Saturday, April 20, 2013

15.5 months

Dearest Elise,
Just so you don't look back on your mom's blog posts and get a big head thinking you were the world's easiest baby, I feel obligated to give an accurate update of the past few months of your life. Apparently I raved about your happy, smiley, contented demeanor one too many times.

At around 13 months, you turned into Grumpy McCrankypants. For no apparent reason. If you weren't sleeping or eating (still your favorite activity), you were fussing. Heaven forbid if I tried to put you down. But even incessantly holding you wasn't enough. It started with a couple of mild-to-moderate illnessess, but even with full physical recovery you remained grumpy. You cried when you woke up in the morning. When I got you dressed. While I made breakfast. When you finished the food. When you finished more food. When I finally decided you couldn't possibly still be hungry. When I dropped you off at school. When I put you in the carseat to take you home from school. While dinner cooked. When dinner was gone (repeat breakfast sequence). When I gave you a bath. When I put you to bed. Various points during the night. I racked my brain for what could be wrong. I did daily physical exams. I gave you Tylenol and Gas-X empirically. I checked a urine sample. I debated bringing you to work with me for a full-body ultrasound (having a doctor mommy is a dangerous thing). I wondered if you had places to go and things to say and were just frustrated that you couldn't walk or talk. I scrutinized your gums to see if there were any impending ruptures. I hugged and held and rocked and soothed and bounced and snuggled and sang and read and held some more.

And after about a month (yes, that long!), it started getting better. You did ultimately get 2 molars, so maybe that was it after all. Now, at 15.5 months, you are back to your happy smiley self. You are sleeping a little later in the mornings, usually waking up around 6:30. You are pretty adamant about having breakfast immediately, pointing to the door and then down the hall and downstairs saying "Dat! Dat! Dat!" But other than your pervasive impatience for food preparation time, you are generally pretty happy. 

You are starting to protest more when your sister takes toys from you, but overall are incredibly tolerant of her abuse companionship.

You love books, singing, and dancing. When we finish reading or singing to you, you nod your head vehemently to let us know you want to hear it again. You have a similarly adamant head shake for "no", primarily in answer to the question "Elise, are you ready for bedtime?". Whenever you hear music of any kind, you dance in the most adorable way.

Your words remain few. Mama and Dada are spotty. Uh-oh and Dat! make up the bulk of your conversation. I think you say bubbles? And maybe Duck. When I ask you what a cow says, you grin and say "Coooowwwww" which sounds like some hybrid of Cow and Moo. It's delightful. You can show me your tummy, your head, your toes, and my nose (not your own, for some reason). The paucity of words is strange to me as your sister was speaking in sentences by 16 months. I realize now that she was a total freak of vocabulary nature. You understand most everything that goes on, however. I think you're just taking it all in. And in our household, that is no small task.

You took a few steps around 15 months, and since then have done a little more walking.... typically under duress. You're a smart cookie, and I think you'd prefer to ride on a sky-high Mommy mobile (sky-high being a completely relative descriptor). Lately you've been walking a little more, and I think you will adopt that as your primary mode of locomotion in a couple weeks. At least by kindergarten.

You love love love food. Of pretty much all types. In massive quantities. You love splashing in the bathtub, scribbling with markers and pens, and playing outside with your sand and water table. You still don't like dogs. Although strangely enough, you adore Boomer the school bunny as if you two were kindred spirits. 

Your hugs are the best. I love nothing more than your sweet chubby arms flung around my neck. I forgive you for totally stressing me out for a little stretch there. But now it's documented so when you are a rebellious teenager and think you're perfect and I'm the belligerent one... remember the roles were once reversed.

I love you, my little E.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In addition to the secret door, the beach porch furniture is a timeless fun spot for the littles. During our last trip I realized how often I've photographed them with the white adirondack backdrop. Kind of punctuates the growing-up that makes me smile and sob uncontrollably all at the same time...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Great minds think alike

Big E discovering the "secret" door under the stairs at the beach house, circa April 2010 (20 months)

Little E, too, is drawn to the allure of toddler-sized compartments, circa April 2013 (15 months)

Can't blame them. I've crawled in there myself....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

He is Risen!

Baskets were plundered. 

Bunnies thanked.

Dresses donned. 

Hair uncharacteristically tamed.

Resurrection celebrated. Yet another attempt at Easter family picture miserably failed.

Cousins reunited.

Food devoured.

Eggs hunted.

Family relished.

Day well spent.

Easter prelude

Easter weekend started off as a girls' weekend as Jay was at the Chump Race until Sunday. This noble event involves acquiring a car for $500 or less and (after some cheating safety modifications) racing it nonstop for up to 24 hours. Sounds like a blast, right? Right.

So the Golding girls held down the fort at home.
Appreciating nature. In our pjs, of course.

Enjoying a wild night out at the local pizza pub. At 4:30 in the afternoon. We party hard.

In the pre-Easter days, Elle routinely threatened her sister by warning, "If you don't stop that, the Easter Bunny is gonna hop right on past your house!"

We made clementine chicks for Elle's class Easter party. Unfortunately, the moisture of chillin' in the fridge overnight caused the center of the candy eyes to bleed so we discovered bloodshot zombie chicks in the morning (insert shrill 4-year-old scream here). Luckily we were able to perform 12 quick bilateral eye transplants and sweet innocent chicks were restored. Whew.

I told Elle she could have a slumber party with me since Jay was gone, which she thought was the. Best. Thing. Ever.

We went to an Easter Egg hunt at the fire station at 10am on Saturday morning. Except Elise was napping* and we were 2 minutes late. Seriously, we arrived at 10:02 to find kids reveling in the fruits of their egg-hunting labor. What kind of hunt starts ahead of schedule? Just as Elle's chin started to quiver, some awesome (punctual) friends saw her distress and offered to re-stage a hunt in a nearby open field. Their kids were totally cool donating their eggs for Hunt, the Sequel. Crisis averted.
*You know you get up too early when your kid's nap starts at 8:15am. 

We also attempted the obligatory Easter Bunny shot while at the fire station. Plagued by sun shining in our eyes, a shifty-eyed Bunny, and the crime scene tape in the background, this picture totally belongs in a Saturday Night Live skit or something. Classy.

Easter Eve included a cookout at Grampa and Mimi's house, complete with watermelon and more egg hunting.

And despite Elle's threats, the Easter bunny did not hop right on past our house. He left an egg trail leading down the stairs to the girls' baskets. And we slept soundly waiting to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.