Friday, January 29, 2010

Go Ahead and Skip This One

I am listening to Nick cry as he wakes early from his nap, like he's been doing for the past four days. He falls asleep playing, so I know he needs the sleep. I have not figured out what's causing this.

Xander is a sweet boy if I keep his day structured. He is full of the busy intellect and body of a normal almost-four-year-old. If I don't keep him busy, it's a day of spills, crying, whining, accidents, and a bad case of too-big-for-his-britches disease.

I want to be clear that this is all my responsibility. They are acting like normal, healthy children. It is also fully my responsibility when I snap at people, spill things and curse, complain, and have a bad attitude on these days. Three children in the house is one too many.

This is all I want to say:


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I am making yeast rolls from scratch today. In my opinion, it is not an activity that meshes well with taking care of little children.

Earlier, Xander was Superhero Doctor. He cut the baby out of me, which I find interesting since I have never had a c-section for him to hear about. I blame all his unexplainable knowledge on preschool. :)

Nick is starting to communicate more clearly. Today he used an unmistakable "I don't want this" cry when I kept putting English muffin sticks with sweet potato spread in front of him. It had that intonation, you know? I am consistently showing him the "all done" and "more" signs while I say, "No, Nick, ssshhhhhh, say 'more' instead." And he does say something that starts with the right sound. Not hard proof, but I find it interesting. He definitely mimics my tone. I have suspected for a long time that his, "Haaaaaahhhhhh," is really, "Hi!" because he says that in the same tone of voice we use to say hi to him. It's so fun to hear him say, "Haaaaahhhhhhh, A-da," to Erik. 'Course he says it to me, too, but we aren't picky.

Got to go, the timer is telling me it's time to punch down the yeast roll dough.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mischievous Creatures

Xander informed us yesterday that pixies are girls, and Bailey is going to turn into a pixie. He is going to turn into a brownie.

Because Bailey is going to be a "magicanal creature." Erik suggested that maybe Bailey was a magical creature already. "Nope. She's going to turn into a magicanal creature."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What, Mommy's Not Good Enough For You?

Aunt Johanna is visiting. Today the kids and I dropped her off to do some errands near the grocery store, then went home for naps. Xander said, "Wait! She'll be right back." Yes, after a couple of hours, I told him. He insisted that she would be right back and I kept explaining that she had some things to do for a couple of hours and then she would come back. Finally, in desperation, he put it in the form of a question. "Will she be right back?" Even Erik looked a little lonely when he went on his morning run. Johanna has been joining him but didn't make it today.

Nick hasn't been sleeping well. When I say "hasn't been sleeping well," I mean he's been sleeping terribly. Writing this now makes me wonder if he's sleeping badly because of having company. He is ridiculously social already and I noticed him sleeping badly when Grandma was here, too. I think he just wants to be up and around people. For goodness' sake, my family is going to dump me when the kids are older and the three sociable ones realize how much of a homebody I am.

On the other hand, Nick does seem to be going through his first Mommy-don't-leave-me phase, so the title is not exactly accurate. I should have titled it "Parenting: The World's Longest Guessing Game."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Nick's got a second tooth peeking through. He screams with happiness which is something I suppose I should be nipping in the bud.

Xander and I started "K" with learning activities today.

He told me "Kick starts with K."

I said, "That's right!"

"Like kick a rock!" he said.

"Yes," I said.

"C and K make a kkk sound," he said.

"Very good! That is very right!" I exclaimed.

"And rock has a c and a k," he said.


Every once in a while he surprises me with his intelligence. Every once in a while he surprises me the other way, too. But that's the way it's supposed to be at age 3.

Baby Feelings

I want to say that with Xander as my first baby, I was more overprotective, more prone to emotional ups and downs, and more sentimental. But I've been very protective of Nick up to about 6 months old, and now am only slightly overprotective of him. ;) I had my months of high anxiety and paranoia with Nick, but at least I cry less frequently at commercials and pour in the right amount of laundry detergent instead of stupidly standing at the washing machine letting the detergent pour out, and out, and out, and out (like I did when I was pregnant with Xander). Sentimental? I don't know. I feel like I relax and laugh more with Nick...but I laughed a lot with baby Xander and danced around rooms with him and in a carefree manner brought him everywhere with me. Today I wrote something in Nick's baby book and added the editorial note, "it's precious and wonderful." That's something I would have written back in baby Xander days. I guess my conclusion is that the feelings and experiences are the same, I just don't obsess about every moment and every decision like I did with Xander. And that's not true at all. I just don't notice how I'm obsessing with so much going on. I just don't recognize the brain mush while it takes me two hours to upload some photos. I choose not to remember how I got a sore throat from holding back the wailing sobs while watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the theater with Erik, pregnant with Nick. I've almost entirely glossed over the way tears streamed down my cheeks at Christmas when Leslie showed us the video of the two men who had a pet lion and released it back into the wild.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things That Were Eaten Today

Xander went to preschool this morning for his weekly dose of kids and teachers. His teacher said he did great--he only cried at clean-up time when she said it was time to stop cleaning up. She had to insist to an apparently distraught Xander that it was not clean-up time anymore. When they went back to that area later, can you guess what he did first?

I asked him what he had for lunch at school. He said, "I don't know. Peaches. And soup. And bread." When I asked if he knew what was in the soup, he said, "The peaches had sparkles on the top of them. And the soup had 'gredients [ingredients]."

"Do you know what the ingredients were called?" I asked.

He thought about it for a moment. "Lunch!"

This is something that Nick did today:

Oh, darn. I can't get to the photo I took with the laptop. He held a whole banana with the peel down and ate it all. There. Not as cute in words.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

You're Not In A Rush, Are You?

Nick invented walking today. He pushed his body backwards off the reclining baby seat so that his feet were on the ground but his body was resting on the side of the seat. He pushed off, the seat moved forward, he pushed off, the seat moved forward. Thus he moved across the room in a half-standing position.

I said, "We don't need a walker for this one." Xander said, "But he is walking." Xander has been following his recent progress with interest. Perhaps it will blossom into lovingkindness one of these days. Gotta go, Nick and his contraption are pushing up against my back.

Nick also popped out the ridge of his first tooth this morning.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Seems like my little New Year's tradition list already needs some heavy revising. Our original ideas are in black; what we really did is in blue.

1. Eat black-eyed peas (bacon-seasoned) with collard greens and cornbread. It just has to be done down here.
We did this. I spent hours preparing the dishes. It's just that, as Erik pointed out late in the dinner preparation phase, it's supposed to be done on New Year's Day, not New Year's Eve. Fine, we have about 5 pounds' worth of leftovers for today. Not sure I liked my black-eyed peas recipe but the collards and cornbread were superb!
2. Drink Tom and Jerrys--eggnog for Xander. We never got around to making Tom and Jerrys during Christmas since it was so busy, so maybe we'll make it a New Year's tradition.

Erik picked up bourbon for them, we had powdered sugar and two cartons of eggs...but I didn't know both cartons were almost empty. No Tom and Jerrys for us. We drank bourbon-laced eggnog instead (Xander's was virgin) which was great but gave me a stomachache.
3. Buy a lottery ticket.

No lottery ticket, at least not yet. They weren't selling them at the liquor store Erik went to to pick up the bourbon.
4. Decide on a new midnight-hour that can be celebrated by Xander, too. Around 7:30, we'll turn out the lights, light the candles, and share our thoughts about: (we did this)
5. What we would do with the lottery money if we won with our ticket. (Erik and I think it is very fun to talk about this subject, but suspect it would be a headache and a nightmare if we ever actually won.) A couple wishes or hopes we have for ourselves in the coming year, and a wish or hope we have for each other member of the family for the coming year.

We did this, too, and it was nice. Xander would buy Hot Wheels cars with 10 million dollars, if he won. What a lucky boy he is--Daddy bought him cars earlier that day. Erik and I thought maybe a tad bigger house... Our hopes for each other were really neat. I'll just share the one I had for Nick and me: That I train him into not becoming a holy terror. 
6. We'll fill out pages in our brand-new Time Capsule notebook. I plan to bring this book out every New Year's. There's a page for every member of the family to record things like height, weight, special skills, characteristics, funny stories, physical characteristics, and hobbies. We can help each other fill out everyone's page.

I think this is going to be a really great idea. Of course it wasn't mine; I got it from a blog called Children's Learning Activities. Leslie had this idea, too, for recording the Christmases when the kids get older, but for now she does a spectacular job with the Christmas scrapbook and I am so thankful for that. Thank you, Leslie!
7. Countdown to 8:00, turn on the lights, and celebrate the new year!

Did this. All Xander really wanted to do the whole time was blow out the candles, so he was thrilled with this part.
8. Bedtime for Xander and Nick. Maybe some TV for Kristy and Erik, since it's our TV Night.
Nick was long gone to bed; Xander protested but was in bed to stay by 8:30; we watched Rescue Me. Later, while we were sleeping, we were treated to fireworks, hoots and hollers, and car horns honking.
I also have an idea for a New Year's Day tradition, but doubt that Erik will be on board. Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon! Or Lord of the Rings marathon! Even if I get Erik on board, those particular DVDs will have to be saved for when Xander's a bit older. So just keep it in mind, family...

I'm totally overruled on this one. Erik said, "Every year??" And I overheard him talking to Justin on the phone and realized his major tradition is channel-surfing on New Year's Day to watch all the football games. I doubt the boys will be on my side in coming years. I said I would go into the bedroom with the laptop and watch them by myself. Somehow, Erik seemed to think this would be pathetic. One man's pathetic is another's heaven.