It won't be like this for long.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Well, last night we said goodbye to the miracle blanket. Claire has been busting out of her swaddle for some time now. Some nights she wouldn't, but most nights, one or both arms and/or one or both legs (or some combination of the four limbs) would find their way out. Two nights ago, everything was out, and she woke up fussing a bit around 4:00am. I watched her fall right back asleep on the monitor while she sucked on her fingers, but then I realized that she was totally tangled up in the miracle blanket. As much as it has served us well with Henry (for how long, I don't remember) and with Claire for nearly 4 months, it seems her thrashing about causes it to get all tangled up and I'm worried about it getting over her face or around her neck.

So, that morning at 4am, I went in and took it off of her. She woke up and wouldn't take anything but nursing to go back to sleep. When finished, I put her back in with no swaddle, and she slept for another 1.5 hours until she awoke at 6:30 that day.

Last night, I knew we needed to be done with the swaddle. She's just moving around way too much for it to be safe anymore, so cold turkey it was going to be. I was terrified! Our perfect little sleeper has been sleeping through the night for nearly 2 months, and I really, REALLY like that arrangement. It has been amazing, and yes, I say it again, I know how lucky we are to have these two awesome sleepers.

I fed her around 7:15ish like I always do, she fell asleep like she always does and up to her crib she went at about 8pm. I dusted off Henry's old music/light show player and had it playing for a little extra soothing :) We went to bed around 10pm and right when we were getting into bed, she woke up. Since she's been sleeping through the night for so long, I really didn't want to go in and feed her. We know she can go all night, and I really don't want to take any backward steps. So, Ryan went in with a pacifier (which we haven't tried since well before Christmas) and her gloworm. He rocked her back to sleep, put her in the crib, and she was awake before he even laid himself back down in bed.

My turn. I tried to just give her the paci back (yay for two kids who seemingly want nothing to do with the paci) and turn the music back on. Nothing. Totally and completely awake again. So I caved and fed her. After one side, she seemed to be asleep. Put her back in the crib. Played the music player. Awake before I even got back into bed.

Oh man, what are we going to do?! We've been super spoiled with our sleep considering we have two young children. I went back in to feed her the other side, not knowing what I/we were going to do once my milk was out.

But then, as I sat there and nursed her, listening to the songs on the music player that we heard a million times over through Henry's monitor when he was younger, I realized my fretting about whether or not she would stay sleeping was rather ridiculous. It won't be like this for long (awesome Darius Rucker song--tear jerker for parents, for sure). Hearing the music player caused me to shed a few tears, as it was already so long ago that Henry needed that music and us in the middle of the night. Wasn't he just the baby I was holding/rocking and nursing in the middle of the night? All too soon Claire will be a big girl in her toddler bed some day, with no need for her mommy in the middle of the night

And then I embraced the fact that I had that moment with Claire last night, just me and her snuggling, a type of moment Henry outgrew long ago. A moment I will miss and never get back someday. Here's to hoping things slow down and stop going by so fast. Want another tear jerker? Check out this one by Trace Adkins.

Oh yeah. She ended up sleeping the rest of the night after that 10pm feeding.

Oh! This is post 499. That means my next post is the big 500! hard to believe I've pushed that post button 500 times already. Any suggestions for a creative/fun 500 post?

All you need is love.

Sunday, January 29, 2012
I wanted to wait closer to Valentine's Day to post this, but I couldn't. A special thanks to Henry for giving me the 35 seconds for this photo. :)

Also, click my banner--pretty please, that's all. :)

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Top Mommy Blogs

Friday, January 27, 2012
So, there's a giant banner on top of the posts now. Kind of hard to miss. I've added this blog to a mommy blog directory. You can vote and/or rate my blog which will move it higher up in the rankings on the website http://www.topmommyblogs.com/ . 

All you need to do is click that giant banner once per day. That's all and I will love you all for it. (and by all, I guess I mean the 3 additional readers in addition to my immediate families, Kelly and Amanda, as only 3 additional people responded to my "Who are you?" post a few weeks back). I know there are more of you out there ;) and this is an attempt to get even more. I'll remind you from time to time, as it's an ongoing thing. I'm not entirely sure how it all works, but I think if the "votes" (clicking the banner) stop coming, then I am removed from the directory. So, for you daily readers, just click that link each time you visit. :)

I've followed a lot of blogs for a while, and it seems a variety of opportunities can open up as a blog gets more popular, so I'm giving it a try to gain more readers. We will see what happens. :)

A little bit of beautiful.

