Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas, here we come!

Like everyone else, I find it extremely hard to believe that 2010 is almost over. This time last year, I was relearning how to take care of an infant - this time with the added challenge of taking care of a toddler at the same time. Both the Squid and the Monkey have changed a lot in the past year. Mark and I have, too, but the change doesn't seem as dramatic when you're an adult. Since I haven't blogged in a couple weeks, I thought I'd wrap up the year by providing a quick rundown of our Christmas holidays.

The Monkey’s birthday: I know from personal experience that kids born in December get royally jipped this time of year. Not only do people inevitably try to call gifts combination birthday-Christmas gifts, but they’re also really busy with their own families. Mark thought I was nuts for scheduling a birthday party for a one-year-old (thought the same thing w/ her big sister’s party) but I think it’s important to celebrate a child’s milestones. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I had few birthday parties as a child. Having a Christmas Eve birthday will do that to a girl. On the plus side, I get to spend every birthday with family. But on the downside, I get to spend every birthday with family. Rather than completely skip out on celebrating the Monkey’s birthday, we just spread it out a bit. Since her birthday was on Thursday this year, we started celebrating her first birthday on Wednesday the 15th with Mexican food, margaritas (ok, so this was more of a celebration for mom and dad!) and key lime pie (which she LOVED, by the way). Her actual birthday party took place on Saturday. A few other babies came over and we had a great time watching them scoot around on the floor, play in the Squid’s tent and eye the dogs through the door. The cake didn’t look like what I expected, but it tasted amazing – the custard filling was fantastic! Another top score for the Tom Thumb at Coit and Campbell! As exciting as her birthday was, it was also bittersweet as she completely stopped nursing the night before her first birthday. I’ve written before that she had become less and less interested, but that night she flat out refused to nurse. It broke my heart in so many ways. I know it’s better if they wean themselves, but I wasn’t ready. I’m sure it’ll be the first of many disappointments, but hopefully the happy moments will outweigh the sad ones.

Visit with Santa: After several weeks of careful prepping on my part (including a trip to Santa's Village to see him arrive that first night), we all bundled up and headed across the street to meet and greet the man himself. I went and got in line w/ the Monkey about 20 minutes before his arrival, but that wasn't early enough, so we still spent more than an hour in line. The weather was warmer than in past years, though, so the wait wasn't bad. The Monkey, Squid and I wandered around the Village taking pictures while Mark held our place in line. When it was finally her turn, the Squid climbed into Santa's lap and gave him a great big grin. We got some really cute photos and she told him that she wanted a train and a track for Christmas! She had told me several times that she wanted a train and track, but I wasn’t certain that she'd say that to Santa. Until a few days beforehand, she was saying she wanted “big girl toys.” She was never able to tell me what a big girl toy was, but that’s what she wanted. Needless to say, it was both a relief and a holy-cow-guess-I’m-going-shopping-again moment when asked Santa for a choo-choo train and track.

The Monkey’s first visit with Santa Clause was less successful, but the photo is definitely one for the album! She screamed her heart out as soon as Mark plopped her down on his lap and I snapped a photo and had Mark grab her back up before Santa’s elf had a chance to snap the official ‘Santa’s Village’ shot. Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop- and an awesome colleague of mine – we still wound up with a single shot of the girls! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas

As a child, I remember arriving at my paternal grandparents house every year on Christmas day to find stacks and stacks of The Night Before Christmas books. My grandmother collected them, so she picked up copies during she and my granddaddy's travels and friends brought her copies from their own travels. As I got older, I remember scouring bookstores everywhere I went looking for an edition she didn't have to add to her collection. By the time she died on Dec. 17, 2003, she had close to 100 copies of the classic Christmas tale including versions in French and Spanish and a few other languages. They all have different artwork and slight variations on the text, but the message is the same.

When my dad and his two brothers came to me shortly after her death and asked if there was anything I wanted, I asked for a few pictures, but said that the only thing I really wanted was the Night Before Christmas collection. I'm not sure whether they gave me the entire collection because my birthday is Christmas Eve, because I was the first grandchild, or just because I asked, but shortly thereafter Dad arrived at my house with a huge gray plastic trunk with a burgundy top. The side read: Night Before Christmas collection.

My granddaddy had died exactly one week after grandmother - on Christmas Eve (my 25th birthday) - so to say I was still shell-shocked would be a bit of an understatement. I hadn't moved from the anger phase of the grieving process, so I did the only thing I could do. I put the trunk in the garage. And there is stayed, unopened, for seven years.

In the seven years since Dad delivered the trunk, I married my husband, buried two cats, added two dogs and another cat to our brood, and had two beautiful girls. The oldest is now 3 1/2; the youngest turned one on Dec. 16.

I'm not sure what changed inside me, but when we were getting the Christmas decorations out in early December and I saw the trunk, I grabbed it as well. I lugged the 60-70 lb. trunk off the shelf in the garage, though the kitchen and into the living room, where I'm embarrassed to say that I opened the trunk for the first time since it had been in my possession. I also announced a new family tradition. From here on out, we're going to read at least one of the books every night of December until Christmas Day. The best part is that we've actually done this.

Every night since then, Mark, the girls and I have snuggled up in the Squid's bed and read at least one of the books. The choice of the night varies in that we just pop open the lid and tell the Squid to grab one. So far, we've enjoyed the Cajun and Grandma Moses versions plus multiple takes on the original. Maybe tonight she'll pick a foreign language edition.

Surprisingly, the trunk contained more than the book collection. It also included a handful of stuffed animals that must have been my dad and uncle's childhood toys (need to send them pics to see if they want them) as well as my granddaddy's dress hat from when he served in the U.S. Merchant Marines.

Looking back, I wish I had opened the trunk sooner. I'm really not sure why I hadn't. I like to think that it wasn't because we don't have room or that we were worried that the dogs would drool on them, but that I was still going through the grieving process. Losing my grandparents within a week of each other was a truly unbearable experience for me. They weren't there to see me get married or meet their great-grandchildren. Though my grandmother's death was expected, my granddaddy's was not. The fact that it happened on my 25th birthday only made it that much harder.

I don't want to dwell in the past. The fact is that the trunk has been opened and my children now have the opportunity to learn a little something about two people who meant more to me than words can express. This is a good thing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The end is near

It happened. The Monkey flat-out refused to nurse this morning. I’ve known that the day was coming, but it still broke my heart. After nearly a year of experiencing that sweet bond that only a mother and her child can have, I know now that my days really are numbered. She nursed several other times later in the day, but the early morning shunning was a heart-breaker. I hate pulling out my pump on the weekend, but there was no other way I was going to get any relief this morning. My sweet baby opted for pancakes with homemade mixed berry syrup instead of spending 10 minutes snuggling with mommy.
The thing is that I’ve known this day would come. After she bit me and drew blood a few months ago, I joked that she was only going to get a year – if that. It was pretty much day-by-day for awhile. She has since sprouted 2 more teeth (for a total of 8) but we’ve found a nice equilibrium where I nurse her until she starts acting frantic/exhausted. At that point, I put her to bed, give her a sippy cup of water or juice, or grab a quick snack.
I’m not quite sure why I feel so conflicted. I recently started reducing the frequency of feedings (i.e. pumping sessions). And I was thrilled beyond belief when the Monkey slept through the night five nights in a row. I want my body back and have been looking longingly at the rest of my wardrobe – you know, the dresses and slim-fit shirts that are impractical when you may have to feed or pump every few hours.
But I still love the closeness and the one-on-one time nursing provides. And since I nursed her older sister for 18 months, part of me feels that the Monkey’s getting the short end of the stick yet again. She not only gets second-hand clothes, toys and bedding, but she also gets less – if any - routine alone time with mommy and daddy, and fewer months nursing. I realize (and have told many others) that every child is different and that you can’t treat kids the same, but this is one area where I really hoped I could give each of my girls the same thing. What I didn’t count on, though, was that the Monkey would come out weighing one and a half pounds more than her sister or that she’d have eight teeth by her first birthday! The Squid had less than that when I stopped nursing her at 18 months.
I know this isn’t the end of the world. I was able to nurse the Monkey several times throughout the day. And even if she had flat out refused again, I know that I don’t have to worry about her getting enough to eat. The girl is a mini-eating machine who happens to love and adore me. Deep inside, I know that her refusal to nurse is not a rejection of me – it’s a sign that she’s growing up and starting to assert her independence. Right now, though, it still feels like she rejected me.

Friday, December 03, 2010

True Beauty

My definition of beauty is as follows: Beauty is something experienced by all the senses; it is something to be shared with others; it is something you feel in the depths of your soul.

I grew up at the beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. From the age of 9 to when I moved to Dallas to attend SMU, I spent countless hours at the beach. We watched newborn sea turtles make their way to the water, I ran cross country races on the beach, we celebrated birthdays (my mom's 40th!) at the beach, and spent countless lazy afternoons doing nothing but collecting shells, building sand castles and playing in the water. (We also might have kicked a few jellyfish and fed Cheetos to sea gulls.) It was free entertainment when money was tight (which was always) and a place to take family when they came to visit. As I grew older, the beach became my refuge, a place I would go late at night to ponder my place in the world. I'd drive out, sometimes after midnight, with Caesar, our Doberman, and just sit in the car and watch the waves. Everything about the beach made me feel at home and at peace with myself. I loved feeling the sand between  my toes, the wind in my hair and against my face, the smell of the saltwater and grass-covered dunes; it all spoke to me at a level beyond comprehension. I didn't realize how much I loved the beach until I moved to Dallas and was forced to live w/o it. White Rock Lake is great, but it's not the same.

In late August, I had a chance to return to my beloved beach. My father-in-law needed help closing up his vacation home in Port Isabel, Texas, so my husband and I packed up the girls and headed south --- as far south as you can go in Texas w/o hitting Mexico. I snapped the pictures our first day on the beach. They're of my father-in-law, husband and our two girls walking hand-in-hand down a stretch of sand on South Padre Island. It happened so fast. I had been sitting along the water's edge, sticking my toes in the sand, soaking up the precious rays and inhaling the salty air when I glanced over and saw them. My husband was walking down the beach with our then 8-month-old daughter on his shoulders while his father walked along next to him, holding hands with our 3-year-old daughter- who spent the entire weekend calling Papa Bill her "best friend". The scene took my breath away. I managed to snap a picture, but the real picture remains in my head as a moment in time that I'll cherish forever. It felt a lot like the scene in Field of Dreams when Ray's dad asks him whether this is heaven and Ray (played by Kevin Costner) looks around at his farm/baseball field, sees his family laughing on the porch of his farm house, and says "yes." To me, that moment on the beach represented heaven and was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen or experienced.

(This entry was prompted by the final assignment for a graduate class on beauty. This was the assignment: prepare a 5-minute presentation about something you find beautiful.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

For all nursing mammas

UPDATE: This blog post was featured on ChickTalkDallas on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. Thanks, Joanna! Visit for real women, real discussion. 

WARNING: Stop reading if you don't want to know about nursing and/or nursing bras or if words like chrissake offend you. I talk about boobs, too.

I've debated back and forth about whether I should write about my measly bra selection because with everything going on in my friends lives and the greater world around us, it's a bit of a so what? But, as the saying goes, I've reached a breaking point. Surely, there are others like me. There have to be other moms in my situation, so here goes: I want a sexy, lacy, underwire nursing bra in a color OTHER than white or nude.

I am sick and tired of rotating between a white cotton bra and a nude cotton bra. They're comfortable, but surely someone out there has another color- any color. At this point, I'd settle for lime green or Pepto-Bismol pink. Anything different. I mean, seriously folks! Victoria's Secret can make my normal 34B's feel which are now 38C's feel like 34DDD's but they can't make a sexy nursing bra in something other than white or nude.

