Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sunshine and family time

After backaches and migraines, spending the weekend with my little family was all I wanted and needed. We went to the park more than once, we got treats more than once, and everyone stayed up past their bedtime...more than once. As I type, my in-laws are making the long trek from Alaska and will be arriving before the weekend hits, so we have yet another family-filled weekend ahead. Stay tuned!

Flyin' a kite!
I live for these kids. These kids live for chocolate milk.
Blue-eyed girl, blue tongue.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The tale of the staycation

Tim getting cash and me being, well, me.
It turns out the key to having a good weekend is to wear giant pineapples on your face.
Cheers. Every 4 years I have a mimosa.
This weekend was one of the best weekends I've had in quite a time. After the craziness that was last week, I was ready to use this weekend to recharge. Initially, the plan was to get away. Tim and I had scheduled a weekend getaway, but, at the last minute, we decided to stay local.

And I'm glad we did.

Exploring the state I've called "home" since I learned to talk, is my new favorite thing.  It's a bit surreal to reside here and discover all these hidden gems scattered between zip codes. I once longed only to go beyond the Great Lakes, after all. We did downtown shopping, inhabited coffee shops, and dined-in for Mexican.

Saturday night was the real kicker. If you're reading this and you know me well, I'm not even sure you'll believe it. We went out for drinks and dancing with my best friends. I'd just like to note we went out at 10 (pm). For someone who typically falls asleep on the couch at 9:45 watching Dancing With the Stars, it was almost unbelievable. But drank and danced, I did.

And then I got up on Sunday and had a mimosa at brunch. (I mean honestly who even am I?)

So long, stay-cation! You were just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Growing boy

The other night, in a flurry of motion Tim and I were trying to get dinner on the table and kids in their seats. In an effort to make our dinner as tear-free as possible, I was trying to be my best, patient self as I talked Archie through sitting him down. With a click of his buckle, he lost it. What could have possibly gone wrong in 3.5 seconds that warranted this breakdown? I tried to stay cool.

And then it occurred to me. Archie is about 16-months-old and has been going through a big growth spurt lately that has yielded better listening, more personality, tantrums, and independence. When it was just Ella, Tim and I were both so aware and attuned to the latest spurt. I looked up and read articles on Baby Center—what-to-expect-this-month sort of a thing—and we'd work to be especially patient when she was wanting to learn something on her own. While we have picked up the rhythm of growth spurts and the signs of one approaching, we've missed a couple things Archie has begun doing and questioned the emotional roller coasters due to ... busyness, I guess. (It really is true that life turns into a zoo with two.)

As I unbuckled the buckle and talked to Archie, and tried to calm him down, I remembered Ella doing the exact same thing. She needed to buckle her seat at the dinner table. She needed to help us take the clean spoons out of the dishwasher and put them away—another practice Archie has recently adopted. Archie is where Ella was. We've been here before.

It's been hard to keep track of and gauge these different stages of development since having 2 for a variety of reasons. Archie is growing up a bit faster, since Ella is around to show him how to do so many things. Archie's personality is opposite of Ella's, so he reacts differently to some of these stages. And our life is far busier than it was when Ella was Archie's age.

It's also been hard to softly nurture Archie through these intense growth spurts. With Ella, I had all this new parenting zeal, despite the fact that I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I was passionate about doing things the right way, which, to me, meant not losing my cool and instead talking her through problems. I read Bringing Up Bebe and referred to Parenting With Love and Logic and got inspired by all these saintly mom bloggers. Nine times out of ten, I was successful, I was, but we only had one kid and I stayed at home. All of my focus could go into those practices without distraction. Now? Ella could be upset and Archie could be having a breakdown and my anxious self stands frozen in the kitchen without answers, all zeal depleted. 

We're learning to juggle. Archie now helps me buckle anything that needs buckling. We're learning to be more patient in waiting for Archie to have his little 'growth moments' instead of trying to just get it done—not an easy thing to accomplish with 2 running around—but it's teaching us to slow down. And it's in slowing down that we begin to gently walk him through these tough toddler times.