Friday, May 28, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fun with Photo Booth.

Every once in a while we sit down and get goofy with Photo Booth on my Mac. Sophie just likes to look at herself and Mason likes to make funny faces. I like seeing what we can capture in three seconds. It never disappoints.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

eleven months.

My baby girl is going to turn a year old in 7 days. Seems so unbelievable. This sweet, adorable, cooky little girl. This month I want to share a few of my favorite moments.

Ah yes. She FINALLY has started to enjoy the bath. No more screaming and scrambling to get out. Replaced with smiles, play and laughter.

A trip to Target. Being goofy in the dressing room while trying on bathing suits for Sophie. It's just how we roll.

Playing peek-a-boo.

Blowing kisses.

Watching Team Umizoomi. Fascinated with all of Mason's favorites. I know I shouldn't allow her (or him) to watch so much television, but it's my daily snippet of sanity.

Climbs into almost any bin, box, bucket she finds. And chills.

Being chased by Mason. She crawls (usually under the table), giggling. Stops. Turns to make sure he is still following, then takes off again. Squealing as she goes. It's equally as fun hen Mommy chases her too. But harder on my thirty year old knees.

Playing with the car wash together. Could this be a preview to future "sharing" and play time together?

Recently we went to see Daddy race at Summit Point. On the way there, I discovered she is not a fan of hilly, windy, two lane roads. I looked in the mirror to see her reacting as I imagine I looked, eight years old on the Scooby Doo roller coaster. Freaked out of my mind. And then crying. Despite this, she really enjoyed the racing. Making noises each time the cars passed. You should have seen my two kids. Probably the most excited to be there. A few days later, Sophie is leaping out of my arms and fighting Mason for the good spot on Daddy's lap to watch corvettes on his computer. Is she a Briggs or what?

Watching her develop. Curiosity and exploration at an all time high. Saying "uh-oh" when something is dropped, thrown or knocked on the floor. "oh wow/whoa" when experiencing something new. Pointing to everything. Continuing to say hello but now to total strangers and doing that backward hand wave that is classic baby. Erupting all who are in hearing distance into fits of "aww's" and "how cute's." I even heard a semblance of "night-night/buh-bye" when heading off to bed.

Eating a lemon on Mother's Day. She was totally into it at first. Enjoying it actually. Then it hit her.

They way she just randomly grabs for me and hugs me so tight. Her need for me equal to mine for her. I missed out on this with Mason and rather enjoy this Mommy stage she is in. I hope it lasts.

Her many looks. All of which can melt my heart. Head down, eyes staring back up at you. So serious. That is my favorite.

It's been months since we gave up the infant car seat but not naps in the car. On days she falls asleep just before getting home I am careful not to wake her while getting her out of the car, into the house and in her crib. This is secretly one of absolute favorite tasks of parenting. And will terribly miss when I can no longer carry my sleeping children up the stairs and tuck them into bed.

Walking with Daddy at the playground by Wegmans. One we frequent when the weather is warm to grab a treat of ice cream from Cold Stone and let Mason run around. I can't wait till she learns to walk on her own. Balance is not her strongest skill at the moment. Though I imagine the days when she is running around the playground with her big brother. Will he help her climb the steps or go down the slide? Will she want to do her own thing?

Her appetite has grown and we have transitioned to adult food. Or rather she sudden refused baby food or being fed with a spoon leaving me stunned and scrambling for alternatives. We since have discovered that cut up fruit like strawberries and bananas, slivers of chicken, slices of meatballs, cooked carrots and squash, and even those lunchables juniors are her new diet. Today she even had her first taste of milk. Like her brother it didn't phase her a bit (except that it was incredibly cold which hit her mid gulb, forcing her to slow down her intake. This could be a good thing). Next. No more bottles. I hate washing those damn things. Oh and yeah also today she made the sign for more and food while preparing dinner. AWESOME!!

Ahh. But the best memory was from this evening. It was hot. Daddy and Adrian were putting on new brakes for their corvettes and the kids needed some occupying. I remembered I bought an inflatable pool for our beach trip. Changed the kiddos filled the pool and to prove my husband wrong, "it's too cold she'll never get in," Sophie was the one splashing around while it took some convincing for Mason. Add in some bath toys and the goofballs emerged. Giggles ensued.

