Tag Archives: parenting

Help me wean!!!

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Its been 752 days of breastfeeding. My Child’s pediatrician thinks I’m a real Hail Mary and while the pats on the back and fist raised in the air by other breastfeeding moms makes me feel good, I really feel defeated and used. I’ve been here before, 3 years ago with Emery. This time it’s different (isn’t it always?). With Emery if you recall or read before – she was 1 1/2 and after many failed attempts we both decided it was time to stop. She’s always been that kind of person, when she wants to do or not to something she does it.  Breastfeeding Emery I was really sick and tired literally. She would barely drink and then she would fall asleep. It was a comfort thing for her. I think it’s a comfort thing for most babies, It’s all they know their whole lives! And that’s what I struggle with, how can I take the only thing they know how to fall asleep and be comforted with away? They scream and cry and beg or milk.

Carlos’ case is different – He drinks milk and he wont let me unlatch. I don’t realize until I wake up mad from my back aching that I’ve been in the same side position for hours (did I mention he’s a co sleeper?). Now that I’m typing this all out loud for the world to read I’m starting to think I’m letting him be too attached. How can I stop this? I don’t want it to be this way!
I tried the cup of warm milk, he drank one drink to humor me and cried. I’ve tried watching a movie to fall asleep with minimal success. I’ve gotten the advice of not offering anything so he doesn’t get attached to a cup for bed or do I just give water?

Do I let him scream it out at 12 am when I have a 11-year-old who needs to go to school and a 4-year-old in the next room who is trying to sleep?

Help! I need mom advice!

 

Sincerely,

 

A mom who is lost.

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Apple Hill 2014

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We waited months for our family vacation, our yearly trip to Apple Hill Ca. This was Carlos’ first time and I was so excited to get all the pumpkins my little hands could grab. The months leading up to the trip, Emery would freak out in the car about her back itching. A 5 minute car ride to Target was a struggle. She would squirm around, freak out, complain, wail and the cherry on top – she would kick the seat behind me. I probably looked like I was having a demon fighting within me, going forward and back violently in the car with an angry face. So many warnings were given about her being good because Grandpa’s house is much farther than Target.
I packed all of the “best of’s” to avoid any problems. I had 3 hours to keep her occupied and one, one year old. Carlos fell asleep right on schedule but woke up pretty early and did good the rest of the way. Emery surprisingly did amazing (shout out time). She had her tablet, a few snacks and she was an angel. I don’t get to say that much often anymore so I’ll say it again, Emery was an angel.

and here we go ...

and here we go …

DAY 1. Thursday –
We stayed at Carlos’ Nina’s parents house in Elk Grove. I hadn’t been to the area in two years, being able to relax for half a day was great and reconnect.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

DAY 2. Friday –
Val (Carlos’ Nina) took us out to eat breakfast, on the way Emery got sick. It was a 10 minute drive (with out traffic) and from that little time she got a fever. How this happened I don’t know, but luckily Super Mom packed meds, a thermometer and a first aid kit just in case (toot toot, that’s me tooting my horn).
We hit up a local hipster coffee spot in midtown and then off to my Dad’s house.
Carlos met his great Grandma Mary for the first time and really embraced everyone instead of being shy and off standing.
At night Victor, Valerie and I went out to Capitol Tap Room to have some brews and celebrate our 7 years of being together. It was our first time being away from the kids, doing something more than a nice fast dinner. Luckily, my family was able and willing to watch the kids. I felt like, “ah, this is what adult time feels like”.

Happy 7 year anniversary  xxXooOX

Happy 7 year anniversary
xxXooOX

DAY 3. Saturday –

Apple Hill!! Valerie came with us, it was her first time and we enjoyed her company. She was our official photographer for our yearly family photo.
Emery found her own pumpkin this year and she was really proud of herself.
Carlos fell every opportunity he could in the patch. The red dirt was all over his chest and back. It was pretty funny because he would fall on the floor and dust himself off not caring at all.
I planned to grab a ton of pumpkins while we were there and I think we succeeded, we walked away with 13 awesome and different ones.

After a long day of walking around and trying different ciders we headed back to my dad’s, where my step mom made a pre-thanksgiving dinner. Perfect for a hunger crew!

