Archives for December 2011

Cate- Four Months

“The time with your second kid will fly by. You won’t remember milestones like you did with your first. You are going to be to busy and before you know it she will be sitting up, eating solids, crawling and walking”.

From the moment I heard this, I vowed to not let it happen. I vowed to take note. I vowed to live in the present. I vowed to remember small things. Inconsequential things. Four months later, I still am.

Like how happy you are in the morning when your sleep sack comes off, we place you on your changing table and daddy gives you kisses as he gets you dressed for the day.

Or how your eyes track your brother as he runs circles around you after we get home from school.

Or the way you contently lay in the bathtub as your brother douses you with water each night not crying or fussing- just letting him do it. He’s in this “I Do” phase and you let him do. I am grateful you are content to be warm in the tub and get some attention even if water is sloshing in your eyes off his rag.

Or the way you melt in to me as we dance and sing while we wait for your last bottle to warm, and the medicine to work.

And the grip you have on my fingers as your drink your night time bottle.

Or the smile you give when someone when they are willing to really work for it.

And the way you stick your tongue out as you suck on your hands. Those hands that are so tiny, so cold and always near your mouth.

And the bubbles you blow all day long.

Like the little hairs that are growing longer right on the top of your head while the back falls out.

Like the tiny rolls that have formed on your thighs and ankles while your legs continue to sprout.

Or the middle of the night cries that wake me letting me know you have woken yourself up or you are hungry.

And the way you roll to your side to sleep with hands by your face.

Or the way you kick your legs, arch your back and will yourself to roll over but just can’t get there yet.

Happy 4 Months Baby Cate!


2011- My Favorite Posts and Reflection

I started this huge post going thru month by month highlighting what was happening in our lives and I realized that a) it was a lot of work and b) if you read this blog regularly then you don’t want to read them all again. Most of the things in our year were normal, typical and nothing extraordinary. But we did have some highs and some lows.

2011 has been a year full of joy, frustrations, happiness, tears, change and even a cast. Some of the days in the past year have drug on but the year has really flown by. If I am being honest, while my eyes are tired and my brain is swirling with “to dos” I want to just stop. Pause. Reflect. And remember all that has happened this year. As I sit here and type, I can’t help but remember that this time last year, I did not even know that our sweet Cate would be entering the world.

When I look back at those posts in the early weeks of her life, I am catch myself staring at her face. I start to think about how much she has already changed. How much bigger she is. And I am willing myself to remember. To remember her. In all her newborn goodness.

My favorite post, the one that still brings tears to my eyes, is here. His first days of daycare after being with a nanny for 18 months. A while it pains me to read it and remember, I am inspired when I see how far he has come.

Every time I write to him, my eyes well with tears. Maybe it’s because when I go back to read what I wrote I am instantly transported to that moment in time.

As we close out 2011, I thankful for the year that has passed and the hopeful for the things to come in 2012. Happy New Years Friends!

Mama’s  Losin’ It

Right Now…

I stole this idea from someone on the internet and I have seen a lot of other bloggers doing it.

right now i am…

watching: nothing because I am sitting in a Starbucks blogging, reading and writing before I get my haircut. Honestly, tv is not my choice of entertainment 99% of the time.

eating: Nothing. Right before this I just had my first Jersey Mike’s experience and I have to tell you…it was pretty darn good. My brother just might know what he is talking about. Have you been?

drinking: A grande caramel salted hot chocolate with skim milk and no whip cream. The perfect afternoon pick me up since I did not have my chai this morning. I am also drinking water. I am still pumping/nursing and I am constantly thirsty.

wearing: Lululemon Black Still Pants, my favorite Patagonia fleece, my North Face coat and a workout tshirt, Brooks running shoes and the other essentials.

avoiding: getting ready to put our house on the market. With two kids it’s no secret we acquire a lot of crap. Given my hoarding personality, I have a really hard time throwing things away, packing things up and simplifying life. I am determined after Christmas to tackle some of this stuff.

feeling: pretty good right now. I have done yoga the past two mornings. Yesterday it was hot yoga and this morning it was yoga sculpt and it felt good to sweat. I am almost finished Christmas shopping, had a dinner date with my husband last night and had a breakfast date with Brady this morning. All of that is good stuff and rejuvenates me.

missing: the ability to regularly workout. The past two days I have felt the stress leaving my body as I have sweat and spent an hour focusing on my body. It is such a part of me and I crave it. But until my sweet Cate decides to start sleeping with more regularity, the evenings become easier, and I am not commuting both ways with the kids I don’t see this happening.

thankful: for all that we have. I sometimes struggle with complaining and being a “glass half empty” person but really I have little to complain about. I have a husband with a successful business who I am still crazy about even though our life is CHAOS right now, two healthy, beautiful kids and a job I love.

