!!  
  • She says "that's nice" after she asks you something and you give her an answer.  It hilarious and slightly patronizing.  
  • When Ben sings around the house, Polly asks him to stop yelling.  
  • She was potty trained for about a day and then decided that was a waste of time.  I've never been so excited about a bowel movement in my life as that first time she used the potty.  It made me realize how ridiculous parents really are and I'm one of them.  
  • I learned this month that I need to take a little more time for myself.  That's a really hard thing to do because I feel like I hardly see her between work and sleep so I hate taking time away to see friends or just to be myself.  I'm can't help but feel that I'm just an okay mom, I'm just an okay wife, I'm just an okay employee, and I'm sort of a terrible friend.  I know most of that is ridiculous but it's something that floats around in my mind while I'm trying to be so many things at once. I need to learn to relax.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

21 Months

This is the first monthly photo in our new house.  This last month flew by faster than any month I can remember but it also feels like it lasted FOREVER.  I thought moving would be easy because I've moved a dozen times in my life but I really underestimated what it would be like to move 9 years worth of furniture, care for a toddler, work, and prepare our old house for new owners.  The good news is that we survived and I will never move again unless someone else packs, moves, cleans and unpacks.  I think I'm the one that misses our old house the most but we are quickly building new memories here.  Here are some highlights:
  • Polly LOVES to be outside in our new yard.  She wants to pick up acorns, swing in her tree swing, walk and point out every squirrel.  There are acorns all over our house inside and out.  I found myself actually holding her upside down the other day outside to shake all of the acorns out of her overall pockets.  It was safe and she loved it.
  • She is saying full sentences and thoughts.  She knows everything we say which means I'm trying to tone down some of my favorite cuss words.  We'll see how that goes.  
  • She tells everything that she loves it including the cats aka titty tat, her bear, her blanket and her necklace but the other night I was hugging her before bed and I said, "I love you Polly" and she responded with, "I love you blanket."  Maybe she will move to loving humans soon.  
  • She told me to go away this morning.  She'll make a hilarious teenager some day.  
  • She blesses herself when she sneezes.  
  • We went 20 whole months with no pooping in the bath tub.  That winning streak is over.  
  • She is obsessed with pizza and ice cream.  She is our daughter for sure.  
Ben and I also celebrated our 3 year anniversary (11 years including dating) this week and we took our now annual photo under our tree.  Polly was just as hard to photograph as she was last year but at least she always keeps us laughing.  Happy anniversary to us!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

20 Months

Look at that little kid!  She's growing too fast and getting too smart.  It's absolutely crazy.  This picture is the last picture that we will take on her monthly day in this house.  No more green wall, no more corner.  SO the latest news in our house is that we put our house on the market less than a month ago and it sold in 5 days.  This time next month we will no longer be in this house, the house where we've lived for 9 years.  I stood on this front porch in my wedding dress waiting for my soon to be husband to pick me up. This is where I found out that I was pregnant and where we cuddled a new born baby in the cold winter months.  In this house she learned to walk and talk and defy us.  It makes me so sad that she will not remember this place because this is where I became her mom; where over 9 years I really became myself.  We've made so many friends who live right here.  BUT, I feel excited that she will probably grow up in our next house and that no matter where we are, our little family is really home.  With all of these changes this last month has been interesting for sure.  Here are some highlights.

