Monday, February 27, 2006

Did you know...

That if you run up an aluminum ramp at a baseball stadium and really do your heels hard first before slapping your toes down in shoes that are a little too big, it will make a really loud banging noise and bother all the fans?

That if your parents are in the picking-your-battles phase of the afternoon and don't make you wear your hat or heavy coat, that your fingers will turn really red and be hard to move and you can hold them up like claws to your mommy and say, "Hurt? Hurt?" and you're so cute she won't even say, "Toldyaso."?

That when your baby sister is teething she makes funny faces and her nose gets real pink in the cold?

That if you wake up at 5:30am for one week straight and have both parents waving their white flags by 8:30am then you have officially WON that day?

That chocolate milk is now officially called "cookie milk" since it's like having a cookie IN your milk?

That Life cereal is now officially "monkey cereal" because Curious George is on the box?

That if you throw 3,492,888 convulsive fits in one afternoon, you may just be a toddler, but you may just be hungry too?

That if you throw one arm up in the air and then slowly lower your body onto the ground while crying like a fire engine full blast, you'll kinda look like Laertes dying at the end of Hamlet and your mom may smile a little before starting to cry a little herself?

That tomorrow is another day, thank goodness?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Grand Day Out

Henry has really started loving the Wallace and Gromit movies (no pressure from his father and me) and he watched Wallace and Gromit rocket to the moon for more cheese today. First he was helping them get to outer space with his concentration:

and then the journey wore him out:

all the while Svea was getting a kick out of Henry's involvement in the claymation while she jumped in the jump-up:

until she said, "i'm about to sneeze, yo, while i kick this funky beat."

Don't you wish you were here??

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tank you, Meemeeeeeeee

Is how Henry would say thank you to Mimi for his new subscription to Turtle magazine.

The first two issues he got he tore pages out and threw them across the room to see how far they would slide. The one that arrived today must have had some good coloring pages because he crawled up on the couch with it and flipped through it for about 3 whole minutes.

He must miss his cousin Lydia who reads magazines naturally:

My Angle

We went on a walk today for the first time in maybe 2 months. The kind of walk where you are outside just to be outside and you don't really care about getting to point B.
I am so out of shape I will probably be sore tomorrow and I was just about leaning over the double stroller handles puffing up our sidewalk. Which really doesn't have an incline.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My Very Own Basket of Toys

We have been battling fevers and whiney melt-down episodes since Mimi and Papa left on Sunday. There was even a little vomiting going on Saturday and when a child starts to vomit milk and bread while sitting in the leather chair with Daddy, you DEFINITELY want a mother or mother-in-law there to help. Thank goodness Mimi was here to get extra towels and gently make suggestions while Brian and I tried to figure out whether comforting Henry was as important as getting the chunks off of our favorite chair. Priorities.

So Henry went down for an early nap today, still feeling bad and a little dehydrated, and Svea woke up THE MINUTE he fell asleep. Somedays, I swear, they talk to each other to conspire against parental napping.
I stole Brian's pillows, propped her all up and offered her a basket of toys I gleaned from Henry's stash. She was in total heaven. Crystal Blue Persuasion.

Her new main thing is making raspberry sounds with her tongue - for like 5 mintues straight.
Tomorrow I am whipping out the bibs again.

We Never Leave

I spend a lot of my time wondering if I am acting more like a 12 year old or maybe a 15 year old. Sometimes I'm right in line with Henry actually. He's 23 months.

My best friend Neda and I used to joke about our age when we were in college as we giggled uncontrollably about some joke involving a potty or the word poo-poo. And then we would graduate from our junior high antics when we started staring at what someone was wearing, or maybe correcting someone's use of an incorrect past participle. But did we ever leave high school? Do any of us?

I thought when I left Homewood High that I was getting away from pressures to be in certain cliques and clubs or friends with the creative crowd. Now I'm almost 30 years old and I read every word in US Weekly and People magazine to see what the popular crowd is doing and wearing. I even read what they ate for lunch. And remember their birthdays.
I go to story time at the library once a week with Henry and Svea and I watch which moms talk to each other and which children gravitate towards each other. I watch cliques form at the LIBRARY STORY TIME. Unbelievable.
I watch American Idol so I can freely criticize others' talents and clothes. I watch Grey's Anatomy and ER and House so I can dream about being a doctor when I am finally grown up. I watch Lost to learn survival skills just in case on my way to being an adult something happens and I need mad adaptation skills. I am so still in high school.

