Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank you, Pia. And good-bye.

So, with the holidays and craziness, I haven't had time to write in about 3 weeks.

This last week has been a tough one. My 2 yr. old threw up 3 times on Christmas Eve morning, then my husband started throwing up and having the Big D (you know what I'm talking about) around 9 pm Christmas night, and then I started with both around 3:30 am that night. We both threw up about every 20 minutes for hours. Every thing in our house that could have been thrown up in was thrown up in.

Then, the following day, my mother got it. We sent our 3 month old to stay overnight with my husband's sister to keep him protected, but a few hours after we picked him up from her house the next day, my sister-in-law started throwing up and had to go to the ER twice! Luckily, our newborn has so far been saved from all of this. Babies are born with such strong immunity.

Then, yesterday, I had to have my dog, Pia, put to sleep. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

She was only six. Her seventh birthday is tomorrow. She had liver failure. She was diagnosed with it in September and had been taking pills ever since. But, in the last month or so, the pills stopped working and she ballooned up with fluid in her abdomen. She has also been using the bathroom on the floor lately because she couldn't make it outside.

I took her to the vet yesterday and he said the pills were not going to help her anymore and from here out, she would be miserable. And I couldn't let her suffer. I've seen dogs suffer because the owners love them too much to have them put down, but I loved her too much to let her suffer. The vet recommended she be put to sleep soon, so I had it done yesterday, before she got too miserable.

Pia was an awesome dog. She was a toy rat terrier and incredibly smart. She had the best instincts. She was kind and loving to kids and she loved me so much. She helped me through some really tough times in my life and she is the one who taught me how to take care of someone else besides myself. She used to lick my face when I cried and she loved to play with her food, like it was a toy. She would take a piece of food, carry it into the living room, and throw it around the room and chase it. She loved going to Grandma's house, loved being outside, and loved taking rides in the car. She knew what I was saying even when I wasn't talking to her. She was the best dog I have ever had and she can never be replaced.

I used to take her to the hair salon where I worked and she would just lie on the receptionist's desk and hang out. She was never a problem.

I'm sad that I only got to be loved by her for six short years. I should have been able to have her much longer.

When the vet left the room to get the anethesia and the meds that stopped her heart, I got to be alone with her and tell her how much I love her and thank her for all the gifts she has given me in the last six years. And then, I held her while she went to sleep.

She was the last bit of my pre-married, pre-parenthood life that I had left. She was the last piece of me that reminded me of who I was before I was making lunches and cleaning thrown food from the walls. And she was the only other estrogen in the house besides me!

I will miss her like crazy and have done more than enough crying in the past two days. And the crying will continue, I'm sure.

She was part of the family. Pia, you will never be forgotten and I love you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

*cough, cough* Can I Have a Sick Day, Please? No? I didn't think so.

So, I haven't been sick since March of 2006. Now, 8 days after I cancel my health insurance, I get sick. Duh.

Luckily, this time, I don't have a fever. Just a severe sore throat, nausea, and a runny nose with drainage down my throat. I started feeling bad yesterday morning and it just got worse throughout the day. By bedtime, my throat hurt so bad I couldn't even swallow liquids.

I couldn't sleep last night, plus I had to get up at 4:45 am to feed my son. Then, at 6:15 am, I felt an unnerving presence, like someone was staring at me as I laid in bed trying to sleep. I slowly opened my eyes and saw my 2 yr old standing next to my side of the bed, staring at me. 6:15? Really? He couldn't sleep for just a little bit longer?

I asked my husband to get up with him since I am sick and he did. However, he promptly fell asleep on the den couch, which sent my 2 yr old son right back into our bedroom to get me up. Then, my newborn started crying in his room, so at 7:30 am, I just got out of bed. So much for sleep.

I began to make my son's breakfast and my husband's lunch, then realized that my husband forgot to go to the grocery store last night. So, at 8:30 am, I took my baggy, bloodshot eyes and unbrushed teeth to the store so I could come home and make a dessert and an appetizer for my girl's night out Christmas party tonight, which I wouldn't miss even if my leg got cut off - I'm not missing my once a month opportunity to be kid-free - and then make bbq chicken for my husband for dinner since he won't eat anything but cereal if I don't make the food for him.

Now, it is 10:24 am. I feel terrible, I am nauseated, and it seems like it is about 8 pm already. As grateful as I am for my blessed life, I sure would like some quiet time and sleep so my body can heal itself.

Can I have a sick day today, please? No? Okay. I didn't think so. Yes, I will make you some chocolate milk. And yes, I will pack your lunch. Please don't pull my hair. Yes, I will sit here and play Star Wars with you. And yes, we can turn on iCarly. And yes, I will clean off the dining room table. And yes, I will wash some of your boxers. Yes, I will change your diaper. And yours too. And yes, I will hold you. And yes, ...

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Showdown

So, oh my goodness.

Yesterday. Oh, yesterday.

I didn't think I was going to make it through.

Make it through what?

I'll tell you what.


That's what.

Here is what happened. And this post might be long, so in case you can't make it all the way through, here is how it ends: I didn't run off and join a clan of traveling gypsies in order to escape motherhood.

