Happy 3 Months!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I can't believe this sweet boy is already 3 months old today. He is getting more handsome by the day, and now that he's smiling, he's turned into quite the hunk!

Here is some Hudson Stats:

Weight: 13.5lbs

Wearing: Some 0-3 months, but starting to get tight, so I am breaking out the 3-6 month clothes steadily. 

Diapers: size 2

Drinking: 6 oz. of formula every 3-4 hours.

Likes to: Talk baby talk, squeal, lick his hands, suck his thumb, lay on mom and dad's bed, snuggle

Milestones: Started riding in the seat part of his stroller this month. Has found his feet (SO FREAKING CUTE). Has started to grab toys and reach for things he likes. Started school. Making friends.

Still waiting for: A laugh! We are constantly getting these huge grins out of him, but no giggles yet.

Loves: When mom sing's the Itsy Bitsy Spider to me, and tickles me.

Sleeping: from 9pm-2am 
                          2am - 6am

The months are flying by! Especially now that I'm working, it feels like he grows up while I'm at work. I love the ages we are coming into. He's so much fun to talk to and watch his face light up when we walk into a room. We love our little guy, and can't wait to see what month 4 has to bring!

A Quality Focus

Monday, January 12, 2015

We are eleven days into Twenty-Fifteen, and while most people are focused on trying to maintain their resolutions, I have been really been mediating on one word... Quality. I wasn't planning on finding a word to focus on throughout this year, but it just kinda happened, and now I'm working on applying "Quality" in all areas of my life.

On New Years Eve I was trying to write out 5 resolutions. Two of my resolutions were:

1. Spend more QUALITY time with God
2. Spend more QUALITY time with family

It wasn't intentional, but I started to realize that what I was lacking was not time with God or time with my family, but what kind of time. I could squeeze in my quiet time almost every day. I can bring Caroline along with me as I run errands and call it "mommy and Caroline time", but the truth is doing those things doesn't build the kind of relationships I'm trying to build in my life. What separates relationships from acquaintances is the type of time you spend with one another and the depth you build. 

Realizing that "quality" was going to be a prevalent focus in my year, our season of life started to change yet again. 

After deciding I wasn't going to go back to work after having Hudson, an opportunity was dropped into my lap (no doubt by God himself). It wasn't something I was looking for or expecting, but after much (and I mean MUCH) deliberation and prayer, Ryan and I decided that I'm going to take it! My first day is tomorrow. This change is going to completely ROCK my world (for good or bad is to be determined). There are some things that I am anxious about, one of them being that change in amount of time I will be spending with  my kiddos and husband. When you spend 10 hours a day away from the house, and then have to come home and be a mom, dinner maker, house cleaner, laundry doer, wife... your use of time changes.

That said, I keep reminding myself this: the amount of time I spend with my family is not what's the most important, it's the quality of time that I spend with them. It's about taking time each evening to do something with Caroline that she wants to do, unplugged from my phone, not multi tasking, etc. 
It's about laying down with Ryan and relaxing each evening completely invested in our time, and not just doing housework until I can't stay awake any longer. It's spending a few minutes talking to Hudson and singing those silly songs and doing bath time which he loves, not rushing through it.

Quality may not what you need to focus on this year. Maybe it's passion, or love, or patience. Regardless of what you need to hone in on this year, I encourage you to pick a word and try to incorporate it into your life during 2015. Resolutions can be great, but most of us don't stick to those past March. Working on ONE word in all areas of your life, could change your whole outlook. What do you need to work on most this year? It's not too late. 

Dear Caroline: A letter to my best help!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

As many of you know, my blog's primary purpose is a collection of life as my babies are growing, so that someday I can have it printed into books to gift them. It's full of letters, and reflections, and opinions, so that someday they can see who I was when they were growing, and how I have changed as a mother in the course of their childhood. That being said, below is a letter to Caroline. Nothing inspirational for ya'll today. Sorry! Nothing to change your world, just a note to the girl that changes mine. But your welcome to read my note to her!

Dear Caroline,

This week has been a trying week! It was the first time Dad went out of town since Hudson was born, and the first week that Hudson has totally bombed our girls nights! He has been rough this week. He has whined and cried. He has demanded most all of my attention. He has been constant entertainment for us. He has made making dinner a more lengthy and difficult task. He has made watching our shows virtually impossible. He has even made our shopping a miserable endeavor (see last post). But the one thing that remained for me this week, was you. Tried and true, steady as a rock, you are always the Caroline I know. 

I just wanted to write this little note to you, to remind you of how proud I am to call you mine. You are so strong, and so understanding, and such a trooper. You never complain about all the changes. You never get angry at him for being so annoying. You never make having you around a burden for me. 

You are SOOO much help. You hold things when I need an extra hand. You go get things for me. You watch him. You make me laugh even when I'm super frustrated. You always wait for your turn to have my attention. You are such a joy! 

