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The Breastfeeding Diaries

14 May 2014

Hey!

I am guest-blogging today over at The Girl in the Red Shoes as part of Julie's series, The Breastfeeding Diaries. Head on over, and check it out!




Springing into Summer

30 April 2014



This poor little blog of mine...totally neglected these days. Hoping to change that soon! I can't even put into words how ready I am for Summer! I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather these days, because I know full well in about a month, we will definitely be in the throes of brutal heat, here in the Houston area. Our weeks are spent working {and for Caroline, school}, but, our weekends we reserve for family time. This past weekend, we bought flowers to plant in pots on our back porch, as well as patio furniture, and basic gardening implements...anything to enjoy the outdoors!

Anyway, while I've been gone, I have been busy over at Houston Moms Blog, so, I thought I'd link up my posts here:


Enjoy! ...and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things in this little space soon!

The Second Year

12 February 2014

Yesterday Caroline was in full-blown toddler mode, and it really got me thinking about motherhood and how my experience has evolved. A year ago, my worries were not about Caroline using the oven door as pull-up bar, but instead, if she was more comfortable on the Infant Lounger or the Boppy, and if I had vacuumed the carpet sufficiently before putting her down for tummy time - please don't ask me the last time I vacuumed our rug in recent months.



Your first year as a mother is such an adjustment period -- at times it seems like you are just trying to make it to the next day. There were nights early on when we would put Caroline in her car-seat and drive around for nearly an hour to get her to settle down enough to go to sleep, or I would drag her huge swing into the bathroom just to get a shower. Sitting in my living room,  the evening after Caroline's 1st Birthday party, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment -- like I had just completed a marathon. My 5:30am wake up call the next day brought me back down to earth -- hey, Amy, you haven't finished this marathon, you've only just begun!


Toddler-hood has come with an entirely new set of challenges -- if the first year is survival mode, the second year is about devising your battle strategies, and working to maintain your sanity! Every morning, as I stand perplexed at the things that Caroline does, I have to silently remind myself -- be smarter than the 1 year old. I mean, certainly there has got to be a reason why she thinks it is completely reasonable to throw her apples across the room, yes?!



Caroline's second year has brought the stomach flu (note to self: You were never truly a mother until you experienced this) -- nothing says welcome to parenthood like being thrown up on. Depending on how you look at it -- this year Caroline has become a pediatrician's nightmare {or at the rate we have lined their pockets, I suppose you could say dream}. WebMD has become my most trusted ally, and viral exanthem has become part of my general vocabulary...gotta love the petri-dish known as pre-school.

This second year has also been a time of great personal reflection -- and building confidence in my parenting abilities. In this digital age, there are constant reminders of what others are doing, and it's so easy to compare your situation with that of someone else, and begin questioning what you are doing. Am I doing enough to develop her vocabulary? Do I provide sufficient opportunities for her to explore and try new things? Am I setting a good example? Do we watch too much tv? Is she getting enough vitamins? How should I be disciplining her? Am I building her independence? Some days you just have to remind yourself that your love is enough.



And with every challenge, there is a reward -- although sometimes you have to be creative in finding it. You just spilled milk all over yourself because you managed to pull the top off of your sippy cup? -- awesome, your motor skills are really developing. You stuck your hands in the toilet - fantastic, you really have a love of water. There are stickers all over my cabinet doors -- you are so creative! You broke a bottle of  glitter nail polish on the floor -- yeah, I agree, the grout was lacking a little something.

Albeit such a cliche, this year {or 5/12 of a year} has really taught me so much about enjoying the journey, rather than seeking just the destination, that the apple juice stains on her car-seat and rice snacks ground into the upholstery just mean that Caroline is well taken care of, that waffles for dinner is completely reasonable, and it has introduced me to a bright, spunky, dancing, 'nanana' loving, shameless kissing, basketball playing, bundle of crazy. Caroline, you are my most signifcant challenge, and my greatest reward.