‘Nug

I forgot how much fun the second year could be. Linnea is currently funny, affectionate, playful, and energetic. My current favorite is “‘nug!” When I ask for a snuggle, she exclaims “‘NUG!” and comes running over with her head tilted (because the primary snug mechanism is her head tilting into us). She does a full-body…everything, but particularly hugs. This kid is full tilt, knows what she wants, and does it.

Other awesomeness is the current exclamation of the names of everyone she is most excited to see. Darwin is “Dar-Dar”, Leah is “Me” (“Mama-Lee”), Grandma is “Gma”, Opa is just Opa, because that’s easy. Her daycare providers have their own names, the other two kids she spends her days with do as well. The dogs at daycare are loved. And I am “Rae”, when I’m not just mama. I’m so happy to be her “Rae”.

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Happy little Bee

Linnea is in the happiest toddler ever born stage. She wakes up happy, goes to daycare happy, gets picked up suuuuuuper happy. She’s happy to see Darwin and chants “DarDar! DarDar!” from the moment I pick her up from daycare (after exclaiming “Mama!” while bouncing towards me). She even says “happy” when I ask if she’s happy.

This is why people have children spaced 2.5 years apart.

Happy

Bedtime, take 2

Tonight was easier than last night. We did our bedtime routine, got all the way through with only a couple reminders to cooperate with tooth brushing in order to have our story and song, and Darwin got both. I told her I’d be back in 2 minutes and she said “5, mama!” Because 5 is her favorite number. Who am I to question it!? There was no crying or upset at all. She asked for her picture light and for the door to be open, and that was all she needed to be comfortable being alone. I checked in at 5 minutes, and she was asleep before the next 5 minute mark. I’m so hopeful that tomorrow isn’t a big backslide!

 

Wired

Heads up: This is mostly a vent for me to off gas about this sweet and amazing and wonderful demon child driving me nuts. I’m not looking for advice, though sympathy and head-pats will be most welcome…

Over the last couple of days, Darwin has been wired. She has been non-stop moving, talking, babbling, wiggling, climbing all over me. And I’m exhausted. Last night, though, was the kicker. I have had a migraine for a few days (since Saturday) that is only just now resolving (I think – I’m medicated, so we’ll see when it wears off…). Last night, I figured I would just go to bed with her since I was so tired too. Y’all. She woke me up twice before she ever came close to going to sleep. She was awake until after 11 pm. First, she woke me up by climbing over me (she’d been laying on her bed by the big bed) to get into bed next to me. Then she woke me up by pulling my hair. Did I mention I have had a migraine?

I don’t know what’s going on with her, but it was definitely the switch that flipped my willingness to actually sit with her while she falls asleep. Tonight, I prepped her early, explaining that I was going to brush her hair, read her story, brush her teeth, sing her a song, then let her fall asleep on her own while I worked in the living room. She said she understood, explained back to me what was going to happen, and getting her to go to bed only took a little extra reminding. We brushed hair, read the story, then she refused to let me brush her teeth. I was (mostly) calm, and explained that we wouldn’t have a song and the lights would go out and it would be time for bed. Guess who doubled down and pushed that boundary. Yep, lights went out and the wailing began. I told her I would be back in two minutes, and that if she cried, the door would be closed because it wasn’t respectful of her sister’s sleep. For two minutes she wailed (on the bed – win) with the door closed. I went back in and told her to lay down and that I’d leave the door open if she could be quiet. She was (mostly). Two minutes later I returned and she begged for snugs, which I of course obliged. Left again…and that was that. The kiddo has not gone to sleep this easily….ever. Count it. Two returns and she was out.

Next we work on actually getting her teeth brushed…

A change of seasons

Autumn has come to Oregon. It’s been raining off and on for a week or so now. This morning the mountain pass to our east was being inundated with snow. The cool, damp mornings are at a relief after our hot, dry summer. In a month we’ll be missing the sun. I love this time of year. I love sweaters, cozying up with a cup of tea before bed, watching movies, carving pumpkins. We put in our first order for solstice gifts through Darwin’s preschool. Leah has been keeping apple cider on the stove all week.

Darwin loves the rain. She loves the leaves. She loves autumn. She does not love the wind that comes with the changing weather, but it is manageable with hats and hair ties. She loves the baking that we do when it grows cooler.

Linnea does not seem to be bothered by or excited by the rains. She does adore helping in the yard, however, and has been putting leaves in buckets to help clean up the driveway. She also loves baking, but primarily because she gets to stand in the kitchen helper, which is the most fun thing any child has ever done, if you ask Linnea.

Last weekend we planned and attempted to go to a pumpkin patch, but 15 minutes into the drive, poor Darwin puked all over herself. This was the final straw for turning her forward-facing (which of course she loves, while I’m convince that it just means we’re going to get in a car accident for sure), and we’ll try again for a pumpkin patch this weekend.

