Audrey Contemplates Life

June28

Audrey pops out of her room after not napping for an hour.

“Mom? How much tall will I be when I get bigger?”

“Maybe as tall as me. What do you think?”

“Mom…? Will you…be here…when I get bigger?”

Oh, crap. After months of watching Frozen, Audrey only today asked why Anna and Elsa’s parents had to leave.

“Yeah, baby. I’ll be here while you grow up. That’s my job. To help you grow up so you can be a mommy some day if you want to.”

Audrey thinks.

“I don’t want to drink wine.”

Ha. Hahahahaha.

“You don’t have to, baby.”

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We Got Class

June24

We’re moseying through the homeschool year we started…when did we start?…March?…I don’t even know. We skipped it the week of Vacation Bible School and haven’t gotten back in the groove. But on and off, we accomplish a few things.

Audrey’s working on the basics of sounding out short words but it still mostly eludes her. She writes letters by tracing over my highlighter letters.

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We read tons of stories. We learn what different people do in a society. We learn about animals and nature. I’m not being cute with the “we,” I often learn something new from the prekindergarten curriculum.

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Here’s a little experiment with displacement after reading a fable about a crow and a pail of water. I don’t know that the physics sunk in (she’s still three, you know) but she loooooooved tossing pebbles in water.

That’s the story on the schoolin’ front. The rest of Audrey’s time is spent narrating her life in song. It’s pretty dramatic around here.

Fiber Cannon

June16

Baby eats bananas.

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Baby gags on bananas.

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I’m not supposed to find that hilarious, right? It’s just that I’ve gotten used to him gagging on everything, since he was tiny and sticking fingers too far down his throat. I’m always vigilant and a tiny bit terrified, but mostly just resigned to it.

Posting from the pediatrician’s parking lot. We’re early, baby’s napping, so we’re biding time. Audrey is checking out the state map. Audrey’s about to get checked out for constipation. We’ve always had some difficulty with poop, but we may have gotten to a bad place. I’m extremist, so we’ve cut all dairy from our cheesy diet, and putting better things in her. Her body was never into it anyway, though her soul sure was. Must dissent from Big Dairy propaganda and be healthier! (See, I’m extremist.) (For now.)

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from Andy when I was pregnant with Audrey:

“Keep that fiber cannon loaded!”

 

Hi! Are you out there?

June11

It’s my first day off Facebook for the summer! It felt a little like a vacation, but that was probably because my mom was here. I’ve got to say, it’s pretty peaceful. Now, I haven’t magically found a whole bunch of time yet, so I’m only writing what I can get out on my phone while putting the baby to sleep. Which means screw content, here are pics I found in my phone from the last month!

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Aw.

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Oh, AWWWWW.

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Radiant child.

She’s decided I’m allowed to play with her hair now, because two braids are like Anna hair and one braid is like Elsa hair. I’ll take it.

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I know, super profound, right? It’ll get better. Hey, if you’re out there and reading this, would you comment? I’d love to feel like I’m still in contact with the world.

Later!

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She Dances

May1

Look at this! I’m writing a new blog post and it only took me nine months! I’m an achiever!

(If anyone knows how to convince WordPress it’s actually May 2, let me know.)

Seriously, I read some blogs by moms of three, six, NINE children and they can all update. Talk about setting a high standard. Hmmm. Maybe if I had nine children, by now the oldest couple would be able to watch the littles and give me a break to write…that happens, right? Don’t answer.

So I’m sure some other stuff has gone on in the last nine months, but I’m just going to cover today, as I’m too sleep deprived to remember anything else.

Audrey had her first dance recital today. That’s up there with, like, birth and high school graduation as a rite of passage, right? I was so excited and a little bit anxious because at dress rehearsal last week, she would Not. Move. A. Muscle. I was sitting in the audience, half dancing in my chair, trying to get her to copy the moves. “No,” she said, stock-still.

I spent the week trying to find the land between encouraging her but not pressuring her. Mostly, I did a respectable job. But to cover my ass, I busted out the Frozen-themed jelly beans in the car on the way to the recital today. I suddenly saw them as a gateway drug. For me. Like, today I’m giving her jelly beans, tomorrow it’s Mountain Dew while I put in her false teeth and eyelashes.

