Hello? Anyone still out there? Hi, Mom. I've been away. Let's call it a midsummer vacation. Really I was just procrastinating. But here I am again. Did you miss me? I know you missed Baby P!
I'm not sure what age a baby becomes a toddler. Does it happen at a certain month? Year? I feel like we're in the midst of some kind of transition. She's a baby and yet kind of a toddler. A Boddler.
We're currently practicing "Don't ask, don't refuse" which was working pretty well except that Peyton's nursing like it's her job lately because she has not one, not two, but eight teeth coming in at once. It's karma for my short-lived but dramatic teenaged rebellion, I'm sure. I'm tempted to try night weaning her pretty soon in a bid to get her to sleep all the way through the night. But the thought of losing the sleep I get now after months of work is completely terrifying. I get a migraine just thinking about it. Maybe I'll get the guts to go for it. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and she'll magically sleep on her own one day soon.
Baby P has been mimicking us a lot lately. Like right now she's pretending to clip my toenails by pressing the clippers backwards against my foot. She has also learned how to brush her hair (if she could just figure out which side of the brush to use) and how to use hair clips on my head. Although, she hasn't quite figured out that it's best to UNclip before yanking it from my head. I've lost small chunks of hair daily since Baby P discovered what her nimble fingers can do.
Lately Peyton's favorites are books and her "stuffies". I find her carrying around her board books and sitting with them in random places like the hallway, just flipping through the pages and looking intently at the pictures. A stuffie is anything fluffy and animal-shaped. Even our living, breathing dog is a stuffie. The poor dog can't lay down for a snooze lately without suddenly being grabbed up by the head in a fat baby arm choke-hold. Hermione is a pretty good sport about it, although I don't think the situation is helping her doggy anxiety much.
Peyton's been walking for a few months (I'm still amazed by this development) and she rarely falls down now. However she has adapted a peculiar way of swaying while she walks in order to keep her balance, so it's a bit like living with a tiny drunk person.
There has been a discovery of buttons recently. Before, Peyton was aware that some things, like the T.V. remote can be pressed and smacked and sometimes things will happen as a result. But now she knows what buttons will produce what reaction. She found the PS3 buttons, much to Josh's dismay. She loves to eject the disc. You can imagine the chaos this creates. The cutest part is how she'll hold up the disc like a prize and then repeatedly jam the Eject button down and attempt to peer into the slot when nothing else comes out. If Josh is playing a game when Peyton gets a hankering for button pressing, she will burst into tears if he so much as says "Awww." She feels pretty bad about it, I guess.
For the past week I've been spending a good chunk of my day standing in the hallway opening doors while Baby P stands on the other side and pushes them shut. I often find Josh in the same situation on his days off. This game literally goes on for hours if you let it. I usually try to get her into the kitchen where she can close AND open the cabinets as much as she wants.
About a month ago I set up a "drum set" for Peyton with an empty salsa jar, a few mixing bowls and a beater for a drumstick. This kept us occupied (and our ears ringing) for a good amount of time. I put it all away in the cupboard under the sink (which is now filled with baby-friendly objects due to P's insistence on opening the door and pulling out the cleaning supplies) the other day. Yesterday I watched in fascination as Peyton brought the mixing bowls, salsa jar, beater and a plastic measuring cup out to the living room. Then, I kid you not, she turned them all upside down in a semi-circle around her and starting playing with her "drums". I mean, holy cheese sticks, kid might be a genius. Or maybe this is normal. I don't know. But it seemed pretty intelligent to me.
My girl has also gotten really into sharing; or her version of it anyway. And she isn't very concerned with whether or not you actually want what she's presenting you with. It's a gift and you will accept it (and then return it 5 seconds later when she changes her mind). The dog has animal crackers shoved into her mouth on an almost hourly basis. It's not unlike the relationship that Iago in Aladdin has with Jasmine's father. Hermione is beginning to regret her months spent stalking Baby P as an infant since this is obviously payback.
I don't know if this is normal boddler behavior or if I'm just blessed with a special kind of kid, but for most of the day, she wants to be picked up but then wants down, then up but only if she can grab everything off of the table too. Oh, and any food you happen to be eating is also hers for the taking. But she only wants to taste it and then she gives it to the dog.
If that's not enough cuteness for you, pretty soon we'll be adding another bundle of joy to our home. No, I'm not preggers and don't plan to be any time soon. But starting in a couple weeks I'll be taking care of a sweet little newborn baby boy. You know, to keep things interesting.
Really, though, this is a supplemental income that we really need. I have a separate post coming up about this, but to put it simply: I screwed up. I made stupid financial decisions for our family and suddenly we're living paycheck to paycheck. Not even that, really. More like the money's gone two days after payday and then we're just hoping the sky doesn't fall.
I don't say any of this for an "Oh you poor dear" reaction. Our bills are all paid and we have food on the table every day. It could be worse. For a lot of people, it is worse. I just want to be as honest as possible. I'm not babysitting because I just love extra work (no matter how squishy and cute that work is). I'm working to cushion my family and hopefully clamber as gracefully as possible out of the embarrassing hole I dug.
So there you have it. I have a busy boddler and an empty wallet. But we're happy. I have love and humor and an incredibly sexy husband. Which is a lot more than I could ever ask for. Although I wouldn't turn down a winning lottery ticket, in case anyone has one.