Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer Babes

This month actually felt long in a good way. We didn't have too much sickness, of course someone always has a runny nose but we sort of come to expect that at this point. We've had lots of outside time and the sun is setting at that magical hour where I get a solo walk alone after getting the kids to bed. It's life altering. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • My kids take forever to get teeth. Callie seems to have two about to pop out of the bottom front but they are still below the surface. With Polly, I remember beginning to worry that they may never come. I just laugh at EVERYONE over the last 6 months that keep saying, oh she must be teething...nope. 
  • Polly has definitely hit that phase where she has ZERO filter. One night she looked at me and said, "Mommy, your belly is getting fat again. Are you going to have another baby?" It was cute when that happened and I DID have a baby in my belly when Callie was still a secret, this time around, not so cute. I let her know that no there was no baby in my belly. She was sad, she says she wants another. Unfortunately she'd have to get a job in order for that to happen!
  • Callie wants to walk SO badly. She still can't figure it out on her own but she makes me make the laps with her little hands wrapped around my fingers. My grandmother used to tell me she spent hours walking me around the house when I was a baby. I love it when my kids make her creep into my memory. She would have loved these girls so much. 
  • Callie is saying sounds that sound like mama and dada but that's about it. She can definitely let you know what she wants through. 
  • Sleep is magical and Callie has consistently let me sleep this month! She wakes up once a night if at all. I hope typing these words doesn't change that...she literally just started crying. Not funny world! Ok she stopped. 
  • Backseat driver says in a judgmental, inquisitive tone "mom that light was red when you drove under it, why did you do that?
  • Polly is definitely testing her boundaries these days. Her will is strong and she is experimenting with trying our patience daily. It's hard to know if we are handling every situation the right way and I have to admit sometimes I see other kids misbehaving and I think, "oh good, it's not just my kid!" 
  • Ben and I are always talking about the strange balance of parenting where some nights bedtime can't come fast enough when both kids are difficult but then we miss them when they are sleeping. 
  • This weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of the wedding party of one of my best gals as she walked down the aisle. There is something about these special occasions that make me reflect on time and how people come and go from your life. I couldn't help but watch the couple's parents and picture what the future holds for my girls while loving and hating the idea that one day they are going to leave us. Ben and I also got some time together without kids which was nice but then we also found ourselves wanting to be home all together again. Life is really bitter and sweet, long and short, happy and sad. It's all hard to understand really and we spend our whole lives trying to. 
  • I still feel lucky everyday. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring With Polly and Callie

This was a good month. There was sickness and sleeplessness but there was also a lot of good! We had sunshine and family time between all of the working hard. It was all good. Here are some highlights:

  • I went to NY for 5 days at the beginning of the month for work and though we all survived, when I got back I finally admitted to myself that it was too soon for me to be away from Callie. She still very much feels like an extension of my body the way she fits right onto my hip and her little chubby arm wraps around mine. I think the trip also triggered a very needy mommy phase for her which I'm okay with. I was very stressed leading up to the trip and it hit me when I got back that it was all related to me leaving my little baby! 
  • Ben gets a hair cut and Polly's response is, "Daddy, you look like a fancy man!" Mommy gets a haircut and no one notices. He was looking pretty shaggy there. 
  • One day out of the blue Polly says, "Mommy, I wish you tasted like chocolate." I think that means, I love you. 
  • Polly and I were sitting outside after a long work day, Polly goes inside to use the potty just when I start thinking she's been inside almost too long she opens the door and says in a serious, grownup way, "Mom, do you want me to fix you something to drink?" My heart explodes at her thoughtful independence so I say yes. A few seconds later she comes back out and says she might need a little help. It was the thought that counted. 
  • I had a headache one day so I was laying in bed trying to get it to go away and Polly says in a sweet little voice, "I don't like it when people don't feel good." She's a sweet girl when it counts. 
  • Callie has started sleeping a little better at night after two months of ROUGH nights. She's even surprised me with sleeping all night TWO nights. After waking up myself in panic to go see if she was breathing, I was thankful. 
  • Callie is on the move! She's really into the army crawl and wants to stand all the time. She's already wearing me out. I'm trying to prepare myself for the walking but trying to enjoy this time where she needs me so much.
  • She's in this phase where she wants to be held but not held all at once and she always wants the mama which is a tiring phase but also makes me feel so loved. 
  • Callie kisses with her whole open mouth on my face. It's THE BEST. 
  • I survived my first Crafty Supermarket without my partner in crime Grace. I think I nailed the details except for one typo but the weather had other plans. After the rain clouds did their worst, it was a good day. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stomach Flu Don't Play

