Friday, April 29, 2011
Jacob's school pictures have been pretty awful. His first ones were when he was maybe five months or so, and while there were one or two okay shots (which I vaguely considered buying since, you know, everything is special when you have your first baby), I decided against it because in the best shot he was drooling and the rest didn't look that much like him. His second ones, a year later, were pretty bad. He was not happy and they only got one shot before his crying ruined any chance for more. The fireman pictures were pretty blah, and his school pictures this year were sort of okay but besmirched by a couple nasty scabs on his face from a recent fall, so there was nothing worth saving for posterity.
This week they did vintage day. They brought old clothes and took the pictures in sepia tones (although apparently they're available in B&W and color, too). I saw the handful of proofs on Jacob's proof sheet (we'll see the rest online), and much to my surprise, there were good ones! It was even more of a surprise since he had a bad day yesterday (yep, right on the heels of a good one), with only two stickers and a lot of not-so-great stories from the afternoon. Apparently the lawn guys showed up early which woke the kids up, but still.
I have yet to see the online proofs where I can really study them, but now I have a bit of a conundrum. See, the pictures are expensive. We could go get family shots done and get a decent number of prints far cheaper that what they're asking, but that assumes a couple things: 1) that I get my butt in gear and actually schedule something; and 2) that Jacob will actually smile and we'll all look good. Pictures with kids are such a crapshoot because you never know what their mood is going to be or how they will behave in front of a stranger with a camera. That's why I haven't done professional shots since Jacob's first Christmas. Those didn't go well and I've been a bit gun-shy (or camera-shy?) ever since. You can always find no sitting fee deals around, but it's still a lot of work and scheduling to just get there, so it's still a disappointment if it doesn't work out, even if it costs nothing. The quandary with these pictures is that if they're as good as they appear, they're already done and we know they're good. Should that be enough? It pains me to think of great pictures of Jacob floating around out there that we don't own. And it's not like I've spent a lot on pictures previously, so maybe we should just bite the bullet and buy some of these...maybe just an 8" x 10" to replace the picture from the last professional shots and a few 5" x 7"s for the important people. But for that money I could certainly get more somewhere else...yet there's no guarantee we'd like them as much. Ugh.
Ironically, Jacob fell today at daycare and now has a brushburned chin. At least he waited until picture day was past this time! Regardless, I suppose I'll just have to look at the online proofs, get some other opinions, and stare at the prices a little longer to see what might be reasonable. The downside of buying them is that it technically gets me off the hook for family pictures (which we really should do) for a little longer. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. We obviously have a lot of pictures of Jacob floating around, but he's not really a smiler for the camera nor is he good at standing still, so we don't have a lot of good pictures where his face is clear and he looks picture perfect. We probably owe it to the grandparents and aunts and uncles to get some of these once in a while for the frames we gave them at Jacob's first Christmas, so they're not staring at a six-month-old baby (or filling it with something else) all these many months later, but ugh...I don't know.
These people just prey on parents who can't say no to the face of their adorable child, and it's so annoying. Especially because I might be one of them.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Yesterday we had to run to Wegmans after I picked him up, and I was bracing myself for the worst. Those trips usually go badly, and with crappy weather on the way (a tornado watch, no less), all I wanted to do was get home. When I picked him up, he was pleasant, he'd gotten all five stickers on the sticker chart (he's done it a few times now), and by all accounts he'd had a good day. Our shopping trip went relatively smoothly, even pleasant. Jacob was kissing my hand instead of hitting it, for one. That always helps. He kept saying how things looked yummy, which was totally cracking me up. By the time we finished shopping, I looked outside cautiously and saw that the clouds had officially rolled in and it was going to rain any minute. Sure enough, the second we rolled outside, the rain started. I ran us to the car, threw the groceries in the trunk, took the cart to a corral (with the wind it would have hit my car if I'd gone the lazy route), grabbed Jacob and ran to the car. The drops were huge, the wind was strong, and in merely a minute in beginnings of the rain, we were soaked. I even had wet specks of dirt stuck in my hairline and on my arms. My car door handle had a puddle in it after being open for literally five seconds.
I was worried I'd freaked Jacob out with my rushing around and all the rain and wind, but the second I closed the door and looked at him, he was all giggles! He thought it was the funniest thing ever that we were soaked. I sat in the back seat with him for a good ten minutes while the rain pounded the car because I just didn't want to get wet again. I sent him into another fit of giggles when I tried climbing into the front seat, but I gave up that quest and just used the doors once the rain calmed down. While I was never particularly comfortable with sitting in our car in a major thunderstorm with a tornado watch, sitting ducks for falling lampposts and runaway shopping carts, I was so happy that Jacob was there to make me laugh about it all.
