Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Now, if you had asked me before becoming a mom what would be the greatest challenges, showering would not have made my list. However, I think most moms with children my age will tell you otherwise. Rarely, do I get to shower at a normal pace without worrying about what is going on with the kids. During the week, I usually wait until Mia is sleeping and Austin is either happily watching a show in the basement or he comes upstairs with me and uses our large garden tub as a fun place to run his cars.
Today, Austin had started watching his video on monster trucks, one of his favorites. Mark left for the office and I hopped in the shower. Mia, thankfully was sleeping. I sped through my routine, wishing I had the luxury to enjoy the warm water and relax a little bit. I hopped out, brushed my teeth, put on a little make-up and got dressed. I was about to dry my hair when it occurred to me that usually by then Austin has gotten tired of being alone and comes up to find me. I assured myself that everything was fine, but for a couple minutes I couldn't shake the feeling that I should check on him. I knew that his video was surely over, but again told myself that he was probably playing with his trains or cars and was fine. Then I started thinking about the fact that over the last week or so he has been letting our dog, Beau, in and out through the sliding glass door in the basement. Which of course means that he could let himself out the door in the basement. I decided I better go check. I walked to the top of the stairs to listen and heard nothing. I then walked downstairs to the top of the basement steps, listened and heard nothing. So, I walked down the last flight of stairs and saw the basement door wide open and my 2 year old standing outside in the 50 degree weather with no socks and his pajamas on. He looked at me and said, "Owwside, go swing pease."
So, needless to say, taking a shower has now become even more of a challenge than before. Oh the joys of having an independent two year old!
Friday, April 25, 2008
"Give it to Mommy please."
He looked at me with that "okay, but I quietly protest" look and handed it over to me. Actually, he more wiped it to me than handed it to me. Because what he was passing along was a huge, green booger. I asked for it!!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Yesterday, part of my "to do" list included making a grocery list. I added items here and there in between loads of laundry, cleaning, feeding, picking up toys and lots of holding my cranky daughter. However, I never really finished the list because I hadn't decided exactly which meals I would cook this week. So, this morning I was thumbing through some of my favorite "go to" cookbooks trying desperately to make quick decisions to finish my list. BUT, it was one of those mornings and things just weren't happening in a timely manner. Before I knew it, it was nearly lunch time and I still hadn't finished my list and left for the grocery store. I decided to just wing it, which I never do because I am just too type A for that, and leave with only a partial list. I put Mia in her car seat, grabbed the diaper bag, corralled Austin and walked out the door. As I walked around to the side of the car to put Mia in, I saw Austin pause and bend down. I didn't know what he was so intently observing, but he soon came over to show me. There on the tip of his index finger was something dark and somewhat slimy that he had obviously picked off the driveway. I pleaded with him to not put it in his mouth or touch his clothes until I could grab a wipe and get the ick off his finger. He walked away and as I rounded the car to find him and clean his hand, he was again bending over picking at the driveway. And this is what he was picking at.
In case you can't identify it from the picture, that is a nice plop of bird poop! I grabbed his hand and told him what it was, which didn't seem to phase him much. He just kept repeating, "no touch bird poopy." Since he was picking at it, I had to dig under his fingernails to adequately clean him up. So, that was how my shopping trip started.
When I got to the store there were no shopping carts with the little car in the front, so I had to put Austin in the back where the groceries should go. I started in the produce department and of course he wanted to touch everything because he had better access to it than usual. The first casualty was an apple that he managed to snag as we went by. It bounced, rolled, and landed smack dab in between an old lady's feet. It startled her and she looked around trying to figure out where it came from. I walked over, retrieved the apple and apologized for scaring her. We moved on and as I tried to get other things I needed, Austin put some things in the cart that he felt we needed. I gained a small bag of potatoes, a couple yams, a cucumber, and some sort of herb. I thought that getting him a doughnut in the bakery department would at least occupy him and keep him from touching everything in reach, but that only managed to make his curious little hands sticky. When we reached the meat department I put a large package of chicken in the cart, but leaned it up against the side so it wouldn't be in his way and he wouldn't touch it. Yeah right!!! I ended up having to put all the meats and quite a few other items under the cart.
Next, we stopped to try on some Crocs because they had a good assortment of colors. I took off one of his sneakers and made sure that I was getting the proper size. It was the first time he stayed seated in the cart for more than a minute and amazingly he decided he liked it down there. For the next five minutes he was happily playing with his new shoes. But then he noticed that I had added some things he liked and proceeded to start playing with the items in the cart. "Banging, banging," he was saying as he knocked two glass jars together. I confiscated one jar and continued on, realizing that I was going to have to hurry as he was starting to make an unfortunate game out of the groceries. The next couple items were cold and he decided that he didn't want them back there with him and tried to put them back as we were moving. That forced me to have to put all remaining items under the cart and only buy absolutely essential items to shorten my trip.
When it was time to check out I asked him to help me put the groceries on the belt. He eagerly started helping until the belt started to move. At that point he was so fascinated by running his hands along the belt as it moved that he would no longer help me and was actually preventing me from being able to efficiently do the job. Thankfully, the store has a service called helping hands, which I needed a few sets of, and a nice young man brought an extra cart for my bags, followed me to my car and loaded the groceries for me. That was the best part of this week's grocery shopping.
So, I have decided that even if I have to shop at 10 pm or on the weekends when it is crazy busy, I will not take both kids with me. Especially when I haven't made a proper list and have to try to think on my feet with little fingers roaming everywhere within arms reach.
Friday, April 18, 2008
But, sometimes I get a little bored and have to practice some of my super human tricks. Today I am working on putting my entire fist in my mouth. You never know...I may make it on David Letterman someday.
All this swinging is starting to make me a little tired. Maybe if I stretch it will wake me up a little bit.
That wasn't very effective! Now I am starting to yawn. If Mommy catches me she will put me to bed. Sometimes that is just what I want and sometimes I give her a hard time because I want to be with her and Austin (and Daddy on the weekend).
Oh no, watching these fishies is having that hypnotic effect on me. I don't think I will be able to fight the sleep much longer.
It sure is hard being 10 weeks old. There is so much that I want to see and do, but I just can't manage to stay awake and alert long enough.
I have started to smile for Mommy and a few other people after my doctor told me that I needed to stop being so grumpy. But, I am not ready to have that on film yet. Maybe I will allow that trick to be captured next week. For now, I really need to close my eyes and dream about those pretty fishies.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Twice now I have posted pictures of Austin with chocolate all over his face. There is good reason why he is such a lover of all things chocolate and at least half of that reason is that I am his mother. The other half of the reason is that Mark is his father. We are all a bunch of crazy chocolate lovers.
In addition to chocolate, I am generally a big fan of dessert, especially those with chocolate. So, on my birthday when we went to dinner at a very nice restaurant called Earl's Prime, I almost asked the waiter to bring the dessert menu so I could see the choices before deciding on the rest of my meal. I didn't want to embarass Mark so I just saved some room. When the dessert menu came I was torn. I LOVE cheesecake, which they had, but since it was not going to be adorned with anything yummy, like chocolate or berries, my eyes wandered to the other options. There was creme brulee (creamy, smooth, carmelized sugar heaven), deep dish apple pie a la mode (mmmm, warm baked goodness), key lime pie (tart and fresh like spring) and chocolate cake. I thought Mark and I were going to share something. He suggested the chocolate cake and I agreed that it sounded good. However, when the waiter came and I ordered the cake, he placed an order for creme brulee. Now, never could I have anticipated this cake. It was embarassingly HUGE! When the waiter brought it out and put it down in front of me, he said "good luck." I looked around to see if anyone was looking at me thinking "what a glutton." I got over it quickly as I stared at my indulgence. It had three layers of fudgy cake, three layers of chocolate mousse and at least a quarter inch of chocolate ganache as the icing. Oh my goodness gracious was that cake fabulous! I only put a dent in it and the waiter packed up the rest for me to take home. The next night I could hardly wait to break out that to-go box and put another dent in that piece of heaven. When I took the lid off the container, most of the ganache and some of the cake remained with the lid since it was so large that the waiter had to squish it down to get it to fit. I set it aside because the ganache was so rich and wonderful that I considered that "saving the best for last." As I was eating MY chocolaty BIRTHDAY cake, I wasn't paying much attention and my first love helped himself to everything that was stuck to the lid. I didn't freak out or even say anything because I AM capable of sharing, even though he did eat the best part. BUT, when I finished what I was going to eat for that night, he picked up the container and began to eat MORE of my chocolate cake and in particular the ganache. Now I HAD to say something! He claimed that he was just trying to get a complete bite with a cross-section of all the parts of the cake...blah, blah, blah. He wasn't so concerned with trying to get a cross section when he was eating all the ganache off the lid. THIS, is my supposed dark, evil side.
Mark says that it only seems to come out when dessert is concerned. It is only then that I am "territorial and completely unwilling to share." What he fails to see is that I only get that way when HE tries to eat the best part of MY dessert.
Once, his mom made some fabulous cinnamon rolls. Now, before I continue, let me ask you a question. What is the best part of a cinnamon roll? I think we can all agree it is that gooey little part in the middle. So, there I was eating MY cinnamon roll and he comes over and wants a bite. I told him to get his own. He said he didn't want a whole one, he only wanted a bite. I agreed to let him have his bite, UNTIL he decided that bite should be the middle of my cinnamon roll. I grabbed the fork before he hijacked it and he was shocked. "What? You said I could have a bite," he said.
There are quite a few similar incidences that he would probably be happy to share with you, but they have somehow escaped me.
I love my husband very much, but when I married him I vowed to spend the rest of my life with him, for better or worse and all that stuff. I don't recall any part of our vows saying that I have to share the best part of my dessert with him. After all, I give him the best of EVERYTHING else I have and do. If that makes me evil and shows my supposed "dark side", then Mark "may the force be with you."
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
He has also decided that he would like to share certain things with her. A couple days ago he decided to share Beau's dog bone with her. I don't know maybe he is confused and thinks she is more like Beau than she is like him and so she would like to have a dog bone in her mouth (don't worry, he didn't get it there before confiscation). Yesterday, he was trying to share his sippy cup of milk with her. That was really cute and he truly couldn't understand why she didn't want to suck on his cup. Of course, she just stares at him adoringly anytime he pays attention to her.
I try not to think about what other helpful things he has tried to do or share with her that I haven't managed to witness. I have certainly arrived at the "eyes in the back of my head" stage of motherhood!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Saturday was a beautiful, and oddly warm, April day and she was an even more beautiful bride. As I sat in the pew observing the ceremony, something unexpected happened. Instead of continuing to think about my experience on my wedding day, I started to think about the fact that someday, in what seems like the VERY distant future, my son and daughter will likely be vowing to spend the rest of their lives with someone. Initially that was a very overwhelming thought. But then the more that I thought about it, I realized that if Mark and I are diligent in shaping our children's character and teaching them appropriate values they will probably choose partners that share those qualities. Then I REALLY got overwhelmed, but in a good way. That is no small task and it is certainly not easy on a daily basis to "work" at shaping a toddler's character. However, in the end I am sure it is worth all the effort.
I hope and pray that my children will someday, if they decide to get married, pledge their lives to partners that love and appreciate them the way that Mark loves and appreciates me. I know that my Abuela (grandmother in Spanish, because I am half Cuban in case you didn't know that) has not only prayed for me, but also my future spouse, pretty much since the day I was born. All that praying paid off because I could not have asked for a more perfect partner for me (not that I am saying he is anywhere near perfect). It may seem a little early to be praying for the spouses of my children but I figure that it certainly can't hurt anything. After all, it may be one of the most important decisions they ever have to make.
Mark and I will have been married for four years next month and over the next few weeks I will start to tell you "our story". I know some of you have heard it many times before, but since I think it is the best story I know, you will have to "suffer" through it again.
Completely off the subject:
Mia had her two month check up today and the doctor said that she is doing great and is very healthy aside from her reflux issues. Since birth she has gained two and half pounds and now weighs 10 pounds 8 ounces. She has grown two and half inches and now measures 23 inches long (the 90th percentile for height)! She was very brave while receiving her vaccinations and so far seems to be tolerating them well. The doctor also informed me that she may be past all these GI tract issues within the next couple months. That was music to my ears!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I could have gone to bed at 8 last night because I was exhausted, but I was asleep by 10:30, resulting in eight and a half hours of SWEET, SWEET SLUMBER! I hope this is the start of a new phase in Mia's life, but I am not going to make any bets yet as she had a long weekend of being passed between relatives and strangers (to her) resulting in quite a bit of spotty sleeping.
But hey, I'll rejoice over my one night of extended sleep even if it has to last me another few weeks.
Hope those of you who are local enjoy this cool, but gorgeous day we are having!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Last night before putting Austin and Mia to bed, I had a little talk with both of them. I told them that what Mommy wanted from them for her birthday was for both of them to get a good night's sleep and continue to sleep well into the morning so that for the first time in a LONG time I could sleep in. They both seemed agreeable and I was overjoyed at the thought of such a pleasant start to my birthday. But...
I guess Mia wanted to be the first to wish me a Happy Birthday so she woke up at 2:30, when she has previously been sleeping until around 5. Later in the morning, around 7, just after feeding Mia again at 6:30, Austin woke up to begin celebrating with me.
If there is any doubt that when you are a mom your birthday is just another day, let me tell you about my morning so far. It is currently 8:30 am and I have already fed and dressed both kids, made coffee, started a load of laundry, put tomorrow's dinner in the crock pot because it is one of those that is better the second day, Swiffer vacuumed the main floor, had half a cup of coffee while the rest is currently "chilling", killed a "buzzy bug", partially unloaded the dishwasher, let the dog out, checked my email, put on a video for Austin, and made a list of the rest of the things I must accomplish today.
I think next year I will wisely wish for the powers of "I Dream of Jeannie" so I can just wiggle my nose and get everything done at once so I can relax for the rest of the day.
All kidding aside, I know that this will be a wonderful day because my life is filled with family and friends that love and support me and that is a tremendous gift every day.
Oh, and today is supposed to be the nicest day so far this Spring. 70 degrees and sunny!!! YEAH!!!!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
And there is a process he has to eating his biggle. First he must remove the cream cheese by either using his fingers and then licking, or if he is particularly hungry, just plain licking. Then he must dig "channels" in his bagel to get at the soft and now slimy bread.
Usually this is followed by biting and eating the entire hollowed out biggle. However, yesterday while I was upstairs getting some things done, Austin had other plans for his biggle.
I am not sure whether his half eaten bagel was supposed to be a satellite dish, car top carrier, decoration for a bagel delivery truck, invasion of a UFO or some other creative idea from the mind of a two year old. But, I can tell you that Austin certainly knew the exact purpose it.
I came downstairs to see him thoroughly and proudly enjoying his creation with sound effects and all. This went on for quite awhile and I think part of him was wondering why he was getting away with "playing" with his food. Though I probably should have stopped him to keep him from thinking that it was okay to do that with any food, I couldn't help letting him have his fun.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I certainly look forward to her sleeping until morning, the first time she smiles at me, her first laugh, when she gets over this colicky, reflux period and all of her upcoming firsts. But, until then I will daily remind myself that she is a gift from God and he chose ME to be her mommy. That thought alone can bring me to tears.
Mia, you are an amazing, beautiful, perfect creation and I love you with all of my heart. Happy 2 month "birthday"!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I tried not to think about all that could go wrong while I was here with the kids ALL DAY AND EVENING by myself. I wasn't really worried about the day part because I do that all the time anyway. My biggest concern was the evening because Mark is usually involved and Austin is used to having Daddy to play with and put him to bed. Only twice since Mia has been born has she been asleep when it is time to put Austin to bed. I knew the likelihood of her being asleep so I could manage his normal bedtime routine was slim to none. But I remained hopeful (and prayerful...if that is a word) that it would work out.
Well, the day part went well. I actually managed to have both kids napping at the same time for nearly two hours, so I was also able to take a little nap and get some things done. God was obviously letting me rest up for my evening!
