Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

Several Truths And One Big Lie About Mother’s Day

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I did not have an excellent Mother’s Day. I’m not saying that to make my family feel bad or shame anyone. I’m saying that because there’s a pretty good chance YOU didn’t have an excellent Mother’s Day either and I want you to know you’re not alone. Those perfect, smiling, happy families on Instagram and Twitter probably didn’t have flawless Mother’s Days either. They might have had a very nice day. A spectacular day. But it was not perfect – perfect is the lie. Kids – even kids big enough to understand the concept of Mother’s Day – don’t stop being kids just because it’s the second Sunday in May. Not once has saying “But it’s Mother’s Day!!” to a tantruming child solved the problem. They do not suddenly stop being tired or hungry or frustrated and pull a bouquet of flowers out from behind their back and say “Oh dear mother, I had simply forgotten! Shall I fetch you a coffee or a glass of wine?” If that is your life, Mother’s Day or not, I hate you.

The problem as I see it is that Mother’s Day is supposed to be Special and things that are supposed to be Special just lead to disappointment. That is why women become bridezillas about their One Special  Wedding Day and freak out that every single second doesn’t go according to plan. The pressure of that ONE DAY is just too much. Mother’s Day is the ONE DAY a year we are supposed to be indulged and pampered and appreciated above ALL the other days. Sleeping in and breakfast in bed and champagne brunch and a family picnic and a manicure and a relaxing nap and a romantic dinner date and a thoughtful gift and a homemade card and flowers and a bottle of wine. If you family really loves you, they will do all of that. Except no, they won’t. And even if you don’t really need them to…even if you try really really hard to keep your expectations super low…even if you say “I will be happy if all I get is a card the kids made at school”…it’s hard to stare into the face of social expectations and be OK with not having a perfect day.

I actually would have had a pretty good Sunday if it had just been a Sunday. I got to lie in bed for an extra hour. My husband picked up lunch for all of us. I got to buy and plant flowers with the kids. And we finished the day by having s’mores for dinner on the newly cleaned patio. But I also did laundry and dishes and changed diapers and made decisions (ugh, DECISIONS) and dealt with tantrums and took the kids with me to run errands and bought paper towels. I really didn’t want to have to buy paper towels on Mother’s Day.

Let me tell you what I really want for Mother’s Day. I want to be a dad on a regular Sunday. I’m making generalizations here for the sake of simplicity, but in my social circle moms are almost always the default parent; the one the kids go to first for everything no matter who is closer/more available at that moment. On Mother’s Day, I want to be the dad. The fun parent. I want to say “Everyone jump in the car, we’re getting ice cream!” and not worry about if it’s too close to dinner or if we need to stop at the grocery store later to pick up stuff for school lunch the next day. The fun parent pees alone. The fun parent has time to read a book or a magazine or the back of a cereal box without being interrupted. The fun parent doesn’t always have one ear open for children’s whines or screams or cries or problems or squabbles 24 hours a day. The fun parent says “We’re out of mustard” into the fridge and, magically, mustard appears 24 hours later.

And then MAYBE on Mother’s Day all of us default parents will get a card and a bouquet and a nap not because it’s our One Special Day but because the fun parent wants to do something to acknowledge being a mom is kind of a tough job.

But since I am not a monster, I did in fact enjoy many parts of my Mother’s Day. The big kids – Caroline especially – remembered it was Mother’s Day and reminded me constantly I was supposed to be having The Best Mother’s Day Ever. There were s’mores. And now whenever we sit on the front steps for the bus we can admire the flowers we planted, together.

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She said the plants needed love to grow.

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Horsing Around (I May Have Used That Title Before)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

I don’t often have a favorite child. Sometimes I have a least favorite child (defined as the one who is currently misbehaving/throwing a tantrum/crying/keeping me awake at 2 am) but that only lasts for a few minutes. Mothers have an infinite amount of love, so loving one kid infinite plus a little bit more is almost impossible.

That being said, I’ve been finding myself scheduling extra time with Caroline whenever possible lately. Four and four months seems to be a nice age for her. I mean, she’s still FOUR. Life is hard when you are four and you have to wear sneakers instead of sparkly shoes or can’t have candy for breakfast or have to go to bed when it is still light out or when the half-zebra is too far away from the fence and you can’t pet her. Caroline is the middle child, my only girl, the one who I worry about the most as she moves from being a baby into real life. She has so much confidence and curiosity and willingness to try new things right now but I know the day is coming when being herself will feel harder than going with the crowd. I want her to hold on to herself and be fearless as long as possible, so if she’s up for an adventure, I am up for an adventure.

