When it rains it pours

28 Apr

Boy we have had a rough couple of weeks.  Mars was incredibly fussy and clingy for at least a week (it all blends together and I can’t remember exactly how long). He is usually such a cheerful sunshiny smiley guy that having him be constantly fussy really wore me down– I’m just not used to having a fussy baby.  Finally last Thursday Max had a doctor’s appointment to catch up on a vaccine and I had the doctor look in Mars’ ears– big time ear infection.  So after several days on antibiotics, he is his cheerful self again.  That said, we have developed some bad habits and now every night he ends up in bed with me.  It’s a vicious cycle– I am so tired from having him in bed with me (not relaxing at all because he is squirmy and every time he moves around I jolt awake to make sure he isn’t going to fall off the edge, plus his preferred sleeping position is on top of me), that when he wakes up in the night I just take him to bed with me instead of dealing with the hours of crying involved in re-training him to sleep in his own bed involves.

He also decided to wean himself in the last few weeks.  I did intend to stop nursing around 18 months anyway, but I am surprised at how little effort it took on my part– he just lost interest in it.  He’s perfectly happy to be glued to me 24/7 with a pacifier in his mouth, no breastfeeding required.

Due to my weeks of no sleep, I ended up with a head cold and for several days in a row woke up with a pounding head and no voice.

M has been spending all weekend every weekend trying to finish rebuilding the front deck.  This has also been exhausting for me because he is occupied all weekend and I don’t get much of a break from the kids to accomplish anything.  Then, on Sunday afternoon he fell hard on the deck frame and badly injured his left hand.  He came inside and iced it and took some ibuprofen but it was still very swollen and I strongly advised him to go to urgent care.  Two hours later they insisted he go to the hospital because it was broken in three places and he might need surgery immediately.  Fortunately the ER doctor was less concerned, put a cast on him and referred him to a specialist for later in the week.  We are hoping he doesn’t need surgery, but either way he is pretty limited in what he can do with only one hand, both at work (one handed typing!) and at home.  Max is self sufficient enough that M is mostly ok with doing things for him, but Mars is a two handed kid.  He’s very squirmy and fights getting his diaper changed, he constantly tries to climb things he shouldn’t and needs rescuing, and requires two handed help in the bathtub.

So it’s been a wild time around here, but hopefully from here things will get better.

Spring Things

14 Apr

The kids say and do the funniest things. I wish I was better about writing them down when they happen.
Max and I sometimes have hilarious conversations on the way to school. A couple of weeks ago he was talking about some minor bruise or cut he had, and he told me he got it when we were in Hawaii.
Me: “Max we went before you were born”
Max: “Who stayed with me while you and dad went to Hawaii?”
Me: “It was before you were a baby in my tummy. Before you were even on Earth.”
Max: (thinks about this for awhile) “Who stayed with me when I was in space?”

I took Mars to his first swimming lesson a couple of weeks ago. He did pretty well, especially since the water was FREEZING due to a heater problem in the pool. The lady who teaches the class is approximately 80 and very sweet but a little loud and he wasn’t sure if he liked her or not, but it was mostly pretty fun. We will go again soon. I wish I had started swimming lessons with Max when he was younger—now he’s really scared of the class and it’s hard.

The past few days Mars has been either teething or going through some kind of growth spurt or something. He resists going to bed and wakes up in the night and refuses to go back to sleep unless he is not only in bed with me but directly on me, wrapped around my neck like a scarf. It’s sweet but I can’t sleep very well on my back and he is very squirmy. If I turn on my side he sits up and tries to push me back on to my back so he can climb back up. He also has a chronic runny nose going on two months now. We think he might just have allergies like his daddy.
Now that the weather is better I have started taking Max to school via stroller. His preschool is about 1.5 miles away, but it’s up (steep!) hill the whole way. It’s an awesome workout, although pushing the heavy stroller is giving me a flareup of tendonitis/carpal tunnel. Our old stroller just got harder and harder to push and I finally replaced it with a different used one. I considered getting a double Bob since I have loved our single Bob but they are just so very wide and we spend a lot of time in town going in and out of stores (plus I think they would mess with each other and fight). So we got a Britax B ready and I really like it.

