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Protected: Lux – 2 Years Old

12 Mar

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Nova’s 3rd Birthday

23 Sep

Our move is one day away! While our future is pressing on us, I can’t help but keep looking back.

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In June our eldest lass turned 3. We held her party at the Kerrisdale Community Center (quite far from us, but the only ones with space left) and it was a REALLY lovely venue. The staff was fantastic, the playroom (plus bouncy castle) was amazing. And everything ran exactly as it should! My cupcakes turned out, thankfully. Our darling friends Stamata and the male half of the DGs took all of the photos. I cannot thank them enough.

After the disaster of attempting meringue icing for Lux’s birthday cake and finally settling (at about 4am) for a regular boxed cake which had me in tears contemplating my sure dismissal as a mother, I went for a much simpler dessert. Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing. They turned out SO WELL. I think I’m especially proud of myself considering that a) I generally despise baking which b) makes me not very good at it and c) I don’t even eat sweets!!! They turned out wonderfully and the icing piped out just the way I wanted it to! My Mom helped decorate them with sprinkles and glitter and Nova’s Extra Special 3rd Princess Party Birthday was underway.

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Prior to cupcakes Janet and Stamata and I got together and crafted enough felt crowns and wands to supply all of the kids for about 100 years. Ha. It was so fun to get together with those ladies and chit chat over glue guns, and the crowns and wands turned out wonderfully!!!

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My sister flew in from Saskatoon a couple of days before-hand and we went thrift shopping to find her the perfect Princess party dress! We totally scored, and she ended up in something that only needed a little altering (thanks Mom!!!) and was the twin to Nova’s Disney Princess Sofia party dress!

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My baby sister is a total rock star.

It was a great day with an incredible turnout of Nova’s pals and ours. I’ll never cease to be amazed or grateful for all of the family and friends who come, children in tow or not, to open up their hearts to us. Our girls may not understand concepts right now like “love”, “family” and “community”, but I see it in the way that they give hugs and high fives, the way they warm up to the people who walk through our door, and in the way that they could care less about gifts and spend all of their time running around, laughing, playing, and of course…fighting. They really have the greatest support network I could have ever hoped for, and I’m so thankful for this family that they will be able to draw comfort from as they grow older. There really is no greater gift in all the world. Thank you all, so very, very much.

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We love you all so very much, and that won’t ever change, whether we’re in Saskatchewan, or British Columbia, or if you’re in Africa, or China. Hopefully those feelings are making their way to you.

And as for our incredible 3 year old? I think I just said it all. We watched her spend her 2 year old days figuring out how to communicate, how to relate to other people her own age, older, and younger, and navigating the testy waters of boundary testing and discovery. There were some injuries, some tears, and a lot of laughs. She’s gotten a little more cuddly (to my extreme delight) and is responding to our gentle nudging when it comes to a love of film with a gusto that fills my heart with joy. Some of our favorite moments happen when we watch old favorites of mine (The Land Before Time, most recently), and new favorites of hers (Tangled). She’s more interested in artwork than storylines and you can see the little cogs turning in her brain when we lay out all of the previously screen, appropriate movies she’s allowed to watch. She surprised me not long ago by choosing My Neighbor Totoro…and then Howl’s Moving Castle. I keep waiting for movies to frighten her, or to have some sort of adverse affect, but she asks questions and sings along with the songs and seems to understand that they’re simply not real. I think she’ll be a difficult child to trick. Even at Christmas, she pointed out “Grandpa” with no illusions that Santa Claus had just walked through our front door.

We’re working on the part of her that’s a bit of a control freak. I want to foster that trait into one that is conducive to leadership, rather than bullying. I hope that she will find strength in her confidence and independence. She’s cautious but fearless (unless we’re discussing flying insects), she can trace most letters of the alphabet and we’re working on free handing it, she knows all the words to all of her favorite songs and she insists on doing thing in her own time, without any pushing or cajoling. It’s been a great exercise in patience for me, to learn to give her the time and space she needs to develop, and she rewards me with the things she knows I crave most. Little kisses on my eyelids, requests to have me sing to her before she goes to bed, and very recently, “Hey! Hey! Hey! I love you.”

The challenge of learning to live with someone whose personality is so reflective and still so different from my own has been one that I genuinely look forward to just about every day. I can’t wait to see what she’ll say, learn, and want to do. Her imagination is starting to form, although I’m sorry to see she is a pragmatist like her mother, and not a dreamer like her Dad. Toy puppies are named “Dog” and her one baby doll is named “Baby”. Ha. She’s very good at problem solving but hesitant to try things until she’s sure she can get them right. (Dan and Regan both witnessed this while attempting to do a puzzle with her. She watches and watches and watches and a week later, I don’t have to help her with a single one. She figured out the pattern and memorized the best way to complete them and nails it every time.) I can already see a creative twinkle in Lux’s eye that I’m very excited to explore!

I love how opposite my children are and how they are growing to love one another. Nova is teaching Lux her ABC’s and I listened to her singing them the other night before bed, then asking Lux to mimic her. “Okay…you try it.”

She’s turning out to be a wonderful big sister and hopefully, a great friend. We’re still working on sharing, and when she’s tired, all bets are off. Her visceral response to new people could use some work, ha, but kids grow up and out of the screaming, biting, and grabbing with a little (lot) of gentle redirection and of course, our being mindful that we are setting the example. Every time she says, “please” or “thank you” or “excuse me” I feel a deep sense of pride.

She’s only 3, but I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us.

Happy Birthday, my incredible Nova. We love you more than should be humanly possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lux – 6 months

2 Jul

1

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I have a toddler, and a baby.

My baby is already half a year old.

In the circus that is our life, keeping all of our balls in the air while we juggle our many commitments means that Lux’s life is passing me by at light speed and, like with her big sis, I’m grateful for the moments when it’s just her and I and a little felt ribbon pinned to her chest.

I bought this outfit for Nova when she was a year old from Dandelion Kids on Commercial Drive. It was the tail end of summer and I thought, “It’s just so cute.” It never really fit her though. It was too small in the arms and too long. The diaper cover was saggy in weird places and although the print is adorable it just wasn’t right. So she tried it on and then it was packed away into a bin to be given away, or for our “maybe baby”.

Turns out, it was waiting for Lux to come along and fill it out. She wears it the way I imagined it being worn. Just past her delightful belly but not quite hitting her dimpled knees. Her ruffled butt wiggling around hilariously while I try my best to capture photo after photo of this hilarious moment in time.

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She is generally a very good natured baby. She only cries because she wants one more, five more, ten more minutes of your time, but never just for no reason. She has one small tooth poking through the bottom of her gums but the only reason I know is because I’m looking for it. It takes her about 30 seconds longer to fall asleep.

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She’s started realizing when the camera is out. I can’t distract her with silly faces or weird noises to make her give me a big, dopey grin.

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Sometimes I can still trick her.

At her last check up the nurse informed us that Lux is the size of the average 1 year old. She’s 20lbs and 72cm long/tall. She is full on with the baby push-ups and dragging herself around. Sometimes she manages to lurch forward awkwardly, amazed by her own achievements and other times she just scoots backwards across the floor, getting herself into and out of the most impossible situations. I wish I had a fraction of her flexibility.

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I love her baby toes and her awesome rolls. I love her easy going nature and her newfound interest in her surroundings. I love that she is more or less sleeping through the night. Ha. She laughs when we tickle her, and it’s exactly the sort of hilarious, chubby baby laugh you’d expect.

She’ll be crawling so soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was walking by her first birthday.

I’m so excited to see what she’ll do next.

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Nova – 19 months

2 Mar

4

It feels a little like the months between 12 and 24 are all starting to blend together. Nova is constantly learning new things, but they are all small, like her. She’s working on things like her vocabulary, feeding herself with a fork, putting on her own socks, taking off her own pajamas. Her hair is getting longer, slowly but surely, and we brush out the tangles every morning and every night so that they don’t turn into tiny baby dreadlocks. Her wants and needs are becoming clearer and she’s showing a real preference for which games she wants to play and which games she simply has no patience for. She brings us her shoes and coat when she wants to go outside and walks around with her preferred blanket when it’s time for a nap, or bed. She loves bath time and has moved away from stacking and more towards organizing, often spending 30 minutes at a time organizing her dolls and toys and small figurines first in the living room, then in her bedroom. We find ourselves side stepping her as she runs from one end of the house to the other re-organizing our somewhat methodical chaos.

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She laughs at us when we make mistakes, which is hilarious, and has developed a sense that not everyone is family, or a friend, and she’s hesitant to accept physical contact from just anyone. I like that she has personal space.

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One night after she had a nightmare I went into her bedroom and lay on the floor just outside her crib. I put my hand through the slats and stroked her hair until she fell asleep, her small body still occasionally shuddering as she got over her fear. Now when it’s Mom’s turn to put her to bed, she lays down and asks for my hand, then places it on her head, wanting me to repeat an action that comforts both of us. If I didn’t have other obligations I would undoubtedly stay there, lying on her foam letters until we both woke up at 8am. I have to tear myself away reminding myself that I’m the only one who knows that these moments are fleeting, and that I have to treasure every second.

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