Time for me, us

It felt good the other day to put that struggling feeling into words (as it usually does). Sophie had been sleeping really well since she was about six weeks old, so the not sleeping of the past week or so was really rough. Not unexpected, but definitely rough. She did so much better last night, and I'm feeling much more human today that I have been lately. (Although she's working on a new skill - rolling over - and as soon as she masters that we will have to stop with the swaddling. I foresee many more sleep-light nights in my future.)

Also helping that human-like feeling:

I took off work a couple hours early yesterday and went home and took a nap. It was fantastic.

Aaron took Monday off to relax and now he's in a much better mood.

The more well-rested feeling we're both experiencing means that our house is less of a disaster zone than it was (a messy house always makes my bad moods worse, but I often lack the motivation to do anything about it when I'm in a funk).

Temperatures are reaching the low 40s this week. That might not sound so amazing, but anything is better than the sub-freezing temperatures of the last few weeks.

Aaron and I are spending some time on us this week. We cuddled last night, and today we're meeting up for lunch. It feels good to reconnect as a couple; something I've been really, really missing.

I've also been eating a little better this week. Less junk food, more fruits and vegetables, and small frequent meals instead of the large, fattening meals I had been eating. Last night I even had an apple as a bedtime snack instead of the ice cream I was craving. I was pretty amazed with myself!

I've also been seeking out things that make me laugh. On the top of that list is damnyouautocorrect.com and the @bronxzooscobra Twitter feed. Another thing that's making me happy is good music, including Queen's Greatest Hits (especially Don't Stop Me Now) and many songs from the Glee soundtracks (especially Teenage Dream by the Warblers).

So far this week is kicking our asses a lot less than recent weeks. I hope - really, really hope - that this continues.


This is not a novel idea, or even news, but I have to say that having two kids is not double the work of one; it's exponential. I love these two girls as much as is humanly possible, but, damn am I struggling to stay afloat. The levels of busy, noise, attention needed, lack of sleep, etc. are threatening to swallow us whole. I keep thinking it will be better when... when it's warm, when Sophie is a little older, when we get more sleep, when whatever. And it will be. And I'm fine, really. I just want a nap, a little time to myself, some quiet time with my husband.

It's a good thing they're cute, is what I'm saying.

Grand Scheming

Lately I have been in the mood to throw a party; a big, blow-out type party with a lot of friends and a lot of fun. Seeing as how Aaron has a birthday coming up in a little over a month, I am (selfishly, actually) planning a blow-out bash in his honor.

Here's how I see it:

Food made on our (soon to be in our possession) new grill.

A keg of one of Aaron's favorite micro-brews, as well as wine and watermelon margaritas for us non-beer-drinkers.

A fancy, delicious cake made by yours truly, accompanied by homemade ice-cream (note to self: contact KitchenAid about your broke-ass ice cream maker!).

Yard games/field events: bocce ball, ladder ball, that game where you try to throw wing-nuts through a hole in a board (there are several different names for it, none of which are even slightly appropriate), three legged races, egg/spoon relays, a water balloon toss (and squirt guns for the kids)...

My latest idea came from a wedding website, but I think it would be all kinds of fun for a birthday party too: a Candy Buffet! Aaron has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know, so this would be awesome for him.

Friends (hopefully) traveling in for the day.

Now I just have to get to work. It's going to be a blast!

Sweet Sophie

Nearly every month we get a newsletter from our kids' rooms at daycare. The newsletter from Sophie's classroom included updates on the new things each of the babies are doing, and had this little gem about my little Peanut: "Sophie just enjoys being cute for now."

And, man, is she cute! Even Aaron squeals about it from time to time, "She's just so cute!"

She's a smiley baby; she started early and seems now to smile with her whole body. Her face lights up, and her arms and legs start going, all of her incredibly excited to see you. It's fantastic.