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Claire, in all her beautiful baby glory, as always. One very special surprise in this post though. We'll see if you catch it.

What else is a pretty clearance dress for than to take pretty pictures in it? She wanted nothing to do with this that day though. She was extremely focused on eating her hands. The tooth still hasn't broken through yet, and now I'm not convinced I even see it anymore. The drool and chomping are still rampant, however.

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Oh hey, take a look at who Claire looks like. But there are ones of me floating around she looks just like too. I think she's a perfect 50/50 mix of us, depending on the picture you look at. I don't have anything scanned on the computer though.

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And, trying out some pretty fabric I picked up at Joann's. Their little Shakopee store is moving to a new location. That means big sales and liquidation at the current store. Kelly and I plan to go weekly :)

This fabric reminds me of Disney Princess Belle's famous gold dress.

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So, did you catch the surprise? There was a picture of Henry in this post. A posed one. And he was looking. And smiling. And I got it in focus. Nice birthday present he gave me last week.

Show off your shot: Birthday Love

Monday, January 23, 2012
A new blog I follow has a "Show off your shot" linky every week. While it's technically not my shot (because I'm in it), it's definitely show off worthy, thanks to my husband...edited by me, of course. Love Claire's expression in this one! If you're a new reader that's found my blog, you can find the "follow me" button at the bottom of the page :)

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 then, she {snapped}

27 Years.

Saturday, January 21, 2012
Sigh. Another year, another candle added to the cake. Good thing, though, as my friend Jessie said, the years just keep getting better. :) Not only did I add a candle to the cake this year, a new sweet baby was added to the photo of me blowing out the candles, compliments of last year's cake. ;)

We had a family lunch out yesterday, blew out the candles and then mommy and daddy went out on a much needed date while the kiddos stayed with Auntie Liz. We went to Crave for the first time, briefly walked around the Galleria (which I had never been in), on the lookout for something I could blow my birthday money on (which almost went to a Coach purse...almost). Then we went bowling (me, for the first time in years, a fact that was clearly reflected in my two scores that didn't even break 100). It was fun though!

A little collection of the day below. Henry and Ryan made me an "emma yum" cake, and Henry picked out all my presents on his own. Ryan let him loose at Target and he picked out a scarf, a shirt, and a pair of socks. Mommy also bought her own pair of jeans a few days earlier ;).

Ryan ate some sushi, which I can happily report, that I also tried...though Ryan will deny that fact.

It was a fantastic birthday, spent with some of my most favorite people. :)



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ABC...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The singing just gets cuter and cuter. We only miss "M" and "N" now.



This little girl also gets cuter and cuter.

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A tale of two hearts.

Monday, January 16, 2012
As a warning, this may be an emotional post. It is for me anyway. It took me one year to actually start to write it, and another month and a half to actually hit publish...so here it goes.

So I finally got my mother's day present. I had a necklace picked out at the time, but at the time the one I wanted included birthstones, and since we weren't sure if Claire was going to be born in September or October, we decided to wait on ordering it, hence the delay in my mother's day present. Flash forward a few months, and I decided on a completely different necklace and ordered it myself sometime in November. I love it to pieces. It arrived sometime in December, and I originally wrote this post then. As I said earlier, it's just taken me this long to actually hit "publish".

As you can see, there is a circle with Henry's name, a circle with Claire's name and two little hearts on top. This post is about those two little hearts.



Just over 3 years ago, we were in the midst of a lot of early ultrasounds with my pregnancy with Henry. What most don't know is that in the mist of all of those ultrasounds (a total of 5 during the first 10 weeks, I believe) is that there was a second baby with a beating heart that showed up on some of those ultrasounds. Yes, you read that right. My pregnancy with Henry began as a spontaneous twin pregnancy. They didn't see baby b until the 3rd ultrasound, and by the 5th ultrasound there was no longer a beating heart. They warned us it didn't look good from the start. Baby b's gestational sac was much smaller than Henry's and it didn't seem to grow from the week to week ultrasounds we had. Sometime between 8-10 weeks, we lost that baby. It was an emotion felt that day that I can't even explain. To be relieved and happy that one baby was still there with a healthy heartbeat, and at the same time having your heart sink because the other baby was gone. Close family knew, but I never told many other people. Miscarriage is something that many women keep locked away. The pain is too difficult to relive over and over again as you tell person after person. I felt that every time I spoke the words "we lost it" it became more real and so at the time, avoided shouting it from the rooftops.

