Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Don't Put Cheese in Your Sisters Nose

This month was a lot of work! Admittedly I am writing this blog post later than I ever have but I'm going to back date it so I don't feel like such a slacker. That's right, everything you see on the internet is a lie! Jk, sort of. I was busy getting ready for Crafty Supermarket, working my for real job AND keeping up with my family of four. That means that I didn't take as many little notes as I usually do and honestly I was also very distracted with my dumb phone A LOT. BUT now Crafty Supermarket is over and I'm going to spend lots of time with my family and enjoy the holidays. Here are some highlights that I remember with my tired brain.

  • I keep wanting to start a running list on my blog called, things I shouldn't have to say to my kids it would include things like, "Don't put cheese in your sisters nose!" and "Don't drink random water off of the floor with a straw!" and "Don't eat ice you find on the playground!"
  • One day Polly was talking about her thoughts and she referred to her head as her remembering bone. That just cracks me up for some reason. 
  • We are STILL struggling with a very opinionated, stubborn girl. I'm talking about Polly not myself just to be clear here. She's even worried about her status with Santa. 
  • I love Polly's curiosity. She received a book called the Fantastic Elastic Brain written by JoAnn Deak. My colleague bought it for her who has great kid book taste. I actually had the opportunity to see the author speak at a conference back in October and she was great! She talked about the development of the brain particularly with girls. Anyways, Polly opened it and pointed at picture of the brain and said, "that part is the brain stem". It was the first moment that she said something that I didn't know she knew. I was excited because how many four year olds can point out the brain stem but I was also a little sad because her world is getting bigger and bigger and that is only going to continue from this point. That's the point of this whole parenting things but it's so bitter sweet. 
  • Callie is a very skilled climber at this point. We've bolted the bookshelves to the wall in the living room. She is very determined. She still doesn't say much that we understand but she gabbers a ton and she thinks she's one of the big kids. Our neighbors have an almost 4 year old and a 6 year old so Callie pretty much things she falls in their age range somewhere. 
  • Callie is moving up to the toddler room at daycare next month. I'm totally, absolutely, positively fine with that. Completely. Yes. TOTALLY FINE! I'M NOT YELLING YOU ARE YELLING! 
  • Honestly I wanted to write this blog all about how I thought I was going to be better at this mom thing. The Monday after Thanksgiving my family headed out the door and I settled in for my work day from home and as I sat in my chair at my desk, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was a long four, tiresome days. I officially think that stay at home parents who are actually home with their kids ALL DAY LONG, every day have the hardest jobs or maybe I'm just better at my day job than I am at being a mom. I just can't tell. I love spending time with my family. On Saturday mornings I wake up excited for two days of not having to say goodbye. Then on Mondays I'm often sad that I have to work.  Most Mondays Ben is home with the girls while I work and I'm jealous of their time together. But then there are those long weekends where no one has on their listening hears, all four of us want to do opposite things and it's HARD. During those days I'm relieved to get to be myself with my thoughts and my work. All of this just reminds me that moms are hard on themselves. I can worry the hell out of EVERYTHING so of course I worry about mom things and that dumb thing I said 20 years ago. 
  • When I write this post next month I will have a 5 year old. WHAT!%$#! I'm totally, absolutely, positively fine with that. Completely. Yes. TOTALLY FINE! I'M NOT YELLING YOU ARE YELLING! 
  • Callie still likes to poop in the tub. 
  • It's been two years since I found out I was pregnant with Callie. She was our little Christmas secret and this year we are looking forward to two little girls excited for Christmas morning. I do love this second childhood I'm getting to have through them. 
  • And here's what my kids actually look like most of the time. I caught Polly mid-sneeze! I can't stop laughing at that picture! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Terrible Fours

This month actually felt long in a good way. There wasn't a ton of snot and we got to soak up the last few weeks of warm weather. Now winter is knocking at our doors and I'm dreading it. But let's focus on this past month and not the long winter ahead! Here are some highlights:

  • Are the terrible fours a thing? If so, will this phase please end on Polly's 5th birthday? Someone say yes. She has been a handful this month.  She's super dramatic and thinks anytime we punish her for something, it's (I'm quoting her here)"THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!" Other quotes from Polly include hits like:
    • "I wish timeout weren't a real thing."
    • "I wish I had a new family."
    • "Callie, you are the only one in my family that I love."
    • "Bear, you are the only one in my family that I love."
    • "I'll go live with the Turpins!" (neighbors to which we said, OKAY!)
    • "I wish I weren't a little kid anymore."
    • "I wish Callie and me were the parents and YOU and the daddy were the little kids!"
    • and the most dramatic of them all and the one that actually made me really, really sad, "I wish I weren't even alive." I would be worried if this weren't over a conversation about dessert.
  • So, Polly confuses punishment, like timeout or even telling her not to body slam her sister to the ground, with us being mean. The quotes above were all solicited from punishments where she was not listening or was physically harming her sister. It's so frustrating. Every night we talk to her about her day and how she behaved. We talk about how her words can hurt people. She always comes back to the fact that we were being mean but then we review all of the nice things we did and all of the fun she had. I know this is a phase and she's testing her boundaries but it's TERRIBLE! 
  • It will be a miracle if Callie survives childhood without a major head injury. Polly plays so rough with her sometimes and Callie loves it until she doesn't. I see all younger siblings as little walking and talking miracles. You middle and younger children out there, you are tough, it's amazing that you survived! I know for one my brother and sister lost me in a cornfield on purpose and I found my way out thank you very much. Once my sister threw a bag at my head that had a metal pipe in it. I still have an indention in my skull from it. Maybe I should be thanking them because I'm still a fighter? They would say yes.  
  • I'm a nagging mom. It's official. I nag about getting dressed, I nag about eating dinner, I nag about STOP TALKING SO MUCH AT BEDTIME AND SHARING YOUR LIFE THEORIES! I want to fuss less and listen more but it's hard to hear myself say something over and over and we don't have endless time in the morning or at night so sometimes I have to repeat myself 1,000 times. SO I'm trying to take some time each week to lay in bed with her for an extra long time to let her ramble on about all of the little thoughts in her mind. I know she's just delaying bedtime and trying to keep me in there forever but it's fun to hear about all of the random stuff on her mind and pretend like time doesn't exist for a while.
  • Kids have a magical way of making you feel young and refreshed like you are seeing the world all new again through their eyes but they can also make you feel old like you will never wake up again and feel rested. These two facts amaze me. 
  • Callie says duck, cat, dada, and mama sometimes when she really wants me. Polly says all of the other words for the whole family. 
  • Tonight Polly cried because, 'You interrupted my talking." If I never interrupted her talking, I would never get to speak. 
  • Polly and Callie love one another so much. I've tried to get Polly to run to the store with me just her and I and she wants to bring Callie. It doesn't occur to her to want to leave her behind or that she's missing out on one on one time. She often says, "I never knew having a little sister could be so fun." Ugh, that kills me! 
  • When Callie wakes up in the morning she want out of her crib, hugs, then down onto the floor to find her pacifier, grabs her blanket and pulls it though the bars of her crib if it's not already in her hands and then she walks to Polly's door with determination in her step that says, "if she's not awake, she will be." Then she give Polly cuddles and instantly Callie wants down so she can demand to go downstairs for food. She is determined and sweet. I just want to eat her up. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Babies are trouble

I guess I just need to get used to the fact that each month is a blur. Thankfully I make a few notes in my phone throughout the month to remember little things that happen that make me laugh or cry so I can do a monthly recap, otherwise I think I'd just time travel through these kid years on accident. I'm not sure how long we will keep this up, I'm sure at some point I'll have to stop embarrassing them on the internet. For now though, I like going back and reading the little changes that happen throughout the months and years as we watch these girls grow. It's amazing how much I forget until I read it here. It's actually sort of terrifying. So, here are a few bits from this month that I don't want to forget:

  • First, look at how tall Polly is. Just look!
  • When I was a little kid one of my favorite things to do was drink apple juice out of a coffee cup. I wanted to be like my grandma and dad with their coffee but my favorite was apple juice. I remember requesting it with an enthusiastic, "Can I have apple juice in a coffee cup please!" The request had a specific cadence to it that still rolls off my tongue. Polly have her own version of this that she developed all on her own but it's "Can I have mango juice mixed with sparkling water in a fancy glass please!" By fancy glass she means wine glass so it's good to know the bar has been set a little lower a generation later. 
  • Callie still has only two teeth. I'm not worried, you're worried!
  • Callie is definitely a blanket baby! Her blanket made it's first monthly picture debut above! Yes, my child has chosen a white blanket to carry around with her. It's great. 
  • On the way to school one morning Polly out of the blue asks, "Do people last forever?" Her question hung in the air for an eternity. It wasn't just what she was asking but how she asked it that made tears instantly start leaking out of my face. The question had a hopefulness about it but also a hint to the fact that she seemed to already know the answer. Inside I'm screaming, HOW DO I ANSWER THIS WITHOUT SCARRING HER FOR LIFE!?!?! Outside I calmly tell her no, people don't last forever. Every living thing dies and that's just the way things are and it's okay. I'm sitting there thinking good answer mom. You're not so bad at this mom thing. Then she follows up with, "yeah but not little kids." It wasn't even a question but a statement so I'm sitting there inside screaming, WHAT THE HELL THIS IS JUST A TEN MINUTE DRIVE TO SCHOOL!!! HOW ARE WE COVERING SO MUCH GROUND HERE! ARE WE THERE YET? DO I JUST LET THAT ONE GO??? Outside I calmly tell her that sometimes little kids die but mom and dads are here to help keep kids safe so don't worry. Then she follows with, "yeah and we have to stay healthy"which gave me a great opportunity to work in a speech about fruits and vegetables. She's quiet for a few minutes and I'm terrified of what's coming next and then she says, "Callie has snot ALL OVER her. It's on her sleeve, it's in her hair, it's on her seat, it's EVERYWHERE mom. I never knew babies could be so much trouble." I'm sitting there thinking THANK GOD! Now she's just questioning the existence of her baby sister. No big deal.
  • I'm not sure where the above question came from. Over the last month we lost a friend, our former neighbor Cathy. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met, maybe even THE nicest person I've ever met and we had the joy to live next to her for 9 years. During that time we enjoyed hearing her play music through our open windows, watching her sneak into our backyard spraying some new deer repellant in our yard that never seemed to work, her cheerful scarecrow scaring me to death when I look up from my garden and it's staring at me. Side note on the scarecrow, she had her own Facebook page and many adventures. Her famous car cheered our street which she and her niece painted themselves. Polly doesn't remember her and we've tried not to talk about Cathy's death around her but it's been hanging in the air around our house. Polly's question hit me because this month we've been thinking about death and celebrating life and how it's all so bittersweet because it's all so quick. I wanted to tell Polly that without death, maybe life wouldn't have so much joy but life and death is hard enough for me to comprehend so hopefully we have a little more time before we have to have that conversation again.
  • Speaking of death, on a lighter note one day we were driving past a cemetery and Polly could see the tombstones as we passed by and she yelled "DADDY I SEE POKEMON SIGNS!" She's getting taller and can see more and more out the window these days. Ben and I are both confused and then we realize that when Pokemon GO first came out, Spring Grove Cemetery, a beautiful park/cemetery here in Cincinnati was a major place for Pokemon and Ben and Polly would drive through there to get Pokemon on his phone. Our kid thinks cemeteries are Pokemon stops. Given the above conversations we are just leaving this one alone for now. Pokemon stop it is. 
  • Polly is a little dramatic. We were driving past roofers installing roof on a house and she asked what they were doing. I told her those people are getting a new roof. She asks why and I tell her they just wear out. She's quiet for a moment and then says sadly, "I'm going to miss our roof when we get a new one." I can't imagine what puberty is going to do to us.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Polly and Callie August Update