I have to give VS credit for making and selling them at all - many stores/companies - don't, but the selection needs at least one addition. I have a VS Gold Card, for chrissake, yet it has rarely been used in three years because I nursed my first child for 18 months and my second one is on month 11 as we speak. There was about a year in there where I stocked up on a few necessities, but bra shopping when you're pregnant and likely to change sizes multiple times over the next year isn't very practical or economical. And a girl can only spend so much on I've avoided VS like the plague and kept my pretty Gold Card tucked away in my dresser drawer, longing for the day when it'll resurface as my most-used store credit card.

I know some of you may say that there are other brands besides VS. This is very true. Playtex makes a nice nursing bra that I'm wearing right now. I have two of them - one in white, one in nude. I'd love a black one, but they don't seem to exist in my size. Other colors don't seem to exist either. I seem to recall that I had a Maidenform nursing bra that actually had lace on it when I was nursing my first child. That one died a long, long death - 18 months of 6-8 feedings a day will do that to a girl.

Which gets me back to my original point - what's up with plain jane nursing bras? Bra companies can make prepubescent girls feel like they have Madonna's cones strapped to their chest, but the very women who spawned those new customers can't even rate one new option in the color department?

Do you think I'm asking too much? I don't think so. All I'm really asking for is another color -- one more color. I'll even pay more. I won't sign over my first-born but I and I imagine many other long-term nursing moms would fork over a bit more cash for a few more colorful options.

It's true that all this would be moot if I stopped nursing. I could wear my normal bras and the rest of my wardrobe, for that matter, but that's not an option currently on the table. I'll stop nursing when I'm ready and that's not now, so don't go there.

And don't tell me that it can't be done, either. I know it can. After all, if VS can make women who don't need bras feel like supermodels, then surely they can dye a couple thousand nursing bras pink... or purple...or blue...or grey...or red... you get my point.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feeding elephants

The Squid has always loved her dolls. From the moment she first laid eyes on her miniature Winnie-the-Pooh bear, she's been there to make sure that all her baby dolls and stuffed animals were well taken care of. She has cleaned up "stinky" diapers, "fed" them milk, juice and snacks when they were hungry, and put them to bed when they were tired and cranky.

Needless to say, it wasn't surprising when she grabbed her baby elephant and a bottle before joining the Monkey and I out on the porch Wednesday night. We were sitting out on the stoop, enjoying the cool weather and trying to catch a glimpse of the moon through the trees and clouds. The Squid plopped down right beside us and started giving her baby elephant a bottle of milk. I showed her how to tilt it upwards so her baby would get the "milk", then went back to playing with the Monkey - who was trying to pull the leaves off the nearby bush so she could eat them. I glanced back over at the Squid just in time to see her lift up the left side of her shirt and nestle the baby elephant up to her chest. - all without revealing her bare skin.

"She needs milk, mommy," she told me, reclining backwards just a bit to suggest that there was nothing remotely unusual about breastfeeding a baby elephant on the front porch. There's not, right??

"Oh," was about all I managed to say as I pursed my lips shut to keep from laughing. It was really, really cute.

After a few minutes, the Squid very discreetly pulled her shirt back down, cuddled her "baby" in her arms and went to put her down for a nap on the nearby table. "She's sleepy from the milk," she said, nudging her baby in the right sleeping position.

"Oh, is that right," I said. "That's because you're such a good mommy."

And she is.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

One tired mamma

I've come up with a new word to describe feeling tired: parent. It's probably not very original. Just about every parent I know feels the same way. We're like walking zombies when our kids aren't around and only somewhat cognizant when they are around so we can somehow prevent them from running in front of a car, touching a hot stove, choking on a stale brownie. Those that aren't tired are just afraid to admit that their kids wear them out. I know mine do. It's in a good way, but mothering a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old is challenging in so many ways.

Take this as an example of a typical conversation with the Squid.
Squid; I'm hungry. I want a snack, mommy. (while opening the fridge)(Oh, and she's whining)
Me: Close the fridge, you're letting all the cold air out. What would you like? (Mistake #1. Never ask what they want - always offer 2-3 choices.)
Squid: Opening the fridge for a second time. I want an egg.
Me: Close the fridge. You can't have an egg. They haven't been cooked and mommy doesn't have time to cook one. How about a banana?
Squid: I don't want a nanna. I want an egg. Opens the fridge AGAIN and pulls an egg out of the container.
Me: Give me the egg and close the fridge. You can't have an egg. You can have a banana.
Squid; I don't want a nanna. (in whiny voice)
Me: If you want a snack, you're going to have a banana or a piece of cheese.
Squid: I want strawberries.
Me: We don't have any strawberries. (AHHHH. Ready to pull hair out). You can have a banana, a piece of cheese or nothing. Take your pick.
Squid: Can I have a nanna?
Me: Fine. That's all your getting until Dad gets home, though.

Keep in mind that this entire conversation took place while the Monkey sat on the kitchen floor, rather impatiently waiting for her own portion of whatever her big sister scored. And that's only one of at least half a dozen similar conversations that took place that day alone. With that in mind, hats off to parents - particularly those of multiples! I don't see how you handle more than one talking toddler at the same time. :-)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Traveling with kids

A few weeks ago, Mark and I loaded up the girls and one of our three dogs and headed to my family's ranch in the Hill Country to visit with relatives and clear as many cedar trees as humanly possible. It was a "vacation" but it was also a test, of sorts, to gauge whether or not we really want to drive to Santa Fe for the Christmas holidays.

This was the second time that we'd attempted a long-distance drive with a 3-year-old and 9-month-old and it was just as tiring. Unlike our last long-distance trip - to Port Isabel, Texas (about as far south as you can get without crossing into Mexico)- we only had 7 hours in the car, but we we did the drive in two days so we could pick up my dune buggy in Austin. The other reason was so we wouldn't have to drive the "roller-coaster" at night.

As my friends with kids can attest, traveling with kids is no trip to the zoo. Or maybe it is? As we were half-way home to Dallas and I had read every book in the truck, sung Row Row Row Your Boat until my lips were numb, and fed each girl enough snacks to feed the entire family, I suddenly understood why my parents drove through the night as often as possible. It was because my brother and I would sleep most of the way. They'd drive and drive and drive, occasionally stopping by the side of the road or at a rest stop to catch a couple hours sleep while we remained completely passed out in the playpen in the back of the van.

There's my parents' other secret weapon, which unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on your point of view - is a relic of the 80s. My parents traveled with a playpen in the back of our big white van. We also kept a flip-out couch back there, but only when we were going camping or on long car trips. Since car seats weren't yet required, my parents plopped my younger brother and I down in the playpen when it was time to go to sleep, and off to dreamland we went. I have a dim memory of waking up when we pulled into rest stops, but not much more.

Needless to say, I had all this running through my mind when my brother called to ask why we didn't spend more time at the Ranch and my mother asked why we didn't just travel at night. The answer is twofold: first, it's a long way to the ranch. The difference between his 6 hours and our 7 hours is much more than an hour of time. And second, children are required to be belted into car seats.

I don't know about you, but being belted into a seat - whether it's reclining or not - is far from my favorite way to sleep. And unlike when I was a kid, you can't just pop a few sleeping bags and a playpen in the back and hit the road. It's just not allowed. As fun and convenient as it must have been, it's probably better and definitely safer now that car seats are required.

Luckily for us, the two "test" runs were mostly successful and we've decided that we're still going to drive to Santa Fe this Christmas. It'll be about 10 hours - we hope - in who knows what type of weather (we're hoping for sunshine instead of snow and ice) but we'll stop as often as needed and take plenty of munchies. The girls will be 3 1/2 and 1 then, so hopefully, we'll all be able to run around at the rest stops!

Now the only thing left to do is find a 4WD vehicle to rent and get started on our Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kids say the darndest things edition

Since I became a mother, I've given up on the luxury of being able to go to the bathroom by myself. I'm sure it'll happen again someday, but for now I'm resigned to the fact that one of my children will always walk in when I'm otherwise indisposed.

What happened yesterday, though, really topped it off.

