The long-delayed update on the girls of the Blogger. As C. approaches her two-month birthday, the differences between her and her sister are becoming more apparent. For example, M. loves to go places in the car. Some days, the first thing she says after waking in the morning or from a nap in the afternoon is, “Go bye-bye in car!?!?!” C., on the other hand, does not love her car seat so much. So we’re faced with the following dilemma: leave the house and listen to C. cry the entire way to wherever we’re going, or stay home and listen to M. whine about wanting to get out of the house. Who said parenting was easy?

The biggest and most obvious difference is in size. Having an infant sets you straight that your toddler isn’t so small anymore. We estimate M.’s weight at around 30 pounds, and she suddenly feels all that and more. It’s not just weight anymore, either, as there is force behind the weight. She feels solid, powerful, capable of choosing her own direction when I hold her now. In short, she feels like a girl and not a baby. It’s a strange reminder of her movement into the next phase of her development.

C. has kept her nice, dark complexion so far, and while her hair seems to have lightened a half shade or so, it’s still dark. So, at times, she and M. really don’t look like sisters, with M. unfortunately getting her dad’s complexion and hair color. (At this point we will avoid discussing the state of her hair. Let’s just say, I think I found a squirrel and two chipmunks living in it when we gave her a bath tonight.) Then again, despite copious application of sunscreen, she’s worked up a nice farmer’s tan on her arms, so perhaps there is hope that she will match her sister’s shade sometime in August.

The biggest challenge of two is balancing their schedules. If M. is whining in the morning, it sucks the life out of you and all you can do is count the minutes until nap time. When she finally goes down, instead of the respite to do things we had in the past, now we’re focused on C., who often gets cranky midday. Once we get C. calmed down, sure enough, M. wakes up full of energy and needing attention. For the record, I haven’t vacuumed in a month, and have crossed about three things off a to-do list that has grown to 30 entries. Veeerrrrry productive with two kids, in other words. And that’s with S. home!

Last week we finally exited the first phase of C.’s life, when she just kind of lays around and eats, sleeps, and cries. That’s right, she’s begun smiling at us. Almost non-stop during some awake time, with that wonderful little infant “laugh” when she gets really happy. She knows how to work us, too. Several nights, during late night feedings, she’ll lean back while burping, look us in the eye, and give us a magical little smile and giggle. As S. says, how can you be upset about being awake at 3:00 AM when you see that face.

Sleeping is getting better, although the girl is spoiled, or spoilt as they say in southern Indiana. Some nights we get six straight hours out of her, although all-too-often those hours fall between 8:00 and 2:00. She’s got to be pushing ten pounds, so we’re expecting more from her soon. She’ll have a good day (Sunday) following by a bad day (Monday). I forgot about the frustrations of an infant trying to establish their sleep cycle. Also maddening is the baby that goes to bed at 11:00, cries at midnight, then passes out after one ounce from her bottle, only to wake again an hour later to repeat the same amount of feeding. Take the four ounces and put your Pampered booty back to sleep for five hours! (I think these things, don’t actually yell them, since with two monitors in the house, some neighbor is sure to hear me and call DFS if I were dumb enough to yell that.)

That’s C., in a nutshell. Good girl, most of the time. She goes in for her two month check-up next week, when we’ll have official stats to share.

M.. The thing that fascinates me about toddlers is how their vocabulary develops. She’s clearly taking lots of things in, because once a day she surprises us by saying something she’s never said before, but always in the right context. Her language is much, much better than it was just a few weeks ago, so I think she’ll be right on the normal development scale of being able to understand half of what she says on her second birthday. She still has plenty moments of total gibberish, though. She’s taken it to a whole new level, though, often holding two stuffed animals and engaging them in lengthy “conversations.” Like tonight in the bathtub, she grabbed her rubber duck and the frog faucet cover and had them talking back-and-forth for the entire time I was washing her hair. Then she took the duck, put its nose on the back of the frog, and said, “Pooey!” See, using things in the proper context!

Her counting has really taken off, as well. Just a week ago she would struggle to get past three when counting objects. Tonight, she counted the buttons on the dishwasher all the way up to eight, then went back to five, before going through nine and ten. S. and I just look at each other and shake our heads.

The downside of the improved language is losing some of her early mispronunciations that were so endearing. “Purckle” has been replaced by purple, although “preckles” are still her favorite snacks. The one letter she has trouble with is F. The phone is a pone. Frog sounds more like bog. Fish is pish.

Awhile back, one of her favorite phrases was “Do you hear it?” followed later by “Do you see it?” any time we talked about something or someone that wasn’t in the room. Now, when she sees something she did not see before, she exclaims, “Dere he izz!” Doesn’t matter if it’s a he, she, or it, it’s always “Dere he izz!” What’s great is how excited she is by anything that wasn’t in her eyesight a moment earlier. A toy she’s played with all day but was hidden under a pillow? “Ohhhh! Dere he izz!!!” Fun.

We are having some issues with the Indoor Voice vs. Outdoor Voice, though, which has brought about greater experimentation with time outs. Especially when C. is sleeping on one of us, M. thinks she needs to scream at the top of her lungs even if she’s happy.

“OK, M., C.’s sleeping so please use your indoor voice.”
M. nods.
“Please speak quietly, ok?
Another nod.
Ten seconds later, “BABYC.!!!!!”

Let’s just say she’s not been terribly responsive to the time out thing yet. We’ll get lots of work on it, I’m sure.

Finally, the next phase in her development will be potty training. We’ve had a potty for her in our bathroom on the main floor for a couple months now, and she enjoys going in and sitting on it when S. or I are using the regular toilet. We explain what the potty is for and that one day she’ll be using it instead of using her diapers. Last week we got her a Big Girl Potty book which explains all about the process. She loves it, some nights making us read it twice before bedtime. We’re close. Maybe a couple more weeks, to allow her to adjust to S. going back to work, then we’ll give it a shot.

The natural downside to explaining the concept of potty to her? She’s begun telling us when her diaper is wet or dirty, which is helpful. What isn’t so helpful is when she hoists one leg up, grabs her crotch, and yells, “POOPIES!!!” While trying not to laugh, I tell her, “You’re not from New York! Get your hand out of your crotch!” This will not be nearly as funny the first time she does it at the mall or in a restaurant, no doubt on a day when I have her and C. by myself. The joys of parenthood!