Beatrice is a very observant little girl. The other day I asked her what color the ocean was. She said, “blue,” without looking, but then paused, stared at the water, and said, “purple, green, and white.” She was right.
It’s not unlike her to stop me in the middle of a story to ask, “what’s that?” about something in the picture. Today she pointed out the tiny pig that was on the newspaper in “The Jolly Postman”. I’ve read this book to her 100 times and I’ve never noticed that pig - or the cat washing the dishes, which she brought to my attention shortly after.
We’re so busy in our lives, that it’s easy to pass through the world only seeing the big blue sky and the white sand, and missing all of those little details. It’s nice to take some time to really SEE all of the beauty that’s out there - the reflection of a bird when it stands on the wet sand, the broken wire on a fence, the crab floating near the shore, the triangle shapes a bridge makes… and it’s helpful to have a short little rascal in your life who meanders along, pointing out the things that you would normally miss.
At the age of six months and two days, she has her first two teeth! The two bottom teeth have finally made their appearance.
The drool continues, so I’m sure this is just the beginning.
That Jovia of mine, she is a roller. She rolls to get from here to there (there usually being wherever Beatrice is), she rolls onto her belly so she can get a better view of what’s going on, and she rolls and rolls and rolls all night long in an effort to escape from her crib.
It’s crazy, really, how much this kid rolls around. I’ve collected mismatched rugs from around the house and covered the kitchen floor with them, because the one rug I had in there was not enough to contain her. Beatrice was sitting at this age, but Jovia really has no interest in sitting still. It’s not like Beatrice’s shoe is going to just MAGICALLY end up in Jo’s mouth, she has be proactive in order for things like that to happen!
Babies these days are supposed to sleep on their backs. Jovie refuses. I lay her on her back, she flips to her belly. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I let her be and then spend too much time staring at the video monitor and trying to see if she’s still breathing. When she wakes up at 1:30am to eat, there’s no telling where she will be in the crib at that point. A limb might be hanging out the side or her head might be in the corner. The other night I went in there and she was rolling all over her crib. I watched her for a minute, and then snatched her up mid-roll. IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! Settle down.
Then last night Joves woke up too many times. John surrendered his spot in bed to her and I tried to finally get some sleep with her beside me.
Do you know how stressful it is to sleep next to a rolling baby? By this morning I declared that that was the LAST time she was going to sleep with me – and I’m someone who really enjoys co-sleeping with my kids. She was all over the place. I’ll be the first to admit that it definitely was not a safe arrangement.
Maybe next time she wants to sleep with me we can make a little bed on the floor… although she’ll probably roll herself right out of the room and down the stairs.
Beatrice wasn’t the easiest baby to take care of, but toddler-wise I think we lucked out. She has always been good about rules and knowing what she can and can’t do. She’s very grown-up and has an old soul (is that weird to say about a two year old?). Jovia though, she was a calm little infant, but I think she’s going to be the kid who climbs her way to the top of the kitchen cabinets, drinks dishwasher detergent, and leaps from the swings when they’re at their highest point.
In other words, the heart attacks she gave me last night while rolling precariously close to the edge of the bed, are probably just the beginning.
Beatrice is behind on her speech. We discussed it with our pediatrician at her 2 year appointment and it was determined that she wasn’t so behind that she needed First Steps, but they’d continue to watch her progress and reevaluate if needed. She continued to improve (albeit slowly), but recently has shown a marked difference in her ability to articulate her needs and thoughts.
This is really exciting for us. Beatrice is an intense and emotional girl and her ability to talk makes a huge difference in her happiness.
It’s also entertaining.
This weekend my great-uncle tried to talk to Beatrice. She laid her head on my mom’s shoulder and glared at him, as she normally does with people she doesn’t know, and then turned to my mom and said, “I’m being shy.”
At gymnastics she tells everyone, “I have pink toes,” and, “I have a tutu on.”
She likes looking at pictures of the Cars characters and saying, “Steph likes Lightning McQueen. Mommy likes Doc Hudson…” When questioned about if she was going to ask Santa for cars for Christmas she replied, “No, mommy get it.” Clearly she knows who the sucker around here is…
All evening she says, “Shh - I hear daddy,” at every noise. When she finally hears the garage door open she runs to the door saying, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” Apparently during the day she says, “Shh – I hear Carolyn” (Carolyn is her best friend).
If I don’t understand what she’s saying for a bit, when I finally get it she says, “Silly mommy” with a chuckle (my favorite).
When Jovia ripped out a chunk of Beatrice’s hair, Beatrice just said, “ohhhhhhhh JoJo,” like it was no big deal.
