15 minutes

boo, mama, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

below is a transcript of sorts of the very start of our day today. i'm including it not because it is noteworthy, but rather because it's highly representative of our mornings in general. larry was sleeping downstairs because he was up late working or whatever, and when that happens, eva and i have our little routine upstairs before we venture down to find papa. (she consents to about 15 -- maybe 20 -- minutes before she needs to go find out what papa is up to. (all day long, it's "papa doing? mama doing? mama doing? more on that later.)

anyway, below is the basic level of chatter one can expect these days around eva. for the sake of clarity (and not driving myself/you insane), i omitted my acknowledgement of basically everything out of her mouth, as in: milk. okay, we'll have milk. mama potty. yeah, mama's going to go potty, too. boo, belly. yup, there's your belly. and on and on...

mom told me not so very many months ago not to worry about when she would start talking, because it would come soon enough, and then i'd wonder if she'd ever *stop* talking. i believed her, but i thought that point would come *later*...(not that i'm complaining, i'm just surprised by the constant constant banter that goes on. but enough preamble:

hi mama! (i open my eyes to a little face about four inches from my nose)
milk? (so we have milk, then after a bit: )
side of milk! (her new way to request the other side, the old way was more like "eh eh eh, milk!" this is better, even if it does sound like the equivalent of mashed potatoes or braised carrots.)
(sounding urgent) potty! potty! (i airlift to potty while still half asleep, deftly avoiding tripping over the bed rail, remove diaper)
mama off. bye bye diaper!
sit potty. liam potty (her upstairs potty came from our friend liam, three weeks later she continues to point this out to me daily.)
mama sit potty? mama peepee potty. (self explanatory stage directions there)
belly, boo belly. belly button (spying her belly, a daily game.)
teeth? teeth? teeth? (she always wants her toothbrush, i am generally successful in delaying this until *after* we finish on the potty.)
(standing up) all done. mama wipe.
papa? (i explain that papa is sleeping downstairs.)
papa night night, shhhh! (i'm trying to teach her to be quiet when papa is sleeping, as opposed to hitting him on the head with books or poking him in the eyes which causes the eyes to open.)
teeth teeth! (i comply, but we flop back onto the bed with the toothbrush -- sans paste. she's not pleased for 5 seconds, thinking we might instead go straight downstairs. mama wants to claim her remaining 7 minutes of being horizontal if not asleep)
mama night night (me: "yeah, mama is sleeping..." sure, sort of)
lemma bark. lemma loud!
side of milk (as before)
haha, boo mama belly. tap tap. (someone taught her to tap bellies.)
(still nursing, she starts to sing to herself "hmm hmm hmmmm" in a rythmic pattern, followed by pauses. my job is to echo her in the space of the pauses. we sing to each other like this for a minute or so.)
night night. night night milk (tugging my shirt back down, thanks that's very helpful.)
(rolls over to "sleep", but then immediately starts to crawl off the bed)
down. down. bye bye.
aaaah, foot stuck! (i help free her foot from the tangled sheets)
foot stuck. mama fix.
hi lemma. book. (as a departure from the usual arangement, lemma is nested in a spare blanket next to the bed, because i've kicked her off the bed one too many times this week. eva is seeking out her tiny copy of "peter rabbit")
mama night night! ("yeah, mama's sleeping. that's right.)
book. book. book. (to herself)
ahh fwa na sha sha bah na nu nu dee (pretending to read, pausing to turn a page in no particular order when she wants to look at a new picture)
haha, hi bunny! baby bunny baby bunny baby bunny (chanting, probably 15-20 times)
shoo nee a boo nee baa baa ah doo vlah vlah (more reading)
book, mama book? mama night night. mama eye. close.
(i wake up, she points to the book)
color! color! (pointing at the printing)
(me: "yeah, those are words. remember mama said that kind of coloring is called "words"?)
word. haha. (turn page) word! haha (repeat.)
(pointing out the page number at the "top" of the upside-down page)
hahaha! (turn page, more pointing out page numbers and laughing)
(me: "um, let's go see papa now")
papa! bye bye teeth. bye bye lemma. (when she's excited about transitioning to the newly suggested activity, she starts "signing off" to all the current toys, books, and people in the area.)

then we were ready to start our morning. i failed to mention up front that i (stupidly) was awake until 3 in the morning, and like usual my sleep -- this time, all 5 hours -- is broken into approximately two hour chunks. but, i really don't mind that since i'm so used to it. if i minded, i'd change it. i have a feeling i'll start minding in a couple of months.

she just woke up, so off i go (it's 1:30 a.m., up late again, oops!). off to repeat this pattern again in about 6 hours. and thus is the pattern of our days. pretty nice.


papa working, mama cook

pigtails, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

for as long as i can remember, i've been saying that if i ever have a daughter, i would do whatever i could help her question gender stereotypes. (okay, when i was 12 i didn't put it quite that way, but you get the idea.) so, you can imagine my profound joy this week when she repeatedly uttered: "papa working. mama cook."

larry had a massive deadline this morning (he was up all night after barely sleeping all week and working constantly for a couple weeks -- he's currently crashed out on the couch). over the weekend, it was cold and raining, so eva an i were mostly stuck in the house. she kept wanting to see papa, and i'd say "papa's working"... she's also been watching me cook in the tower. so, there's an explanation for her gendered declaration, but still... it hurts my ears a little.

i don't know how to deal with all this exactly. at 18 months, eva already does "girl" stuff, including hugging and snugglling her doll. we took her doll to a friend's house, and he immediately grabbed the doll by the hair, swung it around over his head, and threw it across the room. i took notice because it's not something eva has done. but that's not to say it's necessarily gendered, maybe just her personality? my point is, the goal is not to avoid gendered behavior entirely, but to prevent it from becoming limiting as far as what she pursues in life. but it seems so unavoidable... how long before her favorite color is pink and she's obsessed with princesses? (which are forcefully marketed to her by giant corporations?) it's overwhelming to think about, and i don't know what the right answers are.

today it's freezing, literally, and will be below freezing for about 48 hours. that's a pretty big deal for texas, and qualifies as a "winter storm". we might even have snow. it's the big news...

eva's calling, she won't fall back asleep. gotta run.


potty wrap-up

holiday dress

here we are, six weeks or so into the whole potty training thing. i've been mostly silent on the topic (uh, on the blog, not in real life) since the initial mention because i wasn't sure which way it would go. well, i think i have to declair that she is (and has been since i'm not sure exactly when) officially potty trained.

she took to it pretty quickly, minus a rough patch while on vacation in mexico and the week following when she had a GI virus (can't expect that to go well for anyone, let alone a newly potty trained kid). at this point she has an accident (pee only) every other day or so on average, i'd say. last week she went 4 days with no accidents, which is the longest yet. her new addition to the skill set is to walk to the potty on her own (chanting "walk potty walk potty" as she does). the next step will be for her to be able to pull her own pants up/down (this would be easier in the summer, she could just be naked in the house... right now it's freezing in here so that's not an option).

i never expected to potty train a 17-month-old, and sometimes i feel defensive in that others may be judging me -- probably in the way i might have done in the past. one of the many lessons of motherhood... okay, also, i've learned how difficult it is to find tiny tiny underwear -- the smallest mass-produced size is 2T/3T, which nearly fits or reaches up near her armpits depending on the brand. lora found some that are brightly colored with dogs on them, which is so exciting -- since you can't just buy the boy/gender neutral version of underwear (like i do with baby clothes), what you get is either licensed characters or glitter pink fairy princess panties. ugh.

i'm proud of my baby. the real lesson is that she can do so much more than i expect she can. i keep trying to learn this lesson, but it's yet to stick.



doll hug

welcome to 2007! we had a really nice christmas in college station. eva seemed to love being there with family, especially sarah ("yawa", daughter to "don" and "keen"). they were so cute together, playing and giggling and mimicing each other. they would call for each other up and down the stairs first thing in the mornings, and loved taking baths together in the evenings (after we said night-night to sarah, eva would cry potty when she didn't have to go as a ruse to get me to take her to that bathroom). we took them to see the christmas light displays in the parks, and they ran deliriously in circles for as long as we let them. we went to the park, dressed them in their matchy christmas outfits from gram and took them to the mall, and in general had lots of fun.

