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Monday, May 16, 2011

Bedtime with Bam Bam

Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved to sleep.  He would voluntarily take 3-4 hour naps during the weekend, and slept 10 hours a night from the age of 3 months.  The little boy slept much like a hamster does, all tucked up into the corner of his crib, and he hated to be taken out of it.  In fact, had he been given the option, we all believe he'd have preferred to spend the majority of his days curled into a little baby pile in his snug, cozy bed, napping the day away. 

Well that sleepy little boy has now graduated to a 'big boy bed'. He misses the crib because it was his favorite snuggly snoozing spot.  Mommy misses the crib because it was a humane and socially acceptable method of caging him.  You see, our little Nighttime Ninja has recently figured out how to open his bedroom door, and can't stand being away from the action when everyone else in the house is still awake.  So he stealthily slips out of bed so he can sneak away to sleep in random places all over the house and give his mother a nightly panic attack when she finds him MIA from said bed.
His second favorite place to nap, the rocker-recliner in his room.
Lately, he's been sneaking out of bed so he can sleep on the chair.
Still, it's one of my top 5 favorite things on Earth putting this kid to bed every night.  We read a variety of his favorite books, all of which he has completely memorized, and he makes sure I don't skip one single page.  No matter how hard I try to sneak a new book into the mix to preserve my sanity, we work with the same library every single night:  "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?", "Goodnight Moon", "Don't Touch My Hat!", "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" and "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog" are this month's favorites.

We finish our story and then it's rockabye time... he burrows down in the crook of my arm like he's done since he was 2 minutes old, pops Stinky (his grody old raggy yellow blanket) into his mouth, and settles in for some quality rockin' time.  For the past couple months, our conversation at this point goes exactly like this:

He points up at me, grinning, commanding, "Sing, Mama!"

"Ok, buddy, what should I sing?"

"Ummmmmmm..." [C'mon dude, I already know what you're gonna say, you don't have to pretend like you're thinking so hard about your song selection.] "Woody Roundoff!"

He means "Woody's Roundup" from Toy Story 2.  There's some yodeling involved, and horse whinnying, and of course a big, drawn-out finish.  He giggles every. Single. Time.  From there, he gives the orders in terms of the playlist, but it almost always goes like this: "Tinkle Tinkle Tar", "Ho Ho Ho" ('Up on The Housetop', yeah, I'm aware it's May: he's not), "Brudder John", "Rocka Baby" and "Bunny Foo Foo".  We may throw in "Over In the Meadow" or "Itsy Bitsy Spider" once in awhile for variety. But if he's not satisfied with my performance, he will stop me in the middle of it by clapping his hand over my mouth and saying, "no sing dat Mama".

Then I get the best reward ever for reading the same books and singing the same songs to him every night:  "I lub you Mama".  Followed by a hug and a kiss before his big green eyes become heavy with sleep, and I tuck he & Stinky under the blankets.  Recently we've added about 1200 other friends to this part of the routine, like the entire cast of Toy Story, half his farm set, 3 emergency rescue vehicles, a book or two, and a backup blanket, in case Stinky gets lost or... less smelly... or whatever.  One more kiss and a "ni-night, see-a later!" and he's down for the count.

I turn out the light, and shut the door... and relish the moment.  Because I know it's fleeting.  I know these sweet nights are numbered.  It won't be long before my little man won't want to rockabye anymore.  Soon he won't think it's hilarious when I sing the 'Good Fairy' part in a high-pitched fairy godmother tone.  Soon he will want to read all those books all by himself.  Soon he won't want me to tuck him in, and Stinky and the Toy Platoon will be distant memories.  Soon I'll worry about him wandering about the town instead of wandering about the house.  But until those days come, I'm going to cherish every giggle, every song lyric, every word of those books I've read 14,326 times, every goodnight kiss.  Cuz I "lub you" too, buddy.

And I know you'll live happily ever after.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Fantastic Five

I've tried.  Lord knows, I've tried.  For 2+ days I've sat down and tried to write down how I feel about my baby girl turning five.  And every time I tried, I cried.  Bawled.  Like a big fat wussypants.  I just don't think there are enough words, and I'll never get the right combination, to explain just how I feel about my daughter.  But I'm working on it:  Jordan and I decided a few months ago that we would like to start a new birthday tradition for the kids.  We will hand-write letters to our children on their birthdays every year... they may throw them out or they may keep them forever but that way they'll always have at the very least a yearly personal reminder of how much their Mom & Dad love them!

So since I'm feeling a bit emotion-aaaaaaallll over my baby turning five, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about our super-fun girls' day out today instead!  Within the last year or so, Asha & I have started having "girl's day" outings, so we decided to do a really huge one for her big #5.  I took the day off work, she took the day "off" daycare... and away we went!  We started our morning bright and early -- somebody was a little excited at 6 am and woke up the whole household -- with a birthday bagel (hey, gimme a break, the cake masterpiece is coming this weekend!)  The kids spent the next 30 minutes trying to set off the smoke alarms by making me light & relight the candles so they could take turns spitting on them  blowing them out.  She's so sweet to share with her little bro!

Happy Fifth Birthday, Sweet Girl!

At 9:00, we headed to the salon for our mani-pedis.  We shot the breeze as the ladies did up our fingernails (red with green & yellow hearts for Ash, pink for Mom) and relaxed a bit while they did our toenails (Moms' matched, Asha went for purple). 

Soaking in the spa jets
Showing off her fancy nails
After our nails dried, we headed to our next stop -- a massage!  Asha had been begging for a massage for ages, so I did some searching and found somone who turned out to be the absolute coolest massage therapist!  She adored Asha, and pampered her a bit -- taped to the floor right under the face hole on the massage table, was a bright yellow balloon with "Happy 5th Birthday Asha" written on it.  Ash loved every minute of her massage, and even fell asleep as the therapist was massaging her neck.  Snored like a buzzsaw, so we knew she was perfectly relaxed!

After all that pampering, we were starving!  Of all the restaurants in all of the F-M area, Asha chose... you guessed it, Chuck E Cheese.  Yay.  Okay, it actually wasn't a total zoo at noon on a Monday afternoon, so it wasn't nearly as horrible as I'd anticipated.  In fact, we had ourselves a darn fun time!

Mom & Asha at Birthday Lunch
Gangstas, sippin' on gin & juice... wait, no, that was Orange Crush.
Mom gets a smooch from the Birthday girl!
Then came the big moment.  A trip to the mall.  To do something she'd been begging to do for 2 years....

Anxiously awaiting the big deal!
EAR PIERCING!  (aaaaaack!  Mom shreiks in horror! Not my baby's innocent earlobes!!)  Ok, no it wasn't that bad at all.  In fact, my little Viking Princess didn't flinch, didn't even so much as blink an eye when they did the piercing.  What a rock star!

Sitting perfectly still as they measured her ears
She chose these adorable little pink sparkly studs, and told me she's "never, ever taking them out.  Not when I go to Kindergarten, not when I go to High School, not when I go to college, not when I get married..."  Yeah, you get the picture. She liked them. I got the actual piercing on video, y'know, for a keepsake or whatever.  It makes me queasy to watch it, but Ash has watched it 73 times since we returned home this afternoon.

All smiles, no tears!  She showed them off to every random stranger we walked past in the mall!
We followed up our big piercing event with a smoothie (her fave), and headed back home.  I popped in her new  "Tangled" movie, and made it about 4 minutes in before I crashed.  Asha made it probably 7 minutes in before she passed out too (just guessing) and we napped almost until the boys got home! 

That just does not look comfy
And that was pretty much our big day.  It may not sound like much to the casual observer, but it was probably the most special day we've ever shared, not counting our very first day spent together five years ago.  We ended the night with a bedtime story about what went on the day she was born (she loves that tale!) and a little snuggling before she drifted off to sleep, one year older, one year wiser, one year more wonderful.

Taken on our very first "girl's day" - May 2, 2006
My beautiful little girl, whose name means "Life" and "Hope" - you have certainly given me new life, full of hope and joy beyond my wildest imagination.  I love everything about you.  I love your big blue eyes, your sunny smile that reveals those charming dimples, your sharp wit and spot-on comic timing, your perceptive views, your effervescent giggle, your brave character, your cheerful demeanor, your endless hugs, your boundless energy, your compassionate spirit, your sensitive heart, and your beautiful grown-up soul in a child's body.  Thank you for letting me share this day with you, and thank you for being my delightful daughter. 

I hope you had a Fantastic Five, baby girl.  Mommy loves you, today and forever!