Sunday, October 28

Mom of 2

Ok, so yes, I am living my dream. I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife! Seriously. Even as a high school student. Even as a college freshman: each guy I dated I made sure we could work this out. :) Even as I was working so stinkin' hard in nursing school, I was dreaming of the day when I would be just like my mom, Aunt Judy and Aunt Jan. Staying home with laundry to do, making the beds, taking my kids to school/the park, making snacks, being in my pj's if I wanted, snuggling with them as we watched Sesame Street, playing outside, fixing supper, running errands, even saying "Go OWN" ("go on" meaning "get out from under my feet and go play," heard it 1000 times from mom, Judy and Jan)...what a life style. NOW...I knew it would be hard and challenging. I was not so naive as to think it would be simple or easy. And it was an adjustment when I had Daisy. I was being controlled by a newborn. I was a nap slave. I was stinky with spit up and tired from nursing. But once "baby boot camp" (the first 14-ish weeks) was over and we got in a good routine it was much better. We were 2 against 1. Dan or I would get a "break" if the other was dealing with a screaming kid. Now, again, don't get me wrong. Going from NO kids to one is HUGE! It's a big change...but brace yourselves oh Moms of One...
(***This is not meant to be discouraging, but rather HONEST and to create some support or "Me too, friend, me too" mentality for those of you who thought/are thinking this too and have not said it yet...)
THIS 2 KIDS THING IS KICKING MY TAIL!!!!!!!!!!!
1. The kids are in control. No longer can Daniel and I plan on a dinner alone or even 30 minutes. Daisy will go to bed, but will Isaac? who knows? He is still quite the newborn "loose canon." And Plan? At this point there is NO "plan." The only "plan" is to be flexible and know that if you make plans they probably WON'T go as YOU planned.
2. I don't get out as much. For those of you who know me well (or not well at all for that matter) I AM DYING!!! Daisy and I would have a daily outing FOR MY SANITY. Anything counts...grocery, bank, Target, post office... Now since my baby hates his car seat and eats constantly it's just not worth it. I find ways of getting some social interaction. Those poor telemarketers...they wish they hadn't called my house! :) just kidding.
3. Sleep is super non-existent. One night last week we had the duty of giving Daisy breathing treatments every 4 hours and I still had to nurse Isaac every 2- 4 hours. OF COURSE I cheated and gave those treatments when I was already up...otherwise I would have been up every hour. And seriously, no wonder I have lots of days where I am "on edge"...I have not slept through the night (except for a few TREATS here and there) for almost 11 weeks.
4. My Toddler has lost her mind. She has been such a sweet natured little girl till about 2 weeks ago when she decided that obeying was just not for her. She now says "No" in anyway she can. My family's personal favorite was when I asked her to help me pick up clothes at the laundry center and take them to our house. Her reply? She looked at me with a contemplative look and said, "Nah..." and turned and walked out. Keep in mind this was like our 53rd confrontation of the day. I had steam coming from my ears. She then ended that day with randomly announcing (with no bad event to provoke her) "Mom, I don't love you. I love Daddy. And I love Isaac, but I don't love you." Whew...that was hard to handle. I wanted to cry and wear her bottom OUT all at the same time. Daniel came home and nipped that all in the bud. He has been amazing as my back up. Now, I can't believe (I am SO MY MOM) I am saying all the time..."Do you want me to tell your Daddy?" And she IMMEDIATELY stops whatever she is doing. Thankfully Daisy's hero is my hero FIRST. :) What a man. And to answer your question: yes, I cry at the end of these kind of days.
5. At first I thought I had post partum depression. Yes, I called the Dr and everything. I told her I was super stressed, had tears just below my eyelids at all times waiting to come out, that I felt overwhelmed and I never wanted to answer the phone or talk to people. After she gathered more info (like this was my second kid and I didn't have thoughts of harming him) the nurse just laughed. She said, "Honey, I think you are normal. Having 2 kids is hard. Hey, you don't answer that phone, you dont even call people back! You need a break!" Man, that was music to my ears! And it's been very encouraging to hear from other moms that they have been though this very struggle themselves as well. At first I thought I was nuts and kind of a wuss...turns out we all feel that way.
On the flip side of this, let me tell you what God has taught me (through family, friends and experiences):
