Sweet Pea McGee – 8 Months

April 16, 2012

Dear Ems,

Hey girl, whatcha doing?  (See:  New Girl)  You’re eight months old today…already…*sniff*.  And while my blog updates and about you have been few and far between, I’m writing this today to let you know that it’s not so bad being the second child.  In my estimation, it’s better in a lot of ways.  I think back to when your brother was your size.  I wanted him to walk and talk and stop being so needy.  I was constantly comparing him to other kids his age, making sure that he was crushing the competition keeping up.  When he woke up at 5am for no apparent reason, your dad and I would be so tired and frustrated and it would be all about getting to naptime.

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But not with you, my friend.  We’ve adjusted to living like zombies, so when you wake up early, we bring you down and we talk to you and we cuddle you and we get as many smiles as we can.  We adore that time with you.  We adore you.  We know it won’t be long until you’re too busy to just sit happily in our presence.  It truly is the magic of babies (who are older than 5 months).  A magic I didn’t fully appreciate until you came along.

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And then there’s Aiden, your brother, a person you wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for the whole second child thing. Well baby girl, let it be known that you have a friend in him.  He adores you too.  He talks to you in a special baby voice (“Helloo little guurrll”), and I think he just generally wants to be around you.  You light up when you see him.  I hope it never changes.  I saw his first big brother act not too long back when at a friend’s house another little boy took away the book you were looking at/eating. Aiden rushed over, took the book from the boy and said “No.  That’s Emily’s book.” 

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No can make you laugh like that brother of yours either.  In fact, generally speaking, you are a pretty tough crowd when it comes to laughter clearly being too pretty and smart to giggle at the ridiculousness going on around you.  And it’s not for a lack of trying on our parts, trust me.  Not when it comes to Aiden though.  He can always make you laugh and man it’s a sweet sound.

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So there you have it sweet pea mcgee.  Being the second child is where it’s at.  And let me just say that what you lack in laughter, you more than make up for in tenacity.  Just ask that full margarita that you managed to get a hold of the other night at dinner or the flowers on our kitchen island…all totally out of your reach.

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Now tell me, who’s that girl? Who’s that girl? It’s Ems!

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Love you baby girl,

Mommy

——

Stats:

4 months (12/19/11)///6 months (3/2/12)

Height: 24in (25-50%)///26in (50-75%)

Weight: 12lbs 7oz (10-25%)///15lbs 15oz (25-50%)

Head Circumference: 40 (25-50%)///43.5 (75-90%)

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Onesie Baby Shower Invites

April 3, 2012

My sister is having a baby girl in July, and I’m throwing her a baby shower in OMG LESS THAN A MONTH!?!

First order of baby shower business was the invites. I wasn’t sure if I wanted them to set the stage for the theme of the party or be completely unrelated (and I’m still not sure), but when I saw these onesie baby shower invites, I thought 1) those are adorable and 2) I can make them – a deadly combination. So I made them using this tutorial (and I only wanted to slit my wrists once*).

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I’m not a papercrafter, but it was the cuteness that kept me going. I’d finish one and be like “aww” and then make another. Needless to say, I was happy with the way they turned out to the point that I literally had a hard time dropping them in the mailbox. At some point I actually considered advertising another raffle for anyone that returned their invite to me unharmed. But that would be crazy…

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Let it be known that my craft supplies are reaching critical mass as the only thing I had to buy to make these was a scalloped craft punch and a circle craft punch and the decorative stickers. I even had the stamp supplies to do the stamping on those with words. What you didn’t know I stamp stuff? Yeah me neither, but I had the supplies. I think the stamped ones are my favorite actually.

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24 baby shower invitations. Each as unique as the people that received them…as unique as my new niece is going to be. Yay!

*The only advice I have when using the tutorial is to make sure that your left and right margins are set to zero because if not, when you cut the sheet in half, the words will not be centered. And then you will
trim a little off of each side to make it even. And then when you punch out the neck and leg holes…on all 24 invitations…without looking inside one to make sure there’s nothing afoot…you’ll be lucky if you aren’t clipping words and setting yourself up for doing 24 more. Just sayin’.

