Category Archives: Parenting

Gold Diggers in Pink

Maybe you’ve seen these interior decorating choices for little girls’ rooms. Perhaps you’ve seen the tiny shirts emblazoned with these seemingly innocent, yet subliminally superior messages.

“Boys, noun. Noise with dirt on them.”
“Mommy’s a queen, I’m a princess, and daddy is lucky.”
“Mommy’s shopping buddy. Daddy’s broke!”

What kind of message are we sending to our children, both boys and girls, when we endorse this kind of attitude as parents? That it’s OK for little girls to feel superior to little boys? That men are the submissive, subservient support to their wives and daughters? Are the males in our society now the butts of women’s jokes? I have a feeling that if I put up a wall decal on my boys’ rooms that said, “Girls, noun. Gold diggers in pink”, I’d make the news with my offensive, berating attitude towards all females ever. So why is it acceptable to teach our daughters to treat the opposite sex as inferior, when we would never encourage our sons to do the same?

I saw this quote from Doris Lessing (image courtesy of imgur.com, user CremedelaHwhipped) recently:

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Maybe some women will cry, “Feminism empowers my daughter and me to step over these boys” or worse, “my husband knew what he was getting into”, but how has this become the societal norm? Really, why has ” feminism” been misconstrued for “female superiority”? Why is it acceptable to disrespect an entire sex? Simply put, if we all treated others with the same respect and kindness with which we would like to be treated, these types of messages on playroom walls and tiny onesies would go by the wayside.

I was relaying this idea to my husband last night. He is an excellent source of wisdom, and while the two of us rarely interact with other adults, we often have meaningful, deep conversations. While my scope of perspective is currently focused on our home and our children, his also involves his career and coworkers, who usually represent the complete antithesis of whatever we believe. Captain Laser Pants had been mulling over a similar concern, but not with wall decals and toddler shirts. Essentially, the conclusion we found while talking together (he and his coworkers often openly debate social and political issues) is that people are encouraged to feel superior to others. Comedians capitalize on sarcastic, belittling observations relaying the message that everyone that disagrees with you is an idiot. Marketing gurus push the message that you’ll be better than x demographic if you take part in their product. News sources bank on the principle that their viewers feel superior to other news source viewers, and anyone who watches any other news source is ill informed and ignorant. It’s perfectly normal to invest in arrogance and treat anyone different as inferior.

Circling back to the ides of calling my children noise with dirt. Discrediting my boys’ worth before even getting the exquisite joy of knowing them? Shame on you. I’m not an idiot, I know these wall decals and tee shirts aren’t aimed specifically at Mini Gwinn and 2.0, but they fall under the blanket statement and idea that “boys are dirty and loud”. All kids are dirty and loud, don’t kid yourself. And your daughters aren’t princesses, unless you’re royalty. Stop putting our children on different playing fields. They’re children, not walking advertisements for their parents’ ideas. In the parenting community, others rely upon me to teach my children well, and I do the same for others. Please, for the sake of all our kids, stop peddling superiority.


Really. This was a well thought out post in my head. Maybe I’ll come back with an edit or two after more coffee and sleep. For now, this is an unedited, first draft stream of consciousness post.

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My Heart Has Legs

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Before his brother arrives and changes our lives forever, I’ve been trying to soak up the greatness that is mini Gwinn. With a two year old, every day is a new adventure.

He has started singing and I’m calling it “ear chocolate ” because I can’t think of anything that sounds sweeter than his little voice carrying a melody. It’s Heaven in my music major ears. His favorite song right now is “Goldfish” by Laurie Berkner. He’s invented his own motions for the songs and loves to act it out.

His counting has really progressed and it’s super cool to hear him count to eleven on his own. He’s started identifying letters of the alphabet as well. If we ask him where a letter is, he will point to it. He kind of sings the melody of the alphabet song, but doesn’t really grasp the letter order yet.

A few days ago he just started peeing on our toilet. Totally on his own volition, he climbs onto the big people toilet (we have a nifty lid/ seat combo on the one in his bathroom with a fold- down child seat) and cheers for himself when he pees. He is also magically into the “big boy diapers” (aka the training pants) we’ve had in his bathroom for months. I’m equating it to his acute empathy for knowing something is about to change in the house. He has started saying “brother” and has felt the baby move a few times, which makes him erupt into giggles.

