Parenting

maddison's story

From the "list of things to do but the items on said list may take longer than the 5 free minutes I currently have", one of those items is to write down the timeline surrounding the period when Maddison chose to join us. It's been a work in progress for more than a week at this point, during which I have attempted to appease family members with little daily snapshots from our life with a newborn. Today I'm in the mood to cross something off of some list, so the entire story is presented as follows.


Brooklynn was a scheduled induction two days past her due date. That one was mainly an insurance issue due to Rhiannon's benefits changing on July 1st. Since Brooklynn up to that point had shown no interest in joining us in the real world and ended up being a decent sized baby, we figured that it probably wasn't a bad thing we did a little prompting.

As I mentioned earlier, Maddison was measuring ahead of schedule by about 3 weeks. Knowing that Brooklynn measured right on track and still ended up a hair over 8 and half pounds, this was a little concerning[1. I think Rhiannon was more concerned than I was, and rightfully so.].

Our family doctor and the OB all agreed it would be best to schedule an induction around 39 weeks if Maddy hadn't already come on her own, so we made arrangements. Brooklynn would stay with a friend that goes to her daycare. We would do the induction on a Friday so that would mean a Friday night sleepover and no need for the other family to get her up and going on a work morning.

If Maddison did come during one of the earlier weekdays, Brooklynn could still get picked up or dropped off as needed. And if we had an absolute emergency during the middle of the night, our next door neighbors offered to help us out until we could get everything straightened out.

It all seemed so simple. We had been through an induction before. Rhiannon went in the night before for the "ripening" medication with the actual labor inducing Pitocin and an epidural to be administered around 7 am the next morning. For Brooklynn, Rhiannon got her first hours of pain-free sleep during that day and I mainly hung around the hospital keeping an eye on the monitors until things progressed far enough to start pushing late in the afternoon.

We both hoped that things would go a little bit faster this time around[2. Famous last words.]

On Thursday night, we had supper at home. I commented to Brooklynn that this was her last family meal as an only child, but I don't think she had any idea what was going to happen the next day. We didn't make a big deal about her baby sister. Instead we focused on how much fun she was going to have at her sleepover the next night after school.

After she went to bed a little before 7:30, our neighbor came to hang out just in case she woke up while I took Rhiannon to the hospital. I carried up the bag for her, and after being waved through to the maternity floor by a couple ladies sitting at the main entrance, we checked in. Apparently the hospital lacks a little in internal communication, because we were actually supposed to check in downstairs, but we were quickly taken to the room where Rhiannon would stay.

After she changed into the hospital gown, I went to check if a nurse was coming in soon. The nurse at the desk turned out to be responsible for Rhiannon's room and said she would be in shortly to see us. I explained that I was taking off, and I saw the look of "What kind of husband are you leaving your wife alone overnight" cross her face until I finished by mentioning that I was going home to stay with our toddler.

I headed home. Brooklynn had stayed asleep the entire time. Our neighbor headed back to his house next door and I did a little cleaning up in the kitchen so we could come home to a relatively neat house. I made sure my phone was not on vibrate so it would wake me up if Rhiannon did call during the night and got a solid night of sleep[3. Rhiannon and I figured out this was the first night that we have spent apart since before Brooklynn was born.].

I was just getting out of the shower around 5:20 on Friday morning when Rhiannon called.

She was already progressing toward labor when she checked in on Thursday evening, so they gave her the lowest of the four possible dosage levels of the starter medication. At some point early Friday morning, she started feeling real labor contractions. With the timing of the epidural with Brooklynn, she had never actually felt any contractions, so this was a first. Her reaction:

They hurt.

She called the nurse a little before 4:30 to mention that they might want to think about getting the epidural for her before 7, and shortly after that call her water broke. We knew from the 38-week ultrasound that there was a little extra amniotic fluid, and Rhiannon said that she could confirm it by the amount of bed sheets and towels she went through. The anesthesiologist arrived and, working around the contractions, placed the epidural.

So that's what I heard a little after I got up. Rhiannon was farther along than anticipated. We briefly discussed the option of dropping Brooklynn off at her friend's house early that morning since the house was closer to the hospital than daycare, but instead decided that I would still take her over myself. I hoped to get going a little early.

All week long, while Rhiannon was home, I had been taking Brooklynn to daycare. And almost every morning, she would ask where her mommy was. I explained that Mommy was still sleeping because baby sister made her tired, and this usually was a satisfactory answer. On Friday morning, I didn't close the door to our bedroom, so Brooklynn realized as we headed downstairs that Mom was not still sleeping. Mom was not in the house. And things spiraled from there.

I didn't get out the door early. I barely got out the door on time and it felt like I hit every one of the stoplights along the way. Rhiannon called again at 6:45 expecting to hear that I was getting close to the hospital. I was in the middle of trying to get Brooklynn calm enough to leave her at daycare. The fact that Mom wasn't home had upset her and thrown off her whole morning, so even the talk of her exciting sleepover wasn't enough to settle her down.

Her doctor had come in to check on her, noticed that the baby was responding to the contractions showing on the monitor, asked where I was, and said she was going to change clothes.

I have to give Rhiannon credit. I was 15 minutes away when she called, she had a doctor telling her that they would wait as long as they could (but no guarantees), and she still sounded pretty calm. If anything, the fact that everything was moving so fast probably helped her not get too worked about everything.

I drove faster than I should have. I turned right and flipped a quick U-turn to skip a longer light that I just missed. I called Rhiannon when I was a few minutes out to check in and asked her if I should just come up to the room right away and not bother bringing in the rest of our overnight bags. They were still waiting for me, and yes, please come straight up. I pulled in the parking lot, grabbed my camera, and jogged in to the hospital.

The nice part of dropping her off the night before was that I knew exactly where I was going. I walked into the room and the doctor, who had been waiting for me, said we would get started right away.

For Brooklynn, the epidural was a little strong. Rhiannon couldn't really feel anything from the contractions, didn't have any feeling to push against, and one of her legs was completely asleep. They don't let you eat anything, so she had also gone an entire day without food.

With Maddison, the epidural was better. She had just enough feeling that there was no pain but she could tell when to push. It was still 7 am (I made it when I was supposed to...), so she wasn't really that hungry yet, it didn't take nearly as long as the second time around.

Three "pushes". 10 minutes of real work, and about 12 minutes after I walked in, we had a new baby. If they wouldn't have been able to wait for me, there is a good chance I would not have been there.

As rushed and frantic as you might think I would have been, everything seemed very calm and relaxed. It took me two tries to cut through the umbilical cord with Brooklynn. This time, just one simple snip and it was done. Been there, done that.

Maddison ended up two ounces lighter than her sister and 9 days earlier in the schedule, so it was good we got her out when we did. It did appear that she was coming sooner rather than later. No cone head shape. Relatively little crying. And we had the whole day to just hang out with our new baby.

We never did send Maddy down to the nursery. Aside from one time when they took her to do vitals and blood sugar testing, she never left our room. We didn't need any formula to supplement her.

Brooklynn came on Saturday morning, full of exciting news about her sleepover[4. Which, from all reports, went very well.] and thrilled to see her baby sister. We told her the name we had picked out earlier in the week and she was firmly of the opinion her sister would be called Allison. Maddison is less than impressed with Brooklynn overall. Brooklynn likes to be right in her face, touching her head, grabbing her hands. Maddison looks around as if to say where are the non-clumsy large people and can they hold me again?

Brooklynn loves her baby sister. We love both of our girls. Everybody is home, healthy, and sleep deprived.

