Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1st week of school

Delaney showed no signs of nervousness about her first day of kindergarten.  But I know she must have had some butterflies because she came into our room three times between 5 and 5:30 in the morning.  She never does that kind of thing!  But sure enough we heard the pitter-patter of little bare feet and her going to her dad's side of the bed and asking, "Daddy, can we go sit on the couch and watch SportsCenter?"  Little booger.

Tim didn't like the first day of school sign I'd found on Pinterest, so he made his own right then and there.  He put a lot of effort into it too.  I gave him a hard time about it.  Then Delaney wanted to make her own.  So we took her picture with all of the signs before leaving for school.
It was great to have Tim on leave for the first couple days of our transition from summer into the school year.  We bumbled through first couple days.  On day two, we  had to run to catch the bus at the end of our street.  (This after I had spoken with the bus driver face-to-face, and we'd left 15 minutes earlier than she'd said we needed to be.)  

Since school was letting out at 12 the first week, we got there at 11:40 on Tuesday, hoping to get her from the classroom and let Tim meet the teacher.  Instead we were scolded by the school secretary for coming in the front door, and told that she was in carpool on the other side of the school.  Dum-dee-dum.  So we got back in the car.  The carpool line was already a half-mile long by the time we made our way around.  I said, "This is crazy!  And this is just kindergarten letting out right now.  What's it like when all the grades get out at 2:30?"

Then we pulled up to the curb, and a harried-looking staff member opened the car door, and then said, "Woops" when she saw Timmy's carseat.  Delaney just scrambled underneath.  I asked the staff member, "Do you buckle her in or do we?"  She told us to drive ahead and into the grass to buckle her up ourselves.  Ha!  She was probably thinking, 'Crazy woman!  I bring you your kid and open a door.  Is that not enough?  Dumb carpool newbies.'  
We got home, ate lunch, and then at naptime I went into a two-hour coma from the exhaustion of having gotten up at 6 for two days in a row.  This is a drastic change for me, and it's going to take some getting used to.  For the last several days, with Tim being home, I'd been sleeping in until 8.  Things are different now.  I'm up before dawn, by myself, brewing coffee and then waking up everybody else.  It's about to be a holiday weekend, and sleeping in until 7 is going to feel like a luxury.  

We ate leftover pizza for dinner (yay for not having to cook!).  At 5, Delaney had her swim lesson at the Y.  She is in the advanced class for ages 3 to 5 now.  It's a good thing I signed her up for these classes.  She loves to swim and it's been raining for the last two weeks, so we probably wouldn't be going swimming together again until late spring.

This morning we left for the bus stop several minutes earlier than yesterday.  Delaney began to run down the street, and I said, "It's OK!  We're early!  Look, we're the first ones."  
Is she not the smallest child to ever board a bus?
Delaney will finish out the week with half days, and then start full days on Tuesday.  Annie may or may not be starting preschool next week, Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I will post about that another time.  We are having some new difficulties with her.  I'll leave it at that for now.  

I'm a little sad that summer seems to have ended too abruptly, but I'm glad that we are starting our new fall routine.  I think summer was beginning to expire anyway, with whiny, fighting kids and not enough to do because it was raining all the time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Timmy at 13 months

Timmy has so many things he wants to do and say, and sometimes he gets frustrated.  He wants me to hold him, but he wants to get down, but he wants me to hold him, and now -- oh, no! -- he crumples to the ground and cries.  He sees me reading a book to his sisters, but he wants that book.  He doesn't want to hear Mama read it, he wants to grab it, look at the pictures, and maybe rip up the pictures.  He points to things and says things like, "Muh."  "Guh."  Sometimes he says "Dis."  I don't know if he means "this," but he does say it while pointing to something or looking at it, so I think that's what he means.  He'll make his little monosyllabic exclamations, and then look at me expectantly like, 'Well?  Aren't you listening?'  I say, "I have no idea what you're trying to say, but it sounds really cute."  

I have been using signs with him, but I don't think I'm consistent enough with it for him to really learn.  That's always been my problem with baby signs, with all the kids.  I just could never remember to use them every day all day.  I had the best results with Delaney, because I was better at remembering, and because I had kind of a signing buddy -- another mom who was trying to use signs with her baby.  I need to post notes around the house -- "sign with Timmy!"  

He takes steps for us here and there, but he's not very motivated to walk at this point.  We sit down on the floor and let him walk back and forth between us.  He'll stand alone for a few seconds, and then take a couple steps.  We get really excited any time he takes three steps or more.  We clap and say, "Good job, Buddy!"  But he doesn't always want to play along, and if he does, it's not for long.  He's still mostly content just to crawl around at warp speed.
My friend Amber took this picture.  I didn't really want to give Timmy the whole apple, but he loved it and worked on it for a long time.
He eats more than his two sisters combined.  At least that's the way it seems, the way he gobbles up whatever I put on his tray as fast as I put it down.  Well, not everything.  The other day, he wanted none of my three-cheese chicken penne pasta bake.  He looked at me like, 'Is this really food?'  Come to think of it, the rest of us didn't like that meal much either.  But almost everything else I can think of -- fruits, veggies, pasta, pizza, meat -- he devours.

He nurses four times a day now -- morning, before his morning nap, before his afternoon nap, and bedtime.  Then I feed him right before I go to bed, between 10 and 11.  That's the last I see of him until around 7 or 8.  He likes his sleep a lot.  (I do too!)  Sometimes I have to put him to bed at 6:30.  He's too tired to hang in there through bath and story time with his sisters.
Thumb in mouth and blank stare means "I'm ready to sleep now."
Shortly after his first birthday, I took him to his one-year checkup, and he weighed 24 pounds, 7 ounces (78th percentile) and was 29.5 inches tall (30th percentile).  I've read that babies should triple their birth weight by a year, but he's the first of my kids to do that.

He loves it when I lay down on his bedroom floor and just watch him play.  As long as I don't move, he's content.  He puts blocks into a bin, then takes them out.  Then he puts them back in and takes them out.  Or he presses the button on his Little People tractor.  Moo.. vroom, vroom.. then the song.  He beams at me and bounces up and down a little, waiting for me to sing along.  He just wants me to be there, I don't have to do anything.  If I get up and walk out, he gets an insulted look on his face and starts to cry.

Another thing he wants us to do is not to get him out of the crib right away after a nap.  We don't go in there until he starts to yell.  But even when he yells, it's just because he wants company.  Then he wants to play peek-a-boo games through the bars, and collapse backward on his mattress when we reach for him.  Then he watches us and waits for us to laugh.  He's a little ham.
This is my favorite of the first birthday pictures my friend Ashley took.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

House tour

I was thrilled when I saw Laura's post at Navigating the Mothership, inviting us all to participate in a house tour.  I love looking inside other people's houses.  And I was happy to take the opportunity to record for posterity the house we rented for three years in eastern North Carolina.  We have done a LOT of living here.  After two years here, we have added a lot of things to our list of must-haves for our eventual dream home, once Tim retires from the Marine Corps.  There are things we love about it, things we'd change if we owned it, and things we don't like at all.  Getting to live in so many places is helping us figure out what kind of house we really want.  This house in particular has been very helpful  since it is in many ways exactly what we want, and everything we need.  We have added lots of items to The List since moving in here.

These pictures will not be nearly as nice as some of the others', because I am using a six-year-old point-and-shoot camera that is on its last leg.  We've been saying that for awhile.  When we use the zoom lens it sounds like a wheezing old man, and it is slow.  But it does the job.
So here we are.  This house is 2300 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms.  There is a FROG (finished room over garage), which is what houses near the coast have instead of basements.  When tornadoes come -- and they have as recently as last spring -- we have to go in the bathtub.
This is the view from the entry/foyer.  My favorite thing about this house is how open, bright and airy it is.
The living room.  There is the corner fireplace with the giant cave over it meant to hold a mammoth TV.  Those niches were all the rage when this house was built in 2004, and I've seen several of them in friends' houses.  This is the biggest one I've seen.  If we owned the house, we'd drywall over it.  Out that door is the back porch.
Almost nothing about the kitchen is what we want in our dream home.  It looks nice enough, but there are many things that make it less than ideal (but fine for renting).  We're not a fan of the countertops or the floors.  Tim hates the whole "flow" of the kitchen, even though I have no problem with that.  

