Monday, January 4, 2016

Bouncy ball thoughts. Chime in if you wish.

"I want another one. Not two. Just one."

The words dropped from Shaun's mouth so easily one night last week. The words have been weighing all too heavily on my mind since he dropped them like a bomb. I'm pretty sure he said them without knowing how heavy they would be on my brain and soul. Now, his wish is all I can think about and I'm pretty sure he has moved on from truly thinking about it.

We have taken some time to talk about some possible pros and cons together. The con list is so much longer than the pro, by the way. But as most men do, I think Shaun starts to think about other Shaun things and my brain just dwells on every scenario that a third (or another set of twins) could bring. Yes, it's entirely possible that twins could happen again.

I'm contemplating our home. I love our home so much. It has character and I wanted to raise a family here. We have three bedrooms so having another means no spare bedroom and some sibling always has to share a room with another sibling. We talked about an addition to our beloved house, but the thought of all of the noise and house disruption makes me freak out. We talked about buying another house, but of course that makes me sad because (like I said) I love this house! And...I HATE moving.

I'm contemplating our vehicle. Shortly after the boys were born, we got a Sequoia. I love the beast. Her name is Jazzy. I feel safe in it and I've always been more of a truck girl so it's hard for me to picture myself in anything else. The logistics of it right now though are somewhat of a pain and as much as I love it, we've been throwing the idea around of (gasp!) trading it in for a mini van. Yep. You read that right. My heart aches a little just writing it. Financially it makes great sense and from a family standpoint it makes sense too...I just don't want to admit it. I will say though that I've seen some pretty sweet mini vans around lately. Maybe they're becoming cool? Or, maybe I'm just being all the more uncool and my eyes are changing.

Those are just a couple of the big things I've thought (and we've talked) about. But now, almost every single moment of the day, I'm thinking about what it would be like to have a little one around in addition to the craziness of what already exists. It's easy to want another one when things are going really good of course and vice versa.

I could write forever on this topic, but of course it would be all over the place like a bouncy ball. Do I want another one? My heart does, yes. My brain tells me otherwise. It makes me feel selfish. I really just don't want another one because things are getting to a point where we can share more and more experiences with them and I love it. We're getting to a point where we can drop them off at the grandparents (because they live so close now!) and get some time away for ourselves. We haven't really had that in over two years. I feel like having another one would add on another two to three years of being somewhat completely selfless. I'm not so sure I'm ready for that. I wasn't sure I was ready to handle twins either though. When I think about how long life actually is though, another two to three years seems so minimal!

I do love the idea of Owen and Emmett having a brother or sister. I do love the idea of a semi-big family...perhaps not in the short run, but in the long run I like it. I do love the idea of getting another experience with being pregnant and laboring. Maybe I'd actually get the birth experience I really wanted on the next go round! I do love the idea of creating another kind soul for this world.

See? Right now I'm feeling all mushy and want one. But I could probably come back in another 15 minutes and write something completely different. It's easy to want another one as I'm listening to my boys sweetly waking up from their nap and talking and singing to one another...

Friday, February 13, 2015

I can't keep calm. I have toddlers.

I could begin with writing about how long it has been since I last wrote, but I'm sure you get it. Kids are busy! Sure, I have some time to write when they're napping or after they go to bed, but I don't want to! Truth is, I choose to be lazy during those times. I sometimes feel guilty after tidying up if I sit down to just watch The Real Housewives, but I'm trying to be better about just enjoying the downtime. A constant work in progress...that is me. 

Here's the daily grind now: waking, eating, playing, morning outing, return home for more playing, more eating, NAP!, waking, eating, playing, walking the dogs, playing, eating, BED! 

Seems so simple, right? It's a pretty basic routine, but what you can place in the in-between spaces are giggling, whining, crying, frustration, hitting, throwing and more whining. The communication skills they lack are not just frustrating for them, but for me too! Welcome to the toddler years, I guess. 

The toddler years are a huge reason why having another baby seems like the most insane idea ever to me. Sure, they're overall cute, but the whining and tantrums are things that work on my patience very quick. I try to remind myself that it's not me they're frustrated with, but something they simply cannot communicate. Are they hungry? Tired? Teething pain? Stomach hurt? Just moody today? We all have our days where we don't want to interact with others, right? I can't imagine waking up cranky and not being able to simply say, "I'm cranky today, please leave me alone". 

