Monday, July 6, 2015

How to take 2 hours to eat supper in 31 easy steps



I totally get why my friend Erika can eat her supper in 4 minutes flat. It’s because she has three kids and if she doesn’t eat fast, she’s not going to get to eat. Here are 31 easy steps to take two hours to eat supper:

  1. Be a naturally a slow eater.
  2. Have this weird food thing where you  refuse to eat anything until everything on my plate is exactly how you like it.
  3. Have one child. Automatically tack on an extra 45 minutes.
  4. Cut your child’s food into minuscule pieces otherwise your oldest child will try and take a bite the size of their face.
  5. Blow on their food. It’s too hot.
  6. Eat one bite of your own food. Retrieve sippy cup that was accidentally knocked off the table.
  7. Try and convince your child that kale is delicious! Not poison.
  8. Give your husband a dirty look when he mutters under his breath that kale actually is poison.
  9. Have a second child. Tack on another 45 minutes.
  10. Get your eldest more milk, a glass of water and juice. Because sometimes you’re really thirsty.
  11. Realize that your food has gotten seriously cold.
  12. Reheat it in the microwave for two minutes.
  13. Start feeding your youngest the delicious homemade pear sauce you made for her. Watch her drool it out the side of her mouth.
  14. Hand your eldest child a napkin as he’s spilled all over himself.
  15. Oh! My food’s done reheating, retrieve it from the microwave.
  16. Spoon another bite of pear sauce into your daughter’s mouth. Get excited when it appears like she’s actually eating and enjoying it!
  17. Ack! Your own food is REALLY hot now. Must wait for it to cool.
  18. Sigh when you realize she’s actually just chipmunking it in her cheeks to spit back at you in one momentous blow.
  19. Get up to get your husband’s seconds on the soup. Because everyone eats soup year-round.  
  20. Eat another bite of your own food now that it’s cooled down.
  21. Slice up a pear for your eldest because if you start with fruit, he won’t eat anything else.
  22. Force feed your daughter another bite of pears. Spoon the pear dribble back into her mouth.  
  23. Your son has announced his need to use the restroom. Get up to move the stool so he can wash his hands.
  24. Eat another bite of food.
  25. Mom: 2 Daughter: 1. #winning
  26. Eat another bite of food in relative quiet.
  27. Realize that your son has been gone for a really long time … and go to investigate.  Stop him just in the nick of time from throwing copious amounts of toilet paper in the toilet.
  28. The come to the realization that he has poop EVERYWHERE. Spray him off in the shower as damage control.
  29. Finish his bath. Remember that his sister also needs a bath. Retrieve her and give both of them a bath.
  30. PJs & lotion.
  31. Finish eating your ice cold supper. But consider it a win as both kids are bathed and in pjs by 7:30 PM!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

We’re Still Living in Our Starter Home




We’ve lived in our first home for 9 years today. Weird, I know. We celebrated our first anniversary by closing on our home and moving in. When we bought the house we were 23 years-old, had zero children and big plans for conquering the world. It was our STARTER home. I figured we’d live there five, seven years tops. There was a period of time where we helping handfuls of friends move every year. Many of our friends are in their second or even their third house. Their houses are beautiful. They are spacious, light and airy. They have smart storage options, sturdy beams and large functional kitchens. They have room to spread out and they enjoy it. If I’m brutally honest with myself, I’m more than just a little jealous. For a while this jealously grew in a knot in my stomach. By nature, I love having people over and hosting them over a meal. Hospitality is my spiritual gift. But the size of my living room and kitchen was holding me back from using that God-given gift. My own pride and self-love was crushing God. How’s that for honesty? 

You see, our house is fine. It’s perfectly functional and according to Lance the best feature is that we can afford it. 

Needs versus Want

Yes, I WANT a bigger house with sparkling countertops and storage as far as the eye can see. However, do we NEED a bigger home? Yes and no. With two more occupants added our space; we are definitely feeling a little snug. However it’s nothing that a good purge couldn’t help. (It doesn’t help that I refuse to let go of my old Spanish worksheets from college and Lance won’t get rid of 2007 phonebooks.) I would love a second bathroom (we have 1.5 presently) but we’re doing fine without it.

Our Budget Says Otherwise

In our past aggressive budgeting, our current mortgage payment was exactly what we could afford. We’re still pinching pennies and saving for that next great adventure. There’s freedom in knowing that our mortgage is not going to keep us awake at night with worry.
HomeGoods Store isn’t Tempting
When it comes to home d├ęcor, there’s really nothing I need. I hate dusting around knickknacks so I don’t buy them. Our starter home doesn’t have room for any more stuff as it is. (Yes, Lance you can quote me on that)

We Know How Everything Works

All our appliances are original with the house. Lance is the king of fixing things so nothing ever dies. Yes, I will throw a party when I can get rid of the world’s loudest dishwasher and the fridge that mysteriously has a hole in the top. But for now, the dishwasher washes things reasonably well and the fridge keeps everything at the right temperature. 

As always, my budget reflections are not meant to make anyone feel bad about their own lives or choices. If you have a large lovely house, good for you, well done! Your house is perfect (for you)!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The real reason I’m late.

Lance would tell you the reason I’m late everywhere is because I’m not a morning person and I hate getting out of bed (but seriously, if you had to be up every morning at 6:10 AM after going to bed every night at 11:20 PM and getting up once a night with a crying baby, you’d have problems getting out of bed too). Have you tried to get out the door in the morning and have two children (and one husband) who are properly dressed, bedecked with the correct shoes for today’s activities as well as get yourself out the door properly addressed for the day too? It’s a logistical nightmare. He might also tell you that I’m always just trying to squeeze.just.one.more thing.in. Which is also true but not the real reason I’m late to almost everything.

The real reason I’m late is because I’m too busy savoring the last moments of my morning with my sweet baby. I’m soaking in her precious fuzzy head that feels like spun cotton. I’m breathing in her ever-fleeting sweetness. I’m feeling her warm cheek against my cool one. I’m delighting in my last moments with her before we both rush into the wide wide world. My head is telling me to put her down, place her in her car seat because I’ve still got twenty more minutes of stuff to do and about ten actual minutes to do it all. But my heart? My heart says, “breathe it in, soak it up. These days are brief.”

So yes, I might be late yet again because I couldn’t find the shoes I wanted to wear or somehow my phone ended up in the fridge (this happens more often I should really admit) but the real reason? I was holding on tightly to my daughter’s babyhood.
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gracelyn - 5 month update



Month 5

Little one, we love you. Gracie, you got your first cold and it made everyone pretty sad. You coughed directly in my mouth and gave me your cold. I, in turn, shared it with your dad. My cold, compounded with the sleep deprivation and running on fumes most days, progressed into a sinus infection and landed me on antibiotics and at home sick napping a total of six hours that day. I know that colds are a fact of life for wee ones, but we don’t like them. 

Sleeping. Your brother ruined us for sleep. Really, he did. About half the time you get up once a night. We take turns getting up and feeding you. I know this is pretty normal behavior, but we just weren’t expecting this. I thought that you might be going through a growth spurt and were just extra hungry, but I’m just not sure. The weekends you nap really well, so we appreciate that.  

Eating. During two weeks of you consistently getting up once a night, we decided to send three, three ounce bottles to daycare instead of two. Daycare feedings are as follows: 9:30, 1:30 and 3:30.

Wearing. 0-3 month clothing and a couple of 3-6 month outfits. Your first Easter dress was 3-6 months and fit perfectly. You still wear size 1 diapers and I hope that continues for a little while longer because I accidently forgot to cancel the amazon subscription for size 1’s.

Milestones. Social: you like to watch everything going on. You are happy to sit in your bouncy seat or your bumbo and watch what’s going on. 

Physical: you discovered your hands this month. They are so fascinating! You are drooling a ton. I’m not ready for teeth; Lu didn’t start until seven months. Yep, teething this early is not an option. You are getting closer to rolling over, but that pesky shoulder keeps getting in the way. At your four month appointment (which was really more like 4 months and 3 weeks) you weighed 12 pounds, 10 ounces which is in the 9th percentile for weight. You are 23.5 inches long and that’s in the 5th percentile for length. Your head circumference is 41.25 cm and the 52nd percentile for head circumference. Sister, you are petite.  

Language: laughter! Lucan and I were on the deck one night blowing and chasing bubbles with you overlooking the silliness. All of the sudden you shared some chuckles and laughed delightedly at your brother’s antics. Everyone’s day was a little brighter because of it! 




Monday, May 25, 2015

Gracelyn - 4 month update



Month 4

We survived the month of March. And by survived, I truly mean survived. The second week of daycare and my being back to work, you decided that 3 and 4 am were prime times to party. Life was rough but we survived. We’re all a little sleep deprived.

Sleeping. You are a good sleeper. One long morning nap and a pretty solid night of sleep. No one is complaining here. You sleep pretty well during the day and early afternoon. When daddy and brother get home, you want in on the action and playtime. I don’t blame you, besides it’s really hard to sleep through all that noise! You continue to sleep in your rock and play sleeper, but we’ve started doing a few naps here and there in your crib. Everything at this age is a transition. 

Eating. We went through a time of really being worried about your extreme dislike of bottles. I would jokingly tell everyone that I wasn’t going to be able to go back to work because you wouldn’t take a bottle. But we really hunkered down on those last two weeks before the end of my maternity leave and got that straightened out. We’re on a 3.5 to 4 hour rotation. In the morning hours you’ll go longer because of your nap. Mom’s not complaining, she likes her nap too.

Wearing. 0-3 month clothing. You are getting a little longer and filling out a bit. Sadly, you are just a shorty like your mama. There’s nothing wrong with being the shortest person in the pictures, someone has to!

Milestones. Social: smiling at brother and lots of morning smiles. Such a sweet baby girl! You like to rub your hands in your eyes.

Language: You coo a bit. We all take turns trying to make you smile because your smile is so delightful! 

Daycare. All of the daycare ladies think you are such a good girl and super adorable. And it’s true, you are both. But goodness gracious, by the time you get home at the end of the day you are spent. You don’t nap much there, I’m not sure if it’s the loudness, not being swaddled, sleeping in a crib or the temperature there. It’s probably all of those things. You’re lucky to get a couple of hours’ worth of sleep during the day. I get the feeling you sit a lot of the time in a bumbo because you have great head control and just simply like to look all around. We do two bottles – one at 9:30 and the other around 1:30. Then I feed you immediately when we get home. My overprotective nature doesn’t particularly like daycare, but I try not to over think things and take it for what it’s worth!



Photo assistant Lucan.

Special helper. Who tried to pop her head off like a dandelion.