Friday, August 23, 2013

life, death, ying, yang

So, my grandfather (my mother's father) passed away the week before last.  I have attended a total of three funerals in my life, and two were for my grandfathers, and the other for my husband's grandfather.  The first I attended was very difficult, and now after being to a few-this last was a bit easier.  I know that may sound strange.  I have always had this weird (or natural) fear of death.  I still do.  Maybe, it is more a fear of not being done living yet.  I feel that I still have so much more to see and do. This feeling has only increased since I have had children.  Anyhoo...the funeral was...interesting...drama ensued, as I am sure is fairly normal, yet, it makes me happy to have grown up far away from some of my family.  Somehow we survived two three hour drives, a night in a hotel room with two beds and five people, a funeral, missed naptimes, and much more.  My mom flew in for the funeral; though it was a sad time, it was an unexpected visit and therefore a gift.  Herein lies the ying and the yang.

It was of course a sad occasion, but such a wonderful time to spend with my mom.  I have not been working this month, so we were without the restraints of a work schedule or any other obligations.  We just got to spend time together.  We played, we walked, we drank wine.  It was lovely, and sad.

I am just reminded even more so, to be thankful for the moments we have with the ones we love, because like everything these moments are fleeting.  It sound cliche, but it is true.  Time goes so quickly, especially as you get older.  Even tonight as we were enjoying the warm weather outside-running through sprinklers, and playing outside-Caleb sat down and looked at me and said, "Mom, it's fall."  I told him that we still had a bit of summer left, but he responded, "the leaves are falling".  I was reminded that I did see a tree with leaves changing colors a few days ago as well.  So, I guess fall is coming.  Then winter, then....well, you get the idea.  Too fast.  So, tonight, as I drink my glass of wine and listen to two monitors while blogging and watching "The Big Bang Theory", I try to savor this moment.  This fleeting moment.  Before I know it (2 days to be exact) I will be working full time again, both kids will be in daycare, and I will not be able to be there for all the moments.  I will miss it incredibly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 Months

Dearest Kinley,

You are now 5 months old.  I have worked 17 days since you have been born.  I feel extremely lucky, and we are extremely broke.  However, I knew I would never be disappointed if I spent more time with you and your brother, so I decided to do just that.  Now, I now get to spend almost this entire month with you, since I won't go back until the end of the month.  I couldn't be happier about this.  I love the balance working gives me, but I also cherish the time I get to just be at home.

These pictures are getting much harder!

Big girl!


So, you are growing up more each day, and I am always in amazement of how big you are getting.  When people see you, the typical first comment is just how big your eyes are.  You always look so alert and in awe.

This summer has been kind of weird, so we have not been doing as many "summery" things as I would have liked.  However, we are taking advantage of every nice day we can.  We have been going on lots of walks, playing outside, swimming, and just spending time outdoors.  I turned 34 this month...crazy to be in a new bracket.  As far as planned activities this month, we had many fewer.  The main highlights were a BBQ at our house, a get together at a friends' house (with 9 children!), a visit from your Grandma Helen (your daddy's mom), a swimming/park trip with friends, a trip to Minnehaha Falls (and our first time at Sea Salt), a trip to the zoo, and 4th of July celebrations at home.  During our trip to Minnehaha Falls, we were told by an older woman that she was going to steal you.  We have gotten that comment many times.  At least they warn us.

4th of July!

Nothing cuter than a baby in sunglasses!

Sleeping at the zoo.

Minnehaha Falls

Playing in the yard...toes!

Practicing sitting in the front yard.

You continue to go back and forth with sleeping.  You are ALWAYS a great sleeper, once you get there, but the road is not always as easy as I would like.  I digress.  As far as milestones, you are now making many more sounds, including complaining instead of crying at times.  It is kind of adorable.

When I talk about sleep with anyone, they ask if you are teething.  No.  No teeth in sight yet.  You can roll now, but prefer to be on your tummy.  You are pushing yourself up on your hands now and like looking around like this.  You are also working very hard on learning to sit.  You are able to sit for a few seconds on your own now and I am sure that in the next few weeks you will be a full time sitter.

We have not started foods yet, so you only nurse.  You continue to nurse well, however, you have been more distracted lately.  We have not gotten to the point where you will not nurse when distracted, but I can definitely tell you are curious about what is going on around you.  You also like to grab onto something when nursing.  You will hold a finger, pat my breast, or hold my shirt.  It is very sweet.

You are also into faces now, and will reach for our faces.  You seem to especially like to touch your brother's face, and he thinks it is the best!  Speaking of your brother, you love him.  You watch him and smile at him all the time.  You love it most when he talks to you.  He uses a high pitched voice and says, "what else?"  You always gaze at him when he does this.  You are also starting to respond to your name.  I love it.  It is amazing just how fast you are growing up.

So, baby girl, that about sums up your five month self.  You are such a joy in my life and you definitely keep me on my toes.  I love how you fit into our family like a favorite pair of jeans.  Being your mom is such a delight, and I love every moment, even the tough ones.

One more thing to note...not a fun experience, but this month also included your first trip to the ER.  Luckily nothing was wrong.  On the day of our BBQ at our house you were sitting in your high chair.  Your brother was talking to you and somehow pulled the chair over.  I was a few feet away and saw everything happening, yet felt frozen.  You tumbled out and bumped your head on the wall.  Your brother felt so bad and just wanted to smooch you, hug you, and apologize.  We felt like you were most likely fine, but it seemed that a trip to the ER would be a good idea-just in case.  Daddy stayed home to continue to get the house ready, and I took you in.  You were such a trooper.  Basically, a few bumps and nothing else.  I was so glad you were not hurt more and that we could still make it home in time to have the party.  It was an eventful day to say the least!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Once upon a time...

Hopefully, one day I will not remember just how frazzled, tired, and overwhelmed I feel right now.  For the last month I have had VERY little, if any time to myself.  Meaning, for almost every waking hour of the day I have been with one child or the other unless I am going to the bathroom.  Very little time for decompressing, very little time for anything.  I am trudging along, trying to remember that this is just a season and it will pass.  I luckily have two wonderful and happy children.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  I know this.  I also know that at times I am honestly tired.

Lately, Kinley has been VERY difficult to get to sleep.  She is overtired most of the time because of this, and then it is EVEN harder to get her to sleep.  It is incredibly saddening to know that all she needs is sleep, yet, is not getting it.  She is a child that needs her routine, and lately, that has been hard to accomplish.  We, er, I definitely pay for it when that happens.  I love her.  I love cuddling her.  I love to be with her.  But I also NEED to have a few minutes to regroup every day, and I have not been getting that.  I feel like a failure.  Everyone has suggestions, and that gets frustrating as well.  I have thought of all the scenarios. This is my job, literally and figuratively.  I spend my "working" days helping parents with all sorts of issues, and sleep has definitely been one of them.  I have read all the books.  I know all the "answers".  I also know that some of those answers are not for me.  I will not let her cry it out.  I have tried to let her cry for a bit to see if she can fall asleep, but often she will just scream and get louder and louder.  Then I feel guilty.

I have started so many blog posts, but have not finished them.  I have started to do laundry, but it never makes it out of the basket and into the appropriate places.  I do the minimum.  I tidy.  I cook.  I do dishes.  I sometimes get dressed.  I sometimes get a shower.  I sleep at night (thankfully, she will sleep through the night once we get to that point).  That is about all that happens.  I am tired.  I am overwhelmed.  I will get through this.  It will pass.  I just hope that one day, I only remember her adorable smile, how wonderfully she is developing, and forget the slump we have been in.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A day in the life...summer edition

Once again, Navigating the Mothership has asked her readers to do a quarterly "day in the life" post.  I love the idea of documenting a day in my crazy life, because as I look back at past "days" it is amazing how much I forget.  We remember big things, vacations, special holidays, silly memories that stick out...however, the day to life stuff is easily cast aside.  So, here our day:

Friday August 2nd:

Kinley-5 months
Caleb-3 years 2 months

6:40 am--Wake up to Kinley making noise.  Eric goes to change her diaper, and I get up, pump, nurse her, do dishes, make coffee (use the last of my creamer and sugar..ugh), eat a bagel and some fruit.  Then I check the internets.

Eric keeps Kinley happy whilst I do all of the aforementioned activities.

7:38-I go check on Caleb to see if he is awake.  He is quietly laying in his bed.  Awake.  He never gets out of his bed before we come get him.  We have never told him this is an option, so this is always where we find him.  He comes upstairs to have a bagel and some fruit, after he goes to the bathroom and washes his hands.  This is our newest accomplishment.  POTTY TRAINED!  That deserves all caps.  It is the best thing!  As Caleb eats his bagel he tells me, "cream cheese is tasty!".  Yes, yes it is.

Eric is working from home now, so his makeshift office is wherever we are not.  Today it will be upstairs, so the kids and I meander downstairs.

Right after we get downstairs, Kinley starts to fuss.  She is already ready for her morning nap.  She naps within an hour and half after waking.  The cable guy is here to fix our dish, so I try to hold her off until he leaves in case he is loud and wakes her.  Caleb and I play a quick game of Uno Moo.

Now she really needs to nap, so I put on a show, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", and go upstairs to nurse her. 

8:30 am-Kinley is asleep.  Caleb finishes his show then colors.  As he is writing in his book I realize that he is better at tracing letters than I thought.  He still uses a fisted grasp, so we will keep working on that.  I also stuff diapers.  I get him dressed as well.

He has been so creative lately, and has really developed his pretend play skills.  I never know what he will come up with.  Today, he is pretending he is in a cave.  He tells me, "This is my cave.  I gotta get in my cave first.  I can't talk to you".  He gathers a lot of things to bring in his cave.  He also has been hinting at things lately, like saying, "I wish I had_____." with a sad face.  Today, he says, "I just have one dinosaur, I don't have a lot."  This is of course said very sadly.  Poor unfortunate kid.  He has also been playing alone a lot better now.  Sometimes, when I have time to play, it makes me sad that he does not want me to interfere.  However, at times, this is a great skill.

10:30 am-Kinley wakes up and I change her diaper, then bring her downstairs to nurse her.  Eric comes down for a minute so we can work out his schedule together.  We also look at the office/laundry room and make a plan for organizing and make a list of things we need to get so that he has a decent place to work in.

Playing while I am trying to feed her...silly!

We also begin to think about what we want to do this weekend.  This is why we don't end up doing much with friends...because we are WAY too last minute.  We need to be better planners, so that we have a more rich social life.  The cat spills my water, for the third time this week...super frustrating!

Caleb walks out of the bathroom with a wet washcloth.  I ask him where he got it, and how it got wet.  He finally tells me that it was the sink.  I was thinking it was the toilet, so this is a win.

Kinley has been rolling SO much lately, but never does it when I try to record it.  I want to get it on of these days I will be successful.  Not today.

We go upstairs and start to get ready for lunch.  As we are eating, Caleb starts to sing "If You are Happy and You Know It".  He likes to make up his own words and begins to do so.  He starts with, give a whistle, say woo too, etc.  Then he says, "boob".  Huh?  I asked what he meant, and he responds, "eat the boob."  Kind of matter of factly.  I asked what that is like and he turns his head to the side and opens and closes his mouth.  Clearly, he has seen me feed Kinley a lot of times, and is now demonstrating how to nurse.  Oh, boy.

He loves crossing his eyes.  Especially when I am being serious with him.

I get dressed, and I get Kinley dressed.  I should mention that if it were appropriate to do so, I would stay in my pajamas everyday all day long.  

After lunch we head outside.  We scored an AWESOME deal on a swing set on craigslist, so we play outside on it often!

counting grapes

12:20 pm-we go inside and get ready for nap.

12:40 pm-This is a magical day.  Both kids are now napping, and I feel like super mom.  I decide to...hmmm...sit.  Yup.  Sit.  Oh, and to make it even better, I eat a Hershey bar.  Right before the kids wake up my mom calls to face time, so we chat for a minute as well.

1:20 pm-Kinley starts to make noise, but since she is not crying, I decide to ignore it.  She actually falls back asleep.  

2:30 pm-Both kids wake up at the same time.  We go outside to have a snack.  While out there, I water plants (nearly dead), play, and try to enjoy the weather.

Caleb's bears are sleeping.  The stick is their lamp, the rocks are their blankets.

peeing on a tree

Eric and I decide to run an errand to Target (aka the store) to get some of the things he needs for his "office".  After we head out the door, I have a lapse on whether or not we closed the garage door, so we turn around to check.  As we are doing this I start to think maybe we should just go later, since it is later than I would like and I did not feed Kinley.  As we start to head back home Caleb says, "Don't go this way, we have to go to the store!".  So, we decide to go.  Apparently, our three year old makes decisions for us.  Oh, and the garage door was closed.  We get to the store and I nurse Kinley in the parking lot.  While in Target, he and I are picking out notebooks for Eric.  He keeps saying how nice they are and makes a woman in the aisle laugh.  He says, "mom, I need that beautiful flower one.  These are really nice."  Silly boy.

As we are heading home, Caleb has something in his shoe.  He says, "stop the car!"  Apparently, he cannot take his shoes off when the car is moving.  

5:30 pm-We are home and I heat up the oven for our fancy dinner of hotdogs and sweet potato fries.  I got some "sushi" at Target, so we all snack on that while dinner cooks.  I also got a drawer organizer at the store, so I clean out our junk drawer, and feel awesome!  I love organizing.  I wish the rest of my house looked like that drawer.  While dinner is cooking, Caleb wants to read the books we got.  These "books" are a planner and a blank notebook.

6:10 pm-We eat dinner.  Way later than usual.  After dinner, Caleb asks to run through the sprinkler.  We let him, even though it is kind of chilly.  Also, our neighbor got a new car, so we go check it out.  

6:45 pm-Kinley is DONE.  She is now screaming and wants to go to bed.  So we head back to our yard and I get her ready.  Eric gets Caleb ready.  I nurse her and she is out.  I go downstairs to give Caleb a smooch and a drink of water.

Eric has more work to do, so I hang out for a bit until he is done at 8:55 pm.  

9:25 pm-Head to bed.  I hear Kinley make some noise, but she falls back asleep.

4:30 am-Kinley wakes up...weird, because she never wakes up in the middle of the night.  I feed her and she falls asleep.  I get to go back to sleep for three more hours.  

3 years + 2 months

So what do I love about this age?  I love how funny you are.  You don't often know how funny you are, but you make me laugh out loud, A LOT.  You are creative.  You are an imitator.  You show me a joy for life and learning.  You are an emotional mess.  You go from crying to laughing at the drop of a hat.  You understand more, and I feel that I can explain things to you.  You have started to ask, "why?"  You are independent.  You still love to cuddle.  You have a fantastic memory.  You love your sister.  You are brave.  You are adventurous.  You are sweet.  You are generous.  You are loving.  You are smart.  You are challenging.  You make me better.  You are just....WONDERFUL.

So here are some funny little snippets of your three year old brain:

  • "you say nipple, I say ouch"
  • While I am feeding kinley in her bedroom I hear him talking to the babysitter.  Scene:  he has earbuds stuck into a sand sifter, with some large plastic bugs nearby.  "I'm pumping some milk to feed my bugs."
  • While I am feeding Kinley, "I think she is very attacking you!"
  • "Pee and poop make you happy?"
  • "There's a present in the toilet, let's get it!"
  • After nap I walk into his room to find him standing up, saying that he peed in his bed.  I see a wet spot, but think maybe it was from sweat.  *he is wearing a pull-up* I take him into the bathroom and see that his pull-up is dry.  Hmmm...  it is then that all the pieces come together.  I told him that we don't pee in pull-ups or diapers.  I should have been more specific.  I realize very quickly, that he did not want to pee in his pull-up, so he pulled his pants down and peed in his bed.  I had to amend my previous instruction by telling him that we only pee in toilets.  Not on the floor or in the bed.  Toes.  He keeps me on my toes.
  • He goes to the bathroom, then comes out and tells me, "Mom, it's your turn.  Go in and say 'eeew' to my pee."
  • He has started to cross his eyes all the time.  Super funny.
  • Always telling me to look at and talk to his sister...always.
I need to write more down.  I know I will forget all the funny things you say.  I love you bubbalicious!