I never want to forget my lunch visit with Baby A on October 30th. It was a Halloween lunch, and I was the only parent there. This is because parents weren't invited, but Ms. Anka said I could go anyway. I sat next to her as she chowed down on her mac 'n cheese out of a clear cup with a jack-o-lantern face drawn on the side. She had seconds (and thirds!) of her mac and took some bites of her boiled carrots. They also had a "candy corn" fruit cup with oranges at the bottom, followed by pineapple chunks and topped with whipped cream. As I sat next to her, she spontaneously hugged me and kissed me and randomly announced to other kids "That's my Mom!"
When she was done, she threw away her cup and plate, washed her hands and went and got a paper towel, which she threw away when done. Ms. Heather was getting the cots out and she went and laid down. I went over and knelt next to her, to tell her I love her and say goodbye. "When you wake up, we're going to go trick-or-treating with Tommy! Remember, Mommy loves you when she's with you, and I love you when we're apart. I love you all day long." She didn't cry, and didn't get up or tell me not to leave - she understood. But her bottom lip was quivering, and she looked like she was on the verge of crying. I stayed even longer, covering her with her blanket and patting her back.
I also never want to forget her reaction to seeing someone dressed up as the Beast on Halloween. We were at a city event at a local school, and I was holding her on my hip. A lot of adults and children in costume were milling about, playing free games and waiting for the costume contest to start. I didn't realize what she saw, but her whole body shook with excitement, and she buried her head in my arm. Assuming she was afraid, I looked for her reaction and was surprised to see a huge grin on her face when she lifted it up...before she shook again, and buried her head once more. Scanning the room, I saw what was she did: The Beast! I asked if she wanted to go see him and she did not. But as soon as he left, she could not stop talking about him. "Beast! Big guy. Saw him!" Up until this time, I was planning to just have Belle make an appearance at her party in May. Now, we realize we need Beast there too, so of course I had to book him.
She had a lot of fun trick-or-treating with her cousins. She really had the concept down this year; knocking, waiting, exclaiming "trick-or-treat" and usually saying "thank you!" after she was given candy. We went to twice as many houses as last year; our street and the street behind us. She walked most of it but by the end was tired and had me carry her.
By the next day, she had forgotten about her stash of candy. It came in handy when she decided a few days after that to start potty training.
Baby A surprised and impressed us by initiating potty training herself this month. They had been taking her for a few weeks at daycare when she asked on Saturday 4th to go potty. We were all in her bed winding down and looking at a Halloween LED projector that we picked up on sale. "I go potty!" she announced, before walking into the bathroom and trying to take down her pull-ups. She went for the first time for us, at home. This was followed by multiple days in a row of dry diapers all day - even at daycare, and even during nap time. Just like stopping the bottle, potty training has been a breeze with her and effortless. And just like the completion of other milestones, it brings with it a twinge of sadness because she's growing up. Most impressive to me was when we were out at Olive Garden and she asked to go potty, and went!
Just because breaking the bottle or potty training have been easy as pie it does not mean that she is toddler tantrum free. They may be few and far between, but still not fun. Her latest phase is "No, MY do it" for many things, including getting into her car-seat and strapping herself in. She does a pretty good job, but it takes an extra 5 minutes or so. She's fine as long as she gets to do it. But after picking her up from school one day, I asked her to get in and for some reason, she didn't want to. I gave her a warning and counted to three. She didn't budge, and so I had to follow through with putting her in. Fitting an octopus into a coffee cup would have been easier, and It wasn't fun for either of us. But, she learned that if she doesn't get in, I will put her in. From a behavioral standpoint, you have to follow through on what you say you will do.
Toward the end of the month, I went to LA for a night of karaoke. I felt a bit guilty leaving just after 7pm and wondered how she would do with Dad putting her down. Not only did she not cry when I left, but around 9pm, she told Dad "I go bed," went and laid down on her bed and fell asleep after just a few stories. Receiving the update while I was still out helped lessen the guilt.
We had another play-date with her best friend Tommy that weekend, at We Rock the Spectrum in Laguna Hills. A franchised kid's gym, they geared toward kids with sensory processing disorders (on the spectrum) but to me, it just looked like a regular gym. The husband and wife who run this franchise were very helpful and energetic. We were there for a special event with Marshall from Paw Patrol and it was nice because they limited it to 25 kids, so it wasn't too crowded.
The week of Thanksgiving only included just one full work day, plus a half day for me. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house, and A loved helping me make the creamed corn, and Daddy make the salad. The date was extra-special because it fell on our 4th wedding anniversary, and our 6th year together. I found myself reflecting on our time together and how thankful I am that he came into my life. I realized that I love him now more than I did on our wedding day, though back then I never would have thought that was possible. In those first few years of marriage, we endured the loss of my Mom, multiple rounds of IVF, a cancer diagnosis and surgery (melanoma, for me, possibly a misdiagnosis?) and a miscarriage in the beginning of my second trimester. But all of these (okay, well most of these) tragic life events only served to fuse us together in a more solid way. We are less likely to stress over smaller things and try to infuse more meaning into smaller things, like cooking together.
The five day weekend was incredible. We worked in a Disneyland morning (Autopia for the first time!), but mostly just relaxed at home and decorated for Christmas. We bought our tree and started listening to Christmas music. And since our anniversary was the day before my husband's birthday, I surprised him with a sitter for baby A for the first time ever and we had prime rib at Gulliver's. She was with her babysitter for 3 hours and not only did she not cry when we left, but she played and did not even ask about us while we were gone! It's nice having this first time out of the way, and knowing we can use a sitter again in a month or two and not feel guilty about it. It helped that the girl who watched her was a teacher at her daycare, so she knew her.
The month ended with her being a potty-training pro. On her last day of daycare before the break, her teacher Ms. Anka told me to send her in underwear the following Monday! Potty-training was effortless, and initiated by her. My little trick-baby strikes again!
Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018
1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!
Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.