Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our time

Sometimes I feel starved for time alone with my Husband. Sometimes I NEED a break from my sweet crew. Sometimes I am too tired to play horsey or kitty or tag or tickle monster.

Problem is we are on a tight budget, trying to pay bills and keep some change in reserve for Christmas.

So... whats the answer when you need a little break but cant pay a babysitter?

You round your kids up, get your swimsuit's ready, make a bottle to bring along and head up Pine Ln. You drop off your favorite 4 kiddo's at the enormous play center at Lifetime Fitness. You then meet your cute Husband, who looks too good in his trunks 'cuz he's lost 23 pounds, in the Jacuzzi. You sit and talk and enjoy the hot, relaxing water. You stay in there for only 30 minutes because you know its time to get your kids home for bed. So you take a deep relaxing breath, get out, get dressed and re-unite with your kids, who you are now ready to play kitty cats with.

Sometimes all we need is a jacuzzi and a 30 minute time out with our Spouse. It can be that little bit of sanity that we were desperate for.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I remember being a first time Mom. There were so many beautiful things about it. I loved being able to give this little boy all of my time and attention. I had two hands, which meant I could hold Luke's hand and my Husbands hand simultaneously. I only had to pack a small diaper bag for Church each Sunday and I only needed to gear treasures and snacks for 1 age. We never missed a bed time or a playdate or an appointment. When it was nap time there were 2 heads that would hit the pillow, Lukes and then my own. I could prepare a meal for everyone based on what Luke would eat. Going to the grocery store was never put off until Dave was home and spontaneous walks and other such outings occurred on a very regular basis.

There were a few scary things about a first baby as well. I read the "What to Expect: The first year" frequently. I wondered if binky's would cause speech delays, the day her turned 1 the bottle was taken away; never to be seen again, pajamas were never worn 2 nights in a row, diapers were changes the very minute he woke up so that I never chanced a diaper rash. I bathed him every single evening so that I could be sure that he was hitting his bed as cleanly as possible. I stressed out over, what now seems like, the most insignificant details. But what I worried most about were milestones. I remember thinking that, upon sitting up at barely 5 month old, that he was a genius. And when he crawled at 8 months old I thought "He'll probably be average, average is okay, right?" When he didn't walk until he was 13 1/2 months old I worried that he may struggle all through School, getting by with a 2.8 GPA. What if he didn't get into College? We'd still praise him and tell him how much we loved him anyways, even if he weren't quite as smart as his friend, who started walking at 9 months. I was sure that friend would win all of the spelling bee's and probably get into an Ivy League School.

Clearly Im over-exaggerating a bit but the principal was still the same. I thought that those milestones defined much bigger things then they really did. That it defined brilliance. I wondered how he'd measure up. I always worried.

Here we are, almost 7 years later, and I am proud to say that this late walker is doing just fine. He's in advanced math groups and is reading ahead by over a year. He is, what we believe to be, developing somewhat of a photographic memory. He can't wait to go to College to be a Pediatric Neurologist. His Teacher couldn't believe that a little boy, once constantly plagued by Aspergers Syndrome, could possibly come this far in this short amount of time. She said that its been a first in her career as a teacher to be this blown away by such rapid progress. It's mind-boggling to me that he has gone from speech therapy, behavior therapy, OT, and Social Skills groups. From a boy who would scream bloody murder if anything about his day was "off" and who would scratch and bite me until I would bleed. This boy who could not hold a spoon to feed himself until he was almost 2 is now a very well-liked, wonderfully behaved, smart little 6 year old who can memorize page numbers and detailed facts about all sorts of things. I think its nothing short of his hard work and a blessing from on High... and here I was, many years ago, worried that he may struggle, indefinitely, in just about every aspect of his life.

Luke has been a great example to me of what never giving up can become.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Liv can do hard things

Sometimes as Parents we set ourselves up. We do whats easy at the time and then we realize later on how hard those things become to break. At least I do.

