I apologize in advance because this may come across incoherently.

I didn’t sleep well last night. J woke up (briefly) at 12:30 a.m. and it took me until well after 2 a.m. to fall back asleep.

I am in mourning. But indirectly, if that makes any sense. On Tuesday, two people (in my age range) that are very well known in my community, died. I didn’t know them personally, but knew who they were. But a lot of my friends knew them. A lot of our friends are mourning the loss of two spirited individuals, and I am mourning with them for the loss of their friends. Continue reading “Reflection.”

Another year older

All of my babies are July babies.


May 2014
May 2014

It’s hard to believe that I now have a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old (our dog, Bailey), and a 9-year-old! How is this even possible? I’m not old enough to have two human babies that are 2 and 9. Summer is in full swing and A has already been on multiple away-from-home vacations. She started with her second annual trip to Georgia, then met us in Pennsylvania at Hershey Park to celebrate her and J’s birthdays, and is now in PEI with her mom. I’m tired just thinking of all the car time she has had but also excited for all of these adventures for her. Continue reading “Another year older”

Alyx and Jude sporting headbands
A and J sporting headbands

My kids are growing faster than the speed of light.

So much has happened during this past month-ish that it is hard to keep track. A is quickly wrapping up third grade…THIRD GRADE!!! Didn’t she just learn to walk? How is this even possible?

Lots has happened over these fleeting weeks. J’s vocabulary is out of control. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh at all of the things that come from this tiny person. He has said everything from “uh oh, spaghettio” to “no way Jose!,” but my favorite is “I love you Mama.”

In April, we went on vacation!! We traveled down to Savannah, Georgia to visit Husband’s Dad and step-mom. I won’t lie, I was super nervous about flying with J. I wasn’t sure how he would do with his ears, etc.  But he was AMAZING. I mean…I have a super awesome kid. He was a PRO. Continue reading “Who is this little person?”

No bears.

“No bears.” If you have been around my son at any point within the past month+, this is a familiar phrase. “Mama, no bears.” “No Jman, there are no bears.” And then he goes about his merry way. What the hell?

Making a mess @ 20 mos

J is an early-riser. Has been since day one. Husband and I have a pretty good routine that I’ve mentioned before: I do night duty (no matter how many times, I’m up with J in the night) and Husband does morning duty. Good. Fine. It works.

In the wee hours of the morning, I used to be able to hear J saying “chase you” as he and Daddy would run around downstairs saying “rawr” with their hands in the air. Very playful, very innocent.

Then one day, J started saying “no bears.” He didn’t want anyone to act like a bear. He didn’t want to act like a bear. However, he has bear stuffed animals, and those are okay.

Weeks went by and we were baffled as to why the sudden fear/hatred/angst towards bears. Then….it all came to light…

At school (aka daycare), the teachers and toddlers would play “Going on a Bear Hunt.” This has been loved by all toddlers…but apparently, my toddler, and many toddlers in his class are not fans. School plays a lot of music and anytime the teachers head to the CD player, J is right there with “no bears.”

Yes J, you are right….there are no bears. And, thanks to Grampy, they’ve been thrown in the woods.


Mama Coffee

Riding around in a box with my bear

When we lived in Hampden, A drew a picture. At the time, J-man wasn’t around/thought-of. She drew our house, a tree, Husband, me, and herself. Husband was drawn wearing a baseball hat and holding a mug of coffee. I was drawn smiling wide, holding a glass of wine.

Kids…so honest.

At that moment, I realized I probably shouldn’t be having a glass of wine after work often enough that would influence her to draw me holding a wine glass. Since then, Husband and I don’t drink too much in front of the kids (not that we drink a lot anyways). So, depending on how rough the day is, the wine/beer waits until after the kids go to bed.

Yummy watermelon!

Fast forward to today (well, not literally today)….but we still hold this same notion. I’m glad we’ve stuck with it….because A was very much aware of things going on around her and we only have her part-time. J notices EVERYTHING. Each morning, he helps Husband make “mama coffee.” He watches as Husband changes the little k-cup, pushes the button, and as the coffee fills the mug and steam comes bellowing out.

So, to keep on our commitment of not drinking in front of the kiddos…on those particularly trying days, the wine goes in the coffee mug. Yes, J, that is “mama coffee.”

I’m determined that in the next family drawing, I will be holding a coffee mug along with daddy!

I’m not religious…I just pray a lot….

