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Hi, friends!  I hope my American readers had a safe Memorial Day weekend and enjoyed spending some time with your families.  We spent a low-key weekend around here, with a hike at Knox Farm on Sunday and a visit to the Aquarium of Niagara on Memorial Day itself. But before we could get to that stuff, I had a 5K to run on Saturday!

Memorial Day weekend is also the weekend of the Buffalo Marathon.  Last year, you may remember, I participated in the marathon as part of a relay team and had a fantastic time.  This year, my team went our separate ways: two of our runners from last year signed up to run the half marathon as individuals (and crushed it!), one is nine months pregnant, and then there’s me – too recently released to activity after Nuggetpalooza to train for a 10K.  But I still wanted to participate.

This year, there was another option: the inaugural John Beishline Memorial 5K, run on the day before the marathon and half marathon.  Beishline was a former race director of the Buffalo marathon and a respected member of the local running community.  This was the first year the marathon weekend included a 5K option (and there was a challenge option too, for runners who wanted to run the 5K on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday).  Somewhat on a whim, I decided to sign up.  On race morning the whole family headed out of the house at the crack of dawn; I’d told hubby that he and the kids were not required to attend the race, but I think he found the prospect of pushing Nugget in the stroller while wearing Peanut in the child carrier somewhat less daunting than dealing with the two of them at home!  So we all went together, and they waited in the car while I ran into the convention center to grab my packet and t-shirt, and then it was go time.  I figured I’d be slow, so I lined up near the back of the pack.

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Shania Twain sang the American and Canadian national anthems, and we were off!

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I started out with an easy pace I hoped I could hold for most of the race.  I would have loved to run the entire distance, except for the aid station, but I knew that was probably unrealistic.  I set a low expectation and told myself to run as much as possible and keep the walking to a minimum.

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One of the first sights of the race was Shea’s Performing Arts Center, a Buffalo institution.  Hubby and I attended Mythbusters Live here back in 2013, but haven’t been to an event since.  I snapped a quick picture that doesn’t do the building justice at all.  It’s a beautiful place.

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As we headed up Franklin Street, the road began to slope noticeably uphill.  I wasn’t surprised by this – after all, the race (a loop course) is all downhill once we make the turn onto Delaware, but we had to get up to that elevation somehow.  So, yeah, I was expecting it, but man did it hurt.  My legs were just not willing to get with the program.  I tried to run the hill as much as I could, but I took several walking breaks.

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We hit an aid station where I grabbed a cup of water, and shortly after that, I saw the mile 2 marker.  (Somehow I’d missed mile 1.)  I tried to pick up the pace for the last mile, but my legs just weren’t having it.  It was funny – usually I have a harder time breathing but my legs feel strong.  With this race, it was just the opposite – I was breathing comfortably the entire time (well, I wasn’t exactly pushing the pace) but my legs felt like lead.  I’m sure that carrying some extra baby weight (nine months on, nine months off) had something to do with it – that and the fact that I haven’t been able to figure out a training schedule yet, so I wasn’t really prepared for this race.

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Still, lead legs and all, I slogged through the last mile and even found a slight kick when I turned into the finisher’s chute.  (The pic above is from the other side of the finish line; I was too busy waving at hubby, Peanut and Nugget and trying not to stop and walk as I ran through the finish line.)

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Check it out – a finisher’s medal!  Most of the 5K races around here don’t offer finisher’s medals, and I don’t expect them from such a short race.  This one was a cool bonus.  I’d be lying if I said the finisher’s medal didn’t motivate me to sign up for this race.

Final time: I haven’t the faintest idea.  Slow.

