So much has happened over the past few weeks and I haven't been able to post about it for one reason or another (here's looking at you Time Warner Cable). To begin with Alice was sick. Twice in two weeks. First was a cold, complete with gobs of unbelievable goo needing to be sucked from her head via Nose Frida every 4 hours or so. Then she got this crazy Hand, Foot, and Mouth thing everyone but me has heard of, but Alice had the strain that makes blisters just in your throat, which complimented her 103 degree fever nicely. When we were at the doctor's office it took 3 adults to pin her down for a fleeting moment so the doc could look in her throat and confirm the suspicion. 3 adults! Sick or well, she is certainly not lacking in strength or agility. So for two weeks, there we were, back in the newborn days where I was waking up every hour or two to do something the poor girl was demanding and nursing her like, 15x a day. Which was just as exhausting as it was a year ago. But the kicker is that once Alice got well she wanted to still nurse 15x a day! And be held for 24 hours straight. And sleep in the bed with me. Anyway, this is a long, roundabout way of explaining how we got to a point finally where I let Alice cry it out, or as much as it will ever be in our family. I'll set the scene: Our two weeks of sickness is over and Alice is well again, yet clearly enjoying being attended to as if she were the Queen of Sheba. It is 4:30 am and two of the three members of my family are in our bed awake for the 6th time since 10 pm, the other (lucky) one is on the sofa sleeping peacefully. I am a hollow shell of a woman, yet my baby, having sucked me dry is flourishing beautifully, with roses in her cheeks, and has enough energy to declare 4:30 am 'wake-up time'. A voice in my head, the Voice of Reason I'll call it, says very clearly, "You know what? I am DONE with this." Actually my Voice of Reason said something altogether louder and full of expletives, but the message was the same. So I picked up my sweet little babe, kissed her gently on the forehead and plunked her in her crib with a few of her favorite stuffed animals. And she was pissed. She probably gets this from me, but when Alice has a cow it is so much of a cow that it can more be described as a herd of cows. And a herd of cows she had for 15 minutes while I laid back down and enjoyed not being fed upon. Then I got up and rocked her until she was calm and prepared to do it all over again, only she cried for 2 minutes and then laid down in her crib and went the hell to sleep. So, anyway, this is what we do now and with the exception of a few hiccups, it is pretty fuss-free and Alice only wakes once a night (usually around 4:30am) to nurse and then sleeps until 7am (previously unheard of) and the whole family is back in the beds where they sleep best. I am not going to say that we should have done this earlier, I am simply going to say that it was a call I made out of necessity to better balance things, but one that was also called at the right time for both Alice and myself. She was ready to be responsible for putting herself to sleep, and back to sleep and I was ready to hear her cry for that long, which I had never been before. And we are all happier for it!
Alice and her pile of books.
This dress up thing has been taken to a higher level. She put the necklaces on by herself, then brought me the shoes and sat in my lap waiting to be shoed.
Sitting on the sofa and laughing, like a big kid.
Alice's friend Ingrid had a birthday party and Alice had the best time. Seriously, it was like the greatest day of her life.
Friends! Alice does this thing where if she tries to hand you something and you don't take it she will grab your hand and place it in there for you.
Toy on the head!
Papa on the blanket!
Papa on the green!
Toys as bracelets!
An audience! She had each and every party attendee wrapped around her finger. It was so bizarre suddenly having this incredibly social and happy child who wasn't afraid to show it to people other than Tim and I. She has blossomed in the past few weeks.
Swing induced smile-caught!
This is a water park area of one of our nearby playgrounds.
Alice is wearing hand warmers I made her.
...and climbing a giant turtle.
This is on our back porch and Alice is wearing the first gift Tim got me when we were dating. It is a hat/knit collar that my friend Jessie Williams made (though they are all one of a kind, more available instore at Edge of Urge in Wilmington, NC).
Waiting on some take out for a park picnic. Now that Alice is walking, 'waiting' is complicated.
Alice has a nook. In between our couch and the wall, where we keep the folded up blankets. She plays peek a boo and runs in and out of it all day long. I have to clean all the toys and such out of it every night because she squirrels her treasures back there during the day.
This kid, sheesh.