Friday, January 30, 2009

The sasquatch family

There are times that I am thankful I have boys. One of those times is when I think about the genetics that Bill and I have passed down to our kids. To be blunt, we are some hairy people. I kind of think that our family is proof of evolution, because without razors, we are one step away from primate. This alone would cause any girl to become a hermit. Or invest in Schick.

I'm pretty sure that if I didn't shave, I would be mistaken for a wookie. The other day I caught my reflection in the side mirror of our bathroom and swore I was looking at Tom Selleck with the 'stach I had going on. I usually bleach my upper lip, but since you're not supposed to do that while pregnant, it was obvious (to me) that it had been almost a year. Bill's pretty much looking like Tom Hanks a la Castaway with the beard he's growing and very, very proud of. I would not be surprised if he painted a face on one of his disc golf disc's.

I am not a fan of hair in general, and especially facial hair. I go through razors like no other and on Monday night while out with the girls for margaritas, they were shocked to hear that I don't kiss Bill because of his beard. Really, if I wanted to make out with a face full of fur, I would kiss our cat. The topic came up because I have this yummy chocolate chap stick that would be a great make-out chap stick, yet it sits on my nightstand all by it's lonesome. He says he'll shave once he reaches a certain weight goal, but he won't promise to keep it off (the beard, that is).

So, in the recent weeks, I've noticed that Logan will be destined to deal with this as he gets older. His peach fuzz is getting darker on his back and hairline and I've also noticed that he might even grow a unibrow. I am not kidding. Once this kid hits puberty, he might be mistaken for Teen Wolf and we will have to show him the ways of manscaping.

It is at times like this that I am very thankful we have boys, because it's socially acceptable to be a hairy man - within reason. If I had girls, we would have to join the circus as bearded women.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little Legumes

Nicknames for the ones I love is just something I do. Don't know why, but terms of endearment just happen. Shortly after Bill and I started dating seriously (and I think after we were engaged), Pookie Bear became a name that we share for each other. Pookie Bear evolved into Pookie and Pook. In addition to this, I call Bill "Billy" often.

After Logan was born he had an array of nicknames: Grumpy-grump, Mr. Fussy Pants to name a few, but Sweetie Pea stuck and I call him this more than he'd probably like to admit when he realizes what I dork I am. Shortly after Carter was born I thought about nicknames for him, but not very hard. Such is the life of the second born child. Somehow, Baby Bean came about and automatically became what I lovingly call him.

So, Sweetie Pea and Baby Bean are their nicknames - don't ask me why they are named after legumes.

And don't ask me what I call them all when I'm in a bad mood, either.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Since my cover as our family's private investigator has been blown (or more like the extent was realized), when confronting Bill about possible untruths I am just flat out, straight up asking him rather than stewing in my suspicions. We've had open discussions about smoking where if he does have a slip up, he doesn't lie about it (from what I can tell) and things that are small simple acts that are glaring red flags for me (like closing out the browser to clear the internet history), I've asked if he has set up secret email accounts, etc. Sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for the next lie to surface or for Bill to slip up and get busted. Again. Rebuilding trust is a sucky process.

One unsettling thing that I've discovered in my conversations will Bill is how rampant dishonesty is in many other people's relationships. All of Bill's coworkers that he's buddies with are keeping secrets from their wives. Nobody is involved in infidelity (as far as I know), but every one of them is secretly doing something that their wife would greatly disprove of. It makes my stomach turn to know that so many people are fine with lying to their loved ones and most importantly, the ones that they are supposed to love the most. It also makes me keep my guard up despite Bill telling me that he's told his friends that they should second guess keeping secrets from their wives because someday, they will get caught and it won't be pretty. Speaking from experience, he knows. But, if he's lied to me for MANY years and so many of his friends are lying, what's to say he's really going to realize how hurtful this is and change? You know what I mean?

