Friday, March 27, 2015

nola + co-muck

Finola is 22 months old.  

Doesn't seem significant, except that it is for me.  It is the exact age Cormac was when I gave birth to his baby sister.   Cormac couldn't even say ten full words when he was 22 months, yet I was prepping him to abandon his position as baby, exit the crib for a "big boy bed" and be "big" when he was still so very small. It floors me every time I think about it.  She is so little.  He was so little.  But then he became a big brother.
Sure, people have kids close in age all the time, and he transitioned really wonderfully...but I am in awe that I was able to do that.  That I readied my brain for such a change - to have two babies. 
they didn't always take to each other...

Well, I can safely say that she is nearly two and I am not pregnant.  I can focus on her and her brother without getting lost in the excitement of a new tiny one entering the world.  I know how lovely and distracting that can be!

We are still praying about whether adding another baby, God-willing, to the mix is a good idea for us.

Whatever we end up deciding, I am enjoying Finola being a "baby" still.  

She is a lot different than her quiet (then), serious, contemplative brother was at this point.  She is a wild, dancing, very vocal whirlwind of curls.  She likes to make us laugh and be the center of attention.

She sings with me constantly.  Anything I start singing she will sing along.  (I mean, she doesn't say every single word - but she hits the important ones.)  Her favorites are anything from Frozen, 'The B-I-B-L-E,' and 'Goodnight, My Someone.'  She will sing anything, though - in a deep, sometimes creepy, throaty warble.

In fact, if we even faintly hear music playing somewhere she will start moving side-to-side and bobbing her head.  The other night in Chipotle she put on a crazy dance review to the loud salsa music for all the restaurant to enjoy.  (Cormac joined in, too, not to be outdone in silliness.)

She can count to ten.  Okay, well, sort of.  It is funny to hear her try.  I know she can't really count, and she is just repeating what she hears constantly, but she looks so proud when she does it!  "One - doo - tree -fo - five - six - funny - eight - noin - ten!"

If you ask her what her name is, she points to herself and says, "Nola."  She also identifies correctly most other close family members in photos.  "Co-muck" was one of her first words - of course.

She speaks in two-word sentences, which is awesome because we can actually communicate with each other quite a bit.  "Sit down!"  "Not nice." "Too slow!" (when we are playing "high fives") "Go now!" (when we are paused at a red light) are a few.  She is super bossy.

She loves to joke and play.  She is sneaky, yet completely adorable.

It is not all fun and games.  She has her trying aspects.  Sometimes she screams and cries and absolutely nothing I do will help.  Believe me, I try everything, but she wants nothing to do with me.  She just seems to want to throw a fit...and then when she is all cried out she is fine. (Yes, Hubby, that does sound familiar. Yes, we do know where she gets it from.)  I haven't quite figured out what to do with this charming aspect of her personality yet...but because I can relate to it I deal with it pretty gracefully.

She is not exactly the kindest to other "little friends" - in that she will stiff-arm them if they come near anything she is playing with and yell, "No! Mine!"  

She has a naughty smile and seems to mock my efforts at putting her into a time out for discipline.

Despite all that, to me she is so much fun and I can honestly say I delight in nearly all of our interactions.  My favorite is our bedtime routine, which she insists must be done by "Mama!!!!!" through shrieking and panicked tears if any attempt is made by Dada to do it.   I don't mind because, honestly, the child is the easiest kid to put to bed.  Ever.  When I leave her room she always cheerfully waves, blows kisses and says "Bye!"

Cormac is heading towards turning four, and I can't even believe how quickly the past two years went since he became a big brother.  The supposed "terrible twos" and "more terrible threes" whipped by.  It is honestly all a blur.  A blur of chicken nuggets and runny noses and play dates and dirt and laundry.  Oh, and sure, tantrums, epic tantrums, followed by a plethora of ways to deal with tantrums, some more helpful than others.   I often feel guilty, because I know he is the "test child" for two very inexperienced parents.   I hold him to a higher level than Finola, without really intending to.  I have expected him to grow up and be a big boy faster than a kid should.   I guess that is typical "first born" mama guilt stuff.

He loves volcanoes, dinosaurs, racing, playing tag, playing monsters (really any 'pretend play') helping Dada build things, and any type of "shooter."  Total boy.  Although, he will ask to have his nails painted and play with Finola's dolls.

He is still my spirited child.  A definite extravert - craving "conversation" and "moral support" (his words) at every moment, particularly while pooping.  He seems to always want to have someone to play with and talk to, and is really, really loud a lot of the time - which makes his easily over-stimulated and introverted mama a little crazy.  He has an astounding long-term memory, is incredibly perceptive, and a total perfectionist.

While Finola is brazen and will look you straight in the eye to see your reaction to whatever it is she has done, Cormac is prone to whine, make every excuse in the book,  and avoid eye contact.

Finola and Cormac have an interesting relationship.  For the most part, they get along okay.  But believe me, they are not angels, and my sanity is tried every day.   They poke at each other constantly.  Constantly.  They push and steal toys from each other.  Cormac will bury her in pillows, toys or whatever he can find and stand there while she screams her head off.  He will take her stuff and hide it.  She will grab him in a hug and try to drag him to the floor while he hollers in annoyance.
I can't even say they look innocent...
But then there are those moments when he calls her his "best friend."  When she feels bad that she upset him and says "Saw-wy" and goes in for a bear hug.  When they climb into her crib together and play dolls.  When I overhear him "teaching" her something.  (He is way nicer to her when I am in a different room, overseeing them in secret.)

I cannot, at this point in time, because of their dynamic and very strong personalities, imagine adding another to the mix.  I don't think we are capable of producing calm and quiet children - they are destined to be high-energy, loud and very spirited.   I wonder whether my psyche could handle more noise on a day-to-day basis.

Until we decide, I am going to just enjoy letting Finola remain "the baby" and Cormac the "big brother" who will always be my first "baby."
climbing trees is totally his thing.
'Cra-z-sand - not as tasty as I thought it would be." 
Cormac's intense concentration when doing a project is fun to watch.  The giant tantrum if it doesn't work "perfectly" -- not as fun.  
finola has ne'er a worry in the world about the hot mess she may look at any given moment.
girry the giraffe has been loved to the point of losing his stuffing.
"If there is a puddle I gotta jump in it - duh."
he loves puppet shows and simply telling stories. lots and lots of stories.
accessorizing is her jam.
reading to a very inattentive monkey
he has mastered the art of cheesin' for a selfie
So there is my very wordy update of the little ones.   If I think of anything new I will wait for their birthday posts in a couple months.

They are wild and naughty and sweet and sassy.
They are treasures, both.