January 4, 2013

No more newborns

On Wednesday night, I got to snuggle my dear friends' precious newborn baby. He was so soft and tiny and sweet. Then, I came home to my big, 15 pound 4.5 month old, and I absolutely couldn't believe how old he seemed. I am sure I sound like a broken record, but time is flying!
Easten is supposed to be our last baby. Most days, I honestly think I am done. Three kids requiring care, attention, love, food, clothing, yes, it makes sense to only have three. Parker is absolutely a high maintenance child, and we are always busy with activities for Lily. But there is just something so, so wonderful about a newborn. It pulls at my heartstrings! I don't even like being pregnant, I'm always exhausted, and I'm still trying to lose baby weight, but I love a good newborn baby.
Luckily, Easten is taking it pretty easy on me. He still isn't rolling, although he really is trying. Last night, he even looked like he was trying to crawl! It was too funny. But his immobility still lets me pretend I have a newborn. His inability to roll is most likely largely due to his clingy-ness and neediness. That baby loves to be held and worn. He demands another human face in his face when he is not being held. He will talk and smile for hours, as long as you are right there by his side. So, no wonder he isn't rolling about the house, he certainly hasn't had much practice or much "tummy time." Isn't it funny how much more nurslings are considered "high maintenance" than formula fed babies? I really don't believe they are spoiled. The bond is absolutely incredible. They smell their mothers and feel safe, and what baby doesn't want to feel safe all the time? Sometimes, it does drive us crazy when I need a break, and Daddy is more than willing to hold baby. And Easten will have no part of it and will look around the room for me. When he looks and me and smiles that gigantic, toothless grin, I could melt right into the floor. Talk about unconditional love.
And he certainly keeps newborn hours, waking frequently to nurse throughout the night. Slaps me back into reality! He is slowly developing a sort of nap schedule. I really never leave the house until after lunch due to his 9 am desire for a nap-and it's also his longest and best nap of the day, so I do try to give him that. Makes for a happier baby and mama. He does only prefer to nap in his pack and play. No car seat or bouncy seat naps for this fellow. He's quite particular about that. He will sleep in his Moby wrap, but I discovered yesterday, he will NOT nap in the Mei Tai.
Little is drooling and gumming everything. He already hurts me when he nurses. I am a bit apprehensive about the teeth coming in because I have a feeling he may secretly enjoy the thrill of a bite. I need to look back and see when Parker got his first tooth. I think he may have already had one by now. Sophie the giraffe, an amber necklace, and a few Hyland's teething tablets are quite possibly a mama (and baby's) best friends lately.
Anyways, this post was supposed to be about how much I loved newborns, and how I just get the fever ever time I even see one, and how Easten isn't a newborn anymore, but it sort of turned into a little post on my precious youngest. Just so I'll remember. The fuzziness sets in... I barely remember Parker's first birthday at this point! Thus, the life of a Mama.

January 1, 2013

On becoming a big girl

I just realized Lily got new skinny jeans, Tom's, and vests for Christmas, along with nail polish and a pink Guitar. Where are the Barbies? The baby dolls? Where is my baby?

In all actuality, Lily is still very much a little girl. Her innocent mind is so wonderful and amazing to me. She really is so pure. She watches Disney movies with her brother and still plays pretend and stuffed animals. She is very much a young child. She did get lots of clothes, and while she is a mini-fashionista (unlike her mother, ahem), she still is a tom boy and is often concerned with catching snails or trekking about the yard in her boots searching for treasure. And she has the kindest heart, she is never mean or spiteful. She has lied a handful of times in her life, and it was always silly, to stay out of what she thought was trouble.

However, in looking at those Christmas gifts, which are all well and good (and she did get some Legos by the way too), I feel scared. I'm kind of thankful now that we only have one girl. Little girls are just so precious and you have to protect them from so much that can happen. I feel like Lily is on the cusp of going from a true little girl to a big girl, and that time will start to quickly fly by. I don't know how my mother survived through three! I will be an absolute wreck when she goes shopping with friends for the first time, goes to a school dance, and goes on her first date. Shane will be either following them in the Superior van or cleaning his guns that night, take your pick. But wow, children really do grow up fast.

9 years ago today, I took a pregnancy test, and I found out there was a little bean growing inside me. 9 years ago today, I first became a mommy. She has shaped me into who I am today, and I can only hope that me and her dad make her proud and raise her right and protect her from harm as she becomes "a big girl." xoxo to my sweet, amazing, favorite daughter.

Have I created a monster?

So, I've got something on my chest. It's hard to exactly describe how I feel about Parker's behavior and how I can discpline this child. I'm not one of those mother's that never needs a break from her children. I love naptime, and I do occasionally escape sans kiddos to Starbucks or heck, even the grocery store. But I love, love, love my children forever and always. However, one of them has given me a run for my money since birth, and he hasn't let up since. I will first say, I absolutely love this boy to pieces. He is so sweet. He always tells me "he wants me" when he is in trouble, and he tells me he loves Easten. He'll tell us his name is "Car-key Na-haffey" and that he is "fourteen" years old. He follows Lily around like a lost puppy, copying her every move and crying if she goes to a friends house, and he lights up when his Daddy gets home from work. Everything is an adventure to him. He loves to be outdoors. He values the few friends that he has decided are his-"Pa-tom" and "Quinnie" and Tommy and "Yaura." He is amazingly smart-today he told me he was making a masterpiece. He is so boy, and yet, he is so sensitive. He is already a great ball player, and the kid works an Ipad better than me. He is rather shy, but will always call hello! to the mailman and the garbage people. Gotta be on his turf I guess. He loves his Aunt Lacey to the moon and back, and he always asks who I was talking to when I get off the phone. He would live off black beans, fruit, and turkey pepperoni if he had the choice. He is a VERY cool kid.

In all his glory:

But seriously, he is beyond out of control. Hello terrible, no good, very bad twos.

If we look at him the wrong way, tantrum. Can't have the Ipad? Tantrum. Lily has to constantly give into him and let him have his way. We let things slide...because it's easier? Easier now? Or easier in the long run? I think it's the first one. It's easier to say, fine you can keep wearing diapers, even though I know he is ready for underpants. It's easier now to let him eat what he wants and take toys from Lily to avoid a nuclear meltdown. I have tried time outs, I have tried ignoring him, I have tried "spanking" him (not brutal spankings people, pops on his very cushioned cloth diapered butt, and yes, he still has a nuclear meltdown). I'm starting to get embarrassed. There were a few times I was embarrassed in NJ. Parents should never judge other parents...but still, you know they do. We've all done it. And if I was watching a little kid flop through airport security line screaming for a Coke, I probably would wonder what the french is up with that family! (true story! Even the mean New York airport security felt sorry for us...)

This is a hard post to write because I feel like it makes me look like a lazy parent. And in a way, that's what I've become. I let him get away with things I wouldn't even type on here because it's just plain embarrassing. And I am not a "yes" always parent. I have no problem telling Lily no all the time. Is it because I know I won't hear a fit? Then how is that fair to both her and Parker?

Somehow I've got to man up and take control with this strong willed, precious boy. I know he will learn lessons, and it will be of great value to both him and me to not give in to things that he believes he needs. I am the one in control. So, with it being a new year, I am going to start small. Pick my battles-the important ones. Will myself to stay strong through his screaming, even though I am holding him down in timeout and he is hitting me and punching me. Getting him used to the word no, but in a way where I can explain myself and he can understand me.

No one said this would be easy.


Whew, what a year it has been. What a season we have had! I am utterly exhausted and yet full of excitement that a new year is upon us. If I could just catch up on my sleep, I know I would be more than good to go.

In a nutshell, here is what we have been up to...

1. Shane passed his plumbing test. He is officially a Master Plumber! (Have I mentioned that already??) We are very excited and proud of him, and looking forward to what the future holds for our family.

2. My Aunt Maureen and Uncle Steve came to visit a few weekends ago. We did a Stone Mountain day, where we rode in the cars all the way to the top of the Mountain. Kids loved it! Also, we ate tons of yummy food, Steve and Shane went to a Falcons game, and we bonded and reminisced over lots of coffee and tea. I love my aunt and uncle, and I was so glad that they go to fly to Atlanta and meet Easten and stay with us. I love my Cape Cod family.

Here is Parker being his usual self at the top of Stone Mountain:
Ah, and here I am wearing Easten in his Sleepy wrap. He was so cuddly that day, he barely made a peep!

3. We got our basement finished. Have I mentioned that too? It looks wonderful. Sorry if I am repeating myself from a previous post. We now have a full playroom and a full bath. The bathroom is nicer than mine! I might have to move down there. We still need to get a TV and move the Wii downstairs, and get some sort of sleeper sofa...if they still make those, or a futon.

4. Christmas came and went very quickly this year. Shane and I attended Lily's class Christmas party. Then, we visited with my mom and sisters Christmas Eve eve. We went to church on Christmas Eve, and we spent Christmas day with Shane's family. The kids were beyond spoiled rotten. Lily got a guitar, and Parker got a bike, to name a few things. Easten was thrilled with his new Blueberry Basix diaper in elephant print (haha!) Shane surprised me with a Northface jacket. I was super pumped...and I needed it, because we flew to New Jersey the day after Christmas. It was freezing! The plane ride up was literally hell. We were delayed an hour, sat on the runway for 45 minutes (with both the boys crying off and on). Then we endured a 2.5 hour drive from Laguardia to my dad's with Easten screaming at the top.of.his.lungs. I almost jumped out the window. Luckily, this nightmare did not foreshadow our trip experience. Once they got settled, it was fine. Parker thought he moved into a new house. He had his moments, but I was proud of my unflexible boy for going with the flow.

Morristown got 6 inches of snow while we were there. We had a blast with my dad, Allison, and Victoria. Oh, and Oscar, their dog (yes, another Oscar). Shane and I even had a bonafide date night with no kids and drank wine and ate sushi (well, Shane drank iced tea). Shane shoveled snow for a good hour the day it snowed, and built a giant snowman. He still prefers the South though...

Now, we are home. I am already hard at work cleaning out closets and organizing clothes. I have hung up lots of pictures that I finally got developed from my dear friend Anna. I am starting to feel at home now that I have baby Easten up on the wall.