Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eating my words - Follow up

Who's that girl? Oh, would be a big girl that has successfully given up her pacifier, that's who! Some of you have asked how it went so I wanted to give the rest of the story.

If you couldn't tell, I was anticipating a pretty bad night when I took her pacifier away. To be honest, it was probably the best opportunity that I would have for awhile since Jared was out of town for a full week and there was no telling how long the girl would be upset about it. He would have caved in a heartbeat.

That night, she slept her normal 12 1/2 hours with no problems whatsoever. Harper woke up that morning just like any other morning. She knew she had misbehaved and the paci had paid the price. It wasn't until nap time that next day that it sunk in that she wasn't getting it back. We definitely had some tears at nap time when I told her no paci.

But night #2 was the full blown meltdown. The Squirrel asked for her paci as we were getting ready for bed. I replied, "No Harper. No paci. Your a big girl now and big girls don't use pacis.". You would have thought I had told her I was shipping her off to Siberia. That bottom lip jutted out and the tears started streaming down her face. We continued this conversation two more times, went through our routine of songs and prayers and I laid the girl down in her crib. She gave it one more try with "paci?", let out a huge wail and I scurried out of her room feeling pretty guilty.

I grabbed the video monitor so I could keep an eye on her and she was pacing back and forth in her crib crying out "Paci!!! Paciiiiii!!!!" It actually made me laugh because all I could think of was "Atreyuuuuu!!!! Falkorrrr!!!!"

After about ten minutes of screaming out "Never Ending Story" style, she crumpled to the mattress, softly whimpering "paci, paci, paci" and then promptly fell asleep only to wake up at 7:30am. Really, it makes me cringe to think of the first time she gets her heart broken. I'm envisioning a teenage girl blaring whatever the 2026 version of "With or Without You" might be and sobbing into her pillowcase - Lord help us!

We repeated this scene the next night for about a minute and a half and other than a few passing requests which she quickly brushed off, we now have a pacifier free big girl!

And just as I say this, Harris has started the habit of waking up between 1am and 2am only to be soothed by his pacifier being put back in his mouth - I really need to stop being an enabler!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Honey Hijacking

Okay - this one is a little embarrassing but thank you Mom/Honey!  What a sweet birthday gift.  And without further ado, here's Honey:

It’s Hijacking time once again as I look back on 32 years of celebrating the life of a daughter that continues to amaze me with each year that passes.

I believe Brooke was born about 90% pre-wired. The other 10% may have had something to do with her upbringing, her peers, her life experiences, but I take little credit for the incredible person I call my daughter.

From the time she could speak Brooke would grab things out of my hand saying, “I do it Mommy…” and to my amazement she could and would. Whether it was putting together a simple toy or something as complicated as a bicycle, she would tinker and snap and voila she had accomplished what I had tried for hours to do and she did it all with such ease.
She went through elementary school receiving special honors and awards. I had no idea she had accomplished these things until teachers would call and tell me she would be performing or receiving her achievement award at some special assembly. I would attend the presentations and would be awestruck at her poise, her self-confidence and her abilites.
Oh, she had her moments of failures. She tried out for 7th grade cheerleader and lost. As I watched my heartsick little 12 year old bravely go up to every one of her friends and their moms with hugs and congratulations, I knew then that she would always be a winner. 

College came and with little effort she not only graduated early but graduated summa cum laude. Not only was she capable, but bright as well...something she certainly didn’t get from me!
She went on to be successful in business, as well in the various volunteer responsibilities she has undertaken. Brooke has always given 100% of herself in everything thing she commits to and she does it with grace and diligence. I continue to be dumbfounded and so proud of her abilities and success.
All of this pales however when I now look at my daughter being the mother to her children. What an exceptional mommy she is! She delights in her babies and their smallest accomplishments. Her patience and her disciplinary techniques are so effective and loving. My heart fills with joy and love at the incredible woman she has become and just when I think I couldn’t love my daughter any more I find I can’t help myself and my love for her continues to grow.
Am I bragging? Absolutely! Am I biased? Naturally! But this is my daughter’s birthday, this is my highjacking and this is my chance to tell not only Brooke, but each of you young moms that one day you too will be able to look back after 32 years and marvel and at how amazing someone who is such a part of you can fill your heart.
Happy Birthday Boogie!


P.S.  Just had to enclose a small look back at some of the highlights of the life of Brooke Swallow...here’s a very edited version.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eating my words

So I just put my paci-holic to bed without her beloved paci.  Oh geez - what have I done?  Why do I have the feeling I'm going to be wide awake for the rest of the night?

We made the rule about a year ago that the paci-holic could only have her pacifier in her crib - read night time and nap time.  Harper knows the rules and has been pretty good with them even though there are now pacifiers strewn across the house with the introduction of a little Monchichi in early March.  Every once in awhile, she'll come across one of her little brother's pacifiers, pick it up, quickly look around to see if anyone is watching and sneak behind a piece of furniture to get a quick suck or two, after which she emerges like nothing has happened and happily hands the pacifier over saying, "Haya, Haya" (Harris in Almost-Two-Year-Old talk).  Sneaky, little thing.  

