Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Two Faces of My Daughter

Two stories: Same child.

Saturday morning right after The Boy left for his time with his Mom I went to go and get the nail clippers to try and cut The Girl's nails. She is quite difficult about it so they were getting kinda long. So she walked down the hall with me and wanted to hold the clippers as we went back to the living room. When I tried to take them from her to clip her nails she freaked. She thought SHE should be the one doing the clippers (we're in the middle of a ME-DO-IT! all the time kinda phase...). When I told her no and tried to clip her nails she had a major tantrum. She arched her back and fell on the ground and screamed this high pitched horrible sound and banged her fists to the ground.

I got up and was going to return the clippers to the bedroom (clearly there would be no clipping now...) when she reached out with her hand and tried to hit me as I walked by. I stopped and looked at her and told her no hitting and then proceeded down the hall. She got up and had a phone in her hand and followed me down the hall and met me halfway down. She looked me in the eye and tried to hit me with the phone. She followed me BACK down the hall with the sole purpose of hitting me. She looked up at me defiantly and I bent down to her level and grabbed the phone out of her hand and held her wrist and looked her in the eyes and told her very sternly that we don't hit. It hurts. I then got up and walked away from her and went into my bathroom to take a shower. (That's where I was headed anyway). She sat outside of my shower door and screamed at me during the. entire. freaking. shower. When I finally turned off the water and dried off she wasn't crying anymore. I opened the door (she had left and slammed it on me once I was in the shower) and she was sitting on the floor right outside of my bathroom door just looking at me. Talk about if looks could kill. She was pissed and she wanted me to know it.

I bent down and smiled at her and put my arms out to her and told her I loved her. She turned her head away. She didn't move a muscle in her body, but simply turned her head in the other direction. The attitude is simply overwhelming. I cannot believe she followed me down the hall, purposely hit me, then screamed at me, and then wouldn't talk to me. I can't even imagine when she is a teenager. I am in so much trouble.

You should know that we did make up but I had to joke with her and tell her "don't laugh...don't laugh...don't smile..." and then she did. And then I hugged and kissed her, but it took her some time. She made me work for it.
Same day, same child, about 4 hours later.

Brother comes home from Mom's house feeling yucky. He has a fever, has no appetite (even for him) and just wants to sleep. He feels pretty horrible. I am sitting on the couch with brother making him eat something before he goes to sleep and I am rubbing his head and hair. The Girl comes up to me and motions for her brother. I told her that he feel yucky and we need to be nice to him. She proceeds to stand next to me very gently patting her brother's head for a good 10 minutes. Then she rubbed his arm. She sang to him and said, "Feel better bruh-der." And then after he fell asleep? She went over and got two of her baby dolls and carried them around and rubbed their heads and patted them and sang to them. She totally took care of her brother. She's so effing sweet she kills me.

It's hard to believe it is the same child. But it is. She's one of a kind, that one...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Couple of Songs for your weekend

People laugh at me when I tell them that my daughter never stops talking. She's actually really quiet and shy when she first meets people so she never talks. So they think I am nuts. But at home? And once she's comfortable with you? You will literally never NOT hear the sound of her voice. Her latest thing in her version of singing. I finally caught some of this on video. She turned 17 months on Monday of last week.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The End of Nursing

Tonight was the very first time that I have been home and didn't nurse my daughter before bed. There have been other nights when I have been out that she's gone to bed for the night without nursing but this is the first time I consciously made the decision to not nurse her.

It's time. It really is. She's SO big. She turned 17 months on Monday and I had sort of had the 18 month old cut off in my head for a while now. And since we were down to just one time a day I figured I would give it a shot. She has (thankfully) started drinking cows milk in the morning when she gets up so I warmed her up some milk and sat with her and rocked her and read her books while she sipped her milk. And then I put her to bed. And you know what? She was FINE. Of course she was. I'm practically in tears and she's like, "What? I'm tired...I don't know what all the fuss is about..." And she smiled at me, demanded her blanket, and rolled over and went to bed. Just like that.

Doesn't she know this is the END of her babyhood? Doesn't she understand that she is my last baby and if last night was the last time she nursed that I will never again provide my baby with my own milk? Doesn't she CARE?!?!? Obviously I am being a bit melodramatic here, but it IS a little sad. I am extremely proud of the fact that I breast fed her for as long as I did, especially when working full time. And I could not be happier with the closeness that I felt as a result. And while I will admit that it bums me out a little that she didn't "lay" with me tonight and let me run my fingers through her hair while she nursed, it was still nice to sit with her in a quiet room and rock in the rocking chair while kissing her little cheeks. We will find new night time routines; they will keep evolving as she gets older and older. That's what has happened with The Boy. But the fact still remains that she is not my baby anymore. She's a growing little girl and while that is absolutely wonderful, I am a little sad to not have a baby anymore.

Goodnight sweet girl. Sleep tight. Mommy loves you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Would YOU Do?

So I am having a really rough time trying to figure out what to do about this whole daycare situation for my daughter. I need some Internet assvice. Let me try and explain to you guys what has been going on. You know that she was bit by another kid at daycare quite a while ago. And then as a result of that ongoing issue, SHE started biting. I worked really hard at home and nipped that in the bud, so she is no longer biting. But then she came home at the beginning of this week with a NASTY bite on her arm and no one even bothered to tell me about it (my mom picked her up that day and I noticed it as soon as she walked in the door, but apparently no one else saw it). In addition to the biting thing there have been other issues regarding the number of kids and the care they are receiving that have made me take notice. In order to try and make it really clear I am going to do a basic "pro versus con" list.

First and foremost, my daughter loves it there. She has been going to this daycare since she was three months old. When I drop her off in the morning she literally leaps out of my arms into the caregivers arms and starts to wave bye bye. And when I come to pick her up she is dancing around with all the other kids, smiling from ear to ear, clearly having a blast. A lot of times she will cry when I force her to leave. She loves it there. And lately, she has been walking around to each and every kid saying "Bye Bye ________ (their name)" before she leave. And there are like 12 kids so this takes a while. But she clearly loves her friends. She is SO happy there. I can't stress that enough. Even though she has been bitten there is never any unhappiness or crankiness about being there. She loves it. Also one thing to keep in mind is that hopefully when she is two (7 months from now), if I can get her potty trained, she will be going where her brother is now, which I LOVE. And because of that, I think it is helpful that there are lots of kids where she is now. It will make the transition to a huge school like her brother's less scary. Another "pro" is that the two caregivers that take primary care of her love her dearly. I have no doubt about that. I talk with them directly about the issues I have hit upon and they are always responsive and lovely. And they talk about how special my daughter is to them and by the way they care for her, I know they love her dearly. She doesn't go to daycare on Fridays and both of them constantly tell me how much they miss her on Fridays because she is like their little ray of sunshine during the days. They also both get one on one time with her everyday (her nap schedule is different than the other kids) and they talk about what they do during this time and how much they treasure it. I know for a fact that if I pull her from this daycare they will be heart broken. And for that matter, so will my daughter.

There are just too many kids. The two women who watch the kids during the day (there is also a director who comes and spends a good portion of the late morning and early afternoon with them) are over worked. They have their hands full. And because of all sorts of "regulations" they are not allowed to deal with situations like they would like. Take the biting issue for example. The director wanted them to simply put their fingers over their mouth while shaking their head no to try and convey that biting is bad. They weren't allowed to raise their voices (not necessarily yell, but just use a different tone to their voice to show disapproval) to the kids, or separate them at all after they had bitten. In my opinion, this is no way to teach toddlers not to do something. So while they would like to deal with the problem in one way, they are limited. The other "con" is that since the director has taken on more children she has started feeding them cheaper, and therefore not as healthy, food. I am not okay with this. I understand that since she has more kids and they provide the food that they need to cut costs. But I personally bring my daughter breakfast everyday (they give the kids Lo.ops!! Can you even imagine?!?!?!), and also the afternoon snack of yogurt because sometimes their afternoon snacks are bagels and cream cheese, or even worse one time they served glazed donuts! And on someone's birthday they got waffles with ice cream. She also coats everything with butter and salt so the kids eat it better, and I am not a fan of that concept and certainly don't do that at home. So I am not thrilled with the food. And finally...this issue has gotten better lately, but since there are so many kids, my daughter's diaper isn't getting changed as often and usually her bum is a little red when I pick her up. I slather her with Aquaphor as soon as she gets home and this usually keeps things cool. And since I have her Friday through Sunday by the end of the weekend her bum is fine, but by Thursday afternoon, it is usually on the red side again. They tell me it's partially because I use those "earthy" diapers that don't "work as well" as the other ones, but I have no problem with her having any issues when she is home with me over the weekend. So it isn't the diapers. It is the amount they are changed.

In defense of the director, I have talked extensively to her about my issues. And she IS dealing with them. Not so much the food or the diaper stuff but she IS dealing with the biting. Of the two other kids that have been biting, one of them has already been "put on suspension" and wasn't allowed to come to daycare for 7 days and was only allowed to return on the agreement that she would no longer be biting and so far she hasn't. The other little boy was told the same thing the day my daughter got the bite that no one noticed. His mom was told the next day that the next time they see him bite he goes on suspension for 7 days and can only return when the issue is resolved. So she IS dealing with it. And I understand that this stuff happens. I really do. And I am NOT that mom that thinks that her daughter is perfect and that she never does anything wrong and all these other kids are horrible. But I am also aware that for the past several months I have not been feeling great about the care she is getting. Be it the food she has been fed, or the biting, or the diaper issue. And I can't ignore that either.

I got a great referral from a friend I really trust about another daycare center close to me and I called them and it sounds great. The woman was really nice on the phone and it is small. Two other kids full time; one is 14 months old (perfect for The Girl) and then a baby. Then there are other kids who come two afternoon a week (two each on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons), so it is much smaller than what we have now, which I like. And it is cheaper. But I picture my daughter's face dropping her off at a place that she has never been before and I cry. I think of telling the two caregivers who have taken care of her since she was 3 months old and love her dearly that she is leaving and I cry again. I really don't know what to do. Please help. All your advice is welcome. Do I leave her where she is for the next 7 months and hope to transition her to her brother's school, or is what I have been dealing with just too much? Should I move her to the new place and hope for the best? I am at a loss. I mean, seriously...look at that face!

Monday, September 13, 2010

SUCH A Monday...

Today sucked. I am going to purge it all here and then I am going to go to bed and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Let me give you all a glimpse of how I start my week. I have to be up and have both kids dressed, lunches packed, nap items ready for the week and everyone has to be completely ready and out the door by...7:35am. Yeah, it's a dream. When I signed The Boy back up for speech therapy the only slot they had was Monday mornings at 8:00am. Well that's not entirely true, they had a couple of 8:30 appts but then he would be late for school, which for him, is traumatizing. So I figured I'd give the 8:00am a shot for his sake.

So I load both kids in the to therapy...get both kids OUT of the car...take The Boy in and then try and amuse The Girl in a very small waiting room for 1/2 an hour. For this reason I have to pack snacks and books and other random things for her to do the night before. Oh, and I also have to pack a diaper because it is usually during that time that she decides to have her morning poop. So...1/2 hour passes... and I meet briefly with Boy's speech therapist to find out what they worked on today and to get "our homework" (usually while Girl is destroying the room or screaming...or both). Then I get both kids back into the to The Boy's school...get both kids OUT of the car again...take Boy in, unload lunch and nap stuff in appropriate places (while trying to keep Girl from running off...). Bell rings. Kiss Boy goodbye and walk out with The Girl. Back into the car AGAIN with The Girl. Drive to her school. Get her out of the car, yet again, and take her to school. Drop off her lunches for week and nap stuff. Get back in car and drive to try and meet a client. My client meeting is at 10:00am and I barely make it on time. Do I need to express how frustrating it is to leave the house at 7:35 and not be able to actually start making money until 10:00am? I just drive...from place to place to place to place...

So then today I arrive in the nick of time for my 10:00 appt to find that my client hasn't bothered to show up. I call him, I knock on the door, try his work line, his cell line...nothing. I become even more pissed and leave making a mental note to bill him for at least a half an hour. I then drive (how much gas have I used today?) home and start to work from home. While working I get called literally about every half an hour from the CPA of one of my other clients who tortures me with incessant questions which could very easily be answered if he bothered to OPEN the file I sent to him... I attempt to eat lunch and as I am opening my salad it slips out of my hands and falls all over the kitchen floor. I almost sit down and cry. Somehow I make it through the rest of the work day.