weather: interesting. It was supposed to sleet/snow/rain today but it is remarkably in the 40’s and it has just started to sprinkle. Thinking a white Christmas is just not in the cards this year.

praying: for brooke. This mama has been through so much and our babies were supposed to be born days apart and she needs a break.

needing: to see my mama (2 days). We don’t go very often without seeing each other, skype frequently but lately I am just missing her. I need her chats, her reality checks and the help with simple things like cleaning out closets.

thinking: how much I need this space. I don’t write for anyone else. I write because it is therapeutic. There are tons of other things I should be doing but this is what I choose to do because it keeps me sane. I am constantly amazed at the people who I have connected with, re-connected with, or met because of this little blog.

loving: the red cups from Starbucks, Christmas music on the 93.9, my Lululemon pants, smiles from my sweet Cate, my riding boots, cozy sweaters, questions from my curious 2 year old, hot showers on cold mornings, my new ipad and the app store, middle of the night cries from Cate (when it is not the fourth time in six hours), the first snowflakes that blanketed the ground last week and the hustle and bustle of this time of the year.

and you? what are you up to?



Some things I don’t blog about. I don’t blog about them because I worry that I am exposing too much of “us” on the internet. I also worry that I will sound like I am whining when there are plenty of parents out there who are watching their babies fight for their lives and our challenges seem small. But, I want to write about something in case anyone else has our experience and it involves talking.

When Brady turned one, we asked our pediatrician if she was concerned that Brady was not talking. She wasn’t so we weren’t either.

Glenn and I talked about it all the time. “Should he be talking more?” “Are you worried he is not talking very much?” “Do you think something is wrong?”

At his 18-month well visit, we asked again. She was concerned but not overly. She said we would keep an eye on it and discuss our options when he turned two. We were concerned. He had just started daycare and all he could say was “Dall Done”.

Other kids had vocabularies that far exceeded his. Other kids were putting two words together. Other kids were communicating their needs at daycare. Other kids were able to defend themselves at daycare using words. Brady could do NONE of these things. He got it. He was smart. He understood. But he just wouldn’t talk. No words. He was frustrated. He was getting bit. And we were worried.

Over the summer I had him evaluated by Early Intervention.

In my head, I believed my ma. She told me that some kids just take longer to talk. Brady would have a “light switch” moment and his vocabulary would explode. I believed her. But, I still had him evaluated in July because I was anxious about another baby, him not talking and possibly regressing even further into complete silence.

Cognitively, he was functioning at 30 months. He was only 21 months.

Verbally, he was functioning at 12 months. He was 21 months.

He qualified.

My heart sank. Did we do something wrong? Was it because he was with a nanny from age one to one and half by himself all day? Could we have done more? What if didn’t talk?

I won’t bore you with the details but I will tell you that EI, thru the state of Illinois, was more expensive than private speech therapy. So, we began private speech therapy in August. One hour per week.

He hated it. He was stubborn. He refused to engage some days. He had therapy in our home. He was having therapy at the end of a long day that involved daycare and commuting. He was talking a bit more but neither Glenn nor I were convinced it was result of speech therapy. We weren’t sure what to do after 3 months.

He was getting bit at daycare repeatedly by the same kid. Daycare was convinced if he could be more verbal and defend himself with words, he wouldn’t be bitten anymore. We were frustrated. We wanted him to talk more. We needed him to talk more. We needed the tantrums to stop. We needed him to tell us what he needed. We needed him to be able to talk to his teachers at school.

I wondered if we should stop given the amount of change that had occurred in our house. Was it causing more harm than good? Should we move the therapy up to daycare? Should we stick with it? I thought about it all the time.

I headed to Bloomington for a week while I was off on maternity leave before Thanksgiving. We got there and my mom asked Brady who was in the car seat next to him and he instantly responded “Cate”. I wasn’t sure if I heard him right. But I did. He said her name. For the first time. The next seven days his vocabulary exploded. He said new words each day. It didn’t stop. He has continued to say new words daily. He says anything we say. He will try to say anything we ask him to. The light switch turned on.

I decided that I was going to move his speech therapy during the day at daycare. He was talking so much more but I just knew that after school in the middle of the week wasn’t working. It was going to cost us dramatically more, but I felt like it would be easier on him. He had to be re-evaluated if we were going to use EI at his daycare. They were here on Thursday.

Cognitively, he is functioning at 42 months. He is only 26 months.

Verbally, he is functioning at 25 months. He is 26 months.

He is “ALL DONE”. He does not qualify for speech services.

My gut all along told me that he would be fine. He would talk. He was just a late talker because he was so interested in doing. My mind told me as his mother I needed to do whatever necessary to get him talking. Have him evaluated. Get him therapy.

I don’t think he needed speech therapy. I don’t think it’s the reason he talks now. He’s busy. He’s a late bloomer. He is curious, funny and sweet.

He took his time. He’s all done and we are ready to move on.


