The days

I am a structure person with mild obsessions about cleanliness and order. The chaotic life that evolves with a toddler underfoot has at times left me a bit frazzled and even unhinged. It truly has taken years for me to see the beauty in the disarray. The toys scattered about are signs of imaginations at work. Those stacks of books were time machines to a far away place or vessels of knowledge added to their brain. Sticky floors point to a full belly and most likely some laughs.
I have to stop at times and remember one day my house will sparkle again but with that sparkle will also come the silence of empty rooms as their inhabitants are busy living their lives. Learning new things while the world is shaping them into their people they are to be.
So today I am learning to plan a little less and play a little more. To hold my babies close and pretend about desert islands and buried treasure. To walk over the toys scattered about and cherish each and every moment we have together. Because in a blink of an eye these days will be over and new days will be beginning. I will cherish each stage even through the strife because these really are the days.

Learning to BE the example.

This family knows how to have a good time. It’s no secret that we are bit of party animals here. We met at a New Years Eve party, enough said. And while I love a large glass of pinot noir or dirty martini as I have gotten older I have become increasingly aware of the realities of life. Age doesn’t make you immune to poor decision making.

As a parent, I do not believe in hiding things from your children. I was raised in family that regularly enjoyed happy hour at gatherings. My granddad always made me a Shirley Temple and I have many fond memories in my grandparents living room with everyone sharing a drink. I was exposed to responsible drinking at an early age and truly feel it molded me in a responsible social drinker as an adult.

We have no plans to hide our love for wine from our boys. I assume they feel that social responsible drinking as an adult is the norm. But, as we have grown in the responsibility of parenthood we have also had to take a hard look at how we handle certain situations and the example we are setting for our kids. That can be hard.  No one wants to admit that even as parent they may make a choice or two that we would rather our kids not do.

One of those choices is drinking and driving. I am not talking about the obvious belligerent drunk you need not drive. I am talking about what many of us are guilty of,  pushing the line. Driving when you are probably fine but if involved in an accident it could be bad. My hope is my children refrain from drinking at an early age but I am not naive to the realities of growing up. And the one thing I absolutely do not ever want my kids to do is drink and drive. It can kill you. It can kill someone else. In a moment it can ruin your life forever. That reality scares me a lot.

After a lot of thought and realizing that children are way more likely to do what you do, not what you say Craig and I made a family decision. No more than two drinks or no driving. No matter how long in between consumption. No splitting hairs. No, I weigh 80 more pounds than you. You want to let lose and drink feel free but call a cab. Our children will grow up seeing mom and dad utilize cabs. Yes, it may cost us a bit more on a date night but its cheaper than a DUI and better than death or going to jail.

It is our hope that our kids see Mom and Dad have a good time but be smart. Just maybe our actions can impress on them a reality that I am confident would probably be ignored if it was just words.

And in all honesty, it has been nice. Since making this life change we have had a few date nights and it was so lovely to savor each sip of wine and bite of food. To talk and enjoy each other and never think about how much we were drinking. We just had fun. Called a cab and came home. It’s the responsible adult decision and its one we are consciously making.

Differences

I have two kids, I have done this before. This whole baby thing should be a piece of cake, right?

WRONG.

The difference between children is astounding. Truly they are their own little person right from the start. Both of my children have been fairly easy babies. Don’t get me wrong they do all the crazy baby things but I seem to handle it better than most so my assumption is that they are bit easier than others. Or I just handle sleep depravation better, I have no idea. Regardless, neither child has made me question as to why I signed up for parenthood in the baby stage. Now as a toddler EJ has daily left me wondering why I did this and am I qualified to raise this heathen, excuse me child.

But, seriously from day one I have been treating Jack like EJ and well its been humorous to see the difference. The biggest one is food. EJ started solids right at 4 months. The skinny child that he was made every doctor nervous and they demanded we get on the food and fast. He took to it just fine and there we plugged away eating all.the.time.

At around 4.5 months I decided to see if Jack was interested and he flat wasn’t. Refused the food all together. I took it as sign to wait and tried again ever few weeks. Fast forward to his 6 month appointment and the Dr informs me that it is time to get him eating and wants me to work up to 2 meals a day by 9 months. I nod my head and wonder if he will ever give up his bottle and realize this may be more work than EJ. I  try and try and guess who still will not let me fed them purees but has gone after all of big bro’s meals? None other than little bro Jack. So I ask the twitter and was promptly turned onto baby led weening and oh lord the heavens parted that day.

Jack eats what we eat. Well within reason as in I make sure its very soft and cut into small pieces and then toss it on his tray. At just shy of 7 months this child of mine feds himself. Its not clean and he requires a good wiping down after every meal and a bedtime bath is now a requirement but boy does he love it. This kid is eating so much that I have to fed him a bottle first or there is no room left for it. He sleeps even better than he did before and is in the best mood all the time. For the first time in months I would guess he is satisfied. And quite frankly it is easy.

Psst. baby #3 take notes from your brother this is the way to go. Baby food is so old school. 

DISCLAIMER
Before any rumors get started no we are not pregnant nor plan to be anytime soon. But, yes there will be a baby 3 one day and maybe a 4th only time will tell.

Wanted

Remember how I said I misplaced my camera a few weeks ago? I was so annoyed because I rarely loose things and certainly not as important as my camera. I had this nagging feeling that it may have grown legs and walked away during the renovations but for the most part the workers here had been in and out of our house for the better part of the last 4 months. However, after spending a week going through ever closest, garage, under all beds etc. I realized that the nagging feeling was for real. I know it was sitting out on the day that house was beyond chaotic and we were all in and out. Many workers were there for just the day and it has become clear that someone decided that they deserved my camera.
Pissed does not even explain my feelings. I am mad at myself for not being more aware and for not stopping and putting it away. It is just plain sad that you just can’t be too trusting these days.
Instead I am focusing on the positive that it actually had the standard lens on it. Something that happens very rarely in this house and that I had just dumped most of the photos. So I am back to using the Nikon that at this point is getting old and hoping that maybe we will get a decent tax return and buy a new camera. All my lens are for a Canon so I am stuck with basic photos until then. So I am putting my energy into learning, for real, photoshop. We will see how far I get since I have oh so much spare time.

Here are some of my playing arounds.