November 2009


Posted by AVM

After a lovely and busy extra-long holiday weekend filled with family and friends, I think we are all thrilled to be getting back to the routine this week.  It is incredible how a three-year-old can tax your nerves.  Sunday was a rough day for Lovey – and in turn, rough for me and my husband.  It seemed as though everything was a fight, a tantrum, or a power struggle.  Nothing was right.  The wrong drink, the wrong sippy cup, the lost toy, the wrong dinner, the wrong toothpaste, no nap, I mean, the universe was conspiring against my Lovey today.   She knew she was out of control – at one point in mid-hysterics she said, “I just have to relax!”  Yes, Lovey, please do.  And when she was at peace, poor CeeCee decided to get in on the act and be fussy about her newly cut frenulum.   By the time the lights went out (not without protest) on Lovey at 8:30 PM, I was DONE.

And now. . .it’s Sunday night. . . and. . .do you hear it?  Do you?  It’s silence.  I love my daughters, and I could share some wonderful moments we had today – moments that made us proud, that made us grab them and kiss their cheeks, that made us a happy family.  But, at this moment, I am thrilled that they are peacefully sound asleep.  Tomorrow’s a new day.

Posted by Duff

I am so, so glad that I wrote this down when it was happening.

Today’s Atticus tugs my hair, reaches for my food, has twice as much chick fuzz as he did three months ago. Once a snuggler, now a champagne cork –there is no going back, except to that stolen August moment I’m so lucky to have.

Happy Thanksgiving, Buddy Bear.

 

Posted by Fitz

This Thanksgiving, I feel emotional about all of the blessings my family has received throughout the year.  We’ve been incredibly lucky on many fronts, but first and foremost I’m grateful for how our love for each other has continued to grow and evolve.  In honor of the holiday, I want to share just a few of the things for which I’m giving thanks.

  1. My bean, of course.  Saying that I’m grateful for her and to her says everything and nothing, all in the same sentence.  It is impossible to list the ways in which she has blessed my husband and I, but overall I am just thankful that she chose us for her parents.  She has a light in her that is inspiring, joyful, and amusing, and I’m beyond grateful to have the chance to be her mother.
  2. My husband (again, of course).  This second year of parenthood has continued to show me how strong, sensitive, and caring he is as a father and as a husband.  I couldn’t have chosen a better partner.
  3. Our extended family, who provides us the unconditional love and support that we need as we try to juggle a million different things every day.  We couldn’t have gotten through the year without their help, especially my mom’s – she has been the Bean’s caretaker, best friend, and soulmate, and never complains when we ask her to sleep over (even though her bed is our uncomfy couch).  Mom, we’re getting a new couch this year, and you get to help pick it out.
  4. My job.  Every job has its ups and downs, and I’m grateful that I’m still employed and in the working mom groove.  Last Thanksgiving I was just getting started, and now I finally feel like I have this balance thing as good as it’s going to get.
  5. You, our faithful readers.  We’ve seen great success this year as a blog, and we couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you for continuing to inspire us with your stories, and for supporting us as we continue down the blogging road.
  6. Last, but far from least, I’m incredibly thankful that we’ll be adding a new baby to our family at the end of May.  I’m grateful to my husband for his support during the whole process, I’m grateful for the doctors and nurses who helped make this miracle happen again, and I’m grateful that I had a happy and healthy first trimester.  Words can’t explain how excited we are to welcome a new sweet pea into our lives, and we are already in love with him or her.  And no, we’re not finding out the gender!

On this Thanksgiving, I feel like I couldn’t be any luckier in life.  I hope that you have as many blessings and reasons to give thanks this year, and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by AVM

After what seems like a blink of an eye, my maternity leave is over, and I start back at work in the morning.  Twelve weeks have come and gone so fast; it seemed like an eternity stretched out before me the day I gave birth to CeeCee.  I am blessed to love my job and love the people I work with even more.  I am not dreading my return to work at all. Unlike my first time returning to work after maternity leave, I am not worried that my daughter won’t remember me, or that she’s not going to do well in daycare.  I already know that aspect of my return to work is all going to pan out.   Mostly, as a self-proclaimed creature of habit, it’s the logistics that are causing me high anxiety.  I feel like I just got into the swing of things, and now I need a new routine.  As with everything related to being a parent, once you’re in a groove, it changes up.  Forced adaptation.  Get on the train or get out of the way.  My husband and I  have two children  and ourselves to get ready, fed, dressed and out the door by 7:30AM.  It’s ambitious to say the least, but I have no doubt it’s going to happen.  Something’s got to give.  I’ve got long, curly hair that takes 15-20 minutes to dry.  That’s not happening unless I wake up at 4:30 (also not happening).  But, I am no different than anyone else.  I am the same as every mom reading this.  Your mornings are just as – or more so – hectic as mine will be.  I know it just takes planning.  I just fear the unknown.  It gives me a stomach ache.  I wish I knew the order of events tomorrow morning.  But that’s parenthood, isn’t it? The unknown.  I’m exhausted thinking about it.  Thankfully, it’s a short week, and we can ease into the madness.

The routine will come – I know it will.  And it will be just in time for CeeCee to start rice cereal, and then I’ll have to change it up again.   And then she’ll be crawling, and I’ll have to contain her in the morning.  And then, and then, and then. .  .change, change, change. . . . until the heavens  open up, a choir of harp-bearing angels sing “Hallelujah,” and lo and behold, my girls will be old enough to get themselves ready for school.  At that point, NO DOUBT, I will be wishing they were the tiny snuggly creatures they are right now.  I guess I need to be in the moment and remember that – especially with Thanksgiving coming and all.  Ok, work week. Bring it on.

Posted by Duff

I posted Part 1 about 16 months ago.  I just went back and read it because lately, this working mom has had a helluva time getting out of the house and to work on time, as have a lot of parents I know.

Here’s an understatement: It’s a little harder with two. Not impossible (even when it feels that way), just with new variables. 

Challenge: 2 kids with different bedtime/wake up schedules. Anyone have a baby who rises with the proverbial rooster and a toddler or preschooler who fights bedtime and is a morning grizzly bear? Our kids should go bowling together.

Solution: Staggered schedules are a blessing; I don’t have to meet two sets of immediate needs. Atticus doesn’t mind if I fold laundry, drink coffee, or scarf cereal while we wait for the sun, as long as he can see and hear me. If your infant is Dervish-like, however, wakes up before you’ve attended to yourself, and is a morning clinger, I suggest the Bjorn. And coffee at the office.

If you’ve got a mobile baby, please remind me how this differs and you make it work.

Challenge: Getting a night owl out of bed during the morning rush. I’m not a morning person either, so I sympathize with my girl, but she definitely makes me work for it.

Solution: The Dervish’s reveille begins 20 minutes before I need her to get up, with Atticus in tow, since she won’t be crabby to him (yet).  I’m in and out of her room three times – initial wakeup (then I get dressed), 2nd wakeup (I prep her breakfast), final wakeup (I put one of her favorite shows on TV and she pounds wood). You’ll have to customize your routine to your Dervish, of course.

Challenge: Shuttling through the stations. By stations, I mean bathroom, breakfast, boutique, beauty salon, bon voyage.

Solution: Be cheerful, upbeat, and creative. Magic Garden-esque is most effective, but I suck at that, so I aim for not losing my cool (if I lose it, The Dervish cements herself to the moment) and showing more enthusiasm than I think appropriate for brushing teeth, but which seems to get The Dervish on board. Also, if your kid is old enough to choose, and you can accomodate, offer two choices (white socks or striped socks? banana or raspberries?)

Challenge: Physically getting out the door.  Common mistake: underestimating how much time this can take, even on a good day.

Solution: Have shoes and coats by the door in advance. Give yourself at least 15 minutes more than you think you’ll need (more on bad weather days) until you’ve tested your routine.  Load as much as you can into the car before venturing outside with the kiddos. Keep your cell phone in your pocket, hide house/car keys outside. You or your Dervish could lock you all out of house or car (or worse yet, put a locked door between you) in the mad rush to make an early meeting.

Some days will seem easy enough that you may wonder why other days were so tough. Other days, it will have to be enough to revel in the satisfaction of having accomplished more before 8am than some people do all day.

And for that, you should consider yourself successful.

Every child and every situation is different.  I’m pretty sure you can do everything I do and make these for your colleagues before heading out the door, so please share your challenges and solutions for our readers and we’ll all get to work on time, with fuse to spare.

Posted by Fitz

Most of you don’t know this, but I seem to have a second daughter.  She’s sweet, she’s adventurous, and she is my Bean’s new best friend, providing countless hours of entertainment.  I haven’t actually met this girl in person yet, but all signs point to her being a very important member of our family.

She’s Dora.  As in, The Explorer.

The Bean never watched much TV – she just never seemed interested.  One particularly trying (for both of us), rainy day, however, we came across an episode with Dora and Boots and MAN – this girl was hooked.  Every morning brings a request of “Can I watch Dora please right now?” and each evening ends with a “More Dora, no bed!”  We have had to limit our Dora time to an episode in the morning and an episode at night, just out of sheer terror that the Bean would watch her 24/7 if we allowed it.

Dora is actually a pretty interesting little girl.  She’s not afraid of anything (last night, she climbed up onto a zipline and the Bean yelled, “Be caaaaaareful, Dora!”), she has great friends, and she’s even kind to Swiper the Fox (or, at least it seems like she is in the commercials for the Christmas Carol).  She is good to her Mommy and twin brother and sister, and she always wants to help.  All in all, I can think of many worse role models for my Bean at this tender age….I mean, Curious George gets into trouble all the time and disobeys the man in the yellow hat.  We don’t want that sort of behavior!

I always said that no child of mine would become obsessed with mainstream characters like Dora or Kai Lan or whoever else is en vogue at the time (and I still hope beyond hope that Miley Cyrus is tucked far, far away by the time my Bean is a pre-teen).  The question is, why was I resisting?  There’s a reason Dora is so popular, and it’s because kids like her.  This yields some entertainment, some quiet time for Mommy on occasion, and some great new songs to sing in the car on the way back from Mimi’s house.  I no longer see anything wrong with that, which just goes to show you: you can never make parenting rules for a stage that you haven’t experienced yet.  Being a mom is rolling with the punches and seeing where the next day is going to take you.  In my house, we’re likely to be headed to Crocodile Lake – and for the time being, that’s fine with us.

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