I think things might be looking up when I go and get The Boy who tells me he had a GREAT day and he ate all his lunch and they are learning about apples in school and now he has decided that he LOVES apples... We get home and I tell him we are putting on jammies and taking a half an hour to lay on the couch and rest (this is very unusual. I usually have to start dinner and unload the dishwasher and other assorted chores during this time of day). So we do this and I am able to re-group a little.

Then The Girl gets home from daycare with my mom (god bless her). As she comes in I look down at her arm and say to my mom, "What happened to her arm?" My mom has no clue and upon further inspection there is a huge bite mark/scrape on her arm where one of those other little kids took a big chomp out of her. I can't even express how angry I was. How angry I still am. First of all...they didn't even bother to call me or to tell my mom what happened when she picked her up. Second of LONG do I have to deal with this? This is absolutely ridiculous. It has been like 3 months since the first time she got bit. Then SHE started biting and I made damn sure that it didn't last by my actions at home as her parent. Clearly the other parents aren't working quite as hard on it. In fact one of the daycare ladies (the one I love and would like to steal to be my daughter's nanny...) told me that the parents of one of the kids who is biting told her straight to her face that as long as their kid didn't get bit, they don't care if he's biting the other kids. "Part of being a kid in daycare." It's not. It shouldn't be. Now this deserves a post all it's own but I am left, AGAIN, trying to make the decision to pull her out of a place where I know the ladies that care for her love her and treat her great. It's the other kids that aren't the best behaved. If I pull her, I am taking her to somewhere where I know NOTHING about the kids OR the care givers. But if I just sit here over and over again being unhappy with the care my child is getting then that makes me a crap mom. It's so hard. Again...deserves its own post. But for my day? The bite didn't make me happy.

Then the frosting on the cake. I got a call from that same CPA who had been calling me all day long saying they mailed my client a letter about paying estimated taxes but they don't see in my books that they had been paid. I told them this was the first I had heard about any estimated taxes. The CPA told me my client specifically told them that he had told me to pay them. Now I can personally guarantee to all of my readers that that conversation didn't take place. I may have my plate full...I may have some bad days...but I would NEVER just blow off someone's taxes. It wouldn't happen. It doesn't happen. Ever. In 12 years of being a bookkeeper that has NEVER happened. Yet today, I had to take the blame like it had. It put the cherry on top of my "suck sundae." Today sucked.

I'm going to go to bed and try and pretend that tomorrow is Monday and give this week a do-over. Because damn...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little Bunny Foo Foo

So The Girl has a new favorite pastime. I found out about it by accident. I was playing a slide show of pictures for my mom and The Girl came over and asked to sit on her lap. She proceeded to sit and laugh hysterically and point out all the people she knew from the pictures. She loved it! So now...when I need her to be quiet for a few minutes, or I need to clean up the kitchen or something, I just put her highchair, or sit her in my office chair and put a slide show on the iMac. She loves it.

Yesterday I was cleaning the living room and she asked to sit and watch pictures. Sometimes I will put music to the slide show and sometimes I won't. Usually doesn't matter. But yesterday she kept yelling, "SING!" at me when she was watching it. So I changed the settings on the slide show to include music. I was trying to select the "kid music" play list from my iTunes. When I found it, I scrolled down to find a song I knew she liked thinking it would start on that song and then continue on through the play list. Well it didn't scroll. It played the same effing song over and over and over and over... And The Girl couldn't have been happier. So like 20 minutes later, she had learned the song and was attempting to sing it. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I especially like the part where she smacks her hands against the table during "bonk them on the head..." This is probably one of those videos that are only cute to the mom and grandparents, but if you are so inclined...check out my daughter singing her version of Little Bunny Foo Foo.

(and sorry for the crappy editing job on the video...I was editing out the parts where she shouted the names of all the family members that you guys don't know...)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Let's go in order, shall we?

The Good: The Boy had an appointment today with his gastro doc; a weigh in appointment. He ROCKED it. He weighed 34 pounds, which is 2 1/2 pounds up from 3 months ago. I don't think I need to tell you all how huge that actually is. He is actually on the charts. He had also grown an inch. And as far as I'm concerned it is a combination of his appetite stimulating medication and his Pediasure that he drinks every morning. Because frankly, he still eats like shit. Or rather, he doesn't eat shit. But whatever. As they say, the scale doesn't lie. We actually get to go six whole months before our next weigh in. I don't think that has ever happened since we started seeing this doctor when he was a year old. We are going to continue what we're doing through the winter months and if all goes well we can even talk about stopping the medication come next spring. Totally rocks. I'm completely stoked. Definitely "the good."

The Bad: So this morning when getting ready to leave for our appointment I was feeling a tad bit smug because I had been so damned productive. I had already bathed both kids, fed both kids, dressed both kids and all I had left to do was to get myself ready and I had an entire 45 minutes with which to do it. ALL proud of myself. Until. Until I was leaving the kitchen and I stubbed my freaking toe on the damn baby gates. I can't even tell you all how many times I have done that. As I sat in the hallway thinking, "this A LOT!!!" I grabbed onto my toe to try and make the pain stop. I pulled my hand away from my foot to get up because, seriously, buck up! and move on! When I pulled my hand away it was covered in blood. Crap.

I hobbled to the sink and ran my foot under the water to try and assess the situation. There was a huge slice out of the top of my pinky toe. And it was bleeding. A lot. Crap again. I grabbed a paper towel after I had thoroughly rinsed it and wrapped it up and tried to walk away on my heel, therefore avoiding the painful toe. Except that my foot was wet from the sink. So when I went to walk away on my heel I slipped and landed on my ass...HARD...on the kitchen floor. Triple crap. I sat for a few minutes before glancing at the clock and realizing that my "leisure" time this morning was beyond over and I was barely going to make it to the doctor. I grabbed a random bandaid, put some neosporin on it and a flip flop on my foot and got dressed and got the kids and ran out the door.

Fast forward to the end of the doctors appointment. I was on a high from the news about my son and I figured we were on a roll. I said, "Can you just take a look at my toe and make sure I don't need stitches or anything...?" She looked at it and, after making a horrible grimacing face, said she didn't think I needed stitches but that she bet that hurt like a "son of a gun." I was all smug thinking we'd get nothing but good news that day until she added as an afterthought, "But you definitely need a tetanus shot." Huh? A shot? What the hell? She had earlier been telling me that I needed to get the whooping cough vaccine and that is combined with the tetanus shot so I thought she was just being funny. I laughed at her "joke" until she looked me in the face and said, "You sliced the top portion of your toe off on a baby NEED the shot." And then to make sure it actually happened, she looked at my mom and said, "She needs this. Today. Make it happen."

So..."The Ugly:" Well my toe. It's freaking ugly. It took all of my restraint to not take a picture of it and post it here on the blog. But then I thought, seriously, who actually wants to see that? But trust me. It's blue and purple and sliced open and just plain nasty. And it hurts. Still. A lot. And you know what else hurts? My freaking arm. My arm is sore from the shot and my toe hurts. Wah, wah, wah. Poor me.

I got a little perspective last night however. A city about 30 minutes from where I live had a major disaster. A natural gas pipe blew up and created an explosion that literally flattened 54 houses and damaged a total of 120. There are already 6 people dead and I am sure there will be more found now that they can get to the rubble. It happened at 6:15pm. Hundreds of people were sitting down to dinner at their table with their families when...BOOM!! And just gone. It was on the news all last night and I watched it with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach while imagining what I am usually doing at 6:15. I am usually at my most frustrated point with my kids. I am putting dinner on the table while the kids whine because they are hungry. I am tired and cranky and exhausted after a long day. To have it all be over right then...? I just can't even imagine.

So poor me with my sad little toe and my sore arm. But you know what? I'm here. My kids are here and they are safe. We are all safe. And I feel completely blessed for that.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Her Turn!

Recently I did an update on The Boy so now it's time to talk about his sister. I really can't say enough things about her right now. 16 months is equal parts hysterical and cute and challenging. Let's talk about the cute first. She really is SO effing cute, I can't quite handle it sometimes. I have said it since the day she was born but she really is a ray of sunshine. Happiest little kid I know. If she isn't throwing a fit about something specific she is smiling.

