Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Natalie has had a big week. A few days ago, she learned how to clap her hands. Last night, she learned the "How Big Is Baby? SO BIG!" game. These go quite well together. I say, "How big is baby?" and she raises her hands while I say, "SO BIG!" and then she claps for herself. I wanted to record it, but by the time we found the camcorder, that game was old news.

She had to have her 6-month shots yesterday. They were delayed at her regular well-baby visit because of her double ear infections. Did you know, there's a shortage of the HIB vaccine right now? So they're giving it to the 2- and 4-month-olds, but delaying the 6-month-olds. On the one hand, that's annoying because it means a separate trip in to the office when they get it in stock. On the other hand, I'm grateful because I'm suspicious about loading all those vaccines in a baby's body all in one shot (pun intended). I'm a very reluctant vaccinator in the first place. I know vaccines save lives, but I hate putting foreign substances with questionable safety records into my childrens' bodies. That's a vent for another day, though.

And then, the REALLY big news, is we finally found something Natalie will eat! She loves bananas. Up until now, everything we've given her (oatmeal, pears, and peas) has resulted in the Mr. Yuck face and/or gagging. Like this:

I've been telling her, ever since we started trying to spoon-feed her, that I was cutting her off by the time she started kindergarten. I am not willing to drive to school every day to be the milk part of her milk & cookie break. Looks like that won't be an issue anymore.

Caught Red-Handed White-Faced

No, I was most definitely not in the baby powder.
Uh-uh, wasn't me. I'm afraid you're mistaken.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The two's, they can be oh-so-trying. Yesterday, Sammy was in rare form. From the moment we got home, he was throwing things, knocking all of his letter magnets off the fridge, and just generally being a pain in the patootie. After numerous time-outs, I finally banished him to his room and told him not to come out until he felt better.

I was surprised he stayed in there, but he did. I could hear him kicking his walls and jumping on the bed. After about ten minutes, he came out and happily announced, "I feel better now!" And wouldn't you know, that was the last problem I had with him all night. I think maybe he just needed to blow off some steam.

Last Friday was a work holiday, and I decided to keep the kids home from daycare. When I picked them up on Thursday afternoon, I mentioned that they wouldn't be in the next day. One of the infant teachers said, "Oh! Then we need to quick paint Natalie's hands before you go." (It was for an Easter art project - a ducky whose wings were the kids' handprints.) I had already picked up Natalie - who always gets so wiggly with excitement when she sees me - and had to put her in the high chair so they could finish up her project. Her face crumpled, and it was plain to see that her little heart was broken at the thought that I wasn't taking her home with me after all. Man, I'm going to miss this stage. No one else gets that excited to see me.

Then Friday morning, I took the kids along to do errands. Remind me never to do that again. Taking one with is no big deal, but the two of them together makes it very complicated. First of all, it was snowing hard and the parking lots were a mess. Before we even got to the first store, Natalie had fallen asleep in her carseat, and I didn't want to wake her, so I took the seat into the store. Those carseats weigh about 20 pounds, even without a baby in them. Then because the parking lot was so slick, I carried Sammy in my other arm. So that was about 60 pounds of kids plus accessories to lug through the slushy, slippery parking lot.

I put Sammy in the seat of the cart, and Natalie's carrier in the cart basket. That didn't leave much room for groceries, so I had to get creative with piling things in and around the kids. By the time we got to the checkout, Natalie had woken up and was voicing her unhappiness at being stuck in the carseat. I could barely hear the cashier over her protests.

Stop number two - Kohl's. They have a different type of cart there - like a stroller with a basket attached to the back. Now I know they have double strollers there, but I couldn't find one. So that meant I could only have one kid in the stroller at a time. I could see that was going to be trouble. Natalie started off in the seat while Sammy wandered off walked on his own. It's really hard to look at clothes when you are trying to track a moving toddler, so after about 10 minutes I gave up and decided to come back another time, ALONE. One cute thing happened at the store, though. Sammy found a friendly older lady and started chatting her up. He walked back to the stroller, patted Natalie on the head, and said to the lady, "This is my sister."

Stop number three - the library. I knew Natalie was probably hungry by now, so in the parking lot, I got her out of her seat to feed her before we went inside. That's when I smelled that old familiar smell. Sure enough - she had a blowout. And I had no spare outfit for her. I should know better by now, than to leave the house without a spare outfit for the baby. Last week, I took her to the chiropractor (three minutes away!) for a quick adjustment, and she had a blowout on the way. This morning, she had a blowout on the way to daycare and Ron had to drop her off with poop all over her clothes. Um, come to think of it, maybe I won't miss this stage too much, after all. It is nice to move past the constant fear of a blowout at the worst possible time.

