Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Three Year Old Tid Bits

I received the best complement of my life the other day. Doug said "Coop is super bummed right now because he just learned he isn't going to be able to be a mommy." I said "Did you tell him he can be a daddy?" Doug: "Yup, but he wants to be a mommy not a daddy." When I asked Cooper why he said "because mommies are nice. They rock and cuddle their babies and they tell them stories." My heart melted, right then and there. How sweet is that? I was glad he remembers the nice things I do and not the "mean mommy" things I do. Ahem. I guess I am doing an alright job if my three year old wants to me like me when he grows up :)

Taking his photo is getting increasingly difficult. He tends to want to make a silly face or get really close to the camera, like in these:
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His imagination is so huge right now. I often catch him day dreaming or talking to himself. I was able to catch a him in a moment like this here :
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He is always learning. People say that children, especially boy children have a short attention span. I think if you take the time to really pat attention to them you will find that actually, they have a very long attention span. Yeah, he can't sit through a long dinner or pay attention to a book he is not interested in but he can play trains for hours on end or build model airplanes with his daddy for a very long time. If he is busy in the yard, he can go hours playing. We just have to pay attention to our children and foster what they love to do. Notice that when you want to get going quickly, they can't. Why, because they are still working on whatever it is they are working on. Now, if I can always remember this when I am rushing this poor boy.

Oh and his love for his sister, it blows my mind. Fina had to go to the doctor yesterday because she has been very sick and I suspected an ear infection (I was right). When the doctor came into the room, Cooper ran up to his sister, wrapped his arms around her and said "don't worry Fina, they just need to give you a check up, it won't hurt". Then he told the doctor all about her symptoms. My hear swelled out of my chest. He stayed by her side the whole visit.
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I am in a very good place with Cooper right now. I feel like I am understanding his personality more and more every day. I am lucky to spend my days with him. I am so blessed to have these two, so blessed.

Silly Boys

Seriously, these kids are lucky to have such a fun Daddy. Here are a few photos of them playing with the iphotobooth on our lap top.
Happy Wednesday!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring, how I have missed you so!

Have I ever told you that I love spring! Well, I do.

I love longer days and really love how in the Norhtwest it stays light until nearly 10 pm in the summer!
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I love gardening. I would much rather work hard in the garden then do any type of housework. I would much rather garden until my legs and arms ache then go to the gym!
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I love getting my kids involved in gardening. They can be involved at any age. Fina has spent many hours on my back (adding to my garden workout) in the ERGO or in her bouncy chair observing. She even had a long nap in her chair under the porch while we worked.
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I love spending time outdoors at the zoo. Even when it ends in a meltdown.
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I love watching these three develop a closeness like no other.
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I love this girl.
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I love waking up to day light and birds chirping.

I love the idea that Doug's school year is soon over and we will have him home for 2 months!

I love that my family is going to mexico with my sisters family in one month!

I love spring!! I am so thankful for it. But you know what? I love summer even more. Spring is the promise that summer is soon here.

Happy spring!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sleep. Or Lack There Of...

Just about every day (seriously) someone asks me "is she sleeping through the night?" Referring to Fina, who is now almost 9 months old. My answer "um, I don't know." How is that my answer you say... well, it's because she sleeps with me and when she wants to nurse, I feel her scoot toward me, I allow her to and we are both back to sleep so quickly that I hardly know we were awake. Doug, well he has no idea when she wakes up.
Sleep was not as straight forward when Cooper was this age. I think there are many reasons why that is. For one, he is just a different person than Fina but one reason is simply my growth as a mother and Doug's as a father. Let me back up a bit...... When I had Cooper my mom told me something that I have NEVER forgotten. She said "you hold that baby as much as you want and don't let anyone tell you that you can spoil a baby." What great advice that is. As soon as you have a baby the judgement comes. "Boy, he sure likes to be held." "Don't make the mistake I made by letting your baby sleep with you." "You better not pick him up every time he cries or he will think that is normal." "What?! Your baby doesn't sleep through the night and he is past 6 weeks old!?" It's almost like bullying. Society tells us to separate from our babies, to leave them alone in a dark room to cry because you don't want them to manipulate you. Really? Can a baby manipulate? I spent so much energy worrying about Coopers sleep. He needed to be with me and I will admit that I needed to be with him. But, I was new to this whole parent thing and I let the comments get to me. I worried that I was "spoiling him" because I enjoyed sleeping with him. I worried that he would be in our bed FOREVER.
He was a very troubled sleeper, but that was how I was as a child. It is a joke in our family that I slept with my parents until high school. You know what? It's true. If I was having a rough night, I crawled into bed with my parents, no questions asked. And guess what? I moved out at 18 and have been on my own since so I guess I turned out alright. Still, even though this was how I was parented, I doubted myself because everyone was telling me to. "How can you stand it that he wakes up 3 times a night and his is 18 months old?"
Well, one night I had had enough as many sleep deprived parents do and I decided that I was going to let him cry. Well, he was very verbal at an early age. He was about 13 months old and he was beside himself in his dark room, scared and miserable. Wondering where his loving parents were. From the monitor I heard him say "All done, mama, all done." My heart sank. I cried and looked at Doug and we ran in together to pick him up and snuggled him. I asked Doug "what are we going to do" and he looked at me and said "we are going to tough it out and never let that happen again." And we did. We never let him cry it out again. We worked with ways to get him to sleep soundly in his own bed when he was ready. He now sleeps almost 12 hours every night in his own bed. I still lay with him until he falls asleep, but I don't mind. Really. I am not sure why people think I should mind, but I don't. He's my child and I don't fault him for needing me at bedtime. He is only three.
I know that some of you out there believe in cry it out, and that is fine. Not everyone can get up all night with their baby. There is more than one way to parent. But for our family, this did not work. These are small people that we created who need us to love them and be with them. It is not the easy way out, that's for sure. It would have been nice to have the babies that slept all night in their own bed. But I will admit, I like sleeping with my babies. As for our marital relationship? Well, we had a second one didn't we :)
I just want to say that if you are sturgglng with sleep ask yourself. Are you really struggling with it or are you feeling the pressure? Like my mom told me, hold that baby as much as you want and snuggle all day if you feel like it! Why should we feel guilty for that. They are human and they want contact. They grew inside you for 9 months. I am here to tell you that you can't love your baby too much or spoil your child with love or attention. Cooper sleeps beautifully now. He still crawls in bed with us when he needs to but that is not that often.
When I was looking for support on this subject when I felt quite alone in the parenting world I looked to Dr.Sears online and Mothering.

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Enjoy your children. That is not something to feel guilty about.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

These Two

When I was pregnant with Fina I often wondered if I was doing the right thing. I knew deep down that I was, but I had been able to give my all to Cooper and I was worried how it would affect him. Well, so far it has been so wonderful for him. He LOVES his baby sister. Yesterday, I was watching her sit up and clapping because I was happy that she was sitting up on her own. I turned my head and "bonk" she fell over and hit her baby head on the bed! She was very upset and Cooper stopped what he was doing and came over to give her a big kiss on her head. Fina is also very in love with her brother. She adores him! I guess having her was the right decision and I am so blessed to have these two babies in my life. Even when I have to drag a screaming child out of the zoomazium at the zoo, ahem, we had a LONG day at the zoo today and it was time to go. I guess 4 hours at the zoo will do it to you. Now we are all snuggling. Happy Wednesday!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

And Baby Makes 4... {photo shoot}

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take photos of my friend's new baby girl. This is her second girl and what a beautiful set of girls she has. One thing I am leaning about shooting newborns is, they don't sleep for me. That's okay. They are adorable awake just the same. Enjoy!
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Friday, March 11, 2011

(this moment)

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

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I have been very bad at updating lately. I had 3 photo shoots this week which has kept me very busy on top of my usual busy stuff. Sneak peaks from those shoots to come!
Have a great weekend and enjoy Spring Forward!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winthrop

We are so fortunate to have a family cabin in Winthrop Washington. This is a very special place for Doug and I. We had our first getaway weekend as a couple here almost 8 years ago and we were engaged here! Now, we can take our children here which is so wonderful.
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Apparently, the ski conditions were the best in 15 years! It was quite the winter wonderland. We were going to take Cooper downhill skiing for the first time. We changed our minds about this when within the first 12 hours of being at the cabin Cooper fell down the stairs and Doug slipped and fell on the ice. We decided that was a sign that we should do something a little less risky. Plus, cross country skiing is pretty great! Doug and Cooper got out and skied every day and Cooper really began to enjoy it. They had a chance to ski with Uncle Jeff, Anutie Kristi, and cousin Emily.

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I did lots of snowshoeing with Fina strapped to me in the ERGO.
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There were lots of card games.
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There was lots of playing and relaxing by the fire. We went in the hot tub every day!
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It was so nice to get away. When you are away you can relax without guilt. Not to say that I always feel guilty relaxing but I often find myself thinking about the laundry pile, or the dish pile, or the bills that need to be payed. But when you are away, you can simply relax. It's so nice!
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A snow fort is very fun!

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Can you see me in her glasses? Pretty cool!

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