Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Officially two

Walter has been seeming rather two-ish to me for a long time: lots of bouncing between stunning brilliance, direct defiance, overwhelming sweetness and even more overwhelming whining.  But today is the day he is officially two.  We're going to celebrate with a party in a week and half, the weekend of Sally's baptism when family and friends are in town, but we marked the actual date quite well, I think.

We knew we wanted the box of little Sesame Street books to be on the kitchen table when he came out for breakfast.  Beyond that we had no plan, but very quickly ended up with an unspoken agreement that we'd do our best to honor Walter's reasonable requests--we'd try to say yes whenever we could. Here's what Walter asked for today:

  • Doot Doot cake for breakfast.  It has zucchini in it.  And antioxidants from the chocolate. Request: approved. 
  • Reading his new books during breakfast: done and done. 
  • Orange coat: denied. It's too cold out for the orange coat.  Choo choo train hat? Approved. 
  • *I don't know if this agreement to agree carried over to his teachers at day care, but Walter reportedly had a good day and the pretzels he brought in for snack were a big hit*
  • Hold baby Sally. He asked for this in the morning but the timing wasn't right.  When I offered it to him as an option after day care he was thrilled. I was worried because it was Sally's crabby time and she'd just fallen into an uneasy snooze.  Walter climbed into the green chair, the one I nested and nursed him in when he was a little baby, and with nervous excitement held out his arms as we reminded him not to try to hold her around her neck or face. I leaned Sally up against him and held onto her head; he wrapped his arms around her torso. She woke up immediately ... and smiled. Huge smile. Walter rubbed his cheek on her fuzzy noggin and sighed with contentment.  All he wants is what we all want: to hold a warm, snuggly baby.  And, more importantly, to be allowed to hold his sister.  I picked her up at the first sign of crankiness emerging on her part, and Walter was sad for the moment to end but moved on quickly.
  • At first he asked for "I've got everything that I need" (meaning he wanted to watch The Muppets.) But then he changed his mind and went on a Woody Guthrie kick.  We denied the weird animated "Take You Riding in My Car Car" but watched many other good folksy favorites on YouTube.
  • Leftover Culver's chicken tenders and fries instead of casserole? Sure. Ketchup? Absolutely.
  • After watching several versions of "This Land is Your Land," Walter asked for a guitar. Sean brought out his guitar and cut through the packing tape that held his beat up old case together through our last three moves. After some brief tuning, he handed it over to an over-the-moon Walter. So happy.  And tuneful!  He played it like an upright bass, singing and strumming with great enthusiasm ... too much enthusiasm.  It should probably go without saying that sensitive baby skin and metal guitar strings don't mix, but we both figured if it hurt he'd yell "owie!" and stop.  He did eventually yell "owie," but by then he had blisters on three of his fingers on one hand and an open blister on the other ... and he still wouldn't stop. When Sean realized Walter was hurt he made him stop playing and went into First Aid mode. Walter was more upset by this than by the owies on his fingers.
  • Walter then started in on a series of very reasonable requests that we nonetheless had to deny because they were attempts to delay bedtime or attempts to do more damage to his strumming fingers. The unspoken agreement to agree with our toddler was finally breaking down.
  • After a tearful bedtime ritual, Walter told Sean that there was a dinosaur in his room trying to bite his fingers.  He asked if Hank would chase the dinosaur away.  Yes.  Approved.  
Sean feels bad about the guitar, but while I wish we'd stopped him sooner and he hadn't hurt his fingers on the strings, I am still very glad he got to play the guitar today.  And while I think we all wish bedtime had been earlier and less tearful, I don't think that changes the fact that today was a happy birthday and a good day indeed.

Two years ago, Walter Paul Edison-Albright came into the world wearing the exact same sad/angry face he made tonight when we put away the guitar. When I see that face I feel all sorts of things--sad that my boy is sad, certainly, but also filled with love, and filled with joy that he is my Walter and he is here in my life. Walter is officially two today ... Halle halle hallelujah! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


Today was Sally's 2 month birthday. Tomorrow, Walter turns two.  And something wonderful and new happened between the two of them today.

I was in the bathroom, getting ready for work. Sally was in her small swing, the one we affectionately call "the bucket." She used to hate it, but now she's doing well with it in small doses. Sally very patiently tolerates almost everything--diaper changes, nose drops, Vitamin D drops, me picking boogers out of her nose, me trimming her nails by biting them--everything except for hats. She LOATHES hats. It's going to be a long winter.

So Sally was in her bucket being awake, alert, and interested in the world in a very mature, two-month-old kind of way. Walter came in to join us, playing a game where he brought me cards from his wallet. He decided to give Sally cards, too, by putting them in the swing with her. I am pretty on-edge when Walter interacts with Sally.  Most of the time he's perfectly gentle and wonderful with her, but every now and then he's accidentally or intentionally rough.  But I'm trying not to be too anxious about it, and I'm trying not to overcorrect him.  So I kept an eye on them and continued to put my make up on.  Walter gave Sally's swing a little, gentle rock. Then a less gentle rock. "Be gentle," I said.

And then I looked at Sally.  She was grinning ear to ear, gazing adoringly at her big brother.

"You made her smile," I said. Walter was pleased. I'm pleased, too.  I don't know much about siblings, but I have a feeling I witnessed the start of a beautiful sibling relationship today that will keep me on-edge for many, many years to come.  

Happy birthdays, you two.

And then he read her a magazine. =)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

More big news!

Sally rolled over! I put her down on her tummy and she rolled onto her back.  The best part was that Umma, Baba, and Walter we're all there watching and saw it, too.  I said, "She's going over, she's going over!" and over she went. She'd be getting close these last couple of days, but I think today she was extra hungry, angry and otherwise motivated.  When she rolled we all cheered and Walter smiled a huge smile. Sally cried indignantly and I scooped her up to nurse her.  Well done, Sally bug!

The Edison-Albright kids are extra accomplished this week.  The Edison-Albright parents are extra exhausted. There may be a correlation.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Big news from daycare today

Usually these posts are for the outside world, but sometimes I just need a place to write something down that I can be sure I won't leave in my pocket and put through the washer.  And the internet never forgets, so here goes -- Walter's first successful use of the potty today at daycare!  Way to go!

(Oh, and class of 2029, if you're reading this... go easy on him.  You had to learn to do it, too, you know.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It's hard to blog these days ... Sally changes so fast that I keep starting posts and abandoning them because my observations no longer apply. Also, now that everyone but me is back at work my hands-are-free time is limited and at a premium. Mostly, I use that time for eating, posting photos on flickr and facebook, and, if I'm smart and really lucky, napping.

A couple things, though, that I don't want to forget.  In no order at all:

**When Sally was first learning how to nurse and would get very frustrated, all of a sudden she'd stop, form a perfect "o" with her little mouth, and fall fast asleep. She still makes that face when she's falling asleep sometimes.
**On a recent car ride down to Umma and Baba's, Walter woke up Sally with his very loud whining/moaning/fake toddler crying. Sally started to cry.  Walter stopped, looked at her, and very annoyed, said, "No no baby Sally. MY cryin'."
**On the same car ride, Walter very enthusiastically sang this lullaby to Sally: "Gave my love a chicken! No cryin'." Over and over and over again at super high volume. It was wonderful.
**Sally is giving real smiles now and crying real tears. She smiles at me when Sean gives her to me to nurse. We do a lot of nursing. At four weeks she was 9 lbs. 1 oz, which means she gained more than two pounds in two weeks.  Her cheeks are filling out beautifully.
**Also, her cheeks are covered with baby acne. Her whole face, including her ears, and her neck and the top of chest are covered as well. It looks like cradle cap might be starting a little bit, too. When we're out and about, people aren't sure what to say.  The correct thing to say is this: "What a beautiful baby!" Because it's true. Sally continues to look quite a lot like Walter and also entirely like her own unique self. She has dark blue bright eyes, fuzzy downy duckling hair, and have I mentioned the smile?
Beautiful baby, acne included.
**Sally's vocabulary of noises continues to amaze and amuse us. Walter and I like to imitate her. Once, she made a cat-like sound and Walter excitedly exclaimed "Meow!!" He was like, finally this baby has a trick! Attempts to get Sally to repeat this sound and make other animal sounds have so far failed.
**Sally's legs are very strong. When I put her down for tummy time she propels herself around the mat, basically crawling but without much help from her arms. She also plants her feet and walks around when I'm trying to get her down on her tummy. Her arms and neck are pretty strong and getting stronger every day, too.
**Sally cries sometimes in a way that makes me think she's gassy or colicky, but it's not long and persistent enough to be colic, I think. She's still relatively easy to soothe.  She seems to like me very much in particular, which is nice. The only way I can think of to describe it is this: freshman year in high school I was on the phone with my recently-ex boyfriend and he was describing how it felt to be in the same room as the girl he had a crush on. "I got goosebumps and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, and I looked around to try to figure out what was causing it, and there she was. And I was like, 'Oh ... it's YOU!'" Putting aside how awkward and inappropriate it was for him to be telling his recent ex about his new crush (I forgive you, Andy. Mostly.) that phrase--oh, it's YOU--really struck me and has always stuck with me. And now, when I hold baby Sally, I'm suddenly relaxed and happy and content and I think, what could be causing this? Oh, it's YOU! And that seems to be what she's thinking about me, too.

There's a lot more I'd like to write, but I'm going to publish this while I can. For now, suffice to say that we've been having amazing adventures out in the wide world, our family health is improving but Walter is still quite goopy and antibiotic ear drops are involved, Sally spits up a lot, I'm pretty much all healed from the c-section, the house is a mess, I haven't had the courage to even look at the front yard, toddler meltdowns are rivaled only by toddler sweetness ... we are living life very fully indeed.