All About Nathan – Look Who’s Two!

2 year old nathanOne of the many reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to document the happenings with my children and have a place to remember what their younger years were like.  It’s time for an “All About” post and today’s focus is all about my second born and newly minted 2 year old, Nathan.

This little peanut that made me a mom for the second time, and made Joey a Big Brother has just recently turned 2 years old. We celebrated with cake and a little train themed party, because like his big brother, he has become a huge fan of trains (more on that later). His second year certainly has flown by and he has grown so much and even became a big brother. And he is the best big brother.

N_2ndBirthdayThis year we’ve really seen Nathan’s true personality emerge as he went from babyhood into toddlerville. What he showed us is that he is a sensitive and shy little guy. It takes him a while to warm up to someone or even make eye contact when he first meets them or hasn’t seen them in awhile.  This shyness a trait he gets from his mother (believe it or not).

After his first birthday, we were slightly concerned about his language development because of chronic ear infections. But we didn’t worry for long as his speech and comprehension suddenly blossomed overnight and at this time we have quite the chatterbox.   It is makes it so much easier now that he can tell us what he needs, and what he wants. But at times we need to remind him to use his words.

Like most two year olds, he wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is the master of what I call the “toddler flop”. Don’t know what that is?  Well tell your 2 year old no, or don’t give him what he wants and you will witness a quick drop to the floor usually followed by tears or wails. And when he is feeling really sad, he comes up to me, takes my hands and places them on his cheeks on either side of his face and says “I’m sad”, which seems to be the way he likes to calm himself down.

Much like his older brother at this age, he has developed a love and obsession with trains. It probably helped that his older brother has quite a collection of Thomas and other train toys already, so it was natural for him to gravitate to those toys. He LOVES trains of all kinds it seems. He loves train themed books, train themed toys, Thomas and Friends (obviously), train videos, riding on trains, etc. Sometimes he loves to sit and watch YouTube videos of real life trains going by, which is helpful when I need to keep him occupied for a few minutes so I can shower.

He has turned into a loving big brother to his baby sister, and is a good buddy to his big brother. Also Nathan appears to be a budding wrestler. Both his father and I are quite impressed at his natural wrestling abilities (where the heck did this come from?), especially the takedowns of his older brother, who is nearly twice his size. And his poor big brother is usually minding his own business before Nathan launches his attack.

Nathanis2_v2He has a smile that warms your heart and gives the biggest hugs. And unlike he was 1 year ago, he actually sleeps so much better. By himself! And does it (usually) without a fight! Imagine that.

Likes:

  • Playing outside
  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Going Bye Bye
  • Trains
  • Dump trucks
  • Snuggling
  • Doing things himself
  • Wrestling with big brother
  • Chasing big brother
  • Loving on little sister
  • Chocolate anything

Dislikes:

  • Getting off train rides
  • Disney Characters in Costume/Santa
  • Spinach
  • Being chased by big brother
  • Milk in the wrong cup
  • Sharing (working on that)
  • Naptime (sometimes)

Mastering Motherhood – Who are We Trying To Impress?

iStock_000010560937SmallWhile trying to manage life with my three littles under the age of 5, it isn’t always picture perfect. My house doesn’t look like a magazine, my kids may be unruly at times, and my table doesn’t always have 100% organic foods scratch made by me. And I am coming to the realization that THIS IS OK.

I don’t think it should be any secret, motherhood and parenting is hard. We’re always wondering if we are doing the right thing with our kids. Making sure we are raising them right. Making sure they’re growing enough and eating healthy enough. If we are engaging their mind enough. Are we ever doing enough? What it seems to come down to is insecurity, and we are torturing ourselves with it. The pressure we put on ourselves to be the perfect parent come with a lot of internal voices (or external if you tend to hang around the sanctimonious types) telling us that we are screwing up, further feeding those insecurities.

What comes first is what we are feeding our children. First thing we are hit with when they are babies is that “Breast is best”. Don’t give them any of that evil formula because, OMG, that is poison! Except if you’re a mom like me who has major supply issues, that “evil formula” is what keeps our babies from starving. But in the pressure to be the perfect mother, when you have trouble performing that ultimate motherly act of breastfeeding, the feeling of failure prevails. And so begins some of the major insecurity and self doubt in our mothering kills.

