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Owning a dog means voluntarily setting yourself up for heartbreak. I mean that in the best possible way.
Kodiak is getting older. He’s nearly eight and a half. While he still has the energy of a puppy most of the time, he’s slowed down over the years; added a little more gray hairs to his chin. (The kids might have contributed to that a bit.) By all accounts, he is a healthy guy, but lately thoughts of the inevitable have been creeping into my head, and as much as a try to push them away, I can’t help but think about it.
People with children tend to roll their eyes at people who have no kids, but have a dog. You know the kind — the dog is their baby. Spoiled rotten, taken everywhere, talked about — and to — as if they could talk back. Jeez, those people, right?
Only, we were those people. Kodiak literally was the first baby and we treated him as such. While we swore it wouldn’t happen — as dog owners with kids do — the life he knew changed drastically once the babies came. Suddenly he had to wait, was underfoot, was no longer the center of attention. To his credit, Kodiak took it all in stride. He adapted to his new job as Fur Brother and loves those babies like they were his own pups.
But I know it’s not the same.
I spend a lot of the day shooing him out of the way of a crawling baby, or getting annoyed that he’s begging for food, or wanting to scream because there’s dog hair on the floor AGAIN. None of these things are his fault, but it’s easy to snap at him when life gets stressful. He won’t snap back. He never has.
Lately, though, I’ve realized that in not too distant future, relatively speaking, he won’t be here to snap at. And I know then that the guilt that tugs at me now will be multiplied over and over again. If only I had paid more attention, took him on a few more walks, let him bask for a few moments in his title of First Baby. When the time to say goodbye comes, I want to feel like I did right by him.
I told Michael I want to have a Kodiak Day. A day where he gets to go to all the places he loves (the beach!), gets a special meal just for him (cheeseburgers!). I know it sounds silly, but I want to do that for him.
This all sounds morbid, I know. We could have another 4+ years with him, and by god, I hope we do. And I’m going to try and use that time better than I have been. For him. For our Kodiak.
- Over the last few days my nose has become progressively more congested, to the point that now it’s just spontaneously leaking. I was all ready to blame those snot-nosed kids at story hour (not that my kids ever have snot, oh no) for hacking some germ on me, until my eyes started to itch and the sneezing kicked in and woe is me, I totally have seasonal allergies. Only, the hell? I’ve lived here how long and at my last check I was 30 years old. Why exactly am I just dealing with this now?
Well whatever reason, it sucks, and my face feels like a giant inflated helium balloon draining directly from my eyeballs and I’m blowing my nose every two minutes. And WHINING ABOUT IT. I’m not going to mess with any over-the-counter stuff while I’m nursing so that’s that. Hopefully whining cures allergies.
- The timing couldn’t be worse for me to be sniffing all the live long day, because Ryan’s baptism is Sunday. Nothing is worse than someone sniffing/sneezing/coughing in a quiet room full of people. Like, uh…a church, for example. I’m totally going to be THAT person. I will hopefully be able to convey with just a look that it’s allergies and not some disgusting plague brought upon by the grimy hands of children, all while mouth-breathing. My goodness, can you just picture how attractive I’m going to be?
- As like any formal-ish event, the whole what do I wear? dilemma has come up. Not just for me, but for the kids. I pulled out the next size up for Ryan yesterday and while I was digging through the totes I became confused. Their birthdays are only a few weeks a part, and yet I found hardly any summer clothes in the 12-month size. How could this be, I wondered. I swear Owen didn’t go naked the summer of 2011. He must have been wearing clothes.
That’s when I realized that I had an abundance of 12-18 month clothes. Emphasis on the 18. Oh, right. Owen was a butterball. Of course he didn’t fit into 12 months when he was ACTUALLY 12 months. Sigh.
Thankfully, I did discover that I had some really sweet polo shirts in a brand that runs small, so Ryan is all set. That left Owen, and I was able to run out yesterday and found an equally cute polo for him. I love having boys, but the only time I get real pangs for a girl is when I see their adorable outfits. However, once you have seen your little boy in Ralph Lauren and Dockers, there’s no fighting the omigod, so cuuuuuuutttteeee!!!! from coming out. Nope.
- A baptism is as good an excuse as any to make banana pudding. Bring on the fat!
- (OMIGOD, MY NOSE.)
