Another month is coming to an end, and once again, as so many of the months that have come before this one, I am amazed with how quickly August has come and gone. Not that this baby didn't seem real before, but as we get into the final weeks (I'm due in less than 5 weeks), it seems more real than ever. My stomach is huge--I wish I could have recorded the look on Edward's face when he saw me on skype yesterday. It had been awhile, and his shocked expression was priceless. He asked things like, "How do you stand up? Does your back hurt?" and I think he said "Wow" about 10 times before we moved on and started talking about something else. I often look down at my stomach in disbelief, or catch a sideways glimpse when I walk past a mirror, and am just amazed that it is possible to get so big, and then to shrink back down to normal once the baby is born. It's pretty unbelievable. I have an ultrasound tomorrow and am excited to have a quick look at this little one. It's been 17 weeks since I last had an ultrasound so it will be fun to see how big the baby is.
As I look forward to the birth of this baby, I get more and more excited to see Lilly as a big sister. She seems more grown up by the day and I look forward immensely to watching her with a little one. She's ready; well, as ready as she can be without completely understanding what's going on. Lilly seems to have everything at home under control. This morning, she was lying on our bed with me while Jim was getting ready for work. Jim picked up a folder off my dresser that he needed to take with him today, and Lilly removed her one from her mouth to inform Jim, "No Daddy, that's Mummy's book. She needs it for tutoring." And when he proceeded to take it out of the room, she called after him saying, "Jim, put Mummy's book back on her dresser." She has real conversations. She calls Jim, "Jim" when she is saying something to him that I would say. She "helps" with everything. Here is Lilly helping Jim clean his bike the other evening:
Lilly and I always spend lots of time together but I find myself appreciating even more the time the two of us (and before and after work and on weekends, the three of us) have by ourselves. We have some nice little routines that I know will change in the weeks ahead. In the past few weeks, we've gone to the aquarium where Lilly saw her first Imax movie--a movie about dolphins, which she still talks about. While she enjoyed the whole aquarium, she was especially excited to see an exhibit on frogs, sponsored by UBS. Most two year olds would prefer the frogs to the UBS slogan painted on the wall. Lilly, however, couldn't believe her luck. She kept saying, "UPS Mummy...where Daddy works...not RPS." This topic deserves it's own blog because it is a constant source of amusement for Jim and me. But, as I seem to be writing less frequently these days (and in turn, sleeping more frequently), I'll take a second here to emphasize how much Lilly loves talking about UBS. Every time we drive by the building, she says hi to Jim and "UPS" (Lilly thinks that Jim works for UPS and as a result, also gets very excited when she sees UPS trucks driving by). She knows that he doesn't work in the RBS building across the street, so she can't mention UBS without saying, "Not RPS" in the same sentence. We had lunch with Jim at UBS one day last week and since then, a day has not passed without Lilly asking to go back to UBS for lunch.
(I'm not sure why there are meerkats at the aquarium, but Lilly loved them!)
We've been spending a few mornings a week at different parks, where Lilly now loves climbing up rope ladders to get to the slide. Her fearlessness when it comes to climbing often gives me minor heart attacks but I guess that's all part of being a parent. We go to the library once a week and Lilly loves picking out books for "Daddy to read to me before bed." We seem to leave each time with more and more books. We were at the library on Monday morning and when I asked Lilly to choose some books to bring home, she came back with a stack of books we had checked out on previous occasions, or books we already have at home. While Jim and I relish in the idea of having new books to read, Lilly loves reading the same ones over and over again. When I tried to explain to her that we had already checked out those ones, it just didn't make sense to her. And why should it? If Lilly loves reading and singing Yankee Doodle, Michael Finnegan, Miss Mary Mack and Mary had a Little Lamb (which she calls Miss Mary Lamb, as she read Miss Mary Mack first), then in her mind, why not check those books out again? Lilly adores all of those books, where you (well, actually, Jim) sings the story. I love seeing her excitement when we walk into the library. I love snuggling up in bed with her and reading books before her nap. And I love watching Jim read to her at night. Mum and Dad instilled in all of us a love of reading. We were surrounded by books we loved and were allowed to stay up later at night if we wanted to read. As a result, we all love books today. Jim and I both think that developing a love of reading is important, so Lilly is always surrounded by books that she loves.
We've been going out for walks together. As my walks are getting shorter and shorter, I let Lilly bring Judy in her stroller, and we go out on "expeditions, looking for heffalumps." Dad wrote one of my all time favorite blogs, about Lilly and heffalumps, here so I won't go into too much detail, except to say that when Lilly hears the word "heffalump," her eyes light up. She spent all weekend asking Jim and me if we would go on expeditions with her to find Lumpy, her heffalump. Jim would hide Lumpy behind a cushion on the couch, and Lilly squealed with delight every time she discovered it. Yesterday, while we were talking to Mum and Dad on skype, Lilly asked Papa to go on an expedition with her to find a heffalump. So, Dad and Lilly both went their separate ways, and both returned with heffalumps! Lilly cannot believe that Dad has a heffalump too and is so excited to go and visit "GigiPapa" (as she likes to call Mum and Dad) because now they have a Lumpy too. Mum and Dad have been cleaning out their storage unit and have come across lots of toys and books from when we were all little so every time we chat on skype, there are new things for Lilly to see. The latest of these was the heffalump.
Taking a walking break to balance.
On one of our expeditions!
Lilly and I have also been spending a lot of time at Trader Joe's, or as Lilly calls it, "Trader Joef's." She is convinced it is named after her Uncle Joef, and asks to go almost daily. Whether it's the name of the store, or the appeal of the Lilly sized shopping carts, or the plethora of stickers that the cashiers there give her, she can't get enough of the place! The other morning, Jim turned to me as Lilly was jumping up and down saying, "Hippeeee, Trader Joef's!" over and over again and asked me what exactly she thinks Trader Joe's is. I don't really know, except to say that if it makes grocery shopping more fun, I'll take it.
Lilly even wheels one of the bags out to the car in her cart!
It's impossible to capture how quickly Lilly is growing up and to write down all the moments and conversations that Jim and I want to remember. We have so many pictures and stories, a lot of which are recorded here. And thanks to our iPhones (where all of the pictures from this blog entry are from) we always have a camera at our fingertips. For moments like this, when Lilly said, "Daddy, lie down and lift up your shirt. I'm going to measure your stomach, like Dr. Sharma does for Mummy's baby."
Or like yesterday, when I walked in to check and make sure she was asleep during her nap, and found this:
Lilly had fallen asleep, but not before getting off her bed and moving Daisy and Daisy's pack 'n play onto her bed. It's sweet that there is so much empty space in her bed, so a little pack 'n play doesn't make a difference. You can also see Spot up next to her, and Lumpy, the heffalump, next to Daisy. Lilly's bed is just like her crib used to be--a very busy place.
Finally, here are some pictures of Lilly's first carnival. We lost power a few weeks ago (amazingly we didn't lose it during the hurricane though) and we decided that since we didn't have power, it was the perfect night to meet up with some friends and take Lilly to a little carnival in Greenwich. It was so cute and there were a few perfect rides. Jim went on all the rides with her--I wasn't sure I would fit too well, so Jim really lucked out there. And to top it all off, the poor guy was in his work clothes because he asked me to bring him shorts and a t-shirt when I picked him up and after telling him I would, I completely forgot. (I also forgot to bring his contacts to Steph and Austin's wedding a few weeks ago, as well as multiple other things that Jim has asked for. At least he expects it now, and just shakes his head and smiles when I forget the one thing he has asked me to bring. Pregnancy really does a number on my memory!)
Goodbye August! Bring on September.
(yes, Lilly decided to wear her rain boots down to the pool on a gorgeous, sunny day.)