Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015!

Truthfully, I've only been happy and with no hint of sadness for two New Year's Eves in my life. The first, when I was eagerly anticipating Noah's arrival, and today, when I get to celebrate with our newest family member, little Elias. It's been difficult, energy-wise and patience-wise, and a bit of a strain on our relationship to be a full time momie to two littles, but my heart has never been fuller.

I feel very happy and very blessed, and always incredibly, sappily thankful. Happy New Year to you all, thank you so much for reading my blog, for all your kind messages and generous gifts, and may 2016 bring you peace in your hearts and joy in your souls! 

My messy, happy life

Monday, December 21, 2015

Oil and Vinegar

When we decided to start a family, I never thought that one day I would rub various cooking oils all over my second child's head. I did it to naturally rid his new little scalp of cradle cap, which for those of you who don't know, is the name for the scaly, crusty patches that appear on some infants' heads.

The great news is that it worked, his cradle cap is nearly completely gone. The bad news is that I'm dumb and let the oil soak into a few of his blankets, thinking it would just wash out. This has resulted in me thinking I'm getting a clean new blanket for my son, snuggling up to him and then nearly vomiting from the weird sticky residue and gross cooking grease smell emitting from my allegedly fresh laundry.

Nobody wants their baby to smell like last weekend's old bacon grease, so through trial and error and the internet, I figured out how to get that disgusting smell out of my baby's things. Who knew that the best thing to use was half a cup of vinegar and a little squirt of dish soap in the wash? It seems counter intuitive, but instead of making the laundry smell even worse the vinegar neutralized the smell, the dish soap got the sticky feel out of it, and my Smallest Human's laundry is fresher than ever!

Oh, the weird things I do and discover on this journey called motherhood! Happy Week of Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Game of Motherhood

I'm pretty certain that if motherhood were a game, I won the special, seasoned mom superstar badge this morning. I think I also won the badge for "Disgusting Situations One Must Rise Above". Your interest must surely be piqued by now.

My Smallest Human, who is exclusively breastfed, has not pooped in a couple days, which I hear is totally normal for breastfed babies around two months old. Since I've already successfully not killed one baby who is almost three years old, I wasn't too worried about the state of the little one's bowel movements. The second kid always benefits from (slightly) less stressed out parents who have just recently been through it once before.

This morning, after a nice, long sleep-in session, I changed the baby's diaper. He was so happy, and giggling and gurgling like nobody's business! So cute right? Once again, his tiny diaper was only wet, still no poop, -that is until I lifted his little legs up and slid a fresh diaper underneath him. The timing and angle were just right and he pooped right in my face. Thick, yellow, mustard-y, infant poop was all over my face, hair and pajamas.

I managed not to freak out and cleaned myself off quickly with a couple wipes so I could return to the poop culprit. I'm not even kidding you, every time I lifted up his legs to clean him, poop squeezed out. Soooo much poop. His butt looked like some horrifying pastry bag with tons and tons of yellow feces coming out non stop. This tiny person managed to fill four diapers before he was finally done. FOUR. Then of course, like any no longer constipated person would, he laughed and gave me a happy little wiggle.

After that, I was greeted by my toddler who proclaimed that he had an accident and handed me a pee filled pair of tiny underwear. At least he has the capability to change into a fresh pair. So that was my morning, how was yours?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Business of Seeing Santa

Small Human doesn't have school on Thursdays, so I thought that since it was pouring rain out, we would try to see Santa. I called ahead and was told the line was 15 minutes long, so we rushed down there. As you can probably guess though, "rushing" with a toddler and an infant is not fast at all, and by the time we got there the line was 30 minutes long. What did rushing entail? Putting the boys in their Christmas elf pajamas and coats, then I ran down the back way to our car carrying our stroller, moved the car under the covered parking, put the stroller in the trunk, ran back up to get the kids, lugged the giant baby in his car seat down three flights of stairs while Noah dawdled and meandered down, loaded both boys in and drove downtown in the pouring rain.

Now, for those of you who don't know about Seattle's Downtown Nordstrom Santa, he's kind of the gold standard Santa, and the lines can get epic and long. We're talking 2 - 3 hours long, so 30 minutes is an amazing wait, or so I was told by Santa's elves.

Santa's elves have obviously never had to wait in line with a two year old who was mastering the potty. I decided to just go for it, go big or go home. In my bag was a spare pair of green pants and underwear and snacks. Elias was asleep in his stroller, and Noah did pretty well for the first 20 minutes. That's when we realized that we were waiting in line behind his friend from preschool! This was quite fun and exciting, but it turned out to be a little too exciting for my Noah. He and little Rosy made each other very hyper, and Santa's village was thoroughly rocked by our energetic toddlers.

I was pretty stressed out because our kids were the only ones running around like lunatics (ok really just my kid), and at one point he turned to me and said, "Mum-mum, I have to pee in the potty." We were deep in the line and it was almost our turn! Very luckily, we knew people in the line who were able to watch the now awake baby Elias so that Noah and I could run inside and downstairs to the bathroom.

Do you know what department stores during the holidays are like? It was like running a gauntlet with a toddler in tow. At one point I just picked him up like a football and ran, holding him dangling at my side with one arm in front of me clearing the way. We made it to the bathroom where he had a truly sizable potty pee, and got back just in time to be third in line.

This kid was so comfortable in front of Santa this year. He chatted with Mrs. Claus about snowmen; lay down on Santa's chaise lounge and snuggled under the faux fur throw; and practiced asking Santa for a yellow cement mixer. I'm glad he had a great time because by then, I was drenched in sweat, hunched over from stress and absolutely starving. I had packed snacks for the toddler but not for myself!

I'm glad we got it over with got to see Santa, and I snapped some cute iPhone pics of my boys with the big guy. The pro photos are coming in the mail on a CD that I will share later. They are kind of a present for the grandparents and great grandparents.

Here are my crappy phone pics from the day's adventures. Maybe later I can enjoy today's Christmas spirit, but right now I need a glass of wine.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Tribe

The one thing that has kept me somewhat sane in the face of motherhood's many challenges, is having friends who are going through the same thing as me at the same time. I know I say this a lot, but my mom tribe means everything to me. Friends are our chosen family after all. My kids call these women "auntie" and it isn't a bit of a lie.

We cheer each other on in our successes; commiserate with each other during the hard times; and we help each other when the need arises. They also happen to be hilarious and fun and beautiful and talented, and I think I am one very lucky lady!

Our families got together to have dinner last night and it was all kinds of fun chaos. Brendan and I drove home feeling warm and fuzzy inside because since having kids, Seattle has finally felt like home to us. It's December, rainy, warm, and totally unlike every December we knew in Canada, but it feels like home at last.

Here are a few pictures, and naturally, only one mom just barely made it into the photos!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Schoolyard Rough Housing

I always knew I would get really upset the first time someone hurt Small Human in the schoolyard. I did not however, think that it would occur so early in my son's "school" life. Small Human started toddler preschool this fall and it has been great. He is very independent, has no trouble with mommy or daddy dropping him off, really enjoys all the activities they have, and he loves his teachers.

Today, his Auntie Robyn picked him up for me and noticed he had some dried up blood in his little nose. When I took his jacket off, he had some blood spray down the front of his shirt, and upon closer inspection, some bruising on his nose, gums, and inside his upper lip. Apparently, some kid pushed him and he fell face first into the pavement quite hard.

I was livid. Never in my adult life have I wanted to dropkick a child, until now. I know that these things are bound to happen, but I wasn't prepared for the myriad emotions erupting from my core. I spend my days making sure my children are well cared for, safe, comfortable, and loved, but it is impossible for me to keep them from harm forever. It's just going to keep happening and I have to equip my sons with the ability to literally roll with the punches and handle what the world hands them.

Cleaning up vomit multiple times a week? I can handle that. Pee soaked sheets? Doable, I have a washing machine. Some jerk waking the whole family up at 5am with his car horn? Fine, that ends, but some punk kid hurting my child? It's like witnessing your baby opening that Pandora's Box of childhood. There are things to which I am powerless, which is a difficult thing to realize as a parent.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world but it was a first for Small Human and I. Suffice it to say, he handled it much better than I did, stoic little boy. Happy Wednesday.

UPDATE: It turned out not to be a malicious incident, but a case of toddlers falling and knocking into each other! This is a relief, and Small Human remains innocent to the evils of the world. xo

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chaos Incarnate

My life is pure kid chaos right now, in the best sense of the word. Right now there are toys exploded all over my living room, dining room and hallway; an almost three year old sprinting around the mess with a toy telephone in tow; a happy babe bouncing in his bouncer chair getting his scalp treated with oils and enjoying his big brother's hijinks; while I make lunch, address Christmas cards, give my rabbit her meds and try to do some laundry.

The days Small Human doesn't have preschool are pretty wild, but they're fun. Our favourite game to play together these days is dodge ball, but we call it "butt ball" because the one rule is that you must aim for the opponent's butt. I thought this was a genius idea until my toddler missed and really got me hard in the spine, but it's better than everyone dealing with broken noses, definitely a better alternative!

It has been almost 8 weeks now, and I'm still in shock that I've got a toddler and an infant. Going places alone with both of them is terrifying for me, but I do it. It gets a bit easier every day, especially now that we've all almost kicked our never ending two week long colds. It also helps that it's now December and officially the bestest time of the year! Christmas with kids is the best thing I have ever experienced, and I've been tearing up on and off while singing carols around the house. Yup, sleep deprivation definitely makes you crazy.

I'll try not to abandon you all again, I'll be putting up some Christmas related posts soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Diaper Master

When Noah was a baby, I was shocked by the amount of poop I had to wash off all his teeny tiny clothing. He had blowouts several times a week, and silly me, I blamed the diaper brands. I'm not certain if this has more to do with the force with which your baby poops, or your baby's body in a particular type of diaper, but I'm starting to think it's because I was a rookie and putting his diapers on incorrectly (aka: like an idiot new mom).

Elias has never had a diaper blowout. He is the gassiest baby I have ever met, and I have changed some seriously full diapers with him, but not once has poop leaked out. He has peed through, but pee is so benign. Also he only really leaked through because we failed to change him in time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that after nearly three years of changing diapers, I am now a diaper changing guru. Is this something to be proud of? No, not really. Am I excited that I haven't had to wash poop off anything so far? Shyeah, you bet I am! Now if only there was some sort of award I could win for this.

Late night mommy-ing

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Madness

Madness. I wish I was talking about some awesome sale, or using the word ironically but I'm not. Today has truly been a test of my motherly sanity since 5:30 this morning. The baby woke up at 5:30, which meant that he had let us sleep for four and a half glorious hours! Well, it turns out that my boobs didn't think that was so awesome because I was slightly engorged, and 10 minutes into nursing my son, he vomited out a waterfall of milk all over himself, me, the pillows and bedding. FYI, too much foremilk is bad news.

We were both completely soaked, half awake, and now really frazzled. Having to do the whole wet sheets/clothes routine while sleep deprived in the early morning is a special kind of low. Even more so when you can't seem to soothe your baby to sleep, and then your toddler wakes up for the day. But then you thank your lucky stars for having a husband who changes the baby while you strip the bedding and wash your own breastmilk off your body, and who wrangles the toddler so you can get a bit more rest.

Apparently, the baby had indeed quenched his thirst earlier and not just puked everything out because he woke up after a couple hours angrily screaming his little lungs out. He had peed out his diaper and soaked through his pajamas, sleep sack, and bassinet sheet. Fabulous, more wet things.

I have since spent the morning recovering and doing laundry, all while keeping the fussy baby as fuss-free as possible, and keeping my stupid migraine at bay. Now I somehow have to try to eat, go to the grocery store, and pick Noah up from preschool, even though Elias won't stop crying or let me put him down. Oh man, I'm about to add a toddler into the mix. Madness, I tell you. Please excuse me while I go cry into my half eaten sandwich.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Now and Then

As luck (and Brendan's smart choices 6 years ago) would have it, everything we need is conveniently located within 3 to 4 blocks from our apartment. Before kids, if I needed to pick up something from the deli, get a latte, and drop off the dry cleaning, this meant that I could just walk outside and have all my errands done within 15 minutes if I dawdled.

Now, if I want to do those things, it takes a little more planning and effort. Here's how that same, seemingly simple morning task might go:

1. Put on pants. (I now laugh maniacally at everyone who needs to shower first to leave the house)

2. Prep the toddler by getting him excited to go to the dry cleaner's. This is hit or miss.

3. First cajole and eventually threaten the toddler to put his shoes and jacket on.

4. You both have mini meltdowns because you washed the jacket he wanted to wear and it's still hanging up to dry.

5. Prepare the baby carrier to put the baby in it.

6. Once baby is in nice and snug and safe, the baby poops.

7. Take the baby out of the perfectly configured ring sling to change his teeny tiny diaper.

8. The toddler is now bored and shot putting blocks across the living room and down the hall.

9. A block hits you in the face. You yell a little.

10. Everyone is finally dressed and ready to go. You realize you didn't put the dry cleaning in a bag, so you have to now do this with the baby strapped to your chest, and somehow all mostly with one arm because you're too scared to let his infant head flop around dangerously.

11. You're out the door! Now to wrangle your toddler on the city streets, to make sure he doesn't go running off in the wrong direction or run out in front of a moving vehicle.

12. Stop to inspect every single rock in existence, and field questions about who every person in the street we encounter is and what they are doing.

13. Run after your toddler to prevent him from squeezing neighborhood dogs, while holding baby's head and giant bag of dirty clothes.