When I say that out loud, it reminds of that rapper guy….the bald one….who sang, “I’m not a player, I just crush a lot.” Ha! I don’t even know what that means…

This little man is 20-months old!
This little man is 20-months old!

Anyway….where has the time gone? J is 20-months old!?!?! Seriously. I feel as though I have just been in this fog and time is passing by while I am standing still. Everything around me is growing, shifting, changing, adapting, and I am just watching it happen. Since we’ve last spoken (and please, it’s me…not you), I have had my contract re-upped at my job (yay!), Jude is walking/talking/running and is so stinking smart, and A is continuing to grow like a weed and like her brother (or her brother being like her) is so stinking smart.

Alyx rocking a moustache.
A rocking a moustache.

So…back to the title. I did not grow up in a religious household. Yes, we held hands and did some sort of prayer/thanks at the dinner table, but that was pretty much it. Never went to church on Sundays. Sundays were meant for family, friends, and doing homework or housework that was needed. And that’s the way that it has always been. This is not to say that I don’t believe in something “higher” or more divine…it just hasn’t been a focus of my life. I try, and therefore try to instill in my kids, to live life being the best people they can be and loving themselves and others wholly. In my opinion, that’s pretty damn good.

A typical Sunday
A typical Sunday

However, as you may know from earlier posts, J hasn’t been the best sleeper. Maybe this is payback? I had the BEST pregnancy and labor/delivery. So maybe this is just karma’s way at getting back at me. And what makes it even more of a stab is that I love sleep so very, VERY much.

We’ve tried everything. By “we,” I mean me. Husband and I have a great system. I get up with the Jman in the night (no matter how many times) and Husband gets up with him for the day when J decides that 4 a.m. is time to party (which is every day). This works really well (for me) on the RARE occasions that J sleeps through the night. But those times are few and far between. It’s not horrible…most times it’s just a snuggle, a pat on the butt, finding the binkie, and he’s out. But other times…it’s excruciating.

Like over the past few nights, for example. This is when the praying comes into place. J has some sort of cold or allergy thing going on where he starts coughing in the night….so bad that it wakes him up. And each time that I get him back to sleep, I pray that he will be able to get some rest and sleep through the rest of the night. Yes, I have his intentions in mind….I want him to be rested. He is such a happy and loving little boy and sleep helps keep him that way. But, I also pray in a selfish way. I really want to sleep. I want to sleep for me. Because I am a really happy and loving mom when I get sleep. Does this make me horrible?

Then I kick myself for thinking this way. So, I’m trying to shift my thinking….these days are not going to last forever. I think of it as he needs my comfort in the night. He likes knowing that no matter what, I will always be there and will always come when he calls. And, against what all the “experts” say, I still rock him to sleep every night. I’ve stopped caring. I love those times…when his body gets heavy and his breathing gets deep as he lays against me. And although the nights seem really long right now, he is not going to be want to be rocked forever. And he’s not going to call out for me in the night forever. Any of you have littles that enjoy your company at all hours of the night? How do you cope?

Hi, have we met?

Well, hello there stranger. Every time I think “holy hell, I need to do a blog post” something else happens that steals my time and then more time passes. Damn. Well, I’m getting back on the train: pre-New Year’s Resolution. I don’t know what is happening but my family has entered some sort of a time warp where things are just FLYING by. Then other days I am just staring at the clock until it’s time for the kids to go to bed.

Goofing Off
Goofing Off

Here is the lowdown: J is 16 months old. He started walking at about 13 months and I am doing everything in my power just to keep up. I know that when you have more than one child chances are they will NOT be carbon copies of each other. And why would you want that? But life is SO different with this toddler than our last experience. With A, we never had to baby proof the house. We put a hair tie (seriously) around the doorknobs of the under-the-sink stuff, told her not to touch, and that was it. With J, we have had to bolt everything down. All of the cabinets have those lock things on them and I think our under-the-sink supplies are now parent-proof too. Can’t ever get the damn thing open!

Plus, he will not. sit. still. A, you could sit and read a story with, do a puzzle, or just snuggle. The moment little man’s eyes ping open in the morning he is go. Go. GO! But man, is he funny. He has such a personality and knows when he is making you laugh. He does nothing but love (in between the hitting) and just wants to be where everyone is. He is such a joy and I am a better person and a better mom because of him. Continue reading “Hi, have we met?”

I have a toddler.