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I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

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Our 2014 Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

 

DAY 4. Sunday –

We took the kids to The State Capitol to check it out because, when in Rome. Emery was learning her state capitals a few months ago so she knew Sacramento was the state’s capital, now she was able to see it up close. We went inside, something Victor and I hadn’t done before. Val was our tour guide leading the way to all the rooms available for visitors. We got to see the assembly room, where all the decisions are made. We found a gift shop and picked up two new California children’s books and a magnet for our trip!

At the end of this day I think Victor and I both looked at each other and decided we needed one more day in the city.

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

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looking up at the dome with daddy

looking up at the dome with daddy

Inside the assembly room

Inside the assembly room

When we got home we did some homework on California

When we got home we did some homework on California

 

DAY 5. Monday –
BONUS DAY!!! Also uuber sad day because this was the day we had to leave. We sad goodbye to great grandma Mary and snuck in a few photos. We had lunch with Nina Val one last time. And let me say this, one of my favorite things about the trip was the last meal at The Sandwich Spot. OHMYGAWD so good. so good.

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Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandma Andrea

Grandma Andrea

We said our goodbyes and I stressed all over about the 3 hour road trip home. Emery had to pee 40 minutes into it (how I don’t know because she went before we left), Carlos woke up right away and I was dreading the hours of crying. Luckily everything went smooth and we plan to be back again sooner than later.

Valerie, has a YouTube channel – Valsays and vlogged our trip. So forget everything you just read and watch mini clips of it below.

Getting in the Christmas cheer

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It seems like Christmas has come early this year. Before the turkey had even been cooked, lights around the block were going up for the next holiday. The Monday after Christmas I took down the Fall/Thanksgiving decorations and started getting Christmas ready. It’s always a bit of a surprise to see what kind of decorations we have stored away. As I went through the box I had forgotten about the little souvenirs stowed away. The clay hand prints, Emery’s first Christmas picture and first Christmas picture ornament, Victor’s kindergarten drawings and our 2011 family ornament photo. This is the first year we are participating in the, Elf On The Shelf craze. We got our elf at Costco, I didn’t realize until we got home that he didn’t come with the book that tells his story. However, I did find an Elf On The Shelf website to register our little guy. I walked outside at night and “found” the little elf right by our door, sitting on the pumpkins left over from Fall. Victor had just bought a Christmas tree that night so we were cleaning up and walking in and out of the house. Little Vic thought we had put the elf outside but didn’t see anyone setting him up. The kids ran to the door when I asked, “Who did this?!”. We brought the elf into the warm house and Emery named him Snowy, everyone agreed to keep the name. That next morning the kids found Snowy cuddled up next to the Christmas tree with a mini pillow and blanket. It’s going to be a fun new tradition here, to wake up and find the little guy and see what he has been up to when we were all sleeping.

Follow us on Instagram Gypsywidow for my Snowy pictures

Follow us on Instagram Gypsywidow for my Snowy pictures

Every year during this time, we take our annual family photo and send it off in a Christmas card. This year is extra special because it’s Carlos’ first time joining us in our family tradition. While every year the photo comes out beautiful, behind the scenes it’s a struggle to get everyone to smile without looking like they have to poop or to have the kids looking into the camera. Over the years Emery has always done something that wasn’t “as planned”. We’ve learned that’s just part of her quirky self. My husband and I are usually the ones taking our own family photo, so it becomes a mad dash to the camera and back to the setting before the timer goes off. This year we had Carlos’ Nina, Valerie, take our photo. Shes somewhat of an accomplished photographer, with her own calender of Sacramento and her blog about her love of film. I thought this years pictures would be a piece of cake! All we really had to worry about was the baby looking at the camera and not facing away or looking down. Well, I was wrong! Emery decided she just didn’t want to participate this year and that sent me and my husband into a panic. Another year of going crazy to get the right picture of our expanding family. While the baby was completely fine and smiled here in there, Emery was in a mood. She just wanted to go see the Christmas trees. Nothing will work when she doesn’t want to do anything, we begged, pleaded, bribed her with candy (how awful I know) and offered to pay her in gold (I maybe exaggerating a little now)  but that little smile of hers wasn’t budging. Emery’s latest thing for the past few weeks has been her collecting walking-sticks. She usually finds the shortest ones and walks around hunched back with her stick. As we posed for the photos in group pictures, Emery walked the orchards and found a walking stick to her liking. We let her take a picture with it, because as we said before, Emery will be Emery and her silliness is what makes her so special. THAT and because she looked like a cave women in her faux fur vest, little fox shoes and her warding club.

