Monday, November 24, 2014

The good stuff is somewhere between hell and insanity.

I have this large rectangular picture frame that holds six 4x6 pictures in a line.  I keep it upright on the floor because I'm too lazy to find wall space for it.  At the moment, all the pictures feature D because we didn't have C when I filled it up.  For some reason, C thinks this thing is the greatest toy on Earth.  I came into the office for two minutes to print an email, and during that time, I heard the dreaded crash 'n cry.  You know.  When there's a crash from another room, followed by a pause, then pained shrieking.  Yeah.  That just happened.  Again.  I go in there to find C underneath the picture frame, very, very upset.  I'm not surprised.  You see, he's done this maybe eight times now.  The first time broke the glass, so every other time he just whacks himself in the head with particle board backing.  Apparently, neither of us learns, because I keep putting it on the ground where he can reach it, and he keeps crawling over to it and knocking it over.  Isn't that the definition of insanity or something?  And every time I walk over to him, he looks so surprised that there's a large picture frame on his head.

I really hate showings.  Every day that we have a showing, I turn into a raging harpy.  I feel like it's acceptable in that situation though because I'm pretty sure having a showing at a house with two small, mobile children is one of the levels of hell.  It's impossible to keep any one room clean, let alone the entire house, and show-ready condition?  Nope.  Not happening.  Since Eli and I would like to sell the house before we're both old and grey, we've had to take drastic measures.  We lock them in the living room while I clean the entire rest of the house, then we put them in the car while I clean the living room.  We have to leave anyway, and they're fine out there with Eli.  Just to be clear, when I say "we" I really mean me.  Eli usually gets home right before the showing, which thankfully is just in time for the "put them in the car" portion of the event.  I've learned that I hate the idea of strangers coming through our house and judging it.  Because that's what's happening at the heart of it.  Every person who doesn't want to buy is another way our house is found lacking.  They didn't want it, after all, there must be reasons.  I have to keep telling myself it's not a reflection of me personally, but it doesn't feel true yet.  Combine the stress of trying to keep stuff clean with the possibility of yet another impending rejection and my poor little brain throws me into raging harpy mode.  Either clean or get out of my way.

Big news today, people.  Oh yeah, I'm burying it way down here so you have to read the rest of my ramblings.  Eli is quitting his job.  Yes.  You read that right.  Eli is putting in his resignation today and only plans to work at his company through the end of the year.  Mostly because I want to go to the holiday party.  He's a giver.

Big changes coming our way.  In the spirit of keeping some things sacred, I have no intention of shoveling any of the snow currently falling.  You might remember last year about this time I was cursing Eli's absence and swearing that I'll never shovel again.  I'm happy to report that I've kept that vow.  Even though we're leaving before dawn tomorrow, I refuse to help clear any snow.  Is it petty of me to hope it snows six inches tonight so that Eli has to get up at 4am and shovel the driveway?  Probably, but maybe it will convince him to leave the frozen tundra just a little bit sooner.  Or we'll be hiring a plowing service.  Maybe both?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your face is delicious. Like my books.

I'm pretty sure C is part zombie.  If you put anything that resembles flesh near his face, he will lunge and try to sink his teeth in.  His two teeth.  His two bottom teeth.  He can't even get good closure, but those two bottom teeth are sharp.  He's also started to crawl for real.  Previously, he'd do that army thing that D did where he'd push off with one back leg and pull forward with both arms.  A few times I've caught him doing it with a toy clenched tightly in his mouth.  Now he actually moves his arms and legs independently.  Consequently, we've put the baby gate back up in the living room.  As an added bonus, we're hoping to trap some potential homebuyers there until they agree to sign.

C turned 9 months on Friday.  It snowed this weekend.  These two things are connected.  I have a 9 month snowsuit, but it doesn't have hands or feet, so his little hands freeze when we go outside.  The Beks and I went to Pleasant Prairie this weekend for, well, let's face it...we went for the Ghirardelli store, but we stopped at the Old Navy outlet too.  I saw baby snowsuits for 30% off and went oh hells yeah.  Now, my first inclination was the light grey and white striped one.  After a few minutes of contemplation (and remembering the previous night's dinner where C only got a bottle because of his white snow suit), I chose the navy/dark grey one.   We bought our stuff, went home, all was well with the world.  The next day, Eli and I try to get the kids ready to go to the gym.  I throw the new snowsuit at him and tell him to put C in it.  A couple of minutes later, Eli gives up and tells me it just doesn't fit.  Let's be clear here.  I bought a 6-12 month snowsuit.  C is in the 25th percentile, so he's small for his age.  He should be able to do laps in that snowsuit.  Nope.  We couldn't get his chubby little legs into the leg holes.  Le sigh.  We had to return it.  They didn't have baby snowsuits at the Old Navy near us, so now C still freezes his little hands off whenever we go outside.  Stupid polar vortex.

New taggie blanket for some friends who are letting it be a surprise.

The other side of the taggie blanket.
Flannel baby sheets for a Noah's Ark nursery.
Noah's Ark sheets for a Noah's Ark nursery.
Why are all my sheet pictures so yellow?  They're all blue, I swear.
This is how D watches his shows on the tablet.
Trying to escape the living room.
Still trying to escape.
Giggling while sitting up.
The knowing smirk.  As soon as I leave the room, he books it for the front door.
This is how we "read."  Books are delicious.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's the year of the tutu.

This just happened.  I went upstairs to get C up from his nap.  He was making unhappy noises, but that wasn't usual.  I turned on the light and said hi to him without really looking.  When I got to the side of the crib, I could see why he was unhappy.  At some point during his nap, he'd managed to get both legs into the same leg hole of his outfit.  It was one of those sleep 'n play kinds that look like pjs with the feet.  He looked like a mermaid.  A very unhappy mermaid. 

Earlier in the day, I was holding C while D played with his cars on the floor. C reached down toward D's face (he's been obsessed with D's hair for a while now), and D swatted him away.  Unfortunately for D, he still had a car in his hand and whacked himself in the head with it.  Of course, he started crying, but I was laughing so hard I had to put the baby down.  Ah, good times.

The Halloween party was a blast.  I hope everyone who came had as much fun as I did.  For once, no one puked in the house or had to go to the hospital or accidentally set a couch on fire.  In fairness, I'm pretty sure the couch caught fire all on its own that year.  It was ridiculously cold outside, so we didn't have a bonfire, but the empty basement provided plenty of room for stupidity.  Everyone's costumes were really creative, even the ones I had to provide (you're welcome, green fairy).  Here's a small sampling:

The fox and the hound.

I see you.

The (Hungry) Mad Hatter and Broken China Doll.

Slash and his 80s groupie.

The (Still hungry) Mad Hatter and Jango.

A hippie and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (loony bin version).

The March Hare.

I honestly have no idea who he was, but he was very proud of it.  Also, his machete had real blood spatter action.

A suicide bomber and a green fairy.

Grandmother Wolf and Red Riding Hood.

A little Audrey Hepburn ice queen.

A lady lumberjack and a lady (?) nerd lover.

In retrospect, the Mad Hatter was always eating.  Ace Ventura was an eerily accurate costume.  Grandma Wolf creeped everyone out because he never took off his mask.  The suicide bomber was anti-climactic.  The China Doll wins best face paint, but the March Hare wins best mask.  The nerd lover, though, wins strangest overall.  And no, we don't want to touch your boob.

Up next: Thanksgiving in Florida.  We're still waiting on the go-ahead for the super secret news, so we'll be looking at houses in the Tampa area while we're there.  Our house is still for sale, and though we've had a lot of interest, no offers means we lowered the price.  It's too bad, but it is what it is.  We'll be in the area through Christmas and New Year's, but no promises after that.  There will probably be a lot of changes happening right around C's first birthday.  The least of which will be that hopefully I'll be able to fit into my pre-baby jeans.  Fingers crossed.

Fine, here's a picture of me and the hubs:

Leonidas and his goddess.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stuck in The Fog. The struggle is real.

It's been something like three months since I last posted.  I'm not sorry.  We've been working toward a lot of changes in our life, and it's taken up most of my time.  As I told a couple of you, I was also struggling with some mild post-partum depression.  I'd qualify it as Baby Blues, but it never seemed to fade or go away for any length of time.  It mostly presented as extended periods of lethargy and apathy, which does not translate to a whole lot of blog posts.  I actually have several drafted posts that I just never finished.  That's true about almost all of my projects over the last couple of months.  Nothing has held my interest for long, and the prospect of working on something, anything, held no appeal.  I also started to have a lot of trouble sleeping.  I know some of you are now yelling at your screens that I should have talked to you, but I was never sure where to start the conversation or what to say.  I just didn't feel like doing anything, ever.  There were never any harmful thoughts, just a lot of boredom.  And it wasn't completely constant.  I had a lot of moments where I emerged from the fog and felt fine.  I even felt relief that I wasn't bored anymore.  But they were only temporary, and the fog always came back before too long.  Except this time it hasn't.  For the last couple of weeks, I've felt much more back to myself.  I don't know what triggered it in the first place (though I have suspicions beyond my body chemistry being f-ed up), and I don't know why it's gone now, but I hope it doesn't come back.  The purpose of this blurb is to thank everyone who had patience with me when I went all hermit-y (yes, that's a word.  Because I said so).  You all seemed to just take it in stride and let me pick up right back where we left off.  So, thanks.

I'm super excited about some stuff that's coming up in the next couple of months, but I can't really talk about it yet.  I'll let you know when the hush-hush stuff is finalized (no, we're not having more kids).  Next weekend, Rocket and family are coming to visit for Halloween, and I'm really hoping we get them for more than one drunken night (even if that night is awesome).  Either way, it'll be really nice to hang out again before we take over their house for Thanksgiving.  I'm really looking forward to eating my way through that trip as well.  Man, I love food (this is no surprise to anyone), and Thanksgiving in Tampa is always one amazing meal after another.  And also the many truffles.  I think we'll be setting up a trip to Denver early next year as well to visit some friends who are becoming new parents.  And let's not forget the 5th Anniversary Mexican Extravaganza where we will be returning to the scene of our wedding for more shenanigans in May/June 2015.  Start saving now, people.

I've decided to add yoga and 30DS to my regular work-out routine again.  I like the combination of cardio, strength-training, and ass-kicking that would give me.  Still trying to work out some kind of schedule for that, but it's going to happen.  I've lost some weight since having C, and it's coming off pretty regularly, but I think I can do better.  Also, I still want arms like Jillian Michaels.  Can you imagine how much better my volleyball skills would get?

C is like two seconds from crawling.  He scoots himself around on the floor just like D used to, but he actually gets up on his hands and knees unlike my recalcitrant first child who went from scooting to walking.  He's still the chillest and happiest baby I've ever met.  He absolutely loves people, and his favorite person is his big brother.  They'll play this game where D rolls him onto his back over and over again.  He bonks his head on the floor every time, but he just laughs and rolls back onto his belly.  I'm still not sure if I should stop the game before there's a serious head injury or just have a glass of wine and be glad they're playing together.  C still has a flat spot on one side of his head, but it's barely noticeable now.  His hair looks nothing like D's.  It's several shades lighter and thinner, and it sticks up everywhere.  D likes his "soft, fuzzy head."  I like it too, but I'd prefer if it stopped coming into contact with the ground quite so roughly.

So, not to brag, but D is completely potty-trained.  It only took us like 18 months, no sweat.  He actually learned to use the "big boy potty" pretty quickly, once we stopped letting him wear pants.  We thought the daytime part would be easy, but nighttime would take longer.  It was the other way around.  Once we gave him access to the bathroom at night, he picked it up with only two accidents.  There were WAY more accidents during the day.  It certainly made pre-school a lot more interesting. Now we just have to convince him to give up the pacifier, and we'll be set.  

C decided he would rather suck his thumb than eat the weird squishy food.

D giving C a kiss right after covering him in every blanket and pillow in the living room.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Aaand we're back.

Thanks for sticking with me through this last unexpected hiatus.  As tends to happen, when we get busy, we get really busy.  The quick updates are:
  • The house is prepped and ready for sale.  All we need is a buyer.
  • We're expecting a job offer in the next 6 weeks that will hopefully lead to a move to Florida in the next year.
  • We're all formula now, so hopefully all my efforts to lose the baby weight will have some effect.
  • C is off the apnea monitor and growing like a full-term baby.  He's meeting all his milestones, and he loves talking and smiling with people.
  • D is going through potty-training.  He's doing well, more on that later.
I guess those are the big ones.  It seems like such a small list when compared to how much effort has gone into those five bullet points over the last couple of months.  It's been super busy, but we're settling into life with two kids faster than expected.

So we've been potty-training D for about a week and a half.  He wears undies all day and a diaper for his nap and nighttime.  At first we had some accidents, but he's pretty good now about holding it until he can get to a potty.  He's really nervous about using public toilets, but who isn't, right?  He's also nervous about pooping outside his diaper.  The day before yesterday, he sat on his toddler potty and proceeded to poop into his undies.  Then, he carefully took them off, and carried the undies, poop and all, into the bathroom to dump it into the toilet.  He was super proud of himself.  We'll be working on the pooping outside the undies skill. 

Wanna see my cute happy baby?  Oh, good.

Add caption

Friday, May 23, 2014

No, I'm not your mummy.

We went to bed fairly late after volleyball on Wednesday night.  For us, that means around midnight.  I was expecting to get up a couple of hours later to feed C, but I was happy for those couple of hours of sleep.  About an hour later, I was woken up by a very loud sneeze in the dark right next to my face.  It wasn't Eli, who was asleep behind me.  He says I squeaked, but I only remember rolling toward him and freezing.  I'd had this nightmare before.  Eli looked over my shoulder and said that he thinks D is standing there.  I was like: you think? You're not sure? Apparently, he could only see D's face in the light of my alarm clock, and he was just standing there staring, which is highly unusual for my hyper two-year-old.  It was particularly alarming because we weren't sure how he'd gotten past the gate at his door.  I refused to roll over because the sight of D's face floating there staring at me is one I would never be able to forget, so Eli got up to take care of it.  Let's just say that I'll be making sure his gate is locked from now on.  When he got back, he wanted to talk about it, but I stopped him cold.  Like I said, I'd had that nightmare before.  So last night we were laying in the dark chatting and the subject came up again.  I told him I didn't want to talk about it, and he agreed that it was freaky.  I said something about how at least I was sure D would stay in his room because I'd checked his gate.  Eli responded by looking over my shoulder and saying: then who's kid is that standing there.  I smacked him.  And refused to turn over the entire rest of the night.  It's like he delights in giving me nightmares. 

Yesterday was our 4 year wedding anniversary, and we celebrated it by watching an episode of Elementary then going our separate ways for the evening.  I was subbing for a volleyball game, and Eli wanted to play phone games for a while.  We're not entirely devoid of romance; we're going to dinner on Saturday, but it was an interesting comparison thinking about where we were 4 years ago (on a beach at a resort in Mexico for those of you who weren't aware).  Now line that up with where we were last night, in two different places and taking care of sick kids.  Sick kids are a special kind of hell when you're sick yourself, so my day was anything but peaceful, and it's hard to play volleyball effectively when your head is pounding and all your body parts hurt.  Add in Doctor Who flashbacks of "Are you my mummy?", and my night was done.  Despite all that, I'm very happy with our marriage, and I wouldn't change anything.  Well, I might wash my hands better when D first started getting sick, but other than that... The kids make the relationship very different from the one we had when we got married, but it's not worse.  It's not necessarily better, but it's a good kind of different. 
D's telling C to look at the camera.

I have no idea what they're looking at, but I assume it's a phantom child with a cold.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm going to be up all night for an entirely different reason.

I watched one too many episodes of Castle.  Everything was fine.  C was eating his dinner, and I was enjoying season 5.  I figured I'd put him to bed as soon as he finished his bottle, shortly after a new episode started.  That episode is about a DVD that kills people a la The Ring.  Now, I have to put my sleeping baby to bed up the dark stairs in his dark room.  I went in to tell Eli my dilemma with the hope he would put the baby to bed for me.  Since he thinks he's funny, he suggested I turn the lights on and avoid any dark hair hanging from the ceiling or crawling dead girls.  I may smother him in his sleep.  Yeah, one episode too many. 

I've been spending my time either fixing up the house to get it ready to sell, taking care of the kids, or sleeping.  Mostly the first two.  That hasn't left a lot of time for crafts or blogging.  Lucky for you guys, I've taken pictures of the snail I made for my youngest adorable niece as well as my own adorable children. 

The most common question I've gotten from people is how has D taken to being a big brother.  The answer is that he loves it.  He insists on helping and gets really concerned when C cries.  He still wants all my attention, but he's slowly getting used to not having it all the time.  Of course, his usual response to me paying attention to something else is to go straight for the cat food or to try to play in the basement.  The bigger problem is that he's refusing to go to sleep at night now.  He cries and screams up in his room until one of us comes up and sits with him.  We're still not sure why he's doing it, but we suspect that it has something to do with my two week absence when C was born.  Hopefully, he'll grow out of it soon because Mama needs her alone time.

C is doing great.  He's such a happy baby.  When he's awake, he's smiling and cooing.  He's gaining about a half a pound a week, so his size is great.  He's officially off the heart and apnea monitor, and he's showing no lasting signs of being a preemie.  When I pick him up, he feels so much heavier than D ever was.  And when he smiles at me, it makes me forget how tired and frustrated I am.  See for yourself.

So happy.

Frustrated because I won't let him play with the snail while I'm finishing it.

Pirate baby.

Here's a good smile.

D feeding C, such a great brother.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cirque du sofa

Things are going well.  By some miracle, I got seven hours of sleep last night.  Not in a row, mind you.  It was split up into three sections, but it was seven all together.  D may finally be starting to understand that Mommy has to feed the baby in the morning, so he has to stay in his room and play on his own for a while.  It's very distracting to be trying to nurse while D is screaming his head off in his room.

I've been on my own during the day with both kids since Friday, and so far, it's not too bad.  We started up our gym membership again, so I have stuff to do at least.  The other day, I was in the kitchen washing dishes, and I noticed that D was being really quiet.  I came into the living room (because let's face it, silence is very suspicious), and D was lying on the carpet covered in baby powder.  Apparently, he decided to change his own diaper.  This was before we started potty training, so I guess it was last week some time.

This was how I found him.  Lying completely still.
That white stuff on his shirt isn't glare from the sun, that's baby powder.  It continues all the way down his legs.  Of course, being a good parent, I immediately grabbed the camera for future blackmail use.  He was very proud of himself.

His gymnastic abilities have gotten more impressive in the last few weeks.  He does back-walkovers off the couch.  He stands on his head with his feet up against the back.  He does front rolls across the rug.  Yesterday, he tried a new trick.  We got a nubby blue ball that's slightly smaller than his head from my sister and brother-in-law.  D put the ball on a pillow (he experimented first and found that the ball rolled too much if placed directly on the ground; he came up with that all on his own), put his head on the ball, and did a headstand against the couch.  On the ball. On a pillow.  I was surprised to say the least. He held it for a few seconds before he fell sideways laughing like a loon.  I'm now convinced our son is going to be in Cirque du Soleil one day.  If you add in that he was half naked and covered in powder a few days ago, it becomes really obvious.

Today at the gym, a couple of little boys became very interested in the carseat I was holding.  They wanted to see the baby, so I put it on the ground.  They immediately crowded around and started talking about how cute C was in toddler-ese.  D came running over, patted his brother's head, and said C's name.  He does this every time someone wants to see him.  He's showing off his younger brother.  I can't even describe how proud I am of him. 

C sticking his tongue out.

D asking C if he wants to share the bear; C trying to use his force powers to make D put the pacifier back in his mouth.

Friday, March 21, 2014

My own worst enemy

I refuse to apologize for the long delay since it was caused by me taking care of a newborn and a toddler, both of whom crave all my attention all the time.  Eli's paternity leave is almost over, and I'm so glad he was home to help, sort of.  He's been working on a private project, but he pitches in when he can.  I hate sleep deprivation.  You'll notice that statement was not preceded by anything like "I had forgotten how much..."  I remembered the complete suckage of getting less than an hour of sleep in a two-day period.  And yet here I am again.  Despite this, I've been getting some projects done.  A pair of gloves, a little monkey, several pairs of sheets, curtains, you get the idea. 

New designs.

More new designs.

Material for sheets.

D's new blankie.

Punny gloves for a friend.

Stuffed monkey and blankie for another friend's baby boy.

Monkey butt.

The other side of the blankie.

New dino construction blankie.

A second dino construction blankie.
A commission for a friend's niece.

I haven't finished putting C's room together (Glowworm didn't stick, what can I say, I'm fickle), but he's still sleeping in the bassinet anyway.  He's also still on the heart/apnea monitor.  Our pediatrician says we'll re-evaluate after his two month appointment.  He still thinks the bradycardias and apneas are caused by an immature nervous system, which means he'll eventually grow out of them.  He's been gaining weight like a pro (almost 7 1/2 pounds as of Wednesday), so that's one less thing to worry about. 

In other news, we're putting our house on the market, mostly because we like to do all the hard things at once.  I'm expecting it to either sell right away, forcing us to pack up and move while I'm still not sleeping, or not sell at all, hamstringing my plan to move to a warmer climate before winter sets in again (next winter, not the continuing freezing temps that are normal for this time of year in the frozen tundra).  This starts a vicious cycle where I feel like we should fix things like the mysteriously missing baseboards, but there are so many things to fix, big and small, that it seems like a waste of time.  Then I look around and wonder who would buy a house with only 3/4 of its baseboards.  Then I realize I've been stressing about crazy stuff when I should have been sleeping.  Then the baby cries and I'm up to feed him while my mind wanders to all the stuff we really should fix if we want to sell the house.  See, vicious.  And crazy.

Gotta go, D just dumped a bunch of toys on C sleeping in his swing.  At least he's sharing.

His face says it all.

The best I'll probably get.