I had mixed feelings after this race.  Not about the race itself, which was impeccably well-organized for an inaugural race (it probably helped that, while a new race, it was part of an established marathon weekend).  It was a blast being back to the running community.  I’d missed it so much during my last few months of pregnancy and the early postpartum period, and I was beyond excited to be running again and participating in a race.  But the lead-legs feeling was unpleasant, and it really drove home for me just how much work I have to do to get ready for the summer and fall racing season, especially if I want my marathon dreams to become a reality.  I’ve simply got to figure out a way to get out and train.  It’s really hard for me to tear myself away from the kids right now, and getting up early feels like torture – Nugget has been up at 6:15 like clockwork, and I’m not sure how much earlier I can push myself to get out of bed, especially when I’m up with him from about 2:30 to 4:00 a.m. every. single. night.  But there has to be a way, and I need to find it, because as it stands right now I’m not going to be ready for my June 10K, let alone an October marathon.  I’ve got some thinking to do.  And some running.  Mostly running.

Did you run a race over the weekend?  How’d it go?

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Recently I did something extremely out-of-character: I DNFed a book.  To DNF (did not finish) is a policy encouraged by many in the reading community, and it makes a good deal of sense.  After all, life is short and there are only so many books even the speediest reader will be able to finish in his or her lifetime.  Especially when you have other commitments, as we all do.  (Oh, those pesky jobs, taking up eight or more hours per day of prime reading time!)  If you’re not enjoying a book, it’s only logical to set it aside and move on to something that will bring you more pleasure, joy, education or a combination thereof in your limited reading hours.  It’s what smart readers do.

Still… for all I know that DNFing occasionally is a wise policy, I usually can’t bring myself to do it.  In the past I’ve declared that my policy is to give a book 50 pages, and if I’m still not enjoying it, to abandon the book.  By 50 pages I should be able to tell if I’m going to like something, and I’ve given the author a chance to work out any kinks in the opening chapters.  Yet I find this an almost impossible policy to keep.  I’ve been known to stubbornly insist on finishing a book that I truly hated – The Sunshine When She’s Gone being the primary example.  I detested that book from the very beginning.  I found the writing trite, the plot unbelievable (not in a good way) and the characters loathsome.  Yet I persisted and darnit, I finished that book.  (It was only a little over 200 pages long.  By the time I got to page 50 I was a quarter of the way through the book.  Had it been a longer book, I believe I would have abandoned it.)

So I was surprised at myself for the ease with which I abandoned Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.  I was still in the first chapter; I hadn’t even reached page 50.  All it took was one sentence: “Later, I will explain how these fatigued, fussy brats are also more likely to become fat kids.”  Oh, you will, will you?  Not to me, thanks.  No pediatrician who uses the terms “fussy brats” or “fat kids” is going to get a moment more of my time, no matter how good his advice.  I shut the book (a bit violently, I’ll admit) and promptly placed the book on my stack of library returns.  I didn’t glance at it again until several days later when I put the stack on the kitchen counter for hubby to return – he works a block from the library, which also has a cafe he likes to frequent, so he nicely runs my checkout-and-return errands.  I was a bit amazed, and more than a bit impressed, that I didn’t feel the slightest twinge of guilt or the merest prickle of curiosity about the rest of the book.  I guess that gratuitously unkind language about children can go on my list of things that will prompt me to abandon a book immediately, and with zero guilt.  That list is now… one item.

On top of DNFing Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I also sort of abandoned another book last week: another sleep training manual, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Dr. Richard Ferber.  As I mentioned in this post, we’ve been working on sleep training Peanut, and I reserved both books at the library in order to explore different methods.  (We actually used the Ferber method to sleep train Peanut when she was about six months old, although we didn’t know it – we were just following the routine our then-pediatrician suggested.  I do not, however, plan to “Ferberize” Nugget – but that’s a subject for another blog altogether.)  But sleep training has been going well.  We saw progress very quickly – only a few nights after we started gently but firmly communicating to Peanut that she must go to bed at bedtime and stay in bed all night.  In fact, we’d already cleared the hurdle before my book reserves even came into my pickup library.  Still, I thought, I’d read Ferber’s book anyway.  It couldn’t hurt to have more information, and I’d be armed with knowledge if Peanut regressed again.  The book sat on my kitchen counter for three weeks while Peanut angelically went to bed as directed and stayed there.  And I found that I didn’t really want to read the Ferber book at the moment.  It wasn’t capturing my attention – already – and I hadn’t even opened it yet.  I told hubby, half-jokingly, that I was nevertheless afraid to return it to the library, because the second I did, Peanut would start throwing tantrums at bedtime again.  (The past three weeks have been so peaceful.)  I honestly contemplated renewing the book just as insurance.  In the end, I decided not to live in fear of my toddler and reminded myself that I could always check the book out again if necessary.  And I sent it back to the library with hubby.

All this book abandonment feels strange.  I’d like to say it’s freeing – maybe it is, in a way.  It was nice, albeit a bit foreign-feeling, to admit to myself that I wasn’t interested in reading the Ferber book at the moment and release myself from the obligation I felt to read it just because it happened to be sitting on my kitchen counter.  And I felt strangely powerful when I abandoned Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child because I disapproved of the author’s language choices.  I don’t see myself becoming an inveterate book-abandoner anytime soon.  But it is nice to know that I have the wherewithal to draw a line and stick with it, and that I can toss aside a book that doesn’t interest me with only a little bit of guilt.

Do you abandon books, or do you feel compelled to finish a book once you start?

 

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As you may recall, one of my goals for 2015 was to continue our project of hiking in one scenic place throughout the year – so we could see how an area changes from season to season.  We had a wonderful time doing this project in 2014 at Tifft Nature Preserve in south Buffalo, and for 2015 we decided to replicate the experience at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve.  We did our winter hike there back in January (which doubled as our January hike for our twelve months hiking project) and now that it’s May, it was time to head back to see the trails in their spring glory.

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Our group was quite a lot bigger for this hike than it was in January.  We were joined by Nugget on the outside, and by our favorite hiking companions – Zan and Paul!  As we were leaving the preserve, Paul remarked that he has now hiked with our family more than with any other hiking buddies, which I took as a huge compliment.  Hiking is not an activity that you can do with people you don’t much like, so the fact that we’re all still enthusiastic about hiking together (because indeed, our family enjoys hiking with Zan and Paul as much as they enjoy hiking with us) says a lot about how well we all get along.  It’s great to have found such good friends here!

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Anyway, we decided, much like hubby and I did in January, to simply meander on into the woods and see where we ended up.

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One of my favorite things about Reinstein is that, even on the wooded portions of the trails, you’re never far from a water view.  There are a few lovely ponds in the preserve and, now that the ice is melted, they were alive with wildlife.  The whole preserve was a symphony of singing birds, scurrying chipmunks, and chirruping frogs.

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(This ^ is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken – Instagrammed – since moving to WNY.)

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After about an hour of easy hiking through the woods and around two ponds, we headed back to make good on a promise made to Peanut: a visit to the Nature Play Area.  Looks pretty different from the scene this winter!

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Peanut was delighted and immediately started exploring.

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She was pretty into the stick shelters and, to her credit, didn’t try to dismantle them like she did this winter.  Instead she enjoyed clambering in and out of them, and visiting Zan, who found a comfortable seat inside one of the shelters.

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What a fun morning with our good friends!  Reinstein: we’ll be back to see you again this summer.

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Have you ever taken on a seasonal hiking project?  Where?

Viewing List

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(This is my usual TV viewing of late.)

I don’t watch much TV, for various reasons.  Mostly, just because I never have, so I’m not really in the habit.  Then there are all of the other things that I want to do with my time – read, blog, hike, garden, run, you name it.  TV is generally low on the list.  When the TV is on in our house, it’s usually showing a hockey game or – more often, these days – a Disney movie.  And of course, it’s been hard to watch anything for the past few months because we’ve been dealing with major toddler shenanigans at bedtime, which have eaten away pretty much every evening for the past six months.  Peanut started having problems at bedtime when we moved into our house and we indulged her for quite awhile because she was dealing with so much upheaval (new house and new school in the same two-day span, and a little brother only about six months later).  We’re finally sleep-training Peanut now, though; it’s long overdue.  I don’t want to say much about it for fear of jinxing things, but we’re actually seeing some progress and beginning to get our evenings back – it’s wonderful.  Lately Peanut has been decent about going to bed with minimum hysterics and Nugget has been falling asleep in my arms around the same time (he needs to be well asleep before we can put him down, but a snoozing baby is no trouble at all).  The result is that we’ve actually been able to chip away at some of the programs we do enjoy.  Here’s what we’ve been watching lately, and what’s next on the agenda:

  • Downton Abbey – We were behind on this one, opting to wait for the Blu-Ray instead of record episodes on our DVR, because we didn’t know when we’d have time to watch anyway.  We’ve finally finished the sixth season.  I love Lady Rose, although Lady Mary is still my favorite.
  • The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – We started watching this documentary when I was pregnant with Nugget, but didn’t have much time.  By the time we were able to press play, thanks to Peanut’s bedtime theatrics, I was usually half asleep anyway.  We’re finally prioritizing it and have been watching it little by little in the evenings since finishing Downton Abbey.
  • Parks & Recreation – This is one of my favorite shows, and I haven’t seen the final season!  I think it’s probably going to be next on the agenda after we finish the national parks documentary.
  • Game of Thrones – We’re way behind on this, thanks to my refusing to watch for months on end because I knew what was going to happen at the Red Wedding.  Finally, hubby watched the episode without me (I still haven’t seen it, and don’t plan to, thankyouverymuch) and now we need to move forward.  I’m trying to stay unspoiled about the seasons we’ve not yet seen, but it’s hard.  I’m also running out of Iron Throne contenders to root for.  I was torn between Robb and Dany, but now I suppose I’m throwing all my eggs into the Dany basket.  Please, no one tell me if that’s a bad idea.
  • Wolf Hall – I started recording this Masterpiece series because I read and loved the first two books in the trilogy.  I was planning to watch it myself during maternity leave days, but after watching the first episode I realized that hubby would probably really enjoy it.  Now I’m trying to figure out when we can fit it into our viewing agenda.
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs – Always.  Since our beloved Sabres aren’t in it (again) we were obviously rooting for the Caps.  But theyre out of it now, so we’re not heavily invested in any series, and we’ve just been tuning in and out as it suits us.

It feels so strange to have chunks of time again and actually be able to make a dent in this list of shows we want to watch.  Not that I’ll have time anytime soon, with all that we already have on the agenda, and this almost feels like bad luck so I’m knocking wood as I say it, but – any recommendations for me?

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The past few months of hiking have been necessarily devoted to nearby, easy trails – those quick jaunts served us well as we were getting adjusted to life with a new baby.  But now that the weather has warmed up, and now that we’re a little bit better rested (just a little, mind you) I had my sights set on something more ambitious.  I was hoping to hit Allegany State Park, which is about an hour south of us, but hubby ended up needing to work in the afternoon of the day we were planning to hike, so we scrapped that plan in favor of Darien Lakes, which is closer to home but still boasted a more interesting trail than what we’ve been doing.  The park actually has a few trails to choose from.  Hubby researched them and chose the Conservation Trail.

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Much of the Conservation Trail is through the woods; there are a few views of a ravine and stream, but other than that, it’s a heavily wooded hike.

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The trail alternated between a wider dirt path and some narrow single track.  We walked single file so I could set the pace at a speed I was comfortable with, given that I had Nugget strapped to me in the Ergo.  (This is where I would normally insert a selfie so you could see Nugget’s cute little head poking out of the carrier, and also the killer headwrap I was wearing, but alas, when I looked at the pictures later I discovered that I had something – a strawberry seed, I think – in my teeth.  No selfies for you.)

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But here are my hiking buddies!  Peanut is still tolerating the Deuter child carrier fairly well – especially when hubby fills the water bladder with hydration.  She takes hydration very seriously:

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Ha.  Anyway, we hiked for about an hour, which given that the hike took place on actual terrain (easy terrain, but terrain nonetheless) was probably our biggest effort since February or so.  I was pleased that we were able to spend that much time on the trail while toting two little ones – gives me confidence for more hikes this spring and summer.

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Toward the end of the hike, we even forded a stream!

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When we reached our car, we let Peanut out to do some running around of her own.  She’s very into gathering little dandelion bouquets these days – too sweet.

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We’ve been tentatively discussing the possibility of trying some tent camping this summer.  If we do – and that’s a big “if” – we’re going to start small in our backyard.  But if we decided to take the tent on the road, we were considering Darien Lakes as a good candidate for a tent camping initiation.  After seeing the campsites set up there, though, I’m not sure…

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People were straight-up glamping with big RVs and all kinds of technology!  Even the one family we spotted with a tent had pitched it on a platform on top of their car.  We laughed that the other campers would surely look down on us if we brought a tent and pitched it on the ground!  So 2002!

Darien Lakes was a fun hike, although I’m not sure I’d repeat it.  We were hoping for more water views – turns out the “Lakes” part of the park name is a bit of a misnomer.  But it was a good workout and a good way to dip our feet into more challenging hikes for spring and summer.

Gear:

Hubby: million-year-old Merrell hiking boots, Black Diamond poles; Deuter KidComfort III child carrier.

Me: Oboz Luna hiking shoes; Black Diamond poles; Ergobaby carrier with newborn insert.

Where are you hiking these days?

Nugget: Two Months

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What a month we’ve had with this little guy!  Nugget has been working hard at growing and he’s doing a pretty good job of it, I have to say.  He’s so much bigger than he was just a month ago – it’s amazing – and more than that, every day he gets more interactive, more alert, and more fun.

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The best thing to happen this month was the above – smiles!  Nugget blessed us with his first social smiles a few weeks ago and has kept them coming ever since.  I live for those smiles.  He’s happiest in the morning, much like his sister was as a baby (and still is now – they’re both morning people, it seems).  I pretty much spend the entire day trying to coax those big gummy baby grins out of Nugget.  Lucky me, he’s pretty generous with them – especially for me.  Still a mama’s boy.

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He also loves his sister.  Peanut gets quite a few smiles out of Nugget, too.  She’s still crazy about him.  She loves to stroke his head gently, play “pat-a-cake” and “this little piggy” with him, and give him the sweetest hugs and kisses.  We have to occasionally remind her to be gentle with him, but she’s usually very good about keeping it calm.  Nugget finds her completely fascinating (as do we all) and it’s just a matter of time before he’s trailing after her everywhere she goes, worshipping the ground she walks on as only little brothers can.

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We’ve been out and about quite a bit this month, thanks to me finally figuring out the Ergobaby carrier.  It’s a bit awkward to get into, but once we’re in Nugget is comfortable and cozy – so much so that he usually goes to sleep.  Nugget has been on three hikes this month (one on Mother’s Day, one midweek to Knox Farm, and one to Darien Lakes for our monthly hiking project – recap coming soon), he took a few long walks around East Aurora, and he visited the Curious George exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science.  Our neighborhood, unfortunately, is not the most walkable – there’s really only one route I feel comfortable taking the stroller, and it’s pretty boring, so we’re spending a lot of time looking for other places to play.  As Nugget gets more engaged by color and activity, I’m hoping to keep getting him out and about so he can start exploring his world.

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It’s been a good month.  I’m more awake than I was a month ago – thanks in part to Nugget stretching out nighttime feedings and in part to just getting used to operating on a sleep deficit again.  I think we’re figuring out this whole two kids thing – there’s a bit of trial and error still, but we’re working through the kinks and our little unit is starting to run more smoothly.  And I’m a lot more confident even than I was a few weeks ago.  I’ve gotten used to using my own judgment with Nugget (and not relying on a team of medical professionals to tell me what to do, the way I did with Peanut).  We’re getting to know each other and I’m so grateful to have this time at home to bond with my little fella.

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Nugget at 2 Months:

Weight: 10 lbs, 12 oz – big guy!  He’s packing on the pounds and ounces and turning into quite the adorable little butterball.  I love it!

Height: 22 inches cooperative.

Clothing Size: Officially in 0-3 month clothes and I’m actually not sure how long they’ll last.  I bought him some Circo onesies and they’re already looking a little short.  (Carters usually lasts the longest, since they seem to be cut for longer torsos.)  I’m currently trying to shop for Nugget’s summer clothes and bathing suits for our beach trip and I’m at a loss – I don’t know if I should buy 3 months or 6 months!

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Sleep: I didn’t write about sleep last month because there was really nothing to say – there was no rhyme or reason to Nugget’s sleep cycles, but that’s to be expected with a newborn.  As he’s gotten bigger, though, he seems to be falling into a pattern of eating one final time just after we finish dinner, falling asleep in our arms on the couch (we put him in his crib on our way to bed) and then waking up one for a feeding between 1:30 and 4:30 (depending on what time he last ate).  I can take one middle-of-the-night wakeup; I think that’s pretty darn good.  His pediatrician is fine with the long stretch at this stage – Nugget is growing well and there’s no question he’s getting his meals when he wants them and eating plenty of food.  We’re all sleeping better as a result of this stretching; may it continue.

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Likes: Still 100% obsessed with Mommy, and I’m loving it!  He also thinks his sister is pretty cool.  But don’t worry about Dad – he gets plenty of smiles, too.  Nugget is a happy little guy and seems pretty pleased with the family he’s found himself.  He’s also a huge fan of the art prints in his room, and one in particular – a crowd scene featuring a cluster of woodland animals.  (I’ll show you the print, and the other art items in his room, in the next nursery decorating update – soon, I promise.)  The print in question hangs over his changing table and he loves to gaze at it.  He usually doesn’t even mind diaper changes because he is so enthralled by his little forest buddies.

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Dislikes: Baths, being hungry – typical newborn stuff still.  And I don’t know if I’d call these “dislikes,” but he is deeply ambivalent about his swing and the pacifier.  He’ll tolerate both if he’s in the mood to be accommodating, and even if he is, he has a short shelf life before he starts voicing his displeasure with being left in the swing or offered something to suck on that isn’t food (the nerve!).  Neither of my kids are/were big into pacifiers.  Peanut used them because she was a preemie, but she weaned herself from the paci at six months, as soon as she could find her thumb (she’s still a thumb sucker, but that doesn’t worry me).  Nugget, I think, will be rejecting the paci even earlier.  Fine by me – I’d just as soon have my kids wean themselves from the paci rather than force me to officiate elaborate parting ceremonies when they’re four years old.

Favorite Toys: Nugget is still a little young to really understand and play with toys, but he has developed a pretty adorable attachment to a stuffed panda that Peanut got from Grandma ages ago.  Peanut likes the panda too but fortunately she’s been decent about sharing.  I expect it’s the high contrast black and white that attracts Nugget.  He can lay on his blanket and coo at the panda for a good five minutes, which is basically an eternity for a newborn.

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Milestones: The best milestone this month – I already mentioned it above – SMILES, my favorite!  Seriously, the first smiles are my biggest joy in the entire first year.  I’m pumped that Nugget smiled so early – more time for me to enjoy those sweet happy grins.  We also had a not-so-fun milestone this month, though: Nugget’s first sick visit to the pediatrician.  It took Peanut 15 months (once she was sprung from the NICU, that is) to need a sick visit to the pediatrician, but Nugget wasn’t so lucky.  Peanut brought a cold home from preschool and Nugget eventually caught it after it had been making the rounds of the house for several weeks.  He had it fairly light; I wouldn’t have called the doctor at all over his symptoms (a slight cough for a few days and a little bit of a runny nose) but for the fact that he was so young.  We ran a humidifier in his room, used the nasal aspirator before feedings, and he was back to normal after about a week.  It wasn’t fun for him, though – poor guy.

