Saturday, January 28, 2012

Delaney at 4 1/2

I don't know why it's harder to keep up with the girls' quarterly posts than it is with Timmy's monthly ones.  They are every bit as interesting as Timmy is, in their own ways.
Delaney has grown up so much this year, and she almost seems like a big kid to me, even though she's four, and a pint-size four at that.  She's funny, observant, and helpful in a lot of ways.  She can sometimes be a whiny four-year-old too, but she doesn't use that tone too much with me because she knows I can't stand it and it doesn't get her anywhere anyway.

I wish I wrote down every funny little observation she makes, because all her little comments make me smile.  Just tonight at bedtime, I was reading her and Annie the story of Jesus' parents losing him at the temple in Jerusalem.  At the end of the story, I said, "And Jesus was obedient to his parents from then on.  He didn't run away from them ever again."  Delaney said with a little grin, "I run away from you sometimes when you're fixing my hair."

She is my little helper.  Today at the commissary, she walked along with me, and helped grab things off the shelves and put them in the cart.  While we were in line, she helped by getting the items out from underneath the cart, which I really do appreciate since I have a baby in a carrier.  She is eager and happy to help.  All I have to do is ask.  As I already mentioned, she plays with Timmy, allowing me more time to sit on my duff and check Facebook.  She is proud of her role of helping with Timmy, asking me if she can "babysit" him.  While Annie's down for her nap, I let Delaney "babysit" him as he plays on the floor, with only loose supervision.  I am proud of her for growing into such a great big sister.
She is sentimental and likes to save things.  In fact, she might one day turn out to be a hoarder in response to my desire to throw everything away.  I've decided that I really have to allow her to keep the things she really cares about, for whatever reason.  The time of making things disappear because she forgot about them and won't miss them has passed.  It passed a long time ago and it's time for me to face it.  So today, as a first step, I put a little Gladware container in a corner of the front porch.  It contains a couple items from nature -- a rock and a "pecan" (I have no idea what it really is, but Delaney says it's a pecan).  She wants to collect things that belong outside, so now she has a place for her collection.
One of Delaney's keepsakes: a photo of her with Dallas the dog, given to her by Tim's cousin Sindi.  It is displayed on a shelf in her and Annie's room.
I am a little ashamed to say that I have not been saving much of her artwork up to now.  Truthfully, I was overwhelmed by the volume of what was sent home with her from school from the very start, which was 2-day preschool last year.  I fast-forwarded 18 years in my mind, and I felt like I was already drowning in paper.  She also does a lot of drawing and projects here, and while I enjoy the process of making the things, and seeing her excitement, at the end of the day I'm like, 'Now what do I do with all this stuff?'
Knowing I can't possibly save it all, and with the prospect of another move always in the back of my mind (which always forces me to confront all the things I've kept and decide how important they really are), I've been in the habit of tossing almost everything.  But that ends now.  Now I've come up with a system of saving at least some of it.  What I'll do is put everything I think she did a good job on into a diaper box.  At the end of a school year, I will go through it again, narrow it down even further, and put all my favorites into a file that I will get just for that purpose.
Self-portrait of the artist as Humpty-Dumpty?
I tell this story because Delaney knows my habit of tossing things.  I try to hide it from her but she sees things peeking out from the recycle bins, and she looks in the trash can, to my annoyance.  She points it out to me and makes a stink until either she or I dig it back out.  I'm a horrible mother, I know!  But I'm turning over a new leaf.

She is getting more excited by the day about her daddy coming back home.  Every time she eats a jellybean, she says, "Another day closer.."  and "That's not a lot of jellybeans!"  I am happy for her that she gets him back, and happy for Tim that he doesn't have to be deprived of her for much longer.  I take her for granted most of the time because she's my "easy kid," but she really is terrific.

10 months down, just a few days to go

I waited and waited to be able to post this, and it doesn't even feel real to me.  Excited doesn't even describe it.  We can't wait!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Timmy at 6 months

As I sit here writing this, Timmy is in his Exersaucer, deep in concentration as he plays with all the toys.  The drool is bubbling through his lips, his brows furrow, then his eyes widen, and he breathes loudly through his mouth as his chubby fingers grab the colorful objects that surround him.  Play is such hard work!  I got the Exersaucer out of the attic the day after we arrived back here in NC, so about a week ago.  It's still new to him, and while he enjoys it immensely, he can only take it in small doses, maybe 20 minutes at a time.  He gets overwhelmed by it and starts whining, pleading with his eyes to be rescued. So I pluck him out, give him some hugs and kisses, and then see if I can get him interested in another activity.

Just a little while ago, I got him out of the Exersaucer and played "Trot, trot to Boston" with him.  He laughed so hard.  Baby laughs are the best.
After that we played "Super Timmy," where I made him fly over Delaney, and they both laughed hysterically.  After that he was pooped, and I put him down for a nap.

His sisters entertain him all the time.  He's happy just to watch them run around in circles.  Sometimes Delaney gives me some relief during nap time, when he's not cooperating with a nap of his own and wants attention.  She'll play all kinds of little games with him, like peek-a-boo and singing songs.  He loves it and so do I, because it allows me to just sit there.

It's been kind of a crazy month, what with the wreck, and the car purchasing, and the long drive back here.  But the craziness seems to be over for now, and he seems a lot more content these days.  He seems to know he's home and things are back to normal.  Babies are not supposed to have worries, but Timmy became very restless and fretful during the car drama of our last couple weeks in Massachusetts because he sensed my angst.  I am so glad to have that behind me now.
Getting the most out of picnik.com before they close in April (sniffle)
Last night I dug out the old baby monitor and he spent his first night in his own room.  He's still in a pack 'n play until Tim comes home and converts the full bed in there back into a crib.  All his stuff is in there now, including the comfy glider and ottoman I nurse him on.  He slept as well as I could expect, waking up twice to eat, then going right back to sleep.  It wasn't as bad as I feared it would be, trekking all the way across the house to him.

I quit using the Miracle Blanket this month, and now I lay him on his belly to sleep.  No more swaddle!  He doesn't sleep any better, but he doesn't sleep any worse without it.  If I laid him on his back without swaddling, he'd only flail and cry.

His naps have gotten a little longer, and he goes down much easier for them than he did last month, so that's good.  We still do not have any routine besides eat-play-sleep all day, and then sleep at night from about 6:30 to 6:30 with anywhere from two to four wake-ups.  Since coming back to NC, it's been two.

He still isn't mobile, but he seems to be getting ready, raising himself on hands and knees sometimes.

In a little over a week, he'll finally meet his daddy.  I can't wait for the two of them to get to know each other.

Update 1/27:  Timmy had his 6-month checkup today.  He's 17 lbs 2 oz (46th percentile) and 27 inches long (64th percentile.)  While I was in the waiting room, he bit my finger, and I noticed he'd cut his first tooth!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Update

I will hold off on making this blog private, because after some more analysis, I might have overreacted a little.  What I think happened was that people put certain words in search engines, looking for adult things, and my blog was one of the results.  It probably wasn't even on page 1 or 2 of the results.  And even if they did see it, they could tell without clicking on it that it wasn't what they were looking for.  I doubt any of them ever saw my blog, even for a second.  My little repository of memories is not the perv-magnet I feared it was!  At someone's suggestion, I changed the settings on my blog to be hidden from search engines.  Now, the only way for anyone to find it is if they really want to -- through Facebook, Blogger, maybe through a comment on another person's blog, or through a friend.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Going private

I looked at my stats for the first time in awhile, and when I saw some of the search words that led people to my blog, I almost threw up in my mouth.  I suddenly had a creepy-crawly feeling in my skin, and a sinking feeling that my little project I love so much is being viewed even for a split second by those people.  It turns out I'm a very naive person, and know nothing about the ways of the internets.  My itty-bitty blog that I'm always wanting people to notice..  Oh well.

I will be sending email invites, and if I forget anyone, please contact me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crash

My father-in-law recently said to me, "Life has a funny way of interfering with your plans."  So true.  As he said this, he was driving me and Timmy the 45 minutes from downtown Providence, to Karen's house.  That morning, January 3,  the five of us: Karen, the kids and myself, had driven there together to spend the morning at the Children's Museum.  By that afternoon, we would have a broken car, its occupants shaken but mostly unhurt (and grateful to God for that!), and now no idea how and when we will be making it North Carolina before Tim's return.

Even with OnStar, downtown driving can sometimes be a challenge for me, especially when it's noon after a busy morning, and I was already tired to begin with.  We left the museum and I missed the turn for 95 north.  I decided to continue straight into a neighborhood, get my bearings, and turn around.  I remember thinking, 'Ugh, I don't want to go straight here.  This doesn't look like a nice place.'  But the light was green and I went.

I didn't know he was coming until he was a blur in the corner of my right eye.  I had just enough time to suck in a lungful of air before he slammed into us.

When our car stopped it was pointed left, against the curb of the intersecting street.  Every airbag along both sides of the car had deployed, I couldn't see out of any of the windows, and I remember the air smelled like carbon.  Hadn't smelled that smell in years.  Weird.  The kids were all crying, and Karen and I were asking each other, "Are you OK?   Is everybody OK?"

The kids were all fine, buckled up tight as could be in their car seats.  They were traumatized, so we unbuckled them and let them come up to the front with us.  Poor Timmy had to wait a few extra minutes, still facing rear in his little seat, wondering what the heck was going on.  But I got him out too, and Karen and I passed him back and forth.  He stood on my lap looking around with a big smile on his face, like, 'I don't see what's wrong here.  We're all together and having fun.'

Annie would later sum it up like this: "Our car got bumped, then the man put blankets on the windows."  Delaney corrected her in her big-kid way, "No Annie, those were just airbags."  

None of us went with the paramedics to the hospital.  I refused transport to the hospital for the kids and myself.  I will always wonder a little bit if Karen took my refusal of treatment for the kids and me as her being obligated to sign her own waiver and stay with us, when she should have gone otherwise.  She went to the doctor later that day with pain in her neck, back and arm.  She had suffered from side whiplash, which isn't a wonder, considering most of the impact happened right where she was sitting.  We were hit by a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon*, a pretty big car, and I don't even think he slowed down.  I'm grateful that we were in kind of a big car ourselves -- a Chevy Traverse -- that can absorb that kind of impact and keep us all safe.  It also reaffirmed for me why I have the kids strapped in properly to their car seats, which means tightening the straps as much as humanly possible and having the chest buckle on their chest, not on their bellybutton.  For some reason, this has been my obsession.  As any family member who has had the pleasure of driving anywhere with us these past few months can attest, I have lost it on the kid who tried to interfere with the car seat straps in any way.  After a few times of that happening, these girls got good at reminding ME if I forgot to either buckle them in, or cinch the straps down after they'd buckled themselves.

I had also been entertaining the thought of switching Delaney to a high-back belt-positioning booster this summer, if she reached the 40-pound threshold for it.  Now I don't know if I see any reason not to keep her in a five-point harness for at least another year, or "until she's 17," as Tim Sr. remarked dryly, as I was telling him this very same thing.

I know that my kids aren't even as safe as they could be in the car, and that there are plenty of people who keep their kids rear-facing at Delaney's age and beyond.   But that's why we like to have a very safe family car, so we don't feel the need to do that.

The kids and I did not sustain any injuries.  For the past couple days I've had some back and neck pain, but nothing that a 200 mg ibuprofen can't help.  I've just been watching the kids for signs of injury, not asking them, because they're little kids.  If you ask them, "Does your neck hurt?"  they're just as likely to say yes as no.  And of course Timmy can't tell me.  They seem fine.  But the four of us will be seeing our chiropractor in NC as soon as we can.

I only saw the driver of the Jeep for a few seconds, when he came over to look in the car and see if we were OK.  He was a little younger than me and had a bloody nose.  I was told by the police officer there that he had gone in the ambulance to the hospital.  I learned later from the police report that he was a Marine stationed at the same base in NC as us!

I remember being absurdly grateful to find my "lucky sunglasses" on the floor next to the pedals, without a scratch on them.  You probably don't remember, but those are the same $200 Oakleys that I dropped in the ocean this past summer.

I also remember asking everybody who came to check on us for water.  I'd never been so thirsty in my life.  Exclusive breastfeeding means I require more water than the average person, and I was already thirsty when we left the museum, having just finished the bottle of water I'd brought, and having just nursed Timmy.  Even under normal circumstances, I drink a lot more water than anyone I know (except maybe a fellow breastfeeding mom).  I asked the paramedic, the policeman and my father-in-law for water when they arrived.  The longer we sat there, the more desperate I felt.  I was totally aware of how whiney I sounded, complaining to anyone who could hear about how thirsty I was when we'd just been in an accident, but I could do nothing to stop it.  Throughout the rest of the day and night, I would lose track of how much water I ended up drinking, still feeling dehydrated and head-achey.  Lesson learned:  I will never be without a case of water in the car again.

So now we wait to find out what happens next.  We were supposed to leave for North Carolina this coming Wednesday, but now we don't know when we will leave, and what we will be driving.  The insurance appraiser isn't even looking at our car until Tuesday, but our friend who owns the collision shop where it is, says that it's "borderline" and could be totaled.  He says that repairs would be very expensive and take about a month to complete after all is said and done.  We just paid that car off last month -- four years of a six-year loan in one fell swoop, and the title hasn't even come in the mail yet.  I love that car and I'm sorry I might lose it, but oh well, it's just a car.

*Karen and I had a pretty good laugh last night after reading the police report, and seeing that the other driver was in a Jeep "Rangler" (the officer couldn't spell, evidently).  I hadn't seen it myself, since it had already been towed away by the time I got out.  I laughed and said, "A Wrangler?  That's it.  You said it was as big as a Hummer!"  Karen, a little indignant, insisted, "It was a Wrangler, and it was that big, Google it!"  Sure enough, Jeep makes a Wrangler that's comparable to a Hummer.  It was not the scrappy little vehicle with no roof that comes to mind when I think "Wrangler."  Now we all know you're not crazy, Karen!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Children's Museum

I tried out the Blogger app for iPhone for the first time here.  I'm not completely happy with it, but I'm glad to have a way to upload my iPhone photos directly to Blogger.
I tried to feed Timmy before we went inside, but he wasn't interested. He looked so handsome and happy, I had to snap a picture!
Cash register from 1961 that, to my disappointment, did not say 'cha-ching'