Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How soon they forget

So I know Mommy B and I have talked about moving Alli to her "new room" this past weekend a lot lately, and I have to say it's become a bigger deal for us than it has for Alli. Of course, like much else that goes on with children at this age, they just roll with it. Certain things don't register with them like it does for a fully "aware" adult.

It's such an odd feeling now - walking by Alli's "old room" (a.k.a. the nursery) and knowing that she doesn't "live there" anymore. She spent just about every night of the last 16 months in that room, in that crib, with the same night light. Now she's in a completely different room, on the opposite side of the house, in a different crib (kind of), with a different night light.

Mommy B and I spent some time this past weekend cleaning the nursery while Alli was napping. After everything was cleaned up, put away and set up for Baby M #2's arrival - I just kind of stood in the doorway looking in at it. All the memories of the nights Mommy B and I spent in that room with Alli came flooding back to me. How many times I carried her on my shoulder rocking her back to sleep after Mommy B fed her. How many times we rushed in to comfort her when the teething became unbearable in the middle of the night. How many times we peeked in on her after she fell asleep to fix her blanket and unwedge Pooh. How the power went out in just her room for a couple days and Pops (my dad) had to get on Skype with me to help me fix it. How the smoke detector went off in the middle of the night (as it always does) and she didn't even wake up.

And I realized how crazy it'll be doing it all over again with our next child. OK, I can do without some of those memories happening again - but you get the point. I never thought just moving Alli down the hall to a new room would be such a new chapter in our lives with her... and it's crazy to see how quickly she has adjusted. She doesn't even go in there anymore - just like she rarely went into the room that is now hers before we converted it. How soon she forgets that it was her room once... but I know I'll never forget it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

Okay, okay... we're talking about sixteen months here, but I'm pretty sure time is flying by so quickly now, we'll be at the real sweet sixteen before we know it. Alli is such a character, a little mini-me, and just plain exhausting at times. She loves to point at everything until she gets what she wants, shake her head "no" to anything we offer her (even if she really does want it), and imitates everything we do. She has a hilarious fake laugh, fake cough, fake sneeze, etc... she just thinks she's the funniest little girl ever too. Wonder why? We laugh at her and encourage her all the time... I'm sure that's not helping the situation! =)

It just amazes me how much she knows and how fast she's learning. If we tell her to do something, she (for the most part), does it. For instance, we were in her bedroom last night and I handed her her towel and told her to take it to her dad, and she ran down the hall with the towel, ran into the bathroom where Dad-E was starting her bath water, and handed it to him. She really "gets it", and knows what she wants too. Her new favorite is playing on the couch... running on it, nose diving into pillows, flying into cushions... you get the point, I'm exhausted and 31 weeks pregnant, I'm sure not able to keep up with her like I used to. Thank goodness for a retired athlete as a husband =) Ya know, he was a hurdle champion back in his day in college... it will really come in handy when he has to hurdle Scarlett, pillows, the couch, etc. in an attempt to make sure Alli doesn't fall.

Oh, speaking of falling... our poor girl had quite the accident at Chesterbook the other day. I looked at my phone during a break at work and saw "Missed Call & Voicemail from Chesterbrook Academy", I feel like my heart drops just seeing a missed call from there. I checked it immediately... they were calling to say that Alli was running (big surprise), fell, and cut her lip pretty bad. They were able to stop the bleeding, but it was "a lot of bleeding", and she's okay. I called Dad-E, who had also gotten the message, and we agreed that she'd probably be okay for the few more hours I had until I could pick her up from daycare. I picked her up and she was so sad... and her inner bottom lip looked just awful. Thankfully, she was a trooper and never even complained about it, and it has already healed quite nicely.

The Stats:
Weight: No check up's this month, probably about 23ish lbs
Length: Growing all the time
Head: That's growing all the time too... her big brain =)
Diaper Size: 4's... I'm ready to potty train though, let's go!
Clothing Size: 12-18 months
Shoe Size: 4's - 5's depending on the brand
Food: All done with bottles! We're all sippy cups now, one with dad in the mornings when she wakes up, and she shares his oatmeal or cereal, then an AM snack/juice at daycare, lunch with milk, afternoon snack/water at daycare, banana when she gets home with me, dinner/milk, then bath and bed. She LOVES and only wants to self feed... and is doing really great with feeding herself with the fork and spoon.
Naps: One 2 hour nap, 12-2ish
Sleep: Bed by 6:45-7ish, up by 6:30ish (yes, it's getting a little later that she wakes up! yay! just in time for us to be up all night with Baby M #2! haha)
Teeth: Sixteen. Yes, that's correct. She's got a mouthful.
Play: Playing outside, running around the house with any and all toys in her hands (she usually carries about -4 toys with her at all times), playing on the couch, riding in her cozy coupe with Dad-E pushing her around, playing in her kitchen, sliding down the slide, rearranging everything, she's quite the little organizer, showing us where her belly, head, nose and feet are, lots of dancing, and lots of giggling... she's so ticklish these days!
New buddies: Not a new buddy, but Simon came to visit the other day, he's almost 8 months old... so hard to believe!

So now she's sixteen months (going on sixteen years with the little attitude we've got going on some days!), and that means... only two more months OR LESS! until she's a big sister. We can't wait!!! Even Scarlett, she's super excited about the new addition coming too... ha ha ha...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Alli's new room (in progress)

We've officially moved Alli down the hall to her new room as of last weekend, and what can we say, she was just a champ! She didn't put up a fight, she slept wonderfully, naps wonderfully in there, and now runs down the hall to her room all the time... she doesn't even look in her old room anymore. We are still in the process of putting everything in the right places, figuring out what to hang on the walls, etc. but it's so crazy to see this 4th bedroom as an actual room now! When we first moved in, the previous owner had used it as a study/spare junk room... which is what we did with it too. We eventually got another bed in there for more family and guests when they came to visit, but it was still pretty much just a place to store our extra crap. Now, that extra crap has to go somewhere, so that's all been a process too. But, we're slowly but surely getting through cleaning everything out. And the nursery is now being transformed back to "baby-ish" again... raising the crib up, getting the changing table cleaned off (since it was being used more as storage than anything else... we change Alli wherever we can pin her down, which usually ends up just being the floor), and getting all the baby toys out again. It's so strange to think that in just a few months or less, we'll have another baby sleeping in there, and Alli all the way down the hall in her new room too. We're certainly filling up this house! :o)

Here are some pics of the progress of her room... I've been browsing Pinterest and other websites for ideas of things to hang up in her room, and what to do with her closet space since she has a big ole walk-in closet now... but still can't decide. She does love her new room though... and we're thankful for that!

Right after painting...

Closet before...

Alli approves of her new crib

Alli's new closet after

The new room!... starting to get organized...

Another view

And another view. her kitchen's in her room now... she LOVES that!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Truth or dare

Since today is President's Day, I had the luxury of having the day off from work (weird, right?) Mommy B... not so much. And apparently, Alli's daycare takes all the same days off that I do - which means that so far in 2012 I've had to play Mr. Mom twice... and it's not even March!

Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with Alli more than anything in the world, but entertaining her for an entire day can be exhausting to say the least. She really is a handful - not in a misbehaving sort of way (which I'm sure is right around the corner with the Terrible Twos), but because she is so full of energy. She's so inquizitive, so curious and yet so determined. Even for a "young" parent like myself, keeping up with her all day is a full-time job that requires a lot of stamina. Today was a perfect example...

Mommy B got up at her usual 4am and was out the door by 4:30 (I know, I cringed as I wrote that, too). Alli woke up at 6:30, which is typically when she likes to rise and shine. We had a typical morning of her eating a lot of my breakfast and me powering through an hour of Peter Pan Returns on Jake and the Neverland Pirates followed by an hour of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Good times.

Thanks to the completion of Alli's "new" bedroom, she's been having a lot of fun in there by herself lately. This afforded me the opportunity to grab a shower and get dressed while she played in her kitchen and ran around in Mommy B's bathrobe. I texted Mommy B and we made plans for me to bring Alli to her work and we all would meet up for a lunch date. Everything was on schedule... until Alli fell asleep in the car before I even made it downtown! She never takes a morning nap anymore, especially when she's at daycare.

Since I didn't want to wake her up while she was snoozing, I basically drove all the way downtown and all the way home for nothing. Talk about burning $3.50/gallon gas for nothing... ugh! So we came home and she had lunch at 11:30 (as usual). She only slept for about 30 minutes in the car, but I knew what was in store the rest of the afternoon. Would she take another nap... or not?

Well, I tried putting her down for a nap around 2pm to see if she would pass out like she normally does in the afternoon, but she had other plans. After whining for a few minutes, she eventually got quiet. I thought I was in luck, but my luck changed when I went to go check on her. Not only was she not asleep, but she managed to somehow pull of both socks and her pants. She's never done that before, ever. My first thought was that the conversation between Alli, Violet and Pooh Bear must have grown stale and they resorted to an innocent game of Truth or Dare. Since Violet (who's a stuffed dog) only has a collar and Pooh only wears a shirt, Alli was the odd-man-out, as they say. To be honest, my real first thought was that she was losing to her stuffed animals in a game of strip poker, but I didn't see any playing cards in her crib.

Luckily, Mommy B had arrived home just in time to witness Alli's striptease, so we pulled her out of bed and brought her downstairs. Yeah, she was nowhere near sleepy. Somehow we managed to keep her awake for another couple of hours - but in order to keep her somewhat on schedule we decided to make ourselves dinner (so Alli could share, of course) early. I'm talking old-people-at-Captain-D's-at-4:30pm early.