As a matter of fact he hates pretty much everything about this kitchen.  The knobs on the lower cabinets snag on his cargo shorts, and as much work as he does in the kitchen, I can't blame him for feeling that way.  That is actually on The List -- no knobs on kitchen cabinets.
I like how easy the flat electric range is to clean, but we'd both prefer gas.  You get two choices on this stove: off or boil.  Simmer is not a possibility.  The broiler is a joke, as Tim finds out when he tries to use it.  The exhaust fan is useless.  Whenever he tries to make anything with the cast iron skillet, the room fills with smoke, and it is not alleviated at all by the fan.  The cooking surface is very small, and if you have more than three things going simultaneously, the pots and pans are all vying for space, and things are getting cooked unevenly.  It is perfectly adequate for an underachieving cook like me; but if Tim wants a nice chef's kitchen to make my fancy dinners in, then one day he will have it.:)

Kitchen storage is sufficient for our purposes.  We are not big bargain-hunters and stockpilers.  If we were, we'd be in trouble.  There is no pantry, and the cabinets are full to bursting with what relatively little we have on hand.
Here's a quick look at the dining room, which we use as the office.  All those weird things hanging on the wall are actually awards Tim has received over the years.  When Tim was deployed, and I was going to bed by myself after watching Criminal Minds, I'd imagine myself grabbing my weapon of choice off this wall to beat off an unsub.  Tim built that desk himself. It also serves as a nice little tunnel for the kids.
Now we'll go back through the kitchen and take a left, to a small hallway, across which is the laundry room.  This is not my dream laundry room.  First of all, I'd like to be able to shut the door.  But even if Tim's pull-up bar wasn't hanging in the doorway, the door hits the washer and dryer.  The shelves are crammed full of stuff.  Believe it or not, it used to look a lot worse.  We reorganized it a few months ago.  We got the stackable containers for the kids' crafts, art supplies, puzzles and games.  That helped.  We also keep cleaning stuff in there.  There's a hamper in there, the pool bag that hangs on one side of the door, and the wet bag for diapers that hangs on the other side.  It is barely-controlled chaos.  On The List: Big laundry room.  It will have a utility tub, area for folding laundry, lots of storage space, and I will be able to shut the door.  Maybe it will pull double duty as a mudroom, but if not, we'll need that too.
To the left of the laundry room are the stairs leading up to the FROG.  It is lovely to have all this bonus space.  About two-thirds of it is the kids' playroom.  This is where the majority of the kids' books and toys go, allowing us to keep the downstairs mostly neat.  
You can see there's storage behind Delaney in the form of a closet and a crawl space. To the left, on the other side of the stairs, is another door that leads to a big storage space.  This house does not lack places to put things.  
On the right is where guests sleep.  I would love to spruce it up a little and make it more inviting, but I haven't found anything I like to put there.  We also keep the treadmill up here.  We love the FROG.  If there was a bathroom up there, it would be perfect.  On The List: a guest room with a bathroom close by.

Back downstairs, in the rear of the house, past the laundry room, is the master suite.  I'm very happy with it.  It is very spacious and peaceful, separate from the rest of the house.  The color was already there, and we love it.*  Still, I think next place we live (as long as it's for longer than a year), I want to use different colors for bedding and curtains.  I've been getting different ideas from watching the DIY network.
To the right is a great big walk-in closet.
Below is the shower/throne room.  We walked through this house twice before deciding to rent it.  During the drive back to Virginia after signing the lease, we talked about how the only door we hadn't opened in the entire place was this one.  We joked that whatever was behind this door was the downfall of the whole place.  But no, it is just an ordinary linen closet.  No scary surprises.
Back through the kitchen, living room, right down a short little hallway, we come to the girls' room.  This is the room where Tim did the most work.  I love this room.  It's missing some stuff, but that's what happens when they make mischief after lights out.
The kids' bathroom.  It is tiny.  It is really frustrating to bathe and groom three little kids in here.
If we turn around and look at it from this angle, you see why.  The door bangs into the stepstool, which then bangs into the closet door.  Ugh.  If you want to close the door, you have to move the stool.  If you want to get into the linen closet, you've got to closet the door to the bathroom.  Another thing: it is the only other bathroom in the house, and it is a long way from the guest bed upstairs.  
Across the hall, this square-jawed guardian angel is hanging on the wall -- a gift from my mom several years ago.  No wimpy cherubs for us.
On the other end of the hallway, a safe distance from his sisters' shenanigans, is Timmy's room.
Now we've gone back down the hall, out through the living room to the back porch.  And who do we have here?
Mama deer and babies in the neighbor's yard.  Aw.. What were the chances I'd have my camera in hand when I spotted these three?
Looking at the little play house out there brings back memories of it tumbling end over end across the yard during the hurricane last summer.
The garage is called a two-car garage, but unless your other car is a Smart Car, it will not fit.  On The List: a no kidding two-car garage.  Make that a three-car garage -- I see that's what Tim put down.  I will say that I love having an attached garage, and that is on The List as well.
Tim uses this area for his projects.  When there are no current projects, it turns into a drop zone for  random things.
*We did not paint any rooms in this house except for the kids'.  We love all the colors that were already in here.

And that's our house -- at least for the next year or so.  It has treated us well.  I hope our next place is as nice.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Discipline

Last night at bedtime, the girls turned their room inside out.  In retaliation, Tim went in there with a black trash bag and put everything in it -- books, clothes, shoes, toys.  If it was on the floor, it went in the bag.  This he did while I enjoyed date night linguine with scallops alone.  Tonight it was my job to sort through it all.
Now who is being punished: them or me?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Annie at 3 1/4

It is helpful in any situation to know which Annie you're dealing with: Sweet Annie or Terrible Annie.  It can change in an instant.  I hear her door open when her nap is over, and I hold my breath, not knowing which Annie is padding across the floor, and what she's going to want.  She's been finding herself in time-out a lot lately because of being defiant.  Sometimes I don't know what to do with her.  She can be so difficult.  She is moody and petulant, and her sudden screech of rage makes me cringe.

I still say she's better at 3 than she was at 2.  Tim disagrees, thinking she's worse now, but then I tell him, "You weren't there last summer when she took off running during Mass!"  At 2, she could not be reasoned with at all.  Now she has boundaries, and I know I'm dealing with a little girl instead of a monkey.  In fact, when we're out and about is usually when she's at her best, most obedient and charming self.  We get smiles everywhere we go.  People think she's an angel.  So in that regard I'm kind of glad she saves her worst behavior for us at home.  And I do know that her worst could be much worse.  She is overall a great kid, even though her bad moments can be so memorable.
Not pictured: when taking turns was no longer working out, and the frog nearly lost his life in the ensuing dispute between the sisters
She loves to watch "bee-dee-os" on my phone.  Her favorite seems to be the one from the end of vacation bible school, when all the kids were singing a song.  Interestingly, she can't see herself in the video -- she was hiding behind another child.  But she can see Delaney in the front row jumping and singing away.  She also likes a video I took of Timmy playing with the recorder that Auntie Karen gave her for her birthday.  In the video, Timmy plays with it for a few seconds, and then she (Annie) swoops in to take it, growling through clenched teeth, "Eeeet'shh miiiiinnnne!"  Then the video ends, probably because I scolded her after that.  I don't know why she likes to watch such an unflattering video of herself, but I hope that when she sees it and chuckles at it, she's realizing how ridiculous she's acting.  So far I see no sign that this video is inspiring her to change her ways.
But sweet Annie?  Sweet Annie is the best.  I want to squeeze her.  She is so easy to get along with.  She shares.  She speaks slowly and thoughtfully.  She puffs up with pride when she successfully writes a number. She says things like, "Mama, you look very pretty."  She brings up memories that start with, "Remember, a long time [ago], we went to the store, and we got new straws?"  She always wants to help in the kitchen, something I'm sorry to say that I'm almost never enthusiastic about.  She'll pull her little stool over, and she loves to pour ingredients out of a measuring cup into a bowl.  I'm always baking delicious things, so she gets to do this all the time (haha).  She always wants just a "tiny piece of pizza dough" so she can play with it and eat it.

