October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

 Preschool Pumpkin Carving with Dads Event: 

The necessary supplies: 
A Dad.  Check.  

A pumpkin.  Check. 
Gutted.  Oops. 

The carving knife.  Oops.

Good friends.  Check.  

Smiles.  Check.

And now to gut the pumpkin...

Danny's favorite part?  Blowing out the candle and watching smoke come out of the eyes.

It's a good thing we had our fun last night.  Today Danny had the stomach flu and spent the majority of the day like this.  :(  Fortunately he doesn't know what he's missing yet.  

Oh well... a relaxing day at home was just what Mama needed anyway.

Happy Halloween!

13 weeks

I now understand why younger siblings seem to exit the womb ready to take revenge on their brand new brother or sister.  Danny has been determined to squish, bounce on, and generally beat up Baby #2 ever since the beginning Baby's existence on this planet.  Holy moley! I guess big brother initiation starts early.

A few mornings ago, Danny crawled into bed with us, as is his morning routine.  He proceeded to lay the fullness of his body right on top of my abdomen and ask me to rub his back.  I obliged, but it didn't last long, because Baby gave a swift kick after a moment, as if to say, "Hey! Get offa me!!"

So yes... I'm feeling tiny kicks and flutters every now and then. I think I felt the first one last Thursday evening.

My weight hasn't increased but 2 or 3 pounds, but where all the weight is on my body certainly has shifted significantly.

At around 11 weeks, I started to regain some energy and I could actually make it through the afternoon without falling asleep.  I've had a couple other minor normal pregnancy symptoms, which I'm sure you all don't want the details on, but those have gone away as well.  Now I'm just trying to get well, because I've been sick with a virus for the last week and a half.  It's really knockin' me flat and I've definitely reached the point of annoyed and impatient.

Aside from that, things are great and according to Danny, "Baby's growing and growing and growing!!"  And I sure am dying to find out if it's a baby girl or a baby boy!  

Dontcha' love bathroom mirror, the dog's water bowl and the cell phone pic quality!?  

"Hey Danny! Where's Baby?"

"Can you give Baby a kiss!?"

Note to self:  Next time grab the real camera.  

October 22, 2012

Danny's Felt Calendar

I am not the crafty type.  AT. ALL.  I have a blog so that I don't have to create baby albums.  So when I do happen to do something crafty, I get pretty excited.  

And I get even more excited if said crafty project helps my job of being mommy to be easier!  

Last week, Alejandro was gone for five days, working out of town and Grammy came two weekends in a row.  That means that on Sunday Danny had Mama, Papa and Grammy in the house, but by Tuesday morning, there was only Mama.  

I needed some way to help him count down the days.  So on Monday afternoon, off to Walmart's kid-craft section I went in search of felt and a permanent marker and a dowel big long stick.  When I got home, I also went in search of my glue-gun and yarn.  This is what I came up with:  

I glued together 3 full sheets of blue felt to form the back, and glued that to the big long stick.  Then I cut strips and squares to make the days of the week.  Lastly, I cut squares of different colors to be used for the week's events. With my sharpie, I wrote the days of the week in both languages (because we're bilingual around here and we want to pass that on).  Then I jumped on my computer and found pictures that would remind him of his usual weekly activities.  These I glued to the felt squares with the the glue-gun.  (My glue-gun doesn't get super-duper hot, so it didn't damage the paper picture, but you could laminate the pictures if needed.)  I picked a picture of his preschool class with the fire-truck to remind him of preschool.  Yes, that's me sportin' my work-out clothes and a prego-tummy to remind him which days we go to the gym.  I had to actually change and snap that one in my bathroom mirror using my phone.  I don't generally photograph myself in work-out clothes.  Ahem. Our pastor's big ol' grin is up there for church, and then of course, there are pictures of Grammy, Grandpa and Alejandro for the day that they'd all be returning to our house.  I also made one with my face on it, since I occasionally travel as well and I want to be able to use this in the future.

All parts of the calendar are glued except for the squares with the pictures.  Oh, and of course, the star, which we move around as the day changes.  I try to remember to have him change it first thing in the morning or right before he goes to bed, but if not, I move it myself.  It's tacked underneath the hall banister just outside his bedroom.  

This made our week go so much easier!!!  Each time Danny started asking for Papa, we could walk over to the calendar and talk about how many more days between now and when he was home.  Plus, the added bonus of getting to look at his picture helped him feel closer to him.  Plus, then he got to see all the fun he was gonna in the meantime and be reminded that Grammy and Grandpa were coming back!  The total project, including the trip to Walmart, took me about 3 hours.  

If you decide to make one, take a picture and post a link so we can see yours!

Happy crafting!  (Did I just say that??)

October 19, 2012

Days in Which There is Much Ado About Nothing

Note to Self:

Sometimes there will be days like today.  And weeks like this week.  And you'll just have to sit back and laugh, because if you don't, you'll cry.

There will be days that you will arrive late at preschool and debate whether or not to explain your lateness - for the 5th time in a row - to the teacher, who does not currently live in the reality of three-years-old twenty. four. seven. and who (even if she's lived it) can't possibly understand, because you really only understand for the few years you are living it and then after that you block it out or have too much perspective to remember how utterly impossible and exhausting it feels.  So you opt not to explain.

There will be moments when you'll look at the other preschool mom who also has a three year old but who is approximately 5 months farther along than you are and have to bite your tongue to keep from saying gleefully, "You look so much more uncomfortable than even me!"  Later, your heart will go out to the same woman whose three year old has a meltdown as she picks her up, thankful that all of your child's meltdowns have (so far) happened at home.

There will be those evenings that you will take your little boy to a friends' house for a party and in response to his wails and tears, will saunter up the stairs with a smile, because frankly, you've lost count how many times you've heard it this week.  You'll hug him and ask what happened.  He'll tell you he "bonked his toe" and then when you try to, you won't bat an eyelash when he doesn't let you kiss it and he says, "Don't take my owie away, Mama!!" through irrationality and tears.

You'll chastise him for disobedience when he won't stand up on the foot of said bonked toe, and then you'll balance his dead weight and your growing tummy, while he clings to you, yank at his underwear and jeans to get them up, raise your voice in the bathroom in attempt to convince him to - for the love of his mother - please stand up so that I can pull up your pants! - and then be thankful for the noise of the party outside.  When you finally manage this feat, you'll hoist him up onto the sink and sit him there for a minute.  Yes, I know you thought you'd never balance your child on a high surface, but I promise you.  You will.  Often.  After re-adjusting your disheveled clothes and noticing that any semblance of glamour that existed when you arrived at the party has since long gone, and frazzled and tired have taken its place.

You'll watch your son crawl "like a doggie, Mama!" under the legs of all of the guests and give thanks for the attendance of another family with young children, so that at least, the two entertain each other.  Will you notice that this is not just a make-believe game and that your three-year-old's refusal to leave the spot next to the adorable 6 year old little girl are actually just avoidance of putting any weight at all on that injured toe?  No, you won't.

But you start to take note, when he refuses to walk to the car, which means you get to carry him while you both wear winter coats to the car with all of your belongings - this really should be an Olympic sport.

After finally getting home, you'll oblige him by putting a band-aid on the foot that was not injured and fall gratefully into bed for a good night's rest.

So you think.

Actually this is just the beginning.  There will be those nights at midnight, that you'll wake to his sweet whimpers blubbering cries and you'll drag yourself out of unconsciousness to carry 30 pounds of dead weight back to bed with you.  Then you'll wrestle him calm him down and try to figure out where in tar-nation between his ankle and his toe is the actual injury, because he keeps changing his story and there is not a single bit of swelling or bruising whatsoever.

You'll start to put together the refusal to put weight on it with the apparent throbbing pain he's experiencing and wonder if a trip to the E.R. isn't in order.

At 2 a.m. you'll repeat this process and decide that a visit to the E.R. is indeed in order - at least to rule out a plethora of possibilities. He'll fall back asleep and you'll proceed to get dressed, pack the car, the stroller, toys, the laptop, medical cards, and snacks in preparation.  With brushed teeth, sort of fixed hair, and mostly dressed, you'll lay back down and figure that you should milk any last moments of sleep you can get before he wakes again.

Though he kicks your dressed self all night long, he doesn't actually wake up, so at 8 a.m. you finish the getting-dressed process, pacifying him with videos on your smart phone.

Oh yes.  I know you think you won't pacify him with videos.  And you think you won't hand over your phone.



You'll take him to the gym childcare and watch him play with other kids - what better way to see if he forgets about his injury than with the distraction of friends?  He doesn't.  He crawls around for an hour in the playroom, dragging the poor injured foot behind and making not a single attempt to stand up.

You'll be convinced.  Surely, this is more than a bruise or a jammed toe. Off to Urgent Care you go, for a 3 hour adventure farce, by the end of which, all are looking at you and wondering WHY ON EARTH you came in in the first place.

There will be the nurse who condescendingly tells you to "next time give him ibuprofen and ice."  You'll think, "Well I would have, if I'd known where to ice! And since there was NO swelling or bruising, I prefer NOT to needlessly pump drugs through my baby's tiny liver, thankyouverymuch."  But instead you'll smile and nod.

There will be an off-key performance by you of a song about trusting in the Lord when one is afraid of the x-ray machine. There will be more balancing acts in the restroom because kiddo refuses to stand up in. Then the nurse will come in to explain that his foot is "just fine" and that there was a contusion on his outer toe.  "That's just a fancy word for a bruise," she'll say as sweetly as she can muster.  There will be the loud "I WANT MY STICKER!"  that your little cherub will holler at you as you pass the nurses station on your way out the door.  And when given a choice about which sticker?  He'll choose Cinderella, because "she's pretty." And you'll find yourself jealous of Cinderella.

Yes, there will be those days.  And when they come, just be ready to laugh at yourself.  And be ready with chocolate, Tylenol and a movie.


October 17, 2012

Laundry, Dishes & My Vote for President

My political involvement the past several years has been found wanting.  This is not a fact I am proud of.  I just really struggle to keep current on all the issues.  I mean it's hard enough to keep up with the current issues in my own household.  On top of the laundry, the dishes, the groceries, the preschool calendar - do you have any idea how involved three year olds are these days!? - my business, my husband's business, and - oh yeah - the human I'm currently growing inside of me, the political agenda of a nation seems just a teensie bit overwhelming to keep up with.

Can any of you relate?

As soon as I find a political site that publishes no more than one post per day (because honestly, that's all I have energy for) and I find it to be conservative-minded and a fair representation of all parties, I'll let you know. But don't hold your breath.

That's why I was SO grateful to have found this little article - ok that's a lie, it's 3 pages long, but it's worth it.  Here's why I loved it.  It's the first political writer I've read who has managed to take its readers back to the biblical standard for a presidential candidate.  He cites scripture, and then compares the two candidates to the biblical standard.  He lists pros and cons  for each candidate, and also reminds us of our higher duty as citizens of a republic.  I was inspired AND it was clarified for me who I want to vote for.  What I also like, is that the author was clear enough about each candidate's position on issues so that if you disagree with this author's political outlook, you still come away with a clear picture of who to vote for.  Now that's a good political review.

So enough gabbing from me... go read the article.  Even if you have to read it 5 minutes at a time between lunch, the 2nd load of laundry, and the kids' nap.  ;-)

October 8, 2012

Christmas in July

Anticipation of Christmas at our house started early this year. As in July.

It was a hot, sweaty, summer day, and Danny and I were up in his room. Suddenly, he came to me and said, “Mama, I wanna krimatree.”

“What do you want?” Being that it was the middle of July, Christmas trees were the furthest thing from my mind.

“A krimatree!”

“A WHAAA???” I said, dumbfounded, trying to figure out my three-year old’s speech.

“I wanna KRIMATREE!!!!”

“Buddy, why don’t you show me what you’re talking about. Can you show me?”

Clearly knowing what he wanted, he took the lead and made a bee-line to his bedroom window. I opened the curtains, and raised the blinds and he pointed across the street at the perfectly formed evergreen in our neighbor’s front yard across the street.

“A Chrima-Tree!!” he said, more clearly.

“OH!! A Christmas Tree!” I said, finally understanding.

“YEEEAAAAAAHHH!!!” he shouted, as if my realization called for a celebration worthy of Christmas day itself.

“Oh, buddy, that’s not ours. That belongs to our friends across the street.”

“I want THAT Chrima Tree in the downstairs,” Danny said, as though he’d had it all planned out in his little mind months before.

“Well, we can’t get THAT one, honey.”

“But I want THAT one!” He was becoming concerned.

“Well…” my wheels were turning. I believe in saying yes, whenever reasonable. The No's come easier that way.  The Christmas box was easy to get to. The mini tree I had from college which became Danny’s as soon as he reached the age of “mine” was right on top, and there was ample time to pull it out. So why not? What child doesn't want to celebrate Christmas for six months?

And there you have the reason why there has been a fully decorated and lighted Christmas tree in Danny’s room since July. He also insisted on bringing said Christmas tree to my physical therapy appointment that afternoon. The staff thought it was a scream.

And secretly I've been thoroughly enjoying every bit of that small glow of Christmas that’s been lighting up his room at night ever since.

I recently learned of a pair of sisters who just couldn't go the whole 12 months without the blessed holiday, so every July, they get together and celebrate Christmas for the weekend. One comes in from out of town and together, they relish in peppermint hot chocolate, Christmas music, movies about boys who’ll “shoot their eye out” and clay reindeer, candy-cane covered pajamas and yes, even presents. They do Christmas in July and they do it well.

I think I may start a new tradition at our house.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the changing colors, the cooler weather, the hot drinks and the sweaters that hide the resulting handlebars that inevitably find their way to my side. But mostly, I love the anticipation of Christmas. I AM that shameless woman who can hardly wait till Thanksgiving to break out the Manheim Steamroller CDs. But July?? I mean, that’s a little early, even for me.

But I got to thinking the other night, as we were driving across the state to a tiny Kansas town for the weekend to spend with friends. What if I anticipated Jesus the way Danny anticipates Christmas Day. I have not the tiniest shred of an idea about when Jesus will return. As far as I’m concerned, it may as well be a lifetime from now. Six months, from July to December, is a lifetime in the mind of a preschooler. But that doesn't seem to stop him from waking each morning, hoping that today will bring snow.

This weekend, the temperature dropped into the 20’s at our house. It was downright frigid last week, and when I attempted to talk Danny into his jacket due to the snow-like weather, he looked at me and about burst, yelling, “It’s CHRIMAS TIME!!!!”

Oh and there goes my bleeding heart, walking away in size 6 Lightning McQueen tennis shoes, teaching my heart to anticipate my Savior with a child-like abandon.

God, you sure do know what you’re doing. I couldn’t have thought it up better myself.

October 1, 2012

Meet Baby #2

Baby is 2.2 cm long from head to rump now.  

 Isn't our little digital blur absolutely adorable?!  
(I know.  :)  Go ahead and roll your eyes at me.) 
And now... introducing Baby #3!  
Just kidding!  ;-)  There's only one in there.