mostly treats

Our Halloween was simple and fun.  We woke up and watched Halloween themed Super Why & Dinosaur Train.  We made Halloween brownies, got Halloween cards from the Post Office and read our stack of Halloween books.

Once Josh was home, we passed out candy to some trick-or-treaters. (Here in Marshall trick-or-treating starts right after school lets out at 3:30pm because it's so cold and gets dark so early.)  Then we got the twins ready in their Captain America costumes (thank you Nanny & Aunt Julie!), and I took them to trick-or-treat at the other teachers' houses.  It was 21 degrees out, with about 15 mph wind, and oh-my-goodness, it was so COLD!  

When we got back inside Jack sat at the table sorting his loot 
and said, "Whew! That wind very blowed me!"
Lucky for me, life has been mostly treats this week. And I am grateful.

My big boys are getting to that hilarious age where you can't believe what comes out of their mouths.  
This is especially true when they pray.

Two nights ago Logan prayed "Please keep Susan safe and bring her home to us." Susan is our neighbor, and likely their best (grown up) friend in Marshall.  She's in Anchorage for training.

And Jack prayed, "Please help mommy not break her fried egg thing again." I always make Logan's fried egg perfect, and mine, since I am trying to hurry to get the food on the table, inevitably ends up broken. But eggs being such a hot commodity, I suffer through and eat it anyway, lamenting my bad luck.  Apparently Jack thought maybe God could help me out there.

This morning I came downstairs wearing yoga pants (let's be honest, I come downstairs everyday in yoga pants) but instead a grey t-shirt, which is what I am usually wearing on top, I was wearing layers. A green long sleeve shirt with a floral short sleeve shirt layered over it.  Logan took one look at me and said sheepishly, "You look fancy, mom."

 They are working on reading books to themselves more.  The other day Logan was supposed to be reading and I was in the living room with him reading my own book.  He looked over at me and said, "Mom, I don't want to read." I told him  he had to. That it was time for reading.  He said, "No. I can't. I'm embarrassed." I asked him to elaborate and he told me he is too embarrassed to read in front of me. It made me sad, but was also sweet at the same time. So I let him go in the playroom to read by himself.

Yesterday they were playing "guys" and Logan goes, "I brought "Ruffie". He doesn't bite anymore."
Then Jack made his Lego guy "pet" Ruffie. It was just so dang cute!

I was changing Wyatt before afternoon nap and running over expectations with the boys.  I told them if they played fight game while I was trying to get Wyatt to sleep, there would be a serious consequence.  But I hesitated in saying "serious consequence" cause I was trying to think of what their consequence would be. So Logan jumped in and said, "Then we will have a situation." Where do they come up with this stuff?

I was blowing Jack's nose with him this afternoon and let's just say there was a lot of "business" in there, and I told him I thought maybe his nose was a booger factory. Logan retorted, "No, mom. It's a truck factory!"

After trick-or-treating this afternoon, we still had a lot of time to kill, so I decided to let the boys have a Halloween themed "Goo" bath in my bathroom upstairs.  They were so excited!

Once the bath was over, I let them shower and wash themselves off, which was also very exciting.  They love showering. I think it makes them feel like big kids.  Anyway, so I was still in the bathroom, getting towels and toothbrushes ready when I heard Logan ask Jack if he would please wash his back.  Jack obliged and then helped him rinse off.  It was such a tender moment.

Then tonight when Logan said his "I love you's" to Wyatt, myself and Jack, Jack responded in kind.  For the first time ever.  Another tender moment.

In the afternoons when I let the boys watch Wild Kratts, they lay side-by-side on the couch, even though they can barely fit, and lay with their arms up under the heads, just like Josh always sits when he's relaxing, and they will stay like that for the entire duration of the show.  It's my favorite thing lately to walk by and see them like that.

And finally I will close with what Jack said to me this evening as I lotioned him up and got him ready for bed.  He said, "Hey mom? Did you know I love you even when you're mad?"  Lately I have made it a habit of telling him that I love him even when he has behaved naughty, because he's my Jack.  Apparently he thought I needed to hear the same message.










And now?
He's also three!

