Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello Kitty

Two Saturdays ago I locked myself in my room as a last-ditch effort to escape my out-of-control 4 year old. Not one to be outdone, she proceeded to try to kick down the door--all while still screaming like a maniac, of course. That's when Nic, who will be quick to try and tell you that we were both out of control, finally intervened.*

But let's rewind.

We have a growth chart by our kitchen. Norah is constantly wanting to measure herself. And Lettie. And Mom. And Dad. Which is fine; that's what it's for. On Saturday she wanted to measure her purple Hello Kitty from a birthday trip to Build-a-Bear two years ago.

The problem started after I wrote "Hello Kitty" next to the nearly 2-foot-tall mark:

"No, Mom. That's not how you spell 'Hello Kitty!'"

"Um, yes it is. See? H-E-L-L-O..."

"NO! That's not how you spell Hello Kitty! You spelled it wrong!!"

"Norah, I didn't spell it wrong."

"YOU SPELLED IT WRONG!!! *collapses on the floor* You're supposed to spell it C-N-O..." *yells other random letters she's learned in preschool*

"Okay, then you come write it how you want."

"No! I want YOU to write it!"

"I already did!!!"



After years of having to learn how to deal with me, Nic thinks it's hysterical when I have to try to rationalize with an irrational person. You guys, Norah can be so irrational these days! Each time it happens I swear I'm going to handle it better. And Nic was home for this one, so I was determined to show him that I could get things under control. In hindsight, yelling back at her about how I get paid money to know how to spell things was probably not the best choice. But you know what? I was done talking about it.

She won't stay in her room when she's throwing a fit. There's no audience. Which is why I ended up locked in my room with her banging down the door. At least I could ignore her in there. That's when Nic clearly had enough of the two of us trying to work it out. He has a way of helping Norah calm down when I can't. I'm pretty sure it's called patience, which I clearly lack.

And Norah has little patience for me. Apparently, I'm always doing it wrong, as you can see from this recent Facebook post: 

There's not really a moral to this story, other than my daughter and I need to learn how to communicate differences without freaking out at each other. Wish us luck.

But for the record, I totally spelled it right.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

But really

I know I was overly cheery in my last post. Motherhood can do that to me. But don't worry, you don't have to punch me in the face. One minute being home with kids will be the best thing in the history of ever and then someone *cough, Lettie, cough* will get her two month shots and I'll find myself trying to soothe a screaming infant while having a full-blown argument with a 4 year old about why I can't go get her chocolate chips "RIGHT NOW!" You should ask Nic how fun it was to get that phone call.

I'm assuming it's about the same for anyone who's ever had a child.

Norah took this picture of me the other day and I'm kind of in love with it: unshowered; those stupid ugly basketball shorts that are so comfy; bags under my eyes; and dirty diaper, TV remote, and toys in the background. So much of the past 10 weeks has looked exactly like this, and I'd really like to remember that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lettie Kay Stewart

She's here! Okay, she's been here for going on 8 weeks. And know what? She is SO nice. I keep thinking she's tricking me. It's just that she's nice, like, all the time. How is that possible? She does the normal newborn things. Eat, sleep, poop, look around. But the way she does them. She's all, "Hey, I could probably eat now." Then, "Thanks for the bottle. I think I'll just close my eyes and sleep through any ridiculously loud noises my big sister might make. Oh, and when you get the chance, could you please change my bum? Thanks." And then she'll wake up all smiley because she's just so damn nice.

I was induced on August 17th. There was a lot more waiting than I thought there would be with an induction. I guess I assumed that they would give me Pitocin and, bam, there would be a baby. Did not expect to watch The Great Gatsby. But when things started happening, they happened quickly. My doctor got there and with two pushes, our baby was born. They gave her to me immediately but then immediately took her back because apparently our babies don't know how to breathe when they're born. This happened with Norah too. So there was a quiet time in the delivery room while everyone made sure the baby was breathing properly. 

I keep saying "baby" because at this point, she still had no name. It was clear that she wasn't an Olive or Hazel like I had thought. That first night I kept going back to Violet because the only name that seemed to fit her was Lettie. (Lettie being short for Violet, one of the other names I suggested to Nic, who was in charge of choosing her name.) But I never said that out loud. About midday the next day, Nic was rocking her in our hospital room when he looked up at me and said, "What about just Lettie?" And I knew that was it. Of course that was it. That has always been it, we just didn't know it until then. I asked him about a middle name and he said what about Kay, after his mom, Debra Kay. Yep. There she was: our little Lettie Kay.

Little Lettie Kay indeed. As soon as Lettie was born the nurse commented on how small she was, but with the breathing issues it took a while to get her on the scale. I still kind of can't believe that she was only 5 pounds, 6 ounces. So, so small. I measured small my entire pregnancy, but in my mind there was still no way I could have that small of a baby. I didn't even buy newborn diapers or clothes because I thought the 0-3 size would be small enough. Being the parent of a 4 year old, you'd think I'd be used to being wrong.

And Norah. Norah could not be more excited about her little sister. My parents watched her while we were in the hospital, and Norah could not stop talking about "her baby" who was "so darling cute." She is still over the moon in love with Lettie. That's going to last forever, right?

Now, I don't know if it's Lettie's niceness that is making me enjoy my maternity leave much more this time around or if it's having Norah here to hang out with us or it's just that I have so much less anxiety with No. 2, but the past few weeks have been really great. (Well, besides Nic having to deal with three herniated discs in his back, but that's a whole post of its own.) Oh, and the help. I've had a lot of help, mostly in the form of grandparents. They have been my saving grace, picking up Norah from preschool, taking Norah overnight, watching the girls so we can go to doctor's appointments, and on and on. I know I'm super spoiled that way--and I'm ridiculously spoiled with these two amazing daughters.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The big sister

An only child for a few more days, Norah has been busy getting ready to be a big sister. (As a side note, she told me yesterday that she's "exhausted of this baby." Oh really? You're exhausted? I'm going to say that to you when you're nine months pregnant, jerk.) And this baby is her baby--that's what she says. "I'm having a baby," "My baby..."

Partly because I felt so guilty for spending December/January on the couch, I signed Norah up for a few too many activities this spring. Swim lessons did not go well. She wanted nothing to do with whatever the teacher was saying. The last time we went, she ended up crying on my lap at the edge of the pool. Sigh. We'll try again another time...

We had a major break through when we got her one of the Puddle Jumpers water-wing things though. Swimming is now one of her favorite things and she's kind of fearless, even swimming in the middle of Flaming Gorge with no help. 

Dance class went way better. It's perfect because it's for an hour once a week. Oh, and she got to dress up in this getup for her pictures and recital.

Getting her dance pictures taking was one of my favorite things in the history of ever. We had just got back from her Spartan race in Las Vegas, so I think she was in tough-girl picture mode. The photographer kept telling her to show him her princess smile, and she kept doing muscles and gritting her teeth. She had the whole room laughing. Here's a couple that were deemed acceptable as "princess-like" I guess.

Her class photo was a similar story. She was just too darn excited to listen to anything she was supposed to do.

And then there was her recital. She did not lack enthusiasm, but never did really learn her dance. Her performance consisted of her standing on the stage, half paying attention, half messing with her dress. But of course afterward, she danced in the stands the entire time.

Best of all, she got a trophy. Can you tell that she was just a little bit excited?

Soccer went well too. Okay, it went well in the same way that dance went well. Norah had a ton of fun but never quite got the hang of it. She was the kid picking dandelions midfield while the rest of the kids chased the ball.

She did score two goals this season. Both in the wrong goal.

And she got another trophy.

Now she's started preschool and has been riding that high for the last few weeks. She chose to bring her Rainbow Dash to show and tell yesterday and was SO excited because all the kids thought it was "so cool." 

I love her enthusiasm about life. Everything is so fun! and so amazing! and yay! She's equally exited about this baby--which I'm hoping continues to be the case.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I'm having a baby. In five days.

Poor baby number two. She's not even here yet and she's already playing second fiddle. As in, when I was pregnant with Norah, I at least attempted to have regular updates. And here I am, nine months into this pregnancy, and I'm just now writing about it.

Part of the problem, okay, the majority of the problem, is that this is what pregnancy feels like to me (except there's no way I could currently lay on my stomach):

And it's not that I'm more sick than anyone else or that there is anything in particular wrong, it's just...nope. Every day is pushing through that feeling of oh my goodness how am I supposed to do anything when all I feel like I can do is absolutely nothing?

But we have been doing things. Lots of things, actually. And it's turned out to be an amazing summer full of dance recitals, soccer, swimming, camping, boating, birthdays, friends, and family. Nic and Norah have been amazing and have dealt with my nope-ness like champs.

