Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Motherhood should come with a stipend for undereye concealer.

Well I currently have a very teary little toddler on my lap. I was watching a show, winding down for the night, when I heard her crying from the other room. Since Juliette is running a fever from her shots (blahblahblahbadmomforgivinghershots blahblahblahbadmomifyoudon't... Can't we all just get along?) I had Madeleine in mommy and daddy's bed for the night since I was not taking any chance of her waking her little sister. So suddenly I hear, "MOOOOOOMMY! MOOOOOMMY!" and I run in there and Kyle is looking completely confused and she is sitting up sobbing. Poor Kyle and poor Madeleine.

I picked her up and took her too the couch and she dug her little face into my chest and just relaxed in my arms. I haven't been able to figure out what is wrong yet since she is responding "yes" to everything (apparently giving her favorite word "no" a little break) but have come to the conclusion that it was probably a bad dream, or even more likely, and upset belly. I'm not sure what kind of bad dreams a toddler can have but I imagine they involve her not being allowed to eat cookies and having to share her toys.

So here we are, it is almost two in the morning and I am awake. She is cuddled up contentedly on me for now but when I make any mention of going to bed she becomes hysterical. I know that as soon as I do fall asleep Juliette will wake up and want to nurse and the cycle will continue.

I won't get much sleep but tonight I'm not that worried about it. I'll probably drink a gallon of coffee tonight but honestly, I am just loving snuggling my girl. It feels good to know that I make her feel safe and that I can ease Juliette's suffering just by nursing and holding her. It won't always be this easy to make them feel better but for now I am cherishing the moments when a kiss from mommy solves all their problems because most days a kiss from them solves all of mine.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Oh geeze it has been a long freaking week. Awesome week but L.O.N.G.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Well, the trip out there was no fun at all. I live 30 miles away form my aunt and uncle's house and it took me TWO HOURS to get there. Because 128 in MA was designed by the servants of evil and this state is run by communists. But once I was there my day went something like this:

Nap 2.0
Nap 3.0
Family Games

Not all of those naps involved sleeping. In most cases I curled up under a snuggie in front of the fire place with my eyes closed and I lay reeeeeally still so the babies would think I was sleeping and attack someone else. Then I would bask in the utter joy of warm piggie toes, a full belly, and the noise of a full house. Of course despite the amazing spread for both dinner and dessert my highlight of the day was all the cheese dips because, well, I heart cheese and I never allow myself to make it.

The family was as dys-FUN-ctional as usual, emphasis on the FUN and we spent a good portion of the day torturing my sister Hannah over her new boyfriend-type-person. Par for the course.

My sisters Carly and Hannah spent the night at my house and the next day my daaarling husband watched the girls so we could go see Breaking Dawn, hold hands, and cry and I really don't care who judges me for this, it was my favorite sexy vampire movie ever. My favorite movie ever. All other movies are now crap. (Hannah would be laughing right now if she ever read this thing.)

Saturday was coffee with Alexa, more family time, and drinks with Blair and Bethany. It was amazing to get out with friends and just be with people that make me laugh and love me and accept me and laugh at my jokes... who aren't related to me because the people who are related to me kinda have to do all those things. I don't get to get out much so mom, I really appreciate you babysitting. You are the best!

With such an amazing but busy weekend I fully expected the girls to be NAS-TY last night and they did not dissapoint. The new translation of the mass was BEAUTIFUL and their behavior was a little bit the opposite. After mass we put Madeleine in time out and she just sat there for like, an hour. We kept offering to get her out but she refused. I'm pretty sure she needed the space to just be alone too, my precious little introvert. After she was done she asked to be held and refused to be put down for the rest of the night. She just kept saying, "I want mommy. Up please mommy." So I snuggled her until she was almost asleep.

When Madeleine went to bed early, Juliette and I stayed up and played Peek-a-Boo together. She would take my hands, cover my face, take them away, and say, "BOO!" and then laugh hysterically. After about ten minutes of this she was SO JOYFUL that she would move my hands and instead of saying "boo!" she would kiss my face over and over. Then she passed out in my arms and instead of putting her in her crib I just held her and nuzzled her face for a while.

And, not to make this post too long but today I got the pleasure of catching up with a college friend, Kristen, who's birthday it was. Now I am planning on buddy passing her and her adorable son up to come see us soon!