So continuing on with what we are feeding our kids, you absolutely MUST make sure that everything you are giving them is all organic, hormone-free, non-gmo, etc. Wait, you carefully budget and buying EVERYTHING organic is too cost prohibitive for you? OMG you are poisoning them!  Well at least you don’t use plastic plates and tableware, don’t give them plastic sippy cups, or store any of your food in plastic containers. Wait, you don’t use ALL glass containers all of the time?? OMG, plastic! Oh the horror! You’re poisoning them! 

Then, it seems we need to have our kids dressed perfectly… you know in adorable and always fashionable (and organic) clothing so they are ready for a photo shoot at a moments notice. You also need to make sure to have your house immaculate so you can easily take said photo shoot of your kids in “candid” fashion and simultaneously show off your gorgeous Pinterest-worthy home decor as well as your Pinterest-worthy kid photos. Wait, your kids aren’t perfect clean little angels that never mess up the house? And they don’t always keep their latest baby fashions clean and free of spit-up or stains?  OMG, you’re doing motherhood all wrong!

What about the awesome kids enrichment programs and craft projects to engage their minds and expand their horizons. Of course, those craft projects always come off perfectly. Your kids are such talented artists ahead of their time. And of course, said projects are always perfectly mess free. Wait, your 2 year old doesn’t speak 6 languages and can’t even scribble remotely in the lines?? OMG, your kid is so behind!

Well you are babywearing your little ones until they are the age of 5, right? Wait you use a stroller some of the time? OMG, you are an attachment parenting failure!

Well you cosleep with your babies right? Wait, you DON’T cosleep and you sleep train? OMG, you are heartless! Wait, you DO cosleep? OMG, that’s so dangerous!

Had enough yet?

It’s a strange thing many of us do to ourselves as mothers, putting on the pressure to be perfect in nearly every aspect of motherhood. Through dozens of parenting books and websites, we get so many mixed messages out there to begin with on what is the right way to nourish, teach, and raise our children. Not to mention what we observe the other seemingly “perfect” moms, we get to thinking we have to be all things to everyone. The picture of perfect motherhood.

Really, when it comes down to it, who are we trying to impress? Other Moms? Are we letting the “Sanctimommies” get into our heads? Are we risking our sanity just to make lives picture perfect and Pinterest-worthy for others to see?

Can we stop this madness and just make sure that our kids are happy, healthy, well mannered, and keep them alive until it is no longer our responsibility to do so?  Stop playing into the Mommy Wars, and stop judging others on the lifestyles and the choices they make for their own families. Other moms that make different choices or take different paths than you are not an indictment on your own lack of perfection.

I can certainly tell you, my (almost) 4 month old does not care a wit if she doesn’t sleep on an organic mattress blessed by monks and doesn’t necessarily wear adorable hipster approved, fashionable, organic clothing all the time. And my 4 year old certainly does not color in the lines at all, but I am not worried about his college prospects right now. My kids are clean, fed, happy and healthy, so I am doing my job ok so far. I am certain that I am going to fail sometimes.  I am just trying to master motherhood the best I can, embracing my imperfections and all.

Welcome 2014 – The Year of Awesome

hello_2014Happy New Year everyone! Today is the first day of 2014 and I am very much looking forward to this coming year. 2014 is going to be the Year of Awesome.

Like most people are doing these past few days, I am sitting down and reflecting on where I am now and documenting where I want myself and my family to be in the coming year. You may call this making resolutions, but I always thought the word “resolutions” is a little too cliche (and a little lame). Besides, who remembers those “resolutions” after the first month? So let’s call this my “Goals & To-do List for 2014”. That’s much better.

Smile More, Stress Less.

  • In my quest to become a better me, I need to remember what is important, what is not, surround myself with positivity and let my smile shine. Life is too short to hold on to stress and negativity.

Get Fit.

  • I am 3 months postpartum, and I can’t really use the “baby weight” excuse all year. It is time to get my but and gear, work on a more active lifestyle. Notice I said get fit instead of lose weight. As much as it would delight me to see the scale tick downward, my main goal is to be stronger, have more energy an just generally feel better.

Change our diet.

  • Kind-of goes hand-in-hand with getting fit, but I need to make some changes to be a healthier me, and make sure my kids have healthy habits. Nothing too drastic, and no traditional “diet”. I’ll write about this more later, but I am going to stick to more whole foods, especially when feeding my family. In addition to that, I plan to cut out sugar AND artificial sweeteners, and cut my consumption of wheat and other carbs. Nothing processed.

Take Zumba Instructor Training.

  • I found the one exercise activity that I absolutely love. So much so that I get sad when Zumba class is over because I want to keep going. I started it 3 years ago after my first son was born, did it through my 2 last pregnancies and now I’m on a mission to use Zumba as a tool for my “Get Fit” goal above, and become a Zumba instructor.

Organize and clean house.

  • I have plenty of stuff. My kids have plenty off stuff. Too much in fact. It is time for some major purging of my closet, kitchen cabinets, and toy room. The Salvation Army/Goodwill will have lots of donations coming their way from me. I can’t wait to get rid of the clutter and feel more in control of my house.

Save more and spend less.

  • I like to shop, but it is time to prioritize. We have lots of things that we would like to save for in this house, which means I need to spend less on non-essentials. And like I mentioned above, we have too much stuff as it is. So I am making an effort to be more budget conscious, focus spending only on needs and essentials.

Use my fancy camera more.

  • I purchased a nice DSLR camera last year for myself for Mother’s Day.  I got it to take better pictures of my kids, and I need to use it more for that purpose.  I still have a bit more to learn about using this camera and could use some new lenses to play with. Also, I need to get to make sure I have more pics in front of the camera with my kids. Don’t want them to look back at all their pictures and think they were mother-less.

Have more fun.

  • I am going to have more fun, play with my kids, and do more of what I love. Got to remember not to take life too seriously, and get down on the floor and play with my kiddos. I will work on a bunch of craft projects and get my kids in on the crafting action. We will have fun!

Blog more.

  • I like to write. I like to document and share things in my life. I need more practice at it. And I need to do it more than a couple times a month.

So that is my master to-do list for 2014. I know that being a mom of a preschooler, toddler, and infant all at once can be a bit chaotic. I’m not striving for perfection, but doing the best I can.  It will be the Year of Awesome, so let’s rock this new year.

Our New Family – 8 Weeks Have Flown By!

8weeksflownby2So when we were last here, I was on the verge of my induction and giving birth to Baby #3. That was a little over 8 weeks ago. Well, if you follow my on my Facebook page or Instagram (and if you don’t, WHY NOT? Go ahead and follow me here and here), our little lady arrived on the evening of September 16th, and Cassandra Emily made our little family of four, a family of five. We have been smitten since she drew her first breath!

So how are things going? Surprisingly (to me), quite well.  She’s a little over 8 weeks old now and she has just fit right in to our family life pretty easily. We are really blessed that she is such an easy going baby. REALLY blessed. Give her some mommy milk, keep her in a clean diaper, and she is a happy and quiet girl.

We have good days and bad days, but I am not feeling as stressed and overwhelmed as I thought I’d be. Going from 2 to 3 has taken some juggling, but I am managing pretty well. (Wine after bedtime helps on the bad days)  I have to get creative with entertaining the boys while frequently nursing their sister, but we find a way. Speaking of the boys, they are completely in love with little Cassie as well. It totally melts my heart.

So I’m back to the blog with lots of  new posts brewing. The newborn fog is finally wearing off. DVDs, Netflix, and Disney Jr have bought me some time and entertainment for the boys.  Breastfeeding is going is going amazingly this time. And I swear by babywearing. Life is good, and I’m working on enjoying the present as much as possible.

Lobsters – A Life Lesson For My 4 Year Old

lobster_lessonsI am learning that four year olds are inquisitive, and you can never quite predict what is going to come out of their mouths and when.  My 4 year old is in the normal phase of asking question after question on how things work, where things come from, and why things are they way they are. He is just trying to understand how his world works. To me, it gives me a fascinating insight to how his little brain works and to see the world from his eyes.

