Monday, November 25, 2013

Pee Pants

I don't blog often these days.  It takes a really good story for me to want to update this thing.  A story that, when it is happening, makes me want to laugh, cry, and pull my hair out all at once.

Tonight I have such a story.

It's a harrowing tale of pee, broken merchandise, and excellent customer service.

It all started with a trip to Hobby Lobby.  I had to return a couple of things and Lewis wanted to do some Christmas shopping.  After I returned my items I found myself with an empty bag.  I remember specifically thinking that I wished the clerk had just thrown the bag away.  Not knowing what to do with it, I just stuffed it in my pocket.

Poppy and I browsed while Lewis and Jack were off on a secret mission.  Amidst our wandering we happened upon a quite excellent Christmas present for Jack, so we took it up front to pay for it and wait for the boys.  I noticed them near the cash registers and was just about to call and see if I needed to stay away so as to not ruin any Christmas surprises when I got a call from Lewis instead.

"Jack peed his pants."

Fabulous.


I was planning on taking him to the bathroom before we left the store, but apparently he just couldn't hold it (we are still working on having him tell us when he needs to go).  Thankfully we had packed an extra outfit.  I took Jack out of the cart and set him on the floor so he could waddle over to the restroom.

If you've ever been to Hobby Lobby with small children, you may have noticed that it is not exactly a suitable place for them to be unconfined.  There are lots of really tempting displays for them to touch.  Displays with breakable items.

Like the one right next to us of fake fruit in ceramic dishes.

I was just telling Jack not to touch when he pulled the plastic grapes he was manhandling right off the shelf along with the mug they were sitting in.


We now needed a broom along with a mop.

Jack and I waddled (literally in his case) off the bathroom and I stripped him down just in time for another customer to come in: old lady, probably has lots of grandkids - she just chuckled knowingly.  I got him dressed in the fresh clothes only to discover that my foresight in packing did not include extra shoes or socks and the material out of which his pants were made caused the urine to roll right down to his heels.

So there I was with a barefoot kid and a pile of soggy clothes in a public restroom.  And I was thanking my lucky stars that I still had the bag from my return cause that gave me somewhere to put the clothes.  Except for the shoes.  Jack needed new ones anyway, and our next stop was Walmart, so into the trash bin they went.

"Are we pushing our luck?" Lewis wondered aloud as we headed off the Walmart.  "Nah," I responded.  "We'll be fine."  The kid only pees about every two hours, after all.  The Hobby Lobby incident was an anomaly.

Famous last words.

As we walked into Walmart Lewis and I cracked jokes that we were that family - the one out and about in 35 degrees with a barefoot kid.  "It's a good thing," Lewis said.  "In twenty years when I see a guy carrying a shoeless kid into Walmart in freezing weather I'll be able to sigh and say, 'been there!'"

First things first we went to the shoe section and spent five minutes negotiating with Jack over why he needed the higher-quality shoes over the exact same pair we had just thrown away which wasn't available in his size anyway.

Then we went about our business, gathering supplies for Thanksgiving.  We couldn't have been in the store more than thirty minutes when we were ready to check out.  So as to keep both kids wrangled and happy (Jack hates riding in the back of a cart) we had two separate carts and Poppy and I were forging on ahead to the shorter lines when I heard my name, looked back, and saw the boys back twenty yards, unmoving.

"He did it again."

You've got to be kidding me.


The trips to Lowe's and Cafe Rio we had planned were abruptly cancelled and I ran back to the home goods section to grab a towel for Jack to sit on on the ride home.

And now as I sit here at my computer I can't help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of our evening out.  I have to.  If it's not ridiculous, it's just sad.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wonderful people that helped us during our pee pants saga.

-The staff of Hobby Lobby who quickly mopped and swept up our mess, wouldn't let Lewis pay for the broken ceramic, and graciously said "no apology necessary" when Jack and I went over to say thank you to the guy mopping after he was changed.

