Sunday, August 31, 2014

While the Cat's Away...

Before I start this post, I wanted to say how truly grateful I am for all of you sweet readers out there. The kind words you wrote last week and the fact that you came to my "defense" after an unkind person wrote an ugly comment on a post that meant so much to me was amazing. THIS is why I write this blog. Really wonderful people out there like all of you. Words really cannot express my gratitude after last week. So from the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU.

We are so thankful that Anthony's job doesn't require him to travel much. He does work long hours (he's out the door at 5 am and doesn't get home until around 7). But even though the days are long, when he's home, he's home. No working once the kids are down, no late business dinners, no weekend trips, very very seldom work trips. We are very appreciative for this.

But last week was one of those few times where he was going to be gone for a few nights for a conference at the Barton Creek Resort in Austin. I'm not going to lie when I say I was a little nervous about several days of zero breaks and several days of putting all three kids down at night. Yes, I understand that I do this every. single. day. But at least around 7 I have some adult interaction and the kids can wrestle and jump on their dad. He also does bed with the big kids while Molly and I clean up and I get her down. The help is wonderful.

Anyway, he left Wednesday and we really went about our day as usual. That afternoon after playing and running some errands, we decided to grab dinner at a local Italian place. Anthony doesn't like to go out to dinner during the week (understandable as he's worked a long day and is ready to be home). So this was a special treat for us- PLUS it meant no dinner prep for me and no dishes to clean afterwards. Win!

We headed out and I just happened to be texting with one of my girlfriends- her husband was at a work dinner that night and she was solo with her three kids. So they met us! The kids had a great time and it was fun to just have a grown up conversation!

We got home and did baths and got ready for bed (and played in our new sweatshirts from Auntie JJ!)

And then it was bedtime. I was nervous. I won't lie. I kept pushing bedtime back further and further because I just didn't want to deal with it. So finally at 8:30 we trekked it upstairs. I brought Molly's Rock and Play up there and fed her while reading to the big kids. Then lights out and I rocked her to sleep while the other two fell asleep. All out by 9:15. I'm definitely counting that as a WIN. I was feeling pretty smug- I might have texted a few people to let them know how awesome I was!

I brought Molly down, put toys away, zoned out on FB for a few minutes, and then crawled in bed right around 11:20. I turned off the TV and my head hit the pillow. Then at 11:27 Charley Kate woke up crying. Sigh. I trekked it back upstairs, soothed her back to sleep, came back down and wiggled under the covers. "Mooooooommmmmyyyyyy!" It was CK again. This RARELY happens. But when it happens twice in five minutes, I know it will be a long night. So I just carried her downstairs and put her in bed with me.

Yup, judge away. But that's what exhaustion will do to a girl. By 12:45 Molly was also in bed with me. And sometime after that but before 3:00 am Jay noticed Charley wasn't in his bed anymore and crawled in bed with us. All three kids. In bed. With me. All I have to say is THANKYOULORDFORLETTINGUSGETAKINGSIZEDBEDLASTFALL. For real.

The next morning was a normal day and we even met my BFF Courtney and Jay's BFF Wyatt at Rainforest Cafe (Jay's request) for one last end of summer lunch!

We dressed in our Aggie gear for the season opener that night (which was AWESOME by the way! Gig em!)

I think Courtney felt really bad for me complaining about being alone so much (ha!) that she and Justin invited us over for burgers and game-watching fun that night. We probably too quickly said yes! That afternoon I had a brilliant idea to not put Jay down for a nap. I figured it would help the night-time routine go fast if he was extra tired. And he was a GREAT sport all afternoon with no nap. I was worried that him being tired would make the day worse, but he was in a super mood (all that Wyatt time!).

We watched the game, the kids played, and I was again so grateful for the company!

Bedtime routines that night went AWESOME. All asleep by 8:00! What what! My plan for Jay worked and the girls did a great job! Woohoo!

Friday we drove to BCR to meet Anthony for the weekend. More on that in another post, but I did feel the need to toot my own horn and tell the world that I survived our first work trip alone! No help- just me! Toot toot!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Anonymous

Last week I wrote a blog post about my very special guy on his 4th birthday. You can read it here.

And I got this comment from "Anonymous"

My first reaction was an ill feeling in my stomach like I had done something wrong. I hate upsetting people or letting them down. 

Had I really offended this person? Should I have written something else? Maybe my post was wrong. 

But after a split second I snapped back into reality and realized SEVERAL things. Momma bear claws came out and still haven't been put back in! 

So Anonymous, here is my letter to YOU. 

Dear Anonymous,

1) Hey, not sure if you noticed or not, but I'm fairly confident no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read this blog. You don't like the content? Did it ever occur to you to quit reading it? I know that's a novel concept and all, but freedom of choice is a truly remarkable thing! God bless the USA!

2) It's so easy to write something judgmental and negative behind the "anonymous" name. I bet it got you all excited, didn't it? I bet you felt like you had some cool power for a minute. Did you brag about it your friends, too? "Hey guys! Guess what I just did?! I just told off some stupid stay at home mom for writing about how much she loves her own kid. Isn't that awesome??" I bet your friends thought you were extra cool for that one. Did you also mention to them that you did this under the "anonymous" title, too? Yeah, probably not. 

3) I got more support and love after your thoughtful comment than you even realized. All day long (and days after) I got emails, texts, Facebook messages, blog comments, and phone calls about how insane you are. Bet you didn't mean for that to happen, did you? 

4) "... but the way you always brag on how perfect your kids are is annoying." Hey, just in case this is the only post of mine you've ever read, you should go back and read one of the 600 posts I've written. I tout myself on keeping it real here. I talk about my mistakes. I laugh about the silly things my husband does (mouse fiasco!). I often write about tantrums, disobedience, reasons for crying, fears for my kids, lack of sleep, lack of organization, feeling like a total failure as a mom. Missed those posts? Well you won't have to go too far back to find them. I am a real person with real life issues. My kids are far from perfect. 

4) This blog is meant to be read by my family in he future. This post was meant to convey how much I absolutely adore my son. I want nothing else than for my kids to look back one day and FEEL how much I truly loved every fiber of their being. I love them with a fierceness that is only second to the way our Father loves us. I hope my kids will be able to read this to their kids one day and laugh and say, "Man, my mom did a lot of dumb things as a parent/person, but I NEVER questioned how much she loved me. I knew above all else that she loved me deeper than anything." 

5) I'm not even going to go there with your lack of grammar and spelling. You know why? Because none of us are perfect. Most of the time I don't even go back and reread my posts before I publish them. Ain't nobody got time for that these days.

6) I was going to delete your comment and pretend like it never happened so I didn't have to ever see it again. But then, I thought about when my kids are in college and they come home for Christmas and we are sitting around reminiscing and talking about the past (because that's what loving families do), we'd pull out these blog books (yes I make them) and we would all have a GOOD laugh about you and your ridiculous comment. Actually looking forward to that one. Bet you didn't consider that when you wrote your comment, did you?

So, Anonymous, if you are reading this and still have issues with my post, email me and we can chat. If I offended you, then... I'm sorry? My best advice, stop reading this blog. Because Lord knows I'm not gonna stop bragging on my babies. If I don't build them up now, who will? I'm always gonna be their biggest cheerleader. 

I reread that birthday post about Jay so many times trying to make sure I hadn't done anything wrong. And you know what? The more I read it, the more proud of it I became. Because Jay will never question how much I loved him as a little boy. And among many other things, I am teaching Jay how to love. I sure hope your kids can say the same thing, Anonymous. 

And to those of you who called, commented, emailed, texted, FB messaged me, or even thought that this person was wrong- THANK YOU. I love blogging, and I'm so proud of that post. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Three Months for Molly!

Sweet baby girl is 3 months old!

Miss Molly is just as precious as ever and I am still loving the heck out of her!

-She is rolling over front to back and almost all the way from back to front!
-She can wiggle her way around in a circle on her back (usually to try to see the TV. Oops)
-She talks A LOT. She babbles quite a bit and looks you in the eye and really gets her expressions going. She has a lot to say!
-Loves to smile and half-laugh. I love her little chuckles!
-Eats for about 10-15 minutes every threeish hours (give or take whatever is going on, sometimes it's every two and sometimes it's every four!)
-Takes two big naps- once in the morning for 1-2 hours and once in the afternoon for almost 3 hours. She cat naps on and off all day in between!
-Is still sleeping in the rock and play or in our bed. I'll tackle that one in the future. Right now people are getting decent sleep! Don't rock the boat!
-Doesn't love falling to sleep on me. She definitely prefers to be put in her swing/carseat/rock and play and go to sleep. Very rarely nurses to sleep either! The only way I can nurse her to sleep is if we are laying down in bed. Otherwise, not so much!
-Loves to rub her feet while she sleeps. Just like me! Love this!
-She loves tummy time and is very strong! Just like her big siblings!
-Is in size 2 or 2/3 diapers and 3 month clothes! She's a big girl and I love it!
-She really likes her blankets. Any of them, but she holds them and if she is fussing they immediately calm her. She likes to suck on them, too! If you put one by her face while she's trying to fall asleep it almost always does the trick!
-Poops a few times a day some days and some days not at all! We've never gone longer than a day with no poop, so no worries on our end. Just different!
-Is totally fine in her carseat, which is interesting because Charley Kate SCREAMED all the time in her carseat from about 6 weeks one. I'm hoping we dodged that bullet!
-Loves to face out in her Baby Bjorn and LOVES walks! Instantly calming!
-Has blue eyes like her big sis!

Molly is such a dream baby. She still fusses and screams and needs attention (don't all/most babies?), but she is such a wonderful little blessing to our family. She just goes with the flow and is so chill and content. I just adore this precious little girl!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jay is Four!

How do I even begin this post?

FOUR years ago today God chose me to become a mommy. 

It has been the greatest, hardest, most humbling, yet rewarding thing I have ever ever done. There are times when it comes so easily and when I can't imagine ever feeling happier. And there are times when I have to dig down so deep to find the strength just to finish the day. 

Four years ago today my life changed forever. I can picture that night/morning like it was yesterday. This story is still fresh in my mind. 

Holding my screaming baby for the first time, I had no idea how much I could love him. Watching him cry, then turn to find me to nurse because he totally depended on me was unbelievable. I thought I loved him then, but I had no idea how strong of a love I would develop for him over the next four years.

Jay has turned out to be one of the most wonderful kids I've ever known. I don't just say that because he's mine. It's true. He is such a precious soul.

He is so genuinely kind. He truly loves and cares for others. Never the instigator, never the aggressor. Just good to the core. He's sensitive and thoughtful. While sometimes it's tough to be a sensitive boy (and it will be through middle school), it makes for a wonderful quality in a husband and friend (I know this because his daddy is the same way- and we all know he stole my heart!).

But he doesn't put up with crap. He's become so tough over the past year. He will fight back (and usually win), he will play rough and tackle and stick up for himself. These things make him such a boy to me- and it makes me so proud to see his confidence.

He's really really really smart. He's definitely got the Moriarty (my maiden name) numbers-mind. He thinks in numbers. Everyone and everything is tied to a number. His little mind is always working and he can remember things that I forget. I truly think he is a very bright little boy and can't wait to see what the future holds academically.

He loves his friends. He craves them. Everyday he asks who we are going to see. He loves to be around his best buddies and has a handful of very close friends. But he is so good at making new friends, too! At camps this summer he came home each day with names of new friends. And his friends love him because he is so good to them. Makes a momma proud.

He is athletic and coordinated and seriously swims like a fish. At not even four years old it truly amazes me some of the things this boy can do. He is so comfortable in the water and comes by his physicality very naturally.

His interests are ever evolving- but he still loves animals. He still knows so much about them and plays with them. But he also loves dragons, super heroes, ninja turtles, sports, and whatever other "boy" things you can think of. He is excellent at playing alone and I love listening to his creative play!

He is big for his age. I have yet to meet another child within a few months of him on either side that is taller than him. And he's solid. Heavy, dense bones. And strong.

He has the sweetest lisp that I will be sad for him to grow out of one day. His "s" sound is said with his tongue out and it's just precious.

His laugh is contagious and his sense of humor is remarkable. He's always had a great sense of humor. It's hard not to get tickled as you listen to his laugh!

There is so much more I could write about this special boy. He truly is one of a kind. I wasn't sure about having a little boy when I first found out his gender at the ultrasound. I was nervous going into uncharted territory. But I can honestly say it has been one of the biggest honors of my life being this little boy's mother. He is so incredible and I am so very thankful that God chose me to be his mother. 

I can't believe four years have already flown by- just like that! I pray that time moves a little slower. 

What a blessing this little boy is. 

Happy happy birthday sweet Jay! I love you more than I could ever explain! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bath Pod

Y'all I have always LOVED this product for babies! The Bath Pod. 

It's seriously such a great concept for babies as soon as they are strong enough to hold their heads up. And my kids have all loved it! They love the view, the sitting up, the freedom of more than just laying in baby bather. 

Since my kids have all decided to start waking up early, I decided this morning we'd take baths to fill our time before the rest of the world is up and at 'em. And I figured we could try Molly in the bath pod. 

Annnnd she stinking loved it!!! Like so so much!! It was precious! 

And because I looooove to look at all my kids in the same situations, here are pics of Jay and Charley Kate! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Kitty Edition

I snapped these pictures while Jay was napping the other day.

And it occurred to me that Ella has always loved snuggling Jay. Here they are when Jay was about 4 months old! 

Such a sweet little friendship! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Dentist Has Nothing On Her

Why I thought Charley Kate's first dentist visit would be anything but perfect is beyond me. 

Today was her first trip. We went to our incredible pediatric dentist and I was praying things would go well. We've got to build a lifetime of healthy oral practices was being repeated over and over in my head (and what male voice was that? My childhood dentist? Anthony? Not sure..). 

Anyway, there is no rhyme or reason as to why I decided 2.5 was the perfect age, other than that's when I took Jay for his first time. 

So to help her get comfortable, I brought her to Jay's visit back in February to watch (I know, this was actually a great idea on my part thankyouverymuch). Because she had an idea of what to expect, it really did make today much much easier! Plus, the staff is ridiculously awesome! 

Jay felt like the all-knowing big brother leading the way and showing her just what to do. It was precious to see him so confident. 

They weighed them, and had them brush their own teeth and taught them all the good tricks of teeth brushing (this part always makes me nervous because I feel like it's a direct reflection on me when they aren't perfect at it!). 

Then it was X-ray time. Jay went first and it was a bit of a disaster. He always gags when they put the hard film in his mouth and today was no exception. God bless him- he tried, but it just wasn't happening. Charley tried next and they only took pictures of her front teeth which was a piece of cake! She did great! 

Then it was time for the real visit- the teeth cleaning and dental exam. Jay did his first which went fine (he chose watermelon polish- a decision he thought about all morning long). The dentist said his teeth and mouth were picture perfect. He said they were a dentist's dream. Not because of anything we have done, but because of what The Lord has blessed him with. Strong teeth, excellent spacing and straightness, strong jaws, and healthy gums. His words were, "Ahhh I love this mouth. If I could just take pictures to show everyone what the perfect mouth was it would be this one!" Wish I could take the credit for that one- although since he has 50% my genes then I guess I will! :)

Then CK had her turn. She hopped right up and chose red sunglasses to match her shirt! She laid back and was PERFECT. They did everything they could possibly do! Counted her teeth, measured her gums, polished them, flossed them... And after they finished she licked her teeth and said, "I wike how dat feels!" Preach it sister! 

The dentist talked about her molars in the back being very close and how her permanent teeth and bones were not very big ("She's not going to be a very big girl"). We also chatted about her gap between her top teeth (probably my favorite thing about her!). Her upper lip is attached to the gap (her frenum? Don't google it to make sure it's correct, because frenulum comes up and apparently that's a generic term for skin flaps and I don't even want to tell you what pictures came up!!!!!). He said by age 10-11 this should "clip itself" if it doesn't get torn earlier (he said almost every patient that has this and also has an older sibling has theirs torn by wrestling with them!!). Anyway, I'm not gonna lie- I was sad to hear it likely won't be a permanent thing. I absolutely adore this on Charley Kate! 

So that was our visit. He complimented their behavior a ton and I was so proud of them! Honestly, they really are such good kids and times like this make me appreciate them even more! 

Here's to six more months of dental health! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Of Mice and Men (Boys)

One night last week I was sitting on the floor playing with Molly while Anthony was putting the big kids to sleep. 

All of a sudden I heard a "squeak squeak squeak" sound coming from the breakfast room. 

And I knew what that sound was. 

I looked in the room and crouched in the corner was a mouse. Cornered by our kitty Ella (who had just brought the scared little thing in to "play chase" with). 

Now, I'm an animal lover. I've held mice and rats and gerbils and hamsters. But there is something about a wild mouse in your house out of your control that sends shivers down your spine. But I really did feel sorry for the mouse and wanted it to go free. 

So I grabbed Molly, ran upstairs and woke Anthony from his deep deep sleep. I shook him and whispered, "Anthony! Ella brought a mouse in our house!"  He FLEW out of bed, almost knocking CK off the bed in the process!

We ran downstairs and just stared for a second. Finally I said, "Alright, we need a plan. Let's block off the entrances to the breakfast room and shoo it out the back door." So I get busy (Molly in tow) moving things to block the entrance of the room, while Anthony seriously just stands there. I am pretty sure I hissed, "Well if you aren't going to help corner the mouse at least hold the baby!" He sort of snapped out if it and moved a thing or two. 

I told him to go open the back door so we could coax the mouse out. He wouldn't even walk through the room! Ha! He went out the pool door and around the back outside to open it. Hilarious. 

Anyway, he grabbed a broom and I was screaming "Don't kill it! Don't kill it!" He assured me he wouldn't. 

All of a sudden we couldn't see it anymore. 

Just then I saw my crystal wine glasses moving. It had crawled up (did you know mice were such avid crawlers?!) the back of our wine cabinet and was hiding up in the glasses!!!! All you could see was a tail hanging down. 


So Ant and I just kind of looked at each other- totally puzzled. Then he busts out the BEST idea. "Hey! Why don't we get the neighbor boys???" GENIUS! 

Our neighbors are 10 and 7 and have had several pet rats. They love animals and are all boy- totally fearless. A few minutes later Anthony comes back with them (and their animal loving mom!) in tow. She walks right up to the wine rack and starts unloading the glasses like it's no big thing!!! What?!? 

She unloads them and is sweet talking that mouse. Then the oldest boy (wearing gloves) reaches up, grabs the mouse by the tail, and that was it!! 

The two boys happily walked the mouse down to the bayou and set it free! And that was that!

Meanwhile, Anthony and I still coming down off our ledge of shivers and screaming fits! 

Waytogo, boys. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hairy Few Days

There's been a lot of "hair" talk in the Squillante household these past few days. 

Most important things first- Miss Charley Kate got her first haircut! 

She's been asking to get her haircut the past two times Anthony and Jay have had theirs done. I was definitely not ready for it to be cut! 

But over the past few weeks I definitely noticed it looking stringier. So over the weekend I decided that this was the week! But between soccer camp, play dates, other appointments, and so on, it was just tough to find the time. But this morning we had a free hour between things and we seized the moment! 

My mom met us there (can't have too many cheerleaders for such a big occasion!). I talked to her a lot about what was going to be done and girlfriend was READY! 

The lady washed it- CK loved that part! Her little hands started out so tense but then relaxed...

Then the lady put a towel on her head (just like mommy!)

Then she started cutting! I only had an inch or two taken off the back- less mullet looking! 

Then we got her to blowdry it! Charley is obsessed with my blowdryer! 

And then the sweet lady braided it as an extra "exciting" thing for us!

Y'all, she sat SO still! She was stoic but I could tell that she seriously loved EVERY second of this. Once the whole process was finished she had the best smirk on her face. She just couldn't stop smiling! It was just precious! 

Soooo basically she's ready to go back and do it again! Amazing considering her brother's first experience was far different! I guess that's what happens when you get haircuts at 2.5 years old vs 10 months old! Heh heh... 

Here is her before

Now, onto another hairy story...

I have been toying with the idea of chopping my hair for some time. With three kids it takes me forever to get ready in the mornings, it's really hot, and let's just be honest- I needed a change in myself. 

So I chopped it! TEN INCHES!!!!! 

Here are some before pictures (terrible pics- hair was nasty from heat/humidity, but I had to take some!)

And after... (Excuse all the selfies! You do what you gotta do!)

I LOVE it!!!!!!! It feels so much lighter! And cooler! And it feels like me. I have always had short hair. When he cut it and I looked in the mirror, it just felt like it was how I was supposed to look. Like me. Plus, Anthony loves my hair short! So that's always a win! 

Downside- it took me two plus years to grow this out. Two pregnancies (aka two great hair hormone times). It had never been that long ever in my life and likely it never will again. I loved it while I had it- somehow it made me feel more womanly, a little "sexier" if that is possible. I just loved having pretty wavy long hair that I could a lot of things with. 

But it was time for a change. And I couldn't be happier!