Almost there...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

18 Months

It turns out my kid is a year and a half old today. Boggle. As she can now say, "Yay!" (That's her new favorite word.) She also says a lot of other things, and every now and then she totally blows us away with new ones. She pointed up at the sky and said, "birds" the other day as the flock flew over at sunset, clear as a bell. That's right, baby girl, birds.

The other thing she does is follow complex instructions. The other night, she was playing with her puzzle on the floor and getting frustrated with one of the latches. Erik said, "If you're having trouble and want help, you can pick it up and bring it over to Daddy." She looked back at him, picked it up, and handed him the puzzle to help. And then we just stared at each other going, "Yeah, that totally just happened."

On the Sunday after we closed escrow, an army of friends (Athena, Paul, Karen, Crystal, Christy, Christyn, and Brian) came and painted interior rooms. Athena went to play with Mira and Arren at Fred and Malaya's house, giving me two hands to tackle the painting. We went from bland bone white in every room to a vibrantly painted house. I had painting the baby's room and one wall of the living room as a main objective, painting the kitchen and dining room as a nice to have, and painting the master and guest bedrooms as stretch goals. By the time it was over, everything was painted. The baby's room was the same Brilliant Sea blue of the former house. The living room had one red wall. The kitchen was a comforting yellow and the dining room had a ragged-on complementary yellow glaze. 

The guest room was a lovely celadon green and the bedroom had the character of the perfect cup of café au lait.

We took most of the day off of moving and packing nonsense on Independence Day and went up to see the Alameda Fourth of July Parade. Athena loved watching the parade. Every time good music happened, she'd dance. She loved having a little flag and a tiny chair that another family provided. 








Our afternoon was consumed with a brief visit to the Lewis's on our way out, and the super nap, but that left a bit of time for us to do some final packing while Athena slept. Then we headed over to the house for Santa Clara fireworks as the prior owners mentioned that they were great from the backyard. This proved to be an exaggeration due to the neighbor's tree, but it was pretty good from the front yard. However, we hadn't anticipated the traffic in the area. Every parking space was taken for miles and the neighborhood was in gridlock. For the small crowd we invited over, we slid our cars into the garage and parked 4 more cars in the driveway. Luckily, we hadn't actually moved yet, so boxes were not in the way. 

We moved stuff on July 5th. That was far more chaotic than I'd planned for. Unfortunately our movers were not the best. The first load took over half the day, and they insisted on doing boxes first. This meant that the next load of furniture had to work around boxes in the new place, which was less than ideal. The final load was rushed onto the truck and rushed into the garage, and left us with a lot of leftover things at the old house that didn't fit comfortably into a Prius. Our next door neighbors Kim and Diego (whom I shall miss very much), helped us out, loading chairs and bicycles into Diego's truck and shuttling it over for us on Saturday. 

Moving with a toddler is a very different experience. Generally, when I move, I disappear for 2 weeks while I unpack thoroughly. That model just can't happen when a tiny human is demanding that you pick her up, play with her, feed her, and generally keep things relatively sane and well-ordered. It also means that you can't leave half-unpacked boxes lurking around, lest she ends up sucking on a bottle of travel conditioner. (Yeah, that totally happened.)

So, we're still living in a sea of boxes. The baby's room is almost fully normalized. Her stickers have been replaced above the changing station, including the robot she so dearly loves to point to (and then bust out dancing about). Her moon is high on the back wall, changing phases as she drifts off to sleep. Her crib is tucked in under a shelf that now contains toys we treasure like her stuffed X-Wing fighter, a tin robot, and an owl nightlight from my childhood that now seems perfectly suited to our little goddess. 

The cats are adjusting to the new house. Pepper was fine. She didn't care, save for when we forgot to provide food and water. Leeloo has decided she likes the baby a bit more. The baby is familiar in an unfamiliar place. Where she previously shied from all contact, now she's willing to let the baby pet her. Athena thinks is this is the best thing ever. She's always loved Leeloo. Now Leeloo lets her love her, so that's awesome.
We managed to catch two of the three yard cats. We got Georgie fixed and let him free in the new back yard. He bolted and hasn't been seen since. That makes us really sad. I hope he's okay. With Littlie, we caught him and have kept him in the garage ever since. He's not thrilled with that, but he's starting to forgive us. We're hoping to introduce him to the backyard soon and slowly via a harness. We'll see how that goes. Mama cat remains uncatchable. Our new tenants are keeping an eye out for her, but I think she's back to being on her own. She'll be fine, really, but I would've really liked to break the kitten cycle. She is just way too smart to ever end up in a trap.

This week we also gave away her infant swing. George and Erin had their little son a week ago and were contemplating ways of helping him sleep. This was the perfect call to action for our swing. On Monday, Athena had gotten sick and we went to put her in the swing to help her sleep and suddenly realized that recent growth had made that old standby an impossibility. Her legs dangled over the edge. Her head was just an inch away from the dangling mobile. The straps would barely reach. It was time to let go. So, we bundled it up and sent it on its way, hopefully to make their son as happy as it made her for a year and a half (though I expect Graham to outgrow it much more quickly!). And now there is way more space in her room. Yay!

Her sick days are hilarious. Here's her before ibuprofen:
Here's her after ibuprofen:
   

Athena started her first swim lesson last Saturday. This was an experience in, "Mommy, why are you doing this to me!!!" But by the end of it, she was either too tired from crying or getting used to it. Either way, the water no longer equaled, "I'm gonna die!!!" Wrapped in a towel, we walked the block and a half home and she drank a bottle of milk and took a well-earned nap. 

Next week we are transitioning Athena to Montessori. I'm deeply torn about this decision. On the one hand, it's a great opportunity to get a leg up and learn some good skills and discipline. It's also $145 cheaper each month. On the other hand, we love the staff at Early Horizons. We love how responsive they are to our needs and concerns. And Athena has best friends. Libby and Noga are great, but every morning when I walk in, Clementine jumps up from whatever she's doing and runs over to greet Athena. She gets so excited that she has to go over to the bouncy zebra and bounce. Then I bounce Athena in time to her bouncing and Athena waves her arms in the air. Separating those girls feels like I'm breaking up the band. We're getting together with Clementine and her moms on Sunday for a morning at Happy Hollow. I'm going to suggest that we try DeLor for six months, and then let them know the pros and cons and then see if we can sync up where the girls go after that. Maybe Clem can come to DeLor, or Athena can return to EH. We'll see. In the meantime, hopefully we can get together every few weeks for a day at Happy Hollow and let the girls rampage together. 

Today, Athena attended the IT Services Family Picnic.
Most of the time she was serious-face-girl, but she did like the bubble machine and dancing to the country and soul tunes. (Her taste in music is... interesting.)