The cheerful green makes me happy too. It rolls much better than our old one but it is still heavy—there’s no getting around that pushing 50+ pounds of kid + 35 pounds of stroller uphill is hard work. I still pick him up in the car, in part because I don’t really want to do that hill twice in one day, but also because I need to get them home to take a nap and I don’t want them falling asleep in the stroller. (Mars still sometimes does in the morning).

I am loving the mostly lovely Spring weather—last week we went to the beach all morning and played in the sand. As the boys get older it gets easier to take them places like the park or the beach on my own. I don’t know what we’d do if we have another child—just not leave the house without M. until the little one is older I guess.
I still feel like we barely have it together most of the time. My house is so messy, there is always laundry, and I am stuck in a rut with making the same dinners over and over. But we are happy and healthy. I am getting used to being at home with the kids and finding ways to carve out time for myself. M is working on rebuilding the deck and walkway in the front of our house. Eventually we will fence it and put in grass and then the kids will be able to play in our front yard! Right now we have no safe outdoor space and I am really looking forward to it.

Seaside getaway

17 Mar


We spent a couple of days last week celebrating M’s birthday at the Oregon Coast.   Despite multiple incidents of children puking, general sleeplessness, and Max needing to use the bathroom every ten minutes whenever we got in the car or a restaurant, we had fun.

On the drive down Max had to use the bathroom whenever we got in an area where there were zero bathrooms for miles and got to experience going in the great outdoors along side the road.  He also threw up in the car.  I thought he might have been motion sick (I have had life long terrible motion sickness) but there were other incidents later so it may have been a virus.  We spent a lot of time fighting about whether he would hold a bag to throw up in or not (he didn’t want to).  Then we got to strip him down on the roadside (so much time spent on the roadside with no clothes on for one day!) and clean his car seat as best we could with baby wipes.

We got a hotel that had two bedrooms and we each slept with one kid.  I at least got some sleep the first night.  I was worried Mars would have a hard time settling in a strange place but with the lights off he went right to sleep next to me and slept all night.  M got very little sleep with squirmy Max waking up repeatedly and coughing constantly.


Friday we ate breakfast at a popular (possibly because it is the only place in town?) diner which didn’t sit very well with me.  The boys had tons of pancakes and set off for the cheese factory in Tillamook.  Max was disappointed we didn’t get ice cream there but barely 10 in the morning was just too early.  We also stopped by the same little place that had animals and some space to run around that we visited last time, when Max was a toddler.

Next we went to Cannon Beach.  Though away from the beach it was surprisingly warm and kind of muggy, the beach was very windy and cold.  Still, with tons of layers on we had fun making sand castles, chasing a ball that kept blowing away, and preventing Mars from trying to go swim in the ocean.

It was a very good thing we went to the beach on Friday because the next day it started to pour.

In the evening we ate dinner at a pizza place with an arcade and the kids loved all the bright lights and crazy games.

Unfortunately that night there was so much puking.  Mars went to sleep at 8pm again like a champ but sat up abruptly at 11 and threw up all over the bed.  I stripped him down, redressed him, and stripped all the sheets and we went back to sleep.  An hour later he threw up again, and this time it was in his hair too, so we had to jump in the shower.  By then I was out of layers to take off the bed and we slept on a towel on the bare mattress with one thin blanket since everything else was dirty.  I was very lucky that he didn’t throw up ON me since I was right next to him.  Meanwhile, Max was claiming he needed to puke repeatedly all night and finally at 2am actually did (luckily they made it to the bathroom so no change of sheets was required).

We staggered out of bed the next morning and went to the same breakfast place, this time since it was Saturday it was absolutely packed and we were seated as far as humanly possible from the bathroom.  Mars was squirmy and Max kept claiming to need to use the bathroom.  Everyone was tired and it was nutty.

