Thursday, March 26, 2015

Trying Harder

Last week I was on a luxurious vacation.  A vacation where I stayed at home but my parents were visiting as well as my brother and sister-in-law.

 For a stay-at-home mom, this is the greatest gift.  Four extra sets of hands to entertain Orelia, hold Bennett, make dinner, fold laundry, and do dishes.  It was so relaxing and fun.

The party's over and all our extra hands are gone.  It's just me and the two kids this week (until John gets home), and both Bennett and Orelia are feeling the effects.

The past two days have been parenting lows for me - days filled with raised voices, threats of punishment, eye rolling, and general disappointment for everyone.

Orelia has been on her worst behavior, no doubt triggered by my lack of patience and understanding as well as her disappointment by not receiving the same attention she received last week.

Last week was amazing.  Bennett got lots of cuddles from Uncle David and Orelia spent countless hours doing her Goodnight Moon puzzle with Aunt Kathi.  Orelia read books with Grandpa and Bennett went for walks with Noni.

This week has been rocky.  Instead of making sarcastic "mother of the year" jokes like I might on another occasion, I am owning up to a bad couple of days, and I vow to try harder tomorrow.  Rather than sighing when Orelia asked to be picked up, I will be grateful she wants me to hold her.  And when she is disobeying me, I will try to redirect her to another activity without taking her actions as a personal affront.  My back will be sore from holding Bennett while bending over to pick up markers dropped and to velcro shoes into place.  It takes a lot of work to hold your tongue when you're angry and to enthusiastically play when you're exhausted, but tomorrow I will try harder because my kids deserve more than what I've been giving them.  I'm grateful that I have tomorrow with them to try harder.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Baby Yogi

I love this age.

No toy is better than his own feet.

He grabs them constantly and seems thrilled to find they are still there day after day.

Trust me, son, I'm thrilled too.

I don't remember ever really taking pictures of Orelia in the "happy baby" yoga pose, so I made sure to get some of Bennett before he loses interest.

So here's to Bennett and celebrating simple pleasures in life.

My simplest pleasure is just being around my happy guy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sing Sweet Nightingale

Orelia is obsessed with the original Disney Cinderella movie, and the other day was inspired to wash the floor with "a bucket and lots of soap and water."

She wanted me to sing the song Cinderella sings while washing the floor, so after a quick YouTube search, we were quietly doing a rendition of "Sing Sweet Nightingale" while Bennett napped.

I, naturally, followed my little Cinderella around with a dry towel to clean up her soapy mess.

Of all her made up games, I definitely am a fan of this wholesome fun.

Other Cinderella play often involves the fanciest ball gowns we can find.

This one was on loan from Gemma and Orelia put it on every chance she got.

Her favorite part is to have us scream after her "Wait!  Come back!  I don't even know your name!"

Now she has a penchant for calling out as I leave the room for nap time, "Wait!  Come back, Mommy!  I don't even know your name!"

And we both laugh.

We took Orelia to see the new adaptation of Cinderella, even though I mostly knew it wasn't great for her age.

She squirmed through the previews asking "Where is Cinderella?"

She squirmed through the introductory scenes, not interested in Cinderella's past.

But in the end, she said she had a good time and wanted to "do that again."  We shared a nice cuddle on thick leather recliner seats during most of the movie, and everyone had fun.

When asked what her favorite part of the movie was, however, she thought for a moment and said "Snow monster!"  The snow monster from Frozen made a ten second appearance in the Frozen short before Cinderella.  Sigh.

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Sunshine

He is my sunshine.

My only sunshine.

He makes me happy when skies are grey.

He'll never know how much I love him.

So please don't take my sunshine away.

I just can't get enough of Bennett at six months.

He is such a delight to be around and makes me and Orelia so happy.  I know how lucky I am to have a daughter that (at least for the moment) adores her baby brother as much as Mama adores him.

Until he was here, I never would have realized that adding a new child to the family would just brighten up everyone's days.  We love his sunshine smile and his bright personality.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bennett at Six Months

 Our sweet guy is now half a year old, and I can't believe how fast time is flying by.

 He weighed in at 16 pounds, 14.25 oz. (37th percentile) and measured 26.75 inches (55th percentile).  The doctor was pleased with how he's growing and she loved all the smiles and attention he gave her.

 Poor Bennett has been battling his first real cold (more than just sniffles) for over a week now.  He's losing a bit of sleep about it and coughing all day, but still pretty cheerful.

 At the doctor's office Bennett surprised me by sitting up unassisted for the longest time ever.  He was motivated by staring at his beautiful reflection in the mirror.  My little narcissist.

 He still hasn't found any solids he likes and so I've been too lazy to really bother forcing the issue.  We are starting again in ernest now and need to figure out what will get him interested enough to swallow something.  He might just not be a puree kid.

 He takes 8 oz. bottles when offered and nurses 5 times per day so at least the milk thing works for him.

 B is still on three naps each day, with the longest one in the middle.  Our beloved swing broke (after maybe 500 hours of use), so he's learning how to take that long nap without his swing.

It's great that Bennett is at the age he can be distracted out of crankiness by going outside or with a toy.  Life is made easier and he is happier.

 Of course the paci is always the best distraction and we use it on and off all day.

He still loves going for walks in the Bjorn or stroller, and especially enjoys with Orelia rides along in the stroller to entertain him.

 Orelia is definitely his most entertaining family member.  He loves watching her do anything and is always cracking up over her antics or general hugging of him.

 Harper is getting more fun to watch these days too, apparently.  It's like he finally noticed the brown furry family member walking around.

 Bennett's rolling is more controlled and he doesn't get "stuck" on his tummy anymore.  He hasn't used rolling as a true form of transportation yet, so he doesn't get too far off his play mat just yet.

Everyone who knows Bennett greets him with a smile and awaits their smile in return.  His gummy smiles are just about the best thing in the world.

We are loving this little six month-old to pieces!