Saturday, May 25, 2013

Big Kid

This may not be news to anyone else, but I was suddenly and unexpectedly hit with the realization that Miles is not a baby anymore.

Yesterday, while Miles was napping, a little boy from down the street knocked on our door and asked if Miles could come out and play.  I nearly died of cute on the spot, but managed to tell the boy that Miles was asleep, but could come play later.

Today, the boy was back.  Before I knew it, he and Miles were upstairs, playing trains and laughing.

As I type this, Miles is playing in our driveway with two of the neighborhood kids.  They've created some sort of game that involves foam swords and shields, and a soccer ball.  I really don't understand the rules - frankly, I'm not sure there are any - but they are having a blast.  Children are randomly wandering in and out of my front door seeking out extra equipment as the game becomes more complex.

Truth be told, I love that our house is the destination for the neighborhood kids.  It's what I always hoped for.  I'm just having a hard time with the fact that Miles is old enough for this already.  Somehow, overnight, my baby has become a big kid.

I love it.  And I hate it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Growing up, I spent a lot of time learning about appropriate topics of conversation.  I learned that the following things are inappropriate to talk about:

  • Bodily functions
  • Illnesses
  • Scars, scabs, and other 'owies'
  • Money
Now that I'm a mom, I get to talk about all of these things fairly regularly.Within the past few days, I have openly discussed:
  • The size, shape, and frequency of an infant's bowel movements
  • The consistency of a preschooler's recent vomit
  • My depression and anxiety
  • The healing process of a head wound
  • Money
Yeah.  Apparently, no topic is off limits anymore. . .

Monday, May 20, 2013

One Month

Dear Samantha,

As of today, you have been in our lives for one month.  In many ways, the month has flown by, but mostly, I find myself wondering how it's only been a month.  You fit so perfectly into our little family, as though you've always been here.  As though there was a space waiting for you, and we just didn't realize it.  Already, it's hard to remember a time when you weren't here.

Don't get me wrong, I haven't quite mastered this whole "mom to two" thing, yet.  Getting out the door in the mornings takes all the energy and patience I can muster.  I expected that getting two kids ready would take longer - maybe even twice as long.  The reality is that it takes almost four times longer when I'm by myself.  I'm not sure how, but there's always that 'one more thing' that needs to be done.  I watch the minutes fly, wondering why Miles is naked again and why I can't find your pacifier.  I mean, really, didn't you just have it?!?

None of that is really your fault, though.  You are the most calm, chill baby in the world.  Most of the time, you are completely content to go with the flow.  You can sleep on my lap, in your swing, in your bassinet, or on a blanket on the grass.  On the rare occasion that you are awake, you mostly just stare at the world around you, wide-eyed and silent.  When you're hungry, you make little grunting noises.  If you actually start to cry, I know something is wrong.  In the entire month of your life, you've only cried a handful of times.

What I'm saying is, can you just keep this up?  Because it's kinda awesome.

I could go on and on, describing your soft, dark hair and your bright blue eyes.  Or your heart-breakingly happy smile.  Or your little monkey toes that wrap around my finger, as though you want to hold onto me with everything you have.  But, I could never, ever describe the perfection that is you.

I love you, Little Lady.  With all my heart.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sibling Love

The entire time I was pregnant, it seemed like I was worried about something.  Okay, truth be told, I was worried about LOTS of somethings, but one thing worried me more than all the other stuff combined:  How would this baby affect Miles?  Would I lose some of that special bond I had with my little buddy?  Would he feel rejected or forgotten?  Would he like the baby, or would he wish she would just go away?  His entire life, he had been our entire world.  Everything revolved around his needs.  I knew that a baby would change all of that, and I worried about how he would feel.

I needn't have worried.

This is a daily and nightly ritual.  Every day - multiple times a day - Miles asks, "I hold my baby?"  And he sits and cuddles her, kisses her forehead, and pats her tummy.  If she fusses, he holds her tighter and reassures her, "Is okay, Baby. Is okay."

And even when he's not holding her, he keeps an eye on her.  Every morning, he comes into our room and his first question is, "Where's Baby Samanta?"*  Throughout the day, if she starts fussing, Miles is right there, offering her a pacifier and shouting, "Mommy! Baby is crying!"  He holds her hand while we watch TV, and will stop to rub her hair while he's playing.

In short, he adores her.  And the feeling is completely mutual.

When Samantha hears Miles' voice, her head immediately turns to find him, her eyes searching him out.  Once she finds him, she watches him, wide-eyed and calm.  When she's fussy, Miles can often calm her before I even get to her.  If he's sitting nearby, she reaches for him, and when he grabs her hand, her entire body relaxes, content in the knowledge of Big Brother's love.

I love these two.

*I absolutely love how he says her name. <3

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One of those days. . .

The past 29 hours or so have been a little . . . interesting.

Yesterday, we met up with Bethany and J to go to the children's farm.  I would post pictures, except we weren't there long enough to get any.  Apparently, every school in the greater KC area decided to take a field trip there yesterday.  The sidewalks were so crowded, we literally could not get the wagon through.  We made a valiant attempt, but ultimately, it was way too stressful for all of us.  Bethany and I made the executive decision to take the kids to McDonald's instead.

Except, apparently, there are no McDonald's with play places in the area.

We ended up driving to two different ones, both of which said they had play areas on the website.  Neither did.  But, the boys were hungry and Samantha had been screaming since I put her in the car.  We ate outside in the shade, and Miles and J made the best of it.  They chased each other around the patio, laughing and giggling.  And for a moment, I was able to breathe and enjoy the moment.

And then Miles took my wallet out of my purse, scattering my coupons to the four winds.  Sigh.

Nap was late and hard-won.  The evening was long.  Bedtime was late.  Then, at 5:00 am, Miles crawled into our bed, and promptly puked all over me.

He's better, now, napping peacefully, and hasn't vomited in several hours (fingers crossed).

Here's hoping for a few boring days to balance things out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I have a thing about fish.  Namely, that they make terrible pets.  Fish are great in streams and ponds and rivers, or even on my plate (in very specific circumstances), but in a tank?  I don't get it.  To me, fish are decorations you have to feed.  Pretty decorations, maybe, but nothing more than that.  You can't pet them or cuddle them.  You can't teach them tricks.  Hell, they don't even have those goofy little balls to run around in.  They just .  . . swim.  In circles.  Repeatedly.


I bring this up because Patrick and I were talking the other night, and we determined that the newborn stage of a baby's life?  It's a lot like having fish.  They're cute.  They're way more cuddly than a fish, but mostly, they're just cute.  They eat (a lot), sleep (but never long enough), and poop.  If you're very lucky, that's it.  If you're not, they also cry a lot.  Newborns are a really really cute decoration that require a ton of work.  Like salt-water fish, maybe.  But cuddlier.

Now, I have the best fish-baby ever, and I love her with all my heart.  I'm just looking forward to the interactive stage.  When she'll be more like a puppy. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

At least he's creative?

Have you all seen this video?  Remember it from your childhood perhaps?  It's Cookie Monster trying to come up with words that start with the letter C, but all he can think of is Cookie.  And that's good enough for him.

Miles loves this song, and sings it constantly.  Only now, he's made up his own version.  It's called "P is for Poopy".  And he thinks it's hilarious.  Sigh.  The joys of little boys. . . :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Still there, but less. . .

I've spent a lot of time recently talking about my anxiety.  Comparing the insurmountable mountains of panic I had after Miles' birth to the relatively small bumps of uncertainty I have now.  I will probably always have anxieties - they are a part of who I am, for better or worse.  I will always ponder the what-ifs, and my heart will always race as worst-case-scenarios parade through my brain.  Meds mute the parade, somewhat, but it's still there, and probably always will be.

But that isn't because things are bad.  In fact, I think a lot of my anxiety stems from the fact that life is so good.  My children are healthy and beautiful.  My husband is completely amazing. I am happy and healthy and life is good.  For others, maybe that would be time to relax.  For me, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Maybe my anxiety will get worse again, like it was two years ago.

Maybe one of the kids will get sick.

Maybe the car will break down.

Maybe . . .

A thousand scenarios begin to play out in my head.  None of them are the happy peacefulness of this moment.  I take a deep breath and focus on now.

Samantha grunting and cooing softly in her sleep, her warm little body curled on my chest.  Miles cuddled next to me, his hair still damp from the bath.  Patrick nearby, preparing things for bedtime. The windows are open, and a cool breeze plays across my bare feet.  All is quiet, gentle, and calm.  Tomorrow may not be, but right now, all is right with the world.  And for right now, that's all that matters.