November 27, 2011

uno, dos, flis, rauncho...

My little girl is a linguist. Of course its been said that the younger a child is when they learn a language, the more easily they will pick it up and retain it, accent and all. Well, with two grandmothers, a father and a mother who know French, Lady M has heard pieces of the French language her entire life.

From my time living in Sweden, I still recall some of the language, so I will throw the odd word or sentence at her, with my oh-so-realistic Scandinavian accent. Its a stretch, but who knows, she may find herself living in Scandinavia someday with an uncanny ability to order a ham and cheese sandwich, or take the #54 bus to the university.

I have also studied some Spanish, so will bestow my vast vocabulary on her from time to time, but I can't take all the credit for her love of the Spanish language. Rather, she has recently developed a mild obsession with Diego (the animated animal rescuer), and her mastery of this delightful romance language is budding before our very eyes.

In fact, just a couple of days ago, she started counting Spanish, rather than English. It caught me off guard a little bit, and while I had a moment of pride, I had an even longer moment of laughter For my little Lady M counted as follows... uno, dos, flis, rauncho, cinco, seis, siete, ocho...

Pretty close! But, for anyone who knows how to count it out, 'flis' should be 'tres', and 'rauncho' should be 'cuatro'. Let's be honest though, 'flis' and 'rauncho' were WAY funnier.

So, if she learns all of her Spanish from her pal Diego, we may have to work on pronunciation a little, but I'd say she's off to a great start. A little linguist in the making...

November 26, 2011

so long, old friend

We knew the time was coming.

It had to arrive sooner or later.

We just weren't sure how it would all pan out.

Lady M and her beloved soother have officially parted ways.

So long, old friend!

Here's how it all happened: From a young age, Lady M has had a tight-knit relationship with her dear little soothers. She hadn't slept without one since she was about 6 months old, so I found myself considering various ways to get her out of the habit of having it, as I felt she was getting just a little bit old to rely on its comfort.

There are plenty of methods out there for helping kids say goodbye: passing the soothers along to a new sibling when they are born, leaving them for Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve, or cutting it out cold turkey. No matter how you slice it, taking something precious away from your sweet little child is never easy. However, with her third birthday looming, I felt the time had come.

We decided not to take it away from her when Lady A was born; I had this terrible feeling that passing her soothers along to her sister would just breed some sort of resentment, and I just didn't want their sisterly relationship to begin in such a way. (I know, dramatic, right?!) I thought Christmas was a little too far away, and the thought of cutting it out cold turkey seemed a little harsh. (Secret's out, I'm a bit of a pushover!)

So, for a couple months leading up to her third birthday we began to prep her for the parting. "Three year olds don't need soothers" we told her, "you're going to be a big girl!" She would repeat the same thing back, surely not realizing that she was actually going to be rid of her sleepytime pal once and for all in a short time.

However, she had preschool the morning of her third birthday, and when I went to pick her up one of her teachers asked me, "is Lady M losing her soother today"? I answered "yes" (feeling a little sad for her before she had even tried sleeping without it), but I guess my little girl was prepared because she had told her teachers that she wouldn't have her soother anymore, because she was three.

We got home, had lunch, and it was time for her nap...the time had come. Deep breath. I put her to bed without her trusty companion with only a small fuss. (I was amazed). She fell asleep relatively easily, but woke up a short time later extremely grouchy and clearly still very tired. So, I decided we had made a big stride by her going to sleep without it, so I let her have it to finish her nap. (It was her birthday, after all!)

That night, same thing...only a mild fuss before she fell asleep without her soother. However, waking up about halfway through the night sobbing, we chose to give it to her for the remainder of the night. For the next day's nap and overnight sleep, we placed the soother beside her in bed after she was asleep so if she woke up at some point, she would find it, and comfort. I guess it worked, because she slept through without issue. (Yay Lady M!)

