Family Pets

Izzy, Chloe and Zeke.  Our first children, really.  They are what we used as “practice” for our future parenthood.  We got Chloe and Zeke our first year together. Kitties are pretty easy though, but still gives you something besides yourself to take care of every day.  Then we got Izzy as a puppy the year after we got married.  Izzy was the real practice…a 4 month old puppy.  She really introduced us to sleep deprivation and cleaning up the house every morning (yay potty training).

When J came along, we weren’t sure how the kitties and Izzy would react, when we’d introduced Izzy to the family, Chloe didn’t come out from under the bed for a month and threw up all over the house in protest…what were we in for with a baby?!

Well, we lucked out.  Izzy was a great mama bear and didn’t even budge when J cried at all hours of the night.  She stayed close and made sure everyone was OK.  Luckily Gramma was around to give Izzy a little extra (and needed) TLC the first few weeks we were home with J.  The Kitties didn’t even seem to notice there was something new in the house.  Although they did lay claim to all of the baby gear…”this crib is for us, no?”

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Keeping a close on on baby J 🙂

Chloe was always a little persnickety…she used to scratch the heck out of me anytime I picked her up, and she wouldn’t come too close for too long.  Not a cuddly kitty and she certainly had no tolerance for being snuggled.  Then came J.  There’s something absolutely adorable about a kiddo connecting with a pet.  Chloe will be J’s kitty from now on.  She stays close to him, puts up with him pulling her tail, her fur, her whiskers, and she doesn’t make a peep.  Chloe found her person 🙂

Zeke is starting to realize that as J becomes more mobile, he will be an acceptable source of attention.  He’s coming around, but hasn’t quite warmed up to J as much.

Izzy is a little unsure when J tries to lay on her or give her smooches, but she’s so great with other little kiddo’s that once J gets a little bigger she’ll come around and they’ll be good buddies.

Being parents to pets is a little different that parents to kiddos, but we still hope that we raise them right, that they get enough love and attention, and we spoil them all the same.  We love all of our children.

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Springtime fun!

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Had to take advantage of the beautiful Colorado spring weather before the snow returns of Sunday…

Using my new favorite outdoor product the GoPod by KidCo. Perfect for outside play for those little ones who are now mobile!  It even has a snack and drink holder and places to attach toys.  We got it off our registry but this is the first time we’ve used it.  Now I’m hooked – it’s pretty awesome!

And a quick hike at Mt.Falcon Park near Red Rocks… tested out a 30 year old backpack graciously given to us by a family friend.  I think we will need to invest in an upgrade if we (hopefully) turn hiking with the family into a habit 🙂

Izzy got lots out outdoor playtime too 🙂

Intuition – the good, the bad & the consequences

A mother’s intuition.  We’ve all heard the saying, but until you are actually a parent, you don’t realize the true weight of the truth 3 little words carry.  I always felt like I had good intuition about people.  I think it was more so a feeling of dread or uneasiness about people that were different than myself.  And by different I mean their values – what’s right and what’s wrong.  (Ahem – refer back to the previous posting about judgement).   Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve made bad judgement calls before – but in the grand scheme I feel like my intuition is pretty sound.

Then onto motherhood, where your judgement and intuition about other people in relation to your own child doubles multiplies times infinity.  Suddenly we become aware of every movement, statement, action, reaction of anyone who is anywhere near our precious bundle of joy.  You’ve got a weird walk and a creepy gaze? Back the &$#% off and don’t even look at my kid on your way.  The need to protect also multiplies to infinity.  I don’t know about other mama’s out there, but it hit me by surprise how intense this feeling of intuition gets as soon as you realize you are pregnant even.

Good intuition is a natural response when your main purpose in life suddenly becomes protecting and nurturing another person who is incapable of judging for themselves.  And as the Mama we do know (mostly) what is best for our child.  We are raising them a certain way and we’d like the people and situations they encounter to aid in that positive growth.

Intuition goes array when your own dislike towards another person turns into the uncontrollable urge to jab a pencil in their eye anytime they look your child’s direction or say a simple “hi” to them on their way through.  With “stop pretending like you know my kid” passing through your gritted teeth at a low grumble.

As a result your children pick up on both ends – they’ll be surrounded by people and situations that help them grow, and they’ll pick up on your disdain for the people you personally don’t like and probably learn that trait as well.  Well, crap.  Guess there’s not an easy way around that one…hindsight is always 20/20, right?

I personally haven’t mastered the ability to be nice to everyone in order to be a better influence on J…if anyone out there has figured that one out, you really should write a book.  It’s kinda like a mama bear protecting her cubs – like we literally become the bear…and just want to maul anyone or anything that hurts them…or could possibly hurt them…or might have the potential to someday hurt them.

For now, I’ll keep trusting my judgement and intuition.  If I don’t like something/someone and it gives me a feeling of uneasiness, then I’ll do my darndest to keep J from interacting with that thing/person.  Hopefully my mama intuition won’t lead me astray. So far, so good 🙂

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Do what you’ve gotta do – Adventures in feeding

Most days J will eat anything – especially if an adult is eating it too.  He’ll eat almost anything off of a “big person” fork or spoon.  Funny how early on they realize that what you have is probably better than what they have.

Tonight he wasn’t having it though, did not want to sit in the highchair… at. all.  Only got a few bites into him before he was relentlessly screaming and fighting to spin around in the chair. OK, we get it, this isn’t going to work tonight.

So get him cleaned up and out in the play room with me while the hubby finished scarfing down his own dinner. 

J has always been a mobile kiddo.  From 6 weeks old he wanted to stand.  No sit, not lay, STAND.  So we learned very early on that if he’s standing, he’s probably happy.  Hence the Adventures in feeding began!  Multi-tasking is already a must if you are a parent, you just never quite realize to what extent!

So tonight was no exception, simply add feeding into the playtime equation and TA-DA!  Victory.  

His meal time went a like this:

Walk sideways back and forth in front of the bay window while babbling and slapping the seat as I sat on one side with a yogurt and skillfully finagled spoonfuls into his moving (but wide open) mouth each time he came my direction.  Hooray! One yogurt down the hatch successfully and without whining and yogurt flying about the room.

Then we moved onto the rolling walker and carrots.  As daddy aimed him one direction or the other across the room, I had a spoonful of orange goop ready and waiting for J to “pay his toll” before he could continue on his path across the room.  Woo!  Carrots down!

In the midst I also managed to become the human napkin – as we all do at one time…or always – so there wasn’t any clean up even!

Another successful feeding time in the Adventures of Feeding, hurrah!

That doesn’t work

I don’t know about other mama’s out there, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone -anyone really – tells me that the way I do things with my child is the wrong way, or that my way “doesn’t work”. UGH!

For example, I love my hubby dearly, but he did this to me tonight:

As part of J’s bedtime routine, his sound machine plays music while I nurse him and 99% of the time he falls soundly asleep with no problem.

Tonight though was one of the nights that nothing I do seems to be working as per the norm and I had to call in Daddy after 15+ minutes of trying to get J to settle into sleep.

To preface this, as we turned on his music and got him into jammies, Hubby told me that he doesn’t usually use the sound when he puts J to sleep – but then again Daddy sings to him, so why would he need the music playing too?  Me, I’m not a singer, especially at 2 am, so I’ve not gotten into the habit of singing J to sleep.

So back to tonight’s bedtime routine…As I walk out of the room into the lights of the kitchen, squinting as usual, the Hubby turns to me and says “I told you the music doesn’t work.”

*******insert silent 4 letter words here*******

Just because it didn’t work this one time in the last 100 times means that my routine “doesn’t work” all of a sudden?!?!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

Now I’m sure that I’ve also done the same thing to him, probably more times than I could count, but why do we always feel the need to correct another parents actions? Even when that parent is the mother/father of your own child?

I think judgement is one of those things that is incredibly hard to quiet.  It seems that in every aspect of anyone’s life, the inert desire or automatic response to any action or response that differs from your own triggers the reaction of immediate judgement.

I admit, I am certainly guilty of this, especially towards other parents or children – more so before I had a kiddo of my own – but still, it was there and probably always will be.

I remember back to when my friends were having children before I’d even gotten married, and all the judgement I’d passed onto them for the decisions they made or the reasons they did the things they did.  Where I thought that I knew anything about their situation, who knows…judgement just reared it’s ugly head without so much as a thought.

I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there judging me for the things I do, the actions I take, the way I raise my kid.  For the most part I really don’t care.  My life, my decisions, etc. etc.  But every once in a while something cuts through and cuts deep.

You want to believe that they way you’re raising your child is the best way you know how and that there aren’t any “better” ways out there that are of any consequence.  Most of us do the best with what we know.  We teach, love, listen, and grow alongside our children as they will eventually become a mirror image of how they were raised.

Here’s to thicker skin, and maybe a little more patience to let it roll off 🙂