Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Long Month

Dan started a new rotation Saturday and hasn't really been home since.

Yesterday he went in at 5 AM and got home at almost 10 PM and then went back in at 5 this morning.

Charlotte got sick Monday and puked half the day.

She had to stay home from school Tuesday. I thought she was fine in the morning then in the afternoon she took a turn for the worse.

I thought she was better today so I didn't stay on top of the Tylenol/Motrin dosing.

She puked some more this afternoon.

Greg is going INSANE because of staying home with nothing to do and missing his favorite playmate.

This afternoon he occupied himself by running around the house screaming.

Looks like Charlotte will probably need to stay home tomorrow too.

Is it only Thursday tomorrow?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today is a day to just sit. To be quiet. To be still.

Or at least as much as one can with two darlings at home.

I'm sitting at the table looking out the window watching the two or three snowflakes that may turn out to be a snow storm or may turn out to be absolutely nothing. The clouds haven't decided what to do quite yet. Maybe they've decided it's a day to just sit too.

I can hear the muted sounds of some Nick Jr coming up from the basement and a chorus of coughs. One child is coughing as the lingering virus of yesterday is passing and the other either wants in on the fun, or is just starting his round with the house guest.

Maybe when they come up to tell me they're bored, as they surely will, we will bake something. That sounds like a slow activity to fill our day with warmth and goodness, not nutrition, but goodness nonetheless. Or perhaps we will read some of the mountain of books currently housed in two separate bookshelves in the kids room. Greg is always up for a game of cars, or "to the rescue." Charlotte enjoys building things. Any ideas for something we could build?

Regardless, today my plan is to be slow and be quiet.

What's yours?

Friday, February 24, 2012

When They're Totally OK

Charlotte started going to a co-op preschool when she was two and a half. I felt nothing but joy over the entire situation. She loved it. I loved it. I never understood what people were talking about when they said they had a hard time sending their kids off to school. With each new step she's taken I've had nervousness about it, but never sadness.

That's why I was so shocked by my response to Greg's first day of his arts and crafts class today. I dropped him off. He was thrilled that they had name badges and made me put his on his back, just like they do for Charlotte at her preschool. He sat in his chair ready and excited. There was a momentary look of terror on his face when I said I was leaving, but after standing outside of the room for five minutes I could hear him excitedly engaged in the classroom. Then I drove home and cried.

What was the difference? I think it's because Greg is still my baby. I don't have anyone younger yet. My baby is growing up and he is OK going to class without me and enjoys the other new kids and teachers. Probably it will be hardest on me whenever I have to send out my last little one to the world than it was for the first. Now that's something I never had thought about before.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


We've started to get the baby stuff out. The kids have loved looking through the jumpers and pjs and onesies and hearing about how they used to wear them and how Lee is going to wear them. My excitement and their excitement blending together has just created so much joy in my heart right now. This morning we spent a half hour looking at baby photos of the kids and talking about what they wore home from the hospital and who picked out what for each of them.

It got me to thinking about when they were babies. Babies are awesome and all consuming and a lot of work and I'm so excited to be getting the chance for another. There was, however, one aspect of babyhood that I was reminded of today by my big kids. There were so many times I just wished there were things they could do for themselves and now they can. Go to the bathroom? Check. Get their own glasses of water? Check. Feed themselves? Check. Climb into the car? Check. Find their own shoes? Well.....

I am always excited when they end up being able to do something on their own. That is until today. Yesterday Charlotte discovered how to turn the light on and off in the fridge. This morning I discovered she also learned the ability to move the temperature settings on the fridge and freezer to "off." While I was in the shower Charlotte discovered the ability to make hot chocolate with marshmallows for herself and Greg. After the shower I discovered her ability to scarily place objects to climb and walk across the kitchen counters. Today Greg discovered he can start the dishwasher on his own. I discovered that there's no way to stop our dishwasher mid cycle even if it's completely empty.