So I think, maybe if I just leave him have some alone time, he'll work it out. Nope. There he is, tugging at my leg. Then I think, ok, I'll just take a moment and be with him. Take some time to really make eye contact and let him know I'm here for him. Hold him. Nope! How dare I! So this is the point when I get frustrated myself and I also start throwing a temper tantrum. Well, fine! I didn't want a hug anyway! So then the three of us simply wander the house whining and crying. More often than not, it's fixed with a nap (alone time for me) and we're all good with each other again after we've had some time away from one another. 

I was talking with a friend's aunt yesterday who is one sibling out of triplets. We were just making small talk about having multiples in general, but we were imagining how her mother did it daily. No dryer, no disposable diapers, different formulas for the kids, none of the things that honestly make my life a little easier. During the time when she had triplets, it was very rare so she also didn't have a multiples parenting support group like I do. I can't even imagine what it was like for her on a daily basis. Did she feel like some days she was on top of the world like I do? Did she feel like bedtime could not come quick enough on other days like I do? What advice would she have for me? I will never know. What I do know, is that I'm missing family presence more than ever. 

In the early days, I was very willing and eager to seek out help from almost anyone. People that got me through some hard days were neighbors, close friends, acquaintences and sometimes complete strangers! Turn the clock to now and I'd have to say that it's harder for me to accept help. I'm more stubborn about it. I think it's because I've been (more often than not) solo with them for so long that I'm set in my routine and the way we roll. It's hard for me to let go of control. There I said it...I'm a control freak with them. I'm a Momzilla. Hear me roar. 

I get jealous when I see others (via social media) having date nights, outing with their friends or solo time doing whatever they want. I miss my selfish days. It's normal (I hope). But family is not here (and I hate paying for sitters) so I need to either ask for help, accept help or be 100% happy with the constant daily grind of wrestling (yes, at times it feels like we're wrestling) with these boys. I need to stop my whining and communicate my needs and wants that are gonna keep me sane. I need to stop acting like a toddler. 

Shaun repeatedly tells me have solo time, but I don't. The weekends are when we have true family time so I feel guilty leaving. He loves having solo time with the boys, but I just enjoy doing things as a family of four. Plus, I know how much easier outings are with the extra hands. I also know that being alone or hanging out with a friend lifts my spirit in a completely different way that it makes me a better Mom. 

A work in progress. It always comes back to that. I'm doing the best that I can and enjoying my days with them because I know how quickly they are passing. This is it. At times the days may seem so incredibly long, but all too quick I'll be left standing in the kitchen and asking, "where did my little boys go"? All of the frustrating moments seem to go out the window at the end of the day when I get to sit down and be thankful. I'm so thankful that I get the best of both worlds of being their mom during the day and working a little too. They are very sweet and funny boys. I know our family wishes they could be near this "insanity" just as much as I wish they could rescue me from it at times. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Wobbles and Mom Woes

Eleven months. Seriously? It's unbelievable that I am totally into planning their one year party. I never thought I would get into it because I know that they will not remember it or do not realize what's going on, but thanks to Pinterest it's too easy to go nuts! Plus, I'm looking at it more of a celebration for us as a unit. We have (almost) survived a year! However, thinking about the next road we're about to go down (toddlerhood) produces an impending panic attack. For now, let me reflect on the most recent passing month and I'll just keep pretending that I will have two perfect toddler angels.

Over the Labor Day weekend and shortly after they turned ten months, we returned to Topsail Island for some beach time. The boys had a fantastic time, but the only sitting down Shaun and I got to enjoy was when they were napping! I don't even know why we even packed our beach chairs. Did I really picture myself sitting back and sipping on my Corona with lime? *Side note: although I'm a beer snob, my beach drink of choice is Corona with a lime.* The boys were entertained by sitting in tidal pools splashing for an entire hour! When the hour was up, we pretty much let them crawl up and down the beach and bent down every five seconds to retrieve a seashell that was heading into the mouth. They surprisingly didn't eat that much sand this time. I guess they moved on to seashells...and it was always the tiny ones!

