Wednesday, August 26, 2009

T- minus 19 days

Until our lives are switched around a bit! I have been quiet on this blog while Sam and I have sorted out a few things, had some tough conversations and worked through the details.

But, we have made some tough decisions (some were made for us!). We have decided that Sam would leave his job and stay home full time next academic year with Seren and Wyeth. Seren will attend preschool 3 mornings a week. Wyeth will be home. Sam will be studying for the bar in hopes of returning to law next academic year. The stakes are high. Financially and emotionally for us. But we feel like this is a conscious CHOICE of improving our quality of life. The three job thing? The working nights thing? The lack of sleep and no time for us thing? The barely getting out of debt due to upcoming preschool/child care cost thing? That wasn't working for us so much. Nope.

So Sam returns to being a stay at home parent. I will return (eventually) full time to a working parent. We are both parents and both GOOD parents. Adjustments will need to be made. Preschool will have its own challenges. Studying for a bar will be tough too. But the way I see this, this is a choice we are making and we have a "plan": we choose US!

I will struggle with this and so will Sam as the rest of the world hasn't caught up on the fact that it is 2009 and fathers can be stay at home parents just as well as mothers. And that when a Dad is caring for his kids, he isn't "babysitting", he is well, PARENTING. And I'm still a "good mom" even though I work at an office.

But we go into this time with our eyes open. We know that things won't be easy. That I will doubt myself and doubt this decision. That Sam will too. But we feel that we have some strategies built up. Tactics to address some of was challenging last time.

But until mid September, we'll be doing the status quo and hoping for the best. Change stinks. Even good changes. We'll miss our awesome child care provider. Sam will miss working with some of the kids he has gotten to know. We'll miss the income.

But I'm proud of us. I'm proud of where we have come and where we hope to go.

And as a bonus, Sam is back writing at his blog. It makes me happy. My family makes me happy. T-minus 19 days.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Drool much?

4 new pearly whites are coming in!

Insane week! Jumbled thoughts!

I don't know where the days go! Our days turn into nights and then mornings again. It is hard to watch the weeks zoom by without too much full attention on any one thing!

Just a couple of things I want to note since I don't have time to do a proper post:

* Wyeth has learned to not only crawl with great speed but also to pull himself up! It is amazing to watch! The whole wide world has opened up to him and he is excited to see it all!

* The nursing is going to end soon. On some days, this brings me to tears. On other days, I know it is time. That 8.5 months is good. I haven't been making enough milk since around 6 months and the pressure to make it combined with the time it takes to pump at work has been challenging. I don't want to just stop though either. My last baby. I have loved nursing both of my children. It has been a privledge and I love the cuddles. So it is bittersweet for sure!

* When I stopped nursing Seren my hormones took a nose dive. I was severly depressed! So I am trying to taper it this time a bit more while things are fluctuating. This is its own post!

* Preschool starts in September! YIKES! We are SO excited! But wow, this is quite the milestone for us! She has a new backpack ordered and is very enthusastic about 'making new friends'. She even has a whole little speech that she has practiced. "Hi, my name is Seren. What is your name?" She wants kids to come over to our house and play. It is going to be great!

* We need new hard wood floors. Well, we need floors. Bit by bit, we have pulled up our carpet! So now we need to get serious about replacing it!

* I don't want summer to be over! We hope to fit in a camping trip in September- should be awesome. I feel for the people who will be next to us.

* This past week we didn't have child care while our provider was on a much deserved vacation. We pieced things together but man, it was a total stretch! I hired someone to watch the kids while I worked but Wyeth only wanted ME. The crying! My god! Seperation anxiety is in full force! If I go down the hall, the tears start. He immediately stops crying when I re-appear!

* I am already daydreaming about when Sam and I can plan our next solo get away! I'd love to just do something simple together. September seems like a good time. The demands of two children and our jobs continue to stress us. I want to spend more time on 'us'.

* I loved spending both Monday and Tuesday with the kiddos. We went to the pool, we had great adventures in our neighborhood while I pulled Seren in a wagon and had Wyeth in a backpack. (nice workout for mom too!) We just really enjoyed our time together.

I hope to have a proper post very shortly. For now, this is as good as it gets!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seren's "teammate"

I thought before we had Wyeth, that he would share a room with Seren when he was around 4 months old. Seren stayed in our room until that point. And I remember how scary but also how freeing it was to have her in her own room. We ALL slept better. We have a decent sized house but we don't have an entire extra bedroom. And Seren's room is huge! So we reasoned, that two very small people can share a room.

I thought that come 4 months, we'd move him in and no problem.

It took us until he was 8 months. Wyeth has been a nightowl. This Sunday, we went through the process of taking down the crib which had been in our bedroom and putting it into Seren's room. This has been a long time coming. It hasn't been a perfect week but it went well! We had one very long night. Seren didn't make a peep during the crying but at breakfast the next morning she sighed, "I was up all night with Wyeth crying!"

I hear ya sista! I hear ya!

I couldn't believe how sad I was taking him out of room. I have longed for this. And I think we all will sleep better. Babies are NOISY! And I was sleeping so lightly for fear that I'd wake him or he would wake me! We wanted our bedroom 'back'. But still, moving that crib out was hard.

Seren, however, was excited! Finally! Wyeth would share her room! She kept saying, "I like my teammate! I want Wyeth to be my teammate!" I corrected her. "Seren, Wyeth will be your ROOMMATE!"

But in retrospect, before long they will be teaming up against us. I think team-mate is more appropriate.

So we have done it. The two of them now share a room.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

With a grateful heart

I am a blessed woman. I feel overwhelmed most days by the sheer insanity of it all. Dirty house. Busy job. Long commute. Long distance friends. Obligations. Bills. Insurance claims. To-do lists that seem to never list 'rest' upon the items.

But when I take time to stop. To breathe. To just LOOK at my life. I feel at peace. I feel overwhelmed not with stress, but with gratitude. My children are growing up as I fret and question myself, my decisions, my choices. I have to tell my brain to just stop. To be quiet.

And to see the wonder.

The little legs that grow fat with chub. Which will soon be full of scraped knees as he has learned to crawl this week. Those same legs will one day hold him up as he explores on two feet.

And my girl. The curls. The laughter. The energy. The confidence. The way she can just fall in love with the whole world and all of its discoveries. Daily. The stories she can tell.

I question how I can be overwhelmed when I live with such amazing creatures
who hold my hand,
brush my hair,
snuggle my neck and call me


Monday, August 10, 2009

Cape Cod 09

Before too much more time passes and I begin to feel guilty about not blogging, I want to write about our Cape Cod trip. This is an annual pilgrimage for my family. My parents own a lovely little home on the Cape and they grant it to us for a week each year. It is fantastic! I love the beach, the sun, the fresh food, the ceiling fans, the cool nights. It is awesome.

But every year, on the drive up, I swear to myself that we are NEVER doing this again.

This year was no different. With a three year old and an 8 month in tow, we set out for what is supposed to be about a 7 hour drive. I worked Friday morning and left the office at 12:30 hoping to meet Sam, finish packing the car and getting in the car by 1. Well, 2 pm was our more realistic goal. All went off ok until we got turned around/lost. Not once but twice. At one point, there was 4 people screaming in the car. Ugly! The plan was to stop at the 4 hour mark- at Andy's house in CT. We have done this before and it works fabulously. But this year, with all of our delays (which included a detour into Yonkers/Brooklyn, WTF?), we called our friends and said, "Just meet us there!" Originally we had no intention of driving the long drive straight but it was getting ridiculous. So, we went for it!

Seren naps starting around 1:30 or 2pm. But as she was sleeping, Wyeth was getting mad and fussing. She woke up to say, "Wyeth is making too much noise!"
Then, later, turn around is fair play. He was soundly sleeping and Seren yelled, "Hey! WYETH!"

Sam and I decided we needed one of those limo glass walls that went up between them. It very much felt like a "family road trip".

We stopped at McDonalds and ordered Seren's very first Happy Meal. Her response was classic. "Mom! There is a toy in my dinner! Why is there a toy in my dinner!?" Good question!

With 'Quakety', the stuffed beanie baby from Mickey Ds, we headed out again.

We arrived at the house with two sleeping children and two stressed out parents at 11:30 pm. Our 'guests', our friends had opened up the house, and put both of their children to bed. It was a busy start to a good week.

On the whole, the week was fantastic. We had longed for this 'family' time. Our little family has been so tired. So stressed. So overwhelmed this year. Two children are wonderful blessings but they also manage to drain you! Without time to recharge, and working three jobs, we were TIRED. The weather predicted 7 straight days of rain. But honestly, I almost didn't care. Sam, Seren, Wyeth and I would be there. (And later my parents). We would be fine.

In the end, we had glorious weather. Seren and Wyeth did great at the beach! Wyeth slept and sat in his new chair that my parents bought him (them). Seren busied herself digging. Unlike the last two years where she LOVED the water, she was more reserved. This surprised me as she has become very daring and spent several days at the Jersey shore this year. Whatever! I'll never figure out the mentality of a three year old.

Highlights of 2009 include

** meeting my best friend's daughter- 6 week old, Ali. They get major props for even attempting a night away!

**Mud Flat mania- an event where everyone has to look for all of the live creatures in the bay.

**Truro Park- a community playground constructed this year. It was awesome!

**Lobster night- we last had lobsters 3 years ago at the Cape. My dad and I enjoyed shrimp while Sam and my mom went to town on lobsters. I like this picture. The kids seem to be saying, "WTF? They are going to EAT that?"

**Not sleeping- this isn't a 'highlight' like the ones before it but man, Wyeth was thrown OFF by beach days, different beds, etc. And lets be real, it isn't like he has been a sound sleeper! Most nights, I got less sleep than I do when I work. Sam and I found ourselves with him in the car at 2 am hoping we didn't run out of gas. And when the gas light went on, he deposited me at home and he took my parents car! Ok, so sometimes he slept...

**"Cape Over"- Seren and Andy's daughter attempted to nap and sleep in the same room. They really just chatted. The only way it worked was Andy would put Julie down in their room and then they transferred Julie to Seren's room. Maybe next year?

**Showering outside- the house has an outdoor shower. This is perfect for kids post beach. You take the kids, covered in sand and wash 'em down with soap and shampoo. I enjoy this shower a ton- nothing like showering in the summer sunshine. Seren started to do the pee dance while we were in there. She told me she needed to go potty. I just said, 'Hey, let it fly!' Her face was classic. "NO! (you don't understand!) I have to go pee, Mom!" Again, I told her to just pee! "Standing up!?" "Yup, standing up! Go for it!" She peed and thought it was so COOL.

Later that night she was thinking about her day and said, "Mom, you don't go poop in the shower, right? Only pee?"

"Right, Seren, only pee."

It was a great week away! We had lots to think about and lots to celebrate. This time last year I was 22 weeks pregnant and just spent a lot of time sleeping and day dreaming about my son. This year we had Wyeth- full person, lots of energy, active, non sleeping Wyeth.

It was awesome! We also celebrated 7 years of marriage and Wyeth's 8 month!


Sunday, August 9, 2009


Seren, like most preschoolers, is so literal. It reminds me of Amelia Bedelia books. (Anyone? "Draw the curtains" so Amelia Bedelia takes out a pen and sketches them?)

Anyway...Seren has had some cute moments recently related to this developmental stage.

I told her the other day that I was 'falling apart'. She looked at me. Looked at my body and said, "No you're not!"

I was talking to Sam on Cape Cod about Wyeth and how quickly he would fall asleep. I repeatedly used the words 'He is going to crash'. Several minutes later Seren said I was going to go upstairs and smush Wyeth's head into the wall until he cried. (or something like that!). Horrified at the violent imagery, I started to scold her until Sam said, 'You did say he was going to 'crash''.

Lastly, Seren was sipping juice in the car and started to choke. I told her that she would be ok, that the juice just went down the wrong pipe. Several seconds of silence passed. Then, from the backseat, "I have pipes in my mouth!? Where are the pipes! I want to see the pipes!"

LOVE THIS AGE! She is going through a "I love you SO much" stage. I couldn't be happier. The hugs! The kisses! I love her SO much too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

We are baaack!

We have returned from a week at Cape Cod! Since our family has a slightly different schedule every day of the week, we make a big deal out of 'Mommy Day' (Tuesdays) or 'Daddy Day' (Fridays). And then on the weekend it is 'family days'.

Since we had a whole week together, Seren (and the rest of us) really looked forward to 'Family week!'

We had a blast. Pictures and many stories to come.

A few Cape Cod 2009 firsts:

Wyeth's first time on Cape Cod. (I was 22 weeks pregnant last year)
Seren's first bonfire on the beach
Seren's first ice pop/popsicle
The kids experienced lobsters- both alive and cooked
Seren had her first 'sleepover' with our good friends' daughter- who was 2.5 years. (Seren called this a 'Capeover' instead of a sleepover). Sleeping they did not do.
First road trip in the 'new' to us car
First road trip with two kids

It was great! Can't wait to say more!

We LOVED family week!