Hello October. :)
It’s been an insanely busy day. Monday has become the day where I shove a week’s worth of cleaning and chores into a few hours so it’s out of the way. Today was meal planning for the week and grocery shopping, then I cleaned the downstairs bathroom, vacuumed and washed the floors on my entire main floor, did laundry, washed all my cupboards and disinfected and cleaned every surface area in my living room.
I just finished making lunches and cleaning the kitchen, and I just have backpacks to pack and one more bathroom to clean before I call it a night. I’m tired, but for just a few minutes every Monday night, my house is clean, all at the same time. It’s so lovely and I bask in it while I lay comatose on the couch, wishing I had the energy to get into bed.
My brain is mush and I’m tired, but I overheard a conversation between S & H that I have to record before I forget it. They were arguing over some game they were playing in the living room, and as S was trying to control how the game was played, she somehow hurt H’s feelings. My sweet H is very sensitive and I heard him start to cry. I was in the kitchen, and S must have known that if I heard H crying I’d come in and interrupt (or possibly stop) the game she wanted to play. (It had something to do with tea cups and a blanket over the piano bench.) Not wanting to get in trouble, she immediately began trying to calm him down and console him. I hid around the corner and listened as she comforted him, then tried to get him back on her side. After telling him she was sorry and that everything was okay, she asked him a question, obviously expecting that her name would be the answer.
S: “H. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay! I’m sorry. Come on. Who loves you best?”
Without skipping a beat, H answered emphatically,
My heart grew three sizes in that minute, and while I desperately wanted to go smother him with a hug, I also didn’t want to interrupt the reconciliation between them. (I got my hug in later.) I often have days where I question everything and feel like I am am doing a terrible job at this parenting thing. It’s hard, exhausting and it’s so easy to doubt yourself when it seems like everyone else does it better. I’m getting better at not comparing myself to others, but it’s often hard to know if you’re doing all you can to raise your children well. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry about it sometimes… I think we all do. But in that moment, hearing H say that without any hesitation or doubt, I knew that I was doing at least one thing right. He knows he is loved… and if he is secure in that, then maybe we’re doing an okay job after all.
I need to have a bit of a proud mama moment.
We’ve been gently preparing H for kindergarten for several months now. He starts JK in September, and has been very anxious about it. We did the Intro to Kindergarten night, brought him to as many school functions as we could, introduced him to S’s friends, and talk about how fun it will be. At the end of last year, S’s amazing teachers even let him come into the classroom with her at the end of every school day to see the room, her cubby, the tables, etc. He was very tentative about going in the class with her, but would go as long as she would hold his hand.
Even then, sometimes it was too scary and he wouldn’t go in.
His anxiety over going to school has played a big part in my decision process about what to do about my job in September. I knew that if I went back full-time I’d miss his first day of school, and I want to be there for him.
To help him prepare for school, we enrolled him in a week long summer day camp. S went to the same camp for the last two years and loved it, and we hoped it would help H see that school isn’t scary. It’s every morning for three hours, and the kids take their backpacks, lunch bags, etc just like you would for school. They do crafts, sing songs, play games and read stories, and it’s sort of like a mini preview of a school day.
It’s super fun, but it’s also the first program that he’s ever done totally on his own.
We’ve been taking him on excursions to purchase all his school supplies, and he’s now all decked out with Batman shoes, a spiderman thermos and a Lightning McQueen backpack and lunch bag. We’ve been talking to him about camp for a week or two now so that he wouldn’t be surprised, and while he’s been very excited about his new stuff, he hasn’t said much about camp.
The first morning of camp, I loaded all the kids in the car and prepared for battle. I fully expected his tears to start before we left the house, but he was very calm. He donned his shiny new backpack and jumped in the van.
We got to the community center where his camp is, loaded P in the stroller and and walked in. We were a few minutes early so we had to wait outside the door for the room to open. H was SO calm. I was trying not to make a big deal about it, but inside I was freaking out. This is my child who is highly sensitive and nervous, and he was walking around like he owned the place.
A few other kids came to wait with their parents, and instead of hiding behind my legs like usual, he looked at them square in the eye and said, “Hi, I’m H. What’s your name? I like your shirt.”
When the door opened, he gave me a hug and just walked right in, like he’s done it every day of his life. That’s it. No tears, no clinging to me, no fear… nothing. He has been SO brave all week long, and I have been absolutely bursting with pride. I know it seems like such a small thing, but this has been a huge hurdle for my little H, who suddenly seems very big.
Yesterday was his second last day of camp, and as we drove home he asked,
H: “Mom, after camp is done, is it time for school?”
Me: “Yes sweetheart, but it’s not yet. You still have lots of home days left.”
H: “…Aww. I want to go to school now.”
I’m not sure how this happened, but my small boy suddenly found his courage and is finally excited for school. I’m sure we’ll still have some hurdles to jump come September, but this week has been such a balm for a worried mama’s heart.
My little H is growing up. <3
Oh, hi November.
I can’t quite believe that it’s actually NOVEMBER, but here we are–the month before Christmas. Or, the month before the Christmas month.
I feel like a lot has happened in the last few days. Hank is still not sleeping terribly well, but I feel like things are getting a bit better. He was waking almost every hour, but his stretches are beginning to lengthen out a little more, and I’m actually making it into my own bed… at least for part of the night. Progress!
