Saturday, December 12, 2009

Loving My Child in the Mess

Babies are sweet, and each one is a miracle. A woman spends nine months wondering what her baby will be like and anticipating holding him. The day comes when he is born, and she feels overwhelmed with love for him. And then one day she wakes up and realizes that her life now revolves around... poop. Does the baby poop too much? Or is he constipated? And later still, when the baby becomes a toddler, she enters his room only to discover that once again her precious child has decided to smear his poop all over himself, the crib, and the wall.

This is how I feel today. Like my life now revolves around poop. My son has decided that poop = paint. So one can only imagine the fun times I've had as of late. It seems that no matter what I do differently, at least once a day I am cleaning up his "artwork" that inevitably comes in one form or another. Ah, the life of a stay at home mom. But as I was saying to my husband, it's all worth it. Even if I'm cleaning up poop every day, at least I get the chance to stay home with my kids, loving on them and teaching them.

I get to teach them patience, because apparently that is one of the lessons God is wanting me to learn. I teach them manners ("No yelling inside. What do you say? Don't bite your sister!"). I teach them love. To me, love is the most important. I must be somewhat of a decent teacher, because my kids really do seem to love each other. So, I remind myself, amidst the arguing kids and the "paint removal" resides a sweet family that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What to do?

Ruined Slumbers
Well, here I am again with a grumpy toddler at naptime. I'm starting to believe that our apartment staff knows my children's nap schedule and decides to do lawn care during those times at least once a week. Of course, as soon as nap time is over, lawn care ceases. How frustrating! Maybe I can build a sound-proof room for naps? And the kids aren't the only ones missing out on their sleep. Hubby and I have been tossing and turning 'most every night since we've moved (well, more him than me). I'm sure some of the restless nights are due to stress, but we're beginning to think that maybe he has a touch of insomnia? Looking into buying melatonin. Hopefully the all natural sleep aid will help.

Pet Woes
I'm not sure what to do with our gerbils. One of them has an open sore on her belly that just isn't healing. It's been there for at least a couple of weeks, if not longer. Some days she seems fine - up running around, eating, drinking, etc. - and other days she just rests and seems sickly. Her sister gerbil is doing well. We haven't seen any sores on her or noticed strange/sick behavior. But last night, I watched for a few minutes as Scurry (the sick gerbil) closed her eyes took in labored breaths while Scamper sat nervously beside her. Scamper knows something is up.

Dark Thoughts
The life span of a gerbil is 3-5 years, and we bought the two gerbils together almost three years ago. So, we don't expect them to live much longer. Hubbs has suggested we just let them go outside. But I'm sure they would be attacked almost immediately by one of the neighbors' cats. The only person who shows any remote interest in them anymore is C, and I highly doubt he would miss them terribly if they were gone. H will occasionally ask to play with them or feed them, etc. But mostly she has nothing to do with them. Basically, and I can't believe I'm saying this, we're just waiting for them to die. They are very sweet pets, and I know it sounds awful, but we just can't give them the attention they need and deserve - medical or otherwise. So, my question is, What should we do with them? Just continue to take care of them and see what happens? Let them go somewhere and hope they survive? I'm not sure. I am sure, however, that if something isn't done soon, Onyx will find a way to get the cage open. She has already discovered how to jump to the top of the bookshelf where the gerbils reside. I'm waiting for the morning we wake up and find two gerbil carcasses outside of the bedroom door.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Time

It won't be long now. My son is showing early signs of potty training readiness. He brings me diapers when he needs to be changed and takes off his diaper when it's soiled or wet; not every time, but it's becoming more frequent. I don't want to push him into it, so we're going to wait until he's truly ready before we give potty training a try.

On another note, we had some great family time last night! Hubby and I took the kids to a corn maze and got lost in the corn for about an hour. Our daughter loved it! She wanted to lead, but kept taking us in circles. :) C, on the other hand, was afraid of the corn. He was carried most of the time because when we put him down he didn't walk too far before getting scared again. And since he was scared, he didn't want Daddy to hold him; he wanted Mommy. So Mommy got a great little workout carrying a 25 lb toddler for an hour! Ha ha..

After the maze we decided to go out to eat at Red Robin (Yum!). This was the kids' chance to redeem themselves for the past few times of being awful at a restaurant. After explaining to H the do's and don'ts of restaurant behavior, we actually had a pleasant experience. Toward the end C got bored and started to yell a bit, but overall the kids did very well. Hubbs and I were so impressed we decided to take them out for ice cream after dinner.

Later, once kids were in bed, I had some quality Wii time with Hubby, beating him at least twice in ping pong (he beat me in everything else). We stayed up for awhile laughing until our heads hurt (literally)! I love those moments. :) And I love days like yesterday, when we all get to spend some quality time together as a family. I can't wait till Hubby's next day off so we can hang out and laugh with him some more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Joys of Children

For some reason, every time I vacuum this apartment, everyone goes nuts! I can understand why the cat does. I mean, she's 8 weeks old and our big mean vacuum cleaner is threatening to eat her (rather loudly, might I add). So she hisses and cries at it while arching her back from the top of the couch. Meanwhile, my oldest is literally running and hopping and hiding all over the place. She isn't afraid of the thing, she just likes to do it. I asked her, "Why are you running around like a monkey?" Her response? "Because I like to be a monkey!" Of course. And then here comes C, always the helper. He's not only intrigued by the vacuum, but wants to help Mommy hold the cord, unplugging it in the process. Mind you, we are on the second floor of this apartment so if there are any neighbors below us, they most certainly don't like us.

On another topic, we almost had a dead kitten on our hands last night. I sent the kids to clean their room while I cleaned up things in the rest of the apartment, and after about 20 minutes out comes  our daughter, H, followed by our 8 week old kitten, who is limping. Great. It turns out she was throwing the poor thing into the air and attempting to catch it. Well, she missed. I was livid. I calmly but firmly explained the severity of the situation, then decided some time-out with her face to the wall would suffice until Daddy came home.

When he came home, daddy had a good long talk with her about the proper way to handle the cat and by the time he was through (10-15 mins later) she felt so guilty about it that we decided an early bed time, the talk, and the time-out were punishment enough. The talk must have sunk in, because all day today she told me how sorry she was and that it was the worst thing she'd ever done. :(

Onyx is doing just fine. She's been running and walking with no limp all day. She's staying clear of the kids' room for now, and just within the past hour or so has been playing with H's feet. I've told H to sit and let the kitty come to her instead of her trying to pet/play with the kitty, and it seems to be working.

As I'm typing this, H is trying to play Wii fit and C is trying to push her off the board, so it looks like I've gotta run!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Changes

Friday afternoon I had Ethiopian coffee, served in the traditional way, for the first time. When I was first invited I was afraid it would be too bitter or too strong but it was very good! My neighbor and her mother in law served me coffee three times, as per tradition, from a jebena (clay coffee pot). She showed me how they roast the coffee in a long handled pot, then ground it up and pour the grounds in the jebena along with water. It was a cool experience. I believe H and I are becoming fast friends with mom, F, and daughter, R. R is H's age and they are so alike it's scary! :) They're both very energetic and rambunctious and they're both "big sisters." R invited her to sleep over Friday night so they stayed up late eating pizza and sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

We are currently trying to find a new church home, as we moved thirty mins away from our former one. Thirty minutes might not seem like much, but trust me, the money spent on gas adds up quickly! The kids and I visited a church today that I haven't been to in about four years. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and friends.

I can't believe it's already fall! Fall is my favorite season, and I hope we get some nice weather this year. For me, fall represents a bustling, busy time of getting ready for holidays and spending time with family. My goals for fall: jump in piles of leaves with my kids, find a church home, have a bonfire, make s'mores with my hubby (who has never had them!), have a halloween party (?), and make something great to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe I have too many goals? Eh, we'll see!