Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Morning to Remember

I write about things that I want to remember here. I want to be able to look back on these years and read about what things were really like. I know that as a mother, memories can blend together. These first two years already feel like a blur so I can only imagine how quickly the years will pass as our family grows. We often ask Mum questions about our childhood and while she has some very clear memories, there are other events that she has no recollection of (like Joseph's birth...it's a bit of a touchy subject. Just ask Joseph). It's impossible to write down everything that happens, but I want Lilly to be able to read snippets of her first few years; the years that she won't remember but the ones that are so formative in shaping who she will be as a person. Well, this morning was a morning that I want to remember.

I woke up at 4:40am...again. For the second night in a row, I woke up to little kicks and punches and some serious relocation going on in my stomach. It always makes me smile, even at night. It was dark and quiet and I felt like I was spending some time with this little one. As most people know, it takes a lot to wake me up. I can sleep through pretty much anything, except during these last weeks of being pregnant. On Sunday night when this happened, and I couldn't go back to sleep, I ended up being so frustrated and exhausted on Monday morning. I was a pleasure to be around, I'm sure. So, this morning, when Jim rolled over and asked me if I wanted to go to the gym first today since I was already awake, I jumped at the opportunity. If I wasn't going to sleep, I was at least going to feel good about myself. I headed off to the gym and was back by 6:15 when Jim went out for his run. Jim and I spent the rest of the morning together before he had to leave for work. When he left at 8:15, Lilly was still asleep and I was sitting on the couch listening to Deuter (some of the most relaxing music I've come across), reading and having tea. I proceeded to fall asleep, and woke up with a jump at 9:30, only to discover that Lilly was
still asleep. We know she's getting new teeth, and her solution to that is usually some extra sleep so I had no intention of waking her. At 9:45, I heard the usual, "COME IN! EXCUSE ME? I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM...NO PEE PEE IN BED!" from the little bedroom across the hall. After going to the bathroom, Lilly returned to bed and asked to read books there ("one more book, Mummy?"), so the two of us spent a good part of the morning lying in her bed reading. Jim put Lilly to bed at 6:40 last night; she was asleep by 7. Almost 15 hours of sleep?! When Lilly turns to me one day and asks if she was a good sleeper when she was little, I will be able to say, without any hesitation, "you were an amazing sleeper!"

As soon as we finished reading in bed, Lilly was up and unstoppable. The house went from being a tranquil haven for relaxing and reading to a toddler's playroom in a matter of minutes. The blocks and legos came out. Judy was taken for walks in her stroller and had naps in her pack 'n play. Lilly decorated toy cupcakes and baked pretend cookies. And so our morning routine proceeded from there. Fruit and coffee for me; apple juice and toast for Lilly; the Tour; and then out and about to do a few things before coming home for lunch and a nap.

Our picnic lunch...paninis, in a tutu of course.

Dad told me yesterday that he wants to get Jim a polka dotted jersey, or a yellow jersey, so that when he goes out for his bike rides, Lilly thinks he's off to the Tour de France. On Sunday morning, Lilly was especially confused because the Tour was on but Jim was at home. Lilly asked Jim, "Where is you, Daddy?" (As a side note, that is one of my favorite expressions at the moment). He told her that he took the day off. Lilly thought about it for a second, nodded her head, and then said, "okay Daddy." Jim and I smiled and went back to watching the Tour. Today, Lilly spotted Jim racing again. He was the one in the yellow jersey. So far, he's having a fantastic race.

Cheering on Daddy in the Tour de France

Sunday, July 17, 2011

We're HOME!

As much as I don't adore Connecticut, I do love being home. We have spent so much of this summer traveling that spending a full week at home has felt like bliss. We all got back into the swing of things this week. Lilly was so excited to be surrounded by her toys again, I loved our lazy mornings, the visits to the gym, the cups of coffee, the trips to the park, watching the Tour de France, and spending time with friends, and Jim loved going back to work. Well, at least Lilly assumed he did. One evening, after Lilly's lips were purple from playing in the pool for the afternoon, I convinced Lilly that we could continue playing in our own pool...the bath, where it would be nice and warm and neither of us would freeze to death. So, upon assuring her that she could have a bath in her tutu bathing suit, we moved our party inside. Jim arrived home from work shortly after and we said our usual hellos, Jim asked about our day, and then Lilly turned to Jim and said, "Did you have fun at work today, Daddy?" She caught both of us by surprise. Jim and I just looked at each other and smiled, and Jim replied, "Yes, Lilly...I had so much fun at work today!" Why would she think any differently? Her day is filled with everything she loves...trips to the park, playing in the pool, books, baking, apple juice, her water table, cheese, tutus, skype chats, picnics, coloring, Winnie the Pooh, Judy, her one, and Latoof the camel. So, it makes sense that she thinks Jim's day is filled with things that he loves too.

As I mentioned, Lilly and I watched a lot of the Tour de France this week. Or, as Lilly says, "Are you watching bike racing again, Mum?" Yes, the Tour was on for the greater part of our mornings and although we didn't sit and watch it from start to finish each day, we'd both stop and different points of our morning to check in on the riders. Lilly witnessed one of the crashes on Friday morning and spent the rest of the day asking me, "Where is the man that falled, Mum?" She was very concerned about Jens Voigt. Lilly also caught a rider having a "gu" or gel of some sort, and then tossing it into the trees, to which she responded, "oh no, naughty man Mummy...trash goes in the trash can, not in the forest." I agreed with her and decided to forego the conversation in which we discuss racing circumstances where throwing trash on the side of the road is considered acceptable. She'll have a field day at her next Ironman, watching people throw cups, wrappers, banana peels, even water bottles. And I'm sure she'll have something to say about all those situations as well.

My favorite part about watching the Tour with Lilly is that that as she watches intently, she says she sees Jim. And, funnily enough, Jim is always the rider in front. Lilly gets genuinely excited, points at the television and says, "Look Mum, there's Daddy!" That must be what she envisions when Jim goes off to work. Yesterday, after Jim came home from a sweltering 90 mile ride feeling less than fantastic, I tried to boost his spirits by telling him that according to Lilly, he won the toughest stage of the Tour, in the Pyrenees. Watching the Tour with a two-year old has certainly allowed me to see it from a different perspective.

We had the perfect weekend at home--one that we had been in need of for awhile now. Jim did a lot of training, we played at the pool, but mostly we just enjoyed our little family. In 11 weeks, we'll have our newest addition. I remember these last weeks before Lilly was born, when Jim and I wanted to spend as much time together as possible, not knowing how things would change with the arrival of a baby. It's the same thing again this time. We love our lives at the moment and even though we know things are changing for the better, we're going to savor every moment together as our family of three.

This is the perfect opportunity to thank Dad for his advice on baby names for the newest Clark. You can find his advice
here. It is clear that Dad is tapering this week in preparation for Ironman Lake Placid next weekend. He seems to have a lot more time on his hands, so I'm sure we'll see some more blogs like this one in the weeks ahead. After all, this one focuses primarily on boys' names. And while Percy and Rufus are welcome suggestions, what if we have a girl?

No blog is complete with out pictures, so here are some from our fun filled afternoon with Brien, Liz and Stella yesterday. As the girls are getting bigger, we are starting to enjoy some more relaxed time hanging out together, like we used to. Although now, instead of drinking beers by the pool, the dads were in swimming with the little ones, who were wearing their tutu bathing suits, while the moms caught up. There will come a time again when someone isn't pregnant, the little ones won't be so little, and we can all drink bottles of wine late into the night again. Just not for a few more years.