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.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To Grandmother's House We Go

In trying to distract Brigid during one of her many (I-hope-I-can-blame-it-on-the-fact-that-she's-four) tantrums this past weekend, I made the mistake of joking with her that since we were going to visit Nana and Papa soon, she needed to start packing now, so she wouldn't forget anything.

Not only did she take me up on this suggestion, loading her suitcase with something along the lines of one pair of underwear, one nightgown, and every toy she happened to come across in the process, she proceeded to carry that suitcase around with her all day, while begging to have us all leave for Indiana immediately. When Steve and I explained that we weren't leaving yet, because we still had a few days of work before the trip, she instead suggested we fly her up there that night, then fly home for work right after we dropped her off.

We told her that flying up and back like that wasn't really an option for us, but if she was in such a hurry to get to Indiana, we could ship her and Caitlin up in a box. I...I kind of think she considered taking us up on that option...
(Please note, she wanted to make sure we sent her with snacks. In case her and Caitlin got hungry on the trip. She plans ahead, that one...)

To make things even more crazy, we kind of had to tell Brigid that she was going to be able to ride a fire truck in my hometown's 4th of July parade, to make sure that it wasn't something that would freak her out when the moment came. She asked if I would come with her, and I told her that I wouldn't be on the truck, because I would need to stay with Caitlin, but that Papa and maybe even Aunt Mary would ride with her, so she wouldn't be up there by herself. And that's all it took. She's in.



Yesterday, she randomly sighed, and when I asked her what was wrong, she said, 'I'm just so excited!'

When I asked her what she was excited about, she looked at me like I was an idiot, and exclaimed, with as much condescension as any four-year-old could muster, 'The parADE, mommy,' like I was just supposed to know that's all she had been thinking about for 24 straight hours.

Like I said...she is IN.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In the Tent

Brigid (who I swear went from 4 to 14 overnight at some point, and who I will never allow to sleep again out of fear that she'll age another 10 years on me...) wanted me to take a picture of her and her American Girl doll in their new matching pajamas, with their equally matching pink hair. Even though you can't actually see her pink hair in the pictures, I assure you, it was PINK.

And then, I noticed Caitlin...
Seriously. That is just so...Caitlin. I love that kid and all of her goofy ways.