Monday, November 24, 2014

the tale of the un-fun mom

I have never been a "laid back" mom, and I really set it up that way. It's probably the fact that while I was pregnant with Naomi I devoured Baby Wise like a fiend and had a very strict and serious plan in mind to implement once she entered the world- I came into this whole mothering thing with my game face on, and it's pretty much been there ever since.  I knew how I wanted my newborn to sleep, I knew how I wanted to approach discipline and I wanted my kids to take me seriously, not walk all over me. These are not necessarily bad things in and of themselves, but I think they are backfiring a bit on me a bit now, 4 kids into the game.

I can relax and be laid back with friends and family, and I am all sorts of silly with Mike- I even make him laugh occasionally, but when it comes to me with my kids, I very much doubt that "goofy", "silly" and "funny" would be words they use to describe me. I have made it a habit to be pretty serious with them, and while they make me laugh lots of the time, I am rarely the one making them laugh. One of the girls remarked recently that "daddy was the funny one, not mommy", and they are so right when it comes to mother-Ana. So why am I bringing this up now? Isn't this how I wanted it to be? Don't I feel confident in my identity with my children? Not really, not any more. I am feeling the need for a change.

Don't get me wrong, I think I am a good mom. I work hard for my kids, I am affectionate with them and take pretty damn good care of them, I even smile sometimes! But you will never have to worry about knocking on my front door and catching me mid-tickle-tackle with the kids, because it rarely happens. I am just too tired and there are too many other things to do, right? Well, those are my typical excuses, but I am coming to realize that it takes a surprisingly small amount of effort to tickle a child, they really just want you to sit in one spot and they'll keep coming back for more- it's great! And I made a grand discovery recently that little girls love to play with hair, which is simultaneously incredibly relaxing for me and super fun for them. The results are also stunning:

It was Lucy's favorite.

Being a fun mom is not a feat I have accomplished, it is one I really want to work on and one that I have seen fruit come from when I have actually succeeded in some small way. Tackling Lucy and tickling her until she gets the hiccups has brightened both of ours days at least a few times as of late. The other night I shocked the girls with silly faces and they belly laughed even harder than they would have if Mike were doing it, because Mom is actually being funny (!!) they didn't know what to do.

Obviously there needs to be a balance, but I am not worried about not being able to be serious enough, I've really shown my strengths in that area. The fun mom department is a side of mothering I want to cultivate and work on, for the general good of all of us. When my kids are grown and remembering how I was with them when they were little, I would love it if an image of me making funny faces came to their minds, or thoughts of me tackling them and tickling them until they pee a little (gross, sorry). I'd rather them remember me with seventeen bows in my hair smiling instead of something akin to this:

Only I'm the lunch Nazi.
They deserve that, and I do too, because there is way too much to enjoy about motherhood, and I want to make sure that all of us actually do.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

in thanksgiving for their friendship

A small disclosure: I am a part of the Netflix Stream Team and have included them in this post, which I will be doing monthly as a part of the team. However, this is content I would have blogged about either way and since Netflix is already a central part of our days, it works out well.

I know we're a week out from Thanksgiving, but let me be all mushy and sentimental for a brief blog post, in the spirit of being thankful.

The last 3 months has been a wonderful whirlwind of very little sleep, lots of screaming, even more laughing, and tons of love. Joseph's birth has brought a new level of gratitude to my heart for so many things, but right at the top would be the friendship that my girls have with each other, which I pray will last for their lives.

I always knew that I wanted to have a lot of kids, just based on my great experience of siblings in my own big family. I am one of eight kids and I've made hosts of friends in my different phases of life, but the friendships I have in my siblings are the ones that have really endured. I get so excited when I see the girls having their own little inside jokes and secrets that they don't want me to know, even though I have to pretend to be sad to not be included. I love that home schooling enables them to be together throughout the day while they're still so small and forming these little relationships.

