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Advent-ing

Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving? Despite that fact we are far from extended family, this was one of my favorite Thanksgivings yet. We went over to a family friend’s house and the kids were totally the center of attention and they ate up every moment of it. (As for the actual food, well, Xander ate up lots of cheese and crackers.)

I hung up the Advent Activity Calendar and, 2 days in, it’s a big hit. So far we have: decorated the tree and opened a new Christmas book. The tree, well, it was maybe TOO much of a good thing. Xander spent no less than 4 hours rearranging ornaments  and was whipped into a positive frenzy by the end of the day yesterday. It was rather rough. BUT, he had fun. Mostly. Apart from me screeching at him nonstop to CALM DOWN, STOP SCREAMING, WHAT ARE YOU DOING OH MYGODSTOPITPLEASE.

Somewhat related (in that it’s the holidays so everything related to Christmas or the like is On Topic), I have decided that it is no good not to have the Style and/or Food Lush gift guides this year, so I am asking for everyone to tell me a few (reasonably priced) things that you are hoping to get (or give) as gifts this year. I will compile the answers and put them in a new post.

Here are lots of pictures from the tree decorating.

J and X Tree Blog

 

X Tree blog

 

Xan and tree blog

 

hands tree blog

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Card

We tried to do a photo session with both kids for a holiday card. It went about like this:

So instead we did it one child at a time.

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving Eve. I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow.

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Phoning It In

Literally. I’m sending this from my phone.

The weekend has been kind of crazy and rough with colds and regressions and even less sleep than usual, so please accept this picture of my baby in snow man pajamas in place of a more involved post.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

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One! Two! FREE!

Xander’s third year, much like his first two, held a lot of milestones. He started pre-preschool! He stopped napping (this may be a bigger milestone for ME, though). And the biggest milestone, of course: Luna.

Oh, I was so worried. So very, very worried. How would Xander feel about it? How would *I* feel about it? Could I love a new baby the way I love Xander? Would Xander get pushed out of my heart when the new baby came? Was there enough of me for two of them?

Xander loves his sister. And in no way did he even get slightly nudged out of my heart for Luna. My heart just…grew. It grew bigger and stronger (yet more vulnerable) and stretchier and oh, how I love my babies.

Correction: my baby and my Big Boy. Because he is, you know. He’s three and he gets a cupcake and “dat makes you so happy, mama!”

So happiest of happy birthdays to you, my boy. I love you more than I can ever tell you, more than you can ever know, to the moon and back and THIS BIG. I love it when you tell me stories, or the favorite part of your day (often involving a tractor ride at the farm that took place weeks ago, but whatever, TIME AND PLACE ARE FOR SUCKERS). I love it when you give me huggies and I love playing “tickle me!” I love the way your hair curls in the humidity and I love the shadow of your eyelashes against your skin. I love your giggles and I love your kindness and your imagination and your still kissable chin and the way you’re suddenly long and lean with honest to God knuckles instead of knee and finger dimples.

You are perfect and you are everything and I am the luckiest mama* there is. You make me very happy. And you always will.

Music: Starry by General Fuzz

*PS – Daddy kinda loves you, too.

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Juggling

I knew it would happen with the addition of a new, still mostly unformed, little person in our house, but I am having a hard time keeping up.

I rotate between pajamas and sweatpants. I dread leaving the house (while at the same time cannot WAIT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE). My hair, while clean, is never styled, but rather pulled back in what I pretend is a fashionably shabby pony tail. If I’m lucky I can pull some crock ingredients out of the freezer at night and throw them together the next morning. But, more likely, at 4:45 each evening I’m diving in the freezer for some frozen fish and sniffing last week’s saved rice to see if it’s still good. (Though, I am still the lucky recipient of some Meals for Mamas from our local MOMS club, and they are saving my life, and my husband’s.)

I foolishly accepted another 5-week teaching position that started this week, then flubbed the dates, forgot to reply to an email, and lost that job. (Thankfully, however, I am not off the rotation for good – my supervisor is incredibly forgiving.) I’m upset at the loss of income, yes, but more so I’m totally irritated with myself for messing up. This is not like me. I am not a flake.

Luna has been challenging in the way that many newborns are – fussy and wanting constant contact. Add to the mix a diagnosis of reflux and a suspected reaction to dairy (yes, even in baked goods *sob*), and honestly, this baby is so rarely awake and not either nursing or crying that when it DOES happen, John and I hardly know what to do. Night time is … decent, for the most part. We’re co-sleeping, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it means I get SOME sleep and Luna can eat whenever she wants to. It’s working for now.

Xander is watching more TV than I would like, because I don’t have the time or the free arms to come up with fun scavenger hunts for Sanskrit signs, or whatever, and it’s flipping SNOWING STILL, so I can’t even send him out on the patio to write on the walls with chalk. So. Joe from Blue’s Clues is his best friend at the moment.

I’m desperate for some time, some actual time, when someone is not literally hanging off of my body or whining in my ear or both and it just seems so bleak, sometimes.

I know it won’t last. I know I need to cherish the moments. Whatever. We’re all about survival right now.

I honestly think that the arrival of the sun and warm weather is going to make a big difference. I am depressingly over the snow, the cold, the gray. I want to go outside. Even if it’s with a crying baby strapped to my chest in the BabyHawk, at least there will be fresh air and something to look at other than our walls.

This post sounds dreadfully miserable, I know. It’s not as bad as that. I mean, yes, it is, in a way, but it’s also great. I have two kids, and it seems that this is all I’ve wanted. I have a baby who actually nurses well, and seems to like it. Xander LOVES his sister, and begs all the time to "touch the baby Luna." John manages his time the best he can so he’s home often, able to step in and play with Xander while Luna cluster feeds in the evenings.

And while she’s hard, yes, Luna’s head still smells like powder. Her hands are still like starfish.

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Valid Excuse

I meant to update after my last appointment, but I was behind on grading and then this happened:

Luna Everly, 7lb 15oz, 19.75 inches, and an even speedier exit than her brother.

We are home and happy and she’s really so much more than I could have ever wished for.

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Full of Thanks

I’m not really able to post much this week. We are visiting my parents in Alabama for the holiday and just enjoying some down time (and retail! Target! Sephora! H&M!). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and be careful deep frying those turkeys. Have an extra piece of pie. Calories don’t count until January.

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Hanging Out

Xan has never been anti snuggling, but lately he’s taken to hiking his shirt up while on my lap so I’ll rub his belly.

I really like this kid.

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Distraction

Thursday is the Big Reveal Ultrasound, and for some reason I have it in my head that this is the point at which the reality of a second pregnancy and child will begin to sink in. I’m kind of dying to know if Xander will have a baby sister or brother (90% of the time he says “fiffer,” but this morning he said “budder,” so, you know, UNRELIABLE) and not really able to focus on anything other than that.

So I’m distracting myself this week by trying to stay busy. Play dates and story time and movie nights and WHATEVER. I am just so tired of worrying about which name we like for which flavor baby. (Spoiler! We won’t tell anyone until he/she is here.)

Other ways I’ve been keeping busy:

  • I booked a trip to go visit my parents in Alabama for Thanksgiving. It’s a compromise for not really being able to do Christmas. 1), I’ll be hugely pregnant and within 6 weeks of my due date and (probably) not able to fly and 2), JS prefers being home at Christmas because he used to travel around the holidays a lot. I’ve really enjoyed the quiet holidays we’ve had together so far, but I also want to see my family, so this is a nice way of getting both! We’ll do a big Thanksgiving, and a quiet Christmas in VT. Win/win. Now I’ve started menu planning. YAY!
  • Fall is starting, and Xander LOVES going for walks, so we’ve been making the most of the slightly cool weather and the beginnings of colorful leaves.  This weekend we all went out, Tonks included, and wandered around a local park with an off leash dog area. Tonks loves getting to run around, and Xander loves to stare and laugh hysterically at her antics.
  • New recipes! I got the Weelicious cookbook and have had a lot of fun working my way through some of the recipes. So far all but one (a veggie heavy salad dressing that I tried to pass off as dipdip instead of catsup) have been huge hits with Xander. I like it because I was getting kind of bored with the same recipes I’ve been using and also frustrated that Xander was not eating anything that wasn’t beige or a cookie. All it took on both fronts was a little encouragement to be creative again.

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