Friday, June 27, 2008

What to do???

Our anniversary is this month and while we usually just mark this occasion by a nice dinner out, this is a biggy. It's our tenth! Naturally, we want to do something a little bit bigger than dinner at Saltgrass, but we cannot decide what. Here are our dilemmas:

1) Whatever we do, we have to take Olivia with us as I am still nursing. Now, I did have a great milk supply in the freezer but recently discovered that my milk does not store well. Something about a fat enzyme causing it to break down really fast, thus spoiling. Anyway, since I have not pumped regularly in a while ('cause I thought I had a nice stash!), when I pump, I never get more than 3 ounces. Therefore, little bit has to go with us. Secretly, that is ok with me because I am not so sure I am ready to leave her anywhere...even for dinner.

2) If you take one daughter, you might as well take the other one. Maybe... We're still debating that one.

3) Since we have to take little bit, getting out of town via car is a little difficult since sweet little Livi turns into super cranky Livi when she is stuck in the car for anything longer than a trip to the grocery store. Soooo, hubby doesn't want to go too far lest we all need a stiff drink once we arrive at our destination.

4) Can't afford to fly anywhere.

5) If we do take both girls, we need to do something toddler friendly. That means no bed and breakfasts, no antique shops, no get the idea.

To be honest, I am perfectly fine celebrating our anniversary as a family. I mean, I would never dreamed I would be the proud Mama to two beautiful girls when I said my vows ten years ago. And the fact that we tried so hard and for so long to grow our family, just makes having them there all the more special.

Anyway, if anyone has a fabulous idea, please feel free to pass it along. Here are things we thought of, but one or both of us has rejected.

Camping - Too freakin' hot and all the state parks that have cabins are booked. Of course, if someone wants to give us an air conditioned camper for an anniversary gift, we would not complain!!

Padre Island - Too long of a drive

Arizona to see Evan's family and the Grand Canyon - Not really the romantic scenario I've played in my head. Plus, airfare this short of notice is too expensive.

A long weekend at the Great Wolf - If we can't think of anything else, we will most likely do this. It's close and they do have the water park which I know Mia would LOVE. Plus, hubby has promised some spa time for me while he watched the girls.

Any ideas???????????????

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sick babies and new schedules

While I am really not sure who, if anybody reads this, it gives me an outlet to write - something I have always secretly enjoyed, so write I shall.

The last week has been full of sickness, new schedules and more sickness. Mia came down with a bug on Father's day. Nothing major. Her only symptoms were a low-grade fever and a clear, runny nose. Within 24 hours, she was fine. Then on Monday, my sweet little Livi caught and was officially sick for the first time. Her fever got a little higher than big 'sis's, so I took her to the doctor on Tuesday to make sure it wasn't an ear infection...something big 'sis was VERY prone to at this age. Everything checked out ok, so back home we went. By Wednesday, everyone was well but after a few days of anything goes, which is what needs to happen when your babies are sick, Mia was really acting out and I was at the end of my rope. Evan and I had been talking a LOT lately about her behavior and ways we could modify it without screaming and threatening spankings all the time. We talked about it and decided that we should try a stricter schedule. I mean, she has always had a schedule, but it was really more of a, "Ya feel like a snack? Let's get a snack." type of schedule. So, I put all those years of preschool teaching to work and came up with a schedule for us that is broken up into 30 minute increments. I prayed over it Wednesday night and decided that Thursday would be inauguration day. All I can say is WOW!!!! We had an awesome day. Not only was Mia better behaved, but I had also created time during the day for Mommy chores, so by the time I went to bed Thursday night, I felt like I had not only done a great job with Mia, but gotten so much accomplished around the house. Friday was also a great day, so it looks like we may be on to something. Maybe....

Of course, I knew things were going way too smoothly on Sunday. The house was clean, I was caught up on all the laundry, Mia was behaving better and even little Livi was sleeping through the night. I had not felt well all day Saturday and figured I was coming down with the same stuff the girls' had. We spent most of Sunday at my parents' helping them unpack and get stuff done. We went to dinner in the evening and my tummy just didn't feel well. By the time we got home, it was really hurting. We got the girls to bed and decided to watch Juno. (I'll post about it later seeing as how it would be close to my heart.) Anyway, about 20 minutes into it, I had to run to the bathroom. I kept that up off and on all night and when Evan's alarm went off Monday morning, I told him I thought I had fever and needed him to stay home from work. Boy, was I glad he did. My fever got up to 101 and I stayed sick until late afternoon. Fortunately, the bug only lasted through Monday and by Tuesday, I was pretty much back to normal. Of course, the house is no longer clean, the laundry is piling up and Mia's behavior is starting to get a little wacky again. I now seem to have the cold the girls had last week (when it rains, it pours) and have yet to get back to our wonderful schedule. However, I know when we do, we will all feel and act so much better.

