Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Kate

Dear my most loyal readers,

We have a couple of matters to discuss:

1. No, I'm not dead, but it has been incredibly sweet of you to stop by so often and hit refresh two or three times to ensure you didn't miss out on my bi-monthly (sometimes less...) updates. I love you very much for that.

2. We need to talk about this blog. Deciphering Kate was created almost 7 years ago by a girl I hardly know anymore. She was a sweet girl--quite a lovely girl, actually--but she was a very naive girl who had absolutely no idea where life was taking her. She was curious and she was scared and she was brilliant in her own way, but she was silly for thinking the key to life was over-thinking every little aspect and trying to "find who she is". I don't believe time was wasted as I very much enjoy going back and reading what she had to say, but I do think perhaps many opportunities were lost and experiences missed because she spent so much time writing about who she wanted to be instead of getting out there, meeting people by living her life and just BEING who she was.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there is no "deciphering" left to do. I'm a 30-something year old mother to two awesome little boys. My next 3 hours are already planned at any given time--making a trip to the grocery store, then giving the boys a bath, then walking/jogging 2 miles on the treadmill, then I have got to get some sleep--there is no time left for looking to my inner self and pleading to be someone cool and put-together. I'm already Wonder Woman for crying out loud!

"Deciphering Kate" no longer describes my life and as hard as I've tried, I have not been successful at writing about my now life from within my then life. So, I guess it is officially over. Deciphering Kate has ended.

It's been real, yo.
With my utmost love and respect,
Your friend,

P.S. But not so fast! I still love to write. I still love to write about myself. I still love to share photos of my children and update my friends and family who live so far away which means I still need a blog. I'm really excited to show you a new project I've been working on that will help me continue writing about my now life and hopefully solve that pesky problem with the whole bi-monthly (sometimes less...) updates. Without further ado I give you... Chick Flicks & Superheroes - one mom's perspective on raising two super little men and making the most of her own time. You should totally check it out! But don't forget to update your bookmarks and blog lists.

P.P.S. Aren't you glad there was a third matter to discuss?? Me too. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's a little sad to realize I have all these words to record my feelings, I have a camera and video to capture the good times, but there is no way to bottle up and save the actual physical feeling of holding my children in my arms. They are two different sizes but each one fits so damn perfectly all cradled against me. I just want to remember it forever.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Adventures in potty training

I lost count of how many nieces and nephews I have somewhere around the number 16. I'm sure I could figure it out with a little time and a calculator but then I'd have to wonder if I should include great nieces and nephews as well and this already has me going off subject!

Anyway, my siblings have a lot of kids. I grew up with most of them but I never bothered to pay much attention to what was required to raise them. I didn't learn how often to feed and burp them, how to teach them to count, or how to actually get them to fall asleep for any stretch of time. And now that we moved so far away from my family and the ever growing population of babies it seems to create, I'm kind of on my own to figure it out. I've been known to read a few books, to consult Dr. Google from time to time, but mostly I have to rely on ques from Owen to determine when he's ready for something. It's worked pretty well so far, but I think this little thing called potty training has us both stumped.

He's only 2 and a half and diapers are still very convenient for both of us so I'm not interested in rushing anything, but I also don't want to be that mom who sends her son to college in diapers! I don't know when to start pushing it or even how to approach it and while Owen shows occasional interest in the Fisher Price potty we set out for him a while ago, he doesn't seem all that ready to get down to potty business either.

He showed plenty of sudden interest yesterday afternoon though, when I caught him standing in front of the little potty, shorts down around his ankles, and frantically pulling at this diaper. When he spotted me, he started to panic and shouted, "Oh no, Mama! Poop! Poop!"

I must admit, I got a little excited at the sight of him, so afraid he may get poop in his diaper, desperately wanting to put that poop in the potty instead. I thought this was it. Potty training has begun and it was going to be a breeze! My little boy was ready and willing and this wait and see approach finally paid off. I could save a fortune on diapers. We could buy cute little Superman underwear. I would no longer have to cringe every time a friend talked about their toilet using child who is also months younger than Owen.

I helped Owen take off his diaper, he sat down on the potty, and I started going on and on about how exciting this was! He sat there quietly as I watched. His face turned a light shade of red and he made a few grunting sounds. After a minute or two he stood up, turned around, put his face only a few inches from the rim of the potty seat and shouted, "Woooaaaaaah Mama! Owen did it!! LOOK AT THAT POOP!!!! THAT'S A BIIIIIIIIG POOP!!! That's a LOT of poop!!"

My mind racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what kind of reward to give him, I prepared myself to view my son's very first non-diaper poo! Then I bent over to peek around his little head, and I saw right into the very EMPTY toilet bowl.

Moments later he did the exact same song and dance for pee.

I give him a million brownie points for the excellent imagination and impressive acting skills, but it looks like this potty training business still has us both baffled.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

For richer and poorer

What's more exciting and frightening than having a child? Having two children. What's more exciting and frightening than having two children? Quitting your job to stay home and care for them. Today should have been my first day back to work after 10 weeks of maternity leave, instead Jon and I spent the better part of the last week and a half searching for alternate care for the boys. We had a sitter lined up since January but due to personal reasons she was no longer able to take them on. And in our search for a new care provider we learned that our friend was giving us a most generous discount. The cost of care elsewhere, even in-home providers, made it pointless for me to work. So I quit and started my new job as a stay at home mom or SAHM (I am incapable of typing that without thinking of dooce and Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker!).