Quirks: Nugget earned himself a new nickname this month – “Snort.”  In addition to his puppy squeaks, which he is still doing, he’s added the cutest little snorts to his verbal repertoire.  If he wants to tell us something really important, it’s usually communicated via a medley of squeaks and snorts.  It’s ridiculously cute.

Happy two months, Nugget!  Thanks for joining our family!

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Mother’s Day 2015

Happy Mother’s Day (belated) to all the moms out there!  I had a lovely day celebrating with my three favorite people – and you can tell, because I didn’t take very many photos; I just had fun.  It was a particularly special Mother’s Day because it was my first one celebrating with this guy:

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Look how he coordinates with his sheets!  Total accident.  Anyway, motherhood continues to be my favorite role of all time, and being a mom of two is a whole new ball game.  Twice the fun, twice the snuggles, twice the laughter, twice the grins (and also twice the tears and twice the diapers, but that comes with the territory).  We’re only two months into this two-kids thing, but I think we’re starting to figure it out a little bit, and it was nice to take a day and reflect on how lucky I am to have gotten the little ones I have.

We started the day at our usual ungodly hour.  Hubby fed Peanut her breakfast while I fed Nugget his, and then Peanut and I played a rousing game of “soccer” – a.k.a. tossing and kicking a mini playground ball around the house.  (I bought a Crocodile Creek ball with pictures of the planets, sun, moon and rocket ships for Nugget, who is starting to be engaged by colors and patterns and not just high-contrast.  Peanut has, of course, claimed it as her ball – but Nugget is happy to share with her.)  We had a fun “soccer” game, and Peanut shrieked and cackled with glee.  The game ended when she decided that Nugget should play, too.

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I fed Nugget one more time and then we headed off on a short hike at Hunter’s Creek County Park.  The hike was fun but abbreviated, since the path leading down into the ravine was much too slippery and mucky for us to navigate with the kids in carriers.  So we explored the trails at the top of the ravine and then called it a day.

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Hilariously, we saw our doubles on the trail – another family with one kid in a backpack on Dad (I’m not sure what brand the backpack was, but it wasn’t the same as ours) and a baby in an Ergo on Mom.  We waved to each other and the other mom called over to us “I like your carriers!”  That’s our life in a nutshell – bonding with strangers on the hiking trail over baby carriers.  We all got a good laugh.

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After the hike, we rushed the kids home for lunch and naps.  Lunch went fine but naps were a struggle.  Peanut stayed up for an hour or so and trashed her room before finally crashing, while Nugget put us through our paces downstairs.  He naps well in the morning but isn’t big on afternoon snoozing.  Hubby and I settled him briefly and were able to watch about fifteen minutes of Ken Burns’ The National Parks, but the rest of the afternoon was spent with one of us bouncing and shushing Nugget while the other dashed up and down the stairs yelling at Peanut to lay down and stop throwing books.  It was pretty representative of this stage of motherhood!  I couldn’t do anything but laugh.  After Peanut finally woke up from her abbreviated nap, we treated ourselves to Chinese takeout for dinner and “the kids” gave me a beautiful blue bead necklace in honor of my first Mother’s Day as mom to a boy… then it was time for the normal bedtime dance.  Peanut went down easily enough, but Nugget wanted to party.  More bouncing and shushing ensued until:

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We watched another ten minutes or so of The National Parks (it’s 12.5 hours long; you can see why it’s taking us months to finish it) and then attempted to lay Nugget in his crib.  He was having none of that nonsense, so I ended up alternately feeding and rocking him until he finally fell asleep at about 10:30 – and then crashed on the pillow for a few hours until it was time to get up for 2:00 a.m. snuggles.

It was a low-key day, but I felt very loved and appreciated by my boys and my girl.  And now, motherhood continues – it’s Nugget’s breakfast time.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my friends who were celebrating.  I hope you had a lovely day!

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