She is so much better at nursing, and just eating in general, than her sister ever was. Gabbie never did what I'd consider "comfort nursing," but I can't say the same about Sophie. She wants to nurse for a good half hour or so when we get home at the end of the day, or pretty much any time I leave her sight for more than an hour. She'll nurse whenever I try, even if she just ate 20 minutes ago (I tested this out one day just for fun; such is the life of someone who spends 24-7 with a baby). She has taken to bottles very easily. I think that as long as it's food, she's happy.

Her spitting up problem has gotten much better. She still has days where it's bad, but as long as I watch what I eat, she does pretty well. I still can't eat onions, especially raw ones (ask me about the day I ate a Big Mac and what happened afterwards; it wasn't pretty), but she's now doing okay with broccoli, cabbage, and beans. A weird food that makes her tummy upset is peanut butter. My mom said I had the same issue when I was a baby, which is interesting, especially since peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite foods.

I'm not going to talk about sleeping, because I don't want to jinx anything. Although I will say the thing I miss most now that I'm back at work is her sleeping on my chest for her naps. That cuddle time was one of my favorite things ever.

Sophie is enamored with Gabbie. Big time. We first noticed she was following things with her eyes by the way she watched her big sister run around the room. She prefers to watch her from afar, though, as Gabbie still is learning about being gentle.

When Gabbie was a baby, we had regular visits with a physical therapist due to her hip dysplasia. Part of those visits tracked her development according to motor and social skills. It was pretty neat to know exactly where she was with everything, but I also like this experience, where I just enjoy my baby and am not worried about what she's doing (especially since she seems to be doing everything she needs to do). She's smiling, tracking objects with her eyes, bringing her hands to center, and holding her head up like a champ. We need to work on tummy time a little more (she HATES it), but other than that, she's just such a great baby. I don't know what I did to deserve these two great girls I have, but I'll gladly take them. I absolutely love being their mom.

Not constant awesomeness, but pretty darn close

On a regular basis, Aaron and I remind ourselves how lucky we are to have such a good kid. Gabbie really is one of the most awesome kids I've ever met (although I am, admittedly, biased). She's kind, caring, smart, funny, cute, and just a generally great kid. She has her faults, like stubbornness and being a picky eater, for sure, but she's usually such a reliably good kid, that it makes her bad days seem so much worse.

An example of the good: she usually listens very well and is a stickler for following the rules. She follows the rules so well that we have been able to do something you wouldn't be able to do with many kids. She has a snack drawer that she can access whenever she wants, and we put all her treats in there too. Treats like sweet granola bars and all of her Valentines candy. And yet, she never once has eaten anything, not even her favorite candies, without asking first, and if we tell her no, even though she'll pout a little, she still won't do it.

Other good things include that she very rarely tantrums, she wants to cuddle almost all the time, and will do things, like her silly dance, on cue to entertain us.

Then there's the bad, which seemed to all coincide with the time change yesterday. There was a lot of bad (but it still wasn't as bad as it could be, I'm sure). There were hysterics following each and every time she was told "no." There was not listening, not even a little bit. There was using her hippity hop as a ball with an easy-launch handle, instead of for its intended use, tossing it hard right into our wood blinds, right next to the TV and her baby sister. That was one of the worst offenses for sure. She also made our house a huge mess and cried when I asked her to help pick it up.

The day ended abruptly when she did exactly the thing I had mere seconds before directed her not to do, and then when I reminded her that I had JUST TOLD HER NOT TO DO THAT, she gave me a look, a look I'm sure I'll see many times throughout the years and especially during her teenaged years, a look that pretty much said, "Gee Mom, you're stupid." And then she was deposited in her bed.

This was followed by about ten minutes of tears, but then she played in her room for a few minutes, crawled in bed, and feel asleep.

I feel like a horrible mom on days like yesterday, especially when everything finally boils over and I resort to yelling. I feel childish when I say things like, "You're ignoring what I said, so now I'm ignoring you." It's satisfying to give in and to say those things, for a second or two. Then comes the Mom Guilt.

So I'm glad that she's usually such an awesome kid. I don't have those days or that Mom Guilt very often, and for that I'm incredibly grateful. She is a blessing, no matter what. That's for sure.

