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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My sick artist.

It seems all too appropriate that immediately following Mother's Day, I got a whole new taste of motherhood.  This taste came in the form of a tummy bug and it was all over the place.  For the life of me I cannot imagine how on earth someone as beautiful and sweet as my little Molli could produce this.  Mass chaos broke out as I cleaned up a mess on bed sheets. I gave Molli a bath and strapped Gavin into the high chair with a snack. Of course this would be the only time in his little life that he didn't want food.  He was making a ruckus at me to hurry it up. I was trying to hurry, but nothing compared to the hustle I found myself in when I heard the distinct sound of puke hitting the kitchen floor.  I grabbed Molli by the armpits, held her out in front of me and ran around the corner and into the bathroom. It was like a war zone. More specifically a war zone slip-n-slide.  I had my phone with me and when she was done she looked at me and said, "Woah, I just blowed up. Are you taking a picture?" I wasn't, but I did.  I'll spare you.  Just know that the aftermath took up my evening and I was gagging at it. I tried to cover the smell with air freshener but accidentally sprayed bug spray.  Note:  Bug spray does NOT help.

I was scared to feed her but the kid needs food from time to time so I gave her a little rice for dinner with a pedialyte popsicle.  She was definitely into the popsicle and after eating it a bit too fast she grabbed her head with both hands, squeezed her eyes closed and exclaimed, "Popsicles do it too!  It's not just ice cream!  BRAIN FREEZE!" This made me laugh.  I always feel bad wen I laugh at my kid's pain, but you can't blame me, it's sometimes funny.

All that to say we decided to lay low today.  I will admit that not a single one of us got dressed.  We did not leave the house, nor did we have anyone to impress.  We found mellow activities to keep entertained; the highlight of which was definitely painting. It was so fun watching her paint her people! I painted her circles and she did the rest.  I had to bite my tongue and tell myself to chill when she repeatedly tainted the yellow with every other color (especially black). She's new at portraits, so give her a break. Also, appreciate the skill progression.

First Grammy came into being.  Her hair is "stacked up tall" on her head.  She might have three legs and three eyes:

Then came Papa.  He is a bit more abstract and some of his less prominent features are magnified here.  This painting included a whole lot of extra water, disfiguring poor papa a bit.  His hair is looking fabulous, each piece "sticking up."

After these two beauties came Papu! For a first time portrait maker, this man is looking great!

With her Papu comes her Nanette.  Here Nanette is sporting a sunshine ombre look. Her hair stands, but my, do you see how nicely her bangs lay! 

Grammy and Papa are going to visit Uncle Zach for his graduation so it only made sense that he is also a piece of her artwork.  Here you see a very good looking young man, with purple hair.  He doesn't look happy, but I'm sure he is!

Uncle Brian has a lot going on.  Let me translate going counterclockwise: Black arm, yellow leg, purple leg, green arm, purple hair, yellow hair, more purple hair.  I'm thinking this is a new punk version of Brian with a lip ring and a soul patch.  Also, maybe an eye patch.

This is sideways and a bit complicated.  It's Aunt Tamara (blue) Uncle Nate (green and black) baby Sam (yellow, green and black) and Cousin Jack (orange black and blue). There are a lot of body parts.

Grandma Hand.  I know for sure some of this is long hair.  It seems that Grandma Hand is having a tummy bug of her own.

And last but not least, Daddy. Daddy has red arms and I think he is either dancing or a zombie.  She made sure not to give him hair though.

One day when Molli is a famous artist, you all can smile and remember these.  She is feeling much better, in case you were wondering.  I can't stand for my kids to be sick, but when they are, I can appreciate the calm.  Her attention span would not typically accommodate for such masterpieces.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Myles is still at work and both kids are in bed, sleeping.  I’ve cleaned up from dinner and picked up the immediate messes.  The rest can wait.  It seems too perfect an opportunity to sit in solitude.  Some tea might be in order. (Except my favorite mug is dirty and that would require me to wash another dish).  Skip tea, water is fine.

So, Mother’s Day was yesterday.  It wasn’t really a particularly remarkable day, however, it was unique in that pretty much everything I did was in some way revolving around myself and my life as a mother.  

Gavin is teething.  He’s cutting two molars and really, I can’t think of many things that sound worse. Seriously, a bone with hard, pointy and blunt parts has to literally break through tissue and skin.  Babies are tough!  That sounds awful and honestly, I can’t blame the kid for being up off and on all night upset about his damaged mouth that is erupting new parts.  I know how annoying it is to get something stuck in my teeth.  It’s almost impossible to ignore the sensation of something being in my mouth that wasn’t there before.  Imagine how bizarre it would be to have a whole new entity agonizingly erupting slowly through what was once smooth flesh.  Yuck.  The poor dude is busting some new teeth through so I’m rubbing stuff in his mouth, occasionally providing Motrin and forcing him to wear an amber necklace.  Sorry little man, it helps. 

After a long night, Myles kicked off Mother’s Day by taking Gavin for me in the morning and I went through all the clothes I’ve been saving up, planning to one day wear them again.  That was probably as painful as cutting teeth. Few feelings compare to squeezing a much larger, squishier and lumpier version of oneself into clothes that once draped nicely and rested on bones that have long since disappeared and are now enveloped in layers of goo.  Blech.  Being a mom is a beautiful thing, but it’s not always pretty!  Love handles are for the birds.  So now I have a gigantic stack of clothes that can stop taunting me from the totes they’ve been stored in since I peed on a stick and Molli came into my life. My body has done and can do amazing things, but being a size 2 is no longer anywhere near that list.  And somehow it’s probably ok. 

We are moving next month.  If all goes according to plan, we will be out of here and into a duplex the first of June.  My parents are graciously sharing their crawl space for anything that falls into the category of “things we want to have but don’t need yet.” This includes boxes of academic papers, files, holiday d├ęcor and baby clothes/paraphernalia. We don’t plan to be done having kids so we don’t want to get rid of kid things.  Why would we want to re-buy entire wardrobes?  We wouldn’t, so they are in the “things we want to have but don’t need yet” portion of the crawlspace. By letting us use their crawlspace to store things, they are saving us $50/week that we would have to use to rent a storage unit, and in turn, that $50 can go to paying back student loans.  We have a good thing going on here.  Blessings are plentiful from the seemingly insignificant to the profound.  

Mom and Dad graciously watched our kids while we drove out to a friend’s house (who lives way the heck out there) to pick up some big things we bought at her garage sale last week. Myles would have gone alone, but lets face it, my muscles were needed.  Hauling Gavin all over the place should place me somewhere between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Hulk. Regardless of my incredible muscles, it was great to have a date with my husband. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who works so incredibly hard for our family.  We don’t have a lot of one on one time together but we have learned to appreciate what we do get.  We had a date in his truck driving out to pick up a workbench, and it was good.  Times have changed, kids have “interrupted” the typical dates of the past. We have learned to value each other and our time together very differently, making the most of a simple truck ride, being grateful that our most special gifts are being well cared for.  By spending time with our children, my parents are consequently nourishing our marriage. Even in the little things they do, they are helping us tremendously.

Upon return to my parent’s house, a big part of my brain was screaming “LEAVE! Save yourself!” but I didn’t.  Gavin was in the bathtub while Molli was in one of her moods; One of those special moods stemming from a lack of sleep and food.  How does one teach a two year old that she needs sleep to function properly and food to stay alive, or at least to be kind?  It was a mood where everything results in a meltdown and loud noises constantly coming from her mouth.  These moods rob her of her ability to walk properly and any semblance of an “inside voice.” Good heavens, it is never fun to come face to face with the hungry, tired Molli-monster. 

In the end we left my parents house and came home with full hearts and pure joy.  The car ride was filled with silly songs and random conversations with my daughter.  Yes I know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man.  The special moments in car are a good time, and the midnight consolation sessions are too.  If my babies want to sing and be silly with me, I’m all over it.  If they cry because their gums are being ripped open, I’m there. Two in the morning?  It’s not my favorite but I absolutely treasure their weight in my arms.  I am honored to be the one these kids call upon for consolation, fun and love.  I am learning to love my husband in a way that is different than ever before and likewise I’m learning to love myself differently. God has placed these amazing children in my life and I will never be the same. 

There will be less sleep, more messes, and love handles.  There will be tears, tantrums and meltdowns for years to come (the kids might even have them too).  There will be more emotions than my heart can handle and perseverance beyond what I ever thought possible.   There will be patience.  There will be laughter.  There will be frustration, disappointment and failures.  There will be progress and successes.  There will be highs and there will be lows.  But most of all there will be LOVE. I am called to and I graciously accept a life dedicated to loving my children, nurturing them and guiding them toward holiness, preparing their little hearts for life. I am Mommy and there is no one else I’d rather be!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The uglier parts of kids.

Sometimes being a mom means holding yourself together until you’re out of sight from the kids and then you’re free to have your own meltdown.  Bring on the stomping, fisted hands and sometimes tears.  Admit it, I’m not alone in this. 

I’m there.  I’m there, and it’s ugly.  My patience has worn thin and each statement of defiance is threatening my sanity.  I’m butting heads with a two year old and there is no winning.  There is resistance around each corner and I’m running in circles trying to parent her appropriately while tending to the baby and taking care of all the household stuff.  So far I’m failing at everything. 

We hit a point this morning where I had to make a decision between an early nap or early lunch.  Molli was requesting lunch but everything in me wanted to send her and her little attitude to bed.  Molli, in a fit of tears after closing herself in the bathroom for five minutes screaming at me because I suggested she go potty: Pleeease mom, MACARONI! I just want luuunch.

At this point my plan was to feed them, run a couple quick errands, go to my parents house where they would have naps then play and all would be well.  By the end of lunch my eardrums were about to burst and I wanted to throw something.  NAP TIME.  Oh, but no.  I see the disaster that my (husband’s) daughter had made; Milk in the juice, and tiny orange noodles all over the freaking place. Seriously.  Macaroni in the hair, mashed into clothes, covering the tray and the floor…oh the floor.  The look on my face must have said enough because she started apologizing.

I don’t love messes, but I can usually handle them, however I cannot handle them when they are the final component of the triad of tantrums, exhaustion and messes. It was the perfect storm.  I demanded that she clean her mess, which sent her over the edge.  I left her with it so I could wrestle my (husband’s) screaming son into a clean diaper, which is apparently a form of baby torture.  When I came back, she was literally laying on top of the floor macaroni with the bowl on her face yelling about wanting to go to Grammy’s. 

Needless to say, she is in bed now, screaming at me about that.  But don’t worry, I’m keeping my back to the mess until she’s good and ready to clean. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gavin, almost 10 months!

Molli’s vivacious personality and current state of rapid learning and growing up has taken a front seat in this blog, and it’s not fair to my sweet little guy.  So here’s a taste of what life is like with our precious Gavin. He is going to be 10 months old in just a matter of days...I know, I can't believe it either. 

Gav, you are the most incredible little man.  You’re still such a chunker but it has been stated several times over the past month or two that you’re slimming down.  You’ve got some serious thighs, a squishy booty and thick little hands and feet.  You’re just perfect!  I love that you are so opposite your sister in every way, this being the most obvious.  What she lacked in girth, you make up for.  At your 9 month appointment you were either 28 or 29 inches long and 20lbs 12oz.  That’s down three ounces than you were a few weeks prior.  You know what that means?  You’re moving!

Your smile is amazing!  You haven’t gotten a new tooth for a couple months, but those seven pearly whites are big and bright!  When you smile, it’s like you’re just showing us your teeth.  They are the first thing people mention when they meet you and you grin at them, “Oh look at those teeth!” I like that you have seven instead of eight.  Your smile always appears crooked and it’s downright adorable.

When you’re excited, you gasp. Most of the time, this gasp has something to do with food. I can toss a handful of cheerios on your tray, show you the food I’m making for you or eating myself and get this reaction most of the time. If I’m holding you and I open the fridge, you lose control.  Your arms flap, your legs and back stiffen and you squeal as you inhale.  You’re just so enthusiastic!  You love your food, and always have!

You’re clapping, dancing, kissing, waving, and peek-a-booing.  When you wave you make a sound that means "hi." You’re figuring out how to get reactions and love the praise you receive when performing all your tricks. One of my favorite tricks is your improved sleeping.  I can't say you consistently sleep through the night, but you have a few times and I'm totally digging it.  

Molli is your buddy.  She is yours and you are hers.  You both get incredibly excited to have each other and I LOVE IT.  It brings me so much joy to watch you two interact.  Most of the time you get along perfectly.  The only times you don’t prefer her is when she’s in your face too much, and the only time she doesn’t prefer you is when you invade her safe spots now that you can stand at her table.  Apparently it’s absolutely torturous for her. Molli calls you, "My Gav," "Gavie," "Mr. Gowahan," "Chunker," and "My boy."

(this was actually a hug, I promise)

Once you figured out crawling, you were off!  At first you had to concentrate for each movement, but you quickly mastered it and went places like you meant business.  You’re the most enthusiastic crawler I’ve ever seen, constantly making happy noises as you go, breathing in and out noisily, panting.  I can’t even describe the sound you make (but I’ve made the sound myself trying to figure out how to say it in words!).  You go, go, go and you’re getting naughty with all this freedom!  If there is ever a door open, you’re in, something to pull off the couch, it’s down, anything you’re not supposed to have, you’ve already crawled to it and most often, half eaten it by the time I can even take a step toward you! You crawl everywhere with things in your mouth, like a puppy.  It's hilarious and so cute! What's not so cute is that you've started climbing the stairs and intentionally getting into things you're not allowed to touch.  You reach out, touching the forbidden item and shake your head "no" the whole time.  Little stinker!