Tag Archives: Children

Oh, I forgot

Dear Life,

I was awakened from a deep slumber at 1 AM by my daughter’s cry and mumbling of something troubling her.  I walked into her room, rubbed her back as I stated soothingly “Shh, it’s okay Mae.  Mommy’s here, it was just a dream.” In true EllaMae fashion still in a confused slumbering state, she wittingly replied “oh, I forgot” and peacefully fell back to sleep.

As I returned to my bed chuckling I thought about how often I have forgotten what life is really like.  This blog is one stunning example of that.  The vision of this blog and several other of my endeavors has been with the best intentions to document life…notice a few gaps.  My son is 5 and my daughter is 3, and baby 3 is on the way.  You know what I forgot about? When I was up every 2-3 hours a night to feed the kids.  How my son would beg for me to sleep with him throughout the night or lay with him until he fell asleep (he still appreciates it when I do). How my daughter would sing herself silly trying to avoid sleeping (still does) and we would come down into the living room and dance to Christina Perri playlist on pandora with all the lights off in the house. How I would often crawl into bed with my kids so they could calm me and help me relax on a night when sleep wasn’t on my side.  Or, how before I had children I was up often at 2 AM with trouble sleeping and I would then get creative and do a project only to be interrupted at 7 AM with the need to go to work…you know my real job.  I forgot how after the kids went to bed I would take to the computer in obligation to create my next post, plan my next social media strategy or edit a batch of clients proofs.  These all seem like fleeting memories now.  

Perhaps it’s me avoiding the guilt, or perhaps it’s simply a feeling of content.  I fall asleep each night with relatively low level of anxiety, I often have the luxury to put both of my children to bed, then come back hours later kiss their cheeks, watch them sleep, and encourage them to “dream big.” While I may stink at documenting and sharing our life stories of the past few years, it’s moments like tonight when I remember how much I really do enjoy life.

When I rolled over at 2:30 AM, still unable to fall back to sleep, I decided to crawl into my daughters single bed attempting to snuggle her along with her 3 pillows, 4 cozy blankets (these are all separate blankets she requires, not the actual bedding) Willy the orca, Diego the seal, and my daughter flailed out across the bed.  As I crawled under the covers the baseball from spring break vacation found it’s way into my thigh and I pressed my 25 week pregnant body into a sliver of available space.  (Are you getting this visual- sounds relaxing doesn’t it?) I rubbed her head streaking the hair away from her face and watched in admiration of this beautiful girl sleeping peacefully.  I placed my arm around her chest snuggling her in close.  I could feel her heart beating in her chest and the rhythm of her breathing slowly calm me.  She rolled from her side to her back and placed both hands behind her head.  I remembered both of my littles as babies would sleep with their hands behind their head.  I always appreciated that and recalled someone saying “that’s a sign they are content.” I always followed it up by saying “this is the life?!”

Thank you EllaMae, for reminding me at 1 AM that we have a pretty sweet life.  I sometimes forget those little things.

Love,
Mom 🙂

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Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Musings with Mae, Proud Parents

Motherhood Musings

Delayed Posted started February 6, 2014…see disclaimer

The daily routines of being a mom are not typically something I would write home about.  Our life is filled with amusement, yet nothing I would assume out of the ordinary from any proud-mom who balances a professional and personal life amidst crazy family schedules, and finding sanity between the wee hours of sleep.  This isn’t extraordinary, its just our new normal.  Although these little ones have a way of throwing you for a loop and capturing the moments that shape our life story.

Its been a few months since I’ve paid tribute to the life of a vivacious little woman.  The development of my now 21-month-old daughter over the past few months has me in giggles and tears on a regular basis.  She has the tenacity of a lion, and her sweet tender face pops up whenever I hear Katy Perry’s “Roar” and then turns around and melts your heart with her sweetness.  Her consistently furrowed brow might confuse you that she’s concerned or angry (trust me you KNOW when she is angry), most frequently it is evidence that she is thinking or studying (IE: people watching).  The gawking gift must be a hereditary trait that skips a generation.  Between her temper, stubbornness, and determination I often wonder how a girl of such stature can run the house the way she does.  Appears I have either a role model or a nightmare amidst my presence! 🙂

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_3409

While her facial expression might catch you off guard, her vocabulary and statements will put you in stitches.  The beauty of the second child is that the first feels a responsibility for teaching them lots of things (both good and bad).  Through Little Man’s learning he has passed on the ABC song to his sister, as she sings a long with considerable accuracy to the ABC’s when sung.  Observation is her key source of learning words, skills, or gathering ideas for 10 second activities.  She frequently is seen admiring the works and speech of her older brother and attempts her version.  Not uncommon for me to hear “mom, mom, mom…(pause) HEIDI” when she’s frustrated by whatever is distracting my attention away from her.  She answers questions like an adult often with “I good”, or “I (d)on(‘t) know; ” unresponsive requests result in her running to you to grabbing your hand with a nudging “come;” she giggles and announces when she farts and when instructed to say “excuse me,” she response by saying “burp.”   She has even taken to imitating the dog by attempting to pick a variety of toys with her mouth, and I mean all of her toys.  She’ll sometimes carry dolls the size of her by her teeth, balls, and even some of Little Man’s stray cars or other various toys end up between the teeth of my little “puppy.”

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_0577     Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_1039

It’s hard to believe almost a year ago she was sporting some incredible rolls.  Her inside name was “Princess Round Face” and the definition of her bones and muscles were very lovable and undefined.  Since walking at 9-months there is little of the round face remaining.  I chuckled as her horse-riding legs would run sprints in excitement.  Her legs are straightening and she is just now growing out of the 18 months clothing that she wore last winter.  Her steady growth chart has leveled and the percentile between height and weight have swapped spots.  We’ve never had to worry about her eating habits as broccoli remains a top favorite.  From splashing in pools to our current swimming lessons she seeks adventure ON HER TERMS, as she doesn’t rest for long.  I love coming home and surprising them, finding them entranced in some obscure yet riveting task OR the sneaking surprise that I’m home and an instantaneous party occurs!

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_9958  Little-d-Tales: YIR 2013 &emdash; IMG_1502

 

Life certainly is not a walk in the park, but it is one hell of a fun ride.  The best words I can use to describe her are:  Full of Spunk! When I reflect on our nearly 2 years, I think how boring our life must have been before, and what education I’ll gain from being her mom.  Who knows where we will be 20 years from now.  I don’t think I’ll  win any notorious awards, or add any credentials behind my name simply by being her mom.  It will however, provide some eclectic experiences and bring a sense of joy that no PhD, Nobel Peace Prize or Gold Medal could bring.  It comes with a gentle hug each night and sing-song voice that says “la do” to which I can respond…Love you more!

Dream Big Little One 🙂
mom, aka HEIDI (yes, I’m yelling).

Disclaimer: Blogging happens at home, at night when I feel like it.  I am persistent that blogging is not allowed to get in the way of my life.  My theory is I sit behind a computer most of the day at work, when I’m home I have 3 hours of active family time before the kids go to bed.  The bedtime routine often includes me falling asleep as I lay with my children, convincing them it’s cool to fall asleep at 8 PM.  On the nights I’m actually awake after 10 PM, it’s power hour for me.  My most productive hours are between 10 PM and 12 AM.  My husband on the other hand turns into a pumpkin.  I started this post at 10:47 PM.  By the time I gathered some intellectual thoughts, found the pictures, a child started crying and blogging for the night ceased.  I came back one month later with another blog idea, and realized I never finished the first thought.  I had the best intentions of completing both posts.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 above and I now have 2 incomplete blog posts.  The likelihood of feeling creative and inspired to sit down at a computer is seldom. Hence another month passes, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 and I realize I need a support group for bloggers anonymous, have deemed creative pinterest moms with 7 kids smoke crack in their free time and secretly hire someone else to make their life look perfect and instill guilt into any mom that doesn’t hire a graphic designer for their children’s birthday invites! Alas- I’m here completing a post that I will appreciate some day, and will have no idea why the 21-month-old post was almost 2 months after her 2nd birthday?!  I know how I feel about the mom’s that track the months after their child turns a year anyway. Meh, I’m still enjoying life (na-na-na-na-boo-boo)!

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Filed under Musings with Mae, Random thoughts

Mighty Mae: Reflection of 1-year

Dearest EllaMae (MaeMae),

12moCollage

A day as your mother is unpredictable, enlightening, adventurous, and sometime nerve-wracking.  You are a girl who is driven to do whatever she puts her mind to.  Your determination, sense of humor, and flexibility will serve you well, as you have already proven to have won the hearts of a few boys and one proud mom!  On the eve of your first birthday I reflect and capture the moments that have and will continue to shape our family story with EllaMae as the newest character.

The name EllaMae reminded me of a graceful, poignant, and sweet little girl.  Well, 1 for 3 ain’t bad I guess (Amazingly Sweet). Your personality and physique have drawn a different picture of you as a determined, head-strong, and less than delicate little princess.  Amazingly this “princess round-face” can light up a room and turns heads at locations throughout the city.  Your sincere eyes, vivacious smile and layers of love have friends, family (and even strangers) are drawn to your charismatic personality.  Your daycare friends have renamed you to “MaeMae” and the name has stuck.  Most recently, your curious and destructive nature have given you the title of “Mighty Mae.”

Having done the whole motherhood level 3 thing with your brother, I felt a bit more prepared this time.  As ignorance would have it, while you and your brother have some similarities, your differences will rival my plans.  You never took a Nuk, and no need for a mute button.  You were smart enough to know what was food, and what was just a hunk of plastic in your mouth.  As with eating there was really no reason to rely on others.  Taking things off people’s plates, spoons, or drinking from your brothers cup as needed are standard operating procedures in your manual.  Utensils are over-rated unless there is ice cream involved, in which case a few drips to the chin determine your plan of action.  Sitting (3 months), Crawling (6 months) walking (10 months), and now running, climbing all happened on a similar timeline.  However you have been able to stand from a sit without using your hands to brace or support you for quite some time.  A task many adults still struggle with.  You seem to have a considerable amount of coordination catching and balancing yourself despite obstacles that attempt to take you out at the knees.  Talented yes, although simply looking down on occasion might serve you well, or at least protect your shins from bruises!

Eating is a sport, as is riding the dog.  Both bring great joy.  Adding to the list pulling the recyclables out of the bin, climbing stairs while mom and dad aren’t looking, and bouncing to music are gaining momentum.  Most of all  you are a sincerely sweet, and entertaining little girl.  You have won the hearts and taught me lessons I didn’t know I was lacking.  You inspire me everyday to a better person, and recognize that fashion and hair accessories are over-rated.

So on this April 11th eve of 2013, I wish you many sweet dreams.  As we would typically sing (to the tune of hot-cross buns)

“EllaMae, EllaMae,
How are you, How are you?
Mommy Loves you so much, Mommy Loves you so much
Yes I do, Yes I do!

Dream big little one.
Love you more,

Mom 🙂

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& baby makes 4!

On Thursday April 12, 2012 we awoke knowing that this would be no ordinary day.  My husband and I had dropped off our son at my parents the night before, so the eerie quiet that filled the house was setting the stage for something that will rarely ever happen in our house again (unless no one is home).  I woke up on the couch with our first-child (aka Diesel the 100lb Weimaraner) in my lap.  He was fully aware something was about to change, hence the snuggle fest.

At 40 weeks and 5 days, I was scheduled to be induced.

I was to arrive at the hospital for check in at 7:30 AM.  The hospital had remodeled since I delivered my little man.  This would be the room where I would be getting comfortable until she decided to make her entrance, then we would move to a different room for recovery.  Turns out my doctor had 3 others being induced that day…guess no one was in favor of a Friday the 13th baby 🙂

At 9 AM we started the Pitocin, and waited.  Having been induced with my first child I knew we were in for a few hours of waiting while the contractions got stronger.  We were prepared this time.  We contacted friends and family to see what time everyone thought our daughter would be born, I hunkered down to a crossword puzzle or two, and the husband tried to read Hunger Games to pass the time (but I kept interrupting him to chat).  Shortly after noon, the doctor came in to break my water, hoping to speed things up a bit.  At that point I was formally committed to having the baby and was measuring 3 CM.

While contractions were still tolerable, I knew that my body responded much better after the epidural last time, so I went ahead with it at 3 PM.  At that point I was dilated to 5 CM (halfway there). A sigh of relief. We settled in and turned on the Brewer’s vs. Cubs game and waited (Cubs won).  While the epidural was extremely helpful in getting my body relax, there was a small “window” where the epidural didn’t take.  Meaning while a majority of pain was gone, there was a small spot on my left side where I felt everything.  In that spot, the epidural had taken the edge off, but the pain was quickly growing extremely strong.

At 4:45 PM we still were passing time by texting family with updates and checking out Facebook.  When the nurse (Maureen) came to check on me I shared the growing discomfort on my side. I had already pushed the button to up the meds with no relief.  At that point she checked me and exclaimed, “You’re going to have this baby within an hour.” I was in transitional phase.  She prepped everything to prepare for doctor and baby.  I did one practice push, and was quickly halted, “Okay, no more pushing.  This baby is going to arrive within the next 15 minutes.” The nurse  called my doctor (who is incredibly laid back doctor) and told him he needed to come immediately.  My doctor asked “do I have time to get caught up on some work?” to which she replied, “No, you need to come now, she’ll be done in 1-2 contractions.”  Doctor arrived just in time to gown up and get his gloves on.  I patiently breathed through 3 contractions while the doctor prepped.  1 push- head was out, 2nd push- shoulders were out.  At 5:07 PM we welcomed EllaMae Sandra to the world.

I was very excited to have a friend capture the precious moments immediately after she was born, as both my husband and I were busy and caught up in the moment with the birth of our new daughter (I’ll share those soon).  Being that I wasn’t sick this time, I was able to enjoy skin-to-skin time with our little girl.  She was eager to look around and check things out.  Within 5 minutes she had found her fist, and managed to put her thumb in her mouth.  The nurse came in and was shocked…”Get that thumb out, let’s get a boob in her mouth!” And she hasn’t stopped eating since! After a little snack on her part, there was a nursing shift change (good-bye Maureen; Hello Emily) and both were fabulous to work with!  EllaMae was officially weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz (just 7 oz. heavier than her brother) and 19.5 inches long (1 inch shorter than brother).  I will say her feet and fingers are SO long!  Literally her foot is slightly shorter than her entire calf, and just longer than my middle finger.

As you can see, she is very fond of her daddy.  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Around 7 PM my little man arrived with my parents.  While he had been prepped and excited, saying “mommy,” “baby” the entire drive to the hospital, the sight on mommy in the bed and our photographer set him into a panic mode.  He was very scared and left the hospital room with my mom.  Thankfully I had a gift and our photographer had a few suckers to coax him in and comfortable enough to sit next to mom for a while.

It wasn’t until his big cousin, Dakota- a familiar friend, came shortly after he arrived that he really became more relaxed and interested in the baby and mom.

Everyone gathered around as EllaMae got her first bath.  She was NOT happy, until she settled into the warm water and heat lamp. (She gets pissed when she’s cold!) And yes she really was this red.  According to my neice Dakota, she was so red “because she must have been in there too long.”

It wasn’t long after bath time that we transitioned to the other room.  The family went ahead as our Nurse (Emily- who was so amazingly sweet) got me prepped for the move.  She wheeled me down the hall in the wheelchair as my husband drove the cart with all our stuff.  When little man saw me in the wheelchair, he was so upset that he threw himself on the floor with a complete meltdown (when he saw the wheelchair in our last room, he thought he was going to ride with mom).  Without skipping a beat, Nurse Emily told him it was his turn for a ride.  She helped him onto my lap and away we went down the hall for a ride.It was just what my little man needed, and when he returned to the room, everyone cheered and we was back on top of his game ready to take on the big brother role.  We nestled into the double bed where big brother held EllaMae.  He must learn a lot from those girls at daycare because he immediately looked at her and started shushing her like mom!

Around 9 PM the extended family left and it was just our time to cozy up to our little one.  After a few hours of shady internet connection, I finally emailed the news and pictures.  Facebook would have to wait until tomorrow.

At 11 PM EllaMae went to the Nursery for the night and dad and I settled in for some much needed sleep.  Brent kept commenting how tired he was, and that he didn’t do anything all day- but that wasn’t exactly true.  He waited on me hand and foot, he was so supportive and comforting throughout the entire process.  The rush of emotions to meet our little daughter was enough to send us into a deep slumber.  And luckily, EllaMae held up her end of the bargain.  She came in to eat every 3 hours to eat, plus a little snuggle time! Welcome to the world Little Miss Mae, have a good night and dream big!

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Filed under Bundle of Joy, Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

Motherhood: the untold story

I never intended this blog to be a mommy-blog, just simple things that bring joy to my life.  Must say-little man has a lot to do with that…I digress.  Not all stories of motherhood make your heart flutter.   People who portray themselves in such a manner kind of make me want to throw up on them, just to throw a wrench into things.  This excerpt is strictly for your reading pleasure. 

My son has a nagging curiosity for the toilet, which creates some challenges.  Our first injury incident, little man was lifting the toilet seat and dropped it while his other hand was sitting on the toilet rim-Ouch!  Major mommy tears were displayed as guilt and sorrow overwhelmed me.  When the husband and I moved in together we made a rule immediately.  No matter who uses the toilet both the seat and the lid must be closed before you leave the bathroom.  This proved to be helpful when Diesel came into the picture because it prevented him from drinking the toilet water.  I learned last week that it’s even more important to keep the lid closed with little man.  A visitor (who will remain nameless) used our bathroom and left the seat up.  Little man found that splashing in toilet water is utterly exciting and was quite disappointed when he was removed from the situation…ok really he was PISSED.

Not only is he attracted to the toilet when it’s not in use, he also (maybe even more so) attracted to it when it is in use.  Not that you need to know my specific routine, but after a half hour drive home, greeting the family, I usually disappear to the bathroom for a sense of relief.  Little man has caught on to this and if he’s not begging to be held or attended to, he’s crawling behind the toilet.  Just yesterday he discovered a little silver handle that he can pull down.  Imagine the slight shock when he discovered this while I was taking care of business.  He was WAY more amused that I. 

In case you aren’t aware men stand when they pee (maybe you knew that, but I always want to make sure I communicate clearly).  Little man was intrigued by the sound of my husband relieving himself and went to check it out, crawling right up to the toilet seat.  Apparently men lack the skill of cutting it off.   Let’s just say he got a little shower and needed a shower later.  In my husband’s defense the alternative would have been a bigger mess all over the bathroom, so I supported him in peeing on our child.  Does that make us weird?!?!

Perhaps you have dog-children and are curious about the sibling rivalry between Caleb and Diesel.  I guess the best way to define it- Caleb taunts Diesel.  Caleb’s enlightened to offer the dog his toys. Yet when Diesel takes them he know he’s going to be told to “drop it” from mom and dad.  Diesel stubbornly obliges and lets out a grumpy sigh.  Turns out you can train a dog new tricks.  Diesel’s new response…Take the toy, get up and drop the toy on the other side of the room, then return to his regularly scheduled program. Little man’s response (Curled bottom lip, watery eyes and bellers).  Glad they understand each other.  I guess you could say Diesel tolerates the little man.

That changes a little bit with one key ingredient- when little man is eating.  We have a Counter Height table for a reason- we have big dog who would otherwise swipe food (or so we feared). Thus Diesel must properly beg at Caleb’s side in hopes he’ll share a few scraps his direction.  Actually Diesel could care less where the food lands, as long as it’s within his reach.  Caleb has learned this so well he’s becoming ambidextrous.  He’ll feed self and brother simultaneously (Dog with right, self with left) and sometimes he forgets which hands are designated where and there might be some saliva sharing between them.  Our dog neglect has not only resulted in a lack of exercise for all, but a serious weight gain for dog-child.  He spiked an all time “over-weight” classification at 107 lbs this winter. I’m not sure if he heard the Vet or if the subliminal “weight control” food sent him into a frenzy desiring all scraps that are not weight-reduction-dog-friendly.

Speaking of swapping spit, amazing what skills your children pick up and are willing to share.  Somehow Caleb has learned the art of kissing.  Keep in mind it’s more like and open mouth spit encounter, that’s if he feels like your paying attention to him (I may have experienced a few bite marks to the shoulder on occasion)  This is all fine and dandy with family….but attempting to kiss random grocery store workers…I guess we’ll be having the “sex talk” sooner than later (Note: In “Sex talk” I’m not implying that we are going to encourage sex at a young age- just the opposite, but I was curious how you interpreted that!)

I’ll spare you the stories of baby poop, teething, and baby sickness.  I think I provided enough toilet talk to share how un-perfect our world can be.  Life certainly has joyful moments, but it’s not all warm fuzzies and puppy dogs!

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Can’t say I wasn’t warned

My little man turned a year last week and I feel like all the precious infant-ness of him is fading fast. While he’s carried some little man qualities since birth, I feel like in the past week he has grown up so much. Here’s a glimpse of his 1 year pictures. 

Oh, little man will you please grow down.  I know you are still just a little peanut (literally- he’s in the 7th percentile for weight), but everyday I come home you seem to be doing something new, something different.  It’s  bittersweet really.  I hope we are giving you the roots to stay grounded and the wings to reach your dreams.  Yet, I’m not ready for you to leave for kindergarten tomorrow. 

You add laughter to our days, and joy in our hearts- but Caleb A Dusek, will you please grow down??? 
I’m sure in a year I’ll come back to this exact post and say “how niave of me”

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Filed under Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

Mother’s day Photo shoot

On my first (and very beloved) Mother’s day we tooks some time for both Brent and I to get individual pictures with the little man.  I can’t get enough of him and all his cuteness!

If you can’t tell I love mommyhood and spending time with my little man. 🙂  Happy Belated mother’s day to all you mother’s and an upcomg happy father’s day!

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Filed under Flow of Creativity, The Caleb Times