Only Interesting to Me

February 6, 2009

My parents get here this evening.  We’re keeping the boys up late to go to the airport with us to pick them up.  I think they’ll both be super excited, especially because PJ has been asking to see them every day all week, as though he senses they’re coming already.  It will be fun for both my parents to see how much they’ve grown just since Christmas, especially PJ.

I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning in preparation for them to get here.  I wonder if maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if I made more of an effort to keep up with the housework in between visits from the parents.  Still, I’m pretty proud of the way the house looks right now.  I’m left with just vacuuming today and cleaning up the clutter from the boys right before we leave.  Totally doable.

In the process of cleaning yesterday, though, I managed to bump my knee in the exact same place where I hit my toe the other day.  It’s nothing more than a minor bruise, but I feel really silly for being so klutzy that I managed to hurt myself on the same corner of the same bed twice in under a week.  I was already wearing shoes while in the room to avoid stubbing my toe again, but it seems I need knee pads too.  I’m going to have to warn my parents to be super careful in that room, although I suspect it’s more me than the room.

We’ve been considering other rooming options, though, like putting PJ in that room, his own big boy room.  We’ve been looking into whether it’s possible to PJ-proof it (much more comprehensive than baby-proofing) and move him into that big boy bed.  The reasoning is that we could get Scooter out of our bedroom once and for all.  He still naps in our room anytime PJ needs to nap in his own room because they just keep each other up if they “nap” at the same time.  I don’t want to have to separate them, but they’re a little happier when they’ve had their naps.  We’ll see.  I’d rather if we did move PJ that he didn’t sleep in that girly, dangerous bed (dangerous to me anyway).  Eventually we can convert one or both of their beds into true “big boy” beds and move one into that other room and get rid of the girly bed, but I wouldn’t want to do any converting until I was sure PJ was going to be fine in a normal bed in a normal room first.

Anyway, on a topic that actually matters…I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to blog.  I’m getting more and more concerned with how public this blog is and how meaningless and petty most of my ramblings are.  To those of you I count as friends, you typically get me and ignore me when I’m being immature or just venting, or can even manage to be supporting when I probably get annoying.  But I know you guys aren’t the only ones who read, and I’m getting tired of putting the worst me out publicly, opening myself up to criticism to all sorts of mean, cruel people.  Fortunately that hasn’t happened lately, but it has happened in the past, and I’m feel particularly vulnerable to that right now.  That’s why most of my more recent posts have been pretty pointless.

I’m looking into other options for continuing to blog, and I’m just not quite sure a super-exclusive invitation-only private blogger blog is worth it to me.  And right now, that’s about the only option I want to consider.  We’ll see how I feel about it after the weekend, as I’m quite sure I won’t be blogging over the weekend.  I promise that if I decide to stop blogging altogether, I will at least post something saying so, and I will still be available to all of you through e-mail.

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Bullet Posting Again

January 26, 2009

Sorry I don’t have the energy or focus for a real post today.  I caught a cold over the weekend (no idea how, I never go anywhere without at least one of my boys and they’re all healthy), and it just keeps getting worse.  So here’s a few thoughts, bullet-style:

1. Any of you with toddlers/pre-schoolers, I have a question for you.  At mealtimes, do you have to remind your child to eat every thirty seconds or so?  Unless PJ is just super hungry and the meal is exactly what he wanted (and sometimes even then), he continually gets distracted from eating.  While chewing one bite endlessly, he will start playing with his fork or spoon, or look under the table for the dog, or play peek-a-boo with me or Scooter, or anything else he can find to do other than eat.  Until I threaten to take his food away and dinner be over, he cannot focus again on eating.  Most meals, this happens with every single bite.  Is there any wonder I hate mealtimes some days?  So is this typical behavior?  Do your kids do this too, or did they have a phase where they did this?

2. I’m totally torn between finishing off the job of weaning Scooter so I can take real cold medicine and clinging to our last nursing session each day for that snuggle time.  The practical side of me says it’s time already, but I don’t feel ready emotionally yet.  He still seems to enjoy it as well, otherwise I would have moved on already.  It doesn’t help matters that M doesn’t fully understand how strong my emotions are about this and continues to encourage me to finish weaning.  Must be nice to be a man, where much of the time the practical side is the only side.