  • The week that our house went on the market we had over a dozen showings and then Polly came down with hand, foot and mouth.  That was awesome.  High fever, keeping a house perfectly clean with a sick baby and two cats is enough to make you crazy.  I would have given the house away at the end of the week if we hadn't gotten a few offers.
  • Her language continues to grow each day but sometimes she gets confused about what words mean.  Right now when she hits her own head or hurts herself she rubs the sore spot and looks at me and says in the tiniest sad voice, "sorry."  It's so damn cute.
  • I'm not sure many people would describe me as patient but I am very proud of myself each morning as I let her navigate 12 concrete stairs that lead to the car from our house because she refuses to let me carry her.  She has to point out every ant, butterfly and flower on the way and I just make myself slow down and watch her explore.  That usually lasts until about step 6 and then I lose my patience and pick her up and fly her to the car.  I'm still growing.   
  • Just tonight we had another pee/slip and slide incident in her bedroom right before bath time.  Of course the mop and everything was at the new house along with my husbands extra set of hands.  Fun times.  I just heard her from the other room say, "water!" and I knew what had happened.  
  • She's obsessed with dandelions.  Now that they are starting to fade, she can still spot the only dandelion within 300 yards and beg for it.  She's also learned the word please and how to use it in the most adorable, manipulative kind of way.
  • We keep a basketball and a football in the floor board of the car.  Polly can see them rolling back and forth which causes her to talk about daddy's balls a lot when we drive around.  I guess I'm not mature enough not to find that hysterical every time.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

19 Months Old Yesterday

Ok, so we are a day late but it's because Polly was too busy doing this...
and this...

instead of this...
We took a quick weekend trip with a few friends.  Summer is a very busy time for me at work and we have been doing a lot of home improvement these days around the house.  We all deserved some fun even if it was brief.  Here are a few highlights from this busy month.

  • It's summer and sometimes I forget to stop and enjoy it.  A few weekends ago we bought Polly a baby pool for some backyard fun.  We put her in a swim diaper and her cute little bathing suit and we played.  I enjoyed soaking my feet in the pool and she had fun trying to empty the entire pool one tiny cup at a time.  Then I notice the water getting sort of murky but I thought, well maybe it's all of the yard debris that Ben was stirring up from clipping the limbs around us.  Then all of a sudden I remembered that babies poop and that I was probably soaking my feet in poop water.  Sure enough, I look into the back of her swim diaper and poop water comes gushing out.  So our fun summer pool time turned into, hose your naked baby down in the backyard time.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly what a swim diaper is designed to do.  
  • As you can see from above, we went boating and Polly loved it.  She did so well until she got really tired and I can already tell she is a little thrill-seeker.  She loves water and has to point it out every time she sees it which is cute when you're on a walk but a little exhausting when you're on a giant lake.  "Water! Look! Water!" Ok, it was still cute.  
  • She is still obsessed with books and she can now name her favorites including, in her words: No No Cat (Cat in the Hat), Brown Bear (pretty obvious), Pop Pop Pop (Hop on Pop), and Bunny (I Am a Bunny).  
  • When she wants me to hold her she looks at me and says, "Hold you!" and it makes me die every time.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

18 Months

These pictures are getting harder and harder.  This little lady of ours sure has a mind of her own and she is terrible at being still.  Today she NEEDED her water and would not put it down.  Here are some thoughts from this month.  
  • Dance.  This is one of her first and last words of each day.  It's super cute but her timing is usually when we are both dead tired and her version of dancing is us holding her while we do all of the dancing and she claps and yells, "Weeeeeeeeee" and "SPIN".  
  • She talks to herself for about an hour before going to bed. Right now I can hear her saying, "Yaaaaaaaaay!"  Wait, now she's talking about her duck.
  • She MUST sleep with her bear, moose, monkey and blanket.  She's been trying to add the duck to the mix but I've managed to convince her that she sleeps on the dresser instead.  
  • She hates eggs.  She can find them in any food, spit them out and hand them to me.  It's an art.  
  • She thinks all babies are named Simon because our friends Kevin and Amy have a new baby boy named Simon.  
  • I left Polly for the first time this month for a work trip while Ben was out of town too and his mom kept her for three days.  Polly is just at that age where I don't really know what she understands but she knew something was up when I started gathering stuff at the door.  She started crying and saying, "mommy, mommy, mommy" and I started crying too.  It was the worst.  I cried my way to the airport and called a lot.  Once the initial part was over though, it was nice to have some time to myself.  It reminded me that I need to make sure to carve out more alone time when I can.  
  • I just heard her say, "thank you".  She has been in bed for an hour an fifteen minutes.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

