Saturday, April 26, 2008

We've all been dealing with a nasty spring cold this past week. Well, it was bad for Ron & I, but the kids seemed to weather it pretty well. I ended up calling in sick to work on Thursday because I had a fever and body aches. Ugh. I am so ready for summer.

Speaking of which, how is it that I went to bed last night on a rainy April evening, and woke up this morning to a windy, cold, snowy November morning? I couldn't believe it when I looked out the window and saw two inches of snow on the ground.

On to the family news. Natalie is pulling up on everything, has started to do the "inchworm crawl", and cut her first tooth this morning. My
baby is disappearing before my eyes, and being replaced by an almost-toddler.

This morning, while I was getting ready in the bathroom, Sammy swooped in and stole my mascara from the counter. I figured his first attempt would be to pull apart the two halves, so I assumed I would have enough time to finish brushing my teeth before he figured out that it needed to be twisted apart. Before the thought even fully formed in my mind, I heard the thwup of the mascara wand being pulled out of the container. I dashed into the hall, and grabbed it away from him before he had a chance to do any damage. Or so I thought, until he turned around.

File in baby book under: "First Black Eye"

He let me clean off the worst of it, but didn't want me to get too close to his eye. So he spent the rest of the day bearing a strange resemblance to Boy George.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We had a little incident this morning, while Ron and Natalie were still sleeping. Sammy helped me tell Ron the story after they got up.

Me: "I was in the bathroom when I heard Sammy get up this morning. He saw the bathroom light was on, so he came in to find me. He came through the door, squinting his eyes against the light, and clutching the two stuffed animals he brought to bed with him last one. One of which, luckily enough, was the Elmo doll who happens to be almost as big as Sammy is."

Sammy: "I fell in the bathtub!"

Me: "He took a wrong turn and ran into the bathtub. The momentum sent him toppling head-first over the rim of the tub."

Sammy: "Animals fall in the bathtub, too!"

Me: "The animals cushioned his fall, so he was startled and frightened, more than hurt. His animals were a little bit damp, though."

Talk about a rude awakening. It's almost as bad as the time someone left the toilet seat up, and I got up in the middle of the night, half-asleep, to use the bathroom and didn't discover that the toilet seat was up until it was too late.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ever since the kids were old enough to be in any sort of a routine, they have gone to bed around 7:00 p.m. That has always been the light at the end of a long, tunnel-like day, a time that I can look forward to, with no one making any demands on me. So imagine my frustration when, for the past three nights, one or both of the kids has been up until 9:00 p.m. Tonight, everyone was down for the count by 8:00, so that's an improvement. Little Natalie was so tired that she zonked out in the middle of the first bedtime story. I had both kids on my lap, and Natalie started to fuss, so I turned her to her side (her preferred sleeping position). It wasn't ten seconds later when I heard little baby snores coming from her. Sammy was a tougher nut to crack, but after threatening to take his binky away if he didn't stay in his bed, he finally gave up. We were planning on getting rid of the binky this weekend, but there goes that idea. I don't know what I would threaten him with to keep him in his bed otherwise. Funny, because I just recently told someone "We never had that problem with Sammy" - in regards to the whole toddler-not-staying-in-their-bed issue. Famous last words.

I recently read a quote in a parenting magazine, something to the effect of "Your job as the parent of a toddler is to keep them from killing their fool selves." Easier said than done, though. Tonight I was folding laundry, and Sammy pulled out the folding step stool that I keep beside the dryer. He climbed up on it, then tried to use the magnetic appliance bar (which holds a maximum of three pounds) as a foothold to climb up on top of the dryer. You can probably guess what happened next. THUNK, followed by shrieking and wailing. If everyone has a guardian angel, I think toddlers must be provided with fleets (flocks? hosts?) of angels. I also have thought toddlers are a major argument against evolution. By this point in time, humans should have evolved to be immobile until an age when they have a bit of common sense. On the other hand, I've known a few 18-year-olds who don't have a whole lot of common sense, either, so maybe that wouldn't be practical.

I just realized all this seems really negative, but there have been good moments too, in the past few days. Like last night, when the kids were taking a bath, and Sammy was playing with his foam soap. I squeezed out a long, rope-like length of soap, and said, "Oh, there's a snake in the bathtub!" and Sammy, playing along, said, "Who pooped in the bathtub?" His imagination is working overtime these days. He also brought a Scotch tape dispenser over to me a few days ago and said, "This looks like a snail!" and you know, it really does. And then over the weekend, he had some mandarin oranges for lunch and pointed out that one looked like a seahorse.

