The Power of Speech

Lauren’s usually quiet and uneventful night’s sleep was disrupted recently as she woke us with crying. Not use to being woken up in the early morning hours anymore, it took me a little bit to adjust and realize what was going on but as soon as I heard her cries, “Mommy! Daddy!” I was up those stairs in a flash. She was standing, crying, and reaching up her hands to greet me as I ran into the room.

I picked her up and softly asked, “What’s wrong, Lauren?”
She responded, “Teddy bear.”
“Do you want your little brown teddy bear?”
“Yes, little brown Teddy.”

We walked into the game room and quickly located Teddy – just where we had left him that evening while playing. Lauren hugged him tightly and laid back in my arms.

I then asked, “Do you want to go back to bed?”
“Back to bed.” she replied in her sweet little voice as she nodded her head.

As I laid awake in bed, listening as Lauren tossed a little while before apparently finding that comfy spot to fall asleep – we didn’t hear another peep out of her – I thought, how amazing. It wasn’t that long ago that Lauren would wake in the middle of the night and it was just a guessing game as to what was wrong and how could I help her. Now, she’s verbalizing her needs and desires so clearly. And I couldn’t help but to smile at how endearing it was that she simply wanted Teddy. He’s been sleeping with her every night since.


Our Swimmer Girl has Swimmer’s Ear

This past Friday morning, our normal morning routine was put on hold with a shrieking cry as I tried to wipe out Lauren right ear with a damp washcloth. I thought bizarre, but tried again. Another terrible cry as she jerked away from me. I asked what was wrong and she responded, “Ear hurts.” We got right into the pediatrician and what do you know, it’s an external ear infection. While Lauren’s doctor said it was usually rare to see swimmer’s ear in such a young child – this wouldn’t be the first time she broke the odds with a strange diagnoses.

Lauren, however, was so calm at the doctor’s office – or as she called it on the way back home, “People’s house (with) stickers”. Both the doctor and nurse coined her “a perfect patient” as she lay completely still while they checked and cleaned her ear. As we drove home, I asked her what she thought about the doctor’s visit. She, of course, was ecstatic about the dog sticker that she got and was quite taken by the nurse’s shoes. I didn’t notice them myself, since I was focused on Lauren. However, Lauren was pretty much in a position to not see much but the nurse’s shoes and me out of the corner of her eye. According to LP, “People shoes, purple.” I guess she could be making that up, but I was impressed nevertheless by either her observation or creativity. I’ll definitely have to make note of the nurse’s shoes next time.

While at the doctor’s, we did get an updated weight for LP – with clothes & shoes she came in just under 23 lbs – 22.9 lbs to be exact. After five days of antibiotic drops Lauren seems to be doing better and tomorrow is our last swim lesson so she will have some time to recover away from the pool. Luckily for Lauren, tap water isn’t a factor in swimmer’s ear so there will still be lots of visits to the kiddy pool in the backyard!


Lauren turns 22 Months

Can you believe it?!?! My little baby is 22 months old!! With each passing day, there is always so many new adventures to experience with her and wonders to discover. Just an afternoon in the back yard is amazing when spending it with Lauren.

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We play “I see” (our version of I spy) and some of Lauren’s old standbys are “I see…big trees”, “I see…pink chair”, “I see…green leaves” and of course, “I see…Hailey” and “I see…Mommy”. At the beginning of the summer my Parents as Teachers educator wanted me to encourage Lauren to start saying multiple words together – I haven’t had to do much encouragement. Won’t Ms. Carol be so surprised once our home visits start back in August? In addition to her vocabulary growing by leaps and bounds, (just today she identified a flag – where in heavens did she pick up that word?) but so is she! It’s hard sometimes when you see her everyday, but I can tell by how her clothes are fitting that she’s definitely growing taller. I’m anxious to find out just how tall but we’ll have to wait a couple more months for that. I believe that she’s gained some weight too, but still probably just topping out around 22 pounds. Her hair is definitely longer and she now has two tiny moles (one on her left elbow and one of her left temple).

One new experience from this month was eating “white balls” (as Lauren so endearingly calls them) for breakfast. Yes, Lauren honed in on some powdered donut holes at the bakery so we gave them a try. I’m sure that it was the novelty of eating something round that made them so alluring initially, however, she quickly realized the powdered sugar was yummy and resorted to licking them in the end. It’s so much fun getting to see her try new things for the first time! To see for yourself, click here.

We also treated Lauren to her first popsicle of the season this past month which resulted in several funny faces…at first it was “too hot” but you could tell that wasn’t the word she was searching for as she shook her head. I responded with “too cold” but she nodded no again with a pucker on her face. Then I asked, “Too sour?” That was it and for the rest of the popsicle Lauren ran around the yard making funny faces and proclaiming, “Too sour!” but would not put it down. Check out a few pictures of LP enjoying that popsicle, click here.

