Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cuteness Overload

Okay okay okay.  I KNOW.  I know I've been slacking on blogging.  I have been busy.  You know...same ol' song and dance!  I guess what it takes to get me to blog these days is a whole lotta buggin.  :)  At any rate...I'm attaching some much requested photos of the girls.  These are all cell phone pics because I am too lazy to pull them out of the video camera, upload and photoshop.  Deal with it.  At least be happy I am blogging, right?  :) 

We've been busy lately just playing.  The weather has been warm.  Okay no.  That's a lie.  The weather WAS warm for about 2 days.  Warm enough to run through sprinklers!  It now appears that October is here with rain and cold.  I'm not complaining though - I LOVE the rain but some sunshine is a wonderful thing! We've also been trying to get to the park everyday - now that the best one for both girls is re-open!  And of course...Emily has been able to play with her BFF...something she absolutely LOVES!  :)

So...the right side of the pic has been cut off some...if you want to see the full picture - you have to click on it.

We also visited Children's Fairyland in Oakland.  The girls had a lot of fun!  They were able to slide, crawl, explore and go on rides!  As you can see, Allison is already a rule breaker by standing up in the ferris-wheel while it was going.  Sigh.  But they had a lot of fun!  I had fun watching them explore!

To see the full pic - you have to click on it.  Not missing much - just looks better when it's the full pic.

We also spent the day down at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  We went down there to see all the fish - and to see the husband.  The husband has had to take a few classes down there and since we missed him so much - we headed down to check out the sights!  I was SO impressed that Emily wasn't afraid to touch all the stuff in the water this time!  If you look at the picture of her holding up the green seaweed- she is yelling "LOOK MOM!  IT'S LETTUCE!!!"  It was adorable!  Allison also was able to touch some stuff as well.  As you can see - the day tired Allison out and she pretty much passed out back at Erik's hotel room where we bathed and put pjs on for the ride home. on to see full picture.  Not missing much on this one - just it looks better if you click.

So we've been busy. Yay.  Busy is good - but it's also exhausting!  :)  So the past few days we have just hung out and took it easy.  Tonight Emily has a graduation performance at school.  Keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that she doesn't get too scared and not perform.  She isn't graduating but will be promoting to a new class this fall.  The girls are just growing SO fast - it's just amazing! 

So there you have it.  I blogged!  YAY!  I should now get a gold star for my efforts...right?  Eh.  Instead I'm off to "reward" myself by doing laundry.  :-|   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do's and Dont's

In thinking about my role as a parent lately, I ponder all the things I've been told and warned about versus what this gig really offers. New parents are faced with a lot of truth and fiction and I have learned over the past 3.5 years that what works for one parent, won't work for another.

Since of course I'm an expert on parenting (please note the sarcasm there) I'll give you my list of Dos and Don'ts I've learned during my time as a mom.

DO know that when your baby is brand new, it will be the easiest part of parenthood. Although that baby cries and wakes up all night long, it will be the easiest part. No back-talk. No time-outs. No tantrums. Just a squishy cute baby that actually sleeps more than you realize!

DON'T hesitate to ask for help. We all need help. It's the hardest thing for me to do. But it's important. The absolute BEST present my husband and I got when we brought home our baby for the first time was several hours of sleep while our baby was watched. It was heaven-sent.

DO back up your videos...OFTEN. As much as a pain in the ass it is to back up all your videos (especially when it is a HD camera and your computer doesn't support it) it's SO important. It's absolutely gut-wrenching to have most of your child's "firsts" stolen from you when your house is broken into. In fact the only item you will care about recovering is that video camera. Years later it will still bring tears to your eyes thinking about all the footage you lost. BACK UP OFTEN. Even when it's a pain in the ass.

DON'T listen to experts or friends or family that tell you your child should be doing this or that by a certain age. Sure, some things should be checked out if significantly delayed but your child will coo, smile, sit, crawl, stand, walk and talk on their own time. Take in each moment and actually be ok if they aren't crawling or walking right away. You will like that more than you know.

DO take a step back and realize this time, no matter how difficult, will fly by. Before you know it, that child you brought into this world, the one you taught about life, will be out of your arms as you offer the world back to them.

DON'T worry, Supermoms and Superdads don't really exist. Laundry will pile up, dusting will be put off, crap will accumulate throughout the house. If you, your spouse and your kids are clean, fed, smiling, laughing and are doing a damn good job.

DO believe the pediatrician when they tell you the average number of illnesses the first year of preschool is a minimum of 30. No matter how clean your house is, how many vitamins you give and how often you wash hands...your kid will get sick from the germ-infested breeding ground known as preschool or daycare. Believe it or not, your kid won't be the only sick one although it will feel like it. Those germs will also get your other children, your spouse and yourself sick. Be thankful if it's only sniffles and flus. Strep, lice and even pinworms (ack!!!) are also common.

DO know that having two children is insane. It's doubly hard. More than double. But also know that it's a wonderful wonderful thing and so worth it!

DON'T listen to others. Don't listen to the mom that offers condescending advice. It's ok to formula feed, use store-bought baby food and disposable diapers. Don't listen to the mom who thinks they can discipline or calm your child better than you. Don't feel like a bad mom if your child rolls off the couch onto their head in front of said moms.

DO know that when you go to bed later than usual...your kids will wake up WAY earlier than usual. Every. Single. Time.

DO love. DO laugh...all the time. DO hug and kiss and then hug and kiss some more. DO teach. DO bend the rules. DO allow ice cream. And DO back up your videos!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.  For whatever reason I am sitting here wondering what exactly MAKES a good mom.  I know you don't even have to give birth to a child to be a "good mom" but what if I don't even measure up under the definition of "decent mom" let alone a "good mom"?  I guess perhaps there is a difference between a "good mom" and a "super mom".  "Super moms" don't really exist I suppose - but for some reason - society makes us think there a million of them running around out there and we are failing at our jobs.  At least it does for me.   It's a RARE RARE thing where I am told by someone that I am a "good mom".  As a matter of fact...minus my husband...I don't think ANYONE has told me that.  My husband gets compliments about being a great father all the time - but me?  Not so much.

As a mom to two girls, and the wife of a firefighter whose schedule does not give me a partner that is home every single night (and lately - has not been home for a couple weeks), I find myself feeling like a failure as a parent.  I yell.  I put in time out.  I make my kids cry.  I cry.  I feel like a bully.  I crave alone time.  I have been known to have the kids watch some tv so I can take a break and decompress as best as a stay-at-home-mom can.  I have checked out a time or two.  I am not a good play-partner.  I don't spend as much time as I should with them.  I can't quite figure out how to give both of them all the attention they both need at the same time.  I can't seem to keep the house clean.  I can't seem to please everyone.

Hmmm.  Maybe that's the problem?  I spend so much time pleasing everyone else (or at least trying to) - I forget about me.  But does a "good mom" just do that - forget about themselves and put everyone else first?

I love.  I laugh.  I tickle and make them snort when laughing.  I've even been known to make them laugh so hard they snort and fart at the same time.  I hug.  I kiss.  I scratch backs to relax.  I wipe butts.  I sing.  I rock.  I read books and play with puzzles.  I take them places.  I TRY to teach the ABCs and 123s.  I TRY to teach how to spell C-A-T or D-O-G.  I give them a sense of family by having grandparents and aunts over (to me it's so important to have a good family bond with extended family).  I bake (although I know they only help so they can eat the batter or the dough).  I bring them to the park when I can't stand going to the park.  I allow them to learn on their own (as hard as that is).  I feed, clothe, bathe and fix boo-boos.  I dry tears.  I love. 

I don't know what makes a great mom.  I'm sure my mom wondered if she was a good mom herself.  I am sure most moms wonder the same thing.  I guess the one thing I DO know is in my heart I love those little girls more than I could ever find the words for.  My actions may not always show that - but it's true.  I just really hope I don't screw them up to where they need therapy later in life.  I make mistakes.  I am human.  I am a mom.