Monday, March 30, 2015

A Year in Photos

And just like that she grows from 2 to 3 ...

For comparison sake, here she is her first and second year. And yeah, I really need to learn to shoot in RAW. But the inconsistencies are kinda artsy, amiright?!?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

(36 Months) - The Bean at 3 Years

Physical - she's alllllllllmost 30 lbs (25-50th percentile) and alllllllmost 3 feet tall (10th percentile); most of her clothes seem to small for her, because her belly seems to take up all the landscape, but she is still wearing 3T clothes and is growing in to size 7 shoes; strawberry blonde hair that she prefers to wear down, but can be bribed into putting into a high or low pony, or wearing a clip to hold her bangs out of her eyes; blue eyes; big ole belly; painted toenails; very expressive eyebrows (even strangers comment on it); possible chicken legs; likes to be in just her undies

Typical Week - she attends Vermont Hills Family Life Center at the church just down the street in our neighborhood on Mondays and Tuesdays, home with Beebee on Wednesdays, then "mama day" on Thursday and Fridays, and "flamily days!" on the weekends

Food and Drink - she's still a good eater, who mostly snacks and hates the word "dinner" (we think it's because she knows that dinner comes right before bath which comes right before bedtime); eats 1-2 bowls of cereal with blueberries in the morning, eats at school on daycare days, with me eats most of her calories in the first half of the day; enjoys dairy, carbs, and fruit the most

Sleep - juts recently gave up her Neenees (of which she was now sleeping with 3!); bribed her with "sparkly shoes"; is sleeping on a queen-sized mattress on the floor of her room; earns two marbles to put in her jar to work toward an ice cream date for the nights she stays in her own bed without waking us; naps 1-2 hours in the afternoon; often tantrums before nap/bedtime; likes to do everything herself in her pre-bed routine including choosing her diaper and PJs, picking the book, turning on her nightlight and the noise machine, turning off the light, etc.; we still lay with her for 5-20 minutes when she goes down

Potty - in undies with the very rare accident, diapers at nap and bedtime; seems to have an aversion to public restrooms or using the potty without mama or daddy

Social and Emotional - very affectionate, offers "I love yous," hugs and kisses to us multiple times each day; likes to copy bigger kids, usually girls; likes to have or do things like Mama and Daddy; very concerned when others are upset; able to verbalize her feelings; serious tantrum thrower on the near-daily; learning to "calm my body," take laps, and take big breaths; behaves better when provided warning; very responsive to praise and bribery; takes turns; likes to be silly and make people laugh; if Mama or Daddy are home with her, she plays alone MAYBE 20 minutes cumulative throughout the day, per school and my dad, she will happily entertain herself in an appropriate way

Physical - dresses and undresses her pants/skirts/undies/tights herself, but needs help with tops; puts on and off her own socks and shoes; loves to count on her fingers; can zip but not snap or button; runs, jumps, climbs, skips (but doesn't seem exactly motorically gifted); still won't pedal her tricycle or ride her scoot bike; likes to wear a helmet; likes to color with crayons, recently started painting

Cognitive and Communication - follow instructions very well; often asks strangers their names and ages; is unpredictably shy and unpredictably so outgoing; very even tempered with everyone but mama and daddy; LOVES attention and socializing and chit-chatting; talks all.the.time; loves ABC's and all things letters (in chalk, singing about them, "F says fff, F says fff, every letter makes a sound and F says F")

General - we often describe her as having a lot of "micro energy," in that she doesn't have the stereotypical boy big energy, but is constantly moving in these small ways, and is very demanding about attention and talking; she seems very compassionate, always interested and concerned in other people's feelings; she has become very good with her manners and asking questions; is more of a watcher than a doer in new settings, but will gladly try most new things; really seems to enjoy most activities, but prefers playing at the park or in the front yard, doing art projects together, running errands, helping with anything grown-up, plays with babies and her kitchen or musical instruments, likes looking at pictures of herself; freely gives "I love yous" and hugs and compliments; is very compliant in social settings, can be very oppositionally defiant with mama and daddy; likes anything "special," enjoys outings and never wants to go home; loves the zoo and the Children's Museum and hanging out with friends; always says "I'm hungry" when she is really tired; seems to have FOMO (fear of missing out); is never as happy as when she's with her whole family and is hamming it up singing, playing the uke, or making people laugh

Only a few quotes I wrote down from the past month:

"Hey guys you wanna see my table dance?"

Francie: "I'm touching your boobies."
Me: "You like my boobs? Why?"
Francie: "Cuz they're big and fat and squishy. "

Francie: "Hey Daddy, I'm scared."
Alex: "What are you afraid of?"
Francie: "Hmm, well, nothing. I just want attention."

Talking about healing owies or getting over a cold: "The we get up and we get better. Know the amazing part? We eat veggies and we heal."

"I just am't" (as in, am not)

"Can I do (insert anything here) when I'm a grown-up?"

We did a yearly Birthday Interview, with the following same questions (here is hers from age 2 years):

Yearly Birthday Interview - Francie @ 3 years
Her answers are in quotes, the parent-known answers are in parentheses
1. What is your favorite color? "blue" (purple)
2. What is your favorite toy? "frog" (babies)
3. What is your favorite fruit? "carrots ... apples" (blueberries or strawberries)
4. What is your favorite tv show? Daniel Tiger (truth)
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? "peanut butter and jelly ... cereal" (truth)
6. What is your favorite outfit? "dresses" (she really started wanting to choose her own clothes)
7. What is your favorite game? blank stare (Memory)
8. What is your favorite snack? "cereal" (and bars, applesauce, yogurt with fruit ...)
9. What is your favorite animal? "fox" (in fact, she is afraid of foxes, and dear, and bugs
10. What is your favorite song? "Twinkle Little Star" (and ABC's)
11. What is your favorite book? "I Love You Forever" (and Olivia, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Day, On A Summery Saturday Morning, Going On A Bear Hunt)
12. Who is your best friend? "Mommy and Daddy and Logan and Max
13. What is your favorite cereal? "hot cereal" (Cheerios with blueberries)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? "play bubbles" (true, and going to April Hill Park)
15. What is your favorite drink? "soda" (ha! she's never had it, but drinks milk at school, steamed milk with Beebee, and occasionally has some kind of juice at a party or something)
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween (she likes all things "special")
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? "a toy, a frog toy" (her Neenies, except she just gave them up)
18. What do you like to eat for breakfast? "cereal and jelly" (Cheerios with blueberries, waffles)
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? "mac n chees" (wish granted)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "a teenager" (ensue adult guffaws)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hey Hey It's Almost Your Birthday

Since getting home from work today, I've been giddy with excitement for the Bean's 3rd birthday tomorrow. Given that we're broke and I was feeling crafty, I've been working on making her a stuffed felt alphabet. Tonight I finally started and finished the blueberry shirt she requested to wear. We opted not to have any kind of big party for her this year, in part because we just didn't feel up to planning and theming and hosting. But also it's nearly Spring Break and we're mostly too poor to have parties. But tomorrow we will have a small family celebration - Uncle Brian happens to be in town for work, Mimi and Papa are flying in for a long weekend, my dad will come over, and a few friends and their kiddos will join us. Francie requested a dinner of Mac and cheese and blueberry coffee cake for dessert. So that's what's on the menu. And she said her favorite veggie is carrots, so Beebee will bring his carrot apple slaw. After running last minute errands for paper goods, sour cream, eggs and beer, I was happy to make it home before the Bean had fallen asleep tonight. I cuddled her tightly, showered her with kisses until she made me stop, and told her how happy I am that she was born. Truth is, that girl completes me. No pressure, right?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pac City