I've been re-reading some of my favorite Lynda Barry comics (see the link added on the side). Her description of the tragic teenage years is so poignant there are times when I wonder if I'm just invited into her memory for a minute, or if she knows about mine. And then I start to worry. I worry for Henry, of course, because he will always be first. But Svea, my heart breaks for sweet Svea because I know what it's like to be a girl in junior high and high school. I'm already hating those years for her and helping her through break-ups and "mean girl" episodes and body image crises. She doesn't even have a tooth yet and still doesn't sleep through the night - AND THIS IS WHAT I WORRY ABOUT?

Until we reach that dreaded phase, I guess I'll keep reading my People and watching my TV shows...honing my skills to help my children. Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing...honing much-needed survival skills for the sake of my offspring. "I said it's great! to be! a Homewood Patriot! It's great! to be! a Homewood Patriot! It's great..."

Monday, February 20, 2006

This Took 10 Minutes

Just to get them bundled up and loaded into the stroller.

You Know Life Is Good When...

...your child makes up a new word for something and it becomes adult speak between you and your husband forever. rub and rub with your make-up remover under your eyes trying to get the mascara off...and you realize that's not mascara.

...Henry walks straight to the car and says "Henry cooperate" when it's time to get in the car seat.

...when your children delight in each other. think the day has last 23 hours and it's only 4:30pm and then your husband comes home 30 minutes early and you know that now you can make it.

...Henry doesn't poop for 2 days. When he usually goes 3 times a day. get them both asleep at the same time in the afternoon. wait for the mail all morning and then there is a 4 page hand-written letter from your best friend.

...that new recipe turned out good and you cooked it because you wanted to, not because anyone expected you to.

...when they love Daddy's lap at the end of the day.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wydees and Lie-lah

Yesterday was Brian's birthday, so for dinner we had take out from Outback and for entertainment we watched the Dukes of Hazzard. Complete with Jessica and Willie and my fave, Sean Michael Scott. There were some redeeming moments, but overall, I suggest you do something different with a few hours of your evening. But I did learn that Roscoe's name is really "Roscoe P. Coletrain" NOT Roscoe Peeko Train which is what I heard as an 8-year-old glued to the old episodes.

Before the Brian Birthday Celeration began, we had a little playdate at our house with some neighborhood pals, Wyatt and Lilah, or as Henry says, Wydees and Lie-lah.

Wyatt is 6 weeks younger than Svea...yet weighs 6 times as much as she does. He took a little snooze on the Boppy until Lilah's talking and Henry's toddler antics woke him up and I was staring at him through the camera lens.

Lilah is a new crawler and found her way over to the table (at one point getting stuck around one of the legs). When she smiles, it takes up half of her face and it's hard to resist scooping her up and gnawing on her big round cheeks. I think she would have none of that though...unless your name is Jennie or Menachem. I'm taking a rain check though for when her separation anxiety passes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Sweet Valentine

We got the sweetest Valentine card today from Uncle Lafe and Aunt Martha, our favorite Mississippi relatives. Svea was especially excited...I was trying to open the mail while sitting next to her on the couch and she promptly dropped her turtle toy and picked that card right out of my hands. Then she poked herself in the eye with it, chewed on two corners and opened it up and acted like she was reading it. I think that means she's advanced.

Thankful That There's No Picture for This Entry

Monday was one of those days that every parent has about once a quarter where, despite all valiant efforts and good-hearted attempts, everything goes wrong.

Henry started a new runny nose and cough over the weekend, so by Monday he and Svea both were rattling. Then Henry started crying fits that only Brian's voice singing Thomas the Tank Engine songs could calm down. Then, during one fit, I saw him tug on his right ear ONCE. Once is enough to indicate a possible ear infection, right?

So I was in the parking lot of the grocery store when he tugged that ear and I called the doctor on the cell phone. They could fit me in in 30 minutes, so I did a U-turn explaining to Henry that though I promised him the trip to the store to get apple juice (since that's what calmed his screaming to just crying), we were heading to the doctor to get better. he looked out the window and said, "doctor" then "better" the whole way to the ped's office.

