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Congratulations to Oh That’s Witte! You win! Check your email soon.

– The woman who cuts our hair can only do it one evening a week. This gets complicated when it comes to getting Owen’s done, and although he’s been scheduled to get one for weeks now, she cancelled on us twice.

After she called last night I knew there was no way we could wait another week. He’s been complaining of hair in his eyes and he was looking pretty ragged. After no luck finding him another appointment today, I gave up and took him to Fantastic Sams. He looks better, but I definitely got what I paid for. Either that or I’m just too picky. I knew that would probably happen.

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(It looks better in the picture than in reality, I think.)

– Wow, that was a boring story! Did you make it through ok? It’s beautiful here today so after we got home I left a sleeping Ryan in his car seat and Owen and I played with trucks and trucks and more trucks and some bubbles and then some more trucks. We also threw in some trucks for good measure.

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– Our anniversary is in a few weeks and the weekend before we are going away on our annual NH trip. I cannot wait. It will be short and we will have the baby in tow, but I love it there so very much. Foliage and lake views, a roaring fire, maple candies and celebrating four wonderful years of marriage with my best friend.

– Both boys are whiny today. Send booze.

You know those mommy bloggers who write post after glowing post about how wonderful motherhood is and how each moment is a precious gift?

This is not one of those posts.

If I were to define my job lately, it would go something like this:

Begin day early. Too early. Mentally prepare for 12-13 hour work day. Greet boss, who is ready with a list of demands already, starting with his breakfast, which I’m not attending to quickly enough. Fight with boss about wearing pants. Explain to boss that pants are a part of life and other people in the office (and outside the office as well) appreciate the use of pants. Especially when it’s 32 degrees outside.

Prepare breakfast for boss while he sits in his chair, high and mighty above this lowly servant. Offer him a beverage to tide him over while he waits. He concedes and for the moment, is quiet. Serve boss a bowl of oatmeal and blueberries. With a spoon, per request. He eats the blueberries first. Fifteen minutes later, he is finished and off to start his day. If I am lucky, he will be happy for a bit and allow me to get some other work done. You know, the work that keeps his life running smoothly, like cleaning the office, scheduling his meetings with acquaintances and preparing various food stuffs.

Oh wait, the boss is demanding another drink. Only I was busy with another task and wasn’t quite fast enough getting it to him and…OH MY GOD, THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!!!!

Walk away from the ranting and allow boss to vent his frustrations about my poor performance. When he has succeeded in telling me just how terrible I am, he decides the drink I offered him five minutes before will suffice and walks off with it.

Enjoy a few hours while boss is happy and pleasant. Share some jokes around the milk cooler and exchange some high fives. Laugh at his fart noises. Indulge in some office-place hugs and kisses. Promise him I won’t sue for harassment; I actually like them a lot, you know.

Sense a shift in the tides. Boss is hungry for lunch and my window is small. Hurry to create a meal suitable for a prince and serve him before his blood sugar drops. Am successful today, and avoid a speaking to. We chill some more. Begin to think that maybe today is the today boss will come out of this foul mood he’s been in for the past week. (Realize I am an idiot.)

He’s getting tired and is ready for a siesta. We’re one of those rare offices that encourages sleeping on the job, so I dim the lights, draw the shades and read him some books. He finally succumbs to sleep and for a blissful hour and a half, I slack off.

He awakes and is angry about it. I offer him a snack, but it’s only after I supply the exact combination of food and TV show (blueberries and cereal with milk in a cup, Curious George on PBS) that he stops shouting at me. We spend the next few hours alternating between having fun, and throwing ourselves on the floor for no reason and sobbing. (Him, not me. Although…I’m thisclose.)

Dada’s home! DADA’S HOOOOOOOOOMMMMMEEEE!!!!!! Joy and happiness and doves and rainbows and sunshine. I go to my office and use the bathroom with the door closed for the first time all day. Well, for a few minutes, anyway, until my boss opens the door on me.

*******

It’s been a week. The last couple molars coming in plus the arrival of the (early?) Terrible Twos tantrums has pretty much knocked me out cold. The early wakings — hours of the morning we haven’t seen in ages — paired with the insistence that he come into “Mama and Dada’s bed” rather than go back to sleep in his own, the yelling and hurling himself to the floor for seemingly NO REASON WHATSOEVER multiple times a day. It’s taken all my strength and patience not to hang him upside down by his ankles and shaking the stuffing out of him.

