Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Day.

Dear Max and Sullivan,
I had an idea to document a typical day in your lives through pictures.  Not because our days are earth-shatteringly exciting, but because they are magical in their own way for two little babes learning about the big world around them.  Also, because one day I'm sure I'll think back and try to remember what it was we actually did all day :)

So here we go...

7:30 Sullivan, you start to talk to yourself in your crib.  Dada usually gets you up and brings you to me.  You get breakfast in momma's bed every morning and we wait for brother to wake up.
Good morning, sunshine!
8:00  Max, the way you wake up every morning warms my heart.  You start out by saying "Momma... Momma... MOM! Mommyyyyy..."  (waits in silence)  "Momma weee ahhh yoooouuu??..." (waits in silence again) "Momma, I loooove yooouuu..."  This is verbatim what you say every morning.  In that exact order.  Even if Sullivan is finished eating and I can get to you right away I'll wait until you finish the last part of your persuasive plea before I swing your bedroom door open :) 
"Hi Momma!"
We'll usually hang out upstairs for a little bit so I can get dressed and get organized.  Max, you run between our room, your room and Sullivan's room undoing any sort of order that I restored after you went to bed the night before. I ever Windex my mirror??  Toddler smudges.
8:30 Breakfast.  As much as you love to eat, Max, I always have to convince you to get in your highchair for breakfast.  Your toys just seem too tempting first thing in the morning...I mean, it has been 12 whole hours since you saw them last.  Once food is in front of you though you're happy to eat. And eat.  And eat.  Every morning you eat a whole wheat waffle or toast with honey and apple butter, milk, a whole orange, a whole banana and yogurt.  And will often ask for more. I'm not kidding.  I feel like people don't believe me when I tell them how much you eat!!

After breakfast you decided you wanted to watch one of the two shows you're allowed each day.  Your (our) New Years Resolution is to watch less TV :)  You started becoming a Nick Jr addict.  You were driving your father and I nuts with the emotional breakdowns you had when we told you "no" to watching a show.  So now we've explained to you that you get TWO shows per day.  You can pick when and what show, but once you've seen two the TV is turned off and we turn music on instead.  It's been a gradual detox process for you :)
Dancing to the "Fresh Beat Band" intro.  You know all the words and shout out each characters name when they come on screen.
9:00 Sullivan, you head back upstairs for an hour long nap.  I lay you down wide awake and rarely hear a peep out of you until you're ready to get up.

Then Max and Momma get to spend a little one on one time together.  One of your favorite things is washing dishes.  When its time to do dishes you'd think I just told you I was taking you to the coolest waterpark in all the land.  As soon as you hear me open the dish washer and turn on the water you run in the kitchen yelling "Dishes, momma pwease, DISHES!!"
Unfortunately you "helping" with the dishes always results in a bigger mess.
 10:00 Sullivan wakes up and he wants to eat immediately. 
"Feed me!"
Max you play really well by yourself in the playroom when Momma's attention has turned to baby brother.  

Max likes to use Sullivan's blue blanket as the "ocean" for his ship.  His little hamster got to be the captain this time.

Anything and everything round gets put in the basketball goal.
With Sully's belly full I finally put clothes on my little naked men and headed out to a fun playdate at Mary Jane and Bo's house!  This is the time of day we usually get out of the house.  Some days we have Gymboree or head to the Plaza library.  If its a nice day we walk to the park.
"Hi Bo!  Let's hold hands!"
Max and Mary Jane have bonded over their love of Yo Gabba Gabba.
11:30 we're back home for lunch.  You're always SO excited for lunch.  Even though you generally have at least 2 snacks between breakfast and lunch you act starving.  Dada comes home to eat with you and feed Sullivan a bottle. 
So happy to see the Dad.
Following lunch a simultaneous diaper blow-out and projectile vomit episode required a full strip down.
After lunchtime is the most blissful and quietest part of the day :)  NAP TIME!  I love that early on the two of you got on the same schedule.  I'm not even exactly sure how it happened but it makes things so much easier.  All three of us pile in Max's big chair and read books after we've all had lunch. 

Once Max is tucked in, I lay Sullivan in his own crib.  I am very aware of how lucky I am to have two kids that love sleeping.  Max, you sleep from 12-3 and Sullivan, you are a solid 12-2:30.  I use those hours to catch up on whatever I'm most behind on that day.  Or maybe I nap too ;)

This is also the time when I might (or might not) take inventory of the ever growing pile of laundry that steadily collects at the top of the basement stairs throughout the day.  You boys go through multiple outfits a day.  Bibs, burp cloths, etc.  Which is why you appear naked in these pictures more often than not.
Sadly, this is just about half of the laundry and not even close to the end of the day.  An equal amount goes down the laundry shoot when we're upstairs.  I'm SO glad Billy is our laundry guy.  Bless him.

Sullivan, you had ANOTHER blow out after naptime.  This time you were much less easy going about the mess in your pants. 
Brother holding your hand to try and make it better.
"Shhh, baby. Pat-pat tummy.  Is ok Van."
Max can always make it all better.  Sullivan even when you're upset it never lasts for more than a few seconds.
Sully, I have to admit you spend a lot of time chilling in laundry baskets.  There's always one laying around and when I need to put you down somewhere quickly it's usually the closest safe/comfortable place I can put you.  You don't seem to mind.

Neither does Max!  He loves to push you around in a laundry basket while making car-car sounds.  He pretends he's driving.
"Uh...beep, beep mom."
3:30 Snack time!
Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes, animal crackers and your "Green Machine" juice.  You refuse to eat any green vegetable so this is my sneaky way of getting spinach/broccoli/kale/wheat grass into your system. 
Already on your way to a yet another outfit change.  Learning to use a real cup is messy.
The rest of the day is spent playing and navigating a tantrum or two. 
So sad.  Max needed a little cool off time.
Sullivan,  you take another hour long nap from 4:30-5:30.  What a life of eating and sleeping you have.

Later we eat dinner together.  Usually around 6pm.  This day, Sullivan, you got to try sweet peas for the first time!  You're so loving eating real food.
Peas for Sullivan, Chicken-Artichoke Lasagna for the rest of us!
Max gets to sit in a big boy chair in the dining room now that brother joins us at the table in the highchair.

And after dinner we do baths.  Max, you think it's your job to "wash baby".  It is the cutest thing to watch and you list all the places you need to wash as you go..."ears...cheeks...toes...tummy".  And you're so gentle.  Seeing you take this responsibility so seriously cracks us up. 
Billy and I do the night-night routine together.  I love it when we're all upstairs.  Running from one room to the other trying to stay one step ahead and corralling Max. Half of us showing off towel-dried naked butts (I'll let you guess which half of the party of four :)

Max, you get to pick out two books to read.  You almost agonize over the decision which is really funny to witness.  Usually you can't decide on just two so we let you put the runners up in bed with you.
You will pick up a book, examine the front and back, maybe flip through a couple pages and put it back on the shelf.  Then pick up another and do the same thing.  I end up having to give you a time limit because this can seriously go on for-ever.
By now its about 7/7:15pm and the two of you are well on your way to dreamland.

Tucking the two of you into your rooms, turning down the lights and starting your music gives me the biggest feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.  Our days naturally ebb and flow between the highs of learning something new and the lows of 2 year old power struggles. But they're our days. And when the sun sets the day is done.  I might not have earned a dime or done anything that people will be talking about years from now, but I feel successful. 

You boys laid your heads down knowing you were loved.  Full bellied and feeling secure that your momma and dada would do anything for you.  And if I can do that every day until you're grown up then I think my life's work will be something to be proud of.  Even after you're grown up (past the point of your naked butts being cute) I hope you still go to bed knowing that a) you are loved and b) your momma and dada would do anything for you.  Forever and ever.

My whole heart,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"You Are Here. Now."

This is what I try to remind myself each day. Especially during the most difficult moments.  And lord knows there are one or two of those everyday (every hour?).   I anchor my sanity to those words.