I really don't understand why it's so hard to tell the truth. Has honesty vanished as a valuable trait?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carter at 4 months old

I think 4 months old is my favorite "baby" age. He's old enough to start doing some super cute stuff and still small enough to be cuddly and adorable. It's a great mix! Carter has been busy this last month learning all sorts of new things and reaching more milestones.
On Friday morning we went in for his 4 month check-up. He's doing great. I thought he was growing at an alarming rate, but he is not. He is still my little peanut, despite the fact that he's wearing 6-9 month clothing! He measured 25 1/4 inches long (50%), weighed 13 pounds 3 ounces (10%) and his head was 16.5 inches (30%). The nurse joked about how all of his calories are going to his head.

His pediatrician and I talked about his eating habits, still every 2-3 hours. Since he's growing just fine, it's time to start holding him off and make him wait a little bit longer in between feedings. This should also help him start sleeping through the night. He has his dinner at 6pm, in bed by 7 and then would still wake up anywhere between 11-1am then again at 3-5am, up again at 6 or 7am and we're usually up for the day after that. Since the appointment, he's slept through the night the last two nights. He wakes up somewhere between 3 and 5am. YEA!!! I'm
hoping this is a continuing trend.

Nursing is such a sweet time for the two of us. He clearly understands when it's time to eat and gets so excited about it, kicking his legs and waving his arms. He now gets into the "Milk Zone" and has a wandering hand, grabbing my face - nose, cheeks and chin or clutching my shirt. He looks so peaceful, comfortable and safe. I love it when his cheeks get rosy pink circles.
Carter is one social little guy. He has an adorable smile and is quite the talker. He loves to smile at himself in the mirror. It's so funny, I could stand there with him all day long. He doesn't really belly laugh, more like little giggles. What makes him squeal the most is bouncing him up and down on the bed or throwing him up in the air. He seems to be an adrenaline junkie already!
His hands are always in his mouth and he has discovered his feet, too. He likes to hold on to them when he's in his swing or bouncer (that he's quickly outgrowing). He plays with his toys, reaching out for them, shaking them and eating them. His favorite is the same little book that Logan had as a baby.

He hates tummy time, but is getting a little bit better about it. During his appointment when the Doctor put him down, he screamed like he was getting a shot. "Boy, he has some drama in him doesn't he?!", she said. Yes, he does. He's not really rolling yet, only once or twice, but his upper body is still strong. He's just lazy. He should be able to stand on his legs, but he's lazy about that too. We need to get him an exersaucer to start forcing him to put some weight on them. The little stinker. However, he has great head and neck control. He just likes for me to be his personal assistant and do everything for him. This is ending soon enough!
He is very much attached to me and we are quickly working on helping him gain some confidence and independence. As horrible as it is to listen to, I am handing him off to Bill more often even though he screams and fusses. I'm also either letting him scream in his room, in his bouncer, swing or on the floor a lot more. I really don't want him to stay attached to me and hopefully by the time he's 6 months old and in the throws of separation anxiety, it won't be as bad (or worse). But the times that the attachment is cute is right before bedtime. He demands to be cuddled with in the rocking chair, not necessarily rocked to sleep, but cuddled to relax. I don't mind this at all. He's also starting to give me baby hugs which just melt my heart into a big puddle.
He's also very much attached to Logan. The two people he smiles at the most are his Mom and his brother (probably because we're around him the most). He loves it when Logan plays on the floor with him, talks to him and tries to wrestle with him despite my gasps telling him to be careful. I know that the two of them are going to get into all sorts of crazy adventures and Carter will idolize his Big Brother. I can see it now. It's very sweet.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot, like his excited smiles when he wakes up or his giggles at bath time. It seems that life goes by so fast with two kids that I miss out on the details with him. I don't get to take nearly as many pictures as I want to and savor every moment I can with my last little one. He's growing so fast already...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Preschool predicament

Crazy as it is, preschool registration is going on right now. Last year we went to the preschool fair to get an idea of what schools were out there and what they offered. At the time I had no idea what kind of school Logan would do best in. It was an overwhelming experience, but I'm glad we went when we didn't have to make a decision.

