Monday, March 29, 2010

My Boy

I betcha didn't know I have a boy here on Planet Pink.


He was my first baby.


With a face only a mother could love.


We named him Pugnus Maximus, AKA Max. He was all sorts of cool.


When Princess #1 was born, it took him a couple of weeks to acknowledge her existence.


He didn't understand why she didn't want to play.


Don't let the jogging stroller and impressive view fool you. He is so not an outdoorsy dog.


Despite being a total wimp, he inspired pug love with many of our friends. Who could resist?


By the time Princess #2 came along, he was a pro at being a big brother.


He now spends his days following the sun around the house and sleeping 12 hours a day.


His second favorite pasttime is avoiding the Princesses while they are playing dress up.


Who could blame him, really?


Despite being fiercely protective of his food, he is the best big brother a Princess on Planet Pink could ask for.


He knows it too.


Now almost an old man at age 9, we love him just the same as we did when we first brought him home. Well, he might be slightly more smelly now, but other than that...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return To Normal

I know I've been kind of hit and miss lately. As I mentioned in a previous post, my sister in law and her daughter came to stay with us for a few days while she weaned her, due to a steroid medication she had to begin to help manage her MS. My mother in law also joined us for a few days. For 12 nights we averaged 9 people sleeping in our 3 bedroom, 1300 sq. ft. home.

In case you don't like math, that's roughly 108 sq. ft. per person.

That's not very much.

Of course we'd do it again in a heartbeat, but I can't deny the fact that it was a challenge at times. Add in a nasty stomach bug that took down 4 of the 9 and quite honestly, some moments really sucked. Oh how I was wishing for an extra bathroom or two! And a maid, and a cook, and...

I learned a few things during the past 12 days however, and I'd love to share them with you:

1. Family comes first, always. It doesn't matter how inconvenient it is, or how difficult it might be. When it comes down to it, sacrifices aren't so terrible when it's family. I think sometimes life gets so busy that people tend to isolate themselves and just keep on keepin' on. I've been reminded that we can't afford to overlook the support of family, both immediate and extended.

2. My kids are awesome. Seriously. The princesses managed these past 12 days without missing a beat. You wouldn't know that Princess #1 and #2 have shared a twin sized bed the last 12 nights. You wouldn't know that Princess #4 has been out of her routine. You wouldn't know that they all have had to share mommy with their cousin. They took it all in stride and I love them for that.

3. I crave structure and order, but I can let it go. This is a big one for me. I definitely feel more at ease and relaxed when the laundry is done and the dishes are put away. BUT, I can let it go. And it's ok to do that.

4. I may feel like I NEED a bigger house, but I really don't. I may WANT a bigger house, but we proved the last 12 days that if it's manageable with 9 people, certainly it's manageable with 6! And I've learned to be grateful for it. What a blessing to have a house at all!

I know it was the right thing to do. It was hard. SO hard. But it was right. And we'll wake up on Monday morning ready to return to normal. Which is still crazy, but you know, normal. Whatever that is.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Child Of The 21st Century

On the night of her third birthday:

Princess #3: I wish I could have my birthday and be this many again (holding up 2 fingers).

Me: Why do you want to be that many?

Princess #3: Because it's my choice.

If I had known it was that easy, I would have "chosen" to be 25 indefinitely about 8 years ago...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Three Is A Good Age To Be


Delivered by your daddy with the midwife standing by,


you stole our hearts with the flash of your dimple.


We fell in love with your Yoda ears,


and your Michelin thighs.


You have the free spirit required of a third child,


with a healthy dose of spunk and energy.


You fell into your role of big sister with ease,


while somehow maintaining your status as "the baby" at the same time.


You don't do anything halfway, and we love you for that.


Happy birthday Princess #3!
Three is a good age to be.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seriously?

Happy First Day of Spring!


NOT!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Growth.

Today I looked at my baby
and I didn't see a baby.

Instead I saw a little girl emerging from within those baby rolls.

It made my heart burst and break at the same time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Super Nanny

Today we began a new journey.

My sister-in-law, who struggles with MS, and her daughter came to stay with us for awhile.

She has to begin a new steroid treatment that won't allow her to continue nursing.

So she's come here for moral support.

She normally nurses her daughter to sleep.

But tonight I was the one that held her and sang to her and laid her in bed.

She was very confused.

My sister-in-law was very sad.

It was hard to be the one that came between them, no matter how necessary.

I wonder if the Super Nanny feels like this.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today Is A New Day

Things I am loving today:

Endless selection of nail polish in bright, springy colors


A 2 year old princess who selects yellow as her color of choice.


Need I say more?


A box of brand new sidewalk chalk.


A family masterpiece.


Princess shoes about 5 sizes too big.


Auntie Anne's for dinner.

Friday, March 12, 2010

If I Could Escape...

47 degrees and drizzling. Love this weather in October. In March, not so much. Actually, in March it puts me in a downright foul mood. Today has been one such day. I'm just in a funk.

My laundry is piled to the ceiling (almost not an exaggeration), the toys are regaining control over the house, the refrigerator and pantry are dangerously bare. And beyond that, I just don't feel like doing anything. I just want to escape. Anyone wanna come with me? I'm thinking Hawaii...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today, A Hint of Nostalgia

I miss my first pregnancy. Not being pregnant, but my first pregnancy.

I miss the ease of lying on the couch at the end of the day, with nothing to do except just lay there.

