“Please send me all updates. I am being held hostage by two tiny dictators. Not sure when I will be released.” — Me to a group of friends, three minutes ago.
Well, we did it. We have two babies under two living at our house. It’s been a week and no one has been severely injured. There are lots of things I should probably say about having two kids under two, but honestly I’m not sure what day it is. So, I’ll just do an update on the babies and maybe some miraculous thoughts will happen later.
Me and my girls!
I had another giant baby. Annie Claire weighted 9lbs 6oz when she was born at 39 weeks. If I had gone to 40 weeks I’m sure she would have gone into the double digits.
After much stewing, I decided to have another C-section. Mostly because I was terrified of going through the same birth experience I did with Vera Faye (14 hours of labor, emergency C-section, 4 days in the NICU…).
I’m happy to say that Annie’s birth was such a different experience. Choosing to be cut open in an operating room felt very clinical and cold, but it went so smoothly that I think I made the right decision. We just showed up at the hospital, and the doctor was ready. Less than an hour later it was all done. Annie Claire was ready to party.
A great baby. She loves to snuggle. She loves to sleep in late with me. Yesterday, we laid in bed until 11:00 and it was amazing!!! But, last night, she was up for four hours… so you win some and you lose some.
Annie is also…
An aggressive eater. I’ve nicknamed her “Shredder.” She took to breastfeeding like a champ, but dannnnnng I’m not sure I will recover. I want to hand her to anyone who says breastfeeding doesn’t hurt and let her attack.
Vera Faye update.
She is as full of life as ever. She loves to talk… and say “no” to everything. She probably knows 100 other words/sounds, but “no” is definitely her favorite. What other word does a spirited child need?! She’s getting into puzzles more and more. She loves her blanket and her book “The Pout-Pout Fish,” and she’s officially smarter than me.
Vera Faye is also…
Pissed. For the first few days she wouldn’t look at the new baby. I’m pretty sure she thought that if she didn’t look at Annie, she would disappear. A week in, she is doing a little better, but she still doesn’t like me holding her sister. Also, her dad is officially her favorite person. I’m a little sad about it, but it’s also probably for the best. Selfishly, it takes a little pressure off me.
I still don’t have much to say, but I would like to this: I think I’ve been trying to be a perfect mom. And, I’m officially over it. Trying to be Super Mom is an impossible quest, and I’m tired of trying. Also, I’m tired of feeling guilty for failing. From now on, I’m just going to be the best mom I can be. Please remind me of this in an hour when I’ve completely forgotten my mission.
We bought our first multi-family rental property about a month ago. I’ll write about it next, so you don’t have to read all this kids stuff all the time :).
I joined a moms group.
One of my cousins recommended that I join one about a year ago, but I was skeptical.
- What would I have in common with random moms?
- Would they be welcoming?
- Would I have to play weird games, like the ones at baby showers?
Naturally, number 3 was my greatest concern. I hate that baby shower game where they melt perfectly good candy bars into diapers and ask you to guess which candy bar it is. Ugh, why can’t we just eat the candy bar?!
Anyway, just so you know, there aren’t any weird games at mom’s group. It’s mostly just talking and eating- two of my ultimate favorite activities.
During one of the meetings, one of the moms brought up this question, “What are you proud of—besides being a mom?”
Answer: I had no idea. It kind of stunned me. Being a mom is so all encompassing; I had forgotten that I did other things, other things to be proud of.
We all get so wrapped up in a certain part of ourselves—work, friendships, relationships, kids, that we forget about all the different parts. There are so many things you do to be proud of!
So, I’ve been thinking of things I can be proud of.
- Writing. It always makes me feel better.
- Selling houses. I’ve sold 8 houses this year. I never thought I would sell even one!
- Growing a baby. Just impressive, am I right?
- Relationship with my husband. He makes it easy.
- Keeping a clean house—just kidding! I’m avoiding an avalanche of laundry right now.
But, I don’t want this post to be about me. I want it to be about you.
What are you proud of?
Are you a great cook? Do you kick butt working out? Do you have a great relationship with your dog?
See, you have so much to be proud of! And even if it seems small to you, it isn’t. What you’re proud of really matters.
