Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Eggs

This morning, the girls and I dyed Easter eggs. They were beyond thrilled. I put some eggs for each of them in wooden bowls, and they played with them throughout the day.

At naptime, Greta brought up a little bag, as she often does; I assumed it was filled with tiny princesses, as it usually is. Just before I put her into her crib, I realized the bag was quite heavy. I looked inside and saw five dyed, hard-boiled eggs. I find this absolutely hilarious.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Return to the Porch

Finally: spring. Our backyard is a mudpit, the crabgrass is growing in aggressive clumps all over our front yard, the finish on our porch steps has worn off completely--and yet it's glorious to be back outside, able to keep the front door open and let the girls run around with zip-up sweatshirts or, today, only their regular clothes. Lucia and Greta, starved for the outdoors for months, have been gorging themselves on the open air and the space to run. All week, whenever I've taken them outside, they've been absolutely overcome--they don't stop moving. The activities they've been absorbed in are just different reasons to run. One game is "It's raining!" and involves running from the playhouse to the rhododendrons to the slide to the biggest mudpit and around and around again. Another game is "Help me find my sister!", which involves each girl holding her three small mermaid dolls, hurling one of them as far as they can, and then just running at top speed to retrieve it. They have colored every branch of their favorite rhododendron with chalk to make a "fairy house." Before the mudpits dried up, they painted rocks and trees with sticks dripping in mud. They call each other Silvermist (Greta) and Rosetta (Lucia), or switch off being Elsa and Anna. They recreate scenes from Frozen: they like to stand at the porch railing, gingerly put both hands onto it, then gasp dramatically and pull back--as though horrified to find they've turned the railing to ice.

I don't want to put myself out of a job or anything, but they've been so happy all week, so completely absorbed in each other and reacquainting themselves with the outside, that much of the time I've just been able to sit on a chair or on the porch steps, idly watching over them. One day, after the mailman handed me a stack of mail, I was even able to read an entire New Yorker article. That was crazy.

We all pay the price around 5:00pm, when the girls more or less lose it from total exhaustion. They haven't learned yet to pace themselves. Today they needed a tiny break and played calmly with princesses and Squinkies for over an hour this morning in the living room (I read most of the newspaper!). Then we took a nice walk to return our library books and, after nap/quiet time, played outside once more.

We haven't yet put out our porch furniture--it's the weekend's project. We are all very excited to start our porch living once more.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Letter to Greta: 29 Months

Dear Anna,

You, of course, have been christened Anna as part of the Frozen mania you and Lucia have succumbed to lately. Though you don't yet have the ability to sing the songs in their entirety, you do your best--you pipe in with words here and there, and whenever you catch a glimpse of anything Frozen-related, you exclaim excitedly "Zen! Zen!" Your favorite companies are your "zen dolls"--Elsa and Anna dolls. You know the movie well enough to recreate scenes with Lucia (under her bossy direction--"Greta, say this. Greta, now say this."). Today at dinner you looked at me and said "You sing 'Go.'" I, too, welcome any chance to belt out "Let It Go" and obliged.

We've seen changes to your speech the past few weeks--now and then you'll get two syllables in, and you're stringing words together more and more. Your speech therapist has observed that your vocabulary and grammar are developing normally, despite the delay in your articulation. This is good to hear.

One of your new favorite activities is instructing me to "cry." You'll pretend to offer me a Cheerio or whatever you're snacking on, only to then pull it away and say, "No. Mine." Then you say, "Cry." That's my prompt to let out some dramatic fake crying, which you cure by offering me your Bibi and Lambie. It's very cute. If any character in a book is crying, you offer your pa-pa.

You've adopted some new bedtime rituals. You insist on picking out your own pajamas now. Besides the pa-pa you have in your mouth, you also want your other three pa-pas (which you won't actually put in your mouth) in the corner of your crib. You always give your mushroom night light a kiss and a hug. You need to give me one more kiss and hug once you're lying in your crib.

You've been more cuddly, whiny, and babyish lately, frequently appearing out of the blue in full baby-Greta mode with pa-pa, Bibi, and Lambie, snuggling and mewling in a high, tiny voice. I've started to make a joke of it with you, saying in the same high, tiny voice, "Greta has a tiny voice!" This usually makes you laugh, and you'll say "No" in your normal register. Daddy and I both tend to indulge your babyness. You ARE the baby. You seem to know this. You do not, however, like to be called a baby. If I snuggle you and say, "My little baby," you'll pull back and say "No! Big girl! BIG!"

You are still napping for about two hours, and sleeping until 6:45-7am. You are still hit or miss with dinner most nights. Yesterday you screamed in horror at the sight of Swedish meatballs and egg noodles; tonight you eagerly ate a bowl and a half of lentil soup. It's totally unpredictable.

You get cuter and cuter all the time. Some of your resistance to coat and socks and shoes has lessened, some of the time, and our days have been more peaceful lately. I am very eager for your language to catch up with your verve and dash, though I'm sure we'll look back at your peculiar little phrases--such as "Ki hu Di!" ("Kiss and hug Daddy!"), or "Hey So Whi go?" ("Hey, where'd Snow White go?")--with fondness. You are truly a joy, with your funny dances and quick-footed little run. When you're not being frustrating and stubborn, you are a perfect specimen of two-year-old adorableness.

Favorite toys/activities: Frozen dolls, Magiclip princesses, Snow White bath toy, chalk, binoculars

Favorite books: Zoe Gets Ready, Zoe's Room, Grumpy Bird, Knuffle Bunny books, Spot the Dot (David Carter pop-up), Little Quack, Pajama Time, A Color of His Own