Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

We rarely take the boys out to eat.  Now, one of us might run out and grab fast food and bring it home, but the boys rarely go into restaurants.  It isn’t a money thing; it’s just stressful for me.  You don’t enjoy the food.  It’s hard to enjoy the company you’re with.  (Some might ask how we plan on training the boys to be in restaurants if we never take them there.  But I believe that they will be just fine should they never dine out until they’re 8.  Somehow, they’ll still learn to be still. We have time for them to learn this life lesson.  Later.)

But a couple of weeks ago, my mom invited us out and it was great timing — it was getting late and I didn’t have dinner plans.  The boys had taken long afternoon naps.  It was to a place that I love (Olive Garden.) There would be more adults there than children.  And with a 3rd on the way, I knew it was almost a “now or never” kind of moment. So I gave an enthusiastic yes!

Dinner was great.  The service was slow as the restaurant was really busy, but the boys did really well.  (Of course, my expectations were low.)  As we were getting ready to leave and pay our bill, Finn said “Mama, I got sickies in my tummy.”

So I scooted him over to me and we cuddled while Jeff dealt with the check.  Well, we cuddled as much as you can squeezed into a booth.

Then I stood him up to put his coat on him.  He leaned over into me and puked.  A few times.  He hadn’t eaten too much, but whatever was in there, all came out.  Mostly on me, but some on the bench seat.  Some on the floor.  Some on the table.  Some even flew and hit Jeff’s shoe.

He instantly felt better of course.  At nearly the same time, Stephen started crying cause he was D.O.N.E.  He had had enough and was ready to go.

My mother laughed (kindly, in a “I remember those days” kind of way) and took a picture.  Me, 30-some weeks pregnant in a restaurant booth with a crying 1-year-old and a puking 2-year-old.  It was one of those “I’m just gonna laugh about this because there isn’t much else I can do anyway” kind of moments.

IMG_0540

Read Full Post »

Toddler Days

I once read an author who described parenthood as a “necessary shock to one’s selfishness.”  Now, I’m not convinced that she’s 100% right about the necessary part, but lately, I’m convinced about the shock to my selfishness.

It’s the toddler days that are hard for me to bear.  Pregnancy isn’t a big deal to me (so far).  Sure, you have aches and pains and heartburn (oh the heartburn right now!), but the thought of being pregnant again is no big deal.

Labor & delivery isn’t a big deal to me.  (Again, so far).  Births #1 and #2 weren’t traumatic or anything and I walked away with a baby.  How cool is that?

The early days of a newborn don’t scare me.  Been there.  Done that.  Learned a lot.  Will learn some more in a few months.  It’s a really intense and tiring time, but it isn’t so bad.

It’s the “Terrible Twos” or whatever you want to call them.  It’s not so much the “Oh wow — look what I can do.  Bet you never thought of me playing with my poop on the wall” experiences.  I can laugh at those.  It’s the “Mom & Dad, are your boundaries for real?” testing that goes on.  It’s the “I just realized that I really don’t have to do what you say.  Your words do not automatically command my body to action.” moments.  It’s the “I just woke up from my nap and I am ANGRY at everything and everyone for no reason.”

“They” aren’t kidding when they say that some days are hard.  But some days are wonderful too.  And, really, more realistically – the same day is both hard and wonderful.

When my kids are all out of toddler, I can definitely see where I’ll miss some moments that this unique age brings.

  • The wonder when they discover something new.
  • The “talking” that they (well, at least Finn so far) do when they’re falling asleep.
  • The random hugs that they want.
  • The insistence that they give you a “hug and a kiss” even if you’re just running to the grocery store without them.
  • The way they love taking baths and just dumping water from 1 bowl to the other.
  • The way they jump out of the tub after that bad and can’t wait to go see Dada and show him that they’re “nakey”.
  • The way that they don’t care if it is the 4th time today that they’ve heard “The Daddy Mountain”, they want it one more time.

But I know that I am being made a better person because of my kids.  Because they frustrate me.  Because I get so confused about how to train them.  Because I get so caught up in MY way and MY wants and MY needs that I get angry when I don’t have things the way that I want them.  It’s all a part of growing up, I guess – they’re growing up and mine!

 

 

Read Full Post »

In this latest edition of “Things I want to Remember”…

Stephen had his 15-month check up at the pediatrician’s office last week.  Went great.  They didn’t write down his numbers for me (I thought they would, so I didn’t bother writing them down), but if memory serves, he’s:

  • 90th percentile for height
  • 20th percentile for weight (which surprised me a little bit cause that boy can eat!  And he’s got a little baby belly on him.  But I guess that’s why it’s called a baby belly — babies have them!)
  • 70th percentile for head size

None of those are radically off from where he’s been in the past, so he’s growing!  He isn’t saying as many words as they’d like.  He pretty much only says Dada and Daddy.  (Yes, no mama yet).  But he does ‘talk’ all the time.  We’ll just keep watching it.

