Leah's nine month letter

Dear Leah,
Early this morning around 3:30am (I can never remember the exact time) I was rocking you in the polka dot glider in your dimly lit room. Moments before you had guzzled 8oz of formula as you always do during your night time feeding. I lifted you from the feeding position and pulled you close to my chest. Your fuzzy head settled heavily on top of my shoulder. Your long toes spread apart like a fan, as your feet felt for a place to rest. Your body relaxed and you drifted back to sleep within seconds. This middle of the night time together is my favorite time with you. The house is silent and dark and we are uninterrupted. We slowly rock back and forth and I soak up the moment in my half-awake state.

You love to clap. You have not figured out how to do it by yourself yet, but we have a fun time doing it together. We sit face to face and I clap first. Your mouth opens wide and a massive grin spreads across your face. After a few claps I take your hands and clap them together for you. This sends jolts of joy through your entire body. You can barely contain yourself. Bursts of giggles erupt from your belly and you laugh and laugh and laugh. I stop and you ponder what to do next, trying to figure out how to clap independently. You bang on my belly with both hands, as if saying, "Let's do it again!"

You and Melody are starting to play together. You lay side by side on a quilt on the living room floor or in the bathtub. Melody mimics your full body kicks. Her body is long and thin compared to your rollie-pollie tummy and legs. Sometimes you want a ball or a bear and she insists that you want something different because it's the toy she wants to play with. Soon you'll be too smart for her manipulative toy switching.

You sit up like a pro now and I don't have to worry about you falling over anymore. You're trying to figure out how to crawl. You scoot backward instead of forward and usually end up stuck halfway underneath the couch or coffee table. You enjoy watching movies with your sister and no one can make you laugh like her silly shrieking can.



a fun friday morning

We've been home a lot this week because the girls both have a cold. I've attempted to catch up on laundry and cook some good meals as well as watch a couple movies. I saw Catch and Release and Dream Girls. They were both okay; good movies to watch by myself during the day as I folded clothes, held babies and played with playdoh. I hit the pause buttom about 100 during each movie to fetch a bottle, answer the phone, talk to a toddler, rescue a baby from scooting backward under the coffee table and so on.

When Friday morning rolled around I was hoping to go to our weekly playgroup. But the runny noses were still with us, so I decided against it. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal, but two of the playgroup mamas are within weeks of their due dates and no one wants to get a fullterm pregnant friend sick with a cold. Can you imagine dealing with a cold DURING labor?

I shuffled around the house in my pjs, unsure of what to do. Stay home and work on things around here? Go to the mall? The pool? The park? Anything outside was a hands down no. It's the hottest week of the summer, so far. The mall was out because I am pretty sure the kids area there is where Melody got the infamous cold in the first place. (This is the cold that has spread to the whole playgroup. Sorry guys!)

Finally I decided to load everyone up in the truck (it has better AC than the car) and see where we ended up. I had a feeling garage sales would be the order of the day. We ended up having a wonderful time. Melody and I chatted the whole way to Fayetteville while Leah took a nap. Mel and I have REAL conversations these days. It's crazy. Today she saw a wagon and said,

"Remember when my got hurt in the wagon?
At Anna's house...in the backyard.
My cried... Jason stopped the wagon... he kiss it.
Then my got in the wagon again.
My got hurt in the wagon."

The crazy thing is, this incident happend LAST summer when Melody was just 19 or 20 months old. (!) I was floored. I kept asking her questions about it and I'm fairly sure it was the only time she's ever been in a wagon.

We went to McDonalds where I bought an iced coffee. They are pretty good. Especially for $1.66. Then we drove around looking for garage sales. It was a very successful shopping time. I bought Melody books, colorful plastic bowls for her kitchen, a kite, a music box from 1983, and a puzzle. For myself I bought a $15 quilt, a couple vintage linens, two homemade aprons (also vintage), and a DVD (Meet the Fockers). My most exciting purchase of the morning was a piece of stained glass that is perfect for our living room. It's about 8x10 inches and is orange and blue of a flower. It was marked $!0 which I was totally going to pay.

Then the lady said, "Oh you can have this for $5."


I love garage sales because it's like you're doing the people a FAVOR to buy their stuff for next to nothing. They just want to get rid of it. Of course there is the occasional sale where people are trying to get $30 for a fushia prom dress from 1991.

We came home just in time for me and Melody to NOT get into a fight. When I push our outings too long, the 30 minute drive home is a nightmare. Maybe that's why I've been annoyed about living in the country lately. I should just come home sooner everytime we're out and about so that we're not pulling each other's hair our by the time we reach our country lane.


cleanup or stay up?

Melody has a fascination with balls. It began a long time ago and everyone who knows her is aware of it. Every time we go to playgroup, she makes a beeline to the first type of ball she sees. For the next two hours she clutches this precious treasure and refuses to play with anything else. Balloons are the only object that can top a ball.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised the other day when our Number One disaster (to date) involed balls. She informed me that she had made a big mess in the living room. Upon entering the room, I spied marble sized, peanut butter colored balls all over the rug. I stepped closer with a look of suspition on my face and in an instant the smell of poop filled my nostrills.

"MELODY! Did you get poop our of your diaper?!"

"My made a mess Mommy!!" She informed me with glee. Then she added, "YUCKY!!!"

"That's right, it's yucky...." I replied and continued muttering all sorts of things about just how yucky it really was. Then I stopped. I realized she had most likely TOUCHED the poop. Her diaper was still on, so I assume she reached inside and removed the balls of poop one and a time. They were scattered all over the room. I had been talking on the phone in the neighboring kitchen. I thought I was keeping an eye on her, but obviously it wasn't enough. I stood there unsure of how to proceed. Then I saw Melody take her hand and wipe it across her face, under her leaky faucet nose. I sprang into action, "Don't touch your nose! Let's go wash you NOW."

The hot water hand and face washing that followed involved levels of tears and shrieking and dismay that a spanking could never match. After she was cleaned up, I had the fun job of hunting down all the marbles of poop in the living room. I grabbed a paper towell and a plastic walmart bag and got to work. Thankfully, her poop is always on the constipated side, so it was easy to handle. (EW!) After using three paper towels and picking up about 12 balls of poop I thought I was finished. The room still reeked so I decided to vacuum the rug. I moved the coffee table and found MORE marbles of poop. Nice.

It is a story fell out of my mouth the instant Chad walked in the door from work that evening. I couldn't even wait until he had finished eating to give him all the nasty details. He just kept shaking his head and closing his eyes. That same night Leah was up with a cold. We only slept about three hours. The next morning I felt 100 years old and decided that I'd rather pick up poop than stay up all night with a sick baby any day of the week. Although when these are one's choices, one realizes quickly why God made babies and toddlers so cute and lovey.