14. Just drop off the dry cleaning because that is all you have the energy to do at this point, the baby is hungry again, and you can't remember what you needed from the store anymore anyway. Whatever it is, it's not worth it.

15. Go home, while still doing number 11, 12, and 13.

Total time it took to make a 3 minute trip: 40 minutes

We have to do this all again if I want to attempt going back out to the store to get what we need, but I will most likely end up asking my husband to pick it up before he comes home for the evening. Welcome to life with an almost 3 year old and a newborn! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All The Feels

My newborn baby has already outgrown his newborn diapers, and I wept for joy. This could be due to the crap ton of hormones coursing through my body of course, but mainly it's because I'm so relieved and thankful.

When I found out I was pregnant on the very last day of January early this year, I wanted to be elated, but instead was gripped with fear. The fear didn't really go away, even after being lucky enough to see an early heartbeat at my 6 week appointment, again at 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, and seeing a healthy baby on an ultrasound at 14 weeks.

Now I have a huge, gorgeous and hearty three week old boy who has outgrown his newborn diapers, and I can finally, finally breathe a sigh of relief. He is fine, he's here; I can watch him grow up and forge a lifelong relationship with his big brother; I can hold him and kiss him and feed him. 

I am exhausted, but I am at last, truly elated. Happy Wednesday friends. xoxo

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mommy of Two

Well, we did it. Baby number two arrived safely, healthy, and larger than life at 9lbs, 5 oz! These last two weeks have been the most exhausting, emotional and loopy of my entire life. I was ready to meet my son and to not be pregnant anymore, but terrified of having a c-section. Thankfully, my OR team was so great and fun and obviously pro-stars at their jobs. We chatted and giggled about Grey's Anatomy while I lay on the operating table, gossiped about the lack of McDreamies and McSteamies at the hospital, and ended with everyone being in total shock at the sheer size of the baby that was extracted from one short Filipino girl. The whole thing took about 30 minutes tops.

As for life with two babes, it's been difficult, particularly with me having so much difficulty moving around, but my husband and sister-in-law have been holding down the fort, especially with Noah, my wild hurricane of a son. My friends have been an enormous help as well, it would have been so much more difficult without our village, and I am eternally grateful.

It has taken me a full two weeks to get back somewhat normal mobility, but now the exhaustion of having a newborn and being awake at strange hours is catching up to me. It's madness, but the cutest, messiest, stinkiest, funniest madness you can imagine. And now I introduce to you, Elias Brendan, born on October 7th, at 9lbs, 5oz:

So chunky!

We make very serious looking babies

Nose kisses

Elias and daddy

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Eve of Baby Day

Thank you for all your sweet messages and well-wishes everyone! As for the many, many Skype and FaceTime requests I have received, unfortunately I cannot chat with all of you right now, but thank you very much for making me feel like a well loved celeb. ;) Love you all, and see you on the other side!

I will leave you now with what I WON'T be doing at the hospital but sure wish I was! This mama is badass. The last time I was dilating to 6cm, I was begging for my anesthesiologist.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Family Outing At the Pumpkin Patch

I wanted to give my little Noah a last hurrah as a family of three on this beautiful and sunny, Pacific Northwest weekend. Every year around this time, we go to the pumpkin patch but we decided to go to a different farm this year and were not at all disappointed.

Fox Hollow Farm in Issaquah is awesome! It's located on a well-maintained and gorgeous property in a valley, surrounded by evergreens and mountains. There were cute farm animals everywhere, bunnies and kittens roaming free throughout, a picture-perfect pumpkin patch, a little creek where you can feed the fish, a kiddie train, ponies to ride, bouncy houses, mini jeeps for the kids, wagons to pull them around in, kettle corn, cotton candy, s'mores, hot beverages, beautiful and plentiful seating, and great music. Brendan and I may have totally rocked out to the Ghost Busters theme song they had blasting when we arrived, like big dorks.

Small Human loved it so much, that he demanded we go back with his baby brother. It seems like he only gets more fun with each year that passes! I would definitely go back there, and I highly recommend it to everyone in the area with kids 10 and under. I'm even seriously considering it for the next baby's 1st birthday next year. Tickets are $10 per person, and they take a one hour break for lunch and close the farm down from 1pm-2pm.

Here are some snaps of our fun Saturday:

He loves to pet animals!

Sweet little Lionhead bunny I discovered in the bushes

My little pumpkin

Thanks for making it look like I'm taking you hostage on the Ewing Ranch, Noah

He was hilariously nonplussed on the train ride

His first cotton candy!
He loved it!
He also enjoyed the kettle corn

Next year, we'll have two little guys in a wagon :)