It is apparently known as "vanishing twin syndrome" and is found much more often these days as women get ultrasounds earlier and earlier. It's thought to be somewhat common and you or I may have even been a twin, we just don't know, as they didn't do ultrasounds or even have the technology to know that early back then. I have since told other people, here and there, but still, every time I say the words out loud that Henry was "suppose to be a twin", all the emotions come back. The entire pregnancy I wondered what it would have been like. A gigantic belly. Two beautiful babies.  They would have been fraternal, I believe, since they weren't in the same sac. We will never know, but I will still always wonder what it would have been like to have two Henry's running around. One of the hearts on my necklace is for Henry's twin.

 
Flash forward to 2010. I had one menstrual cycle between Henry and Claire. One. The doctors had no answers for me and tossed me around between my regular obgyn to a specialist and back to a midwife who specialized in infertility. They didn't know why I wasn't getting cycles, and because of that, assumed I was not ovulating. To make an incredibly long story short, after months of trying, we were going to go ahead with fertility treatments of Clomid--an oral medication in conjunction with a shot that makes you ovulate. We reached this decision in October/November of 2010, but because of the hefty price tag each month that you would try the medicine (because there was no guarantee it would even work--especially on the first try) we decided we would start the treatments at the beginning of 2011 when we could put money into a flex-spending account.

Knowing we would be potentially putting a lot of money into this, we decided to give it a try on our own, one last time. Those two pink lines showed up on December 16, 2010. I didn't believe it. The line was faint, but it was there. For some reason, I just had a feeling, and took the test. Clearly, my body was somehow working. We had finally conceived on our own again.

December was perfect. We could announce to our parents on Christmas. I rushed to Kohl's and bought Henry a big brother t-shirt. He was going to open it up in front of the grandparents. Excitement beyond belief. Henry was going to have a sibling.

The very next day, I started spotting at work. I worried, of course, but I had spotted the entire first trimester with Henry (which my then obgyn chalked up to me losing the twin), so I knew that maybe it was ok. Unfortunately, by Saturday morning, it was bleeding, and not just spotting. I knew it was over. As fast as it had began, it was over. Unfortunately for me, because I really had no idea how far along I could be (thinking as much as 6 weeks), the doctors made me go in to the emergency room that Saturday, one week before Christmas. I can easily chalk that day up to one of the worst days of my life. I could not stop crying. I simply could not. Never have I cried that hard in my life.

They did an ultrasound that "showed nothing" as the doctor had said. They took one picture and didn't even offer to give it to me at first. As we left the ultrasound room, I saw the picture still sticking out of the printer. They were just going to throw it away. My only memory of another baby we had conceived was just going to be tossed away. Thankfully, I mustered up enough language through my tears to ask for it. We then sat in our room for hours, it seemed, as I clutched the ultrasound picture that showed just a sac. No baby, no heartbeat. The doctor had said "Yes, this is a miscarriage." It cost us $500 to hear those words. When that bill came in the mail, it was the biggest punch in the gut. $500 to hear those dreaded words and for them to hand me some handouts that I never read. I couldn't even bring myself to open them. They sat tucked away in the cupboard until I found them shortly before Henry's birthday when I was cleaning.

We would have been due in September. I think I was around 5 weeks. The second heart on my necklace is for that baby.

After the emergency room visit, I put in a call to the midwife to see how we would proceed. She wanted to wait until I had another menstrual cycle before we would start the infertility treatments. Another punch to the gut. Are you kidding me lady? I've been to how many visits in the past 3 months and have repeatedly told you I DO NOT get my cycle. You are supposed to help me figure out where my cycle is and why it isn't coming. I had had one cycle since Henry's birth. One. She magically thought my body was going to "reset" itself...that was the magic answer? A miscarriage would make my periods come back? You have got to be kidding me. I was at work when I took that call just sat in my little closet office and cried. Not only had I just been through the stress of possible infertility and the trauma of miscarriage, now she wanted me to wait even longer? I wanted a sibling for Henry more than anything in the entire world, and waiting was the one word I didn't want to hear. Especially waiting for something I knew wasn't going to come.

I hid my sorrows in this Christmas post. Don't get me wrong. 2010 was a fantastic Christmas. Henry loved every minute of every celebration we had, but I was dying inside. Amidst all the wonderful gifts Henry got to open, he never got to open that big brother t-shirt.

Our trip to New Mexico last year was much needed. Our first family vacation. We got to see a new place and family that we don't get to see as often as we like. Getting away was good for me.

We returned from our trip and we weren't "preventing".  With my body, it's difficult to "try" as many other women do--charting their temperature, etc. and figuring out the exact second they will ovulate. That wasn't me. I didn't know where my cycle began or ended. I didn't want to wait for a magical period to show up. And after blowing out my 26 candles and wishing with all my might for a sibling for Henry in 2011, those two pink lines showed up exactly 12 days after I blew out those candles. You do the math. :) That magical period never got a chance to show up. Baby #2 was really coming.

I actually wrote another post about these two miscarriages back in July, but I never had the courage to post it. It wasn't until a facebook friend started posting about her own struggles of miscarriage where I finally was pushed to ask myself "Why am I hiding it?". It's relieving to finally get this all out. I remember shortly after losing the twin that there was a special on one of the morning news shows on miscarriages and the lengths many women go through to completely hide their sorrow and tuck it away. I don't know why so many of us do this, but I did it too. Pretended to most of the world that there was never a twin in Henry's pregnancy, and that there wasn't another baby conceived before Claire.

We want more kids, that is for sure. Whether that is one or two more, we haven't completely decided. Should I put my body through 4 c-sections? I don't know. Most doctors will let you do as many as 5, I hear. What matters most is if we will go through all these struggles again. Will there be more miscarriages? I would hope not, but hoping won't stop them. Will I ever get an answer to my problems? I would like to. Clearly my hormones are jacked up beyond belief, but I'm still ovulating (and whether that is every month or not, who knows?). We've somehow conceived three times on our own, despite the near non-existence of anything close to a regular period.

All this time, I've wanted something to remember the babies we never got a chance to hold. When I stumbled upon this necklace, I finally knew this was the perfect way to honor their memory. I actually custom designed this with the designer (I removed a pearl she had on there and asked her to replace it with two hearts). Hopefully I can contact the designer and simply add another disc if we have another baby some day.


So there you have it. The necklace prompted me to finally write this post, and after re-reading it and re-thinking it at least 100 times, I've finally posted it. Don't worry, for those who didn't know about one or either of these babies, don't feel like you need to say anything. It's ok. I just needed to finally get this out in writing. This blog serves as both an electronic journal and baby book for us, and for me to never once not mention the two babies we never got to meet on here was a disservice to their memory.

I don't know if my heart could handle another miscarriage, so I most certainly hope, wish, and pray that it won't ever happen again. I hug the babies I was blessed to bring into this world every chance I get. They are my little miracles and proof that the body doesn't have to be in perfect working order to make babies happen.

Claire is 3 Months!

Friday, January 13, 2012
Already!?

At 3 months, Claire is doing the following:

-Sleeping through the night and is still swaddled. Ryan tried cold turkey the other night while I was away at a client meeting, but she woke up within 30 minutes.
-Has to be woken up by me by 6:30 in order to get a sufficient number of feedings in throughout the day. If I don't wake her up, she'd sleep as late as 7:30ish, I think.
-Is eating about every 2.5 hours during the day. She can go three, but if I let her go 3 hours, then she only gets 5 feedings in, which apparently, isn't enough.
-Rolled over from tummy to back again, finally on her 3 month birthday. But only once, and not since then again!
-Smiles all.the.time. You should see her when I wake her up every day. In fact, maybe I'll get it on video sometime.
-Giggles and laughs, mostly at silly face/noises, but it's pretty random yet. If you tickle her she makes a semi-laugh/upset noise which is also too cute.
-Tolerates tummy time well and enjoys her little activity gym floormat thingy.
-When bottle fed eats 3 ounces, though I bet we could up it to 4. I'll have someone give her a bottle this weekend and see. (Which, by the way, I've been scalding my milk before it goes in the freezer, but we haven't tried giving it to her yet. An activity for this weekend, I guess).
-First tooth is/or is about through. I can't quite tell. She's a drooly mess and the fingers are in her mouth all the time.
-Cooing all the time. I swear it looks and sounds like she knows what she's saying ;) Henry's convinced that she's always trying to say "bear" for some reason.
-LOVES watching Henry. During breakfast and lunch she sits in her little lamb sit on the floor between the 2 of us. She's always staring at Henry. He, is apparently, much more entertaining then me at the dinner table.
-We haven't checked height since 2 months, and Ryan weighed her on the scale two nights ago. We think she may be just over 13 pounds. We visit the doctor again at 4 months.
-Morning naps are still pretty erradic, and really, so are the afternoon ones. But, I think we will very soon be falling into the following schedule:

6:15 Wake Up
6:30-7:00 Nurse
7:00-9:00 Play (tummy time, floor time)
9:00-9:30 Nurse
9:30-11:30ish Morning Nap
11:45-12:15 Nurse
12:15-1:00ish Play
1:00ish Nurse back to sleep
1:00-3:00 Afternoon Nap
Her afternoons have been all weird lately. I've tried feedings at 3/5/7pm (7pm is the last feeding of the day), but then I've also had luck with stretching it out a bit and doing 4:30/7:00. It all totally depends on how well she naps in the morning. If she doesn't nap well in the morning, she's apt to take a much longer nap in the afternoon. And if the naps are crazy bad all day, then she naps again around 5-6.

The routine is a work in progress :) Eventually we'll have 3 long awake times and 2 long naps. Eventually.

Today, they are both napping at the same time this afternoon, hence the ability to create the post you are currently enjoying right now.

Onto the photos. Check out the chub on the legs in the top of the 3rd storyboard. :)

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Who are you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I've mentioned it before, but I have a site meter on this blog that shows me where my readers are and how long you spend reading my blog. Those in my hometown who spend hours on this thing are obviously the four grandparents. New Mexico is my sister-in-law, but other than that, I have no idea who you all are. Various places in Wisconsin come up-- Mindoro, Green Bay, Lacrosse, and Holmen are the regulars. There is also someone in Pennslyvania, and to my knowledge, I don't know anyone there. You are also in California, Florida, Nebraska, Texas, South Dakota, Washington, and a host of various Minnesota towns...Kasson, Austin, Rochester, New Prague, Northfield, St. Paul, MPLS, but those are all just to name a few. Many other cities and states have popped up in the past, but because a few people who shall rename nameless spend a whole lot of time visiting this blog, my meter is flooded with pretty much only two cities right now, and I can only see the last 100 visits. So, I'm asking who you are. You could be family, friends, old friends, old co-workers, classmates, or strangers who somehow stumbled upon this little blog. Introduce yourself to me and tell me how you found me and what you like about my blog. I promise I don't bite. You can comment on this post, email me, or send me a message via FB. I would just love to know who my audience is, so please do me this one little favor. Don't be shy! And, if you are so inclined, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click "follow". Thank you! :)

Puppy Hat, Revisited

Saturday, January 7, 2012
I know the puppy hat photos I took of Henry way back in October 2009 (when he was just two months old) were some all-time family favorites. As Claire napped on me the other day, I scrolled through old blog posts. Of all the old photos I looked at, the puppy photos really reminded me of Claire. So, I thought it would be fun to "re-do" them and compare Claire to Henry at the same age. I think they look remarkably alike! What do you think? I see more of Claire in Henry's old photos than I do of what Henry looks like now. So weird!

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Comparison shot.


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I'm going to promise myself I won't do this very often. I want them to have their own unique set of photos and not a bunch of the same...I just couldn't resist using that puppy hat again. And look, I even gave it a slight girly touch!

2012

Friday, January 6, 2012
Finally getting these up. Happy 2012 to everyone!!

Here are the resolutions I came up with for this year. What are yours?

1. Take more videos of the kids. I get so wrapped up in the photos that I forget to take videos unless it is a special occasion. Even then, I rarely do anything with them other than post a couple cute videos here every so often. Take more videos period is the achievable goal. Putting some DVDs together would be a loftier goal.

2. Go to church more. We aren't very good about this. I want Henry and Claire to learn about what we/I believe. When they are older they will and can make their own decision about their faith.

3. Step up the game in my photography business. Get more bookings across the board, but specifically with newborns.

4. Explore more of the metro area. Henry is two point five and we finally got around to taking him to the children's museum.

5. Continue organizing and purging the crap out of this house.

6. Play more piano. Towards the end of the year maybe start teaching Henry some of the basics.

7. Make more cakes and cupcakes. I have a fun new cupcake book with awesome ideas in it.

8. Go on more date nights. Way more.

9. Take one vacation with kids and one without.

10. Weigh 1#0 instead of 1#8. Clearly not indicating all three digits. I have a date with pandora and the elliptical every other day at 5 am. Here is to hoping I continue to stay motivated.

