Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Toddler Time

I started to write this a couple weeks ago, and in all the fuss over our newest kid, I'd hate to forget to update everyone about our first-born, now 2 years and 3 months. These are some of the things she's doing or, as she would say, "doozing." Or "duding."


Our daughter's becoming quite the negotiator.

"I thirsty. I need chocolate milk."
"How about smoothie instead?"
"How about chocolate milk?"
"Don't you want some smoothie instead? You already had chocolate milk today."
"How about chocolate milk?"
"How about white milk?"
"How about chocolate milk? How about chocolate milk? How about chocolate milk? How about chocolate milk? How about chocolate milk? How about chocolate milk?"

Guess who got chocolate milk.


Our daughter really wants to be able to read. She pages through her books, "reading" as best she can, which for her means either repeating what she can remember or summarizing what's going on in the pictures. Sometimes, though, she gets really frustrated because "I don't know the magic words!"

That's right kids: reading is magic.

She's also very musical. She lets us know that "I wanna play song on the pinot [piano]." And then she'll happily bang away on it just about as long as we'll let her. And then she'll pause and say "That's a good song."

Not content to be just an instrumentalist, she also loves to hear us sing songs and to sing them herself. One of her favorites to sing is "Tink-o, tink-o yitt-in star. How you... what you are." Recently, she mastered both verses of "You Are My Sunshine," and she'll bust them out pretty much any time. "You'll never know, dear, how much I love you."

She doesn't get to watch a whole lot of TV, but one show she's discovered by way of Netflix Instant Streaming is Timmy Time (it's a spin-off of Shaun the Sheep, which was a spin-off of Wallace and Gromit, which she also enjoyed). As much as anything about the show, she loves the theme song, which she sings any time the mood strikes: "Timmy maa it's Timmy maa." (Here's the original)


She's started calling everyone "somebody." For instance, we were at the home of some friends and their 4-year-old, with whom she'd been playing, fell asleep on the couch. "Somebody go to sleep."

It can't adequately be reproduced in text, but she gets so excited when something is given to her: "For me??" she squeals in delight.

And for some time now, she's been so very independent, demanding to do things "all by myself." Until she finds she can't do it herself. "I need help." Usually, we could have told her that ahead of time, but experiential learning is the way, right?


When we moved to the house we're in, we put the carpet remnant we'd had in our living room into our basement. Finally, here over spring break, I got that area cleaned up and in a fit condition for our daughter to play in. Now she's obsessed with playing in the basement. Literally, she will go to sleep demanding to go play in the basement and then wake up wanting to play in the basement before she's even eaten breakfast.

The funny thing? When she's actually down there, she doesn't play so much as she follows around mom or dad as we further tidy up the basement. But hey, if she's having fun, who are we to question her choices?

She's also loving the spring weather and the chance to go outside. Her favorite thing is to blow bubbles, but she also enjoys the sidewalk chalk and her sandbox (which is a water table filled with sand). For that matter, though, she seems pretty happy following me around while I do yard work, too. She's not really picky.


At the end of many days, as we've put her to bed, Lauren has asked her "What did you/we do today?" Sometimes she can remember what she did and sometimes not, but recently she's starting asking us "What we do today?" at bedtime. Every day. Sometimes twice a day, including naps! Scratch that, five times a night, even after we've gone through the whole day.


The community Easter Egg hunt went well. She got her fair share of eggs, even if an older kid did swoop in and snipe the last egg she would have gotten. The picture with the Easter Bunny went much better than sitting on Santa's lap. Neither of them cried even a little.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Welcoming a new one to this world

Last Wednesday, in my tennis practice, I overheard that one of my girls had her birthday that day. I noted that, if things got moving, my daughter might get to share her birthday. The girls on my tennis team were shocked that, if we were that close to potentially giving birth, I was there at tennis practice. I explained that we just live a couple minutes from the school and 15-20 minutes from the hospital, so we weren't that worried. I told my wife about this that evening, and we had a laugh about the whole thing--ah, the naivete of youth, we said. They think that births are like on TV, where everything happens in the atmosphere of an emergency. Silly kids!

Or should I say, silly us!

Sometime after 9, we had a certain physical sign, and based on our first daughter's birth, we figured we had several hours to go but that we were in the home stretch at this point. We decided that I would go to sleep to grab a few hours' rest to be ready to go. A half hour later, Lauren woke me and said that it was time to go. Now.

Lauren was pretty seriously in pain. She said she might take the epidural this time, and that I'd better not say anything! After giving birth naturally the first time, I said she didn't have anything to prove, but when that what she was going through this time was pretty similar to what she'd gone through at the hospital last time. We got our stuff together and headed out the door around 10:50. Soon after we left the house, Lauren asked if I'd brought our first daughter's bag; I started to slow down to turn around and go back and she told me not to even think about going back. The 20 minute drive took us about 15, with  Lauren pretty miserable the whole way.

I left her to check in while I parked the car and brought our daughter in, and when I got back they were ready to take her down to a delivery room in a wheel chair, but she couldn't sit down. Not happening! They took her away, still trying to use the wheel chair, and a nurse led me and our daughter down to obstetrics. When we got there, though, Lauren was nowhere to be found! Were we missing the event? Finally, they wheeled her in on a bed, screaming like crazy. "Get her out of here! I don't want her to see this!" she said of our daughter. I took her out and had the good fortune that our nanny had just arrived to take her. Apparently, our daughter in the waiting room kept saying "Mommy hurt!"

I went back into the room, held Lauren's hand, and within moments, could see the top of our second daughter's head poking out. At our first birth, it probably took us 45 minutes to an hour from this point to the moment when we had our baby. This time? Try 45 seconds to a minute until we had our baby!

Needless to say, there was no time in any of this for an epidural, so another natural birth it was. There was hardly any time for anything! Maybe my high school girls knew more than we thought, and more than we did! And though I don't want to minimize the difficulty of the experience, between the time that it happened (official time of birth, 11:21) and how quickly it all progressed, we were remarkably well rested, at least compared to the first time (that time, Lauren was up at 2 am, I was up at 3, we were in to the hospital at 4:30, didn't give birth until after 9).

The reality is that we were very, very lucky through this whole thing. If there had been a train across the set of tracks we had to cross, we might very well have popped out a baby in the front seat of our car. I didn't have enough time or information to be properly scared by the whole thing, but Lauren, with more privileged access to how the situation was progressing, was. Everything went well in the end, but we feel very fortunate, all in all.

The end result was a healthy little baby, a little lighter and a little longer than her sister, checking in at 9 lbs 7.3 oz and 21 inches. Whereas our first looked more like me, our second looks more like Lauren, which we suppose is only fair. With no complications, Mama and child came home on Friday afternoon, and we've all been doing fine. All three of her grandparents are out visiting for the weekend and helping out.