Friday, January 28, 2011

Making Friends

Today it is 67 degrees outside.  I have the windows open.  And right now, there are kids outside our window, playing around on the ice outside our building.  (Our building faces north.)

Alaina and I heard the kids, and Alaina scampered up on the couch to look out at the kids.  They are right there.  So while I'm in here, typing this, she is talking to them through the window.  She's saying,

"We moved here in the new house!"
"I'll come see you!"
"Don't fall down and get all wet!"
"Hi kids!"
"Whee!  That looks fun!"

I have never been good at making friends.  But apparently Alaina is.  I'll take my cues from her.

Quick 5

Amazingly, this has been the fastest week for me in a long time.  I honestly don't know where the days went.  I hope I was productive.

1.  I found this move to be much less overwhelming than the last one.  I'm not too sure why.  Maybe because we have so much more space.  When we moved into the last place, I wanted to cry because there were boxes everywhere and no place to put our stuff because of said boxes.  Here I've put the majority of them in the basement, and I'm bringing things up as we need them.  There is lots of floor space for Alaina to play while I unpack.  Or maybe it's because we had so much help last weekend, including Lee's parents being around for so much of it to watch the girls while I powered through a bunch of the unpacking.  That was glorious.

2.  Remember how concerned I was about not having to climb three flights of stairs with little girls, since that was my primary form of exercise?  I should not have been concerned, because now instead of climbing three flights of stairs once a day, I climb two (sometimes four) smaller flights of stairs about a million times a day.  Between diaper changes and all the times that Joya goes down and gets up from a nap, I have my very own stairmaster. 

3.  I took a picture right before we moved, and realized I had taken almost the exact same picture when we moved into that place.  Here they are:

Early September 2009

Early January 2011
4.  Go ahead and roll your eyes now.  Are you done?  Good.  Now, I've been trying hard not to be disappointed that the whole Baby Wise system didn't seem to work for Joya.  According to that system, the babies should be sleeping at least 8 hours a night by this time.  In fact, they should be sleeping 8 hours at night a few weeks ago.  But Joya still wakes up in the night.  Part of the reason I'm bummed is I no longer have a plan.  I don't know if I should keep doing what I'm doing, or if we need to move on to some sleep training or what.  I've been waiting for her to sleep through the night to put her in Alaina's room, which means she's still in ours.  And I am READY for her to move.  So now I just don't know what to do with her.  I fully realize that every baby is different, and systems like Baby Wise are just a goal, not a rule, but now that goal seems to be gone.  And I don't have a backup.

5.  Today I told Alaina that after Joya's nap we're going to Kohl's.  She said, "With Grammy?!"  I said no, not today.  She became very upset.

The end!  Goodbye January.  Hello February, the month of pink heart Valentine happiness.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another First

Our old place was 1000 square feet, all one floor.  All the rooms connected to the main living space, so it was easy to keep track of Alaina.  Our new place is actually three stories.  The bedrooms are upstairs, away from the main living space.  I have the baby monitor in our room where Joya is, and Alaina's room is just at the top of the stairs, so I try to keep her door cracked when she's in there so I can hear her.

At our old place, I would feed Joya in the morning and listen for Alaina to wake up.  When she did, I would go into her room and tell her that it okay to get out of bed and come into the living room while I fed Joya.  Here, that is no longer a good plan, since it would involve me A) going up and down the stairs or B) yelling up the stairs.  So I told Alaina that in the morning when her door is open, she can get up.  I figured I would just open her door when I went downstairs to feed the baby, and she could come at her leisure.

The problem with this plan presented itself early this morning.  Right before I go to sleep for the night I open Alaina's door.  That way I can hear her, and her room gets some of the heat from the house at night.  At 5:36am, I heard Alaina crying really sad tears.  Woke me up and got my heart racing.  I didn't even bother with my glasses, I just got to her room as quickly as I could.  However, she was not in her room.  She was downstairs, at the bottom of the stairs in our dark house.  I remember being little and how scary your house is at night when the lights are off.  I ran downstairs and scooped her up.  I told her that if it was dark outside and dark inside our house, then I was in my bed sleeping.  She told me she wanted to get up, but I told her it was too early and to go back to sleep.  I calmed her down, put her back in bed, and closed her door.

I still want her to get out of bed on her own in the morning, but clearly at night I'm going to have to keep her door partially closed.  That way she can't tell it's fully open and will still sleep when it's sleep time.  We'll have to see what adventures await us tonight.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick 5

Moving weekend!  Why am I blogging and not packing, you ask?  Well, I'd say that about 93% of the packing is done.  And I'm out of boxes.  So, while I wait for Lee to hit up the liquor store for some more boxes, and while the girls are napping/having room time, I have a few minutes to poke around on the computer.  And since I've played the two free episodes of Wheel of Fortune on Facebook, blogging it is.

1.  I just realized that while the main draw of our new place is the fact that it is not on the third floor, I think I might actually miss all these stairs.  Some of my pre-pregnancy pants are starting to fit again, and I credit the forced exercise of lugging a baby carrier up the stairs.  This means I'll actually have to start exercising on purpose.  Not sure how that's going to turn out.

2.  Yesterday I put Joya in her bouncy seat and left Alaina in the living room, playing with a blanket while I did something else.  Then I heard Alaina call out "Joya is cold!"  I hurried to the living room, sure I would find Joya completely covered with the blanket Alaina had, head and all.  Instead, I found this:
Another needless worry on my part.

3.  I know I put this on my Facebook status the other day, but I wanted to record it here for posterity.  Alaina prayed for dinner the other night.  She folded her hands, closed her eyes and said, "The hot dogs are cooled down and the corn is cooled down.  Amen."  And then she proceeded to eat.

4.  Another cute pic of the girls:

5.  A shout out to my in-laws, who are flying in solely to help us move.  We're so excited and grateful to have them.  Many hands make light work.

Our next broadcast will air from our new digs.  See you on the flip side.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick 5 Part II (Or, an Additional Quick 3)

Where was all this yesterday when I was trying so hard to come up with five things to say?

1.  Alaina put #2 in the potty yesterday.  The big potty.  With no prompting from me.  She asked to go tinkle in the big potty right before bed, so I set her up there and left for a minute.  All of a sudden she called out "I pooped!"  Sure enough, she did!  We were so proud of her.  She got to eat candy right before bed.  Now, she pooped in her diaper this morning, but I'm not worried.

2.  Someone hijacked our baby monitor channel.  Ours is a two channel deal; one is pretty static-y so I use the other.  Well, in the middle of the night it was making a weird noise, so I switched it to the other one and went to bed.  Today, when I tried to go back to the good channel, I heard noises.  From someone else's house.  I don't know why they were able to hijack the channel.  Seems like we were using it first.  Good thing we're moving.

3.  Did you know they have TV carts at the grocery store?  They look like the carts with the cars on the front for kids, only their a little bigger.  And have a TV built in so the kiddos can watch the tube while mom shops.  I didn't stick around to find out how much it costs to use it, because they are stationed at the customer service counter and it looks like you have to pay.  My first thought was "what the heck?"  My second was I better not knock it.  It's probably a life-saver for some moms.  I hope to see one in use some day.  Back in my day, we just had to stick with our moms and be happy.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled packing...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Quick 5

Ah, a brief respite from packing. 

1.  Every morning Alaina says she wants to get dressed "All by myself."  She is actually doing a pretty good job of it too.  I hand her the clothes right side up, and she struggles her way into them.  She's great at socks, okay at pants, and pretty terrible at shirts, but she'll get it.  And her biggest problem with the pants is getting them up over the cloth diapers.  She's really going to like it once she gets to wear underwear.  Those pants will practically put themselves on.

2.  I've been slowly packing away Alaina's toys.  And I've thrown away a few broken ones.  I do it while she's napping, and she's really been none the wiser.  Except for yesterday, when she asked for one.  I caught myself in a lie, just as I was telling her "I don't know what happened to it!"  I corrected myself and told her what I did.  She was sad, but luckily she's still at an age where she's pretty easily distracted.  I focused her attention on what she did have.

3.  Speaking of packing Alaina's toys, I haven't packed them all, obviously.  She still needs things to play with for a week.  But she keeps bringing one or two to me and asking if she can take it to the new house.  I think it's cute.

4.  Joya is slowly moving out of lumphood.  She still only stays awake for about an hour at a hour and half if we're lucky.  But she spends that hour talking or trying to bring toys to her mouth.  Of course it only makes it in her mouth about 10% of the time, but I love that she's finally trying.  And she's not so content just to lay down anymore.  She wants to be sitting more upright.  We may have reached the end of the Moses basket phase.

5.  I made an amazing crock-pot pot roast this week.  I don't think I've ever made the same pot roast twice, since I'm always trying new recipes and there are a million out there, but I think I've found my go-to recipe.  I do not feel the need to look any further.  It's super easy too.  Take a ranch dressing mix packet, an Italian dressing mix packet and a brown gravy mix packet, mix them together and sprinkle them over the roast in a crock-pot.  Add two cups of water, and voila!  Of course add potatoes and carrots to the crock-pot to your liking.  Lee said the potatoes and carrots were "bangorang."  That says it all.

Only one more week in this place.  It's been good to us, but it's time to move on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New MOPS

Today we went to a new MOPS group.  Our old one got closed down by the church running it, which was very sad.  We attended that one for two years, and I was just getting comfortable with all the moms.  But after taking a semester off, I decided that we should find another one.  There were two close didn't have room in the childrens' program for the girls, so the choice was pretty clear.

It's much smaller than the old group.  It's fairly well run, and the moms seem nice enough, although you can tell they've all been together for at least one semester.  I felt no instant connection with anyone, no spark of kindred spirit from anyone.  And Joya was pretty much a mess the whole time.  For the first time in my motherhood, I got paged to the nursery.  She wouldn't settle down for them, so I ended up holding her the entire time.  She was dead tired too...the minute she was in my arms she fell asleep.  I tried laying her down at that point, but she wasn't having any of that. 

All in all, the morning wasn't great.  Good, just not great.  The speaker was amazing.  I wish I could have taken notes.  He was from Heritage Builders and I'm looking forward to exploring their resources.  But we're going back, and the main reason is for Alaina.  She loves things like this.  She doesn't care that she's never been in that classroom, that she's never met the teacher or the kids.  She just wants to go and play.  When I picked her up from her classroom, her first words to me were "I want to stay!"  Lately she's been talking quite a bit about going to school "all by myself!"  I'm always amazed at her demonstrations of her extrovertness.  The girl needs to be around people, and I'm not talking about me, her dad and Joya.

Now if only Joya would settle down, I might be able to relax and see if there are any friends to be had here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quick 5

Look at us.  Already one whole week in to 2011.

1.  We may be inching toward potty-training.  We talk about it A LOT, and yesterday I heard Alaina call out "Poop in the potty!" I got terribly excited, thinking she was asking to go.  Well, she might have been, but what she really meant was she had just pooped in her diaper.  I think it's an important step, though.

2. On a related note, I told Alaina that once we get to our new house we'll get serious about the potty training.  She replied "A potty train?!  Hippee!"

3.  Packing is actually going well.  It's actually quite a good feeling, since you can see your accomplishments piling up in the corner.  I'm also pleased with the amount of things I'm finding to throw away or give away.

4.  Joya is becoming more and more vocal.  We thought she might be our quiet one, since Alaina talks enough for a whole household, but Joya seems to be staking her claim.  After our 3:30am feeding this morning I put her pack in her bed, wrapped her up tight and stuck her paci in.  She immediately spit it out and spent the next five minutes saying "Aaa!  Aaa!"  She wasn't crabbing...just talking.  I put her paci back in to keep her quiet so we could all go back to sleep, even though it was terribly cute.

5.  I find it simultaneously cute and slightly annoying that Alaina feels she needs to be within 10 feet of me at all times.  The other day I gave her a snack (a small bowl with some Teddy Grahams and a sippy cup of water) and then went into the bathroom and shut the door so I could take care of a little business.  I was seriously in there for only about two minutes, and when I opened the door, I saw that Alaina had brought her bowl and sippy cup and was sitting right outside the bathroom, quietly eating her snack.  So cute.  Yet so sad.

Sorry I don't have too much to say this week.  Our world is being slowly packed away in boxes, and that's what has been taking up most of my free time this week.  Life just keeps moving along.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Houston, We Have Contact

One of the main, driving forces behind my desire for another baby was the potential for sibling interaction.  I wanted Alaina to have a sibling, a pal, a person to grow up with.  She has been really great about the whole adding a baby to the family thing.  Mostly Alaina just ignores Joya.  Oh, she says hi, especially when Joya is on my lap.  She also likes to climb up to see Joya on the changing table.  But mostly life is business as usual for her.

But then yesterday I laid Joya on Alaina's bed while I put a load of diapers in the wash.  I turned around to see Alaina up on the bed, close to Joya's face saying "Hi Joya!  Hi Joya!"  And Joya was holding on to Alaina's finger and smiling right at her face. 

Up until now Joya has given Alaina the blank stare that she gives to most things that are not Mommy or Daddy.  I think this is the main reason Alaina has just gone about her life.  Joya has just been a noisy little lump that is very uninteresting.  But now, all of a sudden, Joya tracks Alaina as she dances around and is quick to give Alaina a smile if Alaina comes close enough to make eye contact.

I've been waiting for this day.  And it was worth it.