Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mom and Daughter

Since I'm usually behind the camera, there are not a whole lot of photos of Lydia and me. Robin took these this weekend. I love them!

Lydia and Simone

Robin's cousin Cory and his wife Rachael live about one mile from us in Austin. In August, they welcomed the beautiful Simone to their family. Even before Simone was an outside baby, we talked about setting up a baby swap so that we could get somewhat regular date nights without having to worry about scheduling a sitter, etc.

We finally got it up and started in January and since then, Lydia's love for cousin "Mone" has become quite apparent. VERY apparent. Lydia is obsessed with Simone. She gently touches her face, gets down on her eye level and smiles and giggles, and gives her toys to play with (and only sometimes gets jealous that Simone then actually plays with them). If we even mention that Simone is coming over or Lydia is going to Simone's house, we hear about it until Lydia sees her. "Mone's 'ouse? Mone? My 'ouse?" When Simone goes to bed here and Cory and Rachael pick her up after Lydia is asleep, the first thing Lydia does in the morning is run into our room to look into the Pack 'n' Play, in hopes of finding "Mone-ey" ready for more playtime.

During the past month or so, Simone has started responding to Lydia, too. She reaches for her face, smiles, and last night she played with Lydia's toes. It is so much fun to watch them become buddies!

(Note that Lydia is wearing her shorts over her pants. Her PJs were new, and she really wanted to wear the shorts, but we were worried she would get cold at night. This, my friends, is what compromise looks like!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Conversations with Lydia

It is hard to describe Lydia's verbal skills. She is extremely good at communicating what she wants. She combines words, gestures, and awesome facial expressions to let us know exactly what is on her mind. (She has recently added eye-rolling to her arsenal, as well as "Ummmmm.... no." I wonder where she gets it...) While she's effective, she definitely uses Lydia-speak. "Bote" is milk, "Boo-boot" is music, "Mimi" is Brittany," "Bapi" is Mikey," "Un-toe" is uncle. (Note sounds are generally consistent; she says "t" instead of "k" for example.) She has words can be understood by most people, but she has lots that require a parent's ear.

Regardless, I am continually amazed by her ability to remember and convey her thoughts. Tonight I was rocking her (like a baby), and here's how the conversation went:

Me: Lydia, did you have a good day?
Lydia: Yes. Lee-ah goo day. (Lydia good day.)
Me: Who did you see today?
Lydia: Ahh-woo. Aidan. Aba. (Oliver. Aidan. Ava-a classmate at school.)
Me: You saw Ava today?
Lydia: No. Boo-boot cass. (Music class.)
Me: You went to music class?
Lydia: Yes.
Me: Did you eat tacos?
Lydia: Tah-toes.
Me: Did you go to the book store?
Lydia: Boots. (Books.)
Me: Did you eat a cupcake?
Lydia: Yes.
Me: What kind of cupcake did you eat?
Lydia: Mee-nut. (Peanut. *Yes! It was a peanut butter/chocolate cupcake that we shared.)
Me: I love you, Lydia.
Lydia: I wuv you, Mommy. All done baby. (Gets up and lays on my chest instead of being cradled.)

General Update

The last time I wrote an extensive blog entry, I was not in very good spirits, and from the lack of entries on the page, I'm guessing it's evident that while things are trucking along, we're still pretty overwhelmed in our household. As I wrote awhile ago, I am really working to be my best self for Lydia and Robin, and this means coming home after long days at work to be an attentive, engaged, and patient mother and partner. Once we get Lydia to bed, Robin and I try to spend some time together, and I try to refocus, restore, and do all of the other things that we need to do to keep our household semi-together and keep me relatively sane. Blogging falls by the wayside, especially in stressful times.

Our ELA TAKS (the monster test that measures our school performance at the state and federal level) is coming up. While I feel cautiously optimistic about my students this year, it is still very high-pressure, and every slip-up that I or the kids make feels catastrophic and blown out of proportion as the days roll by and the test gets closer and closer. This paired with the "Reduction in Force" list that was revealed and the loss of 14 teaching positions on top of many more support staff positions on just our campus makes for an emotionally draining workplace. If I didn't love so many of my coworkers and students so dearly as well as believe firmly that what we do is critical and imperative, I would surely have lost my mind by now.

Adding to the craziness was Lydia's second bout with the flu--not the flu as in she was feeling a little under the weather, but the real, full-blown flu, complete with lack of appetite (she hardly ate anything for five days), fever (103+), and general misery. She was out of daycare Monday through Wednesday. Poor baby. This also concurred with a visit from Robin's parents; while Marie, ever the optimist, pointed out that her flu forced us to just hang out and relax, it was not the fun-filled weekend that we had hoped they would have.

I will do more of a hit list later, but now you know that I am still blogging--trying at least.

Girls' Weekend

Robin is on Mancation in New Orleans, so Lydia and I are hanging out for the weekend. As I was rocking Lydia tonight and asking her about her day, she listed the things we had done and the people we had seen. Oliver and Aidan. Music class, bookstore, cupcakes, tacos. I realized that today was exactly what I used to do on my days alone, just toddler-style. We went for breakfast tacos at my favorite spot (and were joined by Elizabeth, Brian, and Oliver). We went to music class and then out for lunch (with Jessica, Aaron, and Aidan). We came home and took a nap. (I watched Glee.) When Lyds woke up, we headed to BookPeople (and hung in the kids section, not adult fiction). After scoring some new books for Lydia (with a discount, thanks to a friend!), we headed to Sugar Mama's to split a cupcake (before dinner, mind you. I have to teach her some vices, right?!?!) We came home, ate dinner, did the bedtime routine, and now Lydia is sleeping and I have a quiet house. We will be excited to have Robin back, but today was a great day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Good Day

Lydia was a little stinker tonight. She was the girl who cried poop while in the tub, prompting me to take her soaking wet little body out twice to get on the potty. (No poop, in case you are wondering.) When Robin wanted to watch the Badgers game , I said I would read to Lydia alone, but she had other ideas. She stood in the corner of the room, looking at me saying, "No. No. No." The girl has definitely come to appreciate her bedtime routine, and it's best when we don't diverge, so Robin paused the game, and we read bedtime stories as a family.

In our routine, Lydia gets a bath and she and Robin stand at the sink for her to brush her teeth and drink some water. She then gets her PJs on, and we read books. Robin kisses her goodnight, and I rock her for awhile before putting her in the crib. Recently Lydia has added "Baby Lydia" to the routine. She likes me to hold her like a baby (cradled) and grins like a goofball when I do so. Today, I asked her if she had a good day. She said, "Yeah." I repeated, "Lydia had a good day," and she echoed, "Baby Lydia day... Baby Lydia good day." Then, "Mommy good day." "Yes, Lydia, Mommy had a good day." An hour prior, I would not have called today good, but in that moment, when everything seemed warm and fuzzy and saturated with love for my little girl, all I could do was agree.