Tuesday, March 29, 2011

friends

To think, seven months ago, I almost didn't move here because I was very sure I'd never find any friends in the woods. You see, I have really, really fabulous friends in Austin. The kind of circle that took some time to build, but when it finally did, it just clicked and felt like the kind of friendships that would someday be the same as family to my kids. (And these friends still do feel like family, just family that requires a plane trip to see.) So anyway, it broke my heart a little to leave that. I knew I had my best girlfriends from college waiting up here, and the times I knew we'd get to spend together was a big check in the 'pro' column for moving, but the closest of those is 3.5 hours away by car and that's not going to cut it on some random Wednesday when my kid diarrheas through the last of the diaper stash and I need a friend who will bring me over emergency diapers so I don't have to wrap a toddler's lower half in maxi pads and Walmart bags, you know? I needed girlfriends. Coffee dates, workout buddies, get together on a random Saturday night and make me laugh until I pee my pants kind of girls. And I was kind of afraid I wouldn't find any here in semi-rural northern Wisconsin. (For the record, I've got some seriously fantastic family ((hi JackA. and Andrea who isn't reading!)) up here, but neither are stay at home moms and see above diarrhea/maxi pad/Walmart bag issue, you know?) In conclusion, I thought I wouldn't make any friends. And that was all sad face and such.

Silly me. There are some really fun ladies hiding in the woods! For example, the book club ladies I hosted Saturday night? FUN. Turned into, like, a frat party. Minus any actual frat boys, unless you count J, but he was in bed and not wearing a white baseball cap and tapping a keg like an real live frat boy would have been. There was Bravo TV talk and laughing and Adult Chocolate Milk. (If you haven't tried it, trust me, you want to.) And after the Adult Chocolate Milk there were Zumba moves and life stories and me taking 23 pictures with my cat. It was the kind of fun night you're still laughing about four days later when the hangover fully wears off (because when you're 29.99 years old, that's how long it takes, I guess). It's all well and great to wear my responsible mommy pants 99.99% of the time, but it sure was fun to try my party pants on for size again, just for the night. Thanks, girls, for the memories. And by the memories I mean the pictures because hello, 40% alcohol memory eraser, yall!


And this isn't even ALL of the girlfriends ... just the ones who made it to Bookless Book Club, March Edition 1.0. A big thank you shout-out to Libby, who isn't in these pictures because she was at home with a barfing baby (boo!), but who did make the first move and Facebook-Friend me and invite me to every mommy gathering in town until the rest of the ladies just went "okay, FINE, we'll be her friends then!"

Monday, March 28, 2011

i win!

Problem solving skills. I have 'em! Because what I had was a pee puddle in the crib every morning and every afternoon after nap, which hello, sucked. That whole "stripping naked and peeing all over the crib" thing Bug's been doing? Not funny. Or cute. Or eco-friendly, because it meant I was washing his sheets every single freaking day. Usually twice. He'd outsmarted the onesie and duct tape was my next move ... until I tried this.
Sucka! I WIN!

For the record, I've learned this getting naked and peeing thing probably means the boy's ready for potty training. He's been peeing on the floor every now and then for the past few weeks. He will go in his potty when I get him there, we just haven't done any serious training just yet because I was waiting for a sign. Apparently, removing your pants and diaper and peeing all over the place is a BIG SIGN. We're going to do the PT thing after our California trip. Mama's scared. If this goes as well as the last time I potty trained something (hi, Griffin), Mister A will still be taking the occasional poop on the floor 4 years from now. Joy.

The other kid, you ask? What's SHE up to? Oh, just growing a wispy baby mullet and talking and walking. Like it aint no thang. She dances, too! See? Homegirl's got MOVES!

(Join me in pretending those lyrics aren't totally inappropriate, mmkay? Pandora did it.)

Up next: a post about (what I remember from) my bookless book club. And the resulting 1.5 day hangover. Because I'm 30 and too old to stay up until 1am drinking adult chocolate milk, I suppose.

PS: thank you, thank you, thank you for the many comments and emails and FB messages in response to my post about the speech. Yall are fantastic, and I mean that - your support and wisdom means the world to me! I'm sure in no time, A will be saying "hey lady, get up here and take these backward pajamas off of me RIGHT NOW!" Anyway. Gracias.

