Amy

1 and 1 is 2

Dear Amy,

We made it!  Phew.  I would love to be able to say that I do not know how you’re already two.  Really, I would.  But lady, there is not one day that you do not make yourself known.  From the day you were born when the midwife said you’d be out by noon, and you were all “noon? You think I’m slow? HERE I COME!!” and all of a sudden it’s PUSH! PUSH! waaaaaaaahhh .. “it’s a …. GIRL?!”. All 9lbs 4oz of Look At Me, I Can Roll Over And I Am Not Even Half A Day Old Yet!.

 

Birth Day

In the first year of your life we got to know your personality and there is a lot of it.  We also go to know that if anyone had a birthday coming up, you would do whatever it could to land yourself right in the hospital.  First it was Noah’s, then came mine (hello!? do you not realise how much I love my birthday?!) and after pretending to be healthy for a while, along came Kadie’s birthday and you were all “Quick Quick! I need to come up with something!!”. Holy shit did you ever come up with something.  Only it took us over 3 months to find a doctor who actually had a clue what they were doing and who would take responsibility for diagnosing you.

Don’t worry, it’s not terminal, but it is not pleasant either.  We’ve been managing to keep you out of the hospital now since I am obsessed with catching any occurrences by looking into your eyes ALL of the time.  And not in the Oh My Baby Girl Has Such Big Pretty Eyes (which you actually do) way, but more in the ACK! Is That A Spot? Is That A Tear? WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!! kind of way.  You have gone from UFC style grappling with me when it comes time for medication to actually going to the fridge and getting the bottle when you think it is time for more.  As much as I love the mature way you are starting to deal with it, it breaks my heart that you have to.

1 In the Sun

Don’t get me wrong, the journey from one to two was not all doom and gloom, even if you still don’t sleep through the night.  You hear me Moms of the Internet who complain about things like “Persephone didn’t go down until 7.30pm, it was just dreadful” or “Tarquin was up at 6.30am, if you can believe such a thing!”. My daughter is TWO and has slept through the night less than a handful of times.  Those dark circles under my eyes? No, they aren’t some new fashion statement and even the wonders of Smashbox can’t hide these suckers.  Let her cry it out, you say?  Oh she does. And then some.  And then some more.  Capping it off with a scream and a thump and WAIL.  All the while her poor brother is asleep in the next room separated only by a paper thin wall (okay, slightly thicker than paper, but seriously pushing it by actually considering it to be a proper wall).

Right, I said it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Umm, where was I going with that?  Oh yeah!

You have become so much warmer and cuddlier and no longer take 3 days to warm up to someone you just saw yesterday.  In fact, you hadn’t seen Kadie and Zed for months when you welcomed them to Vegas with open arms!  That’s right, you got to go to Vegas before you were two.  I know so many adults that would and are envious of that fact!  You’ve been to Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, The Rio, Treasure Island, the Venetian … you’ve seen ’em all!   Even better than that, you got to taste In-N-Out!  Could you top that?   Only if you were sat in front of a buffet of raw fish.

Seriously, you are the only 2 year old I have ever known who would choose sushi above almost anything else for dinner.  I love you for that.  I love that you will try things.  Sure, sometimes you spit it back out into my hand, but at least you try.  And you LOVE fish.  Your big brother; not as adventurous.  He used to be, so I fear that you will lose this sense of foodie adventure too, but I am going to keep trying to give you more things to try before you totally bail and return to a child’s life of sandwiches, hamburgers and spaghetti.

You have become obsessed with Princess Everything.  Wait, I take that back.  You are more obsessed with you being a princess than actually watching a princess movie.  You’d rather watch Peppa Pig.  But you do actually think you are a princess and will often carry a wand around or wear a tiara to drop/pick up Noah from school.  You’ve got tutus which you definitely think is part of the princess uniform, possibly even more than the actual princess play clothes that you have.  The only problem with dressing up, is that you’d rather be naked.

