December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

I've been blowin' and goin' and have barely had time to stop and eat lately (this is a good thing when you're still trying to lose baby weight). But, I wanted to quickly get Lo and Gainesy's Santa picture up before the holiday. Lola had an absolute blast seeing Santa...I basically had to peel her away from him to leave. She told Santa "Some of my friends cry when they come see you but I'm not going to cry. I'm a big girl". She also said "Santa, I want a baby doll for Christmas. Where is my baby doll?" She thought Santa would have her doll for her right there and then. It was very cute and I love that she is having so much fun during this holiday. Of course, our big gift from Santa Claus was a guitar for Lola...Not a toy guitar but a real mini guitar so she can play with her daddy. With her request for a doll, we had to make a last minute baby doll purchase to come from Santa.

Anyway, we've had a great holiday so far which of course included Christmas tree farm, visiting Santa, riding the holiday train and the best moment was the The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular! We still have plans to go to Downtown Dallas tomorrow to observe the always fab Neiman's window. I've actually already seen it on one of my trips to Dallas and I think Lo will love it. We're also going to North Park to see the trains which I think Lola will really love this year. And, I have to do some last minute shopping....YIKES!

Everyone have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 8, 2010

One step closer....

As you know, Clay has been working nonstop lately. It's really never-ending for him it seems. Last night was a perfect case and point....Clay didn't get home until 7:00 ish. When he was putting Lo to bed he received a call from a colleague telling him he needs something first thing in the morning. What???? Nothing like last think they could have called a little earlier than 8:00 p.m.???? Frustrating! Anyway, Clay had to go to the office at 9:00 p.m. to get it done. It's just all too much! But, for now, Clay's "day job" is only paying the bills and we hope he'll eventually be able to teach full time at UT and launch his own company again. Well, steps are being taken and several great things have come to fruition over the past couple weeks.

One, Clay is now what they consider a 50% adjunct at UT. This was fab news and a real compliment to Clay that they not only asked him to come back in the Spring to teach but also increased his responsibilities. How he'll fit in the extra hours when he already has no hours to spare is unknown but somehow it seems he's always able to "make it work" as Tim Gunn would say (Yes, I have an obsession with Project Runway...who doesn't!?!?!?). The next step at UT will be Clay getting a full time or more preferably a tenure track position. As of now, there are no openings but maybe in the Fall! We'll continue to keep our fingers crossed for the big breakthrough there.

Second, a piece of Clay's furniture was chosen to be in the Rough Cut: Furniture Design in Austin, TX event - Hosted by IDSA Texas Chapter+ IDSA Furniture Section. This is HUGE for Clay! Challenge...the piece chosen is not yet complete. So, Clay and his compadres are trying to pull it all together and get it done this week....calling it a little close considering the event is this weekend. Here's some additional info:

Such a proud moment! This is a real honor for Clay and a great opportunity for him to get additional exposure. All of our friends are set to come out to the event to see Clay's furniture debut. So good to have such great support from everyone. Especially Adam and Eddie who are working hard this week to help Clay get the piece finished. This also means a child-free evening with adults on Saturday night. YEA...bring on the babysitter!

Finally, Clay received a call earlier this week from an old friend in NYC. Her job is relocating to LA so she's decided to take advantage of the severance package and open a wine bar. Why not right?!?!? How fab would that be?!?!?! Anyway, she reached out to Clay to help with the concept and design of the bar. Should be a great project!

Right now Clay feels like he needs to pinch himself. All of this is just getting him closer to what he really wants to do! More hours but it will all be worth it in the end! I'm very proud of him and glad to see all his hard work starting to pay off.

P.S. I let Clay take a shift with Gainesy boy last night...actually he insisted. Felt good to get 3.5 hours of straight sleep....AAHHH... With that, I'm basically fully rested today...pretty sad that 3.5 hrs gets me there. Oh how I long for the days of 8 hrs sleep. Of course, haven't had that since before I was pregnant with Lola. One day it shall come again...or are those days over???? TBD!

December 6, 2010

The tears have arrived!

