It's a pretty well-known fact in our family circles that my daughter looks nothing like me, as she is a dead ringer for my husband in pretty much every way possible. She looks so much like my husband, in fact, that when we sent out our Christmas cards this year, Steve's aunt called his mother and said 'Why are they sending out Christmas cards of baby Steve in a dress?'
Steve and I have this ongoing argument with each other about the color of Brigid's hair. I swear that it is brown, and that it will eventually darken to my hair color as she gets older, so that there will be at least one physical trait that ties her to me. Steve claims that it is blond, albeit a pretty dirty blond, and that it will stay that color forever, matching his own.
Last weekend, Steve and Brigid were playing in the front yard, because our back yard is a bit of a disaster (we're working on it...), but it was too nice to stay in the house. I, however, was still in the house, dogproofing everything because my two beasts can't be trusted not to chew something up when left alone. By the time I made it out to join the goons in the yard, Steve was deep in conversation with a couple of neighbors from down the street, who'd been out walking with their two daughters. It turns out, these were the neighbors from the "cool" house, the one where everyone on my street hangs out. The one with all of the cool outdoor toys for the kids to play with. The one with a miniature BOUNCY HOUSE!!
The ones I've been wanting to meet forever.
Even better? They have a daughter one week older than Brigid.
Fate, people. That right there is fate.
Everything was going well. I was charming. Steve was charming. We were admiring each other's kids. They love our Halloween decorations every year. I exchanged email addresses with the wife, who told me that she's a SAHM, she loves to arrange playdates, and she would absolutely set something up for one of my Fridays off, with some other mothers on the street, so Brigid and I could make some friends. I was so excited about my ongoing transition from moderately awesome individual to suburban parent (who is still moderately awesome, of course...).
And then, as they were leaving, she took one last look at Brigid and said "Oh, she is just so adorable. And just look at her blond hair!"
Later that day...
Steve (laughing, of course, because he takes pleasure in my displeasure): So, how annoyed were you when the neighbor commented on Brigid's blond hair?
Me: Oy, she's just lucky she comes with a bouncy house.
Several people told us, since Brigid has a 'potty tell' (You know, we can tell when she's about to go, or when she's in the middle of going, just by how she's acting...because we are observant. And also? She makes goofy faces, grabs her diaper, and smells funny.), we should use that to see if maybe she wanted to get a head start on the whole training process. So, even though she is really too young to understand what we wanted her to do, we went ahead and picked up a potty chair from Toys R' Us on Saturday.
Yesterday, while we were on the phone when Steve was at home and I was at work, Steve handed Brigid the phone and told her to say hi mom-mom (Which is what she calls me for some reason. Not mom, not mommy, not mama. Mom-mom. Whatever, I'll answer to just about anything these days.). And you know what?
And it was beyond adorable. Maybe we'll get to this whole talking thing after all...
I don't even really want to talk about this, because I think it could get so much worse in the long run, but it needs to be said...
It appears that a slight case of sleep regression might be making its way into our lives.
(I've read this generally happens around 18-months, but of course, Brigid wants to get a head start on things. She still won't talk, at all, but the sleep problems? Those she's all over...)
I've mentioned it before, but Brigid is a relatively independent kid. When she gets sleepy, whether it's before a nap or at the end of our bedtime routine, she reaches for her crib, gives me a kiss, and says night-night over and over again until I finally give up on my attempts at cuddling and put her down to sleep. And she grins at me like a tiny little crazy person once she gets her way, before sticking her thumb in her mouth and turning her back to me.
Well, that was our old routine, anyway.
The new routine? It involves rocking and singing and back rubbing and walking and screaming and more rocking, until the poor kid exhausts herself enough to finally fall asleep. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells again, hoping that she goes to sleep when she's supposed to, hoping that she stays asleep as long as she normally does. I find myself getting frustrated sometimes, when Brigid is fighting sleep so hard, despite being so tired she can barely keep her eyes open. When I put her down half asleep, only to have her wake up screaming the minute I leave the room.
I mean, she's SO tired! Why doesn't she just SLEEP, for crying out loud?!?!
But then, I remind myself that this is what I wanted, all of those times when I tried to cuddle with Brigid, but she wanted nothing to do with me. I remind myself that time has already passed so quickly, that it will continue to do so, and before I know it she will be fourteen and snarky and any sort of cuddling with her mother will be completely off of the table.
And so, instead of feeling frustrated, I just pull her closer to me, tuck her sweet smelling baby head under my chin, and sing her another song, rock her just a little bit longer. Because there is only one place I need to be at that moment.
My birthday isn't until tomorrow, but my presents were already in the house as of last night. And since I have no self control when it comes to waiting for presents, when Steve offered me the chance to open my gifts a few days early, I jumped all over it.
Your toddler will absolutely test her boundaries.
Brigid will run up to something that she knows she's not supposed to touch, and she will lay just one finger on whatever it is. And then she'll look back at me and smile and dare me to yell at her.
