Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bittersweet Doesn't Say It

Parenting is so wonderfully...sucky.

Ryan and I just came home from a long weekend in Chicago at Story Conference 2010. (My sister has a great post about it here.) We came home to find our beautiful baby girl had grown five inches and successfully mastered the English language while we were gone! I have never found anything in life to have such a crazy mixture of emotions as I've found in being a mom. It is so exciting to see her learn new things and master big girl skills. I am ready to explode with happy pride, while at the same time I am ready to break down in sad tears to see the old days disappearing.

Sometimes I browse through my old pictures on Facebook. (Yes, I realize that may be the epitome of wasting time on a social networking site. Looking at your own stuff?) I see old pictures of Nola and can't believe how she's changed. It's such a weird emotion.

I am sad to see that old Nolie go...enjoying every minute of the Nolie that I have...and anticipating all the moments I will have with the Nolie that's coming. All at the same time.

It's just so...wonderfully sucky. Do you feel me?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Few Things I'm Thinking About...

Baby number two is ten weeks away from arriving! Hopefully. I was five days early with Nola, but I hate to bank on that again. If I'm early with this baby, then maybe I'll bank on it with baby number three. Yes, Ryan, there will be a baby number three. Lord willing.

Here's a few things I'm thinking about as the time is drawing near...

Holy Lord, I need to clean out the baby's room! How did this happen again? As soon as we moved Nola out of that room, we immediately made it the dumping grounds. I am DETERMINED to go to the hospital with the baby's room done this time.

Proffessional house cleaning while I'm in the hospital. How awesome would it be to come home from the hospital to a professionally deep cleaned house? I left the house a wreck during Nola's delivery. My mom did an amazing job making it beautiful for me when we came home. If it's not crazy expensive, I just might do it.

Newborn elimination communication.
I'm going to buy this little potty for baby number two. Yes, I know you all thought I was crazy when I said I was going to start taking Nola potty at seven months old. Now you can just check me in to the crazy house, I guess. Don't worry, I do not expect to throw out the beautiful new cloth diapers I bought. But I've heard that earlier is better when it comes to infant pottying. Since Nola is potty trained, I don't think it will be too stressful. And my approach will be much more relaxed this time around. I said I was relaxed last time, but that really wasn't true.

A baby sling. My cousin Jennie recommended the Maya Wrap ring sling. She loved it with her second baby and I really think it will be perfect for me. I had a sized sling with Nola, and it was just a hair to big and never quite comfortable. I didn't use it much. Ring Slings adjust perfectly to your size, and therefore to however bulky or not bulky clothes you're wearing. I think it will be so handy for outings with a toddler and a newborn in tow. And I think it looks like you're wearing a fashionable scarf. It would be really easy to sew, which I might tackle after the baby. But I think it would be nice to have a good quality one first.

Was there anything you knew you HAD to have with your second baby? Share the wealth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Are A Beautiful Mother

Why does no one ever post pictures on Facebook of their kids lying around in their unmatched pajamas, watching an episode of Dora for the umpteenth time, with a crumby pop tart in their hands, and snot dripping out their nose? And why have I never written a blog post about the time Nola peed her pants THREE TIMES during church, and I had no clothes left for her, and I had to steal a diaper from April (did I ever tell you that, April?) and my image as the all powerful elimination communication mom was totally busted?

Well...because...who wants to share that part of themselves, really? Some people do it well with humor. But then, it's funny, so you at least get cool points for that.

I thought to myself today, "I should write a post about failing as a mom." I was inspired to do this because I didn't get much accomplished today. As in, so far I haven't showered, Nola went down for her afternoon nap still in her pjs. There is a pile of crap on my couch that has been sitting there for over a week. And the worst part is...I HAD to make a grocery run. So I did. I was that mom. In the store, with nasty hair, flip flops, an ugly, ginormous maternity shirt, and a child whose hair had not even been brushed, obviously still wearing her pajama shirt.

After deciding to write a FAIL post. I thought to myself, "Wait a minute. I am not a failure as a mom. That's ridiculous." Honestly, it's not even really funny to say that. Ok, sometimes it's funny. But deep down, we should never say such negative things about ourselves. I am not a failure as a mom, and neither are you. (Well...wait...Are you beating your children? I'm pretty sure that puts you in the failure category. But, otherwise, I'm pretty sure you're good.)

Think of the little things you do as a mom that make you feel like a failure. Now try to remember your mother doing any of those things. Having a hard time? So did I! The truth is, you probably remember the time your mom took you for a special trip to McDonalds where you got that super cool mermaid barbie in your Happy Meal. While your mom remembers that day she had no groceries in the house simply because she didn't want to go grocery shopping, and she ended up taking you to McDonalds. Where she proceeded to feed you trans fat, and you ended up getting that blasted Barbie doll that would give you the wrong definition of beauty.

I know my mom had her days. Actually, no I don't. I'm guessing my mom had her days. But the overall picture over rides the imperfections. The fact that we love our children, and are doing our best... that makes us beautiful mothers. And successful mothers.

Looking like a celebrity mom wherever you go? Not important.

Your house looking like a magazine cover? Your kid could care less.

That snuggle time that you took instead of loading the dishwasher? Your kid will remember forever.

So let go of your facebook image. Quit comparing yourself to your working mom friend, or your stay at home mom friend. Or even Angelina Jolie, heaven forbid.

Love your children. You are a beautiful mother.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


You should hear Nola say "Lessons!" out loud. So cute! She puts a little more thhhh than ssss in her s sounds.

We started our lessons this morning. We had a Spanish lesson and a math lesson. (Dear Lord, please let her get something out of the math lessons I give her! When I was little, I got a stomach ache every day in kindergarten right around math time.)

For Spanish time, I made a cube with red and blue sides to it. We took turns throwing it into the air. When it landed, we would say what color was on top...Rojo or Azul. I had high hopes that she would love this game. She did say the colors many times in both languages, which is great. She even tries her best to roll her r's.

For math time, I drew a chart with zero, one, and two at the top. We said the numbers as I pointed to them. Then we put the right amount of quarters under each number. Zero gets, "Nothin'!" She had fun saying that word. One got...well, one quarter. And Two got..two. This is a shortened version of a Montessori lesson. Montessori teachers would faint dead away if they saw I was trying this with my not-yet two year old. (That is why I will not be tagging "montessori" in this post.) But since we're not trying to be true Montessorians, I think borrowing some of the ideas is safe for now.

Overall, lessons went well. They went much quicker than I would have imagined. If I really want to capture her attention, I'll need to add some Dora stuff...she'd be in heaven.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Night time diaper solution

When Nola got potty trained enough to only need a diaper for nap and night time I realized we needed a solution for cloth diaper STINK. Waiting for there to be a full load of cloth diapers to wash took a whole week. Once she conquered nap time, waiting for a full load took two weeks! I don't know if you've ever had the pleasure of opening the bathroom cabinet doors to be greeted with two week old, pee-filled cloth diapers. If you have, I'm sure you don't remember the next few moments after, because the smell comes flailing out of it's prison doors and knocks you out. It's gross. And it was in our hallway bathroom that we share with friends when they visit. Hi, welcome to our lovely home! Just don't breathe in while you're using the bathroom. Nice.

I wanted a night time diapering solution that was still "green". I don't hug the WHOLE tree, but I hug certain parts of it. I'd been nice to the earth so long in this department, why quit now? So I turned to gDiapers.

The disposable inserts that gDiapers make for their diapers are FLUSHABLE! They are earth friendly even if you throw them in the trash because there is no plastic in them. You can also compost them if you're into that sort of thing. You know, if you're hugging the whole tree. But thanks to living in a younger neighborhood and newer house, our sewer system handles the flushing just fine. I had shied away from using the disposable inserts because of price. (I had already used gdiapers with cloth inserts off and on for Nola.) The cost of a regular pack of gdiapers disposable inserts is almost twice that of a pack of regular disposables. But since we are only using one a day, it doesn't bust our budget. (Ummmm...here's a link to lady who seriously did her math homework comparing the price of regular disposables, Flip disposables, and gDiaper disposables. She says it's not that different price wise...I never was very good at math.)

After a few nights of sleeping in her gdiapers, I was LOVING the fresh smell of the bathroom! But the gDiaper shells left little red marks on her legs, and little red indentations from the snaps that hold the liner in the shell. So I turned to BumGenius once again.

BumGenius makes a diaper cover called the Flip. I guess there's lots of diaper covers I could've chosen, but this one is pretty cheap, has multiple snap settings for different sizes, and gets great reviews. The elastic is encased and doesn't leave any marks on Nolie's precious little legs. I only bought one, and it's all I need. There are disposable inserts made for the Flip, but they are not flushable. The medium/large gdiaper flushable insert fits nicely in a Flip when it is at it's largest setting. It's a wipe clean cover. All I do in the morning is take the the diaper off Nola, flush the insert, and put the Flip back in the cabinet. I wash the cover about once a week with her regular laundry and it has not lost it's waterproofing yet.

I'm not sure when Nola will conquer night time. It could still be a while. But when she does, the Flip cover will not be out of commission! Thanks to it's multiple sizing, Nola can pass the wealth to Baby Number Two no matter their age! Of course, it is powder pink...