There were too many cute pics to choose from, so I included them all. There’s more to come.
Tag Archives: toddler
At three and a half, Nora is a strong-minded little monkey who swings back and forth between wanting to do everything “all by myself” and needing her mommy and daddy.
Developing independence means she sticks to her point-of-view and doesn’t back down. Logic does not sway her. Life for Nora is all about what she wants and does not want. “I want milk right now,” “I want to watch a little something!” “I don’t want to ride my scooter,” “No, I don’t want to go to the pool!”
We went to Rockland Lake so she could ride her scooter. She was distracted by all of the families who had gathered at picnic benches for cookouts, and by the smell of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wafting in the air.
“I want to eat dinner,” she decided, stepping off her scooter, trying to pull her helmet off.
“We didn’t bring dinner,” we said.
“Well, that’s okay,” she said walking over to join another family’s cookout. “There’s food over there. We can eat some of their food.”
“But that’s not our food,” we said. “We’ll turn around, go home and get dinner.”
She wouldn’t have it. “Nooo!” she yelled, about to sit down with the family. “I want dinner here!”
I’m trying to remind myself that though exhausting at times, she is showing character traits that will serve her later in life: She knows what she wants. She’s learning how to negotiate. She’s smart. She’s a problem solver. If we didn’t bring dinner, we could just go ask those nice people over there if they have a few hot dogs to spare. It must be hard to be so small, to do what grownups want all the time.
She seems to need us less and less as she asserts herself and learns how to do things for herself. But she still needs us. She’s afraid of the dark and she won’t let us leave her room so she can go to sleep. Lying in her bed, she wraps her arms around my head and says, “I want you stay too long! I really want you to stay too long!” I’d like to get to sleep and I don’t want to have a nighttime routine that never ends, and yet, I like that she’s holding onto me a little.
Rosie rolls over! For a while she could only do back to front and then started complaining because she couldn’t turn back over. She’s learning to turn the other way. She is a close talker. She likes to get right up there so our eyes become one eye and open her mouth and try to eat me. She likes to suck on her fingers, my fingers, anybody’s fingers. Maybe those teeth are coming in. She likes to reach out and grab my face and squeeze it in her little lobster claws. She is so chill and smiley all the time. She likes the Jumparoo. She likes to do a Tarzan yell. She says gggghhh and bwah and ahbah and she is working on being a ventriloquist talking with her mouth closed. She is so chubby! She grabs her hands and feet and looks at them with wonder. She gets startled a lot. She is taking big sister Nora’s rough hugs in stride. She laughs when you kiss her belly. She’s delicious.
Kevin: Nora there’s a fox over there, look! Nora: Oh wow! Today? Kevin: Yes right now. On the side of the road. Nora: Oh! when we were driving home? Kevin: Yes, two seconds ago. Nora: Oh! You mean today?
Nora: Daddy? Kevin: Yes, Nora? Nora: Is it Valemtimes day today? Kevin: No that’s in February. Nora: Oh! Why?
Nora: Mommy, can I take my shoes off? Me: Sure. Nora: Oh. Okay. Why?
Leah: Why does Nora keep knocking down our castles? Nana: Because she’s three. Nora: Yeah, well… I’m a little bit young so I don’t know things.
Nora: Mommy, when is Rosie going to be older? Me: She’s getting older all the time. But in three years, she’ll be your age. Nora: Mommy? Me: Yes, Nora? Nora: I call you Nokius! Me: Nokius? I like that. What does that mean? Nora: It means you know things.
Nora: Wosie is my best friend! I love Wosie. Wosie’s so cutie. It’s okay, Wosie wosie petosie. Don’t cry. Mommy will feed you when we get home!
Me: Nora, did you like the fireworks? Nora: (Sighs) yeah. Yeah. But. I couldn’t get them out of my eyes! Because. They were a little bit too bright for me! So, so, so, I covered my eyes like this. (Puts hands over eyes.) Because. I couldn’t get them out of my eyes!
Nora: Well. Today, it was just a little too bright. Because. I couldn’t actually sleep today. But. I could actually sleep. But it was a little scary in my bed. Me: Oh, why was it scary? Nora: Because. There were pictures in my eyes. And that’s why I wanted to sleep in your bed.