17 Months

My baby is a kid.  Look at her.  Usually there are 20 or so takes of her monthly picture just to get her to look at the camera but today after a few struggles she scooted to the edge of her seat and smiled just before trying to eat the back of the chair.  This is definitely one of my favorites.  This last month has been one of the most challenging so far with trying to find that work, family, and self balance.  Here are a few updates:
  • I've finally dropped one of the balls that I've been juggling between work, family, side projects, and my sanity.  It was my sanity that hit the ground.  This month's list of updates has a mini list included called, THERE IS SUCH A THING AS MOM BRAIN!:  
    • Ben, Polly and I went to dinner one night after work.  We left the house, drove around trying to figure out what we wanted to eat, settled on a location and enjoyed our meal.  As I was scooting out of the booth to leave I looked down to discover that I was still wearing my house slippers.  I laughed so hard I couldn't even tell Ben what I was laughing at until we made it to the front door.  Some people wear pajamas and slippers in public all the time.  I am not one of them.  
    • Cincinnati weather can change from winter to summer in a day.  I woke up one day to a warm  90 degree day head and decided to shave my legs and bust out a dress to wear.  This is an exciting moment in the season change here for all women however while getting dressed after my morning shower I realized that I'd only shaved one leg.  Sometimes you can get away with that but not after this LONG winter. 
    • I bought my mom a mother's day card and found one for my sister.  I felt so great sending my sister a sweet card only to find out days later that I'd mailed my sister's card to my mom and my mom's card to my sister.  There's always next year.  
    • I've been driving around with an expired license since my birthday in March.  A postcard came in the mail saying that it was expired.  When I read the front side of the card my mind immediately went to, "BEN, you've been driving around on an expired license since August!!@#$@!" only to flip it over and see that it was addressed to me.  I'm all squared away but I have no idea how long it would have taken me to realize without that postcard.  
  • Polly is a daredevil.  She now likes to find the most dangerous way to do anything.  Today she tried riding her rocking horse while standing.  Our house has never seemed so terrifying to me.  It's super fun.  I've found myself wondering if/when we make our first emergency room run, do you put your screaming kid into their carseat or just hold them and hope for the best?  
  • Along with the daredevil stuff it's now clear to me that my house will never be child proof.  She can reach almost anything now.  That sweet spot at the center of the kitchen table where we keep all things she's not supposed to get to is no longer sacred.  Nothing is safe.  NOTHING!
  • Her language continues to explode.  I'm so glad that she finally can say, "help" instead of just grunting at me to do something for her.  It's coming in handy when she can't get down from something she has scaled.  You can just hear her from the other room saying, "help, help" in the cutest voice.  
  • She's obsessed with coloring.  It's the new bubbles in our house and you must color with her.  MUST!  
  • My mom and step-father have been visiting these last few days.  It makes me wonder about all of the things that I hope I get to see Polly do in her life.  I've never been so aware of the fact that we live in such a scary and wonderful world as I am now that Polly is here.  It's hard to sort through it all as a parent but I find that I just try to really enjoy her and be the best parent I can be as long as I'm allowed to.  
  • Oh, she also tells me when she poops which is sort of helpful except when we're in a quiet restaurant or store and she looks at me all concerned and all I, and everyone can hear is her say, "pooooop". 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

