I Survived

I was like, Wow – I survived 3 days over a weekend on my own with the boys.  And Then Sunday afternoon, Bennett got diarrhea and then Harrison got diarrhea, and then I had to explain what diarrhea is to Harrison.  This would explain why Harrison has barely eaten anything in like 3 days and why he requested that we go take a nap at like 11:45 when he normally fights the whole idea of a nap until like 2pm.  Then today I woke up with conjunctivitis.

But really, I did survive and the boys were in mostly good spirits.  Harrison barely gave me any attitude, and he didn’t give me much trouble at night sleeping either.  I had planned to like “sleep train” him with Abe gone – meaning I was going to let him cry it out, but he never really woke up.  I swear it’s because he knew that daddy was gone.  He did wake up Sunday morning around 4:45 but I let him cry and he just like cried for a little while and then went back to sleep until 6:30 and was in a super good mood when I went to get him.

He’s still hilarious though.

Me: Harrison, stop picking your nose.  Does mommy need to help you?!
Harrison: No.  I think maybe the booger is sleeping.  Maybe it needs more time.

Harrison: I want to go outside.
Me: No, it’s too cold out (I just didn’t want to go outside because I’m lazy)
Harrison: But I’ll just put my hands in my pockets
Me: Well it’s too cold for mommy and Bennett today
Harrison: You guys don’t have to go outside, I’ll just go by myself

Harrison: [picked up one of Abe’s belts and swung it around his head] I’m going fishing!!

He is so entertaining even when he’s feeling a little under the weather.

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3-4

This is the saddest birthday cake ever witnessed in my house: a mug cake.

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Just 90 seconds in the microwave and I had myself a “birthday cake”.  Truthfully, it tasted pretty darn good.  Recipe found here.  It was a bit sad though… the whole nuking a single serving cake to eat myself on the couch while watching the X-Files and surfing the interwebs for anti-aging beauty products in my pajamas.  I ended up buying some skin products, because one thinks about improving oneself while eating cake…

Abe is in Vegas on a boys weekend.  The little boys were Passed the EFF out after a long day of activities.  I took Harrison to his first school-friend play date today and it went So So well.  The kids got along great – it started off a bit slow, but then suddenly out of nowhere they were like two peas in a pod running around with “light sabers” and jumping on the couch like maniacs.  I think that we could be really good friends with the parents… and that’s always kind of the hard part.  This was like perfect though besides the fact that they don’t live in our town.  Somehow all of Harrison’s school friends live in surrounding towns, which is fine, but it’s sad when I think they won’t be going through school together.  I know it’s wishful thinking that he would make friends now and keep them through high school.  Bennett hung out with a babysitter for part of the day, and he didn’t do much sleeping so he was exhausted by bedtime and a total cranky pill.  I think we may be in for a third tooth soon too!  And OMG – I think he might have sucked his thumb into like an infected finger?  WTF?  I don’t know, I think it cracked and now it might be infected but it’s not bothering him at all – he’s still sucking it.  I will have to call the doctor on Monday.  It’s been like a month since our last sick visit so I guess we are due.  Harrison keeps telling me that his mouth hurts too, but I can’t figure out why which is unsettling.

Something else that I learned today on our field trip: Harrison likes cats.  Like he Really likes them.  There was a dog and a cat at the play date and Harrison was a little mehhh with the dog – it was just a little Boston Terrier with insanely bad gas, but with the very tolerant cat he was like Into her.  He would lay his head on her and he kept petting her and stuff.  The cat kept laying on my lap and I pet her for a long time because she was like a dog really.  Turns out neither one of us had any kind of allergic reaction.  I am allergic to cats, and Harrison is supposedly allergic to dogs but I kept a super close eye on him and his nose didn’t even run for 1 second.  What the heck is with that?  Why are allergies so mysterious?  Why do I hate cats?  Should we get a cat? – I don’t even know why I’m saying that out loud, I truly don’t like cats, this was just a one in a million cats that I actually did like (I think!).

Harrison helped me put a bunch of baby stuff up in the attic today – the co-sleeper, the baby tub, the little chair that Bennett sat and waited in when Harrison took a tub, and the baby gym.  No more little babies around here, everyone is growing up so fast!  I’ve also been thinking about ending the days of breast feeding and pumping soon.  Bennett is 8 months now and I really don’t think I can make it a full year, my supply is just not holding up and I’ve really been trying everything.  Pumping is the worst too, I won’t miss it for a second.  On the other hand, nursing in the middle of the night when necessary is super easy.  And again, on yet another hand, nursing a baby with teeth… can sometimes be horrible.  I wasn’t still nursing Harrison by the time he got teeth so this is a new thing for me.  Bennett will sometimes bite and then laugh when I react in pain.  Like he Laughs So Hard and then he will bite and laugh again.  When that happens I just have to stop feeding, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.  He has 2 teeth.

Anyhow – happy birthday to me.  A mug cake, Internet shopping, toddler play dates, and nipple bites.

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Adjusting Priorities

I spent the last two months really trying to gain control of my anxiety levels and I think that I’ve finally gotten to a good place.  I’m not where I’d really like to be, but I am feeling so much improved.

There are a few things that I’ve been doing which I think have really helped.  One of the bigger things is that I have changed my priorities and my outlook on certain things.  Before, I was always trying to balance the kids with my work and the house maintenance and the errands and everything else going on.  All of that was impossible considering the long hours that my husband works.  The balancing act was just not working and I was falling short everywhere and feeling completely burnt out and miserable because nothing was going well at all.  Now, my priority #1 is my family and really far away down the line is work.  I leave work when I need to, I take the kids to appointments when I need to, I don’t try to squeeze in early or late calls or meetings, I do the errands they need me to do, make sure they have clean clothes and thoughtfully packed lunch boxes, and I make sure that I do things for myself too like get my haircut and just like general self care and consideration (which I wasn’t doing before!), and then like a mile down the line is work after everything else.  Taking care of my family is completely a full time job at this juncture with two small kids, so I have just adjusted my life and outlook to deal with that.  Someday I’ll be able to take on more at work and everywhere else, but I’m fine with taking it down a few notches there so I can regain some of my sanity.  This is not rocket science obviously, but I think that it’s hard to step back and Re-adjust priorities like this.  It took me months and months to finally figure this out.

I also gave up my office at home so that the kids could use it as a playroom.  This solves three issues: 1. Harrison’s toys were completely taking over the family room.  You couldn’t even walk through without needing to step over a giant truck, so now the giant mess is at least more contained.  2. Bennett is cruising and often falling over.  The family room floor is much harder than the fully carpeted office floor. 3. Harrison’s TV watching is now much more controlled and dialed down.  He has been watching far less TV since the play room does not have one.  Besides the fact that I had to move my desk into the family room, it has been a really good thing for everyone.

In other news, Harrison turned 3 last week and Bennett turned 8 months and in a couple days I will turn 34.  3-4.  Oh the agony, and all the minor bodily aches and pains…

This is the first birthday where I actually FEEL old.  I’m noticing some fine lines on my face, and my body constantly has some kind of nagging discomfort.  I started using an eye cream to combat aging and generally looking like shit each and everyday.  I don’t have any white hairs yet, but I’m sure those are coming soon.  I just picked up a retainer / night guard today from my dentist which somehow makes me feel really old and really young at the same time.  In aging, can you ever win?  I don’t think so.  You can fight it, you can embrace it, but you can’t really beat it.

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The Mouse Came…

Last night, Abe brought a guest over to the house for dinner.  It was a colleague he had worked with over a number of years but whom I had never met before since he lives in London.  You’d think that Harrison may be shy around a new person in the house… well that would be wrong.  He was an effing maniac!!! He was full on running around, doing crazy dances, and making animal noises.

Sitting at the dinner table after I put Bennett down for bed.  This is what Harrison decides to say to our guest:

Harrison: “The mouse came and he pooped out of his bum” and then he motioned like something was coming out of his bum.

This is partially my fault.  I told him that we couldn’t play in the basement because a mouse came in the night and pooped on the floor instead of the toilet.  I told him that like days ago.  Yes, it was somewhat true.  Abe found a couple mouse droppings so we didn’t want him downstairs playing until we resolved the mouse issue.  No, I did not expect Harrison to announce that to a stranger out of the blue.  He totally obsesses over things though, so I shouldn’t be surprised but it’s always surprising to hear him say crazy stuff.

I think we’ve come to the age where he is about to call people out for things in public, like overweight people or ugly people or people with Anything that he may consider to be somewhat odd.  This is about to get uncomfortable.

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Crushing It

Yesterday, I was sitting in a meeting and a woman I work with was wearing braces on her wrists so I asked if her carpel tunnel was bothering her from working like crazy.  Her answer: “I’ve been doing a lot of pushups, Crossfit, and lifting.”  Um, that was not the answer that I was expecting!  She’s like 45 and a petite tiny person.  And this is after she was telling me about a long weekend away in Miami that she’s planning with girlfriends.  AND she just got back from Disney with her family (kids are 12 and 10).  I was like: “Oh man, you totally give me hope that I’ll get my life back someday… in like 10 years.”  Her answer: “Yeah… you will.  It really does take a good 10 years though.”  [Sigh]  Oh well, I’ve completely embraced this.

On the total opposite side of the spectrum, I was watching The Middle yesterday and Sue decided that her senior year in high school was going to be The Year of Sue.  She demanded that she get her braces off, she demanded that people start listening to her, and she just wanted to take control of her life.  Granted it’s a show, and she was 17, but still the message resonated.  Sometimes you just need to put your foot down and take control of certain things that seem totally out of control.

Today, I deleted 5,000 unread emails that have been piling up since November.  They were all about holiday sales and stuff so I just never opened most of those things that came through.  That alone was a nice accomplishment for a Friday.  Also, I went to Costco with a list during lunch time.  I added some stuff to Bennett’s baby book – dates of his crawling and first tooth.  Then I stuffed the party favor bags for Harrison’s 3rd birthday party coming up over a week in advance.  This amount of productivity for one day is a miracle.  I might not be able to take back my life, but I can work towards it by getting stuff done and not letting it all crush me… just don’t look in the kitchen sink where there is a pile of dirty dishes that could Literally crush me.

We’ve also reached the point in Harrison’s life where parents start to mingle with other school parents and kids want to invite other kids over for play dates.  He got an invitation for a play date from another little boy in his class and his mom explained to me that it was per his very specific instruction.  All of that is so funny.  That means that we could possibly revive our dead and rotting social life.  Out in the suburbs, it’s so hard to meet other people our own age since we’re working all week and tending to the kids all weekend.  So far all of the other parents have been a lot older than me as well, so I feel that adds another layer of complexity.  However, it’s beginning.  We could begin to make friends through our kids friends soon.  Yes, please save us from ourselves, we need friends!

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Trials and Tribulations of the House

Bennett is crawling.  He is also crawling towards all of Harrison’s stuff and trying to get his hands on all of his stuff and touch his food.  Bennett is really only somewhat interested in crawling, he’d much rather be standing and figuring out how to walk.  The problem is that he will be standing there holding on, and then suddenly without warning he will just fall right over sideways and bang his head… like daily.

Also, Harrison fell down the stairs on Friday.  Like bad.  He was at the top of the stairs with me and I was holding Bennett.  He started walking down the stairs and said that he wanted to put on different pants because the ones he was wearing kept falling down and as he was telling me about this he got distracted and then tripped and then tumbled tumbled tumbled head over bum all the way down to the bottom.  At one point he was flat in the air soaring down spread eagle (seriously in slow motion).  Luckily, he landed sort of on his side so he didn’t land on his head or anything.  Poor guy, I think it was more scary than painful.  He was obviously upset after that one.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he also fell off his chair today at lunchtime.  We were all sitting in the dining room (with hard floors) and I pulled his chair out so he got get down to go potty.  He does this All the time on his own.  So I pulled out his chair and then turned back to feeding Bennett.  Something happened, like a foot got stuck or something, and he belly flopped right onto the floor and hit his face.  He hit his face so hard he got a nose bleed and we couldn’t tell where the blood was even coming from.  Again, luckily he didn’t break his nose or anything like that.  It was just a nose bleed.  Poor dude.

Then, we took him to his first preschool friend birthday party.  Like this is the first birthday party invite he has gotten from another kid at school.  It was at a local bouncy house place, and there were about 10 kids there.  We only knew a couple other kids, so he was a bit shy at first but then he got into it.  At one point he was playing with a car, and another kid just walked up to him and grabbed it right out of his hands and took it away.  I think he was a little younger than Harrison.  We like didn’t know what to do.  The kid’s mom was nowhere to be seen, so we just were like: it’s ok buddy, we can go play with something else…. as he Sobbed.  Like WTF.  I mean it was a pretty minor incident really, but it was still like So Sad to see this kid rip the toy right out of Harrison’s hands and he desperately tried to hold on and he looked to us to stop it from happening but we didn’t want to parent the other kid that we didn’t even know so we just like let it go.  He got over that one eventually too, kids are resilient.

Bennett tried yogurt and oatmeal today.  He LOVED the yogurt, but I’m pretty sure he will never forgive me for the oatmeal.  He dry heaved multiple times and made a face like: I’m going to effing murder you lady.  I don’t know, he eats baby oatmeal all the time but the texture of adult oatmeal was just too hideous for his delicate palate to take.  Looking at him, you’d think he eats a whole cheese pizza for dinner every night, but really he doesn’t eat much food at all.

Eating is going just so/so, but this is the First Week that Mr. Bennett has slept through the night.  A FULL WEEK at 7 months!  That’s like nothing to celebrate for a normal person or baby, but Harrison never slept well and still doesn’t sleep well so I’m so thrilled that this guy is sleeping.  He sometimes wakes up but I just let him stir and he has just gone right back to sleep.  He’s so good.  He melts my heart.

You’d think that I might be feeling pretty awesome with a full week of a sleeping baby, but I have been Super effing tired.  Lots of coffee, lots of early bed times, and still I am exhausted.  I also got a really short hair cut – unintentionally.

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And we have mice in the basement (maybe?), and Abe fell asleep wearing teeth whitening strips last night.

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Post Christmas Vaca Fog

OMG Christmas vacation is over.  Besides seeing family, we really didn’t do much of anything besides go to the grocery store like 4 times and CVS like 3 times… I don’t know why.  We are really disorganized and we consume a lot of food – that is what my vacation is telling me.

I dread this work week.

It’s funny, I feel like we really saw Harrison grow in just 9 days.  Just Sunday morning he was able to steer a ride on toy all around detours – and seriously, he never ever had the coordination for that before.  He used to drive his airplanes right into walls, like he wouldn’t even attempt to steer it.  Now he drives his new firetruck around stuff, which is amazing to witness.  He’s also branched out with his preferred TV and he can specifically ask for shows that he has only seen once before.  Suddenly he’s very into superhero type shows or shows with a lot of action.  Curious George was his favorite just a month ago and now suddenly he’s too big boy for that.  And at bedtime he realized that his Nerf gun was in his room (he took his nap with it) when it should have been downstairs, so I asked if he wanted me to bring it downstairs for him:

Me: Do you want me to bring it downstairs and put it on your little table?
Harrison: Um…
Daddy: Do you want mommy to put it back in the basement?
Harrison: No, not in the basement.
Daddy: Ok, do you want me to put it on top of your firetruck?
Harrison: [burst out laughing] Daddy that’s weird!!
It was totally weird!  So funny he can now distinguish things like that.

Also, our little boy completed his parent/tot gymnastics session and he got to participate in the awards ceremony.  They gave him a certificate of completion and he was so proud of it.  He did such a great job and we’re going to hang it on his wall.  Next week we go back to swimming lessons for a few months.

Bennett is about to run out of the house.  In just a week he’s become So Mobile.  All he wants to do is stand up and he’s trying to walk.  He can’t figure out crawling.  He keeps trying to crawl by using his hands and feet with his bum up in the air.  He’s coming up on that phase when things become very difficult: if I’m holding him, he will try to jump out of my arms to grab whatever looks interesting.  If I’m trying to eat, he will take the food out of my hand while laughing.  If he’s playing on the floor and I go into the kitchen, I’ll look over at him and he’ll be trying to climb up the couch.  His crib is now on the lowest setting and I find him standing in there during nap time.  He’s just growing up at the speed of light, but he’s still just the sweetest baby ever even when he’s slapping me repeatedly in the face.  I just want to squeeze his big fat thighs and cheeks.  He has a sippy cup full of water now, which is so cute.  He just gnaws on it.  He also continues to ignore all the finger foods I put on his tray or he picks them up and throws them on the ground.  No interest in eating them at all (why is that?)

So after a week at home with the family, I am assuming it’s normal for working moms to think to themselves: “why am I working? why am I not at home with my kids?”  OR they think “Get me the fuck back to work!!”  In the past, before Bennett, I’ve always been in the “get me the fuck back to work!” group of people.  For some reason, now I’m with the “Why am I not home with my kids” group of people.  I don’t know why.  I feel so drawn to being with them, especially the baby.  That’s just like normal mom feelings right?  I don’t plan to quit my job or anything, it’s just such the opposite of how I’ve ALWAYS felt.  For 2 1/2 years, I’ve been so so thankful that we love Harrison’s school and his teachers and everything and that has not changed.  I’m sure they do a better job than I ever could.  Now he’s in preschool, and while he does love it, both him and I had a hard time parting ways this morning.  He was very sad to leave mommy and I was sad to leave him but only because he was sad.  It was for the best though, he was stuck in the house quite a bit.  He will probably be exhausted tonight when he gets home.

I hope that we all adjust this week and get back to our normal routines… things feel so weird.

I had to go buy pants today because all of my normal pants are a full size too big.  That’s really strange for me.  I’ve been eating mainly chocolate and coffee and cookies.  If you asked me what my diet consisted of, I’d tell you it consists of 95% crap food.  I need to eat better and get more rest.  Totally realistic for a crazy person… and also, I have a bag of candy in the console of my car Right Now… why am I so weird?!  That will be a constant question from my kids for the rest of my life I’m sure.

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Travel Victory!

We survived our Christmas travel!! 1 baby, 1 toddler, 1 daddy with a thrown out back, and 1 momma on anti-anxiety meds.

I had the lowest of the low expectations.  The last time we traveled with Harrison in tow I cried on the plane.  It was the Worst kind of bad.  This time he was so good for 99.9% of it.  He sat in his car seat and Abe wheeled him around the airport with his little backpack.  On the plane he wore his tiger headphones and watched movies on his ipad.  After we landed in NC, we were taxing to our gate and suddenly he says “I have to go potty” and then he started to FREAK OUT because he really had to pee: “MY PEE PEE IS COMING OUT!!!!!!!!”  30 seconds later, Abe picked him up and ran down the aisle yelling “BATHROOM EMERGENCY” from the front of the plane all the way to the back of the plane.  Nobody had the balls to step in their way, and the little dude made it.  Baby Bennett mostly just chilled the whole time.

While in NC, Harrison was in cousin heaven.  He played and played and played like a crazy man with his 8 cousins.  At one point he was beet red and sweating from running… and luckily the house was large enough to contain him.  The downside of our trip was that we all slept in the same room, and it’s something we’ll never do again. Lesson learned.  They kept waking each other up, and Harrison was jumping all over the place instead of sleeping in the giant 3 person bed we had on the floor.  We were constantly whisper yelling at him to go to sleep.  I think Abe even growled it at one point.

On the way home we put Harrison in a pink Dora pull-up on the plane – just in case.  The only way we could sell it to him was by saying that his oldest cousin also wore these special “flying undies” on planes.  He took the bait and we went with it.  There were no incidents on the way home from him even with an hour delay.  Bennett pooped on the flight… and then I had to figure out how to change a baby in a bathroom the size of a kitchen sink.  I did it somehow.  When I came out of the bathroom there was a line of like 5 mid-aged dudes who were Not sympathetic to my situation.  They could all suck it, I felt only victory.

We somehow made it out of that trip in one piece.  The funny part to me is that both kids slept absolutely terribly when we were there.  The first night, I didn’t sleep at all.  I held Bennett in the family room the entire night.  I didn’t bitch and moan about it only because: he’s just the best little baby and I was really trying to be a good trooper.  Anyhow, since we’ve been back home both kids have slept through the night 2 nights in a row.  2 nights!!  This has never happened before.  In 7 months, both kids have not slept through the night 2 nights in a row simultaneously.  I feel like a million bucks.

This year, holiday travel was amazing.  It might never happen again, but for once we felt really satisfied with a tough situation.

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A Little Too Much Talking Over Here

Preschool is really funny.  It’s like a whole new world, 1. because there are a lot more kids and 2. because now Harrison is on the younger side instead of the older side.  Being around bigger kids has been really good for him because now he can say things like:

“It’s not my fault!”
“I use the Osmo at school”
“That wasn’t nice, I’m not happy Mommy.  I’m mad!”
“I’m just pretending”
“You’re my best friend.”
“Someone came in my room and poked me in the bum last night.” – This didn’t happen!  Seriously.
“The big monster is coming, you have to lock the doors!”
“This is a gun, like the one in the basement.” – He said this in his classroom in front of his teachers.  Note: we don’t have a gun in the basement!  Just a Nerf.  A NERF!

We are waiting for the authorities to arrive at our house.  Thank you expanded preschool vocabulary.

In other vocabulary news, Bennett only says “DADADADADA” now.  It’s like a cruel joke.  He’s joined at my hip 99% of the time where I tend to his every single need, yet he chooses to say only the Dada sound over and over and over again.  Why are you doing this to me Bennett?!

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Random Shit

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I took a picture with this cupcake so the world could see how gigantic it is.  It was from Whole Foods and it Probably lived a pretty nice life behind a glass case for a day or two.  I ate it.  And yes, it gave me a stomach ache.  It has a twin in the fridge that I’ll eat tomorrow (shame is non-existent in this house).

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Someday Harrison is going to see all these photos and he’s going to be like, “Mom, why was I naked all the time?”  The kid just loves to run around naked.  Some people are just born that way I guess.

Everyone in this house has a cold today.  Everyone in this house is asleep at 9:30pm except for Mom because she’s eating her cupcake in silent bliss and thinking about Christmas shopping… we are flying to NC in 1 week.  I have Less than 1 week to finish my shopping and I am only about 75% done.  I just don’t know what to get anyone this year.  If I didn’t get you anything it’s because my brain is broken – it’s a true diagnosis, google it.

We have this neighbor down the street that has one of those funny blow up yard Christmas decorations.  For the past few years it’s been Santa in his sled-helicopter.  I think the propeller even rotated.  This year it’s Santa in a hot tub.  We totally appreciate that level of humor, but it’s like So Sad to see this thing in the middle of a green grassy yard on a 65 degee day.  It just doesn’t make any sense, it’s like putting out flamingos in the middle of January or something.  It just doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. It will feel even less like Christmas when we are in North Carolina for the holiday and away from our own house and beds… boo.

I actually would like it to snow – just a little bit, so that we can take Harrison snow tubing down the street at the local ski “mountain”.  I feel like this will be one of those super memorable things that he does every winter as a child.  It also might be the first time he breaks a bone or his face… or the first time I break a bone or my face.  There is a first time for everything though.  Broken faces, broken bones, broken sleds, popped snow tubes, broken hips, etc.  This is sounding like a really terrible idea the more I think about it.  Maybe we’ll just stick to gymnastics and swimming lessons.

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