Once there, Henry was in a great mood and his nose stopped running. Of course. We waited 20 minutes then the subsitute doctor (since our pediatrician was booked) said, "What unusually small ear canals you have young man." So he dug out a long Q-tip and tried clearing Henry's glue-like ear wax from one ear. No luck. Just Henry screaming. So then he pulled out a small metal hook that looks like what the dentist uses to scrape in your molars, and tried to the get the wax out with THAT. No luck again. He commented again on how small the ear canals were. So then he called the nurse in who said, "My, what small ear canals he has." Geez. They decided they should "flush" this wax out with water.

The nurse left to get this little machine with this little plastic wand that is hooked with a hole at the end. She filled the bucket with water, plugged it in and stuck the wand in Henry's ear. I have to cradle him with his head hanging off the side of my lap while she streams water in his ear and the machine rattles like an oil-less air compressor. She said the wax should either float out in chunks or flakes. Whatever. This was ridiculous. After an hour of flushing both ears, soaking the exam table and floor and my pants and Henry's hair, taking a break to feed Svea who sat like an angel in her car seat the whole time thank goodness, we gave up.
The doctor came back in, looked in his right ear and commented on the smallness of the canal. I said, "Good grief is he ABNORMAL?" to which he smiled and replied, "Well..."
So I asked if it would affect his hearing and he said no, but that he couldn't tell if there was an infection because there was still too much wax. Then he looked in the left ear and said he couldn't tell if there was an infection because there was too much water. I can't believe I didn't punch him.

Based on how long Henry had been congested, the doc decided he would go on and treat him for an infection. Off we went to the car to go get the antibiotic and I get Henry all strapped in, and take Svea around in her carrier to pop her in base. Some stupid MINIVAN has parked 4 inches from my car so that I not only can't fit the carseat between the two cars, I can't even open the door.

I totally pull a Britney Spears and put Svea in the front seat, holding her steady with my right hand while I drive to another strip of empty parking spots so I can get BACK out and pop Svea safely into her base. Instead of cussing, I just wished a long water treatment on the ears of the minivan-driver's child.

We got to the store to fill the prescription and Henry got a bouncy ball, a balloon that he popped before we got to the cashier, and special crackers. Me, I got a big bottle of Chardonnay.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Outta My Way Crumb

Svea. Before.

Then, sweetly jumping for her morning exercise, she is pushed aside by her dinosaur brother. Her presence was interrupting HIS morning exercise of running laps around the downstairs.

In Her Shoes

Arwyn and Henry are good buddies, which is a good thing because her mom and I don't want to stop hanging out. So they must play together and LIKE IT.

Arwyn, however, takes a later nap than Henry so when she comes over in the afternoon (so her mom can go and get her hair did) Henry wakes up from his nap soon after Arwyn goes down for her's. Which gives Henry about 2 hours to try and squeeze into her shoes. He spends each effort saying, "Arwynt's shoes. Hurt. Arwynt's shoes. Hurt." over and over. He even took off a sock trying to perfect the fit.

He better not stretch those suckers. Svea needs those hand-me-downs.

Kissing Cousins

Meredith, Mom and I are just getting all of our pictures together from their visit a few weeks ago (actually, they are now sending me pictures since I was lame and didn't take many).
I had forgotten some of the moments we when Henry and Lydia sat at the bottom of the stairs sharing Lydia's snack and the dog drooled puddles of envy behind the gate.

Then there was the sweetest kiss in the world from Lydia to Henry, and the embarrassing moment of pride and what-do-we-do-now-that-everyone-is-clapping-for-us that came after.

Then there was the carousel ride at the mall which, in Lydia and Henry's opinion, probably trumped all other moments that day. Meredith and I tried not to throw up.

We take all these pictures of the three kids and talk about "how they will be such good friends" as they grow older..but what if they aren't? I can remember my mom telling us as children that we HAD to love each other, we HAD to be nice to each other, we didn't have a choice because we were FAMILY. So we did, and we are all friends now and like each other. But are we because we were told to as children, or did a million other things happen to make us this way? And if I don't know the answer to that question, then how am I supposed to make my children love each other and their cousins AND be nice to each other???
And if they decide not to be friends, is that really my fault?
I need to read more Kahlil Gibran about kids coming through you into this world and all that. And maybe ride more carousels. And kiss cousins. And share crackers. I guess...

It Takes Two To Put Together the Alphabet Puzzle

Henry's friend Danny came over to play the other day and the heavens opened up and hundreds of doves streamed from the clouds to the sound of angels singing and harps strumming: Danny and Henry actually played TOGETHER and didn't need me.