So, yesterday was chaotic. My son, Max, had his speech therapy evaluation in the morning and just before we were about to leave, he and our bull terrier were chasing each other around the Christmas tree and my son fell and hit his forehead on the windowsill. We were already running late. After comforting him, drying his tears, and watching a red welp and purple bruise form on his head, we jumped into the car and I realized I had left my mug of green tea inside the house. Oh well, no time to get it.

I zoomed down our street and as I am turning left onto the main road, I see something fly off the hood of my car and smash all over the road. It was my ceramic mug of green tea. I HAD remembered to grab it, I just didn't remember that I had grabbed it and put it on the hood of my car. So, then I had to stop and clean up shattered ceramic off the street. Geez.

Later that afternooon, the day just got worse. My son was super grumpy, he was trying to knock over the Christmas tree, knock over the Christmas decorations, he was running around like a maniac, my newborn wouldn't stop crying unless I held him, I was trying to do everything with one free hand, there was no way I was getting dinner cooked, and then our bull terrier knocked an electric Christmas candle off the windowsill and the bulb broke all over the wood floor. And my son was in his bare feet.

I put my newborn, Harry, in his pack n play and put my 2 yr old son in his crib so I could clean up the broken glass. And as I am cleaning up the glass, I hear a THUD and then the pitter patter of little feet running across the kitchen floor. What the?

A little face peeked around the kitchen door.

Oh, crap. My son finally figured out how to crawl out of his crib. I had been dreading this day.

Finally, my husband came home at 6:30 pm and I was so tired, I crawled into Harry's crib with him and we both fell asleep for an hour and a half!
I woke up at 8 pm with Max trying to climb into Harry's crib and sit on top of us.

After teeth brushing and Star Wars playtime, we tried to put Max down at 8:30 pm.


First, Max started by crying and begging to be taken out of his crib. Now, usually, Max is easy to put down. Not sure why he chose last night to bust out the smackdown.

After he cried for a few minutes, he remembered, "Hey! I can crawl out of this little mini prison."

So let the games begin.

For the next 45 minutes, my husband and I took turns returning our son to his crib in Supernanny style. And Max thought it was hilarious. What a fun game!, he thought. You could see the pride on his face. He had outsmarted mommy and daddy!

My husband then decided to turn Max's crib around so that the low front was pushed up against the wall and the high back was facing the room. We thought there was no way Max could crawl over the high back.

And we were right. He couldn't. So, instead, he decided to try and squeeze his body between the wall and the low front of the crib and get out that way.

Suddenly we heard him screaming. My husband ran into his room to find him dangling between the wall and the crib by his neck because his head was too big to fit in between. What if we hadn't heard him screaming? It scared us to death!

So, at 9:30 pm, we decided we had no choice but to transition him and his crib into the toddler bed. My husband took off the front of the crib and we put up the mesh barricade to keep him from rolling onto the floor in his sleep. At first, Max thought it was so exciting that he could get in and out of his bed all by himself. But, that thrill didn't last long.

Once we turned out the light and closed the door, I think he realized that we had taken all the fun out of his new favorite game and he started screaming like I have never heard him scream before. It started out as just screaming out of anger. Then it transitioned into screaming and crying. Then, he just lost it. He yelled and screamed and cried like we were physically torturing him. And even though he could get out of bed by himself, he didn't. It wasn't fun for him anymore. He just sat there in his bed and flailed around screaming.

I checked on him a couple of times, my husband checked on him once, and nothing we did could calm him down.

Finally, at 10:30 pm, I snuck into the hallway outside of his door to listen and see if I should go in again. Suddenly, the green tea I was drinking went down the wrong pipe and I started coughing and choking and making an awful racket. I guess I would flunk out of ninja school.

But, my choking turned out to be a positive happening because my son stopped crying long enough to listen to me outside his door. All the coughing distracted him long enough to calm him down and he fell asleep!

And he slept through the night. Aaahhhhh...

Nap time today should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Leftovers & a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer Giveaway from 3 Kids and Us!

So, 3 Kids and Us and KitchenAid want to make your holiday wish come true and offer you the chance to win a brand new KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer , in your choice of over 20 colors, valued at $349.99!

Enter the KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway and check out the Homemade Holiday Feast recipes that show all the ways the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and attachments can be used to create unique family dishes and save you counter space with one appliance that can be converted to meet your every need.

And no offense, but if you enter this giveaway...I hope I win.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All Pooped Out

So, today I have changed 4 poopy diapers, cleaned up 3 piles of dog diarrhea off the floor, and now our other dog has escaped out of our backyard, taken the poopy diapers out of the trashcan, and shredded those 4 poopy diapers all over our front porch.

I have a permanent poop smell in my nostrils and the fudge left over from Thanksgiving isn't looking all that appetizing right now.

However...on the other is chocolate fudge after all...I think I might need the chocolate dose for my nasty mood more than the sight of it grosses me out after my all day poop fest.

So, okay, I'll eat the fudge. But I'm gonna have to close my eyes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Bad Day

So, today has been a bad day. Plain and simple. One of those days that just slowly breaks you down. I'm sure it doesn't help that I haven't had any sleep in over 2 months (Harry, please start to sleep through the night).

Anyway, I thought I would write about it and hope that the act of writing it out makes me feel better because I've got to feel better before my 2 yr old son wakes up from his nap so I can be a good mommy and not a broken down, sad mommy with no patience.

Everything was fine until I went to pick him up from preschool and one of his teachers met me outside the door. That's never good. She told me how much she still thinks he needs occupational and speech therapy. He is getting worse with his hitting and biting at school and his speech hasn't improved. He can't communicate well, he hardly eats, and he is getting frustrated more and more all the time. I have been able to tell at home, too, that he is getting more and more upset as time goes on. I had to fight back the tears as she was telling me all of this and tried to keep from crying in front of Max in the car.

I know he is a difficult child and I know he needs some type of therapy. I am not blind to that fact. I take care of him seven days a week and some days are so difficult that the day ends in my tears and chest pains. What I don't know is how we will pay for it. Therapies of these types can cost up to $75,000 a year without insurance and Max doesn't have insurance. He has government coverage.

I emailed a girl I know this afternoon who owns a children's therapy clinic and asked her for any information she has on government assistance programs for therapy. We will see.

Today broke my heart.

Then, the cable guy came to hook up our Tivo and I found out that my husband was given some misinformation about the Tivo system when he bought it. So, the cable guy leaves, I call my husband to tell him about the misinformation, he goes into a rage about the Best Buy people, which is where we bought it, and he decides to return the Tivo. Well, then, after the cable guy leaves, our Tivo says it can't receive a cable signal anyway. So, I call the cable company and they can't get anyone out here until tomorrow to fix it. So, no TV.

I promised my son he could watch Dino Dan after his nap because I wouldn't let him watch it before his nap, and now, I have to break that promise because of the stupid Best Buy and Cox Communications people.

And now my husband is freaking out about how we will pay for Max's therapy, how he is going to get revenge on the Best Buy salesman, and how he can get a glass of wine to make it through the rest of the day. Oh wait, I'm the one wondering about how I can get a glass of wine to make it through the rest of the day. Where is that corkscrew?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Wins!

So, as some of you know, I love to enter giveaways! And I've won some pretty great things in the past, too. Last year, I won a pair of lavendar pearl earrings! Here are a couple of my recent wins and the websites from which I won!

First, I won a board book in October called, "My Purple Toes" from Familylicious! I am going to give this to my son for Christmas! Thanks Familylicious!

Then, I found out this morning I won a $25 gift card to My Baby Clothes Boutique from Sugar Pop Ribbons! I love the My Baby Clothes Boutique website. I have entered giveaways for this site before, but I haven't won one until today! Thank you Sugar Pop Ribbons!

I have posted the buttons for these blogs below. Visit both of these giveaway blogs for some great giveaways this holiday season!!


Familylicious Reviews

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, November's half over and I'm just now posting some Halloween pictures. Oh, and our TV blew up.

So, I am way behind in posting pictures. I have discovered that with two kids, my house stays a mess, I am always sleep-deprived, I don't have time to read blogs, and I forget to take pictures because I am so distracted by my two little distractions. However, I did take a few on Halloween, although not as many as I did last year when I was the mommy of a mere one child.

Here is Harry at the Halloween carnival we attended. He slept through it. Party pooper.

Here, Max, or ahem, I mean Spiderman, is fishing for candy at the carnival

We aren't sure what came over Spiderman here, but he decided to forgo his usual hunger strike and is actually sitting still and eating a hot dog. Must be all that crime fighting.

Toot toot! All aboard the train!

Now that we are at home in this picture, Harry is awake.

After the carnival, we all went trick or treating with some kids from the neighborhood. Max caught on quickly and started asking for more candy at people's houses. We taught him well.

On another note, my husband blew up our television last night trying to pry the two DVDS out that our toddler shoved inside. One minute he was fixing it, the next minute, a small explosion and sparks, the next minute, no working tv. So, if anyone in our area has a TV you aren't using and don't mind letting us borrow it, we would love to until we can afford to buy another one. I promise to keep my husband away from it. I need a TV in our living room/dining room for my sanity. I mean, holy gravy, we don't want to have to actually talk to each other while eating dinner. Geez.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm An Auntie!

So, my sister had her baby yesterday! Cardin McKenzie King was born at 12:50 am! She was 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long. My sister had a wonderful birth experience and I am so thankful for that. She wasn't in pain for too long and she only pushed for 20 minutes! So wonderful!

The only pictures I have are the ones I pulled off my brother-in-law's Facebook page. I didn't get to be there for Cardin's birth (my sister lives 6 hours away) because my sister didn't think she could handle having my two boys in her house while she is trying to adjust to being a new mom. And I don't blame her. It is hard enough to adjust without having a toddler running around and another infant crying. So, I won't get to see her until Christmas. But, my sister hasn't seen Harry yet either, so we will see each other's new babies at the same time!

Speaking of Harry, here are some recent pictures of him. He is now almost 10 weeks old. He is still just the sweetest, cuddliest baby and everytime we hold him, he falls asleep. We are still waiting for him to sleep through the night, though. I haven't had more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night since he was born...and those hours aren't usually in a row either! I am getting delirious, but everytime I look in his soft eyes, I am so grateful for him and my older son. And now, my sister gets to experience motherhood, too. It isn't always enjoyable and sometimes it makes me want to jump out a window, but it is all worth it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another giveaway site...check it out!

So, another giveaway blog I follow is Minnesota Mama's Must Haves and she has got some great giveaways this Christmas season in her Holiday Gift Guide 2010. You've got to check her out!

The sneak preview of her line-up this season made me very excited and I can't wait to start entering! Who couldn't use a little help this holiday season? The Holiday Gift Guide 2010 begins November 1 and runs through December!

If you add her Holiday button before November 1st, you get extra entries into her giveaways! So hurry on over!! What are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10 Randoms

1. As of yesterday, Max is now on a gluten-free diet. Please Lord, let it help him. And help me.

2. I found a crayon in the washing machine and a pacifier in the dryer yesterday.

3. I couldn't find my phone earlier when it was ringing - I later found it in the kitchen sink.

4. Today has been one of the most exhausting days I have had so far with two kids. Does everybody have to cry at the same time (and I'm including myself in this scenario)?

5. If I have to vacuum and mop the floor around where my son eats one more time I might jump in front of the mail truck.

6. My dog pooped on the floor today and my son got so upset about it that he threw his chicken across the room.

7. My newborn won't stop crying unless I hold him and I can't hold him all the time because of my 2-yr old, so I might not make it through today without major medication or alcohol.

8. Max colored on the den wall yesterday with a red crayon. Thank God for the Magic Eraser.

9. My 2-yr old only took a 30 minute nap today and is now way too tired, so again, I might not make it through this day without major medication or alcohol.

10. Since I can't take the time to pamper myself while taking care of two fussy small children everyday, I am going to visualize what I would do if time and money were no object.


Aaaahhh, I am so relaxed. It is such a nice change to get to eat my food while it is still hot and watch a morning show while I drink my hot tea. Ahhhhh... What a great day. I think after I casually sip my tea and slowly eat my warm bagel instead of having to shove a cold bagel down my throat in between taking care of everyone else, I will get a pedicure and then maybe do a little shopping. I could use some new cozy sweaters and furry boots. Also, I think I will stop by Kohl's and buy that soft, long, white robe I've been wanting. Then, after I stop off for a hot, hazelnut soy latte, I will go home, put on that soft new robe and watch my DVRed shows from the last few weeks that I haven't had time to watch and maybe even get to eat a hot dinner. By myself. In silence. Around 9 pm, I will snuggle up into bed, without a headache or anxiety for once, pull out that book I have been too exhausted to read, and sip some Sleepytime tea until I fall into a deep, peaceful sleep that no one will wake me from until morning. It will feel so great to get a good night's sleep. Ahhhh...I am so relaxed. What a great day.

Okay...I feel better.

Back to reality. I'm going to go take some Ibuprofen for my headache, eat M&Ms to escape my life, brush my teeth, try to get dressed before 3 pm, eat more M&Ms, try not to lock my toddler in the closet, and watch out the window for my husband to come home and help.

Drink some wine for me, will you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Meeting of the Mommy Kind

So, we had our meeting with Max's preschool teacher this morning. It wasn't an easy meeting to sit through - it is hard to hear that your child is struggling. When I picked Max up from preschool this afternoon, he suddenly looked so small and vulnerable, so fragile and sweet. I did feel a sense of relief after the meeting simply because now we know what issues to work on.

Here is the short version: Max has several issues which make him different from most children, which I already knew. I mean, you can't have the most out of control child EVERYWHERE you go and not know that something is up. Unless you are in complete denial, which we are not.

He has difficulty with social interaction (he doesn't know how to relate to other children and he tends to hit, not out of meanness, but because he doesn't know how to play) and vocabulary (he is two and still cannot process what he wants to say enough for it to come out of his mouth - he can repeat, but he doesn't come up with the words on his own - this results in extreme frustration). He has sensory issues (he has texture issues with food, he spits out his food, he becomes overstimulated very easily in loud places, his clothes bother him so he takes them off in the playground). He is hyperactive (he has an even shorter attention span than most toddlers and has a lot of trouble sitting still - he is never still enough to watch cartoons or play with toys or hear a story, and has trouble following direction when it involves being composed) and has difficulty with coordination (he falls down more often than other toddlers, which results in lots of bumps and bruises, and he tends not to notice objects in his path). He also struggles with any changes or breaks in his routine.

All of these things are fairly normal in toddlers, however, Max has all of them at once and he is on the extreme end of the spectrum.

His teacher recommended that we take him to a pediatrician to be evaluated for occupational therapy or behavioral therapy. We definitely plan on doing this, but the doctor assigned to Max by his government insurance is not a pediatrician - he is a family practitioner, therefore doesn't specialize in these types of children's issues. So, that is one tiny hurdle, but we will get it ironed out.

His teacher also recommended that we take gluten out of his diet (some ADHD and autistic children improve after gluten and casien are removed from their diets), which I considered doing anyway since I have celiac disease and already eat gluten-free.

As I said before, ADD runs rampant in my husband's family, so I am not surprised by any of this. I was just hoping it wouldn't affect my boys.

But, I'm not discouraged. This is just a point from which to begin. We have some challenges ahead of us, but I am positive that we will overcome them and we are so grateful that Max has such a knowledgable and kind preschool teacher. She was so positive in our meeting and we could see how much she cares for the toddlers in her class.

So, here we go on this journey! Wish us luck!

The Ethertons: A Great Giveaway Blog

So, I love entering giveaways. And I actually win sometimes, too.

One giveaway blog that I love is The Ethertons. She always has really great giveaways for families and kids and there are a couple of really great ones I want to tell you about - maybe you might want to enter, too!

So adorable for both boys and girls! I know my son would love to play with this market stand and I am hoping hoping hoping to win it for him for Christmas! This giveaway ends on 10/29, so hurry and get your entries in!

The second giveaway is for a $100 gift card to My Vintage Baby!!

This website has ADORABLE clothes for both girls and boys! I would love to have all of the clothes for my boys! My son needs winter clothes and their fall collection is precious! This giveaway ends 11/5.

So, get on over to The Ethertons! You will be glad you did!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Boys

So, I am down to posting about once a week now. Maybe someday my boys will be able to wipe their own bottoms and I can post more often. Until then...I'm elbow deep in dirty booties.

I went to pick up my 2 yr. old son from preschool on Wednesday and I saw him swat at the teacher because she was telling him to sit still, which he forever has trouble doing. Then, as soon as he saw me, he let out a high-pitched girlie scream (not using his inside voice) and ran down the hallway toward the parking lot. In the lot, he threw his backpack in a mud puddle and then ran the opposite direction of the car with me running after him and once again carrying his baby brother, backpack (now wet and soggy) and lunch box.

When we got home, I put him in time-out about 10 different times, during which he just looked at me and laughed.

Okay, so he's not really flipping me off in this picture, but that was basically his attitude.

So, this morning we requested a conference with his teacher to match up our disciplinary tactics and make sure we are on the same page at home as at school. The conference is Monday morning, but his teacher (whom we love and adore) went ahead and suggested that we look into putting him in occupational therapy so he can learn how to better channel his high energy levels. He is easily the most out of control child everywhere we go and he has an impossible time sitting still. It is very hard on us as parents because it is difficult to take him places, like restaurants, retail stores, or the doctor's office without him running wild.

My husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law all have ADD, so I wouldn't be surprised if Max has a little of that in him, although he is too young to be diagnosed and I never want him "labeled" as anything but a spirited child!

And here is a Harry update: He just turned six weeks old! Harry is just the easiest baby in the world and doing extremely well. He is truly an angel baby and oh so sweet! I couldn't have asked for a better baby. And he looks a lot like his brother! Here are pictures of them both at 6 weeks. The first two are Max and the next two are Harry!



But looks are where the similiarities end! Max was a very playful baby, just like he is today. By four weeks, Max was smiling and laughing constantly! It was so easy to get a sweet baby giggle out of him. Harry, though, is a more serious baby so far. I have only seen him smile a couple of times and I haven't heard him laugh yet (except in his sleep). He makes you work for one of his smiles!

Neither one of my boys cry very often, but when Max did cry as a baby, it was hard to get him to stop and usually we couldn't figure out why he was crying (btw, Max is the same today - if he cries, it's hard to figure out why or get him to calm down - babies truly are born on day one with distinct personalities). But Harry stops crying as soon as we pick him up and it is very easy to figure out what he is trying to tell us. Max was never a cuddler, and he still isn't, while Harry loves nothing more than to be held.

Their birthdays are only 11 days apart, but Max is a Leo while Harry is a Virgo and I can definitely tell their astrological differences!

Well, that's it for now! I am typing with one hand and holding Harry in the other, so this post is taking forever to type!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Love Affair with Sweat Pants and The TERRIBLE twos with lots of capital Ts.

So, oh my sweat pants. How I have missed your cottony comfort in this long, stifling summer season. When I dipped my legs into your cool coziness this morning, I thought I might never have been happier or more comfortable. Please, never leave me again, sweat pants. I need you to wrap me in your mom-jeanish embrace and carry me away from here. Thank you for letting me wear you all day, then sleep in you, then wear you again the next day. You don't judge. You are my true companion. My soul mate. I love you, my sweet sweat complete me.

I had to express my undying love for all my sweat pants because they are the only things bringing me true joy these days. Not just because regular pants still hurt my c-section incision, but because my two-yr old is trying to kill me. I think Max knows I still have high blood pressure from being pregnant, so he is trying to get me to stroke out.

My husband and I don't believe in spanking, but I might be altering my belief system very soon. Okay, well, not really. I don't have the heart to spank. But, I might swat at him while he runs away from me, laughing at my expense. Ha, ha, mommy. You'll never catch me. Watch while I pee on the living room carpet.

He has been very full of himself lately. The last two weeks have been like hell week in a fraternity and I am the freshman pledge. I'm being hazed. I am being beaten up by a cocky 2-yr old.

I know this is all related to being two years old and having to share the limelight with his new, baby brother.