Fall also means it’s flu shot time. Linnea had her 15 month checkup this week and we learned that we could just get both kids vaccinated while we were there. I explained to Darwin that she was going to get a vaccine and we asked if she wanted to go first or she wanted Linnea to. Linnea, of course. Linnea was a champ and barely flinched for her shots, which helped Darwin be so brave and she sat there and let D swab her shoulder and do the shot with not one issue. When off the table her voice got a little trembly, so I immediately told her we were going to get froyo since she and Linnea were both so brave and that was the end of that! I hope my method sets us up for good experiences in the future…

Last thought today. I keep talking to the clouds and reminding them that they would also be welcome to fly south a bit before dropping their moisture. California may actually be more relieved to have rain this year than us. A month ago I wouldn’t have thought it. One of the worst fire storms in decades had changed everything though. I’m cautiously optimistic that there will actually be change because of it. Will we finally start burying our power lines? Requiring residential neighborhoods to do more fire proofing? One can hope. And for now, I’ll just hope for rain for them. For you, to my friends reading this who live there. Stay safe. We have beds here to the north if you need to get out. We’re all up here thinking of you.

15 months – The Bee

It amuses me to think that Linnea is only 15 months old, because I keep feeling like she is older, while for the first two years with Darwin, it always felt like she was younger! Linnea is so capable now. She’s in the middle of a language explosion, she loves to dance, and her favorite thing in the entire world is her sister. When I pick her up from childcare, she immediately asks for “DarDar??” and is only appeased when I tell her we’re going to get Darwin. Linnea regularly asks for Darwin first thing in the morning (a bit difficult for a non-morning big sister, unfortunately). This morning, when I brought Darwin out to the living room, Linnea began spinning around and hopping, which is a game she and Darwin were playing together last night. I can’t believe how awesome this sibling thing is (most of the time. except when there’s hair being pulled out and screaming and all that less-fun stuff).

What does 15 months look like for this little Bee?

  • Tons of words. Socks, shoes, jacket, um-um (nurse), hat, MamaRaaaaaah, Mama, DarDar, doggie, car, bark-bark, roar! (like a dinosaur), book, hungry, yes (da), run, and so many more. I forgot how cool the language explosion is!
  • Running everywhere. Kid has two speeds: asleep and speedy.
  • Loves being clean, meaning having her hands and face wiped and her teeth and hair brushed. Seriously. I couldn’t be more pleased with this outcome.
  • Continuing to be a big kid, I think she weighed in around 26 lbs when we went urgent care to have a cut on her finger checked out (no big deal). She is solidly in 2T clothing now, and she’s a good eater and very active. A sturdy little thing all around!
  • Hugs for everyone (she knows)! Linnea is in a 100% exuberant phase right now. She sees me and comes running, arms flung wide, great big smile, saying “HUG!”
  • Bubbles are still a huge favorite. They are the only thing I spell consistently unless we are literally on our way out the door to make some for her. They may be almost as exciting as her big sister.
  • The start of swim classes (our infant/toddler swim classes are IMPOSSIBLE to get into here, so it took 4 terms trying before we broke through!). This will be it’s own post, but needless to say, she loves it.
  • We started full time daycare with friends this week. Linnea loves to go, but there’s this little part of me that really wants to just play with these kids all day long even though I know they’re both having fun and I love my work. Case of grass is always greener?
  • Drinking all the water. This is a delightful thing. After having a child who has to be practically force-fed water to stay hydrated, having a kid who hydrates is kind of like magic.
  • Dressing herself. This kid has style (and won’t stay still long enough for me to get a good picture…). She insists on having shoes on when going outside (yay for now!) and taking them off when inside (like big sister!)

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15 months is basically amazing. But it’s also really hard. I’m working on not just having all the babies, and so I must also list the difficult things. Hard things include:

  • Hair pulling. OMG. Y’all, it’s a problem. Linnea pulls out CHUNKS of Darwin’s hair, Darwin screams, and Linnea flips out. A couple of weeks ago this happened right before dinner and Linnea was so out of control that I finally just took her back and did bedtime an hour early. It took her about 45 minutes to calm down, but then slept well that night. We went through this phase with Darwin’s little buddy N. He was a notorious hair-puller, so I know it gets better, but boy it isn’t fun.
  • Screaming in general. Linnea continues to be a much louder (i.e. screamy) child. But overall she sleeps better than her sister did. Trade-offs.
  • A general disregard for anything resembling being safe.
  • Destruction and the “if it fits, I eats it” phase. Includes primarily ripping paper books, and carrying coins around in her mouth. Year 2: keep child from unintentionally causing own demise.
  • See? Do I really want to go through this again? Then I look at the photo below and am like “dammit”.

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Happy 15 months, little Bee!