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Category Archives: parenting

Preschool Research: Step I

So…it’s potentially time to start researching preschools. Really? Yes. Really. Only because sometimes there are ridiculous waiting lists. Step 1: make a list of all the preschools within a few minutes of our house. Check. There are 14. 14 preschools within 6 minutes of our house! That’s crazy. I’m sure we won’t be able to afford at least half of them, which will make the latter parts of this process go rather quickly. Updates to follow.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in parenting, Uncategorized

 

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Parenting: Months 13-15

I love my kid. I love her desperately. I have experienced love, joy, and worry for another person different than any other emotion I felt before having a child. Watching her grow and learn and develop is fascinating and endearing. She is my heart, and I cherish her. I would be devastated if something tragic happened and we lost her.

But there are hard days. I’m not really a stay-at-home mom. I’m a work from home mom, and I have a PILE of work to be doing every single day. That’s work that I have to do to make money and work toward graduation. That doesn’t include keeping the house going, cooking the food, and trying to be a balanced person. I know I’m not special in this. All moms have a lot on their plates. All moms struggle to get it all done. This is not a competition. I’m not trying to prove I have more to do than any other mom. I’m just saying it’s hard. There are days when I wish my kid didn’t need me so much. I have shed tears wishing for the ease of my life before my child, and then I have felt guilt for wishing those wishes.

Being a mom is a daily opportunity to become a better or a worse version of myself. I’m thankful for the opportunity to love more deeply than I ever had and to be molded in ways that were not possible before she was in our lives. And if I’m very real with you right now, I’ll be really excited when I get to consistently sleep past 5:30 again…whenever that may be.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in parenting, Uncategorized

 

Annabelle Rose: Months 13-15

There’s been quite a lot of development over here in the past 3 months. This kid has gone from merely pulling up, to taking a couple of wobbly steps here and there, to full on running around the house. She’s also taken quite a bit interest in her books and thoroughly enjoys turning the pages and pointing at her favorite pictures. We’re also obviously on the verge of a big vocabulary push. She’s making plenty of multi-syllabic sounds and combining different consonant sounds as well. It’s so fun to watch and listen!

There was an unfortunate period in there when she would wake up before 5 every day. Luckily that didn’t last long, though she still wakes up earlier than I would prefer on a consistent basis (between 5:15 and 6:15). As far as food goes, this kiddo loves it all. She eats an adult-sized piece of quiche each morning that always includes eggs, coconut milk, a meat, and a green veggie. Other favorites include grapes, sweet potatoes, and any sort of egg.

“School” is still going really well. AB loves her teachers and is always excited to get dropped off. It’s really helpful for me to get extra work done when she’s gone.

All in all, this munchkin is developing just as she should and is enjoying every moment of life.

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in parenting

 

Annabelle Rose: Month 10

2015-07-15 08.23.42

Nicknames: Little Munchkin, Munchakroo

Enjoys babbling, clapping, dancing to music, hanging out with Papa

Dislikes going down for naps, grapefruit

New foods this month: She eats everything but honey now, so no point in updating this list.

Food is going really well. She LOVES quiche, watermelon, bananas, and avocado and prefers fats and proteins to fruits. She pretty much feeds herself at this point. The last few times I tried to feed her something pureed, she shoved her hand in her mouth after I took the spoon away, so we’re doing squeeze pouches for the remainder of the “baby” food in the house.

Crawling is old hat these days. She’s pretty quick too! Pulling herself up on furniture is also very common now as it helps her reach for new wonders! She’s attempted a few tentative steps from standing position, but isn’t doing that too much yet. She thoroughly enjoys independently playing with her toys for a few hours throughout the day, which is very great for me. She also often says a-ba-ba. I’m also relatively certain that she recognizes her name and is trying to learn how to say it.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in parenting

 

Parenting: Month 10

2015-06-21 08.02.25

Parenting has remained good. We’ve still got a decent routine, but I’m still not getting enough work done. My leads for summer care haven’t really panned out, so I’m doing the best with what we have. It’s not terrible, and I have to remind myself that I don’t have to make twenty hours of progress on my dissertation each week.

I’m focusing on “cherishing things up in my heart” and enjoying this season of my life instead of being stressed about everything I’m not getting done. It will be all too soon that I’m back at a “regular” job, not at home with my girl, and without the awesome flexibility that grad school affords. Specifically to this end, I’m meeting husband at the gym as much as possible rather than working out at home alone, and I spend most of Friday with a group of first time moms from our church. These activities take a decent amount of time away from work, but they are so good for my health and attitude. They are the memories I’ll remember for years to come.

