Dear Little ‘Bee, Happy Birthday! (chugga chugga TWO TWO!)

Dear Charlotte,

I can’t believe you are TWO years old.  We’re having a train party for you this weekend, but today I’m continuing my series of birthday letters to you… Last year I wrote that we should start calling you Little ‘Bee instead of Baby ‘Bee when you turned one.  You’re growing up so fast!  You are my independent-minded, thoughtful, curious, and happy Little ‘Bee.  Here are some of my favorite memories between years one and two:

1) The day I picked you up from daycare, and you were walking about as if you owned the place at 15 months...proud of yourself, and gaining momentum with every step and cheer.  We had wanted you to walk on your own SO badly, for SO many months.  But my cautious Little ‘Bee , you just wouldn’t let go until you were a perfect walker.  Your diligent practice was so illustrative of your personality.  You’re a careful planner, you are incredibly observant, and you want things to be just right before you do them.  [I’m sorry~you get that from me!]

I dropped you off that Monday morning as a baby, but I picked you up at 4pm as a toddler.  “She just let go of the couch, and hasn’t stopped since!” Connie told me.  The other children were cheering you on, and your smile was as bright as the sun.  I finally knew what it feels like when your heart explodes with pride.

2) The day we brought Baxter home from the hospital.

Dad and I were only gone for 24 hours, but the moment we arrived back home, you hugged me as if your life depended on it.  You were 19 months old, and didn’t have the words to explain that you missed us, you were confused, and you were nervous because of all the changes.  So instead, you just grabbed my neck and hung on for dear life.  I knew that newborn Baxter needed me, but this was such a poignant reminder that my Little ‘Bee still needed me more than ever.  Being needed is one of the best gifts you can give to someone.

3) The first time I saw you hug Baxter.  And every time since.

Jealous?  No. Acting out in rebellion?  Not once.  You are so in love with your baby Baxter, and you are his fierce protector.  You greet him each morning with a smile and eagerly welcome him into your bed.  “Got Mommy’s two babies!” you tell me every time.  When he goes to sleep at 6pm, you tell him “Goodnight Bax, have sweet dreams”.  You help with his pacifier, his burp rag, and cheer for him when he rolls over.  

Your tenderness and sense of duty is astonishing to me–I mistakenly thought that you’d be jealous and impatient.  When we went to my mother’s group playdate a few weeks ago, about 15 toddlers crowded around Baxter.  You subtly pushed your way through the crowd, and stepped between Bax and the mass of toddlers.  No hands were going to touch your baby.  I hope you always continue protecting him and loving him to pieces.  

3) When I hear you say things like “Cut this orange, it’s too much big!” or “Charlotte watching football with Mommy and Daddy and Baxter.”  You were walking in complete sentences well before age two.  I can’t tell you how often my jaw drops; the length of your sentences and the sophistication of your vocabulary amazes me.  You are a little sponge, picking things up from books, music, and the world around you.  I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that you knew all your colors, you are starting to count, and you sing songs like “ABCs”, “Happy Birthday”, and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from about 22 months.  Your favorite phrases lately?

Anytime we mention nap/bed/sleep, you indignantly shout “No!  Just woke up!”

You greet your brother each morning with “Hi Bax, how you today?  You fine?”

And you can be a little bit bossy: “Just put it right here.  No, over here!”

4) The small things we do together, just Mommy and Charlotte…like “girl time” or reading books before bed.

What a treat for Mommy to do things with only you.  Our lives are so busy that I miss my one-on-one time with you.  A trip to Target or Hannaford is an adventure when it’s just the two of us, and you make everything more fun.  The rare chance to put you to bed now is such a gift, and you make it even sweeter by rubbing my hand as we read, and giving Eskimo kisses before sleep.

Nearly every night since you were born, I have sung “Goodnight Charlotte” and “You are my sunshine” to you.  The first time you joined in on “You ahh my wunshine!  My onwy wunshine!” my heart was so full that I thought it might burst.  I could have stayed there in the rocking chair with you all night, ignoring the dirty dishes that awaited me.

5) Your first time walking on Higgins Beach.  

Seeing your determined little run as you laughed at the waves and chased after seagulls was worth every penny that we spent on our new house.  The whole world was open to you!  You were free to run, spin, jump, roll, and laugh all over that beach–how different than our tiny apartment in Portland!  We went nearly every day during our first summer at Pleasant Hill Road.  And every time, Dad and I knew we’d made the right decision to move.

6) The day two older men held the doors for us at Pat’s Pizza.  And then you looked up at them, started doing your old man walk, and said “olllld man.  OOLLLLD man!”  Also, the day you pooped on the potty for the first time.  Then proceeded to ride around Hannaford in the cart, loudly singing “Poop, poop, I love poop!”

Safe to say that life with a two-year-old gets more entertaining and more fun each day, and I have a built-in playmate.  The best part of my day is hearing “MOMMY!” when I return home and feeling your tiny arms wrap me up in a hug.  I told some friends the other day that I am pretty much obsessed with my children.  And it’s true.  You and Baxter make my world go ’round.

Happy 2nd Birthday.  You are my sunshine ‘Bee, my “onwy wunshine!”




Baxter is four months old!

The highlights between months 3 and 4:

  • sits up more and more with less of mom’s help!
  • likes his exersaucer hand me down from Charlotte
  • still loves to eat his hands
  • is starting to laugh
  • likes to look at the pictures when we read
  • has an increasingly large ‘vocabulary’ of sounds
  • slept through the night for a whole week straight!  and then stopped…
  • but is taking four regular naps a day!
  • had his first Christmas, though he napped through most of it!

Click on the pictures to enlarge!

“He want mummy”

Charlotte is becoming a pro at speaking in full sentences.  This morning from her crib I heard “I WUV you Grampie” on repeat.

Last night at dinner it was “peanut butter and jelly sandwich for you” because she didn’t want the beef stew.  (“you” actually means herself.  pronouns are tricky!)  “Just put it over here” when the sandwich was finally delivered.

Or “There’s another baby here!” when she is tired of having to act like a big girl.  (She’s right.  We demand a lot of this not-even-two-year old).

But I have to shamefully admit that there is one that really gets me.  “He want mummy”.  He being Baxter, and mummy being me.  And this sentences goes hand in hand with the one so often spoken by my husband, grandparents, visitors, friends, etc.  “I think he’s hungry, you better feed him.”  He allllways wants mummy.  And according to well-intentioned others, he’s alllllways hungry.  Which means this mummy never gets a break.

Resuming work yesterday after a two week vacation, I returned home to chaos.  Between the hours of 4-7:30pm, someone was always crying.  Usually more than one someone.  Charlotte needed ice in her cup, help on the stairs, a play mate, a hug, new socks, a different book.  Baxter needed…well, mummy.

I went to bed feeling pretty sorry for myself, and felt even more defeated and frustrated when Baxter woke up at 11:30, 1:45, and 4am.  At 6:15 this morning, I tried to pump with my broken breastpump (more on that later).  I checked my email, and found this article/blog shared by my mamas group that put it all in perspective…it brought tears to my eyes thinking that these days of being needed won’t last forever.  It was timely, emotional, and spot-on.  So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and changed another diaper.  Life goes on, and these moments are so short.

Enjoy the read!  Click here:

This is what it’s really like

I don’t have much to say today except the following two thoughts:

1) People have lately been asking me “what is it like to have two kids under age two?”  I could write you a book, but I don’t have the time or the mental energy.  Instead, see below.

2) It’s the time of cheerful Christmas cards and beautiful family photos.  We’ve been getting many of your CUTE snaps in the mail, and I see many more ADORABLE family photos on facebook.  But let’s be honest here….it takes about 297 tries to get that one perfect photo, doesn’t it?  If I had sent out a Christmas card this year, you would have gotten one of these horribly laughable shots.  Apparently it will take me more than 297 tries this year. So, Merry Christmas from the Follansbees!  (click to enlarge)

Baxter is three months old!

Three months old and Mama is back at work.  But Charlotte and Baxter have still been busy at home, as life goes on when mom is working!  Some highlights from month 2 to month 3:

  • staying awake more during the day; loves his playmat and will “talk” to the hanging animals for nearly 20 minutes!
  • sleeping longer at night, but still not through the night on a regular basis…we’re anxious for this to start happening!
  • sleeps in his new crib, in his own room
  • loves eating his hands
  • still loves tummy time
  • tipping the scale at 12+ pounds
  • Charlotte loves to “hold him” and demands that I let her do it by herself (a scary proposition)

Click the pictures to enlarge!

Baxter is two months old!

The time flew between one month and two months!  Baxter has recently found his hand and tries to shove it in his mouth; he’s fascinated by windows and the trees outside; he is starting to play on his playmat; and he and I have some fun little “chats” where he looks at me so earnestly and babbles as if he’s telling a really important story.  He smiles up a storm and is really interested in Charlotte and Nanny’s drawings that I hung near his changing table.

He allllmost started sleeping through the night, going from 8pm-4 or 5am with no wakeups!  Perhaps by next month he’ll be sleeping in his own room…?  Take a peek at his two month photos, which so beautifully illustrate life with a newborn and a toddler!  [click the pictures to enlarge]