Goodbye Job

9 Dec

Five years ago I started in the hospital that would become my work home as a new intern.  I remember being led by my instructor, along with seven other interns around the confusing hallways that all looked the same, being shuttled from one office to another as we got badges and computer passwords, parking permissions and lab coats.    I started my job in that same hospital only a few months after finishing my internship.  Over the five years I spent in that hospital I got to know where things were.  No longer were the hallways confusing and overwhelming.  Just as staff were kind to my classmates and I pointing us in the right direction in those first weeks, so I had come to be able to help others find their way.  Today I was reminded of that first day as I snaked my way through in reverse, returning my access cards, surrendering my computer, and having passwords revoked.  Some people spend their whole careers in a single hospital, but that is not the life of a grant funded contractor.   It’s time to move on.

Things I will not miss:  the commute that was at best an hour each way, and on a truly terrible day could stretch to 3 hours in the car.  Getting up at 4am to teach classes at 6:30.  Endless required trainings that had little to do with my actual job.

What I will miss most: my boss, my co-workers and my patients.  The most flexible and accommodating job ever.  Using the parts of my brain that store a Master’s Degree in Nutrition.

All my mom ever wanted was to be able to stay home with us, and she was never able to do it.  Being a full-time stay at home mom has never appealed to me.  I need adult interaction, a challenge, structure, dry clean only clothes now and then.  And yet here, on a silver platter is the one gift my mom never got to have—time with my kids while they are little.  More money would be nice, but childcare is expensive so going back to work isn’t necessarily that helpful financially.  I am still looking for a job, but it has to be something (part-time) that really is great in terms of pay and fulfillment the way the job I just left was, preferably with a shorter commute.  I KNOW I am lucky.  But I still will miss work.

Croupy Thanksgiving

3 Dec

Almost every year M gets sick around Thanksgiving.  It’s tradition.  He was sick for the couple weeks before this year though residual symptoms linger.  The Saturday before Thanksgiving we had our first celebration with my in-laws.  It was combined birthday for both Mars and his Uncle C and Thanksgiving (those two are going to have to have combined birthday for all eternity.  Sorry guys).   It was great fun.  Mars enjoyed his gluten-free and vegan pumpkin muffin with whipped cream (I know, I’m the mean dietitian mom who doesn’t give one year olds real cake.   By two they can have the real deal, ok? )

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We had a lovely time and very fortunately did not pass the germs we didn’t know we were incubating to baby A.  The next morning poor Mars woke up with the saddest croupy cough.   He may have caught what his Dad had, but I think more likely he picked something up at childcare on Friday while I was at my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting.  He was so very sick—Sunday night I seriously considered taking him to urgent care because he was wheezing so much.  Instead we sat up at 2am in the bathroom with the shower running, alternating with cold air outside.  Lucky for me he was scheduled for his one year old well-child Monday morning so we got to see his doctor.  You know your kid is sick when their naturopathic pediatrician recommends a steroid inhaler.   The internet will tell you that croup lasts for 2-3 days.  I suppose that means the barking like a seal sounding part of the cough—the virus part lasted a full seven days, and even though he is mostly better almost two weeks later, he still has a runny nose and coughs at night.  My darling son was kind enough to share his germs with me, and by the day before Thanksgiving I knew I was doomed as congestion started to build in my lungs.  But the show must go on—I had Thanksgiving dinner for 9 adults and 2 kids to prepare.  My parents arrived Tuesday night and my mom and I cooked all day Wednesday and Thursday.  The cooking was fun, but having a very sick, fussy baby who only wanted his mom was stressful.   At one point I was cooking with him strapped to my back.

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I was very proud of my pinterest inspired, crafty table—pumpkins as vases, tissue paper flower place card holders and faux candles.  Plus I used my formal china for the first time (we have been married almost 14 years) though I didn’t have enough place settings and had to use some regular dishes too.