We’ve started to get rid of a lot of the “baby things” at our house. I can’t believe how quickly you don’t need things anymore. With the advent of crawling and more independence has also come what I’m calling “real” parenting. Up until now, parenting has primarily been about keeping the kid alive, but we’re starting to set boundaries and say “no”. This is proving to be an adjustment for us all, but a good one. This is our little life to steward, and we want to steward well.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2015 in parenting

 

Parenting: Month 9

2015-06-06 16.36.23

Ok, seriously, this has been the best month of parenting so far. Routine seems to have stuck a bit. AB consistently sleeps 10 hours, eats a snack, and sleeps for another hour or two. I get up very early to work, feed her, she goes back to sleep, and I work some more. When she gets up for the day, we play with Husband for a little bit and then do our daily chores. Having a little baby crawling around certainly keeps you more on your toes to keep things cleaner. A few days a week I do a home workout while Husband gets ready for work. That way he can play with her a bit when she gets bored. Then breakfast, some time reading my Bible while she plays in her high chair next to me, and some more work for me while she plays independently in the office. A little play together before she takes her first nap and I work some more. Then lunch for us both, playing, perhaps a walk or an outing, and some more work before starting dinner. Food for everyone, play time with Husband, and off to bed. This is, of course, an ideal day. Sometimes the nap goes poorly, I fail to get up early, or she just needs some more attention. Sometimes we go to the gym instead of home workout. Sometimes I have meetings and the sitter comes. Today was a most excellent day. Tomorrow might be hard, but my more regular exercise and time with the Lord has certainly helped my attitude and ability to cope with more difficult days. Even though this is going very well, I’m still not making enough progress on all of my research projects. Hoping to work out some affordable care for the summer so I can get a bit ahead as the fall will be even busier. It won’t be long before she’s running away from me any chance she gets, so I’ve got to get going!

Fun things this month have been learning to wave, crawl, slide off the couch to stand up, and sit up. All this movement led us to doing some baby proofing, which resulted in some new to use furniture off of Craigslist. Got some good deals, the house looks nicer, and less danger for the kid. Wins all around! AB has a play area in the office and living room now. It is nice to be able to put her down in any room while I do something or another for a minute or two.

We took a trip to Florida for a family wedding this month. The picture above is us at the celebration. It went incredibly well. I wasn’t sure how flying was going to go since she’s older now. She slept through everything minus about 10 minutes going out there. The first day was rough, but we determined she was teething in addition to travel and long days. She stayed up two hours past bedtime almost every night we were there, and she did so, so well. I was quite impressed. By and large, this little one is easy going. I’m so thankful for her.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in parenting

 

Annabelle Rose: Month 9

2015-06-15 10.54.49

Nicknames: Little Munchkin, Munchakroo, Little Bug

Enjoys waving, crawling, eating, running errands, petting “the beast” (aka Magic our dog), sipping from a cup

Dislikes when a parent walks by without picking her up, being left with a non-parent, and men with beards.

New foods this month: ground turkey, cucumber, peaches, butter buttons

Foods she’ll eat to-date: butternut squash, sweet potato, yams, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, kale (w/ fruit), and hard-boiled egg yolks (w/ sweet potatoes), cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, spinach (w/ fruit), coconut milk, mango, prunes, avocado (w/ banana), blueberries

Foods planned for next month: ground beef, broccoli, and chicken (didn’t get to these last month)

AB can officially crawl! She went from the army crawl to full-on crawling in less than two weeks. She’s also started standing up while holding on to furniture. When at the airport on our recent trip to Florida for a family wedding, she figured out how to wave and the wonderful reaction that gets her from all the big people. She is a great joy and delight and generally an easy baby. She is unhappy when given to “strangers”, but tends to be just fine within a few minutes. Sleep is going better, which is good for her dissertating mama. Our big goal for the next month is to attempt to move back her wake up time so I can get work done before she gets up and still get decent sleep of my own!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in parenting

 

Parenting: Month 8

2015-05-14 09.34.27

This kid has been such a joy this month. She easily runs errands and goes on outings and charms people everywhere we go. This picture is her hanging out on the floor of an oral surgeon’s office as we waited for a friend to have her wisdom teeth pulled out. The front office workers, nurses, and even the surgeon himself all came to talk to her as she was a great delight while we waited for over an hour. AB also has friends at the fabric store and in our church group, but she doesn’t like going to strangers anymore. Being her mom is a joy.

