Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cara Bambina - A Special Time

Cara bambina,

It's been a while since I wrote you a little letter, but that's because I write them on the weekends and these past few weekends I've been way to busy actually playing with you and doing stuff with you to write. The only time I have to write is when you are napping, and lately I've been so tired that I end up napping then too.

You are a beautiful, fun toddler, but SO active and into everything! That keeps Mama very busy. Daddy's been working like crazy the past few weeks, which means it's been the Mama and Pumpkin Show around these parts. And although that is exhausting for Mama, it's been incredible good to have this special time with you to bond and just be there for you for all your needs.

I'm not sure I would be doing as well if you were at such a great age. We are playing fun games, from chase to singing songs. You are climbing EVERYTHING in site, and since I was a climber myself, I love to watch and spot you. You are really good at communicating what you want and what you are thinking, which is really helpful. You babble like you are telling me some important things while I nod my head and agree, and you also blow raspberries and make other silly noises which makes us both laugh so hard. We've gone to a farm, out for meals, gone to the pool and all sorts of other errands together, where we've both had a good time.

All and all, this has been a very special few weeks for us. I know Daddy is very sad that he's not been able to be around more and play more, but his work will settle down soon and we'll all go back to being together. We do miss having Daddy around regularly, but I think we're doing pretty well and having a lot of fun.

You just woke up, which means it's time for for Mama and the Pumpkin to have some more special time together. Maybe we'll go to the grocery store or do some other errand. Whatever we do, I just know it will be fun.

Ti amo con tutti mia cuore,
Mama

Friday, July 18, 2008

Personalizing the Songs

Speaking of making up songs for the Pumpkin, want to hear a verse of You Are My Sunshine I made up just for my girl?

First, let me preface. Since she was, well, born, we've been singing You Are My Sunshine to her during the diaper changes. She rarely likes diaper changes, and she used to pitch quite the fit during them, so we'd sing to distract her. Londo sings about three real verses of the song, but I made up my own second verse.

The first real verse, for those whole don't know, is:
You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Here is my second verse:
You are my Pumpkin*,
My only Pumpkin.
And I love you
All of the time.
You'll never know, dear,
How much you're wanted.
Please don't fuss, cry or whine.

I also have a made-up third verse, but it's not that good and I use it only when I'm desperate. And it constantly changes, so I'm not going to share it, but it's that she's my baby, my only baby and I try to rhyme girl and world. Eh.

The Pumpkin will do the word "gray" and "away" (or her version of those words) for the real first verse, but only today did she end of my second verse correctly with a sound that was very similar to the word "whine."

Think she'll at least listen if she's telling herself that? Hehe.

*I actually sing her real name here, but Pumpkin fits nicely too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Requests and Sing Alongs

Not only am I in love with my daughter, but I'm in love with this current age/phase (especially when it includes her sleeping through the night). The Pumpkin has always been inquisitive and physically explorative. She's also always been pretty good about communicating, using both words and signs. And right now she is putting a lot of things together, which is really neat to watch.

I will likely be writing a lot of cute Pumpkin stories in the next week or two. I will do this both for your enjoyment of my cute little daughter and to document these things so I don't forget them years down the line. She's not always been easy as a baby, and we've been through quite a lot of fussy periods which I've talked about, so I really want to be sure to capture this stage where she is really happy, fun and funny.

Today, I will tell you about how she requests songs and rhymes, such as:
-She puts her thumbs together and says "bitsy bitsy" for the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
-She says "ah pa ba" for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (for "up above...")
-She points to her toes and says "piggie piggie" for This Little Piggie.
-She does the sign language sign for car and says "rown rown" for The Wheels on the Bus (which is for "round and round").
-She says "day" for Good Morning to You (last like is "...we start off our day."

She's also starting to sing some lines with us, especially for Twinkle Twinkle. She loves to do the last word, like I'll sing, "How I wonder what you..." and she goes, "Arrr." Or I'll sing the whole Good Morning to you song except the last word, and she'll say "day."

Sometimes she says the word right on time. Sometimes she waits and giggles while I and whoever else is around watch her and wait (like the little ham she's already starting to be), and when she's had enough dramatic pause she'll say it. Sometimes she'll whisper the word. Sometimes she'll start doing the words (or what passes for the words) to Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider when she's playing by herself (and OMG! She's playing by herself sometimes!!! But I'll go on about that in another post).

Londo and I love to sing all the time. We often joke that our lives are like a musical, where we randomly break out into songs--real ones or ones we make up on the spot. It's really exciting to see the Pumpkin start to enjoying taking part in songs, thinking of the song herself and requesting them. My supergenius might just be a famous singer one day!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Post-Birthday Wrap Up

Thank you all for the nice birthday wishes! Also, it's nice to know that you all don't mind talking about farts. hehe. I haven't figured out yet how exactly I'm going to deal with that one, but I am considering everyone's opinions.

On Sunday, we celebrated my birthday by going to see The Lion King musical at The Kennedy Center (in DC). It was AMAZING!!! Absolutely incredible! The costumes were fantastic, the acting and singing superb, and the story itself was wonderful. I've seen a lot of musicals in my 32 years, a lot of plays, opera and ballet as well, but this was special. It was a PRODUCTION! I highly recommend it.

I got to enjoy it with Londo, my sister and my 13-year-old niece. The Pumpkin is still too young, although I can't wait until she is old enough to go to the theater with us!

As a belated birthday present, the Pumpkin slept through the night last night, leaving me with enough time to even Do My Hair this morning! I was in such a good mood (much better than yesterday morning's frustrating rush) that I made us pancakes, which is what I had wanted to do on my birthday and didn't have time for. So I'm having a lovely day. Maybe the day after my birthday will be my favorite day of the year...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Question of the Week - Favorite Day?

Today is my favorite day of the year. That's right, I love Bastille Day. You may be wondering why I love the day the French rose up and stormed the Bastille...

Because today is also my birthday!!!

Normally, I would go "wooo hooo" and talk about how much I love my birthday, a special day just for me (and anyone else born today and France). But I'm a bit hormonal because the Pumpkin is nursing at odd times that my body isn't quite ready for, and we had a really rough night of sleep, which lead to us sleeping late and me running behind on everything. I skipped breakfast, and even though I had a decent time at the spa this morning, there were some frustrations. Add to that a fussy toddler and I'm just tired and cranky.

How can I not feel wonderful on my favorite day of the year? After my morning at the spa, paid for (mostly) by a gift certificate that was given to me a year ago, how can I not feel relaxed and pampered? I almost feel the most guilty because I am not enjoying myself. Urg!

But anyway, here's the question of the week:

What's your favorite day of the year?

My birthday truly is my favorite day of the year, but since I've already talked about that, let me answer with my second favorite day of the year: Halloween!

I love Halloween. It's the only day you can dress up as anything you want and no one thinks it's weird, you can eat candy all day long with people giving you more when you ask, and the lore and mythology around the day are fascinating! It's a fun and spooky day and night, in which the whole family can take part--if your family celebrates, that is. We love to celebrate it, and in fact have a Halloween party every year. I can't wait until the Pumpkin and other kids are old enough to have their own party with all their kiddie friends dressed up--hopefully while our adult friends are having our own party.

How about you? Which day is special to you?