Thursday, October 27, 2011

Should I be worried...

Should I be worried....
...that this has happened more than once:  If I'm trying to get an antsy and wiggly Liam to fall asleep with shush-ing and singing and humming and gentleness and one of his dear older siblings busts into his room (in blatant disregard of the "IF LIAM'S DOOR IS SHUT AND HIS LIGHT IS OFF DO NOT ENTER" rule, I might add) I make all sorts of overly dramatic faces and hand waves at them to GET OUT QUIETLY.  Usually they recognize the crazed look in my eye and hightail it out of there.  But a couple times they haven't and they've decided they must speak to me immediately.  I will try several minutes of frustrated whispering in an attempt to not ruin the soothing atmosphere for Liam, but finally I end up snapping loudly at them in that exasperated-mommy-voice something like, "That is it!  OUT!  NOW!  Don't make me tell you again!" and when the child leaves I glance down at Liam....and he's asleep.

Yes, it seems that I use my "you're in deep trouble" voice so often that my baby finds it soothing.

...'cause I'm not.  

Did I mention it causes him to go to sleep? 
Therapy can be dealt with later. 

For now sleep is good. 
No matter what.


 Should I be worried....
...about this? 

Today during school, D and I read part of a children's version of The Odyssey while Belle played with trains. Somehow Homer was left out of my education or I would have known that The Odyssey is pretty gruesome and perhaps not fit for a children's version.  But, never one to deviate from a plan, we have just forged ahead through a man-eating cyclops and a dreadful storm to reach today's cannibal giants.  I did have to explain that a cannibal was someone who ate people but D seemed sort of unimpressed by this horror so we read on as Odysseus' men were eaten.  (You are all applauding my mothering skills right now, aren't you?)  Anyway, after we were done the kids went off to play something and I went upstairs to get Liam and when I got back D said, "Belle drew a picture of a cannibal giant!"  What?  I thought she was playing trains, not having her innocent 2-year-old psyche marred by Homer!

"Yup," she says cheerfully, showing me her bubblegum-pink paper and pointing to the little circle things, "and these are the people it's eating."  

...'cause I'm not.
OK, I sort of am.  But seeing as she usually draws sweet things, I think I'm going to choose to think of it as the fact that my two year old has begun illustrating classical literature instead of that she drew a cannibal giant actually caught in the act of cannibalism.  And yes, I threw out that picture during nap time and wished the cute picture she drew of me on the chalkboard was savable.  I think tomorrow we'll read Winnie the Pooh. 

Should I be worried....

...that D created a new (wildly popular) game called Throw the Baby?  Before you panic, the babies being thrown are baby dolls who, granted, have big clunky plastic heads and bean-baggy bodies making them spectacular projectiles.  For two days now a substantial amount of time has been spent by Belle and D launching their babies down stairs, over railings and into baby swings (empty swings, don't worry).

 ...'cause I am a little.
Frankly this is the worrisome one and has left me making many statements like, "I don't think you guys are allowed near Liam!" or "Now, you guys know we never throw real babies, right?"  To which D rolls his eyes and says, "Of course we would never throw a real baby.  This is a game for toy babies." You bet your tush it is, kid. 
But any game that encourages so much happy play between D and Belle (really, peals of laughter for half hours at a time...) is worth it.  At least I hope it is...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taking it to a whole new level...

Please tell me I'm not the only one with kids who excel at the argument.  You know, that one that is so cliche that you can't believe they're doing it?  Yup, That one.  

(start scowling at each other)
(Start glaring at each other)
(Nostrils flaring)
(smoke and flames shooting out of various facial holes)

At which point the argument stagnates can be repeated for hours.  I admit I don't know exactly how long they could keep it up because I usually intervene before my head explodes.  

My husband finds these altercations amusing.  So do I.  Well, except for the times when it makes me want to run screaming from the house.  Screaming mature things like, "NO ONE GIVES A FLYING CRAP!! SHUT UP!!"  And I'll tell you right now, if I ever do start running, I'm not stopping until I reach somewhere tropical. 

So this morning we had one of these arguments.  It began like so...

Belle:  Liam is crying.
D: No he's not.
Belle:  Yes he is.
D: No, I can't hear him.
Belle: Yes he is.
D: No, Belle, if he was, we would hear him.  But we can't.  He's not crying.
Belle:  Yes he is.  

(As you can see, my kids have two different approaches to disagreements.  D feels that logic and persuasion are the way to carry his case.  Belle just digs her heels in and repeats, with the exact same inflection, her position ad infinitum until her opponent either gives up or goes insane.)

At this point it resolved itself into the usual argument.

Belle: Yes he is!
D: No he's not!
Belle: Yes he is!
D: No he's not!

... you get the picture.  Pick two opposite opinions and stick to your guns come what may.

And this went on for at least a day and a half.  

But here's where they took it to a new level.  Belle got confused, I think, or maybe she had just gone on autopilot and her mind shut off because this started:
D: No he's not!
Belle:  No he's not!
D:  No he's not!
Belle:  No he's not!
D: No he--- WAIT!  Belle, you're supposed to say "Yes he is!"
Belle (pauses and considers this for a moment but decides to stick with stubbornness over logic.): No he's not!
D: Belle!  Say "Yes he is!"
Belle: No he's not!
D: I say that!  NO HE'S NOT!!
Belle: No he's not!
Belle: No he's not!
Belle: No he's not!

Yup, now they have chosen two identical opinions to argue.  D passionately, Belle smugly.

D got a little weepy and begged Belle to go back to her "yes" position.  She continued to blithely chant, "No he's not!" and the argument continued oddly morphed from the original argument, into arguing about who was going to argue which position. 

And I'm going to choose to commend my children for not settling for the status quo, but pushing the boundaries of normal sibling debates and moving more into the realm of intellectual property rights. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So glad my kids are too young... object to which pictures I post.  Here are some good ones from recently....


D ready to weather the day after I mentioned it was "sorta cool out" one morning.  I had just meant he should wear long pants instead of shorts.  Liam was wrapped up ready for a nap but D wanted a photo op.  Liam seems unimpressed by the whole situation.

Belle's impeccable fashion sense.Winter hat, mittens, rain boots, safety goggles and a hammer.  All while still in pink pajamas. 

Sporting Hollywood glasses while weighing down (sort of) Liam's bouncy chair.

This is for real.  Belle called my downstairs yelling, "I did it ALL BY MYSELF!"  When I got there I saw she had drawn THAT little letter "e."  Not kidding.  No one else had been there.  Unfortunately her next attempts were much more along the lines of a 2 year old.  But I'm keeping this picture for posterity anyway.  

And my FAVORITE...
On my little phone screen this looked like such a cute picture of both of them smiling.  But when I saw it on the computer it really looks like a crazed Liam is about to chomp down on Belle's unsuspecting shoulder.  He looks like some evil mastermind who's about to execute his devious plan. And it's made me laugh all morning.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Highs and Lows - sorta

I don't have a concrete set of highs and lows this week.  Most of the week seems sort of pleasant and unremarkable to me and Sunday would have been Jack's fourth birthday which raises way too many emotions to be able to resolve into highs and lows.

So this week instead we are going to play a new game I like to call, "Cute...Not So Cute."  I think you'll pick up on it pretty quickly.

Cute: The child has the goofiest huge grin.  It's all gums and a huge open mouth that looks like it's trying to eat a huge piece of cotton candy.  Goofy is the only word for it.  And it is just the happiest face you've ever seen.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Not So Cute:  Well, almost every time. Usually when I am up at some ungodly hour nursing Liam he conks back out before finishing leaving me with the eternal struggle of whether to wake him up a little more to finish eating or just run off to bed as fast as I can.  The other night he did just that and I chose the run-away-as-fast-as-I-can choice, like usual.  But when I tried to put him in his crib, the second his body gently touched his bed, his eyes shot open like I'd dunked him in ice water - which was annoying.  So I calmed him down and tried again - and you'd think the crib was electrified. His eyes sprang open unnaturally wide like some sort of freaky baby in a horror movie.  Really, it was creepy.  And he was fussy.  Super fussy.  And I was tired.  So I tried my best not to scream and wake all the other kids up and picked him up and tried again. This time, against my putting-baby-to-sleep policy, I held him til he was COMPLETELY asleep.  And guess what.  Yup, barely touching that soft, smooth sheet jerked him awake AGAIN.  AHHHHH!!!  But this time instead of fussing he looked sort of frantically around until he found my face (which I had been cleverly hiding 12" directly above his own...) and the little turkey catches my eye and grins.  His huge, goofy grin.  And coos.  And bites at the air with his gigantic grin.  But now we're at half past ungodly and even though it settles my rage a bit, I look him straight in the eye and say, "Sorry buddy, right now? Not so cute." 


Cute:  Little Belle's little colon has some constipation issues (You're wondering how this is ending up in the "cute" category, aren't you...)  You don't want details, but it got to the point that if there was any emergence of poop it was greeted by cheers, shouts, candy and a full blown parade by the rest of the family.   Thankfully we are out of the proverbial woods now and she's much more regular.  So now at each instance of her being victorious she comes to me bursting with pride and whispers, "Mommy!  I pooped A-GAIN!"  Then the ritual continues by her making a super excited face (think along the lines of an overly dramatic mime...)  and says, "And it didn't hurt!  It just POPPED right out!"  And her face and her high pitched little voice always make me laugh and wish I'd video taped her.

Not So Cute: I change her vile, stinky diaper trying not to breath (what is in that medication???), take it outside to the trash holding the thing downwind from myself, walk back in and around the corner she comes, bursting with pride and whispers, "Mommy!  I pooped A-GAIN! And it didn't hurt!  It just POPPED right out!"  Seriously?  I JUST changed you!  NOT so cute.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Jack,

Happy birthday, baby.  I can't believe it's been four years since you were born.  And I can't believe it's been almost that long since I held you.  You're little brother, Liam, is nine weeks old.  Sometimes I forget how tiny you were and how short your nine weeks were.

I loved your little face and how inquisitively you looked at everything.  I loved how sweet you were and how all the nurses were in love with you.   I wish could see you turn four.  I miss your little face and how you looked at me from your cute little eye.  But I'm glad you are not sick any more.  I'm glad you are somewhere where you will never have to have another surgery or test or tube.  And I hope you had a great day today.  I can't wait to see you again someday.

I love  you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Highs and Lows - October 3rd

High: Last night Liam only woke up once to eat!  (This, of course, instantly raises my hopes of it happening again tonight ...Stay tuned for next weeks lows...)

Low:  IF I had been able to do the usual dimly lit, quiet room where I don't barely make eye contact with the kid and certainly don't speak to him unless absolutely necessary, I might have only been awake for 30 minutes TOTAL last night.  But, since this is a low, you know it didn't happen that way.  On the way into Liam's room at 2:16 AM I literally ran into Dalton who was standing in the dark hallway, which was very confusing for both of us.  After the prerequisite three askings of him as to why he was awake but very sleepy in the hallway, he declared he had a booger on his finger.   Why that had brought him out of his room when he slept by a tissue box, I did not know, but I let him follow me into Liam's room so I could calm the hollering baby.  Unfortunately, once D was awake enough to speak coherently it seemed that the real problem was that he needed to blow his nose and was having no luck on his own.  So I tried to help D while nursing Liam, which did not work well for any of us.  Dalton took forever to deal with his nasal problem and then launched into an INCREDIBLY long-winded story (again, I have no idea where he gets that trait...) about the time when he was quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and Daddy was quarterback for the Denver Broncos.  There was a play-by-play of how each team scored and the points they got.  Like how D got one touchdown "In the middle of it by that big yellow U, not over by the side, so it was worth 10 points."  And all this time Liam's little eyes were getting more and more awake.  So instead of finishing nursing in a semi-comatose state so I could toss him right back into bed, he just laid on my lap and smiled at me and cooed.  All very cute, I know.  But really people, nothing is quite as cute at 2 am.  I'd be hard pressed to find a baby bunny snuggling with a kitten cute at 2 am. The whole process ended up taking an hour and a half.  No kidding. 

High:  Fall weather.  Lovely.  Kids playing outside, bickering outside, playing noisy games outside. Lovely.  Really this high deserves more space and uumph, but I don't have anything else to say about it except, LOVELY.  I also can't find an outdoor picture.  So here's one that just shows happiness.

Low:  Belle is making a concentrated effort to call us "Mom" and "Dad".  ugg.  No cute "Mommy", now if she wants something it sounds like I have a teenager.  "Mom?  Can I have the car?"  NO!  Not unless you call me Mommy.  But I can't say that to Belle.  Oh no.  Not to Miss Contrary.  She'd just smile her irresistibly little smile and try even harder to eradicate "Mommy" from her vocabulary. 

(Side note: "Contrary" is actually a part of Belle's vocabulary now.  I guess too often we've had this conversation:

Me:  Belle, show Daddy how you can (fill in any action here...)
Belle (looking mischievous): No.
Me: Yeah, go show him.  He'll love it.
Belle (giddy with power): No.
Me:  You are contrary.
Belle:  No, I am NOT contrary.  I'm Belle.
Me:  Same thing, child. 

My hope is that I vividly remember D going through a "Mom" and "Dad" phase, but it ended and he still calls us Mommy and Daddy. 

High:  Liam got weighed last week and he is already over 10 lbs!  That's a 3.5 lb gain in 4 weeks.  That plops him firmly in the 50th percentile! Biggest baby we've ever had.  :)  No one would think of calling him chubby, but I'm considering calling him Tank.  Compared to his older brother Dash and his "big" sister Wispy, the kid is huge.  I'm pretty sure he'll outweigh Belle by February.

And that's really all I can think of.  I'm sure more happened this week, but have I mentioned the lack of sleep?  It seems to seriously affect my short term memory. 

High. Oh - almost forgot!  PE class started for the homeschoolers in town.  The university physical education students put on a gym class for all the homeschooled kids on Friday mornings.  D was in heaven:

fun with the parachute

In heaven on a scooter.  Clearly gym equipment never changes.  These could have been scenes from MY kindergarten PE.

It must have been a good week when my lows were more annoying than bad.  Hope everyone else had a good week too!