I’ve just returned from a last-minute, on-a-whim trip to New England with Daisy and Ella and what a chaotic, hysterical, challenging (okay, exhausting) and delightful adventure it was. I proved to myself that I’m more capable without Nick than I sometimes give myself credit for, but it also reinforced how much I appreciate having a 50/50 partner in this whole parenting thing.
It was so nice to spend time with my Mom, my Dad and the small handful of other family and friends I was able to squeeze into a short visit (I wish so, so, so much I could’ve been there longer and seen more of you!) - and to reconnect with the towns and beaches that I call “home” in their best season. Traveling with two under two and a half is difficult but I had lots of amazing help and every second of chaos was worth it to feel like I returned to my roots, even for a short time.
Ella is an absolute delight in every way. She is the easiest, sweetest, happiest baby. She started smiling around 5 weeks at the sound of our voices and the sight of our faces - and her smiles seem to get bigger every day. She loves hearing the sound of music and being sung to (sang to?). She is gaining weight like a champ and has already surpassed the ten pound mark! She loved being at the beach, nestled in under a UV-protective tent, listening to the waves and the sounds of voices.
Ella is almost sleeping through the night - she wakes usually once around 3 AM (although on “vacation” she seemed to sleep all day and want to play all night!). It is so fun to watch Ella change physically. With Daisy, we were so concerned about basic physical things like breathing regularly, we never focused in on things like her eyelashes growing in, darkening and curling. It is so fun to watch Ella’s body grow and her settle happily into it.
While life with two is overwhelming at times, I feel strongly that our family is taking the shape it is meant to with Ella in the mix. Her little personality is already starting to shine through and she complements the rest of us perfectly with her joyful, easy demeanor.
Daisy challenges me every day to be present and grounded with both feet on the ground in a way I have never have before. When she is awake, there is no time or mental space to think about the future (even five minutes ahead), it’s all about the now. What can we talk about? Have we touched and smelled and examined and explored everything in our immediate surroundings? Are we doing everything we possibly can to satisfy curiosity and have fun? Are we exerting every single ounce of energy we’ve got? The older she gets, the more demanding she is of my time - in a way that I love and appreciate.
Daisy loves sharing her world of play. She recently learned how to play catch and she wants to practice everywhere: in the pool, on the floor, in the yard, in the car. She wants to make art together - when we have a pad and crayons she’ll tell me what to draw then pats my hand and says “good girl mama” while I’m drawing. She loves to read and point out all of the objects she can identify on each page (“chair!” “clock!”) - she particularly likes spotting the mamas and the babies in each book. While visiting her beloved Mamie, Daisy discovered a new love of microphones (her grandmother has a gold-gilded bluetooth karaoke microphone) and found, when we returned home, that her favorite keyboard has a mic attachment. Since then, she has been belting into it “ladies and gentwlemen, pwease welcome….” at top volume. Emcees, watch out, Daisy is coming for you.
Daisy’s language abilities have undergone another surge in the last few weeks. This spring, when she became physically confined, her word bank seemed to explode out of nowhere. Suddenly now, she is able to string together many words at once - sometimes in very long sequences only Nick and I can understand and sometimes in shorter but complete and proper sentences. When we were in New England, she heard a siren and said “Daisy hospital? Doctor fix leg bone picture” which meant that she understood the ambulance was going to a hospital, where doctors work who help fix people like Daisy using x-rays which are pictures of bones (she’s had many so now knows what they are). We couldn’t be more proud of her verbal skills.
Thankfully, she has adopted manners quite well. She gets things a bit mixed up (IE instead of “no thank you” she says “no pwease” and when someone sneezes she says “excuse me”) but it’s the thought that counts and she always has good intentions.
Physically, Daisy is doing well. Two weeks ago, we met with her surgeon to evaluate the progress on her left side and everything is healing beautifully. She has started to walk (with a considerable limp as one leg is now 3 inches longer than the other) completely independently. The doctors are confident that Daisy’s right hip will heal as well as the left and we have surgery scheduled for September 21. We’ll be doing intensive physical therapy between now and then, and, the period following surgery will be a rough 3 months like the last was but it’s all worthwhile. Though there are days where she seems to be in pain, Daisy doesn’t seem aware of her limp - she walks with the confidence and speed of a “regular kid” which is all we can ask for.
That’s all for now - will be posting regularly again now that the summer and maternity leave are coming to a close and I’m back to the grind. Hope you are all enjoying every minute of summer!