Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I have been a lucky mama, indeed, this time around, at least. It appears my period has officially returned to my barren, infertile body. The joy! Okay, not really. Now that I no longer will bear another child, having a period feels even more awful. A monthly thing to deal with. I don't want to deal with anything else, damn it! I want my period to just go away. For good. Before I got pregnant with Iris I took birth control pills (okay, obviously I wasn't very good at taking them, but I digress) on a schedule that gave me my period only four times a year. It was pretty fantastic, and something I will do again once Eloise weans. The things I do for my babies, no? I will let her wean on her own time, just as I did with Iris, and I will face a monthly cycle, just as I did when I nursed Iris. I just won't be happy about it. Not even a little bit.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Iris proceeded to bake Baby Yellow a cake. When I asked what kind of cake it was, she said it was a banana cake. Baby Yellow likes banana cake. She also mentioned that Baby Yellow had a hard time eating the cake because she didn't know how to use a spoon. Yes, I see how that would pose a bit of a problem.
Baby Yellow was sang "Happy Birthday to You!" and Iris asked me if she could play some piano for her (on her four key Little Tikes piano) after dinner. How could I say no?
Well, Baby Yellow. You're growing up so fast! Happy Birthday to you!
Monday, August 27, 2007
On the way to the zoo Iris kept asking if we were going to see Stephanie, James and Ruby at the zoo. The last time we were at a zoo was when we went to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison and met the three of them there. She also kept asking if we could go back to the petting zoo where we saw Jen, Alison and Ian when we were in Michigan. Sigh. Three year olds don't necessarily understand the concept that those places are thousands of miles away.
I would have taken some pictures, but carrying a backpack carrier, pushing a stroller and wrangling a 3 year old and a 1 year old doesn't exactly leave any free hands. I chuckled at myself several times at how silly I must have looked wearing an empty backpack and pushing an empty stroller while the girls ran around.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Here are some photos of the party:
Eloise enjoying watermelon.
Melissa's little guy looking beyond adorable in his party hat.
Another friend in her party hat!
A little friend trying out Iris's trike.
Eloise and the balloons. We got these with the intention of passing them out to party guests but somehow, inexplicably, they were covered in chocolate frosting by the end of the party so everyone graciously declined the offer of going home with one.
Another friend at the party.
Mmmmm, Cupcake Royale cupcake!
Me. The one responsible for birthing this gorgeous babe so we would all have a reason to party!
After the party we came home and crashed. It turns out partying is exhausting work!
Today we took a family power-walk around Greenlake. It feels so good to get out and get exercise, especially as a family. Matt has had some physical ailments that kept him from doing much exercising much over the summer, but he's feeling so much better now and has been asking more and more to go out on walks. Yay!
There aren't too many plans for this week. Preschool is on a break between the summer session and the regular school year, so we'll have to find something to do to entertain ourselves.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So, after checking out that place, we headed over to Cupcake Royale, where we knew they would have time to make cupcakes for us. The cupcake shop is on a busy main street, so I was excited when I spotted a big parking space right out front. A space big enough for two cars and there was already a car pulling in to the spot. I stopped and waited and he pulled ahead in the space, leaving enough room for me to park behind. I looked at the driver and noticed it was the father of a child that Iris goes to school with. So, I parallel park in the space and the guy, let's call him Mr. Asshole, gets out and comes over to the passenger side of my car. "Oh!" I thought, "He's coming to say hi!" and he bangs on the window and I roll it down. He starts yelling at me that the spot he stopped in has a white line on the curb and that he was going to back in to the space I parked in. "Oh, I'm sorry" I said. He then starts yelling that I almost "slammed in to him" (which, you know, I came nowhere near doing) and then walked away. I was absolutely floored. I pulled away and I was shaking and mad. I didn't say anything, but Iris was really freaked out. She kept asking me why that man banged on the window and why was he yelling at me? It was a great lesson for a three year old, that sometimes adults don't act very nice and that he should have used a nice voice with me, even if he as upset.
So, it was so weird. I thought, damn it, I am going to email Mr. Asshole and make him feel like a total piece of shit for treating me that way in front of my girls. I requested some advice off of the message boards and was surprised that most of the mamas thought I should just let it go. Let it go?!?! How?! But, you know what, they were right. I am not sure how confronting some crazy lunatic about his out-of-line behavior would solve much. I'm just going to be steering clear of him, which may be hard since our school is so tiny. Oh, well.
What is the deal with people?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I'm finding the size difference between the girls at the same age fascinating. I wonder if Eloise won't end up being as tall as Iris.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Enjoy a short video of Pooties in action:
Friday, August 17, 2007
Eloise one year old.
