Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Raising Girls

I grew up with two younger brothers and spent the first ten years of my life wishing for a little sister. Then, I realized that I hated girl drama and I was glad that I didn't have any sisters so that I could avoid all of that at home.
When my first daughter was born almost two years ago, I was elated. We didn't know until she was born whether she would be a boy or a girl. I would have been happy either way, but I secretly wanted a girl.
When I got pregnant with my second daughter, the idea of having two girls so close in age terrified me. When I realized that they would be only a year apart in school, I cried. My friend who have sisters tried to tell me that having sisters was awesome and they wouldn't really fight, but I remember those same friends having terrible fights with their sisters growing up. Fights far worse than any I ever had with my brothers.
So now I have two little girls, nineteen months apart in age. For right now, things are good. Maggie can't get enough of her little sister. When Lucy cries, Maggie is the first one there to comfort her. I always find little toys or treasures in Lucy's swing or bouncer that Maggie leaves there for her.
I'm also worried that I'm not girly enough to have girls. I'm not a tomboy, but I am not into a lot of girly things. I hate getting my hair cut, I've only gotten one pedicure in my life and that was more than enough for the next ten years. I can't even put eyeliner on correctly. I know that I will be able to teach them to be strong, independent powerful women. It's the other things that worry me.
Tonight while I was sitting on the floor reading bedtime stories to Maggie while breastfeeding Lucy, Maggie stopped me and asked me to unzip the top of her pj's so that she could breastfeed her doll. Moments like that make me think that I am going to do just fine raising my little girls.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big Girl Bed

Right now, Lucy is sleeping in our room in a bassinet but as soon as she is sleeping through the night, the girls will be sharing a room. My parents graciously offered my bedroom set from when I was little to us when Maggie was born. The plan is that once Lucy is ready for the crib, she will move in there and Maggie will sleep in my old twin bed. (It's a canopy bed, who wouldn't want to sleep there!)
To start getting Maggie ready, we took the front rail off of her crib on Sunday afternoon. This makes her crib into more of a day bed. (We have a standard, not a convertible crib. I didn't really think my kids would end up sleeping in that same bed for the rest of their lives anyway!)
At night she is usually tired enough to go to bed and stay there, but naps are a bit different. Today it has taken her about 45 minutes to go to sleep. She spent a lot of time knocking on the door, calling me and announcing "shoes" every few minutes. I went in once and read her a few stories and tucked her back in, but then I just left her alone. She wasn't crying, she just wasn't tired yet.
Hopefully, this gets easier. I can't believe my baby is almost ready to be out of her crib!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mommy cliques

Last fall when Maggie was about eight or nine months old we started signing her up for a few activities. Our budget doesn't have room for lots of mommy and me classes, but we go to the story hour at the local library and to a playgroup at one of the local schools.
She enjoyed both activities so much that we decided to do them again this year and bring Lucy with us.
I enjoy the playgroup at the school, especially since it is a school where we are considering sending the girls in a few years. There are lots of toys for the kids to play with so you can never get bored (especially in the 90 minutes you're there).
The part that I don't like is that all the moms seem like they are already friends with each other and not willing to talk to other people. I think I am sensitive to it too because it seems obvious they all have so much more money than I do. I have a good job that pays well, but my husband was out of work for two years and just recently got a job. The problem is that his job is part-time and pays not much more than minimum wage. While we have enough money to survive, we don't have a lot of extra money for things like new clothes (especially for us!). The moms all have cute new clothes and their kids are all dressed in baby gap. Everyone has $700 strollers and they make plans to go out to lunch afterwards at the local restaurants.
My kids have cute clothes too, but they are usually from target. We still haven't gotten a double stroller because buying a house and maternity leave ate up our savings. I would love to go out to lunch, but we just can't afford it right now.
I wish there were more moms around us who were looking to make new friends. I'd love to hang out and just have playdates with other moms where we don't have to spend money and can just hang out.
Where are all the other broke moms looking for friends?!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Firsts and Lasts

Yesterday my husband and I were both off from work (which is a rare occurrence). We decided to take the girls to the beach for a little picnic and to enjoy the last of the warm weather. It was Lucy's first trip to the beach and she slept through most of it. I did let her dip her feet in Lake Michigan which she was not a fan of. It was Maggie's second trip to the beach since we took her once last summer when she was about seven months old. Obviously, she didn't remember it. Once she got used to the sand, she loved it. Next summer we'll have to go when it is warm enough to splash around in the lake.
I realized yesterday also that Lucy is really getting big. She has definately outgrown all of her newborn sized clothes (which makes sense since she is eleven weeks old today)I think it will only be a few more weeks before she outgrows her 0-3 month clothes too. Last night we had left the diaper bag in the car and the rest of Lucy's extra-small diaper covers were dirty. I decided to try a size small diaper cover on her and it actually fit pretty well. I think by the end of the month she will have moved on to her size small diaper covers.
It's funny because it seems like I just pulled out all of Maggie's newborn clothes and diapers for Lucy to wear. Now, Lucy is growing out of everything! It's a little bittersweet because some of the outfits are so cute and I don't know if I will have another baby who will wear them. We are hoping to have two more kids (in a couple of years) but who knows if we'll have another girl!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to Work

I crammed as much into the last few days of maternity leave as possible. Thursday we went to the Children's Museum. Maggie had a great time. I think that even my husband had more fun than he expected.
Friday we spent the afternoon visiting with my grandmother and great aunt. They have a great time visiting the girls, and I think it is good for the girls to spend time with them as well.
Saturday, my husband was at work but the girls and I went to the zoo. It was a beautiful day. We only got about halfway through the animals before Maggie started to crash. Lucy slept through the whole zoo, but I know she will love it too eventually.
Sunday was my first day back at work. Apparently my unit has been short-staffed recently and Sunday was no exception. I was hoping it would be a little easier since the weekends are usually slower, but I was wrong.
The first day was hard, but I do like my job and it was kind of nice to get back to normal. I am picking up an overtime shift next week so we can start making up for the time I wasn't paid on maternity leave.
The huge benefit of working twelve hour shifts is that I only have to work three days a week, so I can easily pick up overtime shifts or just wnjoy my four days off every week!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The beginning of the end

So, it looks like this is going to be my last week of maternity leave. I can't think too much about it or I will start crying. I'm really going to miss my girls! But, the advantage of working 12 hour shifts like I do is that I still have four days off every week. Plus, it makes it easier to work overtime.
My husband is finishing up his degree and should be done next August. Hopefully he will be able to get a better job at that time and things will be a little easier for all of us.
In other news, Lucy's christening was a success. She did great, didn't even cry! The food and company were wonderful and everyone had a great time!
The weather is beautiful here today so I think the girls and I will go to the park later on to enjoy it while we can.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


This weekend is Lucy's Christening. So, my brother, his wife and new baby and my parents are staying with us this weekend while we celebrate. My mother-in-law will not be coming because she decided to schedule some last minute laser eye surgery for this past Friday despite the fact that she knew the date of the Christening about two months ago. And despite the fact that my husband is an only child and has no living aunts or uncles that we can invite to celebrate with us.
Nevertheless, we will have lots of good times, good cake, and good food.
Oh, and her dress is ADORABLE!! It's the dress that Maggie wore for her Christening and I plan to have all my children baptized in it (even if they're boys!) My mom made it from the train of my wedding dress and it is the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The dark side of maternity leave

When Maggie was born, I had only been working as a nurse for about six months. I qualified for FMLA (barely) but I only had two weeks worth of PTO. The short term disability insurance my employer provides only pays after you have been off work for 30 days, so I was going to have to take 2 weeks off unpaid.
On top of that, my husband lost his job when I was about five months pregnant, and we were scraping by on unemployment(which was about half of what he'd been making). Needless to say, I was only able to afford to stay home for six weeks, which broke my heart.
I loved every second of my maternity leave. I spent days on end just laying on the couch staring at my daughter, trying to drink in every second of it. I cried the whole last week I was off because I was so sad about leaving her.
When I became pregnant with Lucy, I had been working a little longer. By working some overtime and not taking vacations, I was able to have enough PTO to cover my first thirty days off. I decided early on that I was going to take the entire 12 weeks entitled to me by my FMLA leave. (Especially since when Lucy was two weeks old, we finally closed on our house and subsequently moved!)
I'm currently in my eighth week of leave and I love and hate it at the same time. I love spending all this time with my girls without worrying about missing things. I love having every weekend off to visit with friends and family.
At the same time, I feel really isolated. The girls and I go to storytime at the library on Mondays and a playgroup from a local school on Thursdays, but the rest of the time we are home by ourselves (except for outings to Target or the park). My husband works 2nd shift mostly and is going to school full time so he's really busy. Also, I've been really delayed getting my short term disability checks from work, so I haven't gotten paid in almost four weeks!
As excited as I am to still have three and a half weeks left, I know it won't last and I'm kind of ready to get back to our new normal.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Busy Weekend

My husband was off all weekend, so we were super busy. Saturday, we went to a birthday party for our friends' little boy. Maggie can't get enough of him and was really excited. She was a little afraid of the pinata, but she loved the candy!
Saturday morning Maggie and I went shopping and got some new pjs for her. I love shopping and I'm glad that Maggie is such a good shopper!
Sunday we did some more unpacking and organizing. We've only lived here for a little over a month, but the house is really starting to come together. We've only got a few boxes left to unpack.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sleepy Thursday

We all overslept this morning, so we missed the beginning of Maggie's playgroup. The downside was that Devon slept through and missed class. The nice part was that he was able to stay home with Lucy so Maggie and I could have some alone time at playgroup. When we got home, I took the girls to the park so that Devon could get some homework done.
We spent the afternoon making home made play-doh, which was not nearly as messy as I thought it would be. Maggie seemed to really enjoy it (except for when she wanted to eat it!)
Lucy has been pretty fussy the past few weeks. I think that she is having problems with gas. She screams and arches her back when she gets upset. It happens at all times of day, not just after eating. I tried some gas medicine with her today and it seems to be helping.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.

First Post

I've started a few blogs in the past, but nothing that clicked. I just want a place to record what's going on in my life and with my family.
I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. Magnolia is 21 months today and Lucy is 8 weeks today.
Welcome to our lives.