Addie Baby


Charlotte is one week old today and of course I had to document it.  Addie got a little silly during our photo shoot.  I think we’re both going stir crazy. Charlotte is totally unfazed.

Addie is super excited to be here!

I lied. THIS will be my last post as a Mom of one.  I was going through some photos and wanted to post these here before I forgot about them in post-baby mania or they got too old.  And then I also might shut up about how much Addie loves gymnastics.  It almost makes me sad that she’s destined to be 6 feet tall.

Waiting with Dad.

These were taken at a class a few weeks ago.  One that, luckily, Scott was able to attend.  It thrilled Addie to have her Dad there watching her class.  Addie has been an absolute joy lately.  I think she senses that something is about to change in our lives, or maybe I just have more patience in these last few weeks alone with her.  She really turns every day, every little task or outing, into a special occasion.  Her excitement for little things – like going to the grocery store where she’ll get a balloon, or heading to the library where she’ll get to play a game on the computer – makes our boring little stay-at-home world that much more fun.  It’s the kind optimism that only the very young have and the rest of us wish we could get back.  I only hope that she’s as excited to share in these mundane tasks with her little sis. 

She really is as high as she looks. She wouldn't even put that harness on 8 weeks ago.

A: “Mama, I want a cookie.”

M: “Well, you can have a snack but how about some grapes?”

A: “How ’bout a chocolate chip cookie.”

M: …

A: “I’ll have two.”

Addie and I joined some friends for a morning of strawberry picking last week.  When we made these plans I thought that it would be fun for Addie, but unless those strawberry plants were about five feet tall, I wouldn’t be bending my very pregnant butt over to crawl around a field and pick berries.  Then I got out there and I saw all of the gorgeous, shiny, juicy red berries – many of which Addie was passing up for mushy berries or green berries – and I was forced to join the fun.  I’m that much of a control freak, apparently, that I can’t just let my kid pick the berries that make her happy and call it a day.  I have to get involved and make sure she finds the best berry in the entire field.  It is not a contest.

The girls did a great job picking fruit and filling their little buckets.  When Addison collected more than a dozen berries, she would complain that her bucket was too heavy and empty it into my bucket.  If I didn’t act fast enough the bucket would very dramatically fall from her arm, spilling berries to the ground.  Then she would stand there and supervise while her friend rushed over to pick up every last strawberry. 

Long day in the fields

 

This excursion could not have come at a better time.  I came across this recipe  for Strawberry Jam a few weeks ago and I’ve been itching to try it.  I had actually planned to buy a few pounds of strawberries at Sam’s Club this week solely for this purpose.

After two full days and four stores I was beginning to give up on my dream of homemade strawberry jam.  I couldn’t find pectin anywhere.  I visited two supermarkets, a Super Target and Hobby Lobby with no luck.  I was about to give up and make a 10 dozen strawberry cupcakes just to use the berries before they grew hair, when I decided to give Super Wal-Mart a try.  If you’re planning to make jam anytime soon, let me save you a lot of time and mileage on your car.  You can find the pectin at Super Wal-Mart in the baking aisle.  I’m not sure it exists anywhere else in the whole world.  

Addie was my helper in the kitchen, naturally.  She mashed the berries, sealed the jars and acted as quality control inspector.

And to prove to my daughter that I wasn’t a total control freak, I didn’t grab the masher from her to smooth out the lumps that she missed.  Although I may have been very, very tempted.

The other night while getting ready for bed Addie looked at me and said – in a very small voice – “mommy”.  She barely croaked out those two syllables.  It sounded almost like a question, like she was just trying it on for size.  She paused and said again, a little louder this time, “Mommy” and then she smiled and started a string of “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy…”

I was stunned.  And I have to admit, a little lump started forming in my throat (though I’m blaming the pregnancy hormones).  I’ve always been Mama.  Since Addie started calling me anything, it’s been Mama.  Once she hit two years old and still hadn’t changed my title I was thrilled. I can think of nothing better that I’d like to answer to for the rest of my life. I have this vision of me telling 15 year old Addison “No, you most certainly can not get into that sports car with those senior boys” and her rolling her eyes, stomping up the stairs and yelling, “You’re ruining my life MOM!”  before she slams her bedroom door.  And I cringe.  I don’t want to be that Mom.  Somehow that scenario plays out differently in my head if I’m Mama. 

We’re a pretty informal household.  Addie has nicknames for everyone.  Usually Mama is shortened to Ma.  Almost of her friends have nicknames.  Addie is not one to waste time on multiple syllables. Kennedy is “T”, Bella is Bell her cousin Bridget is Bid, our friend’s newborn baby Grace has already been dubbed Baby D.  Addie’s friends  Juliana and Anne-Marie are simply Ann.  Collectively; two people, one Ann.  I have started referring to them as “The Anns” for simplicity’s sake.  The exceptions to this rule of shortened monikers are Ollie, who she always calls by his full three syllable name, and her father who she refers to as “Addie’s Dada”.  When his car pulls in the driveway after work she runs screaming around the house, “Addie’s Dada home!  Addie’s Dada home!  Mama, it’s Addie’s Dada!”   Or if he, say, reads her a book, she is sure to clarify which Daddy was doing the reading, “Mama, Addie’s Dada read book.”

So, when Addie called me Mommy I didn’t acknowledge the sudden change.  I thought she’s forget about it and go back to Mama in no time.  When she woke up the following morning, instead of Mama or even Mommy, I was suddenly Meemaw. She tried that for half the day but was right back to that damn “Mommy” again.  When Scott came home from work tonight, he took her for a bike ride up to the park while I made dinner.  When she came home she ran in the house in yelling “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” and when she found me, she threw her arms around my neck for the type of hug you can only give out when you really mean it.  And I decided right then, squeezing my girl and smelling the fresh air in her hair, that I don’t so much care what she calls me as long as she always hugs me that tight.

I always go back and forth about whether or not to blog about the potty.  Mainly because I can’t imagine who would want to read about that crap (ha!).  I feel like this deserves a blog post though because, are you ready?  Addie is potty trained!  My 2 year, 2 week, 6 day old is 100% potty trained.  Potty trained as in we leave the house without a diaper.  Potty trained as in I haven’t purchased a package of diapers in over a month!  Sorry Luvs.  Potty trained as in it’s been 13 days since her last accident.  I feel like we should have one of those signs in the bathroom like they have in factories and warehouses.

We introduced the potty early.  At Addie’s 15 month appointment her  doctor said we should start thinking about the potty soon.  I was glad to hear that because we already bought a potty and had it set up in the half bath.  I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to shopping for new gadgets.  Can a potty be considered a gadget?

Addie was all into it for a while and then nothing.  She didn’t want to do anything on the potty, not even sit on it.  She would throw herself on the floor whining at the mere mention of the potty.  And then came the M&M’s.  I bought a bag of M&M’s thinking I would give her one as a reward if it would get her bum on the potty again.  Well, it worked and not only was she sitting on it, she was using it as intended.  I couldn’t believe that actually worked.  I laughed to myself a bit that she fell for it.  I mean, she had been fighting me for weeks and then she suddenly gives in over a piece of chocolate? 

Now there are critics who will tell you not to use candy as a reward.  There are critics who will tell you not to do just about anything.  I say, find what works for you and do it!  Sticker chart?  Elmo undies?  Special song and potty dance?  Letting them flush the toilet?

A few days after introducing the M&Ms Addie started running into the bathroom to pee a teeny tiny bit and then she would run out asking for an M&M.  Then she would run back in the bathroom and pee a teeny tiny bit more and run out asking for yet another M&M.  She was working the system and in two days she had me trained to give her candy whenever she wanted.  That’s cool.  It beats changing diapers.

Good days and bad days.  That’s what the vet told us we could expect for the rest of Ollie’s life.  Yesterday was a bad day.

Yesterday Oliver didn’t hop out of bed when I got up to start the day.  Yesterday his lymph nodes were swollen at least three times larger than they have been to date.  Yesterday Ollie wasn’t acting like himself; he was having trouble breathing and eating at the same time.    Yesterday was a reminder of how few days Oliver has left with us.

Yesterday was a bad day. 

After a call to the vet and an adjustment in his meds, Ollie was feeling better in the afternoon.  Addison, on the other hand, had a runny nose.  She stopped what she was doing every 7 minutes to yell, “EEEHHHH!  Mama!  Nose!  IT HURTS!!!”  I would wipe her nose, she would go back to playing and we would repeat the whole exchange in just seven short minutes.  All day long.  Bad day.

When Scott walked in the door from work and found us wallowing in our bad day he said, “Get in the car we’re going to the park.”  And we did.  All four of us hopped into the car and went to the park.  Addie ran around the playground and didn’t scream about her nose once.  Ollie, who earlier in the day wouldn’t get off of his bed, pulled me for a long walk as he trailed the scent of some dog that had passed by earlier.  It was exactly what we all needed.

When we returned home and I called Addie to the table for dinner, she was suddenly cranky and told me she wanted to lay on the couch and drink her milk.  I touched her head and she was burning up.  Her temperature was 103.5.  Not an hour earlier, she was climbing the slide at the playground.  We threw her in the bathtub, gave her Tylenol and made sure her fever had come down before she went to bed.  Scott checked on her around midnight and found that her fever was back.  He woke her to take some Tylenol and give her a drink of milk.  For those of you, like me, who may have wondered if you’ll be able to tell the difference between spit-up and vomit?  You’ll know.  You never realize just how large a quantity 8 oz of milk is until it’s regurgitated all over your couch.  Also, a little parenting tip for those of you, like me, who may be tempted to take a sleep-aid on a night when you kid has a 103 fever?  Don’t do it.  There will be some late night emergency that requires your full attention.  Yesterday was a bad day.

Addie’s fever is down but she’s exhausted and her runny nose is driving her crazy.  The irony?  Today is one of Ollie’s good days.  You can’t win them all.

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