Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learning Something New

Last Friday Daniel took the Internal Medicine Shelf Exam. During third year he studies different areas of medicine in rotations. After each rotation he has to take an exam to make sure he learned what he needed to know during that segment. These exams are administered by the same people who tested him on his step one test towards being a board certified doctor. So each test though not as big a deal as step one was, are still pretty important. But you want to know the best thing? The weekend after he takes a shelf exam he has totally off of everything. We decided to go camping at Giant City State Park.

And I'm sure you're wondering what new thing I learned. You may laugh at me for not knowing this one already, but I didn't. I learned that glow worms are real living insects. I thought they were just some weird made up toy that kids love to play with. They're real alright and they are awesome. I never actually got to see what they looked like up close, but collectively they looked like the stars in the sky, only they were on the ground. Kind of surreal to be walking along surrounded by points of light above and below.

Charlotte was excited out of her mind to be camping and her little body just vibrated with joy for about two hours after we got our tent up. She even ate a lot of her tin foil dinner. I think that must have been because it was so different. We had a great night and the weather was great and our tent was on a great smooth incline that was wonderful for sleeping. Greg had to wear socks on his hands, but other than that everyone was warm enough.

The next morning we woke up and ate scrambled eggs, and cheesy potatoes that Daniel had prepared for us with a good helping of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then we hiked down to the small lake in the park.

After getting back we had lunch and Daddy and Greg napped while Mommy and Charlotte explored with some friends. Then we broke camp. Before leaving though we had to see the namesake of the state park. Daniel, Charlotte, Greg and I did a one mile hike through some sandstone formations that were beautiful. I had never seen sandstone so green with moss and other things growing on it. The hike was beautiful.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poll the Audience

I was talking with some friends the other day about getting things done around the house and time management. The thought came to me that my mom is amazing at this skill. I'm not trying to brag here, I'm just stating an observation. My mom had two small children and a teen age boy living at home and a full time job and our house was always picked up and clean and not only that I know I didn't spend my time at home watching hours and hours of TV. She had both my sister and I in private music lessons when we were five, which basically means she had to spend at least an hour a day helping us practice. So the question is how did she do it? I have two small children, but no outside job and no teen age boy. I feel as though the clutter in my home is slightly out of my control about 70% of the time, my house is a disaster about 40% of the time and would embarrass me if people just dropped by about 20% of the time.

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

Wherein I'm right

Dan got about 3 hours of sleep last night. He seemed really tired when he got home, but helped out with the kids and even played blocks with Charlotte after dinner. After she was in bed, a little before 8, we layed down on the sofa to watch a little TV. Here's the ensuing conversation:

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.

Like An Elephant

Speaking of recieving presents (which, by the way, my daughter is NOT getting an ipod) I just want to let everyone know that my daughter has a crazy and odd ability to remember who gave her everything she owns. Today in the car for example:

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

Christmas List and BIG NEWS

Last weekend Charlotte was taking a shower. She was dancing in and out of the water spray having a grand time when suddenly she gets very quiet, turns around and sits down in the tub with a very sad look on her face. I ask her what's wrong.
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

Summer's Harvest

Our vegetable garden didn't get much of a harvest this year. The cards were really stacked against it so I don't feel too bad. Mostly I just wanted Charlotte to enjoy the planting seeds and watching them grow experience. Above is a photo of some carrots I got out, baby pumpkins we planted, and peas growing. We harvested precisely zero peas to eat from our garden this year because we were gone for family vacation right during harvest time. We ended up with maybe half a cup of seed peas. I figure the growing season is long enough here that I can hopefully get a fall crop in. Charlotte and I planted the peas in the egg carton a while back and they're almost ready to move out into the garden. You can completely tell which spots I put peas in and which ones Charlotte was in charge of. Some of the holes have a single plant growing out of them and others have about seven. She's loving it.

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

Feeding Him

Speaking of my second born. Given the go ahead to start rice cereal, last night we gave it a go and here's the what ensued.

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.

Yesterday was Greg's 4 month check up. Can you believe that I've had two kids for 4 months now? Me neither. Or really with the lack of sleep what I can't believe is that we're all still alive and healthy. So back to the appointment. We found out that our little boy is:
  • 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

The Right Side of the Bed

Last night I couldn't fall asleep. I tried and I tried until at last I fell asleep sometime between 11:30 and midnight. Not that late you might say. But wait. At about 1:30, Charlotte came into our room because her pillow had fallen off her bed and she couldn't find it LAYING RIGHT NEXT TO THE BED. Then at 2:30 Greg decided he was hungry and needed to eat. Then again at 4:30 Greg thought eating was necessary. I decided that it couldn't possibly be necessary because I just fed him two hours ago. So we popped up to put the stinking pacifier back in his mouth for the proceeding 45 minutes until Dan was awake and I was awake and he was going to have to be getting ready for the day any minute now. If Greg happens to be awake while Dan is up in the morning forget it for him going back to sleep. So I feed him again at 5:15. Then, just before Dan is about to leave at 6:20 little feet patter into my room. I tell Charlotte it isn't time to wake up yet and take her back to bed. This usually works, except for this morning her brother decided that it was also time to be awake.

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

Having Joy

We're doing Joy School with Charlotte. After one day I can confidently tell you all that I love it and it does bring me joy. There's only four kids in our group, they're all girls, and they're all right around Charlotte's age. She knows them all and all the moms from church and she's been to all their houses before. So there's nothing scary about it at all for her. It's really great to have her learning from other people. I knew we'd made the right decision when I picked her up from day one and she had a big smile on her face. Here's her first day of "school" photo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flip Flop

Ever have one of those days where you have a plan in your mind and then in one instant time seems to shift and everything thereafter is totally different? Yeah, I thought so. My sister probably gave her husband one of those moments this past weekend with her surprise trip to California. I also had one of those moments recently only mine wasn't quite that pleasant.

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

Rooting for the Home Team

After call days Daniel gets to have a half day of work. Presumably this is for sleep. Instead of that my husband spent his day post call taking his daughter to her first ever baseball game. Also? He took photos because he knew I'd want to see them. Now if that doesn't make your heart burst you don't have one. The tickets were free from the library's summer reading program. Charlotte read 15 books with me so she got the ticktes. That explains why they are up so very high.