Feathered Aspen


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8 mos/35 mos

Hello World!  The sun is shining, Stacy and Ellison* are in town, and this coming weekend we’re off to Salida!  Life is so good, especially now that February or as I like to call it, the longest shortest month of the year, is done.  There are many things I love about winter, but without some nicely groomed ski trails nearby, the cold and the ice can be a huge drag.  Especially with kiddos.  Plus, there’s something about those dark months of January and February after the bustle and cocoa of the holidays that’s just plain lonely.

But right now, we’re feeling great! Nothing like friends and a little Vitamin D to give you a whole new perspective.

So, in those 10 minutes when both of my daughters are sleeping, I thought I’d share a few brief updates:

Lu:  Eating more and more these days.  After a slow start (she really wasn’t interested until a couple of weeks ago), she’s now grabbing for my food, reaching to intercept spoons, and getting frustrated when she doesn’t get a little of what we’re having.  She’s had pureed tortellini with pesto, egg, purreed rice with kale and mushrooms, broccoli, potato, polenta with ragu, apple, carrot, and a bunch of other little nibbles of anything we’re eating.  She’s got a pretty strong gag reflex, so we’re trying to blend everything or give it to her in tiny grain-sized bites, but I’m looking forward to when I can just hand her an apple to gnaw on.

In terms of movement, she’s leaning over and grabbing things, scooting on her butt, and traversing quite a distance that way.  She’s pulled herself up onto her knees a few times, and she also has gotten onto her hands and knees and rocked, but no crawling yet.  She loves picking up small objects, and I like letting her do that while I watch because she’s so graceful and focused on coordinating her fingers.  Right now, she’s loving anything that’s paper, and I’m constantly removing choke-sized bits of paper from her fists, much to her dismay.  She also loves plastic bags, so I let her play with little sandwich sized ones sometimes.

In terms of interaction, she’s smiling so much these days, fooling people into thinking that she might want to be held by them 😉 She’s so easy going, but it’s rare that she’ll tolerate someone other than her mama holding her.  Joshua definitely has the most luck (though I’m afraid it doesn’t feel like it to him).  She also is giving snuggles that look and feel more and more like hugs, and the other day, she even played a little peekaboo with my scarf and then leaned her face into my chest every time I asked for a hug.

Lily:  Is potty trained!!!!  Hurrah!  Sure, it may have taken almost exactly a year, but when it really happened, it happened fast.  One day we were in diapers, and the next, we were only in diapers for nap and night.  We had two accidents in the first couple of days, and now, I’ll sometimes ask her if she needs to go, but usually, she just takes care of it herself or let’s me know when we’re out and about.  I’m so proud of her.  In the end, it took the push of me saying, “no more diapers” and her crying a little bit, but the transition was so quick that I think she really was completely ready.  I know there’s lots of kids out there that have been potty trained for ages and Lily’s might seem late, but it doesn’t diminish how proud I feel of this independent little girl.  You go Lily!

This past week, we had another rough patch.  Lily tried something new:  an insult.  I’d like to be that confident woman who is not even phased, but even after years as a middle school teacher, it still hurt, aaaaand as usual, my wounded response just made things worse.  God, I can be such a mope sometimes.  I texted Brittaney, and she was just great.  She’s so encouraging, and I come away from those exchanges feeling like this is normal! Keep on! Show her love and be firm!  It’ll be ok!  There’s nothing wrong with you or her!  And it’s that last one that really gives me the strength to go back and set the tone.  To show her that it’s not ok to treat others poorly, but even when she does, I’m not going away and I’m strong enough to be there through it all.

And then, like any other almost three year old, she can also be so sweet.  “I love you SOOO much, Ellison!”  Kissing my “lonely” cheek, and curling up on my lap for stories.  The other morning, I was at my wits end trying to get out the door, but once we were outside, she grabbed my hand (unsolicited) and announced cheekily, “Mama, I’m a monkey.  I’m a green monkey!”  (She had dressed herself from head to toe entirely in kelly green.)

