Saturday, February 25, 2017

An "End" to an Almost Perfect "Relationship"

Before you start thinking of "relationships" that I might have ended recently - let me just state it outright so you're not jumping to conclusions that are so completely wrong I get you worried. After all, this relationship is one that most moms end at some point - it's that of breastfeeding.
(See nothing to worry about at all!) I tend to breastfeed my kids (OK, I only have 2) till the "magic" 18 mo mark, and I say "magic" because there's absolutely nothing "magic" about that number - it's just when I couldn't handle nursing the Monkey anymore and it's when the Munchkin and I decided to end it as well (although hers really ended at 17 mo - shhh, don't tell her). I'm sure someone can tell you all the benefits of nursing your kids for longer periods of time, but really, whatever you can do is the best for your kid and you!
But back to the story...I knew it was getting ready to be time to cut her off, because she wasn't nursing at night for long lengths, and I knew she wasn't getting much milk (trust me, if you're a mom you know if your kid is still getting a good amount or not from you)...she just wanted the comfort of nursing herself to sleep. At 17 mo with teeth (OUCH!), and with the amount of food she eats (she eats enough for at least 3 toddlers - I have kids that like to eat) I knew she was ready (again it's the magic "momsense" that we moms have)...and so I did what I had done with the monkey - I gave her 2 weeks to wean completely. Sure that might sound "mean" to some, but she only breastfed at bedtime for about 10-12 min a side so I knew it was the perfect time to do this.
2 weeks out and the first night we started with 12 min a side. Night 2 was 11 min a side. Night 3 was 10 min a side. You see where I'm going right? We did the countdown, and every night I took 1 min off till the last night when instead of nursing I attempted to cuddle with her for a few minutes while I said prayers. But that was when she decided to let me know that even though she's a lot like her brother, she is nothing like her brother when it comes to bed!
You see with the Monkey - he has a CD that to this day he still listens to when he goes to sleep at night and when he takes a nap on the weekends (or on term breaks). The Munchkin however hears music and suddenly must.dance. She cannot listen to music without dancing and so a CD at nap or bedtime is just a huge failure. But I thought she'd still want to cuddle...um, yeah, no. That last night - or the 1st night of the rest of her life - she did not want to cuddle at all, she leaned over into her bed and lay down while fussing for a few minutes. When she realized I wasn't just walking out but I was staying to tuck her in and say prayers (and I patted her back and rubbed her hair), she stopped fussing and calmed down. I left the room before she fell asleep, so she did fuss for 2 min before passing out. It went on like this for a week.
This week marks the 3rd week since she stopped nursing, and I have eaten more cheese, gluten, and food containing corn products in the past week than I can remember eating in a long time (it's been over a year since any of that had been in my system thanks to the Munchkin's allergies). In other words, I've eaten more crap than I have in a long time! Thankfully she was ready to be weaned, she hasn't complained about it at all and she puts herself to sleep - sometimes fussing for a minute when I leave and sometimes not fussing at all! My little girl is growing up!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Almost 18 months

If only one picture could describe a toddler I think this one captures mine pretty well! Although in order to really capture her she'd need shoes/boots on, a hat, possibly a vest (that would be a gilet if you're British), and a huge mess around her, but this definitely captures her essence. She's constantly on the move laughing, and being mischievous. Lol
She is very "helpful" though, she loves to help clean messes up off the floor (the video I had was too big), she loves to help do laundry, vacuum and sweep, and apparently she enjoys dusting - who knew?!
She also loves playing - especially with her brother, or at least his toys. She dances whenever she hears music, and sometimes she sings. She talks nonstop, sometimes we even know what she says(!), but don't worry - just because we don't understand her doesn't mean she doesn't understand exactly what we say - whether she listens is a whole other story.
She puts herself to sleep at naptime and at bedtime now (she's completely weaned!) with very little complaining... And sometimes she's a bit grumpy upon waking (which I completely understand).
That's right, this little girl who is all toddler keeps us on our toes, keeps us laughing, and makes us enjoy her toddlerhood to the fullest, after all, one day (in 1 1/2 yrs) she'll be turning 3! (Lord help us!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's a mom to do?!