Lately, with 2016 passing so quickly, I think there’s a huge need for us to reflect on what makes us proud, because reflection stops time. Refection makes you appreciate who is around you. Reflection makes you focus on what matters to you. And mostly, reflection makes you thankful.
And, here’s the magic. Thankfulness is magic. It kills bad stuff. It kills discontent and depression– it’s like life’s bleach.
I hope you give it a try!
If you find at least five things you are proud of, I’ll send you a candy bar. It might be a little melted, but it won’t be in a diaper.
We went to toddler yoga. There’s only one rule in toddler yoga: you cannot run around the room like a maniac. What is the only thing my toddler wanted to do? Downward dog? Nope. Sing wheels on the bus? Nope. Moo like a cow? Not a chance. She wanted to rrrrrruuuuunnnnnnn!!! She knocked down other toddlers. She stepped on the instructor’s phone. And, she face planted into a stranger’s mat—all while having the biggest smile on her face.
Can someone get this baby a pumpkin modeling contract?!
After spending an hour chasing her around the room (almost 7 months pregnant), I thought, ‘when I became a mom, this is not what I expected.’ So, in honor of my toddler, here are 10 jobs you automatically get when becoming a mom.
1. Lion Tamer. This is what I felt like at toddler yoga. Trying to chase, wrestle, and corral a toddler is like trying to tame the most fearsome of beasts. Only the strong survive! Watch out for the sharp teeth!
2. Teacher. She is really into books right now. She brings me one at least a couple of times a day, and she sets in my lap while I read to her. It’s so sweet… makes me forget the Lion Taming I’ve just endured.
3. Nurse. “Do you think she needs Tylenol?” This is a very common question around our house. Pair that with the question, “Is she teething?” and you’ve just heard 50% of our conversations—you don’t even have to tune into our future reality show :). I wish college would have included a semester class in child health, because we have no clue what we are doing. Sometimes we just look at each other and shrug.
4. Transformer. The first time I was pregnant my husband looked at me one day and said, “Woah, your body is like a transformer!” Since having a baby I’ve realized my mind is also like a transformer. I’m constantly thinking about how to get tasks done during the day while watching out for sluthey baby hands that get into everything.
5. Referee. I actually haven’t encountered this one yet, but with only a few months before the new baby arrives, I thought I would put it on the list.
6. Therapist. “Toddlers love big and live big,” I read that in an article on Facebook (it must be true, right?), and I thought it was the perfect description of Vera Faye. Everything is SUCH a big deal right now. If Netflix doesn’t load her favorite video quick enough—she throws on the floor and starts screaming. When she touched the lace on her pants this morning—she thought her life was over. There are good sides to this too, like last night I was trying to rock her to sleep and she wouldn’t stop laughing. So, I really don’t mind this job. It makes me smile to see that much life going on in such a little package.
7. Janitor. Duh.
8. Fortune Teller. This one is kind of cool. I know what is going to make her mad, happy, sad, even before she does. I didn’t think I would be able to know her so well before she could even speak.
9. Chef. She loves spaghetti, Hawaiian rolls, and bananas. Anything else, she might taste on a case by case basis… if you’re lucky. Don’t even THINK about giving her food that is anywhere close to hot. She will not wait for it to cool down.
10. Detective. Sometimes, I’m a Nose Detective searching out something that smells. Other times, I’m trying to locate the last landing spot of her shoes. Usually, I’m trying to figure out what she’s chewing on. It doesn’t matter what the question is, I’m just always trying to find an answer.
There you go. Ten jobs, you get when becoming a mom. Do you have any more to add?
Worst of Times
I don’t know how to write this post. You need words to write a post, and I don’t have many. I guess I’ll just say it.
About a month ago, he was ran over– and we still haven’t recovered. First of all, I feel like the worst dog mom ever for letting this happen. Secondly, I keep thinking, “What can I do to change it? What can I do to save him?” I feel like life should have a giant undo button that you can press when something terrible happens. Or maybe, like in a Nintendo game, we can have another “life” and get to play the level one more time.
But, I haven’t found those buttons yet, so we’re just sitting in the middle of all the feels. We’re remembering a great dog.
His big smile, his uncontrollable dinosaur tail, his goofy walk, his goofier run, and his amazing ability to get into trouble. As one of our first children, he was a highlight of our life. We’ve cried a lot for that big puppy. And, I cry for Pink. He seems so lonely now. Since the day he was born, he had the ultimate companion– a brother. Pink and Rick were our dogs, but they cared more for each other than they did about us.
I’m still not sure what to say about all this. Except, I’m taking solace in a movie from my childhood, All Dogs Go to Heaven. I know he will be there with a big yard to dig holes in, lots of food, and no scary storms. Love you pup.
Best of Times
Life is weird. Happy and sad events sometimes coincide– leaving an emotional mess (me)behind. Earlier this summer, a couple months before Rick died, we got some awesome news.
I’m pregnant again! I’m 25 weeks this week, which means I’ve almost made it to my third trimester.
Just as I’ve been hesitant to talk about Rick, I’ve also been hesitant to talk about the new baby. After the emotional rollercoaster it took for us to get pregnant the first time, I could hardly believe it could happen so easily the second time. So, when I started feeling a “swampy” feeling, I completely wrote it off. I was still breastfeeding Vera Faye at the time, and there were no signs my body was ready.
But, my swampy feeling wouldn’t go away! While my husband was away on a business trip I decided to take a test. I was tired of thinking I might be pregnant, and I was ready to be done with my crazy thoughts!
Well, I wasn’t crazy- at least not about being pregnant 🙂
We’re having a baby! Definitely a miracle after all we’ve been through. At first I wouldn’t let myself believe it. Then, as my belly kept growing, I got even more worried because I couldn’t feel the baby move. At my 16 week appointment the nurse said I should feel it any time, but I didn’t. As the weeks passed, all I felt was heartburn.
Luckily, when we went in for our 20 Week ultrasound, the tech said the baby is great, and I wasn’t feeling it move because of the position of all the baby accessories in there. Now my worries have mostly gone away, and I’m trying to enjoy the last part of my pregnancy.
Since this baby was such a surprise, we’ve decided not to find out the gender. There’s a mystery baby growing inside of me. It really hasn’t been hard to keep from finding out the gender. I was so worried about not feeling him/her move that I didn’t even think about gender, and now I’m so relieved the baby is doing well, that I still don’t think about gender.
I know one thing about the baby. I’m betting no matter the gender, he/she will be just as rowdy as our first fur child…
“The dogs are gone,” my husband said, bursting through the bedroom door this morning.
“Ehhhh…what?” I asked, trying to figure out 3 questions: what time was it, where was I, and what was going on? I figured out the first two questions pretty quickly. It was 6:53. I was in my bed.
“I thought we brought them inside to sleep last night,” I said.
“We did. I took them outside a couple hours ago to use the bathroom.”
I got up.
“Their collars are in the yard. I’m going to look for them,” he said. He left.
My husband was gone. The baby was still asleep, so I decided to look for clues. Based on what I knew, I started to worry. First thought: they’ve been stolen. Someone saw these 100+ pound majestic creatures and couldn’t resist finding out how much kibble they could eat.
Or, since it’s duck season, someone thought they would be the perfect companions and decided to grab them and ditch their collars in the yard.
I went outside to investigate and I knew by looking at the hole in the middle of our fence, I was wrong. They weren’t stolen. They ate through the fence and escaped. This kind of mania was fueled by one thing: Rick’s secret.
You see, we’ve been dealing with a problem for a couple years now: Rick has TSS. Also known as Thunder Shock Syndrome (I made that up…clever?). He’s terrified of thunder. Last time we had a storm, we put the dogs in kennels underneath the carport to help them feel safe. It didn’t work. Rick ate his way through his kennel from the inside. Then, he managed to squeeze his huge body through the hole he created. We found him underneath Jared’s truck in the driveway. And, we found a huge, fury filled fur ball under our carport.
Back to this morn. After realizing that the dogs weren’t stolen by a duck hunting Cruella D’Ville, I called my husband. “Any update?” I asked.
“I just found Pink about a half a mile from the house.”
