Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ordinary Life Challenge

There was a photo challenge circulating Facebook recently that I got nominated for. I’ve always ignored these nominations, but this time around I thought it’d be good to participate. A picture a day for a week if ordinary life. Not posing for pictures, not trying to show my life as more glamorous then it is. Just a look at how this mommy’s life really looks day to day. Here is what I posted each day:

Day 1: Eating cheese curds

Day 1: Eating cheese curds

Day 2: Jamacian Me Happy and Netflix to unwind with the hubby

Day 2: Jamacian Me Happy and Netflix to unwind with the hubby

Day3

Day 3: Birthday boy enjoying his present.

Day 4: Favorite treat in the Connolly household: blueberries!

Day 4: Favorite treat in the Connolly household: blueberries!

Day 5: Face Mask! Found out NY Minute, my 2nd favorite Posh mask, retires at the end of the month. Sad to see it go but excited to see what they will replace it with!!

Day 5: Face Mask! Found out NY Minute, my 2nd favorite Posh mask, retires at the end of the month. Sad to see it go but excited to see what they will replace it with!!

 

Day6

Day 6: Lulu took her sandwich to the living room to eat it at her Elmo desk…makes her own rules!

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Day 7: Taking a ride in their new wheels with their favorite cousins!




Lennon Wallace: Age One

Having just celebrated Lennon’s first birthday, I wanted to make a post about all there is to love about this little man.

Lennon, you are the most demanding baby boy! You have slept through the night only 3 times in your whole life. You don’t like real food: purees, finger food, nothing. You prefer all breast milk, all the time. You like to nap on my chest and I’ve only been able to sneak out from under you once you’ve fallen asleep,  TWICE. But all that is okay, because you’re one of the coolest people to hangout with.

You have the greatest smile and an even better laugh. When you’re happy, it’s impossible to not be happy with you.

You’re so curious. As a tiny little newborn you were always observing everything around you. Now that you’re mobile you’re always investigating hands on.

You crawl and walk and CLIMB so quickly! We’ve had to move all our furniture because you could climb from the floor up to the couch and into the bay window.

Your favorite activity (besides breastfeeding) is beeping noses and tickling people. You say ticka-ticka-ticka as you run your chubby little hands all over us!

You’re finally getting sister back for months of her pushing you around. You pull her hair and you pull it hard! You two wrestle and roll on the floor and I panic thinking one of you will get seriously hurt. But you both just laugh and laugh like it’s the greatest game of all time.

You have quite the temper lately… You want to do everything that you see others doing, especially Lucille. When you can’t, you completely lose it!! I know a bad temper is not a good thing but it’s just so funny. And honestly, it shows me that you want to be active, learning and having fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Though I wish you’d slow down and stay a baby a bit longer.

Lennon Wallace, thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy. When I found out I was pregnant with you I couldn’t imagine having another baby so soon (don’t get me wrong, I was excited nonetheless). Now I can’t imagine life without you. I’m so glad you came when you did because I want to enjoy every last minute I can with you. You’re so sweet and fun loving and I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish in this life.

I love you more and more each day, you handsome, crazy, goofy little Momma’s Boy!

PS You eat rocks... literally!

PS You eat rocks… literally!

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Did I mention you LOVE to make music?




Lennon’s Birthday Trip To The Zoo

As I’ve mentioned before, Lennon was born more than 3 weeks early. In my family most babies are born late, so this was quite a shock. What I have not yet mentioned (to my recollection) is that he was born on my Aunt’s birthday, which is also my late Grandmother’s birthday. The day he was born I told my husband I wanted to spend his first birthday at the zoo with my Aunt Kathy, Lennon’s birthday buddy. Luckily, my Aunt Kathy agreed this was a great idea.

Lennon’s birthday happened to be the hottest day of summer so far. But that didn’t stop us! We got to the zoo shortly after it opened to try to beat the crowd and the heat. We all had so much fun!! The kids adored the animals. And thankfully Seneca Park Zoo had several areas where you could walk through sprinklers, a few air conditioned buildings and even a man mad stream for the kids to play in.