-The checker at Walmart who gave us half off the new shoes when Lewis told her why we needed them.

-The jewelry clerk at Walmart (in front of which accident #2 occurred) who told Lewis, "No problem, honey, I've got grandkids and I know just what it's like," and quickly got a clean up crew to that mess (I wasn't there for that conversation, but in my head she said all that with a southern accent).

-The staff of Chick-fil-a who got our order filled quickly and deliciously when we were hangry in the drive-thru.

Meanwhile, Poppy Jane decided to make a break for it in the check-out line, in spite of the seat restraint.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Escapee

Poppy woke me up to eat at two o'clock this morning.  As I made my way to her room, I noticed something disturbing about her brother's room next door: the door was wide open and the bed was empty.

Fearing the worst I flew back into the master bedroom and woke Lewis up.  He went downstairs and found Jack, sitting quietly on the couch in the TV room in complete darkness.  Lewis took him back upstairs, read him a story and (at Jack's insistence) sang their bedtime song and Jack went right back to sleep.

While the entire incident was over in less than five minutes, it left me with a few questions and concerns.

1. How did Jack get out of his room?  Months ago he figured out how to open a few of the doors in our house (although they all have the same type of doorknob, no two doors in our house seem to open and shut the same way), but then he forgot and I've seen no evidence of his re-learning, although he has come close several times.  However, based on the fact that he pounded on his door to get me let him out this morning, I tend to not think he magically figured out his door in the middle of the night, and then forgot five hours later.  Since attempted kidnapping has been ruled out, it seems more than likely that I didn't shut the door all the way when I went to check on him before going to bed last night.  It's finicky, and this is not the first time he's gotten out because of an unlatched door (although the last time was when we were still up).

The imp in question.

2. How often does Jack get out of bed at night to try to open the door/see if it's already open?  How long does he spend awake each night?  If we let him keep any toys or books in his room would he ever sleep?  (Actually I already know the answer to that one: no, no he would not.)  Is this the answer to the great mystery that is toddler no-reason meltdowns?

3. How long was Jack out of his room?  Is he the reason Poppy woke up in the first place?

4. What exactly did he do after he escaped?  Were his activities limited to descending the stairs and sitting on the couch?  Did he try to turn on the TV or play with any of his toys only to put them back precisely where he found them before engaging in couch sitting?

In sum, I really wish my house was equipped with indoor security cameras.  I'd love to review those tapes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Wasp

Jack got stung by a wasp today.

We had been playing outside all morning, and it was time for him to take a nap.  Lewis was gone helping his brother, so Poppy got to join us for reading a book and singing a song before Jack went to sleep.  Just as we got settled onto his bed with a book and both kids on my lap, Jack said, "Ow."

Now, Jack has not yet learned how to manipulate with the word "ow."  I'm sure the phase where he'll say that word at any and everything is coming, but we're not there yet.  So when he says "ow," he means "ow."

He had scraped his knee outside, so I looked to see if it was rubbing somewhere.  And that's when I saw the wasp.  Crawling on his shirt was the biggest, most menacing wasp that every existed*.

My first inclination was to swat it off of Jack and hightail the both of us out of there, possibly screaming.  But remember that Poppy was with us, and as talented as she is, her neck muscles are still a touch weak and hightailing anywhere with an infant is typically less than recommended.

So I gently slid out from under Jack, placed Poppy on the bed...and watched as the wasp buzzed down from Jack's shirt onto the bed and towards my daughter.

If I were a cursing woman, this would have been a prime time to quote Mrs. Weasley in the seventh Harry Potter book as she engages in battle with Bellatrix Lestrange.

I snatched Poppy off the bed, shuttled Jack out the door (who was looking curiously at his arm where the wasp had stung), and looked back in time to see the wasp zip over the window blinds.

Naturally I did the logical thing.  I shut all the other doors upstairs so it couldn't get in any of those rooms.  Did I shut Jack's door effectively trapping the wasp and preventing it from traveling through the open areas in my home?  Don't be silly.  That would be preposterous.

