Job Title: Mother

When I was growing up, being a mother wasn’t a dream I had. I kinda assumed that I would become a mother, but it wasn’t this dream I had of having a big pregnant belly or holding a sleeping (or screaming infant).

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And then I had my first, and she made me question the amount I could love someone. She was ao easy and fun and loved everything I ever did. She made me begin to realize how much I loved being a mother and how I would happily give up everything and completely inconvenience my needs for a child.

I was still working at Duke during this and, as most working moms do, I cried and cried and cried at the thought of going back to work and leaving her without me. I also cried at lots of other first, her first bottle, her first paci, all these things that made it seem that she didn’t need me.

Right at Mary Margaret’s first birthday, we got pregnant with Virginia, and I worried how I could ever make room in my heart for another baby. All my baby-love revolved around Mary Margaret and it seemed impossible to make more room.

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And then we had Virginia, and she was sick initially in the hospital and the thought of losing her tore through me SO hard. And then when she was home, she was tough and made me question my confidence as a parent. And to this day, she is still rascally and makes me chase her around parking lots (how scary, right?) and tests me daily.

Then when Virginia was 6 months old we decided it would be best for our family that I stay home with our girls. And whereas once I was a working mom, I became a stay at home mom who didn’t get many breaks, and definitely didn’t have the adult conversations I had days before.

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People sometimes ask if I miss working, and I don’t. I REALLY don’t. But, there are a few things I wish would have been carried over to the new job. When I was working, I was pretty good at my job, and people would tell me I was doing a good job. I was able to come home and feel like I’d accomplished something and was making a difference in my work. At home, I get less reinforcement about my skills, and there is less of a rubric as to what ensures I am hitting my job goals.

Also, little things like bagels delivered on random mornings, lunch meetings, going out for co-workers birthdays… mainly just excuses to eat. Along with lots of free coffee and  a cover to buy and use school/office supplies.

 

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The boss ladies, they are pieces of work sometimes.

But then I remember how much I longed to be home when I was working, and how much I love getting my girls up from their naptimes and how happy they were to see me. Also, now I sometimes get the chance to sleep in and snuggle with a little (still nursing) almost 2-year-old, and get to stumble around and make a good breakfast and drink lots my coffee that I have to brew myself.

These girls have pushed me into the job I didn’t even know I wanted. And it’s amazing and I never dream of going back into the “formal” working world anytime soon.

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We’re Baaaaaaack!

So, after um, like, months and months away from this blog and having the website expiring and having to re-buy it. I’m (we’re) back!!!!

How have you been? We’re holding strong here, not too much has changed.

Here is a little update on what’s going on:

Charlie:

Still working hard at St. Thomas More Academy. We’re in the throughs of Ultimate Frisbee, which he is the head coach of, so he has lots of practice and games. Which I love, of course…., but I always crave him home after school. But alas, I have it so good, I need just appreciate it and move on.

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Laura:

Still working at home, taking care of little people all day. We’ve actually added a new little person a few times a week. Her name is Baby A and she is soooo cute and precious and her parents have worked super hard on making her an easy baby and it’s really working. She is as easy as Mary Margaret was as a baby, but I don’t have to get up to feed her at night. So it’s like a win-win-win! I’m not really working on anything other than trying to meal plan otherwise I’ll feed them rice with butter for dinner while I drink wine. About 6 months ago we did that Dave Ramsey class and it really got us energized for a few months, but we’re starting to get lax and I need to get another gallon of his kool-aid to get back on track.

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Mary Margaret:

3.5 and going on 13. She’s seriously going through some “threenager” emotions which bringings out strong emotions in her parents too, Vicious cycle. She’s super smart and sometimes I’m not sure how to encourage her smarts, while also letting her be a kid. We’re talking about what options we have for school in the coming years, and although homeschool sounds like the best bet. It’s also a lot of work, and I’m kinda lazy. Luckily, we don’t have to make any decisions tomorrow. We’re STILL working hard on potty training, she’s got #1 in the bag (or pot, if you will) but #2 is so elusive to everyone. Maybe some other parents have dealt with this, but she has been “going” all her life while standing with straight legs, and so squatting down to “go” isn’t happening. And although we’ve tried every bribe we can think about, she will wear panties until she needs to “go” then ask us to put a diaper on her, then back to panties. I’ll just stop there.

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Virginia:

~20 months and just starting to seem not a “baby” to me. She’s of course, walking and talking and finally sleeping. Until very recently, she was getting up consistently at 5AM. Which is bad, unless, like me, you have a superstar husband who will get up and feed her Cheerios while watching soccer highlights with her. Then bring her back to bed, with coffee for me (call me: lottery winner) before he goes to work for a full day.  She’s so silly and loves babies and dogs SO HARD, which is going to be tough one day because she still nurses, on average, 3 times a day. She loves to eat, but only a few things and is very opinionated about what she doesn’t like. Also, still requires me to hold her very very frequently.

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I can’t guarentee this will be a frequent thing, but I hope to have a few rants to talk about and a few more places to put random pictures.

Thanks!

Birthday Picture Dump

It’s been… ohhhhh 2 months since I’ve done anything on this blog.

My  big girl turned 3! And here is a photo dump from her birthday!

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Princesses ready for friends

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” Thank you for coming to my party”

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Nana Love is here to stay

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After a mistake with Teflon flakes in the  “good for you” cake (no artificial colors, preservatives, etc).
The Funfetti cake with chocolate icing was the big winner.

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Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Wait, is this a DIY Blog?

I know, I know look at me getting a big head because I’ve completed a whole 2 home improvement projects, so I’m pretty much a certified female Bob Vila over here.

It’s like this set of drawers fell in my lap. The girls and I were walking around the neighborhood one morning and on the way home, a neighbor had some items out on the curb, and this was one of them. She told me her daughter was getting new furniture and said she was going to have the city come to pick it up.

She even helped me move it to our front porch.

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Look at that gem!

So, in talking to my re-do guru Sherry and she clued me into Chalk Paint, now, there is a REALLY expensive brand that people seem to love. But times are tight here and I ended up making my own with some left-over paint from this project (1 of the 2 that I’ve done) with a recipe that went something like this:

1/3 cup Plaster of Paris

1/3 cup Cool water

Mix until smooth

1 cup paint of choice

Mix and start painting!

This is after 1.5 coats of Behr Paint + Primer in Swiss Coffee

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After, you are expected (or at least I was) to put a (or a few) wax coat(s), I did get the store-brand and the expensive wax brush that they encourage you to get. I tried just using an old t-shirt, but the pills from the shirt were making me nervous. So I just used the darned fancy brush and a cloth diaper as my wiping cloth.

After about 3 coats and then 2 coats of wax. You need to wait 24 hours between coats of wax and then buff it after.

I broke down and got some drawer liners. I really wanted a hip geometric pattern, but our Home Depot’s most appealing was this one.

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After a few stowaways wanted to ride in the drawer boat

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This is what the final product looks like.

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I’m not 100% sure I love the hard wear. I’m really not good at picking things like that out, little details like that. Not my thing.

Questions Questions

DSC_1920I’m going to be completely honest and say I stole this idea (and the majority of the questions) from Katie Bower at Bower Power

Mary Margaret is on the other side of 2.5 these days and it’s really showing. But! it’s getting more fun too as she says some very odd things.

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Mary Margaret 7/14/2015

What is your favorite food? Pork Loin

What is your favorite activity? Play in the Kitchen

Where is your favorite place? To the museum

What is your future dream job? play big kitchen (be a chef?)

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you? Woof

Who is your best friend and why? Lucia, Ohhhh bubbles *we were in the bathtub

Where do you live? Up in Charleston

What does heaven look like? Cement

What is Mommy’s Job? Work at her own work

What is Daddy’s job? Studies a lot

What animal would you want to be? Wolf

What do you want to be when you grow up? Wolf

What’s your favorite color? Green

What do you like to do with daddy? Glow in the dark

What do you like to do with mommy? Go to the Burrito house (Moe’s)

What is your favorite thing to wear? Zip-up jacket

What is your favorite song? Elmo Song

What is your favorite bedtime book? Elmo book 

What is your favorite treat? Raisins. and Candy.

What are your favorite shoes? Skateboard shoes 

Who is your favorite sister? Virginia!

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Summertime Photo Dump

Although Charlie has been nagging me (yes, it can go both ways, I’ve realized) about writing on my blog this summer. I kinda avoided it because I had nothing to say, I know that hasn’t stopped me before, and when he’s home all summer we just watch TV and run errands without babies when it’s naptime. Charlie is lucky enough to start summer right at June 1, so this is our last week of true summertime around these parts.

Anyway… here is a photo dump of all kinda summery things including:

Beach trips
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Random summer things

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Birthday Parties

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We hope everyone has had a much this summer as we have!!

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From the Window…. to the (Accent) Wall!!

Wayyy back in the beginning of the summer. We roped a good friend and co-worker of Charlie’s to help us add some accent to our wall in the living room. We were having a hard time “loving” our home because we (I) was there all the time and felt like we were outgrowing it and felt very claustrophobic in it’s 1400 sq ft (which isn’t really that small I understand).

So. I found this semi-tutorial online somewhere, probably a link from Pinterest or a Google picture search or something.

Here is how things started,

Blah, you wall that we don’t know what to do with.

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Mary Margaret ensures we have the right color and abstract artwork to help.

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Frame in the wall.

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a horizontal piece 19 inches from the top. Note, this is the most construction I did the whole time.

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vertical pieces 19 inches from each side.

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Baby working supervisor

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spackle all the joints, caulk all the edges.
This is where I took over the heavy lifting.
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have said supervisor drink gulps of caulk-water, call poison control.

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Paint everything Swiss Coffee color from Behr.

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Remove tape and forget to take a finished picture.

I think this project was one that shouldn’t have taken a ton of thought (although, of course, we over-think every step) and has had a really big impact on our house.

Thanks so much Pat! There is absolutely no way we could have done it without your help, and tool, and know-how.

11 months of Ginia

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Virginia, Ginia, Gin Bug, Buggy bug, Girlfriend, Girl Girl,
my dear, you have really come into your own in the last few months.

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You’re almost 1 year and I can’t even really believe it.

You’re crawling, standing and are so full of smiles. You are happy being held by others as long as mama isn’t in sight, otherwise you prefer to be held by me without fail. You’re going back and forth with good sleeping but are usually good to nap, and as of recently have started nursing gymnastics which frustrate me beyond belief. You are starting to give kisses (it’s usually just me lining things up correctly and calling it a kiss), and have let me finish a board book exactly twice before jerking it out of my hands.

You are a champion eater but have a discernable palate when it comes to bread. You have been known to pooh-pooh Cheerios and toast in exchange for eggs and avocado with mama.

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You love your daddy and sister, and before bed will crawl into sister’s room to see them while they’re reading books for kisses. Your favorite game is either to lunge for electronics and/or to pick things up, throw them, and go get them. Repeat, Repeat.

The thought of me some day not nursing you constantly and not being the end-all-be-all for you is kinda terrifying and liberating at the same time. You are the mama loving, clingy baby I dreamed of and I’m so excited to say you’re a 1 year old soon!

Also, Please never become a 2.5 year old, because I have one and they aren’t as much fun as you’d think.

That one time I made something

A few months back I found a really good deal on a sewing/ embroidery machine. The lady who sold it to me was SO extremely kind. She gave me a little tutorial on how it worked, gave me some needles and thread uploaded it with some patterns for embroidery.

Mary Margaret has been dealing with some extreme eczema this winter/spring and she scratches in her sleep which makes it so much worse.  I was trying to find some cheap alternative to buying some hyper-expensive long sleeved nightgown that MM is bound to get blueberry and avocado stains on immediately.

So I found this tutorial on pinterest (because, where else?). And obviously it looks a ton better on her blog, but it was first go around.

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I took one of my sorority t-shirts that I can’t get a boob out of I don’t wear too often. And it was just the right length in the arms.

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Next time I make one, I may give a leeeetle more room for sweet toddler belly, but she loves it.

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Of course, she has little no idea about Mary Poppins. But I’m really hoping it’s just tight enough to prevent her from getting a hoisting leg that would let her try to climb out of the crib.

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