Max and Sullivan, when outside distractions attempt to pull my attention away or you two are just driving me plain nuts I recenter on that one simple thought. "Now" is only "now" for a short time and I want to be here. 100% here. With you. Everything else can wait because you are the most important thing.
So I take the good... 
With the bad...
The happy...
 With the sad...
(the swift mood swings of littles never ceases to amaze me :)
**I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but decided to publish it today since I just read the "Don't Carpe Diem" article that is spreading like wildfire.  I've seen it posted in the last couple days.  I actually really like the article and think every mom can relate to it.  At first it made me feel slightly naive, though.   Yes, parenting is challenging and ridiculous at times, but I'm terrified (terrified.) of being the old lady in the story...longing for my babies to be little again. The thought of it makes me want to cry. I feel like I talk about this subject an insane amount on the blog (like HERE and HERE).  This "little" phase is such a brief span in the course of their lives.  Of my life too.  So maybe the above post is annoyingly optimistic or cheesy but I'll continue to raise my boys wearing rose colored glasses :)

Huffington Post Article - "Don't Carpe Diem"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Momma Patches

Sometimes motherhood seems like the Girl Scouts. You spend most of your time practicing new skills, learning how to work with others and experiencing "adventures" that will enrich your life in one way or another. Each time you master a new skill as a mom you earn a patch.  An invisible yet very rewarding momma patch to add to your momma sash.

The patches I've earned so far and am most proud of are in "Survivalist Diaper Bag Packing", "Snotty Nose Suctioning", "Baby Nail Clipping" and "Creative Diaper Changing In a Public Place".  By the time these rugrats are off to college I'm sure I'll be covered in them from head to toe.

I'm proud to say that I can now add "Soothing Two Sick Babies at Once" to my collection. It was a difficult one to earn (rocking, wiping noses, nursing one and forcing the other to drink warm lemon/honey water, all while sitting on the floor of a steamy bathroom) but its one that I'm wearing proudly today. If I would've had a free hand I'd have taken a picture of my two sweaty little boys snuggled up against me fast asleep :)

Here are my little petri dishes finally feeling a bit better...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My little men

Max has a very busy work schedule today. Tight deadlines on coloring projects, a conference call with Dada to discuss fruit snack fulfillment issues and a status meeting with his fellow toddler friends at Gymboree. Please direct all urgent matters to me, his executive assistant, as he will be very tied up for the remainder of the day...
Off to work! Max found Billy's shoes and I decided to add a tie.
Sullivan wanted to get in on the dress-up fun too.  Any excuse to wear next to nothing is good with him. 

And this is where I'm generally apologetic for the outrageous things I do to my kids during the week, but I've decided to stop.  Being apologetic that is.  I'm going to quit making excuses because I'm not going to quit exploiting their cuteness :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oh dear...5 Months!

Sullivan!  I can barely type the number '5' out of shear disbelief.  I know I always act "shocked" each month when the 6th rolls around, but this month really snuck up on me.  And then next month we'll be celebrating your half birthday?!  That's outrageous.  WHERE IS THAT SLOW-MO BUTTON??  I never did find it on your brother either.

Baby boy, you are growing so fast I can hardly keep you in the clothes hanging in your closet.  I feel like I'm switching out your wardrobe every week.  And this month you have really started to grab all things within your reach...especially you're feet! 
Your new favorite toy is the Excersaucer.  Dada kept wanting to bring it up from the basement and I kept saying..."No, he's still too little for that"...and then I realized that wasn't true. As soon as we put you in it you started pushing all the buttons and gumming every part of this thing you could get your mouth on :)
Seeing you master new things fills me with just as much pride as I felt when Max conquered them.  I'll confess that some part of me wondered if all of your firsts would seem as miraculous the second time around and the answer is a resounding, 100%, yes.

Sullivan, you are such a ham! You live for the camera. I used to plead with Max to give me a smile during our "monthly" photo shoots. With you I never even have to take more than two shots...and even then I usually agonize over which is the cuter one. 
You have two modes for the camera: big smile and bigger smile.

I know I talk about your smile in nearly every post, but I have never seen anything that compares to it. It starts somewhere deep inside you, radiates outward and fills the whole room. The best way I can describe it is that you smile with your soul.  I have a had so many people stop me when we're out and say they've never had a baby smile at them the way you do. Its so sweet and infectious and makes the person on the receiving end feel like they're the exact person that smile was meant for.
I love you so much sweet Sullivan and as much as I DO want you to stay little I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you my wonder-baby.

My whole heart,