Then it was time for Alli's obligatory after-dinner poop - which made it her fourth of the day. Needless to say, I passed her over to Mommy B to clean up. Did I forget to mention that she only had one yesterday? She must have been saving them up for her teachers at daycare... too bad she doesn't understand the concept of holidays yet. OK, sorry for the gross stuff, but changing three poopy diapers before noon can really drain a person.

We managed to get her off to bed by 6pm, which isn't much earlier than her normal bed time. She didn't fall asleep right away, but I think by then she was running on pure adrenaline. I have no idea how she stayed awake for almost 12 hours with only a 30-minute nap. But now Followers can understand how much energy it takes to keep up with my precious little angel. I certainly hope Baby M #2 is a little more... reserved.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My New New Favorite

Followers might recall this post, so everyone knows that my favorite part about being a parent was the moment I walk into Alli's classroom at daycare and see her face light up when she sees me. Well, for the past couple of months Mommy B has been the lucky one to pick Alli up from daycare thanks to her new work schedule. While I'm so happy that she finally gets to experience what I did for so many months, I have to say I have missed it immensely. I might get to pick her up every once in a while when Mommy B heads home to take a nap, but not having it to look forward to has been tough. But, since we've moved away from bottles and have been on sippy cups (with a straw!) for a while now, a new favorite of mine has emerged.

Alli has grown up so much in the last month or so. 8 teeth have popped through in that time, so she went from a almost-full jack-o-lantern into having a full mouth of pearly whites in a blink of an eye. Even though she's not quite 16 months old, we're keeping our eyes peeled for her two-year molars.

She's also talking more. A LOT more. She also knows what she wants and has been getting better about telling us what it is. When we read to her at bedtime, she already has her favorites that we have to flip through before she'll go to bed. She'll point to them and say "dat!" until we open it and let her flip through the pages. Her favorites include a book of baby faces and objects (probably because she recognizes them the most) and a book of animals. Mommy B and I try to make the noises each animal makes so she can begin learning those sounds... but does anyone know what sound a starfish makes?

But, my new favorite is my morning routine with Alli. I typically wake up around 5:30am, hit the shower and get dressed. I begin eating breakfast while watching the news and reading the paper - waiting for Alli to wake up. She used to wake up at 6 o'clock on the dot, but has been sleeping until almost 7 recently. When she wakes up, I bring her downstairs and plop her on my lap instead of propping her in the Boppy and handing her a bottle like I used to.

This is the best part - she helps me with my breakfast every morning. If I'm eating cereal, she'll grab spoonfuls of it and shove it in her mouth. If I'm eating oatmeal, she'll repeatedly lean forward towards the spoon until she has devoured my entire bowl. When we've polished that off, its on to her own stash of Apple Cinnamon Cherrios and whole milk. Sometimes we'll "split" a banana, but she usually gets most of it. I've found myself getting hungry at around 10:30 and it took me a while to realize why - Alli was stealing all my food in the morning!

She also has her favorite shows she likes to watch in the morning. We may start out with Jake and the Neverland Pirates, toss in some Special Agent Oso, then wrap up with Little Einsteins. If we're running late, she might even get to catch some Choo-Choo Soul. Those of you with kids understand how wonderful the Disney Junior channel truly is. Yesterday I caught her on video dancing around in the middle of the living room with her homeboy DC on Choo-Choo Soul. She was twisting around and throwing her arms in the air like she was ready for the club scene already. Then it's off to get changed and out the door for daycare.

This morning routine has become my new favorite thing in the parenting realm. Not only do I enjoy spending this quality time with Alli anyway, its so great getting to see the new things she's learned. Perfect example: this morning the Little Einsteins were on a farm and they had a picture of a sheep on the screen. Alli saw it and said "Baaaa!" without me even asking her! I guess all that time reading to her at night is actually paying off! Even though she had a mouth full of Cheerios, I was so delighted to see that she made the connection between the picture of an animal and the sounds she's heard us make over and over again. I really love this little girl...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! It's hard to believe that this is the 9th Valentine's Day Eric & I have spent together. That's 1/3 of our lives we've spent "dating" or married... pretty incredible that he's not totally sick of me yet. Two years ago on the eve of Valentine's Day, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby (that would be the infamous Alli Ru)! We were supposed to be getting on a plane heading to Maui, Hawaii for our dream vacation, yet, it snowed so much here in Charleston that we literally got snowed in. They didn't have the proper equipment to de-ice the plane (I am pretty sure the staff at the Charleston Airport had no idea what "de-icing" even meant), so they cancelled all flights that evening and sent us home. We thankfully were able to reschedule the flight for the following day, but needless to say, we were bummed. Anyone that has travelled to Hawaii, especially all the way from the east coast (i.e. South Carolina) knows that one whole day needs to be devoted just to traveling, and then adapting to the time change. To have a day taken away from our dream trip was pretty upsetting, but obviously, we realized there was nothing that could be done. On our way home, I mentioned to Eric that I thought we should take a pregnancy test. He was unsure and kind of in disbelief... we had just started talking about wanting to "start trying" when we went out to dinner at New Years, only a month and a half ago. Anyway, needless to say, 4 positive tests later, we were both still in shock, but totally excited. As we went off to Maui the next day, I had a whole new feeling... knowing that I was taking a baby with us on our dream vacation... and knowing that this would probably be our "last hurrah" for a long while.

