Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Showing signs of wearing

Pals, I am tired.

If wishing made it so, Henry would be a better sleeper. Also, I'd have fresh watermelon on my kitchen table while I typed this.

Yesterday was kind of a rough spot for me. We got up, I took the kids to daycare. Got Willa out of the car and had her waiting on the sidewalk. Pulled Henry, in his infant carrier, out of the car and we walked in. I set Henry down and his teacher said, "uh-oh... it's looks like he spit up."

Which was her way of nicely saying, "holy moly! The kid is drenched from chin to toe!"

He's normally not a spitter. I think this was a reminder that mom needs to be mindful of garlic intake.

On the way home I started to get upset. I took my baby out of the car. I walked him 40 yards into his room. I set him down. All without looking at him. All because I was too distracted with "what's next."

The morning was actually a good morning after that. But I was consumed with "what the heck is wrong with me?!".

It still troubles me. I think the working full time, and being a mom of 2, and not sleeping has finally caught up to me.

2 days off next week. Should be good.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stuff on our heads #8 :and stuff in Henry's belly

Jim's got a Willafly on his head. This was 2 weeks ago at the Meijer Gardens.

We've been feeding Henry rice cereal for 2 weeks. See how blurry he is in this photo? When he's eating, he WON'T stay still. He rocks and shrieks and his hands fly into the air. Dude loves a spoon.
This was his first feeding, and since then hasn't been in the exersaucer for meals. Too much freedom of movement.
We're going to have some interesting messes when we start with veggies.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Like Lord of the Flies... with pizza

In our little bubble of family time, Willa, Henry, and I (Jim was at class learning about Accounting practices) had a great outing at Chuck E. Cheeses last night. We started off with a pocketful of tokens that slowly dwindled as she passed anything that looked like a car. Henry joined her for a few rides. We got our photo taken by the sketch machine. We ate dinner, watched the show, and played some games. Willa attempted the tunnel crawl twice, but backed out after the first ladder rung and then the second. She wanted to say hi to Chuck, but backed off when we got 12 feet away from him. She instead hid behind me and waved with a pretty worried looking expression. Henry was happy to watch the lights and the buzz around us.
It was a pretty relaxing and fun time out.
Except for, you know, the other people there.
There were 4 birthday parties. One of the parties had about 40 guests. I am not exaggerating. They were all hopped up on birthday cake and the power of a small cup of tokens and parents who were not watching them.
I am not a crowd person, I recognize this. But this was no crowd, it was a mob.
Someone broke into a skee ball ticket dispenser, pulled the tickets out and threw them on the floor in ribbons. A 3 foot tile pile of tickets nearly caused a riot. We moved on to a different area.
After we had our fill of Chuck E. fun, we went to cash out our tickets. Right behind about 20 kids with over 300 tickets each. So, the line...
But my kiddos did great and waited without even whining.
We left with a pink rubber worm (pretty close call with the lizard, eh?) and a pink beaded ring. Last night she placed the ring on the worm and gently placed them on the window sill next to her bed.
She sighed and said, "I have a grrrreat time at Shucky Sheeses. Night mama."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Me, the kids, and a 6 foot tall mouse

Willa has finally filled up her sticker chart. So, wheeeee, we're heading to Chuck E. Cheeses tonight. Jim has class, so I'll be negotiating the token to ticket to prizes (can't wait to take home our small rubber lizard) and her alternating fear/adoration of Chuck when he comes out to walk around.

Side note: I think I've shared here before, I was Chuck E. in high school. Once, while kneeling down to be at eye level with a tot, a hooligan came up behind me and knocked my/Chuck E's head off. That poor tot is probably terrified of all costumed characters as a result.

When Henry was born, we expected some issues to arise with Willa. I know about regression, and expected it. Nothing happened until Henry was about 2 month old and then Willa, who still sleeps in a diaper because of night time wetting, started pooping in her diapers.

So, we changed the incentive chart to be specific to this issue and darlin' got a lady bug sticker every time she came downstairs with only a wet diaper. 12 stickers fills up a chart, and as a prize, she's received various trinkets. This time around it's a destination.

Truth be told, if we were parents with scruples, she'd have filled up this chart and gone to visit Mr. Cheese about a week ago. I know this is kind of defeating the whole system. Rewarding behavior at the time of behavior is the way to go. I'm all about catching her doing good stuff. But March has been insane in Sinkiville, and so the occasional forgotten sticker was swept under the rug.

Skiball here I come!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Passing notes.

"LURK mommy! A Robin!"

Someday she'll say look, but in the meantime, when she says "lurk" I giggle at the vision of us tiptoeing around.

"Who told you what a robin is, Willa?"

"Oh.... Dwamma P..."
"Grandma is pretty smart, isn't she?"

Like I said yesterday, we spent the weekend at my parent's house. It was the first time all 4 of their grandkids were in the same room. It was chaotic and loud and absolutely wonderful. My Grandpa joined too, for 4 generations of fun.

It's a big job, I have: being a conduit between my parents and their grandkids (W. Michigan campus). Ensuring that the kids know they're being thought of by my folks, telling the grandparents what the kids are remembering from visits, how they're being spoken of in absence, keeping everyone up to date and know that they're loved. In person, it's easy. My dad gets on the floor with the kids to play. My mom takes them for walks... This distance and increasing communication... important stuff.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Full speed ahead!

I sat on the floor of my parent's family room, marking the tags of the clothes that Henry has grown out of. Was it just 5 months ago that he could fit in these newborn clothes? And then 3 months ago that I had to box up the 3 month clothes? How lucky for us we didn't have many 6 month outfits. Our gigantor of a 5 month old is wearing 9 month clothes. My "little" happy baby... growing so fast. At least nephew Benjamin might get some use out of some of these...

A few hours later, I was on the sidewalk of the house I grew up in. Grinning and tearing up a little bit. My mom walked aside Willa, who was atop a small bike with training wheels. "I can push da pedals. I know how it works." I heard her say as she rode two houses away, three, four... She'll turn 3 in a few weeks.

I could have taken both of these at once, but the double whammy was almost too much to bear.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

... and now a shout out to my breasts

When I was doing this breastfeeding thing the last time, I often commented on it. Feeding Willa, the feelings about her publicly groping me when she was hungry, the weird awe that feeding my baby from my body calls for, pumping... all of this was well documented on the sinki.
This time around, the novelty is kinda gone, and it's just practical and something I do. No lessw of a magical thing, but not new, you know? This time around has been so much more successful.
I am typing this with a pump hooked up to me right now. Yup, lactating right this second. And gracious! I'm producing like a champ. 6 oz from one side - I know! Look for me at the State Fair this summer (if the state budget allows for a fair this year)! I am not only keeping up with Henry's demands, but exceeding them. I've a tidy stash in the freezer.
Willa wanted 8oz a feeding while away for 3 or 4 feedings. Henry is content - and obviously thriving - at 5 oz 2 or 3 times while at school. By 3 months with Willa, we were having to purchase formula to keep up with her.
Today Henry is 5 months old (!) and my breasts have been - until Saturday's leap into cereal - his sole source of nourishment. Happy anniversary, gals! Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish eyes, smiling

St. Patricks Day: the Hallmark holiday of the beer industry.

Y'all know I love all things

silly, and this is one of them. It's funny how over the years my celebration of this holiday has evolved. My mom - every year - cooks corned beef and cabbage. When we were little cardboard shamrocks and leprechauns and rainbows were put up on the walls. In college, having bar plans was a must. I celebrated once year in Savannah. It was like Mardi Gras. This year St. Patricks Day means to me: stimulating the economy by purchasing duds for the kids. Maybe a green dessert tonight (if the lunch hour allows), and smiling at the pride my Grandma P had in her Irishness. Happy day, folks. How are you celebrating?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sweet discoveries

This week I entered the bedroom to discover 2 sleeping kids. And - super high 5 for Jim and I -we got them into their respective beds for the night without waking them. The next day, I walked around the house to inspect the flower beds. And this was my happy find.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On the other side

This morning I was walking out while another mom was walking in. She was there to drop off her 20 month old son. And in the crook of her elbow was her 2 week old, nestled in his car carrier. She looked exhausted and a little alarmed. Usually she's kind of a walking ray of sunshine with a huge smile and a chipper greeting.
She looked at me blearily.
"It gets easier!" I told her.
"Ohmygosh, thank you for saying that."
And right at that moment, I wanted to follow her home, make her a cup of tea and do her laundry.
We have friends who are expecting their second in a few weeks. I really hope she takes me up on any offer to help. Those first few weeks of family expansion are rough.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just for the record...

Henry had a check up yesterday. He is 27.5 inches long (this falls in the 75% on the growth chart) and 19.5 pounds (off the chart here). He had 2 shots and an oral vaccine. He cried harder when I tried to put him back in his car seat than he did immediately after the shots.
Doctor says Henry is lookin' good.

trying to pack up winter

I've been feeling kind of quiet lately. I'm noticing a lot of my blogging pals might be too. Either they're not posting, or are posting pictures instead of text. I wonder what this is all about?

For me, it's a phase. I'm quietly wishing away winter and noticing the green tips of bulbs climbing through the hard packed ground. Greeting tiny crocus buds, shut tightly against the last of the winter. Looking for old friends: tulips and daffodil, lilac and forsythia. Watching the ground for the greening of the bleeding heart. Awaiting the mornings when humidity rushes into my lungs when I take that first morning breath outside. And watching the thawing yard for the first bouncing robin.

I am making the last batches of soups and chilis and homemade breads. Soon, I will change out to fruit pies and salads.

I am forcing myself to enjoy the last of sweater indoors weather. And keeping myself from storing away boots and mittens too early.

All of this anticipation takes some energy. And that is why I've been quiet. I am certain when Spring bursts open and I post my favorite Spring poem, I'll be full of words and images again. But right now, I'm trying to nourish my tap root after this lonnnnnggg winter.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

One track mind

This morning, Willa woke up pretty determined to sway me to take her to Chuck E. Cheese's. What? We haven't been there in probably 9 months, but we were out on Alpine last night and she saw it, and her little mind started whirring...
So, I'm asking her what she wants to wear and she responds "I want to go to Shucky Sheeses." I pick out her outfit. I ask her to put her big girl underpants on, and she responds "I want to go to Shucky Sheeses." I get her dressed. I ask her to brush her teeth, same response. I brush her teeth and tell her it's a school day, and there's no way I'm taking her there today. She starts crying and chanting about "Shucky." And then she starts undressing. Uncooperative kiddo this morning.
I told her, "the answer is no." While I'm in the shower, she busts in, slamming the door open and yells with her her hands on her hips, "the answer is YES mama!" and walks away. I laugh silently at my headstrong daughter while rinsing my hair.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sick shame?

Does anyone else feel like a personal failure when they get sick?
Colds and coughs get into our family pretty easily via the Daycare Express.
We've been battling the stomach flu for three weeks now (three seperate waves for me). And I'm feeling like it's my fault, like I am less than my health enhanced peers. I am ashamed of being sick. Is that normal?
I am washing my hands so much, they're cracked and raw and no amount of lotion or oil is going to heal them. We've cleaned and disinfected. I've scoured the fridge and pantry in case the germs are coming from a food source.
It should be warming up a bit later in the week. I'm opening all doors and windows.

Sunday, March 01, 2009