Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lost a week!

There are so many things to write about but I don't know where to start! I had another good weekend with my family- a chance to relax, to pick out a pumpkin, to play together, to attend another preschool birthday party, a chance to go on a date with my husband. All very good things. We have had full weekends recently. This world known as "preschool" is all very new to me. There are parties to attend, newsletters to read, school pictures to take and most exciting, Halloween Parades! It is very different! And it is busy. But *I* seriously LOVE preschool. Seren is like a walking song. She has a song for everything. Cleaning up. Snack. Getting ready. She just sings and hums along. I love it!

I can't wait for the parade tomorrow!

But I was hit with a cold and fever that knocked my socks off this week! Man! It started with an allergy attack which quickly went into a fever that four days later, I still have! The doctor says I have an ear infection. I am having trouble hearing now but generally feel much better. I literally got in bed at 7:15pm Monday night and stayed there until the morning. And then took the day off and went back to bed! I haven't had that much rest in three years! Sam has been uberdad- doing it ALL while I secluded myself with juice, medicine and a Kleenex box.

Oh well, I believe sometimes our bodies just say 'Enough is enough' and conk out on us. Just really hoping that the kids don't get this cold/fever thing! That is all we need!

In other exciting news, Uncle John is in town! Yeah! We haven't seen him since May. He came for Seren's third bday party. Seren is very excited.

Wyeth is walking up a storm! It started in earnest on Friday and he hasn't stopped. It is amazing to watch! I can't get over it. We also just switched his car seat out. Goodbye infant car seat. Between the walking and the new car seat his early days of laying around on me seem long gone. This too makes me sad. Did I cherish it enough?

So with the cold, this week hasn't exactly gone as planned. But we are all hoping for a great Halloween. Seren is going to be a 'nice witch' and SHE wanted Wyeth to be her black cat. Which is better than my friend's daughter who upon announcing she would be Little Bo Peep tried to convince her mother that her younger sister would need a leash around her neck and could be the sheep! Talk about therapy bills!
I can just hear it now, "Well, doctor, I always felt as if my contributions to the family were not valued. It started really at birth. My first Halloween, I was made out to be my older sister's sheep..."

Happy Halloween!

Below are some recent pics of the team. Check out the fridge action.

And despite my worries that my baby is growing too fast, he still is, afterall, only a little guy.

Sigh. Life is good.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Phone Friday- Riding

It is fall. Some days it is hot. Some days it is windy and cool. This past week we took a little family walk around the block with the kids in the old Radio Flyer. There is something quintessentially 'family' about Radio Flyers, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One month in...

And we are doing great!

Sam left his full time (paid) job one month ago to join the team at home working full time for no pay. And in that month we have adjusted. It took about 3 weeks to get us all back to some sort of schedule, routine, rhythm.

I love it.

I love having my husband home. I love seeing Sam. I love that Seren is doing all sorts of crazy art projects. (Pictures below).I love that I don't need to cook dinner at night. I love that I don't have to put both kids down by myself. Or cook dinner while nursing Wyeth. I love that I don't feel so all alone. It is working. I still have twinges of guilt and jealousy and no, we haven't paid the bills yet which is when it will get VERY tricky but this is a decision that is working for us. Right now. And we are feeling very happy and very fortunate.

But the comments from strangers have started back too. Case in point. On Monday, I was waiting with Seren and Wyeth at a doctor's office while Sam had a minor test performed. (He is fine, whew!) I met a grandma who was in her late 50's, early 60s. She was one of those people, God bless her, who just asks all sorts of personal questions and tells you exactly what she thinks. You know the type, "So, you done having kids?" Etc, etc. She and I chatted for a long time about life. She starts with:

Her: So your hubby took the day off to have this done?
Me: No, this is my day off with the kids, we are here to pick him up after the procedure.
Her: He stays home?
Me: Yup.
Her: He don't work??
Me: Nope. Well, on Mondays he works but the rest of the days, he is with the kids.
Her: Does he LIKE that? He don't go crazy?
Me: I'm sure he has his moments where it is hard. But he seems to love it, actually. He is really, really good with the kids.
Her: Does he cook?
me: Yes! He is a good cook.
Her: He don't clean too, does he?
Me: Nope, he doesn't clean. That is still my thing.
her: You must LOVE to work...
Me: I like to work. Yes, I do. I like having that part of me but I really enjoy my kids as well. I love 'em.

This went on and on. She looked at me like I had a third eye. The names we chose for our children? She chalked that up to us "being creative". But then after a quiet moment (and I do mean one moment) she said, "Well, I guess it all shared these days. Not when I was doing it. Nope. If my husband had the kids, well, the house was a complete mess when I returned. I guess it don't work like that anymore."

There are a number of different things I find funny or challenging about these kinds of conversations.
One, you feel like you have defend yourself as a good mother. One conversation I'll never forget came from a local mother who said to me, "I could NEVER work, I love my children too much." Which is just ignorant. Those mothers that choose to work or have to work don't love their children?? Good grief.

Two, you feel like you have to defend your partner's parenting. Which would NOT be the case in reverse. (A father defending his wife's mothering would be unheard of but I constantly have to assure nosey strangers that he IS a good dad.)

Three, it makes me realize that some things really have changed and some things haven't. Double standards are everywhere.

Some life choices are made for us. Some we make on our own. Most 'choices' are somewhere in between. But every family that I know is simply trying to do their best. That is all we are trying to do as well. Some days are better than others.

These conversations with strangers are just so common that you begin to get used to them. Begin to. They still, as is obvious in this post, ruffle my feathers.

In the mean time, we will continue onwards. The art projects, I have to say, are pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scared of Wind

As a parent, there are no shortages of times when you just shake your head and wonder how your child is actually related to you.

This past week Seren has become horribly afraid of wind.

Wind, peoples. Wind.

It is fall. It is chilly. It is windy.

We have 'issues'.

It all started last Wednesday when her fireman's hat that she got from school blew off her head. Later that day, Sam placed two library books on the top of the car. Sam assured her that they would not blow off. But they did! Well, since then, we haven't heard the end of wind fears. The teacher at school has told us to put her in a hoodie that the teacher then sinches up around her face. But the screaming about the wind continues. She holds on to her hair for dear life. She clutches her skirts when she is outside.

We have tried to emphasize how much FUN the wind is! Yeah! Kite flying! Yahoo! Sail boat racing! Check it out- wind is FUN.

Nope. She is not buying it.

Scared of the wind. Any ideas?

How many more days until spring?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ten Months

Wyeth, you turned ten months last Saturday and here it is Friday. Right before you turned 10 months you took a few steps! It was amazing to see!

You continue to grow and explore and just tackle the world! I see you as someone who isn't cautious about anything! You just dive right in and keep smiling.

You continue to explore finger food but prefer Momma and Dadda to shovel the food in. Puffs and bits of rice and pasta are ok but wow, mango, applesauce, prunes and yogurt is where its at!

You are sleeping a bit better. After your grandparents visit in mid-September, we moved you back to the TV room instead of sharing your room with your big sister. We tried for 6 weeks to make it work. But it wasn't working. You sleep much better in your own space. Which is good! Here-here for better sleep but wow...we haven't seen a minute of TV in a month. We may decide that we need to rearrange our house so that you actually sleep in a crib (as opposed to your pack and play) and so that Daddy and I can unwind in our TV room at the end of a long day.

You have been all about exploring the world these past couple of weeks. Closets NEED to be opened. So do drawers! And cabinets!

We have tried harder to 'teach' you things. I read in my journal that Seren was identifying body parts at 10 months and we hadn't even started yet! So we are working on "belly" and "nose". You LOVE to stand naked in the tub and smack your belly over and over again. You are built like a little football player with big thighs and a nice round head. The only other trick you play is when we say "arms up" you raise your arms! And most recently, in the last week, you finally have begun to clap.

Mommy is trying to teach you sign language! I could have sworn you signed for 'more' but Daddy and Seren think you were just pointing out your Cheerios.

You still nurse about once a day but that is it. Take it or leave it. This morning was the first morning you didn't even really want to do that. This broke mom's heart into a pile of tiny bits but I know that our relationship will just grow and change.

About once a day you burst into giggle fits. These send me into hysterics as well. Your whole body laughs and your giggles are 100% contagious. I laughed so hard on Wednesday night that my throat hurt the next day!

Today Daddy sent me a picture of you all dressed up in your Michigan gear which arrived from Grandma and Grandad just last night. Since it is Phone Photo Friday, I'll include it here.

Happy 10 months, Wyeth. We love you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last year

I have spent much of this fall so far remembering our lives this time last year. The visits to pumpkin patches I missed. The weeks in bed. Last year on this date, I wrote a post about my second over night visit at the hospital for pre-term labor. And how hard it was. I wouldn't wish that stress on anyone. I was so convinced he'd be early and be in the NICU just like Seren.

Read that post here.

Most of my pregnancy, I worried about pre-term birth which is why when he finally did arrive, just two days before he was supposed to, I was just giddy. And there are some pictures that I just didn't have of Seren's birth. It was those pictures of mom and dad holding a newborn that I didn't get to take that haunted me the entire first year of her life. I proccessed and cried and processed again but still felt like I disappointed my daughter in bringing her to the world too early.

Here is a picture of Sam and I leaving our little Seren behind in the NICU. We are smiling but driving away from the hospital without our little one was very, very challenging.

Which is why I was SO freaking excited to have this picture of Sam, Wyeth and I. It is normal- just like everyone elses' picture. But to me, it means the world.

Here is to the gift of life- the promise of hope that a new life brings and the ways in which God blesses all of us many times over.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Being in Touch

We are very blessed to have four grandparents who help us, encourage us and cheer all of us on. We could not do it without them!

And technology helps. For the longest time, Seren had a outstanding date with her grandma and grandad in Flint, MI. Via a camera call on Skype. We all cherished these times and they got to 'see' their grand daughter grow. We celebrate many holidays this way.

Valentine's day



And it is lovely. Now that Sam is home with both kids, the calls have started again. And even more high tech for our little 'pre-literate' Seren is her email account! Sam opened an email account and she has been busy emailing her grand parents and her long distance Aunt and Uncle. Sam writes down verbatim what she says. And everyone has played along and written her back. She really likes to do this every night after dinner. I love it and it is a really neat way for us to keep in touch with our family who we love so dearly!

Seren (and soon Wyeth) on skype, email...what's next? Twitter?