The room we rented was an efficiency so it was basically one large open space. I was worried about how it would work out, but it was nice because when the boys would go down for a nap, Shaun and I were forced to sit out on the balcony and relax! Well, I thoroughly enjoyed my time out there reading magazines and just watching the ocean waves. Shaun would go running and didn't figure out how peaceful it was until the last day.

Upon our return from the trip, Owen had a low grade fever and was randomly fussy. We chalked it up to teething like we always do. By the way, neither of them have any teeth yet! Anyway, on the third day of the low fever, we decided we should take him to the doctor. It turned out that he had about seven ulcers in the back of his mouth. These and the low grade fever meant hand, foot and mouth disease. Such an awful name for a little virus! Of course, being a virus only meant that as soon as Owen felt better, Emmett began feeling bad. It was such an awful week of being out of routine and dealing with unhappy babes. Shaun did an awesome job trying to come home as early as possible and even took a personal day when I broke down in tears out of pure frustration. I was glad when the week was over and I had my monsters back!

Thank goodness they rid their bodies of that because it was time for Sproutsongs to begin! This program was recommended to me by a teacher friend and although I was hesitant because of the cost, I am so glad we enrolled. I believe that music is vital to a person. I believe it's just something you need in your life. You can use music to relax, to workout, to take you back to a certain moment in time, to cope and so on and so on. With that said, O and E have been having so much fun with all the music...probably too much fun! They are the animals of the class. Toddlers in the room don't even move as much as these two! Although I absolutely love watching them enjoying themselves, sadly it made me question myself as a mother. Am I doing something wrong? Do I have no control? Why are my boys so crazy busy and all over the place?! Of course there is no judgement in this particular class. They love for the kids to be themselves, but I still can't seem to shut my worrying mind off that others are judging me and my boys. Another example is story time at the library. I can no longer go by myself with them because they are all over the place and in different directions! I was getting "the look" from other Moms which made me embarrassed so now I make sure to have a friend with me to play man on man defense.

The main point is why should I be embarrassed? They are eleven months old and have discovered that there is a whole world to explore! This self Mom judgement I have has been a (new) recent struggle. Until now, I was always this confident mother, but now that I'm getting the "look" from other mothers, I have begun to question my parenting. It shouldn't be this way. Being a Mom is a REALLY hard job. We shouldn't be judging one another, but perhaps lending a hand because each of us knows how difficult it is.

Of course when I share my feelings with friends they tell me I'm doing an amazing job and yadda yadda yadda. I think it's just a parent thing that you will always question whether or not you're raising your children right and wonder how you'll screw them up. Aren't we all screwed up somehow? It's almost like it's inevitable not to screw up your kids in some way or another. I'm trying to come to terms that I will not be a perfect parent and I will not have perfect children. So go explore boys and I'll deal with the looks for now. I don't want perfection and neither should you my little monsters. I want you to be you! Speaking of being you, here's what each of you are up to these days...

Owen has been very independent this month. He loves to stand and clap or stand and bang two things together. He seems to love noise! He's very into the instruments at Sproutsongs and giggles when you hold him to dance to the beat. I'm pretty sure he'll be our first walker. His favorite toy is probably the cat bowl and Maisey loves when it gets tossed around because it makes crazy reflections on the walls. She is going to love having these boys as play buddies! I'm sure she'll especially love Owen because he lo
ves to play with balls and that includes the millions of tennis balls that Maisey has lying around. It seems he really digs the animals' toys! His favorite noise to make is a high pitched squeal and he loves it when Emmett chases him!

Emmett has taken a turn from being the more independent one and now touches your leg or pulls at your pants to be held. He's still very good at entertaining himself, but when he wants to be snuggled, he'll let you know. Although it's very sweet, it always seems to happen when I'm trying to cook dinner and wish for him to be independent! But of course, I welcome the snuggles. When he is playing, he loves his cars and trucks. He's got a firetruck and tow truck that seem to be perfect for his little hands and he pushes them all around the house and gets very upset when Owen comes and takes them away. It's cute to watch him put them on chairs and make little motor noises as he pushes them around. I think he learned that from hearing Shaun. He's also standing on his own, clapping and waving bye bye. He's our morning talker and I love listening to him when he first wakes up. He's got this sweet little lullaby-like voice, but that little voice gets louder throughout the day. He loves the instruments at Sproutsongs too, but his voice really comes alive during the class more than Owen's. He also loves the chase game and that includes chasing our cat!