(Ferris is my nephew. You can follow his mommy's blog here.)


ray of sunshine

 Through all of the stress lately, Wyatt has remained my ray of sunshine.  
His sweet cheeks and bright face never fail to make me smile.

He is learning more signs & words everyday. 
Here he is signing "ball". I could pretty much eat his chubby hands! 
He says "Daddy" all the time, but has yet to say "Mommy" unprovoked.
{frowny face}

He is starting to play more independently.
He loves to put smaller toys into bigger ones. 
Like putting cars in his helicopter,or putting his rolly animals into his stacking cups.

And when it's time to clean up, he sings the Clean Up song with me.
 He loves when we sing.  He likes me to sing Row Row Row Your Boat.  
And the twins to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider.  
When we finish he will sign "more" until I pick another song.

{I love this picture of him crouching.  
I know I will miss those thighs & tiny piggies someday!}

When he is naughty and I scold him, or when he is hurt, I will ask him then if he needs a hug, and he will say, 
"Yes" only it sounds like "Yeth" with his lisp, and then he will bury his head in my chest, 
melting into my snuggles. 

If the twins touch him or try to take his toy, he screams, "Ow! Ow! Ow!"
We are trying to teach him to say no instead. 

He cries when I go in the bathroom, up the stairs or out the front door. 
He hates when Josh goes to work everyday, although he doesn't cry like he did when we first arrived. 
And his joy upon Josh's return is unbelievable. "Daddy!!!!! Daddy!!!!!!" and he RUNS to the door.

Another word he uses a lot is "stuck". 
When I found him under the train table he looked up at me and said, "Stuck." 
Stuck indeed, baby.

 He loves to wear things on his head- hats, buckets, blankets.  
This weekend he was sporting Josh's Seahawks hat. I wish it wasn't blurry. 
He looked so cute in it!

For Halloween, he will be a dragon, thanks to a costume on loan from Krista.
It's perfect because it's SUPER fluffy and cozy.

 Weaning my little buddy is going alright. Slow, but steady.  I have eliminated the morning nap feeding and the bedtime feeding.  That leaves middle-of-the-night feeding and afternoon nap feeding.  This weekend I will eliminate middle-of-the-night feedings, and I will tell you, I am nervous.  Feeding him back to sleep at 2am is fast, and it's easy.  But I think that even if I lose sleep for a little while, rocking him to sleep instead, it will be worth it in the long run.  His pediatrician said that once he is fully weaned, I will likely see a drop in night wakings.  I am clinging to this like it's the holy grail. Please be true. Please be true. Please be true. 
I am feeling quite certain that weaning is the right choice.  But there are still moments when I wonder if I will regret quitting.  Moments when I can't believe he is as big as he is.  Moments when I mourn his baby-ness.  Hearing from other mama's who have quit or are quitting has helped. Every nursing mama has felt this way at times. So ready to quit, and then a second later so sad the time went so fast.  That is the nature of childhood.

With or without nursing, Wyatt will still be my little sweetheart. 
And I am so grateful to have him in my life.
---ray of sunshine---


dropping my basket

I want to write about the week before last. About how I {almost} dropped my basket.  I want to tell you about how important self care is, especially for stay-at-home mommas.  If we don't stop to take a break, we could work ourselves into the ground. Which is precisely what I did.

It started when Josh went to Hooper Bay for teacher training. He was gone two nights, and the morning after he got home, his parents arrived.  They were here a week, and while they were here, we had the water go out for three days, and Josh was working like mad.  Then they left and Josh was principal for a day, had his formal observation with Randy (the principal) and then left (again) for Anchorage for four days of tutoring training.  When he got back from Anchorage, he was principal for four days, and then was finally able to get back into his classroom last Friday.

That tells you what Josh was doing for the last four weeks.  
What I was doing was this: surviving 
Freaking out. Losing my mind. Holding it together, but barely. 

There was a lot of yelling, crying, panicking and praying.

And last Wednesday I experienced anxiety like I haven't experienced in months. I knew something had to give.  Thursday morning I called the boys' pediatrician to discuss quitting breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is one thing I can let go of, to lighten my responsibilities, and to allow Josh to be more involved in Wyatt's care.  I can't stop bathing them, feeding them, or caring for the house.  I can't stop waking up with them, reading with them, or cutting their toenails.

This decision was precipitated by a super severe headache, which required my taking a prescription.  This prescription is for really bad migraines only, and is somewhat risky to take, as it is emitted my breast milk. So I always hesitate to take it. Well, Wednesday night my head hurt so bad, I took the medicine immediately, and it didn't even touch what I was feeling.  What I wanted then was to take an Ativan, my anti-anxiety pill that I can take when I am having a panic attack.  I haven't taken one of these in about two years, since before my pregnancy with Wyatt.  But none of my breathing or journaling or thought-calming techniques were working.

So now, here I am, one week into weaning, and wondering if I am doing the right thing.  Along with weaning Wyatt, I have started exercising (just fifteen minutes) every.single.day.  I think this helps with my rage level, gives me good endorphins  and will help lift my mood as the darkness sets in. (The sunrise in Marshall today was at 10:04 am) I am also journaling every.single.day.  Writing about parenting, my emotions, what I feel and what I need.  And as of yesterday, we have internet at the house (!!!), and I can only imagine this will help. Feeling connected again to the outside world... Knowing I am not the only momma struggling with day after day of the same old thing, trying to be grateful and remember this is what I wanted.  Oh, that reminds me, another thing I have been doing is writing down at least five things every morning that I am thankful for. I keep it simple, but it's effective nonetheless. (You can find recent posts on my Babyham Blessings blog.)

I started weaning, per my pediatricians' advice, by eliminating just one feeding for 4-7 days. I decided to eliminate the morning nap nursing, since he has just had breakfast, and is usually really tired.  I skipped that feeding for a week, and he was fine with it, until yesterday, day seven.  He cried the most heartbreaking cry when I refused to lift up my shirt.  I was so sad on his behalf, I almost gave in. But he is nearly 17 months, and I know he's old enough to wean, and I know that I may be feeling better right now, but if I need to take an Ativan, or my headache medicine, I want to be able to do so freely, and breastfeeding just doesn't work since I can't pump and dump. (He has never had a bottle in his life.)  And so last night I planned to continue my weaning schedule by eliminating the bedtime feeding. By the grace of God, Wyatt didn't cry a single tear when I told him we weren't going to nurse that time.  He just settled his sweet baby face on my chest and sucked away at his binky.

This coming Friday I will eliminate middle-of-the-night feedings- yipes!- and the following Friday, I will eliminate afternoon nap nursing.  I get overwhelmed thinking about the whole thing, and about being done, so I am trying to just focus on today. Today I skipped morning nursing, and I will skip bedtime nursing. And I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  But with how close I was to the edge of my sanity last week, I know I am doing the right thing for me, and for my family.

It's true what they say, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I found that to be all too true the week before last.  I woke up bitchy every morning (sorry, there just isn't another word that's appropriate); feeling bitter that I had been up in the night; angry that I had to wake up with the kids in the morning; and feeling I had little to nothing to look forward to each day.  I took my attitude out on Josh and our boys.  I was short, snappy, bossy and rude.

Last week, with the decision to quit breastfeeding, start working out and journaling I was feeling excited every morning when I woke up. I have had more patience, and my body has felt tired at night, which makes it so much easier to fall asleep.  Panic no longer plagues me.

But I see how quickly I fell into bad habits. How quickly, without help or changes in my plan, I can go from perfectly fine, to losing my mind.

I was terrified. I was being that wife. Nagging, harping, just wanting him home, and then being angry with him while he was here. I was being that mother.  Saying no, being irritated, skipping all warnings and doling out consequences.  I hated who I was.  I don't want to be that wife. Or that mother
I don't want to be unhappy.  

I want to find joy in the little things.  I want to have fun with my boys. I want to appreciate Josh.  And I want to allow change to come, and not overwhelm me.  
So I will work at it.  I will work at being grateful. I will work at being happy. I will work at being a fun, joyful mom. I will work at remembering Josh is my ally. I will work at being a better me.  

"If we don't change, we don't grow.
If we don't grow, we aren't really living."
-Gail Sheehy