Day in the Life: Heads Up for Summer 2015

It's that time again! Everyone get ready for a sneak peek into the lives of other bloggers and get ready to document the heck out of a random day in the name of memory preservation. MEMORIES! ;) (My Spring 2015 DiTL found here in case you have no idea what I'm encouraging with this post)

The details:

Any time from today until July 14th you should record your day in detail.

It can be as specific or as general as you want. I personally tend to record these days as a note in my phone, including specific times of day as I'm psychotic with details. Totally not necessary for you to do the same, as simple is probably better and means it's less overwhelming! I try to jot down quotes from the kids, to mention my thoughts as things are happening, and to keep track of the nitty gritty details in a day. I would probably remember enough if I just sat down and tried to type it all a day or two later but I don't trust my mommy brain *that* much. So a note on my phone is a must for me.

Snap pictures as you go along, the easiest method being with your phone but if you are feeling extra energetic, a 'fancy' camera also works for a post like this. Sometimes just taking a screen shot of your phone to remember the time of day, or an email you read, the weather forecast, et cetera is helpful as you write up the posts. I also like the seemingly random pictures of messy houses, meals, receipts, pets, the scenery from your parking lot spot, your house, and so on. Making collages for your pictures is helpful when it's difficult to choose which images to post (always a serious issue for me). Again, get as detailed or as general as you want with the pictures, but I think the mundane details are what makes these posts interesting. Don't forget to get pictures of YOU in this post, either. Get your friends and family involved. Maybe purchase a selfie stick (I just got one and you can bet your butt I'll use it this time!) but step in front of the camera for this post.

(Selfie sticks are hard. I wanted to include this picture as the only one in this post so that it pops up in your Feedly/Bloglovin and makes you chuckle. You're welcome. I actually snapped a 'burst' of approximately 500 like this when trying to learn my S.S. which makes it even better. Technology man.)
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My method is that I just email myself the iPhone 'note' from the day, and then I paste it into my blog post as a foundation. I'll go back and clean it up, elaborate on thoughts/events, and make sure it's written in English instead of just abbreviations from my note. Then I will add the pictures after that. Whatever method works for you though, as there are many ways to write about a single day in your life!

It's a lot of fun to read back on my own posts, and it's also quite entertaining to read everyone else's day. If you want to play along this quarter, here is what to do:

1. Record any day from now until July 14th. Type it up and turn it into a blog post. You can do it!

2. Email me the following to mylifeintransitionblog at gmail dot com by July 15th:

*your blog title,
*your location (state or country is fine),
*the link to your post,
*and please attach the file of the photo you want to be featured in the round up post.

3. I will post everyone's link and picture by July 20th here on my blog. Get the popcorn and clear your schedule for this one!

I love reading these posts from women all around the world, and encourage you to try it even if you aren't a blogger. And it's definitely not just for mommy bloggers, either! You could turn these posts into a photo book, you could let them live online if you have a blog, or you could just look back on them and reminisce about the glory days once life settles down a bit more (ha!). Laura, the original founder of this Day in the Life link up, also records an entire week during one of these quarterly sessions. That is something I've never tackled before, but maybe someday if I'm feeling particularly adventurous. I know she makes those posts into a photo album book and her family is going to greatly appreciate the time it took to record every day events.

I will do these quarterly: January, April, July, and October. You can expect to record your day and post about it in the first fourteen days, send it to me, and I will continue to post the round up by the twentieth of those months.

So pick your day (or week) and get to it!

Fist Bump to the Nukie Fairy

Oh hey, Julia of one (very easy) child? Guess what! Your second kid is going to be a different person, and therefore you are going to be a different mom to her. And you know how you got rid of Truman's pacifier at fifteen months and felt sort of bad that you didn't ditch it at one year like 'they' say you should? Well, Cecelia will need a pacifier for three entire years, so yeah. Go ahead and turn an eyebrow up at your present day self, but dude: every kid is so different!

Someday I will actually learn that concept.

