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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lingering...

It’s been awhile since I felt that old ache. I made it through the decision that Son had outgrown his exersaucer with little more than a feeling of relief in being able to let go of another piece of cumbersome baby equipment. I’m handling the two additional teeth finally poking through Son’s gums with even more relief. The demon-baby fits have subsided. We still don’t know if they were attributable to teething or needing to poop, but hopefully it is now a moot point. Son’s budding skills at cruising the perimeters of the furniture also brings a feeling of relief. By the time spring comes around again, son will be walking well enough to make trips to the park bearable. To this point he has had to be strapped in his stroller or a park swing or held in my arms in spite of the fact that he screamed and wildly stretched his entire body toward the ground longing to roll around in the dirt while his big sister climbed the monkey bars and flew down the slides. And I simply cannot overstate the sheer RELIEF of Son’s recent achievement of sleeping from 8:30 pm until 7:30 am without waking up hungry at 6:00 am or earlier. Even the fact that son is just about done with all bottle feedings and is drinking whole cow’s milk instead of formula feels like a relief. Those $20 cans of formula add up, not to mention bottles are a major pain. Daughter never drank formula or used bottles, and it was really a lot easier that way. Even Son’s upcoming first birthday feels like a relief, as it is attached to some very strong THANK GOD! feelings of relief that I am not about to give birth as I was at this time last year. Nope, not a single hint of an ache on any of those accords.

BUT, I did feel that ache again last night as I cradled my son in my arms and rocked him to sleep. I stood by the side of his crib rocking him in my arms thinking how big he is getting, how he is pushing into size two toddler clothing already, and I noticed his legs dangling far beyond my cradling arms. I looked at his sleepy eyes growing heavier by the second as he lay contently in my embrace. I kissed his chubby cheek, his nose, his chin, the top of his fuzzy head, and I lingered. I chased a flashback of holding Daughter the same way and considered how quickly the past three years turned my newborn baby girl into a budding pre-schooler who wants to know all about constellations and outer space and tells me she wants to grow up to be an astronaut. I held Son a little closer and a little longer, and there was no relief in that moment. There was just that ache, and a deep longing to somehow make the moment last forever.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving Day Daughter was riding her tricycle around Grandpa and Grandma H's cul-de-sac and we were all breaking a sweat. I should have dressed her in short sleeves, but who'd have thought that it would have been over 70 degrees on Thanksgiving?

Friday we did our annual traditional trip to the local Ace Hardware to pick our tree out of the parking lot. Yes, I still think this is a terrible way to pick out a Christmas tree, and it really loses something in the translation of having a live tree. But life here just isn't the way it was in the Pacific Northwest...in a whole lotta ways! It was nice to have Husband home on Friday after Thanksgiving...something that hasn't happened in several years and one of the drawbacks of working in a network of banks and banking services on the busiest shopping day of the year.

We revved up the ol' '67 Chevy beast....there was some smoke and a burning smell. Husband assured it me it was just a wire that caught fire. I hoped it wasn't a wire we needed to get from point A to point B. A little more monkeying under the hood and about four attempts to jump start the old tank, and we were on our way. I love that truck. Most of you know the story and history of the truck, but some of my newer readers may not. That pickup was the one I used to ride in next to my Grandpa H on the farm in Iowa as long ago as I can remember. He bought it brand new, and I probably rode in it with him from the time I was three years old. It's made a couple trips across country to Oregon and back again. It's in it original condition...well, except for nearly 30 years of use and wear. But like everything my Grandfather owned, it was very well cared for, and it has great sentimental value for me. One day I hoped to restore it. And maybe we still will. It's not a big priority right now as it will be many years before we can drive our kids around in it, and it is definitely not an everyday run-around-town sort of vehicle.

For now we hope to just keep it running in its current condition. Husband assures me that it only needs a new battery (and I'm guessing it now needs a new wire to replace the one that went up in smoke), but since we only get it out a few times each year, he wasn't sure a new battery was worth the purchase as he figured without more use it would still require a jump to start those few times per year. And that is why it sills lives in our garage and gets to come on our annual trip to get our Christmas tree from the Ace Hardware store.

I packed the kids up in the Accord and Husband followed us to Ace so we could all pick out a tree together. It was still hot outside, so I opened the sunroof and thought about how un-festive it felt not only to go pick out a Christmas tree from the Ace Hardware parking lot but to also do so in our short sleeve shirts wiping sweat from our brows.

But despite it all...doesn't Daughter just looked pleased as punch? She reminds me so much of Little Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch that Stole Christmas.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Gingerbread Houses, Sandboxes, and Laundry

I keep having this recurring thought as the holidays continue to grow closer and I get flashbacks of the holidays a year ago: THANK GOD I'm not about to give birth!

I am hoping to actually be able to remember the holidays this year and not just remember the miserable blur that they were a year ago when I was overwhelmed with the trauma of post-surgery recovery, sleep deprivation, and a whole lot of other miserable post-birth ailments of which I will spare you the details.

That being said, I couldn't be more thankful to have a beautiful healthy son who is about to turn a year old. So there's a perspective to remember here.

I intend to enjoy the holidays and festivities thoroughly this year, and so I indulged a whim to make a gingerbread house with Daughter last weekend. I didn't actually set out with gingerbread houses in mind, but on our weekly trip to the local stuff-mart, I was picking up a box of graham crackers to make a Thanksgiving pumpkin cheesecake when we discovered ginger flavored graham crackers (compliments of Nabisco) and on the back of the box was a recipe for gingerbread houses. That was all it took for Daughter. We were calling Daddy up at home to see if we had powdered sugar to make the fosting-glue.

I've intended to post a note about the sanbox adventure a few weeks ago, but that all got lost in the shuffle of...well, life as I know it during the past few weeks.

Daughter really wanted to play outside but it was a bit on the chilly side, though sunny. Son was up from his nap, and wouldn't need another one for awhile. I decided to bundle up the kids and drag a blanket out to the deck where Son could play while Daughter played in the sandbox. I predicted Son would not want to stay on the blanket. I also predicted he would be very curious about the sand. I did not, however, predict that he would insist on climbing into the sandbox and belly surfing in it. He looks pleased about the whole thing, though, doesn't he. *Sigh* It wasn't worth the battle of keeping him out, so I let him be. He only tried to eat the sand once, and apparently once was all it took to convince him not to do it again. So I figured there was little harm in having two wiggly piggies covered with sand. I've given up on having a clean house anyway--at least for the next decade or so.



And since this turned out to be a mishmash post anyway, I will include a picture of Son helping with the laundry for those doting relatives that don't get to see the kids often enough. Son loves to "help" with everything these days.

Friday, November 17, 2006

One of THOSE weeks

Has is already been over a week since my last brief post? It has been crazy in my world! I've been quite focused on getting Christmas shopping done...with a good amount of shopping being done online. It's easier than trying to drag the kids around or trying to find time without the kids to shop. It's amazing how absolutely NOTHING else can get done when you have small children except for managing said children. Those who have never had a minimum of two children aged three and under probably would assume that since I only maintain an average of 8 to 10 appointments each week that I would have all kinds of time to clean my house and go shopping. Unfortunately there is considerable addtional time spent on other necessary aspects of my work such as phone calls, treatment notes, billing insurances, etc, which all has to be done from my home with my kids underfoot. This week in particular has been challenging with a whole lot of the ETC. Something about the holidays always seems to trigger at least a few of my clients into erratic behavior. I currently have two teenagers that have run away, one who landed in the hospital after trying to commit suicide, and one in the hospital for self-mutilating. I have been communicating with caseworkers, parents, and insurances in nearly every spare moment and many moments that aren't spare.

Then there is the mystery of Son's behavior in the form of frequent fuss attacks over the past 6 weeks. He had a couple good weeks in there where he was his old self consistently. Otherwise he has had these random spells that we attributed to teething in the past. Interestingly, no more teeth have found their way out of his little pink gums. Now we are attributing the fussies to needing a big ol' poop. It seems he goes in these cycles of fussies for a few days and then finally has a poop fest all day long and gets cleaned out and is happy again. At this particular time, I have one particularly strong sentiment in response to this past week: "POOP ALREADY!"

Yesterday morning Son sat in his highchair for breakfast and grimaced and pushed with the whole facial expression thing going on and cranked out more toots and noises than I've ever heard in a 15 minute time period. I was worried that his diaper was not going to contain it all and had visions of poop squishing out everywhere...you know how it happens when they crank out a doozy while they are strapped in a sitting position and it squishes up their backside. Yet when I got brave enough to change his diaper, it was like a phantom poop. There was NOTHING in his diaper. I was looking under the changing table and in his clothing to find it, becuase I was sure it had to be there somewhere.

Glory be, that child has some issues with gas! He's been that way since he was a few weeks old. As I've said before, he is ALL BOY! What is especially funny is when he sits in his highchair clapping his hands and tooting. Husband starts clapping back and chanting "Hercules, Hercules!" which he reminded me was from that scene in The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy remake) when the whole family is sitting around the dinner table and the grandfather and the kid are trying to out-fart each other and Momma Klump keeps clapping and saying "Hercules, Hercules!" Yeah, that's my boy...farting away and cheering himself on. And my husband...cheering him on, too.

And so I am out of time, and I have somehow managed to fill this entire post with descriptions of farting and pooping. Yeah, that's the kind of week it's been.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mexico?!

At bedtime tonight Daughter was gazing out the window at the Waning Gibbous and twinkly stars that hung brightly in the sky, and she said in an awe-filled voice, "Mommy, that looks like outer space!" She has a thing for Outer Space ever since seeing the "Are You My Neighbor?" Veggie Tales video. Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: "Well, it IS outerspace, Sweetie Pie!"

Daughter: "Well then why aren't there any space ships out there?"

Me: "There are, but they are so far away that you can't see them!"

Daughter: "How far away is it? Is it as far as Mexico?"

Me: (Wondering where my precocious barely three-year-old learned about Mexico) "How far away do you think Mexico is?"

Daughter: "It's really far. It's as far as the park by Grandpa and Grandma's house!"

For the record, I have no idea where the Mexico thing came from...I didn't even know she knew that Mexico existed. And the park by Grandpa and Grandma's is roughly 12 miles away. Apparently when you are barely three years old, the concept of distance to places like the park, Mexico, and Outer Space feels about the same.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Direct Line

Daughter: "I heard you talking to God on the phone the other day!"

Me: (blank look as I wonder who I was really talking to and what in the world I was saying to give Daugher the impression that it was God) "Well, Sweetie, I don't think I was talking to God because I can't call Him on the telephone."

Daughter: "I can talk to Him on MY phone because I have a very PARTICULAR phone and I can just push that button and all the lights light up and I can talk to God!"

Me: "Wow, Sweetie! Can I borrow your phone sometime?"

I hope Fisher Price doesn't get wind of this!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scrub a Dub Dub...

...two monkeys in a tub. It's a competition to see who loves bathtime more. Son is definitely posing a challenge to Daughter on the issue. Truth be told, I think Mommy has them both beat...as far as her own bathtime, not bathing the monkeys. Unfortunately however, Mommy doesn't get many long hot but bubble baths anymore. Something about chasing two little monkeys around doesn't leave time for that type of leisure.

As you can see, as soon as the water starts running, Son can't wait to climb in. And then the splashing begins. We've begun throwing both the monkeys in the tub together as this saves on time and damages, however, this cannot be undertaken without at least two pairs of adult hands. One pair to hold the slippery littlest monkey, and one pair to scrub the littlest monkey while he swims, stands, splashes, squeals, and pulls every tub toy within sight into the water. The biggest monkey manages to hold her own during this time, but is quite amused at all the commotion and splashing. Truth be told, all four of us tend to get our baths at the same time this way.

Unfortunately, we were having some camera problems, so none of the pictures of both the monkeys in the water together turned out.