Sunday, January 15, 2012

Birthday wrap-up

We finally got the last of Kate's presents opened this afternoon. It was the birthday of books--Kate's favorite (and I'm proud to say Lucy is now requesting to read before naptime!!!). Lucy received her belated birthday gifts from Uncle Terry and Aunt Wheez which was great as it gave her things to open along with Kate's cornucopia of presents. Of course she helped open the many books from Yia yia and Pappou too!
 She got her first Foodie book from Mama and Daddy!

And here they are working on a puzzle together.
Her actual birthday fell on play/mama group day so we celebrated there. I already published a few pics from that day in her love letter but here are some additional shots.
 Luke enjoying being pushed around by Lucy.
Aleks, Sara, Margaret (Jacob) and Christy.
 Going "night-night". Notice Lucy patting Kate on the back.
 Time to blow out the candle!
 The chaos of toy explosion turns into teachable moments when we sing the clean-up song before leaving.
 The other Lucy in our group (she's 2 1/2) looking at the first snow falling.
Sloane and her mama Hema, and Aleks.
 Sara covering up Kate for "night-night".
 Lucy, Kate and Lina all trying to share one blanket.
Earlier today Kate was nagging to go to the playlot (which is completely covered in snow) so we decided to build a snowman instead. It took 20 minutes to get them suited up. As an aside, why must all girl clothes be pink?? I found these green shirts on the clearance rack at REI and they are labeled, LABELED ON THE TAG for heaven's sake, for toddler boys. Seriously? Girls can't wear green?
Ok, moving on.
Sadly, the snow is still quite powdery and will not stick together.
Alas, our snowman was more like a snow-gnome. With sweet potato sunglasses, a carrot nose, almond smile and stick arms.
We then headed out for a short walk up the street.
 They loved throwing snow up into the air...until some of it came down and landed in their faces.
 Kate was very concerned that the snowman would still be there so she came running up to be check on him.
She was still talking about him tonight. I had to assure her that he would be there in the morning but she kept saying she wanted to go see him. I finally told her it was dark outside so snowman was asleep. I just hope his face has not been half eaten off by nocturnal rodents...that could be a nasty surprise in the morning!

Speaking of sleep, here's the update. We're 2 weeks into the shared room situation. There are good and bad points with this arrangement. The good is that Lucy is now out of our room! Also, (and, ahem, more importantly of course) is that they seem to enjoy the change. I asked Kate if she liked having Lucy with her at night and she said "YES!" So that's good.

Also good is the fact that, although Kate cries for a very short time once we leave the room, Lucy doesn't always join in anymore and when she does, 99% of the time they soothe themselves down within a couple of minutes. They are also sleeping pretty much through the night.

I say pretty much because Lucy still wakes at 4:30am on the dot, standing up and crying loudly. This requires one of us to go in, lay her back down and tell her it's still night-night. She always lays back down and goes back to sleep until 5:30-6am. I cannot figure out what happens at 4:30am to cause this but it's incredibly annoying b/c if we let her work it out she could potentially get Kate going and Kate does not go back down easily. So for now, we are taking shifts rushing down the hall to get to Lucy before she can wake Kate.

Totally. Sucks.

The other drawback to the shared situation is that they are naptime opposites. Kate rarely napped but she would at least sit and play quietly in her crib for an hour so I could get a short break. With Lucy in the room, she wants to engage her which means Lucy doesn't nap but she also won't sit and play either. Lucy wants to nap and if she can't, she will stand and scream about it.

This has led to a new normal at noon. Lucy goes down from noon-1pm and Kate now has her downtime sitting on a pillow watching Caillou on PBS for 30 minutes. This gives me time to eat or answer emails but not much else. The next 30 minutes we spend together doing whatever Kate wants to do with just me. She is much happier with this situation and Lucy wakes up happy.

Not ideal as I don't get much of a break but it is what it is for now. We have a busy week coming up. I've been interviewing nannies like mad for a while now. Our latest nanny let us know a couple of months ago that she had decided to go back to school full time. Fortunately, that has given me time to interview and call references. I have found one woman that I love, Jessica. She's a perfect fit, the girls love her, she knows sign language, etc. etc. so she is going to start this week. A caveat though--she's going to grad school in the fall in Atlanta so I will still need to find someone else for the long haul. With that in mind, I have a few more interviews this week so we have a backup (and for those times that Jessica may not be able to come).

And more snow is in the forecast. Bummer. The playlot will be a distant memory by spring I suspect.

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