(oops…forgot to press “Publish” on this one 2 weeks ago…)
Hi friends! My fourth Mother’s Day was a fun event last weekend, and I felt duly celebrated. I looked back on past years’ celebrations, and I appreciated the opportunity to notice how we are slowly learning to celebrate and make our own family traditions.
- 2013, KLC 5 months old: We were visiting California just before our move out of our apartment in Texas. I don’t even have a picture from that day of me with her, only a couple of random friends holding her at a park after church. I have to think we did something that was Mother’s Day-ish, but I can’t remember.
- 2014, KLC 1 YO: This was KLC’s first big illness: hand, foot and mouth disease. I have much more concrete memories of this day since it was so odd, sad, and a bit nice to have her feverish self lay on me all day. We missed church, and I was glad that I’d stated my preferences the previous day to have some “me” time with a girlfriend. We had spent Saturday afternoon hanging out at Cabbage beach. KLC got better in short order, but she passed on her illness to me.
- 2015: KLC 2 YO, X 3 months old: T went all-out this year with a fancy date night to Cafe Matisse and by organizing a photo shoot with our neighbors E and M. I loved having pictures of myself with the kids, and at that point especially I felt I was never looking nice enough in my postpartum haze to join in. It was a real gift for him to set up that photo op.
- 2016: KLC 3 YO, X 1 YO: Once again, I made a point of getting a picture of myself with the kids. I’d like that to be a yearly mother’s day tradition. I also told T that I didn’t want to cook and that I wanted a homemade chocolate dessert. He and KLC shopped the day before and then made french toast while I slept in. For lunch, we had typical food, but he got it ready for all of us. He took me out for a late date night after having some pre-dinner dessert with KLC, a chocolate raspberry pie that he invented several years ago.
Sometime last year, T and I talked about all the holidays that come up each year and what our expectations are for each of them. We took some time to talk through Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, etc., and it has helped lower my planning stress level a lot. We’re finding a balance of communicating expectations so there aren’t any big disappointments and allowing for some fun and surprises. This September will be our 5 year anniversary, and we’re having a lot of fun talking about how we might celebrate (hopefully on a trip–or two!–away from kids).
Baby X: 15 months
X has been a walker for a solid 6 weeks, and it’s hard to even imagine him as a baby. His walk is less toddle-y, and I hardly ever see a crawl. He has had a very up-and-down month, though, as he passed the 1 year molar teething-grumpy-fest, had a sunny week, and then got grumpy again. He was inexplicably grumpy for over a week, so we finally took him to the doctor to have his ears checked at his 15 month well check (that I had forgotten we needed to schedule). He got an A+ for health, but they gave him his last shots, which brought about another couple of grumpy days from a sore leg. Now, though, we’re on day 3 of Happy X again.
Other news from X’s world: he has learned to drink water from a cup, kindof. We’ve tried some sippy cups, but he’s not that into them, and KLC ends up stealing them. An open cup with a small amount of liquid seems to work best. He drinks a few good swallows, and then he dumps it every where. A cup of water: thirst quencher and toy! What more could a 15 month old want?
He continues to nurse and be a good eater. He’s getting less interested in being sequestered in his high chair, though, and may join the family in a high-chair/booster soon. I haven’t thought much about weaning, but I might start some gentle efforts to decrease the number of sessions. I don’t feel inhibited by the nursing at this point, as he is fine with drinking and eating other things. If I’m here, he wants to nurse. If I’m not, he is fine. I think he’d also be fine overnight without me, though that would be a bit more difficult for everyone.
On the language front, X has been much more interested in looking at books and being read to lately. He’s around a lot of reading, but he hasn’t participated very actively until the past couple of weeks. He has a few words and tends to focus on one or two in a given week. For a while, it was “GOOOO!” and now it is “boh,” which means bird or boat or book, and “uh-oh.” We talked to our pediatrician about the fact that X doesn’t have as many words as KLC had at this point, and he wasn’t concerned.
KLC: 3 years, 5 months
It’s harder to summarize what’s happening in KLC’s life these days. She’s such a little person and often asks me real questions like, “Mommy, are you frustrated?” We enjoy time together painting nails, going for walks, snuggling, and cooking. She entertains herself a lot more often during the day, so I sometimes have to remind myself to give her concentrated attention.
My favorite times with her are often when she wakes from her naps, totally groggy and with bedhead to the extreme. She run-walks to me and throws herself at me, desiring snuggles and often books.
She’s a fairly demanding person and wants things her way. We’re continuing to learn as parents how to set boundaries. One example is that she wants a very specific bedtime routine. When we have had babysitters recently she has been able to drag out the bedtime or naptime routine to multiple HOURS.
T has lots of sweet time with her during the day, including their evening post-dinner walk or swim while I put X down and bedtime. On the walk, they often go in the yard and play a made-up version of tag/keep-away. For several nights it was a new game with a new KLC-chosen title but all the same rules. At bedtime, one of the great/difficult parts of getting her to sleep is that she wants to talk about all the big ideas in her head. Every night, I ask T what they talked about. The dead bird on the porch, heaven, books, rockets, bugs, and events from the day or from months before have all come up recently. Then, before the final tuck-in, she wants to know what we’re having for breakfast and what is on the agenda for the next day.
XO, kids. Momma loves you.