16 Months?!?!

LOOK AT THAT SMILE!  Today was a busy day with Crafty Supermarket.  It's hard to believe that this was our 10th show but it's even crazier to me that another month has past with Polly.  The show was a pretty big success and the day started with Polly's 16th photo shoot which is a pretty good way to start the day.  What a month it has been, here are some highlights...
  • Three days ago she mastered the spoon.  She's mostly used a spoon as an accidental slingshot or picking up the food, placing it on the spoon, and then putting it to her mouth only to drop it into her lap.  This makes a simple meal take FOREVER.  Then, the other night she just made it work.  Maybe it was the delicious mac & cheese from a box that I made her (parent of the year I know but it was ORGANIC) or maybe she really is more human and less animal everyday.  
  • We officially have a word in our house that we have to spell out in fear that she will hear us and lose her shit.  That word is BUBBLES.  This girl loves some bubbles.  She will only tolerate a second of me blowing bubbles until she has to be in control of the bubbles.  Where does she get THAT?  Not me obviously (guilty face).  The sad thing of it is, she's terrible at blowing bubbles but she wants to have control so badly that it doesn't matter.  She also calls all of the dust particles that you see blowing around in the air when the sun shines in the window, bubbles.  Same concept of floating but more gross.  
  • Being a parent is hard.  I'm tired in a way I never knew possible.  After a long day of awesome Crafty Supermarket fun I wanted to go hang out with friends late into the night, laugh, and have several adult beverages but I know I need to get in bed so I'm ready to chase her tomorrow.  The thing of it is though, tomorrow I get to giggle a TON, fly a kit, swing on a swing, eat snacks, have a dance party and most of that will probably happen before noon.  So yeah, I miss the way things used to be and I'm tired but this is fun as hell.  
  • I'm still totally aware that I'm very lucky.  I try not to forget it for a second.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

15 Months

This week marks a year since I returned to work after Polly arrived.  What a crazy year and she looks like a little kid in this picture, not a baby.  Making it to this point feels like a huge accomplishment while juggling adjusting to motherhood, taking on new responsibilities at work, and running a store and indie craft show on the side.

This year has been a year of choices, many of which center around Polly and thinking about what type of mom I want to be, what I want Polly to know of me as a woman and the type of people I want her to be surrounded by each day.  Many of these thoughts have led me to giving up one of those things that I've been juggling, my store Fabricate.  It was a hard choice but it's led to me rediscovering weekends, friends, family, and any day now...making art.  Polly has already gotten to spend more time with friends and family which has been awesome.  It's also given me even more time with Polly which is a huge bonus all around.  Here are a few highlights from this last month:
  • My husband traveled some this month and when he left, he left us with a great present called the stomach flu.  I thought maybe he had food poisoning from eating on the road but nooooooo.  Polly luckily didn't get it but it took me out and then a few days later it took out Beth, the awesome babysitter.   There were tears, a pathetic call to my mom just for pity, and a moment on my living room floor where I just laid there while Polly ran circles around me and I just kept thinking over and over again, "I DON'T WANT TO BE AN ADULT TODAY."  It was one of those illnesses where you feel like a whole new person when the fog is lifted.  
  • I hear my tone in Polly's voice when she says words a certain way and it terrifies me!
  • Polly officially has a favorite stuffed animal which is pictured above!  It's so cute how she loves him/her and gives kisses.  At night she gets SO excited to get in bed with her BEA!  That's how she says bear and it's so cute.  Half the time she also calls it a baby too.  
  • She's sleeping through the night.  Yes, it's taken this long.  I'm even a little afraid of typing that here in fear that she might stop tonight.  I feel like a new person with a full night of sleep.  I've even started remembering my weird dreams.  Last night I was pregnant and it was a boy (who had a giant penis in the sonogram which made dream Ben proud).  I woke up thinking, NO I JUST STARTED SLEEPING!
  • She thinks all of the things that she's not allowed to touch are called no no.  She doesn't exactly respond to no(at least not all of the time) but she does know all of the things in the house that are called no no like the record player, the records, electric outlets, and cats.  She approaches them and says no in question form like, "no, no?"  She then looks at you and touches them anyways. 
  • She still likes peeing without her diaper on in the few seconds of freedom before bath time.  Rebel.   

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

14 Months

Just look at the difference a year makes.  It's impossible to describe.  Each month I think, oh she doesn't seem that different from last month and then I look at the pictures side by side and she looks totally different.  Then I think of all of the little things that have happened in this quick month and then this quick year and I just want to put on the breaks but there are none!  Here are a few notes about this month:

  • This is the first month where Polly climbed into her chair all on her own to have her monthly picture taken.  All I had to say was "Polly, go get in your chair."  It's amazing what she understands.
  • I think there are an infinite number of ways that parents can influence their kids and then there are things about your kid that are just the way they are.  She already has her way of doing things and it cracks me up to see her inserting her opinion and way into our lives.  Here I thought I was in charge but I truly know that isn't the case.
  • She's a climber.  It started with her rocking chair and then moved to the couch. Her most favorite thing is to get into her rocking chair, stand in it and rock back and forth while looking at us and laughing.  She knows it drives me crazy!!!  My mother wished this on me I'm sure.  
  • She gives kisses!  This is the best.  Sometimes it's still her entire open mouth on the side of your face but just today when we ask her for a kiss she turns to give one.  It's the sweetest thing.  
  • She pretends to talk on the phone.  It's hilarious that a tiny person who can hardly talk can pick up almost any object, put it up to her head and pretend it's a phone and say, "Hi!"  It's too cute to handle.  
  • No matter how many times I get tiny person poop on me, I never handle it like an adult.  One night we were letting her run around before bath time naked because she loves it so.  She had just eaten chili so she was a pretty big mess.  She had been let loose for about 30 seconds when she had already peed and pooped on the floor.  Not realizing what had just happened I naively asked, "what is she picking up?" but as the question was coming out of my mouth I realized what it was.  There Ben and I are both yelling over one another various forms of, "GROSS", "hold her arms", "NO! IT'S ON ME!!", "I hope that's chili!!!", "What do we do?!?!".  It was madness.  You couldn't see where the poop ended and the chili began.  We survived but we are forever changed.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

13 Months

This may just be one of my favorite pictures so far.  She looks like such a big girl sitting there!  Today she could crawl in and out of the chair all on her own.  It wasn't graceful but she could make it work most of the time without hitting that giant head of hers and crying.  I've been feeling nostalgic for the cozy days we had together this time last year, all snuggled up together for hours and hours.  Now I'm savoring the cuddles that I get before and after bedtime and nap time because the rest of the time she is literally running circles around me.  I've decided to keep up these monthly pictures because the changes form month to month are so distinct to me when I compare them.  I feel like these pictures make me stop and savor her at each phase because she is changing so quickly and continues to change me along the way.  Here are some things from the last month.

  1. I'm pretty sure she says some form of "there you go" when she hands me things.  It sounds more like all one word, "deryougo".   I noticed it the other day and just thought it was coincidence but then I realized that I say that to her about a thousand times a day and she kept doing it and when I hand things back to her she say, "ta tou", which I translate to THANK YOU!  Ugh.  Watching these little things amazes me but also reminds me that I need to cut a few words out of my vocabulary.   
  2. We went for her 12 month check up and she still not keeping up on her weight so we've started the switch to whole milk for some of her feedings and chasing her around the house with food when she refuses her highchair.  She is in the 90% for head size (my fault), 50% for height and 5% for weight.  I'm worried that she got Ben's slender build and my giant head.  Yikes, what a combo.  
  3. This child still won't sleep through the night.  I've gotten pretty accustomed to sleep deprivation and wish that I could list this accomplishment on my resume.  It's amazing that I'm still a fairly full functioning human being at this point.  
  4. I find myself hiding in the kitchen eating snacks that I don't want to share with her, I have a feeling that this is some parenting right of passage.  I can't be the only one that does this.  Right?  Anyone?  
  5. I wonder how much longer I can shout, "I'm new at this!" when I do something like forget to put shoes on her before leaving the house or forget to take diapers to the sitter or when I can't remember if she had a bath last night or the night before.  This is hard stuff!!!  
  6. She's too impatient to have her diaper changed much less let me put clothes back on her afterwards.  I long for summer when it will be acceptable to let her run around with just a diaper. Gosh, where does this impatience come from?!?  It's terrifying seeing yourself in your child.