I had two of these 2012 headbands. Unfortunately, Henry said no thanks. Enjoy Claire though. :)
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A is for "assistant".

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I'm starting a Project 52 this year. 365 (a picture a day) would be way to hard to keep up with. Find this one on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo52abc#!/photo52abc We're doing a letter a week (going through the alphabet twice). I think I'll make a shutterfly photo book with all the images at the end of the year.

This was my entry for letter A this week. Appartently, he's seen me bust out the camera a few times. Who would have thought? ;) He also exclaimed (as he looked at the "image" on the back of his camera), "Mommy, it's too bright!" Don't forget to check out some adorable new ones of Claire in the previous post!


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Getting a different composition.


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Apparently, he was frustrated due to lack of cooperation on his subject's part.


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Totally understand Henry. Photo shoots are exhausting. I've been there.


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Sweet Pea

I seriously don't know how I refrain from taking pictures of her every.single.day. Love her smile so much.
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Our First Public Freak Out

Monday, January 2, 2012
We've been pretty lucky with Henry. While he certainly has his share of tantrums and does often enjoy multiple timeouts per day, he is a very good kid. Typically, a near perfect angel in public. Today, however, he dealt us a new card.

When we go to Target, he helps put the stuff on the cart. So, as we checked out at Menards today, he wanted to do the same thing. Unfortunately, this Menards has a bit of a backward system, at least in comparison to Target. The cashier was taking things from us and then put them down a belt so Ryan could bag them. Henry handed two items to the man, but after attempting to get him to hand over the third item a full-fledged, two year old freak out fest occurred. There was screaming. Lots of it. The screaming occurred simultaneously with jumping around in the cart uncontrollably to the point that I had to hang on to Claire's seat for safety reasons.

You've seen this scenario play out many times in stores, just as I have with other people's kids. In fact, I just saw it on Friday night at the grocery store. Sadly, that mom chose to yell right back to her kid and angrily grabbed her purse and walked away from the child and threatened to leave her there as she left the girl in the produce section. I try not to judge, but crappy parents suck, and it hurts my heart to watch those types of things because you wonder what happens behind closed doors.

I could have done a number of things in this situation. I could have done what that mom did, walk away in utter frustration. Some parents spank and some parents yell and threaten. While I won't deny that I haven't raised my voice, we haven't and will never hit, and we don't make empty, useless, and hurtful threats. To keep my cool in the most embarrassing situation Henry has provided for us, I chose to giggle. As heads turned and watched Henry in his freak out fest, I turned away and laughed. There was no point in yelling, and I wasn't about to drag him kicking and screaming out of the store either. And I kept laughing even as the guy behind us looked at me funny. "Yes sir, my kid is screaming, and I'm laughing". (Henry couldn't see me, of course.)

Henry wasn't calm, so as the parent, I needed to be. Henry just needed a few minutes to get it out and then he'd be calm enough to talk to. You can't force a child to calm down on your timeline. At this age, he's definitely still learning how to regulate his emotions, so trying to force that won't help a kid out at all. I also reminded myself that he is 2, hadn't had a nap, and had just spent two hours in Menards. Expecting an over tired 2 year old to behave is about as silly as expecting the laundry to do itself. It just doesn't happen. And it was our fault for taking him during nap time in the first place.

After 2 or 3 minutes of straight screaming, he did calm down. And then I talked to him. I used the word "embarrassed", which I don't know why...he totally doesn't understand that yet. But, for whatever reason, he thought that was a funny word to say and was then in a fit of laughter. He apologized for screaming and yelling and we grabbed our receipt and left. It was all done.

I won't pretend to be a perfect parent and I know I have and likely will make some mistakes in the next 18 years, but I try to do the absolute best that I can and actually think about the things I do and say in terms of parenting Henry and how my choice of actions reflects on Henry and myself as a parent. I won't deny that there are trying days, and bedtime is actually looked forward to sometimes. But no matter how hard the day was, I am always just as excited to see that smiling face the next morning. Parenting is difficult, that is for sure. But that smiling face and that sweet, tiny voice that says "I love you too, mommy." every single day makes every second worth it. The screaming. The poop. The frustrations. It's all worth it.
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