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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Melissa + Joy | FAVORITE THINGS | Snow

Joy and I are starting a new series this year entitled Favorite Things. Looking forward to the flexibility that this will bring. Each month one of us will select something that we are loving and then the other will find something complimentary that they are enjoying. Joy suggested sunshine for this month, and I took pictures of what I'm enjoying outside this month, SNOW!
I learned when we lived in Texas that a real winter was important for me. Texas does not have real winters as you will be able to see from Joy's photos. It needs to get cold enough for ice and snow. It needs to get cold enough for gloves and hats and wool coats and scarves. It needs to stay relatively cold from December 15th to March 15th. This is required for me to fully appreciate the beauty of spring. But winter has beauty in and of itself...the look of perfectly white snow, the sound of melting, a trudge around the neighborhood, and a mandate to stay home and hibernate a bit.
When it's still cold on March 20th which is seemingly inevitable, I do miss Texas. I always thought March was such a dreary month, but Texas taught me that March can be the most beautiful month of the year. Schroeder was born on a beautiful Texas March morn.
Next month, we'll be welcoming another mutual friend, Melissa Nieves to our posts. She just started taking pictures, and I'm excited to see her use her talent to capture her favorite things. Take a look at Joy's pictures of sunshine here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here I am at 22ish weeks pregnant.

I'm not particularly comfortable looking at pictures of myself, but this is the last time I'm going to be pregnant and I want to take this chance to document my growing belly.  I was about twelve pounds heavier at the beginning of this pregnancy than I was when I found out I was pregnant with Maggie and Schroeder.  Oh well.  There isn't much I can do about that now.  So I'm trying not to critique myself to harshly.  Thanks to Stephen for taking these photos for me.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Here's to hoping all you parents are equipped with your own BS meter.

I attend a group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  Another mama in the group recently asked about books that might prepare her for toddler-hood   She has twin boys under one.  I don't read tons of parenting books (although, here is one I like).  I suggested to her to watch some old Super Nanny episodes.  I like her style.  I'm always inspired to be firm, yet, loving, and consistent when I watch Jo.  The mom who commented after me informed the mother of twins that age three is harder than age two.  I completely agree.

One of my very favorite ages is 1 1/2 to 2 1/2.  Kids at this age are learning so much and have a lot of personality, but they are still sweet babies.  Maggie is ALMOST 2 1/2.  Sigh.

She has been going to sleep both at nap and nighttime so wonderfully.  She gets snuggled and says she loves me.  Then I leave and she falls asleep.  I've been savoring this easy routine knowing it might very well be short lived.

The last couple of nights she has been coming to the gate crying, "I need my mommy.  I need my mommy."  This was so out of character for her that I assumed she was having a hard time sleeping (maybe her nap was too long) or wasn't feeling well.  I would bring her downstairs for awhile and then take her back to bed after an hour or so.

Last night, it became super clear to me that she was not ill.  She was not scared or having nightmares.  She was simply 2 1/2, and that girl knows just how to get her way.  I guess every parent needs to use their knowledge of their own kids to decipher real need from sheer manipulation.  But I was calling BS.  She stood at the gate desperately saying, "I need my daddy."  She didn't realize I was home since I had been away when she went to sleep.  The minute she got downstairs she didn't want anything to do with Stephen.  She just wanted me.  I put her to bed about forty minutes later.  It was fine, but this was getting super old.

 If she has trouble sleeping in the middle of the night, she is welcome to sleep BESIDE our bed as long as she sleeps and isn't making noise.  Many mornings at about 5am she'll come in our room with her pillow and blanket and quietly lay down beside our bed.  Last night, she came into our room at 2am and proceeded to cry, "I want mommy" once or twice every 5-10 minutes.  Not cute.

"Maggie, I'm right here."

"But, I NEEEED my mommy."

"Maggie, if you can't be quiet you are going to have to go back to your bed."


Two minutes later.

"I need my mommy."

I picked that girl up and placed her in her bed....about five times over about thirty minutes.  My inner Super Nanny came out.  I didn't look at her.  I didn't comfort her.  I didn't talk to her.  I just put that girl back in her bed and went back to mine.  After about a hundred, "I need my mommys" she fell asleep.

It became clear to me that
#1.  I love Maggie at 2 1/2, but this is going to be a little more work than the last year has been.
#2.  My older kids are definitely equipped to sleep through a newborn baby crying in the middle of the night.

We had a Merry Christmas.

These first two pictures have a little story.  One afternoon when the older kids were away at piano lesson, Schreoder and Maggie Lu found both baby Jesus', one from our advent calendar and one from our little people nativity set.  Schroeder said, "Hey mom, look these two babies are sisters.  We are going to play Jesus.  We're going to love our enemies."
We had a low key Christmas Eve so we decided to take the kids to a Christmas Eve Service at the Episcopal church on the circle downtown.  I got the start time wrong so we showed up at 5:30 instead of 5 which I'm so, so thankful for.  The kids did pretty well for the half hour it lasted, but I don't think we could have kept them happy for a full hour.  We headed over to Daddy's office and grabbed some hot chocolate before we went home and watched Charlie Brown.  
Really proud of my kids for letting us light our Advent candles and read a Bible passage before opening gifts.  I think the first gift was finally opened at about 9:00am.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Before I start looking ahead, here are thirty photos that look back.

Super Bowl
Baby Dolls
Dance Parties
New York
Good Mornings
Potty Training