Over the last couple of days, the Almost-Two-Year-Old started kicking me when I'm getting her ready for bed.  I'll be changing her diaper and while she's lying down, those little legs start flying towards my chest and face.  I've tried a number of tactics (or psychological warfare) to try to get her to stop.  Firm and serious to which she just laughs in my face and continues kicking.  Stern and holding her legs down to which she just laughs in my face and continues kicking.  Sad and hurt to which she just laughs in my face and continues kicking.  Do you see a pattern here?

So tonight as we were getting ready for bed and the little legs started flying, it just popped out of my mouth.  I guess my subconscious was trying to think of the worst thing that could happen to my child.  And there it was, "Harper, if you kick me one more time, no more paci."  Oh crap!  I said it and now I can't back down.  Well, maybe she'll take me seriously this time.  Want to know what happened?  She hesitated, hitched her head to the side, looked at me with "oh, you wouldn't" eyes and let one little leg fly up to lightly flick me in the chest.  
Me:  "Okay, you chose your consequence.  No more paci."
Almost-Two-Year-Old:  "Paci?"
Me:  "No Harper, no paci tonight.  Mommy warned you.  No kicking, no paci."
Almost-Two-Year-Old:  "Paci?  Paci?  Paci?"
Me:  "Sorry sister.  You made your decision.  You kicked Mommy so no paci tonight."
Almost-Two-Year-Old:  "Paci, pease?  Paci, pease.  Paci, ppppeeeeaaaassssseeee!"
Me:  "I love you but no paci."

And so we continued through night time songs and prayers with a very guilty looking Almost-Two-Year-Old.  I laid her down in her crib, told her I loved her and she gave it one more quiet effort, "Paci, Mommy, pease?"  

And with that, I turned around and walked out of the room and snatched the monitor to watch her reaction.  I have to give her credit.  She gave one long wail and then face planted herself face first into her crib with Douglas in hand, clearly pouting.  But as of now, 9:01pm, she's sleeping soundly. I'm a little afraid about what 2am, 4am, 6am will bring but maybe we can kick this habit cold turkey.  Or maybe I've just punished myself with a night of no sleep but hey, she can't go to college sucking that paci so no time like the present!

And now I bring you, scenes from the iPhone of said Almost-Two-Year-Old.
Harps and Jared have a Starbucks date every Saturday morning - she insisted on wearing her pj's, hat and necklaces

We've moved to a booster chair so she sits at the table with us now.  As you can see, our friend Addie Brown joined us via her birthday party invitation at each meal this week at the Squirrel's request.
And we've entered the dress up phase - she kind of looks like she's been doused in Pepto
And I got a Double Bob for Mother's Day/Birthday - here's our first run

The snack tray has quickly become a foot rest

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Harris - Two Months

Happy Two Months Little Man!

Weight:  10 lbs, 15%
Length:  23 inches, 50%
Great reviews at his two month check up!

Eating:  BM every 3-4 hours with sporadic days of wanting to eat every 1-2 hours.  Has been battling some gas issues recently which have made for some pretty long and tearful days and nights.  The milk maker is now on a no dairy, no caffeine diet (so there goes the one small cup of coffee in the morning) and the boy is getting doses of Simethicone.

Sleeping:  Not consistent - some nights going a stretch from 10pm - 5am while others waking up at 2:30am.  We're trying to get back to the 5am stretch.  Outside of waking to eat, Harris is pretty good about going down at 8pm and sleeping until about 7:30am.

Napping:  Three good naps per day with a cat nap here and there.  Now napping in his crib when he's not being towed around in his car seat.
 Personality:  Smiling like crazy, talking quite a bit, loves his pacifier, definitely a snuggler, likes to be swaddled to sleep, can cry extremely loud and other than his stomach issues, seems pretty laid back.  Harris is interested in his sister and lights up when he sees her come around.  He's also a momma's boy so far (silent hooray!).  He seems to like music and loves to be talked to.

Etc:  We're currently trying to battle a flat head.  Harris prefers tilting his head to the left so we are constantly doing neck stretches, flipping his to different sides of the crib and changing table to get him to look to the right and working on making sure that noggin isn't misshapen but there might be a helmet in this kid's future.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thumbs Up Thursday

Thumbs up for quinoa.  I'm a little obsessed with quinoa these days.  Not only is it so good for you, but it takes on the flavor of whatever you add to it so it can serve as something sweet or something savory.  I've recently come across some great quinoa recipes on Pinterest so I thought I'd share!

Mango-Berry Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing from homemadetoast.blogspot.com

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed VERY VERY well
2 1/2 cups water (more or less)
zest from 1/2 lemon (about a teaspoon)
3 cups dicced fruit (I used mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries)
handful of basil - about a 1/2 cup, loosely packed (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup honey
1-2 lemons
Rinse quinoa very well, until water is perfectly clear. In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, water, lemon zest, and stems from basil. Over medium-high heat, bring the quinoa to a simmer. Once it begins simmering, remove basil stems, and cover. Continue to simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Add more water while cooking, if necessary.
When the quinoa is finished, fluff it with a fork and allow it to cool, uncovered while you prepare the sauce and fruit.  Add a handful of basil leaves, honey, and lemon juice all in a food processor or blender. 
Prepare fruit by dicing into uniform-sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine fruit and sauce. Stir to coat.
Then, add in the quinoa. Chill for at least two hours, stir again before serving.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing from www.eating-for-england.com
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped into chunks
handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
small handful cilantro, diced
1 limes, juiced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through.
Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips and a refreshing, cold beer.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Harper's Friends

Harps is definitely a stuffed animal/baby doll girl.  All of her friends have very specific names, places in her room where they reside and she requests them at different times by name.  There have been a few times when we'll name one on the fly and I'll completely forget what we've named him.  Not Harper - she remembers each name once given.  I'm worried that we're going to need another bedroom just for her friends if the collection keeps growing!
In order of appearance:  Peach (the sheep), Douglass (the monkey), Buzz (the bee), Ah-ah (the monkey), Betty (the baby), Edgar (the elephant who wears a diaper), Hatcher (the baby - named after her boyfriend at school), Bruce (the rabbit), Bill (the camel), Ralph (the bunny), Ella (the baby), Dolly (the, well, doll), Baby (appropriately named so) and Harper (the little girl)

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Can I geek out for a second? Take a stroll outside tonight, look up in the sky and you'll see the supermoon. The supermoon is a phenomenon where the moon will not only be full but will appear larger than it does any other time of the year due to its distance from the Earth. Look as it's coming over the horizon and then at 10:35pm central when the supermoon effect will be at it's greatest.

And for a total astronomical experience, download the SkyView app (they have a free version) and get a lesson on constellations while you're at it. Happy star gazing!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Comparing my two children

Over the past eight weeks, I keep getting the questions that most mothers of newborns get - "How are you doing? Are you all adjusting? Is Harris sleeping? How's Harper doing with having a baby around? Things are pretty hard with a newborn, aren't they?"

To be honest, yes, I have my days where I wake up, put on my "work out gear" with no plans of working out, throw on a baseball cap and get asked by my husband at the end of the day if I plan on taking a shower at all. Things can get pretty stressful when Jared is out of town for work, I have a toddler that is perfecting the art of the tantrum and a newborn that's screaming hysterically and only my boob in his mouth will make him stop....unfortunately, I have the tantrum throwing toddler in the bathtub so the newborn will just have to wail a little longer. Yes, I've had a few times when I've been up all night with Harris and just as I get him to sleep at 5am, Harper decides to wake up at 6:30am, rip roaring and ready to go for the day. And I might have repeated over and over again once or twice, "Lord, give me patience. Lord, give me patience. Lord, give me patience.".

However, today Harris is exactly the same age that Harper was when we brought her home from the hospital. That seems crazy to me! It feels like we've had Harris home for forever and that he's changed so much in just these two short months. So while we have our rough days and nights, we are also so grateful to have had a healthy baby at home this time around. It kind of puts things in perspective.

Now for those moms that might read this blog and are expecting a baby with a stay in the NICU, I don't say this to make you dread what is coming but I've realized a few things in comparing my two experiences:

1. Once your baby is home or if you have other children later down the road, I hope you can pause in the middle of a sleepless night with a screaming baby to appreciate being home and being the one to hold your baby. I am still thankful that I am able to walk just a few short steps across the house to check on my babies.

2. I'm not sure if this is the case with all moms of NICU babies but I realize now that I didn't fully "bond" with Harper until we had her home. Sure, I loved her but I didn't really feel like she was mine when we were in the hospital. People kept talking about that motherly love but I don't know that I fully got it until Harper was at home with us and was 100% our responsibility. I've noticed with Harris that it kicked in much earlier and I think much of that has to do with Harper's time in the hospital.

3. It made me mad at the time when people would tell me that Harper's first year of life with all of its heartache and difficulty would seem like a small blip on the radar screen. But you know what? It's true! As I watched Harper run and play with the other kids at gym yesterday, it was amazing to think how normal our lives are now and how much we have to be grateful for in such a small amount of time. The normalness of watching my little girl learn new things each day, of watching her try new challenges, learn new social skills and be amazed at her curiosity has taken over those terrifying thoughts and fears.

I know they say not to compare your children to one another but in times like these, I'm happy to do so because it makes me stop and say, "Lord, I am thankful. Lord, I am thankful. Lord, I am thankful."