Now that Lauren is pretty agile and I really don’t worry about her face planting as much, it was finally time to pull out the sprinkler. LP thought it was awfully neat to take a bite of a popsicle, put it down, rub her hands on it so they were nice and sticky and then be able to wash her hands off in the sprinkler as she ran through it. She thought it was so cool that she followed this same little routine through two entire popsicles. Well, in reality, Hailey probably got more than Lauren. As you can imagine, this whole process allowed for a lot of melting time and most landed on the ground for the dog to devour – which Hailey was happy to oblige for an easy cleanup.  To see some photos of Lauren scampering through the sprinkler for the first time, click here.

Even though Lauren has been communicating with sentences for some time now, I’m still so amazed. Just today she came up to me with one of her plastic plates from her tea party set and said, “This one fall down. Broke. Lauren fix it.” as she pretended to smooth out the edges of the plate. I couldn’t help but to wonder if this was something that she’d heard me or Ryan say? I couldn’t remember a similar incident. Perhaps it’s something that she heard from her Grandma & Grandpa while staying with them and is just repeating it. If not, I have to say – WOW! I’m just so awestruck at how the human mind functions and grows and expands exponentially – seemingly overnight! WOW!!!

One other phrase that I’m amazed Lauren’s picked up on and quite certain that it’s going to do some major damage in the future is “Buy some.” That’s right – Lauren sees something she likes at the store or in a book and she routinely requests for us to “Buy some.” She’s become rather fascinated with “babies” and when I informed her that we were headed to Wal-Mart she replied with, “Wal-Mart, a lot of babies.” I thought this was strange but she was adamant through the entire ride that there were a lot of babies at Wal-Mart. So, I made sure to point out the first baby I saw to Lauren but she seemed relatively unimpressed. We saw a couple more but still no real reaction from LP. Suddenly, as we turned down the toilet paper isle Lauren exclaimed “Babies!” It wasn’t actual babies that she wanted to see, but pictures of them…and next time you’re down the toilet paper isle make note – there are quite a few pictures of babies there. Lauren’s affection towards babies also extends to baby dolls. While waiting on a prescription at Wal-Mart recently, Lauren & I visited the toy section. LP scurried through each isle briefly pausing at a toy here and there, until we got to the section with all of the baby dolls. It stopped her in her tracks. She carefully patted each one that she could reach on the tummy and fondly said “Baby.” Then she would hold their hand for a little while before moving on to the next. The ones that talked when you walked by kind of freaked her out but as long as Mommy was holding her, she wanted to take a closer look…just look though. She had no desire to touch them. 🙂 (I should have known that she’d like baby dolls because, quite frankly, most of them just creep me out!) Luckily, she’s still content with just looking at the toys in the store. As long as she can touch them and have a chance to say, “Bye-bye” before we move on, she’s good. Let’s hope it stays that way for a long, long time!!

There really are so many new things that Lauren has accomplished over the past month. Far too many to ever hit on them all, but these are a few that always make me smile. I know I’ve said it a million times already but I’m just completely amazed by her. Such a simple thing like her going from saying “Mama. Mama. Mama.” one day to “Mommy, help.” the next is so slight but a wonderful example of what little sponges kids are. I am in awe of Lauren every day and know that I’m a better person because of her. To see how big Lauren is getting, check out her 22 month photo shoot which started in the window, headed to the floor and ended in the back yard…click here.


Adults Only

We took our first vacation since Lauren was born – without her.  Going in I had mixed emotions…I was looking forward to spending some time with Ryan alone but also knew that I was going to miss Lauren terribly.  However, I was determined to try to relax and enjoy some quality time with Ryan.  It was on this trip, when I was states apart from LP, that I experienced one of the most wonderful things that a mother could…Lauren said “I luv eew” to me without me saying it first. It made my heart melt and kind of break at the same time. I just wanted to give her a huge hug to let her know how much it meant to me to hear her say that…but I was so far away.

When we got back from Vegas – even though I had talked to Lauren on the phone every day – it seemed like I had forgotten the sound of her voice. I asked Ryan, “Does her voice seem lower?” She looked skinnier than I remembered – but I’m certain she wasn’t. I couldn’t help but to smile with pride and laugh out loud as she described her time with Grandma & Grandpa while we drove home from the airport. She “Threw bread (at the) ducks”, “Fed Hailey pills, brown” and “Chased Grandpa”. She went from saying “bunny” before our vacation to now saying “rabbit” occasionally (I’m assuming Grandma’s influence) and a couple of times that first day back she even had to correct herself, “Grandmmm…Mommy sit here.”

Ryan and I did have a wonderful time – a much needed break for just the two of us. I would say it was so unusual to be able to eat when we wanted…or not eat at all.  We were able to sleep as long as we needed or as little as we wished without fear that in the morning one of us had to take care of a super energetic toddler. Everyone knows that becoming a parent means making your child’s needs a priority but it wasn’t really until this vacation that I honestly realized that it’s these simple luxuries that we’ve done without. I knew that my entire life had changed drastically when Lauren was born.  I went from working a highly stressful and demanding job to being a stay-at-home mom which does carry its own stresses and demands – but is so much more rewarding it’s hard to focus on anything but the fun times.  My daily routine was completely new and different – these were the changes that were easy to see.  However, I have a whole new thought process now that I’m a mom.  My priorities have shifted radically and while I’m that same quirky and anal person – it’s just different.  There are very seldom moments that I stop to think about my own needs or wants – I’m always thinking about Lauren and Ryan first.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it – I so enjoy taking care of my family – but I do have to say that this vacation provided a nice break. Ryan and I will definitely have to make sure we get an occasional adults only vacation that requires no real responsibilities for us.  A break that makes the sound of Lauren’s little feet pitter-pattering after you that much more exciting, the sight of those big beautiful eyes & shinning smile that much more enduring and the touch of her baby soft skin against yours as she hugs you so tight she shakes that much more special.  

Check out a few pictures of Ryan and me on our vacation at Vegas and Lauren and Hailey’s visit to Grandma & Grandpa’s, click here.


Our Little Firecracker

This fourth of July was a lot of fun for the whole family. We enjoyed a wonderful day outside including swinging in the hammock, popping firecrackers, lighting sparklers, eating hamburgers and popsicles, and of course terrorizing any rolly-polly, caterpillar, and dried up worm that crossed our path. The night was topped off perfectly as Ryan and I laid in the back yard under the trees enjoying the fireworks that peaked over the tree tops in the distance. Check out some pics from our fourth of July celebration, click here.

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Funny Little Things

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh out loud at the things that Lauren says. I really should start jotting them down so that I can include them in a weekly blog – let me add that to my to-do list! Here are just a few from the past couple of weeks that stand out the most.

When sliding down the slide into her kiddie pool, she was counting, “One, two, three!” and then she’d slide. One particular time she got stuck so her count down sounded instead like this, “One, two three…four!” and then she sled.

She very seldom says “Mama”, “Dada” or “Hai” anymore. Now it’s a very distinctive, “MomME”, DadDE” and “HaiLEY”. I guess that I was making such a big deal about it that she decided to change her name from “Lawn” (yes, it really does sound like lawn quite often) to “Laurlie” She doesn’t do it very often but occasionally when she’s going through and listing off everyone’s name it does turn out to be “Laurlie”

One evening when we were spending a little time in the back yard playing before bath-time, Lauren spotted a bug. After proclaiming, “bug!” Daddy came to the rescue and squashed it. Might I add, it was a fairly round bug that left quite a large amount of guts on the patio. I responded with a “Awe!” Lauren observed the squashed bug, pondered for a few seconds and then said just one simple word, “Poop.” How profound.

There are many ploys that Lauren uses in order to get out of eating one more bit of food. Generally it’s, “Too hot.” When that doesn’t work, she will respond with “Too cold.” After I reassure her that the temperate is just right, her last resort is, “Too a lot.” Unfortunately she’s usually right there as I’m trying to make that last bite really count.

Lauren frequently uses the phrase “Oh man!” when she can’t find what she’s looking for or if something falls. That’s definitely my influence as I’ve really been trying hard to replace my “Oh shoot!” with “Oh man!” It’s strange how it doesn’t ever sound like “Oh shoot!” when it comes out of Lauren’s mouth.

“A little bit” of hair when she sees a baby picture of herself. “A little bit” of food when she doesn’t want to eat any more. “A little bit” of tissue when she wants to blow her own nose. “A little bit” of milk when she’s finished off her milk but wants some more. Lauren really likes to say, “A little bit.”

I am super amazed at how little kids’ minds work. To think about how many new things a child is exposed to daily is just astonishing – and to then realize how much they are actually retaining…completely mind boggling. When did Lauren pick up that “Mick Mouse” plus “Min Mouse” equals “Mice” – amazing! She repeats words that you are saying all the time but I’m still floored when I hear her use those words in the correct context just out of the blue. It’s words that we don’t necessary use that often – it seems it’s the strangest words that leave lasting impressions like “hang nail” or “suitcase” or “keyboard”, “laptop” and “tape measure”.  I am also completely fascinated by Lauren’s thought process…what exactly was she thinking to name her Play Doh cat “Nine” and her Play Doh dog “E”?

We are having so much fun submerged into this new world of toddler-hood!  We just can’t wait to see what’s in store for us…and what clever and funny things Lauren is going to come up with next!