Kateri Amelia, THREE

31 May 2017

31 May 2017

Kateri Amelia "Kitty" "Kate" Gokie is 3 years old! 
I can't believe it! David and I did the math and we've officially had Kitty as part of our family now longer than we were together before we got married (if that sentence makes sense...).

She has quite a personality but really is a total sweetheart most of the time (aka when she gets her way). She loves all of us and prays for everyone in her family every night by name, and heaven help us if we try to shorten the prayer.

We think the terrible twos were avoided, but the threenager in her is coming out something fierce in the last couple weeks. She whines and throws neat little tantrums/crying fits when things go her way, but that's to be expected for a three year old, I suppose.

She is a dream when it comes to imaginative play - most days. She loves to wheel her little cars around, make dinner for her stuffed animals and Cora and me, vacuum and sweep her house, go to the "grocery shopping" and the post office. I can count on a good 3 solid hours of independent play from her in the mornings, and usually more outside after naptime when it's nice.

Kitty's known to make friends wherever she goes - she is 1000% extrovert to the core, which is exhausting for this introverted mama. It's so great to see her grow into this little independent person, who will go up to strange kids on the playground and ask them to play with her. She can win over the hearts of pretty much anyone when she sets her mind to it, knowing that a smile and hug and kiss will make everyone ooo and ahhh over her - she uses them to her advantage.

All around she's a loving little girl, an adventurer, a risk-taker, and a friend-maker. She's just great.

Some of her favorite things include:
+ Playing outside with her bicycle and mini car
+ Reading books, anytime & anywhere
+ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (every.darn.day. for lunch)
+ Pushing her stroller/shopping cart around in circles
+ Hide and seek with Dada
+ Wearing necklaces, dresses, headbands, ribbons, anything girlie
+ Watching Clifford and Daniel Tiger
+ Praising Cora when she rolls over
+ Coloring and painting
+ Putting things in the mailbox "Just wike Daniel Tiger does!"
+ Going to rosary group or the playground to visit Dada
+ Facetiming with her family

Some stats about our sweet Kitty!
Height: 38"
Weight: 33-34 lbs
Shoe size: Toddler 8
Clothing size: 3T-4T

Some recent quotes:
"Dis isn't married. Dis is just church!" (with her arms spread wide and a concerned look on her face)
referring to the fact that at my cousin's wedding, we were just in a church, nothing special here...

"Row row row your boat, gently down the STREET."
Will not be corrected to stream, no matter how hard you try.

"Cobuz you haz a headache?"
Me when I ask her to stop being loud, pretty much anytime. Cobuz is her cute way of saying because.

"Mama, I wanna see Cora's diaper."
Why? It's yucky.
"I wanna see it!"
No honey, it's gross. Why would you want to see it?
"I just want to...it's complicated."

I finally remembered to take a birthday interview video! Click through to watch if you're on a reader, I don't think it'll show up right.

Kateri Amelia turns 3! from Hannah Gokie on Vimeo.

If you're curious:

Having a three year old seems out of the realm of possibility. I keep saying that with these growing up posts but it's really true, the 3 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. We can't imagine our lives with out her joy in them.

Happy birthday sweet Kitty!
your mama, daddy, and sister

Cora, 5 months

16 May 2017

16 May 2017

Little beauty is 5 months old! Time keeps flying by in the blink of an eye with Cora. We can't imagine our lives without her, truly truly.

Weight: old-fashioned way this time, since no well-child check at 5 months, and the verdict is 18 lbs 9 oz! (18.6 lbs on our scale). No wonder she gets heavy to wear or hold for longer than about 10 minutes. :)

Height: not a clue. She's probably about the same as last month, as it doesn't seem like she's much longer. Buuuuut I suppose she's officially too long for her 6 month onesies now, but that could be from girth rather than length, so who knows!

Firsts this month: transitioned to sleeping on her tummy overnight, and making a tiny bit of progress on the sitting thing (but she's definitely not there yet), trying baby cereal and HATING it. Also rolling whenever she wants, pretty much! She only gets stuck every so often.

Nicknames: nothing new.

Other things to note:
:: Girl cannot make up her mind on her overnight sleep and eat patterns. She is crazy unpredictable! Some nights she'll just wake up once to eat, somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. Other nights she'll wake up at 11, 2, and 5 a.m., all starving like she's never eaten before.
:: We're trying to somewhat night wean her, because she's obviously not a skinny little thing, but she's too emotionally attached at this point to stop eating overnight, and I'm too lazy at 4 a.m. to try and put off her feeds. Last night she was up at 2 a.m. to eat, then randomly stayed awake til feeding her again at 3:45, so who even knows! Babies, man.
:: Bedtime and nap routines are pretty set, which is a big help. She'll usually nap twice in the morning/early afternoon for around 45 minutes, then a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, and then a 20 minute catnap before bed. I'm trying to transition her out of that 4th nap just for convenience sake but it depends on when she wakes up for the day.
:: I know, these are fascinating. Most riveting details ever, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat.
:: We traveled in the car for 8 hours on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday, and she was a serious champ until the last 2 hours on Sunday. Props to her though because I was seriously sick of the car at that point too, and I wasn't strapped into a car seat!
:: She makes fans wherever she goes. But she also has a serious streak of "stranger danger" -- aka she only wants mom if there's lots of unknown people around her, and she'll earnestly scared-cry until I take her back. Even with grandparents, who she sees all the time! After a warm up period, she's then usually okay with others holding her but it takes some time.
:: Cora is completely enamored of her big sister. She will just stare at her for hours. Kitty will lovingly sit next to Cora and read her books for a solid hour (basically eternity in toddler time, am I right?). It's adorable and melts my heart.

Currently ^^^
We love you baby!

7QT #59: Yard work, fun mom, & new music!

12 May 2017

12 May 2017
Typical Hannah, write a deep post for once and then don't post for two weeks. Oh well, quick takes to jump back in!

Being finally in Omaha for a longer period of time, we bit the bullet and got a Costco membership last week (yay!) - Lincoln only has Sam's Club, although they're getting a Costco soon. So far I love Costco, but I haven't been enough times yet to really compare the two. BUT - I will say, the only thing I miss from Sam's is a bag of pre-chopped & washed romaine lettuce for salads. Costco has a decent alternative in the bag of romaine hearts, but I am majorly lazy and I really miss the pre-chopped kind. Womp womp.

All the news things this week plus a baby who had a couple nights of terrible sleep have made this a suuuuuper long week. In order to fight the blah during the witching hour last night, I busted out Kate's paints from Easter and she got to paint! for the first time ever! (I'm SO not a fun mom, this is a rare rare occasion.)

She loved it. She has talked of literally nothing else since she woke up this morning.

I've found my newest Netflix obsession - if you follow me on Instagram & watch my stories, you will see Kate and I perched in front of the TV every day at lunch watching Escape to the Country. If the title throws you off (like it did me for awhile), it's basically BBC + HGTV so...BBTV...or HGBC...

The acronym is not important. What IS important is how freaking fantastic this show is. If you are a fan of cute British couples, looking at really old houses in the country, great accents, and cute segments about historical places in the UK, this show is 100% right up your alley. I'm legitimately obsessed with it, so much so that I think I've decided our 5 year anniversary trip should be to England. (I have this whole theory that it's just a ploy for the British tourism industry to get foreigners to come visit and it's totally working on me.)

Like the episode I watched the other day, for example, the realtor host on the show helped give an award-winning show chicken a sink bath. Yes, you read that correctly. It's a gem and I highly recommend it.


If anyone has tips on how to get a 5 month old to nap later in the day, I'm all ears. Cora is pretty easy to get down for naps unless I'm trying to fit in that last 30 minute cat nap during the day. Usually she'll nap from 2-3:30, and then I'll try to get her to nap again around 5:00 or 5:30 (because a 4 hour gap between the last nap and bedtime at 7:30 is a recipe for a bad night's of sleep) and she just does NOT want to nap.

Any tips for me? Just a phase she'll grow out of (hopefully)?

Some new music I've discovered, in case you need some new tunes (these open in YouTube, all are also on Spotify):
Drunk by Mating Ritual (weirdest title ever, amazing song)
Right Now by HAIM (their new single! so excited for their album yessssss)
Hurricane by Luke Combs (country song I can never get out of my head once I hear it on the radio)
FUTURO by Café Tacvba (an awesome Mexican rock band I heard on NPR, don't you love how cultured I try to be?)

I was scrolling back through my camera roll trying to free up space by deleting old photos, and came across this old photo of our backyard, soon after we moved in last summer.

And this is what it looks like now!

David will probably be embarrassed that I posted a photo of the grass so long, but we're trying to get our last round of seed to take so we've been putting off mowing for as long as possible. He's going to mow tonight.

