Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A little cuteness to cheer you up...

If you are on the East Coast and are currently getting pummeled with yet another snow storm then chances are you are in a bad mood...or is that just me?

In any case, if you are in a bad mood this should cheer you right up! Honestly, how can anyone be sour looking at that sweet face.

We have been busy and the posting has been sparse. I wish I could say that I expect the frequency of posts to increase in the near future but the reality is that we have Easter, 3 "birthday week extravaganzas", and a road trip to Richmond for Kate's graduation all coming up in the next six weeks and I will be lucky if I blog about any of it. Just kidding, there is no way I could not brag blog about the kids' birthday celebrations. My obsession with each of the aforementioned events is really the reason I haven't been posting much here...far too much to learn about royal icing and all. Plus I find that throwing myself into party planning really helps to distract me from the fact that soon I will have a 3 year old AND a 1 year old. :::SOB:::

We have all been doing okay. In the past few weeks we have been traveling quite a bit to see friends and family while Matt is working. Day trips are nice in that we can get in some good face time with the people we love and Matt doesn't miss out on the kids in the morning before work. Day trips are hard in that we completely abandon our regular schedule and the kids are usually a disaster the following day. It would be fantastic if all of our favorite people lived right down the street but since they don't we do what we can. 

Everyone had been healthy until Lily came down with the pukes yesterday. Let me tell you right now, toddler puke is flipping horrible. Lily is what I will call a panic puker. Without any warning at all she will bolt upright and just start throwing up. In response to a situation that is out of her control she then panics and starts doing anything she can to try and regain control, her go to move...covering her mouth with her hands. Yesterday I literally had to hold her hands down on the sides of a bowl to keep her from making an already disgusting situation SO MUCH WORSE. We survived, she was all pep this morning and so far no one else has gotten sick. Fingers are still very much crossed on that last part. I snapped the adorable picture above during a non-pukey part of the afternoon. Earlier today Ben fell on a toy in the playroom and has a nasty bruise/scrape/boo boo type thing on his cheek. I can only hope it looks worse than it feels. 

I am seriously so over winter. I just know that is going to be one of those years when we have snow on my birthday. I am literally angry that we got another 10 inches of snow today. A few weeks ago I said I enjoyed shoveling...well I changed my mind, so Mother Nature cut it out already. 

As I mentioned party plans are in the works for both kids. We are having a family party in Maine for Lily on Easter Sunday. I know it is sort of lame to double down on the holiday but all of the family will be together and her birthday is just a few days later. We are also having a small friend party for her later in the week. Nothing big, just cupcakes and a few friends at the playground...assuming we can even play outside. If not we will just have it here. Ben's party is going to be a bigger shindig, it is his first birthday after all. Detail to follow but if you follow me on pinterest than I bet you can guess the theme! 

I think that about catches me up. I am sure I could rattle on some more but I doubt you care what I ate for lunch. (It was a delicious grilled (sharp cheddar) cheese on sourdough...I am obsessed)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

This post contains not a single original thought...

I have found that when you are up in the middle of the night with a baby for the better part of 10 months you have a lot of time to think about stuff. Some of the time is spent thinking about ridiculous things like, why is the food at Ikea so cheap? Or if water aerobics is so good for you, why do only old people do it?

Other times the thoughts are of the serious and reflective type. In the middle of the night I can't help but wonder, "Am I the kind of mother I want to be?"

Today I used the kid's nap to do a little Pinteresting (that is the verb right?!) and catch up on some blog reading. One of (more like 30 of) my lovely mommy friends has pinned one of those "Rules for Mothers of Sons" type posts that are floating around - myself included. Why do we (loving moms) feel compelled to pin stuff like that? Not one of those posts contains anything more than an idealized picture of parenthood. If my friend group is any indication, the moms who make those posts so popular are not the ones who need to be reminded to "hug their sons" or "let them get really dirty."  They are sweet and I understand that some days we just need to remind ourselves what kind of mom we are striving to be...on our best days. But today?

Today I am not buying it. Being a mom is hard enough without feeling like every other mom out there is following through with all of these ideals, while my kids pull toys out of each other's hands and I chase after them in a coffee stained t-shirt yelling empty threats. Don't get me wrong, I totally get sucked in to all of the delicious looking desserts and crisp linen closets, the amazing playrooms and custom party favors...but that is SO not my life. Yes we have a cute playroom, but it almost always looks like a crime scene.

Just like home improvement shows make me feel like my house is a dump (which it certainly is not), Pinterest has a way of making me feel totally inadequate. I am not writing this post so that you will tell me how wonderful I am. I know that I am a caring and devoted mother/wife who works hard to keep the house from caving in around us. I am just venting my frustration, on this particular day, with social media. It of course doesn't stop at Pinterest, I suspect that most people's entire online identity is a polished up version of reality. I know mine is. I am totally guilty of changing the kids out of their pjs at 4 in the afternoon so that I can take a few pictures for the blog. In truth, Ben wears pjs almost all of the time. I can't be bothered with "real clothes" for a baby.

I will also fess up that behind every homemade meal I have pinned (or will pin in the future for that matter) is a veggie chicken nugget served right out of the microwave. For every beautiful handmade craft, is a dollar store coloring book and a handful of stickers I swiped from the pediatricians office.

If this post has any purpose at all, it is to serve as a reminder to myself that things aren't "Pinterest perfect" every minute of the day. My kids are happy, healthy, and will just as eagerly eat store bought play-doh as the homemade kind.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

10 Months!

This month's post might be a little skimpy, especially in the picture department. Last month's post was a week late, February is a short month, Zombie Apocalypse is upon us, and Ben has been sick with a cold for the last two weeks.

As I posted on facebook, I got an email this week from 'Amazon Mom' with the subject line, "Transitioning from baby to toddler." What I didn't post on FB was that my first thought was, "Stupid Amazon, Lily has been a toddler for a long time!" ...I wish I was kidding.

I obviously realized pretty quickly that the subject of the email was Ben. My sweet sweet little baby. I couldn't decide whether to give in to the impulse to cry or send a scathing email to stupid 'Amazon Mom'. Both seemed like completely reasonable responses to such blatantly hurtful implications. I suppose I should have seen it coming. All of the telltale signs are there.

I mean look what I caught him doing in the kitchen!

I love the look back at the very end when he is about to get in to the recycling, which he obviously knows is a no no! Don't let him fool you, that is his devilish grin!

Likes: Getting into EVERYTHING, making as BIG a mess as possible, eating EVERYTHING in sight, sitting DIRECTLY in the middle of whatever elaborate doll drama happens to be taking place in the play room, blankie, paci, Lily, banging things, balls/any toy with wheels, being held for the sole purpose of squirming to get down.

Dislikes: Sleeping past 5am, being alone, not getting his way in general really gets his goat.

Nicknames: Same - Benja and Tater

Milestones: Three new top teeth with a fourth on the way, bellowing the syllables ma-ma over and over when he is angry/distressed/irritated, taking steps with the walker, standing momentarily when he isn't paying attention, initiating peek-a-boo.

Feeding: I am officially off the pump! Can I get an Amen! I would like to proclaim my utmost respect to working moms who breastfeed their babies. I was pumping twice a day for Ben so that I could get some extra rest when Matt was here to give him a bottle. Pumping for me is the ultimate chore and I cannot imagine having to do it every day, several times a day, in order to maintain the supply. For those of you who have never done it, I by no means want to put you off. Obviously, I believe the sacrifice is more than worth the benefits to my kiddos...but it is a freaking chore. It isn't just the actual pumping that I can't stand. It is the planning, and the packing, and the endless washing of pump parts and bottles. I am so very excited to be done with the pump. (until the next baby that is!)

Ben is nursing like a maniac these days. It could be a growth spurt or it could be that he is taking advantage of the new "mommy is scrambling to figure out how to be a single parent five days a week" scenario we've got going on. Any former schedule we may have had is impossible to keep by myself...so I just nurse Ben whenever the heck he wants to. Simple as that.

Solids are still going great. I have a confession. I let Ben have peanut butter, clearly way before his first birthday like the books recommend. It was sort of an accident. I have been giving him the toasted crusts off Lily's peanut butter toast for a few weeks but I always cut the crusts off before I spread the peanut butter. Then one day I didn't, and a peanut butter lover was born.

Ben loves everything I put on his tray, except cottage cheese. He will eat it, but he sort of winces and frowns while doing so. It is both sad and funny. So far I have been exponentially better about giving him "table" food than I was with Lily. Last night for dinner he ate ground beef. I was afraid I was going to lose a finger. Lily still won't really even try half of the foods Ben has been devouring these past few weeks. Consider our grocery budget - blown!

Here are a few shots from a typical meal!

Sleeping: Only occasionally sleeping through the night. Up before the sun every day. I am so over it. Maybe a few months from now I will regret not writing more detail, but I just...can't.

Pushing himself to standing, oh my. 
Odds and Ends: Ben is all boy. I have said all along that I have no idea where my girlie girl came from and that butterflies and tutus must be in her DNA. Well the same can be said for my rough and tumble, four-wheel-obsessed ten month old. You would think with all of the pink and princess nonsense we have around here that Ben might be a little doll obsessed, but he has latched on to the few balls and two trains in the entire house. He instinctively knew how to push the train around on the floor. It really is an amazing contrast. It is probably a good thing he has a birthday coming up and we can get him a few more toys to match his budding interests.

This month was even more of a struggle than it would have been otherwise because Ben was sick for 10 days. He is just now getting over a cold that started a few days before Valentine's Day. It seems that for Ben colds mean snot, and a lot of it. His poor little nose was so raw that for a few days we just couldn't wipe it. It was cracked and bleeding, poor baby. He slept like crap and was pretty clingy and miserable during the day. On top of the cold the poor guy cut so many new teeth. It is no wonder he doesn't sleep through the night. I am happy to report that he seemed to be feeling much better today and I think he is finally on the mend.

All previous kidding about the whole baby/toddler metamorphosis aside, I really am heartbroken by how fast this year is going by. Well maybe not by how fast, more accurately how much of a blur this year will have been. I can't do anything to change how little we all slept, but I don't want Ben to look back at these posts and think I didn't enjoy his babyhood. There are not even words to describe how much I love these days. I don't fill these posts with an over abundance of gush nearly as often as I could, but my heart literally bursts at the thought of that little boy. I was (and am) so deeply in love with my daughter that I really did worry that I couldn't possibly love another baby nearly as much, and then God sent me this perfect little boy. I love his wispy hair and his crazy huge smile. I love how tightly he holds on to me when I carry him and how much he laughs and giggles when I tickle his feet during a diaper change. He just loves to be loved on, above all else. Please don't grow up too fast sweet boy. Toddler-hood might be right around the corner but it is fine by me if you want to stay a baby for a little while longer.

Up next: Swim lessons, Easter bunnies, and hopefully some spring time temperatures!