Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sippy Cup Half Full Parenting

Do you know anyone who's constantly complaining about everything? I have a few of these people in my life, and honestly, I try to avoid them whenever I can. It just brings me down to be around such negativity. I like to think about what my grandma always said: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

I think as parents, it is easy for us to get into this Debbie-Downer, Negative-Nelly mindset. It's hard. We're tired. The kids are being a bit naughty. They won't nap. They won't eat. The house is a mess. Money is tight. We all know the struggles parents have.

But, here's my challenge: ditch the Debbie Downer and vow be a Sippy Cup Half Full parent!
Original image (c) Life is Good
When your child splashes tons of water all over the bathroom during tub time, think of it as an opportunity to clean the bathroom floor.

When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, think of it as extra cuddle time.

When your toddler says "NO NO NO" to you, think of it as she's becoming an independent thinker.

When your infant or toddler refuses to nap, think of it as a training exercise in patience.

When you race around your house, trying so hard to get your child(ren) to put on shoes, socks, jackets, etc, think of it as a bit of extra cardio exercise.

When your child refuses to eat dinner and throws it on the floor, think of it as an excuse to try a new recipe tomorrow night.

When your child cries when you drop him off at daycare/preschool/church nursery, think of it as a blessing that he loves you so much that he wants you around.

When your house is messier than you'd like it to be, think of it as proof that a happy family lives and plays there.

When your child smears food, paint, mud across his new clothes, think of it as a break to sit and fold clothes while watching Netflix.

When you have to trade in our coupe for a minivan, think of it as providing your family with a safe ride (and helping out a local car salesman put food on his table!)

When your furniture gets scuff marks on it, think of it as adding charm and character.

When your beloved Saturday or Sunday sleep-in time is interrupted with an early riser, think of it as an opportunity to go to the museum or zoo and not have to wait in line.

When you're tired and crabby, think of it as a time to grab your child, embrace in a bear hug, bury your face in the nape of your child's neck and say good-bye the worries of the world!

What would you add to the Sippy Cup Half Full parenting mindset?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Playroom Remake - Phase One

We live in a tiny house. Really. If you count the basement (mostly finished), we top out at about 1200 square feet. I guess that works out to 400 square feet per person who lives here, and certainly people live and thrive in that amount of space or smaller. But those people probably didn't have a toy kitchen, babydoll strollers, a dozen or so puzzles, some Matchbox cars and trains, and about 300 books (give or take) cluttering up their space.

So, when I finally lost all control of my living room:

I decided to to take it back. That meant I had to let go of my computer room/guest room/storage room. That room has served many different purposes since we moved in the house, but this will be the most useful, I think!

Today I completed Phase One. Whew!

 I had to clear all the junk out (mind you, there was lots, and it was a lot of junk. I'm a bit of a packrat), then move some new stuff in. I didn't set a budget, but I feel like I've kept it under reins pretty good. First, let's look. Then let's add.
North wall with a few cuties I found!

Southeast corner.

That's pretty much the whole room. From where I'm standing to take the above photo, there is a dresser that works OK in the room, but I plan to move to the basement sometime. 

Now, to add.
New rug (on clearance) from Target: $20.98
Curtain panes for 2 windows (from Ikea): $14.99 each
New-to-us toy refrigerator - $8.00  (Craigslist Find)
We already had the toy kitchen.
New-to-us bookshelf - $13.00  (Craigslist find)
Bookshelf - $13.00
Refrigerator - $8.00
(2) curtain panels - $29.98
Rug - $20.98
(4) red pillows - $19.96
Ikea Latt Table - $19.99
Total so far - $81.93

This is only phase one. I have big plans for the rest of the room - including some Expedit shelves! I also want to do some painting, not necessarily the walls (they are a very tame tan color, if I were to paint, I had ideas of Robin's Egg Blue, but that might be a bit garish).

Stay tuned for Phase Two and a new running total!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

QOTD: Airplanes

Ben: "I love airplanes!!"

It's quite obvious, as seen here:

Friday, October 19, 2012

FPD, October 19th

Well, it's been about a month since my last Friday Phone Dump. Geez. Why can't I get it together?

Here's another smattering of photos. Enjoy!

Daddy & Hannah and Momma & Ben on a FIRE TRUCK!

Five cousins watching trains at Choo-Choo Bob's, Uncle Randy & Hannah,
3 Toddler cousins

Clockwise from top left: Ben practicing ABCs, Hannah cuddling in Daddy's chair,
Ben relishing a good meal, Ben flying his airplane (built himself!)

Clockwise from top left: Ben running at the park, a pretty sunset,
sibling love (after a meltdown), Hannie drawing "tiny circles"
I have lot blogposts 1/2 way started... hope to get them published soon. But you know me: one track mind. I'm busy working on transforming our playroom, so that's about all I can muster energy for lately. Check back (hopefully) within a week for a playroom reveal!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Twenty-Two Things I Love

In honor of B&H's 22-month birthday the other day (yes, I'm running behind like usual...), I made a list of 22 Thing I Love About Being a Mom.

1. Newborn finger grasps.
2. Sweet first baby smiles.
3. Chubby baby legs.
4. Tickle monster.
5. Baby eyelashes.
6. The way a new box of Pampers smells (really!)
7. Picking out cute clothes for them to wear.
8. Giggles, giggles, giggles.
9. Scoring a really good deal on any of the following: diapers, babyfood, toys, shoes, clothes, outdoor equipment, pretty much anything!
10. Having supportive, wonderful moms as my new peer group.
11. Storytime, art class, ECFE, open gym.
12. Little tiny clothes fresh out of the dryer.
13. Cooking healthy meals for my family.
14. Holding hands.
15. First time sitting, first time rolling over, first crawling, first steps.
16. Kisses & hugs.
17. Words like "Lub Oo Momma."
18. Kissing owies to make them all better.
19. How toddlers run - so funny!
20. Toddler animal noises.
21. Sitting on the couch reading books.
22. When they sleep on their tummies with their butts up in the air.

I could go on. And on. There are so many things I love about being a mom and being able to experience life on a whole new level. I am very blessed that B&H are my two babes. I love them to PIECES!

Newborn, 10 months, 22 months
They continue to grow and change by the day lately. The say more words than I can count and can say full (4-word) sentences that actually make sense. Today they both said "Granddad go bye-bye (in) truck." I am continually impressed!

And they both can count, sort of. Ben says "One, Three, Two" and can tell you the next number if you stop counting between 1 and 10. Hannah thinks every amount more than 1 is 2. Like, if there are 5 blocks on the floor, she says "Two blocks!" Very cute.

We're really working on having them help pick up their toys, wipe the table, throw garbage away - any sort of "chore" that near-2-year-olds can handle. The toys are the big one. I'm so sick of picking up toys!!

On that note, we are turning the guest bedroom into a playroom. I hope to have a place where I can let them play, but then shut the door when they're done so I don't have to look at the messy toys! And reclaim my living room!! Oh, a Momma can dream! I'll post photos if/when I ever get the room done!

What would be on your list of things you love about being a mom?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Social Studies Lesson

With Election Day quickly approaching, I thought it was appropriate to teach B&H a bit about civics. So far, we have gotten this far:

PS: This is our 100th post! Celebration all around!

Monday, October 1, 2012

We Are So Very Lucky

It is October 1 again. For the first 29 years of my life, Oct. 1 didn't have much meaning to me. Yeah, it was about a month after school started. And yeah, it was about a month to my birthday. But there was no real significance with that day.

All that changed forever two years ago. 

It was Oct. 1, 2010 that I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was looking forward to the weekend with my mom and stepdad visiting, a trip to the Twins game, and my first babyshower hosted by my BFF. I took a day off work to do a very long ultrasound - and the whole family tagged along with me. My mom had never really seen an ultrasound (she had had one with my brother in 1982, but even that was long before they were standard protocol) and was excited to see the babies!

The appointment went swimingly for a long time. The babies looked good. Mom was excited to see them on the screen. I felt good, wearing my maternity Minnesota Twins tee shirt and looking forward to the game. Until...

I was immediately admitted to the hospital from that appointment for preterm labor symptoms. My cervix was very short and my uterus was funneling. I received shots of betamethazone to develop the babies' lungs. I was put on an IV drip of magnesium sulfate to calm my uterus down. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days and was discharged with a prescription of "strict bedrest" for the next 12 weeks.

I had never, ever been so scared in my life. I pray I'm never that scared again.

That day I went from an excited expectant mother to a frightened expectant mother fearing for the life of her babies. Gone were the days of nesting, dreaming, planning, shopping, getting ready to welcome two new people into our life. Instead, my days were filled with despair, depression, worry, loneliness, anxiety, and many, many naps. I prayed a lot. I was on constant alert for contractions. I relished times when visitors came, putting on a happy face and making the best of our chats while I was lying down. I'm not going to lie: it was the hardest, most difficult time in my life.
Cuddling with Lucy while lying down, about 3 weeks in to my bedrest (27 weeks pregnant)
 Fall weather now and forever will take me back to those memories.

Of course, I can look back now and be so very thankful. The babies were not born micropreemies. They were fortunate enough to make it to 33w2d and had very little medical problems. Hannah really only needed to learn how to eat and keep her body temperature steady. She didn't need any breathing help and came out of the incubator almost immediately. She only spent 7 days in the NICU. Ben did have a bit of trouble breathing and was put on a CPAP machine for a few days, but he figured it out pretty quickly and came home after a NICU stay of only 12 days. We are so lucky!
Ben w/ his CPAP. One of the scariest times of my life to see my boy struggling to breathe!

My first time holding Hannah, about 2 hours after she was born.

The other day I watched Grey's Anatomy reruns and one of the storylines is a woman who has a premature baby born at 24 weeks. I found myself in tears, thanking God over and over at how lucky we are! Things could have turned out much differently than they did. I never, ever forget that.

We are so very lucky.