Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Perfectly Normal Day

I'm getting a jump start on the Valentine holiday and letting the sap pour out in this post.  I'd blame it on hormones, but I don't think that's it...instead, just a mixture of immersion in life and its fleetingness.
My grandparents, Florence & Vic

Last night I dreamt of my Grandma Florence.  She passed away this past November.  In my dream we were talking and laughing and it was as real as a dream could be.  When I woke up I thought "we'll visit her today!"  Within that same minute I remembered she had passed and my heart became heavy.  I snuggled in closer to my husband who quickly replaced my sadness with his warmth.

In the typical morning fashion, fruit was washed and peeled, Scott headed out the door to work, and I caught a glimpse of the morning news over the sleep tousled hair of my wee ones.  The sun was throwing beams through the blinds and the blue skies promised a beautiful (albeit cold) day.

After the Cheerios and fruit had been eaten, sticky fingers were washed and hair combed.  I got the babies dressed and quickly washed my own face.  We were out the door by 8:10, only 10 minutes later then we needed to be.  As we cruised down the interstate, Paisley pointed out cement trucks, various colored semi's, and flocks of birds headed south.  I loved listening to his chatter and catching a glimpse of his porcelain skin in the rear view mirror.  As he stared out the window taking in the fields and other cars, I could only imagine the million thoughts that flew through his mind.

Behind my seat Lila squealed and jabbered in her sweet 1 year old voice.  Paisley gave me updates on what she was doing, "Lila is trying to take her boots off...Lila pulled her socks off...." etc.  I sang along to the radio while soaking in the sun and the warmth of the car.  The passing vehicles probably wondered why I was driving down the road with a smile on my face.

Once we arrived in town, we met up with my mother so she could watch Paisley while Lila and I attended KinderMusik.  I love having that 1-on-1 time with Lila each week.  For the next 45 minutes I got to focus on my youngest and witness her enjoying the music, moving to the beat, and interacting with her peers.  After class it has become a tradition to meet up with mom and Paisley at Donut Bank for coffee and donuts.  Both kids love the chocolate donut holes and sipping their milk while my mom and I catch up.

Mom volunteered to sit in the car with the kids while I ran into the store to do the grocery shopping.  I don't mind shopping with the kids, but it's also nice to have 20-30 minutes to myself while finding dryer sheets and vacuum bags.  As I was in line to check out, an elderly man (late 70's to early 80's) pushed his cart in line behind me.  He had on a brown leather coat and paperboy hat.  I smiled to myself as he reminded me so much of my grandfather Vic, that had passed away 2 years ago this past December.  He must have caught the smile on my face because he walked closer and pointed to my 2 gallons of milk on the conveyor belt.  "You must like milk!" he said with a smile.  He was friendly like my grandfather.  I told him about my 2 little babies that love milk and go through a gallon quicker then I can get back to the store.  That started a conversation that lasted the next 10 minutes while we waited in line.  He told me about the passing of his wife and how he has to do the shopping now.  He spoke of traveling with his wife and that Yellowstone was their favorite vacation spot.  He spoke of growing up on a farm with cows and pigs.  As I paid for my groceries and bid him farewell, he wished me a wonderful vacation and life.  As I pushed my cart outside into the sunny cold day, I busted into tears.  It was like I had just had a conversation with my grandfather.  I knew at that moment between the dream of my grandmother and my conversation with this grandfather figure, my grandparents were watching down on my little family.  They are still involved even though I can't physically see or talk to them.

There's nothing glamorous about motherhood,
yet it is the most beautiful thing.
As I got back in the car with my mom and babies, I filled my mother in on the sweet old man.  We talked about our upcoming vacation and loved on the kids.  It doesn't slip my mind each week that my mom meets us in town so she can spend a few hours with the kids and I, and watch Paisley while Lila and I are in class.  I appreciate her time.  I appreciate her loving my babies.  Spending time with her causes a peaceful feeling to settle into my soul.  I love my time with her so very much, even if it's only a handful of hours.