Ok, just reread everything and Mia gets lots of blogtime and Livi gets what...three sentences. Poor baby. It stinks to be the second-born. Here is what Livi is doing these days: rolling over and moving all over the place, sitting up and playing like a big girl, cracking herself up with her toys and my absolute favorite...she shakes her head from side to side when she is laying down or still in my arms after nursing her. She does it purely for a reaction, which we of course happily oblige her with. Oh, she is such a sweet baby. It's hard to believe her Daddy would do this.

But, he did! He calls her Yoda because her ears stick out...a little, not a lot. Anyway, I told him to find a picture last night for her baby dedication at church and when I got out of the shower, this is what awaited to me. Needless to say, we aren't using this picture, but I will be printing it out for her baby book!

Alright, I can hear it now. What about Mia??? Here is a picture of her too.

Alright, that's all I got for tonight. I'm off to bed to dream about days to come when I can take cold medication again!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, expectant Dads, birth fathers and men that fill the role of Dad when they don't have to. I am honoring three men on this Father's Day.

First, my own Dad. To say that I was a Daddy's girl growing up would be an understatement. I was a HUGE Daddy's girl. Anywhere he went, anything he did, I was right there with him. He has always made me feel special, beautiful and I always knew that no matter what, he would always love me. We had a secret handshake for years that I have long since forgotten, there were many mornings I woke up to notes he left me before he left for work and I knew that he meant every word. On top of his love and affection for me, I saw every day how much he loves my Mom. I believe the fact that he was (and is) such a doting Father is the reason why I was a very picky dater and married the man I did. I knew how a man was supposed to treat a lady and would not settle for anything less. Even though I am all grown up, I will forever be his little girl.

Second, my daughter's birth father, Jon. Here is a man that made the unselfish decision to place his daughter for adoption. In all of our preparation for adoption, a lot of attention if put on the birth mother and no one really talked about the birth father and his role. Sadly, part of that is because they are not involved. But Jon was and is. I will never, ever forget the tears and pain he showed right after Mia was born. He came out to the waiting room and said she was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. He asked us if we were ready to be parents and we mumbled something like, "Sure!" at which point he put his head in this hands, started crying and said he wished he was. During the next four days, we saw just how much this birth father loved his little girl and wanted the best for her. Since her birth, he made an effort to stay involved in her life and always shows her how much he loves her.

Finally, my husband and my little girls' Daddy. Shortly after we started dating, we began talking about marriage, kids and what we would name our children. There was never a doubt in my mind that he would be an unbelievable father. And when becoming parents proved more difficult for us, he was there for me. He cried with me, prayed with me and supported me when I said I didn't want to do anymore infertility treatment and thought adoption was the route we should go. When our first daughter, Mia, was born there were some complications at birth and we were standing at the hall door when the NICU team rolled her down the hall. All I saw was a baby, wrapped in this foil looking blanket. But he saw her tiny little face peeking out with her eyes wide open. Even though we did not know for sure if we were going to get to be her Mom and Dad, he fell head over heels in love. While she was in the NICU, he prayed over her and promised anything under the moon if she would get better. No one is really prepared to be a parent, but given we only had a week to prepare, he amazed me at the way he stepped up. Then, when we found out I was pregnant, he was overjoyed at the idea of having another baby, but immediately, his heart was concerned for Mia and immediately became aware of how us having a biological child might affect her one day. When we found out it was another girl, you never saw a man so happy. Two Daddy's girls, could it get any better??? He took such good care of me during the pregnancy, talked and thumped Livi because he thought it was funny that she would kick me so hard when he did. When it came time for delivery, once again, I was amazed at this amazing man I had married. He was so supportive, so concerned and so utterly happy. He has proven to me what I knew nearly 14 years ago when we were in high school - he is an awesome Daddy. He knows what it takes to be a good Dad and goes above and beyond that.

