Thursday, August 28, 2014

Golf Lessons

One of the more positive points of my new part-time from-home schedule is that I have much more flexibility around signing Brigid up for various activities. I never did get her signed up for swim lessons this summer, but I think there might be an indoor pool/rec center nearby, so that might still be an option this winter. (She's old enough to take lessons without me getting into the pool with her, right? Because if I have to get in the pool with her right after Christmas cookie season, we might just wait until next summer.) However, I did finally (FINALLY, according to Brigid) get her enrolled in a ballet/tap class that starts in two weeks, and we've been taking advantage of living on a golf course by going to the weekly drop-in class for Brigid's age group that the course pro holds every Monday.

(Fun fact: The golf pro grew up 2 hours away from where I did in Indiana, was/is a big Notre Dame fan, and went to the same university as my youngest sister. Small world and all of that jazz.)

She is...entertaining, let's call these lessons. She's only been doing it for three weeks, and she's actually holding the club correctly now, which is a HUGE improvement from where she started, but I can't quite shake the feeling that she may have inherited my grace and coordination (note: I have NO grace OR coordination), especially when I watch her sail the club over the top of the ball repeatedly. But the golf pro has an IMMENSE amount of patience with these kids, and he's teaching them etiquette/life lessons around making eye contact, shaking hands, being polite, sharing with each other, and taking turns (she's getting a lot for $10, now that I think about it...), and Brigid hasn't fought me once about going, so I think we'll keep it up as much as we can through the end of the schedule in October.

Besides, she conned Steve into buying her pink clubs and balls to match, so somebody needs to get some use out of them...

(Please note her course appropriate clothing. Pink glitter Converse sneakers are totally valid golf shoes, right?)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cuddle Time

Lately, we've fallen back into some old bad habits that have Brigid in bed with Steve and I at some point most nights. We'd gotten better about having her sleep in her own bed for awhile (mostly because we included sleeping in her own bed for the entire night on her behavioral chart, and she really wanted to earn all of the stars she needed to get the Elsa ice castle she was promised for good behavior...), but it has started to get out of control again. Every night, at some point in the bedtime process, she tells one of us, 'but I wanted you to cuddle with me for the WHOLE night!'

And the problem that we keep running into? It's that I really have no problem doing just that.

See, I know the day is going to come where she sleeps in her own bed. I know that there will come a time when cuddles with mommy don't hold quite the same charm for her that they do right at this moment. And when that day comes? I will be devastated. So, for now, I don't fight her as much as I should when she asks to sleep with us. I don't make the effort to walk her back to bed when she comes to me in the middle of the night to ask if she's been in her own bed long enough. Because when she sleeps with us? I wake up to a little arm thrown across my neck, or a small hand resting on my cheek, or the smell of baby shampoo and coconut conditioner coming from the head resting on my shoulder. And at those times, I wish there was a way to capture the feeling, the actual physical touch, of a moment, because when these moments happen, I know there will be no way to recreate them down the road, and I want, more than anything, to remember the feeling of that sweet girl snuggling with me every morning.

Even if I DO have to fight her for the blankets every night.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Beach

My family was down in Florida last week, for one last dose of the beach before the summer ended and my mom and sister had to head back to school. Steve didn't have any vacation time to use, but I didn't want to pass up a beach opportunity since I hadn't spent any significant amount of time on one for at least a year and a half at that point (This is...not good for me. I kind of think I need a good dose of sand and water every few months to maintain my sanity, but I haven't really had that option recently. And I wasn't about to say no to this one...), so the girls and I decided to make the trip alone.

Caitlin isn't exactly a great car kid. She gets fussy and bored and wants constant attention to keep her shrieks from reaching the levels of shrillness that only dogs can hear, and when we travel long distances, I have always sat in the backseat with her and Brigid, between the two car seats. It seems that a constant supply of snacks and cell phone videos is the key to a quiet ride. To take my place in the snack department, at least, we moved Caitlin's car seat to the middle of the van, so I could run food and entertainment from the front seat, through my forward-facing 4-year old, to the angry little gremlin stuck facing an empty wall of leather car seat.

It worked much better than I expected.

We stopped once on the way down because I needed a break, and twice on the way home because Brigid needed a break (including one emergency 'MOMMY, I NEED TO POOP!!!!! about an hour and a half away from home, on a not-so-great-for-stopping stretch of highway), and my car was an absolute disgusting mess of discarded (mostly by Caitlin, although Brigid added some to the pile, too, I think) grilled cheese, crackers, popcorn puffs, cereal, and cookies by the end of the trip, but we made it, there AND back.

And now I'm so impressed by my success, I'm ready to start taking us on midweek trips to the beach whenever my parents' condo is sitting empty. I'm sure Steve won't mind at all...

(Mini golf, calm water to allow for plenty of swimming and sand time for both of the girls, a REALLY long sea kayak trip with my sister, plenty of bubble gum chewing, and baked oysters to round out the whole trip. Vacations are good, you know?)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Brigid and Her Pets

Brigid has decided that she needs a new pet. Even though we already have two dogs, and two cats, and a whole freak-load of fish that I fought against repeatedly but was overruled by my but-I-had-fish-when-I-was-a-kid husband, she keeps telling me she needs a puppy of her own.

Actually, her exact words were 'Mommy, I want to adopt a puppy for awhile like grandma (Steve's mom is currently fostering a rescue dog for a local shelter), but I also want one that I can keep until it dies.'

So. That's not morbid at all, right?

Anyway, I keep telling her that she can have any of the animals that we already own all for her very own, but she's insistent that she wants to pick one out for herself. She gets her stubbornness from me, I think.

