Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nature vs. Nurture

Hi all,
Last weekend I enjoyed a visit by my sister Chandra and two of her friends from Minneapolis that she met through the Minnetonka Mom's Club.  These ladies all have a lot in common.  They each have three kids, their oldest kids are all girls who are close friends, and they each have two younger boys.  They had all 'escaped' their homes and left the boys with the dads in order to enjoy a road trip together.

Talking and spending time with them spurred some thoughts in me on being a mom.  I think it is neat how motherhood brings women closer together through sharing experiences, advice and support.  Once you become a mother, there is no going back.  You look at the world differently, I believe.  We'll see how this goes but I thought I would try a little series of posts with some of my thoughts on mothering.

First Topic: Is a mother born or made? I believe a mother is made through experience, necessity and  even trial and error.  A person may be born with nurturing qualities and that tendency but until you have something to nurture it is impossible to really know how deep it goes.

Watching my sister and her friends and their easy manner with my kids out at dinner one night, it is clear that the language of soothing a fussy baby is somewhat universal.  I see it in the eyes of people at restaurants; you can pick out the moms and grandmas very easily and almost see the memories of their own kids dancing behind their eyes.

People often say to us "enjoy every minute!" or "that part goes by fast" or even "you do know that this the best part of your life, right?"  Part of me wants to get snarly with them as I'm wiping mashed potatoes out of my hair and signing the check for a dinner I barely had time to chew much less digest.  But I know they are right about it too.  I think with parenthood we are WAY too busy to get nostalgic now but I am sure we will be the ones telling a young couple near us those things too someday.

Another fun thing about moms is that they are all unique and wonderfully imperfect.  Case in point, every impression I make ends up sounding like the Cookie Monster.  I often forget the lines for nursery rhymes and eventually make up my own version.  I have definitely lost some of my inhibitions along the way.  I remember when Olivia was young, it felt awkward to talk to her when she was so little and not talking back to us, but now with Quinn, that is like second nature.

I will sign off now with a few pictures of the little ones.  They are doing well and keeping us busy.  Olivia has a good sense of humor and her vocabulary is growing daily.  Quinn is almost crawling; he still doesn't sleep or nap that much but he is fairly good now about sitting and playing with toys.

Until next time. Love, claire

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pint and 1/2 Pint

Hi Everyone!
Sorry it's been a little while since my last update. We have been having a ton of fun and are staying busy in the Cunningham household, that is for sure.

Quinn is really active and 'training' his little tail off to learn to crawl. We have a big futon mattress on the floor in his room and he loves exercising on it. He squirms and kicks, pushes and pulls himself. And these days, he is covering considerable ground quickly! I figure in a matter of weeks he will have his coordination figured out and really find his legs underneath him.  He's sitting up pretty well now, and when he topples over, he's all smiles and thinks it is exciting and fun.

Olivia is spending a lot of time outside. She loves flowers and also likes to help water the plants. She helps daddy in the garage by taking things to the trash and "organizing" his tools. She's climbing on everything these days. Her verbal skills are coming along great (she is really outgoing and social by nature). She says probably 50+ words regularly, including some phrases and sentences. On weekends if she wakes up early, Jason will get her a milk and sets her on the big comfortable chair in her room with some books. It is really cute because she will sit there for an hour plus sometimes, flipping through her books and playing quietly.

Olivia and Quinn get along really well. I truly believe that it is a blessing to have a sibling... someone of the same generation as you who knows you your whole life and has to deal with the same kooky parents. Quinn came along when Olivia was young enough that she never really showed jealousy, though there was a transition period for sure. Now, she just loves to help, feed, kiss and pet him. He enjoys the attention, I am sure. He is always really interested in what big sis is into.

Size wise, it won't be long before Quinn catches up to Olivia and they they will practically look like twins. I took Olivia to the doctor the other day for her 18 month checkup and she stands at 32" and 24 lbs. She's on the tall side and exactly 50% in weight which is where she has been tracking all along.

See some of the family pictures we got in early May at Quinn's 5 month mark.

 Love always, Claire & Family