Daisy Singing in the Rain

I think most of us are in agreement that this summer was pretty crappy weather wise. It was either a thousand degrees or raining. Most of us are glad it’s finally fall and some clear, crisp weather should be on the way. While she hasn’t specifically told me, I don’t think my Daisy is one of these people. Not only did she not mind the rainy weather, she enjoyed it. She’s sit and watch at the window and sing “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” but if I’d let her, she’d gladly play in the rain.

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After the rain, the kids insisted that it was OK to “splash in muddy puddles.” (Thank you, Peppa Pig). They’d put on their raincoats and too big boots and try to see how high they could get the water and mud to splash up their legs.

Even better than the puddles was the rainbows afterwards. If not for their excitement, I’d have probably missed 90% of the rainbows. One of the perks of being a parent if rediscovering the everyday things we might take for granted with age.

Jack likes all the after rain fun, but playing in the rain isn’t really his style. He’d rather be dry and comfortable inside. Daisy loves the rain. She laughs and squeals and dances in the rain, singing her heart out. I love watching her outside. She loves the rain so much that if she hears someone in the shower, she demands on joining in so she can play in the falling water.

Daisy’s 2nd birthday was a few weeks ago. The plan was to have her party as our final summer bash around my parents’ pool. Her favorite movie is Hotel Transylvania, and the newest movie in the HT series is a summer vacation. I thought it was a perfect theme. Instead it rained. It was only fitting that my baby who loves the rain have her birthday party rained out. She still danced with a pink umbrella and ran out on the lawn in the drizzle. She didn’t care that I wouldn’t let her swim, but she did care when I saw lightning and tried to get her to come inside.

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The other day it was raining as we left my parent’s house. Matt took Daisy and Jack to the car and me Daphne. Daisy, instead of going to the car, ran to the middle of the lawn so she could dance, spin, and touch the rain. I heard her singing to herself as she twisted her tiny hands around in the air, catching the drops. As we ran for cover, she was just enjoying the weather. Matt ran over laughing and scooped her up, but I wish I thought of taking a little video or a photo of her pure joy.

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Right now, she is all joy and happiness. Her biggest concern is when her brother won’t share a toy or I can’t instantly pick her up because I’m nursing her baby sister.
Why don’t we all dance in the rain? I know we see those cheesy pillows and picture frames that tell us to, but we never actually do it. It must be nice to actually dance with abandonment without first thinking, I should just let go and not care that my clothes are muddy, my hair is wet, or what others see. Even when we do let lose, it’s a conscious decision to ignore societal norms, not a natural, childlike decision.

All I was thinking of was getting into the car and out of the rain. All Daisy thought of was the feeling of the raindrops on her skin. I hope she never loses this carefree part of herself. Of course at some point she’ll become more wary and cautious and care what people think, but I hope not too much. I hope she’ll always find joy in feeling the rain on her face, not caring that other people don’t like to get wet. My little Daisy, keep marching to your own beat. Keep singing and dancing in the rain.

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Welcome Baby

It’s been 2 months since we met our new little baby. 39 weeks of being Team Green and wondering who would be joining our family. I painted my nails pastel pink and blue, made a gender neutral reveal shirt, and pulled out all the neutral baby clothes I had. Of course, the day of my c-section several nurses and even the doctor slipped. “Two boys and a girl will be nice,” and “So you’re having a boy?” I was a bit disappointed, not by the gender, but because I waited all that time and they ruined my surprise.

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Then in the delivery room, Matt looked over the curtain to announce, “Oh! It’s a girl!” The staff laughed at their joke and teased if he was sure about that. So I was surprised after all. I saw our little girl and was amazed by how tall, alert, and perfect she was. She reminded me so much of Jack. It felt like meeting an old friend. I still didn’t know what her name was, though. I thought I’d see the baby and know her name, but it didn’t work like that. We were between a few names. Maybe she’d be Alice. Or Lydia. Lilly? Nurses and my mom thought she was another Angela or Angelica because she looked like a little angel. It took almost 3 days before we decided. She is a Daphne.

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Our perfect little Daphne Jean with her big, soulful eyes and tiny bald head is the perfect addition to our family. Jack and Daisy adore her. I have to stop them from kissing her too much. Sometimes they try to hug her a little too hard. But making sure the kisses and hugs are gentle is the best kind of “problem” to correct between siblings.

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Daphne is very strong. She was able to hold her head up quickly and tries to move while on her belly. We are lucky she sleeps through the night. But during the afternoon/evenings is another story. I have had to cut dairy out and she is on medicine. Anyone who knows my love of cheese knows how had it is for me, but knowing she is even just a little more comfortable makes it worth it. I’ll give up cheese forever if it means she isn’t in pain. She coos and laughs and makes me remember how sweet spending time with a baby feels.

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I forgot the smallness of a newborn. How their cries sound like little cats. How snugly their bodies are when they are curled on your chest. I am both joyful and sad, because this will be my last baby. My last snugly little smush I’ll nurse to sleep and watch grow.   So I am trying my very best to enjoy my life with all 3 babies. It’s overwhelming. It’s chaos. It’s never quiet, or clean, or relaxing. But it’s also never boring. Right now is one of the rarest of all experiences. They are all napping at once!

View More: http://momentsbymarie.pass.us/daphne-newborn

I should be picking up toys and folding laundry, but I wanted to write about Daphne instead. The laundry never ends, and I figure I have at least a few more years of chaos before my house is in real order anyway. I just want my little squish to know that even while running after two “big” kids and constantly nursing her, I still wanted to write to my small blogosphere about her and how much I just adore her. I’m sure when she has her own squishes, she’ll understand what a feat this is!

New Baby Traditions: Baby Guest Book

When Daisy turned 1 in September, I went through Baby Box. I arranged some photos of my pregnancy and Daisy through the year, collected a few crafts we (or really I) made with her little finger and footprints, and saved my most favorite of her tiny newborn clothes. The whole process is very bittersweet. You love seeing your baby grow, learn, and become a real person, but miss the tiny baby sounds and snuggles of infancy and wish time would slow just a little. I did the same with Jack. Their boxes are very much the same, except Daisy’s has a notable addition I wish I had for Giacomo’s. When Daisy was a newborn, we made her a Baby Guest Book.

Daisy's Guestbooks

When Giacomo was born, I took photos of him with every person who came to visit. Those photos were taken with my nice SLR camera and are saved out in the digital world. I did the same with Daisy, but I took it one step further and made the guest book by taking photos with a Fujufilm Instax Mini I borrowed from my niece for an instant picture and having each visitor write a little message for her. Some messages were as simple and sweet as “welcome to the world. I personally loved when children visited and left doodles (including a traced foot) and cute messages like “nice to meet you.” Then there were the longer notes that brought tears to my eyes, and one day they’ll do the same for Daisy. My family is big, so the books filled up quickly and now Daisy has a tangible (not digital) keepsake from each visitor she had the first few days she was born.

Some notes for Daisy

 

I wanted the photos to be protected by a cover sheet, so I bought 2 small 4×6 photobooks from Micheals. I cut white cardstock to 4×6 squares and filled each page with a blank square. After each photo was taken, I attached it to a 4×6 square with photo corners. Because the Instax photo is so small, there was ample room for a message next to the photo. I knew Daisy was going to be a girl and her name would be Daisy, so I designed the book covers to reflect her name and added some daisy stickers to the pages. For this baby, I will make the cover after we are home. I’ll also add some colored paper and maybe some decals within the book.

Simple Supplies

 

I got the idea from one of my girlfriends. Her book is styled a little differently than mine, but anyone can take the guestbook and run with it however s/he wants. For example, my girlfriend used a pretty journal instead of a photobook so the person writing had more space (and lines) for a message. I went to Micheal’s yesterday to get the materials for the books, and there are TONS of options for personal journals and books that can easily be used for this, so head out and make your keepsake!

My Co-Sleeping “Problem”

The other night at around 3am, Jack crawled into our bed and wiggled his way between me and Matt. This isn’t unusual. He does this almost every night. Daisy sleeps in our room too. She’s always snuggled up on my left and Jack to my right. My husband and I can barely move.

We never planned on co-sleeping, but when nursing, especially a colic baby, it sometimes just happens. I didn’t expect to love it either. Before, the idea of cramping into a tiny space and barely being able to move sounded less than appealing. But now, I think of how I can snuggle their tiny baby bodies and smell their sweet heads uninterrupted as they dream.