this is a photo of eva playing with her new doll for the first time. i wanted to make her a doll for christmas, but it's not quite done in time, not that she minds. we had some yarn hair issues, so for the time being she is without hair, and without a name. anyway, i'm happy that she likes it, and right away had the doll go night-night, have milk (from me of course), walk around ("walk walk walk, bebe"), and gave her a hug and kisses. i added ears, nipples, and a belly button missing from the pattern, since eva likes to point out those things. and, while she still has no hair, she now has a dress -- but of course my naked-loving baby insists "off off!" with the clothing.

eva just woke up (again) so i need to go -- larry's giving it a try while i finish up, and depending on her mood it may or may not work. i'm feeling really worn out lately, like everything seems twice as hard as it actually is. i need to just work it out, as i know intellectually that everything is the same as it was a week ago, when i was marvelling at my beautiful daughter, my great husband, my lucky life... so, it's all perspective. so i'm doing what i can to turn it around. sometimes that's easier said than done. anyway, i feel like i'm brimming with things i want to write about eva, her new tricks and such, but i can't mange to do it. maybe tomorrow.

aha, larry's back, eva's asleep. nice. he's trying to do a ton of work for a deadline so i feel bad, but sometimes i just don't have it in me.

eva's talking a ton lately. i know i always say that, but language acquisition is so fascinating when you see it up close. she's in a verb phase, it seems and likes to point out running, walking, swimming, flying, jumping, bouncing, barking (guess who?). flying cracks me up, as in the "flying lights" (fireworks) she saw and loved like you would not believe at first night, our new year's celebration downtown. (by comparison, the last time she saw fireworks in july, she labeled them by signing "bird" and "light"... kind of interesting, i thought.) she's stringing together more words and concepts ("boo mama belly" "more cook tower"), and more frequently, which greatly aids in my understaning what she's trying to tell me.

i recently noticed that she's basically done signing, and has been for a while (these things are subtle, sometimes i forget to notice). she still signs for "more" along with saying it -- for emphasis, i guess :) -- and will sign for one or two other things (airplane, i forget what else) along with the words. but i don't think there's anything that she signs that she can't also say at this point. kind of sad, signing was such a big part of our communication for so long, it's a bit sad to see it go.

and speaking of things that have gone away, i noticed in mid november that she stopped sucking her thumb. she was still doing it in late october in north dakota, but a few weeks later, it was down to about once every couple days. now i can't remember seeing her do it in a long time. kind of reinforces the point to me, there's no point in worrying about this type of thing. it will likely resolve on its own, and even if it doesn't, it's likely that the worry will cause greater grief than the problem itself ever would have.

explaining that "more cook tower" comment above... eva got a learning tower from gram and grampie for christmas. it's a sort of super-cool stool, basically a raised platform surrounded by railings on all four sides. the idea is that she can be safely at counter-height to watch/"help" me cook or clean or just see whatever is going on. that way, i get more done and she is happy. it's been a huge help already... i can clean the kitchen while she chants "cook cook" and bangs around on her wooden spoon and pots and pans. also, she ends up eating more, because she snacks while i'm making dinner, so that's a nice bonus. she runs into the kitchen and clings to it saying "tow-uh" over and over. it's a big hit.

today we got eva's stocking in the mail from my mom, it's an embroidered christmas tree with beaded ornaments and trim, including many vintage beads and buttons and a charm from my grandma edna's charm bracelet. it's beautiful and i love that my mom has continued the tradition of stockings-by-grandmothers. (we all have painted stockings from my grandma eva.) someday i'll make them for my (theoretical, no pressure) grandkids, too. i think that's a really nice tradition, and it makes me happy.

larry just said "are you writing a blog entry about how much you love the wii?' (the nintendo wii is his new video game system, and it is pretty cool, i must admit. i'm much better at swinging-my-arm virtual bowling than actual bowling, too.)

i think that's more than enough for today. i stopped, started up again, and then there was no stopping me. i'll just leave it unedited, as is.

hurray 2007. like last year, i expect a year that will seem to fly by and be full of big changes (where'd this kid come from again? she's now lived in three different calendar years, weird.)