Friday, March 25, 2011

wuvyoo

Something monumental happened at our house last night. Something long awaited. Last night, after I'd sat with the Mister in his rocking chair and we'd said goodnight to the moon and the room and the nobody and the mush, I lifted him into his crib. He laid down, then looked up with his contented smile and his sleepy eyes ... and he said "wuvyoo, mama" My boy. He told me he loves me. With words. Without prompting. Wuvyoo. I picked him back up and I squeezed him so hard he squirmed and giggled, and I told him I loved him too, more than he'd ever, ever know.

This is big, this "wuvyoo, mama". There's a topic I've shied away from on this blog, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. I don't feel like it was out of pride or out of shame (because clearly, if you've been reading, I have no shame- remember the bluebonnets?). There just wasn't ever really a reason to talk about it here, I guess. Anderson's speech. It's been slow going. At 12 months he wasn't babbling like the books said he would be, but he's a boy and he was hitting every other milestone ahead of schedule, so I wasn't concerned. At 18 months, his pediatrician reassured me he was fine, it was normal, it would come. The ear tubes should help. Quit worrying. There'd be an explosion. So we waited and we read and we enunciated our words carefully, spoke literally, encouraged verbal language by ignoring the non-verbal pointing and grunting. No explosion. 24 months came and went and still, he was quieter than the other kids. Social and affectionate and bright, no doubt about it, but he wasn't speaking like the average 2 year old or even the average 1 1/2 year old. And still, his pediatrician said to wait. But last month, I decided I was done waiting for the magic 30th month, it was time to disregard the pediatrician's placating. There was clearly a delay, and one that was beginning to frustrate him when he didn't have the words to put with his needs or feelings. (Which, obviously, broke my heart and frustrated me, too.) So we had him evaluated. The speech therapist said he had a good number of words and could understand us perfectly fine, but that yes, she saw the concern about a lack of sentences or word combinations, and that she'd have a report to us in a week or so. And a few days ago, the news in my inbox: his speech is delayed enough to qualify him for speech therapy. We'll meet next week to form a plan of action. I sat staring at the speech therapist's email, unsure of just what I was feeling. Happy that he was going to get the help he needed? Sad that someone was saying my child wasn't ::gasp:: perfect? Defeated, because our efforts hadn't been enough? Embarrassed, like I'd failed as a mom somehow? Anxious to get the work underway? A little of each is probably most accurate, if I'm being honest. But as the days go on, I mostly just feel excited. Our boy is smart and funny and friendly and he deserves to have the words to express his thoughts and feelings. He deserves the best possible start, to be speaking like the other kids when he starts preschool, to get a good start with his speech before baby sister's vocab grows any bigger (she's a talker, that V) and eclipses his own.

So, last night, I celebrated that little linguistic victory, that sweet "wuvyoo". I came downstairs all teary eyed and told J what had just happened, how proud I was of our Mister, how proud he looked of himself when I put him back down in his crib. I want more of those moments for him. Hopefully, we're on the right track now.

Monday, March 21, 2011

spring, psyche, not

It needs to either be spring or not be spring. Because seriously? This whole "hey it's spring, woo hoo, oh wait 10 inches of snow, wah wah wahhh" thing is NOT OKAY. I know I probably brought it upon myself when I rushed off to the store and bought a whole stack of planters and started planning where I'd put the planters and what I'd plant in the planters and how maybe I needed a few more planters ... then BAM, weather guy all up in my business yakking on about snow and treacherous driving. So one week we put up a spring wreath and scamper all over the yard in sweatshirts....








...and the next week it's back to Uggs and snowsuits. (Ha. Like I ever took my Uggs off. Psyche!)

I mean, I should have known better. I'm a native midwesterner, this is par for the springtime course. My birthday is April 1st, and I've got birthday pictures where I'm wearing a springy side ponytail and shorts (shorts that coordinate really super well with my Esprit bag, natch) and I've got birthday pictures where I'm all snowsuited and pasty looking. It's looking like a snowsuited pasty birthday might be on tap. Joy. Because I didn't have enough reasons to dread my birthday. (THIRTY reasons, in fact. Three. Oh.)

It's a good thing we've got a SoCal trip planned for early April. Surely, there, it will be sunny and plants will be growing and nobody will be pasty. Except me, obvi, but a day or two in the sun should help take the edge off the paste. I'll probably skip the shorts and the side pony, though. I'm (almost) 30, you know. (OMG.)

