Saturday, September 28, 2013

The ever changing home...

We have lived in our house for four years now, and I feel that it is constantly evolving and changing.  Many things still to do, some in process and some are just dreams.  When we bought our house we did not have children yet, and therefore did not see some of the potential "issues" that might arise.  One major issue (that is not structural) is that we had furniture purchased before that "fit", but was not ideal for the space.  We also do not have unlimited funds, so changing that has not ever been very important. It worked, it was functional, it was not necessary.  Well, fast forward to this year with one extra human in our house.  Things just don't work with our previous furniture.  Plus we have some obstacles.  Our family room is wonderful, we have lots of space for toys and also for adult areas.  We have things we want to add later as the kids get bigger, but for now it works for our family.  The upstairs is just not working.  On that level we have our (tiny) kitchen, eat in dining room, and living room (along with two bedrooms and a bathroom).  Our table is too big for the space, but I love it-so thinking of getting rid of it has been hard.  Our living room is small as well, and we just have too much in the space.  We had a television stand, a toy shelf, a couch, a loveseat, a coffee table, and two end tables.  When Caleb wants to play in the space, he ends up between the couch and dining table, which is the only walk way between the living area and the bathroom and bedrooms.  It is a major tripping hazard!  Also, our railing is not safe for the kids (the spindles are too far apart) and since we cannot afford to replace that, we need another solution.  Right now our love seat is against it, with two end tables flanking both sides.  This works, but I think I have come up with a better solution.  Additionally, now that Kinley is rolling everywhere and will soon be crawling, we need more floor space.  Currently, when I am cooking dinner and put her on the floor to play, I have to move her every few minutes because she has a space about 3 X 3 to roll and ends up rolling into the television stand, toy shelf, or coffee table and gets stuck.  Also, it is just not safe for her as I am constantly fearing she is going to bang her head.  So, what we have done so far to help is to put the television on the wall, so we can get rid of the T.V. stand.

Last weekend I was looking around and started to think about what would be functional and fit in this space better.  Clearly, our current furniture situation is just NOT working.  So here is my plan:

  1. Get rid of the couch, love seat, dining table, end tables, T.V. stand and coffee table.  I think taking everything out and starting fresh is the way to go (so the only thing that will stay is the toy shelf.  
  2. Bring in a couch with a chaise for the only seating in the living room and position it against the railing to keep that area off limits.  Ideally a sleeper, since we do not have a guest room.   
  3. Bring in a small round end table if it will fit.
  4. Get a storage ottoman that can be pushed against the wall under the window for extra floor space, but can also be brought to the middle of the floor if needed.
  5. Get a smaller, round dining table that has a leaf, so it can be expanded if we have company, but will be small for our day to day purposes.  
Eventually, when the kids are older, we can add some nice chairs if we need more seating, but for now I think less is more.  Except when deciding to purchase, because these things are just not free.  Our budget is basically non existent and I am hoping that we make enough off of our current furniture to fund most of what we need.  

So there is our plan.  I am hoping to get it all done within the next month or so...I know it will make life so much easier.  However, it is hard to do things these days that aren't totally necessary, even if it will be so much better.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Know when to walk away...

This has been quite the weekend.  We have been dealing with some sickness here, and that is never fun.  Weird sickness.  On Tuesday night Kinley had a high fever, so I stayed home with her on Wednesday.  She had no other symptoms, but I brought her in to the pediatrician.  They said it was probably a virus.  That day her fever broke and she was happy again.  We brought her to daycare the next day, but that night she got a fever again so I stayed home with her on Friday.  Again, no symptoms.  Also, Caleb acted weird at daycare, and Amy called me to pick him up (the first time EVER).  So, now I was home with two sick kids.  This would not have been bad, except this weekend is the weekend of my Sister-in-Law's wedding.  Eric and I decided it would be best for him to go to the rehearsal and then come home while I stayed with the kids.  I finally gave in and gave Kinley some Advil around 4:00 pm, and after that she smiled for the first time that day and seemed to be in good spirits.  Caleb also seemed to be feeling okay.  We decided that we would just see how the night was and then make a decision about the wedding.  If we only made it to the ceremony we would consider that success.  The next morning, both kids woke up happy after sleeping well.  We decided that we would definitely make the wedding and then see what happened after that.  

