Monday, February 27, 2006

Today I was sure Nicholas would fall asleep in his big bed at nap time. I put all his toys out of reach and gated the door to his closet. I pu the diapers, the wipes, and the trash bin on top of the changing table so he couldn't reach it. I made sure there would be nothing fun, NOTHING FUN AT ALL in his room to distract him from the sleepy state of after nap and story drowsiness...

And as I was putting Nate down to sleep, I heard noises. They weren't loud, but they weren't sleep noises.

You know, I read somewhere at some point that it's a good idea to put your toddler's clothes in the lower drawers so that he can get his own clothing. It's supposed to be good for self esteem,

Well, when I walked into his room he was shoving the very last items of clean clothes into his very full laudry hamper, which was full of his clean clothes. Clean clothing I had previously washed and folded and placed into his dresser. And he decided it would be great to put them in his hamper. I can't get him to put his dirtly clothes into the hamper. I can't get his DAD to put dirty clothes in the hamper. I can't even get Nick to put his stuffed animals into the stuffed animal bin. But clean clothes from the dresser and into the hamper for no reason except that mommy took away all the fun things to do? Yeah.

If anyone has any clues on how to get this kid to start drifting off in the big bed, I'm all ears. Really.

ALSO - please notice the two new blogs I have linked to! They are both really funny and worth a read.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Nick is still using his crib to fall asleep at nap time. If I put him in his "big boy bed" he keeps getting out of bed to play, and entire naps have been skipped because he just doesn't fall asleep.

I've always wondered why he goes right down to sleep at night. There's never any arguing, and never any tears. I read to him, kiss him, turn out the lights, and wave good night. Twenty minutes later I check on him and he is asleep.

Last night I discovered the secret: he IS getting out of bed. I would never have known. He is very quiet about it. But last night I went to check on him and found him fast asleep, gently nestled among every single toy care, truck, and train he owns.

I don't really care. I mean, it would be nice to know when he gets to sleep so I know how much sleep he's getting, but I suppose I never really knew that anyway. I never know exactly when he wakes up in the morning, especially now that he can get out of bed and play quietly (or not so quietly). And as long as he's going back to bed himself instead of screaming or sneaking out or throwing wild parties, I suppose I count myself fortunate.

I AM still trying to find a way to get him to fall asleep in his big bed at naptime. If anyone has any ideas, I'm listening.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My brother Jamie called me yesterday.

For those of you who haven't heard, my brother Jamie is in Thailand for the next few months teaching English to Thai children in a rural village. So a phone call from him is a VERY big deal.

Jamie has his own Blog and there is a link to it here - see "THAILAND 2006" under the link section. He doesn't post as often as I do, but let's faceit: his blog is MUCH more interesting than mine, primarily because he is a good looking, idealistic, single guy with a good sense of humor living in Thailand, and I am a strange married mother of two who stays at home with my kids. You can read about thrush, naps, and shopping for a cooktop stove, or you can read about his adventures as he tries to teach these kids to read, write, and speak english, all while learning to navigate the unfamiliar culture.

Jamie is really a great person, and I miss him a lot. I'm so glad he called!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Nathan officially has his days and nights mixed up.

He wakes up only twice a night, and stays awake for hours each time. I will begin the night with a resolve to be patient, but gradually, as I watch the clock get closer to the time when I have to wake up, I turn to panic and despair. "Go to sleep! " I command the baby. Be he does not listen. I try reasoning with him, and explaining that the night time is SO much more boring than that daytime, which is SO GREAT! But he doesn't listen.

He will drift into a deep sleep at around 5:30am, just when daylight begins to break. Nick wakes up about 30 minutes later, and the day has begun.

For everyone but Nathan.

Nathan then falls asleep and pretty much sleeps for the rest of the morning. If he wakes up to be fed, he goes right back to sleep. He sleeps through trips to the store, games of hide and seek, and Nicky jumping up and down to The Wiggles. He stays asleep until about 10 minutes before Nick's naptime.

I used to be able to sleep during Nick's naptime. Now I am faced with a decision. Do I try to get Nate to sleep - AGAIN - so that I can nap myself? Or should I rejoice that he is awake and try to keep him awake as long as I can so that he'll know the daytime is SO GREAT and he really should be awake for as much of it as possible so that he will sleep at night.

