The Hart Home │The One That Ends in A Lot of Dog Shit

Picture it.

It’s 7:30 PM, both kids are in bed snoring. My husband puts on Call the Midwife.

We settle in, tucked underneath our feather quilt and my favorite cat blanket. I am half watching the show and half reading the Reddit I am currently addicted to: WattsOffTopic.

My husband falls asleep. The house is blissfully quiet. I decide to sneak out of bed for some of that alone time I never get. I am envisioning writing, maybe reading a little, perhaps even taking a deep dive off into Reddit. The sky is the limit.

Only, Logan wakes up and it’s 10:00 PM so that means he has to nurse right away and go back to sleep or he’s going to be up.

I am not fast enough. He is up. So, I make him a peanut butter and then a peanut butter and jelly. I fill his water bottle with a little grape juice, he takes his tablet, puts on his songs and we go back upstairs.

Rory has also started baby led weaning, which is important to a later part of this story. Molly, our cane corso, has always enjoyed this age with our kids because it means she gets snack droplets rained upon her if she’s sitting by the high chair. Molly also has a sensitive stomach.

Logan eats most of his food, drinks his juice, wants more boob. He’s settling again. My husband wakes up, and sits playing on his phone. Then…

“Do you smell shit,” he asks, taking the phone away from his face.

“Uh, no. I smell bleach though from cleaning the bathroom.”

“I definitely…I definitely smell shit.” He gets up to investigate, shaking his phone to get the flashlight on. “I smell it to the point of almost tasting it that’s how— OH GOD.”

And there before him lie the beautiful, brown mound. Molly was kind enough to relieve herself on my husband’s sweatpants and then hide under the bed.

“SHE SHIT IN MY SWEATPANTS. IT’S NOWHERE ELSE BUT IN MY SWEATPANTS!!!”

I can now smell it too, and it is overbearing. I start laughing so hard I am crying. Logan, now distracted from his tablet starts coughing and shaking his head. It STINKS! And just when you think it can not get much worse, my husband takes his pants into the bathroom to shower them off before he washes them. The smell only permeates more as the hot water and steam infuse with the l’eau de dog shit. We are all now gagging.

Rory wakes up in the middle of the chaos. My husband is now yelling about the nose burning scent of dog poop and his frustration that the baby is up.

“There is just going to be so much shit,” he’s fuming as he scrubs. “When she gets sick like this it goes on for DAYS.”

I am trying to quiet down both kids and get them back into bed. “Her old cage is in the garage. We can just put her in there until she’s feeling better.”

My husband scoffs, irritated, like I said the dumbest thing. “We CAN’T put her in the garage! SHE WILL DIE!”

Trying to be a better wife and not roll my eyes, I take a slow breath before I explain: “No. I meant the cage is in there and we can get it and put her in the house in the cage so if she goes again it’s a simple hose down of a kennel and not shampooing new carpeting.”

He mumbles and eventually disappears to get the cage. I get the kids settled and take out both dogs.

“If you EVER BRING A DOG HOME AGAIN…”I hear him griping as I let the dogs in.

Fans are all full blast. Both kids have yet to fall back to sleep. Molly is in her kennel. And then I remember that I didn’t put Behr back into his belly band and he has had 20 minutes of bandless free reign as I sat to write this.

And then I hear, “BEHR!!”

He comes back into the office with his belly band several minutes later…

Welcome to the chaos and the night that ended with 5lbs of dog poop in one pair of sweat pants.

The Hart Home │The Fastest Winter of My Life

As our family was sitting down to dinner today, my husband lamented about just jacking the heat up because he was tired of being cold. We bought this gorgeous house with two beautiful fireplaces thinking they would get us through winter, only by the time the chimney sweep came to clean them, we found out both need work before we can use them and gas for heating, is expensive. We have been drafty this winter, but next winter, we have a new game plan and I reminded him that March was already next Monday and we wouldn’t be using the heat that much longer anyway. So, stick on your sweater and your fuzzy socks because spring is almost here!

“Seriously? Wow. This was the fastest winter of my life,” he exclaimed.

And of mine too. We moved into our new house over Thanksgiving weekend and then it was suddenly Christmas, even though that really didn’t feel like Christmas either, I blinked again and here we are.

View of one of the lakes in our town. Courtesy of Google Images.

I am still virtually teaching and being a mom at the same time. I view this year at home as a blessing in that I got a whole year home with Logan and I have been home with Rory since he was born. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything, even on the difficult days where Logan is losing his mind and Rory is too. It’s hard to only ever be home with two little boys that want to explore and run and play.

I enrolled Logan in a toddler gymnastics class which he seems to just love, I wish we were able to go more than once a week. He loves getting to run around and play with other kids. Rory has entered the all about mom stage. He has to be with me at all times or the world is ending. It is the most flattering “I love you so much,” but also can be hard when I just want 20 minutes to myself to shower, or to read or blog or even just change the cat box.

I am supposed to be going back to in-person teaching in May and the thought actually makes me sick. I can not imagine the stress and the tears of having to adjust 8th graders, who are graduating in a month at that point, to being in school with masks on all day in a building with no AC after having been out of the physical building for more than a year. Oooof…is all I got. Compile that all with the thought of leaving my babies for the first time in over a year too, I don’t know. Part of me wishes I could just teach online until my kids are in school so I don’t miss anything, but I know that’s wishful thinking.

Recently, I have been focused on fixing up our new house. I started with the kitchen. As I get money together, I have been upgrading appliances, painted the cabinets and updated the knobs and have been slowly pealing off the popcorn ceiling. And for the record, we have it in EVERY. SINGLE. ROOM. Why was this such a fad? Now it’s old, crumbly and tacky looking in every room. It’s easy enough to get off, but I am limited to only working when both kids are napping so what would have taken me an afternoon when it was just Phil and I can now take me up to a week to get done, but I will get it done! I am determined to finish the kitchen this year. This summer, I know I will have to paint the outside of our house and if I have any energy left, maybe I will be able to scrape the popcorn off in our dining room and living room and paint in there. It would be cool to have an entirely spruced up outside and downstairs by next fall. Hopefully, the kids cooperate.

Other things I am looking forward to with the warmer weather: taking the kids down to the lake, taking the kids to the zoo, having dirty martinis on out screened porch with my husband, watching Logan getting to play with his favorite sprinkler in his backyard, planning our kids’ birthdays, enjoying Easter and spending more time with friends and family

The Hart Home│For My Little Boy

A year ago, I was heavily pregnant with you and struggling to get through each day. I was so exhausted and you were already on your way to being 10 pounds. I was running out of room in my body and you just wanted to stay inside me. I made it too comfortable for you.

I found it hard to breathe or eat or really function outside of the recliner we have. I also was so excited to meet you. In a week from now, I would have labor that would start and stop. We had one full false alarm and then finally when we were well past our due date, they finally induced me, but you still wanted to stay inside.

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An emergency c-section and several complications later and my beautiful baby boy that I had dreamed and prayed for was at last in my arms with his haunting almost black eyes and my face staring back at me.

We had a crazy first year together with me writing my doctoral dissertation and my going back to work way too soon. I have enjoyed every day that I am home with you this summer getting to see you turn from that little baby I brought home to the charismatic, brave and funny little boy you are so quickly becoming.

Getting to know you now as a little boy are the best ways I spend my days. You think so many things are funny and you love cuddling with me. You also love to tell me stories and yell at the TV. You’re walking everywhere and if you can figure out how to climb something, you will.

I find myself falling more in love with you every day, but also, I find myself getting a little sad at the end of each because I know by morning you’re going to be even more of a little boy and less of the baby that I have held and cradled, soothed and rocked, wore and breastfed for the last year. You’re finding your independence and as a mother that makes me very proud because it means I have loved you well, but at the same time, it makes me sad because you won’t need me like you did when I first brought you home.

I catch myself watching you sleep more and cuddling close to you, wanting to get in every last minute of who you are now, smelling your little head and holding your little hands. It amazes me how in another year, you will be so much more like a little boy and again I will feel this bittersweet sadness over your growing up.

No matter how old you are though, you will always be my little prince.

Sponsored│Goumi Kids Pajama Deal

Anyone else have a baby that that would live in pajamas if they could? Logan is OBSESSED with comfy clothes and threw a tantrum when I dared put him in dress pants and a bow tie for Easter. The outfit lasted long enough for maybe two pictures before I put him into a cotton t-shirt and pants and the angry dinosaur that my baby had become quickly calmed back down to his super cute self. Goumi Kids is offering 15% off all pajamas right now through my link using code ALLS15. Logan loved their sets when he was younger and the best part? They go down to PREEMIE sizes! You can also snag booties, mittens and sleep sacks for your little love. Snag your coupon and deal below:


15% off Baby Rompers at Goumikids.com. Code AllS15.

The Hart Home│My First Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day was a little bittersweet. I missed my aunt as this was the first Mother’s Day without her so there was a sadness throughout the day that she wasn’t there. She was so excited to meet Logan and it makes me really sad that she was gone before she had a chance to do so. They would have loved each other.

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Me and my boy on my first Mother’s Day.

I got to sleep the night before because my husband took teething baby duty and when I woke up there were roses and my favorite ice cream because on Mother’s Day calories don’t count and you can get butter pecan ice cream for breakfast and it is okay. Mother’s Day is a mandatory work day for my husband so it would have been nice to have had him there yesterday, but he had to work. We made up for it later with the AWFUL, DISAPPOINTING (I won’t go further because…spoilers) Game of Thrones episode.

Going to my mom’s puts me back to where I grew up even though she doesn’t live there anymore. I drive through my hometown and through my college town to get there and every time I take that trip it reminds me of so much of my life. It got me thinking about the small identity crisis that I have been going through and the very true fact that I had lost part of myself throughout the years. I started thinking about when I was done with my PhD I would go back to Rutgers and take some graduate classes in art history and just enjoy it. Then, I laughed at myself because can I really stay in school forever? Probably.

