Friday, April 29, 2011

Philly, DC and back to CT

We're back into the swing of things after being away from home for awhile. It definitely took the full week for Lilly to get used to playing by herself again, but by this morning, she had returned to her busy little self. Lilly spent the week talking even more than when we left, if that is possible. Sometimes it's talking; sometimes it's singing; it's always some constant chatter to fill the silence. But without everyone around to talk to, all her talking this week was directed at me. I wish I could record a day and all that she says, because unless you're around her, you wouldn't believe that this amount of non-stop talking is possible. Last night, when Jim and I went in and checked on her before we went to bed--our nightly routine that we both love so much--we were struck by how totally peaceful she is when she sleeps; and consequently, how totally not peaceful she is when she's awake!

Lilly revved her chatter up a notch while we were in Philadelphia and DC. She had lots more people to talk to and names to say and songs to sing. We arrived at Villanova on Thursday. Lilly spent that afternoon at Jim's parents' house, running around outside with AJ and Lauren, both of whom she adores.

She finished off the day with another birthday celebration, complete with ice cream cake. This time, she learned how to blow out the candles by herself, the result of which is that she now leaves no candles near her lit. Every time she sees a candle, she sings "Happy Birthday to Lilly" and blows it out.

Everything about Carolyn and Jeremy's wedding was gorgeous. The ceremony, the reception, and of course, Carolyn, herself. Despite the pouring rain--I actually don't think I've ever seen it rain harder--things worked out perfectly. Lil had a great time! She loved the bus rides to and from the church (and has since asked to go on a bus almost every day). While everyone else found sitting on the bus in traffic and incessant rain pretty tedious, Lilly thought the bus experience couldn't have been better. She was good during the ceremony too. It was difficult because Jim was up on the alter the whole time, so once she accepted that, with a brief "hi Daddy" early on in the ceremony, Lil was (pretty) quiet. Except for one little (actually, rather loud) outburst. Carolyn and Jeremy were exchanging rings, and I was whispering in Lil's ear what was going on in the hope that it would help her stay quiet. So I told her that Jeremy was giving Carolyn a ring, to which she said quietly to me,"I want a ring, Mummy." I told her that she could tell Daddy that later, but this is where the miscommunication took place. Instead of waiting to tell Jim later, she belted out, in the silence of the church, "Daddy...I want a ring!" I was mortified; everyone was laughing; and then things went back to normal. Lilly wants a ring and is barely two. We're going to have some interesting years ahead. I have almost no pictures from the wedding--during the ceremony, I was looking after Lilly and then at the reception, Jim and I were too busy dancing to take pictures, but we had an amazing time. We danced the night away, and ended it with Philly Cheesesteaks back at the hotel before calling it a night.

The next day, Lil and I continued down to DC, and Jim came back up to CT for a few days of work. Throughout this entire trip, to Philly, then to DC, then on the 6 hour drive back from DC, Lilly had NO accidents! I think that means she's officially potty trained. She sleeps without a diaper during her naps now, and only wears one at night--which is often dry in the morning. She's amazing! I have no idea how she wakes up with a dry diaper after 13 hours of sleep. And I promise-I'm not dehydrating her before bed either. She continues to have her milk and usual drinks around dinner time. She just caught on quickly. Granted, waking up from naps isn't as relaxing as it used to be. Instead of usual playing and singing, Lilly has started going straight to her expression for "I have to go to the bathroom," which comes out as, "No pee pee in undies!!" She starts quietly and then yells, and you have approximately 2 minutes to get to her and get her on the toilet before an accident results. As Dad says, it's hard to refute that expression. Lilly's got a point!

We spent the first few days in DC spending time at home with Mum and Dad. We found a new little park that Lilly loves, where she'll spend 45 minutes going down the slide, running around, climbing up the stairs and going down the slide again. I met up with my friend Meg, who has triplets that are just a few months older than Lil. Just one Lilly keeps me busy so I can't imagine having three of them, but Meg's amazing and does a wonderful job. It's always hard to find a time and place to meet up but we had a gorgeous morning so met up and let the little ones run around at a park. They're very cute together.

