Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mimi's New Doll

It's been only 3 weeks or so since Kuri joined our family.
The changes, as I suppose we expected, have been tremendous. Particularly for Mimi. Granted, Sumie and I are on completely different schedules now, and our routines are thrown completely out of whack, but we both knew this would happen. We saw it coming. Mimi, on the other hand, had only a vague impression that a baby was one the way. What this would really mean she couldn't begin to fathom. Thankfully, she's adapting to our addition remarkably well.

Over the weekend we had a visit from Great Grandma and Aunt Marilyn.
Kuri was passed around a lot.
Mimi didn't let all the attention Kuri was getting get to her. She jumped right in and shared in the visit.
She also bided her time. I think she's learning that even though Kuri is often the center of attention, he can't take that much of it. Before long, he needs to eat, sleep, or be changed. As such, Mimi's now beginning to wait for these "openings" and then pounce. Here she is with Great Grandma when Kuri finally went into nap mode.
Another change we've seen is that Mimi now really loves pretending to be a mom.  She always enjoyed this - dressing up her dolls and bringing them food from time to time - but now it's almost like a part-time occupation. Several times a day we'll find some kind of doll or stuffed animal tucked into bed, dressed in one of Kuri's outfits, or sitting in front of a plate of plastic food.

Nyan-nyan, Mimi's favorite stuffed animal, got the full treatment the other day.
Just as Mimi is now treating her favorite toys as real babies, she has also taken to treating her little brother as a favorite toy.  She likes to dress him up as an older man from time to time.
She really likes to cuddle with him - just like Mama does.
The cuddles generally turn to hugs...
 ...but that can only hold her interest for so long. Kuri is also a bit of a test lab for Mimi. As soon as we see her index finger come out, we know she's thinking, "Hmm. I wonder what he'll do if I do this?"
9 times out of 10, it's the same response.
Despite the poking and prodding, Kuri is definitely fascinated by Mimi. He'll look up at his Mama and me when we're holding him, but the person who really holds his attention, who really captivates him, is Mimi. Even at 3 weeks we can tell he adores her. As for standing up for himself, that will come in time. Right now, he simply doesn't have the backbone for it. Figuratively and literally.
In the quiet times, when Mama and Papa are cooking and reading and Kuri's feeding or sleeping, Mimi loses herself in coloring and drawing. We recently made an Ikea run and picked up some counter stools so Mimi could keep us company when we're in the kitchen.
And sometimes, with Kuri's sleep schedule, the "original three" still get together to celebrate some very special events. Mimi sang Happy Birthday to her Mama all by herself the other night. She also shared Mama's cake.
What has amazed us more than anything else over the past few weeks is how our family is now genuinely coming together. We were always close (never really thought we could be closer), but already I can't imagine life with less than this group of four. I hope the other three all feel the same way.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Not So Humble Bumble Bee

Mimi had a decision to make. Halloween was coming, as was her baby brother, so she needed to secure a costume right away. This was the first Halloween she has cared about (though doubtfully the first she'll remember), so it wasn't much of a surprise when Mimi began peppering me for a costume in September. 

"What about this?"

"I want that one!"

"Papa. I don't have this. I need this."

"Papa, I wanna be a princess!"

It was this last one that had me most concerned. Like all proud Papas, I see my little girl as a princess, but I emphatically do not want her thinking she actually is one. There's enough of that trend in her as it is. The last thing I need is to give her a crown and a scepter and make delusion a reality. So it was with great relief that, after failing to secure a princess outfit, Mimi suddenly decided she wanted to be a bumble bee. That's definitely more my style!
Mimi practiced "flying" by jumping off the couch over and over and over and over and over and over and over (once again I was thankful to finally have no one living underneath me).
She liked to celebrate each flight as well. Or sometimes she'd just run over and sting Papa.
On the Friday before Halloween we attended a big pary at Mimi's preschool. All the teachers dressed up and they turned the entire school into a spooky, trick-or-treat maze. Mimi had a blast. Here she is with her teacher, Kai-sensei.
And here she is with Sumie. Little did either know that in less than 24 hours there'd would be a new addition to the family.
And here's that same, slightly-early addition after his first bath at home. Christopher (Kuri) wasn't all that enamored of his first time in the tub. He actually objected to it rather strenuously, but Sumie saw him through and got him clean. And yes, being a boy, he did manage to pee in the bath his very first time out.
After bath, he chilled with Mama for a bit. Thinking about what he'd just endured. He soon drifted off to sleep in Mama's arms, his favorite nap-time spot.
A day or two after the bath, Halloween finally rolled around. Mimi was ready. She had her antennae, flashlight, pumpkin, and glow-in-the-dark necklace. 
Mimi hit the streets with Grandpa Randy, showing him the best houses for candy. "Let's go to this one. I think this one will have candy. Do you think they have candy? I think they have candy. Let's go, Grandpa!"
She didn't get a huge amount of candy (walking with a pumpkin is still a bit of a challenge for a 3 year old bee), but she did have a great time.
Back at home we decorated one of the non-carved pumpkins with felt noses, eyes, and mouths that Grandma had sent (there's actually a bit of a resemblance here, no?).
And of course, Mimi tucked right into her candy. It wouldn't be Halloween without a little sugar splurging.  
We've spent the last few days settling into a routine with our new family member. Right now, he pretty much sticks to Mama, with an occasional cuddle with Papa or a kiss from big sister. Perhaps Sumie and Kuri are spending too much time together. They're even beginning to dress the same.
Mimi, happily, is really coming to love her baby brother. She still doesn't fully comprehend how life will change thanks to this new addition (to be honest, none of us really do), but she already loves him like the great big sister we know she'll be.