Juliet Turns TWO

April 19, 2018

It's hard to believe that our little Julietty is TWO and in a matter of weeks we will have another newborn in the house. It's all so daunting right now, but one thing I know for sure is that Juliet will most likely handle it like a champ! Here's all the things I can say about my little doll at TWO!

1. A day in the life of Juliet, the two-year-old goes like this: wake up in her bottom bunk with Nora about 6:30-7 and come running into our room yelling "I waked up! It's morning time!" We go downstairs and the girls have TV and a morning snack of milk and apples on the couch until about 8 and then we eat breakfast. On a day when they are going to daycare or Nora has preschool this get cuts a little short and we are usually out the door between 7:45-8:15 depending. When we're home we usually get dressed, tidy, play etc until about 9:30-10:30 and then then girls have their morning snack time. Often we go out to do something like the library story time, visit friends, errands etc. until about 11:30-12. 12 is lunch and then Juliet goes down for a nap from about 12:30-3. They have another snack time around 3:30 and we usually plan an outside activity for after nap like the park or a walk. 5 is supper time and after supper the girls play while I clean up until about 6:15 when we go upstairs for a bath. After bath they have stories in our bed together and then both go into their bunk beds for the night around 7. Lately they've been taking a little while to fall asleep, chatting and giggling and filling around until about 7:30-7:45 but at least they stay in their rooms and eventually fall asleep!

2. Juliet the cuddle bug! Juliet has always been our little cuddler. She loves to sit on my lap and snuggle and will often ask many times throughout the day for me to sit down and "cuddle me". Its such a sweet little gesture and it always reminds me how fleeting this time is with her at this age and stage. I love it when she asks because I have to give in to her and take the time to just sit and do nothing but snuggle her. Over the last year her cuteness factor has absolutely exploded and more than ever, she is simply adorable. She is so happy all the time and laughs or smiles at everything. Her adorable little chubby cheeks are so kissable and that curly blonde mop of hair just tops it all off. I look at her so many times throughout the day and just can't get enough of her cuteness!

3. Juliet's favourite things are her pink blankie ("nanee"- she has called it this since she could talk) which she is super attached to. She needs it to fall asleep and whenever she sees it, no matter what she is doing, she grabs it and cuddles it and starts sucking her thumb. If she is upset about anything, her nanee will calm her in an instant. It's hard to get it out of her sight to wash it! She also has a little pink flamingo stuffy that she sleeps with ("my fingo!"). She is more into playing with baby dolls than Nora ever was and also loves to pack things into bags and purses and carry them around. She plays in the play kitchen more than Nora does now but mostly just does whatever Nora comes up with. She follows her around like crazy and just wants to join in with her at all times. They love to be outside and explore around the backyard together. If Nora is colouring or doing some kind of craft, Juliet will be right beside her. However, I think her favourite game/activity of all time is water play. Since she could climb the kitchen stool, she has figured out how to turn the kitchen sink on and will stand there for a really long time "washing" dishes and turning the water on and off. She does this almost daily and it keeps her occupied while I am tidying or cooking.

4. Speaking of playing with Nora, they really are the best of friends. One of them misses the other dearly even when they aren't together for an hour or so. Juliet is lost without Nora to follow around and she asks about her constantly when she isn't here. Nora is really good with her too, always making up games they can play together and including her in almost everything she does. Of course, they have their little squabbles, but it never lasts more than a minute and most of the time they really get along. Juliet has the funniest way of saying "Nooooowwa!" when she does something she doesn't like! A few months ago I had a babysitter come for Juliet while I took Nora to a birthday party and Nora was so concerned about Juliet the whole time. She kept asking me throughout the party if I thought Juliet was OK and if she'd be missing us. On her birthday, Nora gave her a big hug and said to her "I just love my little birthday girl so much!" and she was just vibrating with excitement at seeing Juliet open the gift she picked out for her- a little rainbow coloured dog stuffy that was also a purse for her to carry around. I just love that they care so much about each other and I hope it always stays like that!

