Tuesday, May 17, 2016

28 Week Bumpdate

Feeling: Ok. I’m feeling bigger by the day, and I’m starting to feel the aches and (hip!) pains of pregnancy, but nothing a heating pad, hot shower, or Tylenol can’t fix. 

Wearing: Maternity t-shirts and jeans, with a cardigan when necessary. I’m eeking 2.5 pairs of jeans and a couple of pairs of leggings out through the spring shoulder season. I don’t want to buy more pants when I know that, as soon as the weather turns, I’ll be living in skirts and dresses the rest of the summer. Spring in Kansas really makes my Arizona show loud and proud — what friends from colder climes view as shorts weather still finds us in pants and layers. 

Eating: No real change on the food front. Whether it’s baby or spring or both, I find myself wanting lots of fruits and veggies, which can’t be bad. And I’m drinking tons of water (or at least I'm trying really, really hard--depends on the day!!), and trying to eat plenty of protein. 

Craving: Baby has pretty much established his/her love for cheeseburgers, chocolate, and raspberries. Peter liked his beef. Clare liked her sweets. No gender hints there!

Sleeping: Sleep is getting a bit more elusive. I find myself waking every hour or two, but sleeping hard in between.

Missing: Nothing new.  

Bonus: The 20s weeks of pregnancy feel like they are creeeeeeping by. But then I think how fast April went, and how fast May going. Suddenly, by the end of May, I’ll be in the 30s, and that always goes fast (until the end when it doesn’t). Which is a long, very complicated way of saying that even though it feels like time is moving slowly right now, I know that the end of pregnancy is going to be here before I know it.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

7 Quick Takes (05.15.16)

I don't even remember the last time I did 7QT, but here goes! Linking up with Kelly. (For reals, yo, I started this on Friday, then naps and quiet didn't happen and now it's Sunday, and I'm actually trying to get stuff up.)

So, since I haven't done much blogging recently, here is a photo dump update.

1. First, I gotta brag that I got not one, but two posts published this week, thanks to some Mother's Day time at Starbucks. Birthdays and parks. That's what motherhood is made of, am I right, or am I right?

Park Kids

2. Speaking of birthdays, Peter's second was pretty great. Even though Charles was working nights, we managed to celebrate with gifts and breakfast on the big day, and had a gaggle of friends and a few family members over for a shindig on Saturday.

Cake and gifts and bikes, oh my!

3. Last week (two weeks ago?), the kids and I took a whirlwind (emphasis on whirl) trip to Arizona for my grandma's memorial/burial. It was my first time flying with both of them, and I I have to say that I was really nervous about the whole thing. I'm really proud of how they did--great on the flight and for most of the week. By the last couple of days, they were pretty exhausted from being dragged around, nonstop stimulation, and being on some weird hybrid of Central Daylight and Mountain Standard times that basically meant that they were getting very, very little sleep at night. Overall, it went well, but I'm still none too eager to do it all over again.

Snacks on the plane like pros.

4. One night at my dad's house, when I went to get ready for bed, I found them sleeping like this. The photo quality is awful (iPhone and all flash, go figure), but it just melted my heart. I love that they love each other, even though their volume/fighting doesn't always show it.
He was actually sleeping on her! 

5. Before we left, we went with our playgroup on a little excursion to go strawberry picking. Fruit picking is pretty foreign to me, since the only thing that really grows in Phoenix is citrus, and enough people have a surplus in their yards that going picking is not really a thing. Anyway, we had so much fun, and my kids devoured our pickings for a pre-flight afternoon snack!

Getting' our country on

6. I've written before about how Mother's Day was really hard for me for a long time. This year, for the first time in 17 years, I can honestly say that I had a wonderful day. Yes, I had those twinges of sadness, but Charles and the kids made my day with the sweetest flowers and funniest cards and food and coffee and laughter. I felt too blessed to be burdened with sadness.

3 bouquets from my 3 loves

7. Next week, Clare is going to have her first dance recital! Of course, that means a dance-heavy week and lots of time with poor Peter stuck at dance stuff, but I'm pretty sure it is going to be adorable. I'm also pretty sure that one or both of Charles and me will cry on the big day. We're nothing if not a couple of big saps.