The Munchkin doing absolutely nothing yesterday.
You know those moments when your kids go down for a nap at the exact same time...AND they happen to go down for a nap in their own beds?! Don't worry if you have no idea what I'm talking about! Until today I had no idea what I am currently talking about! Seriously...if the Monkey went down for a nap the Munchkin was either just waking up from hers or she was deciding she'd like to take a nap on mommy...yeah. Break? What's a break?! But today when the Monkey went up for his nap, the Munchkin followed and so I attempted to do something that has never been successfully achieved before!! That's right I put her down in her bed for a nap!! And guess what?! She fell asleep after fussing for a few minutes! They have know both been sleeping for 1 hr and 20 min. (Yes, I know the exact amount of time they've been sleeping because for the last 1 hr and 20 min I haven't wanted to start doing anything in case it jinxed this new "experiment/outcome"...and if you're a parent you know exactly what I'm talking about!)

So I am now blogging to tell you about how I haven't done anything while they've slept except drink a cuppa (that would be "a cup of tea" for you non British speakers) and write this...because I know as soon as I turn on the tv to watch a show or pick up a book to start reading one of my offspring would wake up and there would be no rest for me. Now what should I be doing? Well, I should be cooking some mushrooms for the Munchkin, or dusting, cleaning toilets, or doing some other odd chore that probably really does need to be done and I've forgotten all about doing, but for now I'm just writing to tell you what I'm not doing and why...and I feel GREAT about doing absolutely nothing - until I remember what it is I'm suppose to be doing!

Oh I know what I can do! I can write a post that actually will give you somewhat of an update! Man, this is the life: blabbing about absolutely nothing instead of being productive...but you know, sometimes you just need some time to do absolutely nothing...like you reading this post.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Day After the Superbowl

When you're overseas of you want to watch the Superbowl, (and really who doesn't want to watch the Superbowl?!) then the following day (Monday) is basically a "no good, very bad day" and that's even if your team won! Why?! Because you're sleep deprived! I mean you're up till at least 3/3:30 am and then you have to get up for work/or because your kids wake up and you have to get them to school (and school is great).
So last night we went to bed early (we're both fighting colds that our loving kids shared with us) and got up at 11:30 pm (we missed all the opening stuff AND kick off, oops) to watch the game. We were a split family once again (we usually are when it comes to Superbowls and sometimes other things too), I was rooting with my GA cousins for the Falcons and my loving husband was rooting for the Patriots and the misunderstood Brady (that's my take on why he was rooting for them. Lol).
We enjoyed the game - neither team is "our team" and by "our" I mean his or mine (because no, we don't root for the same team... See you don't have to agree on everything when you're married). I think I was enjoying it a little more because the Falcons were up... But then, about 2:45 am we both got super tired. Like so tired we couldn't keep our eyes open and so we turned off the game and went to bed (sometimes we agree on the same things).
All I can say is "I'm sorry Falcons fans, I'm sorry! I should never have gone to sleep!" This morning when I woke up husband was standing at then end of the bed to tell me the news - that the Patriots win in overtime - and I was bummed because they had it, they had it but they just couldn't hold on... They thought they had it and apparently let up, just like I thought they had it and so I went to bed. It sucks when your team does that.
I will say the hardest wasn't that the Falcons choked, it was that it was actually time to get up and face the day. Of course thankfully I was feeling a bit better than I had the previous 2 days and so I took the Monkey to school

and the Munchkin to an indoor play area.
When you can't parent at home take your kid(s) somewhere where they can run wild with other kids is what I always say.
And no, she didn't side down the slides by herself, she would only go down them sitting in my lap, but she did love going down them! Her favorite part was actually trying to climb back up the slides. How do I know she loved that part? Because of the tantrums she threw when I stopped her because of other kids wanting to come down.
Her previous fears of tunnels disappeared this morning... I was a little sad, even though I cheered her on...sad because that was her 1 fear... Well maybe now slides by herself are her one fear.
It's not that I want her to have fears, I love having fearless kids, but seriously, this girl will jump off anything, climb anything, race around like a complete lunatic with no fears... It's not bad to have a little bit of fear that makes you stop and think, that's all I'm saying.
But she is definitely our fearless child... It's fun to watch, although we're probably getting a few more gray hairs because of her.
It was also apparent that daddy dressed her in the wrong colors to go in the ball pit! When she sank down into the balls (not pictured) it was hard to see her...next time I need to dress her in red!
But all fun times must come to an end...4 min after leaving she fell asleep in her stroller on the walk home, where she slept for 30 min. Upon waking she wanted to be held AND she fell asleep again! I was able to put her down on our bed (a new thing! A week ago she wouldn't let me put her down when she slept at naptime!) and she slept for another 2 hrs! (She woke up just in time to leave and to get her brother from school!) Told ya she was tired.

Did I mention how much she LOVES the ball pit?! She spent the first 30 min jumping in and then relaxing in the balls. Lol

Sunday, February 5, 2017

nap (Sept 2014)

Oh here's another keeper I never posted- this time in 2014... But I can totally see me in this exact same scenario with the Munchkin... Fun days ahead. Lol

There are days I wish my child didn't require a nap...you know like those days when he goes down for a nap after throwing a tantrum - sleeps for 10 minutes and wakes up throwing another tantrum about how he's not tired (yawn), and he doesn't need to sleep (yawn), and oh yeah - he suddenly has the urge to go potty on the toilet (yawn) when he's refused to go potty on the toilet all.day.long - and when asked if he really has to go potty or if he's just trying to get out of taking a nap - he's SO tired that he tells you the truth which is: "I don't want to take a nap mommy." (HUGE yawn) (the yawns are done while he's talking)...and I thank him for being honest - decided heck - I'll let him try once to see if he does have to go (he did - a little - but then he tried to delay because he WAS being honest and he DOESN'T want to take a nap)...and back to his bed he goes all while screaming and crying and throwing a tantrum about how he's not tired - head banging his bed (which he then says his neck hurts...I bet it does!)...and I try to ignore the screaming since nothing else works (I calmed him down for a couple minutes until he realized I was going to make him take a nap) and so the screaming and crying goes on for 30 min till suddenly it gets deathly quiet - like no sound at all - even his music is off...and then the sound of the door opening and closing and the pitter-patter of feet and he comes running down the hall...so back to the bathroom - since he's been yelling he HAS to go since 5 sec after the last trip to the bathroom (which is totally his MO at nap and bedtime)...he does go, again a little bit, but still...back to his room where the tantrum continues...for another 40 min - I attempted to calm him down for awhile because he has thrown such a fit that he passes out and I really don't want that to happen today...but when I realized he won't calm down at all I just left him with a "you don't have to sleep, you can cry and scream and throw as much of a tantrum as you want but you can not leave your room." It's now been 20 min since that outburst and I have learned that I just need to ALWAYS tell him (when he's throwing a tantrum as nap/bedtime): "you don't have to sleep, you can cry and scream and throw as much of a tantrum as you want but you can not leave your room." because he has now passed out...about 10 min ago. I KNEW he was exhausted and needed a nap!

Teething Sucks! (From 2013)

Here's a laugh for you! I wrote this but never finished it or posted it in June 2013 - when the Monkey was 17 mo old. Fast forward to Feb 2017 - when the Munchkin is 17 mo old and I just discovered super hard gums in her mouth! That's right she's following in her brother's footsteps and getting her molars sometime in the next 6 mo (she seems to have super hard gums for months before the teeth actually break through). She is missing her incisors still, so they might make an appearance before the molars or maybe the molars will come first - who knows with this girl! The one thing that is for sure - she is just like her brother when teething! So without further ado, I give you my post from 4 yrs ago (with a pic added). Lol
At this moment there are 4 teeth making their way into the monkey's mouth...3 of them are molars (bottom left, top left, and top right) and one is his bottom left incisor...poor kid! Fortunately, this time it's not as bad as it was the last time - when his bottom right molar (the first molar to come in) broke through...but it still sucks. I mean it sucks for me and I'm not the one in constant pain - except when he throws things at me, pulls my hair, and headbutts me - but still not the same pain I know.

We are lucky that even while teething he sleeps through the night...he's just extra whiny, clingy, moody, and mean - which really who can blame him...I would be - especially if I lacked the ability to communicate clearly! Overall I have to say he is one tough cookie - I don't think he has my pain tolerance, thank goodness (which is pretty low - except when it comes to childbirth and then apparently I'm just so stubborn I can put up with any amount of pain you throw at me).

Horsey Beach

So a couple weekends ago we finally ventured over to Horsey Beach (in Norfolk) to see the seals! I heard about it last year and wanted to go, but we just never made it - we went to another beach over there but just not the seal beach (which yes, is called Horsey - it's not confusing at all is it?!). So this year, after talking about it since November we finally made it!!
Walking the path to go see the seals
Oh the excitement of being able to walk down the beach and be surrounded by seals and their pups! Oh the sounds and sights (and smells) we would behold - seals in their natural habitat...up close and personal...we were going to be 1 with nature!! (Ok, so the Monkey and I were more excited than Rusty and the Munchkin...the Munchkin wasn't too thrilled because she didn't know what we were talking about...and Rusty wasn't too thrilled because, well that's just Rusty.)
We loaded up the car with snacks, wellies, and things to entertain the kids on the just over 2 hr drive East...
And do you know how many times we were asked "Are we there yet?"? That's right at least 30 times, which in the grand scheme of things isn't really that bad for a 5 yr old!
We parked and started on our venture...boy were we excited!! I mean seals!! Ok, once again we weren't all excited...but it wasn't raining - even though it was cold - so it all in all we were ready for a fun day out on the beach! As we walked along the cliffs we all of a sudden came across this little pup!
Poor little guy/gal was all by itself up on the cliff way away from the sea!! We kept walking past because you aren't suppose to get close to them, but with it being right on the walking path we had to walk somewhat close to get past.
The Munchkin decided that this was the perfect time to practice her seal impersonation! Ok it wasn't really a seal impersonation as much as the perfect time to throw one of her 157 tantrums of the day.
We continued walking and came across another pup in the grasses! Thankfully there were "seal rescue" people who came and moved the seals - we didn't see them moving the seals but we did see them down on the path and on the beach. But this picture shows how close we got to the pups - since they were on the paths.
We finally found a path that we could get down and walk on the beach...and yes, it was a tad windy and some little girl insisted upon walking!
The beach was rocky, not many shells (because I know that's something my mom would want to know)...
As we continued down the seal-less beach we finally came upon a seal pup!! And as soon as it saw us and others with us it immediately headed back out into the sea.
This little seal was actually able to get away from people, unlike the ones up in the grasses...but still we saw no big seals...
The munchkin decided that the seals got to have all the fun, so she once again decided to practice being a seal and play in the sand. Thankfully she didn't try to run into the sea - I don't think she would've though since it was cold and the sea is made up on water - she's not crazy about being in water.
Then we started to see a few more seals! There was this guy/gal...
And this one...
And this one...
And this one, who I think thought s/he was invisible...but I could still see him/her!
And finally, after walking at least a mile we found a big group of the adult seals! When we found this group we decided we'd seen all the seals in their natural environment that we needed to see and so headed back to the car. That and we were frozen, we needed to get back to the car and turn the heater on so we could thaw.
Everyone else was excited to see the big group of seals as well I think. I will say that if you stood downwind from this group the smell was wretched, absolutely wretched - and not because of the people, it was all seal smell. Rusty warned me about it and then decided that he shouldn't have warned me, since I took his warning and avoided most of the smell.
Our walk back to the car seemed like it was 5 mi (and I know what that feels like since I try to walk 5 mi every day)...Thankfully I had put some "energy" (gummies) in my coat and so the Monkey was able to walk back without too many meltdowns about how tired he was.
The drive home was beautiful, because that's when the sun decided to appear! But hey, at least it didn't rain!
And like most car trips, this kids fell asleep about 10 min before we got home...he was exhausted the entire ride home but he fought it like a champ, until he finally couldn't fight it anymore. It was a fun, long, and exhausting day, but I think it was worth going, even if others in the family would argue that it wasn't that great. LOL