Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When daddy ain't around...

Sometimes we talk about "what if things were like this," or "what if we lived here," or "what if I had this job," etc., and we daydream about all the other possibilities or routes our lives could have taken or might take someday.  Like, what if Greg had a job that required him to travel quite often?  Hey, he might rack up hotel points or the frequent flyer miles, see different people and places, but it'd be at the expense of being away from his family on a semi-regular basis.  Maybe that will happen someday, who knows.  But for now, I'm pretty glad his job is local...

Why, you ask?? Last weekend Greg went out of town to work on a project with his uncle. It was semi-impromptu in that it had been discussed as to the timing of it all, but the plane tickets to fly up to see him weren't purchased until 2 days before his trip.  Because that's how they do.  As much as I wanted to be über supportive about his being gone for the weekend and say with a confident, sincere smile, "Go get 'em, we got this!!" while I drop-kicked him out of the Pilot (haha, never would do that!), I was pretty much dreading his departure, and the 3 bedtimes that would ensue while he was gone.  It'd be 2 on 1 in terms of kids to parents and just like in basketball, that's a little harder to manage. You have to keep your eyes on the ball all the time and constantly be aware of your surroundings.  There's a reason it says in the bible, "for two are better than one," and I really learned that this past weekend.

Well, I'm here blogging, so clearly we made it through and survived, and both of my kids are napping, so while it's tempting to pat myself on the back and say, "We did it!" it wasn't without a few challenging times.

We kept ourselves busy after dropping Greg off Friday night.  Once we got home, it was dinnertime, bathtime, Gabe's bedtime and then Mia's.  Friday night, it was Gabe who presented the initial problems: he didn't want mommy to put him down in his crib. So, I kept rushing him trying to get him down, and then as soon as I was about to leave, either Mia would make a noise outside his room, or he'd just whimper and I'd have to start over again.  Mia actually went down pretty well that night!  *Score*

Saturday we stayed busy getting ready for a birthday party during the middle of the day.  It was a fun outing and good to see people, but we never got an afternoon nap in for Mia.  That night, I put Gabe down earlier than I had the night before and put him in his swing so that if he were to wake up, he'd at least have something familiar trying to coax him back (as that's where he takes afternoon naps).  Mia presented more of a challenge Saturday night. She really wanted daddy and would not settle.  I think she was overly exhausted from 2 days of no naps.  She really didn't sleep well that night either, and was tossing and turning right after midnight, when I brought her to our bed and she finally relaxed and slept steadily till 8am. It was a short night.

Sunday night, I was hoping it was "third time's a charm," and while by that time I got the system down, Gabe just slept less that night than he had been doing.  I put him down first, while Mia got to watch a special episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (why didn't I think of that the first night?!) and then we did bedtime.  She had taken a nap Sunday afternoon, but still went to bed more or less pretty easily that night.  Nothing like the night before.  And then finally, a little after 10pm, Greg got home!  Woohoo.  He had a lot to tell me about his weekend so we caught up on that and finally hit the hay, only for Gabester to wake up. He might have gone through a one-day growth spurt from Sunday night through Monday, because that kid ate a lot!  Oh well, I was just relieved the other parent was back in the house and we were back to 2 on 2.  Much easier!

We still had a good weekend, albeit somewhat exhausting, and I was so thankful to my church family and friends on Sunday who helped me out with watching 2 kids during church.  Linz & Matt held Gabe when I didn't need to hold him, and Mia sat with Braden when I had to take Gabe out.
Sunday night, Mia partied with Lena in the backrow and Gabe fell asleep like THIS on me.  He is a little bit of a wonder child, I think.

I coerced some friends to hit up my personal fav, Tijuana Flats, for a quick meal Sunday night and they were again, quite helpful to me with having 2 kids in tow.  Sometimes I think it's funny we ended up in Florida, but during times like this (kid-raising and all that), I'm so thankful for the community we have.  They are good to us.

Now that Greg is back, it's back to business as usual around here, although we're gearing up for a busy month of April.  Between Easter, friends' babies being born, spring cleaning, and a certain little girl's birthday party, I have a scary feeling it'll be May too soon!  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gabe's firsts

Last Sunday, while snowboarding showboating on Nana's air mattress, Gabe rolled over. What a big guy!  Just a little over 4 months.

And last Monday night, Gabe was a little bit pitiful when I tried to put him down for the night, and he had his first night of croup.  Enter the humidifer, a little homeopathy, lots of holding and shushing, and some short sleep stretches that night.  Gabe's first croup.

Despite all that, we had a great week, with Nana in town for part of it and finished the week with family pictures and new end tables!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Your baby is HUUUGE!

Mia at 4ish months
Good words I didn't know if I'd ever hear :P

So maybe I grow small babies in the womb but once they "pop out" as Mia says (she borrowed that terminology from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, thank you!), these babes seem to grow!

Gabe had his 4 month check-up on Friday and here were his stats:
16.02 lbs (75th percentile)
26.5 inches (90th percentile)
and 75th percentile for head circumference (I don't have that exact measurement)

check out that chubby midriff //
Gabe at 4ish months

Everything else looked good, despite a little nasal congestion, some funky remaining umbilical cord stubble (his belly is so chubby I never see inside his belly button until I bathe him - which is honestly, infrequent), and cradle cap.  I asked about his spitting up and it seems that since he gains weight so well, it's just a physiological reflux and not to worry about it--hope that's the case! And oh yeah, keep massaging his tear ducts since they seem clogged.  So, while that sounds like a LOT, it actually makes for a worthwhile appointment, otherwise it's just checking his vitals, a quick meet & greet with the doc, and that's it.

He's a good eater, a pretty good sleeper (every baby/kid/person has their days...and nights), and generally happy, so I think we'll keep him.

