Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rex is 10 Months Old!

I was told when I was pregnant with Rex that time would fly even faster being a mama of two vs. being a mama of one. Man, was that person ever right! Today Rex is 10 months old I can't believe how fast these months have gone. We will have a one year old in TWO months?! Whaaaat?!

I'm honestly shocked that he hasn't taken his first step yet. He's been pulling himself to standing since 7 months old and standing unassisted since 8 months. He will use a push toy to cruise around our apartment with ease but isn't interested whatsoever in taking a step without holding onto someone or something.

He had three top teeth start popping through 3 weeks ago and his 4th top tooth will emerge any day now for a total of 6 teeth!

He goes to bed around 7:30pm and will sleep until 6:30-7:30am. His naps are at 9am and 1pm and will range anywhere from 1-2hrs long.

His crawl is more like a bear crawl. Instead of being on his knees he crawls around with his feet and his knees don't touch the ground. He does do the typical crawl every now and then but if he really wants to get going fast he does the bear crawl.

Baths are his absolute favorite! If the bathroom door is accidently left open you'll find him in there standing next to the tub trying to get in. When removing him away from the tub he is not happy! We've hit the stage where he cries and even throws his head back when something is taken from him. This seems to be happening too soon!

He loves the Tupperware drawer in the kitchen and opening/shutting cupboards.

His favorite game is peek-a-boo and loves chasing Levi around the apartment. They both really get a kick out of doing that together! Also, Levi likes to pick him up under his armpits and carry him around. Whenever Levi is carrying him like this he kicks his legs really fast and usually ends up laughing. Seeing them interact like that is so great!

He eats what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as nurses 4 times a day.

When we are out and about we LOVE using our Ergobaby carrier! I even use it to carry him to and from the car (we're on the top floor of our apartment building) because there's always something else I'm needing to carry. Plus, he can get squirmy! I have no idea how I got away with not having one when Levi was a baby. I cannot say enough about that carrier! Do you have a baby but not an Ergobaby? GO GET ONE!

We've come to realize that he doesn't like grass all that much (and neither did his daddy when he was little). If we put Rex on a blanket in the grass he will stay on the blanket. If we put him in the grass he will hardly move and won't touch it with his hands. Hopefully he'll get used to it soon!

Rex loves his mama's blankies! His mama's PINK blankies! I am not ashamed to be out in public with him and a pink blanket though. It's just a color, people! If he likes it, so what? And it's so cute because the second that blanket comes into contact with him his thumb goes in his mouth. I love having a thumb sucker!

Happy 10 months, Rexy! We couldn't have been more blessed with such an amazing, easy going baby!

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Issue With.. Germs

I have a major issue with germs. What freaks me out the most is that you can't see them. I'm all fine with getting dirty in the mud because I can look down and SEE that I'm dirty. But when something looks clean how clean is it really?

I wash my hands at least 25 times a day. My baby, Rex, is a thumb sucker so I was his hands a ton throughout the day as well. It's way easier to keep Rex's hands clean than it is Levi's though. I can carry a baby to the sink and he'll let me wash his hands but a 45lb 4.5 year old? Yeah, that's a whole different ball game! Levi knows my rule though. Whenever we get home from being somewhere he goes straight to the bathroom after taking his shoes off to wash. Also, before eating anything. If we aren't by a sink he knows that I'll get the hand sanitizer out.

Going out to eat with a baby makes me feel really uneasy. I can never seem to get the highchair or table clean enough. Every surface he might possibly be able to touch gets a thorough wipe down with a disinfecting wipe before he can go near it. And the menu's? Did you know they are one of the dirtiest things out there? And you touch them right before eating! Yuck. So, everyone knows the drill when we are done ordering. It's off to wash hands or get out the sanitizer. I've gotten a few looks and eye rolls from Andy when I bust out the sanitizer and hold it out for him but he humor's me and does it. If he get's sick I'm likely to get sick. I have to kiss him, don't I?

I would go through huge cleaning kicks once a week for our apartment. I've gotten a little better about letting some things go though. Once I start cleaning it's really hard for me to stop. And, it's hard for me to have Andy clean because I don't know all of the steps that he took. Yeah the sink looks clean but did he really wipe it off good with a disinfectant? So, I do the majority of the cleaning and he usually does something like the dishes and folding laundry to help out. What's that saying? If you want it done right, do it yourself? I think that's it..

I don't know if I would consider this OCD or just being overly cautious about keeping my family healthy. We really don't get sick that often. In fact, I've seen Andy sick ONCE in the 4 years we've been together. Rex is 10 months old without ever having been sick and Levi and I were only sick once last flu season. I'd say that's pretty good!

But I'd like to know.. am I a little overboard/just plain crazy? Are you anything like me when it comes to germs? Give me your input, advice, etc. I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Summer To-Do List

Levi swimming in his clothes while it's 65 degrees

Here in Minnesota it is almost just starting to feel like summer. We were at our cabin last weekend and even though it was 65 degrees out it felt great in the sun and all the kids were in the lake! So it got me thinking.. what do I want to do this summer?

1. Go to the Minneapolis Farmers Market
2. Spend an afternoon at North Mississippi Park (splash pad/park)
3. See fireworks
4. Go to the Renaissance Festival for the first time
5. Bring Levi to the State Fair for the first time
6. Valleyfair with Andy
7. Drive in movie
8. Twins game with Levi
9. Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
10. Family lunch from a food truck

What's on your to-do list for this summer? I would love some more ideas!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tough questions from a 4 year old

Levi (4.5yrs) asks me a lot of questions. Most of the questions are lighthearted but other ones can have complicated answers.

Here are some examples:

"How did you get pregnant?"
"How does the sperm get to the egg?"
"How do your boobs have milk in them?"
"Why doesn't my girlfriend have boobs like you do?"

To name a few..

Questions like this come out of nowhere. They stop me in my tracks.

How do I answer him? I'm honest. As honest as I can be with a 4 year old.

I have learned the importance of starting the sexuality talk as young as babies through a class I was a part of. This isn't exactly what you might think it is. The way you can start with them as babies is as simple as calling private parts by their actual name. No slang. A penis is a penis. Slowly the discussion about sexuality, puberty, sex, etc will grow through teachable moments as they get older. Instead of "lets sit down now that you're at the right age and give you all of the info you need to know in one big talk" there should be little nuggets of info throughout their life. Let them take the lead. They ask you a question, you answer it. They ask another one, you answer that one too. For the moments they ask a question that you don't know how to answer it's okay to ask them "Can I get back to you with that answer?". Books are also great at getting things across that you might not know how to.

I'm really passionate about being honest with my boys especially when it comes to sexuality. I want to try and build the most open relationship with them. I never want them to hesitate to come to me about something. I feel that if I am open and honest with them then I am setting the example and will have a better chance that they will be open and honest with me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A wannabe vegan

I would love to go vegan. It has been in the back of my head for years. Ever since I told my paternal grandma about this (years ago) she has brought me a homemade vegan dish to almost every get together that we've had. How awesome is she?! When I have finished eating all of the things she has brought I've come to the same conclusion: I could so live on this! But, can I?!

I grew up with my dad as a hunter. I remember patiently waiting for him to get home from hunting so I could run outside to greet him and hopefully get to look at a dead deer in the back of his truck. I once tried to be a vegetarian in middle school and after a few days a McDonald's commercial broke me.

We were on the way home from the cabin yesterday when we pulled up alongside of a truck full of pigs on their way to get slaughtered. I made eye contact with one of them and my heart sank. Then, Levi asked me what all of them were doing in there. I couldn't lie. I'm very straightforward and honest with him. I said "They are on their way to get killed so people can eat their meat". And then I remembered the bacon I ate that morning. It really was delicious.

This is why I am torn. I love (most) meat. I've been around it my whole life. It's what I'm used to. There isn't much that we don't cook for meals that doesn't have meat in it (or milk, or cheese). But then my heart breaks when I think of the animals dying. Plus, I know meat and animal products can have its negative affects on my health. I want to feel amazing and have more energy than I do now. I also want to save money. Meat and dairy are a huge portion of our grocery bill.

I'm putting myself to the test. One week. I will be vegan for one week and see if I am disciplined enough.

I can still have beer though, right?

Friday, June 7, 2013

My favorite place to be

I was blessed to be born into a family with a cabin. My great grandpa built it when my grandpa (my moms dad) was just a kid. It's a small cabin on a private lake. There are only two other cabin's on it and we have the only one right on the lake. I don't think it could be any more peaceful!

I was the only child in my family for 9 years so I didn't have any play mates up there. As a kid I loved running around with a butterfly net to catch frogs and toads. I'd collect them all in a bucket and before too long would let them all free. There's a pile of neatly stacked bricks that I would imagine was my castle and there's a tree I could hang out on for hours. I stayed up late with the adults and learned how to play poker at a young age. I never minded getting dirty and I can't remember a time when I wasn't okay with taking my own fish off the hook. Thanks to my time at the cabin I have never been afraid of spiders and (if it isn't huge) would kill one with my bare hand. My grandma would always let me sit on her lap once we got to the private dirt road that leads to our cabin and steer until we got there. Once I was tall enough to reach the pedals I got to switch spots with her and drive it myself. It was hard to hide the smile on my face while I was sitting in the driver seat. It was inevitable that by growing up at the cabin I would be shaped into the person I am.

Now, when I say it's small I mean that it's small! There's a room for a kitchen that can really only comfortably fit one person if they're busy cooking. The bathroom is a decent size (because it used to be a bunk bed room when we were allowed to have a working outhouse on the property) and then the rest of the cabin is one room. A twin bed, love seat, bunk bed and couch with a hideaway bed all sit along 2 walls with a dining room table in the middle. If everyone is seated at the table it's almost impossible to walk around it without someone needing to move to squeeze you through. There's been a trailer up there as long as I can remember for extra sleeping but back when I was a kid the cabin was perfect for fitting everyone. Now that my mom has three more kids, my aunt and uncle have three and we have two (plus my grandparents) it's impossible to fit us all in there at the same time. Someone always needs to pitch a tent and what if there's bad weather? Well, we have to keep an eye on the forecast before heading up there. Bad weather means we don't go.

Our little family (Andy, Levi, Rex and I) really enjoy going up there but we hate pitching a tent and I can never sleep good when I'm so easily accessible to the forest creatures and bad guys in the world. So, we had some money saved up and decided to buy ourselves a used pop up camper a couple days ago. We got the okay from my grandparents to park it somewhere at the cabin and we couldn't be more excited. Now we have our own little space up there and don't have to worry about where we will land when it comes time to sleep. Plus, we have odd weekends so it can be used by other people when we are not there. I plan to go up as much as possible this summer and can't wait!

My hope is that my kids will become shaped from their time at the cabin like I was. I want them to go on adventures in the woods, spend their weekends covered in dirt, sand or wet from the lake, learn how to start a campfire, bait their own hook, take fish off their own hook, catch frogs, learn how to drive a car and a boat and most importantly to unplug from technology and just be a kid.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"You're the plainest one here."

I was at work one day shampooing a clients hair when the receptionist was folding towels and said to me "You know what I love about you? You're the plainest one here." Um, what? Was I supposed to be flattered or offended? I gave a short little laugh and said "Thanks?". It's the running joke at work and maybe I should add that this receptionist was let go (for other reasons).

It's totally true though. I am plain. You wouldn't look at me and pin me for a hairstylist like you can for 80% of people in the industry. My hair is colored to my natural, my make up consists of mascara, natural eye shadow and touching up my eyebrows. I will wear foundation maybe once a month and a little more often than that will I actually put on eyeliner. I'm lucky if I can put a few pins in my hair to wear it up before going to work but it's usually just air dry and go. When I'm not working it's in a pony tail. My last haircut? 5 months ago. Maybe more. I am completely low maintenance. It hasn't always been this way though.

When I was a junior and senior in high school I had to be as tan as possible, I overused tooth whitening strips, I was constantly changing up the look of my hair and getting my nails done. When I look back on pictures I miss being that well maintained but I'm content with the title of "plainest one here" because the trade off is being a mother of two.

In the last few years I have given up tanning beds and don't step foot in the sun without sunblock on. Why? Because I have two little kids that I want to be around for as long as possible. With family history and my history in the sun why would I risk getting skin cancer and possibly leaving my kids behind? It's just not worth it to me. Same goes for my old smoking habit. I loved it. I really did love smoking. The social aspect of it, the little breaks in my day, how it melted my stress away.. but it was no longer worth it.

It all boils down to my kids. They are the reason why I am plain and I'm more than okay with that. I'd rather be at home spending time with them than getting my hair or nails done and I'd rather spend my money on things for them than on white strips.

When I look back on pictures of myself during these years and I come across a good one I know I will be pleased in the fact that it was probably taken on a day that I was able to squeeze in a shower and throw a little mascara on and not because I had spent hours in a tanning bed, $40 on white strips and 45 minutes doing my hair and makeup.