Saturday, July 27, 2013

Timmy's 2nd birthday

Timmy's birthday got off to a really icky start, when his sisters came out to the kitchen and reported to me that there was poop in his bed.  I ran back there to see and it turned out to be puke, not poop.  It was everywhere in there -- blanket, sheet, lovey, even in his hair.  So the first item on the agenda was a bath for Timmy, followed by laundry for me.

In spite of having just thrown up all over himself and his bed, he was his chipper self when I brought him out to the kitchen.  He opened his presents from us and ate his breakfast.  
A big Tonka dump truck
Kind of a dumb present, but he loves Elmo so I thought he'd like this.  He did like it, for about 30 seconds.  Not pictured is another gift he liked a lot better -- a package of cars and trucks.  
Tim took Delaney and Timmy to their respective 6-year and 2-year well visits so I could go to PiYo.  I was overjoyed at getting out of a doctor appointment and a double one at that, so that I could do something far more enjoyable.  But why on earth would I schedule the kid's checkup on his birthday?  My only thought at the time I called to schedule had been to make sure he and Delaney could go together as soon as possible after both their birthdays.  Obviously I accomplished that, but I think in the future there should be no more doctor visits on birthdays for the kids.  It's just mean, especially if they're getting shots.  

Tim was exhausted by the time he got home.  He said, "There's a reason why doctor's appointments and dentist and things like that are in YOUR lane."  He said the doctor had asked him confusing questions and there had been a ton of paperwork.  He had offered to do this one for me, but I don't think he'll be volunteering again anytime soon.  That's OK honey, thanks for taking one for the team.:)  Timmy weighed in at 26.8 pounds and 35 inches tall.  He is right around average in both height and weight, still growing along his curve.  He had to get shots too, and when he saw me later he pointed to his thigh and said, "Owie.  Kiss."  I gave him a kiss on his leg, a hug and some ibuprofen.  I said, "It hasn't been much of a birthday for you, huh, Bud?"  Delaney said, "He's having a horrible birthday!  First he had throw up all over his bed and then he had to get shots!"  I said, "Yeah, but he doesn't know any better."  Despite the rough start to his day, he was just as cheerful and loving as ever for the rest of the day.  He doesn't need a perfect birthday to be happy.  He just needs love.  

Birthdays are very minimalist affairs in our family.  A 2-year-old?  He's lucky we even hung up that banner in the kitchen.  After naps he and his sisters frosted cupcakes together.
Right after dinner we called Grandma and Grandpa on Skype, along with cousins Sofia and Natalie, and we all sang 'happy birthday' to our little man.
This was about a split-second before he surprised us by blowing the candle out before the song was done.  I love his little grin as he was thinking about it.
Today his birthday present from Grandma arrived.  I asked him, "What do you think is in there?"  He yelled, "Trucks!"  He was right, there were all kinds of them.  When he pulled that package of Matchbox cars out of the box, he said, "Wow!"  He's been playing quietly for hours with these things, not causing me any trouble.
I'm going to end this post with some standard 'update' type stuff, since this will be the last one for six months.  It will be in bullet format because I'm in a bit of a hurry as we get closer to the kids' bedtime.  Right now they are wrecking the living room with all those cars and leaving me in peace.

- He still sleeps about 12 hours a night and he takes at least a 2-hour, but more often than not, a 3+ hour nap in the afternoon.  He's still in a crib.

- He still nurses at naptime and bedtime, and wow, we've made it to the age of 2.  He's the only one I've nursed for that long.  

- He is regularly using two or three words at a time, such as "Get it - Wuddy." (This is his way of asking someone else to get Lovey or telling us he wants to get Lovey.)  His grammar is horrible but so cute.  "Mama do'd it."  When he's really upset he is reduced to crying and shrieking one word.

- He can be very indecisive.  A conversation about what to have for breakfast goes something like this: Timmy: "Egg."  Me:  "You want an egg for breakfast?"  Timmy: "No.. Toast!"  Me: "You want toast?"  Timmy:  "No.."

- He is very affectionate with us.  He love to give hugs, kisses and high-fives to all of us.  When he's in the mood, he might give out several hugs and kisses at a time.

- He still tries to bully the other babies and toddlers in the child watch room sometimes.  The ladies who work there keep correcting him and sending him to timeout when necessary, and I think he'll eventually learn as long as he's not allowed to get away with it.  At least he's not knocking over babies like bowling pins anymore.

- He talks about himself in third person sometimes.  He'll say, "Mama.. Daddy.. Sissy.. Timmy.. Sissy.." or something like that.  He likes to look at himself in the mirror too.  He answers the question "Who's Daddy's buddy?" or "Who's Mama's boy?" with a loud and proud "Timmy!"

- We have not even started thinking about potty training.

That is about all I can think of right now.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Delaney at 6

Our brown eyed girl turned 6 over two weeks ago.  I think she'll understand why I'm so late with her birthday post.  It's been a busy couple of weeks around here.:)  I think this post will consist of many pictures but few words because lately I've been having trouble finding words.  I've been taking a little break from the blog as I just work my way through the busy parts of the day, relax with my family every spare minute, and plop down on the couch next to my husband after the kids are in bed.  I was just reading her 5th birthday post and I know for sure I won't be topping that today.
I think (hope) this year has been every bit as fun for her as I imagined it would.  She has made big strides toward becoming a big kid even though she is tiny.  At 47.5 inches tall and weighing 42.2 pounds, she is at the 7th percentile for height and 34th percentile for weight.  I had worried about her being one of the youngest kids in her kindergarten class, especially with the remarks her preschool teacher had given me on her final progress report.  She said basically that Delaney was very quiet, didn't like to answer questions, and then finished with an optimistic (and somewhat dubious to me based on the comments that preceded it) "She'll bloom in kindergarten."  Or something to that effect.  I hoped for the best and I kind of held my breath those first few weeks.  Delaney made me so proud.  It shouldn't have surprised me at all to see how she grew into such a confident reader and writer, and to hear from her teachers on a regular basis about how well she was doing and how much fun she is to have in class.  But then she's always amazed me.  When she was a baby I'd say, "Look how well she sits" or "Look at what a great crawler she is!"  Everybody sees their own kid as incredible, I guess, and as much as we want to keep them little forever, we still get so excited to see them move on and take another step.

She tried her first organized sport this past spring, soccer.  She had some fun, and she might have started to catch on a little, but she had a massive eczema flare-up that lasted for weeks, and that caused some trouble.  Her eczema is triggered by warmer weather and being outside.  Every spring like clockwork the redness and scales appear on the backs of her knees.  I know she suffered a lot during games and practices, with those socks that come right up to her knees.  Rolling them down a bit didn't even give her much relief.  She tried her hardest to participate but I could tell she was very uncomfortable.  I tried every remedy I'd ever heard of with varying degrees of success, but what finally worked once and for all was a prescription steroid cream called Triamcinalone.  That stuff was a miracle.  After the recommended 10 days of use were up, her skin had completely cleared up.  She was so much happier.  Too bad the soccer season was over by then.  I still have more Triamcinalone, and when the next flare happens I'll be prepared.  She wants to try soccer again in the fall, and I know she'll be able to focus more on the game if she's not constantly itching.
She is very inquisitive and wants to know and understand everything.  If you make an offhand comment around Delaney, she will listen to every word and want to know exactly what you're talking about and what you meant.  It means no more thinking out loud for me unless I'm prepared to explain it all to her.  I have to assume she is always listening if she is anywhere near.  Sometimes it can be the start of a good conversation, but if I don't really want to talk about it I have to think of an answer that will satisfy her anyway.  And she's smart enough to know if I'm just trying to avoid a conversation.  She absorbs everything that we say.  A few weeks ago in a Target dressing room, she told me that my "milky things were droopy and sad."  I couldn't even be offended by that because I knew she hadn't come up with that on her own.  She had to have heard me say it at some point and just filed it away for the perfect moment.  We have to be careful what we say around Delaney!
"I heard that."
She has become more sensitive this year and gets her feelings hurt easily.  She can't stand to see a bug squashed and when she sees Annie or Timmy do it, she cries and accuses them of "hurting nature".  If there's a little critter in the house somewhere, she can be counted on to get rid of it humanely.  She loves all the little creatures -- cockroaches, spiders, flies, ants, everything.  She is their defender.  She is also bruised by the silly insults Annie throws her way, things like "You're not 6, you're 4!"  I wish she would just ignore her like I keep telling her to, but alas, it seems like the secondborn child always knows just what buttons to push on the firstborn.  And the firstborn can never just ignore it.  Then throw in a pesky little brother who gets on everybody's nerves.  (Sigh) The only part of summer I don't like is having them all three at home all the time.  But I digress.  I don't like to see Delaney's feelings get trampled but there's not always much I can do about it.
Delaney with one of her cuter critters
In other ways she is pretty tough.  She was stung by a bee at a birthday party a couple weeks ago, and she didn't say a word to me about it, just got quiet and withdrawn.  I know I cried when I got stung by a bee when I was little.  I did find it strange that she wouldn't at least come to me and tell me instead of just looking all mopey and making me wonder what her problem was.  A couple days before Tim came back she got a little sick and was running a fever.  I gave her some ibuprofen when I put her to bed, and in the morning her fever was gone and she had made her bed without me asking, and seemed cheerful.  I thought she was OK to go to swim lessons, but a few minutes beforehand, she started looking tired and feeling warm.  I told her that she could just rest while Annie did hers.  But she insisted that she wanted to do it and reluctantly, I let her.  She was ready to collapse by the time the half hour was over, and at that point I knew that I REALLY shouldn't have let her, but it also seemed wrong to deny her the chance to do something that she thought she could do.  And after all, she did do it and she did not complain even though she had to swim the length of the pool.  I brought her home, she took a nap (the only time she'll nap is when she's sick), and was good as new by that evening.  She is determined and tough like her dad.  She doesn't let much slow her down.

On the subject of swimming, she passed her swim test at the Y a few days ago, and you never saw someone more proud of herself.  To pass the test she had to swim the length of the pool and then jump in and tread water for 30 seconds.  After that she was given a temporary armband, but she couldn't wait to get the yellow necklace that distinguishes the kids who are swimmers from the ones who are not.  She takes it off to sleep and that's about it.  Now she can go to the deep end by herself and go down the slides.  She is very happy and I am happy for her.
I know there is so much more I should say, and so much that I'm missing as I try to put together a post that does justice to this year of her life.  There are so many special moments, and so many things she says or does that make me laugh or move me, or just make me want to squeeze her.  I mean to jot it down but then the next thing happens, usually a kid who needs me, and the moment is gone.  Of course it's silly to think you can capture a whole year of a child's life in just a few short paragraphs, but that doesn't stop me from trying. 

Delaney, in a few years I will drive you a lot crazier than I do now.  Maybe you'll sit down and read this and know how much we love you and how proud we are of you, and what a blessing and a joy you are to all of us.  Happy belated 6th birthday!   

Sunday, July 14, 2013

6 months down, just a few days to go

For the final jellybean photo, I opted to leave the jar sitting in its normal spot on the counter between the kitchen and living room, where I have walked by it a thousand times a day since January, glancing impatiently at it every time.  Will those jellybeans ever go down? I wondered.  And look at them now!

Last month on my birthday Tim surprised me with the news that he would be home about three weeks early.  The girls and I danced around for joy, and then I re-counted how many jellybeans we'd need and ended up removing a couple big handfuls.  I then gave them to the girls to put on top of my frosted birthday cookies.

Then I resumed the impatient glances at the now drastically reduced jellybean jar.

Our waiting is almost over.  Tim is on his way.  I remember how much that first couple of weeks sucked, with all the cold and the sickness and the sadness.  Then we got better and settled into our routine, and things got predictable and sometimes fun, and I could manage it all and even be happy.  Now I feel an anxiousness creeping up on me.  I hope it goes smoothly, I hope it goes on time, I hope the kids don't get cranky, I hope it doesn't rain, I hope Tim's not too appalled at the way I've let some things go (oh, I know he doesn't care, he just wants to be with us again)..  All these different things keep crossing my mind.  As Aunt Miriam would say, I have an acute case of "expectation-induced anxiety", right, Grace?  It's too bad that's not a real psychological term because it's brilliant.

The same photographer who took our homecoming pictures last time will be doing them again for us.  I can't wait until I can share the new ones!  Maybe they will even be the last.  That would be nice.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A visit from Grace

We had the best week with my sister Grace visiting.  She got here on the 5th and left yesterday morning.
Grace and I, June 1990
Grace is the fourth of the five of us siblings.  She was born a few days before my 11th birthday.  She was the most difficult baby our mother ever had.  I remember walking around the house jiggling her in my arms so Mom could shower in peace.  I had to carry her facing out lest she have to look at anyone besides Mom.  She needed constant attention, constant motion, and was up all night too.  She was the only one of us to be "Ferberized" at around eight months.  I'm pretty sure it was about that time that her personality changed dramatically.  Her fussiness was replaced by curiosity and contentment, and was such a fun baby sister with those smiling brown eyes.  As she got older, Grace was (and still is) the kid who would help you find the thing you lost, paint your toenails (and let you change your mind a thousand times about what color you want), remove a splinter from your hand, or just keep you company.  She's always been the sibling who reminds me the most of myself, both in looks and mannerisms.  We also have the same dorky sense of humor -- we once both died laughing in the drive-through at Dunkin Donuts after I asked for a "small order of munchkins".  Hope we didn't disturb the neighbors with our cackling on the back porch at night.

Grace has so much going on in her life now -- helping Sophie with Damien, one semester of nursing school to go, waiting tables at Skyline, and trying to make time for the man in her life.  I was so glad to be able to steal her away for a week during her break from school to help me out and to just have fun with us.  We did our usual things we do when family visits, like Cow Cafe, walking around downtown, going to the playground.. We celebrated Delaney's birthday with a "friend" birthday party at the pool on Saturday, and then again just by ourselves on Monday which was Delaney's actual birthday.  We went to the beach a couple times.  I took her to my group fitness classes at the Y, which included PiYo on Tuesday and Thursday.  It was so awesome to have Grace right next to me during my favorite workout, but you'd better believe I avoided meeting her eyes in the mirror.  If we'd started cracking up, we'd have ruined the whole thing for everybody (not to mention we might have hurt ourselves!).  After our classes, we'd spend the rest of the morning at the pool.  When we weren't out and about, she did so much for me at home.  She cleaned the kitchen after meals, mopped the kitchen floor, washed my car, and even did a couple loads of laundry.  She really spoiled me.

Here are some of the many photos we took throughout the week.  I hope it won't be too long before we see her again.
Making popsicle stick puzzles with Delaney
From my point of view, Delaney's party was a debacle.  But from Delaney's it was a lot of fun, and that's what matters.  
Delaney found it much more fun to count out six birthday candles than to use the '6' candle.