Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank You

We have the sweetest daughter. She has started thanking me lately for doing her laundry and dishes and things. She LOVES her blue baby spoon and always wants to use it (sometimes to the point of a fit if it's not clean on bad days). But on good days, when it is clean, she will ask for it and I will tell her she can have it, and she'll say, "You washed it for me? Oh, thank you, Mama, thank you!!" It's a cute reminder that we should all be thankful for the little things.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Living in the Moment

Yesterday I took the girls for a walk since we finally had spring-like weather. S wanted to push R in the stroller which is big feat for a 2 1/2 year old since it's one of the big travel system strollers. She did a great job for the most part. Had a little trouble going straight sometimes, but overall did very well. R was babbling, and S said, "She's talkin' up a storm!" I had to smile at my little parrot (just as I held my breath earlier in the day when her Lego building fell apart and she said "CRAP!").

Anyway, we were walking along, taking our time - S was watching some boys play basketball, stopping to pick the first dandelion of the season, etc. She was wearing some pants that are a little too big, and I'd forgotten to put a belt on her so she was having to stop to hitch them up from time to time. I also forgot that she'd opted not to wear panties. As a newly potty-trained kiddo, I've been pretty lenient about underwear. I figure whatever she wants is fine for now as long as it's not a diaper!

So after we'd gone about a hundred feet, S decided she wanted to run while pushing the stroller. I told her she could if she was careful with Sissy, so off she went. And down slid her pants past her tushie to about mid-thigh. I was running after her yelling for her to stop. By the third time I told her to stop and she hadn't, I was getting frustrated and thinking to myself, "Why can't she mind me?" (We've been struggling in this area a lot lately.)

Just then, I heard a loud laugh from across the street. Our neighbor from a couple houses down was sitting on his porch and cracking up. I started to laugh, too, and S stopped and giggled. Where was the camcorder when I needed it? While it's important for the girls to learn to follow directions, it's also important to put life in perspective and not get bogged down in the minutiae. Enjoy the moment! There's a time for everything under the sun, and this was definitely a time to laugh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Worst First Day of Spring Ever

Things started looking bleak the week before. S got a virus on Monday. By Friday when I took R in for her 4 month checkup, I wanted the dr. to look at her as well. She had an ear infection so we left with a clean bill of health for R and a prescription for S. We were literally just out of the parking lot when I heard a congested rattle emitting from R. SERIOUSLY? By that night I was feeling badly, too. That weekend, poor S was coughing so hard she threw up. It was the first time that had happened to her, and it kind of freaked her out. By Monday I was sure I had a sinus infection, so went to the dr. and while there, had him check out R. She was definitely sick, but I didn't want to take her back to the ped. already since we had just been there unless there was anything that could be done for her. Luckily my doc was willing to check her out a little bit. Her lungs sounded good and her ears were clear, so I went home with a prescription for me and more advice to run a humidifier and have R sleep in her bouncy or car seat to help her congestion.

Wednesday was St. Patrick's Day. S had colored a shamrock at the sitter's the week before so I told her that was for this day, and another thing we do is where green. "I want to wear pink." I told her, of course, she could wear pink. But maybe she could wear something that has green on it, too, or maybe a green hair tie (as if she'd let me put her hair in a ponytail). "I want to wear pink." I know, sweetheart, but I bet when Daddy comes home he won't have green on and then you get to pinch him. He can pinch you back if you don't have green on either. You want to be able to get Daddy, don't you? "I want to wear pink." Moving on...

That night, I was worried about R's cough. It was sounding tighter and I wasn't sure if I was imagining her breathing to be more shallow or if it really was. I decided to take her in to the ped. the following morning to see if her virus had turned into RSV. It had. I kept it together surprisingly well for me, considering I thought that was a one-way ticket to the hospital. Luckily, her oxygen level was ok, so they just wanted us to keep a close eye on her and bring her back in the next day to follow up.

Thursday was the first round of the NCAA bball tourney. Since I'd missed a lot of work being out sick myself and staying home with the sick kiddos, I came in to work that night. I was listening to the KU game - they were down 12-4 within a few minutes. What?!?! I had horrible flashbacks to our rehearsal dinner after which we'd turned on the game and seen them lose in the first round to Butler. Luckily, they managed to pull it off.

Friday was our 5 year anniversary. My wonderful hubby did a load of laundry, made dinner, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen AND bought me a beautiful flower arrangement. We had arranged for his parents to watch the girls Saturday night so we could go to dinner.

Saturday was the first day of spring. We got something like 4" of snow. Ugh! I'm so sick of winter! And being sick! R seemed to be doing about the same, so I decided to continue with our plan of having family photos taken on Sunday. That meant it was haircut time for S. Off we went and she did a wonderful job. The stylist actually was able to put a little braid in her hair, too. And she left it in until the next morning! I couldn't believe it. That day was also the first day (of many to come, I'm sure) that she started asking the repetitive "Why?" I have always planned to be as patient as I could when that day came, and to answer the question as far out as I could and the offer to look up the answer if I couldn't. But I failed to realize before I had children, that there is no logic to the repetition. It wasn't that we got to a point where there was no answer, it was that she kept asking the same question over and over again.

That night KU played in the second round. I was getting ready for us to go to dinner during half time while DH's parents were on their way over. I was feeding S some random things for her meal - a pickle, watermelon, string cheese and oj. She asked me to cut her string cheese (I know, weird) which I usually do, but I got distracted and forgot. She turned to me and said, "Gosh, Mom, you didn't cut up my cheese yet!" Oh brother. We ended up staying home and watching the rest of the game before we left. But it was futile - KU lost to Northern Iowa (really?). Now not only was my bracket shot, my whole reason for watching was gone. Sigh....

But we headed out to dinner and ended up going to Cheddar's, a relatively new place by the mall. It was pretty good, and very reasonably priced. So at least the first day of spring had a nice ending.

Today I went to lunch with my older sister, and we were in the bathroom and she pushed the soap and it squirted past her hand...right into my purse. Then she couldn't get the water faucet to turn off. It was like we were on a bathroom version of Candid Camera.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Over the Hill

I was just thinking earlier this week about doing a blog about the meaning of "Over the Hill" and events today really pushed that to the front of my mind. Generally the term is used to tease people who hit middle-age milestone birthdays - usually 40 and 50, sometimes 30. I always thought it meant the tough part is over, you've climbed the hill, or you're getting close to the end of life, there's not much left. But now that I'm 35 and married with kids, I think it has more to do with time. It's like your time is a boulder rolling down the hill going faster and faster. I noticed it with our baby this week. My dad asked if it was time to start her on cereal. My immediate response was, oh, no, not yet. Then I realized, she'll be 4 months old on Friday. Then I couldn't remember if I started our toddler on cereal at 4 months or 6 months? It was only 2 1/2 years ago, you'd think I could remember. It seems like it hasn't been that long, but that's time spinning by on me.

This morning my friend called and told me her mom's husband had a heart attack during a 5K. He runs all the time, but thankfully it happened in the middle of a race and he collapsed in front of a paramedic. He's had stents put in and they're doing ice therapy and he's intubated. Then this afternoon, Dad called and said my older half-sister had a mild heart attack. It turns out they aren't sure that's what happened, but she does have some blockage. They ran some tests and will know more tomorrow. Though she's 14 years older than me, she's still my sister, and to think she's of an age to be concerned about heart attacks is scary. But then I remembered my friend saying the other day that heart disease is the number one killer of women between the ages of 40-50. Probably because we don't see it coming. We're over the hill and time's going by faster than we realize. And we're not "old" yet. I was just talking to another friend about it today. It seems impossible that her daughter will be 16 this week. And that it's been almost 20 years since I dated my high school boyfriend who I had lunch with on Wednesday after years of not being in touch. I told her how when he first contacted me, my heart fluttered, and I felt like I was 17 again. And then I felt silly - as I said I'm 35 and married with kids. But I feel like I'm 17 a lot of the time. Self-conscious and insecure - more like a kid than an "adult".

I think having kids has made me feel both more mature and younger. On the one hand, I hear myself saying things my parents said, or lamenting things our toddler does like they did, like her playing with Chapstick and getting 20 layers of it on her face. But I also am reminded about the wonder of life and the world when she asks questions and points out sights and sounds that slows me down to take it all in. And when she does silly things that remind me of my younger sister. Like today when she got a tiny scratch on her thigh. She was being quite melodramatic about it which was odd because she usually shakes it off. But she was having a moment like me when I was a kid - I always screamed bloody murder first, and figured out if I was truly injured later. But she was milking it like my sister would. First she wanted a band-aid. Then she wanted to be carried around because her leg wouldn't work. Except when she wanted to go to the kitchen to get jelly beans. Suddenly it was miraculously better. But only for that long. Then she was holding her thigh with her hand, and hobbling around like she was seriously injured and saying, "Ooh, ooh."I finally asked if her leg hurt because I was concerned that she was really in pain and she said no. Crazy kid!

Her new answer to scheduling conflicts with naptime is to say she can just sleep in the car. Like if I need to go somewhere and she wants to go with me, and I tell her she can't because she needs to go down for a nap while I'm gone, she says, "That's ok; I can just sleep in the car."

Potty training is going really well! Trying not to get my hopes up because I hear there are lots of setbacks, but she didn't have an accident at all today. She's started telling me when she has to poop that it's going to be big and stinky, and I should leave. Lovely. She pooped in the potty chair at my parents' house yesterday, and it was large and greenish and soft. She said in a growly voice, "That's a MONSTER poop!" Hilarious! And we've come full circle with the feeling old and young at the same time to be discussing poop on a regular basis, but also still finding it funny.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sleep: Will I Ever Get Any Consistently Again?

For those of you unaware, check out old blogs chronically the sleep issues we've had with our eldest. Because of them, I haven't gotten a full night's sleep more than once or twice a week for the last 2 and a half years. Since we've had our baby, the toddler's been MUCH better, and the baby has been a great sleeper for the most part. But just when I say that, or try to give friends with newborns sleep advice, I get a reminder that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Last night I went to bed around 10:30pm. Baby R woke up at 12:30am for a feeding, and again at 4am. But that time, she was awake and ready to play. So it was almost 5am before she fell back asleep. At this point, I just watched the clock until a quarter after since that's what time the alarm was set for my DH. Once he was up, since I was wide awake, I had a hard time falling back to sleep. About fifteen minutes after I did, our toddler woke up - an hour early. I tried my best to get her to lie back down, and finally convinced her to come to bed with me at 6:30am in the hopes I could get at least 15 more minutes of sleep before it was time for me to get up. Needless to say that didn't happen.

There was additional frustration with last night. Now that I'm back to work, DH and I have an agreement that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, he will get up with the baby and change her diaper and bring her to me to feed in bed. Ideally he would also take her back to her crib, but I usually let him off the hook there. So last night when she woke up the first time, I nudged him, he got up and I asked him to change her and bring her to me. Let me explain how my sweet hubby's awareness works when he's been sleeping. It doesn't. I learned this early on when we were dating. One night I called him after he had fallen asleep watching TV. When he picked up the phone, I could tell he was tired and asked if he wanted to call me back. Since we hadn't been dating long, talking to me was more enticing than going back to sleep. We chatted for about 30 minutes and made plans to go to a movie the next night. The next day, the time came for him to pick me up, and he didn't show. I waited 15 minutes and then called him. He answered, and I asked him if he was going to come get me for the movie, and he said, "What movie?" He had no recollection of the conversation we'd had the night before. Knowing this about him, I'm usually the one who handles nighttime crises. If there is something urgent I need him for (like when my water broke at 2:30am), I make sure to ask him if he's really awake three or four times til he gets annoyed with me. Then I know he's really up.

So last night after I nudged him, he went and got Baby R, and brought her to me. I said, "Aren't you going to change her diaper?" He just stood there and looked confused. I realized he wasn't really awake. At this point I was more concerned with her safety than my sleep and sent him back to bed. At 4am I didn't wake him because it was only a little over an hour til he had to get up, and I thought I'd be back to sleep by 4:30am. So much as I'd like to blame him, it's my own fault that I've pretty much been up since 4am. Luckily, he's pretty awesome, so the sleep issue gets outweighed by his many other wonderful qualities.

So this morning I find myself in a familiar place: groggy, grouchy and wondering if I will EVER get to sleep well again. I knew when we had our first daughter that there would be a few weeks of sleepless nights. But I had no idea how large a part sleep would play in our lives for so long. Food, clothing and shelter are just the beginning. We need to add sleep to the list of necessities of life...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Weekend

Friday, I went to the February Party of the Month (POM) that I have with my girls from high school. We chatted, ate chocolate, and played Scene It Music. It was funny because I was telling them about my high school boyfriend finding me on Facebook and then all these things in the game kept coming up that reminded me/us of him. It's been crazy the last few weeks with running into old friends. Another of the high school girls who lives in California got a call from the French exchange student who had lived with her family our senior year, so she gave him her email address and forwarded his message to us, and I emailed him directly. I asked my old boyfriend if he remembered the exchange student, and he said, "Of course, he was our Fez." (That 70's Show) Cracked me up!

Saturday I went to Walgreens to pick up my prenatal vitamin prescription. It's for a multivitamin and a DHA supplement, so (usually) it's cheaper to do the co-pay than to buy it off the shelf. Last month the pharmacy was out of the generic brand they usually fill it with and the insurance tried to charge extra for it being name-brand. It was still a generic, though, and after about a week of arguing with them, Walgreens was able to get them to just charge the $15. Saturday, had the same problem. Only this time, I had our toddler with me. We were there for 45 minutes. She was diaperless as the potty training is consisting mostly of not wearing one at this point, even out in public for short trips. After about half an hour, I thought I'd better take her to the bathroom just to be on the safe side. She went and did just fine! She was so well-behaved that entire time, and most of it was spent sitting in the cart or being held by me. I was very proud of her. Unfortunately, no progress was made with the insurance company. As I had had to wait til payday to pick it up, I'd already missed taking the pills one day, so I didn't want to wait to take it home until it was resolved like last month, and just paid the extra money. Not holding my breath on the reimbursement.

Sunday was a bit frustrating. Our poor toddler was just trying to help, but she had the Midas touch. She was having a clumsy day like her Mama (I had hoped it would skip a generation), and had already spilled her drink and her cereal while eating breakfast, and coffee grounds as she'd tried to help me make coffee. She wanted to help me make peanut butter cookies for a co-worker's bday. I agreed, but because of the coffee incident, told her I would have to measure everything and she could just help me pour. I was excited to use my new KitchenAid for the first time. She wanted to turn it on, and since I had run it on Stir and settings 2 and 3, I assumed that's what she would do. Nope, from 0-10 in about half a second. The bowl flew off, and sugar, butter and peanut butter splattered on the floor. ARGH. I was exhausted and frustrated, and managed not to lose my temper but did tell her I needed her to go to the living room with Daddy. After I cleaned everything up (which required sweeping, mopping, wiping down the counter and cupboards and washing my feet), I started to run the mixer again and she wanted to come back to the kitchen. I told her she could just watch, and finally got done making the cookies.

My DH went to see the Travel Channel tape an episode of "Food Wars" that pitted Arthur Bryant's against Gates BBQ. While he was gone that afternoon after her nap while her baby sister still slept, I took her outside to play for a bit. The weather was a bit warmer (43 degrees!), so we got out her t-ball set. I hit a line drive that nailed her in the leg which thankfully didn't hurt, and she laughed it off, so I went ahead and laughed, too. A little while later she was trying to pick up the ball and it rolled between her legs, and as she reached back with both hands, she fell forward on her head. This time I was cracking up, and luckily she was fine. I try not to laugh at her when she gets injured, but sometimes it's just funny. And it helps her to learn to laugh at herself.

Sunday night was the closing ceremonies for the Olympics. I didn't really watch much this year. The US set a record for most medals with 37, but Canada came out on top with the most golds, 14. My BIL had texted me Friday while he was watching curling and said, "Go Canada! Oh, fer sure." :) I missed the closing ceremonies, but saw that my cousin in Manitoba had posted on Facebook "keep the good times rollin! sick closing cermonies and thinks the moose hats are epic". That was shortly followed by a post from a friend here in Kansas: "Holy shee-ite. What kind of Canadian pop music crap was that?" I had to laugh at the disparity.

Last week I fell for trying to get a free $500 gift card to Target on Facebook (DUMB!), and signed up for Netflix for free for two weeks before I finally gave up on the gift card. So the first two movies arrived yesterday. DH and I watched "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" last night. It had it's funny moments, but overall was terrible. We spent most of the time playing Words with Friends on our iTouches, so it was still fun. We are totally addicted to that game. It's Scrabble, but electronic and you can play it whenever you get a free minute. My friend in Cali from high school got me started, and now I think I have about 10 games going at the same time.
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