After running around town for nearly four hours, we finally made it home and I raced into the bathroom. I hadn't been in there for 60 seconds, when the Squid came tearing down the hall and into the bathroom yelling "Mommy, mommy. I need to potty."

I told her that it was good that she realized she needed to go to the bathroom, but that she needed to wait for me to finish. (Or heaven forbid, use the other bathroom.) I'd be done in a couple minutes and then she could have the potty to herself.

This did not go over as expected. She stood there staring at me for about 30 seconds and then said (and I quote), "Hurry up, mommy. You're wasting my time!"

I fought off the laughter (I can only imagine what I was keeping my 3-year-old from)... but Mark did not.

Unfortunately, he walked by at that exact moment and - you guessed it - literally doubled over w/ laughter, ruining any chance that the Squid won't repeat the phrase the next time she finds me on the potty when she needs to go.

I suppose I should be happy that she has good grammar, but geesh! Can't a mom get 60 seconds to use the bathroom?!?

Monday, August 30, 2010

I survived a vampire mauling

It's true. A deliriously adorable female vampire we call "the Monkey" recently mauled my breast. I won't reveal which one, but needless to say, I have the teeth marks and bruises to prove it. There was nothing vindictive about the attack -- 8-month-old's don't know about vindictiveness -- but it hurt like hell and that evening's meal came to a quick end as the baby was put to bed and I retreated to the bathroom for antiseptic and an assortment of bandages.

Most of my friends think I've been spending too much time absorbing all-things Twilight and TrueBlood, but my theory that we spawned a vampire isn't completely nuts. I will admit to spending too much time pondering this particular strain of thought, but stay with me for a minute and consider my points.

1/ She has teeth...lots and lots of sharp teeth. The Monkey has 8 teeth and she's only 8-months-old! I'm not kidding. Two are only partly through, but the 6 that have sprouted through are hard to miss. And they're SHARP! The Squid, in comparison, didn't get her first tooth until she was around 10-months-old and while it was sharp, she has nothing on her sister's teeth.

2/ She's fast. The monkey crawls like the wind and is trying so very hard to stand on her own, without any assistance from people, furniture. She can be across the house in the time it takes someone to open the blinds.

3/ She's beautiful. This actually goes w/o saying. Both my girls are beautiful- whether one or both have some vampire in them. (Not that I'm biased or anything)

4/ She comes from a long line of Unitarian Universalists. So this one may be stretching a bit (okay, a lot), but she's being raised as a Unitarian Universalist. Both her parents are UU's, as are her maternal and paternal grandmothers, and one of her maternal great-grandmothers. Unitarian Universalism traces its early days to Transylvania.... you get my drift. Crazy, but you can't argue facts.

I could go on, but those are the main points. Seems too striking to ignore, yet is bound to get me locked up if I tell too many people... Back to reading "Dead to the World" interspersed w/ as much of Schiller's "On the Aesthetic Education of Man" as I can stand.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The monkey's new bed - and mommy's guilt

It has been almost 2 weeks since we moved the monkey into her own crib in her own room, yet I'm as conflicted now as I was that first night. I know that it was time - actually it was WAAAY past time to move her out of our bedroom, but I still miss having her in the little bassinet beside the bed. I still miss hearing her breathe in and out and listening to her shuffle around the bassinet to get comfortable.

I think it gets back to the mommy guilt that doesn't ever seem to escape. You know, the guilt that I only get a few hours a day with my girls because I have to work outside the home. Being a SAHM was never an option for me but that doesn't mean I don't feel bad about spending any time away from my children. It's hard to admit because I can't actually imagine not working outside the home. I love having daily contact with adults and feeling needed by people other than my blood relatives, but there are days when I wish I could stay home, take the girls to the park, make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and watch the Little Mermaid when the temp soared above 100 degrees. I still feel guilty, though.

