Monday, April 26, 2010

The many faces of Henley Jane

I call this one: Feminine Dammit.
That light in the background is her halo, the white on her chin is vomit.
Annoyed at me for taking pictures of her without her eye makeup on.
Angry, probably at Daddy for eating instead of looking at her.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

He Speaks!!

My son! He has something to say! After 27 months of waiting, he now holds full conversations about......nests. He is absolutely obsessed with this nest we found in the tree in the front of our house. It started with his bedtime ritual of reading "The Best Nest" with his daddy. He now has a whole litany of bedtime reads, and he will tell you which he wants. For instance "Boat" is actually Fred and Ted Go Camping and "AHH!" is the Spooky Old Tree. There are also "ABC", "Hat" and "

However, his favorite is the heartwarming story of a very weak daddy bird and a domineering mama bird and her desire for a new house that is probably way outside of their birdy budget. Much to his delight, we have found not one but two real live nests around our house. When he wakes up, he wants to go check on it, when it is time to go inside, he worries about it, and when we have company, they too must share in his nest joy.

Within the last few days/weeks, he has learned (or I have learned to understand) the following words: snack, sit, mess, hose, nest, plane, sissy, you, yes, doggy (pronounced dodgy), bat, I don't know, there it is, bees, seeds and I am sure I am forgetting many.

I have been looking forward to this era of communication with him for so long. I love the way his mind works, and he stumps me most of the time, but our talks are the best, and I am getting a kick out of chatting with him in the car or around the house. He is no where near where his toddler friends are with language, but I will take what I can get!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stay At Home

I catch myself talking to my friends (both kidful and kidless) about how hard my job is as a stay at home mom. I do this for two reasons, I think. One, because it actually IS hard and I am a complainer. Two, because I want to be included in the working world. I don't want to be pushed aside and considered to have it so easy because my job doesn't pay. I want to be counted in during the bitching that happens when more than one woman is gathered! I want to be included in the happy hour bemoaning! Of course, as we all know, babies are sorta frowned upon in a bar like setting, so I rarely even get invited to happy hours, but if I were I would want to have something to show these working women that I too do something worth while.

However, the more I think about it, the more I think that we as stay at home moms should try not to emphasize how difficult the job of staying home is. Instead of talking about the messes, the juggling, the tripping, the endless scrapes, the whining (my god the whining!!), and the leaky, sniffly, stinky rest of it, lets talk about the perks when we talk to our child-free compadres! Make it look at least a little desirable so that when they have kids, they don't spit out the kid and rush back to work just to feel like a contributing member of society again. We are scaring women away from mothering! This, of course, doesn't count the women who need to work for income, I am talking about the women who run back to work because they think others would be better equipped to raise children. I have a friend who brags constantly about the things she buys her child, but the only pictures she ever has of her kid are taken by a daycare provider. I want to give these women a better picture of what an awesome thing staying at home can be - while reassuring myself at the same time.

- When was the last time you wore your pajamas all day
- Happy hour is ten times better when it is done in a friend's yard while your kids frolic in the noon.
- The more you see the world through a child's eyes, the more you realize every day is a learning experience
- I didn't miss the firsts of my kids' lives
- Barefeet never gave someone bone spurs
- I save a fortune on dry cleaning
- Naps are highly encouraged
- Showers are optional
- Making cookies is sorta part of the job
- You never really need to make time to go exercise as the job is exercise. Need more? have another kid or just invite kids over for a playdate.

Of course there is all that sappy stuff about getting paid in kisses and hugs. Or how one "I love you" is worth all the paychecks you would get in a year, but this is a bit abstract for someone considering a career in child rearing, and some people's kids don't really SAY I love you for years, so I am leaving it out.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gardening with the Gosses

Just as I do every year (since last year) I get my little hopes and dreams up so high for a home garden. Last year, I knew absolutely bupkiss about gardening or farming. I figured I would take the Sesame Street route wherein all you need is soil, sunshine, water and love. Turns out that works only in a completely bugless and temperate climate with perfect soil, not so great for Texas. Nevertheless, we were still able to grow lettuce, pole beans, carrots and one pitiful looking squash. Mind you, all of these were from seeds, not plants.

This year, I did some research, planted at the proper time of the year (crucial as apparently frost kills plants??) bought certain veggies from plants (tomatoes and peppers) and others from seeds (carrots and beans). We also have a plum tree from my Aunt and a potted asparagus plant that I have yet to see one Asparagi grow from, but I am assured that the first year is a wash with those things.

This year we have: three types of tomatoes (plum, cherry and regular), red hot cherry peppers (supposed to be bell pepper), watermelon (I may have planted over), beans, squash, garlic, carrots, asparagus, and some cilantro growing in the front yard where Oliver spilled a packet of seeds in January. I also plan on starting an herb garden in my smaller bed near the house.

I have been watering regularly, am planning an organic battle against the bugs, and plan on actually USING our compost pile this year. I am currently in search of a place that sells earthworms. Anyone??

Oliver is LOVING planting the seeds and plants. Unfortunately the guy just keeps replanting things, so we have to use the metaphor of putting the plants to sleep and the dirt is their blanket. Now when he digs in the bed, we tell him not to pull the covers off the poor seeds. Hey, whatever works!! I wonder what metaphor will work for rabbits...

These pictures are from when we were helping in the community garden. Maybe next year we will be mobile enough and plant growing savvy enough to buy a plot.

Mission Statement

Now that I am a mom to two, it is time to reevaluate I think. The kind of mom, wife, and woman I was and strove to be when it was just Oliver and I is no longer possible now that there are two babies striving to be my world. When a company is revamping their image, or going belly up, the first thing they do usually is create a new Mission Statement. And so, therefore, shall I!

I want to be a relaxed, fun and attentive wife and mother. I will ask for help when I need it and will accept it when it is offered. I will learn to say no to social obligations and yes to getting on the floor and playing. I will care less about what others are doing and care more about the example I am setting. I will kiss my husband more and will strive to be as helpful, loving and supportive as he has been to me. I will remember that random acts of kindness go further than grand gesture, and can affect more people. I will never be too busy to read to my kids. I will forgive myself for not being able to play all the time, as a mother, it is my job to also teach them how to cook, clean and do their own laundry. I will teach my children values through my actions. I will not lose sight of who I am, what I want and things that I enjoy just because I am a mother of two. I want to get back to what is really important, and simplify the rest. I want to cook, can, create, and grow more of what we need rather than buy it. And I will not worry about calories, fat, sugar, or salt intake, I will be more concerned with balance.

Thanks to a friend on the interwebz for this idea!!
Actually, thanks to her husband for making her do it first.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Henley's First Doctor Visit

She is HUGE!!! 10lbs, 30z (if you look back at Feb. 20, 2008 - so was Oliver at his month visit) and 22inches long! That would be 90% and 80% respectively, I am growing a monster! Speaking of monsters, Henley has the worst case of baby acne I have ever seen. I have been avoiding play dates because she looks so terrible, I don't want people to feel like they have to lie to me. It was so bad, the pediatrician suggested we treat it with OTC acne medication (Nutragena On the Spot if you are interested) which seems a bit crazy to me, no? I mean, it isn't like she is dating or something. No babies, to the best of my knowledge, have set up a facebook page for "Fans of Henley 'Pizza Face' Goss". I hardly ever tease her and when I do, it is mostly behind her back.

She looks so much like Oliver, but also so much like me when I was a baby it is a bit weird that she is her own person. She may look like Oliver, but she is really testing my parental prowess by being a completely different baby. He threw up all the time, she swallows it back down (ew). He had to be touching us at all times, she sleeps independently. He hated being worn because it meant he had to bend his knees, she loves the sling and the swaddle. He STILL nurses for comfort, she sees boobs as purely a food source. I can see why moms of more than one think first timers are idiots. The more kids you have, the more you realize you are clueless.

We are slowly finding our way as a family of four. The main issue I am having is that I have literally no downtime. Going from having a self sufficient 2 year old who STTN, takes 2 hour naps and is mostly potty trained, to a newborn constantly on me is a shock to the system. I haven't been able to get out of the house without either of them for longer than half an hour (once) because there is no time to pump, which means I can't leave. I am actually hurriedly typing this before CT gives me back Henley and goes to bathe the first born. Right now he is holding her off from nursing so that the Zantac can kick in before she feeds.

Oh yea, and did I tell you she has reflux? She gags, swallows down her spit up and screams, those are the symptoms. So, until her little tummy valve grows, we are trying medication to make her more comfortable. You know what also helps?? Swaddles. Swaddles are spectacular. I may have to bemoan them in a later post but for now, she sleeps snug as a bug in a rug in hers!

If I could have one wish, it would be a date with my husband soon. I miss that guy. We talk, but in between tantrums and colic. I only hear half of what he tells me about his life, and I really want to know this time. HA.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Post Partum Update

Today is the first day that I have felt good. I mean, energetic, happy, and not wanting to strangle Oliver. Oh, and I pooped without feeling like blades were slicing me in two (still bled though). Hemorrhoids have got to be the worst part of labor and delivery for me. My mom is coming shortly to watch the napping kids while I grocery shop, which will be the first time to myself in almost 4 weeks. Oliver and Henley overlap their naps by about an hour while I usually frantically clean or watch TV. Please don't tell me I should be napping, I am no good at daytime naps and they leave me more grouchy than if I had just stayed awake.

I just cleaned out my freezer, and found that I still have 2 weeks worth of meals from people (this doesn't count the stuff that I can make myself with the ingredients I have. How awesome are my friends and family!? It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy that regardless of my mental state and level of exhaustion, my family will eat for the next two weeks. Also it makes me feel awesome that my freezer will be empty enough for my husband to brew a lager by the end of the month! I have decided to use disposable diapers on Henley when we are out of the house - so much easier to carry in a diaper bag. And I am stepping up the PTing of Oliver. Getting some training pants shortly.

Let me just say, that having two kids is so extremely hard. I literally wanted to kill Oliver for the first few weeks. No, I am not kidding. I would lay there holding him trying to get him to nap while his sister screamed in the other room and I would think about how much I hated him. HATED. Of course, then I would leave him and hate myself for even thinking that. He is a good kid, and now that he is on a strict schedule (this is a must for two or more kids btw), it has gotten easier. He naps, he sleeps at night, he eats. However, he is SO needy. Much more so than the littlest one. Today is the first day that I have felt the old adage that your heart grows with room for both children. Up until today, I felt like my heart evicted my oldest so that my youngest could survive.

Anyway, that is me. Tomorrow I may be in the gutter again (going 5 days with no shower will do that to a person) but today? Today is a good day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!

Oliver knows the true meaning of Easter! Eggs. Eggs and candy. Eggs and candy and gifts. It was sorta sweet to watch him run around gathering all of the hidden eggs, opening his baskets - yes that is plural and enjoying undivided attention. Don't get used to it, next year it won't be like this buddy! Next year Easter is about competition!! Who ever gets the most eggs wins mommy's love!! Ha. Just kidding. My love of course goes to the cutest one.

We did not take pictures with the Easter Bunny. While I find Santa to be charming and all about giving and charity, I find it creepy for a man to dress as a huge prolific animal and take pictures with children. Go hunt eggs my little Gosslings, but you will not believe that the Easter Bunny is real. Sorry, that is just so weird. Easter is a bit of an uncomfortable holiday for me anyway, I find it really annoying that people are all about the holiday being a Christian one, but denying the fact that ALL the symbols of said holiday are Pagan. It really frustrates me. I even have one friend who told me that the Christians had to go underground because the Pagans were slaughtering them by the thousands, so they pretended to celebrate their holidays but actually they were celebrating Christian events. Um, no.

So we eat ham, we play games with family, and use the holiday as an excuse to dress our kiddos up and hunt eggs. Oh and chocolate. If you ask me, chocolate is the real reason for the season! Or fruit snacks if that is what floats your 2 year old boat!

These first pictures are of Oliver hunting eggs at the Georgetown "hunt". Really it was a bunch of kids picking up eggs in a field. Some parents who have less scruples than most were opening all the eggs, dumping the candy in the basket and leaving behind the halves of the shell. Uncool!

Visiting with his Grandma and Grampa for "Easter" they came a week early to celebrate!

And hunting eggs at the final Easter, at Mama and Gramp's house!