Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Too Two

A letter to Bitty Girl on her birthday...

Bitty Girl, you are TWO.

You have actually been "two" in spirit for months, with all the sassiness and shrieking and "No, Mommys" and changing your mind and random crying fits. But also with the explosion of language, words just pouring out of your mouth, and the capable way you can feed herself and decide what you want to eat and play tea party and feed your babies and feed us pretend food.

You amaze us daily. You can do so many things at two, many that just happened upon us, almost suddenly.

-climb up and down stairs (often with your hands full like Mommy)
-entertain yourself
-play outside
-ride your push trike
-spin around and make yourself dizzy
-repeat EVERYTHING we say
-feed yourself
-pretend that you're feeding us or eating pretend cookies or serving tea, or putting your dollies at seats at your tea party table
-setting a picnic on the kitchen floor, complete with picnic tablecloth, play dishes and food
-remember tiny details, like the fact that we said you could have a cookie after your nap or that you saw the neighbor's cat on the roof yesterday
-be ADAMANT that you want to play at the park, or have your OWN cup or PICK your own snack or do JUST.WHAT.YOUR.BROTHER.DOES
-tolerate being schlepped around in the car to take your brother to school, pick him up at school, go grocery shopping or Target shopping
-play hide and seek with Daddy and your brother (although your hiding quietly needs work)
-pick out your own clothes (mostly dresses and your rain boots)
-light up with an ear to ear smile when Mommy or Daddy gets home

I feel guilty that I'm wishing this stage away. I'm always whining about how hard this is, and how "I think I'll be better suited to being the mom of a 5 and an 8 yr old, rather than a 2 and 5 yr olds." I just think I will be able to handle the craziness of coordinating soccer games and homework better than I can handle naps and potty training and the "everyone needs Mommy and to touch Mommy and to have Mommy hold them and listen to them all at once."

But I can still barely believe it's been two years. Two years since we became a family of four, since The Boy became a big brother, and since the real craziness began.

Happy Birthday to the girl who makes it all worthwhile.....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strange memories

Maybe it was just too much time in the car.

Today we did a lot of driving, and we passed a cemetery today, with many flowers and flags and pinwheels blowing in the breeze. The Boy asked why there were so many decorations, and I tried to explain a little about Memorial Day.

I said, "It's a holiday where you're supposed to remember people who have died, and some people go to the place their family members were buried to visit them."

The Boy says, "And then you unbury them?"

Stifling a snicker and an "eew!" I replied, "No, you can't do that. People just go and visit the grave site as a way of showing respect, and the flowers and decorations are just part of that."

There's no Hallmark card for that kind of holiday, I'm sure..

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day, preschool style

I'm a lucky Mama.

The Boy's preschool class hosted a Mother's Day event last Friday. We were invited to come for the last hour of preschool. They made us wait outside, then each child greeted their mother with "Aloha" and gave her a lei made out of felt flowers and straws.

We sat at the tables set with hand-made placemats and talked while we waited for all the moms to arrive.

Then we were led into the gym, where the kids treated us to a concert of songs they had been rehearsing for weeks. Some funny, like "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee," and some sweet, "I Know a Name." One of his teachers is Hawaiian, and she did a dance about a mother's love for her baby. Then the kids sang "Pearly Shells," complete with hula movements. It goes, "Pearly shells, from the ocean, shining in the sun, covering the shore. When I see them, my heart tells me I love you more than all those little pearly shells."
I cried.

Back in the classroom, our suddenly huge and grown-up kids took our ice cream orders and served us ice cream, cookies, and punch. The Boy now has a chocolate ice cream stain on his cast...

Before we left, we had to find their painting of Mom, along with a questionnaire inside.
Here were his answers..
Mom's favorite drink? Water (I am not kidding - one girl said, "She likes beer." !!!!!)
Her favorite food? Lasagna
What does she like to do with your dad? She likes to go to anniversaries. Something funny is it's usually on my Dad's birthday.
What makes your mom laugh? When I tell funny jokes.
What is her favorite music? She likes the song about sharing we have in the car.
What does she do for fun? Playing with my baby sister.
(Mom needs a social life, evidently, along with a more diverse music library..)
Where does she shop? Fred Meyer
What is your special time with mom? Going to the park and the toy store sometimes.
What do you do with mom before you go to bed? Read stories.

Whew, no big family secrets exposed. I thought question #3 was fairly brave of the teachers, considering what kind of answers it could have prompted.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why I signed on for this crazy ride

So it's Mother's Day. Since I became a mother, I've struggled with the guilty feeling that the perfect Mother's Day gift would really be a day all by myself. And then I find myself feeling irritated that it's just a typical day with extra food, and the kids are still whiny and require a lot of attention. Why did I expect more?

So this year I tried to have lower expectation. Be more zen about it, embrace the craziness, just focus on how lucky we are. And I was still irritated, they were still whiny, alternating with sweet and delightful, and I'm exhausted like usual.

But I know I'm lucky.
Bitty Girl ate fried chicken, bacon, and deep fried french toast. Oh, and some strawberries. All delicious, by the way. Our arteries will thank us later.

Happy Chicken Leg Day, I mean, Mother's Day!

Ok, maybe I should explain that we ate brunch at a family-owned restaurant near the in-laws, where P. grew up. It's serious food--deep fried, lots of meat and lots of mayo. It used to be just a bar, and they had this annual Christmas Eve open house where they served free food as a way for saying thank you to the customers. A few years ago they opened a restaurant, gave up the Christmas Eve thing, but still make a heck of a brunch. Think bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken (see photo), deep fried french toast, and a dessert counter piled with brownies, cheesecake, and cookies. Sigh... I think I gained five pounds just writing that sentence.

Then the cousins did a little snuggling. Yes, they're watching tv, but they really did play well together. And we felt lucky to be with family.

So in spite of the whining and the constant face wiping and perma-exhaustion, I'm thankful. My babies are healthy and we have everything we need--wonderful family, jobs, good health, good friends, and deep fried french toast. Yum.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why 2 years apart might be a good thing

Last night Bitty Girl chose "Once Upon a Potty" for Daddy to read while I cleaned up from dinner. The Boy wanted to listen, of course, as He Who Never Misses a Story.

P. started into the story, dutifully substituting our words of "pee pee" and "poop" for the book's "Wee Wee" and "Poo Poo." Commence snickering, if you are a 5 1/2 yr old boy.
Bitty Girl seemed to enjoy it, although she has shown no interest in the potty after a few early deposits a couple of months ago.

Joshua, the main character in the story, (because of course we only have the boy version--Bitty Girl gets hand-me-down books, not her own new one!) goes through the standard new potty tricks: not having to go, missing the potty, and finally proudly going in the potty.

All of which were hilarious to Mr. 5 1/2 year old. That and the part where Daddy added, "Joshua's mother, who has curly hair like The Boy and Bitty Girls' Mommy..."

Made me think that if they were 18 months apart, or even 2 years apart, the potty book wouldn't be nearly as hilarious to Mr. 4 year old.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bathtub Bakery

Tonight. Bitty Girl in the bathtub. She's sitting with her back to me, whipping up her latest concoction with her favorite pots and pans.

Bitty: (very declarative tone) Meat.
Me: Are you making some meat? What else is in there?
Bitty: Eggs.
Me: What are you making?
Bitty: (emphatically) Cake.
Me: Meat and Egg cake - yummy!

Don't all rush over to our bakery at once.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mean Green Casted Machine

Monday update: The cast is on, in all its glory. Thank God is all I have to say. I am exhausted from worrying about him in that splint. He went back to school today--hope the cast is still intact.
The Arm during a Weekend Unveiling (it was never very swollen)

Fish Lips pose with his splint (especially for Nanny)

Cast Day
Step 1: Lovely cotton sleeve to soak up the sweat and get all stinky over the next 4 weeks

Step 2: Wrap with white fiberglass wrap - they dip this ace-bandage type thing in water and it's flexible enough to wrap for a few minutes until it dries. The guy was a super fast casting expert!

Step 3: The cool part - wrap with GREEN cast stuff. He got to choose his color! Notice how The Boy took this very seriously. He has been amazing through the whole thing, actually.

Step 4: Pose for picture with awesome green cast! At least indulge silly Mommy with her camera! But you have to admit he's darling!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

One Little Monkey

It was the monkey bars. The Boy had finally conquered them, and could swing all the way across. Then Thursday afternoon, one bad jump and one big thump. Monkey bars 1, The Boy 0 (zero meaning one broken arm).

Much crying, but calmed down after some ice, and actually went to dinner and home and bed. Friday morning we decided the small bit of swelling plus the anticipation of Saturday swimming and Sunday t-ball warranted a visit to the doctor. X-ray confirmed that we're not such worry warts after all.

You can barely even see it below, thanks to the bad scanning. But it's there. If I had Photoshop, I could draw an arrow pointing to the little bump that's not supposed to be there. The bump on the right side of the picture, near the top of his radius (the big bone) just before it goes into his wrist. The bump is more noticeable on the original picture.

He's ok, not in much pain, splinted for now, with a cast (says he'll choose green) coming on Monday. More photos coming, although the actual wrist isn't that spectacular.

Mama will feel better once he's casted. Watching him wave that thing around just makes me crazy. I went in to check on him tonight after he fell asleep, and he was seriously DANGLING his left arm off the edge of the bed. Slight heart attack and some repositioning. Now I'm worried he'll knock himself silly in his sleep when he gets the heavy cast on.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Heimlich, anyone?

The life of a second child...

She is most thrilled when she's allowed to play with her brother's tiny little toys. The above choking hazards are from his Playmobil pirate ship. Not pictured: another 20,000 tiny men and hats and feathers and swords. She was given strict instructions, along with "The LOOK," about not putting any of it in her mouth. And she didn't. She's not dumb--she knows if anything goes in her mouth, it's off limits. I was right nearby, in case anyone is thinking I've gotten that relaxed by baby #2.

When The Boy was nearly 2, not only did we not have those toys in the house, but I would barely have let him get within 10 feet of a toy that small. Haven't I come a long way?

I know they're still on the forbidden list, along with grapes, raisins, raw carrots and everything else she wants to eat. And if she choked, I would have to reevaluate my lax parenting. But until then, the wee lass is going to "Ahoy there me hearties" and "Aaargh, you're walking the plank" to her hearts' content.