Anyway, boo for the spring fake-out. Want to see something funny, though? This picture was intended as a picture of George W. staring longingly outside, but I ended up catching Vivi in the sneak-walking act. She likes to pretend she can't walk (because why walk when someone will carry you, duh), but when she thinks no one is watching she's all "la, la, walk walk walk". Sneaky, V.


(Don't ask what V's wearing in those pictures. Because she's wearing pajamas and boy shoes and a boy sweatshirt, hand-me-down style. Because she doesn't have shorts or an Esprit bag or hair for a side ponytail, that's why.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

stink: blown

One of my very favorite parts of Hope Floats (I have many favorite parts from Hope Floats, because it's the finest piece of cinematic entertainment of all time as far as I'm concerned, unless you count Troop Beverly Hills, then it's a tie), anyway, one of my favorite parts is when Birdee's mom tells her she needs to "blow the stink off". And this morning, after NINE full days with sickie kids (who caused sickie parents), most of those days spent in pajamas surrounded by used Kleenex, we blew the stink off. Out of pajamas, out of this house. Back to the Y, back to Zumba, back to "fwends". I feel like a new woman. Because by yesterday? Day 9? When I was stuffy and irritable and Anderson removed his pants all the livelong day (and peed under the dining room table, WHY?) and Vivian threw kicking screaming fits if I so much as looked at her in a way she deemed wrong? I was ready to sign the kids up for day care (or boarding school) and go back to work. Any job would have done, really, ANY. Stirring fries in a paper hat would have been better than getting down on my hands and knees to scrub pee off the floor wearing a hoodie with boogers crusted all up and down the sleeves.

But today's a new day! The babies are happy and snot-free, I'm feeling alive, and we got OUT. I exercised, the kids socialized, we came home contented. And it's nearly tropical outside (approaching FIFTY, yall!) And tomorrow is coffee morning with the ladies. So never mind, I guess I'll keep this SAHM gig after all.

We did get out a bit over the weekend, despite the croup/ear infections/head colds. J had a convention to attend in WI Dells, so we loaded up the sickies (and the humidifier and the meds and 8,000 other totally necessary toddler items) and tagged along. And Saturday, we all felt decent enough to hit up the water park for a couple of hours. (Don't worry, they'd had a few days of antibiotics at this point and we kept them a safe distance from the other littles.)





And after those couple of hours at the water park, we hung out in our hotel room in pajamas. Still. Being on vacation in pajamas is infinitely better than being at home in pajamas.


They maybe weren't so into the tub jets, though.
And we maybe left them on just one second longer so I could take this picture.
Because we're EVIL.
That black box is the best tub toy evah.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

week in numbers

50: dollars spent in pediatrician copays to determine the littles don't just have simple lingering colds, they've got croup (A), infected ears (V), and maybe-croup (V)

72: dollars spent at Walgreens filling prescriptions and buying a second humidifier (and a pack of giant Reese's eggs)

3: o'clock this morning, time A woke up crying and sweating and coughing/barking like a seal (a very sad little seal)

4: awkwardly positioned hours I spent cuddled up next to A on his crib mattress (on the floor, obvi), patting his back and shushing him back to sleep when he'd wake barking (and sweating)

4: hours of Anderbug cuddle time I secretly enjoyed a little bit despite my aching back and fallen-asleep hand (because he's a big boy now and I'll take the cuddles when I get 'em)

1.5: Diet Dews I had to drink before I felt even remotely able to function this morning (drink = slam)

4: days spent inside the house without any social interaction at all (I miss our friends)

44: days it feels like we've spent inside the house without any social interaction at all (I REALLY miss our friends)

1,342: Boogie Wipes used (love the Boogie Wipes)

800: annoying "wah my kids are sick" postings I've posted to facebook (sorry, facebook friends)

3: Zumba classes missed (having withdrawls, leggings feel tight, bangs begging to be braided)

2: seconds on the phone with Jenny before I wanted to get in the car and drive to Minneapolis to hang out with her (because she can make me laugh, always, and gets all my RHOWherever references)

0: more episodes of RHOM I plan to watch (hello, boring, take me back to Cali)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

no-go

Turns out, they're not big fans of sledding.
I mean, I can't think of anything MORE fun than being stuffed into prohibitive clothing and dragged around out in the cold on a thin piece of plastic. Really.

