Happy Lynnie Day

(a much too detailed account of my daughter’s 2nd birthday)

*Fair warning: this post contains a lot of details because I want to remember everything about my little girl’s special day. If reading detailed accounts of mundane activities isn’t your thing, suffice it to say that her 2nd birthday was pretty great.

“Mommy, c[ome] on. Mommy, wake. Mommy.” It’s not a bad way to start the day, really. Lulu calmly let us know that she was awake and ready for the day around 8 this morning. I went into her bedroom and found her laying sideways in her crib, happy to see me. “Hi, Mommy. Happy Lynnie day!”

I can’t believe my baby girl turned 2 today. I want to remember every detail of the day, because it really was a happy day.

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Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!

My parents were kind enough to babysit last night while Hubby and I went out to dinner. They couldn’t find any bubble bath for Lulu’s bedtime routine, so they bought some Mr. Bubbles at Walgreens. Do you remember the old fashioned bubble bath?

You know how some scents are attached to memories? I poured two caps full of the pink liquid into Lulu’s bath tonight, and I was instantly brought back to my own childhood. I think it’s awesome that my little girl will have at least one memory that matches my own. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Our Compassionate Kiddo

For the last few months, we’ve been noticing that Lulu is a very sensitive and compassionate little girl. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t expect a child so young to be as aware of other people’s feelings as she is. I’ve discovered that she’s very upset if she thinks someone else is hurting, but she’s also very excited if someone else is happy. These are just a few examples.

The first time it really hit me how sympathetic Lulu is was when we were reading a book called “The Boy and the Moon.” The moon gets stuck in the tree, so the little boy climbs up and feeds it apples until it’s “so big and round and full that it rolled right out of the tree and into the night sky.”

Every time I read the part about the moon getting stuck and everyone being sad, Lulu covers her eyes and makes a heartbreaking “nooo” noise. But when the moon is saved and everyone starts dancing again, she breaks out into a big grin. I hate to say it, but I’ve actually started trying to read her books with less emotion so that I don’t upset her so much.

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A new family tradition

There are some things you just have to do to maintain your sanity. For Hubby and me, taking a weekend just to ourselves was definitely one of those things. Our anniversary was actually July 24, but we couldn’t get away then, so we celebrated last weekend instead.

We dropped Baby Girl off at Hubby’s parent’s house and headed for the cabin. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from her, but it was such a great thing to do! L had tons of fun with her grandparents (who of course were ecstatic to have her for a whole  weekend), and Hubby and I were able to spend some time alone.

The best part of the weekend for me was that we didn’t really do anything. I read a book cover-to-cover while Hubby read his own. We played a few board games and just generally enjoyed each other’s company. It was wonderful. More

Swimming at Nana and Grandpa’s house

There are so many things that Baby Girl and I love about summer, but swimming at Nana and Grandpa’s house is definitely near the top of the list. My parents bought a kiddie pool at the beginning of summer, and it’s warm enough outside that the water isn’t ridiculously cold. So Baby Girl and I go over there once or twice a week and play in the pool. (Sorry the picture’s a little hazy.)

Sometimes she just stands next to me and splashes. Sometimes she plays with the pool toys. Most of the time we sing the silly songs we learned in swimming class. But today she decided to take a real swim. Well … maybe “decided” is too strong a word. I think she tried to walk and slipped instead. She went totally under the water, but she did great! She closed her mouth and just looked at me for a few seconds.

Of course, I scooped her up quickly and cuddled her, but I was careful not to make her think that anything was wrong. In fact, her
grandparents and I all gave her lots of praise for being such a big girl and doing such a good job under the water.  It was a little scary for me to watch her slide under the water, but she was totally safe (with 3 loving adults watching her). Probably a good learning experience for both of us.

I’ll tell you one thing: It definitely made me grateful for our swimming classes. Who knows if Baby Girl would’ve known to hold her breath if she hadn’t been practicing going under water in classes?

Anyway, we cuddled for a minute, and then she got right back in the pool. She pretty much immediately picked up the toy she was
reaching for before the slip and kept right on playing. Isn’t it great how resilient kids are? (See that? I said “kids”… not babies. She’s a kid now. Not entirely sure how I feel about that one, but that’s a post for another day.)

Baby girl’s first trip to the zoo

I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to writing about our trip to the zoo! I apologize that it is a bit belated. My father-in-law’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to do something fun as a family, so we decided to go to the zoo.

It’s still a little chilly here, so we couldn’t see all of the animals, but there were plenty to keep baby girl entertained. The first thing we saw was the polar bear. While the rest of us thought it was pretty cool, baby girl didn’t seem impressed. I think it’s because she had a hard time seeing the animal through the fencing.

From there we went to the aquatics building. She loved that exhibit! Between the sea lions and the puffins and the penguins, we probably could have stayed in that building all day. Baby girl was absolutely enthralled watching the sea animals. I think the regular old fish tank might have been her favorite though.

We also got to see the big cats. Baby girl and her daddy stood at the glass by the leopard for a good five minutes, watching the animal pace back and forth. It was fun to see that she was aware of what was going on. She’d watch the leopard pace, and then smile back at me. Then she’d watch the animal some more and smile up at her dad. That definitely made my heart happy to watch.

Then we moved on to the monkey building. The monkeys are always my favorite, and I think baby girl had a good time in that building too. We started out by the big apes and worked our way through to the little tiny monkeys. At each new exhibit, baby girl would walk over to the glass and watch the animals play. So cute!

One of the great things about the zoo by us is that it also has a conservatory, so we took a walk through the flowers, too. While it might still feel like winter outside (I still can’t believe it snowed 2 inches on April 20!), it was definitely spring at the conservatory. That was a nice change of pace, and baby girl enjoyed trying to pick the flowers.

So all in all, I’d say we had a very successful birthday party for Grandpa. Even if I am a little late in writing about it.

Didn’t you know? Babies are communal property of women everywhere.

You know how pregnant women’s bellies become communal property by month 9? Apparently, the same is true once the baby is born.

This morning, baby girl and I were sitting with my parents at church while Hubby sang with the choir. When our daughter was about a month old, Hubby and I both sang in the choir and my parents took care of the baby. They pretty quickly asked if one of us would kindly sit with them. Going to church with a 10-month-old (Can you believe my baby’s 10 months old today?) can be, well … interesting.

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Giving thanks for grandparents

When I was a kid, I used to get to spend a week with both sets of grandparents in the summer. I’d go to my Mimi and Papa’s house in Oklahoma, and we’d go shopping and swimming. They’d always take me to church with them, too. The kids had their own Sunday School class, so I got to play instead of sitting still in the pews (like I would’ve if I’d been at my own Catholic church at home). It was the best!

Then I’d go to my other grandparents’ house in St. Louis. They had a big farm with a pond in the back. I loved to fish in that pond. I remember one time Grandpa let me spend the day on the dock catching bluegill (I think they call them sunnies up here in the North). Other times I would wait all day until it was late enough for Grandpa to go fishing for catfish with me. Then he’d clean all the fish we caught, and Grandma would fry them for dinner. That was the best, too.

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