Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Don’t Freak Out It’s Just A Baby

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Last week I was rummaging around in my cabinet for two sippy cups to give Linc and Finn. Somehow we own 473 take and toss cups and ZERO take and toss cup lips. Why am I apparently tossing just lids? Where did they go? And why doesn’t my Target sell JUST lid replacements? I ended up with one blue lid on a red cup for Linc and an old Lansinoh baby bottle for Finnegan. I gave them each a splash of chocolate milk in with their regular milk and then enjoyed the silence while I made coffee.

But while I was standing there watching them, it occurred to me that Finnegan was drinking out of a bottle even though Finnegan never took a bottle. I think my husband force-fed him a couple while I was at a conference when he was 9 months old. And I should probably count the one night in the hospital as a newborn when he needed to go under the jaundice lights. But for the most part, he rejected any milk that didn’t come straight from the source. But here he is, standing in the kitchen, happily feeding himself as if he’s been doing it his whole life, using one of the MANY bottles I purchased over the years out of desperation (none of my children took bottles despite my efforts, half-hearted or full-hearted).

And then it occurred to me I don’t remember introducing him to cow’s milk. He probably picked up a cup that belonged to someone else one day and drank it, and the next time he saw me pouring milk he just grunted to indicate he wanted some and now he drinks milk. I don’t know if it was after he turned one. I don’t know how much he drinks daily. I don’t know if he cares if it’s whole milk or 2% or organic or FairLife or whatever. He has no obvious preferences for any of it – Finnegan would like something milk-like in some sort of drinkable container, now please.

This is such a change from what life was like as a brand new mom. I remember literally agonizing over Evan’s milk intake (or lack thereof). And I don’t even have to remember, because this blog exists and if you go back to the archives around early 2010 you can see me write post after post about how he didn’t like food, how he wouldn’t take cow’s milk, how I was afraid he would never stop breastfeeding, how he made himself gag if he ate so much as a Cheerio, and how I worried SO MUCH ALL THE TIME about whether or not I was doing things right. I tried at least four different kinds of milk out of DOZENS of different sippy cups trying to convince a one-year-old he should drink it. I wasted so much time and energy and mental space trying to figure out a baby because it was my first time ever having a baby and I had no idea what I was doing.

Now my baby is almost 9 and there is all sorts of new stuff to worry about (no really, can someone explain why Minecraft is still so popular? and tell me which YouTube channels are appropriate?). But I’ve had three more babies and with each one the baby-ages have gotten easier. Finnegan knows three signs that cover all his needs: nursies, please, and night night. He will bring me a diaper if he needs one. He could go up and down stairs a full year before I ever let my first baby even try. He likes people, he likes new things, he likes food, he likes naps, he likes being worn, he likes walking, he tags along 6 days a week to other people’s activities and never complains. The thing is, I didn’t do ANYTHING to get this baby to be so agreeable. I cannot tell you how to get the same baby. My suspicion is benign neglect plays a big part, a result of having a zillion children.

The problem is there is literally nothing you can say to a new mom to get her to stop worrying. There is no way to gain the confidence you need to be a more chill parent without seeing your kids survive their toddler years despite your mistakes. Parenting is not one size fits all for anyone. You can read libraries full of books and talk to a thousand other parents and get all the advice in the world and still not do everything right. Especially if you take ALL the advice, because often it is in direct conflict. Parenting is learned by being thrown in the deep end and that’s terrifying when you don’t know how to swim, no matter how many books about swimming you’ve read.

But after 9 years of swimming I went from dog paddle to dedicated athelete…and now I’m back to somewhere around hobbyist. Basically I have forgotten everything I worked really hard to learn about babies with my first. The only thing that still applies is they need to be fed, they need a lot of sleep, and they’re adorable so you don’t abandon them. That seems to always be true.

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Snow Day

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

We’ve had a lot of snow days this year. It’s not terrible. I like getting out of our responsibilities for a day. The worst part is that I have to do the shoveling but I just tell myself it’s a really good workout. Another thing that’s a really good workout is sledding. The third workout I got was getting everyone in and out of their winter gear. I’m exhausted.

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My Family, Documented

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The list of things that have gone wrong in the first two weeks of January is laughably long. I broke a filling, the kids shatter my laptop, my power charger fried my battery, we had several snow days/delays, I forgot to take the kids to swim (and karate and cheer), and Linc finally potty trained but not without peeing on every pair of underpants he owned. We now own more underpants AND as of this morning he’s officially done with diapers. I also got my computer fixed, ordered a new battery, made it to all our activities, and scheduled a dentist appointment.

I’m feeling very accomplished despite the setbacks, especially since on top of regular momming and housekeeping and cooking I’m also taking a photography class online. I’ve taken a few classes from Clickin Moms before and they’re always great, so when an ad for the class called The Documentary Approach crossed my Facebook feed, I saved the post. I kept going back to it and finally decided it would be a great way to keep me inspired during January.

So far we’ve focused on light (which is terrible in January) and this week is composition (which is something I thought I was good at but now I’m not so sure). It hasn’t been good for my confidence, but it has been good for my creativity. I am really, really looking forward to warmer weather so we can go outside and I can take pictures somewhere besides my house though. As much as I love documenting our life, I really like taking aesthetically beautiful photos in between so much reality.

 

 

 

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Velvet Mill Winter Farmer’s Market

Monday, January 8th, 2018

We had to get out of the house on Saturday so we went to the Velvet Mill, where Stonington has their farmer’s market in the winter. I had to wear the baby on my back to keep him from a) running away and b) freezing to death between the car and the door (also the mill is huge and drafty and most people didn’t even take off their hats and scarves inside). When I have a baby on my back my photography really suffers – he’s wiggly and throws himself back if he can’t see what I’m looking at, it’s hard to carry my camera strap on my shoulder when the carrier strap is in the way, and crouching down/bending over is hard when your balance is being thrown off by 28 lbs. But I still managed to take a few pictures at the mill (plus a few after).

All that delicious farmer’s market food and my kids begged for cheeseburgers for lunch.

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Snow Day (The First Of Many, I Suspect)

Friday, January 5th, 2018

The kids went to school for 2 whole days this week, which was the first week back after vacation. We had Thursday off because it was snowing all day. We have Friday off because the wind is terrible and all the shoveling I did today was useless. Then it’s the weekend again. Hopefully by Sunday we can go back to our regularly scheduled activities because this house is starting to feel REALLY small. I might have ordered 12 different kinds of organizing storage container today because if I have to be trapped inside all the time at least it’s going to be in a clean house.

Here is some of what we did today.

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