Thursday, January 26, 2012

my smurfette

Sunday was one of those days I never, ever want to forget.

Millie went down for her morning nap super easily and on schedule, which gave Lola and me a whole bunch of one-on-one time. And we so needed a good together. January has been plauged by sickness, lack of sleep, crabbiness and more sickness. But, finally, on that day, I felt like me again.

So I readily agreed to do whatever Lola wanted to do.

Her request was immediate, "Can I paint?"

Of course you can.

It started off normally enough...

But Lola's smart enough to know when Mommy's in a good mood. So she asked if she could paint her hands and do some finger-painting.

Of course you can.

We did that for a few minutes, mixing my hand prints with hers and playing around with colors.

Then, I decided to up the ante a bit...

Which led to this...

Which led to this...

I love the keepsakes, yes (which have since become the first pieces of Lola's artwork on which she actually signed her own name).

But it's more than that. Every time I see them, I can still hear Lola's giggles and shrieks as the paintbrush ran along the bottom of her feet and between her toes.

She's like me - super sensitive and super ticklish. At one point, she couldn't tolerate it anymore and jerked her foot away, leaving a footprint on the leg of the kitchen table.

Those giggles.


We were laughing so hard together by the end that I was wiping tears.

"Mommy, can we do that again?"

Of course you can.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Millie, in the past week, has been working toward mastering a new skill. She takes her hands and cups your cheeks, usually both at a time.

She is trying to pull your face in for kisses. So sweet.

While this sounds absolutely delightful (and it is), it would be a lot more enjoyable if I trimmed her nails from time to time Last night it felt like I was being caressed by a velociraptor.

I just hate trimming baby nails...

- Bethany :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

My thoughts on 2012 thus far…

It sucks.

Sigh. It’s been a long few weeks. The first week of the new year was spent trying to catch up from the holidays. Which is always hard, but in our house, we were also without a functional kitchen as Ray worked to finish tiling the floor (it looks fantastic by the way). 

It was  more than a little stressful in our house as I don’t handle messes very well and here, in my kitchen, were all kinds of construction messes and rules about when we could walk on the floor -- and the stupid cat was constantly walking through grout and mortar and tracking it all over the house. And I was constantly trying to clean up after the cat before Ray noticed…

Fun times.

I spent the second week – last week – at home with my girls. Which sounds fantastic, but it was anything but. 

Lola woke up Monday morning (the 9th) and said her tummy hurts and she was sick. She does this every now and then. But after a few minutes, she usually relents, smiles and says she is “just teasin’” and runs and gets dressed. This time she didn’t do that. So, after several minutes of debate, I erred on the side of caution and decided to stay home with the girls. A few hours later, I was kicking myself because my 3-year-old was obviously not sick. She was running around, laughing and definitely not complaining about a tummy pain.

But then I picked up Millie and found a low-grade fever. This wasn’t too surprising since she has been gnawing on everything within reach and drooling like crazy; everyone has been speculating about when that first tooth might appear. So I just put her to bed.

It wasn’t until Ray got home that things got serious.

He picked up Millie at about 7 p.m. or so and asked me if I had taken her temp lately. I told him she had a low fever a couple of hours ago, but she was probably just teething.

“Yeah I don’t think that’s what this is,” he said, handing me the baby.

And it was like holding onto a fireball.


This was the beginning of an week-long battle.

Following Millie’s fever, Lola, too had to get in on the fun. She woke up Tuesday morning herself with a fever well over 104. 

Lola, napping on Mommy's lap Tuesday.

Both girls were sick through Wednesday. Lola was better by Wednesday evening. Millie continued to battle a fever until Thursday.

And even now, Millie is still not 100 percent. She is congested and coughing a lot and just hoarse. I feel so bad for her…

But we’re getting there. She slept the last two nights, which is definitely an improvement. Prior to that, she was sleeping, maybe, at 20 or 30 minutes at a time, which was making for some very long nights.

Oh, but there is more to complain about. 

Ray’s back, again, is bad all over again. (Which of course is my fault because I “made” him tile the kitchen floor, haha.) I feel terrible for him, I do. He can’t sleep, can’t sit, can’t move, can’t play with the girls, etc. It takes everything he has to just get through the workday. But it's wearing to have someone home and still not have help with the girls or housework. I don't blame him, but it is trying...

That said, there have been a few bright spots this year. My kitchen is beautiful and I love it. The living room is so, so close to being done. Lola and I went and saw "Beauty and the Beast" in the theater (really, to just see the "Tangled" short...) and had a wonderful time.

So, yeah … 2012 …a mixed bag so far.

- Bethany :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

my Millie

Millie turned six months old just before Christmas, on the 22nd of December. (The timing of that milestone is my excuse for not writing about it sooner by the way.)