Our New Normal

Now that we’re three days into our new normal (-ish, since I’m only half days for the first two weeks), I have to say, it’s going pretty well. I’m actually making it to work more on time than I have in years, and we’re all adjusting incredibly well. Of course, it has been three mornings total now, so there’s still time for it to all go to shit, but I’m going to remain optimistic.

I was worried about three things with Sophie: 1 – taking a bottle (no problem there, the girl loves to eat!), 2 – the cloth diaper thing (aside from some confusion on the first day and needing to move up to the thicker inserts, that’s going well), and 3 – Sophie’s major preference for mommy and only mommy (no issues there aside from a couple of tears the first day). I’m so glad that my worries were unjustified. I attribute that to the power of worry; if I worry enough about it, it won’t happen. Right? Surely that’s true. It’s how I roll.

In addition to Sophie starting daycare this week, Gabbie moved up to the 3-year-olds room. Since she’s completely potty trained, speaks in paragraphs (who cares if all items in the paragraph aren’t necessarily related, she’s only 2 ½), and there was an opening (a key component) we all decided it was time. Her new teacher told me yesterday that it is as if she has been in that room for forever. Talk about a good transition. That’s my girl!

I also have to say, that this easing back into it slowly thing (see: half days for the first two weeks) really is the way to go. I haven’t cried once! I’m amazed at myself, since I normally cry at the drop of a hat (ask Aaron, I’m fun to live with I’m sure).

So, other news of the girls, since I’m doing horribly at this blogging thing lately and feeling guilty about not writing things down:

Sophie really, really prefers to be held, at all hours if possible. This has contributed to a bit of an, um, well, she has a flat spot on her head. I feel absolutely horrible about this. My kid has a funny shaped head! So, we’ve been working on more time not in mommy’s arms and more tummy time. My sister bought her a little play gym and that has helped, except she peed all over it yesterday, so it’s out of commission while in the wash. She’s also working at reaching for things and grasping them. She’s a pro at holding on to fingers, but not much else yet. We’re working on it. I have say, the second child thing is crazy. We worked with Gabbie on all her “skills” all the time, but with Sophie we’re a little more lax about everything, both because we are old hat at this parenting thing and not worrying as much, and because we’re busy with the other kid and don’t have all the free time in the world to concentrate on every little detail. Poor Sophie, it sounds like she’s being all kind of neglected. She is sooooo not.

Gabbie is awesome as usual. She’s stubborn as hell, but also amazingly funny (whether she’s trying to be or not). Our favorite anecdote from late is this: The other night, as a special treat, I was letting her fall asleep in our bed (special cuddle time with mommy). I thought she was asleep, when all of the sudden she announced she had to use the potty. She’s pro at using the potty, but her wiping skills leave a little to be desired at times. Consequently, her underpants got a little wet. She didn’t realize this until she got back into our bed, and she started crying, “I peed in your bed!” I assured her that she had not, and we went and got a fresh pair of underpants, and all was well. Shortly afterwards, Aaron came upstairs and following some conversation wherein she told him “no” about something, he got stern with her about telling him “no.” Half-way through this mini-lecture, she held up her hand at him, and said, very seriously, “I only peed in my pants a little bit, Aaron.” Then she sighed, like she was thinking, “oh, man , dealing with my parents is exhausting.” As you can imagine, all sternness from Aaron flew out the window as we broke into giggles. Kids are hilarious.

I don’t know how I imagined life with two kids. It is both better and way crazier then I ever thought it would be, but I definitely wouldn’t trade it. It seems like we’re finally starting to hit our stride, and I think we’re all thankful for that. I mean, sure, Aaron and I dream daily of running away for a long weekend to someplace warm without the kids, but I’m pretty sure all parents do that. Especially this time of year. Bring on the spring!


I cannot believe it's March already. The fact that it's March means that it's nearly time for me to go back to work. In fact, Friday is my last day of maternity leave. Although I do look forward to getting some adult interaction time, I am dreading not being home all day every day with my girls. However, this job is a large part of what allows us to live such a blessed life, so I'll go back happily.

But, I can't deny that I'll be missing these two so much it hurts.

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