Archive for the 'Adventures in Parenting' Category

Things I Don’t Want to Forget, Part 1

  • Kate is always the first one I take out to the car when we are going out-and-about or to Miss Jennifer’s. As soon as we are in the garage and Kate sees the car, she starts to clap and say, “Yay!” She also claps and says “Yay” when we are returning home and pulling into the garage. I will say, “We’re home,” and Kate starts cheering.
  • Kate is the first into the car and the last one out…every time. Carson is less likely to fuss if he sees me leave the room, so Kate always goes first.
  • Carson always wakes up from naps and bedtime earlier than Kate — 1 + hours usually. The time we have alone together before Kate wakes up from her nap is my favorite time of the day with Carson. We cuddle on the couch, I carry him around, we play and talk on the floor. When he hears Kate start to wake up on the monitor, he starts to fuss and whine because he knows his time is up.
  • They hate traditional sippy cups, but love drinking from straws instead.
  • Carson gradually wakes up from sleep. I can hear him chirping, “talking” and softly calling out “dada” over the monitor. Kate wakes up in a full scream every time. So I run up the stairs and I always find her smiling.
  • Kate is hot and cold on hair bows. There are some days that she will wear one and not mess with it; other days she instantly pulls it out and refuses to wear it.
  • Carson likes to sit at the back of the bath tub and hoard all of the toys back there. Kate likes to sit in front and play with the water coming out of the faucet.
  • Carson hates having his teeth brushed, and Kate doesn’t seem to mind at all.
  • Both are struggling with the concept of shoes.

Kate was so exhausted on Sunday night after returning from Dallas, that she passed out (with our dog Maggie) at 6 PM.

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King of the Mountain

I had a ROUGH day with Carson.

I don’t know if this was some kind of toddler pay-back for this past weekend when he was so clingy, fussy and insecure with all the new people and places, but he was just downright horrible all day. He was highly aggressive, mad, defiant, tantrumy (yes, it’s my new word), and at times mean. He has never had a day like this before.

Strangely enough, he didn’t take it out on Kate. He saved it all for his unsuspecting mama!

Let’s see…he threw his breakfast and lunch on the floor and when I told him to stop he screamed “NO!” and then dumped it all. (I made Mark handle dinner because I wasn’t up for another fight with him.) He shut me out of my own office, and screamed “NO!” at me while banging on the glass French doors. He turned off the satellite box at least ten times today, and each time I got on to him about it he screamed “NO!” Two of those times he also hit our flat screen TV — once with his hands and then with a large plastic toy. He got into the kitchen trash can more times than I can remember. When I would catch him, he would scream at me and then take off through the house with whatever prize he had gotten out of the can. He figured out how to open the back door (which, by the way, we have the kind of handles that cannot be child-proofed) and explored the patio while I frantically searched the house for him. He has never before opened a door before, and I had just let the dogs go outside which is why I had not locked the door.

But the big highlight of the day was when he started to get into a mini fight with Kate over by the toy bin. She refused to let him have a toy he was trying to steal from her. So he started angrily screaming and then crawled as fast as he could to me and started hitting me! I was sitting on the floor looking at a magazine and thought he was coming to me for comfort. Nope. If he could get Kate, I guess he would get me. When I stopped him from hitting me, he had a melt down. Once I thought he had calmed down, I reached out and picked him up and hugged him while he sat in my lap. He suddenly turned and started hitting me in the face and grunting/screaming at me. So I walked away from him and let him throw his fit on the floor. Kate just looked on with this ‘what’s going on?’ expression on her face.

Sigh.

Bad day with Mr. Carson.

The good part is that he slept until 7:30 AM and then took a 2 1/2 hour nap this afternoon — both of these things have never happened before. He has never slept that much like this. He usually takes one hour naps, and wakes up before 6 AM. I don’t know if that had anything to do with his behavior today.

I have my fingers crossed that he wakes up in better spirits tomorrow.

Oh, and Miss Kate had a wonderful day. She talked my ear off.