For the record, A's also not a fan of wearing pink snowflake gloves handed down from a girl cousin, either.

Monday, March 7, 2011

sickies

I woke up this morning, dressed for Zumba (read: pulled on leggings and a tee shirt and braided my "bangs"), and headed upstairs to greet the babies and get our Monday started. And then walked into Miss V's room, took one look at her face, and saw our Monday was going nowhere. Except to Booger City. Dried on her forehead, her cheeks, hanging out of her nose. Green ones. Good morning to you too, V. Situation wasn't much better in the boy's room. Boogers there, too. Bonus: he was naked and had just peed on his foot, his bedding, and down the side of his crib. "WET!" Hellllllooooo, Monday. (Why do you hate me?)

So it was a pajama day for we three. The very best kind of pajama day, though, if you've got to stay inside in pajamas with boogery kids. Big fluffy snow flakes, all day long, peaceful and cozy. We headed down to the basement storage room, where I'd stashed a few fun Christmas gifts to pull out on just these types of occasions. (I feel like at this age, they enjoy/appreciate their gifts SO much more when given in small doses, you know?) We emerged with the treehouse tent Auntie LaLo and Uncle B sent. It was a HIT and I think it will be a permanent playroom fixture. (Great choice, LaLo & B!) They "helped" me put it together (read: Anderson smacked Vivian over the head with a tent pole), then dragged in books and dolls and blankies and a tractor or two when it was all ready to go. We just tree housed the day away. When we (read: they) weren't wiping boogery noses on my leggings/in my hair, anyway.

isn't that the cutest fort ever?

babies playing babies


back at it after a nap/wardrobe change

Even Grandpa enjoyed some "tweehouse" time when he stopped by to play.

Later, Bug somehow reached the top shelf in the bathroom and got ahold of my hand cream. The good (read: not cheap) jar. He had a Something About Mary moment. At least he smelled really sweet.

Here's hoping for a less boogery Tuesday. 37 degree high! Practically tropical. I just went back down to the basement and dragged out the blow up pool, actually. No worries, we'll use the 75 spf.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

a lovey advisory

All right, people, I've got some advice for you. Two pieces of advice, actually. I'm feeling generous. I won't even charge you. Though if you want to pay me in Minky Polka Dot Pink loveys for my advice, by all means, feel free. Read on.

Piece of Advice Number One:
Before you have a baby, or while your baby is still very tiny and impressionable and can't distinguish between her left foot and your loving face, much less pink from blue or minky from not minky, buy 25 loveys. Pick one you like and won't get tired of looking at, because this thing may very likely be a crucial component of your everyday life for the next 13 years. I prefer the ones without a smiley bunny/puppy/kitty head, because you'll be washing it every other day or so (if your kid sucks on it all night like mine) and the ones with the animal heads take longer to dry in the dryer, and this minimum required drying time WILL be important when you've got a fussy, screaming kid and you threw all the loveys in the wash and forgot about them until ten minutes before nap/bed time so now you're speed drying a single lovey so you can lay your lovey-loving kid down. I also advise going the small lovey-sized route over a full size blankie - again, dries quicker, also cheaper initial investment and less cumbersome when traveling. Anyway. Why 25 copies, you ask? Because one by one, the loveys will disappear into The Land of Lost Loveys. Even if you don't allow loveys out of the house, the loveys will walk off on you. Trust me. So I'm not even kidding, buy 25. Okay, that's maybe a little overkill, but I'm NOT exaggerating when I say to buy 10. And rotate them. Pull the boogery/drooly/spit uppy one to wash it and hand over a clean one, so they all get equally worn in and stunk up. Babies can smell a fresh-from-the-store fraud lovey from a mile away, just ask Anderson, who shunned the replacement PBK blankie we tried to sneak into his crib (too little, too late) which is how I learned all this about multiple lovey buying because he's got ONE blankie and ONE blankie only and I have panic attacks on a weekly basis when I think we've lost it once and for all before it turns up in the refrigerator or shoved deep inside my tall Ugg boot or somewhere like that. We bought four loveys for Vivian when she was about two months old and as he paid for the loot, J gave me that stink eye look he gives me when he thinks I'm being a little nuts about something but I'm NOT. 11 months later, and we're down to three loveys. We were at two loveys as of 9am today, but I went on a lovey manhunt (because again, the loveys aren't allowed to leave the house and it HAD to be here somewhere), and found one mysteriously hidden beneath the bathroom sink half shoved into a bag of cotton balls. (Care to place a bet on how that happened?) So we're at three again, but that is NOT enough, because that's one away from two which is one away from one which is one away from THE END OF THE WORLD HAPPENING. Really. This thing is the magic ticket to put Vivian to sleep without having to do a thing other than set her down and walk away, and without it, I'm pretty sure she'd never sleep again. Which means I'd never sleep again. Which means the world would be all out of Diet Dew in three weeks and I'd have to quit Zumba. I've dispatched The Lisa on the case and asked her to stop by the original purchase place in Austin (Buy Buy Baby) to see if by any chance, they still carry the make and model of Vivian's lovey (Blankets and Beyond, Minky Polka Dot Pink, $7ish). But I doubt it, because if they did, there wouldn't be predatory a-holes trying to sell that particular lovey on eBay for THIRTY THREE DOLLARS. Which leads me to piece of advice #2.....

Piece of Advice Number 2:
Don't be a predatory a-hole. Don't go to a baby goods store, find a discontinued make and model of lovey on the clearance rack, and buy the last however many to mark up by 500% and sell on eBay, like this guy. Why not, you ask? Because that makes you an a-hole who preys on the weakness of mommies all around the world who DEPEND on these powerful little sleep inducing, security providing objects to keep our days and nights moving along smoothly. And who wants to pick on MOMMIES and their lovey loving littles, for goodness sake? That's like kicking puppies. So now, I'm fearing that I'm going to have to actually PAY some predatory a-hole $33 (plus taxes and shipping, obvi) to ensure we don't slip below the rock-bottom lovey quota of three.

So, there you have it. Two pieces of advice, disguised as a long and rambly blog post brought to you by a large Mountain Dew from Culver's. You. Are. Welcome.

Long shot, I know, but if any of you have a lovey laying around that looks like this, leave me a message including your home address and I'll hit the road as soon as my kids are up from their nap. I'll pay you some amount that's not highway robbery for it, mmkay?

Update: HALLELUJAH! The Lisa to The Rescue. She dragged her baby to Buy Buy Baby and endured a baby meltdown for the love of Vivi .... and you're looking at the proud new owner of four new loveys. Or I will be the proud new owner, after they arrive next week. Got the last nine of the discontinued Minky Polka Dot Pink loveys in the Buy Buy Baby system (they weren't in Austin, they were somewhere else, and I don't even care because they're MINE ALL MINE). Grand total? $30.28. Take THAT, eBay price gouger persons. Thank you, The Lisa and The Alice. Now, the trick will be to sufficiently dirty these new ones up (I'm thinking we'll do a midnight swap-out until they're worn in) so she won't sniff out the new from the old. This lovey stuff is serious business, yall.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

the week

The week can be summed up in the following (jumbo sized) nutshell: crash, cry, nobody slept well, eat Advil for breakfast and lunch and dinner, 25 phone conversations with insurance company, loaner SUV with a heated steering wheel (how have I lived without THAT for 29.9 years and how can I talk J into letting me KEEP IT FOREVAH?), playdate where my kids pooped 3 times (collectively) then 2 more times after that before I got them home and down for naps, Anderson blessedly ceases screaming "BOOM BOOM!!" every time a car enters his line of sight, coffee date with the girls this morning that seriously made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants more than once and cemented the fact that I LOVE my new friends, my kids taking 3 hour naps this afternoon because they LOVE ME, play time with Grandpa, Vivian trying on her new babykini and making faces like this that make me think maybe a) she'd prefer a one piece or b) she's just freezing her tushy wearing a babykini while it's snowing outside (suspected correct answer: b).
Thanks, Lisa & George & Alice for the suits! We love you!

PS: I've had some people ask me about the car seat replacement thing (I posted a note about it on Facebook a few days ago), so I thought I'd post a PSA about it here. Yes, if you're ever in a moderate to severe crash, you need to replace the seat. And in some cases, even a minor crash will require a seat replacement, depending on the manufacturer of your seat(s) and specific details of your accident. In my (unsolicited) opinion and the opinion of the paramedic guys that responded to our accident, it's always better to replace the seat than to have any doubts about the safety of your child's seat. Good info here.