Where do kids come up with this stuff?
Why do I always write this poor girl’s updates so late? Two kids, I tell ya….
I feel like I am constantly gushing over my little Joves. She is SO darling. Her grin is infectious and I love it when she talks on and on to me with her eyebrows pinched together just like her big sis. When she’s excited, her whole body is excited, and her limbs all move like crazy. She loves to be around people, and is especially entertained by Beatrice.
At five months, Jovia is still wearing 0-3 month clothes. In my eyes, she’s filling out and growing like a weed, but then when I compare her to other kids her age I realize that she’s way smaller than everyone else. As Jovia grows I hear more and more comments about how much my girls look alike and how much they look like me.
Jovia loves toys she can chew on. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s a toy or not – she just likes things she can put in her mouth. Yesterday she put some of Beatrice’s beautiful artwork in her mouth, which was pretty stressful for Miss B. She has also tried to eat Beatrice’s red, sparkly, dancing shoes, and whoa, that is NOT ok with Beezer. Jovia is a constant source of drool – I don’t think I could make that much drool if I tried. The tray of her bumbo will have actual standing water on it within minutes of her sitting there. The shoulders of my shirts are always dark with drool. She leaves giant wet spots wherever she plays. And you should see Jo’s clothes – they are SOAKED. All of this chewing and drooling makes it seem like she should be getting a tooth, but she’s not fussy and I can’t feel any teeth in her mouth. She’s like a little puppy. A very soggy little puppy.
She is now quickly bored with her play mat, and is in love with her jumper. Jovia can’t actually jump in it because she’s so short, but she does a good job of maneuvering herself in a circle so that she can play with each section. When Beatrice played with this toy, she’d jump like crazy and hit the noise making buttons, so it’s interesting to see how Jovia takes time to play with all of the different parts of her jumper, not just the one (noisy) section.
Jovia does a pretty good job of sleeping. We were having some issues with her rolling onto her belly and waking herself up, but now she just rolls over, whimpers a bit, and goes back to sleep. I don’t love it that she sleeps on her stomach, but there’s nothing I can do about it. She falls asleep on her own in our bed at around 9pm and I transfer her to her crib. She wakes up at 1:30am to eat, and I lay her back in her crib while she’s still awake and she falls to sleep on her own. At 5am I feed her again, whether she is awake or not, so that I can ensure that she won’t need anything during the gap of time after I leave for work and before our nanny arrives. Jovia wakes up at around 9:30am. She naps 2-3 times a day and is usually fed to sleep and then transferred to her crib or our bed, although it’s not unusual for her to fall asleep on her own if she’s in a comfortable spot. It’s not ALWAYS like this – sometimes she doesn’t want to nap in her crib and cries for longer than I’d like, wanting to be held. And sometimes we just have one of those nights, and she ends up sleeping with me.
Are you so bored? haha.
Jovia likes to watch Beatrice which is nice – built in entertainment, you know? She gets roughed up pretty good by her big sister hugging her, kissing her, sitting practically on top of her… but she doesn’t seem to care.
Jovia is extremely mobile, especially considering she doesn’t crawl. It’s stressful - the only safe places for her is on the floor or in her jumper. Her bumbo and bouncy seat isn’t safe, even when she’s strapped in, because she gets her little feet underneath her and straightens up. I can put her in the middle of our giant bed, and in no time she’ll be at the edge. We have wood floors throughout our main floor and unfortunately no rugs yet, which means I carry her a LOT.
I’ve never had to worry about Beatrice putting things in her mouth or getting into something she’s not supposed to, but I think it’s going to be a different story with Jovia. She seems to have a little ornery streak and her little hands are always on the prowl for something new to chew. She’s a very happy-go-lucky and curious little girl.
I hate how fast these kids are growing. I wish I could just freeze this time for a bit. On my next update she’ll be eating real food. BAHHH.
A few weeks ago I sat down with Beatrice and we started looking for Halloween costume ideas on the internet. She is very particular about what she wears, and I knew that if I picked something without her input, there was a very strong chance that she’d refuse to wear it. I thought for sure she’d want to be a princess or animal of some sort, but every time a Dorothy image would pop on the screen, she’d point to it and say “that one”. She has never seen The Wizard of Oz and doesn’t know who Dorothy is, yet that was the only costume that she showed any enthusiasm about.
We went to Target to get her red sparkly shoes and she has worn them every day since. She calls them her “dancing shoes”. I made her little dress and gave myself a giant pat on the back for actually finishing a project for once.
