Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Do You People Read This Crap?

I mean, seriously, I don't write anything interesting. Take today's topic - packing for a trip to MIL's house. Scintillating stuff, really. No mention of Michael Jackson (okay, this one) or Farrah (except here). Yet you still read. Imagine...


I've got my master packing list. It needs to be tweaked to involve a trip to the campground and potential water play outdoors, but it's basically all good. Nonetheless, it's hard to decide HOW to divide up the stuff. Do I pack the diaper bag for the trip up and down? Or do I pack the diaper bag for the trip up, and supplement on the way down with stuff that I pack separately? For example, we probably need three diapers for the drive up. Do I just put the rest of the diapers for the weekend in a separate tote bag? There's no right answer. The bottom line is a baby and a potty-trainer require too much stuff. :(

Alan and I have to pack separate suitcases, too, because I don't share space. Weird and anal, sure, but true. Plus, the boys have just enough stuff that they may need two small suitcases.

Do I bring a small stroller? The big one? The double? Can I even fit one?

Is it rude to bring snacks for myself? MIL has tons of food, but it's slightly off of my tastes. That's fine for one day, but not for several. For example, she might have bread, but it's white (gross) and not wheat. Or she will have oatmeal, but instead of plain, or cinnamon, or maple, or any of the thousand varieties I am fine with eating, she will randomly have peach. Peach! Yucky. Do I have room to pack food?

Not only are you reading my stream-of-consciousness, but I am not offering solutions - only questions. Hmmm.

Maybe I should have napped when the boys did.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Inspired by Green. Hooked by My OCD Nature.

Today was the first time that Alan and I used the reusable grocery bags for shopping. I've already used the bags. Yesterday, when we needed to take swim supplies (suits, swimmie diapers, towel, and sunscreen) for the boys with us to a party, my book bag was already filled with my weekly stash of library books and my errands tote was already packed with extra diapers and baby food for daycare. So I grabbed an ugly dark lime green reusable grocery bag for the swim gear and away we went. But today, we were using them for their intended purpose - to save the planet by creating less waste.

I thought they would be a pain to use. I had gotten over the what-if-I-forget-them-at-home angst by assuring myself that when I forget them, I'll get the plastic bags that we still use, on ocassion, for especially stinky diapers, lining the frig shelf when there is a leaky cooked meat product, and lining waste baskets. I had dealt with the fact that they all come with obnoxious logos by getting ones where the logo was hard to read. I had braced myself for the inevitable "green" jokes at the grocery store. (Well, I thought I had. I still blabbered like an idiot when the lady in front of me, clearly a Republican, said, "like your bags." And when the cashier asked if she loaded them like I wanted them loaded...and followed up with raised eyebrows and a snide "using plastic?" when I wrapped the uncooked chicken breasts in plastic, it was all I could do to not lecture her about landfills and smog, but whatever.)

They were AWESOME INCREDIBLE THE-BEST-SYSTEM-SINCE-THE-PDA. {stops jumping up and down} What I mean to say (maturely) is that they were very nice. Very nice indeed.

We brought five bags. Once the boys were in the carts (we use two, so each boy can sit in the front of one), we opened the five bags in one of the carts. We used the other cart for the big stuff - canned drinks, diapers, and the air filter. But in the cart with the bags, we loaded the bags as we went through the store. Frozen foods went in one. Frig foods in another. There was one for pantry items and another for bathroom or kitchen counter items (like baby food). When we got to checkout, we opened the fifth, empty bag on the conveyor belt. Behind it, we unloaded the pantry food. Then we put that empty bag, opened nicely, on the belt. Behind it, we unloaded the frozen food. And so on.

The cashier didn't have any extra work, since the bags were ready and waiting.

The exciting part, though, is that she was FORCED to load the groceries the way we like it. She couldn't put cans on top of the bread because the bread was behind the next bag. Cold food wasn't placed with the crackers to dampen the cardboard box, since she couldn't physically get to the cold foods and the crackers at the same time. Also, though the bags were a smidge heavier than usual, there were fewer (only the five) and they fit over my shoulder by the straps if I need to carry a hefty baby on my hip. Plus, I felt secure that, for once, my milk wasn't going to fall out of the bag and splatter all over the floor.