We had a lovely time with my parents, aunt, uncle and three college aged cousins.  My cousin W, continued a long tradition of tiny boys wearing out their teenaged older cousins.  When my brother was little he adored playing with our much older cousin, and when W was little he loved to play with my then teenaged brother.  Now Max has continued the tradition and ran circles around the house with a very patient W.  We had entirely too much pie (there were 5 pies for 10 people plus cupcakes!) and a lovely visit.  By Friday morning the virus was hitting me and I ended up staying in bed most of the weekend while my super hero husband wrangled the children, did dishes and went to the store.

I am coming to terms with my job of four years ending next week.  I went into work for part of the day yesterday, even though I probably shouldn’t have because I was (am) still pretty sick.  Four years is the longest I have worked anywhere, and I have really enjoyed my job.  Unfortunately when you work as a contractor funded by grants, eventually the grants come to an end and so does the job—but I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an interesting, challenging and flexible job while I both started my professional career and had two babies.  I am still looking for what’s next for me—it has to be something part-time that is interesting enough, and pays enough, to be worth the kids being in childcare, and there aren’t a lot of part-time dietitian jobs out there yet.  I won’t mind too much staying home with the boys for a while, but I also really like working so I hope the right thing presents itself soon.

Happy Birthday Baby

21 Nov

z birthday

November 21, 2014

Dear Marshall,

I can’t believe you are turning one already!  Your first year has been a crazy and busy one, it flew by.  You are such a happy, smiley baby.  Everywhere we go people comment on how smiley you are.  You are also fiercely determined—you wanted so badly to crawl, and then to walk—at 10 months you were taking your first determined little steps, and delighted in practicing your walking by holding someone’s hand and stomping through the house with glee.  By 11 months you were walking on your own, and now nearly running.  Since you were a tiny newborn it has seemed that all you wanted to do is participate; play with Max and Dad and run around doing whatever silly thing they were up to.  You are very independent and very busy and oh my you like to climb.  I am constantly grabbing things you have pulled out of the recycle bin, or found on the floor out of your little hands.  You try to climb the couch, the stairs, the tv cabinet, your brother—anything you can, all while laughing with delight at your new skills.  When you make up your mind to do something you are determined to do it and get frustrated when it doesn’t work, such as trying to squeeze through tiny spaces not big enough for you.  Last night you insisted on walking around carrying a giant pillow in each hand and got very mad when you kept tipping over.  We tried not to laugh at you but you were just so adorable.

I worried about you around six months, as you weren’t gaining weight fast enough and didn’t seem all that interested in eating.  It wasn’t until you gained the skills a few months later to feed yourself that food became interesting and now you are a very enthusiastic eater, your favorites being any kind of meat and sweet potatoes, as long as you get to do it yourself.

You are always interested in what Max is doing, and don’t understand why he gets upset when you get in the middle of it and try and put whatever toy he was using in your mouth.  He pushes you around sometimes (for which he is constantly getting in trouble) but mostly you are pretty tough and just roll with it.

You have a lot to say—often just yelling gibberish for the joy of hearing your own voice, but you also have a handful of words.

You call me Mom or momma, and after months of also calling Dad “momma” you now can say “Dad.”  Max is “Mah”

You say “dog” and “go” and “walk” and “all done.” You are pretty good at mimicking most words (you love to copy Max especially) though you don’t necessarily know what you are saying.

You are mostly a pretty good sleeper- you wake up no more than once most nights, unless you are teething, though you have been refusing to nap fairly often lately, as if you think that now that you are walking you are too big for naps.

You always want to be with me or Dad, and even if you are playing happily, if I get up and leave the room you will follow me.  Sometimes when your grandparents are visiting you cling tightly to me, since they often watch you if I am at work, you seem to think you’d better hold on in case I try and leave.

You are my sunny, happy, busy love—I am so incredibly blessed to be your Mom.  I am delighted to watch you grow up and see the little boy you are becoming, and also a little sad that your delicious, snuggly baby days are quickly coming to an end.

I love you more than you will ever know—Happy Birthday my Marzy.

Love, Mom

Conversations with Max

4 Nov

Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, Max will ask me “is it one day?” What he means by this is, has one day passed since I last had my vitamins so I can have them again? (Chewable vitamins are apparently delicious).
Yesterday we were at Trader Joes and I picked up an advent calendar, remembering my friend told me they sell out long before December. I explained to Max that for every day in December until Christmas there is a door with a treat inside. He said, “like an apple?”
I was explaining to him all the holidays coming up in Fall and Winter, which end with Christmas and his birthday. We talked a little bit about Santa and then he wanted to know when it is Santa’s birthday.
Whenever he sees me use head phones he immediately wants to try and “put those white things in my ears”
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A couple of weeks ago was picture day at school. The director told me later that they let Max stay in the main room where the pictures were being taken for a half hour hoping he would warm up. He cheered for all the other kids and told them they looked good and they were doing a good job, but he would not allow the photographer to take his picture. I asked him why later, and he said something like, “you already have lots of pictures Mom.” Which is entirely true.

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I described trick or treating several times before Halloween, emphasizing the candy at the end (though he has had candy so few times I am not sure he really even gets what it is). He told me quite emphatically each time “I not want to do that” so no trick or treating was done over here which was fine with me! He was equally nonplussed about costumes in general. A month or so before Halloween I pulled up pictures of costumes I thought he might like online. He was very interested in the pictures but was insistent he did not want to dress up. Finally I pulled up a picture of him in the cat eared hoodie I made him last year. He decided he wanted to do that again. Last year’s costume was too small so I made another one and Mars wore the old one so we were all cats.
I use the fabric bags I used to use for holding dirty cloth diapers for kitchen rags now. Max pulled a clean one out of the laundry and announced it was his sleeping bag.
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The boys and I got our flu shots on the same day (though they at the doctor and me at the pharmacy). Max insisted on holding my hand while I got mine so I wouldn’t be scared.
We got him this clock to help him know when it is time to get up in the morning after several mornings of him insisting he wanted to get up at 5am. This morning he told me he waited and waited and then “POP! It turned green and it was time to get up”. We will see when we switch him to a big boy bed in January if he continues to obey the clock.
He was very proud of himself for helping me make a birthday cake this weekend. Whenever I ask if he wants to help cook he says he needs his apron and will not proceed until I tie it on.
He is maybe 70% there with potty training. Sometimes he is very good about telling me he needs to go—one evening M was working late and I left Max watching a show while I was nursing Mars upstairs and putting him to bed. I heard Max downstairs go in the bathroom and shut the door which worried me—what the heck was he getting into? I put Mars to bed quickly and ran down stairs, where I found Max sitting on the potty by himself, singing a little song. When he saw me he looked up with a grin and said “I peed!” Other days we have accident after accident and he usually will hide somewhere instead of telling me he needs to go #2—most of the time I catch him and make him go. Slowly but surely we will get there.
Max talks constantly about another boy at preschool. This boy is two years older than Max and is the oldest in the class—all the little boys seem to hero worship this kid which is hilarious. Max was smitten with him when one day the boy called him “Max-cat” which apparently was hilarious. Thus, whenever Max tells me he doesn’t want to go to school in the morning I tell him this kid will miss him.
A week or two ago he was absolutely impossible. Every little thing caused a tantrum, he was waking in the night crying, or having night terrors(?) where he would cry in his sleep. I began to despair that this is what three years old was going to be like and M and I started to think that maybe two kids is plenty for sure. He was also getting over a cold so I think the sleep disruption was partially due to that. At any rate he is back to being his mostly sunny self, with the usual battles over putting on shoes, or leaving the house in general.
The cold we all have had has dragged on and on. I think I had two back to back—I had bad congestion, sore throat, runny nose, lost my voice for a few mornings, and then it was mostly better, and then it all came back. M, Max and I all continue to cough sporadically, and both boys have endless runny noses. Cold and flu season is definitely here. I started taking lots more vitamin C in hopes of fending off further germs.
Our house construction was supposed to be done a month ago. They are mostly done, but a few odds and ends remain, and inevitably we will have no workers here for days and then the one day I schedule a playdate and have a house full of kids and moms there are construction workers tromping through as well. I will be very glad when it’s all done.