I miss the discovery of the subculture of pregnancy message boards, and the realization that there are a bazillion ways to raise your child. I miss the discussions with hubby about how we would handle certain situations. Would we co-sleep? Would we CIO? Should we cloth-diaper? What about vaccinations?

I miss going to Barnes and Noble with Hubby, and casually perusing endless stacks of baby name books, pregnancy books, birth books, healthy eating books. Mindlessly wandering the aisles while sipping a latte.

I miss the awe and wonder of my forever changing shape, waiting with impatient anticipation to finally see that baby bump bulge under my shirt.

I miss going to see my doctor monthly and for 30 minutes just reveling in the miracle that was taking place inside of me. I loved Dr. Riley. For awhile I thought about naming my child after him. He was a tangible representation of my miracle. It felt strange later when I no longer saw him every month and I realized that what my world was revolving around, was simply just another day at the office for him.

I miss our habit of going to eat dinner at Barley's Brewhaus (where they made the best quesadillas) and then walking over to our childbirth education class. I miss sitting there with 8 other couples, mentally comparing my size, and preparedness to the other mamas-to-be.

I miss the moment when Hubby and I decided that I was going to do this thing naturally, without medication or interventions. The countless hours we spent reading books and mentally preparing for The Event. I miss the empowerment I felt and at the same time the fear of the unknown.

I miss taking walks with Hubby in the late afternoon, gazing at my round shadow on the sidewalk and imagining what it would be like to take these walks while pushing a stroller.

I miss lighting candles in our apartment and doing prenatal yoga, with Hubby alongside me (oh yes, he did. And he claims to this day that was the only time he could touch his toes.).

I miss the attention that came with a round belly, like I had won the lottery and was the luckiest person in the world.

I miss hearing my friends' advice. I didn't take most of it, but I didn't mind hearing it.

I miss having the whole future stretched out in front of me. The knowledge that Hubby and I were embarking on a new adventure. We were clueless and naive. I miss that.

That mystery of the first pregnancy can never be recreated. No matter how many more times I saw that plus sign on a stick, no matter how many more times we set up the crib and pulled out the carseat, it never *quite* reached the magic the first time held. Special, of course. But magical? I'm not sure. I kind of miss that magic. We have plenty of new experiences to revel in now of course. I'm still clueless and naive. But now I'm clueless and naive about raising a family, about having an older child, about navigating sibling relationships. The focus has shifted. And rightfully so.

But for today, I miss the simplicity of that first pregnancy. Where everything was a wonder and a mystery and magical. And I had the time to bask in the beauty of it all.



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

Time to get outdoors!

Time for sliding down slides.

For wagon riding.

For, um, "flower" picking.

For crunchy, post-winter grass.

Time for renewed sisterly love.

Or.... not.

Get out and enjoy it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Major Bonus Points For Hubby


A conversation overheard between a daddy and his daughter:

Princess #2: Whacha doin' daddy?

Daddy: I'm doing the dishes for mommy.

Princess #2: Why?

Daddy: Because I love her and I want to do whatever I can to make her life easier.



Yep. He's a keeper.

Pass Me That Trophy

I'm officially in the running for worst mother of the year. It's an achievement to aspire to, let me tell you! I have a friend who believes she's got it in the bag, but I'd like to submit my entry to give her a run for her money.

We aren't huge baby-proofers. We cover electrical outlets (most of them, sometimes those covers just disappear...), we have our brick hearth covered with pillows (which now Princess #4 thinks is a fun place to dive bomb, so we may need to rethink it) and we don't have a coffee table. We got rid of our coffee table when Princess #1 was learning to walk. It was huge and took up way too much space, and we were tired of constantly following her around, protecting her from the edges. Plus, our dog chewed up a leg of it one day in a mad, crazed moment, so it looked bad anyway. Needless to say, it was no huge loss.

We went out of town last weekend (hence the lack of posts) to visit some family. My aunt has recently redone her living room with new paint, decorations and yes, a new coffee table. Now, Princess #4 has been walking efficiently since Christmas, but sometimes her little legs get ahead of her.

Can you guess where this is going?

Yes, contact with the corner. Lovely. Split her upper gums just above her front teeth. Blood everywhere. Try holding down a one year old to apply pressure. Yeah, fun times. Oh but wait, that's not my official worst mom of the year entry.

Fast forward to yesterday. Princess #4 was healing up nicely. No issues at all. I put her down for her afternoon nap, much to her chagrin. She fussed a bit, but nothing unusual. About a half hour later she started crying, which I admit I ignored (am I earning my trophy yet?). She settled down after another half hour or so and slept for two hours. When she woke up I went in to get her and was met with no sight any mother wants to see.

She was covered in dried blood. All over her face, her hands, her clothes, her bedding. I get so sad still thinking about it. I didn't immediately see the source so I grabbed her and started cleaning her up. Still not seeing a source, I finally looked at her mouth. It appeared that she somehow reopened her gums, most likely within that first half hour (you know, when I ignored her crying). Yeah, I feel awful.

She's no worse for wear of course. It's just the mommy guilt that lingers. I told hubby that this ranked up there with the time when Princess #1 was just a baby and threw up in her crib without us knowing it and slept in it. Yeah, that was fun to wake up to. *sigh* Well, I guess 2 out of 4 isn't so bad.

So, do I at least qualify for an honorable mention?
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