Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Broken Laptop

Well...writing will be sparse until we get our computer back. It's currently "in the shop" and for free thanks to our lovely Apple Care plan :) I'm hoping to have it back by the end of this week/early next week at the latest. Plus we've spent the last couple days in Kentucky visiting Matt's family. It has been one fantastic breath of fresh air. 

Kentucky has been overly hot and humid but we still miss it nonetheless. We've gotten to go swimming, Klaeyton got an awesome new bike, and yesterday I was able to fulfill a White Castle craving that I can't enjoy at home. I've been able to rest and I've also been able to get some work done despite the lack of our laptop. 

More awesomely (I know that isn't really a word, at least I don't think it is) than all that is watching Klaeyton with Nana and Papa. He took to them right away like he just saw them last week (when we actually haven't been here since January). He's having a ball. It makes me sad that we don't live closer, but it also makes me feel so blessed that we are able to have these times that we do. I love that Klaeyton has so many people that love him. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Worry of a Mother

I sat down ready to write my heart out and I have to admit it's hard to concentrate with a screaming toddler in the background who refuses to go to bed. I'm trying though. I'm not giving up on keeping him in his bed, it's just those brief moments of weakness that bring all the progress crashing down. Ahh and the screaming ceases. 

I sat with Klaeyton reading books tonight and felt like I haven't really seen him the last couple days. It was nice to snuggle him. I've been getting a lot done for work and he's been spending a lot of time with my parents so that I could spend some time with Katie. She's still in a lot of pain and it's absolutely terrible to witness. I can't imagine being in my mom's shoes. It's hard enough to watch just being her sister. 

It's made me think about a lot of things about being a mother. Especially since today at our Midwife appointment I was asked if we wanted to test for cystic fibrosis, down syndrome and a bunch of other things. I don't remember ever feeling scared about Klaeyton but today I could feel that anxious drop in my stomach and the worry that fell over me was overwhelming. I had to stop and Thank God for all the blessings I have and remember that I trust Him. 

And then we heard that tiny heat beat that sounds like a washing machine and I thought about the new baby and I thought about my Klaeyton and how your love for a child is truly indescribable. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Non-Biased Mom With A New Job!

The weekends are always busier than we intend them to be. And it makes it harder to get back to the daily grind on Monday mornings. And this week I was able to start a new job. One that I actually love doing. I was honorably selected to be the Director of Church Life for Great Lakes Church ( check it out!) And I have to say I think I've found my calling :) 

Klaeyton's been a little rough around the edges the last few days. Between a diaper rash, still not wanting to sleep by himself and the whininess of being cooped up because the yard is so yet it's been a little trying. Today I might embark on taking him with me to do some errands just so that I can get him out of the house. 

Softball on Sunday was a blast! Two of the GLC teams played each other and then we went to watch the last team play. As usual K is running around like a mad man. At one point he made it into our dug out and picked up somebody's hat. Of course it was about eight sizes too big for him but naturally he stuck it on his head sideways anyway. Everyone just kept telling me how cute he was. I have to admit, it's nice to hear other people say that so that I know I'm not a completely biased mom. :)

Oh the joy of being and ordinary mom.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yes. I Took My Toddler To A Baseball Game.

Yesterday was full of new adventures. Klaeyton and I hooked up with some friends and first went and checked out Splash Zone. I think we might just be purchasing a membership. I had never seen the outdoor facilities and I have to say I was very impressed. It was very much geared towards children and their "baby" pool was awesome, full of buckets, a huge mushroom and a slide. At first K was skeptical but once I got him in he loved it. I even illegally took him down the kiddie slide (in which I got yelled at by a lifeguard, and now have a bruise on my thigh because it went significantly faster than I was expecting). Even when they called break, Klaeyton was able to entertain himself on the swings and the playground slides that he has become so efficient at climbing. He certainly didn't want to leave, but I am now excited at finding a good summer pool spot for us :)

We were so awesomely invited to enjoy club seats at the Indians game last night. Now of course some people may think I'm crazy for even considering taking a toddler to a baseball game (and don't get me wrong, the idea crossed my mind once or twice) but I can honestly say now that I don't regret my decision one bit. I didn't take his stroller, and it wasn't too far to walk from the parking area to the stadium, so Klaeyton enjoyed the walk (and the occasional ride on mommy's hip when we hit some stairs). When we got into the stadium, I could see K's eyes get big as he took in the sights around him. We ate first. And oh was it wonderful. I was so impressed with how Klaeyton sat in the big chair (they didn't have high chairs, which was my first sign that people probably don't take their young children to club seats) anyway, he sat in this chair and used his fork to eat his hot dog (don't worry I cut it up in tiny bites :) and didn't put one piece of food on the floor. He ended up scarfing 1 1/2 hotdogs before moving on the the ice cream. I've never seen him sit so still for such a long period of time. He diligently consumed his ice cream and half of mine without making a huge mess. Yes, it was a proud moment for me :)

We moved to the seats in the stadium and I honestly was expecting Klaeyton to not let me sit at all, but surprisingly he did quite well. There was the occasional "AAAHHH" that he does when he's mad, and we did get up a lot and walk around and even ventured to the kids area. And yes, I got some dirty looks, but thankfully I'm confident enough as a parent to not really care what people think. But Klaeyton would clap and smile when everyone cheered and until it was well past his bedtime, he was quite manageable. The last little stretch was kind of rough and I knew it was because he was getting tired, but we were determined to stay for the fireworks show, so I gritted my teeth and hung on. 

Oh was it worth it. It got dark in the stadium and K and I were coming back from a diaper change when the first ones went off. I wish I could freeze frame that look on his face. He sat still the entire show in awe pointing and calling the fireworks balloons. I melted. I didn't care if anybody thought I was crazy for bringing a toddler to a baseball game. He loved it. And it was so worth it to watch his face for those twenty minutes. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And I learned even more so that I know what my son is capable of and what I can handle as his mother and we could tackle any baseball game again :)

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Short Vent Session

So I'm not trying to be a negative nanny or anything so I apologize if this post radiates some bad energy. I'm going crazy. Klaeyton used to lie down for naps and bedtime so well and now he clings to me and screams for at least 20 minutes before deciding to finally give up the fight. He's only napping maybe an hour and a half verses the two to three hours I was getting before.  At night he's up at least twice and he screams and screams and it takes forever to get him to go back to sleep.  I thought the newborn stage ended months ago. The only thing I can think of that has changed is that he's not in daycare anymore. And he's clingier now than he was then. It's driving me nuts. And I wanted to put him in a toddler bed and move him upstairs in a couple months. I would really like to enjoy my shot at sleep while I can since I can vividly remember the sleepless nights with Klaeyton as a newborn. I don't think I can handle two kids keeping me up all night. One will surely be enough. 

Ok. I think I'm done venting. I feel much better now. Sometimes a good vent is all it takes.

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Promise Things Aren't Perfect

My mom used to always say that the only place she could truly be alone was the bathroom, and when we were toddlers, she didn't even have that. I have to say...I know how she feels.  I love being a mom. It's definitely my biggest achievement in life so far. I feel like graduating college or holding a good job is nothing compared to having the patience of a mother. And I am definitely not a perfect one. But I try my hardest to be a good one.There are so many fantastic, breath-taking moments with Klaeyton, but there are also the ones where I want to rip my hair out and crawl under a rock. 

I know my pregnancy hormones aren't always a great add-in to the mix of motherly responsibilities, but even without them, I know my little bundle of joy has the ability to bounce on even the strongest nerve. Today, he did just that. 

Some toddlers throw tantrums, which Klaeyton does occasionally, but he's infamous for whining. And today, I think he did more whining than breathing. It was all whine, whine, whine and in between those whines was "mommy" "mommy" as he needed every possible bit of my attention, and when he doesn't get it right that second, it's lets hit mommy or throw my truck across the room. Or hey lets even hit the dog so she'll turn around and look at me. I know that children will do anything to get attention (even if it's bad attention) if that's what they're craving, but my child doesn't just crave it, he's addicted to it. Because believe me he's definitely not attention neglected. 

Bedtime was a disaster. Klaeyton insisted on crying for almost thirty minutes before I went in and attempted to console him from outside the crib. I refused to pick him up. I got him some water and gave him his dog and blanket...again (as we do all of this the first time around). And as I stared into his sobbing face it broke my heart to see him so sad, just wanting me to hold him, but for the first time, I also couldn't help feeling a little peeved, as I just wanted that little bit of "me" time I get when he goes to bed...before I ultimately crash due to those damned hormones.

Of course when I did leave the room this time around, he stopped crying shortly after, but I couldn't help but feel so guilty. I cherish every moment I have with Klaeyton, and I can accept that things won't always be rosy, that there will be days like today, but ultimately I know that I am blessed to be a mother and I am thankful for that.

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sign With Your Toddler!

As a lot of people know we started signing with Klaeyton pretty early. It's not overly extensive, but I have found the most helpful signs tend to be "more", "all done", "eat", drink" and especially "help". I've always found the idea of toddlers using sign language to be fascinating and helpful in our particular situation ("Help" really does eliminate some frustration tantrums), but today I found a whole new appreciation for it and an even bigger desire to broaden K.s signing vocabulary.

We had a really rough night last night and this morning K had a fever and was showing signs of illness. We've been very fortunate that Klaeyton has never really been ill, but today he was so pitiful. He slept the majority of the day, either on Matt or I, or on the couch. He did manage to eat and drink a little bit, but he barely played which was our sign that he really was sick.

 He slept this afternoon for quite a lengthly time and when he woke up it was about 6. He woke up crying, just crying and crying. I tried consoling him and rocking him. I sat him on my lap and said, "Bubba it's ok, can you show mommy what you want" I started signing for drink and eat. Almost immediately he stopped crying and started signing "help" and he pointed to his belly! I was in complete awe! I immediately started massaging his belly thinking it must hurt and then I heard it rumble. Duh! He's got to be hungry! And I was right. K ate a little bit of soup and then curled right back up into my lap to fall back to sleep. 

I have decided to teach K the sign for "hurt" along with anything else I can think of. I, not only got a glimpse of how smart he is, but that if it wasn't for this simple practice, I could have spent a lot longer using trial and error to console him. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Chuck E Cheese!

Oh how I love summer time. The air is just different. And it's nice. It seems like we're able to do more in the summer time because we like to be out of the house enjoying the weather. I originally wanted to take Klaeyton to the pool yesterday, but of course it was only 70 degrees and totally not warm enough for the pool. So instead, Matt and I decided to take him to Chuck E Cheese. What a fantastic idea! 

We kept telling him, "We're going to Chuck E Cheese!" and of course all we got from him was, "Cheese! Cheese!" I think we might have been more excited than he was. Of course I had some great coupons that I found on the internet, so when we got there I ordered the drinks and pizza and got tokens while Matt took K up in the play land. But naturally Klaeyton can spot balloons a mile away, so we had to make sure he steered clear of the birthday area, or else some poor child would be having a balloon-less birthday party.

 Then we proceeded to spend tokens. Klaeyton liked the clock swing and this game where you get to throw balls at the screen to hit bugs and stuff, but his favorite game of all was Skee Ball. He LOVED it! And watching him do it was more fun than playing yourself. Matt and I managed to gather up some tickets to get K a foam dart launcher and a tootsie pop. I think that tootsie pop was the only thing that got him to cooperate when it was time to leave.


On the way home I looked back at him in his car seat with his face and hands all sticky and while holding his tootsie pop, he just smiled real big at me. I just kept thinking...there are so many more of those smiles to come.

Oh the joy of an ordinary mom. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Chucking of a Spoon

I wanted to tell this story in a separate blog because the tone is a little different from my beach story. Last night Matt, Klaeyton and I went to Applebees for dinner. Now, a little background info on us going out to eat. We do it a little more than we should, but 9 times out of 10 we take Klaeyton. I'm a firm believer that you have to take a toddler out in public in order to teach him/her how to act when not at home. Klaeyton normally does a pretty good job. We have the occasional yelling outburst and of course the putting of food on the floor because he thinks the restaurant dog is going to come by and clean it up, but so far we haven't had any of those mortifying embarrassing moments that every parent has. That is, until last night. 

Out of nowhere, K chucks his spoon across the aisle and hits the table next to us. It was two ladies and a girl about 9 or 10 and I'm pretty sure my face went beet red in a matter of milliseconds. Matt was on the phone and immediately hung up on whoever he was talking to in order to retrieve the spoon. All we could think of to do was to excessively apologize. The lady was so nice about it and just thought Klaeyton was so cute. After the embarrassment faded I began to thank God that I have one cute child, and then my mind wandered to....what happens when ugly kids throw spoons in restaurants?

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Chasing Feathers

So I've actually started keeping notes in my iPhone of things I want to remember to blog about. That should tell you something about how there is never a dull moment in the Harden household. 

On Saturday morning I took Klaeyton to the library and then to the beach. I needed to renew my library card and I figured K would love to pick out books. Oh I was so right. He loved it! He didn't want to leave when I tried wrangling him back into the stroller, but once I gave him a book to hold onto he was perfectly content. I'm thinking there will def be more library trips in the future :) Oh how I love the library. 

The beach was quite the adventure. It took us almost twenty minutes just to walk to our spot because K kept whining about the sand and I refused to carry him due to the fact that my arms were already full of beach toys, a blanket, towels, snacks, and of course the camera. Eventually, we got our own little station set up on the beach, and we were pretty much alone since it was so early. I soon discovered Klaeyton's favorite activity was to use his shovel to put sand on the blanket, so it didn't serve much of a purpose . I tried to get him to put his feet in the water and after lots of attempts I was successful. He's still a little intimidated but he enjoyed himself.     

There were a few instances that I wanted to be sure to remember: there were plenty of pelicans on the beach and Klaeyton was fascinated with them. After initially calling them dogs for awhile, he eventually realized I kept calling them birds. He loved to chase them around the beach and it was quite a sight to see since we were so alone and K looked so little running around after these birds. At one point he spent a good five minutes chasing a feather that he couldn't quite seem to catch. He would stumble in the sand (probably since he was only wearing one shoe) and it would flutter just out of his reach. He did finally catch it and the look of triumph on his face was priceless. 

It truly was a beautiful experience for the both of us. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sleep and New Baby

As some of you know K hasn't really been sleeping well the last few weeks. I'm not sure why, but he'll wake up screaming bloody murder and won't go back to sleep unless I pick him up and hold him. So I've tried various things, from falling asleep in the recliner and trying to gently put him back in his bed all to just putting him in the bed with Matt and I (which I don't mind but K always seems to just kick Matt a lot), but I know he's capable of sleeping through the night and sleeping well so I haven't been worrying too much. 

Well yesterday he only napped for about two hours, which is short considering the last couple of weeks his naps have spanned 3-4 hours (which may explain why he wasn't sleeping well at night), anyway I put him to bed at 730 and wala! It's currently 7:05 and he has slept all night and is still sleeping :) So I feel triumphant this morning on that note :)

I've def been feeling much better. I'm twelve weeks now and approaching that second trimester full force, sometimes I can get away with only one anti nausea pill a day :) A def step down from 4 times a day! I'm beginning to plan and list the things we will need for the baby (the list is considerably longer if it's a girl, which we won't find out for another month or so) but I do need to get on the ball and get the upstairs organized. It has become one giant storage unit, but first I need another AC unit for up there, whewie it's hot :) 

Matt and I are still contemplating some names. I don't think we'll be so set on one so soon like we were for Klaeyton. I think now that I don't feel so crappy the reality is really starting to set it and I can actually be excited since I'm not couch confined anymore. Now if I could just find my prego bathing regular one is already to snug. boo. 

Happy Saturday! Matt has to work tonight, but I plan to take Klaeyton to the library and the beach today before nap :) 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Father and Son With a Coupon Twist

We've been fortunate enough to have Matt home the last couple of evenings. Normally it's just me and K and we go through our bedtime routine with just the two of us, but the last couple  of nights, Matt has been able to do it with us, and last night...I shoved him off on his own so that I could get myself ready to sleep. But I found it wasn't as easy as I had expected. As Matt sat on Klaeyton's rug and read stories with him, I just couldn't help but peek in to watch and listen. It was just so nice to see them together. Father and son. I secretly listened as Matt read Goodnight Moon to K and I smiled to myself knowing how blessed I am to have them both. 

So...on a complete change of tone, I spent my morning scouring the internet for coupons since I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow. And SCORE! is my new best friend. I clipped about $15 in coupons on stuff that we already eat! You know sometimes you buy something just because you have a great coupon for it, well not this time. It makes me even more excited to write out my grocery list. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From Baby To Toddler

Sometimes I wonder if I should put more thought and care into each blog I write. You know, to make it witty and comical and interesting to read. But then I remember the real reason I write that I can look back on my moments as a mom and remember the feelings I get when my toddler drives me crazy and melts my heart at the same time. And that's when I don't care so much. 

It's amazing the growth I can see in Klaeyton each day. Little things, like when I dress him and he knows exactly where to put his arms. He knows how to put his shoes on, even if he struggles and gets mad because he can't do it perfectly.  He's insistent on eating with utensils even if he knows it takes him longer than using his fingers.

He babbles and babbles and most of what he says I can't understand at all, so we spend a lot of time having conversations that really aren't understandable. I'm thinking now may be a good time to learn some new signs. He's begun some two word sentences. Mostly, "I sit" or "My shoes" or "My milk." I do find it interesting that he uses "I" and "My" And he'll say the first sound of almost any word you read to him which is awesome. 

I love to sit and secretly watch him play in the backyard. It makes me wonder what's going on in that little head of his. I can see his emotions just blooming, from pride to utter frustration, in which we are trying to teach him to sign for help rather than scream and lash out when he can't get something just the way he wants it. 

K is almost 20 months old. That's not far from 2 years. I can hardly believe it. My baby is pretty much a full fledged toddler. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom.