Saturday, December 29, 2012

Daniel, go the F*@K to sleep! (a cry for help after a sleepless night)

Dear Daniel,

You've always been such a dream.  So fun, so smart and (seriously) the best sleeper we could have ever asked for.  When you were a baby and we were ready to "cry it out" you just slept.  Your naps were like clockwork and long and sweet. You used to reach for your crib at night because you loved being in it.  Moving to a big boy bed was easy as pie.  Sleeping has never been an issue...  (see exhibit 1)

Until 4 nights ago.

Suddenly, every night is a struggle.  You don't want to go to sleep unless we are either in your bed or in your chair.  You struggle against sleep for as long as possible, constantly popping your head up to make sure we're there.  While the "5 minute" rule has worked for as long as I can remember, you suddenly freak out after we try to leave, screaming and crying (and more screaming).

But, during bedtime, you eventually fall asleep.

And then sometime between 1:30am and 3:00am some kind of secret sleep demon sneaks into your body and turns you into a complete lunatic.  What is this?  Where did this sleepless child come from and how the hell to we make him go away and return our Daniel to us?

Last night was the worst.  We were up with you from 1:58am until Daddy eventually got into bed with you at 3:30.  You screamed at the top of your lungs the entire time.  I didn't get back to sleep until after 4:30.  Yes, 4:30am!  Amazingly Lucy didn't wake up - but I can imagine that our neighbors did.

We read a part of a book that tells us that locking you into your room is better than hurting you.  I said "hurting?  are you kidding? who on earth would do that?".  But after 2 hours of that crap, I can totally understand why that author says it.

We need help.  We need sleep.

Friday, December 14, 2012

No More Pull-Ups(?)

Last night Daniel told us that he is no longer going to sleep in pull-ups.  Period.  End of story. (we've been talking about making the move for about a month but I have a feeling that the footed Superman pajamas that come with a cape may have given him that extra boost of confidence he needed to just go for it!)

And so he's not.

And when he woke up at 6am, his underpants and his bed were dry.

If this turns out to be as easy and quick as his potty training, he should win some kind of Big-Boy-Potty-User-of-the-Year Award.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When I'm 14

The two block walk to school allows for some of the best conversations with Daniel. Yesterday he told me that it was so foggy that he had to wear his new headlamp in order for us to find the school (Chanukah gift courtesy of his Uncle ChiChi and Aunt Yaya):


Lately Daniel likes to talk about the future.  Specifically when he's "really really big.  When I'm 14, Mommy!" And today he told me about some seriously big plans:

Daniel: "When I'm 14 I'm going to be really really strong and I will lift up a house!"
Me:  "No way, man!  Only Superman can lift up a house"
Daniel pauses and thinks about that for a minute or so and then we pass an iron fence.
Daniel:  "When I'm 14 I will be so strong that I will be able to break this fence! I will break this fence and then walk through it, Mommy!"
Me:  "Wow.  That will be something to see.  When you're 14 we'll come here and try it.  By the way, that's in 11 years."
Daniel:  "Well, when I'm 14 I will be bigger and stronger than you and I will break the fence!"

I hope that he always has this level of confidence.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Two Standout Chanukah Gifts

Let the videos speak for themselves, but Nanny and Papa have killed it in the Chanukah department this year (note to reader:  Matt's bass is not a gift - his gift is finally being able to jam with his son!).  Two of the standout gifts in action:









Friday, December 7, 2012

Writing his Name

Daniel goes to an amazing "school" called the Scandinavian School of Jersey City (see this post from his first day).  We could not ask for a better place for him to spend his days, but he rarely goes into detail about his days there (we just know he loves it).

Today we had a parent/teacher conference and they gave us this picture - his first time attempting his name all by himself.  I cried.


So, I asked Daniel to tell me how he spells his name, which he did.  I then told him I wanted to film him spelling his name for the blog.  Which he did... kind of:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Last Night of Breastfeeding


Tonight was it.  The end of the boob party for Lucy.

Let's be honest, this is also the end of the most beautiful thing I do at the end of every day and I can't even begin to pretend that it's easy for me.  Yes, I cried while nursing her tonight.  Yes, I'm already in bed (it's 8:30pm) feeling sad and lonely.  But, it's time to do it and I just want to make sure to record my feelings.

I've been weaning Lucy for a while now and have taken my sweet time doing so.  Since going back to work in a different role than I left, I knew that I wouldn't be traveling and it allowed me to nurse Lucy for just a little longer than I was able to do with Daniel.  I didn't expect to keep it going for 10 months, but now that I'm saying goodbye to it, it feels way too short.

Lucy latched on immediately and nursed perfectly from day one (complete opposite from Daniel with whom I went through nursing hell for six weeks before everything clicked).  She was super loud and would make high pitched sighing sounds as she nursed when she was an infant.  One night when my mother-in-law was spending the night to help us, we both just started laughing because of the noise and she told me that I could never bring Lucy into a movie theater while nursing.

Lucy was also an extremely aggressive nursing baby.  She kind of thrashed around to get to my boob and really attacked that milk!  And, above all, she was (and probably still will be) a serious PINCHER.  That girl could almost draw blood with those finger tips.  I usually had black and blue marks on my chest and upper arms from her aimlessly pinching my skin.  I would gasp in pain... though now I think it's kind of cute.  I remember that Daniel used to softly and lovingly play with my hair while I nursed him.  This girl could not have been more different!

I hope I always remember a little bit of nursing her... not only the pinching, but the way she would laugh while nursing and how, lately, she dives into my chest when she's getting hungry or tired.

I have loved every second of nursing both of my kids (errr... ok, not that first six weeks with Daniel) and I feel so fortunate for being able to do so for so long.  Since I doubt I'm having any more children, I'm likely saying goodbye to it forever which is probably why I'm so emotional now.

I'll always think of the hours upon hours that I spent alone in a room nursing my children as a gift that only I truly know about or understand - no matter what I write or say - because it was only me and them, only our thing.

And now that I got that over with, I'm happy to return to normal bras, smaller boobs (I pray!)  and no more questions that go like this: "Matt, do you think I drank too much to nurse Lucy?".



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One from the Vault

I recently started using the Android phone that my company gave me last year and I found this video that I must have taken around Chanukah 2011.  Two things stood out:
1.  Things happen so quickly with these children that I barely remember Daniel's stitched together speech.  His vocabulary is so off the charts now that I can't believe that there was a time that I had to translate what he was saying.
2.  Daniel has (sadly) been in a particularly strong "anti-cuddle" kick lately so the sweetness in this video nearly made me cry






Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Couldn't Have Said it Better

I've wanted to post something about this for so long but never had the time (or courage).  I spent most of Daniel's first 3 years hiding from a camera because I didn't like the person I saw and I so dearly regret that now.  This article says everything I would have said (and much more eloquently, I'm sure!).

Now I just have to get Matt to snap away. Grab your tissues and read on....

The Mom Stays in the Picture

by Allison Tate
Courtesy of the Huffington Post
LINK to original published story

Last weekend, my family traveled to attend my oldest niece's Sweet Sixteen party. My brother and sister-in-law planned this party for many months and intended it to be a big surprise, and it included a photo booth for the guests.
I showed up to the party a bit late and, as usual, slightly askew from trying to dress myself and all my little people for such a special night out. I'm still carrying a fair amount of baby weight and wearing a nursing bra, and I don't fit into my cute clothes. I felt awkward and tired and rumpled.
I was leaning my aching back against the bar, my now 5-month-old baby sleeping in a carrier on my chest (despite the pounding bass and dulcet tones of LMFAO blasting through the room) when my 5-year-old son ran up to me.
"Come take pictures with me, Mommy," he yelled over the music, "in the photo booth!"
I hesitated. I avoid photographic evidence of my existence these days. To be honest, I avoid even mirrors. When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince. I know I am far from alone; I know that many of my friends also avoid the camera.
It seems logical. We're sporting mama bodies and we're not as young as we used to be. We don't always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe (ducking). The kids are so much cuter than we are; better to just take their pictures, we think.
But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?
Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen. People, including my children, don't see the way I make sure my kids' favorite stuffed animals are on their beds at night. They don't know how I walk the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a special day. They don't know that I saved their side-snap, paper-thin baby shirts from the hospital where they were born or their little hospital bracelets in keepsake boxes high on the top shelves of their closets. They don't see me tossing and turning in bed wondering if I am doing an okay job as a mother, if they are okay in their schools, where we should take them for a vacation, what we should do for their birthdays. I'm up long past the news on Christmas Eve wrapping presents and eating cookies and milk, and I spend hours hunting the Internet and the local Targets for specially-requested Halloween costumes and birthday presents. They don't see any of that.
Someday, I want them to see me, documented, sitting right there beside them: me, the woman who gave birth to them, whom they can thank for their ample thighs and their pretty hair; me, the woman who nursed them all for the first years of their lives, enduring porn star-sized boobs and leaking through her shirts for months on end; me, who ran around gathering snacks to be the week's parent reader or planning the class Valentine's Day party; me, who cried when I dropped them off at preschool, breathed in the smell of their post-bath hair when I read them bedtime stories, and defied speeding laws when I had to rush them to the pediatric ER in the middle of the night for fill-in-the-blank (ear infections, croup, rotavirus).
I'm everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won't be here -- and I don't know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now -- but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.
When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don't look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her -- her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That's the mother I remember. My mother's body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn't care that she didn't look like a model. She was my mama.
So when all is said and done, if I can't do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.
I will save the little printed page with four squares of pictures on it and the words "Morgan's Sweet Sixteen" scrawled across the top with the date. There I am, hair not quite coiffed, make-up minimal, face fuller than I would like -- one hand holding a sleeping baby's head, and the other wrapped around my sweet littlest guy, who could not care less what I look like.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lucy's Story

Dear Lucy,
I promised myself that I would record your life on this blog just as much as I did for Daniel.  And here we are: exactly 8 months after you entered this world and I'm finally beginning!  So, Lucy, here is your story!

February 4th, 2012:
I like to think that I knew that I was going to go into labor today.  After a super crappy/uncomfortable pregnancy, I was so done and just knew it was going to happen.  I had only gained 13 pounds throughout my entire pregnancy because the only thing I could eat was cereal (not complaining about that - especially since I was the heaviest I've ever been when I became pregnant with you!) and I had been on a very slack bedrest for a month.  Again, I was just DONE.

To set the stage further, Daniel, Daddy and I were all living in the same bedroom all the way down on the bottom floor of our house because the renovation was still not done. I knew that I would be bringing you home into a construction zone and that your "nursery" would a bedroom shared by all of us with nothing remotely "nursery" about it.  One room, 4 people.  This was the room that we enjoyed our last nights with Daniel as an only child and the ease of the bedtime ritual while Daniel was still sleeping in the crib and not negotiating with us for 20 minutes about "sitting in the chair for 5 more minutes".  In fact, our life was like this:



February 5th (actual due date!), 2012, 2:36AM:
My water broke with a huge POP, a huge GUSH and a massive gasp of fear from my mouth!  My water breaking with such ferocity was overwhelming and I started to panic.  I ran into the shower (thanks to my dear friend whose 2nd baby came so quickly that she delivered her in the bathtub I knew that being in the shower would be the easiest place to clean!) and told Daddy to get our shit together because I was in labor!  Daddy was half asleep and started wandering around aimlessly and returned to the bathroom to tell me that he had just turned on the oven to make cookies for the nurses (something we did with Daniel).  I may have asked him if he was insane and that we did not have time.  "Call your brother!" I screamed.  Miraculously, Uncle Dave walked in the door about 2 minutes later (no exaggeration.. I still have no idea how he made it so fast!).

We got in the car with towels and headed to Lenox Hill Hospital on the WAY upper east side of Manhattan.  My contractions were about 5 minutes apart.  As we drove up 3rd Avenue it was about 3:15am and drunk people were on the streets looking for cabs.  I thought it was hilarious that they were probably trying to get laid and I was about to give birth!  We parked in the garage... which is 2 blocks from the hospital!... and I waddled to the emergency room with one or two stops for contractions along the way and a trickle of amniotic fluid following behind me on the sidewalk.

Once admitted, I immediately told the nurses that I wanted an epidural (again, something I did not want  with Daniel but you had measured big the entire pregnancy AND you were "sunny side up" on my last OB visit... things that could mean a long and painful labor).  Daddy hooked up his phone to the sound system and started playing DJ.  I had to wait a little while for the epidural and my contractions starting coming every 3 minutes... and they were fierce!  The nurse checked me and told me that I was fully effaced but only dilated 3cm.  WHAT?  Only 3cm? It felt like you were about to come out of me and I was only 3cm!  Again, bring on the epi!

Finally I was ready to get the epidural.  Daddy left the room (they made him) and the needle goes in quickly and easily.  I immediately threw up and then they laid me down and BOOM.  The drugs took affect and it was AMAZING!  Oh my G-d did I love it.  I can't believe that I didn't feel this with Daniel.  I asked the nurse and the Anesthesiologist if either of them watched "Intervention" because I thought that I had just figured out what junkies must feel the first time they use whatever drug they are hooked on.  Then I proceeded to tell them (over and over again) how wasted I was!  It was awesome.

Me in my epidural heaven!
Less than one hour later, my amazing OB checked on me and I was ready to push and that you had turned and were facing the right way.  Yes, that's right.  Less than one hour. That means that had I not had the epidural I would have probably pushed you out onto the floor while I was laboring.  Also a nice "told you so" to Daddy because I knew as soon as my water broke that we had to get our asses to the hospital because you were coming fast!  After a "practice push" ("What? Didn't I just get here!" I said) my OB had my epidural "topped off" which was good because the intense pressure was already coming through.  5 minutes later she said, "OK, let's start pushing".  I was in complete shock that it was happening so fast.  Daddy decided to switch up the tunes.  The room was super chill, everyone was calm and I was ready to find out who you were!

2 pushes and one "blow like you're blowing out birthday candles" and, at 7:35am, you entered the world.  2 pushes.  The nurse put you on my chest with your tush to my face and all I said was "are those balls or is that a vagina?"  Laughter ensued.  I repeated "no really.  are those balls or a vagina".  Nurse said, "you asked us not to tell you because you want your husband to say it."  Daddy said "I don't know either!".  Everyone laughs and they told us that you are a girl.  A NINE POUND, ONE OUNCE GIRL!


You were perfect, to say the least.  You were HUGE, as well.  9 pounds, 1oz!  2 pushes and a blow??  Unreal!  You latched on immediately and nursed perfectly.  We named you Lucy Faye.  Lucy because I've always loved the name.  Faye after your great-grandmother who was married to your great-grandfather  Bing (Daniel's middle name and the name of this blog).


Meeting your big brother for the first time!
In the same "going home" outfit as Daniel wore, as Daddy wore, as Uncle Richie wore and as Uncle Dave wore
You came into the world on time (your actual due date) and determined.  Sounds kinda like me!  You, me and Daddy finally made it to our room at the end of the hall just in time for the Superbowl to start.  The Giants won.



Monday, September 3, 2012

Things I Will or Will Not Do (on the eve of returning to work)



I've been home from work for 8 months and tomorrow is my first day back.  One month of bed rest, 6 months of maternity leave (THANK YOU, JOB!) and one month of un-paid leave (again, THANK YOU, JOB!) has allowed me to spend a beautiful time with my family.   It's truly been a gift!


I haven't blogged but for one or two posts my entire maternity leave and while I have felt guilty almost every day because of it, I realize that instead of blogging about my life with my children, I have actually just been focusing on living in it.  I've also realized that being home with two kids and a husband allows very little time to sit in front a computer so I bet that I back-log quite a bit in the coming weeks.

Today I started thinking about all of the things I hope to do (or not do) when I go back to work... kind of like New Year's Resolutions.  I seriously doubt that I am listing anything that any working mom/parent doesn't already feel, but this is for my kids to read one day and I want them to know everything I'm feeling.

So here's what I hope to be, do and achieve (along with some of my most favorite pictures of my family):

I will be the best Mom and Wife that I can possibly be by being present when I'm home and working hard when I'm away to make it all worth it (the hardest thing to do).


I will thank my husband every day for taking care of our children and home (if I don't do that, someone slap me!).


I will not feel guilty for working and being away (yeah, right).


I will not feel guilty for wanting to work (possibly doable).


I will leave my office crap on the doorstep before I enter my home each night and not surround my family with it (hmmm... that's a tough one but definitely something to strive to achieve).


I will think about my children crawling around the floor making each other laugh every time I feel sad about being away (this happened tonight when Daniel was making Lucy crawl after him.  They were both cracking up and it happened to happen when we were video chatting with my parents.  Quite an awesome night).

I will wake up early to run or do pilates in the morning (oh please, let it be!).


I will read books to my children before they go to bed with energy and love and not be thinking about work while doing so.

I will trust my husband to take as good care of our family as I could (or better) and won't micromanage him (oy! the micromanaging part of that one is REALLY hard - but I'll do it!).

I will stop being so dramatic and just go back to work! (no way will I ever stop being dramatic.  Let's get real, people!)

I will remember that there really is no such thing as true "balance".  Something will always have to give but I will strive to rarely let that "something" be my family (I'm being realistic and honest here - every once in a while it's going to happen... and that's OK).

My children and my husband are everything I could ever ask for.  I am blessed.  I WILL always know that.


















Sunday, July 1, 2012

Conversation

Driving up to Chi-Chi and YaYa's wedding (Daniel was halfway dressed as Superman...something quite normal these days thanks to this gift from Mimi):

Daddy:  Daniel, what's your favorite sport?
Daniel:  Dinosaurs!
Daniel:  And lions!
Daniel:  I'm LOVE dinosaurs and lions!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The First Night


There have been huge changes in the Land of Bing over the last 4 months.  Mainly the arrival of Daniel's little sister, Lucy Faye and Daniel's entry into the world of big brotherhood.

And while I obviously have a lot to say about both of those events, this post is about something else:
My lovely family's first night in our own bedrooms since October 2011!

Yup, that's right.  First Matt, Daniel and I slept in the same room while the top two floors of our home were being renovated.  Then little Lucy showed up and the house was still not done so ALL of us slept in that room.  Until tonight.  Daniel gave his baby sister his crib and he is in his new big boy room and in his big boy bed.  Lucy is sleeping in a real crib for the first time in almost 4 months.


Daniel corrects me when I say that he's my "baby boy".   He says "No mommy.  I'm a big boy" and tonight proved it.  He crawled into his bed, told us that the monogrammed letters said Daniel Bing and then had Matt stay in his room for about an hour until he fell asleep (not surprising).

While sleeping in the same room  and falling asleep to the breathing of my babies was sweet for a while, as soon as they started waking each other up at 5:30am I was over it.  But now that Daniel is (finally) asleep and Lucy looks so small in Daniel's crib, my heart aches a little that those babies won't be so close to me at night.