Friday, June 29, 2018

Almost TWO!

Time goes way to fast during the summer. I feel like I just wrote the last post. These kids are wearing me out! I can't believe Callie will be two next month. Time is forever a mystery to me. Here are some highlights from this month:
  • Callie's language is exploding but we still only understand about half of what she says. Good thing she is a determined, expressive little thing. Here are some of my favorites right now:
    • She calls windows, boom booms
    • She likes to start arguments with Polly about me being HER mommy where she points to me and says "MY MOMMY!" and she wants Polly to argue back with her so they can go back and forth. I see it as practice for arguments in their future. It's also nice to be loved.
    • When she wants lotion on her face she says "cheeks", this usually happens as a part of her own growing bedtime routine. 
    • She likes saying "all done!" when we finish getting her shoes on or changing her diaper. 
    • If anyone says, OUCH!, Callie says, "Okay?" to make sure you are okay! It's the best. 
  • Polly is in a very defiant stage right now. Mine whole life but I'm hoping it's short lived with her. 
  • Callie is a cuddle bug. When Polly was her age, I could let her watch a quick show and get a few things done. Callie will tolerate this for a bit but then she wants me to sit down so she can plop her head on my lap. 
  • Lately when Callie gets mad at Ben and I for telling her no, she runs to Polly crying for hugs. Polly soaks it up. It makes me so glad they have one another even when Callie makes a point to shoot me the evil eye over Polly's shoulder. 
  • For the last few months when I've tried to sing Callie a song at night she looks at me, unamused, puts her hand up to her lips and goes, "shhhhhhhh". Lately, however, she looks at me and says, "song?" but there are only two songs she wants to hear and if I deviate from the plan she yells "NO!".
  • Polly is very excited about going to Kindergarten and becoming a Girl Scout. I'm not quite ready for all of this to happen but I also can't wait to see her little sponge mind grow and grow. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Polly and Callie Overdue Update

Uh oh! It's May!

Soooooo life happened over these past few months and I just couldn't sit down to write a blog post. Here's a list of all of my excuses:

  • My sister, mom and nephew came for a much needed visit at the end of March. We ate, we laughed, we drank adult beverages and I never made the time to write about life because I was busy doing life.
  • My cat died shortly after their visit. That really sucked. Oscar was my favorite and I still think I see him out of the corner of my eye daily. Gusto, our other cat, misses his buddy and is driving us insane. He had been sick for a while and we had to make the tough decision to put him down. That was harder than I expected. 
  • Winter killed my soul and just wouldn't end this year.
  • Crafty Supermarket took over my life but it turned out to be the biggest spring show yet! I was a proud mama of a indie craft show that day.
  • Work. Work. Work. This is a busy time of year for me. It really starts hitting in March and just doesn't stop until about September. Half way there! 
  • These kids are exhausting. For real.
  • I just didn't feel like it.
Phew! That feels better. The good news is I took pics each month anyways so here they are! 

If you are still there, here's what's been going on with these girls:
  • Callie is a tiny crazy person. I thought Polly was strong willed, determined, bossy (I even hate using that word to describe girls but it's true), and stubborn. Then I met 1.5 year old Callie. She was an angel baby and then 14 months hit and she gained her sense of independence and determination. Our house belongs to her now. 
  • Watching these two girls love one another and make themselves laugh until they drool is one of my most favorite things in the world. Callie races to Polly's room first thing in the morning to swan dive on top of her and giggles fill the air. At night they hug, and topple onto the floor into a pile of laughter. It's a bit maddening when I'm ready for mama me time but still melts my heart every time and I have to pause and soak it in. 
  • My nightly walks save me. In the summer I love to get the girls into bed around 8 and set out for a walk on my own. I try to spend as much time with my family as I can but I also find that having time on my own with my own thoughts is so important. 
  • Out of the blue one day Polly said, "This is a sad thing." As if I'm about to hear a heartbreaking story. Then she continues in a somber voice, "I've never had pink cotton candy." Yes kid, life is really throwing some hard punches at you.
  • Her excuses for calling us into her room range from the regular old, "I need to potty." "I need another hug." "I need a drink of water." But some nights she gets creative with things like. "I keep getting sad because I haven't had jello in a really long time and I keep saying I want cinnamon rolls for breakfast but we never get them." We are truly depriving our children with no pink cotton candy, no jello and no cinnamon rolls. The horror.
  • Callie is picking up more words every day but they aren't super clear. We are doing a lot of guessing around here these days. When we clarify her request correctly with a question she does this really cute hushed, smiling, "yeah" as she nods her head. When we get it wrong she screams "NO!" with deep furrowed brow. I wonder where she gets that one from.
  • Two things she says clearly is, "Thank you, Mommy. " when I hand her something she needs and "Bless You Mommy." when I sneeze. These melt my heart.
  • I'm trying to slow down these days and really be in the moment with them. I've been super stressed these last few months for various reasons but none of it seems to be worth letting this time speed by. I have not perfected being in the moment but I'm trying. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