Basically, this was rambling but this weekend was one big fest of Thankfulness. I am also thankful for the wedding of Theresa to her prince charming, Jess. I wasn't able to be there but I am so thankful for the life of love they embarked on together. The world needs more holy couples, these two (now one) will be such a light to the world.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for BABIES

If you ignore the mess in the background (and please do!) you'll see two of the people I am most thankful in the whole entire world... and me... smelling the baby... they smell so GOOD after a bath! I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving! I'll be pigging out at my aunt and uncles. Should be a good day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A playlist to get you through birth

Annnnnnd for all of you (like 200 page views a day people! I feel honored that that many people have any interest in what I have to say!) who aren't into mushy gushy feelings posts, this is my special super cool PLAYLIST OF SONGS TO GIVE BIRTH TO!!!


When the contractions are particularly bad-

Head Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (for singing to your husband/doctor/in a fit of hormonal rage)
Off with your head... heads will roll, heads will roll!

Misery by Maroon 5
I am in misery
There ain't nobody who can comfort me, oh yeah

Stronger by Kanye West
N-n-now that that don't kill me can only make me stronger

Right before you get your epidural-

Rehab by Amy Winehouse
They tried to make me go to rehab but I said NO NO NO!

Right after you get your epidural-

I Can See Clearly Now by Jonny Nash
I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared

Feeling Good by Nina Simone
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

When It's Finally Time to PUSH-

Push it by Salt n Peppa
Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - p-push it real good
Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby

Drop it like it's Hot by Snoop Dogg
Drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot

Closing Time by Semisonic
Closing time
Time for you to go out to the places you will be from
Closing time
This room won't be open till your brothers or your sisters come

Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) by Billy Joel
Mama, If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.

Ring of Fire by Johny Cash
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire

And After the Baby Comes Out-

At last by Etta James
At last
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song

Oh yeah yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you

And I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known

Oh yeah yeah, and you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in Heaven
For you are mine at last

Feel free to suggest your own songs so my playlist can be even better next time I have a baby!

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today at exactly 3:00 pm, the hour of Divine Mercy, God mercifully blessed me with our second daughter, Juliette Marie. Just like my world was turned upside down on the day her sister was born, my life has not been the same since.

When I woke up in the morning I knew that I was heading to the hospital and was getting induced but I had no idea of what was about to unfold. It was about five hours of easy labor and eight minutes of pushing when Juliette breathed her first breath outside of my big ole belly and the doctor placed her in my arms for the first time. Kyle was there, my mom was there, but at that moment all I could see were those big brown eyes and that red face and I was a goner. Completely, totally, and utterly in love right from the beginning.

The joy in being a mother and the entirety of my love for my child has in no way faded from my first baby to my second. Somehow God has allowed me to grow enough to love them both with everything I have.

Juliette, maybe someday you will read this, but you haven't just stolen my heart. You are my heart. You and Madeleine. Through Kyle, God filled my heart until it overflowed out of my body and now it lives and breathes as the two of you.

Someday, maybe as a teenager, you may tell me that I can be overly protective sometimes, worry all the time, ask you nagging questions, and interrigate every boy you even look at. You won't ever understand until you have kids of your own.

You are beautiful in a way that is uniquely yours and will never exist anywhere else. Your eyes, your smile, your personality. Even at the age of one you love so entirely and you are so fearless. I am both excited and a little nervous to see how those traits of yours shape your future.

Your sister adores you too. When we ask Madeleine who her best friend she responds that YOU are, without any question at all. And maybe someday you may fight over boys and clothes but since I have sisters I know that ultimately you will always remain the first and best friends each other will ever have.

For now though I am enjoying each and every moment of you being my baby. I love how when you nurse sometimes you stand up and push your head into me. I'm not even sure of how you accomplish that. I love how we have to block off anything that would allow you to climb on it because you will climb and then you will laugh at us when you have reached your little summit. I love how you snuggle stuffed animals, how you try to play with the big kids without ever realizing how much smaller you really are. I love that when you are angry you lie face down on the floor and cry just to show us we have displeased you. I love the growling noises you make as you play and explore, I love how you always end up in our bed at night because there is no place you would rather sleep than in my arms. I love how when your daddy gets home you stop whatever you are doing and fling yourself at him with joyful abandonment and how no one can make you laugh like your sister.

You are precious to me. Most of all I love how when you are crying all I have to do is hold you and you will stop. I hope that in the future you will always come to me to comfort you when you are sad but even if you don't, I'll still always be here.

Really, I just love you more than words or a blog post can ever express. You and that amazingly adorable big sister of yours'.

Happy First Birthday Juliette Marie. Thank you for making this past year nothing short of magical.

Nothing terrible about two

This is a picture of Madeleine in her pjs. She picked them out and completely dressed herself. And then posed. Also notice the hand in the bottom left corner reaching for the battery. That would be Pet. We got that out of her mouth just in time.

Since in all likelihood I will dedicate tomorrow's post to my mini-me, the almost ONE YEAR OLD Juliette my Pet, tonight I will celebrate Madeleine. But this isn't the cutsie celebration of last night. This is why my toddler is AWESOME.

I mean, for one thing, toddler are awesome. So what if she thinks the answer to "what do you want to eat" and "what color is this" is an emphatic NO? And sure, her favorite music to dance to are Beyonce club hits. But that isn't even the half of it. Two year olds are also creative and hilarious.

For instance the other day Madeleine was pretending to talk on the phone... which was actually the credit card she had taken from my wallet... BUT ANYWAY. I am listening to her and the conversation went something like this.


After a lot of worrying and soul searching I realized that she was imitating the phone conversations I have with my sister Hannah which involve asking her about college and friends and boys. And she also told me she was on the phone with Hannah too. Of course, she could have told me this at the beginning of the conversation... you know, before I had time to worry about her.

And, earlier today Madeleine had her friend "Roz" over for a play date. Side note- I've learned that a play date between two year olds involves lots of pleas for cookies, full out wrestling, and standing on tables (don't worry Roz mommy, it was all totally supervised! lol) Anyway, since Roz left Madeleine has not stopped talking about her. We were sitting around tonight at about nine when Madeleine grabbed my hand and started pulling me towards the door. This is made doubly entertaining since I was at the time sitting in the rolling desk chair and was therefore, rolling after her.

S- Madeleine... where are you taking mommy?
M- Come on mom! Madeleine and Roz go to park and play slide and swing. Moooooom! Leave NOW! CAR! SLIDE! (her sentences get shorter and more pointed when her emotions get going)
S- Madeleine, it is almost bed time we are not going to the park now. Is there anything else you want to do?
... she pauses...
M- Watch the Yankees please.

A girl after my own heart. This is the part at which Kyle and I applauded for her, gave her kisses, and gave each other a few self satisfied pats on the back.

I always thought two year olds were given a bad rap. Two year olds are awesome people and deserve respect. But if you ask them they will probably just say, "NO!!!!"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jesus Mommy Hail Mary

Tonight at mass I just had an overwhelming knowledge of how blessed I am. Sitting next to my husband, both girls curled up on our laps... I have more than I could have ever dreamed of. I have been blessed by God so abundantly to have His love and then on top of that the love of such a holy man and such precious little daughters.

Then when we were leaving mass I got another blessing. We stopped by the statue of Mary like we always do to say hi and thank you to Jesus' mommy. Madeleine went running up with the biggest smile and started talking to her. When I thought she was done I told her we were heading home and she told me that she wanted to stay here. With Jesus Mommy Hail Mary.

With all the toys and cookies and movie in our home she preferred to be with the Blessed Mother thanking her for Baby Jesus. Sometimes I really wonder what God was giving me such gifts as these two little souls to care for me, but He has it under control. I forget that they already have a perfect mother in heaven and that whatever my weaknesses are that she will be taking care of my girls as well so I have nothing to worry about.

So thank you to Jesus' mommy Mary for loving my babies, show me how to be a mother like you!

The Long Languages of Motherhood.

I don't know how many know about The Five Love Languages but they were all the rage when I was at college. All the girls were reading about how the both gave a received love. There was a book with a quiz and we would all take it and then force our boyfriends or fiances to take the quiz as well. And then we would discuss the results at length. And then beat a dead horse.

The Five Love Languages were something like this:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Physical Touch
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
5. Gift Giving

I remember taking the quiz and proudly proclaiming that my top two (you went with your top two) were Physical Touch and Quality Time. I just loved snuggling and holding hand and kisses and spending lots and lots of time together.

We were soon married and did lots of both. I won't say more than that. I was blissful, he was blissful, I got pregnant. I gave birth and then I got pregnant again.

Now I have come to be fully convinced that there are a separate set of Love Languages for Mothers. These are ways that MOTHERS receive love. We all have or are mothers so I wanted to share my newest revelations with the class... blog.... whatever.