And in the end, everything worked out. Easiest 12 minutes of my life.

checkup

Maddison had her first officially scheduled one week appointment. She weighs about the same as she did a week ago. Half inch or so longer. And very well rested. One Week Checkup

So well rested that she couldn't even be bothered to wake up at the doctor's office. In fact, she slept the entire afternoon away to the tun of about 3.5 straight hours. This included driving over to pick up Brooklynn after her school day and stopping to get supper on the way home.

Now, 2 am in the morning? That's the time to party. Turns out our newborn is more of a college student schedule than anyone else in the this house would care to deal with.

working on the slip

In project management, when you fail to meet an intended schedule, it's usually called a slip. When you anticipate some delays coming and adjust the schedule accordingly to reflect your new anticipated dates, it's called a slide. When you slip on your slide, it's almost never a good thing.

We understand that dealing with two kids makes it harder to get everyone through everything they need to do. Between dinner, feeding, playing outside, bath time, and stories, we don't expect to have Brooklynn in bed by 7 pm every night.

It's 8:23 as I write this and she just went to sleep. We are just one big house full of slip 'n slide right now.

Still, there are good moments. Brooklynn has a small teddy bear and giraffe that she currently keeps with her in bed through the night. Even in the middle of the night when she gets up and needs to be tucked back in, we need to account for the whereabouts of the two animals.

Tonight, she laid out a small baby doll blanket on her bed, saying she wanted to cover up her animals. She's done this before, but tonight was the first time we've ever witnessed her laying the blanket out right where she would eventually need to lie down herself. We tried to explain that maybe she should move the blanket over to give herself a little room, but she would not hear it.

Blanket, two animals and she wrapped up both sides. She swaddled her animals just like she has been watching us swaddle Maddison for the past 6 days.

Even if her project managers are still working on getting the schedule together, Brooklynn is doing a great job being a big sister.

balancing act

So, things are a little more hectic around here than maybe I anticipated. Between going outside to enjoy the nice 70 degree weather with Brooklynn after supper, trying to finish up a couple tasks at work, and helping Rhiannon out with feeding and otherwise tending to Maddison... Here's your daily dose of baby. I think it reflects a little on how I'm feeling. (Also, isn't it amazing that babies can sleep like that?)

Balancing Act

getting creative

We went out for dinner with some of Rhiannon’s coworkers on Saturday night, meaning we had an adult night out with no small-people tag-alongs[1. Other than the one that Rhiannon insists on bringing everywhere with her. Let go already, right?]. When we got home, our babysitter asked us if we had taken any vacations recently. We haven’t, but apparently Brooklynn told a rather elaborate story of how she and her grandpa flew on a plane to watch a basketball game. When we left for dinner that evening, Brooklynn was drawing wavy lines and small squiggles on her white board and telling everyone it was sea turtles swimming in the ocean.

Yesterday, she decided that she was a train like Thomas the Tank-Engine. She called herself Thomas and said we should too. When asked directly where Brooklynn was, she would point to herself and say, “Right here!” while looking at us with an expression that seemed to indicate she worried about our sanity. I mean, where else would she be when she’s right in front of us? Silly mommy and daddy.

But other than that, only Thomas would respond to any sort of requests.

She also likes when her stuffed animals carry objects, talk, and dance. Yesterday, I got kicked off a stool at her table to make room for teddy. Apparently it was his seat first.

We have confirmed imagination happening in our house. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before we have full-fledged tea parties and princess sightings[2. Rhiannon is very excited.].

fruity dinner

Sometimes, at the end of the day, when everyone is a little bit sick and a little bit tired, and when some of us can't take medicine due to parasites living inside of them[1. This does not refer to me but rather to Rhiannon], and the tiny person in the house requests fruit loops for dinner, well... You just say sure.

Fruity Dinner

focus on the positive

Everyone in our house has been sick to some extent over the past week. Brooklynn is on antibiotics for her first ever ear infection. I stayed home on Wednesday with her because she was running a fever and doctor suggested a day at home to rest would be good for her. Of course, the day she could sleep in was also the day she woke up at 5:50 in the morning. So we said goodbye to Mommy, had some medicine, some crispys (Rice Krispies), and watched a couple rounds of Horton Hears a Who.

