Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moments to remember

Last night my husband was able to feel the baby kick. She was doing a pretty serious dance and I guess I made a face about it because he asked if she was moving and then put his hand on my belly to feel it. She pretty much kicked right on cue. It was so sweet. Baby A always seemed to know when my husband was trying to feel her kicks and immediately stopped. Towards the end though she was such a dancer that my whole belly would roll with her. She was such a peanut though that it was never really painful, mildly uncomfortable as a heel or elbow pushed out and across my stomach but she never really hurt. Hopefully this little girl is the same way.

I'm starting to actually gain some weight now. I'm at about 10.5 lbs gained but still, with  just over18 weeks to go, that puts me at a really good range to hopefully stay under 35 lbs total, under 30 lbs would be fabulous. I'm starting to get hungrier though. Up until now I hadn't really changed my eating habits too much. I changed a few of my snacks to be slightly higher calories and protein and added an afternoon snack that didn't used to be there but now I"m finding I need something earlier in the morning than I used to and that I'm hungrier at lunch and dinner than I used to be.

I managed to eat an entire bag of popcorn myself, in one day. Not the type of bag you put in a microwave, it was a massive Walmart econosized bag of kettle corn. Kinda sweet, kinda salty and holy moly so very, very good. I had no off button. Literally just kept eating it all day. The whole bag. I really figured I'd reach a point where it would make me ill, but that never happened.

I've also had a cold for the last two weeks. What a miserable thing to deal with while pregnant. There just isn't anything you can do about it except wait. I stayed home one day last week and then again one day this week. I was just sneezing and coughing so much that I didn't feel it was right to bring my germs to work. I've been taking medicine at night to help me sleep, but I don't want to take it all day too, so I just have to deal with the coughing and sneezing.

I'm hoping that this doesn't interfere with our plans for Saturday, Baby A's 2nd Birthday Party!! Yay!!

I'm so excited!

Last year it was so emotional to realize that a full year had gone by. Now, she's so far removed from the tiny baby that she was, it's a little easier to accept that yet another year has gone. She's growing so fast, and learning so much it's staggering. She has started "singing" along to songs in the car which cracks me up so much. We have a Beatles for Kids CD that we listen to a lot because we both like it, they're songs that if they get stuck in my head don't make me crazy, and there's no stupid cutsie voice telling us to bark like a dog or moo like a cow. Sorry, I just can't deal with that. Baby A loves the Beatles and today started asking for specific songs to be played. She loves the 'yeah, yeah' song (She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.) and wanted to hear that over and over this morning.

We encourage her love of music and books as much as possible and this year we have actually very specifically asked everyone attending her birthday to get her books as presents. We have a decent library but it's spread across four rooms in the house, so that really thins it out quickly and we've been reading them all almost daily for 18 months or more. Mama needs some new material!!

I can't believe she's going to be two. And I can't believe that tomorrow is 22 weeks of pregnant. We still don't have a name. We're not in a huge rush about it, but I'd like to get one picked out so we can start using it with Baby A and make it a real person instead of just 'baby'. We'll find the right one, it took time with Baby A also and her name is perfect for her.

Friday, August 16, 2013

21 Weeks and a kicker

I can't believe I"m over half way there. It's going by so fast.

I had to order new maternity jeans today because the ones I have fit 'under the belly' and this little girl does NOT approve. I am getting kicked like crazy right now. One of my coworkers laughed at me today and said it looks like I"m going to have two opinionated little girls. I don't think she's wrong.

Symptoms have eased quite a bit. The heartburn has died down and the back pain is better. I'm also carrying Baby A less frequently and switching my purse has helped a lot. I would really love to get into a walking and stretching routine and every Friday I promise myself that on Monday I will be organized for the week and go to the gym after work, and then somehow it's Friday again and I haven't done any of that.

I'm going to end up looking like a whale at the end of this pregnancy too. Although I do have to admit I'm still on track. My eating has increased. I'm finding myself hungrier more frequently but that's pretty normal. This baby is growing and so am I. I think I'm at about 9 lbs gained so far, maybe 10. At 21 weeks I think that's probably pretty fantastic.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Marathon Parenting

There are several other 'mom' blogs that I follow and enjoy seeing how other people make parenting decision.

One of them just had her second child, her oldest is about two and a half. She is a stay at home mom and is trying to balance the needs of a newborn with the needs of her daughter who is very used to having her mom's undivided attention. To say I'm taking notes would be an understatement.

Another has seven children, the youngest is pretty close in age to my Baby A. I find her to be truly amazing. Following her blog has definitely helped me realize that messing up is part of parenting but also that sometimes the things that seem big, really aren't and your attitude towards the situation determines a lot towards the outcome.

I love Real Simple Magazine (yes this segue leads somewhere) and have subscribed for years but once a year, usually around this time, they put out a Real Simple Family issue that is not mailed to subscribers and is one I will pick up in the grocery line when I see it has come out. I picked up this year's issue yesterday and haven't sat down to really read it yet, but have read the Editor's Note.

This year the main articles and studies are focused on 'Helicopter Parenting'. I had to google it the first time I heard it used, which was by the mom in the first blog I mentioned. I think it's basically it's where you hover over your child and follow/direct their every step.

There's also another parenting trendy name that's something like Cottonwool Parenting, where you overly protect your children from any real or imagined threat or potential danger. I don't quite know where the separation is on those two but the mom in blog 2 mentioned that particular parenting method.

I haven't read the articles in the Real Simple issue this month but am definitely interested to see where/if/how I fall into this category. I don't think I hover, and in fact, I usually watch Baby A teeter on the edge of the couch or bed as she attempts to rearrange toys without realizing how close to the edge she is and not say a word. If she falls, she'll learn. But there are probably some things that I do that would be considered part of the HP issue.

All that being said. I would like to propose my own brand of trendy parenting styles.

Marathon Parenting.

This is where you realize parenting is really, really hard work. It mostly sucks. It takes way more effort, time and will power than you expected and there's no letting up. If you stop 'training' it all backslides immediately.

But once you get to a point where you start seeing results:

Your children say 'please' and 'thank you' appropriately without coaching.
Your children can walk into and out of a store without pitching fits, throwing tantrums or begging mercilessly for something.
The table next to you at a restaurant compliments you on your well behaved children during a meal.
They come home with a great report card.
They excel at (or just thoroughly enjoy) a sport, hobby or activity.
They smile, hug, and say 'I love you' all on their own.
They apologize when they've done something wrong and realize it on their own.

Those moments, those real results from all the hard work, sweat and tears, that's what makes it worth it. And whatever method of parenting you subscribe to, it just doesn't matter when, at the end of the day you have happy, healthy children.

That's Marathon Parenting. Keeping the end goal in sight and knowing that getting there is not going to be fun or easy, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grandma Troubles

I really appreciate having my mother close by. My parents are about 45 minutes away, so they're not right next door, but they're close enough to enjoy a few conveniences. They can babysit on days where Baby A is sick and can't go to daycare, or on days where Mama T is sick or wants a vacation day. It's very helpful. My mom has been coming over on Fridays to help me clean the house during Baby A's nap and frequently by the time I get home, around 1, she's already done the laundry and vacuuming. It's really so great and I appreciate it so much.


My mother is a little opinionated.

Kind of like I'm a little opinionated.

Only, my mother has the 'Well I'm the mom' attitude about her opinions and feels she can pretty much tell me (and my husband) whatever she thinks about anything. And really, even in the rare cases that she doesn't say anything, she's not a very good liar and it's rather obvious when she disagrees with something.

We are getting ready to move Baby A into her 'Big Girl Room' so that we can continue using the nursery as a nursery for this next baby. I've been picking colors and deciding on what I want to do with either the furniture we have (all hand-me-downs that have seen better days) or what I might want to purchase. Every time I come up with a plan, my mother shoots it down. Which bed I was going to use. What height it was going to be. Whether I wanted to just buy a headboard, or buy a new bed frame. Whether I wanted to use a dresser we have already or buy a new one, or a craigslist one. The colors I picked for the sheets. The pattern I picked for the drapes. Everything seems to be a battle right now.

At first I was really excited about doing this with my mom and having her with me to go out shopping for things and putting together a cute but not 'baby' little girl's room. Now, I'm annoyed, frustrated and just want to do it myself and am even questioning sending my husband any of the things I'm looking at getting because I just don't want another negative response.

Add to that the fact that Baby A's birthday is coming up. I've been thinking about it and making some plans for a while and trying to be a little ahead of the game rather than last year where I ignored the fact that she was turning one until the week before. So then, all unasked and unplanned, my mother announces that she's going to make an Elmo cake for Baby A and that when I was little she made me a cookie monster cake and she had so much fun doing it that she was so excited to do it for Baby A. Well. That's great. And I'm glad she's excited. But what if I wanted to make my daughter a cake for her birthday. And what if I was excited to be able to do these things for her and have these memories. Now I don't know what to do. Do I say something and know I'm hurting her feelings? Do I keep my mouth shut and say thank you?

My mother is not alone in this. My Mother in Law has some similar issues. There are things that she so thoroughly enjoyed doing as a mother that she now wants to do it again as a Grandmother. She puts Christmas stockings together for Baby A and an Easter Basket each year. I don't know what to do about this either. I have talked to my husband about this, the issue with both mothers, and neither one of us really know what to do. He didn't get Christmas stockings from his grandparents while he was growing up.You get a stocking from Santa. That's it. That's the deal. How do I work stockings from Grandma into this??

At what point between being a Mother and becoming a Grandmother do they become so challenging??

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stupid things mom's get excited about

This weekend was very busy. Busy in a good way. We're getting some projects around the house finished. I ran a bunch of errands that I've been trying to get to for a couple weeks. It was just a really good 'get stuff done' weekend. We were exhausted by Sunday evening, but had material accomplishments to go with it.