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My fortune cookie

After that daydream about Rutgers and art history, I couldn’t help but laugh at my fortune cookie following the annual Mother’s Day Chinese food feast. I’ll take it as a reminder that I as figure out the next phase of my life that I had to escape from who I was to become who I was supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean all of my former self is lost forever. She was just away for awhile while I focused on other things.

sleeping me and logan

And those focusing on other things led me right here to meeting my husband and getting to be a mom to this amazing little boy. His Mother’s Day gift to me? He took his first steps on Friday when his dad and I were sitting in our living room and talking. We both got to see him do it together. It was the best gift he could have given us this weekend. I can’t believe how fast it’s going. I just wish time would slow down a little bit because I can’t imagine having to watch this little boy leave us.

I hope you all had a wonderful day filled with love and family.

I’m a Reformed Anti-Breastfeeding Mom

I admit it.

Before I had my son, I thought breast feeding was the strangest thing. My boobs were supposed to do what? I was supposed to allow my kid to put his mouth where? It all just seemed strange to me.

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However, I am a reader.

I will read anything. I am also a researcher. And whenever I am looking into something new in my life like how to raise a tiny human, for example, I begin reading and researching everything that I can about the very big decisions that were coming up in my life.

As uncomfortable as I felt with breastfeeding, I also knew that it was what was best for Logan and as his mom it was my job to at least try to give him the best start I could in life regardless of how weird I thought breastfeeding was.

I am not entirely sure what it was about breastfeeding that was so off putting at first. I was an art history major at Rutgers, I had studied a lot of boobie art. I have traveled and lived in different places. I have seen other women breast feed in public, but when it came to me, it just felt all so weird.

But then, my momming kicked in and I realized that I had to try. So I did, but I did it to my terms. I set out with a small goal, I would breast feed him until he was 6 months old and I would only do it when I felt comfortable with it. I have never breast fed in public and I will give him bottles when I am out. I nurse him on demand at home and at night he nurses himself to sleep. In the early days I pumped a huge freezer collection that I use to make his puree’s with now. I am really glad that I have breast fed him up until the point, I do feel that it has helped us bond and is such a comfort for him.

I am also giving him an immune system and so far (knock on ALL the wood) he has only had a little cold that I nursed him through and he was over in two days. My new goal is to nurse him until he is a year old and then see where we both are at. Since I have introduced food, I have noticed that he asks for it less and less, but still wants his nightly session to fall asleep to.

I definitely do not regret choosing to take myself out of my comfort zone and provide my son with what he needed.  This was also my first lesson of motherhood: sometimes you will do things that might make you feel weird, but are in the best interest of your baby. And if you can do that when you need to? Then you’re doing this momming thing right.

 

The Kind of Mom I Want to Be

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, especially over the last couple of days about the kind of mother I don’t want to be.

I spent a lot of my dating life looking for my other half and within him, making sure that he was going to be a good father who loved me and his children and most importantly was someone who wanted to be involved in the life we built together. That was always extremely important to me and I know that I had found that in my husband. Phil is with me without being asked to every doctor’s appointment and ultrasound. He only has ever missed one appointment and that was because he had class, but he sat there texting me the entire time and got teary eyed when I played him the video of our baby’s heart beat.

Now, I want to make sure that I am the kind of mother that I want my children to have. I think most importantly is that I don’t want to be the kind of mother that manipulates and plays games with her children. I don’t want my love to come with contingencies. I also want to be present in my children’s life and I want them to always know that they could come to me with anything and not have to go through their lives alone. That’s the biggest one for me, I think, because I have always felt I was going through life alone which I think made me the sort of driven person that I am, but at the same time it would have been nice to feel like I had that kind of support where I could have gone to someone without judgement and contingencies had I really needed to, especially with the big stuff.

I have also become really fixated on the idea of buying a new house and selling our townhouse. I would like to find something that is our forever house and becomes something that we can eventually hand down to our kids. I always have liked the idea of a house that is shared among generations of the same family. I guess I can no longer deny how much of an old soul I really am…oops.

Anyway, as I stress over all of this like I do with anything in my life, my husband looked at me as I was hand painting the name plate that we picked out and out together in AC Moore for our son, and told me that I was the most loving person he had ever met and how many people would sit there knitting baby blankets and hand painting name plates for a baby that wasn’t even born yet? Not many, I guess. He reminded me that if I love our kids and am present for our kids, our kids are most likely not only going to be okay and successful in their lives, but also will love me back just as much and have solid relationships with me. I mean, I know they will be total monsters during their teen years, but once the hormones of adolescence calm down and they become normal people again, I would love very much to be close to all of my kids.

I’d like to be the kind of mom that makes her kids Halloween costumes and birthday cakes. Whose kids have memories of baking cookies every Christmas and watching A Christmas Story on repeat. And when life got hard or uncertain that they had a mom (and dad) that they went to and who made things better for them.

And it all starts this summer with our first born, Logan Philip. I’m slowly getting ready for you, my little love. I am in love with your name and am relieved that your dad and I finally agreed upon a name and it’s a really good name too:

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