That was my Friday. I did eventually get all my errands done, but by the time we got home, all three of us were crabby and tired. Nothing is simple when you have two young children.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Testing 1-2-3

She thought it was so funny when she dropped that bottle on the floor. Of course, when I brought out the camera, she was much more interested in that, so I didn't really get to capture much of her giggling.

Taken with our new digital camcorder, which I think I've finally figured out!

Monday, March 17, 2008

As promised, here are the pictures of our playdate

Da boyz.

Joey and Natalie. Natalie looks like she's having fun, no?

My munchkins. Sammy looks like a little caveman here.
I suppose that's not too far removed from the truth.

Sorry for the dearth of posts last week. Same old story – too much to do, too little time in which to do it.

Last week, we went to an indoor park with Colleen and her son, Joey. I’m going to try to post those pictures later, when I get home. I haven't forgotten, Colleen!

For now, just a funny story. Our refrigerator door has started sticking – I think, because it’s sagging a little bit. Now that it’s sticking, it’s very difficult for Sammy to get open. Not that he’s supposed to be in there anyway, but we cannot keep him out of it. We bought one of those refrigerator locks, and it lasted less than 24 hours before he managed to break it. We should hire him out to be a tester for those companies that make child-proofing products. He’s managed to break or outsmart virtually every child-proofing item we’ve bought, including but not limited to: gates, cabinet locks, and doorknob covers. Either he’s going to be a safecracker or a spy. Hopefully he puts his talents towards good instead of evil.

But I digress. Now that the door has started sticking, I thought, good! Finally a way to keep him out of the refrigerator! But no. This morning, he wanted some milk and didn’t want to wait the two minutes it would take for me to finish up what I was doing. I walked into the kitchen to see him sitting on the floor in front of the door with his feet slid underneath the door and braced on the body of the refrigerator, while he held the door and leaned back with all of his weight. And he got that sucker open.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Natalie’s been a little bit fussy the past few days, but nothing too extreme, so I just chalked it up to teething. Yesterday I decided to bring her to the chiropractor, since she hadn’t been there in a little over a month, and I thought it might help her out a little bit with her teething pain. The chiropractor took one look in her ear and said, “Oh, sweetie, that doesn’t look so good.” Yep, she has a raging ear infection in her right ear. And the left one looks “dusky” which apparently means it’s healing from a recent infection. She’s never been treated for a left ear infection.

I feel terrible for not realizing, but she is so good-natured and happy, apparently even when she doesn’t feel very well. I hope she picks up on sign language quickly, so she can let me know when something hurts! I’m not used to this. Sammy has always been very vocal and not shy at all about voicing his wants and needs.

This was all evident right from the beginning. The first time I heard Sammy’s voice in the delivery room, it was an indignant cry at being removed from his familiar, comfortable surroundings. When Natalie was born, there was a lot of nervousness in the delivery room. She’d gotten stuck on the way out and they were a little concerned about that, and the fact that they couldn’t get her to cry. Nothing was wrong; she just didn’t feel any need to cry. When she finally did, it was just a tiny mewling. I remember saying to Ron, Sammy’s cries were always along the lines of, “I want FOOD! Feed me NOW!” but Natalie’s cries were more like, “if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like a little milk, please – when it’s convenient, of course”.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A rose by any other name...

This morning, the kids were up bright and early, as usual. This, coupled with the fact that I didn't get to bed until midnight last night, and Natalie was waking up to eat all night long, made for a very short night.

At some point during the morning, the kids and I were in my bedroom. I was changing my alarm clock forward an hour, and Sammy said, "What are you doing, Mommy?" and I said, "I'm being tired and crabby." Sammy said, "I look at 'tired and crabby', too" and picked up the alarm clock. I didn't bother correcting him. Tomato, to-mah-to, and all that.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You Might Not Want to Eat While Reading This One

Gross item #1: While eating supper last night, Ron and I were talking about something. As usual, Sammy started talking about something, and I ignored him at first. Slowly, what he was saying started to seep into my consciousness. “I got cake! I got cake!”

I was puzzled for a few seconds, then I realized where he had just come from. The laundry room. Where the garbage is located. Where I had just thrown out the remnants of a two-week-old chocolate cake. Eww.

