[A pretty spider web coated in tiny ice particles. It was freezing cold the majority of our Eugene trip.]
I’m happy to report that Ronin (Ronin’s parents) survived the Christmas holiday without any heads exploding from all the excitement and doting relatives and trees and presents and ornaments and presents.
We have actually managed to somehow avoid Christmas for the past 13 years by either being out of the country or snowed in (that would be last year) but this time, it was nigh on impossible for us to avoid such festivities with such an adorable little munchkin in tow just waiting for sugarplums and santas and grandparents and all that stuff. We drove to Eugene to Joshua’s Mom’s house.
[We got a tree this year because Ronin so clearly loves the tree. Last year she loved Michelle’s tree and this year she loved our tree. She spent (still spends—we have yet to take it down) a lot of time poking around underneath it, manhandling the ornaments, and packing the lower limbs with her flock of stuffed animals. Here she is shoving all the critters she can find into the lower branches of Cheryl and Larry’s tree in Eugene.]
She’s getting huge, no? She has even started selectively eating (cookies, mac n cheese); you can see it in her upper arms. Our little monkey might even crack the 10th percentile someday.
[Ronin loves to show Nigel the park. She calls that hat the “Armadillo Hat” by the way; we have no idea why.]
She’s getting shrewder about checking first to see what we are all eating (pie, lately) before getting into whatever we try to feed her (yogurt and fruit, say). Needless to say, she has eaten her weight in pie and bunny grahams this past week. If I were smart, I could probably sneak some peas in her by burying them in lemon meringue.
[We made cherry jam finally out of all the cherries we harvested from Cheryl and Larry’s tree. We gave Ronin the spoon to lick and she cried for jam jam jam more jam MORE JAM MORE JAM!!!!! for like two hours after.]
[We thought she was pretty willful before but she is far more so now. For that reason we let her take her two precious markers along on a trip to the store. She was basically good with them and only dropped them a few times while shopping. On the way home we quite forgot about them only to turn around and behold this. Mere hours before the rest of the family arrived for some Christmas Eve dinner.]
Ronin does drink plenty of milk, which is great, and curiously has shown an affinity for tea. Joshua made himself a cup of tea one afternoon and she wanted some. He loaded it with milk and put a bit of honey in it and she drank a startling amount. And yes, we only give her decaf because, god I’d hate to even think…
In general, she eats a lot better than she ever did, and her sleeping has improved exponentially. She is still murder to get down though, unless she skips her afternoon nap, which is painful in its own right. I am not exaggerating to say that we (usually I, since she suddenly prefers that I put her down lately) spend between 4 and 6 hours per day laying down with her trying to get her to sleep.
She is sleeping in her own bed these days; no more crib. Right before the Texas trip, way back when…, I was trying to put her to bed and I carried her to her crib and put her in it. When I turned to go fetch her various crib accessories, I heard a loud THUMP thump. She had vaulted over the side, dropped down to her feet and then landed on her butt. She was fine but she so often had violent crib freakouts that the thought of her throwing herself over the side in a blind rage made me nervous that she wouldn’t always land so well. Some friends of ours learned the hard way that it was time to get rid of the crib when their two-year-old climbed out and broke his arm.
The day we got back from Texas, we bought her a twin futon and some bed slats, which we propped up with 2x2s to prevent Warm Toast Syndrome (futons ‘sweat’ underneath if you just put them straight on a wood floor; it’s hideously gross). She was pretty cool with the new bed. She has never shown any extraordinary distress when we’ve changed her sleeping situation (warm belly to swaddle, cradle to crib, our room to the hall room, old apartment to the new house and her own real room); Ronin has always been an equal opportunity sleep hater. Oh, I shouldn’t say that really; she has become much much better at the sleep thing and has at times even asked to take a nap (typically at completely inopportune times like when we’re in the grocery store). The first time she did it though I damn near fell down dead with shock.
So far she has only rolled out of the new bed once. We heard a dull thud and then a tiny moan; she never woke up even as we lifted her back up onto the bed. And she mostly stays under the covers so we don’t feel we need to crank the heat all night long. AND she often sleeps through the night before coming into our room at the crack of dawn demanding yogurt and the Christmas tree lights ON. It’s a pretty ideal situation really considering the first 17 months of sleep hell.
The pacifier (‘nap,’ she calls it) is the next big thing to deal with. Oh, aside from potty training (gak). When she teethes (and she has been growing her canines in bursts and wans for the past four months; so far only the tops have managed to poke through) she wants to suck on the nap all the time. Seriously all the time. We feel like Big Meanies taking it away from her so we made a rule that she could have her nap whenever she wanted it as long as she stayed in her room. She took to this right away and we didn’t see much of her for about three days. Periodically she would emerge to eat some bunny grahams or drink some milk but the vast majority of the time she spent sitting on her bed reading to her animals or whatever. Sometimes she stood at the doorway whining at us and trying to creep slowly out with the nap in her mouth. We were beginning to feel like we made the wrong decision to give her free reign over her nap and wondering if we needed to do something when she just as suddenly abandoned the nap and emerged from her room. She still uses it to sleep but most of the time can deal without it (even when she is in her room). I really can’t decide if it’s worth trying to get rid of or if we should just let her keep it. I am very afraid of what may happen to her sleep if we took it from her. Now the current nap issue is that when Ronin teethes, her saliva turns to a caustic acid that gives her a rash around her mouth; the nap aggravates this. She has had a rash around her mouth for three months straight. Poor little monkey.
[Ronin with some of her Christmas booty. The doll, from Oma Peggy, has already been adopted into Ronin’s inner circle of friends. Other standout gifts include some awesome books and a perfect to-scale metal miniature shopping cart. Sheer brilliance.]