She will also put something (a toy, a bracelet, a light remote) into her mouth, while watching me out of the corner of her eye, waiting for me to make the move to take whatever it is away from her. When she sees me coming? She'll take it out of her mouth and smile innocently.
Tell her not to smile? She will smile. Tell her not to stand on the bed? She will stand on the bed. Tell her to stand up so you can get her out of the crib? She will lay back down.
She is a snot.
Your toddler will mimic everything she sees. Except what you actually want her to mimic, of course.
Brigid makes the drumming motions along with Will.I.Am on Sesame Street.
She will sit and cross her legs when she sees you sit and cross your legs.
When you are feeding her, and you blow on a bite to cool it down, she will blow on every single bite of food for the rest of the meal. And she will expect you to do the same.
If you feed her with a fork? She wants to feed herself with the fork. And she can, too, as of this week. Sure, meals may take a little longer, since it requires two hands and total concentration for her to actually stab a piece of food with the kiddie forks she uses, but she is so ridiculously proud of herself that it's hard to say no.
However, sitting quietly during dinner? Not throwing food to the dogs when she gets full? That's something she doesn't get, no matter how many times we've demonstrated that one for her.
Toddlers have opinions.
Brigid does not like when drawers are left open. She will go back and close every single one of them.
She also hates things being left on the floor. She will put my laundry in the hamper and my trash in the trash can.
If you are sitting on the couch, and she wants you to read to her, she will take you by the hand and lead you to her reading corner and hand you a book. And you best believe you will start reading to her, because it's the cutest thing ever to be led around by a bossy toddler.
We'll see if I still feel that way in a couple of months, I guess...
Today's Brigid pictures are brought to you by Steve, who now works from home on Mondays, and as such, got to spend Valentine's Day with his very special valentine. From what I can tell, the day was a success. There were presents and cheese samples and lollipops, which sounds like the perfect day to me, so I'm sure Brigid had a good time.
Well, minus the absolutely enormous goose egg on poor B's forehead from a spill on the sidewalk during the outside portion of the afternoon, that is, but I am not going to bring that up or explain how Brigid always hold my hand when she's on the sidewalk with me or anything like that, because on Friday, something will happen, and Brigid will get hurt, and I will get a big "Sucks, doesn't it?" from my dear husband. And I don't really want to deal with that. Besides, it would just be mean to bring it up, right?
Anyway, the pair of them went grocery shopping (see: cheese samples, above) for my very special Monday dinner, and I will not detail just how much I ate here, as Steve is already making fun of me all over Facebook for it, but I will say it involved more than one dozen baked oysters. Because Steve bought them fresh (Well, fresh for Georgia, anyway. I try not to think about that too hard...). In the shell. Then spent an hour shucking them. And baking them. And they were AMAZING.
I love that my husband loves to cook. Heaven knows one of us needs to be able to feed this family.
Also? I may have changed my mind on that seafood restaurant request I made for my birthday dinner. Even I have my limits.
In general, Steve and I aren't really big on Valentine's Day as a holiday. For starters, we've been together for, oh, about ten years now, and these days, Brigid kind of eats into any of our free time anyway (apparently, that happens with kids...), so it's not really a priority for us. But even before that, between his birthday on the 3rd, my birthday on the 18th, and the fact that I don't do Hallmark holidays (Sweetest Day, I'm looking at you, too...), we've always just kind of rolled it into one big night out for everything.
It works for us.
And, although we're not doing much by way of gifts this year, I think the fifteen bags of yard waste currently sitting on the curb in front of my house and the clean car I drove in to work this morning are more than I could ask for on Valentine's Day today.
Thank you, Steve, for being you. And happy Valentine's Day, from all of your girls!
(That would be me, B, Riley, and Peyton, of course...)
Brigid is generally a very independent little kid. Sure, she loves her mom and dad, and she's always excited to see us, but she's always just as excited to see any other member of her family. Or, for that matter, she's just as excited to see anybody that she knows. She doesn't cry when Steve and I leave. She doesn't cling to us especially when there are strangers around. At our Super Bowl party the other night, I caught her snuggling on the couch with my brother-in-law's girlfriend, who had filled in as temporary nanny for us last month.
She doesn't cuddle on the couch with me, the little snot.
I'm kidding, of course. Not about the not cuddling part, because there really is no cuddling with that girl unless we can squeeze five minutes out of her with a quick showing of Elmo's World or something, but I am kidding about the snot part. It really doesn't bother me that she doesn't feel the need to be attached to my hip. My youngest sister? She was a mama's girl, all of the way, and it's nice that my kid doesn't scream every time someone other than me even looks at her. But, every once in awhile, it's also nice to have those little affirmations that, yes, sometimes Brigid just wants her mom...
Yesterday, I was home sick, with the black plague or horrible food poisoning or maybe just the smallest of stomach viruses (I don't know, I'm not a very good sick person...it all feels the same to me. I still have no idea what was wrong with me, but we'll just say it wasn't very pretty.). I spent almost all day in bed, venturing out of the bedroom once while Brigid was napping to eat some toast, before going back to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. Because that was taxing stuff, right there. Walking downstairs? Making toast? Exhausted!
Quarantined in my bedroom as I was, I only saw Brigid twice all day. Once, when Steve brought me dinner in bed (plain, whole wheat spaghetti noodles...only the best, of course) and again, right before her bath, when Steve brought her to the bedroom door to say goodnight. Both times, as they were leaving, Brigid started fussing and reaching for me, upset that Steve wouldn't put her down.
Now, I know my kid pretty well, and I understand that part of what had her so upset was that she wanted to come get in bed with me so she could play with the light switch remote, because her favorite thing to do is sit in our bed and turn the lights off and on. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. It's obnoxious, but she loves it. But, I'd also like to think that part of it was just Brigid missing her mom.
I am beyond happy that Brigid is becoming more and more interested in books as the days go by. I want nothing more than to raise a kid that loves to read as much as I do. And, I think, if we play our cards right, we might just get there...
Smart, with the ability to accessorize like a pro? That's my girl!
Steve and I hosted a Super Bowl party this weekend, and in addition to the usual group of wonderful people we generally interact with, we invited two sets of neighbors that we're friendly with, the ones that comprise our group of 'people we should hang out with more because they're really nice, and they have kids, too!'.
(Nice people? New parents? Dog lovers who don't mind that my dogs bark at them like crazy every time they step out on their back porch to watch their dogs play in their yard?
We hit the jackpot in the next door neighbor lottery, obviously.
And we're hoping our luck holds out, as the house on the other side of us is now for sale, too. If anyone is interested, we are awesome neighbors who share cupcakes, and throw parties, and buy you bread and beer when you can't get out of your driveway due to snow and ice, but we can. I do hope you like dogs, though...)
Both of the neighborhood couples we invited have boys, born this past November. And, it turns out, throwing my 24 pound kid around has made me forget how exactly you're supposed to handle a baby that small. It felt odd. And there was spit-up, and feeding breaks, and pacifiers, and I was having weird flashbacks and whatnot.
After they left, somewhere between 9:30 and 10, Steve looked at me and said, "I'd forgotten what it was like to have a baby that was up this late."
You would have been a lot more fun if you were June, or something.
I kid, I kid! I love all of you months, equally, I promise.
January brought the good old winter weather with it, this time around. Which I would have absolutely expected. If I still lived in Indiana. Or Ohio. Or anywhere other than Georgia. But we survived the snomageddon! Or the snopocalypse! Or whatever you'd call it when six inches of snow and a little bit of ice paralyzes an entire city for over a week!
And Brigid even got to go sledding . So all was not lost.
Last weekend, I would have been all, 'Go run around in the yard, kid, it's nice out!'
Steve said, 'Hey, let's take Brigid to the zoo!'
Tuesday night was my night to give Brigid a bath, a task that's becoming a harrowing experience due to the squirming and the (attempted) standing and the splashing and the randomly turning on the shower when you least expect it. But as I was running around, trying to get a load of laundry put away before we started down that dangerous bath path, Steve stepped in to cover for me. And ended up getting showered in the process...
On Mondays, Steve works from home now. Between watching Brigid, participating in several conference calls, and finding time to actually complete some of that work stuff he was supposed to be doing, he managed to empty the dishwasher.*
No point, though, Steve, because, geez...that's just expected of you. Duh.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say, dear, is that Brigid and I love you very much, and even if we don't always show it, we do kind of appreciate you more than we let on...
Although, I'm not going to lie, we'd probably appreciate you a heck of a lot more if we could get you to change a #2 diaper from time to time.
I'm just saying...
Happy birthday, Zoolander!
*among other things, of course...it's just that the dishwasher always seems to be a constant point of contention in my household, so I was slightly shocked by this...
Have I talked about the toddler dance party turned dizzy bat game recently? Because I now have video evidence of just such an event!
Granted, it's crappy iPhone video evidence, but she doesn't exactly give me a heads up when she's in the mood to dance, so I go with whatever I have available...
Special Disclaimer: No babies were injured in the filming of this video, although after that last fall behind the chair? She jumped up and proceeded to faceplant into the little step leading to a slightly raised portion of the room just beyond where she was. I don't think she was too happy with that portion of the dance routine...
...but that doesn't mean Brigid doesn't deserve a swing, at the very least!
Steve installed a toddler swing under our deck, and Brigid was kind of a fan, but only to a certain point.
If Steve pushed her at just the right height? Oh, the giggles!
If Steve pushed her too high? Sad face. And whimpering.
If Steve allowed her to slow down too much? Loss of interest almost immediately.
She's very picky, that child, and we seem to cater to it. I hope we're not setting ourselves up for a lifetime of unreasonable demands, because right now? I don't see us telling her no anytime soon. Especially not when there are giggles involved. We're not made of stone, you know...