It’s Been Awhile

As many of you know, I’ve been pretty busy for quite awhile.  Having two babies in two years will take a lot out of a lady.  For those that are unaware, Zelda Mae Marguerite was born on August 11 and our lives have been hectic for awhile.

Little Miss Bliss has had reflux issues and currently we are battling eczema all over her face, legs, and arms.  She is crazy happy and smiley despite this, however.  When you kiss her, she closes her eyes as though she is savoring your affections, and she smells amazing, so she gets a lot of kisses.

With a second child comes a lot of guilt.  Originally, when I was pregnant, I had assumed all that guilt would be due to Hazel having to share us.  I felt that we hadn’t given her enough time with just us, and that made me a little sad.  However, now we are in the terrible twos at just under twenty months, and I can officially say I’m not regretting having her be a little less spoiled – though whether it’s making a difference or not I cannot say.  No, what I now feel guilty over is that I’m not giving enough one on one attention to Zelda.  She is so small and sweet and any time I leave her alone in a room on her mat or in her swing I feel just awful about it.  I feel like she is just terrified to be alone, though in reality she probably doesn’t even notice.  But it doesn’t change at all how I feel.  I want to hold her all the time like I did with Hazel.  I want to snuggle the shit out of her.  I want her to fall asleep on me and cuddle into me and sleep with me.  Because I also have this toddler I can’t snuggle, cuddle, or sleep with her enough.  I worry about how this will affect her later down the road.

Being a mom is just all worry though in the end I’m sure.  A constant internal struggle that never goes away.

I can say that I am super in love and I am actually really happy they are so close in age.  Zelda is just so… everything.  I can’t wait for everyone to meet her.

In other news, we are getting ready to host the Garrisons for Thanksgiving.  We will also be doing Christmas with them, I’m assuming on black Friday, so I’m scrambling for gift ideas.  I had the perfect gift for Christina but it was extremely exclusive and the items went on sale at 11 AM and by 11:01 AM they were completely sold out.  I was slightly devastated.  And very annoyed.  So now I’m back to square one.  I haven’t gotten any gifts for anyone other than David and Hazel so I need to get on it.  Especially considering David and Hazel’s gifts will be given on actual Christmas so having their gifts early is not really important.

In other-other news, we are all coming home in March to have a birthday party for Hazel and Danny.  Their party will be March 20 and I don’t have any other details at this time, other than I’m hoping to have it in Champaign since it’s a more central location for our extended families and our friends.

Well this is really all I have time for, so adios ahora.

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Philadelphia and Other Things

So for the last week the Garrisons were in Philadelphia visiting the Kranzes.

I obviously had some anxieties about flying with a one year old, who wouldn’t?  Honestly, Hazel always proves to me I need not worry about her.  She did just fine, and was the best child under five on the way there and back, despite being exhausted.  We did buy her her own seat to minimize stress and tantrums, and strapping her in her car seat was probably a life saver in this situation.  We even let her have apple juice for the first time, probably the last time if we’re being honest.  (We don’t do juice, just water and milk.)

It was great to see Erin and Dan and especially Danny, who has changed so much since I saw him about ten months ago.  He is adorable.  He is Hazel’s opposite in most ways, physically and personality-wise.  I enjoyed being able to see what having two babies will be like, which will be hard but also rewarding.

I learned things about Hazel’s personality that I never really noticed before; She’s nice!  She gave Danny kisses and brushed his hair and washed him in the bath with her washcloth.  She liked to be around him, even if she annoyed him with her constant touching and toy taking.  I think she will make a great big sister.  She is also tenacious.  I’ve always known this, but having her around another child really let me know it’s a part of her personality.  She would find a toy and hold onto it all day, and she was determined to climb the stairs repeatedly.  Even with the baby gate over the stairs, she tried climbing over it until she actually nearly injured herself.  She is somewhat shy, but warms up quickly.  She is hilarious, and likes to make everyone laugh.

Midway through our visit, we had professional pictures taken of all of us, and I hope to remember to post the link on here.

We are certainly glad to be home though.  Hazel didn’t sleep well at Erin’s, which means I didn’t sleep well, and we all were looking forward to sleeping in our own beds last night.  Today was nice to be just Hazel and me.  She was very sweet and I think she missed my one on one undivided attention.

Today I’m twenty-two weeks pregnant.  Baby is growing a lot every week.  I’m looking forward to August, though.  I’m not the biggest fan of being pregnant, but I do like the baby in the end.

Hazel’s new room is almost done being painted.  David should be able to work on it more in the next few weeks when he graduates with his MBA.  He will have so much more time, we won’t know what to do with ourselves.  Anyway, once the trim is painted everything else should come together rather quickly.  Once her room is complete, all I’ll really have to get for New Baby is a double stroller, which I already have picked out, we just need to save for it because it’s rather pricey.

Okay, hopefully I’ll post later in the week or next week about the pictures, but for now I must go meet the pizza delivery man or woman.

Thanksgiving

Rather than put some lame status on facebook about what I’m thankful for, I thought I’d take the time to write it out here.

First of all, I’m so thankful that I get to live in a place (south Texas) where it’s 70 degrees in the last few days of November.  Today was beautiful and we enjoyed having our feast with the windows open and the sun shining in.

I’m thankful for my family.  I have this pretty cool husband who would do anything for us, and I love him so much.  I feel so lucky to say I’ve been married to him for over five years, and luckier to say that I think we will have quite a few more ahead of us.  I also have the good fortune of being a mother to the sweetest baby girl I’ve ever met.  She is bright and happy and loving, and so much fun to spend every day with.  We laugh a lot and she lets me give her probably a thousand kisses every day and even gives kisses back sometimes, though they’re quite a lot more slobbery than the ones I give her.

I’m thankful for my sister, whom I can complain to about anything that is annoying and rejoice with when everything is going right.  I never knew how strong she is until this march when our babies were born under completely opposite circumstances, and it makes me love her even more.  I can’t even explain how thankful I am that her baby is here today to celebrate the holidays, and I love him so much even though I’ve only met him once.  He is perfect and healthy.  He has such strength for being such a little guy.

I’m thankful for my best friends.  I love our group texts everyday and I miss you so much.  I look forward to the next time we’ll be together again.

I’m thankful that we have food to eat everyday and a place to live and that we have stability in our lives.  A lot of people don’t have what I have, and I’m grateful for all of this every day.  I am thankful for my dog, Alex, who makes me feel less alone while being a stay at home mom.  He also keeps all my secret musings to himself.

There are a lot of things I’m thankful for this year, and every year, and I am most thankful for good health because this gives me time to enjoy the ride that is life.  I am so thankful I can look forward to the future and take comfort in time itself.

Tradition

While waiting in line at HEB today, I snagged my favorite issue of Real Simple magazine.  I am obsessed with their Christmas issue.  Not only does it give beautiful ideas for decorating, but it has amazing gift ideas and stocking stuffer ideas, which if you’re like me you have trouble with.  Filling that damn stocking is hard!  I now have quite a few gift ideas for various people, but mostly for David and Christina.

Anyway, this had me thinking of traditions.  I wouldn’t say that I have any particular memories of any traditions in my family, but I do have great memories.  It all starts with the tree for me.  My mom made all of these ornaments, as in she painted them or crafted them, and I loved them all.  I remember the mice ones vividly for some reason.  We never had anything super matchy-matchy; our ornaments were just completely random.  We did colored lights and garland.  My mom had this snowy village that she would put out, and all of the houses had a lightbulb inside so it looked like whatever tiny people lived in them were home.  My dad put up a Nativity scene and a train set around the tree.  I loved the train, and would play with it for hours and hours, and sometimes he would even play with me.  Probably he just sat there with that parental fascination, that I now know so well, as he listened to the stories my imagination created.  We opened one gift on Christmas Eve and set out cookies for Santa.  (To this day I even make Pam and George let us open one gift on Christmas Eve.)  Erin and I (and sometimes Syra depending on what day we celebrated together) would open our presents in our pajamas looking all crappy while dad snapped pictures of us in all our awkward glory.  The funny thing is I remember so many things but I really don’t remember many of the gifts, which I guess should really be the goal of any parent.

Reflecting on my childhood has really made me think about the traditions I want to start with David for Hazel.  Buying an ornament every year is a must.  Right now we subscribe to the “vintage” tree with a jumble of “vintage” looking ornaments.  I say vintage because we have colored bulb lights with old fashioned ornaments that remind me of the real glass kind from my dad’s childhood.  There is a great section in Real Simple where readers send in their favorite traditions, and I’m going to share my favorites here with all of you, in case you too are looking to add more memories to your holidays.

“In my family, everyone puts money on the table on Christmas Eve.  If you’re little, it’s just a dollar; my grandfather used to put down a $50 bill.  We have fun being together and opening presents all night, leaving the table a mess.  The first person to wake up the next morning and clean it all up gets the cash!”

“Why should stockings sit empty all month?  Once ours are hung in late November, we use them like little mailboxes, leaving each other silly notes and treats in the weeks leading up to Christmas.”

“I love this idea if your extended family can’t celebrate together: Create a family hashtag, so that you can do a quick search to see all the moments captured in each location.”

“Friends of mine do a week-before-Christmas countdown by wrapping seven books and putting them under the tree.  Each night, they have their kids choose one to unwrap and read before the big day.”

Do you have any cool traditions to share?

What To Say

So I feel like I haven’t been blogging a lot lately because I don’t have a lot to say.  Or at least I can never remember what I wanted to write about.  I think it’s all related to my mom brains.  I’m also working on writing something outside of this blog, plus I’m in the middle of reading a book, so between all that and having a sick/teething baby the last few weeks, I haven’t had time for much else.

I do feel that blogging has helped me remember my narrative voice, which is something I definitely had to rediscover.  I thought that I would have written a novel by my age, but other things have inevitably gotten in the way of that goal.  And then you kind of bury it or stash it away somewhere for later and eventually you almost forget it was ever a goal/dream of yours in the first place.  When you find it again and brush off the years of silt that’s piled on top of it, you can reclaim it and reimagine it.  That’s what I’d like to do.

I saw Interstellar over the weekend, and it really jump started my imagination that I thought I’d lost a long time ago.  It was truly an incredible film, and for me it opened up doors I’d long ago let shut.  I used to wonder and ponder over things like space and the unknown, and the last few years I’ve really cared nothing about it.  But Interstellar was just everything in a movie and it was inspiring to know that another human could actually think of that story.  Granted, he is obviously a very gifted individual, but it was so refreshing to see original ideas on the screen.  I am going to see it again next week, and I am so looking forward to it.

I got out the camera yesterday to snap a few pictures of Hazel.  It’s been awhile since I’ve used a real camera instead of my iphone.  The pictures on my Canon are so much better than I can ever hope to get from my phone, and to capture her happy disposition gives me a satisfaction that can’t be described.  Years from now I can look back and remember how truly happy she always was (or possibly still will be) and that it wasn’t just smiling for the camera.  She is almost always as happy as she looks.  Unless she’s sick or teething.

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