Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just The Two of Us

"Let's have it just be us this year."

My response to hearing this from Hubs was an astounding "Whaaaa? Just us? As in, no parents? No GRANDparents? No HUSTLE and BUSTLE?!?!?!?"

After a prominent eye-roll and telling me to CTFD, Hubs said "yes, just us and no one else."

I couldn't comprehend this idea. For as long as I can remember Thanksgiving was always about loud, and at the same time, comforting get-togethers with my ginormous family. Would my mom understand? And further more... Are we allowed to do this? To break-free from tradition and ::GASP:: do our OWN THING?!?

In 2010 I was pregnant with our first baby. Hubs proposed the idea to spend Thanksgiving as just the two of us because after that year, it would never be "just the two of us" again.

I loved the idea and after I wrapped my brain around not partaking in the annual hullabaloo that is our family's Thanksgiving, I was on board. I broke the news to the 'rents, Hubs broke the news to his and it was done!

You guys! It was hands down the best Thanksgiving we have ever had! Now let me just clear the air and say that picking the best Thanksgiving ever is a ridiculous thing... Because in my book? They are all great. I love having such a big family and all the chaos that goes along with it. But I think 2010 was the best year because of what it represented...

The closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. For 12 years it was just me and my guy. K & K. Now here we sat with a turkey in one oven and the proverbial "bun" in the other. Just a man and a woman desperately in love and entirely clueless as to how that "bun" was about to change their lives forever.

Two people doing what they always loved to do together... Cook! Every detail of the big feast was prepared by the two of us. We modernized our family classics and even invented a new pie recipe that we have treasured ever since!

We laughed each time we realized an ingredient had been forgotten and we'd take turns running to the store one. more. time. I think we went back out six times!!! Needless to say, we were beyond thankful that the nearest grocery store stayed open until 2pm that day!

We cooked all day long and then sat down to a perfect candle-lit Thanksgiving dinner for two. We had music playing which was undeniably the soundtrack to our lives up to that point. We relished in the fruits of our labor from the day and we shared visions and ideas we had about our son.

The day before Thanksgiving we had our 20 week doctor appointment and ultrasound. We had the big reveal that we were going to have a boy! We were so excited because, although we wanted a healthy baby first and foremost, we really wanted our first-born to be a boy. Our dreams had come true!

After we finished our delicious dinner and dreamily talked about our growing family it was time to get back up and tackle the dishes. Only...

I couldn't move. I had been on my feet all day long and once I finally sat down for a while my pregnant body felt the wrath. My sciatic nerve went haywire and I had to watch my sweet husband handle most of the clean-up.

By now it was starting to get late and we were exhausted from the day. The longer I sat the more stiff I became and the harder it became to move. Our glorious day ended with Hubs practically carrying me up the stairs and literally helping me get into my PJ's and hoisting me into bed! Talk about sexy! ;)

Our first, and last, Thanksgiving as "just the two of us." It was perfect.

We went to bed that night stuffed out of our minds, happy and content. Fulfilled, in love and... Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there! I hope you enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Life is fragile and it is precious and be sure to tell those you love how you feel about them. Be thankful for what's most important in life and enjoy the heck out of it.

To my family, I love you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Potty Training in Public: My Inaugural Encounter

Today I'm over at Mile High Mamas sharing my first public potty experience with Little C. We've been having a really positive experience with potty training overall and I don't know why I was ever dreading getting the process started!

I'm sure that means we will have a doozy of a time with Little Miss D-Nut but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, I'm really proud of how well C took to all of this potty training stuff. I plan to write a post about what worked for us in the near future. We aren't there 100% but we are so very close.

Click here to read about the experience.

How is potty training going for you? Have any funny public potty training stories to share?

Friday, November 15, 2013

What a First Time Mom Really Needs

You may have seen something floating around called 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood. This really got me thinking... It's good, it's funny and it's true.

But what gets me about a post like this, and others like it, is the hindsight it involves to write it. Can you really have that kind of clarity and perspective about your first year of parenthood as you are living it? Is a first-time mom really going to change her ways and chillax after reading something like this?

Don't get me wrong, I love reading these posts and like I said they are funny and true, but I can safely say I probably would not have read it in my first year of parenthood and had an ah-ha moment. The first year of parenthood was survival and I wasn't seeking out posts about how I need to take a chill-pill and calm my ass down. I was seeking out posts about sleep regression, what foods to feed my baby at what age, how to break him of his paci, and what milestones he would be hitting next.

When my poor baby was sick I was researching like a mad woman why he kept getting these stomach bugs every 4 weeks like clockwork. I was exhausted and clueless and gathering up as much information as I could because that is the type of person I am. I don't think it has anything to do with the type of mother I am but everything to do with how I'm hard wired.

If I have a question, I want it answered. When I was pregnant I read the books and I was a Baby Center junkie. A lot of it had to do with gathering information but at that stage, it was just fun! After Little C was born my nose was in What to Expect every month and I was working that index like a BOSS! All the information helped me and I felt more equipped to tackle each hurdle as it arose.

