Archive for ‘motherhood’

January 19, 2011

>i’ll remember forever and ever. and ever.

>We glide through the air on side-by-side swings on the playground. A warm early fall day, with fading light and a smell to the air that promises a chill is soon to come. Her honey blond hair blowing from the force of the swing. Her head hung back and laughing from deep with in. After we jump off the swings, she throws her arms around my neck and says “I yuv you, mama.” “I love you too, Hadley. I know you may not remember this moment, but I’ll remember forever and ever.”

I listen to her soft breath laying next to me on our bed. The morning sun is streaming though the window. The sound of her sisters murmurs and daddy making coffee are a lovely ambient noise of home, that wake her from her slumber. She opens her eyes and she smiles sleepily. “I love you, Hayden. I know you may not remember this moment, but I’ll remember forever and ever.”

And while there are so many moments, so many memories to store in my heart that I may just forget, the feeling of loving my babies will never, ever escape me.

I’ll remember forever and ever. And ever.

January 18, 2011

>sleep

>

Hadley – 4 months old

Sleep is a difficult commodity to come by in our house. It’s actually ironic that the job I had just prior to babies was a product to help people get better sleep, in turn educating our audience on the importance of sleep. And now, it’s a hard thing to come by.

It probably started, for me, before I even knew of Hadley. But really kicked in toward the end of my pregnancy with her. It’s part of pregnancy, we all know this. But then she arrived and I worried myself so much about not responding to her, or waking my neighbors that I worked hard to keep her quiet, especially at night. And while many of you may think that co-sleeping and not allowing her to cry is the better way to go, I’m starting to think I did a bit of a disservice to her and our family as a whole.

Now, at 2 1/2, she happily sleeps in her own bed and in her own room. And our challenge has turned to Hayden.

When will it end? I need to sleep!

Hayden has been a great sleeper from the get go, and in comparison to how we’ve been with Hadley, we’ve encouraged sleep in her own bed. But suddenly at 9 months her separation anxiety has kicked in to full effect and the last couple weeks have been terrible. And we’ve been taking measures to “train” her to get back into her good habits.

BUT I NEED SLEEP! Any advise for a sleep deprived mama?
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December 28, 2010

>5 new years resolutions

>2011 is upon us, and I can hardly believe it. Two babies. Home owner. Living in a different state far from California that I lived my whole life. My life has changed dramatically in the past five years. And finally, I am starting to feel “settled”. So what a good time to set some goals for the New Year:

* Take more “me time”, even though I feel tremendous guilt when I do. Go out once a week, if only for an hour, to do something alone. And once monthly, take some extra time to do something just for me – whether it be a pedicure, seeing a movie, or enjoying a leisurely lunch all by my lonesome.

* Spend more alone time with Jonathan. We certainly do not do this enough. We need to call on the sitter more often and go out to be a couple. Our relationship was so whirlwind, we hardly had a chance to be a couple. We need to do this.

* Get in shape. Hayden and Hadley are both doing well at the gym daycare, so it’s time for me to get back into shape. I need to hit the gym at least three times a week (if not more). I want to feel good in my bathing suit an shorts this summer.

* Eat healthier. I’m not going to lie… I have been a chocoholic for the last couple of years and I need to curb this. Drink more water. And continue to try to weed out the processed foods. Floss. Everyday.

* Strive to be greener. We do things that are “greener”, but we could be even more so. This year I will do the things to be a greener household. Like, remembering to take our reuseable bags to the grocery store. In the winter months when farmers markets are not available, trying to purchase natural, organic and local food products, even if they cost a little more. And not buying individually wrapped items, like juice boxes, Keurig coffee cups (we can pack our own resuseable cup) and water bottles.

What are your New Years resolutions?
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November 24, 2010

>the hardest thing

>One of the hardest thing I’ve found thus far in my adventures of motherhood is taking time for myself and not feeling guilty about it.  Truthfully, I rarely take time for myself because I don’t want to feel guilty. I’m really bad about it. It’s not good for me. Or my kids.

And it’s a strange thing to struggle with accomplishing. Really, who wouldn’t want a pedicure. And to see a grown up movie. Or go on an awesome shopping trip sans children.

But I struggle.

And I find myself bitter with my other half for being able to do it so easily. It’s not his fault. I shouldn’t be angry with him.

What do you struggle with in your adventures of motherhood?

June 29, 2010

>letters to my former self

>To join in the letter writing fun, visit Raising Madison

Dear 7 year old Cambria,
Give your daddy lots of hugs. He is very sick. And while he will recover this time, later in life the disease will take his life. You will cry often as he will miss the two most important happenings of your life. While he will drive you mad at times, make sure you tell him you love him everyday.

Dear 14 year old Cambria,
This year you entered high school. You will still be taller than most of the kids and painfully shy. You will make some life long friends, but also befriend some that are careless with your heart. While I know these are lessons we learn as we grow up, and it’s not in your nature to be confrontational, be sure to stick up for yourself and not let those who are careless hurt you.

This year, also, your parents will separate and enter into some, not so pretty, divorce proceedings. It’s not your business. It’s not your fault. It’s just life. Your parents still love you dearly, even though they may not love each other the same way they once did.

Dear 18 year old Cambria,
Stay away from that guy. He’s more trouble than you realize.

Dear 21 year old Cambria,
This year you will finally go away to school in San Francisco. You’ve been dreaming of this day. And you will get home sick and want to go back, but stick to it. It will be the best experience of your life and you, in time, will leave and return to start the next phases of your life.

Oh, and whole it took near two years to ditch that bad guy, you will start dating someone else, who, while fun, is ultimately not worth the effort you will put forth. Be a strong woman and move forward in life. Love may be some years away, but it will come, I promise.

Dear 28 year old Cambria,
Time for a career change. But you also need to stop consuming your whole self into your jobs. You are young and there is so much more to life than your job. Take a deep breath and follow your passion.

Dear 32 year old Cambria,
Your whole world flips upside down this year. And all I can advise is to hang on tight. This year your father’s illness will return with a vengeance. You will meet the man of your dreams. You will become pregnant. You will be laid off from your job. You will watch your father exhale his last breath, losing his battle with cancer. And you will deliver your first beautiful baby girl. Life’s extremes in a period of 12 months. Be sure to let yourself grieve. Learn to lean on others for assistance. There are many that love you and want to be there for you.

Dear (almost) 35 year old Cambria,
This year you bought your first home. Delivered your second daughter. And moved across the country. Things are tough with two children under two and its hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But know that they aren’t little forever. Someday they will sleep through the night. And the terrible twos will pass. Remember to ask for help and take time for yourself without feeling guilty.

Looking back at my life as I write these letters, I am reminded that hind sight is 20/20. But also, the mishaps along the way are what have made me who I am today. Sure, I would give anything to have my dad back, if only for a minute. But it was a privilege to know him, love him and be with him as he passed. But he helped make me me.

— Post From My iPad

June 9, 2010

>wishful wednesday: understanding and compassion

>I’ve read posts by fellow bloggers, Blair (www.theheirtoblair.com) and Allison O (www.omyfamily.com) on this topic and it got me thinking…

Motherhood is hard. Period.

I’m certainly not suggesting that I don’t want to be a mom or don’t absolutely love being a mom. My girls are my everything. My whole world. I am invincible because of them. I’m just saying, as my fellow bloggers much more eloquently put it, that motherhood is different than I imagined.

What do I mean by this?

I anticipated spit-up covered clothing. Pureed food in my hair. Kid stickers on my sleeve. Goldfish crackers, raisins, juice boxes and bottles replacing my fancy cheeses and wine of my kidless years. Laundry madness.

All of this I expected.

What I didn’t anticipate is how much of a softy I really am. Training and disciplining is harder than I ever imagined. Listening to my child cry herself to sleep, feeling like a bad mom, even though I know its the best thing for her. Putting my toddler on a time out for misbehaving and feeling like she thinks I don’t love her.

I didn’t expect that I would have moments when I would feel inadequate as a mother, a friend and a partner. I didn’t anticipate that I would feel so unproductive with simple day to day tasks because the process of diapering, feeding, nursing and bathing ate up my whole day, exasperating my feelings of being inadequate.

And I never thought that I could function with the level of exhaustion I get to, which is likely the cause of all these feelings, I would guess, in most moms.

But, when I take a minute to appreciate those special moments with my girls. The moments when Hadley is singing to Hayden. Or when we are all snuggled up on the couch. Or Hadley strings together a whole sentence in response to a questio. These are the moments that remind me about what I did imagine motherhood to be. While they don’t make the sleep training and disciplining any easier, or the utter exhaustion go away, these are the moments that remind me that I am a good mom. These are the moments I hoped for when entering into parenthood.

More over, despite all this, raising children is the most important, most rewarding adventure I have embarked on. But, still the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

What do I wish for? For understanding and compassion. For moms partners to try to understand this other side, somewhat darker side, that lots of moms with babies go through. As Blair of http://www.theheirtoblair.com put it… “Its not 24/7 picnics and skipping and lollipops and unicorns.” But, also know that our babies are the most miraculous, wonderful things that happened to us.

— Post From My iPad

May 18, 2010

>it goes by fast

>Jonathan’s mom and sister were in town from Boston to meet Hayden for the first time. And, of course, we had to show them a few sights. I took them down to Laguna Beach to have lunch and stroll through the shops with the girls. It was a lovely, leisurely outing with the babies.

While in a local, rather whimisical, shop, a few people ooohed and awed over the girls… I’m partial, but I could not have agreed more. But one person really stood out to me…
An elderly gentleman came up to me to admire Hayden, who was peacefully sleeping in my arms. He seemed to have a tear in his eye and he just uttered “beautiful.” Then he stuttered “I know you’re tired, but enjoy it.” Then he tried to continue, and apologized as he had suffered a stroke. I finished his sentence for him, “It goes by fast.” He nodded and smiled.
I looked over at Hadley who was happily being pushed in her stroller by Grandma and I realized that it was just a blink a go that she was wrapped in a blanket in my arms. And now here she is, walking and talking, with opinions and own interests that are all her very own.
It certainly does go fast.
So, when I’m up at 1:30 a.m., as I am most mornings, nursing Hayden and subsequently bouncing her to sleep on the exercise ball, struggling to keep my eyes open, I must remember that this time goes fast. And these moments, at 1:30 a.m., are special times that I was able to spend with my daughters as they nursed.
May 15, 2010

>mamma’s worries

>I’m realizing that as a mom your worry never stops. You worry about your kiddos getting sick. Hurt. Getting away from you in a parking lot and being struck by a car. Meteors falling from the sky and landing on them. Foolish worries. Unnecessary.

Perhaps I still have post-partum hormones running a much.
I worry about Hadley a lot.
I worry about not showing her as much love now that the baby is here. And my heart bursts for her. But how do your expect a 22 month old to understand that your time is being drawn to this new person because you must feed her and train her.
I worry when Hadley cries at night. I worry that she is overly stressed out. Doesn’t like the bed she’s sleeping in. Afraid of the dark. Worse worries that I shouldn’t even utter.
I worry about her terrible two’s behavior, even though I know it’s a developmental stage that every child goes through.
I worry that we have made her change and adapt too often in her short life. I hope someday she understands why this happened and that we hope once we move to our home in Minnesota in a couple of weeks that we create a home that we stay in for years to come. I hope she will make friends. Have play dates. Love the snow.
Will my heart be constantly filled with worry for my babies?
My mother tells me that she still worries about us kids even now that we are in our 30’s. Have our own friends. Families. Homes.
So I guess we never stop being mom. Ever. Worry is part of it.
I just love my babies so much.
April 11, 2010

>double strollers and mini vans

>
I learned something about myself when Hadley was tiny…  That I really am a “less is more” kind of gal.  Despite my love of purses, I never really carried a diaper bag.  Strollers were cool, but unless we were on a long walk, a trip to the mall or other major outing, I didn’t use one.  I preferred the sling, and I think Hadley did too.

Naturally, when we learned of Hayden, I really didn’t think upgrading our beautiful stroller to a double was necessary.  I would put Hayden in a sling and push Hadley in the stroller. Sounds like a good plan, right?  Until  you realize, on that extended trip to the mall, that you have no place to put your slinged baby.  What if you needed to pee?  What would you do?  (Well, I do know how to conquer that with a sling, but it’s a legitimate concern)
So I set forth to find a second hand double stroller on Craigslist.  Double strollers are like mini vans to me…  A little too “mommy” for me.  Not that I am a young hipster by any means, but they just aren’t me.  And being the minimal person that I am, it is just way too much equipment for me.  Needless to say I was being quite particular with this purchase.
I looked at a used double stroller that was so incredibly long that you almost needed a back up alarm like on big trucks.  While it was a nice, clean, used stroller for $100, I could see it would annoy me so much that I would never use it.
I looked at a new high end stroller that was about the size of a single stroller and has a lower sling for a second child… Very cool, but it would always have two pieces (which on our single stroller was the case and somewhat annoying – especially at the airport) and what happens
 when the kid who has to sit in the lower seat wants to see out. Not to mention, once you got all the appropriate pieces purchased, the system was upwards of $1000.
I settled on a new stroller system that is all one piece… The City Mini Jogger. It’s a double wide, but fits through standard sized door ways.  The seats operate separately and can sit straight up, or lie all the way flat, which is an excellent feature for a baby/toddler

 situation.  A car seat adaptor is available, but I am not one to lug a car seat anywhere out of a car, so we just lay the seat back and we put in an infant cozy to help keep Hayden in place.  This stroller basically folds in half for storage.  It’s still double wide, but folds up pretty flat so it really doesn’t take up any more room than a standard stroller.  While it’s a bit heavy – it is designed to hold 150 lbs or so of kid – it steers beautifully. Since we received the stroller, we have been looking for reasons to take it out.  I’ve been on a few walks through town, been to Target (much easier than trying to wrestle a shopping cart) and the mall, all with great success.  Also, Hadley thinks it’s pretty cool!  I would recommend this stroller to parents with two kiddos who are looking for a simple solution.
Now… I don’t know if I will ever be convinced that a mini van is a good idea for me.  
But I guess I should never say never.
April 7, 2010

>A day in our new life…

* Attempt nursing Hayden
* Get Hadley “nook” (aka milk)
* Feed Hayden breast-nook
* Pump
* Change Hadley’s diaper
* Change Hayden’s diaper
* Dress Hadley
* Swaddle Hayden
* Bounce Hayden
* Feed Hadley
* Pick up Hadley’s toys
* Take Hadley to Gymboree
* Attempt nursing Hayden
* Feed Hayden breast-nook
* Pump
* Change Hadley’s diaper
* Change Hayden’s diaper
* Swaddle Hayden
* Feed Hadley lunch
* Pick up Hadley’s toys
* Attempt naps
* Hold pacifier or pinky in Hayden’s mouth
* Drive Hadley around the block to take a nap
You get the idea…
* Nap… Maybe