Anyway.

She danced! You, know, kind of! She looked like she was in front of a firing squad but she did a few moves!

Smile, Audrey!

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It took her a while after the recital to come back to life and start talking to everybody. I’m not really sure what she thought of the whole experience. I’ll have to ask her tomorrow. As for today, her reward for hard work in the face of Really Not Wanting To was to spend the rest of the day as Elsa.

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Sweet freedom.

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Uh…

August5

I had a baby. I don’t know how I’ll ever get a post written again.

 

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Here We are in the Present Tense

July13

39 weeks pregnant today. Some days the baby seems ready to go, others all is calm. Ah, the edge-of-your-seat time of pregnancy. It’s really hard to focus.

Preschool update: I just turned on the TV so I could get a break from all the stories Audrey is demanding to read. How’s that for irony? Am super impressed with the selection of books we got in our package. Obviously.

Audrey’s doing better at going to bed and staying there. Best possible advice came from Andy’s aunt on Friday when I was rambling on about being at a complete loss to parent: “Wait till she outgrows it. This too shall pass.” I need to embroider that on a damn pillow.

This is all I know. My brain has nothing else in it that’s not straight-up crazy talk that I only save for my husband.

Later.

Audrey’s First Box Day

July9

Audrey’s school books came in the mail Tuesday.

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“School” as in the bunch of stories we’re going to read while Mommy thinks about being the kind of crafty and motivated person that would do hands-on activities.

We were both super excited.

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She wanted to spend the day on each item she pulled out and I had to beg her to keep going so I could see our new treasures.

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My precious safety scissors…

The book nerd in me was in heaven. Many of these books were much nicer than I had realized from their pictures online. And so much bigger. It’s a huge library to explore with a tiny person. Really? We’re going to read all this? Eeeeee!

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Audrey’s first goal was to play the teddy bear matching game, which is adorable. She found a pair with grimaces and said, “These bears are worried. Let’s hug them.” Gahhh.

She had to play with the other game next. It’s called Mighty Mind and involves pattern block-like pieces that you have to figure out how to put into various designs. It goes from very simple to complex, so I think it will be fascinating for a long time. She asks for her “pieces” often.

There’s also a CD of nursery rhymes, which is a big hit as Aud is obsessed with nursery rhymes. It baffles me: they are so WEIRD, but there must be a reason they keep getting passed down.

So then there’s the books. I was kind of doubting myself after ordering this package. I mean, I own books. I’ve had tons of children’s books since before I ever made a kid. I could go pick out a bunch of things and get off more cheaply than indulging in this set. It’s not like this even comes with a fancy schedule of what to do every day – they’re all, “Here’s a checklist that goes vaguely in order of attention span and complexity. Read as much as you feel like, do or don’t do the super easy activities we suggest, just chill and enjoy your kid.”

But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have picked the majority of these books on my own. In fact, I would let Audrey keep bringing me the same okay books off our shelf every day if left to my own devices. So I’m finding myself surprised and charmed by every new story we crack open. And so is Audrey. She actually demanded I turn off Super Why today and reread one of her new favorites. Whut? I have never been so harassed for stories before this week. That’s a solid review.

The dork in me that loves binders and planners and schoooool is still thinking about weaving these materials into a charming free preschool curriculum I found online because crafts! Themed snacks! Lesson plans that tell me what to do! But I also know we’ve got plenty of years for that, and in reality the me that’s soon to have a newborn has probably got the exact right system for now.

Eeeeee! Books!

 

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If I Give You a Quarter, Will You Leave Me Alone?

July2

Aud took the last several days off from that whole sleeping-easily-through-the-night thing in order to torture us. At least I assume that was her goal. She decided bedtime was horsecrap after all and starting staging a revolt every evening. We do her whole sweet bedtime routine, tuck her in, and she says, “I have to go potty.” Well…fine. I mean, you don’t say no, right? But then she’ll go potty, step one foot back in her room and announce, “I have to go potty again.”

Aw, hellz nah.

So we try to leave. I mean, suck it up, kid. It’s over. But when we ignore the demands to go potty, she just strips to prove her point. WHUT. No. And then more waking at night, cause she’s been busy enough to suck down a bunch of water in her room, and damned if she doesn’t want to pee in the potty and not her diaper, sure, but then why give her water at night, oh right, the husband thinks people need access to water at night and BLEH.

