Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dave and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. We aren’t anti-hearts and flowers or anything, but both of our birthdays fall in February and it is just a bit much. Plus, we reasoned that we love each other every day of the year!

Leah, however, loves to celebrate this holiday. From the time she was three we have made it a tradition to get dressed up and bake cookies and make heart shaped cards for everyone we know. So today, that is our plan!

My little kindergarten superstar has started another new tradition of sorts recently. Every night at bedtime she tells me, “I L-O-V-E Y-O-U!” And I reply back, “I L-O-V-E Y-O-U T-O-O!”

Enjoy your day, everyone. Whether you are doing something special with someone special, or you have some little valentine babies like me!

My two little Valentines!

My two little Valentines!

From The Mouths of Moms

There are so many sentences that I never even dreamed I would have to say, until I became a mother and they just started falling out of my mouth. Here are some of my favorite gems, and don’t forget to share yours in the comments!

“Please do not pick your sister’s nose!”

“We do NOT make milk puddles!”

“Don’t touch that. At least not until I wipe it!”

“Stop licking your hands!”

“Did you wipe? Did you flush?”

“Got your boogers!”

“Mommy is not a jungle gym.”

(In answer to the question, “How come whenever Chris is naked he can’t stop holding ‘it’?”) “Because he’s a boy, and they think it’s fun because it’s hanging out there.”

“Let me sniff your butt!”

…and many more!

Sleep Slump

Christopher is now thirteen months old, and he refuses to sleep for more than twenty minutes if he is not touching me or his Daddy. At first it was only affecting night time sleep, but it has spilled over to naps and the last few days he has cried for me and then immediately fallen asleep on my shoulder when I get him out of his crib.

At night, we have given in and resorted to just bringing him into our bed. Dave and I are sleeping so poorly with this arrangement (how can such a tiny person take up so much room?) but it is better than the almost zero sleep that we were getting when we kept getting up, rocking him back to sleep, and putting him back in his own bed, only to start the cycle again forty minutes later.

As if exhaustion weren’t hard enough, now that he has decided my shoulder is the only place he will nap I am falling way behind on my school work. I usually try to get as much done as I can during nap time, but with a snoozing babe in my arms I can only read, not type assignments.

To make matters worse, the solutions and expert opinions are all over the place, confusing my addled, sleep-deprived mind further. Some say that babies need to be close to their parents when they sleep and that is supposed to be the natural order of things. Others say  he needs to learn to self-soothe and that I have to let him cry it out. Some experts tout a happy medium, but to me those all sound very similar to crying it out.

We let Leah cry, using the Ferber method. Some of my very first entries in this blog are about that. She turned out fine, and is in fact a great sleeper now. However, I continue to feel guilt for the nights where I sat outside her bedroom letting my own tears fall as she screamed out for me. To let my child cry goes against every natural instinct that I have as a mother. And yet, my own daughter is proof that it works, that she is still a happy and well-adjusted child, and that she continues to be affectionate. So then, why can’t I bring myself to repeat the process? A week or two, and this could all be over. We could have two children sleeping through the night, I could be getting my homework done during naps, and less cranky.

I don’t understand how this happened. Did I hold my babies too much as infants? To me, it didn’t feel like I got to hold them enough. That time passes so quickly. Maybe it’s genetic. Maybe I’m a pushover. Maybe I am not at fault in any way, and this is just how things are.

Either way, I would love to hear what you did in this situation.

Unofficial Blogging Hiatus

That’s what I’ve been on. What would have made it official, you ask? Well, I think it would have been official if it were planned and if I had told you I wouldn’t be blogging for awhile. However, I did not plan to be away for so long. Life just happens, I guess.

We had the holidays, which I feel were the busiest holiday season of my adult life thus far, though still wonderful and amazing. I still get warm and fuzzy inside thinking of all the Christmas movies we watched, how we decorated (and CW undecorated) the tree, the music, and the light in my children’s eyes.

Almost immediately after the holidays was Christopher’s first birthday! We had a big party to celebrate and he had a blast, walking around carrying a dozen balloons (no joke!) and greeting all of his guests.

The following week Leah had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids. That was probably my worst parental experience as of yet- seeing my little girl terrified, waiting and being terrified myself, and then seeing her in pain and that pain lasting a full week.

Last week Leah went back to school, and since my semester had started the previous week, I had to play catch up myself. Oh, and I got a part-time job which I also started the week that Leah was home from her surgery! Crazy, right?

So, I am here. I can’t promise that I will be the best blogger, posting fascinating tid-bits throughout the week. But I will do my best to post, to share glimpses into my beautiful life with my wonderful children.

Oh, and a shout-out to my mom today! It’s the 2nd Anniversary of her 50th Birthday!! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Happy Birthday Little Man!

One year ago today, my beautiful son made his way into the world. This year has been a heck of a ride, with so many changes, but he has made me smile every single day of it. I could not be happier to be Christopher’s mama, or prouder of how well Leah has taken to being a big sister.

On January 8th, 2014 I was admitted to the hospital at about 5 in the evening to be observed overnight as I prepared to be induced with Pitocin in the morning. Shortly after I arrived, and just as Dave was getting me settled in there so he could head home and sleep, I began having regular contractions! We walked the hallways for about an hour and I remember being shocked at how much walking eased the pain. When it stopped working, Dave ran out to get some dinner. Almost as soon as he returned my water broke. Christopher had a mind of his own and he was not going to wait for Pitocin, for Daddy to get some sleep, or for Mana to arrive. It was go-time!

I labored for about 8 hours in total and amazed myself as I pushed through the pain. I had an epidural, but it only worked on one side of my body! At 2:27 am Christopher was born. The doctor immediately placed the baby on my chest. I remember not caring at all how gooey he was and just kissing him and rubbing his little feet as he showed off his lung capacity. He had no trouble nursing whatsoever.

It has been an amazing year. I love the antics of this boy, even though he is definitely a handful! I always say that he likes to keep us sleep deprived and on our toes! Every day he finds something new to get into, and I was not at all surprised when he began walking at 11 months old. Despite how much he motors, he is still a little cuddlebug and a total Mama’s boy. He isn’t talking much, but he says “mama” in the most adoring tone. He also says dada, Lala for Leah, hi, uh-oh, ow, and did it!

I could go on all day, but I really just want to say Happy Birthday, CW!

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The Epitome of Christopher

All parents know that babies have a tendency to develop personalities that they end up carrying with them through life. I, for one, definitely think you can predict the kind of person your child will grow up to be based on early personality signs. Christopher has already developed quite the personality. Rather than describe him to you all, I am just going to share with you something that happened last night, and this story is the epitome of my little guy.

It was bedtime and Chris was getting sleepy. I brought him into his room, turned on Tranquil Turtle, and sat down in the rocking chair. I quietly hummed ‘You Are My Sunshine’ like I always do. For a few minutes he was restless and kept pointing his chubby little fingers at things in the room, straining to get to them. Finally, he settled in with his head on my chest. After about five minutes he felt heavier and I figured that if he wasn’t asleep he was at least close.

Then, all of a sudden, he sprang up in my arms with this huge, mischievous grin, and yelled, “Boo!” It scared the ever living heck out of me! He was so proud of himself!

That’s my boy!

This is America!

When my mom gets tired she gets bothered by the most random little things. And I find that hilarious in and of itself, but it gets better! She will go off on these crazy rants at the most inopportune times about the random things that bug her.

With that tid-bit of information in mind, here is a great story. CW is walking! When he began, about a month ago, my mom mentioned that now she would have to get him some sneakers.

boot“Oh,” I replied, “I already got him these cute suede booties with a soft bottom he can wear.” I held them up for her to admire, and in my mind she thought they were adorable. Boy was I wrong!

Yesterday we took the kids and hit up the local Osh Kosh outlet near us. As soon as we walked in the door she made a beeline to a bin of sneakers, pulled out a pair in Chris’ size, and tried one on his foot.

“I have to get him these! They are only $9.99!”

I figured it was a great deal and gave him some variety in his footwear. At the register, however, my mom handed the sneakers over to the cashier and remarked,

“Mana can’t wait to put these on you as soon as we get in the car. Then I can take off those stupid things mommy got you!”

“Wait!” I exclaimed, “You don’t like his little booties I got for him?”

“No!” she raved (and thus it began!), “They are stupid. I mean, what country do you think this is? Huh? This is AMERICA! And in America we wear sneakers! Especially little boys, and most especially my grandson!”

I laughed hysterically, especially after seeing the expression on the face of the bewildered cashier. You see, I mentioned that these rants tend to happen when my mom is tired, and yesterday was like a set-up for an epic rant. She watched both kids while I got my hair cut, CW skipped his nap, and then we drove 40 minutes to go shopping (she hates shopping) only to arrive with a whiny Leah who refused to try on overalls, and a screechy Christopher who wanted to wreak havoc. So, when the rant happened, I wasn’t all that surprised, although it was amusing that it was directed at the boots I had carefully searched for and purchased for my new walker.

Today, I dutifully put Christopher’s new sneakers on him before we went to the market. I then snapped a photo of the sneaker upon his foot and captioned it “‘Cause this is America!”