Sunday, 23 February 2014

How Quickly We Forget

Last week I was bound and determined to get back on track. On Sunday evening I wrote a detailed plan for the week ahead, and on Monday morning I kicked it into high gear. By Saturday morning I was worn out. I can always tell when I have reached my limit because I begin to grumble over the most trivial things:

Ugh! Derrick took the wrong lunch with him today.

When will Zoe learn to clean up her school books when she is done with them?

Why can't Elliot shut his dresser drawers when he is done rifling through them?

The only thing that put a smile on my face was the fact that within an hour they would all be gone, leaving Leif and I alone to tackle the to-do list. As soon as I returned home from dropping the kids off at soccer, I placed Leif on his toy mat, and I started to clean up the breakfast dishes. Unfortunately, Leif' did not feel like playing and he quickly began to fuss. I grumbled and picked him up.

Well, then it is time for you to go to sleep my little man. Mama has lots to do today.

So, I had a seat in the living room and began to nurse him. In no time he was fast asleep. I scooped Leif up in my arms and quietly walked him into our room where I gently placed him in his crib. Then I crept back out and headed back to the kitchen. As I was finishing up the dishes and was just about to switch the laundry over, I heard Leif crying. 


I went back into the room and patted his back hoping it would soothe him, but he was too upset.

Well, Leif, I guess you are going to have to get in the carrier and help mama finish her chores today.

But he was having none of this. He cried and cried. 

Leif, you have to man up. This is ridiculous.

Then I headed to the laundry room with my crying baby in tow. As I knelt before the dryer pulling out all the towels, I explained to Leif once again that he was being ridiculous and that he needed to suck it up. By now, even I was crying. I only had half of the towels in the laundry basket when all of a sudden I stopped. I stood up and walked upstairs. I took Leif out of the carrier, sat back down on the chair with him, and pulled out a boob. As I gazed into his eyes, still wet from all his tears, he smiled at me and a thought popped into my head:

How many Saturdays have I spent over the past few years doing laundry, washing dishes, and making meals with a heavy heart because I wanted nothing more than my baby to hold?

So, I settled in for the afternoon. This time when Leif fell asleep I did not budge. I turned on the television, neglected my chores and snuggled my baby. It was exactly what this weary mom needed.

When Leif finally woke up three hours later, I handed him over to play with Zoe. I felt refreshed. I had reconnected with my baby and I was no longer grouchy. I quickly finished up my laundry and put Leif back into the carrier. This time, though, we were heading outside for a walk to enjoy the spring-like weather, and we were both much happier people.

Being a mom is tough. As much as we would like to play with our children and hold our babies all day long, we can't. We have work that needs to be done. Like everything in life, the key is finding a balance. So this week, when I sit down to plan the week ahead, I am leaving Saturday afternoon wide open because this little guy (and the one in front of him . . . tee hee!) is pretty special to me, and I am going to take every possible opportunity to enjoy him.

While you are here, check out how handsome my boys looked in their church clothes today:

I am one very lucky mama!   

Friday, 21 February 2014

Brotherly Love

I love watching how your siblings interact with you, Leif, because they each do it in their own unique way. Zoe-time is filled with games and songs geared to stimulate your brain. She sits on the couch and lies you up against her bended knees and  sings to you and reads to you. The other day I even caught her trying to teach you about shapes and colours . . . Mensa, here you come! I think Zoe is tired of being the only brainiac in the house; either that or she thinks of you as her latest experiment (kind of like all the bacteria she is currently growing in her room). Whatever her motives are, you love spending time with your Zoe girl, and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes you prefer her arms to mine.

Elliot-time is like your own personal therapy session. Elliot always holds you really close, asks you how you are feeling and assures you that he will never let anything hurt you. His main goal is to make sure you feel safe and comfortable. He also carefully introduces and explains the world around you. The other day, I overheard him tell you: 

Leif, when mom says just a minute, she does not actually mean another minute more. What she means to say is that she is busy right now and that you have to wait. Just because she can't hold you right now does not mean she does not love you. Trust me. She's just a busy mom.

You love curling up with Elliot when you are tired or need a rest from your daily mental warm-ups with Zoe, and it melts my heart to see how gentle he is with you.

Avery-time, on the other hand, is all about strength-training. He is dying for you to run, jump and even fly (yes, I caught him just two days after you arrived home from the hospital trying to fly you around the room . . . eeeek!) You love Avery's energy when you are in the mood to play. He joins you at tubby time and splashes you and dumps water over your head. He holds you up and bounces you on the couch. He rolls you, he tickles you, and he runs around the room with you in his arms. Just now I caught him trying to teach you how to crawl on the couch!  That boy is going to give your mama a heart attack!

It should come as no surprise when I tell you that Avery is also responsible for your first bump.The other morning Avery swooped you out of bed and was holding you up, trying to teach you how to walk. Just seconds later I found you lying on the floor crying with Avery crying alongside of you. Upon careful inspection, I determined that only your heart seemed broken and after nursing and cuddling with mama, you were back to your cheerful self, but you wanted nothing to do with Avery. He would come by to apologize and you would turn away from him screaming. Poor Avery felt terrible. Thankfully, you eventually decided to forgive him; I guess you figured it was time to play again.  