This weekend was one of those times where I consistently felt like my heart might burst open with all the love and joy I was feeling for my beautiful little family. Perusing social media on Thursday or Friday, I was inspired by a friend's trip to the coast to enjoy the un-seasonal sunshine and warmth, and somewhat impulsively booked us an overnight at a hotel in Pacific City. It turned out to be JUST what the doctor ordered, not that I was even aware that I was in need of doctor's orders. Alex attended the memorial service of one of his students who was killed in the car crash a few weeks before, and then we beelined for the Oregon coast with hopes of catching the sunset over the Other Haystack Rock. We put our toes in the sand and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and waited hours (literally) for a mediocre dinner at Pelican Brewery, where Francie was her inordinately charming self. Our hotel was a bust, and I was acutely aware of how I've misplaced my sense of (mis)adventure - worried more about getting bedbugs or contracting an STD that finding the humor is the terrible decor and the stained linens. Alex and Francie didn't seem to mind, and promptly fell asleep in the lumpy bed next to me. Sunday morning was very, very chilly, and we had a wonderful breakfast at a new-to-us restaurant, Grateful Bread, and then hit the beach around 11 a.m. (daylight savings time). We spent the next several hours enjoying the clear blue skies and sunshine, playing the sand, exploring the tide pools, watching the cars drive on the sand and the fishing boats beaching themselves. Numerous times I felt as though I could hardly stop myself from blowing my emotional load all over Alex and the Bean's face (too much?!?) Sometimes it sure is nice to just do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it with the people you love most, and when all the stars just seem to align to make for a perfect little weekend. Thanks, stars.

Family roadtrip selfie.

Mama and her Bean.

A silhouette.

Family time.

I love this candid photo. Although can you call it candid if you're taking it yourself?


Sand castles.

Tide pools.

Someone always finds a way to get nakie.

This girl was made for me.

Friday, March 6, 2015


I'm aware I haven't been blogging very much lately. Nor writing of any kind, really. Funny, since I think about writing far more often than I ever actually do it. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, after I've dropped the Bean at daycare or said by to her with my dad, I daydream about a silly little novel I've been concocting mentally; I think about character names, plot details, self-publishing logistics. But like I said, this shit all takes place in my head, and only my head.

Not that I haven't started many a blog posts in the last few months. It's official - this is now legitimately a "mommy blog." The majority of recent posts are comprised of the monthly Bean updates that I STILL do. I did have one post going last month about the Academy Award show (Oscar's), one of my most prized television events of the year. It was all about what a proud American I felt like going to bed that night, reveling in the words of these award-winning actors, who each used at least a few seconds of their amazing fortune to shed light on something other than Hollywood or themselves - gender inequality in the workplace, disproportionate rates of imprisoned African-American males, Mexican immigrants, Alzheimer's, ALS, etc. I woke up the next morning, barraged by all the criticism in the media, hating on Rosanna Arquette's feminist comments falling short, accusing that screenwriter of too closely associating being "weird" with being gay. So that's what that post was about. And I have another few list-type posts that have been lingering in my queue for quite some time - #youknowyoureinyour30swhen, #youknowyouworkattheVAwhen, #youknowyouvebeenmarried>5yearswhen ... I have a long-standing blog post about toddlers and tantrums; though I can barely call my child a toddler anymore. There's the intro of a post in there about multigenerational co-housing, following a day-long training Alex and I went to about ADUs (accessory dwelling units) in Portland. I started another post about what I have come to call "mindful mothering."

But truth is, I have been less than inspired the last several months. And also, my caseload at the VA is big enough that I don't have much time for extra-curricular projects on the federal dime. That, or I've evolved into the cliched government worker whose inefficiency expands to fill the given time. But seriously, I've been a bit of a bump on a log. I don't feel as though I'm working toward very much of anything these days. And not necessarily in a "whoa is me" kinda way. I have a few little craft projects started for myriad of upcoming Spring birthdays. Not that I've completed any one of them yet. I have a laundry list of things to do around the house. Which is a perpetual mess. I had been good about seeing several of the nominated Oscar pics, and have been pretty good about reading nightly, and trying to be better about exercising on a 5 day/week basis. And then there's therapy. Maybe that's what saps all my remaining energy. Not that I'm saying anyone particularly misses, or even notices, my absence on the blogosphere. My most loyal readers are the high school and college friends that I text with on a near daily basis. And my father (hi dad), who I see at least weekly anyway. But I'm aware, and not proud of, the fact that I've slacked about getting any words on any kind of a page. I'm not even sure I've written anyone an email, let alone a letter, lately, that wasn't mostly work-based. All that said, maybe it's time to turn off Masters of Sex on Showtime and do something that someone might sanction as productive??

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