Guess How Much I Love You

Filed under: Anya,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on May 16th, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

This afternoon when I was tucking Anya in for her rest time, she said to me, “Mommy, I love you more than you love me because you love me up to the moon, but I love you even higher than the moon.” She wouldn’t let me top that with loving her to Mars or to the moon and back, and so I let her win for the moment, but let me just state for the record: Anya, you may love me higher than the moon, but I will always love YOU to infinity – and beyond. Thank you for being my sweet girl.

Unicorns

Filed under: Anya,funny,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on April 12th, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

According to Anya, these signs mean “watch out for unicorns.”

My Anya is all kinds of awesome

Filed under: Anya,video — by Lauren on March 29th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

Anya: “Mom, are there dots and a cloud coming from my head? Because I’m thinking.”

A letter to my daughters, well past each of their birthdays, because I am a flawed but loving father

Filed under: Anya,Sierra,thoughts — by Lex on January 23rd, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Girls,

My love for you is hilariously massive. I think you two are the most adorable creatures. I’m sorry for every time I’ve had to raise my voice, and I’m especially grateful for how patient, forgiving, and lovable you two are.

Anya, you are brilliant. You ask insightful questions, you reason, you think, and you discover. And my goodness, your memory is insane. You remember things that Mommy and I forget. You’re always listening. You are affectionate, funny, and immensely entertaining. You sing pop songs and kid songs with abandon. You love your sister so much. You are a joy.

You are also impressively honest. You tell us how you feel. We know that cleaning up the playroom makes you feel bored. You say sorry — and, indeed, feel sorry — when you make a mistake. You tell the truth.

Sierra, I foolishly expected that you would be just like Anya as you grew up. You too are a joy and a wonderful person, but of course one with a personality all your own. You love to laugh, you love to be silly, and you love to do whatever the heck Anya is doing.

And oh boy do you love asking questions. We’ve evolved from the never-ending “Why?” to a series of ever more detailed “Whys” instead:

“Why did you put the plate away?”
“Why are you done eating?”
“Why aren’t you hungry anymore?”
“Why did you eat enough?”
“Why are you good at satisfying your appetite?”
“Why can’t you answer that?”

Like Anya, you love music, though your tastes are often more demanding. You love your routines — videos after nap time, stories and music always in the right order — just like your sister did at your age. You love hugs and kisses, and you love showing off how cute you are. You also love trouble, little missy, and frankly it’s kind of hilarious.

Being a parent isn’t always easy. It’s easy to take a kid to the potty one time, or two times. Sierra, when you need to go five times in 30 minutes — and indeed manage to go each time — each successive trip gets a little more annoying. But here’s the thing: Each time, you tell me how you’re a “Big girl!” Or, if you’re feeling silly, “A big monkey!” or some other animal. Each time you hug me as I help you get dressed again. And each time, your perfect little smile makes those perfect little cheeks, which end up right in front of my face, which inevitably results in lots of kisses.

And oh, those cheeks. You and Anya both have inherited your mother’s perfect, kissable, lovable cheeks. I’ve kissed your cheeks so many times, and it never gets old.

You two do, though. It’s hard to look at Anya and comprehend that just two short years ago, she was Sierra’s age, or that Sierra’s just two years shy of four. The two of you are growing up too fast, and I beg you to slow down.

At the same time, I love every new age you reach. Anya, when you get upset now, I feel like I’m pretty good at calming you down, because you can reason and understand. It’s wonderful. At the same time, though, you’re four. When you get upset because Sierra won’t pretend to read you a specific page of a book, or she won’t agree to be the Mean Witch when she’d rather be the princess, it’s again something very difficult for me to process. You are in many ways an old soul, wise and mature beyond your years, and when you act like the kid you are, it forces me to remember that while you’re already four, you’re also only four.

Sierra, as I mentioned, idolizes you. Sierra, you taught yourself to climb into your booster, to climb into your big girl bed, to do so many things that Anya inspired you to do. Yet you keep falling right out your bed in the middle of the night. And I keep trudging in there to lift you — still mostly asleep, both of us — back into your bed. Little tiny you in your big massive bed is a perfect metaphor for your whole existence right now. You are so small and so big.

I love being your daddy, girls.

I’m sorry that Mommy and I got more lax on the blogging. A lot of it is wanting to simply enjoy your amazingness as it happens, and then being too tired at the end of each day to write down all the details about it. I could write volumes about you both; you are inspiring and incredible people, and I feel lucky that I get to know you, let alone live with you and receive your love.

You make my life so much better than I ever expected it could be, and for that I owe you a lifetime of thanks. You both are going to make incredible big sisters to your baby brother in just a few short weeks.

I love you both totally and completely. Thank you for being you.

All my love,
Daddy

Duty-free

Filed under: Anya,funny — by Lauren on January 15th, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

An excerpt from our breakfast conversation this morning:

Me: I’m no longer on single-parent duty, ask Daddy.
Anya: Don’t say “duty”; that’s like poop.

Anya is 4, and more

Filed under: Anya — by Lauren on January 6th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

Adorable Anya Haley turned 4 years old on October 19, 2010.  We celebrated her birthday with a princess-themed party at our house, with Princess Belle in attendance.  Anya had a wonderful time.  We also celebrated her birthday with family and at school.