We had a great weekend! We drove to Big M (that's Midlothian) to celebrate Curry's (Lo and Gainesy's cousin) first birthday. It was a big shindig! My sister-in-law, Brana, did a great job putting together an absolutely fab birthday party for Curr-bear that was topped off with Curry running around in an adorable cupcake onsie with a huge tu-tu...oh so cute!

All of the family was there...grandmothers from both sides (four generations in the room so wonderful), aunts, uncles, friends and more. I love that most everyone in the room are Hola Lola blog readers and I'm so glad yall all love it so much. I received several comments from people saying "You seem to be doing so great...the blogs have been so upbeat lately"...YEA. And, yes, I am doing great but unfortunately the tears have arrived....tears of exhaustion. It's just part of being a parent I guess....

Why tears???? WELL!!! I've now hit my fifth straight night of 3-4 hours sleep max. OUCH!!! I'm in so pain...not even really hurts...BAD! So much pain that when I woke up this morning at 6:15, the tears just busted out and didn't stop. I've tried to hold back for a couple days now but when you go night after night and hope that "this will be the night" and then it's not, it can be hard to take. Last night we tried to go to sleep around 10:30. Then the fun started...Gaines was up at 10:45 to eat (Clay fed but I was awake), then Lola came in our room around 12:30 a.m, then Gaines up again at 1:00 a.m. and didn't go back to sleep until 2:30ish and the rest is history. At one point I found myself cussing under my breath and begging for sleep....any sleep! Not so much!

Now, this is all partially self-inflicted. Clay is great. Time and time again he has offered to rotate and take shifts with me but I refuse. Not sure why. Well, maybe I do know why...maybe not...I don't brain is foggy. But, my response to him when he offers is always, I'm breastfeeding and feel I need to do it as it's my "duty as a mother"...those aren't my exact words and I would actually never say that but it's how I obnoxious I know...I mean's 2010 here...almost 2011...mothers aren't expected to carry the full parenting load anymore! On top of that, if I don't feed him, then my milk supply will go down. At this point, I should just let it go down but I'm too bull headed. Plus, I'm already awake and will be awake the entire time so I may as well just knock it out. No point in two of us being awake right?!?!?! Although I'm up often, I have it down to a science and "usually" (I put this in quotes as last night this didn't work out so well) I can get him fed and back to sleep in 20 minutes. But, as usual, I put too much pressure on myself which eventually causes me to break. Hey, we're all human and our body and mind can only take so much. You know I said on my last post that I remember it only getting worse before it got better.... Now that I've hit the breaking point, I feel surely it will only get better now...SURELY!

Another thing my friends and family always ask is "How do you do it all?". A couple things on this.... One, I don't do anything more than any other parent out there. Two, I don't do it "all" should see my house right now...I even have a hard time keeping the dog bowls filled with food and water. This, my friends, is not a sarcastic statement but a serious one...I'm usually made aware that it's time to fill the water bowl when I hear the dogs drinking out of the toilet...YIKES!. But, even with this, my response is always that it's that parental instinct that just kicks in and you just keep going. As a parent, we all do it! We all run 24/7. We all run on empty at times. For us, it wouldn't be so hard if Clay wasn't having to work so much...easily 60 hours + a week and that's a good week. He was out the door at 6:45 this morning. He feels just horrible when he has to leave me to conquer all in the morning on my own but he's definitely pulling his weight just by trying to get himself to a point to support this family and also trying to get himself to a point in his career where he's doing what he wants to do. Sometimes that means him leaving early, working late and working weekends. I'm willing to do whatever I can at home to help him get where he needs to be! I also know he would do the same for me. But, to really answer the "How do you do it all?"'s simple...this is how and why all parents do what we do and are able to keep going:

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Our kids give us that extra drive to do it all!

So, unfortunately, today, I have taken the blog down a beat but promise to get it back up. We started a new holiday tradition this weekend and went to the Christmas tree farm yesterday. SUCH a great time...Loved it! Can't wait to post pics of the fun.

December 3, 2010

Smiley Smilerson!!!

Our little man has become quite the smiler! I mean, he just laughs, giggles, coos and smiles constantly. All I have to do is look at him and I get a big bright beautiful smile along with a big giggle. LOVE IT!!! Happy baby equals happy mommy! I really love this big smile when I'm having a week like this week. One of those when nothing seems to be going your way and you just want to call it quits and start fresh next week. That's this week for me!

Such an adorable little thing! Now if I can just get him to sleep....AAHHH!!! Yep, still no sleep. Lola really never slept much either but I feel we were getting a little more sleep at this point. Maybe not. The boy loves to eat! Last night I went to sleep around 10:30, then was up at 1:10, 3:36, 4:14, 6:16 and then got up to start the day at 7:05....late start due to lack of sleep..UGH!!! Anyway, it's been like this all week. Don't know if the holiday/travel threw him off or if it's the new daycare routine or what. I remember with Lola it seemed to only get worse before it got better so I'm hoping it will get better soon. We also HAVE to get him in his crib as he's clearly outgrown the cradle and I think that wakes him at times. I haven't moved him yet b/c 1) I'm attached to him and don't want him a few steps away in the other room...crazy I know and 2) I can't find the monitor anywhere. I'll have to go on a mad search to find it b/c we really need to get him moved asap. Maybe we'll give it a shot tonight!

Tomorrow Gainesy will be 4 months. I absolutely CAN NOT believe it! 4 months!!! How far we've come in such a short period of time. It seems it was just yesterday when he arrived oh so early and was in NICU attached to cords and monitors. I'm so glad to be past those times and now have a very happy healthy boy. We had his 4 month doctor appt this week and it went great! The doctor is blown away at how big he's become to be such a early baby. Here are his stats:

Weight: 15 lbs - 50 -75th percentile

Height: 24 7/8" - 50 - 75th percentile

Can you believe it?!?!?! This little guy started in the 10th percentile and is now exceeding in the growth charts. So happy! Now, although he is clearly growing well, he's not quite up to speed on all other fronts. He's still not real good with stomach time and holding his head up and he's not flipping over either way yet. By 4 months, Lola had her head way up in the air and was flipping both ways. I know I shouldn't compare as all babies are different but it's so hard not to. The doc said on all developmental fronts we have to think of him as a 3 month old vs. a 4 month old and it will take him until about 6-7 months to catch up there. But, even with that, he actually said he's doing good for a 4 month old and excellent for a 3 month old so no concerns there. YEA!!! Just need sleep....

Little Miss Lola had a first too...her first haircut.
I was hesitant to have this done but thought a trim may help it start growing better. She was a little skiddish about it at first and had to sit on my lap but she ended up doing real good and loves her new cut. The next morning she said "My new haircut is still here!"

While Gaines is coming into his own and is showing us so much personality, Lola is also coming into her own in a different way. It's absolutely IN-SANE how much she's changed over the past 3 months. She is now officially a little girl. No baby in her anymore...unless she's pulling one of her whining acts but we're working on those! Anyway, I don't know if it's her age, or her moving up to a new classroom at school or her becoming a big sister but she's just amazing and it's mind-blowing all she's saying and doing. I'm telling you...nothing gets by this little girl! Here are some of the developments with Lo:

She gets her feelings hurt extra easy and will say "Daddy's making my feelings hurt" or "Bella (the dog - she's very attached to her) is making my feelings hurt" over the smallest things like telling her "No, you can't have ice cream right now". Feelings are a huge deal to her right now. To me, this is a good thing as it shows she's starting to understand her emotions more.

Something else that's been a very hard adjustment for me is Lo talking about her "friends" at school. She'll come home and say "Mattie is my best friend" or one day will say "Mattie is not my best friend anymore" or "Madison told me I'm not her best friend". This has all been hard for me to take in and process. I initially didn't know how to react and still don't actually. I always tell her she shouldn't pick "best friends" and she needs to be friends with everyone and treat all her friends with respect. Pretty humorous to tell my almost 3 yr old this as it seems some adults don't even get this point...most need to go back and remember what their parents tried to teach them and treat people with respect regardless of their flaws. Anyway, that's neither here nor there but it's hard trying to figure out how to lead Lola down the right path and make sure she treats everyone with respect regardless their differences. One time in reaction to one of the so and so was "mean to me today" comments, I told Lola "Lo, That's ok. Sometimes kids are not going to be nice but you still need to treat them with respect and kill them with kindness." She looked at me, squinted her eyebrows and said "Kill them???". I immediately said "Oh no! Never mind...disregard that comment. Just treat them kindly." So funny how kids take things so literally.

Some other things....we've never really let Lo watch much TV until recently. We also would never have the TV on until she went to bed. Now, we'll let her watch certain shows but still put a limit on them. Unfortunately, I found that this was a "must" when Gaines arrived. Sometimes if I was having to feed him or breastfeed or something along those lines, I had to occupy Lola in an attempt to keep her from pitching a fit. This probably wasn't necessarily the best solution but at times you do what you can to make life just a little easier. Ever so often we'll also turn on the TV to watch an adult show when Lo is still awake. Not that we can really watch anything with two kids but at times we'll give it a shot to try to decompress a bit. The other day I said to Lo "Hey Lola....Our favorite show is coming on tonight! What do you think that is?" She hit the nail on the head and answered with great enthusiasm "America's Next Top Model!". HILARIOUS! Boy, do I have her trained. Pretty bad right!?!?!? Oh goodness gracious! If we happen to be watching a show and something comes on that's scary or someone does something mean, etc, Lola will say "I don't think I should be watching this show" and ask us to turn it off. I just think this is too funny and am glad she knows not to watch that stuff. Now if only we could do the same for our brains!!! I'm thinking The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills isn't making me any smarter and is possibly only killing brains think?!?!?!

On the same note, in the past, we've always limited Lola's sugar intake to a minimal...really almost none. It's just not reality to keep it away from her completely as she'll have sweets/cupcakes at school for holidays or birthdays, etc. So, we'll let her have "a special treat" ever so often. More often than not lately as Clay loves him some ice cream. Many times he'll pick it up on the way home from work and Lo will see him carry it in. She now knows how to open the freezer to check to see if there are any "special treats" waiting to be had. Of course, with this can come fits and I try to avoid those or anything that invokes them at all cost. However, if we happen to have ice cream or any kind of sweet in the house and she sees it, I always say "You can have some for dessert after you eat your dinner." Her reaction to this...she'll say "I want dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert". Oh yea! The first time she said this I was in shock. I was also very impressed by her negotiation impressed that I actually let her have dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert. Of course, you do it once and they'll try to get it again. That's been the tough part. Oh, establishing those boundaries...oh so much fun!!!

The great news is Lola now loves her baby brother and loves seeing him grow. It's been a while since Lola has asked me to put Gaines back in my belly. And, when someone asks if they can take her baby brother home with them she actually says "No". For a while there, she would say "Yes...take him!" to strangers. A lot of shocked looks came out of this! Natural I guess. She's even doing well with the attention that other people are always giving Gaines. Naturally babies seem to get all the attention. People will comment by saying "Wow, he's big for his age". Lola say "He's not big...he's a baby". We tell Lo she's a "big girl" and Gaines is a "baby" so she doesn't quite get why people are calling him big.

I'll leave you with one last comment. For those of you who know Lola well, you know she's pretty much filled with personality, loves to put on a show (more on this another time as some of the "shows" she puts on for us are actually AMAZING and absolutely hilarious..especially coming from an almost 3 yr old) and is very dramatic in all ways. Some nights when I put her to bed, here's how the commentary will go:

Me: I love you baby girl!

Lola: I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl.

Me: You're right. I love you my big girl. More than anything in the whole wide world.

Lola: Thank You! I love you too!

A few minutes pass...
Lola: Hold me!
I put my arms around her and a few minutes pass...

Lola: Mommy, You're so beautiful!

Me: Thank you so much Lola! That was so nice of you to say.

Lola: You're also very cute!

Me: Lo, Thank you so much! I love you. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Lola: Ok. Good night! It's been a long day but it's been great!