Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dancing progress and Stats

Another one for the grandparents...

Katy had another "recital" for her little church dance class. She did so much better than last time. (Sitting in the corner claiming that she's tired for half the dance is easy to improve on.) She's the one with the huge Fancy Nancy pink skirt in the front.
Oh, and of course there's a little mishap in the middle when David drops his truck under the seat. Sorry about that.

Stats from David's two-year well visit:

28 pounds - 50%'ile (same weight as Katy at her 3 year check-up, incidently)

33.75 inches - 40%'ile

All of my concerns/questions this time were answered with "wait and see." The biggest one is the wheezing stuff, which he said there is still a good chance he'll outgrow by the time he's five, given that he doesn't appear to have allergies. Overall, I'm so thankful for a healthy check-up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Party Hardy (or is it Hearty?)

We've celebrated, and it was a great day. Everyone was healthy (even Katy seemed to be feeling fine), in good spirits, the weather was decent, and we got to spend some relaxing time with family. Birthday success!

Not sure if I mentioned that this was going to be my first attempt at making Wilton cake. It took hours and I was a little disappointed in how it turned out (it's so hard to get the colors exactly right), and THEN part of it got messed up by the foil overnight, but my family did a good job of convincing me that it looked good. I would attempt it again, I think it will be a little easier now that I've done one.

He was happy with it, which is the important part, right?

Now he can be cool like Katy.

It's funny how you have to convince two year olds to open presents, but by the time they're three they can hardly wait.

OH! A drum set? Thanks, Oma! :)

This mini picnic table (with umbrella) is a joint gift for the kids from Grammy and Papa John. I am excited to eat many meals out here this spring and summer.

Aunt Mel got back from the Dominican Republic just in time to join us. She and Aaron are in full-force wedding planning mode.

Dad and Sue helped us kick off the grilling season.

He grinned from ear to ear while we sang...

...and licked his cake plate clean. Happy Birthday, Bubs! It was a fun day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

He's Two.

My Dearest David. Bubs. Davey-Bubs. Bubby-boo. My boy.

In one way, I can't believe that you are two. But in another, I can hardly remember what life was like without you. It seems like a distant past, because it's hard to imagine not knowing your happy little face.

I was just looking at some videos from your first birthday, and you have changed four times over since then. At this time last year, we lived in a different house, you didn't walk or talk, still nursed, and you were very much a smiley chunk of a baby boy.

But now! You are so big! You run up and down the sidewalk pushing your "bike," wrestle with your sister, speak in short sentences, count to 12 (with a little help), take turns, play games, and throw yourself on the floor when you are frustrated. You insist on doing so many things "by-self." This includes many things that you couldn't possibly do, like buckle yourself into your car seat, but you seem down right insulted if we don't let you try.

If there are two things that you love in this world, it's cars and food. You talk about cars on your pajamas, in your books, on the street, in your toy box, on bottles of salad dressing, and anywhere else that you might spot one. Your love of them is so deep, it's endearing.

You also enjoy every opportunity to eat. I'm embarrassed to say that your favorite food is french fries. If there is a single french fry on the table, on your plate or anyone else's, you won't eat anything else until they are gone. I'd like to redeem myself as a mom and say that you love lots of other things like all kinds of fruit and yogurt and carrots, but your passion for them doesn't rival the Almighty Fry.

I was worried about bonding with a son, but you are Mommy's boy and I love our relationship. When you wake up in your crib, you stand up and yell, "Mommy! ARE YOU????" (Where are you?) until I enter the room. You spent much of your first year on my hip, and much of your second on my lap, fingers in your mouth. There isn't much more rewarding than the excitement that a little guy shows for his mom as she enters the room. You are such a cuddly boy, and your momma loves that.

Of course, you love your Daddy and Katy, too. Recently we got another car seat so that we could take one kid in "Daddy's car." You would've thought that you'd been to Disney World to see the look on your face when you got to ride in Daddy's car the first time. It's the highlight of your day when Daddy comes home, and he's your best playmate.

I love the way you say Katy's name: it sounds like "Key." You two are becoming such good buds, playing together often. Of course, you bicker, screaming, "NO KEY! MY TORN!" But you are often found in the corner reading books together, coloring with markers, or playing ball outside. You are comfortable together and good for each other.

I'm sure you have no idea what is about to rock your world in three month's time. But my hope is that you and your brother will be close for your whole life. As long as you don't kill each other first.

You are such a good mannered kiddo. Many times if you request something like, "Snack, Mommy," and I say, "Not right now, buddy, we'll have snack at the park," you'll just say, "Otay," and go about your business. Other toddlers I have known, *ahem*, wouldn't have responded so gently.

