Lucky number 3!

I am a terrible blogger. I know, I take breaks that are entirely too long, reappear out of nowhere with big news, then disappear again. It’s a terrible habit. I know I am no good at keeping up with this thing regularly, but I do love coming back to it later and seeing the big, important, emotional moments of my life written out. So, I keep blogging when I have something I feel like blogging about.

Right now, I have something huge!

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Adam impregnated me again. =D We are so excited! Our girls are incredible and beautiful and amazing and hilarious and we can’t wait to add to our brood… maybe this time we will get a little more testosterone in the house? We have actually known for quite a while, since the beginning of September, but kept it to ourselves while we did the initial confirmation and other fun doctor stuff. Now I am almost 10w along so we are sharing our incredible news with the world.

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The girls are basically oblivious to what’s going on, which is to be expected from a 1 year old and a 2 year old, but since they are older than Kaia was when Kalista arrived we are going to keep talking about it in the hopes that they will understand when the big day gets here. Right now, if I ask Kaia what’s in mommy’s belly she will say baby, and if we start talking about babies she will point to her own belly. ❤ Kalista knows how to say “baby” but that’s about the extent of her understanding. I am really excited to get them their own little baby dolls as the pregnancy progresses and teach them how to take care of them. Hopefully that will help them get excited and help it to click a little bit.

That’s my big announcement for this installment of As the Alexander’s Turn… stay tuned (but don’t hold your breath, who knows how long it will take me to post again) for upcoming developments. =P

40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS Declutter Challenge!!!

A friend of mine, Ann Marie, runs this amazing blog called White House Black Shutters, and she is doing an awesome challenge right now that I am so excited about participating in. It’s called 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS and it’s all about decluttering and decrappifying your space. This is something I DESPERATELY need to do right now. My home is my office, and with two little girls now mobile and running around my house like dirty little banshees, the less I have for them to twirl into a sticky pile of mess the better. I can’t tell you how many times I have spent the last two minutes before a video meeting with colleagues at work pushing an array of toys and toddler clothes out of the frame of my webcam so that when I popped into a meeting  the toddler tornado wasn’t visible.

So… It. Is. ON. Time to fix it! The point of the challenge is to spend Lent simplifying. Every day either fill a bag to donate/trash/sell, or pick one area of your home or office (or both in my case) to clean and organize. I have wrangled a few coworkers, a few family members, and a few friends into doing the challenge with me already, and we are all getting started today!  My first area is my couch which is a very large, very comfortable sectional with this amazing ottoman that is so big we call it baby island… and there is MAYBE 1.5 butts worth of space to actually sit on it. Between the laundry, toys, and other random pieces of random randomness, it has been taken over and no longer serves it’s intended purpose. That all changes as soon as I am done writing this post. I will post my before and after pics when I am done.

If you would like to join the challenge with me, you can find out all of the deets here:
http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/40-bags-in-40-days-2013-declutter-challenge/

I have already joined the FB group created for it (there are 400+ people in there and it’s already proving to be very motivational!) and I plan to blog and Instagram (#40bags40days) my progress. Join me and we can help keep each other motivated!

Dear Kalista,

The first thing that I want to tell you is that I love you. I have loved you from the moment I found out you were coming, and I still love you just as much… no, more… than I did then. You are my second, and I want to make sure that you never feel second best. I love you as much, although in different ways than, your sister. Although I am sure that at times I will fail, I promise that I will try to never compare you to Nikaia in any way that makes you feel like you aren’t good enough. You are good enough, you are smart enough, you are brave enough, you are beautiful enough… YOU are more than enough all by yourself. On the same token… You entering our lives was an addition to the family, not a substitution or a replacement for anything your sister was lacking. You are two very unique, very special, very amazing little girls and while we will never love you exactly the same (since you are two very different people), we will always love you both with our whole hearts. There will be no splitting our love between you, you both get ALL of the love we have to give.

There are so many things I hope for you. I hope that you will be ridiculously happy with whatever life you create for yourself. I hope that you will take the time to stop and smell the roses. I hope that you will find a creative outlet that allows you to release your sadness and express your happiness.  I hope you will find your voice and never be afraid to use it. I hope that you will know the joy of carrying a baby and I hope that motherhood will impact your life the way that being your mother has impacted mine. I hope that you will recognize and utilize the ambition that you have inside of you. As a baby you had hip dysplasia and needed therapy to do simple things like roll, crawl, and transition from one position to another. You never let your limited range of motion stop you from doing what you wanted to do. As a baby you couldn’t care less what prognosis doctors gave you, you didn’t understand those silly words and continued to work towards whatever you wanted no matter what came out of your doctor’s mouth. I hope that as an adult you will continue to let the silly words of others pass right by you and go for what  you want no matter what anyone else thinks about it.

Right now you are 10 months old, and already I see a fire in you that I wish I had in me throughout my life. Your determination and your attitude while you work so hard to do things that other babies do with ease, is absolutely inspiring to watch. You don’t need inspirational quotes, or pep talks, or an adult understanding of the importance of reaching your goals… All you need is that shiny toy in the corner that looks oh so delicious. Your motivation isn’t muddied by someone else’s opinion of you, your self worth isn’t defined by your ability to keep up with anyone else, you do what you want to do because YOU want to do it. This attitude is lost on so many people as they grow, or they never have it at all. You are special, though. You are brave. Watching you has renewed my own sense of self, and brought me new life, not just in the form of you but within me, too. You being here and causing me to change more diapers, spend more money, do more housework, and wake up more often isn’t the only change you have brought… you have caused a change for the better within me just by being you, and you didn’t even have to try.

Your father and I are so happy that you came into our family. We are so grateful that we get to be your parents. We are overjoyed that you are Nikaia’s sister. We love you so much!

Mom

My, how things change.

It’s amazing how much things can change in such a short period of time.

In the last few months…

Adam has started a new job. He is now working for a marketing agency that works with digital media. He is a PHP developer and I have never seen him love a job as much as he loves this one. The company is fantastic, the people he works for are just as nerdy as he is, and they tell him how much they appreciate him which is something he has never really gotten in the past. He finally sees his job as a career and not just a paycheck, and the change in him is incredible. I am so proud of him, and things couldn’t be going better for him work wise.

I have taken a demotion at work which has enabled me to spend a lot less time working and more time with my girls. You don’t realize how much you work sometimes until all of a sudden you aren’t working as much anymore. There were days at first that I didn’t know what to do with myself when my time wasn’t filled with answering constant IMs and 12 hour work days chained to the computer. I have still been really busy at work, but the ability to turn it off for a few hours in the evenings and just focus on my family has been amazing.

Kalista is growing like a weed, and is such a different baby than when she was born! At 14 weeks she learned to sit up on her own, which is very early. At 6 months she still refuses to roll over, which is teetering on the edge of  late. It’s so funny how babies will decide, no matter what anyone else thinks, that they are going to do what THEY want to do. Damn the guidelines, forget the expectations, they will only do what they are good and interested in doing. I thought I was immune to the whole worrying about her not doing what other babies are doing thing since I am an experienced second time mom now, but apparently that doesn’t magically go away just because you get pregnant again. Whoda thunk it? Mompetitions with competimoms don’t interest me so I am choosing to focus on what is important to me. My amazing, chubby, animated, gorgeous little baby girl and all of the hilarious and entertaining things she does.

Nikaia has turned from my careful, cautious, contemplative toddler n00b into a daring, adventurous, bold toddler pro. She climbs EVERYTHING EVER. If she can get a leg, knee, or foot on it, she is on top of it before I can say no. We are working on learning new words with her (the newest being cookie) and focusing on letters and numbers. She won’t say any numbers yet, but when I say one she will put out one finger, two she will put out two fingers, etc. I am constantly amazed at the things that she picks up on, and what influences her. Her newest trick is to rub her head on people. After watching her do it a few times, we realized she learned it from the cats! It has got to be one of the cutest things I have ever seen. She is so sweet when she does it, turning her head to look at you and cooing the whole time. ❤

Once I get some pictures of the new house taken I will be sure to upload them to the blog. In the meantime here are the most recent pictures of the girls. =D

2 years, 2 pregnancies, 2 kids, 2 weeks

You know those moms who go on and on about how amazing their kids are…  how much they love being a parent…  how becoming a mom changed their lives…  describing all of the normal things their kids do like they are somehow new or unbelievable?  Those moms always drove me crazy.  I would find myself thinking, ‘No one cares that your son blew raspberries and spit all over himself, lady.‘ or ‘Kids are supposed to laugh, what makes your kids giggling fit so noteworthy?’  I wondered why they found these seemingly simple, mundane, completely expected things so earth shattering-ly awesome.

Today, I caught myself thinking the same thoughts I have been inwardly mocking them for saying out loud for years.  Sitting on the bed with my daughter, watching her rock back and forth making excited toddler noises, seeing her flash me a huge smile and say “hi” while she tried to wave at me but had her hand turned so she was really waving at herself…  I thought she was just the cutest, most fascinating, most unbelievable little being on the planet.  I was even crafting clever status updates in my head to post on FB describing her adorable acts of toddlerdom.  I looked at her and actually caught myself thinking, ‘She is the most beautiful thing on the planet. I can’t imagine a more gorgeous face.’   I actually thought those words!  Just typing that out is making me feel like the worst of the sappy moms to ever inhabit the planet, and the worst part…  I am PROUD of it.  Even as I sit here typing this right now I am realizing that I talk about how I have turned into one of these moms, a LOT, because I am so excited to be feeling what the sappy moms of the past feel instead of wondering what it feels like.  Parenting turns you into the mushiest love sick ball of goo, and apparently, into a hypocrite, too.  In this case, being a hypocrite is basically bad ass because in order to become one you get to experience having this little creature invade your life and take over, filling it with all of those sappy things that makes you cry from being so happy and junk.  Not a bad trade off.

That’s not all that  hit me, though…  In exactly two weeks from today (or less, depending on if Skeletor has the courage to attempt a jail break) I will have another child.  ANOTHER one.  I think back two years to when I never thought I would have ANY child and I mocked these proud parents who were just reveling in the day-to-day ooey gooey cuteness of their own kids and I am still in complete shock that two years later I have been through two pregnancies, and I am about to give birth to my second child only two weeks from today.

Today, two is my lucky number.

Having a Baby is a Competitive Sport

After I had Nikaia I let myself get sucked into that mom competition that goes on sometimes between mothers who have babies within a short period of time of each other. I would compare her to other babies around the same age, which is not only unhealthy, but completely unnecessary. I admit it though, I let myself get sucked in to the wanting my baby to do something first. I am convinced every mother does this at some point, if you say you never once thought that even for a second in your head, then I don’t believe you.

Now that Nikaia is getting older, and I am about to have baby #2, it is dawning on me the degree of stupidity that it takes to really go full on baby olympics with it. There are the moms who compare because they want to make sure there is nothing wrong with their baby. That is the category I fell into. I worried when Nikaia started crawling after kids who were younger than her, which I think is a natural thing to do. Of course, every mom wants their baby to be special so they look for something amazing and entertaining and just plain adorable that they can do (maybe even before another baby can do it, too), and while that feeling is normal, obsessing over it and constantly talking about it is not. When I started getting jealous of moms whose babies started popping teeth before Nikaia I realized that I was getting a little cuckooo bananas and needed to adjust my focus, so I did and I got the hell over myself.  It seems to me that there are moms who don’t catch themselves falling into this dangerous pattern and throw themselves fully into the baby comparisons and turn it into an organized sport. I am not just talking about comparing milestones, I am talking creating them from thin air to achieve that bloated sense of self worth that apparently comes from their tiny newborn writhing on the floor like an uncoordinated turtle on it’s back right in step with a song on the radio for 5 seconds straight. I am not exactly sure how to feel about this sort of thing when I watch it. Should I feel bad for them because they are obviously either 1) driving themselves crazy worrying about who else’s baby rolled over first, or 2) they are so delusional that they think their baby actually consciously made the decision to roll over at only 6 days old? Should I be worried because of the unrealistic expectations they could very well end up putting on those babies as they get older? Or, should I just sit back and laugh at the level of complete lunacy that the baby olympics rise to?

I will admit, it does make me just a little sad that these kids REAL milestones, their real intentional accomplishments, will most likely be overlooked in some kind of quest for the holy baby grail waiting for their kid to accidentally sign the word “alabaster” to them while they are trying to figure out how to get the Cheerio on their high chair tray successfully into their mouth.

P.S. Moms, if your child walks into a job interview in 18 years and proclaims that they are so advanced for their age that they were walking at 9 months old, or they poo-pooed in the potty before they turned 2, their interviewer is not going to be impressed and offer them a 6 figure salary and an expense account. They MIGHT, however, think they are super creepy and pretend that the position has already been filled.