Last night after giving Hudson a bath, I walked in to you asleep on the couch. (I mean seriously, can you be any easier of a kid???) We were going to make brownies after he went to bed, but you just couldn't make it! I carried you to bed, and asked you if you wanted to get up and make brownies. You told me just to wait and we could do them tomorrow. I moped around for a bit. While it was nice to have some time to my mommy self, I was truly sad that you were in bed. That was our girl time. I missed you. 

I can't tell you how often this week I have thanked God for giving me you and for making you who you are. I have constantly thought about how much help you are and how unique you are.

Today I called the school that you went to when you were like 2 years old because I'm trying to find a school now for Hudson. After talking to the principal for a while, I asked her how long she had been there because I thought she was there when you went. She asked your name, and as SOON as I said it she said, "Caroline! Oh my gosh! We were JUST talking about her!! We were talking about how intellectual she was and about those huge bows she used to wear, and how she was among one of the smartest kiddos we have ever had!!" 

My heart just melted into a puddle on the floor. Two and a half years later, and who knows how many kids, and they STILL remember YOU. I'm sure they tell people all the time about how cool their kids are, but Caroline, you are something special. People remember you. You change people. You are amazing. 

I just want you to know how proud I am and how thankful. I want you to know that you are going to do GREAT things, and I just can't WAIT until I can be as much support for you as you are for me. If you ever question my love, I hope these posts can remind you...

I love you Lion.


Another Mother

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

This is (has to be) a quick post, as I have a very whiny little boy on my hands today after having had his 2 month check up vaccinations today. There are no photos to go along with this, but I feel like it's really important for me to share with ya'll an experience I had today.

As I  mentioned, Hudson got his 2 month check up this morning and had four shots in his legs. *Insert Sad Face* 
He was of course really upset during the shots, but I was able to calm him quickly, no biggie. His doctor told me he could take some Tylenol if he seems like he's in pain later, but she wouldn't give him any unless he's fussy or hurting. (In other words, don't just give it to him to do it. See if he even needs it first). Caroline was never bothered by vaccinations, so I figured okay, whatever, I'm sure he will be fine. In fact I didn't even have any Baby Tylenol on hand.

We went about our morning, and picked Caroline up from school this afternoon. Had to go to Target for a long list of things that I have been constructing for a week. On that list I added Tylenol because Hudson seemed to be just a little uncomfortable after waking up from a nap. I figured once we got inside and the cart was moving, he would be fine.

At first I couldn't even stop and look at anything because every time the buggy stopped, he started crying. Caroline and I were able to pick up two bathing suites that she wanted to try on, and we just made our way to the baby section, in hopes of getting the Tylenol and going a head and opening it up to give him a dose to get him through the shopping trip. 

The crying turned into whaling by the time we were on the medicine aisle. I just knew people were disturbed by him. I opened the meds, and of course the dosage for his age was "consult physician". So in the mist of the most terrible cry I have ever heard him cry, I'm trying to 1) call the dr. to find out 2) Google the right answer. Neither of which I could actually accomplish before realizing I had to take him out of the store, because I was being "that person" that allows their child to scream his head off in public. 

As I made my way to the front of the store, I kid you not, people were stopping and staring (that's how bad he was crying). Moms of other babies gave me glances of sympathy, empathy, and some annoyance. I truly was doing what felt like a "walk of shame". I got to the front of the store and just let Caro tend the cart, while I stood in the lobby trying to calm him down. NOTHING WOULD WORK. Realizing I had opened the medicine so the option of just leaving was non existent, I was trying to figure out how to at least pay for that. Right when I was seriously about to send Caroline up to the register with my credit card to pay (that's how low this is), an angel appeared in the form of another mother. 

She walked up to me with the sweetest, most understanding look on her face and asked me if there was any way should could help me. She offered to pay for my stuff for me. She offered to hold him. Whatever I needed. Not even considering that should could walk right out the door with my child, I gladly handed him to her, and ran to the register to pay for our stuff.

The whole time I was paying, all I could think was, "oh my gosh. I don't even know that lady. She could be stealing my baby RIGHT now. I just LOVE her!"

When I got back over, she hadn't been successful in calming him either, but she assured me that she had been in my shoes. She had older kiddos (one of which turns out is named Caroline too). She understood my stress, and instead of watching me struggle and judge my parenting, she saw a need and she met it! 

I know this is corny, but I can't tell you what a blessing that lady was to me today. I wish I had hugged her before we left (with Hudson STILL screaming his head off). 

As mother's we constantly read blog posts about how we are all the same, struggling the same way, fighting the same fight, but how often do we actually aid one another, mother to mother, in doing all this crazy stuff? I know I don't. I'm very quick to form an opinion, even a sympathetic one, but rarely do I go out of my comfort zone to do something about it. You can bet from now on I will!