By the time it occurred to me to maybe do that, I couldn't see the wasp on the blinds any more.  So we left the house completely.  I took the kids outside and called Lewis to come rescue us.

Meanwhile, I examined the sting on Jack's arm.  The last and only time I was every stung by a wasp, it had gotten stuck somehow in the waistband of my skirt and stung me about half a dozen times before I got it out, so I wasn't sure how a single sting should look.  Plus Jack has allergies**, the potential for a reaction was there.  It looked okay, though, and he wasn't acting weird, so I let him run off and play.

Lewis arrived along with his brother and asked me where the wasp was.  "I know where it's not," I said.  Apparently he found that less than helpful.

But as it turns out leaving Jack's door open neither hurt nor hindered the location of the wasp.  Lewis found it still among the window blinds.  His brother joined him in the room and they shut the door, probably the keep my children away from the trauma of watching them dispatch of the creature.  I don't know what their methods were, but it sounded gruesome.

The moral of the story is, if you or any of your kids are going to get stung by a wasp, do so on a Saturday when your husband can (relatively easily) come home and rescue you.  And if you're my neighbor, maybe spray for wasps.

*Its stature may have since become exaggerated in my mother mind.

**Although just to peanuts now.  He's officially outgrown the milk allergy - yay!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two Jack Stories

Number One:

In my church, the first Sunday of every month is set aside for fasting and testimonies.  As many as are able abstain from food for two meals and donate the money they would have spent on food.  Then in our church meetings, everyone has the opportunity to share their testimony to everyone else, a declaration of what they know to be true (in the gospel), and experiences that have backed up that knowledge.

I rarely share my testimony.  It's not that I don't have one (I very much know the teachings of my church to be true - to find out more, go here), I just don't often like to speak off the cuff in front of a large group of people.

But this past Sunday, somebody (name starts with J and rhymes with "stack") forced my hand.

My little boy is a wee bit attached to me, so when I stepped out of the chapel to feed Poppy Jane, he had a bit of a meltdown (the microphone to the chapel is piped into the nursing lounge, so I could hear him).  Eventually Lewis took him out into the foyer to calm down, and when Poppy was done eating, I was able to sneak back into the chapel without Jack noticing.

As I was sitting there, enjoying the testimony of a lovely woman who recently adopted a young almost-toddler, I noticed the top of a small head of blond hair skimming the edge of the stand wall, between the podium and where the people waiting to share their testimonies sit.  Huh, I thought.  I didn't think this woman's new son could walk yet.  Nor did I think he had hair that long and so similar to Jack - nope, that is Jack.  What the what?

The hair in question.

I passed Poppy off to my neighbor sitting in front of us and made my way to the stand, snatching Jack.  At this point it would've been more embarrassing to go back to my seat, so we stayed up there so I could share my testimony after all.

In the meantime, Lewis appeared in the open doorway next to the stand.  Apparently he had let Jacko go play on the chairs by that door while he talked to some friends, not knowing that the door was open (it's usually shut), and Jack - who has been trying to get up on the stand for months - saw an opportunity and did not waste it.

Number Two:

With the exception of his over-attachment to me recently (even more than usual), Jackaroni has been remarkably delightful.  He's had fewer meltdowns and more laughter.  Fewer tantrums and more joy.  It's been wonderful.

Except last night he turned into an unholy terror.  A demon straight from Mount Doom.  I thought I might die, or at the very least have my ears explode from all the screaming.

I had just gotten back from the chiropractor (I'm receiving treatment for a vertebral subluxation - go ahead and pity me, I won't mind) to find my brother, my husband, and my two kids hanging out in the living room.  One sniff near Jack told me he was in need of a fresh diaper.  I changed him and then set to work ordering our Pass of all Passes (if you know what that is and want a killer deal on it, go here and order one quick - the sale ends tonight) (then come swimming with us).  This required quite a bit of effort, and Jack was not making it easy by insisting on joining his sister in my lap, banging on the keyboard while I was typing important information (like our credit card number), and screaming as shrilly as possible when I tried to stop him.  I finally finished and decided we all needed to go outside.  Jack always calms down outside.

Outside earlier that day.

But not today!  He wailed when his uncle blew the bubbles he requested.  He sobbed when I tried.  He shrieked as loud as he could when I asked him if he wanted to go back inside.  He nodded emphatically when I offered to take him to the playground.  Off we went.

At the playground it was more of the same.  Shortly after arriving, however, Andrew asked about the dinner I had tempted him with, so we went back inside to make it and to muffle the screams.

As I cooked, Jack stomped on my feet and pushed my legs to get me to pick him up with my hands covered in raw chicken.  And he screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed.  At long last Lewis made the executive decision to put Jack to bed early.  Yes, please.

Finally, there was peace.  Dinner made it to the oven in a flash.  I could hear the bath running upstairs, and Lewis struggling to get Jack calm enough to take off his clothes.  Then I hear my name, called by Lewis in his "get up here right now, this is serious" voice.

I found them in Jack's room, where Lewis declared he may have found the root of Jack's mood and handed me the diaper he had just removed.  I turned the diaper over in my hands.  Nothing seemed amiss.  The wetness indicator line showed that it was a little wet, but that was all.

Wait.  Jack's diapers don't have a wetness indicator line.

Poppy's do.

I had stuffed my 21-month-old son into his two-month-old sister's diapers without even blinking an eye.

Oops.

Poor little Jack.  Squished in an excessively too small diaper, and his mom about dies laughing.

We elected to cancel Jack's early bedtime, and he came back downstairs as his normal, pleasant self.  We enjoyed a lovely meal of oven-baked chicken, cornbread, strawberries, and grapes.

It's no wonder Jack was such a crab.  His panties were literally in a bunch.

Yep.  That one's on me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bed Woes

About a month before Poppy was born, we bought Jack a new bed so that she could have the crib.  She's been in a bassinet in our room, though, so we've been moving Jack to the new bed very slowly (emphasis on very).  For a while we would do our bedtime routine with him in his bed, and then move him to the crib.  We would ask him if he wanted to sleep in the "big boy bed" and he always said yes, but when it came time to actually do that, he would get scared and want his crib.

This week, however, we decided it was time.  Whether he liked it or not, Jack was moving to the new bed.  The tricky thing is that the latch on his new bedroom door is kind of tricky, so we don't shut it all the way and it leaves a little crack that we can conveniently see through to check on him.  Because he can get out, though, we've been sleeping with a gate at the top of the stairs.

Night 1: Lewis puts Jack in bed.  Jack cries for a good half hour before falling asleep, but never gets out of bed.  Success!

3 AM Jack wakes up screaming.  Lewis rushes to his side and puts him in the crib.  In hindsight he probably should have given Jack a couple of minutes to calm himself down and go back to sleep, but who thinks rationally at 3 AM?

Night 2: Lewis has school, so I put Jack to bed.  He cries for less than five minutes.  An hour later I go up to check on him.  He's wide awake and sitting up.  As soon as I get to his door his eyes fly to the crack and I freeze.  It's a stare down until I finally risk moving away.  The moment I take a step, Jack says, "Mama."  It was only one word, but by his tone he clearly meant, "Mom, I know you're there.  What exactly do you think you're doing?"  I sheepishly enter the room and ask if he wants the baby bed.  Emphatic yes.

Night 3: I don't remember the reason why, but we didn't even try to put him to sleep in the big boy bed.  Probably should've.

This is what Jack should be doing right now.

Night 4: Jack cries briefly, then goes to sleep.  Right before we go to bed, I go in to check on him to discover that he's poopy.  I couldn't let him sleep all night like that (plus he's never successfully slept through a poop anyway, so I knew it was only a matter of time before he'd be up), so I got him up and changed his diaper.  Afterwards I lied down with him in the big boy bed, but he was much more intent on playing with my face than going to sleep.  Back to the crib.