1. Forget others: My family is my ministry. I don't have to be up to my eyeballs in church ministry, friend ministry, neighborhood ministry, and so on. I have an excuse. Small children and a husband. THEY are my ministry and where my efforts (what little energy I have for that) should go. Shake off the guilt that you can't be as active as before. God is not mad. He is perfectly happy that you prioritize your family over a planning committee, teaching a class, going to a bible study, a friend in need, or whatever. Also forget others by not worrying about what others will think. i.e. "I have 3 kids and I can make it to this event" or "What's the big deal, it's only 2 kids" or "She is not calling me back...she is not as good of friend anymore." "If she is not around then I won't go/be involved/?..." (this was quite prideful of me to think it was up to me to help someone else survive/connect/have a friend...actually I think God can and will handle that). Oh well. You only have to please God. NOT them. And I am allowed to say "No, I can't do that right now" and not feel guilty (I got that from my sister-in-law Anna...that's a good one). Also, many of those thoughts of others I made up in my head before others even had a chance to say them! Don't do that! They are probably more understanding than you think.
2. Forget the plan. Like I said, this early on...there IS NO plan. Just go with it. This is hard for me. I LOVE A PLAN. But you can't put stinky diapers, nursing times, or fevers on a plan. Fighting it only frustrates you.
3. Forget productivity. Or rather redefine it. I used to think it meant I got my to-do list done. "Cleaned the bathroom...check. Bought groceries...check. Called these 10 people...check." Yea, now it looks like "Loved-my-kids-the-best-I-could-even-though-I-got-super-frustrated-and-I-didn't-get-one-thing-on-my-list-done-but we-all-survived-the-day...check!" I really love a list and checking it off. But for now, I can let that slide.
4. Forget doing it alone: I have loving family and friends that want to help me. Even if they can't come over and get my kids (one or both) they can pray. And that means the world to me. Don't be afraid to ask. People want to help. Let them! Drop your pride and let them. :)
5. Forget your social calendar...sort of. Social times can wait. I always wondered when my mom lost touch with her best college pals. I mean it baffled me that she would say, "I have not talked to her in years! I wonder where she is now." Now I know how and when that took place. "THE BLACK HOLE OF RAISING SMALL KIDS"--Jeannie Cagle. I heard her say that, but now I get it. It truly is. I don't know a new song unless Little Einsteins release a new album. Back to social though, as much as it pains me...my friends will have to wait. I want to be able to give my kids the best care I can and not worry about making plans and keeping my friendships all so super close. Don't get me wrong, I need a MNO (moms night out) at least once a month. :) But it no longer has the priority it once did.
6. Daniel and I have kept our routine of attempting to have "our 30 minutes." This is 30 minutes each day (but actually happens like 4 times a week) where we sit on the couch doing NOTHING else but talking. This can be business (I have to pay the blah blah bill...) or sharing our days, or resolving conflicts that couldn't be resolved at the time or whatever. It keeps us connected and on the same page. We need this. I for sure need this. We need each other to survive this time.
I had to share all this to get it off my chest and to relate with those moms out there who think they are the only ones losing their minds (not to scare those of you with one or no kids!). You're not losing it. There is a mom in Gainesville, FL that God is shaping too. I can seriously only survive this with God. God can make me the mom and wife I need to be. I can't. I have tried and failed. And failed. And failed. God is so good. I have been majorly drawn to scripture for comfort recently. A dear friend, Shelley, shared this verse with me:
"See the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
...He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:10, 11.
When I read it the first time on her email I had Daisy wallering all over me in my lap, Isaac crying in his crib not wanting to sleep and I just started to cry. I think because it was so wonderful to think that God is "gently leading" me right now. And that he is carrying my children close to his heart makes me want to cry right now. :) And He is still close. Even through all of this. Even when I can't spend 30 minutes a day in bible study because he knows that each bottom I wipe, lunch I fix, and tear I dry is me actively loving Him. And I love that. Who knew that my life long dream would be so stinkin' hard? so challenging? But I can say in all honesty that I would not change one thing about my life right now hard times an all. This is where I should be. And God is using me here.

Friday, October 26

3rd Annual Young Married's Halloween Party: A Hallowedding




We had our YM Halloween party tonight. This year was a cool theme. It was a "Hallowedding" and it was set up like a Halloween Wedding reception. Pretty neat. Eyeball punch (red liquid with peeled grapes in it), spider cake, witch hat calzones, ...all kinds of spooky treats. We had to choose our costume based on the wedding theme. Guess what we were....






Unity Candles! Yes, Dan and I were the individual candles while Isaac was the middle one with a non-lit wick. :) Yes, he was smaller and the unity candle is usually bigger...c'mon, just go with it. :)


Kala the Ghost Bride (costume winner) and Tim the priest (our youth minister)




Our pals Nate and Naph were Ring Bearer and Flower Girl.






Marcus and Rachel were "City Slicker with knocked up Country Girl (she is prego)."
Baby Aurie with her mom Sarah. What an adorable pumpkin!Brian and Glenda!

It was lots o' fun!











Here is little Isaac in his frog costume. He does like it as much as I do. Hopefully he will cheer up an we can get a happier pic in the costume later!

"Mom, oh good its you, get me out of this frog suit...please!"

Thursday, October 25

Daisy said...

One night we were in the kitchen and I said, "Dan, I think we will have peas tonight with our dinner." And a little voice at our feet started singing loudly, "I've got peas like a river! I've got peas like a river! I've got peas..." Hahaha

Wednesday, October 24

The Alachua County Fair Oct 20, 2007


(****is anyone else having problems posting pics? or just me? please comment!)


























in other news...my toddler has been possessed by a demon and is now going thru the "terrible 2's" in full force. More on that later. She also may have asthma and allergies (like her Mama) which is a bummer. Below are pics of us at the doctor. after one of those days (like today unfortunately) that he WOULD NOT SLEEP/NAP. Then he could no longer resist. :)

Going to the "Butterfly Patch"


















Obviously we are getting the pumpkin patch and Butterfly Festival confused. :) No matter what it's called a good time was had by all. ;) Just the 4 of us. It was at the FL Museum of Natural History here in Gainesville. They have a butterfly rain forest there. We have been once but it is kinda pricey...so we have not been back. This was great though because it was $5 for me and Dan. The kids were free. There were butterflies and fun events about Butterflies. For me, this was one of my favorite days ever. Let me list why: held butterflies, great weather (Sunny and 80's), time with my sweet little family (and everyone was happy), good food, fun music, later on...Bama football, got to scrapbook a little, and both kids napped fabulously...meaning Daniel and I got to hang out. :) It was perfect.




















Above: the "Pollinator Parade" :) Daisy was a lady bug.










yes, this is a motley crew of butterfly impersonators...notice the boy...not sure if he was also the boy ballerina that performed (that Daisy so lovingly called out).























Tuesday, October 16

Update on the Kiddos



It's been while since I have just given the whole scoop on how my kids are doing. We have been much better since I decreased some stress and gave up trying to be a one kid mom and keep all the responsibility I had before...with 2 kids (breastfeeding and potty training). I made this mistake when I had Daisy too. I continued my life as if I had no kids...and began to resent my little blessing when she wouldn't nurse fast enough so I could get done what I wanted to. Same applies here...THINGS CHANGE MEL...ACCEPT IT. I have and things are much better now. I am very home focused and family focused. And I like it this way. My stress, I learned, was not necessarily my baby or toddler but trying to keep up with regular pace and outside activities with them. Those things can wait (as Maurine would say). So we stay home a lot. But we read, and play, and go outside, and color and play dress up and it's a great life. God is good. I am thankful for His activity in my life to show me changes I needed to make to have my family as a priority.



On to Daisy. Sweet Daisy. She is going to be 3 in January. She is pretty much potty trained. She tells us when she needs to go. Except yesterday when she was dressed up for Halloween in her costume. I will refer to her now as a "Poop Fairy " for Halloween. I guess she didn't wanna take it off to go. She said, "Mom, I was downstairs putting on my shoes, when all of the sudden, I pooped. " I saw the signs...and second guessed myself...and trusted my 2 year old that she "didn't have to go" just moments before. Shame on me. :) Anyway, as far as the potty training goes we used a chart, surprises and candy. But she decided on her own it was time. It took about a week or maybe less. We are still asking her and making her go at times. And not to say she doesn't have the occasional accident (as mentioned above). BUT I am not afraid to take her into public with big girl panties on...and that's HUGE. :)

She is still cracking us up with stuff she says. Last night I was actually beginning to choke on a big bite of non toasted PB sandwich I had made for her (thank you God for the reminder I could kill my child with too much of this stuff!). And as I finally cleared my throat with water (after several failed attempts) Daisy said, "Mom, maybe next time you should just use a little bit of peanut butter." Yes, thanks Dais.

We went to the "Butterfly Patch" as Daisy would say (actually festival...getting the pumpkin patch and this mixed up). It was a ton of fun. While we were there Daniel and Daisy watched some ballerinas dance in a little show. She was loving it...till she spotted the lone GUY dancer/ballerina in the group. Then she pointed and shouted over and over from Daniel's shoulders, "HEY DAD! That's NOT a BALLERINA! THAT'S A BOY!! HEY! THAT'S NOT...." Daniel said everyone was turning around and laughing. He tried to hurry and acknowledge her comment so she would hush!

Daisy's life is a musical. She sings all the time. She loves to color and glue. She loves to play outside. She still loves her little friend Sofia with all her little heart. Today her teacher told me that all the kids wait for her to come. And she said even the parents ask if Daisy is coming today. HA! She only goes Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Maybe I will sign up for more days to please the masses. :)

She loves Isaac and wants to kiss, hug, squeeze, play with, cover up, pat his head, help with everything that has to do with him all the time. She will say, "It's ok Isaac, Mama will feed you!" or "Aww, don't cry. Here you go!" (plugs in the paci). The age span has been great. She is so helpful! Only once has she covered her ears in the car and said, "Would someone PLEASE put Isaac's paci in??" while he was screaming. :)

It's helpful that she can dress herself and potty alone is HUGE. She is super opinionated about what she wears. She says she wants to look "Cool"...I really don't know where she gets that.

She loves to play with baby dolls and be the mama. She will set them all up on the couch and conduct a class. :)

She is counting great and is recognizing groups of things and how many there are without counting each thing. She will say, "Look mom, 3 pumpkins!"

She is also the master repeater....like I said, "shut up!" (in disbelief) to my sister on the phone...guess who repeated that immediately?

She loves to watch "Bideos" (videos) and her favorite colors are red and pink. She also likes, "Lellow" (yellow). She says 's' instead of 'th'...so it goes like this, "I sink I want somesing to drink, I am sirsty!" :) And she made up a word..."Non't." A contraction of "no" and "don't"? I guess. "Mom, Non't say that!" ???


(Daisy and her friend Reid)

She still sucks her first two fingers...maybe that's not helping her speech. Lucky for us we know a great orthodontist who can hook us up with free braces if she continues this into her teen years. :)


And as for Isaac...he is just a sweet precious baby boy! Especially since we have started implementing "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth MD. It's amazing. Here are the main "baby rules" we go by that we have gotten from several different sources:

1. Babies should not be up/awake longer than 2 hours or they get over tired/stimulated and have a harder time settling to sleep. (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) Watch for tired signs before the crying or eye rubbing.




2. Be sure your baby is not eating too often so he is not "snacking" instead of getting full with each feeding. (Baby Wise)

3. The 5 S's (swaddle, shushing, side/stomach position while held, sucking, swinging) are essential in the first 3 months to simulate the "4th Trimester". (Happiest Baby on the Block)


4. Babies have to learn to soothe themselves to sleep and not have to rely totally on you to get there. (Healthy Sleep Habits and Baby Wise)


***disclaimer: I know that each baby is different. I am NOT saying this is what everyone should do...I am just sharing what has worked for us!

This not all, but it's all I can think of right now. :) All this to say that Isaac has been really responding well to the "sleep training" technique of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He seems much happier, not as fussy and nurses SO much better now. He will go for longer stretches between feedings cause he is getting some great naps in!
He loves his bouncy seat. He likes laying on a blanket on the floor, looking at toys or just chillin'. He also loves to be outside. At his 2 month check up (where he was 6 weeks old) he weighed in at 13 lbs and 8 oz. He was 22.5 inches. He is a big boy. I know the weight is like 98% of the babies his age. :) He still has dark blue eyes. But they are the dark blue that look like they will change (Dan has hazel and I have green). He "talks" and smiles a lot. It's just so sweet. Lately he has been not pooping much but when he does it's a doozie. So much that I decided to go up a size in diapers to catch more of it and hopefully stop ruining all his outfits. The "Shout it out then soak it in a basin of Oxyclean water for a week in my bathroom till I get to do laundry at the laundry center" deal ain't working! Can't wait for my very own washer! He loves to be held out where he can see what is going on. My back is feeling EVERY bit of his almost 14 lbs. He has some adorable dimples on the unreal chubby cheeks he has attained since birth. He hates his car seat. The minute I strap that kid in he starts to wail! I mean really? My bad, just trying to save your life kid. Sheesh. :) He takes a paci and sleeps well at night. He will usually give us a 5 hours stretch initially and then every 3-ish after that. Thankfully he is going right back to sleep after eating.