I’ve also had some success getting him to eat in the last two days. I’ve been giving the baby led weaning thing a go over the last two weeks, and he seems to really enjoy feeding himself. He hasn’t actually been ingesting much, but it’s a huge leap forward from his refusing to let anything near his mouth. It had been a few weeks since I tried feeding him anything from a spoon, so on a whim last night I gave it a go… and he ate a third of a jar of baby food. I thought it may have been a fluke, so I tried it again tonight… and he ate again. It’s a Christmas miracle! I am SO hoping that we are on the road to solids. My big boy has been nursing exclusively until now, and mama is ready for a break. :)
This was technically Ruby’s third Hallowe’en, but it was the first year that we took her out trick or treating. She was the cutest little lamb that there ever was, and she loved ringing doorbells and calling out “Trick or Treat!” at every house.
I ran my third race with my brother and a friend, and while I didn’t quite get the time that I wanted, it was still my best official race time yet. Also, Doodle ran the 10km race and came 8th (!!) overall. He is unreal… so proud of him!
I really struggled with my running throughout most of October. I feel like I lost my guiding hand when I finished my c25k program, and I wasn’t progressing the way I felt I should be. The lack of sleep I’ve had, combined with some hip / pelvic issues I’m still working on from my labor with Hank has really pushed my motivation to an all-time low since I started running.
In a word, I’ve felt really discouraged… and this really bothered me as I have come to love running. I really look forward to it every day.
Last week was probably my worst week, and I realized that if I wanted things to change, then I needed to change them. I found a free little coaching app, and I decided to give it a go today. I punched in my long-term goals, and it set a very easy, slow pace for me to run. As you run it kicks in and tells you to slow down or speed up if you move outside the pace it has set for you. I almost shut it off after I started because it felt SO slow, but as the kilometers stretched out one after the other, I realized that I was running easily, breathing freely and I had no hip discomfort. It was the first run in a long time that just felt so… good. I easily ran four kilometers and I only stopped because my “session” for today ended.
I so needed that today. And thank goodness it was such a lovely run, as it was interrupted by a not-so-lovely experience.
I run several different routes through my neighborhood, and people often wave or call out a greeting as I run past. As I was coming off a pathway today, I noticed a man sitting on a bench nearby. I could see that he was trying to speak to me, so I pulled my headphone off as I ran past. He smiled and called out, “Well, someone is getting a work out, eh?” I laughed a little, nodded and moved to put my music back on. Just as I was about to put my headphone back in my ear, I heard him sneer:
“Looks like you still need to work out a bit more!”
He continued trying to yell something else after I had my music back on, and it took me a minute to really understand what he was saying to me.
A few weeks ago, this would have really bothered me. Here was this man I didn’t know, blatantly yelling in public that I’m fat as I’m trying to run. But guess what? I already know that I’m a little overweight and that my body isn’t perfect. I know I’m not the fastest runner out there, and I may look silly to someone more experienced.
But I also know that the road to getting myself healthy again is a marathon, not a sprint. Just two months ago I was in a very different place, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
And hey–he was the one with his bum glued to a bench, not me. So that’s something. :)
I honestly don’t even know where June went. I feel like it was the end of May then all of a sudden I blinked and it’s July 8th. It was a jam-packed month full of loveliness–here’s a few of the highlights!
I began the month with a momentous occasion: I went out by myself for the first time since Hank was born. My hair has been falling out like crazy, so I finally booked a hair appointment and chopped off five inches in length and about five pounds in weight. Hank and I have been attached at the hip since he was born and he wasn’t terribly happy that I left, but it was so nice to have two whole hours by myself.
The head massage was pretty nice too. :)
The rest of the month was a blur of play dates, birthday parties and visiting with friends. It seemed like we had something on every other day, and while my poor chore chart sat neglected, Ruby’s social life thrived. My little bean loves to be around other kids, and I feel bad that most of the time she is stuck hanging out with me!
She is growing and changing faster than my heart can handle. She has lost all her toddler rolls and is now a tall, beautiful little girl. She is so smart, funny, independent and determined–and we’ve learned that she definitely has a temper to match her red hair. June brought us a wave of defiance that had us pulling our hair out for a while, but she seems to have calmed down and will do just about anything to avoid a time-out. Her vocabulary is the best part–every day she comes out with some new word or phrase that I have no idea how she learned. While she definitely lets you know when she wants something, her manners are wonderful and I’m so proud of her!
Today was Hank’s four month check-up, and our “little” boy weighed in at 20lbs 4.5oz. I’m not going to lie–I’ve been a little concerned about his size because he’s just so much bigger than Ruby ever was. He’s perfectly proportioned, but he’s just… big. I spoke to my doctor about it, but she had no concerns. He’s totally healthy and all his measurements are on the same curve (above 95th percentile) and she just thinks that Hank is going to be a tall, strapping young lad.
Hank has the sweetest little personality and is almost always ready with a smile. In the last four weeks he learned how to roll over (both front to back and back to front) and he surprised me with his first word: “mum”. He’s not much of a napper during the day, but he sleeps pretty well through the night so I can’t complain. :)
June also brought my 29th birthday, and a visit from the Hubster’s mom! We were so happy to have her stay with us, and we spent a wonderful week together. Ruby is still asking, “Where’s Grandma?” The Hubster took a week of holidays, and we took a trip out to Center Island, went shopping, visited with family, ate too much and probably slept too little… but it was so worth it. We’re already looking forward to her next visit!
And now here we are in July, and I’ve somehow gone nearly five weeks without writing again. I’m still not entirely sure how to fit this into my new life as a momma of two, but after reflecting seriously on the future of my little blog (more on this soon) I’m still not ready to give it up completely. I’ll figure it all out somehow.