Once I add a binder clip to the main bag with a Master grocery list (printed out so we can circle what we need) and any coupons for the week, it will be the perfect system.

Why didn't I spend the FIVE DOLLARS it cost years ago to do this? It is so much more convenient and organized. (And - bonus - Loki and Ander might just be able to live out their lives on Earth.)


Hugs and Kisses

I went to two birthday parties yesterday, At one, the recipient was an adorable one year old. His mommy thanked everyone for the gifts after she helped him open them. At the other, the nine year old birthday girl, who lives out of state and doesn't know us really well, was told by her parents to stop unwrapping after each gift, find the person who gave them the gift, and give them a hug and say thanks.

I'm no Ms. Manners, certainly. I believe manners are terribly important, mostly because they help keep peace and serenity. But I don't handwrite thank you notes after a child's birthday party. I guess I'm a manners moderate.

But I thought it was awkward and unnecessary to have a little girl hug every single guest at the party. And I thought it was crazy time-consuming to seek out the gift-givers, return to the area where the little kids were watching the opening of gifts, open the next gift, and walk away to search again. It dragged things on beyond the patience of kids.

I note with appreciation the parents' intent to teach politeness. I suspect my discomfort with the whole thing comes from my aversion to hugging people. Couldn't the nine year old just say thanks? Maybe, if you really want to show appreciation, she could go around AFTER unwrapping all the gifts and thank people personally?

I think it even goes beyond politeness at birthday parties. It's the whole expectation that kids have to hug and kiss everyone goodbye that bothers me. Grandma? Yes, she gets a hug and kiss. But if your toddler sees his great uncle twice a year or your preschooler sees his aunt once every month or two, why should he has to let them into his personal space and hug them. Couldn't he just politely wave to people he barely knows, like grown-ups do? Isn't it scary and weird to hug someone that, though mom and dad may know them well, is practically a stranger?


Working Out

I keep gaining weight. I'm nursing less (a LOT less...like pretty much totally weaned for daytime feeds...HaPPy DaNCe!!!) and have been really busy with Alan working overtime. I'm been working out some, riding my bike on weekend mornings and walking with the boys, but the weather has had nothing but record heat for a week or two, so I've been dormant.

I really need to buy some workout tapes. I can do those with the boys around and even if it's hot. I hesitate to buy them, because they are repetitive, can get expensive, and aren't as fun as being outdoors to work out. But I guess I need to face the very real obstacle in my path. It's too hot to work out outside and the boys are too much trouble to take all the way to a gym.

I'm trying to make better food choices, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Without working out, my body just doesn't lose weight. I know this. I don't even mind the workout, per se, as it makes me feel better. (I mind the extra dirty laundry and the time required to shower twice in a day and the heat, but not the workout itself.) I just don't have time to do everything.

But working out is something I need to do. My kids needs to see me doing it.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cheaper By The Dozen

I unload the dishwasher bottom shelf first, then top shelf. First, I unload and put away anything that belongs in the area over the stove, like plates and bowls. Then, I unload the big stuff, like pots and pans, and put them in the cabinets under the island. Next I do silverware. Then knifes that go on the counter in the knife block. Finally, I move from the left to the right through things that belong in the left, middle, and right cabinet.

Why does that matter?

I would argue it matters because my system is quick and efficient. I deal with the huge assignment (shut up - you know you don't want to unload the dishwasher either because it is overwhelming...and, well, if it's not, come unload mine) in manageable chuncks. I don't have to think about it.

Other, more cynical sorts, would argue that my OCD makes me obsess in the middle of the night about how to improve my system and blogging about it is the only way to get the thoughts out of my brain (and into your reading diet...HA HA).

I never liked the cynical sort. They are right way too often.

By the way, I handle almost everything I tackle (writing a pleading, preparing for trial, cleaning off the island, packing for vacation) the same way - break it into small, spacially-related steps and do it a chunck at a time.

Two points to whoever understands the reference in the title.


Friday, June 26, 2009


I don't like Westerns. I hate shot them up space shows (like Star Wars...icky).

So why is it that I've watched the entire Firefly series as many times as I've read Harry Potter?

