Monthly Archives: September 2016

One Year Roller Coaster

When Lucille turned one year old it was like overnight she stopped being a baby and instead was a miniature person. I remember joking “good thing I’m pregnant because she’s all of a sudden acting so old I’d have serious baby fever otherwise.” Lennon had this same overnight change, I can’t believe how much he has matured in 2 months since his birthday. (And in case you’re wondering, it does not give me baby fever because I’m too busy keeping up with two toddlers to catch the fever!)

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Let’s focus on the good: Lennon is finally napping without being held the whole time. I still have to nurse him to sleep but after holding him for a few minutes I can lay him on the couch and he’ll usually sleep about an hour. I am loving this new independence! Though some days I just hold him on my chest and pretend he’s still my little baby and needs the snuggles to stay asleep.

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Lennon went from toddling around slowly and carefully to RUNNING! I’m not exaggerating, he’s fast!! And all of a sudden he has all sorts of new words. He asks for his favorite movie “Rio” everyday by singing “Rio” again and again, like the song in the opening credits. He can say several relatives names, talks about dinosaurs or “dinies”, the dog, the kitty, asks me to spin him “round round” or take him on “walk walks”… but strangely still hasn’t mastered Lulu, which became Lucille’s nickname solely because we thought it’d be easy for him to repeat it.

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From the day we brought Lennon home from the hospital I’ve warned Lucille (who obviously didn’t understand) that he’s going to get her back for all the times she’s rough with him. I didn’t expect his revenge to start at 12 months. This little man is strong. He tackles Lucille to the ground daily. Sometimes he climbs on top of her screaming and laughing so she can’t get up. And usually I don’t feel bad for Lucille because usually she starts it.

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Lennon has a scary bad temper. He will go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. Throwing himself on the floor, flinging his fists, and wailing at the top of his lungs. This man knows,what he wants and he won’t stop until he gets it.

Climbing up a skee ball machine

Climbing up a skee ball machine

Lennon’s curiosity about the world around him continues. I love how observant he is, but now that he is more mobile this curiosity is getting more dangerous. I know this adventurous attitude is something I will both admire and fear for the rest of Lennon’s life.

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In summary: slow down Lennon, mommy’s not ready for you to be a big boy just yet!




Changing Too Fast: Lucille Bea

Sometimes I wish there was a camera recording our lives so I could share some of Lucille’s comedy “routines” . Seriously, she has had Peter and I laughing so hard recently. She’s the funniest 2 year old I’ve ever met. No pictures I post can do her justice… but here are some any way.

Lucille has always liked to accessorize with hats, jewelry… whatever she can get in herself. Well, now she can dress herself in more… or at least she thinks she can… She’s also quite opinionated on the fashion of others. The other day I came downstairs in mismatched pajamas and she goes “Wow, momma! So cute!!” And grabbed my clothes.

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She put this on and walked around for 10 minutes saying “so pretty!” It’s a shirt, with one of her arms through the neck hole, paired with pink striped shorts and yellow shorts.

Wearing her romper as a hood.

Wearing her romper as a hood.

Her musical “abilities” are expanding to. Below is a video from just a few weeks ago, her singing mostly nonsense into daddy’s microphone. Recently she’s begun repeating back songs she knows without being prompted. My favorite is “shake your booty!” Which sounds like “shake your poopy!” She gets so into it, shaking her little body all over the place and grabbing everyone’s hands and instructing them to “shake!”

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Her caring heart has been expanding too. Whenever she finds something alarming, a loud noise, a sudden movement she makes sure everyone is okay. “Are you okay mommy?” “Lennon hurt, mommy?” These kind questions make my heart smile. And whenever someone sneezes she says “Bless you (insert name)” before the sneeze is even over. Usually followed by a loving pat on the back.

Peter is a big Buffalo Bills fan so Lucille has been brainwashed to be one as well. Whenever she sees the Bills logo she gets all excited and says “A Bill!!” And whenever anyone mentions football (or Fookball as she calls it) she hollers “Go Bills!”

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She is obsessed beyond belief with our animals. One of her favorite activities is walking the dog, she loves to hold her leash all by herself. Whenever the cat is outside for more than half an hour she gets worried and we have to go to the door and shake treats and call “Dylan!” until he comes in again. And when he does come in she is SO HAPPY! She is very gentle with our dog and snuggles her so sweetly. The cat however lets her pick him up and pull at him and everything else, so she takes full advantage of it. She loves feeding them both too, her leftovers and their food…. they may be obese soon.

Feeding the cat... in Mommy's high heels that she wears every chance she gets.

Feeding the cat… in Mommy’s high heels that she wears every chance she gets.

“I Found it!” is her favorite phrase.  And let me tell you, she usually is just stealing someone else’s glory. “I found it!” Usually means Mommy found it, or Daddy, or it just appeared, nobody was looking for it. I swear, sometimes she sends us out for a search party just so when the item in question is found she can scream “I found it! I found Elmo! I found it, I found it! Elmo, I found it!” And dance around and then just walk away from the toy without even picking it up for a single second.

She’s also obsessed with personal hygiene, which I suppose is a good thing. She’s constantly asking to wash her hands, brush her teeth and brush her hair. Great habits, but also somewhat annoying when she wants to carry toothbrushes around with her all day long. I tried to give her a toy toothbrush that she could play with that never would actually have toothpaste on it, but of course she demanded to really brush her teeth with it…. but come bedtime when I tell her it’s time to brush her teeth, it’s a no go. And when she gets out of the bath and I need to brush her hair, that’s a battle 50% of the time too. I’m certain these things just need to be her own idea.

I could go on and on about all the ways she makes me laugh and smile and cry tears of joy and sometimes frustration and sorrow. She seems like such a big kid recently and it’s so fun and so sad all at the same time. I think my favorite words to hear her say are “Mommy, snuggle me!” She is such a wound up ball of energy 95% of the day, but when she wants to sit still, she always wants to be held. I wish I could hold and snuggle her forever.




Monthly Date Night

I love my kids more than anything. But being home with them 24/7 has made me realize that an occasional break from them makes me a better, more patient mommy. This is why we now have a strict monthly date night.

When I was pregnant with Lucille I told Peter I wanted to ensure we had one date every month. Between having Lucille and Lennon we went on 2 dates I believe, that’s 14 dates short of a monthly date night. But the last 10 months we’ve gotten back on track.

Our date nights haven’t been fancy. Usually dinner at a casual restaurant. A couple weddings. And it hasn’t cost us much money either, because we’ve asked for restaurant gift certificates for our birthday and Christmas presents from our families.

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An even cheaper date night (which we haven’t done yet but want to soon) would be to just send the kids to visit family and staying home to cook dinner and maybe watch a Netflix show together.

Peter and I take turns picking date night each month, which is kind of fun. His months are more likely to include beer and/or tacos, whereas mine are usually whatever we have a gift card for.

Monthly date nights aren’t a clever, new idea. But if you don’t do them, I highly suggest you try them out. The adult only time with my husband not only recharges my batteries to make me a better mother, it also gives us something to look forward to together. We usually start planning our next date night as soon as we finish one. It’s fun to get away every few weeks and just enjoy each other’s company, eat a meal without having a cat jump on the table or a child cry for a peanut butter sandwich… to feel like something other than just a mom and dad one night of the month. Even though, being a mom and dad is our very favorite roll and we usually spend most of our night talking about the kids anyway.




Months 6-12 Of the 16 Month Age Gap

Well I wanted to write about each quarter from my first year with Lennon. But as you may have gathered from posts one and two…. I have had my hands full. So here’s a quick recap of the last half of Lennon’s first year:

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I’m A Big Boy Now

Lennon’s first 6 months of life I felt like he was reaching milestones and developing slower than his sister. It don’t concern me at all, she always seemed a little ahead of the curve. Well, his last 6 months I felt quite differently.

With a big sister to look up to, Lennon was always motivated to get moving: crawling, climbing and walking. He excelled at all these things at a younger age than Lucille, leaving me totally shocked and unprepared. We always joked about Lucille being part monkey the way she climbed. Lennon has proven to be even more skilled at climbing.

Besides exploring at a young age, Lennon wants to interact and play at an advanced level. For months he has copied everything his sister has done. He wants to play with every toy his sister has. He’s her little shadow.

And how is Lucille reacting to all this? Quite well, actually. 95% of the time she graciously shares her toys with Lennon and finds joy in the fact that he is copying her every move. Once in awhile he will try to play with the wrong toy and she’ll get angry, but it really is quite rare.

However, thought she’s very happy to play with her brother, she still does not fully grasp the fact that he is younger than her and she continues to encourage him to play in ways that are not safe for a baby. This just means I have to keep a very close eye on them at all times.

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How are those nights?

The sleep situation seemed to get worse before it got better. Because I was too afraid of Lennon’s crying waking Lucille up Lennon was sleeping in our bed all night, every night. By 6 months when he should have been waking up less, he was waking up more. He wanted to be fed back to sleep probably 10 times throughout the night. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and he certainly wasn’t getting enough sleep because he wasn’t going to bed until I was ready to go bed and would wake up as soon as his sister did in the morning. This usually meant 8 hours, factor in the frequent nursing sessions and I’m sure it was more like 4.

Eventually, we couldn’t take it any more. One night Lucille spent the night with Peter’s Mom and we decided to put Lennon in his crib and let him cry. He didn’t cry nearly as long as I thought he would. Maybe 15 minutes? (Though my heart was breaking and it felt longer.) And after we let him cry for 2 or 3 nights, he understood that this was what happens at night and would go to sleep with little or no tears. And Lucille, having missed night number one with the most tears didn’t seem to mind the other nights as he got used to putting himself to sleep.

He still wakes up throughout the night. For a couple months he wouldn’t go back in his crib after the first time he woke up. But I continued to walk him back to his crib and place him in it after every feeding thinking eventually he’ll lay down and accept that he needs to stay there. Finally, one night, he just let it happen. And now he goes back to his crib after almost every feeding with no whining.

He sleeps in his crib until about 5 or 6 am, waking up usually 2 or 3 times throughout the night still. (He goes down between 8:30 and 9.) And as for day time naps, he still needs to be held. I think I’ve successfully transferred him from his naps twice in his life. So… we still have work to do. But, it’s progress.

I don’t know if Lucille is old enough to understand that Lennon isn’t hurt when he’s crying at night, or if the novelty of Lennon has worn off and she doesn’t care. Or if she’s too tired at bedtime to care. It’s likely the last one because if I try to transfer him for a nap and he cries, it still makes her cry for her brother. Certainly she’s part of the reason sleep has been such a struggle with Lennon.

Meal Times

Working from home, I made breastfeeding a very high priority for Lennon. I think when Lennon was born I was still feeling guilty that Lucille was only breastfed for 8 months, and many of those 8 months we supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding him the first 6 months provided many challenges. Some because of the time and attention that was being taken away from Lucille. Others just normal latch and supply issues.

Lennon wanted to breastfeed constantly the first 6 months. Very often I felt like my title was milk machine rather than Mom. He seemed to enjoy eating so much I worried about him starting solids. I was afraid he would eat too much and get to be a chunk. But I was also excited for solids since at least it would mean I could breastfeed a little less frequently. Everything I thought was wrong.

As it turns out Lennon loves breast milk but hates everything else: purees, finger foods, everything. I have been trying to be consistent with attempting to feed him every time I feed Lucille but 9/10 times it just results in food everywhere. Meanwhile, he is breastfeeding even more than he used to because, obviously, he’s older now and needs even more nutrients throughout the day.

The good thing is Lucille is now more understanding of me taking the time to breastfeed Lennon. She no longer climbs me like a jungle gym while I’m feeding her brother. In fact, sometimes when Lennon wants to be fed and I have not yet tended to his desire Lucille will tell me “Momma, Lennon boo-boo milk!”

What Now?

While pregnant my go to response when people told me how full my hands would be was “I just need to get through the first year, that’ll be the toughest!” So is it true? I’ll post an update soon. Wish me luck!