Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kisses! And missing Daddy...

There is nothing more beautiful or appreciated (to me, obviously) than when Lola takes it upon herself to show affection.

Sure, sometimes, she uses hugs and kisses to try to get out of bedtime or bath time –but, now, she has been giving them freely as thank yous. And it makes me beam.

Ray has been out of town for the first part of this week. So it was just Lola and I Monday through Wednesday (except that we did have some help Monday as my dad came up to babysit while I worked for a few hours).

Last night was a trying night for both Lola and I. She was cranky, I was tired. We made frozen pizza, which I simply just cannot eat anymore (long story – basically we had waaaaaay too much frozen pizza while we were in limbo on our closing date with the house – and ever since, I just can’t eat it. Blech. You would think after 3-4 months, this would subside, but not yet…). Lola thought it was bad, too. So then we were both hungry and cranky and tired.

So we ”veged’ on the couch while watching some Dora. I figured Lola needed a treat, so she and I had some pretzels, which are (apparently) her most favorite snack ever. After about 10 pretzels, I went to put the bag away and Lola objected, “More please?”

I gave her 3-4 more and she crawled over into my lap, threw her legs over mine (so we were stretched out with my legs on the coffee table) and she turned and kissed me on the cheeks, “Thank you.”

Too sweet.

We did OK while Ray was gone, although I certainly did not enjoy handling garbage night on my own. (Ick.) Lola was, of course, confused and wanted to know where Ray was; she asked for “daddy” countless times Monday and yesterday. Several times, she would go and get her photo book, come sit with me and point out pictures of her daddy. She doesn’t understand – or at least doesn’t yet verbalize – feelings like missing someone or loving someone (she does talk about when she is happy and sad, but that’s about as close as we get), but to see her pointing at shots of Ray, you knew what she was thinking, “I miss my daddy.”

Another cute story: Lola no longer really cries when she wakes up in the morning. She bellows for her parents. Usually it’s “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” (somehow she does this for like 15 minutes without seeming to take a single breath) but this morning, I heard her softly babbly to her ladybug toy. I just listened for a few minutes until she started getting restless. And before I could get there, I heard her get impatient, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I walked in, ready to get her started for the day but she just smiled and shook her head, “No Mommy. Daddy.” And usually this would pain me, but I knew she was really missing her father by now. So I told her daddy would be home later tonight.

But she still wasn’t happy. So she turned to the next-best option: She asked to come into the big bed (sometimes, on weekends, we bring her into the big bed while she has her morning water or juice. We don’t let her fall asleep (we’re not co-sleepers) but we all have some extra relaxation time before getting up to face the day). Anyhow, she looked up at me, holding her favorite blanket and said, “Big bed?” And I agreed (what was the harm?) and she scurried down the hallway to my room – but she stopped as she as she stepped inside.

“No Daddy.”

She dropped her blanket and put her hands up in that familiar “what the heck” motion. And she looked at me sadly. Then I felt bad. I didn’t realize she figured Ray was still sleeping.

I was able to, eventually distract her and get her ready for day care, but I know someone who will be getting big hugs and some kisses tonight!

- Bethany :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

growing up



Lola has certainly become her own person lately. She is confident and rebellious and brilliant and funny and ... exhausting.

She's wonderful.

Lately her favorite thing to do is to follow you around and ask, "What are you doing?" She hasn't quite captured that "why" question, but it won't be long.

Yesterday, she and I had a fabulous day together at home. We went grocery shopping, made cookies and I even made dinner for Ray (for the third time in our marriage).

One the reasons yesterday went so well is that I'm learning (albeit sometimes reluctantly) to let her help. This is apparently the secret to a happy Lola.

I was making stuffed pasta shells, so the shells were, of course, on the highest shelf at the grocery store, pushed back to the point they were completely unreachable.

Enter Super Toddler.

With a big boost from Mommy, Lola was able to flail around a bit until she pushed one box forward and brought it down with a triumphant smile. Too cute. And actually helpful.

***

She's certainly still Miss Independent and wants to do everything herself (such as dressing herself and pouring her own juice). But even though she might only be able to get something done correctly one time out of fifteen, her grin is widest when she accomplishes it without assistance, "I did it!"

She also is testing her limits. I let her play with the alphabet magnet things yesterday (I took them away a few months ago because she found it more fun to push them all under the refrigerator) while I was making dinner. And I watched as she placed about 12-15 on the fridge, sliding them around. And then I heard a giggle and turned around to see her, again, pushing them all under the fridge.

