Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vacation countdown

Oh you guys. Next week is Spring Break. And we are going to the beach. And it has been rainy and cold and dreary here forever and I am so very ready to go away.

But. There is the packing. So far, I have the baby's clothes and all of our swim gear packed. That was the easy part. Now I have to unearth Olivia's next-size-up Summer clothes and have her help me decide what she'd like to take. That is the hard part.

Also, there are all of these lists. Despite having Martin's clothes packed, I have a list of fourteen other baby essentials that must be packed at the last minute (things like bottles and shoes...stuff that is in use right now but must also go with us). I have also started such a list for Olivia and for us. I keep adding stuff to this list. And I'm starting to wonder if our van (seats 7) is big enough to hold the four of us and all of our STUFF.

But mostly, I'm just excited. Because, beach! And sun! And warmth! And also, beach! For a whole week!

What I'm saying is, yay. The end.

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 for Friday

I don't have much to say here today. But it seems like something should be said after a week such as this.

1. It appears to be beautiful out today, although I haven't actually been out yet. We have had a weird sort of weather this week, producing random snow flurries almost every day. It was just so COLD. I mean, it's mid-March. We are supposed to take a turn for the warm already.

2. And then there was Wednesday. Yeah. I pretended to try to get stuff done while mostly remaining glued to the TV. And then there was white smoke. And then, to my surprise, I was sobbing. I couldn't stop for 10 minutes. And then the new Pope was announced, and I started sobbing AGAIN. There's just something about witnessing history and the hope of that moment that got me at my very core. I still can't watch coverage of that day without emotion. It's kind of big.

3. Three of my family members (cousins) were in St. Peter's Square that day. I cannot even imagine what a mess I would have been having all of these emotions in the midst of all of those people, watching it happen.

4. I don't know a lot about Pope Francis yet, but what I have read so far is encouraging. I am confident that the Cardinals were led by the Holy Spirit and we have the Pope we need. I think the next few years are bound to be interesting.

5. In other news, we are preparing for a Spring Break trip in a couple of weeks. I have a folder full of activities and a long sheet of packing essentials. I have a box of Summer baby clothes packed and all of our swim gear. Oh, beach, how we long for you!

6. Here is a gratuitous pic of one of my cuties.
7. And that is all my brain can conjure up to write about today. The end.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More Spring, please

After a rather nasty weather week, we had a turn for the gorgeous today. The sun was out! Temperatures soared to near-60 degrees! We were ready for some outside play!

Martin and I took a walk (tried out the big-boy stroller) and he decided that he really likes walks. Even though he was pretty tired, he stayed awake and watched everything...the houses, the trees, the squirrels. Delightful.

When we got back, we went outside with Daddy and Olivia for some backyard play. I pulled our old baby swing out of the attic and we hung it up. And a great time was had by all.
Both kids, swinging to their hearts content.

This is so cool!

Oh yes. The baby swing was a BIG hit.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Crazy mismatch day

Today is crazy mismatch day at Olivia's school. Olivia set out her selections last night. For her, this was the easiest dress-up assignment ever.
All her doing. I especially like the shoes.
My assignment was hair. Also a rather easy one, as Olivia's hair lends itself easily to crazy. Although teased-out was Olivia's preference, I opted for a weird configuration of braids. Because I really don't feel like cutting all of her hair off tonight when I can't comb through a knotted mess of teased-out crazy. I added random ribbons to magnify the crazy.
Oh yeah. I have mad crazy hair skillz.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to entertain a grumpy baby and make dinner

I was trying to get dinner started the other night. Joe wasn't home yet and Martin was grumpy and didn't want to play with Olivia. So I pulled out one of my old tricks that used to work with Olivia...introduce random kitchen utensils as toys. I sat him down in the kitchen and handed him a potato masher.

Hey, this toy has lots of places to grasp! How interesting!

Let's taste this end. Mmmm, plastic.

Now let's inspect the little hole at the end of the handle. What does this do? Do my fingers fit in there?

After awhile, he got tired of the masher and started to fuss. So I grabbed the next available thing...the lid from an ice cream bucket.

