Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chores

Anyone with kids knows that little helpers sometimes make the jobs a little longer. Vaccuming is quite the process around our house because Patrick wants to help, and Eli wants to chase the vaccum. I just try to view it as play time rather than chores because hey, both kids are having fun and cleaning happens to be a bi-product of that fun, and that attitude is a LOT less stressful for me as we take our 20+ minutes to do the family room.
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Just swingin' in the rain

About 2 months ago we got an old porch swing from Joe's grandparents who live in Broomfield, but it's been sitting, not swinging, on our porch for a while because we didn't have a proper way to hang it. Yesterday evening Joe got busy and put it up for us, though! I got semi-busy and made a pillow for it, but I still need to make the bottom cushion of the same material. About 10 minutes after we put it up it started raining! Patrick had a great time running half-naked in the rain, but we were busy hauling all the tools and stuff inside so we didn't get to enjoy it as much as we were anticipating that night... oh well, the rest of the summer and fall are OURS! It fits perfectly on our porch, I'm so excited to hang out on it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tidbits

I noticed while filling in Eli's baby book that what I always suspected is statistically verifiable - he's long and lean! Sometimes people comment that he's chunky, but I've noted he's just average - average height and weight, so he's certainly no "chunk" by any standards. Well, I lied, he's not average - he's in the 90th% for height! Only the 40th% for weight; long and lean. No more "chunk" comments for him :)

Yesterday was tough with Patrick - lots of tantrums (from everyone, including we "adults"), two poop accidents (one at the zoo and one on his bed at home), and a long day of gradually thinning patience from me, so when I'd had enough I put Patrick to bed early. As I tucked him in without a bedtime story, he gave me a kiss and said, "wuv you, mam." It was the first time he's EVER told me he loves me (usually when I say "I love you" he says "yah"), so it was bittersweet. Maybe it was a reminder for me to be patient with him, maybe he just hadn't thought we'd had a bad day (we DID go to the zoo and use our yard blowers, after all), but whatever the reason it was very sweet, if not also a bit heart-wrenching. Being a parent is SO TOUGH sometimes, and sometimes I feel I'm failing even as I'm working so hard not to, so his declaration brought some hope that even if I lose the battle, I'm still winning the war.

Speaking of winning the war, Patrick has suddenly become very polite! I try to remember to have him ask "please" when he wants something, but I rarely, if ever, require "thank you," (though I say it myself). Last week, then, out of the blue, he began saying "thank you" for everything I did! Getting him juice, making him lunch, popping in a movie, tucking him in, and today for wiping his bum after he pooped. In fact, he said "Fank you! Good job wipe, mam." Well, happy to know I can be of service :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Arrrrrg!

There's a new library in town - THANK GOODNESS! That's absolutely not what this post is about, but it's a huge lifesaver. It opened Saturday and we moseyed on over for the first time this afternoon. They have an open tumbling area in the kids section with large nylon-covered foam blocks for crawling and climbing. Awesome!

NOT so awesome: annoying kids whose parents are horrible at disciplining. Everyone is there to have fun, and to have fun everyone has to share the blocks. So there's this kid, Gabriel, about 4 years old, who obviously doesn't grasp the SHARING concept as he gathers blocks from hither, thither, and yon, INCLUDING gathering one from right under Eli, causing him to completely faceplant and cry. What do his parents do? BOTH parents, who are sitting in the back corner and watching him? They call "Gabriel, no no! Give that back to the baby!" Which he DOESN'T do, which prompts them to... ? Any guesses? DO NOTHING. Even worse? His big sister (6-7 years) helped him steal it. OK, seriously? You are a BIG KID, this is a BABY, you have EVERY OTHER BLOCK IN THE LIBRARY, just LEAVE HIM ALONE. I'm not much for stepping in with arguments between kids, I think they need to learn how to resolve conflicts for themselves, though sometimes adult guidance is helpful (lest "resolve" mean "punch in the face"), but obviously Eli couldn't do anything so I gave a nice reminder (fake smile plastered on my face) that everyone needs to share, you don't take things from other kids, and by golly he's a baby. Gabriel continued to gather and stack, stealing toys from Patrick and every other kid having fun, while his parents chided in every now and again, "Gabriel, no no!" without budging from their seats. SERIOUSLY, it was the most ineffective "discipline" I've ever seen, and not only was I ready to give Gabriel a nice reminder of rules of common courtesy, I had a few choice words (and parenting books) picked out for those parents. The only time they actually called him over (they didn't move an inch, where I would have been out of my chair AGES ago) was when he called Patrick "stupid" for taking one of "his" blocks. Arrrrrrrg! We'd planned to spend a nice few hours at the library, but it was cut about in half by someone spoiling it for everyone. They were there when we got to the library, and they were still there when we left, so we'll just have to try again next time.

Climbing

I set Eli in the basement yesterday so I didn't have to set up a baby gate, since he hasn't (ahem, hadn't) made it past the 2nd stair yet. Not one minute later he was happily playing with his toys at the TOP of the stairs. Whoa, buddy! I suppose gates are a fact of life for a while, then... but when to let him learn on his own? Patrick didn't have any stairs to practice on until we moved into this house when he was 18 months old, and the first day we lived here he fell down them, head-over-heels, pancake-style. So this is new territory, please let me know if you have any suggestions! For now, gates - he gets enough tumbling thanks his big brother wrestling him!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bedtime Stories

Patrick has enjoyed reading/snuggling for a long time, but recently he surprised me by reading along! I guess he's heard these stories a few more times than I thought :)

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordy, pictureless updates

We've been having tons of fun avoiding responsibilities and hanging out with family lately, so I fully intended to go in-depth about all the fun, but then I didn't take any pictures of ANYTHING, and no pictures = no fun (to read). Lately I've just ignoring the rest of my life ENTIRELY in favor of sitting on my couch and reading Sacajawewa, a highly engrossing and very lengthy book about (you guessed it) the life of Sacajawea, written in historical fiction. Though unfinished, I highly recommend it, I think 700 pages already read can qualify me for giving a recommendation, don't you? So that's us, I'm actually just here checking my own blog to try to remember a few firsts of Eli's as I'm filling in some blanks in his baby book. Whoops!

I also forgot to update on Joe's car: It was NOT totaled, so we just payed our deductible and they fixed it. It was only cosmetic damage, and now the car looks better than ever! Seriously! The bad news, of course, is that we still have to pay the ticket and we don't even want to know the damage to our insurance payments. We'll definitely keep you in the dark on how that turns out, and just cry silently to ourselves.