all of us, Lyra

Disney World Part 1 – Be Prepared.

Did you sing “be prepared” like the song from The Lion King?
Oh, you didn’t?  Then this post may not be for you.

Back in March, we tried our hand at going to Disney World.  That trip to the park was very last minute and so we were woefully unprepared.  And Disney makes you be prepared if you are going to have any hope of a magical visit.  So what did I do for our next trip?

Prepared the shit out of our trip to Disney.

Should the S-word and Disney be in the same sentence?  Probably not.  Moving on.

When we came home from our Florida trip in March, contacted Disney, and then got tickets from them to go back, we went to work.  John and I looked at sites that told you what park attendance was like and matched it with how much Disney resorts cost during those periods and we decided we would take a chance on a middle of September visit.  We chose a day to go to Magic Kingdom when we knew there would be Extra Magic Hours and planned our hotel stay around that day.  The month of September, after Labor Day, and the month of February are the lowest of the low seasons.  The only problem with September is it is hurricane season so you are totally chancing it.  We knew that, but Disney has a policy that if there is any named hurricane that takes place within 5 days of your visit or where you are visiting from, they will refund you or change plans without a fee.  See — I prepared.  Ask me anything about Disney policies and I will tell you.  Rhianna Wells does not go into things unprepared.  Probably one of the reasons I was devastated after our first trip – I was way out of my comfort zone.  But that’s another discussion for another armchair.  Anyway, we chanced it on September, to make a short story long.

What do you need to know about planning a trip to Disney?  A (not at all) quick rundown of important things.

