Sunday, April 24, 2011

Photo Book

I finally am doing something with all the beautiful photos Mandy has taken.  Many here are done by her.  Here is a book of the first 6 months of Staci's life.  More to come, I am determined to get caught ALL the way up to Olivia!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My top ten tips for two under two

I know I am far from the first person to have two babies under two years of age.  For those of you who are parents of an only child or not parents yet, this might not make sense to you at all.  It might seem easy to take care of two young children all day (and all night).  It might look like I have it pulled together.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I don't.  However, I have learned a lot over the past six weeks and I thought I might share some of my knowledge--so here goes.  My top ten tips for two under two:
10)  Accept help when it's offered.  DO NOT TRY TO BE SUPERWOMAN.  It will only make you crazy.
9)  Wear your (newest) baby.  You will need the extra hands.
8) Don't be afraid to use the television as a babysitter in the short term.  We love PBS 'round these parts.
7) Eat your Wheaties.  Seriously, don't forget to feed YOURSELF. It's really easy to do when you've fed 3 mouths before your own sees so much as a crumb.  Usually it takes us 2 hours to get the morning routine completed.  Thank you PBS for your help.
6) Sleep when you can.  You will learn to survive on far less than you ever thought you could.  It's different than it was in college--you're not as young as you were.  You're also a lot less hungover.  So it evens out.
5) Take a deep breath and count to 10, and when that doesn't work, shut yourself in the hall closet and don't come out until you're certain you're not going to smack your toddler from here to South Africa.  Kidding aside, use your anger management skills.
4) Have a glass of wine.  Before noon if you have to.
3) Try not to take your frustrations out on your spouse.  I mean, I certainly would NEVER do this, but asking, "What's WRONG with you? WHY can't you FOLLOW SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS???" and storming off never goes over well. 
2)  Keep your expectations low--of yourself, of your toddler, and of your sweet new little baby.  This is a huge adjustment, and you need to give yourselves time to adapt.  'Simple' tasks like grocery shopping will take you all morning from start to finish. And you will be pooped. And you will have probably cleaned up 4 poops.  Having 2 under 2 really is pooptastic. (so sorry, I could not resist)
And finally, my number one tip for surviving having 2 kids under 2 is=
1) Don't forget to ENJOY this wonderful, happy, amazing, chaotic, crazy time in your life.  It's a blur of diaper changes, poop explosions, huge toddler emotions, never ending laundry, your highest highs and your lowest lows.  Being a parent isn't easy.  But it is pretty fantastic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On Staci's 2nd birthday...

oh man. I tried so many times to get her to show off for the camera.  This was literally the best one I got.   Gotta love 2 year olds!!

Olivia is 6 weeks old!

one month, 4 days
Dear Olivia,

You are six weeks old today! Time has been flying by; amazingly, it is flying even faster than it did with your big sister.  You are growing so big every day and starting to become less of a newborn and more an infant every time I look at you. 

Right now as I type, you are sleeping soundly on my chest.  I absolutely love this age.  I love your snuggles and the way you will sleep in my arms.  I love to put you in the Moby Wrap and play with your big sister AND get to snuggle you at the satme time.  I love the noises you, like all newborns, make.  Little snorts and squeaks make my heart go pitter patter. 

You are distinguishing yourself from your sister already.  She loved her pacifier; I can't get you to take one.  She never had a problem taking a bottle; you have refused three times now.  One thing is for certain--as of right now, you are a mama's girl and I couldn't be happier about that!  Your big sis is a Daddy's girl--and I want you to know, Mommy needs a partner in crime, too. 
6 weeks old

--At birth, you were 7lbs, 9oz and 2 days later you were down to 7lbs3oz.  By 1 week, you were already 8lbs.  (That's a successful nursing relationship right there)
--You outgrew the tiny newborn diapers I made for you at 4 weeks old
--At 5 weeks old, you outgrew every last piece of 'newborn' sized clothing.  Mommy is not putting it away yet because she can't handle the thought of potentially never getting it out again.
--You nurse about every 2 hours during the day, but are giving us 4 and 5 hour stretches at night which is wonderful and perfect for your age.
--You hate riding in the car.  And, as I mentioned above, you won't take a pacifier.  Insert expletives here.
--You don't like to be put down. Ever.

--Every time I go to get your sister up in the morning or from her naps, the first thing out of her mouth is, "Baby!!"  She loves you so. much. I can't wait to see you two play together.

I love you so much and I absolutely can't wait for all the fun we will have together as a family as you grow up. Just don't grow too fast!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Anastasia

Dear Anastasia,
I absolutely love the little girl you are becoming, and the personality you are developing. We had your birthday party yesterday, and you were surrounded by family and friends. I was so impressed by your willingness to share your toys, even your brand new ones. You are so beautiful, both inside and out and you make my heart absolutely melt! Your wore the most beautiful dress and allowed us to keep a flower in your hair for much of the party.
--you are moving into size 2T clothes
--your hair is getting *so* long and both your grandmothers (as well as many of Mommy's friends) have commented on it with a 'when are you going to cut that mop?' tone. I can't bring myself to cut it yet, soon though. probably.
--You are unbelievably sweet and gentle with your baby sister. I can't wait for her to be a little bigger so you two can play together. She loves you so much already, and it's obvious you love her, too.
--Your favorite TV show is The Cat in the Hat, with Avatar coming in a close second.
--Your favorite food is the turkey sloppy joes I make--I hide sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots in them. shhhh! don't tell your daddy!
--You still only have 10 teeth. top four, bottom two, and your first four molars. I'm honestly starting to wonder if you have any more teeth.
--You and Bella are best friends. Whenever you get together you run around in circles and jump up and down for the first 10 minutes--you can't contain your excitement!
--You are your daddy's girl. He is your favorite person (and I think the feeling is mutual). It's so fun to watch you two together--whether you are just reading stories or rough-housing, it's obvious you are both having a blast.
--The first thing you say when I get you up in the morning and from your naps is, "baby!"  Melts my heart every time.
 --You know almost all of your letters, and we're working on the sounds they make.

It has been so much fun to watch you grow from a tiny baby into a little girl.  I can't wait to see what delights you as you enter your third year here with us. 
Memories of your babyhood with be with me forever.  The days of rocking you to sleep and nursing you are gone, but I will always cherish the time I had with you as a baby, and I look forward to our new relationship as it evolves.  I love you.