Years from now I won’t remember the long nights and weird 2 a.m. infomercials (ear wax vacuum!). Nor the grating four-year old tantrums, ill manners or blood boiling whining. Not even the diabolically smelly diapers or nerve jangling chest colds. I’m even likely to forgive and forget the delayed commuter trains and petty work stress.
What I will remember is the smiles, the giggling laughs, the wide-eyed wonder of simple things, the budding personalities, the time machine effect of seeing my own grin peeking out of my girls’ faces. I’ll remember the muck, the finish line, the warm triathlon bath and the Cape sand.
And for what I don’t remember, I’ll have this little reminder:
It was a good year.
I hope you feel the same way and if not, let’s hope that 2014 is better for you and yours.
Happy New Year.
Cecilia really loves arts and crafts. Each day she comes home from school (i.e., day care) with a stack of drawings that we review at dinner. Most of them still retain a scribbling, scrawling Pollack-like quality, but the tide appears to be slowly moving toward more and more recognizable shapes. The tall blob in the family pictures now sports glasses.
That emerging vision and consistency were on display last Sunday afternoon in the third annual candy binge/Gingerbread House decorating activity. This year she definitely had a plan and it went beyond just slapping candy haphazardly on the walls (and in her mouth). She was looking at overall appearance, balance, design, precision and landscaping. She was especially proud of her multi-colored sparkling lawn.
This pre-fab kit from Target (buy with cash!) is probably the best one we’ve tried. There was plenty of icing, the walls were thick and stayed standing, there were some cute details, and a decent variety of candy included, but still supplemented.
I should also mention that the annual Gingerbread House tradition is always followed by the annual ‘Run Up and Down the Snowdrifts till Daddy Can Feel Your Heart Through Your Snowsuit.’ It’s either that or give her a dram of whiskey to counteract all that sugar and food dye.
If I learned anything in the last four years it’s that Halloween typically ends in sugar, frustration and bourbon. This year we can probably add streaks of Ariel-red hair spray on the sheets and furniture.
We tried to get ahead of the demons that are sure to occupy our children by this tomorrow night and get a few decent pictures of Hallween prep and pageantry for posterity.
Cost basis on the honey pot costume keeps getting lower!
First, the bad news.
We will forever remember your fourth month on this mortal coil for two words: ear infection.
With Cecilia, we never experienced the unique joys of infant inner ear pain so when you started howling like an unattended boiling tea pot and forgoing sleep we were at a bit of a loss. What was happening? Was Ce sticking you with pins when we weren’t looking? Was Dash nibbling your toes? Did you hate watching Caillou as much as we did?
The next two weeks were a haze of 3 a.m. infomercials, delirious daylight hours and sleep fueled solely by exhaustion. It was not pretty. The prevailing wisdom these days from pediatricians is to let kids ride ’em out and eschew antibiotics. Thankfully when we finally convinced them to see us, the solution was almost worse than the problem. We now had to convince our irritable, cranky, uncomfortable angel that taking a plunger full of viscous pink liquid was in her best interest. It was a messy and frustrating experience like trying to eat soup with a fork off a plate. But we survived tougher, wiser and acclimated to four hours of sleep a night.
Now, the good news.
We will also remember your fourth month on this mortal coil for two other words: flirty face.
You really do not like to be alone (you must get this from your Mom) and have rapidly developed into a huge flirt. Luckily, perhaps as a defense mechanism, you’ve accompanied this questionable habit of attention mongering with an irresistible reward: the flirty face.
When you’ve suckered someone into your eye line with your plaintive (and totally fake) cries, you will reward the gullible mark with a cherubic grin accompanied by sticking out your little pointy tongue. That’s the flirty face and man, if you are that good at wielding it now, I’m really nervous for when you learn how to harness it’s full power.
Other things we learned this month:
- You are starting to get the hang of grabbing Dash’s ears
- Despite the aggressive comforting tactics, you really like your big sister
- You’ve moved on to the big bottles
- Mommy’s really good at making you giggle
For Cecilia’s first sacrament, Michelle and I were flustered newbies, our eyes still blinking rapidly and adjusting to being out of the house. We forgot the diaper bag, soothing bottles and any distractionary aid that might help us get through the mass. What happened? Cecilia prompted fell asleep before the opening hymn was over and was the picture of a cherubic angel the whole day. Some days I feel like she’s been collecting on that debt ever since.
When it was Allison’s turn, we were more than ready. Double barreled bottles? Check. Blanket? Check. Baby? Check. Our accessories took up a whole pew themselves. Did we need any of it? Of course not. Despite some challenging weather conditions, grandparents, god parents and relatives all made it safely and Allison was welcomed into the church with nary a whimper.
Thanks to everyone that made the trip or sent gifts and well wishes and made our daughter’s day all that more special.
Not a fan of tummy time
Let them eat cake
Needs to work on her modeling smile
Welcome to the church
Daddy and Big Sister
Pappa and the girls
Last week you cruised by your 3 month anniversary with typical aplomb. Good news, you are now firmly out of the wrinkled apricot infant stage and firmly in the chubby, irrepressibly cute baby stage. Your cheeks and thighs seem to be packing on the pounds daily as if Cecilia is sneaking you crib snacks of Oreos while we sleep.
Much like your sister, you’ve been a remarkably even-keeled baby these first 3 months despite some repeated bouts with the day care germ fairy, your big sister’s inability to understand she should not probe your mouth with her arts-and-crafts crusted fingers and your furry brother’s keen intent to lick every facial skin cell clean of even a passing whiff of milk by-product. You take it all with an almost goofy stoicism, sometimes flashing a gummy grin like your saying ‘what can a girl do?’.
Well let me tell you that smile really is like domestic opium to us. If your sister is being irrational about the limitations of Netflix’s on demand children’s programming or Dash has chewed yet another shoe or if the world in general is just throwing jabs at your parent’s tender parts, that smile will make rainbows shoot from the lights, your sister use her manners and dinner magically appear. That last one, okay two, are a bit of an exaggeration, but I will insist even your poop is a bit more charming when you’re smiling and ‘googling’ (as your sister calls it) on the changing table. You may be tiny, but you have lots of power.
Cecilia’s favorite hobby
“Is that dog around?”
“I will defend myself against that dog”
Always watching big sister
Yes, I insist 9:30 is a late night
Sad that he can’t lick anyone
Big sister hug attack