Father's Day 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Last year Bert and I bought these matching shirts for him and Joe for Father's Day. This year, Bert is big enough to wear it!

In the past year, Joe was told his son had a motor development delay, so Joe asked what he could do to help Bert. He was told Bert needed OT and PT, so Joe took him (and continues to take him). He learned from the therapists what he could do to help Bert at home, so he got what Bert needed to work with him. He got the orthotics, he went to the MRIs, he takes Bert to swim therapy class, and he encourages him every day. Joe has never once complained, felt sorry for himself, or acted too proud to have a son who needs extra help. He just does what needs to be done. It’s because Joe is humble, he’s kind, he’s hardworking, and he loves us a lot.

For Father’s Day this year, Joe got take out because his wife is expecting a baby (last week 🙄). He got no special trips or events or meals. But he acted like it was the best day ever. It’s not true, it wasn’t, but Joe is the best dad ever. Bert (and the other one) are so blessed God sent them to Joe. They will never know what it’s like to have anything but the most loving, giving, fun, adventurous, humble, helpful dad.

Father Jack

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Bert says several words that he associates with church: God, “cheech” (church), and Jesus. (I attribute this to divine intervention as well as the fact he was born on the feast day of Saint John Vianney and definitely not to anything Joe and I have done. 😂) Lately, though, when talking about “cheech” he has begun saying another word that sounds like “dack.” Honestly, it sounds like what he says for dog and duck, and I have been struggling to figure out how dogs or ducks fit on a list with God, church, and Jesus.

Until yesterday.

As he was reciting his litany: God, cheech, dack, Jesus, I finally realized … “dack” is “Father Jack” the  outstanding priest at our amazing church, Saint Monica. I love how Bert smiles when he knows we have FINALLY realized what it is he’s been trying to tell us all along: God, church, Father Jack, and Jesus. (In that order, I’ll add!)

Diaper Fairy

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

(I received a complimentary bag of Pampers Baby Dry diapers from Pampers US and Influenster in exchange for a fair and honest review. All views expressed are my own!)

A week or so ago, I turned to Joe and said, “So I guess we’re waiting for the diaper fairy to show up” because we were (still are!) expecting a newborn baby any moment and had not purchased one. single. diaper.

Turns out the joke was on me, as my mom showed up with a bag of Pampers size newborn and a couple days later I received a bag of Pampers Baby-Dry size 1 diapers in the mail. So I guess diaper fairies do exist?

For Bert’s daily wear, we buy the Members Mark diapers from Sam's Club. However, Bert, being the angel that he is, has been sleeping 10-12 hour stretches through the night for a long time now, and a regular diaper just can’t get the job done. For overnights, we turn to Pampers Baby Dry. They keep Bert totally dry all night long and prevent any wet pajama or bed sheet mishaps, which make for a more peaceful morning. We plan to have baby brother follow the same plan … when and if he ever gets here. 🙄

Oh, and the pic of Bert at 1 month old shows how well the diapers fit … and how not well his clothes fit since he was just so dang long! 😂

Gifts for Expectant Moms

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My life can be boiled down to one main thing right now: waiting.

I feel like hanging a sign around my neck that says “I feel okay. Yes, I’m still pregnant. No, I don’t know when he’s coming.” 😂 What’s funny is that baby 2 isn’t even due till Monday, so I’m not even late! But Bert came at 39 weeks, 1 day, so this is officially the longest I’ve ever been pregnant.

While I’m waiting, I thought I’d write a little something about gifts for an expectant mom who is still in this late third trimester period of waiting. A year ago I wrote a piece on nine things new moms need at home, but today’s mini-list is specifically for moms whose babies aren’t here quite yet and who could desperately use a little pick-me-up.

Here’s my advice:

- A convenience bag. I didn’t even know this was a thing, but I happened to see one last month on Amazon. Essentially it’s a bag that holds everything a new mom would need for the hospital: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. ALL IN ONE BAG! Now she doesn’t have to assemble one herself. I got mine on Amazon for less than $20!

- Meals! Sure, it’s great and very much appreciated to take new moms meals after the baby is born, but my friend Lyndsey brought us a meal last weekend, and man did l appreciate it. My worst, most exhausted time of day is dinnertime to bed time, and not having to think about dinner is GREAT!

- A gift card for a haircut. If you know where mom likes to get her hair cut, get her a gift card! Who knows when she’ll have time to get her next cut after baby gets here, so giving her the gift of one now is priceless.

- A gift card for a pedicure. Not only does the water and relaxation feel amazing, but frequently mom’s feet are swollen both before and after pregnancy, and it can make her feel so much nicer to look at those puffy, swollen feet with some pretty polish. If she has a place she likes to go, perfect. If she doesn’t or you don’t know, research something with good reviews close to her house!

Moms, what would you add? 

The Meaning of "Brave"

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I hear adults call children “brave” or “fearless” all the time when they easily want to do new things as little ones — things like jump into the pool, slide down a big slide, or swing on the swings.

I think it’s just as brave when a child listens to his or her own body and heart and is a bit more tentative at first to try something new.

Bert is an active child for sure, but it takes him a few exposures before he is comfortable trying something new like pools or slides or swings. It’s just his personality, the way God created him. And it’s a fine way to be. It doesn’t make him any less adventurous, brave, cool, or fun.

Parents of other children who bravely listen to their bodies that say “not yet” at first — your kids are brave too. How many of us as adults don’t listen to our own guts sometimes?

The Gift of Slowing Down

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Our world puts such an emphasis on speed. We want our question answered NOW, we want our drive-thru coffee NOW, and we better not have to wait more than .001 of a second for that webpage to load.

I am so guilty of this myself. Sometimes it is harmless (although patience is a virtue, and it’s one I need to cultivate), but I’ve recently noticed a GLARING place in my life where me wanting things on my schedule is not harmless; in fact, it is extremely harmful. And that is with Bert.

Bert is a toddler, as well as a developing walker, so needless to say he is not bound by any schedule. This means that when I ask him to walk to the car so we can head to the grocery store/library/church, in my head I mean WALK 👏🏻 TO 👏🏻 THE 👏🏻 CAR 👏🏻, but in Bert’s head this means “Collect two monster trucks, say bye to Jane Austen, say ‘car’ 15 times without actually heading there, get sidetracked by three things in the garage, watch the garage door go up, ask if Owen (his friend) is coming, happen to catch a glance of an airplane flying by ...” You get what I’m saying.

This happens any number of times in any number of situations throughout the day: going to the car, walking up the steps for a nap, heading to the kitchen to eat lunch. Bert is just strolling along living his life, while I am usually looking at the ceiling and whining some version of “BERT PLEASE JUST GOOOOOO.”

I’ve been doing this far longer than I care to admit before finally realizing the other day how bad I’ve gotten. I had to take a hard look at myself and ask myself why I am so bothered by Bert’s dilly-dallying and refusal to follow my time schedule (if you ask me) or enjoying a slow pace of life (if you ask him) — the answer was in the question.

Bert is not over here trying to make us late for the doctor. He is a new little person who is learning about and noticing things in the world for the first time. My responsibility is to leave us enough time to get where we need to go on time. And truthfully, how often do we really HAVE to be somewhere on time? Church, therapy, the doctor, sure, but those things are far less frequent than nap, lunch, or playing outside with a friend.

Bert is laid back, and he likes to say goodbye to Jane, take detours to kiss his trucks good night, and touch a few things in the garage on the way to the car. It’s frequently maddening to me — someone who just wants to GET. THINGS. DONE. NOW. — but for Bert, it’s who he is. It’s not a sign of disrespect, lack of caring, or some other negative thing. It’s him enjoying the wonder of a world that is so new and fun to him.

It is likely that, like the rest of us, he will one day experience the stress and anxiety of a fast-paced world where everything is NOW NOW NOW. But I don’t need to force that upon him at age not-quite-two by pressuring him to walk a little faster to the steps for nap time. Even more so, I don’t need to be the cause of his stress or anxiety because he senses I am upset with him but has no idea why. Instead, it is I who should learn from Bert and slow down a bit, maybe take a look at what is just so necessary about making sure you have a monster truck in each hand before getting into the car.

I think there is a beautiful secret there that he knows and has been trying to tell me. Bert, I’m listening now.

Proof of Mom

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

I’m bigger this pregnancy than last, I’ve always hated how my nose looks in profile, and is it just me or does everyone think their hair looks better in the mirror than it actually does?! 

But I recently read busytoddler talk about #proofofmom — about us moms getting in pictures and not just being behind the camera. Most pictures of Bert are him alone or him with Joe, and I’m usually the one taking them. It’s like I don’t even exist in the record of my own family. It has to stop. Joe took these two recently, and I treasure them both. 

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