Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brotherly Love


Evan: "See this guy? This is my big brother."


Liam: "Dude, get your hands out of your face; she's trying to take our picture."


Liam: "I told you the flash hurt my eyes."
Evan: "Wimp. My eyes can take it. Bring it on."


Liam: "I think I love my little brother."
Evan: "I guess this brother thing isn't too bad."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Panic, Worries and General Frustrations

1. When I went to pick Sydney up from school today, I saw a student just her size wearing the same thing she was wearing (red shirt, khaki shorts) being escorted to the bus he/she missed (which happened to be Sydney's exact bus). Then when I pulled up to the curb, they couldn't find her. Panic! But then she stood up and all was well.

2. If Evan's eye goop doesn't clear up in the next two weeks, we are off to the pediatric opthomologist to have his tear duct surgically opened. I'm praying that the third prescription eye drop that we just got works.

3. We have ants in our master bath and kitchen (yuck). The exterminator is coming Friday and I have to have all of our kitchen cabinets and pantry cleared out. Where am I supposed to put everything?

4. Hurricane Gustav is headed in our general direction. And it looks like a doozy. Needless to say, we are less than thrilled.

5. Evan refuses to sleep more than 3 hours in a row at night. Tired does not even come close to describing how I feel (which admittedly, makes Items 1-4 above seem even worse than they are). Thanks to back to back pregnancies and two babies who have/had less than stellar sleep habits, I haven't seen eight hours of sleep in a row in over two and a half years. At this point, I'd give my left arm for a full night's sleep.

I promise to be less depressing in my next then Ryan will be home from NYC and my gig as a single parent will be over.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Adventures in Kindergarten

Today was Sydney's first day of Kindergarten. Here she is in our annual first day of school photo:


I was going to take a picture of her getting off the bus for the first time, too, but I couldn't. It's not that she wasn't on the bus. She was on it all right. She wasn't allowed off of it.

The bus driver said that Sydney wasn't on her "list" and since she couldn't get ahold of the school to confirm that Sydney was on the right bus and since I didn't have my ID to prove that I was, in fact, her mother and I lived on that street (because I didn't know I had to have an ID to get my child off the bus even though there is clearly a family resemblance and she called me 'mommy'), she couldn't let her off. And I couldn't get on.

So my brave little girl with her eyes filling with tears was told sit back down and I was told that I could drive to the school and pick Sydney up in the office.

After practically sprinting back to the house where Ryan was waiting to see Sydney before he hopped a plane to NYC for the week, I briefed him on the situation and he took off for the school leaving me practically in hysterics.

Apparently, Sydney was not alone in the office. Some moron (perhaps this week's Jerk of the Week?) didn't include the transportation registration forms in the kindergarten packets that were filled out during the summer. So all the bus-riding kindergartners who didn't register in April were delivered back to the school. And all of their worried, near-hysterical parents stormed into the front office the same time that Ryan did.

I sure am glad I'm not the person responsible. And that person better be glad that Ryan was home to go get Sydney because if I had been the one to go get her (after having to wake up an infant and toddler to do so), my temper would have most definitely gotten the best of me.

Anyway, she's home now and I'll be driving her to and from school for the next week while the transportation department gets their act together.

Overall, she had a really good first day of school and for that I am glad. I just hope Day 2 goes a little more smoothly.

Friday, August 22, 2008

They Don't Make a Pill for This

When I was expecting Sydney, I signed up to get the weekly BabyCenter updates that first outlined the baby's growth in utero and then moved on to infant, toddler and preschool issues. I found them helpful at first, but since I updated my information to reflect that I've now got three kids in varying stages of development, I get several newsletters each week and much of it is quite repetitive and/or useless, like this "Do You Have Postpartum Depression?" quiz. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making light of postpartum depression because I know that it is real and affects many women, but the questions that BabyCenter posed regarding the issue brought out my inner smarta**.

• have trouble sleeping? Yes, of course I have trouble sleeping. Someone wakes me up every three hours to eat.
• feel exhausted most of the time? Duh. Trouble sleeping = exhausted most of the time
• have less of an appetite? Um, not a loss of appetite, just no time to eat.
• worry about little things that never used to bother you? Like how to get yellow poop out of a white onesie? Then, yeah.
• wonder whether you'll ever have time to yourself again? Does a five minute shower count as "time to yourself"?
• think your children would be better off without you? Most days, no, but some days I think I could leave a bowl of food on the floor and they'd be just fine seeing as they have no problem eating food that has fallen (or been thrown) on the floor.
• worry your partner will get tired of you feeling this way? Yes, but he gets to go to work so he gets a break from hearing about it.
• snap at your partner and children frequently? Yes, but what's new about that?
• think other moms are better mothers than you are? Of course! What mother doesn't think that? It's practically part of the curriculum: Mother's Guilt 101.
• cry over small things? Yes, but I've been known to cry for practically no reason at all anyway (like every time I hear the national anthem during the Olympics).
• no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy? It's been so long since I've had a block of time to myself, I don't remember what I enjoy.
• isolate yourself from your friends and neighbors? Well, we just moved so I don't have any friends here and I don't really know my neighbors.
• fear leaving the house or being alone? Are you kidding? I find the tiniest excuses to leave the house and time alone is priceless.
• have anxiety attacks? Does repeating, "Is it ever going to be quiet around here?" over and over again to the point of hyperventilation count?
• have unexplained anger? See the "trouble sleeping", "exhaustion" and "snap at your family" answers above.
• have difficulty concentrating? Can YOU concentrate when you're trying to simultaneously breastfeed a baby, eat your breakfast, fend off a demanding toddler who wants to "share" your breakfast and spell "Happy Birthday" out loud three times in a row so that your preschooler can make a card for her friend? Didn't think so.
• think something is wrong with you? No. I think there's something wrong with YOU for asking dumb questions.
• feel like you'll always feel this way and never get better? Yes, but finding joy in the little things despite all the bad things is what parenthood and life are all about.

Supposedly, if you answer "yes" to three or more questions, you should consult your physician regarding postpartum depression.

What do you think? Should I give my OB a call or do you think he'll just tell me that they don't make a pill that cures sarcasm?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Five is the number of...

...days we went without phone or internet access since lightning struck our phone line during a thunderstorm.

...infections poor Evan has (2 ear, 2 eye, 1 sinus)

...body parts (other than facial features) Liam can point to when prompted: knee, belly button, toes, bottom and one that starts with a p and is covered with a diaper.

...days until Sydney starts kindergarten!

...books I've read since we moved into our new house. I forgot how much I loved reading.

...loads of laundry I did Monday.

...times Liam has been in time out today.

...minutes left on my computer's battery after reading (well, skimming) 361 e-mails and 87 blog posts that accumulated over the last several days.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun Fact Friday, Part Deux

1. I love barbecue and I could eat it every day. And as a Texan, it really bugs me when people say they're having a barbecue when they are really having a cookout. Hamburgers, hot dogs = cookout. Brisket, ribs, pork butt = barbecue. Steak = closer to barbecue, but still a cook out. And adding barbecue sauce to something does not, in fact, make it barbecue.

2. My sister and I have a hobby of making fun of weird baby names. Whenever we hear of one we e-mail or call each other. My favorite weird/odd/strange baby name? Claire Annette. Apparently we're not the only ones, either. Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing gives parents "rules" for naming children and Baby Name Intervention allows you to send anonymous e-mails to people who are planning on naming their child something you think is ridiculous.

3. I was the definition of dork in high school: marching band, debate team, yearbook staff. I'm still a dork. And pretty proud of it.

4. It's a cruel twist of fate that my favorite thing to eat is chocolate, yet I'm allergic to soy, which is found in almost EVERY form of commercially produced chocolate. That's why I make my own. :)

5. I wear kids' shoes. Technically, I'm a Ladies' Size 4, but no one carries that size, so I resort to wearing a Junior Size 2. My shoes are generally less expensive than adult shoes, but I also have to hunt for tennis shoes without lights or a cartoon character on the side. Someday, I'm going to splurge and go buy a pair of knee-high black leather boots from Nordstrom's since they do carry my size (but they are really expensive).

6. I have every line of both The Princess Bride and Sixteen Candles memorized. If I see that they are on TV, I will sit down and watch them even though I've seen them a gazillion times.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bragging Rights

I don't brag about my kids much, but all three have done some things worthy of bragging in the last couple of weeks.

1. She now recites the entire Lord's Prayer each night before bed. She makes a few little cute mistakes (substituting "my" for "thy" which is rather hilarious - "My kingdom come, My will be done"), but I think it's pretty impressive for someone who can only read words with no more than five letters.
2. She sits by herself in church when I can't be there and Ryan is playing in the band. She stands when she's supposed to, sings (singing "Recipe the name of the Lord" instead of "Blessed be the name of the Lord" - too funny), prays, puts a dollar in the collection plate and colors quietly during the sermon. I couldn't be prouder of her if I tried.
3. She didn't cry when she didn't win the "Prettiest Princess" contest at the production of "Cinderella" that I took her to this past weekend. About 50 little girls wore their finest princess costumes and the little girl right next to her won. She was one of the few girls not crying when the results were announced. Here's a picture of her after the play sitting in Cinderella's carriage:


1. He is adding quite a few animal sounds to his limited vocabulary. He's recently picked up "quack, quack", "ribbit", "woof" and an elephant sound (which I do not know how to write). He's also a big fan of "vroom" and "whooosh", which is apparently the sound a zeppelin makes. His favorites are still "uh-oh" and "ah-gah" which translates to "all gone."
2. He puts himself in timeout. Really. Timeout has been moved to his room with the door shut and when he does something naughty (hit, bite, pull hair, scream), I'll say, "Go to time out," and he'll march to his room and shut the door. Makes my life a lot easier, that's for sure.
3. He insists on eating whatever I'm eating which means his culinary horizons are expanding. He also insists on feeding himself everything which makes for a mess, but I'm glad he's becoming more independent. Here he is after eating a homemade fudgesickle:


1. He is quite the cooer. My days are filled with "goos" and "ahhhs". Makes me smile all day.
2. He can roll over from his tummy to his back. At first, I thought it was a fluke since he's not quite three months old, but he does it quite consistently.
3. He is HUGE. I've had to put away all of his clothes and pull out Liam's 6-9 month clothes. I was worried that I'd have to buy Evan a ton of clothes since he and Liam were born in opposite seasons, but luckily, he fits right in Liam's old outfits since Liam was a peanut of a little guy. Here's Evan in a six month romper in his Bumbo:


Okay, I'm done bragging. Back to the regularly scheduled programming in the next post.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Product Review - Neela Bags

To assuage my guilt for contributing thousands of diapers to the world's landfills (amongst other environmental indiscretions), I finally broke down and bought some reusable shopping bags.

I'd say I was going green, but as you'll see, they are blue.

I got them from Neela Bags and so far I am loving them. I got the market pack in the blue print. It comes with five shopping bags that fold up and fit into one holder bag:


I've unfolded one bag to show you how large it is compared to the folded ones and the holder:


And here they are after last week's grocery shopping (which also included hurricane supplies, so more items than usual):


I've used them for a trip to the library and I'll probably use them when we do some clothes shopping for Sydney later this week. And since they fold up nice and neat into the little pack, I don't have to worry about having big, bulky bags taking up space either in the house or the van (since I haven't decided where to keep them yet). I can even stick one in my purse before going into a store.

I do think, however, that I need to load groceries into them myself. The bagger at the grocery store didn't quite know what to do with them and the bread got squished. But, as long as I can shop without the kids in tow, I don't think bagging my own items will be an issue.

I did quite a bit of research and asked around before deciding on the Neela bags. Most of the grocery stores in our area carry their own brands of reusable bags and while they all looked dependable, I didn't want my bags to have the name of a particular store on them since I shop all over. The Neela bags are hand-washable (hang to dry) and the patterns are just adorable; I liked the pink pattern as well as the blue. And, if you enjoy shopping for wine, they even carry wine bags (just for you, Sherri).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Seriously Lacking

I got the bright idea last week to get a picture of all three kids together. I found that my photography skills are seriously lacking.

Pose #1: Evan in bouncer, Sydney and Liam on floor:


And then after making them put their shirts down:


The two older kids look OK in this shot even if they are a little squinty, but what was I thinking putting Evan in the bouncer so far behind them? You can barely see the poor boy.

Pose #2: Evan in bouncer, Sydney and Liam sitting next to him:


This one's good of Sydney and Evan (despite the deer in headlights look), but I can't get Liam to sit still. So I trap him with my leg (you can see it on the side):


This one's OK, except for Sydney's weird eye thing.

Pose #3: All three lying on the floor:


First of all, too far away. And second? Sydney looks like she has cocker spaniel ears.


Better, except that Liam isn't looking at the camera.


The best one I got of all three. Evan's not looking at the camera, but I'll live.

After Liam ran off (you can't hold that boy still for more than 30 seconds), I took a couple of just Sydney and Evan:



I'd already come up with a few cute ideas for this year's Christmas card photo, but after this experience, I think I'll cough up the dough and go to a professional. I'll let them wrangle three kids and make them smile at the same time....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Head Hurts too Much to Think of a Title

Ever been so sick that any sound makes your head pound (which, I think we can all agree is not a good thing when you've got three small children)? So sick all you want to do is curl up in bed with a good book (since the noise from the TV, even on the lowest volume, makes you want to scream), but you can't because the simple act of having your eyes open also hurts? So sick that you are begging for a visit from Death?

Yeah? Me too.

Sydney brought home some nasty bug from school and so far, only Ryan has escaped it's wrath. Of course, as I write this (at 4:30 in the morning because, oh yeah, my lovely insomnia decided to join in the torturous fun), he's probably soaking in all the germs I've left in our bed as a result of the rib-rattling hacking I've been doing for two straight days. Or he'll get it from one of the tissues he's found in various mounds throughout the house. It's definitely not pretty around here.

Luckily, Liam and Evan have escaped the fever portion of the virus. And I know it's a virus because I hauled Sydney all the way to the pediatrician's office (that is no longer just a few miles from our house) and paid a huge co-pay to be told so. "Clear liquids, lots of rest, acetaminophen & ibuprofen for the fever and pain," is what I was told. What I wanted to say in return?

"Well, duh. We've already been doing that for four days; believe it or not, this is not my first rodeo."

What I actually said?


I'm such a wimp.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sydney is finally feeling a bit better SIX days into the virus. So I only have about three more days of the "I'm cold - give me the quilt - now I'm hot - why isn't the fan on? - are you kidding with the fan? - where's my robe? - can you bring me some water? - and some ibuprofen - and some crackers so my stomach doesn't get upset" virus. Because joining the pounding head, the nose that runs like a faucet and the throat that stings from all the coughing, my old friend nausea (and its partner in crime which, like Voldemort, is so evil it must not be named) decided to make an appearance as well.

So Death is looking pretty good about now.

Not really. I don't really want to die. But a visit from this version might make me laugh a little bit.