I started to cry. I was so relieved. Things have been kind of crazy lately, and I really didn’t want to add losing my dogs to the list.
“Rick must be close,” I said. The puppies always travel in a pack.
But, he wasn’t. Jared drove every street in our subdivision, and there was no sign of Ricky. Ten minutes later, Jared called. “I’m coming back to drop Pink off.”
I let Pink inside when he got back. I could tell my husband was worried about Rick.
“I know it’s early, but I’m going to the animal shelter,” said as he walked out of the door.
Twenty minutes later, I called him. “Any luck?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “I’ve been everywhere.”
I started to cry. Pink and Rick are so close, I seriously doubt they can survive alone. And I couldn’t imagine not having Rick. Those crazy puppies are such a big part of our life. We’ve had them practically our whole marriage. It would be devastating to lose them.
“Go check outside again,” my husband said. “Maybe you will see him down the road.”
I slid on Jared’s boots and waddled to the back door. I opened it and looked down. A giant, wet, crazy dog licked my leg. “He’s here!” I screamed in the phone. “This crazy ass dog came home!”
My husband sighed. “I didn’t know where else to look, Kels,” he said.
“Well the crazy asses are back! Please come home,” I said.
I haven’t been this relieved in a loooooooong time. Even though, I’m pretty sure Rick just came back to get some breakfast, at least he came home. We are going to make a Thunder Survival Plan for next time if you have any tips.
Stay warm! Hope you are doing well!
I want to say thank you. It means a lot to me that you are reading this. I love to write, and every time someone tells me they read my blog (it happens very very very occasionally :)) it makes me extremely happy. So, if you’re here, thank you.
I’ve been lost in the cave of motherhood. At first, I couldn’t find the opening of the cave. I was buried under sleepless nights and breastfeeding. I felt like a straight up mammal (as opposed to a crooked mammal).
Now, I think I’ve found the opening of the cave, and I’m clawing my way back into the light. It lies somewhere between 6 hours of consecutive sleep and a freezer full of milk. I hope to make it out of the cave and into the fresh air by the end of the year.
To all you mothers and fathers out there, all I can say is, “Daaaaaaannnnnnngggggg. You make it look easy!”
In an effort to come back into the fresh air of the blogosphere, I thought I’d write about the two original subjects of this blog, my dogs: Pink and Rick.
They turned four last month!!! So, of course we had a party and photo shoot. Our goal was to take pictures of Vera Faye and her furry brothers together… with birthday hats on.
Every year, we’ve taken pictures of the dogs with hats on. So, getting a baby involved should be no problem, right?
It always starts off the same. We put the party hats on the dogs, and they run into the ditch.
I’m not sure why having a party hat on makes you want to run into the ditch, but these dogs have a serious urge.
Then, after they calm down a while, they usually shape up. So, we brought the baby out. After tons of coaxing we got Pink to set down next to Vera Faye.
We were so close to a birthday picture.
Wait, where’s Rick? Well, apparently he decided he was DONE. He stormed off.
Do you see the hat still hanging off of his head? 😉
Can you believe this dog? #diva. He decided he was done and swung his big booty to the back yard. I’m not sure if it he was mad at the baby or that we weren’t letting him play in the ditch, but he had a serious attitude.
So, it was over. I gave up. Pink and Vera Faye would have to commemorate the fourth birthday without Rick. I put up my phone.
Fortunately, about an hour later Rick seemed to be in a better mood, and my husband decided to give it one more shot. And here it is: the birthday picture. Happy 4th Birthday Puppies!
Rick doesn’t know that Vera Faye is about to get his tail.
So, just like Rick came out of his Diva Cave to take a picture, I’m coming out of my new mother cave. Having an infant is still hard, but we’re getting into a rhythm… sort of! To celebrate, I decided to make homemade bread. I don’t have a picture of it because we ate it too fast, but it was turkey shaped.
Why did it look like a turkey? Well, I didn’t have a bread loaf pan. I improvised and just threw the lump of dough on a cookie sheet. Somehow, it came out looking like a turkey.
It didn’t taste like a turkey. It tasted delicious. Like fresh air.