Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I backed out of our parking pad and then pulled forward so that I could get out and close our gate. As I did this I noticed some man walking a ways further down the alley. I thought nothing of it because people use the alleys as short cuts all the time. So I put the car in park and jump out to close the gate.
When the gate is closed I turn and look towards my car to get back in it, but said man who I thought was much further down the alley is now loitering at the front passenger side bumper of my car. As I step toward the car he walks across the front of my car and starts sauntering down the driver's side of the car. Of the running car that my children are strapped into. My stomach flips upside down and my heart is in my throat when I casually say, "Hey." Usually when I say that even people who I previously thought were shady will say "How you doin?" and suddenly turn friendly. Not this scary man. He just keeps sauntering down the car looking in it and then down the alley ahead of him and then back in it.
I have made it to the back of my car and would have advanced into the driver's seat but for this figure who makes no motion to show he even sees me. Luckily he doesn't decide to steal the car and kidnap the kids. And I receive a momentary lull in terror. Then as he reaches the end of the car he drifts back to the center of the alley, which means he's heading in my direction. What am I going to do? Just as I'm in full panic mode he walks on.
What was going to happen? If the kids hadn't been in the car would I still have a car? What if he had taken my babies? What if he had attacked me? What if he was just on some sort of drugs? I have no idea, but as I got into the car my whole body was shaking from our brush with disaster.
After reading comments I just thought I'd add that I DO feel safe in my home and on my alley. I know who my neighbors are and our neighborhood. The city of St. Louis is big and noisy and diverse, but I have grown to enjoy it quite a lot. Moving here I have had to learn to really listen to my instincts about people to avoid and when to realize what I'm feeling is just preconceived fear of the unknown. I don't think that it would be a good idea to let one crazy experience in our alley jade me against living here. My more important lesson is to not be in such a hurry that I don't analyse any situation.
As far as hand guns or any other weapons I personally wouldn't feel comfortable carry them on my person. Also, I can't ever see myself feeling comfortable shooting anyone, ever. For me I think it would be good to practice and get comfortable using self defense of some nature. Or I could get my mom's T-ball bat and wear it as a necklace? If you want to carry a weapon, more power to you, but its just not for me.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Tonight, even though he has to take the shelf exam on Friday, when I asked that we drive around the town to look at Christmas lights he agreed. Also, when I started singing Christmas songs in the car (something I'm sure my sister would have said, "let's listen to the professionals" to) he chimed in and the two of us key surfed our way through a half hour of the songs. He even suggested some of his own. No wonder Charlotte loves to sing in the car. (Her favorite one right now is the "pum pum song" which is The Little Drummer Boy. After days of singing this song over and over she asked us tonight if the boy was "hitting his head" which put an interesting new twist to the song.)
I am just amazed at what a wonderful leader he is for our family and I love him for it.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
First the before:
The fireplace surround is cement pressed into a broken brick pattern and then painted red.
And then the after:
Doesn't it look beautiful? In case you can't see it we picked 3"x6" travertine tiles with smaller tiles as accents. Then Daniel, who is incapable of just doing something plain, installed the tiles on the floor in a herringbone pattern. We ended up with only 4 tiles to spare. Pretty good judgement I'd say. Also, he installed a working, ventless gas log insert! It is so much fun to actually have a fire in our fireplace!
Friday, December 04, 2009
Keep in mind that Dan has a list of somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 programs he's going to apply for. I once made the mistake of asking him where they all were, but then stopped listening at around 15. There's just too many possibilities and we really have very little say over where we end up. That's why I've chosen to focus on three. Three seems to be the number that my brain can actually handle.
Anyway, Daniel talked to his advisor after she'd met with someone from University of Colorado and she said it was sort of a long shot for him, even with his good board score and grades. There's just a lot of applicants and there's only really two spots open for students who didn't go there for medical school. She said though if we even wanted a shot at all he'd have to do an away rotation there. We'd really like to live in Denver because it's close to my sister and easily within driving distance to Dan's brother. We could also drive to other extended family on both sides even though that would be a long drive. Also, they have a pediatric fellowship and Daniel really likes how the residency program is set up. Knowing nothing about the programs I have no comment on that. On top of that Colorado is awesome.
She also raised concern about U of U. It is a little less difficult to get in, but, like Janelle said in the comments, their reputation is to stay away from our demographic (that being married with children and active in the Latter-Day Saint religion). Luckily Daniel didn't attend BYU as an undergrad because we've heard they really shy away from those students. I have no idea anything about the program other than Dan said it was "really good." We'd like to be in Salt Lake because it's fairly central to both sides of our extended family. Plus, I have a Grandma in Salt Lake that I'd really like to be able to live close to for health reasons.
The Mayo Clinic is also very competitive program, but each year a few students from Daniel's medical school go there for residency. They don't have a pediatric fellowship though so that's one drawback. But Daniel pretty much loves the way their program is set up. It has a lot of one on one instruction. I have heard NOTHING but positive reviews from people who have lived or vacationed there. Everyone loves it. The only cause for concern is that I looked Rochester up in my gardening book and it has the same climate zone as Siberia. SIBERIA! My husband is thinking of taking our family up to Siberia to become frozen Popsicles. He knows what a wimp I am.