Then, on the Friday before Easter, Edward, Joseph and Liana flew up to DC. We were all really excited to meet Liana--Joseph's girlfriend--who we'd been hearing so much about. Before even meeting her, it was clear that Joseph cares about her a great deal, so I was looking forward to meeting the girl that is making my brother happier than I can ever remember seeing him. They are wonderful together! And while we all loved Liana, Lilly absolutely adored her. She even called her, "Liana"--with an "L". Sometimes we'd hear a "Wiana" in there, but Jim and I were pretty excited to hear an L come out of her mouth. Lilly followed Liana around and wanted to sit next to her. She spent her time looking for Liana and asking her to come out and play. She even helped Liana take her vitamins. So Liana can rest assured--she is well liked, by all big and little family members.

Just checking Liana's ears with her new doctor's kit!

Lilly has such a great time being with her uncles, and Edward and Joseph give her every reason to love them. They showed up with an endless supply of birthday and Easter presents. These presents included Lulu, the "fur real" cat that meows and purrs and even sheds like a real cat (thank you Edward). I find Lulu to be a bit creepy but Lilly carts this cat around with her everywhere. As a result, we now have fake cat hair in our car. What an amazing gift! I'm saving this toy, so that one day, I can return the favor and send it back to Edward. But they didn't stop with Lulu. Joseph brought a lawn mower that blows bubbles, they brought a set of golf clubs, a talking Elmo phone, some sidewalk I forgetting anything?? They covered all the bases. Large, noisy and messy toys. What are uncles for?

In addition to the toys, Joseph and Edward provide constant entertainment for Lil. One morning, when it was almost 9:00 and Lilly still wasn't awake, Edward told me that I could thank him for the 14-hour sleep of Lil's, as he was doing wind sprints with her in the back yard the afternoon before. Whenever Lilly wanted someone to run around outside with, or when she wanted to play golf, or go outside and draw with chalk, or get up to any sort of mischief, she'd find Edward. The two of them would disappear for ages and both come back exhausted.

Watching videos of lion cubs before our trip to the zoo

Lilly told Edward to listen to his own Edward did.

Joseph was also up for playing games. But more importantly, in Lilly's mind, Joseph can fix anything. It all started back in Florida when he was the only one that would put Lilly's little dump trucks back together, that she would purposely pull apart. Yesterday morning, Lilly asked me to fix an animal cracker whose leg had come off. When I told her it was broken and wouldn't go back together, she replied, "oh no...ask Joef." Joseph and Lilly have a special relationship.

Recently, Joseph wrote a very sweet blog about Lil, which you can find
here. I love watching Lilly's relationships with everyone develop and take their own unique shapes. In one moment which caught Lilly (and I think the rest of us as well) off guard, Lilly went upstairs to get ready for bed and came back downstairs to find Joseph in these:

I'm not sure whose love for Elmo is stronger. Joseph certainly seems to be a pretty big fan.

Then of course, there's time with Gigi and Papa. Gigi is always the calm presence. She's there for hugs and reading stories and watering plants and cuddling. She has endless patience and finds a way to let Lilly "help" her with everything.

Listening to sirens (or hiwens, as Lilly calls them)

Hiding. Lilly's new favorite expression is, "no pictures of Lilly, Mummy." Just like the celebrities...

No ones ears were safe.

Papa, on the other hand, has convinced Lilly that everything is his. Even her blanket,
one. So she'll ask Dad if she can have, "Papa's one" or be eating dinner and tell Papa that she's eating "Papa's peas." This, along with Dad's constant questions regarding camel sightings (Dad was trying to convince Lilly that there were camels roaming around Independence Hall in Philadelphia), have trained Lilly to reply, "Noooooo...Papa's being siwwy." It didn't take very long for her to figure that out!

Jim took the train down on Thursday afternoon, and we enjoyed a nice dinner out at Lebanese Taverna (my favorite!) to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary and my 30th birthday! For my birthday, Jim gave me a new lens for my camera (woohoo!!) and Mum and Dad gave me photography lessons so I'm pretty excited. Top those off with a couple of (very generous) Amazon gift cards from the boys, and I'd say I got everything I could want and more. I'm one happy 30 year old!

Lilly was so excited to see Jim when she woke up on Friday morning. Her real live toy was back, and she didn't waste any time. Lilly jumped right into her "Dad obsession" and followed Jim around, talking to him, jumping on him, and trying to interrupt him when he was talking to me.

Just doing a little gardening.

We had such a nice Easter weekend and as always, it's hard when these weeks come to an end. Hopefully we'll all see each other in June, when Ellie's home from Guatemala.

Happy Easter!

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