Cate- Three Months and Better Together

Oh baby girl, where do I start? You are three months old. Three whole months have passed since you blessed your dad, brother and I by entering this world. Things are changing so fast and I just want to remember all of it. You have made us better. You have made me better.

I believe in memories because they look so, So pretty when I sleep And when I wake up you look so pretty sleeping next to me

As, I sneak out of bed at 5am to start our morning, I catch myself standing over the bed to take one more look at you before I pump. I listen to those quiet sighs, the meeps and peeps that will shortly end and I smile. We are finding our groove and you are a great second kid. You are content, you are portable and adaptable. Even as you are currently, sick with daycare germs, you are taking it in stride.

But there is not enough time

Our days are consumed with commuting, daycare, schedules, baths, bottles and routines. But, it is okay. It’s okay because I enjoyed you. I didn’t do that with your brother. I was crippled with worry, anxiety and fears when I was home with Brady about what it would be like when I went back. And while those emotions still consume me, I spent the last few weeks of my maternity leave soaking you up. Your sporadic smiles, the coos that you made, the face of contentment when you are placed in the bath and the hold you have on my shoulder when I carry you. I enjoyed you and I know that you are happy.

And there is no, no song I could sing And there is no combination of words I could say

I don’t think there is a space, a place, or venue where I could adequately put in to words my love for you. Trying to define my love for you, or your brother or your dad is impossible because it is raw, real and bigger than life.

But I will still tell you one thing We’re better together We so much better when we’re together We so much better when we’re together

You learned how to smile.
You love your activity mat.
Your changing table is a happy place for all of us.
You still get up once a night.
You go to bed at 6 and we wake you at 6.
You are changing before our eyes.
And the kid next to you, is completely in love with you.

Happy 3 Months Baby Girl!


5 Things I Believe

5 Things I Believe

I believe that I am better mom working even if I am barely treading water.

My head is currently bobbing up and down in a current of water that seems at times to be so fierce that there have been moments this week when I am ready to concede and drown and at other times is so calm and normal that I feel like I am floating. My eyes begging to close as the salt of stress and fatigue wears on me. One week back in the grind of an ocean I call life. Learning how to balance and stay afloat in water is so hard to do, but once you master it, you don’t forget it. We are finding a groove, a routine, how to float. Juggling dinner, bottles, baths, dishes, preparations for the next day and babies.

I believe that it is quality of the time that you spend with your kids that counts, not the quantity.

I sink into our glider, I watch Cate as her eyes meet mine and her hand grips my finger tightly and fiercely. I find myself quickly seeking the steady rocking motion that calms her knowing it calms me too. I feel my shoulders loosen and allow myself to focus on her. Only her as she flits her eyes eventually sleeping soundly as I rock.

I turn on our Christmas station in our kitchen and pick Brady up. I dance with him and sing the lyrics loudly. Spinning him around until he squeals in delight, hugging him close to me so I can absorb his energy, his curiosity and pure delight in simple things. He asks for more and I oblige so we can enjoy this moment.

I believe that when parents work together, life is simpler.

I instinctively get Brady’s pajamas out and his clothes for the next day. Glenn gets Cate’s bottle warm without having to be asked as the medicine is dispensed in her mouth. One misstep and the baby is screaming, a the 2 year old is begging to wear “Buzz” for the third time in one week. But we force each other to stay afloat. Not allowing each other to sink, supporting each other “by taking one for the team”. He eats with Brady, takes his second shower of the day with Brady to not disturb Cate, and doesn’t question me at 8:30 when I head to bed. We may not communicate out loud frequently or have stimulating conversations, but this week we are closer than we have every been. We know each other’s eyes. We each have our jobs. I make bottles, Glenn puts Brady to bed. We collapse on the couch at the end of the night. Our eyes tired, our backs sore and ready for bed. Yet, we gear up to do it all again because we are trying to stay afloat.

I believe that watching my children interact are moments that will always bring tears to my eyes.

Cate was fussing on Sunday night as I was trying to get dinner on the table. I just needed BOTH hands for three minutes and she was crying in her chair. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as Brady sauntered in the room with something he painted earlier that day. “Bop (Stop in toddler speak) Bop Cate. Bop cry Cate. Bear. Here.”He throws the picture at her and begins to tickle her toes.

I walk in to Young Preschool room at daycare and we got through the motions. Coat and hat on and then say our goodbyes. We walk out to where Cate’s car seat is and he pulls down the cover. “Hi Cate” as he bends down and rubs her head. Pushing her stroller out of daycare with a protectiveness and sense of pride that I can’t explain.

Cate was on her activity mat last weekend. She was contently staring at things but eventually wanted to be picked up. I was in the office sifting through the mail. I watch him. One car. Then the second. Then a third. He gave her every car he was playing with and then laid his head next to hers.

I believe that my family is what makes life worth living.

Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop