Monday, February 28, 2011

Grandparents are the Best

We went to Helena this weekend to visit my parents. I have to admit that I had ulterior motives for going as I hate doing taxes and my dad has always helped me. That said, I love going to visit them. They own a really great house up in the woods with tons of things for Mattaya to explore. I grew up in a National Park and spent my childhood immersed in Nature. This is something that I want for my kids and since we live in the city, it is great that they have my parents house to get the Nature experience. There are rocks for her to climb, trees to swing from, and my dad even put a slide in the side of a hill. She has a blast. In the winter there is not much to do, especially when it was as cold as it was this weekend. We went to the carousel and had ice cream  and it was a blast. No matter the season my parents make each visit special and fun.

Mattaya LOVES her grandparents. She asks constantly to be with them. When she gets into trouble or has to be disciplined she asks for her Nana. She asks at least a few times a week if she can go to Helena and live with her Grandparents! I am grateful that my parents have taken time to make Mattaya feel special. I know the same will be true with Kellen.

Grandparents are the best!!

Hanging out at my parent's house

Monday, February 21, 2011

Returning to Work

I went back to work about two weeks ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do! Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but it is so hard leaving my kids with other people. Luckily, my mom came out for the first two days and stayed with both of the kids. This turned out to be a good thing as Mattaya ended up sick. The rest of the week went really smoothly. We had a great weekend and then back to work on Monday. This transition was so much easier then after I had Mattaya. I think that I learned a lot from going back to work after her and was more prepared this time. Kellen is going to a friend of mine who is a stay at home mom, so he is getting a lot of love and since I work 4 days a week, I get a lot of extra time with both kids on Fridays.

Here are a few lessons that I learned with both kids that has helped me a ton:

1. If you are breastfeeding start pumping and freezing your milk as soon after you give birth as possible. It takes a while for your body to adapt to pumping so starting early makes it easier once you go back to work. I pump more then Kellen needs, so when he starts eating more, I will still be providing enough. Also, I have about 400 ounces of breast milk frozen, so if I start to dry up, he will get break milk for a longer period of time. I had a hard time pumping with my daughter and she was supplemented with formula from the first day I returned to work. I didn't want that to happen with Kellen, so I really prepared to pump and the work has paid off!

2. Find care that you are comfortable with. I was not comfortable with putting my baby in a daycare. I am grateful that I have such good friends that can watch my babies for me. Mattaya goes to daycare now and she thrives but she needs the structure and interaction that daycare provides. However, she did not go to daycare until she was 1 year old . I had a friend watch her too and it gave me a piece of mind.

3. Get your priorities right. The first thing that I do when I get home is give love to both kids. My husband is my priority, but he understands that the kid's needs are immediate and he can wait a bit. My daughter has had a harder time with me going back to work than my son even though she was in daycare the whole time. I acknowledge her first, give her hugs, then I feed Kellen. Also, house work, dinner, etc., are not as important to me as my kids, so often dinner will be late, or the house will be messy, but my kids are happy.
When I do have to do things, I include my daughter so she gets the time with me she needs. She has helped me cook dinner every night of the last two weeks!

4. Remember that you are always going to be Mommy. This was hard for me to accept after my daughter was born, but now that she is older I have realized that no matter who watches her, she always wants me! The look of joy on her face when I get home from work is priceless.  I know I will always be #1 in her life.

5. Put your husband first. This is hard to do with young kids, but it is God's expectation for us. A child should never replace your husband. Children will eventually grow up and move away. Your husband will be with you until you are old and gray. Children will find their own lives but your husband should be yours. As I stated above, I acknowledge and spend time with the kids right when I get home, but my husband always comes first. I will never put my kids ahead of him. This makes not only my marriage strong, but it also makes my kids happy.

These are just a few things that have helped me. I know there will be more in the months to come!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My family

My Husband Chad:

I am married to the most wonderful guy in the world. We have been together for 12 years and married for 10. He is the best father, husband and friend anyone could ever have. We have lived through high’s and low’s, loss of babies, natural disasters, and so much more. I have been with him my whole adult life and he has taught me so much that I never would have learned on my own. He provides for our family and works so hard for us. I am blessed to have him in my life.

My Daughter Mattaya:
There are so many words to describe my beautiful daughter: happy, full of energy, challenging, sure of herself, confident. She keeps me on my toes. Everyday she brings me joy. She constantly is challenging my convictions and showing me my flaws, but she loves me anyway. She just turned three last weekend and she is definitely in her independent streak. She is a miracle and I thank God everyday for her.
My Son Kellen:
Boys are so different! I have learned so much from this little man in the three short months since he joined our family. He is such a happy baby. He is definitely mama's boy. He loves his sister so much already. I am looking forward to watching he grow and develop into a little man!