(Thanks for helping me learn, Cecelia!)
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I honestly don't feel too guilty for letting the pacifier stick around this long, because Cecelia needed her self-soothing technique until now. For the past six months or so, we've talked about how the 'Nukie Fairy' was going to come once CC turned three. One night she tried to inform me that, 'maybe she will come when I turn four,' but SORRY, sister. Now is the time. We even had a false start one night a few months ago when Cecelia thought she wanted the fairy to come, but then changed her mind at the end of the bedtime routine when her two remaining pacifiers were sitting in a bowl outside of her bedroom door. She wasn't ready then, but last week she was.

CC has kept her white nukie and her random red 'lips' nukie in a blue bowl, on top of her bed's bookshelf for about a year now. Pacifiers have only been allowed when sleeping (naps and night) OR if she needed a rest (aka recharging and resetting her attitude during a particularly emotional meltdown or twelve each day). Nate and I both knew that removing the pacifier would mean that CC has to deal with her emotions head on and she can't use it to help her fall to sleep, which honestly scared us a little. She was my fantastic nurser who went strong until I weaned her at sixteen months. Sister has always loved her pacifier and must have a very strong suck-to-soothe connection. Or something.

RIP, White Nukie. You were seriously so disgustingly-worn out but I know she loved you.
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RIP, Red Lips Nukie. Picture from April 2014 and sweet baby CC still has baby fat cheeks!! Pacifier is still a joke, not sure why it persisted as one of the two that were not lost over the years.
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We just kept telling her that she is a big girl, and babies need pacifiers, so the Nukie Fairy would come and take them to the babies that need them. I'm not really sure how this concept of a magical fairy became our ticket out of pacifier days, but I'm certain that Cecelia is the one who added the notion of candy being given in exchange for her personal sacrifice. Yes, always with the candy bribes over here. No shame in this game, either.

Friday night (6/19/15 for my psychotic self who needs to remember these things), I simply said to CC at dinner: "Hey! Maybe the Nukie Fairy should come tonight!!! I think you are totally ready to be a big girl and let the babies have your nuks, don't you?" And the fates smiled down upon us when Cecelia excitedly said, 'Yeah!!! And the Nukie Fairy brings me candy!!!!!' Yes, child, she does. Now let's do the dang thing already.

Seriously, so pretty and so stinking BIG. This pictures is 100% Cecelia, in all of her glory.
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So that night we kept talking it up and acted all excited, and I told CC as we got ready for bed that I would call the Nukie Fairy as soon as Cecelia was asleep. And she put her two (well-loved, really ridiculous) pacifiers in her blue bowl and set them outside of her door. She climbed into her bed and held her froggy lovey a little tighter, but was super brave and I was nutso-proud of my big girl already. We reviewed the fact that *if* the Nukie Fairy did bring candy, it would not be allowed until her clock turned yellow....because I could totally see CC waking up at 3 am and checking the bowl, chowing on some Smarties in celebration while we all slept.

That night she fell asleep without a peep. When I went to bed I took the two pacifiers, put them in our buffet (so glad CC cannot read right now!!!), and placed a few random Skittles, one sucker, and one Smartie in the bowl. I also wrote a little note to CC from the NF (Nukie Fairy, so much easier to abbreviate, bear with me) just to make things more official. Nate didn't think I should put the bowl back on the floor outside of Cecelia's room, because Henry would totally rain on the NF's parade as he loves to be the candy thief around here. So I had Nate put the bowl next to CC's clock instead.

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The next morning, I heard CC get up and go to the bathroom around 6:15 and I perked up to hear what she would say. I heard her say, 'she didn't bring me anything' and I jumped up because my heart kind of broke thinking about Cecelia feeling so let down. I told her that the Fairy DID come, but she wanted to put the bowl out of Henry's way, and I showed sister where to look.

As soon as she saw the bowl, her eyes literally started to sparkle. I said, 'Oh my goodness, she even left you a note, CC!' and I read it to her and Truman, since he was also awake and excited about this visit from the magical character land. I gave CC a big hug and said I was so proud of her...and then encouraged her to go back to bed until 6:55 am when her clock turned yellow. Ha, I am not THAT easily swayed from our rigid morning and bedtime routines, lady!