Beatrice LOVES parties/festivals/etc and so do I. John isn’t as enthusiastic about these types of things so it’s really fun for me to finally have someone to pal around with on my holiday outings!
This month we continued one of John’s family traditions by going to Fulton Farms in Ohio for pumpkins and a hayride. Beatrice was a bit unsure about the hayride, but loved the animals and picking out a pumpkin. When we carved the pumpkins, she said, “ewwwwww” at the seeds and gunk inside. Then she proceeded to ‘carve’ the pumpkins using one of her kid-sized butter knives.
The two of us went to a Halloween party at a local kids clothing store called Ballerinas and Bruisers, where there was a musician, cookie decorating, and crafts. She made friends with a little girl and they stood at the window pointing out the colors of cars. We went trick or treating at the daycare in our neighborhood and they had a FIRE TRUCK outside – excitement of the year. Each time we entered one of the classrooms, Beatrice would say, “whoa whoa whoa!” She was excited about the other kids, the Beatrice-sized sinks, the artwork on the walls, the toys… I think she is going to LOVE preschool. We also went to the Irvington Halloween Festival in our old neighborhood. Beatrice got her face painted, which gives any event a stamp of approval in her book. After we’d leave an event, she’d say, “more Halloween parties!” That’s my girl.
Beatrice was not thrilled about putting on her costume to go Trick or Treating. She prefers to wear her red shoes with her pjs, thank-you-very-much. When she finally got dressed, we went to our favorite neighbor’s house. Beatrice was unsure about the whole thing and said “please” instead of trick or treat, but once she realized that she was going to get candy in her bag, she was READY.
Beatrice was super enthusiastic about trick or treating. She’d cruise up to a house on her sit & stand stroller and then hop down, and off we’d go to the door. She was friendly and said “please” at each house, and only took one piece of candy even when they said she could have more. She liked all of the other kids and seeing dogs in people’s houses. This was my first time trick or treating too, and I probably had as much fun as she did. Periodically she’d take a break and grab some candy out of her bag, wanting to refuel on sugar. At one house, a Frankenstein/zombie thing answered the door and Beatrice just stood there with her mouth open. She didn’t say a word and she continued to stand there open-mouthed even after the door shut. It was hilarious.
JoJo had a dog costume that was leftover from last year, so she was supposed to be Beatrice’s Toto. I never ended up dressing her up though, because I felt like she’d be miserable. She basically slept through Halloween anyway. Next year Jo, next year.
John and I celebrated our 4th anniversary this month. We usually go away for a weekend, but this year I didn’t want to. When our family goes somewhere for the weekend, I feel like it takes me a week to prepare. It’s not just the packing (although packing for 3 is definitely not fun), but it’s the fact that I NEED my weekends to catch up on laundry/cleaning/etc. When we’re out of town for a few days, it just means I have to pick up the slack during the week – after work and in-between cooking meals and giving baths - with kids underfoot.
It’s not fun for me. Plus, leaving your exclusively breastfed baby behind is the worst. I cannot stand pumping around the clock.
Anyway, I knew John really wanted to go somewhere, and deep down I knew that I shouldn’t drop the ball on this tradition, so I finally agreed.
This weekend we took the girls to my parents’ house and headed to South Haven, Michigan. Once we were in the car, sans children, something was weird, really weird. Oh wait, THAT’S JUST SILENCE! Beatrice and Jovia are little gems, but man, they are also the source of a lot of noise.
The weekend was the best ever. I savored the quiet. I took a shower every day. I washed my hair. We ate entire meals without uttering the words ChooChoo or making our cups say “hi” to one another. I didn’t mull over whether to use this stroller or the other stroller or the infant carrier. I woke up late. Instead of watching 10 straight episodes of Thomas the Train, we watched 10 (or 20) straight episodes of Breaking Bad. I even finished a gosh-darn book!
Soccer season is hard on us. John is tired from working two jobs and the girls turn into complete mama’s girls when they don’t see him for a while. I am pushed to my limits with working full time and playing single-parent to our girls. My goal is just to get through each day, so after the girls go to bed I choose to clean up or do laundry or something, not chat with John. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with him, it’s just that I’m hardly keeping my head above water and need that hour to try to keep everything from turning to complete chaos.
It would have been easy to just stay home this weekend, but I am so glad we made the effort to get away. It was good for us to have adult time and to be able to focus our full attention on one another. It was nice to walk around town with John-my-friend, not John-will-you-please-take-the-dog-out. And next year, when I’m oh-so-stressed and don’t want to go away for our anniversary, I hope he directs me toward my little blog and I am reminded why it is so important that I make the time for him.
Beatrice is going through a stage where she doesn’t want to go to sleep and she’s becoming a master at dragging out bedtime. Last night she and Jovia were in cahoots with this whole sleep-postponing business, and it was LATE before I got to bed. Then Jovia woke up 100 times through the night and ended up sleeping in my bed, which pretty much guarantees that I will oversleep. She’s just so precious and snuggly and peaceful! I can’t GET UP and rouse the poor girl! Am I right?
When I finally got up at 7am – two hours after my alarm went off – I was in bad shape and blaming my job for my woes. If I could just stay home then I wouldn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to fit in feeding Jo AND pumping what’s left AND some cleaning before heading to work. And if I didn’t have to work, then I could snuggle with Jo for a whole hour longer until Beezer woke up! Do you understand the amazingness of that?
I feel like stay at home moms are the whiniest bunch of people out there. There are articles and rants galore by this group, complaining about how hard they have it boohoo. So when I have a chaotic morning rushing around to get ready and can’t help but spend an extra amount of time staring at the sleeping baby who is growing before my eyes, and then I have to go to WORK, leaving behind piles of laundry and those sleeping, growing babies, I get all irate when I see some stay at home mom moaning on facebook about how hard her life is. Give me a break. I know you’re going to post some picture later of your child’s fancy lunch or the made-from-scratch cookies you just whipped up. Your life is not hard if you have time to make cookies from scratch on a Tuesday.
Normally my mornings aren’t so dramatic – although I do have a hard time each morning when I peek in at my sleeping Jovia, and turn on the video monitor and try to pick Beatrice out of the pile of stuffed animals on her bed.
This morning when I got to work, I poured myself a hot cup of coffee as usual, but this time I really noticed the heat and deliciousness of it. I noted the fact that if I was home my coffee would be cold before I was halfway finished with it. If you only look at the bad side of things, you’ll go mad. I’m going to work until I’m 80 considering the government is spending all of my social security money on bombs to drop on the Middle East, so I’ve been trying to take time to really pay attention and note the things I enjoy about my situation instead of just passing them by. Let’s be positive here. So here it goes:
- I don’t really eat breakfast and lunch during the week, unless I’m shoving an apple down my throat with one hand while typing with the other or something. However, as soon as I get to work I fetch myself a nice hot cup of black coffee and spend some time catching up on emails, making a task list for the day, and reading through an analytics blog or two. I love being able to sit down and enjoy my coffee. I love drinking it when it’s hot. When I make coffee at home, it’s cold before I’m halfway through my first cup.
- I know this is probably going to sound morbid, but I have a whole plan mapped out if John dies. I didn’t think about this at all before I had my girls, but now I just feel like I need to be prepared since you never know what’s going to happen. It brings me great comfort to know that I would have the ability to support my girls on my income alone. If I stayed at home and didn’t work, I think I would worry about who would want to hire me and if I’d get a properly paying job after being out of the workforce for so long. Having my OWN financial security, not dependent on my husband, is a comfort to me.
- Maternity leave was fun, but it was also a free-for-all. Our schedules were relaxed, and it was ok because we had all the time in the world, but I enjoy the structure my job brings to each day. Beatrice thrives on a schedule. My time management skills are vastly improved when I’m forced to cook/clean/laundry in such a short amount of time. I’m not a naturally organized person, but working is an organic way to make a non-organized person better manage her time.
- I am hyperaware of the number of hours I have with my girls each week, because they’re so few. Time with them is not taken for granted. I drink up every snuggle, every goofy thing Beatrice says, and every toothless grin Jovia gives me, in a way that I don’t think I would if I was with them 24/7.
- I’m naturally very shy, quiet, and awkward, and I had to literally train myself to be a functioning, contributing person in public. I already see these skills I’ve learned starting to wane as I spend less and less time with friends and more time with my girls. Work makes me practice small talk on a daily basis and keeps me from completely reverting back to the painfully shy girl I once was. If I stayed home, I feel like I would lose all of my social skills at a rapid pace.
- Every day at work I’m doing math, keeping up with evolving technology, and learning something new. I can testify firsthand that pregnancy makes your mind go to mush, and hanging out with toddlers every day causes you to think about the itsy bitsy spider and choochoo trains, not the financial impact of upcoming Medicare changes. This job keeps my mind sharp and growing. When I’m 80 and still working, I’m going to be the most alert 80 year old in the nursing home.
Audrey Hepburn once said, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it’s all that matters”. If we won the lottery tomorrow, I’d quit my job in a second to stay home with my girls. Since that’s not an option though, I’m going to do my best to cling to the positive aspects of my situation instead of getting so caught up in the negatives. I’ll always have 3 more loads of laundry in line to be washed and we’ll always eat a lot more Hamburger Helper than I care to admit, but that hot cup of coffee is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Height: 23 3/4 inches, 30th percentile
Weight: 13 pounds, 45th percentile
Head: 42.3 cm, 60th percentile
I was positive that Jovia was going to weigh in significantly higher than Beatrice did at this age, but I was wrong. Beatrice was 23 inches and 12.5 pounds at this age - barely a difference!
I’ve been looking forward to the four month mark. When Beatrice hit this age, her personality really started to shine, and she began to do new things at a rapid rate. It’d definitely one of my favorite ages.
Jovia is a magical child. She is sweet and easygoing and loves attention. If you focus on her, she will squeal with excitement and reward you with her big toothless grins. Sometimes she’ll start kicking her legs and make her eyes big and her mouth forms a little “o”, like she’s so excited she can hardly stand it. She likes it when we play bite her and tickle her belly. She is the easiest baby to care for. She sleeps great, eats great, is content… I had no idea a baby could be like this!
Jovia likes everyone. She doesn’t care who is holding her, which is AMAZING. From the day Beatrice was born, she has had an opinion about who she likes, and who she doesn’t (and the “like” list was, and still is, very small). At my brother’s wedding a few weekends ago, Jo was passed from person to person all night long, and was sweet and smiley to everyone. This seems like such a little thing (and is probably normal for kids this age), but it’s new to me and boy do I love it. I don’t have as much anxiety about leaving Jovia behind to go to work or on a date, because I am confident that she will be happy with whoever cares for her. I’ve always worried about leaving Beatrice because she’s so particular about who she likes and dislikes, and I don’t want to leave her somewhere where she will be distraught because of who she is with. I’m only comfortable leaving her with my dad, my sister Jama, and our nanny - and that’s it. When I leave her with anyone else, I’m stressed the entire time I’m gone.
Jovia has found her feet and loves to hang onto them with one hand, with her free hand smashed securely into her mouth. She LOVES her play gym. Beatrice liked playing with it when she was this age, but Jovie thinks it’s the best thing ever. She can easily lay under it for an hour, pulling on the toys, looking in the mirror, and scooting her little body from one end to the other. She started rolling from her back to her belly a couple of days after her 4-month birthday, and hasn’t stopped since.
When Jovia was born, she failed her first hearing test. We weren’t too worried about it, because there are so many worse things that could happen to a child than being deaf. As it turns out, Jovia can most definitely hear, and startles at every noise. I think this is really weird, because she can sleep through Beatrice’s racket, but will wake up if I eat something crunchy while holding her.
Jovia has the same dark pretty eyes that her sister has. Her little ears are all Yoder, and are a bit pointy and stick out to the sides like an elf. My poor daughters have really unfortunate hair. When we were their age, I had lots of dark straight hair, and John had blond curls. Our girls got some sort of in-between – not really curly, not really straight, not dark, but not light either. Beatrice’s looks like a nest when she wakes up, and Jovie’s hair looks like a baby chick – all fluffy and standing on end. I have a picture in my office of Jovia in all of her elf-eared, chicken-fuzz, drooling glory, and I crack up every time I look at it. She is so adorable, I can’t stand it.
It’s not abnormal for the girls and I to spend the entire evening on the upper level of our house. Beatrice can be a little funny when she wakes up from her naps, so we usually cozy up in my bed and watch some netflix until she perks up. After that we’ll color on the floor or play cars on the windowsill. Sometimes we’ll have a dance party or play some sort of chasing game. Beatrice wants to wear pajama’s 24/7 and since I don’t let her leave the house with them on, she no longer has an interest in going outside.
When John isn’t home, we’ll often even have a dinner picnic upstairs. At bedtime we’ll hunker down in my bed again to watch ChooChoo (Thomas the Train) and then will move to B’s room to read books. Days like this are super calm. I’m not lugging kids up and down the stairs over and over again, and the girls like having me in such a close vicinity to them.
John is gone for the next few days so I had planned on starting our little Girl’s Weekend with a trip to the ice-cream shop. However, Beatrice had other ideas and just wanted to stay home. It was fine with me - I’ll save the ice-cream excursion for when we’re getting nice and stir crazy (which is bound to happen with the current pajama situation).
Today’s post-nap show of choice was Peep and the Big Wide World (best kid’s show ever). Beatrice sat as close to Jovia as possible, and I nearly died when Jo rested her head on B’s shoulder. We spent the entire evening lounging around, which was the perfect way to end a busy week.