Today we're going to celebrate. Some of your grandparents and your aunt and (almost) uncle will be here, and I'm attempting to make a Thomas the Train cake. My wish for you today is that you have a truly enjoyable time, that you feel as loved as you are, and that we would appreciate how blessed we have been for these past two years to have you in our lives. I can't wait to see what this year will bring.

Happy Birthday, Bubs. Hugga, hugga. Mommy loves you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Downward Blip

After a few fever-free days with mild outdoor temperatures, we had presents wrapped and cakes baking for this weekend's birthday celebration. Today was just a little upside-down blip.

We woke up to 2 inches of snow and "feels like" 18 degrees. It was a cold and bitter reminder of how nice it's been the past couple of weeks.

Then by late morning Katy was cranky, feeling warm, and complaining that her "neck" hurt. Considering that she just finished antibiotics for strep throat 48 hours ago, I ran her over to the doctor's office for a late afternoon appointment. Sure enough, strep throat is back. So we got a new prescription and I'm hoping that the 24 hour rule gets her feeling better in time for David's festivities.

So the snow was mostly melted by this afternoon, the sun was shining, and it's supposed to be 70 by the end of this week. Katy started a new prescription and we caught it quickly this time, so hopefully she'll be feeling better by the end of the weekend.

The next week is going to be filled with David's birthday and some Third Pregnancy posts, if I get around to everything that intend. So I'll leave you with some pictures of the sicky that I took on one of the warmer days. It'll remind me that we're headed back there. Right after this blip.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lime-light for #3

Update: We're doing much better than last week. Thanks so much for your encouragement. David's fever remained low grade through the weekend, but we were able to enjoy some incredible weather, cross quite a bit off the to-do list, and clean the CRAZY out of this house. Spring cleaning is good for the soul, especially when your husband does the hard parts. I think/hope that we're healthy, for now. Good thing, because someone has a birthday this week!

As my friend Cindy mentioned recently, we need to give this third pregnancy a little lime-light. So, oh my goodness, I haven't taken a belly shot since 13 weeks, and here I am, TWENTY EIGHT weeks (is that the third trimester already?). So let's start with that. And I always like to compare to past pregnancies.

29 weeks with Katy

29 weeks with David

28 weeks with #3. How can my OB say that I'm measuring exactly on track? And how can I add 12 more weeks of girth?

Friday, March 19, 2010

My own little madness

I'm always conscious of trying not to be too negative. I don't want to sound whiny or full of self-pity. Nobody wants to hear that, I'm sure.

However, I'm struggling to say much of anything right now other than: I'm having a hard time.

Here are the players:

*I mentioned before that a few people close to me are going through some legitimately difficult times. It's hard.

*We are getting ready to get a new roof, sooner than we had planned, and the purse strings feel tighter than usual. I feel a little squirmy about the whole ordeal.

*In the next 8 weeks, I have 2 kids' birthdays, my sister's bridal shower, and her wedding. By the time all of that is over, it's time to have a baby!

*We went to Pittsburgh last weekend to visit Mom and Greg, and the kids developed fevers before we left. It was great to see Oma and Opa, but the fevers persisted, and the kids were definitely feeling worse by Monday (insert Mommy guilt here).

*On Monday, the doc reported strep throat for Katy and ear infection for David. We started both on antibiotics and Katy missed another day of school (St. Patrick's theme).

*On Tuesday, David was in so much pain that he cried inconsolably for several hours. It was so awful that I called the pediatrician again to make sure it wasn't the meds, but they assured me it was his ears.

*Tuesday evening, Brian came home with body aches and an upset stomach. He felt so badly that he missed both Wed and Thurs at work.

*David slept horribly all week - not taking naps longer than 45 minutes and waking up frequently at night. I haven't slept more than 6 hours total any night this week (hi, newborns!).

*With the gorgeous weather outside this week, things really perked up by Thursday. I took Katy on her fire station field trip (she did great), and we spent lots of time outside. Everyone was feeling a little better so I thought surely today would be better. Surely.

*Last night Katy woke up screaming for 30 minutes with leg pain (growing pains, I'm assuming?).

*Then David woke up crying with...you guessed it...another fever. He was very fussy and had me up at 5:30 again this morning (which of course feels like 4:30 with the time change). David has now had a fever for 12 of the last 20 days.

*Took David back to the doctor today. His ears are clear and this is a new illness, most likely a virus since he's already on antibiotics, and possibly related to Brian's illness (please, Lord, no). Just waiting to see who else is going to get what at this point.

