Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lucy laughs!

I gave her zerberts on her belly and her neck, and it made her laugh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fingerplay mods

Rebecca loves the fingerplay songs during her music class. There is one in particular that she loves.
The song is a variant of the following (several versions of which, I have found online):

Baby's Nap

Here is a baby, ready for his nap Hold up pointer finger of one hand
Lay him down in his mama's lap Put finger in palm of other hand
Now cover him up so he won't peep Close fingers around your "baby" finger
and rock your baby 'til he's fast asleep! Rock fingers back and forth.

Anyhow, during supper she decided that we should sing it. I say "we", but that isn't strictly true. She indicates to me that she wants to sing the song by holding up her finger and saying "Here is a baby". Then, I am expected to do everything else by myself. After an initial rendition, she then said "Here is a Mommy". So, I sang the same song about a Mommy needing a nap (no kidding!). I thought this was cute. The following requests for modified versions came in quick succession thereafter:
Daddy
Becca
Lucy (o.k., this was my own mod)
Gorilla ?!?!?
Kitty
T Rex
Prototops (this means Protoceratops)
Flying Tedactyl (Pteradactyl)
Dragon
Door ?!?!?
Gorilla (again!)
Belle
Goldfish (as in the crackers)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The red kitty

Rebecca woke up this morning, and described a "too scary" red kitty. She asked that we go looking for it, despite saying that she was scared. She also kept asking where it was. How should I know? I have absolutely no idea where she received the inspiration to invent this creature, but I am fascinated by the depths of her imagination.

This is how she described it:
  1. Two eyes
  2. Two ears
  3. Red
  4. Red tail (about a thousand utterances of this particular descriptor)
  5. Legs
  6. Nose
  7. Big teeth
  8. Whiskers
  9. Three legs!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The bear phenomenon

A little while ago I taught Rebecca to run over for a hug when I asked her for a 'Big Hug'. It's something she now requests on her own when upset, tired, or trying to distract us from something we're chastising her about.

She's also gotten good at giving, and requesting (especially at bedtime) kisses.

She then combines it into a combo, requesting a big hug, then kisses after getting her hug.

I then taught her about bear hugs, where I squeeze her tight and growl. She grunts appropriately.

About a week ago, I was putting Rebecca to bed, and she requested a big hug, then a bear hug, then kisses, then... Bear Kisses? So I growled and munched on her face. She laughed. It was good times, however not necessarily conducive to sleep. It's been a nightly affair since then. Hey, whatever works.

Yesterday, she put a twist on it for Mom's benefit. She requested "Baby Bear Kisses". Mom obliged, doing the bear kiss routine, but gentler, and at a higher pitch. Rebecca followed it up with her fake baby crying "Wah wah wah". I guess that's what she associates with babies these days.

She's creative, but I wonder how far she'll take this in her bedtime routine? It's like a cuter version of Simon:

Becca gets a tricycle - and loves it!

Rebecca goes to the Museum of Aviation

Hey Rebecca, are you really licensed to fly a helicopter?
Made me wonder about the south-paw friendliness of aircraft in general. Greg assures me this is not a problem.

Lucy is losing her hair, and so am I!


So, we are sitting at about 3 months postpartum. While there are days where I may still feel like a pregnant lady, the truth is - I am not, and things are changing. The prego hormones are leaving (slowly but surely) - and taking my hair with them. Lucy is also shedding massive amounts of hair. Sometimes, when she is upset, I gently stroke her head to help soothe her. I did so today, and all sorts of hair wound up on her face. Also, we went outside to enjoy the lovely weather. We both donned hats. When we returned to the indoors, I removed her chapeau and discovered even more departing hairs. I wonder just how patchy she will get before it ceases. When this happened to Rebecca, the resulting hairdo ressembled a mohawk. However, Rebecca was about 4 months of age at the time, and trying hard to roll over. Lucy is not yet rolling onto her sides, so she won't be removing any extra locks in that manner. The first picture shows part of the inside of Lucy's hat. The second picture shows Lucy enjoying the great outdoors. She loves to watch the wind in the leaves.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Swimming breakthrough

Thursday's is Mom and little sister's Fitmom and Baby day. Rebecca and I have started going down to the Plant Bath pool as their free swim in the shallow pool is at the same time.

Up until now, Rebecca enjoyed being in the pool greatly, as long as I was holding her. While capable of floating stably in her PFD, plaintive requests of "Up please" were issued almost constantly. So long as I had a hand on her, preventing the bobbing she associated with being adrift at sea, she was happy.

Today we went to the pool, to be met by Sarah and Rowan. We got there a little early and I was playing with Rebecca in the pool. She was enjoying floating around on a hippo-shaped foam mat until at one point she slipped off. I was about three or four feet away, out of arms reached. She wiggled around trying to get into her stiff-as-a-board, floating-on-her-back position, and all of a sudden she realized she was making forward progress towards me.

In the span of about five seconds, several emotions flashed across her face: Concern, consternation, puzzlement, curiosity, surprise, joy and then excitement. She figured out how to get places, and how to steer.

I repeated the exercise, and made her travel about six feet. Then I did it again, with her in the middle of the pool (it's circular) and backed away slowly, staying a few feet away all the way to the edge of the pool.

Sarah and Rowan showed up, and after greeting them poolside, Rebecca happily slid into the pool into my arms from the edge without a lot of coaxing, instead of the typical walk down the gentle ramp at the side.

She then happily played in the pool, doing short bouts of swimming, with lots of cruising around on the big foam animal cutouts with Rowan.

At one point Rebecca saw a foam block that piqued her interest, and she dismounted of her own volition, and swam over to grab it. She moves so slowly and inefficiently that the waves from her wiggling pushed the foam block away until it travelled all the way to the edge of the pool where she finally caught up with it. She lost interest in about five seconds, after spending a good 30 seconds chasing it down.

At the end of the session I got her out of the PFD to see how she would react to being in the water with no extra floatation.

"Up please."

Almost forgot...


I ran my first postpartum race on Canada Day. Hooray! Unfortunately, since it had only been 4 weeks since my postpartum checkup, I only had time to train for a 5km. I ran with Lucy in our Chariot jogging stroller, and finished in around 36 minutes. This is not blistering fast, but I think it was pretty good for my first post-baby attempt. Also, it was a very hot morning (despite the fact that we started around 9am), and we were in direct sun most of the time. The hardest moment was when we ran alongside a residential construction zone where the sewers were exposed. It was a nasty smell to contend with in the last leg of a race in the hot sun. As I came up to the finish line, there was a speed walker ahead of me (sigh), so my pride got the better of me and I put on a big burst of speed to sprint past her and make it to the finish line first. The best part of running with a stroller and a newborn is that people will go out of their way to express admiration, respect and encouragement. Not only did this happen during the run, but it happens virtually every time I train during the day. It definitely helps me to stay motivated - sometimes it can be very difficult to find the will to lace up my running shoes when I am staring at my jelly belly. But I haven't given up yet! I am registered for a 10km in October. If that goes well, I would like to do another 10km or even a half-marathon during the race weekend next year. We shall see.

Venturing out with a toddler and a newborn...


I am proud to declare that I am becoming more bold in my outings with toddler and newborn. God knows, sometimes journeys with the toddler alone are catastrophic, but... I am finally overcoming my fear of disaster, and I am managing o.k.! O.K. ... provided I follow some simple rules, and am prepared for spontaneous barfing:

1 - Pack everything for everyone into ONE diaper bag only. Bring only essentials. No purse, no second diaper bag. Just changes of clothes, diapering supplies, food and drinks, and baby essentials (i.e. bibs, cloths, hand sanitizer). Bring wallet, epipen, glasses, keys. That's it.
2 - Do not do anything with both girls just prior to toddler naptime or just after toddler naptime.
3 - Bring a change of shirt.
4 - Don't do anything for too long.
5 - Put Lucy in a stroller, not a carrier.
6 - Go places that aren't too crowded.
7 - Use bribery if you must. Carrot works better than stick everytime.

Regarding item 5 - this is because it is summer and gets hot and sweaty, plus, it means that although your hands are free, you can't pick up the toddler or crawl under objects to remove her. Also, the stroller is a convenient dumping location for gear. If you go with just a carrier, carrying even one diaper bag and managing crazy toddler becomes uncomfortable and difficult.

Hooray for Sesame Street Old School

I purchased two volumes of Sesame Street "Old School" for Becca (and admittedly, in some small part for myself). It's fabulous. I think my favourite moment so far, has been seeing Becca laughing uncontrollably when Cookie Monster eats the letter M.

Thumbsucker

Lucy is a dedicated thumbsucker! I feel like a broken record for saying this - but here is yet another experience that we never had with our first. Perhaps Lucy's ability to self-soothe in this manner is the explanation for her excellent sleeping skills. She appears to have a marked preference for the left thumb so far. I am already wondering whether it is advisable to try to gradually introduce something else she could use for soothing - maybe a satiny blanket edge such as Becca uses. I don't know - I haven't done any research yet on the pros and cons of thumbsucking, I just have a vague impression that it might be problematic in the long term for dental development, and that it can also be a challenging habit to break. Naturally, I am not thinking of doing anything to alter her habit at this time, but it seems worthwhile to think ahead.

Music class

I have now taken Rebecca to three music and movement classes. Given her love of music, and her passion for dancing and singing, I was certain that a music class would enthrall her.
Well, I was shocked to discover, on the occasion of the first class, that Rebecca could be incredibly intimidated by new surroundings. While we were waiting for our first class to begin, Rebecca could hear the sound of guitar coming from the room. She was so excited, I had to restrain her so that she didn't burst in on the classroom. However, when it came time to enter the room and experience it for herself, she became a first class clinger. This had never happened before! She had her arms firmly wrapped around my neck, and sometimes her legs wrapped around my waist. I felt like a mommy monkey, carrying my offspring. There was perhaps one other child who seemed overwhelmed and shy, but even she was not superglued to her parent. As an introvert, there have been many occasions in my life where I would have liked to indulge in a full-on cling - at least, figuratively, but I never expected this behaviour from my over-the-top fireball extrovert daughter. For the entire duration of that first class, she whispered "No?" repeatedly, as well as "Go home" and "Crocs on!". Despite all this, I did notice her tapping her foot to the beat of songs, and she was willing to hold some of the instruments.
The second class was half cling, and half sitting in my lap, with a little bit of singing. Yesterday was the third class. She clung to me for all of thirty seconds, and then allowed her personality to emerge. That's right - it was full-on Becca, the likes of which no one in the classroom had seen before. Unless you've met Rebecca, it would probably be difficult to appreciate just exactly how exuberant and energetic she can be. She laughed, she squealed, she sang, she participated. In fact, she tried to turn a ball-rolling game into her personal soccer practice, and I actually had to remove her from the group for a while. So, the bottom line is - she loves it, and I am glad she was able to become comfortable because she is so happy now. She just needed to adjust, and I am glad neither I nor anyone else, tried to pressure her or push her to come out of her shell until she was ready.

The princess obsession continues



We are now forced to devise cunning princess references for each item of clothing that Rebecca is wearing. This may seem bizarre, but it has certainly proved an effective solution given the fact that there is only one nightgown in her bedtime wardrobe. Also, this has enabled us to put her in shorts on some occasions. So... we see a lot of Jasmine shorts, Jasmine PJs, and Sleeping Beauty t-shirts. The funny part is that none of these items actually have any link whatsoever to the princesses in questions, except perhaps a tenuous link based on colour, and whatever makes the label acceptable in the mind of a toddler.
I think the second pic captures her "mischief" look. I see this look on a fairly regular basis. Becca knows when she is doing something she is not supposed to do, and it shows in every inch of her body language. She might be swiping Lucy's bottle, opening the dishwasher, or dragging a chair to the kitchen sink... the look is there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sleep master Lucy

With only a minimum of sleep training, Lucy is sleeping 8 hour stretches or more. It's fantastic!!! Perhaps she takes more after the Marshall side of the family. Poor Rebecca seems to have inherited some of my sleep disorders - I wish there was some way to ensure that your children only receive the best of the genetic material you can offer them (no doubt this will be possible in the future). Getting extra sleep makes me a much happier and healthier Mommy, but the temptation is to use the time when they are both asleep to do something productive or fun. The truth is - I should sleep too! Usually I am pretty good about this, but time to my self is in such short supply that it is difficult to resist.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ohhhh POOP.

Timeline: A couple nights ago
Location: The Marshall abode
The event: Bathtime

Dad: "Time to get ready for your bath Rebecca! Let's get you undressed!"

Rebecca strips down obediently, then runs off shrieking. She visits Mom who's feeding baby sister on Mom and Dad's bed. She gives Mom a big naked hug from behind. Very cute.

Dad returns to the bathroom to finish prepping the bath water.

Mom: "Rebecca peed on the floor in our bedroom!"

Dad goes in to discover that she not only peed on the floor, but all over (fortunately) Mom's side of the bed.

Dad shoos Rebecca out of the room, to give mom a chance to clean up. Rebecca runs off to the living room. Dad chases her down, finds her standing on the sofa.

Dad approaches Rebecca cautiously, not wanting to startle her into peeing all over the living room furniture.

Dad manages to scoop her up, carries her into her bedroom to fetch a towel.

Unidentified object: "Thunk"

Dad: "What was that?"

Dad looks down, to see a rabbit turd on the ground. Uh-oh.

Rebecca grins maniacally, holding up two handfuls of rabbit turds.

Dad wonders exactly how the poops got from Rebecca's bum, which is firmly enveloped by his left arm, into her hands, which were decidedly empty moments ago when he picked her up in the living room. Some things will be pondered later. It's time to deal with the situation. Dad runs to the washroom.

Dad: "Rebecca, can you throw those in the toilet please?"

Poops: "Plop, plop, plop, plop."

Dad: "Thank you, now it's time to wash our hands."

Mom: "USE THE HAND SANITIZER!"

Dad: "Here, lots of soap."

Dad finishes cleaning up Rebecca, scrubs his arm, retrieves the first poop from Rebecca's bedroom, scrubs the floor, and goes and investigates the living room floor. There is one more lonely poop on the floor by the sofa, fortunately not on the carpet. A quick check of the sofa pillows, the floor under the sofa, and of the carpet (patterned, better to disguise poops) reveals no obvious fecal stowaways. A little more floor scrubbing and order seems to be restored.

Dad gets into the now lukewarm bath with Rebecca, gets peed on three times, replaces the water twice, and a good time is had by all.