Saturday, February 06, 2016

Just write something

That's what I keep telling myself.  So here we go.

Olive weaned herself about a month ago, at 10 months old, and I was very angry at her, and completely heartbroken.  For like two days.  Then I was all, "Woo hoo! Party time!"  I don't have to wear tanks under my shirt every day!  I can wear dresses again!  I don't have to fight her to nurse when we're going to be out and about all day.  I can be out of the house at bedtime and it's NO BIG DEAL!  And speaking of bedtime, it takes about 15 minutes now, instead of 45.


There are certainly benefits to the situation.


(Obsessed with her pigtails.)

But man that first night when she refused to nurse at bedtime?  Pure devastation.  I sobbed.  And yes, I realize that is a dramatic reaction but, for real.  I was completely thrown off by her very sudden refusal to nurse, at bedtime of all times.  And her being my third and almost for sure last baby made it all the more difficult.

Both of my boys nursed until I got pregnant with the other, and then had to slowly cut them off, and that part of the process was always stressful for me and confusing for them.  Olive just cut that part out, so I guess I appreciate that.

So now I've been exclusively pumping for about five weeks or so, and it suuuuuucks.  I hate it.  Hate hate hate.  I am so impressed and amazed by any mom that ever had to or chose to exclusively pump.  Pumping moms, you are amazing.  I wish I could say I had an ample freezer stash so I didn't have to keep doing this, but at the time of Olive's weaning I only had about 100 ounces.  We have had to dip into it because my supply is very slowly dwindling away and every week or so we have to pull about 10-15 ounces in order to keep up with her.  We're managing, and the end is in sight, so I suppose I need to just buck up. But man, I hate it.  I feel like I am always washing pump parts, always remembering just as I am snuggling into my bed to go to sleep that I forgot to pump one last time.  The worst is when we're trying to get out of the house for something, which of course is no small feat with three young children, and I've managed our time in my head and plotted everything out and then all of a sudden realize that I have to somehow fit in another 10-15 minute task.

Yesterday I bought some whole milk so we could start mixing that in a little bit to ease the transition.  We're almost there.  3 more weeks until her first birthday.


I made some New Years goals, not necessarily resolutions, but I sort of mapped out some of the realistic things that I would like to make happen this year.  It felt good to just put that time into myself, organize my thoughts, and think about the things that would make me a happier or more balanced person in 2016. 

One of my goals was to read more, and I want to read at least 12 books this year.  For those that read a lot I'm sure 12 books sounds like nothing, but I like my goals achievable, and I doubt I read 12 books last year.  One book a month sounds like something I could and should make happen.  Reading more is one of those activities that has positive effects on many parts of my life.  First, having a book to read helps me avoid mindless internet/social media consumption at night when the kids are in bed, which is fine in moderation, but it can become a crutch and makes me feel all around shitty about myself.  It also helps curb the mindless stupid TV watching & snacking that I tend to rely on for my "me time".  Shoveling popcorn in your face is easier to do without a book in your hand.  Finally, reading actually inspires me, even the frilly chick lit stuff that I tend to enjoy, to DO SOMETHING with my life, in a way that other forms of entertainment just do not do. Anyway, I am on track with my one-book-a-month goal, and read The Royal We a few weeks ago (loved), and then last week I figured out how to borrow Kindle books from the library, so I'm optimistic. 

Another of my goals was to discover more podcasts.  I am obsessed, especially with listening to podcasts while doing chores at home and commuting/driving all over the city picking up children from daycare and school.  I mostly have stuck with my tried-and-true parenting and feminist podcasts, but I am currently binging on a hilarious comedy podcast called Gilmore Guys, in which two twenty-something guys watch, analyze, and podcast their way through every single episode of Gilmore Girls.  It is amazing.  And hilarious.  And it makes my cheeks hurt from smiling... just all around silly, light-hearted fun.  


Overall, plotting out things I'd like to accomplish has been SUPER motivating for me, and I've actually made an effort to do things I've put off for a really long time.  Like subscribing to and ordering Chatbooks of my Instagram feed (done this week!), making a hair appointment after 16 months of laziness (chopped 10 inches a few weeks ago!), and focusing on bringing breakfast to work rather than grabbing a muffin or a bagel from the coffee place on the way to work (doing this more often that not doing this, which is major progress).  We also signed Gus up for ski lessons in January and those went pretty great, and I hope just having it written down will remind me of my intentions to make swimming lessons happen this winter sometime.


Best I have on my phone of the new hair.  

And yeah.  At some point we have to get Olive baptized.  So that's on my list.  Ha.

I'm giving myself a little bit of a pass on exercise right now, but it's something that I want to start doing again.  Twice a week seems manageable but of course right now it's not happening because it's just been so long.  So I am having some major failure to launch issues in that area of my life.

Blogging once a week also seems doable, but I'm already failing, so whatever.  But I'd like to try.  Even if it's just more of this mind-dump kind of stuff that you are reading right now.   And with that, I better end this, or I risk never posting it (another one of my blogging obstacles, I have so many drafts of non-starter posts that will never see the light of day).

Of course I can't not post a few recent pics of the kids if I'm going to actually blog...courtesy of the most recent snowstorm and a trip to The Works museum!






Happy 2016!