4th of July Weekend

 For whatever reason (I am guessing my hatred for oppressive Texas heat), the 4th of July has never been one of my favorite holiday. I love fireworks and hot dogs, but I’ve never been a big fan of all of the other festivities. I suppose that explains why we never really have an awesome 4th of July.

However, this year we actually did more than we usually do on the 4th.

Mark took off Thursday and played golf all day while the kiddos were at Miss Jennifer’s and I stayed home to work on a new project. This was the first time in years that Mark played golf. He said he had a great time, and even came home with a nice farmer’s tan.

My mom drove over Thursday evening, and we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house out in the country. I’ve always loved going out to their house. There’s always a lot of food, laughter, alcohol, and something for everyone. The guys went down to the fire pit and I think they tossed horseshoes for a while. I had a ton of folks playing with the twins which gives me some time to relax and eat a meal without toddlers climbing on me.

The twins did great out there too. We arrived right at their normal bedtime (7:30), so I was expecting it to be a cranky evening. Not the case! They were in high spirits up until we left at midnight! I couldn’t believe it. They fell asleep in the car on the way home, and I figured surely they would sleep in.

Nope!

They woke up at their usually 6:15 AM! So, our Friday schedule was a bit out of whack. We ended up not going to the big festival because the twins took a 3+ hour nap since they were up so late the night before.

Mark went and played Frisbee golf this morning — another activity he hasn’t done in years — and I hung out with the kiddos and visited with my mom.

Other little tidbits…

Carson is officially a walker! He has gotten so good and so steady at walking in the past week. My mom was blown away. I would say he walks about 80% of the time and crawls 20%.

Carson has also started to point to facial features (nose, eyes, etc) on command just like has been doing for a while now. I’m having a hard time teaching them animals, but they like doing facial features.

As I said in the previous post, the kids went to sleep before it was dark enough to do sparklers, but I lit one up while they had lunch (I stood just outside the doorway on the porch & they watched from their high chairs). Kate LOVED it. She clapped and laughed. Carson wasn’t afraid of it, but he obviously did not like the strong smell of sulfer that it gave off.

 We have been having some issues with Kate at night. This could easily be an entire post, but I wanted to mention it now so I could at least have a date reference in the future. For the past 2 weeks or so, Kate has been having night terrors

We are all about teaching the word “please” in our house right now.

We are using sporks a little less often. There has been too much playing and throwing of food, and not enough eating of food. So they are practicing with them for one meal a day until the novelty wear off a little.

So how was everyone’s holiday weekend?

Tidbits

Yeah, this is another lazy post because it’s approaching midnight and my thoughts are a bit all over the place tonight.

  • Kate’s sleeping through the night is now a thing of the past. For the past week, she is waking up between 10-11:30 PM screaming bloody murder. Finally, after some trial and error, we figured out that she wanted milk. I’m not sure what this is all about. I’ve heard of sleep regression, so perhaps that’s it. I also tend to think she isn’t eating enough dinner lately; she prefers to play with it.
  • My mom is coming to visit for the holiday weekend, and we have all kinds of fun stuff planned. We are going over to my aunt and uncle’s for a little family shindig, and then we are taking the family to our town’s Fourth of July celebration. Hell, I’m just looking forward to having an excuse to put on some make-up and look a little less slobbish.
  • The mother of the kid who accidentally dropped Kate and busted her lip last week apologized to me when I picked up the twins this afternoon. Well, actually her exact working was, “I’m sorry my daughter beat up your daughter.” She said it in a sing-songy (is that a word? It is now.) way which I really can’t stand. I don’t like being talked to like I’m a toddler, but that could be a whole other post. Anyway, I chuckled and said that everything was fine. Then she added, “Well, I suspect this won’t be the last time a parent apologizes to you about their kid beating up on Kate. She’s small and has a smart mouth on her.” (Still in that damn sing-songy tone.) Are you f’ing kidding me? How exactly can a 16 month old who has about a 10 word vocabulary have a smart mouth on her? My smile faded, and I gave a less than friendly reply. I know that other mom isn’t too happy about having her twins kicked out of Miss Jennifer’s and forced into a more structured preschool, and for whatever reason she decided to unleash that tension she is having with Miss Jennifer out on me.
  • Do you think the twins are ready for sparklers this year? Oh how I love sparklers.
  • I have received two email newsletter thingies from large baby websites (who, by the way, will never remove you from their databases…something all pregnant women should know) about potty training. I find this incredible! 16 months old — actually 14 months old when you adjust their age due to prematurity. Potty training! I have one kid who is walking, but isn’t talking yet. Another who is talking, but isn’t walking yet. We are not ready for potty training yet. Everything I’ve ever heard or read about says to start thinking about as their 2nd birthday is approaching. It just seems so rushed. My “potty training strategy” is to build up to it slowly and wait for cues from them that they are interested in the concept. They aren’t even physically able to hold it in at this age. Why would I want to set them up for failure? It all seems so absurd to me.

Sunday Night Thoughts*

We had yet another nice-but-uneventful weekend.

I’ve decided that I need to change some things in my life. I’m bored. I’m isolated. I need to change that.

I don’t have a job outside of the home. Life has gone on auto-pilot as far as the twins are concerned — meaning, we have a great schedule, they sleep through the night, they play a lot on their own or with each other. I often feel like my main job is to feed them, keep them clean, give them hugs and kisses when they want them (and even when they don’t), and make sure they don’t kill themselves or each other. I know that’s rather simplistic, but life isn’t nearly as challenging as it was when we were dealing with infants (i.e., SLEEP DEPRIVATION). So now I am looking for new things to stimulate them, and always plotting future adventures.

But then there is me. Not the mom Shannon, but the adult Shannon. The 31-year old woman whose only adult interaction is with Mark, my nightly call to my mom, and Miss Jennifer (for 10 minutes twice a week). We never go out. All of our close friends live up in Dallas, and my local family is always busy with their own lives to do anything social with us.

Part of the problem is the weekend.

For me, I would like the weekend to full of outings, time with Mark, family time with the twins (trips to the zoo, park, swimming, etc), occasional date nights, visiting friends, etc. I am suck in the house all week, and so I want to go out and about on the weekends.

For Mark, the weekends are a time to rest. I completely understand where he is coming from because he works hard all week, has a job with a lot of stress, responsiblity, and hours, and he travels a bit for work too. So I know he wants (and needs) to spend his weekends napping, working around the house, watching TV…just chilling out and re-charging his battery for another busy work week.

 Those are polar opposites. We want different things.

I’ve looked into mom groups, but they are either already full or just not a group I would be interested in.

So, I am thinking that one nice compromise is to have one dinner party a month. Hmm, perhaps dinner party isn’t the right phrase. Nothing formal, but just invite another couple over to the house for dinner, wine, and adult conversation. Mark is a fantastic cook, I’ve worked hard to create a nice home, Mark’s co-workers and partners could see another side to him (which is always good on the career front), and I would get the adult interaction that I so desperately crave.

Of course, when I brought this up to Mark — and showed him my list of potential couples to invite — he chuckled and rolled his eyes. He is probably right. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had a grand idea, and then it just doesn’t pan out or the excitement fizzles out and I drop the idea.

Does anyone else out there feel this way? Any suggestions?

#  #  #  #

Anyhoo, the twins had a great weekend, though they both were wild as hell today. They were so happy and in great moods, but they did everything possible to get into trouble (getting into the fireplace, climbing a baker’s rack, trying to eat dog food, pulling on the wood blinds, getting into the trash can, etc). All things that they know are no-nos, but they didn’t seem to care today. They would just smile, continue doing what they aren’t suppose to do, and then try to out run us when we came after them. They were just wild today! 🙂

Kate’s fat lip is pretty much all gone.

Carson is walking more, better, and faster! I would say he is walking about 30-40% (vs. crawling) of the time now. I’ve noticed that at some times of the day, he prefers to crawl instead of walk.

Kate has been practicing standing unsupported (not holding on to anything) all weekend.

#  #  #  # 

Oh how I wish I could put my feet in the ocean. We.need.a.vacation!

 

* Alternative title: Can I Get Some Cheese with That Whine!