Sigh.

If I tell her not to hit, she lightly pats you on the arm, increasing the pressure to figure out, exactly, at what point does tapping become hitting. Or if I tell her not to put her feet on the kitchen table, she'll hold a foot above the table and very slowly lower it to see how close she can get.

So she keeps us on our toes.

All in all, things are well up here. We're busy at work and home, as the projects don't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Have a great weekend!
- Bethany

Thursday, July 15, 2010

That was AWFUL!

I don't cry much. I used to cry a lot. But 3-4 years ago, I kind of realized that the energy I spent crying my eyes out could actually be better used trying to solve the problem at hand.

But I cried today.

I tried willing myself not to cry (probably because I was wearing makeup for the first time in 10-11 months and I didn't want my mascara to run), but I couldn't help it.

I couldn't help her.

Lola has been a screamer since the day she was born. We heard from more than one person that day, "Boy, she's got a very nice set of lungs" and "Hmm, you guys might want to invest in earplugs." Even our doctor told us that one. Twice.

So it wasn't surprising at all that she cried at the doctor's office today.

Our visits always go the same way:

Meet Nurse Happy (we love her), who kindly shows us to the scale, where we are supposed to let Lola just sit. Nothing painful. Just sit. But Lola has never tolerated this well.

This is when the screaming begins.

It gets a little louder when she has to lie on her back to get a measurement.

It gets really loud once Nurse Happy gets us into the little room and tries to measure Lola's head. (We even tried measuring Baby Dora's head first, to show her, but Lola still wanted nothing to do with it.)

By the time Nurse Happy leaves, Lola is usually bright red and shrieking so loud that it honestly hurts my ears.

But today, I got her calmed down for a few seconds. She drew on the chalkboard, pointed out the babies (pictures) who were either wearing hats or sleeping.

Then Doctor walked in. He's such a nice guy - but Lola is terrified of him.

First comes the stethoscope on her back, then the ear checker-out things. Then she has to lay down (which means I can't hold her) as he checks her tummy.

She is screaming so loudly at this point that Doctor tells me he couldn't very greatly hear her heart. "But I'm sure it's OK."

Since I could feel her heart thumping against my chest, I agreed with him.

He leaves.

And that's when things started to change a bit.

Lola, who was relatively quiet at this point because I was tickling her back, looked at me sadly, "No ouches Mommy."

Huh?

I hadn't brought up shots in any way.

And she hasn't had any since her 15-month appointment.

She couldn't possibly know what was coming...

Right?

Whatever the expression on my face was, it must have given me away, because she started shrieking to "open door" and "go bye-bye."

We waited, with me holding a screaming, bawling toddler, for about 5-7 minutes until the nurses came in.

And then Lola took it to a whole new level. "Mama, no!" And my so-strong child (who has a hand grip as determined as my own) began clutching to anything she could gather her fist into - my shirt, my hair, my skin, whatever - and the nurses had to, literally, peel her off of me.

And I had to hold her down.

They stuck her three times.

It was over in a matter of seconds.

Afterward, Lola even refused candy - candy! She just picked up Baby Dora and looked toward the door, "Bye-bye? Please?"

And I nodded.

And we left.

Which went well - until the receptionist ladies tried to say, "bye-bye" on our way out and Lola practically leaped into my hip, burying her face into my upper thigh.

Of course, 90 seconds later, she was smiling and playing peek-a-boo in the backseat.

How quickly they forget.

Too bad I can't.

***

Anyhow, here are her stats:

Height: 34 1/2 inches (70th percentile)
Weight: 26 pounds, 13 ounces (51st percentile)
Head: 18 1/2 inches (37 percentile)

For comparison's sake, the following are the numbers from her 15-month checkup:

Height: 31 1/4 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 25 pounds, 9 ounces (80th percentile)
Head: 18 1/4 inches (70th percentile)

Thoughts: At her 15-month checkup Doctor kindly told us to make sure we weren't overfeeding her - not that he really believed that - but he would like to see the weight percentage closer, or under, that of the height percentage.

We certainly accomplished that!

Lola's a Skinny Minnie all of a sudden! All that running around at the playground every night really helps!

We also got the go-ahead to try peanut butter. That should be interesting!

All in all, it was just an exhausting morning.

