Let me show you how its done

Sophia decided this week that now that she is officially a two-year-old, she really needs to start teaching her baby sister.  Today, she started putting her hand on Zoe’s mouth when I’d ask them to blow kisses (after blowing her own).  She loves to try to feed Zoe with a spoon or give her a bottle or sippy cup.  When we walk with Zoe, Sophia is right at her heels supervising (and making Zoe giggle).  Sophia has also decided that she is in charge of shutting doors and gates so that her sister cannot get into anything.  Whenever I ask Zoe to sign “more,” Sophia is right there showing her how it is done.  With the sign for “sorry,” however, Zoe has become the teacher.  Sophia can do it when prompted, but Zoe has to reiterate it to her sister (because she, of course, never does anything she has to be “sorry” for).

Sophia had a fun birthday.  We took the girls to see the baby farm animal exhibit at the zoo (thanks Auntie Erin and Auntie Karen).  The highlight was the baby calf mooing at them (so much better for them to learn to say “moo” from the real thing).  They saw all sorts of little babies and some big fish; we’ll catch more on the next visit.  I’d forgotten that our ECFE group had said the exhibit was on the far side of the zoo, so we had to walk pretty quickly to get everything in during our narrow between-nap-window.  Zoe gets pretty heavy after walking around with her in the Bjorn for that long (even with Christy’s special lumbar support Bjorn).  The extra 22 pounds is like being pregnant again!  We got Sophia some special birthday cotton candy, which she finally tasted, but after Papa decided it had that bad red dye taste, he tossed it so she wouldn’t have a bad first cotton candy experience.

Every day Sophia is getting closer and closer to officially walking (her 101-year-old Great, Great Aunt Hazele decided that she was close enough that she could start telling her nursing home friends that “Sophia is walking”).  She’ll just stand up, holding something, and take a few steps across the room toward something; it is so fun to watch.  She gets so proud of herself, too.

Her favorite toy today was her basket of burp cloths (thanks to Debby and Grandma).  First, I saw her standing bent over, taking each one out and rubbing her nose (luckily, it wasn’t runny).  Next, she started rubbing one all over the floor as though she was cleaning it.  (She has a pretty good technique; can’t wait until we can trust her with some cleaning products!)  Then, finally, she was taking each burp cloth out of the basket and rubbing it on her foot.  Who knows?

Sophia’s cracked lips are all healed now.  She must have been breathing through her mouth when she was sick because her lips got really cracked.  It seemed that every time we put Vaseline on, she’d bite something and wear it off, but somehow they healed despite that!

We took the plunge this week and booked our flights to Hawaii.  I have a conference there, and we decided we really should take the chance to get away.  We also decided that it didn’t make any sense to take the girls when they’d just get their routines upset and wouldn’t get much out of the trip.  So, we are leaving them with their nanny, Grandma, and Aisling and Siobhàn for four days (and five nights) mid-May.  We’ve started trying to make things as easy as possible, starting with weaning Zoe from overnight nursing.

She doesn’t seem to care so much about the nursing, but it takes her so much longer to fall back to sleep.  She’ll be completely content when I lay her down, and she’ll be quiet for 10-15 minutes and then just start howling.  I’m realizing after re-reading the sleep books that I’ve really reinforced this night waking.  I guess it was a combination of the fact that she was either sleeping in Sophia’s room or in our room and I didn’t want the other sleepers to be awakened; the fact that it seemed like there was always some sort of illness, teething,  or constipation, and I didn’t want her to be tormented; and the fact that I didn’t quite believe that she wouldn’t be hungry after 9 or 10 hours.  So, there has been a little bit of late night crying when she doesn’t want to go back to sleep on her own.  Unfortunately, for the most part she gets more agitated if you go in and don’t pick her up, so that means just letting her cry (after changing her and making sure she is completely content before putting her back in her Pack ‘n Play).

This week, she also had a couple of nights where she cried at bedtime, which she never does.  She is always content (and awake) when I lay her down.  According to the books, she was “testing the waters,” to see if the rules were still the same…  And, I also read that just before a major milestone (like walking) sleep can also be disturbed.  That might explain the bizzare napping we’ve been having.  She actually took a 4 hour nap Saturday morning and then of course wasn’t interested in sleeping at all in the afternoon.  A couple of days she took good morning naps, hour-long afternoon naps, but then was still exhausted by 3:30.  The late naps are hard, so we try for an early bedtime instead, but one day after she fell asleep on Grandma’s shoulder, we decided we’d better let her have a late afternoon nap.  She got up briefly to eat and bathe and was back to sleep again.  Hopefully, we’ll get this all ironed out before we leave.  The pre-bed nursing will be the next thing we phase out, but we’ll keep the night night bottle for now (we’ll still have time to make our doctor’s 15 month goal when we get back).

Zoe’s been doing great with her eating.  She’s eaten a whole banana twice this week (cut into slices).  She likes them much better now that she can hold them without them slipping out of her fingers.  She’s also apparently not allergic to egg whites, as the scrambled eggs have gone over extremely well.  She just loves food and gets all excited when you put her bib on (and doesn’t even mind the long sleeved bib we ended up buying).

The girls continue to be their Papa’s biggest fans.  He’ll just be tying his shoes, and they’ll both be watching his every move.  They even stand at the window to watch him walk to the coffee shop and back, loving it when he smiles back or plays peek-a-boo at the window.


  1. Cousin kelly says:

    So glad to hear you and John taking advantage of the Hawaii trip! You know those girls will be in great hands and people that know them so well!
    Sounds like there are all kinds of fun things going on in your house!! It just gets better and better!