So instead of regular pregnancy updates, here's a succession of photos, starting when I was like five months pregnant in May at the Goldilocks bike ride:

And since this is my blog, I get to create my own reality and post only the pictures of me when I wasn't wearing basketball shorts and Nic's old work shirts, which was about 1 percent of the time.

Nic ran the 13-mile Spartan Beast on June 28. I walked the half-mile kids course with Norah because I'm tough like that.

Boating at Pine View for the Fourth of July.

And last week. Again, I'm tricking you by posting pictures of me in a dress. Suckers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Costa Rica

I'm not a planner. I tell myself it's because I'm not good at it, but it's really because I plain don't like it and it gives me anxiety. It drives Nic crazy--because even when I do make plans, I always fail to tell him in a timely manner. You know, so he can make plans based on the sort-of plans in my head. It gets even trickier when he asks for details. Stuff like, "When is this 20-mile bike ride?" Me: "Um, Saturday?" He's a patient man.

Earlier this year, Alissa called and told me about a surf camp in Costa Rica she was thinking of going to as a way to get some perspective in this tricky balancing game we play of being moms, wives, friends, daughters, and also, you know, humans. I would have never planned anything like this on my own, but when Alissa said she was going, I told her I was too. And as far as I was concerned, I had my plans. I was going to Costa Rica with Alissa in February. Where in Costa Rica? (My doctor was the first to ask me this specific question.) Um, you know, Costa Rica. In February. With Alissa. Why are you giving me the third degree?!?

And bless the kind, kind hearts of our patient husbands. All I had to do was tell Nic that I was going and give Jon my credit card number to book my ticket. Done and done. I'll just gloss over the part where we arrived in San Jose and had a little confusion with my connecting flight to where we would be staying in Malpais. In hindsight, we should have maybe figured out how to make international calls on our phones before we were out of the country, but remember the whole "I'm a terrible planner" thing? So we spent a little extra time in the San Jose airport and got the next connecting flight. 

See? It all works out eventually. We made it on our plane and to our destination. 

And can I tell you about our destination? Malpais (yes, I did eventually learn the name of where we were staying) is magical. Our little spot on the beach was magical.

You're looking at my favorite spot of our whole adventure: the porch of our cabana. I could sip Coke Light and nibble on chocolate here for eternity. 

Oh, but the surf camp that we came for! Right. We were maybe not the best students. Our instructor, Helen, bless her heart, was amazing. I really did give it my best effort for the first few hours of the first two days. And guess what? I'm a terrible surfer. Like, I am really not good at it. I could barely get up on the board for a few seconds in the white water. My working theory is that being three months pregnant was the problem. It's easier to think that than admit that I was just really, really bad.

 Alissa, however, killed it.

 For a more accurate picture of our surf lessons, refer to these pictures. For me, it was perfection.

We found that we were maybe better suited for boogie boarding.

Also included in this CliffNotes version of our trip is practicing my hermit crab whistling skills, a zip line tour through the canopy, morning yoga on the beach, a Costa Rican rodeo, awards for our awesomeness, and my first baby belly shot.


There really is so much more. But if I could only share one thing from our trip, it would be this picture:

This sums up what we found in Costa Rica. And for this pair of moms, it was life changing.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More races

We've done two more Spartan races so far this year. Well, I did one and then Nic and Norah did another. Nic was not well for the one in Temecula in January (you'll have to ask him what was wrong), and I was not well, i.e., 20-ish weeks pregnant, for the one in Las Vegas in April.

Given that the race in Temecula was on a lake shore and the race in Las Vegas was in a gravel pit, I don't feel too bad about missing out in Vegas. Here I am trying to do the barbwire crawl without swishing the tiny little critter in my belly:

We also got the Kings to come join us! Even more awesome is that Jon bought a season pass to the races, which means we get to see them even more throughout the year.

I wasn't thinking clearly so I didn't bring Norah to California even though Alice Jean King was going to be there. Her and Russell ran the kids race, and I made Nic promise not to tattle on me to Norah about the whole thing.

 Prego lady!

For the Vegas race Nic was on top of things and made sure that we brought the kiddo to have a campover and run the kids race with her bestie.

Sorry, Nic. I didn't get pictures of your race, but how adorable are these?!?