All About Valerie!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vivian, Week Four

Oh my, wee Vivian. You arrived safely on 11/15, weighing in at 8 lbs, 5
oz and bringing to an end the days of you kicking me so hard my breath
would stop. Thanks to the excitement of the potential for H1.N1 flu,
your birth was a crazy adventure but you gave us no problems on the way
out.

It was after you were born that we had some trouble. You decided you
really weren't a fan of the boob and went so far as to go on a hunger
strike. Eventually that hunger strike had me near tears and you, you
dropped almost a pound to 7 lbs 9 oz. With your jaundice on the rise
due to you not eating, I made the really hard and horrible decision to
give you formula. And start pumping because there's no way any kid of
mine is going to have formula if I can help it.

So here we are, with you now drinking the good stuff from a bottle and
me pumping all the time. We continue to work together on the latching
thing and I do think we're making progress.

In the meantime, you sleep like a champ, 3-ish hours in a row at night.
You also will fall asleep if we put you down somewhere comfy, assuming
your belly is full and your diaper is dry. This is new for us, but
really awesome.

And you, my dear? Also, awesome.

Welcome to the family, sweet girl. We're thrilled that you're here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Month 41

Oh my Valerie, you're on the cusp of being 3 and a half. And just
before you turn 3 and a half, your world will turn upside down because
your baby sister will be here. I can only hope and pray that the
transition isn't too hard for you.

I see myself attempting to care for the baby while you're being a bit
demanding and losing it with you. Please know that I'll do *everything*
I can to make sure that doesn't happen.

Back to you, my dear.

You are so insanely vocal. You like to come into our room most mornings
and wake us up with a kiss. That just can't be beat.

You're also a bit stubborn. You like to finish what you're doing no
matter what we're about to go and do. Often, you are simply too busy to
take a moment and ask us to wait. We're working on that.

This has led to more than a few fits on your part. We're all working on
how best to deal with this.

You still weigh in at around 30 lbs. You stand 37 inches tall, a bit of
a peanut for your age. We like this because you are still small enough
to fit into your carseat rear-facing.

Other parents look at me like I'm crazy when I say my 3 year old big
girl sits that way. But I just don't care, you're safer that way.
Lucky for us, you don't care.

6 weeks ago, you started ice skating lessons. Yesterday, you trotted
out onto the ice by yourself, skater/walked across the width of the rink
all by yourself, waving Andrea off because you didn't need any help,
thankyouverymuch.

You still love gymnastics and dance. I will confess that I love that
they make you happy, and that I also love having a little time to sit
and read a book while you do these things.

We've had a great summer together, doing our activities every day after
school. We'll continue to do those things after the baby comes, we'll
just drag her along too.

You'll be sharing your room with her. You've decided where to put her
crib. Since she's not likely to have an opinion and you are being very
kind about sharing your room, we're fine with this.

We're still as enthralled with you as ever. That won't change. As
always, I cannot wait to see what you do next.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Month 40

My goodness, child. You are 40 months old today. Even as your baby
sister grows large within me, I remain in absolute denial about how old
and how big you've gotten.

You're a huge fan of reading - you spend hours flipping through books
making up your own stories to go with the pictures. You carry a book
with you almost everywhere, reading like this and telling me I shouldn't
ask questions because you're not reading to me.

You also pick out the letter V everywhere you see one. Nothing makes
you stop in your tracks and shout like seeing a V, anywhere. You can
read most letters and some numbers.

You've also figured out how to ride a tricycle. When we were in Ohio
over the 4th of July, you hung out with another little girl your age.
She was the master of all things on wheels and you wanted to keep up so
badly that you came home and worked right at it. Less than a week after
we got home, you were riding your trike anywhere and everywhere.

Every time you zoom along, I can't help but beam with pride.

That's the same pride I feel when you climb any type of rock wall.
You're now a pro at the 6 foot one at our gymnastics class so when I saw
a super really tall one at a street fair, I shelled out the $5 and let
you take a spin.

With no fear, you went right up there. With some help from the guy who
ran it, you made it all the way to the top and pushed the buzzer ('like
this,' you say, 'woo, woo, woo).

You just amaze me, inspire me and drive me crazy, all at the same time.
I can't wait to see what you do next.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Month 37 and 38

My dearest Val, I have been remiss in updating this. You and I are
having a very busy summer, it seems that I've chosen to spend time with
you rather than write about what you're up to.

I have no regrets about this.

Right after you turned 3, you moved to the big girl class in
gymnastics. You ran off with Miss Annie and didn't look back. I took
this success to mean that you were also ready to do swimming lessons
without me.

I signed you up, got you settled in your class and scampered off to do
water aerobics. I apologize, Val. I should not have left you. Less
than 20 minutes later, the lifeguards brought you into the pool where I
was. You were crying and had to pee.

The next lesson was even worse. I stayed to watch and all you did was
cry. The Aquatics Director was kind enough to offer us a spot in the
mommy & me class so we've spent the summer doing that. Together.

I'm thrilled to say that your swimming ability has improved a great
deal. You go under, hold your breath, blow bubbles and kick like
nobody's business. We made one more attempt at the big kid class but
you lasted only 10 minutes, most of which were filled with tears.

For whatever reason, you're just not ready. If you remember one thing
about this summer, I hope it's some variation on 'my mom listened to me
when I needed her to.'

Monday, May 18, 2009

Today

It was your last day in the parent-tot gymnastics class. For half your
life, we've gone to these classes, me following you around as you
learned your way around. Lately, it's become clear that you're ready
for a change - the classes are filled with newly-minted 18 month olds
and the difference between you and them? It's astounding.

Saturday you'll move to Miss Annie's class. You've been eyeing her
classes for months, asking me when you get to go. And just as
importantly, it seems, you want me to sit down in the chairs with the
other parents.

You finished off your time as a parent-tot student by climbing all the
way to the top of the climbing wall, the jumping off into the foam
blocks, and laughing your newly-minted 3 year old ass off.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Three

Yesterday, you turned three. Your party was a success, you loved being
the birthday girl. I hope your day was magical, because it should be
nothing less.

I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and saw your
light flash on. I looked, and you were standing up, this little flash
of blue from your sharky pajamas, turning on your light. You stumbled
into the bathroom and asked to come to our room, but it's too early.

So I took you back to your room and sat with you until you fell back to
sleep. I remembered the night after your birth, when I was a wreck.
You woke several times that night, but all I could do for you was
breastfeed you, many times falling asleep as I did so. Andrea had to do
everything else because I physically could not. The recovery from your
birth was so tough that I didn't change your diaper for 4 days.

But tonight, these three years later, Andrea slept while I cared for you
in the middle of the night.

And so my birthday girl, I continue to be amazed by you and to be so
grateful that I'm your Mom. Sweet dreams, tonight and every night.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Months 33 and 34

Val,
Again, my apologies for the delay in these updates. It seems that I'd
rather spend time with you than write about you. And that's a decision
I don't regret.

You are fearless when it comes to physical things - you'll climb
anything that's available, even and especially things so tall that I pee
a little when you climb.

About 3 weeks ago, you gave up your pacifier. I didn't know how we'd do
it but in the end it was pretty simple. We just couldn't find it so you
didn't get it. You weren't thrilled but you went to bed without it.

Just like a big girl, something that you remind me of at least 1000
times a day.