In, let's see, 55 minutes Eloise will officially be one year old. I can't even believe it. It's insane, absolutely mad, how fast this past year has flown by. At a "blink and you'll miss it" rate.
One year ago at this moment I was working on birthing my little babe in a tub in the corner of my bedroom. I was sure that someone out there in the big wide world had it in for me and that was their way of punishing me severely. Labor and birth, while amazingly powerful and life-changing, is not an event I'd wish on my worst enemy. Yet, out of that pain came this beautiful, perfect child. A child I couldn't even imagine I could love as much as I do. Until the moment she was born I couldn't understand how I would have the capacity to love aother child as much as I loved Iris. And it turns out, love doesn't just double, it grows exponentially. My love extends to each of them individually and both of them as a unit. As my babies. Forever my babies. Babies I carried and birthed.
The addition of Eloise to our family has made us all feel more whole, like we finally have a solid family unit, the four of us.
In the first hours of Eloise's life her big sister threw a Dora sippy cup at her head. Well, yeah. That pretty much sums up the relationship she's had with Iris over the past year. It's been really neat, though, to see those moments of tenderness between them. When you actually get to witness them loving each other instead of just assuming it to be true. It's also fun to see how tenacious Iris's relentless bullying is making Eloise. Little does Iris know, but she's slowly building a super-strength sister who will one day be able to pick her up over her head and toss her across the room. Tee Hee.
If you care to revisit it, Eloise's birth story can be found HERE.
And, of course, there was today. Her first birthday. She woke up snotty, thanks to yet another cold. She was pretty crabby today, but enjoyed checking out some new toys and spending time with her Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Maegan who came to see her. We had her favorite dinner, beans, rice and chicken, followed later by her first birthday cake which her Grandpa wanted to get from Coldstone Creamery. Yummy.
Riding her new elephant rocker that her sister helped pick out.
Practicing walking with a book in hand.
It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to! Applauding our rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday!"
"Mmmm, this ice cream cake is good!"
"Oh! No it's not! It's terrible!"
Happy birthday Pooties!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
We had a blast at his aunt and uncle's house. Matt's cousin's boys were, oh, I hope I remember this correctly, but I think they were 11, 9 and 4. I immediately assumed they would be, well, boys, and more interested in, you know, destroying things and spitting than they would be in playing with two little girls. I couldn't have been more wrong. The boys were incredibly, mind-numbingly, sweet with Iris and Eloise. The 4 year old and Iris played most of the night and the older boys entertained Eloise. We ate delicious food prepared by Matt's aunt and visited and snapped bunches of photos.
That night Matt and Iris camped out in the backyard in a tent big enough for Matt to stand upright in. You might think this isn't a big deal, but Matt is 6'7", so that was one tall tent! Eloise and I stayed in the comforts of the house and had a rough night of sleep. Eloise was coming down with a cold and spent most of the night awake and coughing. Not fun.
Playing pool. Check out that technique!
Being sweet with Eloise.
A group photo.
Matt's cousin, the mother of the three boys. The tent behind her is the one Matt and Iris slept in.
My dad had promised Iris and I a chance to use the kayaks and we were very excited. Iris is a huge fan of kayaks, though I'm not sure why. She ended up being pretty damn bored but I think we really pushed our luck by going out on a looooong trip with her in the morning. I really enjoyed paddling a kayak, I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it was alot of fun. I think it's incredibly cool that my 60-ish year old parents own kayaks. The least I could do was try to keep up with them!
There I go!
My dad and Iris.
That afternoon we decided that it was the perfect day for a trip to Duck Lake. More specifically, to the little channel that connects Duck Lake to Lake Michigan, a place which is pretty close to my idea of heaven. Seriously. Hopefully my pictures even begin to do justice to this place. There is a long, shallow, winding channel flanked by the most gorgeous sand ever. There is a decent sized beach and then on the other end is Lake Michigan. The lake was the perfect temperature, with a perfect sandy bottom, with perfect rolling waves. I grew up swimming in Lake Michigan, so being in that water felt like home to me. It was absolutely hypnotic. My dad and I had spent most of the early afternoon driving all over Michigan for beach umbrellas for our afternoon at the lake, but it was worth it!
Matt and the girls relaxing on the channel. The water was so shallow that we could set Eloise in the middle of it.
Our little set-up. The sand and sun is pretty un-forgiving, but with the umbrellas it was actually quite nice. At one point several of our group was napping here!
A nice scene of the beach and channel.
This is closer to where the channel connected to Duck Lake. It went underneath the road and made a cool little waterfall. That is Iris on the bottom left.
From left to right, my dad, Eloise, my BIL and my mom.
My sister is an amazing cook. She makes mouth-watering pizzas from scratch, which she did for us that evening. I think we didn't end up eating until close to 9:00 at night, but it was delicious!
This is what we looked like on the dune ride :)
My SIL two nieces and nephew.
Iris, with Eloise on her right and my sister, sister's husband and their son on her left.
The four of us. I have never before worn Eloise like that in the Mei Tai, but it worked really well for the ride. We were told we could hold babies on our laps and I just couldn't help but feel like that was exceptionally dangerous.
This was another dune buggy that we passed.
Matt and I.
After the dune rides we walked over to get some food and ice cream. Here is my younger nephew with my younger niece and Iris. I love this photo, my brother captured it.
We came back to the cottage and had a mish-mash dinner, including the corn on the cob my mom roasted over the fire.
After dinner there was more swimming and then I finally got my wish and twisted enough arms and we went out to roast s'mores over the fire. Yum! Here is my dad by the fire.
After all of the kids and my mom and dad went to bed the rest of us sat out by the fire for a while and relaxed. My brother's family had to leave really early the next morning so it was our last night to spend with them.
Today we were at Iris's preschool picking her up. We were waiting for the director to get us all of our forms so we can officially register for the fall (yay!) and Iris, Eloise and the director's one year old were literally at my feet. I could have reached down and touched any of them. They were all trying to get at some toys and I was watching them. On a low shelf were some sea shells of all sizes. I saw them. I knew they were there. I knew the two younger ones were eyeing them up and were going towards them. Out of no where another mama, who was at school as the helper today, swoops in and gathers up all of the sea shells and starts saying to the children that those were too small for them and not to touch them, blah blah blah. I smiled at her and said "oh don't worry about, I'm watching them!" but really what I was saying was "what the hell is your problem?" Not five minutes later she was directing Iris away from something else, again, I was right there and was watching every move she made.
I don't understand this at all. Please, someone, anyone, shed some light on this.
I do know that some of my friends will be more freaked out about what my girls are doing than I am. My dear friend Melissa practically has a coronary every time Eloise shoves a rock in her mouth while I just sigh and leisurely fish it out (after Melissa points it out, of course). But see, Melissa and I have a thing. We are close. Our kids are close. We know each other very well. We don't discipline each other's kids, but we watch out for them.
I'm the first to admit I'm more on the laid back side about alot of parenting things, but I really, really do not appreciate other people swooping in and taking over. It makes me defensive and mad. And then my mama claws want to come out. Grrr.
Speaking of my three year olds love of coffee, we were leaving the grocery store the other day and she spotted the cafe and asked if she could have a coffee. Since we haven't been anywhere near decent coffee for the past four weeks I decided that yes, she could get some. We walk in and there are two older girls playing near the toys and Iris immediately walks up and says "I'm getting coffee!" to which the girls reply "no you're not, you're not old enough!" and then they looked at me and said "she's not getting coffee, is she?" to which I replied "Well, yes, actually, she is". Their jaws just about hit the floor. As I handed Iris her mocha (they were on sale that day, she's not picky) the girls asked me again if it was coffee. I told them it was actually a mocha. Their mother looked at me strangely, I gather that she was the one who told the girls they weren't old enough for coffee, and I felt the need to explain I started a bad habit but that I only give her decaf. Then I thought, you know what, who cares? I don't need to explain to random strangers about my daughter's coffee habit. Hrmpf.
This morning in the car Matt handed something to Eloise and she said, clear as day, "dee doo" which, for the unaware, means "thank you" in baby language. Genius!
You would think, being that Eloise's birthday is tomorrow, that we would have her big fancy first birthday gift picked out. Well, we don't. Not even close. We have gotten her a few things over our vacation and kind of thought they would be for her birthday. For instance, we got her these as her first walking shoes, but she's been wearing them already. Sort of takes the fun out of it, no? So we are trying to figure out if we want to do something bigger. Matt and I are both interested in these two things, a Rody and a Rockabye rocker. Both are pretty cute, huh? We'll see. You know, it's less than 24 hours before her birthday now.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Eloise is ever so slowly getting closer to really, really walking. Today we watched her get herself up to standing all on her own. Like, from sitting in the middle of the floor to standing. Then she toddled a few steps. Amazing! She's a genius! It's so much fun to watch her go through this. With Iris I was just so ready for her to grow up already, hurry along and meet the next milestone! But Eloise? I'm enjoying the journey so much more. Every night as I rock her to sleep I honestly think about how grateful I am that I can still rock her. That she needs to be held in my arms to feel safe and comfortable while I lull her to sleep. With Iris I couldn't wait for her to fall asleep on her own. With Eloise, I love every minute of it. Well, I don't so much love the over-tired screaming bits, but those are getting fewer and further between, so we're good.
Iris has been all over the map these days. Some days, like (most of) today, she's this perfect little gem. Being as sweet and beautiful and loving and gentle as can be. Some days, like (most of) yesterday, she's a rotten little demon whose sole purpose in life is to pound on her sister and make me freak out. It's a good thing I love her so damn much. Because, really, I do, so we take it day-by-day.
She absolutely adores her summer preschool. I have been sweating bullets over the fact that as of this past Tuesday we didn't know where she would be able to go in the fall, but we were just told they had two days open for her if we wanted them. And boy howdy, did we want them! I couldn't be happier. Her school is just amazing. It is the perfect place for her, and us, I think, so now I can rest a little easier.
We are definitely weaned at this point, as well. The past couple of nights Iris asked to nurse again, for the first time in four weeks, and I knew it was just because she wanted to stall for time instead of go to bed. I told her no, that we were done nursing, and she simply moved on. I think now I can say without question we are done. It's a fantastic, triumphant feeling. To make it just over three years of nursing feels like such an amazing accomplishment. I don't feel sad at all, actually. I don't know, should I? I also don't feel uber-relieved. It just feels right. Like it's very much the right time.
In 48 hours, almost to the minute, it is Eloise's first birthday. I can't even believe it. I am so dumbfounded that this year is coming to a quick close. Everyone said the first year is the hardest so I'm thrilled we all made it through in tact! Matt's parents and sister will be here for a small celebration on the big day. I'm looking forward to it-- her Grandpa wanted to bring her first birthday cake, which I thought was about the sweetest thing I have ever heard.
In completely unrelated news, my boyfriend apparently doesn't know what an engagement ring is for and thinks he can get away with just buying me a cheap-o wedding band when it's time for us to tie the knot. Um, hello?!?! What? No, there's no engagement (and there won't be until there is a rock on my finger, damn it!). That is all.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
On the way home from the petting zoo we stopped and bought floaty rings for all of the kids. They were a HIT! After a big spaghetti dinner some of the kids and I went out swimming. The water was calm and warm and perfect for a dip. We ended up swimming until the sun sank behind the trees. I think that night was my best time at the cottage. I felt like I was 8 again and had a really, really wonderful time hanging out with the kids.
Monday, August 13, 2007
We woke up on Sunday morning at the vacation cottage to a gorgeous day. In fact, every day was gorgeous while we were there! The weather was perfect right on the water. If you went in to town or away from the water at all it felt a bit hot and uncomfortable, but the cottage was fantastic. We spent some time on Sunday swimming, eating, playing bocce ball, drinking bar. All the fine things in life! The cottage was on White Lake and the water was so amazingly shallow. You could walk out for yards and yards and it still wasn't any higher than my knees.
The cottage from out on the dock.
My parent's sailboat. If you look closely you can see the line where the water is a little brownish and then turns to blue. That's where the drop off was. You could walk yards and yards out in the water and it was no deeper than my knees until you hit the drop-off.
The living room at the cottage.
My mom and sister in the kitchen. I think my sister spent the vast majority of her time there!
Matt, my brother and my niece and Iris playing bocce ball. I think the girls won :)
Iris and her cousin relaxing.
Hanging out in the dinghy.
Monday ended up being a pretty terrible day, actually. I'll spare you the gory details, but there was lots of drama. Lots and lots and LOTS. I was very upset with my mother, my sister got upset with me, Matt and I got in a huge fight. Oh, it was bad. In between all of this upsetness there was some swimming out off of the sailboat and just before sunset we all went out to a beach on Lake Michigan and had some really amazing professional family photos taken. They all turned out so nicely. Matt and I kissed and made up pretty quickly after our fight but there was still alot of tension in the cottage between me and my mom and sister for the rest of the day. Blech. I didn't want to be there anymore.
Iris and I swimming. She was so brave! It was the first time she had ever been in open water like that.
My brother diving off of the sailboat.
A view of a bunch of us on the sailboat.
My older niece jumping off of the sailboat.
There were about a million great shots my brother got of the photo shoot. The setting and light were amazing. We all looked pretty sharp in our coordinating white tops and jeans, if I do say so myself!
My sister and Eloise, getting ready to go.
The four of us getting our family shot taken.
My brother's family.
My sister's family.
Making sand angels.
Hanging out on the beach.My nephews.