As we were preparing to drive home, Scott called and asked if I could pick up the tv from the repair shop.  It doesn't fit under his camper shell, but fits in the SUV, which is why he asked if I could pick it up.  He sent me the address of the place as well as a picture of what the building looked like.  He's cute and thorough like that.  15 minutes and 1 television later, we were back on the interstate heading home. Paisley talked about how much fun he had with Nana and that he loved the donuts, while Lila quickly closed her eyes and drifted off to the land of soft bunnies and unicorns.

Halfway home my oldest gave in to his heavy eyelids and my two sleeping angels snoozed silently from the backseat leaving me alone with my thoughts and the open road.

Today wasn't a special day.....I didn't wake up to a spotless house or breakfast in bed....but I woke up.  I woke up in a warm house, next to my faithful and loving husband.  I woke up to 2 precious healthy babies that love me, that need me, and rely on me to feed them and care for them.  Things that I am able to do for them daily, without giving it a second thought.

I was able to spend time with my mom today.  It wasn't a lot of time, and it wasn't relaxing by any means....but it was time with my mom.  I was surrounded by strangers that held open doors, that commented on my cute babies, that loaded a heavy tv into my car, that shared stories of their lives.  I saw friends today.  They were quick visits to exchange ski pants and jam berries, but I got to see them, to say "hi."

Tonight I'll be cooking dinner, bathing little ones, and folding laundry.  It won't be particularly romantic, I'll most likely have on my pajamas by 6:30.  But I'll be eating dinner with my family.  I'll be singing lullabies and saying prayers.  And when 1/2 of the family is tucked away in their beds, I'll get to curl up on the couch and watch Gone Girl with the guy that makes me feel loved and beautiful each and everyday.  It will be the perfect end to my perfectly normal day.

It's not big things or events that make life perfect.  It's the people.  It's the little moments.  It's taking what you have and loving it with every bit of yourself.  It's finding joy in talking to strangers and remembering that family that has passed into the next life really isn't that far away.  It's loving those around you and receiving their love.  It's taking a perfectly normal day and being incredibly grateful.      

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Blue Eyed (little/big) Boy

Hello there little guy
So there's this 32 lb. boy that wakes me up each morning.  Typically he goes to his daddy's side of the bed, but if he doesn't feel good or he's had an accident, he'll come to my side.  He typically says something like "The sun is up!" or "Is it time to get up?"  He likes everyone to be out of bed and the blinds to be opened.  This happens between 6:30-7 each morning.

He appears with groggy blue eyes that despite showing sleepiness still hold a hint of mischievous.  His hair is a disheveled mess of light brown with a sprinkle of golden hairs that look like spun silk.  His dinosaur jammies are getting shorter on his long legs each day, showing just how quickly this little guy is growing.

This sweet little boy has eyes that are bigger then his stomach.  He likes to fill his bowl with cereal or oatmeal, but has a hard time eating everything he "thinks" he needs.  He has his picky days where nothing momma makes sounds good, but we can always count on him to eat fruit when nothing else sounds good.  If I ask him what I should make for dinner, he always asks for spaghetti.

Paisley is a busy boy!  Each week we attend story time at the library, he has school 1 morning a week for 2.5 hours, and each week he has a special play date with Nana while Lila and I go to KinderMusik.  He is doing an excellent job in school, getting stars for knowing the Pledge of Allegiance, his address, my phone number, the alphabet, counting to 10, shapes, colors, etc.

On the farm Paisley likes to be outside riding the 4-wheeler  or playing at his sand table.  With the winter season upon us we are indoors more often then he'd like.  In the house he can be found driving cars, trucks, tractors and combines around and around, complete with a variety of vehicle noises.  Occasionally I'll see him sneak one of his sisters baby dolls and he'll hold it gently and stare at it.

His favorite toys are anything with wheels and his favorite book is the "Little Blue Truck" series.  He loves listening to his dad and I read books and recently he got his first computer (Innotab 3s).  He'll spend 15-20 minutes playing with it before he moves on to the next thing.  He has a V-Tech camera that he loves using.

Paisley is his little sister protector and biggest annoyance.  He gets nervous if we are getting ready to leave the house and Lila isn't right by us at the door, often saying "Don't forget Lila!"  *Side note: We have never forgot Lila so I'm not sure where this concern comes from.  Each day they play so nicely side by side at their little kitchen, only to end up in a screaming match seconds later because someone won't share the plastic bagels.  He gives her hugs and kisses un-prompted and always kisses her good night.