There were several times this weekend where I had to stop and accept that there are things that I get excited about now that would not have the same thrill for me prior to becoming a wife and mother.

This trash can is a good example:
I found them at Bed Bath and Beyond and think they're the coolest thing. Let me tell you why. That 'fold over' thingy at the top, lifts off and after you put in your garbage bag (or grocery bag, those fit too) you put that top piece back on and it holds the bag in place. I just thought that was brilliant. And my second thought was, "Good Lord I'm old!"

Item two that I had to be excited about was this laundry hamper.
Now, this isn't a new thing. I've been eyeing these for a while and to be honest, I didn't get the one I really wanted because it was more than I wanted to spend. But, my husband is a runner, and a cyclist, a yard work enthusiast, and generally a 'sweater'. As in, he sweats. A lot. When he comes in from a run, it looks like he got rained on. Yeah.  Eww. I married that. When he comes in from whatever it was that made him sweat, he tends to disrobe in the laundry room and dump all the sweaty, dirty, gross clothes in front of the washing machine. Which is better than dripping all that upstairs to our bedroom and leaving it in the hamper there, however, there is no door to our laundry room and it's just a dirty pile of clothes in front of the machine. I have attempted to leave laundry baskets there for him to use, but frequently he won't because he claims he didn't know if the clothes there were just cleaned, or if they were yet to be cleaned. So I bought this very specific hamper just for him and his stuff. So, what happens, he comes in from yard work Sunday afternoon and says 'hey, is this here for all my yard work and running clothes'. I say 'yes it is!' He then proceeds to dump his clothes in front of it because it looked too clean and he didn't want to put his dirty clothes in a clean clothes hamper. *sigh* Really? I just can't win. Even so, I'm pretty excited that I finally got one for the room.

Item three, I've actually had for a little while, a year or so I guess, but has jumped into a new roll. I have been carrying my 'mom' bag for around 18 months. I love it. It's huge. It holds everything. I love it. But...with this new pregnancy my back doesn't love it. It is, in truth, a very, very heavy bag. Even without all the junk in it, it's just heavy. I had to give it up, plus the straps are kind of falling off. But when I tried using my 'Pre Mom' purses, they just don't cut it. I can't fit everything in there and there are no pockets. I like my pockets.

So, I've been mildly obsessed with Thirty-One bags and have collected quite a few. They're mostly for traveling, but I have re-purposed this one:
It is now my purse. I also have a bunch of small zipper cosmetic style bags that I got at a Thirty One outlet sale. One holds my lipsticks and 'personal' items, one holds Baby A's diapers and a third holds the odd things that end up in my purse, crayons, a pacifier, a block, etc. The outside pockets hold my phone, my keys, hand sanitizer, etc, etc, all those things that I have to have with me and want to be able to find when I need them. The bag itself isn't all that much smaller than my 'mom bag' but it's so much lighter and so far has worked really well. I love that I can toss everything in there and not want to cry half way through the grocery store.

And the last, and most exciting thing for the weekend, Baby A's birthday invitations.

I have to say, I'm so proud of these. I bought all the materials, printed the text and the butterfly and they cut them to the right size and put them together this weekend. I think they're adorable and am so happy I was able to do this for this year's party. Last year I really avoided the idea that she was turning 1 and so by the time I had to send out invitations, I didn't really have a chance to actually make them. I love doing this kind of thing.

All of these things that I got so excited about this weekend I would have laughed about ten years ago. I don't think I could have imagined being excited about a hamper for my husbands gross clothes. Or a trash basket that holds the bag in place. Really?? Yeah, I'm just that old apparently.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My daughter's future career: Linebacker

So, I got a 'Mama T Talk' the other day when I picked up Baby A after work. I always hate getting those.

Baby A has some sharing issues. We know this. We're working on this. However, it's very hard to work on sharing when we're home and she's the only kid. It doesn't work so well when half the time she wants me on the floor playing with her and her toys. But Mama T has been working with her a lot and I really thought we had been getting better.

Not so much.

Apparently the other day one of the other kids in daycare, the only one smaller than her, picked up a toy that Baby A was not playing with. From across the room Baby A starts screeching and sprints at him, full speed, arms outstretched, and tackled him to the ground. Full body slam, with her landing on top of this poor little boy. Both of them got hurt and Baby A ended up in time out for quite a long time.

I know that this is a normal issues for toddlers, especially the oldest in a family since everyone who comes later always has that older sibling to deal with. But good Lord, does she have to be so violent???

One of my good friends has a little boy who is about two and a half. He gave her such a run for those first two years that she's still just catching her breath. He would hit, kick, bite, scream, throw things, all of it. He had no self control and she worked with him and worked and worked and now he is finally calming down and able to redirect some of that energy and frustration.

I had a relatively easy first two years with Baby A in that regard. That is not to say we haven't had our issues. Baby A has been her very own special brand of red headed challenge, however, in many ways she is such a good little girl. She eats, she sleeps, she plays, she's loving and sweet.

Until you pick up something that she wants.

And then she tackles you.