Friday, February 4, 2011

Blogging break

So I've decided to take a blogging break. What? you say. You've been absent since the middle of December! Yes, I know. And I really wanted to get going again in the New Year, but life keeps getting in the way.

In truth, it's going to be more of an online break. I'm going to *try* to stop reading blogs altogether (get off Facebook for awhile, even cut down e-mail for the moment, too). Right now, I'm in something of a funk where every blog I read is making me feel inadequate in some way or other. I feel just *not good enough* in about every area of life. In addition, there are some things going on that require my attention, and I really want to get on top of these things and be more settled in my heart and mind before opening them back up to external influences (like blogs, but you know, other things as well).

Sorry for the whiney nature of this post. But hey, I think we've all been in one of these funks, yes? So I'm sure y'all understand. I hope to be back in the next month or two, this time with renewed energy and my positive spirit back up and running. I'm going to call it my "re-launch." Ha. Like I'm NASA or something. Anyway, until then, take care and see you soon!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Four months

Dearest Lucy,

I'm exactly 2 weeks late getting this written. Scandalously late, but what's been keeping me from getting your letter written? Why, keeping up with you and your brother, of course! We've been so busy with our everyday things but also with Christmas-ing. We put up our tree and while Will is absolutely fascinated by the lights and ornaments, you're mostly just ambivalent about it. That's okay -- Will was the very same way his first Christmas! I think you're just too young to really notice that it's anything all that different.

We've also been shopping a few times and every time we're out, I breathe a little prayer of gratitude that you and Will are just so good in stores. Neither of you fuss at all, unless we've simply been out way too long. I think you are both "people-persons" -- you both love to watch activity go on around you. From your vantage point in the stroller, you basically watch Mama the whole time we're strolling about, and we smile and giggle at each other and I tell you what we're doing and what we're going to do next. You like to keep up with the plan. ;)

You've been growing and changing so much. It never fails to astonish me how quickly a newborn baby begins to turn into a little person with personality traits and abilities and preferences. You began trying to sit up at the beginning of this month and just this last week, we put you in the Bumbo seat and you sat there like you'd always been doing it. You play with your hanging toys with such fervor -- we actually call you "Miss Intensity" because you are so determined and well, so intense! Once you get ahold of something, we have to pry it out of your fingers to get it back. This can make diapering and changing your clothes something of a challenge, because you like to grab the fabric of your clothes and the tabs on the diapers! Speaking of which, you're still in a size 2 diaper but you're starting to get too big for some of your 6-month clothes. Just yesterday I pulled out a 6-9 month outfit and it fit you well. You're growing too fast for Mommy to enjoy all your pretty clothes for a reasonable amount of time before I have to put them away!

I think you're actually in a growth spurt right now... You're usually such a good sleeper at night, only getting up once, and then, going right back to sleep once you've had a bottle. You're typically calm and even happy, but lately you've been fussy and upset and you attack your bottle like you're starving, crying quite loudly if the nipple falls away from your mouth. You seem afraid that we're not going to feed you enough! Poor baby. Daddy and I decided it was time to try a "ricey bottle" on you, so we added some rice cereal to your formula and you seemed to really like it. The cereal sits heavier on your tummy and you've been sleeping better since we started this. You're just a growing girl with a good appetite!

You still love to nap with Mama. We will often share a pillow and I will sleep with a hand on or near your pacifier to keep it positioned in your mouth. More than once I've heard you sigh in perfect contentment to be cuddled up with me (you also hang onto my hand with both of yours), and it just melts me into a puddle that you love being with me so much! Sometimes this can be a bit of a hindrance, though... we visited Daddy at his office yesterday and some of Daddy's coworkers wanted to hold you. Well, when I handed you off and you saw that I was moving away, you screwed up your little face into this miserable grimace and let out a tearful holler! Of course I took you right back and had to reassure the people wanting to hold you that it wasn't them, it's just that you and I are really close and you like to be near me!

Let's see... you also had your first Thanksgiving, which you mostly slept through, although your great-Grandpa and great-Grandma both got to hold you, which they were so pleased to do. Also, your Aunt Sarah rocked you to sleep and it looked like you both very much enjoyed that bonding experience! You're about to have your first Christmas and Mama and Daddy already have all your presents bought and hiding in Mama's closet. I can't wait for you to open them, and further, I can't wait until you're big enough to play with them (with me!). We're going to have so much fun. But you know, every time I think this, I always tell myself, "Wait, slow down, this is going too fast as it is." I look forward to experiencing lots of life's good moments with you, Lucy, but I also want you to enjoy each minute along the way, and I certainly don't want to hurry you along. In fact, if you could slow down just a teeny bit on this growing thing, that would make Mama super happy. :)

I love you, baby girl, and I'm so proud of you!

p.s. Your eyes are still a stunning powder blue, but that hair of yours... we honestly don't know if it's blonde, red, brown, or a mixture of all three. I think you're going to keep us guessing as to its ultimate color!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

so much for daily blogging

Such is my life, such are the results of a host of good intentions I have. I've been so busy dish-washing and diaper-changing and clothes-folding and tree-decorating and car-playing and baby-rocking and storybook-reading and kid-bathing and toddler-cuddling and husband-loving and bill-paying and Facebook-statusing and floor-sweeping and catalog-perusing and bottle-feeding and Tylenol-administering and potato-mashing and...(are you weary yet?)!

