Friday, August 31, 2007

Saying goodbye to 2 under 2

Eloise will be 2 in two weeks. (September 13). I can hardly believe that it's been two years since I gave birth to my firstborn. I always imagined myself at this milestone about to decide when to have #2. And here I am, I already have #2.

Lily will be 7 months just after Eloise is 2, so for 7 months I have had 2 under 2. When people have asked the ages of my children, I have always answered in months. The moment I would say, "19 months and 2 months", I get this look of "oh my word, how do you do it?". "I don't know, I just do", was my most common response.

While pregnant with Lily I was getting a prescription filled for Eloise and the pharmacy tech asked how old Eloise was, (16 months at the time and I was due in 2 weeks). With a sympathetic look she said, "I have twins. I've heard what you are about to go through is worse". (so much for encouragement). Then today, while at the book store, talking with the woman helping me look for a parenting book she asked how old my kids were. I told her and she said, "I'm sorry, my first two were 17 months apart and I thought I was going to go crazy some days". She is now pregnant with her 3rd, five years later. She said it took her that long to recover and think about doing it all over again.

I am tired, in fact, I'm more exhausted than I have ever been in my life. Yet, I am also more organized than ever before. I am obsessed with being efficient and on top of things.

Incidentally, while looking for this parenting book, I picked up another one.
Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice box by Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D.

While reading, I felt like this book was designed for me. I felt like yelling, "YES" at almost everything she was writing. She identified the source of this incredible pressure I feel as a mom and I didn't even know there was another source besides my mind.

She compares parenting of the 60's to now. One major difference, making things absolutely perfect for our children. "Parenting" wasn't even a verb yet. "To parent" was just something you did. A parent was something you were. She says, "I don't think that, until the last few decades, mothers even had the idea that parenthood was something they could get wrong. It was just a part of life".

Moms in this book "are struggling mightily with society's message that they can, and must, control all aspects of their children's lives in order to make sure that they are perfectly efficient, functioning, happy, and fulfilled individuals - a flawless product. Deep down, of course we all know there's no such thing as a flawless anything, much less a human - but when society is whispering in your ear, "Just try harder, give more of your time and attention, do more projects, bake fancier cupcakes, throw more lavish birthday parties, sign them up for more enrichment classes" - after all, this is your child"

I am really excited to read more of this book. Jody Mayhew and I met yesterday to catch up (very good to hear about her trip) and she was asking me why moms these days seem so wrapped up in kids, infants especially, and their sleep. Her daughter has a 9 month old who does not nap and does not sleep at night. After talking with her, I decided I needed to stop complaining about Lily, because things could get worse. It was an interesting coincidence to talk with her about this and discover this book the next day. Does God have plans to use me to help other moms? We'll see.

How is 2 under 2 and this book tied together? With Eloise turning 2 I feel like I'm losing the sympathy card or rather the pass. Telling someone I have a 2 yr old and a 7 month old doesn't sound as bad. Therefore, my excuse to myself to lack in some areas, is gone. I now have more self-inflicted pressure to have it all together, even though I still have 2 cribs, 2 in diapers, and 2 that will always be my 2 under 2.

sidenote: I know that every woman with children has it tough. I in no way want to make my life or my situation greater than anyone else. We all as mother's have our share of circumstances that make our situation difficult in its unique way. I respect all mama's and know that I am praying for you in the middle of the night. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007


We have alot of Firsts in our family.

First, the first "fruits" of our garden. I am not a gardener but this year I decided to grow tomatoes because we were buying so many at the store. I also like to make salsa so we planted a Serrano pepper. Both are coming into ripeness and we picked our first ones.

Second, we bought a potty seat and eloise went potty for the first time yesterday. So exciting, we loved getting worked up over it. I'm not hanging my hat on it that it will stick, but it's something exciting to think about.

Third, Lily's first lovey. I'm hoping it becomes and obsession that she can't live without (and that it will help her sleep)

Fourth, Lily's first sippy cup and first foods. She is 6 months now and enjoying bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and today, avocado. Slowly, more of it is ending up in her mouth than her shirt.

Lily slept from 2 am to 7 a.m. This was HUGE for us. If Eloise hadn't woke at 5 because she was cold, I would have had 5 hrs. I can't even imagine 5 hours of sleep right now, I'd be a new woman.

Friday, August 24, 2007


After i wrote my previous post last night, I had a moment of overwhelming peace come over me. It was as if the Lord was settling me. Just the same settling that I hope for Lily. I realized that I needed to have patience for her. She wants to sleep just as badly as I want her to sleep. She is learning and I need to remember that.

Still no sleep, but we are getting somewhere. Tonight was difficult again, but my frustration has subsided.

On a fun note:

Eloise and I had a special day today. I would like to call them mother/daughter days, but I have two daughters so we need to distinguish with "special day". We went to Starbuck's for a cookie and then the Disney store to purchase an item from her new favorite obsession, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (tomorrow I'll tape her reaction to when it comes on) We walked in the store and you would have thought she just won the 2 yr old lottery. Her face was so overwhelmed and excited at the same time. She was frantically searching for Mickey and his friends.

After she picked up every Mickey item in store, we settled on two small stuffed Mickey and Minnie Mouse. She walked out of the mall singing the Mickey theme song. Then when we got in the car she position them on her lap so she could stare at them. Then she fed them more of her cookie. She is currently sleeping with them now.

It was so precious today and brought so much joy to my heart. I can't wait until Lily and I can have a special day too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

to cry or not to cry....

I am not a woman who can listen to my children cry. It sends me over the edge. When they cry, I cease to have any ability to think or, for that matter, function. Driving in the car is second to crying before falling asleep. No woman on the road is safe when he child is crying. She is so distracted that her mind can only think of two things, "should I pull over and nurse/feed?" or "how long will it take me to get home if I drive 15 miles over the speed limit?" followed by, "will I be able to get out of the ticket with my child screaming?".

Lily is 6 months today and by all means, size, and age, she should be able to go 10 hrs without eating. I know she can do it b/c she has done it before. Since and during vacation, we seem to have take a large leap backwards resulting in several wake-ups throughout the night.

I am fine with one wakeup. I seem to function quite well on a little amount of sleep. What I don't function well on is my child taking an hr to two hrs to fall back asleep. It drives me MAD. Literally, I feel like I'm losing my cool. And patience is something I feel like I'm good at.

I have issues with letting my child cry-it-out (CIO). I do not think that it harms a child. I CIO at 3 months and I trust my mother, do not feel abandoned and function like a normal adult. What I have issue with is listening to it. I let eloise CIO one night at 8 months for 20 minutes. For her it didn't work. She woke about 12 times after that. Her issue was learning not to eat in the middle of the night. Lily, on the other hand, is more difficult.

I have no idea what her problem is at this point. I've eliminated all but one feed, which I'm fine with at the moment, but she is rolling over and hating to be on her tummy when she wakes up. Plus, she takes a binki and can't quite figure out how to get it back in or how to sleep with it in.

Most mothers say to me that i just need to let her cry. That's fine. I KNOW it works for some babies, but they say it as if they put their child to bed and go watch a movie. It seems so easy for them. Or they turn off the monitor so they can't hear them. I could NEVER do that. My fear of something happening to them haunts me. I don't think these woman are heartless, I have many friends who have done it. And I know they love their children very much and hate to listen to it. I just don't know what mother gene I missed to be able to, sorry to use these terms, "get some balls" and do this!

I feel hopeless. I don't even feel like praying about it because I'm sure God is annoyed by it. Every night I'm praying for mercy, "just one more hour...please". Dave is extremely frustrated with the situation too and it results in us being agitated with one another when we aren't even the ones with the problem!

I have not made a decision yet and that is what drives me crazy. I'm secretly hoping the issue will resolve itself. Our family will function better when sleep is normal.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

first name basis

Eloise has decided that our first names are interchangeable with mom and dad.

We have this bouncy/vibration seat for Lily and it has caused countless stubbed toes. We curse it every time we trip over it. Thankfully its days are coming to a close with Lily coming upon 6 months.

Dave fell victim to the seat yesterday. Just after tripping he mumbled under his breath and put the chair up on the table. Visibly frustrated Eloise took this opportunity to inquire about his frustration.

E: Hey Dave. What's wrong? (followed him into the kitchen)

D: I'm okay, just stubbed my toe.

E: okay daddy.

Her new word of the day: "Chopicopter" (this would be Helicopter) She sees planes in the sky and today she saw a helicopter and thought it was a plane. When Dave told her it was a helicopter she practiced saying it for hours.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So after bring Ahl-bola (coined by Dave) to a large group of people along the I-5 corridor, we are home. Here's a list of the people so far.

Eloise, Dave, Me, My dad, My mom, My niece, 5 of the Lawrence family members (way to go Madeline) and I'm sure there are few more to be had within the next couple of days.

Despite the sickness, there were a few wonderful moments of the trip. One of them being a day at the park with friends. I love the Bellingham parks. Especially the ones near the water. It feels so refreshing to breath in the fresh sea air.

Pictures will tell the story of a great day of play.

First, Lily and baby Kai. "Why is this guy sleeping all the time?" - lily

A visit to Firwood

Now the park
Bella is so laid back. "Why is this girl making that sound all the time?"

For Laughs
Beautiful Friendships

The Lawrence kids loving us

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pukefest 2007 - the saga continues

So much for a relaxing vacation.

We drove to Bellingham Monday thinking Eloise was feeling better. Probably should have used better judgement at this point, but we were eager to get going.

The drive went amazingly well. We used a DVD player for the first time and you would have thought we hit Eloise with a tranquilizer. Those things are amazing. We stopped at my parents for naps and a break and then heading on in the evening.

When we arrived to Lance and Jenny's, we got Eloise out of the car seat and she puked again.

Tuesday we played around with friends and enjoyed a morning together as a family downtown. So much has changed down there. It was so exciting to catch up on it all. Came back to L&J and played with the kids. I loved having all the extra kiddos around to entertain Lily & Eloise. It was a great little break.

Later, hung out with the Weston's and the Pott's. Had a chance to meet knew baby Kai. (will post pics later). Then Dave and Rob went to see Bourne Ultimatum, which they were turned down from the moment they got to the ticket counter b/c it sold out. So they chose Simpson's. While watching the movie, Dave started to feel the stomach bug. He puked halfway through the movie and went back for more. Then threw up on the way home. Thankfully, he had just stepped out of the car. He threw up 4 more times that night and had the chills.

At this point I am praying for mercy like never before. I cannot get this. I'm a nursing mom. There is no possible way I can nurse and puke at the same time.

Oh, yes I can. On Thursday, I got it. 9:30, the sickness strikes. And this time, the youngest Lawrence family member, Isaac, got it too. He followed me by about 2 minutes every time I threw up. I felt horrible physically, but even more horrible for giving this family of 6 the flu.

So I threw up about 5 more times until 2 am. The worst being 11:30 when I'm vomiting and Lily is screaming to eat. She wasn't hungry, but needed me to get her back to sleep. It's vacation and I'm not going to work on sleep. So I threw up and feed. I'm shaking so badly from throwing up and have the chills. In my mind, there is nothing worse at this point, except labor, that might have been the worst, but I don't think it lasted as long. I didn't sleep a wink that night, i was so exhausted.

Side note: Most mom's who have had children know that your bladder control isn't what it used to be. So those who have thrown up know what happens, and it only adds insult to injury.

Friday, we packed up and headed to my parents but not before thanking the Lawrence family for allowing us to infect their home and disrupt the family life. I was so thankful that we were going to my parents. I needed rest so badly. I slept all day yesterday and all night last night, with the exception of a few wakes from lily. This sickness really does lay you out. I wish I would have waited one more day for Eloise to recover, now I know why she puked after driving so long.

So we are resting now and Dave is finally having some time to himself and feeling like he is on vacation. He said he would have rather been at work last week then puking. I agree!

So to track this sickness. It's gone from Eloise, Dave, My dad, Me, and Isaac. I'm sure there will be more. Update: Add Sophia and Matthew to the list.

We did have a wonderful day at the park on Thursday with friends. It was probably one of the best moments of the week. Pictures soon to follow.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pukefest 2007

We awoke this morning with a jolt. The jolt was Pukefest 2007 starting. Eloise was screaming at 6 a.m. I went in hoping to lull her back to sleep and discovered there was something wet on her bumper. Dave followed me in there and we both concluded that it was pee that had leaked through these HORRIBLE Wal-mart diapers (I know, I was being cheap as we have to buy two sets of diapers these days).

We changed her diaper and gave her some milk to put her back to sleep. 15 minutes later the screaming resumes. This time we find her drenched in curdled milk.

Into the bath she goes. Lily wakes up at this point too. Seriously girls, it's 6 am.

For the next two hours Eloise pukes 8 more times. Between each one she is laughing and jumping and I'm on the floor scrubing puke. By the end, I got pretty good at realizing when she was going to do it and following her around with the towel.

Playing and feeling fine in between barfs.

BTW. We had plans to leave for bellingham today. Scratch those, we are still in Portland.

So finally we all nap from 12-2:30 and restart the day. Eloise is doing wonderfully and we decided to head off to a VERY crowded new IKEA. Had a wonderful time together as a family despite the crowds.

We come home and eloise seems normal playing in the yard. So mama gives her milk before bed (I know, don't give kids dairy when they are sick). Pukes EVERYWHERE. My ottoman is toast. the floor is covered and into the bath we go again. Can't a mother just eat dinner? I'm scrubbing the puke off the floor thinking, "complaint is evidence of doubting God's goodness" (jody mayhew). So I'm biting my tongue praying for mercy. Please don't let the rest of us get sick.

We did have a sweet moment before bed. Eloise went outside to read books as the sun went down. I planned it so that if she puked I wouldn't have to clean it up. But it was a very peaceful bedtime.

Sweet moments of the day.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A new word

"No - ah", said Eloise.

Instead of yelling or saying "no" bluntly, it seems to have taken on a singing, sweet tone.

When asked if she wants to do something she responds with, "No - ah". I'm wondering if she hoping for sympathy by making it sound so sweet??

She is also learning some delay tactics for bedtime. "more water mom, more medicy (medicine - she has a small cold), two more books? Jesus (aka, another book, she may think this is really going to work b/c it's spiritual), etc...the list goes on. This is usually followed ALOT of screaming when I leave the room. I've learned - just don't go back in.

Tonight for dinner she asked for "mock-a-mole, k-sa-de-ya, and beans". She ate most of my chips and dipped her chips in salsa until they were falling apart. She never ate the chips.

"Only a mother" moment:
I put Eloise in the bath this evening to calm her down. Upon getting in she fell. Jodi was there so I quickly handed off Lily and picked her up. After I picked her up, she began peeing ALL over the front of me. All you can do is laugh, change your clothes and move on with the day.