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy birthday Lola!!!



She’s 2.

2!!!

I can’t believe it.

She’s a walking, talking, running, jumping, stubborn, passionate, animated toddler.

Gone are the burp cloths, nuks and bottles.

Here, instead, are baby dolls, tutus and a trike.

Two years ago today, I became a mom.

Two years ago today, Lola finally entered this world. (I think she was trying to tell me, even back then, that she’ll do it her way – not mine - every time.)

Happy birthday, Baby Girl. Mommy loves you. So much.

- Bethany :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

P-A-R-T-Y!



We celebrated Lola's SECOND BIRTHDAY (ohmygawd - where did the time go?!) on Saturday with a party at our house ... and later in the hotel swimming pool because it got too darn hot!

I can't believe my "baby" is going to be 2 years old in two days...




Her party was so much fun! All of her grandparents and her great grandfather were able to come, as did some local friends. And Ray's sister and niece surprised us with an unexpected visit!

More pictures to come! (But I need to be better about using the Internet for non-work purposes, so I'll try to get some up tonight, after my council meeting...)

Thanks to all!
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a fun Fourth

My weekend ended up being a bit of a headache, thanks to an ongoing Bemidji issue I won't get into here. I ended up working on my day off (Friday) and working about twice as many hours as I anticipated on Saturday and Monday.

So my Sunday was the highlight of my weekend.

Lola proved how cooperative she is for her daddy, who was going to let me sleep in Sunday. But Lola slept until 10:30 a.m. so we both got some extra snoozing in! She has done this before - usually once every 3-4 months - but you forget how wonderful the extra sleep is until it happens.

And for the Fourth of July, it was great timing.

Lola and I left Ray at home to do some work on the house while we met up with my friend Laurie for some food and the parade. (I had been worried that she wouldn't make the 1 p.m. parade because of her typical 11 a.m. naptime...)

She had a pretty good afternoon!

While waiting for the parade to start, Lola enjoyed her first corn dog:



We were surrounded by families with mostly boys on either side of us. The boys would take off running down the empty street and their family members would run after them, trying to keep them in place. At one point an exasperated mom looked at her son, maybe about 4, and said, "Why can't you just stand still and look pretty like her?" (She was talking about my Lola, who wouldn't leave my side.)



Of course, Lola then knew everyone was looking at her, especially the boys.

So what does she do? Yeah, she starts showing off her belly. Sigh. (Seriously, she did this about 8-9 times before I convinced her to keep her shirt down.)



Then the parade got started.

It started with a clown, so we got off on a bad foot. Lola was terrified. Then, the sirens started, which scared her even more.

So I put her in her stroller, where she felt safe.

And then she started to take it all in.

She was especially impressed with the Bemidji High School marching bad, which had some dancers and such. It really was a cool show.




Afterward, Lola went down for a nap.

And, later, after Ray finished the easier of the two weekend projects, I convinced him to take some time off for the carnival and fireworks.

Lola took a few carousel rides. She would see the Marry-Go-Round from a ways away and holler for a "horsey ride" - but refused to even sit on a horse. So Mom and Dad kept her in our laps on the non-moving sleds.

She loved it.

(Photos are terrible, sorry. Our point-and-shoot doesn't really do great with action. And, yes, a carousel ride count as action shots.)




Then, we took her on the train. (A little fun ride that offers a slow-moving train ride around the Lake Bemidji waterfront area.)



And then we got settled for the fireworks.

We waited a bit.



And, then, seeing Lola get a bit restless, we thought some sugar (i.e. cotton candy) would help settle her down?!



And, of course, she got a new toy! Which was a great idea until she started hitting people in the head with it.



Then the big show started!

Now, let's be honest here, I had no idea what to expect. I figured the big "booms" would be frightening, but she would get over them and then ooh and ahh at the pretty colors.



Need a closeup?



She was scared of the booms for perhaps 4-5 fireworks. Then she just got bored.

At no point did she care about the pretty colors. About 10 minutes into the show, she looked at us and said "All done. Go home."

We didn't leave. But Lola never really got into it.



So we pledged to really get her attention!



Yep, we took out the sparklers!

Lola, of course, was totally impressed.



No, we never let her have one, which meant that she quickly lost interest in those, too.

And then it was off to bed, at about 11:15 p.m.

It was such a wonderful day. So many smiles and laughs and hugs and first experiences.

- Bethany :)