Remember to tell your Dad or even someone else's Dad tomorrow what a great job they are doing, or have done.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just ramblin'

Well, I think I may have figured out Mia's behavior issues the last several days - Granddaddy went home last weekend. He lived with us for the last 2 months, so it only makes sense that she would be acting a little out of sorts. Plus, we spent the whole weekend moving Granny and Granddaddy into their new place which made for a long, exhausting weekend. Anyway, I have spent the last couple of days trying to pay her more attention and less time trying to get my house back in order. That will happen in time. That is something I REALLY struggle with - dividing my time between housework and playing with the girls. I am pretty OCD about my house and even when I am just in the floor, playing with them, I still find myself stressing about laundry that needs to be done and bathrooms that need to be cleaned, instead of just enjoying the moment. Of course, that is immediately followed by tons and tons of guilt. They are only going to be this little once, and I need to remember to take full advantage of this time. Maybe I should put sticky notes up all over the house to remind me!!!

While I am just ramblin', I have to share some of the funny things the girls are doing. With all of Mia's misbehavior this week, there have a few more spankings this week. I have pretty much quit threatening with spankings as she knows what she is supposed to do, and not to. Well, last night, we were having a great time playing in the floor...until Mia started biting. I have no idea where it came from. Guess she thought it was funny. Anyway, I had told her "NO BITING!", but of course, she did it again. So, I preceded to give her a spanking. Her latest thing when she knows she is about to get a spanking is to try and protect her legs with her hands, but last night, she grabbed her legs and started hollerin', "My cute little legs! My cute little legs!" Of course, I burst out laughing and wasn't going to follow through with the spanking until Evan jumped on my case about being consistent. So, I reluctantly gave her a half-hearted swat. I probably needed one for not keeping my composure! I'm sure Evan would have volunteered! I know, TMI!

Of course, Mia is not the only character in our house. Olivia is really starting to show us her personality and even plays games. I know, 5 months seems young but she does this thing at diaper changes that just crack us up. She will look at me, kinda smirk and then grab my arm and slobber it, at which time she giggles like, "Ha-ha, I got it!!!!!" It is so funny because she just seems too little to play games like that, but she has done it to both of us. So cute! She also cracked me up last night while I was nursing her. She just stopped suddenly, lifted up her left hand and started moving it and her fingers, staring at it intently like it was the coolest thing she had ever seen. She did it several times and even hollered at it a few times. What a funny girl she is turning out to be.

Oh, I am so blessed to have these precious little girls. I think back to the years of wanting children so badly, I thought the tears would never stop. And now, here I am, living my dream. God is SO good!

Monday, June 9, 2008

What am I doing?

Here lately, there are way more days of me saying, "I suck at parenting" than there are of "Wow, today was a good day." Way back yonder when we were trying SO hard to have a baby, we would watch other parents and say, "Why can't they control their child?" or "My kids will NEVER act like!" We prayed and told God (I know, laugh away!) that if He would just bless us with a child, we would do right by him/her. Well, he has blessed us far beyond what we deserve with two beautiful daughters. Our oldest, Mia, is almost 3 and our baby, Livi, is 5 months. Obviously, Livi is very well behaved, but her sister, not so much. We have cried, prayed, read name it to try and figure out where we are going wrong as parents. Don't get me wrong. Mia is such a sweet, thoughtful girl and her intelligence is sometimes frightening. I mean, she says and does things that most 5 and 6 year olds don't. However, she is unbelievably strong-willed and would just as soon deal with whatever discipline she is going to receive just to get her way. Now I find that I am the one getting looks from people with that look that means, "Why can't you control your child?" Oh, and let's not even talk about all the unsolicited advice I receive from well-meaning friends and family. I sound like a broken record at most family get togethers...."She's only two. Quit expecting her to act like she is 5." Of course, I don't ever want to be one of those parents that is constantly making up excuses for their children't bad behavior. But come on, they don't call them the terrible twos for nothing.

So, another day ends with me questioning my parenting abilities wondering what I can do differently tomorrow to get through that sweet, thick head!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another addiction

Just what I needed. Another reason to be on the computer. I have become somewhat addicted to reading blogs and so the next logical step would be to create one for our family. Soooo, welcome to my latest addiction!