Wednesday, October 1, 2014

toddlers are hard

Most people post "the good stuff" on instagram and facebook, right? I know I do- mainly so my family in Illinois can see what E & G are up to without witnessing the reality of toddler insanity that is every day life around here.  And it goes without saying, that I post what I do because I'm proud of my kids and I think they are pretty freaking cute.  But on an average day- my life looks nothing like it does on IG or FB.

Take yesterday for example, I was having a totally shit day with both kids screaming, Gavin refusing to eat, and Emily crying about basically everything in her life.....and I thought to myself, I can't handle this.  And if I'm totally honest, most days I feel like a below average mom because my kids are crying/fighting/not listening/not eating/not napping/not potty training/younameit and I'm losing my temper with them and I'm yelling (which helps nothing) and sending my husband texts that say, "you should probably come home before I lose it".

But during these crazy days, there is usually a moment with Emily or Gavin or both where I stop and think- "well, you must be doing something right because that was awesome". 

Yesterday, that moment happened when Emily and I were lying on her bed and she was pretending to read to me.  No book in sight, just flipping pages of an imaginary book and when she got to the 'end' of the book- she spelled the word 'please'.  I looked at her in shock and said, "did you just spell please??"  She just smiled.  I grabbed my phone and asked her to spell it again and she did!

We read Penguin Says Please to her every night and the last page has the word please in capital letters and she always points to the letters and then says- "please has 2 E's!". She basically knows the book by heart but how in the heck does she know how to spell??  Proud mom moment for sure, even if I have no idea how it happened.

So in between bribing Gavin to eat 2 bites of mac and cheese with Baby Einstein (on the living room floor)...

and Emily crying because her sock was on wrong...

there was a bright spot that let me know I'm doing ok at this mom thing.

(and yes, we were in our pajamas all day)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lately- September Edition

Well whaddya know, I'm here for my monthly blog post.  Hopefully some of you are still out there reading...

What's been going on over here?  I'll give you bullet points to keep it somewhat quick.

  • My little brother and my sister-in-law had their first baby!!  His name is Knox and he's the cutest damn thing I have ever seen.   

Emily is obsessed with him and she asks to facetime with "Mox" daily.

  • We celebrated Steve's birthday!  It was the big 3-5 so we left the kids with grandma and grandpa and went to the big city for a Pirates game.  We ran into one of Steve's baseball teammates from college and spent most of the game chatting and laughing.  We had a great night (had a few too many cocktails) and we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd play- SO cool. 

Sunday we tried to recuperate and had dinner and cake with Steve's parents.

  • Cold/pink eye/flu season is here and I hate it.  Gavin got hit first and it was bad.  We had to take him to Children's because he was having trouble breathing.  Since Gavin was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, he doesn't have the lung strength that a normal toddler has.  So when he gets a cold, it usually includes a trip to Children's for a chest x-ray, steroids and lots of worry.  He spent a week at home with me and had breathing treatments every 4 hours.  He's a tough little guy so he bounced back pretty quickly.  Of course, the week he went back to daycare both he and Emily came home with pink eye.  Joy. 

  • We are adding a four season room and deck to the back of our house and I cannot wait!!  I think/hope they are starting some demo work today and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at least the room portion is done by Emily's birthday. 

  • Emily is acting like a teenager lately.  And she's funny, like- really funny.  She still has no interest in potty training (stubborn) and we need to ditch the paci soon- I am dreading that one (give me all your tips).  She's all about mothering Gavin lately which is the total opposite of their relationship so far.  It's super cute but I'm not sure Gavin is a fan.

  • Gavin is finally starting to say a few words.  I was beginning to wonder if he would ever talk!  He is a daddy's boy all the way- so much so that if I try to get him out of bed when he wakes up he throws himself down crying and says, "no, no, no- daddy!!".  It's an understatement to say that this breaks my heart.  He's also learning how to run and I could watch this all day long.  There is nothing better than a wobbly toddler is there?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I'm usual

Well it's been almost a month since I came here to write.  What is it about summer that gets me so far behind?  Oh yes- the sun, the kids, and Big Brother (who do you want to win??).

We just got back from our annual vacation to Lake Erie and let me tell ya- if you aren't vacationing with grandparents, you're doing it wrong.

We all have so much fun on this trip and I think I can safely say it's win-win for everyone.  The kids get to hang out with their grandparents (who they might love more than us) and Steve and I get to have some alone time while still having fun on the beach with the kids. 

Ever since Steve was 2 years old, he and his parents have gone to a private community in Vermilion Ohio on Lake Erie.  There is a great park for kids, a beautiful beach and some really amazing houses.  Last year was my first year on this trip and I fell in LOVE.  It's the most peaceful place I have ever been and it is now my dream to own a house here.

Emily is a beach girl for sure- she loved playing in the sand, walking in the water and helping me find lake glass.  She was not however, a fan of wearing a life jacket- so no boating or swimming in the lake for her.

Gavin was not a fan of the beach at first.  He didn't like the sand or the wind coming off the water.  Once the wind calmed down, he did start to warm up to the beach life.  He would throw rock after rock into the lake and he loved having water poured on his head.  But his favorite part of vacation was playing at the park and daily bike rides with Grandpa- oh and chasing sea gulls.

Steve and I had a couple of dates, which is always good.  

The kids played so well together (better than the norm) and we all had ice cream just about every day (I'm now on a diet).

There is just nothing better than a relaxing week away with your family, is there?


Now it's back to the real world - happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Transitioning to a big girl bed

The time has come....for Emily to sleep in a big girl bed.  I was always the mom who saw other kids going into big kid beds and said- NO WAY, crib for life (right Kelly?).  But when we went to Illinois a few weeks ago, we had Emily sleep on an inflatable mattress and she did so great and she really loved it!  So when we got home Steve and I started talking about re-decorating her room for her 3rd birthday and getting her a big girl bed. 

To start with the trasition to a twin bed we decided to take the front off of her crib.  She LOVED it!  So she's been sleeping in her crib like this for probably 2 weeks, maybe more, and she does really well.  We put a big padded mat next to her bed in case she ever rolls out- which she has done a couple of times- but she always goes right back to sleep.

So fast forward to this weekend.... Grandma & Grandpa graciously got Emily a big girl bed as an early birthday present and we put it together last night.  I wish I had a video of how excited Emily was- it was priceless!

She slept so great last night, barely moved at all and announced this morning that she "slept all night in her big bed!"

thanks G&G!!

How did (almost) 3 years go by so fast??

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ever have one of those days?

I know you all have.  The kind where you're asking yourself all day, "is it a full moon??"

To set the mood, these are the texts my husband got from me yesterday:

10:21am (side note: I held off texting until mid-morning so I feel like a should get an award):  Today is terrible and you better be coming home for lunch. (he didn't make it home for lunch)

12:00pm: This has been my whole day.... (video of screaming children throwing themselves on the ground)

12:50pm:  Steve seriously I can't handle this.

2:00pm:  G napped for like an hour.  Back to screaming.  I'm leaving when you get home.

3:00pm:  Emily can't poop and she's been crying about it all day.  I don't know what to do.

A little over the top?  Maybe.  Today I look back and think it was a tiny bit dramatic but yesterday- no way was it dramatic.  Gavin and Emily woke up at 5:30am on the WRONG side of the crib.  They then took turns crying for the entire day.  And I literally mean the entire day.  And sometimes they cried together just for the extra effect.  I could do nothing right.  They even cried on our walk which is usually their favorite thing.

I'm not even sure what was wrong with Gavin.  He's been in this crying about everything and throwing fits phase.  I remember it with Emily around this age too.  He isn't talking yet so if you can't figure out his grunts and points you are in serious trouble.  And he hates when Emily is sad so that makes him cry too.

Sorry for the TMI, but I'm keeping it real here.  Emily could not poop.  She needed to poop and she couldn't.  She would try and start screaming and shaking.  And I did everything to try to help her.  It was awful.  When Steve got home I ran out to get children's suppositories- I will leave that description out but let me just say I hope to never have to do that again.  And 2 hours of laying on me and crying later, still no poop.  She didn't want dinner and she kept saying she was tired so I put her down for bed. Before she went down I rubbed rosemary and ginger oil on her belly doing the "I love you" massage. At about 10:00 Steve said she was crying so I went in to check on her.  She had finally pooped in her sleep- hallelujah!! 

I stood in the kitchen with Steve and I just cried.  I can't remember the last time my day was so hard that it actually made me cry.  I felt physically and emotionally exhausted and beat up.  I felt like a crap mom.

But this morning, when I went to get Emily out of her bed and she smiled at me and said, "mommy I so happy to see you and I feelin so much better today", the struggle of yesterday was (mostly) erased and I knew I could do it all again today.

Monday, July 28, 2014

family reunion in Illinois

Last weekend we made the long drive back to Illinois for my family reunion.  When I say the drive was long- I really mean it.  We hit stand still traffic at least 4 times, Gavin cried most of the way and we stopped more times than I could count.  On the bright side- Emily did fantastic and was a huge help with Gavin- as you can tell from the pictures.

Our first stop was only two hours into the drive- Gavin was ecstatic to be out of the car and didn't sit or stand still the whole time we were at the rest stop (thus the blurry picture).  Pretty sure this is when Steve and I knew we were in for it.

 Our last stop on the way to Illinois was by accident.  We were coming up on our 5th traffic jam and I screamed at Steve to take the exit that was literally right next to us on the interstate.  I knew none of us would keep our sanity if we had to sit in traffic again.  Thankfully there was a huge outdoor mall right off the exit and we ate dinner and the kids ran around.  It was a lifesaver.

these two kill me

When we got to my Grandpa's house it was about 9:00pm (we left at 8:30am) and the kids were WIRED.  We unpacked the car and started to get things settled.  My kids are shy- there's no doubt about that.  When they meet new people or see someone they haven't seen for awhile they hide behind my legs and take a bit to warm up.  But when they saw my Grandpa they walked right up to him and started showing him their "friends", it was absolutely heartwarming.

The next day we spent a lot of time at my dad's farm (where I grew up).  The kids had a lot of fun playing with some of their cousins and seeing lots of new things.

eating sour apples picked from Grandpa's tree

checking out grandpa's soy beans and throwing apples


shucking sweet corn for lunch

jumping on a tractor inner tube like mommy used to do

and of course- climbing trees!

That night most of the family went to Jungle Bungle and the kids had a blast while the parents did a lot of chasing the kids around. 

Sunday morning we went to visit my mom's grave.  The kids have never been to it so it was pretty emotional for me.  When we got out of the car and walked up to her grave, Gavin squatted down right in front of it and wiped her picture off and just stayed there looking at it.  Cue tears.



Then we went to my family reunion.  I've been going to these every year since I can remember but since we moved to PA, we haven't made it back for one in a couple of years.  It's basically a pot luck and a "meeting" where they record marriages, births, deaths, etc. I didn't get many pictures but I did get one of my Dad and Regina with most of their grandkids- I love it!

After the reunion we went back to the farm for more playing! Grandpa got one of his tractors out to take all the grandkids on rides but Emily and Gavin wanted no part of it...

These sweeties were all born in 2011 (can you believe Emily is the youngest of the three??)

 Future farmer Gavin- youngest (and possibly naughtiest) of the grandkids.

Minus the drive, it was a great trip back home. I was so happy to see my family and the kids were troopers.  Next time we visit I do believe we will be flying!