 

grassy 2

It is so hard to get you dressed these days.  Not because you’re too independent and would rather do it yourself (though you so would), but because you don’t want to wear clothes.  When I say we have to hurry up and get dressed to go somewhere, you whip your shoes on and then throw a wobbly when I mention that your outfit is lacking the clothing portion.

This you inherit from my side of the family.  I don’t know if it was solely something to do with living in the Caribbean, but your grandfather used to wear as little as possible when he was in the comfort of his own home too.  Something which I carried on and have passed on to you.   A lot of other parents actually feed their children breakfast and then get them dressed for the day.  Have you ever heard of something so insane?!  Getting dressed when you don’t have to.  It makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Aside from becoming a semi-naked, tantrum throwing, cuddle giving, knows what she wants and won’t give in until she gets it kind of girl, you have also started to talk.  Not just a word here or there, but actually using two and three words sentences.  I know a lot of other mommas that would be all .oO(what?! She’s two and she’s only come that far?  Wonder if she excels in anything) and they can eat it.  Because you are doing amazingly and we have no worries.  Well we have some.  We worry that your use of ‘Mine’, ‘NO!’ and ‘Mami’s!’ will continue to be the theme of our conversations for the next 30 years.  Other than that, you’re all good with us.  And we’re sure that one day you’ll figure out how to maneuver your Mich Jagger sized tongue so you can touch your top lip.

And please, keep the hugs and kisses coming.  When you are not busy trying to prevent Noah from receiving any positive attention from us, you will stop what you are doing and ask for hugs or grab our faces in your chubby fingers and pucker up waiting for a kiss.   Your affection for your brother needs work as it seems you only like to give him cuddles and kisses when he is asleep.  That is equal parts sweet and equal parts mean since when he is awake you treat him like he’s covered in super contagious Boy Cooties.

Overall, I have to say that you are currently a perfect blend of grown up little girl with just a bit of baby and a whole lot of crazy toddler.  A little less of the attitude and more of the sleeping would be a dream come true, but you are you and even though you’ve give me more grey hairs in the past two years than it took to accumulate in the first 33 years of my life.  You are smart and creative, athletic and funny, and equal parts drama and comedy.  Your smile is as wide as an ocean and your dimple as deep as wishing well.  You are a princess to you and so much more to us.

two

You keep us living on the edge of our seats, even when we want to relax.  You bring so much energy, excitement, drama and love to our lives. Thank you for being every everything a little girl should be and more!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Baby Girl!

 

3rd Birthday

 

Momma loves you.

xx

Independence in a child can be cute. It can be frustrating. It can be wonderful. It can be messy.

There will be no photos to accompany this post, for two reasons: a) my camera battery is charging for the trip to London and b) I like you. Most of you, anyway.

Amy is our independent child. Sure, she can be the human manifestation of Saran Wrap (read: Cling Film), but generally she wants to do everything for herself.

Not 15 minutes ago, I heard her doing something on the floor in the living room and asked her what she was doing. She ignored me at first and then came to me holding out a baby wipe. A baby wipe covered in baby poo. Not a little bit of fecal matter either. I called Lee over because I knew we had a situation on our hands and I was scared.

Turns out, I had every reason to be.

We’ve deduced that she must have done her business, climbed up on her horse which assisted in squeezing it out as she reenacted Luke Perry’s stellar performance in 8 Seconds to Glory. She then noticed and thought .oO(oh, let me get this…), proceeding to wipe it all over the floor and I guess when she thought there was too much on the wipe, relieved her cleaning partner of the weight and spread it on the couch cushion.

Guess that seals the Not Taking To Canada deal.

I love her. Really, I do. But at this moment in time, I am loving Lee WAY more because while I type this, he has her in the bath making sure all of the poo is cleaned out from between her chubby toes.

Amy is now 22 months old.   Only two months away from the big 0-2 birthday.  Unfortunately, she has been unable to hold the Terrible Twos at bay.  In fact,  I’d go so far as to suggest that she’s had them for quite some time now.   However, until recently they were more naughty and yelling and the tears were brief as she was a toughie.

Apparently when I wasn’t looking someone put her in the microwave and melted that rough and tumble tomboy princess and when the time was up they ran off and left me with a walking, not quite talking, blob of toddler tears.

Look at her wrong – cry.

Touch her (accidentally or on purpose) – cry.

Don’t touch her (accidentally or on purpose) – cry.

Ask if she wants a snack – cry.

Tell her no – CRY.

Mention ‘bed’ – CRY.

Attempt to put her in her carseat – CRY.

Say the word ‘vagina’ to her – laugh.

So I’ve found her weak spot; but I cannot spend the next year constantly saying vagina in order to prevent meltdowns.  Or I could, though I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t make it to a year before I was kindly offered a room with locked windows and friends who paced the floor talking to their giant teddy bears, imaginary friends or even worse .. to me.

Please let this be an In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb thing.  I beg of you.  You being anyone that can help.  Because I cannot take this ….

22 months of Terrible Two!

… for the next 16 years.

Dear Momma,

I’m sorry.  Please make this stop.

In return I’ll convince Amy that her doll’s name is not ‘fuss’.

Deal?

Love,

Your Partially Deaf and Almost Fully Crazy Daughter.

Karma really is a bitch.

Nappy Head Nappy Feet

There's a method to the madness

So we all went to get some fish and chips for dinner tonight and I thought we were having a nice family outing.  That is, until Mah Daddeh starts trying to wrestle my Dora shoe right off of my foot.  And I’m like “Seriously?! A grown man is trying to steal my shoes .. whilst I’m looking?!”

But get this!! He follows up with “I think she stepped in poo!”.

WHAT!?   Now I know I’m the youngest in the house, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it by now that when I poo it goes into my diaper until I tell one of my parents “Bum!” or they chase me down and tell ME “Bum!”.  Okay, they don’t say bum.. but whatever.  And then I hear … it is dog poo.   HELLO?!  Why do they think that I’d be stepping in dog poo?  Where did I even get a dog?!

It appears that they were right though.  I had it on my shoe, on the car seat, on my pants and on Daddy’s leather jacket.  Oops.  Let’s be fair though.  I really did not know.   But what I do know, is that whatever dog did that to me… You are totally top of my Rudey List!!!   How am I supposed to see a pile of poo on MY lawn in the dark?!  A girl just wants to get to the car without eating concrete and you go and trip me up with that!?  Where the blankety blank was your diaper anyway!?

As we ate dinner, I thought about this some more.  How do I avoid these traps in the future?!  How can I protect Dora from going through another cycle in the washing machine?!   How can I keep my Crocs from being so wet that I won’t be able to wear them the next day?!?!?!

And it came to me.   Just like *that*.  If the dogs won’t wear diapers on their bums to catch their poo, I will wear them on my feet.

Poo Shoes

Watch Out Louboutin!!

They may look weird now, but when they catch on you’ll all think back and be like “That Ames was STYLIN’!”.

Just give it some time.

Shock and Awe

“Oh, look how grown up she is!”  “What a cute little outfit!”  “Aww, look at her with her little baby/dollie.”

Yeah yeah yeah.  But did any of you stop and wonder “WTF?” I mean seriously, Why the face? (Oh the things I learn watching Modern Family!)

Well, I’ll tell you ‘Why The Face’!  If you can imagine, I got all pretty for New Years Eve .. because who doesn’t love wearing a pretty dress to sit on the floor and eat Caesar salad with their hands .. and in the midst of happily playing with my babies I overhear my parents talking about stopping the whole giving me boobs thing.   And I’m all like “WHAT?! Are you freaking kidding me!?!”.   I mean, I know I act like a bit like those ladies on COPS who are all “I don’t do crack. I mean it was only a couple of times.   Oh I forgot I got busted for possession last year.. and the year before and .. well, okay maybe I did it more than a couple of times, but I can stop. Really I can” when it comes to the whole boob thing, but is that so bad?  Hasn’t this really been a relationship of convenience all along?

