Night Terrors

Okay, so Demi actually does get night terrors, maybe once every other week, but what I’m actually referring to with the title of the post is my children. My perfect little angel faces that seem to have a tough time going to bed lately. And staying in bed. Any bed. Pick a bed. If only they would just stay in a bed.

Tonight was a fine example.

Joe went out for a rare meet-up plus drinks with an old friend. He left the house at 7:45 as we were wrapping up bath time. The following 1.75 hours nearly broke my spirit.

First up was Demi. In addition to the usual antics (telling me she wasn’t tired after telling me she was tired and asking for bread which she stuffed into her mouth in one bite), she also went through the following excuses to not go to sleep:

  • “Me want my daddy”
  • “Where is my daddy?”
  • “Why?”
  • “Where Coco?”
    • I then proceeded to turn the house upside down looking for Coco and as I was giving up with Demi whining in the other room, Cam confessed he hid Coco behind Demi’s bed
  • “Where Hattie?”
    • Hattie was quite a bit easier to find thank god
  • “Me blanket”
    • I pulled up the sheet only because it’s a warm night
  • “No, other blanket”
    • I pulled up the second blanket
  • “I have a snaggle”
    • Last time she said that, she actually did have a giant rip in her fingernail that was snagging the sheets, so mom guilt from that caused me to turn on lights and clip her non-existent snaggle
  • “Brother coughing. Too loud.”
    • Seriously!?
  • “Where’s my daddy? Me sad. Me want my daddy.”
  • “Me pinotail in my way” (followed by a fake cry)

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Next up was Cam.

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Since Demi took so long to fall asleep, he got more than just his “20 minutes of cartoons” which always makes him extra greedy for more. I warned him before putting Demi to bed that we’d have to turn the TV off immediately after I came out and he agreed that was okay (“unless it’s really close to the end,right mom?”). So, of course, I turn off the TV and tears.

My next move was to tell Cam all about crazy Demi so he would potentially act more mature about bedtime and cut mom a break. It seemed as though it was going to go that way because he calmed down and then:

  • “I must not have had enough dinner”
    • Gave him a cheese stick
  • “I’m still hungry”
    • I explain it takes time for cheese sticks to travel to the stomach
  • He pours his blue cup of water from dinner into Demi’s pink cup from dinner so he could reclaim the pink cup he wanted so bad. Then he drinks the contents. Lo and behold the pink cup had a sprinkling of mom and dad’s salad topping (which included chili flakes) and he proceeds to lose his mind over the burning. Tears, running around, gargling water, crying, asking how long it’s going to burn. After 4 cups of water and 1 cup of milk, he says it’s a little better.
  • “I have to go to the bathroom”
  • “I don’t think I got it all out”
  • “Where’s Bun-Bun? I can’t sleep without Bun-Bun.”
    • I systematically tear apart his room, then check the living room, then check the back patio and begin to lose my mind. I tell Cam I can’t find Bun-Bun but Elephantie would love a snuggle and he starts wailing. A few minutes later I tell him I can’t do anything about it, start arranging his sheets and find the coveted Bun-Bun.
  • Cam asks if we can snuggle, of course we can, and he nuzzles his head into my chin and continues burrowing until I’m hanging off the bed.

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Between my mental notes that “change gon’ come” and “how much longer do I have to balance my body on the edge of the bed?” I attempted to summon some gratitude. It was a good day, my crazy kids are healthy, there is a bottle of wine on the counter and I will too soon be handing my keys to my teenager, so I’d better suck it up and enjoy it for what it is.

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Popalops and Pinotails

I’m already rolling into Demi Says, Part 2! Why? Because Daddy-O and I each independently observed her language explosion over the last couple weeks and were discussing how surprised we were that she was communicating so well, and with improving sentence structure and vocabulary in general.

Now I know I already noted that she calls lollipops “popalops” but I hadn’t already noted that she calls ponytails “pinotails” (pronounced pee-no-tails). I decided if she ever has her own blog it should be called Popalops and Pinotails and she’d at least have one devoted reader. I wish she would call them popalops and pinotails forever.

Here’s a photo of Daddy-O’s best pinotails to date:

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Some others:

Yesterday, Demi had a fever the whole day. It rose and then we gave her medicine (“meh-sin”) and it came down again, all day and all night long. This morning as I was tip-toeing around the house getting ready for work and trying not to wake the recovering patient, she quietly walked into the kitchen and startled me with “Hi Mama!” to which I accidentally slipped out, “Sh*t!”

After I gained my composure and gave her a hug. I asked her how she was doing. She said “me all betta, no more feeber.” She definitely wasn’t 100%, but she was right that the fever broke and she must have felt better.

It made my mommy heart happy that she at least sort of understood the situation and her condition. I think it bodes well for minimizing the tantrum phase if she can process these kinds of concepts and give feedback that we understand and can respond to.

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Tonight, when I got on the road after work, I called the fam to check in. I can surprisingly have a back and forth with Demi which goes something like this:

D: Mama almost home?
Me: Almost, I’ll be home soon.
D: Where are you?
Me: On the freeway, I’ll be home in just a little bit.
D: All done working?
Me: Yes, all done working.
D: I love you.
Me: melty and swooning as much over her conversation as over her itty bitty little phone voice.

At that point, it was a little after 6 and Demi told Joe she was tired. I was bummed to hear this because that meant if she actually fell asleep that early, I wouldn’t get to see her.

When I got home at about 7, I tried to make a quiet entrance and she came running around the corner. I greeted her and said, “I thought you were going to bed, what happened?” She responded with, “I climb out of bed mama.”

Oh how I love how simple and matter of fact kids can be.

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Other words/phrases/sentences/commands she has tackled pretty successfully:

  • Garage door open mama
  • Me hungry now mama, breakfast
  • Like it! or Mila like it! or Me like it! or Mama like it!?
  • Careful mama
  • Demi self, Demi do it, Demi turn
  • Great Grandma Bernice gave her a Goldilocks and the 3 Bears book that had a little stuffed Goldilocks with it. The other day she pulled the book out and asked “Me Goldilocks?” to ask where her doll was. Seriously she said Goldilocks.
  • Daddy do brother laundry. All dirty. Jacket dirty.
  • Monkey gave it to me
  • Santa gave it to me
  • Raaaaaaining! Poooooouring!

I absolutely love listening to her talk, free-form, after we read books and turn off the lights. She often rambles about her day and says really cute sweet things that I just respond with “oh yeah?” and “very good” and “thank you for telling me” because they really are stream-of-consciousness with a bunch of nouns in a row like “Inny, Poppy, Larson, Baby Steely, brother funny,” and then she usually caps it off with a “me happy” or “I love you mama.”

Mommy Happy?

This morning, as with most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I got up a little after 6 and got ready for work on tiptoes so as not to wake anyone. I was out the door by 7:20, commuted in the rain, pushed through 9 hours of work, commuted home, and then when I pulled into the driveway, the kids were in my car before I could even get out of it. At which point we were off to the races…

Some evenings are hectic. Even when we follow a nice predictable routine, and even on the days when I work in Carlsbad and don’t get home in time for the whole thing.

Tonight though, I was present for most of it and Joe and I stuffed several things into a couple short hours including dinner, showers, dishes, lunch prep, coloring, a little whining and fighting, a dog walk, multiple water spills, toothbrushing, reading and finally lights out.

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I laid with Demi and Joe laid with Cam.

I was relieved to be taking a pause.

As Demi started to settle, she laid her head on my chest and said “Mommy happy”… it was halfway between a question and a statement.

I answered her, “Yes baby, you know why? Because I love you and we had a good night and now I get to cuddle with you.”

She then said, this time distinctly as a statement, “me happy too.”

And added, “brother happy too.”

What a way to end the day, with a little perspective from my almost two year old. She melted me and helped me forget the hustle and nonsense of the day while I happily, contentedly listened to her drift off to sleep.

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Demi Says

A while back I started the series “Cam Says” because so many things out of his mouth inspired laughter or surprise or even amazement.

Demi is now a hilarious little chatterbox herself with her own clever ways of communicating. I feel like she’s picked up language and communication so quickly that I’ve already missed recapping stages of her language development including the cute way words come out before they start sounding like the real word.

So, to pause time right now at 22 months, these are some of her words, phrases, sounds, etc.

  • Santa Claus gave her a new baby doll for Christmas. We asked her what her baby’s name was and without hesitation she said, “Coco.” And since Christmas, most days she recaps to us: “Baby Coco, Santa Claus, sweet boy.” If it isn’t obvious, that means she got her baby Coco from Santa and he is a sweet boy for giving it to her.
  • Also during the holidays, we had a blowup helicopter on the roof with Santa waving out the front window, frosty waving out the back and a spinning propeller. Every day at least twice she asked to go outside and see the “calculare”. That was helicopter. Sounded more like calculator. But we knew what she meant.
  • Other holiday related conversations: “Elfie gone,” “Santa, roof,” “Dee-ah (deer), Bumble?” “Broken, batteries.” “Mickey Mouse!” (neighbors had a 8′ tall blow-up Mickey), “tree sad” (ours got extra crispy).
  • Lollipops = Popalops … OMG this is a cute one to hear.
  • She has many different books featuring animals, one of which has a donkey that says “Hee-haw” and she “hee-haws” with the best of ’em.
  • It is no secret our children like milk. A lot. And because they ask for it so much, sometimes we water it down. Demi now thinks milk always gets water. So as you’re prepping her milk, she coaches you through the process: “Bottle. Milk. Water in it.”
  • A month or two ago, she said I love you for the first time. It sounded like, “Allo you” and now, after a little practice, she says it clearly and frequently, “I love you.” It is often proceeded by “Hi mama.” And she’ll repeat the two phrases a few times just melting me right into a puddle.
  • Typical phone conversation when I’m leaving work to drive for an hour and want to check in on the family: Demi: “Hi mama! I love you!” Me: “Hi baby, how are you?” Demi: “Almost home?”
  • When Joe had a pretty bad cold a couple weeks ago, Demi asked if she could check on him. She’d say “check daddy” and then she’d go to the doorway and holler for him, “daddy okay!?” quite loudly. She now does that regularly, checking in on brother or daddy and yelling into a room “brother okay?” or “daddy okay?”
  • When you tell her something is broken or sick or not feeling well, she’ll give a sad face and say “huggie?” How can you resist a huggie request? You can’t.
  • On work days when I come into the house from my office she asks “work done?”
  • She knows when I want “more coffee”.
  • She sits on the counter in the morning while I make breakfast and reaches over and opens the blinds and asks, “betta’ mommy?” Yes Demi, betta. For Joe, she likes retrieving hats for him and demanding he put them on and then she asks in a sugary sweet voice, “betta daddy? Cozy?”
  • Same for when she’s seated next to our water dispenser. She first asks “water, mommy?” And I’ll say “okay”. And then she prompts me to say please by saying “please?” So I say please. Then she fills up a cup and hands it over. When I finish she asks, “more water?” And repeat until I’m overly hydrated.
  • She says “bless you” when people sneeze.
  • She says “thank you” when you do her a favor.
  • She says “excuse me” when she needs you to move.
  • She says “sorry” even when it’s Cam’s turn to say sorry. “Sawee brudder.”
  • If anyone is climbing on anything, most particularly an adult on a ladder she demands they be careful, “careful daddy!”
  • When we play our kid-friendly regular music, she requests the “meow meow” song and then shortly after she requests Cam’s favorite song, which he’s always referred to as the “Beat Boys” so she asks for “Bee Boys mommy?” It’s actually Drift Away by Uncle Cracker and I’ve heard it no fewer than 200 times in the last 5 months.
  • As of the last several days she has gone into “myself” and “own” mode much more aggressively than Cam ever did, so far as I can remember. She wants to get her “own diapa” and do things “Demi self” and if you get too close to what she’s doing she gets mad quickly.
  • Most frequent phrases include:
    • “See mommy?” or “see daddy?” or “see brudder?”
    • “Brudder funny”
    • “Brudder anything”
    • “Hungy” which already is turning into “Hungry”
  • She talks about going to “Monkey house” and “Gina house” frequently.
  • When I ask what she did today, she says “Inny house. Poppy. Lawson.”
  • When she talks on her phone she says “Hi Poppy!” then pauses and says “no” and then says “bye Poppy.”
  • During Halloween, most everything was “‘pooky!” said in a low voice with a serious face.
  • All food is described as “picy” (spicy) or “hot”. Oddly enough she likes spicy and can tolerate hot pretty well too. Cam can’t handle either.
  • She started sort of counting, “two! three! two! three!” for a few weeks and just the other day she said “one! two! three!” as well as “three! two! one!” Every time she asks for something and you say “just one, okay?” she negotiates with “two?” again in a sugary sweet voice and both hands in front of her face indicating two, followed by a “please?” More often than not, she gets two.

Where Are They Now?

Haha. Just kidding. But it has been a bit since I’ve had time to post. Demi is communicating really well now and she loves her brother. Cam is getting taller and thinner (so so sad to see the rest of the baby fat melt away) and he is very curious. He asks so many questions I cannot answer without Google.