So, Valentine's Day weekend will always be special to us now, for many reasons, but also to remember how many years it's been since we've been on a vacation, just the two of us. We WILL get to Bora Bora someday, or maybe at least just another Caribbean vacation someday in the near future. SOMEone out there has to be willing to watch our sweet Alli Ru, AND #2 when they get here too... right? Any takers?? =)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hello 3rd trimester!!

This past Sunday marked my 28th week of pregnancy... welcome to the third and final trimester!! I'm both excited, and saddened at the same time. This pregnancy has truly flown by, and I really do enjoy being pregnant. Most people don't, and I do feel for those people... people who have constant nausea, vomiting, aches, pains, etc... I have been extremely lucky in all aspects of being pregnant. I absolutely love feeling baby move around, kick me in the ribs, and especially those times at night when Eric lays his head on my belly and listens/watches/feels baby move around. Those moments are ones I'll never forget. But obviously, I can't wait until we have an actual baby in our arms too... it's just the wonder and thought that maybe this is the last time I'll ever experience this in my life that makes me sad.

On the Alli front... we're up to 16 teeth since Dad-E's last post earlier this week, pretty crazy, eh?? She is quite the handful still... just into everything, loves to "tell" us what she wants by pointing, talking, and oh, just sometimes a little whining too.... We love her so much and can't wait to see her as a big sister. We are getting to work on her bedroom very soon, and I'm definitely excited for that. When we ordered her furniture, we went back and forth a lot on if we wanted to get another crib or not. We decided to get the same crib she has now, the convertible 4 in 1 type crib that will convert to toddler, day and full sized beds, so it will grow right along with her. We just feel like she's still a little young to be in a "big bed", and she loves her crib so much that we didn't want to make too many changes all at once. It may be a lot for her to move to a new room in the first place. So, we'll see how things go! I'm just excited about everything... things are really getting closer and closer!

Monday, February 6, 2012

15 for 15

No, I'm not talking about free-throws or field-goal stats, I'm talking about Alli's teeth. That's right Followers, my 15-month old now has 15 teeth. They have all successfully broken the surface and are crowding their way into her smile. The only one she's missing at the moment is her top-left cuspid to complete the set.

They have come in so quickly that Mommy B nor I have been able to tell when she's teething. Given that these last seven have all come in in the last six to eight weeks, it seems like a new one has popped through almost every time we look in her mouth. Honestly, she has more teeth than many adults out there. I can't believe how quickly she's changed from a gummy little cuddler to a toddler running around the house with (almost) a full set of pearly whites.

Speaking of growing up too fast, she moved up to the toddler class a couple weeks ago and Mommy B and I are astounded at the things they do now. She no longer sleeps in a crib at school, but on a cot they pull out and throw a sheet (and her blankie) on. Say what?? How does she not get up and run around/torment the other kids? Also, they no longer use high chairs - they all sit around in kid-sized chairs and eat from a table. Did I mention they don't wear bibs anymore either? Good lord, when did my kid become a... kid?

What's more, is that Mommy B and I have been able to pick up on the fact that they also teach sign language to the kids. No, I'm not talking about the kind of sign language for the hearing impaired... I'm talking about the signs kids use to signal certain things.

For example, when Mommy B and I were feeding Alli dinner the other night, she made a sound similar to "done" and held her hands out and waved them from side to side. Think of her as trying to screw in a sideways light bulb for a visual. I looked at Mommy B and asked "did she just sign 'done' to us?" After a quick Google search, we confirmed that was in fact the sign for "done/finished." Holy cow, she's a fast learner.

This is a good and bad thing... bad because it's kind of sad that a toddler is teaching sign language to her parents (and not the other way around), but good because it means our daycare payments are going to something more constructive than just 8 hours of adult supervision. It means that not only are they teaching her valuable motor skills but also expanding her vocabulary as well. She's learning to verbalize her feelings (like being full) instead of just throwing her plate on the floor. Not that my angel would ever do something like that... Mommy B and I are excited to see what she comes home with next.