On Moms

Do you ever remember what you used to think of moms, back before you were one?

I do.

I have vivid memories of being a judgy biatch. Being at a restaurant or a store and thinking, “God, keep an eye on your kids lady!”, or “Oh my god, that kid has no shoes on! What is wrong with that mom?”, or “Who screams in public like that!?”

I am so sorry.

When I was in my early 20’s, I babysat for a family that lived nearby. They had two boys, a 4-year-old, and an 8 month old. The mom was at home with the kids and the dad worked long hours as a lawyer. The mom was part of some sort of moms’ group that had meetings once a week at 5 or 6, and I would always come over to sit for them while she went to the meetings. A few times, I would show up around 4:30 or 5 and she would still be in her pajamas, and the kids would literally be owning her ass; one climbing the stairs unattended while the other raided the fridge. Her face when I showed up was always the same. She glowed.

In my head I was always thinking, “What a mess. Get it together lady!”

They had moved from D.C. months before I started sitting for them, and in the year I worked for them I never saw their house completely unpacked. I remember mentioning this to Andrew, and saying “Can you imagine? There are boxes everywhere!”

Total B.

I am so sorry.

Now, I understand why you couldn’t get out of your pajamas until 5 PM, and frankly I applaud you for not just sleeping in clothes that could pass for everyday clothes so that you don’t have to change at all.

So again, on behalf of all the twenty-something, Judgy McJudgersons who don’t get it yet. I am sorry.

Happy Mother’s Day Moms.

Talking Back

Reese <eyeing James while we are in the kitchen>: Let’s go to my room and lock the door.


Reese: <before going down for rest time>: Let’s read “The Monster at the End of This Book.

Me: Ok.

Reese: Actually, let’s read “The Frog Prince” because its longer and I don’t want to be locked in here with no books.


Reese: I’m princess Aurora and I don’t have milk in my breasts anymore.

James Eli At One Year

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The slowest yet the fastest, the most challenging and the most life-changing year of my life. All at the same time.

I spent a lot of James’s first few months wishing that he was just a little bit older. Just a few more weeks and he won’t be nursing every three hours. Just a few more weeks and he will be sleeping for longer stretches, and so will I. Just a few more weeks and he will be eating solids and maybe sleeping more. Just a few more weeks and I can set him down and he’ll be able to sit up on his own. Just a few more weeks and he’ll be sleeping more….. This all sounds familiar. Have I said this before?

Since day one, James has been a joy when he is awake. Easy going, adaptable, smiley. Sleeping has been a struggle and he is just now (like literally days ago) sleeping through the night. The sleep deprivation that I always pictured coming with motherhood came. And everything seemed harder.

And now he’s one year old and it won’t slow down. Tomorrow he will be asking for the car keys.

At his one year appointment he weighted in at 21.64 lbs, the 59th percentile, and measured 28.5, the 24th percentile. So he is definitely one of us.

James is a tough guy. He’s Jimmy Mac and he lives in the red house on the cah-nah (corner.) He doesn’t take shit from anyone. Including his sister. Ya heard?

He gets dragged to a lot of Reese’s older kid activities (it doesn’t end here James, take it from someone with 2 older siblings) but he doesn’t seem to know he’s the youngest one there and he will grab that train from the 4 year old like it’s no thing. Gangster.

He eats all of everything. Chicken parm is his favorite, and he prefers it with a side of pasta. Heavy on the sauce.

He loves to look out the window and watch the cars. If he hears a honk, he will immediately point to the window, demanding to be brought over and see what the fuss is about. On most days, when he wakes up from an afternoon nap, about 4:00 or so, we stand in the kitchen, moving from window to window until he’s seen it all.

His favorite thing to do is walk with his cart. He looks like a mad grocery shopper. He goes back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room, pausing only in the doorway, where he yells until someone comes and helps him over the little bump that separates the rooms. Reese relishes in this task and races over to him yelling (way too loudly) “I’m comin’ James!”

He crawls (a combo of an army crawl and a normal crawl on all 4s) at the speed of light. Any time a door opens, he bolts towards it, and sometimes I can barely stop him in time.

His life goal right now is to climb the stairs freestyle.

He says “dada” and “touch” and something that sounds like “this and that” but we aren’t sure.

Since Andrew and I went on vacation he has stopped nursing, and also started sleeping through the night.

His sister is the love of his life, but he is also very aware that she is the taker of toys and someone who needs to be dealt with with caution. Smart boy.

He loves banging things together.

He can clap and wave goodbye.

He has 5 teeth and I think he is one of the few men who can pull off buck teeth.

He is handsome as ever. I am his mom so I know I’m biased, but come on.