Love and Basketball

March 5, 2012

Dear Aiden,

I’m not sure how old I was, but back in the day I played a season or two of recreational basketball.  I don’t remember what position I played or if my team was good or how many points I scored or really much about it at all.  It turned out that I didn’t really like playing basketball.  When my dad/your paw paw attempted to get to the heart of my issue, it basically came down to one thing:   I didn’t like people touching me.  You see in basketball, a certain amount of personal space is forfeited when say you are attempting to get a rebound or trying to draw an offensive foul or I thought basically anytime someone just felt like it.  And it wasn’t for me.  I need my personal space and don’t like people all up in my business.

So you’ll understand that every night after we’ve read our stories and turned out the lights and turned back on the lights and you’ve pooped and we’ve turned back off the lights and I brace myself to lay with you as you wind down and fall asleep, that it’s nothing personal when I eventually get up and leave you to fall asleep by your own damn self.  It’s only after you’ve somehow managed to kick me in the face…twice…and pulled my hair and used my boob as leverage to turn over and poked me in eye and maybe,  if you’re feeling extra crazy, head-butted me.  I take it rather gracefully in my opinion, but just as you start to tire, you throw in the grand finale of kicking my leg in a slow repetitive manner as you stare off to space.  It’s right when I feel the urge to crawl out my skin and die that I decide it’s time to say good night and head downstairs despite your “but I’m not touching you” pleas.  Because you are touching me.

Perhaps one day you can fall asleep peacefully in my arms like the good old days but for now I’ll just “send Dad”.

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Love,

Mom

Mama’s Been Busy

February 28, 2012

I know it’s been quiet around these parts, but if I don’t make the cute little hats and clippies and bibs and mustache/lip Valentine’s for Aiden’s class, who will? (To be fair, Dan helped me cut out 20 mustaches and lips to attach to the lollipops.)

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And I know you’re all like “But Beth? You work. Can’t you afford to just buy these things? Shouldn’t you be using the free time to do those dishes that are piling up in the sink or fold that basket of laundry that’s been sitting there overflowing with clean (and now ridiculous wrinkled) clothes for a week? ”

To which I would reply shut your mouth ;)

But what I should be saying is….you might just have a point. I just recently started a new job…a big girl job…a fast-paced job that requires me to be mentally on for like 40 hours a week. It was a hard decision to take such a job in the face of my current home situation where every part of my being wants to be super mom. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, blogging, lovingly attending to my kids’ every whim, the whole nine yards. I’ve already come to terms with (who am I kidding?) It’s a constant struggle to come to terms with the fact that I like to work and be financially independent and am in many ways not cut out to be a SAHM, and at my last job, I dealt with the guilt that came with those feelings by working as little as I could get away with.  And despite my reduced schedule, I still felt generally unhappy. While the position afforded me a lot of flexibility, I didn’t like the work, the commute, the environment.  I came home from work feeling like crap that I was giving up time with my kids for *that*. So I found something new and while it’s freaking crazy so far, I love it. I’m more invested in the work in 1 month than I was in 2 years at my last job albeit slightly less present at home. But only slightly. And it’s quality, not quantity anyways? Right? RIGHT???

Well I think it is and a happy mommy makes for a happy family. And while I want to make my kids everything they wear and play with and cook them gourmet meals despite my aloofness in the kitchen, something tells me that the stress that comes with carving out time to do these things just isn’t worth it right now (which is why you won’t catch me on Pinterest anytime soon (Scary Mommy said it best)…parenthesis within parenthesis…yeah, that just happened).

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always be trying to regain at least a smidgen of the control over my life that was lost when I had children in my own little ways. And my day will come…all too soon from what I hear.

But tonight when I get home from work, I’ll play with my son and carry my daughter around and watch them eat the meal that daddy has likely prepared and I’ll give them my best until they’re both asleep instead of fretting about all the things that I want to get done around me. And then maybe I’ll do a dish or two. Or maybe I’ll lay in bed and watch TV like a vegetable. Or maybe I’ll actually publish this to the blog or make something cute for someone. Or maybe I’ll work out (HA!). Or maybe I’ll just go to sleep. But what I won’t do is feel like I have to be doing anything in particular or feel guilty for what I didn’t do. I repeat…I will not feel guilty. Any moms out there actually figured this one out? If so, let me know.