She's carrying Lovey around again, as of just the last couple of weeks.  She went months without it.  This is my fault.  She asked for it one night, and I could have said I didn't know where it was, but I didn't.  I got it down from its hiding place.  There's no harm in it.  She sleeps with it and sometimes bring it for rides in the car.  She doesn't take it out of the car when we go out, that's my only rule.

After her recent ventures with vacation bible school and swim lessons, I feel confident that she's going to do just fine in preschool, even though she's very timid in those kinds of settings.  It will be good for her.  She'll go to the same preschool Delaney did, just two mornings a week starting after Labor Day.  We drive by her school often, and I always say, "There's Annie's school!"  I'm glad that she gets to start preschool in a place that's already familiar to her, from when we took Delaney there three days a week last year.
She's very particular about how she dresses and how she wants her hair fixed.  She only likes "pretty dresses."  She won't even wear skirts, and at first I tried cajoling her into wearing them because she has such cute ones, and I hate to see them not get worn.  But for the most part I have given up on that, and getting her dressed is now a cinch.  I follow her to her closet, she points at the dress she wants to wear, I get it down for her, and she puts it on.  Her favorite dress is her "fruit dress" pictured below.  Her favorite way for me to fix her hair is in two braids.  She's never happier than when she puts on this dress, I braid her hair, and she picks out some pretty shoes.  I predict in a couple months, she'll be be wearing lots of dresses and leggings, and shoes with buckles.  Maybe she'll pick a favorite and want to wear it every time she goes to school.  If that happens, I'll either complain about it and beg her to wear something else, or I'll just have that outfit clean and ready for every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  Or both.
Annie's favorite ensemble, complete with two braids.  I've gone back and forth about Gymboree over the years because of their prices.  But I LOVE this dress, and it's been worn and played in by two children, washed and dried countless times, and shows no signs of wear whatsoever.  
I'm hoping that this fall we see more Sweet Annie and less Terrible Annie.  For my part, I've been trying to remember to pay attention to her when she does good things, and to give her a word of praise or encouragement whenever possible.  She wants to be a good girl, a big girl, and a helper.  She gets frustrated easily, and she doesn't want to play second banana to either Delaney or Timmy.  With Delaney in school every day, she should have a few more opportunities to be the big kid.  Not that she doesn't have the opportunities now, but I think that a lot of the time, she feels like she has to compete with her big sister.  It's exhausting sometimes, the way the simplest, stupidest things, like who gets to shut the car door, can escalate into fights. Maybe she's worried she'll be forgotten if she doesn't throw an occasional fit.  She's a physical girl, so I try to remember to give her a hug from time to time, just because. 

Here's a sort of strange thing about Annie that I only add here because this knowledge could come in handy some day.  Whenever she tells me she's cold, it means she needs to poop.  This just started within the last few months.  It's odd.  She'll argue with me that she doesn't have to, but sure enough, she does every time.  So there's that.

I might be jinxing us here, but I also want to mention that Annie has woken up dry in the morning for so long that I've lost track of how long it's been.  Two months at least.  She and her sister have started wearing undies to bed.  And now that I've said it, there's going to be a big bedwetting incident.  But at least it seems we've moved in the right direction.  We still get them up to go to the bathroom every night before we go to bed.

This little girl might drive us crazy, but we sure do love her.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day in the Life: Summer 2012

Yippee, it's Day in the Life time again at Navigating the Mothership.  Time for me to walk you through a day in my glamorous life as a stay-at-home-mom of three children.

Today is Tuesday, August 7.

7 ish: I wake up when Tim comes in the room mumbling something about how he'll have to bring Timmy to bed with me because the girls are up, blah, blah...  Huh?  I have no idea what he's talking about.  I roll out of bed, and out to the kitchen, where I find Timmy sitting in his high chair.  He's still wearing his diaper from the night before, so I bring him into his room to nurse him and change him.

7:15 a.m. Annie comes in just as I'm finishing up changing Timmy, and she starts whimpering and pointing behind the door at a big bug.  I can't see behind the door, so I walk over and take a look.  Sure enough, it's a giant American cockroach/water bug/palmetto bug -- whatever you prefer to call it, depending on where you live.  Here in eastern North Carolina, they are at least two inches long, and I typically find them in my bathroom, especially after a big rain.  Just a couple weeks ago, I had one skitter up my leg while I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth.  I hate those damn things.  Once while Tim was deployed, I tried to drown one under a dixie cup in the bathtub, then flush it down the toilet.  I learned that you can't drown them, and it might take a couple of tries to flush them because they can crawl out of the bowl (which is probably how they found their way into the bathroom in the first place).  They are quite harmless, our pest control man assures me.  Just the same I'm glad I can yell for Tim to come in and deal with it.

Tim mentions that when he went to get Timmy first thing in the morning, his door was already wide open.  That's funny.  I know I didn't open it, and the girls sleep like rocks.  There would be no reason for them to do it.  I said, "Maybe the bug did it!"  It was big enough to open a door.

7:20 a.m.  Tim kisses everybody goodbye, leaves for work, and we eat breakfast.
Yup, that sums up how I feel every time I get out of bed.  Delaney took this picture.
Stinkface
7:30 to 9 a.m.  Mornings are such a blur.  I drink some coffee and watch some news.  At around 8, Timmy's ready for his nap, so I lay him down.  I check Facebook and see that a few people have commented on the article I shared last night about how Gap and Old Navy are producing "gateway mom jeans."  That really struck a chord with me.  Many are the times I've turned this way and that in front of a 3-way mirror trying to convince myself that a pair of Gap Long & Lean jeans doesn't really make my butt look flat as a pancake.  I thought I was the only one with a problem.  It's Gap, it's supposed to be stylish.  I feel so betrayed!  I want to light all my Gap jeans on fire after reading this.  Some people ponder more meaningful things with their morning coffee, but not me.
While I was sitting there, I couldn't help but chuckle at how Tim and I continue to babyproof as if we're watching somebody else's kids for a few days, instead of parenting our own for the past five years.  It's like we're still in denial.  

9:02 a.m. Timmy's awake and he has a poop in his pants.  It's time for everybody to get ready to go out.  I'd wanted to go to the pool today, but it's raining at this point, and the forecast is calling for storms throughout the day. I decide it's a perfect day to take the girls to get the haircut they've been needing for so long.
Somehow it takes us a whole hour to get ready and get out the door.  I have a really hard time getting going in the morning, and it probably has to do with how much time I spend doing nothing.  That's the way I want my mornings to be.  I don't like having to be somewhere early.
I put on a little bit of makeup -- concealer for my acne and my undereye circles, mascara (although I don't know why I bother, I can't tell a difference), a little eyeliner, and some lip gloss.  I brush my hair and notice, as I've been noticing every day for at least a month-and-a-half, that I really need my highlights done.  I should get my brows done too, that always looks nice.  Maybe I'll do it all in time for the Birthday Ball in November. 

10:10 a.m. We arrive at Fantastic Sam's, which is where I've taken Delaney for as long as we've lived here.  This will be Annie's first haircut ever.  Between it being her first time and my "day in the life," I was snapping pictures nearly the entire time.  The people there must have thought I was one crazy picture-taking mama.  
Delaney's first because she's done this before.  That's a scraggly-looking ponytail!
Delaney has such beautiful hair, and I'm looking forward to being able run a brush through it again without running into snarls.
Annie's hair isn't really curly, it just looks that way because it was in braids.
Just a little smile
I won't even post "after" pictures, because their hair is exactly the same as it was, just a little shorter.  The girls were both given little goody bags, and I got a certificate and lock of hair for Annie's memory box.
It says she's graduated from babyhood -- just in time to start preschool
1100 a.m. We get back home and I start making lunch.  Delaney is playing with an inflatable Simba that was in her goody bag.  I tell her his name is Simba, and then I realize she's never seen The Lion King.  I tell them about Simba's friends, his mean Uncle Scar, and his mom and dad.  I say that we should watch The Lion King next time we have movie night.  I start singing "I just can't wait to be king" while the kids watch slack-jawed.  Then I explain that we had the video when I was little, so I saw it at least a 100 times and know the songs by heart.
I make open-faced pulled chicken sandwiches for Timmy and me (I'd rather have them on a burger bun, but we only have two left and I'm saving them for tonight), and hot dogs for the girls.  Timmy takes individual bits of his sandwich, touches them to his tongue, then tosses them over the side of his tray with a little shudder.  He hates it.  I should have remembered that from last night.  It might be too much flavor for him, with the barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar.  I give him cheerios and cut-up strawberries instead.

Noon.  Lunch is over, everybody's tired, and we're still a long way from naptime.  Mornings are usually filled up by the pool.  I clean up the kitchen.  Delaney goes upstairs to watch TV and play with her Simba.  I change Timmy, and goof around with him and Annie for a little while in his room.  Annie says, "Squeeze me and tickle me."  I do, and she collapses and writhes on the carpet, laughing so hard she can barely breathe.  It looks like absolute torture to me, but as soon as I stop she says, "Again.  Tickle me and squeeze me!"  

12:30 p.m. I can't keep Timmy up any longer.  He's getting very fussy and rubbing his eyes.  I nurse him and lay him down for his nap.  15 minutes later, after potty and stories, Annie is down for her nap too.  Delaney and I sit on my bed.  She looks at videos on my iPhone after we do a "911 drill" because I tell her if she wants to use my phone for fun, she needs to be able to use it to save my life too.  I drink a glass of iced tea while I read blogs and look at all the pictures I've taken so far today.  Even though I'm tired and had trouble sleeping last night, I'm trying not to take a nap today, and have the cycle continue.  I pop back up and go out to the kitchen for some Raisinets, and share some with Delaney.  Sshh, don't tell anyone, we're not supposed to eat in bed!  We sit there in companionable silence.

2:30 p.m.  Is that Timmy already?  It's only 2:30!  Oh, but I did put him down at 12:30, didn't I?  Timmy is not happy when he wakes up.  He's irritable and he acts like he's tired of seeing me.  He doesn't nurse, and he's not very cooperative with diaper-changing.  It's going to be a long afternoon.

3 to 5 p.m.  It's a long, dreary afternoon.  I'm really wishing for a fast-forward button.  Sometimes I hate my "one trip a day rule."  I'd love nothing better than to pile the kids in the car and go somewhere.  But at least the girls are being good.  

I give them graham crackers for a snack.  The girls both ask for ice water with a "surprise straw."  They always ask for "surprise straws" ever since we started buying multicolored straws.  That suits us just fine -- it beats "I want the pink one!  I want the green one!" any day.  But the multicolored ones are just about gone, and from now on it's going to be a surprise! clear straw for everyone.  Tim looked for more colorful ones last time he went to the store, but there weren't any.
Timmy and his "walker"
I read them a chapter of Winnie the Pooh, only because Delaney asks.  I'm supposed to like Winnie the Pooh because it's a classic, but the excessive dialogue and wordiness in general drive me crazy.  Reading it out loud is a frustrating exercise.  I want to tell Pooh and all his friends that they talk too much.  

Then we play for a little while.  Timmy plays with the toy kitchen for several minutes.  He's the only one who likes it.  The girls ask to watch a movie, so I help them turn on Barbie as Thumbelina and go downstairs.  I'm so glad that from the looks of Tim's emails, he is going to be home at a reasonable time tonight.  I pick up around the house and try to keep Timmy out of trouble.  

5:20 p.m.  I take Timmy to the window so he can see Tim get out of his truck, and I wish I had the camera when his face lights up like Christmas.  Tim looks up and sees us standing there, waves, and Timmy laughs his breathless little, "Huh.  Huh."  He points and waves and squirms excitedly on my hip.  When he opens the front door, Timmy lunges at him.  I guess my job here is done.
Every time Tim comes home from work, it's like February 3 all over again.
Tim was going to grill burgers for us, but as we walk over to the grill -- all three of us, because Timmy won't let him out of his sight -- raindrops start falling.  So he fries them on the cast-iron skillet instead.  The kitchen starts filling with smoke because the exhaust fan is useless.  Tim flings every door open and fans the stove with a towel, and I really, really hope the smoke alarm doesn't go off.  What a horrible noise!  It's supposed to be horrible, it's meant to make you leave your house!  I never use the cast-iron skillet because it weighs a ton, and causes smoke.  Thank goodness the alarm doesn't go off this time.  
The greasy 1/3- pound burgers are medium-rare.  I break off bits of it and give them to Timmy, saying, "Here you go, boy who needs iron."  (His pediatrician told me the other day that his hemoglobin is on the lower end of normal.)  Timmy loves the burger, and gobbles it up eagerly.  My belly feels full only halfway through, but that doesn't stop me from polishing the whole thing off.  I'm not able to eat much else, and my stomach feels like it has a brick in it.  I blame the kaiser roll.

6:30 to 7 p.m. Tim supervises Delaney taking her shower while I clean up the kitchen.  Then I give Annie and Timmy a bath.  After bath, Annie runs out to find Tim and begs him to carry her to her room "like a stack of potatoes."  He does this instead.  When they get to the doorway, he says, "Annie, watch your head!"  She shrieks with fear and delight.
7:00 p.m.  We have new books to read from the library -- well, new since yesterday.  I love them.  I picked out Annie Rose is my Little Sister.  It's the sweetest book ever.  It makes my heart melt every time.  Annie picked out When Moon Fell Down.  It's very cute and I enjoy reading it.  
I feel like a teacher here.
The girls say their prayers, and we turn out their light and leave.  I take Timmy to his room and attempt to nurse him.  He's not interested -- probably too full from that burger still, and I can't blame him for that.  I'd better pump because he's already missed a feeding or two today.  I lay him bed and say, "I love you, sweet boy.  Nighty-night."

7:15 to 10 p.m.  I'm so tired.  My back hurts, and my belly still feels like it has a brick in it.  I do some laundry, take a shower, read a magazine, and fart around on the Internet.

Tim puts his arm around me while I'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, and leaves a plastic scorpion sitting on my shoulder.  I snarl and throw it at him, and he laughs hysterically like a 12-year-old.  Somehow it ended up in our room, and I need to make it disappear, because for the last two nights he's left it under the covers for me to find.*

I read a magazine, fold some laundry and we watch some Olympics and an old rerun of Tosh.0.

10:15 p.m. Tim takes the girls to the bathroom.  I feel a little guilty just sitting there while he does it himself, but not quite guilty enough to get up and help.  Soon after that, we call it a night.

*The following morning, that stupid scorpion fell down when I pulled my cereal box off the shelf.  Not funny!  OK, maybe just a little funny.  I know I should make that thing disappear, but instead I left it in his underwear drawer. Teeheehee.