Tidbits

 

  • My mom came over for a quick visit on Friday. As usual, we didn’t do anything exciting — grocery shopping, she watched the kiddos while I cleaned, laundry, talking, playing with the tots, etc. I always feel bad when she drives all the way over just for a mundane day with us. Perhaps it’s not so mundane to her though.
  • We got to briefly visit with Mark’s niece and her husband (and some completely random dude we weren’t expecting). They were passing through town for an audition, so they didn’t get to see the twins (already in bed). We hope to get up to Dallas in July to visit family & friends.
  • Carson is teething again. One of his top front teeth has finally made it’s debut. Now he has four teeth, and so does Kate. Kate hasn’t had any new teeth come in since March. That seems strange to me that there would be that long of a break.
  • Kate was so brave on Friday during her blood work and allergy test. She didn’t cry at all on their first attempt to draw blood in one arm, but cried when they did the other arm. I hope to hear back from the pedi this week on what (if anything) she is allergic to and what her iron levels look like.
  • It’s a sad day in our house. Mark and I loved George Carlin (1937-2008). Mark described at loosing a part of his childhood. My guess is that he probably snuck his parents’ Carlin album out as a kid just to hear the dirty words.
  • I wanted to blog about this last week (but life got in the way), but the death of Tim Russert was upsetting to me. Anyone who ever set foot in a journalism department at any university was likely taught about the impact of Russert. I clearly remember one of my professors telling my class of aspiring reporters that we should all strive to be like him. As for me, I had a Sunday morning date with him since I was a freshman in high school where my love for politics took root. Plus, he was exactly my mom’s age, and that freaks me out.
  • Note to Self: Do not EVER let the twins try diet green tea. It causes the worst acidy diaper rash. My poor babies private bits look like they are on fire!

Photo: Mark & the twins watching “60 Minutes” — like all Sundays. Take note of the state of our living room. Sheesh…these tots can really destroy a room in no time flat. 🙂

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

We have created little begging monsters, and by ‘we’ I mean me and my mom.

It all started innocently enough by seeing if the babies were able to drink from a normal cup (my cup). That lead to Kate’s instant fondness for Diet Coke. That in turn lead to Carson wanting to try also because he wants to do whatever Kate does (and vice versa). Then I made the mistake of letting them try little snacky foods that I would eat in the afternoon — popcorn, chips & dip, etc.

Now it’s gotten to the point where I cannot sit down to eat or drink anything without being swarmed by two little begging babies. I can’t sit at the breakfast table or on the couch. They climb, they whine, they fuss, they cry, in their attempt to get to my food and drink. Kate starts crawling at full speed while saying ‘Mmmm!’ (thanks mom!) as loud as she can. At first it was all very cute, but now it’s becoming rather annoying.

Last week, Miss Jennifer reported to me that they are harrassing her too. She said she eats her lunch once the twins go down for their naps, and has to sneak into her kitchen for a quick drink. We laughed about it, but it’s a bit weird to be known as the lady with the tots who beg like dogs.

I don’t even think they actually like Diet Coke because I tried giving them a little in their sippy cups and they wanted nothing to do with it. So, they only want it because they are getting it from my glass. They get so excited to drink from my glass, and Carson especially acts proud of himself now that he can do it without spilling. They also love sticking their fingers in the cup and touching the ice. It’s fun to watch how they react to the sensation of ice.

Anyway, I know this is a habit I need to break, but I’m not sure what approach to take. In the big picture, it’s not that big of a deal, but I would love to able to sit on the couch with a drink and not be literally attacked the moment they hear the ice rattle inside the glass.

# # # #

The twins are having their wellness appointment on Wednesday morning (at 8:15 AM…Ugh!), and I have been chomping at the bit to see how much the twins weigh now. So we did out unofficial-unreliable-on-the-bathroom-scale twin weigh in tonight…

Carson weighed in at — brace yourself— 28 lbs! That would be about a 5 lbs gain in 2 weeks (since our last bathroom scale weigh in). When Mark told me I though surely that had to be very wrong, but Kate weighed in at 21 lbs which is exactly what I would have guessed. So perhaps it is fairly accurate. Now I am even more excited about this pedi appointment. I can’t wait for some new stats.