2011 Year In Pictures

January 18, 2012

Ok so I hate doing these videos but I LOVE the results.  I can’t watch this video without smiling and in some cases laughing out loud.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  And for anyone keeping track (aka no one ;) – 10 days earlier than last year.  Boo-yah!

Song – Jack Johnson “Better Together”

Santa Claus and Snowmen

January 11, 2012

And Christmases (known to most as Christmas trees).  These were the words I heard springing daily from the mouth of my sweet Aiden as Christmas crept up on us this year and then swiftly flew right on by.  He was in love with the lights and the music and didn’t care two licks about the presents.  In fact in the days leading up to Christmas, we had unwrapped presents lying around in bags all over the house (I wish I was exaggerating *hangs head in shame*) and not ONE.SINGLE.TIME did Aiden mess with them or at least stop to wonder what all those toys were doing in the hall.  And our bedroom.  And the kitchen.  At one point Dan likened it to a dog that he used to know that was fed so often from the table that when bacon was dropped out of his reach, he was too lazy to go over and get it.  Several times in the course of Christmas morning when asked if he would like to open another present, his response was “No, I too busy” (To be fair, he’s too busy for a lot these days.  Where does he get this stuff?).

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At our neighborhood Christmas breakfast, this guy walked straight up to Santa at the mere mention of his name before Dan could get the camera and before I got Emily over there (only breaking in front of a couple of very understanding people in line). He was very comfortable in his lap, but not a word was spoken.
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Anyways, in true Louche fashion, all the money and time (and stress)devoted to ensuring my kids the “perfect Christmas” has sent Dan and I into a tizzy questioning what we really want Christmas to be about for our family.  It just seems in terms of STUFF, everyday is Christmas around here.  After all was said and done, it wasn’t the gifts that made us happy, and we wonder if our time and money could be better spent with equal, if not even better results.  I’d sum up what we’re thinking with LESS STUFF and MORE EXPERIENCES.  It’s an idea that’s just taking shape in our heads that we really hope to expound on in the next year or two since we figure we only have one (maybe two?) years before Aiden gets a serious case of the wants.  We’ll see what happens.  (And please don’t get me wrong.  My kids got some fantastic gifts that are already used daily around our house.  We are extremely thankful for all the thoughtfulness and generosity that went into those.)

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The Guthrie Family.  Aiden with his arm around Tyler (above) as we pose for the camera = priceless.
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The morning after Christmas, Aiden was still singing “Jingle Bells”, and even now he still talks about Santa and the Snowmen from time-to-time (a lot to do with our awesome neighbors that still have their Christmas lights up for our enjoyment).  He doesn’t know that it’s over.  He’s keeping it alive in our house even into the new year.  It’s magical.

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G-ma and sibling love.

And Emily?  Well she got the most wonderful gift of all over Christmas break.  Rice cereal. 

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And she really likes it.  A LOT.

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Along with peas so far.  For anyone wondering, this does not equate to sleeping through the night yet :\ 

Now to tackle my year in pictures.  It’s the only time of year I hate how many pictures we take.  Here’s 2009 and 2010.  Can I make it before the middle of January?  Chugging away at it nightly, but doubtful.  Stay tuned.

Fully Trained

December 6, 2011

Based on my last post, you might think we’ve completely wasted the last couple months, but that’s not true at all.  Quite the opposite actually as we used the time around the house to get serious about potty training.  And it’s official: Aiden is fully trained!!  Yay! 

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Two things have led up to us figuring it’s a done deal. 1) He tells us now when he has to go (even poop) and 2) he’s used the bathroom in the night…without our help.

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Everyone keeps telling me that I’m pretty lucky to have a 29 month old BOY that’s doing so well at this and when they ask me how we went about it, only one word comes to mind:  SHAME.

That’s right, we (and by we I mostly mean Dan who very impressively took the lead on this endeavor and made us stick to it) shamed him every time he peed or pooped in his pants.  Some of the more commonly used phrases in the face of an accident: "Why wouldn’t you tell us you have to go?",  "What were you thinking?", "I can’t believe you peed on Super Why/Pig.", "Only babies pee their pants.", "We’re so disappointed in you.", "Sit on the potty or you’re going to time out.  Better yet, we’re taking the potty to time out and you’ll sit on it there."

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I’m exaggerating only a tiny bit on that last one, but you get the idea.  We didn’t rub his nose in it a-la dog-training style, but we let him know we weren’t okay with it either.  I’ll admit that I was not always super comfortable with this method because I didn’t want to give him a complex and they say they’ll train when they’re ready, yadda-yadda.  But Dan stuck to it saying that there is very little that the boy will not do without a fight (which was always the argument that got me), and I’ll be damned if it didn’t seem to work with little consequence (at least that we know of at this point).

Seriously though, way more than there was shame, there was positive reinforcement.  A lot of "good job Aiden" (to the point that he now tells us good job when we go which is great encouragement) and "we’re so proud of you Aiden" and "pee-pee in the potty” dances and high-fives and fruit snacks.  There were also a few weeks of a lot of really disgusting laundry that thankfully cloth diapers prepared me for a bit.  But it didn’t work at all until we made the commitment to throw away the diapers and the pull-ups even at sleep times.  After a naked weekend or two demonstrated to us that he knew when he was doing and could hold it for the most part until he got to the potty, we decided it was time to go all in even despite some hesitation from the school on his readiness.  It took just shy of two months to get here and hopefully we’re here for good.  Good job Aiden!

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Homebodies

December 2, 2011

We’re not dead.  We’re just lazy.  You might think my absence from the blog has been due to all of these awesome things we’ve been up to that you figured you’d be reading about soon enough.  Well if by awesome you mean staying in our pajamas until 3pm on most non-work days, then you’d be right. 

Simply put, I blame work.  In the first few months after Emily’s arrival, we were able to forge ahead and pretend like nothing was different (with the exception of that baby strapped to my chest everywhere we went), and we somewhat successfully went about our busy lives.  But I’ve since gone back to work part-time (save the pity looks…I’m not all that sad about it), and we’ve just discovered things are a whole lot easier if we never leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary…like our house is on fire.  It’s just easier to stay home when you’re juggling two nap schedules and a baby that eats constantly and when you yourself are starving for 5 minutes of free time that doesn’t involve  laundry or dishes (although we do find ourselves fighting over who gets to do the dishes lately because while it’s not free time per se, there’s no repeating yourself a million times or counting to three or time outs or crying for no apparent reason…there’s no talking at all actually…so yeah, we’re calling shot gun on the dishes around here).

The current state of affairs has also had a negative effect on our picture taking too unfortunately.   We’ve been reduced to relying on our phones to capture the memories, and sadly, this makes for very blurry memories.  It’s so true what they say about baby number 2 and how they get shafted…at least initially.  She’s starting to giggle and we’ve not successfully captured it yet.  Awe well, I’m hoping this is just a short phase.

Our Thanksgiving was great.  My mom cooked (for four days), and we ate over at their house.  Everything was delicious.  Not a single picture was taken so you’ll just have to believe me when I say there was not a lack of things to be thankful for.

So yeah, that’s the last month or so.  Tomorrow’s Saturday so I imagine they’ll be a whole lot of this.

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Life could be way worse.

Deja Vu

November 4, 2011

Sweetness revisited.

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Bonus sweetness.  Because I can…

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…and you know you want it.

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Yabba-Dabba-Do

November 2, 2011

I did not set out to make 4 costumes this year, but it all started with this:

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I knew I wanted Aiden to be Bamm Bamm because of the striking resemblance in both looks and personality, but this just wasn’t the costume I had in mind.  To me that kid looks ridiculous (albeit a lot warmer than Aiden is about to look).  Plus Aiden doesn’t need fake white hair. 

After I decided to make Aiden’s costume, I knew a Pebbles costume for Emily would be a requirement.  And then we got invited to a costume party, and while we could of just settled for store-bought, unrelated costumes, I let my imagination run wild.  So without further ado, I give you the Flintstones (with Bamm Bamm Rubble)…

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Pebbles and Bamm Bamm

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Taking his character seriously.

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A real club.

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And then it got cold.  But that didn’t stop us.  We partied at the neighborhood party with smores and cider and then trick-or-treated for an hour or so.

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Happy Halloween!!

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