Monday, January 11, 2016

He's Four

I love to watch Louie's face when we're all singing happy birthday to him. He is just so sweet and bashful, sometimes with a wry smile always with his head turned downward.  If he dares to look around and not down at the table he will still avoid eye contact. I get it.  It's exhilarating but also uncomfortable to have so much attention on you, to have so many people smiling at you and watching you, waiting expectantly for what you're going to do next.  I cherish that nervous and proud little face, and oh gosh I adore this child. 

Here he is with that face I love, at his ZOO BIRTHDAY! party with his little friends. 

And on New Year's Eve, his actual birthday, being sung to by his wild, giant, noisy extended family.  Many heads got in my way, so this was the only partial shot I got of that nervous face. 


Oh my goodness.

Last year, when he turned three, same face:

LouieBday3 025

LouieBday3 022

(I clearly have no idea how to appropriately use the focus on my camera.)

At his 2nd birthday party his bashfulness came out in him sticking his tongue out while we all sang.  Still with that same proud little smirk. 

And when he turned one, he basically just looked shocked and a little concerned by the bizarre attention and sudden communal singing. (Also, whoa, looking a lot like Olive here.)

So this guy of ours turned four years old, amidst all the craziness and extra family time and weird schedules that is our life over the holidays.  I'm sure someday we won't get it right, at some point he's going to realize and potentially resent the fact that he gets the shaft by having a birthday that is not only 6 days after Christmas but also lands on a day that people all over the world like to celebrate for something else entirely.  Eh. We'll continue to do our best to make sure he feels special, if anything over-compensate for this lot in life that he was given by being born on New Year's Eve.

I can't believe he's four.  I just... where in the world does time go?  Such a cliche, I know.  But man, his baby and toddler years were gone in such a flash and I can already tell the preschool years will also be quick. 

Our baby Louie.  


He was beautiful and scrumptious and relatively easy on us exhausted parents back then, and that hasn't really changed.  He is still a pretty easy going kid.  And he's still darn gorgeous if I do say so myself.

iPhone 207


He's funny, precocious, articulate, goes with the flow but at the same time can be very moody, as kids his age tend to be.  Kid can get HANGRY real fast, and then things get scary.  

January 23, 2015

The best way to combat the hangry is with a sandwich.  He loves meat sandwiches, of almost any kind.  Cheeseburgers, sloppy joes, pulled pork, turkey sandwiches, Sausage McMuffins... The way to Louie's heart is through some kind of meat stuffed between some kind of bread.

He is a snuggler and a sleeper.  Lately he's been falling asleep whenever we're in the car in the afternoon, which makes me worry a little that he's not getting enough rest. The poor kid could probably use a nap every day but we'd really rather he and Gus be on the same schedule, and he has shown that he can do without.  Still, every once in a while it's a good idea to get this kid a nap.  One day over the holidays when we had some sort of party to go to in the evening and I laid with the boys to get them to take a mid-day nap (Gus was furious about this, by the way), Louie cozied up to me and whispered, "Mom, I love sleeping, I love taking naps and snuggling with you, and I'm really tired.  Gus never wants to take naps but I want to all the time." 


Louie is also a bit of a brown-noser, did I mention that?  As his mom, it's kind of awesome and I have to assume it will serve him well in life.  ;)

Despite his love of sleep, he is an EXCESSIVE bedtime staller, almost to an impressive degree, and he drives us batty with his frantic needs just before/at/after/or during the bedtime process.  His tactics are pretty standard... he needs a glass of water or a last minute bathroom run.  He's suddenly hungry for the dinner he stuck his nose up at 2 hours earlier.  Sometimes he has forgotten one of his (twenty-some) stuffed animals downstairs and he just CAN'T go to sleep without it, or his pillow isn't cold enough and needs to be flipped, he needs his back rubbed, the blanket is twisted around his legs and needs to be fixed.  I could go on and on.  As sleep deprived and over-taxed parents this bedtime stalling can be frustrating, even down-right infuriating, but it also feels like a part of his lore, one of those stories we will tell about Louie when he's a teenager or even a grown man himself with his own insane preschooler with absurd demands.



He's still obsessed with animals, (thus the zoo birthday party), and has been since he was a baby so this isn't just some passing phase.  He tells me he wants to be a "boy zoo keeper" when he grows up, hilarious that he feels the need to emphasize his gender.  He LOVED getting this gigantic giraffe for Christmas from Nathan and Eric, and we tried to make him keep it in his bedroom but the next morning at 6:30 AM he insisted on dragging it down two flights of stairs so he could watch TV with it.  So in our basement this massive giraffe has found a home. Temporarily, if I have anything to say about it.

Louie, you are a DREAM, just the most joyful little boy, you radiate sweetness and silliness.  You are always talking, always, essentially narrating life as you go about it.  If I'm being honest it can be a little exhausting, but it's also refreshing to have so much insight into what you're thinking.  You don't like to be alone, don't like to feel alone, and you refuse to go to the basement or up to your room to get something without someone coming with you.  That, is something I think we should work on, now that you're 4.  ;)  Maybe your first New Year's resolution?!

Preschool is your jam, little guy.  You love it.  You love to learn new things, you love to play with other kids, and you love to impress your teachers with your manners and kindness and eagerness to please.  You still have one more year of preschool after this one, before Kindergarten, but dare I say it you are so ready for "real" school.  I will have no reservations when the time comes, other than just typical mom sadness over the bittersweet passage of time. Because really you were just our baby, like yesterday.

Happy birthday, my darling boy.  Do not ever stop being you, you are a shining star, you light up our life and make every day better than the last.  I will never stop loving you, sweetheart.