I will be back soon. I have to post Lucy's 4-month letter, put up some recent pix of the bebes, and then I'll be back with gusto at the end of December/beginning of the New Year. For my birthday, I'm gifting myself a blog makeover. I hate the template and I'm tired of trying to teach myself blogging things; I would so much rather plunk down a few bucks and buy a great template with lots of bloggy extras already built-in! So, be looking for a whole new "Domestic Bliss" come January-ish.

Love to all, and I hope you're all busy Christmas-cheering!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Daybook

(Has it really been since June that I did one of these?)

Outside: Gray and drizzly, but in a soft and comforting way. "Will's tree" (right outside our loft windows) is still hanging on to some orange and rust-colored leaves. It's gorgeous.
Thinking: About all the things I need to get accomplished before we head off for Thanksgiving celebrations in Indiana this weekend (staying the whole holiday week). The list is always massive to try to get 4 people packed (especially 2 babes) and leave a clean house. Feeling overwhelmed.
Thankful: For so much. Things in my life are so far from perfect, there are times I just want to weep. I know I harp on it all the time, but the distance from family and friends is so wretched. But really, other than that, my life is swell. Busy and chaotic and crazy at times, but truly swell.
Reading: Tim Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work. Destined to be a classic. I *heart* Tim Gunn.
Hoping: To be able to catch up to this blog. I want to write a little every day. In order to do so, I have to let go of my perfectionist tendencies. I usually pass on writing because I don't have time to make it perfect. But there's no time for perfect in a life with 2 under 2!!!
Hearing: Cars on the wet pavement. Cartoons. Lucy cooing. Will trying to make "vroom-vroom" kinds of noises for his cars. He's really into sound effects -- and anyone who will take the time to make them for him!
Favorite things: Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Lucy giving us the (very) occasional sleep through the night. Clean sheets. Pulling out new outfits from Lucy's wardrobe for her to wear. Will's face when he hears Daddy's key in the lock. Discovering new art/artists, like Brandi Carlile (spelling correct there). You must listen to her song "The Story."
Will: My Puppy is endlessly curious and I just love it. Even though sometimes that means I clean up messes, I love to watch him finger an object for the first time, turning it over and over in his hands, trying to figure it out. He still doesn't verbalize a whole lot, but we know his vocabulary is growing by the number of things he can identify. His latest favorite? Birds.
Lucy: My girl is getting so big, so fast. She is trying to sit up now! I'm considering pulling out the Bumbo seat already. Also, no matter how much I bundle up this child, she constantly has cold hands. I hate it, although her pediatrician says it's fine and normal.

p.s. Thanks to Kate for the idea to have Will and Lucy categories. I'm shamelessly copying!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Three Months

On your changing love to stare at the brick wall behind you!

Right now, you are definitely a mama's girl, and I love it!

In your crib (I know you love your Shabby Chic pretties as much as I do) started noticing the camera so any straight-on shots come out very deer-in-the-headlights. Maybe next month you won't mind so much?

Dearest Lucy,
Again, Mama is a few days late writing and posting this. Life as the mommy to you and your big brother sure does keep me hopping busy at all hours, it seems!

I'm glad I'm a little late, though, as I'm able to record that you gave us a full-on giggle-into-belly laugh on Monday evening, November 8th. You've been working so hard on getting the giggles to materialize and it just didn't happen before your official 3-month mark, but you were so close so I say it counts! What made you giggle? Well, I did, actually. You see, I often hold you close to my face and kiss your cheeks softly and I think the feathery sensation is funny to you. I also often tell you in a silly voice that you're a "pwetty pwetty pwincess" and this will generally elicit cooing from you, but combined with the cheek-kissing, laughter finally erupted! You are such joy and sunshine, little girl. Even at 4:00 in the morning, when I and your Daddy are so tempted to be cranky from being awake, your smiles take the edge off and remind us why we are so glad to be parents in the first place, but especially YOUR parents and your brother's parents. We are so blessed, it's unspeakable.
How else have you been changing this month? Well, much to my chagrin, you officially grew out of anything sized 3 months. You are mostly in 3-6 month-sized clothes, and some straight-up 6 months. This astonishes me. I know all moms must feel this way, but you honestly grew so fast it made my head spin. And it's spinning still! I don't feel TOO badly, though, since you have an armoire full of the darlingest clothes in the 6-month range, and I'm having a ball getting them out for their first wear. At your 2-month appointment with Dr. Estes (which you had late, because Mommy still has a hard time keeping pace with the calendar), you weighed 12 pounds, 10 ounces, and were 23 1/2 inches long. You're averaging along the range of 75th percentile in nearly all measurements, which is good -- healthy but not quite as robust as your brother (who still seems to be in the 90s every time he gets measured!).
You still have a roses-and-cream skin tone and complexion, and your eyes are more powder blue than ever. Your reddish hair is headed back toward a more blonde color, so you keep us guessing as to what it's ultimately going to do. Sleepwise, the 8 hours you gave me a few weeks back turned out to be just a fluke. The longest you'll go is about 6 hours, and your favorite time of day to do this is late afternoon into evening. Not that you do this every day! Sometimes I can get you to do this at night, but inevitably we're up at least once with you during the night, if not twice. You have a bath every evening and start out the night in your bouncy seat, which we place in your crib in the nursery you share with your brother. You'll wake us up sometime in the early wee hours, and most of the time we get to you before you also wake up your brother! You'll have a bottle (or sometimes I'll nurse you) and a diaper change, and then you'll either finish the night in your Snuggle Nest in our room or you'll go back to your crib -- it just depends on how "out" you go!
What else? You started playing with toys this month! We bought you a jungle play mat with bright, colorful jungle animals like a toucan and butterflies, a cute elephant, and so forth. The arch on the mat has a light show that totally captures your attention, and you reach to "bat at" the toys hanging below it. You're very interactive for a girl your age, baby-doll! You also "found" your hands and will often stare at them/chew on them for several minutes at a time. It's so cute because you really do seem fascinated that they are attached to your body! Your other favorite thing in the world -- besides your Daddy, and that's a whole other story -- is to watch your brother. Whenever you catch sight of Will, an expression of absolute adoration comes over your face and you smile from ear to ear. Will isn't exactly your biggest fan yet, but I know it's coming.
Lucy-girl, we can't wait to see what you do next! We love you, Sweetheart!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bad Mother Confessions

A couple nights ago, I finally had a chance to watch "Sex and the City 2" (thank goodness for DVDs, because let's face it, otherwise I'd never see movies). I loved the movie -- not because of anything specifically great about it, but because it's simply another adventure with the girls -- and I especially loved one scene in particular. In this scene, Miranda wants Charlotte to loosen up a little about what's bothering her, and her efforts turn their time together into an impromptu drinking game of "bad mother confessions." Miranda is thankful that she's a working mom, Charlotte is thankful to get away from her kids for a few days, they're both thankful for live-in help (and wonder aloud how other moms do it on their own, ha!). They both admit these things with tears and guilty laughter, and I admit to laughing along with tears in my own eyes. SO MUCH of motherhood is guilt. Neverending, unrelenting, always-whispering-in-your-ear kind of guilt. So as a bit of catharsis, here's my own list of bad mother confessions (drink along if you want):
  • If my kids don't develop perfectly on schedule according to a consensus of childcare books and what the Internet says, then obviously I'm failing as a mother. Even if my pediatrician tells me otherwise. And says the Internet is wrong.
  • I don't record every waking moment of their lives. I read some blogs where moms write down everything. And I mean, everything. I get exhausted just reading the blog posts, so I have no idea how these moms do it.
  • I don't have my kids (namely, Will) involved in 800 community and kid's events and programs. I don't even have him in 1 program. Because, honestly, I live in a crappy community, I don't know anyone here, and oh yeah, I have a 3-month-old that I'd have to drag along. But these facts don't assuage my guilt.
  • My children live far away from their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. And even though we're trying desperately to change this situation, I still feel worse than pond scum when we drive away from Indiana after a visit. Like I'm somehow in control of the situation! But this doesn't make me feel better.
  • I feel bad about letting Will watch "too much" TV (what is that, anyway?). I feel bad about feeding Lucy formula. I feel bad if we don't get outside every day. I feel bad if I spend "too much" time with Lucy and "not enough" with Will. If I'm spending time exclusively with one child, then that means one child is getting the shaft (if that child happens to be awake). And this makes me crazy with guilt.
  • If Will finds a crumb on the floor and puts it in his mouth, then I have obviously failed to provide a clean environment for my child. If Will stumbles on something or pinches his finger in something, then I have obviously failed to provide a safe environment for my child.

I was semi-joking with Marty and Jessie last night over dinner when I told them that, sometimes, Will looks at me like, "I'm on to you, Mom. You've never done this before, have you?" And I just want to crumple up and shout "YES! It's true, I'm a complete novice! I don't know what the heck I'm doing! I'm just trying to survive here! And keep you guys safe and clean and fed, and I can't manage anything beyond that most days!!!"

Clearly, I need to loosen up myself. I know this. I envy those moms who seem to roll with each skinned knee and tantrum and poopy blowout. I'm not there yet. And to help get me there, I've decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blog-reading and Internet searches on child development and just all the other things that drive me crazy with feelings of inadequacy. I'm even thinking of taking a break from Facebook (too addicted) and email (too neglected anyway). I need to hunker down and really find some new focus, and learn to allow myself to be the mom that I want to be, not the mom that I feel I should be in comparison to others. And give myself a break! I had 2 babies in less than 13 months, so I think I deserve it!!!

I've promised to write so many posts here and I still intend to write those posts. And I've promised myself to get caught up in a zillion other areas. And I will. But it's time to take a deep breath. Life has been a whirlwind and I need to stand still, get my bearings, and forge a clear path ahead, unhampered by outrageous expectations of myself. Wish me luck! (And if you'd like, come pour me a drink and share a confession or two of your own!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010