Lately I've noticed Jacob picking up a lot of subtle little things. He's always had an eye for detail, but now it's verbal stuff...and it amazes me every time. I wish I could think of specific examples, but this morning will give you an idea. One of Jacob's near-constant companions is a little eagle/hawk that wears a Knighthawks t-shirt. I say "eagle/hawk" because the lines are blurry at the Blue Cross Arena. There's a mascot that works for both teams--he's an Eagle for the Amerks (because they're the Americans, get it?) and I suppose he morphs into a hawk for the Knighthawks. Jacob loves him, and his stuffed bird gets called both things at any given time. Anyway, this morning he took off the bird's shirt. At one point he asked if it would fit him (Jacob), and I said, "Does it look like it will fit you?" A couple minutes later he ended up putting the shirt over his hand, with his thumb through a sleeve, and he said, "See, it fits me!" I couldn't help but laugh...he was right! Then a couple minutes after that, he wound up to throw the t-shirt and said, "Ready for t-shirts!" which stems from all of the t-shirt tosses at the many sporting events we attend. The fact that he made the connection between the bird's t-shirt and those t-shirts sort of blew my mind.
Oh, and did I mention that he ate all of his main course at dinner, asked for seconds, and then got treated to ice cream and strawberries, which he ate most of? He also pooped in the potty before his bath. Talk about a good evening. It would have been nearly perfect if we didn't have to yell at him for playing golf a little too aggressively indoors. Still, between Jacob and the warmer weather, my mood has improved dramatically this week. I can practically see the landscape of trees that dominate my view at work turn greener by the minute. Earlier this week it was primarily still brownish-gray, and today it's at least half green. Not to mention the cheery forsythias, the slowly arriving tulips, the blossoming trees (our little one went from barely having tiny buds to being pink over the weekend), and the daffodils that are still hanging in there, thanks I'm sure to the cold weather we had previously. Now if the rain and/or wind would just head out, that would be great.
On another bright note, I went to the doctor today for my loss of smell and taste problems. She found that my nasal passages are quite swelled up, and prescribed an oral steroid to clear up that issue. She also gave me an antihistamine nasal spray sample, and I'll go back in two weeks to follow up. Beyond that, if the steroids do their job, then it's just a matter of finding a way to maintain it. There may be an allergist in my future to help with that, and I couldn't help but wonder how the maintenance plan will be derailed next time I have a baby (I spent two years off allergy meds when I was pregnant and nursing), but it's a start. The mere thought that I might actually be able to smell and taste within a couple weeks sounds too good to be true, but you can bet I'll be pretty happy to smell that first poopy diaper, despite my insistence that Jacob only poop in the potty these days. There are about a million other things I'd rather smell, of course, but just once, I'll take that one just to prove I can. I never realized how much tasting and smelling were a part of my life. And while I miss fully tasting or smelling good things (and am often relieved when I don't smell bad stuff), I just worry about my ability to be a good mom when I can't sniff out trouble--literally. The fact that I can't smell natural gas or smoke or even rotten milk scares me, particularly when Jacob and I are home alone. I feel bad (a bit for Jacob and mostly for other people) when I can't smell a poopy diaper. At least now he's old enough to tell me, but it still looks bad if he's stinking up the joint and I don't notice. I feel like I'm missing part of the life experience without those senses, so hopefully they come back soon.
In the meantime I just keep hoping Jacob will keep me laughing...
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
|Is it just me or is the "You LOSE" on the screen a bit harsh?|
All in all, it was just an odd experience. I just didn't really enjoy it. And I'm really pretty okay with other "fun center" kind of places. The games, the crazy kids, the bad pizza...all fine with me, but something about Chuck E. Cheese bugged me. Maybe because it seemed cheap, like they were living off the name and not making an effort because people will go there anyway. It just wasn't the pizza and games experience of my childhood, that's for sure. It'll be a while before I consent to going there again, but I'm sure we will. I just hope it's not of our own free will...
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
|He looks like a pro, doesn't he? :)|
|Not sure what he was doing for this one...maybe talking about throwing something. Love it anyway...|
|I just love the pure joy on his face in this one. He was saying the tree looked like a moose and thought that was very funny.|
|Love this one. Sweet, happy, and full of blue skies :)|
We had a late-ish dinner and another uneventful bedtime, shortly after which my mom and aunt got home. Bummer of a day for them :(
|Have I mentioned what a big boy he's becoming?|
|This picture is blurry, but I liked it so much. He looks so grown up and it's showing off his big boy belt, which he needed for these pants. Tall and skinny makes dressing kids awfully tough!|
After that we were off to breakfast. Jacob pretty much just ate pancakes and doughnuts, but the food was really good and kicked off a long day of eating. Afterward we headed off to the Easter egg hunt, at which Jacob won a giant blue bunny last year. I prayed he wouldn't win anything like that again (once is enough!) and he proceeded to wander around the candy-filled room and fill a small paper bag half full of candy. Here he is among the Tootsie Rolls, Nerds, Sweet Tarts, and more...
After that we were off to Craig's parents. We hung out all afternoon with his brother's and cousin's families--lots of kids for Jacob to play with. We actually kept the sports to a minimum for most of the time and Jacob stayed mostly out of trouble. Considering he had a short, early nap, that was good for him. We ate an obscene amount of food (so good) and ended up leaving during the second intermission of the Sabres game. We made a stop at Craig's aunt and uncle's house, though we had missed most of the rest of the family since we were there considerably later than scheduled. Still, we wanted to stop. We had a little more food there, enjoyed hanging out for a few hours, and headed out much later than scheduled. We didn't get home until nearly 10:30 (and yes, Jacob slept the whole time), but the long, busy day was worth it to have a good day with the family.
So, all in all, Easter was a success. We're still recovering a bit, but I have plenty to keep me busy at work this week and have a nice long weekend to look forward to again next weekend. More on that soon...but first, I'm sure you'll be waiting with baited breath to hear about Jacob's first trip to Chuck E. Cheese...
Saturday, April 23, 2011
On one hand, death is part of life. It happens. And as much as I don't want him to be exposed to it anytime soon, I know that some day it will happen and we'll be tasked with the challenge of explaining it to him as gently as possible. Death is sad because it's a loss. Someone is no longer with us, and we will miss them. The good news is that as Christians, we have a happy ending--that the one we've lost has gone on ahead to heaven. They're happy there, and someday far in the future we'll see them again. I don't know about you, but I like happy endings.
On the other hand, Jacob is so young and so innocent. I feel like it's almost cruel to even broach the topic with him. It's far too complex for him at this point, and there's just no need for him to experience true sadness at this early stage of his life. And yet, there are times when it comes up. Maybe it's as simple as something on a TV show, or in the context of an animal's passing, or something else along those lines. Sometimes I feel like he should have some concept of it, or that at the very least we shouldn't entirely shelter him from it, because some day he will have to deal with it and I'd hate for it to be such an unexpected blow--more than it would have been with some background knowledge, at least.
Lately there's been a couple things that have had me thinking about it. I mentioned here the other day about the book I was reading, "Two Kisses for Maddy". I just finished it a few minutes ago, actually, and just reading about how the author has had to ease his daughter into understanding her mother's death definitely makes you think. I mean, that little girl had no idea that her mother died, and not having known her at all, still has only a partial concept of what happened and what's missing from her life. She's aware of her mother, knows she isn't around, but just doesn't get the full scope of what happened. Her father's girlfriend fills the practical void of her mother, but obviously there will be a lot of explanations and discussions for many years to come as she truly begins to understand what happened. Still, death will always shape her world. But the thought of having to explain death to Jacob just boggles my mind, and frankly I'm so happy we haven't had to yet. That could change in an instant, I know, but God willing we'll have a lot more time.
The second thing that's made me think about it is the Easter season. Obviously Jacob isn't that aware of the whole Lent thing, really, but last night we went to my parents' church's Good Friday service. At its core, Good Friday is about death. It's a sad day, particularly if you don't know the happy ending that's coming on Sunday. Jacob has an Easter book that he got last year in his basket from my parents, and we've read it a few times in the past few weeks. It mentions Jesus' death in very simple terms, and obviously talks about the resurrection and why Easter is so special. I haven't dived any deeper into the death discussion when we hit that part of the book, but I sometimes wonder if Jacob gets it at all. Anyway, during the service last night, the church got progressively darker. It was a beautiful service that had many good, thought-provoking parts. My favorite is when we walk up to the front with red "sin strips" (just a long strip of red cloth) and hang them over the large wooden cross. After we're done, the black-draped cross is stood up, and the red cords hang down like blood--in a pretty, non-gory way. Even Jacob participated this year. But by the end he was asking about why it was dark, and my mom explained to him that Jesus died. Later when Jacob asked about the darkness, he answered his own question, saying that it was because Jesus died (or, "dived", depending on the moment) and that it was sad. It was so sweet and so innocent. Obviously it's a big concept for a little boy, but for now, I think that's just right.
We've prepped him for Sunday, saying how everything is going to be bright and happy because Jesus will be alive again. And again, I am grateful for the happy ending. But unfortunately, the real-life journey from death to life for us earthly humans is a heck of a lot longer than three days, and I do worry just a little about the first real death we'll face. Will Jacob be expecting a miraculous resurrection then too? How will we explain the difference between Jesus and us without souring him to this earthly life for good? You can't protect your kids forever, but it's darn tempting to try.
In the Bible we're told to not worry about tomorrow. Today has worries of its own, and God's got the rest under control. So, I'm not obsessing about this at all right now, but it's definitely been something to think about lately. I'll worry about it for real when the time comes, but for now I'll appreciate the happy ending, for more reasons than one.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Still, I love a lot of things about Easter. I love the flowers, the fun of Easter eggs and Easter baskets, the chocolate, the music at church, and even the melancholy day that is Good Friday. Heck, as a kid I even liked the mall Easter Bunny better than Santa. Perhaps Easter has always been a bright spot at the end of a 40-day long dark tunnel. When I was younger our church was always very serious about Lent. Wednesday church services, church every night of Holy Week, no weddings, and a generally non-perky set of hymns at each service...though ironically we were never encouraged to give anything up for Lent, nor did we do ashes on Ash Wednesday. We must have considered those reserved for Catholics. But on Easter Sunday? Well, the church was brighter than ever, full of flowers and a huge white cross, and the music was absolutely wonderful--loud, enthusiastic, rich, and full of the great redeeming message of Easter. We had an unfortunate early wakeup on Easter for the 6:30am Sunrise service, which always seemed to coincide with daylight savings and loss of an hour of sleep, but once I was there and starting to wake up, it was always so beautiful. And thanks to a less strenuous schedule on Easter as compared to Christmas, I could actually go home at some point at take a well-needed nap. There was still plenty of family time and fun activities--usually breakfast with one side of the family and a smorgasbord with the other later in the day--but more downtime. Ahhh.
Easter weekend was generally a good time. It helped that I usually had off from school starting Thursday, and from there on there was a lot of time spent at church--Maundy Thursday evening for a communion service that served as a reunion for our confirmation class, then Friday morning for the children's Good Friday service. We usually went to that one because it was simple, memorable, and well, it was tradition. The new confirmands ran most of the service (always an interesting element) and the sermon always consisted of a set of props illustrating some of the torture Jesus went through prior to the actual crucifixion. It did the trick, and it made Good Friday a good day for reflection. Good Friday evening we'd generally go to my grandparents' house for an old German tradition, prunes & noodles, that my grandma always spearheaded. I didn't start eating it until just a few years ago, when my cousin Lori made sure the tradition continued. Now I do enjoy it (minus the stewed plums--just noodles, croutons, and maybe a little of the juice or some Parmesan)...but truly, any excuse to hang out with the fam.
Usually somewhere during the weekend we'd dye Easter eggs, which I always loved. It was always a challenge to get the best colors, and we always did old-school vinegar and food coloring, rather than the store-bought kits. I didn't really start getting interested in the store-bought kits until I started helping with our church's Easter breakfast setup. My mom and I would go on Saturday to help set up, and my favorite tasks were setting out baskets of mini cereal boxes and colored eggs. I also enjoyed the added benefits of coffee cake crumbs, disconnected grapes, and a selection of donuts, but I digress. I loved seeing the cartons of eggs everyone would bring in, full of colorful and creative eggs. We'd sometimes color ours with white crayons before dyeing, but some people used stickers, wraps, and all sorts of crazy colors. Their colors were so vivid! But now that I'm an adult and will be dyeing eggs with my child in the coming years (not brave enough this year), I think we'll go old-school. If everyone's got the crazy colors, aren't the old-school ones more special now? But maybe I'll indulge my inner child once and do the store-bought stuff...
Usually somewhere in the week or so before Easter I'd do an Easter egg hunt or two. Our family used to do one with all the cousins, and for years church did one, too. I haven't done a real Easter egg hunt in ages, though. My mom did one for Jacob and a little girl down the street last year, which Jacob totally bailed on, and then their church did an Easter egg free-for-all (not so much a hunt as it was just eggs and candy scattered everywhere) after church, in which Jacob was lucky enough to win a giant blue bunny. Nothing so far this year, but we'll see. I always felt so inferior at Easter egg hunts--slower, less creative a looker than others--but the haul of candy and goodies was always fun. And I will always remember winning the one little stuffed bunny at our family one. My prized possession for a long time!
Easter morning we'd always do an Easter egg hunt around our house. Usually we'd try to get it in before church and find our Easter baskets hidden in any number of creative spots around the house. It could be so frustrating to find them, but such a great victory in the end. Usually my pink basket was full of Platters chocolate (yum!), and some other varied candies--jelly beans, robin eggs, etc. And usually there was one little treat, be it a few bucks in an egg or some special gift...nothing big, but usually fun! Even when I was older, my mom would bag up our candy into baggies for us to take with us back to college or home. So sweet :)
As far as Jacob is concerned, I have a feeling most Easter mornings will be spent like Christmas--on the road--but maybe one of these years we'll get in the habit of doing a little hunt in one place or another. I'm not sure when it will actually be worthwhile, though. Jacob is a different sort of kid, for starters. Also, I had the benefit of being the second child so most of our holiday traditions and activities were already in place for John by the time I was old enough to know. I've always grown up with them but now have no idea when it'll be appropriate for Jacob.
Our weekend will probably be pretty similar otherwise. Church Friday night, and Sunday morning, and a yummy Easter breakfast at church with my parents before heading out to Craig's side of the family for a couple stops. Busier than my childhood for sure, but it will be nice to see everyone. We are also planning on visiting the Broadway Market in Buffalo tomorrow, an Easter tradition for many Buffalonians, but one neither of us has participated in in years. It should be interesting, and who knows? Maybe it'll be a new tradition for us, too. I still have to survive a good workout, cooking dinner, and lots of packing before the fun can begin, though. Wish us luck...and Happy Easter :)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday he was reasonably well-behaved through church and our trip to the craft store, enough so that we took a quick trip to the pet store next door to walk around and see the animals there. It's mostly cats, rodents, and fish, but people do bring their dogs in and there's usually some getting groomed, so it's a fun little diversion. Other than that, Jacob played and napped relatively well the whole weekend. The weather stunk, so it made for a lot of indoor time, but overall it was a decent weekend.
Here's a picture Craig sent me from when he and Jacob were playing outside last week...and yes, it was cold, but they still went out. He is such a goof ball.
Monday, April 18, 2011
|See those little brown stains on the blanket closest to the bottom of the picture? My co-worker's pictures had the same ones. I have no idea what they are from. Antiseptic?|
Interestingly, this is the second friend that I'm aware of whose baby went through this. I had never heard of it before Jacob, but have now heard about it a bit since. I don't know if it's because childbirth class and other sources generally provide two potential scenarios when you go through childbirth class--that your baby is going to be normal and perfect, or that the baby will swallow meconium (in-utero poop) and will need special care. They never talk about the super-worst-case scenarios (and you know, I suppose that's wise given an audience of hormonal pregnant women who have enough to worry about), nor do they talk about the mild problems like this one. I just don't recall them mentioning that your baby may aspirate amniotic fluid, won't breathe well, and will need a full course of antibiotics before they can go home. And while I know these cases may be rare, they're at least common enough to pop up three times in the past three years in my admittedly small social circle. So, gee, maybe it would be worth mentioning.
I didn't feel like I was particularly scarred from the experience, though as time has gone on and I have a little more perspective on the whole thing, I realize just how crazy everything was and that I ended up missing out on a lot. For starters, the fact that my first real (post-delivery) pictures of Jacob were at about 7pm that night is just sad. I know that I went to see him earlier than that because I saw the space helmet with my own eyes (and that's my hand in the picture), but I seriously should have spent far more time with him that day. I don't know if I was just too sore and tired, or if I was so thrown off by what was happening that I didn't know or think to ask when I could go see him, or what. It seems like my time with him those first few days was limited to when I was nursing, which is sort of sad. I certainly didn't feel very bonded with him early on since the nurses were doing most of the diaper changes and some of the feedings. I felt like they knew him far better than me, and I felt a ton of guilt that a nurse had to catch that he wasn't doing well that first morning. I know that they're trained for that stuff far more than a first-time mom, and I was in no physical condition to be hyper-attentive. Heck, I remember panicking that first early morning when Jacob was crying because he was at the end of my bed in the bassinet, Craig was dead asleep and couldn't hear me calling to him, and I could barely move enough to get up and get either of them. I don't even know how that resolved itself, but oh, that was not my finest motherhood moment. But again, where was my brain and why didn't I just hit the call button for a nurse?
I won't even get into the insanity of my breakdown mid-week, or the formula vs. breast milk debate and accidental lack of naps that both contributed to it. Obviously I was not in a clear frame of mind, but I have no idea if it was sleep deprivation, Jacob's problems, my physical state, or parenthood in general that was doing the most damage. All I know is that my brain was clearly not functioning on high at that point. That whole early time was spent in a fog, and I will be so curious next time around to see if experience provides any help in that situation.
I think I've talked about this before, but the sheer fact we spent the first week in a hospital, in a relatively uncomfortable little room, seemed to steal a lot of the moments I feel like I've seen other people have. For starters, we never had the first family picture in our hospital room, with me looking like crap, because Jacob was whisked away too soon. But really, I'm mostly talking about the sweet photo shoots of a sleeping, wrinkly newborn on a cozy blanket in cute clothes (or nothing at all), or the calm moments of just staring at your sleeping baby in your arms. I feel like having that rough week threw everything off, and by the time he was home I was just playing catch-up with everything--house stuff, sleep, getting to know my child, blogging (oops)--so much so that I just didn't enjoy it much. I wasn't unhappy, just a bit utilitarian, I guess. My photo shoots were centered around trying to get a perfect shot for his birth announcement. Feedings were the only time I really held him for an extended period, both because they happened so darn frequently that a break was needed in between, and because I didn't want to spoil him (which, supposedly, can't happen...but the plethora of bloggers I've read who spent months with their baby in a sling or carrier makes me wonder). I just didn't sit back and take it all in as often as I should have.
And while I'd like to think I'll be smarter about it next time, there's no guarantee. We might go through similar problems, for example. If it happened once, it can happen again, but at the very least I hope it's no worse. Also, we'll be caring for TWO kids at that point, which is even crazier to think about. I might be just as deliriously tired and brutally sore as before and only have the energy to do the stuff I have to do. Sad but true. But that won't stop me from making a bunch of mental notes and psyching myself up for it so I have plenty of reminders that it's important.
Next time I don't just want to survive, I want to excel. I want to appreciate every moment and savor the small stuff, because it will seemingly be the last time around for it. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. The point of this post is that I never truly realized how much that time affected me until I teared up this morning. Those moments came flying back quicker than I could have imagined. But here we are today with an active, talented and curious little boy who's just two months shy of his third birthday. We're blessed, plain and simple.
Friday, April 15, 2011
I think the lovely weather last weekend definitely contributed to my condition, because it got me wishing for fun outdoor activities and the pure loveliness that comes with late spring-early summer around here. You know, that time before the weather is scorching and while the warmth and sun are still novelties. While I'm still dedicated to my work, I find myself wanting to be anywhere but there...frolicking somewhere out in the nice weather or just enjoying the rest of my life that I only see on weekends. There just aren't enough hours in the day, plain and simple. When I spend most of them at work, it doesn't leave much time for Craig or Jacob, let alone myself. Between commuting, dinner, Jacob's bedtime routine, and however I choose to spend the couple hours after that (blogging, coupon cutting, catching up on TV, reading), it makes for a busy day...and not enough time for sleeping on top of it. All of that just makes me wish I could change up our routine a bit and enjoy the good stuff a little more. I know I have weekends, but as I've mentioned here before, weekends are often taken up by doing all the errands and chores that I never get to during the week because I'm so tired in the evenings. That doesn't leave nearly enough time for the good stuff.
Lately, more than ever, I've been dreaming of vacation. I have 3-1/2 weeks of vacation to use, and it's starting to taunt me. Do I put it all into cool family time? Do I use some of it for myself? Do I take a couple days to get all the boring house stuff done that I've been putting off, like carpeting and carpet cleaning? While I've been thinking a bit about our summer family vacation, recently I've been salivating at the thought of Craig and me going away alone. I love Jacob so much, and part of me would miss seeing his face and knowing what he's up to every hour of every day...but another part of me desperately wants a break. A break from our routine, a break from being responsible every single minute, a chance to just get back to a time when it was just Craig and me. I wouldn't want to go back to that era permanently, obviously, but a little peek at the past would probably serve us very well. But coordinating everything, figuring out finances and time off, and making sure Jacob's taken care of, just seems like a lot. Not impossible, but intimidating...particularly for someone who has a problem making decisions.
Another element of the antsy-ness is a bit of anticipation...of what, I have no idea. Perhaps part of it is the weather and the aforementioned summer plans, but another part of it might actually be that I still associate this time of year with the end of my pregnancy (yes, I know it was THREE years ago--get over it already). At this point we were getting so close, going to baby classes, getting ready for showers, and starting to get nervous and excited. And every spring since, I've looked back fondly and remembered the crazy excitement we experienced. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm being inundated with baby news...finding out about pregnancies (at least three in the last week or so) and anticipating a number of births among friends of mine (well, Facebook friends, anyway), right down to the birth of a (male) co-worker's baby very soon (false alarm last night!)--a co-worker whose last baby was born exactly six weeks after Jacob.
In addition, baby #2 is slowly but surely creeping on our radar. Don't worry, nothing to report yet, but it's already getting to be time to start making plans and thinking about our desired timing. Despite no real change to the financial situation that dissuaded us from doing this last year, we're going to move forward at some point later this year. Four years is enough between kids, and we just need to make it happen. It'll be a short-term hardship for a long-term benefit. I'm starting to feel a lot more ready (more often than not--just don't ask me after a Jacob tantrum or a particularly long day), which is considerable progress from a while back. And with another year under our belt, that's one less year we'll be paying full double daycare. Better than two. Anyway, the mere thought of getting closer to that is enough to excite me...though the last thing I want to do is wish away my summer just so we can get to our targeted baby-making time. I have to keep reminding myself that there's plenty I can do in the meantime to start the wheels in motion...so we don't need to get to that point right NOW.
Spring is just a funny time of year. With the grass greening up, the flowers blooming, and the weather getting ever-so-slightly warmer, there's so much promise and so much newness all around us. Last year the warm weather came early, while we were still in post-move mode, and everything got exciting all at once...nice house, good weather, Easter, etc. This year there just isn't much. Easter is late, the weather's been so-so, and there are no big plans on the horizon for much of anything, other than the stuff I discussed above. I have great memories of springs past, like pregnancy, the end of the school year, random activities on surprisingly awesome spring days, and so on, so I guess I'll just have to anticipate fun based on past history...and hope that one of these days it will just pop up and make all of this antsy-ness worthwhile!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I don't want to make a big deal about it because I don't want him to rebel--because, trust me, he will--but he's rapidly approaching his third birthday. His third birthday has always been my potty training goal. If he hadn't figured it out by then, we'd have to resort to some hardcore training. But I'm starting to feel like all the training in the world isn't going to make a bit of difference if the subject isn't willing.
The perplexing thing is that he keeps insisting he wants big boy underwear and his big potty prize. And yet, he just doesn't seem to understand that he needs to work at it. No matter how many times we spell it out for him, we don't seem to get anywhere. We bring up his desire to be a big boy, and whenever we question it, he insists that he wants to be a big boy and sometimes even insists he needs to go potty right then and there. And sometimes he does. But it never goes anywhere.
Prior to this past weekend I told Jacob we could try big boy underwear again. We'd only tried it with a pull-up over previously (sorry, we have lots of carpeting), but I came up with a brilliant plan. We could put on his underwear, put on some sweatpants, and go play outside. I'd bring out his potty to keep in the garage, so he wouldn't even have to go inside to pee. He was very excited to get the underwear on, and we were outside for quite a while. I frequently asked him if he had to go, and he said no. At one point he was riding around on his big wheel, and he yelled to me that he needed new underwear. When I asked him why, he said, "I don't know," but as I walked closer, I saw a puddle below his big wheel. Ugh.
Just like the last time he was in big boy underwear, the wet spot in his underwear wasn't big or that soaked, but obviously there was enough to visibly leak out. I couldn't get an answer from him as to why he didn't go potty when I asked him, or why he didn't tell me he had to go, or why he peed in his underwear even though he knows he's not supposed to. I can't tell if he physically can't tell that he has to go, or if he doesn't care, or if he's doing it for attention. He laughs it off and won't talk to us about it when we ask.
He keeps asking to wear them again, but why would we bother? I had hoped that giving him the benefit of the doubt might produce a miracle--since he is smart and seems to know what he's doing--but no such luck. Other than a most-of-the-time willingness to use the potty when asked, we really haven't gotten anywhere...no dry mornings, no dry naps, very little voluntary use. He seems to have given up pooping in the potty (he insisted the other day that he couldn't go in the potty--and followed it up with two poopy diapers as proof), and it's all getting frustrating. I can't decide if it's a physical thing, a laziness/busyness thing, or some sort of power struggle. I do know that he's getting too big for his changing table and I'm sick of buying diapers.
I don't know what tactic to try next. Do I take time off and do the classic training with every 15 minutes on the potty and M&Ms as bribes? Do I let him run around naked in the yard next time it's nice and let him learn to dislike pee running down his legs? Even still, he can be so defiant that I can't see even the smallest victory sticking with us until he's ready to do it. Heck, he probably would have been content to sit in wet pants on Saturday if it meant staying outside. He doesn't seem phased by peer pressure, though he does talk about his underwear-wearing friends quite a bit. But there's still some disconnect somewhere--either that he doesn't realize he could be wearing big boy underwear, or that his friends had to work hard to wear underwear, or that peeing in the potty once does not a potty-trained child make--even though we're constantly explaining these exact things to him.
I'll admit that I find it hard to be super-consistent with him. Perhaps I should be asking him every 15 minutes all the time if he has to go potty, so he gets the concept that it has to be on his mind all the time. But even when we did try it over the weekeknd, it didn't work. He kept telling me no, and then proceeded to pee his pants despite a potty being 10 feet away. That lends credence to the fact that he might not be physically ready, but at what point do we need to talk to the doctor about it? I don't want to rush him, but I also don't want to get so lax about it that suddenly we're staring down age four and exploring the world of size six diapers. Not only don't I want that, but I'm sure daycare would be none too enthused as well. It's the age-old dilemma of parenthood--You want to allow your child to explore the world at their own pace and on their own terms, but they also need direction and leadership to ensure they stay on the right path. I don't want to push Jacob...but maybe that's what he needs.
So, yeah, I have no idea. I feel like we're wandering aimlessly in the land of potty training, and as any mother knows, if there's anything you want when dealing with potty matters, it's good aim. Which brings up another point--when do we let him stand?! Ugh, maybe I'm not so ready for this after all...
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday night wasn't too bad. We went to dinner right from daycare because I needed to do a big shopping trip and we had to get started ASAP. I went to a place I knew we both liked, a local place called Carmine's, but I knew it would be a bit of a challenge because it's always busy and seating is a bit of a free-for-all. But Jacob can eat there for 99 cents and it was right on the way. Jacob was very good about staying with me as we wandered around waiting for a table, and other than not eating great and standing up on the bench near the end, he was great. He was equally good during our shopping trip, which was huge because it involved a lot of random meandering around a Super Walmart to find a bunch of stuff that I'd had on a mental list for weeks. All in all it was very successful. I forgot to mention that I also had a little potty training trial on the agenda, which I'll get more into later, but Jacob was aware of it and was apparently very excited. While Craig and I were both preoccupied on Saturday morning, Jacob helped himself to his big boy underwear supply and Craig found him running around like this--note the red underwear.He had specifically requested to wear the red pair for our little trial, but unfortunately, he'd put them on wrong (leg hole as the waist) and he stretched them out. He later did it with another pair, too, when I wasn't looking. Oy.
He had a relatively good morning but I was concerned about how a noon birthday party would go, since he usually eats lunch around that time and is napping away by 1ish. Fortunately adrenaline seemed to do its job and he was fine. The party was at a place called Kango, a local play center we'd never been to before. They have a big crawl structure with slides, a big inflatable obstacle course, some games, and an area for roller skating/trike riding. You can see the crawl structure to the left, and the inflatable to the right. The rink area is in the back and the games were behind me.
Almost immediately Jacob was obsessed with the basketball game. I don't know if the setup of the place reminded him of the last party we went to like that (for his second cousin Emma), or what, but right away he saw it and knew what to do. That didn't stop me from trying to get him to go up into the crawl structure with the other kids. I practically dragged him up, pushed him through the tunnels and other assorted areas, and eventually got him to a slide. He practically refused to go down, but I think my argument that the quickest way back down (where he wanted to go) was via the slide won out and down we went. No idea why he was so freaked out...can toddlers be irrationally afraid of heights?
I was trying to hold out on shelling out money for games because I figured we'd probably get something for free later in the party, but I gave in after a while knowing thata few games would probably keep him sane until the official partying started. And yes, he LOVED the basketball game. And he was actually pretty good at it. Nearly as good as me, in fact. I was quicker, but his accuracy was nearly as good as mine. We made a good team and racked up quite a few tickets, actually.After a few rounds, we headed into the party room for pizza and cake. Jacob ate ridiculously well, without much help at all. He ate an entire slice of pizza and a piece of cake, leaving nearly nothing behind. He was so cute. Here he is (end of the table), and two of the girls from his original daycare class are to the right. The birthday girl is in purple. You may remember her from last year's party.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sorry that this one is turned...I was taking pictures and forgot to flip my camera back to horizontal. I can flip it if I post it on Facebook, but not here as far as I can tell. Sorry for anyone who gets a kink in their neck turning to watch, but Jacob hits a really good shot here so it might be worth it :) Hard to see, but the ball ends up just a couple feet from the deck.
Not much to report this week. Jacob was still pretty testy yesterday and has been waking up after a very short naptime (like, a half hour--a third of what I normally consider the minimum necessary naptime) and being a menace to his teachers. He'll throw things, yell, wake up his friends, and be generally difficult. I don't enjoy having one un-napped child, so I can only imagine the pain of having up to ten. I get that Jacob hasn't been feeling well and that sometimes his cough wakes him up early. And we're certainly paying daycare enough to figure out a solution for when this happens, but I feel bad that there's nothing we can do about it. They left a note yesterday to talk to him about it, but that never seems to work. Anytime we talk to him about something important, he clams up, avoids eye contact, and gets otherwise distracted, so it's hard to impart important information because he's quite literally blocking us out. It is incredibly frustrating. The Supernanny book I was reading said that times of illness aren't the best times to discipline, but obviously this can't go unnoticed. It's a very tough balance. However, he should be feeling better after a day or two on the antibiotics, so his grace period is rapidly coming to an end. We put him to bed quite early last night, and he seemed to fall asleep very quickly. He slept through for the first time in a few nights, and I had to wake him up at the very last minute this morning. I'm hoping that a good night's sleep did him good and he was at least tolerable today. He's had a couple days with just one or two stickers, so I'm definitely hoping for more. He has yet to get them all, and the listening one has been especially elusive. I really hope he starts feeling better soon because we have a long weekend ahead of us where it's just the two of us, thanks to Craig's beyond busy schedule. The weather is looking better, so that should help. We also have a birthday party to go to and a couple games, as well. We have the last Knighthawks and Amerks' regular season home games, and while I normally I don't do both in a weekend, we haven't been to a hockey game since February so I think we're due. Undoubtedly it'll go quick, but bad behavior can ruin almost anything, as we know all too well. Should be interesting...