Yes, independence is great, but right now I'm just wishing that they would stop being quite so independent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Belly Laugh

While brushing our teeth last night. Tangent: Dan and I brush our teeth and get ready for bed at the same time every night that we're together. (We never get ready for the day at the same time because there's absolutely no reason for me to get up somewhere between 4:45 and 5:30) We only have one sink in our bathroom. This has never, not even once, bothered either of us. This leads me to wonder why other people insist on a double sink. Back to the getting ready for bed.

Dan: "You know you're a parent when you're, say, at work, and think to yourself hmm, I have to go potty."

Me: Nearly covering the mirror with toothpaste in my burst of laughter.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Snow Day

Last night it snowed. This was not the usual dry Minnesota snow. This snow was exactly like the snow I had on the west side of Washington growing up. It was heavy and wet and I knew it would melt before the end of the day. In other words, it was perfect snowman snow. We took advantage of it to use our snowman making kit Charlotte got from a friend for Christmas.
We made snowballs, and snow angels, and then used what the kids call the "fast sled" to sled down the hill in our backyard. When we (read: Greg) were cold we decided it was time to go inside.
Greg did NOT want his picture taken right after sledding, but he was so cute I couldn't help myself.
Then, of course, I had to get a shot of these beautiful brown eyes. Have you ever seen such a wonderful shade of brown? I've only seen it one other time. (hint: she gets them from her dad)

In other news, I decided to call our homeowners insurance agency today to talk about maybe making a claim to fix our moldy bedroom. A claims agent will be by on Monday and we'll know more then. Fingers crossed it will be worth the effort and they will agree to give us money to fix the room.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Bests

We got back from vacation yesterday. As we were driving home from the airport I asked everyone what their favorite parts to the trip were. The responses were as follows:

Charlotte: Build A Bear workshop. No real surprise there. She was the only kid in the store and clearly loving it. Also she slept with it as well as the stuffed animals she brought along with her on the trip after acquiring Isabella Claire, the beloved pink bear.

Greg: Simply stated flying on the airplane. This surprised me since he loved the monster truck jam and talked about it for days afterward. (And also watched the video grandpa took with his phone for days.) I think this was just the most recent event in his mind so that's what came out.

Dan: Ice skating. Also kind of surprising since he's not much of an ice skater. I think he enjoyed finally being able to see Charlotte's skills (even though she didn't really show them off because she was so tired) and helping Greg with his first ever ice skating experience. The two of them on the ice was about the cutest thing I've seen in a long time.

Me: Getting to sew with my mom. I tend to forget how much I enjoy sewing and then I tend to not do it. Then life happens and my sewing room gets filled up with construction storage and I can't sew. It was a good reminder.

Now I've got birthdays to celebrate (Mine then Charlotte's then the baby's, hopefully in that order). On that note I thought I'd share that we have finally compromised to an acceptable name. Lee Dalton. Ta-da!

Friday, February 10, 2012


The kids and I leave for vacation tomorrow morning. We get to see grandparents and as everyone knows that means being spoiled rotten and taken to the movies and ice skating and monster trucks and cookies and all sorts of amazing. All week they've asked me how many days until we leave. All day today Charlotte asked me to help her pack. We packed all their clothing this afternoon. We just finished putting together their on the airplane entertainment backpacks. Greg keeps walking around the house wearing his. New things they have in said backpacks: fairies of pixie hollow sticker activity book, vehicles sticker activity book, a book of pk-1 level mazes, Tinkerbell fruit snacks, and Thomas fruit snacks.

The energy in this house is higher perhaps even than Christmas Eve. I'm not sure if it's for vacation or for the entertainment on the airplane.

