Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I wanted to post this video when it was fresh; now Eli is much better at walking than this, even. I think he practices in his crib after naps because I don't remember that Patrick got the hang of it this quickly. From taking his first steps only 2 weeks ago, now he can stand up unassisted in the middle of the room to start walking, and even change directions. What a big guy!
A HAWK! Eating his breakfast on our woodpile, which was kinda yucky (especially when he flew away and left some bloody scraps and feathers), but mostly it was really awesome! Patrick was pretty excited about it, too, and Eli was so excited he decided to scare it off by banging on the windows. Thanks, li'l buddy :)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
In general, Patrick is good - just an awesome 2 1/2-year old who surprises me every day. He's not good at the moment, though; he picked up hand/foot/mouth disease and has had the WORST TIME of it. It gives kiddos rashes on their hands and feet and possibly bum, then sores in their mouthes. Both boys got it, both had mild fevers, both had mild rashes, but while Eli got over it, Patrick has the sorriest looking mouth you've ever seen - he won't stick out his tongue to show Joe, but I've seen at least 3 horrendously large, white, broken clisters on the bottom of his tongue, and I'm assuming he has others around his cheeks/gums/etc. We heard it was pretty mild, Tylenol should get him through the trauma of eating, but NOT SO. It's been 72 hours since he had any solid food, poor guy, though he keeps asking for it and then BAWLING as soon as he puts it in his mouth. Day 1 we figured this would be quick, so we stuck with milk and gatorade. Day 2, still no go on anything but liquids, so we added fruit & yogurt smoothies to the mix. Day 3 we realized we could be in it for the long haul, so breakfast yesterday morning was a smoothie with a banana, peanut butter, milk, and 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal - breakfast from the blender! He drank it all down, but hasn't had anything since. We read it generally lasts about a week, but COULD last 2-3 weeks... this morning he woke up in good spirits and hasn't taken medicine in over a day, so I hope we're on the downhill slope! I am already dreading that this may be a long winter with lots of illness unless I quarantine our family until May of 2011, which brings its own set of things to dread, like cabin fever a la "The Shining."
But whether it's 2 more days or 2 more weeks I know he WILL get over this eventually, so up until now, and after this bout, here's what Patrick has been up to: spending lots of time on his own. Every day he is allowed to watch a movie while Eli takes a nap. Since he stopped napping movies have been his "down time" and generally stave off evening tantrums, with the added benefit that I get to take my own nap during this time. He initially woke me up numerous times for his needs but has become completely independant lately, which is AWESOME - he can go potty without any assistance whatsoever, he has one glass of juice and knows he won't get another snack til I wake up, and when his movie is done he takes it out of the DVD player and puts it on top of the TV (which he turns off) and then goes and plays by himself until I get up. It's CRAZY, and I like to think he is exceptionally self-sufficient for a 2-year-old. Am I right? He plays trains, reads himself books, digs in the sandbox, gets out all his dinosaurs for a dino-brawl... I've said before that my house is not baby-proof, it's Patrick-proof, and this is just an example of that. Let any other 2-year-old loose in my house without supervision and it would be destroyed, I'm sure.
Outside of my nap time and his play time, he is currently obsessed with dinosaurs. We get the $1 dinos from WalMart, which have the names on their tails, and he is incredible at remembering and pronouncing their names - not just T Rex, but Pachycepholasaurus and Parasauralophus and ankylosaurus... and he corrects me when I misname one! Heaven forbid! So we read lots of dinosaur books and got him a dino costume for Halloween, I figure it's a good love to encourage! Certainly I can think of much more annoying things that kids falls in love with... He is still the world's sweetest boy and LOVES to snuggle and read books, indicating how many he'd like to read by holding up that number of fingers - sometimes ten, sometimes two, depending on how long he's trying to put off bedtime. No matter how many books we read, though, he still wants "four minutes 'fore bedtime," silly boy. He pets my face and smiles and tells me "you happy to see me!" to which I am required to answer "I'm always happy to see you." If he gets in trouble his defense is "you happy to see me!" with a sob in his throat and a tear in his eye, or if I'm yelling at him he yells at me, "you happy to see me!" so because I'm happy to see him (aka I love him) I can't yell or get him in trouble, I guess. I've been working on explaining the difference between me loving him and me NOT loving that he just hit Eli :) He likes to look at pictures, and my scrapbooks have made a handy reference to how babies grow and his family on both sides, but he often requests pictures we don't have, like "daddy and Fafa on an airplane." Sorry, bud, I don't have pictures of EVERYTHING! Hmmmm... there are 10 bajillion things to write, but I think this is quite long enough!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
After leaving off on the most sour note I can imagine, Joe and I had a few days of intense discussion about housework, jobs, child-rearing, etc, and after much gnashing of teeth we came to a remarkably simple solution: after we put the kids to bed we should clean together for 20 minutes. I will continue to do my best during the day to keep the house from burning down or being overrun with garbage, but since we both know that wasn't cutting the mustard, we will combine forces. 20 minutes is quick, so we don't feel like we're losing our evening to cleaning, and with 2 people doing it it's really equivalent to 40 minutes of MY time, so a lot gets done. And what doesn't get done probably wasn't that important anyway. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, either - if the house is good enough for us and we're just not feelin' it, forget the 20 minutes. Like I said, it seems pretty simplistic after all that I wrote, but it seems to solve the problem of me feeling overwhelmed and him feeling like it's still not good enough.
Enter problem #2, where barely 2 weeks later Joe thought it was another *really good idea* to drop bombs on a pregnant lady and tell her "I don't feel like we're in love anymore." THAAAAAANKS. Because you telling me I wasn't good enough TOTALLY made me feel in love with you, too. Fortunately, I suppose, we lost that loving feeling (whoa-ah, whoa-ah, whoa) at the same time, so we were both ready and willing to work on it. Also fortunately I happened to be reading a relationship book at the time that gave me some insights and ideas. So while the bomb should have been pretty big, it was more like a dud, and within the hour we'd made a pact to start ACTING like we were in love. We weren't missing anything huge in our marriage, but we were missing the little things that add up to something that feel huge, so we each need to work on adding back the little things, like giving REAL kisses when the other gets home, hugging more often, calling during the day to check in, leaving little notes, bringing each other surprises from whatever we were doing that day, etc. Everything that's natural when you're dating and wooing but becomes a bit of a chore when you've already got your plate loaded with kids and home responsibilities. We even went on our first date in a long time, and it was a huge success! I was only in charge of picking the babysitter instead of the date, time, place, etc. BIG step in the right direction!
September was an eye-opener for me, I suppose, that marriage is work. When you're so in love at first it seems like it could NEVER be work, and *obviously* people who have to work at it are doing something wrong or weren't really in love in the first place... but that's ridiculous. From the first week we were dating I KNEW that Joe and I were meant to be together, always. Perhaps somewhat thanks to that knowledge, and thanks to growing up a bit, I know it's still true, but I also know things take work. Time. Effort. 110% from both sides. And if I ever considered starting again, it would be just that - starting this saga ALL OVER AGAIN. And NO THANK YOU. Marriage is difficult, but dating? Life decisions? Blending families? Falling "out of love" and into habit again? It seems roughly 1,000,000x easier and more fulfilling to keep working at it and get it right THIS time. So Joe and I will keep plugging away at reconnecting and I will keep plugging away at being my own personal best. No, not the World's Best Housekeeper, but simply my personal best. And let's anticipate doing this again in a few months because 2-3 nuclear-scale meltdowns a year seems pretty standard for me. Sound good? Good.
I'll update on the boys soon, they're a whole different story!