Category Archives: Motherhood

Baby / Motherhood / Primrose

Motherhood Update: Prim at 23 months

April 10, 2017

Saying: Everything. Ev-er-y-thing. Prim spends the whooole day talking, and has gotten very good at explaining exactly what she wants at any given moment (“Prim do it!” “Mama help!”) She narrates everything (“Larky sleeping!” “Lark awake!”) and speaks to Lark in her little gibberish language, as though they’re sharing secrets or she’s explaining just how all of this “life outside the womb” business works. It’s heart-achingly adorable and I hope these two are always as thick as thieves.

Doing: Prim is absolutely loving our new bakfiets, which she calls “Daddy bike” since KC rides it. I ride behind the bakfiets on my own bike and watch as she hangs one arm over the side, narrating the ride in her own nonsense language and occasionally pointing out “dog!” or “people!”

Reading: Barnyard Dance, Tree, The Night Gardener, King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, The Napping House, Jamberry, and Peace is an Offering.

Latest trick: With Prim’s expanded mastery of the English language has come the first bedtime and naptime manipulations. Prim is always asking for “more song” before I leave her room at bedtime or naptime. Singing to Prim before putting her down for the night is one of the sweetest parts of the day, so it’s always a struggle balancing the consistency of the bedtime routine with my own wishes to extend the time where she snuggles up to me, laying her head on my chest as I sing her “Edelweiss” or what she calls “movie song,” which is one of the songs from Frozen, Tangled or Moana — the soundtracks we listen to on Spotify on repeat on a daily basis.

Favorite toys: I’ve equipped Prim’s little kitchen with some empty spice jars, as I had emptied them into my own decorative spice jars which sit on the kitchen counter. Prim loves “cooking with spices” and “making coffee” in her kitchen, which involves an unused metal IKEA coffee press and her stacking cups (one of the very best toy purchases from when Prim was a baby!)

Sweetest things: Prim is so, so sweet with Lark. Everyday is full of her giving Lark kisses and hugs and sweetly announcing “Larky sad!” whenever Lark starts crying. She’ll often sidle up to Lark when she’s in the crib or the bouncy seat while I’m busy cooking or doing dishes, and I’ll hear Prim’s high-pitched “Hiiiiii Lark!” followed by a string of gibberish words, complete with accompanying hand gestures.

Favorite thing about this age: Because Prim recently went through the language explosion developmental milestone, she loves pointing out and naming just about everything. If she doesn’t know the word for something she will make it clear that she’s searching for the word until I name it for her, when she will triumphantly repeat it back to me. She loves snuggling up to me while I hold Lark and pointing to and naming body parts (“Larky ear!” “Mama eyebrow!” “Prim neck!”) The most hilarious example of which came while I was getting dressed one day and she walked up behind me and announced, “Mama buns!” and lovingly tapped my behind, just like I will occasionally do to her. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing and scoop her up for a hug.

Baby / Lark / Motherhood

Motherhood Update: Lark at 1 month

March 22, 2017

We’re a little over one month in with Lark now, so I thought I’d put together an update on how she’s doing and how we’re adjusting to our newest family member. These updates will be a little different from the ones I post about Prim (because, yeah, there’s not a whole lot of huge developments to cover the first 6-8 months) so these posts will be a little bit about Lark and a little bit about what’s working for us two-kids-wise and how Prim is adjusting to being a big sister.

Sleeping: Don’t worry, we don’t have some magical unicorn child who is sleeping through the night at 5 weeks (don’t you kind of want to punch those parents? Just a little? I mean… good for them though.) Lark is exclusively breastfed and is on a pretty standard breastfed schedule (meaning: no schedule.) She eats on demand and we have been lucky that she generally sticks to 3 hours between feedings at night (sometimes she’ll do a 4 hour stretch, sometimes she’ll do a 2 hour stretch — it’s not an exact science). It’s tiring, but I’ve found that if you go into the first few months expecting to be up most of the night, it’s not so bad. And I’m very lucky that Lark is a champion breastfeeder and came out of the womb that way (such a difference from Prim!)

How we’re adjusting: I really prepared myself for the transition to two kids to be monstrous. I thought I would get zero sleep, be completely irritable, expected to have a baby who cried and cried and couldn’t be calmed, and thought Prim would have a really difficult time adjusting. Luckily my “worst case scenario” mentality worked out — none of those things have happened. I did get really thrown into the deep end when, after having help for the first couple weeks, KC went back into busy season where he would work until 10:30pm or later, meaning I was alone with both kids alllll day (and most of the night, really). Tackling Prim’s naptime and bedtime routine (including her bath) are the most challenging parts of the day, but I’ve been feeling pretty accomplished that we have been sticking to Prim’s schedule and I’ve managed to keep the house clean, laundry done, and even cook dinner most nights.

I’m definitely still in the process of figuring out what Lark likes these days. Unlike Prim, who loved to be swaddled, Lark is not a fan of being wrapped up burrito-style. Luckily she seems to sleep well with her arms free, so I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out a newborn sleep sack situation, since I didn’t put Prim into a sleep sack until she was 4 or 5 months. Lark also did not take to the Avent Soothie/Wubbanub pacifier the way Prim did. I finally found a pacifier that she likes, but she’s still not crazy for it like Prim was at this age.

Lifesavers: There’s no way I would be able to tackle two kids effectively without baby wearing. The Solly Wrap is such a lifesaver. I keep the Solly Wrap tied on me all day and pop Lark in and out as needed. It’s the quickest way to calm her down and get her to sleep if she’s tired (not to mention it’s basically the only way I can tackle Prim’s nap and bedtime routine without having a baby screaming in the next room). I’ve been pretty strict about Lark sleeping in her crib in our room at night, but during the day we’re still in the “whatever works” phase of getting her to nap. Newborn sleep is all over the place and they luckily aren’t forming strong habits at this age, so I’m not sweating the lack of daytime routine.

New sibling: Prim has adjusted phenomenally well to having a new sibling. From the moment we brought Lark home, Prim was smitten with her and this really hasn’t changed. She asks for “Baby Lark” as soon as she wakes up in the morning and loves giving her kisses, snuggles, and “pets.”

Sweetest things: Prim will cuddle up with Lark under the IKEA play gym and speak to her in her little gibberish language, which we’ve dubbed “Primglish.” Lark has started cooing back, which is simultaneously adorable and a little terrifying — Prim didn’t start cooing until around 6 weeks and now talks a mile a minute all day long, so I’ve already warned KC that it’s likely we’re going to have two little chatterboxes on our hands.

Favorite thing about this age: There is nothing sweeter than newborn snuggles. And the frog position they get into when they’re so sleepy after breastfeeding (feet up, arms bent with fists by the face) makes me want 100 more babies every time.

Motherhood / Primrose

Motherhood Update: Prim at 21 months

February 9, 2017

Saying: Make no mistake, Prim is a talker. KC recently asked me, “Do all kids talk this much?” and I had to inform him that no, Prim is really exceptionally chatty. In addition to her own made-up language which she still whips out on a daily basis, Prim has mastered a lot of two- and three-word phrases now. She’s exploring possession (“Prim’s water! Mama’s coffee!”) and has really embraced command phrases (“Close it! More books! Mama sit!”) I can already see the makings of the best and bossiest big sister forming.

Doing: Prim is still obsessed with books. She goes to bed with a stack of books and it’s grown to be a little absurd — she’s literally going to bed with around a dozen books these days, and the first thing she says to me upon waking up is, “More books.” But being someone who is a little book-obsessed myself, I can hardly blame Prim for her love of reading.

Reading: Since Prim is so into reading I thought it would be fun to list out a few of the books that are currently topping her favorites list. She’s currently enthralled by the Frog and Toad series, The Little Red Hen, Jessie Bear What Will You Wear?, Miss Rumphius, Goodnight Yogaand The Friendly Beasts which is a holdover from Christmas that we just can’t seem to let go of. (Also very funny and very sweet — Prim has discovered a printed photo book I made for KC for our first wedding anniversary which has a bunch of our wedding pictures. She’s obsessed with looking through it and naming everyone she knows in the pictures. We’re literally looking through it upwards of six times a day.)

Latest trick: Prim is rapidly approaching age 2, and the big two-year-old behavior is starting to rear its head. Since our day is full of Prim making commands, she inevitably hears the word “no” in one form or another fairly often. This is now sometimes met with her standing stick-straight and screaming as loud as she can. I have to admit that it’s half terrifying and half totally hilarious.

Favorite toys: Prim is entering the world of pretend play which is really sweet. She still loves to “cook” in her kitchen and play with her baby doll, but she’s recently starting pretending to be a kitty and a baby without any props or toys necessary (just lots of sound effects and belly pets). Prim is also starting to play dress up (as evidenced by the photo at the top of the post). I don’t have a dress up box for her yet, so this exercise is her pulling out the basket containing all her winter gear and putting as much of it on herself as she can manage (often after removing her pants, because those clearly just get in the way.)

Sweetest things: Prim is the sweetest and snuggliest child a lot of the time. Whenever KC or I leaves she insists on “kiss” and “snuggle” before we depart (and how could we ever resist that request?)

Favorite thing about this age: Prim seems to comprehend that she has a little sister on the way (though we’ll see how it is when the reality of bringing an actual baby home hits!) She regularly snuggles up to my belly and says, “Baby sister! Kiss. Snuggle.” She also loves going to the midwife with me. She happily climbs the stairs to the office and yells, “Check the baby!” She even knows the whole drill and immediately heads over to the exam table as soon as they start taking my blood pressure, insisting on being right next to me while they measure and feel my belly and listen to little sister’s heart.

Baby / Motherhood / Primrose

Monthly Motherhood Update: Prim at 18 months

November 9, 2016

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Saying: Prim talks all day long and is regularly copying our words and mimicking our actions now. This means that KC and I have to be a bit more careful about the words we throw around these days, which is a fun new parenting challenge.

Sleeping: I recently fully weaned Prim, which was quite bittersweet for both of us. She wasn’t nursing much and certainly didn’t need to nurse, but I will admit that I loved having the special time with her twice a day. KC and I made the decision to wean her because I did not want to tandem breastfeed two children once baby #2 came along, and breastfeeding while pregnant is painful (it’s like breastfeeding a piranha). I love that KC can now put Prim to bed on his own so they get to have some special one-on-one time together. It’s also a relief since KC and I are going on our first overnight vacation together since Prim’s birth in just a few weeks, so I don’t feel like I’m just pulling the rug out from under P and forcing her to wean while we’re away. But I will admit that it’s been a very emotional process for both Prim and me.

Doing: Prim is obsessed with books and reading. We read alllll day long and she has even recently started bringing a book into her crib with her when she goes down for her nap and at bedtime. KC and I watch her on the monitor as she casually flips through the book before settling down (in complete darkness, mind you) and then she often falls asleep on top of her latest read. Some kids have a special blanket or stuffed animal, but of course my child falls asleep on top of a hard-backed storybook.

Latest trick: Prim recently started whining and fake crying as a means of trying to get attention or something she wants. It can be really challenging to not get annoyed when she does it (it’s quite effective!), but I’m trying to see it as a new challenge and keep my cool while telling her, “I can’t understand you when you whine, can you please tell me what you want without whining?”

Favorite toys: Prim has recently started “making coffee” with an IKEA coffee press we don’t use. She recently caught onto mine and KC’s love of coffee and now regularly totes around her coffee press announcing “Cahhh!” (coffee) and taking a big fake swig.

Sweetest things: Prim has learned to say “I love you” (which sounds more like “owee-yoo”) which just makes my heart melt. She’s even started saying it unsolicited (meaning KC or I don’t say it first) — she recently came up and gave me a huge hug and said “owee-yoo” and I basically called KC immediately and was like, “100 more babies!”

Favorite thing about this age: Prim is turning into such a little human these days. I love how quickly she’s grasping new words and concepts. It does make for more challenges as well, as with greater understanding comes more opinions (where does she get that from??), but overall I’m loving this stage full of personality and willfullness.

Motherhood / Travel

A Very Long Day

October 5, 2016

img_9921Hello!

We’re back in Amsterdam now after our few weeks in California. We left last Thursday and got in early on Friday morning after two flights with a layover in Newark, New Jersey.

Since I’m sure your curious how these flights went, the short version is I felt less nervous and more prepared, but they also weren’t as smooth as the two coming to California. This was mainly due to the fact that Prim didn’t sleep the night before our flights back to Amsterdam. Prim, my sweet little champion sleeper who has been sleeping through the night for the past 7 months straight, was up flipping out until 3am the night before our flights. I could not for the life of me figure out what the deal was and tried everything imaginable to get her to calm down and go to sleep. She, of course, fell asleep hard at 3am when I had to be up at 4:30am (and wake her up at 5am) for our 8am flight out of SFO. (Nothing makes you feel like a kick-ass mom like waking up your EXHAUSTED child after 2 hours of sleep!)

Our flight to Newark went surprisingly well. Prim slept a little and chilled out for most of the flight. When we got to Newark though, she was pretty amped, which I knew was a bad sign (hellooo overtired!) I was hoping that she would knock out early on our second flight, since I knew she was super tired and the flight was long. She was so overtired that as soon as we boarded the plane she was starting to lose it. I quickly gave her some Benadryl and did manage to get her to fall asleep, but she woke up after 20 minutes fully pissed and inconsolable. The seat belt sign was on forever so I literally just had to sit there with a writhing, screaming, overtired child, telling myself over and over, “You’re never going to see any of these people sitting near you again.” (And if you’ve ever been one of those people cursing the parents of a screaming child on a plane — trust me, they have it wayyy worse than you do. And karma is a total B, which means you will probably be the horrified parent of a screaming child on a plane one day!)

The seat belt sign finally went off and I took Prim into the bathroom to calm her down/muffle her screams. The first few of hours were like this — me doing everything in my power to keep her meltdowns as minimal as possible. The rest of the flight went ok, but I was exhausted and everyone sitting around me seemed terrible and mean.

The woman across the aisle from me was a total weirdo who boarded the plane with one of those surgical masks on. I was dying to ask her if it was because she was sick or because she was trying not to get sick, especially after she removed it shortly into the flight and spent the rest of the time coughing and sneezing. (File that under, Exhibit A: I’m pregnant and hate everyone.)

Also, my flight from Amsterdam to Chicago on my way out to California was so great, passenger-wise. People were SO friendly with Prim. For whatever reason, all the flights I’ve had that have originated in the US it’s been the complete opposite — people literally don’t even say “hi” back when Prim says hi to them.

WTF, America??

We finally arrived back in Amsterdam and de-boarded the plane only to find that our stroller was not there waiting. I saw that another family had gotten their stroller and so asked a worker about ours. After some radioing back and forth, she shrugged and informed me that she “guessed” it would come out with our luggage. (That European customer service, guys — it’s amazing.)

This meant that I had to journey across the entire airport, through customs (European customs, no less — read: slow, disorganized), all the way to baggage claim carrying an exhausted, wiggly toddler and our two carry-on bags, while almost 20 weeks pregnant.

THANKS UNITED. YOU’RE THE BEST.

Also, have you ever tried to grab two huge suitcases and a stroller off of the baggage carousel while simultaneously trying to corral a toddler after traveling for 18 hours on 1 1/2 hours of sleep? It’s awesome. I totally recommend it.

I will admit that there was a point where I was like, “I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.” But, in true mom-fashion, it’s looking like there’s a very solid chance that I’ll be flying back to California with Prim solo in December again (which, I have told myself is going to be great and so easy!) We will be flying direct this time, and 11 hours direct sounds like a freaking godsend after these multi-flight trips (even if I will be in my third trimester at that point…)

Oh yeah, and why was Prim such a monster the night before our flights? Well, I figured out the other day that THREE of her molars just came in. Hooray!