More whining, more threats of puking on the way home.  But it was still fun.  I think.

What tomorrow brings

4 Mar


Every night before I go to sleep I spend a few minutes looking at pictures of the kids on my phone.  It helps steel my mind against some of my anxieties that creep in when I am tired, and on days like this one that was absolutely miserable, it helps remind me how great they are most of the time.

The main problem is that Max was up at least three times last night,  crying because he wanted his bambams (giraffe blankets) “tucked in” under the covers.  Cute once at bedtime,  extremely irritating at 4am.

It was a really long day (how did I survive waking up so much for so long with tiny babies? and go to work afterward? Torture.) We had an unfortunate combination of M getting stuck at work on a night we planned to go out to dinner and had a very late dinner with tired and hungry kids.  Mars was amazingly good given how much past bedtime it was.

Yesterday I learned that a colleague I went to school with has a rare and aggressive form of cancer. She is only 30, an extremely healthy eater and regular exerciser.  She has two young daughters.  While praying for her recovery I am trying to hold tight to my gratitude for each day,  even the not so great ones like today,  because you never know what might be in store tomorrow. 

Time Marches On

3 Mar

I am so glad it’s March.  Even though we have been so lucky to have a mild Winter I just really do not like the post Holiday part of the Winter and am looking forward to Spring.

I find lately I have so little time to write anything down.  By the time I do get a minute on the computer, I can’t think of anything to write!  Lucky for me, my in-laws fought horrible traffic this morning and are playing with the boys and so I get a little time to myself when I’m not half asleep.

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity come my way to start a private practice.  A friend of a friend who is a massage therapist was opening a new office less than a mile from my house and looking to add nutrition services.  I seriously considered doing it, but when I added up the cost of rent, paying various fees and worst of all, childcare it didn’t seem feasible.  There is a fair amount of competition already in the area, and I would have to spend a lot of time trying to get clients, and only getting paid when they actually show up.  It was a lot of money out the door without any guaranteed income, and I decided to pass, but I was sad about it.  Maybe in a few years when the kids are both in school so I don’t have to pay someone while I build a business.  I miss working and being a dietitian, but I also hate leaving my kids—I don’t even take them to the gym with me because I can’t bear leaving them with strangers.   Mars has been sick and really clingy lately.  It’s so much easier when only one kid is sick at once though!

I am trying to find ways to escape from all the time mommy jobs—I have my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups twice a month, though with all the illness lately, I’ve missed every other meeting.  I also decided to go to the preschool’s expensive auction fundraiser alone.  Making small talk with a bunch of strangers while dressed up in the evening for a substantial chunk of money is not M’s idea of fun at all, and at least we don’t have to pay a babysitter if he stays home.  But meeting more parents and getting dressed up for a bit sound fun, oh and eating yummy food.


Not that long ago Max would make a big deal out of saying “yuck!” when I kissed him, and only wanted to give me “silly” hugs, but lately he has been very affectionate.  He says, “Mom I want to give you a hug and a kiss and a pet!” He will announce he loves me multiple times a day—it’s is very sweet.  (Though he tells me he does not love Mars because Mars hits him, so then we have to have a conversation about how Mars doesn’t understand and isn’t trying to hurt him, blah, blah—I kinda don’t blame him, but hopefully they will learn to get along when Mars is old enough to keep his hands to himself.)  Despite his general annoyance at his little brother, Max continues to insist that he wants more siblings, preferably four or five.  I am not quite sure why, my theory is he wants home to be like preschool.  I am still undecided on this topic (well, not that I want to have four or five more, that I’m clear on! NO).  There are days, even weeks that go by where I think no WAY do I want any more kids, but then it bubbles back up again, that tiny voice wondering about one more.  But for right now, no way.  I am not doing pregnancy with a barely walking toddler again.   Both my parents and in-laws spaced their children 3.5-4 years apart and I am now seeing how much easier that would be.


Causing mischief in his raincoat and one shoe


Mars loves to play dress up.  He goes to the door and brings me shoes (sometimes his, sometimes other people’s) and jackets– often he only brings me one shoe but insists I help him put it on.  His favorites are his rain boots and his rain jacket.  Yesterday he brought me Max’s shirt and jacket which Max was not thrilled about.

Max’s vocabulary is expanding in amazing ways.  He told me something was “amazing” the other day, and my green food averse child asked for THIRDS of broccoli at dinner the other night and deemed it “delicious!”  He puts long complex sentences together and makes up imaginative stories.   He is also about 85% potty trained.  He hasn’t had a daytime accident in a week or so- he sometimes wakes up to pee at night and sometimes not.   We still are using pull-ups because it’s easier, but he is probably ready for underwear—he has been coming home from preschool in the same pull-up I sent him in most days, which means he’s doing well there too.)   The other morning M found him getting himself dressed by himself too, which he has never done.  He’s getting to be such a big boy.  (On the other hand he will often wake up from his nap and demand I come upstairs to carry him down.   He does not wake up in a very good mood most of the time).

On Sunday he only napped for 30 minutes, came downstairs and fell asleep again in my lap.  I don’t think he’s fallen asleep on me since he was a tiny baby.  It was very strange and kind of adorable.


now that the weather is getting better we are spending more time outside which is helpful for all of our sanity.

No Sleep

13 Feb

I am so tired. For the past two weeks the kids have been taking turns waking up multiple times a night. Last night they each woke up twice and I jolted awake an extra time thinking that I had heard one of them. Max likes to sleep with his lights on so it takes me forever to go back to sleep when I get up with him because I really am awake. M usually takes care of Max at night and I take Mars but M was so tired yesterday I decided to take them all last night and I was kind of a zombie today. They are mostly fine during the day, I think at least for Max, laying down causes a sore throat and he wakes up in pain and scared. I’m not entirely sure why Mars is waking up. Maybe something similar, though he nurses and goes right back to sleep which does not suggest it’s a pain issue.
I joined a new gym, planning to go early in the morning before M leaves for work, but the kids have been keeping me up so much I haven’t had the energy.
I don’t often apply for jobs because it wouldn’t make much difference financially for me to work by the time we paid for childcare, there aren’t that many part-time jobs around and even fewer that get me excited, but I did find one recently that I really got excited about, which is bad, because the last time I got my hopes up about a job I didn’t even get an interview, even though I was very well qualified and I was upset about it. But this time I did everything I possibly could—I wrote an obscenely long cover letter detailing all the ways I am qualified and excited about the job and then dropped it off in person. The hiring person wasn’t there unfortunately, but I at least got contact info to follow up. That’s really all I can do. But what keeps me awake at night is even if I got the job (and I’m not entirely sure how many hours it would be, the ad was vague other than being part-time), I don’t know what I’d do with my kids. Max is thriving at his preschool and I’d hate to have to pull him out. Most of the really good daycares around us have waitlists, are expensive and or only full-time. I have explored looking for a nanny in the past which is not only expensive, but difficult to find someone good. It would be more logical to wait until there was an issue to stress about it since most of the time when I apply for jobs I hear nothing, but that’s not how my brain works.

Marathon of Sick

4 Feb

We have had a rough first week of having a three year old.  On the day after Max’s birthday we had a family party with my inlaws and my mom.  He had a good time, got some fun presents, ate lots of cake.  We also changed his bed to a toddler bed and took away his pacifiers—a risky move to do it all at once.  He didn’t nap on the day of his party, but  was so tired that night he went right to sleep and didn’t jump out of bed or get too upset about not having his pacis.  The next day sickness took hold.  Mars threw up in his bed after his nap.  Thinking perhaps he’d just eaten too much or something that didn’t agree with him, we went out to lunch and to a park.  When we got home I tried to get Max to nap again and then he threw up too (and still no nap).   He thew up a couple more times and I kept him home from school on Monday, sure he’d be well again by Wednesday since he is usually pretty resilient.  I regret that I took them to the mall playground where they likely infected many other children, because I didn’t realize they were that sick—they often throw up one day and are fine the next—but not this time. By evening he had a fever, which persisted into Thursday when I gave up and took him to the doctor, who said he likely had a virus, prescribed vitamin C, probiotics and lots of fluids.  I had her look in Mars’ ears and he had an ear infection too so fun all around.  Max has had almost no appetite for over a week, mainly drinking watered down juice and eating a cracker here or there.   He has a hard time sleeping because he coughs so much, and he swallows all the stuff he coughs up despite our pleading to spit it out, which makes him eventually throw up.   Mars had a rough night Saturday and woke up every couple of hours coughing and then he slept all day yesterday—8 hours of naps.  Meanwhile we have been cooped up inside for over a week now, with both of them just wanting to be snuggled by Mom, which is sweet but also exhausting, especially since they both want to be the only one being snuggled by Mom.  Far too much screen time, we have to discourage Max from running around or playing too rough because it makes him cough, and coughing makes him throw up.  He has never been sick this long—I feel so bad for him.  On top of that, every person at his birthday party, except so far (knock on wood!) M and me got sick.  All the grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin quite sick.  I guess it’s good we didn’t have a bigger party!  The one silver lining in a way, has been that Max, who normally isn’t all that cuddly, who usually says “yuck!” when I kiss him (thanks whomever taught him that) and only gives me “silly hugs” has been very cuddly in his illness.  “Mom let’s snuggle!  Mom please hug me, Mom I wuv you!” adorable.

Max turns Three!

2 Feb

3Three (2) P1650912 P1650913 P1650915


My Max,

Today you are three years old.  Three is such a funny in between age—you are not a baby anymore, but you aren’t quite a big kid either.  When you are at preschool, I see you with your friends, many of whom are four and five years old and you look so little still.  But other times you come bursting into the room, telling me involved stories, usually about Superheroes (your new obsession) and I marvel at how big you are.

You are testing your independence.   When I try to kiss you you say “yuck!” and you frequently only want to give me “silly hugs.”  And yet when I pick you up from preschool you run and throw your arms around my leg, and other times you will kiss my leg or my arm out of the blue.  You still mostly want to be right next to me, and follow me all over the house.  Your favorite, though, is still your Dad, and you tell me this repeatedly, that Dad is your favorite or your best or your hero.  I can’t blame you—Dad is still the most fun, and you play games with him for hours every evening when he gets home.

You have had a year to get used to having a little brother now, and in that year your brother has grown to be occasionally a playmate, and often a frustration.  He is now big enough to constantly get into your stuff, try and take your toys and wreck whatever you were building, but not old enough to understand when you tell him you don’t like that.  Sometimes you are very sweet to him, and try to teach him about things and play chase together—those are my very favorite times, when you play nicely together and he giggles in glee because you are his favorite and his hero.

You are sweet, and cautious, and kind.  You almost always ask me before you take flying leaps off of things, or grab stuff off the counter.  You try to protect me when Dad is playing rough and you are worried I might get hurt.  You love to help me in the kitchen and we frequently cook together, or you help me unload the dishwasher.

You are still very interested in cars and trucks and other vehicles, but you are newly into superheroes, something I think you picked up from the bigger kids at school, and cemented by our one million viewings of the “Lego Movie” with which you are obsessed.  Everything is “super” your red shoes are your “super shoes” your firetruck is a “super fire truck” and the only shirt you want to wear is your Superman shirt.  At school you play mostly with the big boys, particularly a boy named Cian who is two years older than you and whom you informed me makes you “feel better” when you are sad at school.   I was very worried when you started school because you take awhile to warm up to new situations and you had never been away from me before with anyone but family, but you warmed up quickly and now you love it and have so much fun there. (Swimming lessons on the other hand, did not go very well).

I love you so much Maxer.  You are a joy and make me laugh so many times a day.  Happy Birthday my love.




New Year, Still Here

19 Jan

It’s been six weeks since I stopped working.  We had a rough Fall of sickness—the worst of it being M and me.  The kids would be sort of sick for a few days (including Max coughing until he threw up several times on Christmas Eve, resulting in my sleeping on his bedroom floor).  But mostly M and I have been exhausted and we are just now (knock on wood) coming back around to feeling normal again.  I hope we are done.

I am settling into being a full-time stay at home mom.  I keep looking at part-time jobs, but there are very few out there that seem worth leaving the kids and paying for daycare.  I see them growing up at a breathtakingly fast rate and I am trying to soak up these days of them being so small, even when it wears me out, because I know it will be gone too soon.  That said, I am so grateful for preschool—the days that Max doesn’t go to school are very long, mostly because the weather isn’t usually conducive to playing outside and it’s a long time to be cooped up inside with two rowdy boys.   We have had a few playdates, and last Thursday I took the boys to the zoo, even though it was raining and 37 degrees.  We had a nice time—we got to see the giraffes up close while they were being fed, saw some hibernating bears, and played in the indoor play space when it got too rainy.  It did destroy Mars’ naps for the day, which I suspected.  He is trying to transition to one nap, which usually results in him being incredibly fussy for some stretch of the day.  If I put him down in the morning, often he will sleep for 3 hours and then be a disaster by 5pm because he won’t take a second nap.  Or I can make him stay up until late morning, and then he’s going to pieces at 10am.  At this very moment he is taking his second nap of the day though—on the rare occasions it works out it is SUCH a blessing.

The one day when the boys woke up from naps before it got dark and it was sunny we went to a park, only to have Max fall and split his lip after 20 minutes.  Then I had the lovely task of carrying a screaming, bleeding kid and a squirmy toddler the considerable distance back to the car.  (It was a park I hate, in part because of the large distance from the play area to the parking, and also because it is huge and I am afraid of losing them.  I don’t think I will go there again alone with the boys—I only went there at all because Max insisted).

I didn’t find the energy to write about Christmas, but it was lovely, and just what I wanted.  We stayed home, M’s family came over, and the boys were excited about their gifts but we didn’t go overboard with too much stuff, and it was all just so magical and exciting for them.  I just took the Christmas stuff down yesterday and as much as I like Christmas it is a relief to have it gone—I find Christmas décor in January terribly depressing, like Spring will never come.

I am getting ready for Max’s birthday this week.  I seriously considered doing a birthday party with friends from preschool at a venue, but he is still fairly shy and I am not sure he would really like that, so we are sticking with family only again this year.  We are having all M’s family, and my mom over this weekend and then going to the Children’s museum.  He is very excited.  Three is a funny age—when I see him with his friends at school, many of whom are four and five, he still seems so little.  But sometimes he comes barreling in the room, chattering in full sentences and I wonder where this big boy came from.

We are planning to switch him to a toddler bed AND get rid of the pacifiers this weekend, which I fear will be a total disaster and possibly the end of naps for good, but you never know.  He has had weeks of discussion about what will happen with that when he is three but the concept is different than the reality.  The pacifier thing especially seems rough, but the dentist says it needs to go, so I guess it’s time—we probably would have done it last year except it seemed mean to take it away just as baby brother was coming into the world.

Speaking of my not so baby boy, he is still hell bent on climbing everything he can and has had some very near disasters.  He is also incredibly sweet and cuddly and will climb into my lap any time I sit down (and sometimes into random other people’s laps too—on more than one occasion at indoor play areas or playdates he has sat himself down in another mom’s lap).   He also now repeatedly takes me by the hand and leads me around the house, often to the door or to the bathtub as if to say, now we should go somewhere mom, or now we should go outside.  He gets very upset when I don’t go along with his ideas.

I went to add pictures to this post and I got overwhelmed by the volume of pics.  Maybe next time.

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.


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