Austin woke up from his nap and, as usual, wanted a snack. He opened the refrigerator and started to search for the perfect way to satisfy his hunger. After really digging around he came across some chocolate pudding (see Thursday's post for that story). Needless to say that after his snack, though I thoroughly wiped him down, he was going to have to have a bath before bed. I knew that I could manage that without a problem as long as I could put Mia in her bouncy seat or something while I tended to Austin. That brings us to Mia.
As I discussed before the child has some serious GI tract issues and lately has been dealing with more constipation than usual, so the doctor said to start giving her diluted pear juice twice a day. So, I was giving her the afternoon dose of pear juice, which she isn't a fan of, and for some reason the bottle started leaking and sticky pear juice saturated all the little folds in her neck and her chest. Now, Mia was going to need a bath too. Here is where things were about to get dicey.
In my head I told myself that I would manage fine because Austin loved being in the bathtub and would stay in there as long as I would let him. So, I would be able to deal with her while he played. If only things happened like I imagined them in my head!
Austin was happily watching his favorite monster truck DVD and I decided to let him finish watching that while I went upstairs with Mia and ran the bath water for both baths and got her ready. I told him to come up when he was done, which I wasn't sure if he would actually do. Both baths were ready and I undressed Mia and put her in the baby bathtub on the bathroom counter. Thankfully, unlike Austin when he was a baby, she loves being in the water. About the time I got her in there, Austin came in as instructed. I asked him to take off his shoes so I could help him disrobe and get in the tub, but he basically decided that he wanted to get in the tub fully dressed. Now I was in a bit of a pickle with a baby in bath water and a toddler about to jump in the tub with his clothes and shoes on. I left her, hoping that she wouldn't slip down into the water (which would be difficult, but still I worried) and went to prevent the toddler disaster. I grabbed Austin and tried to quickly take his shoes and clothes off, however he decided that he wanted to squirm, laugh and make a game out of the whole situation. I pinned him down and got the shoes off. Whew!!! Then I began to pull the polo shirt over his head. What I didn't realize was that the bottom button was still secure and it wouldn't come off easily. He started to whine and thrash because the shirt was stuck over his eyes and forehead. I tried with no avail to unbutton the shirt while on his head. Frantically, I pulled it back down, unbuttoned the stupid button and yanked the shirt off his body. All this time he was squirming and trying diligently to get in the tub. I grab his lower half and try to quickly get his pants off. Unbutton, unzip, pull down and off they came. Now the only thing left to take off is his diaper. No problem! Keep in mind I still have a tiny little helpless baby in the water while all this is going on. (My blood pressure had to be rising!) I unfasten one side of the diaper and....you guessed it...hidden, unsmelled POOP! Now, he knows that usually as soon as the diaper is coming off, he is good to go to hop in the water. So, now I am desperately trying to keep him from getting in the tub while also trying to get the poop wiped off before he contaminates the water. I wipe him and finally release the monkey to get to his bathing. Thankfully the baby only slipped slightly and the water was only up to her ear and the side of her face. I begin to bathe her, thankful that I survived that two minute ordeal.
Austin was happily playing and using his cook set bath toys to make me some "eggs." I look over to praise him for his good playing and cooking, when I see him begin to sip "coffee" from his little cup. I pray before I peer into the tub that I had sufficiently cleaned his butt and there is nothing gross in the water. But, as I said before, things never work out like I imagine them in my head. Gagging at the thought of what he is doing, I beg him to not drink the water or "coffee." I quickly finish with Mia and lay her on the bathroom floor to dress her so I can keep my eye on Austin. He is doing great, but she is now hungry and I can't leave a toddler in the bath while I leave and go nurse her. So, though it is not the best place in the house to do it, I sit on the floor and nurse Mia while he cooks fabulous imaginary meals in the not-so-clean bath water. After a few minutes, I burped her, scrub the pudding off him and then finish feeding her.
The next half hour was spent convincing him to get out of the water, getting him ready for bed, letting Mia scream while I read him ONE book and putting him to bed. I then settled her and got her to sleep. Finally, I sat on the couch wishing that I had a glass of wine and reflected on my evening while Mark was away. The conclusion I arrived at: I survived!!!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
His grandma and I encouraged him to run on the driveway because it had been raining all day and there were definite patches of mud in the grass, but seriously...he is two...so you know he didn't listen. He was loving it!
I honestly felt the cobwebs in my life getting wiped away with every minute in that warm, beautiful sun. Austin headed toward one of the best parts of Spring...flowers.
His grandma was encouraging him to pick a flower for Mommy, but every time she would help him pick one, he just wanted to replant it. Maybe he has somehow gotten a green thumb from somewhere in our genetic pool and I can count on him to take care of my "gardening." Man, that would be really nice! I love the look of flowers and good landscaping, but it is not the least bit relaxing or therapeutic for me to garden. In fact, I am so bug phobic that my heart starts racing just thinking about having to dig in the dirt and possibly run across something with a lot of legs or other strange body parts.
Austin has apparently inherited this bug phobia from me (and his father). While we were outside yesterday he came running over and was pointing to the garage saying, "Buzzy, buzzy!" I asked him if there was a bee in the garage and he said no and took my hand to show me what he had found. I spotted the "buzzy" and it was a ladybug. I tried to explain that it was just a ladybug and it was cute and pretty and he didn't need to be afraid of it, but he wouldn't come near it. Later, there was another one on the side of the house and again I pointed it out. This time he decided to be brave and get a closer look. At that moment the ladybug decided to take flight. He froze in fear and started to whimper and give me that "is it on me" look.
I swear I have tried to be a big girl and not show fear of bugs in front of him. After all that is what a good Mommy would do, no matter how much she is squirming and screaming on the inside. But, regardless of my efforts to be bug brave, he is still not a fan.
That aside, yesterday afternoon was magnificent and I am longing for more, more, MORE of that. Spring is my favorite season and it just renews me and makes my heart sing. The picture below will be cemented in my mind until the next amazing Spring day rolls around. Thank you God for an amazingly beautiful afternoon!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So that brings me to today's topic. Let me start by saying that I LOVE my husband with all my heart and wouldn't trade him for anything or anyone in the world. He is wonderful in more ways than I have time today to mention (I will enlighten you another day), but there is one specific area where he is lacking.
I hate to admit this, but on Sunday night Mark and I were watching TV and for some reason ended up watching a show called Newlyweds. It was some kind of cross between a reality show and a game show similar to the old Newlywed Game. Anyway, at one point the wives were paired with their mother-in-laws to guess how the husbands rated themselves on a series of subjects. They had to rate themselves A through F. One of the questions was about housework. "How did your husband rate himself on his participation in housework?" One wife/mother-in-law rated the husband a B and he gave himself a C. Another couple was spot on with an A rating and the third was a match with an F rating. So, Mark asks me, "How would you rate me on housework?" I immediately start laughing and he adds, "When you are in a good mood and haven't had a bad weekend because everyone is sick and you have to deal with us."
I then responded, "Well, how would you rate yourself?" "I don't know, maybe a B or C."
I looked at him with that, "you have to be kidding me face" and said, "Regardless of my mood I would rate you a D." Shocked, he asked why. So, I asked him what kinds of things he does for housework.
These are the things he mentioned, only two of which are actually housework:
Take out the trash
Run the dishwasher (meaning put the tab in and run it before he goes to bed, not load or unload)
Change some diapers (maybe a couple a day)
Put Austin to bed
So, I brought it to his attention that those were only two things in about 50 that daily or weekly have to be done around our house. Are you ready for his response? Or better yet, can you guess his response?
"But honey, you are a stay-at-home mom, so that is your JOB."
I glared at him with the "man you just dug yourself a hole" look.
"Oh no, that was not the right thing to say was it? You are going to tell my mom and put this on your blog aren't you?" he grumbled.
So, here it is on the blog, mostly because he gave me the great idea to put it here for all to see.
But, here is where you come in. I would LOVE if you are a stay-at-home mom, or just have an opinion on this matter, to comment on this post and let Mark know what your husband's household responsibilities are or what you think an appropriate amount of work is for the husband of a stay-at-home mom. It is all in good fun so please don't feel bad for Mark...believe me, he can handle it. And should handle it. After all, he rated himself a B or C, so he obviously feels really good about his involvement already.
Have a great day and I look forward to reading your comments on my JOB! Hehehe :)