Oh biscuit!

17 Oct

Max recently started exclaiming “Oh Biscuit!” as a sort of toddler curse, instead of “oh darn” or something. I asked him where this came from and he thought for a moment and said, “from you!” I was quite sure I have never said such a thing (though it is so great I might start). Then one evening I was having trouble attaching the high chair tray and I realized I do say “Son of a biscuit!” on occasion, so he was right.

Mars has been fussy the past few days, only wanting to be held by me, but also squirmy and not really wanting that either. I think he is teething, and he is close to walking (M. claims he walked 6 steps today but no one but M saw, so I refuse to believe it). Night sleep has been not good, waking every 3 hours, but I haven’t wanted to sleep train because he is so distracted and busy during the day he doesn’t nurse much and I want to make sure he’s getting enough milk. After he turns one I will likely work on reducing the night wakings. This morning he woke up at 5am and neither of us really went back to sleep. He squirmed around in his bed for an hour until we both gave up and got up at 6.

Over the last three weeks I have really focused on eating extremely well now that we are home in our house. I have lost a little weight and feel pretty good, but I’m still hitting a wall of exhaustion every afternoon. I probably just need a nap, but the window when both kids are asleep is small, and my list of chores (and tv shows I’m behind on, which I watch while folding laundry) is long.

I’m too tired to think of any more things to say and Max is calling from his bed that he wants to get out at 9:30pm. Always something.

10 Months Old

22 Sep

20140901_174617Mars turned 10 months old yesterday. I do such a terrible job documenting his milestones, but things have just been way too chaotic. He is the happiest, sunniest little guy. He really is no trouble most of the time. But that doesn’t mean he is placid. This child is fiercely determined.   He has basically two main objectives: walk, and climb stuff. He is not yet walking, but he wants to so badly, and he is so very close. He can cruise along holding the furniture or someone’s hands pretty quickly, he just hasn’t quite mastered doing it independently but I know it is coming soon. He also is an incredible climber. Quick as lightening he climbs chairs, the refrigerator, people—that’s only going to get worse which makes me so nervous. He is so much more independent in his play than Max was, I am worried what he is going to get into (or up on) when I’m not watching! After a couple of weeks of sleeping 13 hours straight at night he cut a tooth which had him (and me) up every two hours and now he’s back to sleeping 3-4 hour stretches. There is still another tooth pending. We are also back to sleeping in the same room—he sleeps in the walk in closet of the bedroom in the tiny basement we are renting while our endless home construction drags on. M and Max sleep at our house. Mars and I wake each other up I think. Sometimes I will take him to bed with me for an hour or two, but he can’t get comfortable with my holding onto him and fusses and then tries to crawl away and in the end gets dumped back in his own bed. I am very worried about him falling off the bed. Too bad though, I miss the baby snuggles.  He also is trying hard to communicate. He definitely says “mama” to me, and “mah” to Max. He also says “wah” when you hold his hands and help him walk. He has started experimenting with “gah” sounds but has no “D’s” yet so Dad gets called Mama too. He spends a lot of time “talking” to us, though I’m not sure what he’s trying to say most of the time.  He is very bold and social. When we go to the park he wants to go play with every kid he sees there, and grins at all the adults.

We are in the home stretch of this project but I am feeling very stagnant and melancholy. I think the problem is that at the same time we moved to this tiny, dusty, spider filled basement, Max started school and we went from spending as much time as possible walking outside in the fresh air to a new schedule where I am pinned in this basement by naps for much of the day. I drop Max at school and then come home for Mars to take a nap. Then we go to the gym, or doctors appointments or errands, and then pick up Max. Max eats second lunch (he gets lunch at school but always seems to be still hungry) and then sleeps for 3-4 hours, during which time Mars usually will sleep another hour or two. So I spend a good 6 hours a day waiting for the kids to wake up in a space that is probably 600 square feet. In the last place we rented, where I never sat down, I got a lot of exercise just going up and down the hall to check on the kids, cleaning things, and generally pacing (there was something about that place that made it really hard to relax). Now there is nowhere to walk and I sit all the time which I don’t like.

Mine are absolutely first world problems and I am incredibly fortunate that this living arrangement is temporary. I do have extra empathy now for people displaced by storms or financial situations who lose their homes. Feeling transient and without your own space is incredibly disheartening and demoralizing—I can only imagine how much worse it would be to have no end in sight. It is chaotic for kids and stressful for everyone. At least now we are across the street from our house and I can go there regularly and feel a little burst of happy home vibes, even if it is empty and covered in sawdust and tools.20140914_100628  IMG_20140910_202859

Preschool!

5 Sep

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My big boy started preschool this week!  I was very worried about it actually.  Two and a half is young for preschool anyway, and Max has had a tendency to hang back and be overwhelmed by noise, new situations and not particularly interested in playing with other children. That combined with his serious separation anxiety of late could have spelled disaster for preschool.  The mornings were rough, and actually they got progressively worse- once he knew what to expect (i.e. Mom carries him to his classroom door and hands him off to the teacher and leaves) he started crying and telling me over and over all the way to school “I no want to go to cool!”  and would burst into tears when we got to his class.  The first day they told me he kept his eyes closed really tight and sat in the corner for awhile and then gradually peeked out a little more and eventually was able to participate a little, but mostly he just watched (which is entirely typical).  What I didn’t expect was how quickly he would adapt.  Despite his desperate protests day 2 and 3 went well and he participated and had a great time.  By today the sheet they give me each day talking about his progress said he was “chatty” which thrilled me because he is such a chatterbox, but ONLY when he is comfortable– when he’s feeling shy he clams right up.  He had a great time learning about volcanos, apples, and hoola hoops this week which he told me all about.  They feed him lunch at school, then he comes home and usually eats a second lunch before passing out for a very long nap.  We have really struggled with naps this summer but he’s so exhausted from school he zonks right out.

Surprisingly, even in such a short time, he seems to have gained confidence? or maybe skills in interacting with other kids.  Yesterday at the library a little girl asked him if he wanted to be friends and he said “yep.” Then she proceeded to boss him around for about 20 minutes.  M reports similar results at the playground.

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I know he looks upset, but Mars is actually laughing hysterically here

He’s also gotten kind of aggressive with Mars.

It’s a very difficult line that I am sure I will be riding for many years– I want to protect Mars from getting hurt by his brother but I want to encourage them to play.  Max often starts by pushing his brother away from whatever he is playing with (since Mars wants to be in the middle of whatever his big brother is doing) and then often Max pushing him away becomes it’s own game.  This evening they were basically wrestling.  Mars was shrieking with laughter while Max rolled him around on the carpet and I was biting my nails and yelling “gentle!”

Mars, not to be outdone, is a tiny tree monkey.  Yesterday I opened the fridge to get something and turned around to see he had scaled it in seconds.
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These boys I tell you!

This preschool schedule has been life changing.  After months of having both boys to entertain all day three days a week, and pulling my hair out about everybody wanting me to do something every minute, suddenly I find I am missing Max, since between school, naps, and his park trips with his Dad in the evening (I rarely go because Mars needs to go to bed) I don’t see much of him.  Mars and I have been getting to the gym finally (I dread when Mars is big enough to go to the toddler room– that place is a zoo.  The baby room is lovely), doing errands, and playing together.  It is weird to have so much time on my hands.  In October I go down to one day a week at work and I will have one day all day with the boys again which I am looking forward to– I plan to have it mostly be our field trip day where we have adventures.

Aquarium Adventures

2 Sep

20140825_103908 20140825_111902 20140825_121951 20140825_122426 20140825_123144 20140825_123308 20140825_124550 20140825_125616 20140825_135638I was nervous. I felt a little shaky and almost turned back at the last minute, but I had already told Max we were going to ride the bus so I just did it. Last week I took two tiny children on the bus by myself to downtown Seattle, wove my way down to the waterfront (not an easy task with a stroller since most access is via stairs) and toured the aquarium. And we had a really good time. Taking the giant double stroller on the bus was no big deal, though mainly because we went at off peak hours—it would have been dicey if it were commute time. It was also a lot less expensive than parking , and less stressful than driving downtown, which I hate doing. They were both so tired they slept the whole way home in the stroller, and Max actually slept awhile in the stroller once we got home and then went to bed and slept some more, so I guess I really wore them out!

It will be a lot easier to go places when Mars is walking (though I suspect he is going to be the type of child who takes off running—Max is cautious and mostly stays near me). He wants to get down and crawl and lots of places it just isn’t appropriate. At the park or the beach he puts everything he finds in his mouth, so I can’t take my eyes off him for a second.

Oatmeal song– finally, an update

17 Aug

I don’t sit down anymore.  Not really.  (Except when I am at work, then I sit for several blessed hours).  Even when I am sort of sitting on the floor with the kids I am not stationary for long because I have to retrieve Mars at regular intervals from getting into things.
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Mostly though, we walk a lot.  I strap the kids in the double stroller (which has been a sanity preserver for sure) and we walk around and around town.
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I wear a fitbit (which I love, except the kids are obsessed with it.  Max wants to play with it and Mars wants to eat it). I still don’t always make that 10,000 steps a day every day, but often I get to 8000 and have gotten as high as 12000.  Because of this, that darn baby weight that wasn’t budging is finally vacating and I’m within five pounds or so of my prebaby weight (though many many more situps and squats are required to find my way back to my prebaby shape).

Weight loss has been the only upside of all of that activity and busyness.  Mostly, it’s exhausting .  Hence the lack of blogging for so long because I just never ever seem to have time to sit still long enough to write anything down when I still have the brain power to think of anything to say—it’s taken me days to finish this post.

The impetus for all this drama, in addition simply now having two mobile and busy children, is that we have temporarily moved out of our house due to some remodeling and into a rental that is not particularly child friendly.   It is furnished, which is nice because we didn’t have to move our stuff, though the furniture in the rental seems to have been chosen entirely based on aesthetics rather than comfort.  If I do manage to sit it is not at all comfortable.
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The eat-in kitchen has these obnoxious stools at a high table that one can really just sort of perch precariously on while shoving food down.  There is a formal dining room in which every surface is white and glass, and thus we have gated off from the childen, along with a huge amount of pointy edged furniture, glass knickknacks and poisonous cleaning supplies, of which the owner of the condo seems to be very fond.  It’s also long and skinny, so I get lots of exercise going up and down the hall for things.

The move was tough on everyone’s sleep, and ironically now that we are almost done with it Max is finally starting to settle down.  In the very beginning there was about a week of him flat out refusing to sleep, with his bedtime getting later and later and eventually him only sleeping in the master bed with one of us (it started out being me but that bed is murder on my back so now he sleeps with his dad and I sleep in the other bedroom with the baby).  We have finally managed to get bedtime under control, as long as I stay in the room with him while he falls asleep.  Sometimes he still sleeps in the Master bed, but other days he asks to sleep in his crib, which is in the same room.
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We went a week or two without him taking a nap which drove me insane.  He would bounce all around and pop back up 18 times while we wasted 2 hours.  For awhile I just gave up and took the boys places all day and stopped trying, but yesterday and today by some miracle Max not only took a nap but Mars slept AT THE SAME TIME.  Amazing.

We have been trying to have lots of adventures, since Max starts preschool in a couple of weeks and I won’t have as much time with him.  Again, thank God for the double stroller, and that they both like it (which is kind of weird since as a baby Max hated strollers).  We have been to the zoo, the children’s museum, many parks, the library, barnes and noble, an embarrassing number of trips to the local bakery, and more.    Max and I get very bored in the condo, so it’s best to just get out of there.
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Poor Mars frequently does not get very good naps as I drag him all over town, but the trade-off would be to be stuck at home most of the day and we just can’t do that right now.  He’s mostly pretty good natured about it and sleeps in the stroller and the car rather well.

We four have also been having adventures on the weekends, and have been to Orcas Island and Whidbey Island in the past couple of weeks.
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It’s been so hot and so crazy that getting away, even for the day, is so satisfying and helpful.

