A note to Moms on Mother’s Day

I asked my Mom friends to give me their best motherly advice. 

This is what they said: 

Be kind to yourself. Speak to yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you use to speak to your own child (or at least with same lovingness as when you are watching them sleep!).

Just as much as you are patient with your children, be patient with yourself. There is no handbook in regards to parenthood and at the end of the day your are human. Love yourself! Your children learn more by example

Forgive yourself – there will be bad days, days you feel you could have done more or been better and on those days you lay guilt on yourself – you have to forgive and move forward or the mom guilt can eat you alive.

Enjoy every single second! It flies by so fast and you can’t get it back. I remember wishing “she would just get potty trained, and cup trained and to talk so I could understand her” and realize by doing that I rushed through so much. Try to slow down and enjoy things. But also know, 1 day you may be blessed with grandchildren and OMG that’s just amazing in a whole new way!!

Remember that you’re not alone! Ask for help if you need it! Don’t sweat the small stuff!!! Be kind to yourself! Don’t get carried away in the Momma guilt. Also don’t forget to take time away with just your hubby! Don’t lose sight of the two people that created these beautiful lives. Cherish each other and your marriage!

Every phase has it’s hard times. Just remember they will grow out of it. And when your teenage daughter back talks you, just remember it’s because you raised her to be independent and not to take anyone’s crap.

Small children-small problems
Big children-big problems
Enjoy all the small problems as much as possible

None of us know what we’re doing all the time, but we figure it out as we go along! Call your mom, sister, friend…whoever you need to when you need to. Try not to compare yourself to other moms who seem to have their sh*t together. Stay off the internet/Google because you’ll drive yourself crazy. Be easy on yourself…a loving, safe home is what’s most important. And have fun!! Become a kid all over again!

Don’t feel bad when you need to say “ just a minute “ to your kids ! They will survive!

 Enjoy the little moments. They all end sooner than you realize. And looking back over the last 15+ years, I still can’t believe how fast its gone and how grown up they already are becoming. Very bittersweet.

 You MUST make time for you as a human. Not as a mom, or a wife, or any other title. Do something for you, to help you be the best version of you. So that you are able to be your best self as a wife, and as a momma. Your kids are watching and soaking in everything you do, how you act, how you treat others, how you act with your husband in your marriage, affection,etc. They’re learning what’s acceptable in relationships from what they see at home. Remember that.

 As they get older, pick your battles. They will challenge you, they will strive for independence. You’ve given them the tools and examples to make GOOD decisions, let them life, and make their own path…. And if things go sour, they know their mama will always be there to pick them up & love them unconditionally.

 Have a small circle of women in your life that are involved with you and the kids regularly. Call them for help, for advice, call them to vent on a rough Monday morning when everyone woke up late, the kida won’t stop crying, spilled their breakfast,the dog pooped in the house and you’re at your wits end. Strong parents raise strong children. We are a team and don’t ever forget you are never alone in this awesome journey.

 

If we weave all of these sentiments together, the common threads seem to be: 

Be kind to yourself

Be mindful of the joyful moments

Build a life of loving relationships

Love yourself, your kids, your spouse, your family, and your village unconditionally. 

Here’s my advice: 

You are enough. 

You are good enough, strong enough, mom enough. 

You are everything. 

And everything inside of you and around is as it should be. 

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mama Warriors out there! 

 

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10 Speed

10 things I want to remember about this time: 

1. Reese is the smiliest, happiest baby. She wakes up with big smiles and laughs all day long at everything!

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2. Sadie saying “No, thank you” when I ask her to clean up. At least she has manners.

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3. Reese having loud, babbling conversations with herself and anyone that will listen.

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4. Sadie starting conversations with “Once upon a time……..”

5. Reese raising her eyebrows at me knowingly. I don’t know what she knows but it’s something.

 

6. Sadie continuing to have zero interest in potty training. I want to remember this because surely it will be funny someday.

7. Reese exploring everything. She has no fear and dives into whatever her heart desires. Which is usually the dog food.

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8. Sadie whispering to Dad “Don’t worry, Daddy, the angels will keep you safe.” We don’t know where she got this and are interpreting it as a message from the Big Guy.

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9. Sadie and Reese spending time with Grandparents. Its just as fun to watch the grandparents having fun as it is watching the kids play!

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10. How fast 10 months goes by. We’ve already started making plans for Reese’s first birthday and it feels like we just brought her home last week.  Yet, here’s this little person that knows her name, pulls herself up on everything, laughs big, belly laughs, has the silliest disposition, plays games with big sister, loves everything she eats (prunes, sweet potatoes, mango, broccoli, strawberries, oatmeal, bananas, smoothies and banana bread!), and gives the snuggliest hugs. Her personality is starting to shine and she makes the world so bright.

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I want to remember the sheer joy these kids bring to us and the world.

That, and the time they both slept past 6:00 AM.

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Thank God for small miracles (human ones and otherwise)!

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10 months! 

The Beat Marches On

Questions that come up for me as a parent: 

 1. Will I ever sleep again?

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2. Can chronic sleep deprivation kill you?

3. Will the house EVER be clean?

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4. The oldest is almost 3 and has ZERO interest in potty training. Is that normal?

5. When was the last time Reese pooped?

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6. How bad is it really to use tv as a babysitter? (Daniel Tiger does a damn good job)

7. Can chronic sleep deprivation kill you?

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8. If I became a stay-at-home mom, could I still take them to daycare?

9. Can a heart explode from cuteness?

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10. Did my toddler just put me in time-out? WHAT DID I EVEN DO??

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11. What will they be like when they’re teenagers?

12. Did I feed the dogs this week?

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13. Am I really mean or just really tired?

14. How did my mom do this?

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15. What memories will stay with me forever?

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16. CAN YOU DIE FROM SLEEP DEPRIVATION?

17. How did I get so lucky?

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NINE MONTHS!

 

Love is in the air

As it happens in life, as soon as you have a baby, people want to know if you’re going to have more.

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Do you keep buying lottery tickets when you’ve already won?

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No.

I won the baby lottery and the ticket shop is now closed.

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Especially now that we are having so much fun with our winnings!

Friends, newborns are cute, but they are a lot of work.

Eight months in and we are finally (I always say that) hitting our stride.

My Mom promised me that life with two would get easier and (as is always the case) she was right.

Now that Reese can sit up on her own and is starting to move (crawl? shimmy?) she is

SO.MUCH.HAPPIER.

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She thinks big sister is hilarious and laughs hysterically at the most mundane of moments.

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They are starting to play together (and squabble over the same toys) and I can finally sit back and just soak up the joy.

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Reese always has big, big smiles (until 4:00 and then she is ANGRY) and claps for herself and her accomplishments all throughout the day.

Speaking of accomplishments, Reese is:

Starting to crawl/scoot and she is FAST.

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Eating ALL THE FOOD. They requested backup at daycare.

SO CURIOUS. She explores EVERYTHING in her path.

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Talking (grunting) to let us know what she wants.

Playing independently. Something sister didn’t do much of until about a couple of months ago.

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Sitting up in the crib when she wakes up. I find this to be the cutest thing ever. Even at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 AM.

Kind of.

Sometimes.

February was filled with love and Valentines all around.

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Speaking of Valentine’s Sadie was so excited that we got her………..paper.

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So. Excited.

And Reese, naturally, was in love with her recycled bag.

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Eight month old babies are the best.

They are all plump and squishy, but inquisitive and independent.

And 2.5 year olds make the best big sisters.

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I just love it.

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EIGHT MONTHS! 

 

The Eyes Have It

Just perused my phone and I have about 3 pictures from the last month.

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Words will have to suffice.

I had lots of ideas of what to write about as we approached the 7 month mark, but they all escape me because

I.am.exhausted.

It’s not the sleepiness that comes from a restless night, it’s the kind of exhaustion that comes from 2.5 years of 24/7 demands.

I’m singing the song of motherhood, right?

I bet you all know the tune.

Even though I don’t have many pictures to show for it, its been an eventful month.

There were snow days and snow plays,

football with friends,

LOTS of swimming at the YMCA,

and a very important eye exam for Reese.

Reese has had a clogged tear duct since birth and its yet to clear on its own,

so the pediatrician referred us to the nearest children’s hospital to meet with a pediatric ophthalmologist.

My mom brain thought we were scheduling a surgery but it ended up being a consult (duh, what surgeon just goes poking around a baby’s eye without assessing the situation first?? Like I said, mom brain).

Part of me was glad that we would get to see the hospital in a non-emergency situation so  that we could have an idea of where it was and what it was like.

Where it was: A short drive north.

What it was: The most amazing place on Earth.

Talk about attention to detail and making an exceptional experience for kids and families!

There were places to play at every turn, a huge digital aquarium, multiple cafes for coffee, baked goods, and healthy snacks, a huge playground, and opportunities for educational play in every waiting room (one game had this mom stumped!), and lots of color and visual stimulation.

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We could have happily spent an afternoon there playing and exploring.

I’m so grateful that we have a top notch facility so close by.

After a quick consult with the doctor, she informed us that the blockage is “severe” but not something they perform surgery on until after a year.

There’s a chance it could clear on its own by then, so we don’t have to go back for another four months.

She gave us some ointment to use in the meantime and told us that the rest of Reese’s eye health is great!

Reese has also been doing lots of growing.

She can now sit up unassisted and never lets a toy or object escape her grasp.

Like Sadie, she is SO curious, but where Sadie was cautious, Reese dives after the things she wants.

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She also spends an extraordinary amount of time examining the dogs and her own hands.

When she goes to sleep she soothes herself by flopping like a fish and it is adorable.

It’s less adorable at 2:00 AM when she does it for an hour and half, but what can you do?

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She wakes up with big smiles and I forget to be mad.

Speaking of fish, Sadie has taken to the pool like one!

After spending a summer pleading with her to put on her lifejacket so she could go in the pool, it only took one time of seeing another little girl hop in the water with puddle jumper for Sadie to decide she was ready for one too.

The first day she wanted us to hold on to her the whole time while she kicked and swam, but now she’s swimming half the length of the pool (with a puddle jumper) on her own.

She also taught herself to slide into the water from the side of the pool.

She really loves to go to the Y to swim and I’m almost dreading the day I have to put her in childcare so I can actually get some exercise on my own.

But I desperately need some “me” time.

I’ll probably spend it in the sauna by myself enjoying the sound of silence.

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SEVEN MONTHS! 

‘Twas the Reindeer before Christmas….

Rudolph came!

According to the big kid, Santa is scary and is not allowed in the house.

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So we baked gingerbread cookies, decorated them by eating all the icing, and carefully selected two for Rudolph, who is allowed to come in the house and deliver presents.

On Christmas morning, Sadie wandered over to the stairs, looked at all the presents piled under the tree below and proclaimed in a soft whisper “Santa isn’t scary anymore.”

Reese was still snoozing away because she stayed up all night listening for the for reindeer hooves to make such a clatter.

And every 90 minutes she would wake her parents who would see what was the matter.

Nothing.

Nothing was the matter.

Reese just has a very severe case of FOMO.

The doctor made the official diagnosis at her 6 month check up.

SIX MONTHS! 

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The stats:

Weight: 16 lbs. 13 oz.

Length: 25 inches

Head circumference: Enough room for a big, curious brain that can operate on little to no sleep.

We also have an appointment to go to the Children’s hospital to get her poor tear duct unclogged so she can stop the mass production of green goobers from her eye.

The rest of December was filled with the typical hustle and bustle of the most wonderful time of the year + a stomach bug that took us all out for three days.

We also left some sickies for Granny as a nice parting gift after she stayed with us for a whole month.

See you later! Stay close to the toilet for the next 12 hours! 

And then Reese came down with a fever during her Christmas party at daycare.

Kids just don’t know how to hang.

But we all woke up healthy (although slightly extremely groggy) on Christmas morning and we leapt into the magic that is Christmas with a 2 1/2 year old.

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We woke up like this, I swear! 

Unwrapping presents was a five hour affair with many stops to play and an intermission to cook up some chocolate chip brownie waffles with a side of gingerbread cookie and eggnog spiked coffee (for Mom and Dad, of course).

The pictures are sparse because it was a “live in the moment” kind of morning.

We’re grateful Sadie has no idea what a fingerling is (does anyone know what a fingerling is???) and that she spent most of the day working in her new play kitchen and ringing up lots of produce at her fancy new cash register.

Then there was a play-doh creation hour while Mom sipped on a Sam Adams Winter Lager and cooked up some Maple Mustard Glazed Green Beans and Potatoes and perused her new DIY Vegan Cookbook.

When the kids finally went down for a long winter’s nap, Mom and Dad played toy Tetris and found a new home for all of the new presents.

Mom may have been in her glory while organizing the pots, pans, and play food of the new kitchen.

Until she realized she now has two kitchens to clean up 737 times a day.

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Now we have a week of lazy days, kid crafts, and miscellaneous adventures as we round out 2017.

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We hope Rudolph brings more sleep in 2018.

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HAPPY CHRISTMAS! 

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Is it me or do the holidays come whooshing in as a whirlwind of chaos?

I already feel the pressure of perfect presents, new and exciting holiday recipes, and fitting in ALL THE THINGS between Thanksgiving and New Years.

But me and P-Daddy are ON IT this year.

We are done with our Christmas shopping.

Aside from the 3056 incidentals that will inevitably come up. 

We took our holiday family photos this morning.

Sadie was kind enough to reserve the fall-out tantrum for the second we opened up the door to leave. 

Thanksgiving food prep is underway.

Hope I don’t eat all those roasted sweet potatoes before Thursday! 

Both kids are napping and I’m rummaging through the cabinets for the rum.

Rum. 

Yum. 

I had one of those surreal moments the other day where I slowed down enough to really look at Reese and I suddenly realized that she is 5 months old.

She’s also a TANK.

Thanksgiving rolls for daaaaaaaays on that little nugget’s legs.

Its funny how in five short months, Reese has become so ingrained in the fabric of our family, that I can not even imagine life without her.

She always has a big, big grin for me in the morning (even when she was up all night screaming in my ear!).

And I’m also fairly certain she’s got some teeth starting to poke through.

I know this because she spends most nights wailing to me about it and then gnawing my finger off.

Even though the long, long nights have me in a daze for days, I think we’ll keep her.

5 months!

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