Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leash Love

This is it.  This is my secret weapon.  This is how I manage to get out of the house with two kids.

Lucy does not like strollers or shopping carts-- she'll tolerate either for 5 minutes tops.  And it's that very reason that we have yet to buy a double stroller.  I refuse to make that kind of investment knowing she'll only sit in it for 5 minutes before she opts for her froggy back pack.  The girl likes to move.  And the leash lets her do just that.  She has her independence, and I have my peace of mind.  I always offer her my hand, but, sometimes, she just isn't in the mood for hand-holding.

Casey spotted the leash on the clearance rack at Target right after Park was born.  At first we laughed, "Haha, those are so stupid."  But then we put it on Lucy...and it was crazy cute.  So we bought it.  Turns out, it was the best $4 we ever spent...  Lucy tears through the diaper bag until she finds Froggy, and drags it everywhere with her; she hides her gummy snacks and sun hat in it.  And I find myself using it for most outings.

Anyone that dismisses a child leash as "bad" or "lazy" parenting clearly has not had to cross a parking lot with a rowdy toddler and a newborn.  And anyone that deems a stroller as a "more humane child restraint" is just silly-- strollers and leashes serve the same purpose.  A child leash (or safety harness, for the politically correct) is essential for parents of 2U2.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursday (almost Friday)

I'm sad to say that some days I do not appreciate being home with the kids.  Like when both kids are screaming, Parker won't nap, Lucy is coloring on the walls, one of their diapers leaks, I haven't eaten breakfast OR lunch, and, holy crap, I have a huge cookie order to fill by tomorrow.  There are days that I don't brush my teeth until 2 pm.  There are days that I count the minutes until Casey gets home. And sometimes, when I'm at my breaking point, I lose my patience for a split second-- I snap at Lucy or I groan when Parker wakes up from a 20 minute nap.

That makes me feel incredibly guilty, like the world's biggest tool bag.  My babies are doing nothing wrong or unnatural; they are communicating in the only way they know how; they are learning.  This time - having 2U2 - is so demanding, challenging, mind-numbing, fleeting.  I can't spend it aggravated by the dirty dishes.  One day, my babies won't need me.  I have made a conscious effort to soak up as much Lucy and Parker as this mommy sponge is humanly capable of, because there is nothing more important than those little smiles and giggles.

I'm also sad to say that after everything our marriage has been through, there are still times that we get on each other's nerves.  Casey has this tendency to leave things laying, dirty clothes, tools.  (I'm staring at a bottle of Elmer's Wood Glue as I type this post - he used it earlier this evening and left it in our living room.)  I don't necessarily snap at him every time I feel annoyed, but I do tend to dwell on things (which leads to the occasional wife meltdown).                

Two weeks ago, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have him.  Casey was in a severe car accident.  He was hit head-on while making a left turn.  The other driver was speeding, driving without his lights, and ran a red light.  Casey's car was totaled...but he walked away with just some scratches and bruising.  That day could have been so much worse.  We could have lost him.  And now I remind myself of that every time I see his dirty running shoes strewn about in the living room.

But the inspiration for this post has nothing to do with either of those things.  The inspiration for this post came about this afternoon...after the bank called.  With just one week left of my maternity leave, we've been faced with a very stressful financial situation: the cost of full-time daycare for two is more than my monthly salary.  We can't afford for me to keep working and we can't afford for me to stop working (entirely).  The situation seemed pretty hopeless; but God pulled through for us today.  Just as He has in a series of events leading up to this point.  We are grateful and we are humbled.

Matthew 7:7  Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

Monday, October 22, 2012

19 Months (photo dump)

This is you at 19 months, Babes...

Tummy Time Cheerleader.

You can do it! (said in a Rob Schneider voice)

Mommy's little helper.


Silly, sleepy, silly.

Workin' the $8 purse.

Wearing Daddy's "chuuus"

"What are CHU looking at??"

Sticker obsessed.


And hating it apparently....

Cramming yourself into the Bumbo.

"Nah, it's cool, Lucy.  I didn't want to sit there anyway."

Airplane ride (and some light reading) before bed.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baby's (and Toddler's) First Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Last fall we were content with a visit to the pumpkin bin at Home Depot.  There was no logic behind that decision, like, "Oh, Lucy is only a baby, she won't enjoy the pumpkin patch yet."  The idea just didn't really occur to us...because Fall is not the same in the desert.  We're still strutting around in shorts and tank tops, dipping our toes in the pool, and consuming a sickening amount of Icees.  (No?  Is that last one just me??)  Fall spirit is in no abundance.

In Connecticut, the leaves change colors; Lyman's Orchard churns out gallons upon gallons of apple cider and cinnamon donuts; we bundle up in warm clothes; the Durham Fair comes and goes, and the fair grounds are converted into a creepy haunted house; the farm at the edge of our neighborhood has a big pumpkin display that we'll drive by every time we go into town; and my cousin's farm debuts the "Haunted Corn Maze"...  The season simply consumes you.

But, I digress...regardless of location, my kiddos deserve to experience the season's festivities!  (Even if it means sweating profusely while doing so.) 

"How about this one, Ma?"
"Here, take it.  I don't want to carry this."
Naturally, Parker slept the entire time.

Other fun activities down at the farm...

Hay Maze
Reptile exhibit-- only in the desert, right?
Exploring the playhouses.
Open toe shoes, an epic mistake.
(Attempting to) feed the animals.

We concluded our day at the farm after everyone had worked up a good sweat, and blasted the air conditioning all the way home.  Once home, Lucy removed something like 200 stickers from her pumpkin, stuck them throughout the house, and then proceeded to drop said pumpkin on her foot.  Stem first.   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2 Months

Buddy Boy you are TWO months old!  With Lucy, monthly birthdays made me sad; but with you, I am so excited and happy!!!  I know how much awesomeness awaits you and I can't wait to experience each and every milestone.


At 2 months you are:

Making all kinds of cute noises.  You're starting to coo and gurgle, and you still hum while you nurse.  I love your voice and cannot wait to hear more of it.

Smiling intentionally.  It's the sweetest!  You are such a happy boy.

Giggling.  I thought I was hearing things, but Daddy confirmed this morning.

Bearing weight on your legs.  One of my favorite milestones!

Very loved by everyone, especially Lucy.  (The feeling is not always mutual, though.)

Not the best sleeper.  Bah.  Up 3-5 times between 7:30 pm and 7:30 am.

A huge fan of bathtime.  It really relaxes you.

Strong.  You bob your head all around and it is adorable-- except for when you slam your head into mine.

A Diamondbacks fan.


Wearing 0-3 month clothes.

14-15 pounds and ??? inches (well baby visit is November 2).

Exclusively breastfed.  We haven't been able to keep up with the daily bottle routine, because I never get a chance to pump.

Not interested in pacifiers, same as sissy.  :-(

Lucy's wingman, Daddy's little dude, and Momma's snuggle bug.


We love you, Bud.  You are the sweetest, most lovable little boy and we cannot get enough of you.  You have grown so much over the past month-- your first birthday will be here before I know it.  I cannot believe just two months ago you were inside my belly, and now you're here, sleeping right between me and Daddy.

The Momma Heap

Lucy puts stickers all over you ALL THE TIME