Along with being sick, Brooklynn has been pretty horrible in the mornings for the past three weeks. Over half of the days it feels like she spends most of the time crying because she doesn’t want to go to school or telling us she doesn’t want to get dressed, and no she doesn’t want to wear that. No, she doesn’t want to eat that right now, and no, we can’t put on a coat or shoes or cooperate in any way.

To be honest, it’s a crappy way to start a morning. I can’t wait until we’re trying to get two children ready each morning.

I mentioned that I stayed home with Brooklynn a couple days ago, and we spent some of our time on the couch watching movies.

After taking a mid-morning potty break, before we restarted the movie, she told me to lie down and she sat on my chest. She reached out her hand and gently touched the tip of my nose with her fingertips before quickly jerking her arm back to her chest.

“I got your nose, Daddy!”

Again, reaching her hand out to my face, “It’s ok, Daddy, I give it back. Now, you get mine.”

So we played, taking turn at getting each other’s noses and eyes, and ears and lips. As I gave her second ear back for a second time (because you can’t take just one ear and not the other), her eyes finally started to betray how tired she was really getting.

“Ok, all done.” She laid down nestling her head underneath my chin and curling her body up on my torso. We grabbed a blanket to cover up with and she reached a hand up and felt my face again.

“Daddy, you happy?” she asked me, raising her head to look at me from 6 inches away.

“Yes, Brooklynn, I’m happy. Are you happy too?”

“Yep.” She laid her head back down. “Let’s watch Horton now.”

This morning was a bad morning. I had to physically force a small screaming child into a car seat. So every time that I ask why myself doing this again seemed like a good idea, I also think of times like that morning, cuddling on the couch.

We get to do this again. That’s the focus. We’re looking forward to having you, Artoo.

no, me do it me own self

We've been struggling a little bit in the mornings as of late. We are currently blessed with a toddler who doesn't want to get dressed, at least not for me. She doesn't want to go to school and she doesn't want to eat breakfast. She would like to lay in bed in her pajamas. Rhiannon tells me that she's two. It's a phase. I will also admit that I have not been the most patient of people at 6am in dealing with Brooklynn's phases. This morning, as I searched for Brooklynn's travel mug that we apparently left at school yesterday, Rhiannon was the one to go in and get her up. I went upstairs to find Rhiannon and Brooklynn playing a game where Ruffy (the puppy) and Rabbit, her two current favorite animals, where helping to take off her pajamas and get her dressed. And it worked. No tears, no crying. Well, nothing wrong until we got to the part where her travel mug was at school and she would have to wait until then to have her chocolate shake for the morning[1. Yes, our two year old enjoys a chocolate protein shake made with water and coconut milk. She doesn't get chocolate milk at home, so I think this is something pretty exciting for her.]

It's also times like this when I see Rhiannon making things a game succeeding where my attempt at direct logic has failed when I realize that I really don't understand children. I will happily play blocks and dance around to music, and, when frustrated in the morning, I will also tell Brooklynn that her recent behavior has been unacceptable[2. If you are chuckling in disbelief that I told a two-year old her behavior was "unacceptable", that was also Rhiannon's reaction when she heard it. No, I don't think I actually expected it to work, but man, it felt good to say it.] and she needs to shape up.

The hardest thing I think that Brooklynn is facing right now is the fact that she wants to do everything herself[3. "No, me do it me own self" as she likes to say]. She puts her own food in the microwave and closes it. She takes her own clothes off and puts them on herself. She can lift and carry that 10 pound bag of flour her own self, thank you very much.