  • Stay on property.  Sure you could stay off and get some place cheaper but this is Disney and the trip, even a quick one like ours, is not going to be cheap so just go with it.  I also know I am totally coming from my middle-class white lady privilege with this.  Oh man, the tangents I could go on.  I’ll indulge this quick — Disney, a billion dollar corporation, could make things cheaper and more affordable but they always keep their prices JUST high enough to keep a certain socio-economic status population out.  This is just reality.  But no ethical consumption under capitalism, amirite?  This is just what this privileged white lady does under late capitalism so her three year old can see effing Mickey Mouse in “real life.”  Okay, I’ll stop.  But just assume all the information I’m giving you from here on out is coming from a place of intense privilege and I know that.
  • If you are only going to the Magic Kingdom, stay at Fort Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, The Grand Floridian, The Polynesian, or The Contemporary.  These are all the places you can stay near the Magic Kingdom.  The Lodge and the Campgrounds are a direct boat ride to the park, the other places are on the monorail.  This way you can get back to your hotel for a nap in the middle of the day or at the end of a very long day quickly and efficiently.  We stayed at the Fort Wilderness Lodge and loved it.  The Campgrounds are the least expensive but of the other resort hotels, the Lodge is the cheapest.  But it’s still super nice!  We originally were going to stay at the campgrounds but wound up transferring to the Lodge for reasons I’ll explain at the end of this post.
  • Set up your My Disney Experience profile and make sure you’ve added your friends and family.  Someone will be designated as the planner and can make plans for everyone.  Put the most type A person in charge of this.  Our party consisted of me (the Type A planner), John, Lyra, John’s dad, and his partner Mim.  I made sure there were no kinks in being able to link everyone to me so I could make plans for everyone.  Maybe here is where I tell you why we didn’t take Lucy.  We didn’t take Lucy because there is NO REASON ON EARTH to take a child younger than 3/3.5, maybe 4 depending on maturity, to Disney World, unless you are a local and can go to Disney whenever you want.  Lyra was a perfect age for a first trip to Disney.  I count her trip in September as her First Trip and when we take Lucy on her solo trip in like 2019 or something, that will be her First Trip.  Lyra is pretty mature for her age and man, she believes.  She believes so hard.  And it was MAGIC watching her at Disney World getting to meet everyone.  Once you get kids older than like 5/6 you run the risk of them not really believing and while it will still be magical because it’s Disney World, the complete and total awe that you see in their eyes won’t be there.  So my recommendation is make their first trip between 3 and 6 years old.  Just do it.  Then you don’t have to go ever again if you aren’t “Disney People.”
  • 180 days out, you need to make your dining reservations.  YOU NEED TO.  You need to set an alarm on your phone and at 7AM 180 days before you plan on walking your magical self up the Magic Kingdom, you wake up and hop on the My Disney Experience website and you make breakfast reservations for a time before the park opens.  You can get into the park before it even opens if you have breakfast reservations at one of the three options.  If you want character dining, go to Cinderella’s Royal Table but you have to be QUICK to get a reservation.  If you do not get it, keep checking to see if someone has canceled.  The Crystal Palace also has character dining if your kid is into Winnie the Pooh, my kid is not so that wasn’t an option.  The cheapest option, but not with characters, is Be Our Guest.  This was our first choice because we knew we’d see most, if not all, of the princesses later that day and we wanted something more affordable.  It was an awesome choice.  Getting into the park and eating breakfast early is key because then you are in the park before a majority of the people and can plop yourself in line for a ride or two and get right on so you don’t have to waste a fast pass on it.
  • 60 days out, you need to make your fast pass reservations.  YOU NEED TO.  Because you have heeded my advice from my first point and decided to stay on property, that means you get to reserve your fast passes 60 days in advance.  If you do not stay on property, you can only make them 30 days in advance like some peasant and let me tell ya, you ain’t getting on Seven Dwarves Mine Train until like 8PM.  You just aren’t, okay?  So once again, set an alarm and an alarm for that alarm and you make sure your ass is in front of a computer screen at 7AM and logged onto the My Disney Experience site so you can make your reservations.  What you decide to fast pass, you can only do 3, is up to you and your party and their ages.  The planner can make all these reservations for everyone.
  • 30 days out, order your food.  You can always change your order during the next thirty days, but if you want, you can order online ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it when you are there.  If you have any dietary restrictions you can select what you don’t eat and new menu options appear.  We wanted plant-based options so we chose that we wanted food that was dairy and egg free and we ended up with super delicious food that was still extremely decadent.  Disney is very accommodating to all kinds of diets, which is something nice to know if you have any restrictions.  We had no problem finding delicious food to eat the whole time.  And, bonus, they put a little “Allergy” flag in your food when it comes out because you are allergic to the Standard American Diet.  Woot woot!
  • Make sure your Magic Bands are personalized early on and send them off to be personalized so they can get to you before your trip.
  • Coordinate your flight plans with the Magical Express so that info is ready to go on your Magic Bands.
  • Strollers – I recommend either bringing a stroller or renting one NOT from Disney.  Since we got rid of our single stroller and did not want to bring just an umbrella stroller or lug the big double stroller since we only had one kid, I found Kingdom Strollers and got a Baby Jogger City Mini from them.  They deliver to your hotel and pick it up.  It’s better to have a stroller out of the park that way you can stroll your over-tired kid around to and from the park instead of just in the park.  If you just rented when you got to Magic Kingdom, you would have to return it before you left the park and then hold your sleeping three year old the entire way back to your hotel after you’ve kept them up way past their bedtime to watch fireworks.  Kingdom Strollers was great and they give you a free rain cover, insulated bag, and parent console with the stroller.  We saw a lot of people in the park that had rented from them.  We loved this service.  As soon as we checked into our hotel our stroller was waiting for us so we were able to take it to Disney Springs and all around the resort as well as take it into the Magic Kingdom.
  • For young kids, just go to Magic Kingdom and call it a trip, man.  So many families around us look so frazzled and crazy-eyed when they told us they were on their 3rd or 4th day with preschoolers.  And most of the time the kids were crying and way over stimulated.  Magic Kingdom is the only park you need to take little ones too.  Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios have stuff for little ones, Epcot kind of does too.  But why subject your preschoolers to days and days of The Most Stimulus Ever?  Save the money and the long trip where you go to each park when they are older.  We plan on taking Lucy to one day of Magic Kingdom to meet the big guns when she is 3ish.  Then in another few years after that we will take the whole fam damily for a week of Disney to do the Whole Thing.  One day is more than enough magic for a little kid.

I think those are all the things to be prepared.  Of course we were only staying 3 days, 2 nights on property with only one day at the park.  Going for multiple park days requires much more planning.

The last thing we had to do was wait and see.  Since we chanced it on hurricane season, wouldn’t you know there was a hurricane headed that way when we were supposed to be there?!  And not just any hurricane, but a hurricane that was supposed to be the biggest one to hit the Caribbean and the state of Florida ever, Hurricane Irma.

I watched and read the news about hurricane Irma like a mad woman.  John’s dad and Mim decided close to the trip that they weren’t going to come up to Orlando for Disney.  John and I remained hopeful that we would still be able to go so we waited before canceling.  We knew the hurricane was going to come before we were supposed to be there. It was projected to be there early Sunday and going through the state that entire day.  We weren’t scheduled to get in until Tuesday afternoon.  The weather forecast for the days we were supposed to be there looked gorgeous.  Sunny, cooler temperatures, no rain.  We had insurance on our flights and we knew Disney would refund us because of the hurricane should we need to cancel so waiting until the Monday before to make any major decision was the path we chose.   The weekend before we were in contact with Disney to change our lodging plans.  They were closing the campgrounds for the hurricane and we no longer needed to stay at the cabins since it was just going to be 3 of us now.   We changed our lodging to a room at the Fort Wilderness Lodge and it ended up being just a bit cheaper than the cabin we had originally reserved.  Room changed, I changed all our reservations to reflect that we were now a party of 3 instead of 5 and we waited and watched the news to see what Irma was going to do.

Thankfully, by the time Irma hit Orlando she was drastically downgraded and there wasn’t too much damage done to that area and Disney was planning on being up and running right after.  There was flooding in the campgrounds so that would remained closed, and there was a bunch of tree debris to be collected, but they came out of the hurricane relatively unscathed.  Our trip was still on and we were super excited!

As it turns out, planning a trip to Disney right after a hurricane is perfect.  The weather is usually nice and the crowds are low because many people canceled and day trippers just don’t come to the park.  So try and plan your trip for directly after a hurricane, okay?  It will be awesome.  Ew.  Just typing that out makes me feel weird.  You guys, I know, I KNOW we were EXTREMELY LUCKY.  I know that.  And this is long enough as it is, so our actual trip will be a separate post.  Catch ya on the flippity flip.

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our Magic Bands ready to go!

 

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Lyra

Lyra is Three!

Lyra turned three and she is so not a toddler anymore, thankyouverymuch.  She will correct you if you call her a toddler.  Which makes me all sad and why does time go so fast and what have you.  Typical parent feelings.  It’s always so weird to me when I think about how I am someone’s parent.  Actually two someones.  And have been doing this parenting thing for three years now.  Weird.

So the twos weren’t “terrible” for us.  They actually started out pretty flippin awesome.  Toddlers are such funny people and it was so great that she was getting independent and helpful and able to express her feelings better.  And then two and a half hit and I was like “oh this is what people are talking about” with the dramatics and the tantrums and the HUGE feelings.  From all the books and posts I’ve read, Lyra is definitely considered “spirited” which is the twenty-first century term for what they call it when you have a kid that is stubborn and high energy and vocal and very in touch with their emotions.  This girl is so precocious and crazy smart.  I’m worried that she’s going to be smarter than John and me very soon.  And John is the smartest person I know, so it’s a little daunting.  But my mother-in-law pointed out that at least we will have the wisdom that comes with age so even if she is smarter than us, we will be wiser.  I take comfort in this.  I’ll take anything I can get.  Because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t greatly intimidated by what Year Three has in store for us.  Prayers and good vibes sent our way, thanks in advance.

Let me say here that I think we got a good one in our little fireball.  I keep reminding myself that the qualities she’s exhibiting are ones that I want for her so badly as she becomes a young woman.  The self-confidence, the tenacity, the verbal expression.  You go girl!  The Future is Female!  A Woman’s Place is in the House and Senate AND WHITE HOUSE!  And all that jazz.  You know what I’m saying.  But also know that those qualities in a two year old that has normal developmental physical and emotional limitations is, well, challenging.  So when we have meltdowns because “I’m trying to do it by myself!” and all that, I just think, you are going to make a great woman someday.  You will move mountains.  You will change the world.  The current political climate isn’t helping women any, but my little Lyra Rose will help herself goddammit!  Just watch her pull the step stool out of the bathroom, bring it into the kitchen, and get into the cabinets we thought for sure she’d never get into so were not child-proofed, you watch her grab a dangerous kitchen tool and actually use it correctly and thank all the gods that she didn’t hurt herself while you were wiping her little sister’s butt and didn’t notice how sneaky quiet it got.

