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Let's Talk Babies!

My 2nd Baby

So, yesterday I spent all day psyching myself up to move Anna into her big girl bed. I knew the sooner I did it the more likely it was that things would be settled down and in a good routine before Maya starts kindergarten and before Baby Girl #3 arrives. Once I had myself talked into I started talking Anna into. Which, it turns out, was harder than I thought. Every time I mentioned her sleeping in her big girl bed in her new room she would say “No”. I tried not to let that get to me and scare me away from moving her over last night.

At bedtime I put her favorite guys, the ones that usually occupy the space at the end of her crib, in her new big girl bed.

When I brought her upstairs we went about our usual routine and jammies and brushing teeth. Then, we did something a little different, we walked into Maya’s room instead of her room. She got excited at the sight of her guys in her bed and climbed right in. I was excited and thought, just maybe, this transition would be smooth.

But then she got this look of fear in her eyes, you can see it in the last picture. That look didn’t leave her eyes until they were closed and she was gently snoring away. I climbed into bed with her and we read a few stories and I got her to lay down and climbed out of the bed to sit beside it for a minute. She was not having any of it and started crying. I climbed back into bed with her and laid down beside her. I told her it was bedtime and she needed to go to sleep. Her response just about broke my heart and resolve “No bed, I scared” :( I laid there with her for a while and watched her eyes dart all around the room, the fear still very prominent. When her eyes started to get heavy and her breathing rhythmic I tried to get out of bed and leave the room. She responded by sobbing. I gave up and laid with her until she fell asleep.

With her blankie held tightly to her chest, her eyes closed and her little snores filling the quiet in the room I determined she was asleep enough that I could safely leave. I whispered to Maya to stay very quiet so Anna wouldn’t wake back up and I tip toed out of the room. I checked back in on them later, before I went to bed. Both girls were sleeping soundly, Anna still in the exact position I left her in, with her blankie still clutched tightly to her chest.

Even though the going to bed part was a bit rough, and I’m guessing I’ll need to lay with her for at least a few nights until she gets used to the new bed and new room, I’m going to call last night a success. She slept all night, not a peep out of her, in her new big girl bed and woke this morning full of happiness, the fear of the evening before long gone. So, the first night was a success and my fingers are crossed that it is more of the same in the days ahead.

Time is not slowing down. This pregnancy is speeding by faster than I ever thought possible. I’m a mere week away from my 3rd trimester. Which means I really need to get on the ball and start preparing for this baby’s arrival. Her room needs to be painted, her crib needs to be vacated by its current occupant, and don’t even get me started on all the stuff we donated, gave away or sold that we now need to buy all over again. I really need to get my butt in gear.

A big part of the preparations for the baby involve transitioning Anna out of her crib, and her room, into her new big girl bed in what will now be Maya AND Anna’s room. We have taken the first tentative steps to get ready for the big move. Over the weekend we got the girls their new bunk bed and we even got is all set up already. Lorne put it together and I set to work on the incredibly arduous task of making the two beds. Let me just say that making a top bunk is not the easiest task in the world, but, when you add an ever expanding belly into the mix it becomes almost comical.

The only thing we are waiting on to make it all complete is their matching quilts, which have been ordered. It should look truly lovely once the new bedding is on it.

Maya is sleeping on the top bunk and loves it. The girls play on the bunk beds daily, they especially love throwing their stuffed animals off the top bunk. Anna sits on her bunk every now and then, but doesn’t really see it as hers yet since she is still sleeping in her room, in the crib.

I can’t quite bring myself to take the next step and make the transition. She still seems so little, so young. I can’t imagine her tiny little body in that great big bed just yet. I’m not quite ready for her not to be my baby anymore. So, the bed will sit there, empty for now, while I try to talk myself into making the big move.

This little monkey. This little ball of giggles and snuggles turned 20 months old yesterday. 20 MONTHS! That is two thirds of the way through her 2nd year already. In just 4 short months she is going to be 2. Crazy!

Anna at 20 months makes me smile and laugh on a daily basis. I love this age. Her vocabulary is incredible and her communication skills are stellar. There is rarely a moment of frustration where I don’t know what she is trying to say. She can name at least a dozen or more animals. She can easily tells what she wants or needs. She carries on little conversations half real words, half babble that make complete sense, it is amazing.

Anna is hysterical. Her little Annaisms make me laugh on a daily basis. She is at that age where she will not let you get her on video doing anything. If she sees camera she stops what she is doing and runs away. There are so many things I would love to capture on video to watch later when she is driving me crazy. I need a more sly way to get video of her 😉 Instead I’ll have to write it all down for now.

A few of my favorite Annaisms at 20 months…

She can name tons of animals. We’ll go through some of her animal books and she’ll know about 80% of them. However, there are several animals that she refers to only by the sound they make, even though she knows the actual name for them. A pig for example is always identified but a nasal grunting sound. A cat is a “meow” and a horse is a “neigh”. She uses these sounds so enthusiastically it cracks me up every time!

The way she interacts with our cat, Louis, is just darling. It is something that needs to be seen to be truly appreciated but I’ll try to do it justice with my words. For starters she calls him “Lou Lou” which is so adorable and has us all calling him Lou Lou now. In the morning he always comes into her room with me when I get her out of bed and she’ll cry out “Lou Lou” when she sees him and then say “mon” (come on) to get him to follow us downstairs. Whenever she sees him doing something she thinks he shouldn’t be doing she’ll say “No Lou Lou” like this little mother. If she catches him on the counter or the table she’ll shout “NOW” (down) at him. She snuggles and kisses him constantly throughout the day. I love it. They are quite a pair.

She loves to sing and dance. If she wants to hear music she’ll bring the remote over to you and dance to tell you what she wants. On and off throughout the day you’ll hear her singing, which is truly just adorable. If she hears a song at the store or on the radio that she recognizes she’ll start singing along. The other day in Target Pink’s Try came on and the whole rest of the time we were in the store she was singing “try try try” :)

The girl is funny and she loves to know you think she is funny. If something makes you laugh she gets this look on her face that I can’t even really describe, it is pure pride, and she’ll perform whatever it is she did again. She even seems to understand that things stop being funny after a while and will move on to something else before she hits that point. We may have a little comedian on our hands.

Thanks to her big sister she is surrounded by princesses on a daily basis. She has taken to calling all princesses “lella” (Cinderella). When I put a skirt or dress on her she looks down at it and says “oh, lella, pree” (oh, Cinderella, pretty). It stems from Maya wanting to play real-life princesses with her one day and both of them wearing their fanciest dresses to dance around the living room. Now she thinks she is a princess every time she wears something other than pants :)

One of my truly favorite Annaisms is how she says goodbye. She used to just say “bye” and wave, then one day she all of a sudden started saying “bye you”. It is adorable. She says it every time. She’ll wave her cute little wave and say “bye you”. It is so cute I love it.

I could go on and on. She is full of adorable little sayings and expressions these days. Her zest for life is contagious. Anna at 20 months is a doll. Now if only I could get her to perform for the camera so I can try to record some of this posterity.

Friday night, for the first time since she was born, I didn’t nurse Anna before bed. At 19 months it was time to be done. She probably would have kept going if I had been willing, but I was ready to be done. As I read her a story and rocked her for a bit before putting her in her crib I found myself feeling a bit sad. Even though I was ready to be done it felt like the last piece of her babyhood slipping away.

The process to get to Friday night when we were officially done breast feeding started about a month ago. Slowly Anna had been dropping nursing sessions on her own since she turned 1. We were down to the last 3, the hardest ones in my experience, for them to give up. The first one we worked on was her before nap nursing session. It was by far the toughest, and although she no longer asks to nurse before nap time it is still a struggle to get her to fall asleep. A few days after we ended to before nap nursing she decided to give up the first thing in the morning session on her own. It was nice not to have to battle her on that one.

Once we were down to just the before bed session I took a break for a couple of weeks from the weaning process and let her adjust to the new normal. I knew on Thursday it was the last time I would nurse her. I had picked Friday because I figured if it was a real challenge to get her to go to sleep it would be easier when we didn’t have to get up early for anything the next day. Surprisingly, she was fine with it. We read a story and then snuggled and rocked in the rocking chair for a bit. She was out within minutes of me putting her in her crib. And, she has continued to do well every night since.

I am proud of myself for making it another 19 months. Breastfeeding this time around was a much easier than last time as it didn’t come with any of the early struggles I experienced with Maya. It wasn’t challenge free but the challenges that did come up were easy to get through thanks to the 19 months experience I had nursing Maya. I’ll miss my quiet time with Anna all snuggled into me that nursing guaranteed daily. Although, Anna loves to snuggle so I’m sure there will be no lack of snuggle time with her.

Anna’s favorite activities are those that require quiet concentration. From birth her personality has been that of quiet observer. As I watch her take in the world I can almost see the sponge within her absorbing and expanding. She is happiest reading books, coloring or building with her duplo blocks. She will concentrate for great lengths of time on these activities, taking pride in her work and gladly showing off what she has created with a very proclamation of “Look!!” as she holds up her creation for all to see.

So, yesterday, since Maya had the day off school and I was trying to come up with an extra fun activity for us to do I decided to let both girls paint. Painting has always been one of Maya’s favorite things to do, but, up until now I had not let Anna in on the fun. I taped together several pages from the big coloring pad Anna got for Christmas and I let her have at it (knowing a great mess was likely).

From the first stroke Anna was in heaven!

The look on her face was priceless. She was so proud of herself :)

Part way into our painting project she realized that Maya’s pictures were much more colorful than hers and started to ask for more colors. She asked for “boo” and “low” (blue and yellow). Eventually her little paint tray was filled with every color of the rainbow and she was delighted!

I’d say painting is likely going to be a new favorite activity for my budding little Picasso :) It won’t be long now before crayons no longer cut it and she is asking for paints whenever the creativity bug bits.

Anna sure comes by this love of colorful creation honestly, her big sister is quite the little artist herself.