5. Juliet's vocabulary has exploded in the last month or so and she talks in sentences more often than not now. She is stringing 4-5 words together all the time which is so much fun. One of the things she says most often is "me come too?!" or "and me?!" just to make sure she will be included in whatever we are talking about or planning. We hardly ever do anything as a family and leave her behind, so we aren't sure where she got the idea that she isn't coming, but she really wants to make darn sure she'll be with us all the time! Some of her other cute sayings are "that's bugging' me!", "what's that thing?!" (another CONSTANT question) and "mommy do it" or "Nora did it". She basically gives a running commentary all day long of what is going on and what everyone is doing. It can be slightly exhausting sometimes, but it's also adorable. She tells us she loves things all the time which is so funny. She will see a picture in a book and point to one of the objects and say "I love that thing!" no matter what it is. She knows so many names and obscure words like sleeve, nail clippers, chin, etc.- words that I wouldn't think she would come out with. I just love it when she says her own name because she refers to herself as "Julietty!" She also completely gets how to say things in order to be funny or sarcastic or to sound mad. She will raise her eyebrows in such a cute and funny way and say things like "That Daddy!!!" when Tom leaves the toilet seat up for example. She also uses her manners most of the time which is always awesome to hear the little "Thank you Mommy" without being prompted. I just can't wait for all the stories she is going to tell me from now on!

6. We always thought Nora was such a genius child, but now that I have Juliet I think she is just as smart! (Maybe that's just how kids are... but of course I think they are exceptional!) At two, she knows all of her colours which surprises me. She can count to 10 and recognizes numbers wherever we go. At the pool she noticed the difference between numbers and words on the pool deck which completely floored me. She also knows several songs like twinkle, twinkle and baa baa black sheep, and loves to sing along with us. She can sing the entire alphabet correctly and consistently picks out the letter J in books and on papers Nora has written. Seeing the wheels turn and their brains in action has to be one of my favourite things to witness as a parent.

7. Juliet has always loved food, like the rest of us! But she is much more of a treat girl (like her mama) than Nora. Nora will leave sweets and cookies and not touch them over fruit or veg, but Juliet is highly motivated by desserts and cookies and candies. She also eats quite healthily but it's funny to me how different their tastes can be. Juliet much prefers carbs more than Nora and will go for the crackers, pretzels, pancakes, pasta etc. first and eat her fruit and veg last. She LOVES all kinds of dip and if she can dip something, she will eat it- hummus, ranch, ketchup, dippy eggs, tzatziki, you name it! She is also a more adventurous eater than Nora is now. She loves all kinds of salad no matter the dressing. She gobbled up a sesame noodle salad I made the other night and she loves yogurt and granola or overnight oats with everything included- nuts, berries, hemp hearts, chia seeds etc. Her favourite foods are probably apples, watermelon, berries, crackers/chips and pizza, but she really will try/eat almost anything.

8. We are starting to see glimpses of the terrible twos coming out in her a little bit. She wants to do things herself and is less easily distracted by things if she has her mind set on something. I can't just offer her a different kind/colour if she had her heart set on a certain thing. She gets into mischief a little bit, but we have yet to discipline her much. The latest thing is that she wants to always climb into her car seat herself and gets so mad if someone lifts her in. I have started counting to 3 to make her climb in faster and if I get to 3 before she does, I grab her and put her in and she throws a tantrum. I am much better at riding out her tantrums and not giving into them or giving them much attention with Juliet than I was with Nora. I know more about their little power struggles than I did when Nora was this age and I think it has made it much easier to handle. It's all just part of her developmental age and I think she does try and test me a little, but it's really just not in her personality to do so very often. Thank god!

9. We have started potty training Juliet! I never expected or planned on doing it before the baby came, but it was Nora who went down to the basement and brought out the little potty one day and decided Juliet should try it. Almost constantly, Nora asks Juliet to use the potty and she has done it lots! So we are running with it because she seems pretty motivated. We've only just started in the last week or so, but overall it's been pretty successful and she does go almost every time she sits on it, so we will see if it's easier than it was with Nora! Fingers crossed and then we won't have 2 kids in diapers!

10. My whole experience as Juliet's mother has been so different than my experience as Nora's mother. I am so much more laid back with her and I really think her personality and easy-going nature is both as a result and to blame for it. I have always said she is the easiest child to be around, always happy, always going with the flow, never causing a fuss and constantly rolling with the punches. Like Nora, she is a little Mama's girl (both of them prefer me to help them and do things with them and for them over Tom which can be exhausting) but she is just so sweet and laid back I don't mind. A typical example of their personalities was when we took Juliet skiing for the first time a few weeks ago, she just LOVED every minute- she fell in the snow, her skis got twisted, she did things that were completely unfamiliar to her and not once did she wipe the smile off her face or fuss or whine or cry. She was just glad to be a part of the fun and the action. (All while Nora whimpered and whined and questioned every move we made the entire time!)

I could never say which of my children I love more, of course, but my love for Juliet has always been so easy and natural and uncomplicated and pure. I felt such an instant connection to her from the second I laid eyes on her and smiled so wide every time I looked at her from the time she was born. (My fears and anxieties as a first time mother with Nora hindered this a little when I had her). There has always been less drama and less stress and less questioning on my part in my relationship with Juliet that I think she is lucky that way. In a way, she does live in Nora's shadow as the first born "gets" more attention and trial and error than the second a lot of the time, but I am just not worried about her like I am about Nora. She is my little sunshine, my doll and hands down the sweetest most adorable little thing I have ever seen. I have no doubt she will handle big sister status like a champ and continue to impress me and make me proud for the rest of her life. We love you, Julietty!


Four Years of Nora June

August 24, 2017

My Baby Tweedle turned four at the beginning of August and I am finally writing the post I have been thinking about writing since then! I know this is so cliche and everyone always says this, but she is growing up so fast before my eyes! I cannot even believe we have one more year of her at home and that this time next year she will be off to kindergarten!

As promised, I'm going to write a "10 Things" obout each of the girls on their birthdays, so without further adieu....

1. A day in the life of a four year old Nora looks a little something like this: 7:00 wake up, TV and breakfast until about 8, play/plan the day, 9-11:30 go on an outing to the park, see friends, beach, visit family, etc. 12 lunch, 12:30 Juliet naps and Nora watches TV again until about 1:30, 1:30-3 quiet colouring, puzzles, reading, one on one time with me... 3-4:30/5 more outings, playtime, errands, etc. 5-6 suppertime, 7:00 bedtime and asleep immediately! When school starts again and I am back at work, she will go to school 2 mornings a week and a day home once a week. The other 4 days she will be at home on the same schedule. What a life!

2. Our little crafter continues to be OBSESSED with making things. Her new thing is making people a "list". Like, she had to make a "list" of things Juliet does for the day home to know, and a list of things to pack for camping. Sometimes she makes "lists" which are totally not lists, like a "list" to tell daddy not to leave his coffee cup around the house! "Posters" are also really popular right now too. She makes "posters" all the time which are pictures that she tapes onto things in order to label them. She made a poster of Juliet and put it on the fridge because "Juliet likes food"... Ha Ha!!! It drives me a tad crazy to CONSTANTLY be putting random pieces of paper and scraps away and felts and scissors and glue with no lids and and and..... BUT... really... she comes by it honestly!

3. I don't know if she is smarter than the average child, but I am going with YES, because remember, my blog, my bragging rights? She can recognize almost all the letters in the alphabet and she is starting ask quite frequently what sound they make. At just 4 years old, I feel like that is quite sophisticated, being a Kindergarten teacher and all.... to even make the connections that letters make sounds and words is a huge accomplishment. We play a game where she asks me how to "say" (spell) a word and I sound it out and she guesses the letters. Like, "how do you say Juliet?" and I sound out J-U-L-I-E-T and she guesses. She is getting better and definitely knows about 5-10 letter sounds which is crazy! She knows her numbers too and can almost count to 20. She loves learning and playing around with letters and numbers. If anything, being a teacher I was more relaxed about her knowing these things, because I didn't want to be that mom that was pressuring her before she was ready... so I really give ALL credit to her and her desire to learn it all.

4. And on the lines of being a genius... Nora's memory is out of control! Sometimes in a bad way! Things I hope she forgets, she remembers!! But really. How does she remember the colour of the building on a restaurant we went to when she was 2?! I really don't get it! She comes out with things like that ALL the time and I can't believe it. She completely remembers the most minuscule details about so many things it blows our minds almost daily.

5. She is SUCH a wordsmith who loves to rhyme and play around with sayings. A chip off the old Gammy block ;) Actually, my whole family is very literary, my mom, dad, grandma, me, my auntie.... and we all have a similar sense of clever/witty humour. On the night before Nora's birthday, we said, "See you in the morning!" and without even thinking, she said "NO! See you in the FOUR-ning! Get it?! Because I'll be four in the morning!" WHAT THREE-turning-FOUR year old says this stuff?! Also overheard: "Juliet, give that back you GALL!" Me: "Gall?" and her reply: "Yeah, like a seagull, because she always steals stuff like a seagull." She looovvveessssss rhyming and notices and repeats rhymes everywhere all the time. She will often say things like "Oh yeah! Gotta get my shoes boos on!" Or she will randomly say something like "time for a lime and a dime!" and then laugh hysterically. I LOVE it!

6. She is still super tall for her age and looks like she should be starting Kindergarten. It is both an advantage a pain. It's annoying because people expect more from her behaviour that she is ready for. They see her and think she is 5 or 6 and when she mispronounces words or whines or cries easily, they wonder. But it is an advantage in that she is so tall and strong for her age! She took gymnastics and swimming lessons this spring/summer and both instructors were impressed with her abilities for her age. I think she has really good hand/eye coordination for throwing and catching and kicking (of course comparing her with kids in K that I teach... oops!)

7. Her favourite toys at age 4 are still her "guys" (little people and animal figures). She often sets up elaborate scenes with them around the living room recreating TV shows or stories. She still loves Paw Patrol and Curious George and right now is into Doc McStuffins too. She also plays Duplo a lot, but really prefers crafts and reading to any toys. We have been outside a lot so it's hard for me to even think about what she has been doing around the house this summer.

8. She still loves eating and has a crazy appetite. She surprises me all the time what she can eat. She definitely takes after Tom with her fast metabolism and problem of getting HANGRY suddenly! She is really affected by low blood sugar. I can watch her mood change in an instant. If she is suddenly hungry, she needs to be fed instantly or she will go into complete meltdown mode. Within minutes of eating, she is back to her happy self again. It has taken me 4 years to completely figure this out. I worry about her at school and day care, etc when snack and mealtimes are more set times. She pretty much eats about 5-6 full meals a day and I make sure to feed her things that will fill her up at each one. A typical breakfast is a whole piece of toast, a cup of milk, an egg, and about a cup of fresh fruit. About 1.5-2 hours later she eats a snack which is usually crackers and cheese and more fruit or veg. She will eat a whole sandwich and fresh veg for lunch and then ask for a snack while she watches TV and I give her about another cup or fresh veg, cheese, turkey breast/ham and a cookie or a treat on the side. She eats an afternoon snack at 3 when Juliet gets up and then supper with a few random snacks thrown in too!

9. Watching her become a sister to Juliet over the past year and seeing her finally learn to love and accept her as her little bestie as been awesome. The adjustment of having Juliet around was really tough for Nora and it took a good 6 months for her sleep and tantrums to subside back to a pre-Juliet state. Now, she really really loves her and wants to take care of her and laughs with her and plays with her and it's seriously the best.

10. Of course, I have to mention that she is 4, but she is still my Baby Tweedle. My little baby Nora June. There will always be a special place in my heart for her and I love her differently that I do Juliet (not more... just differently!) I think she one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. I look at her in wonder as to where she came from and how she got so grown up and where she got her looks and her brains from. She amazes me and teaches me and I am happier and better because she is here. We play this game where she says "I love you" and then I say "No, I love you" and then she says "No, I love you" and we go back and forth and she laughs and laughs!! But really, I love her so much it actually hurts me to think about. The older she gets and the more she mellows out, the more I see our relationship grow and change into a friendship. I hope she always wants to squeeze me around the neck and talk to me for hours and give me butterfly kisses. She will always be my baby, forever and ever.


One Whole Year of Juliet!

April 07, 2017

I just spent over an hour reading my old posts and wishing I had been more diligent about writing here. It was such a great family journal and fun documentation of our life when I was doing it more regularly! Maybe I'll pick it up again. Or I'll just post a few times a year when I big milestone happens. I had it in mind that I wanted to write an update on Juliet, one year old, for her baby book, and wasn't even going to post it here because I have neglected the blog so much, but I thought it seemed appropriate to add it into the ol' Miss Tweedle vault.