Over the last year many of our friends have enrolled their kids in preschool. In our Club, there seems to be an even split between two schools, one is a co-op the other is not. Both are run by churches and are Christan based curriculum. This was a problem for me, so I continued my search for a non-faith based school that was affordable. Because, let's face it. It's preschool, not college. It soon became apparent that "non-faith based" and "affordable" were not an option. The schools that I liked that I thought Logan would do well in were EXPENSIVE. Anywhere from $400-$600 a month and some were more. The university has an amazing early childhood development program, but it's $40 a day, $28 for half day. Yeah, that's not in our budget. None of the schools that I liked fit into our budget. This really rubbed me the wrong way.

I'm a believer that religion and school shouldn't mix. If a family practices a certain faith, wonderful. Keep the teachings at home or at church as it is the responsibility of the parents and the family to develop those values and practices. It has no place in school, even private school. Preschool is a place to learn the foundation of education - reading, science, math - not a place to learn about how Jesus loves them or that they are a child of God. That is what church is for. At this age they have no idea what religion really is, they are just accepting what they are being taught. In my eyes, teaching children religious practices without them truly understanding isn't right. If they still believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and monsters under the bed, they are unable to discern them from deity.

Never in a million years did I think I would begin having discussions about religion with my three year old. It's my philosophy that religious beliefs are such a personal choice, nobody should try to influence or convert anyone one way or another. This includes me teaching my kids about different religions. Just as I have issues with others indoctrinating my children, I can't in good conscious tell them that any religion is wrong. Even with my experiences with the LDS church and organized religion. Spirituality is a journey they must go on on their own to discover for themselves. It's my job to help them with that discovery by letting them experience everything possible so they can make the best choice for themselves.

So, even though Logan only knows Jesus from when I stub my toe, find that he's thrown cat food all over the playroom or I'm about to staple his pants to his butt ("Jesus Christ! Put your pants on NOW!"), I talked to all of my friends in great detail about their experiences at one of the two schools. Everyone raved about the non co-op school, about the education, the teachers and the experience. I asked about how much Christianity was taught, and was assured that it wasn't much. There was a Christmas pageant and they learned about how Christmas was Jesus' birthday (ehhh, hmmm, ok) and that they said a simple blessing before snack time. Whoa. Blessings before snack? Not for us! When that was mentioned, I stopped considering the school and even began to think that if we couldn't afford a non-faith based school, then maybe we wouldn't send Logan to preschool at all.

Over the course of a few weeks, most everyone in our playgroup had chosen this school to go to. I was still stuck in my decision. I started to feel anxious about it all, not knowing what we were going to do. I continued to talk to everyone about their choice and what influenced them. At the 3 Boys Turning 3 birthday party, one of my Jewish friends told me that she switched her daughter to this school. I talked to her about the religious differences and she said that this school was actually pretty relaxed compared to other preschools that she had toured. I really appreciated her opinion and decided to go ahead and tour the preschool myself.

When I called yesterday morning to schedule a time for the tour, I briefly talked to one of the teachers about my agnosticism and Logan's current lack of religious teachings. She told me that there were students of varying faiths - Jewish, Atheist and Hindu to name a few - and that while the teachers may be Christian's themselves, they all attend different churches. I felt a lot better after speaking with her. It seemed that they had a well-rounded environment where the kids were taught about all different faiths rather than being force-fed The One And Only.

This morning we all went to check it out. We got there just in time. They were just getting ready for snack time. All of the kids were lined up to go wash their hands and one of the three teachers invited Logan to join the class so he could have snacks with them. He readily ran off, fitting right in. While the kids were preparing for snacks, Bill and I spoke with one of the teachers about the class activities they had done that morning and I noticed that they were eating glazed donuts for snack today (because it was someones birthday) and talked to them at length about food allergies. When the kids came back, they all sat at their tables (Logan ate crackers and milk) and Bill, sleeping Carter and I stood back and observed. They said a quick blessing, which was very informal and pretty innocent.

Logan LOVED being in school. He had a few friends in the class already, but that didn't even matter. He knew exactly what to do, what was expected of him and he was SO FREAKIN' CUTE! After snacks, the kids sat down to read books for a little bit, with Logan wiggling his way to the front and quietly sitting on the floor. Then they all lined up to go into the next room for circle time with Logan at the front of the line. I was impressed to see how his preschool prep classes had truly prepared him for this experience. I am so glad we did those for him. It was amazing to see how comfortable he was in the environment and he seemed not only to fit right in, but ahead of the game in some aspects.

While the kids went with one teacher for circle time, Bill and I stayed back and spoke with the other two teachers for a while. We talked about the curriculum and discipline and then I talked to them some more about the religious aspects. It turns out that some of the teachers had been either atheist or agnostic at some point in their lives and knew how I felt about it all. All of my concerns were easily put to rest as I felt comfortable with him learning about these practices in class since it was so relaxed and not a central focus of their school day. It was very well-rounded and as long as he had the opportunity to learn about ALL different faiths, I was fine with it.

Bill filled out the application and wrote the check for tuition. It was a done deal. We found the preschool for Logan and lucky for him (not that it really matters), he will have at least five friends from playgroup and The Club, if not more, in the same class with him. We gathered our things and were getting ready to leave just as the class was about to start a craft project. Logan was very upset that we were leaving. "I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE SCHOOL!" he protested. I had to bribe him with chocolate milk at home to get him to leave without a massive melt down. Really, this is a good sign.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coffee, antidepressants and internet crack

Well, I do have to say - Bill has stepped up to the plate and has finally had the difficult conversation about the time out with his parents. On Saturday, rather than telling them that we were going to be at Logan's birthday party, they were told that we were doing MOMS Club stuff. After dwelling on it for a while and thinking that the continued lies weren't helping anything at all, we had a discussion, with tears - but less in the past - about how I was frustrated that he is still protecting his mom's feelings over mine when she's the one doing horrible things, yada, yada, yada.. For some reason, the light bulb clicked and he saw the situation differently. A little later he called Grandma L and told her the truth, that we were at Logan's birthday party and they had not been invited because of all that was going on.

On Monday night, Bill came home from work and told me that he had met with his parents for coffee that afternoon. He talked to them clearly about the time out. I don't know all that was said, other than him telling them the privilege of them seeing all of us as a family wasn't going to happen until there was some kind of resolution. He said that his mom cried, because that's what she does, but she understood the situation. I had to roll my eyes, not at the crying part, but the fact that she doesn't do anything on her own to work on the issue. She's going to wait six to seven months until their next visit. I just don't understand. But, whatever.

Today we all went in for my OB appointment to talk about switching to a different medication. I brought Bill along with because he still says he notices a difference where I don't notice or feel different at all. The boys were pretty good during the appointment, even though Logan was being a distraction and on a sugar high from getting a blue sucker. I'm going to wean off of Lexapro and switch to Wellbutrin. Unfortunately, all antidepressants have similar side effects, but Wellbutrin should be less. I had my blood drawn to check out my thyroid and if I don't do better on this medication (or if there's something going on with my thyroid) I'll have to have my regular Doctor check it out (which I need to find. I don't have a GP yet). We'll see how everything goes with this in the next few weeks.

Then. Facebook. Oh, my God. I tried to stay away for as long as I could, but eventually got sucked in. Is it just me, or is Facebook the ultimate internet crack? I've found all sorts of people on there, even my next door neighbor from when I was eight years old. How crazy is that!? Fun stuff, I tell you. Anyway, since the in-laws are in a time out, Aunt Ju-Ju was on my friends list and so I took her off. I had one of Bill's cousins on there too, who happens to be really close to Grandma L and I know that if I had kept her on my list, the info train wouldn't come to a stop. So, I took her off too, even though she's a victim of association. Oddly enough? Right after I removed this cousin in-law, another cousin in-law emailed for a friend request and the next day? An aunt in-law. One of Grandma L's sisters. I ignored both requests. I somehow feel like they wanted to have access to updates and pictures to pass onto Grandma L since I update a lot more than Bill does. Sneaky, I think.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

3 Boys Turning 3

Today was the Birthday Extravaganza, celebrating the 3rd birthday of Logan and his two playgroup pals. It was a blast and one of the easiest, most stress-free birthday parties we could have ever hoped for. We enjoyed it so much that we plan on doing the same thing next year!

I ended up making 100 cupcakes and frosting them the day before. At first I thought I was insane for taking on such a task, but really, it was so easy. The egg-free cupcake recipe that I have is incredibly simple and butter cream frosting recipe is even easier. It only took an hour to frost them all, which isn't bad in my book! One of the other moms owns a restaurant in town and she provided the sandwiches while the other mom made the party arrangements, goodie bags and brought the juice boxes. We did an evite to save on postage and to make things even easier. Most everyone attended, only 8 people weren't able to come and 60 people were there including siblings and parents. It sounds like a lot, but it wasn't too crazy at all.

This morning we all got to the bounce place, filled out liability forms and watched a safety video while we all crammed in this little room. Then we let the kids run loose bouncing and sliding to their hearts content while the parents watched, laughed and visited with one another. I tried to get some good pictures, but was very unsuccessful. I guess I don't have the type of camera that one would need to take decent action pictures in crappy lighting.

After a little while we were moved to the second bounce room with another slide and a couple other climbing structures. This room happened to have a climbing wall, something that was new from the last time we were there. Logan tried climbing for the first time and got a little freaked out, so he didn't get very far. I even tired to bribe him with two cupcakes if he tried to climb higher, but he wasn't going for it. Soon all the kids were called to take a group picture in front of the slide, but that was almost impossible trying to get 20-something 3 year olds to sit still and all look in the same direction.

After that, all of the kids put their shoes on and lined up to clean their hands and get ready for lunch. We moved into our "lunch room" and ate the sandwiches and cupcakes. The cupcakes were a hit! It was nice to hear "MMmmm" every time someone took a bite. I hate to say it, but they are damn good cupcakes. I made so many that I sent half a dozen home with both massage friend and photographer friend, then still had another dozen to bring back home.

Our time was quickly coming to an end and all of our friends were trickling out, thanking us for such a fun party. After everyone was gone, Logan and his two friends divided up the presents equally among themselves, taking turns picking a present from the table. In the evite we told our guests that gifts were not necessary but if they would like to bring one, the kids would split them up. That way people didn't have to come with three different gifts and our kids wouldn't be coming home with 20 presents of their own (a little excessive!).

Everyone left happy and on sugar highs. The big bonus was that we didn't even have to clean up! Carter slept the whole time in his car seat carrier which left me free to hang out with friends and attempt to take pictures. It was a wonderful time and we are so lucky to have so many good friends. It was a great way to celebrate Logan turning 3 with all of his buddies!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time out

The other night Bill and I had a conversation about his family and where to go from here. We were supposed to go to counseling with Grandma L while she was here visiting and Bill and I were going to meet with our counselor together first, but she ended up getting sick and needed to reschedule - after Grandma L goes back home. Now, we are no longer going to counseling with Grandma L anytime soon. Bill thinks the next time she will visit will be later in the summer, possibly July. I think it will be in the spring, sometime around Easter. But it's always a guessing game with them. Nobody has any plans (or communicates them) until the very last minute. At this point, it doesn't matter anymore.

Since there's not going to be any steps made towards a resolution, a time-out is in progress. I suppose it started during Christmas, but now it's continuing for an undecided amount of time. Bill is still going to talk to them as usual and send pictures occasionally (which I don't agree with - I see his point, but still don't like it). The kids and I will not see or speak to them at all. I've removed the in-laws that I had on my Facebook list so I can still add pictures and updates there without it getting around to the members who are on the time-out. They don't know about and are not invited to Logan's birthday party on Saturday. Aunt Ju-Ju had Cousin Q yesterday afternoon, so Bill will visit with them all for a little bit on Sunday. He doesn't plan on explaining anything to them, just that we aren't going to visit. They know why anyway.

I've made a call to my OB about getting some blood work done and gave them the heads up about the medication. They won't be back in the office until Tuesday. So, that whole situation will get figured out soon enough too. Hopefully sooner than later.

These are the first steps to an in-law free life. Thank God.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The bake-a-thon of all bake-a-thons

Logan is quickly approaching his 3rd birthday. Three! Can you believe it? I can't. And just as we have done in previous years, we are planning a birthday party extravaganza. One thing about having so many friends that can be a pain is birthday parties and planning. September and January are the busiest months for parties and we end up going to one every weekend, not to mention buying a gift for four to five kids those months.

Logan has two good friends in his playgroup that have birthdays on the 13th and 26th. One of the moms suggested that we get together and plan a combined birthday party since we would be inviting the same people anyway. Brilliant! So, all three of us are working together - renting out a bounce house place, getting sandwiches and juice, making goodie bags and baking cupcakes. FOR 60 PEOPLE. Yes, that's right. 60 people including siblings and parents. Because of Logan's food allergy, I automatically volunteered to bake the cupcakes since they need to be egg-free. And that's what I'm doing for the next two days. Baking them all today, then frosting them tomorrow so they will be ready to go on Saturday morning.

Even though I'm turning my kitchen into a small bakery for the next two days, the party planning has been very easy and stress free. With all of us working together, it's been great and I can't wait for the party of all parties this weekend. What an awesome way to celebrate a birthday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Side effects

I'm going to get a little more personal in this post than I usually do (never thought that was possible), but it's very relevant to what's going on with me and how I feel. My family might read more than they wanted to know, but oh well! I'm sure they'll get over it. It's just something I have to write about...

Since starting Lexapro for postpartum depression/anxiety I have been experiencing some undesirable side effects. The first day was heart palpitations, which were short lived. Then on some days there was an increase of anxiety. Other days it was night sweats - similar to what I had with the hormone shift after Carter was born. I make sure to take it at night before I go to bed because it makes me tired and nauseous. I can avoid these feelings if I'm asleep. These symptoms have come and gone or are manageable. One symptom however, is not. It's effecting my "personal" life, if you catch my drift.

This makes me angry and upset. First, I still don't think I have PPD/A. I think I have in-laws that would drive anyone crazy. I don't feel any different on the medication even though Bill says he notices a difference. I don't feel more calm or in control, I don't feel like I have more patience, I don't feel anymore level than before. I still lose my temper and I still lose sleep over stressful situations (or leading up to them, as that's the case right now). It's hard to figure out the situation for what it really is when your brain is in question, which is the most confusing predicament ever. All I know is that I felt great - the best I've ever felt in my life - after Carter was born and for the four weeks after. Then after the "Virus Visit" with the in-laws everything went downhill. To me, the answer is easy - disconnect.

I've been talking about this since October. I've been talking about how I've had enough and I'm at my breaking point. No medication can change that. It's not fair that I get treated like I am, then take medication for the stress which makes the times in my life that are supposed to be enjoyable, miserable. The fact that I'm experiencing this side effect only adds more stress and depression. It breaks my heart and is incredibly frustrating. And quite frankly, I don't want to take two weeks to wean off and then try another medication which will take four to six weeks to take effect. Haven't I taken on enough already? Seriously. Why should I try harder for people who don't care or haven't tried anything at all? I've gone to counseling by myself, I've gone to counseling with Bill. I've taken medication. What has anyone else done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. With my efforts, is anything different? Not even close. I think Bill and I are in a different spot, a better spot, but the situation with the in-laws is exactly the same.

Aunt Ju-Ju is delivering Cousin Q sometime this week. I think it's on Thursday, if memory serves me right. It could be on Monday, I really don't know for sure. At any rate, Grandma L is going to be in town again and we're supposed to go to counseling with her - nothing is set up as nobody is doing anything about it, no plans have been made, it's all talk at the moment. With this uncertainty just hanging, my anxiety increases. I sit here and ask myself why I even agreed to this. The only reason she's going is because I told her in an email that we've been discussing a cut-off for a few months now. We are way beyond apologies and I have no idea what we are going to get from this meeting. She's never going to be any different or do anything to mend the relationship (otherwise she would have by now) and when confronted about it, she even said "I don't think I have to tell you that" and "I'm not going to do anything". Even if she does keep her mouth shut and stops spreading lies about me, what does that change about everything she's done in the past? It doesn't. This is a relationship beyond repair. I don't know what can be done to move forward.

In the meantime, I'm on this stupid medication and I want to get off. It's effecting me in ways that make me turn over and cry into my pillow after apologizing for something I have no control over. It's not fair. It makes me even more angry with Bill's family. It makes me angry with Bill. It sucks that I'm the only one concerned about continuing to go through this. All for nothing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Variety is the spice of life

During my pregnancy with Carter and the months after his birth, I wasn't too concerned about the nutritional habits of our family. If we ate, great. As long as nobody went starving, that's all that I cared about. Not too long ago, I realized that Logan has been eating the same thing every single day for almost a year now: a cereal bar, milk and banana for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly or a cheese quesadilla with fruit for lunch and homemade mac n' cheese with vegetables for dinner. This consistent pattern happened because they were easy meals, relatively healthy and he asked for them every single day. I never put up a fight for him to eat something else because I really didn't have it in me.

Until now.

While Carter isn't sleeping through the night yet and I'm not getting anymore rest that before, I have somehow gained my cooking mojo back. It helps that Bill seems more open to having actual meals again rather than the "fend for yourself" dinners we've been accustomed to as of late. PB & J and Mac n' Cheese have been banned and we're going to sit down to eat dinner as a family again.

This afternoon Logan had a cheesy vegetable sandwich (cream cheese, cheddar cheese, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, red leaf lettuce on whole wheat bread) and grapes. Tonight for dinner we're having salmon with basil butter and lemon and some other vegetable (probably squash). We have a few meals planned for the week and I'm going to start bookmarking my favorite recipes again. It's time to add a little more spice to our meals here!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Playing catch up

I don't know why it was so hard to get back into the swing of things, but the holiday break and being off our normal routine really threw me off track. Some days it was really hard to focus and it felt like my brain was in a fog (ok, maybe this is all of the time right now) and it wasn't any easier with Carter wanting to be held 24/7. I would start blogging to never finish the post and it was left sitting there pending to publish. This is why there were bulk entries this week. I think I should be back to my daily posting now.

Logan isn't going back to his preschool prep class this month (or maybe at all this year since he'll be going to preschool in the fall - I don't know yet) so we are going to spend more time with our friends and doing fun things. I'm looking forward to getting out of the house more this month. It feels good to get back to normal life for a little bit.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I don't understand you

I don't know if anyone else is going through this and I'm sure it's normal (I think), but Logan has taken to making up his own language. He's been speaking gibberish (different than the toddler learning to speak) for the last few weeks. When Bill and I tell him we don't understand what he's saying, he'll repeat exactly what he said in this made-up language. "Hooka saka" or something like that. For a while there, we thought he was actually trying to say something or having trouble with pronunciation, but then it became clear that he was making up words and trying to communicate with us in his "special" way. It was weird. And kind of annoying.

Last night he was speaking "Loganese" again and we told him that we didn't understand what he was saying. "Hooka. Saka.", he repeated. "Hakuna Matata"?, Bill asked him. "Yes", he answered. Alrighty then...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What I needed to hear

During the Christmas break, Bill had a long four day weekend to relax at home. We didn't do much other than sleep and hang out around the house. Maybe a trip or two to the grocery store, but that was it. It was pretty much an accurate demonstration of what my day-to-day life is like with the kids when we're stuck at home without the car and no activity to go to.

When the long weekend was nearing the end, Bill was being exceptionally nice to me. He was constantly telling me he loved me, giving me long hugs in the kitchen and helping out more around the house. I was suspicious. Usually when he does this, he's guilty of something - like keeping a secret. I flat out asked him if he was in trouble for something or if he needed to get something off his chest. I said it in a joking manner, but I was as serious as a heart attack.

After getting a good chuckle out of my question and assuring me that he wasn't keeping anything from me, he told me that he realized that staying home with the kids was not easy and that he appreciated what I did. I think I might have had a deadpan look of disbelief after he said this because it wasn't too long ago that he asked me what I did all day long in a lovely "I'm sure you're sitting on you ass all day" manner. After my suspicions were quelled, I really appreciated hearing this from him, especially after the month that nearly put me in a straight jacket.

One thing I think he's beginning to realize is that even though he thinks that something is inferred, like how much he loves me or how much he appreciates what I do at home, I need to hear it every now and then. He's been getting really good about this the last few weeks. And I really appreciate that. A lot.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Teaching him early

Just as Carter is growing faster than I'd like, Logan is doing just the same. Logan has taken on the roll of Big Brother like a duck to water. He is very helpful around the house, but I've also started to notice he's being resistant to doing his chores. When asked to pick up his toys, he often responds "I'm too little to pick up my toys". I usually tell him if he's too little to pick them up, then he's too little to play with them. He's also beginning to tell us that he'll do it later. I swear he woke up and was a 15 year old in the body of a 3 year old.

Bill has had him doing some chores around the house, helping to feed Kitty and Buddha, letting Kitty downstairs to her litter box and Buddha outside to the back yard. We decided to teach him a little more about responsibility and have him do daily chores regularly. We're making a chore chart tonight and he's going to get an allowance rather than the matchbox bribery to be good at the grocery store. If he earns his allowance, he can spend it on whatever he's like. And the bonus is that if he's good and does all of his chores, he'll most likely earn more than $1. Also, if he continues to be a pest to the pets, he will lose his earnings. We hope this teaches him about consequences.

Not only is he getting a chore chart and an allowance, he also had a bed upgrade this week. Remember the mattress that Aunt Ju-Ju tried to steal for Grandma L? Well, since it wasn't the mattress they wanted, Aunt Ju-Ju and Uncle J returned the borrowed one. By dropping it off while we weren't home (when Bill told her that we were busy and not home) right in the middle of our driveway against the garage door. Nice, huh.

Anyway, we've decided that our extra guest room is the home office and we didn't want to store the mattress in the garage. So, naturally, Logan's toddler bed went into our storage space and he got the queen sized bed. He loves it and jumps on it all of the time. It's pretty cute. But every time I walk by his room, it looks like the room of an older kid - not a preschooler. It's a little weird.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Two for one weekend

When Logan was a baby, I remember anxiously awaiting the milestones for him to reach. With Carter, I feel like if I blink, I miss them. Over the weekend he met two of them. It seems so soon already!

While giving him a bath on Saturday night, he splashed, smiled and played. Since he's discovered his hands, they are always in his mouth. Well, he started making a noise and I thought he was choking on his hand. Then he pulled it away and started laughing at me. It was so funny! I tried calling Bill up the stairs but he didn't hear me. I've tried getting him to laugh again, but it hasn't happened yet.

Today we were playing on the floor doing the forced tummy time. I've been terrible about making sure we do this often, but we try every now and then. Logan was gathering all of his cars up to show Carter and keep him entertained. All of the sudden, Carter rolled right over. I was so excited for him! Logan and I clapped and told him what a good job he did. Again, I've tried to get him to repeat the roll, but he cries more than rolls.

My baby is growing more than I realize.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Well, Hello 2009

Wow. What a party that was! I don't think we've had a more fun New Years Eve in all of our 10 years. It was pretty crazy!

Bill came home from work with flowers and pecan pie for dessert. We hung out for a bit, got the kids to bed and started cooking. We made steak (Bill's had blue cheese), shrimp, mashed potatoes and we were supposed to have spinach, but we just didn't have the stomach room for it. I had a glass of wine or two with dinner and then we relaxed on the couch to digest.

We talked for hours and had a lot of fun. Bill had a few more drinks than I did (even though I had more than I planned on) and we just laughed at him rapping to BIG. Hilarious! We were up until the wee hours of the morning, way past 3am. We noticed that New Years Eve is always one of our favorite holidays because even if it's just the two of us at home, we can still have more fun than we should probably have. It made me think that this is probably why after all of the crap and hard times we've been though in our marriage that we're still together. Not only do we still love each other, we still like to spend time together too.

The next morning was a little rough, but we recovered in shifts - one was up with the kids while the other took a nap. Even though we were exhausted, it was totally worth it. A great way to bring in the new year!