Two nights ago I was awake from 4 to 6 because my brain and body just didn’t want to go back to sleep after being yanked into consciousness. I may have wept quite a lot.

I thought through a couple of approaches to this whole insanity. (You know, other than the unseemly thoughts that run through my head when I’m being yelled at in the middle of the night. And also wondering if there was a chastity belt version of a diaper she couldn’t get off.) I’ve heard of handing out a couple of poker chips or something at the end of the evening and telling her if she wants to call me to do something she has to pay me one chip. Any “money” she still has in the morning can be used to buy something special. Sounded solid, and like she might be ready to grasp that kind of long-ish range thinking.

Then it also occurred to me that we’ve been watching too much TV lately, not getting enough ya-yas out, and that when bedtime comes and she actually has Mom and Dad’s focus for once, it’s too joyful to give up. So, maybe we should also, I don’t know, parent her during the day or something.

So I decreed yesterday to be a TV-free day. It was never, never on. Nope, No Daniel Tiger today. No nothin’, kid. Bring me a book and I’ll read to you. Andy was home more yesterday and got in some solid ride-Daddy-like-a-horsey time. We went outside. We were like people.

At bedtime, I gave her two quarters (couldn’t find any other suitable token). I told her if she needed to come out again, she could pay me. (I let her sneak in one more potty trip before I left though. Well, two seconds after we called it a night, she was complaining some nameless complaint of need. I went downstairs and heard her say, “I take it off.” Aw, man. Then she asked for a kleenex. I hollered, “Are you going to pay me a quarter for it?” “YES!” Kay, then, fine. I went up and she was naked from the waist down. “Well, you owe me a quarter anyway to put that diaper back on.” Diaper back on. Kleenex. “I need to pray again!” You and me both, kid. We said the bedtime prayer. I went back downstairs.

“I have a wedgie!”

Well. To be fair, I had just tried to pull the pinned cotton diaper straight back on and not refold it or anything, so…that’s probably valid. I went up and tried to rearrange it without taking it off. Downstairs.

“I still have a wedgie!”

Eff. I went back up and stuck my hand down her pants again. She giggled. “You all good here now?” “Yes.” “Okay, you still have a quarter. Stay in your room so you can buy M&Ms tomorrow.”

And it was finally night. She stayed in bed all night.

I didn’t, because my body thought it would be fun to practice flooding with adrenaline and being jerkily awake until 2:45 in the morning, with extra Braxton-Hicks-ing, but the kid made it, so yay.

I’m tired and it’s taken me two days to write this little tale, so I’m not sure where I was planning to go with it. We just put her to bed crazy late (family party, yo!) and gave her her quarters and we haven’t been bothered at all. There’s hope! Parenting by bribery! And also some actual parenting!

Don’t know if I’ll bother with bed myself. Firecrackers, man…

 

 

 

 

 

Story School

June29

We decided to skip the six hours a week of preschool in the fall. Instead, I am completely nerding out over ordering a home preschool program for her today. Yes, I’m crazy but no, I’m not. Of course, toddlers don’t need anything resembling actual schooling, and rest assured I’m not getting academic with her. The homeschool “curriculum” consists of classic children’s literature and fairy tales; books on animals, how the body works, and what people do all day; a couple of clever games, songs and nursery rhymes, a bit of art, and some prayers and Bible stories.

We have plenty of books in this house and I could have come up with something terribly enriching on my own, but I’ve found that in real life, especially pregnant life, I haven’t made great effort. I chose this sweet program because I don’t have to think or have will power. When my brain is even further shot with a newborn, Audrey will have something special that’s just between her and Mommy for a half hour or so each day. I’m also totally looking forward to reading these books myself!

I’ve shown Audrey pictures of the stuff she’s getting and she’s crazy excited. I’ll be honest, her greatest focus is own getting her own child safety scissors, but she’s thrilled with the music, games, and books too.

A big thank you to family that donated toward the cause or gave me birthday cash. This is where it went (and what I really wanted!). Can’t wait to show you pictures when we get her box in the mail!

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Ready fer book learnin’.

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