A very random update… summer, motherhood, and purple hair.

Oops. I’ve been meaning to post here, but I get to the end of the day and sometimes I opt to read… okay, I lied. I read one book. Mostly I watch youtube videos or crappy television.

I have approximately 824 things I’ve been meaning to blog about. We’re doing some household things that are obnoxious but also a bit fun. I love home projects. LOVE them. Except for that little part that involves small children and the fact that a “quick weekend project” always seems to remain partially unfinished for a month or six. Or for over two years, if you count the stenciling project in our dining room that I started in May of 2011. We are painting over that in the next few weeks, if you’re wondering how THAT is going.

It is summer. Finally finally summer. It took forever. We had a few nice days, but I think yesterday was the first day that BOTH kids were in shorts when we left the house. Yesterday we had a wonderful day that started with a lazy, rainy morning of fort building, popcorn eating, Roseanne watching, coffee drinking bliss. Then the weather took a dramatic turn and it became hot and sunny. An impromptu BBQ at my sister’s house ensued. Kids played. Adults chatted. Everyone became drenched at one point or another. Summer.

998680_10100369888058567_1144891496_nWhen did he get so tall?

We are quickly approaching our kids’ birthdays (both in July). I can’t believe I only get a few more weeks of having a 2 year old, and a little over a month left of infancy for sweet Greta. It is going by too fast. I’m trying to breathe it all in, enjoy. But wow do the days just go and go and go.

I am constantly pulled between the emotions of motherhood. It can be very challenging. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and am just completely touched out. Sometimes it’s hard not to yell at my son, who loves to push those boundaries. But I’m learning. I’ve become more laid back. I try, and then remind myself at night that we get a new day tomorrow. I appreciate the successes, and do my best to sweep the failures under the rug. I remember that the good stuff weighs more than the bad stuff.

I am working on living in the moment, enjoying the stage we are in, and going with the flow. And, sometimes, I am hit hard in the gut with the realization that we don’t get a second chance. Yesterday is over. I never ever ever again get to spend a single hour with my son as a baby. I will never feel his newborn body asleep on my chest. My daughter is racing through infancy. What if she weans soon? How much longer before she walks? I know many wonderful things are ahead, but these things are the sort of things that crush my sentimental heart while I can’t fall asleep at 1am.

One of the hardest things is wondering whether or not we will expand on our family. Long story short: most likely. I am a planner, and I like to know for sure. As I pack away outgrown baby clothes and donate others, I want to know if I’m saving them for a reason. As my daughter meets another milestone, I wonder, Is this the last of these baby phases I get to experience? Is this the last onesie? Is this the last time we worry about starting solids? The thought of never having another pregnancy (as much as most of my pregnancies have been miserable) makes me sad. The excitement and terror of a positive pregnancy test, seeing the little gummy bear on the ultrasound screen, feeling those early flutters and later watching your whole belly swirl and churn as 35 week old baby does somersaults.  I also see the benefits of stopping now, enjoying our family as it is, and focusing on childhood instead of babyhood… but I just don’t feel done.

Oddly enough, my husband has been bringing it up a lot lately. If you knew him, this would surprise you. He originally said he’d be happy with one child, and wanted “one, maybe two” kids. Then we decided to have a second, and he swore that two would be it. Then, in the hospital with Greta, he made a comment about something “for the next one” that made us all go, “Whaaaa?”

He is smitten by our baby. He has really grown as a father. He doesn’t consider himself a “baby person.” He likes playing basketball with our son, rough housing, showing him how to hold a golf club. But this little girl has him wrapped around her fingers (which are freakishly long, by the way), and they look so damn RIGHT when they are snuggling together and she falls asleep in his arms. I’m not sure he feels done, either. But we don’t need to decide anything just yet.

In other news… I dyed my hair purple.

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I can’t really explain why I did it. I wanted a fun change. I needed to dye away the splashes of grey anyway. It’s summer. I don’t have a “real” job to report to. Why not? I love it. It isn’t, like, WHOA GRAPE CRAYON purple. We didn’t lighten my hair before dyeing it, so it didn’t turn out to be a bright purple, it’s more subdued from my brown hair. But I love it. Grant thinks it’s awesome, of course. My mom used a semi-permanent dye so we could test it out (if you’re wondering, it’s Vero K-Pak Color Intensity in “indigo”).

So, there we are. Twenty-four days into June. Where does the time go.

Forgetting/Remembering

Oh, how there are things about my children that I just don’t want to forget.

I know that I will, of course. Because when I try to remember what my son was like as a baby, I only remember in little bits: an image, a feeling, a memory. And I’ll watch a video clip and hear his coos or his babbles, or see how he made a certain face, and I’ll think, ‘How could I have forgotten?’ It’s the tragedy of motherhood.

I remember when my son was still very little, and my sister told me that she could hardly even remember her oldest (4 years old at the time) as a baby. And I thought how insane that was. I thought I was immune, as I gazed at my sweet baby boy. He was my heart. I’d never forget what he was like. And then I did. Or at least parts of it, of him. Slowly, it errodes. Not completely, but it becomes fuzzier and suddenly it’s hard to remember if he was 4 or 5 months old when he started rolling over, what made him giggle for the first time, if we gave him sweet potatoes before peaches, what he smelled like when he nursed in the quiet hours of the night.

And my daughter will do something, or make a face, or a certain sound, and I’m brought back two years and a vague memory hits hard in my heart. “Oh yeah. He did that, too.”

This week, I wish I could forever remember overhearing my son play pretend (which is a relatively new thing, since he’s only 2 1/2 years old). He was sitting on his little trampoline, except it was a boat or a raft, and he was using his sister’s stuffed dog to “fish,” and talking to her. And I snuck a wooden fish from our play food set and quickly put it under the trampoline, then I told him, “Wow, I see a fish! Can you catch it?” and then he looked and actually SAW A FISH and it was like Christmas morning and magical and he believed and then I walked away so he could enjoy it and he went back to talking to the stuffed dog, only now his cheeks were a bit flushed and he was still smiling a bit.

I am blown away watching the relationship grow between my children. They hold hands. Like, a LOT. My baby girl laughs harder for her brother than anyone else, and it comes more easily. I remember feeling guilty during my pregnancy with her, like I was about to destroy my son’s whole world by taking his “only child” status away. But watching them together? It is nothing short of amazing.

tickles

My sweet baby girl… she has such a cute voice. She goes back and forth from being very quiet to very noisy. She has such a personality already. Mellow, but lets you know her demands. She gets frustrated easily, yet is incredibly patient in other ways. She likes when I rub the top of her head quickly, like she’s a dog or something. She squints and gets a goofy, appreciative grin when I do it. Right now she likes to stick her tongue out a lot. A package of baby wipes is just as much fun as her other favorite toys (a doll and an owl). She smacks herself on the top of the head, just because she can and it makes a funny noise. She gets bashful with us, in a playful way; she’ll snuggle with my husband in the evening and I’ll peek at her, and she’ll get overwhelmed and smile and then turn her face and bury it into his chest. Today, she figured out how to clap her hands together.

I can’t believe these things will be a memory very very very soon. Where does the time go?

5,648 Days

Last night, while lying awake in bed waaaay too late, I was thinking about how fast it all goes.

How the days are long but the months and years and so so so unbearably short.

In 5,648 days, my son will become a legal adult.

It’s not enough.

Things have been exhausting lately. Tantrums and trying to figure out how to discipline without being mean or negative or too harsh. Wanting him to know he is loved no matter what, while balancing this little thing called My Sanity.

So, in those hard moments, I am trying to remember that our time with them is limited. That my son has already changed so much in the 926 days that I’ve been fortunate enough to have him in my life. He no longer falls asleep on my chest (or can fit on it, for that matter) and he is very independent and I miss having him sleep with me in bed.

But he still likes to hold my hand and fiddle with my fingers, and climb on me, and grabs my face to kiss it, and sometimes even lets me carry him up or down the stairs. Soon he’ll be too heavy for that, or will roll his eyes at the thought, or not want to kiss me (or let me kiss him). He won’t long for my touch the way he does now, the comfort it brings him to reach over and know that I’m still here. He fell asleep in my arms the other night, heavy in my lap but so comforting and warm and sweet. I wanted to hold him all night. It can be hard to let go.

My sweet little Greta puts it all into perspective. It’s going even faster this time around. She’s almost 6 months old already. Just 182 days old… but she already fights those snuggly chest snuggles that Grant kept for well over a year (they are SO different sometimes). It’s almost time to start solids; the first step toward not needing me for sustenance. But she doesn’t like to sleep without me. Sometimes it’s very frustrating. And then I think of Grant, and how he no longer sleeps with my arm draped over him, and how soon she won’t either.

littlearm

This time is precious. I know it’s not practical to “enjoy every minute,” like we are told by so many to do. And we shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about those times when we are tired and stressed and all touched out and just need a break. Because this parenting thing isn’t for faint of heart. It is HARD.

But damn… it goes fast. We get 18 years, and even those aren’t a guarantee. It’s an amazing journey that is way too short. More often than not, we need to enjoy the ride.

White Flag

Mercy!

Uncle!

I surrender.

Whatever it is, I admit defeat and am happy to shut the door on this week. I am writing this as I listen to my two year old scream upstairs, a sign that my husband is not having an easy time getting him down for his nap.

Oy, what a week. It’s been a week of missed naps, frequent wake-ups, and a whole lot of attitude all around. One where I have had to grit my teeth, keep going, take many (many) deep breaths, and choose to laugh instead of cry.

This, too, shall pass.

I’m trying to focus on the good. The moments that stood out above all else. And there were some, so instead of dwelling on the negative I am opting now to highlight the positive.

I made beautiful fondant flowers in my cake decorating class:

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There have been many sweet sibling moments, like this one:

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And my sweet Greta fell asleep like this last night (and in her brother’s old dinosaur pajamas):

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Also, she’s so close to rolling over. She almost did it last night (while I was in the kitchen… ran out just in time to see her almost get there, only to flop back over) and then she rolled over as we snuggled in bed, but I don’t think that quite counted. But soon. Much later than Grant did, but that’s okay, too.

Fingers are crossed that a certain little boy falls asleep soon (he’s overly tired from lack of sleep last night) and that the rest of this weekend is a good one. Otherwise, coffee and wine. Coffee. And. Wine.