A quick bit of adventuring with Grandma and Papa
…the babymoon is over. 40 days seemed liked a magnificently long time and I’m so grateful we had it, but it went by incredibly quickly. The daddy went back to work yesterday so it’s just me and the children now, during the day anyway. My parents headed home as well. It was so nice to have them here, but we’ve been paying dearly for it since they left on Saturday. I’m not sure whether it was simply the disruption in Annabelle’s routine – something she thrives on – or a worry that if Grandma and Papa left, maybe mom and dad will, too. It seems like she has been on a rollercoaster since April or so, and just when she begins to find her stride again, there’s yet another change to cope with. All we need to do is love and support her through this busy season in the same way that we always strive to, I suppose, but I do have moments of (totally unproductive) guilt over the way we’ve turned her world upside down.
In general, Annabelle is incredibly fun to be around and she fills the house with laughter for much of the day. She absorbs everything she sees and hears like a sponge and loves to make statements about it later on. When she recounts events or information, she’s so animated that her eyes literally sparkle and her whole body shakes as she gestures and bounces on the tips of her toes. Yesterday, she awoke and got downstairs and opened the pantry before I could pull myself up off the mattress.
a boat ride on the Potomac
When I joined her a few moments later, she grinned as though she was thrilled to bits to see me. When she opened her mouth, I half expected her to say something about how much she loves me, but instead I was informed with great enthusiasm that, “Poop is brown!” Not only does she share factual tidbits like that, but she’s incredibly aware of sequences of events and will list them off in one giant breath. A few nights ago, I sent her off to the bathroom to potty before we finished our bedtime routine saying, “Alright, it’s time to go potty. I’ll get the room ready for sleep.” To which she replied, “And I will light the candle and then we will do the poem and then we will blow out the candle and then mommy will turn on your story and then she will lay with you until she talks about the cloud and then she will kiss you on the head and say goodnight and then she will wrap you up like a burrito and then she will go out! That’s right!” Without stopping for a breath. The energy and the memory blow me away on a daily basis.
I could not get a good picture this day, so this is lousy photography, but I had to have a photo to share A’s fabulous fashion sense. I totally dug her clothing choice.
She wants to be read to all the time, which is wonderful since I find myself on the couch nursing for much of the day anyway. Each new book is completely memorized after only a handful of readings and I am called on even the slightest error when I read. Someone must have told Annabelle about “correct echoing” however, because she politely repeats the correct words back to me instead of telling me outright that I was wrong. While reading The Napping House yesterday, I made the embarrassing mistake of saying, “in a cozy bed,” instead of “on a cozy bed,” but thankfully Annabelle caught it. She is very interested in authors and illustrators as well, and must know who created each book. She seems to note the similarities between books by the same illustrator, too, as she often makes the connection herself before I even tell her who a new book is by. She seemed very impressed when she asked who wrote, When I Was a Baby and who made the pictures, and I told her it was me. When she pulled out an old board book that specified neither author nor illustrator, she completely lost interest in reading it.
I’m loving her current stage of language development, too. We’ve been calling the story she listens to at night lately her “special kids hypnobabies.” Recently, when she pretended to put her owl to bed, she said it wanted to listen to “special owl hypnobabies.” She comes up with very clever, yet appropriate things to say all the time and also pulls lines from books and uses them quite accurately at other times during the day. She has a running dialogue with herself and her toys that I love listening in on. Oftentimes she’s reciting books, but much more exciting things are discussed, too. She still has a rich imagination, which has her naming and conversing with all manner of things and pretending everything is something else. She is very clear about what she’s doing, too, picking up a leaf and saying, “Are you pretending that’s a tractor.”
You know I didn’t take many pictures during the week when all I have to share for mamatography is bathtub cell phone pictures. Ah, well. He’s precious anyway.
Elliot still loves to be held, and is a fantastic snuggler. He seems, like his sister before him, to have his car seat confused for a torture device, so I try to time outings during his naps as much as possible. Also like his sister, he finds great peace outdoors. When he’s upset, stepping outside almost always calms him instantly. For the most part, he makes it really easy for us to sleep a good bit at night, and for that I am thankful. I seem to have crazy oversupply and definitely have an extraordinarily active letdown, the result of which is a very gassy boy, so sometimes that makes sleep a challenge, but other nights are a dream. I’m hoping things balance out in the next few weeks as my supply regulates, but for now I’m doing a lot of propping myself up in bed for “uphill nursing.” It’s not as conducive to good rest as side lying, but Elliot seems to appreciate it. He’s spending far more time awake with us, too, which we love.
It has been fascinating to watch the relationship between Annabelle and Elliot develop, and I’m interested to see how it grows as we settle into life after the babymoon.
I’m not sharing any more mamatography
this week, as the rest of my daily photos are pretty terrible. I’m really making a deliberate effort to take the camera out this week, or I’m afraid we’ll end up being the family with thousands of pictures from the first child’s infancy and barely enough of the second to fill a small photo album. I’m grateful for this challenge as it forces me to notice how many photos I’ve taken throughout the week, and what I take them of. If you have photos or stories to share from your own household, please do link them up!