Monday, February 22, 2010

Once upon a time....

MyKids-55, originally uploaded by karintobrien.

There was a little boy who, upon waking up from his restful slumber, would lay in his big boy bed with Nemo and Blankie, and patiently wait for his parents to wake up and open the door to his bedroom....letting him know that it was time to greet this marvelous day. Sometimes, when he lost patience and waited for up to an hour, he would sing songs and make loud noises so his parents knew he was ready to rise and shine! But never, ever did the little boy get out of bed of his own accord.


Our fairy tale has ended.

I knew him laying there in bed by himself wouldn't last forever. He transitioned to his big boy bed maybe? SO its been about a five month run of bliss. Beginning last Wednesday morning, Liam woke up promptly at 5AM, came into our bedroom and announced "I'm Awake!". It was so adorable because it was so uncharacteristic.....

Now, not so adorable. 5AM is way too flippin early. Between him and Lola waking in the middle of the night we're not sleeping well at all. I'm a zombie. Pat's a zombie. And now Liam's started coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night wanting to play, read books, snuggle....etc. He's a little manipulative bastard too. He knows what he thinks we'll really want him to do, so he says things like "I need a tissue!", "Snuggle Mommy?" or "I want to sit on the potty!" in order to stay awake and out of his bedroom. And he keeps his voice at a whisper because, well, you know, its quiet time.

We're wise to him more Mr. & Mrs. Nice Guy.

I'm not sure what efforts we're going to make, but the kid has GOT to stay in his room until at least 6AM.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

We started the day with heart shaped strawberry pancakes.....and the rest of the day continued to be beautiful with a box of chocolates, a heart shaped balloon and snuggles from my favorite valentines!

Hope your day was great as well!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I couldn't have said it any better....

I stumbled upon this blog in a round about way (isn't that how all blogs are stumbled upon?).......through my cousin who found these AMAZING nerdy flash cards for her kid. Anywho, I thought anyone as nerdy enough as I am would be worth following, so I added her to my bloglines.

She posted today a post that completely sums up how I feel about being a mother and life, so I thought I would share parts of it with you all. You can find the post in its entirety HERE.

"I write and talk about the noise and the exhaustion and the laundry and the many (many, many) ways that I suck and all of the ways that my life is a hectic mess. Those things are all true, and I don’t regret writing them because it will be good to look back later and remember this time and how silly and full and exhausting it was.

But here is the secret truth that I don’t mention very often:
my life is close enough to perfect that calling it perfect would be accurate.

I don’t talk enough about the good stuff for several reasons, all of which are dumb.

1. Having a perfect life makes me feel guilty.
Because even though we have paralyzing debt and my husband has to work odd hours at a job that uses only a tiny amount of his giant brain, the fact is that compared to most of humanity over most of history up until this point, we live a lifestyle that would classify us as kings. We have a safe, warm, expansive 975 square foot home. One of our biggest problems is owning too much stuff, our kids have too many clothes and books and toys. We have too many choices of where and what to eat. We have a computer. We aren’t required by law to send our children away to boarding school at age seven. We aren’t likely to be killed for our nonstandard beliefs. We don’t have to die from simple things if we don’t want to.

It’s survivor’s guilt really. I didn’t do anything special to be born in this place and time. The odds against having a fancy life like mine are sickening.

But focusing on the sucky stuff out of guilt is self absorbed, contrived and condescending. It helps no one for me to pretend that I am less rich and powerful than I am.

2. I am trying to make a social accomodation.
Is it culturally specific to the US, this thing of never being satisfied so we must always climb upward? Or is it a leftover from the feminist movement? It seems rude and annoying for a mother to be perfectly happy, especially when the kids are little.

There are plenty of blogs out there about why motherhood stinks; it’s not heresy to admit that anymore. So my heretical statement is: I freaking adore this time of my life with my whole dorky heart. That doesn’t mean I’m a perfect mom who spends every minute sewing costumes and baking cookies, and my kids and house aren’t anything like perfect but really for the most part? We are healthy and pretty damned happy.

I don’t want people who don’t adore this time of their own lives to think I am judging them because I’m not. But it’s also lame of me to groan about my life just because that’s an easy way to fit into a conversation.

3. Superstition.
Like if I notice and speak out loud about how great everything is, the universe will somehow realize that things are out of balance and will do something mean! Because I have the logic skills of a second grader!"

It just all really resonated with me.

I feel so incredibly blessed, and maybe I don't say it enough....but I am!

What a weekend!

And its only Saturday!