Oohh...what is this?

Since I re-discovered this baby-entertaining technique, we have used it a lot.

What is this one?

Let's see if I can shove the entire thing in my mouth.

This is so much fun, Mommy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Great expectations

When Olivia was born, I was immediately in love. And, although early parenthood kicked our butts with the night feedings and the fussy hour and the whole adjustment period to the idea of 24/7 parenting, we were constantly falling deeper and deeper in love with this beautiful child.

Seriously beautiful kid

We went into this parenthood thing with some expectations. One of those was that we would be noticeably different from other families because of our interracial status. So we were pretty surprised when people just assumed that this dark-haired, pale-skinned beauty sprang forth from the two of us. She blew away all of our preconceptions, starting with her appearance, but certainly not ending there. By the time she was a year old, she was running, climbing, and had an extensive vocabulary that included multi-syllable words like "motorcycle". She had an independent streak a mile wide and used to terrorize us by escaping her 5-point-harness in a moving vehicle and appearing, as if by magic, atop kitchen counters. We had to child-proof absolutely everything and the word "no" meant absolutely nothing to her.
Please excuse me while I empty the laundry basket onto the floor and then climb onto the piano bench. (11 months old)
Behaviorally, she has been a challenge. Developmentally, she has been a marvel.
And her hair has always been a mess.
Over time, she got (a little) better at listening and obeying the rules. Gradually, we learned to adapt to her impetuous nature and managed to create reasonable boundaries and limits without completely stifling her creativity and energy. But no matter what she threw our way, we were undeniably, irreversibly in love with this gorgeous, infuriating child.
I'm awesome and I know it.

Enter Martin. From the moment we met him at 12 hours old, he was darker-skinned than Olivia has ever been. (African-American babies are born a lot paler than they end up being and grow into their skin color over the first few weeks.) He also had many of the African-American features that Olivia lacked. In other words, he met all of the expectations that we had before Olivia was born.
This is what Mommy was expecting Sissy to look like.
Immediately, we became that family...the recognizable one because of adoption. Strangely, though, it rarely occurs to me that we are different. It's kind of like The Cosby Show...I watched that as a kid and it didn't occur to me until someone pointed it out to me that the whole family was black. To me, they were just a family with quirky, normal family problems. In a similar way, my baby is just a baby with normal baby issues. He eats, he sleeps, he plays and squeals, he demands attention and likes to snuggle. He is a baby.

And a darned cute one at that!
I guess I am struck by the fact that the most obvious difference between these two babies, to me, is not their dramatic difference in appearance. It is their dramatic difference in temperament. Martin is the baby I was expecting when we were expecting Olivia. He's laid-back, likes to sit in one place and play with baby toys, enjoys squealing and grasping and cuddling and smiling. He likes the baby carrier, wants to be close to Mommy and is taking his sweet time reaching developmental milestones that Olivia hurdled like it was a race. He has no teeth, he does not crawl, he is not interested in finger food and is happy having Mommy or Daddy or Sissy cart him around like a prince. He is in no hurry to grow up.

And you know what? As proud as I was at Olivia's lightning-speed of development and all the milestones that she hit at rapid-fire, I am totally fine with sitting back and enjoying babyhood with this little guy.
Who needs to crawl? These people bring me everything I need and all I have to do is sit here and look cute.

Friday, March 1, 2013

7 QT

1. I like what Jen said about February (also January). Suckuary sounds perfect to me. February may be the shortest month in the calendar, but it feels like the longest. Welcome to you, March. You certainly took long enough to get here.

2. Also, you could look a little more March-like. I was not impressed by your opening act: Snow. Let's cut that out already.

3. Being March 1st, we have entered into a very rare sort of time, in an historical sense. Sede Vacante. The see is vacant. Now the watching and waiting begins.

4. All of this seems very appropriate during Lent. Watching. Waiting. Fasting. Praying.

5. My fingers are absolutely FREEZING today. Seriously, March, step it up already. Don't make me lump you into Suckuary.

6. None of this is making any sense. I blame the never-ending head cold.

7. I think we need to end this on a smile. Just because.