He is a daddy's boy!  He can't wait for his daddy to get home from work and won't leave his side once he's here.  He loves wrestling and playing rough with his daddy.  During the day he is becoming an excellent helper to me.  He helps with laundry, the dishes, and vacuuming.  I think he likes having chores.

My boy has a very sweet heart.  Daily he tells me "Mommy, your the best mommy."  He also randomly tells Scott and I that he loves us so much.  He is very aware of our emotions and doesn't like when either of us are upset.  That being said, he knows exactly how to test our patience!

Playing outside

Getting his hair cut

I love our nighttime routine!  About 7pm we get him in jammies and brush teeth.  Then we read books or play a game on his computer.  Between 7:30-8 he gives his us kisses before I rock him and sing 1 song.  We head to his room and say prayers before I tuck him in.  He has 2 monkeys that get tucked in next to him and 2 blankets I have to cover him up with.  Most nights we don't see him again until morning, but every great once awhile we'll wake up in the middle of the night to find him staring us in the face (that's creepy).

There are moments when we are talking about our friends and family that I forgot I'm having a conversation with a 3yr old.  In the same minute he may throw a tantrum because Bubble Guppies is over.  He's sweet and rotten, he tender and rough, he's thoughtful and selfish, he's my little/big boy that I love so much.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Babies Don't Keep

Her first day of life 
I love reading fellow mom blogs!  They help me reflect on pregnancy, having an infant, and the various milestones my children have reached.  They also remind me to slow down and enjoy these fleeting moments. The other day I noticed the phrase "Babies don't keep..." on one of my favorite pages.  A million emotions were triggered with those 3 words.  It's so true.

Lovely Lila is right at 1 1/2.  She's a petite little thing weighing in at barely 19 lbs.  Everywhere we go people ask how old she is (as she walks around strutting her stuff) and always say "She's tiny!" after I tell them her age.  She can still wear 6-12 month clothing and size 2 shoes are a bit big.  Despite her tiny stature, she eats more then her brother on a daily basis!

As soon as she wakes in the mornings she wants to "eat."  This might even be her favorite word.  She tells me if she wants cereal, oatmeal (pronounced moat-meal) or eggs.  Throughout the day besides the 3 standard meals, she also demands snacks at least twice a day.  Currently she eats whatever is put in front her.

During the day I am lucky if she naps for 1 hour.  I put her down around noon and usually by 12:45 she's calling for "mommy."  I love hearing her little voice call for me after a nap.  She stands at the end of the crib waiting for me.  Her cheeks are usually flushed red and her hair is a fuzzy mess.  She says "doggy" and must grab her stuffed dog before she lets me pick her up.

At the end of the day she is ready for bed between 6:30-7.  We brush teeth, give good night kisses, sing 1 song and say prayers.  As I tuck her in her crib with her blankets and doggy she'll say "nigh-nigh" as I slip out of her room.  We don't hear another peep out of her until 7am.

She is much more hard headed in regards to potty training then her brother.  At this point we use the potty 50% of the time and use our diaper the other 50%.  I will forever disagree with anyone who says potty training a girl is easier then a boy.

Lila gets into more mischief then her brother.  She is constantly in cabinets, has dropped a few items in the toilet, and is notorious for playing in the house plants.  She likes to wear her tutus while she pulls food out of the cabinets and often asks for a bow even though she won't keep it in her hair (she'd rather chew on them).

She does fine riding in the car and will occasionally fall asleep.  She has flown to Colorado and NYC.  She's about to embark on her first long road trip as we are driving to Colorado next month.  She doesn't seem to like the cold which is quite unfortunate for her.

She loves playing with her brother and has recently learned that pulling his hair makes him cry.  She loves taking a warm bath and will lay down in the water on her belly when I try to take her out.

Her favorite toys are her dolls and play kitchen.  She pretends to eat and drink and feed her babies throughout the day.  She is very motherly to her babies, shooshing them and putting them to sleep.  She is affection with us as well, giving her brother hugs when he gets in trouble, giving me sweet hugs just because, and kissing her daddy when he gets home from work.  She loves looking through books and if she wants us to read it, she brings it to us and says "book read."

Big brother making lil sister cry
She has 3 teeth on top and 1/2 of a 4th tooth has broke through the gums.  She has 4 teeth on bottom and I can see 2 teeth in the very back have cut through.  She has recently had first real sickness complete with fever, phlegm, and puke.

Her vocabulary is pretty outstanding as well as her thinking process.  She uses 2 word sentences frequently and will repeat anything and everything.  She may not pronounce all her words correctly, but I kinda love that about her...

Paisley is pronounced "Pay-lee"
Kitty is pronounced "Kee"
Kitty Sound Meow is pronounced "mow" (rhymes with cow)
Sleep is pronounced "Seep"
Milk is pronounced "Mee-ilk"
Ok is pronounced "K"
Pizza is pronounced "pisa"
Cheese is pronounced "Cheetz"
Cracker is pronounced "Ca-Ca"

She's spunky and sweet, sassy and delicate.  She'll make the biggest mess wearing a frilly dress and a smile.  Her hair is a wild mess but to me she is the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen.  There's never a quiet moment with this little ball of fire because she is constantly talking or singing.  She may be tiny, but she is the ruler of our roost.  We can't wait to see what the Lovely Lila does with each new day.  

Light at the End of the Tunnel

So the saying "it is darkest before the dawn" rang true this past weekend.  As I mentioned in my last post, the winter crud had us all in his nasty grasp.  This past weekend was just plain awful.  Both kids were gagging on phlegm, Scott was getting sicker by the minute, and the amount of oxygen I was able to get through my nose was about 5%.  I was ready to throw in the towel!  The kids were fussy and not sleeping well.  I needed a break (unfortunately, no sick days for a momma so my break was 25 minutes alone in a hot shower).

Sleeping on Momma
Monday morning there were signs of improvement.  Less phlegm, sweeter babies, more oxygen, and a better nights sleep.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I did let my brain think for a moment "maybe....just maybe we are on the mend?"  Tuesday morning as the sun warmed the earth, the kids were breathing fairly easy, and I was able to smell my bagel burning in the toaster.  We needed to get out of the house and get some fresh air in our bodies.

Prior to the mucus toss
It was the nicest day of 2015 so we decided it must be spent at our local zoo.  We met out friends and and happily soaked up the sun while seeing the animals.  We fed the giraffes, raced around the new playground, and snacked in our strollers.  I would sum it up as a perfect day.....well almost perfect...  Lila got choked up on previously mentioned phlegm and tossed her mucus and a bit breakfast up for the animals and our friends to see (sorry about that).  It was time to head home.

Long tongue...
Today we ventured out again and I'm happy to report all stomach contents stayed put...the entire day!  Victory!!  And not a moment too soon..our annual ski trip is right around the corner!    

Little britches wanted to feed them too!
I will no longer take for granted the ability to breath, a throat that isn't on fire, children that don't have croopy sounding coughs, and a couch that is snot trail free.

Wishing you a healthy rest of the winter!!  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Winter Crud

Sick Momma with her babies
A couple months ago I told Scott that we had been lucky in regards to our health.  The two of us had only been really sick 1 time in the past 7 years.  We both came down with the flu in 2010 and it was horrid.  Since having our kids, both children have battled an ear infection and the occasional runny nose.  We have avoided the flu, strep throat, rsv, puking, you name it....they were free and clear.  I should have knocked on wood when I was feeling so lucky those few months ago.  

December 4th we had dinner with friends.  It was a fantastic evening and we all came home with full bellies and hearts.  As I went to bed that night I felt that tight scratchy feeling in my throat that means 1 thing...a sore throat was in my very near future.  

Poor sick baby
Spring forward to the past 46 days we have battled sore throats for the 4 of us,  runny noses for 3 of us, pink eye for 3 of us (1 of us requiring antibiotics), puking for 3 of us, a round of fevers for 3 of us,  coughing that sounds like a sick hound dog for the 3 of us,  and a small rash for 1.  It's been miserable!
You'd never guess he was sick
I called the pediatrician and she got us right in for a check up.  She confirmed it was only viral and we just had to wait it out.  I was relieved that it wasn't anything serious, but I would have loved for a diagnosis that could have been cured immediately by taking a pill.

For once in my life I think I am ready to put winter behind us and welcome spring with open arms!!