Children are much more sensitive to changes than we realize. That being said, after working with hundreds of children his age, I believe that mini Gwinn is one of the most empathetic children I’ve ever seen. While other children his age may be able to prattle off the names of dictators in Europe or obscure Broadway titles, I don’t think it’s fair to measure his intelligence based upon rote memorization or this kind of knowledge. He’s very physical in his learning (he is a kinetic and visual learner), but I think his emotional intelligence is really where he shines. He’s aware of how other children and adults feel around him and works to make them, well, comfortable. He’s such a naturally happy child that it throws him off when he encounters a shy child or a bully (he recovers quickly). I can give his dad credit for this contribution to our little guy’s personality – my husband is more sensitive than I am. That’s not to say I’m not socially aware, I just usually don’t care (unless I’m with people I care about). Anyway. I digress.

He’s transitioned so amazingly from “baby” to “toddler” that I’m excited to see how he adapts to being a big brother. We’ve read books to him nightly about bringing home a new baby and we talk about it regularly, but I don’t expect him to understand. I don’t think Captain Laser Pants and I fully grasp it yet. I’ve read about “sibling gifts” to exchange in the hospital and I’m leaning towards a super hero themed idea. I saw a quote from Marc Brown, a prolific children’s author, that said “Sometimes being a brother is better than being a super hero”. Since the boys have a mama who loves her super heroes, I feel like that’s a positive message to begin their relationship. I’m not fooling myself into thinking they’ll have a flawless friendship from day one, but the relationship brothers have is unmatched (sister relationships are equal but different) when it’s cultivated and encouraged. Maybe I’m being unrealistic, but I want to teach these two boys that they are one another’s support, not rivals.

And when I look at my heart walking around (that’s what I call mini Gwinn), I have a really good feeling that he will understand that he is 2.0’s mentor very early on.


Bed Rest is a Dish Best Served, Well, Laying Down

So, I’ve been on bed rest since last Monday. Bed rest as in: no cooking, no cleaning, no lifting, no laundry, no shopping, no walking (except for bathroom/ kitchen needs), no prolonged standing, no doing anything. The only reason it’s not labeled “strict bed rest” is because, as you all well know, I have a two year old and three idiotic dogs.

I don’t think any living being in this house grasps the concept of “bed rest”. Including myself. I understand it in theory, yes, but the practice of it is nigh impossible. Mini Gwinn doesn’t stay in one room for more than ninety seconds at a time. The dogs demand to go outside and come back inside every seven minutes. I’m 31 weeks today and every inclination to pee is an emergency (until I get there and it’s like, three drips, and done.) thanks to all that baby sitting on top of my bladder. And I don’t think the husband can maintain a consistent idea of bed rest because sometimes he’s horridly concerned with me turning on the dryer, and other times, it’s perfectly ok for me to go to Costco.

My doctor told me a couple weeks ago that I need to take this seriously, and warned that if I didn’t, I would end up on bed rest in the hospital until our little guy is born. My blood pressure has been high for weeks now, I’ve had elevated levels of protein in my pee pee, regular headaches, etc. All in all, not in great shape. So I did some research on why gestational hypertension is so bad, and then my attitude on it changed. If my blood pressure is too high, the proper amount of blood doesn’t go to the uterus, which causes our little guy to be really small at birth, or worse, his lungs won’t be totally developed. There are other scary outcomes to this medical condition, but I’m not going to type them out for now. I have to accept this bed rest business for what it is to protect our little Graham cracker.

Pretty early on, my one outlet for “me”, working out, was taken because of symphysis pubis dysfunction pain. I tried to stay positive, telling myself, “Well, at least I still have Target.” And now I can’t do that, either. I’m not really supposed to leave the house unless it’s for a doctor’s appointment. And it’s disheartening. My big event for the day is changing into fresh pajamas after a shower (this is in part because I don’t  have much that fits now aside from pajamas, and, really, why would I get fully dressed to compete in the lounge olympics?). I miss taking mini Gwinn to the indoor playground and bounce houses, or the park,  I miss seeing my girlfriends on play dates, and I miss perusing the aisles of the beloved red and white. We took a family trip to Target this week and I experienced my first ride on a rascal (the motorized ride-on carts with exceptionally wide seats), much to CLP and mini Gwinn’s amusement. I was pretty embarrassed, but hey, we needed groceries, and I’m not supposed to walk waddle anywhere.

The good news is that this week has had a lot of distractions for me. For instance, my lovely friends have agreed to have play dates at our house to keep MG entertained (even though they all have way better set ups and play spaces) and to give me company. The stress of a messy house (I don’t sit well with mess around me) is alleviated because we now have a fantastic house keeper. Mini Gwinn started sleeping in his new big boy bed, aka a twin bed, and transitioned seamlessly. He didn’t care at all that we took down his crib, and he hasn’t figured out that he can climb out of this bed yet, so he’s still stationary (for now). He’s also started counting to ten… well, counting to nine. He will say one through nine with us, but today, when we got to ten, he decided to say “that one” instead. But he was really proud of himself, so there was no point in correcting him. It was hilarious.

Our littlest guy will be here in six weeks, give or take a couple days. And even though his nursery is totally not decorated and is still currently acting as a storage room, I’m so ready for him to be here. The first time around seemed so daunting- what will labor be like, will I recover, how am I going to keep a tiny infant alive once I come home from the hospital, will I ever lose the weight, etc. This time around is totally different. It ain’t my first rodeo, as they say. I have no fear of delivery (bring it!), the plan is to take the old PS3, Star Wars and a video game to the hospital, and managing a newborn (minus the sleep deprivation) seems WAY easier than a toddler. I won’t lie, I’m pretty concerned about losing the 50+ lbs. I’ve gained this pregnancy, but I gained more than that with MG and it was off within 5 months, so I know it can happen, it’s more a matter of when.

Any way. Come on, April.

 


Two Years and Two Months

I haven’t written about mini Gwinn’s shenanigans in a while, in part because said shenanigans keep me away from the computer for days at a time. But here are some pretty rad things little dude is up to these days.

He is SUPER into painting lately. And it’s adorable to hear him say “paint” all day, even when we’re in an elevator at the doctor’s office, or at the store, or when he first wakes up. If I let him, he’ll paint for hours. I’ve started mixing up “bath paint” as well- 1 part finger paint to 3 parts shaving cream, and he paints the bathtub.

He’s learning shapes and colors these days (organically, I’m not pushing a “sit down” education with him, he’s way too busy to sit still), and his favorite shapes to identify are stars and circles; his favorite color to find is “puh-poo” (purple). He was even painting circles with his shaving cream and paint brush in the tub last night. I’m a proud mama. He’s clearly a Dali or Van Gogh in the making (just kidding. All kids are special, yadda yadda yadda, and I don’t want him to be as tortured as Van Gogh).

He makes “girlfriends” every where he goes, as in, flirts with women, shamelessly. He talks to them, bats his eyelashes, tucks his chin to his chest, and waves goodbye. In rare instances, if he really likes the lady, he shows off by doing something really weird, like laying down on the ground or squatting. He gets his awkward flirting skills from his father.

He doesn’t know what to do with bullies. A couple times last week some bigger kids pushed him down and yelled at him, and he had no idea what to do. The bigger boy really hurt his feelings, and he ran to me, so I yelled at the piece of crap kid. I may or may not have said to my own son, in front of the crap kid, that I would punch him if he didn’t have a mom (another mom overheard this and got a hearty belly laugh). Just a few minutes later I saw this loser kid push another small toddler and his mom did nothing. Maybe I need to start punching people, instead of just thinking it. My sisters tell me I hit like a guy. It may do everyone a world of good to get a kidney punch. Any way. Call me crazy, but it warms my heart a little bit to see that my little guy is still tender and sweet enough to not hit back. Granted, when he’s old enough, I’m going to tell him what I heard my parents say: Don’t you ever start a fight, but you better finish it if someone starts it with you. And I’ll teach him how to use the heel of his hand to jam it into a bully’s nose. And indoctrinate him that Captain America is the superhero to emulate. Stand up for the little guys. Mind your manners. And kick serious tail when required.

Ok, I’m digressing. He also has started throwing tantrums. But about stupid, stupid things. Like putting on clothes if we need to go out. He screams and kicks about putting on a clean tee shirt, or a new pair of sweatpants, kicks and screams all the way down the stairs to the car, throws himself on the ground when I attempt to put on his shoes, and then once he’s buckled into his seat, acts as if the tantrum never happened. This is not something I find cute or redeeming, but it’s something he’s doing that’s new nonetheless, and I’m sharing it with you all. One of my sisters likes to tell everyone that my kid is so perfect even his poop doesn’t stink, so I’m telling you all: he’s only mostly perfect. He throws tantrums and refuses to eat his vegetables, just like every other twenty six month old.

He’s a big fan of wrestling. And I love picking him up by an arm and a leg and throwing him on our bed, tickling him, or pinning him down and tousling his hair. If it’s one area where I totally know what I’m doing in motherhood, it’s wrestling with my little guy. I feel badly for boys that don’t get this from their parents. Boys need the physical interaction and outlet, and there really isn’t anything so sweet as his peals of laughter filling the air in our four walls.

Mini Gwinn is also becoming more snuggly, oddly enough. He’s never been a cuddly kid, but he has several moments a day where he runs into my legs and bear hugs them, or wants to be held so he can wrap an arm around my neck with his little fingers in my hair, or when he grabs my cheeks and pulls me in for a lippy kiss (yes, lippy kiss. They’re the sweetest, goopiest, wet little lip kisses. And they’re my favorite.). When he’s first waking up or going down for a nap, he likes to lean against the railing of his crib with his head on my chest for a sweet hug. I love his chaos (most of the time), but those moments of affection just melt me totally.

In other news, my doc warned me of bed rest in my near future, as well as a more restrictive support brace, and potentially early inducing for delivery. I’ll write the full update when I’ve got a hot cup of coffee and more free time.

 


Dear Psycho Mom, or “Why Your Husband and Child Hate You”

Today, despite my loathing of the August heat in Georgia, we went to the park to see some very missed friends. Mini Gwinn and the other little ones were getting their sweat on while we moms were chatting away, catching up on the past few weeks. While we were there, another group of mom friends arrived, all with similarly aged children. When a high strung mom in neon arrived and immediately began shouting her daughter’s name (let’s call her “Stella Cate”, because she insisted on calling her child her full name), I considered leaving the park altogether, but missed my gal pals enough to stay, and just relocate to a different part of the playground for a while. Once “Stella Cate’s” mom’s friends arrived, though, the situation escalated quickly.

This poor little girl, who I later discovered was just a month younger than mini Gwinn, was (literally) being yelled at for every turn that her mother didn’t find approving. At one point, she touched a little boy’s face, at which point her mother screamed her name three or four times before making it to her daughter to whisk her away and reprimand her sharply for gently exploring. “Stella Cate, DON’T TOUCH THAT”, “STELLA CATE DON’T TOUCH THAT LITTLE BOY,” “STELLA CATE DON’T BREATHE!” It didn’t help that this mom had an unfortunately grating voice. If she was my mom, I would run away too, Stella Cate.

I digress.

So from behind my sunglasses I watched Stella Cate, and the other little ones (all around ~2 years old, give or take a couple months),  play the way normal toddlers play. There was no pushing, no shouting, just the normal toddling towards interesting things and around other toddlers, with minimal interpersonal interaction between them. She was a pretty quiet little thing, and was just doing what toddlers do: explore.

Let me pseudo- tangent for a minute, ya’ll. While pregnant, many moms do lots of research and reading about the upcoming delivery of a human, some delve into the first few months with a baby, and the bold read about the first year of a child’s life before they actually have one in their arms. I won’t lie, I read several (over 10) books about all of the above mentioned, but when it came to life after  the first six months or so, I wasn’t really worried. Instinct kicks in, and I’ve been around children in both a “learning” environment (teaching) and a natural environment (home life). No one parents identically, and I’m no expert on other children, but I’ve got my grasp on my parenting style, and I try not to judge others. My axiom with moms now is, “Unless she’s feeding her kids glass, she has her own way of doing things.” But, interwebs, this woman obviously knows precious little about toddlers, and if I ever see her again, we are promptly leaving.

Why so harsh, mombie? Lemme tell you. As long as psycho mom didn’t interfere with mini Gwinn and myself, she wasn’t feeding her kid glass (well, not physically. She’s just screwing her daughter up for the future, whatevs.), “not my monkeys, not my circus,” right? Until her daughter gently touched my son’s face, which mini Gwinn was totally cool with. I was totally cool with it too, until the neon whale came swooping down like a vulture onto dying prey. She screamed at her daughter, who by this time in her life is obviously used to the screaming, but she screamed in the same direction, very close to, my nearly angelic child’s face, which made him BAWL. For the record, my kid doesn’t really cry about anything. So I said to her, as she’s freaking out, “Your reaction and yelling scared him, he was fine with Stella Cate touching his face. Really.” So she began to defend her totally psycho reaction by saying, “I have to nip this in the bud now.” I wanted to say, “DEAR GOD DON’T LET HER EXPLORE!! CORRECT HER IMMEDIATELY!” But I instead asked how old she was then calmly explained that toddlers explore through sensory play, including touching one another. If you’d like to further your own education, interwebs, look it up on your own. You’ll find documents from universities, educational websites, early childhood development professional websites, ETC. My point: kids explore through touch. And I looked at that poor little girl, who had an expression of confusion on her face, and I felt bad for her. And I wanted to punch the mom.

You see, psycho mom, this is why your husband and child hate you. Too harsh, interwebs? If I had to be married to her, I’d leave her .And her daughter is going to (at the very least) go wild when she goes to college because her every move won’t be controlled by someone who yells as her “go to” method of parenting. I realize that this post is horrendously judgmental, but when someone makes my child cry because of simply screaming, they’re lucky I don’t go full Sarah Connor on them, particularly this woman. And when I see a toddler, with no reasonable amount of logic or self control, do what she is supposed to do naturally to grow mentally, I am reaffirmed that some people shouldn’t have kids.

This woman probably adopted a small dog nine years ago and abandoned it because she refused to learn anything about dogs, put it in her purse, and then threw it across a room when it peed in her Coach bag.

My point? Learn about that incredible human being you are raising before you verbally destroy her. Also, stop being a crappy human being. AND don’t shove yourself into workout clothes if you have no intention of actually working out.

I’m gonna go eat a sandwich. Maybe do some deep breathing exercises. Clearly I haven’t calmed down.

Happy (or aggressive) Friday!


Shopping Cart Thief

Once upon a time, my grocery list used to be written out by aisle, marked with symbols indicating whether the item had store coupons, manufacturer coupons, or both, estimated cost with or without coupons, and an estimated total of the grocery bill.

Now, I walk away from my grocery cart, distracted by something I’ve forgotten to write on my list, and steal someone else’s cart that may or may not have similar items my cart held.

I’m a shopping cart thief. I confess.

Sometimes I don’t notice I’ve thieved a different cart until I’ve gotten home and I’m unloading the groceries. “Honeycrisp apples?” I say out loud. “We don’t buy those. They’re expensive.” Empty more bags. “Where are the bananas?”

Crap. I’ve done it again.

When I messaged Captain Laser Pants that I cart swapped (again), he asked me if I had come home with the right baby. The good news is that mini Gwinn wasn’t with me (he was at MMO), so I hadn’t made off with the wrong child. What happened to me? Where has my brain gone? He commented that I didn’t even have our child to distract me this time.  I told husband that the bliss of grocery shopping sans- grabby toddler must have put me in a fog as I wandered through the aisles of Target, perusing the clearance clothing with a cup of Starbucks in hand. He laughed.

During the purgatory known as “pregnancy,” I heard a report on the radio about a pregnant woman’s brain actually shrinking. I don’t remember if the research said anything about a woman’s brain returning to normal size postpartum (I was pregnant, I don’t remember what was said, my brain was small), but it made me question one’s ability to parent on all cylinders. There are some moms that are hopelessly put together. I see them every Friday morning when I drop off mini Gwinn at MMO. Matching sweater set, perfectly pressed khaki shorts, pearls, lady- like sandals, hair and makeup finished and applied beautifully- all before 9 AM. Their daughters, because they always have daughters, are wearing white linen ruffled dresses with pink hair bows and not a spec of dirt on them. Then I walk in wearing clothes only suited for the gym, glasses on and hair up in a messy bun, tucked under a hat. Mini Gwinn probably has a smear of raspberry on his cheek, a milk spot on his shirt, and he’s shaking his head “no” at me as I tell him to hold my hand. Then he shoves my hand off his and runs, his own little fingers grabbing his recently poorly chopped hair. Maybe their brains were super sized to begin with, maybe they’re just really better at organization and appearance than I am, but I can’t help but feeling second rate when I see these moms with their perfect children.  Don’t get me wrong- mini Gwinn is spirited, and active, but he’s in no way behaviorally challenged. He’s mostly a delight (mostly). Yesterday, as he was kicking and crying in the car from exhaustion, I was trying to soothe him just three blocks from our house. Instead of stopping my car for a full three seconds at a stop sign in a residential area, I only stopped for one or two. I was immediately pulled over by a policeman who could plainly see I was having a bad day. MG had calmed down in the backseat momentarily, but his cheeks were tear stained and red. I was let off with a warning (he told me I didn’t stop long enough, which made me laugh), and as we pulled away into our neighborhood, mini Gwinn lost it and started sobbing again. I’m willing to bet these sweater set- pearl wearing moms in their Infiniti SUVs have never been pulled over in a residential area for not stopping long enough at a stop sign because they were so distracted by their child’s crying in the back seat.

But I guess we all have our own paths, and we are given what we can handle. As a light at the end of the day, my little guy showed me where his nose, ears, eyes and tummy are. He said “I just want to go over there” as we took our afternoon walk. He let me hold his hand. And, even though I may absentmindedly steal other people’s carts at Target, and I wear gym clothes while others are in Ralph Lauren sweater sets, and I get pulled over for driving under the influence of tears, I don’t believe any of these things make me a bad mom. We have a lot of laughter, a lot of love, and when we look back on this time in our lives, it won’t be these little things we remember, it will be the giggles and the tickles and the love.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.


Target Thinks I’m Pregnant

Have you seen this article from Forbes.com about Target’s analytic results, based upon one’s purchases, of a calculated score of the likelihood of her pregnancy? The anecdote featured in the article even details out a true story of a dad finding out his daughter was pregnant based upon the targeted advertising the mega- store does. It’s kind of crazy, right? For the record, I’m a die- hard Targetophile. I can tell you about their “May I Help You” initiative, their rules for lines not being over two guests per line, their design for end caps and retrofitting for new features of the store (I’ve been to the Target museum in its headquarters in Minneapolis, eaten lunch in the HQ cafeteria [it’s catered, folks!], and know the inside scoops on their big meetings that have Fergie and Faith Hill). The fact that the store gathers and analyzes this kind of data (and to this level of personal privacy invasion) should freak me out, especially since I hate the idea of “big brother” watching what I already do, but honestly, I think it’s kind of cool in a “that’s really, really crazy and creepy, but thanks for taking interest in me” kind of way.

Any way. So, Target thinks I’m pregnant. I’ve even gotten emails with VERY specific advertising, (no joke): for athletic second time moms, how to handle the second round with an active toddler”. So, not only does the big- box store know I’m athletic (well, that’s a loose term, but “desperately pursuing athleticism” doesn’t have as much of an appeal), but it knows the age of my child (which is fair, I did register for my baby showers there).

Joke’s on Target, I’m not pregnant.

I have been toeing the line on looking at maternity clothes (only if they’re at their cheapest clearance price), etc etc, but I haven’t taken the plunge for a 2.0. Captain Laser Pants is ready, and I’m more in the category of “HOLY CRAP JUST LET ME LOSE FIVE MORE POUNDS AND WEAR MY CLOTHES FOR A WHILE”. To his credit, he’s not forcing me to make him a baby this week or anything, but he is letting me know that this is the year for another kiddo. My reasoning behind not wanting another one is 100% selfish. The first pregnancy was so, SO bad (partial placenta previa, kidney stones, preeclampsia symptoms, bed rest, 55 FREAKING POUNDS gained, pinched pubic bone nerve) and honestly, I’m pretty fond of my abdominal muscles. It’s nice to feel pretty, especially now that Spring is here and I can wear my favorite clothes again, and the last thing I ever felt while pregnant was pretty/ attractive. To add to it all, mini Gwinn is SO MUCH FUN right now. I don’t want to miss a moment with him. He says things like “aceful” (graceful) and “fabuwous” (fabulous), and “Where’s Daddy?”, “You do this. I do this,” (when I’m reading to him), he gives kisses and leans in for them, and he’s just so darn funny. But CLP doesn’t want him to grow up alone. And, because my husband was an only child and he truly wants another baby, I feel like it’s my responsibility as his wife to give him his heart’s desire. He wants another baby more than I don’t want another one. And it’s not even the additional baby I don’t want. It’s the pregnancy. I will happily take a newborn home. I just don’t want to do the baking.

How have you moms of many dealt with the knowledge of a potentially impending baby? Please assist in talking me out of my selfishness.


Little Things

Mini Gwinn has been 16 months old for a few days now. I marvel at how quickly he has grown and changed and how much he understands now. I’m going to update you on some new things, whether you like it or not, so sit tight. For instance, he:

-knows where his tongue and his nose are. This is quite cute when you ask him.
-knows what “water” is in his bathtub. He will happily demonstrate this knowledge by splashing ecstatically.
-runs. Falls. Looks at me. Smiles. Repeat.
-knows the dogs’ names. Says “beans” in reference to Jovee, who is known as “Jovee Beans”.
-leans in for kisses, especially for dogs, CLP and myself. Talk about heart melting, people.
-said “no way!” and shook his head vigorously as I offered him bread. That’s right, my kid is Paeleo, people. He won’t eat noodles or bread. I’ve tried quinoa noodles with no success, bread with some honey and butter, sandwiches- nada.
-goes down the slide solo. Like climbs to the top of the jungle gym at the park, and sends himself backwards down the slide.
-goes up AND down our terrifying staircase. He’s been going up for months, but he has now mastered the art of the descent.
-says “need help” when he wants assistance. This isn’t consistent yet, but he does say it.
-throws the ball for Jovee. Plays tug of war with her. Thank God she’s so gentle with him.
-really, really enjoys repeating “l” sounds, especially “bl” together, which from what I’ve observed, are usually pretty difficult for many children until the age 3-4 (that’s not the case for all, of course, but more of a blanket statement after spending time with many children)

He does this a lot.

He does this a lot.

Can he identify colors? Does he know where his tummy, eyes, toes and fingers are? Nope. But he does say some funny stuff and he amazes me every day with all the little things he’s learning. He doesn’t let me cuddle with him, but he is so much fun. He’s getting more into cars now, which is awesome for his parents (we really like cars). He has a sense of humor. He is quiet for long stretches of time, steeped into his own world of thought and discovery, then he pops his head up, says something of deep, profound meaning, “GAH BAH DWEEEB BLEETHEL! Bleethel bleethel bleethel.” and then he falls back into silence (I still don’t know what “bleethel” means but he loves to say it). In my whole life I never thought I would find such joy in watching someone so small discover life.

All smiles on the swings!

All smiles on the swings!

These past few months have been particularly difficult with crests and falls that would make lesser couples crumble. There have been times, even today, when I feel like I am at my weakest, and those exquisite, striking blue eyes look up at me and I feel like I can keep going for a little longer. Coffee helps too. But my son, in all the struggle of life (even with him, sometimes), reminds me that there are better days ahead.

He had to stop driving to tell me something important.

He had to stop driving to tell me something important.


Never Again

Last night, in the middle of our bed time ritual, mini Gwinn’s face nuzzled against my neck just seconds before I put him in his crib for the night. The monumental realization hit me: he will never be this small again (not that 27 lbs. is small for a 14 month old). We will never have this night again.

I think all parents, particularly moms, have this epiphany at some point. It may spur the “let’s try for 2.0!” thought in some, maybe bittersweet thankfulness for going through the last round in others.

This past Sunday I shattered my phone (so for those that haven’t gotten text message responses or called with no answer, you now know why), and without the assistance of Facebook, have almost effectively been cut off from society completely. This has given me even more opportunity to immerse myself in the every moment of my little Fox. If anything, from last night’s realization, I took away the message to invest in his moments. The big stuff, like walking on his own, is obviously grabbing my attention. But his precious peals of laughter? The crazy phrases he says when I’m only half- listening (two days ago he said, “Ok guys!” what the heck, kid?!)? I don’t want to miss any of him. This is the last day he will be this age, this small, and at this point of development. And, I have to tell you, interwebs, he is such a cool toddler. He wears his sunglasses, willingly, at the park. He says funny things, like, “Ta da!”. And while I realize that I can’t eagerly await his every movement or sound, I can be present for him, no phone in hand, no TV in the background, more often.

That’s a concept I’m taking into my marriage, too. Captain Laser Pants is a rare man (for more reasons than his imbibing of orange soda and bizarre dance moves) in that he talks to me, like REALLY talks to me. There are times, for instance, when he is fresh from the gym after work (somewhere between 8-9 PM), and I am exhausted, but he wants to tell me about something he heard on the radio, or something from his work day, and I struggle to listen to him. Again, not that I can be 100% absorbed in my husband every second of the day, but when he wants to talk, I want to be present for him. He’s amazing and deserving, even if he is monumentally forgetful, and he is mine. My boys deserve the best of me, even when I’m tired or distracted, because never again will we be at this point in our lives as a family.


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