Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Mother of Two

Having two kids is so much easier than having one.

I know that sounds crazy, but for me, it's so true.

Bringing Brown-Eyed Boy into our lives, going from zero children to one, was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was such an absolute life change that it took me months to wrap my mind around it, to feel like an actual mother instead of the awkward babysitter. I struggled, until Brown-Eyed Boy was about a year old, to let go of my old life and embrace the changes that having a baby brought.

Once I started feeling like a mother, adding Baby Blue Eyes to the mix was just a bump in the road. We quickly remembered what it was like having a newborn in the house, and she slipped easily into our routine and our lives.

Thank goodness I didn't have to go through that hard adjustment all over again.

Not that having two kids is a piece of cake all the time.

I dreaded the day Mr. Brown Eyes went back to work after Baby Blue Eyes was born. But, besides Brown-Eyed Boy throwing fits that I was feeding the baby instead of getting him chocolate milk, it went pretty well. Until bedtime.

Let me explain. Putting Brown-Eyed Boy to bed is a time-consuming process. We say prayers. We read scriptures. We read a book of Brown-Eyed Boy's choosing. Sometimes two or three or more books. We turn the light off. And then either Mr. Brown Eyes or I must lay beside Brown-Eyed Boy until he stops wiggling and giggling and squirming and playing with his toy cars long enough to fall asleep. Sometimes it's a matter of minutes before he's conked out. Other nights it takes hours.
On this my first night having the kids to myself, Baby Blue Eyes was sleeping peacefully while I brushed my little boy's teeth and put on his pajamas. Then she woke up abruptly, wailing. I told Brown-Eyed Boy to lay in bed while I went to get her out of the carseat, intending to read Brown-Eyed Boy's bedtime story and nurse Baby Blues Eyes at the same time. But when I brought the baby in, instead of getting into bed Brown-Eyed Boy threw himself on the floor in a tantrum.

For a moment I sat there, baffled, while they both cried.

Then I smiled.
I had to, or I would have cried, too.

Somehow I resolved the situation and got both of them to sleep without anymore tears. And let me tell you, nothing makes me feel like a more accomplished mother than a quiet house full of the sound of peacefully-sleeping children.

I love my babies,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Thursday, June 20, 2013

While I Was Away

Here is some of the fun you missed while I was on maternity leave:

1. Zombie Cake 
My husband made this for my sister's birthday.
It in no way resembles my sister.

2. Water slide

Also for my sister's birthday. A fourteen-foot inflatable water slide. Hours of fun. But I can't seem to find any pictures.

3. Produce Basket

Through some people in their ward, my parents pay fifteen dollars twice a month to get a basket full of fresh, delicious produce. I decided to try it, and I love it. It feels like Christmas twice a month. I never know what kind of produce we're going to get, and it forces me to try new things and eat healthier. We had Swiss chard smoothies the other day.

4. Les Miserables

Bought the movie on a whim. Loved it. It always makes me happy when my husband likes movies I don't expect him to. Like when we were dating and he watched "Phantom of the Opera" with me. He just didn't want his roommates to catch him.

5. Go-kart
Mr. Brown Eyes' Father's Day present. Am I an awesome wife or what?

6. Jogging Stroller
This was my birthday present, and I finally got to use it for a few weeks before the weather got too gosh-darned hot to go running. I love it. The kids love it. One of the best purchases we've ever made.

7. Grape-vine and the grape-vine-eating pony

We thought it would be cool to plant a grape-vine along our fence. We failed to take into consideration our redneck neighbors' inability to keep their pets--i.e. goats, horses, and a pony--inside their yard. Needless to say, the grape-vine isn't doing too well.

That, and we've also forgotten to water it a couple times.

I promise we take much better care of our children than we do our plants.

8. Brown-Eyed Boy turned three

9. Brown-Eyed Boy's haircut


My family didn't even recognize him when they saw him the next day.
I think he looks adorable, but I miss his long hair.
At least I don't have to chase him around the house to comb his hair anymore.

10. Baby Blue Eyes' Blessing

Wearing the beautiful dress my mom made her. Which she pooped in as soon as we got to church.

Baby Blue Eyes, not my mom.

11. Cookies and Cream Culver's Concrete Cake

In celebration of Mother's Day.

I had just decided I was going to give up chocolate to see if it lessened Baby Blue Eyes' fussiness. But Mr. Brown Eyes forgot and bought me the most chocolate-laden cake Culvers had to offer.

I couldn't not eat it.

That would be rude.

So I decided to give up chocolate another day.

Best decision I ever made,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day

One night back in our dating days, Mr. Brown Eyes and I decided to go out for dinner. As was/is my wont, I ate way too much, and as we were walking to the car I pretended I was pregnant. Sticking out my belly and grabbing Mr. Brown Eyes' hand, I asked, "Can you feel it kick?"

He laughed, but at the same time his eyes lit up and his face took on that sheepish expression he gets when he's full of mushy emotion.

"It makes me really happy to think of you pregnant with our baby," he told me.

I knew then that he was going to be an amazing father someday.

I was right.

Happy Father's Day, my love.
Thank you for being the father of my children.
Your wife,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

To My Dad

We had some rough times while I was growing up. I was a stubborn teenager and you were hard on me.

When your Italian temper flared, I swore I would never be like you.

Famous last words.

Last week Brown-Eyed Boy had a dentist appointment at a pediatric dentist's office that we had been referred to by his regular dentist. Because his regular dentist's office failed to do their job, the appointment did not go like it was supposed to. Instead of getting fillings, Brown-Eyed Boy had to have another exam and we discovered he had three cavities instead of two, which meant shelling out lots more money than I anticipated.

And the whole time I was a barely-controlled ball of rage, snapping at the hygienist, rolling my eyes, crossing my arms and assuming an angry stance that just dared anyone to try to talk to me and risk inflicting my wrath.

Just like Dad used to do when I was a kid. Man, I hated going to the store with him.

Yes, Dad, turns out I'm more like you than I ever thought. I have that same Italian temper. I don't like having any other cars in front of me on the highway. I freeze when the temperature drops below seventy-five. I pinch the life out of pennies and I wouldn't mind jumping into the car and taking a road trip to see the world.

And now that I'm older, I've seen sides of you I didn't know existed when I was a teenager. You tearing up at your surprise birthday party. Hearing your uncles call you "Jimmy." Seeing you throw your arms around my son.

Being like you isn't so bad.

The Brown-Eyed Girl