Isn't that the best sound you've ever heard? As a parent. Come on. Could anything be sweeter than the full on belly laugh of your baby? And her big brother making her laugh? Even more precious.
How incredibly blessed I am.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day: a celebration

Did you ever notice that "Mom" is "Wow" spelled upside down?...there is something even more special about a mom-a heartfelt bond that's difficult to explain and impossible to break.
--excerpt from Before You Leap, A frog's-eye view of life's greatest lessons

Supplies: Ali Edwards Mom Word Art, Andrea Victoria aurora digital paper,Cathy Zielske dotted and dashed, other papers unknown

On this particular Mother's Day, I want to share this video below. It pretty much embodies exactly how I feel. Not just about my daughter though. My son too. Both my children are such a precious gift in my life. Yes, they've put me into a complete tailspin, caused strife and chaos and made me question once or twice whether this is what I'm really meant to do. But more than that, they have given me a love I've never known. A fulfillment I could never have imagined. I think life would be so boring without them. What would I have to be excited about, if not for the simple words ma-ma or a single step? Who would make me laugh so hard every day if not for the things Mason blurts out? And what would give me so much pride if not for the ability to see tiny little ones growing, learning, and becoming who they are?

Thank you so much for giving me this precious gift of motherhood. You remind me every day that what I do really DOES matter.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Jekyll and Hyde syndrome

I'm a reader. I LOVE to read. Instilled upon me by my mom, who always brought home a new book from work for us to read. She read to us as children, she read with us as we got older and still encourages us to read in adulthood. It helped that there was always a wealth a material to choose from on overflowing bookshelves found in just about every room of our home. Im no sure how my mother ever managed to get a book, much less a simple article completed, raising the two of us. Having two of my own, I find it nearly impossible to finish a sentence without hearing, "Mommy, can I have a snack?" "Mommy, play cars with me." "Mommy, she's touching my stuff." On and on and over and over. Not to mention my own voices in my head nagging me about the dishes that are piling up, the laundry that still hasn't been folded, the bills needing to be paid and oh my god look at those floors! How can you let your daughter crawl on that filth?

It's amazing I ever get any time to myself at all. On the rare occasion that I do, I am sometimes found reading about, you named it, parenthood. Why? Because I am always looking to improve my roll as a mother. Most recently, this month's Parenting magazine. An article titled, Who is that?

We've all experienced it. Conversations with friends and fellow mom's at soccer class and this article, confirms this. My son was the perfect child from birth. We all referred to him as Angel Baby. Well behaved, good natured and to top it off his behavior was even improved (if it could) when out in public. Perfectly quiet at Restaurants, never throwing fits at stores and being so polite during play dates and get together's with friends. He was the type of child that made you want to have another. The child every parent dreams of having. And then he changed.

Gradually. Made more apparent by the birth of our daughter. Whining over trivial things, throwing tantrums in the middle of Target, hitting, spitting, battling over meals. All around defiance and making me absolutely INSANE with frustration. What happened to my sweet, well behaved little boy? To make matters worse, when I'd bring this topic up with friends and family they all gave me the same response, "Rachel, he is a good kid," " well behaved. You must be proud," and "he doesn't act like that when he's with me/at my house." All this left me completely and irrevocably confused. And I'm not alone.

Talking with fellow mom's at soccer class a few weeks back we noticed that all our kids were behaving much better (listened to coach, stopped tackling each other, etc.) and even seemed to be learning more this session, now that we were no longer on the field with them but rather standing on the sidelines (in the hallway). Why is that? According to Andrew Postman, the articles author, "It's common for young children to behave differently-often dramatically so-when away from parents or home." His reasoning, basically when at home, the louder and longer you whine the more attention you get. However, outside the home, if you attract too much attention (don't follow the rules or the crowd) you get left out. I get that. We as adults act differently in different situations and around certain groups of friends and family. I know I am guilty of this. Why wouldn't my kids? Besides according to Postman, "we want our child[ren] to treat different people differently. When [they] start to do's a sign that [they are] developing a social sense."

Still amongst all this evidence and proof smacking me in the face, knowing my behavior is the same, I have a hard time following Postman's advice, that I should feel proud that my child acts out in my presence. According to Postman, it shows my son's comfortability and security here at home. And his behaving in public, well that is due to him actually getting all the values I am desperately screaming at him on a daily basis. Maybe that should be making me feel good, but than maybe it's the crazy in me that would really rather not spend my entire day placing my son in time-out and going hoarse repeatedly begging him to just listen to me.
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