Yesterday I spent the day in Massachusetts at my friend’s bridal shower. It was lovely to leave the mommy world for an afternoon and spend some time with some girlfriends and some mimosas. I was gone seven hours — the longest I’ve been apart from Ryan to date — and as much as I love my boys, I’ll admit that I didn’t miss them all that much. Mama needed a break. And enjoyed eating two (TWO!) cupcakes without having to share.
Practically everyone at the shower was wearing either blue, stripes, or a combination of the two, so I fit right in wearing a navy and white striped maxi dress which I bought a few days before at — well let’s just go ahead and get it out in the open. I bought the dress at Wet Seal. The store is across from the bookstore I was buying the shower gift in and I figured I would pop across the way and see if they had any cute inexpensive jewelry. They didn’t, but they did have the dress all cute and cheap at $16, and so I bought it. Thirty years old shopping at Wet Seal. Ahem.
Anyway, while I was at the party, the bride’s sister came up to me (Hi, Ronnie!) and was all, would you update your blog already? She told me she checks daily to see if I’ve written, and since I’ve gone so long in between posts lately, I basically figured no one was reading anyway. It was nice to hear at least one person was, so it kicked my butt into gear.
I’ve just had a touch of the Blog-itis lately. Life is happening — and quickly — and I just haven’t been able to put it down in words. Ryan is nine months going on, oh, who knows. The kid just wants to be big. He’s all over the house. Mostly backwards crawling and some sort of unofficial frontwards army crawl. It’s not what I would call traditionally crawling, but it does the job. When he’s not doing that, he wants to stand, stand, stand, and has started to cruise the furniture ever so slowly. Yesterday he took my cheeseburger right off my plate and ate it. It’s probably second-time-around parenting, because I never would have let Owen do that, but I barely even blinked. Instead, I broke some up into tiny pieces and let him have at it.
Owen is almost three and he’s busy, and loud, and smart, and sassy, and infuriating, and fresh, and amazing, and awesome. Looking at pictures from even just six months ago makes my heart ache a little because he has changed so quickly. He thought I looked “sooooo beautiful” in my Wet Seal dress, though, so that’s pretty cool.
Me? I’ve been getting into photography lately and have really enjoyed photographing my friends’ children along with my own. It’s become a fun hobby for me and one that gives me an outlet beyond the daily stuff.
Ryan and my dad
The other day I uttered the words, why is the baby under the ottoman covered in poop?
That’s life, y’all.
After Hurricane Sandy and the four days we spent without power, we started talking about buying a generator. Michael started doing research on them, but the price tag and life getting in the way made us push it to the back burner. Which is why I started panicking on Friday when reports of 60-80 mile winds hitting the coast on top of two feet of snow started pouring in. If we lost power, we lost.
Not surprisingly, the power shut off that evening. In anticipation, we had cranked the heat up to nearly 80 degrees before it shut off, so it sustained us through the night. In the morning, I bundled the kids in multiple layers and Michael set about trying to get us some power.
There was no rhyme or reason to the outages this time. I saw reports of more than 180,000 customers without power, but by the luck of the draw, a lot of our friends did not lose it. Because of that, if we HAD to leave, we could — assuming we could drive anywhere — which was iffy. Thankfully, friends with a generator didn’t lose their power, and helped us out. By 10 p.m. the generator was running and though the house was cold (it had dropped below 55 by then), it gradually started to warm back up.
I am blown away by the kindness of our friends and neighbors the last few days. Those who could offered whatever they had. Heat, food, a place to stay. One neighbor spent the storm away, and when he returned he said his house was 39 degrees. I am so thankful I was in a position where I could keep my babies warm.
Scenes from Nemo: Happy dog in the snow, a little boy snow gazing, a bundled baby playing and a tired husband snow blowing his mom’s driveway.
Digging out has taken a while, and a slow drive to my mother-in-law’s yesterday painted an eery, cold and still picture of our town. Down lines, telephone poles and snowbanks scattered everywhere. Reports of a transformer blown off into the river. Forty-eight hours later, the power returned. It was bad, but it could have been worse.
Actually, the worse part was last night. After a day with a constantly running nose, Owen woke a few hours after going to bed gagging and burning up. He threw up for the first time and it was a scary experience for him. His fever broke a few hours later and he is a much happier kid today, but I’m ready to wash my hands of the entire weekend and start anew.
Needless to say, we are purchasing a generator.
There’s been a couple of stages during your life that I declare your current age to be my favorite. This is one of them. You can still be willful and stubborn and frustrating as you continue to grow and assert your independence, but something changed in just these last few weeks. It’s hard to articulate, but you are such a KID now. I know, I know. Every letter I write I tell you how you’ve grown so much, but really, trust me. This time you have. You’re not just two, you’re two and a HALF. Halves make all the difference.
You crack jokes, including your first toilet humor. You changed a word in a song from “super” to “pooper”, then collapsed in a fit of giggles. I of course couldn’t NOT laugh at your nonsense, so you repeated it over and over until it was no longer amusing and I had a pretty clear view of what life with a 10-year old boy will be like. I’ve started writing down all of your best quotes so I never forget them. Like just the other day, when I mentioned I wanted go to Starbucks and you told me you didn’t want to go, you wanted to play, and I should “go in the kitchen and make your own coffee, Mommy.” Well. Ok, then.
You want to do everything yourself, even if it takes twice (or three times) as long. You are essentially daytime potty trained, but actually wake up most mornings dry as well. When you go, you want privacy, telling us to “go in the living room” until you are done. Which is fine by me, because you can already stink up the bathroom like a grown man. Yes, my love. I put that on the internet. Consider it advanced payback for the first time you stay out past curfew.
Currently your favorite things are your toy animals, pretend food (you go shopping and cook “just like Mommy”), any of the wooden blocks/Kinex variety, and of course, vehicles of every kind. You also enjoy our weekly trips to kid/mom dance class and story hour.
Ryan is your best friend in the whole world and watching the two of you together brings me so much joy. You love to play with him and make him laugh, and I have to tell you multiple times a day that while it’s incredibly sweet, he does not need to be kissed and hugged quite that much. You’re going to squeeze the stuffing out of him.
You still think Daddy is the coolest guy on the planet (I get it. I do too!) and on his days at home, it is All Daddy Everything. On those nights only Daddy will do for bedtime.
You still nap, though it takes a while and some gentle reminding that it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. You have always been a grumpy waker from your naps, though, but I have to be honest and tell you there’s a part of me that doesn’t mind. After your nap you usually wake calling for me. It is then you call me Mama, not Mommy, and want nothing more than to bury yourself under my chin and be held. You are always on the go now, slowing so infrequently, that I cherish the moments when all you want is to slow down with me.
Tomorrow we are touring the preschool you will attend in the fall. It’s just a couple hours a few days a week, but it will be a huge change. For all of us. I know it’s still months away, but it doesn’t feel very far at all. You, my ever-growing boy. How did you get so big?
I guess you’re not This Little Toddler anymore. What do we call you now? This Little Kid? Yeah, I think that sounds about right.
I love you through and through, Mister Mister.
I turned 30 on New Year’s Eve. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this birthday. The Big 3-0 comes around and people feel pressure to have completed something: careers, families, etc. I may not have done everything I had hoped to accomplish by my 30th birthday, but I’ve come pretty close.
Those two right there? That’s the best thing I’ve done in my 30 years. Hands down.
The last few weeks have been an endless celebration — first the holidays and concluding with an amazing surprise birthday party. Together with family and friends, Michael threw me a party I will never forget. And believe it or not, I was 100% surprised. I had NO clue!
I say goodbye to my 20s with mixed emotions. It was a good decade, filled with some of the biggest events of a lifetime. Jobs, marriage, children, homes, loss, love. It all happened in my 20s. I look forward to what this next chapter has in store, though. I promise this 30-something blogger will have some good stories to tell.
(30 in age; kid at heart. )
The winner of the Tiny Prints giveaway is Sarah! Congratulations and happy holidays to you!
I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Not until I had two kids, that is. I don’t drink it every day, but some days I’m not sure I’ll make it through without a cup. And some cookies, because I earned those.
Owen inherited seven Days of the Week onesies and I was so sad when he grew out if them. Yay, round two! And yes, I’m one of those crazy people that has to have him in the right shirt on the right day. Who knows what would happen if he wore Wednesday on Friday! (He would spit up on it? Like all his other clothes?)
Does anyone else feel like fall is disappearing too quickly? It’s gotten cold here and pretty soon I’ll have to retire the Sperrys for year. I might end up barefoot because I pretty much wear them daily.
Ah, the election. We voted, did you? Ryan cast his vote for boobs and a drool-friendly America. Owen is very concerned about the state of his lunch. Is it time to eat yet?
Oh hey, little speed demon who can’t quite reach the pedals yet. Slow down on the growing, will ya?
Speed demon just pooped, so I guess we’re done here. Happy weekend, all!
*uh, monthly? I should keep up on these probably…
Dear Ryan (Dear Little),
Before you were born, logically I knew I would fall in love with you instantly. Just like your brother. I knew this in my heart because how could I not? You are my baby. There was a small part of me that wondered, though, how I was going to love another child in the same capacity that I love your brother. How was I going to love you both enough?
That was a silly worry, Ryan, because from the moment you arrived you settled right into our hearts, and all was right with the world.
You fit right in to this silly family of yours. I feel like even though we are still getting to know you, you’ve been here all along. You are a great baby. Sure, you have moments of screaming and days where you will do anything in your power to elevate the level of suck, but mostly, you’re just so good.
You sleep — first and foremost — and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. Your brother dragged us through the mud in the sleep department, so the fact that most days you refuse to keep your eyes open later than 7 p.m. and often sleep all the way until the 5 o’clock hour is both a foreign and a brilliant concept to me. I’m not naive enough to think this will last forever (unless you feel like skipping over the 4-month sleep regression. I’m TOTALLY ok with that), but it sure has made these first few months easier than they could have been. You also sleep through basically everything — the dog barking, me vacuuming directly under you, your brother’s constant noise. I suppose it’s a matter of survival. You have no choice but to live in this established chaos.
I know I’m biased here, being your mother and all, but you’re a really beautiful boy. You came into this world so quickly (they told me to stop pushing because you were coming so fast, the doctor didn’t have his gloves on yet), so you were never really squished from being pushed out. You have big, dark eyes that were never really that newborn blue and lashes so long that they get stuck in the crease of your eyelids. As you grow you are beginning to get chunky, and I now see a resemblance to your brother I didn’t see earlier.
Your big, gummy smiles make my day. You are most happy on the changing table. Maybe you are grateful for all those clean diapers? It is there I get the best belly laughs from you, especially if I tickle your armpits. You’re a big fan of your playmat, are not resistant to a little tummy time, will tolerate the Bumbo seat for a short while, and you like to nap in your swing. Since you still spend a fair amount of the day napping, I’m in no rush to stop your swing naps.
You are champion efficient nurser, but very different than how Owen was. When you’re done, you’re done. No attaching yourself to my chest with vice grips for the entire day. At first I kept trying to feed you more, thinking you must not be getting enough. But no, I should have just trusted your ability to get what you need quickly and happily.
You love your brother, Owen, and the feeling is mutual. He always wants to be near you and covers you with hugs and kisses. You tolerate this quite well, and often return his affection with smiles and coos. He sings to you and asks you if you had a great sleep and when you cry, he tries to give you toys or rock you to make you feel better. I really hope you two remain the best of friends throughout your life.
Your dislikes include taking a poop, your car seat (with a passion. I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re going to be in that seat for a pretty long time, so you best get used to it.), and 10:15 a.m. I’m not joking about that. For some reason, if you’re not in my arms at that time you are miserable. I’ll often find myself asking, “Really, Ryan? What is the problem?”, only to look at the clock and think, “Oh, right. 10:15.” Of course, this is usually a time of day where we need to be doing something out of the house, so I’ve spent many a 10:15 listening to you wail pathetically from the back seat.
According to our home scale, today you weigh 15.6 pounds. You little chunker, you.
I’m so glad you’ve joined our family, Little. You are a joy to have around and we love you to the moon and back. I am so excited to watch you grow and learn!
I love you through and through.
I’m feeling a bit off this week. Slightly down-in-the-dumps, weepy and irritable. I don’t know if it’s some lingering postpartum-ness that decided to pop up, the change in weather or something else. Maybe it’s a combination of a few things.
I’m still feeling grumpy about my weight and my body image is kind of at an all-time low. The number on the scale just isn’t budging, not even a little, and it’s messing with my head. I realize it has only been 12 weeks since Ryan was born, but I don’t think a pound or two lost is too much to ask. Or for my pants to fit.
Toss in a messy house that I just can’t get a grip on (it’s a vicious circle of stuff needing to get done, getting overwhelmed by the stuff and as a result ignoring the stuff, only then having more stuff to deal with), and I need a serious reboot.
We took the boys to a fall festival at a local farm yesterday and that was really nice. Ryan slept through most of it, but Owen really enjoyed his first hayride and corn maze and it made me happy to give him those experiences.
Today I baked up some pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins (both in regular and size-wee) and while those will do nothing to help the weight issue, they sure taste good.
I know this “meh” will pass, but I hope it does sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m off to eat a muffin.