Thank you to my Mom and Aunt for spending the day with us. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our adventure.

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A Birthday Cupcake!

Watching the Rhino

Watching the Rhino

Lucille's new buddy!

Lucille’s new buddy!

We all loved the sea lions

We all loved the sea lions

Staying cool

Staying cool

Birthday Buddies!!!

Birthday Buddies!!!




Bonfires

Some of my favorite childhood memories are bonfires in our backyard. I loved roasting marshmallows, but hated the taste of them. So my mother ate probably half a bag of marshmallows each fire. And I burned them. Despite her telling me she hated burned marshmallows. And if I managed to make one golden brown I kept it for myself and made a s’more.I was a real peach!

Our most frequent bonfire guests were my aunt, uncle and 4 cousins. My cousins and I shared many ghost stories, laughs and for some reason streaking experiences. We played with sparklers and sometimes my dad even set off fireworks, which my cousin thought were “God’s farts”.

This weekend we had a small bonfire in our own backyard. Lennon’s first, and Lucille’s first since she’s been old enough to enjoy it. (She was present at a couple when she was just a few months old.) It was so fun! The kids ate trail mix and watched the glow of the fire in amazement. Both tried marshmallows, neither seemed to like them. We played bluegrass music and they danced and laughed. It made my heart so happy!

I’m so glad we live in a rural area. Sure, I have to drive over an hour to get to a shopping mall… but I’m fine with that. I grew  up on 82 acres of land, with pet sheep and no neighbors in sight. My college friends never understood what I did for fun. But in my opinion, the fun around a campfire beats the fun at a movie theater any day!

I hope my kids feel the same way and grow up loving small town life.

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Visiting Family

This week I packed up the kids and took them on a last minute trip to visit my dad’s side of the family. Peter had to work, so the kids and I went with my dad, sister and my sister’s 4 kids. It was madness. But it was fun.

My emotional state throughout this trip went from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. When the kids were laughing and playing and I was catching up with loved ones I would think, “This is perfect! I’m so glad we came! We should visit more often.” But then they’d be crying, getting into trouble, refusing to sleep and I’d think “Why did I do this to myself? This is torture. I can’t handle these kids 200 miles from home by myself! Never again!!”

In the end though, I’m left mostly with the positive memories and am so glad my babies got to see their great grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins!

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Pre-Pregnancy Bucket List

I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for about 3 years now. Though I wouldn’t change anything about these years, I admit that I’m excited to have my body to myself again. Lennon is still breastfeeding and I expect it’ll be a long weaning process. But as he nears his first birthday, the end is in sight. Or at least, the end of breast milk being his primary source of nutrition. This will give me a world of freedom that I am no longer used to.

Everyone knows we want a third child someday. But before we try for the next and last, here are some things I’d like to experience and accomplish.

  • Get drunk. I’ve been drunk once in the last 3 years.  Truthfully I have no desire to make this a regular experience ever again in my life. But I do think I should get drunk once between pregnancies out of principle.
  • Eat sushi.
  • Eat raw cookie dough.
  • Try real egg nog. (My brother really wanted us to do this last Christmas but we never got around to it in the season…sorry bro!)
  • Sort through my clothes and donate what I don’t need anymore. I have so many clothes in my closet that I bought in high school and haven’t worn since.
  • Buy a mini van.
  • Get Lennon consistently napping without being held. (I really hoped to have this accomplished long before now. But unfortunately, we haven’t even achieved consistent naps. So on the rare days he naps I let him do so on my chest…. in fact that is why I’m writing a blog post now.)
  • Clean our spare room. We won’t need to use it right away when we have baby #3 as 2 kids can share a room. But it stresses me out knowing I have a whole room of unorganized junk!
  • Finish remodeling Lennon’s room. It should have been done before he arrived so it seems fair to do it before we try for number 3 I’d say.
  • Make 5 outfits using my sewing machine. I’d love to be able to make some of my kid’s clothes, but I got a sewing machine and have barely learned to use it.
  • Get a new dining room set. Ours is old and gross and impossible to clean. I’d like to alleviate that stress before adding a new mess maker to the mix.

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Well there it is. I think it should keep me busy for quite awhile. 😉 Especially since I’m currently working through our summer time bucket list too!



A Middle Child’s Point of View

Peter and I are both the 2nd of 3 kids. We both have always wanted 3 kids. (No, this is not an announcement that baby #3 is on the way.) When we say we want 3 kids people always say “oh, but you don’t want a middle child.” Sure I do. I was one, Peter was one, and we’ve agreed that in the middle is a great place to be!

Growing up I hated being a middle child. But my brother hated being the baby and wanted a younger sibling to play with. And my sister hated being the oldest, she had more responsibilities and didn’t get away with as much (so she says). I think as a kid you just like to complain.

Now that I’m grown up, I love how close I am to my siblings. As the middle child I’m obviously closer in age to each of them than they are each other. This makes it so I can relate to both of them more than they can each other. I’m not trying to say anything negative about my brother and sister’s relationship with each other, they love each other very much and are great friends. But each of them feel closer to me than they do each other. I wouldn’t trade the relationships I have with them for anything in the world.

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Another thing I love about 3 kids is that there is a peacemaker. If 2 siblings are in a disagreement, I feel like it’s resolved quicker through the 3rd sibling. The 3rd sibling (not 3rd one born, but the one that’s not part of the disagreement) can typically see both sides of an argument and help their siblings see each other’s side. Even if the uninvolved sibling stays out of the fight, just the fact that this sibling exists can bring peace. Neither of the arguing siblings wants to put the uninvolved sibling in an awkward situation, they don’t want to give up time with the other sibling… they know that they have to make amends with each other for the sake of the family.

After I had Lennon my body was so tired of being pregnant I told Peter maybe 2 was enough after all. But we want 3 kids not just for our own sake, but for our kids. Peter and I agree that 3 kids is the perfect number to foster close sibling relationships.

I feel like with 2  siblings arguments are more likely as 2 siblings only have each other. They are more likely to tire of each other. They don’t have another sibling to vent to and blow off steam. I also feel like it’s easier to let one of these arguments damage a relationship for life. I’ve seen pairs of siblings just write off their relationship with each other, it’s easy to write off a single person when you aren’t getting along and it’s easy to let that decision be permanent when no outside party is invested in mending the relationship.

4 or more kids is an exciting “big family” fun and crazy dynamic. I love big families. But I don’t think I can handle 4 kids. And my house isn’t big enough for 4 kids. And I just don’t want to be pregnant 2 more times or recover from 2 more c sections.

As far as siblings getting along, I feel like sometimes the siblings tend to just pair off. The boys and the girls, the older ones and the younger ones, etc. This doesn’t always happen, I’m sure many people have 3 or more siblings and feel equal love towards all of them. And the pairing off can be a very positive thing. When it comes to raising kids, it’s probably great! The girls are playing together upstairs, the boys are on the swing set, nobody is complaining that the other 2 are leaving them out or picking on them. But I fear instead of a peaceful the older ones and the younger ones, it’d become the older kids vs the younger kids, that the siblings would feel so close to one other sibling that they find fault in the other ones. That if two siblings argue, the other 2 or 3 or however many siblings will chose a side based on that sibling being the one they’re closest to. My Mom is part of a huge family. She loves her siblings. But I can say that she is closer to some than others and that there are some she barely has a relationship with. When there are that many siblings, it’s hard to find time to keep in touch with all of them.

Bottom line is there are pros and cons to any number of children. Peter and I have great sibling relationships, so naturally 3 seems the perfect number to create these relationships. To us. It’s not necessarily better. But 3 is what we know. And 3 is what we love. And 3 is what we’ll try for (not yet) because the middle child is nothing to be afraid of. Being a middle child has made me a natural peacemaker, it’s made me empathetic towards others. I’ve been babied by my older sister and got to baby my little brother. I was the annoying little sister and I was the bully big sister. And I hope Lennon can see all the positive aspects of being a middle child someday, as I do now.