November 17, 2011

If I could put time in a bottle....

Yes, I did just quote a super corny song. But the words ring true. There is something about having a second child that really puts time in perspective. It definitely gets put into perspective with one, but then when number two comes along for whatever reason it really solidifies things. With number one, phases seem to drag on because you don't know how long they will last and you're not really sure what the heck you're doing. With two, you know from experience that everything is fleeting and you get more of a chance to truly cherish the moment and mourn the moment's passing.

Callen is doing this thing lately where, after a feed, he'll nuzzle his face into my neck, close his eyes, and make pterodactyl noises. It's this half squawk/half groan sound that he'll make for a few minutes as he falls asleep on my chest. To anyone else it is probably the most irritating sound on the planet, but for me it is the sweetest noise in the world. And it brings tears to my eyes, knowing that in a few weeks chances are he won't be doing it anymore. I would give anything to be able to put those moments in a bottle and keep them, to be able to re-live them whenever I please.

And the same goes for Audia; she is at a stage of her life where she is testing and asserting independence, but she still has this fierce need for our closeness, both physically and emotionally. I do everything I can, in those moments that she climbs into my lap or into bed with me in the morning to snuggle, to just breathe her in and enjoy it. Because goodness knows it will be all-too-soon that she won't need me in that way nearly as often as she does now.

My babies are growing up. And they won't ever stop. I love it and I hate it.

November 11, 2011

Callen at 5 Months

Our little buddy sure is keeping us busy these days! According to my measurements, Callen's now 19.5 lbs and 28.25"! At the rate he's growing, he'll be out of his infant carseat in a month or two, which is probably for the best as carrying him around in it is getting a bit difficult. He figured out how to roll to get places about a week ago, and has been keeping us on our toes ever since. There's no more putting him on his play mat on the floor while I wash dishes or throw in a load of laundry; goodness knows where I'd find him when I came back!
Just heading into the kitchen, Mom! No big deal.
He is still teething, and just yesterday I noticed what I think is his lower front left tooth starting to break through. It's hard to get a good look with all of his talking and smiling though. He's been passing toys back and forth between his hands for a couple of weeks, and just recently discovered his hands. It is so funny to watch him stare at a hand while he moves it closer to and farther from his face, wiggling his fingers just to really be sure that he is in control of this thing that he's looking at. His favorite thing to watch, however, is still his sister. The way that he looks, smiles, squeals, and laughs at Audia is absolutely heart-melting. He is in such awe of, and so totally in love with his big sissy. And while she has a hard time understanding that he doesn't purposely try to pull her hair or clothes, she is still absolutely wonderful with him. I love watching their relationship develop!


November 7, 2011

Tyrannical Threes

Before I had kids, and even while Audia was a baby, I had heard plenty about the "Terrible Twos." Enough so that I braced myself for all hell to break loose and prepared for the worst. Maybe it's because I was expecting the worst that the "Terrible Twos" didn't really seem that bad. Sure, we had our days of testing and we had quite a few nights of refusal to go to sleep or stay asleep, but overall the twos just did not seem that terrible. And maybe because of that, because I was over-prepared for the twos to be terrible and they weren't, or maybe because I had heard the threes referred to as the "Terrific Threes," or maybe because our daughter has never done (and probably will never do) things 'by the book', or maybe a combination of all of these things, the "terrific threes" are simply not. They are, instead, the "Tyrannical Threes." This isn't to say that Audia is a tyrant all the time. Nor is it to say that she's a tyrant at heart. She's not. She is truly a sweet, loving, hilarious, engaging, and lovable little girl. However, she is also very smart. A little too smart. And, as I've said from day one, she is also very strong-willed. And increasingly independent. And extremely curious. When you combine these things with the typical ego-centricism of any 3-year old, you essentially get a mini tyrant or dictator. She truly believes that she should have a say in whatever goes on in our household as well as in what anyone around her should happen to be doing at the time. And obviously, this cannot be the case, nor do I let it be the case. This, of course, is met with fierce opposition by the mini tyrant. I see flashes of her teenage years and am admittedly terrified. I've read my share of parenting advice both via books and the web, (and continue to do so....any recommendations? I'm all ears!) and of course testing at this age (and really, at any age between 6 months and 5 years) is typical. The problem is that our strong-willed daughter doesn't just test things a dozen times. She tests things hundreds of times, waiting for just one slip-up by one person. And then she starts testing it all over again. I try so hard not to get mad about repeating myself for the fiftieth time because I know that really she is just trying to figure out how things work. Even her teacher mentioned that while most kids her age just ask "why?" Audia has very specific and detailed questions. Which is wonderful. I love that she is so interested and curious and inquizitive. But it is also exhausting. All I can do is hope for "Fantastic" rather than "Fearsome" Fours......

November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween this year was a lot of fun. I really like when Halloween falls on the end of a weekend...or, in this case, on a Monday. It gives us a whole weekend to celebrate and do fun Halloween things!

Our Halloween celebrations started for on Thursday. Audia got to go to preschool dressed in her costume, and all the kids did a little Halloween parade around the school and had a Halloween party in class. It was so cute to see them all in their costumes!

Munchkin decided early on that she wanted to be a skeleton, and when we went shopping for her costume she insisted that she wanted to be a scary skeleton. Of course as soon as we got the costume on her, she decided she wanted nothing to do with the mask, which was the part that made the costume scary. She loved wearing that jumpsuit, though!

On Saturday we went to the Arboretum with my parents and enjoyed their "Goblins and Ghouls" event. It was the perfect fall day; clear skies and a bit chilly. They had a trick or treat trail, crafts, and a big maze. The trick or treat trail up to the maze was a bit more of a trek than I think any of us had anticipated, so we ended up skipping the maze. We all had a great time, however, and I am sure we will return next year!

Sunday afternoon Chris' dad and brother came to town for a little while, and we met them at a park to carve pumpkins and play in the leaves. Audia sure loves her Grandpa Mustache and Uncle Brent! She is asking me quite regularly now when they are going to come play with her again. I really love that she seems to feel such a closeness to them even though we don't get to see them that often.

And that brings us to Halloween! We started off our All Hallows Eve with a trip to the mall to take part in their "Mall-O-Ween." Audia got a good base of candy trick or treating there, and after a quick dinner we went to my parents house to see them and so that Audia could do some trick or treating in their neighborhood. Callen and I helped my mom pass out candy while the Munchkin went trick or treating with dad and grandpa.

Just like last year, Audia seems to have more fun sorting her candy than eating it. Unfortunately for us, there's no sneaking candy as she has the memory of an elephant and notices even if the littlest piece goes missing. That's probably for the best, though. I gotta get rid of this post-baby marshmallow belly sooner or later!