Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Then Brandon called to say he would be late again tonight. He and his dad moved offices this past weekend, and they're still trying to get all set up. Plus, Brandon has to finish his continuing education hours by midnight or he loses his real estate license. He's been burning the midnight oil all week. Ordinarily, dinner and bedtime without him here aren't a big deal. But tonight it was. The girls didn't want to sit still and eat. Campbell started screaming just as I was putting dinner on the table, so I had to feed him and then eat my cold dinner. After dinner the girls messed around instead of getting ready for bed, so no one got stories. Then Lily pitched a fit over the cup of water I gave her and screamed so much that I moved her to my room so she wouldn't wake Campbell up. Ella did her eye roll when I told her it was time for sleep.
It was just bad. I lost it with both girls and issued dire threats. I was really grumpy when Brandon stopped in to pick up software before heading back to the office. I didn't even have the energy to do any more work than was absolutely necessary.
So now I'm exhausted and feeling very sorry for myself. I need a break from these kids! The only time I've gotten away in the past month is while I run, and I haven't done much of that.
The Keller Williams annual convention is in Vegas next month. I'm trying to convince Brandon that we should leave the girls here and go. I'm so desperate to get away that I don't mind going to Vegas with Campbell in tow. I can park him next to me at the pool or put him in the stroller as I wander around. Brandon's not on board yet, but I'll keep working on him.
Time to end my little pity party and go to bed.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I was at a runner gathering today listened to everyone compare their race reports from today's half marathon, which is one of my favorite races. I left rather discouraged. I don't begrudge any of them their races; I had a lot of fun going out to cheer for them this morning with my chicken hat on. I just wish I could have run the race. I'd like to make a vow that I'll do it next year, but such vows never work for me.
This week I came to accept that if I want to run, I'm going to have to do it with Campbell in the babyjogger. I logged so many miles with Ella in that thing that I can't even count them. I didn't use it much with Lily, because if I went out for a run when she was a baby, I always had to take both her and Ella. Pushing a single jogger is hard enough; pushing a double is like running up hill and into the wind the whole time.
So now it's Campbell's turn. I put the frame together and cleaned it off, aired up the tires and snapped on the new seat and cover. We're all ready to go. I hope he likes riding in it as much as Ella used to.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
For the most part, the podcasts are informative, especially if grammar isn't your strong point and you want to learn something new. But today, she lost all credibility with me. The podcast was about pronouns and whether to use "who" or "that" when referring to corporations. I don't agree with how she ruled on the issue, but that's not the point.
What got me was that when talking conversationaly about members of the board of a company, she referred to them as "that" not who. This mistake is one of my biggest pet peeves. People are always, always, always whos not thats. She said something like, "In most cases big, bad corporations don't fire employes, it's the members of the board THAT do it." No, it should be "members of the board WHO do that." I could have forgiven this if she had only done it once, but she did it repeatedly, enough times that I was yelling back at the radio. I hate when I'm driven to yelling back.
So you call yourself the Grammar Gal, you're doing a show on pronouns and you don't even get the pronouns correct while you're speaking? It's baffling. I told Lisa about the mistakes, and she asked if I had already fired off a letter of admonishment. I haven't, but only because the show originally aired in August. I'm guessing she's caught a lot of heat already for the mistakes. At least I hope she has.
But now I have 20-something podcasts left to listen to, and I'm not sure if I can. How can I take her seriously now? I'll just be listening for more errors.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Two weeks ago, for several nights in a row, he woke up every hour to hour-and-a-half. I was exhausted; it felt like I was back in the newborn stage of motherhood. We recovered from that, but then last week Campbell got his four-month shots, and he went back to waking up every two to three hours through the night. Plus, he won't go to sleep on his own anymore. I have to walk him until he conks out. If he wakes up when I put him in his crib, I have to start all over again.
So now I'm totally freaked out by this. Neither Ella nor Lily did this. Ella never slept; Lily slept like a champ. But they didn't go back and forth between sleeping and not sleeping.
I know that I can do the Ferber method, and it will work after a few miserable days. I did it with both girls, and we all survived. Although Brandon did have to make me sit in the far corner of the back yard when we did it with Ella. I couldn't hear the crying as well back there. I know it will work, and I know it won't damage Campbell. I know all this. But at the same time I'm loathe to do it - he's still so little. I think I'm willing to walk him to sleep for the next month or two - just until he gets a little older. But then I worry that I'm setting myself up for an even harder time when I do decide to Ferberizer him.
So much to worry about. I was sure that with number 3 I'd sail right through, no worries at all. Just goes to show that it's always something. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions. . .
Sunday, January 21, 2007
As the race gets closer, I'm getting more excited. Each weekend big packs of runners come through with their training groups. The girls like hanging out on the front porch to watch and yell for them. This morning I was standing outside, talking to a neighbor when one group, with a friend of mine in it, went by. It was great to be able to talk to Tracy and promise lots of cheering on race day.
We've also seen lots of the prep work going on. One morning we watched as a guy on a bike, with a police motorcycle escort, came through to mark kilometer and mile marks on the course. This morning, police on motorcycles were escorting a person driving the course backwards and making other marks on the pavement.
The girls and I are planning to make signs for our friends who are running, and I told another friend I'd bring out the video camera and tape her as she and her 3:45 pace group run by. We're having lots of friends over and will be serving coffee and bagels and donuts. It's going to be great.
I really want our block to turn out and offer great crowd support, so much so that I'm considering printing up flyers and putting them on everyone's door. One neighbor this morning didn't know about the marathon and was wondering about the marks on the curbs. Fortunately, he was really excited when we told him what was going on.
It's going to be so much fun!
Friday, January 19, 2007
Brandon is out of town, "looking for ducks," so I was home with the kids alone last night. I had them all squared away in bed, or so I thought, so I decided to take a shower. I knew there was no way I'd be able to take one in the morning until after I got Ella and Lily off to school, and I didn't want to wait that long.
Lily is going through this phase where she refuses to wipe her own bottom after she poops. I don't know why, but she just sits on the toilet and yells for help.
I got out of the shower to hear her yelling for me. I wasn't sure what was wrong, and I didn't want her to wake up Campbell, so I grabbed a towel and headed to the front of the house, still dripping wet. The dog was sprawled in the hall outside our bedroom, and I tried to step over her. Instead, one foot shot out in front of me, and I banged my left knee on the corner of the wall - hard. I now have a nice bruise and red line where I hit the wall. I also fell on the dog, who wasn't pleased with me.
I got up, cursing, and went to find Lily, who was still yelling for me. She was sitting on the toilet, waiting for me to wipe her bottom. Goodness knows how long she had been sitting there, yelling. I cleaned her up and sent her off to bed with a light swat on the fanny. She protested the whole way from the bathroom to her bedroom.
I went back to my room, dried off and nursed my wounds. My knee is still killing me, but at least I can laugh about the situation now. Poor Mollie-dog. What must she have thought when I landed on her?
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
On the day Snuggles passed away, Lily came out to alley pick-up and said "Snuggles died," in her best little mafiosa voice. She then told me that Snuggles was old and his body stopped working. When we picked Ella up from school, Lily also broke the news to her. Ella was unmoved.
The next day, the kids in the class had an open casket visitation with Snuggles, who was artfully displayed from the neck up in a shoe box. I thought it was icky to have a dead guinea pig in the classroom, but the kids were fine with it. I forget that little kids are very matter of fact about things like that.
After the viewing, the kids got all gussied up in dress-up clothes and had a funeral procession. Paula, one of the teachers, dug a grave in one of the church gardens, and they buried Snuggles there. When I picked Lily up, I again got another mafiosa-like announcement - "Snuggles is buried."
We've talked with Lily a few times about Snuggles, and while she says she's sad when we discuss it, I don't think she really is all that much. She never showed much attachment to the animal, and she doesn't bring it up on her own.
Still, it was a good dress rehearsal for future animal deaths. Mollie-dog is getting along in years, and at some point we're going to have to deal with her death. And based on what happened when Badoop died, we'll know how to handle it better. We let the vet take care of Badoop's body - she was cremated and her ashes buried in some mass animal grave somewhere. Ella was very upset that she didn't get to say good-bye and that we didn't know where Badoop was buried. I'm not saying we'll bury Mollie in the back yard, but we will give the girls a chance to say good-bye to her, even if it icks me out. Maybe I'll let Brandon handle that part of it.
I know it probably seems strange to be thinking about this now, but I've found that I can never plan too much when it involves the kids.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
By Wednesday night I was so tired I was close to delusional. I put Campbell to bed at 7:30 while Brandon wrangled the girls, then I collapsed in bed, barely aware of what was going on. Brandon claims he came in and talked to me at a little after 8:00, but I have no memory of it. Thursday morning I ignored work that needed to be done and tucked Campbell into bed with me for a nap. He always sleeps better, and longer, in our bed. I managed to get about 90 minutes of sleep before I had to pick Lily up from school.
But now things are so much better. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing about it. Over the past few days Campbell is showing signs of having a little schedule. He wakes up only once during the night - last night it was 2:00 am - and then sleeps until morning, usually between 6:00 and 7:00. After he eats, he goes right back to sleep and sleeps until about 8:30. Having him sleep in the morning makes such a difference in my mornings. It's so much easier to get the girls up and ready for school without Campbell slowing me down. Campbell usually naps again at about 10:00 for an hour and then again in the afternoons at 1:00, usually for at least two hours. In the evenings he demands his cereal at 6:15 and then goes to bed by 7:30.
The best part is that he now goes to sleep all on his own. I can put him in his crib wide awake without a problem. He'll scooch around for a while and then conk out without any fuss. It makes bedtime so stress-free these days. The girls are in bed by 7:30 most nights - it's like Brandon and I have gotten our evenings back.
The only hitch in all of this is Campbell's continued refusal to take a bottle. I've tried different bottles, we've had lots of different people try to give them to him, and I've even tried giving him formula. We've tried when he's hungry, when he's full, when he's wide awake, and when he's tired. All without any luck. Now that Campbell's on a bit of a schedule, it will be easier to leave him with Brandon for an hour or two without worrying that I'll come home to a starving baby and a frantic husband. My test case will be going for a massage later this week.
Now that I'm on my third baby, I'm well aware that babies usually change completely just as you think you have them figured out. I'm prepare for Campbell to throw me for a loop again, but I'm enjoying how well things are going now - and the extra sleep I'm getting.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The weather people are all having a field day, predicting "winter precipitation" for the next few days. That means we could see a little freezing rain, a little sleet, a little snow - the emphasis in all cases on "little." Overpasses and bridges might freeze over - maybe. But that's about it. It's not like we're going to get a foot of snow over the next 24 hours like the folks in Colorado have had multiple times in the past month. Folks up north must laugh at us.
But back to the store - I have never seen that many people at our little HEB, not even on the day before Thanksgiving. And they were buying the strangest stuff. I could understand the bread shelves being empty, but all the toilet paper was gone, too. Fortunately, I didn't need to buy any. The beer supply was very limited, but there was tons of milk available. And for some reason, cheese was very popular.
I laid in a good supply of stew and soup-making supplies, along with beer and wine and lots of milk. I'm rather looking forward to the possibility of inclement weather. Brandon won't be able to work, and we'll be able to hole up here for a few days of concentrated family fun. Plus, the girls would love to see even the smallest amount of snow. I'm even going to try to sneak a run in, despite the frigid temperatures. I'll need to escape in some way.
So. . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Please.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Kindergarten or no, we're now working on the application packet, and it's a bit daunting. I feel like her entire academic future rests on how I check off items on a list and answer two short essay questions. I don't think I took my college application essays this seriously, which could be why I ended up at a state school.
I have to come up with examples of Ella's special talent or ability and an example of how her ability, understanding or knowledge surprised me. Brandon and I spent time last night talking about what examples to use, but we didn't come up with a final decision.
Fortunately, Ella's teacher is on the GT board for the school, and she'll be able to give us insight into the whole process. She's already given me a packet of information on the testing that is done in second grade.
Being recognized as GT won't make much of a difference for Ella at this stage. Her teachers will have to come up with some individualized lesson plans for her, but she won't be pulled into different classes or anything, which I think is a good thing. We like the teacher she has, and she has formed strong bonds with her classmates. There is one other child in the class who is going through the GT process, so if they both are labelled as such, they'll be able to work together on more advanced projects or lessons.
I have no idea how much time or energy my parents spent on having me identified as gifted. I don't even remember taking the tests to get into PineView, probably because I had no idea that I was doing anything special. My parents just told me one day that I was switching schools for 4th grade, and I remember being very relieved. I didn't like the school I was at, so there was no problem leaving it.
For now, I'll work on the essay answers and collect work samples for her portfolio and hope for the best. And I'll try not to get too stressed about the whole process.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I decided to do the same exercise. Here's my list:
Start: I'm going to start running whenever I get the chance, even if it's at four in the afternoon and only for 20 minutes. I need to just get out there and run and not worry about scheduling my workouts.
Stop: I need to stop beating myself up so much about not being absolutely perfect. It's ok if there's laundry not folded or the floors are a bit dusty. I have three kids, one husband, a house, a dog and a freelance career. I think I've taken on quite enough, and the kids and Brandon need to be my top priorities, not making sure that all the laundry is folded and put up.
Continue: I'm going to continue reading as much as I have been. There's so much to learn about and so many interesting stories out there. I'm broadening my mind and taking a break from the cares of the day.
So there - my New Year's Resolutions. Nothing grand or extravagent. I'm not trying to change the world or cure cancer, just make it through the day and feel good about what I'm doing.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Yesterday I was so desperate to do something aerobic that I put Campbell in his regular stroller and went for a two mile walk. I'm embarassed to admit that I was sore afterwards.
Then this morning the paper had an article that was like salt on my wounds - it was about a 37-year-old mother of four who is taking the Austin running scene by storm. She's hoping to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon trials later this spring. Right now, she's running at least 40 miles a week.
As I read the article I kept wondering what the hell my problem is - I only have three kids, and I can't even manage 5 miles a week. Of course, she goes to a gym and runs on a treadmill while her kids are in the gym daycare, and she hires a babysitter to watch the kids while she runs. Those are things I don't do, but I still don't have much of an excuse.
So it's time to dust off the babyjogger and put on the new seat and air up the tires. The girls will be back in school starting tomorrow, and Campbell and I will start running together. He's big and "sturdy" enough (as Liz put it) to ride in the jogger. I don't like the idea of getting back in shape while pushing the thing, but I don't have much choice at this point.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
God I love technology. When Ella was born, we took 35mm pictures, took the film to a one-hour processing place and then overnighted the pictures to my parents. Ella was 48 hours old before they saw pictures of her. With Lily, we took digital pictures, and Brandon e-mailed them that night from home. She was 6 hours old when people saw pictures. When Campbell was born, Brandon took little 20-second clips at the hospital while I was still in surgery and e-mailed them to my parents. The clips were waiting in their inbox before I even called to say they had a grandson. Now, I can post video clips of the kids for family and friends to see. Way cool.
We had a grand time feeding Campbell his first cereal. I'm not sure he even realized he was eating anything - he was very distracted by Ella and Lily, who thought the whole proceeding was hysterical. He had one sister on each side cheering him on. You can hear them laughing through the whole thing. I'm not sure he actually ate any cereal, but at least he didn't reject it. We'll give it another try tomorrow. My hope is that if I give him cereal in the evenings, he'll sleep longer at night. I need more than four hours in a row at night to function.
So I'm trying something new. Instead of raising the volume when I'm trying to get the girls to listen to me, I'm taking it down two or three notches, and I'm staying very calm. I'm very polite, with lots of pleases and thank yous as I give the girls their instructions. And so far it's working - they stop talking/arguing/playing to listen to me. More importantly, they do what I'm asking them to! The first time I tried it, they cleaned up the living room in record time, mostly because they weren't arguing with me about who needed to clean up what.
I'm also using Mirana-like responses when the come to me to complain or tell on the other. Ella was dumbstruck the other day when I told her I didn't care that Lily had spit at her. "I don't care. Work it out yourself." Again, I was very calm, and very quiet. She didn't even try to argue with me and wandered off. I didn't give her anything to argue with me about.
The hard part is remembering to stay calm and quiet. Yesterday morning I was trying to get everyone out the door to meet friends at the zoo. The girls were refusing to put shoes on, and the cleaning lady was trying to work around us. I wanted to scream in frustration, but I kept myself in check. Amazingly, we got out the door and to the zoo on time without anyone in tears.
Let's see if it continues to be effective, and whether I can keep it up.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Part of it could be that Campbell's little personality is starting to show, and he's already a flirt and a charmer. When you smile at him, he waits a second or two before smiling back. He also bats his big blue eyes and shows his dimpled cheeks. It's like he already knows how to charm everyone he sees. When he's happy, he lets out the funniest little yell, and he's finally started really laughing - it's a deep chuckle that cracks me up every time.
Now that his coordination is kicking in, Campbell has started reaching for me. He usually manages to punch rather than pat me, but I know his intentions are good. He also opens his mouth to give kisses when I put my face near his. He does it for his sisters, too. But they don't like getting drooled on. I can't wait until he can give real kisses and hugs and snuggles.
But Campbell isn't all sweet. He has a little temper these days, too. When I don't move fast enough during diaper changes or if I pull him out of the bath before he's ready, he'll start crying. But it's not a hurt or sad cry, it's a mad one. There are no tears, and he'll pause between yells to see what effect his crying is having on me. I just laugh at him, which doesn't help.
When Ella was six months old, my Aunt Jane told me that every stage of baby and childhood get better and better. I didn't believe her at the time, but it turned out she's right. Ella is so much fun as a six-year-old, and Lily is a hoot these days. Campbell keeps getting more fun each day, too. Aside from the temper tantrums and 4:30 p.m. house-wide meltdowns, I'm enjoying all of my kids, especially now that I'm in love with all three of them.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
When I'm not pregnant or nursing, I take Imitrex, which works on my migraines nine times out of ten. But I can't take it right now. Although, the past two days were enough to consider weaning Campbell so that I can take the meds.
The only reason I survived yesterday is that the girls were gone. Brandon wrangled them in the morning, then his mother came and took them for the rest of the day and had them spend the night at Brandon's grandmother's house. When Campbell wasn't asleep in bed with me, he hung out with Brandon on the front porch or in the living room watching football.
Brandon did have to bring Campbell to me every time the baby got hungry. Campbell is refusing to take bottles right now. When we try to give him one, he just plays with it and laughs until he gets frustrated and screams at us. I tried a new kind of bottle yesterday, and after he was done playing with it, Campbell grabbed it with both hands, yanked it out of his mouth, dropped it and laughed at me. The little monkey.
The worst part of the evening happened at about 10:00. I was holding Campbell, who was sleeping, when I realized I was about to throw up. I tried to make it to his crib but couldn't. I put him on the playmat on the floor and sprinted for the bathroom. Campbell started screaming, understandably so.
I'm feeling better today. The headache and nausea are gone, but I do feel a little wobbly from all the vicodin - and the lack of food. I'm going to take it as easy as possible today.