Gross item #2: Last night was bath night. I took Natalie into the bathroom to start running the water, and sent Sam to his room to take his pants off. He’s not too good at taking his shirt off yet (his arm always comes out the neck hole), but he can take his pants off like a pro. I walk into the bedroom to see this scene: Sammy, naked from the waist down, crouching over his diaper and staring with intense interest at its contents. I had a sinking feeling and knew what I was going to find. “Were you poopy?” I said with hesitation. “A wittle bit,” he said nonchalantly.

Yep, that was fun to clean up.

The moral of these stories? Toddlers don’t devote a lot of time to worrying about hygiene.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

We went out to eat for my birthday on Sunday. This is huge, because we haven’t ever taken both kids out to a restaurant. It was challenging enough when it was just Sammy.

We chose an all-you-can-eat buffet. Not the most exciting place I could have chosen, but there was a method to my madness. With really little kids, it’s all about getting in and out as quickly as you can, before anyone gets bored or melts down. So you see, a buffet totally eliminates all of the wait-to-order and wait-for-your-food time.

Before we went inside, we went over expectations with Sammy. I told him about restaurant manners, and how we all need to stay sitting at the table until everyone is finished eating. Spelling things out for him makes such a huge difference. We did have to remind him of his restaurant manners a couple of times while we were eating, but he did really well overall. I was so proud of him! He right away made small talk with the people at the surrounding tables. “This is chicken,” he said to the gentleman on his right. “That’s Nye,” he informed the people on our left. There are no strangers to him – just friends he hasn’t met yet. I don’t know where that social butterfly gene comes from. Certainly not from his dad or me.

This morning as I was putting on my earrings, Sammy watched me and then said, “Putting on your ornaments, Mommy?” Out of the mouths of babes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Yesterday, Ron and I both got our turn with the stomach bug. It was brutal, to say the least. It didn't seem to affect the kids as much - they would throw up one minute and be smiling and laughing the next minute, but there wasn't much smiling and laughing going on around here yesterday. We could hardly drag our butts out of bed. The kids both seemed to be healthy, and no one had thrown up since Thursday morning, so we sent them to daycare so we could try to get some rest. After lunch, Sammy's teacher called and said he had thrown up. Boy, did I feel guilty for deciding to send him. His teacher said he had acted fine all morning, though, and ate all his lunch, so she wouldn't have guessed he was sick either. That eased my guilt a little bit.

Aside from getting presents and cards today, it was pretty much a day like any other. My day started at 5 a.m. when Sammy came charging into our room. We tried to convince him to climb into bed with us and rest some more, but when he started asking for milk, I didn't have the heart to say no. He hadn't eatenkept anything down since Tuesday, so I figured he needed the nutrition and calories. I staggered out into the kitchen to make him his oatmeal (his favorite breakfast! we're raising a little Bert) and pour him a glass of milk. He started whining when I turned on the kitchen light because it was "too bright". It was all I could do to keep from grumbling, "well, if you didn't get up so darn early..."

By 6 a.m., Natalie was up, too. Since we were all present and accounted for, I decided we may as well beat the rush and get the grocery shopping done. Ron came with, too - a rare occurrence, but greatly appreciated. Wrangling two kids, while trying to do the grocery shopping and keep my coupons straight, is not much different than a circus act. I'm sure my kids have convinced more than one teenage checker at the grocery store that birth control is a GOOD thing.

In the dairy aisle, Ron said, "Natalie smells like chicken soup. Do you smell that?" Gamely, I came over to take a whiff, and thought I did smell chicken soup on her socks. We'd had chicken noodle soup for supper the night before, so while it was a mystery how it got onto her socks, I didn't waste too much mental energy thinking about it. Later, when we got home, we discovered she'd had a massive blowout, unlike any we'd ever had to deal with before. I don't think we'll ever eat chicken noodle soup again, without associating it with the smell of that diaper.

The day was redeemed, however. Sammy took a 4-hour nap, and I slept two of those hours (can I get an AMEN!). Then later, the two kids were playing together in a blanket on the floor, when out of the blue, Sammy said, "I love Natalie" and gave her a big hug and a kiss. He has been really good with her lately, bringing her toys, asking to hold her, and giving her hugs and kisses. MUCH preferable to the phase we went through when he listed his favorite pasttime as "chucking hard objects at Natalie's head".

Oh, and last but not least - Ron and the kids bought me "Dancing with the Stars" for the Wii. I haven't had a lot of time to play it yet, but so far, I'm loving it! I have no idea how he knew that I wanted that game. Okay, actually I do. A couple of days ago, he asked what I wanted for my birthday. I mentioned that game, and about half an hour later, he decided he was going to "take Sammy to Target". Seeing how he never does that, I can only assume he wanted to go get my present before he forgot.