Saturday, August 29, 2009

Age 3

Is proving to be a tough year - for all involved. Tonight Chase cried and cried, over what I can only say was absolutely nothing, which she somehow turned into something. She has actually cried herself to sleep twice this week. Not even in bed. One time was in the car. One time was when she was sitting on the couch. I looked over one minute, she was sobbing hysterically. I looked over a minute later and she was fast asleep. It's strange. I'm not sure what to do. I've realized that reasoning with her is useless. Fighting with her just doesn't make sense. So I tell her as rationally as I can that I am "here for her," when she wants to talk, but that I will just be waiting in the other room. It hurts me to hear her cry, but I just don't know what else to do.

On another note, her teacher came to visit us the other day. It was funny to hear Chase giving her a tour of our home. Of her things. It was really quite cute. I'm sure the teacher probably came away from the meeting thinking my home was, at best, a good attempt at managing chaos.

We are all eagerly awaiting my mom, who arrives tonight and will stay for a week. Maybe with her visit I will get some sleep and Chase will get the level of attention she is craving so badly.

Dearest Chase, I'm so sorry I can't spend every waking minute with you. I did for three years, and it was amazing. And now it is still amazing, but in a different way, as Madoc brings joy and light into our lives. You are such a good big sister.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm So Bad At Blogging

The days seem to pass so quickly. And by the end of the day, I am totally exhausted.

I am learning more and more about my children every day. The lesson of the past week is to keep Chase busy at all costs. August has been a slow month. I decided to lay low this month, especially after having problems with my feet, arms and back (pushing myself too hard every day and carrying Mads around everywhere).

Chase has not taken to this new, laid-back schedule. Perhaps because we've been "going, going, going" ever since the day she was born. And a bored Chase is, I've found, a winy, hangers-on, complaining, getting into trouble, girl. VERY much the opposite of the happy, content girl I've had up until this month.

Mads, on the other hand, is a roll with the punches kinda gal. As long as she gets her naps, she is a happy, sweet, content baby. Chase was also a beautiful, sweet, content baby - we are so lucky.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grand Lake, CO

Just returned from a trip to Grand Lake, CO. We went up with Hubs, to spend 4 nights with friends at a cabin. Hubs had to leave after the first night, to go to NJ for work. So I had to take care of both kiddos, which proved to be my greatest challenge thus far. The first night after Hubs left, Chase had a major nose bleed and Mads didn't sleep. The second night, Chase had an "accident" .(she has never, ever, wet the bed. not even when she was a baby) and Mads woke up way too many times. The third night, I finally pulled Mads into bed with us and we managed to only get up three times (only to find out a bear had been right outside our window both times). Below are photos from the first day. I couldn't carry Mads and run after Chase and take pictures.

And, for whatever reason (maybe just to add a little extra challenge), Chase became completely unmanageable by day 3. Didn't listen. Pushed every button (about 75 times). It was like wires crossed in her brain and no matter what, I just couldn't untangle them. I probably should have packed her up and came home the morning of day 3. Plus she started to get sick (one of her friends was sick when we arrived, so all of the craziness could just be Chase getting sick).

I am hoping that a nice, mellow evening will get her back on track.

Snapped these from the car - beautiful country - notice there are no guard rails...

I took these pictures of the dead trees.
Thousands and thousands of them.
The pine beetle has really devastated the forest.
I have to say it made me REALLY uncomfortable being in the middle of so many dead trees.

The green trees are alive. The brown/gray trees are not.

We stayed in a house on a smaller lake (near Grand Lake).
The house had a little beach, boats and a fire pit.
It was a great location for kids.

Chase loved the lake. Too bad there were leeches.

And let's not forget about Mads.
She just turned 8 months.
Beautiful girl. All smiles. All the time.

I had to keep both girls smothered in sunscreen.

And here is the inside of the cabin.
Joy, Chris, Summer and Gigi were our hosts.
So fabulous - but next time Hubs better be there the whole time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To The Mountains

Tomorrow, we head to the mountains. We're going to Grand Lake, which we've heard is lovely. We'll be there for four nights (except Hubs, who has to come home on Sunday - and leave for New Jersey on Monday). Yuck-o. So it's going to be me and the girls (and the rest of the crew).

I must admit, I hesitated about going, knowing that I would have to watch the girls all by myself for four days/three nights (there will be other families there too, it's just more work when you're away from home). But then I said, "Self, seriously. Are you going to deny the girls experiences because it's a hassle for you?" And I thought about how easy it would have been to not travel when Chase was little, but how much she got out of it - how much I got out of it. Sure, Grand Lake is not exactly the same - but traveling with two kids is not the same as traveling with one, either. So I decided then and there, what I always knew to be true (what sort of strange sentence was that?). That when it comes to me being a mom, I will never take the easy route out. I will always try to give them new experiences, over just staying at home. And hopefully, when they get older, they will value it - and perhaps even incorporate it into their own lives.

