Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday

I visited the dentist.
I ate lunch with my mother in law.
I was 9 months pregnant.
I was having contractions.
I was so excited to meet our baby boy.
And now, a whole year later,
That's it.
I cannot believe it.
In some ways I am very happy.
It was a rough year.
It was a tiring year.
We all yelled, screamed, and cried.
Sometimes at each other.
Sometimes at no one.
Some of us did not sleep much.
I did not sleep much.
So I am happy that we made it through.
That sleepless nights are on their way out.
That having to schedule around naps and feedings is over.
But in other ways I am very sad.
Our baby boy is not a little baby anymore.
He rarely snuggles.
He stopped nursing months ago and my milk dried up.
He is ready to walk, to run.
And I'm afraid I don't know him.
I know Audrey so well.
When she turned one, I knew her so well.
We had spent so much time together.
Nursing together.
Cuddling together.
Sleeping side by side.
But Evan is just out there on  his own sometimes.
Not with his mama.
He sleeps in the pack-n-play in the den.
Like he's an afterthought.
Or like we didn't make space for him.
Audrey talks and we listen.
Evan talks and we have no idea what he's saying.
We put him to bed early.
We rush him off to school.
We put him in the car seat, the stroller.
He's a happy guy, but maybe not because of us.
Not because of me.
And this makes me sad.
Makes me wish I stayed home with him more.
Wish I didn't work.
Wish I only had one child.
Or 3 more.
Or 3 more hands.
One this is certain, though, I do love this little guy.
He makes me smile.
And I can't believe that a year ago tomorrow, he'll be one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Fun(ny) Little Girl

A month or so ago, Blake, Audrey and I were eating dinner. It was a typical event... We make dinner after Evan is asleep and while Audrey plays with one of us or entertains herself. She sometimes helps set the table, which is sweet. We call her to dinner and she throws a fit or dawdles, or both. She claims to "I don't like [insert whatever we are serving]!". We threaten that she cannot watch any tv before bed if she doesn't sit down and try to eat. She sits. Then she has to go potty (if not now, then at sometime during the dinner. She will need help. I will go help. The rest of my dinner will be cold.) We hold hands and pray, usually for Mimi and Evan. Sometimes for ourselves. Always for patience. She actually looks at what we are serving and exclaims "Peas! I loooove peas!". She proceeds to eat. I tell her something like "it is good to eat good food like vegetables because it helps us to get strong and stay health... it will help make you big." On this night in question, my sweet three year old responds, deadpan, "it will also help me make poop." We laugh, uncontrollably. She fails to see what is funny. "Mom, I need to go potty."


Audrey learned to swim this summer. She is not ready to swim a 400 IM by any means, but she can kick and paddle and put her face in the water, propelling herself from point A to a not-so-distant point B pretty quickly. This makes me so proud. I love seeing her learn new things, especially things that are fun and hard for even some adults. After she started doing this the first time, I tried to get back in the pool with her as often as possible so that she could do it again and again. And so that I could feel that parental pride and have her little arms wrap around my neck, her laughter in my ear. So of course, I could not wait for our family trip to Lake Canandaigua in NY. I have such fond memories of swimming there with my cousins, jumping off the dock. And, with Audrey's new-found-love of swimming, I just imagined her having the same fun experience.

We get to NY. It is sub 80 all week, mostly cloudy. The water temperature is about 65. Freezing. On the first day, I manage to get us all to the beach with our swimsuits on and Audrey is brave enough to think about swimming. She puts her lifejacket suit on and wants to climb down the ladder. That doesn't go well, as the ladder is slimy. So, I tell her that she doesn't have to swim but that I, for old times sake, am going to jump off the dock. I do. It is cold. But not really that bad. She then immediately wants to jump in. She does. It is a flying leap. She splashes in. I am treading water and kind of catch her. She bobs up screaming - "GET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW!!!" Everyone on the dock and the beach clapped for her and I told her how proud I was of her. I was. It was a brave leap for a little girl. She didn't put so much as a big toe in the lake the rest of the week. And now, she won't even venture into the pool here.

Lesson learned. My parental pride cannot be more important than my child's confidence and perception of safety and comfort.


Blake and I have been brainstorming how to make Audrey's pacifier disappear for months. I thought the problem was solved when Toby chewed her original favorite to pieces last spring. But, she quickly transferred loyalty to another one of similar style. Granted, she only uses it at nap and bed times and only at home, but it's just time. She wakes up at least once a week in the middle of the night crying for it when it gets lost in her sheets and I can't take it anymore.

So, yesterday, the paci-fairy came while she was at school. The fairy left her a Frozen CD, a magic-clip Cinderella, a stuffed sock monkey, a tooth fairy alligator, and dum-dums. We told her that since she was a big girl, she didn't need her paci anymore and that the fairy would give her old paci to a little baby like Evan to use - we share with people who need something. She was in love with the dum-dums and actually did pretty well at bedtime. She threw a minor tantrum (5 seconds) and then was quiet for the night. I was SO proud this morning when at 7:30, she was still sleeping, and apparently without the paci. But then, I hear her in her room. I go in. She is still laying in bed with one arm up in the air. Triumphant. Holding one of Evan's little baby pacifiers. My pride negated. "Audrey, did you sleep with that pacifier all night." "Yes, I did." "But the pacifier fairy said it was time for no more pacis - you are a big girl. And, that is Evan's." "I know, but we share, mom."

Pride returns, she is an honest, resourceful, generous little girl.

Round 2 tonight. Winner TBD.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why all of my posts (if I had time to post) are about how time flies.

Because, just look at these pictures, it just flies. Absolutely flies.
We cruised through winter (well, no, we sloshed, slipped on the ice, skated, sledded, and other things, while wishing we were on a cruise) to Easter.
Then, before we knew it, we were wearing our summer jammies to walk to Starbucks on the weekends for much-needed coffee and "special milk" for the big 3 year old. 
 And then Evan could sit up with no problems and is a content water baby.
Audrey became extremely confused (perhaps we've watched "Frozen" one too many times) and decided that snow Angels in June (complete with the coat, gloves and hat) were fun.
And then, Evan, at 8+ months, completely lost his mind and started pulling up much sooner than mommy was ready for.
It flies.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Just Like That

Just like that.

The pregnancy that began in the first weeks of the old year is over.
The maternity leave that gloriously covered the best of the holidays is over.
Evan's fourth trimester. Over.
I'm exhausted.
And I'm sad.

I feel underwhelmed by my life at the office and overwhelmed by my life everywhere else.
I am tired. So very tired. So tired I can't sleep anymore.
When one child goes to bed for the night with a lovely snugly hug, sweet "I love you" and doesn't wake up until morning, the other is just beginning a 12 hour stretch of peek-a-sleep.

When I go out in the morning to warm up the car and move it closer to the house before loading my most precious passengers, I wonder if there will ever be a day when I "accidentally" back all the way down the driveway and find myself at Starbucks with a latte.
Audrey still watching a video on my phone and Evan snoozing in his car seat in the den.

I mean, I love these babies to the moon and back.
So much it hurts a little bit sometimes.
But it sure is exhausting.
But it's a nice kind of exhausting. A peaceful kind of tired.
This is how it's supposed to be.

And it goes so fast.
It's going so fast.
Audrey is wearing big-girl underwear and taking herself to the bathroom.
She doesn't want to sit in her highchair and she can reach the table without it.
She's memorizing books and burping her baby-doll ever so gently.
She doesn't want us to sing our goodnight song to her anymore.
And when I close the door after she says "night night" from the twin bed (the one I slept in until college) that surrounds her tiny body, I pause for a minute and fight off tears.
In my mind I hum the song and hold her little body, wrapped in her pink blanket.
So many times I wished she would just get a little bit bigger so that... and now she is.

Just like that.

And then I turn my attention, my body, my sleepless nights, my worry, over to my new baby.
And I savor every single minute, every cry, every sigh.
Every bit of baby-ness that I can eek out of him, I do.
Because in just a few days, weeks, months, years it's going to be over.
And I know now that I'm going to miss it when it is.

Just like that.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

He's here! {duh}

I'm tired and in the middle of laundry and packing to head to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to cut right to the chase on this one...

Unlike this overdue post, Baby Boy Erdel was not quite overdue on October 9th when I went into labor the day before I was scheduled for a repeat C-section. I believe it was induced by my dentist appointment earlier that morning. The hygienist telling me that I have signs of gingivitis really ticked me off. Or by the bacon I ate with my lunch. It was really good. Either way, it was for real and I managed the contractions all afternoon and evening. After we tucked Audrey into bed at MiMi and Poppy's and had one last date night, the pressure turned into pain and at about 1:30 in the morning, after no sleep at all, I showered, got Blake out of bed and decided that it was time to get things checked out. So, off we went to the hospital, bags and pillow in tow. The doctor on call (the same one who delivered Blake 32 years ago) confirmed my worst fears - not much progress. Like, 1centimeter. Which may as well have been negative 3 to me. Blake and I pretty quickly decided that the C-section that was scheduled for just a few hours later at 8am sounded like an option that was better than a long labor that may or may not end in surgery anyways. My regular doctor came in at 6am and agreed that, given my past history (long, induced labor with failure to progress and adverse reactions to an epidural), a C-section was still a good option. While I wasn't thrilled about having surgery again (I really had hoped that maybe labor would work the way it was supposed to this time) I was super excited to meet Baby Boy. See? Super excited.
The best part about a C-section compared to other major surgeries is that the fear of the surgery is outweighed by the excitement. I mean, I was happy to lose feeling in most of my body and hear the clinking of surgical tools. I felt elated (and a little loopy) as they prepped me. I made small talk with the anesthesiologist and laughed with my nurse. Not all of the surgery or the aftermath was glorious (like, I was so cold in the recovery room that they had to take the baby away from me and cover me with heating blankets and other details I will spare you), but, I'm quickly forgetting those details. I will never forget the most important detail though...
Evan Joseph Erdel! Born at 8:15am. Weighed 8lbs, 7oz and measured 21 inches long! Perfectly healthy and super cute. I love him. I was afraid that I wouldn't or couldn't because it was hard to imagine that I could have the same feelings for another person that I already have for Audrey. I wasn't sure my heart was big enough. But I do and it is and life is so good. Even at 3am. No, especially at 3am, when he is all mine.

I did this side-by side to show how much my two babies look alike, not to set them up for a fight for my heart. It's a draw, every time.

So, this holiday season, we are so thankful for all of our blessings. Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, too.