Friday, June 29, 2007

Saturday night out

This weekend is certainly shaping up to be busy. My niece's first birthday is next week, and her party is tomorrow. I haven't even started thinking about a gift, so I guess I'm going to be spending some time at Target tonight. Weeknight shopping usually requires a quick dinner out, so we're planning on heading right back out after we get home from work.

Tomorrow morning will be swim class as usual, but we've got quite a bit to do before heading to the birthday party. We need to get the gift wrapped, get some hand-me-downs organized and out to the car, and last, but not least, get the kids packed for an overnight stay at Grandma Sue's! WooHoo! My mom wants to take the kids back to stay at her house after the party.

I realize with both parents working full-time, we don't really see enough of our kids as it is. But the truth is, we don't always see enough of each other either. Our most meaningful conversations over the past year or more have been over IM while at work. But now we don't quite know what to do with ourselves. Maybe we'll catch a movie. But we have a home theater and hundreds of DVDs, so spending the money to get kicked in the back and struggling to hear over noisy teenagers doesn't usually sound that appealing. There's always dinner at a less kid-friendly restaurant, but we probably shouldn't be blowing that kind of money on dinner out either.

So who knows. Maybe we'll find something cool to do, or maybe we'll just come home and watch a DVD. Either way, we'll get to spend some time together - just the two of us. Then Sunday will come and we'll desperately want our children back. LOL.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


This morning, my darling son discovered gravity - the uncomfortable way.  Shame on us as the parents for not realizing that a 4 year old can not be expected to contain a determined seven month old.  I know she tried her hardest, but poor little Jake still took a header right off of our bed. 

Before I go any further -- he's totally fine.

I was in the shower, and Rob had gone to fetch Nicole some breakfast.  Nicole kept yelling something, which I didn't understand because I was in the shower.  Usually that causes her to come running closer so she could tell me again.  But not this time - she stayed right by the bed.  I didn't know, until I heard a thump and screaming, that she was trying to warn me that she couldn't hold him much longer.

Of course, I jump out of the shower, with shampoo still in my eyes to go pick him up.  Good thing he wasn't hurt, or I would surely have damaged him further the way I quickly scooped him up.  But we eventually got him calmed down, and then did a few close observations of his behaviors, and his eyes, and whatnot, and he seemed fine. 

He must have been a bit shaken up though, because for the first time ever, he got upset when I tried to leave him at day care.  Poor little guy.  But I called at noon, and he was being his same as usual self.

Seems its time to bring the playpen in the bedroom.  We need a morning routine containment vessel.  LOL.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jake's new Best Friend

So, a few weeks ago, I notice Jake looking at one of Nicole's dolls. I'm not sure if he was trying to figure out what it was, or why it didn't move, or what. But I wouldn't let him have any of them because of the hair. That doll hair would be a snap for him to pull out and get wrapped tight around his fist. Of course, he did not appreciate my concern for his safety, and proceeded to scream.

A few days later, I'm trying to clean up the playroom, and I noticed a pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that Nicole got for Christmas one year. She never really had any interest, and after close inspection, I realized these would be great for Jake to have. The yarn hair could probably get yanked out, but still, somehow it seemed safer. And there were no buttons or snaps or glitter or anything that seemed dangerous about the outfits.

I showed Andy to Jake. Jake squeeled. Andy is Jake's new best friend. The first time I ever saw Jake tear out across a room (as much as one can possibly tear out doing an army crawl, anyway), it was to go after Andy. Poor little pudge ball was exhausted when he finally got to Andy, but he sure was happy.

These days, Andy sits in Jake's bed, and waits for Jake to wake up in the morning. This morning, Jake sat up there and talked to Andy for at least 30 minutes before he decided he wanted out of the crib. I like Andy. I think I'm going to find him very helpful. :-)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Daddy the Hero

There are times when I think that my husband is good for nothing more than keeping the kids alive and well when they're completely in his care.  But there are times, when keeping them alive and well are exactly what make him the greatest dad in the world.  From the time Nicole was little, the jobs he volunteered for were, making up the formula and dispensing whatever medicine might be required.  He does the same for Jake - and Jake takes prevacid every day, so there's always medicine to be given.  Daddy is also the man who fixes the general boo-boos.  He inspects every cut and scrape, and treats it with the appropriate ointment and bandage.

This morning, he took it up a notch.  He quite possibly saved our son's life.  As I was walking out the door to head to day care, Jake started to cough.  It didn't sound like a gagging cough at first, but I started patting him on the back - but quickly he started turning red and really gagging, and he clearly wasn't breathing - but he was still trying to cough.  I ran in to where Rob was and told him I needed help.  Rob completely grabbed Jake and put him on his belly and started hitting his back, but then quickly got him up again and started feeling in his mouth.  I then heard Jake breathing, and told Rob he was breathing, but Rob didn't stop.  Seconds later, Rob removed his finger from Jake's mouth and showed me a sticker - the sparkly foil kind.  He had reached as far as he could into Jake's throat to get it.

Jake is fine.  This never happened with Nicole, because there were never any remnants of an older child laying around.  But I guess we need to start paying more attention.

In the meantime, I've decided that, if all Rob ever does from here on out is keep the kids alive - then that will be fine with me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Finding a voice

I never understood what my mother (and others of her generation) meant when she asked if Nicole had "found her voice yet". That really didn't make any sense to me. And then, one day, my mother declared that Nicole had finally found her voice. I still didn't really get it. Sure, Nicole was making noise, but it was little more than coos and jabbering.

Jake, however, gives meaning to that expression. He "found his voice" months ago, and had been letting all of us know that he knows that he has a voice ever since then. He doesn't really cry much - he really just yammers on and on and on such that between he and his sister, there is never ever any quiet.

I could have announced Jake's voice finding months ago, I know. But truth be told, it never really mattered that much. But last night - oh, it mattered. My darling son decided, at around 3am, that he was going to have a party with all of the critters in his crib. He talked, sang, and pounded on his mattress that I can only imagine was something akin to head-banging (I was hearing all of this over the monitor).

Finally, around 4am, I decided to try to feed him so that he'd return to sleep - he's been consistently eating around 5:30 for the past month. I had to wrestle Raggedy Ann away from him (he's quite fond of the Raggedy siblings), but eventually got him back to sleep. And that didn't last nearly long enough. By 7am, he was right back to announcing that he was awake, and the party with his crib-mates ensued.

Lord am I tired today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We're idiots. We purchased a new inflatable pool for the kids, and I got a little floaty tube thing for Jake. We decided to leave it filled for a few days, just to give Nicole and opportunity to swim after we all got home this week. And that was fine, but what we failed to do was bring in Jake's thing. It is, of course, gone. At some point on Monday, we got some winds that were enough to knock over a BBQ pit. So I'm sure his little thing is completely out of the subdivision by now.

We can get him a new one, but what a waste of $10. We just need to get our act together and pay attention.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Where's the Beef?

So, it appears that we'll be going from the Gerber 1st Foods straight to table food. Jake has made it perfectly clear that he has no interest in being in a high chair if there isn't something there for him to eat. So even though he may have had a container of baby food, he still looks at us eating, with that "hey - where's mine?" kind of expression.

I've spent several meals over the past several days trying to find something Jake can eat by himself while the rest of us have our own meals. So far, he's had bread (toast, pizza crust, and plain bread), cucumbers, peaches, and cheerios.

I need to get one of those mesh feeder things - and soon. Our ability to all have dinner together as a family may very well depend on it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New babysitter

Tonight we're having another first - the first time we've left Jake with a babysitter that wasn't a Grandmother. My sister has a step-daughter (14yo), and apparently she needs to "earn" the right to attend a party later this weekend. So my sister offered up some free babysitting.

I think it will be fine. We're going out to dinner with my sister and her husband, and we made reservations for a place that's only about 3 miles from the house. The babysitter has a younger sister who's only a couple of months younger than Nicole, so I don't doubt her abilities to manage Nicole. And Jake, by himself, probably not a problem. But if she can manage both of them together, she will definitely have accomplished something. Not that it's impossible - but even the grandmas have trouble managing the bedtime routine.

The way I figured we'd solve that problem though - was just to tell the sitter to make Jake the priority - do whatever she needed to do to get him situated for the night, and if Nicole wound up staying up well past her usual bedtime as a result, then we'll deal.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to tonight, but I'm nervous at the same time. Nicole never stayed with a sitter who wasn't family until she was three. And now, not only am I leaving one that's much younger, but I'm leaving two at the same time. I'm sure we'll get through it. And hey - if it works out well, then maybe we'll be able to do this more often.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Teeth shmeeth!

So tonight we decided that we needed a new pool. The one we had was not cleaned out well before the winter, and it was allowed to get nasty. So nasty it wasn't worth saving (seriously - the health of our children may have been at risk - LOL). Anyway, we decided to go look for one at Target and go to the pizza buffet afterwards. Mmmmmm pizza buffet.....

Rob fed Jacob before I got home - just some baby food veggies, but enough that he wouldn't be hungry and need to be fed at the pizza place.

Ha! The boy made it perfectly clear that he wanted what we were having - teeth or no teeth. We keep trying to explain to him that he has no teeth, but he doesn't seem to care. So after several grabs at my plate, I went back to the buffet and assembled a plate for him. He sucked on several chunks of cheese garlic bread, turning them back into dough, and then worked on some cucumber slices. (I really didn't think he was ready for pepperoni so grabbed what I thought was safest from the salad bar). I honestly didn't think he could do much more than drool on a slice of cucumber, but man was I wrong. He sucked the soft middle part right of out it. He then started to work on some carrots. He gave up on those pretty quickly though - probably because he couldn't ever get anything off of it that he could swallow.

So, I'm thinking we may be going from Gerber 1st Foods straight to table food. I know you can get little canned veggies that have no salt, so those would probably be good. I should also see about keeping some fresh fruit and veggies around. Even cucumbers. Who knows - maybe he'll finally cut a tooth on a nice thick cucumber slice. It would probably feel pretty good if it were nice and cold.

Nicole is such a picky eater. So is her father. Maybe Jake will be my little eating buddy. Perhaps I'll finally have an excuse to buy vegetables!

Why I work

I've been thinking, and I think that I have a job, just so that I have something to look forward to. Yeah, the paycheck is nice, certainly. And having good insurance and the prospect of a very comfortable retirement is great too. But I really think that the main reason I work is to have to wait to do certain things.

Yeah, I can imagine how crazy that must sound. But just now, I was thinking about this weekend. Nicole starts swim lessons again on Saturday (she took lessons last Spring), and I have some shopping I want to do for some new landscape plants. Then, after we're home and the kids are napping, I'm going to get the pool out and get it cleaned up and filled, so that the water can be warming up. We have an errand to run later that will take us out to my MIL's house, so the kids won't get to swim any more on Saturday most likely. But then that should leave all day on Sunday for us to just chill out at home and play outside. And hopefully I can get my plants planted before suffering heat stroke.

What's really crazy, is that if I were home with the kids every day, I'd have all the time in the world to do this stuff, but I know me. I wouldn't. Nicole would be parked in front of the TV all day and I'd spend most of the day transferring Jake from toy to toy. I think that, because there was always tomorrow, there would never be the incentive to get anything done today. But since I have a 9-5, I know that if I don't get my plans done on the weekend, I have to wait a whole other week for another shot. And that's really enough to make me get off my butt and get stuff done.

I can't wait for the weekend! Maybe I'll head to Target tonight and see if I can find some little floaty thing for Jake so he can get in the pool with Nicole. :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The belated "Why?"s

I thought someone once told me that the neverending "why?"s started at the age of three. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly. Because now, at age 4 1/2, Nicole is all about the "why?". Occasionally she'll throw a "how come" in there, but it's all the same.

So anyone with a four year old (or if you went through this at 3), what the heck is the answer? I knew this was coming, and I was dreading it. But at the same time, I really thought I would be a brilliant mommy and answer her questions so satisfactorily, that one "why?" would be sufficient. I was so incredibly wrong.

Tonight, I was just tired, and come bedtime, couldn't answer any more why questions. So I said that the two bedtime stories would have to be from her very small books. Good thing too, because every page (like, all 8) had the endless string of questions.

I finally answered "Because that's what it says in the book". Brilliant, I know. *smirk*. But my clever answers just aren't doing the job.

So I want to know. What's the best way anyone has ever answered "why?". I'm looking for the answer to end all. The one that makes the four year old simly say "oh" and roll over and go to sleep.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Done with School

This one will be short. Rob's done with school! Yeah! His class had a little dinner tonight where they handed out all of the graduate certificates for his class.

Now we can hopefully enjoy a nice homework-free summer.

Friday, June 8, 2007

An Ideal Evening

Have you ever had one of those days/evenings that was just like some kind of oasis in the dry desert of everyday life? We had one of those last night.

We had a guest for the past two nights as he was passing through town, but we didn't really have any set plans to hang out or go out to dinner or anything. His plans yesterday were to just do some St. Louis sightseeing, and we had no idea when he'd be back for the evening. So we decided to go pick up an assortment of deli meat and cheese, and a couple of "salad" sides, and that way if he was there, we'd have sandwiches, and if he wasn't, but wanted something to eat later, we'd have something in the fridge.

So Rob gets the deli stuff on his way home and I pick up the kids. On the way home, Nicole asks if she can play outside for a while, and I said we needed to have dinner first - then I suggested to her that we could take our sandwiches outside and have a little picnic. When we got home, we saw our neighbors (with two boys that are close to Nicole and Jacob's ages), and went by to say hi. As we were about to part ways for our separate dinners, the mom (Amy) noted that she wasn't sure what they'd throw together yet. Then Nicole announced that we were having a picnic. I know that Rob overbuys when it comes to deli stuff, so I told her they were welcome to join us in the backyard. Graham (the little boy that's Nicole's age) got terribly excited, and Amy said "let me go ask Daddy".

So we went inside, loaded up a laundry basket with all of our sandwich fixin's and some blankets, and by the time we got back outside, Amy and the boys were standing outside with ice cream and cones, and declared that they had dessert, and that Rich was coming along with some more blankets.

The 8 of us just all sat outside and ate and yapped (well, the two older kids ran around and played after stuffing themselves full of little more than Doritios) for over two hours. It was wonderful! It was a little muggy, but it was also windy, so it wasn't that bad. Andrew (our guest) showed up about an hour in, and made a sandwich and joined the party. We probably would have stayed out longer if Graham and Nicole hadn't colored each either from head to toe with sidewalk chalk. So we needed to allocate extra time to hose off the kids before bed.

Anyway, this is not even close to something we'd do normally. But it was so much fun. Our neighbors have been there for three years, but we'd never spent that much time with them at one time. What amuses me most though, is that Andrew has no idea how far from normal last night was, and he probably is leaving our house with some kind of notion that we totally live in "Pleasantville" LOL.