Our little Juliet. Where do I begin?! Let's start a new birthday tradition of 10 THINGS every birthday!

10 Things About Juliet, 12 Months Old

1. Our little happy girl! It's not a secret that Juliet has been a very content and easygoing baby from very early on. She continues to be such a happy, smiley little thing, but is definitely pretty attached to me and beginning to really make strange a lot. It's hard on everyone else that wants to hold her, but I secretly love that she is my little sidekick and happiest in my arms. What mama wouldn't?!

2. The squeak is currently her favourite noise and the only thing that's a guarantee to make her laugh! She loves it when Nora makes a high pitched squeak sound and then they do it back and forth to each other for a few minutes and she giggles away!

3. Words! She is starting to say a few words and really communicating SO MUCH. She says Mama, Dada, Boo!, Night Night and neigh (for horse). She also understands so much more. We were playing on our deck the other night and I said, "why don't you go to the playground?" and she looked right at it and crawled over. She is doing things like tugging on her feet or patting her head when she hears me say "socks" or "hat" and she knows where her ears, nose, mouth, teeth and eyes are. She can also blow kisses, wave, dance to music and say HI. And surprisingly and thankfully, she responds quite well to the word NO!

4. The eyelash batting is the cutest ever! For a few months now, she makes the funniest little coy look and bats her eyeslashes at us often when she is eating. She points her head down and looks up at us and gives a half smile and blinks her eyes. I DIE!

5. She pushes a chair around but isn't walking yet! I thought maybe she would walk by her birthday, but I think we are still a ways off. She is getting more confident with pushing chairs and cruising on furniture and walls every day, but she rarely lets go to stand on her own, if ever. I try and stand her up and make her balance, but she gets really mad at me and sits down and whines and cries when I try.

6. She is beginning the mischief stage BIGTIME. Current favourites of hers are beelining for the stairs at all times (baby gates are us!), escaping into the bathroom when I forget to close the door and splashing in the toilet water, unrolling the TP and/or eating the TP, opening kitchen drawers and emptying them- namely the oil and vinegar bottle storage drawer and eating the chalk from Nora's art easel!!! And I know it's only going to get worse!!

7. She still loves her SLEEP! We are so thankful for our little sleeper, especially the napping part. She  sleeps through the night (and has on and off since she was about 3 months with a few blips along the way). She also still takes 2 naps per day, an early morning one from about 8:30-10 and a longer afternoon nap from 12:30-3 most days. She loves her blank and needs it for sleep, too. It's actually a pink swaddle blankie I had for Nora and she adopted it as her own and now she JUST loves it. She motions to go in her crib close to nap time just to cuddle her blanket and suck her thumb!

8. She also still loves to eat! She feeds herself every meal and eats just as much as Nora, if not more. She isn't a picky eater at all, which is great. The only thing I have found that she doesn't like and won't eat at all are bananas and recently, tomatoes. She also won't drink regular milk yet, so I am trying different ways to get her drinking it so I can wean her from breastfeeding entirely. She still nurses first thing in the morning and before bed at night.

9. Books! She has just started to really love books and flipping pages. She often sits in front of her the bookcase in her room pulling each one off the shelf one by one and turning the pages and pointing to things. I love watching this so much. We read stories before her naps and it's one of my favourite things. I can't wait until both girls will sit and listen to stories with me on the couch.

10. She is still very much by little baby! This year flew by so fast and I didn't have as much time to sit and stare at her all the time.  However, the good thing is that I never really felt guilty about it. I always felt like I had lots of time with her because I was never afraid of her growing up and changing so fast like I was with Nora. I knew that even after she turned one, she would still be my baby and there were always going to be new and exciting stages around every corner.

I also knew she was getting just as much love, if not more than baby Nora did, because she has 3 people around every day to love on her instead of 2! I felt such a strong connection to her from the moment she was born that was so different than it was when I had Nora. I think that I knew so much more about motherhood and the rollercoaster of emotions and overwhelming love and joy that it started earlier than it did when I had Nora. It's hard to put into words what I am trying to say without sounding weird about it. But the love I have for each of my girls is different and special in it's own way, just like they are. It still makes my eyes well with tears when I think about how lucky I am to have two healthy, beautiful and smart little girls.