I feel guilty taking 15 minutes to update this blog (thus, the few blog entries these past few months). I feel guilty going to the gym after work and leaving them w/ yet another caregiver. (thus, I pay for memberships at 2 gyms - the one at work so I can workout on my lunch break and 24 hour fitness- which I've had forever and consequently, pay so little that it would be a crime to not keep paying the monthly fee.) The squid actually loves going to the "indoor gym" on the weekends, but I'd rather spend the time I do have w/ them pushing the jogging stroller around the neighborhood than racing on the elliptical at the gym. If strangers knew about my guilt, they'd probably think I was Catholic or Jewish - but I'm not. I'm a born and bred Unitarian Universalist.

Enough with the pity party. Yes, I'm guilty of feeling guilty. What mother isn't?

I'll tell you what I don't feel guilty about. I don't feel guilty that:
1/ I don't cook nutritious meals for my family. My husband is a MUCH better cook and his meals are both nutritious and INCREDIBLE.
2/ I enjoy an occasional glass of wine and/or a margarita, even while I'm still nursing. French women do it and I consume enough food at dinner to more than make up for the tiny bit of alcohol that might grace my stomach.
3/ Our children go to bed later than many. When the cook doesn't get home until 7 or later, it's impossible to eat before 8 p.m. I like to say that we're on a European schedule! I don't feel guilty because we all eat together and we all eat the same thing - no chicken fingers and fries for the kids while the adults eat grilled chicken w/ asparagus and garlic jalapeno mashed sweet potatoes. We all eat the same thing or nothing.
4/And I don't feel guilty for loving my girls unconditionally. They deserve nothing less.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tweets of Life

Here are a few examples of how our life is going...via @365DaysofCake

April 28, 2010 - 2-year-old: I want to go to Target. Me: Ok, we need to go get dog food. 2 yo (on way to store): I want to go home. Ugh.

April 27, 2010 - The fact that our nearly 3-year-old now has "attitude" would be funny if it weren't so trying.

April 24, 2010 - Made it 3 miles w/ the double jogging stroller this a.m. Not the first time, but probably the fastest.

April 19, 2010 -
Our family's Sunday afternoon activity: #urbanchicken #coop

April 17, 2010 -
Putting away the monkey's 0-3 mo clothes today. Can't believe she's already 4 months! Time flies.

April 15, 2010 - Being awake @ 3 a.m. should be illegal.

April 14, 2010 - Why do babies always feel like playing @ 2 a.m.?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catching up

(This was written on 3/23/10.)

Today is the proverbial first day of the next chapter of our lives as parents. Today is the first day I actually return to the regular working world of a 9-5 job...or in my case, 7:30 - 4:30 p.m. I've been working on a special assignment for a week, but thanks to a wonderful boss, I've been able to do it from the comforts of my home, with my beautiful baby girl by my side.

Needless to say, Miss Cora Ann arrived safe and sound at 6:19 p.m. December 16, weighing in at 8 lbs. 4 oz. They measured her at 18.5 inches, but that was at least an inch short. Those darn newborns - always scrunching up their legs! j/k. Like her big sister, Savena, aka the squid, the "monkey" came exactly five days early. Must be something about my body that says 'I'm done' on that particular day. One thing that's certainly true - second babies do come much, much quicker. Cora took a whopping 15 hours - one third the time it took the squid to make her grand appearance back in June 2007. It also took much less time "pushing" as well. Mark likes to tell friends that it only took 3 pushes and there she was, but I think it was actually more like 3 rounds of pushes. I'll spare you the details, but it was much quicker. I like to think that I learned how to push w/ the squid! The only negative outcome of pushing so hard was that I threw my neck out and was in major, major pain until our neighbor told me that the pain was likely exacerbated by the epidural and that I needed caffeine. A cup of black tea later I was already feeling better - with fewer painkillers!

Life since Cora's birth has been a whirlwind of doctor's visits, walks in the park, lazy mornings, plane trips to Gaga and Papa Chris' house, play dates and snow. Yes, snow. In Dallas and Santa Fe. We've actually christened Cora the snow princess because since her birth, Dallas has seen more snow than it has in decades. We've had more than 17" inches this winter - and I'm honestly not sure if that's since Dec. 21 or Jan. 1. We even had a white Christmas! Go figure.