Tonight is our first night of him sharing a room with Daisy. I am so tired of the bassinet in the hallway. We will see how this goes...stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 9

Girlfriend, Guns, GACS, and Guilt

We were in Atlanta this weekend. I always love time with my family. :)
We got to meet my brother's girlfriend, Rachel. She is perfect for him. She is absolutely adorable and fun to be around. Scott needs a laid back girl and one who will put up with him...and he found her! Way to go Scott! She is living in Little Rock right now and the long distance thing stinks I am sure. But if Scott is dealing with it, it's a miracle. My little brother is smitten. And that's ok cause she fits right in. :) (Sorry if I embarrassed you Scottie).

My brother bought a new gun. I was not too happy about it. I just don't like the idea and don't wanna get a phone call one day that there was an "accident." I am not opposed to guns...just my brother having one. :) When he started getting into hunting I was a nervous wreck. I badger him about wearing hunter's orange AT ALL TIMES...even when he thinks about hunting...just to be safe. SO...he has this new gun. A hand gun. He shows it to us on Friday. I am sweating just looking at it. Then Saturday he wants us all to go to the shooting range. Ugh. I am going to have to face this. So, I go. Dan, Dad, Scott, Rachel and I all go to the range. And it was interesting. I enjoyed it. I admit it. :) But I was a bit anxious the entire time. We are in a small room with stations to shoot at targets. I just kept thinking..."We are in a room with many random strangers of whom we DO NOT know their mental health status and they all have loaded guns and plan on firing them...I hope not at us." We all wore these ear muff things to protect our ears from the loud gunshots. We also had some protective eye wear. It was a strange deal like being in a library...that it was quiet since we couldn't hear each other unless we talked loud or right at someone's ear muff. Scott looked like he was about to baptize Dad when he was showing him how to use the gun the first time....I was standing back from them, it was quiet, and Scott was speaking right at Dads ear muff and Dad was nodding, speaking, nodding....I couldn't hear what he said but I imagined, "ok, when I say "in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit" then place your hand over your nose and I will lean you back in the water and lift you out too...be sure all of you makes it under" HA. I laughed to myself but I could not share it with the others or I would have had to shout it at their ear muff...too much trouble. :) Anywho, we had fun. Uncle Scott has his gun in a locked box unloaded and keeps it in a safe at home. I guess Daisy can still visit him if that is the case.








ok so its looks like I can't aim but I had just fired and that thing is POWERFUL! I was actually a fairly accurate for a gal who only has experience with a BB Gun!
Dad going for it...





Rachel and Me posing with Osama.



The funniest target you could buy. This was hilarious. How shady can you look? So we had a little competition where we had to pick up the gun and fire 5 shots like the guy had just taken her hostage. Then we could see who was really accurate. Well, when it was my turn I got up there and just unloaded 5 shots pretty fast. I turned around and everyone was laughing and then there was an announcement on the PA, "only 1 shot per second allowed"...oops. And after evaluating my shot...I hit the hostage...in the crotch...but she deserved it....look at that nasty hair/watch/pair of jeans/belt.... :)






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Greater Atlanta Christian School Class of 1997. 10 years...really?? It was really great to see some old friends and laugh together. I was glad I went. Daniel was bored out of his mind! But he took one for the team and smiled and met everyone. I was bummed that several of my close girl friends didn't come. But it was still a good time.










craig and brock rhymer



craig richards, brian cox, mark gordon, brandon bier






wade roberts






megan cox
seth remaley
stephanie anderson
me, mark, will franklin, kyle hudson (all 3 HILARIOUS)









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The guilt part is that I cut Isaac's nails too short. Yes, plural. NO I wont tell you how many. But I felt/feel awful. He was screaming before I even started so I didnt know the damage till after he was bleeding like a stuck pig. I FEEL SO GUILTY. I did it to Daisy as a baby too. Ugh. SO I confess to you. Poor baby. I hate the clippers...guess its back to filing his nails again.



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Then here are my kids...after all that is why you visit this site, is it not? Quick update: Daisy is doing GREAT with potty training, Isaac has been fussy, I am still trying to handle 2 kids (gettin better but not great yet!) and it's kickin my tail!!! Daniel is still in school and looking forward to being done for good! ...and I guess that is it for now. :)