Naomi and Bernadette have the ability to pretend together for impressive periods of time and while I was worried about Lucy getting left out of the little clique that the older two have, they have effortlessly and happily ushered her right in, which warms my heart and frees my hands to nurse the baby, nurse the baby, and nurse the baby. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Naomi now gets Lucy dressed whenever Lucy will permit it, as well as getting her coat and shoes on and strapping her into her car seat. Awesome much? Yes.

We had a little art class/play date with some friend recently and when both older girls made sure to include each other on their "thankful feathers" I gave myself a little pat on the back, and maybe teared up a little, sap that I am.

In the spirit of a their friend-trio and in an effort to not just show them tons of Christmas movies before Thanksgiving even gets here, I found Mickey's 3 Musketeers on Netflix Streaming and indulged them a movie watch, because how else could hash out this little "friendsgiving" post to document their sweetness.

The fights, oh how they happen, and on some days with equal frequency as the happiness, but I know that is all a part of the sibling-friend adventure, for which I am so SO very thankful.

Friday, November 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Joining Kelly for some quick takes, head over there for lots more Friday fun, and probably fewer complaints about weather!

1) So this happened yesterday:

Since this picture at least a few more inches have fallen. In her excitement Naomi was sure that "it hadn't snowed in YEARS!!". I assured her that it indeed snowed the better part of this past year, and that it will most likely cotinue snowing for many, many more months. Then I went into a corner and wept. Kidding. Not really.

2) As a result of the extremely scewed sense of time in the minds of the resident small people, the excitement over playing in the snow has abounded over the last 2 days. This has resulted in no less than 6 full suit-ups for snow play, each taking at least 30 minutes of prep time and yielding roughly 15 minutes a piece of actual play time and always ending in one or all of the girls screaming about how badly their fingers hurt. At least 3 pairs of mittens are lost under the snow in the back yard and around 20 total cups of hot chocolate have been consumed. It's been great.

3) I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer about the snow, it is pretty it's just that I hate it I'm over it. I had the girls do a snow man craft, which Lucy really nailed:

I read "The Snowy Day" and "The Mitten" and let the girls watch Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer all in the spirit of the First Snow and now I am done. Those were all my fun things having to do with the snow and the reality is that it will be snowing until April- how could that thought NOT make most people at least a little bit depressed?

Wow, 3 quick takes of weather complaints, this blog just reached the heights of horrible. Or wait, can it get worse? Let's talk about sleep training. Yes it can

4) Joseph is still waking up at least a few times a night to cry or eat, but I would say that compared to the hours he clocked in on his first night of training, he is doing a fabulous job. Last night he only fussed for about 30 minutes total, and that was even broken up into several different intervals throughout the night until about 4:30, which happens to be his very worst time of the day.

5) Has anyone else has a baby who gets SUPER gassy and uncomfortable from around 4:30-6:30 a.m.? I know I am casting a very small net here, but I figure it's worth asking. It's rather unfortunate because cry-it-out just does not work when a baby is really, legitimately uncomfortable. The rest of the day he's really fine though, so I am decidedly sure it's not a food allergy. I know it will pass soon, and if 4:30 is my wake time until it does, I should probably just try to embrace some seriously early productivity. But then my name wouldn't be Ana Lazy Hahn.

6) You know else I should do? I should link up with Nell for her week eats link-up. I would be a much more on the ball person if I did, I just don't know if peanut butter and jelly passes for a dinner- does it? I have been really dropping the meal planning ball as of late, it's really bad. It wouldn't be a big deal since Mike and the girls like peanut butter and jelly, but then there are days like today where I don't have all sorts of essentials I need forcing me to make store trips with all 4 in tow in the freezing cold snowy weather today. Oh the looks and the hands full comments, they could not be stopped. Also the number of times Naomi ran into an elderly person- innumerable. I need to meal plan.

7) Picture take. Here's Joseph's morning hair:

A sign of sleeping more than 8 broken hours during the night, say I.

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

out from under my rock

I forgot how to start a blog post so I'm just going to jump right in as if I haven't ignored this little corner of the internet for almost 2 weeks. Prepare yourself for copious boring updates and grainy stolen instagram pictures. I be a goooooood blogger.

A week ago my little sister came for a visit and was the world's best helper, spoiling me just the leeeetle too much. My arms had the most welcome respite, not that I don't love holding 14 pound mini-Mike 24/7, but my muscle-less arms sometimes almost fall off.

I grammed about our consumption of the best donuts this side of the Mississip, but it's worth another mention because these puppies were off the hook:

South Bend people: this is a friendly PSA that Westend bakery donuts are the best in the area, no joke. You're welcome.

Then said sister left and I cried and decided to go ahead and sleep train Sir Joseph, the Sleep Tyrant.
You see, it's not that I don't love blogging and being apart of the blogging world, it's just that me   no   make   many   enough   coherent    sentences    in   head   or   on   blog   with    never   sleep.

Really it has been so SO bad. I would say that I've been averaging between 3-5 highly interrupted hours of sleep a night for the last 3 months and I think my brain has started to melt a little- I often don't know what day it is and was genuinely starting to worry about remembering all 4 kids when out on errands. I think that's the point when you decide to "sleep train" (nice way of saying scream-until-you-sleep), right?

We're only on night 4, so there is still very little sleep and a whole lot of crying, but anything is better than what the nights looked like previously. You want a rundown, don't you? I knew you did.

Between 7:30-8: spend at least 20 minutes rocking him to sleep
Between 8-10: go into him at least 2 to 3 times to get him back to sleep
Midnight (on a good night): up for first feeding, feed him and lay him back down
12:30- he's screaming again, go and pacify back to sleep
3 (on a good night)- awake for another feeding, feed a lay back down
3:15- he's screaming go to pacify to sleep
3:30- screaming more, go in to pacify again
Between 4-5- what's that sound? it's Joseph screaming again, bring him in bed and not fall back asleep because he is the squirmiest, gruntiest sleeper ever
6:30- decide to just get up with him because this is the worst.

He knows I love him.
On the plus side it can only get better, I think.

So now we march forward armed for another night of battle with the tiniest Tyrant and his iron lungs. I'll update you soon on the progress, I promise.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

All Saints Day, baby!

I realize that it is no longer All Saints Day, but indulge me a little recap with gratuitous pictures of small people in adorable saint costumes please. Thank you.

I do very little by way of crafting costumes for this feast day, and it is amazing how a little bit of colored fabric goes a long way. Also props.

Naomi went as Saint Gianna Molla, Bernadette was Saint Agnes, Lucy was, wait for it... Saint Lucy! And Joseph was Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

The kids were so excited about getting in costume and we even attended a great party with the local Catholic home school group. Lots of candy was acquired, which helped a great deal the "why don't WE celebrate Halloween, mom?!?" question, because- candy- does it really matter?!

But seriously, I have gotten the question a few times about why we don't celebrate Halloween and the long and short of it is that we just like to make a really big deal out of All Saints day. I personally am not an on-the-ball enough mom to make a deal of both days, and I am pretty sure that if I put my energies into Halloween, it would just swallow up All Saints Day, which would be sad to me especially because it is such a huge feast day in the church. So far the girls have not pushed back very much and they enjoy the All Saints day celebration so much, it really works for us and I love keeping the focus on the saints, because they are awesome.

So a happy, happy All Saints and All Souls days to you and yours, and I hope your weekend was fun and celebratory in the best of ways!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Favorites {read aloud books!}

Joining Jenna, the new Five Favorites hostess with the mostest, for some books we love here at the Hahn house.

These are favorites for 2 reasons:
1) I actually enjoy reading them. There are plenty of books I DO NOT enjoy reading: Fox in Socks, most Curious George stories, Clifford or anything like it, and plenty of others. When I actually laugh and or cry during a children's book, I count it as a win for all parties. Also,
2) I like these books/authors as a nice middle ground between long chapter books without many pictures, like Little House on the Prairie or the Narnia books. I have read a few longer chapter books with Naomi and it was always kind of sad how it excluded Bernadette because she just couldn't sit for that long with no pictures. These are great for both girls, even Lucy will sit through some of them.

Here you go:

1) Beatrix Potter's The World of Peter Rabbit My wonderful Mother-in-law got this set for Lucy and Bernadette for their birthdays recently and we have been loving it- ALL of us! I actually laugh during them and love her little plots and how they unfold. The character names and the language make the reading so much more interesting, and it is even more delightful if you read them in an English accent- try it, you will love it.

2) Anatole books I had never heard of these, but Mike must have read them as a kid because he got us the first one and the girls loved it so much that we've been stocking up on others in the set too. The main character in all the books is a mouse who feels bad for stealing food from peoples' homes so he gets a legit job at a cheese factory to make a living for his family- marriage and family, upright living, plus you can read these in a French accent since he is a little French mouse living in Paris- very fun.

3) The Clown of God I LOVE this book, but I can't read it too much because I literally cannot not cry. Such a beautiful story, if you have never read it to your kids I highly recommend it. That's all.

4) Virginia Lee Burton books I love how old-timey these are, I realize how stupid I sound saying that, but it is true. They are classic, the illustrations are great, all the stories are super sweet and for some reason the The Little House makes me cry almost every time. But then I'm a crier.

5) Robert McCloskey books I love Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine the best, but Make Way for Ducklings is great too. We have the set I linked too and some of the longer ones are really fun too.

So there you have it, my children will benefit from this post because now I feel especially motivated to read, read, read tomorrow. Have a lovely Wednesday night! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

excuses, excuses...

What can I say? I am the worst, that's what. Worst blogger evah. But let me try to explain the absence that I am sure no one actually missed.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I blogged about the celebration of the day Lucy was born and that is the last time I let my e-pressence be known via the blogging community. It really feels like that was 2 months ago, not 2 weeks because:

1: The Flu-

Oh my lanta, if being a mother is hard, than being a mom and having the flu- like the full on high fever, body aches and pains, horrible burning throat and throbbing head for no less than 5 days is straight up mother-hell. I haven't had the flu since Mike and I were engaged and I thought I had gotten a flu shot more recently than I had and I was wrong. The day of Lucy's birthday Naomi had a sore throat and fever but the next day was totally fine (because she had gotten the blessed flu shot!!) but then I picked up what she had and the wonder of the flu shot was made manifest- the rest of the family had gotten shots, everyone was fine, everyone but me. Say what you will about immunizations, but I will take 30 flu shots a year if it will spare me that atrocity of a week while trying to care for children. Thankfully I had my new-found Instagram account to keep me company while I lay about the house popping more tylenol than I should and playing more movies on for the girls than I knew I could. Luckily I did not photograph too much of the event save for the above stollen grams for your enjoyment. 

So last Monday was my first day with no fever, and we decided not to put off a planned trip to see our families during Mike's fall break and hastily packed all that morning and left that afternoon. Bringing me to my next excuse which is...

2: Travel. I was not entirely over the flu, but I hadn't had a fever is like half a day so we thought we'd just go. Sound like a bad idea? It sure felt like one. After an insane morning of packing everything we needed and readying the house to leave, we made it out the door around 1 p.m. and the second we got in the car I was sure we had made a giant mistake. Would I infect all of our family members with the flu? I wasn't sure but we were going and the girls were thrilled with our decision.
Joseph could not contain it.

We spent the first few days with Mike's family and it was lovely, and had the special treat of getting to see Hannah's sweet little one:

Then Mike left for a conference in Philadelphia and I holed up at my parents' house and drank too much wine with my little sister, had tons of fun with my older sisters and their kids and the girls had time of their lives:

The flu had indeed gone away and the stay with all the family was really great, not a bad decision in the slightest. but not really conducive to enjoying any time with this great internet community. Plus I didn't bring my computer so... priorities? I don't know, I am back and I hope to never take such a long break from my blog-child again. I know you're weeping with joy.