Isn’t that weird how some things change? Everything changes from enjoying a cramped sleeping space to the meaning of songs. Their crawling into our bed reminded me of the (very famous love) song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and how its meaning has completely changed for me. I remember when Armageddon was the blockbuster movie with the #1 love song sung by the main actress’s father. I distinctly remember an interview where Steven Tyler explained that he didn’t originally want to sing the song, but after seeing the movie and seeing his real life daughter cry to her in-movie father he was brought to tears and agreed to perform the song. When I was 13, I thought he just wanted to sing a song for his daughter’s movie. I didn’t realize how relatable he could see the lyrics as a parent.

Good Morning

I wake up to these silly faces every morning

This is intended to be a romantic love song, even the writer’s inspiration is a romantic one. I’ve heard it at school dances, on love song albums, and as many couples’ wedding song. But I think anyone who watches their baby sleep knows exactly what I am talking about. When my kids crawl into my bed, I watch them breathe and feel their little heartbeats while I snuggle them close, kiss them, and thank God for them every day. They won’t be sneaking in our room forever. Soon enough I won’t even be able to get a hug and kiss, or even a conversation without asking first. So I enjoy being cramped in my bed right now.

Sweet Dreams

And watch these sweet faces dream every night

But there’s a problem with thus and my big, silly, mom worry moves into my head. Baby #3 is coming very soon. Jack stays on my right and Daisy on my left. Where does #3 go when he or she wants to come in our room? Will I have to kick someone out? Will someone feel rejected? I only have two sides! I don’t want to miss any of them while I don’t have to. If you don’t ever co-sleep, this probably sounds ridiculous to you. I understand that. Before I had kids, even while I was pregnant with Jack, I knew we were not going to co-sleep. It was weird, and I liked my space while sleeping. But it just happened, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PS – if you’re wondering how my poor husband feels about being squished in bed, I will not let him fool you. He’ll say the bed is too small and joke that he almost falls off the bed, but he’ll also panic if he wakes up and no one has crawled into bed. He’ll even offer to bring one of the kids in the room if they fall asleep on Jack’s bed together. This was my Valentine’s gift for him this year. The little mouse family are asleep in one bed with mommy and daddy mouse separated by little mouse babies. But at the end of the bed, their tails are touching. It was such a sweet reminder of our own nightly ritual. We know we can enjoy baby snuggles now because we always have each other anyway. My husband’s reaction to the gift was “we need to find a third baby muse to add to this,” so I know he is okay with it.

The Honeymoon is Over

We’ll be adding one more mouse to this soon

Welcome 2018

It has been a LONG time since I have blogged! So long, I am now close to 30 weeks pregnant! It has been a wonderful few months. After I learned I was pregnant again (SURPRISE for me!) My baby girl turned 1 (and I cried at her sudden change from infant to toddler). She’s now walking, saying a few words, and sings all day. She is looking more and more like her daddy and Jack is looking more and more like me, and I keep wondering who baby #3 will not only look like, but who will this baby be?

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I threw Daisy an adorable picnic birthday party,

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we were an awesome Red Riding Hood group for Halloween,

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Jack celebrated his 3rd birthday with a Lion Guard party, and Santa came to the house to see him and Daisy.

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Also, around Thanksgiving I had my very first craft show! I have been registered as an LLC for some time, but this craft show was the first time Asterisk Gifts was publicly launched. Since then, I have been selling custom made shirts, ornaments, cups, potholders, and more from my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/footnotefeatures/. (I am working on a website and Etsy page also).

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All this wonderful craziness did have a downside. I realized I’ve been investing a lot of time in my family and my small business, but nearly none on myself. It hit me when I noticed how uncomfortably dry my skin had become. I haven’t even been applying lotion! I then realized I haven’t journaled, blogged, gotten a haircut, or even bought myself a tube of lipstick in who knows when.

I decided to make my New Year’s Resolution to be sure to take some time for myself. We lost 2 loved ones very quickly after the New Year. One of them, my husband’s grandfather, promised it 2018 will be a good year moments before he passed. I think it’s important to make his statement a reality by taking things a bit slower, appreciating our time here, and taking care of ourselves.

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I finally wrote this blog, started my grateful-a-day journal, got my hair done, and for the first time since I started my business I made some things for myself.

So here’s to a wonderful 2018; I hope I can keep up with everything!

Mystery Machine Little Tykes Remake (An Eventful Summer)

It has been an insanely busy summer. We traveled a lot, and I spent a lot of time planning for a personal goal (I hope to have ready to launch in the next two weeks).  We went to New Orleans in early August, and a few weeks later we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the theme parks and Daytona.

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Jack loved meeting his heroes, Mickey, Spongebob, and Shrek and Donkey. Daisy was less than thrilled about the characters, but had fun. We ended summer with Daisy’s first birthday. Oh I just can’t believe my baby girl is one!!

Florida

One thing I was able to do this summer in the craft realm was make this awesome Mystery Machine for Jack (and eventually Daisy). It was originally a pink and purple Little Tykes that my niece Myla long grew out of and donated to me.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this Mystery Machine was cleaning it because my hose was broken so I had to use a bucket of water. You have to take it apart to clean it well. All pieces come off easily except the tires. Instead of taking them off, I just tied bags around them.

Little Tykes Redo

After it is clean, just spray paint. For the tire wheels, eyes, and steering wheel, I sprays paint into a bowl and used a brush. Once all the pieces are dry, put it all back together. I made the Mystery Machine logo and flowers with my cricut and cut them from Oracle 651 vinyl.

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Jack loved it so much he kissed it! So of course I dressed him up like Shaggy and had a mini photo shoot with it.

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Cute right? I hope your summer was wonderful!

Baby’s First Words

Sure. Say Dada first. It’s fine. I only carried you for 40 weeks. Stretched my skin, gained immense weight, and strained my back, knees, and hips to accommodate your growing body. My feet are bigger. My gigantic sagging boobs will never be cute and perky again. I only produce your food and comfort you while nursing. I take care of you all day and cater to your needs. It’s totally fine that Jack’s first words were Dada and BABA. And I’m completely OK with Dada and Jack being Daisy’s first words, too. It’s adorable how much she loves her brother, plus it’s mostly babble anyway. It’s not like after weeks of reinforcing the sounds “Jack” and “Dada” will stick and they really will be your first words. But it’s fine. I’m not bitter. Not at all.

I didn’t fool you? So maybe I’m a little bitter. Why do you both want to day Dada be said before Mama? What’s he do?

Besides worry way more than me. Buy and install baby proofing stuff throughout our house and our families houses. Jump up out of bed much faster than me when you cough in the middle of the night. Tend to every sneeze and ouchie with a hawk-eye. Have the magic touch getting you to fall asleep for naps and at night even when I swear you both bounce off the walls whenever I try to get you to sleep. Invent games to entertain you.  Make up silly songs. Show you how to squirt water with your hands in the bathtub. Wave from the ice when he plays hockey. Make you want to be just like him. Be so incredibly patient with all your needs. Never rushing you while you learn.

And help mommy with cleaning and diaper changing. And still tell mommy she’s pretty.

And not once, ever complain.

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So fine, I’ll give him this. I can see why you like Dada. He is an alright guy. I shouldn’t be jealous. I still have those quiet moments that are just me and you throughout the day. Anyway, I can’t blame you both. I guess he is pretty great. I understand. I don’t know what I’d do without him, either.

 

Baby Feet

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I am absolutely revolted by feet. The idea that there are people who have foot fetishes turns my stomach. The person who invented this is a damn lunatic.

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Feet are repulsive. I hate looking at them and I especially hate touching them. I know I’m not the only hater of feet. There are others out there like me who cringe away on beaches and in swimming pools.

But then there’s baby feet. Not just any baby’s feet, your baby’s feet. I know it sounds like a given, but even when you hate feet you love your baby’s feet. I didn’t think it was possible. My mom told me I’d be kissing my baby’s feet all the time. I told her she was disgusting. It turns out she was right and I was wrong. As gross as adult feet are, baby feet are that much more adorable. They are the sweetest part of a baby’s tiny body and oh so kissable.

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Whenever I hold my children, my hand naturally falls to hold a tiny foot. Daisy’s are so small, I can hold both in one hand. Her little tiny toes are smaller than peas and in constant need of kissing. Sometimes when I play with Jack I put my foot against his, and apparently the size difference is hilarious. The other day I put his foot against Daisy’s. It must have been the most amazing and funny things he’s ever seen. This time it was his foot that was bigger! He laughed and laughed while he touched her toes and tapped his foot against hers.

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My mom recently bought him dinosaur feet slippers. He stomped around the house roaring and growling at anything in his path. A few days later we stopped in the store for clothes and Jack spotted little pink dino slippers that matched his. He grabbed them from the shelf yelling “Daisy! Daisy!” and I couldn’t leave without them. Their matching dino feet must have been the second most hilarious thing he’s ever seen.

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At some point seeing Jack compare his feet to his sister’s hit me. His feet were once as small as hers. I could hold both of his in my hand. Now only one fits. I still kiss his tiny toes and hold his little foot, but those feet get bigger and bigger every day. I don’t know when his feet will no longer be cute to me, but that day will come (probably with athlete’s foot).

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Being a parent simultaneously freezes and quickens time. Some days Daisy is only four months old and Jack is only two years old. I worry so much about them meeting their developmental milestones. I try so hard to teaching and engaging with them making sure they are where they are “supposed” to be.  Plus I feel like I’ve known them forever. Life has adjusted to them, and I am in a comfortable space of understanding their needs. Then suddenly only becomes already. Jack is already two! I was just throwing his first birthday party and then all of a sudden I was planning the second. Daisy is already four months old. Didn’t I just take her home from the hospital yesterday?

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It’s both beautiful and heart wrenching watching them grow. Daisy is realizing she can move on her tummy if she kicks her legs hard enough. The other day Jack figured out how to climb the playground “rock wall,” something he couldn’t do two months ago. I want them to stay little, but I love seeing them discover new things. I’ll enjoy their littleness while I can. It feels slow but time is going quickly, and those baby feet won’t be as cute as they are now. I never thought I’d want to savor my time kissing a foot, but here I am soaking in every toe filled kiss in.

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Merry Christmas!

These past two months have been filled with joy, heartache, laughter, and tears. It’s been eventful and hectic. We’ve celebrated life and loss. Between it all plus the holidays, I havent stopped cooking, cleaning, baking, decorating, memorializing, and (as I write this) wrapping! So I am taking a break to say Merry Christmas! Jack has been searching the skies for Santa, and now that Jack has finally nodded off to dream of those sugarplums, maybe Santa will finally get here!

Have a wonderful Christmas!

At the Movie Theater Concession Stand Halloween Costumes

Halloween is over all ready. November 1 starts my unofficial boycott of Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas. I love it! But I’m sure like many others, I like to enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving, rather than rush into the holiday. It gets old by the time December 25th comes around.

So my boycott begins by again dwelling on Halloween. This year we were “At the Movie Theater Concession Stand.” The weather was beautiful this year. Jack joined in with Trick-or-Treating with his older cousins. I think he enjoyed the walking better than the candy, although he did dip into his bucket a few times during the walk. I took Daisy along too. Her costume was so good, most people didn’t even know she was there!

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Like last year, I made costumes for almost everyone so we could walk as a theme.  I based the theme off Daisy’s costume: the popcorn bucket. I saw a version of it on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it months ago, but my version was a bit more extreme. My version was made with a felt blanket I painted as a popcorn bucket using stencils I made from my Cricut. I used tissue paper as the popcorn and glued it to the blanket and to a baby hat for daisy. I just wrapped the blanket around Daisy’s carrier and tucked it in the sides. Her little head stuck out but was covered with the popcorn hat. I put on some 3D glasses and it looked like I was just walking around with a giant tub of popcorn at the movies.

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Jack went as a movie ticket and Matt was the Box Office Ticket collector, both costumes made with cardboard, Cricut cut vinyl, paint, and ribbon. The “over the shoulder” type costume was good for Jack because it was easy to put on and take off when he was fussy.

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The rest of my nieces and nephew also joined the theme. I made 3 of their 6 costumes. I made Laila a cardboard Kit-Kat bar costume (I have a lot of cardboard on hand between boxes of diapers and wipes.) Olivia was Button candy, made with an old dress and painted Styrofoam balls. Myla was our cup of Coca-Cola, made from a small hamper, craft paper, paint, and vinyl. I especially liked her straw hat (complete with “Diet,” “Regular,” and “Other” buttons).

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The store bought costumes were cute too – Craig was also popcorn, Angelina was an M&M, and Jenna was Nerds. I think we made a really cute concession stand!

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