Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baby, baby, you mean the world to me . . .

On Monday, August 23, at 10:10 AM, Wilson McLain Darby came into the world . . .

. . . and we were finally able to hold what we have only been able to dream about for months. And he couldn't be more beautiful and perfect.

So I guess I should start where I left off in the last post . . . lying in a hospital bed numb from the waist down watching the Today Show. This was the board in our room with all the important names and "The Plan." At this point I was waiting on the birthday party for Mack . . .
. . . so we patiently waited and I updated my blog and played on Facebook and shopped for clothes I will hopefully be able to fit into sometime in the next few months . . .. . . and Clint worked a little and practiced his batting stance in case a recruiter for the Cubs or Sox happened to be in the hospital with a pregnant wife.Then before I knew it Dr. Levin told me I could put the computer down because it was time to push. Say what? But I was in the middle of a convo with a buddy on Facebook and I wasn't finished looking for a winter coat . . . and we hadn't found the perfect background music. And Hoda was talking about something really ridiculous and I didn't have time to change the channel. But Mack was ready to come whether I was or not.

It was just Dr. Levin, the sweet nurse Maggie, Clint, and me. Very relaxed and surreal. With Mimi's delivery, there were about ten people in the room talking and cheering us on, so this was a much different experience. In between contractions, Dr. Levin told us about her three children and Maggie discussed regional dialects and her father-in-law from Alabama.
And after pushing through about four or five contractions, suddenly a new person was in the room.Mack Darby showed up in his birthday suit all gooey and mad and let out the cutest little squeaky cry that was such sweet music to our ears. Clint and I were instantly in love. The round head covered in dark hair. The pink, fuzzy skin covering his tiny body. The skinniest little feet. And they are all ours to touch and hold and kiss.
But there was still someone else who had to meet him . . . his big sister, Mimi. This was a moment I have been a little nervous about for a while. How will Mimi react to a new baby? Has she even understood what we've been telling her about Mack?
We heard the faint knock on the door and Miss Mimi was one of the first to enter. "Where baby brudder? Where baby brudder?" Wow. She got it.
But she didn't seem to notice for too long, and then it was on to something else. We were able to fit in a quick family shot before she jumped down to look out the windows. Honestly, I am very happy with this reaction . . . I guess it could have been much worse, and I know she'll come around because Mack will think she is the coolest.And there were others ready to meet the little guy and welcome him into the family. Mack, meet your Top and Shug. I'm sure Top is racking his brain here trying to come up with the perfect nickname and Shug is looking over and inspecting trying to take you all in.
And this is your Poppaw. You'll get a kick out of this guy, but don't trust a word he says about politics.

And here is your sweet Bebe. She will hold you until your little body is sore and will cook absolutely anything you want. That is, when you have teeth.I took the advice of others (and myself :)) and let Mack sleep in the nursery at night. During the middle of the first night, one of the nurses brought him to me fresh from his bath, and I couldn't help to giggle out loud. He has his daddy's hair -- the same hairline, the same hair in front that we're not sure if it should part on the left or right, and the swirl on the top. And the nurses had even flipped up the front.But he has my nose and my chin with a dimple. The eyes are dark grey, so maybe the will be a beautiful dark green like Clint's. The ears might be mine, but the skinny feet . . . where in the world did he get those skinny feet?

Smitten.The next day Mimi came back and had a really cool name tag.And she found some fun 3D glasses to keep herself occupied while everyone oohed and ahhed over her baby brudder.. . . ooohh. . .. . .ahhh . . . so, so sweet. I'm not going to lie and say I was anxious to get home because it was so nice to order room service and have a nurse's button. But I was ready to shower at my house and sleep in my bed, so I guess it was time to leave. I can't say enough nice things about Prentice Women's Hospital and its wonderful staff. They made my stay as comfortable as possible and all the nurses were amazing.

I had to get this shot before we left. So, so tiny. I'll have to bookmark this one for a great comparison in a year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Family of 3 . . .

. . . but not for much longer.

It is 9:11 AM on Monday, August 23, 2010, and I am lying in a bed at Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, IL. We arrived in the middle of the night -- 1:30 AM to be exact -- to be induced with little Mack. For me I feel I have conquered the worst up to this point: the IV, feeling some pretty painful contractions, the nerve-wracking epidural, and having my water broken. Whew, glad all that's over. So now I play the waiting game . . .

Thankfully I've been able to snooze a little, and I feel more relaxed and comfortable than I have in a few weeks. I'm a little itchy from the epidural, but I'll take itchy over pain any day. I'm a little bit of a weinee. Okay, I'm a big weinee -- I cannot handle pain at all.

By the way, this hospital is amazing. My room is about twice the size of the one I had at Baptist Women's in Memphis, and I'm currently watching the Today Show on a big flat-screen and am trying to decide what music I want to listen to during delivery on the Bose Wave radio. Faaan-cy.

The last time I was checked I was at about 4 cm, and Dr. Levin said things are moving along great. I am sooo ready to meet little Mack, but I'm being very patient because this peace and quiet and not having to get up is good stuff.

We talked to our parents earlier to give them an update and check on Miss Mimi, who was already bossing them around and asking to go to the park. My little sweet pea. We love this little girl so much, and it was too much fun to see her excitement when her Poppaw, Bebe, Top, and Shug arrived last night. Girlfriend stayed up until about 10:30 and was happier than I've ever seen her. Mom gave her a Toy Story Woody doll for her birthday, and Mimi was sooooo excited. After she introduced herself to him ("Hi Woody. I Mimi. Yeeee-haw!), she spent the rest of the night making him dance and jump and kick his skinny little legs and pointed out his eyebrows and knees and left foot (her new discovery -- just the left, not the right). And, of course, she snuggled with his little hard plastic self to fall asleep last night.

So yesterday was Mimi's last day as an only child -- something she will probably never remember. The only one who needed attention and love and princess toys and crayons and bananas. Now there will be two, and I'm excited to see how all this happens. Even if it's hard and scary and crazy.

But for now, it is still Mimi so I think I should devote a little blog space just to her for one last time. Gosh, we love her little self so much. I love that she's a blabber-mouthed, bossy, selfish, wild little blonde monkey of a girl. She's independent and assertive, and Clint seems to think she's really going to do something important one day. I usually just smile and roll my eyes when he says this, but the truth is I believe it, too :).

Every day I take Prissy to the park, and although it's not my favorite the park across the street is a lot of fun for her. We can walk and don't have to take the stroller, and I've finally talked her into letting me hold her hand . . . at least for part of the way. That is, until she finds a place in the sidewalk that is torn up and full of rocks. We always have to stop and let her play with the rocks. And then climb on the fence and yell at the doggies or people throwing frisbees and practicing softball. "Hey doggy. I Mimi," or if someone catches a ball, "Yaaay! Good job catching ball!!"And Mimi always does a great job of finding a rowdy little boy or older little girl that she can boss around and get in trouble with. Mimi noticed this cute little guy throwing dirt and stacking it in piles on the bench . . . right up her alley. And she likes to stop and smell the clover . . . literally picks little flowers and puts them up to her nose and says, "Mmmmm, yummy flower." I guess some flowers do smell yummy.
And here is a photo of her toddler suite in our new home. It's a little cramped but she seems to love it. Clint's mother gave her the gorgeous iron bed and frilly, white girly bedding, which I still plan decorating with some cute pillows (made by me, of course) and possibly painting her room a robin's egg blue. For now she is still sleeping in the crib, and I'm not rushing her . . . maybe she and Mack can share.
One of her new favorite things to do is "draw a picture." She sat down in the dirt in the park a few days ago, grabbed a stick, and said, "Look, Mommy! I draw a picture!" Every person who walked by and smiled at her heard, "Hi! I Mimi and I draw a picture!" She caught the attention of a sweet couple passing by with their picnic basket, and she grabbed the girl's finger and made her squat to examine the drawing in the dirt. The couple seemed so amused and told me she will be a fantastic leader one day. When there's no dirt around, a pen and notebook paper work nicely.
And she's become quite the comedian with her "funny face." It's a little more scary than funny, I'll admit, and I have no idea where she learned it. And while we're examining her teeth, I noticed she has some two-year-old molars popping through. Last but not least, she has become quite the architect and builder with her fun blocks Daddy bought for her at Galt Baby store. She grabs our fingers and makes us sit in the floor with her and watch her stack them as high as they will go. Her little hands are so careful to balance them, and she loves to step back and clap and yell "Yay!" when she finishes . . . and then she knocks them over and squeals with delight. I KNOW Mack will think Mimi is the coolest big sister . . . I can't wait to let you know how crazy she is about him :).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Ugly Side of Pregnancy

And I'm not talking about my backside, which Kyle claims turns into one's legs or Kacie says actually begins to "slide" down one's thighs during pregnancy. Of course there are many crazy, ugly things that happen to a woman's body during and after pregnancy -- strange red spots and allergies, varicose veins, and stretch marks possibly. Bigger feet and bigger, well, bigger everything in general. I've even heard about women's noses widening. The belly button flip, which I will have to say might not be the worst thing in the world. You finally get to clean out the lint that has been hiding in there since you were two years old.

I'm also not talking about how a pregnant woman's need for food and sleep can completely control her life. Since I was about 4 weeks pregnant, all I have been thinking about is what my next meal will be and how I might be able to sneak in a few z's during the day or get in bed early at night. While I was still working, I ate breakfast early in the morning, ate another breakfast around 10:15, tried to sneak home for a 30 minute nap during lunch, then ate again as soon as I could . . . and then begged Clint to have an early dinner the second he walked in the door. And then I snacked before bed. If I couldn't get food in me as soon as possible, I was extremely nauseous and irritable. If I didn't get enough sleep at night, I was also nauseous and irritable. The same still holds true. It is 11:00PM and I just got the sudden craving for cupcakes. I have no cupcakes, so what's a girl to do? I opened the fridge and noticed Mimi's cake from about 2 weeks ago is still sealed in the box. Score. And after I cut off the dry outside layer and consumed every morsel that had any moisture left in it, this was the result. Ugly, I know.

No, not talking about the physical side. I'm talking about the mental side. The crazy, irrational, moody, bi-polar side of pregnancy. With Mimi I found myself a little more emotional and sentimental. I cried every time I saw a baby or small child, or a puppy, or a flower garden. Everything was so sweet and perfect and wonderful to me because I was about to bring a new child into this world. I was clingy to Clint and really patient and sweet with my dogs.

But this little boy has thrown my emotions into overdrive, making me at times a very, very ugly person. Maybe it's all his testosterone. I'm impatient, defensive, accusatory, and just plain hateful. And I have zero control over this, I promise. Let's just look at some of the highlights:

1. The encounter with a driver at the intersection of Hwy 64 and Germantown Pkwy. A lady, I mean a female (she was no lady), slammed on her brakes in front of me, my foot slipped a little on the brake and I "tapped" her bumper. We both pulled to the side of the road, I exited out of the driver's side since traffic was terrible, and quickly checked to make sure there were no damages, which there weren't. The other driver almost caused another wreck by attempting to exit from the driver's side and while I was apologizing and letting her know there was no damage, she began yelling at me and asking if I EVER watch the road. I didn't take to this well and gave her a very sophisticated answer of, "No ma'am, I just look down and hope I can keep it between the lines." After she inspected the bumper of her 1990 Taurus with a fine-tooth comb, she told me she wouldn't report me "this time." Of course she got another earful from me on the side of the highway as I tried to explain that she slammed on her brakes, I tried to apologize, and forgiveness is obviously a virtue she didn't possess. Then I told her she should try getting back in her car on the passenger's side so she didn't cause another wreck. Of course, this was really all my fault and she could have totally reported me. But I got in the last word, therefore, I won.

2. The Dyersburg Wal-Mart jerk pharmacist. You can read about that one here. In a nutshell I felt completely threatened by a 5'4" middle-aged pharmacist and totally took out my anger on a skinny little teenage girl who cut line in front of me. Somebody had it coming.

3. The 82-year-old woman in my hotel lobby in Paducah. This is one of my all-time favorites, by the way. If you've kept up with some of my posts, you know that I had to travel to Paducah, Kentucky, about once a month for my job, and it was never a pleasant experience for me. I tried to have a positive attitude, but I always had something terrible happen. One bright spot for me was eating breakfast in the Courtyard. They had a great selection, I never felt rushed to eat in a hurry, and they always had Good Morning America or the Today show on so I could catch up on some news and gossip. On this particular morning, I had the perfect table right in front of the TV and was enjoying Meredith and Ann's conversation with Matt. Suddenly an older lady and her husband sat in some chairs in front of the TV, snatched up the remote, and turned it to, get ready for this, Fox news. Grrrrr.

I HATE news channels. I don't care which one, but I especially hate Fox. Everyone except Shepherd annoys the piss out of me, and their stories are just so stinkin' self-righteous. And it's even worse since a liberal is in office. Now don't get me wrong -- the liberal stations are terrible when a conservative is in office, and I hate this equally. They all have the "they're out to get us and the world as we know it is coming to an end" attitude. Scare tactics. And my dad buys into all of them, which is just another thing altogether that I can complain about. Anyway, so this woman turned the TV, and it didn't matter what she turned it to, I, along with others in the restaurant, were watching the Today Show.

I wasn't sure if she realized what she had done or not, so I kindly asked her if she had turned the channel because others were already watching TV. She pretended that she couldn't hear well and inched over to my table. She could definitely hear me, but she wanted to come closer to intimidate me. I asked again, and she said that of course she turned it. I told her that there were several people watching the Today Show, and she said that she refused to watch the Today Show. Her husband asked what was going on, and she replied, "Liberals. I don't care for liberals."

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!!! Good. Grief. She totally had it coming. "Ma'am, politics is NOT the issue here. Common courtesy is -- you turned a TV without asking anyone else. And DO NOT accuse me of being a liberal. You DO NOT know me."

To which the old bat replied, "I'm 82-years-old. Don't tell me I don't know anything."

"Well, you obviously haven't learned that the world doesn't revolve around you because you are being very rude and selfish." Oh, yes, I did. And then I just sat there all red-faced and irritated for the rest of my breakfast . . . and listened to her stupid comments about every single ridiculous story that Fox news deemed worthy.

4. The day I was invisible. Not really, but I was beginning to feel that maybe I had died and my ghost was walking around and no one could see me. This strangeness began as I was trying to pull into a parking lot at Baptist Hospital. I was taking a right into the lot and the car facing me that was taking a left into the lot totally cut in front of me. As soon as I found a spot, I turned on my blinker and patiently waited for the person to leave when the same car whipped into the spot from the other direction. Okay, maybe it was just early and I was being slow -- I tried to not get too upset. The driver exited the car at about the same time as I was walking past her, so we had to walk very close to each other through the lot to the building. Once we got to the building I was a little in front of her, but she took some quick steps to grab the door first and did not bother holding it for a second for me to grab it. Then the elevator was the same story . . . then the door of the doctor's office. She cut me off at every chance possible, and the only explanation was that I was invisible. She wasn't blind or she couldn't have maneuvered her car so well. I was at least 5 inches taller than her and about 7 months pregnant, so how could she have not noticed me?

This is when I'd had enough. I was so glad the line to sign in was very long, which meant she would have to wait. But me, I didn't have to wait. She was totally blocking the way to get around the sign-in desk, so I had no other option than to bump her with my computer bag to get her out of the way. "Excuse ME," I said as I leaned in to her to make sure that she indeed had to move out of my way. For the first time she finally was forced to look me in the eye, and I just stared at her until she had to take a few steps back. Hmmph. That's what I thought. And she was still sitting in the waiting room on my way out.

Okay, so enough is enough. As you can tell, I've turned into a complete jerk. I could go on and on with stories about my awful road rage and sailor-tongue and completely losing my patience with Clint, Mimi, and the dogs. I could tell you the story about the phone conversation with a nurse who tried to intimidate me, and how in the end I'd made sure she felt ridiculous. Seriously, what have I become? This is NOT me.

Am I the only one who's had this happen when being pregnant with a boy? One friend told me that I've always been too forgiving and understanding, and now that I'm pregnant with a boy I'm finally growing a . . . well, you can finish this line. I don't think acting like this makes me a strong person -- I think it makes me appear weak as if I can't control my emotions. I have always felt strong because I can control my tongue and am slow to anger. I try to not let others get to me, and I try to remember that I don't always know what struggles others are going through. So my hope is that these crazy emotions go away soon after I have this little boy. I also hope this isn't representative of what little Mack will be like -- I'm guessing it's not.

So here I am at the end of my second pregnancy, and other than the emotional breakdowns and some morning sickness I really have had two good pregnancies. Baby Mack will arrive in 7 days at the latest, and I am trying really hard to focus on the miracle that is about to happen rather than my constant need to bite someone's head off. I'm so, so tired, always hungry, and am having a hard time moving around and chasing Mimi, but, my word, my body is making a baby. How cool is that? It may be a little too late, but I have one week to change my attitude . . . I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

After a month in Chicago . . .

. . . Mimi and I had been patiently waiting for the arrival of . . . Our favorite magazine! I'll let you guess which one it is . . . hard decision, huh?
Of course GQ is Clint's, but I like the look of it this month :). Woo hoo! My Southern Living finally arrived. Now this condo finally feels like home! As soon as I had time I scanned the pages for decorating ideas and fantastic recipes that I will try one of these days when I have enough energy and time. Until then I'll just look at the photos and drool.
So maybe I do have plenty of time since there is no longer an official 9-5, but, my word, I have no energy. Baby Mack's arrival is less than 2 weeks away now, and he is really growing and using up all my vitamins and energy. Of course I want him to, but I want a nap by 9:00 AM every morning. I am prioritizing and only exerting energy on necessary cleaning and cooking, and I'm trying to teach Mimi to start pulling her weight around here.

But she's not doing a very good job. She's just making the messes. Because of her these dark wood floors must be swept daily, but it's not really a big deal. She loves to sit at a bar stool or in a pink chair at the coffee table to eat her snack, and at least half of it ends up on the floor. But it's not really all her fault -- Ruthie isn't pulling her weight cleaning up after Mimi's messes either. If we had Spike, there wouldn't be a speck of food on the floor, but Ru Ru likes to watch her slim figure.

I do what I can, but poor Mimi doesn't quite have the entertaining Mom she may have hoped for . . . so what do we do about that? We watch lots and lots of TV. Ugh. I have become what I hoped I wouldn't. I'm trying to cut back but I can only handle running errands and going to the park for so long before I feel like I could fall over. About a week ago it rained all day, so Mimi watched the Tigger movie not once, but twice (thanks for it, by the way, Bobby, Melina, and Oriana!).

And this is her fave place to sit and view her "stories" as we jokingly call her videos (pronounced "sto-rees") -- in her little pink chair.

And I promise she doesn't sit and stare the entire time. She is doing a great job of playing with her puzzles, playing dress-up, pretending with her Little People, and cooking in her kitchen. She also loves to make her fat mama sit on the floor and roll balls with her.

So what else have I been up to? Sewing up a storm like the homemaker I aspire to be. I have made a million bibs and burp cloths for Mack, finished his bedding, and still have a few more projects left for his room. I've also been working on a few gifts and cannot wait to share photos -- but I don't want to ruin the surprise for the ones receiving the gifts . . . so you'll have to wait a little while . . .

Roscoe Village recently had a fantastic reason to celebrate -- Top and Shug had arrived for a visit! So what did the village do -- threw a street party in their honor!! Well, at least that's what we told them . . . just kidding.
Retro on Roscoe has become an annual event on Roscoe Street, and I so can't wait to go again next year. Please go ahead and book your plane tickets to visit us around this time next year. The street was lined with cool vendors and food, and there were three stages with great music. When we first arrived, one stage was playing hippie Allman Brothers type music, another was playing Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon, and the last was a Dave Matthews cover band -- and they were all fantastic. My goodness how I wanted a beer and a babysitter! But that's for next year.

And here is the happy family on their way to the festival. I L-O-V-E that we could walk to it!
And I say I wish we had a sitter, but Mimi Darby had a great time shaking it in the middle of the crowd.But this is where she really wanted to be . . . at the front where the speakers were busting her eardrums. She was weaving in between legs and strollers and pushing people down to get there. Oh, yes, I'm afraid she's going to be that girl dancing at the front. Good for her :).Whew, so exhausted.
And with Top and Shug come presents! Shirley likes to give Mimi, in her words, "a lot of junk that she'll love." Any oh my how she does love a bunch of junk (which makes Christmas and bdays so nice and affordable!). I love this fabulous outfit girlfriend is rocking!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Recommendation of the Day

Oh my, oh my. If there was ever a time that one single dish of food deserves its own post, then THIS is it.
Restaurant: Ann Sather (Swedish Cuisine, whatever that is) on Southport in Chicago
Dish: French Toast Fantasy

Clint and I have decided to begin a tradition of Friday morning brunch, and we had passed Ann Sather's a couple of times and finally decided to check it out. It was a cute little restaurant, as I've noticed most of the restaurants in the area are cute and little -- about ten tiny tables crammed indoors with maybe four or five others outside.
On this particular Friday morning, the restaurant was full of people in their mid-twenties who appeared to be recovering from the bar activities of the previous night . . . this, I feel, is always a good sign of a good brunch. The menu was full of fantastic options and I was having trouble deciding between the Monte Cristo French toast (French toast covered in ham and swiss) or the French Toast Fantasy, which came with a Rachel Ray recommendation. And let's talk about Miss Ray for just a moment. I was excited to get her cookbook, but I have only found a few recipes that really got my attention. BUT whenever I see her name next to an item on a menu it totally deserves a second glance. At both Brother Juniper's and Arcade Cafe in Memphis, my faves come recommended by her -- the San Diegan at BJ and the Sweet Potato Pancakes at Arcade.
Anywho, I decided on the Fantasy, and ooooohhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy goooooodnessssss . . . it was named correctly. My taste buds had no idea what they were in for!
The ingredients: Two cinammon rolls dipped in whatever egg concoction they prepared for French toastifying it and filled with marscapone. Then this was covered in super-yummy, crunchy granola, berries, and powdered sugar. And to top it all off, I just HAD to order a side of bacon. You know, for some protein. This was HEAVEN for me, and I have no doubt if God has a restaurant he must order this from time to time. It was the perfect combination of sweet, cheesy, fruity, bready, crunchy, and savory . . . mmm . . . mmm . . . mmmmmmmm.
Stop dialing Jenny Craig's number for me -- I promise I am getting plenty of excercise. Okay, no I'm not, but my word I feel I deserved this. I've been put through a lot of changes lately and this French toast reward just made it all worth it. Now this is not a dish I can eat often, oh no. I will have to make this one a special treat for when I really, really deserve it. Thank the Lord there are billions of fantastic brunch places in Chicago or I might be tempted to go back tomorrow!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Bir-Day, Mimi!!!

Miss Mimi Darby turned two years old on Sunday, August 1. Let the madness begin! We've been talking about her birthday for a couple of weeks now, and she was sooo happy to hear Clint and me sing Happy Birthday to her when she woke up that morning. She usually loves to join in when she hears the song, but she just grinned really big and acted surprised that we were singing to her.

So what exactly does a two-year-old monkey do on her birthday? Go to the zoo, of course. It was our first family adventure to Lincoln Park Zoo, and I was so impressed. For Mimi's birthday we bought a membership, which is basically just free parking since the zoo is already free (but parking can be up to $30 if you stay several hours, yikes!). So Mimi got parking for her birthday. Just what she's always wanted :). Her favorite animals were the bears, and she loved watching them swim. This zoo has more grassy areas to run wild than the Memphis Zoo, so I know it will be a great place for her to burn off some energy in the near future.

And I cannot wait to be able to use the fancy double stroller because this little umbrella is for the birds. It might find its way to the garbage when baby Mack arrives . . .
After a fantastic nap, it was time for cake. Now this was a very special cake because Mimi's Aunt Mary Claire (Mer Cwair) ordered it for her from Bleeding Heart Bakery, which is a block away from my house. It was the perfect size for our little family and Mimi could not wait to dig in -- lots of fussing while waiting for us to get everything ready.
She also had some sweet presents from family. Olivia and JR sent Mimi a Webkins bunny that she loves. Bunnies are up there with Yo Gabba Gabba for her.
They also sent a fun card that had their voices recorded on it and then played "Celebrate." She opened it and closed it at least a hundred times.
But one of her favorites was her bracelets that her Shug sent. She took them on and off . . . and on and off . . . and stacked them and threw them and tried to put them on Daddy . . . and then did it all over again.
Overnight Mimi has become a little lady. She loves to dress up in her fairy princess costume, play with my hair and is becoming a little sweeter to her baby dolls (she hugs them and pats them before throwing them now -- we're getting better). A few days ago I found a Barbie travel vanity kit that I bought for Olivia several years ago. I wasn't sure if she would even care about it, but as soon as she saw it she threw her hands in the air and yelled, "Oh WOW!! Make-uk, Mommy! Make-uk for Mimi!"
Then she sat in the floor for an hour as I showed her how to use all the brushes and hair dryer and paint her nails.
But . . . she's still a monkey and decided her tongue was more interesting than the pretend make-up she put on her face.
Some highlights of Mimi at 2:
1.) LOVES to sing: "Twinkle, Twinkle," "ABC's," "Baa, Baa Black Sheep," "Ring Around the Rosies," "Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," "Happy Birthday," "Wheels on the Bus," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," "Happy and You Know It," and all the weird songs on Yo Gabba Gabba
2.) Watches way too much TV. This is so my fault, but I don't feel way too guilty. I've had many people tell me that their 2-year-olds don't have the attention span to watch 5 minutes of a cartoon, but Mimi can sit through an entire movie with no problem. This began during my first trimester when I was sooo tired and it was the only way I could keep her in the den while I napped. And now at 36 weeks pregnant I have no energy once again, and thank goodness for Nick Jr. So her favorite shows are Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, Clifford, and Curious George. She also has some movies that she watches in the car on long trips and will beg to watch them as soon as we get in the car. Winnie the Pooh, Curious George, Toy Story 1, Finding Nemo, and Veggie Tales are the favorites right now. She sings along with the songs and says the lines along with the characters. I see this as building her vocabulary and helping with memorization . . . and keeping Wild Thing busy so I can have a little break (guilty, as charged).
3.) Loves to give BIG hugs and kisses -- to me, Clint, family, Ruthie, and random other children . . . whether they want it or not.
4.) Says some really funny things. She will make a big mess, throw her food on the floor, knock over blocks, or turn off the TV and look at me very sad and concerned and say, "Oh no, Mommy. Wha' happened?" Her newest phrase is, "Aw, Man," and she totally learned it from me and says it at the funniest times. She also has a funny voice she just started using when we moved here. She talks in a really deep voice and makes her mouth round and will say something like, "Hey Mommy. What doing? I go upstairs, ok?" in this really, really deep voice. Then I'm expected to respond in the voice or I get in trouble. And Mimi likes to tell me that she is "Trouble." Sometimes she'll do something bad (we're in the throwing stage),and she'll then say, "Mimi's trouble!" So proud of her bad little self.
5.) Loves to go to the park and asks for it about 5 times a day. The first day we went to the new park in Chicago I led her to the smaller toddler side, and then she ran to the "Big Kid" side . . . and went down the tallest, steepest slide. Okay, now that we conquered that I guess I don't have to worry about staying on top of her . . . except to keep her from pushing. Ugh, pushing. Her teachers at Roulhac's claimed she never pushed at school, so why does she do it in front of me? She doesn't like anyone to get in her way or invade her space and pushing is the best reaction that comes to mind. So I get on to her and she runs up to the victim and yells, "SORRY!" and then runs off like a brat.
6.) Is a fantastic sleeper. She sleeps from about 8:30 at night to 7:30 in the morning and takes about a 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon . . . but HATES for me to try to get her to nap. She fights me and kicks and yells, "No, Mimi play!" This completely wears me out so I usually get a few minutes of sleep after I put her down.
7.) Has some favorite toys. The new ones are her "make-uk" kit, fairy princess costume, and bracelets, but she also really loves her Little People barn, house, and bus. She makes them get on and off the bus and use the little potty. I love to hear her conversations with them, which is basically her repeating things I've said to her that day.
8.) Loves to eat. And she usually loves to eat good stuff like fruits and veggies, but has also become a big fan of Mac and Chees and French fries. As long as I can get some green beans and strawberries in her for lunch, I don't worry about the French fry dinner she might have at a restaurant.
9.) Has become a sweet little friend to me. I love that she can talk to me and tell me what she wants, and she seems concerned when I am upset. We go to lunch together by ourselves at least once a week, and she is always really good (minus throwing a couple of crayons). Sometimes when we meet someone she points to me and tells them I'm her mommy like she's so proud of me. And she also seems to be a good little buddy for Clint. She cannot wait for him to get home in the afternoon and loves to hang out on the couch with him . . . and climb all over him . . . and jump on him until he yells, "Ow!"
Since this was Mimi's last birthday as an only child, I think it was appropriate that it was just family with her on her special day. She will probably never remember not having a little brother or living in Memphis either, which is a little bitter sweet. Although I am completely worn out at the end of each day with her, I am so grateful that I have these last few weeks of my pregnancy to spend with her alone all day. Even if she is a whole lot of trouble . . .