Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving (eve)

It's Thaksgiving eve. For the past few years with have celebrated this night with a dinner with our dear friends, but Jeremy was feeling feverish and flu-y last night and Levi had a fever so to be on the safe side we cancelled so as not to pass on any potential germies.

Today Jeremy felt a little better but still not great and Levi has still been extremely emotional all day and not quite himself, so unfortunately there was not going back at the last minute and sayong, "c'mon over". It's sad.

I hate to cancel especially around the holidays because I love the idea of traditions, and having Levi grow up with certain events and people as a part of his holiday celebrations. Assuming all is well tomorrow, we will participate in another tradition of a Thanksgiving morning walk with a group of other special friends and while it doesn't make up for missing tonight, it is my silver lining.

I love to cook, that's not a new revelation, but usually for the holidays I go crazy overboard with the dishes I am bringing to dinner. This year, I was intentional to chose menu items that didn't take too much effort but were still tasty. On Monday during Levi's nap I made the Butternut Bisque that will be the starter (Thanks Martha Stewart), and today while Levi was slumbering I concocted a spiced cherry pie for dessert -  the house smells fabulous! Plus, it means all I have left to work on tomorrow is a garlic green beans which involve minimal effort so I can actually spend time with the family outside of the kitchen which will be fun0 not to mention splitting up my "on my feet" time which has recently been an issue. Seems baby girl is not a fan of her mother being upright for long periods of time, and will make this known. It will also be helpful as Levi has been super clingy and wanting to be on my hip all the time since not feeling well the past few days. Luckily, Grandpa and Grandma are well loved and will be a huge distraction I am sure, it gives me more of an opportunity to sit with him if he needs that mama time without feeling like I needed to be working on some culinary masterpiece :)

I love this holiday, especially because it feels as though I get an extra Christmas almost. Only this is a Christmas without all the hustle and bustle of presents. Its like a pre-Christmas, getting us in the mood for the start of Advent and all the anticipation the month of December holds.

This year I bought Levi a book called "What's Thanksgiving all about" It's a cute book explaining that its not all about the parades, the football games and the turkey but unfortunately, our little football fan refers to it as the "football" book, so we may have to work on more explanation next year :)

Today, I was laying on the couch with my feet up, enjoying Jeremy's early arrival home from work and just watched him ad Levi building crazy tall towers with the blocks and laughing as they tumbled over. The fireplace was burning in the background and I took a deep breath, feeling our little girl wriggling around inside me as I did. I almost couldn't contain the thankfulness in my heart. 

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and loved ones near and far - even the British ones :)  I am thankful for each and every one of you and for the gift you are in our lives. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Early Starts

I have never been a natural early riser. I can get up and find a good attitude pretty quickly, but left to my own devices I would still be in the land of nod well past anything socially acceptable. Before Levi, Jeremy and I regularly started out weekends at 11am on a Saturday.

Parenthood has changed all that.

Levi is an early riser. When he sleeps through the night he can go 6.30pm-6.30am but recently both pieces of that sentence have been irregular. He is sleeping through much more frequently than he was a few weeks ago but since daylight savings, he is going to sleep better 6.30 and 7pm, which is 7.30 to 8pm as was. However, instead of sleeping to 6.15 or 6.30am like the routine we had come to know, he is waking between 5.30 and 6am -YAWN!! Oh my goodness, its painful. He went through a 5.30am wake up period for about a month this summer and it was rough, but because he was sleeping through consistently and taking 2 naps I could catch up on my sleep at one of his naps times during the day and we made it work. Now with him down to one nap a day and with it being inconsistent in length, as well as very inconsistent sleeping through the night I am exhausted with these early starts.

I'm so thankful that Jeremy is prepared to take on half the burden. He understands that pregnancy and watching a toddler all day is just as tiring as his job.

We used to take turns to get up with Levi and take him downstairs so the other one could go back to sleep. In more recent times, we have recognised that a) its really almost impossible to go back to sleep when you only have another 45 minutes to sleep and b) Levi may well fall back asleep after his bottle if we stay in the dark and quiet of our bedroom, so we have taken to bringing him in with us for bottle and snuggles. He sometimes falls back asleep for up to an hour.

If he doesn't go back to sleep he will often snuggle quietly for a while before starting to chatter and wanting to play. We have embraced these family times even though they are early because we realise we don't have that many of them. Levi's early to bed means little time together in the evenings so the morning adds some more quality time for our family.

Levi starts talking right away about football and touch downs, but quickly moves to climbing over Jeremy to get to his night stand and reaching to turn on the clock radio for music and "dancin' He then shakes his little bum ad wiggles and waves his arms like its a party. Our time continues with him walking around our room wearing our shoes - he's ust figured out how to keep them on his feet as he walks and he proudly clomps around.