Well, our day started Friday with my aforementioned last 5AM at The Container Store....I didn't savor it as much as I should because I felt kind of out of sorts...but I plugged away. After that came bowling - I again, didn't feel great, but kept on enjoying my Personal Cheering Crew (there wasn't daycare available yesterday, so Liam was on hand to provide many, many "HOORAY MOMMY!" cheers....even when I only knocked one down.). Then after bowling we went straight to the doctor for Lola's 5 month check up.

Lets just get this out before I go further....Lola is a B-I-G chunktastic girl!

Weight: 18 pounds 8 oz (> 100th percentile)
Height: 27 inches (100th percentile)
Head: 17 inches (95th percentile)

Gigundic! Its great to see her thrive and grow, but I can't help but feel I'm impeding her motor skill development by feeding her too much or having too fatty content of milk. I mean, she's SO chunky she can't even play with her toes because her belly gets in the way! I know its all ridiculous to think....because the doctor didn't mention any concern about her being "too" big, but still. I suppose I just need something to worry about.

Any who. Toward the end of the appointment, it finally dawned on me that what I was feeling could possibly be the effects of Liam's stomach bug he had on Wednesday night. And once I realized that, it was downhill from there. I got home as fast as I possibly could, put both kids in bed (it was nap time, thankfully) and raced to the bathroom just in time. It was as if someone made an annoucement to my stomach "EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! ALL CONTENTS MUST EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY! FIND THE CLOSEST EXIT, TOP OR BOTTOM, AND GET OUT NOW!". TMI, yes, I know.....but nothing but the truth here on this blog.

Thankfully, I was able to call Pat and he was on his way home, and the kiddos were sleeping while I was holed up either in bed, or in the bathroom until he got home. It was awful. The stomach cramps, the nausea. I couldn't even talk without wanting to ralph. The intensity of the illness tapered off through the night, and this morning I've been mostly OK with the exception of feeling like I've been hit by a truck. Apparently all that heaving wreaked havoc on every muscle in my body. Oh, that, and not being able to eat or drink much.

Needless to say I missed my shift at The Container Store today, as well as some fun with friends that I had to back out of. Hopefully I'll feel more normal tomorrow.

I would just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my dear, wonderful, amazing husband for taking care of every one in this household over the past 24 hours. I love you so very much, and I appreciate you every day...but especially under these kind of extenuating circumstances!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Free Thinking.....

Tomorrow I have my last 5AM shift at The Container Store. I'm sad and relieved at the same time. I've enjoyed my short two months working there, but those mornings are killer. I've got a couple other shifts scheduled over the weekend, but my last day will be Feb 15th. They've so graciously let me know whenever I'm ready to come back, they'd love to have me ;) Its just too tough trying to work through Pat's ever more complicated work / travel schedule. I feel like he's going to be gone the next 3 out of four weeks.


Last week this time I was on a train to Michigan, getting ready for a Mommy/Lola girls weekend. The train ride was LOVELY :) It makes me want to take a cross country trip with a sleeping car with the whole family. And just do nothing. Make it an adventure. See the country side. I don't know.....maybe it would be miserable. Maybe it will be a better idea when the kids are older. But when I think about it, in my head, its awesome.......something romantic about seeing the USA the way people did it when the West was Wild.....and so much nicer than having to drive yourself. Drift in and out of sleep when you want, get up to use the rest room or grab a snack whenever the mood strikes. Yeah. I dig it!

I didn't get any photos of the ride on the train with my good camera, but I did get some fun ones from my camera phone....maybe I'll upload them at somepoint.


Pat was so nice to come with us to Gymnastics yesterday - I got some pretty adorable photos of Liam & pals. AND, i didn't even have to hold Lola because Adrian took her for me so I could snap snap away :) I like taking photos for fun! I don't do it enough anymore.


I'm running low on steam today. We were supposed to host playgroup here, but Liam was up last night barfing, and I was up most of the night listening intently waiting for him to barf again so I could run in there and catch it in the bucket.


There wasn't enough coffee to keep me happy or awake. Thankfully, with slow, intentful introduction of liquids and bland food he was able to not hork chunks all over the place. Although I was always watching out of the corner of my eye.

Lola was annoying to me for the first time I think ever. She was just so darn demanding in her need for my attention. She's usually pretty independent, which I've apparently become very accustomed to.....I think she's still recovering from the constipation-ness (which was overcome last night at around 5AM), and maybe fighting a little bit of a cold. Crap. That's totally it. She's getting sick! Ugh. I should have been more compassionate today. My tired mind has been clouded......I wanted to wear her today, but my back has been hurting too.


That's all........time for an early sleepy time for me!

Snow Day!

SnowDay-44, originally uploaded by karintobrien.

This was from Tuesday, February 9th in the afternoon.....Liam is standing on top of the snow heap that Pat made from shoveling the driveway. We got another 8-10 inches or so overnight into Wednesday morning (the snow heap is MORE huge now!). Pat thoughtfully decided to take Liam outside to play, while I stayed nice and toasty warm inside with Lola.

After a good 30-45 minutes, the boys came in, Pat drenched from the snow and Liam nice and dry. They enjoyed some S'mores Hot Chocolate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the news...

Well, not literally. At least not literally on national news anyway :) Just new news on the kiddo front.

Liam has takin akin to saying "What the Heck". Its always in context (usually when a toy isn't cooperating), and totally, totally cute. But, not really appropriate. So I've nixed that saying from my vocabulary for the time being. I suppose it IS much better than the alternative WTF....

Lola is gaining mobility :) She's lifting her legs up and rolling from side to side while on her back, which usually results in her turning herself 90 degrees in her crib. Very exciting development! Why, you might ask? Well, she's kind of lazy ;) I know, how can I say that about a four month old, right? But compared to Liam (and that's really my only comparison) she has no interest in doing anything physical. Liam was just raring to go - putting all sorts of weight on his legs, rolling over really early, walking at 9 months, etc. I'm sure she'll be flipping (front to back or back to front) in no time, but until then I'm enjoying being able to put her in one spot and have her stay there. well, mostly :)

On a TMI front, the poor girl hasn't pooped in over a week. Constipation is pretty uncommon for breastfed babies, and she doesn't seem overly uncomfortable, but its a change in her previously regular habits. We've done rectal stimulation (ha! Doesn't that sound nice? Its basically taking her temperature rectally), prune juice (her first taste of something non-breastmilk!), and the last resort....glycerin suppositories. If we don't have some poopage by noon time, a doctor's visit will be in order. So lets pray for some poops!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

nap Time

I've been pretty fortunate to get a good nap out of both kiddos at around the same time each day. Liam usually goes down sometime around 1PM, and Lola follows shortly there after. It is blissful peace for somewhere around two hours, and I definitely look forward to it each day. I usually spend the time catching up online (shocker, I know) or getting projects done.

Today, for whatever reason, I just decided to take a break from the norm. After Liam went down for his nap, I decided to spend a little quality time with Lola. Although she's near me or on me for most of the day, I don't get much time just the two of us (aside from feedings, of course). So after her afternoon meal we sat on the couch, read a book just for her (she always gets to hear Liam books, but not her own) and played with my favorite seahorse rattle (which she is just really starting to pay attention and grab - hooray!).

It was lovely. I stared at her beautiful face, her chubby cheeks, her skinny, long fingers and watched her eyes as concentrated so hard while they were willing her little hands to grab the rattle. Then again when they darted across the book pages.....and again when they got frustrated and started to well up with tears because she was tired and ready to go to sleep. Here's where the story gets good. Instead of putting her down in her crib....I just watched her fall alseep, right next to me on the couch. She twiddles her fingers, and sometimes rubs her face with her hand, all while sucking ever so gently on her "I Love Daddy" binky. Again....pure heaven.

Then, I could have put her down in her crib.....I had a lot of photography business to get caught up on, and I hadn't been online yet today....but I didn't. I just laid there. And I took a nap right next to her. She was so warm and snuggly I just couldn't get up. And we had some serious Mommy/Lola snuggle time.

I don't do this enough. Just sit and play with her. Or with Liam, for that matter. There are always 10,000 activities going on at once, between playgroups, classes, library and TV shows, music, me being on the computer, cooking, cleaning, etc.....and while I think all those things are important for both of them, I forget that just hanging out with Mom is important too.

It was a nice lesson to learn!

Now, the peace is over ;) Liam is awake and crying in my I suppose I should go and give him some attention too ;)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Exersaucer Time!

web_BryerFamily-3, originally uploaded by karintobrien.

Lola Belle is now beginning to "play" in her new exersaucer. I use the term play loosely. She mostly just sits in it and drools. I'm not one to condone the ridiculous gender bias that society inflicts upon our children.....but the Pink Explosion Exersaucer (complete with TWO flower mirrors and a little purse to take things in and out of) was on super sale. It was about the same price as a used one on Craig's list (which is where I was going to find one for her).

I hate to admit. She looks kind of cute in it.