My parents passed it down to me, now it's my turn to pass it along to my little ones. I love you, girls!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Class Lemonade

We just returned from a class lemonade, given by Chase's preschool. Chase had so much fun she didn't want to leave. She cried when it was time to go. Maybe I should enroll her in a m,w,f am program, too!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have to admit that for the past six months, I have been just trying to get through each day - just trying to keep Chase from smothering Madoc with her love. Trying to spend equal amounts of time with both. Trying to show Chase my love for her has only grown stronger, not diminished, since Madoc was born.

I used to do a lot of projects with Chase, but over the past six months, I must admit there have been a distinct lack of projects. As Madoc is now capable of being on her own (but watched like a hawk), I decided it was high time to up my game on the project/arts/crafts front.

So Chase and I studied bugs yesterday.
We made bugs from all sorts of things - paper, clay, puff balls.
We talked about bugs that live in trees, bugs that live on rocks, bugs that live in the water.
These are clay bugs, which we named and made stories about.
She came up with "reader bugs," who read books at the reader bug library.

Madoc's First Word

Madoc said her first word today. "Dada."
Hubs looked at her as if to say, "really?"
She smiled and said, "Dada."

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Bike

Chase's new "big girl" bike arrived today.
She was so excited.
Even though it didn't have Dora and Boots all over it.
She showed Hubs how to put it together.

And then at last...

We put her helmet on and took her around the block. Two blocks, actually. And finally, on the last leg, she really nailed it. Speeding up and then braking, like it was no big thing. And then she told us, "this is how I ride my bike," and she proceeded to walk us through it. She gets very authoritative and almost sounds like she is reading from an instruction manual at times (I wonder where she gets this - not).

Lemon Pie

Chase is a great helper in the kitchen. She loves it - I love it. She cooks with me on a regular basis. She is especially good at making sandwiches for her daddy's lunch.

Yesterday, she helped me bake a lemon pie. Her job? To spoon the seeds out of the lemon juice. She was very enthusiastic at first. But then she began to get discouraged. She said, "Mommy, there are too many seeds." I told her to do what she could and that I would do the rest. She kept at it. And kept at it. There must have been twenty seeds.

When she got to the last seed, she said, "Mommy, this seed is just too fast." And then she got it. She was so happy she asked me to take a picture of her with the seeds. (I keep telling her not to stick her tongue out, but I think her tongue is too big for her little mouth, as it keeps appearing in photos.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mads (7.5 months) & Chase (3.5 years)

She is on the move. She loves to crawl across the floor. She loves to stick her hand in Taggart's water bowl. She can sit unsupported. She went in a swing for the first time today. She went down a slide (on her tummy, feet first) and was SO happy - happy out of her mind. When I took her off, she started crying. I put her back on - she stopped crying and started laughing. She's awesome.

Chase is having a hard time being 3.5 years old. There is a lot of drama. About everything. About food. About "boo boos." Everything seems to be whatever it is, magnified, times 100. If she is tired, then we are in for tears. Screaming. But then the sweet Chase returns. Eventually. Tired. And watching her in the meltdown process reminds me of me when I was little. Wanting to be good, but wanting to just scream. And so I let her scream. Until she doesn't want to anymore. And then I hug her, and tell her I love her. I tell her it's okay, not to worry and that I love her. I will always love her. No matter what.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


I'm starting to understand why women have babies. Lots of babies. There is something absolutely intoxicating about having someone need you; really need you. Sure, it's exhausting, but there is also something about it that makes one want more. No, I'm not saying I want another baby - my two girls make me very happy.

About two weeks ago, Madoc decided to self-wean. Perhaps she sensed I was unable to make the decision myself, so she decided to take it into her own hands. The first time she pulled away from me it made me so sad. And it still makes me sad. We are down to three feeds (roughly) and at this point it is way more about comfort than anything else. After all the sacrifice (food, sleep, my body, my life), after putting my head down, gritting my teeth and nursing her through reflux, I definitely feel like I am missing it, missing her needing me. Of course I know she still needs me, and Chase needs me. It's just the realization that we're moving on to the next chapter - the part where Madoc is no longer a baby, eating solids, moving around.

I can certainly understand why parents freak out when their kids leave for college, when they get their own life. While at the same time, you want them to be their own person, have strong beliefs and live their own life. Being a parent is a crazy endeavor.

Monday, August 03, 2009

We Are Expecting...

to be an aunt and uncle in late January. No pics of the expectant mum or dad for now. Hoping to get a good shot over Thanksgiving or Christmas. I am betting he will be a boy.

We are also planning to welcome a little cousin in the Fall. No word as to the gender - yet!

Fingers crossed for Auntie Lockett/Uncle Courtney and Uncle Pat/Aye for safe, happy pregnancies.

Portland Trip

Just returned from our Portland trip. Had so much fun. Wish we were still there. Boo hoo.

Dad and Fern play with Madoc...

Mom and Chase played non-stop...

We caught up with my family...

Here's my cousin Sean holding Madoc...

Mom and Mads...

Yay Yay and Chase...

Yay Yay and Nee Nee with Chase...

Hubs and Mads... awe...