I get my fix, my parents get me to be quiet/stop crying/go to sleep.  It hasn’t been all me.  They are enablers I tell you!!! I totally know how Lindsay Lohan feels now.  Except she got rehab and I got cold turkey on a silver platter.  And to make things worse, my mama is all “No more, all done. They’re finished” and I can totally see that they are still there.  First they think I am deaf and can’t hear their sinister plan and now they think I’m blind.   I may have had eye issues all through the year, but I can see!  And better than my four eyed mama, too!

So, I go to bed on New Year’s Eve hoping they’d see sense.  They even let me sleep on the couch which I totally took as a sign that they were going soft on me.  In exchange, I made sure not to wake up for a ‘hit’ until after 2am!  It’s all about working together.  But instead of being greeted by cuddles from my mama, my daddy comes along and whisks me upstairs.  What?! This isn’t right!! And then he tricked me even more because instead of taking me to my mama, he walked around with me until I fell asleep.  Only I refused to sleep in the crib, so he had to take me to the bed where my mama was.

I gave her about 30 minutes sleep before I tapped her gently (sort of) and cried a bit saying ‘bahbah?bahbah!’ in case she couldn’t understand what I wanted.  And she told me to be quiet.  No “Happy New Year My Sweet Baby Girl Who I Love Oh So Much And Wouldn’t Ever Want To See Cry”, not even a cuddle.  But I am nothing if not persistent, so I tried over and over from about 2.45am until 7.20am.  I thought if she didn’t get more than 4 minutes sleep at a time she’d just give in to make shut up.  Well, I found out where I get my stubbornness from that morning. She didn’t give in.  Not once.  And not once since then.

To make matters worse, she keeps moaning about how sore she is and asking when this will stop hurting.  If she’s looking for sympathy, she can keep looking because I’ve got none here (something else I inherited from her).

All I know is 2011 is not looking to be a good year for me.  And if I’m not happy, well……

Welcome 2010. I am very happy to see you. Already I feel like it will be a good year. At least better than the last.

ET Phone Home

Don’t get me wrong. 2009 was not ALL bad. Amy came into our lives and that has been a wonderful* thing. But in general it was pretty much a ‘meh’ year. A roller coaster ride that made me more nauseous than filled with adrenaline and fear and exhilaration. A noose of stress seemed to linger round our necks for most of it and the lack of sleep didn’t help to pretty us up.

I don’t generally make New Year resolutions, because who actually keeps them and how different are they then the promises people make themselves throughout the year? But I do promise to actually update the blogs. And even throw in some older entries that should have been added ages ago.

There will be a change. I fully intended to give Noah and Amy their own monthly review, but as you know, this fell apart in a spectacular fashion. It pains me to not have kept on top of it because I have serious issues about giving Amy a 2nd Child complex. But years of perfecting procrastination skills mixed with exhaustion levels of untold proportions have created a cocktail that has turned my brain into something resembling maggot cheese (feel free to Google it or just imagine). With only 7 to 8 days between “monthdays” as well, it is a lot to put together in such a short space of time, so I am going with the monthly thing! That way I can guarantee they both get an update each month and it means going through less of the thousands of photos I take every month to choose the good ones. And I am pretty sure that there will be more going in in the months to actually update about non-mommyhood stuff too. I think. I hope.

But if not, it is only because that is who I am. Last night was the first night in 22 months where I felt like a person separate of anyone else. I wasn’t just a mother. It was weird, but it was great. And as short as that liberation was, when Amy awoke hacking up a lung and hoping that we’d left some Moet for her, I was thrilled to see my baby girl and her ear to ear smile. Though I was even happier that Noah stayed in his room until 5.25am when he climbed into our bed and snuggled up with me and fell asleep holding my hand.

It may be exhausting, confusing, frustrating and stressful, but I love these midgets of mine. It might seem a normal thing for a parent to say, but considering there were days when I was convinced I didn’t even like them, never mind love them, it fills my heart with joy to know that I’ve made it through to the other side. Even if that other side means stepping on Hot Wheels and having someone spit up between my toes, wipe their nose on my shirt, wake me up 5 times a night for a snack, cry because I dare touch the other one, etc.

So bring on 2010 and the adventures that shall come with it. With a break every now and then to remind myself that I am still me underneath this Mommy costume, I look forward to what is ahead of us and experiencing it all as a family of four.

That’s right. I’m not giving birth this year. 2010 is looking better with each minute that passes!!!

Our NYE in Pictures:

Clementines and Party Hats

Clementines and Party Hats

Two Crazy Midgets

Two Crazy Midgets

Amy DOES Have a Mother!

Amy DOES Have a Mother!

Midget and Mommy Madness

Midget and Mommy Madness

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!

Sweet Sweet Champagne How I Love Thee

Sweet Sweet Champagne How I Love Thee

May 2010 continue to be as wonderful as it started for me, for us and for all of you! Happy New Year!

We’ve waited months.

5 Months and 2 days to be exact is how long we’ve waited for Noah and Amy to interact in more than just a “ooh what is that guy doing?” “ooh, can I pull his hair?” “aww let me squeeze the last breath out of this baby” “does she cry if I slap her head while she is asleep?” way. Last night, we got it.

Oh did we ever get it. And I recorded it all. Sometimes when I take videos of them it is pretty much a waste of space on the memory card. Noah sees the camera and stops what he is doing and starts letting the neighbours, bordering counties and the authorities know that HE wants the camera NOW. Not really how I want to look back at them when we’re old and completely grey.

Not last night. Last night was pure Noah and his Three Stooges Style Comedy Genius and his little sister Amy was LOVING it!

On Thursday I told Lee that if there was ever a day I questioned why I became a mother, that was it.

On Friday, they reminded me why. I am filled to bursting with love for them. So much so that sometimes it hurts and I confuse it for having eaten something bad the night before.

Round and Round the Mulberry Bush from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

Maybe not quite 1000, but this picture sums up the lives of Noah and Amy now and until they no longer speak to me or have their own children who think the same way they do now…

Family -1 Photo

Amy to Noah: Dude, is she always like this?

Noah to Amy: Just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet….

Just over 16 months ago I gave birth to your brother. The actual birthing experience was not one which I ever wanted to repeat. It was very long, it was painful at first but so numb for a lot of it that there are still parts that I cannot remember. Afterwards, it took me a while to accept that the baby lying in the plastic box next to me was mine. I’d waited so long to be a mommy and when it happened, it wasn’t like the stories you hear or what you see on television. I struggled for a while and there were days I thought that I would never feel the way you are “supposed” to and that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a mommy.

One month ago I gave birth again. It was still painful, but so much shorter. I felt everything even though I didn’t want to. And then at just before 10.00am on the 4th of June the midwife said “with your next push, there will be a baby on your chest”. She was right, because the next thing I knew Kadie announced that you were a GIRL!!!! and then you were lying on me and crying.

1st day home

The room was bright, you were healthy as can be and all of the pain that I had felt had already been forgotten. Not to say I would ever repeat the experience .. and this time I really mean it, but it was great. It was everything you see on tv and hear about and you looked just like your brother, but with a vagina.

It was definitely one of the best moments of my life. I survived, I had my girl and you were perfect. Even if you did look like you had been in the sun too long without any protection. But hey, tomato red is much better than hobbit grey/purple. The feeling that I wanted so bad with Noah appeared to be there. At least a much closer version than I had the first time.

After a bit of bonding with Mommy and Daddy you got to meet Kadie (actually, she was in the room when you were born and saw you before I did), Zed, your Nan and your big brother Noah. You got lots of cuddles and a nose honk or two and then everyone went home and we were left together. I expected you to sleep all evening and be awake all night. After all, you had a very busy morning. But no, you seemed to be letting me know that you were not going to be the sleeper that your brother was.

amy in sleeping shocker

I don’t know if I have completely forgotten what things were like with your brother, but you seem to be more difficult. You need to be held more, you want to feed more often, you cry more, you scream more and you hit or scratch your face all of the time. More than one person has said that you sound like me. Not me as a baby, but me now. That is so not what I want to hear. I’ve always said that I understand why people cannot live with me, because sometimes I struggle to get through the day living with myself. And now.. now there are two of us? Perhaps I should have called you Karma instead of Amy.

bath with attitude

The days where it is bad I struggle. It is a lot harder when I have you and your brother to share attention between. He has mostly been understanding. Then again, he has been pretty understanding about my parental shortcomings since birth. You, not so much. Probably another one of the traits you got from me.

The days where it is not so bad, I cannot get over how much love I feel for you, even though you look back at me with crossed eyes or a scowl. Even when your eyes are saying “you suck, woman. I want a Mother Refund” I cannot help but stare into them. You have blue eyes. I know it is temporary, but Noah never ever had them and I cannot believe that one day I am going to look into your eyes and they will be different. This means I take photos of your face a lot. I’m hoping to get the perfect photo which will forever remind me of the eyes that soon enough I will never get to see again.

eyes wide

To be honest, I am trying to capture all of the good things I can about this time, because I feel like there are not many. Though it seems when you are crying and cannot be soothed that you are to blame for all of the not-so-goodness, I do accept that I am not meant to be in charge of newborns 24 hours a day. Unfortunately for all involved, there is no other option. Luckily your father has far more patience than I do and is okay with pacing up and down this tiny house while you wail your heart out and I try and spend a few moments alone with your brother who went from having all of my attention to very little.

It actually took me a while to write this to you because I felt guilty that it wasn’t more positive and wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows since I now have my perfect little family and I should be over the moon. And I am. On the inside. But I know that things will get better and every good thing will seem great when we can go back and see how hard the beginning was. When you are not feeding for 4 hours straight, getting mad when I can’t magic up more milk from somewhere, when you are not crying every time you need to fart, when you can be put down and don’t mind looking around the room instead of crying and demanding that you be held. Oh, and if you didn’t come out of the womb able to hold up your head and roll and do things you’re not meant to be able to do, it would have given me a little more time to adjust. But I can’t even just plop you down on the couch while I fold laundry .. and not because Noah will force you to play pat-a-cake, but because you roll and get yourself stuck in places you shouldn’t be or cannot get out of!!

a dress!

In a few months (maybe a bit longer) I will be enjoying the time with you and telling myself that I shouldn’t have wished away the newborn days, and to be fair, we’ve made it through the first month relatively unscathed. Sure my eyes look like I’ve been 10 rounds with Ricky Hatton and I have the energy level of a sloth, but I am the mother of a healthy, not-often-but-occasionally happy, strong willed little girl and her terrible-twos-come-early but oh so cute older brother.

And there have been good things in our first month that will outshine the bad: you eventually regained your birth weight back after a long 3 week wait and did it all without a bottle, even though we had a rough start with breastfeeding and I appear to produce semi-skimmed/1% and not the full fat cream you should be having. You appear to love your brother even if he sometimes scares you with his excited dancing. You gave me a smile before you were one month old.. though they are very very very rare. You let me know that you need me and that you feel “calmer” when I am holding you, which IS a good thing .. just perhaps a little less often would be even better.

smiles

So although this month had more valleys than peaks, we survived and go into month 2 with fingers crossed that things will start to improve .. or at least that I lose my short term memory and convince myself that they did.

Happy One Month, Squawkers.
Mommy Loves You!