Last time I wrote about her I talked about her biting and how I knew it came from her daycare. I talked to the ladies who take care of her as well as the director the next day. They confirmed that two of the other little kids her age are biters but they hadn't seen it from her. I made it clear to them that I wasn't thrilled with the fact that they hadn't really dealt with the problem with the other two and now it was coming over to my daughter. It came down to different "parenting" techniques (I know they aren't "parents," but their way to deal with a biter is MUCH different than my way...). When The Girl would bite her brother I would tell her, "NO BITING" in a louder, lower voice than normal. Not yelling at her, but she definitely knew it was a different voice than the one I usually talk in. Then I would immediately remove her from the situation and put her in her room. Not for a "time out" because she's one; she wouldn't understand that anyway, but just to teach her that if she bites she gets taken away from the situation. About a minute later I would go into her room and tell her again, "No biting brother!" "That hurts brother." She would then repeat to me, "No bite bruh-dah. Ouchie bruh-dah" and most times would go into his room and say, "Sowwy bruh-dah" without any prodding from me. I could also read the situation. If she was getting frustrated (wanting his toy and trying to pull it from him...trying to sit in the chair that he was already sitting in...) she would generally yell out a frustration scream before she would go in for the bite. So when I saw the situation escalating, I would repeat to her, "No biting brother." She would then stop and repeat it back to me.

The daycare director wanted to just look at them in the eyes and put their finger over their mouth while shaking their head. Her theory was if you actually use the word "bite" then you are reinforcing the behavior. I don't agree at all. First of all, they aren't saying "no." That seems pretty basic to me. And secondly, if you just shake your head at them with your finger over your lips...well that doesn't really do a whole lot if you ask me. Kinda looks like blowing a kiss... Either way, we agreed to disagree and I told the lady who primarily watches her how I was handling it and gave her permission with my daughter to do as I was doing at home.

She never bit at daycare. And after that one weekend she doesn't bite at home anymore either. Like I mentioned above, if I see her getting frustrated sometimes I will remind her that we don't bite, but mostly she gets it. A couple of times she has put her mouth/teeth on me or her brother but never bitten down. So I'd say we dodged a bullet on that one...

Okay I have said it before but DAMN does my child talk a lot. I know girls are supposed to talk earlier than boys, and I also know that my frame of reference is completely skewed given that The Boy is still in speech therapy at 4 1/2. But she says 3 and 4 word sentences. She will repeat anything you tell her and can say words that I would consider "tough" like "edamame," and "flower," and "spaghetti," etc... Just this week she started wandering around the house saying, "Monny...are du?" Asking me where I am. She said, "Monny take a shower" yesterday. She says, "Bruh-dah go bye bye" all the time. It is amazing. And she sings. AND knows the words to songs. If you say, "Twinkle twinkle little star," she will follow up with, "I wunder what du are..." Her brother like songs from The Little Mermaid right now and on the way to school this morning it was quiet and she said, "Monny! Poor Fortune Souls Pees!" It amazes me on a daily basis. If I call her name she now answers with, "What?" I feel like she is SO much older than she is because The Boy couldn't communicate like this until he was so much older. It won't be long before she is using a real phone making real calls...
She is still a great eater as far as I'm concerned. She has certain things that are always a hit, no matter what (Pir.ates Boot.y, Smart dogs, fruit of any kind, yogurt...) and then a ton of things that are hit and miss. One day she'll love them and then the next day she'll throw them on the floor. I no longer make her a special dinner; she gets what we are having. Her brother still gets special meals at times but not her. And for the most part she's fine. I may supplement with a fruit or something but she gets what we get. And she gets it on a plate now. She sees her brother and me using a plate everyday and damnit she wants one too. She is really good with it and uses a plate and her fork with every meal. Sometimes I have to spear the food onto her fork for her but she's actually getting really good with doing that by herself too. And you have to be careful when she's nearing the end of a meal because she has been known to declare, "ALL DONE!" and then chuck the plate off her tray but I am teaching her that isn't the best behavior. Overall she does really great at meal times and loves eating with the big people (which is always, my kids eat with me every night). Here she is sitting at the table at my birthday dinner...
In terms of technical things...she is a little peanut like her Mommy. She's not going to be tall, which is fine with me given the size of her brother. She wears size 12-18 months in everything but the pants are still a little too long. The tops that I am buying for winter stuff is all 24 months but still 18 month pants. Her jammies are all 24 months. She wears a size 4.5 shoe and I just bought her her first pair of real shoes. As opposed to all the sandals she has had all summer long. They were purple with silver and I love them. She still has the 6 main teeth (4 up top, two on the bottom), but the top two molars are through and one of the bottom molars came through today I think. Also the teeth right next to her bottom two are white and about to poke through. She is teething like crazy and will chew on anything she can get her mouth onto.