If she gets hurt doing something, well, maybe she will allow us to give her a hug and make it better. And if she spills a little when she carries her bowl of soup across the kitchen to the table, then it's ok for us to help clean up. Every day, she does a little more on her own. She's going to be a big sister, after all. No time to act like a baby and let Mom and Dad do everything for her. Especially no at 6am when she's still a little tired and crabby.

So, moving forward, I'm going to make the attempt to practice patience and stay positive, even in the face of utter and completely irrational thought and actions.

Because, really, who doesn't want a stuffed puppy to help with putting our clothes on in the morning? I think everyone one would probably be in a better mood with a little bit more of that going on.

slow recovery

In the middle of last week, Brooklynn woke up with a temperature of 103.5. We thought maybe she was just a little toasty from the night's sleep and would cool down at we ate breakfast, and we were right.She dropped to a chilly 103 flat.

At that time of the morning, Rhiannon doesn't really have a chance to put in for a sub anymore without a major headache, so I stayed home. Yes, one of the benefits of my job is that no one has to come replace me if I'm gone for the day. Of course, depending on what I had planned for the day, there is a good chance that the work will still be waiting for me and one day closer to being due. C'est la vie, right?

So I stayed home with Brooklynn and her furnace-like body temperature. She was mopey and lethargic and just wanted to sit on my lap and watch movies. A little medicine and breakfast perked her up for about 20 minutes and then back down she went. I left her on the couch with the iPad playing her Pooh Bear movie to get dressed myself and came back to find her passed out with the movie still playing.

Home Sick

After photographing her, I carried her upstairs. She woke up just enough to inform me that she didn't want to go to bed, so we laid down in Daddy's bed. And she proceeded to sleep away the rest of the morning and be up all afternoon.

The next day, she was even warmer in the morning and Rhiannon, with the benefit of a full day's warning, stayed home. Brooklynn was up all morning and slept the entire afternoon. We kept her home one more day on Friday, and with a trip to the doctor and general prescription of antibiotics, she's doing better. She still took 4 hour naps, but better.

Yesterday, with no trace of fever, she headed back to school and proceeded to take a 1 hour nap after getting up early in the morning. We got to deal with a cranky toddler who didn't want to go to bed but was far too tired to stay up any longer. And this morning, after over 11 hours of sleep? I was told to walk away. As in, she yelled, "Walk away, Daddy" as I approached her bed to get her dressed [1. Rhiannon threatened to start giving me the same reaction when I wake her up in the mornings from now on.].

She ate breakfast in her pajamas.

We're back to a normal routine of everyone going to work or school, but we're far from normal.

making a statement

Rhiannon did a little shopping for some clothes for Brooklynn. Some things like boots and skirts are items she can wear now. Other things like swimsuits are items that were on clearance that she can grow into. Everything came in one box. Brooklynn likes to open boxes and put things on.

This is the result.

Fashionista

I used to roll my eyes when I would see kids in outfits they obviously picked out themselves out in public, thinking what kind of horrible parent lets their kid out dressed like that.

Karma. And picking your battles.

starting them younger all the time

On Monday evening, after what turned out to be a very long day at work for both Rhiannon and me, after Rhiannon lost track of time after her very long day at work and ended up staying at school working longer than she anticipated, after we realized that morning that we were not prepared to throw everything in the crock pot for the day and therefore had nothing planned for supper, and after Monday decided to follow Sunday (how dare it)… After that, we both got home, ate a quick supper, and got everyone back in the car. It was dark. Brooklynn doesn’t care for rides in the dark too much because she can’t see anything and it was in the evening. We weren’t going to a game, and Dad wasn’t going to work separately and it wasn’t a weekend, so what were we doing.

We told her we were going to her school. All of us. Mommy, Daddy, and her. School, hooray, right? School is fun, you like school, and so we’ll all go and it will be wonderful.

Brooklynn cried because she thought we were going to drop her off at school and leave her there and, well, apparently her Monday had been long as well because school didn’t seem like someplace she wanted to be.

Before I forget to mention it, Rhiannon and I went to a parent-teacher conference on Monday. For Brooklynn.

Brooklynn is two. It seems weird to me too.

We sat and talked with her teacher, Miss Jenny. We talked about how she loves to sing and dance and do yoga. We talked about how wonderful it is that she’s fully potty-trained and how wonderfully ironic it was that earlier that day Brooklynn had an accident for the first time in a couple months.

We sat in very tiny chairs around a very low table and looked at an official looking report card. It had many sections and skills on it, most of which Brooklynn has mastered. This was noted by an “A” for Always, so Brooklynn go mostly A’s. Some of the items had an “S” for sometimes, which means that she sometimes does them. Things like tracing a circle and putting her own coat on.

Brooklynn likes to draw in strong bold straight line scribbles. Last night, she drew a plane that consisted of one teeny-tiny marker mark on the paper. The closest she comes to drawing a circle is when you ask her to draw a monkey and she manages to produce a sickly looking oval which is promptly covered by strong straight lines.

She doesn’t put her coat on. At 6:15 in the morning, we are typically trying to convince her to either finish her cereal by herself or that right at that moment would not be the best time to attempt to open a banana entirely on her own and that no, we’re not opening it for her, we’re just fixing it because the banana was broke. Heaven help us when “Daddy’s fixing it” is no longer a good excuse for assisting her. Waiting for a two year old to put her own coat on is very low on the priority list at that point.

So she doesn’t do everything on the list to perfection, but she’s close. We hear how she sticks up for her friends if someone is being mean and how she loves to read and play and dance. We saw her demonstrate the “upside down coat” method of putting her coat on and how she likes to hold on to something when attempting to stand on one foot.

In other words, we found out that we have a normal and seemingly well-adjusted two year old. And then we bought a couple books from the book fair to take home.

The past two nights, she’s taken her new penguin book to bed with her.

Last night, Rhiannon started working on tracing circles. We’re talking about giving her more time to make sure that she can try to put her own coat on.

Brooklynn, welcome to the next 16 years of your life. Try not to grow up too fast.

A little Meta

oh my goodness

The title of this post is the most recent commonly heard phrase around our house. "Oh my goodness, it dark outside."

"Oh my goodness, the sun come up."

"I dropped it, oh my goodness."

When told that Mom wasn't home yet: "Oh my goodness, I miss her."

"I lose it, oh my goodness."

"Oh my goodness, I fall down."

As of right now, the only phrase in close competition is some variation of "What's that?", only pronounce more like Wazzat, or What Dis.

Driving in the car, every building - Wazzat?

Looking through magazines and catalogs, pointing at almost every picture - What Dis?

Last week, Brooklynn pointed at a Walgreens. "Wazzat?"

"That's a pharmacy."

"Fa-ma-see?"

"Yep. It's like a drug store where people get medicine."

"No. No drug store! It's fa-ma-see."

Ok. I will consider my first answer more carefully in the future. I've been waiting for the time when Brooklynn becomes more expressive and inquisitive. Now that it's here, I'm not so sure.

why does she know these words

Rockstar Series Yes, her hair is getting out of control, but it gives her the ability to express her attitude by pushing it back out her face and sighing, as if to wonder to the universe why she has to put up with her parents and their constant questioning of the state of her bladder. Kind of like having a mini-teenager in the house who questions every decision you make.

Last night, after I asked her if she needed to use the potty[1. And she rarely does. If she needs to go, she'll tell you. It's working out for the most part, so we don't push her about it.], she told me, "Daddy, no be roo!"

Roo?

"No roo, Daddy! No be bauzzee!"

And she turned and stomped off.

I asked her, "Don't be rude and bossy?"

Yep, no rude, no bossy. She must have picked that up at school. Now, the question is did she overhear it, or was it directed specifically at her. As much as I would like to believe it's the former, well, see the above paragraph about living with a mini-teenager.

getting smarter

I take for granted how quickly Brooklynn learns things. I expect her to understand the nuances of sarcasm and grimace a little when she is unable to communicate her feelings and resorts to crying. She can talk reasonable well and I tend to expect her to comprehend our high level communications. And at the same time, I expect to still be able to distract her with something shiny and a "Hey, look over there" once in a while.

Last week, I picked up a mailing envelope that Rhiannon wanted, one of the manilla bubble wrap type of things. I had it in my hand when I walked in the door, and since Brooklynn typically greets me when I walk in each evening, she saw it. I've gotten much better at putting away my headphones, phone, and anything else I don't want her to see before I get out of the car, but the envelope didn't cross my radar as something that needed hiding. She wanted it, and I told her that she should go show it to Mom.

She took it, ran over to Rhiannon, and then wanted to open it. You know the stage when kids are more interested in wrapping paper and boxes than they are by what is actually contained inside? We're past that. Any box needs to be opened, now, because who knows what magical things might be in there. In this case, there was nothing magical. There was nothing as all, seeing as how it was an empty package.

Brooklynn had a tiny brush for a 'My Little Pony' laying out on the floor, so I reached behind her, grabbed it, hid the brush in my palm, stuck my hand in the envelope, and pulled it out like the brush had been in there the whole time. She has really liked the brush recently, so she was excited. "Horsie brush! Horsie brush!"

She gave up the envelope without ripping it up or otherwise ruining it with no complaints, and I was just about to congratulate myself on my ability to make everyone happy while still getting the desired result from a situation when Brooklynn, brush still in hand, said, "Two brushes!" and turned around, looking right where I had just picked the brush up from behind her.

She knew that her brush was there before, and since another one came out of the envelope, she should have more than one.

Then I got to try and tell her why she did not, in fact, have two brushes and that I had slid the brush in the envelope without her seeing me pick it up.

Great. Now I'm the bad guy[1. Yes, this is a Tangled quote, for those of you into Disney movies.], just because someone had to go getting all intelligent on us.

'lo artoo

Rhiannon is fine with calling the new baby Artoo, but she is a little worried that if we use that name for the entire pregnancy, Brooklynn will think the actual baby is named Artoo and it might be hard for her to transition to a new name. Personally, I don't see it being an issue, but at the same time, Brooklynn is starting to pick up new words and ideas pretty quickly. Last night, while she was sitting in the bath, Rhiannon walked in and we were discussing how Artoo is almost starting to proceed her into a room. I made the comment that we don't discuss the new baby nearly as much this time with Brooklynn as we did the first time around when everything was very baby centered. I recently read that a baby at 14 weeks or older can already hear, so I leaned over and said, "Hello, Artoo!" to Rhiannon's stomach.

She expressed her concerns about calling the baby Artoo around Brooklynn and I started to reply that I didn't think Brooklynn would really catch on unless we started to specifically tell her that the baby was named Artoo.

And then from the bath, we hear "Hello Artoo. Hello Artoo, 'lo Artoo, 'lo Artoo..." and look over to see Brooklynn poking her own stomach.

Point taken.

viva la resistance

Rhiannon has been back at work for about six weeks. As much as we would love to ensure a smooth morning each and every day, much of that hinges on the whims of a person who still incorrectly conjugates the past tense of verbs the majority of the time. Grammar issues aside, successfully getting a two-year old up, dressed, fed and out the door in around 20 minutes requires one part song, one part dance, and a whole lot of crossed fingers. Over the past two weeks, one of our biggest struggles has been getting her out of her pajamas and pullups and into underwear and an outfit for the day. Given the choice, she would have selected pajamas 24/7.

When we saw that today was pajama day at school, we figured that it should be an easy morning. We just picked up some new toddler-sized footie pajamas[1. Which she tried on and loved over the weekend.], and since today is forecast for highs in the 60s, it seemed to be a perfect day for them.

Recently, I've come up with the solution of the quick attack to get dressed in the morning. I go in, and as part of waking her up, I slip off the pajamas and put on her day's outfit. By the time she is ready to be picked up for her morning hug and is really aware of what's going on, she's dressed.

I'm basically a ninja at this point.

On Monday night, Brooklynn decided that she wanted nothing to do with pajamas in the evenings, and for the past two nights she has slept in just her pullups. Even easier to deal with, right?

This morning I walked in, switched the pullups for underwear, and started to put on her footie pajamas. The thing about a full-body outfits: they don't quickly slip on. I had to sit her up to get the pajamas onto her arms which gave her a chance to open her eyes and assess the situation.

"No jammies. No jammies! NO WANT IT!"

We ate yogurt for breakfast wearing underwear only this morning[2. Be we, I mean her.]

I don't know if it's her tone or the fact that she deals with kids on a daily basis, but Rhiannon is much better at convincing Brooklynn to do things than I am. I like to deal with reason and logic. A well presented argument presented with irrefutable evidence should be enough to convince anyone that my position is the correct one.

As far as Brooklynn is concerned, reason and logic may as well be unicorns and fairy dust that makes you fly for how much she considers their validity.

But, if you talk about how the pigs on the pajamas want a drink of water and we can only give them water with the pajamas on... And my ninja card was just handed over to Rhiannon.

So Brooklynn, who last week did everything in her power to stay in her pajamas as long as possible, now has to be sweet talked into wearing them to school for a day. Everything changes daily and stays the same all the time.

As everyone who has had kids before is probably saying at this point, welcome to having a two year old.

And yes, we did decide to do it all again.

round two

We're settling into a rhythm with Brooklynn. She sleeps through the night. She talks and communicates her desires[1. Sometimes.]. She feeds herself for the most part and she's even getting consistent at using the bathroom. I figure from this point out, as parents, we can pretty much just coast our way through until she gets a job and starts buying her own food.

And then we went and had this happen.

We're doing this again...

It's like starting all over for round two. In honor of that sentiment, this one has been dubbed R2[2. Round 2, Artoo from Star Wars, and the R2 release product of Windows Server; so many nerdy ways to interpret it.].

We'll see what a grown up version of Beta thinks of the yet unseen R2.

yeah, brooklynn!

During the middle of last week, after once again watching Brooklynn glance down at her pants, hold perfectly still for a few seconds, and then look up to announce that she had just peed in her pullups, Rhiannon decided we were done with the slow transition. We would put her "big-girl panties" on, but it seemed that she was so used to her pull-ups, she would go whenever, wherever. This was a serious regression from where we were earlier in the summer and it was time it ended.

So, on went the underwear. She's had a couple of accidents at school during the day, but yesterday, she woke up dry from a nap. She woke up dry this morning[1. Yes, she still has pull-ups or a diaper on when she sleeps. We're optimistic, not crazy.]. She's used potties in Target, the grocery store, and the service station where I got my oil changed. She's requested to be taken out of the bath and shower because she had to pee.

In short, after those couple accidents, a light bulb turned on and she understands we live in a world where it is not desirable to pee freely around our domicile.

While she almost always comes to tell us that she has to go, she is also capable of going to her small potty, lifting the lid, pulling down her own underwear and going pretty much by herself. And, almost every time, when she finishes, she quietly cheers, "Yeah, Brooklynn!" to herself.

Self confidence is not something she lacks.

the new routine

Rhiannon is now in her third week of being back at work for the fall, and we are falling in to a bit of routine. We get up and get ready.

We get Brooklynn up and get ready.

Brooklynn doesn't want to get up. She cries and tries to keep her pajamas on. And then she eats some yogurt and it's all better.

Well guess what, Brooklynn. Mom and Dad don't want to get up that early either. But we don't cry about it, at least not so dramatically.