I should point out, though, Leif, that when Avery apologized, he never actually said it would not happen again. 

Life Lesson #1 - Love can hurt, especially if that love is coming from Avery. 

Consider yourself warned! 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

He's Got the Butt of the Tiger

Note: You must read the title of this blog post and the following lyrics to the tune of Katy Perry's "Eye of the Tiger". 

It was with mixed emotions on Saturday afternoon that I packed up little Leifer's size 3 months clothes. I really cannot complain because, being the little fart that he is (a whomping 12 pounds which puts him in the 15th percentile for his age . . . tee hee!), most babies outgrow this size long before their 3 month birthday. He is so good to his mama! Although I was sad to see yet another pile of clothes being stored away, I was also very excited because, thanks to many generous friends and family, Leif has the most adorable collection of 6 months clothes. Once again, Zoe and I are giddy over deciding what to put on him each morning, and he is back to having at least three "costume changes" a day. New clothes are so much fun, especially if they fit tiny baby bodies and have animal faces on the bum and feet! So, it should not come as any surprise that the first size 6 month outfit I chose for Leifer to wear was comfy grey, jogging pants with a tiger on the bum. Oh, I ate that boy and his tiger right up as soon as he was dressed!  Then,when I brought him out of the bedroom to show him off to his peeps, Avery and Elliot immediately broke out singing:

"He's got the butt of the tiger . . .
A fighter . . .
Dancing through the fire 
cuz he is a champion
and your going to hear him 


tee hee!

I was very impressed with how quickly the boys collaborated to create this song. In fact, I was a little disappointed that I had not thought of it myself. FYI: making up foolish songs about family members and pets is a Skov thing, and I am so proud of the fact that all of my kids have inherited this talent. 

Anyhoo . . .

Enough silliness, let's get on with what you all came here to see - adorable pictures of Leifer 

Awwwww . . . mama's little tiger. 


Sunday, 16 February 2014

3 Months

I can not believe it, but as of this morning you are three months old, Leif. You have been a part of our family for three whole months, and yet, it feels like you have always been here, or at least, always meant to be here. You are a perfect fit for Shenanigans Inc.!

This past month, you have become stronger, brighter, and more vocal. You can hold your head up like a pro and are beginning to even sit up a bit. You have found your toes, and you are trying desperately to reach out and touch your toys. You love your toys! You smile whenever someone talks to you, and let me tell you about that smile of yours: it lights up your entire face and makes the recipient of that smile feel like the most important person in the world. Unfortunately,with your mastery of the smile also came your mastery of the pout, and it is the saddest, most heartbreaking sight ever! Thankfully you tend to reserve this face for those you fear may take you from my arms because to be honest, I can not handle it. The thoughts of you being sad for even the briefest of moments hurts my heart. So, please keep smiling for your mama, Leif.

My favourite accomplishment of yours this month, though, is your laugh, but you make me work very hard for it. Luckily, I discovered your restraint is no match for my silly antics, and after only seconds of me trying to "eat you up", your giggles erupt. You remind me a lot of your father in this respect. You are very serious, very quiet, and for the most part very reserved, but as hard as you try, just like your father, you are no match for my foolishness.

This past month,you went for your first trip to Halifax to accompany your big sister to the IWK. Let's just say for a little boy who does not like the car, you did a great job!

Here you are at the beginning of our journey all optimistic and excited:

After two and half hours of driving, you began to reconsider the novelty of our adventure.

After approximately thirty-six hours of adventuring, ten and half of which were spent in the car, seven of which were spent in the hospital, three of which were spent shopping with your your mom, Aunt Hilary and Zoe, you were convinced that there is no place like home:

But, I must add that you did seem to enjoy your time at the hospital. You found Zoe's IV pole fascinating!

It was at this point that I realized that from here on out our visits to the IWK will be anything but relaxing because in four months time, when we are due to return, you will probably be crawling . . . . eeeeeeek!

Leif, I have said it a million times over these past three months and I am sure I will say it again: you have thrown my life into a tailspin, but I cannot imagine my life without you. At night as I go around the house turning off the lights and I pass by the mounds of laundry that either need to be folded or washed, the piles of dirty dishes on the counter, and the stacks of unmarked homeschool assignments on the bookshelf, I feel defeated. I get frustrated with myself for letting your siblings have too much screen time that day, for not writing a blog post about all the funny things they did or your latest development, and for once again choosing to sit and watch an episode of Friday Night Lights rather than showering or exercising . . . ugh! And since I am being honest, I have even once or twice asked myself: "what was I thinking starting over again?". But the minute I curl up in bed beside you, feel your warm little body nestle up to mine and hear your gentle breaths, I know with all my heart that this is what my life is meant to look like and that you are definitely meant to be a part of it. 

I love you my little Leifer, and I will always be grateful for the extra splash of shenanigans you add to Shenanigans Inc. 

Happy 3 months, baby!