3. It’s weird sometimes to listen to PJ talk.  He talks mostly non-stop these days, and almost all complete sentences.  His vocabulary grows each day, and he often rattles on about something he could have only learned at school.  It’s just so normal that I tend to forget that less than six months ago he was barely talking at all.  He sings songs now and will try to quote the dialogue of his favorite movies along with the characters.  He asks for what he wants and can answer my questions (even if he doesn’t always do so readily).  I’m so proud of how he’s flourishing in pre-school.  I’m starting to hope they reconsider whether he needs the extended school year program this summer; not only will it prevent us from going crazy having him around all day every day, but I want to see his improvement continue and not have him lose any ground over the summer.

4. My parents are coming to visit us the first weekend in February.  It won’t be a long visit, but I’m super excited that they’re coming, other than the extensive cleaning I need to do over the next two weeks.  You see, although both of my parents have been frequent visitors over the past few years, they have never managed to visit at the same time.  The last time they visited us together was right after PJ was born, before we’d moved into this house (we moved the next weekend).  Even when Scooter was born, only my mom was able to come down right away; my dad showed up a week or so later when he was here on business.  Considering we only live 4 or 5 hours away from them, it’s crazy to think they haven’t been able to make the trip together.  It means a lot to me that they’re making a real effort to take a joint trip to see us.

Now off to start cleaning for their visit.  The guest room has become the catch-all room since it has been so long since we’ve had overnight visitors, so I need to find somewhere else to store all the junk hiding in there.  Wish me luck!


January 5, 2009

I’m still here–sort of.  Still lacking any motivation to write here.  I’ll have something happen or an interesting thought flit across my mind, and by habit I start writing the post in my head.  But I never make it to the computer to record it.  I’ve been making an effort (at least in the past week once we got back home from our Christmas journey) to keep following your blogs.  I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who’s been slacking off, so I feel a little better about it than I would be if all of you were still posting almost every day.

Christmas was mostly uneventful.  We went to my parents’ house for a few days, but we spent our nights at a hotel.  That turned out to be a good move; every one of my siblings and their dog was there.  It was so busy there that we were all getting overwhelmed.  It was good to have a place to go to get away from it all every evening.

We spend the few days after Christmas with M’s family.  His grandparents were there every second we were, so we didn’t get any alone time with his parents.  That was annoying, but nobody can tell M’s grandma to go home when they’ve overstayed their welcome.  The exciting moments there were when we met M’s other grandfather for the first time and M’s brother’s common-law wife for the first time.  It’s safe to say that there is some nasty family history there that has kept us from spending time with certain family members, so it’s a good thing that everyone is willing to give second chances and spend time with this family again.  It wasn’t a long visit either time, but it’s a start.

I’m awfully glad things are getting back to normal today, though.  PJ had more than enough time to get used to having more free time and get back to a more normal sleep schedule, but the last few days (or week) have been torture.  He’s been hyper, literally bouncing off the walls one day, and I’m looking forward to having him spend his afternoon at school today, back to a regular routine that he loves.  Maybe he’ll run out some of this energy there.

Scooter has been more difficult since we got home.  He decided that very night that he wasn’t doing baby food anymore, probably after watching his cousins eat big people food on our trip.  It lasted about three days before he turned his nose up at anything we offered him.  So we’re back to baby food, the only thing we could get him to eat.  We’re just feeding him less baby food and offering him a wider range of normal food to fill his tummy the rest of the way.

And all of this happened just as he started teething the rest of his molars and eyeteeth.  All at once.  He’s run a fever for at least a few hours a day for about a week now, and we’ve been going through the Tylenol and ibuprofen like crazy.  He’s been waking up at least once a night from the pain, and he will only go back to sleep after I’ve nursed him.  So it’s clear that we’re not weaning anytime soon.  Oh, well.

M got me a Wii Fit for Christmas (yes, after discussing it with me).  I’ve been using it for five or six days now, every single day.  It’s more fun than I thought it would be.  I’m very proud of myself for keeping up with exercising this long.  Unfortunately, the Wii Fit says I have about twenty pounds to lose to get to my ideal weight.  Yuck.  After almost a week, I’ve lost about half a pound.  After gaining two at first.  This is going to be slow going.  I guess maybe I should finally get around to improving my diet, even a little, to make the results go any faster.

Wanna hear something interesting?  After not writing for two weeks-ish, my traffic really hasn’t changed much.  It will be an interesting experiment to see if it increases any over the next few days now that I have a new post up.  I guess I really do get that many random google hits for older posts.

Anyway, I hope all of you had good holidays.  With any luck I’ll be back again before Valentine’s Day.


Looking Forward to Christmas

December 19, 2008

I can’t believe it’s less than a week until Christmas.  PJ has his Christmas party at pre-school today (in short sleeves, gotta love the weather here), and then he’s off for two weeks.  M will be too.

In a way, I’m glad PJ will be all ours for two weeks.  I know he’ll drive us crazy some (ok, most) days, but he needs the time off.  He has started clinging to me badly, reluctant to let me leave him at MDO even.  His sleep schedule is so messed up because of school interfering with his afternoon nap that he’s impossible to handle.  It will be good for him to have two weeks of no set schedule and lots of family time.  Oh, and nice, long afternoon naps.  That will be his Christmas present to M and me.

We are going to my parents’ house for Christmas again this year, but we’re staying in a hotel for the three nights we’ll be there.  We’d planned at first to do Christmas at home this year and set our own traditions, but when I realized what I’d be missing with the entire family there, I hinted to M that I’d like to go after all.  He took the hint and found a way to make it happen.  It is going to be super stressful given some of the personality conflicts in that group, but I’m hoping all of the family fun times will balance it out.

After we leave, we’re going to spend a day or two with M’s family.  M’s mom was doing her manipulative thing when they heard we were going to see my family after all, and the easiest way to get her to leave us alone about our decision was to drive all the way out there to spend some time with them.  We had offered to let them stay with us for a few days, but it was too far to go just for a day or two.  But apparently it’s not too far when you have two kids and a dog and a van full of presents as well.  At least we’re keeping the family peace, right?

I have all my Christmas shopping done.  We’re waiting on two more shipped presents to get here, one of which is too big to take with us and PJ will just get when we get home, so it doesn’t matter if it gets here late.  I am NOT looking forward to wrapping all those presents.  We really went all out this year, which is fun to watch them unwrap, but it’s not nearly as much fun to get it all wrapped.

On a different note, I’ve realized that this reluctance I’ve had to blog lately is more than just a problem with blogging.  I haven’t felt like talking to anybody other than M and my mom.  I haven’t called anybody in weeks and don’t care to, and I’m even reluctant to make small talk when I’m running errands and stuff.  I’m assuming this social introversion will run its course (maybe it’s related to the season?) and things will get back to normal soon.  This is a good sign that I wrote such a long post, right?


I Hate Thinking of Titles

December 2, 2008

You might remember that my nephew was a preemie, just like PJ.  He was a few days “older,” at 32 weeks and a few days, and about eight ounces heavier.  Like PJ, he encountered no problems in the NICU and was released on a monitor and other medications after just a few weeks.

We got to see him when he was about four months old, two months adjusted.  At the time, M and I were both very worried.  We didn’t expect him to be a “normal” four-month old, like Scooter had been.  We expected him to be more like PJ was at four months; that seemed like a reasonable comparison to us.

He wasn’t like PJ was at that age.  He was more like a weak newborn.  He could barely lift his head, and he kept it cocked to the left almost all the time.  His smiles resembled gas smiles and weren’t in response to any outside stimuli.

His parents weren’t worried.  Their doctor (the same family doctor who let her preeclampsia go undiagnosed for months, the preeclampsia that almost killed her and her baby) said he was fine, so they believed him.  His grandparents (my in-laws) said that he used to hold his head up and smile just fine, so they weren’t worried either.

M and I were worried.  M even “happened” to mention how we wished we had contacted ECI much earlier than we did and how that might have kept PJ’s speech problems from getting as bad as they did.  Hint, hint.  Call them NOW, even if it’s just to get extra reassurance from a different source that your child is doing fine.  Or to get him the help that he so desperately needs.

They never called ECI.  While we’ve been worried about our nephew ever since, we are not his parents and have no control here.  We’ve said our piece based on our own experiences, and they can learn from our experience or learn the hard way from their own.

That boy is now ten months old.  His smiles are contagious and definitely social smiles now.  He holds his head up just fine–most of the time.  Any time he starts to get tired or lazy, it droops to the left again.  His parents even commented about that being a problem when he takes a bottle.

Other than the head thing, though, he seems to be about where I would expect an eight-month-old to be (adjusting for his preemie age).  He weighs what an average ten-month-old would (formula-fed baby for sure) and is starting to move around on his own.  PJ was army crawling about the same age, so not being able to crawl more normally doesn’t worry me.  He will catch up there.  He doesn’t seem to have very good control over his muscles, but you can tell he’s trying really hard anyway.

M and I talked about our nephew a lot after seeing him so much last week, and we’re both still kind of uneasy about his development.  While we can’t really put our finger on it, something just seems kind of off.  Maybe it’s the head droop thing, or the muscle control thing.  Or maybe we’re just used to a normal baby now with Scooter.

Either way, he is a joy just as he is.  He’s definitely a lovable child.  M and I know without even talking about it that we won’t mention our concerns to his parents again.  He’ll either outgrow the weird issues and make M and me feel silly for ever worrying, or his parents or doctor will notice them as they become more pronounced and do something to remedy them at that point.

And while it bugs me sometimes that they view their own miracle child as the only one who has ever been through this, forgetting how fragile PJ was at one time, it proves to me just how much of a miracle PJ is that they can’t even see the preemie in that lively three-year-old he has grown into.


All Over the Place

December 1, 2008

No, I’m not dead.  I just haven’t felt like making time to blog, what with being sick for over a week, starting my first definite period since BabyN (and no, the IUD does NOT make it lighter or shorter), and being out of town for Thanksgiving.  Heh, I just summarized the last two weeks for you.

In other news…

–I’ve decided on BabyN’s new name on the blog.  You might recall I’ve been agonizing over this for some time, and I had a moment of enlightenment last week.  M’s family got a real kick out of how BabyN crawls, scooting around on his butt, and several of them started calling him Scooter.  I pray to God the name doesn’t stick, but it makes for a cute name to call him on here.  So from now on BabyN will be called Scooter.

–Thanksgiving went okay, even though we were spending the holiday itself with M’s family.  My parents were invited to the big family dinner, and they came since they had no other plans for the day.  They helped both of us keep our sanity.  Scooter screamed bloody murder most of the time since we ended up getting there right at naptime and there was nowhere to put him to sleep.  My back still hurts from all the carrying I had to do that day to keep him somewhat happy.  He also wouldn’t go to anybody else pretty much the whole week.  I love that he’s that attached to me, but it would have been nice to get a little break every so often.

–On the bright side, both boys charmed everyone (even Scooter through all the screaming).  PJ started talking way more, too, saying some of the cutest things.  He was showing off like crazy.  Now he keeps asking if we’re going to go see his grandparents today.

–We found out on Thanksgiving that my little brother’s wife is pregnant again (the ones we’ve had personality conflicts with in the past).  Their two little ones will be just a couple of weeks closer together than ours.

This brings up all sorts of conflicting emotions in me, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  If it was my older brother, I’d be thrilled for them.  I hate that because of past hurts they caused, I can’t just be happy about it and move on.

I think a lot of it is the sense of competition they bring about.  If we have something, they have to have something better.  Last year, they had both just gotten brand-new expensive phones–and then complained about how poor they were and could never afford anything and needed help buying even clothes for their little girl.  He had to get a better camera than my older brother, who is a professional photographer, and again complained about how they had no money.

Now we find out they’re looking at a new car.  Instead of finding something larger to make life easier with two children, they are going to buy a luxury car, one that starts at $40K for a base model.  It’s better than the luxury car my dad has, the one he saved up his whole life to get.  If I hear one thing about how poor they are at Christmas, I think my head just might explode.  I just hope they really are doing that well to be able to afford all these luxuries and that this is my jealous side getting to me.

But I wonder if rushing into a second child this soon (yes, I’ll admit we rushed into a second one too) is not their way of competing with us, trying to have more children faster than we are.  It sure pricks my competitive spirit, making me want to rush into having another baby, purely to prove we’re better baby-makers than they are.  In every other way, I’m not ready for another.  It’s stupid to have even let myself think about having another baby when we’re not ready just because I want to compete in a stupid competition that probably doesn’t exist.  That’s why I hope they’re not doing the same.

More than likely I’m just projecting my own sickest, most embarrassing emotions onto them, thinking that they can be as awful as I can be deep inside.  That’s why when we see them at Christmas, I will act like I’ve never thought they could be capable of such feelings.  They will just be my lovable brother and his wife, and I will congratulate them on their success while suppressing those emotions I wish I wasn’t feeling.

–And that’s about all I feel like writing about today.  I went into the weird thing with my brother and SIL a lot more than I intended to, but I kind of needed to work it out for myself.  Tomorrow (if I can make myself blog), I’ll have to give the update on my nephew.  I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving as well.  Now I’d better go start catching up on blogs.  That may take a while.

–Oh, yeah, thanks for all the suggestions on the last post.  I did get the next size in diapers to try it out, and both boys fit in them fine and we haven’t had one leakage incident since we upgraded.  I’m so thrilled that the solution was so simple, and now I feel silly for not thinking of it myself.  The pants problem hasn’t been resolved yet, as I haven’t had a chance to go shopping, but I have lots of ideas now.  I’m planning a trip to Old Navy soon, and will also be looking to see whether he can fit into 2T pants, as they tend to be skinnier than 24 months and sometimes 18 months too, or so I’ve heard.


I Should Start My Christmas Shopping as Early as I Start My Christmas Stressing

October 24, 2008

Now that Halloween is practically upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the bigger holidays looming in our near future.  And I don’t mean shopping for Christmas presents, although I’m sure I need to get a jump start on that before long too.

Last year after carting two kids and their many, many too-large presents nine hours away and back, we decided we weren’t doing that again.  Then we got a dog who travels with us, and the logistics of traveling for Christmas with the kids, dog, and presents became a bit overwhelming.  We decided it was time for our family to start our own family traditions at home.  I knew I’d miss Christmas with my parents, but it just seemed easier.

Talking with my mom the other day, however, I started getting really nostalgic about it.  My entire family will be there for Christmas this year; my small family will be the only ones left out–to spend Christmas at home by ourselves.  And that’s after spending the past two Christmases with M’s family.  I really wished that I had known that last Christmas with my family that it was going to be the last.  I actually broke into tears when my mom and I were talking about this.

I casually mentioned this conversation with M in the evening, not even asking if we could go this year but suggesting that we reconsider it.  His reaction was a bit stronger than I’d expected.  It was a hands-down refusal.

See, you might remember what happened last year at Thanksgiving.  To summarize, several of my family members were rude to M, saying awful things that were meant to be overheard.  Then there was the alcohol incident with PJ, where someone left their drink where PJ could–and did–get to it.  Then my dad chewed us out for letting PJ get to it and blew it off as a non-event instead of getting upset that someone carelessly let a two-year-old get to alcohol.

Life gets a little stressful with that many people packed into one house, and when there are personality conflicts, everyone suffers.  To make matters worse, M doesn’t act quite like I get to see him around my family–or his own, for that matter.  He’s already trying to impress them and is worried they won’t like him, so he tries extra hard to be likeable.  Naturally, that works against him, and people like my little brother don’t like the personality he presents.  It should be obvious to everyone that the M they see isn’t his real personality, but not everyone gives him credit for trying and instead tease him (sometimes not so innocently as teasing either).

In turn, M catches on that they don’t really like him, so he’s even more unable to be himself the next time he sees them, which only perpetuates the cycle.  I know everyone well enough to know that everyone should get along, if everyone was able to be themselves, but that just can’t happen until M feels like he’s able to relax around my family.

That ends up putting me in an awkward position.  M comes to me to vent about something my brother or dad or someone said to him (or around him), and I immediately look for excuses to explain away how awful it sounds.  Then my defense of the family member hurts M’s feelings; it’s like I’m not validating his feelings by attempting to defend my family.  I don’t want to believe my family could truly be that mean, and I don’t want M’s interpretation of events to turn me against my own family.  On the other hand, however, I need to support my husband, especially in situations where he feels particularly vulnerable.

So in theory, staying home for Christmas this year could be beneficial for M’s relationships to my family as well as our marriage.  When I think through it, I can see why M reacted so strongly to even the suggestion that we repeat what happened last Thanksgiving.

Still, later that evening I happen to catch M at the computer looking at hotels in the area around my parents’ house for a few days around Christmas.  He caught on just how much it would mean to me to go to Christmas with my family this year and found a reasonable compromise.  We will get to spend as much time as we want with my family, but when we need some time apart, we have somewhere to go.  Maybe the reduced time in that crowded house will keep a little more peace, will keep the clashing personalities a little farther apart.

Of course, we still have the logistics of traveling with two kids, a dog, and all their Christmas presents.  We may still decide it’s not worth it, but I like knowing that we have options now.  I may get that last Christmas with my family after all.