Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Fun

(This is the kind of silliness that we have around here!)

I can't think of a better way to spend a fall Sunday. It was upper 60s with blue skies and a light breeze, and the New England landscape was painted in fall colors. We took the girls to a farm a few miles out of town, where Phoebe got to use her words "apple!" and "pumpkin!" over and over again. We got to see the animals associated with all the barnyard sounds that the girls recite so well, including a pig who weighs 1000 pounds and somehow smiles in her sleep. We took a hayride out to the apple orchards, feasted on cider donuts, and picked out one big pumpkin to be carved next week. We had two sleepy girls on the way home!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time passing by

Four months together as a family of four, and I can't remember what it was like without Phoebe in our life.

Actually, I should rephrase that-- I can't imagine our life without her, and think that adding her to our family was one of my top three best decisions in life, right up there with marrying Mark and having Miranda. But I admit that I remember quite well what it was like before-- the days when we managed to get our only child down to bed by 7:45 pm so that I could go to the gym, and we didn't feel badly about getting a babysitter once in a rare while so that we could go out for the evening. Now it seems that life revolves around sippy cups, diapers, giggles, ring-around-the-rosy in the kitchen, a wide variety of playgrounds, time outs, nap schedules, story books, and lessons in manners. Adding the fourth member to this family has much more than doubled the laundry, clutter, and groceries. How is that? Somehow two is still much harder than one every was. I admit that there is something of a survival mode going on here. On one hand I look at these girls who bring me so much joy and I want to freeze their cute selves in time so they never grow up. On the other hand, I long for date nights out, regular work-outs, a book club, and coffee with friends, and eagerly await the next phase in life when we can get back to some of our former selves.

Part of the problem is that I've been working much too much. Some day I'll be in a place where I can just choose to work fewer hours, but for reasons too long and boring for the blog, I'm again in a life of in-balance right now. I worked 3 of the past 4 weekends, and have been very, very tired.

Phoebe has been amazing through the long hours, and continues to hug and kiss me goodbye, and give me huge hugs and smiles when I arrive. She loves to snuggle as soon as I come home. For the first few months we didn't let anyone else touch or hold her other than Mark and I, and then when we finally lifted that restriction we were thrilled to find she didn't want to go to anyone other than us. Now we have come to just the right place, where after a safe introduction with us, within an hour or two she will sit very happily in a new friend's lap for a few minutes before asking to come back to us. We've had a few visits lately from friends and family from far away-- Mark's mother, Mark's cousin Lin and her husband Steve, and my dear friend I hadn't seen since medical school graduation five years ago. Phoebe warmed up to every one of them, which made for wonderful visits. I am so crazy about this child. At Phoebe's recent well-child visit, her pediatrician said at the end of the visit, "Just watching the two of you interact-- clearly you have bonded well. It's like you've known each other her whole 19 months rather than just three or four."

Miranda and Phoebe continue to love each other, though Miranda wants to be a little closer to Phoebe physically than Phoebe would like to allow. I often hear "Phoebe, hold hands with Miranda please?" as Miranda chases her little sister around. Phoebe likes personal space, so when Miranda flops her head into her sister's lap a shriek follows every time. But all in all, we continue to be quite lucky that tussles over toys is our biggest sisterly issue, with no overt jealousy or competition. Even when little Phoebe pooped on the potty-- ok, not exactly out of her own initiative, when she was snatched out of the tub and plunked on the potty half way through the job-- Miranda was nothing short of impressed. This sister thing is working out just fine.

It's been a while since we posted pictures-- Enjoy. I can't believe how old Phoebe looks now that her hair is growing longer. I worked through all our little baby clothes and toys recently in a massive purge, and had to have a good cry about how our baby days are over. When I hear Phoebe ask "More, please?" and say "Thank you!" my heart tugs a little each time. Our little girls are growing up.

Visit from Grammy:

Does Phoebe look like a big girl here?

Phoebe walked right up to Miranda and said, "Hi, Da-da," and Miranda just loved that moment:
This is my other big girl-- with so many "why" questions lately. Her favorite line of conversation goes like this: "What's that?" "It's a wine cork." "Why that a wine cork?" Or "Who's that?" "That's Megan." "Why that Megan?"

Auntie Lin came for a visit from California-- the girls just loved their time together!
Here she is again, my big girl. I can't stop looking at her lately-- so much growth!