It's time to forget my Mom woes and focus on these new wobbles. Walking, here we come! For now, I hope to focus on my confidence as a parent. I know if I lead by example then my little monsters will follow. Happy eleven months Owen and Emmett. I love you both so much!
Best shot I could get of them together...too busy to pose now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

They're on the move...can I keep up?

I have heard over and over again that the first year with twins is pure survival mode. It wasn't until last week that I realized my own reality of doing it. The boys and I walked with a newer twin Mom and after she left to return home, I tried to reflect on when my boys were her boys' age. Although it was only six months ago, I really could not pull a whole lot out of the hat of memories. I know some of you are laughing as you read this because you truly know me and know that when it comes to most things (not just my children), that I don't really have a memory at all! Well, needless to say, I am really glad that I've been blogging and keeping a small journal for daily jottings beside my bed because either my brain doesn't want to go back there or I really can't remember s*%t!

Today, Owen and Emmett are ten months old and my memory is just fine as I recall this month being a lot of survival mode. It was one of those months where I got comfortable with the way things were rolling around here and now I find myself switching gears and trying to keep up with my busy boys. They are crawling all over the place and pulling themselves up to stand on everything. The poor dogs stand outside the bathroom door downstairs because they know that's where their bowls are locked up for most of the day. Nothing is safe! I'm re-evaluating my baby-proofing because hearing my boys hit their heads off the hardwood every twenty minutes or so is not fun. I want them to explore without my supervision in the playroom that's blocked off, but even that is proving to be a fail at times because Emmett loves to pull Owen's hair and hit him with toys. The days have been exhausting mentally and physically. I feel like a baby lifeguard most of the day, just trying my best to keep the peace. 

This month will eventually be a blur in memory too, I know. For now, I'll continue to look forward to the hour or so that I drop them off at the YMCA nursery. 

Owen started crawling this past month! I think he finally calculated that walking was going to take a bit longer than he had anticipated so he decided to join his brother in getting around. In classic Owen style, he crawls and stops along the way to ponder a bit. He's also pulling up to stand on things and has the most contagious laugh. Sometimes he'll laugh for no reason at all! He loves to start clapping and is thrilled when you join in. He loves making music by taking two small toys and banging them together. He is my little sweetheart. 

Emmett has one crawling speed: turbo. Turbo to the doors, turbo to the kitchen, turbo to the back, turbo to the playroom and turbo around the patio. He is such a do-er! He's also pulling to stand on everything and one of his favorite activities is standing at the cardboard garage that Shaun made them and putting his toys on top so he can play with them there. Meanwhile, Owen likes to be inside the garage to play so of course it's a calamity when he tries to crawl out and more often than not, knocks Emmett down on his way out. Sigh. Emmett is the talker and loves to hear himself squeal. He also loves to take away anything that Owen is currently playing with and pull his brother's hair too. Each diaper change is also a wrestling match with him. He thinks it's hilarious, but I don't! As you can read, Emmett is more often than not, my daily challenge. He is my Animal.

It's unbelievable that I'm looking at things to celebrate their first birthday. Is it a first year birthday party or is it more of a first year survival party? It just may be a celebration of both.

Happy Ten Months Owen and Emmett! I love you, my little monsters!
On the time for pictures! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The fine 9

A perfect rainy day on my back porch to try and catch up on this blog while O and E nap. When I went on my Facebook hiatus, apparently I went on a writing hiatus as well since it has been nearly three months since my last post. Now I find myself struggling with how to get you all up to speed. I guess I can begin with reflections on the Facebook timeout.

Overall, it felt good to not be on it. I remember the very first day away I even tried logging on to my Twitter account. I guess I was just longing to have some sort of connection. Anyway, what a joke! I quickly realized why I don't use Twitter. I just simply don't get it! It feels spastic to me and not user friendly. I think I spent all of five minutes trying to reconnect and then felt ashamed for even doing so. Wasn't one of my main reasons for the hiatus because I found myself not being present with my boys? And yet, here I sit, off of Facebook but still with the phone in my hand and not paying attention!

I realized that my main use for it is to simply keep people updated that aren't in our daily lives. All of our family is in Pennsylvania so it's great to be able to post pictures of O and E and to let people know that we're (in general) alive and thriving. I also realized that I use it to know the happenings around Raleigh. I felt lost without it! I have given a "like" to so many local places that it's actually how I stay up to date on happenings. I attempted to read different local blogs and such, but Facebook is nice because all events are listed in one place.

I thought I would reflect more about being deactivated for a month, but it really didn't give me any knowledge that I didn't already know. I honestly hate it. I hate that I compare my life to other lives and now I compare my children to other children. It's hard not to as you scroll through the never ending feed. I've had people insinuate that my life is perfect because of what I post on Facebook. Ha! Don't be fooled my friends. I am a normal human being. Gasp! The only reason it may appear that I have my crap together is because I choose to only post happy things on Facebook and usually it's only through pictures. It's like that part on Bambi when Thumper says, "If you can't say something nice...then don't say nothin' at all". I enjoy putting positive things on social media, but it doesn't mean that life is grand every minute of every day.

So if I hate it so much then why am I back? I returned for those far away. It is simply easier to stay connected (and quickly) all in one place. I also like to know what's going on around Raleigh :)

As far as life with the boys goes, we have officially survived nine months. They had their check-up today and we have proof that they're growing and thriving! I'm still enjoying the best of both worlds of being a stay-at-home Mom and working at night when I'm able. I wouldn't say things are easy on a day to day basis, but they're different. Need me to explain? A great example is that I used to have to find a friend in order to take them to story time at the library. With both of them requiring to be held, it was just easier to have some help. Now that they're both able to sit up, I'm able to take both of them by myself! It's quite a bit of work, but we're doing it! The whole sitting up thing has also opened up a world of going to Target without my giant IKEA bag hooked to their stroller. I can now put one in the cart and one strapped in the carrier on me. So you see, things aren't "easy," but they're different.

I would say the biggest struggle of all is still my marriage. I feel like I do the best that I can as a mother and the best that I can to take care of myself and then there's nothing left for my other half. We're way better than we were in the beginning, but we still have a long way to go. I'm snippy. SO snippy. And...I'm totally aware that I'm snippy! That's the worst part. I know my problem and yet I continue to do it. I wish I could be as patient with Shaun as I am with the boys. It's so easy to hurt the ones we love the most, isn't it?

I know that I am an extremely lucky woman to have the man that I do in my life. He is kind, smart, funny, handsome, hard-working, a damn good father that participates in the boys' lives and we make a great team. I wish I could just snap out of it and be this perfect wife, but again...I'm only human. I don't want rumors to start spreading that we're falling apart. We're not, but I feel like we're just going through the motions of being together. We want more. I think I need to start putting a certain percentage of my energy into him. He's important too, you know? Without him, there would be no family. I guess what I'm looking for is guidance. Having kids changed my marital world (among other things). I'm sure lots of you have been through it. Any suggestions?

Now it's time I get back to the boys. Since the last time I wrote, O and E became little travelers! A ten day trip to Pennsylvania had been in the works for a while, but Shaun and I thought it would be smart to do a "practice trip". The boys have their routine here at home so I was a bit nervous to take them out of their element. We took a few days and booked an apartment above a motel office at Topsail Beach. We stuck to our routine as much as we could and they adjusted just fine. Phew! The part I was most nervous about were the sleeping arrangements. At home they each have their big crib. I took a pack and play and two pea pods. I was hoping the pea pods would work because the pack and play is bulky and heavy. Plus, they have never slept together before and Emmett is a wild sleeper! In the end, both boys slept just fine in the pods and we had no real issues minus the drive home which was our fault. We decided that we wanted to take the scenic route home because that's what we liked to do in our "all about us" days. Lesson learned...if we're going to travel during afternoon nap time, make sure to get right home! The boys woke up and we still had about an hour to travel home. That left the boys with an hour to scream all the way home. It was beyond stressful and it quickly drove me to insanity.

To travel to PA, we left at the boys' bedtime and drove through the night. It went smoothly and they woke up as the sun was rising and we were pulling in to Shaun's house. We had an amazing and memorable trip. O and E had so many firsts from meeting tons of family to trying a lot of new food! They were absolute troopers through all of it and impressed me all the way. We stuck to our home routine the best we could and they adjusted beautifully. From their first taste of ice cream in Waymart to watching the horse races at their first Clearfield County Fair, I was so proud to be the Momma of two amazing little boys. Here are their latest pictures and what they're up to:

 Owen is so sweet. Over the PA trip he gave me my first real "Ma-Ma" as he was crawling towards me in bed early one morning. My heart melted and I began to cry. He was our first little "talker" and it all began on our way out to Topsail. Out of nowhere he just decided that he enjoyed hearing himself say "ba ba ba", "da da da" and "ma ma ma". He is our thinker and inspects everything he touches. I believe he thinks so much that it is the sole reason that he isn't crawling! We've had some forward motion, but nothing like his brother. He gets beyond frustrated but just won't do it! Instead, he just sits up and rocks back and forth grunting. He may not be crawling, but he loves to make music by banging things together and hearing what different noises he can create. He also loves it when you clap for him and say, "yea!" His eyes light up and he'll get even more excited to make more music.

Emmett is my busy and easily distracted boy. This kid is on the move and there's no stopping him! He seems to be the opposite of Owen and likes to just do things and not think about them. He's all over the place with his crawling and taking on the world...and dog bowls. He enjoys smashing his toys, attempting to stand up and harassing the cat. In fact, his first word might have been "tat". I wasn't there, but Shaun says it happened and I believe it. He also seems to enjoy using his mobility to his advantage by taking and crawling away with whatever his brother is playing with and that leaves Owen rather upset for a moment. He's also "talking" quite a bit now, but thoroughly enjoys hearing himself hold a long, loud "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". I believe he just wants everyone to know that, "Emmett's here and ready to party!" Mark my words, this boy is going to be my wild child. It makes total sense too because he was always the "quiet one" on the inside. My Mom always told me that "it's the quiet ones you gotta worry about" and I think Emmett is a fine example of what she meant.

Both boys are enjoying water. They each enjoy the plastic pool on our patio and they each enjoyed the ocean. Emmett liked sitting in tidal pools and splashing, but Owen seemed a bit overwhelmed and liked to just enjoy it while he was being held. They started taking swim lessons at the YMCA right before we left for PA and had such a fun time! It was so awesome to watch them both giggling and splashing and neat to see them mimic natural swim motions in the water. We're looking forward to another lesson tomorrow!

Happy 9 Months, Owen and Emmett. The two of you make my world a better place and I love you both so much!
Owen and Emmett at 9 Months

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

6 Month Update and the Challenge

Wow, really behind on this one, but Owen and Emmett hit the six month mark on April 26! Life is moving extremely fast to say the least. We've got a great schedule working (for now). I think people wonder about how our day rolls so here's your chance to get a glimpse.

The boys wake up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. We usually snuggle for a bit in Shaun and I's bed (love!) and then we head downstairs for breakfast in a bottle. After that is some play time and diaper changes. While they're playing, I can usually make tea and squeeze in breakfast for myself. By 9 or 9:30 a.m. they take a (power) nap in their swings. It's usually about 30 minutes long and then they wake up cooing and babbling and ready to play again! There's quite a bit of time between their morning nap and next bottle, so usually we get out of the house for a bit and see what there is to see. Each day is different. You may find us at Target, baby story time at the library, hanging at a friend's house, walking around museums downtown, swinging at our neighborhood park, getting groceries, picking out new books at the library or enjoying Momma Fit Camp. By the time we get home, it's time for them to eat again and play a bit more.

The afternoon nap is the long one. They go to sleep between 12:30 and 1 p.m. and will sleep two hours at the very least. I love nap time...seriously. It's my time to do what I want. No matter what, I always eat lunch, tidy a bit, shower and prep for the rest of the night and even prep the bottle for the next morning. All of this usually takes about an hour or so and that leaves me with an hour to do whatever I wish! Sometimes I'll do something productive and other times you may find me just lying in my bed and resting my eyes. I really never fall asleep unless I'm super tired (which, I always feel like I am), but it always feels so good just to be still for a while.

After they wake up all happy and cute, we go downstairs and play some more. Shocking, I know! They eat again between 3:30 and 4 p.m. and then we change diapers and get ready to walk the dogs. We usually go for a two to three mile walk. O and E are always just happy looking around and now they're starting to babble at times while we're out. Occasionally there is some fussing, but it's rare. When we get back home they play some more and that gives me time to cook dinner and start the countdown until Shaun gets home...yea! Another pair of hands! On nights when I have to go into work, it's usually rushed and we basically do a quick change of shift report, kisses goodbye and I'm out the door. If I don't have to work, we get to have some family time for a bit and eat dinner together. The final bottle is around 7:30 p.m. and then we start the bedtime routine. The boys are asleep between 8 and 8:30 p.m., the nightly rat race of tidying begins, I get some "me" time again and then repeat it all the next day!

Throughout the daily grind during the past month, Owen has really come out of his "serious" persona. It's like he's trying to prove that we've been wrong all along. He giggles a lot now and goes on and on about nothing. Even with strangers, he's the one that isn't shy and will let his personality shine. He rolls all over the place and is almost sitting up by himself. He likes to be read to and you know what he likes even more than that? Sucking on his left big toe.

Emmett is still silly and just as nosey as ever. His laugh is contagious. He tends to act serious around strangers, but opens up quickly. He's also rolling all over the place, almost sitting up alone and seems to be attracted to the TV. I have to turn it off if I want him to focus on me. You have to watch out for diaper changes with this one. He is in love with grabbing and squishing his balls. Testicles? Junk? Scrotum? Whatever you want to call it, he loves it. It can be a true challenge during a bad shit storm. I usually have to distract him with a toy so that he'll play with that instead while I get him cleaned up. Emmett's going to love this post when he has his first date ;)

In the last post, I think I wrote that I would go into more depth about transitioning them to their cribs, but that seems like so long ago now! Without going into much detail, they had a rough time going from their rock and play sleepers and into their cribs. When they turned five months and could roll over, we attempted the transition again because my thinking was they could roll into whatever position was comfortable for them. It took a while and we did it in baby steps, but we would put them to sleep in the crib and when they woke up inconsolable, we would return them to the rock and plays to sleep the rest of the night. I just wanted to ensure that they were still getting good sleep and not up all night crying because of their crib hatred. Night after night they kept sleeping longer in them and now the rock and plays are a thing of the past. Victory!

On a final note, I ran across an article the other day about 13 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Day. I read it at a time when I had just caught myself checking Facebook on my phone while feeding the boys. I was disappointed in myself. Are my kids not entertaining enough? Why am I on Facebook right now? I felt guilty. The thought crossed my mind to delete my account for a while and that's when I ran across the article.

I love a good challenge. I believe they provide growth and a chance to reflect. The article states that being mindful is "the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally". Be present. In the moment. These are all things we are able to do, but I feel like we've lost the ability to do it.

I can't tell you how many times I'm at the grocery store or walking out of work and people have a hard time looking me in the eye. When I try to make eye contact, people instantly bring their phones up to their face. Am I ugly? Do I have a booger in my nose? Stuff in my teeth? Do I scare you?

Eye contact seems to make people completely uncomfortable nowadays yet according to this article and another book I'm reading called Love Rituals, eye contact helps to develop and maintain stronger connections in all relationships. These strong connections (with children) help with cooperation and discipline. I would love to build this kind of relationship with Owen and Emmett.

With all of this said, I am challenging myself to deactivate my Facebook account for at least a month. Some of you may or may not have noticed, but I've already been weaning since last Friday. I've already removed the app from my phone and will deactivate my account after the sharing of this post. I will continue to use Facebook messenger which is basically like texting if anyone doesn't have my number and wishes to get in touch. I will still post pictures on Instagram so follow me there! I love Instagram so much more than Facebook. It's overall a much more positive experience for me.

I have a friend that recently gave up Facebook for lent. She has since returned, but it was interesting to read her blog about what she took away from the experience. I hope to take good notes about my revelations and of course, be in the moment and continue to work on building a strong connection with my boys. I encourage all of you to read the article and come up with a challenge for yourself. Are you living in the moment?

I love you, Owen and Emmett. You are my world. Happy 6 months!

I love/hate you Facebook. Goodbye (for now)!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Fantastic Five (months)

Better late than never, right? The boys hit the 5-month mark on March 26th. I managed to take their pictures a little after the date, but haven't been able to find the energy to write over the last week. Once we put O and E down for bedtime around 8 o'clock, it's like my entire being just shuts down. All I ever want to do is a super quick tidy and either watch a mindless tv show or get in bed and read. It's amazing that two little beings can suck you of all energy and will to do things for yourself after they've gone to bed. I get so excited for "me" time throughout the day and conjure up grand plans for how to spend my time, but when their day ends and mine can begin, I just wanna clock out and head home. Shift over. I'm done.

Over the last month, I've come to better understand and accept my role as a mother. I'm starting to see just how hard this job is, but also realizing how important it is. You mean, I'm semi-responsible for creating two upstanding gentlemen for this society? Yikes! It's a tough realization. At first, I just wanted to run and hide. However, lately my mindset has switched over to thoughts of making it happen or at least making a valid attempt.

Thoughts of how I want to raise our boys forced me to look back on my childhood and pick things out that I think helped me become who I am today. What kind of things do I think shaped who I am today? I remember playing outside a lot, letting my imagination run wild, playing with animals, playing with friends, riding bikes, playing sports, playing/discovering all kinds of music, laughing and joking. I think in today's day and age, that I will have an uphill battle. There are too many "distractions" from reality: iPods, iPhones, computers, video games, etc. I hope to limit their time with these things and encourage them to experience the world around them. Although I absolutely love where and how I grew up, I'm thankful that we live in Raleigh. There's so much to do, see and experience. At the same time, I hope to expose them to places that resemble where I was raised. I want to take them to small towns out in the mountain and beach areas of NC or elsewhere. I really hope to travel with Shaun, O and E. I'm sure they'll reach an age where they won't want to be seen with us anymore, but I can do my best to create a motherly friendship with boundaries. Huh? Well, it's exactly how I was brought up. I still have no idea how my mother did it, but I grew up knowing that she was the Mom and respecting that but I also saw her as a trusted friend. I was never embarrassed to be seen with her in front of my friends. I'm hopeful that my boys will view me in the same way.

It took me quite a few months to accept my Mom role, but now I feel like I'm all in. I feel very fortunate that I'm able to have the best of both worlds. I'm able to be a full time mother and work occasionally to fulfill my personal needs to get out and contribute to society in a different way. I feel so lucky to have a job where I'm able to work casually and pick up shifts here and there as it works for our lives right now. As the boys get older, I'm sure I'll increase my work, but right now this is working and I'm (finally) totally enjoying being their mother.

So what have my two goobers been up to over the last month? Well, both HATE their cribs. Transitioning them from sleeping in their rock and play sleepers (aka the bucket) to sleeping in their own cribs has been a nightmare. If I would have known what a challenge this would be, they would have been introduced to their cribs from day one! As I write this, we have now made amazing strides in the crib department, but I'll write more about it next post.

Owen: This boy LOVES to jump! We bought a jumperoo at a consignment sale and I swear he could go all day in that thing. Once he figured out that the jumping produces music, he just jumps and jumps and jumps! He's still our more serious boy, but he really opened up more this past month. He enjoys laying on the activity mats and reaching for all the things above him. He seems to be inspecting them all. He still enjoys tummy time and can roll front to back, but hasn't rolled back to front. Just when we think he's about to do it, he's a stinker and just rolls to his back again as if to say, "meh, maybe tomorrow". He loves to inspect your face when it's right in front of him, enjoys peek-a-boo and does little baby sit-ups to strengthen his core.


Emmett: Silly, silly boy! He is bright-eyed and bushy tailed. He is nosey like my Grandma Luzier was and is constantly looking at everything around him with his neck stretched out and eyes wide. I call him chatty Cathy because he's constantly babbling. Giggles come easily when you tickle him or make goofy noises and faces at him. He can roll front to back and back to front, especially if he's trying to check something out across the room...nosey! When placed in the jumperoo, he enjoys jumping up and down a little bit, but is really into standing in it and inspecting all of the toys on it...nosey! Like his brother, he also does baby sit-ups and I swear he does them in the stroller the whole time we're out for our walks. I have a feeling this one will be our trouble maker.

I can't believe that the next time I write that the boys will be six months old. We'll be at a wedding that day so be on the lookout for pictures of some dapper-looking dudes! I love you Owen and Emmett. Happy five months!