Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Nitty Gritty of Parenting

About 10 seconds after hitting "publish" on that last post...I sneezed. And, immediately, a myriad of fears began to swarm around in my mind. The utmost being a tie between: 1.) Did I wake Christopher up? and 2.) Am I getting sick?
Yes. And Yes.
My poor little guy coughed once and then just started CRYING. I ran into his room (because, Yes, I was worried....but also because I couldn't have him waking up Jacob. There's such a delicate balance to be struck around here when it comes to noise and bedtime.) and there he was. It was the saddest sight you've ever seen. Red face, watery eyes, snot all over his face. And sweating. I held him for a while thinking that I'd be able to get him settled back down. He didn't wrestle me on it either. He didn't even ask for his, of course, I was relishing the fact that he actually wanted ME. Unfortunately, after a few minutes, I could tell that something needed to be done. This critter needed some special care. So, I gave in and took him downstairs.
This is something that I never do. I've learned that if you take a boy out of his room during naptime or bedtime, there is NO GETTING HIM BACK IN. But this was a special case. I have never seen my little one in such a state.
The two of us traveled downstairs where Daddy was already setting up blankets and pillows on the floor and cueing up Christopher's favorite show on our On Demand. It was time for a Daddy and Christopher camp out on the cold, hard floor. Perfect for one....challenging for the other.
About half an hour later, after a proper dosing of tylenol, a few blows of the nose, and some family-wide temperature taking (I'm pleased to report that Haha was fever-free) Mommy headed back upstairs for a catnap before Jacob would be waking up. Naturally, I only left after taking advantage of the Kodak Moment that was occurring on my family room floor. Terrible, I know. I, for one, would do some SERIOUS PHYSICAL DAMAGE to any person attempting to take my picture if I were sick, but honestly? Kids are just SO. FREAKING. PRECIOUS. when they're all goopy and sick-like.
Jacob and I ended up sleeping pretty well that night. It wasn't until 2 am that his stirring roused me from my slumber, at which point I discovered that the other half of my bed was still empty. Having no idea what I'd encounter when I made the descent, I took care of Jakie and then headed down to investigate. About half way down the stairs, I discovered the sweetest sight: Tim, passed out on the couch (boy was I glad to see that he had transitioned from the hard floor to the couch) and Christopher all bundled up on the floor with a death grip on Haha and Blankie. Oh. And Caillou. Still singing along on the TV.
It is now three days later. Three days, two flu patients, three fever victims, and one Daddy who seems to have weathered the storm unscathed. And we're only one week into Fall.
Flu shot, anyone?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sorry. I just don't care to figure out whether or not I used that big word correctly at this point in the evening.

First...some photos from Christopher's Birthday.

(They're supposed to come at the end but I'm too tired and too hot from holding a feverish toddler to try to figure it out.)

Christopher's b-day table cloth...year two.

Let them eat cake.

and....last but not least....

Who needs to hire a clown to creep out their kids when there are dead rodents to be seen?

Now, Down To Business...

Only one day into Fall and we seem to be ushering in the season with what promises to be a family-wide cold. Not good. It never fails that when someone around here starts up with the sniffles, I immediately try to figure out where in the world they came from. This time, there is little doubt that it was a gift given to us by our friends to whom we were delivering a birthday present on Monday afternoon. Both mommy and daughter were quite sniffly and red in the eyes, but honestly? this is nothing new for their family. Especially for the littlest: she of the nose that runs all over town. I swear that we were in their house for all of 15 minutes, and as a result, there is a little boy in the next room with a pasty white face, rose-red lips, and eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth that are all excreting various fluids. Joy. I'm not all that into fluids.

He's all snuggled up in his bed right now, blankie in one hand, sippy of water in the other. But he's not sleeping soundly. Every few minutes I hear a moan or a sniffle. A cough here and there. It really is the saddest thing when your little one is sick. Such a pathetic sight, isn't it? There's something so innocent...and so vulnerable....about a little tiny person sitting in his rocking chair with snot running down his face. And yet, today? Today we spent the majority of our time outside, running around, blowing bubbles, DUMPING THE ENTIRE BOTTLE OF BUBBLE SOLUTION INTO THE DRIVEWAY, jumping, giggling, playing with blocks, making Lego towers, and playing in the dirt. I'm fascinated by the dichotomy - children have no way of hiding that they are sick. It's obvious to the whole world. And yet they seem totally oblivious of the fact that they are supposed to "feel" sick. And adults? Honestly - you know what it's like. When we get sick, we're pumping our bodies full of this decongestant and that cough drop while laying in our beds WAITING TO DIE.

Yet another lesson to be learned from our children.

So anyway, I left sick child number one in his bed...only after smattering him with copious amounts of Vicks Baby Rub. (Side Note: this is one of my favorite things about winter. My child is ADDICTED to the Vicks. You want him to lie down for a diaper change? Offer him Vicks! Want him to stop cleaning out the window sills with your tooth brush? Pull out the Vicks! Hoping that he'll actually agree to wearing pajamas to bed? Vicks! All of that PLUS the fact that it makes him giggle like mad when you rub it on...that's the best part).

From there, I moved over to my room to settle baby #2 down to sleep. As I was sitting here, rocking my little one and observing how flushed his cheeks are and how much warmer his body is than usual, I began to get nervous. Two sick children (one of whom is only 4 months old) + mommy with a sore throat + daddy who, though he claims to have no symptoms yet, tends to pick up EVERYTHING = a scary prospect. And the realization that, especially when the rest of the family is sick, there is NO SUCH THING AS A SICK MOMMY...well, I began to get a little nervous. And, admittedly, a little ahead of myself.

That's when I happened upon tonight's episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8. In tonight's presentation, the Family Who Always Makes Me Feel Like A, I mean, "Better" was dealing with 8 kids who all had the flu. THE THROW UP FLU. I'll quit whining now.
***UPDATE: Christopher and Tim have now set up camp downstairs on the floor. Blankets, pillows, sippy, Blankie, Haha (curious George. Because monkeys say "who who haha"), a box of tissues, a wet wash cloth, and Caillou looped on repeat playing on the TV. The fever is climbing. And the boy is pulling on his ears. It promises to be a loooong night.***

Monday, September 15, 2008

I've Got You...Under My Skin....

Sarah Palin.
AWESOME. I am fascinated by this woman. She has renewed my excitement over this election. Which, honestly? Faded out about 2 years ago. Hasn't this been the longest, most drawn out, ridiculous presidential race in the history of the world!? Good grief. And just as I was counting down the days until it was all over, they introduce this MOM from Alaska with 5 kids, one of whom she's still breastfeeding. I am so intrigued by her and so excited to see where this election goes now. At this point, I choose not to weigh in on the whole "is she doing right by her family" argument that has popped up on some of the blogs. I struggle with it when I think too hard on the subject. I really do believe that a mommy's place is in the home...and yet I wonder if by taking this mommy out of her home the world might change. Even just a little. And wouldn't that be nice.

AIG. Lehman Brothers. And all those other guys.
Um...WHAT?! Aren't these investment bankers supposed to be, like, the smartest people in the world? How do you not see this all coming? More importantly, what does it mean when the stock market is in a steady nose dive, the investment banks are failing, and everyone is filing bankruptcy? And even worse...what does it mean when the guy who very well could be president is going to mess everyone's investments up even more by raising the capital gains tax to nearly 30%?! In the interest of full disclosure, I know nothing about this stuff. But I watch enough business news to know that things are NOT GOOD right now...and it seems like they're only going to get worse before they get better. Is it selfish to think that it's okay (at least a little bit okay) that the housing market is in the TANK because maybe this means it will be easier for us to buy a house. Am I trampling all over someone else's dreams with my own? I don't know. And does it even matter because the entire economy is in the tank anyway?


Not too exciting today, I know. More to come. Next time: The big 2nd birthday. And the surprise visitor we had at the park!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Legos. Seriously? The BEST TOY EVER.

Christopher is going to be two (TWO!) in about a week and a half, and all I can think is, "how in the world did THAT happen?"

Two is totally different than one. One is so exciting. So special. So emotional. So running into the bedroom first thing in the morning to capture the birthday wake up photo (which, by the way, I think I'll do every year. That will make for a rather sweet photo collection, I think.) Two is exciting too, but just different. In our house, Two is looking like this:

2.) Laughing when he falls down because he thinks it's so funny, getting up, wiping off, and moving on.
2.) Giving mom strangle-hugs during Mass, pulling her hair over her face, and then cackling himself crazy as she dashes out the back door of the church to make sure that no one is bothered.
2.) Finding no need for actual words because who needs to talk when you can point and say "heh?"
2.) Legos.
2.) Shoes that light up when you stomp. And jump. And hop.
2.) Walking up and down the stairs without holding on to anything.
2.) Coloring. On the windows.
2.) Watching Nina and Star on Sprout and doing everything they tell him to do without hesitation. (If only Nina could move in...)
2.) Talking on your own terms...not when Mom or Dad are forcing you to say something.
2.) Parents (especially Dad) who are very concerned about the lack of talking.
2.) A doctor appointment right around the corner when we're finally going to have to address the issue of the MMR shot...and hoping we have enough verbal communication by then to not have to worry.
2.) When mom is singing a song, repeating "Mom. Mom. Momma. Mom. Mooom." until she stops singing. Is someone trying to send me a message?
2.) Stomping and crying and whining when something is taken away. Or when he can't have a cranberry. Or a grape. Or an apple. OR WHATEVER HE'S POINTING TO IN THE FRUIT DRAWER IN ANY GIVEN MOMENT.
2.)Laying on his tummy in the bathtub.
2.) Splashing.
2.) Doing river dance in the tub (only when holding mommy's hands, of course)
2.) Going peepee in the potty (sometimes) and telling us when he's going poopoo....I figure this is a start, right?
2.) Sitting on my lap and letting me sing him to sleep (the only time when he doesn't force me to stop singing....and yes, this does mean that we've gotten back on track with the sleeping. This, of course, is just in time for my mom to come next week and for him to get all off-track again.)
2.) Kissing Yaya night-night when we pretend to put Jake to bed (because babies have to go to bed first) so that Christopher won't be jealous of Jakie's late-night privileges.
2.) Kissing his own boo-boos.
2.) Asking for the boo-boo-baaaa (boo boo spray) when he scrapes his hand.
2.) Collecting rocks and leaving them in the little nooks and crannies of our house for us to find.
2.) Hiding behind furniture and then jumping and squealing and totally CRACKING UP when he's found.

Sigh. The list goes on. The boy is growing up, and he's getting cuter and more fun with every passing day. This, I think, is what makes Two so great. Each day brings him further from babyhood and closer into boyhood. Son-hood. Buddy-hood.

And boy do I love my little buddy.