Oh how sweet she can be, though.  She is a snuggler and a damn fine one at that.  She loves herself a good cuddle in a soft blanket and I will eat that up as long as I can.  She loves her sister.  I often catch her in moments when she doesn’t know I’m watching and find her sniffing Lucy’s hair (yes, girl, I get it – baby smell is intoxicating!) and giving her kisses and hugs.  It’s nice to find her doing that when she doesn’t think others are around so I know she’s not performing.  She’s quick to help us if we need it and she can tell if we are worried or sad or upset and she will offer comfort.  She’s a hugger.  She loves to put her arm around friends, hold hands, and hug.  We have to remind her a lot that not all kids like this so she needs to not be so aggressively affectionate sometimes.  But of all the problems to have, I think this is a good one.

I’ve already said she’s smart and man, she is.  Her verbal skills are just through the roof.  Her reasoning and logic are pretty astounding.  But it’s her imagination that really knocks me off my feet sometimes.  Dramatic play is big at the moment.  Her ability to create and stay in-character and not break is awesome.  When she was dressed up as Princess Anna from Frozen for Halloween, someone asked her about her sister (Lucy) and Lyra immediately spouted off a long and detailed answer to the adult’s question about her sister Elsa because SHE was ANNA, not Lyra.  When the woman looked at me quizzically, I told her she was telling her about her fictional sister because since she’s dressed as Anna she IS Anna.  Oh, I could eat her up.

Lyra has never met a stranger.  She loves playing with kids of all ages.  She tends to gravitate toward kids slightly older because I think they are more on her dramatic play level.  Whatever playground were are at, whatever event we go to, she makes a friend and just runs off with them and has a grand time.  She needs no prompting at any social function to introduce herself and strike up a conversation.  I admire her so much.  I wish I had that ability now, but I never really had that natural ability, even as a child.

As far as quiet play activities go (things she does sitting at a table) – we have quiet play time during Lucy’s naps – she loves to color and draw and paint and play with play doh/kinetic sand.  She’s gotten pretty good at drawing stick people, she’s really good at faces.  When she plays with play doh or sand she usually makes them into “people” and then has conversations with them.  She loves a good craft, but crafts are not my favorite so we don’t do them as often.  I will sit and color with her or mold play doh and act out scenes for a long time, but putting together crafts is not my thing, so it is something I’m challenging myself to do with her more often in 2017.  Luckily she has a grandma that loves to craft with her, though!

She loves to play hide-and-seek.  It’s currently her favorite game to play.  She likes to play frisbee and soccer outside but hide-and-seek is still tops.  She really likes pretending to be Ryder from Paw Patrol and performing daring rescues with the pups.  She likes to play with her Little People sets and her doll house.

Lyra is still pretty petite.  She’s wearing 2t pretty comfortably.  A few things that are 2t or 24 months, depending on brand or style, are too short, but most of her things fit okay.  3t items fit well even though a lot are a little big.  But they aren’t crazy big  so they are wearable.  Her well child check isn’t until later this week so I don’t have her stats.  I’ll edit when I have them if I remember to do so.  I’m guessing she’s around 25 percentile for both height and weight.

I would consider Lyra a good eater.  Not a bad one or not a great one.  She has picky moments, but we can usually get her to eat something from each food group.  She is still going strong with her peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast which is almost always her request in the morning.  Which is just oatmeal I pile healthy things into with a good dollop of nut butter (sometimes it’s almond butter but she still thinks it’s peanut butter) and she eats it.  If she doesn’t eat it all I roll it into bite size balls and refrigerate or freeze and then give them to her as a snack.  She also loves her some mac-n-cheese, which I suppose is a childhood staple.  Her favorite candy is still the Annie’s Bunny fruit snacks.  So her favorite foods really haven’t changed that much this year.

She loves the movies Finding Dory  and Frozen.   Her current favorite tv shows are Paw Patrol (still!) and Care Bears – the tv version I watched as a child, it’s on Hulu, so it’s fun for me to see it again.  We still haven’t found a need to set limits on screen time as she would almost always rather play something or be outside instead.  So she doesn’t actually sit and only watch tv a lot.  I hope we are always able to organcially find a good balance without setting hard and fast rules because I think setting hard limits on things can often be more detrimental than beneficial.  But like anything in parenting, you have to keep reassessing and finding what works so we’ll see.