Okay the nursing...yes we are still doing it. I haven't completely given it up. BUT! We are down to once a day right before bed. I got rid of the morning feed so now it is only the one time a day before bed. I am okay with this for now. I say that I will give that one up by 18 months. That is my goal right now. Because while she never asks for it, or god forbid, lifts my shirt or anything...the other day when she latched on she looked up at me and smiled and went, "MMMMMM!!!!" and I'm sorry, but a kid that is old enough to comment on the content of the boob she's eating is probably too old to be eating off said boob. So I'm working on it. 18 months, I swear. :)

I'm contemplating the hair cut. But I really don't know what to do. Any of you with little girls out there, I would love to hear your feedback. Right now I put her hair up everyday. It's either in one pony on top of her head, or else it's in pig tails. And the back is all one length and curly. I hesitate to cut bangs because while I am not opposed to bangs in general, I don't want ALL of her hair coming forward to be chopped off at the bang area. I want her hair to go back and then perhaps a little wisp of bangs or something. But I just don't know. So for now? I leave it alone and put it up. Plus, I fear that once we do that first haircut all those adorable little baby curls will come off and not come back. And I love those little curls.

I was telling my mom today how I can't even imagine life without her. I remember before she was born I was so confused and felt like my life was SO full with just The Boy. I couldn't imagine someone else being in our little family. But seems like life would be so dull without her around. She is so freaking funny and such a bright shining light of happiness...I simply cannot imagine her not being here and being a part of our family. Thankfully I don't have to.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

With my babies on my birthday...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Special Day

I give you three guesses what today is...
It's my birthday. I turn 36 this year. And you know what? I am pretty damn stoked. Life is full and very busy, but pretty wonderful at the same time. My celebrations started last night (Saturday night) when I went out with my BFF for the evening. The Ex watched the kids so I was free. We started at the wine bar where I did a flight of Pinot Noir which was FABULOUS from some local wineries. Then we shopped around for a bit and had a fabulous dinner. I ordered the lobster roll and it was SO good and quite the indulgence. They even brought me a free dessert of strawberry shortcake, which was totally tasty.

I arrive home around 9:30 (I know, I'm such a rock star, right?) and The Boy is waiting up for me. The Girl had been bathed and was sound asleep. He asked if he could sleep in my bed that night so, "He could be the first one to wish me a happy birthday in the morning." Seriously. How do you say no to that? You don't. So he bunked with me. This is the first time he has ever slept with me since he was a baby. He was a good boy although he didn't fall asleep until 11:00pm. I snuggled with him for a while and then read a book on my iPhone until he fell asleep and then I did too.

Pretty damn cute to wake up to him giving me a hug. And about a half an hour later The Girl woke up and joined the two of us in bed and we all lounged around together and watched some TV for at least an hour. We had a really relaxing day and had a picnic lunch outside, which the kids love. Then my mom came and took The Boy on some last minute errands (they were picking up some cupcakes and having him pick flowers out for me). And after they left I sat with my daughter in the rocking chair and just rocked her. The house was completely quiet. There was no TV, no radio, no noise, just the two of us sitting chest to chest in the rocking chair and rocking. We sat that way for at least 10 minutes and then she dozed off to sleep. I can't even remember the last time she fell asleep with me. She goes and goes and goes and is not a snuggler by any stretch of the imagination. So to have that time with her? Seriously best birthday present I could get. Snuggle time with my boy last night and then with my girl this morning.

Later I am having dinner out with the gay boyfriends, my mom and step dad and my grandmother. And of course the kids. It's going to be a nice day. Nothing big or fancy or crazy, just lots of mellow time with the ones I love. Pretty freaking perfect.

Here are my real presents:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Boy...In All His Glory

Life is still insanely busy during the weeks but I wanted to do a quick update on what's been going on. I will do one kid at a time and since I am sitting here next to The Boy, let's start with him. I just picked him up from school and he is now eating his lunch because he is in a new phase where he is refusing to eat lunch at school. We have always had food issues, but we used to have like 5 things that he was guaranteed to eat. And for all of last year he ate the exact same thing in his lunchbox every single day: A jelly sandwich, "circle crackers" (Ritz), grapes and a water. Every day. Now he has decided he doesn't like sandwiches. He seems to think that like 10 grapes and 5 circle crackers is sufficient for lunch. I don't agree.

