Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chloë's amazing human body

Me: And here's the digestive system, which makes food into energy. And here's the brain.
Chloë: No it isn't.
Me: Then what is it?
Chloë: A ladybug.

Me: This is a dinosaur. It's called Tyrannosaurus Rex. It has long, sharp teeth for tearing into its food.
Chloë: Just like me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You've got to start somewhere

Maia has finally started showing interest in food. She's been especially keen on...wait for beans and peas. That's right: it took green vegetables to get her excited about solids.

Now that she's showing more interest in food, we've introduced a sippy as well, really more as something to occupy her at the beginning of mealtime when Eric or I am shoveling food into our mouths before we start on her food. Today at dinner, I demonstrated how to drink, and shortly thereafter she was holding it the right way and looked as if she might have actually gotten some water into her mouth.

"Yay! What a big girl you're getting to be!" I told her (she cannot be called "big girl" without modification in Chloë's hearing). "Soon, you'll be able to drink from a sippy without a handle. And then a straw cup like your big sister. And then, you'll be able to drink from a big-girl cup!"

On the other side of me, Chloë spread her arms beatifically. "And then she can play blocks!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

It will do you good

The girls, they are a-changin'. Maia is now up on her hands and knees and scooting backward. Then she runs into a chair or something and can't quite figure out why she isn't moving, but doesn't get really fussed about it unless she's stuck. She had her first bath in the big tub today, her big sister helping her by providing toys and cheering her on, because a couple of days ago she started trying to climb out of the little one. She didn't succeed, because she can't crawl yet, but she's darn close. She's really into the independent play. Also into the peek-a-boo where I pretend she's scaring me. And pretending that she's eating my face never gets old.

And Chloë has decided that we've had enough of the good side of two; it's time to show us why they call them the terrible twos. Now that she's firmly entrenched in the use of "I" and "me," what we hear all day is "I want X," or "Don't tell me Y." Every other minute she's been crying because we didn't let her have more candy, or three pieces of graham cracker instead of one, or the scissors, or what have you. She's gotten clingy again, asking that we stay at bedtime; when we go she wails "I want hoo," in a pathetic way that rends our hearts unless she starts up this very fake crying that she's also recently adopted and hasn't figured out we can see right through.

So: Maia growing more awesome, Chloë slightly less so. Only not really, because at the same time she's so articulate, and retains things so well, and surprises us with her maturity in questions and thoughts. "Will hoo be in the office when I wake up?" she asks me when she goes down for her nap on Saturdays. "This toy okay for Maia?" she says, holding up something that she wants to bring to her sister. She's so charming. Still jealous, especially when I'm being cuddly with Maia; but we've got a routine now where I come home from work and she runs down, calling "Mommy! Mommy!" and, if I don't grab her right away (usually I don't, because I'm putting milk away and taking off my shoes and jacket), says, "Can I have a hug?" and I lift her up and squeeze her tight. And then she tells me what's on her mind, like, "I ate Ms," or "Maia pooped," or "It is not raining outside," and I'm glad to hear it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

If I ever write a mommy book, it will be called The Milk Diaries. Or maybe The Milk Must Flow.

Late yesterday I was working on something urgent and annoying that had to go out before I left work, so I didn't get my last pumping session in. When I got home, Maia professed to be hungry until she actually got down to nursing for a few minutes on one side and then ignored me, so I decided to pump the other.

When I was building up stock on maternity leave, Chloë would hang around and want to know what I was doing and prod the pump, and I had her "help" me by pushing a particular button when I told her to in the hope of stopping her from pushing it all the time. Last night she wanted to help again, so she held the pump horn and watched while I plugged in the power cord and got otherwise set up. I turned on the pump. "Push button now?" she said.

"Not yet," I told her.

"Push button?"

"Not yet," I said. "We have to wait for the milk to come."

She looked down at the R.I.N.D.S. and howled, "Come, milk!"

Eric, playing with Maia nearby, collapsed in laughter. "Are you okay, babe?" I said after a minute, when he seemed unable to breathe, and Chloë ran over to him and said anxiously, "Are you okay Daddy?" He said he was, and she came back to me, examined the R.I.N.D.S., and said, "Milk!" so I finally let her push the button.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Speaking of status reports

"My hand are full," Chloë reports from behind me as I'm changing Maia's diaper.

I half-turn and see that she's extracted most of the tissues from the Kleenex box. "Chloë Leeja!" I say. "You do not waste tissues like that! Now put them back!"

She jumps and cringes, as she does when she's unexpectedly found that she's done something wrong. She puts the tissues back in. She says, "My hand are not full."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Status report: Chloë, Month 27, and Maia, Month 6

Obviously I'm way overdue for this month's status reports. The mood I've been in these past couple of weeks (through no fault of the girls') I could have just posted "status: lucky to be alive" and left it at that. A couple of days ago I was considering "I was supposed to do this right, but I don't have pictures or patience, so I'm going to serve up some text soup and you're going to like it because I said so and I'm the mommy." However, today I'm feeling human again, despite all the tramping around for trick-or-treating last night. It's still going to be text soup, because that's all I know, but you're going to like it. Because I said so.

This month has been mostly about language for both girls. Chloë has, over the last several days, gradually started using "I" and "me" instead of "Koë." She has also gotten obsessive about "thank you," thanking us for things like "bringing me a drink" and "bringing Maia a toy," and much more precise about "please." This has lead to carefully crafted sentences like this one from this morning: "Mommy can I please have a cookie?" It was so well done and she'd obviously put so much thought into it that I considered saying yes for an instant. Unfortunately for Chloë, an instant isn't long enough for my mouth to open to let "okay" emerge, so she got praise and a "no" instead. I didn't stay for breakfast, but probably she had blueberry yogurt. It's all she's had for weeks, except when we run out of blueberry yogurt. Then it's strawberry or peach.

Maia, in the meantime, has discovered babbling. "Da da da da," she's been saying endlessly. It's highly cute, especially when she's confronted with Eric after an absence and bursts out excitedly, "Da da da da da!" She's been a very happy girl ever since she mastered sitting, though she'd probably be even happier if she could sit up from a supine position. She can push herself up on her hands, and I'm told she can kind of rock up on her knees, but not both at the same time. And she can now roll from her belly to her back--not that she does when she's been put to bed and decided to roll onto her belly and then decided she hates it more than life itself.

We had our nieces for an overnight Saturday evening to Sunday morning, which was fun but very tiring, and Maia was excellently behaved, even when she was very tired because I'd lost track of time trying to get everyone else in bed. I think she liked the stimulation. She loves her bouncer, certainly, which is a great relief. Chloë had a lot of fun at the overnight but woke up screaming twice, once for no good reason--she's been doing that a lot lately--and once for a nosebleed. We made cookies Sunday morning, mainly her and Addie, and when Addie started talking about "Now it's my turn, now it's Chloë's turn," when it came to putting in the ingredients, Chloë got into the act: "Now my turn!" They both ducked whenever I turned on the mixer, and they each got a beater to lick.

We also went outside, Chloë and Addie and Rae, and it was chilly enough I had to break out last year's winter accessories, of which there were luckily enough, of ranging sizes, that everyone's hands and heads got covered. Addie and Rae had a great time going down Chloë's slide. So did Chloë when she could, but she wouldn't push herself in line and with her two cousins leaping from the bottom of the slide to climb right back up the ladder, she didn't get on it very much. She did demand that we go on a walk, and she and Addie ran along the sidewalk while I walked with Rae. She's been loving being outside, and we're going to have to ignore our bodily comfort and go even as it gets colder, I think.

Unfortunately this means bundling Maia up, and she's a simply enormous baby, 95th or higher percentile for everything, 18.5 pounds at her checkup last week. We have "prams" (big fuzzy body suits) for 6 months, and 6-9 months, and one 6-12 months that always seemed a little small on Chloë...but we just put away the 6-month clothes and have some 12-month pants out because they're not too long, though the 9 months are okay too...for now. And they don't seem to make prams any bigger than 9 months at the places we've looked. In the later part of the winter we're going to have to just wrap her up in a lot of blankets when we take her out, I guess.

Speaking of clothes, we went and bought Chloë some long-sleeved pants and shirts the other day, all 3T, which is pretty much the end of the line at Babies R Us. We need to get used to clothes shopping again, and at other stores. But we picked out a green shirt and a sparkly purple shirt and a pink Care Bears shirt, and Chloë found some really hideous purple pants she had to have, and then we went to the boys' section to give my eyes a rest. There we found a rack of hoodie/pants sets with Mickey on them. There was one of a Mickey DJ looking pretty angry that I vetoed, but we both liked the gray with blue Mickey heads. It's been her sweater of choice ever since.

On that same trip Chloë wanted to look at the toys, so we did, and I decided I had to buy Maia a stuffed animal. I've been feeling bad that she has none other than Ugly Bear, donated to her by Chloë who never liked it anyway, and a huge pink rabbit that is still bigger than she is. So I selected a few and let Chloë decide which one to bring home, and Maia is now the owner of a soft brown cow with a jingly bell. Chloë's much more possessive about her toys and books now (and it doesn’t help that Maia is so very grabby with everything) so we're going to have to build up separate collections for Maia of a few things--mainly, "friends" to sleep with and upstairs books. I think we can persuade her that the downstairs books, like the downstairs toys, are for general use.

Maia's still not keen on solids. I did feed her some carrots yesterday; she loves her carrots. And I've offered her a couple of bites of oatmeal and apples, well-chewed, and she was okay with those, maybe because I was holding her at the time, maybe because I was offering her my finger instead of a spoon. Now that she's six months old, it's time to start getting supplementary foods into her. So we'll be working on that this month.

So, in summary: Chloë is awesome and talkative and sleeping restlessly and running around a lot. Maia is awesome and talkative and huge and grabbing at things. They're both playing, sometimes with each other, sometimes separately, and they both give me the most beautiful smiles and wonderful hugs when I come home at night. Status: their grumpy mama is lucky to have them.