This month was nicely rounded off with the stomach flu sweeping the house. It started with Polly, then Ben went down and I was the last to fall hopefully. Polly's picture was taken on the tail end of her sickness. Fingers crossed that Callie missed it. I'm still on the mend but tomorrow I will be at 100%! Here's what happened this month:

  • I learned just today that relaxing gives me anxiety. All day yesterday I just laid in a quiet room with no lights and no sound all day. I had no choice, that's all my body could do. My fever subsided late this morning and I made it downstair so my brain said, HEY BE PRODUCTIVE. Then I realized I'm a crazy person and a simple trip downstairs made me exhausted. 
  • Last night Polly came into my room, patted me on the head, kissed my forehead and said, "I'm so sorry you are sick mommy." Then she did her bedtime routine to me. She was so sweet and that made me think we are doing something right in this parenting thing.
  • A recent exchange with Polly:
    • Me: Polly, please stop distracting Callie while she's eating. She keeps looking at you. 
    • Polly: Callie's distracting herself looking at me! 
    • Me inside my head laughing: ok kid you have a point but STOP IT! 
  • Polly has reached a developmental milestone that all parents of young kids dream of and that is the fact that she can now puke into a bucket. She knows it's coming (ok not the first one this weekend but after that she knew) and she made it! It's a big moment folks. Otherwise you or your entire house wears it and that's terrible. 
  • Callie wants to move so badly but she hasn't quite figured it out. She can still roll everywhere but she can't quite get those legs and arms working together. She'll be on the move very soon though. I'm trying not to rush this! 
  • This month marked another year on this planet for me and I have to say they are getting faster and faster but so far better and better too. 
  • Next months post may be a day late because it's exactly one month until Crafty Supermarket! It's my first show without my partner in crime Grace. I'm nervous but excited!  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Babies

February kicked my butt. Hard. I didn't take many notes about things Polly says. I didn't sleep much. I don't think all four of us have been well at one time since November. The back and forth weather in Cincinnati has taken a toll for sure. That combined with back and forth sick babies and parents plus a crazy work and side project schedule have me waving a white flag. On the other hand spring is coming so we will keep plowing forward and their cute faces really help. Here are some highlights:

  • A conversation with Polly:
          Polly: You know why I share with you?
          Me: Why?
          Polly: Because I love you.
          Me: melts to floor

  • Callie is a full blown little person. She lights up when she sees her mama, daddy or big sister and she even gets excited to see her friends at day care which makes leaving her so much easier.
  • A baby with pink eye is hilarious in the crying until you laugh sort of way. All of the instructions for medicine and care sound great until you apply them to a 6 month old. Wash their hands after they rub their eyes. Yeah right. Don't let them rub their eyes. Have you met a baby before? Like a real live baby? Apply the ointment on the inner rim of the lower eyelid. Thank you instructions for making me feel like a parent failure and idiot. You make it sound so simple until I'm holding a pointy tube very close to a tiny baby eye that she needs to SEE. What could go wrong?
  • Polly sings a song that goes,"Callie and Polly, sisters forever." 
  • Over a week of not getting to touch Callie nearly killed little Polly. She was dying to hug and tickle her but she was a good listener and a great helper while Callie was sick.
  • Callie's version of hugs right now is excitedly throwing her entire body weight into your shoulder. It's the best. She's reaching and dying to move but she hasn't quite figured it out. She can get places by rolling. Soon our house is going to be taken over by two active, crazy kids.
  • As I said before, this month was very busy. I've been trying to slow down as often as possible and just watch my girls. I watch Polly slowly crawl into her bed like a sloth even when I'm in a hurry to get back to work after bedtime and I've repeated myself 1,000 times. But I try to remember how small she is and how completely consumed she is in her imagination. I know this time is special and precious. 
  • Watching Polly love is my favorite thing. Sometimes I can just see her looking at her dad or I with her eyes full of such love. I hope to somehow make sure she always feels that for us. And sometimes the idea that not all kids have what she has and not all grown ups have what we have nearly crushes me if I think about it all too much. 
  • I've been tough on myself a lot this month. I don't feel like I'm giving enough at work and I don't feel like I'm giving enough at home and I know I need to give myself a break. I don't think my work family or my home family are thinking that I'm terrible. My mama brain is just worrying too much.
  • I haven't moved Callie into her own room yet. Polly moved at three months because she was a noisy baby and we kept waking one another up. Callie is pretty good, she just loses her pacifier and needs help finding it sometimes. I don't want to have to get up to go fish for a pacifier several times a night. I also keep her close because I feel like sleep time is at least time when I'm near her and she knows I'm there and not out of sight like when she's in daycare. I keep moving the move into your own room goal mark and that's what I'm doing! Ben has quit bringing it up. 
  • Callie's summer bod is going to be amazing. I can't wait for warmth to show off these thigh rolls.  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Polly Eleanor and Callie Mae

This month felt extremely long. I'm not sure if it's the dread I feel every time I hear the words President Trump or read the news and hear more terrible policies that he's pushing through. It could also be the fact that I'm growing tired of winter. Perhaps it's the fact that someone in our house has had a runny nose for the past two months straight. Maybe it's a combination of all of the above that has made this month so long. In that long month, my girls are growing and they both have brought a lot of smiles to our household so at least we have that. Here are a few highlights:

  • Callie is now sitting up and realizing that she can get places eventually with enough wiggling and scooting. Her goal is always to get to Polly whenever possible.
  • Callie started daycare and of course that means a sick baby, AGAIN! She's just getting over an earache but all of this sickness has meant she wants a ton of mommy cuddles which is alright by me.
  • My new favorite thing is pulling Callie into bed with me around 6 am when she starts getting restless. She's been settling back down for at least a half-hour more and it is so dang sweet.  
  • We have been having a battle of will at the dinner table with Polly. I talked to her teacher about it and she listed three things that we shouldn't do at dinner time. They were of course the three things that we do. Parents of the year. 
  • I can't remember if I've said this before but Polly thinks Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars is actually named Lightning the Queen which I love. Is it bad that we don't correct her?
  • While at a friends house last week we realized that Polly doesn't really know what the word cartoon is because we've taught her to call all TV shows programs like my grandma. We are sorry that we've made you a nerd Polly. So sorry.
  • Polly has taken to yelling "stop looking at me with your serious face!" when she's in trouble or not listening to me. It's hard not to laugh, so hard not to laugh.
  • The other day Polly was making up a song with the following lyrics "touch your butt to the clouds, touch your butt to the sun, touch your butt to everything." I think it's going straight to #1 on the charts!
  • It is SO interesting how different two kids can be. When Polly tried food for the first time, she couldn't get enough of it but we tried mashed bananas with Callie for the first time today and she was not impressed. Watching them both become their own little people is a huge, humbling honor.
I'll close with some additional thoughts. I've seen a few people in my Facebook feed referring to women who marched on January 21st as whiners or they seem confused by why women are marching. I'm not whining.

I can only speak for myself but I marched for my daughters because they deserve more than Donald Trump has to offer. They deserve a better role model than a man who talks about women like objects he can just grab if the desire strikes him. They deserve to have power over their bodies. They deserve to grow up in a country that keeps to our American values, values that were built by immigrants and not just the white, Christian ones. My girls deserve to grow up in a country that values diversity, admits it's mistakes, learns from them, and gets better with time. We don't need to make America great again. We need to keep making it greater. It isn't something that was once fixed and is now broken, instead America is a work in progress. As of January 20th, we are not progressing. This isn't about Republican verses Democrat. We all need to open our eyes, ears and hearts. We need to search for FACTS. We need to admit our own prejudices, we need to look our fears in the eye and make decisions based on love and not hate and fear. We need to listen to one another.

Yes I'm scared. Yes the unknown and unfamiliar scare me. Yes it's easier to be around people who are like me but I also know that in my life, when I have faced my fears and moved beyond my own comfort, I have grown and learned the most. I like learning and growing. This is why I marched.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Polly Is Four and Other Adventures

My baby girl is 4. It's a little obnoxious that I'm going to be saying that every year for the rest of my life but it really is crazy how time flies. On one level I feel like she's always been around but on another level I feel like I'm still shocked that I'm a parent not of just one but TWO girls. I love their faces so, so much. Look at those arm rolls on Callie!

This month was insane. Here are some highlights:

  • Since I returned to work from maternity leave I've had a December work trip hanging over my head. I wanted to go but I also couldn't imagine leaving a four month old baby behind. Finally I decided that dammit, women CAN have it all and I'm going on my work trip and I'm taking the dang baby with me! So I convinced my mom to let me fly her to NY and stay in a boring conference center with a baby for four days. I was worried that it would be a huge mistake, that Callie would hate travel and I would have this moment where I realized mid-trip that I was a selfish mama for bringing a baby on a work trip.  That this was for me, not for her.  
  • When I stress I make lists and over prepare. 
  • I created a master to pack list, organized everything so I could pump in the airport (remember this baby never latched) and manage a baby all alone. As the trip drew nearer I was stressed so checked my list one thousand times, read blogs about traveling with babies, and worried some more. I also went down a dark internet hole where people scared me to death about flying with a baby on my lap and I worried that being cheap would leave my baby with a crazy head injury.   I love and hate the internet so much.
  • Finally travel time came. From my internet research I learned that if there is a free seat on the plane, they will let you use your carseat for free in the seat. All you have to do is make sure your carseat is approved for air travel which is printed right on the carseat. I even let them bump my flight to get on a flight with an empty seat. That meant I chilled in an airport for two hours before the actual travel began. I thought that would put a nail in this travel alone with a baby coffin but that didn't happen. She slept and I read a book, a book which I thought about not backing because who gets to read while traveling with a baby.  Then we boarded the plane. There was a baby seated behind us and I thought, great, our babies are both going to cry and we are going to get kicked off the plane but that didn't happen. The babies slept and I read a book.
  • Callie did great with my mom at the conference center not to mention the fact that all of my colleagues loved having a baby around during breaks. My mom got sick but she was a trooper and Callie loved her the entire time. There is something magical about watching your mom with your kids. That seemed worth all of the stress. 
  • Travel home time came and I thought I'd really pay for this decision on the way home but we scored TSA pre-check and boarded the plane, we scored another seat for Callie and guess what? She slept and I read a freaking book! I have no idea what I did to deserve this sweet good baby girl but she is the best baby.  I felt like I had conquered the world traveling with my little sidekick. It was expensive, it was exhausting but it was worth it. 
  • Then I paid for it. The entire house except for Ben got sick. Maybe from my mom, maybe from day care but the next week I was puked on more times then I can count and we had SO much dirty laundry.  SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY. These two kids both know how to aim so it goes right into my shirt and causes me to have to change all of my clothes down to the underwear. It was some sort of stomach/nasal congestion sickness. It was terrible. Polly at one point had a 105 degree fever which is incredibly stressful. She woke up from her high fever at one point and said, "I don't want to die" which just broke our hearts! She didn't eat much for a week and got so skinny. I did get a lot of baby and Polly cuddles that week though so it was a bonus. Everyone at the doctor's office knows us now. 
  • That sick week we watched a lot of movies including one of my childhood favorites An American Tale. It always made me cry as a little kid thinking about being separated from my family. That dang song! At one point during the movie Polly said, "this movie keeps making tears in my eyes." She is my kid for sure. 
  • Nap time and night time confuse Polly. Sometimes she wakes up from her nap and thinks it's morning but lately she started referring to night time as "dark nap". Makes sense I guess. 
  • Polly thinks steam off of warm things like coffee or soup looks like ghosts. This excites her.
  • No-one makes Callie laugh like Polly. It is the best. 
  • Callie starts daycare next week and it's giving me the feels. It's also giving me panic attacks because that daycare bill is no joke people. Yikes. But Ben needs to focus on his career and Callie will be in great hands with people that we have come to know and trust. Yes I'm typing those words out to make myself feel better. I'm also reminding myself that it's our job to grow independent kids and part of that is letting a village of people help you. I hated leaving Polly when I returned to work but I've also been so proud of how independent she has been and hopefully Callie will be the same way. 
  • All of that being said, women need at least 4-6 months maternity leave. Paid. Period. It's good for the mamas and it's good for the babies. 
  • It scares me how much I love this little family of mine. I am beyond grateful.  
Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading this year! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Smelling, Hearing, Seeing, Feeling and Licking!

Well this month was interesting. Thank goodness for these two kids to keep a smile on my face even when I've felt like not getting out of bed. I'm grateful that my girls are still young, too young to know what is going on in the world around them right now.  It's not lost on me how lucky we are to live a life where I can shelter them from certain things for now. I still can't believe that I'll spend the next four year sheltering them from the President of the United States because I don't trust what inappropriate thing will come out of his mouth. His horrible political beliefs aside, I certainly don't trust the way he talks about women and their bodies. I spend so much time as a parent trying to reinforce positive body image because I know how young girls can be when they start disliking who they are.

I'm heartbroken over this election but I do believe that the American people are good at their core and I believe that we will overcome this setback. I also believe that we are more alike then we are different. I for one am going to try to listen more, try to understand others more and try to raise two smart, confident girls who do the same. What I won't do is tolerate hate speak, bigotry, misogyny, or any form of discrimination, generalization, or tendency to want people to be just one way, one religion, a particular orientation, or expect everyone to follow socially constructed gender norms. Yikes, what a sentence. I am sure I'm missing some things in there but you get my point. I will challenge and face my own prejudices, my own fears, and my own assumptions about other people.  I will not do any of this perfectly but I will try with all my might and I have a lot of might.

Ok, stepping off my soapbox. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • As I was writing the above I hear Polly calling from her bed upstairs, "MOOOOOMMMMYYYYYY! MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!" Ben goes up to see what she wants and she says sadly, "why do you always come when I call mommy?" See I'm usually washing bottles or working on something after their bedtime so I send him. I go up and she asks, "why don't daddy let you come up?" I laugh because I'm relieved that she doesn't think I'm neglecting her but instead Ben is keeping me away!  HA! I ask her why she wants me and she sweetly says, "because I love you." UGH. Sometimes she knows just what to say to melt me.  
  • Polly was learning about the 5 senses at school a few weeks ago and we were reviewing them on the way home.  She got through seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and she forgot the last.  I pointed to my mouth and she said, "LICKING!" Taste is forever known to me as licking now. I think she is part cat.
  • Callie loves her big sister so much and the feeling is mutual. Hearing Polly's already high pitched voice get even higher when she talks to her baby sister just gets me every time. Callie watches Polly's every move and Polly can usually cheer Callie when she rarely has a bad mood going on.
  • Callie is still (knocks on wood) the best baby. She wakes up smiling in the morning and that makes it easy to get up and start the day. I generally don't wake up well but that smiling little face looking up at me from her bed right next to mine is the best. 
  • This morning Polly was telling me that she wants a polar bear from Santa and I let her know that Santa doesn't get everything on the list that she wants.  I was also thinking that she has too many stuffed animals as it is. Polly then informed me that grown ups can get her presents too, not just Santa. I was thinking, okay smart little girl, I see what you are doing there and I'm both proud and worried about how cleaver you are.  
  • Callie is getting so chubby! I was worried with her only taking breastmilk by bottle that she might not be getting everything she needs (mom guilt is the worst). Over night it seems like she turned into a chubby baby who hides dirt and other general funk in her thigh rolls. I love it except when I realize it's been a few days since bath time and she's funky.  She also seems like a giant baby next to her newborn BFF that was born a week ago. I need time to slow down or I need to win the lottery so I can have 10 more babies.  
  • I still don't play the lottery.  
  • That's about all for now but take another look at the rolls on that baby up top! Her thighs are the best. I can't handle the way she's propped up in that chair like she's just relaxin' and we caught her there mid-laugh.