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5 Days Away

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Andrew and I went away, by ourselves, for five whole days.

In January, we found out that Andrew won a trip to Cancun for him and a guest through his work. It could not have come at a better time for us. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a year, and the minute I heard the word “vacation” I imagined a full 4 nights of glorious, uninterrupted sleep, that did not include a three-year old plastered to my back (sorry girl.)

For the kids, however, it probably could not have come at a worse time.

James was still nursing and still not sleeping through the night, and I had never been away from either of them for more than 1 night.

Our parents volunteered to stay at our house while we were gone and the kids were thrilled about this, which made it a little easier to leave.

I pumped breast milk to leave for James and started introducing cow’s milk in the hopes that he wouldn’t mind not nursing while we were gone. He didn’t (at least that’s what they tell me) and I have now returned to a child who is 100% weaned. So that’s my advice for weaning your child; go away on vacation for a week and leave some other poor soul to handle it. Because that is basically what I did.

As stressed as I was about leaving them, when we arrived at the white, sandy beaches of Cancun and I got a mojito in my hand, I forgot I had kids.

Just kidding family!

This was unlike any other vacation I have ever taken. Not just because of where we stayed  (Le  Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, which was amazing), but because I appreciated literally every single second of it. When we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours (!!) on our way there, I was pretty much ok. I mean, reading my book in peace for three whole hours? That right there is kind of a vacation.

We did everything you can’t do with kids. We sat (like literally sat and did not get up) on the beach all day, slept late, worked out, lounged (once again, without getting up) by the pool, stayed up late, danced, sang karaoke, went on a catamaran, did I mentioned slept?

For me, five days was the perfect amount of time to be away. By the end of the trip I felt like I was aching for that little three-year old to be in bed with me again.

I know not everyone can do this (we normally can’t either) but looking back, it was something we needed. Yes, it seemed like a huge pain to get ready for this, yes, I always feel a little guilty leaving the kids and yes, there were many times during this trip when I thought, “I wish they were here to see this.” But, Andrew and I reconnected in a way that we hadn’t since before we had kids. I hate myself for that cliché sentence right there, I really do, but it’s true. Being able to just hang out together, alone, uninterrupted for an extended period of time is a rarity now a days, and we know this, so everything seemed extra special.

I will say though, that coming home to our babies was one of my favorite parts of this vacation.

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A Note About Cloth Diapers

We are on round 2 with our Bum Genius cloth diapers and we are still pretty happy with how they are holding up. Reese wore them for almost 3 years and James has been in them for about a year now and in terms of leaking and fit, they still work as well as they did on day one.

One problem we had been experiencing though, was staining. After about 2 years of using them with Reese I started to feel like they weren’t getting as clean as they used to. There was some staining that wouldn’t come out, and sometimes the diapers still seemed to smell after a wash, resulting in me having to strip them more often, and sometimes having to do multiple wash cycles. I read a lot of different articles on washing cloth diapers, and most articles said the same thing; strip the diapers more, assure you are using cloth diaper safe diaper ointment, and just do more wash cycles if you have to. Ugh.

Then I received this helpful article from a friend.

Before this I had been washing the diapers using Bum Genius detergent and Borax, and would start with a hot rinse, then a wash cycle with an extra rinse. The Bum Genius detergent was expensive and I always had to order it online because it’s not sold in any stores near me.

Since reading this article I have started using Tide Free and Clear and Borax to wash the diapers. I still use the same process; a rinse, followed by a wash with an extra rinse and I swear the diapers are cleaner and never smell anymore. I also have never noticed any irritation on James since switching to regular detergent.

Maybe I am the only person who believed the instructions on my diapers when it said that I had to use special detergent but in case I wasn’t I thought I would share here.  I just wish I knew about this three years ago.

 

 

 

Mommy Wars

Similac’s new ad campaign is hilarious, poignant, and in my opinion spot on.

Since I stopped working (outside of the home that is, calm down) and started socializing more with other moms, I have learned that “mommy wars” is a true story. Moms be crazy.

Bravo to Similac for reminding us what it’s really all about.

 

 

Christmas Card Outtakes

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Every year, I am always so impressed with the beautiful family pictures we receive as people’s holiday cards. I will never understand how all of these people are able to get such great pictures of their babies/kids. Pictures of families dressed all in the same color, on a beach somewhere, with babies who smile on cue and kids with hair that is neatly combed and yogurt free.

I anticipated a struggle with getting a respectable picture of our two, so I started the quest early.

Here are some that didn’t make the cut.

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And here’s what we ended up with. The only one where both kids were looking at the camera and no one was crying or scowling.

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