Thursday, November 7, 2013

That's My Girl! (kind of)

*Disclaimer: I am totally, 100% stealing this idea from Lacey over at Life of Lacey.*

99% of people who look at A or her pictures say (with good reason), "She looks just like her daddy!" The handful who tell me she looks like me? Well, they've likely never seen her dad. I have scrounged up a few pictures from when I was young where there is kindasortamaybe a slight resemblance. But there is no mistaking she is my husband's daughter.

When it comes to her personality, though, a bit of her mama peeks through. She seems to be a good combination of both of us - which I suppose is good and bad, depending on the trait!

Amelia is, and has always been, a pretty good eater. While she has recently learned she has choices and chooses to exercise them (she requests cheese and "squeezie pouch!" countless times a day), there are very few foods she refuses to touch. Actually, none come to mind. For awhile she wouldn't touch potatoes in any form (I could live on potatoes) but she will happily try just about anything - spicy, squishy, crunchy, cold - you name it, she'll eat it.

My husband is a foodie and is the cook in our house. I wouldn't even cut up a raw tomato or raw chicken until about five years ago, and mushrooms are my kryptonite.
Daddy - 1, Mommy - 0

My kiddo is super shy when meeting people for the first time, or even when interacting with family members she doesn't see often. She's pretty obvious about it too - avoids all eye contact, turns her head, buries it in mom or dad's shoulder, hides behind your legs. She spent her first week or more at her new daycare crying/being held by the teacher (I did the exact same thing when I was in preschool, only I imagine it was harder for the teachers to hold a four-year-old on their lap...). My hubby is still kind of shy and doesn't like new/different situations. So I'll call this one even.

However, I have overcome the shyness thing as I've gotten older. And I love being out and about whenever possible. Amelia, once she gets over her initial discomfort, is quite the silly social butterfly. And she has always enjoyed getting out of the house for a change of scenery. I'm with her on that one, and hoping for a future shopping buddy.
Daddy - 1, Mommy - 1

We've said it since she was young - she's got "a Miller head." Meaning she is tough and bulldozes through/over/around anything in her way. When she falls down or bumps her noggin she often doesn't even cry. She is physical in every way. My mom has told me several times, "You thought you would have a boy - I think you got one anyway." My husband and his brothers played football and have more scars and old injuries than I can count.
Daddy - 2, Mommy - 1
(note purple mark on her forehead where she ran into... who knows what)

I think I have a pretty imaginative girl. She's at that great stage where she loves to pretend, whether it's taking care of her babies, cooking/serving food from her play kitchen, or singing silly songs. She loves to read books, and has quickly picked up on numbers, shapes, and colors. (Bragging point - her teacher said she is the only one in their room who knows most of her colors.) My husband was not the scholarly type. And he once told me, "I don't think I've ever read a whole book in my entire life." (As I had a family friend who used to call me "Bookworm" because I was always reading, this statement prompted me to ask, "Do you ever wonder how we're even together?!")
Daddy -2, Mommy - 2

Since we're even at this point, I think I'm going to stop while I'm potentially ahead (we're not counting that she looks just like him in these totals, right? Good.) There are plenty of other ways I think she takes after each of us, from sleeping with her elephant and blankie (still have mine!) to her quick temper/frustration (all Daddy! Ok well...maybe some of me too). I love seeing her personality develop, and I always wonder what the future will bring. Hopefully a good mix of both of us!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Q&A with yours truly

I'm stealing these questions from a blog by a wonderful mama I know in real life. Because I have yet to link my "online world" and my "real life world," I'm not going to provide the direct link to her blog. But she is the mother of a little boy with autism and a sweet little girl, and she writes wonderfully about that and many other things. Let me know if you'd like her info!

1. what is something that people assume about you? is it true?
Hmm... I think people sometimes assume that I've got it all together. That I know what I'm doing. The truth is I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants most days, and I end many of them wishing for a do-over. I struggle with indecisiveness and anxiety about everything from Halloween costumes to finances to having a second child. It usually isn't reflected on the outside IRL, but it is there for sure.
2. if happiness were the national currency, which kind of work would make you rich?
 I have always wanted to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher. I would also love to somehow write for a living.
3. do you remember that time last year when you were really, really upset? does it matter now?
Yes. And yes, it does. Maybe not as much as it did at the time, but it's something that has helped me learn to stick to my convictions and trust my instincts.
4. if you could offer a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?
Sleep!!! But get all the snuggles in you can. Adulthood doesn't come with enough hugs.
5. what is something interesting that you know now that you didn't when you were 16? 21?
OH, the things I didn't know then! I'm not sure I even know where to begin. Here are a couple of things I would like my former self to know.
At 16 - All of that high school stuff doesn't matter. The friends, the enemies, the boys - all that matters in the end is you, because you're stuck with yourself for the rest of your life. So make the most of that time!
At 21 - Your fate isn't sealed the moment you get your college diploma. Live life and experience it. There's no rush for the next stage(s) of your life to begin.
6. were your parents right?
Yup. Pretty much! Though I never really argued with them too much.

Monday, August 26, 2013

2 Year Letter to Amelia

Dear Amelia,

All of those parents who told me, "Time flies," who I didn't believe when we were in the thick of the tough stuff in your first year, the days that seemed never ending... oh sweet girl. They were right. You - my BABY - are TWO. Or as you have been telling everyone who asks, "twos." I love you more than I could ever put into words and have so enjoyed watching you grow over the past year, from baby to toddler. I look at your pictures and can't believe how much you have changed in such a seemingly short time.

What's going on in your life right now? We spent our first summer together of mommy being off work. You started to learn how to swim (on your own terms, just like everything else in life!). You fearlessly climbed the biggest slides at the playground and slid down. You wanted to see the elephants at the zoo (just like "ell-int" you sleep with). You decided you needed a cup of water in your crib every night, which made mommy feel like you were a bit too grown up. Just before you started your new "school" when mommy went back to work, you finally stopped taking bottles. You've had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to your new school, but you're working on it. I know despite your big personality and fearless ways, you are a lot like your mama was when I was young - shy and unsure of new people and places.

You love playing with dolls - feeding them, holding them, tucking them in for "night night". Playing pretend is a big activitiy these days. You love "tiddy tats". You call cows "moos" and chips "blips." Speaking of which, you are more into "nacks" than eating meals, but you are still a great eater who loves cheese and fruit and always want a bite of anything mommy and daddy are eating. Your two year molars - the last of your baby teeth - are just barely starting to peek through, and sometimes you still wake up a time or two at night, here and there. At your two-year check up we learned you grew four inches in the past six months! You're now 29 lbs 3 oz, and 34.5 inches tall.

You love to sing "The Wheels on the Bus," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and often do so into your microphone. You can sing your ABCs and count to 13, and we're working on colors and shapes. You love to watch "Buppies" (Bubble Guppies), play with guitars, and read books. 

It is so hard for me to capture in a few paragraphs all of the ways you light up our lives - all of the amazing new things you learn and do every single day. We love you so much, munchkinpants. Happy Twos-day!


Friday, August 9, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Long time no post, bloggy friends. I apologize. I wasn't on the computer at all this summer, and Blogger has decided it hates me. There were no blogs showing in my reader feed until now, so I'm sorry I haven't caught up with you all - on to that soon!

My summer break started in mid-June, and I returned to work this past Monday. It's been an adjustment for sure - getting up early, A starting a new daycare (there have been tears but she seems to be adjusting - maybe more on that later), and remembering what it's like to only have a few hours a day for munchkin time, me time, the hubby, and anything else I need to cram into my day.

But back to summer vacation - here's what's been going on with me for the past two months or so:

Family Time/Party Time
We enjoyed spending time with my cousin from Arizona, Fourth of July with family in from Florida and Georgia, went to my cousin's daughter's 4th birthday party, another friend's son's first birthday party, a baby shower for an amazing friend expecting her rainbow baby, celebrated my dad's birthday, had lots of cookouts, and ended the summer at a wedding for a family friend (see bottom right selfie).
Fun Stuff
We tried out story time at the library - epic fail. A was the oldest in her class and just wasn't having it. She spent more time trying to run out of the room than listening to stories or participating in songs. Pulling all the books off the shelf was another fun activity there.
Mommy and Me swim lessons lasted for two solid weeks, during the chilliest part of summer. We had a couple of rough days, and far be it from my child to actually follow what the instructors wanted her to do (kick board? No way!) but by the end she was really swimming!
(YouTube also hates me and won't let me embed a video.
She really gets going around the 50 second mark.)
We also took trips to a local dairy farm with animals and awesome ice cream, the zoo (first carousel ride!), and the fair. There were numerous trips to the park and school playground near our house. Oh, and she saw her first theater movie. Monsters University - she did surprising well for the first hour, and then got a little squirmy (and kept shouting, "Oh no!" when things happened). There were also a few playdates, morning walks, and of course, some lazy time lounging around the house.
And speaking of "Fun Stuff," Mama got a girls' night to herself to go see Fun. as well - outdoors on one of the hottest days of summe - shew! 
Though I am obviously sad our summer has ended, I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this time with A. I can't believe how much she is growing and changing and becoming far more toddler than baby. I'm already looking forward to next summer. Next up - my baby is turning TWO two weeks from today! I've been planning her "Tea for Two" party for awhile and will be sure to share more after the party. I'll also tell you about all of the awesome stuff she's up to in her 2 year letter.
If you want to see more of what's going on with us, I'm participating in the August #fmsphotoaday challenge on Instagram - sem513.
And, as it turns out, I just saw this is my 100th blog post. I feel like that deserves some sort of celebration, but alas, I have no cake!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Unexpected

I've read a lot of those blog posts in recent months - the ones that appear in my Facebook feed, telling me it's ok to be an imperfect mom. And I appreciate that in an age of pressure from Pinterest and supermom Facebook posts and the like, the truth about motherhood is being shared. A post I read today got me thinking about those moments - the ones you can never expect. The ones that I was sure would never happen to (or be) me. My munchkin is approaching her second birthday, and while I love her more than anything, it has not been an easy journey to get to where we are. Forget "What to Expect When You're Expecting" - this is my "What You Couldn't Expect When You Were Expecting" list. The hard truth. Because as it turns out, I didn't know...

...what colic was until Miss A spent hour after hour, day after day, month after month screaming and crying. That our first night at home wouldn't be picturesque and full of snuggles. That instead it would be full of screaming (her) and sobbing (me). I didn't know the frustration or helplessness or desperation I would feel, to the point where I dreamed about running away from home for a few hours or even a few days.

...that I would be so exhausted during the middle of the night wakeups and feedings that I would fall asleep with her on my chest, only to wake up panicked hours later, afraid I had dropped or smothered her. That I would feel so lonely and helpless at 2am (and 3...and 5...) that I would cry while she cried. And sometimes before I even went to bed for the night, knowing what was coming.

...that I would come to greatly dislike breastfeeding because it further isolated me (having to go into another room to feed her around male family members) and because I was the only one who could feed her (no time to pump when you have to hold your child 20 hours a day, lest the crying started again). That despite that dislike, I would feel immense guilt and sadness when I decided to quit.

...that physically my child would not be perfect. From jaundice at day 1, to reflux/swallowing/dairy issues, to urinary tract infections starting at 4 months, to majorly bowed legs that continue to cause her fall more than other toddlers. It seemed there was something every week, every month. The doctor's appointments, the tests, the hospital visits...I have driven the 45 minute trips alone with my baby, entertained her in countless waiting rooms, and been emotionally exhausted more times than I care to remember.

...that it would take until she was 20 months old for her to consistently sleep through the night, to be able to soothe herself, to be able to be laid down in her crib still awake. That it would have been two years since I had slept for 7+ hours at a stretch for more than a week at a time.

...that I would struggle with the guilt of working full-time - longing to stay at home with her, wanting to make our time together count, but feeling so tired or consumed by chores when I got home that she would spend a bit too much time watching tv or playing without me.

...that I would be so fiercely protective of her, her schedule, her routines that it would be hard for me to let anyone else care for her. Even her own dad.

...that despite all of our struggles, I would be amazed every single day watching her grow. That waiting 19 months for her to call me mama would make it that much sweeter to hear. That I would get so much joy when she learned a new word or phrase. That seeing her sweet face in the mornings accompanied by her tiny, excited "hi!" would erase the cloud of the previous day's shortcomings on my part.

I could never, ever have known or expected the way things would go. I can't be sappy and say I wouldn't change a thing. But this journey of munchkin and mama is uniquely ours, and at least I can say it has never been dull or predictable!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Breathe in, breathe out

Breathing. You know, it's pretty important. But it's been hard to catch a break or a breath for the past couple of months around our house.

Sleep. Also important. Also MIA in our house for about the past two months. First it was Amelia's canine teeth. Oh. Em. Gee. Everyone talks about the molars, but the more I hear from other mamas, the more I learn the eye teeth are the ones that really get you. Amelia was waking up at least once a night, every night. Often twice. We eventually had to start putting her in bed with us because she wouldn't go back to sleep, which meant none of us were getting any sleep.

Then came the urinary tract infection. #4. I'll admit I was hoping her urinary reflux was gone. That she had magically outgrown it. It had been several months since she had an infection, and we were postponing a repeat of her VCUG until she turns two so she can be sedated. She got a high fever (104-105) out of nowhere, so obviously I called the pediatrician. We had to subject her to the catheter again (I hate, hate, HATE it). And the cultures came back positive, of course. She was so sick for the better part of a week. She didn't even touch her toys and wanted nothing but to snuggle on the couch and watch Dora and Bubble Guppies. And to sleep in bed with us. So ten days of antibiotics later, we have upped the dose of her regular prophylactic antibiotic to hopefully keep the infections at bay.

Add to all of this that I am beyond busy at work and gearing up for a week off for spring break (awesome, but I have SO much work to do!), and I was operating on very little sleep for a very long time, and I was one tired mama. I had forgotten how awful sleep deprivation is, and how much it affects every aspect of life.

However, on the positive side, my awesome munchkin is talking more every day. She has added some phrases to her repetoire ("Aw man! - like Swiper from Dora, used in context, and recently, "I don't know," which sounds like, "Don doe!" when you ask her something like, "Amelia, where are your socks?" This is accompanied by a very serious, concerned expression and she will then help you look for the objects in question.) She loves to brush her "deeth!" Last night there was a cow in a commercial and she mooed at the tv.

We started Mommy & Me gymnastics on Saturday mornings. The first two classes didn't go so well, but I know she wasn't feeling well. At the third, I realized the key to her cooperation is making sure she gets a bottle beforehand (still can't break away from those damn bottles 2-3 times a day). She loved forward rolls and I couldn't get her off the trampoline.
Ready for the 2028 Olympics

I'm very much looking forward to six weeks off this summer to spend time with her and go on fun outings. (If summer ever gets here, that is. We had our 5th snow day for my school district yesterday. Yup, on March 25. I am so over winter.) I'll leave you with a couple more pics of my sweet, silly girl.

At her cousin's fairy princess party.

Amelia stew for dinner! ("Cheese!" she said. Then, "Tuck!)
" 'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable/And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table/ No one can find the rewind button, girl/So cradle your head in your hands/And breathe... just breathe..."
-Anna Nalick

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dear Amelia - 18 months

Dear Amelia,

In a few days you will offically be 18 months old. One and a half. I like "18 months" better because it sounds like you are still my baby and not on your way to being a big girl. Yesterday you had your 18 month check-up, and you were just over 26 lbs (75th percentile) and just over 30 inches tall (25th percentile). Which isn't surprising because you love to eat! I can't think of many things you have tried and spit out. You like everything (and I'm sure I just jinxed that). You have two more pesky canine teeth coming through that have been messing with your sleep lately, but hopefully that will pass soon.

Every day with you is an adventure. You love to climb and run and stand on things you shouldn't (toys, chairs, people...) - it's hard to catch a picture of you these days because you rarely sit still. And you're tough. You tend to trip a lot but even if you hit your head on something you jump right back up with minimal crying. (We got your legs checked out recently since they are bowed, which causes a lot of your falls, but the doctors said you'll outgrow that.)

You love books, and your favorite is "Sam Sheep Can't Sleep." We have been known to read it five times a day. You don't necessarily talk as much as some other kids your age that we know, but you are getting there. You reguarly say "Nain!" for thank you. You also love "teeees!" (cheese - saying it and eating it). Last weekend when you crashed in bed with Daddy and me, you woke me up by saying, "Mah-mee! Mah-mee!" for the first time ever! I was so happy. (Before, Daddy and I were both "Da".) You also said "ball" and "block" in context this weekend. You can point out your toes, ears, nose, mouth, and eyes - the only one you say is "eyes", but you can find them when we ask. You say "two" when we're counting, and sometimes "six." You say, "feess!" for fish, and some of your other words include keys, go, tree, and light. Even though you don't say them every day, you know what they mean.

Your favorite phrase right now is, "Oh no!" with a very concerned, dramatic look on your face. And my dear, you are nothing if not dramatic! Your facial expressions are so over the top. You are always making us laugh.
Cheese face

Excited Valentine's face - OMG, a card!
Kiddo, it's really hard to sum up how amazing your are. It's so much fun to watch you learn and explore. You are ornery and keep us on our toes, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Saying hi to a baby goat

We love you so much, munchkin pants. I can't believe you're on your way to two years old. Slow down!

Love always,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just stopping by

I have been neglecting my blogly duties as of late, I know. I intended to post Christmas pics, have a half-written New Year's post, and yet none of them have found their way to blog land. So my humble apologies.

I have also toyed with the idea of getting rid of/hiding/migrating some of my old TTC posts and sharing this blog with friends and family in the "real world", but that sounds time consuming and time is not something I have massive quantities of lately.

In general, things are good. I started 2013 feeling hopeful about this year for our family, in a vaguely optimistic way I can't quite explain. Amelia is 17 months old now, and amazing and fun (I'll post more specifics later!). I am loving mommyhood these days.

Will you accept a pic of my cutie pie to placate you until I come back with something of substance? Here's my munchkin enjoying the snow in our back yard last weekend, which was a far more successful excursion than our first attempt, where she screamed and cried hysterically and said, "Nooooo!" over and over. I get it. Mama doesn't like winter either!