Finn recently took the “child lock” off his bedroom door.  For about a year since Finn’s been tall enough to open bedroom doors himself, we’ve “locked him” in his room at night with one of those child safety locks.  I just had visions of him escaping at night, running down to the kitchen and practicing a knife throwing routine for the circus.  Last night, I was working in my room and he came in twice and handed me the lock. He hadn’t figured out how to open the door with the lock, but rather to take the lock off!  Oh well…we had been thinking that it was time to do so anyway since we’ll eventually want to night potty train him and we’ll want him to be able to leave his room to go to the bathroom. This is as good a time as any before he and Stephen share a room soon.

We’re eating through our freezer!  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here, but I blog occasionally for Mom Saves Money and I’ve been posting how my deep freeze has gotten out of control.  So, we’ve been intentionally eating from the freezer this month instead of adding to it.  Lessons learned: we don’t really eat frozen pizza, but we do eat cheese!  This week’s goal is to organize, organize, organize!  Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four.

Home improvements – but not the fun kind.  Our house has a toy room.  I mean, I’m sure it was intended to be a family room, but for us, it’s a toy room.  But man, it gets cold!  We suspect the fireplace is leaking and maybe the door to the back deck, so we had a home inspector come in who has an infrared camera.  Diagnosis: the fireplace is leaking, the door is fine, but your attic doesn’t have adequate insulation and your furnace is old.  Really old.  Like 28 years old.  Like “How are you all not dead yet?” kind of old.  And same with the water heater.  So, last week, we got a new water heater.  And a new furnace.  Next week is more attic insulation.  I need to price out getting the fireplace converted to gas.  It’s wood burning, but it’s been stuffed full of styrofoam from the previous owners and I’m afraid to look in it!

And man, my kids are cute!

January2015

Read Full Post »

With a new baby coming, I started to think about Finn & Stephen sharing a bedroom.  At first, I was just going to set up Stephen’s bed in Finn’s room and move him in there when the time was right.  But I realized that the best room for 2 kids was actually Stephen’s room.  Simply because of where the closet was in the room, it gave more walls for more beds & dresser.  So that meant:

  • Making the nursery into a “big boy” room.
  • Moving Finn into that “big boy” room now.
  • Making the current “big boy” room into a “nursery”.
  • Moving Stephen into that “nursery”.
  • Move Stephen into the “big boy” room when Baby #3 comes.
  • Baby #3 sleeps in the “nursery.”

Since I was never really thrilled about the color of the nursery, I wanted to repaint.  I didn’t have to – it was a perfectly fine color; just not one that I wanted anymore.  And it’s easier to repaint it when you’re moving furniture around anyway AND before 2 boys sleep there instead of 1.  So I repainted it white.  Stark white.  Never had a white room before.

BUT…I also did a big stripe near the bottom (but not at the bottom) of the wall.  AND I painted the trim!  I didn’t do the door trim yet — not brave enough for that, but I did the trim next to the floor!  I LOVE the way it looks, so that’s further confirmation that it’s the path that I want to go.

I don’t have any BEFORE pictures, but here’s the AFTER pictures.  (BTW…one of my goals for 2015 is to photograph my house – as it is, in all it’s imperfections.  It’ll be fun for memory lane sakes.)

It isn’t done, of course.

  • I ordered curtains in navy for the room.  Didn’t like them.  Will keep looking.
  • We’ll set up a Toddler bed in there for Stephen in a couple of months.  It’ll go across from Finn’s next to the window.
  • The boys have coordinating bedspreads (which they didn’t get for Christmas).  Eventually, they’ll get those.  Finn already has a comforter, but with potty training, it’s easier to use blankets because when accidents happen, I can wash everything in 1 load.
  • I want to add more 8×11 pictures to the wall, which I’ll do over time.  When Baby #3 is born, we’ll take family pictures again, so that might provide a nice opportunity for more photos.

NewBoysRoom

Read Full Post »

I’ve come across so many articles lately about “How to Live on 1 Income!” or even “Why doesn’t America have mandatory maternity leave like other countries do?”.  I get it — it’s even something that I blogged about before — years ago.  But since then, I’ve kind of realized some things.  Such that now whenever I hear the question “How Can We Live On One Income?”, I mentally reply “As long as your income is Bill Gates’, then you’re fine.”  For a while, I thought of it as an income problem.  Or I mentally think “Just have the expenses of Mother Teresa, then you’re fine.”  I would think of it as an expense problem.