Then on day three....the breakthrough! No soother through her whole nap, and no soother all night! She asked for it before bed, often told us she 'didn't want to be a big girl', and for a couple of days, she would come crawl into our bed in the middle of the night, but that was ok. It was a pretty big transition after all. And just a few short days later, she was soother-free and sleeping through the night.

After all is said and done, Lady M may have some negative memories of her third birthday, but I suspect all the presents, balloons, cupcakes and the farm party will alleviate some of the pain we caused her when she reminisces about her third birthday in the future!

November 15, 2011

my healthy quest...and 30 things update

My little Lady A hit the 6-month milestone two weeks ago. Hard to believe that six months have flown by in the blink of an eye, and that she's half way through her first year of life. It means we have a little more time between feedings and fewer naps, ergo, more awake time! With this somewhat 'found' time, I have a chance to focus a little more on me for the first time in a while.

With that said, I'm on a quest to get back to being healthy and fit...a place I haven't been in a few years, since having my munchkins. In between having Lady M & Lady A it was easy to set getting fit aside, knowing that I was planning to become pregnant again. But this time, my family is complete, so no easy excuses!!

My sister-in-law has recently graduated as a nutritionist, so with such great knowledge at my fingertips, I would be silly not to work with her, so I am! Thanks to her encouragement and ideas, I'm trying new recipes, making small changes to the items stocked in my kitchen, and drinking more water than I ever have before! The thing that's even better, is that these little lifestyle changes positively affect my entire family.

On the workout front, I continue on with my Zumba classes as often as possible. (To read about the moment I fell in love with this 'exercise in disguise', check out this old post). In fact, in just a few days I'm off to Instructor Training so I can not only attend these fantastic classes, I can teach them too!

I've also found a great Stroller Fitness class that I've been attending for a few weeks with Lady A; I'm working muscles I haven't worked in ages, and its awesome. I'm currently competing in a 'Biggest Loser' challenge with them, trying to win a big gift certificate so I can take even more classes over the winter and continue to challenge myself in new ways. And the best part? I can take my girls with me!

So between the nutrition, fitness classes and a little challenge on the side, I think they're all great steps. And its working to achieve one of the goals that I set out for myself earlier this year in my 30 things post.

Which brings me to a little update on that front. Its been 3 months since I first outlined my goals, so in an effort to stay on track, thought I'd provide a little update as to where things stand...
  1. Become a creative entrepreneur as an exciting side project
    • Haven't made it too far on this one, but I will get there! 
  2. Complete Zumba Fitness instructor training
    • All set to go this Saturday, and I couldn't be more excited!! 
  3. Donate blood (hopefully on a regular occasion, but let's go for once to start)
    • Hmm, I'll take this one as a reminder...I need to go do this. One of my friends said she'd like to join me, so I think we should make a date! 
  4. Have an impeccably organized home
    • Slowly, but surely...this is an ongoing process
  5. Learn Adobe Illustrator
    • This one is in the works! I think I may take a class in the New Year if I can find some time.
  6. Reach my post-pregnancy goal weight
    • As mentioned, the nutrition plans, and fitness goals are all leading toward this one... 
  7. Read a minimum of four books for pleasure this year (yes, that's a lofty goal with two munchkins in the house and lots of school reading at any given time!!)
    • I have finished one so far, and am working on book number two. The first was Mini Shopaholic (yup, that's right, total chick lit!), and now I'm reading Smart Couples Finish Rich. Might as well work on my financial future while I'm at it, right?! 
  8. Share more stories on my blog so my girls will have a great memoir of their childhood
    • Trying to write more whenever I can. I think I need to figure out some form of measurement on this one though...I guess as long as I'm writing more than I did last year overall, then I'm achieving this goal. 
  9. Start teaching a regular Zumba class
    • I can do this once I'm a full-fledged instructor! 
So there we have it...that's where I am with my annual goals; definitely some things to work on, but I'm making a few of the goals a reality already, so I feel like I'm on the right track. Feel free to hold me accountable to anything you read here!!