I suppose it doesn't matter, since he usually stays awake until about 10 minutes before Nick wakes up.

It isn't always like this, but it has been for the last couple of days. I'm hoping tonight will be different - I'm allowed to hope. And tomorrow is Steve's day to wake up with the boys. Don't think I don't wait all week for that!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Speaking Nicholas:

Nick is learning new words every day - honestly, he says more than "Shut up." In fact, this is the time in his life when he will pick up most of his vocabulary. Children learn more words at this time of their lives than any other time. The trouble is, they understand more than they can speak. As a parent, however, I have the advantage of understanding most of what he means. Here is a little guide, should you ever find yourself having a conversation with him, or if you should ever catch him on the phone.

nana - banana
nana - breakfast
guk - milk
guk - truck
guk - puck
uk - book
uk - duck
osh - juice
osh - ouch
key - cookie
Key - Cookie Monster
key - key
iss - cheese
iss - fish
iss - this
toe - tomato
at - cat
at - hat
Emo - Elmo
ap - clap
gee - doggie
no - no
cha - yes (sure)
cha - chair
dada - daddy
dada - man
dye-dye - bye-bye

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nicholas loves our pets.

Nicholas has been knows to feed Gunther whole hamburger buns directly from the bread drawer. So now Gunther lets him do whatever he wants. Except step on his nose.

Nicholas also loves the cats. He runs after them, shrieking and laughing. He also calls out "Guk! Guk!" Which is his way of calling Puck, our fluffy white kitty not pictured here. This is kind of sweet because Puck will not have anything to do with anyone, especially not Nick, who has been known to try to sit on him, as he is sitting on Gunther in this picture. Nick also loves to chase Frank, pulling his tail, and Frank will actually let him get close and pat him a few times.

It makes me smile when Nick laughs just because there is a cat on TV or in a book. But nothing makes me happier than seeing just how far Gunther will let Nick go. Gunther may be hyper and he may be hard to control. He may jump up on strangers and bark and he may growl at me or at Steve when we yell at him for eating a whole chicken or tell him to go outside after he licks all the cheese off the pizza we specifically put high up out of his reach... but he is always nice to Nick. Nick is the only one he leta close to him while eating, even letting the kid dig his hands into the bowl and scoop out handfulls of dog food nuggets.

Hey - I guess he figures it will come back to him in hamburger buns.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Last night Nicholas went to sleep in his very own big boy bed. There were no tears. There was no fighting. He only got out once and waved good night to me from the baby gate at his doorway. I told him to go back to bed and that I'd be in soon to sit in the chair while he fell asleep. He said something I couldn't quite understand and when I peeked back in the room he was in bed with his note book - a pocket sized composition book he clings to like a security blanket. The next time I checked on him it was stuck to his cheek and he was asleep.

Of course, I still couldn't get him to nap there. I read him a story this afternoon, hoping things would go smoothly, but when I got up to leave he got up with me, and ran over to his crib with one of his stuffed animals. Obviously he likes it better there.

I'm hoping tonight he sleeps just as well. Then the only huge issue I'll have (bed-wise) is getting him to fall asleep there for his naps... And hoping he doesn't throw a mega fit when Nathan starts sleeping in the crib.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nathan has thrush.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines
thrush as "any of numerous small or medium-sized songbirds that are mostly of plain color often with spotten underparts." Before you wander off thinking that Nathan is some sort of genius infant ornithologist, let me assure you this is not the kind of thrush I am speaking about. No, the thrush I'm speaking about is actually a yeast infection which infects the mouth, throat, and tongue. Oh yes. Nothing but fun with this one.

I noticed the other day that Nathan had little white spots on the back of his toungue. "Big Deal," I thought. "The only time he opens his mouth he's either spitting up or I'm shoving milk in." But a few days later I noticed the white spots were still there. I reached in with my finger, ignoring Nate's objections, and tried scraping one off. But it didn't work.

Finally I called the doctor - on a Saturday morning, of course - and the nurse perscribed a medication for me. I thought the trip to the drugstore would be speedy, but it took forever - mostly because I forgot the drugstore wouldn't have my 5 week old on file there already. WHen they called my name I stepped up and the pharmacist very loudly, as though explaining to a classroom of students, explained how I should apply the medication to the inside of each cheek. "One ML only" he said two or three times. And also "Make sure your hands are clean!"

I appreciated the fact that he wanted to make sure Nate was correctly medicated, butthe way he kept reminding me to wash made me feel less than hygenic. I wanted to rush home and hop in the shower. Of course, my hair was still in the braids I had slept in, my glasses were spotty with fingerprints, and I was wearing a huge sweatshirt, but hey - it was a Saturday morning! I was tired! And it's not like I had tar under my fingernails. I was unkempt, but CLEAN!

Anyhow, I just want you all to know that I have gotten over that hump of being sad and sorry for myself - honestly, who has the time? Especially now that I need to find time to rub sticky goo on the insides of my baby's mouth four times a day! Thanks for the support, it really helped. And now that I found my sense of humor again (it was in the dryer with the sheets) I am now ready to go. To my mother in law's. For lunch.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

There are days when I could use a break.

I love my children, and every day I am grateful that I am able to stay at home with them and be with them as they grow. I don't regret the decision I made to give up my job. I know that if I had tried to balance the both of them my life would be a mess, and I would constantly be short changing either my kids or my workplace. As much as I miss the people I worked with and the work I was doing, not to mention the adult conversation and the feeling that I could actually get something done... well, I don't really have any regrets.

But yesterday Steve came home from work and I cried at having him home again. I was so glad to have another adult to speak to, someone who would see what little monsters I had to deal with all day, and who could help me out by dealing with one of them as I made green beans for dinner, who could pick up a child when it cried if I happened to be changing the other's diaper.

One day last week my OB's office called to check up on me and make sure I was doing OK. The woman I spoke with mentioned that I was upbeat and had kept my sense of humor, which made me kind of proud, if you want to know the truth. But it made me think about depression, particularly postpartum. I had not known, for example, that postpartum depression can occur anytime during the first year after the birth. I would have given it a few months, tops.

If you've never given birth or done a really frightening amount of phamaceutical drugs, then you don't know how emotional you can get after you give birth. I mean, there are hundreds of hormones that used to help take care of this unborn child that are now swimming around with nothing to do, so there's a huge chance they'll all gang up on you and you'll find yourself watching Little House on the Prairie and sobbing your eyes out because Pa has to shoot a horse with a lame leg or something. I know this has happened to me. But eventually these hormones go away. Somehow. And you are then supposed to be able to get on with your life.

But the thing about life is that some days are better than others. And while some days can be chaotic and met with a smile and the laughter that keeps you from going insane, other days are just a bit more difficult. For example, after Steve came home yesterday I asked him to make me a drink, as this was the only way I knew of to banish the horrible wails and whines and cries that I could do nothing about. Mostly because there was no reason for them. (Let's face it - if a child is fed and burped and dry and has a clean diaper and is still crying so hard the cats have left the room... what do you do?)

I think what I'm trying to say is,I have my moments, and my bad days, and times when I want to give it all up and join the circus. There are days I wish I had my old life back, or at least my old job. There are days I wish I hadn't moved so far away from my family, or from my friends, because it's been days since I've spoken to anyone but Steve or the checkout girl at Wal-Mart. And today is one of those days.

I can' wait until tomorrow. It's only a day away... And Steve gets up with the kids and I can catch up on sleep.

This is proof that they don't sleep at the same time. One sleeping, one awake. It's how it goes.

Today I took the boys to the bookstore, as I had a few gift certificate dollars to spend and had run out of fresh reading material at home. We spent a few minutes navigating Nathan in the gigantic Graco stroller through the store when one of the ladies who worked there let us know it was Story Time at 10am!

Hooray! Story Time! What Luck! And it was only 30 minutes away. I can easily spend 30 minutes in a bookstore.

5 minutes later I had seven books stuffed in the stroller with Nate. I realized that I had already used up any gift certificate money that I had, and that each new book was going to cost me. So I turned the stroller around and headed off to the children's section, when at least Nicholas could have a good time reading books and playing with the trains.

Nicholas spent a few moments looking at books and pulling other books he wasn't looking at off the shelves. Then he began climbing on the benches set up for Story Time. I tried coaxing him back to the books, pointing out Elmo, Trucks, anything that might get his attention and make him forget about the gymnastics he was doing.

Nick is stubborn He insisted on jumping on and off the benches AND on climbing onto the little stange area where the lady would be reading stories. I spent fifteen minutes acting like a crazy lady as I tried to get Nick to settle down. Finally the lady came out and sat down. She began reading and I began to relax. Now Nick would settle down and listen to the stories.

Nick didn't settle down. not remotely. In fact, he kept screming and whining and making so much noise that I had to remove him from Story Time. He wasn't interested in the stories, or the songs, he was interested in the steps leading up to the lady and in jumping up and down on the stage.

So we spent 30 minutes waiting for Story Time and 2 minutes AT Story Time.

And when we got home he was sleeping.

Nate, however, slept the whole time and woke up only when we got home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This is the dog's water bowl.

It's hard to tell from this photo, but this bowl is actually huge. We purchased it the first summer we had Gunther because I got tired of refilling his water bowl every two hours and then watching him push the bone dry bowl across the kitchen floor with his nose, as though that would somehow cause it to refill itself.

Nicholas loves this bowl. To him it looks like a tiny bathtub. Whenever we're in the kitchen I have to keep an ear out for that "splish splish" sound that means Nick's up to his elbows in water and dog spit. I am constantly reminding the boy to leave the dog's water alone.

The other night Nicholas was practicing his backwards walk. This is walking backwards, usually while one of us is asking him to do something else, such as come to the table for dinner, which would require him to be moving forward. Not surprisingly, Nick tripped over the bowl and fell in. He ended up sitting right in the middle of a very full water bowl. Being the loving, caring, and supportive parent that I am, I immediately started laughing. It only got better when I realized Nick couldn't get out.

Thank goodness his diapers are super absorbent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


And let me just say that I think this holiday is a second rate holiday, at best. I mean, nothing closes down. Work and school are still open. But since there's lots of chocolate involved I have to give it at least two stars.

I celebrated Valentine's Day by making an emergency visit to the pediatrician. This morning I noticed that, in addition to the snot and spit up that usually spot Nathan's PJ's, there were little smears of blood. Panic. I checked him for cuts, but there were none. I checked myself for cuts - I even checked my own clothes and bedsheets thinking perhaps I bled on him. But no. It was him. My four week old had a little bloody nose.

I called the doctor expecting them to tell me what I knew - it was just part of the cold, use a humidifier, keep his head elevated, etc. (All of these things which I AM ALREADY DOING). But instead the nurse told me they had an appointment free at 10:50 TODAY. And Naturally I am not one to turn down a pediatrician's appointment.

Well, the trouble is that I was all geared up to go grocery shopping, as we were running out of a few things, such as food. I glanced at my watch and determined that, since it was 8:15, I would have time to feed the baby, change both kids, pump, pack a bag, go grocery shopping, run back home, unload the groceries, and rush back out to the doctor's office.

I won. I mean, I accomplished my goal. But the morning DID involve both kids falling asleep, and my trying to unload the bags from the car and put everything away without waking them up. During this process I managed to drop a container of milk (MY milk - not the whole milk) which burst all over the floor.

On the way to the doctor's office both boys woke up and begain wailing. I managed to have a very calm wait in the waiting area while Nick played with the infected toys and Nathan sucked on a bottle. I then went through the whole process of undressing Nate, dragging both boys down the hall to the scale, dragging them all back to the examining room, and trying to keep them from going bonkers waiting for our doctor only to have her come in and tell me that NATHAN HAS A COLD.


But at least now I know he doesn't have anything WORSE than a cold. She told me to stop using THE ASPIRATOR and to use saline drops - which I hate. I have to hand it to her, though. As a crazy parent who dragged my babies through a bacteria infested waiting room for practically no reason, she was very pleasant and understanding, as always.

I should go now, as Nicholas is pelting his chicken nuggets at the dog.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The thing about this big boy bed is that Nick can get in and out of it whenever he wants. In fact, he spends hours during the day doing just that - climb in, climb out, climb in, climb out...

When I put him down for a nap, there are days he is out of the bed before I am out of the room, and I am unsure of what to do about it. Some days I wrestle him back in. Others I pretend not to notice and go tend to Nate.

Today I heard him climb out and I ignored it while I tried to sleep myself. I had already put away his toys, put his favorite books on a high shelf, and turned off all the lights. Finally, after 45 minutes, I went back in, hoping he had passed out on the floor, or even on the bed. No such luck. Instead he had empties ALL the drawers he could reach and dumped the baskets of clean diapers on the floor. Oh, and the trash can, which had dirty diapers in it.

I caved and put him back in the crib until he fell asleep. I know I should just let things run their course, but I am so afraid that he won't nap at all. The one time I let him play through nap time he was cranky all afternoon until he fell asleep in front of the TV at 5pm. That's when I took this wonderful photo.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My bathroom is a metholated mess.

This morning Steve's mother called to say she would be coming over with his Aunt and his cousin. They make a visit every month or so while they are up here shopping. They usually bring coffee and pastries, so it's more than OK with me.

I usually don't stress about cleaning up unless the house is a real mess, and this morning the only thing I wanted to do before they came was give Nathan a bath. It had been a while, and he smelled, quite honestly, like spit up and spoiled milk. You know that baby smell? Yeah - it doesn't exist. It's baby soap. Real babies smell like spoiled milk and poo.

It takes two minutes to give Nathan a bath, due to the fact that he needs almost no water in the tub and doesn't want to hang out in there. While I was doing this Nicholas was playing with some bath toys on the floor. I was keeping an ear out for the sound of these bath toys somehow making their way into the toilet, least he make an attempt to flush them down, but none of the sounds he was making seemed to match up with this visual, so I kept on with Nathan and his bath.

I was just snapping the last snaps on Nate's little onsie outfit when I looked up and saw that Nicholas had the brad new bottle of Vapor Bath had purchased - you know, that highly mentholated bath wash for little kids with congestion. In fact, not only did he get his hands on the bottle, but he had somehow unscrewed the cap, and even ripped off the protective foil cover. And of course he had poured half the bottle on the floor and all over himself. I had to call for Steve to help me as we plopped Nicholas in the tub and I made an attempt to wipe up a half gallon of soap off the floor.

How does one wipe that much soap off the floor. I mean, what do you use? Water? That will just suds it up. Soap? Come on - it IS soap.

Anyway, later that afternoon Steve and I were talking in the den, with the lights off, since Steve was watching TV. I heard the little footstept that indicated that Nick was leaving the room, but I paused long enough to watch a few moment of Coupling on the big screen before rushing off to follow him. And by the time I had caught up to him...

Yep - that's right. He was in the bathroom. And the problem still wasn't bath toys flushed down the toilet. Once again, he had emptied most of the Vapor Bath all over himself and the floor... and this time, the bath mat. We once again had to wipe Nicholas off and this time I just put him in PJ's. I mean, I'm not giving him another bath tonight. That would just be silly. He's clean. He's just got a strange attraction to Vapor Bath.

Anyhow, no matter how I tried to clean up, I couldn't do anything about the smell, which has escaped the confines of the bathroom and wandered down the hall into our bedrooms. The one consolation I have is that now none of us are congested. And I have moved the Vapor Bath AND the rest of the soaps to a high shelf in the closet.

Friday, February 10, 2006

FYI - I have added some links to this blog! With more than a little help from Debs, and especially Betsy, who was able to break everything down into step by step instructions for the computer illiterate that I am.

Thailand 2006 is my brother Jamie's Blog. I highly recommend visiting this blog, if you haven't already. He is currently in Thailand (duh) teaching a bunch of kids how to speak English. It's tough because their proficiency is so low and the conditions a lot of these kids come from are far from ideal. However, Jamie makes each entry funny, and keeps entertaining me (OK - everyone who reads his blog) with stories of local customs and his lack of Thai.

It's My Life is a blog I recently discovered. Debs is all the way in the UK and documenting her daily life as a young teacher. She found me first, I have to admit, but I am all for supporting a fellow Blogger. I'm hoping Debs will keep posting. A this point I want to know if her car troubles will resolve themselves.

Mike Daisey is a writer / actor / dilettante who not only does interesting things with his life, but posts interesting and enlightening things on this "Fortress on the Web." Visually and Mentally, this site should wake you up.

Dooce is my all favorite. Heather B Armstrong is a professional blogger. She's an Ex Morman who grew up in Tennessee, lives in Utah, and has a little girl only a little older than Nicholas. I laugh, I cry, I read her blog every single day. I may not shower, but I will read her blog.

That's all I have for now. If anyone knows of any other sites or blogs that I might be interested in, please let me know! I can't promise I'll link to them, but I'll definitely go visit them, because that's the kind of gal I am.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Every week my mother-in-law, Lillian, drives up to look after Nathan while I take Nicholas to our Library for Todddler Story Time - or, as I sometimes call it - Absolute Chaos. This Story Time is open to children agaes 18 to 36 months... or one and a half to 3 years, and it lasts for 5 weeks. The kids listen to books being read, sing songs, and get to socialize with other kids. Going to Story Time makes me feel like a GOOD MOM because I was doing something Nick could learn from and enjoy.

Last time we did Story Time I was very, very pregnant. It was Nicholas's first time in a setting like this, and I spent most of each time trying to get Nick to sit down, to not touch the teacher's CD player, to not scream during the stories, and so on. I did a lot of getting up and dragging Nick back to the circle.

All of the other kids seemed older and were able to listen to the stories and sing along with the teacher, so I felt very much singled out and embarrassed. Plus, every single mother there kept askin when I was going to have my baby, so naturally I wanted to kick all of them in the head.

But this time around things are different. The kids all seem to be around Nicholas's age. But while Nicholas has pretty much learned to sit and listen to the stories, standing only to dance to the music, there are quite a few other toddlers who haven't gotten there yet. They run around from one side of the room to the other. Some mothers don't even try to bring these kids back to the Story Time Circle, which is very distracting.

Each time the teacher opens a book she announces the title. I find myself whispering to Nick to focus his interest on the book she is holding up. "Look Nick - Dinosaurs!" I'll whisper. Or "Ladybugs - look at the ladybugs!" The thing is, I can hear whispers just like mine being echoed through the room - every mother is whispering THE EXACT SAME THING to their very own child. "The Wiggles - we love the Wiggles!" or "The Turtle Song - You know the Turtle Song!" I know I shouldn't feel this way, but hearing the other mothers saying the same things I am saying makes me realize just how silly I sound.

While the teacher reads the book, even the children paying attention can't seem to sit still. They point and comment about the pictures on the pages, loudly. The trouble is that no one can understand what they are saying, so their comments are really lost on all of us. In fact, so many kids are talking, grunting, screaming, that I usualy can't hear a word the teacher is saying. Apparently she feels that reading in a soft voice will cause her audience to quiet down. Which makes sense, but ONLY IF THE AUDIENCE CARES. An 18 month old audience doesn't care.

The true highlight of Story Tims actually comes at the end - Free Play. The teacher opens up the closet with a bunch of toys, and the kids all get to play with puppets, giant stuffed animals, bean bags, and of course, board books. They also get to play together - as much as they DO play together at this age - which is actually really good, as long as the kids don't start fighting over the toys. Which ALWAYS happens.

Story Time lasts less than an hour, but each week I come home feeling like I've run a marathon. But no matter how chaotic it is, Nick still loves it. Even sitting still and paying attention, and I am SO glad that Lillian is willing to take the time to come up and help us out.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This Zombie is actually my son, Nicholas. This is what a 20 month old turns into when he's watching Elmo or Blue's Clues. Should one change the channel and attempt to watch the news, or perhaps even an episode of Rosanne, the Zombie becomes aware of your existance and begins snarling and raging, and one must quickly return to the previous child friendly program before he sprouts fangs and tries to eat your brain.

I had every intention of becomming one of those GOOD parents who limit TV to twenty minutes a week and instead usher their children through art projects and interactive games that nurture self-esteem and cultivate imagination while teaching important skills. What I failed to take into account is that Nick would find any of these games boring. If he is interested. he is interested for about 5 minutes, which is pretty much his attention span for anything.

I started out watching the last 15 minutes of Sesame Street while I got dressed in the morning. I sat him on my bed with a few toys and he stayed there, happy. I even had time to brush my teeth! I DID have an issue when I realized that ER was on every day at 10am, and when he was really small I would watch it every day until I caught up on all of the episodes - I have seen EVERY episode of ER. scary.

When I had finished my visual collection of ER episodes I would watch some TV in the late afternoon, or during the day if we were sick or overly tired. The trouble is that, as I became more and more pregnant, I became more and more tired. More and more time became TV time.

Now that Nathan is here I am once more making an attempt at cutting down TV time. But Nicholas has tasted the forbidden fruit, and he refuses to go back in time. He waves the remote in my face and asks for Elmo. He knows the theme songs and characters for at least 4 different shows. At least.

The trouble with children's programming is that each show makes only 4 or 5 episodes, which then air 47 times each day. I feel that I know every word to every episode of every show we watch on TV. I guess it's good that kids love repitition. Again! Again!

Despite all this I have decided not to stress too much about it. I turn off the TV every once and awhile. We play in Nick's room. We read books. We run around the house, when we can. When I do turn the TV on I sacrifice my episodes of Rosanne and ER so that he can watch "good" TV that either gets him dancing or that fosters learning of some sort. I ignore his Zombie face so that I can get a few things done - like dinner, dressing myself, little things lke that that I feel MUST get done.

Gosh I hope I'm not really turning his brain to Jam.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Nathan has a cold.

It's hard because he is so little. Not only does he not understand why he feels so icky, but I can't give him anything for it. He's too tiny. The best I can do is to try to keep his head elevated, which means sleeping in his car seat or on my chest as I sleep sitting up. I am also constantly attacking him with THE ASPIRATOR.

In case you don't know, THE ASPIRATOR is what they use to clean out baby nasal passages. It's also referred to as "The Bulby Thingy." I Hate using THE ASPIRATOR because I'm convinced that I'm going to somehow suction out part of my baby's brain. This morning, after cleaning THE ASPIRATOR, I thought I actually HAD. I mean, how can one little baby have so much snot in him? There just HAD to be brain in there.

Needless to say, Nathan cries each time I use the horrible bulby thing because, let's face it, it's not pleasant. But he's just not at the stage where I can just hold up a tissue and say "Blow." In fact, I still can't do that for Nicholas. But I have far more faith in Nicholas's ability to breathe through him mouth.

The best part is that now I have this cold. Now that Nicholas is playing in his room instead of napping, and Nathan can't sleep unless I'm holding him, I need my rest more than ever. But I am getting far less than I would if Nick would SLEEP in his bed (he did yesterday - today... not so much) and if Nathan would stop that wet snorting breathing sound...

Wish us all healthy!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What a difference a year makes!

It's funny looking at baby picures of Nicholas. It just reinforces the fact that he's a little boy now, no longer a baby. Although I CAN still fit him intot he shirt he's wearing in this picture... in a pinch.

Today Steve put together Nick's first big boy bed. We opted for a twin instead of a toddler bed. I mean, who wants to go through this transition twice? So after a few tears because Steve wouldn't let Nick use his screw gun, and a few words through gritted teeth at the instructions for the railings (my words - mea culpa), Nicholas had his first bed assembled in his room. I will post a picture as soon as I remember to take one.

Nick even napped in his bed this afternoon! I wasn't sure how it was going to go. After all, in his crib he would rattle the railings to get out. In his NEW bed he can just GET OUT. I settled him down, read him a story, and then kissed him and said what I usually do at nap time. "Have a good nap. When you wake up we'll play."

I had the time to walk into my bedroom and start nursing Nate before I heard a soft "Hi!" Nick was at the gate at his door, waving and smiling. I just told him to go to bed. He left, but from the noises coming from his room, I could tell there wasn't any sleeping going on. When I finally got Nathan down I went in to check. Stuffed animals were all over the floor - a few had been thrown outside the baby gate and into the hall. Books were everywhere. And Nick was playing with his cars.

I took him to his bed and tried stretching out with him. I closed my eyes. But then I felt a tickling under my nose. Nick's face was an inch from mine, and he was putting his finger up my nose. When I brushed him away he started poking the freckles (and OK, the moles) on my face. I couldn't keep it together. My body was shaking his whole bed trying to keep from laughing.

I left him again, telling him to go to sleep, and he cried. But then the noise suddenly stopped, after about fifteen minutes. He had fallen asleep! I checked, to be sure. And he stayed asleep for a good hour and a half.

Of course, he woke up in hysterics, but that could be anything.

I'm giving it a few days before I try putting him in bed for the night. Although after the nap I think it might not be as bad as I thought it would.

Friday, February 03, 2006

If you could be anywhere, where would it be?

You know how some days you wake up without enough sleep, and your mood is so raw that all anyone has to do is look at you wrong and you either cry or pounce on them in an attempt to rip their throats out?
Well, technically, that's NOT me today.
"Waking up" would imply that I actually SLEPT.
Which is not the case.
See, Nicholas has a cold, which means he was up about 10 different times last night, in tears, screaming, and completely miserable.
But he and Nate seem to time their sleep schedules. They take turns, refusing to sleep at the same time. Which means that as soon as I was able to get Nate down Nick would start screaming, and as soon as I would climb into bed after NIck was settled Nate would start grunting and fussing... The only "sleep" I got was with Nate on my chest, where he would finally stop making those noises.

This morning Nate will not wake up. Nicholas is quietly watching TV, although he still refuses medication, or even food or juice. And I have a pounding headache and wish I could crawl into bed for about a month. And Steve is upset at me about last night, as if I had engineered the whole thing specifically to deprive him of sleep.

Which, of course, is true. I have complete control over everything each of my babies do. I just get a kick out of irritating others and driving myself insane. Someone stop me, please. I might need to be committed and given a drug to keep me asleep for four or five days.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

- Nicholas is staring out the window and singing. I have never heard anything so wonderful in my life.

- Nathan went through 5 sleep outfits, two sheets, three blankets, 3 pads to protect his sheets, and the bumblebee head support thingy in the photo above, all in about 90 minutes last night. And I hate laundry.

- Despite the fact that I kept bringing him into our bed, Nathan managed to NOT mess up our brand new sheets.
- I have brand new sheets.
- Who am I kidding? I have my boys! And I get to be at home with them, which is great... although even if I kept working I would be on maternity leave... HEY! Where's my maternity leave? Wait a minute...

- Sleep
- Sleep
- Maybe leave the house to pick up a coffee or something.
- Sleep

Now I just have to convince both boys to nap at the same time...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I won't be winning any beauty contests. Well, what do YOU look like first thing in the morning?

Last night Nathan went through about 7 sleep outfits. either spitting up or peeing on all of them. I got about 4 hours pf sleep, total. At 5am he peed through his last outfit and I had to go into Nick's room to get a new one. Needless to say, Nick woke up and screamed when I told him to go back to sleep.

This morning we went to Wal-Mart to buy a few items, including sheets for Nick's new bed. I spent the entire trip shouting "Nick! Nick! This way! Follow me! Nick!" It sounded like I was calling my hyperactive dog. Nate was either soundly asleep or screaming his brains out. Once our shopping was done I had the choice between 100 different self-checkout machines or one checkout person at the very end. There were 5 people with very full carts ahead of me on line, and there was no conveyer belt. Someone else was walking up and down the line, asking people if they wanted to try out the self cheking lines. Now, I KNOW there are some magical people who are able to use the self checker thingies, but I always get into a fight with them. Besides, I am not the kind of person they were meant for. They were created for the guy buying a hammer and a bag of jerky, not for a lady with a toddler running around, an infant screaming, and a cart full of cat litter, diapers, and various other items. I DARED the woman with my eyes to ask me to try one out, just so I could snap at her.

We survived Wal-Mart. But today during nap, although Nate slept the whole time, Nicholas DID NOT. Instead I could hear him playing in his crib, and then eventually screaming with the agony of being in there when all his stuffed animals and blankets were on the floor, where he had thrown them. I had to stay in bed listening to him scream and calm myself down, because I was so mad at him for keeping me from napping.

We got outside for a few minutes, because I couldn't stand the sight of Nick pounding on the door in tears asking to go play OUTSIDE. I did 3 loads of laundry. We made cookies... I finally reached the point where I thought the day would end peacefully.

And Steve just called from a business trip, letting me know he would be home late AGAIN. Which may not mean much, but he hasn't actually GONE anywhere - he's home every night. But Nicholas hasn't seen him in three days, and getting the boys bathed and fed and into bed is SO MUCH easier when he's here. Not that it's Steve's fault - because he can't help how long these meetings go. But it would be so much easier to have someone to be angry AT. Besides myself, for parking Nick in front of the TV for so much of the day.

BY THE WAY - when this photo was taken I was really surprised that I looked so bad. I thought I had a wide, winning smile on my face. Instead, it looks as though I've been up all night smoking illegal substances. Which is too bad, because I wasn't having nearly that much fun.