So I'm tired. And frustrated. And emotional. And oh, yeah: 6 months pregnant.

And I have to go back to this discussion: how does this happen? the constant sickness? I feel like we are sick so often it's ridiculous, and I know that lots of other families are too, but not all of them. So what am I doing wrong? I could keep them home and away from other kids, but that is almost as miserable to me as the illness (not to mention that we didn't go anywhere this week and David picked something up). And is this going to pay off at some point? Perhaps they won't be as sick as others when they start school? Or are they always destined to catch everything in sight? Perhaps I need to research boosting the immune system.

Or perhaps I just need a nap.

Next week will be better. It HAS to be, right? Or maybe I just need to change my perspective.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Skunk Story

Thanks for all your room sharing advice. I was a bit surprised, because not one person selected the option toward which I was leaning, and most people selected an option that I wasn't considering at all: putting the two boys together right from the start. Hmmmm...so with that, at least I feel like I should have that option on the table. Feel free to chime in if you haven't already.

We're trying to make a trip to my mom's, trying to get past another round of illness (argh!), and trying to wrap our heads around a lot of hard stuff that has happened in the last few weeks to some we love. So my head is everywhere, and I'm just going to tell you about another skunk issue.

Our live-in skunk has been "excluded," as they call it, and our porch has been protected from more residents for the time being. I've heard from at least 4 neighbors on our cul-de-sac that they've had resident skunks of their own, so it's obviously a neighborhood problem.

Yesterday I was on the phone with my Granny, and I looked out the front window to see two boys across the street playing in their yard, and a fat cat-sized skunk moving strangely around in the broad daylight within a few feet of them. It immediately struck me as odd and terrifying, so I got off the phone and stepped out onto the porch, right as the boys noticed the skunk and screamed their bloody heads off. I yelled over to them to slowly move inside and tell their mom to come out. Meanwhile, the skunk was behaving very strangely: unbothered by the kids and the yelling, limping very slowly around and looking confused. Honestly, it looked like it was dying. I had read some online during our own skunk problems about the behavior of skunks with rabies, and this scared me a bit. So I immediately tried to call Animal Control.

Except here's the thing. Did you know there is no longer such a thing as Animal Control? I called several places and was told that, "no government funded offices address animal related issues any longer," and that the days of animal control are gone by the wayside. They said that I'd have to hire a private company, like we just did, to remove it.

Eventually I was directed to the Ohio Wildlife Foundation (?), and they were actually concerned and knowledgeable. This whole time I was still watching the skunk limping around in the front yard across the street. After maybe 10 minutes, it wandered under someone's deck out of sight.

So the funny part: The Wildlife Foundation told me that unfortunately, the only way they could help was if I brought the skunk into their office. I literally laughed out loud. I can just see me, skittish around household mice, capturing a sick, possibly rabid skunk and then putting it in my car to drive to some unknown location. With led me to the question: are there some people who would?

The folks at The Foundation were very kind and helpful, and I understand that with funding the way it is these days, cuts have to be made and that probably makes sense. And I don't know what I wanted them to do, exactly, I was just feeling nervous that this sick animal was wandering around so close to kids in the neighborhood, and there was nothing we could do about it. I guess that's just the way it is.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Bring It: Room Sharing Opinions

The situation:

Our current home has an abundant four bedrooms. Currently there's the master, one for Katy, one for David, and the guestroom. As you know, we're getting ready to add Number Three to the mix, and there's some question in our minds as to what we should do with the bedrooms.

The facts:

-We use our guestroom pretty frequently. So frequently, in fact, that I tried to add up it's number of uses in the past year and I can't even remember the past few months. It's somewhere between 1 and 2 weekends a month, on average. Plus the occasional during the week visitor.

-We want these people to keep coming to visit, especially since each subsequent child makes it more challenging for us to travel. I'm worried that not having a good place for them to sleep will (perhaps even subconsciously) keep them from visiting as often.

-We usually keep the baby in the room with us for about 3 months. Beyond that, I'm ready for them to be in their own space. And in my experience, the infant needs their own sleeping space for at least a year, because my kids have never slept through the night before 10 or 11 months.

-David is a much better sleeper than Katy at this point. He's still in a crib. He sleeps about 11 hours at night and takes a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, and I rarely hear from him at night. Katy, on the other hand, sleeps 9-10 hours at night and only takes a nap about half the time and only for an hour. And she doesn't go to sleep quietly - she's bouncing all around the room for an hour, in and out of the potty, talking, singing, playing, etc until 9 or 10 in the evening.

-We have 2 cribs, so that's not an issue.

-Katy's current room is certainly large enough to add a second child. David's room and the guest room are smallish.

The options as I see them:

Option A: Move David into Katy's room, Number Three into David's room, and keep the guest as is.

Option B: Put Number Three in the guest room, moving the queen bed out entirely. Guests would have to sleep on the double size futon downstairs. (or elsewhere?)

Option C: Do some kind of combo guest/kid room, for example, put the queen size bed in Katy's room, and then when guests come, Katy bunks in with us or one of her brothers. Or other combinations might be possible, like moving the queen and #3's crib into the big room, so that the baby can easily sleep in a pack n' play when guests come.

What I want from you:

First, which option would you choose if you were us? Not that I'm necessarily going to go with the majority, but I'm just curious what others would pick.

Next, what is your experience with kids sharing a room, especially at these young ages? Do they eventually adapt their sleeping habits and sleep just as well as before? Or does everyone just get less sleep and you have to deal with it?

Finally, do you think there's a certain age at which it would be ideal to start sharing rooms? I would envision sometime in the future having the 2 boys share, but when?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

42 degrees of hope

Getting over the mud is going to be a challenge for me in having two boys.

HE insists on the helmet, not me.

A few feet shy of going anywhere...

The only way he's moving.

Had to wrestle her inside for lunch.

There's something different about the outdoor smile. I can't wait to see it more often.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

If Momma Ain't Happy...

When Brian and I got married, the wedding lasted well into the evening, and then we had an early flight the following morning. I don't remember how early, but I remember thinking, "Ugh."

So we woke up early the morning after our wedding, caught a shuttle from the hotel to the airport, wrestled through the boarding process, and settled in for our flight to Reno, NV. Finally, we'd have a couple of hours to relax and talk about all the details that have gone on over the past 24 hours as we threw the biggest party of our lives for everyone we knew and committed to be husband and wife for the rest of our lives.

But we didn't anticipate the guy who would be sitting next to us on the plane. From the moment he sat down, we knew we were in for a trip. This guy was a Piece. Of. Work. He didn't stop engaging us in conversation from the moment he sat down, telling us every detail of his life, his business, his wife, his kids, his house, etc, etc, etc.

Even though it was a little annoying, we were giggling the entire time, because you couldn't help but laugh at the guy. I mean, who is this guy?

So about an hour into the flight, he somehow discovers that we just got married yesterday and we're on our way to our honeymoon. He's floored that we didn't tell him until now. (Perhaps if he had taken a breath). So then he starts in on the marriage advice. Again, we are cracking up.

Then it happened: he turned to Brian and gave him a piece of advice that would be repeated on a regular basis in our household, half jokingly, but with a grain of truth. He said, "Let me tell you something, son:

'If Momma Ain't Happy...Ain't Nobody Happy.'"

So for all this time, I've thought that Mr. Airplane Talker had created this hilarious piece of wisdom, even words to live by, really. But then I googled it and realized that it's a song. Actually, there seem to be several songs with this title that are very different.

But original or not, that guy will be with our family forever, as we bring it up quite often. Because it's true. So true.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Weekend hiccups

(side note: I was about to use the word "snafu" in the title and went to dictionary.com to make sure I was spelling/using it correctly. Then I read the "origin," and it was enough to make me change my mind about using the word. I had no idea. The last two letters of the word might give you a clue.)

Plan for the weekend:

1) Visit from Brian's folks, sure to include playtime for kiddos and lots of college basketball.

2) Cook a month's worth of meals to freeze.

Simple enough.

Not in the plan:

1) Saturday morning fever from David, very fussy toddler, and puking for the first time in his life (thankfully only once, and in the kitchen, for relatively easy clean-up).

2) Hearing a crash, and then noticing insulation in the backyard, only to discover that your entire gutter is hanging by a thread and exposing your attic to the elements. On Saturday at 4:00. More snow predicted for Sat. night.

Secrets to success despite hiccups:

1) In-laws who are happy to play with a toddler even though he's puking, and will even take a break to chop some vegetables. (I have 24ish meals in the freezer, and spreading it out over the weekend went much more smoothly for me.)

2) An incredibly generous and skilled neighbor who was able to bring a second ladder and offer wisdom and assistance on how to re-hang the gutter until roofers can get here this week. Even a neighbor who has an overflowing plate of his own right now. (The gutter is back to normal and a roofer is scheduled to come on Wednesday to talk about the options. Obviously it has to stop snowing before they can do much.)