While it is unnerving giving up nearly a third of our income I'm also super excited as this is something I've wanted to do since Owen was born but the loss of money was scary, preventing Jon and I from making such a drastic commitment. I guess you could say this was the kick in the pants we needed. I mean, if we're going to be broke, we might as well be broke while I stay home and enjoy the kids, right?

No, seriously, we are now broke. Extra money is a thing of the past. Somehow, in the span of a couple short weeks, we've become extremely poor and rich all at the same time. I have no money but I officially have everything I ever wanted in life.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Are you not writing because you're happy?

Yes. But you're in luck as my husband hopped a plane to San Antonio this morning, leaving me alone with not one but TWO kids for the week! Bedtime started over 2 hours ago and I THINK (fingers crossed!!) I may have finally gotten both little ones down for the night. I cannot, however, guarantee the 2-year-old still has his diaper on because I refuse to open his door for fear of waking him. Long story short, I had just enough pent up frustration to log in to this blog and type a few sentences.

No, seriously, the last few months have been so amazing...tiring, but truly amazing! For what it's worth, we did get the house I so desperately wanted in my last post. It's everything I hoped it would be and more. Can you say great neighbors, huge back yard, and en suite master bath? Of course, those are small potatoes compared to the blissful sleep we get every night. Yes, even now, with an infant in the house. I'll take the screams of a hungry newborn at 2:00 in the morning over the night-long stomping of the Elephant Man any day! I'm just so happy to be done with that part of our lives. I was 28 weeks pregnant when we moved out of the apartment, and let me tell you, despite swollen feet, a painful bout with sciatica, and being the size of a house, I slept like a baby to the very end of my pregnancy. I had a lot of catching up to do!

Even more important than the house is the announcement that Lucas arrived! He was born June 26 and weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces. It was a super easy delivery that consisted of 2 and a half pushes. He's followed suit as a super easy-going, laid back baby whom I absolutely freaking adore. The last 8 weeks have forced me to reconsider my definition of soul mate as I don't believe I married mine but gave birth to him instead. It's like he was perfectly tailored for me. He's patient, loving, cuddly, smiley, easily amused, and nurses like a champ. He could spend entire days watching his big brother Owen fly around the house pretending to be Superman. He loves my singing and thinks I give really great baby massages. He also loves to be outside. He's been to every play ground within 20 miles of here, to the zoo, to the ocean, and even back to Ohio for a few days. He's a rock star. They say you have to let go of the baby you expected and learn to love the one you have. There was no learning required with Lucas.

Owen had a little harder time adjusting to a new baby in the house. I take the blame for that as I don't think we did enough to prepare him for a little brother. I should have read more books, talked to him more about what it would be like and what it would require from Mommy. I figured we could cover it more thoroughly after the baby arrived. Boy was I wrong! We had a lot of tantrums and acting out and still do occasionally but he's come around pretty quickly. He understands I still love him just as much as before and Lucas hasn't taken away his Mama. He loves to help change diapers, offer up toys when the baby is crying, and gives many, many kisses to the forehead. Owen has proven to be one hell of a big brother.

The transition from family of 3 to family of 4 certainly had it's hiccups but turned out to be much easier than I expected. In fact, if you could guarantee it would always be this easy, I might do it a dozen more times!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Are you there God? It's me, Kate.

One dozen homes viewed. Three offers submitted, the last of which was sent in at 9:00 last night. Homes are coming off the market in less than a week span before we can even get an appointment to see them. Turns out having to give this much of notice to our current leasing manager was kind of a blessing in disguise. We couldn't be nearly as picky as we have been if we only had a month to look.

We actually found two places last night. One I could live in forever, and one that will work for the next year or two. We made the offer on the one I could live in forever, the one with brick exterior and light green siding. Ringing any bells with our Ohio friends and family? Yeah, it felt just like our house, but even better. I've been awake half the night staring at photos of the home and the neighborhood, willing it all to work out this time, and falling even more in love. I know I'm only asking for disappointment by doing so, but I mean really, how many times can you submit an offer and be told it just went in contract the same day you saw it? Fingers crossed that doesn't happen this time! I could really use a positive note to end this crappy week and word that our offer has been accepted could carry me for quite some time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Things I learned from experience this week

1. Never tell people "He doesn't really need anything," when it comes to your son's birthday. They may take this as an invitation to skip even a card or note saying "I love you."

2. It's silly to expect particularly forgetful family members to remember to contact you on your own birthday, even if they did labor and birth you 30 years ago.

3. Maryland doctors of obstetrics and gynecology think it's perfectly understandable to charge you $620 for delivering your baby, even if said delivery isn't expected to take place for another 17 weeks. They may also refuse further treatment if you do not provide payment in full immediately.

4. Never put your child down while walking through a potential home, even if it's by appointment and he is a perfectly mobile toddler, because you never know when the current occupants may have left their attack dog in an upstairs bedroom.

5. If you send long, emotional, and ranting texts to your husband who is 1,400 miles away he may always reply with "It'll be okay. I love you." He probably thinks he's showing sympathy but he's actually just making you feel like an unreasonable and raving lunatic.

Overall, it's been a particularly shitty week. One thing I do have going for me is this incredibly sweet gesture from one amazing little boy. I want him to sing Happy Birthday to me for the rest of my days! I love the exaggerated way he curls his lips, and note the surprise on his face when he realizes who we're singing to: