Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pandamonium: Life with Luke

Lukey-boy is well into the terrible two's. We've got tantrums happening everywhere, day or night, and he's still a month shy of turning two. We're SO proud.

Here's some of his work lately:

Luke's primary sentence structure is "I wannn...I wannn." Then, he has to pause to think about what he wants. Chances are he wants a "wee waa" (or a DVD--it took us 3 days to figure that one out), a "nanny" (pacifier), or "heese one" ("this one"--which is Luke's default term for anything he doesn't know the name of, i.e. anything that's not a nanny, DVD, or Asher).

So, I wannn Luke to slow down with his climbing. Luke climbs up to the medicine cabinet, on top of our dresser (and change the DVD's--really, it's embarrassing how proficient my children are with DVD's: where to get them, where to put them, how to change them out when their show is over), on top of the barstools, on top of the stove, and on top of any surface of the gym child care.

But, the child care workers at the gym are so nice and say things like, "Here comes Luke, he's a 2 babysitter kid." or "Emily, Luke was kind of, um, mischievous today," when really they should say, "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! LUKE IS WALKING DOWN THE HALL!"

I tell you, it's pandamonium around here (as I hear Luke pushing a chair to the counter to get himself his 3rd fruit snack package of the morning).

The Power of "Fun Things"

So, one day, I was disciplining Asher, and Nate overheard me say, "Asher, if you don't do X, then, we can't do fun things."

Nate totally made fun of me until he saw Asher's reaction.
"But, Mom, I want to do fun things!" And, Asher quickly did what I asked him to do.

It's perfect because it's ambiguous enough to get me out of a commitment like the choo choo train park, and yet, for Asher, it's full of endless possibilities--could "fun things" be a trip to MacDonalds, the "O" store (AKA Target), the library?

So, I think for Asher's birthday, we may have to get him this shirt from Uncle Tom would be proud.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Good Mom is Hard to Find*

Last fall was one of the most productive times in my post-children life. I had lots of piano students who I could focus completely on, my online students got insightful and I'm sure, life-changing feedback on their papers...I even had time to write some non-family blog posts.

I could do this because after 2 years of searching, I found someone to watch my kids. It's hard for me to find someone to watch my kids because my standards are really high--namely, they have to be better at mothering my kids than I am. (While I think there are plenty of rockstar moms out there who have this mothering thing down waaay better than I do, I figure that my love for my kids probably makes me pretty top notch at mothering them, which is witnessed by the fact that my children rarely both sleep through the night and I haven't killed either one yet. I know, I know, I rock.)

I've only found 3 women who meet my criteria (2 live in Boston and are both named, "Ruby"). Fortunately, Adriana is just down the street with 2 boys my kids' ages. Yes, Adriana watched 4 boys under the age of 3 for 10 hours a week. No one was ever bleeding or bruised when I picked them up, and my kids rarely wanted to come home, even though they were ready for dinner. In fact, since Christmas, I have to deal with whiney kids who beg to go to Sister F's house at least twice a week. When we see Adriana and her boys now, I see that she didn't just watch my kids, she loved them and mothered them.

Someone give that woman a million dollars.

*Mom, are you so proud of my literary allusion?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009

When Nate and I got engaged...

...we were still living in the 20th century (preparing for Y2K, even)
...Britney Spears was a fresh faced teenager just starting to make it big (she was planning on going to ASU. I wish I was as smart as Britney. That year, they accepted Britney and sent me a rejection letter.)
...Hugo Chavez was the newly elected president of Venezula (yeah, I'd like to say I knew that off the top of my head) and Jesse Ventura was elected govenor of Minnesota
...there's a lot of talk of that whole Monica Lewinsky thing
...I learned how to rock climb
...Nate learned how to not rock climb during finals
...we made a lot of banana cream pie together (I don't know why, but that was our date night dessert of choice)
...we enjoyed Life is Beautiful, Elizabeth, and Run, Lola, Run (but we didn't enjoy The Blair Witch Project--it made Nate a little motion sick; ok, really motion sick)
...I was starting to think, "Nate Curtis? Really? Who would have thought I was going to marry Nate Curtis?!"
Happy Valentine's Day/Engagement Day, Naters!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Fun

We quite a weekend. One of the highlights was getting to have my cousin, Patrick* stay with us for a bit. It was so nice to hang out with him. Now that we're grown-ups, we rarely get to spend much time together without a busy family reunion going on, but I love Patrick--we've always had fun together (even that time we thought we might get shot in Idaho). I found this picture a few weeks ago; it's hard to believe that those cute pre-schoolers in the picture above are in their 30's.

*If you go to Patrick and his cute wife's blog, you'll see why whenever I'm sitting around eating junk food on the weekend, I think, "I bet Meghann and Patrick are climbing a mountain right now."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sick Kids are the Best Lesson

So we are going on day 5 of sick kids. It is a strange sickness. Our two boys randomly puke, almost without warning. They almost never complain about feeling yucky. They have just as much energy as always, and are typically in very good moods all day long. Their appetites are normal…and then one of them will puke. The vomit is typically followed by some supernatural self-aware diarrhea that actually tries to reason with us while we are cleaning up. After these bouts of illness, the boys are fine, happy as can be not even caring that they just crapped out proof that evolution occurs in the human gastrointestinal system.

Last night it was Thor's turn. He woke up coughing around 2am and had a hard time going back to sleep, then at 3 am, he puked all over his bed. Emily changed the sheets and got the bath ready while I tried to keep Thor awake (since he had gotten the puking over with, he was ready for a nap).

When my alarm went off this morning for work at 6am, Thor was up and ready to go, happy as could be. I got him out of his crib and noticed he was a little wet. Understandable since I had put his diaper on at 3:15 am without really caring if it was on backwards, forwards inside out, or even covering the vital areas. I take Thor into our room so he can get his morning dose of Little Einsteins and realize that Thor is wet on his back, not his front, that is a tricky accomplishment for a boy no matter how the diaper is attached.

I start to change Thor and realize that this is no normal pee-leak, this is full-on baby Armageddon. Thor is literally painted brown with fecal matter from chest to knees (thank goodness for full-body pajamas, even his footies were holding little pools of the feces flood). And not only is he covered with poop, the crap is singing a 4-part acappella version of Monty Pythons “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (there might have been some choreography too, but I didn’t stick around to find out).

At this point I am in a panic "EMILY - BATH NOW!!" to which Emily quickly obliged. Thor was, of course, happy as ever, played in the bath for 20 minutes as if he had not just spent the last XX hours up to his neck in borg-shit. Unfortunately for Emily, she is, by default, in the same situation with no end in sight.

While I have been aware and involved in the majority of this illness, Emily has shouldered the brunt of the random acts of violence, and the ensuing clean-up because work has been rather busy for me.

So now it is Asher’s turn to blow, like Old Faithful, if anyone wants to come by around 3:30, it is a great show, and the encore usually starts about 5:00pm we just ask that you please clean up after yourself.

Every once in a while I get a much bigger glimpse of how bad Emily’s daily grind can be, and I think, “man, am I glad I get to go to work today.”

Baby – I love what you do for me. And those two boys love it to, even if they don’t know it yet. Hang in there, they will either get better soon, or die. Either way you don’t have to clean up vomit or try to reason with really stinky, semi-intelligent poo for too much longer. I should be home around 10:00pm (or earlier if you can get the kids to sleep before then).

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Have No One to Blame But Myself When...:Zoo Trip

Asher drops my driver's license off the bridge and into the duck pond at the zoo.

And, I watch it sink to the bottom thereby loosing Luke.

I look up and realize Luke is gone, but I don't know if which direction he went on the bridge.

Did he go to see the lions? (Lukey loves him some lions.)

Or, did he run to the parking lot to go get himself kidnapped? (I'd like to think the kidnappers would realize they were in waaay over their heads and drop him off around the Desert Botannical Gardens.)

So, I run back and forth on that bridge, panicking, with Asher sniffling behind me, "I yost my cahd. I yost my cahd." (I lost my card.)

Fortunately, Luke was with the park rangers the whole time, and he never noticed that I wasn't around.

He was so comfortable, in fact, that I smell a stinky diaper about 30 seconds before I see that little boy running around and around the penny smashing machine.