What a difference, right? That's what happens when you spend lots of thousands of dollars removing a big a$$ tree AND your rock star husband spends every free moment for a solid season cutting down bushes and doing general cleanup and then planting and maintaining a new lawn.

This year we've decided to just concentrate on getting the lawn to come in better, and then next spring and summer we'll do more landscaping. I'm thinking some small fruit or flowering trees, and maybe a couple lilacs in the corners, and some wooden flower boxes.

Now that the grass situation in our back yard is mostly where it's going to be for the summer, I'm now dreaming of nights spent on the patio and enjoying the yard. But we don't have any dining furniture, so I'm on the hunt for a very very cheap set to fill the void for awhile. We have a nice lounge chair donated from my mom's friend that I plan to spend hours reading on this summer to get a little bit of a tan, and a few chairs from a cheap sale at Target end of season last year, but not a table!

I'm on the hunt for one - Craigslist is being stalked pretty religiously. Who's the patron saint of Craigslist? Send them a prayer up for me if you get a chance. ;)

Head to Kelly's for more!

Motherhood and art

03 May 2017

03 May 2017

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about motherhood, and writing, and in general being creative as a mom and wife. I'm sure any of you who have a side hustle, or a passion for writing, or a "lowly mom blog" have gone through this introspection too. This article about writing about motherhood someone shared the other day on Facebook (I can't remember who, sorry if it was you!) spurred my latest round of thinking -- too late at night when I should be trying to sleep instead.

I'm going to wait for you to go and click over to read it, because the author makes a really compelling argument about motherhood and writing I've thought subconsciously since having kids, and she articulates it thoroughly in a way I haven't seen before. Here's a good quote, if you need motivation to actually click and read - it's not long I promise:
"Patriarchal culture has reduced motherhood to an exercise no serious artist would tackle as a subject. The result is not only the marginalization of motherhood as a literary topic but the real-life marginalization of mothers, obscuring the difficulties of childcare, the intensity of birth, the complexities of working and writing as a mother, and the profound ways having a baby changes a woman’s life, body and mind."
I'm a writer. Or at least, I self-identify as if I'm a writer. (How long until I feel confident writing that? Do published authors ever get used to saying that they're writers?) I wrote a lot in high school and college, and I write when the stars align now that I'm in the period of small children and babies. Lots of times this writing is devoted to just small family updates on the blog, writing about the ins and outs of my experience as a mom, trying to capture the details of these two beautiful girlies I'm blessed with on a day-to-day basis. Occasionally I'll write little bits of fiction, or journal by hand, but those times are few and far between. 

Often times in the last {almost} 3 years of motherhood I've started to write something fiction, and I've stopped myself because what I wanted to write about was being a mom...but my brain retorted with "who reads about mom stuff? Write about something serious." But at the same time I believe motherhood has been the defining act of my life, and I am more proud of my role as a mom than any other aspect of my life. What gives? 

I've failed to consider that heck, I love reading about other moms and their rites of motherhood. That's mostly why I read other blogs, let's be honest. I want to know how moms do it - how they're feeling, what they're learning, how to grow as a mother myself. I've failed to treat my own experiences with dignity. I've internalized the idea that being a mom is somehow a lesser role, something not to be proud of, something not to celebrate, something to be shifted away in pursuit of a higher art.

And I agree with the author of the article, that in degrading art centered around motherhood, we end up degrading mothers themselves. I know far too many women who have to sacrifice parts of their roles as mothers in pursuit of their passion, and likewise those who sacrifice their passion because they think they can't handle motherhood at the same time. 

I'm no longer going to treat being a mom this way, especially in my writing. I am capable of being a great mom and pursuing whatever I choose at the same time. And I can write about motherhood and babies without feeling like less of an artist. Sure there are plenty of subjects out there to write about - I hope someday I'll have enough energy to write about all the ones I want to explore. But in this season of changing diapers and having tiny faces look up at me in awe, I want to write about whatever I'm inspired by, and not belittle my own existence because it's not widely considered "art." I see an enormous amount of beauty and pain in motherhood that should be explored by art, writing, what have you - the ache you feel when a child suffers and you can't fix it, the joy of a cheek-splitting grin when your baby catches sight of you, the self-sacrifice required to wipe a messy face time and time again. 

Motherhood is hard, and beautiful, and sanctifying, and I want to embrace it all in pursuit of my art. 

Photo courtesy Unsplash: Dakota Corbin.

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