So last night after reading the email from his advisor Dan said, "I guess I'm going to have to ask her what she thinks isn't a long shot for me."
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Back to the point. Half way through third year. What happens now is that everyone starts seriously thinking and talking about where they want to apply for residency, where they want to realistically live for residency, where they'd be OK with living for residency, where they would rather poke their eyes out, but would live anyway if that's where they got matched to in residency. You know why all our friends are talking about this? Because next year they do away rotations, which is basically a month long interview where the program gets to see you at your very worst because you're still learning this stuff, but you want to make a good impression. Good luck with that one Sweetie.
Anyway, the point here is that we're talking and thinking and looking forward to moving, but we're still not done with our projects here! Or maybe that's not the point I was meaning to make, but it doesn't matter because it certainly is true. Maybe I'm seeing all these projects and getting a little panicky because I got home from vacation last night to realize that I have literally two weeks to get all our holiday stuff done before going back on vacation. Aaaaahhh!
I remember what my point was supposed to be now. My point was that I was thinking about all these places to live and realized that it doesn't really matter to me where we live as much as I previously thought it would. I think I can say with pretty good confidence now that I have lived in a variety of places in the US. Corvallis, OR-small college town filled with big-store hating, tree loving outdoorspeople. Clarkston, UT-filled with, well I don't think you can say that any place that has a population of 750 is "filled" but mostly you've got farmers. Spokane, WA- good sized city in the northwest, pretty average America I'd say. St. Louis, MO- big city. Lots of people. Lots of differences.
Anyway, I can pretty much say that I have loved every place I've lived in. Truly loved them all. Mostly people who know me can't believe that I spent a year living in a single wide in the middle of nowhere, but I loved that too. The middle of nowhere has great people living in it. So does St. Louis. I love the sights and sounds of the city. I love the sights and sounds of the country. I love it all. So I guess it doesn't really matter where we end up for residency.
PS. But just for the curious. As of right now the tops of our list for away rotation applications are:
- Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN
- University of Colorado in Denver, CO
- University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT
Monday, November 23, 2009
I had packed cereal cups to eat for breakfast and when we got through security I bought milk. We made our way down to the gate and I opened up Charlotte's cereal and got her settled as a man came up to gate check the stroller. He said we'd have about 20 minutes tops to eat our breakfast. I figured that would be fine. That is until Charlotte looks up to me and says the words every potty trained child inexplicably knows to say at just the wrong time, "Pee pee Mommy."
I look around at all the carry-ons that we had set down and rifled through to get breakfast out and wildly tried to think of a way to get all of them, our stroller, and us down one story to the bathrooms, have her go and be back up in time to eat breakfast before we had to board. My mind quickly ground to a halt, realizing that there was no conceivable way this could be done. I'm there mumbling, "pee pee...uh.....pee pee. Ok, hmm..." when a wonderful good Samaritan stepped in. A young woman sitting next to us heard the whole interchange and said, "I know I'm a stranger, but I can stay with your baby while you take her to the bathroom." Without even thinking I said, "Thank you!" Took Charlotte and ran. I got her squared away and back in enough time for her to finish her Lucky Charms and run right onto the plane. It wasn't until we were in the air that I realized I probably should have been a little more wary, but sometimes you just have to rely on the kindness of strangers and I am so very thankful.
Other than that our trip was surprisingly uneventful. Greg slept through over half of both flights and Charlotte only got antsy about getting out of her seat about half an hour from the end. Greg did like to do short, loud yells so that people would look at him, which was slightly embarrassing, but at least he wasn't awake for very long and also he wasn't screaming his head off.
So we're here at Grandma's house and settled in. Now if we could just adjust to the two hour time zone difference.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Height: 26 1/2" (50%)
Weight: 20 lbs 2 oz (90%)
So he's not extremely tall, but boy does he pack a punch! The doctor said that what Charlotte had last week was most likely H1N1 which actually gave me a little relief from worry. I'll probably still vaccinate her, but I don't have to worry so much about our air travel during the holidays. (Note: If you are thinking of commenting on how I might still want to worry, don't.)
Dan is currently on family practice rotation which is an absolute dream for the family. He has breakfast with us and is home for dinner. He only works a half day Mondays (he spends the other half studying though). And get this! He only has to work every other Friday. AWESOME. So last weekend since he got housework in on Friday we all went out Saturday late afternoon and evening to the zoo. We let Charlotte pick where we went so we went to the bird house, which she has taken a fancy to lately. As we were going by each cage she would ask me what the bird was and why this bird couldn't get out ("I told you the last time. The wires keep the bird in.") Then we came up to some guinea foul of some variety and instead of asking the kind of bird she says, "That's a pirate bird, Mommy." Who knew?
Monday, November 16, 2009
Also, Dan put in light switches upstairs! Honest to goodness hard wired light switches. For all the lights. And he's in the middle of installing a fan light for the bathroom! It's amazing how much you appreciate the simple things.
Also, Dan uttered the phrase I have been waiting for a year for him to say a few days ago. After he finished the last light switch box he turned to me and said, "I think I'd be OK with buying a newer house next time." Yahtzee! It's a whole lot easier to do voluntary projects to give your home "character" than it is to fix plaster walls, re-plumb the bathroom, and wire and entire floor.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
So I started digging up the overgrown weeds and ends of the vegetable plants last week. Turns out we had loads of carrots in there that I knew nothing about. That's what you get when you let a two year old plant the seeds for you.
It's been pretty slow going. Not because of the leaves that have fallen on top of everything or the grass that has encroached the withered pumpkin vine, but because of the evil trumpet vine. You heard me. EVIL. They must have powers from the devil since they seem impervious to roundup!
Anyway, today I went out thinking I'd at least get another one foot strip done in the thing. I came upon five trumpet vine shoots coming out of the ground together. It has been my experience if I just dig deep enough all those shoots will eventually converge onto one root stem that I can then pull out. So I dug and I dug and I dug (or is it digged?) until I hit what I thought was a huge rock. I showed it to Daniel as he was leaving for work (he's in family medicine right now) and he said that it wasn't a rock, but the root and I should just try to wedge the shovel under it. Well, it took me another 15 minutes to get the right leverage, but then the beauty came up!
Picture this if you will: two feet long, three inches in diameter, a foot and a half underground. I had dug up a LOG! Well, not really a log, it was indeed the root for the trumpet vine. In my heart I felt victory, and defeat. I had truly unearthed a huge part of the problem, but if that's how big the root for five tiny vines was I am in real trouble. I will never win to this plant. It will eventually overtake the lawn, and then start creeping up the walk to the deck. Finally it will engulf the entire house and we will never be able to step foot out the front door. Good news, we're moving before that could ever happen.
Oh and picture this as well: Charlotte was delighted when I finally got the log out of the ground because she could then fit herself into the hole in the ground. She called it her chair. She sat in her chair and found a worm coming out of one of the clumps of dirt she covered her skirt with. She uncharacteristically picked the worm up and called it her pet. Boy was she really miffed when I told her that she needed to get out of it so I could fill it in.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Charlotte came down with a fever last Saturday night and it hasn't really left her yet. I thought it had, then she woke up from her nap today with a return of the fever. I waited an hour thinking maybe she was just hot from sleeping, but it never went away. YUCK.
Then last night when Dan went to get Greg so I could feed him before going to bed we discovered that he had been throwing up on himself. When he picked the little guy up we realized Greg wasn't asleep, he just wasn't wanting to move his body at all. He didn't want to hold his head up or lift his arms and he didn't want to nurse. Or have his pacifier in his mouth. Or take tylenol. When we got it in him he threw it up 2 minutes later. You could tell Greg was scared too because of the look on his face as his body was heaving. I was really scared and I knew it was bad because Daniel was really scared too. Turns out this morning he's fine, but that was pretty much the scariest thing that's happened with him so far. Nothing equates to the fear you feel when your infant is sick and scared in the middle of the night.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Dan: "Charlotte you need to finish your dumpling."
Charlotte: "No I don't."
Dan: "You need to eat three bites of carrot and two bites of chicken then. And be done with that sass."
Charlotte: "I'm not done with the sass yet."
I'm pretty sure she wasn't really clear on what sass was, but it sounded much better than chicken or carrot.
Monday, November 02, 2009
She wouldn't let me comb out her hair to be the mane which was the crowning part of the cotume, but she's two and a half so, whatever.Apparently the best part of his costume was his ability to eat it.
I'm the only one in the family not in a costume. Daniel went as a logger. When an hour went by and nobody asked him what he was I told him that proved you can't just wear your normal clothing and call it a costume (even if your clothing is a costume for other people).
And because I got such a great response (thanks Grandma Jane and Grandpa Mel) to the other two videos I posted, here's another little one. I like to call it Guarding the Pumpkin.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
You may say that I'm crazy. You may say that all of these just happen to coincide at the same time. But I know the truth. They're slowly but surely trying to kill me.
Monday, October 26, 2009
She wore it around Eddie Bauer for a good five minutes before we made her take it off.
Strange things my daugher loves:
- Unsharpened pencils
- Water bottles
- Pack Packs
Friday, October 23, 2009
- No TV until after you are up and ready for the day (clothing on, hair done, teeth brushed, bed made)
- No TV between lunch and nap time (Usually about an hour of time there)
- No TV after dinner (About an hour and a half before bed)
It is amazing the difference in her ability to go down. With this and some other slight changes in her bedtime routine I have discovered peace in our home at bed time. So why did it take me so long to figure this out? Why the difference in bed time? Does the TV way over stimulate her for when she needs to sleep? I have no idea. All I know is that I'm so very happy with the result.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Charlotte: "Are we crossing a road in a crosswalk?"
Charlotte: "And do I need to hold mommy and or daddy's hand?"
I stinking love my little sponge!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Anyway, I had told her that she couldn't have a treat and that was pretty much the last straw for a no-nap little girl. She hit me. Which is never OK so I picked her up and held her until the checker was finished with all my items. Why are checkers always slower when your kid is acting up? Are they trained to go slower with the idea that you will finally give in and buy that stinking candy? Raising sales? It didn't work with me. I was holding her and she was screaming and I could feel my face getting redder and redder and then I look back at the couple behind me. They are both smiling. I'm pretty much just trying to escape Schnuck's with my food to get this screaming, scrambling, snot flinging mess back to our house and they're smiling. Then the couple behind me made my day. They said, "We know that face. We have twin two year olds at home." In case you missed that: Twin. Two Year Olds. Sometimes it's great to just know someone else understands.
Friday, October 16, 2009
For instance when I was growing up and would play my violin at a recital. People would come up to me later, no matter how well or poorly I did, and compliment me on my performance. Some of the time I would be thinking, were they actually listening to what I was playing? That doesn't matter though. What matters is that person enjoyed your performance and is letting you know that. The appropriate response is always thank you. Nothing more, nothing less.
In life I can be presented at times with situations where it is hard to accept other's compliments of myself without bravado or dismissiveness. The lesson that I was taught is that in complimenting me a person is graciously giving me a gift. One that they most certainly did not have to give. My responsibility in that situation is to accept that gift with the same grace and sincerity in which they gave it. I'd like to think that this lesson has been thoroughly learned.
Even though I feel I have mostly learned this lesson, there is a situation that I'm acutely aware of my lack of ability to accept the compliment. That is when people compliment me on the kind of mother I am. (Which my sister does quite often.) I wonder why I can't just smile and say thank you when someone gives me such a wonderful gift.
There are a few reasons why I think I have trouble with this. The first being that my job as a mother isn't done. How can I possibly know how well I've done on a job that's not finished? My children are so young. There's so much of their lives ahead of them. I have so much to teach them and so many, many pitfalls to avoid. The last notes of the sonata aren't ringing in the air yet.
Another reason is that nobody sees the mistakes I'm making quite as acutely as I do. Nobody sees when I lose my temper. Nobody sees when I'm lazy and let my kids do things that I told myself I'd never let them do. Nobody sees how amazingly my children bounce back from a mistake that I led them into. The sharp and flat notes I make as I play the song seem to be more amplified in my ears.
Regardless of those reasons though I should take the compliment as it is given. With love. Just like the songs I would play on the violin. When someone comes up to me afterward and says how much they enjoyed it, even if I think they're only saying that to make me feel better, my response should be to smile and say thank you. And you know what? It does make me feel better. There are too many times when I hear negative thoughts and actions about motherhood. Why not gladly receive any positive that may come along?
So to all you moms and grandmas out there that are trying your best to be good role models, WAY TO GO. I think you're great. I think your kids are beautiful, smart, loving, and gifted. You are amazing. Keep up the good work.
PS. In no way am I trying to fish for compliments. I've just been thinking about this lately and wanted to see if anyone else had similar thoughts on the subject.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Anyway, my string of bad days culminated on Monday when I had to deal with poop on the outside of the toilet, no nap toddler, and stepped in cat puke on my rug. Then I got a call from the husband of one of my friends and my outlook shifted. She's 15 weeks pregnant and hadn't kept anything in her stomach for a day and a half. NOTHING. They were worried about taking her to the hospital because you have to be 16 weeks pregnant to go to the women's triage unit so she'd have to go to the regular emergency room crawling with the flu. The flu that kills pregnant women. So anyway, he was asking if I'd watch their little girl Tuesday. I, of course, said yes and thanked my stars I wasn't puking my guts out.
Tuesday morning came around and I wasn't worried. I got us up and started the laundry and changed the sheets on the beds and cleaned the kitchen (I always get a shot of productivity right after breakfast. Does that happen to you?). Then we went over and picked up my friend's little girl. The worry about the day hit as I had the three car seats strapped into the back of my car and was heading home. I had three kids for the WHOLE DAY. I could just see my daughter getting fed up with the situation and trying to punch her friend in the face. I could just see the little girl wanting to go home at lunch time so she could take her nap in her own bed and then proceeding to cry until she was picked up. I could just see Greg being woken up from his naps and then wanting to be held the rest of the time. I could see the house turning into a disaster zone. My husband comes home to a crazy wife and two angry children and no dinner. Not so different from the previous days, but that's life sometimes.
With all that set up, yesterday went fine. Actually it went amazing. Charlotte played with her little friend really well. And I got all three children to sleep at the same time. That's about as common as a solar eclipse, but it happened, oh did it happen!
So I thought I'd pass this little idea along to those of you struggling with nap time. I put a CD player up on the landing outside the kids room and told them they didn't have to go to sleep, but they did have to stay in bed until the pretty music stopped. Then I played the CD, when it got to the end I just went up and started it over until they had slept a hour and a half. They all fell asleep and slept for 3 hours. It probably wont work for too long, but I did it again for Charlotte today and she went right down.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I have learned not to compare myself to other moms around me because you never see behind closed doors. I don't see what they looked like, or how their house was, or the way their children were behaving or if that mom was having a rough day an hour before I show up. The thing is though, I have seen behind my mom's closed doors. I did see how we lived and the level of order that was pretty much maintained in our house.
Perhaps this is an issue of perception? I'd like to think I just didn't notice things because I was little, but I really don't think so. Perhaps the issue is that by the time I can remember how our house was my mom had a good 7 years of practice under her belt (my sister is about 3 years older than I am). Maybe that's just wishful thinking though.
So the question in the air is this: Is your home as ordered as you want it? Is your level of order the level that you had when you were growing up? How do you achieve your comfort level? Any tricks? (My mom just says to stay on top of it, but how do you do that when breakfast is over and you have a baby crying at you and a toddler wanting attention and you need to get the dishes done?) Any pitfalls? (I know a big one for me is wanting to SLEEP and if I can't do that then I just lay down and lose all productivity.) Do you do an extra cleaning when "grandma" is coming?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Me: "You're about to fall asleep. You should go to bed."
Dan: "I don't think I could fall asleep right now."
Me: "You slept for three hours last night, I'm pretty sure you could fall asleep."
Dan: "I'll just stay down here a little longer."
Guess who fell asleep on the sofa about ten minutes after 8.
Charlotte: "Oh no! I forgot my dog!"
Me: "You don't need your dog. Here, you can have this teddy bear, or this bunny, or this baby doll, or this other bear."
Charlotte (from under her mountain of stuffed items we just happened to have hanging out in the car): "OK. I like this bunny. It's a soft bunny. Do you want to go to school bunny? Do you remember who got me this bunny?"
Me: "Not really."
Charlotte: "Anut Marci got me this bunny. And also my singing kitty card. Where's my singing kitty card?"
Me: "We lost it." (Really I threw it away after the 100 billionth time of listening to the Happy Birthday song being meowed to me. Sorry Aunt Marci.)
Charlotte: "OK. I really like this bunny though."
I had totally forgotten about that bunny, but she hadn't. She often reminds me of whomever gave her this shirt or book or toy or shoe. It amazes me that she remembers this so very well. Do you remember who got you all the things you have right now? Also, do you think it's normal that a two year old remembers who gave her every single item she owns?
Monday, September 21, 2009
She says, "I just want my own ipod."
Me (thinking Dan and I don't even have ipods you have no idea what you're talking about), "And what would you do with an ipod?"
She answers, "I would play Tinkerbell anytime I wanted to."
At that moment it dawns on my that when my mother was in town she downloaded the Tinkerbell movie onto her ipod and let Charlotte watch it whenever she wanted. I always knew that my children's Christmas wish lists would get more expensive as they got older. Basically because I could get them almost anything now and they'd be thrilled. I didn't realize how quickly things would change.
Also I'd like to share some BIG NEWS!! (Yes, I did just use all caps and two exclamation points. It's that big.) Greg slept through the night last night! I fed him at 10 PM and then again at 6:30 AM. I was so happy about it I even told the check out lady at Schnuck's. She was appropriately excited for me. Today is the first day of the rest of Greg's life (and he doesn't even know it yet).
Sunday, September 20, 2009
As for our other crops, the bell pepper plant was completely thrashed when some burglars came in our backyard and stole our lawn mower. Dan was so mad I was getting nervous. He just fumed around the house muttering "stupid" and "idiot" and "crap." Needless to say the rest of us gave him a wide berth. What I was mad about was that our bell pepper plant, the only one that grew from the huge amounts of seeds we planted, our miracle plant, was finally showing some promise of a harvest. Then they took the mower right over the top of it! Not only were we burgled (which I prefer over robbed, it sounds so much better right?) but we were also vandalized!
The asparagus is too young to have a harvest. They are really cute little guys though. Dan wants to give up on them and pull them up, but I say give them a little time. It's just hard to dig up the stinking trumpet vine volunteers around them. Tip for the future: NEVER PLANT TRUMPET VINE!
The baby pumpkins had a decent harvest, but what do you do with baby pumpkins other than paint them for Halloween? Charlotte wanted to plant them so we let her, but we wont be repeating that next year.
The carrots are our star crop this year. They are short and fat, but so satisfying to pull up and clean off and cook and serve to my family. I have noticed that we're all eating more carrots lately. Perhaps that's because we know if we don't eat them now, we'll just have to eat them later. While making soup for dinner tonight Charlotte actually casually picked up one of the carrots I had peeled and ate it. The whole thing. All by herself. It was awesome.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Hmm, something new and different. I think I'll try it.I don't think I like that.Don't feed me any more!
It was pretty funny. I'm pretty sure he got exactly 1/8th a teaspoon down his throat.
Remember how Charlotte sucked down everything she possibly could when we first gave her solids?
This second one is SO different!
*Note: In case you noticed that the high chair had a cover for Charlotte and not for Greg the old one was stored improperly in the basement and got grass clippings and mold on it so now we have to buy a replacement.
- 26 inches long (75%)
- 17 inch head circumference
- 18 pounds (95%)
Yes, I have a huge child. No wonder I feel like I'm feeding him all the time! The doctor asked if he's rolling over yet and when I told her that he is she seemed a little surprised. She said, "Usually when they're big like that they have a harder time moving around." Which I thought was hilarious. He seems comfortably in the middle as far as developmental milestones which makes for a happy family.
Then the doctor listened to his heart. Then she had him sit up and listened to his heart. Then stand. Then lay on his side. Apparently he has a little heart murmur and she gave me the number of a pediatric cardiologist for him to see. She said it wasn't a big deal, but they would want to monitor it and make sure it didn't need any help.
Remember when my first child had torticollis? And remember how that threw me into a tailspin? Remember how torticollis is simply a muscle issue that you have to work out and yet I was totally freaking out? Yeah, that freak out never came this time. My baby could have something wrong with his heart, but since the doctor didn't seem too concerned neither was I. Wow things have changed the second time around.
Monday, September 14, 2009
There I am, face up in bed staring at the ceiling thinking how frustrating it is that all I want is sleep. What I want to do is hit someone, but I'm not really big on acting out those impulses. Instead I growled. And I growled loud. I was hoping that Dan would hear it from downstairs. He heard it all right. But you know who else heard it? The little two year old sleepily tip toeing into my room. It scared the daylights out of her. And the mother of the year award goes to the growler.
When Dan comes up to kiss me goodbye he's met with the three of us laying in my bed in tears.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
After a wonderful long Labor Day weekend Tuesday morning hit. I woke up before my kids, which was great, and planned to take my husband's car in to get the oil changed and the state inspections done. Not the best of errands, but I was really looking forward to getting that one checked off my list. I had also planned to get all the laundry done.
A while later my daughter woke up with a cough. And she didn't want to eat breakfast. A little unusual for her, but sometimes she decides not to eat a meal and is totally fine. I thought to myself hmm, maybe I should stay home today. Then I decided that Daniel and I went to the trouble of moving out both car seats and I also really don't like to drive his car now that there's no AC so I was getting it done today. I called a friend who graciously told me that she would watch Greg for me and I could take Charlotte with me to the tire place.
We get to the tire store and at this point I'm feeling pretty great. Yes, Charlotte is coughing a bit, but nothing that should worry anyone and she's being so good just sitting on my lap. I stupidly think to myself maybe I should always take her to the car place sick! She's totally behaving!
It is precisely at that moment that time sort of slowed down to stopping while my sweet little girl erupted in vomit. It came out of no where, and boy did it come! She was sitting on my lap so there wasn't even any evasive actions I could have taken.
As my day suddenly morphs into a new and smelly shape I look up at the two middle aged men working at the desk. The look on their faces was plain to read, "I'm NOT cleaning that up." I totally didn't expect them to, but at least that part was a bit funny. My car hadn't even been taken back, which I'm sure everyone was grateful for.
After cleaning up the mess I said, "I think I'm just going to take my child and go. I'll reschedule." To which the two men replied, "Good idea." They had my keys back to me in record time.
Unfortunately Charlotte didn't keep anything down the entire day. Which means puke in the car on the way home, puke in her bed, puke on her little green bean bag chair, puke on my big green recliner, puke pretty much everywhere.
That was not the day I had intended to have when I woke up that morning.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
- She says "me-mote" for remote
- She constantly talks about going to Aunt Heather's to climb, Grandma Denise's house to see Quinnie, and having Aunt Katie and Uncle Garrett taking her to see the kangaroo. What kangaroo? (None of which is going to happen anytime soon.)
- She's staying in bed at bedtime! This is amazing!
- She is very interested in gender. Usually it goes something like this "Baby Jimmy is a boy, and Daddy is a boy, and Tigger (Grandma LeAnn's dog) is a boy, but Rommie and Mischief (also Grandma LeAnn's dogs) are girls. Quinnie is a girl and so is Mommy."
- She's started to get mad. A lot. I was getting a little worried about it so I brought it up to Daniel. His response was, "Well she is part of the family and my family's default emotion is mad." I thought that was funny.
- He is quite possibly the world's stinkiest baby. Not in the way you'd think though. He is always wanting to be swaddled when he sleeps, which is still most of the day, and it's hot. So he sweats. And stinks.
- He never wants to sit down. He is always wanting to stand up. He hooks his little feet onto anything that could give him leverage and pushes until his body is rigid.
- Everyone says he looks like Daniel now. I now think he looks like my dad.
- His favorite toy is the shower curtain.
- He LOVES his sister. When she's around he's always watching her. I wonder when she'll notice.
- We moved him into his crib to share the bedroom with Charlotte. This is AWESOME. In no way have the even bothered each other.
- I can't wait for this month to end! Not that next month promises to be much better, but at least he'll be closer to home.
- For future reference, if you're calling home because you want me to know you're going to be late, but I don't pick up, the proper thing to do is to leave a message. If you don't leave a message, I will then spend the next 2.5 hours until you call me back worrying that what was really going on was that you were kidnapped and you were sending me an SOS to call the police to come find you. When I try to call you back and you don't answer because you're with a patient, it just leads me to believe that you are gagged and tied up and I really need to go get help. That's the way my mind works. Because that type of thing happens all.the.time.
- How exactly do you function on so little sleep?
- I'm so glad you and Charlotte will be going to the Cardinals game on Thursday. I think you guys will really have fun with each other.
- I've made an exercise goal for myself. I'm exercising for 100 days and at the end I'm buying myself a new outfit. Pretty awesome huh?
- Because I'm 7 I made myself a sticker chart to track my exercising progress. Yes, stickers are a great daily reward for myself because I'm cool like that. My favorite are the foil stars. Do you remember those?
- My mom is coming this weekend to visit and I'm so ridiculously excited.
- I cut out my new quilt kit a while back and started to sew it together yesterday. I wasn't paying enough attention to seam allowance though so now I have to unpick everything I sewed yesterday. Great.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Me: "Charlotte please don't do that."
Charlotte: "But I can."
Me: "I know you can. I'm asking you to please not."
Charlotte: "I will."
Me: "Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop."
I'm not entirely sure how to impart the idea that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Here she is driving what I think is some sort of pretend delivery vehicle.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I recently read a good friend's post about his hours during third year and what he's doing and they are what I imagine my husband to be doing right now as well. All I can say is that he's gone. He'd be here, with me and with our children, if he could, but he can't. Right now we are sacrificing with the faith that it will be worth it in the end. Mostly I think I'm doing just fine. Mostly I think we're coping well.
Then Charlotte wakes up from her nap asking, begging, for me to get Daddy. What a joke right? Now, when he can't be here, she's finally decided that she prefers him for some things. Not only that, we can't try to call him because he doesn't get great reception in the hospital and he might be too busy to talk anyway.
Then we're with a group of other women and children with spouses in medical school or residency. They're all talking about what their husbands are doing. The conversation is light and fun. Suddenly I'm thinking about Daniel being gone and having to put the kids to bed by myself three days in a row and I start to get choked up a bit.
Intellectually I know many other families go through similar situations. I also know that many families go through much tougher challenges. That doesn't change the coping that has to go on in our family when Daniel-the husband, friend, dad, lover, joker, and anchor-is gone. We hope he is energized about what he's doing and learning. We love to see him take the next step towards our collective goal. We also miss him.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We started out the day bright eyed and bushy tailed and on the bus to the blackberry patch.
Then we picked and ate and picked and ate the blackberries.
Charlotte didn't quite understand being gentle while picking so mostly she smashed the blackberries in her little hands.
She also managed to get quite a few in her mouth and all over her face. I'm not sure if you can really see it in the photo, but she did mange to get blackberry in her right ear.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Also, Greg has decided to start putting things in his mouth and grabbing for toys within reach. He's getting so big! It's exciting. Pretty soon we'll have baby slobber on everything!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I feel like the last three months of my life I've had a different sort of growing pain. I feel like I can literally feel myself growing in my abilities as a mom, and sometimes it isn't pleasant, but always it amazes me.
I worried about not being able to love my second child as much as I do my first. Honestly it didn't happen right away. Now though, I feel the love I have for him opening up in my heart like a huge well with no bottom. An eternal capacity to love him. He can coo and sit and loves to have me hold his hands to stand up. He's learning to laugh and it's so funny to watch him try. He is always looking around for his sister. He is amazing. When I see him I think to myself, how could anyone not absolutely love him?
I'm also being pulled to see how much I can get done in a day. This sounds a little shallow after talking about my love for my son, but it is significant. At times it really has been a confidence booster and at other times one of the most discouraging parts to my day. I can accomplish more today than I ever could when Charlotte was 3 months old. I have a greater capacity than I thought. I know this because each day has more activities and tasks than I can get done. Every.day. I have learned to pick and choose what I will be doing.
I'm growing in my ability to lovingly discipline my daughter. I desperately want her life to be puppies and rainbows and sunshine and I want to be the one that gives her every good thing that she will love all the time. In reality that can't happen and I have to be the bad guy sometimes. And I hate it. Also, I hate when I'm not successful at it-when the only thing I accomplish is making her cry and me angry. This is where the painful part of growing comes in. I'm getting better at it. I'm finding things that work and things that do not work and knowing that I'm getting better feels really good.
Along with disciplining my daughter my life is pulling me toward more self discipline. Confession: My life requires more self discipline than I currently have. I wish I could get up before my children so that I could use that time for myself productively. I wish I could continue to be productive all through the afternoon. I wish I didn't get angry so easily (or at all really). Unfortunately that isn't happening right now. SLEEP is way more important than any of that at the moment. I do see that little by little I am able to tuck in things I want to get done between things that I have to get done. I am also getting better at controlling my actions and words, even when I'm frustrated. I'm getting better. Not every day. Actually most days are tiny steps backward than forward, but I do see the forward movement and it makes it worth it.
So even though I sort of feel like two kids are stretching me farther than I am able, when I have enough sleep and energy to stand back and look at the situation I am ever so happy with it. My children, by just being themselves, are helping me to become the person I want to be.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Surprisingly it worked! She calmed down enough to talk to grandma and the calm did last for a little bit. So then when the tears started back up we called the other grandma and told her. It really helped.
A few nights later we were eating dinner and she started to tell us the story of the baptized TV. (She does this often when she wants to be part of a conversation.) She got to the part where I'm convincing her to call her grandparents and she says, "People can't stand me when I cry." I almost shot milk out my nose at that because it's so very true.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Do you remember when you were little and the summer days just seemed to stretch out before you with endless possibilities? I remember being in the huge backyard of the neighbor's house across the street running through their sprinkler and loving it. It's for that reason actually that I always prefer to buy that type of sprinkler for our lawn.
