Sunday, November 2, 2014
This is going to be a picture heavy post, but first I want to say this: I prayed (and I was prayed for) and this birthday was easier than any other. I felt so much peace. I didn't yell at my family for three days prior to the party. I didn't cry the night before the party. I didn't stress about getting things done, or cleaning every inch of the house. I felt grateful for every decoration, and all the small moments of prep, and for J who took a day off to make a wonderful cake. And, most of all, I felt thankful for Ainsleigh's life and fierce spirit. Sometimes we don't get what we want, and sometimes the force of the one who is missing knocks us sideways, but there are rare moments when everything feels okay even though the picture we imagined isn't the one we hold before us.
Ainsleigh received a lot of presents, but she was enamored with the baby doll.
J made the dairy free, gluten free, vegan cake with a macadamia nut frosting. He made the colors with carrot, blueberry, and raspberry juice. Yes, he is amazing.
Sharing with brother
My sister took a candid shot of me reacting to Ainsleigh opening her first baby doll. Sometimes a picture captures emotions perfectly. Happy birthday, baby girl.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
We celebrated Ainsleigh all day today. This year has zipped by! It is a blessing to be mama to a girl who is so full of life and energy. I've been feeling really down, but this morning we spent time with Ainsleigh's almost birthday friend, and another good friend, and it lifted my spirits so much. Maybe because we all brought treats ... We gave the little girls pedicures and I felt better emotionally than I have in DAYS. We need our friends, sisters!
Darling, darling Ainsleigh girl,
You are one!! What a fun year it's been! You like to sit in mama or daddy's lap while you play. You love your brother because he makes you laugh. You can walk a little bit, but you prefer crawling. You love food - oranges and grapes are your favorite. You talk and sing all the time. You are VERY, VERY loud. You love music - you clap and bounce when your brother turns it on. You like to put things on your head. You're developing a sense of humor. You call your people mama, dada, and bra (brother). You know how to wave and stack, and climb. You celebrated your birthday by climbing on the kid table with the toy bus. You fell off and hit the side of your eye. You might have a tiny shiner for your first birthday party!
We love you so much, and we are so happy you are ours. There is a part of me that needed you so much, baby girl. You won't understand until you yourself are a mama, but when I say you are my hope I mean you literally made it possible for me to breathe deeply after years of shallow gasping. You are the answer to so many prayers.
Love you, Ainsey girl!
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Okay, maybe it's not the last milestone.
How about the last toddler milestone?
Or, the last milestone people care about?
Toilet training falls under that umbrella of topics people feel free to ask you about/comment on even though it's personal, individual, and should only matter to a handful of people (caregivers, grandparents, you know, the basics. Not the old lady in the store who has an opinion on everything).
Also under the umbrella:
- Why you are waiting so long to have children
- How you conceived the child(ren) you waited so long for
- How the child is sleeping
- How the child is eating
At least they cover all the basics, right?
a little scared terrified to start toilet training. It just feels like such a big hurdle, but I've had two kids in diapers for nine plus months and that, friends, is long enough. We're only on day two, but B is doing well, and we are fully committed - no more diapers (except at night).
This evening I had to run out to Target to buy more toddler underwear. I bought a five pack a long time ago and thought it would be sufficient (HA!). I also didn't fully plan on toilet training this week. I wanted to try after our camping trip at the end of July, but I didn't want to push him because he's stubborn and if he thought I wanted it to happen he would be in diapers another year. But Monday morning I woke up and was like, we have incentives, we have a goal, we have underwear: it's on.
My treats. I've been drinking a ton of iced tea because I really am trying to kick the diet soda problem, and this is ideal need a soda territory for me
So after dinner I asked J if he would watch the kids for me while I dashed to Target. B followed me out the door crying so I went back inside, packed a bag, had him go to the bathroom, then went to Target with him in tow.
I can see that it's going to take me forever to accomplish any errand now. It already takes me a good long while, but when you add in bathroom trips two errands could take all day. (When I go places on my own now, sans kids, I'm always the first one there, hands in pockets, shrugging my shoulders, I have no idea why I'm an hour early ...) We were about as far as one can be from the restrooms when B whispered, "I have to go potty."
I walked / jogged as fast as I could to the other side of the store, worried all the while that he would see "the big potty" and lose his mind. But he had no problem at all and we were soon back in the aisles buying half off Aden and Anais crib sheets.
Tomorrow we're trying the library. And I'll have Ainsleigh to deal with as well. Thankfully I have amazing friends, one of whom is going to meet me there so I don't have to try it solo. I have the best friends. I don't know how to live without my village.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Bennett is in an intensely adorable phase of language development. Everything is "handsome" and "fancy" right now. As in, "check out my handsome dance!" Or, "that's a fancy shirt!" The day he stops calling helicopters "hopper coppers" I will cry. Bennett uses "cool" and "awesome" a lot too, only his "cool" comes out as "kewl." He's struggling with his double 'o words right now, but the result is really cute.
We've been on the road a lot this summer. On one trip through the Burgerville drive-thru (what would we do without Burgerville?!) J placed our order to which the server said, "Your total is ----, thank you!" And then Bennett's little voice piped up from the backseat, "thank you! ........ woman!" J and I laughed so hard at Bennett's attempt to be kind.
This morning Bennett asked me if I like the color red. I said yes, then asked if he likes it. (His favorite questions right now are, "what's your favorite color?" and "how was your day?" so we answer those two things five thousand times a day.) "I like red." Bennett responded, then he paused and reconsidered. "In fact, I like purple," he said.
In fact? Where did he learn that phrase?!
Bennett's speech and language is advanced for his age. Our audiologist commented on how well she can hear and understand him (she is deaf in one ear). His grasp of words and the complex sentences he strings together surprise me every day.
Remember when he looked just like Ainsleigh?
Ainsleigh is busy and loud. I think that is what I will remember most about her babyhood. Was she ever a newborn? I feel like she's been scooting around for months. And isn't it weird how difficult it is to remember a time before they existed? I remember last summer, of course, when the anxiety of Ainsleigh's pregnancy sat heavily on my shoulders, but now the memories are hazy and indistinct. It seems like she's always been here - exploring and squawking.
I took the kids to story time at the library last week. There were a lot of kids Ainsleigh's age, but she was the loudest by far. Other parents were staring. Her hearing loss has nothing to do with it. She's just really loud. Queen Squawkers. Our sweet, sweet girl.
The hearing aid is still a daily battle. I put it in. Ainsleigh rips it out. I put it in. She tolerates it, which gives me a little hope, then rips it out. I have to outlast her, which is really hard because she is so stubborn and determined. My motivation lies in knowing we aren't hurting her, and sticking with it now may help her language develop.
Ainsleigh has her first tooth coming in at eight months, just like her brother. She is slowly starting to hands and knees crawl, but she prefers army crawling because she can move so fast. Ainsleigh likes to stand, walk with assistance, and is just starting to cruise along the furniture a little. She'll be nine months in a week!
Next up for Ainsleigh: walking.
Next up for Bennett: toilet training, which I know is not going to be an easy process because he too has a stubborn streak. I'm going to try and refrain from sharing too much about the journey because I want him to like me when he's 15, but I'm a little nervous about it all!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Sweet B is 19 months! He is clicking right along, meeting all of the expected milestones, a little ahead in his language skills, but otherwise exactly where he should be.
I think watching him learn how to communicate is my favorite thing. He has so many words - somewhere around 60, I stopped counting - and is picking up harder sounds. B learned hawk and cow this week, but doesn't have the most difficult sounds - like 'l.'
There is definitely some toddler attitude developing as well. If anyone can tell me how to make B stop throwing food on the ground I would really appreciate it. I feel like we've tried everything, but he still does it! He's at that age where provoking mama and daddy is funny, even when it lands him in time out.
I can't believe I'm going to have another baby since B still seems so much like a baby. He is active and busy, but he loves cuddle time. He is very affectionate, loves to hug, kiss and snuggle. We spend at least an hour every day sitting on the couch and reading. And B is still small enough for me to carry around a lot of the time though he prefers running.
B is starting to get more into physical play. He tries to wrestle with J because he's seen older boys wrestle with their daddies. B's attempts are ineffective right now, but it's sweet to watch.
Napping is going better (although today he is whining/fussing/refusing to rest) and sleep is okay. Last night he slept in his crib until 4am, but he was a bear to put to sleep. My daily goal is to find a way to wear him out so he will nap and sleep well.
I am so grateful for every moment with this little one.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Before I had kids I would stare at my friends in amazement when their little one said, "mmab ka snawa" and they would respond, "You want a sandwich? Sure!" Every now and then I can understand someone else's kid, but most of the time when they are first learning to talk my response is, "I don't know, ask your mama."
When B was really sick with the flu I sat up night after night with him. One night I was holding him in our bed right after he threw up. He looked up at me and said, "Mama, water." I know he didn't speak it that clearly. I know water comes out more like wawa when B says it, but in that moment I understood how mothers and fathers know what their children are saying. There's some magical connection that makes it so we clearly hear what our children are saying, even when the words are jumbled, and possibly made up.
It doesn't work perfectly, (Example: It took me a few days to understand that the crazy hand signals B was constantly throwing out meant he wanted to listen to "Wheels on the Bus.") but most of the time I know what B is asking for, or telling me.
I think observing language development is one of my favorite things about raising a little one. B is in that stage where each day a new word pops up and it's fun to watch him try new sounds. He has a large chunk of words and is starting to string them together. B is also big on animal sounds right now, and of course the moon is still a favorite. He's been into planes and birds since we went to Hawaii, and every day something new and exciting interests him. In six days he will be eighteen months. I think that calls for a newborn picture.
And from this morning:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
As I type this my mother is in B's room singing 'Jesus Loves Me' as he drifts off to sleep in his crib. My mom comes every Thursday to help, to hang out, to see B. When she came today she said, "Hey, you know, I don't have anything going tomorrow. I could stay, if you like."
I said "Oh my goodness, yes please, stay and take him for the night. Just one night so I can sleep through." Moms are awesome. At 17 months out I should not be begging my mother to stay over so I can sleep through the night, but still, moms are awesome. She stayed every Thursday night the first fourth months of B's life. (I think that's where their deep bond stems from.) So thanks to her I have a minute to sit down, blog and eat chocolate chips.
This afternoon B received his first hair cut. I didn't cry! I really thought I would, but I didn't. I was reluctant to have it cut, but J said the mullet had to go, and it really was becoming unmanageable in the back.
I took him to a kid only place for this first cut because I wanted the experience. There's no way I'm paying $18.00 every time he needs a little trim, but it was worth it this first time. The owner was super nice and when I asked if it was okay if I cried she responded, "I'm used to everyone crying." (Little Angels Kid Salon, South Salem, if you're local. Terrible name, I know, let's not discuss it).
B did great. No tears, no whining. A little hesitation at the beginning when I put him in the car, but he settled right in and played with the wheel the whole time. The stylist was quick and careful, a must when cutting little ones hair I imagine. I was really scared his curls would disappear, but halfway through was assured, "these curls aren't going anywhere." His hair looks much, much better. I'm glad J said it was time, even though I was like, "NO! NO! Not my baby's hair. Please no. I can't do it!!"
This isn't everything, just the pieces I wanted saved.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
I can do nothing but sit. I am so wiped out and run down. It's like I have the flu only my stomach doesn't hurt, except it does a little from the antibiotics ...
Here is B's first birthday in all its glory.
J decorated the backyard
Craft table - had the little ones make sand jars as their party favors
The picnic table J built was a huge hit with the littles
I baked, J baked AND decorated
So many toys, we're going to save a few for later
B did not enjoy his cake
J bought a red balloon for Charlotte
Bennett and Charlotte
Ali is five weeks old now
Too much party
Ready to play after a long nap
This moment brought to you by J