Rosie (4 months):
She stares intently at people and things and has started to grab and hold onto toys. She reaches out for my face and grabs at my chin. It’s the cutest. Her fingers are usually covered with slober because she sticks both hands in her mouth and sometimes tries to smile talk with them like that. She loves making noises and likes to chat, make eye contact and interact. She has started making a squealy noise that sounds a little like an angry cat. She is very smiley and happy. She is perfectly chubby, soft and so much fun to hug and squeeze. When she’s sitting on my lap she likes to look back up at me and hold onto my arm with love in her eyes. No sass. Unconditional love.
I am so grateful to be a mother to these two beautiful girls.
Today wasn’t perfect. Everyone was having meltdowns first thing in the morning. We were in a rush to get out the door, Rosie was crying and Nora was lying on the floor, protesting because she wanted to wear the butterfly shirt not the orange shirt. And I was like, “Don’t you know you’re supposed to be really nice to me on Mother’s Day???!!!”
But, they can be pretty sweet too.
Rosie is a warm little muffin with roley-poly arms and legs and a dark fuzzy head with a little round, red birthmark in the back. She knocks her head into mine when she’s looking around. Sometimes, I feel her little tongue as she starts sucking on my arm. She’s still kind of a primate. Her arms and legs are constantly moving and she doesn’t seem to know yet that they belong to her. She has started smiling at us and cooing a little. It takes a lot of effort and arm/leg pumping to get out a “nnngah.”
Last night, Rosie and I rocked in the chair and she fell asleep. We sat for a long time together, her sleeping on me, her soft head against my cheek. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and let her sleep on me. I know now how fast it really does go. We won’t always be able to sit and snuggle for hours (as much as I will want to. I’m going to be that mom.)
Nora is becoming a big girl — even more so after becoming a big sister. She loves Rosie so much, and although she sometimes can’t control her impulse to squeeze or rub just a little too hard, she can also be super sweet saying “It’s ok Wosie” when Rosie is crying or “She’s so cute!” “She makes little noises!” “I think she likes me!”
She has an active imaginary life. She uses a high pitched voice to make the guys in her stuffed animal collection talk. She is always thinking about them and looking for someone or other.
“Mommy,” she’ll say at night before bed, looking a little concerned.
“Where’s Turtle-Turtle’s Mommy?”
We never know where to find the guy she’s looking for, and so before bed, we are sent on a rescue mission.
She has named them all and knows each of their relationships to one another. (Baby Baby has a baby named Baby. Nora says she’s a mommy to Leopard Bear and Fluff. It is always Leopard Bear’s birthday and Nora is always throwing a party for him. Also, Aliyana is Leopard Bear and Fluff’s baby. I think this technically means 1. Leopard bear and Fluff are in kind of an incestuous relationship and 2. Nora is a grandmother.)
Last night, I read Nora a story which was nice because lately, Kevin is usually the one to read the story while I’m feeding Rosie. You know, a lot has changed since Rosie was born. It’s been kind of a beautiful haze. Our old routines have been replaced with new ones and we’re all learning how to adjust. So, we read Olivia and she pointed to the picture of the pig in a tutu and said “She looks like a princess. She looks so pretty.” We snuggled and she asked if we could do “the really loud thing.”
“What is the really loud thing?” I asked.
“What is it?” she said.
“I don’t know,” I said. “You brought it up.”
But then I did know. She wanted us to yell “And now it’s time for… night night tiiiiiime!” really really loudly and then laugh. We did this every night before Rosie was born, but we’d stopped recently. So we yelled the really loud thing and then she gave me a giant squeeze, which big kids don’t always do anymore without a little prodding.
I haven’t been very good about writing blog posts recently because of all of the, you know, adjusting we’ve been doing. But, I really wish I could record every moment and press pause whenever I wanted to. Because every thing that comes out of Nora’s mouth is hilarious and amazing. And Rosie is just so warm and snuggly. I wonder what it will feel like a few years from now when they are older to read these posts again.
I feel blessed on this Mother’s Day to have such a beautiful family, a loving husband and two beautiful girls. I’ll take ’em, meltdowns and all. 🙂
Nora wakes up from her nap with her perpetual bed head and asks, “Is it good morning time?” or sometimes, “is it dark outside?”
She tells us stories: “It’s a story about once upon a time and a little girl went to a party and said I love you!”
Her favorite cereal is Special K, which is funny to me. It’s like she’s a fifty year old woman.
We went to the Nyack Halloween parade and the fire trucks were very loud and made her upset.
She processed what happened over and over after the fact and told anyone who would listen: “The fire trucks were too noisy and, uh, I was crying and, uh, I was sad but then the music started and I was, uh, happy already though.”
Nora can at times be easily distracted. The other day I said it was time to leave the playground and she was hysterical because of, you know, the injustice. She did the limp ragdoll body thing (so clever!) “Look at the birds,” I said. She laughed, elated suddenly, her face still tear-stained. “Yeah you made me happy and the birds are coming too!”
When she is elated she’ll let you know. She climbs up the stairs of the playground and says, “I’m so happy right now!”
She’s sweet: Every time I cough or sneeze she gives me a hug and rubs my back. “I made you happy!”
Kevin bumps his head getting her out of the car. She rubs his shoulder. “I’m sorry you bumped your head,” she says. “It’ll be okay.”
She often answers questions by saying, “Oh, well sure,” but often does not do the thing you’re asking because she’s very busy.
“Will you draw me a picture of a camel?” I ask.
“A camel? Oh well, sure. But first I better erase this.”
“Will you tell me a story?”
“Oh well, sure, but right now I’m sleepy and I better rest.”
“Do you like steak?”
“Steak? Well I dooon’t. But I’ll try!”
She sits on the couch and says she wants to watch Daniel Tiger. “Let’s play,” I say, putting a puzzle together by myself.
“Well, I’m stuffy so I better rest,” she says.
Her logic sometimes makes me laugh:
“Can you draw stars?”
“Well I can’t.”
“Because I’m very whiny today.”
“I don’t like this donkey tail game.”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because I don’t like this donkey tail game.”
“Maybe next time Rachel and Brian will come to school with me tomorrow. But Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me.”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me tomorrow.”
Other funny/random things she’s said:
“We see a reindeer but it’s not raining!”
“When I was little, my grandmother made me a house and it was out of blocks.”
“This is a bear cave. You’re going to be a bear and I’m going to be scared.”
She still likes to sing, constantly narrating what she’s doing. She’s got a few classics such as “eat your cereal,” “figure it out,” “red blue green and yellow,” and “yummy yummy yummy.”
We did a three day potty training boot camp, which meant we didn’t go anywhere for three days and let her run around in underwear and pee all over the house. She did really well! She had accidents every half hour the first morning, and then none after that. Now she wears underwear during waking hours. She’s not yet at the point that she tells us when she has to go and she’s often reluctant to sit on the potty because she’s very busy playing. But once she starts peeing, she gets this giant grin. She’s had a few accidents here and there, but she’s doing really great! I have to admit, though it’s the right move for right now, it’s bitter sweet for me that she’s out of diapers. Our little Shmooples is growing up!
Nora is just as silly, goofy, affectionate, energetic, thoughtful, sweet and funny as ever. Here are some highlights.
Trip to the city
Nora packs up her pocketbook, sits three or four of her “guys” in the baby stroller and leaves the room.
“I gotta go.”
“Where are you going?” I say.
“I gotta meet Nicole in the city.” (Nicole is a good friend of mine.)
“What are you two going to do there?”
“We’re gonna eat coffee.”
Then, mimicking mommy she comes back in the room. “Oh! I forgot my wallet and my purse!”
We were at a friend’s birthday party at Tumble Bee and Nora had a blast. But when, at the end of the party, a person in fuzzy bee costume emerged from the back to a rap song which chanted “Bumble Bee, bumble bee,” Nora was not having it. She burst into tears and clutched onto the leg of the nearest staff member. I picked her up and hugged her, and she let out a nervous laugh as we watched the other kids hug the giant bee.
“I want to go home,” she cried.
“That’s not a real bee,” I said. “That’s just a girl in a bee costume, like for Halloween.”
“I want to go home,” she said, kind of like, look, I think I know what a giant bee looks like, and that is one right there.
The whole drive home and for the rest of the evening, she rehashed the debacle over and over again. “Da bee came out and I was crying. I said,” (in a mock crybaby voice) “‘I want Mommy!’ And he waved his hands like this” (waving her hands in front of her). “Maybe we’ll see him again.”
She is still rehashing, three weeks later. She’ll bring it up randomly in the car. “It’s not a real bee!” she says. “It’s a guuurl in a costume.”
I’m impressed by the way that she copes with one of her fears. She processes the situation and talks herself out of being afraid. Kid’s got a good head on her shoulders.
Okay, it’s probably time for a toddler bed. It’s just that, I love that nice long nap she takes every day. And friends tell me the toddler bed might put an abrupt halt to the nap.
She climbed out of the pack n’ play at Nana and Poppop’s house, pulled a sheet off the bed, knocked a gate down and made her way to the bottom of the stairs.
“I want to play with Caitlin and Leah!” she was yelling. I ran up to get her when I realized her yelling had gotten louder. So loud, it almost sounded like she was no longer in the attic. Because she wasn’t.
She is probably too darn big for that pack n’ play anyway. Sigh.
She says, “Mommy you’re so cute.”
“I want to play with you. Because I love you.”
“I’m so glad you’re here!”
I sneeze and she yells from the other room, “Are you okay, Mommy?”
“I’m okay,” I say.
“Everything will be okay Mommy!” she says.
She sure keeps me on my toes but I sure love her.
I just wanted to share my essay, “Motherhood Absentmindedness,” which was published in Brain, Child last week.
The essay begins:
You think I’d learn not to rest my coffee cup on the roof of the car while buckling my daughter Nora into her car seat, but sometimes, I only have so many hands. How many times have I backed out of the driveway and heard the clunk of a thing hitting the pavement? My phone, my sunglasses, a water bottle, a lunch bag, a juice box. And I have spent much of my existence searching for lost items, so much so that my two-year-old has a habit of walking into my closet with her hands in the air, saying, “I’m just looking for something”….
To keep reading, click on the link. http://www.brainchildmag.com/2014/09/motherhood-absentmindedness/
Can you believe Nora is two and a half?
I just love the imaginary life she has with her “guys.” She likes to pretend she’s mommy. Today, she carried Kermit the Frog around and had a little conversation with him: “Let’s have a picnic. You wanna hold my hand? Come. We have a special picnic. K? You wanna sit here? Put you on the high chair. K? Put your feet through. We have special food for you. Here’s your bib. You wanna get down?”
Sometimes, her mommy/teacher voice doesn’t sound so sweet. Another conversation with Kermit: “Sit right there. I want you to listen. Okay? No! No! I want you to listen to me.” (Ugh, I hope I don’t sound like that.) “Don’t do dat! Don’t put popcorn on the floor.” And, “Don’t hit.”
But more often than not she’s nice to them. “What’s wrong turtle? He had a boo boo in his hand” (Gives him a kiss.)
Nora in her crib in the morning holding her bear to me: “The bear is ready to go.”
Me: “Where is he going?”
Nora: “Uh… pizza.”
I love the face she makes when she holds one of her guys up close and says, “aww he’s so cuuute,” endearing little lovey face, little coy smile, chin tucked to chest.
She’s started using the potty more frequently before bed and in the morning. She even asked once to go in the middle of the day and she went pee pee!
She got her two bottom molars and one top one. She was not a happy camper when that top one was breaking through.
Nora in the car: “I want a bar.”
Daddy: “We don’t have a bar.”
Nora: “But we have a packet maybe?”
Sometimes she sounds Russian: “What I holding in my hand?” “What I wearing?” “What I have on my pants?”
When she wakes up in the morning, she’ll say, “What are we doing today?”
She started saying “Oh my goodness!” Daddy pointed at a building and said it looked like a castle. “Oh my goodness, it is!” she said.
I went in one night to check on her and she woke up for a second, her hair a mess. “It’s sunny outside today,” she said and then went back to sleep.
I just love her adorable pronunciation like “hoteeel” and “baycation” and the way her mouth moves in an exaggerated way when she talks. I love the way she pauses between each word and the way she seems to be thinking so hard about what she wants to say before she says it.
Every once in awhile I rock her the way I did when she was a little baby and it reminds me of that time. She looks up and off into the distance, big eyes, pretty lips, mouth slightly open. Her breathing slows down. I can tell she’s about to fall asleep, her eyelids drooping, but then she reaches out and touches my face. “That your eyebrow?” she yells. “That your hair?”
– Nora saw herself in the mirror. A strand of her hair was sticking straight up. “I have a unicorn,” she said.
– She speaks in full sentences and tells stories about her day: “We meet baby Hanya aaaand see Seryn… aaand run around… aaand eat graham crackers and animal crackers and Seryn have some aaand we play with bubbles.”
– She seems to finally get it that I’m a space cadet who constantly loses things. She walked into my closet the other day and said, “Uh, I’m looking for my belt. I can’t find it.”
– Randomly, she opened the door again, looked at me and said, “Let me know if you have a poop.”
– She walked up to a little girl at the playground. “I have my jacket too,” she said, pointing at her own orange coat. “I’m Nora.” The girl just stared at her and then ran away. I was in near tears. How cute is she? Introducing herself to somebody?
(She’s transitioning out of parallel play and starting to really interact with people. This is exciting, but also nerve-wracking, because she’s about to enter a new world in which she cares what others think about her. I will have less and less control over how others treat her and how she internalizes things and that’s kind of scary. But, I realize this is an important step in her development. I’m so proud of her. Sniffle.)
– While I was trying to pack, she put on my swim cap and held the goggles up to her eyes. “This is my mommy’s hat,” she said.
– It happened. She climbed out of the crib. Oh boy. I knew this day would come. Nana and Poppop were babysitting and they heard a thud. They ran upstairs to find her quietly standing by the glider chair, looking a little shocked. “I bounced out,” she said. (I’m not ready to put her in a toddler bed! I can’t imagine her left to her own devices in her room! She would probably climb the walls and start eating bottles of Desitin! Has anyone been through this? Advice?)
– We’ve been dealing with some poopy messes lately in her crib. It hasn’t been pretty, I’ll tell you that. I’ll spare you the gory details… let’s just say she likes finger painting. I’ve been strapping her into those footy onesie pajamas for every nap. I’ve been trying to concoct mixes of lemon juice and mouth wash to get the smell off her hands. I need a vacation! (Advice?)
– She calls the stuffed animals in her crib “my guys.”
– She squeezes our faces says we’re “so cute!” in this French-sounding accent. “Mommy’s zo cute, isn’t she? Aw, Daddy’s zo cute!”
– She holds the page of a book in her little hand and says, “Take care of books. Don’t rip it, right?”
– If you give her something, she might think you made it. “Daddy made these elephant banjamas (pajamas), right?” (I like the idea of Kevin sitting down at night after a hard day’s work to sew some elephant pajamas.)
– I asked her if she wanted to hear music in the car and she said, “No. I’m singing Rockabye Baby to my sheep.”
– Her improvisational skills are getting more and more advanced. “Old MacDonald had a stuffy nose,” “And on that farm there was a pants,” “And on that farm there was a Brianna.” She can sing Row Row Your Boat and Twinkle Twinkle little star to the tune of David Melach Yisrael.
– She talks to people from afar so that they feel obligated to stand there until she’s done. “I have my leopard bear!” “I take my shoe off!” “This is my mommy!”
– A woman was carrying a baby in a sling, and Nora said from afar, “See the baby hugging the mommy?”
– She has so much ENERGY! She sometimes holds both ears, makes this weird face and shakes like the hulk. She does this while running around the yard.
– Other funny/random things she’s said: “My name is cutie pie,” “Oh I found this in my hand!” “I wanna take a little bath and watch Dora and pelay (play),” “Kermit’s going for a ride! To the grocery store!” “That’s a biiiig poop,” “I want to hear Led Zeppelin. Is this ‘I Gotta Woman.’?” “Don’t break Daddy’s watch, right?” “The kitty cat is zo cute. Hiii kitty cat.” “I’m zo cute. I’m little. I’m a baby.”
– We took a walk one day and you could see the white moon against the blue sky. “I see the moon,” Nora said from her stroller. “I see it,” I said. Then she yelled, “What are you doing moon?! Are you up in the sky?!”