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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Neat Toddler Tricks Revisited

Several weeks ago, Dear Daughter was "helping" me with the laundry. She had herself buried waist deep into the drum of the clothes dryer trying to grab socks when I asked her a question. Without poking her head back out, she answered me. She was more than entertained by the neat
echo that produced. Now every time she helps with laundry she loves to lean into the clothes dryer and holler or shriek out random words to
hear the echo. Sometimes she'll say, "Mommy try!" and she won't give up until I find myself stooped over with my own head in the dryer hollering. Isn't there an old song with a few lines of "They're coming to take me away, ha ha! They're coming to take me away!" I think I hear them coming for me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tough Perspective

I've had a knot in my stomach for the past few days, and it lead up to this: a more serious post than typical for me.

I stumbled on a couple different mommy blogs recently, and I can't stop thinking about them, and I can't stop thinking about how beautiful my babies are and how good our lives are.

One of the blogs is written by a mommy who has a child near Dear Daughter's age who has a disease/disorder that has left her unable to walk or have full range of motor movement. She has had multiple surgeries in the first couple years of her life. But this mommy feels so fortunate because her little girl wasn't even supposed to have lived, and if she did, she wasn't supposed to live very long, and before the little girl was born, testing suggested that her disorder was going to be much much worse than it turned out to be.

The other blog
is written by a mommy who gave birth to a baby girl in her 5th month of pregnancy, three days before my own Dear Son was born. Her baby was stillborn. The pregnancy had been normal until a clot in the placenta choked the life out of her baby. She'd suffered at least four miscarriages before this. Her older daughter was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder. She is also Dear Daughter's age, and after recent surgery on her legs and six weeks in full leg casts has been able to finally walk some with the help of a walker, and has recently said her first word. Her condition will cause her to die prematurely. And everyday this mommy holds her little girl, never knowing for sure when, but knowing she will have to bury her second child.

I just cannot fathom this. I cannot consider what it would be like to hold my own child knowing that s/he will die and knowing I would have to somehow endure the journey, and the emptiness afterward.

I am also reminded lately of an obituary Dear Husband and I saw in the local Sunday paper when Dear Son was only two months old. A baby boy who was born the same day as our own, in the very same hospital, had died at the age of two months and two days. I felt a little ill when I read this, and I tried for a moment to consider how it would feel to lose my baby and how my arms would ache to hold my wee-est one if he was suddenly gone.

And all this leaves me hugging my kids a little tighter, being a little more tolerant with them, and begging the air for answers such as "Why me?" But not the kind of "Why me" these other mommies ask. I get to ask why did I get such beautiful healthy babies and why do I not have to endure such pain? Only I don't want to ask too loudly or too often, almost fearing that my own fate will be changed if I draw too much attention to myself. But I can't stop feeling overwhelmed by it all. I thank God for my beautiful, perfect, healthy babies, but even that feels somehow unfair...being thankful for having something so wonderful that someone else didn't get to have...when I am no more deservant of it than they are.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

He Doth Have Expression!

Here's a few especially for Great Aunt Pat, who reportedly hasn't seen enough pics of Little Bubby when he is not scowling. See, he really does have moments of intense animation. And he likes his new orange plaid hat, too!

I forgot to post the new "specs" on Zachy's current size as of his 6 month check-up a couple weeks ago. He is now 18lbs and 10oz and 27.75 inches long...and growing. This puts him in the 90% for length and 75% for weight. He fills out his 12 month clothing nicely. A couple mornings ago in the wee hours, I scooped him up to oblige his early a.m. feeding and it really hit me how big he has gotten.

He is eating three solid meals each day now (on most days) and I am beginning to introduce a cup to him. He still rolls when he wants to go somewhere but is showing the first signs of crawling via scooting backwards (not at all unsimilar to his big sister at about this age).

Speaking of his big sister, here she is hamming it up in her typical cutsiest pie way. Is she "All Girl," or what?

She is also loving the way her little bubby looks at her with amusement and adoration these days, so she has new reasons to show off. Any time she enters the room (which she can never do quietly), he stops everything he is doing to grin at her and watch her.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Losing Points Quickly

Some time ago a colleague quoted me the results of a study demonstrating that, on average, parents dropped 12 IQ points by the time their kids graduated high school. Assuming the IQ measurement used was the Weschler adult intelligence scales (WAIS), a standard deviation is 15 points. That means a change of 12 points isn't technically "significant" as far as statistical measurements go. Nonetheless, 12 points is 12 points, and it was an "average" after all. I think I've got a head start, so by the time my kiddos are high school age, my own IQ drop will probably be 15 or greater points, and thus be labeled "significant."

Yesterday morning after Dear Hubby left for work, I noticed he left his cell phone charging on the counter. I then picked up my own cell phone (we have free cell to cell minutes) and proceeded to call his cell phone to tell him that he left it at home. Ah...yeah...well you can see where I'm going with this one.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

FEED the kid!

