Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The good is there: a 4 month old and my wild 2 year-old

We have a 4 month old on our hands! I have to keep repeating that to myself because it really has just flown. But what is funny is that Brian and I were talking about how it feels like Addie has always been with us. I love life with this sweet babe in it.

This gray-eyed girl is our sweet and chill little chunk. She weighed in at 15 lbs and is 25 inches long which puts her at 70% percentile for weight and 85% for height. For some reason I have tall babies though Brian and I are not very tall ourselves.

Adeline makes life so much fun.. and busy. She is getting closer to sitting up by herself and enjoys grabbing on to toys or tags, or whatever is hanging in front of her.

She has wicked hand-eye coordination. It's kind of weird to me. She will grab food from our hands, hold her bottle to her face, and bat away our hands and kleenexes and nose suckers from her face. She is a fighter and knows how to get away. I am struggling with clipping her fingernails because she is awfully good at squirming away.

But we really all adore her. When Lydia wakes up, the first thing she wants to do is go get the baby and I have to keep Adeline's door firmly shut to prevent Lydia from waking her up to play. Having these two girls together is so much fun-even if I have to play the role of referee.

Brian's week off was supposed to be a vacation somewhere exotic, but when buying a house and normal bills and the "joys" of fixing up the house hit and then adding a baby that still gets up at night, and head colds-- the vacation turned into a stay-cation, which has turned into something a little too chill and unplanned. Not really how I wanted to spend Brian's one week off for the next 6 months.. but if there is anything I'm learning it's that I gotta embrace it and make something of it.

We went and watched Moana in theaters and loved it. If you haven't seen it then go watch it. I've been singing the songs all day. Even Addie watched a good portion of the show before zonking out.

We were "thrilled" to find water in our furnace room and downstairs bathroom this week. With the crazy weather going from freezing to rain and melting all the snow, we spent a good portion of Brian's week off rotating towels around and pulling up carpet and linoleum. Talk about adulting and learning the true lives of home ownership.

And with talking about life with Miss Adeline, it seems only right to give updates on Miss Lydia too.

Lydia is soooo animated lately..

Lately? Who am I kidding? She is always animated.

Lydia's make-believe play is exploding and I LOVE watching it. She has a big Mickey and Minnie Mouse that she takes to the potty, feeds them food, puts them to bed, changes their diapers and just loves on.

Her vocabulary astounds me and I really have to watch what I say because she will repeat me. I realize how much of a little girl she is growing into these days whenever I look at her or when I listen to her "read" to herself. She used to just repeat the animal sounds but now she says their names as clear as day, "Dolphin, Giraffe, Duck, Shark..." She has recently learned about Foxes, but the problem is.. she doesn't say the name very well and it always sounds like she is saying a very naughty word. Brian and I find ourselves wishes we had waited to teach her what a fox looks like.

While I love this age so much with her curiousity and learning, I am also really struggling as a parent.

I find that there are days when I have very little patience towards her and the things she does.

For example, if I have to leave the kitchen when she is eating to go change Adeline's diaper. Lydia will act out for attention and throw ALL her food on the floor. Or if I am reading a book or cleaning the bathroom, she will seek for my attention by making a mess because she knows I will rush over.

And I get it. I do. She wants me and ALL of me there with her.

But as a mom of two, I can't be solely focused on her all the time. So my goal is to find that balance right now.

Another problem we are having is Lydia's dominance.

She has an extremely dominant personality. She is very controlling, demanding, and bossy. And yes.. sometimes it can be cute, but it is so overwhelming sometimes as well.

At the gym daycare the other day, Lydia got written up for pushing another child and drawing with a pencil on another child's face.

I had to sign a paper saying I understood that if Lydia got 2 other write-ups then she would be suspended.

I got in the car and cried.

My two-year old is a bully! I felt (and still do feel) so helpless. How can I explain to my two year-old about her behavior when she had already probably forgotten what she did wrong. We teach her to be "soft" and use words like 'kind and nice' but she doesn't understand those words as well as the word "soft."

So that is where I am with Lydia right now. I love her with all my heart and more, but I am being tested in the parenting area with how best to raise her and help her understand to be kind.

And moments like this pictured above may look staged, but it caught me off-guard completely. I was going to take a picture of Adeline when Lydia came up. I was thinking she wanted to just see herself in the selfie cam, but instead she gave me a hug and I was able to snap the picture and catch that brief but special moment.

I live for moments like these. Moments that let me know I'm not an all-bad parent. Moments that let me know that this time with Lydia is just a phase and if I continue to try and to raise her the best that I know how and as polite and kind as I can.. then I'm not failing.

Now.. to go make the rest of the week a good one.. Hoping to throw in a Jazz game and skiing (if I can kick this cold)... Did you see that game last night? Brian and I were pretty pumped listening while folding laundry.

And a side note on Brian: Marriage is NOT always what happy wedding pictures, facebook posts and the "quick pretend we weren't fighting" face you make when you are around others. I think we are all learning to open our eyes a bit more to look behind the pictures and read between the lines. And while Brian and I struggle in our own ways just like anyone else.. It does help to uplift and compliment each other.

Brian has been such a Mr. Mom all week. He got up with Adeline a few times (she had a stuffy nose which makes it so she struggles sucking on her binky which makes it so she struggles sleeping). He's done laundry, kept his cool with our flooding basement, taken us girls swimming and to a movie, and still wants to massage my aching shoulders from lifting a bit heavier than I should have.

Look for the good in each other. Because it is there.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome 2017

Another year is behind us and what a wonderful and challenge filled year it was.

I have seen so many statuses and comments about how dreadful and terrible 2016 was and how they couldn't wait for it to be over. And to be honest, I felt bad for those people posting it. None of us are strangers to trials and frustrations, but I would hope that through whatever we face, we can find the joy and happiness and learn to focus on those.

2016 was not the easiest year of our lives. Adding another kid to our zoo also added stress, marriage was not the easiest by far, and adjusting to a new area has been a lot harder than we imagined. In fact, there was a time this year that I felt so completely overwhelmed and down that I decided to choose a family motto to focus on. And here it is: CHOOSE JOY

I wish I could tell you how many times having this hung in a high traffic area has helped me through this year. It reminded me to choose to be grateful for the year of 2016 and how we have all grown-and how I personally have grown.

And now it is that time of year again to choose goals to focus on for this new 2017 year. I loved that as I woke to a New Year, I woke to fresh snow on the ground, reminding me that it is time to start anew with a clean slate.

And as tradition, we chose our word goals for the new year.

At 15 months old Lydia's goal word was Explore. Throughout the year of 2016 Lydia did some majoring exploring. Her explorations brought us a lot of joy, and sometimes frustrations and tears.

Lydia explored boundaries and what it means to "push mom's buttons"
Lydia explored language and her vocabulary has exploded.
She explored what it is like to play hard during the day but be grateful for and even ask for "nigh nigh" each evening.
Lydia explored the art of play. This has been one of the most fun to experience and see develop. She is beginning to pretend play and talks with her toys.
Lydia explored what it means to be a sister and she takes the role borderline too lovingly.
She explored different sports and may have been a fish in another life with how much she loves swimming.
Lydia explored her testimony and planted a little seed. She breaks out in prayer randomly throughout the day "Heavenly Father Day" is how she starts out and it is a heart melter. So if you hear it, grab a tissue.
Lydia explored toys and has found which ones she loves most (She's big into magnets, blocks, and fisher-price little people).
Lydia explored characters from movies and books and while she still loves Winnie the Pooh, her adoration for Finding Nemo and Mickey Mouse may be even stronger.
She explored her independence as she is now potty trained (still loving to "blow kisses" to her potty as it goes down the toilet). [insert embarrassed emoji here]
Lydia explored some major gross motor skills such as jumping and riding a tricycle
She explored the snow and actually enjoyed playing in it this year which has been perfect with our awesome hill in our yard.
She explored her love for animals more in depth and even rode a pony.
Her exploration set no limits and fears and she has grown SO much!

Her new word for 2017 is CREATE

Lydia has so much energy and joy for life that it is my hope that this next year she can channel it to CREATE joy, growth and knowledge.

Adeline's word for 2017 is BLOOM

(It is weird to think she wasn't quite with us last year yet (I was pregnant with her). It just feels like she has always been with us!)

Our hope for Addie this year is that as she grows, she will BLOOM. She is our little bud of joy and we look forward to watching her learn and see her personality and happiness sprout.

I'm going to quote myself from last year on what I hoped to achieve this year with the word Embrace, "My new word for 2016 is Embrace. I want to embrace this new year and all the changes and experiences that are in store for me and my little family. Embrace is such a warming action word. It involves attitude and feeling, enthusiasm, and support. I think it will be just the word I need for this year."

When I chose this word, I knew that I was only 4 weeks pregnant and that it was a bit sooner than I had planned. Adeline's due date landed right around the beginning of residency and I was scared that it was going to be such a terrible time to have a baby. I also knew that with graduation and residency approaching that I needed to embrace all the changes, even if that meant we didn't end up where we wanted.

-I embraced my pregnancy and the struggles that came with it. I embraced the new changes in my body for being a vessel for another human being and that meant embracing new stretch marks and a rising number on a scale that meant I was being blessed with another sweet spirit.
-I embraced the move from Illinois to Utah with open arms. I was excited for the new chapter but had many reservations about what Utah had in store for us. 
-I embraced the task of making our new 1950s house a home and worked hard to whip it into shape and make it livable. 
-I embraced residency.. and yet, I am still learning to embrace it. It is hard and it really stinks sometimes. I have watched Brian be emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted all at the same exact time and felt helpless and yet I embraced this new change and strived to support him and be enthusiastic through the trials.
-I embraced motherhood to two little girls and the demands of my new role. I embraced this calling and learned (and am still learning) how these two should come before myself and my desires.
-I am learning to embrace my new body after having 2 girls and strive to get healthy and strong.
-I have embraced a stronger sense of who I am as a daughter of God and where I want to go.
-I have embraced a deeper understanding of the gospel and our Savior's atonement. And am realizing I have more growth and knowledge to embrace still.

With all that I have embraced this year, the biggest is that I have embraced a new me. I am not the same Anna from a year ago. I'm grateful to look at who I have become this last year and be thankful for the experiences I have embraced to get me here.

This next year of 2017 my goal word will be BECOME.

The definition of BECOME is "begin to be." My hope is to begin to be happier, stronger, healthier, a better disciple of Christ, a more loving wife, a kinder teacher and mother, more teachable and humble, and more willing to serve and trust in the Lord. 

Brian choose the word better to focus on this last year.

This was an excellent word to summarize his goals since it was filled with so much change. Brian is better because of it all and because he held firm to faith that it was all going to work out if he continued to try and be better and not give up.

Brian is a better student, a better father, a better friend, and a better follower of Christ.

His abilities and skills are better and even his cooking is getting better (ha).

This year he has become a better version of himself. 

For 2017, Brian has chosen the word REACH.

He spoke about his fears of complacency and how he wants to push himself to work hard and get out of his comfort zone. Sometimes all it takes is is effort to reach and aim higher to improve yourself. 

Brian hopes to reach more knowledge in his fields of study and in his work. He hopes to reach to have more understanding of his patients and how best to help them. 

Thank you 2016 for a wonderful and growing year! We are excited for 2017 and all that is in store for us!