The walking-stick that will live on in pictures.

The walking-stick that will live on in pictures.

However, when it was all said and done with we got the photo we wanted! Valerie messaged me the best of’s and believe it or not, the last picture she took with her phone as a fast quicky so we could see how they looked, right before it died was the winning picture!  It captured Emery in her funk but with a slight smile, the baby looking up with a slight silly face, the 10-year-old messing with grass and the two parents who survived another year of our favorite yet hectic tradition in a perfect (if i do say so myself, and I will) pose. It’s classically us.

2013 Family Photo

2013
Family Photo

Before it gets too late into the month I sat the kids down after dinner and had them write their Christmas list. I played Christmas music via Pandora, made them hot coco and gave them each a Christmas cookie I had bought them the day before. Cooking is not my forte, I can’t cook or bake. I had to make the hot coco three times before it came out. The first attempt I just put the powder on top of the milk, apparently this was a big mistake, as it did not mix at all. The second time I read the back of the packet and it stated that I needed to pour warm/hot milk into the cup. I put milk into a saucer and waiter for a slight boil. Then I smelt burnt milk and realized that the milk on the bottom was burning away. Third time was a charm! I put the milk back in the saucer stirred it the whole time and put it on real low. After telling my cooking story to my Sister-in-law, she asked me “why didn’t you just nuke it in the microwave”. Yesterday while driving around Emery started to question Santa. She asked, “Why is Santa magic?”. Why is he magic? I don’t know why he’s magic really, so I said I wasn’t sure, he just is. She  responded, “Well, he doesn’t have a wand”. Haha how can I argue with that logic! She’s always been impossible to trick, by the time she’s in Kindergarten she’s going to hand out pamphlets to the kids, telling them to question “big brother” and think for themselves.

The Santa paper can be found on my Pinterest Mommylaughs

The Santa paper can be found on my Pinterest Mommylaughs

Emery's Christmas list. Written by her this year, with guidance from me. This will be something I will save .

Emery’s Christmas list. Written by her this year, with guidance from me. This will be something I will save .

And as I do with each Holiday I printed out some pictures for the kids to color. I found some religious coloring pages with scripture, so that especially the little ones can grow up remembering Christmas is religious time and not just about elves and gifts.
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Every night or when there’s time I’ve been reading a story or two from Emery’s children’s bible. Her favorite is Adam & Eve, so I have to read that at least once. There’s sure to be more memories made this year and crafts to be put away, and found again next year.

As I’m about publish this to the world-wide-web I realized it’s a very special day! Emery is now 3 1/2 today! Every 6 months I cry when the kids get a year and a half older. It’s always bitter-sweet to see them growing up.

Happy 3 1/2 Birthday to my crazy Angel!

Happy 3 1/2 Birthday to my crazy Angel!

Thanksgiving crafts

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Another Holiday is here! The house is filled with Fall and Thanksgiving decorations. The mantel is done up, the outside of our home has our dried up corn stocks from the summer garden and pumpkins next to them. The children have been colored Thanksgiving coloring pages, made felt hand turkeys and we made one giant turkey with all of the kids hands.

I printed coloring pages off the internet from my Pinterest board. It’s not hard to find a site that has Thanksgiving drawings (or any Holiday or theme) for your children to do. A simple Google search can lead you to a million photos and Thanksgiving games such as word search or connect the dots. Last year you may remember from my blog, I printed out lots of different coloring sheets for the kids to color before the food was ready. It’s a fun little project to have them do all together before the bird is done.

Coloring Thanksgiving pages and activities

Coloring Thanksgiving pages and activities

I’m starting a simple Holiday tradition with the children. Every Holiday I want to trace their hands and save it into our Holiday box, so I can watch their little hands grow year by year. It started with the Halloween spiders, and continuing with the Thanksgiving turkey hands.

Turkey hands

Turkey hands.

You can also use puff paint and give your turkeys eyes or have the kids designs on the wings with different colors. Just like the Halloween spiders, you can also punch a hole up top and add string and place your turkeys on your mantel or anywhere else you would like to show them off at in your home.

The backs of the turkey to mark who's hand is who's when they get older

The backs of the turkey to mark whose hand is who’s when they get older

I thought what if it was cute to trace the children’s hands and make one big turkey. I used the babies little foot for the turkeys body. Tracing a baby’s hand is pretty impossible, let alone trying to hold their foot still and having to trace it or have someone else trace it. I discovered flour! I rubbed flour on the bottom of his foot and put his little foot on the felt. It left a nice a little imprint of his foot for me to trace. It made things so much more easy and less of a traumatic experience.

Flour on the foot. I will never struggle tracing another child's hand or foot again!

Flour on the foot. I will never struggle tracing another child’s hand or foot again!

All of the kids hands into one big turkey! From oldest to youngest making the turkeys wings

All of the kids hands into one big turkey! From oldest to youngest making the turkeys wings

After they had their individual hand I used that one cut out as a template to make all their other hands for the turkey’s wings. You can get more creative and save it in a frame.

Enjoy some Thanksgiving activities with the kids before the Holiday is over, and don’t forget to follow my Pinterest for some good ideas on family fun & follow us on Instagram at gypsywidow!

Halloween crafts

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To keep up with the spirit of Halloween, I’ve been playing family Halloween music on Pandora for the past week and doing activities with the kids, Some nights I’ve printed out Halloween coloring pages I’ve found online. One night I printed a dozen different Halloween scenes out and brought them over to my family’s house and had the kids sit around the table with a bucket or crayons. Later when we got home their coloring pages went up on the kitchen cabinets. Pinterest  has given me several new suggestions to spice up my Halloween game, and with 118 plus things pinned in my board, I have no shortage of ideas.
A few days ago we made a family trip to Michaels. This happens to be my favorite store. Just walking in and smelling that familiar cinnamon scent that welcomes me as soon as the doors open, always puts me in a creative state. We got some stiff black felt and googly eyes for “hand” spiders, we were going to make with the kids.

This is what you will need :

1. A hot glue gun, glue sticks & paper plate or something to catch the hot glue dripping down 2. A blue or white color pencil so you can see your tracing  3. Scissors for cutting out the hand you have traced 4. White yarn for the spiders web string 5. A hole puncher to tie the yarn through  6. & googly eyes 7. Not pictured here but you can use puff paint to write the name of the child the hand spider belongs to and the year.

1. A hot glue gun, glue sticks & paper plate or something to catch the hot glue dripping down
2. A blue or white color pencil so you can see your tracing
3. Scissors for cutting out the hand you have traced
4. White yarn for the spider’s web string
5. A hole puncher to tie the yarn through
6. & googly eyes
7. Not pictured here but you can use puff paint to write the name of the child the hand spider belongs to and the year.

It’s pretty basic, get some black stiff felt (it’s a few cents more than the standard flimsy felt), put your child’s hand on in and trace around with a pencil. Cut out the tracing and put a hole punch at the top of the palm so that the fingers are dangling down like legs. If you don’t have a hole puncher done worry! You can bend the top of the palm cut out slightly and make a hole with the scissors. Warm up the glue gun, this will take a minute or two then add the googly eyes. We only used two but feel free to be creative and have a spider with three or more eyes. Add the string, cut to your own desired length and if you like use puff paint (I used white) to add the child’s name and the year.
This was such a cute idea we decided every year to have a hand or foot cut out to see how much the child has grown and as a little family memento.

Our hand spiders! Happy Halloween!

Our hand spiders!
Happy Halloween!

A day at the Fire Station

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Every year our local Hanford, Fire Station has an open house. Usually we aren’t able to make it, because it’s the same weekend we make our trip to Roseville to visit my Dad and head out to Apple Hill . Because we were not able to go up North this year, I excited to take the kids to this event.
Growing up my Dad would take my brother and I to things like this. I love to pass the experiences down to my kids. Emery has really been asking questions about Fire trucks and Ambulances. Any time we see one on the road we talk about where they might be headed or what the kind of things the vehicle has inside of it. The Hanford Fire Station’s open house is really  a hands on experience. With guidance the kids are able to work the fire hose and put out a “fire” (a red vinyl sheet) in the window. How often does a person get to say they’ve done that! There’s an Ambulance the kids can go in and a Paramedic will talk to the kids about what the different things inside are and used for. Even I learn about a machine that can take a picture of your heart. Pretty cool stuff.
Emery sat in the front seat of a Highway Patrol car, and sat in the Fire Truck’s front and back row. The Fire Fighter’s handed out goodie bags with pencils, magnets stickers and fire safety coloring books.
This year the Fire Station also had, Kid Print. It’s a card with your child’s home address, measurements, photo, thumb print and any birth marks or allergies that he or she may have. The information is then added to the Police Stations data base on record. It was free and totally worth waiting in line for. I’m going to put my daughter’s card in her backpack she carries around.
After we got our card we took a little tour into the Fire Station to experience how a Fire Fighter lives. We saw their living room, kitchen, rooms and gym. Last but not least we had to ride, “Freddie” a little red tour truck, you can see around town from now and now. Freddie took us all through down town and dropped us off at the Carousel. We had no idea we would be getting dropped off. It was a nice little surprise. Despite all the amazing pictures and the fun I know the kids had, for me this was the best part Because, every time I drive down town Emery will always ask and talk about the one time last year she got to ride the carousel. I feel bad that I we don’t stop, but I never see anyone on them or a man standing at the machine waiting for riders. So this was THE PERFECT way to end our day. She was so happy! She was laughing and yelling. A lady in front of us kept turning around because Emery was so happy. Pure happiness from a child is the best thing on Earth for me. This was also the Carlos’ first time on a ride. He seemed to enjoy it as he sat down with his Dad.
I think I will start going to Apple Hill the following week so we can make the Fire Station’s open house every year.

Open House 2013

Open House 2013

 

Just hanging out on Fire Truck

Just hanging out on a Fire Truck

 

Driving the Fire Truck

Driving the Fire Truck

 

Using the fire hose For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram

Using the fire hose
For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram

 

Inside the Ambulance

Inside the Ambulance

 

Taking a ride through town on "Freddie".

Taking a ride through town on “Freddie”.

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel. For the video on this & more check out my Instagram – Gypsywidow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlos’ first time at the Pumpkin patch

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October happens to be my favorite month of the whole year. It’s a change in season from the hot long summers we have in the Valley. It’s also when all the pumpkins are ready for picking. Usually we take a trip up North, visit my family for the weekend and make a trip to Placerville where Apple Hill is. Its a little family tradition we try to maintain. This year we couldn’t make the trip so I took the kids to our second favorite spot, Vossler Farms in Visalia, California. Vossler Farms has a petting zoo, face painting, free station to stuff a scare crow, a corn pit for kids to play in, mini hay, hay ride, mini corn maze and a huge corn maze with a different design every year. It’s one of those things that makes me happy to live in the country. We went the first full week of it being open, Friday noon we had the whole place to ourselves. It was a nice way to spend the day together.
Emery’s first time to the patch was at Vosslers 3 years ago, when she was 4 months. This was Carlos’ first time at a pumpkin patch at only 8 months. His Nina Valerie came with us, it made it an extra special trip. We put his face in Halloween cut outs, took his pictures while he wore a pumpkin outfit his sister wore for her first trip. He didn’t like sitting on the ground but let us take a few good snap shots. The day turned out to be pretty hot so we rested under the corn pit while Emery made some “corn angels”. We re-cooped and I got some great photos of him and his Nina Valerie.
We ended our afternoon with some great burgers at Valerie and I’s favorite spot, In N Out. We have a long history with the burger joint. It was great to spend the day relaxing with such a great friend. It just like the “olden” days but with two little kids to make the day more
memorable.

 

I found the perfect pumpkin!

I found the perfect pumpkin!

My corn angel

My corn angel

Nina Valerie

Nina Valerie

Mini corn maze with the kids

Mini corn maze with the kids