I'm fascinated by the relationships. The Shepard who brings respect to the Companion (translation for nonfans: high class legal prostitute). The Doctor who is awkward. The Pilot who doesn't understand his value, but is secure enough as a man to marry the strongest Warrior Woman I've ever seen. The Captain who loves his crew like he wishes God loved him.

I wish I knew such complex, brave characters in real life. I think of a few of my friends and know they have the potential for such stories inside of them. But, mostly, people in real life are concerned with what shows to wear or what to watch on tv. In today's society, relationships are second to the daily grind. Relationships are based on things rather than character traits.

I think I'm going to move towards discovering and respecting character more than I have. I'm going to spend more time interacting with people and less on the daily grind. I'm going to find some Serenity.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Kids Need Their Daddy Back

Alan worked until 4 a.m. last night. Then, he got up for work at 6 a.m. this morning. That's 2 hours of sleep.

In theory, I wasn't working and got to sleep a lot.

In theory only.

I stayed up until about 12:30 in the morning. I just can't sleep without my husband next to me. Then I feel sound asleep.

Tick tock. Tick tock. 25 minutes pass as I begin to enter REM sleep.


Loki is awake. I barely slept all night and then got up with Alan at 6 a.m., so I could see my husband for a few minutes. Tonight, when he arrives home, I will exhausted. But he'll need sleep more than me, so I'll stay up. And he wonders how I manage to not get enough work done during his overtime season.

I can't wait for a vacation. I need some solid sleep. I can't function this way. One parent with a job and two kids feels like having a newborn. Yawn.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tweaking the "Arrive Home" Routine

Arrival at home used to be a real problem. Both boys were starving half the time. Both wanted attention. The stuff in my car (for example, dirty lunch containers, milk on ice, and wet towels) HAD to be brought into the house. It was chaos.

(Aside for credit - a quick thank you shoutout to my friend Misty for her ideas regarding workboxes.)

As part of my night time routine, I've been preparing stuff to LEAVE the house. But now, I also prep stuff for when we get home. I make three workboxes (more on those below) for Ander and leave them out on the kitchen table.

Being self-employed and picking up my kids up from my mom seems to suck up afternoon time. I've made it a goal, despite those challenges, to get home an hour before supper time. When I get home now, Ander has to 1) potty, 2) do any chores that are needed, like clear out toys from the living room, 3) do the three workboxes, and 4) eat supper, before he gets to either go on a walk with Mommy or play with Daddy. If Mommy is home alone and it's too hot to walk, THEN he gets a movie. All three are really fun for him, so it motivates him (and forces me to workout).

Meanwhile, Loki watches a Baby Einsteins DVD while playing with toys and then eats supper (while Ander eats, so we are all visiting together). I still eat after that, because it's too hard to eat all together and still feed Loki.

Mommy clears out the car, supervises the boys, and makes supper while Ander completes the workboxes. It works out MUCH better than before, when I tried to entertain the boys the whole time.

As an added bonus, the workbox idea is fabulous. I put out three activities. I try to do an easy, totally self-directed activity, then an activity that takes Mommy's help, and a third activity that is really exciting. Ander can see all three and wants to do them, so he works them pretty cooperatively.

Yesterday, we first colored a picture and added Color Wonder glitter paint. We worked on writing the letter A to show it was by Ander. Then, he had a fine motor skills activity where he put stickers on a picture and colored within the raised lines the stickers left over. Finally, we made play-dough cookies.

Today, we colored a page and worked on the letter A and spelling Andersen outloud as Mommy wrote it. (We color a lot in the first activity, both because that is when I'm most busy with Loki and because he needs the practice holding pens and crayons.) Then, we took a free hurricane map I got at Subway and used pennies to track hurricane routes (from the water to the boot-shaped Louisiana) and our evacuation route to Grandma's house. (We've been talking about hurricanes on our way to and from work everyday.) Finally, we took a puzzle with animals on it and wrote a story about animals. I would write a sentence, like, "The cow mooed at the..." and he would pick a puzzle piece, like the chicken, and finish the sentence. I would write chicken. He would put a period at the end of the sentence and then out the piece in the puzzle. The task works on listening, story-telling, learning the direction of written English words, ending sentences with periods, and holding a pencil correctly. Plus, he LOVED it. He thought it was great fun!

I haven't done a theme because I really have to vary the activities based on what is easily available and how much time I have to work with him. (For example, if Loki did not cooperate, Ander could have just done the animal puzzle without the story.) Plus, I only want to do about 20 to 30 minutes of activity. It's enough that he can focus as long as the activities are interesting.

This one-on-one interaction leaves me time to get supper ready, clean out the car, and make supper. But it really is one-on-one interaction, from Ander's prospective, because Mommy helps him get his colors, tells him stories about hurricanes (while warming leftover frozen pizza...that's fine parenting), and makes cool animal noises while he plays with his favorite puzzle. Loki thinks it's pretty funny, too, and loves that he gets to play with his toys WITHOUT Ander stealing them away and Mommy fussing at Ander for stealing them away.

I'm glad I did this.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Sometimes, Your Spouse Sends You An E-mail...

...that innocently asks, "How did swim lessons go?"

Sometimes, the reply is worthy of a blog entry:

"Would me bursting into tears be too dramatic?

He refused to get undressed. Timeout.
He refused to take off his shoes. Timeout.
He refused to let me put on sunscreen. Timeout.

He refused to get in the pool, but I told him Sue was in charge and left. My errands took the whole hour (because I had to go to the clerk's office for a client) and when I got back, he was swimming a bit (though mostly hanging on to Sue). When he saw me, he started crying and begging to get out. Sue, to her credit, said, "I know you want to get out, but class isn't over. So you can sit quietly on the step and have no fun for the next five minutes, or we can try swimming like a puppy dog a little bit more." After a bit, he swam.


Then we went to Subway (because I didn't have lunch made for today). In line, I told him to give people "personal space" since he was pushing into the man in front of him. When we were sitting down, eating our lunch, he suddenly pointed his finger at a woman in line, where we had been standing earlier, and announced, "She is in my personal space. Make her move." Sigh.

Loki seems to be feeling better. He's been mostly sleeping.


Friday, June 19, 2009

The Submissive Wife

Title got your attention? Ha.

I'm not the submissive sort. (Oh, you hadn't noticed?) I was reading tabloid junk about Jon and Kate Plus 8 (yes, that's the sort I am...sad, isn't it) and the author of the tabloid article joked that Kate would announce that she was becoming a submissive wife, as explained in a book by the title The Submissive Wife. I clicked the wikipedia link and got sucked in.

I'm also reading a book called Eve (copyright 2009, about the first woman), so the topic is popping up in my life lately. (Good book, so far. Worth reading.)

I never quite understand a relationship where the wife (or either spouse) is submissive. The freedom in not having to make decisions or have the primary responsibility? I get that. I MAYBE could understand that.

The part I can't understand, frankly, is wanting a submissive wife in your life. What Alan and I have, the sharing of responsibility, is so important. I couldn't possibly take it all on myself. Neither could he. We are better people because we act as a team. Sure, there are areas where I make most or all of the decisions. And there are areas where he does. But those divisions are because of our strengths, weaknesses, and interests - not our genders.

I know I have friends where the husband is clearly head of the household. I have friends in such relationships where it doesn't work (because husband is a power-hungry dictator) and friends where it does work (because husband respects his wife and treats her kindly). But I just can't imagine the draw to such a relationship. I can't envision why one would be a part of such a relationship. I can't imagine that it's a stronger relationship than equality.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Discipline News


{Deep breathing}

There, all better.

We decided on the 6-kid home-based preschool near my office. If offers what we are looking for without a huge price tag and we can move up to something bigger next year. Don't you feel all updated and stuff? ;)

So on to discipline issues.


Ander was the sweetest little 2 year old. He would listen and do his very best to obey. He wanted people happy and would try to please them. And then came 3.

(On a related-but-only-through-stream-of-consciousness note, Loki was a pleasant, sweet, nonmobile 7 month old. 9 months tomorrow...and he now insists on hiding around the corner, setting off the carbon monoxide detector, and eating anything he can touch. Ander tells him, "No no, Loki. If you touch that again, Mommy will put you in jail." Lol. Jail is a pack 'n play and it's never used for more than a few seconds, unless I'm in the bathtub, but you make one joke in front of the 3 year old and bam - you are stuck with it.)

We have a Chart. On his chart, Ander can earn checks (20 = 1 Book Buck for spending at the bookstore) for getting dressed cooperatively or picking up his toys. It's the three year old version of a chore chart, since there's no consequence for not doing the stuff, but there will be when he is older.

We have Timeout. We strive to use the Supernanny method to the letter. Warning at eye level in a calm voice, 3 minute timeout, brief explanation, sorries, and hugs and kisses. We are so far from perfect, but pretty consistent. We use timeout for disobedient behavior, like hitting or refusing to follow directions. If the behavior involves an object, like hitting the wall with a bat, the object goes into timeout.

We have Chillout. Chillout is offered (okay, mandated or you get a timeout) when a 3year old shouts "NO!" at another person, runs like a mad person around the house, or has a temper tantrum. The preschooler is sent to his room to calm down. He can play with toys or whatever it takes, but can't come back until he is calm. It works pretty well in each separate instance, but happens far too often. Sometimes, it might happen five or six or more times in a single day. But it seems much more appropriate than the more confrontational timeout when I know Ander is just frustrated versus disobeying.

We have Steps. Special Agent Oso, on the Disney Channel, uses "three steps" to get his missions done. So Ander's missions have three steps, as I've described in a previous blog post.

Finally, I've recently introduced The Rules: Nice Hands, Walking Feet (when indoors or on a hard surface), Listening Ears, Watching Eyes (for making sure you can see the grownup in charge unless you are in your room or have permission to be out of sight), and Nice Mouth (for kind words and inside voice when inside). We review the rules daily and before big things, like swimming lessons. We make motions with our hands (like binocular eyes when discussing Watching Eyes) when reviewing the rules, because kids learn by doing and listening and watching and teaching, and not just by hearing.

But we are still having major discipline struggles. I know some of it is just normal 3 year old stuff. But he seems angry. And mean. And like he has no care that things might be taken away. Like timeout is whatever.

So I'm thinking of adding something. Maybe it's the school teacher in me, but I think you can never have too many tools.

I'm thinking of, first, making a big cutout of a person, with a red circle for a mouth, blue circles for ears, green circles for eyes, purple circles for hands, and yellow circles for feet. I'll post The Rules on the person so Ander can be reminded, visually. (He obviously can't read, but I can point to the yellow feet and ask him what that means. He'll learn walking feet fast enough, especially since I've already introduced it.)

Second, I'm considering making a consequence ladder, with a duplicate of Mr. Rules climbing up and down on it. (I'll make the ladder on a sturdy, large bookmark with a large paperclip holding Mr. Rules so it's easy to display but portable.) Mr. Rules will start each day in neutral territoty. For exceptional behavior (which I will warn about beforehand), Mr. Rules moves up and gets nonmonetary awards - hug from parent, parent tells Ander a story (one of his favorite things that we NEVER take the time to do), or, if he is really good, parent plays a game with him. (Pictures of people hugging, a book, and a game will indicate the rewards.) Going up will happen only when I give him an opportunity (such as when I tell him that we are going to the park and, if he doesn't go in timeout and leaves without arguing, he goes up) or when an outside grown-up compliments his behavior (such as Aunt saying he was very good at her house this afternoon).

Going down happens with each bad outside report or any timeout (since timeouts only happen after a warning, so it seems fair). Each step adds another consequence for the rest of the day. The first consequence would be unplugged (no radio, tv, or internet - yes, my 3 year old loves the internet, sigh) until he moves back up through earning it or the next day, whichever comes first), then untoyed (no toys except in his room, which would really cramp his playing style), then bed only (in his bed until he earns back privilege). He can move up from negative territory by 1) the day passing, 2) opportunity or outside adult compliments behavior, as explained above), or 3) doing a special, and decidedly unpleasant, chore of parents choosing (allowing him a chance to earn back priviledges, but not easily).

It sounds complex, but to him, it would be a really simple chart on display. The details are really for me to think it out, so I act predictably and consistently. I didn't think we would need this with a 3 year old, but things are crazy and I think we do. :(


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Give 'Em Something To Talk About

The daycare dilemma gets more exciting today, as there are now two options.

Option One is a big daycare near my home that comes well recommended. It has extended day, a 4-year-old program (which we will need next year), and tons of fun, special activities. According to my cousin Stac, whose kids went there, it also has some turnover. Also, it means dropping Ander off in town and driving 30 minutes to work to drop Loki off. It's $115 per week, year-round.

Option Two is a mile (or less) from my office. It's an at-home preschool with 6 students. It's only $85 per week. It's only during the school year, but mom could definitely still watch Ander next summer, or we could transition to the bigger preschool then. It does not require that he be fully potty-trained, either. The hours are shorter (7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), but I have lots of backup babysitters in the town where I work, plus it's less than two minutes from my mom or my office. I could literally walk there and back to my office. The biggest disadvantage is that the lady teaching the class only has substitute teaching experience. But she is following a curriculum that is very popular in my parish and I've seen it work really well with other kids.

Ugh. I have to decide.

Alan needs to be home, but we don't have time to wait until he is home to decide. :(


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Attitude is B A D

Ugh! Ander yells "NO!" or talks about anytime we say something lately. Little Gym was better this week, because we worked on the rules, but it still wasn't good. He doesn't pay any attention and wanders off. At age 2, this kid had the attention span of the average adult. What happened? And he used to be sweet! Argh!!!

I've been trying three things, which are new things but seem to be helping so far. I am open to other suggestions, too.

First, I am copying the Disney channels Special Agent Oso and making three step instructions for things. So I'll say, "Special Agent Ander, your mission is to put on your shoes. Step one, set up your shoes. Step two, put your feet in. Step three, buckle them up." He seems to find this fun. My favorite is when he says he cannot do something, like zip up his backpack. "Step one, take a deep breath. Step two, try again. Step three, ask an adult to help." He was tickled at step two when it zipped and shouted that he didn't need an adult to help.

Second, we are sending him away to calm down and come out nice. It's not a timeout (like he would get for refusal to listen to instructions or hitting). It's just, "you are shouting at mommy. Go into your room and calm down. Once you are calm, come back and tell mommy nicely." It's working somewhat. Yesterday, he even did it himself when he realized he was getting worked up. But he is spending, well, lots of time in his room. :(

Third, he now has three rules everywhere we go. Ears, eyes, and mouth. They vary slightly, depending on where we are going, but we review them before each situation. We make listening ears, watching eyes, and a nice mouth with our hands as we review them, to help him remember the three rules. For example, before a presentation at the library, we reviewed, "Listen to the grownups, use watching eyes to see mommy so you can stay nearby, and a nice mouth at a library means inside voice." We especially practiced watching eyes, since staying in sight of me at the library was important with so many other kids there. (Not that I would lose him if he ran away. The library has a train. That IS where he would be. :)) At Little Gym, we still used ears, eyes, and mouth, but the rules were slightly different. "Use listening ears to listen to the teacher, watching eyes to see where the other kids are and stay with them, and nice mouth to ask to potty if you need to." I find the physical act of putting his hand cupped around each body part helps him remember, plus he can remember three things (just barely...sigh).

Bonus points for anyone who can suggest a way to get Loki to quite setting off the carbon monoxide detection, which cannot be moved out of reach because of the layout of my house. ;)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We are considering a preschool for Ander. I've already mentioned cost, but I need to think it out even more.

For a 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. day, it costs $90 a week. For extended care, it's $115 per week. That might not sound like a whole lot, but keep in mind that we pay nothing right now. To fit this into our budget, we would add the cost of a couple of car notes. That sure seems like a lot to me.

I'm very tempted to do the $90 per week, but then I cannot head get to the office until 9, would have to leave by 2:30 p.m., and would have to take Ander with me to my mom's whenever I have court, even if something exciting is going on at school.

