long winter days and nights

i believe in process. i believe in four seasons. i believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. i believe that there’s a growing season. and i think that you realize that in life, you grow. you get better.

~ steve southerland

this quote is so on point. winter can be dreary, depressing, and drags on for what seems like an eternity in new england. and as much as i complain about the cold and being trapped indoors, i do like the snow. it’s so pure, bright, and pretty. i also like how it creates a soft blanket over everything. still, cold weather does not equal snow unfortunately because snow, to me, justifies the frigid temperatures.

 

i used to think winter made me appreciate my favorite season, summer, more but as i grow older, i’m not quite certain about that. i get cold easily even in the summer time so staying warm during winter has its challenges. lately, we’ve had extremely frosty temperatures with wind chills in the negatives. it literally hurt to be outdoors, just to get out of the car and run inside a store. now we are back to “normal” new england winter temperatures although friday was a balmy 60 degrees.

 

saturday, january 13: we beat cabin fever by going to the mall to ride the carousel. this was ezra’s first time riding an animal. the other times, he sat in the seat with grandma.

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friday, january 12. penny enjoyed splashing through the puddles in her hunter boots after a playgroup at a local school. she’s eating goldfish crackers from a cup.

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the warm weather + rain melted most of the snow away on friday

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there actually is a thing called the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder. i feel like i’m much happier during spring and summer when there is more sunlight and warmth. i’m also probably more cheerful during these seasons because we aren’t confined indoors resigned to do the same activities over and over. who knows? maybe if i lived in sunny california, i’d be happy year-round… but nothing is ever perfect. california lately has been besieged with natural disasters such as wildfires and mudslides, so there’s no escaping the force of mother nature.

white christmas! these photos are long overdue!

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this photo was featured on the ig page: moms with cameras

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eating snow!

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it’s been rough over here in the so household for the past couple weeks. the kids had been sick which is no fun for anyone. penny’s congestion finally fully cleared up on wednesday but ezra still has a rattling sound when he breathes. he’s also teething so he’s been incessantly drooling. (his third tooth erupted yesterday.)

our daily struggles mostly concern miss p: being nice and sharing toys with ezra, using words to communicate instead of crying and whining, and eating. p lost nearly a pound while she was sick because of her refusal to eat most foods. now the weight difference between p and ezra are 1.6 lb. i weighed ezra the other day and he was 24.2 lb! i believe some of p’s emotional outbursts are because she’s hangry, but who really knows?! mealtimes have been a battle these days but now that she’s feeling a lot better she’s starting to eat more again.

on a positive note, a big milestone occurred today: penny used the potty on her own for the first time! while i was cooking dinner, penny announced she had to go potty and walked to the bathroom. my in-laws were over for dinner and we all thought penny was just pretending, but when my fil went over to check she had pulled down her pants and had already peed on the potty! when i walked over to see for myself, she had already finished wiping! i’m so proud of this girl!

it’s day 14 of the new year and so much has happened already. ezra is 9 months old; i went to a preschool fair to start preparing penny for preschool; i’m planning ezra’s first birthday (and penny’s 3rd birthday, already!); and preparing for our cancun trip in march! oh, and i also started a book club! that, i will go into detail in my next post. i want to finish this post so i can start reading tonight.

stay warm, friends.

 

remember, god loves you

remember, god loves you

since i was a child, i have always taken great care in reading signs whenever i am a passenger in a vehicle. i don’t mean signs to help the driver with directions but outdoor signs that businesses and organizations display to showcase their services.

i suppose one reason for reading signs is that i’m an avid reader. i’ll read anything that i can get my hands on. another is that i noticed early on that many of these outdoor signs are infused with humor and wit. that’s great advertisement for you: to capture, and convince, an audience. still another reason is that spelling errors really irk me. i’m that person who will take a pen out of my purse and spell a word correctly – it can be a flyer on a telephone pole or a notice on a restaurant door; i will correct it!

in any case, our family of three, along with my mil, spent our day at mystic aquarium yesterday. for the better part of last week i’d been cooped up in the house missing out on the opportunity to enjoy the hot and sunny weather. since dennis had the day off yesterday, we decided to take a family trip to the aquarium. it was over an hour drive, and thankfully my mil was with her in the back of the car because penny started getting fussy near the end of the trip.

it was slightly tough to really enjoy the exhibits with a 2.5 month old baby but we prevailed in the end. penny was calm, and even took a nap, when i wore her in my baby bjorn. poor babies.. they do get uncomfortable sitting in a car seat for a long period of time especially since their backs get sweaty.

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penny with her new shades – a gift from genie!

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buoys in front of mango’s wood-fired pizza – the pizza is so tasty!

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we checked out the penguins among many other creatures

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i’d like to think she was fussier than usual because she’s going through her 3-month growth spurt and just began a new developmental leap (google “wonder weeks” or download the free app.) yet another milestone is that she’s reaching for objects! the first thing she reached for was a brand-new doughnut rattle. she loves doughnuts just like mommy and daddy. 🙂

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super cute doughnut rattle – a gift from kathryn!

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some of my former coworkers stopped by last week for a few hours to meet penny!

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penny’s still happy and smiling when she’s up but that can change in an instant these days. even though she’s sleepy, her hunger keeps her up hence the short naps and fussiness.

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penny had been sleeping 5.5~6 hours, if not more, a night up until she turned 11 weeks old. since that exact day, she has been waking up after having slept for about 4.5 hours. this has resulted in me nursing her around 1am and then again around 4 or 5am. it could be worse… i think back to the cluster feedings when she was growing through growth spurts at 2 and 6 weeks and am thankful that she’s not nursing every hour.

* here i am seven hours later attempting to finish up this post. notice the strikethrough on my last sentence? well, it happened just a few hours ago. penny woke up at 3 and basically i’ve been nursing her every half hour until 7 when she finally fell asleep but not without a valiant fight. since my body is used to 3-4 hour feeds, it totally was not prepared for penny’s growth spurt. for the past three days, she’s been fussing while she’s nursing because the letdown is coming fast enough; today, especially, was brutal. since she’s been eating so much lately her diaper changes have increased as well.

overwhelmed, i finally gave in to penny’s demands and gave her a bottle. i try my hardest not to bottle feed her because 1) i hate pumping, and 2) if i’m alone, i’m not able to pump right away… i don’t want that to affect my supply. but today, i couldn’t take it anymore and penny was also insatiable. after the bottle, i put her down for a nap and she woke up ten minutes later. so, i did an early bedtime routine since by that time it had been over two hours since she’d been up. after her bath – during which she was her usual calm self – i tried nursing but she was full so she unlatched a few minutes later and started smiling and cooing. i put penny in the newly purchased magic merlin suit hoping that she’d sleep for the night. it’s only penny’s second time wearing it to bed and it’s rather bulky so that could be one of the reasons why she was so unhappy to be in it. in any case, it took about a half hour to put her down… this was 2.5 hours ago… i’m exhausted. my eyes are trying to close on their own (- _ -) zZz (note: she ended up sleeping for nearly 7 hours.)

it’s days like these that you need to be reminded how well you’re doing and that it’s all for an amazing reason: your child. back to the quote — exhausted after a long day at the aquarium tending to penny and her needs, i was surprised and moved by the sign, “remember, god loves you.” these four words appeared on a sign underneath the word “wifi” for a motel during our drive back home.

it’s challenging to remain calm and be positive when dealing with a demanding baby especially when you’re at a loss on how to soothe her. a lot of baby mamas keep telling me to stay strong because she’ll soon be walking and talking and i’ll actually miss when i could cradle her in my arms. well, it’s tough to keep this in my mind when i tried 3 times in the past hour to put her down for a nap only to have her wake up 20 minutes later…

*breathe in, breathe out* hoping this, too, will pass soon and she’ll go back to being a good rester.

and yes, god does love me.. i am so grateful for a happy, healthy baby and the love and support from so many people particularly my dear husband who doesn’t hesitate to get up at 3am to put her back to bed when i’m stumbling around like a zombie. i also need to remember that penny loves me, and is wholly dependent on me, whenever frustration starts to creep up on me.

yesterday, penny seemed to return to her schedule: short nap(s) in the morning, long afternoon nap, short nap in the evening, and bedtime. my sister, jen, came to visit from boston and it was wonderful to have help around the home. she took yuri out, washed the dishes, burped and played with penny, helped me bathe her, and put her to bed.

it’s her 30th birthday today! happy birthday, jen!

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today, on the other hand, has been a disaster. penny has only slept 7 hours in the past 15 hours… (since midnight). i’m at my wit’s end.. i just put her down at 3:05pm and now she’s up at 3:26pm…

remember, god loves you… remember, penny loves you… ❤