An impromptu sink bath. Breaking in the new kitchen!
It has been so very much more settled around here this week, and it’s a beautiful thing. I had to remember, for one thing, that with everything turned upside down from the move, it wasn’t realistic to expect to get back into the same groove we previously had with sleep. We’re back to snuggling to sleep instead of saying goodnight, turning on a lullaby, and tiptoeing out while Annabelle falls asleep on her own. If this is still how we’re making it work when the new baby comes, it could be tricky, but we’ll figure it all out eventually. At this point I’m just trying to embrace what is and let it happen, and Annabelle seems to appreciate the new relaxed approach.
Annabelle and I have found a couple of regular outings that we really enjoy and have made those a part of our weekly rhythm, while filling the rest of our time with walks around the neighborhood when it’s not too hot, reading books, setting up around the house, baking bread, and the like. Making a more deliberate effort to pull up a chair and invite Annabelle to join me in everything has helped, too. I feel like I’ve had tunnel vision since a week or so into our time here, seeing little more than a to-do list, but I think I have broken through that. I’m sure I’ll catch myself overly focused on the list again, but I’m doing my best to keep the big picture in view.
Annabelle’s first ever introduction to dandelions!
Every morning we eat some granola, and then Annabelle helps me make coffee. This has become one of her favorite things, and when she hears my timer go off to signal that it has finished steeping, she declares, “We’re ready to press it!” I pour myself a cup and make her a “latte”, which is about four ounces of almond milk with just enough coffee, a teaspoon or so, to make it slightly brown. We sit down and enjoy a cup together, and the day begins. I’m liking this new ritual.
She loves washing the dishes each day as well, and just as in the old house looks for any opportunity to sneak into the sink herself. “Mommy walk away,” has become an important phrase in tipping me off to the fact that she has something up her sleeve. She was washing dishes as I prepared dinner the other evening and was moving each dish, one by one, out of one side of the double sink and into the other. Once it was emptied, she asked me to help her take off her apron. I tried to convince her otherwise, explaining that the apron was keeping her dry, but she informed me that she wanted it off, “because it’s all wet and soapy.” I finally got the picture when she said, “Do you want mommy to walk away? Are you not going to get in?” Very clever! She had gotten everything ready and just needed me out of the way so that she could have a relaxing sink bath without interruption.
Making herself comfortable in the store while we picked up the new baby’s car seat.
The “teeny, tiny baby” game has lost its charm this week, and Annabelle has instead declared herself a bear. One morning she was climbing up the stairs on all fours and explained that she was climbing the stairs like a bear, to which I replied, “Oh, dear! Is there a bear in our house?” She now narrates everything she does by explaining that, “This bear is playing with her toys,” “This bear is hugging her mama,” etc. The bear, it seems, is quite direct as well. After a lot of perplexing behavior last week that I believed reflected a need for more attention, my bear has been asking specifically when she needs something and it has helped so much. I was on the couch finishing up the last of my assignments for the semester this weekend when Annabelle came over and said, “Does this bear want her mama to put her computer out of her lap?” I happily set the computer down to take a break, asking, “Were you wanting me to put something different in my lap?” Her reply? “YOU!” If you’ve been following Annabelle’s language development, you know that you refers to her. So we snuggled it up on the couch. It was wonderful to know just exactly what she was needing, and be able to stop and offer it. I could get used to this!
Out for a walk. Annabelle was dying to get this gate open and explore the playground at a nearby elementary school.
Another favorite game has been pretend phone calls, which reflect the huge number of boring customer service phone calls poor Annabelle has been sitting by watching us make. Some of the lines I’ve been hearing in her phone calls include, “Customer service,” “Do something else,” and even the correct spelling of both our last name and the name of our street. When she’s not making customer service calls, she has chats in which she explains what she’s doing, and I’ll have to see if I can’t record one because the inflection is just that good. The most common conversation goes, “So, I am at home. Yep. Mmmkay. Buh-bye.” When a phone is not available, she talks to her toys. The doll she often nurses, who has been dubbed “Snuggle Doll,” came grocery shopping with us this weekend and she and Annabelle had a nice chat in the backseat of the car where Annabelle enthusiastically pointed out all of the sights, “Snuggle Doll, there is a fountain!” “Snuggle Doll, we’re at Wegman’s”
Reading to self started a couple of weeks ago, and I keep forgetting to note that. I haven’t seen any made up story lines yet, but Annabelle does memorize books and then recite them when re reading on her own. There are quite a few unfamiliar books in our house right now, courtesy of generous neighbors who dropped them off in advance of our arrival, and Annabelle decides on names for them based on the cover photo. Several days ago, she found Corduroy and brought it to me, explaining that she was, “wanting to read Bear With Its Strap Broken.” Another favorite has been Baby With Its Eyes Open.
We have been busily preparing for the baby, who could potentially come as early as about two and a half weeks from now, which just boggles the mind. We have put together the birth supplies, picked up and made ready the car seat, and this morning Annabelle picked out a special gift to give the baby when he or she arrives. Annabelle’s new favorite thing is to lift my shirt and “nuzzle” (rub her nose against) my belly while waving and saying, “Hi, baby!” This baby already feels like it will be much bigger than Annabelle was, and one of our midwives estimated him or her to be about four and a half pounds over a week ago, so it’s quite possible that this will be the case. As much as I’d like a bit more than two and a half weeks to prepare everything, I’m eager to complete our family, and see what this new person is like! Our belongings are actually scheduled now, and should arrive in less than a week, so as long as I can get most of the boxes unpacked before the birth day comes, I think we’ll be okay. I’m sure we’ll be okay regardless, but unpacked boxes would be nice.
Overall, I think we’re both feeling so much better. A change in perspective and in expectations was definitely in order on my part, and that has made all the difference in the world! Thanks to everyone who offered support, understanding, and a listening ear (eye?) this last week!
Now on to the rest of the week’s mamatography photos, and the link up. If you have an update of your own to share, please do add it below. I’d love to read!
Painting at the new, free table!
Checking out the birds on a walk.
Annabelle’s latte. These tiny glass cups are also from a neighbor, and are perfect!