This has been a big week in our household. Jman was moved into the Toddler Room at day care. How is that even possible? Miss Kelly has been talking about it…but I didn’t think that the day would ever actually come.

Usually, kids there are not moved from the Infant Room to the Toddler Room until they are pretty steady on their feet. J still isn’t walking. He has taken steps…but only when he doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Or, he’ll take steps holding onto only one of our hands. But at 13 months and the oldest in the Infant Room it was time to move him on up.

Am I ready for this? Generally speaking, I am not that sentimental. As opposed to being sad about him not being as tiny anymore, I get excited to see all of the new and exciting things he is learning. With each new tooth that comes in, he is able to eat more and more independently and is so proud of himself for doing so. Am I sad that he isn’t as small and snuggly anymore, sure…but it literally lasts a split second. I am so excited to learn more about him. He has such a hilarious personality already and I cannot wait to help him grow into the magnificent person I know he is going to be. Ok, ok..not trying to rush it…but I’m enjoying every moment without spending too much time being sad about the past or pressing on to the future.

So as of right now, I have a toddler. A funny, loving, incredible hug-giving, toddler. One thing I wish is that time would just slow down for a second. I am so fortunate to have this life and am trying to suck up and enjoy every minute of it.

I’ve been doing poorly at keeping up with this blog, and I apologize…but I’m living life. I still need to write about the amazing “Calvin and Hobbes” birthday party we had for the kids…but I’ve been too busy enjoying my kids. I’ll get there…I’m not worried about it.

This is the way I envisioned life for myself and my family. So here’s the rundown: Jude is growing like a weed…A is fast approaching third grade…Husband is mad because he just found out that I do like Cinnamon Toast Crunch after years (literally, years) of protesting against sugary cereals. Always an adventure here.

Our life is full of love and a lot of laughs…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sleep training – Night # who the hell knows?

Well, doctor lady can be proud of me for being consistent. If you didn’t know, we are currently working on sleep training. Who knew when entering the world of parenting that sleep is actually a learned skill and not something that babies miraculously start doing on their own. Ok, that sounds funny…yes, babies sleep, but the training part comes in with helping them fall asleep and here’s the kicker, STAYING asleep. That seems to have been the hurdle in our household. The Jman generally falls asleep with no problems. The “staying asleep” part is where we’ve had trouble.

morning nap time
morning nap time

But, for the past month(ish) I have found the plan that works for me and have been sticking to it. I’m happy to report that in the wee hours of the morning when he rises, I have stuck to my guns and he does NOT end up in our bed. The funny thing is, I feel that it actually may be working. All of the books and articles that I’ve read talk about when making a routine/switching a behavior, it can take seven to 10 days. I was thrilled with myself when I made it to the seven day mark! WOOOHOOOOO. But, he was still waking four times a night. So, doctor people, what’s the deal with that? Made it to the 10-day mark….still wasn’t seeing much of a difference.

However, I stayed strong and stuck to the plan. I must clarify that when I say he is waking four times a night, it isn’t a full on scream-fest. It is usually only for a maximum of 10 minutes…and that’s on the long end. When I go in, he’s usually sitting up and rubbing his little eyes. So, I find the binkie, lay him back down, paired with a couple of pats on the bum, and he’s out. But, that means that we are still getting interrupted sleep…even for that short time that he’s waking. And it needs to stop. Mama loves sleep and after a year (almost 13 months now), is ready!

Something happened over the past week though. It started on Tuesday. I rocked him until just about asleep and laid him in the crib. Out at 6:30 p.m. Then, I checked on him before we went to bed, repositioned him so he wasn’t so smooshed and covered him with a blanket. Next time I heard him was 4:30 a.m.! What was this???? Continue reading “Sleep training – Night # who the hell knows?”

Sleep training – night 4.

Too cool to be one
Too cool to be one

J is a year old. Wow. And with each day that has passed since, I still cannot even believe it. Well, being one also means that he had to have his wellness check up. So Friday morning, Husband and I loaded him up and away we went! Husband had to come because I knew there would be vaccinations and I am a wuss. I am not a fan of having to hold him while he gets poked.

Our doctors office is great..always starting the visit with any questions/concerns we may have.  Our first question: can we switch him to a forward facing car seat. Well, he only weighed in at 19 lbs and 4 oz so until he hits 20 lbs he has to stay backwards. He is 29.5 inches long and growing strong! He eats everything in sight…so we will see what we can do to boost up his calories even more. Continue reading “Sleep training – night 4.”