Character.
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Once we all went downstairs, we all really played up the occasion for Cecelia. I had to take pictures so I could show GoGo that the NF visited, we talked about how great it was for little babies to have CC's pacifiers, and sister got to partake in some very early morning candy. Her first nap was fair, just a little whimper here and there when I was tucking her in for her snooze---but I reminded her that she is a big girl and doesn't need the nuks anymore. Lots of encouragement and positive talk, and yes--more bribes for the first two times or so;) Promises of getting one Smartie upon waking from a 'big girl sleep' really seemed to help transition things along the nuk-free path.

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We've had a few bedtimes full of minor tears and whining, asking for the Nuks, and general discontent. Any and all tantrums (we prefer 'emotional moments' as a descriptor, really) have to be managed without comfort sucking. IT SORT OF SUCKS, yes, pun intended but also it's really great to know that CC can deal with emotions and sleeping without the nuk. She's proud of herself and we are, too. Now we just have to continue working on coping mechanisms for crazy intense emotions. But the sleeping part hasn't really changed since she's still going to bed around 7:30-8 and waking around 6 (but stays in bed until that beloved clock is yellow at 6:55). She's still napping 2-3 hours easily. I sort of can't believe the bottom didn't drop out with sleep sans nuk, but hey---what do you know? Sometimes my kids surprise me.

Mostly I feel this big milestone of ditching the pacifier was much much worse in anticipation than reality. I'm sure it helped that we waited until Cecelia really did seem ready and mostly alright with the idea. She was skeptical but very motivated by the candy and also motivated by the concept of babies NEEDING her nuks. She originally wanted to give Porter her white pacifier and a baby at daycare was going to get her red lip pacifier, but alas---Porter hasn't taking a pacifier since he was maybe four months old, and I'm sure that other baby at Lori's is over it now, too!

This isn't to say it was supremely easy and everything is perfect in Cecelia-ville, there is definitely still plenty of whining and stalling at bedtime, and requests for the nuks. But it just hasn't been as bad as I expected as the world did not stop turning without the pacifier and Cecelia didn't crumble into a million pieces without it.

Kind of strange to have zero children with pacifiers anymore. Wah, my babies are so big now!! This is a common theme in my head lately, fiercely holding onto Porter's babyhood while it lasts. Because Cecelia is practically ready for college now that the pacifier is gone.

This doesn't really belong here except both little ones are entirely too adorable in this shot.
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So that is the story about how we ditched Cecelia's pacifier. I know a few of you requested a post about this and I have no idea if our method would work for anyone else. And I'm sure the candy reward is probably not a great idea but it sure did help us. She hasn't even finished the entire bowl of candy yet, five days later, which is surprising but appreciated. And now she is officially Nukie-free!

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

I have always said that Summer is my ultimate favorite season and that feeling is heightened by having a school-aged kid somehow. I mean, my own work schedule isn't changing for the summer but having Truman home each day (with me or with Tony on work days), all sorts of summer activities on the calendar, SUNSHINE and warm weather, long days with late/beautiful sunsets, Nate's summer work hours....it's all the best right now.

Also, I am sitting outside in perfect weather, drinking an iced coffee, while both CC and Porter nail dual naps for going on three hours. So yeah, I might be especially high on life (and caffeine and sunshine) at the moment, but summer is the best.

(sleepy baby made it all morning without a nap, then this!)
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But the pool was so much fun today! (pictures actually from last week, but imagine it was from today--no time to take pictures this time, I guess)
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I feel like it's been awhile since I did a random update on life, nothing really big to report but I'm sure I can still make this a nice, ramble-y post anyway.

After Porter's eleven month post, I had a blog reader send me a link to this blog post written by a pediatric OT. It has lots of ideas to help babies learn to crawl, so Porter has been getting a few focused workouts with mommy each day now. Even though he doesn't love to be on his stomach (since he can't freaking move other than pivot in circles on his belly) I'm putting him in that position much more lately, avoiding just placing him in sitting despite that being his favorite. We also got out the exercise ball (oh, the memories of trying to induce labor on this bad boy!!), have him practicing kneeling with his hands on a couch cushion, and trying to initiate the four point position. Basically we are having fun with it and I could die from the cuteness of him trying to learn how to crawl. I'm not a pediatric PT but I do think his core is a little weak, at least when he is on his stomach, since he won't pull his legs under him to get moving. Still planning to ask for that 'Birth to Three' evaluation next month at his year appointment if he isn't moving by then, but in the meantime I'm glad to have some specific ideas to work on at home. Maybe he will be a child, like many of you suggested, that will just sort of take off one day and never look back. Hard to imagine, but I'm sure he'll get his fat booty in gear soon.

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So many summer activities, so little time! This week Truman has 'Safety Town', which is a daily, 1.5 hour class mostly held outside. It emphasizes traffic, fire, and personal safety and is two weeks long, with small groups of three 4 and 5 year old kids paired up with 5th-7th graders who are volunteering to help out. They get to ride tiny tricycles around a miniature city with stop signs and houses (wearing a helmet of course!), they will go visit the local Fire Department tomorrow, a police officer will come to talk to them one day, and they learn all about poisonous chemicals that might be found in homes. So basically, this is all RIGHT up my first born's alley and he will probably be on our case about following each and every safety rule even more now! He totally loves Safety Town and I'm looking forward to their 'graduation' next Friday morning---have rearranged my work schedule so I can see the cuteness! He also has Tball every Monday night from now until the beginning of August, he liked his first practice so I hope that continues for the many, many more weeks we have with the sport. Then he has swimming lessons every Thursday night for five weeks. Whew, busy boy for his first 'real' summer break.

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Cecelia is also embarking on a few 'without the parent' activities this summer. Mixed results so far, but today was a very big day for my girl. She did soccer in the spring at the same time Truman had his class, but she truly hated it and flat out refused after the second session. This week I started her in gymnastics on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the next five weeks, and the first two of those weeks will be during Truman's Safety Town. So in theory, I could drop Truman off at Safety Town, walk the double BOB with CC and Porter to gymnastics, then walk back after it and get Truman. We'd be done with two activities by 9:30 am----with the rest of the day in front of us.

Tuesday was Cecelia's first gymnastics class and we had discussed it at length ahead of time, to prepare her for the procedure. At this class, the kids walk into the gym all together and the parents stay out in the hall for the 30 minutes the class lasts. Cecelia simply would not have it and started freaking out as soon as the teacher appeared, ready to walk the class in. I tried to encourage sis but nothing worked, so I did walk into the class with her and kept reassuring her that THIS IS FUN, LALALALA, all while she was screaming, 'No, I want you to stay with me!' Horrible, guys, just horrible. I gave her a big kiss and walked out into the hall, where I could hear her hysterically crying. Eventually the teacher brought CC out to me saying that she was having 'a bit of separation anxiety, and this seems very jarring to her.' So she suggested that I sit on the side with Cecelia for the first class to warm her up to the idea. Luckily Dizzy was there and could watch Porter for me, and CC wouldn't participate at all even with me sitting with her. So that was fun.

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But today? Again, we pumped her up telling her how fun it would be. And I flat out bribed her saying she would get a sucker if she did the class, because come on! I know she is only (just) three years old but this is something I think she will LOVE and will be really good at doing, too. I want her to get through this phase of being afraid to do new things without me by her side, and I know she will---Truman went through this, too. So anyway, today she was a little fearful when we arrived to gymnastics and she needed me to lead her into the class (tsk, tsk, breaking the rules!). I asked the teacher if I could just sit off to the side for a few minutes and she said I could, so Cecelia did sit on the mat with the other kids. I could tell she was being very brave and she'd look over to me and smile, waving occasionally, but she was really looking around and taking in her surroundings. She participated (making pretend pizzas on their legs to stretch) and you could actually see her perking up by the minute, looking excited and so big. After a few minutes I snuck out and she didn't even notice. I snuck a few peeks through a side door and saw her doing somersaults, walking like a giraffe, and jumping on the trampoline. She was SO stinking proud of herself when class was over. And you better believe she earned that sucker she hand selected from our stash before class!

She tells me she isn't going to be afraid anymore and even said, 'I love gymnastics, it's fun,' tonight. YES. Good job, girl! We also had swimming lessons tonight which is Cecelia's other main activity this summer, and possibly her first official lesson (? I can't remember if we did these before at the YMCA or if I'm just remembering Truman).  Again, I pumped her up and agreed that we could do the swings at the playground after class if she tried her best. And then the pool water was 'contaminated' and nobody could get in during our class so it was sort of a bust, but whatever! There is always next week. And Cecelia did get scared and cried a little bit during this 'safety talk' session but she pulled through and wasn't crying when the group came back to the parents' area. I really think it's good for her to start going activities without Truman and without me---she's always done well at Lori's and hasn't shown true separation anxiety there, but she hasn't done many other activities until now. My big girl. I'm seriously so proud of her for being brave at gymnastics and hope she continues to love it.

I just sent out Porter's first birthday party invitations and am starting to feel all of the feelings about this milestone. I always had a bit of The Fever for another baby around the time of weaning, which for Truman was at a year and Cecelia at sixteen months. This time when Porter weaned at six months I didn't really experience that hormonal shift/NEED ANOTHER BABY feeling, but I'm sort of feeling it now. Something about my last baby turning a year old makes me equally sad and excited. This is nothing new and I'm not trying to spark any 'you should have another!' comments, just putting it out there that Porter turning one next month is sort of confusing my brain a bit. Like, HOW is this possible?? The invites are very cute, though, and we'll be sure to celebrate with appropriate levels of excitement over the occasion. But still. A year old? Sigh.

Sneak peek:
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On a completely unrelated and random note: I think I *finally* achieved my quest for properly fitting underwear. I know I've talked about this before but am way too lazy to link to another post, but my underwear situation is way sad. Lots of granny panties/post-partum/pregnancy size stuff going on and very little that actually fits me well. I seem to get wedgies from nearly EVERY pair of underwear these days and have decided that my butt must be abnormally flat or something for this to happen with everything, even the boy shorts I've tried. And truly, a constant wedgie is enough to grate on your nerves while creating a subtle level of irritation all day long.

I was going to splurge on these Patagonia ones, but ended up trying these C9 performance hipsters. Really love them!! I mean, two for $14 with the Target brand versus one for $22 with Patagonia? Yes, please. So far they really don't give me a wedgie unless I'm bending over a ton or squatting. I'll take it! Next up: a properly fitting bra. This is going to be even more challenging, I think ;(

Also, I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I believe they are actually trendy again and not too hippie/wool sock + sandal, which makes me happy because I really do love them. Can't beat them for walking around town with the kids and I hope they make me a 'cool' mom and not just a tree hugger;) Since I informed Nate that Birkenstocks are popular again, he has since dug his original pair from high school out of the attic to revive them. Yikes. My new ones are in my better shape and are less scary for sure. (no picture here but a side by side shot of Nate and I in our Birks would be pretty awesome, I shall put it on my mental list of photos to get!)

How do you feel about pants like these? Joggers, or fluid pants or whatever?

Those are from Old Navy and I feel like this is probably a trend that's on it's way out already, especially since I'm just now considering them and I'm always very behind on trends. but they look so comfy! And I like the ones that are tight at the bottom I think, not sure about the drawstring waist and not sure if I'd have to tuck my shirt in to make this work. Also assuming maybe my Birkenstocks combined with these pants might be a little too much, hoping I wouldn't have to wear heels with the pants to dress them up because I don't do heels. Also really into these from Gap---they look like pajama pants and I dig it! Besides considering these jogger pants I also want to find a new pair of denim shorts for the summer which is apparently no small task because I am picky about length in my shorts (shocker). ANYWAY, having fun shopping online lately and still considering Stitch Fix but I can't quite pull the trigger.

Other things:
-Porter now has a few separates for pajamas and I cannot take it.

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-I love picnic dinners outside with the kids, especially when our dinner is served in a muffin tin.

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-The next baby boom is hitting our neighborhood, so I can get my newborn fix quite easily without actually having to give birth (or raise an additional child). Baby Joe is the cuuuuuuutest and I've made his mom promise to text me when he is awake at night and super crabby, just so I can snap out of it.

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-A wet French Braid in Cecelia's hair is our preferred way to keep her bangs out of her face the next day. This one was especially fantastic.

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-Playing outside in our backyard is the best
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-So is Beer Garden season, some are happier about this than others
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-The boys finally have matching outfits. Why did I wait this long to force this issue????
(oops, Truman accidentally put on Porter's 18 month tank top this morning and it's even backwards, hahahahaha)
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Ta Da!
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That's enough randomness for now, super fun day and season around here!
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