Thursday, September 27, 2012

You Know You're Parenting a Toddler When:

Toddlers, such amazing little sponges that fill your home with such joy.  They are sweet, demanding, adorable, hilarious little people who's little souls are just bubbling over with their own individual personality.  Yet, they are still young enough to be completely uninhibited and also share precious moments of their literal toddler logic.

They are heart stealers, once they've got you, you're hooked.  This little girl of mine is so amazing and along with parenting her, I have picked up a few realizations about raising a toddler.  Her are just a few gems...

You know you're parenting a toddler when:

  • Using the restroom with the door closed is a luxury.
  • Taking a shower by yourself is just so lonely.
  • You realize just how big your boobs are when your little laundry helper decides to wear your bra.  (salad bowls... literally salad bowls).
  • You start to see the many purposes of household things.  Oh you think that's just  an empty paper towel roll?  Wrong, it's a telescope and now we're pirates.
  • "Eww Mommy!  What's this???"  And you actually hold out your hand...
  • You've cupped your hands together to catch throw up.
  • I'm a napkin/tissue.  You get very used to the sly toddler coming into hug-slash-nose-wipe.
  • Any two similar objects can be in love.  "Look Momma, the punkins (pumpkins) are in looove"
  • Things come in three sizes: Daddy, Mommy, and Baby.
  • Toddler logic dictates that if you're in love - you're married.  And if you're married - there is a Daddy, Mommy, and Baby. Obviously.
  • They pick up your art of distraction.  I can see the thought process: Uh-oh.  I'm in trouble.  Quick something cute...something cute.... "Look Momma, I'm a bunny!"  complete with hops and nose wiggling.
  • They inadvertently tattle on you.  At the doctor's office yesterday: The nurse dropped a jar of cotton balls, *hands on her cheeks* "Oh my goodness gracious! What a mess!"
  • We're eating the same thing, but it's tastes so much better off of my plate.
  • One of my favorite things:  Exaggerated accents.  She sounds like such a little southern country bumpkin, it's awesome.
  • Toys have feelings.  "Mommy you stepped on Mickey! Kiss it all better"  And yes, I will kiss him and give my sincerest apology.
  • Kissing boo-boos really does make it all better.
  • Tea party time is sacred.
  • Having full conversations with other toys or imaginary people on a play phone.
  • Daddy can be a princess too.
  • You always have a little helper.  The time frame you had in mind to finish the task at hand may be extended, but it's hard to resist such enthusiasm to put dishes away.
Enjoy your little people today!

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's A Girl! and HG Pregnancy Diary Update

Simmons baby #2 is a confirmed female!

Fiona Noel Simmons is perfect and healthy and slated to come into the world around February 4th!

Up until this coming week I will have received 2 liters of IV fluids twice a week, but after the ultrasound today the game plan is changing to only coming once a week!  Thanks to testing negative for key tones for a week and a half and not losing any more weight (I haven't gained any weight, which they aren't thrilled about but it's a move in the right direction that I'm not losing weight), my midwife decided I could step down on the fluid therapy.  I'll have an appointment at the beginning of the week and if I get in trouble during the week I can have an unscheduled visit to help get me caught up.

 All of my medications are staying the same, they really are helping.  Sometimes there isn't any amount of intervention that stop me from getting sick but I'm doing as well as I am because of the medication so I really can't complain.  I took the glucose test already, only this time I did the fasting blood test instead of the drink and my levels were perfect.

I am measuring further along than I actually am but our due date is staying the same because we have a family history of making large babies.  (Ten pounders... yikes).

During the ultrasound (anatomy scan) Fiona measured right around one pound, the midwife and the ultrasound tech agreed that she's on par to be a healthy and large baby.  That gives my heart such peace.  Some days I can feel like I'm wasting away and it's so comforting to know that she's healthy and growing as she should.

All praise to God for this miracle.  Staying so humble knowing His hand is in all things.
"This is the child for which I was praying, and Yahweh has granted me what I asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Monday, September 17, 2012

19 weeks going to a WVU football game

19 weeks and 5 days and getting ready to head out the door to the WVU vs. JMU game.  Daddy and Muffin can both feel the baby move very well.  Our daughter's excitement about feeling the baby move was pretty hilarious, she's talking to the baby a lot now.  I'm feeling tons of movement but it's very different from what I felt for our daughter, she was a ninja in training while in the womb and this baby is more of a dancer.  I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions but nothing uncomfortable, they have started much earlier for this pregnancy.  The day this posts I'll be 20 weeks!!!  We have hit the half way mark!  Friday we have our 20 week anatomy scan and as long as this little munchkin cooperates we'll find out the gender!  I'm predicting another healthy sized babe simply because I'll feel movements under my ribs and then moments later feel some tap dancing very low. I'll do a full care update/rundown after we have our ultrasound on Friday.

On to the weekend events:

My husband grew up in West Virginia, and is a die hard WVU fan.  (If you've ever met a West Virginian, they are all die hard WVU fans and if you marry one, you'll become a fan too.  Love is a crazy thing ;-) ).  So naturally, we (all four of us) got dressed in our WVU best and went to the game against JMU at the Redskins stadium.

We stopped at Fridays for some chocolate milk and mozzarella sticks.

Go Mountaineers!
My sweet husband was practically beaming with pride that his family was dressed and cheering for his team.  We all had a great time, but we did learn the lesson that we need to adjust our tactics for college football games .  It was hard navigating through the rowdy intoxicated college kids.  But once seated everything was wonderful, the biggest hassle was actually getting in the stadium.  Baby girl had an awesome time, she loved that she didn't have to control the volume of her voice and really got into cheering.  She entertained an adorable elderly couple that sat in front of us, they just couldn't believe that she knew the cheers.  Corey took full credit for that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Not So Terrible Twos

Despite our best efforts, this bubbly smiling kid:

Isn't always smiling.  They have a very popular nickname for her age group, "the terrible twos."

I personally don't think they are terrible.  Yes, they are taxing and inconvenient for me at times but I wouldn't say she's ever been terrible.

But it's not about me.  It's about her.  Her growth in understanding and interpreting situations.  Her world of communication is broadening rapidly and it can be a  roller coaster for a youngster to try and keep up while keeping emotions in check.

I should put it out there that we are peaceful parenting enthusiasts and although this is not about peaceful parenting, I believe that it does come into play.

I know that some people look at me like I'm strange when my daughter gets frustrated at the crayon that won't fit in her pocket leading her to toss it in frustration and start to cry.  I get the odd looks because my reaction isn't to swat her bottom or her hand for throwing a crayon and I certainly won't speak to her harshly because she's crying.  Crying is permitted in this house.  I'll tell her that we shouldn't throw things but I don't bark at her.  I know she's frustrated, and it's a completely valid emotion!  She is allowed to feel frustrated, confused, etc. and being a toddler she doesn't yet have the tools to process these emotions and it comes out in what is often referred to as a tantrum.  My job is to nurture her growing personality and teach her the tools to process these very new, very big feelings, and I personally don't feel that reacting with anger or with strict militant authority is the way for me to do it.  I'll hug her while she's upset, tell her I understand she's upset and it's okay to feel that way.  Usually she'll get out a good little crying session, sometimes while snuggled on my shoulder and other times she prefers to work out her tears on her own.  Once she's calm (the amount of time that takes varies) I'll ask her to please pick up, in this scenario the crayon, and she'll pick it up and 50% of the time she'll issue an apology without any coaxing.

Now, before you think we're push overs, time outs exist in our household.  Aggression or bully behavior are not permitted in this house. Period.  When these occasions do happen we speak in a firm lower tone of voice and thus far it's an instant attention grabber.

In our house how we deal with this age is where parenting meets mothering(nurturing).  We prefer to nurture rather than "train".

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Parenting is hard.  Pregnancy (for me at least) is hard.  It's easy when you're a parent to walk around all day second guessing yourself.  Now add the woman rolling her eyes at you while shopping with a very talkative (loud) toddler.  Yeah, this parenting job is a pretty judgmental career choice.  Those who have walked this path before you are a wealth of knowledge, but what they find as an appropriate method you may not.  Parenting is not something to do by comparison, your efforts will always be focused in the wrong place.  It's not a competition of who's journey in parenting has been the toughest.  And it certainly can't be done "by the book".

You know what I find lacking in a lot of advice I hear given to moms?  Encouragement.

If it's not "Mommy Wars" where stay at home moms are pitted against working moms, it's mothers saying discouraging things with a smile "Enjoy your sleep now because once the baby is here you'll never sleep again!"

Whether it's your first baby, your tenth baby, or your only child, you need encouragement.  Encouragement along the whole journey.  Labor, birth, breastfeeding, teething, first hair cuts, day care, school, sports, puberty..... it's all new territory when your oldest starts to experience new milestones.

I'm here to say I'm not perfect.  I fail daily.  I judge my own actions and question my own choices.  I'm constantly striving to be the best mother and wife I can be but some days I can only manage one or the other.  It's a juggling act.  But one thing I do know is I try very hard every single day to be the best spouse and mom I can be.  And even on days where I fail miserably, that's enough.  Even on the hardest days I can rest peacefully because I know I poured love into it.

Bottom line:  God knows your heart.  He sees your efforts.  And no matter how many mistakes you make, He will be your encouragement to keep at it.  Share it.  When you encourage another parent or non parent you're sharing God's encouragement.  Pour God's love into everyday.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Outer Banks: Photo Edition Part 2

The baby bump update:  I'm 18 weeks today and these pictures were taken while I was 17 weeks along.  I'm feeling okay, I did get sick while on vacation because it was so hot and a lot more activity (stair climbing + ligament pain = ouch!)  But I've been pounding bottled water and I have a fluids appointment this Friday.  Also, September 21st marks the second ultrasound, (hard to believe I've only had 2 so far, by this time with baby girl I had already had quite a few) this ultrasound is the 20 week anatomy scan and * drum roll* gender reveal!

But anyway.... some of my favorite photos:

Outer Banks: Photo Edition Part 1

I may have mentioned before that my husband is a naturally talented photographer. Here's proof.

And I hate to have him left out of photos so I try my best to get the same quality pictures as he does, but he really gets the short end of the stick.

Our Vacation Together: Outer Banks, NC

What a fantastic getaway!  All thanks to Corey's Grandmother and Grandfather, the entire family gets to be together and share such a wonderful vacation.
Things Muffin loved:
  • "Baby" sea shells, only baby sea shells.
  • Turtles!  We came home with lots of baby turtle trinkets and she absolutely loved feeding the swarms or turtles from the boardwalk.
  • "We go pool!"  I'm slightly worried about how I am going to keep her from noticing we don't have a pool in our backyard. This kid loves the pool.
  • "Bounce!" There was this disc thing (an over sized Frisbee) that she kept putting in the water and insisted on jumping on over and over and over....
  • "Let's go to______'s room"  With everyone staying in one beach house it made for lots of little knocks on the door from Muffin trying to get inside. (I apologize that my daughter wakes up at 6 am, I know a little person knocking on your door that early is maddening.  Thanks for being good sports! - for the record I tried my best to keep her occupied... maybe ;-))
  • Ice cream!  The community had an ice cream truck with blaring music just taunting all of the children within hearing range.  Isabelle was no exception and her Aunt Nana loved to get baby girl her ice cream fix.
  • Holes in the sand.  If we dug a hole or trench in the sand, she would happily play in it for quite a while.
  • Kite watching.  Counting them, trying to see all of the colors, seeing how high in the sky they were.
  • Early mornings and late nights.  She was a champ the whole trip and normally here at our house she keeps her own little schedule.  But while on vacation, she kept different hours and enjoyed all of her attention all day (and all evening).

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