Which is probably good for him, because if I ever leave his presence, he somehow still finds me, hones in on me, and gives me this look:

Gabe's very serious and studious mommy-don't-leave-me look

Another Mia at 4ish months

Having said all that though, he seems to be having trouble staying settled tonight, so I best be going... 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A week in the life

Gabe ready for a "FL" cold front
Mia with her button shoe girlfriends 
Publix: where shopping is a pleasure
Loving the zoo with Amelia
A moving Gabe sports his first pair of baby legs
While Mia sports her first set of french braid pigtails
And a nephew/cousin is born; welcome baby Ethan!!  Congrats to Nate & Jenna

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Weekend in the Life

Most of our weekends aren't normally like this, but last week my parents were in town for a work conference on my dad's part, and we got to hang out with them over at their hotel--on the BEACH, holla!--and enjoy the best time of year in Florida. For nearly free, minus a tire that split on the way out there, and the subsequent 4-tire replacement that followed the day after.  No big deal.

The rest of the weekend, we hit up the Strawberry Festival, where rural Florida comes to let it all hang out, and also celebrated (early!) Luke's birthday while my parents were in town.

A picture recap of the weekend:

Mia sees Mommo
Note the name of my parents' villa building
(if you know their names you'll see why this is unusual)

Sifting Sands

Snoozin at the pool
Mia enforcing that everybody swim in the kiddie pool
Proof Greg & I both live

Posing as posers at the Strawberry Festival

Gabe & his homies

Amazing Sibling Love caught on film, with Mommo & Papa Jack

PS: Happy [actual] birthday to my brother Luke, TODAY!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Going to Extremes

It wasn't too long ago I was having a conversation with a close mom friend about handling two babies, pre-Gabe, of course.  She told me, "It's okay if things go well at first and then they don't. Sometimes that happens."
Unless you catch me in the morning, I'm usually an optimist so when I hear things like this, sometimes I think, "That's cool, but I'm not planning on letting that happen for me.  Things will be AWESOME." Until they aren't.  And hey, I'm not even talking about really bad, awful, tragic things. I'm just talking about life. Life is such that you're either going up a hill, going down a hill, or sometimes you're just on an even plain for a while and there isn't much exciting going on.  The tricky part--for me, that is--is figuring out how to manage all the twists and turns or slow periods without ripping yours or anyone else's head(s) off (for those of you with more than one head).

Now that I got all of that out my system, the extremes I'm referring to in the title are the extremes I've felt since having a 2nd child. In some ways I'm loving it. He is a cute, sweet, good-natured baby, and Mia is an awesome big sister and now that she's 5 trillion times more capable than she was a year ago, not to mention more verbal, and we're past some of the humps we experienced during this past year, I'm thankful for the spacing we have between these kids; exactly 30 months.  That is proving to be working out pretty well thus far.
The extremes I feel are just on the rough days.  The days where we miss a nap, or unintentionally push bedtime back way too far, or watch too much TV and aren't outside enjoying the sunshine, or have crappy bedtime battles.  Then, of course, I'm not loving it.  It's not as easy having the parents split up -- me for Gabe and Greg for Mia.  There were some pros to having an odd-numbered family beforehand, which I obviously didn't realize till now. We both equally dealt with Mia when we were home and took turns.  And because Gabe is naturally a momma's boy because I nurse him, it means I can't as easily run out for a girls night or do some of the evening bible studies I used to with my girlfriends, because getting him into bed at the right time and keeping us on a good rhythm/routine most nights of the week is a priority for me.  These are just little sacrifices that will eventually be a blur, so I shan't wish the days away, at all.  Things just change, and are always in flux.  That truth could be said about almost anything.

For now though, I'm thankful for where we are. I didn't know I'd love living in Tampa for this stage of life, but I do love it. It's been a great place to cultivate relationships and friendships with other young parents and allow Mia almost unlimited access to great Christian buddies.  The sunshine we experience almost all year long has no doubt helped prevent many a mood swing, and feeling like I'm finally figuring out a thing or two about "running a household" (what transitions we've taken!) makes me feel tons more proficient at being a housewife....Eek, I cannot believe I even said those two words in a sentence in relation to me.  It still sometimes seems totally foreign.  Megan, the housewife.  Is that really me??  Shouldn't I be guidance-counseling?  Even though I hardly think of the roles in the same terms at all, in some ways I am guidance-counseling.

And the final extreme--not to be an Oprah show, but like I mentioned in the last post, there's been a lot of pouring out lately--into my kids, of course, but less internal developing and pouring back in.  It's not about me, in the end, it really isn't.  Yet, I'm trying to be more diligent and more purposeful about holding back for mine and my family's sake when I need to.  Oh, for a crazy, loves-to-have-fun & be social type of person, that is mighty hard.  But there is much to consider when you give yourself some quiet space.  Much to consider.

And that's just one peek into the brain of yours truly.  Till now...I'm going to gorge on an afternoon treat while the babes finish up their naps, and consider my AMAZING to-do list.
Thank goodness get dressed is already crossed off for today.

Stank. Greg found me out!

What are the "must-do's" on your daily to-do lists?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunny days...

This blog needs some pep. I haven't been in a funk but I have just been a bit more busy it seems - being a mom. It's nice to feel purposeful but I'm trying to not have tunnel vision. It can be tempting (because it's so easy to do) to get totally sucked up in your kids you forget about everything else. Sometimes I like that, but sometimes I realize I have nothing else to offer if I only mother. There's gotta be a balance. Raising these kids to launch is an incredibly important job; keeping myself balanced is important too, also part of my job. Working on it...

Till then enjoy these sweet thangs...even when they freak out about dirty purple cups.