Monday, March 30, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

See Ya...

Willow is constantly saying things that surprise the two of us. We often ask each other, 'Were you talking to her about that?' The other night, she and I were on our way to bed. She always gives Dad some hugs and kisses before we head in and she always says "See Ya.." with a wave of her hand, in her casual way. However on this particular night she says "See Ya...Won't be Ya!" Adam and I just looked at each other and laughed. It was so cute and funny. Now she says it every time, but only usually to Adam (and sometimes Grandma, so I guess it is reserved for the people she loves) I wish I could capture or record every little thing she does that makes me smile, of causes me to pause with amazement at her...but there are just too many to remember. She makes our lives so darn awesome!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Willow at Navaeh's Birthday....

20 Months Old

Well, many big milestones have been happening in the past two months. I try to make little notes about everything so I can keep some kind of record and I try to bring it all together in these bigger 'bi-monthly' posts. For sure this morning the biggest one on my mind is the fact that last night, on the eve of her 20 month birthday, Willow slept through the entire night BY HERSELF! Up until this point, for the past many months (can't even remember now when we first started this set-up) Willow has been sleeping in her own room on her own double mattress bed on the floor. It has been very convenient for me to nurse her laying down to go to sleep at night. Usually she would wake up at least once, sometimes twice for 'milkies' in the night and then again in the early morning. I would spend the first part of the night in my own bed and then the rest of it with Willow, which Adam and I felt was a reasonable compromise. It has been great to wake up with her in the mornings as we always have some really special 'conversations' while shaking off our dreamlike state. Everything from her telling me about the goosey's going honk honk ('the REAL goosey's, in the sky,' she said) to her checking out my growing belly and telling me her impressions about baby. But I do look forward to many more nights like last night. 6 or 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep sure beats 8 hours of fragmented sleep.

The second BIG milestone that has been occurring over the last several days is a change in my milk supply. It seems that Mom's boobies are drying up, as it were. Several times Willow has been nursing and then just pulled away. When I have asked her if she was getting any milk she would answer 'No'. So I started to talk to her a lot about how the milk is now going to the baby and that mother nature decides this and how she is such a big girl now that she can walk and run and count to ten and say her alphabet and sing songs, she needs to eat food and drink cow milk. I assure her that Mom and Dad will always be here for her, to cuddle and have stories and everything. Then this morning she said to me, "Mommy's boobies empty" and "Milk baby eating" so I know she is understanding what I am telling her. I am really happy that the weaning process is happening. I know that it is a journey and it will take some time to separate completely. I was wondering if it was going to me who initiated it, or her.

I guess I was hoping that she would, but this is the next best thing, my body is initiating the change, and I can explain that to her. I am relieved in many ways as this leaves us with 5 months before baby comes to really make the shift complete. I was prepared to 'tandem nurse' if necessary, but, truthfully, the thought of it kind of frightened me... is an incredible amount of giving that I just am not sure that my body (or mind) could keep up with. So, along with this big shift towards Willow's independence comes her personality asserting itself. She can get really adamant about such things as putting on her boots, feeding herself, or standing on a chair beside me as I am doing stuff in the kitchen. Her current battle cry of. "NO! WILLOW DO IT!" is cute at times and a little unnerving at others. But I realize that if I am asking her to grow and 'let go' in this direction of weaning, then I need to support her in her desire to act independently and do all these exciting things on her own. It's neat and it's cool to see her emerging as the person she is.
I guess the third huge milestone that has been occurring in the past two months is her language and ability to communicate her thoughts and feelings to us. My mom has described her progress as she is learning 20 new words a day and I don't think that is a huge exaggeration. One day she was counting to 4, the next day she was counting to ten. One day she was saying ABC and then a scramble of other letters, the next day she was saying the whole alphabet song, including the end part about 'won't you come and play with me', with some minor confusions in the letters, but completely remarkable nonetheless. She sings her little songs that she has been learning over the past year with a new passionate delivery and understanding of the words. She will use words in her vocabulary that I am unsure of where she has even picked them up. Waving her tin foil 'fairy wand', she says "FAIRY WAND ABRACADABRA!" or looking at the goldfish says "Cannonball broken tail". Obviously she overheard a conversation where Adam and I said that it looked like Cannonball had a broken tail. Or, while Adam is a work she gives me some plastic balls and tells me "Daddy juggles". Or when I ask her what she wants to do today she says "Play date, Grandma's house". I could go on and on. I do see, however that couple with her apparent 'gift for the gab' she has some very strong tendencies towards shyness especially at her musics class or story times, which seems to be completely mood dependent. Some days she is and some days she isn't. Fine with me, I am always ready for a cuddle, whatever the circumstances or environment. With all this growth and development it isn't difficult to see that she is still, in many ways, a baby.

Oh, and just to mention the last big milestone since Willow turned 18 months old, is the potty training journey. So far Willow has been really receptive to her 'potty bench' as we call it. She loves to sit on her potty and read stories or read stories about potty and I have even shown her an Elmo video about using the potty which she absolutely loved. I am not in any huge rush, I want the potty experience to develop organically, like all the other milestones. My main concern so far has been to keep the experience positive. I made her a little sticker book and now if she manages a pee or poo in the potty she gets to put more stickers in her book. These are usually caught by chance, as I now do all of her diaper changes standing up in bathroom, always with a little sit down on the potty for the sake of consistency and association. She has on a few occasions told me that she is going to poo or pee, so we rush over to the bathroom and for that she gets a whole bunch of stickers. I imagine that as her independence and desire to be in control of the other aspects of her life (picking out her own shirts, putting on her boots etc)grows, so too will her desire to be in control of her bathroom world. Also, I am trying to entice her with her fascination with 'Mommy's panties' but explaining to her how she, too, can wear panties of her own one day. I think that now that the potty is a regular part of her everyday life, it won't take too long for her to be using it all the time. A few more months and I am sure she will have it down pat.

So, there we have, 4 months away from being two years old, 5 months away from being a big sister and Willow continues to amaze us everyday with her incredible, progress and seemingly limitless growth. Not only does she amaze us, but she entertains constantly with her endless songs, funny games, silly dances and boundless energy...and she fills our lives with more Love than we ever imagined would be possible.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sleeping Angel...

What a gorgeous sight...either because I finally get a little break, or just because she looks so peaceful and sweet. Either way, there is nothing like nap time! For those of you who notice, yes, Willow is wearing disposable diapers. She grew out of her cloth pocket diapers at around 15 months. I certainly hate the amount of land fill that is produced by these, but I am really happy that we were able to make it so long using cloth diapers. Take heart, Mama...it won't be long until she is out of them completely!