Here’s a clip of them terrorizing the birds at Lake Murray…. we feed them bird seed and then we frighten the feathers out of them. It’s quite a relationship.

Love hearing these squeals.

Kauai Vacation 2018

It’s been a bit since we got home from vacation, but I am fiiiiinally posting about it. One thing that struck me after vacation was that we rarely vacation without family or friends or someone to visit. While we loved it, it also highlighted the benefits of being with other folks. I think we would have pushed ourselves to do more different things. Nonetheless, it was a vacation to remember.

First the whole mashup of photos, then the lowlights and highlights.

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Lowlights:

  • Demi decided she’d rather drive than sit in a car seat, so each time we got into the car for a 2 minute drive or a 2 hour drive, she’d try to get into the front or lose her mind screaming. This would go on for a couple minutes or up to 30, which was just awful. It reminded us that we’re entering official tantrum zone with her.
  • When Cam had an accident in his pants during dinner in the bathroom of a restaurant and I had to run him out to the car with no pants on to change into his wet board shorts and finish dinner.
  • Cam and Demi tug-o-warring over _____ (fill in the blank with whatever you want–a towel, the door knob, a piece of broccoli). This was also an indicator we’re entering that era where we need 2 of everything and they need to be equal, look equal, sound equal, be shaped equally… or someone is mad.

Highlights:

  • Early morning sunrises on the back patio with coffee!
  • Kiddie pool at the condo was 2 feet deep which means the kids could flounder about happily and mostly safely without active assistance. They looooved it.
  • The kids “jumping waves” in Hanalei. I say “jumping waves” in quotes because Joe and I were breaking our backs lifting them up and over aggressive “pre-winter” waves as they shrieked and laughed and couldn’t get enough.
  • Shave ice every day. Favorite: Wishing Well outside of Hanalei.
  • Evening/night swims.
  • The beach in Poipu was the best suited for small kids and therefore allowed Joe and I to chill a little more while the kids were still thoroughly entertained.
  • All. The. Birds. There were sooooo many native birds. We fed the “nenes” (geese) each morning, watched the red-headed cardinals, tall white birds, and chased chickens and roosters around everywhere. Demi called the chickens “bawk bawks” so we spent a good portion of our vacation talking about bawk bawks.
  • The rain followed by a rainbow! We only caught 1 rainbow, but it was a really good one.
  • Naps after getting sun-kissed.
  • The moments when the kids were cooperatively playing. This happened in short bursts every day.
  • When Cam sounded out and spelled “pool” to earn going to the pool one evening.
  • How Demi now calls all bodies of water “pool” even if it’s the ocean. It makes me giggle.
  • Cam’s drawing of the Hawaiian Islands which included several volcano islands, the one we were visiting and the one that Joe and I got married on.
  • For me: poké every day, no cause to put on makeup, convenient entertainment, discovering organic non-refrigerated milk (what!? It exists.), the scenery, the beer, listening to the waves to put us to sleep.

Demi Grey at 1.5

A couple Several days ago (started this a couple weeks ago and didn’t finish… *sigh), Demi Grey hit the year and a half mark! The development that happens between 1 and 2 years is just a joy to witness. She does new things everyday, she mimics her brother and all the adults around her, she makes us laugh with her expressions, she’s just hilarious and sassy and smart and so much fun!

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Here’s a snapshot of this funny monkey at a year and a half:

Communicating:

  • She says “up” when she wants to go up or down, so up means up and up means down
  • When she wants you to open something (anything) she says, “pop?” even if it doesn’t actually pop, like a ziplock bag or a jar of pickles
  • When something is gross or dirty, she scrunches up her face and says “cucky”, but then if you repeat that back to her, she thinks you said cracker or cookie
  • She’s been asking (yelling) for milk for a while, saying “milll” and just a few days ago she tacked on a ‘k’ but it took an effort. It sounded like “milll….K”.
  • Birds are “tweet tweets”
  • Dogs are “woof woofs” or puppies
  • All bugs including flies, lady bugs and ants are “bees”
  • If you say “did you go to Inny’s house today?” she says “Inny!” “Poppy!”
  • She has almost comedic timing on saying “bye!” because she picks up on the cues in a conversation that we’re about to say goodbye and she shouts “BYE!”
  • When she is really excited, she yells, claps and says “yay! yay! yay!” and it is maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I need to get it on camera.
  • When she wants a dabble of something like ketchup or toothpaste, she asks by saying “boop?”
  • When I was growing up, we called farts “fluffs” (this is making me laugh), but we call them toot toots. When anyone toots including herself, she makes a scrunch face and says ‘toot toot’.
  • She knows everything that is hot including the stove, the coffee maker, steaming food, the toaster, the decking outside my office, etc. and whenever she says “hot”, she whispers it softly, “hot”.
  • For cold things, she says “brrrr…”
  • It took her a bit to figure out the word “ice” but now she very loudly and articulately asks for “IIIISSSSSSSSS”
  • “Brother” and “water” sound a lot alike, so it might be only Joe and I that can hear the subtle differences
  • Other words she’s mastered recently: brush, tissue, yummy, yucky, bike, all done

