Monday, June 23, 2014

November 30, 2010

Every now and then when I get a chance I'll think back to the first several months of our marriage and how I spent them in grief. I think about the pain of trying to become pregnant with the anger that you should be anyway. Some times I'll come across the journal I kept and I'll flip through the pages. I'd like to say that I sit and give that period of my life the time, but I don't. I quickly shut it and walk away.

People are wrong to think that having kids will negate the feelings of a miscarriage. It does not, but it has made it easier. I won't lie about that. Holding Molly in my arms that first time made it easier. The hurt isn't constant any more and it's hard to image our life with different children and different ages.

Then today for the first time I came across something that ripped it back open and filled me with wonder about what life would have been like. I came across a blog I hadn't read in awhile. Probably for the same reason. It's written by a woman who wrote on a trying to conceive forum with me. We both got pregnant around the same time. On the little icon was a picture of her two children.

I could have a child that age. A boy or a girl. What would they look like or be doing now? Molly has changed so much since she was a baby. At almost three she is so much more of a preschooler than that newborn or her toddling toddler self. What would having a four year old be like. What would our first year of marriage be like if we welcomed a healthy baby instead of losing one and living in fear of losing another?

I do believe that if we got to have our November baby there would be no Molly or Natalie and so for that I obviously can be happy that life is what it is. Things did turn out ok.

I guess seeing what could have been made me realize that deep down I want that child too. I want to know what they were. I want those first minutes together. I want all the amazing milestones that happen next. I know I can't have it all, but it doesn't stop me from wanting it.

I wish you were here. I'm your mother and I love you. No matter how small you were and what meaning you have to some people I am still your mother.

How I wish I knew more of you than just a date.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Being Present This Week

We have had a great couple of weeks. All these weekend weddings have made me feel hectic, but I'm trying to just breath and tell myself it will all get done. We've had a lot of success with phasing out the iPad. She still gets it, but rarely. I think Natalie being the age she is has made it easier. Those two are constantly playing together now.

The past two weeks have been good for activities and me just making myself available, but I often catch myself being on my phone for too long. So that still needs work. I did get back on my treadmill this week which hasn't happened in two months. Part of improving how I spend my time is taking the time to do something for me. Which I want to be thirty minutes of exercise.

I got these little pizzas at the grocery store. They come in a pack of four. I had Molly put all of ours together and she loved it! She was so proud of the end results and loved seeing us all eat her work. For $5 we will definitely do this again.

I ordered some board games off Amazon and once the box came in we had to do everything right then. I'll share more on the games, because seriously they were all awesome and we've been able to add the games into things we can do when we are bored. 

A long with the games we got some Popsicle molds. I thought surely I'd find a way to screw these up, but they are actually pretty easy. They tasted good and my concern of them not coming out easy was wrong. With a little warm water they came out just fine. We made some again tonight. I'm hoping to do some fruit flavored ones soon too. 

Then we ended that week with a sleep over! I picked my nephew up after the wedding I did and they had their first sleep over were they knew what the heck was going on. The same people that make those pizzas make these giant cookies that you bake and decorate. They were actually really good! The kids loved doing it and Natalie just loved eating the frosting. I made popcorn and we watched How To Train Your Dragon. As you can see it was very interesting to them once the dragons were on. 

I don't know if Molly has just had a jump in learning, or if she now is at a point where she will tell us what she knows. It seemed like I couldn't go through a day without hearing my kid is doing XYZ and they are this old. Eeek little genius y'all! It's easy to let those things get you down. So I've been trying to do little things here and there to not overwhelm her. Things that I know she likes. Like instead of just going over letters we match them because she loves matching. I think she would learn better like that. 

We went to see how to train your dragon. She kept saying "this a good moomee!" Like that idiot parent who makes there kid take a picture holding up the boulder I asked her to go stand by the big cut out. I love that she grabbed his hand! 

We got to watch my nephew again so we went outside to play. Just so humid. Meh. If you see a pin wheel, buy it. Best 97 cents I've ever spent. As much as I try to be off my phone now I can't help but take a quick picture. As a photographer I love having photos, but also as a photographer I don't want to be caught up in settings and composition and miss really being there. That's why I love taking a quick picture and then just printing of instagram books. So easy. So addictive. 

