Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sibling Series: a sweet snap shot of life with two.

A few weeks ago Desmond was having a hard time going down for his nap (i.e. he was wailing in his crib).  I was trying to focus on Aubrey since I knew Des needed the sleep and he also needed to learn to sort it out on his own. So Aubrey and I were working at the table on some home school stuff and she started saying:

"I know. I know. I know." In a sweet sounding voice. I wasn't sure but I thought she might be talking to Desmond since I tend to say this to little ones who are upset, especially babies.

I asked her, "What do you know?

"I know that feeling."

"What feeling?"

"When you are tired and don't want to rest."

Now that is one of the sweetest examples of empathy I've ever heard. And she does totally know that feeling. 

Baby Desmond napping on the couch with Leila.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mindful Mondays

This week I need to be mindful of my bedtime.

Lately my youngest thinks that 5 or 5:30 is a great time to greet the day.
I emphatically could not agree less!!

I have no problem leaving him in his crib until 6, my predetermined acceptable hour for motherhood to began. :) There are complications though, the biggest of which being he shares a room with his sister. Poor thing. Though I am finding she is getting used to this early am wake up call. And if she isn't with me she is against me I say!

I figure out how to trick, teach, bully, and encourage my kids to sleep in just a bit longer I am going to be mindful of one huge helpful thing that is actual in my control, my bedtime.

So this week I will retire early. I will close the laptop. I will stop trying to find new recipes to pin (oh my). I will not get sucked into something new at 9:00. And hopefully I will be in a good mood coming 5 am (hopefully!).

A reminder of why going to bed as early as a grandma isn't so bad after all.

Anything you want to be mindful of this week?

And if you have any advice I can pass along, to my early birds who are eating all the
 worms before the rest of the world ever rolls out of bed, it would be greatly appreciated. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sibling Series: a sweet snap shot of life with two.

I'm dedicating this post to my friend Sarah, who I have known and loved since I was 11. 
Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!

We were playing at a friends house this morning and all four kids were peacefully coexisting in the same room  while I sat on the couch and watched. It was a good play-date! Desmond and a three year old boy were playing together. They were kicking each other, and they were truly having fun, boys. :) Bree was checking out the action and, being a somewhat rational and sane three year old, thought Desmond was getting beat up on. So she goes, "Hey, please don't kick my little brother."

And my brain went WAIT, hold the phones! Did she just protect her brother. Her "little" bother. I've never heard her call him that before. I've never heard her be protective of him before. To say the very least, I loved it. A small voice inside me was quieted. A fearful voice that says, from time to time, when they are not feeling the love, "will they like each other? will they love each other?" Today I think I got my answer.

It was definitely a very good sibling week. :)

                                              Morning snack on the couch. Aubrey is debuting her newest funny face.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Potty Time!

Breaking News: This morning 17 month old Desmond went pee while sitting on the toilet.

He ran in to the bathroom and was telling me with his baby language/nonverbal communication that he wanted to get up on that potty! Last week he wanted up there and he sat on the little seat just smiling and enjoying his thrown for a few minutes, then he hopped off. That is what I was expecting today so I started doing things in the laundry room but then some movement caught my eye and I squealed. He was peeing!
While sitting on the toilet!
He was peeing all over the floor while sitting on the toilet!

I don't have a little pee catcher on my potty seat. See, I had a girl last time and those things are not necessary for the fairer sex. :) So he peed this big arc all over the floor and his legs. But the intent was there and I was overjoyed. And the cutest thing was how proud he was.

checking out the pee on the floor

feeling pretty jazzed about his new trick

So if anyone out there has tips for helping an early potty training interested kiddo, I'm all ears! 
I'd love to keep thing going. 

Thoughts on Marriage

Last week Aubrey was picking out her clothes for a Valentines Day party we were going to and she had decided to include a veil from the dress up basket. She was telling me what she wanted to wear to the party and she couldn't remember the word veil so she was describing to me what a veil is.

And I quote: "You know the things you wore when you married daddy. When you got married because you didn't have anyone to care for."

 . . . .When I didn't have anyone to care for. So, in her sweet little mind I got married to Shaun because I wanted some to care for and I suppose because in return I wanted to be cared for. This might be because she equates love with caring for someone because that is one of the main ways she is loved (since she is a small child that requires lots of care). :)

Regardless of how she got the idea I think it is a pretty sweet way of describing marriage.

And just for fun here are some pictures from my wedding five and a half years ago now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I was joking with a friend the other day.

I told her that I wasn't trying as hard with the second one. I told her it didn't matter as much to me how he turned out.

It was a joke, but it got me thinking.

I devote most of my energy to my kids. I save some for my husband, 'cause he is pretty cute. I get out by myself, enjoy my own interests and time with friends, but the majority of my energy is devoted to teaching, shaping, loving, feeding, cleaning up after, and caring for my kids.

I have two now and I find that life with two is easier than life with one.  A lot of things contribute to this. I have more experience, a better support network, I'm older, more mature, better looking (j/k, though I do keep hearing that the long hair is much preferred to the short). All those things are true but they aren't the real reason things are easier. The real reason is that I care less then I did before.

I cared so much when Aubrey was little. I didn't want to mess her up! I wanted to give her this perfect foundation. I wanted to prepare her and protect her and . . . is the whiff of obsession gagging you yet? I meant well, oh so well, but I was slowly killing myself. I was depriving myself of all the fun things that give life its flavor and excitement. And I was ruining what mattered most to me. Being a Mom became almost too oppressive to enjoy.

Desmond saved me from all that. I couldn't keep up that standard with two. I had to let some things go, I had to care less and it set me free. If we have a bad moment, conversation, tuck in, or heck a whole day I move on, do better next time. It's life. This is what makes life interesting, what makes us unique.

If you are starting to get scared here, let me reassure you that my children are still cared for. They do run around wild and naked from time to time but I believe childhood is the best, most appropriate, time to do such things. They are not neglected. They are loved, cared for, taught, and corrected, but they aren't my whole world.

I am me again. A better, wiser, mom-a-fied version. The me I always wanted to be.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I took the kids to Las Vegas for a few days.
By myself.
We flew in a plane.
They both had colds.

Des, oddly, woke us at 5:30 in the morning that day. He cried and screamed when I had to hold him, my lap child, during taxi and take off. The first day he had only a twenty minute nap in the car to sustain him through air travel and a trip to the circus. That night both kids woke up about five times each, and I was sharing a room with them.

Parts of the trip really sucked but we kept going and it got better.

Yes, Desmond hollered, protested and wailed for maybe half the flight, but we survived and no other passengers harmed us; though I'm sure they thought about it. Still, despite the auspicious beginning I had a great time. We got to visit one of my dear friends, who is referred to as Auntie Nina around here, and my kids were able to play and get to know with her twin girls. And that was a dream come true.

I am capable. We can do this. We can have adventures. We can bend the rules, cry and scream, and recover.

This might not seem like a revelation to any of you reading this, but it is a big one for me. I tend to be conservative about our adventures. I don't like the kids getting "over" tired. I don't like feeling strained. I don't enjoy losing my patience (the kids don't enjoy me when I lose my patience). On the flip side I don't want to live the same day over and over. I want to experience new places and see loved ones who live far away. I want my children to learn flexibility and how to find their rhythm in new places. I miss living out of a suitcase and living with only today in mind. It was great to get a taste of that again.

It started with Vegas but this is just the beginning.

The kids playing at the airport.