What a year with my little Juliet! When I hear the nickname "chubbs" I will always be reminded of those sweet michelin arms and thighs that I could never get enough of and that adorable gummy grin smiling at me! Juliet Vera, I can't wait to write this list a year from now and every year after that and put into words forever all the things I love about you! Happy first birthday to our little doll.


Juliet, 6 Months Old

October 04, 2016

Our Juliet Vera, 6 Months Old already! She is the happiest, most content little chubby-pants that there ever was! Seriously, one could not ask for a baby that was easier to be around. Not to say I wouldn't love her just as much if she was a little terror, but it sure has made our transition to 2 kids a breeze.

I won't bore you with all of the details, but instead I have been making a list of things in my head of things that I never want to forget about my little Juliet at this stage. The second time you realize how fast (Hello - 6 months?!!!!!) time really does fly and how easy it is to pass every day without stopping to really look and enjoy these fleeting stages and moments. I try so hard not to compare her with Nora, but I guess it's only natural to do that all the time. Even though, as you know, I kept a diary of almost every moment in Nora's life for the first year, I have STILL forgotten so much, because really, the first year is SO just the beginning and it always makes me so excited to know that I get to experience all the fun I have with Nora all over again with Juliet.

But at 6 Months, here are the things I LOVE about Juliet:

The way she sucks her thumb and uses her other hand to hold her sucking arm to her mouth. After I nurse her in the evenings before bed, she looks up at me and casually slips her thumb into her mouth and then frantically grasps her arm to hold it in place as if it might fall out if she doesn't.

That giant gummy grin that greets me first thing in the morning and after naps and pretty much whenever I look at her!

The arm rolls, oh, the rolls! Girlfriend has some seriously cute chub, rolls for days! We are JUST now getting a glimpse of her neck which has been hiding behind her 7 chins for the last 6 months! Her arm and leg rolls are really going strong though with no signs of slowing down as she is weighing in at a whopping 19lbs 1oz at my latest appointment.

That proud little smile every time she sits up and the hilarious look of fear when she falls backwards accidentally!

The hungry pant she gets going when she knows its time to nurse. She grabs furiously at me and sinks her little fingernails into the back of my neck. When she finally does latch on, she stops for a minute just to look up and me and smile and then dives happily back in.

The way she watches her sister intently all the time. It makes me so excited to see them play and equally as scared and sad to witness the sister squabbles that are about to commence!

When everyone else is quiet (a rare occurrence) within minutes you can bet Juliet will start up with the babbles and when she gets going, it's really something!

The two handed wave she has mastered in the last week when we try and get her to wave hi and bye. I just love seeing the wheels turn on her face and how excited she gets when she realizes that she has done what we want! It's the first time she has really communicated to us that she gets what we are saying!

The way she shovels food into her mouth! So far she only wants to feed herself and doesn't like food on a spoon!

She loves to be outside and is ALWAYS calm when we're on walks or she is being carried around the yard. If she is overtired, I just walk outside with her and she relaxes instantly.

Her newest "funny face" in which she squints her eyes and frowns while sucking on her bottom lip. We kill ourselves laughing when she makes it and she will even do it on command if the mood is right! We have called her the "little old man" since she was a newborn because so often her resting face looked like a wrinkled little old man with dentures (in a good way!)... this funny face just adds to that nickname even more!

She has the most kissable cheeks and laughs EVERY time I tickle her. She also smiles even through tears when I make a kissing sound in the air and even though she is so easygoing, I know she loves having my undivided attention when I get to play with her without Nora around.

The best thing so far about having a second child is that you get how much better and more exciting things get as time goes on. With Nora I was always sad when she turned another month older because I was scared she was going to grow up too fast. I could never picture the next stage or age. But with Juliet, I know how fun it is to watch them learn to walk and talk and play and how many new and exciting things there is to experience and how much better it gets and how your love for them just continues to grow. I also know that the baby stage actually lasts much longer than a year and I have lots of time left with Juliet, the baby.

She is our little pumpkin, chubbs, stinker, monkey, little blue eyes, happy girl, smiley and Juliet Drooliet! I just can't get enough of those big round blue eyes and giant chubby cheeks!

Happy 6 Months to our little doll.


Nora, 3 YEARS OLD!

August 09, 2016

My little Baby Tweedle turned 3 years old on the weekend. I could cry thinking of all the amazing things we have done together over the last three years as well as how many new and exciting adventures we still get to embark on together. She is (one of) the lights of my life and always my little sunshine. I just love her so much, you guys!

Here are 10 awesome things about AGE THREE! (I still can't believe it!)

1. Her growing vocabulary never ceases to amaze me. She comes out with such big words in perfect context all the time, when often she has only heard them once before. She uses words like amazing, terrible, impressed, rather, direction, hilarious, wonderful, promise and awful. I can have real conversations with her all the time and the more she grows up, the more it's like having a best friend around all the time. She even uses similies quite often which is just mind blowing- she said after the towel came out of the dryer "this towel is as warm as a wooly lamb" (!!?!)

2. Her newfound love for board games and puzzles, both favourite pastimes of mine, too! For her birthday, she got several new games and I love that she will sit with me while Juliet naps and play a board game. She is really good at the card game Go Fish, beginning to understand Memory games and is really learning her numbers rolling dice and counting on Snakes and Ladders. Every time I win on a turn she says "good shot!" and if I don't score, she walks around to me and pats me on the back and says "that's ok, mom".

3. Her reading and literacy skills are improving by the minute. She still loves reading books and we take weekly trips to library and bring home a big stack of books each time. We spend a lot of time reading stories together on the couch. It is always my go-to activity when she is tired or cranky. She is getting so good at pointing out letters she knows and already recognizes about a dozen letters.  She even sees letters in abstract objects- She told me that a pretzel makes an 8 or a B and when you bite it off even more, it can be a D.

4. She loves to make crafts which of course, you know, I love too! We do some kind of arts and craft activity every day. Her recent fave is using the glue stick, so I often just cut small shapes out of paper and she will sit and glue them onto a picture for quite a while. She LOVES the show on TV "Mister Maker" where a guy does kids crafts. We get ideas from there and try to recreate them, but really she is happy with her own creations with whatever material I pull out. We made all her own third birthday party decor together which was really fun for me. I cut out cardboard 3's and she painted them and then she painted a big piece of craft paper and after it dried, I cut out a paper bunting banner from it.

5. She makes me laugh so much. She comes out with some hilarious comments on the daily and no matter what is happening, there is always a silver lining and a funny three year old around to put things in perspective. She used the phrase "no worries" with me the other day which made me chuckle and of course, always has funny things to say about Juliet. I tell her I have to drink lots of water to help me make milk for the baby. She chugs water and then says "Mom, I'm trying to get a boob for milk, but I don't have a boob, I only have nipples!"

6. She has such good manners. Yes, one might say it's because Tom and I are just the most polite people ever, but I really think that a lot of it is her personality. I almost never have to remind her to say please and thank you when we are at home, although as with many kids, she gets shy when we're out and about and gets a little stunned in stores, etc. It surprises me every day how often she says Thank you or Thanks, mom. Today I said, would you like to watch a show for a little while and her response was yes, thanks mom. It's just so darn cute.

7. She is still a GREAT eater which makes life so easy. She LOVES fruit and will take it over any treat any day. We go though so many apples every week because we all eat at least one a day. She eats raw veggies, cooked veggies, meat, cheese, you name it.

8. She has started to sort and organize things all the time. This makes me laugh because it is JUST.LIKE.ME. The other night she was stalling before the bath and when I went into her room to see what she was doing, she had every nightie laid out on her floor perfectly and was just looking at them trying to decide which one she was going to wear. I have also walked into to her playing duplo in which she has sorted all the pieces by size or colour all on her own, or lined up every little people guy she has perfectly in a line. It just cracks me up because I have never suggested these activities before.

9. That little brain is constantly firing! We have to be careful what we talk about in front of her now because she remembers such obscure details about things now. She will hold onto a comment we make in passing and keep bringing it up and asking about for days. She is very empathetic and gets sad and cries if she hears about someone getting hurt or mad. She is always thinking about something and will often ask me about a small detail in a book hours after we have read it. She is so good at inferring what is going on in pictures or real life now. Tom and I were commenting on a sign that was newly posted on the lawn of the church next door to our house. She says "I think it might say 'don't drive on that grass'"- totally makes sense- they have just planted grass over there. We were reading once of her favourite Mother Goose books and she studies every picture in great detail and at Rockabye Baby she says "The mice are putting pillows under the baby in the tree because the wind is going to blow and the baby will fall down, so the mice are helping." She says to me "Mom, dogs can't talk." and I said, "No, not in real life" and she answers "no, only in pretend life, right mom?" I think she is just the smartest little three year old around.

10. Even though she is growing up, she is still my baby. I still sing her lullabies and tickle her and pick her up and cuddle her and carry her out of the tub all wrapped up cozy in a towel. I still kiss her cheeks a million times a day and squeeze her and hold her in my lap and don't let her go. It's easy now that Juliet is around to try and make Nora do so many more big kid things, and so she should as she isn't really a baby anymore. But she will always be my baby, my sweet little Nora June. I will never think of her as anything but my beautiful little baby girl.


Our Pet, Juliet- 7 Weeks Old

May 20, 2016

I am so much happier than I was when I wrote last! Things are getting easier and easier each day that goes by and last week, a switch seemed to have flipped on Nora and she is back to being much happier and flexible again. She still has her moments, like any 2.5 year old, but she is mostly back to her old self. It could also be that I am learning better strategies to deal with her. It's all about constant forethought on my part- what can I get her busy with before a feeding? When was the last time she had a snack? How can I spin things to make them her idea/more fun for her? How can I constantly keep her involved with what I am doing with Juliet? It can be exhausting on my part, but the end result is less tantrums and whining and more enjoyment for all of us.

Juliet is the sweetest little thing in the whole world! I find that I am more in love with every day. I remember the same thing with Nora, the first few weeks you're kind of in shock as to what has just happened to your life and super worried about whether the baby is OK, etc. and as you get the hang of things, you just start connecting with that baby more and more. She is such an easy baby, I hardly even want to say it out loud. She really NEVER cries, other than the odd little squawk if she is hungry or has to wait for me to pick her up. She is so content all the time and the gummy grins are ridiculous now! I rush over to her crib in the mornings or after naps and can't wait to look over the edge and see that little face smiling back at me.

I remember really trying to force a routine with Nora at this age and it just didn't work. This time, I am far more laid back and if we are home, she naps in her crib, but if we have things to do, she naps in the stroller or car seat. I can't make things hard on Nora and make her stay cooped up at home all day just because Juliet needs a nap, especially when she will sleep anywhere at this point. I do make sure she takes at least one nap a day at home so she gets used to napping in her crib. I put her down awake for naps and sometimes she cries a bit, sometimes a lot and sometimes not at all. When she does cry, I go in every 5 mins or so and settle her down, say "time to sleep, time for a nap" and then leave again until she falls asleep. So far it is working quite well. She is also going to bed between 7-7:30 already which is amazing. I love having my evenings back! She wakes up once a night, anywhere between 2-5 for a feed and then sleeps until about 8:00 every morning. One thing that really helps is understanding that her "wake time" is about an hour, so no matter where we are, I make sure to lull her sleep after an hour of being awake so she doesn't get overtired.

We got out the play mat for Juliet this week and she loves to lay under there and kick while Nora surrounds her (buries her!) with toys and stuffies. It is seriously cute and so fun to watch her look around and play.

As Nora gets closer to three than two, I can really see her play changing. Just in the last few weeks, she will finally make up her own games and set up elaborate story lines and imaginative scenes with her little people and teddies. She is really into the show Paw Patrol and she often plays that she is rescuing people or "ready to roll!" She also likes Curious George and replays the predicaments George gets himself into. Her vocabulary expands by the minute which never ceases to amaze me. She uses the words "rather" and "awful" and "amazing" and "impressed" and uses such descriptive language with justifications, comparing and contrasting things, connecting books to her life, always commenting on things she sees and later describing them in great detail. We walked past our friend Holly's house the other day and she says, "there's Holly's, mom, and she doesn't have the sign in her window anymore!" Never once had I remembered commenting or pointing out that sign to her, she noticed all on her own. It's such a joy to see her so enamoured and in awe of her surroundings all the time.

I feel like I am finally falling into a groove of being back at home with these two littles again and so thankful that I get to be with them all the time.

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