He has become quite the towel boy and I genuinely miss his service when there is no one to pass me my towel as I step out of the shower! He also enjoys his turn with our electric toothbrush and my hairbrush. He has become very skilled at climbing in and out of the bathtub unassisted and so he can often be found playing in there while we get ready.

It means I am often out running errands or starting playdates with other mums of early risers earlier in my day than I would have anticipated but it can help me to start the day productively. It often kick starts the rest of the day too which is a good thing. I am often pretty useless by about 3 or 4 pm but by then, Levi is quite content to be home and playing with his toys, or reading stories with me until dinner so I can hang out primarily on the couch without much guilt.

Parenting is all about rolling with the punches, and an adjusted schedule is only the tip of the iceberg, but its one I am finding the silver lining to. I mean, who wouldn't be happy to get up to this smiling face? :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dear Levi - Fifteen Months Old

Dear Levi,

This has been another month of crazy development. I cannot believe how much you have grown and changed in the past 31 days.

The most noticeable has been in your increasing communication. While much of what you say continues to be incomprehensible to most people beyond our immediate family, that is changing slowly and as your pronunciation becomes clearer your vocabulary is increasing daily. You have mastered "stuck" and like to call for help often to get out of predicaments that you often put yourself in on purpose. Still hearing your little voice calling us, usually gets us running to save you, while you smile at us, knowing that you have wrapped us around your little finger :)

You also enjoy words to do with "football" like, "Hawk" when you see the Seattle Seahawk logo. This also includes "teevee" as you point to the remote and encourage us to turn on the television to see a football game. Your recent fascination with the television has certainly been convicting for me and we have not had it on during the day at all while you are awake. The weekends can still find us watching football games but I hope that your growing obsession with the sport can be contained with this limited exposure. The fall out from that decision however, has meant that you assume there is always football on the TV, because in your recent experience that is all you have seen :)

Your sleep at night is not quite back to consistent full nights, but it seems to be getting better (no thanks to daylight savings who threw a spanner in the works for a day or four). However, this not sleeping through started when your upper molars both decided to poke through at the same time, and today I notice bulging bottom gums which tell me your bottom ones are on their way too. Hoping they are not as painful for you, sweet boy. You have become such a snuggler in the morning. When you wake up we hear your little voice babbling, usually about "football" at first before you start calling for "Mama" and "Dada". You come into our bed for your first bottle of the day, you take it as you snuggle with us and you are so sweet. And as soon as its done you are off and running, full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. You especially enjoy turning on the radio on Daddy's clock to hear the music and start "dancy" (dancing) this includes your new signature move waving your pointer fingers as you wiggle.

Speaking of sleep, a new favourite game is to put our pillows on the floor and get your lovies and a blanket and tell us "ni ni" (night night) as you lay your head down, pretending to sleep. Then you pop up and  beam as we tell you "good morning sunshine" just like we do when you really wake up from sleep.

You have also started pushing boundaries much more as your understanding of the world grows. No longer can we tell ourselves you are unaware of what you are doing. You know full well when we tell you "no" or "stop" that you can make the choice to be obedient or not and its a toss up to which you decide :) We have had to be firm and practice consistency for follow through when we are asking you to do something and you refuse. It's a learning curve for all of us, but your Daddy and I really want you to grow up knowing that there are boundaries and that you don't always just get to do what you want to. It's not a lesson any of us enjoy sweet one, but its necessary.

You are quick to bounce back from any confrontation, and we still chose to use distraction as much as any other form of discipline, but sometimes wehn you are looking at us and smiling as you do something you know youa re not allowed to do, we have to take a step back and remember that your heart is not to drive us crazy it's simply fun to you. You certainly have a mischievous spirit and a sense of humor larger than your size :)

You have also entered into a phase of being quite a mummy's boy, and also our first experience of you having any kind of separation anxiety. I was called out of MOPS last week as well as church this morning because you were having a tough time. You love to play with the other kids as long as I am in eye shot. I hope it's a short phase for both our sakes.

This has been a month of new finds and watching you enjoy life and the world you with even more energy and joy. From the toilet paper middle trumpets - your instrument of choice, to sharing snacks with your stuffed animals you are a light in my life.

I love you so much and as exhausted as I am most nights when my head hits the pillow, I wouldn't trade being your mother for anything in the world. You continue to be everything I dreamed of and more.

Happy 15 months~

Love mama x

Here you are this weekend enjoying some quality Dad time with snacks during the Seahawk game.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Stuck" and other Friday thoughts

It's Friday. I am feeling refreshed after two full nights sleep in a row and especially after last night when Levi slept 6.30pm-6.30am. He woke up very chipper as did I. It is amazing what a good nights sleep can do for this mamas outlook :)

Levi's new favourite thing is to get "stuck". Maybe it's because it's a new word for him and he like to show off. Perhaps ten times already he has called out "Mama, stuck!" and I have looked around to find him in a predicament like this one -

It also happened with him head first in a turned over laundry basket as well as a few other strange places. He cracks me up.

Baby girl continues to grow and I swear she has the hiccups 23 hours a day. Because she has been scaring us a little with her heart arrhythmia we have got to see her a bunch recently on scans. We even got a few video clips on a cd which I cherish. We are still praying that her heart rights itself but I guess time will tell.

Levi and I ran a quick errand to return something  the mall earlier and I walked by the kids play area which was hoppin'. I guess its the place to be right when the mall opens. Maybe everyone thinks its going to be empty then? They are wrong. Still, there were lots of moms my age there with multiple kids, bigger ones climbing and running on the equipment and smaller ones in carriers or carseats. There were some obvious play dates happening and all these mums looked adorable. So put together. Not overdressed but just cute. That kind of effortless look that actually, usually takes a little planning to get together. Lots of them even had earring or other accessories. It was 10am and they looked great, sipping on Starbucks with multiple kids - also not in jammies. For a moment I was in complete awe and then as I passed the storefront and saw my reflection, I saw that I too looked pretty cute for a Friday at the mall,a nd looking at my baby\boy in his cuteness, my own Starbucks cup in the stroller caddy full of mocha goodness and I took a breath, I could be friends with these ladies or I could be here on a play date with my own wonderful and cute friends. It gave me hope that with 2 babies life won't be over. It will be crazy and busy, yes, for sure, but there will be play dates and time with friends. This will continue to be my life - I will just have less arms and a bigger diaper bag - oh and a huge stroller - a fact that hit me as I one handedly whipped up our city mini into the back of the car before we left for home. Those days will be over :)

Speaking of the mall, not only was there Christmas music playing but we had to walk passed Father Christmas in his grotto. All set up for pictures. Already. Its not even mid-November yet people, who takes kids to see Santa in November? No judgement, I am seriously just curious.

It's the end of another week. Looking forward to some fun family times this weekend. Wishing you all a great weekend too :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Spoke too soon

I guess my daylight savings post was a bit premature. Levi has been struggling with late nights, late naps, and very early mornings. He has been exhausted poor little guy. Essentially his schedule has moved to match up with time as much as possible but his napping has been earlier because he's been going to bed at 6pm (7pm in his body) but getting up at 5 (6am in his body - and mine!) So he is over tired and falling asleep before his usual nap time but then never having time to catch up.

Today we had MOPS (mothers of pre schoolers) where he goes in the nursery with two sweet ladies who love him and a few little buddies his age. He usually loves and is more than happy to trot off without me to play with trains but today he was already ready for a nap when we arrived as as I set him down he burst into really sad tears and when I picked him up he just lay his head on my shoulder. After a few minutes I offered him a bottle and  after a few sips he saw the trains and he was off. I hoped that he woudl be able to hold it together because he would be distracted. I had already told the staff that I planned to listen to the speaker but leave before the discussion and pick him up early so he could nap before he got too tired but I did ask that if he got upset to come and get me because I knew I was pushing him and I didn't want him to struggle and then develop a fear of the nursery for the future.

I wish he would have had a fun time but I am glad that they brought him to me because he was super upset and having a rough time. He had stopped crying but his little tear-stained face and deep breathing was like a punch to my mama's heart. He quickly snuggled onto my lap and took the remainder of his bottle almost fallig asleep right there.

I left soon after so he could sleep and he fell asleep about 3 minutes into the car ride home. Sadly, I changed his diaper when we got home and it disturbed him enough that he couldn't settle back to sleep. Lesson learned because he usually transfers great.

In the end I stopped fighting it, brought him down and gave him lunch, read books quietly and then tried again an hour later. He was still struggling so I just put him in the crib and walked away. I needed to sit a few minutes (I had been having contractions and pressure again yesterday and my doctor warned me to keep off my feet as much as possible. Two rounds of rocking him to sleep would not have been what he had in mind!) Our video monitor has a two way speaker on it and in my frustration as I watched him pop up and start chattering away I said, "Levi Rhys lay down  in your crib and go to sleep" I have done this before and usauslly he will lay down for a few seconds but this time I watched him lay down but he stayed there and took a nap. Thank you Lord!! Certainly an answer to prayer for this exhausted mother.

So now we just have to figure out the rest of our day. I can hear him stirring. We have a friend heading over later which is always nice but Jeremy is working late so I have bedtime duty alone. Hoping he adjusts soon because this is exhausting, and even though he has been sleeping through the night again it doesn't feel like a good nights sleep when we have to get up at 5! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Daylight Savings to us!

Levi gave us the best gift this morning, 2 gifts really. Firstly, we all woke up when we heard him chattering - over the monitor- because he slept ALL night in his bed, and secondly, when we looked at the clock expecting to see we were in the 5 o'clock hour due to the time change, but instead we saw 6.20am. Not only did he sleep through, but he slept an extra hour! (and yes, we did have to double check that the clock was showing the right time!)

At least I should start the week a little more rested.

So many thoughts in my head - more to come soon.


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