Thursday, April 10, 2014

Can we talk?

I'm always so intrigued by language.  I think I missed my calling studying child development, specifically in regard to language.  I guess there's always time to go back.... but I'll leave the schooling for the younger generation (for now).

I'm in what is, for me, a new and unique position.  I suppose it's likely more normal than I realize and likely the "way it should be" since my children are spaced in a biologically "average" way.

So what is this position?  Well, Whit becomes more conversational every day.  He's always been right on track in the language department and, just as expected as he approaches his fourth birthday, he's able to speak in a completely logical way referencing the present, past and future tense. He can think empathetically which really helps to curb his behavior at times.  He tells jokes (or at least attempts them) and can quote almost every line from his favorite movies.  His story telling has become quite fantastical yet he can relay actual events down to the smallest detail. (Ask him about the time he locked Eilidh in Grandma's bedroom).  And he's picked up some funny sayings along the way.  Now, he still makes those common childhood linguistic mistakes, saying "pasghetti" instead of "spaghetti" and "he do-s" instead of "he does." I know those will fall beyond the wayside just as his baby talk did.

Now Eilidh.... Eilidh is a special girl in many ways.  One of her talents clearly lies in language.  Yes, I know most girls speak earlier than their male peers.  But Eilidh blows me away every day.  As I did my brief research before writing this blog post I saw that a vocabulary of 20 words is typical for a child between 18 months and 2 years.  Eilidh has a vocabulary of more than twice that.  We began signing with her at an early age, just as we did with Whit, to increase her ability to communicate. Yes, she uses signs to communicate, but knows and says the word as well.

It's astonishing to me that in a typical day my not quite 13 month old tells me, quite clearly, that she is ready to "eat" would like "eggs" and a "drink" of "wah-wah."  Oh, and by the way, she really needed a "ork" to eat her eggs and I served that water in a "cup."  For snacks she will eat "appa" "nge" "nana" or "cacka." And she loves "ice."  Now for a sign/word combo.  When she's finished eating she's "Ahhh Daaa" all done.

I hear "mama" a  thousand times a day (which I love) "dada dada" in the early mornings and evenings when she expects to see him and "bra-bra" when she wants to play with Whit or he's done something she doesn't like.  Eilidh often likes to tell me where my "eyes," "nose," and "hair" are, asks to be both "up" and "dahn" and "in" or "out."  When we are outside she loves to ride in the "cah" or on the "actor" or go down the "side."  She enjoys "rock"ing her "baby," playing "ball," pretending to "cook" and playing with her brother's "trucks." At night we take a "bath" read a "book" and drink "milk" before going to sleep.

Eilidh is also quite friendly.  When you meet her if you stick around long enough you'll see and hear "hi" and she's great at saying "bye" but usually after we are out of eyesight.  She likes looking at animals from a distance and reading and talking about them.  "Ogs" go "woof woof" the elephant  goes "do-do" (like a trumpet) and the lion goes "rah" (very realistically).

I'm sure I could go on, but clearly these two little linguists suck up my energy on a daily basis. Hey, at least Eilidh's not awake to hear the click click of the keyboard and demand to be "UP!"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Eilidh is One!

It's official.  Eilidh's life is now counted in years rather than months.  It's been a whirlwind trip these last 365 days.  Eilidh has surprised us from day one and continues to do so.  She is about the sweetest and most loveable little girl I know and I am honored to be her Mama.

Here's a quick look back.

September 2012 - 3 months pregnant

1st ultrasound

November 2012 - 5 months pregnant

March 2013 - 1 day old

April 2013 - one month

May 2013 - 2 months
June 2014 - 3 months

July 2013 - 4 months

August 2014 - 5 months

September - 6 months

October 2014 - 7 months

November 2014 - 8 (1/2) months

Christmas! 9 months

January 2014 - 10 months

February 2014 - 11 months

Birthday Girl!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The year that lasted a lifetime

Sometimes a year can pass so quickly you barely notice it. You say "we'll go on vacation next year" or "in a few years...."

It would do us good to remember that for some a year is everything. Every experience, every joy, every struggle, every day of their life fits into just one year.

That year is coming to a close for Eilidh. In just over 24 hours it will be one year since she left her cozy hidey-hole and joined the big world.  What a year it's been. What amazing experiences we've had. I'm forever grateful that I have been her foundation, her grounding line, the home base from which she ventures, ever further, to explore that world.  And I'm patiently excited to see each new day of her new year.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Being Mommy

This week I ate a banana.

So... that's news?  Well, let me try again.

The other day I sat down in a quiet, semi-tidy room.  I peeled a banana.  I took a bite.  Then another. And another.  I finished the entire banana.  No one leaped for me, asking for a bite.  No one smeared banana on my clothing or in my hair.  When I stood up to drop the banana peel in the garbage, I didn't have to avoid any half-eaten smashed banana on the floor. 

It's the little things in life, right?

Now, don't get me wrong.  I LOVE my life. I love being here, there, everywhere, nearly every moment for my children.  But being Mommy to a busy three year old and a newly mobile 11 month old can be exhausting.  And it's not like you get days off.   Yes, working outside the home is exhausting.  But in a different way.  And really, if you mess up at your job there's a chance you will get fired.  But if you mess up at home....well... let's just not even worry about that, shall we? 

But this week, as I was eating my banana and enjoying an hour "off," I thought about how quiet my house was.  And I thought how I didn't trip over anything on my way to the bathroom. And that I didn't have company in the bathroom!  My break was short, but it was long enough that I missed being Mommy.

Today on the way to school, Whit informed me that I hadn't buckled my seat belt and we were now on the "small road."  I slid the buckle into place and as it clicked I said "Bad Mommy, I'll do better next time."  Whit glanced up at me with surprise and said "You aren't a bad Mommy, you are a good Mommy, the best Mommy."

So while my two little ones aren't old enough to say "Thank you" on a regular basis, I know that I'm making a difference.  I know that while our faith is the foundation of our home and family, I'm like the plumbing and electricity.  Being Mommy isn't typically glamorous.  It's nearly always hard work.  Sometimes it's not appreciated until it's not working.  But there's nothing else I'd rather be.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

To My Dearest Babe

We don't get enough of this.  You and I snuggled together in a quiet house, your head on my chest and your hand in mine.  The sound of my heart beating and your skin on my skin reminding us that we, you and I, are the same; created for each other. 

I'm sorry if I seem so busy, so caught up in the daily to-dos of life.  Paying bills, buying groceries, doing laundry, a thousand other projects screaming to be completed, providing and planning for our future.  I'm sorry if I don't take the time to truly see you. 

I promise from now on I will drop everything I'm doing when you ask me to play.  I will spend a few extra minutes by your bedside each night.  I will get out from behind the camera and make memories rather than mementos.  I will tuck each smile you give me into my heart.  I will not take for granted those chubby cheeks and plump hands or the way you look into my eyes when you say "Mama."  For too soon you will have the lean look of a child then the sharp angles of an adolescent.  Soon your eyes will be occupied, industriously taking in the world.  The next time I hold you in my arms I will breath deeply that scent that is part me, part your father and 100 percent you.  Because every moment you change, you become less my baby and never again will you be the you that you are right now.