Can You Help Me Out Here?!?!?



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Mary Kate

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Becca’s 2nd Birthday Party

I can’t believe that my baby is two years old!!!! The last two weeks has been a whirlwind of prepping for Becca’s partying, prepping for my new classroom, having Becca’s party, cleaning up from Becca’ s party, prepping some more for my new classroom and starting school.

I had been dreading Becca’s birthday party because last year’s party was a bit of a disaster. There was a mix-up on the invitations so people showed up at 2 p.m. when I expected it to start at 3 p.m. I definitely was not prepared!!! To add to the situation, we hosted the party outside on the hottest day of the year. I ended up with heat exhaustion and spent an hour or so inside trying to cool down. Omar spent two hours running around looking for his friend who was supposed to run the grill at the barbecue. He spent another hour or so buying ice and then another one trying to set up the music. So it was very chaotic to say the least.

So when her birthday approached this year, I resolved that this year’s party would not be as chaotic. For one thing, we did less cooking on the actual day (hot dogs and hamburgers). Most of the other food was cooked a few days before (lasagna, chicken, a few varieties of pasta salad, potato salad, refried beans, tinga, etc.). This way when guests were arriving, we didn’t have to worry about preparing anything. Instead, it was just a matter of heating a few things up and taking things outside. This way I could enjoy the party more.

It ended up being a great party!!! The weather was fantastic and it felt so nice to see everyone. I loved watching Becca interacting with her cousins. There were a couple of times that she was doubled over with laughter. Seeing that made all of our hard work worth it.

When we planned Becca’s birthday party on her actual birthday, I thought it would be cool but ended up being disappointed. In the morning, I found that we were so overwhelmed with the party preparations that Becca ended up watching a lot of TV to pass the time. During the party, Becca was busy playing with her cousins while Omar and I were busy entertaining everyone and dealing with the food. So we didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time together.

Last year, the party was on a Saturday and Becca’s actual birthday was the following Thursday. This meant that we enjoyed Becca’s birthday with friends and family members but we had a more low-key day as well. It just felt extra special. So next year, we will definitely be scheduling Becca’s birthday party BEFORE her actual birthday. I am already looking forward to it!

By the way, did you know that the 3rd birthday is an important birthday in the Mexican culture? So according to Omar we will be having a real blow-out next year. Maybe I should start planning it now…
Feliz compleaƱos, Becca!

Mary Kate

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Filed under developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Toddler

Returning to the Classroom

Starting next week, I will once again be a 5th grade teacher. It has been four years since the last time I was in charge of a classroom and I am feeling just a little overwhelmed. The past few days I have been at the required new teacher workshops which has only increased my anxiety. Between preparing for the school year, prepping for Becca’s 2nd birthday party and finishing up an editing project, I haven’t had much time to blog.

However, I do have a intro-to-school activity for the preschool/kindergarten set so I will see if I can get that posted tomorrow. I also have a few other posts in mind so hopefully, I will be able to get to them.

In the meantime, I will be laminating posters, baking lasagnas and blowing up balloons!

Mary Kate

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Filed under Random Thoughts, Work

Quick Weaning Update

Instead of a Walk of Shame this week, I am going to post a small mommy brag!

As I mentioned before, Becca is s-l-o-w-l-y weaning in fits and starts. One of the hardest things I have struggled with is soothing Becca without nursing her particularly when she is requesting to nurse. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to hug her close, rub her belly and sing softly in her ear. However, I struggle when that isn’t working, she is requesting a breast and I KNOW that will resolve the situation in an instant. This is especially difficult when I am occupied with something else or when I am awoken in the middle of the night.

Well, last night I managed to do it.

Becca woke at 12:30 a.m. crying in pain. I was still up trying to finish up a few things. When I got up there, it was clear that was having gas pain. So I picked her up and did the usual soothing ritual. Becca began to root for a breast and I fended her off continuing to rub her back. This went on for a few minutes so my resolve began to break down (she was in pain, the nursing will quiet and soothe her instantly). Just when I was getting ready to nurse her, I found myself wondering: What would I do if I COULDN’T nurse her? So I employed some of the techniques that I had learned from The Happiest Baby on the Block (holding her tight, swinging her, shushing her) and alternated it will a quick jog in place and a lullaby or two. After a minute or two more (and a few farts), Becca slowly relaxed into sleep and I placed her back in her crib. I think I am slowly weaning myself off my reliance on nursing as the ultimate panacea.

This may have been a small moment but I believe it is a real turning point in our weaning process. I say, “our” because I realized that I am as attached to nursing as Becca is just for different reasons.
Sometimes it is these little moments that can make the biggest impact!

Mary Kate

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Toddler

Cheap Car Seat Entertainment

Singing her heart out

Singing her heart out

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Mary Kate

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He’s 8 Months Old Already?

John Patrick has just recently turned 8 months old. I am still in a state of disbelief. Where did the time go? But I do have to say – he is more fun every day. Here are all the cool things he is doing:

1.) Sings off-key very loudly (a wonderful skill I passed along to him)

2.) Crawls backwards

3.) Transfers toys from one hand to the other

4.) Attacks my face. No kidding, he literally attacks it. He grabs my hair and pulls my face to him and tries to bite my lip.

5.) Bounces on his dad’s lap until he does ‘the horsey’. (You can probably tell already who the boss is in our house.)

6.) Plays with a rubber ducky in the bath

7.) Makes word sounds like ‘maaaaa’ or ‘blaaaa’

8.) Eats EVERYTHING – loves anything at all, any fruit, any vegetable. He’s not one to turn down food (Please refer to picture above.)

9.) Gets really excited when he see me or his dad and looks for us when he hears our voices

10.) Plays in sandboxes (his favorite)

Happy 8 months my chunky monkey!!!

Jen

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Can You Spare a Dime?

This picture was taken on our whale watching trip in Eastport, Maine.

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Filed under Toddler, Wordless Wednesday