Luckily, I have YEARS of practice at that stubbornness on her, so in spite of her nonstop badgering, a third dog is not in the cards for us, at all. She's just going to have to make due with the animals we already have.

I think she's going to be fine... 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting Settled

I am now making my way through my second week as a work-from-home mom, and although I'm no longer going into the office these days, I still haven't transitioned to my new part-time position, as my boss asked me to stay as full-time as I could until the end of August, to fully support my replacement.

So that's what I am doing.

It has been a process, trying to develop a new schedule that can accommodate everything I need to get done in any given day. But even though I still feel a little all over the place sometimes, since there is still SO! MUCH! TO! DO!, I haven't been this happy in a long time. I like being home with the girls, I like keeping my house somewhat organized during the week, I like grocery shopping and running errands instead of being in the office. I even like the work I do when I'm at home and my girls are right there in the next room. It turns out, whatever stress inducing elements might still be in my life, I can handle them much, much better when I'm spending my days with two of my most favorite people in the whole world.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Staying Home

Sometime last year, Brigid developed a standard list of wishes she used whenever throwing coins in fountains. The list included new clothes, new toys, and having mommy home with her every day.

In December, I told my boss I wanted to leave my job, because both Steve and I were in positions of increasing responsibility, and it was creating tension at home around which one of us would be responsible when things came up with the girls, since we were both so fried from work most days. I felt like the girls were getting the short end of the stick, and I wanted to be there for them more than I was at the time.

I told her I would stay a few months into 2014, though, since I didn't want to leave her completely shorthanded because of my decision.

In February, she asked if I'd consider staying on the team, as her boss had suggested creating a part-time, from-home position for me, handling a lot of the monthly reporting that my boss has been trying to get off of her desk for months. The team and process I have been managing for the last two years are a team and process I've developed from the beginning, and they didn't want to lose my knowledge around either thing.

Feeling honored that they appreciated my hard work and grateful for the opportunity to keep some tie to the company (plus, excited that I wouldn't be abandoning all of my years at the company after working so hard to get where I was), I agreed to the opportunity. Plus, I told my boss I'd stay through the second quarter of the year, to help close out what I could for 2013.

Last week, while walking with my mom, Brigid apparently made a wish on a dandelion fluff that I would quit working sooner. When Mom told her it would be soon, Brigid said, 'Yes, but I wish it was sooner.'

On Monday, I was packing my work bag, when Brigid asked what I was doing. When I told her I was getting ready for work the next day, she gave me a sad face. I told her it was my last week, though, and that I would be staying home when the week was over, and she grabbed both of my hands and made me jump up and down in excitement with her.

Last night, I told her yesterday had been my last day in the office, and she told me, 'I know. You told me that already.'

This morning, when eating breakfast, she looked at me, smiled, and said, 'Mommy, I'm so glad you're staying home with me every day now.'

Me too, kid. Me too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Eighteen Month Check-Up: Caitlin Edition

I took Caitlin in for a check-up weeks ago, and in the most glaring example of my current inability to keep up with the documentation of my poor, neglected second baby's life, I haven't posted anything about it.

Not that there's anything interesting to post about it, really, but if I'm going to keep an online baby book that I can use in the future to look back fondly on this time with my girls when they were little, then I should probably do it right. Or, as right as posting some terrible iPhone pictures a couple of times a week can be considered, anyway.
Eighteen month stats, Caitlin:
Length: 33.25 inches (89th percentile)
(Eighteen months - 31.75/85th)
(Twelve months - 31.25/95th)
(Nine months - 28.5/78th)
(Six months - 26/67th)
(Four months - 24.75/69th)
Weight: 24lbs 0oz (45th percentile)
(Eighteen months - 22lbs 6.5oz/43rd)
(Twelve months - 20lbs 15.4oz/42nd)
(Nine months - 19lbs 3oz/54th)
(Six months - 16lbs 6oz/59th)
(Four months - 13lbs 4oz/56th)
Eighteen month stats, Brigid:
Length: 33 inches (80th percentile)
(Eighteen months - 30.5/55th)
(Twelve months - 30.5/90th)
(Nine months - 27.5/50th)
(Six months - 26.25/75th)
(Four months - 25/80th)
Weight: 25lbs 3oz (65th percentile)
(Eighteen months - 24lbs 6oz/75th)
(Twelve months - 22lbs 14oz/70th)
(Nine months - 20lbs 14oz/80th)
(Six months - 17lbs 9oz/85th)
(Four months - 14lbs 10oz/75th)

The doctor went through her general spiel around whether Caitlin was walking, talking, and getting into things, at which point I decided hitting two out of the three isn't bad. When I told her that Caitlin wasn't, in fact, talking AT ALL, the doctor started flipping through her medical history, trying to see if there was anything that would point to a reason WHY this wasn't happening. But...Caitlin has been a relatively healthy baby (KNOCK ON ALL OF THE WOOD EVERYWHERE!!!), and there isn't any history of ear infections or poor hearing or anything else that might explain why my girl isn't talking, other than she just appears to be a really, really stubborn baby who won't pick up new tricks on anything other than her own (sloooooooow) schedule.

But! I told this doctor that I'd had the exact same conversation with Brigid's pediatrician at her 18-month check-up, as well. She laughed, and asked me if I was worried. I told her no, she said fine, and Caitlin got some shots.

The end.

And now I have six months to try to get her talking before her 2-year check-up, which is the next time we go in...

(Er, FIVE months, that is, since this all happened over a month ago, and Caitlin is no closer to talking now than she was then. Five months, Caitlin. Let's do this.)