Tuesday, January 12

Big Girl Beds and Princess Parties

While the daily grind of motherhood has often seemed to move so terribly slow in the last two and a half years, there are moments that have made me stop to say, "Whoa, where did the time go?" I know Ava is still very young, but there have already been occasions of growth, monumental in a child's life, that have taken me by surprise because they seemed to arrive so soon; things like potty training, being able to sing full songs, brushing her own teeth, and this week both moving from her crib into an actual bed and receiving an invitation in the mail to a princess party! 

I know these are small things, but when you are in the midst of them, especially for the first time, they are huge! I also know that these are the moments that all of the older moms I meet are referring to. The moms who stop me in Wal-Mart or at the mall or in the deli line at the grocery store to say hello to my smiling toddler and baby and tell me "It goes fast. Enjoy every moment. They get big so soon." These are the sweet moments I will miss and so I'm trying to hold onto them as tightly as I can for as long as they last in the middle of the chaos that is inherent to them as well. 

To expound just a bit, let me tell you about the bed first. I was talking to my good friend Sara earlier this week. Her oldest in nine months older than Ava and her baby is about nine days older than Ella. She is in Massachusetts and I am now in Buffalo, and we both miss our regular mommy interactions but still share "war stories" over the phone. During I conversation I said something about Ava still being in her crib and she said something like, "Oh, that's right, I forgot Ava was still in her crib." 

Truly, she meant nothing by it, but after we hung up the phone I was thinking,''Uh-oh, Ava is still in her crib!" She is 2 1/2 and I don't know what the average age is for switching from a crib to a bed, I've heard as early as 15 months, but quite frankly Ava was getting quite big for her crib and we've procrastinated with the bed mostly because we have been so busy with life...and partly because she has been sleeping pretty well and one never wants to mess with good sleep. But, alas, I decided the time had come and so we put forth the effort to make the switch. 

So anyway, we put together the hand me down bed we received from Ava's Aunt Caitlin, ran out to buy a mattress last night, and after a few other delays (long story) finally had her crib up and her in it by 10:15 last night...a bit on the late side, but mission accomplished nonetheless. We were slightly worried about how she would sleep, but we ended up waking her up at 9:10 this morning because a) she never sleeps that long, no matter how late she goes to bed and b) we were so excited to ask her how the night went! 

And, guess what she said when we went in there? 

"Mommy and Daddy, I just want to lay in my bed for two more minutes." 

So darn cute! 

So she laid there for a couple more minutes, got herself out of bed and in a very chipper voice came down the stairs and said, "Good morning!" She never says good morning! She's always crying from her crib for me to come get her out! 

So, as strange as it is to see her in an actual bed, it has been fun. I am surprised by how sad I am to take the crib down-- apparently I've become more attached to it than she has. But, I do have to say, that as sad as I am to see the crib go, my new favorite mommy thing in the last two days is laying next to her in her bed for a couple of minutes before her bedtime and nap this afternoon. She asked me to tickle her arm before her nap and I was thrilled to just lay next to her, curtains closed, smelling her hair and tickling her arm while she started to fall asleep. 

As for the princess party invitation, there isn't much to say except that it is her first official invitation to a themed birthday party.  All of the girls are supposed to dress up, the invite was addressed to "Princess Ava" and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun. It's just another moment where I realize she is growing up and that it will go fast, and that I will recall these days with fond memories down the road. 

The moments are sweet, they are precious and they are a blessing and I am simply trying to make a conscious effort to be thankful for them.

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