Never say……well you know

I was one of those. “I’m never gonna put my kids in my bed. I don’t care if they cry all night…they will learn to sleep in their own bed.” Well guess what happened? Then I actually HAD a kid…and everything I said before turned into crap.

Kennedy, like most kids, is very observant. Even as a baby, I felt like she knew what was going on around her even in her sleep. The minute we would turn out a light or get into the bed, she was up and looking around. “I’m just going to hold her close to me here in my bed until she falls asleep. Then, I will go put her right back into her crib.” Well, then I wake up and my alarm is going off and this sweet angel is still sleeping next to me. *sigh* It’s ok for this one night…

Finally, we got into a routine. She would fall asleep on the sofa, and I would put her into her own bed. She slept all night! Victory! Then, a couple of weeks later, she got a sinus infection and couldn’t breathe through her nose when she was lying down. So I brought her with me and held her upright so she would sleep comfortable all night. That was the end of our winning streak.

Jules was a little different. Jules had acid reflux and colic terribly for the first four months. She cried all the time. She would get colicky right around 9pm (when we were getting into bed.) I would pace the floor bouncing and bouncing until she would settle. I would oh so carefully place her into her cradle next to my bed, careful not to move her much or make the slightest sound. I would crawl into my bed in the slowest motion possible…making NO sound. Yes! She stayed! 10 minutes…15 minutes…Hallelujah! I would settle and close my eyes and pray. Then I would hear that baby grunting noise. People who have kids know what this sounds like. They grunt like a baby pig and start wiggling around. NOO!!!!! Maybe she will fall back asleep if I keep quiet. More grunting. I start to hear the cradle creak since she is moving around so much. Then she wakes…and starts screaming all over again. Back to pacing and bouncing. It’s midnight now, and I have to work in the morning. The alarm will go off at 4:30am…if I hold her now, I can get a good 4.5 hours of sleep. So that was that…

Every single night they start off in their beds…I do have the rule that they cannot come into our bed and fall asleep. Occasionally we have a golden child that sleeps through the night in her bed…occasionally. However, they never BOTH do it at the same time. Since Jules was born, they have both slept in their beds by themselves all night TWICE. TWICE! Twice, in 18 months, my husband and I have slept by ourselves in our bed (with our kids being home). I know it’s our own fault, but it is what it is.

I have tried them in their own beds. I have tried them in Kennedy’s bed together. I have tried putting pillows around them to make it feel like a person. I have tried a sound machine, humidifier, more PJs, less PJs, leaving the TV on for sound, leaving a light on….you name it. The cry out method was even attempted. Reality is…we have to get up and be productive at a job in the morning. We need sleep. So if letting the kids get in our bed just so everyone can get a couple of hours of sleep is the answer, then so be it.

Is it so terrible that they want to be close to us? I know we need to teach them to be independent, but they will not be little like this forever. Snuggling with your parents in their bed will get a little awkward in high school.

I try to remember that when I feel knees in my back. I try to remember to have patience when I turn over and get a toe right in the middle of my eye. Or when I wake up in pee (not from myself or Seth). I know it won’t be like this for long, so I need to remember to be grateful that my babies NEED us right now. Before long, they will not need us anymore and won’t WANT to be close to us anymore.

So until then, we will keep doing what we are doing. Our family of four in our king sized bed. Occasionally we have Harley too…fireworks and thunderstorms are his enemy. I am not embarrassed! I know we are not the only family like this!

And just to give you a little taste of how Kennedy sleeps…

Hubby’s (early) 30th and Graduation Party

Recently, my husband earned his Bachelors of Science in Environmental Management. He has been diligently working every night for the past two years – not an easy thing to do with a full-time job and two young ones. Since he finished school in December and had an approaching 30th birthday at the end of January, I wanted to throw him a little party with our family and friends to show him how proud we are of his accomplishments.

Of course I had to make some home-made corny decor to decorate the cake table :)

I also made him a beer “cake” which I topped with a graduation hat made of cardstock and a diploma.

Although I had some plans for outside decor, the wind got the best of them :( I tried for an hour to make it look like the images in my head, but then I gave up!

It was super chilly, so the fire in our yard was a big hit. My girls had rosy cheeks all night!

The girls were so excited to sing Happy Birthday to him and help him blow out his candles. (Thanks to my super talented friend, Toni, for the delicious cake)

Seth recently finished his “man cave” in our outside building/kitchen. Living in Louisiana and loving football, you can imagine the theme – SAINTS! For his birthday and graduation gift I wanted to get him something unique. I had a friend of mine come paint a huge Saints mural on one of the walls in his man cave. I wanted to keep it a secret, but had to tell him for obvious reasons. It came out awesome, and he loves it. We are so proud of him!

Kenn & Jules Lately

There is never a dull moment in our house, so I have my camera or video camera ready at all times. Lately, Kennedy has been singing any song she knows…and you better be ready to clap or you will get fussed! I’m not sure how I feel about her singing Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”, but her cuteness makes up for her poor song choice :) Jules has recently learned to count to 10 (with a little help), and Kennedy learned her days of the week and months of the year.

I usually bring my phone with me in the bathroom since they bring me company when I’m in the bathtub. Sometimes these are the funniest moments. Usually, Kennedy “cooks” for me while Jules hides herself in the cabinet. She closes the door on herself and just stays in the dark. She always comes out, so I guess she is getting air somehow!?

Here’s a little montage of their tricks and funnies lately ;)

What Does a Mom Look Like?

Yesterday I saw an old friend in the grocery store. She asked the usual questions…”how are you!?”, “how are those babies!?” Then as we were about to walk away from each other she says, “Look at you, girl. You look like a little mom.”

So as I’m walking away, I look down at myself…jeans, t-shirt, flat shoes, and a jacket. My hair was in a ponytail. Is this what a mom looks like?

I immediately became self-conscious and thought about the “frumpy mom” phenomena. Women who used to take care of themselves, then after kids they let themselves go. Am I that frumpy mom? Maybe some days I am when I don’t leave the house, but usually I put on a little makeup and make myself presentable. So why did she tell me I look like a mom? I began thinking what all moms have in common. What does a mom look like?

Her nail polish may be peeling off, because she hasn’t had time for a manicure in a while. Or perhaps they are painted, but her manicurist is an imaginative three-year old that wanted to make mommy pretty.

She wears dried food on her shirt, because her little one gave her a big hug after snack.

She has shin splints from sprinting down the driveway to catch the surprisingly fast toddler.

Her legs are a little prickly to the touch. She didn’t have time to shave because the kids were hanging over the bathtub crying for her company.

She wears bags under her eyes from sleepless nights.

She carries a huge purse filled with a wallet, sunglasses, diapers, wipes, Kleenex, band aids, teething toys, a snack, and a pacifier.

Her feet are callused from running outside to help the little scientist catch bugs and butterflies.

Her limbs are numb and tingling because her infant fell asleep on her, and she doesn’t want to wake him.

She wears little to no lipstick. She put it on earlier, but it came off after she kissed those precious cheeks over and over and over again.

Her back hurts her all the time. She is constantly bending down to pick up kids, pick up toys, pick up laundry, etc.

Her fingertips smell of Neosporin from making skinned knees all better.

If she has earrings on, they probably do not dangle. She had a painful incident when the baby pulled too hard.

There is a milk stain on her jeans that she forgot to wipe off when heading out the door for work.

She wears the most joyous smile. A smile that only her kids can sneak from her lips. They make her the happiest woman alive.

Perhaps her hair is in a ponytail because her youngest wanted to read an extra book before school in the morning. She decides a ponytail will do for the day instead of using the straightener or curling iron…and she picks out their favorite book to read together.

Her knees are bruised from bending over the tub every night to wash the germs away from her little ones.

She wears a Mickey Mouse band-aid on her arm because her toddler was playing “doctor” and mommy needed a shot.

And underneath it all, she wears stretch marks, saggy boobs, & cellulite…all proof that she carried the little miracle(s) in her body.

So thank you, old friend, for the enormous compliment. I LOOK LIKE A MOM, and I wouldn’t want to appear any other way.