Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Dad's Away Sh!t Happens

Whenever Matt goes out of town for more than a day I have to brace myself. Something crazy always happens (dog breaks coffee table, every snow storm this year, etc) and this week was no exception. Matt was on a train to NYC at 10am. By 3pm I had stepped off the deck, skinned my knee (and some spectacular bruises appeared the next day) and twisted my ankle (even better bruises). Awesome. Thankfully a friend was over and entertained Amelia while I iced the ankle and the following night someone else brought dinner and cupcakes. That was wonderful and greatly appreciated. Amelia has taken advantage of my lack of speed by breaking away and running away on sidewalks as much as possible. She's an evil genius.

The other big thing that happened while Matt was away is that the formal job offer for his new job arrived via courier. I didn't think people still did that, but it's kind of cool. We're very proud of Matt and this job because it's the kind of thing that makes your career, with the bonus of less travel!! My body and psyche are very thankful for that. But mainly we're just very proud of him. Congratulations Matt. We love you very much.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can't Walk, Must Run or Dance

Amelia is constantly in motion. I think people don't believe me when I say she literally never stops moving. Here is my video evidence of her sitting still for no more than 2 seconds.

Exhibit A
Please note that Teddy is sitting next to me when I started filming, but then needed to become part of the action.

Exhibit B

Unfortunately I have yet to catch the dancing, but I will keep trying.

Thankfully the new nanny and nanny share friend are wearing her out during the day. We barely have enough time to feed her and give her the last bottle before she passes out. We're finding that she still gets the night terrors if she worn out, but they're shorter and less intense then if she just skipped a nap. I don't want to wake her up before the terrors are about to start, because they're usually only about an hour after she falls asleep. I think waking her up then will just make her more confused. Once they're done (and usually last less than ten minutes) she's a good sleeper for the rest of the night. But, it's a pretty heart breaking ten minutes. The only good thing is that we know they're coming, and we know they're going to stop.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

What a difference a year makes.

Mother's Day 2010 (also Amelia's one month birthday)

Mother's Day 2011

It has been quite a year. The baby that never stopped kicking in utero, turned into the infant that wanted to move so bad, to the toddler who runs full speed into anything, even if it's not a good idea. She's not afraid to speak her mind, even if you have no idea what she's saying. She loves her parents, but probably loves Teddy more. She cannot sleep without at least five books in her crib, because she "reads" herself to sleep and can't be rocked to sleep anymore. She loves to dance and twirl, and is never happier than when she is the center of attention. She believes all computer and phone backgrounds are pictures of her and is very confused when they're not. While she's not the biggest fan of plane rides, she been a fairly good traveler and is working to get to Premier status this year. She is a total joy and total chaos all in one bundle of energy.

While Mother's Day has now become more about me and Amelia, I do want to thank my moms, and my grandmothers, for everything that they taught me. While all my grandparents, except my step-mothers parents are now gone, my mother and my step-mom are both going strong. Some were in my life for a short period of time, and some for all of it, I feel their influence every day. Here are the top ten things I learned about life from them.

1 - Read. It will always give you something to do and will make you a more educated and interesting person.

2 - Never settle for less than you deserve. I found out that Mary was expecting my brother Hugh because she demanded that we be moved to the non-smoking section of them plane. (Yes, I do remember smoking and non-smoking sections of planes.) While her style, threatening to sue if Hugh was born with birth defects, may not be for everyone, the point is she knew what she had booked and what she wanted and didn't settle for less than that.

3 - Being a lady is more than wearing white gloves, Easter hats, and knowing what fork to use. It's about be generous with your time and your heart, and keeping your mouth shut sometimes no matter how much you want to speak up if it keeps the peace where peace is needed. Also, if you put a skirt on and then sit down with crossed legs and can feel the seat, your skirt is too short.

4 - Don't forget about yourself. While it's easy to sacrifice everything for your children, or to go the other direction and be all about yourself, there's a land in the middle. Live there. Know what you are not willing to give up, be it a weekly bridge game, a special weekend away every year, or a garden that makes you happy. You are not just your children and their accomplishments, you are your own person.

5 - Which leads me to - you can't have it all. While I think they're going to take my degree away for saying that, it's true. Life is full of compromises, and only you know what you're willing to give up. You should never feel bad about those choices, and you should never make someone else feel bad about theirs, but you do have to accept what comes from those choices.

6 - The ability to forgive and to accept forgiveness is an act of grace that everyone should learn. It may be bitter on either end, but you won't regret it in the long run.

7 - No matter what you do, your family will still take you in and God will forgive you.

8 - Hospitality starts with a feeling, not with a table setting. If you are excited and happy to see your guests, they will feel that and remember that more than what kind of china you used.

9 - Laughter is not always appropriate, but it's almost always appreciated. This is especially true at funerals or memorial services.

10 - Have a great smile, learn to drink and tell jokes like a man, never show fear, look pulled together but understated, and you can do almost anything.

They've also taught me specific things about being a mother.

1 - If you wouldn't want to her it from your mother, your child probably doesn't want to hear it from you.

2 - Babies will always stop crying. Don't take it personally. You will be amazed at how much you listen to your child cry and not try to do anything about it.

3 - Sometimes cereal for dinner is just fine.

4 - A glass of wine is a perfectly acceptable response to a temper tantrum.

5 - Learn to drink your coffee cold.

6 - While it may not be funny at the time, 90% of the time it will make a great story later.

7 - If you can't do, or have no interest in doing something, that's why children have chores and why people will clean your house or mow the lawn if you pay them.

8 - Pre-board as often as they will let you.

9 - Whatever you say in front of a child will come back out of their mouth at some point. See point #6.

10 - A hug, a kiss, and a band-aid can fix almost anything. If not, you can surgically staple their head shut in the bathroom with no long term damage.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Girl

Don't worry, it's just water. I can't even imagine what she would be like if we gave her coffee. But Matt and I have travel coffee mugs we use in the morning and Amelia decided she needed her own so I took out an extra one and put water in it. She was really into drinking from it until she realized that it doesn't work like a sippy cup and if she turned it upside down water would go everywhere. No more travel mug for Amelia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Nanny and Friend

Since I went back to work Amelia has been in a nanny share for most of the time with a little girl a month older who lives basically across the street. A couple of months ago our nanny, who was wonderful with the girls, turned in her notice. Thankfully she gave us plenty of time to find a new day care situation. The other little girl actually got off the list and got a space at a local day care (I was beginning to think that doesn't happen) so we started looking at our options. We can't get Amelia into any of the day cares until at least August, so that wasn't an option. We found another nanny share that looked like it might work, but in the end fell through. Just as I was about to panic, a woman emailed me asking if I was still looking for a nanny share. She has a boy who's 2 and a great nanny that's been with them since he was 5 months old. We emailed back and forth, then we all met, and we were good to go. Yesterday was the first day of the new nanny. I felt a little bad because Amelia was still asleep when I left (morning nap) so she was waking up with a stranger there.

Amelia could not love the new situation more. She loved her other nanny share friend (she would stand by the front door and say the girl's name when it was time to go) but now she has an older boy who's just as hyper and crazy as she is. They were running around screaming with delight when I got home last night. There was twirling and falling down and jumping off stairs and generally throwing themselves against the furniture. And when the little boy left he asked if Amelia could come home with him. I think that's a great sign, but I'm fairly confident they're only going to start having more fun when they have more room. We're at our house for the next two weeks while the other family moves, but then it will be at their house permanently and they'll have more space. Amelia did great while they were there, but crashed and was asleep within 20 minutes of them leaving. We'll see how she does today, but I expect it to be more of the same. A worn out baby is a great thing.