This month was full of sickness passed around the family, travel, work, and time travel. There wasn't a single week this month where someone in our family wasn't home sick. It's not even winter yet! That being said, it was still a good month with these two crazy girls of ours. Here are some high lights:

  • Callie is a climber. I don't remember Polly trying to scale things that Callie tries to climb, it's heart stopping. We cannot take our eyes off of her for one second. 
  • Callie is also an eater. She eats more than Polly for sure and it's hilarious. When she wants food, don't get in her way. All of this eating somehow happens with only two teeth. WHERE ARE HER TEETH?!?!
  • Apparently Callie has a boyfriend at school and they try to kiss on the lips and she strokes his hair. WTF? Callie the one year old. 
  • Polly has Bear, she chose bear just over her first birthday but I don't really remember when or why, it just sort of happened over time. Where Polly goes, Bear goes. I wondered if that would happen for Callie and over the last few weeks we've discovered she's a blanket baby. She wants to take one of her swaddle blankets with her everywhere. She carries it with her which is a tripping hazard but it's damn cute to have a Linus on our hands. Seeing how disgusting Bear has gotten though has me lamenting the fact that Callie chose a white blanket as her thing. 
  • This month we went to visit my family in South Carolina and Polly and Callie got to see the ocean for the first time. Polly tried to bring every shell ever made home with us. We talked her down to one container full of shells. We made sure these pale girls were well coated in sunscreen but in our focus on them we forgot about ourselves...burning happened.
  • Callie loves wearing her shoes. When we get ready to go in the morning all we have to do is mention shoes and she goes and sits on the steps or gets her shoes herself. Then she wants a hat on and waits by the door. It's so funny to see her little mind and personality forming. She has her own routines and demands. She's her own little person now.
  • When Polly loves something she says, "I need this in my life!" Like, "I need this ice-cream sandwich in my life!" It's a pretty great way to describe things. 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Callie Turns 1!

When I was in labor with Callie the only thing that I could concentrate on between pushing and contractions was the fact that after we made it through, I never had to do this again. Women are crazy awesome and somehow a quick year later I think, that wasn't so bad, look how cute she is! Today my little baby turned 1! This has been the quickest year of my life and I totally said that on Polly's first birthday but time MUST be speeding up or we are time traveling. Here are some highlights from this month.

  • We have a walker and it sure is tiring. Callie likes being in charge and the biggest crime you can commit is putting the baby gate on the playroom door. She's been walking for maybe 2-3 weeks and she hasn't stopped moving since. 
  • Last weekend we put shoes on Callie for the first time because we were going to a park and we figured she'd want to run around a bit. Then every day this week as we get ready to head out the door in the morning she's brought her shoes over to the step where we usually put Polly's shoes on. She thinks she's so grown up with her little tiny, tiny shoes! Most of the babies in her class don't wear shoes to school but she's not having it.
  • Callie still only has two teeth. TWO. 
  • Polly has pooped in the tub once in her entire life. Callie has pooped in the tub twice this week. I think we may have tub pooper on our hands! On a positive note Polly has never been so quick to get out of the bath, a process that usually takes FOREVER is sped up by some unexpected floaters. I found myself shouting, "that's not a bath toy!!!". Parenting is yuck sometimes y'all. 
  • Instead of saying today, Polly says, "on this day". It sounds super fancy in my mind and I want to start saying it myself. Give it a try, you'll feel fancy too. On this day, we are going to a party. 
  • Polly had a doctor's appointment this week so we went to skyline for lunch just the two of us before her appointment. She is a person that I can go to lunch and have a conversation with. It's blowing my mind. 
  • The other night Polly and I were talking about all of the different things she could be when she grows up. I listed scientist, doctor, engineer, writer, inventor and a few others and her eyes got big and she said, "I know! (I'm thinking YES she wants to be one of the thing that I listed) I can be a ballerina, the prettiest ballerina!" You can imagine that then we talked about how being the prettiest isn't the most important thing, you have to work hard and be a good person. We also covered that you can be more then one thing when you grow up. She then landed on being a painter, scientist and ballerina, oh and a Girl Scout. She leaves me speechless so often. I can't tell if I'm doing this parenting thing right but I'm trying real hard over here.
  • Callie wants whatever you are eating. Today we had a little party for her in our back yard. The weather was perfect! Polly was eating and all of a sudden Callie runs by and snatches a piece of bread off of her plate and runs! 
  • Callie is saying mama and dada but nothing much else. She babbles all the time and has her way of letting you know what she wants when she wants it. 
  • If a song comes on, Callie will dance. Always. The other day Polly started singing a song and Callie started dancing and it was the cutest thing ever. 
  • Polly always says that Callie is the cutest baby ever. I can't disagree. She is the smiliest, happiest little person and a very dangerous last baby to have. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June Report!

June! We spent tons of time outside this month playing with friends, digging in the dirt, juggling a smiling baby, and catching fireflies. It's been a great summer and it's just getting started! I can't believe we are going to have a one year old in a month and a five year old in six months! Just look at those babies! Callie can crawl into the chair herself and rock. She's so proud of herself when she makes it. 
  • When Polly has an idea or figures something out she says, "I think I know something!" and then explains her discovery. I hope she always says this with such excitement and pride. Watching her learn and grow is the best thing in the world!
  • Why do kids turn in to thirsty monsters at bath time and bedtime? Polly and Callie both can't stop drinking bath water and it drives me crazy. At bedtime Polly develops a cough every night, sometimes it's legit and sometimes it's an elaborate delay tactic. 
  • Callie is days away from walking. She wants it so badly. She is becoming her own little person with her own demands. She wakes up in the morning smiling and as soon as I pick her up she begins pointing to where she wants to go and what she wants. She already thinks she's in charge. I feel like the second she starts walking she'll suddenly not be a baby anymore and I'm not ready but I do look forward to the day when the two girls can play together and it's not mostly Polly dragging her around or taking her toys. 
  • We were all eating lunch at Ikea last weekend and Polly was being a pain about eating. She was moving so slow and finding 101 distractions. Ben finally ask rhetorically, "what are we going to do with you Polly?" to which Polly replied, leaning back in her chair in a true problem-solving fashion, "well you're not going to kick me out of the house, people don't kick their child out of the house." We laughed so hard we both had tears streaming down our faces. I couldn't breathe. Moments later Ben and I are sitting on either side of Polly and I'm trying to spoon some vegetables into her face. We are both fussing at her when she suddenly looks forward with a furrowed brow, points her right finger at me while staring forward and then her left hand dramatically at Ben while keeping a steady finger pointed in my direction. Then she quickly brings her two fingers in front of her face to form an X. Ben and I try to keep straight faces but we burst into laughter AGAIN tears streaming down our faces. She then says "X is mean!" It's so hard to keep a straight face when we are supposed to! Most days I think we're failing at this parenting thing.
  • I think Polly has her first crush. It's terrifying. Hopefully I'm projecting but she talks about Milo an awful lot. 
  • Callie has two bottom teeth! Both of my kids took forever to get teeth so this time around didn't freak me out too badly. She's getting very demanding about us sharing what we are eating with her.
  • She's also waving bye and loves her books at night. Right now she loves Brown Bear, Brown Bear but she turns the pages so quickly that I have to read it in super speed. 

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.