Favorites:

  • Brother! My goodness she loves brother. She says “brother” about 217 times a day. She points to brother’s belongings and says “brother”, she hears him in the other room and says “brother”, he does something funny and she laughs and says “brother”.
  • Walking Mila. She calls her Mimi and she pulls out the leash and makes the kiss sound to make Mila come to her.
  • She loves her babies. We have almost no baby accessories, so I feel inclined to give her a few. For now, she likes holding them, kissing them and making a funny lovey face when she holds them.

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  • Shoes. She puts on ev-er-y-ones shoes, no matter the size and tries clomping around in them. Her favorite shoes to put on are Cam’s gray natives. She’s often walking around the house in just one of them. Some days she insists on wearing particular shoes even if I want her to wear different ones.
  • Being chased.
  • Brushing her teeth (with other peoples’ toothbrushes). She points to the medicine cabinet and yells “teeth!”
  • The happy birthday song, but she only knows, “happy, happy, happppppyyyy…”

  • Water! Includes the beach, pools, the hose, the bath, a cup she can make a mess with, all of it.

Dislikes:

  • Mushrooms. This is the only thing I’ve seen her pull out of her mouth because she didn’t like it.
  • When we stop her from doing something dangerous (climbing ladders, etc.), she gets angry, “no! no! no!”
  • Being inside when anyone is outside.

Comparing her to Cam:

  • She is strong willed, for certain, but she cooperates more than Cam. Example: half the time we change her diaper, we ask her if she wants a new diaper and she lays down on her back and waits. Cam didn’t do this, not even once, in his entire diaper-wearing days.
  • She is just a verbal as Cam was at this age so far as I can remember. I’ve been told that when you have a talker as a first child, the second child talks less, but I don’t think that’s the case with Cam and Demi.
  • Size-wise, they’re both on the same track… high percentiles all-around. Big heads,tallish and meaty, just like I like them!

  • Both kids are shy in new situations with new people, but Demi warms up quickly and then acts like herself. Cam would always take longer to warm up and sometimes wouldn’t at all depending on his mood.
  • They both love all food for the most part. Thank goodness they’re good eaters.
  • Their favorite number at this age is 9. I remember that was Cam’s first number and it’s Demi’s too. If she hears you counting, she’ll always say ‘nine’.

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Worst moments:

  • She has streaks of several nights in a row where she wakes up angry and doesn’t want anyone to touch her and we can’t figure out if it’s a night terror or growing pains or what, but this goes on for a while, sometimes a few minutes and on the worst nights a couple hours.
  • We’re battling an epic rash around her mouth, which we believe started with teething. She had 6 total teeth, 4 on top and 2 on bottom, then plateaued for over 4 months. All of a sudden, she busted 4 sets of teeth, so 8 total teeth and a bunch of molars. This caused drooling and falling asleep on the bottle for comfort and now we just can’t get rid of it.
  • Croup! Just last night, she went to bed happy and woke up a half hour later barking like a seal. It was significantly less scary than when Cam got croup the first time. We thought he was going to die because he couldn’t even get a solid breath, whereas her breathing was just labored. After a couple hours, her breathing evened out and we all sort of slept.

Best moments:

  • Her brother’s birthday. She snagged a cookie and ran like a bandit before I could take a group photo and generally just acted like she owned the place.
  • Summer beach and pool days.

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  • Boating on San Diego Bay

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Demi Grey is picking up new skills and words daily. She is just like the Sour Patch commercials… first they’re sour and then they’re sweet. And her sweetness overpowers her sassy/sour side by a landslide. She is beautiful, hilarious, and full of personality. We love this munchkin so dearly, there aren’t enough moments in the day to smooch her squishy cheeks.