They liked each other and they shared tractors and alphabet puzzle letters.
Svea napped most of time Danny was here, so I got to sit and watch and smile and enjoy. Danny's mother got to go home to an empty, quiet house, shower alone and get ready for the day to loud music she picked. She and I both spent the morning doing things we haven't done in months, which for us, equals a victory.

What a good day.

You'd Never Know It By Looking At This Picture

Teething or growth spurt. I am sick to death of saying those words. I'm also grumpy and sleep-deprived, like most of our nation, but at this point I don't care.

When I was pregnant with Henry one of my co-workers looked at my belly and said, "Well, it's gonna be a boy. Or a girl." (pause) "One of those. It's gonna be one of those."
Ummm. Ya think?

So Svea has been getting up around 9 times at night. As I go through the litany of comforting techniques I have already tried I start to think: teething or growth spurt. Has to be one of those.
Ummm. Ya think? She's a BABY.

Man, am I in a bad mood.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Big Boy

Yesterday, Henry slept in his Big Boy Bed (twin mattress on the floor) by himself for 2 hours and didn't even get up and wander around. Total victory for us!

He also got up at 1am this morning wanting some milk and to get out of his crib and into his Big Boy Bed. That was kind of a disaster...but well stay positive and hope for another victory this afternoon.

We also had a visitor sitting with Henry at supper last night. Luckily, Henry didn't try to feed him. Especially since all we could get Henry to eat without a fuss was a fork full of Ranch dressing.

Svea ate great last night and loves to hold the fork herself at the end of the bowl of cereal. Sweet girl.

We are pretty sleepy around here, but the sun is out for the second day in a row, Aunt Beth is here, and both kids are smiling and laughing right now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Another Day...

This morning, we got up at 7:30. For the 5th or 6th time. We were up consistently from 2a - 4a and then Brian just moved into Henry's room to sleep with him and Svea was in and out of bed with me. I have no idea what is keeping Henry up, but at 3 this morning I was convinced it was part of some greater plan to have me committed. Seriously.

He was normal today, other then being high maintenance and whiney, so by 8:30am he had already eaten his own breakfast, as well as part of Brian's and most of mine. If there's cake in the house, it's a rule that you get to eat it for breakfast. Then he watched "Thomas the Tank Engine" then we painted then we played ball and then we hugged Svea and I looked at the clock and couldn't BELIEVE that it wasn't time for lunch already.

Here's a picture of the most recent masterpiece. He must be channeling Seurat.

It is so so so cold right now that I'm going to have to come up with some more indoor games or we are all going to go nuts.
Henry has figured out how to say "Henry hungry" and go get in his high chair so that's amusing...and then the other day in the car, he kept saying "nose juice" and I glanced back to see half of his sippy cup mouth piece up one nostril and a big smile behind the rest of the cup.

I feel like I have spent the past five and a half months worrying about what Henry is going to do to Svea and is she okay with him hugging her so tight, etc. But in the past few days, she has become so delighted with him and it struck me that I hadn't even thought about how much SHE would love HIM. I get teary every time that she laughs at him or smiles when he trots back in the room to give me another command.

She's really teething and will chew on her toys so hard that you can hear the plastic squeaking. Still no sign of a tooth though. I expected 7 new ones popped through this morning after such a night - but nothing.
This is her chewing on her butterfly watching Henry paint.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Play Date

We had a play date yesterday afternoon with our little friend Lilah...she is 9 months old and would look at Svea occasionally. Henry loved bringing her toys, but didn't actually play WITH her. I think Svea enjoyed herself. Play dates are really for the parents anyway - who cares if the kids don't play together?

In the morning, Henry went to "school" and didn't even cry when I dropped him off or picked him up. I think it's the hair cut.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Can't Talk Right Now

Henry told me, "I can't talk right now because I'm busy curling my toes while sitting in the bouncy seat I'm too big for and watching Thomas the Tank Engine with my new big-boy hair cut."

Here are some other shots of his hair as we ran around the backyard trying to get all the tiny blonde hairs off of both of us since I had to hold him in my lap while they snipped at his locks. I think they took 4 inches off the back. He wanted to donate to Locks of Love but I wouldn't let him grow his mullet another 6 inches.

He was lovely today, as was Svea, and I only have sleep to thank. We all three took 2-hour naps this afternoon. I woke smiling in my sleep to a quiet house, dreaming of tater tots. There is NO better way to wake up than that.


While practicing sitting up, Svea found her shoe today.