Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Other Moms

Dear Other Moms,
I usually feel like a good Mom. I don't know all the answers but I feel patient and calm. This morning I feel like I need Super Nanny to come kick my butt. 

Sleeping: At least one of the kids wakes up in the middle of the night multiple times a week (although they finally have been taking nice naps at the same time during the day). Sometimes they'll go a whole week sleeping through the night, but often they don't. I don't even want to get into why they're waking up, I just know that it's probably because I created some pattern and it's my fault. Last night was rare and extreme, but they were up from 1:45-3:45. Mike had to be up at 5 for work. I feel like most of my friends' kids have slept through the night since some insane age like eight weeks. Seriously. (Hill, Moll, lucky bastards).

Eating: Maxwell does not want to eat. Anything. And Ella throws full blown tantrums when I make her sit in her high chair to eat. Out of her chair, she will eat almost anything. This became so frustrating for me that about a month ago I started letting them eat on their little table in the front room. I've created an awful habit. I find myself following them around with food, or even worse...sometimes I turn the TV on and let them eat in front of it. I know. Sickening. And now I decided that's no way to eat so I'm trying to enforce high chairs, which is creating back arching tantrums and food thrown everywhere. I don't know what to do. Letting them out of their chairs took the fight out of it, temporary relief for me, but I don't want kids who eat all over the house. But I also don't want to create crazy food issues by forcing them to eat. Mike gets home late so we don't sit down as a family yet. Although we did try over the weekend and he and I both tried not to poke our eyes out with forks as Ella flailed and screamed. When I finally took her down, she stormed to her room. She slammed the door, turned her mini radio on to twinkle twinkle, and turned the volume all the way up. 21 months old,  dear lord.

Looking back at at my early concerns (nursing routines, whether or not to make baby food, frequency/consistency of poop- really did seem to matter at one point), all these things just worked themselves out. I know these are just phases, but I feel like I'm creating bad habits for my kids and I don't like feeling like a bad mom. Hello mommy guilt.

Sleepless in Atascadero,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Recap

We've spent most of the last week in sweatpants with colds. We haven't been stuck in bed, but we've been feeling crummy. Good news, we still had an awesome Christmas. My favorite part was seeing the big kids (Michael and Little Meg) give the little kids their gifts. They were so thoughtful and generous. It was the best having them here together Christmas morning.

I did a video so we can look back in the years to come. I tried to make it brief...yeah, it's not. And I didn't even include Christmas night, which was so much fun as well.

It sounds so simple to say, but everything is better with kids.
p.s. Cousin Bethany and Bethany H., if either of your are reading this, I'm so sorry we didn't get to see you while you were in town! Our yucky colds make us no fun to be around. I didn't get in touch with any of the people that I'd hoped time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Beck Family

Our family Christmas card, Merry Christmas to you!

(Card design by Molly)

We had family pictures taken (thank you Sarah!) and Maxwell and Ella cried in pretty much every shot of the six of us. We've yet to capture a picture of the four kids together where everyone looks decent. But I do love some of the individual shots!

p.s. Ella is sick with a cough and a fever, which means Maxwell will probably get it too. Please say a prayer that they are healthy soon! Thanks.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Parties, Rain and the Tub(s)

We had a fun weekend...

* Mike and I went Christmas shopping alone Friday night while the kids played with Grandma J.
* Saturday I crammed on a party bus with 26 other ladies for an all day celebration of Kimbo's 40th (I might still be sore from dancing).
* Sunday we took the kids to Landrie's Yo Gabba Gabba birthday party. You should have seen how big their eyes got when they saw life size cutouts of their favorite characters. It's been raining and raining here. My Seattle friends will laugh at me for complaining about our weather but it's been DAYS and we're not used to rain like that. The kids miss playing outside so Landrie's party was great timing as it was at a gymnastics center where they got to run around like crazy.
* Only five days til Christmas...I'm really hoping a special gift makes it in the mail by Christmas Eve.
* One of the kids' favorite things to do with Mike is to go in our hot tub. I like it, but not as much as the three of them do. He'll take them rain or shine. No exaggeration, I will find each of the kids at the door at various times throughout the day stripping down to nothing telling me 'hop tub! hop tub!' I'm a wuss. I don't love getting my hair wet in the rain unless it's at the end of the day so I try to distract them with the bath instead. Half the time it works.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You Know You Love Your Kids When...

I went to a ladies Christmas party last night. I drew number 19 out of 21 for the white elephant gift exchange- sweet, right? Some of the gifts were nice, some were silly. As my turn drew closer I knew what I had to have. All I could think about was how much my boy loves his hats. And how adorable and goofy he would look in this thing. So I stole it. INSTEAD OF THE BRAND NEW IPOD SHUFFLE THAT I COULD HAVE TAKEN INSTEAD. Did you get that friends? Someone brought a new IPOD shuffle to a white elephant! But on my turn, I chose this hideous, polyester turkey hat. Because I knew how fun it would be to give him this present in the morning. And the real kicker of the deal? He hates it. Like, gets really mad when I try to put it on him, "I don't want!" he yells. And Ella hates it even more. So someone else is loading their favorite songs on the shuffle, and I've got a turkey hat. But last night, the thought of how happy I thought his face would be- that was enough.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend Update

We walked to the school and enjoyed an empty campus.

When we got home Ella escaped to the neighbor's front porch. She thinks this is her private veranda.


Sunday we took the kids to SLO. We walked around, road the carousel, then came home to play.

But the highlight of the trip was Santa. They didn't freak out, but they weren't really sure what to do. After a quick sit on the lap, they both got down to go. Maxwell turned around and Santa opened his arms up for a hug. Maxwell put his chin down but walked right up to him and Santa scooped him up again. Maxwell let him hug him and I heard Santa tell him, 'You are a very good boy!' So adorable I just enjoyed the moment instead of reaching for my camera.

Ella handled it better than last year...

The Cris Maxwell in me was delighted to see Santa had a bottle of Purell next to his stack of candy canes.

Mike and I also went to dinner and Maxwell and Ella went to their cousins. Thank you Aunt Tanya! Maxwell came home from their house with a recorder. He is very proud of the music that he makes. I'm sure there will be a video to go with that-after I resurrect the recorder from its hiding spot. The boy plays loud.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

Trees of Christmas past...

We got our Christmas tree last night (wish you were with us Michael!). Once the tree comes home, I'm officially in the Christmas spirit. Last night was the best tree hunt yet. The kids went crazy. We used to cut down our tree, but this year we went somewhere else. And it could not  have been better. There was a big bounce house topped with a blowup Santa (the kids have learned to say, 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' when they see Santa).

Once we forced them from the bounce house, Maxwell went wild through the trees. He was SO HAPPY laughing and being chased through the maze of green.

Where'd that boy go?

Ah, there he is!

Sisters (Ella now says 'cheese' everytime she sees the camera, hence her expression)

Ella and her Dadda

My turn!

My Family

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ella's Spot

Someday soon Ella will be too big for this cubby. But for now, she loves this spot. She's been a little stinker these past couple weeks but this morning she's as sweet as pie. She has been playing with her baby and then coming up to me and putting her face right in mine. She leans in for an 'Ella kiss' and I laugh and pull away. She is trying to lick my face. I love my girl.