Okay, okay. I know this is the paragraph where you're expecting me to go on and on with excuses for why I've gone FOUR months without writing... but instead I'll just skip to where I talk about what all we've been doing!
Your little brother (who'll be named Archer William) will be here ANY DAY NOW. It's surreal to think about how quickly the time has come, yet I'm so ready! If he were born as far away from his due date as you were, he would've been here already! I think that's why I'm forcing myself to sit down and write because I want to update this before he gets here, so when he comes I can talk about that and not feel like I'm leaving any time out. I don't even know where to begin!
You'll be turning 2 in about a week and a half, and lately you've been DEFINITELY acting like a 2 year old! I recall the post about how well you do with time-out and how mature you are about punishment... well, that's all changed! You've started to stare me down with a mischievous grin as you blatantly disobey me. You're still sweet as can be, but you sure have your independent streak. I was assuming it would happen sooner or later!
Along with your independent streak, you have the MOST POLITE MANNERS of any 2 year old I've ever met! You say "Thanks" after everything anyone does for you, even if you're upset! It absolutely melts me when you're throwing a fit and I offer you milk in your sippy cup to help soothe you, and you say through your tears "thanks mommy." Ugh, it's so cute!!! You also say "excuse me," and "yes sir." I have no idea where you learned to say "yes sir," you don't say "yes ma'am," but neither phrase is something I've taught you, or say often at all! Also, you say "please" all the time too. Well, it's more "peas," but that makes it even cuter. I've taught you general manners and have suggested you say please or thank you a few times, but it's not something I've ever really pushed on you, you've just picked it up and have just completely turned yourself into Little Miss Polite! It makes me very proud. Your language is also fantastic. You're saying a few sentences in a row, properly, such as "No, Avery. That's mine." Which is a pretty common phrase these days! You say the funniest things, and you're starting to say phrases that I can't think of where you'd have picked them up, which has been SO fun.
Here's a 10 minute video of a great example of how well you talk:
You've been going through quite a picky eating stage, but luckily you're starting to snap out of it. It's really tough to keep trying to get you to eat well, and to eat interesting foods, because it's SO FRUSTRATING to waste food that you refuse to eat... especially when I have such little energy to cook to begin with! I did the best I could with chopping/grating/pureeing veggies to stick in your mac n' cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches (mostly squash, spinach and peas). You still LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I make those with whole grain wheat bread, peanut butter with no corn syrup, sprinkled with flax seeds, and I use Nana's homemade strawberry jam (just berries, pectin and truvia), so it's at least the best kind of PB&J you'll find! You're starting to eat carrots and broccoli again, which is such a relief! You're still a yogurt fanatic, and that's fine with me- greek yogurt is so good for you. You eat lots (and lots and lots) of oatmeal for breakfast, to which I add yogurt, soy milk, fruit and flax seed. I also want to hug the inventor of the gummy vitamin, because it helps put my mind at ease with what you may be lacking, because you never forget to ask for your vitamin! It's so cute. I do fear that you don't get enough iron though, because you STILL don't eat much meat. I don't want to push meat on you, but I need to try harder to make sure you're getting enough iron. When you tell me you're tired (which I now think really just means "bored") I panic, thinking you must be iron deficient!
You're going to Mothers' Day Out now, and you're doing so well with it. It took you a few weeks to get the hang of it, and that first day was tough for both of us. It took me an hour to leave! You like it now, though, and I'm glad you're making friends and interacting with other kids and learning to share, etc. It's been so good for both of us to have a little break from each other! I've been able to get on a good work flow too. I take my computer and work downtown at a coffee shop, not too long from where you are. It helps to stay away from the house so I don't come up with excuses for why I can't work on photos, because the house needs cleaning, etc.
So, I have to admit that the paci situation went from you doing SO WELL and ONLY having it when you were in your crib.... to you being back addicted to it 24 hours a day. It's my fault really. You and I went to Dallas to visit Mimi and Aunt Amanda for a few days, and I gave it to you in the car so you'd do well on the drive down there (which worked miraculously well- you slept half the time and then sucked on that paci with a smile on your face the other half of the trip!), and then there were times on the trip you were clearly homesick, so I gave in and gave it to you a few other times... then as soon as we got home, you caught a really nasty sinus infection (which you then gave to me- MAN that was a miserable 10 days!!). The paci was one of the only ways to soothe you when you were feeling terrible, and it made me so sad to see you so sick and unhappy, so you got it some more... well, it eventually just became habit again, for both of us. I regret giving in and giving it back to you!!! It was perfect timing when we initially went through the weaning of it, and now it's going to be so hard because Archer's going to be here and you'll be freaking out with all the changes going on and I'll feel too guilty to take away something that soothes you... ugh. I messed up! Oh well, as some have assured me, you won't take it to kindergarten with you. It does restrict your language though! I'll give it another go as soon as things get settled in with Archer. Don't you worry, we'll get you off that thing soon enough! Your face is too pretty and your mouth has too much to say to let that thing get in your way!
You still sleep in your crib. That milestone will NOT be reversed. Especially with a newborn on the way! You won't creep back in our bed ever again (not to say you won't be welcome on a stormy night or after a nightmare... I'm referring to on a regular basis). However, the other night you practically broke my heart in 134,230 pieces. For some strange reason you were NOT staying asleep, and you kept waking up crying, and not wanting us to put you back down. It was almost 10:30 at night, and you knew we were both right there in the house with you, yet you were crying so pathetically "Mommy's all gone! Daddy's all gone!" Ugh, it ripped me apart!! I went in there and explained that we were right there, but you kept doing it. I know you were saying it because you're smart enough to know that it would bring us in there... and it worked. You eventually went to sleep for the night, but it was a frustrating few hours! You still wake up once or twice and just need a hug and your paci back in your mouth and you fall right back asleep. I usually do it, but when Archer gets here, your daddy's got that job!
Being pregnant has absolutely taken a toll on my feelings as "supermom," the title which I'd bestowed on myself when you were born... there have been plenty of days that I have not earned any mommy points, and I feel guilty for that. I don't feel like you resent me though, so I think I can move on and accept that I won't always be able to give you 100% and you'll still love me. My morning sickness was awful and traumatic and something that will probably ensure that this will be your only sibling, and being huge pregnant in the summertime will probably be the other factor that will determine our "2 kid max" status! We didn't seem to get much of a Spring this year, so aside from a few fantastic picnics and days at the zoo, we've been huddled inside in front of a fan for what seems like months now! The heat doesn't seem to bother you too bad, so I try to spray us down with bug spray and let you play in the back yard for a while, but the zoo is just out of the question with my condition! Even with my gigantic belly, you still demand me carry you 73% of the time, and I can't say no, because I feel like we don't have much time as "just us girls," and I'm trying to soak it all up. I've been snuggling you so tight lately! The other night was quite emotional. I was rocking you to sleep in Archer's room, singing you ABC's (over and over and over, as you demanded), and you fell asleep with one arm clinging tightly to my neck (the other was crammed in your belly button, naturally). You were laying on my chest, hovering over my belly, and I just couldn't bring myself to put you down! It was such a calm, sweet, quiet time and I was imagining hearing a newborn crying for some milk in the other room in a few short days! I'm probably damning myself for giving you SO much extra attention now, trying to soak it up as much as I can, because then it'll be more of a shock for you to lose some of it when he gets here! Parenting is PACKED FULL of tough decisions, both big and small!!
I am so so so excited about Archer, and I'm looking forward to having two kids- especially being able to experience raising a boy and a girl, and I have NO DOUBT that I will love him to itty bitty pieces just as I love you... but it is an emotional time, knowing that our relationship won't ever be the same again. You've been my trusty little sidekick for 2 years now, and I've been able to give you EVERYTHING I have. When I really think about it, I know siblings are better for you in the long run... you'll be much more satisfied playing with Archer in a few years than you will be playing with me. I know that. I know you'll grow up to be a reasonable, well-adjusted person, who knows how to share and work as a team because you'll have had a sibling to help instill that in you. I know that Archer's going to make us all laugh and make us all proud, and our family will feel complete with him in it. But the emotional, hormonal, only-child-having part of me is grieving a little bit right now for the attention you'll surely not get in the future because of our decision to have another kid. Yes, I know these are irrational thoughts that will INSTANTLY go away the MOMENT I see that little stinker's face, and that's why I feel comfortable letting these thoughts out. I know they're just thoughts that are leading up to his arrival, and that they will go away.
I know I'm probably missing so so so many things that I want to share with you, but I'm drawing a blank tonight. You have MDO tomorrow, so I'll try to remember more little stories and post again then, and I'll include some photos on that one as well.
Love you so so so so so much, my amazing beautiful genius of a daughter,