This month has been a good one. We’re still figuring out routine, but we’re figuring it out nonetheless. I’ve created a work station that includes a nice big and safe play area for her to roll around in. Taking a shower is no longer a rare occasion, and the interactions with this Little Bug are priceless. I’m planning to start getting up at 5 to work for an hour or two before she gets up for the day. Since she isn’t totally regular on her schedule, I know this isn’t realistic every day, but even once or twice a week will be a big help. I’ve got several research projects running right now, so I need to do what’s needed to get good blocks of work in each day.

This last month I was able to get away for 5 days for a work conference. It was a great experience. Saying goodbye was ok, and I didn’t really start to miss her until the 4th day. The most ridiculous part of the trip was shuttling bags of expressed breast milk to the concierge desk multiple times a day to be stored in the hotel kitchen’s freezer. Definitely not an experience that I thought would ever be a part of my life, but definitely worth it.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in parenting

 

Annabelle Rose: Month 8

2015-05-16 10.08.24

Nicknames: Little Munchkin, Munchakroo, Little Bug

Enjoys jumping in her Johnny Jumpup, sitting in her high chair, running errands, rolling/creeping all over the floor, playing with her plastic cups

Dislikes being held by strangers

New foods this month: Cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, spinach (w/ fruit), coconut milk, mango, prunes, avocado (w/ banana), blueberries

Foods she’ll eat to-date: butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, kale (w/ fruit), and hard-boiled egg yolks (w/ sweet potatoes).

Foods planned for next month: ground beef (didn’t go well last month), broccoli, cucumber, peaches, chicken, and butter buttons

AB easily rolls both directions now. She can move herself about an open floor relatively easily and is quite inquisitive about all the new things she can access. So far, I’ve been able to use Husband’s jits mats to create a safe area for her to play in while I work at my standing desk. I’m hoping this set-up works for a while. She’s enjoying food more and more, and I’m planning to start finger foods in the near future. There’s been a notable change in her speech this month as well. She went from seemingly experimenting with what her voice sounds like to clearly attempting to make intentional sounds. This little one is also now able to stay up over three hours between naps and definitely has better naps if she stays up a little longer. Sleep at night is still hit or miss, but more hit than miss.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in parenting

 

Parenting: Month 7

2015-04-16 09.46.13

I got the sewing machine just under two months ago and have made the following since then:

  • cloth napkins
  • sewing machine cover
  • pj pants for the 8-year-old housemate
  • 3 reversible bags
  • Easter dress for Annabelle
  • rag quilt for Annabelle’s play mat
  • 2 baby sun hats

I’m also currently working on a cloth photo book for the kid. First off, don’t be impressed. None of these things are items of fine craftsmanship. The napkins are all different sizes, the pj pants are essentially two rectangles sewn together, I had to make 3 reversible bags to get it right by the third try, the dress is a rectangle, the quilt has a hole in it, and I had to make two hats because the first one was too small and the lining of both of them doesn’t line up to the outside. Regardless of the flaws, the sewing gives me an outlet. Even though it’s all been for someone else, the actual production is something for me. This has helped my mental state a lot. That up there is a picture of the sewing machine cover which I actually think is the best thing I’ve made as far as quality goes.

I still haven’t made it to the gym. Got all dressed and went one day, but AB fell asleep on the way, and waking her up to go inside would not have gone well. The craziness of this semester plus her inconsistent sleeping patterns have just made the gym an unrealistic goal. Thankfully breastfeeding and eating somewhat well has helped me to continue to lose bits of weight. I can get all of my old clothes on now, but they definitely don’t look as good as they used to. I accept that my body will never be the same, but I do want to return to being a better steward of the body God gave me. The plan is for AB and I to meet Husband up at the gym during his lunch hour two days a week following the close of this semester. Am really hoping this plan will work as it gives me exercise time and time with Husband. I’d like to get another trip or two in by myself and/or to the Crossfit gym instead, but I’m working up to that.

I’m leaving tomorrow for a 5-day conference in Chicago where I will do responsible conference things but where I will also visit museums and sleep! I expect to be sad when I leave that little baby, but also expect to have a wonderful time enjoying adult things (there are dinosaurs to be seen!) and sleeping past 5 or 6 am after sleeping through the night. I’m looking forward to my Instagram feed having pictures of things other than my kid. I look forward to putting on make up and real clothes and showering multiple days in a row. Pretty sure that hasn’t happened for 7 months. A newish friend of mine saw me on Easter and was surprised by my minimal makeup. That’s how I used to look every day! lol Not that I don’t love little AB, but my life for the past four months until the sewing machine came was caring for her and working. Not exactly how I viewed my life. Not terrible, but not who I want to be.

This kid definitely has my heart. I cherish her, but parenting is not for the faint of heart!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in parenting

 

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