She wakes up every day and wants to Do Fun Stuff. As soon as she hears about a cool place or fun activity it goes on her mental list of Fun Stuff We Should Do so if we have a whole in the schedule she is ready to fill it. And on the way to Doing Fun Stuff she wants to grab a frappuccino. Because who doesn’t love a frappuccino?

Our Sunday included TWO frappuccinos. We went to Target with the Starbucks at 8 am for the Lilly Pulitzer collection release but failed – our store didn’t even get any kid sizes in stock and the first 10 crazy women in the doors bought EVERYTHING else. There was one beach towel and a couple of glasses left at 8:05. Luckily Caroline found a couple of Easter dresses on clearance that she was perfectly happy to accept instead of Lilly (because she’s 4, she doesn’t care). Then when we came home she begged to do more fun stuff. I heard from a friend there was a fundraiser at Ray of Light Farm, so Caroline and I jumped in the car and went, leaving the boys at home. On the way back we had “frappuccinos” i.e. Coolatas from Dunkin Donuts and talked about what we would do for our next adventure.

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I made the mistake of telling her people sometimes have guinea pigs as pets, so obviously now she wants to know when she can get one. Maybe I should have told her some people eat guinea pigs instead.
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More goats. We really like goats. Also, they sold us that food for the special fundraiser day – I’m not THAT much of an a-hole to just feed animals right next to the sign that says don’t feed the animals.

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This horse was named Belle, which made her Caroline’s favorite.

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Waiting patiently for the half-zebra to wander over. She eventually did so our day was a success.

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Caroline’s outfit:
Hat – Gymboree outlet
Dress – Target
Leggings – BabyLegs
Boots – Zulily
Sweater (in the other pics) – J Crew Crew Cuts from the consignment shop
Glasses (in the other pics) – Zenni Optical

For the record, Caroline is only allowed non-coffee drinks. I’m not pumping my 4-year-old full of espresso – it’s mostly whipped cream and ice. And delicious.

 

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Lincoln: 8 Months

Friday, March 27th, 2015

On his actual 8 month day Linc slept through the night, then took a 4 hour nap. He woke up a zillion years older. He’s bigger. His face looks different. He has more HAIR.

I don’t object to the sleeping, like, at all. But I object to the growing. I object to his thinking he is a KID and his sudden need to stand all the time. I don’t like the standing so much because when he stands on me he digs in with his grabby little toes and I end up covered with bruises. He does it when he’s nursing too – kicks me in the arms and face hard enough to leave marks. I feel like I’m being abused by a tiny, deaf old man. Saying “no!” has no effect unless I use a really angry voice and then it just makes him cry. And then I’M the jerk who made a baby cry.

I can’t even keep track of how many teeth he has anymore. He’s always teething, so I’m assuming more than the 8 I can see in the front? He mostly deals with it by biting me and my clothes, although sometimes I can talk him into biting an actual teether for a few minutes. But NOT the kind you put in the freezer for teething relief. That’s just ridiculous, in his opinion. He also really really likes to nurse for the teething pain, which means we’ve been doing a lot of nursing. A loooooot. He’s still ambivalent about food, unless it’s pizza crust (hashtag third child hashtag baby-led weaning) but I’m working on it. The day when I am not his only food source is in the distant future but I can almost see it.

Linc is in 9-12 month clothes and 12-24 months hats, because his noggin is epic. He has a bunch of soft-soled shoes but when I put them on his feet all he does is slide around and then fall on his face. I’m really looking forward to warm weather when he can just wear onesies and a diaper and get filthy throwing himself in the dirt.

Likes include standing, cruising, biting, eating paper, sister, brother, the dog, the cat, water, shoes that do not belong to him, scooting, sleeping, Mommy, smiling, friends, being worn, snuggles, nursies, breaking stuff, chewing on cords.

Dislikes are loud noises, being told NO, falling on his face and anything else he previously liked 5 minutes ago but changed his mind about. Like, say, this month’s photo shoot. He was NOT INTERESTED. And also got snot all over everything. Very attractive.

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8 Month Milestones (from Caroline’s 8 monthday post)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Says “mama” or “dada” to parents (isn’t specific) – Eh. Sometimes says mamamama or dadadada but I don’t think he’s really talking?
Passes objects from hand to hand – Easily

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Stands while holding onto something – STANDS ALL THE TIME
Crawls – One legged monkey scoots, but yes. He’s completely mobile.
Points at objects – With like, one finger? No.
Searches for hidden objects – Yes. Especially if you’re hiding it specifically so he won’t choke on it.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Pulls self to standing, cruises – Call him Royal Caribbean, he’s a cruising machine.
Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp – I think he mostly ham-hand grabs stuff still.
Indicates wants with gestures – He can do the sign for “nurse” and basically does it constantly. It’s his only want.

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Wordless Wednesday: Snow Fun

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

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Lincoln: 7 Months

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I think 7 months is too many months. I don’t like it.

This morning I started looking at first birthday party ideas and then immediately had a minor breakdown and decided there was NO WAY I was letting Lincoln turn one anytime soon. I realize that’s not really up to me but since he’s still such a nice little baby-ish baby I’m going to just enjoy it while I can and not plan an elaborate party 5 months early.

For the record, Linc is (probably) not my last baby so I might be a little careless when it comes to truly enjoying every baby moment. But he is taking his time a lot more than Caroline did – even though he is fat and huge he still FEELS like a baby when it comes to the amount of care and cuddles and effort required. I don’t mind as much as I thought I would. It helps that nursing was easy peasy this time around. It also helps that he (mostly) sleeps well, so I’m only occassionally exhausted to the point where I feel like dying. So the “hold me all the time, don’t leave the room, carry me around” part isn’t the worst.

Plus also he’s adorable. I love his squishy little face SO MUCH.

I’m not kidding when I said he is fat – at this age Caroline was still in 3-6 month clothes while Linc is busting out of his 9 month stuff. I bought him an 18 month sweater last week because I was afraid he would outgrow the 12 month size before it warms up around here. I’m assuming once he’s really mobile he’ll burn through all the calories he’s been hoarding. At least I hope so, because he already eats every 90 minutes during the day, I can’t imagine him eating more often. Although he seems to be a fan of people food as well as nursies – pretty much anything I hand him he eats.

The big changes in the last month have revolved around sleep – he decided he wants to sleep on his stomach. That doesn’t work in the rock-n-play so we replaced it with the pack-n-play and he’s back to being a mostly good sleeper. He also has finally FINALLY started napping in his crib. I suppose I could have made that happen before if I had pushed it but with the big kids’ schedules it’s really hard to spend an hour fighting with him about it. Now that he’s ready it’s only a 10 minute process. So far. In a week he’ll probably decide he hates the crib and I’ll just throw the whole thing out.

So for RIGHT NOW, likes include white noise, belly sleeping, being warm, hats, nursies, cuddles, being worn, being carried, his sister, his brother, biting things, water, floating, dogs, cats, old people, riding in the cart, toys that make noise, people food, pulling hair, singing, and blowing raspberries on my boob while he’s supposed to be eating.

Dislikes include air blowing on his face, being tired, and this god damn 8th tooth that is taking forever to break through.

#sorrynotsorry for way too many pictures…

 

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7 Month Milestones (Originally from BabyCenter, now from Caroline’s 7 month post – also, if you go look at Caroline’s post you’ll realize just how bald poor little Linc really is)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Sits without support – If he would JUST sit he’d be really good at it. But he thinks he can crawl which leads to a lot of face planting.
Drags objects toward herself – Yes, grabby baby is very grabby.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Lunges forward or starts crawling – Super close to crawling and monkey-scooting, but not mobile enough that I’ve started babyproofing yet.
Jabbers or combines syllables – He’s very talky, I just have no idea what he’s saying.
Starts to experience stranger anxiety – He gets mad when I leave the room but tried to leap into a nice lady’s arms at the grocery store. My children as a group have no stranger fears.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Waves goodbye – Uh, no. Not even close to waving.
Stands while holding onto something – Yes, but not reliably.
Bangs objects together – Yes Anything that helps make him louder is good.
Begins to understand object permanence – Is that when they understand peek a boo? Because he totally loves peek a boo.

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