Saturday, September 24, 2016

I had "a moment"

I'll call it "a moment", but we all know what it really was. A meltdown, an episode, a momma-is-gonna-lose-her-mind-soon-if-you-don't-stop-screaming...thingy.

We are in a time of transition. Little Dude is big enough and able to balance well enough to join sister in the bath in the evenings now. Up till now Josh and I were separating bath time. He'd take Squeaks and do bath time in our guest bathroom and I'd take little Dude to our master bath. A divide and conquer kind of scenario. This past week though, we've tried combining them. Both kids in one tub with one parent while the other parent gets PJs, pacifiers, diapers, and bedrooms ready for bed time. It looks great on paper. Josh and I get to alternate nights spent bent over the tub wrestling slippery toddlers and get a little extra cleaning up done around the house while the kids are in the tub with the other parent on watch. 

Kids are funny little creatures. They just love routine! So far on the nights where I do bath, Squeaks has flipped out because she's use to dad doing bath, and on the nights when Josh has done bath, Little Dude has totally lost it 'cause he's use to me always doing it. It has not gone smoothly to say the least.

This last Thursday night was the worst to-date. It was my night for bath and Squeaks immediately made her grievances known. Loudly. Little Dude was so tired (he's phasing out morning nap. Yay!) and just couldn't take it. He started to feed off his sisters unhappiness and before both kids were barely in the water we had full on meltdowns. 

I decided to join them. 

Total mom-fail.

They're screaming. I'm screaming. Our tiny guest bathroom was transformed into a tiny box of torture. Josh came to my rescue just in time to find me bent over the tub, Little Dude clutching at me, Squeaks clambering to get out of the water as I held her in with my free arm, all three of us in tears. Being the level-headed man that he is, Josh quickly formed a plan. He scooped LD up wrapped in a towel and told us to get out. Fine by me. Josh finished Squeaks' bath and I calmed LD and got him dressed. 

Deep breath.

Not much has improved over the last few nights. One child or the other is unhappy at bath time, but we plug away at it, and everyone eventually ends up clean. 

All of this reminds me of a conversation I recently had with another mom. When describing recent mothering difficulties the only way she could think to explain it was "it feels like being alone in a crowded room." 

I will be the first to admit, I want people to think I'm an awesome mom. I care. I care what people think of me. Plus, I actually DO want to be an awesome mom, not just look like one. Pressure from all sides! Why do I do this to myself? I am NOT alone. I know lots of other moms. Why must we all act like we've got it together? 

Raise your hand if you've had "a moment". 
Most days I feel like I just barely make it by the skin of my teeth. I wouldn't give it up for anything. Wouldn't change a single thing about either one of them. This job is no joke though. I know I'm not alone.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Let's Learn Together!

We've formed a posse. A tiny learning posse.

It all started at music class. 

Practicing her rhythm at music class.
Squeaks and I began attending a small music class every Monday when I was still pregnant with Little Dude. It's super fun to get out of the house, watch her jump around and sing with other kids (or sometimes cling to my leg, depending on her mood) and make tons of noise playing a variety of instruments (she always loves that part). Over time we have made friends with the other kids and moms who attend each week and have enjoyed play dates, outings, and birthday parties as a group.

Recently we have added learning activities to our repertoire of mom skills. I've been semi-homeschooling Squeaks for a few weeks, just taking it slow, maybe 30-40 min a day. The last few weeks we've gotten to add some friends! Squeaks best friend, we'll call her Tinkerbell (maybe Tink for short) has joined us for a few fun letter C and E activities (her mamma was out of town for D, but that's the awesome flexibility of homeschool!). We made "Very Hungry Caterpillars" from egg cartons, read the book together, and "fed" our caterpillars all while counting, learning colors, and building listening skills. (I got the idea here.)
Squeaks and Tink making their caterpillars. It was fun to watch them paint and then "feed" their caterpillars just like in the book.
This last week we had two more friends join us and we played an exciting game of Eye Spy (a mini lesson on the five senses to go with the letter E). They loved it! It was a bit of a twist on the traditional version of the game where someone has to guess the specific object you're looking at. Instead we asked the littles to find any object in the room that matched certain criteria; soft, round, red, etc. It was a blast! 
Here's a link to the game sheet I made. We put a little star sticker in the box when each kiddo found an object matching the description.

This Friday, for the letter F, we have plans to visit a local farm! 
Our learning posse, before the posse formed, at story time at the library this last February.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The End Of An Era

We have taken our last monthly chalkboard picture. I am sad...ever so slightly relieved...but mostly sad. I have loved doing these, and I am so glad our kids have them to look back on!
All displayed in our living room. My heart is full!


It came and went so fast I have a little whiplash! Our Little Dude is ONE!! *stands mouth gaping open in pure astonishment*

We had an absolutely lovely day at Disneyland on his actual birth day. We went on rides, we people-watched (a favorite pastime of mine), and we even got to spend quite a bit of time with a few characters! We happened to be in the right place at the right time when Chip, Dale, and Goofy came out. They literally walked right up to the kids and started playing together! It was so fun!! Squeaks loved it and gave lots of hugs. Little Dude even got to play a little peekaboo with Dale!
Yesterday was LD's party and it went great. I was a bit hard on myself at first because I had grand plans for the decorations, but time just didn't allow for about half of it to happen. Oh well. I still think it turned out perfect and everyone seemed to have a great time. I know I did! The kids loved the bounce house, Little Dude had a blast ripping open presents and smashing his little cake, and I couldn't have asked for more heart warming blessing letters from the grandparents. Good memories, good food, amazing friends and family, and a sweet, wonderful, happy little birthday boy!  
 A few of the decorations I made. Love his monthly picture display!
 I used this recipe for his cake and this one for the frosting. He smeared it around more than he ate it, but he enjoyed what he did eat.  I tried it and it was super yummy!
He went straight from cake-smashing into a quick bath. He loved ripping wrapping paper and Squeaks helped too. Squeaks with Punkin' (so grown up!).
 Bounce house fun with dad, Uncle Caleb, and Squeaks' best friend. (I'll call her Tinkerbell. Her mamma knows why *wink*)
The worlds' best Nana even got in the bounce house with Squeaks! Little Dude was so tired at the end of the party.
Our sweet boy is growing so fast!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Little Man

Mini Man

Little Dude

I am convinced that this little boy was born with full mental knowledge of what he's capable of, just not the physical ability to carry it out yet. He is so determined. So motivated. Never. Stops. Moving.

Tomorrow he turns one. It feels like he went from birth to unstoppable-force-of-nature in no time flat. He is...THE Little Dude.

For his actual birth day we will follow tradition and celebrate at Disneyland just like we did for Squeaks' first birthday. His party will be on Saturday. Planes, trains, and automobiles theme for the Mini Man in constant motion. There will be family, friends, food, and fun. I am especially looking forward to the blessing letters read by Josh, myself, and the grandparents. Another tradition from Squeaks' first as well. Can't wait! Now excuse me while I go cry.

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