Blurry picture day pics

Have a lovely weekend! week!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My Heart Wasn't In It

This is the rainy season in Wichita. Rain is in the forecast several days each week. That rain may or may not bring with it severe storms, thunderstorm warnings, the works. It will probably bring rain and a day or two of being cooped up. I learned my lesson last year that I need to get my kids out to burn energy as much as possible on the days when the weather is halfway decent in order to save my sanity the rest of the time.

All of this to explain why I told my kids that we could go to the park to play and eat lunch on our way home from story time on Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, even though I really, really, really didn’t want to go to the park: it was a couple of degrees cooler than I would have liked, and a whole lot windier and wetter, thanks to storms the days before. 

The whole drive, I offered alternatives that were basic rewordings of: let’s go eat lunch at home and we can play later. No, they want to go to the park. 


So, we go to the park and all of the reasons I didn’t want to go to the park start proving perfectly accurate, right before my eyes. It’s cold. (Okay, fine, it’s a tiny bit chilly.) It’s wet. The kids are dropping peanut butter sandwiches in the dirt. They are setting soaked in puddles and caked in sand. I just.want.to.go.home. They finally “finish” eating and I give them 5 minutes to play before we load our wet selves into the van. Royal we, of course, because I’m dry and annoyed.

In a desperate attempt to get some good playing time in before The Wicked Witch makes her leave, Clare sprints to the play structure, Peter on her heels. 

And, oh my gosh! Something, on this particular day, has clicked in my girls’ brain. Instead of playing on the baby equipment and being timid timid timid, she is going down the big slides and climbing back up. She is going up and down the up-to-now terrifying twisty tube slide. She is climbing and sliding and laughing. We stayed a whole lot longer than 5 minutes!

That triggered something in me. I was so dang proud of her for overcoming her fears, her preference for taking the proven road instead of pushing herself. At one point, while helping her climb, I literally teared up. These moments are what parenthood is all about. There is nothing better than watching your kids fly. And that Wednesday, my girl flew.

What a lesson in parenting, even when we don't want to! I'm not good at doing things -- anything! -- when my heart isn't in it. Sure I can push through and get it done, but probably not up to the standards I'm capable of. That day, my heart wasn't in my own promise to go to the park. Sure, I pushed through, but I had every intention of half-***ing it. 

But parenting? Parenting isn't about us. It isn't about us at all. It is about emptying ourselves, sacrificing what we want, for the good of our kids. And the reward? That is even greater.

My kiddos that day at the park

Monday, May 9, 2016

To Peter On His Second Birthday

{SO belated in posting!}

Dear Peter,

One is such a weird age. You start as nearly a baby and end as a legit toddler. This year saw you walking, talking, moving into a big boy bed, and getting ready to be a big brother. And you’re going to be a great big brother, once you get over the fact that someone else will be competing for my attention! (You’re quite the Mama’s Boy, if we’re being totally honest!)

You are sweet. You have the best little smile. You give the best hugs, and are SO naturally affectionate.

You are smart. People — sometimes including Mommy and Daddy — underestimate you, because your speech has been a little slow in coming. You are putting more and more words together, though, and now others are starting to see can see what we’ve known for awhile. That little brain of yours works in overdrive. Probably the result of all the books you get us to read.

You love to color. You probably have a better natural writing grip than your sister, and can sit with crayons for a long, long time. You also like to show off your skills on any other surface available, if you get your hands on a rogue crayon/pencil/pen. We do our best to keep those things out of reach, and have also made ample use of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. 

You love food — especially your first-thing-in-the-morning yogurt. And you devour it with passion — which is a nice way of saying that you are THE messiest eater. You’ve also inherited your mama’s love of ketchup. 

You are a daredevil, but you are shy. It takes you awhile to adapt to a new situation. That means that me leaving you in the Church nursery or with friends while I run to the restroom freaks you out. But climbing to the tippy top of the play structure or going down the highest, fastest slide? That doesn’t phase you in the least. We’re just waiting on the ER visit that we know is coming.

You are charming. With that little grin and impish sense of humor, you try to get out of whatever mischief you get into. You try to deflect attention by making any object into a hat or pointing out the baby in Mama’s belly. Yeah, we’re on to you, Buddy!

It is such a joy being your Mama, Big Man. I’ve grown so much as a mother, and learned so much about love in our two years together, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

Love always,