Mars, at nearly 9 months has been worrying me with his weight.  My previously chunk baby (M affectionately called him “roast beef”) went from the 75th percentile at 4 months old, to 25th at 8 months.  He is still not a big fan of solids at all.  Occasionally I can get him to eat a couple of ounces, but often his mouth is closed for business after a bite or two.
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Usually he isn’t a big fan of bottles either, though on Tuesday he ran through most of my freezer supply and I’m having trouble catching up.  It seems that whenever I have a drop in weight I also have a drop in milk supply.  Can’t win.  He is still extremely allergic to eggs—if I have something with even a tiny bit of egg in it he breaks out in a terrible rash that takes a week or more to go away and there are eggs in everything.  Eating out often causes a breakout.   It seems like maybe I can get away with a little dairy though, and I am not sure about nuts so I mostly avoid them for now.

Max is very into songs and stories right now.  He is constantly asking me to sing him a song, but will dictate curious details.  For example, I will sing “the itsy bitsy spider” and then he will ask me to sing it about a red spider, and then orange, and then green, and then the red and orange spiders who race….  Makes for interesting songs for sure.  He keeps asking me for “oatmeal song” but I never remember the song I made up the previous time.  M is way better at coming off with songs that make sense and rhyme off the cuff.  Often at bedtime I sing him “Goodnight my someone” from the Music Man.  I tried adding “oatmeal” to that song, but he said, “that not oatmeal song! That goodnight song!” oops, sorry.

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Happy Fourth

8 Jul

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Sometimes when I see my kids it’s like catching a glimpse of myself in a mirror before realizing that I’m looking at a reflection—that feeling of, that person is extremely familiar—oh right it’s me. (Not that my boys look like me—Max is a mini-M to a T and Mars looks a lot like Max did at this age (though I think there’s maybe a bit more of me there too).

To help with Max’s separation anxiety I took to the internet and got him a couple of new books. This one is absolutely perfect:
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it’s all about Llama Llama and his first day of school, and how at first he’s scared and sad but then he learns school is really fun and plays and has a good time and THEN his mama comes back. Also reads well because it’s in rhyme (totally made me cry the first couple times through though—he’s just so SAD. Silly mama). He asks me to read it again and again.
This one came highly reviewed on Amazon but it’s just too complex for Max and he doesn’t quite follow it. There is a board book version that I just ordered instead because I find myself simplifying a lot to try and get the (adorable) message across before he loses interest.
We got off to a rough start this morning. Everyone woke up too early and was cranky and wanted to be held. Max insists on being held “two hands” (i.e. don’t try to hold Mars and me at the same time). I finally just put him back to bed because they were both crying and I just wanted to EAT SOME TOAST. PLEASE. Now it’s 9am and they are both sleeping which will throw off Max’s nap later but at least no one is crying at me before I’ve had my coffee.
We had a pleasant fourth of July weekend, though nothing particularly festive. We went to the beach, met friends at the park (and ran into them again at the bread store a different day), the farmer’s market, and played a lot at home yesterday where we have a/c since it got up in the mid-80s which is too hot for M, who probably would be happiest living in Alaska given how much he hates to be hot.
Mars is now mobile enough to be getting into stuff and I remembered how when Max was that age we had a “baby jail” gate that kept him well contained.
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I am constantly having to rescue Mars from places (he’s obsessed with the curtains, but I am worried he will get tangled up in them if I am not watching), puts everything in his mouth and already is trying to climb EVERYTHING. He’s constantly pulling up and then tipping over and bonking his head on things. If only I had a cook and a housekeeper I could stay right on top of him constantly.
Max and I have reconnected recently. When Mars was newborn most of Max’s care fell to M, while I handled everything baby related and Max and I didn’t have as much time together. I got very overwhelmed by his neediness in the face of also having a newborn. But as Mars gets somewhat less dependent on only me, he is able to spend more time playing with his daddy, and Max and I are able to get time together just us again. It feels like we are in balance again.

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