Having been a single mom, you would think that I have seen/done it all in the way of crazy circumstances on the daily with a baby, but today was something I never experienced with Caroline. Coming home tonight to deal with Hudson's fussiness alone because Ryan is still out of town, has been really hard for me. I easily feel like I could cry myself to sleep I'm so worn out (and still have no groceries). But instead of wallowing in the stresses of today, I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the help of that angel who came to my aid in the form of a

PS. Okay maybe that wasn't so short ;)

5 Reasons Every Dad Should Play Barbies

Saturday, January 3, 2015

This year, for Christmas, Caroline got the Barbie Dreamhouse. The Barbie craze started at the beginning of this year. I think she had two Barbies at the time, and after counting the other day as we opened and put them away she was up to 37 (more than half of which are the Disney Princess Barbies she wanted). In her collection of Barbies are two boys, Flynn (from Tangled) and Ken (of course). Flynn was given to Ryan from Caroline, and Ken was a gift to Caroline that she is SURE was a mistake, because "the boys are there so DAD can play too."

Before Ryan left for his week long trip to Hong Kong, I passed the playroom and caught a glimpse of this beautiful sight. I had to take some pictures because immediately it made me think back to when I was a little girl, and my dad played Barbies with my sister and me! Dad was always the little brother that came with the wedding set. He had spiked hair, and Dad had endearingly named him "nappy".  
I laugh just thinking about him saying, "throw me that nappy headed doll, I'll be that one"

Dad wasn't very good at playing Barbies. SORRY DAD! He didn't know what to make them say, or how to play for hours with us, but one thing he did do was have us girls rolling on the floor laughing at some of Nappy's antics. The same is true with Ryan. He doesn't even know how to make the boy Barbie's talk. They all have this evil, chain-smoker like voice. He likes to load the two boys up in the American Girl Doll Jeep (yes, using the wrong car for the toys, see what I mean), lay out all the princess' and drive the jeep over the top of them as Caroline shrieks with joy/excitement/fear for her girls. He "locks" the Barbies out of their own house. He pretends the dog is a vicious protector of the Dreamhouse, and so on. In short, he acts like a 7 year old BOY playing Barbies.

The fact that Caroline and Ryan playing together means so much to me, made me think, why is it that when Dad plays girl stuff, it's different than anything else the two can do together? I could come up with 5 main reasons that it stands out in my childhood memories, and why it's important that every Dad plays Barbies (or whatever girly thing your daughter is into).

1. It reassures your daughter that you don't wish they were your son. We all know that every dad can't wait to welcome a little boy into the world. The thought of teaching your son to play catch, or shoot a ball seems to be every mans dream. When you dive into the world of pink and purple, playing with something you aren't instinctively born to play, shows us as daughters that you value our girly nature and embrace us for the differences we bring to your table. 

2. It shows her that you have a gentle side too. I mean have you ever tried to actually play with a Barbie set? They are clearly designed to be played with using needle nose tweezers, because even little kid hands plow through that house like bulldozers, knocking down everything they touch, let alone MAN HANDS. Gentleness is required when playing with a dollhouse, drinking with your pinkie up while enjoying a tea party, and glueing jewels onto every single piece of artwork girls create. Knowing that there can be a gentle side to the guy we perceive as industructable is valuable someday as we look for a daddy for our future daughters. 

3. It shows her that your invested in her interests too. It's easy to act like you think what she is saying is super interesting even when it's not. Saying, "Oh yeah? That's cool." can be done with little to no thought. Taking time out of your day to play with what she finds "cool" not only makes her think you are interested in her life, but SHOWS her that you are. That way when it's something bigger than Barbie, she already knows that you will have genuine interest in what she is doing. 

4. It makes her feel special. This one is right out of the mouth of my 4 year old daughter. I think what she means is, breaking away from the things you really want to do, to spend time with her, makes her feel important, like she matters more to you than that football game you could be watching. We drag our kiddos to run errands, to sporting events we really want to attend ourselves, to family dinners, and anywhere else we feel like. Taking initial time out of what we want for her is an act of selflessness that she needs to know exists in us all. 

5. To make her giggle. It's true Dad, your down right funny! Watching you try to play girly things is seriously hilarious to little girls. We know you are not good at it. We know you have no clue what you are doing. We know that making the girls talk about their clothes is just not going to be exciting enough for you. And we think your improvisions to those facts are Laugh Out Loud, Cover Our Mouth, Throw Our Head Back, kinda funny! And lets get real- don't you just wish you could bottle that giggle? 
Playing with your little girl, Dads, can be a daunting task. It seems like you have no clue what your doing. You certainly have no interest in it, and there are about 500 other things you would rather do than play dolls. But, it's important. You need to play Barbies, or babies, or stuffed animals, or doctor, or color, or beauty salon, or dress up, or whatever else it is that your princess is into. She will remember you for the time you spent with her more than the money you spent on her. I promise.

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