Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade Friday: Adele, 2 years

I’ve been struggling with writing this, as you can probably tell since it’s almost two weeks late.  It’s just I don’t want it to sound too negative.  I have a tendency to focus on the bad parts of life while not appreciating the good, and I don’t want Adele to read this one day and feel hurt.
But that said, DAMN.  It’s been rough.

And it’s only because I have blissfully forgotten how difficult it was when Sebastian was this age.  The past few (six?) months have seen a ridiculous amount of development with Adele, which is why she thinks she is able to do everything by herself without anyone’s help.  

You can imagine how difficult she is to live with.  Everything with her is a fight, be it taking her out of her crib in the morning, changing her diaper, getting her dressed, changing her diaper again, feeding her, fixing her hair, brushing her teeth, giving her a bath, changing her diaper another time, or putting her down for a nap.  In other words … life.  Life is a fight.

The only thing she sits still for is putting on her shoes because she knows that means she gets to go outside.

She has discovered that spitting at you is a good way to get attention, even negative, and spitting chewed up food is even better.  She also still throws all of her food on the floor to tell you she’s finished and ready to get out of her seat.  We’re working on ‘Down, please.’

She randomly hits her brother, just because, and me, too if she’s mad at me.  A recent addition to this tantrumy-ness is biting.  And that little chipped tooth of hers hurts.

She is absolutely distraught if you take something away from her, like the batteries she finds and puts in her mouth.  Or the soap she always manages to reach no matter where I put it.

She scoots chairs around the house in order to stand on them, but will push them over onto the floor when she’s pissed.

Guys.  I know.  Sometimes I catch myself acting like a 2 year old because my 2 year old is acting like a 2 year old.  I’m working on my patience.

But you know what?  I kind of admire her feistiness.  She doesn’t take shit from anybody.  She refuses to be distracted by television, but will spend lots of time alone in her room reading books.  She is affectionate and loves to give hugs and kisses.

She has always loved stuffed animals, and now has a pillow pet giraffe my sister bought her for her birthday that she’s named ‘Mimi’ and carries around with her all day.

She loves music, LOVES IT, especially the video for Coldplay’s‘Paradise’ and Beirut’s ‘Santa Fe,’ both of which have her mesmerized.  (Have you seen the video for Santa Fe?  It’s not a very positive one, but it’s got a little dog on it she likes to watch!) She loves to dance and bob her head, and jumps on the bed as high as she can when her Dad plays videos on the computer that’s in our room.

She’s recently started pointing to everything around her so you will name it – bowl, cup, spoon, drawer, cabinet – like she’s storing up all the information until she’s ready to put it into sentences.  

She’s not all that into dolls, and would much rather kick a soccer ball than feed a baby.  She’s so ready to be bigger than she is that she can hardly stand it.  She wants to ride her brother’s old tricycle but her feet won’t quite reach the peddles enough to turn them around and is majorly frustrated by this fact. 

She wants to help you with whatever you’re doing, be it washing dishes or sweeping the floor.  When I vacuum she gets out the old $3 plastic toy one I bought for Sebastian at a consignment sale when he was her age and follows behind me.

We’ve started working some on shapes and colors and letters, and she will repeat most of the alphabet back to you when you say the letters.

She’s incredibly photogenic, and sometimes I can’t believe something so beautiful came from me.  Her hair is usually unruly, even when I attempt to fix it, which I promise I do, but I think it only adds to her character.  

She would spend most of her time running outside if I’d let her, only coming in for food.   

She mimics what we do, like she’s learning all she can.  This morning as we were brushing our teeth I noticed that she was staring at me hard, trying to copy the movements I was making. 

This is such a crazy time.  So full of expansive activity, so not full of sleep.  As I type this she is talking to herself in her bed, supposed to be napping.  But with her I can’t just let her skip it.  The afternoon and evenings will be horrible.  The girl needs the shut-eye.  And especially since last night she woke up over and over again.

I like that Adele doesn’t follow a mold.  She is wild but also thoughtful, hugging her brother when he’s crying to try to make him feel better.  She loves stuffed animals and is single-handedly responsible for taming our psycho cat in that she wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer whenever Susy hissed at her and ran off.  Adele was not dissuaded and just crawled after her until she could run.

(Taken the morning of her birthday. Those aren't really her pajamas
but Chris said they were too ugly to be clothes. I told him
he had no sense of style.

She calls most animals now “Susy Bear Meow Meow,” except for her uncle’s dog, Jaeger, which is ‘Yay-yay.”  He’s a little dachshund who thankfully tolerates both of my kids and their over-eager cuddling.

If I’ve been gone from the house, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, Adele will run up to me, yelling my name and hug me so tight, like she never wants to let me go. 

Her smile makes everything better, and we see it frequently. 

My pretty girl.

I love your feisty, over-exhuberant, throwing-yourself-into-everything-full-force way of living.

There’s so much I could learn from you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motherhood and More: With sick child comes Mom’s anxiety

I suppose there comes a time in every mother’s life when she’s sitting next to her child who fell asleep on the couch after puking all over himself and his bed. Twice.

I know, I know. I’m lucky it hasn’t happened before.

My husband became ill first, but we all just assumed it was food poisoning since he was the only one who showed any symptoms. He recovered, mostly, and life went on. And then a couple days later, after an afternoon snack of popcorn and Pez candy, Sebastian announced his stomach hurt.

My kids don’t seem to get sick like other kids I’ve known. Sure, they’ll have colds or maybe the occasional bouts of strep throat we were blessed with last winter and spring, but even so, they never act how I’d expect someone sick to act.

Meaning that instead of lounging all day watching endless episodes of "Wild Kratts," my kids run up and down the sign-in area at the doctor’s office laughing and chasing each other.

I’m afraid I look like I’m faking my kids’ illnesses whenever we go in. And the only way I can actually tell they’re sick is that the 2- and 4-year-old attitudes I usually deal with are amplified.

But this time it wasn’t like that. He grabbed a blanket and lay down. He didn’t move much until all the puking started. And, oh, the puking. I missed the first one because I was putting Adele to bed, Adele who was screaming because she got her 2-year-vaccines and, probably, because she’s got the same stomach virus her brother is afflicted with.

My husband cleaned him up and we got him into bed, where he fell asleep when I was reading him a story, which has only happened twice before – once when he was an infant and once when he had the flu. And so I understandably worry. It hurts not to be able to make him feel better. It hurts to be helpless. But he’s convinced, because of a YouTube Magic Schoolbus episode, I believe, that little superheroes inside him are fighting the bad germs to help him heal.

“I hope they get the bad germs fast and make me feel better,” he said, specifically to break my heart, I’m convinced.

And so I will hold vigil next to him, rolling him over as he pukes for the fourth time in two hours, not even waking up this time. I will wake up multiple times in the night to clean him back up and change the sheets. We lay down on the couch where he will spend the night. I will make sure he drinks as much fluid as I can force him to, and I will agonize over the fact that my normally wild, rambunctious little guy is reduced to lying down all day and even taking an usually unheard of nap.

Oh, my sweet boy. I hope they get those bad germs making you feel sick soon, too.

 *This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on September 26, 2012.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Random Monday: In which I discuss nothing of importance

1. Hey.  Remember me?

2. I don't know why I feel the need to apologize for not writing here very often anymore.  I realize that not very many of you are waiting around for me to post something.

3. And yet, I'm still sorry.  Mostly to myself.

4. I miss writing my daily post.

5. I've been working on a post for Adele's birthday, which was the 16th.  I'm a little late.

6. Part of the reason is exhaustion.

7. The other part is I've been writing real live work that I may one day get paid for.

8. I mean, they've said they were going to pay me. 

9. Two months ago.

10. I've been writing for the Kentucky At Home magazine for The News-EnterpriseHere's the link if you feel like looking at it.

11. Although I can't promise it's Pulitzer-worthy stories or anything.

12. But I like doing it, though the only time to do it is the couple of hours Adele is sleeping during the day and when I can distract Sebastian with TV.

13. He's pretty neglected.  But hopefully it won't scar him too bad.

14.  He does get a little zombie-fied, though.

15. But we'll just add a little torn clothes and make-up and he'll be ready for Halloween.

16. Hey, speaking of Halloween, I'm pretty stoked about the cooler weather.

17. Though it was directly responsible for me not wanting to get out from under my feather blanket this morning.

18. That and the fact that it was Monday.

19. And Adele woke up in the middle of the night.

20. Again.

21. This time was easier because all I had to do was give her pacifier back that had fallen out of her crib.  And cover her back up.

22. (Don't judge the paci use.  It's in the plan to get rid of it.  It's just that I like sleeping and it has been in short supply lately.)

23. Saturday night she was up for two hours.

24. Wednesday night Sebastian was up puking every two hours until 4 in the morning.

25. It's been a rough week.

26. Or month.

27. Here's a picture of my kid eating a meatball on a fork while watching TV. 

28. I thought it was funny.  It made me giggle.

29. Back to work.

30. The end.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tired Mama

2:30 in the morning is not the ideal time to be woken up.

I’d heard Sebastian’s door open from his monitor (yes, we still use a monitor for him.  One day we will stop, just not yet) and I figured he was just getting up to use the bathroom like he sometimes does.  But instead, after a minute I heard our own bedroom door open.

I had a bad dream.  Can I sleep with you guys?

Oh honey.  Of course you can.  Of course you can.

You see, I have vivid memories of crawling into my parents’ bed multiple times when I was Sebastian’s age.  And I figured it was only a matter of time since he started coming out of his room by himself on his 4th birthday.  Every morning my dad would tell me not to get into their bed at night.  It’s become a family joke that I’d always say “I’ll forget that.”  And I didn’t mean that I wasn’t paying attention.  I just knew that I wasn’t going to let my brain hold onto that little piece of direction.  And if I didn’t focus on it, it wasn’t there, right?


So Sebastian crawled in next to me and cuddled in, which is not something he does very often.  He’s crazy affectionate, always telling me how much he loves me and giving me kisses.  Yesterday he said to me “Come over here and give me a BIG HUG, Mommy.”  That’s something I always say to him, so it was almost strange, but incredibly endearing to hear it said back to me.

On Saturday as we were walking home from a downtown festival with friends I stopped to tie his shoe and he hugged my head tight as I bent down and said “You’re my best girl ever!”

I know I won’t always be.  I know that it’s just a matter of time before he is embarrassed when I kiss him goodbye after walking him to school.  Even now when I ask him what he did when he was gone from me he says “I can’t tell you that.”

But Sebastian, no matter how affectionate he is now, is not one to let you hold onto him for very long.  He’s too busy. 

He didn’t move around much when he was lying next to me, but still I couldn’t sleep.  I’m a crazy light sleeper, which unfortunately has been passed down to my children.  But it was so nice, so peaceful to have him in my arms again.  And while I was physically uncomfortable and most upset that I wasn’t sleeping because I knew how hard today would be, I do not regret the time spent awake holding my baby.  My big boy.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have two children to put to bed and a couch to relax on until it’s time for me to put myself to bed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Conversations with Sebastian, Vol. Whatever

So.  I seem to be neglecting this space.  But it's not intentional, I promise.  It's just that when I have a minute to myself, and usually only a minute, my brain won't focus enough to write anything remotely interesting.

So you will have to bear (is it bare?  I just realized that I have know idea.) with me for a little bit longer while I find my mojo again.

I mean, if Stella can get her groove back, surely I can, right?

(Do you see what I mean?  That was one of the lamest, oldest pop culture references ever.  I knew that and still I used it.  Also I'm not entirely sure I haven't already used it somewhere on this blog.)

So.  To alleviate some of your withdrawal from my nonsense, here's some nonsense from my kid.  He's a dork.

Here he and Chris were talking about good and bad guys.  Obviously Sebastian always has to be the good guy and will flip his shit if you suggest that maybe he might want to think about taking turns on who has to be the bad guy.

It's really important to him.


Chris: What's my bad guy name?



(For the record, I totally didn't teach him that.)