Here are some of the Terrible Two hurdles we, as parents, have had to clear this week (actually, we pretty much fell over them and collapsed on the floor, panting and bruised):

Last week when I went to pick Max up from preschool, he didn't want to get in the car. I was carrying my newborn, Harry, in one arm, and Max's backpack and lunch box in the other arm. So, no free hands. I tried to coax Max into the car for a couple of minutes until I finally dropped his backpack and lunch box and tried to drag him to the car, to which he responded by throwing himself onto the pavement in the middle of the parking lot behind another mother's SUV WHILE SHE WAS TRYING TO BACK OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.

So, this mother is having to wait to leave with her quiet, obedient child, while I try to scrape my screaming son off the pavement with my one free hand. But, he won't get up. He knows I'm struggling and he is half-fake crying and half-laughing. Meanwhile, his backpack and lunch box are strewn across the parking lot.

I needed both hands to carry him to the car, but I couldn't set my newborn down in the street and I didn't want to leave Max in the middle of the parking lot either in the small chance that someone didn't see him kicking and screaming in the road and ran over him. And the other mothers were starting to stare. One mother gave me a sympathetic smile. I hate those sympathy smiles.

Finally, after Max stood up and then threw himself on the ground again, he stood up for good and I pulled him to the car, buckled him in his seat, put Harry in his car seat, and then sat sweating and panting, embarrassed (although just slightly - I mean, he's a toddler. How much can I really reason with him?), in the driver's seat. Lovely.

Then, this past Tuesday, I really thought Max was going to do me in. Here is just a quick rundown of our day:

he threw his breakfast on the floor,

he threw his snack on the floor, (blood pressure rising)

he dumped out the dog's water dish and as I was running to stop him, I tripped over a step in our house and ripped off half of my toenail (ouch),

he threw his lunch on the floor, (our bull terrier had a feast)

while I was changing his poopy diaper, he reached down, grabbed a handful of poop and wiped it on the sleeve of my CASHMERE sweater that has to be HAND WASHED, (blood pressure rising and who has time to hand wash anything?)

he hit his brother in the head with a drumstick, (baby crying and blood pressure rising)

he threw my bracelet in the toilet while my husband was peeing in it, (blood pressure at all time high and now I have to sanitize my jewelry)

he threw his dinner on the floor, (when is my vacation?)

are you getting the picture? I could go on, but we will all need to get up from the computer at some point.

Also, for the past few weeks, he will only eat five foods: cereal, crackers, applesauce, yogurt and pickles. That is it. Everything else ends up on the wall behind his chair. One morning this week, he had cereal and pickles for breakfast. Grody. And he will only drink milk. No water, no fruit juice, just cow juice (as my grandaddy used to call it).

We have been doing time-outs, although he just looks at us from the corner and laughs. He knows the routine. He will start saying he's sorry while he is still in time-out, and then when his time is up and I am trying to explain to him the reason why he was in time-out, he tries to hurry up and kiss me while I am talking because he knows we always kiss at the end and he wants to get up. No time for your explanations, mommy. Just kiss me and let me outta here.

Ay, yi, yi.

But, in the midst of all the chaos, how can I stay mad at this little face?

It gets me every time. I will always be a sucker for that little face.

Mommy loves you, Max. Always and forever. But I would really appreciate it if you could keep your food on the table. Just a suggestion.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Those teeth aren't going to brush themselves...

So, I haven't written or read your blogs much lately because I've been just a teensy, weensy busy. And tired.

If I'm not changing 2 kids' diapers, bottle feeding, feeding my 2-yr old, scraping food off the floor and the walls after feeding my 2-yr old, packing my son's lunch, packing my husband's lunch, doing laundry, cleaning up pee and poop from my dog, Pia, who we just found out has liver failure and is having trouble controlling her bladder and bowels, trying to keep up with the dishes, washing bottles, picking up toys...if I'm not doing any of these things, then I am either eating or sleeping.

Until the baby wakes up or my 2-yr old demands, "Choc mill! Choc mill!" which in his language means chocolate milk.

My house is never clean, I usually don't eat breakfast until I get a headache and realize that I haven't eaten, some days I don't get to brush my teeth or my hair or change my clothes, I'm always tired, we've eaten cereal for dinner several times since the baby came, I found a dirty diaper on my front porch this morning (thanks to a tired husband who didn't feel like walking to the garbage can), I can't keep a constant eye on my 2-yr old anymore so he stuck two DVDs in our TV/DVD combo and now we can't get them out...

Everyday I wonder where the time went and why my house is still such a mess and why I look and smell homeless...

yesterday I realized that my glamour days are over when I found a chunk of peanut butter in my hair and I had no idea how long it had been there...

and now we aren't sure how we are going to continue to pay for health insurance and diapers and bills...

but somehow, through all of this, I am happy. And very grateful. I have two kids. TWO! And I love them both so much. I was afraid I would never have kids and now I have two. And I am married to someone who is an incredible father and a supportive husband. And we love each other. Our lives aren't perfect. Some days my husband and I want to kill each other, we might yell and fight, or we might wish it was legal to drive our kids out to the middle of nowhere and leave them there with a sippy cup of chocolate milk and a couple of pacifiers...

but all in all, I have the greatest life. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

And now, at 3:30 pm, I just might brush my teeth.

Oh wait...nevermind. The baby is crying out for blood and I can hear my toddler dragging a tin cup across the bars of his crib.

Maybe I can brush my teeth tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Toddler's Tough Adjustment

So, now that I have two kids, I can't always follow my 2-yr old around the house 24-7 anymore. When I am feeding Harry or changing his diaper, sometimes Max will escape my line of vision. Our house isn't very big and it is toddler-proofed, so I don't really worry about him getting hurt. I do, however, worry about what he is destroying. Or what he is sticking where.

So far this week, my husband and I have found a candle in our bag of dog food, a xylophone drumstick in the sink drain, a tennis ball in the washing machine, and a snack container in our bedroom at the bottom of our laundry basket. There is no telling what else he has stashed in his hiding places. Yesterday he took my husband's watch and hid it in our bed between the mattress and the bed frame. It took us all day to find it.

Max is having to adjust to a new baby in the house and we can tell he is having some trouble. On the outside, he behaves as if he is excited that the baby is here. He hugs Harry, kisses him, always wants to be touching him, holding him, staring at him. But on the inside, he is having trouble adjusting and it is coming out in his behavior.

Since we brought Harry home, Max has refused to eat most meals. He already didn't eat much, but now he is refusing the few foods that he did eat before. Most of his meals end up on the floor, either because he threw it off the table or because he spit it out. He gets upset faster than before and his tantrums have doubled. He also has been waking up from his nap everyday crying inconsolably. The crying will last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes and nothing we do can calm him down.

My husband has spent a lot of alone time with Max, trying to take him to do special activities, and we both kiss and hug him several times a day. We let him help with the baby (holding the bottle, giving Harry his pacifier, getting a diaper, etc.) and help with other jobs around the house (making coffee, getting the mail, vacuuming). My aunt bought him his own baby doll so he could hold his baby while I hold Harry. We bought him gifts "from the baby." Nothing has seemed to help him in his adjustment.

As his mommy, it breaks my heart that he is going through such a tough time. I know it won't last forever and eventually he has got to discover the joys of food and the joys of having a brother, but until then, I have a daily headache and a gut full of guilt.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I am the luckiest girl in the whole world...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Excuse me for my bloggin' absence, but I was having a bloggin' baby!

No, there wasn't a time warp and we weren't catapulted to September 10th, the date I was supposed to have my c-section (at 39 weeks).

My body evicted Harry ten days early for making me leak pee six times a day and causing general chaos in my abdomen and lower back. So, on Wednesday, September 1st, Harry entered our world.

Harrison Atticus-McKenzie Clark, 6 pounds, 11 ounces, 20 inches, born at 6:12 pm!

On that Wednesday morning, I had been awake since 4 am with a constant menstrual-like cramping in my abdomen. I had had this type of cramping before with both of my pregnancies, but they would eventually go away. These cramps had been constant for hours. Plus, my lower back was aching and I felt enormous vaginal pressure, like the baby's head was about to slip right out.

I went to the doctor late that morning and my OBGYN sent me to the hospital for monitoring. She wanted to see if I was having contractions. Once hooked up to the machine in triage, the nurses saw that my blood pressure was high and I was indeed having contractions, and pretty strong ones too, even though I hadn't felt a single one! I spent about six hours in triage before the doctor on call made it in to see me (still didn't feel my contractions, but they gave me happy drugs anyway). He conversed on the phone with my regular OBGYN and she told him that if I was having contractions or was dilated at all, he should do my c-section immediately because Harry's head was already dangerously low and he could come fast! He checked me and I was dilated 1 cm. So, into surgery we went!

I felt remarkably calm during this whole process, even though my blood pressure was so high. I couldn't have been happier that Harry was coming early! I was ready to meet him and I was ready to not be pregnant anymore!

The spinal block and c-section went well. I spent 3 hours in recovery because of my high blood pressure before I was able to go to my room and spend time with my beautiful baby boy.

Then, Thursday morning, Max came to the hospital to meet his little brother! He was immediately enamored! I love the last picture of my husband holding Max and Max is holding Harry. My three boys.

Max, our two-yr old, has been super stoked about having a baby in the house! He is almost a little too excited. Every time he wakes up, he says, "Baby? Baby?" He has thrown toys at Harry, shaken the baby's pack n play, tried to pour water on Harry, and grabbed Harry's feet in order to pull him around the room. And he loooooves to give him great big hugs!

Since Harry was born at 37 1/2 weeks, he is very small and spends about 23 hours a day sleeping. Because of his small size, we were told not to take him in public for 4-6 weeks. So far, he has been completely content and rarely cries. He doesn't like being messed with though, therefore diaper changes and clothing changes are not his favorite things! He makes squeaking sounds while he sleeps and has perfect almond-shaped, dark eyes and dark hair.

I bonded with Harry immediately and I even don't mind staying up in the night with him. Harry completes our family. My husband and I both look forward to what lies ahead for us now that our family is complete. We have two amazing boys and I can't believe how blessed I am. I never thought I would be the mother of boys, but now I can't imagine anything else. I am so grateful for my life and the family we have created.