UGH February

Whoa, the flu hit our house this month. Callie and I were spared but it hit Ben and Polly HARD. I kept Callie quarantined and nearly destroyed my skin with washing and hand-sanitizer. I seriously considered drinking it. This is a busy season at work for me and Ben had a lot going on too so it was rough timing and I still feel behind. I literally had to stop everything and take care of my family and I couldn't help but think of others that don't have the support or flexibility that I have. This working mama thing can be so hard and full of guilt. Guilt about working, guilt about not working. Guilt about guilt. Ugh.

Anyways, there were moments where I just wished I could absorb their sickness myself. It's hard seeing your people be so sick. On top of all of that I was having issues with their new insurance company (I'm on my plan through work). So not only did I have a sick family but I was on the phone a bunch arguing and worrying about their health care. It shouldn't be that way but it will likely not get any better under our current administration. Health care is a right. PERIOD. It should not be this hard.

I didn't have much time to breathe this month much less make notes about these cute kids. Look at those serious babies up there! Here are some thoughts from the blur of February.

  • While sick and barely awake Polly looked up at me shaking her head and said, "I don't know what I'd do without you." I melted into a puddle but honestly I don't know what I'd do without her.
  • Polly never stops making noise. Even when she's eating, she is humming a song. She slept in our room a few nights when she was sick and talked in her sleep. I wasn't sure if it was from the sickness or if she truly never stops making noise. 
  • Callie is picking up a few more words here and there. She can definitely say cheese which is the only word you really need to get by in life. She's newly obsessed with wearing her coat and gets very angry when you try to take it off. 
  • When Polly and Ben were so sick, I would pick Callie up from day care and take her to dinner or the grocery store to minimize her time at the house. It was nice getting to spend that quiet time with her one on one. It's hard to focus on either of them when they are both going full speed so it was nice to get to slow down for a minute and really see her. 
  • It is so hard to find the balance between self time, family time and time with your spouse. Sometimes we are all in a good groove and then other times we all seem to be hanging on to sanity by a thread. We are all SO looking forward to spring and summer so we all have a little more space to spread out and get some much needed sunshine. Time changes next weekend people. There is hope for us all!. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ugh January!!!

January is the longest month of the year. It feels roughly 131 days long, for real. This is a crazy season at work for me so I did a terrible job of writing down little notes about my girls but that's not the end of the world right?!? I'll still feel guilty about it though because that's how I roll. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • Polly and I were talking about babies one night and she looks at me and says, "well it looks like you have a baby growing in your belly again." Thanks kid. Again, it's just a pizza baby. 
  • Callie has moved to the toddler room at daycare. She has her own little place to hang her coat and marches into the big kid room like a little boss breezing by the baby area. I'm just not sure how time has passed so quickly. 
  • Callie is pacifier free! She is a handful but in many ways she has been a very easy baby. I was dreading the process of taking it away but I guess she stopped napping with one at daycare a while ago so I just tried it one night and she was fine. 
  • Polly asks me the craziest questions while she sits on the potty like, "where would I be if I was never even born?!?" 
  • Polly sometimes randomly says, "I just can't believe such a cute baby is my sister." Sometimes she adds, "I never knew what it would be like!" I love thinking about Polly trying to imagine what it would be like to have a baby sister and that she's still delighted about it. I hope that never changes.
  • Callie as started pretending and it's my favorite thing.
  • Polly went to work with me a week or so ago for the whole day and she did really well! She's such a little person. Sometimes it's so nice to have some one on one time with her. The two of kids can be intense sometimes to the point where it's nearly impossible to focus on either of them. I loved working and being able to turn around to see her quietly drawing or with her little headphones on, eyes glued to a movie. It was good to realize that she really can be a good listener outside the chaos of our house. 

Friday, December 29, 2017


I have a 5 year old. I feel like this one is a big milestone for some reason and it's rocked my brain a bit. She's not a toddler anymore, she's a big kid with her own complex thoughts. She's definitely testing her boundaries and my patience on a daily sometimes hourly basis. This month flew by but I also feel like there is a lot to tell. Both of these girls are definitely keeping me on my toes. Here are the highlights:

  • Polly is experimenting with not taking a nap. I miss my two hours of quiet, no kid time but this new solo time with Polly has become pretty precious too. Lately we have curled up on the couch together to watch a program (so I can nap) or do a little drawing or other quiet project that isn't interrupted by a body slam by Callie. Sometimes I fall asleep and wake up to a sleeping Polly next to me. It's one of my favorite things right now. She still seems like a little baby to me when she sleeps. 
  • Callie likes to eat. When she is hungry, there is no appeasing her until she gets some food! She can say "more" and "cup". I also think she has is working on "out" meaning she wants down from her seat. She doesn't have as much language skills as Polly did at this age but we always knows what she wants. She's very expressive with her hand motions, gestures and yelling. We have a yeller. 
  • I'm amazed daily by the differences in these two girls. While Callie doesn't have as many words as Polly did at this age, she seems a lot more physical. She just thinks she's a big kid. We find her in the middle of the table or just fearlessly walking off the edge of the couch. She gives me a heart attack EVERY DAY. 
  • Bedtime deep thoughts by Polly:
    • Polly with feet dangling from the toilet, pants around ankles, "Mommy, what if nothing were real?" SERIOUSLY KID WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM!?! I didn't think weird shit like this until I was in high school. I don't even remember what I said, sometimes she just stumps me. 
    • Polly all cozy in her bed takes a deep sigh and says, "Mommy, I don't know what it will like when I grow up." This one knocked the air out of me. I think the scariest part of being a parent is that I don't know either. 
  • Callie will not let us carry her anywhere. She has this, "I can do it myself" attitude. She's still a baby but the days are numbered and going too fast. She must walk herself to the car to leave. She must try her best to climb into the car herself but she's terrible at it. If you interrupt her efforts too early she stiffens her entire body so you can't bend it into her carseat. Just this week after pre-bed story time, she demands to march her way into the bathroom to brush her teeth. No carrying. She does still let me sway back and forth with her head resting on my shoulder for a few minutes while I sing her a song right before bed. I'm holding on to these days. I can hardly hold Polly anymore, I'm not sure when that happened. Things are often so busy around here and old routines are replaced by new ones so quickly that one day you realize something precious is gone. Luckily there are new things in their place. 
  • One night last week I make it through the Polly bedtime routine and as I close the door I hear...
    • "Mommy!"
    • Me poking my head back into the room a bit annoyed: "What Polly?"
    • Polly: "Today I was sitting on the sit and spin in the muscle room at school and Matthew kissed me!"
    • Me: "He did?"
    • Polly enthusiastically: "YES!"
    • Me at a loss: "Where?"
    • Polly annoyed: "AT SCHOOL!"
    • Me gesturing around my face: NO! Where? 
    • Polly: "On the cheek."
    • Me: "Did you like that?"
    • Polly: "Yes!"
    • Me, being a crazy person: "Well if anyone ever tries to kiss you or touch you and you don't like it you yell NO!" (I regret not saying NO KISSING!)
    • Polly, obviously not listening to me says: "And I said to myself, I'm IN LOVE!"
    • Me: "Good night Polly." Close door, go downstairs, pours beer. I tell Ben the story, he slaps himself in the forehead and pours himself a beer. We are doomed. 
  • Last week Polly and I went to lunch together which was a rare treat. We were in the process of ordering/checking out and Polly is repeating everything we had picked out to the cashier. Polly: "we got broccoli, noodles, juice for me, mac and cheese and a beer." I turn red and correct her that I'm holding a sparkling water, it's just a can she doesn't recognize. The cashier gets a good laugh. 
  • The hours can be long with these two girls right now but the days, weeks and months sure are fast. I've mentioned this a million times but it never stops amazing me how easy it can be to wish away these tough phases to easier times. I know I'll miss these days where my kids need so much from me that I sometimes lose sight of myself. I know I will miss them fighting over space on my lap where one is laying completely on my lap and I'm cradling the other in my arms. They are both wiggling and feel like they have 10 elbows each and making it impossible to be comfortable. All they want is me to themselves until they get it when one runs off and then they both run off. I will miss Polly saying a million times a day, "will you play with me?" when I'm just trying to change a diaper or do something around the house. I try to be present but it takes a lot of work. I know I will miss these long days. 
  • We are a lucky family. Sometimes I think about how hard this parenting phase is and then I think about all of the advantages I have. I have childcare that is expensive but I can afford it so I can have a career. I have a real partner who isn't just a helper, he's there, in this with me as an equal. I have a mother-in-law who is an hour away but will come and help when we need it. I have a flexible job that will let me work from home two days a week that just makes this parenting thing easier so I don't lose a hour of my life to commute during those two days. I also have a flexible schedule that allows for doctor appointments and sick kids. We have food, stable housing, awesome neighbors and friends who have our backs when we need it. We are lucky. When I feel overwhelmed I know there are women out there struggling with what I struggle with but they also don't have all of the things I listed above. I've just been thinking about all of this a lot lately. I'm not sure these thoughts are going but they are there. 
  • If I go crazy this coming month, it's because our entire family can't stop singing the Dominic the Donkey Christmas song. 

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.