6:11am- I awakened with the sun streaming through the windows. I blinked my eyes a couple times feeling bewildered. I wondered if I got up to feed Dear Son in the middle of the night and I just didn't remember it. Then I paused a moment thinking that would be a pretty neat trick and why didn't I learn it sooner? Then the voices in my head had a brief argument over whether I did or didn't get up in the night before my feet finally hit the floor to rush to see if Dear Son was still breathing. As soon as my feet hit the floor I was distracted with a more pressing issue: I had to PEE! Not only is this only the third time in the past year that I've slept for 7+ solid hours, it is also only the third time I've gone 7+ solid hours without peeing!

After relieving my bladder, I peeked in on Dear Son. He was lying in his crib with eyes just beginning to open. I tiptoed back to bed wondering about the odds of him letting me go back to sleep until 10am (ha!). A few minutes later he began jabbering. Not crying or fussing, just jabbering. This time when I peered over his crib rail I was greeted with a big toothless grin. Dear Son is like that. In spite of this also being only the third time in his life that he has gone 7+ solid hours wihtout eating, I am still greeted with a big happy smile. I scooped him up and said, "You see, this is one of the reasons why I love you so much."

Prior to last night, Dear Son has done well to only wake up once in the night since starting him on solid food, but the past week that once had gotten earlier and earlier to the point that I was fearing if it got much earlier he would revert to being up twice again. So I've been trying to FEED the kid! I decided to try three solid meals instead of just two. He wasn't always eating solids twice a day when I offered them to him, so I didn't think he was ready for three. However, I'm ready to sleep through the night whether he is or not. Yesterday I tried to feed him cereal and bananas at 8am. He wasn't interested. I tried again at 10:30am. He wasn't interested. I began to think he had just decided he didn't like bananas (though he has liked them in the past). At 2:30 I decided to try green beans and apples. I also added some brown rice cereal. Then I paused thinking, "That's a lot of food!" He ate it. All of it. At 7pm Dear Hubby and I decided to try again. By all means, FEED THE KID! I thought he wouldn't want it. He did. He ate squash. And two servings of cereal.

And so, I hope last night wasn't a fluke. I hope if I continue to FEED the kid, he will sleep. And I will sleep. And life will be good.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Six Months Old

I laid Dear Son in his crib for a nap today. Without a peep he closed his eyes, rolled over on his side, put his chubby little thumb in his mouth, and went to sleep. I stood looking at him for a moment, full of pride. As I lingered, I realized that my "Mommy-esteem" was soaring, and I whispered a thank you to my dear wee-est one before exiting his room.

Those that know a bit about my history with Dear Daughter may know where I'm going with this. She has always been a high-maintenance type (still is to some extent). There was never a day in her little life, until she reached nearly two years of age, that I was able to lie her down for a nap and walk away. There were many times I questioned if I were doing it "right," as all the baby gurus (Sears, Ferber, Ezzo, and others) gave advice upon advice that either never worked for Dear Daughter or never worked for me, and there was never a chance that any of it would work for BOTH of us!

And so, today I admired my snoozing son, breathed a content sigh, smiled to myself, and thanked him for affirming to me that as far as he is concerned, I'm doing it all just right.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Poop Happens

It's happening again. Just as all the poop-talk finally began to subside with Dear Daughter, we are having a poop-talk revival now that Dear Son has been eating solids for a month. It seems it's our parental duty to know when our infant pooped, how much, what color, what consistency, etc etc.

Me: "Has Zachy had a poopy diaper today that you know of?"
Dear Hubby: "No. I only changed him that one time before I went to work this morning, and he was only wet. I haven't changed a poopy one since a couple days ago when he had that formed turd wedged between his cheeks."
Me: "Hmmm. Well all he had today was a couple of little dabs. But it is definitely getting a lot more formed lately. I wonder if he had one while he was at Mom's yesterday?"
Dear Hubby: "She didn't mention it."
Me: "I wonder if I should call and ask her. If he didn't poop yesterday, that means he's gone for over two days without having one."


Dear Hubby: "I changed Zachy while you were in the shower. He had another little spot of poop, but nothing big."
Me: "Hmmm. Guess there's gonna be a doozer coming up when he finally decides it's time."

Several days ago:

Me: "Zachy liked his first taste of avacados today."
Dear Hubby: "Hmmm. That'll make for some interesting poop colors."

What is up with this? I wonder if other parents engage in these kinds of poop discussions. We went through it with Dear Daughter, and now have returned to such talk with Dear Son. Actually, now that I think about it, we've never quite ended the discussion completely with Dear Daughter. Here was a conversation from the other day:

Me: "Oh...I have a funny thing to tell you about what Zoe said today."
Dear Hubby: "Yeah?"
Me: "After she had her noon poopy she peered into the toilet and said, 'I had quite the turd!' It was, too! Good grief, I've never seen so much poop come out of her."
Dear Hubby: "She had one like that the other day..." blah blah blah (you get the picture).

Conversational topics have gone through some dramatic changes in the past three years. The scariest part is that Dear Hubby and I were married nearly seven years BZ2, and my memory is getting a bit foggy over what we conversed about when it wasn't poop.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More -Ism's Zoe Style

Dear Daughter has taken to teaching manners to her slightly older peers. At the library this week there was a rather obnoxious boy of about 6 years old playing at the Thomas the Train table, where Dear Daughter was also playing. He had a few loud outbursts of "All aboard!" as he played. Dear Daughter stood looking at him with concern. She then pressed her little index finger into her nose, leaned towards him and loudly said, "SHHHHHHHH! Use your quiet voice!"

Later the same day, the 5 year old neighbor girl, "Ottoman" came over while Dear Hubby was washing the car and Dear Daughter was "helping." Dear Hubby was amused that at one point he overheard Dear Daughter say to Ottoman, "Are you being naughty? Do you need to think about it?" Ottoman does tend to be lacking in manners and age-appropriate social skills, so Dear Daughter was probably right on about whatever it was.

And this last quip strays from the manner-teaching theme, but is amusing, nonetheless. At the local Stuff Mart this morning, Dear Daughter was perched in the seat of the shopping cart watching the checker whip our items across the scanner and bag them. Whip, bag, whip, bag, whip, bag. She was definitely fast and efficient. After several minutes of watching all the hubbub consisting of whipping and bagging, Dear Daughter mused aloud, "She sure is being busy, isn't she?" I was greatly amused at this quip, as it is a statement Dear Hubby and I have been known to say to her when she is really into something she is doing that involves lots of body movement. The checker, fortunately, was quite amused herself.

Sibling Rivalries

All eyes, but no smiles...

Still no smiles. The geriatric cat had to get in on the action too, though.

An attempt to elicit smiles sent Dear Daughter into one of her typical toddler-angst-ridden moments, which she had to take out on her Dear Brother for a moment. Note the expression on Little Bubby's face. He's either being goosed by Dear Sister or he's thinking something along the lines of, "Oh my Gosh! I'm going to have to put up with this big sister stuff for the rest of my life!"

"Who, me? I'd never torment my Little Bubby!" If it weren't for the evidence I caught on camera, Little Miss Sweet & Innocent might actually have us all convinced!"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Exhausted Animal Paradise

We are managing to enjoy the warm weather in spite of Dear Daughter's bug-o-phobia. She seems to be improving a bit with this fearful obsession, just in time for the God-forsaken Japanese Beetles to make their debut and fill the skies with their horror for several weeks. The good news is that it really is only about six weeks that they linger about and then they are gone for another year. The bad news is that they seem to get worse every year, and this one will likely follow suit with the over-all mild winter we had. Even if Dear Daughter gets over her bug-o-phobia by that time, I'm sure it will return with the Volkswagon sized critters showing up, and my own anything-resembling-a-cockroach-phobia will kick in as well. Sigh.

We made it to Dear Hubby's company picnic on Saturday, which was held at Exotic Animal Paradise. I was telling Dear Daughter of these plans on Friday afternoon, and she was very excited about it. She loves to visit anything that has to do with seeing animals. Before going to the picnic Saturday afternoon Dear Daughter came with me for our weekly trip to the local Stuff Mart. On the way home she began talking about going to the "Exhausted Animal Paradise." I laughed so hard I nearly drove off the road. Turns out Dear Daughter was right about the exhausted part. I hadn't been to Exotic Animal Paradise for at least 20 years, and it's definitely gotten a bit "tired" and hasn't been kept up too well. However, Dear Daughter loved the "open air" bus ride around the park where we saw lots of less-than-exotic, tired old animals. There were a couple dozen deer and deer-related type creatures, a dozen or so tired old donkeys, a couple camels, a couple zebras, and a half dozen Indian "Sacred Cows." Apparently the "exhausted animals" are about to retire this September when the park closes down. We figured that explained the current run-down condition of the park. They will be auctioning off their animal park equipment, exhausted animals, and rickety old "open air" touring busses. If you are in the market for a tired old donkey, you won't want to miss this event.

We didn't manage to get any pictures at this family outing. Something about juggling an almost-three-year-old and a five-month-old keeps all our appendages too full of assorted "gear" to be able to hold and click a camera. So in lieu of pictures of a hyped-up toddler posing with exhausted animals, here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure from Memorial weekend.

Memorial weekend has become the traditional time for christening the toddler swimming pool in the backyard, and so we kept with the tradition, and "Little Bubby" had his "innaugural first dip."