Traveling with Toddlers

In a word? Don’t.

We made it back from our big Disney Extravaganza yesterday. Well.
Today, actually. If you wanna get technical. And I do. The kids did
great on vacation. But traveling was hard on all of us.

I’m going to save the warm and fuzzy details for my warm and fuzzy
posts about the trip. This post is for the Traveling. Which was
neither warm nor fuzzy. And may have included me having a nervous
breakdown in the Denver airport.

Going out was… interesting. I mean, all in all, it was pretty
smooth considering. But we weren’t used to traveling at that point
and the whole business just had us frayed before we even got on the
plane, I think. We left fairly early on Wednesday morning. Kile’s
co-worker who lives near us came by and rode with us in the van down
to the airport where we unloaded our junk and the carseats and she
took the van to work with plans to leave it at our house on her way
home from work, picking up her car which was parked there. Make
sense? Everyone with me so far? Good?

The carseats… were a pain. I mean, I know we needed to have them.
But lugging them through the airport was AWFUL. I had the bruises to
show for it too! We hadn’t purchased Evie her own seat (since she can
qualify as a free “lap child”) but were able to score her a seat on
the plane anyhow so we brought her seat on the plane with us. And
that was hard! Pushing a stroller and carrying a carseat along with
the other carry ons was a nightmare, but then having to carry Evie
(having left the stroller at the jetway) and the carseat on the plane?
OMG. There are no words. I’m already starting to block it from my
memory, it was so bad.

And the moment the plane started moving, Evie got upset. And I’m
talking pulling back from the jetway. The stewardess finally told me
as we were taking off that I could take her out of her seat and hold
her. So I did and that chilled her out. So much that she started to
fall asleep so I put her back in her seat and that was all well and
good.

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The boys were fine and dandy and other than Liam’s propensity for
kicking the back of Evie’s seat, he did pretty well too. Harry soon
discovered that flying was pretty cool and he liked ordering soda from
the stewardess and getting packets of peanuts and cookies.

We went first to Los Angeles, which seemed counter-intuitive. But
whatever. I saw the Hollywood sign as we were landing and tried to
point it out to Harry but he couldn’t see it. We landed and felt
rather smug for surviving our first (short) flight. We didn’t have to
get off the plane because even though it was stopping, we were riding
the same flight clear through to Orlando. Or so we thought.

While chatting with a fellow passenger, we found out that our plane
was busted. Oh yes. Busted. And at first, we weren’t sure when
they’d be able to find another plane for us to use since fixing the
current one was not going to happen anytime soon. But before I could
properly figure out how to react to this, they found us a plane. And
it was at another gate! Clear across the LAX airport. Soooo… we
unstrapped the carseats and tried to book it as fast as we could to
the other gate. We were following the flight crew and they promised
to get us on board. But at the gate, the agent there was a crabby
wench and made us wait and then snapped at us and was generally rude
to everyone she spoke to. We were finally let on board and scored new
seats and all was well.

The next leg was to Phoenix and was pretty uneventful. We landed. We
took off. Blah blah blah. The kids were getting used to it by now
and this time Evie only had minor complaints. But the flight from
Phoenix to Orlando was a long one and with the bumpy ride over the
gulf (wee!) I wasn’t sure we’d EVER get there! But we did, and landed
just as the sun was going down. The Orlando airport is all kinds of
awesome and we were easily able to find baggage claim. I hung out
there, grabbing our bags, while Kile went and got our rental car. It
was when we got outside baggage claim to get into the car that I had
full understanding of the heat and humidity. And this was after the
sun had gone down. GULP.

We found directions on my iPhone and drove to my parents condo for the
night. The whole toll road thing blows my mind. They really know how
to soak the tourists, don’t they? The whole east coast does that…
do regular residents/commuters find non-toll roads to use? Or how
does that work? Cuz I can’t imagine having to deal with that on a
daily basis. Bah!

Now…

The trip home was something else entirely. I made a decision that we
would check Evie’s carseat. I simply could not comprehend trying to
deal with it again. I had been having intermittent wrist pain all
week long (a result of not knitting? I have no idea.) the carseat
would have been too much. We had more stress than usual since we were
flying Southwest and they don’t have a sweet hookup with Disney like
some of the other airlines. Other people pack up their bags on the
boat and then don’t see them until they land at home. NOT US!

Oh, and we had to get off the boat at the asscrack of dawn. We were
up at 6am, at breakfast at 6:45 and then they made it clear they
wanted us off the boat ASAP. We tried to hang around as long as we
could but ended up on transfer bus around 9am. The trip to the
airport was quick and we were there by 9:30. We got our bags up to
the check in counter only to find out… you can’t check bags if your
flight is more than four hours away from taking off. Our flight was
scheduled at 4:20 so… yeah. We rented one of those Smarte Carte
things, loaded it up (you should have seen it! WHY didn’t I take a
picture??) and headed out. The airport is basically a MALL so we had
no trouble keeping ourselves occupied for a while. Especially once we
found the rest of my family hanging out. NO one had flights that were
leaving anytime soon.

Note to self (and anyone else planning a similar vacation): DO NOT
hesitate to schedule your flight earlier in the day! 12:30/1pm would
have been PERFECT. CURSE YOU, late flight!!

After Kile finally was able to check the bulk of our baggage, we
grabbed lunch at the food court (see? MALL!) and I was finally able
to try the infamous Chik fil-A. I had a chicken sandwich that was
mighty tasty. We browsed around the shops after that, and I was
mighty tempted to buy yet MORE Disney goodies at the Disney store
there. I showed restraint but even now, I’m sorta wishing that I
hadn’t. There was the cutest Tinkerbell coffee mug!

Anyhow, after that we braved security which had a whole bunch of
people from other countries going through. More than usual, I would
say. But by that point, I was so used to people from other countries
and foreign accents that I’m surprised I even noticed. Security was a
lot smoother than in Reno, simply because we were “old pros” at that
point. We found our gate and set up camp near some electrical outlets
so we could charge up our phones some more. We said goodbye to the
remaining family members and it wasn’t long before our flight boarded.
It went a lot smoother for me without the carseat. The bad news is,
it was a very full flight and every seat was taken so there wasn’t
much room to set her down or anything.

We took off a little late because there was some weather in the area.
But nothing awful and we were able to land almost on time in Denver.
Evie didn’t sleep a wink the whole flight and was extremely wriggly.
But we managed.

I have to say right now that I have extremely negative feelings about
the Denver airport. I like Denver. I do not like Denver’s airport.
There is ALWAYS turbulence (but then, there is in Reno too), but more
than that it’s the whole layout of the airport. The wasted space, the
inefficiency, the uselessness of the second floor “waiting” area.
WTF, Denver?

This is where we realized just HOW stupid our flight schedule was. We
were on the last flight from Denver to Las Vegas, which was then
continuing to Reno. And as such, we had to wait. There was a flight
from Philadelphia that had been delayed by weather and as luck would
have it, 30 or so people from that flight were on our Vegas flight.
So… we waited. We already had a 2 1/2 hour layover (and ate at a
restaurant that turned out to be exceedingly expensive). Add on
another hour. On top of tired children and parents and we were just
ready to be home. I didn’t handle it well. I was frustrated. I fell
in the trap of counting up the hours we’d been awake, how many hours
until we could be home. It was overwhelming. Liam and Evie had had
it. Harry was exhausted. I was beyond tired. We were all just DONE.

We finally got on the plane and got up in the air. Evie fell asleep
before we even took off so she was taken care of. I still had to hold
her, which meant my arms fell asleep. But at least she slept. She
woke when we landed in Vegas, but fell asleep as we took off for Reno.
Praise be! Liam slept too, which was great. He had slept most of
the way from Orlando to Denver too so Kile made out pretty well on
that deal. Harry slept on my shoulder the majority of the time. But
as we landed in Reno, he was awake and had the biggest smile I think
I’d seen on him all week. He wanted to be up in his bed so bad and I
couldn’t blame him.

Baggage claim in Reno is notoriously slooooooooow. Harry and I waited
for bags while Kile went out to look for his co-worker who had again
graciously offered to ferry us. That was a small mercy, let me tell
you! We FINALLY got our bags and FINALLY were on our way homeward.
It was after 1am by the time we got home. I could barely see
straight. Evie was interested in a diaper change and then BED. She
was out before she hit the crib mattress. Liam complained for maybe a
minute before dropping off. Harry was dead to the world. It took
Kile and I NO time at all to fall dead asleep.

And that… as they say… is that. We made it there and back in one
piece. That, my friends, is amazing. Flying with toddlers is a pain
unlike anything else. It’s just damn lucky that this whole trip made
it SO WORTH IT. Details to follow!

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A quick update from the Disney Extravaganza

I don’t have long, and I’m tapping this out on my phone which is always a pain in the butt. But I’m chilling (literally) in our air conditioned room while Evie naps and the boys are down at the pool. I wanted to share a couple observations of the trip so far:

* it’s hot
* lugging giant car seats through airports SUCKS and I have the bruises to show for it
* when I say hot, I mean REALLY hot
* it’s beautiful here
* our resort is perfect! Not terribly fancy but nce and has everything we need
* the Magic Kingdom totally redeemed itself last night after kicking my ass earlier in the day
* I now know for sure: I AM NOT MEANT FOR HOT WEATHER
* Downtown Disney is awesome… The perfect combination of outdoor mall and, well, Disney
* the “World of Disney” store is a MECCA of Disney crap. You could spend daaaaaays in that place.
* I’ve learned that I have no business in any theme park here after about 11am and before about 5:30-6pm.
* when your legs turn to jelly and you feel like passing out? Time to eat something.
* fireworks rock
* I’ve had so much fun and done so much and this trip isn’t even near half over yet. Amazing!
* everyone here is truly so nice!

Okay… I’m off to knit and then get ready for dinner with the whole fam later on. Tomorrow: a character breakfast and our 11 year anniversary! Woot!

In which I talk of many things including the weather

I FINALLY saw “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” last night.  Since we just asked for our money back at the drive in (I won’t be going back THERE, thankyouverymuch), Kile suggested I take Harry while he stayed home with the little ones.  We went to the theaters down at the Summit Sierra mall.  I’d almost forgotten what it was like to watch a movie in a REAL theater.  It’s been a while.

Anyhow, I’m not going to go into big details here just in case there is someone out there who is as unlucky as me and hasn’t seen it yet.  But… yeah.  I liked it, for the most part.  I loved the way it was directed, the cinematography, the whole ATMOSPHERE of the movie seemed right on to me.  But there were some changes.  Things left out, things added in…. A lot of it made me want to tear my hair out, to be perfectly honest.  If anyone out there has seen it, feels the same, and wants to discuss it, just email me and we can discuss at great length what we liked and what we hated.  Sound good?

***

On the other hand, it was really nice going to see a movie with Harry like that.  We grabbed McDonald’s at the drive through on the way down to the theater and ate in the car.  Harry made a fine companion and it was nice to get to spend time with just him for a change.  He and I used to spend all sorts of time together.  I took him everywhere with me when he was little.  He was my sidekick.  We never get to do that anymore.

I would like to make this movie thing a semi-regular thing.  Maybe one a month or every two months?  Just he and I, out to the movies.  That would be so much fun!

***

I woke up this morning to overcast skies.  I cannot express to you how happy this makes me.  No sun = some relief from blistering heat.  I’m sure it’ll still be unpleasantly warm, but at least the sun isn’t out, making it worse.

Sadly, I doubt it will last.  The sun will come out and force it’s rays upon us.  But for now, I’m enjoying the dim.

Shoot, in the movie last night, I found myself gazing fondly at the screen during the snowy-winter scenes.  Oh, snow.  How I miss you!  How I love the sight of snow-covered mountains and snow falling and the crunch under your feet….

Damnit.  I want winter back.

***

I’m ignoring about 90% of my Facebook friends today.  Sorry, y’all.  But if you’re going to insist on posting about traveling to BlogHer, seeing people at BlogHer, being excited about BlogHer, etc and so forth?  I’m going to have to stick my fingers in my ears and go, “LA LA LA LA!!”

Nothing personal.

***

I hear my little girl waking up upstairs so I best go fetch her.  I haven’t seen her since about 5:30 last night so I’m actually looking forward to getting some cuddles in, as I’m sure she is too.

She really is quite snuggle-icious.

Enjoy your Thursday, all!

Hate the Hot

I don’t like hot.  I make no mystery of this on this here blog.  Summer is my nemesis.  Heat is my foe.

There are very few things that I like hot.  Most food is one of them.  Everything else?  Better be bordering on frigid.

The weather around these parts has gotten… toasty lately.  I don’t care for toasty.  Even with our window unit air conditioners, I have issues with the heat.  Because there are times I have to go to parts of the house that don’t have air conditioning.  And some times, (gasp) I actually leave the house.  And that’s when it’s real bad because I feel the rays of the sun just boring into my skin and the heat heat heat just bearing down on me.   Just thinking of how it feels makes me wince.  If there is a breeze, it is more like a blast furnace than cool refreshment.

It would appear, poor thing, that Evie has inherited my intolerance to heat.  Her room, like the boys room, is one of the ones that doesn’t have any air conditioning.  We may have to fix this.  Because last night she slept horribly.  She’s been having problems for the last week, waking up and crying.  Last night, she didn’t wake up and cry, thank goodness.  But I could hear her tossing and turning and moaning all night long.  And then she was up as soon as it started to warm up this morning (8, when she might normally sleep till 9) (yes, the room darkening shades are making me spoiled).  It’s fairly obvious that she doesn’t care to be too warm when she’s trying to sleep.

Just like her mama.

She’s a hot sleeper anyhow, and I’ve known this about her for a while.  I’m the same way, which is probably no big surprise.  She often wakes up from her naps, drenched in sweat even if it’s not very warm.  Her hair turns into a riot of curls from the dampness.  So you take a hot sleeper and add in a hot bedroom and you’ve got a recipe for misery.  Poor thing.

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do right now.   We can’t exactly afford to run out and buy another window air conditioner at the moment.   I’m not above setting up a pack n’ play in our room (where there is a window unit, thank god) and letting her set up camp there until we start getting some cooler nights going on.

My big question right now… is how she and I both are going to survive Orlando in AUGUST.  Also wondering: why the heck do I live in NEVADA?

Stuff you don't want to know

As referenced in this post here, I was a guest vendor on a “congo” over on Hyena Cart yesterday.  I was very excited and nervous about it.  I have my own little Hyena Cart shop, I pretty much only sell slots on my customs list and maybe the occasional stitch marker.  It doesn’t get a lot of attention and I get most of my customs from my message board pals.  I was nervous about stocking something already made.  Would anyone actually WANT it?   Or would it be a spectacular fail?

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It wasn’t a fail.  Far from it.  I’m stil in shock today.  I sold the shorts I made right away, sold both of the customs slots I stocked and the auction on the skirt I made is currently at $170.  This, quite literally, blows my mind.  Unbelievable.

***

Liam’s birthday was a RAGING success on Tuesday.  He had a great day, which I think is the best thing we could have done for him.  Liam really responds to the gift of “quality time”.   We picked up Kile from work to go to Evie’s 15 month pediatrician appointment and he took the rest of the day off.  We went to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch (which was like crack for that kid, he LOVED IT).  After, we ventured next door to Toys R Us to spend some birthday money from his grandparents.  He walked out with a ride-in toy car (that we literally have to keep out of sight in the garage or we will never get him out of it), a “Cars” pillow for his bed (that he keeps trying to cart around with him) and a couple more “Cars” cars to add to the ever-growing collection.  This was on top of all the “Cars” stuff that we got him as presents.  We did a little shopping before heading home and after playing hard for a couple hours, we all went to McDonald’s for dinner: Liam’s favorite restaurant.  Then it was home to cake and ice cream and presents.

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What a great day!  And what a lucky kid!

***

As I said, Evie had a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday.  She’s doing great and had a fabulous time ripping around the room in her diaper while we waited for the doctor.

She comes in at 50% for weight and 40% for height.  Yay for my average girl!  She did have to get a couple of shots, which she did NOT like.  And, quite frankly, they made her a Crankapotomus for the next day or two.  So far, she seems fairly genial today, so I hope that means we’re in the clear.  Whew!

***

I can’t blame any crankyness on Evie’s part on lack of sleep these days.  We got a room-darkening shade for her window this weekend.  Her room gets the bulk of the morning sun and since the sun is up at an ungodly hour these days, she was waking up rather early.  And I always got the impression that she was still tired but she would NOT go back to sleep.

With the shade up?  She is sleeping in until at least 9am EVERY DAY.  Now, this may even out after she gets used to it… but for now?  OMG, I love it.  It keeps her room a little cooler too.  The boys have a shade too, but theirs is “light-filtering” which means it doesn’t make it darker at all.  However, Liam is a fantastic sleeper and I never have to complain about him getting enough sleep or waking up too early.

I just LOVE having some time in the morning to get some things done and have peace and quiet.  I better enjoy it while I can, because who knows how long it will last!

***

I recently discovered “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was playing on the “Gospel Music Channel”.  I didn’t even know we GOT that channel, but apparently we do.  I used to watch “Dr. Quinn” back in high school and it was something my friends and I would giggle and talk about.  We even passed notes about such subjects as “courtin’ and sparkin'”, Sully’s braid, and our dislike for Matthew’s girlfriend, Ingrid.  Good times, man.

Now, watching these episodes again, takes me RIGHT back to those days in high school and hanging out with my friends.  It’s been a wonderful walk down memory lane.  I’ve been DVRing the episodes and watching them while the kids are napping or at night after they’re in bed and Kile is playing his computer game.

Oh the memories!

***

We finally got some strollers for our trip to Florida next month (gulp!).  It’s feeling more real all the time that this trip is actually going to happen and I’m scared stiff.  I know it’s going to be loads of fun.  But the plane trip scares me.  Mostly, the fact that we’re doing a plane trip with two small children.  And that one of those children, Evie, doesn’t have her own seat booked.  So she’s on my lap.  CROSS COUNTRY.  This is not good, my friends.

The airport(s) and the plane trip are easily what I’m most nervous about.  I think once we get there, we’re all going to have a marvelous time.  I’ll have the almighty Jesus Phone (read: the iPhone) with me, so hopefully I’ll be able to post quick updates and snapshots here and there.

Oh and pray I don’t blind anyone at the pool when I wear a bathing suit with my pasty, white skin.

***

We’re getting SOD tomorrow!  SOD!!  This is HUGE!

We’ve lived in this house for over 5 years now, and just NOW are finally getting something of a landscaped backyard.  The sod will be delivered at the crack of dawn and Kile plans to get out there and lay it before it gets hot.  I sure hope he isn’t expecting me to join him.  I’ll cheer him on in spirit, as I’m sleeping soundley in my cozy, cool bed.

Seriously though, this is a great thing!  The kids will be able to run through the sprinklers at last (we’ve always been reluctant to do this before because the front yard is so exposed and the grass patch out there isn’t terribly large) (or flat).  And the dogs will have some place to crap!  SIGH.  Oh well.  The good with the bad, yes?

The next step will be to pour a cement patio (I have NO idea when this will happen, only that it’s the plan so far) and to buy some trees and plants and such to finish stuff out with.  But the grass?  That’s a huge chunk of it.

***

So that’s all I’ve got to say.  For now. Are you glad I shared?

Dad's Day

I know I’ve been a blogging flake lately. I’m sorry about that. But I wanted to take a little moment today to mention Fathers Day.

Kile is an awesome dad. In fact, I tend to believe that he’s a better dad than I am a mom. It just comes naturally to him. When he comes home from work he loves to sit down in his chair with one (or more!) of the kids and just interact with them. Evie has gotten to where she anticipates this so much that she literally lets out a blood curdelling scream of excitement when she sees him come through the door.

He’s never been reluctant to take the kids with him on small errands. Even if it is just down the street to Little Caesar’s to pick up a pizza for dinner.  If I need him to watch all three kids while I go someplace, do something, need a break?  No problem.  He does it without breaking a sweat.

I know you’ve all heard this from me before.  But I felt it beared repeating on today, the day we celebrate fathers.  I just had to acknowledge that so far the best part of our marriage is watching my husband be a father.  I wonder if anyone else could have done a better job so far.  And that gives me great encouragement for the years ahead, which I’m sure will be full of challenges for everyone.

Harry is in Elko, so it feels strange to have Father’s Day without him here.  He would have been front and center, making Kile breakfast and having me “help”.  He would have been bestowing Kile with any number of charming homemade gifts, including that contraption he put together out of legos.  But he did call this morning to wish his papa a happy Father’s Day.  We must be doing SOMETHING right with that boy, you think?

Liam and Evie are too young yet to fully appreciate and understand the holiday.  I made Kile breakfast and gave him a couple of cards (both signed by me).  We’re going to go do some browsing, chiefly at Kile’s favorite store these days: Whole Foods.  Maybe I’ll let him buy a chunk of smelly cheese.  The man has a thing for cheese.  I’m not 100% sure what’s going on for dinner, but he mentioned bbq chicken at one point.

I’m doing what I can to make the day special for him.  I hope he has a great day because he deserves it.

Pink Puffy Hearts

I’m feeling awful warm and snuggly about my kids these days.  Yes, they drive me to the brink of sanity DAILY, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love ’em more than my luggage.

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Liam has been talking more and more and the things that come out of his mouth just charm me again and again.   He may be an ornery turd on many occasions, but you can’t deny that he’s cute.  And when he’s requesting his third viewing of “Cars” that day… well that’s kinda cute too.  And so is the little dark look and stomped foot when I say, “No way, Jose.”  With his newfound vocabulary, we’re having a much easier time getting our requests, demands and reprimands through to him.  Sure, he doesn’t listen 100% of the time (what kid does?), but to see him actually DO something we tell him to?  Well that’s just plain awesome.

The other day, he had a little pan of cereal, much like the one pictured above.  He loves me to put his cereal for breakfast into one of the bowls or pots that came with the play kitchen he and Evie got for Christmas.  He had it over on the “counter” in the play kitchen and was having himself a little feast.  Evie determined that someone was eating something and since she is all “FOODNOMNOMNOM” these days, she booked over there to share in the fun.  Liam’s instinct was to push her aside and thwap her on the head.  I reprimanded him and then, not hoping for much, asked very nicely if he could share a little with her.. let her have a little too?  At best, I figured he might portion out a few kernels of cereal in front of her and keep the rest to himself.   But, bless his heart, he passed over the whole pan full and let her have her fill.

Of course, then she up-ended it all over the floor.  But seriously, for a minute there, I thought my heart was going to burst from pride.

He’s been doing that more and more lately.  Listening to requests of mine and acting on them.  And I’ve been very sure to praise him heavily every time he does something kind to his sister or does something for me when I ask him to.  So far, he seems to really like the praise.  So I’m hoping this means we’ll see a lot more of this “Nice Liam” in the future.

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They still don’t play that great together, but it’s coming, little by little.  Right now, they’re both sitting on the couch (sans cushions because that’s the only way Evie can climb on it is when the cushions are removed), eating some graham crackers for snack and watching “The Backyardigans”.  Evie will kick her feet and Liam will do the same and much giggling ensues.  Moments like these are golden.  They are golden because they are RARE.  More often than not, Evie has grabbed one of Liam’s cars that he has lined up so dutifully on the back of the couch (see above photo) and this earns her a shove and a thwack on the head.  She cries, I yell at Liam, lather, rinse, repeat.  So I make sure I enjoy the golden moments that much more.

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Evie is knocking on the door of 15 months and is growing up before my very eyes.  She is WALKING.  Did I mention that?  In the last week or so, she has gone from cruising around furniture, to taking a step or two here and there when she thinks no one is watching to flat out walking across the floor.  Is her technique flawless?  Oh heck no. It’s a good thing this girl is cloth diapered because otherwise her rump would be black and blue from all the times she has plopped down on it.  But seriously.  WALKING.  God help us all.

She’s also getting better with the sippy cup.  Just today, in fact, I gave her some water with a splash of apple juice in it and she has downed that sucker.  This is amazing progress.  Now if I can get her drinking milk reliably out of a sippy cup, maybe she’ll decide to wean.

That’s a slippery slope right there.  Weaning.  I’ve never nursed for this long before and I think it’s actually pretty awesome.  I’m loathe to shut the door on our nursing relationship because it will also be shutting the door on nursing altogether.  At the same time, I know it’s natural for her to grow up and away from me as a source of nutrition.  And the nursing has been taking a toll on me health-wise because DUH, I am The Lame when it comes to things like taking vitamins and making sure I keep myself healthy.  But I don’t really want it to end.  At the same time I know that it has to.

*cough* Anyhow.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  My little girl.  With her wispy-curly hair (Fuzzhead, I often call her).   And her dimpled grins.  And her tendancy to turn really, really cranky if she’s not fed on time.  This girl loves FOOD.  She will eat ANYTHING.  And a lot of it while she’s at it.  She’s Liam’s polar opposite in the eating department, which is kind of a breath of fresh air.  In fact, if anything, she’s liable to steal your food from you.  I guess if she flashes that dimple at you while she does it, that makes it okay.

Okay, well Liam is trying to sit on Evie and she’s rubbing her eyes and acting tired (a whole two and a half hours EARLY!) so I guess the golden moment is over.  Time to return to reality.  Thanks for joining me on this rose-colored love-fest though!

Crybaby Girl

Evie is just darling.  Are ya all sick of me saying that yet?  But lord in heaven, it’s true.

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Having a girl is so different from having a boy.  And I know this isn’t generally true.  Believe me, I do.  But I do know that Evie’s temperment is much much different than either of the boys. Her reactions to things is different.  The way she relates with us is different.  And after many years of boys, it’s kind of a nice change.  And not that I don’t still appreciate the way I relate with my boys.  But it’s just different.  Can I say different again?  DIFFERENT.

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She’s very sensitive to chaotic situations.  Liam LOVES to take advantage of this.  If he suspects that Evie is playing too calmly and quietly by herself, he will go out of his way and thwack her on the head or knock her down or take whatever toy she’s playing with.  Just so he can hear her cry.  Her abject misery is a delight to him.  And, frankly, sometimes I think he finds her reactions so charming because he just doesn’t understand them at all.  Because she is 100% different than he is.   Pissing Evie off is one of Liam’s chief pastimes.

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And sometimes Evie will dissolve and no one will know quite why.  She’ll be playing contentedly and then the next thing we know, she’s in tears.

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The poor dear.  But you gotta admit.  It’s kind of cute.  She has completely stereotypical crying fits too.  Complete with the rubbing eyes and heaving chest and hiccups afterward.  It all just makes me want to nom on her even more.  Because OMG, baby is so DELICIOUS!

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Not that my boys don’t cry.  But it’s different.  Liam, when in a temper fit (which his temper fits are completely adorable because he is wee and hard to take serious), he tends to wail as loud as possible and throw himself on the ground.  He might even add a stomp for good measure.  Harry will curl in a ball and/or remove himself entirely from your presence.  Evie?  She becomes utterly woebegone.  She knows exactly how to trigger your sympathy reflex so you’ll drop your camera and run over to scoop her up and kiss her forehead while she heaves shakey sighs.

OMG, I love that girl.

If I didn't post yesterday, it's because I was do damn glad it was a Friday

I made it to the weekend!  I tell you, there were several moments this last week where I wasn’t sure if I would or not.  It was touch and go for a while there.  I worried that I might just melt away into a puddle of nothing from the stress, pressure and angst of it all.

Oh yes.  There was angst.

I did end up going to Walmart with the kids yesterday morning.  I met my friend J there with her son.  We were both in dire need of some quality adult interaction.  And for the most part, the shopping trip went well.  Harry pushed the cart with Liam in it while I pushed the cart with Evie in it.  The kids weren’t too ill-behaved (though Harry did get tired halfway through and kept moaning about how tired and thirsty he was… you know how nine year olds are).  I started to feel a little cocky about the whole thing.

And then, I got to the checkout and got all my stuff on the conveyor belt and was all ready to pay as soon as she finished scanning when… I realized I didn’t have my purse.

GAH.

I didn’t even know if it was out in the van or not.  I didn’t remember putting it in the van.  But then, maybe I never took it out of the van from the last time I left the house.  And I thought there might be a check book in the glove compartment even if my purse wasn’t there.  So hastily asked my friend to keep an eye on the kids, told the checkout lady that I’d be back in a second and ran out to the van.

Yes.  I ran.  It wasn’t pretty.

But praise the skies above, my purse was sitting there on the floor of the van.  Hallelujah!  It’s a miracle!

I ran back (again with the ugliness) and proceeded to have a heart attack while the checkout lady finished ringing me up.

And even then, that probably wasn’t near as difficult as lunch at McDonalds was.  Despite my promise not to, we ate at the restaurant which is the one inside that particular Walmart since the notion leaving and buckling kids in and driving across the street for basically the same food left a lot to be desired.  And this is where I truly missed our “dual parenting” system.  We generally get the kids in their high chairs and situated and then I sit at the table with them while Kile orders the food, gets the drinks, brings the food to the table, etc and so forth.  But without him there, I had to do it myself.  And that kinda blew.  But we managed.  And lunch was had by all.

Then I came home and died.

Liam napped while Evie who had drifted off in the car simply REFUSED to nap.  But whatever.

The moral of the story?  I’m never leaving the house again.

Okay, that’s probably a little overly dramatic.  I’m sure I’ll leave the house again at some point.  You know, when they’re teenagers.

The day that starts with "W"

Thanks for the kind emails a few of you sent me after yesterday’s post.  I wasn’t looking for any feedback, hence why I closed comments.  But kind words are always appreciated.

I want to put out there that nothing in particular happened to spur on my words of woe.  Most of all, it came from the dark place I found myself in late on Monday night when I dreaded the next morning and the next week.  I had SUCH a nice weekend here with my family.  We didn’t do anything particularly exciting or out of the ordinary.  But we had fun together and even the ordinary stuff was enjoyable.  I wasn’t at all ready for the weekend to be over.  I dreaded the daily monotony that I knew was waiting for me on Tuesday morning.

I think pretty much everyone was dreading and/or disliking yesterday.  Mondays are bad enough, because very few people are ever happy to see the weekend come to an end.  But for some reason, the Tuesday after a three day weekend is twice as awful.  Maybe even THREE TIMES.  It’s harder to wake up, harder to motivate, harder to let go the happy, contented vacation days.  Of course, all this said, I don’t think I would ever turn away a three day weekend simply because I dread the next work day.  But I still will wish for a four day weekend here and there too.

So yeah, we had a great weekend around here.  I do love hanging out with my family.  We don’t have to be doing anything too fantastic either, just doing what we do together and I’m happy enough just to be content.  Which isn’t to say that Liam didn’t challenge our patience and Evie didn’t keep me up at night.  But it’s easier to deal with it all when Kile is home too.  As much as I know he has to work during the week, I do miss his support.  And it makes the weekends all that much more sweeter.

Speaking of the little kids…

In the interest of being fair, though, I want to share a list of things about Liam that bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.  Because even though he’s nearly three and very GOOD at being nearly three, there are many things about him that are just wonderful and that I wouldn’t change for a million dollars.

  • the way he says “eat da nummies?” when he wants to have something to eat.
  • the way he says “Cahs” (Cars), “May-er” (Mater), and “Waw-wee” (Wall-E) when he wants to watch his favorite movies.
  • his infectious giggle when he’s delighted.
  • his sparkling blue eyes.
  • his spontaneous hugs and kisses.
  • the way he loves to sing the Alphabet Song before bed each night.
  • that “Word World” is his favorite show.
  • that even his temper tantrums are adorable (you should see him tell Harry off, saying “Go Way!” and stomping his foot… SO CUTE).

And like I said, I want to be fair so here is a list of things Evie does that sorta make me want to tear my hair out (just as soon as I nom on her chubby baby legs, that is).

  • her whole “let’s get up in the middle of the night several times to eat even though I’ve been sleeping through” thing.  That’s gotta end.
  • her insistence on crawling behind the recliners to get at my yarn and knitting projects.
  • the way she will cram her mouth full of food and not chew properly before swallowing thereby giving me a heart attack when she starts to choke.
  • the way she wriggles and trys to flip over when on the changing table.
  • how she has to grab EVERYTHING.
  • including glasses left on the table between our chairs which she then attempts to dump the contents of all over herself as well as any knitting I may be working on.

For the most part though?  I have some awesome kids.  Sure, they try my patience but isn’t that what kids are supposed to do?  Otherwise, why would we ever want them to leave the house when they grow up?  Think about it!

Happy Hump Day, ya’ll!  The weekend will be here before you know it!