And even though this has been a trying week, I can't help but think that in another 15 years, the kids will be so busy living their own lives, that they won't have a lot of time for me anymore and I'm going to wish I could re-live these days. This is something that I remind myself of every time that the kids are being high-maintenance or whiny, and it really does help get me through the moment.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Photo essay of our trip


Okay, I'll grudgingly admit that if the kids didn't get us up at 6:00 a.m. every day, we would have missed this spectacular sunrise over Lake Superior.

And...off he goes.



Look at that kid, parents nowhere near.




Can you spot the toddler in this picture?

If you look closely, you can see him chasing that poor bird.

The kids, by the jetty.


And we ordered our food to-go at Grandma's Bar & Grill. Sammy got all excited when he overheard that we were going to eat at Grandma's. Then he was puzzled, and kept saying, "Where'd Gramma go?" These pictures were taken in the lobby, while we were waiting.
Baby smiles.



I keep telling you - "I'm SOOO big! How many times must I say it?"

Sammy riding the coin-operated motorcycle.

And happily, this is how the entire trip home went. All three passengers sleeping peacefully.



Monday, April 7, 2008

Let's factor this math equation: 1 energetic toddler + no nap x 1 energetic toddler + too short of a nap = trouble2.

On Sunday, we had a get-together with my husband's family. There's a little boy on that side of the family who's almost exactly Sammy's age. Only 2 1/2 weeks younger, to be exact. I'm going to call him William, to protect the not-so-innocent.

This get-together was at 1:00 p.m. Anyone with a toddler on a one-nap schedule may now gasp in horror. This is naptime in the toddler world.

William arrived, having taken a too-short nap. We tried to convince Sammy to take an early nap, but had no success, so he was already starting to fade by the time we arrived.

Now, my sister-in-law had been so kind and thoughtful as to put out a bowl of Cheerios for all of the young'uns to snack on. About 5:00, things were starting to go downhill, so I should have seen this coming, but I didn't. Sammy walked up to the bowl of Cheerios, put both hands in and grabbed handfuls of cereal, which he then threw onto the carpet. While I was reprimanding him, William's father made the comment, "I'm just so glad it wasn't my kid this time." As if on cue, William walked up, picked up the bowl of Cheerios, and dumped it in its entirety on the carpet.

And to think - pretty soon, I'm going to have two toddlers running around, causing trouble.

Our vacation

We went on our first-ever family vacation this past weekend. I use “vacation” in the loosest sense of the term, as we only took an overnight trip to Duluth, but it was the first trip of its kind since having kids.

Things actually went much better than I expected. There were only a couple of small blips. Such as five minutes after we got to the hotel room, Natalie was playing happily on the bed when I heard some rumblings coming from her diaper region. Ron started changing her as I went to the bathroom, and when I heard him say, “Becky, you’ve got to see this,” I thought I knew what to expect. No big deal, as I’d packed three outfits for her. But I was curious why he was making such a big deal out of a blowout – after all, this is a near-daily occurrence at our house.

I walked out of the bathroom, and Ron pointed towards the bed. I saw a large, wet yellow circle on the bedspread, which upon closer inspection, revealed itself to be baby poop. Luckily, the comforter was satiny so a handful of baby wipes cleaned that right up. Now if one of those investigative programs ever comes in there and shines a blacklight on the bedspread, there might be a big glow-y spot, but I did the best I could. Natalie had blown out through: 1) her diaper; 2) her onesie; 3) her jumper dress and enough poo still escaped to make a dinner-plate-sized mess on the bed. Oops.

Incident #2 took place at 3 a.m., when I awoke to hear Sammy saying, “I look out the window, Mommy!” It took about an hour to convince him it was the middle of the night, and we were really NOT going to get up right at that moment. We had a hotel room that was right on the lakeshore, so we had a beautiful view out of our window. The city lights were visible to our left, and the two lighthouses were just to our right. So it really was a beautiful view, although I was not inclined to get up in the middle of the night just to take another look. Sammy felt differently.

Since we were only there one night, and it’s too early for tourist season, we didn’t do too much. We visited the aquarium, and spent some time in Canal Park. It was about the only decent weekend we’ve had, weather-wise, so we really couldn’t have picked a better time to go.

Sammy’s favorite thing was chasing the seagulls. He never gave up until the poor birds, tired of being harassed, finally flew away. I got a few pictures of Sammy in hot pursuit, but I haven’t had a chance to take anything off the camera yet.

A good time was had by all. :-)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So true...sigh

If you have a preschooler, odds are you've read this book. Awhile back, a friend forwarded me this email, written in the same style. All I could think as I read it, was - did this lady hide cameras in my couch cushions?

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her two-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

by Kathy Fictorie, based on "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff