My Amelie

It’s been far too long. I must tell you about my Amelie!

Age: 2 years, 9 months

photo 2

Dressed up for Wacky Wednesday at Preschool. Her hair. I can’t believe how much beautiful hair she has!

Before we all got sick, Amelie had a nice stretch there where she was sleeping well and she was her happy, silly, sweet self. Over Christmas, she skipped a bunch of naps and we battled some crabby moody days/weeks. Like her Mama, she needs a lot of sleep and is a mess when she doesn’t get it.

She continues to surprise me with her memory, her comprehension and her girly-ness. Also, Amelie still loves loves loves books – just like her Grandma and Oma.

princess_reading

Schedule:  Awake around 7.30 (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) and to bed around 8pm, with (sometimes) a nap in the late afternoon.

Amelie goes to preschool on Wednesday and Friday from 8am-12.30ish. In the beginning, we were having a tough time getting Amelie to preschool before 8.30am. The morning would get away from us. Miss Marlene suggested we drop her off earlier to help with transition. Now, she eats breakfast with the other kids instead of at home and this has helped immensely. It gives Amelie a chance to ease into her day instead of being thrown into the middle of an active and moving class. I have no idea why we didn’t realize this on our own but thank goodness her preschool teachers know what they are doing!

If she naps, which is unpredictable, it’s usually from 2ish or later to 5pm. I wish it weren’t so late in the day for a few reasons. It makes for a very long day for me without a break. Also, the evening can get funky since we start bath and bedtime around 6.15ish. Often she doesn’t seem tired so her bedtime gets pushed out later. And finally, Cade is usually awake and it’s difficult to keep him busy and stimulated while trapped at home. It would be much easier and he would be so much happier if I were able to take him out for a walk! Those last few hours before Dad gets home DRAG by. It feels like a 100 years!

Preschool: Preschool has been a wonderful experience, I don’t even know where to start! I have so much respect for her teachers; I am simply amazed at the amount of work they do each day. I can’t imagine taking care of that many toddlers! I cannot fathom it. I think they are superhuman. I rarely get my kids to nap simultaneously but when Zack picks Amelie up from preschool, all of the kids (except for Amelie) are napping IN THE SAME ROOM. AT THE SAME TIME. It’s magic! And Amelie is sitting quietly at the table reading a book while the teachers do their paperwork. They send home daily logs and I love reading what they do each day. Miss Marlene is the main teacher and she is firm but excellent with Amelie. When Miss Marlene takes her break, Amelie follows her and sits by the door reading a book waiting for her. So sweet. Miss Erica is the perfect counterpart to Miss Marlene; she is soft spoken and gentle. I love them both so much.

We went to Parent-Teacher Conferences – which I didn’t expect would start this early – but it was so lovely, slightly indulgent and totally adorable. We sat in mini chairs at a mini table and looked at Amelie’s journal which was basically a lot of wonky smiley faces and exuberant coloring with one color, usually brown. Miss Marlene told us she’s doing well. Amelie stays far away from the rowdy boys but does play a little with a few of the girls. She’s obedient and stays close to her or Miss Erica. She usually needs some encouragement to go out and play or try something new. She did recommend that Amelie work on her letters, especially of her name. I tried to stifle my giggle because Amelie is very bright but struggles with articulation, so it can seem like she doesn’t know. She knows lots of letters/numbers and has for a long time but she can be stubborn about showing it off. She has got her teachers fooled! Honestly, I think she’s fooling me too a lot of days.

I’m so thankful for preschool. It’s structured, safe and I feel good knowing that she’s learning something. At home, I’m stretched thin. I feel like neither kid is getting the stimulation and attention that they need and deserve and I can’t figure out how to do it. They are not learning much running errands with me at Target so thank goodness she has preschool!

Potty training: Her teachers told us she was ready because she would be dry most mornings at school. I tried to do it at home during Cade’s morning nap but Amelie had me working so hard that I was wiped out! She literally tinkled like 12 times in one hour with celebrating, wiping, hand washing, potty rinsing and finally, a potty treat, to go along with every tinkle! It was too demanding and when Cade started dropping his morning nap, I couldn’t figure out a way to do it on my own and take care of Cade too. I started introducing underwear when I could; when my bandwidth would allow and when Amelie felt up for it. I dared to venture a few places, like Home Depot, in underwear and she did well so it bolstered both of our confidences. She got more comfortable wearing underwear and Miss Marlene and Miss Erica did the rest! One day I sent her to preschool in only underwear (sweating it all day, of course) and she did great! She even goes potty by herself at school. Now she’s in underwear all day, except for naps. Oh my goodness, she is so cute in underwear. She’s been wearing cloth diapers all of her life and I’ve forgotten how tiny her tush is!

She had one accident around Christmas. She had skipped four days of naps in a row and was a wreck so it’s not a surprise. Amelie embarrasses easily so we tried our best to shrug it off and do the clean up nonchalantly so she wouldn’t get upset over it.

We haven’t mastered poo on the potty yet, she holds it until she comes home and still requests a diaper. She’s very tooty too; I think it’s from holding it. I’m trying to encourage her but also not push the issue either. She likes to announce to me “I toot, Mama!” It’s hilarious. It’s also very stinky and usually audible…

Other activities: 

At the suggestion of a friend, I signed Amelie up for a dance class on Mondays and she loves it. Her best friend goes too. It really helps break up the week and is such a positive (and totally adorable) outlet for her.

dance

I should have known she’d love dance because over Christmas, Zack took Amelie shopping. He needed to pick up some new clothes for himself and so he grabbed the first thing he could find for her – a puffy skirt – to try too while they were in the dressing room. He said she twirled and danced in the mirror and refused to take it off, so he had to buy it! There is something magical about a tutu/twirly skirt; I remember having that feeling too. <3

dance

Just in the past week, I signed Amelie up for swim class too. It’s 2x/week in the afternoons when she should be sleeping but since that’s unpredictable, I figured I should go for it. Even when Amelie is tired, she listens, follows directions and participates with enthusiasm. And? She’s been going without a swim diaper because her best friend Parker doesn’t wear one and that’s very motivating, ha! The class tires her out and it’s such a crucial skill to know. I want to keep these classes up. Last session, I dropped Cade at the daycare so I could sit, watch and ENJOY it. She makes me so proud, I want to giggle and cry simultaneously.

swimLikes: playing pretend/role playing (every moment of every day!), reading, sweets, the color blue (because “it matches my blue eyes”), Daniel Tiger everything, dance and swim class, being with Dad, squeeze packets, graham crackers, being outside, taking care of her baby Natalie. Here she is pushing Natalie in the stroller while I push Cade.

stroller

Dislikes: When Cade touches her stuff, when Cade looks inclined to touch her stuff, when Cade isn’t even looking but she suspects anyway! Ha!

Verbal: She is still difficult to understand and she knows it. I think it gets in her way. I have a suspicion speech therapy is in our future. Nonetheless, talking with her is a joy. Her sentences are funny and clever. She’s also been singing songs she’s learned at school or from the radio. I love that SO MUCH.

I find this interesting and sweet: Amelie is experimenting with humor! She tries joking around by called Daddy “Mama” (and other similar games). Oh, this tickles me!

Quotes: 

“I Super Amelie, to the rescue!”

She told Daddy, “That person is wearing pajamas!” when she noticed a lady wearing sweats at Home Depot.

“Mmm, this is NUMMY!” – over hot chocolate from Starbucks

In a recent conversation at dinner…her response to Amelie, who loves you?: “Dadda.” Then “Babba.” We keeping prodding her. “Oma.” Then “Cadey-Cade.” Finally, “Mama.” Oh, and, “Miss Marlene.” <3

Her response to Who do YOU love? “Unco Weevi.” (Uncle Levi)

Made us chuckle!

Social: Again, preschool has made a big difference on this front. She follows direction well and adjusting to her new dance/swim instructors has been seamless. We have a little friend that lives close by (her “best friend”) and only recently have they been playing together and talking to each other. They are both shy so this is a very pivotal moment for the Moms. We both quietly watch them play. It’s makes my heart turn to mush. She also showed a girl in the locker room after swim class her mittens “These are my moose mittens, see?”. Oh the cute!

Sleep: She’s still skipping her naps often during the week, hence this endless cycle of moodiness. She also still has a persistent cough!  — this was from the last My Amelie…but it’s still true! UGH. She was sick, we were all sick and man, those were some hard horrible weeks.

Cade: She tolerates him but her jealously flares mostly when they are both around Daddy. They miss him, they love him and they don’t want to share him.

She calls him “Cadey Cade”- a nickname I started – even when she’s mad. “Cadey Cade, no look at me!” At preschool, the teachers think she has a brother names “Kay Kay”. Endearing!

They take a bath together each night and I’m really trying to sit back and savor this time together as a family. It’ll be gone before I know it. I’m going to miss it desperately.

chicks

Mommyhood: I still have days I’m ashamed of. I’m grumpy when I don’t get enough sleep. I lose my temper. I yell. I hate that I yell. Amelie gets so sad and ugh, I feel like I am the wormiest of all the Moms. It exposes an ugliness that makes me cringe and cry. A lot.

But on the whole, I’ve been trying hard to reconnect with Amelie. I’ve been learning by watching Zack parent. Amelie requires a concentrated effort which I find hard to maintain, but worth the attempt anyway. She wants to role play, she wants silliness, she wants affection (but not too much!) and most of all, she wants me to stop taking things so personally and be a good grownup! I’m working on all of those things and she’s been responding well to me.

elmo

Amelie, I love you. I’m so grateful for each day; a fresh start; a forgiveness for my many flaws, and a chance to revel in your awesomeness.

8 thoughts on “My Amelie

  1. I love the way you write, thecandace. ::)) Thank you! So much to absorb. Amelie is wonderful. I can’t believe she is almost 3 years old. Dancing, school, swimming and big girl underwear. Many accomplishments. Parenting is also a learning experience and you are doing a grand job. Little ones have to know that sometimes yelling happens but it doesn’t make home not a safe place to be. (That way if Oma loses it, she won’t freak out. ::)) LOL. I am impressed with all that you do and please know that you are my hero! Lv mamap

  2. You are an amazing mom! I need my sleep, too, like a lot and often…otherwise I get cranky and I literally don’t understand jokes hehe. It’s not surprising that little ones have a hard time when they skip a nap. Amelie is beautiful in her dance outfit, I can’t take it! It sounds like she’s growing up perfectly and you are the reason she is doing so well.

    A couple of things we started doing that has helped us a lot
    1) Order food from our local grocery and have them deliver it, it does include a small (and worth it) fee. Order from amazon prime now, google shopping express, etc. This helps reduce some of the errands we have to do.
    2) Try to wake up at least 15-30 minutes early to eat my breakfast solo, shower, and get our son’s food ready for the day. Starting the day organized feels amazing.
    3) More crockpot meals that are easy. We throw the ingredients together the night before and cook it during the day.
    4) Training our son to stay 30 mins in the pack and play. It gives him an opportunity to focus in on a few toys and me an opportunity to relax or do something else (like shower if I didn’t get a chance to).
    5) There is one other advice that a friend suggested to me and it’s on our list. Getting a Nest camera and placing it in our son’s room. Then, go on a walk (very close to our neighborhood, within 5-7 minutes in any direction) during his nap while I have my phone playing the nest feed and I listen to it on one ear with my headset. I’m a little scared to do this one sometimes, but she assures me that Nest feed is practically instant. This may be an idea for walking Cade. Perhaps try it with Zack and see how you feel.

    I think it’s easy for SAHM to always feel guilty, like we could do more, but my husband reminds me that I’m giving our son so much more that is not easily quantifiable, like a safe, nurturing, healthy childhood. Give yourself a big pat on the back for all that you do, because you do a lot with 2 little ones.

    • Your tips are sincerely so valuable. Brilliant and doable. THANK YOU. I’ve been implementing your second suggestion for a while now (getting up 15-30 min earlier) and you are so right, it makes ALL of the difference! Starting my day in peace, with a real breakfast, coffee and being able to put on my makeup while I sip has made my days feel so much better. I didn’t use to (especially when I was pregnant with Cade) because I was hanging on to every moment of sleep I could and man, it’s a rough way to start the day! It never felt good!
      I’ll have to check out The Nest idea – that might be the perfect solution!

      Thank you for your encouragement <3 This Mom Gig is tricky!

  3. Our kids are so much more resilient than we give them credit for. And, as parents, we are much harder on ourselves than we should be. It’s obvious that your kids are overwhelmed with love and support. I’m sure you are an amazing mommy! You might enjoy the book: The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents. It helped me find some perspective, especially during those times when I was struggling as a parent. But, it’s also just a good reference for keeping perspective.

    • Thank you, Karley. I love a good book recommendation – sounds like just the book I need in my life! You are so sweet to comment and help a fellow Mama out. <3

  4. Don’t mistake your desire to talk for their readiness to listen.

    Far more important are the wordless truths they learn from you.

    If you take delight in the ordinary wonders of life they will feel the depth of your pleasure and learn to experience joy.

    Just a few quotes. Love the first one. LOL. Lv mamap

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