But that's just me. The books didn't make me stressed out or confused, they were my life lines. Along with other moms, doctors, bloggers, etc. And I couldn't relax and calm down because I didn't know what was coming around the bend. I was a new mom and that is just how it was.

Now that I have a second baby? Man, oh man, is it a whole different game! I can read a post like the 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood and I can laugh and say, "damn skippy, that's how it is!" But only because I've lived it for myself. Instead of having my nose in a book, this time I can feel my way through parenting another baby and rely on instincts and more importantly, experience.

My second baby is nothing like my first so even now I still have moments where I feel like a first-time mom all over again but this time I can relax because I am resourceful and I can handle anything.

In my opinion, a first time mom doesn't need to be told to calm down, that their baby isn't like all the others, or that the books will overwhelm them. I believe a first-time mom just needs to be. She needs to figure it out for herself. She needs to have a hard time and learn what she is capable of. She needs support and whether she gets it from her partner, her family, friends, books or the internet, she will seek it out for herself.

A new mom needs to have triumphs and days where she feels like she knows a thing or two. She needs to laugh at herself and at life in general because some days that is all you can do.

She needs to cry by herself at times because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to pour herself a heaping glass of wine at the end of the day because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to just be. Be a first-time mom making mistakes and learning from them. Be put together and confident one minute and a clueless hot mess the next. It's all okay and a new mom will be better for all of it.

So if you are a first-time mom reading this, my humble advice to you is... just be. Keep at it and do whatever you need to do to get through your first year. The resources are there if you need them and your own instincts will take you far. But you have to figure it out for yourself.

And if nothing else, always remember... You're doing a great job.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#12ThingsILoveAboutMe - November

Get excited, people... Not only is today 11-12-13 but it is also #12ThingsILoveAboutMe day! Try to contain yourselves, I know it will be hard.

Have you been thinking about all the things that you love about yourself? As I've shared with you before, negative self-talk has plagued me for many years and I wanted to do this #12Things exercise to starting thinking about myself in a different way. 

It is easy for me to look in the mirror and immediately focus on things I don't like or wish I could change about myself. I notice it all, big or small, and I don't even see or appreciate the good that is there. This is why I'm doing a monthly shout out. To start appreciating who I am and get over all the negativity. 

No one can do this for me, self-love and self-confidence has to come from within which is why I am shouting out loud what I love about me!

If you are a confident person and this is the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard of... well good for you! I'm happy that you have confidence and don't need to force yourself to list 12 things that you love about who you are. I'm happy for you and also, I want your secret!

If you are like me and want to put an end to negative self-talk and start feeling inside and out that you are a worthy of being beautiful and special... then join in with me and share your love! 

This month I love my...

I love my nose! It's not too big, it's straight, and has a nice round tip. When I was a baby it was so round and just sat on my face like a little ball. In fact, my uncle called it a "Snoopy nose" because it was so round. 

As I mentioned earlier I not only want to love "things" about myself I also want to start appreciating them more. So despite being cute to look at, I appreciate what my nose does for me. Just like my hands, I love that my nose serves me well in my day-to-day life.

The smell of a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning can't be beat. I am able to experience the intoxicating smell of butter, onions, and garlic sauteing in a hot skillet (probably my favorite smell of all time). I can smell the seasons... Fall spices and damp colorful leaves, Holiday scents in the winter, rain in the Spring, and fresh cut grass in the Summer.

My husband has a smell that I simply adore. And my nose even picked up the pheromones he was giving off when we first started dating. That's straight up Science, yo!

Of course I have to give thanks to my nose for the ultimate gift of being able to soak in the sweetness that is the smell of a baby. Oh, I can smell it now... nothing compares. 

There are so many other scents of life that I know I take for granted but today I give thanks to my schnoz and I say to the world, I LOVE MY NOSE!

What do you love about yourself? Put a stop to your negative self-talk and start appreciating beautiful you! Shout it out here or on Twitter.

Love yourself.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

T-minus two months...

Real talk for a minute... I'm not gonna lie, this whole "my baby is 10 months old" thing is hard for me. I had the same feeling with Little C. It's just that I have two more months with my tiny little baby and then POOF! She's a toddler.

Don't get me wrong, I love toddlers and all the boundary pushing and tantrum throwing that go along with them. (read: sarcasm)

Of course I can't wait for D-Nut to start walking, running, talking, exploring and showing us more and more of her personality. I can't wait for her to play more actively with her brother. And there are so many other wonderful things that come along with turning one year old. But there are so many sweet little baby things that we say goodbye to as well.

I love the baby stage. I do. I'm a big giant puddle of goo just thinking about babies. Sure the newborn stage is really demanding and exhausting but once you get to 3 months and beyond it is all so glorious. Still demanding and exhausting, but somehow that's not what sticks with me. The exhaustion and the struggles fade away and what sticks is the baby smell, the soft skin, the gummy grins, and the rolls for days.

Truthfully, it's not that I'm sad... No. Wait. You know what? I have to be honest here. I AM sad. It is hard for me to be saying goodbye to the baby stage. I love it so much and even knowing how much fun is ahead and how awesome toddlers are, it still stings a bit.

I think I'm sad because this could be it. After Little C we always knew we wanted to add to our family and have a sibling for our little man. But now baby #3 is a HUGE question mark that is so big Hubby and I can't even fathom thinking about it let alone discussing it in full at this time. We are 100% completely enjoying the heck out of our two beautiful children and that is what's important.

It's just that if we do only have the two then I am saying goodbye to this baby stage forever and I am getting sentimental as all get out about it. Did I really slow down enough to enjoy it? I know I tried but honestly getting through the baby stage this time with a young toddler really kicked my butt. 

When Little C was a baby everything revolved around him including all of our time and attention. But for Baby D-Nut? Our time and attention is shared between our two kids, sometimes one receiving more than the other. She has spent more time in her jumpy-roo on certain days because it is a safe place to "set" her while we run around getting things done. But that's just life, right?

I hope I've soaked in her baby-ness as much as I should have. It has gone way too fast and I swear it was only yesterday when I was at home on maternity leave, nursing my newborn daughter, and snuggling her as she slept on my chest. 

I am beyond grateful for the blessings I have and I take none of it for granted. But I am an emotionally-charged-softy and as happy as I am to see my girl grow and as excited as I am for her future and the future of my little family... It still stings and I am a bit sad. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Update - Month 10

HOLD THE PHONE. 10 months?!?!? Surely I'm not really writing my baby P-Nut's 10 month post. It just can't be. Time slooooooow down!

Fun fact: Have I told you guys yet that Little C refers to his baby sister as "Baby Doughnut?" It started months ago and it is probably the cutest damn thing any of us have ever heard! We have absolutely no idea where he got it from but we do know it's here to stay.

Little C will tell random strangers passing by at the store, "this is my sister. Her name is Baby Doughnut." Or even if she is not with him he will talk about her and refer to her as Baby Doughnut. The people he tells get a kick out of it and sweet Baby Doughnut just sits there and smiles.

So don't be alarmed if we have a name change here on the 'ole blog. From P-Nut to D-Nut. Whaddya think about that?!?

Anyways, little Miss Dough-Nut is just growing and developing like a champ. She is seriously a very easy baby and we are beyond thankful for that. She goes with the flow and seems pretty darn happy most of the time.

The Scoop:

Teeth: Still only two on the bottom but there is something brewing up top and based on some minor fussiness, snotty nose, and a hand constantly in her mouth, I'd say we're close to getting some more.

Talking: Nada. Just the single syllable babbles but nothing is really coming together. I swear she has designated a sound for "brother" and for "dog" but most of the time she just says "ba." It is clear she understands many things now. For example, if you say hi or bye-bye (without the motion) she will start to wave.

Sign language: We started introducing this around 7 months and she is just now starting to pick up some signs. We've seen her do "hungry" and "more" but not consistently enough to say she's got it down. But she's close!

Movement: D-Nuckle is the fastest crawler in the West! It is currently her method of choice for getting places. Her brother likes to tease her by running one direction until she starts to follow him then he will switch trajectory on a dime and she has to slow her roll, switch directions, and then she takes off after him again. Rinse and repeat. They both giggle and have a blast.

We are working on walking. We have a VTech Walker that she has recently become very proficient with. But she will only do it for bits at a time before she's right back to crawling. She'll get there...

Eating: We've started letting her eat table food at daycare so she is now getting 3 bottles a day and 3 full "table" meals a day. All the teachers have commented on how well she eats and how MUCH she eats. Baby Doughnut is doughy! ;)

Hubs and I love that she is on table foods now because it makes dinner so much easier and it is fun to see what new foods she likes and to learn what she doesn't care for.

When I was breastfeeding The Nut you may remember I had to cut out dairy. The cow's milk I was eating did not agree with her at all. Once we moved to formula we had to get soy formula and she's been on that ever since. The Pediatrician recommended starting to introduce dairy via yogurt and cheese before we start introducing through formula. She has been responding great so far to the little bits we've given her so I hope that keeps up. Although, I have noticed she will spit up her bottle more lately and I'm wondering if the dairy in her system has anything to do with that?

Be bop a lula: I'm trying not to get too excited about this because I don't want to push my interests on my daughter but... every time she hears music she starts to DANCE!! She be bops her booty up and down with an ear-to-ear grin.

I was a dancer and love all things dance! I know she's only 10 months old but it genuinely makes my heart flutter with excitement at the very thought of little girl tights, leotards, ballet slippers, tutus and such. We'll see... ::crosses fingers::

So there you have it! She's such a joy and she is mastering all of this baby stuff pretty well! We're so proud of her and she impresses us everyday with how much she is learning. Of course there are still plenty of things she has yet to pick up...

You'll get there, baby girl. 

What's your baby up to? Go on, brag a little! I'd love to hear! 

Did you have a baby that was sensitive to dairy but grew out of it? How did you reintroduce the dairy? I'd love some advice!