Getting back to yesterday, I had watched one of Charlotte's little friends in the morning and was just about as exhausted as watching two two-year-olds for about 4.5 hours can get you. After her friend left Charlotte decided she didn't need to take a nap, but boy did she ever. I decided to give up on the productivity I was going to have that day and, remembering my love of running through the sprinkler, I thought I'd try to turn it on and she if she likes it too.
She ran around it a couple of times and then was bored. I was focusing on the challenge before me and not the opportunity. That is until I realized that nobody likes to run through the sprinkler alone so I decided to go out and enjoy the summer and indulge myself. We ran through the sprinkler and around the backyard for about an hour. It was at that point that I was so happy that my daughter had such a full and fun summer day. The type of day that I had and look back on and love.
My favorite thing about being a mom is giving my children moments like yesterday. Moments that she can look back on and say she had joy and love and that her mom liked to be with her and have fun with her. I know she wont remember much of her two year old little self, but I have faith that I'm laying the foundations of future awesomeness.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Also, I got an interesting view of myself from my daughter's eyes yesterday. She was being particularly bossy towards everyone last night when this conversation insued:
Dan: "Charlotte, you need to stop."
Dan: "You're not the boss of everyone."
Charlotte: "Yes, I'm mommy."
Apparently I must be very bossy in her eyes.
Friday, July 24, 2009
We have watched Cinderella EVERY DAY since then. My daughter loves it. What's more she didn't really get The Lion King. I was surprised at how wrong I was about what she would like. Now that she knows about Cinderella I'm sure it wont be long until she finds out about the whole slew of Disney Princesses.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I know what you might be thinking, "you've got a two month old baby, that explains a lot." But the thing is that I don't think that's it. Or maybe it is, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. I don't feel like that's it anyway.
So I've decided to make a conscious effort to stay positive. Like last night when I'd worked really hard to clean the house (I even vacuumed under the couch cushions) and then still had the kitchen to clean after putting Charlotte to bed. I could really have lost it right then. I felt myself getting really mad, but then I thought, what's the point? So I just did the dishes and wiped off the counters and then as I was walking out of the room, just before I turned off the light I looked back at the clean kitchen knowing that my entire house was clean. That was a good feeling.
Or today when I took the kids to the Botanical Gardens with some friends. This is an activity that Charlotte normally loves, at a time she is normally most energetic, but not today. We made it all the way to the back of the gardens to feed the fish (which is what she requested in the first place) when she decided she wanted to be carried. I had Greg in the baby carrier and no stroller so we walked the entire way back to the entrance with her howling. My saintly friend took her 9 month old baby out of her stroller so I could put Greg in it and deal with Charlotte. I tried to get her to stop crying but it was no use. I wasn't carrying her after she acted like that. The people passing us were literally staring as snot was shooting out her nose. When we were close to the exit one very helpful father said, "You're almost there." I could have gotten frustrated that none of my plan had worked out that day, OK, well, I was mad. But instead of losing it I just laughed because there was nothing else I could do. I had tried my best and things just didn't work out.
So anyway, my point is that I'm trying to stay more positive and on top of things. I really am. My plan is to try and overlap naps at least a little and take some time to just relax. Everyone needs a break right?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
When she got up we tried to show and convince her that there were no worms in her bed, but she wasn't buying it. She refused to nap in her bed yesterday afternoon. So after dinner Daniel took her upstairs and de-wormed her bed. I pretended to look up on the computer how to get rid of worms then I told her you have to jump on your bed three times and then vacuum under the bed to suck up all the worms that fell out. If you do that three times all the worms will be gone. So she and Daniel went upstairs and did just that. It was really funny to listen to her dad very seriously tell her that she had to jump very high to get all the worms out. She actually made him jump on one end, which must have been the end that the worms were in in her dream. Then we all piled on her bed together to show her that there were no more worms. Luckily it worked and she slept in her bed all through the night.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
When I told my husband I had called my mom and sister to tell them how awesome he did he asked me if I had remembered to thank them for helping us through that time. I admit that I neglected to thank them. So to everyone that came to us for that two month time period,
From the bottom of our hearts. He could not and we could not have done it without you. We love you.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When Daniel was 8 he realized how awesome all his brio train set stuff was so he packed it up and stored it. For his future children. Last vacation we were at his parents' place and we dug it out of all the stored stuff. We didn't have enough room to put it in our luggage home so Grandma LeAnn mailed it to us. It arrived yesterday and I took photos. They are a testament to Daniel's foresight and Grandma LeAnn's insight.
She had added a set of farm animal stuff.
And sent it in a big box full of packing peanuts.
Friday, July 10, 2009
This was after Charlotte's bath. She ran into her room and then said, "Char-lotte, Ah are you?" Which is my cue to come looking for her. I walked in and she was hiding/pretending to sleep with her stuffed animals.
I was trying to get a photo of his dimples. I know he has one, but I think he might have another one on the other side. I just couldn't time the picture right.
Here's the family after Greg's baby blessing. It is super cold in the photo so Charlotte and I are trying to fake being comfortable. I don't know if we convinced anyone.
Greg on his blessing day. He's wearing the same outfit that Daniel wore and the blanket Grandma LeAnn made especially for him.The first time I was actually able to capture a smile!