All this to tell you all that we are still dealing with his weight issues. He continues to go see his gastro for a weight check every three months. He continues to be on the appetite stimulating medication. And he continues to not eat. It's fantastic.

He did however just "graduate" from his neurologist. We went and saw him last Friday and even though his head is still on the small side (2nd percentile I think), it has been consistent. He is no longer showing any signs of being behind the other kids or any developmental delays. He is smart as a whip (don't ALL parents say that?) and is doing great in school so we aren't concerned about his brain. The brain looks good. So we don't have to go back to him anymore. (For those that don't remember we were sent there for his head being too small and that coupled with his gross motor issues and speech delays sent us in the hospital for a brain MRI...all which came out fine, but he has been monitored every 6 months since then).

His ear healed nicely. We got the stitches out last Friday and you can still see it, but I am hoping we won't need to do plastic surgery. His doctor said that even if we do need to have surgery it wouldn't happen for a few years. Right now the best thing we can do for it is to put major sunscreen on it everyday. So that's what we're doing.

So The Boy played soccer for the past 8 weeks. It was humorous at best. The Ex bought him a pimped out soccer outfit including cool Adidas shoes and he looked adorable. And for the first few weeks he really liked it. He looked forward to it and would tell me afterward that he had a great time. He was pretty slow; I think he obsessed on keeping the ball exactly where he wanted it so he didn't really RUN and kick. He more sort of walked and kicked. But he also would lay down on the field "for a little rest" and check out the bugs in the grass and the flowers on the side... So he isn't going to be the next David Beckham. When I asked him a couple of weeks ago if he wanted to do soccer again he said, "I really like the water breaks, but I'm not so sure about the kicking part." Nice. Needless to say we aren't signing up for another 8 weeks right now. I haven't written it off, but we will talk about it again next spring.

He IS doing karate at his school and he seems to really like that. My whole deal with extracurricular sports is that 1) if he signs up for something he has to see it through. Like for soccer, even if he had hated it, he would have had to complete the 8 weeks. And 2) he has to be doing SOMETHING physical. I don't care what it is...but there has to be some physical activity going on. The kid would be thrilled to death to sit in his room all day long and play with his bugs and snakes, but he needs to work on the large motor skills. Get that boy out and running and get his heart pumping. Plus, there is a part of me that secretly hopes it will make him hungry. Hasn't happened yet, but hey...a girl can hope!

He is back in speech therapy for a little "tune up." You can totally understand him and if he were being testing I'm sure he would come out "age appropriate." But he still struggles with pronunciation. He can't really do "L's" or "TH's" and has a bit of a lisp with his "S's." So we are going back. When I listen to the other kids in his class they all speak more clearly than he does. And since he is starting kindergarten in a year, I want to work on this now. We met with his therapist a couple of weeks ago and she agreed that he needed a little work. So I am shelling out the cash, yet again, most likely with a little help from my mom, and getting him the help he needs. We are going every Monday morning at 8:00am. Do you have any idea how hard it is to have two kids up and dressed and out of the house by 7:40am? Yeah. Good times.

He started Pre-K at his school yesterday and he loves it. It is the same school he has been going to for a while now so he is totally comfortable and loves it. His teacher told me at the "back to school" thing that he loves his science and that he is always the kid that makes the new kids feel welcome. I thought that was pretty sweet. And today when I picked him up his teacher told me, "I have to tell you...[The Boy] has totally become the popular kid. ALL the kids want to play with him during the play time. Especially all the boys." I said, "My kid?!?!" Because dear God we all know that I love that little boy more than life itself, but seriously? The popular kid? My kid with the pasty white skin and the red hair and freckles? But thank God. That is a good thing to hear.

Okay enough babbling on about the little dude. It is time to go and get him and throw him in the bath tub. His sister will be home any minute and we need to get both of them washed. He is currently playing with his Mr. Pot.ato that he got for finally filling up his sticker chart. And when I told him it was time to get in the bath he told me, "Silly Mommy. Potatoes don't take a bath!"