I love him. And I get it, I really do. His teeth hurt, he’s old enough to become frustrated and wants me to know about it, but despite being highly verbal (ew, that was such a braggy mom thing to say. But no, really. He has a LOT of words. I promise.), he’s not old enough to clearly express to me WHY he’s so frustrated. So, he yells. And cries. And throws himself on the floor. A LOT.

It’s times like these during my motherhood journey that I want to take my mom by the shoulders, look her in the eyes and tell her, OH MY GOD, I’M SO SORRY. Because I did the exact.same.thing. to her, I’m sure. And then I turned into a teenager, so yeah. Shout out to my mama.

This stage will pass, eventually. I hope. Or you know, get worse, right as the baby is born.

At least then I can drink wine again.

Owen and I just returned from a walk, in which we went to a local bakery to order him a birthday cake.

I am both relieved, and riddled with guilt about this.

How many of you just laughed? Rolled your eyes? I KNOW. But the guilt is real.

We’re having a fairly big party for his first birthday. Between family, friends and their children, at peak party time there will be about 35 people here. I know, he’s not going to remember it. Not one bit. I mean, he’s probably going to go take a nap before the party is even over.

But it’s really more about us than him. It’s a big milestone — our first baby turning one. And it’s a milestone for our family, too — first-time grandparents and aunties celebrating the new life that has brought them joy this year. The friends who are attending either have children around the same age who we turned to over the year for commiseration, advice, or just a laugh, or long-time friends who have watched us go from college sweethearts all the way to parents.

It’s a celebration, and we intend to celebrate hard. (We also intend to just have family parties for him in the future until maybe his 5th birthday or so.)

But back to the guilt. This is my first time throwing a big party like this and I want it to be nice. If the weather holds out (please, oh please), it will be held in our big backyard — burgers and hotdogs on the grill, a table full of salads, pastas and goodies, and kids running around playing wiffle ball and the like. (If it rains, I somehow have to squeeze 35 people into my very small home. The thought is giving me heart palpitations.) I had originally wanted to go all out with a total dog theme, but in the end decided that the party doesn’t need to look like it could be featured in a magazine, it just has to be a good time.

Once I let go of the idea that things had to be “perfect”, I relaxed and started to enjoy it more. I have some great friends who have offered to bring some dishes, so I won’t have to cook as much as I originally thought. The invitation is dog-themed and adorable, there will be dog bone cookies to go home with guests and the cake will be modeled in design after the invite.

(Personal info removed, but you get the idea. Notice the dog is Kodiak? My friend Megan listened to me ramble my idea and then created the pdf for me. She is fabulous — and for hire if you’re interested!)

The cake. The source of my guilt.

It’s a tradition on my family that a baby’s first birthday cake is a carrot cake, homemade with love by their momma. My mom made my cake, she made my sister’s cake. I planned all along to follow in her footsteps and do the same.

Except that….I don’t really like carrot cake. And more importantly, carrots tend to give Owen diaper rash and I can’t think of a worse birthday present than an itchy, sore bum. Happy birthday, kiddo. This is how much I love you.

I started looking around for another “wholesome food” baby cake, but let’s be honest, he’s hardly going to eat any of it, so other than a few bites, the whole cake will be eaten by others. So I caved.

I walked into the bakery and ordered a delicious homemade-but-not-by-me cake which will match the invitation and can be picked up ready to go on the morning of the party.

A huge sense of a relief, a huge sense of failure as a mother.

I know it’s ridiculous, I do. But a small part of me feels like I dropped the ball on this one. Even though I’m telling myself I’ve basically made every last bit of food that’s gone into his mouth over the past year and really, I can pass the baton on this one and cut myself some slack.

Right?

RIGHT?

I’ll make him a cake next year, when he can appreciate it. When I’ll only be baking for a handful of people, rather than a caravan.

I have a feeling the Mommy Guilt will only get worse over the years. I mean, if this isn’t a First World Problem, I don’t know what is. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to feel like when the guilt creeps in over actual important issues.

But for now, I’m just going to have my guilt and eat it too.

I bet it’s delicious.

Congratulations to Hazel, you are the winner of an 8×10 print from Re-Studios!

Please shoot me an email at tlmoments (at) gmail (dot) com so I can put you in touch with them.

Thanks for playing, all!

A little chunky leg-ness to start your weekend!

Happy weekend!

On Thursday, June 24th I went in for my 39-week OB appointment. My doctor did the usual exam and told me that she was actually surprised I hadn’t gone into labor yet. I had been 3 centimeters dilated for a week, and little boy had been head down and pressing on my sciatic nerve for twice that long. I really, really wanted my OB to be the one to deliver my baby, and she told me she was working that night, and on Saturday. She also mentioned that Saturday was a full moon, and the maternity ward often gets hopping on those nights.

I laughed, put my pants back on and headed home knowing This Little Baby was staying put for another week.

The next day was just like the day before. I was feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis, but nothing really different from any other day that week. I emailed with a friend periodically and told her nothing was happening, baby wasn’t coming today. I posted my 39-week Belly Friday post, 100% convinced I’d be posting week 40 the following Friday. 

That evening, probably around 7 p.m., I felt the overwhelming desire to clean my house. My house — which I had cleaned top to bottom earlier in the week — suddenly seemed filthy to me. As Michael watched me quietly from the couch, I scrubbed the bathroom, cleaned counters, vacuumed and folded laundry. Occasionally, he’d mention as nicely as possible that all those things had just been done and I was essentially just redoing the chores, but I couldn’t stop. Nest. Nest, nest, nest, nest, nest.

By 9 p.m. I was finished and tried, so I took a relaxing shower and climbed into the recliner to watch some TV. A little while later I felt a pain. Sort of like a menstrual cramp, sort of like a diarrhea cramp. Not too bad, and brief enough to make me think it was probably gas. There had been a lot of gas up to this point, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to have more.

And then, I felt it again.

So…I tired to fart. Well, wouldn’t you? I mean, I thought it was gas.

The fart was unsuccessful.

I rotated a bit in the chair, got comfortable…and felt another one.

I started thinking to myself, “Could this be it? Is this what it feels like?”

Michael had worked very early that day and was almost asleep on the couch next to me. I didn’t want to set anything in motion until I was sure something was happening, so I quietly got a piece of paper and started writing down whenever I felt a cramp.

I didn’t feel them at regular intervals, but they were usually between 12 and 8 minutes apart. They lasted anywhere from 25 seconds to a minute long, and after about an hour I figured something was up.

“Michael, I think I’m having contractions.”

“Really?!” he answered, perking up instantly. “What do we do?”

I laughed. “Nothing,” I replied. “He’s not coming tonight. But, you might want to get some sleep.”

By midnight I knew that this was early labor. The contractions were strong, but manageable. They made me a little nauseous, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I called my family and after the inital excitement, they jumped into action. Being three and a half hours away, my mom and sister decided to jump in the car and hit the road immediately. My dad planned on coming up a few hours later, which meant he was the only one who got to sleep!

Michael decided to take a shower just in case there wasn’t time in the morning, and we headed to bed to get some sleep. I know I was vaguely aware of the contractions during the night, but I was able to sleep through them pretty well. Until 4 a.m. when I woke up starving. I decided to get up and eat something, because I knew that if I went to the hospital soon, I wouldn’t be allowed to eat. I got up to make an English muffin with peanut butter and when I stood up, the contractions were gone.

Frustrated, I walked around the house trying to get them moving again. Nothing! I had read that you can be pretty sure you’re experiencing “false labor” when changing positions or walking around stops the contractions. As I chewed my breakfast, I wondered if I had cried wolf and set into motion a lot of fuss for nothing.

I called my mom to tell her what I thought. They were about a half hour away at this point, so there was no turning back for them. She assured me that this is what happens in early labor, and that I wasn’t wrong. It was just going to be awhile, that’s all.

To pass the time until their arrival, I flipped through various infomercials on TV, drank some water and walked around some more. Eventually I felt another contractions, but it was fairly mild. By 4:40 a.m. my family arrived, and after hugs and excitement all around, my mom decided to take a nap while she still had the time. My sister and I stayed up, talking in the living room and timing the mild contractions that were finally coming back.

I put a blanket on our leather couch because it was chilly from the AC, and lay down to get comfortable. After a particularly strong contraction, I mentioned to my sister that OW! That one kind of hurt!

And then I heard a pop.

Up until recently, I always thought mom jewelry — necklaces and such representing your motherhood — was kind of cheesy. At least the ones I saw. I liked the idea of commemorating becoming a mother with a piece of jewelry, but I never saw one that I thought was really me.

Then I was hanging out with a friend who is a new mommy, and noticed a delicate little necklace she was wearing. It was a small circle with a pair of footprints on it, surround by itty bitty writing that read “our family just grew by two feet”. The back, against her skin, was a photo of her with her husband and son.

It was so cute. So sweet. And unless you were holding it in your hands, you wouldn’t know it had anything to do with being a mother.

This changed my whole view on the mom jewelry thing. Last night I found myself browsing through Etsy and was pleasantly surprised by what was out there. I thought I’d share some of my favorites since Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Maybe a mom in your life would like one of these!

Close at Heart — a Mother’s Love by Glorious Girl Jewelry

This is by far my favorite one I’ve stumbled upon. The largest ring represents the mother, and each additional ring represents one of her children. It can be customized to include as many rings as you have children (or, I guess one could be your significant other, too, which is probably what I’d do because I like the look of three rings.) and you can pick your chain length. At $32.50, I think the price is just right, too.

Personalized Mama Bird and Her Little One by Modern Bird

The big and small bird represent mother and baby, and the back can be personalized with baby’s name. So cute! $58.00.

Just One Family Tree Initial necklace by Soul Peaces

Another one of my favorites! Choose your initial, and have them strung on a beautiful sterling silver branch to create your own “family tree”. For $39.00 the necklace comes with one initial leaf, but you can add more for an additional cost.

This is of course just a sampling of the many mom pieces listed on Etsy alone. Happy shopping!

– I’ve never liked bumper stickers, and I especially dislike the “Honk if you (insert something you might agree with here)” ones. I mean, does anyone actually honk at these stickers? Probably not. Is there one that says “Honk if you hate bumper stickers that tell you to honk?”. I might honk at that one.

The reason I ask is because I’ve seen people taking this “Honk if” thing to a new level. There’s a busy intersection in the middle of my town with some grassy areas  near each cross walk. Sometimes people congregate there with signs, asking people to honk.

I’ve seen “Honk if you love Jesus”. I’ve seen “Honk for Peace.”

And yesterday, I saw “Honk if you hate Cancer.”

There was group of women standing in the rain, waving their signs and cheering whenever someone beeped.

Now look, I DO hate cancer. I hate it so much that if I could make it go away forever by running naked down the street waving ribbons behind me, I TOTALLY WOULD. In a heartbeat. But I just can’t understand the point of these “Honk if” signs. It’s not bringing awareness, raising money, helping to educate or find a cure. It’s just…honking. Maybe I’m just being a scrooge, but I just want to know why!

– I’ve had weird and vivid dreams this whole pregnancy, but with the third trimester hormone shift, they’ve gotten even weirder. Last night I dreamt that little boy was moving around in there, and suddenly stuck his arm up, up, up…making a tent-like effect out of my stomach and at the very top was his fist, which I could grab. It was…um…kind of freaky.

And the other night I dreamt that my good friend Elle (hi, Elle!) bought me a bucket of KFC for my bridal shower. I mean, she classed it up by tying a bow around it, but it was still a bucket of chicken. In the dream I was surprised and had to do that fake “I love it!” thing as to not hurt her feelings. Yes.

– Does anyone else think that maybe TLC is exploiting little people a bit too much now? There’s Little People, Big World, The Little Couple, one about a little couple raising a full-size baby, and most recently, The Little Chocolatiers.

The Little Chocolatiers???? REALLY?

And the winner is…

Ashley!

“I love the shower card that she created for you! So cute.

My favorite card from her shop is the Grow Old Along with Me…Love/Friendship card. Our wedding anniversary is coming up in May.

I’m glad you shared this Etsy shop with us. Even if I don’t win, I’ll be visiting her shop more often.”

Congratulations, Ashley. I’ll be emailing you for your address info.

If you didn’t win, you still have a change for some great cards! Anyone who entered the giveaway can purchase their selected card at 25% off! (Single cards only — not applicable for sets.) This is on a first come, first serve basis, since some people liked the same card.

And don’t forget, anyone can purchase from Designs by Becca and receive a discount. Simply mention These Little Moments in your order to receive 10% off through the end of April!