Lyra loves books.  She loves reading.  More and more she will bring longer books to me during the day and ask me to read them to her, books that aren’t just quick little reads.  She will sit still for good long stories now.  She’s memorized a lot of her favorites so she can “read” them herself.  She loves doing different voices for characters too.  I think we are so close to being able to start reading longer chapter books at night to her because she’s old enough to just be able to sit and listen to the story without the need for pictures. I’m itching for the day we can start Harry Potter.  I think we still have a couple years yet for those.  But we will probably be able to start Narnia soon.  I’m so stoked for getting into longer stories.  Since John and I are both big readers and were voracious readers as children, I think this is most exciting for us.  We are looking forward to encouraging a lifetime love of reading in our girls and so far, we are off to a great start.

I’m not positive if we had cut out naps for Lyra when I did her last update, but that’s probably the last thing I wanted to make sure I document.  A while ago, not even sure now, we cut out her nap during the day and moved up her bedtime.  I’m probably in the minority of parents here, but I LOVE it.  I am a morning person 100% so when Lyra was still napping and not going to bed until 8/9, I didn’t have much time at night after she went down to decompress from the day before I collapsed into sleep.  Now she goes to bed between 6-6:30 and I have hours to do whatever and I’m actually awake for them.  I’m just not a night owl, I cannot be productive after 9PM.  She wakes up for the day usually between 6:30 and 7.  Every once in a while she’s earlier than that, but lately it’s actually been closer to 7.  As a stay-at-home mom the break in the day that napping allows is nice, but Lyra is great at independent play and quiet time play when Lucy is napping, so if I don’t want to be involved in whatever Lyra is into at the moment, I have time to clean or sit and read or play piano.   I feel like I still get breaks during the day.  Of course there’s the odd day when the girls conspire to kill me, but I’d have those whether they are both napping 5 hours at the same time during the day or not.  So it works out for us.  Also, selfishly, I like that she isn’t tied down to a napping schedule and I’m actually looking forward to Lu napping less.  I know, I know, most people are probably like whaaaaaat?  But, I’m happy with our current schedule.  After saying that I’m sure it will be my luck that Lu will not cut out  naps like Lyra.  She seems to be taking after me more in the sleep area (as opposed to Lyra taking after John, he doesn’t like naps), so she will probably nap til she’s in first grade like I did.   Whatever, we’ll figure it out! :)

I think I’m going to do a separate post about her actual birthday.  Originally I was going to make one massive post, but this is quite long as is, so I think I’ll break them up.  I also have a pile of Lyra quotes John and I have been keeping that I will add in one of the upcoming Lyra themed posts.  So this is it for now.  Lyra at three.  My kind, brave, confident, talkative, friendly, energetic, courageous, amazing girl.  She loves big and we love her bigger.  I’m so so so thankful she made me a mother.  What a wonderful adventure we’re on!

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Lyra

Two and a half! Lyra Update

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I have a two and a half year old.  And she’s like my most favorite person ever. Toddlers are the best kinds of people.  Man, they are exhausting (at least mine is) but they are the most fun people to be around.  Lyra is like a celebrity to me and I’m her biggest fan.  I’m crazy obsessed with her.  I think everything she does is amazing and perfect and she’s also kind of a hot mess at times.  I mean, she’s a toddler. ;)

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I wish I knew her stats.  I have a feeling she’s still pretty petite.  I’m pretty positive she’s in the mid-twenties for weight.  When she stands next to other kids her age she is tiny and often younger kids are bigger than her.  A few days ago we discovered she was the same size as a 17 month old she was near.  In gymnastics she’s not the youngest in her class anymore but she remains one of the smallest (although that’s probably beneficial for that sport!).  While she’s had new clothes purchased for her (by my mom, mostly… grandmothers, amirite?!), she is still solidly in the same clothes she’s been wearing for the last year plus which includes 18 mo, 24 mo, and 2T things (depending on the type, style, or brand).  I don’t think she’s wearing any 3T things yet.

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She went to her first movie theater movie the other week.  We were really excited to make that happen.  We saw Finding Dory and she did really well.  I was worried she’d want to run up and down the aisles, but made sure she had plenty of super active time in the morning so she’d be okay with sitting for the 1.5 hours.  We watched Finding Nemo a few times before, and even though she’s starting to get into movies, she’s still never sat through a whole one because at our house when we have one on she’s usually playing with other things and then watching parts of the movie and then moving again.  We also visited the aquarium when we went on our beach trip and she loved see all the fish including the Nemo and Dory fish.  Towards the end of Finding Dory she did start to get squirmy but she stayed in my lap while I explained over and over how the projecter worked for the “big tv.”  Overall I say it went really well and I’m excited to “have an excuse” to go see other kid movies in the theater.

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As far as other favorite movies and tv shows go… let’s see.  We usually watch a family movie on Sunday mornings but she’s not too into them, probably because of the length, but they are more for me and John anyway.  She likes Frozen and she likes The Chipmunk Adventure.  The latter makes me SO happy as it was one of my all-time favorite and most-watched movies as a child.  I try and persuade her to choose that one for movie time a lot. ;)   As far as TV shows goes:  she LOVES most of the Nick Jr line-up.  Which I prefer because those shows really teach her more than the Disney Jr stuff (sorry Disney, I still love you but you don’t teach her how to spot patterns as well!).  She’s getting out of the PBS/Daniel Tiger phase – but I have to say this for the Diddy Tiger (what she called Daniel before she turned two… she calls him Daniel now which makes me sad), that show taught her SO much.  So much.  Daniel Tiger taught her how to label her feelings and how to calm down when she was upset better than we ever could — mostly due to their fun little songs they have for everything.  (I just have to start singing the “clean up, pick up, put away” jingle and she immediately cleans up!  magic!)  So tv is A-Okay in our house… for now. I know there’s like a debate and all about letting your kids watch tv or have screen time on phones/tablets.  Clearly John and I are more lax on that and don’t see it so much as an issue because she does not get to use an ipad or iphone (we don’t have an ipad and we don’t let her use our phones) and she really would rather play outside or pretend or something else.  I think screen time only becomes a negative issue if the only thing she ever wanted to do was watch tv, or if we found it to negatively affect her physically, emotionally, or behaviorally.  But we’ve found, in our house, that it’s a great learning tool and tv time is fun for all of us.

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Her verbal skills have been great for a good long while and the conversations just get better and better.  Her pretend play gets more and more elaborate and the storylines gets more detailed and it’s so neat to see what she picks up on and how she subtly puts random things in her imaginative play.  I really love listening to her in the bath especially.  She has grand adventures with her bath toys and I can watch her from my room but I’m almost out of sight for her so she isn’t distracted by me — it’s the best for really getting to observe her independent play.

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Currently she loves pretending to be a fire-fighter, playing with play-doh, playing in the sensory bins (bins filled with beans or kinetic sand or rice that have manipulates in them), playing in the water outside, she LOVES the beach (including getting smacked over by the waves — you’d think she’d be afraid, nope.), pretending to be a doctor, pretending to be pregnant and then nursing her babies, singing (sometimes she wants you to sing along, sometimes she wants you to just watch her), re-enacting birthdays, listening to and telling spooky stories (complete with spooky ghost hands when she says “spooooooky”), and she is still loving gymnastics (she’s getting pretty good!).

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She definitely has her toddler moments every now and then.  I’m honestly surprised she doesn’t have them more.  I always think about how hard it is for their little minds to reason and understand some more complex issues and how frustrating that would be.  We always talk through things and we can usually nip things in the bud pretty easily.  Most of the time, just the threat of time-out works like a charm.  And the 1-2-3 thing works so well, how do all kids know that is a thing?  If she is pushing boundaries and we’ve explained why she can’t do something but still tries to do it I just start with a “one, two…” and she stops.  Ha! She doesn’t have to go into time-out that often, but the little bugger is smart and sometimes she’s just outright defiant and knows she is so to the Consequence Chair she goes.  She stays in there until she’s calmed down and then we talk about why she’s in the chair and she always knows why she is sent there.  She’s quick to say sorry (almost always without prompting from us) and rectify the issue.

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On a better note.  She is the best big sister.  This girl was made for being a big sister.  I just keep thinking about how lucky Lucy is to have her.  She watches out for her, she loves to make her laugh, she gives her tons of hugs and kisses.  Lucy is usually the first person she wants to see in the morning and if she’s not with her she asks about her constantly.  She always wants to hold her or sit with her.  It’s just sooooo sweet and heartbreaking.  I love that they will never know life without each other.  And she is starting to really get excited about when “Lucy gets big and shares my room!” because the girls will share a bedroom.

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Lastly on this update.  I’ve been keeping some notes on my phone of funny things Lyra says regularly or has said over the past few months.  Here are some of our favorites:

“Don’t bless on me, Lucy.  Mom, I got Lucy bless on me!” When Lucy sneezed on her because we say “bless you” after sneezes

“Mom, you keep me safe?  I’ll keep Lucy safe.”  Heartmelt

“I want to hold you.” I want you to hold me.  This has already started to change and she’s saying it correctly.  It breaks my heart every time she starts saying things correctly and sounding less like a toddler

John was gone and I decided to nap with both of the girls that day in my room.  Lyra was stalling at naptime, Lucy was already asleep, I turned away in bed from Lyra to close my eyes but could sense she was still awake, I turned toward her and saw her face in my face as soon as I opened my eyes and she just whispered “You wanna build a snowman?”  (from Frozen)

Throwing herself on the bed or couch, arms outstretched, exasperated “The sky’s awake! I hafta play!” (also a line from Frozen)

While we watched the “big girls” on tv for the P&G Championships in gymnastics “That balance beam is too big for me.  I have my little one!”

My favorite song she sings is baa baa blacksheep
“Baa baa black sheep have you any woofs.  Yes sir yes sir three bags four.”

John usually has some scruff, but he shaved one time. “Your whiskers are coming back!  You’re gonna be daddy again!”

“Tag, you win!” instead of you’re “it” — a favorite game to play.

“I want to have a pick wick”  This summer we’ve eaten a lot of meals on picnic blankets

“I like corn on the corn” (corn on the cob)

Every single time I open the blinds in her room she goes over to the window, looks out, and exclaims “it’s a bootiful day in the neighborhood!” 

And, something we hear all the time “Here my am!” 

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Lyra is just the best.  Every day she does something that just leaves me in complete awe.  She is the funniest person I know and she’s the sweetest and smartest little girl in the world.  Gah, I love her.  I’m just obsessed.

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Lyra Rose, I’m so glad you are ours.  Happy Half Birthday!

 

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Lyra is two!

Lyra turned two (a month ago, but we won’t talk about how far behind I am at documenting).  Just like last year, we elected to not really have a party and just have family over for cupcakes.  We probably won’t do parties until she’s in preschool and even then maybe only every other year or so.  Even so, Lyra was PUMPED for her birthday.  She had just celebrated her little friend Arlo’s birthday with him and so she knew that birthdays came with people singing to you and blowing out candles and “pupcakes.”  For her birthday we put two candles on everything she ate that day so she couls have us sing to her multiple times and she could blow out the candles a lot.  She loved it.  Crackers for snack, here’s some candles!  It made her day.  Two year olds are so easy!  It was a lot of fun.

Before lunch and pupcakes we opened presents and homegirl made out like a bandit!  She got all sorts of fun things from her grandparents and aunts & uncles.  Our present to her was a tricycle.  John wheeled it out and Lyra said “OHHHHHH MYYYYYY!” with such excitement when she saw it.  She has the best reaction to things.  It was so cute.  Needless to say, she loves her trike and we’ve taken it out on all the good days we’ve had (unfortunately not many).

Here’s some pictures of the birthday girl…

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mad that I made her stop playing for a picture
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if she closes her eyes, we can’t see her.
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presents!
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more presents!
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a tricycle!!
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she loved it!
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delighted by everyone singing to her.
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her rainbow cupcake
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loved blowing out candles.
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she digs right in!
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the icing is her favorite part, she doesn’t really like the cake.
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she’s a mess.
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I just love her!

 

So Lyra at two.  Gosh, I swear she acts more like she’s five.  I feel like she’s the textbook definition of precocious.  She can carry on really good conversations with complex sentences.  She can count to thirteen successfully and can get other numbers randomly up to twenty.  She can recognize some letters and numbers.  She’s pretty good with colors, though sometimes she mixes them up still.  She can say her ABCs, she can sing countless songs.  She’s always talking or singing.  She loves to draw and color.  She has really great balance (thanks to her low center of gravity) and can “stick” all her landings of the things she’s jumping off (homegirl has energy) with a great “ta da!” She’s learned to label a lot of feelings and has fun acting out those feelings when she’s not actually feeling them.  (ex. she’ll say “I’m sad” with the most pitiful face and want a hug or kiss and then say “I’m happy now!” and smile.  Or she’ll act scared or mad.  It’s cute.)  Currently she is loving mermaids and refers to her bum as her mermaid tail.  She likes to pretend she’s swimming in the ocean with her mermaid friend Tammy a lot.  As far as tv shows go, her favorites are probably Daniel Tiger (definitely her absolute favorite), Paw Patrol, and Bubble Guppies.  She’s still a pretty tiny thing, in the lower percentiles for height and weight, which we figured, she doesn’t come from very big stock, so she’ll be on the petite side.  She can still fit into almost all her 18 month shirts still.  She wears 18-24 month things and still has room to grow in many of the items.  I think 18-24 and 24 month will easily take us into the majority of this year.  She’s also an awesome big sister.  There have only been two times when she has shown jealousy and each time it was after she hadn’t had a lot of mom time so it was understandable.  She loves Lucy a lot and tries to comfort her when she cries, asks to hold her or snuggle her, talks to her, and plays with her.  She’s the best!

I’m pretty sure we are in for a doozy of a year.  But I can’t wait.  She gets more and more fun each day.  Also more frustrating, but hey, that comes with the territory of toddlers – everything is BIG.  Big frustrations but also big happiness.  We love our Lyra and couldn’t imagine our life without her.

 

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Lyra at 21 Months!

Little Miss is now 21 months. Which means we only have three more months until she’s a two-year old!  GASP!  Here’s a quick little update about her.

I’m not sure of her exact height and weight but she still wears some 18 month clothes and fits well into her 18-24 month clothes.  Some 24 month/2T things fit in some ways but are either too long or too wide for her.  It’s hit or miss.  I’m guessing she’s still holding steady in the 30-40 percentiles.  A coworker’s 12 month old is bigger than her by like 5 pounds and around her same height.

We’ve started potty training.  We hardcore did it for two days and it was very minorly successful and then the sun came out after two straight weeks of rain, so on the third day of potty training we kind of stopped doing it hardcore because we wanted to go out and do things when you’re supposed to dedicate a few days of staying in the house to focus.  So fail on the parents’ part for that.  We are just so not gung-ho about it enough.  She loves her “unnies” so much though and has made some progress.  We will be more strict with it later, we’re pretty relaxed about it and don’t really care too much if it happens anytime soon.

No more teeth yet.  Still waiting on her two year molars which I think will come close to two years.  Just in time for the new baby — JOY!  A teething toddler and a newborn.  Thoughts&Prayers please&thankyou.

Eating is definitely the same as it has been.  She’s asserting her preferences more and sometimes requests certain meals and snacks.  Nothing really new to report.

Her vocabulary continues to grow.  Her sentences are becoming more complex.  She can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star pretty well — she doesn’t say the words perfectly but she says things that sound like the correct words when she doesn’t say the right ones and stays on the melody.  It’s cute.  Same goes for her ABCs.  It’s like A B C D E F G random sounds that sound like letters S T U V some mumbles ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.  She says “Okay!” a lot and I wish I could figure out how to type it so you could get the inflection she uses because it’s fun.  She uses this when you say what she wants.  Like “Do you want to go outside?”  Lyra: “Outside! OKAAY!”  What’s another word for cute?  Because I’ve used that a lot, but dang it, she’s cute.  Her little voice is the best.

She’s getting really good at colors and shapes.  She can take off her clothes pretty well and she can put on shirts most of the time.  She can get some pants on but since she mostly wears leggings they are harder to pull up all the way and she needs help there.  She is asserting preferences for her clothes already.  The other day I put a blue shirt on her and she said “no, pink!”  She LOVES jewelry and shoes.  I don’t understand this and it must be a nature thing (vs. nurture) because I’m not a big jewelry person at all, nor do I really care too much for fancy shoes.  But Lyra loves piling on all the jewelry and wearing fancy heels or boots.  Bath time is the best time, but showers are the WORST.  She’s starting to really get into mischief lately and it’s hard to discipline because a lot of times it’s funny/adorable… but also, frustrating and exhausting.

Overall she is the greatest thing ever.  I’m psychotically obsessed with her.  I love her to bits and pieces and she’s thriving.  Next update:  TWO.  Whaaaaaaaat.