Let's just hope nobody gets so excited they puke tonight.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

More Photos

First off I thought I'd share some photos of Daddy's birthday. Here are the kids after they taped up the Happy Birthday sign for Daddy to see when he got up in the morning.
This is Greg's present to his dad. Greg and Charlotte both made scrapbooks for him with photos that I found I had randomly had printed a while back. They loved the project and I think he enjoyed looking at the photos. Plus, do you see on the deck out back it's snowy? He may not have had a white Christmas, but he did have snow on his birthday!
Percie ate my last pair of slip on shoes. I was worried about being able to make it through security by 8 months pregnant self with two kids and having to wear lace up shoes. Then we got these in the mail from Grandma. They are our Valentine present. At first Greg wouldn't wear them because a) they weren't orange and b) I kept calling them his new shoes. Apparently his other shoes he got back in September are his new shoes. These are now called his Valentine's shoes and he will wear them (even if they aren't orange or covered in a cool design).
Last weekend it wasn't too cold so Daddy decided to take us all on a trip to the local zoo. Notice Charlotte wearing her winter coat and a sweatshirt underneath and Greg wearing a lightweight jacket? Yeah the trip ended as soon as he decided he was too cold for the animals and started to cry.
After the zoo we decided to take advantage of a gift card we received to a local restaurant for Christmas. We did manage to get a sit down dinner for 4 for under $25. It was awesome. You know what else is awesome? Charlotte spent the entire dinner like this:
(She takes after her momma in that way.)
And lastly, you know how depressing it is to intentionally look for a new home that requires no work, and I mean no work, not even any painting, and then end up having a room in the basement look like this:
Once we pulled up the carpet and pad and threw them out most of the smell was gone, but not quite all so Dan decided to pull the sheet rock off the half wall and investigate behind. The cinder blocks were painted with latex paint (not a water barrier in case anyone was interested) and then the wrong type of insulation was used (also not a water barrier) and then on top of that a water barrier type of plastic was nailed. This meant that all the water would seep in through the cinder block, get soaked up by the insulation, be trapped there by the plastic and then grow mold on the wood framing. I wonder exactly how long after the baby is born is this going to get fixed? Depressing. On the bright side at least we know where the water was coming from.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Verdict: Fail

There is nothing that makes me feel more like a failure than when my two year old melts down in front of other people. He is so completely different than Charlotte in that regard. When Charlotte would melt down I could almost always get her to do breathing exercises with me until she calmed down or if I picked her up and held her close she would just relax into me. It was almost like she really wanted to calm down and just didn't know how. It took time and patience, but I never felt out of control when she would do it in front of others.

Greg on the other hand will look you in the eye and scream and scream and if you pick him up he will go rigid and continue to scream in your ear. When we're at home I just send him to his room until he stops. And his stopping of the crying is just as abrupt as the starting. It's not like he needs to "calm down" it's like he just needs to flip the switch to turn it off and then he's fine again. Once he's done he comes out and joins in the family activity. I've done it so much that when he feels he needs to let it all out he starts walking to his room before any waterworks even start. When we're home we just let him ride it out in his room. Out of the house though, I have no coping mechanism and it makes me feel like I'm failing.

Today he started a meltdown at another person's house. This was our first ever visit there and it was awful. I had no idea what to do. In the end I picked him up put shoes and coats on all of us and left. He continued to scream at me for an hour. AN HOUR. Just when I thought he would calm down he would intentionally take a huge breath and start all over again. He was so mad he wouldn't even eat his sausage at lunch. I don't know if you know this, but he is highly carnivorous.

Sweet little miss Charlotte tried to help him by offering him all sorts of her things if he would only stop crying. His reply to that was to sob/scream at the top of his lungs that he didn't want that! I finally told her to just ignore him because he wasn't going to stop. Boy did I feel like a failure.

Because of his meltdown and my frazzled attempts to just stop the yelling I sort of missed out on an important piece of information that someone was trying to tell me. I couldn't even process the information fully until a solid hour and a half after his yelling fit had quieted down. Then once I had processed it I realized that I must have totally seemed, well, I don't know what I seemed like, but I know I missed the mark on that one today.

I know much of this is just living through it. He's two that's what they do, but wish I could teach him a better way of dealing with situations that don't go exactly how he wants them to. That's going to happen to him and he's got to figure out how to cope with it. Here's hoping that he grows out of this behavior sooner rather than later.