Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Far flung relatives

I didn't really think that MJ had the concept of family down, other than DH, Vito and I.  Our families live far away and represent the furthest reaches of the continental U.S.  But tonight, as I was putting MJ to bed, I realized I was wrong.

In the middle of "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" she looked up at me and said "I home".  I was nervous how she would take the transition to the new house, but she has done great.  After deciding that she was at her home, she cycled through everyone. 

"Dada's at work."

"Doggie?"  (which really sounds exactly like "Dada").
"Doggie's outside."

"Nana's in Oregon."

"Baba's in New York."

Then we repeated the list.

In truth, she missed some important people, but I know she'll add them in due time.  It was amazing to me, though, that she only listed family.  There are many people she sees more than Nana and Baba, but they were not listed. 

So here's to you, Grandma's, for making your grandaughter feel loved from a thousand miles away. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

22 months: a few of my favorite pics

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22 months

Oh dear, has it really been a month?  I knew I hadn't blogged in a while, but that is just too much.  So here goes my rambling, guilt filled post.

This has been a big month.  After quitting my PhD, we have spent oodles of time packing, buying furniture for our new house, finding a renter for our old house, closing on our new house, moving into our new house, preparing our old house to be rented, and unpacking at our new house.  It has been a whirlwind.  The only reason I've even been able to see friends is that they sweetly call me up to say they want to see the new place, boxes and all.  If it weren't for the effort on other people's parts, I would never see anyone.  I am a lucky lady.  All of our friends showed up on the (so far) hottest day of the year to help us lug our crap from our old house to our new one.  I am in awe at the home Minnesota has become for us.

As for Miss MJ, she has also had a busy month.  We have dropped her down to 2 days a week at daycare.  We would have taken her out altogether, but I think DH was worried I would go crazy watching a toddler 24/7, and without family around daycare is our only consistent break.  It has turned out to be a godsend, I don't know how else I would have gotten our rental ready.   During our move my Mom visited from Oregon, and they had a blast together.  As tough as the terrible two's are, she is so riotously fun.  I feel like this last month has been an explosion of new skills and new language.  It makes me wonder if I only notice it because I'm around more now and I just missed the others, but I think it's more than that. 

Particularly in the past week, her language has exploded.  We almost have conversations now. 
Granted, only I and a select few others can understand them, because who can really understand a 2 year old?  But we've been talking a lot about poop, and how Vito poops outside, but MJ and Dada poop inside.  What is hers, what belongs to other people.  Up and down.  Outside and inside.  And she is learning so many new words every day, whereas before it was a word every now and then. 

She has also begun to have imaginative play in much more intense ways.  Baby or Elmo are her two favorite toys, and I frequently walk in on her rocking Elmo, giving Elmo a bottle, or changing Elmo's diaper on some contraption she decided is a changing table.  Last night, when DH and I went to sleep, we found Elmo tucked into our bed under 4 hand towels (which are Elmo's blankets).  MJ had been asleep for hours, this was apparently some remnant from earlier in the day.  When she sees me cook, she pretends to cook.  When she sees me clean (a rarity) she pretends to clean.  But she can actually entertain herself with all this.  I can be in the other room for a good half hour while she concocts elaborate ways to comfort Elmo or position her toy trains.  It is amazing and sweet to see. 

We also started gymnastics this month.  By the end of the first class, during which MJ jumped wildly at every opportunity and hung fearlessly from every bar that was presented, the teacher dubbed her "My fearless one".  She is very much in her element, though it is exhausting trying to keep her from injuring herself or someone else while she madly dashes in front of real gymnasts doing actual flips.  The gymnasts in the room have already learned to keep one eye on her before they decide whether it is safe to execute a flip, something I wish was not so.  She is hard to keep tabs on, but I am proud of her fearlessness, much as it makes me afraid for her.  Any fear she lacks is placed onto me.  I could really see her getting into gymnastics, which gives me some hope that her energy might become focused and assuages my fears of her running wild. 

It has been an amazing month.  She was largely unphased by the move and the chaos, and seems to love the new digs.  Space to spread our arms is a good thing, particularly now that I've learned not to regularly lose her and Vito in this gargantuan house.  Our living space increased by about four times, and after getting over the initial shock I am now in love with all the space.  I am not sure how such a tiny human can manage to fill such a large space, but it is an inevitable fact.  She is the most joyous person I have ever met, and she fills my days with light and sunshine.  So far, two is not looming as large as I had feared.