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Archive for the ‘Husband’ Category

Paulo (wearing the Le Top "Under the Sea" pull over hoodie shirt with a red crab appliqué) and Miranda playing on the beach.

It’s only March here in the Bay Area but the weather has been so warm and sunny (with a few rainy days in between) that we’ve actually been hitting the beach since January! Last week we went to Pacific Grove. My husband was at a 3-day seminar and since he was staying at a swanky hotel, we decided to “join” him and enjoy the amenities that fancy lodging offers, such as a salt water pool and hot tub, breakfast buffets, and free freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm!

While Daddy was sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a dimly-lit conference room, we were outdoors absorbing sun rays along the coast at the Asilomar State Beach. It was sunny but a little chilly and I wasn’t sure how long we would last at the beach. But as soon as we laid our blanket on the sand and the kids dumped out all their sand toys, the chill in the air seemed to dissipate. My kids were ready to go jump in the ocean! (But we didn’t. That water is FREEZING!)

After a couple hours, we packed it up and drove back to the hotel where we spent the afternoon swimming in the pool, then in the hot tub, then in the pool, then the hot tub (you get the picture), until Daddy came to retrieve us for dinner. What a fun day! Daddy should go to more conferences at ritzy hotels.

Paulo is wearing the Le Top "Under the Sea" lined swim trunks.

CHECK OUT MORE OF THE LE TOP SPRING COLLECTION AT
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Elijah in a rabbitmoon "altitude" graphic footed coverall

My husband is the primary care giver for our 6-month-old son. He is an out-of-work construction worker and with recession, there is not much work in sight for him. This meant that after two months on maternity leave, I packed my lunch bag and headed back to work as the sole provider for our family. I have been noticing that our “a-typical situation” is rapidly becoming more a typical situation for many families across the country, where a mom works and a dad stays home with the kiddos. It is a mental adjustment for everybody and definitely has its pros and cons – at least as far as I am concerned.

  • Pros: I don’t have to pay for day care, I get to be with “grown-ups” all day, and I get a sense of self-worth out of working.
  • Cons: I don’t get to spend every waking moment with my little guy and the biggest one of all – I am starting to miss some of the milestones that he is hitting.

The single idea of missing Elijah’s milestones has been a heavy subject on my heart even before he was born. I always thought I would get to be there to watch him roll over for the first time, crawl for the first time, and take his first steps. As much as I wish I could be there for all of these great accomplishments, I know that I can’t. And so it is with that, I am coming to terms with this fact of life and trying to figure out how to cope with it.

I read some mommy blogs about this topic, as I know I am nowhere near the only person in this boat. It really helped to ease my mind that almost every working mom was on the same page as me: sorry they are missing the milestones, glad they can provide for their family, and finding ways to make each milestone a celebration, even if it is not really the first time for the child. One of the resounding comments throughout the blogs was: tell your caregiver to not inform you of the milestones so that you can still be surprised when you see your baby rollover/crawl/walk etc. I love that idea for the most part, though part of me wants to know as soon as it happens! My husband called me today to tell me that not only did I miss Elijah’s first “roll over,” but he did too! He looked away and then all of a sudden he looked up and there he was on his belly! It was reassuring to me that I may have missed this moment myself had our roles been reversed.

I am still trying to figure out what it is that I really want to know and not know (and when!), but I am confident that my husband and I can work out a plan. Maybe it will be different with each milestone. Who knows?!

If you have any suggestions on how you or your partner coped with missing milestones, please share it with us in the comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Miranda is wearing the Le Top Spring 2010 " Wild About Monokinis" big dot beach dress

Every year since my daughter was born, I (as in, just ME because my husband thinks I always go overboard so he leaves me with the event planning since I’m the one who wants to make it so complicated :)) always have had a theme birthday party. For her 7th birthday, I decided to keep it simple and have a “no-stress” birthday party. She invited a handful of friends and met at a nearby park so they could play. It was like casually meeting for a playdate instead of a huge, overwhelming party. I’d have to say, it was quite refreshing.

  • Instead of handcrafting personalized birthday invitations, I sent out electronic invitations (such as evite.com or pingg.com). This saves on stamps, too!
  • Instead of ordering a customized theme cake, my daughter and I baked cupcakes. This was fun because we enjoyed quality time together which we hardly get to do when her little brother is around.
  • Instead of ordering a multitude of dining courses and various drinks, we opted for pizza, juice boxes and popsicles.
  • Instead of goody bags, we gave our guests cute water bottles filled with ice cold water to keep them cool while playing.

WOW! It was so simple and easy, and I was also able to relax and enjoy some time with the company instead of running around being the “hostess with the mostess.” Hmmm… I can get used to this.

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Oh, boy! My baby is growing up. He’s hit another milestone. Paulo is 21 months, not quite two years old, but my husband and I have decided to move him into a regular bed. Our daughter was probably about the same age, but I’m not an expert. I’m not quite sure when the right time is to transition your toddler from a crib to a bed. BabyCenter says “sometime between ages 1-1/2 and 3-1/2,” stating that “it’s best to wait until your child is closer to 3.” I’m within the range but I decided to use mommy instincts on this one.

Usually I can leave my son in the crib while I go brush my teeth, wash my hands, or even just a couple steps to his closet to pick out what Le Top outfit to put him in. However the past couple of months, he’s gotten so active that when I turn around he’s already got one leg hoisted over the crib and the second leg spring-loaded ready to propel himself in mid-air. So before he seriously injures himself, my husband and I decided to move him to his first bed.

For safety, we put the bed mattress directly on the floor instead of putting the mattress on a bed frame so that he is closer to the ground. To keep him from rolling out of bed while sleeping, we placed bed rails on each side. The first couple of nights were tough because he was terribly excited about his new sleeping arrangements that he would just roll himself from left to right, then back again, only because he can. (Mind you, he has a full-size bed so there’s a lot of room to play steamroller.) By mid-week, when the excitement boiled over, he became accustomed to his bed.

It’s been three weeks now since the big “move” and Paulo LOVES his bed! His crib is still in his room because my husband is too lazy to dismantle it and I am in denial that my baby is no longer a baby. Sometimes, out of habit, I’ll put him in his crib while I go to his closet. He cries and looks at me with sad puppy eyes as if he’s asking me if he’s in trouble. (We really need to dismantle it!) Although, the best part is when it’s time for bed. After we brush his teeth, he’ll run to his room and things will be quiet. When I walk in, I always find him under the covers sitting up with a book on his lap and a big smile ready for story time. So precious!

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Paulo is wearing a long-sleeved shirt from the Imagination collection and 5-pocket jeans from the Guitar collection from rabbitmoon's 2010 fall/winter collection.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins… I just love fall! After going to the pumpkin patch to select our pumpkins, it’s time to carve them into Jack-O-Lanterns (a few days before Halloween so they don’t rot away too early). It’s always so interesting to see what faces we come up with each year. Miranda, being 6 years old, considers herself an expert pumpkin carver with two years under her belt. She even showed me the “templates” she drew for her round orange pumpkin and for her white ghost pumpkin. So cute! I didn’t even realize she knew what template means.

My favorite part is smelling the fresh aroma of the pumpkin as you cut open the top. Mmmm! It smells so sweet. My daughter’s favorite part is taking out the seeds. I think she likes feeling the slimy mess inside. As for my husband, I think he likes the power he feels when he uses his drill to poke holes in the soft flesh of the fruit. (Men!) And my 18-month old son… as long as he has his little pumpkin, he’s good.

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The first week that I realized I was pregnant, it wasn’t a big shock.  My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for several months, and finally KABOOM! The test read positive….twice!  The first test we took, I knew something was different.  This faint vertical line was starting to appear. I rocked the stick back and forth, looked up at my husband (Aaron) and said, “I think we are pregnant! This doesn’t look like it normally does…” Sure enough, as the seconds ticked away, the vertical line was now making a “plus” sign that was getting darker and darker.  Aaron wasn’t convinced.  He thought it was too light and too indecisive.  Luckily a few weeks back I had bought a digital test for this exact reason. One of my good friends in Florida had called to tell me she was pregnant! Hooray! She said that her husband didn’t believe the faint lines and made her go get the digital test, then he was convinced.

When our digital test read out “P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T” we both got a big smile on our faces and embraced.  Finally! What we have been waiting for!  

The best part of this story is this: The whole reason we decided to take the test that night was because Aaron’s dad’s birthday was that day. He has wanted grandkids from the day we got married, and has never stopped asking. His mom even promised to handle day care for me if I had a baby by the time she was 53 (she turns 53 this October- do you think I could convince her to still do day care even if it’s a few months late? She’d still be in her 53rd year…!). So I thought, ‘Well wouldn’t that be a great birthday present?’ And sure enough it was!

We had a family birthday party a few days later, and managed to keep it a secret until then, which wasn’t an easy task! We had to wait until the end of the night for the big reveal. Aaron and I had gone out to a local bookstore and picked up four books for his dad’s birthday present: 

The Grandparents Handbook by Elizabeth LaBan

Books by Mercer Mayer

Just, Grandpa and Me, Just Grandma and Me and Bye-Bye, Mom and Dad all by Mercer Mayer .

When Aaron’s dad opened them the first thing he said was “Is this supposed to be a hint? Is there congratulations due?!” “Yes there is!” we said. And the whole family erupted in shouts of joy – all 7 siblings, two parents, a girlfriend of one of the brothers and three close friends.

Then it began….the art of telling, and NOT telling people that we were pregnant!

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Paulo is wearing a zip hoodie and cargo pants set from rabbitmoon's Imagination collection.

I’m guilty! I am so guilty of not indulging my second child to the same enjoyable things as I did with my first. Miranda had playgroups, play dates, Mommy and Me classes, anything and everything that I could expose her to that would be fun, educational, and give us extra bonding/play time.

I remember someone telling me that having two kids is like having 10. I didn’t believe it! How can one little person make life complicated to the 10th degree? Well, let me tell you… Now that I have two kids, I AM A BELIEVER! I am so busy with the demands of motherhood, Miranda’s school, my freelance work, the housework, the grocery shopping (I have to go every week now because boys eat so much more than girls!) and all the voluntary roles I thought I would have time for (Classroom Mom, Yearbook Committee, Faith Formation Teacher, helping my parents). I’m lucky if I can keep my head above water. Poor Paulo! He gets whatever is left of my hectic schedule.

I jotted down my little guy’s schedule each day of the week:

  • Monday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Tuesday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Wednesday : take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Thursday: take Miranda to school, SWIM CLASS!!!, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Friday: take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play

Pretty boring, huh? At least he has weekly swim classes. But any free time I get, I’m either working, doing chores or running errands just so I can survive the day and actually get to bed at a decent time (midnight would be early for me!) But never mind about me. This is precious Paulo time I’m wasting. So… I’ve decided that I NEED take charge of my schedule and plan recreational activities for my little guy. He shouldn’t be penalized for being Child No. 2. He needs to have his own schedule, his own friends, and make his own memories. This sad little dude rarely sees a playground that when he does see one, he pees his pants in excitement! So I’m bringing back weekly playgroups.

His first play date was with my friend’s daughter. This little girl’s big brother was Miranda’s first playgroup friend and they have been very good friends ever since. (Coincidentally, my friend and I had our two kids roughly at the same time so each of our two kids are about the same age.) We met at a nearby playground to enjoy the fresh air and some outdoor fun, but it started to drizzle. Luckily, there was Toddler Storytime at the museum across the way that was just about to start. PERFECT!

The kids had a good time, AND the moms did as well. We both reminisced about our lives five years ago when we were both new mothers and only had one child each. We talked about how much more relaxed we were back then, how busy our lives have become, and how we missed connecting with each other just to talk about life in general (husbands, in-laws, school, broken appliances, the laundry…). We vowed to have our play dates each week for the sake of our second children AND for the sake of our sanity! What a revelation… I NEED PLAYGROUP, TOO!!! This is going to be a good thing.

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