This week I was reminded of all that when I took the kids on routine trip to the grocery store. Without fail, when we walk near the fish counter, Joey must pay a visit to the big lobster tank to say hi to all the lobsters. He just loves to stare that them and watch them crawl around each other. Some days it is hard to pull him away, and this day was no exception. But soon I was able to drag him away so we could complete our shopping. Then he starts asking me questions about the lobsters’ eyes, and where their mouths are and what they eat. Since I am not really an expert on lobster anatomy and such, so I usually tell him my best guess and recommend that we look it up when we get home.

Then Joey asks, “Mommy, what do people DO with the lobsters?”

“Well honey, they take them home and cook and eat them,” hoping that would be the end of it.

“Cook and eat them? Why do they do that?” he asks.

“Because lobster is delicious,” I answer him, part of me wondering what the heck he thought they were for… decorations?

“Well how do people cook them, put them on a fire?” he then asks.

GULP… Oh boy. Now I know how lobsters are cooked, and really I never gave the way they meet their demise before they make it to my plate much of a thought. But how does throwing something into a super hot pot of water to boil alive sound to a 4 year old?  In my mind, I’m trying to find a way to gently tell him about the (torturous?) way lobsters come to their end and decide that the truth is probably the best way.

“They way lobsters are cooked is that they get put in a super hot pot of boiling water for a few minutes and when they turn bright red, they are done cooking and ready to eat.”

“Well mommy, when people try to eat them, won’t their claws pinch their mouths?”

“Um… no honey, after you cook a lobster, they are no longer alive so their claws no longer work,” I told him.

I look at him waiting for the next question… “Oh, okay,” he says. Then seemingly drops the conversation. That was enough for his 4 year old brain at that moment.

Oh boy. Lessons on life and death and where the things we eat really come from. All that can come up in one little conversation about lobsters.

The whole thing made me laugh a little an I knew that he would probably bring it back up again (he did). When I thought more about it, it made sense that usually the food we take home and eat (specifically meat or most seafood) is not alive and walking (or swimming) around. It has already been taken care of and packaged for us to take home to cook. So when he brought up the cooking of lobsters again later, we made comparisons to the chicken or beef that we eat that were once walking around on a farm before it made it to our store and to our table. And really for a 4 year old, we don’t need to go into much more detail on the in between for HOW they got there. It’s interesting to see his wheels turning while he processes how it all works.

So will he actually try lobster? Are you kidding me? This is my picky eater we are talking about. Though we told him how yummy we think lobster  is (not that we go on eating lobster all the time), he is not so convinced.

Next life lesson that has come up in the last 24 hours… How is the baby is going to come out of mommy’s belly? Since I did not quite know the appropriate 4 year old answer at the moment, I told him that we would talk about it later.  So I better figure it out before he asks again (and he will very soon).

Nearing the End of Pregnancy Already? Eeek!

32-Weeks-babe3It’s a little hard to believe that I am 32 weeks pregnant already and will have this new baby in my arms in less than 2 months. Since this is most certainly going to be my last pregnancy ever, so I am trying to savor and remember those little baby kicks from the inside, the endless little hiccups, and the jabs at the bladder. It’s lovely, it’s tender, but I’m glad we are almost over. In fact, I think I was “over it” starting a few weeks ago (though not ready for this baby to be here quite yet).

Last time I talked here about pregnancy, I was whining about what seemed like the never ending woes of first trimester. I was not feeling the “pregnancy is awesome” thing like I did with my first son (my 2nd was not as pleasant, but better than this 3rd time around by comparison). It sucked. I whined about it here (and at home). Then I got to the 2nd trimester turning point and was feeling much better. I started getting back into that “pregnancy is awesome” groove and I was feeling pretty great. Though I never did get that energy back that you are supposed to get since I’ve pretty much remained exhausted much of the time (despite son #2 FINALLY starting to sleep through the whole night). But other than that, feeling good, and baby has been doing great.

It was only a few weeks ago when someone was asking me how I was doing/feeling, and I replied that I was “Feeling great! I don’t seem to have all those aches and pains and woes that I remember from the last time…” Then maybe a week later, boom. The typical third trimester woes started kicking in. Sciatica and back pain? Check. Hip pain? Check. Impossible to get comfortable in bed and so the inevitable insomnia? Check. Choking on my stomach acid in the middle of the night? Check. Impossibly hot all the time? Check. Yay pregnancy! Yay me! Are we done yet? I’m sure the couple heat waves we have had back to back this summer haven’t helped.

