13 February 2014

Wordless Wednesday

We're snowed in and celebrating Valentines Day today! This is a little photo shoot I did a few days ago to get a nice picture for a frame to give to Matt.

I can never decide if I like b&w pictures more, or ones in color more, so I go with both! 

06 February 2014

Two Year Update

So much has changed since I wrote my last Natalie update seven months ago in July.

For starters, I am in disbelief that I ever thought having a toddler was harder than having a baby. I said Natalie would get upset if she didn't get her way, and would start to throw fits about things, but I can't even remember that phase.

Not to sound annoying and brag like, but Natalie is growing into such a mellow, understanding, compliant and mature little girl. I attribute her demeanor partially to her personality, but of course credit goes to those raising her: myself, my husband and my in laws.

I feel she is so well behaved because she lives a very happy, comfortable life. She is given so much love, security, stability and attention. She thrives in the environment she's in.

(That doesn't mean I think kid's who misbehave are lacking those things, some kid's, most kid's, go through a rough/rebellious stage in life, be it in their toddler years, or teen years and it has nothing to do with the parents.)

Not saying she never acts up, but she rarely does, and it's not the shit show I thought the toddler years would be. If she doesn't like or want to do something I tell her to, I can usually explain to her why it's important to (like brushing her teeth) and she complies without arguing. There are of course tantrum moments, mostly when she's super tired, and she did go through a phase where she would hit me or pull my hair, but that's a story for another day.

Usually she's so sweet and polite. She's still a little bit shy around new people, but she is expanding the inner circle of people she likes and warming up to unfamiliar faces quicker than before. She still doesn't play much with kids she doesn't know, but she's not antisocial. She just likes to observe and watch other children at play.

She is so independent. She spilled some juice today while I was cooking dinner and asked me for a paper towel so she could clean it up, and told me she didn't need help because she's a bigger girl now and can do it by herself. She won't even drink from a sippy cup (hence then spilled juice) because she thinks she's big stuff. (Though I'd be alright if she gave up the bottle any day now!)

She also really loves to help others. No matter what I'm doing she wants to be included and always asks to help. If someone drops something she says, "I'll pick it up!".

She's so funny and creative and such a pleasure to be with all day. Like most parent's, Matt and I are so proud of our child and couldn't be happier with the girl she is growing into.

Whether or not she actually knows what "favorite" means, or if she's just answering my questions with the first thing that comes to mind, I have no idea, but it's fun to think that she does have preferences. Here's a list of what she said her favorite things are:

Favorite color: orange

Favorite animal: Giraffe

Favorite song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Favorite shape: Circle

Favorite number: 2

Favorite game to play: Hide and Seek

What she wants to be when she grows up: Firefighter

03 February 2014

Thoughts on a Future Baby

Before even having one kid, most people have an idea of the number of children they would like to have some day.

I think my ideal number was two, and I wanted to space them around two years apart, which is pretty standard I think. After having one, I never really gave thought into having another, no matter how many times people asked me, "So when is baby number two coming?" The question used to annoy me ever so slightly, after all, let me enjoy being a parent to one child before my womb is occupied and a very draining pregnancy begins again.

Now the question intimidates me more than anything, because for the first time in my life I'm feeling the desire to have another baby. I start to question myself and wonder when another baby will be on the way.

 It started a few weeks ago when my boss's daughter stopped by the salon and had her newborn son with her (she also has a daughter around Natalie's age) and I was hit with the emotion know as "baby fever".

Not to sound like a psycho, but I wanted her baby. I wanted to hold him and snuggle him so much. Then I immediately wanted one of my own.

That feeling lasted a few hours, until logic set in, but it is such a powerful feeling to yearn for a baby. I'm pretty sure if my husband would have been near by (and I wasn't at work) I would have dismissed rationality and said, "Let's make a baby right now!"

There are so many good reasons we just aren't ready for another child right now (or nine months from now), but as time goes on I want one more and more. At some point I know baby mania will outweigh sensibility, but for the time being here are the reasons we haven't taken the plunge into second time parenthood:

Finances. This is very important, for clear reasons. I know families survive and live happily and comfortably with less of an income than my husband and I make, but with an additional person to take care of we would be stretching our finances pretty thin.

Freedom. I like time to myself, or on occasion with friends. (I like time with my husband too, but dates are so rare because we don't have a lot of babysitter options.) If after work I go have a drink with a co-worker or plan a girl's night out it's not a big deal. Matt can feed, bathe, and put Natalie to bed on his own. Add another kid into the mix and I think I'd feel too guilty to enjoy myself while spending time away from home knowing how much harder it is to feed two kids, bathe two kids, put two kids to bed, etc.

Child care. The reason my work schedule is so unconventional (2 days that equal 20 hours a week) is because the cost for daycare/a nanny in my area is more than I bring in on my puny hourly wage, even if I worked full time. My in laws so graciously watch Natalie one day a week and then Matt is with her on Saturdays. My in laws love spending time with her and never complain about the long hours, even if it's just one day, but we're maxed out with our weekly child care from them.

Sanity. I mean absolutely no disrespect to parent's of multiple children by adding this to the list and I'm not implying people with more than one kid are insane. Not at all. I have three siblings and we used to beat the crap out of each other and fight a lot. We always made up and I love them and am so happy to have them, especially as an adult now, but I know first hand how much children bicker and argue. That can't be fun for parents and would drive me crazy! On top of that children require all of your attention, all of the time. I can't imagine what daily life would be like trying to divide my attention between two needy people at once.

Space. When I say I have a very small house, you don't understand. It's a tiny row house with two small bedrooms and one eensy bathroom. The kitchen is so frustrating to cook in because I have no counter space/storage space (which is the reason for my culinary mishap here). Anyway, as little as babies are, they sure do take up a ton of room with all their stuff. I literally don't know where I would put any of a baby's things, let alone where the baby itself would go. With all the gifts from Natalie's birthday and Christmas, we had to turn her nursery into a toy room. Natalie has slept in our room since the day we brought her home and and in our bed since about six months. Obviously we aren't living in a box or anything, and we could make it work, but I am starting to feel cramped and like we're very quickly outgrowing our home with just three people.

Sleep. I think lack of sleep is the number one complaint new parent's have. I want to say I remember so long ago what a pain in the ass it was waking up many times a night to feed a child but I'm currently still going through that pain in the ass. Natalie still does not sleep through the night. Matt and I are to blame for this one, because we cater to her and give into her wants in the middle of the night. She's over two and still drinks from a bottle several times a night. It's ridiculous, it's pathetic, but at this point we are so deep in I don't know how to change it. If I had another baby I would try my hardest to do some form of sleep training, because I honestly regret not doing it with Natalie.

When I sit down and type out all the long, rational arguments for not making another baby it completely overshadows my impulsive eagerness for one. To be quite honest, Matt and I feel completely complete with our family of three. Another child would be great, but we don't feel it's necessary.

It makes me feel even better that Natalie has four cousins, the oldest 8 years older than her and youngest three years older, and we're in close proximity and she is emotionally close with them. She even refers to my nieces as her sisters sometimes.

Cousins can't replace siblings, I know this, but it is a good enough substitute for now.

29 January 2014

First Dream

I'm sure some of you may have noticed my blog has been on "private" for a couple of months now. It's not anything personal, like I don't want you reading it or anything, it's just that since I stopped blogging I didn't want to have to deal with logging in to look at my stats and traffic sources, or check for nonexistent new comments. (Every blogger knows you can't have a blog and not check for those things no matter how long you go without posting.)

I feel bad that I've missed recording in depth so many awesome things that have happened since September, but I just haven't had it in me to sit down and blog.

I realized today how much I've missed out on documenting. There have been huge events, like a wedding, Natalie's 2nd birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but there have been so many little things too. So many changes with my girl, so many funny things she's said and done, so many amazing little things, I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll start with today.

After waking up from a (very rare) nap, the first thing Natalie said with half shut eyes and a bit of concern in her voice was, "Mommy, can you get me a new kite, Mommy?" (She likes repeating names at the beginning and end of sentences.)

I was baffled, and asked her to repeat herself. She said it again, and told me the one she had flew away. I asked her what color it was and she said pink. Then she asked to look out the window for it, so we did. She sounded so sad and said, " I can't see it." I asked her where it went and she said it flew away in the sky.

We went the rest of the afternoon/evening with her asking for a new one, and then she started asking if the windows were closed. I asked her why and she said, "So my kite won't fly away." I tried telling her that it was all a dream and she never really had a kite, but she insisted that she did.

I think the dream could have been a memory from her birthday, when she had a few pink balloons that she kept letting go of outside, then Matt would grab them before they got away and she would get pissed. Finally he gave up and just let them float away and she was so upset, naturally.

So there it is. The first dream she's had (assuming it was a dream) that I've had some insight to. Pretty interesting to me!

Edit 8/12/2020: Six years later and tonight I mentioned this dream to her and told Natalie how I bought her a pink kite that spring. She said shed remembered the kite and remembered seeing it in the basement and playing with it. She said with a giggle, "I didn't even fly it, I just sat on it and pretended it was a boat." I never knew that and her memory amazes me sometimes. I love this little girl and her innocence.