At 4 years old, Anya continues to amaze and challenge us every day.  She is so bright, so funny, so passionate about everything both good and bad – I am so lucky to be her mom.  She loves school and learning anything she can, and has gotten quite good at writing her letters since school began in September.  Anya adores princesses, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, and anything pretty (according to her), but she still loves Dora, Diego, and of course, books.  Her favorite color changes often, which is amusing to me.  It’s currently yellow.

Anya is an amazing big sister to Sierra.  That’s not to say they don’t have their fair share of arguments, but they play together so nicely the majority of the time, and there is nothing like listening to them make each other crack up and giggle.  I nearly burst into pregnant, hormonal tears when Anya, completely out of the blue, said to me, “Mommy, Sierra isn’t just my sister.  She’s also my friend.”

At Anya’s well-check, she weighed 38 lbs and was 39 3/4 inches.  We voiced our continued concern about some of Anya’s motor skills, specifically her difficulty jumping, to the pediatrician, and this time after having her try to jump for him, he felt that we should take her to be evaluated by a physical therapist.  The only other area of concern during her exam was that she didn’t pass the vision screening, and it was suggested we take her to an eye doctor for a full exam.  Everything else was wonderful (well, other than Anya’s fear of doctors and shots making some of that appointment a screaming struggle).

So, we took Anya for an evaluation with a pediatric physical therapist at the local hospital’s rehabilitation center, and the therapist found that her strength and balance on her right side, particularly when her hip is involved, was notably weak.  Her abdominal strength was also weaker than was to be expected for her age and she was fatiguing quickly, turning out her leg to compensate.  She was leading with her left leg for almost all gross motor tasks involving her legs.  She started going to physical therapy twice a week in the middle of November, and since then we have seen incredible improvement, enough that in the middle of December she was reduced to going once a week instead of twice.  Her therapist, Angela, is fabulous and so creative.  Even though Anya is completely aware of why she goes to physical therapy, she has no idea she’s actually “exercising” while she’s there – to her, it must seem like one big session of fun where she gets to climb, bounce on balls, ride on scooters, and run through obstacle courses.  It’s such a good time that Sierra loves going there, too.  Anya now can jump forwards and backwards with two feet, maintain balance on her right leg for longer periods of time, climb up a step with her right leg without turning out her hip…  It’s really exciting for us to see.  I think she will continue for at least another month, but she may be discharged from physical therapy altogether very soon after that.

The need for a vision exam came as a big surprise to me, though it probably shouldn’t have, given the history of early vision problems in both my and Lex’s families.  It seemed to me that maybe Anya wasn’t being fully cooperative when the nurse wanted her to read the eye chart at the pediatrician, but it was still strongly recommended that we take her to have her eyes checked just in case.  Well, it turned out Anya really needed glasses.

Her prescription is stronger than mine.  The doctor said she’s technically farsighted, but according to the testing she couldn’t see particularly well up close or far away.  We picked up her new purple glasses in the middle of November.  The first week she had a hard time adjusting to wearing them full-time; she needed to be reminded frequently to look through them instead of over or under them.  The second week, we stopped having her wear them full-time and tried introducing them more gradually.  She’s doing much better now, although she had a follow-up appointment with the doctor again yesterday and she wants to change Anya’s prescription slightly.

I love my girl.  LOVE HER!

Anya and Sierra singing various songs

Filed under: Anya,Sierra,video — by Lauren on September 28th, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

Anya sings about her new sibling:

Sierra sings “Five Little Monkeys”:

Anya sings “Lump/Gump”:

Sierra sings “ABC”:

Various things

Filed under: Anya,doctor,Sierra — by Lauren on September 23rd, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

~Sierra, after grabbing a couple of pictures of Anya off of the fridge and taking them over to her sister:  ”Look at this – two yous!”

~Anya’s preschool started again last week.  She had to miss the first day of class because she was sick, poor baby, but she’s healthy now, and loving it.  I have cute pictures to post; I just need to get around to getting them off the camera.

~At 16 weeks, Baby 3 is kicking up a storm, and tonight Lex got to really feel it for the first time.  We had an appointment this morning, and everything is great.  We go back in four weeks for our next appointment and our Level 2 scan.

Best line of the night

Filed under: Anya,friends,funny,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on September 5th, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

We had a lovely BBQ at our friends’ house this evening.  Their little girl – one of Anya’s first friends – has a really neat digital camera that Anya very much enjoyed.  She was having a lot of fun taking pictures of the grownups, the kids, the furniture… However, my favorite moment was when she took a picture of Lex, turned to me with a big smile, and said, “Look!  I took a picture of Daddy’s crotch!”

Recent Funnies from Anya

Filed under: Anya,funny,photos — by Lauren on September 2nd, 2010 @ 9:07 am

~From this morning:  ”Maybe Grandma and Grandpa will start liking Graham crackers, because they both have “gram” in their names.”

~From yesterday morning:  ”Daddy! We’re BOTH bunnies! Take our picture, and put it on Facebook.”

~From a few weeks ago:  ”This is my baby brother standing on one leg.”

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