Kinley took a good morning nap, so we decided that the kids could sleep in the car on the way to the wedding for their afternoon naps.  We got on the road a little later than we had hoped and after driving for a bit, Eric realized he forgot his speech at home.  So, we turned around and went to get it.  Now, we were on our way!  Kids were sleeping, so plan A was working (mostly).  We drove to the church and arrived in time for pictures.  The weather held out, and it was great to see everyone. 

At some point asked Eric to get my water from the car (I am always so thirsty).  He went to the car, came back and then it was time for the wedding.  He was an usher, so I had to take the kids to the chapel while he was doing his work.  Two kids means I have WAY too much stuff.  Especially since I was trying to keep them both happy and quiet.  So, we brought the stroller.  Ugh.  A clunky thing in a small space was not a good idea (this resonated all night).  The ceremony was in this gorgeous quaint chapel.  Prior to the wedding, everyone was trying to get Caleb to talk to them to no avail.  I was worried that as soon as we were in the quiet space, he would decide it was time to talk.  The last wedding we went to he decided to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" at the top of his lungs.  I knew he would not be quiet, even though I came equipped with coloring, books, paper, markers, my phone, and who knows what other things. 

As soon as it was quiet, he started talking.  Loudly.  When I asked him to use a quiet voice, his response was "I want to use my loud voice".  This is where things started to go downhill.  Luckily, Eric was done ushering at this point and was sitting by us.  Kinley started crying and I fed her.  That kept her quiet.  Caleb continued to make noise.  I was able to read him a book and that worked for a minute. But, basically, he was the opposite of quiet.  At one point someone shushed him.  I understood that he was making noise, however, he is also the bride's only nephew, so I feel that this would have been overlooked.  Plus, I feel like we had worked so hard and gone through so much to make it there in the first place.  So, he made more noise.  I was embarrassed and was definitely trying to keep him quiet.  However, it did not work and eventually Eric took him out of the chapel.  This was probably worse, as I could hear him screaming in the hall.  Apparently as Eric was walking out with him someone (not sure who) said, "it's about damn time.".  Now, I was completely aware that he was loud, but come on.  Eric was pissed.  I could not blame him.  He wanted to talk to whoever said it, but I knew that he should take a minute to calm down.  He is a protective daddy and was mad.  

We still do not know who said it, but oh well.  Heather, Eric's sister, was so sweet about the whole thing and never felt like he ruined the ceremony.  That made me feel very good.  Well, fast forward to the reception.  It was held in the same church, so it was nice that we did not have to leave at all.  We trudged through with our brood and our stroller.  I walked Kinley around in the carrier to get her to take a short nap which she did, so things were going pretty well at this point.  Eric gave his speech and it was wonderful.    

At one point, during the appetizers, Eric's stepdad came to see if we could get a box of clothes for Kinley out of their car and put it in ours.  Eric went out to the car, and quickly realized that he did not have the keys.  So, we spent the next hour searching for keys, EVERYWHERE.  We do not have an extra set, so we were definitely stressed.  Here we were feeling trapped at a wedding with no way home with two little kids.  I am sure there was some panic, but we tried to stay calm.  We searched and searched.  No keys.  As I was walking back to our table I turned away from Caleb for a second and then heard a loud crash.  He had tipped over a cake that was on a stand.  I think it was a domino effect.  All I saw was my child, crumpled to the floor crying about the "blue" cake.  Apparently, he did not want to wait.  I felt like our family was a train wreck at that point.  I got him to our table and sat down to rest between feeding Kinley and trying to feed myself Eric's uncle looked through our stuff again.  Magically, he found the keys.  I have never been so relieved and happy.  I proceeded to drink a glass of wine and then we mingled for a bit.  It was clear that Kinley was exhausted, so we decided to leave.  I also felt badly that not everyone got to hold Kinley and play with her.  Because she was not feeling well, I was feeling a lot more protective of her and wanted to keep her close to us.  She was also more fussy and less willing to let other's hold her.  I am sure things would have been different if our family lived near us and if our kids were more familiar with them.  However, with her being sick she was more leery of them and wasn't as comfortable as she is with us.

As we were leaving, the DJ came up and said, "you can't leave, the first dance is going to happen now".  I said that indeed we were leaving.  I am sure he was just giving us a hard time, but after the couple days we had I was not in the mood for jokes.  I was just in the mood for pajamas and decompressing.  On the way home Caleb said "I did not dance at Auntie Heather's wedding".  I know he was bummed, but life with two is just a bit different. Especially when one of them has been so sick.  On the way home Eric and I talked about how it would have been nice to stay, however, neither of us felt bad for leaving and making that decision together.  I think that this is a result of being second time parents.  With Caleb we were so much more concerned about what other people would think, this time we just do what is right for our family and feel comfort in that.  We got home and got everyone to bed (Kinley was not asleep for a couple hours since she was now overtired) and we went to bed. 

Also, because of all the drama, we only took three pictures.  Yup.  Mom fail.  The kids looked so cute too...Caleb in a suit and Kinley in a dress that I picked for her before she was born.  Oh well.  At least there are a couple professional photos with them looking cute for Heather.  Also, Caleb and his Great Grandpa were wearing the same color accidentally and we never got a picture of that either.  However, we made it out mostly unscathed.  Although, I did see myself in the mirror at the end of the night and boy was that a sight to see.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

6 Months

Dearest Kinley,

For some reason 6 months seems like such a big milestone.  We have made it for a half of a year.  You are thriving and we could not be more in love with you.  I know that they say your heart grows when you have another child; I just didn't realize exactly how much it could grow.  I feel like now that we are "knock on wood" out of the trenches of the yucky sleep pattern you had been in and finally found our sleeping groove, your personality has begun to really show itself.  You are silly.  You love to grab our faces and usually attack them with your mouth.  You laugh a lot at all kinds of things.  You definitely light up when your brother talks to you.  You are definitely outgoing as long as Mommy or Daddy are holding you.  You love to cuddle and definitely are leery of strangers.  It is funny just how different you and your brother are-and how well you both fit into our family puzzle.

So speaking of sleep.  Wowza.  That last month was rough.  However, we learned a few things throughout that mess.  First, you are not a child that can veer off of schedule without messing everything up.  If your schedule has been altered, we have a very long recovery time.  So, with that, we have been choosing our activities very carefully-always deciding if the result is worth it.  So right now, you are napping right at 8:30 am, again at 12:30 pm, and a third nap at 4:00 pm.  You then are in bed around 7:30 pm and wake up around 6:30 am.  The 4:00 nap stinks, now that I am back to work full time.  I feel like I get so little time with you and your brother already.  You only nap for about an hour max, but it still eats into my time with you.  However, if you do not get all three naps, life is messy.  So, it is necessary.  I don't like being so rigid, but it is totally worth it.  I also know that it will not be forever, so we deal.  Your aunt is getting married in a couple weeks and we will have a few nights in a row of a messed up schedule...that stresses me out.  So goes the life of a parent.  As for falling asleep, you now occasionally will fall asleep on your own without nursing to sleep.  I do not mind nursing to sleep, but sometimes when I lay you down you wake up.  It is much easier when you are able to get yourself back to sleep without me completely re-doing the routine.  We also got a sound machine that plays white noise to help you with sleep-and it seems to be doing the job!  In a complete act of desperation one day I downloaded a white noise app on my phone.  When that worked I immediately searched for a store that had one I could pick up.  I found one at a baby store and picked it up the same day.  That thing has been worth it's weight in gold.

You are such a great nurser.  We are going strong with breastfeeding, and I do not see any need to do anything else in the near future.  We are going to start a meal daily for you, and have decided that bananas will be your first food.  Now that you are in daycare full time you are drinking bottles of breast milk during the day.  You do great with bottles, but I just don't know how much to send.  So I always send three bottles, just in case.  You seem to be averaging about 8-10 ounces during the day there.  You still nurse pretty often.  I usually pump for a few minutes each morning, then feed you before you head to daycare.  I pump twice during the day at work.  I then nurse you when I pick you up, once before the 4:00 nap, again when you wake up, and then once at bedtime.  On the weekends I usually nurse you 8 times during the day (at least).  It doesn't feel too bad though, because you are pretty efficient.  You do sleep through the night and have for a long time, so I feel that you need all those sessions during the day.  Plus that is our time, and I like it.  I want to have a third baby someday, but in case I don't I just want to savor every moment-including nursing.  I feel so fortunate that you and I are so successful with this and so thankful that I will not have to supplement with you at all.  I had to with your brother and felt like such a failure (stupid-I know).  So, this time I made sure that I would have enough stored up that even if my supply dropped when I began to work full time you would still get what you needed.  I have A LOT of milk stored up.  I am not sure how many ounces, but I have three rubbermaid containers full plus a two gallon bag full.

You love your toys!

First food...bananas.

you love to be outside

chewing on toys...the best time


I just love this photo of pensive

I already kind of mentioned this, but you started full time at daycare since I had to go back to work full time.  This has been going well so far.  Your dad drops you off and I pick you up.  I love to see your smiles when you see me!  There will also be another baby starting at the daycare next week.  She is one month younger than you.  I am choosing to look at the positives with this.  You will have another girl there with you and you will have someone to grow up with there.  Currently, Amy has five older boys (ranging from 3-5) and then will have the two baby girls.  Seven kids isn't too bad, and you aren't a super needy newborn anymore.  So, I am crossing my fingers that this goes well!

sleeping at the Twins game.  At home the sound of the dog walking wakes you up...hmmm.

First train ride.  Also, the most interesting place I have ever nursed you, to date.

Your motor skills are developing very fast these days, which could also be a contributor to the sleep issues we were having.  You now are rolling over and over to get to toys you want.  You can roll both ways and love to be playing on the floor.  You are also beginning to be able to sit on your own for about 20 seconds.  You still tip over, but are getting much more balanced.  You are also beginning to bear weight for a few seconds.  You love your toys and mostly mouth them.  You have begun to shake toys though, and occasionally throw or drop them.  You have your favorites for sure.  You like toys with tags and also ones that make noise.  You are also VERY interested in your brother's toys.  He is not a fan of this.  However, his toys are super motivating for you to move.  You seem to be beginning to understand cause and effect.
Folks, we have a sitter.


Standing.  Still not your favorite thing.

One of the highlights of the month was your dad's new job!  He is now home on the weekends and does not work late anymore!  Also, Grandma came to visit since your great grandpa passed away.  It was fun to see her and spend some quality time.  We did not do much, simple things, but definitely had a great time.  We also did baby and mommy yoga quite a few times.  This was fun for you and me!  You got some  We spent a lot of time together, since I took the whole month off.  I feel so fortunate (and broke) that I was able to only work 22 days in your first 6 months of life.  Going back to work is bittersweet.  I love my job and enjoy the people I work with!  I also know that there are definite social benefits to you going to daycare.  I do wish at times that I could stay home with you and your brother, however, feel content with working.  I just don't think my time is best spent longing for something that is just not a reality right now.  Always such a tug of war.  However, our glass is full little girl!  Thank you for choosing me as your mommy and making my heart grow three sizes!

Grandma (my mom)!

Unexpected, and super fun visit!

Grandma Helen (daddy's mom)!