The Five Love Languages of Motherhood:
1. Cleaning up after yourself
2. Sitting still long enough to snuggle for like a minute.
3. Those pictures or art projects you make for us
4. When "I love you mommy" is NOT preceded or followed by a request for something you want.
5. Bubble Baths

It isn't that I don't like physical touch anymore... or quality time for that matter. It's that as a mom you can tend to OD on both. There is always someone climbing all over me and wanting to touch me... the girls, Kyle. That is why my love language is now bubble baths. I love my family more than anything but sometimes you just need to lock the door and relax by yourself with a good book. Sure, your family may still not understand why even this is not a group activity but you can explain to them that you will feel their love for you really strongly if they are in the other room. You may even miss them before long. I know I usually do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Criminal Profiling... FOR KIDS!!!

Well, as you can probably tell by my latest blog posts my go-to show for after the babies go to bed is Criminal Minds. Well, that show has been educational for me as a parent. As you may remember from my post about 24... I learn a lot about parenting from shows

You see, I have two kids now. It's true, that's not a lot of people to keep track of but sometimes I leave them in the playroom for a minute or two to heat dinner or empty the dishwasher and THAT is when the crimes take place. When I come back and crayon is all over the wall, the juice cup has been dumped on the futon, or the book shelf has been emptied all over the floor... I need to figure out who the culprit is.

For this purpose I have studied the shows use of facts they gather from the crime scene and victims to give myself an accurate profile for who committed the crime.

Take the case of the crayon on the wall, I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago. After evaluating the crime scene I came up with the following Criminal Profile:

"The unsub is between 2 and 3 years old and under 3 feet tall. She is probably left handed because the crayon marks didn't reach above the toy box on the right side of the wall. She loves coloring but feels confined by paper. Therefore she is taking our her artistic desires on walls. She probably has a few priors for coloring... on toys, dolls, or other small objects. Now her compulsion to color has gotten out of hand."

Now, with that profile I was able to determine that the only child who could fit the profile was Madeleine. I made the arrest and she was sentenced to two minutes of time out. FBI has nothing on me.

In other cases the profile may vary. Take the case of the empty tupperware cabinet:

"The unsub is probably no more than one year old. She has a need to remove everything she sees from it's proper place. Her house growing up probably had many safety latches on the cabinets and breakable objects places up high to prevent her compulsion. However, when someone forgets to relock the cabinet her compulsion cannot be controlled. When she sees an unlock cabinet she will immediately crawl or walk to it and remove everything from it, leaving most of it on the floor. She takes a trophy with her after her crime. If you find her she may be wearing a tupperware on her head or using it to make banging noises on the wood floor."

Well... after that profile I was able to determine with absolute certainty the unsub was indeed my Juliette. She had her trophy taken from her and the cabinet cleaned up and relocked.

The strangest cases are those where the unsub is neither Juliette or Madeleine. I give you the case of the dishes that were not done all weekend:

"The unsub is a male in his late 20s. He is married with kids. He is someone who probably enjoys eating but not putting away dishes. This weekend he was probably left alone at his home and took full advantage of the lack of nagging wife to sit on the couch, eat, and watch sports. When he was finished eating he did not put his dishes away, didn't even bring them to the sink, he just left them on the couch or next to the computer. This shows some "lazy" characteristics. He probably feels like his wife unfairly forces him to clean up after himself and therefore in her absense uses this time to make a mess. When you find him he will probably make excuses at first but then look guilty, apologize, and will offer to put them away because he is a good husband."

You have no idea how many times I have solved that case in four years of marriage.

I hope that this gives you new tools to help solve crime in your homes too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Seven Quick Takes- I'm having mini strokes

1. I told my mother today that I keep forgetting things that have recently happened, like putting my debit card back into my wallet or putting sugar in my coffee. It's like I'm having mini strokes.

2. I decided Juliette had grown out of 18 month clothing so I stored all of it in a box in the basement and got her 24 month clothing out of storage and washed it. Then I realized that the 24 month clothing is way too big for her. I am having a hard time motivating myself to rectify my mistake... don't pant legs just roll up?

3. I am spending the weekend at my parent's house because my dad is on retreat and my husband is working a double tomorrow. GIRLS WEEKEND! Therefore my mom and I will be renting every chick flick our husbands refuse to watch with us, eating Italian food, drinking wine, and of course, shopping.

4. In our absence Kyle spent the afternoon assembling the wooden train table that the girl's train set will on at Christmas. There is a 90 percent chance that he will spend tomorrow setting up the tracks and acting as conductor. Sometimes I wonder how I would do with a son but then I remember that often times it wouldn't be much different than how I deal with Kyle.

5. Some days I wish I could exist exclusively off nachos, brownie batter, and coffee. If I could do that and not become the fattest person ever... or you know, die.... I would totally do it.

6. I realized why I have such a massive crush on Dr Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. It's because he is Kyle but with guns. Kyle's specialty is knowing random facts about random things and then telling you them whether you want to hear them or not. I find him very interesting. I will say that I'm glad he knows about planes and Catholic teaching instead of the behavioral characteristics of phycopaths. But still, intelligence and nerdiness is a type of hotness that I cannot deny. So Kyle, my crush on a fictional character is a tribute to my love for you. Be proud!

7. Thanksgiving is next weekend. I have plans to visit with my crazy extended family, have a sleepover and watch the sparkly vampires with my sisters, drink with my friends that I graduated high school with, and dominate family games night. This means hopefully hilarious blog posts for my readers. And Juliette's 1st birthday is next week! That means I'll be throwing some super cute pictures at you as well! Stay tuned!

For more fun visit

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things you might want to do when your kids are driving you nuts

1. Lock yourself in the bathroom with a sleeve of Oreos. Eat them in the fetal position. Only leave for another sleeve.

2. Lock them in the bathroom with a sleeve of Oreos. Hey, it works for me, why wouldn't it work for them?

3. Call the baby sitter. Lie. Tell her you have a doctor's appointment. Laugh as you pull out of the driveway. Let her calls go to voice mail.

4. Stop by your husband's place of employment to "surprise him". Accidentally forget to bring the kids home with you. They'll be fine with daddy.

5. Put a screen around the bed and just let them go nuts jumping. Then when the wear themselves out they'll have a place to crash safely.

6. Record them. Bask in the knowledge that you will have this footage to show to potential future suitors.

Of course, I would never actually do any of the above. I'll take the Oreos and leave the rest.

Most days aren't like this. They are usually pretty darn sweet and well behaved... and awfully cute... and they snuggle up so sweetly when their head stops spinning.

Crud. Now I want another.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adventures in Blunder-land

With Advent right around the corner I need to prepare my heart for Christ. I cannot do this without getting a few transgressions off my heart.

To my sister Lauren- I'm sorry I never let you be the Pink Ranger when we played Power Rangers and that you always had to be the Yellow Ranger. I'm also sorry that my teaching you to play hide and seek caused you to sleep with your eyes slightly open. In all fairness, you were a pretty bad hider.

To my First Grade Teacher- I'm sorry I fainted and then puked on you when I cut my finger and I'm sorry that you had to go home and shower while I did cartwheels in the hallways as I waited for my mom to come get me. Clearly my suffering was far less than yours.

To that squirrel I made pee on a rock- I didn't mean to scare you little buddy!

To the youth group we shared a room with at that camp we went to- I'm sorry I sang at midnight when we had to be up at six the next morning. I realize now that this was not an appropriate time to do impressions of choir singers.

To the dolphins at the aquarium- I'm sorry I made dolphin noises at you. I just wanted to be friends.

...with that in mind...

To the cows at the petting zoo- I'm sorry I told you that I was unimpressed by your ability to produce milk. I was new to lactation at the time and feeling wonderful about my skills. You are awesome.

To those people I scared when I wore my bunny costume at night in Marian Hall- I didn't mean to frighten you. I didn't realize how many people were afraid of giant rabbits. Easter must be very hard for you.

To the guy I flicked off driving when I was nine months pregnant- I don't know what came over me... but that will teach you to tailgate a woman with a Baby on Board window sticker

To Anthony our Favorite Starbucks Barista- I'm sorry that I sang you a song to the tune of "Movin Out" by Billy Joel when you announced you were leaving Starbucks. I'm even sorrier that I couldn't figure out any words beyond, "Anthony works at the Starbucks-y store savin' his pennies for someday." Not my most brilliant performance.

To the people across the street from me- I'm sorry I dance with the blinds open. No one should have to watch that train wreck day in and day out.

To my kids- I'm sorry for all of the times I will embarrass you. You now think I am the coolest person alive but soon you will realize that mommy is really kind of a nerd. With a side of crazy. Just remember to not take life too seriously and you will have lots of embarrassing stories of your own to tell some day.

To my husband- No apologies go to you. You knew what you were getting yourself into when you married me. And you know you love it.