Have a good day everyone! I will be sleep-deprived and probably still in my pajamas at the end of the day, but I've never been so happy to be sleep-deprived in my life!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ah, the Joy of Toddler Feedings

So, tonight's dinner was a smorgasbord of rejection. A dinner typical of my toddler.

Here is how it went:

I asked my son if he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. It was just the two of us at home tonight, so we were going light and easy on the cooking. He said yes.

I made us both grilled cheese sandwiches. I ate mine. He took 4 or 5 bites of his and then starting spitting out each subsequent bite onto the table.

He said he wanted crackers. I asked if he wanted peanut butter on them. He said yes.

So, I gave him whole wheat crackers with peanut butter smeared in between. He ate two bites and said he didn't want any more.

He told me he wanted yogurt instead. I get the yogurt. I open the yogurt. I stir the yogurt. He refuses to take even one bite and instead dumps it out on the table.

Then he asks me for apples. He has been on a big apple slice kick lately. So, I get an apple. I slice it up. I give him the slices. He takes one bite and spits it out on the floor.

Dinner's over.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letting go of the baby stuff...hello Big Boy!

So, Max is the big 2 YRS OLD NOW! Mommy can't believe it. He turned two this past Saturday and we had a Star Wars party for him, which I will blog about later when I get all the pictures from family. So, to celebrate the big birthday, we have been letting go of the baby stuff and implementing big boy stuff over the past week!!

For example, preschool. As I said in the last post, his first day was a huge success. Days two and three? Close to success. By day two, he knew he was being left and he cried when my husband left the room. By day three? He wouldn't even go in the classroom. This morning he was all smiles until we rounded the corner and he saw his classroom. He immediately let go of our hands and took off in the other direction. When my husband caught him, he was already crying. Broke our hearts!!

But, the great thing about this preschool is that the teachers sent us mobile phone photos of him playing so that we would know he had stopped crying and was having a good time. This morning, I received a picture of him wearing a painting frock and he was painting on an easel. He looked just fine! What a big boy! Hopefully he will stop crying when we drop him off. My husband is a big 'ole soft teddy bear and he said he can't take it anymore.

Here are some of his new big boy moves!

He got a bike and helmet for his birthday. It is a Specialized bike, the kind with no pedals so that he learns to balance. He absolutely loves the helmet. He wears it around the house all day. He hasn't quite gotten the hang of the bike, but I'm sure it will take no time for his energetic curiosity to kick in and help him ride like the tiny Hell's Angel that he is.

Here are his new big boy shoes. We got him a pair of Nike tennis shoes so he can run even faster. What were we thinking?

We said bye-bye to the highchair and hello to the booster seat! Now, he is sitting at the table with us and he loves it.

And we said good-bye to the rocking chair.

And hello to a new table and chairs set from his grandparents. They have been a big hit with him and he hasn't even missed his rocking chair.

The rocking chair is now in Harrison's room. Speaking of, I am at 37 weeks and I have two more weeks to go until my scheduled c-section. At my doctor's appointment two days ago, my doctor told me that Harry is EXTREMELY low and I need to be careful if I think I am having contractions because I could dilate very quicky. She said I might make it or I might go into labor early. Hard to tell.

However, I can tell a huge difference in the way I feel from last week to this week. This week I have been miserable all day, uncomfortable, having abdominal pain from all the weight, back aches, my feet ache, and I can't get enough rest no matter how much I sleep or lay down. I'm not sure how the next two weeks are going to go, but I want to make it until my scheduled date so that my boys' birthdays are at least three weeks apart.

I will keep you updated!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The first Super Cool Preschool Day

So, today was Max's first day of preschool - EVER! He has never been to preschool or daycare, so my husband and I were a little apprehensive about how he was going to handle being left in the hands of strangers!

We were also a little apprehensive because we know he doesn't really understand about boundaries with other kids yet since he hasn't been around a lot of other children in his short two years. He tends to hit, push, and throw toys when he gets frustrated. Oh, and pull hair.

Here he is getting ready to leave for school! He was super excited!!

Here he is next to a giant whale in our front yard. Oh wait. That's me. Not such a flattering view of my 9-months pregnant curves. Lookin' a little bottom heavy. Yikes.

Max and Daddy in the driveway!

And here is the long walk into school. Max was beside himself with excitement!! He couldn't wait to get inside.

When we dropped him off, he didn't care at all that we were leaving him. And he never cried. I've been told though that the 2nd and 3rd days are harder because by then, they know you are leaving them. So, I hope he doesn't cry next week.

When I picked him up, the teacher said he had an awesome time and he loved being at school. She also said she could tell he is a super confident, happy, no fear kinda kid because he runs and plows over things without looking where he is going during recess. She said he must have lots of bruises. I said, Oh yes.

The teachers did have problems with him hitting and pushing other kids and he even hit one of the teachers, which made me feel horrible. But, she said she thinks he will learn boundaries in this new environment and he will eventually learn what is right and wrong and how to respond appropriately.

And he didn't eat his lunch. Which was no surprise to me.

And that was Max's First Super Cool Preschool Day! Many more to go...