Molly went to VBS this week for three days. She loved it! My sister was her teacher which helped a lot. The most exciting thing is that during an activity she counted to ten with her class mates. Yes I was excited that we are finally past three, but what I'm really excited about is that she spoke out loud a long with her peers! Woo hoo! That seriously does not happen and it makes my heart smile! 

While Molly was in VBS the first two days I had sessions so I didn't get to enjoy the benefits of having one kid at an easy age. Tonight however I was all free so we went back to the store to get what we forgot four hours earlier. I know party animals. Driving in though I saw a woman selling ducks, chicks, geese, etc. I decided to pull in after and let Natalie out to see them. She loved it. I seriously wanted to buy all of them. I would LOVE to have a chicken coop. I called my husband after and of course he killed my chicken dreams. It felt good though to do something on the fly and just be there. I had to snap a quick picture though because I was hoping Adam would see her stare longingly at the adorable birds and change his mind. Didn't happen. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quitting Dance

This week I ran into one of those parenting moments where the right answer just isn't so clear. Although it seems like a simple situation I didn't want to chose the wrong path.

Molly's dance class has been on a three week break for the summer. This whole time she has been saying that she didn't want to go anymore. I thought she was just being silly. When we first started she was two and would cry dropping her off, but she got use to it. For some time now she gets so excited to go and is so happy when we pick her up.

Of course I'm her mom so I try to not overly gush over her, but when Molly does her dance moves she's just a whole different child. Her wild self calms down. She slowly moves her hands to dance like a butterfly. She uses the little ballet terms while she attempts her moves. She just seemed to love it. I'm not saying she is some future super star. She is pretty typical for a 2/3 year old in dance. It just seemed like it calmed her.

Tonight her class was suppose to start back up. I had signed her up for dance and acrobats. All day she had been saying how she didn't want to go. I hoped that when it came down to it she would get ready still, but when it was time and I came out with her clothes and shoes she started crying about how she didn't want to go to dance anymore.

So that left me stuck. Do I take her because I don't want her to lose her progress. By progress I don't mean dance, but her shyness in the class. Do I take her out because she doesn't want to do it anymore. Is she just being stubborn, but would love it once she got there?

I decided that because she was consistent with what she was saying that the best thing I could do is listen. I told her if we didn't go we wouldn't go this summer, but she couldn't sit and watch cartoons instead. Since she isn't yet three it's not like she can really sit and explain the reasons she doesn't want to go. All I can do is trust that there is a reason why.

I hope it's the best choice. I loved gymnastics when I was little, but I was so shy I quit. If that's her reasoning it breaks my heart for her. Being a shy kid sucks. Never feeling comfortable in situations with kids your own age. I don't know if it's better to listen or to encourage so they can break through that.

I want her to love the things she does though. I don't want to force her to do something and her end up hating it. Am I being a good mom who listens or am I making a mistake by just letting her quit.

The good thing is she's two. So the size of ripple this has on her life is probably small, but as parents we always wonder what the lasting effects of our choices will be.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Being Present This Week

This has been a good week, but at the same time a tough week. Oh sweet Natalie. Girl has some serious talking skills. It's been an awesome thing to watch develop, but this week it's becoming...a little maddening. Mom, mom, MAAAAMM, MOM. Pretty much 24/7. These are all followed by her asking for something and me saying no and then the mom thing all over again. It was really funny at first, and then the novelty wore off a bit. The girls had a lot of fun pushing buttons this week and it seems as Natalie gets older they are making a pretty good team.

I actually busted my camera out this week. For being a photographer you would think I'd take a lot of pictures, but I don't. I don't know that it's a case of not doing what you get paid to do as much as I have always been conscious that with a camera in hand you are not as truly present. Which is why I never have many pictures of birthdays or holidays. I like to snap a few shots and then just put it away.

Despite that we had some fun things this week. I had a lot of work I had to get done Monday that couldn't really wait. That day had pretty limited fun time with the girls. So that night we went to the store and got some stuff for the next day. Some lunchables and the supplies to make the water blob off pinterest. It was pretty easy to make once the girls stayed back. Like all crafty do it yourself projects I didn't nail it, but it held up at least. The day was wet and gloomy, but we still went out and had a good time.

Since it rained quite a bit the day before we went over to our trusty puddle. We have a spot in our yard that always turns into a huge puddle perfect for splashing in. If it's spring it pretty much becomes a little pond. It was pretty muddy this time, but that just made it all the better of course. 

We did a lot of play time this week which is something I needed to improve. I have really taken advantage of the fact that Molly has always done really well with playing independently and of course because of that Natalie follows along. Now I don't want to now hover and make them dependent on me, but I do want to get more involved more often. 

I walked down the hall and saw her sitting on the bed like this. She was being so sweet with her doll and the light poured in behind her. I ran for my camera because I have this half assed project I've been working on to get shots of the girls in regular real life moments to hang on our walls. Those are the best moments. Then I joined in and we played doctor for the longest time. She could do that from sunrise to sunset. Her imagination is so much like mine when I was young. It's crazy to see. I love the messiness and the messed up blinds. This is us. 

This coming Thursday is our anniversary so Saturday we took the girls to grandma's and went up to the city for shopping and sushi. Every time we saw people with their kids we'd say man we're glad ours aren't here. Which is terrible but true! Going some place with a kid is so much different than without and we rarely do! The past two weeks we've had more dates than I don't know when and there has been two. We should probably up our game. By the end of the day we were ready to see the girls and even missed MAAAAAM.

Tonight was just the best night. Two years ago we bought this fire pit and have used it twice. Then it hit us why don't we roast hot dogs and smores in it? Seriously that possibility just came to us. So we did tonight and it was awesome. The girls absolutely loved it. Our girls love being outdoors, and we ourselves would like to do more things outside but we have never really been those people so it's just getting in that grove. I think we all feel better after being outdoors so I don't know why we haven't always put that as a priority, but we are trying to now. We will definitely make this a regular occurrence. Our plan is to next set up the tent too and do a camping trial run. That way we don't get out to the woods and learn that our kids will freak out. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Our Summer Bucket List

  • Side walk paint
  • Make our own Popsicles
  • Lay out and look at the stars
  • Go on a camping trip
  • Use the sprinkler
  • Make a water blob
  • Blow lots of bubbles
  • Nature Walks 
  • Find fire flies (which may not happen due to Molly's fear of bugs)
  • Start chapter books at night (list here)
  • Lots of picnics 
  • Lazy days at the pool 
  • Get a porch swing and try to share it with the girls 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Being Present This Week

So with my first week after reading Hands Free Mama, and starting another book, I wanted to start keeping track of my progress. One to hold myself accountable and two to have something to look back on when I inevitably beat myself up at some point for slacking.

So hopefully each week or when I can I will write out how I was more present with my family. My goal is that after awhile of accounting for the little things I won't need to anymore because my new approach to living life will become second nature.

We went to the pool twice this week. It was our first time going to the outdoor pool. I finally found swim wear that I felt confident in and it made all the difference. I wasn't trying to hide myself the whole time. I was there with my kids enjoying it.

On Thursday we spent the evening as a family unplugged. We sat around and did letter puzzles and played in the girls playroom.

I went through and left most of the Facebook groups I'm in. I don't want my newsfeed to be as distracting.

We've been keeping the radio off in the car and if there is music it's us singing.

I say yes more. Yes to playing. Yes to going outside. Today Molly came up and wanted to go out and blow bubbles. So we did, and while out there we turned on the sprinkler. It was so much fun, but kind of a mom fail. Half our yard is gone from our foundation being fixed. So it basically turned into a mud pit. I ended up hosing down shoes and we all went back inside as a mess. The old me would be totally irritated in myself. While I was at the sink cleaning the shoes Molly said "Sorry Mommy" I just told her it's ok the mud was fun and we clean up easy.

Friday we decided to go out for dinner. The food wasn't that great, but the time was. The girls did pretty well in the restaurant. Afterwards we walked around the square and saw a new ice cream shop had opened. It was in the style of a 50s diner and the kids loved the swivel bar stools. It was just an easy going night that flood. I think anyone with young kids can appreciate that rarity.

We went to the store afterwards and I got this bucket of bubbles and wands. When we got home it was already dark out, but Molly was asking to blow bubbles so we sat on the porch with the light on. It was just this enjoyable moment where I realized that letting go of seeing these requests as more of an annoyance and instead a time to bond has really changed me.

Last year we didn't go outside that much. It was hard with Natalie and part of me didn't even want to bother going inside knowing how hard it was to get Molly back inside. This summer I want to be different. I want us to be outside doing things. Playing or going on walks. Going to the pool. I've been meaning to write down a summer bucket list and hold us accountable to it.