Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Past week.

I was in a funk last week. The last time that happened I was very pregnant and not seeing the bright beam of light at the end of the tunnel. It usually happens when I'm feeling overwhelmed plus poor sleep plus a frustrating situation of feeling stuck. Like in Oh, the Places You'll Go!, a book heavy in Mila's rotation lately, where they talk about the waiting game (Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go...). Every time I read that page to her I silently scold myself for getting caught up in it despite Theodore Geisel's best warning. We are waiting on a house. Where is it? I've seen every listing in the MLS search engine in Indian River County, is it even out there? Will we be renting this apartment forever? But I'm no longer asking myself these overly dramatic questions because I'm on the other side of this funk, whatever it was. My eyes were opened by my sister-in-law and Marmousch who brought me much-needed perspective, and now I realize how good we've got it. True, when we go outside to look at the moon we're standing in a parking lot. And no, Mila can't paint at her easel on our deck outside while I watch her from the kitchen window--as I prepare a homecooked meal in our fabulous kitchen. Our kitchen is tiny. Things fall out when I open the cabinets. I curse a lot in that kitchen. But what I do have is time. Time that I won't get back. Time for my girls, time for this family Steve and I work enthusiastically (and admittedly sometimes not so enthusiastically), to create and nurture and above all love.

So these were some of my happy's (a nightly ritual with Wugs) from last week.

Doing washcloth swirls in the water while singing Amazing Grace to Mila as I was gently bathing her at seven in the morning last Wednesday; she had been vomiting since six.

Seeing loving family members carry a wheelchair-bound woman with MS into the Atlantic Ocean last week and assist her to float. Wugs will probably forget that but I never will.

Doing the bagnetto bagnetto bagnetto walk with Dani to the tub. It reminds me so much of when I would do it with M...yet it's different and special in its own right.

Watching Mila play 'swim lessons' in her rubber boat with Marmousch at the beach.

Going on a picnic last Saturday, playing 'soccer' with Wugs and watching her climb all over Steve. Oh, and hearing my toddler say things like, Don't pack away the galette! It's hilarious to me that galette is even in her lexicon but then again, so is bacon jam. 

p.s. All of Mila's happy's involved Dani. Dani watching her, Dani laughing at her, Dani reaching for her. Life is grand.

p.p.s. We are in full-on teething mode which means it has taken me three nights to be able to write this post. Line by line with lots of interruptions. It might be a little quiet around here for a bit. Or those teeth could show up finally and I could get my evenings back. Let's hope so.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Last week in terms of eating and a few pictures.

I'm starting off my favorite pictures from last week with peonies. It was peony week in the Weibel house, it happens just once a year and even though it's short-lived it's always a little lift. And if you need a waffle recipe in your arsenal, here is the one I'm sticking with from here on out (unless it's time for gingerbread waffles which we make at Christmastime). I made homemade ketchup for the first time to go with Marmee's hamburgers and I think there's going to be some taste testing happening around these parts (like my panzanella-off from last year). Also oatmeal cream pies. Those weren't very good at all. That's what I wish my brain had said, anyway, before I stood in front of the fridge eating shoving one down my mouth before Mila caught me and wanted to "share."

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Six months.

Oh six months. It had been looming and getting larger every day, now it's here. Six months, you and I were on okay terms last Thursday, the actual day of Dani's half, until Mila started messing with my mom's iphone and replayed an old, old video from the last days in our California apartment. Dani is just a few weeks old in it, still all squinty and wrinkly and snuggly--and that's when I had to look six months square in the eye. No, she's not a newborn anymore, and she's got delicious fold after delicious fold in her thighs and arms to prove it.

I'm so in love with this girl. She's still so easy, despite teething and the occasional fussy bouts. She already doesn't have to nurse to sleep (say whaaaaat) but will do this verbalizing ahhhAHHHHAAAAAHHHH thing until she finally jerks her head to the right and it's lights out. I can decipher her cries now and her hungry cry is the same as Mila's was---a frantic huffing as she impatiently waits for me to pull it together and feed her already, doggoneit. She still poops and farts like a trucker (although for the record I have no idea how a trucker poops and farts---sorry, stereotypes), she always with a smile on her face...and one more tidbit, loves loves LOVES her papa. He is #1 in her eyes. Steve and I joke that she's planning on self-weaning very soon in order to be with him 24/7. Sometimes at night I'll stay up late (okay usually) and when her and I hit the hay she takes a long, soulful glance at his side of the bed to make sure he's still there. As if she can't hear him snoring! But I digress.

She has recently started to scoot a couple feet here and there. Not quite army crawling, more like a disjointed push-and-pull thing of all four extremities, but still. Slow down little girl. I hold her on my hip, she settles right into that soft fleshy part on my tummy that I haven't exactly lost since giving birth six months ago (oops). And we go about our day. We sit at the table together while Mila chatters it up during breakfast in the morning and I inhale my cup of coffee. We hang out on our new stripey blanket, or our patchwork quilt, I hover her above me doing Giant Baby (I'm a giiiiiiiaaaaant, flyyyyyying, hooooooovering, drooooooooling baby said in a booming voice. Big smiles every time.)

She's sitting for short periods of time. Again, stop it.

A few of her favorite things at the moment: the squish toy, or chewbeads, or a cold spoon...anything that can be put in her mouth, really. Guitar playing from Steve. My boobs. Standing and being "walked"--that always makes her so proud and delighted. I love to clear the dinner table and dance with her at the same time. Her nighttime song is Shenandoah (Mila's was Edelweiss). Oh, and she's also pretty wild about her sister. I'll never forget the moment a few weeks ago when Mila was spinning around in her pajamas and Dani started laughing. Chortling. Isn't that a funny word? But that's how I would describe it, a deep chortle-cackle that comes from someplace low in her belly. This girl's gonna be a good one, I can tell. 

At night she sleeps in her swing for a good four to five hours before I bring her to bed. This is huge. Thank you Dani! I know I need to wean the swing soon, it's always worked and you know what they say about things that aren't broke. But she's coming up on its weight limit and the swing's been promised to another baby on the way anyway, so in the next few weeks we'll work on getting her to start off the night in her crib. When she needs to nurse at night I'll just bring her into bed. I don't need her to sleep through the night just yet--we've got a good thing going with her nursing as I'm 98% sleeping.

Hear that, universe? Don't rush me. She's still my baby. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

And a very happy Mother's Day.

Mother's Day was beautiful. From when I still had my eyes closed and I could sense that Mila was in the room before I actually heard her, and then she greeted me with a cheerful, Happy Mother's Day Mama! Then she turned to Dani with the same greeting. Sitting in church with my family, my own mother included and being able to stand in the honorable company of other mothers. Eating a delicious lunch with Marmousch--yummy shrimp stew--prepared by Steve. All of us watching Dani get her first bites of solid food for the first time (carrots!). Both girls napping at the same sliver of overlapping time (no small miracle!). Mila waking up after nap and saying, Is it still Happy Mother's Day Mama? Going to the beach at dusk and watching my daughter, who used to not want to get anywhere near that shoreline, soak her entire yellow dress because she was practically trying to jump in. I do want her to exercise caution but for now this mama was and is thrilled with her girl's growing confidence in the water. Nursing sweet sleepy Dani as she fell asleep and feeling so grateful for everything we've got. 
This pic is from way back in February but I kind of think it speaks to motherhood beautifully. Also I've temporarily misplaced the memory card where Sunday's photos are stored on. Not to worry though, I live in a 1000 sq ft apartment so it couldn't have gone far. Then again I have a Mila so it could have gone very very far.

Mila, who made me a mother, and Dani, who has filled up my heart in a space I didn't realize was carved out and patiently waiting for you to come and live there. I should be thanking both of you and not the other way around for this happy life you've given me. Sometimes I run on fumes, sometimes I don't know what I'd do without coffee, sometimes I give myself a timeout just so I can flop on the bed for two minutes in peace, but there is nowhere I would rather be. Being your mama day in and day out, awakening with you and hearing your highs and lows at the end of the day and knowing I was there for all of it, good and bad. Pretty and ugly parts alike. Being the one who understands your world, deciphers your cries, knows your imaginary friends, the things you say, the things you worry about even when you're not coming out and saying it, being the one you want when no one else will do. Thank you for giving me this rich rich life. love, Mama

Monday, 13 May 2013

My own Mama.

How thankful I am that I got to spend today with my mom. We sat together in church this morning--even though we were late, we're always late!--she held Dani the whole hour and I knew she was happy to hold her. This girl whose middle name Lu is in honor of Marmousch: Luisa.

There is no one like my mom. She is strong and kind and warm-hearted and in some ways we are exactly alike and then there are other ways which I desperately want to be like her but it comes so much harder for me. She is forgiving. She is endlessly thoughtful. She is generous with everything: her time, her things, her happiness. She spends entire days with the girls and I, showing up on the doorstep with a smile on her face and a cup of coffee in hand--and she shoos me away to take a nap after lunch when Mila is sleeping and Dani is freshly awake. Because of her I can shower at times other than 11 pm. She is always up for an adventure. Everything is special when she's around. She tells me I'm doing a great job even on days when I feel like I'm failing at everything. Marmee was and always will be at the top of the list for Reasons Why We Needed to Move Back to Florida. It just had to be this way.

There are moments when I'm talking to Mila and suddenly I feel like I'm her, like I've become my mom. Classic, right? A lot of people say that in wry amusement but for me it is a happy realization. I've been on both the receiving and giving end of a mother's love and I get it now. All those cliches. It's hard work, it's thankless sometimes, but it's something I feel I was born to do. And it's because of my mom. She always set such a beautiful example, which I now know is much harder than it seems at a glance. Thank you Marmousch, for the gift of you that you gave all your life and still do. We love you so.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Books, lately.

I haven't posted Mila's newest batch of favorite books in awhile and yet reading is a huge part of our every day at home. She's at this awesome stage where she'll "read" for literally, hours--after hearing the book a few times she'll recite phrases verbatim, which is why today I was nursing Dani in the living room and could hear Mila exclaiming from her bedroom, "TO THE TEE (tree)! TO THE TEE!" She was reading Go Dog, Go! She even does two different voices for the do you like my hat? bit between the male and female dogs. 

For awhile Mila would say no when we'd to read to her. Or rather, me do it meself or ME want to read it! But now she's finally starting to let us read again. Or she'll come up to me and say, "Mama do you want to read with me?" which obviously melts me into a puddle and together we'll sit and read. Sometimes with a drooling droolbug of a Dani in my lap (who's actually much more engaged in books than Mila was at her age so I'm crazy excited about that) and sometimes it's just us. Or sometimes I can hear Steve reading to her and I know that's where she assimilates her theatrics from. Or I'll hear my mom reading the same book to her over and over again from the next room per Mila's request. It's all good.

So without further ado, her favorites, at two and three-quarters:

  • Go Dog, Go! There's just something about this classic.
  • Any book about using the potty (and we have many; my favorite is Time to Pee by Mo Willems. Charming!). Unfortunately this hasn't translated into her actually going to the potty.
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today? I can't say enough good things about this book. I bought it thinking it was light years beyond Mila's grasp of emotional understanding but no, it's perfect and will only keep getting more perfect as she gets older. Explaining compassion in terms of filling and emptying someone's bucket is just the sort of concrete image littles need to facilitate empathy. Highly, highly recommend, even for toddlers. And that way if you see us in public telling Mila not to be a bucket dipper, you'll understand. 
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt. The secret to house hunting with my toddler? Tell her we're going on a bear hunt. It makes everything infinitely more exciting and suddenly you're in the middle of an adventure. The other day we went puddle stomping (more like wading, it had poured buckets) and suddenly Mila belts out, Uh oh! A river! A dark cold river! We can't go over was one of my happiest mama moments yet.
  •  Any and all ABC books. I'm working on teaching Mila letters and now she can proudly identify 19-20 (C is iffy!) of them. We keep our stash of ABC books together in one place--and oh yes, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom counts--to help with cross-referencing. Ha. 
  • I Want My Hat Back. Just get it. It's hilarious. Yes you must do voices for the different animals.Mila does after hearing ours enough times...and they're wonderful. Chin-scrunched- into-her-neck-and-voice-all-nasal wonderful.
  • And random: I read Mila poetry a few times last month and seeing the book jacket she thought that Shel Silverstein bears a resemblance to Steve. Good one, Wugs.  

Friday, 3 May 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday folks. Steve is off until Thursday and that is music to my ears...this has been a full week with 3 days of house searching--we are getting closer! today was very promising!--swim lessons for Mila Bedelia (post coming), lots of rain, lots of stomping around in puddles. I love my little family and am excited for these next few months for us. Oh! And huge mad props to my husband, who is officially an ICU nurse! It's been a tiring few months professionally for him but he made it...and is doing it. I'm proud of him.

  • Dani is sitting up better and longer every day. I'm proud of her. I'm remembering little things that I used to do with Mila at this age and love getting to try them out on her; things like putting her in the bumbo atop our bathroom vanity while I put makeup on in the mornings. She seems very interested in the difference between BB cream and tinted moisturizer, too ;)
  • The girls' adoration for each other makes me so happy. Really, what more can a mama ask for?
  • I would love to be able to put a lemon tree in our yard (Marm has a meyer lemon one and it is amazing) to easily make fresh lemonade all summer long. We made our first pitcher of the summer the other night. Mila helped me squeeze the lemons.
  • I'm still way into pom-poms but lately I've been making tissue-paper tassels out of all my leftover paper. After all, Birthday season in the Weibel household is coming up.