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!)