Category Archives: parenthood

Our newest family member

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After a day and a half of laboring, a few hours with a wonderful epidural and 5 minutes of pushing, our newest family member was born. 

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To say that Rose is in love with her little sister would be an understatement.  She is wonderfully helpful (to a fault at times) and gives kisses and hugs on a regular basis.  Luckily the sometimes constant newborn crying doesn’t seem to bother her.  She just talks louder to be heard.  ha!  It sure is different having a 3 year old around with a newborn.  While she means well, I can’t count the number of times we have just gotten Evelyn to sleep when Rose comes over for a baby snuggle or foot tickle.
Evelyn

Here’s to weeks of baby weight naps and newborn smells.  Life is good.

Daddy+Nap

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Filed under Evelyn, parenthood

Those fascinating toddler minds

Rose+in+the+meadow

Every day it seems like I am finding new aspects of Rose’s personality and new things that she has learned when I wasn’t paying attention.  A few months ago we were sitting in the car and suddenly she starts counting.  Not just 1, 2, 3, 4 like we had been practicing but all the way to 12.  What???  Now she is up to 20.  Then a few weeks ago she suddenly starts singing the alphabet song with me instead of just listening.  Ummmm, when did that happen?

And it’s not all abc, 123 stuff either.  Her logical use of tidbits that she has overheard has us snorting with laughter on more than one occasion.  Just last weekend we were down in the orchard pruning trees when I had one of those sudden ‘must eat now or I will pass out’ moments that come with pregnancy.   When Steve told Rose that we needed to head up to the house immediately so that I could eat she asked why.  He told her that ‘Mommy needed to eat because the baby was eating all of mommy’s food’.  That afternoon we were driving home from a party and she demanded to eat.  We told her that she could eat when she got home.  She replied with
‘Rose needs to eat.  Baby in Rose’s tummy eating Rose’s food.  Rose needs to eat NOW.’  
Silly goose.

Oh my darling girl.  What new thing am I going to discover about you today?

Rose+Face

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Filed under Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose

When the Daddy is away, the girls will play

Steve was gone this Friday for a boy scout overnight which was the perfect excuse to have our first sleepover.  But first, bath time with Elmo (of course).

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No slumber party is a true slumber party without snacks. (Note the required ketchup and ranch dipping stations)  I had seen this concept on a couple of websites and it went over like gangbusters with Rose.  She loved to have all the choices and dipping options.  I loved that they were all healthy (everything was organic and/or whole grain).

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Even Rosie the Engine had a little munch.
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We snuggled on the couches (I pushed two together and put a bunch of blankets and pillows on them) and watched Elmo to our (well her) hearts content.  Love love love!

Slumber+Party+1

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Filed under Motherhood, parenthood, Rose, working mom

My little stand up comedian.

Wednesday night we all trooped over to the Auburn State Cinema for an event honoring the efforts made to raise money for its restoration.  Once the presentation was over and the audience left the room, Steve brought Rose up to the stage and let her explore.  After playing the piano and doing a little dance, Rose noticed the podium and microphone.  Her language has really taken off the past few weeks and she had a blast repeating words into the microphone.

“Choo-choo”, “kitty”, “daddy” and “duuuude” all echoed through the room accompanied by loads of giggles.

Then a devilish grin spread across her face.  She opened her mouth and……

First, a quick back story.

A month or so ago, Rose and I were goofing around and she lets out a little fart.  Since I was feeling in a silly mood I said “toot!” then continue on with our play.  Little did I know I had created her new favorite word.  Some time later, she passes gas again and this time she pats her bottom and says “tut!” with a grin.  Ever since, whenever she passes gas she will pat her bum and say “tut” with a big smile.  While amusing, I have had to pretend selective toddler language ignorance when she does it in public.  This also has the added benefit of letting us know when she needs to go potty.  The higher the frequency of “tuts” the more likely she needs to use the bathroom.  🙂 

“Tut!” “Tut, tut, tut!”  Soon, a steady stream of “tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” filled the room all said by a grinning 2 year old.  I think, “Is she saying what I think she’s saying?”  Then I looked at Steve’s laughing face and knew he was thinking the same thing.  My daughter was telling her first potty joke.  Little did we know we were raising a stand up comedian.

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Filed under Fun, Humor, parenthood, Rose

Thoughts of a working mother

Being a working mother sometimes reminds me of how women with curly hair often wish it was straight and women with straight hair wish it was curly.  When I’m at work I miss my little girl like crazy and wish I could be home with her.  When I’m home with her for a week I start to wonder how the stay at home parents don’t go absolutely nuts.  I love my daughter to death but after a week straight of ‘Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! x 3,000’ I’m thinking of investing in ear plugs.  I am not sure if I have the patience that it takes to stay at home with her all the time.  The toddlerness really tests my temper at times.

I also get restless and miss the adult interaction of the work environment.  A lot of my identity comes from what I do and I have a lot of pride in being an engineer. I know what I do will give my daughter a good example that she can be whatever she wants to be.

Plus, there is the biggest elephant in the room, money.  I posted a while ago about what the money I bring home provides for my daughter.  Without the hours I put in, the stress of balancing a demanding career and a demanding toddler and the terrible loneliness I feel sometime when I am sitting at my desk and know it will be a hours before I can wrap my arms around my little girl, I would never be able to have my daughter live in an place that will provide her a childhood full of natural wonders.

And, there is always that feeling that no matter how wonderful my daughters daycare is (and they are wonderful), if she was home with me, she would be learning all of my mannerisms, my expressions, my idiosyncrasies.  I would be the one helping to shape her personality for more than a few hours during the weekdays.  I would be in charge of every little thing that goes in her mouth and in her ears.

Most of me knows that she is happy and healthy and loved.  Most of me knows that my working is best for our family financially.  Most of me knows that I would be restless and unhappy at home all the time.  It’s that little part, deep down inside.  That little part that pokes me in the heart when I watch my daughter laugh over silly things or give me a hug and tell me she loves me just because.  That little part that wishes…..

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Filed under daycare, Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose, working mom

A walk to Hidden Falls

This Mother’s Day, the best present I could get was time with my family. A hike on the Hidden Falls trails filled that requirement perfectly.
 
Once Rose learned the work ‘fast’ the two of them quickly got ahead of me.
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We made it!
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Just in time for a drink.  Rose luuuuved the Nalgien with the straw.
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Proof I was there too.  Me and my little sweetie.
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At the falls themselves, there is a wonderful overlook with fully toddler proof railing.  This was one minute before Rose let us know she needed to use the potty.  Closest potty was a mile or so back at the parking lot.  We walked fast.  She made it!
Hidden+Falls+4

 

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Filed under Fun, Motherhood, parenthood, Rose

Sometimes…..

Most nights I let her cry.

 
Most nights I let her fuss.
 
Most nights I let her sooth herself to sleep.
 
Most nights I can walk away knowing that she will be asleep in a matter of seconds after I leave the room no matter the whining I hear through the door.
 
Sometimes I make an exception.
 
Sometimes I stay and stroke her soft head.

Sometimes I stay and sing to her softly.
 
Sometimes I stay and whisper my love to her.
 
Sometimes I stay and listen to her soft breathing as she drifts off into dreams.
 
Sometimes…..

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Filed under Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose

A thank you to my daughter.

My dearest Rose,

Thank you so much for showing me why I work so hard every week day.  Why I drag myself out of bed at 5am every weekday morning, drop you off at day care at a time most people’s alarm goes off (thank you Jenny for letting me drop her off so early!), drive to work in the dark, work my buns off for 9 hours (plus lunch), get home after 6pm and see you for only two hours before its time to tuck you in bed.

This weekend we had an epic time on the property.  We pet horses, picked flowers, watched hawks soar in the sky, and laughed as lady bugs crawled across our hands.  We lay under the an oak tree and watched the leaves blowing in the breeze.  We went on a ‘field trip’ through the bushes and found hidden places where only the bunnies roam.  We helped your daddy to pick up sticks in the pasture to put on the burn pile that you made sure we understood was ‘hot’.  You helped me feed the horses and I watched as you told Ranger ‘neigh, neigh, neigh!’ with a finger pointing at his feed bucket that you just put down to tell him just where his dinner was.  You protested with a loud “NO” whenever I dared to suggest that we go back inside. You spent an hour after Sunday night dinner with your grandma, wandering through grass as tall as you are, picking me flowers and showing her everything that is wonderful in nature.

Thank you again for let me know that you appreciated what I do so that you can live where you do.  I do it for me, I do it for your daddy but most of all, I do it for you.


The simple joy of being outside in nature.

 

Looking for sticks for daddy with mommy’s gloves.
Country strollers.

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Filed under Horses, parenthood, Rose, The Ranch, working mom

Things I learned on a vacation with myself

A few months ago my friend Melanee told me about an offer for two free nights at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.   At first I thought it would be a fun thing for Steve and I and Rose to do before my birthday.  Then I came up with the idea to make it a girls weekend and head up with my girlfriends as a getaway.  However, as the weekend go closer I started to come to a realization.  I was stressed.  And tense.  And overwhelmed with life. (Man I can feel myself tense up just thinking about it)  I was snapping at Rose when she didn’t deserve it (I can find a better way to deal with her spitting out her food) and overreacting to little things Steve did (who cares that he posted a picture on his account on Facebook instead of mine like I asked, its not that big of a deal).  My patience was gone.

Earlier this week, it became apparent to me that I needed to do something.  It just wasn’t healthy to keep going like this.

Luckily I have an awesome, understanding friend so now, for the first time in 18 months, (plus 10 if you count the pregnancy) I am spending more than a few hours alone.  It’s been an interesting experience as I have had to break out of my comfort zone in a number of ways.  But good.  Yes, very good.

A few things I learned a few things on my vacation:

  1. Even leaving work at 3pm doesn’t mean you will be where you want to be in time.  Or anywhere near it.  And that’s ok.
  2. If you travel over the pass on I-80 in the winter you may be stuck in traffic for two hours even though the road is “Open with only standard chain control”.
  3. Even with the delay (which was apparently Caltrans stopping traffic for some reason) Caltrans still rocks when it comes to snow removal compared to Nevadatrans (or whatever they are called).  Even compared to driving over the pass and down steep mountainsides, driving the relatively flat roads in Nevada was H.E.Double Hockey Sticks.
  4. Thank goodness for Subarus.
  5. Nothing shows you that you really are a “strong, confident woman” than driving above mentioned roads, by yourself, in the dark.
  6. I was reminded why I started liking Brendan Fraiser so much.  He was shirtless almost the entire time in George of the Jungle.  Stupid movie but……
  7. I am married but not blind and that’s ok.  (See 5.)
  8. I am fairly sure I need a new job.  Years of broken promises are hard to get over.  It’s made me very jaded for any new promises and even apparent changes in attitude.  Unless there is something material to back them up soon it’s just not worth it anymore.  I’ve become too bitter.
  9. Nail polish eventually dries up after 8 years and makes for a terrible manicure that you can’t remove because you didn’t pack any polish remover.
  10. Even a terrible manicure makes me feel a little more feminine and that’s a good thing.
  11. A medium bag of M&Ms; is a bit much for one person.  Consuming an entire bag is not an impossible feet but does make you feel a little icky.
  12. People watching in a casino is fascinating.
  13. It also makes me realize that I am apparently the last person on the face of the earth who doesn’t text.
  14. Eating lunch by yourself isn’t too bad if you have a good book.  A breakfast that you have to eat with two hands is a little stranger.
  15. Even if it’s been a few hours since you painted your fingernails, if you pick the above mentioned M&Ms; from your teeth with them, it will ruin your already terrible manicure.
  16. Eating by yourself, with the portion size in the US, leaves you with a lot of wasted food and makes you eat much more than you should.
  17. It feels good to walk with no agenda, no deadline, no little one clinging to your side/leg/back and even no distraction of another adult.
  18. It took a bit but I can walk confidently with no agenda, no deadline, not little one and no other adult.
  19. You can enjoy being by yourself but still miss your family terribly.
  20. Being alone can be a good thing.  It builds confidence, helps you to center yourself and makes you realize again that you and only you need to be the author of your own story, the maker of your own dreams, and the your biggest fan.

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Filed under Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, working mom

The start of a new/old tradition

I have well loved memories of snuggling in bed at night with my mother when I was young girl and my dad was gone on business trips.  She would always do little things to make the time without my dad go quickly and keep my mind off his absence.  It may have been trips to McDonalds, renting a video (Splash, The Last Unicorn or The NeverEnding Story) or staying up a little late.  The thing that I remember the most though was climbing in bed beside her at night and knowing that she was beside me keeping me safe.

Steve has been gone on a business trip this week and while Rose has been handling it ok, last night I think she finally started to realize just how long he had been gone.  She was whiny, clingy and simply didn’t want to be further than 2 inches away from me all night.  Just very un-happyroselike.  So later that night, after a bath and jammies and tooth brushing I asked if she wanted to snuggle in mommy’s bed and watch Sesame Street.  She nodded her cute little head and led me into the bedroom with a big smile.  We cuddled under the covers, watching Elmo and Big Bird for a few minutes until she scootched down on the bed, pulled the covers up to her chin and wedged herself against me.  After I turned off the tv, I wrapped my long limbs around her tiny body and listened to her breathing slow.  I could feel her complete and utter trust in me.  Trust that I would keep her safe.  Trust that I would love her unconditionally.  Trust that I would always be there for her.  Just like the trust that I felt when my mom and I did the same thing so many years ago.  The circle is complete.

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Filed under Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose, Traditions