I feel much better!

This town is our town, it is so glamorous

Points to the people who know that song and regularly rock out to that group.

But TALK about glamorous towns! You know by now I grew up in small town Connecticut. So basically there was a town green, a white church, random historical sites that no one ever visits, about seven Chinese restaurants, ten pizza places, and we now proudly boast a Starbucks. BIG TIME! Also, like Cheers, everybody knows your name... and not just your name but who you dated in high school and how you wrecked your first car.

It's the kind of town that has car shows on the green during the week and concerts on the green during summer weekends. It's the kind of town that was named "57th Best Town in America" by Money Magazine almost ten years ago and although has since been bumped entirely off the list celebrates a "57 Fest" every year. Complete with fire works.

So small town Connecticut, it's everything you ever imagined it to be.

We visit my parents pretty often, about every other week or so. It's only an hour and a half away and visiting means FREE BABYSITTERS so it's really an offer we cannot refuse. Plus, I'm really pretty fond of my parents and sisters.

We were planning on staying home for Kyle's days off this week but it's been a stressful couple of weeks and they offered to watch the girls so we could go out on a date. Amazing! Bask in our love for each other and eat good food and whatnot.

We got hear at about 4:30 and Madeleine was asking to go outside and play on the swings. My mom made a suggestion-

"Don't let Madeleine go outside by herself because there was a mountain lion spotted one street over."



I mean, Madeleine would be an appetizer for the big kitty. Juliette, on the other hand, would either end up scaring it off for good or riding it like a pony. Either way I am not letting the kids out of the house. I know for a fact that they are absolutely delicious (or at least their cheeks are) so I am not taking any chances.

Anyway, the date was amazing and I love my husband and blah blah blah. Perfect evening.

But there is a MOUNTAIN LION loose on my parent's street!!!!!!!

Is that not amazingly exciting? Who ever said small towns had nothing going on?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things I have learned about Motherhood

Motherhood has a learning curve. With each child you have you learn more about yourself than you ever imagined. You also learn about your child (I hope). Annnnnd, you learn a lot about others and the world in which we live

1. Not everyone wants to hear about your kids.
BUT WHO CARES! Post about them anyway. The people that aren't your real friends can defriend you or block your feed, whatever! You only have a limited amount of time to brag about your babies firsts and their bowel movements and how cute they are before they get a facebook account of their own and yell at you. Your children are a part of you, my children are my heart. Why wouldn't I want to brag to the world about their cuteness? So if someone gives you grief about how your facebook or twitter has been entirely devoted to your little ones tell Tin Man to get a heart and just keep doing what you are doing.

2. Each kid is different.
I only have two kids and even I know this! Your parenting style should adapt to each special personality. Don't be so set in your ways that you don't recognize the individuality of each child.

3. Calm the heck down.
There is no reason your baby needs to know their ABCs by the time they are two. Do some art projects and play outside. If your kid is advanced, great. If not, don't sweat it. Kids tend to do things at their own pace so don't compare them to other kids and don't push them too hard because YOU think they should be somewhere they are not. If you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician. If he or she assures you that they are on track, listen to them. If they are concerned about anything, don't freak out. Many kids struggle through different developmental stages and they turn out just fine. It's pushing too hard or ignoring problems all together that compounds issues in the future. Love your child where they are and trust your instincts, just not the crazy ones.

4. Laugh at the crazy
There will be nights where both kids are up until one in the morning screaming and running in circles. You are exhausted and ready to put them on the front lawn with a sign that says "Free". Laugh about it. All moms have been there and they can share in your pain. If you let yourself get too stressed you will end up being cranky with the kids and that is no good for anyone.

5. Ask for help
Whether it is your hubby or a baby sitter, your parents or your in laws, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It doesn't mean you are a failure, it just means you are tapped out. Take a nap or a date night and forget about the laundry at home. We all need a break at times. Motherhood is the only job you work 24/7, no matter if you stay home all day or go to work as well. Take some time for you and you will be a better mother to your kids.

6. People will think you are wrong.
About EVERYTHING. The nice people make suggestions. Others stick their noses in the air and tell you that if you do/don't get your kid vaccinated, etc that you are a disgrace to motherhood. Honestly, just ignore them. Do your research, talk to your spouse, and make a prayerful decision together. Then stop worrying about what others think. Nobody wants the best for your children more than you so when people try to tell you what to do, it's usually to make themselves feel important. Not to actually help. If they have good advice, don't be so prideful you won't take it but ignore all the negative. And then laugh about it later with your spouse.

7. Pray every day.
It's really the only way to stay sane and it's the only way you will be able to do motherhood right. Our babies are a gift from God and no one knows how to love them better than Him, so just talk to God all the time and let Him lead you.

8. Less is more.
You want your kid to have everything, that is normal. But it's also a pain in the butt to clean up. Limit toys and books, store things you aren't using. For differnt developmental stages I rotate out toys. That way they have new things to explore and learn with and everything they own isn't all over the floor at once. Same with clothes. My kids have a lot more clothing in the smaller sizes than they do in their larger sizes. That's because I finally go just how much money I spent and how little they wore each item. It's cute, but not necessary.

9. Give them siblings
My sisters are so incredibly important to me and the person I have become. Juliette is already Madeleine's best friend. I know some people may not be able to have large families because of health, infertility, or severe money issues, but those things aside nothing is a better gift than a sibling. If I had to make a choice between a fancy vacation, an upgrade to my house or car, jewelry, new electronics, new toys, new clothes for myself or a new baby... I would choose a new baby every time. With that said, spend quality alone time with each child you have and celebrate the gift that THEY are. Don't beat yourself up if you aren't keeping up with the Duggars. I know I won't be! Use NFP and you will be trusting in God's plan for your family. No plan is better than His.

10. Make time for your spouse
You wouldn't even have your babies without him. The happiest children comes from families with happy marriages. You can't have a happy marriage if you don't take time out to spend with each other. Always put your spouse before yourself and look to exemplify a marriage centered on God for the world by loving each other like He loves His Church, so much that He died for it.

That's ten things and I am super tired so I am done for the night. I'm a beginner mommy so I know these things may seem "duh" but the were amazing things for me to learn over these past two and a half years. I am thankful for Kyle and my super awesome and adorable babies to teach me every day. Motherhood has changed me to my very core and made me a better person than I ever dreamed I could be. I still have a looong way to go but I'll have God and my family by my side for the journey so I think I'll get there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Seven Quick Takes- Maybe if I had more coffee I would be coherent.

1. Juliette Marie will be the death of me. She started walking this week (hooray) and today while we waiting for Kyle to show up she carried a chair around Carters looking for something to climb. I spend most of my day trying to prevent her from diving headfirst off of chairs and couches... or from choking the one small magnet that slip down the fridge to where she could reach it. I'm gonna go grey sooner than I thought.

2. Right now Madeleine is playing with her ABC puzzle, Juliette has climbed up the couch and is leaning over the box with their cardboard blocks in it, removing them one by one and laughing/grunting happily. (Not that I just put them all back in there five minutes ago or anything. Really, that was just a stupid move on my part.) Madeleine looks over periodically, shakes her head, and says, "No Ju-etch. No baby."

3. Madeleine is now interested in TOYS. This means while we shop she reaches over and puts something she wants in the cart. If I take it out, she tells me, "No. Madeleine like (insert toy/movie/sock here)." This makes check out interesting. She places the item on the belt and I stealthily signal to the check out person that said item will not be going home with us. I distract Madeleine with my awesome dance skills or something equally embarrassing to us all and we get out of the store without incident. I know I could explain it to her and just tell her no from the beginning but I'm tired and just want to shop without the screaming. My system works for now.

4. With her new found interest in TOYS, Madeleine requests on a daily basis to go to Toys R Us to play with the trains. She hasn't figured out yet that we can actually buy stuff there so I'm usually good with it. She also has no idea that SANTA is getting her a wooden train set for Christmas! Until then we are making our weekly pilgrimage to visit Tomas and his friends.

5. My kiddos are tough. While we play with the train sets little boys twice their age and size usually show up to do the same and they always try to push my girls around. They hold their ground without pushing back. I am a very proud momma. We need more strong women in this world.

6.I've recently realized the power of phrasing things the right way. For instance, "Madeleine you need to eat your fruit." gets an emphatic, "NOOOOO". However, "Madeleine if you eat your chicken I'll let you have some fruit." gets an "OH YAY MOMMY." I'm hoping I can use this power on Kyle, "Babe if you do the dishes I'll let you sweep the floor!" Brilliant.

7. I'm trying to figure out ways to involve my two year old in Advent this year. I'm praying I come up with something soon... my theology and catechetics degrees should be able to help out with this. I mean, hopefully that knowledge isn't stored in the part of my brain that was wiped out when I gave birth and replaced with Goodnight Moon and every book by Sandra Boynton. Actually, I think that was the "math" and "reasonable hormonal responses" sections so I think we should be good. Advent here we come!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

29... my own personal Woody Allen

So, Kyle's birthday is this week. He will be 29. Next year he will be 30. His last year of youth. Just kidding. 29 isn't old at all but teasing is kind of my way of saying "I love you". Don't worry though, he is sure to pay the favor in four years.

Since we have no money but still want to celebrate his life I have asked him to give me suggestions of things he would like to do. These were his *actual* suggestions.

1. WE COULD FLY TO DUBAI! We have a pass agreement with them and so we would ONLY have to pay tax and it's ONLY a fifteen hour flight!

And then he drew a blank and has since been staring at his IPhone. I think he may be mad at me for laughing when he mentioned Dubai. He was serious. He says we should do it later this year... FIFTEEN HOURS ON A PLANE WITH THE BABIES!

All I know is that these suggestions are part about what I love about that old man I married.

In other news, we watched the Incredibles tonight. If you haven't seen it, watch it. Pay particular attention to Jack-Jack. Jack-Jack is the personality clone of Juliette except Juliette doesn't explode and shape shift. Otherwise, same baby.

AND Juliette walked tonight. She's taken steps before but tonight she grabbed her purse, stood up, and walked. It was amazing.

That's all for today.

Happy Birthday Husband. Don't worry, getting grey hair is actually pretty hot.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In a Christmas CRAZE!

Well today has been a L.O.N.G day. Let me tell you!

Both girls have tummy bugs and are sad little sickies. Currently my Pet is on my lap drinking some juice while Madeleine is in an upside down tent. Apparently the long nap did her some good. Of course it has been an all day fight for mommy's lap so we've been snuggled up on the "nice couch" watching movies. I know, I know... but I'm not feeling the best myself, what with the vertigo and the spinning room and whatnot, and Kyle had to work.

I've been very naughty and have been decorating for Christmas WAY earlier than Liturgical and normal calenders deem acceptable. Whatever. I'm a rebel who loves Santa. This year I have started teaching Madeleine about Jesus' birthday as we prepare for Juliette's first. I'm hoping that seeing the celebration for her sister will help her grasp the concept of a birthday for Jesus.

The start of the Christmas season for me really starts with red cups at Starbucks and the first big SNOW, the latter of which came early this year. Along with those things my lovely mother-in-law came to visit for the weekend and so we decided to do Christmas pictures for Christmas cards, family photos, and Juliette's first birthday pictures as well. Naturally they all came out so adorably that I had to run right out to Kohl's to buy frames and naturally when I was there I saw Christmas frames that I had to have. And I left the store with a light up Christmas train and a New England Patriots Nutcracker. If you give a mouse a cookie... she'll probably end up decorating them to look like a snowman, hanging a wreath on the door, and sticking a candy cane in your cocoa.

Of course when I tried to explain "Santa" to Madeleine (he brings you presents to celebrate the birth of Jesus...) she clung to the TOYS part and now yells TOOOOOOOOOOOYS! whenever she sees a picture of him. I told her that this was a very utilitarian approach to take to the whole "Santa" thing.

Really, I am super exhausted and hoping to get the kiddos to bed early so I can enjoy "Once Upon a Time" with my good friend, Baily's on the Rocks.

The new family photo for our living room!

Christmas cards!

The only picture of the girls that is horizontal... since I'm still not sure how to rotate on this website.

One years old. 1/2 part sugar. 1/2 part spice.

The rest of the photos are on facebook. Now back to snuggling my little monkeys!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Quick note before night night

Well it is 1:00 AM and I just got Juliette to bed. I've noticed that when kids are over tired one of two things happen. 1. They go to bed early. (this option is ideal) 2. They are so tired they cannot sleep and they stay up crying until mommy is ready to cry too.

Luckily tonight there was less of the crying, just a lot of snuggling, which I am completely fine with. But the question is, why are my kiddos so tired?

Well, you heard about the four day weekend at Grandmom and Granddad's in Connecticut last weekend. Well, this weekend Grandmommy came up from Houston!

It has been a wonderful weekend and I will post more about it later but I am exhausted and I am determined to make that extra hour of sleep we get tonight count! But really, I can't go too long without writing in my blog.

So tomorrow, long post and pictures. Enjoy your extra hour of sleep world!