In many ways, it's hard to believe she already is half a year old; in just as many others, I still think of her as my newborn.

Or I did before this week.

Before this week, my littlest daughter had no interest in doing much of anything. She was - and still is - the happiest, most joyful baby I myself have ever known, but she didn't take too much interest in learning how to move or roll around or anything. She would grab toys if they were placed directly in front of her, but she didn't much care for rolling or sitting.

I admit that I was getting wee bit cautious, anxious on this front. Lola, my oh-so-spirited, energetic child, was rolling over at three weeks and trying to move around by three months of age.

My Millie is so much more laid back. She'll happily entertain herself for more than a few minutes at a time and grins appreciatively whenever she does get some one-on-one attention. With my still-spirited 3-year-old, it is hard to focus too much on Amelia for too long, but she seems to be, at least right now, comfortable with that.

Still, I felt a little nervous when I told the doctor on Dec. 27 that my 6-month-old still wasn't rolling over. Sure, she gets about three-quarters of the way over, from her back to the front, but she was showing no interest at all about going to her tummy.

Uh, yeah, Millie also hates being on her stomach. We try to force her to do tummy time regularly, but the very happy baby immediately becomes a very mad baby.

He told me not to worry about it, that she would get there soon enough.

Well, fast-forward one week.

Our New Year's resolution in our house was to get Millie sleeping in her crib again. Yep, after pledging for months to never ever ever let the baby sleep in her bouncy chair as Lola did for eight months, about two months ago, we gave in. Amelia had a cold and we didn't want her to choke and we strapped her in her vibrating chair.

And she slept... So soundly... So long...

The next night, we were tired, wanted a full night's sleep...

You see how this goes.

So now, two months later, we were ready. I mean, she sleeps in the crib at daycare. Yeah, she hollers at us when we do try to put her in her crib, but it is time.

Monday night, she slept in her crib. Without a peep (until 5 a.m.). She seemed happy to be wiggling around and free a bit.

Tuesday evening, I was working. I got a text at 7 p.m.: "Millie rolled over."

(Ok, boo for missing it, but yay for it happening.)

Wednesday morning, she rolled over again. And again Wednesday evening.

So this week has been one of change for us, for Amelia. She is still adjusting to her crib (the cry-less Monday night bedtime was a fluke, we are learning), but it will be good for all of us.

And, I believe, it helped her to learn to roll over, which is  teaching her to enjoy tummy time a little bit more.

Short takes:
- Millie also is sitting on her own, for about 45 seconds at a time. Even longer on occasion.
- Foods: Ask me in one week. We still don't have a kitchen (Ray is tiling). But she seems more open to trying solids. We will see.
- Sisters. (I have a picture but Blogger is acting up on me today.) Millie and Lola are actually halfway playing with each other. Lola is able to hand her toys and watch Millie inspect (and chew on) them. it is getting to the point where the first thing Lola wants to do after day is "play with 'Milia."
- Eyes. Ray things they are turning brown. I think he's colorblind. They are more gray, like mine, and less bright blue, like Lola's. But they're still obviously blue-ish.

Such a sweet kid.
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

looking ahead

Ray and I, while packing up Christmas decorations last week, began wondering about what our lives will be like when we take them all out again next winter.

Do you ever expect your life to be what it is eleven months later?

Ray and I took out our Christmas d├ęcor in 2006 while we were living in our apartment in the Cities, still playing our thrice-a-week poker games and not really planning much for the future at all. We’d vaguely discuss dreams, but certainly were not committed to taking actions to make them happen.

Twelve months (roughly) later, that Christmas gear was unpacked in our new lakeside apartment in Bemidji, a kind of spur-of-the-moment life-changing decision that we just decided to try out. Even more surprising, I was (not accidentally) pregnant.

For our next Christmas, in 2008, we had a 5-month-old little girl. A bright-eyed, enthusiastic and very intense little Lola.

In 2009, we again celebrated Christmas in that apartment, this time with a very mobile and energetic 17-month-old.

Last year, we had our first Christmas in our house. We no longer had our geckos. And instead we had a cat. And, again, I was pregnant (but a little nervous, too, thanks to the early miscarriage that August).

This year, we celebrated the holidays in our house with our two beautiful, sweet daughters. And the cat.

Where will be at this time next year? Happily chugging along with a 4-year-old and 18-month-old? This is what I expect, what I hope. I don’t foresee any big changes. Our family is complete (or so we believe); I don’t foresee us moving or making any huge life changes. Perhaps we'll get a dog. Or a hamster. Hopefully, a new bathroom.

But I still us all together, happy, hopefully a bit thinner.

But I don’t see any major life changes.

Will I be wrong?

- Bethany :)