Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

My family is trying to kill me. Do I have hard evidence of that? No. But I give you my reasoning:

Why would my sweet child, who had previously been sleeping at least 5 hours at a time if not 7, suddenly decide to revert back to 3?

Why would my husband have to work evening shift last week and then night shift this week at the hospital catching babies? Or is he just saying he has to work, but really he's in cahoots with the non sleeping child? Maybe he's going over to someone else's house. Someone who has a sleeping child. Then he comes back home at 8 AM and goes back to bed to sleep for six more hours just to throw me off the scent.

Why would my sweet older child decide to get sick right at the same time? Requiring me to wake up multiple times a night and get her water so she doesn't cough until she throws up. This means I have gotten no more than two hours of sleep at a time.

Why also would my sweet child decide that he no longer can self soothe when waking up too early from his afternoon nap? Then my dear husband doesn't know how to soothe him so I must then wake up from the only nap I've had in DAYS in order to get said child back to sleep.

Then to top it all off, I'm awake from soothing said child so I pick up the house. Dear husband doesn't want me to get too suspicious so he helps pick up the house. Then what does dear husband do? Goes to sleep!

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

It's A Pack Pack

We went shopping on Saturday and Charlotte found another thing she's in love with. I took a video.


video

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
  • Buckets
  • Water bottles
  • Rulers
  • Pack Packs

Friday, October 23, 2009

The TV-Or Why My Kid Doesn't Sleep

After having my child for two almost three years now I've finally noticed a correlation between her sleeping habits and the TV. Contrary to what I would believe there does not seem to be any correlation between the total amount of TV she watches and her ability to fall asleep. The correlation happens between when she watches and when I want to put her down. I already had a sort of amount of TV limitation (nothing concrete), but recently I have enacted a time of day limit on TV and it has done wonders in our household.
  1. No TV until after you are up and ready for the day (clothing on, hair done, teeth brushed, bed made)
  2. No TV between lunch and nap time (Usually about an hour of time there)
  3. 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

How To Cross The Street

There are a few perks to Charlotte being in Joy School. One of my favorites is hearing what she's learning come up at home. ("You mean milk comes from cows?") One day she went on a field trip to the park. While there, the mom that was teaching talked about crosswalks and what they're used for and how to be safe around the road. A few nights later Daniel took her to his school with him to pick up a book from a friend. When they came back he told me that they encountered a crosswalk on their way from the car to the library and this is what Charlotte told her father:

Charlotte: "Are we crossing a road in a crosswalk?"
Daniel: "Yes."
Charlotte: "And do I need to hold mommy and or daddy's hand?"

I stinking love my little sponge!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Definitions

A few nights ago Charlotte was getting out of the bath. Mixed in with her constant verbal commentary on everything in her life she said,

"Greggie is Mommy's little guy and Daddy's son."

I thought that was really cute.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Solidarity

I had to run to the grocery store today, which I hate. Mostly its just annoying because I wasn't planning on going to the grocery store until tomorrow, but we ran out of milk. Our house without milk is probably the worst thing that could happen. Right up there with flood, fire, and not enough sleep. So I took my kids to the grocery store in the middle of the afternoon without a shopping list against my better judgement. Charlotte hadn't had a nap so I knew things weren't going to go well. Things went just about as well as I had predicted so when we got to the check out I told her that no I wasn't going to get her any treat. This leads me to ask why to grocers want to torture mothers? Candy? Where I can't have any distraction? This forces me to make the decision every time whether I'm going to fight that fight. Also? Why on earth would they put out the car shopping carts? Because if they don't happen to have a car cart handy then my daughter throws a fit. And if they do have a car cart handy she spends the entire time hopping in and out of the thing. I think they should have a wide load sign on them too since they can't turn right when you want them. So you end up running into things when you don't mean to.

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

Just Say Thank You

There are many lessons I clearly remember my mom and grandma making a point to teach me. Make your bed when you get out of it. Wash your hands. Look both ways. Read books. Lots of books. Always keep learning. Hot water takes out chocolate, cold water to take out blood. Little things that I learned to lean on. One of those lessons I have found particularly important in my life. That is the lesson of how to graciously accept a compliment. Not many people do that and sometimes it can be hard.

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

Or Maybe Not

Last night was the worst night sleep I've had since I had Greg. Then this morning I accidentally tore the front bumper off the car. Great. Just. Great.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Tide Has Turned

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but I've been having a sort of string of bad days lately. Charlotte and I are butting heads it seems like at every turn and it's starting to wear me down. Also? She has found a noise that she makes constantly. A noise that I'm sure she has practiced specifically to drive me up the wall. Because kids do that right? Actually when it started I recognized it as the girl version of the the angry sound one of her cousins made. The only difference is that when her cousin made it I thought absolutely nothing of it. Now every time I hear that sound I want to hurt something. On top of that we're trying to get Greg to sleep constantly through the night. It hasn't been that bad actually. Compared to his sister it's been a dream. But he does wake up, make noises for about 10 minutes and then go back to sleep about two times a night. Dan thinks he's sleeping through the night, but that's just because Greg's sounds aren't waking him up at all. At least half of us are getting a good night's sleep. And last but not least we're fighting the nap time fight. Charlotte's almost three and I don't know how much longer these days are going to last, but that quiet time in the afternoon is priceless for me. I either get to nap myself, be productive around the house (if hallelujah my kids are napping at the same time), or spend the time making Greg smile and laugh. I treasure that time and I don't really care if she's sleeping, so long as she's quiet, in her bedroom, and doesn't come out for an hour and a half.

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

Giggles

videoA few nights ago I had to get the dishes done. I put Greg in his highchair and he was fussy, but I just ignored him. His fussiness was coming to a crescendo when it turned into belly laughs. I turned around and my heart melted. I ran and got the video camera to show everyone what happened. Also, did you see the new highchair cover?