Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sleeping Like a Baby

My kids suck at sleeping.

I have no idea why this is. They did not inherit this bad habit from me. Ahem. If I could sleep a full twelve hours I would. I have. Like long, long ago before these children were released from my womb. Now, I am lucky to get four hours a night. Why am I being punished this way?

Seriously though.

There has to be some sort of reason why all three of my kids do not require much sleep.

This weekend at Adam's party, two of the kids had to leave early so they could get home and nap. This resulted in a lengthy discussion about children sleep habits and at what age the nap should be dropped and bedtimes and so forth. I choked on that expensive cake when I learned that the other three year olds in the room were still napping 3 hours every afternoon. WTF? The same kids also went right to bed willingly at 8 pm and slept soundly until 8 the next morning? HUH? So this is how other mothers have hobbies and look rested. Interesting.

Let me tell you what it's like at our house.

Shall we begin? Get comfy.

You know how newborn babies supposedly sleep eighteen hours a day? Not mine. I was lucky to get twelve out of them even that first week. They all typically slept an hour and then were awake two to three hours. Lather, rinse, repeat all day AND night. Sleeping through the night? Bwahahhahaha! When people ask me if my baby is sleeping throught the night I secretly want to hurt them. Nighttime sleeping for all of my babies is/was: Rock until my arms are numb. Stand up one time to attempt bed transfer to hear all hell break loose. Rock until my brain is numb then make it to the bed. My bed. The crib is the work of the devil you know, so yeah, my bed. By this time it's about 9:30. And then it goes something like this:

9:30 - 11:40 Sound sleep

11:40 Screaming baby banshee attempts to wake the dead or at the very least other children.

11:45 - 12:15 Baby demands b*&bs or will wake entire house.

12:15 - 1:30 Sound sleep

1:30 - 2:00 More marathon nursing to soothe the savage beast.

2:00 - 4:00 Sound sleep

4:00 Crazy baby wants to wake for the day. Are you frickin' kidding me?

4:00 - 6:30 Futile attempts to put baby back to sleep include rocking, feeding, hiding from baby under the covers, a round of johnny jump up, try not to get scratched by the sleepy kitty pet the kitty, playpen fun while watching Noggin (yeah, Noggin's on all night now!), crying, Mama crying. Mama turns up television and contemplates leaving the sleeping Daddy in the other room. Why should he get to sleep six straight hours? WHY?

6:30 Other children wake for the day while baby is sleeping soundly for the next two hours.

I. am. not. exaggerating.

This is my current nightly routine with Elizabeth, but I did the exact same thing with Adam AND Jacob. What makes it so much worse this time, though, is I have to actually get up at 6:30 and take my big kid to school. When Jacob was a baby I could go back to sleep with him because there were no other kids. When Adam was a baby I could just open the coveted silver sleeve of Pop-tart heaven and turn the tube on for Jacob and he'd veg out while I slept. Gee, I miss those days.

I know other mother's nap when the baby naps, but you know what? My baby no longer naps. Neither does my three year old. They both quit naps around eight months just like their older brother. I do not understand the napping that other mothers speak of. It just doesn't happen here. Never has. But you know what else? They seem happy this way. In fact, the only time I ever encounter a meltdown is when one has fallen asleep in the car. Just the mere fact that they were napping sends them over the edge. Of course, I guess I could look at the bright side and realize I never have to revolve my schedule around naptime which is a plus. And I can now drink caffeinated drinks in the evening without worrying about them interfering with my sleep.

Just know if you're getting eight hours of sleep at night, I hate you.

You will never sleep again, Lady!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Could Eat Her Up

One minute of pure sugar sweetness for your enjoyment.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One Party Down.....


Parties wear me out.

I really should have spaced my children farther apart because we just have to do this again in a few weeks.

Anywho, in case you've been living on the edge of your seat this weekend wondering how it went, it went well. Only one broken item, one toy bounced off a noggin, two time outs, one fall in the mud, and one crying child, but like Donkey always says, "It isn't a party until someone cries"

He was pretty thrilled with the Diego cake after all. And unlike lastyear, he ate more than he wore.

Everyone take a good look at the cake. I want it to be remembered forever because the bakery is extremely proud of their art work and charges accordingly. It was very tasty, even if the sickingly sweet frosting sent my newly pregnant friend heaving to the restroom.

The bouncy house was a big hit. We were prepared to swim in it after all the rain we've had but the skies parted and the sun shone and the kids had a blast. Thanks to Grandpa for spending two hours lifting all the little ones (and not so little ones) through the hole at the top. Best. Fun. Ever.

Adam is now three.

This is what three looks like.

If you miss the two face, you'll have to look here. You'll be seeing this one until he turns four.

Isn't three fun?

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is What Happens While I Blog

"Yum. Good cake Mommy" is what he said when I found him.

"Mommy hair is pretty" is what he said as I was scrubbing him down.

"I love you Mommy" is what he said while I was scrubbing the floor and counter and cabinets.

He's three years old and already knows how to work it.

I am so in for it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's Like He Aged a Year Overnight!

He looks so big in these pictures.

Anyway, it was a long fun birthday!

There was Ch*ck E. Ch*ese,

and the bounce house place,

then dinner at Burger King. Oh so tasty.

And presents! Giant presents!

And unless you like your table and walls and clothing covered in psychedelic blue icing, don't let your child choose his own birthday cake. I can't show you the rest of the evening because then I would have to post pictures of my kids in their underwear and I just ain't that type of blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Three Years of Adam

Adam is three today!

We have been on the go since our 6:30 donut breakfast this morning. I 've let Adam choose the activities and he's enjoying being king for a day. We've been to Chuck E. Cheese, Toys R Us, A Jump House Place, recess at Jacob's school, Wendys, and after a small break so Mama can catch her breath, we're heading back out for dinner. He's chosen burgers. I am trying to steer him away from B*rger K*ng but so far no luck. We even picked Jacob up from school early because he didn't want him to miss out on any of the fun. He's a sweet little guy like that.

Happy Birthday Little Buddy! Mama lubs you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Than Words

For the past seven months, Adam has been receiving speech therapy every Wednesday morning in our home. In June he could say about five words and made no attempts to learn or say anything else. "Uh, uh, uh" while quickly signing an array of signs was the way he communicated with us. We got good at figuring out his needs, but we had no other clue what was going on in his head, no idea what he thought about day in and day out because for the most part he was silent.

When the pediatrician suggested the early intervention program at his two year appointment, I smiled politely and buried the number deep in a pocket in my purse. I put off calling for months because I was busy dealing with Jacob's issues, I was busy being pregnant, I was busy birthing a baby, and then I was busy dealing with a newborn. In my mind Adam would start speaking any day and it would all be a waste of time so why bother so I was a little put out when the husband came home one afternoon and let me know that he had arranged for someone to come in and evaluate my speechless baby. I didn't want strange people in my home judging my child, judging me. My kid would speak when he was ready dammit!

But three weeks later, he still wasn't speaking.

So the strange people came.

Four women showed up at my door with toys and cards and tests out the wazoo. In that time Adam said only one word: sissy. So with that, they arranged for another strange lady to come work with him once a week. I wasn't completely thrilled with that, mostly because it meant I would have make sure the toys were picked up and the floors were clean every Tuesday night. I just had a baby for cripes sake! When was I going to mop the floor?

So Miss Janet started coming the next week. I guess I really didn't want to like her because that would mean I had to agree my son had a problem. I guess I didn't want her to teach him to talk because then that would mean I had failed in doing it myself. I had just had a baby, remember? I was pretty hormonal. On her first day here, she just played with Adam. He would bring toys and she would talk, talk, talk about them and for an hour they just played. Shoot, I could do that. What the hell was he supposed to be learning with her anyway? But you know what? He said write and car and go that day and continued saying those words well after she had left. In one hour he'd pretty much doubled his expressive vocabulary. You can't argue with those odds. Every week was pretty much the same thing. Adam and Miss Janet would play, play, play and talk, talk, talk with sometimes some flashcards, books and games thrown in here and there. Every week he would say some new words and I would write them in the baby book until one day I could no longer keep up. Miss Janet was succeeding in teaching my baby to talk.

Seven months later, Adam can talk.

In fact he talks so well now he does not qualify for speech services through the school system. No more speech for Adam.

Now, Adam loves Miss Janet. He just knows when it's Wednesday. He knows when it's time for her to pull up in the driveway. He likes to watch for her at the window and then run and hide from her when she comes in the door. Yes, Wednesday morning speech helped my child to communicate, but more than that, Wednesday morning was Adam time. Poor middle child had one whole hour every week of complete and undivided attention. As much as he got from the "therapy" I think he got tenfold in the attention. Miss Janet really helped bridge that gap from baby to brother for Adam.

Today was Miss Janet's last day. He ages out of the early intervention on Wednesday when he turns three. She came on Monday since she can't on Wednesday. She came on her day off to play, play, play and talk, talk, talk with my smart little dude one last time. When Miss Janet left on her first day, Adam said "uh, uh, go" to her. Today he said, "Miss you, Janet. Love you, Janet. Bye" and I know she was proud as she drove away.

Because of Janet, my son sat with me and told me he was sad and mad and didn't want to be three because three meant no more Janet. Because of Janet, I now know what my son is thinking and feeling. He's no longer silent.

We will miss Miss Janet.....even if she did go to Pitt.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Don't Even Like Diet Sodas

This is the reason my anti-soda resolution didn't see February.

Damn you soda companies and your limited edition holiday drinks!

I need more!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You Gotta Fight....

For your right to Par-tay!

Apparently you do in Texas.

Why is it so hard to organize a fricking birthday party around here?

When Jacob turned one, the Kroger forgot to put in the order for his birthday cake. Never mind that I ordered it two damn months in advance. Thank goodness I went in the day before to check on it or else he would have been cakeless on his first birthday! Ever since, I am so on top of the birthday crap it ain't even funny.

For Jacob's third birthday we planned a huge bash at G*mboree and paid the bill six months in advance to secure the date. Two weeks before the hugely anticipated G*mbo Clown Fest, we showed up for a weekly class to find the doors chained and a sign informing us that it was closed effective immediately. WTF? Those a-holes took my kid's college tuition and fled town. Seriously. The chick who owned the place went batshit and didn't leave a forwarding address. I went semi-insane myself trying to throw together a party in my postage stamp sized backyard after all the invitations had been mailed out. G*mbo has a starting position on my shit list.

So, Adam has a birthday next week. I found Diego party supplies at my favorite grocery store back in September for fifteen cents a package and stocked up. He's not obsessed with anything the way Jacob was with Thomas (three Thomas birthdays in a row) but he enjoys that show, he loves the color orange and it was all so cheap so he's having a Diego party. Well, that crap was cheap for a reason. Apparently Diego parties are passe. I've been all over town trying to find a place that will bake a Diego cake for me. I can get a John Deere cake or an American Idol cake but no Diego cake. What's up with that? Have the cake bakers not seen the toy aisles? Diego has his own aisle at the Tarjhay for cripes sake. Why is there no cake???? I did find one store that had a picture of one in their grubby little display book and when I finally got the lady there to wait on me and told her I wanted the coveted Diego cake as shown was told simply, no.

Me: I'd like to order this cake please.
Bakery Bitch: No
Me: Do you have the things to make this cake?
Bakery Bitch: No
Me: Can you check to see if you can make this cake, SINCE YOU'RE ADVERTISING IT AND ALL?
Bakery Bitch: (Turns around and rifles through some stuff for half a second) No
Me: I don't need it for another two weeks can you order it from another store because they've done that for me before.
Bakery Bitch: No
Me: Can I speak with the Bakery manager?
Bakery Bitch: No
Me: Maybe you should rip the picture out of your little booklet, Lady, to avoid being bothered in the future Okay then.

Well, I finally found a hoity-toity bakery that will bake a Diego cake for like a trillion dollars and I was able to order it and get that out of the way yesterday morning. I lied to my husband about the price and used the Christmas money my mom gave me to pay for it, but dammit, he'll have that cake!

I was feeling such relief over that expensive cake when on the way home from the bakery Adam said, "No Diego cake Mommy. Shrek cake. Shrek party. No Diego party."

All. Day. Long. he talked about a Shrek party. There would be Shrek and Donkey and Dragon and, Geez Louise, let us not forget Gingy. It would've been nice to know how much he loved Shrek, uh, like last week.

So now I am on the hunt for a Shrek cake. Or Shrek cupcakes. Or some kind of damn Shrek decorations I can stick on his cake on his actual birthday because we have come to that compromise. Diego on Saturday, Shrek on Wednesday.

I think I hate Diego. And maybe Shrek too.

And to think I get to plan another party six weeks from now.

And six weeks after that.

Oh joy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Will Not Let The Camera Win

I'm beginning to think it's my camera, ya'll.

It's my camera that keeps me from taking beautiful photographs of my gorgeous children.

I have a Master's Degree for goodness sake. How hard could it be to get good pictures?

Yes, it must be the camera.

Thank goodness Erika's just giving one away this week.

Head on over to Momsational. You can enter to win a Dayrunner calendar system, a car seat, and all kinds of other goodies. Just leave the camera for me, M-kay?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Where Are You Mary Poppins?

I've been so busy this week I haven't even had the time to fix lunch for my kid, much less blog about it.

Adam got tired of waiting for me to finish the laundry, writing thank you notes, organizing a birthday party, nursing a baby, mopping the floor, picking up toys, and scrubbing bathrooms so he got his own lunch today: a bag of chocolate chips. He even cooked them up in the brand new kitchen Santa left for him. Made it all pretty inside.

He will be three in two weeks. That means he won't be doing these kinds of things anymore right?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I Think I Hear Taps Playing

It's a bad picture, two years later and I still haven't completely figured the camera out, but can you see that?

Do you see what that is?

Why, that's my first born's littleness lying dead on the hallway floor.

There was a time not so long ago when Thomas, that cheeky engine, ruled our house with an iron fist. If a new friend came to town we dutifully marched to the store and brought him on home to join the rest of Sir Topham's Sodor crew. If he was on clothing, or dinnerware, or bath towels, or snacks, we took those home as well. It was all Thomas all the time in our house since Jacob was eighteen months old.

I saw this train, Billy I think, while Christmas shopping and I was so taken back by the fact that there was a new train and I hadn't preordered it or been stalking it online for weeks. I'd never even heard of Billy. How could that be? So I threw it in my cart and patted myself on the back and imagined the thrill Jacob would have finding it in his stocking Christmas morning. A new train! His favorite thing!

Well, here lies Billy.

Fourteen days after Christmas lying unopened on the hallway floor.

I can remember Jacob's second Christmas when he would open nothing else upon finding Santa had left trains and a track. I remember his third Christmas when we had to open every. single. train and read every. little. card before moving to the next present. I also remember his fourth Christmas when we got smart and saved the trains for last. I don't know when it happened, but Thomas stopped being Jacob's favorite thing and that makes me very sad.

Oh, it's not like Thomas is my favorite toy or anything, I still remember the many times we rued the day we invited him inside, it's just Thomas and little Jacob just went together, kinda like peas and carrots. No more Thomas just confirms no more little Jacob. Sniff.

He's not as prevalent here as he once was, but after all was spent we've been through Thomas and his many friends can stick around a few more years and enjoy a semi-retirement, coming out now and then to play with Kid Two and Kid Three. They can rest their weary wood after all the hours they clocked for nearly five years and job share with Diego, Webkinz, and, keeping my fingers crossed, the Disney Princesses.

Thanks Thomas. Thanks for being there for my little dude. You really are a very useful engine.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's Safe To Assume That Modeling Isn't In Their Future

I bought my kids matching sweaters for Christmas. Do you know how hard it is to find matching clothes for boys and girls? Do you know how many times I swore to all that's holy that I would never, ever dress my children alike? Approximately 1,434, but that's beside the point.

In the midst of our family Christmas chaos, I thought it would be a good idea to triplet my kids and take their picture.

And my sister wanted to know why I didn't buy one for her kid.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Rich Who?

Have you met my new boyfriend?

Sure, he's a little old for me, but I think we can make a go of it.

He certainly knows how to make a girl happy.

Let's Go Mountaineers!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

One Down, 365 More to Go

(It's a Leap Year I'm told)


How can it be 2008 already? According to my childhood imagination, I should have a flying car and a push-button kitchen ala The Jetsons by now. That would be so cool. Somebody needs to get to work on that.

A new year means new resolutions. I did okay last year. We eat healthier, I don't swear quite as much, and I did spend an awful lot of time with Jacob before the baby came. I'm still living in this crappy neighborhood and I have no friends with whom I can gripe about it, but hey, there's always next year.

This year:

I Will Not Sweat the Small Stuff The best compliment I got this year was when the yoga instructor told me I was a great mom because I didn't let my kids get to me and that she was impressed I could be so laid back with three kids. I am happy to say that I do let a lot more roll off my back than I did when I first became a mom, but I could do better. The world isn't going to end if the husband buys the wrong type of soap and wipes. It really won't.

I Will Move Out of This Crappy Neighborhood Well, we made an attempt last year but our awesome deal fell through. We are in the process of moving some money around, patching things up and intend to put the house on the market after all the birthdays have passed (April). Eight years is long enough.

I Will Spend More Quality Time with my Kids My kids all absolutely adore one another. They really don't mind sharing my time, but I need a little more one-on-one time with each of them. It's amazing how much better behaved they are when they've had a little me time.

I Will Cut Our Grocery Bill in Half Okay, maybe just a third, or even a quarter, but I'm spending twice as much on groceries as I was a year ago and I don't like that. I have always been a coupon queen, but I've gotten lazy since Elizabeth was born and need to organize a little better to save a lot more.

I Will Straighten Out My The Kid's Webkinz World Once and For All And I'll make it to level 18 on Where's Wacky, yo.

I Will Only go to Target if Absolutely Necessary Dear Lord that place has some sort of hold on me. No. More. Dollar. Spot.

I Will Find a Friend I think it's time to start stalking some of the moms at Jacob's school.

I Will Drink No More Soda I've gone cold turkey. Lord, help me.

I Will Take my Saturday Free Time My husband and I made a deal when Jacob was two that I got four hours Saturday and he got four hours Sunday child free. I haven't had a free Saturday since before Adam was born. If I'm not going to sweat the small stuff, I need a little bit of free time to recharge each week. Happy New Year Dad!

I Will Have a Fourth Child Just seeing if you were still reading.

I Will No Longer Yell Wanna start a poll as to when that one bites the dust?

I Will No Longer Swear Bwwwaaahhh, ha, ha! Well, I'll at least try.

More Vegetables, less red meat, yada, yada By 2009, we're going to be vegans by golly.

Be Grateful Every Day for All I Have

And let them know each day how grateful I am for each of them.