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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Meredith’s Birth Story

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We are one month away from by baby’s third birthday.  No offense to fathers, but I truly believe that only mothers truly understand the bittersweet emotions that come with watching your little one grow up too quickly.

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Dear Meredith,

It was a Tuesday and I was just over 39 weeks along. Because I had such a good experience with my first induction with your sister, we decided to try it again with you. I went in around 8am to get my IV and the medication to start the contractions. Your Daddy had to teach a class that morning, so your Nana went with me to keep me company. I was really calm and comfortable with your impending delivery, knowing what I could anticipate this time around.  The contractions were not bothering me too much, however, I still opted for my epidural before they came to break my water. When I was induced the first time, getting the epidural was not that big of a deal. This time, however, it did not go in as easily and it was painful. It turns out that my spine was rotated pretty severely, so they had to reposition the line several times. It felt like it took forever. It was fine once it was in though and I would still do it again. One of the hospital OBs came to break my water around noon. I had been told that I was carrying some extra fluid with you, but the OB and RN were surprised by how much. I guess the overall physical discomfort I felt towards the end of the pregnancy was justified as I must have had a few extra lbs of fluid in there. After they broke my water, I slept for a bit. Your Dad arrived and your Nana left to go home to help Papa Joe take care of your sister. Close to 7pm, I started feeling the contractions again and could tell I was getting close to being ready. My OB was a little late coming in to check me as he had several other patients who had gone into labor that day as well. He had just finished delivering one of them and had another woman who was close. He came to check me first as it was my second baby and her first, so he assumed I would “win” in terms of who would be ready first. Sure enough, he checked me and I was ready to go. It took 30 minutes of pushing for you to make your appearance. It would have been faster than that, except that you got stuck on my tailbone and it took a while for you to advance past that. When your head was crowning, your Dad told me that you had blonde hair. I was so excited about that! 

When Dr. Froehlich placed you on my chest, I could not believe how alert you were. You cried a little and coughed. I remember telling you to “cough and get it out” and as soon as you heard my voice you quieted and just watched me. You were so alert and calm for the rest of the time that they took to clean you up. Your Dad and I loved having you all to ourselves that first night. You were such a sweet, content little baby. Nana and Papa Joe brought Nora to the hospital to see you the next day and she has loved her “baby” ever since. I have already taken to calling you Mer Bear. I am amazed by how different becoming a mother for the second time has been and how you are already your own individual little person. It is equally as amazing though and the overall peace I feel as a mother now, having already done this once, made this experience so special for both of us. I can’t wait to see you grow little one.

I love you,

Mommy

Straight Line

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The shortest distance between two points, is a straight line.

We have all heard this at some point, whether or not it was in reference to something important in our lives, or just in highschool geometry class.  But, I have found myself thinking a lot about this lately in regards to motherhood.

I consider myself very fortunate that I get four days off every week, due to my work schedule.  However, I feel like the majority of my time over the course of those four days is spent trying to cross things off my to do list.  Often they are the same things over and over again because some of this stuff, like laundry and dishes, are cyclical and just don’t get done when I am not at home during the three days straight I do work.  I don’t think I am obsessive about my need for organization and a generally clean home, but my husband would disagree with that because it does seem like I am always cleaning or doing some sort of chore.

But, here’s the thing.  Most of what I do would get done in an hour a day if I actually was able to get an uninterrupted hour in which to focus on what needed to get done.  Instead, the reality is that I stop what I am doing just about every 5 minutes to get someone juice, redress someone for the fifth time, help someone get cleaned up in the bathroom, break up some sibling squabble, put a shirt on Barbie, put someone in time out, get someone some cheese, close the refrigerator door that was left open, help someone find something they lost (Dave is included on this one).  So, what should take an hour takes FOREVER!

There is no straight line.

I have so far not succeeded in explaining to the little egocentric beings in my house that if they just left me alone and played nicely together for one hour, I could then devote my full attention to them doing something fun and engaging.  I do still try to do fun activities with my girls because I really don’t get to see them for three days out of the week, but I am much more exhausted by the time I get to it.

It is what it is though… this is parenting.  Most of us spend most of our time spinning in circles.  I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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Bloom

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Bloom

This is what I hope for my children.

Wreath Obsessed

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Since buying our first house in 2006, I have slowly found myself becoming a “wreath on the front door” person.  It started with my Halloween one and then Christmas followed.  I now have a Valentine’s one as well thanks to my niece Amya.  I found this one on etsy last year and decided that an Easter one should be next on my list.

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http://www.etsy.com/listing/123613527/spring-wreath-easter-wreath-pastel?ref=sr_gallery_15&ga_search_query=easter+wreath&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

I still like this one better, but I decided to make my own for a much cheaper price and it will work just fine.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought the pre-woven wood wreath ($3.99).  I also bought speckled eggs, the pearl fronds (all 40% off) and used some ribbon I had laying around the house.

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I then positioned the eggs how I wanted them and used the hot glue gun to fasten them to the wreath.  Easy enough.

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Next I added the pearls to give it a little something extra.  I tied the ribbon on the top and it was ready to be hung.

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Happy Easter

Decoupage

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de·cou·page
ˌdāko͞oˈpäZH/
noun
noun: découpage; noun: decoupage; plural noun: decoupages
  1. the decoration of a surface with applied paper cut-outs, often finished with varnish or lacquer.

This is one of my favorite art projects to do with the girls.  It’s so simple and pretty foolproof.  All you need is tissue paper or some other paper product and Modge Podge (I actually just use Elmer’s mixed with water for the girl’s projects).  Then, you pick whatever object or surface you want to cover and let them “paint” until everything is good and coated.  You could use this concept to decorate jewelry boxes, holiday projects, etc… I even used this idea to make canvas art for our playroom, covered in torn out pages from children’s books.  I can’t stress enough how easy this is.

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This week we made “stained glass” Easter eggs.  I cut out an egg frame from poster board and laid wax paper on it.  The girl’s then did the tissue paper additions to their masterpieces.

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They turned out really pretty and they had a lot of fun making them.

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St. Patrick’s Day

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I am not Irish.  I don’t even think I have a little in me.  However, I do enjoy the holiday and the food and drinks that come along with it.  And even though I don’t eat meat, I try new Irish recipes every year for my husband.  Trying new recipes is fun for me, even if I don’t get to eat them.

Anyway, since the holiday is right around the corner, (hopefully signaling the beginning of Spring), I thought I would share some of my Irish food success stories.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

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http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_shepherds_pie/

Biscuit Topped Beef and Guinness Pie

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http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2014/03/biscuit-topped-beef-guinness-pie.html

Guinness Cupcakes With Bailey’s Frosting

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http://www.food.com/recipe/guinness-cupcakes-with-baileys-frosting-360499

 

Soapbox

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“He’s really good with the ipad.”

“She knows how to use my smart phone better than I do.”

I can’t tell you how often I hear this spoken with pride.  My kids have been exposed to both of these devices… it is almost impossible for kids these days not to be.  But, while they know how to use them (it’s not that hard), they don’t grasp the magnitude of what these gadgets are capable of, nor do they use them effortlessly.  And you know what… I am proud of THAT.

They also do not own a single hand held device, and they have no idea that game consoles even exist.  I plan to keep the Wii we do own under wraps for as long as possible.  Nora does play games on my computer and both girls play on my phone on occasion, but it’s a treat.

Call me old fashioned, or even just old, but I hate the role technology plays in the lives of children these days.  I cringe when I am at family holidays and look around to see almost everyone engaged with their devices instead of each other.  It makes me sad, really sad.  I think it’s strange that kids have their own tablets at such a young age, when I don’t even own one myself.  I am determined to teach my kids to play board games, hide and go seek and a love of the library.  I try to take them outside as much as possible.  I LOVE that the preschool they will both attend is technology free.

Habits are created easily.  I am just as guilty as the next person of unconsciously checking my phone throughout the day.  I don’t even know why I do it.  I owe it to my children to try to teach them healthy habits such as a love of the outdoors and discovery instead of a love of continual visual entertainment.

So, for now, I am really happy that my kid’s are still amazed when they are exposed to electronic games.  They haven’t become desensitized to it yet because it is not a part of their daily life.  I know my days are numbered as I can’t shelter them from it forever, but I that won’t stop me from trying.

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Empty Nest – Phase One

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I am in the process of scheduling Meredith’s preschool interview.  It feels surreal because she is still very much a baby in some ways.  She is still working on learning to use the potty and still she has the typical two year old meltdowns.  She still needs a little help getting herself dressed.  But, the fact of the matter is that she will be three in just two short months and will be entering the three year preschool program at VMM this coming Fall.  And I know she will be ready.

But, I don’t know if I am.

Having my baby enter school is a much different emotional experience for me than when my oldest did.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there is some beauty in it.  Once they are both in preschool, I will have three hours every morning to go to the grocery store or run errands by myself.  I can schedule things like my doctor’s appointments and hair cuts without having to worry about child care or dragging them with me.  I can vacuum or clean the house, something that takes me all day currently because I am constantly stopping to tend to someone’s imminent demands.  I could even go grab a coffee and read a book at a cafe.  Yes, there is a lot to look forward to.

However, there is a part of me that is not sure how I will adjust.  For the last four and a half years I have been a hands on Mom for virtually every second of my life that has not been spent at my paying job.  I am admittedly a little saddened by the idea that I will no longer have a little one underfoot.  It is going to be a little bit lonely.

Watching your children grow up is such a bittersweet experience.  You are so excited to see them grow and learn.  But with each passing milestone you also see the loss of others.  Every time Meredith asks me to hold her, just because, I try to soak in as much of the experience as possible because soon she will be too big for me to hold like that.  Or worse, she will stop wanting me to.

In the past, every time Nora reached a new milestone in her life, it would hold a mixture of wistfulness and excitement.  But, I could let go and feel the excitement more because I still had Meredith who wasn’t quite there yet.  Having both of my kids in school is closing the chapter on a specific part of their childhood and as a result also in my experience as a mother.  This is a fact of life.  There is no freezing time or turning back the clock.

I understand why parents cry when they drop their kids off for their first day of preschool and eventually (hopefully) college.  I am learning yet another challenging part of being a parent… letting go.  I guess I should be grateful it comes in stages.  I don’t think many parents would be successful at it otherwise.

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