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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Oh those terrible twos

For the most part, Matthew is the sweetest, kindest, most adorable little boy in the world. But there are days when I look at him and think "who is this demon child and what have you done with my sweet boy?"

I took a personal day yesterday to spend time with my family of four before I embark on a new career journey (more on that later). We had plans to go shopping, take care of a few returns and then grab lunch at a new beer place in the Galleria Mall. Unfortunately, our two year old had alternate plans. As I stood in line at The Bon-Ton in Eastern Hills, Eric took the littles on a walk around the store. As I waited my turn, I saw out of the corner of my eye my son running full force through the department store and my husband pushing my daughter in the stroller frantically trying to catch up. I pretended not to see this or to know them and continued to wait. What is that saying? Karma's a B****!

Once I finished my returns, I caught up with them and learned that Matthew had walked straight into a display and hit his head. He was also whining that he wanted to "eat, eat dinner" - his term for I need a snack, but in the second mommy fail of the day, I realized that I had not packed any snacks for him. We trudged on to the next store though because I was determined to make the most of our outing. We took Avery out of the stroller and put Matt into the stroller. I pushed Matt as Eric carried Avery in her car seat. All the while, my two year old was whining louder and louder that he wanted to eat, eat dinner.

After a disastrous visit to store number two,we had had enough. About 25 minutes into our "family outing" we called it quits and headed home. For the entire trip down Transit Road, it was a surround sound of crying from Avery, who hates to be in her car seat if the vehicle is not in motion, and whining from Matthew that all he wanted to do was to "eat, eat dinner." If you are familiar with Transit Road, you would not be surprised that in this cluster of frustrating noise we would of course hit every single signal as it turned red, making a painfully long trip even more dreadful. 

Once we were finally home, I brought Matt into the back room to watch the Harry Potter marathon that was on ABC family. He was really getting on my last nerve, so I decided to try and ignore his incessant insistence that he have access to my iPhone. In my state of obliviousness, I had not seen the right hook as he came across and slugged me in the nose. He may be two, but he packs a punch. After a much-needed time out and nap time, the evening was much better. However, yesterday was a painful reminder that the terrible twos are a real thing and certainly no fun to live through. Someday we'll look back and laugh.... some day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Adjusting to being a working mom

Back in my twenties, I would have sworn up and down that I would never want to be a stay at home mom. Even when I was desperately trying to have a baby, I always thought that I would be so bored at home "just taking care of my kids." Oh how I am eating my words.

I would give anything to be able to spend all day with them now. They are seriously the coolest kids in the world.  When I was out on maternity leave, we were in this groove where we'd wake up, eat breakfast, play for a few hours or go on an "adventure"to the grocery store or to the zoo, and then I'd put both kids down for a nap. I can't believe that actually happened almost every day, and during that quiet time, I'd get the chores done, start dinner or sit and have a second cup of coffee. It was blissful. I even found myself really enjoying cooking - a task that, before Avery, was one that I always dreaded.

Now that I am back at work, I am missing those "blissful" days. Getting to spend just a few hours of the day with them isn't enough. By the time I walk in the door, it's dark outside, the kids need dinner, baths, some playtime and then bedtime by 9 p.m. I miss them, and they are right there. My weekends are filled with playing catch up on household chores, laundry and grocery shopping. I'm lucky I have a husband that does his fair share of chores, because otherwise I think I'd go insane. 

I love my job and what I do for a living, but I miss my kids when I am at work. I know they are in good hands, but they are not my hands, and so in closing I'm envious of all you stay at home moms out there.

Here are some updated photos of my prides and joy.

Friday, November 6, 2015

And then there were two!

Avery Elizabeth Szpylman was born at 2:22 a.m. on August 27, 2015, and it was at that exact second that our family felt complete. Over these last 10 weeks, I have never been happier in my entire life. My two children bring me so much joy that I feel my heart could burst. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was born to be a mom, and it just so happens that, in my humble opinion (haha), my two little ones are the best two kids in the whole wide world.

I was expecting the transition from one to two to be the most exhausting, grueling, frustrating and exciting time of my life. Am I tired? Yes. Are there days when I get frustrated? Of course. Is it the most exciting time of my life? Absolutely. But to be honest, it's come very natural to me. I feel so much more relaxed this time around. I wake up in the morning and say to myself, "I got this," and for the most part, I really do.

During my maternity leave, I took the kids out to the park, to the zoo, to the mall, to the grocery store, to the doctors... where ever I went, the two of them were in tow. We took at least one adventure every week, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending quality time with my children each and every time. Even that time in Target when Avery screamed the entire trip, and Matthew decided it would be hilarious to keep dropping things out of the cart to watch Mommy try to pick the items up while baby wearing a screaming infant. If that had happened when Matthew was 9 weeks old, I would have ditched the cart and went home, and then cried for a couple of hours. This time around, I said "I'm not coming back later, so sorry folks, you will enjoy/cringe at the vocal talents of Miss Avery Szpylman for the next 45 minutes." Was I sweating like a pig and shushing Avery as I pushed the cart through the aisles? Yep! Was I pleading with Matthew to just sit tight a little while longer so that mommy could get what she needed? You betcha! And was I getting side glances from annoyed shoppers, unfortunately yes. But we got through the trip, and I didn't have to go back later. I just kept reminding myself that other parents have been through this, and there will be a time in the future that I'll look back and say those were the best days of my life, because I got to spend it with my kids when they actually liked being near me and wanted to spend every waking moment attached to my hip.

I went back to work this week, and it was HARD! I enjoy my job, but I really loved being home with my kids. I tell my husband constantly that it was the best time of my life. I even told him recently that we should have a third, so that I could go on maternity leave again. I'm pretty sure he secretly scheduled the vasectomy for the next day. But, it's those days when one or both of them are up at 2 a.m. that I just smile and think to myself, life doesn't get any better than this. My life as a working mom is hard, because it's 9 hours a day that I don't get to cuddle my two little loves. But I also appreciate the time I do get with them that much more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Last month = 978,000 days

It's true what they say. Pregnancy lasts 9 months, except month 9 is the longest month of your life!!!

I am 37 weeks, 5 days along, but I feel like my gestational period has lasted years... I don't know how elephants do it. Don't misunderstand, I want the baby to bake as long as possible, but my body is giving up. My sciatica is at an all time high, making it difficult to walk some days. The contractions start, then always stall out. I can't stop peeing. And even though I have not gained nearly as much weight as I did during my first pregnancy, I feel like I am as big as a house because the baby weight is all in the front. My waddle has a waddle.

At last week's doctor's appointment, I had made a lot of progress. I was 3 cm dilated, 50 % effaced and baby's head was low. I admit, I got really excited, which I should always know leads to disappointment... Somehow, the baby decided the light was too bright and crawled back up the freaking birth canal. I went from 3 cm last week to a "loose" 2 this week - whatever the F that means and only 40 % effaced. I looked at the doctor and said, "you've got to be kidding me? How did I lose progress?" As always, he made perfect sense. My regularity of contractions has slowed significantly this past week, so my body has responded. I know that dilation and effacement really have nothing to do with when labor will kick into high gear. In fact, with Matthew, I was 3 to 4 cm dilated the entire last month of pregnancy, but it was comforting to know that when it was go time, I only had 6 more cm to go to reach push time. Who wants to run the 100 yard dash at 0? Oh I know, those women who claim to "love being pregnant." They are also probably the same women who "love to run 100 yard dashes." 

I hate those women. It makes those of us who are miserable look like terrible, ungrateful mothers, which is so far from the truth. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with another little one on the way and I am even more grateful that He didn't make me wait two years of actively trying to get pregnant to see those two beautiful lines back on December 23. But, I want to see the finish line more clearly. I want to know that for sure, in less than 2 weeks,  the newest Szpylman will make a debut. After today's visit, I am thinking Baby Spills 2.0 will be making a late appearance.  I need to drown my sorrows in chocolate.... I think I'll go grab the carton of ice cream.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Third trimester!

Finally, I am in the home stretch. I feel like an elephant, both figuratively, because I feel like I've been pregnant for years, and literally, because I feel like a beached whale and I still have 12 more weeks to go.

It's amazing how pregnancies can differ so much from kid to kid but still have so many similarities. I thought Matthew was hard on mommy, because he made me sick for 280 days, but this one on the way is taking the cake. I am no longer sick and nauseous like I was for the first 22 weeks, which is wonderful, but the pain I have with this one is incredible. My back, my legs, my stomach, my whole body just aches. It's getting harder to pick up Matt, which is heartbreaking to me, because if you know my son you know he loves his mommy and wants to be with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we're in the same room, he wants to be sitting near me, if not on top of my lap. If he wakes up in the middle of the night and daddy goes in to get him, ignite the water works and major meltdowns. He lights up when I get home from work and is my little sidekick for the rest of the evening until bed time. So how do you tell your 20 month old that Mommy can't pick him up whenever he wants? It's darn-near impossible.

As much as I am complaining about the aches and pains of being pregnant, I am so excited to meet our newest addition. I am gearing up to start clearing out the baby's room, which for the past 5 years has been the junk room... this will be an exciting task... NOT! I've also started washing some of Matt's old blankets and newborn clothing, so that I don't have to do that when the baby is born. I ordered a second rocking chair, because I still use the one in Matt's room every night and logistically it'll be easier to have one in each room. We're picking out baby names and feeling the little one kick, punch and roll. It's as if this baby can't get comfy. I'm pretty sure I've taken a few punches to the lungs, liver and spleen over the last several weeks. As much as these can be painful, I love knowing that baby is growing and healthy. The other night I was putting Matthew to bed and as he was laying on my stomach, his sibling gave him a right hook to his side. He shot straight up and looked at me with his big doe eyes, as if he was saying "what the heck was that ma?" I could not stop laughing for about 10 minutes. I looked at him and said that's your baby _____. Since then, when you ask him where the baby is, he lifts up his shirt and points to his belly button. Not quite kiddo, not quite.

Monday, May 18, 2015


You know it's been a long, trying weekend when you are happy it's Monday.

On Friday last week, I went to the doctor to check on a cough that's been plaguing me for a few weeks now. I'm glad I went, because I have a sinus infection and the start of bronchitis, which would have only gotten worse without antibiotics. It's crazy, because when I was pregnant with Matthew, I didn't so much as sneeze the entire time, but with this little one on the way, I can't stay healthy.  I am sure a major component is how much Matt's been sick this school year. He is patient zero when it comes to all of these germs, and he just loves to share them with me.

As I am sure you can gather, he has also been plagued by the same cough and congestion that I have had, so I figured I should probably take him to the pediatrician to get him checked out, too. While we were there, I found out that not only does he have a sinus infection like me, but he also has a raging ear infection in his right ear.

I feel terrible that my little guy has been suffering and I had no idea. With the changing of the season, I figured we were both experiencing the side effects of seasonal allergies from the newly cut lawns, the budding trees, the pollen and Marley shedding her winter hair. Matthew wasn't complaining of an ear ache, and although he was coughing and sneezing he didn't seem all that sick. That was until we started him on the Amoxicillin. The doctor was impressed that it's the first time he's been on it in his 19 months of life, especially since we are at the doctor for what feels like at least once a month for one reason or another.

Now, three days later, his symptoms have magnified tenfold. My poor baby isn't sleeping well, because his cough is keeping him and the entire house up all night. He's also started tugging at the infected ear and purple bags have appeared beneath his eyelids. It's gut-wrenching to see your child sick.

Yesterday, we went to my niece's First Communion and party. He's been on antibiotics, so he isn't contagious and he was in pretty good spirits that morning. He did great at church, minus the numerous coughing fits, so we went to lunch with the family after the Mass Celebration. It was while we were there that Matt's coughing got out of control. At one point it got so bad that he threw up all over the table, his high chair, his shirt, the floor, and although I caught a good majority of it in my hands, I wasn't quite quick enough to contain it all before there was a huge mess. I'd like to apologize for all of the people in attendance who's appetite was lost after the commotion. I was mortified as my husband took Matt to the bathroom to get him cleaned up, and I was on the floor cleaning up the mess. I was grateful that everyone was so understanding, but it was still embarrassing nonetheless.

I hope my little one feels better soon. It's a special day at Pop-Pop's, so hopefully, a day of rest will help him kick this illness sooner rather than later, so we can all sleep more soundly. We've got less than 4 months left before the newborn stage is back in full effect. I'd love it if I could get a little sleep in before then.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

So many similarities that I forgot about

Over the past few days, I have been looking back and re-reading some of the blog posts I wrote when I was pregnant with Matt. I can't believe the similarities...I was miserable then, too!

This entire pregnancy I have groaned about it being so much harder on me than my first, which is partially true, because I don't have the time or the ability to lay around on the couch and do nothing like I did when I was pregnant with Matt. Don't get me wrong, my house is still a mess and the laundry still piles up like it did when I was pregnant with Matthew, but I am not laying around with my feet up constantly. Instead, I am busy chasing him, giving him baths, feeding him safe foods and loving being his mommy. But physically, I am finding that both pregnancies are very similar. They both made me sick, sick, sick.

I also feel like I am huge compared to my first pregnancy, but apparently I am growing at the same rate as I did with Matthew. The posts about my belly "popping" are very similar to the gestational age of this one growing now.

I was miserable for the first half of this pregnancy, and although I remember being sick the entire pregnancy with Matt, I didn't remember the all day sickness with him. But according to my posts, I had it with him, too. Both kids have given me incredible heartburn, nausea and leg cramps. I am just as exhausted, and I am still worried about peeing myself if I have to throw up during the day. I also still have fears about being a mother, only this time, the anxiety focuses on being a mother of two rather than just a mom in general.

It's amazing though, mommy amnesia is a real thing. I don't remember it being so bad with Matt, but my blog posts say otherwise.