When Olivia was almost 1 she couldn't really care less about her binky. She slept with it. And that was it. When she woke up from naps or from a good nights sleep she immediately threw it back into her bed, waved, and that was it. That binky was perfectly content in its home... Olivia's bed. It was easy. No kid with a constant pacifier in their mouth, no crying when we forgot it on an outing, no making its way into all of the hidden corners of our home, no straining to understand words through a piece of silicone and plastic.

Until... that 1 time, that turned into 3 or 4 times, that turned into every day. When I let her take it out of bed with her. Slowly it went from a sleep aid to a best friend. She became that kid, as Ella was, who could not go any place without it. Would not take it out of her mouth except to drink or to eat. It was out of control. And it was my own doing.

Yesterday I was fed up. I hated this binky. Hated. So I took the plunge. Olivia transitions quite well and I knew it needed to be all or nothing. So, out of the blue, I walked into the kitchen and jabbed several slits into it with my steak knife. Handed it back to her and watched the scene unfold.

She put it into her mouth, looked at me with a questionable stare and immediately took it right back out. She held it up to me and whimpered, "binky!"

"Darn it" I said, "It's broken"

She played along for a while and then tried again. Same result. This happened throughout the evening. In the mouth, confused look, right back out. She tried to get me to fix it but I had to let her know it was just not something I could do. It was broken and that was that.

I was sensitive to her concerns. I gave big hugs and we yelled a lot of "darn its" and "Oh Man's" but it clicked. She got it. Her treasured companion was no longer doing its job.

But, you see, my Liv can do hard things!

So, that was it. I thought we'd hear a lot of yelling and crying but we haven't. It's been easy. She's talking more, its been wonderful. She slept great last night and is taking a nap without it as I type this post.

I am so thankful for a little girl who can go with the flow and transition well. We have had others who had major struggles in this area. (Luke)

Farewell binky, we have loved you but its time for you to go. And I couldn't be happier about it. Olivia will get there...

Friday, November 5, 2010

3 months


I think I love this shot because it shows just how big all of her 0-3 month clothes still are. I love, love that she is still teeny-tiny. It just makes me happy.

At 3 months

- I can hold my head up pretty well now. My Mom rarely ever does "tummy time" with me. Mom and Dad need to get better at this. They say every time they lay me down Olivia is all over me. I dont mind it though.

- I love to smile. Mommy didn't get a smile in at this mini photo shoot because I was ready for a bottle 10 minutes before hand. My Mom still likes my stoic looks.

- I laugh when my Mommy plays peek-a-boo. My Siblings really go gaga over this trick.

- I sleep 12-13 hours a night but only take a few hour long naps during the day

- I have gotten much happier through the day. I can sit in my swing, mamaroo, on the couch, or on my play mat for a long while without fussing. I was a little colicky for a few long weeks but I am coming out of that... we are all happy for this.

- Still dont like driving in the car. I just feel sorta' abandoned back there

- I adore my moby wrap and will sleep for 2 or 3 hours in it if Mom will let me.

- I really like my hands. I put them in my mouth all the time, they taste pretty good to me and it was a big day realizing that I have control over those 2 things.

- I wear a size 1 diaper

-I am 9 pounds 7 ounces

- I talk all day long. My Mom thinks I will be a social butterfly like my Sister Ella

- I drink 3 ounce bottles

- I LOVE to snuggle and to be held close and tight

- I am still swaddled each night, though I have broken through it by morning.... I am the first to do this using the Miracle Blanket at this young of an age.

-I went on my first airplane ride this past month. I was such a good girl and didn't make a peep the entire time. I loved being with al of my Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles and Cousins. It was the BEST!!!

- I got 2 new Cousins this month. They are super cute and cool and I cant wait to play with them as much as I can. I'm glad they're here with me now cuz even though playing in Heaven was cool Earth is super awesome... love you Hailey and Nathan.

- I am sweet and happy and cuddly and tiny and beautiful and incredible. My Family really, really adores me.

Baby Olivia

Baby Olivia
bright eyes

My funny Ella

My funny Ella

My handsome Luke

My handsome Luke