Another consideration is that I will now have to do two dropoffs and pickups each day. Anyone with kids knows that transitions are a very difficult part of the day. Four a day, plus packing the stuff...it's overwhelming. If we do extended day, I'd probably ask Alan to do drop off on Mondays and Tuesdays (since those tend to be my busiest days at work), plus whenever I have court in the morning on another day of the week and NOT on the Mondays when I have afternoon court. On those days, Ander would be there from 7 a.m. until about 3:30 p.m. That sounds like a long day, but I just can't cut anything more from my workday and still keep any flexibility for taking time off for important things. On Wednesdays,Thursdays, and Fridays I would do dropoff (around 8 a.m.) and pickup (between 3 and 4 p.m.). I am sorely tempted to have Alan drop-off everyday, but that seems like such a long day for Ander.

Another issue is that, while I am certain Ander is ready for some level of preschool, I'm not sure he is ready for five days a week yet. I wish I could find a nearby two day a week program, but without the extended care, it's probably not feasible. The Mother's Day Out programs seem to be 8-12 or 9-2. That leaves me no time to actually work!

Finally, he must be completely potty trained.

Yah, right. Like that is going to happen.


Monday, June 8, 2009

So Tired

Mommies really should get a vacation. Between working out and Loki screaming, I am beat. I have a full plate of paperwork today, but I can barely keep my eyes open. Surely, I'll get in a nap at some point. Right? Hopefully?

Loki is officially (and quickly) crawling now. You would think he would be happier. Instead, he seems frustrated at all the new things he is not allowed to have.

Ander is moody and simply ignores us lately.

It's going to be a long week.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sleeping Through the Night

I'm not a fan of letting a baby cry it out. Honestly, I don't know if I could let Loki cry until he falls asleep. I have no problem with a bit of fussing, as I believe having to wait a minute teaches a child to deal and have patience, but full on crying - we don't do it. (Well, we do, with Ander. But Ander is old enough to understand that we love him but won't give in to his fits.)

That said, I HAVE to do something. Loki is keeping me up all night. He screams and cries, at random, even when we are co-sleeping. Some nights, he nurses a lot. Others, he refuses to nurse at all.

I am so sleepy, even with Alan doing the crib runs (getting him from the crib when Loki screams EXACTLY FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER I ENTER REM SLEEP EVERY SINGLE NIGHT...sigh...and putting him in our bed), that I'm scared I'm going to crash my car on the commute. I literally cannot keep my eyes open. It is bad.

I don't think I can fit in a daytime nap. Take today's schedule, for example. Wake at 6:45 to nurse Loki. Bring Ander potty. Get both kids and myself ready and leave the house to arrive at mom's at 8:30 a.m. Then, I eat breakfast, check work e-mail, return one client phone call, and it's 9:30 a.m. Get Ander ready for playdate at the library at 10 a.m. Return at 12:30 to my mom's, eat lunch, and I only have about two hours left to work before childcare is done. If I nap, that takes up the work time. Sigh.

With Ander, we did a more gentle sleep training, where we went in the room and patted his back, and stayed nearby when he was awake, but didn't talk to him. But I think Ander was older.

I've heard people say that having a child means lack of sleep and parents choose it, so they should just deal. Those people are judgmental prats. (There, I said it. Ha!) Most important in this equation is that I'm falling asleep while driving my children, so something has to change.

But I don't think Alan or I can handle Loki crying. It's not even a philosophical objection. It's a physiological one.


Monday, June 1, 2009

13 Years

My husband and I have been married for 13 years, as of yesterday. You'd think 13 years would be long enough to get into a household maintenance groove. You'd be wrong?

I have no idea which of us, for example, is in charge of calling the termite guy. But for three years, we've put off termite treatment. I'm scared to call now, because what if we have termites? It would be our own fault. In theory, I should call. I am the one who will likely stay home to meet the termite guy, so my schedule matters. But Alan pays the bills and would probably want to negotiate the costs and decide when to pay the bill.

When we work together to dress the kids, it's a disaster. I get clothes out and get Loki dressed. Three minutes later, Loki is wearing something else? Why? Oh, right, hubby didn't know I had already changed Loki.

Prepping the night before works miracles for me in the mornings. When Alan takes the kids to their baths, I put everything together for the next day. But with two kids, Alan needs help. It sucks because I pay in the mornign, but two slippery kids really do require two adults at some point.

Ugh. Think after 26 years it will all be easier?