Okay, not really.  It doesn’t take Bill Gates income to support a family.  And you don’t have to have expenses of a single nun.  And while, at the end of the day, it does come down to expenses and income, I’m guessing (just guessing) that in my circle of friends, there are 1-income homes making $40K/year and they make it work. And there are probably also couples making $150K/year who struggle to pay all their bills.  So, it isn’t the amount that’s critical — it’s the decisions made that make all the difference.

But even that statement is kind of misleading.  Because, I’ve realized that:

  • It’s the decisions your parents made when you were growing up that affect you today.
  • It’s the decisions your spouse’s parents made when you were growing up that affect you today.
  • It’s the decisions that you made after high school that affect you today. (Student loans, rents, mortgages, car loans, etc)
  • It’s the decisions that your spouse made after high school that affect you today.
  • It’s the professions that you’re in that affect you today. (Income potential as well as other expectations like dress code, cars, houses)
  • It’s the professions that your spouse is in that affect you today.
  • It’s the part of the country that you live in that affect you today. (Particularly housing has a huge effect on cost of living)

It’s all kinds of things.  I’ve just come to realize that being/having a stay-at-home spouse is a complex issue.  It’s not SOLELY a function of the decisions that you make today, but it’s influenced by decisions made for the last couple of decades and decisions not even made by you.

Over the years, my mind has gone from “You just have to make a budget that only spends what you make.” to “You just have to have 1 income that makes enough money to support your needs.” to “I think people need to really be wise about their decisions and the decisions that they lead their children too because financial decisions can have a really long-term effect.”  Aka: It’s complicated. 

 

Read Full Post »

Naming a kid

Since we’re finding out the sex of Baby #3 (in a couple of weeks!), we haven’t really started discussing names.  Well, maybe once every week or so, I’ll toss a name out to Jeff to see what he thinks, but there isn’t anything serious.

Baby #1: With Phinehas, we had a boy name and a girl name picked out before our anatomy scan.  Jeff really liked that name – mostly because of the story in the Bible about Phinehas.  I didn’t have any objections, so that became our name.  (I can’t even remember what our girl name was.)

Baby #2: We never did have a girl name.  Well, I did (Kathryn Grace), but Jeff wasn’t on board with it.  It didn’t matter as we had a boy.  Since my new date was my deceased father’s birthday, Stephen became a great choice.  Add in a middle name as Jeff’s dad’s name and we were complete!

Baby #3:  We know that it will be a name from the Bible.  That’s the “theme” that Jeff has always wanted.  And although I would tend to more modern names, there are plenty of Biblical names to choose from.  Except for girls!  Girl names are hard and since we already have nieces named Sarah and Anna, that throws out 2 of the most common names.  So, there isn’t a list yet, but this could be hard work if nothing “speaks” to both of us!

How do most couples pick out names?

Read Full Post »

I made a list this summer of some of the things that I want to remember.  Time to add to that list!

The boys aren’t significantly older than they were then, but we’re always adding to the list of things that I hope I can hold onto in my mind.  Lately:

  • When Phinehas wakes up earlier than Stephen, he asks to make Peanut Butter toast.  We then sit outside on our back deck and look at the stars.  Our house backs up to a trail and a wooded area and it is DARK outside and you can see the stars perfectly.  We don’t stay long — either a toddler’s attention is hard to hold, it gets too cold or we hear Stephen wake up.
  • We look for the turkeys every day and we see them most days.  I think they sleep in a tree right behind our house.
  • Stephen usually always has something in his hands.  It started with a plastic toy magnifying glass, but lately, it doesn’t matter — a spatula is often a favorite thing to hold.
  • Both boys love to be naked after their bath and to “run” down the hall.  When there are no more babies at our house, I’m gonna miss the sound of giggles and the sight of little baby butts running down the hall.
  • We’re using up our last days of being a family without a mini-van.  We just bought one last night and we’ll have it on Saturday.  For 2.5 years now, the boys & I have done quite well in my little Corolla, but I’m looking forward to a car that Finn can get in and out of by himself (obviously, he’ll still need help with his carseat.)
  • How every once in a while, Finn wants to be rocked before he falls asleep.  “Mama, Rocky You”.  He really means “Mama, Rock Me”.
  • Phinehas’ language has just skyrocketed in the last few months.  Out of nowhere, complete sentences are there.  Common ones: “I do all by myself” and “Mama, stop doing that.”
  • I’m struck at how much they look alike.  Will this continue?  So intriguing!  Here are pictures of both boys at the same ages:

kids_week48 copy

kids_week51 copy

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers