Friday, February 19, 2016

News & Notes, Completely Random Edition

I feel like I've had a bunch of random stuff percolating in my brain, so it's all getting dumped here.

- After all of the snowy ridiculousness earlier this week, it's going to be considerably warmer today and into the weekend.  We're even getting some freezing rain today, apparently.  The snow piles are massive, so I suppose it won't be a bad thing if they shrink down a bit to make it easier to drive around them.  The killer issue last year when we had this much snow is that we never had a good melt during the month of February.  Those piles just kept getting bigger, the layer of ice on our driveway never had a chance to break up, and there was never a day where we got to walk outside and not have our breath taken away by the cold.  This year has been the complete opposite, thank goodness.  I can't even be mad about this week (even though that commute was horrific) because we just haven't had much of the super-cold, snowy weather.  Now that the temperature is decent, it would be nice to get out and play in it with the kids, but with Jacob's cast, only Carter can get in on the fun.  Of course, most of the snow piles are taller than him!

- Speaking of the cast, we have less than a week until it comes off.  I can't wait.  I'm sure Jacob is excited, too, as he's sick of sitting around at school while the other kids get to play.  But I am really looking forward to not having to lift him up curbs and stairs, or dealing with his crutches falling all over the place.  He's been out of sports for over two months now, and I am really eager for him to get that outlet back.  All things considered this was still the best time of year for this to happen, since he'd be nuts if he couldn't go out in good weather, but I am so ready for it to be over.

- Carter is feeling better, but he has been a huge handful lately.  He's been very opinionated and stubborn.  I'm hoping it's not just three, and rather that he hasn't been sleeping well.  Last night was the first night he slept through in nearly a week, but I can tell that all of the congestion he's still dealing with is making it hard for him to breathe.  He snores a lot at night right now as a result, and I'm thinking that less than ideal oxygen intake and all of the effort to breathe through a clogged nose (seriously, why can't little kids breathe through their mouth?) just isn't giving him restful nights of sleep.  Hopefully once the current congestion clears up he will be a little better.  We're halfway through his medicine and his throat is better and the fevers are done, so it's a start.

- I realized this morning that I have a party to plan in the next week.  Despite the fact it is two weeks late, I'm still getting caught off-guard by Carter's party.  I've been thinking about his cake for months, and now I have to figure out when I'm making it.  I have to plan a menu and buy beverages.  I should really clean my house.  It's going to be a busy week for sure!  I suppose, though, it will be good to have Carter's family party, since his low-key birthday sort of makes it feel like he's not totally, officially three.  I guess nowadays it's not real until I can take a picture of a fun cake, huh?

- If I ever go back to longer hair again, someone just slap me.  I'm continually surprised at how much better life is when your hair is not a constant source of annoyance.  For example, every time I go to the bathroom at work, I don't have to be dissatisfied with the current state of my hair, as it no longer looks stringy, staticky, or disheveled by midday.  When my hair is short, it generally behaves and looks much more polished.  I'm now remembering why I kept it like this for so long--from shortly after I got married until sometime after Jacob's second birthday, which accounts for a good six years or so, I think?  I suppose I could get tired of almost anything, but this just seems like a no-brainer.  The only downsides at this point are how to wrangle it when I'm working out, as it's too short to put up, and that I can't do much to "spice it up".  Of course, I never "spiced it up" even when it was long, so again--if I'm not going to take advantage of longer hair, why keep it?

- This weekend begins a few straight weekends of Craig being on the road.  We haven't had to deal with that much this year, so I'm hunkering down for a few tough weekends.  Honestly, we usually come out of them fine, but it is tiring doing two bedtimes and wrangling two kids on school days or Sundays.  The hardest part is not having backup when the kids start getting frustrating and you can't just walk away when you need a timeout.  There's no one else to back up your point or enforce punishment when you need to escape before you explode.  I suppose it does force you to maintain a stronger sense of self-awareness so you catch yourself and re-route things before they get to a breaking point, but it is hard.  Weekends like this give me a whole new respect for single parents, and I know they have it about a million times harder because they don't have the mental or emotional support when times get tough, nor do they have a break on the horizon at the end of the weekend.  It was different when it was just Jacob and me.  But now with two kids with totally different interests and needs, I find it challenging to meet both of their needs.  As an example, last night Jacob had a hardcore tantrum when I set Carter up to watch a half hour show while I was getting dinner ready.  He wanted to watch a certain movie, and he was not happy that I was making him delay it until after dinner.  "Carter always gets to watch what he wants!"  No matter how I explained to him that he was giving up a half hour so I could make dinner in peace, or how Carter was only getting a half hour of what he wanted to watch and Jacob could watch an entire movie later, he was not having it.  Only when I lost it a bit and then told him he wouldn't be watching anything if I heard one more complaint out of him did he quiet down.  Why does it always have to get to that point?  Seriously.

- The sticker chart we did for our counseling isn't really working.  He's getting a few stickers here and there, but it is slow going.  He doesn't really care if he moves down, and he isn't exactly going out of his way to earn more.  He is still trying to engage Carter in hockey games with the new nets, but Carter isn't interested and he's completely frustrated about it.  I keep trying to explain to him that you can't force someone to play when they don't want to, that they will just ignore you more if you bug them too much.  This is apparently new territory for him, and the irony of his current efforts after nearly three years of completely avoiding/ignoring him amazes me.  Of course, he still freaks out the second Carter crosses the threshold into his room, so I can't say I understand his mindset right now.

- The bed situation is still up in the air.  I'm pretty dead set on just getting a big boy bed rather than bothering with changing over the crib and not having a rail for it.  Jacob was intrigued by getting a new bed and giving Carter his (which, storage-wise makes a ton of sense), but now I'm searching for what he said he wanted.  We'll see.  If we get desperate I can temporarily bring up a basic frame from our crawl space and just get a new mattress for it.  We have a really old one in storage, but I'd like Carter to get a fresh one.  I'll probably also pass down Jacob's quilt and get him a "bigger boy" one, rather than have two "little boy" ones in the house.  Carter might never even know it's a hand-me-down since Jacob's animals have covered every inch of it, always.  So...we'll see.

- Today marked the day that my brother's family made their cross-country flight to officially become east coasters!  They flew out of Portland first thing this morning and are now settling into their temporary digs in New Jersey.  It's exciting to have them within a drivable distance, mostly because I want the kids to have more time to spend together.  Hopefully there will be more fun holidays and trips to NYC in our future!  I can't even imagine uprooting our lives like that, but I'm excited for their new opportunity.  The world is a better place because other people DO have the guts to do stuff like that! 

I'm finishing up this post from my parents' house, where we're getting a change of scenery this weekend after a lot of weekends cooped up in our house since Jacob's been in a cast.  They're fresh from a cruise, so it's good to see them, too!  Always nice to have help when Craig is out of town, even though he'll actually be back tomorrow afternoon.  Might be a good chance for him to get some solo time at home, which isn't a bad thing either.  It'll be good to see him, though.  In the meantime, getting the kids out of their bad habits at home will be a nice change of pace!  Bring on the weekend! 

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