Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mommy Wars

I've been meaning to write this for some time, and I know I still have catching up to do on here, but I think it is important to get the proverbial pen to paper on this one.

Every week something new pops up on my facebook feed to roll my eyes about. Judgey blogs from all over about every parenting decision out there. Breastfeeding. Formula feeding. Attachment parents. Cry it out. Cloth Diapers. Disposable Diapers. Baby led weaning. Making your own purees. Homeschool. Co-sleeping. The list goes on and on and...

My favorite eyeroll-worthy article? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/im-done-making-my-kids-childhood-magical_b_5062838.html

(Sidenote: I disagree wholeheartedly, as I believe that imagination/creativity, etc. is a SKILL that we have to teach our children. I mean we don't just say..."here's a book, have fun learning to read, I'll be in the kitchen" right? Then why does the author think we can do that with imagination? But I digress...)

All these articles just serve to make moms feel judged and incite the so-called "Mommy Wars." Which, summed up, is "any decision you make there are going to be holier-than-thou moms jusging you."

But here is my secret...I don't get it. I don't get why people get so into these Mommy wars. Who cares how someone takes care of their kid. You want to rock your kid to sleep every night? Cool. You want to sleep train? Cool. Neither affects me. So I don't understand why so many people care.

The only thing that I can come up with about why the Mommy Wars fire is still burning is that people are doubting of their choices and looking for outside validation. Otherwise, what do I care what anyone uses to diaper their child? If it works for your family...have at it.

And what works for our family is a little out of the norm. We cloth diaper. Do baby led weaning. Room-in until 6 months. Extended breastfeeding. And yet I don't have one inkling of desire to share any articles touting the superiority of any of those choices. Those are also all things that people giggled at before I had Ellie and gave me the requisite "just wait, you'll switch when you actually have a baby" talk. They clearly underestimate the assurance I have in my decisions on how to care for my family. And again, why do they need to drone on about their opinion on my choices? I just don't get it...

I was talking to a friend about this a bit ago and she called me out, being such a breastfeeding advocate. But you know what? Even that...feed your baby. If formula feeding is better for you, fine. Of course, what I AM passionate about is that IF you want to breastfeed that anyone have access to resources to help them do so (especially when there is SUCH a socioeconomic disparity in breastfeeding success!). But while breastfeeding is most certainly better for myself and my family, formula feeding is undoubtedly best for others. If it isn't my family, who am I to feel so impassioned about the decisions?

I'd love to call for an end to these Mommy wars, but that isn't realistic. Instead, new Mommies...spend 10 times less worrying about your decisions. Stick with them fiercely if they are working.  Change if they are not. And tune out anyone that tells you anything different.

37 weeks

Dear Scarlett,

Happy 37 weeks, my little Squish! Or should I say my little stander? You are going CRAZY pulling up and standing everywhere. You want SO badly to walk too. You will push my hands away when I try to old you standing up, and you will reach from one thing to another and try to walk. I cannot believe it! You are so frustrated you can't yet. Slow down, little one. I'm not ready to have another walker on my hands!

So what else happened this week? Let's see...

Saturday we had a nice family day. We woke up and ate some yummy pumpkin pancakes. Then we did a little bit of grocery shopping. After naps, we took a couple walks and played in the yard, and then watched the game. Go Irish! Good news...they pulled out another win! Looks like you and your sister are both good luck for them!


Oh, we also had a bonfire Saturday night. You got bundled up in your sister's bear suit for the occasion.


You giggled your behind off watching Ellie throw wood on the fire. You were both amazed and it was awesome snuggling by the fire with my two favorite girlies!


Sunday was the usual craziness of church and the gym. The schedule is so hard on you, I'm sorry Smoosh. You don't nap at all until about 12:30 (after we eat) and that's all you get. I know you need more sleep than that. By the time we are heading home around 8:30, you are so overtired, poor baby. One of these days we will get things worked out.

Monday was our catch up day as usual. Getting "off" on Sunday makes Mondays very difficult. You only took about a half hour afternoon nap, which was MUCH less than you needed. I hope that we can get some adjustments made and figure out a little more of a set schedule for you, because I know you need your sleep.

 Tuesday we ran some errands, but mostly ust stayed around the house again.We have a lot of fun playing and you are babbling up a storm these days. I love to hear your sweet little voice. You are still chewing on everything and drooling up a storm. But no teeth. Fooling everyone that tells me you are teething. I love it!


Wednesday you sweeties went to the gym and hung out there while I worked out, then we went home for naps, and I came back with Ellie for swim classes while you had some 1-on-1 time with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma swears you said "Grandma". I think Ellie may have been tipping you off that they are solfties for sweet girls like you!


After swim lessons (which your sister is kicking butt! She can swim holding onto ONE finger, and got moved to only using HALF a bubble...woooohooo!) we all rushed off to the doctor to get our flu shots. Everyone was very brave, there were minimal tears, and we all got Snoopy band aids. Then we grabbed some burgers for dinner and stopped by the fountain area of the mall, where you and Ellie both watched the color-changing fountains in amazement!

Thursday was another workout day. Luckily, after Mommy's early week breakdown about a schedule you MAY be getting there. You took a nap for Grandma and then took a nice aternoon nap just like I wanted you to. GREAT job baby Squish!


This morning you I woke up to a sweet girl STANDING in her crib



What? That is crazy! You are getting so big so fast. I just love every second with you. Even the couple nights this week when you thought that it was party time in the middle of the night and didn't want to go back down to bed (yeah, luckily we've got that sorted out now too. 2 hours of trying to get you back don in the middle of the night means a zombie Mommy!). You are such a fun, silly, amazing and sweet little princess and I am so lucky that I get to be your Mommy. I can't wait to see you grow up, just slow down a bit, baby!

I love you,
Mommy

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th





I am thankful to have such amazing rainbows after the rain.



http://www.october15th.com/

Friday, October 10, 2014

36 weeks

 Dear Baby Squish,

You've been part of this crazy, crazy family for 35 weeks. Can you believe it? I can't!

I feel like this week brought BIG changes. You are seeming less and less "infant-y" every day, if that makes sense. You are interacting so much more and playing, and it is amazing to see how well you fit in with the rest of this crazy family!

So what did this week bring?

Saturday, we stayed close to home to try to recouperate from a very bust weekend last weekend. Truth be told, that suitcases are still sitting in the hallway. Such is life with two little ones!

You gave us some...er...excitement. Yup, we had to drop your crib down. You pulled up in it and stood there, smiling at me in the camera. Yikes! I thought I still had some time on that one! Your sister wasn't do that for another month. Those differences are so funny. You are definitely a bit head of her in gross motor skills, but a bit behind in fine motor skills. I love to see how unique you are, my Squish!

We did do some baking, which was pretty fun! Your sister had a great time..."helping"...

I can only imagine the help I will get when there are two of you!



You two also had bubble bath time. You guys just love taking baths together. And, of course, I love seeing you two just giggle your behinds off together. Ellie blow bubbles at you, which you just find the absolute funniest thing ever!


Sunday was the usual church/gym combo. I miss you guys so much on Sundays. They are tough. But I do love that you guys have bonding time with Dad. And that he plays lots and lots and lots with you two.


Monday was our day to get back in our groove. Like usual, we spent a lot of time outside getting some energy burned out of the two of you.


You were kind of a stinker and fought naps, so we got to hang out a bit when your sister was down. You LOVE to be standing these days and are doing so well. You are even letting go. I fear that you may walk early. I am NOT ready for that.


Tuesday we ran a couple errands. You both did awesome. You are just such a content little one. Your sister, even though she's clearly in the midst of those lovely terrible twos, also did really awesome. I was a very lucky Mommy!



Speaking of interacting, you are now throwing balls for Truff too. Not sure exactly how he feels about that, but I am proud of you!


We also enjoyed some more time playing with milk week pods. That keeps both of you entertained on walks so well. You think those pieces of fluff flying around are the most hysterical thing ever.



Wednesday I went to work out, and then we came back home to catch naps before Ellie and I took off for swimming lessons. On days that we are out of the house, things are quite challenging. You really need two naps still, but you don't want to go down in the morning if we aren't at home, and then you turn into a mess later on. Poor baby girl. Hopefully we'll get this soon.

You didn't sleep well at all that night. I think part of it was a cold, but you were up from 12:30-3:30. Yikes. That was brutal on me. And I know you had to be tired. But you were raring to go, so I drug myself to the gym and you hung out with Grandma. 


After much needed naps, we headed outside and played with leaves. I can't believe how brisk the air is already. I am not ready for this cold. You and Ellie had a great time, though. Ellie was matching leaves with her cards, and you were crinkling them in your fingers. I think you only ate a a few.




Thursday night was a little crazy too. You did NOT want to go down. Finally at 11 you finally zonked out. Oy.

Friday night we enjoyed our family time again, and went swimming when Daddy got home. You LOVE the water. You are so content floating around on your back. I just love my little water babies.

So although this week posed some challenges with sleep (sick? wonder week? teething? just babies being babies? who knows!) I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love to see how excited you get over seeing new things and how funny you find your sister and Truff. That is the best. And although I miss my sleep, 3am baby snuggles, when we are the only ones up, are somewhat special. I keep reminding myself to soak in every one of these little moments. They just go by so incredibly fast.

I love you, Scarlett!
Love,
Mommy

Friday, September 19, 2014

33 weeks

Dear Baby Squish,

You are 33 weeks old. And yay...I am on time with writing you your letter. Just wait for a minute while I adjust my SuperMommy cape.

Just kidding! It is hard. And life gets crazy. But I am still constantly overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have this amazing family.

So what adventures did this week hold? Well, Saturday I had a meeting in Grand Rapids, so you stayed home and played with Daddy.



You kept him on his toes, and had lots of fun playing outside with Ellie and Truff. You just LOVE your swing.

When I got home, I couldn't help but cuddle you, even if it did mean that I missed a good portion of the ND game. They won, and I got sweet Scarlett cuddles...perfect!

Sunday we went to church, where I had to take you into the hall because you were making too many little happy cooing noises. You are the happiest, sweetest baby. People were even commenting on it in the hall, my little Squish!

This made it extra hard for me to leave again for the afternoon to go to the gym. I just wanted to stay and play with you. But, again, you had a good time with Daddy. Of course, being up way past bedtime is still awfully hard on you. Princess. Sunday are just SO hard schedule-wise.

Monday was our recoup day. We hung around the house and played. I love those days with my girls. We dressed up, and played with play doh, and went on walks, and read books. I cannot think of a better way to spend a dreary Monday. But, again, I had to go to the gym to help with the start up for our younger classes, so it was Daddy-time again. You were quite the stinker for Dad and would not go down. I felt so bad as everyone was pretty upset when I got home. Let's not do that again, okay?



Tuesday we stuck around home too and played and enjoyed the nice weather. You are SO mobile these days, it is crazy. And you are FAST. You sure keep me on my toes!

You also took your first bath in the big girl tub! Now truth be told, that was mostly because you, Miss Kickypants, make a MESS in your whale tub. You and your sister had a blast.



Wedensday we had a busy day where I went to the gym, and then Ellie and I went to swim lessons. You got some one on one time with Grandma and Grandpa, which I think everyone likes.



Speaking of liking things, you are ALL about food these days. Pouches, in particular, are a big hit. You just suck them down. Chicken, pasta, veggies, you are such a great eater!

Thursday we had a house guest come visit...Ginger the PUPPY. I need to specify because your sister thought we were getting Ginger, the rabbit from Sophia the first. She was VERY upset when we did not go to a castle to pick him up. And also very upset that despite her standing in front of him and telling him to HOP, he does, in fact, not really jump. Oh silly Bean. You guys are proving to be quite a bit of excitement for him!



Today, I got a hair cut, so you got some more Grandma and Grandpa time. You were having a ton of fun watching Ellie play on the inflatable slide. Oh, and the giraffe toy that Grandma has that spits out balls? I total hit. You were belly laughing up a storm.

So, baby Scarlett, that was this week. I must say, I really did hate being away from you guys so much. I really do enjoy spending time with you guys. You guys bring such love and laughter into my work, and I am so lucky I get to spend as much time with your girlies as I do.

I love you, Squish!
Mommy


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My sweet sweet muchkin

So I just have to sit down and write a quick note about last night.

We've got bedtime routines down pretty well these days. Ryan gets Scarlett ready, while I play with Ellie a bit, then I nurse Scarlett and get her down while he gets Ellie ready for bed and reads her as many bedtime stories as needed. Then I get her, she nurses (yes, we are still doing that!) and she goes to bed.

Last night was sweet overload. I came in and nursed her. He of course requested that I sing. Which I did. Just like every night. After awhile, I asked if she was ready for "tuckas" (I tuck her blanket in all around her). She told me "No, pray!" Of course, I forgot that step of the routine. So she laid her head on my shoulder and we prayed. "Cuddle." She wanted to cuddle more. Sweet baby girl! She snuggled into me soooo tight and I just held her and rocked her. Any time I tried to move my face away, she told me "NO. Cuddle." and pushed my cheek back against hers. This went on for at least a half hour.

Even though I didn't want to, I forced myself to get up after quite some time (and a couple texts from Ryan asking if I was OK) and tucked her in. When I told her she was snug as a bug in a rug, I got a happy smile and a "Thanks, Mama."

It doesn't get better than that.

Love. That. Girl. To. Pieces.

I am so lucky.


Friday, September 12, 2014

32 weeks

Dear Miss Scarlett,

Yay! We are back on the weekly letter train! I romise, I will try to be better. SOmetimes, being the Mommy of you awesome girlies just gets the best of me!

So what happened this week?

Well, Saturday was game day! The last ND-Michigan match up for the forseeable future, and you and your sister were READY!



We did a family run to West End, where you got doted on and your sister got donuts, and then we went grocery shopping. You get to sit in the cart like a big girl now, which you love. Although you do try to gra your sister's snack right out of her hand. I am sure you'll be eating your own goldfish soon enough!

Then it was home for naps and play time around the house. Since you are craling all over the place, you are also getting into EVERYTHING. Nothing is safe from your grasp, little one.

We ut you guys to bed and watched the game. Woooohoooo! Shut out! Go Irish!

The next day we did church like normal. You were fussy so you spent time with Dad in the hallway, then zonked in the car and stayed out for over an hour. I barely had time to feed you before I had to run out to practice.

You did get to come to the gym for a bit, which you enjoyed. I think you missed your cheer family too.

Sundays are hard on us all though, and you were VERY overtired by the time you got home. I don't like you being that upset and it was incredibly hard on me to hear your sniffles as I fed ou before bed too.

Monday was a much needed recoup day. We spent lots of time outside enjoying the swinset and the beautiful weather. I don't think we have many days this nice left!




Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment, so you went to see Grandma. You love watching Ellie blow bubbles. You give all sorts of belly laughs for that. And you are almost going from a crawling position to sitting. What? Slow down, little Squish!

Wednesday I had to meet with Janel and Lori at the gym, so you and your sister tagged along. You guys had a blast getting into mischief. Then, you hung out with Grandma while Ellie and I went to swim lessons. I think you enjoyed some 1-on-1 time without the blonde monster there.

Thursday I worked out and then we all came home and hung out at home. It was a dreary, nasty day. I don't know what happened to summer! Then when Daddy got home, we took off to the hospital since Great Grandpa Walt was in there due to some broken ribs. You guys were both dolls, and you especially hammed it up for him, giving him lots of belly laughs while he tickled your toes. To reward you guys for being so good, we hit the Chocolate cafe afterwards. Daddy even snuck you some cookie, while your sister chowed down.




Your sister proved again she has quite the memory, running through the cafe looking for the Easter bunny. Of course, the last time we were there with you guys was Easter, but I still can't believe she remembered that from April. She doesn't forget anything! You better be careful, squish!

The weather still stunk on Friday, so I worked out and then when Daddy got home, we headed to the Y again to go swim. You loved it and were so content floating around in the warm water. It was awesome to spent time swimming with my favorite little fishies!

So, Miss Scarlett, we are back to these updates, and I hope to continue being much more "on time". But I will say, whether I have time to sit down and blog or not, that I love every minute of being your Mommy. You are such a sweet girl, and so much fun.

I love you Squish!
Mommy