I was asking my mom about myself as a little girl, curious about how Lily and I were similar or different.  I think our intensity and affinity for order and schedule are very similar.  (For example, whenever we move furniture, Lily breaks down in sobs.)  Although both my mom and dad say that I was a little more serious and quiet.  I do see some of myself in her in social situations where she’s clearly fascinated by watching other people and seeing them interact, but often too shy to go and join in.  And, like me, when she is comfortable with a group, she has no problem talking up a storm and being in the thick of it.

That’s all for now.  Spring is in the air, and even though I’m sure it will snow again, our little seedlings are coming up and the sun feels warm on our bare arms.  I feel like singing 🙂

*Yeah.  That’s my name.  Yeah.  That’s this little one’s middle name.


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May

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Oof.  Would you look at that little girl?  She’s dynamite.  On the mornings that we wake up together, she crawls onto the bed and snuggles in close, wrapping her arms around my neck and saying, “my mommy.”  She’s generous with her kisses and hugs in the morning, and man, it’s just the best way to wake up.  She also likes rubbing her face against ours and saying, “mmmm.”

Today, Joshua and I went for a run.  Let me just brag for a moment and say that I am 33 weeks pregnant and still running!  Because I’m super competitive, my goal was 32 weeks.  Stacy ran a 5k at 32 weeks, and I kind of thought she was ironwoman.  Anyway, now that I’ve run six weeks longer than I did with Lily, I’m thinking that I might just try and make it to the end.  This time around, I’ve learned that just because one day feels like the most pathetic run of my life doesn’t mean that I’ll feel the same way tomorrow.  I walk a lot, but I’d say that I’m still running between 60 and 80 percent of my 3 – 4 mile runs.  Today, I ran 2.7 miles before walking.  Because Joshua was pushing the stroller;)  I also have to say that having a running partner has made running much easier.  Between Stacy and Joshua, I’ve run by myself probably twice in the past month.

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Joshua left us after the run to put in another long day at the new house.  We’re moving next weekend, and I’m a little terrified.  Despite Joshua’s long hours, there’s still no bathroom, no sink, no countertops, no electrical in Lily’s room, no hung lights, and plenty of painting left…  I’m just praying this little munchkin in my belly doesn’t plan on an early arrival; otherwise, we’ll have a newborn in a construction zone.

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And speaking of bellies, mine is big.  As you can see, I can barely see my feet anymore, and these days, when I sit down, the top of my uterus shoves up into my lung space and makes me feel as though I’m suffocating a little bit.  I don’t really remember Lily doing this, but Lu seems to have the perfect vantage point to stick her little feet up and kick my ribs.  I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but sometimes, it kind of makes me feel like I’m going to barf.

Also, I think Lu is going to be bigger than Lily.  I can already feel the perfect little shape of her butt, and her knees and feet poke out, too.  I feel like she’s begun to outgrow the belly, and there’s still 7 weeks left!

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After Joshua left, Lily and I headed out to Gallup Café to have brunch with Stacy, Margot, and her mom, Sandy.  We all had delicious bagel sandwiches and coffee, and despite having two little ones along, we had a very pleasant meal.  Afterwards, I had promised to take Lily to the park.  I had been thinking the park was much closer than it actually was, but alas, I think it was more than a half mile.  Carrying Lily much further than half a block isn’t really in the cards these days, so she ended up walking all the way there and all the way back.  She was actually a little champ, and the longest blocks were the last two, when she got pretty tired.

At the park, Lily tried out all the climbing features.  This is a new thing for us, but I’m super impressed by how well she does.  Between ropes and bars, I spot and she climbs.  To be honest, this is way more fun for me than the stairs/slide loop that we’ve been running heretofore.

Anyway, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I’ve felt so lucky to have this time with Lily.  Spring has given us lots of mommy-daughter time, and so far, this age is my favorite.  We talk and play, and she forges a little more independence every day.  It’s so fun to watch her grow, and I feel so lucky to be her mom.