So that is where I am at. I am very fortunate in that baby has been looking healthy, looking great. Despite the Gestational Diabetes and my super intense cravings for sweets and all things sugary (to which I occasionally give in), baby is measuring on track and does not appear to be giant sized (yet). Now the important thing we need to do is decide on a name. The conversation comes up occasionally with an “oh yeah, we better decide on a name…” and then we don’t get much farther than that. Don’t worry, this poor baby will not be nameless. We eventually will come up with one we both agree on. (Yes we know the gender. No I’m not sharing it here. But ask me privately and I’ll tell you)

For now, just counting down the weeks and days until I am no longer pregnant. Looking forward to September.


P.S. Did you know that Mama In the Deep has a Facebook page and Twitter too? Click on the links and connect with me over there too!

He’s One Year Old!

The year passed by in the blink of an eye. Seems like his birth was just yesterday. Now he is one year old and amazing us with his abilities every day.

My baby is now officially a toddler.

 n-1-birthday

Happy Birthday Little Man! We love you so much!

So, This is Happening…

babe#3_8wks

Surprise!  There’s a baby in there!

As the above picture shows, a pleasant surprise and new blessing is on the way in our household. In late September, will are expecting our third (and last) baby. This ultrasound was from last week, where we saw our tiny little bean with the heart beating away. So things are looking good so far.

We told our families on valentines (go on below to see the video), and of course we told the boys. Well, Nathan is obviously not old enough to understand, so we told Joey. Joey’s reaction at first was a little upset, and he asked “Well, what about Natey?!?” As if we were going to replace him. Once we reassured him that Nathan was not going anywhere, he started taking to the idea. So Joey is excited about his new little brother or little sister on the way. I ask him which he prefers, and it changes daily. Sometimes sister, sometimes another brother.

So yep. This is happening. Baby #3 is on its way.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa, Define "Naughty"

A certain 3 1/2 year old boy has been really pushing the limits of “nice” this holiday season. It is still up in the air whether Santa will be leaving anything beyond coal. We shall see.

But really, it is hard to be mad at that little face for too long.

7 Months Old – I Blinked And It’s October

My little guy turned 7 months old just a few weeks ago. March 1st seems like yesterday and suddenly my Nathan is 7 months old! He’s the second baby, so it all seems to go much faster this time around. And he also seems to be growing and hitting milestones at a faster pace than his older brother. He amazes us every day.

A few milestones:

We have teeth! Just before his 7 month birthday his bottom two teeth arrived and boy did he let us know. It shocked the hell out of me when I first saw them since I wasn’t expecting them this early (his older brother didn’t have any teeth until his 1st birthday). Within this past week, his top teeth just started popping through. He has not been the happiest guy lately obviously because of it. Teething sucks.

On the mobility front, he crawls and cruises! Nathan started the army crawl back at 5 1/2 months and there has been no stopping him since. This week he has mastered the “normal” crawl on all fours. And now, he’s pulling himself up on EVERYTHING and cruising! At 7 months?? I was not quite ready for it this early. He will be walking by Christmas. Lord help me.

Nathan is my emotional little man where he seems exist one one of two extremes, super happy and super pissed off.  When he is happy, he has the brightest smile and the loudest, cutest belly laugh.  He loves to be tickled, to crawl around cruise and play with his favorite person in the world, his big brother. He laughs and smiles all the while. But oh the woe when he is unhappy. When he screams cries, it is is with force and volume. He is a sensitive little one. Bump his head with as much as a feather, and oh the drama! And don’t you dare take away from him that cool trinket he is not supposed to have (you know, tiny little choking hazards big brother seems to leave everywhere). And don’t, by any means, put him down to sleep. Just don’t even think about it.

Likes:

  • Oatmeal mixed with bananas, apples, pears, or any other fruit
  • Sweet potatoes
  • His big brother
  • Toy laptop that plays music
  • Remote controls and phones to play with
  • Chewing on fingers
  • Standing up

Dislikes:

  • Sleeping in crib
  • Napping for more than 20 minutes
  • Sleeping alone
  • Falling down
  • Being penned-in in the crib pack ‘n play or “baby jail”
  • Teething