Tag Archives: by mommy

July 6 Update

Settling into our own room means snuggling with less cords, a place for Dad to stretch out and hopefully more rest. #epilepsywarrior

A tender moment with D

Davis: I can do it! I don’t need your help. (Talking about tying his Gi belt.)

Me: Please let me help you. You are getting so big and you don’t need me anymore for hardly anything. It makes me sad. (Big pouty face for effect)

Davis: Nope. All I need you for is to cook.

(Hmmm you might survive better on your own, kid.)

Reese is asleep because I sang her a lullaby.

Davis, on vacation and it’s the first time kids have ever slept together in same room without us in there. D takes this role very seriously. After about ten minutes he comes out to tell me in a whisper and quickly goes back to check on her as if she might change her mind and wake up. I think partly I am tickled he remembered what a Lullaby is. We just recently talked about it. And it touched me so much, because he really does have this caring, gentle, protective side that is special just for his sister.

No Instagram needed here. This girl is full of the energy an almost-walking baby should have. She is eating and babbling and we are loving all the added craziness that comes with a toddler.

She kissed me tonight. On her own. She leaned in and intentionally smooched me. I still remember the first time D did it. He was about 10 months old and I melted. Same exact feeling this time and so very, very special.

That’s just part of a big, big day. First minor hair cut, on Mommy’s whim, didn’t go too badly for a kid who doesn’t like her head touched. Plus, I was thrilled to see her so active at Gymboree this morning. She gets in other kids’ faces, but she isn’t used to seeing little people much and I think she is very socially natured. She crawled to two different mothers and pulled up on them to give a big grin the way she does with us. You would have thought she recognized them based on her beeline across the mats. One more reason to celebrate. But wait, there’s more.

Today, she is 17 months old. We weren’t sure Reese would be able to communicate, ever. And I honestly think it’s been one of my greatest fears. If you know me, it’s kind of my thing and to not be able to understand her needs, well, I just couldn’t think about it. And just in the past week or so we have confirmed she definitely signs. We have our own versions of ‘All done’, water and milk pretty consistently figured out. She smiles when I get it right and we both show in our eyes we knew what the other meant. It feels amazing to connect with her like this. For so long the gaze was blank.

Many of her challenges right now are sensory, which all stems from the nervous system. She has texture issues eating. She apparently has a spatial issue when she is on hard surfaces compared to being on the carpet and is paralyzed with fear and dizziness on our hardwood floors. She doesn’t have full mastery of her fingers but she loves to touch everything. So every day we are unraveling this puzzle and learning ways to help her and protect her at the same time.

We head to Chicago for the second opinion and we shall see what new ideas he adds to our enigma of a case.

I sit and watch her on the video monitor at night and I want to scoop her up and bring her to bed just to feel her warm, squishy body beside me. Sometimes I just need to know she is ok. We still have lots of unknown ahead, but for now we are definitely reveling in every smile, clap, squeal, step and sign she makes.

Five and Most Definitely Alive!

Crazy little man has been telling the world for months he is almost FIVE. And yet, it’s just now sinking in for me that it’s only ONE day away.

My sweet baby, your turning five is quite a celebration for all of us. Because we most definitely celebrate you changing our lives. Your laughter keeps us all going. I just recently realized how your happy soul is the heart of this family and the energy that feeds us, keeps us moving, really. We can’t call this past year average, but we’ve still tried as hard as possible to not miss you being four.

From our big adventure at the beach last summer and Legoland to your solemn visit to come see your sister at the hospital, we’ve officially done it all. You have repeatedly made us proud with your manners and all your good days with your grandparents and friends. The equal enthusiasm you have for dinosaurs, dragons, superheros and legos is laughably exhausting. Your stories and one-liners are priceless, and definitely worth reading again and again.

You are a lover, and so wonderful with your sister. Just about everything makes you laugh. Your sense of humor is real, even potentially beyond your years already. And oh so infectious. I love your smile and your giggle. I live for it. So thank you, my goofball, for all the laughs. It is truly the jump I need on a daily basis and the grounding force to remind me why I’m here on this Earth.

But I want you to know, your mommy is so torn about you growing up. I knew I would want to hold on to your soft little hands and keep you playing ring around the rosy and thinking I’m the best singer in the world. To keep you from so many other people’s crazy ideas, and maybe even you starting your crushes on teachers, and (gasp) girls. Admittedly, your turning five, is a bridge for me — I get to be a school mom like all my friends, I can expect you to be tired when you get home, and hopefully a little brain drained… because let’s face it, your brain is going too fast, for all of us. Almost five has been hard on you. I can see you’re torn about being a big boy and making decisions for yourself, but still wanting our attention the way we ooo and ahhh over Reese when she does every little thing. Thank goodness I have the old blog to prove to you we spent every second of our days doing the same for you four short years ago.(Let’s reminisce). It’s this contrast of you my little man and loving all parts of you that is emotional for me. Both the mini-me of his Daddy, with his chivalry and empathy AND the long-gone toddler who wanted boo boo kisses from Mommy who now just wants to be left alone until he’s hungry.

Five! Even the way you announce your age, with such matter-of-fact is heart-warming and endearing. You never meet a stranger. And sometimes when you talk to an adult, like an adult, I see them unsettled because they don’t know what to expect out of your very quick little mouth. It’s you who will be building bridges and leading others. I just hope you can slow down and enjoy five. I look forward to every new joke and tickle fight this year brings. You are full of life in a way that tells the world you’re most definitely five and oh so alive.

My sweet boy

I was singing to Reese in her room tonight as part of our bedtime routine. I haven’t sang to Davis in a long time. But when he was little he loved it.

So tonight when he came in to say goodnight to Reese and he asked why I was singing, I was surprised when he asked if I would sing to him, too. It was in a sweet, soft almost sentimental voice that I rarely hear come from those strong lungs.

I put Reese in her crib and cuddled him and rocked while I sang. He actually let me hold him and I was reminded for a second of what this baby boy used to be like.

It’s been hard to enjoy him growing up this year so focused on Reese. And it’s all the more reason I will never regret a second I spent with him when he was a baby. Dishes and laundry be damned. We may never catch up from the hole we are in, but I loved holding my little guy tonight in a way I had forgotten I could cherish.

Two kids create such challenging dynamics, but I think it’s the differences in how I love them that makes the experience even sweeter.

A Mother’s Fight

My arms crush you with Zeus’s strength, and yet it’s but a fleeting touch.
Swirling hurricane winds would fail to rip me away.
Unearthly is this force pulling me to you.

Trembling lips wrap you with iron love, attempting to protect as much.
No fearsome beast could stand to meet my burning eyes.
How weak my arms feel flailing to catch you.

I scream, see fire, claw at the pain.
I sigh, tears fall, it starts again.

Bring on the fight, however long it may be.
A mighty force stands by your side,
For eternity.

Copyright 2013 Carrie Mamantov

Day 3 of Vacation, Summer 2012

We made it to the beach today! Everyone had a blast. D loves being with his older cousin, Makayla. They dug for sand crabs, dug a big sand castle up with Poppy, and Davis boogie boarded with Bryan’s help. Reese got her toes in the sand and seemed to enjoy the velvety soft feeling— my favorite part of the beach, and a fond memory of all my summers spent here in Carlsbad/Oceanside.

We have already had a great time with the extended fam as well. There were lots of rugrats running around yesterday, the kids wore themselves out. We all managed to sleep to a reasonable hour this morn so I think we are officially on local time.

For those wondering about Reese and how we could possible go on vacation, she is great and we needed it. It may not be resting up when you are on vacation with five little people always needing something, arguing or otherwise misbehaving, but it’s tons of fun to be with fam and to be breathing this restorative salt air is relaxing. And if you know me, I may never find a way to really rest, but I am definitely in need of a mental break from myself now and then.

Parenting. It’s Definitely Not Fair

I realized today no matter what I do I cannot give Reese the same first year Davis had.

There has been a new term in our house — fair. “You’re not being fair,” he whines. And it’s so much more true than he realizes.

We can’t sit on the floor all night and play with her, giggling at everything she does. She is growing up in a world of Tv and noise and lots of yelling as we try to get Davis’s attention. All things I intentionally avoided for his sake just a four short years ago — the last Olympics actually.

But she also gets to have someone fawn over her all the time. She has her own personal court jester and brave hero all in one. And he does dote on her in a different way than we could have ever given him.

I was determined to not fall to the double standard or give my second child less attention than the first. But it just isn’t possible to separate her from the rest of our life. And for her sake, her place in our family, it wouldn’t make sense, I guess.

Yes, this is a first born talking. But I am sensitive to it because I know these dynamics matter. They impact how you see yourself and choices you make as you grow up.

But then again, she is my last baby and I am already wanting to hold on to every last moment nostalgically knowing it will never happen again. So I guess in that way it’s something we feel for her that we never had for Davis. And maybe that makes them even.