May 26, 2015

the wonderful & terrible twos

Our little girl is no longer a baby. This seemed to happen so slowly and also, somehow, so suddenly that I couldn't tell you when exactly she turned into a toddler. She's about to turn two, and I thought, for memory's sake, I better write about it. We're taking a road trip back home to Minnesota to celebrate her birthday next week. My 90 year old grandfather will be there and we get to meet my brother's fiancé for the first time. There will be loads of family and some friends there to help us celebrate the occasion. Ruby said she wants a pizza party, so that's what we're having.

On the topic of pizza I'd like to remember how much Ruby loves to go out to eat at restaurants these days. Lately she asks to, "go out to eat" and "eat at restaurant" with much enthusiasm. The last time I took her out to eat she reminded me to order her a side of BBQ sauce for her fries (hilarious). She's so well behaved when we take her to restaurants. We recently got dressed up and went out for a really nice dinner with my in-laws to celebrate me finishing school. She was on her best behavior, but also managed to get a couple spoonfuls of butter into her mouth before I noticed. 

Ruby also loves going to the toy store these days which she calls the, "toy tore". There's a really sweet guy who works there. He sets up a little red toy piano for her to play while he plays the ukulele and sings. She's been climbing up on things at the park lately, or at least trying really hard to and asking for my help. Whenever she falls down she says, "I'm otay." Sometimes she's not okay, and she holds me really tight, cries and wipes her wet slobbery face all over me until she feels better.

Ruby talks a lot these days. She always surprises me with the new things that constantly come out of her mouth or words I had no idea that she knew. Here are a few of the things she likes to say pretty regularly, "Hi, how awe you?" "It nice to see you, mama." "You are no match." "I feel'n better." "I bump my____(any body part)." "I can do dat." "I getting tired." "baby ride bicycle, too." "mommy's eating gums." "dats preddy neat." "I makin music.""What's dat?" "Do you want more?", and I could go on and on and on. Before she goes to sleep in the afternoon and at night she likes to tell us all about the things that she did that day. Sometimes I understand what she's saying, sometimes I don't have a clue and sometimes she just makes stuff up. She's said things like, "we climb mountains" " I throw balls at mama" "baby go tot too to". One of these is made up, one is unfortunately the truth and one I'm still not sure the meaning of. She's told me that she dreams about riding motorcycles with her grandparents. She also has an imaginary friend named Kiki who sounds pretty rad. 

Ruby is at the age where she's getting really fun and funny, because she's got her own interests and things that she gets really excited about. She can tell us all about this stuff, too. She's really into motorcycles, cars, trains, baseball and finding walking sticks when we're outside. She sings a lot. Sometimes she makes up her own little songs, sometimes it's just the itsy bitsy spider or any children's songs that she knows. She loves cartoons, My Little Pony is number one these days. She's super friendly when we're out. She will excitedly say, "I like kids", in anticipation while we're on our way to the park. She just waves randomly at people that we pass by on the streets. She lives, sleeps and eats wearing this purple hat that my mother-in-law made for her. If she's not wearing it then she's searching for it.

This past year has been full of all kinds of changes for us all. We started taking Ruby to music classes. Ruby started walking. She was a very, very late walker. She was a little over 18 months old, and started walking sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She met a bunch of my family and friends that she never got the chance to in her first year. We moved. She got her first haircut, by me, and just some bangs. I chopped all of my long hair off, well my mother-in-law did. I finished my year long internship. I finally finished school. Ryan got a promotion.

Ruby is also a total stinker sometimes. There's been some throwing, hitting, kicking and biting type stuff. I won't go into any more details, but it's just her age. We do time-outs here, and often just the mention of them does the trick. They don't call it the terrible twos for nothing. Some days I dream of going back to work and talking to grown ups with more regularity. I often feel like a geriatric parent at the end of the day. But I love her more than anything and understand that this special time with her is limited. One day she will be too big to sit on my lap and too big to hold on to and carry around like a little monkey. I have to remind myself of these things at certain moments and on certain days when she's acting very much like a two year old. After that I have to remind myself not to worry about her growing up too fast. This is all so bittersweet. 

I'll end this birthday post with a quote brought to my attention by a longtime friend.

"Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone

Happy 2nd Birthday sweet little Ruby. I love you so much.

January 16, 2015

rats, moving, holidays, visits and stuff...

I've been meaning to write, then I get overwhelmed by how long it's been since my last post and how much has been happening. This is the first time I've gone months without posting. It's been 5 years since I started this blog and 3 months since I've posted anything. I'm about to try to describe the last few months as best I can, but they've been a little crazy and are sort of a blur.

To start things off, we moved. To make a very long story short, we discovered rats in our building. There were rats in the walls and in our basement where we did our laundry. I don't even like seeing rats on the street. As a parent, I felt it was my duty to get our child out of that building as fast as possible. We found our current place about 4 hours after we saw the rat and then, with a little poking around, discovered piles of rat shit all around the basement. Sorry for that image. The weirdest part of this whole thing is that the day we saw the rat and found our new place was the same day we were supposed to fly to NYC for our friends' wedding. 

I have moved many, many, many, many times in my life; across the country, out of the country and so on. I can honestly say that moving with a baby just about to start walking and without any family or any of our close friends nearby to help out was the hardest move of all. Throw in jobs, school, a sick teething baby, social obligations, the holiday season and that's what made it all a blur.

We got through it and our apartment is coming together very slowly and very nicely. We hosted our first Thanksgiving together. It was with family and it fell on the same day as our niece's 8th birthday. That made the day extra special. We also celebrated Ryan's birthday in November. Ruby is really into birthdays now. She likes to go through her list of people, characters and animals and wish them all a Happy Birthday. It's very sweet. Ruby started walking. She took her time with that one. She's got such a funny little walk. She holds her hands up close to her chest, sticks out her belly and won't look down. We've had so many visits from friends, since our move. It's always so great seeing old friends and catching up. Some of them met Ruby for the first time. Speaking of firsts, Ruby met Santa for the first time and doesn't stop talking about him. She wishes him Happy Birthday everyday. We also put up our first family Christmas tree.  

This, as in the move, was another one of those situations that makes me so thankful Ryan and I can work so well together under pressure. We got through it, it was super stressful at times. We were actually threatened with law suits for breaking our lease. That's another first. Everything is fine. I've actually been finding more time here and there to get out on my own for little breaks. I've been able to get out for some long walks around the city, met up with some friends, have gone shopping and out to eat by myself. Doing these sorts of things was once such a normal thing and now it feels like such a treat. Ryan and I both have one class left of school each and then we graduate! I have one question before I end this post. How is it 2015? It really sometimes feels like it was just 2010.