Day 5: Jack takes his first nap in the big boy bed.

Night 5: Jack fusses for .2 seconds then spends the next ninety minutes pulling every book he owns onto the bed with him and "reading" them aloud to himself.  Then from downstairs we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet across the hall, into our room, and back out.  Finally an almighty wail sounds from the gate at the top of the stairs.  I had realized a few minutes before he didn't eat much for dinner and that he sometimes struggles to fall asleep when he's hungry.  So I bring him downstairs and feed him before taking him back for one last story and goodnight.  Once in his room, Jack begs desperately for his father.  I suspected this was a stalling tactic, but I'll usually give him the benefit of the doubt once.  Lewis comes up and tries to read a story, but all Jack wants is his crib.  In he goes.

Tomorrow we will be fiddling with the door so that it latches properly.  Lewis also wants to put the bed on its box springs (it's just a mattress on the floor at this point) to deter Jack from getting out, but I'm hesitant.  He hasn't slept a whole night in there yet, so I don't know if he's going to fall out or not.

Night 6 (tomorrow): Jack goes straight to sleep and sleeps all night in his bed without falling out or waking up.  Just you wait and see!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Riddle Me This

This little beauty


is afraid of the dark.

Okay, maybe "afraid" is too strong of a term.  She certainly does not like sleeping in the dark, though.  Not one little bit.

This is how our nights would go:

Nursing, rocking, baby asleep, baby in bed, mom in bed, light off, 10-30 seconds, baby awake.

When this first started to occur, I refused to believe that issue was really the light  I mean, the child spent an entire nine months without any light whatsoever, for goodness sake, and she had no trouble sleeping then!  It didn't make a lick of sense.

But that did seem to be the common denominator.  So I experimented.  I left my bedside lamp on.

And Poppy stayed asleep.

Huh.

The next night, I switched to keeping the closet light on.  With the door ajar, the light pools at the foot of our bed, which happened to be where Poppy slept in her bassinet.  She was fine with this for a couple of nights, but then she started waking up just like before.

For a while we thought she might be too cold, so we put her in her brother's old jammies.

After fretting for several sleepless nights about what to do (the answer is logical, but I don't make my best decisions at two am), and resorting to just letting her sleep in our bed with us (the light issues never bothered her there) (if you're into true attachment parenting and have your baby share your bed every night, more power to you.  I'm too scared I'm going to roll over on her or do something else to hurt her or cut off her air to feel comfortable with having her in our bed each night.  There was already one night when she was with us and I woke up to find the blanket completely covering her face), I decided to move her bassinet to right next to me and to leave my bedside lamp on.

So far this seems to be working.  Keep your fingers crossed that it continues to work and she doesn't decide she needs even more light.  I don't think Lewis or I could handle having the overhead light on all night.

What?

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Holidays 2013

Something amazing is happening right now.

Both my children are asleep.

It's a beautiful thing.

So I decided to take advantage of my free time by cleaning up my disaster of a house blogging.

You're welcome.

Last week was Spring Break.  It came at a wonderful time.  My mom went back home, and I didn't have her help any more, so having Lewis home was a tremendous blessing.  We made no plans and decided to spend our time at home, getting used to being a family of four.

Best.  Week.  Ever.

First Saturday

We started off the day with taking my mom to the airport (sad).  After that, I got to stay home with this:


while Lewis took Jack down to Provo for the spring scrimmage.


Then we sped up to Salt Lake to attend the wedding reception of one of my dearest friends (but not before Poppy pooped all over her father).  Jack spent the time sneaking trying to sneak cookies off the refreshment table, staring at a young gentlemen the somewhat resembled his uncle, taking off his pants, and avidly watching the swimmers in the adjacent pool.


First Sunday

Easter.  We hid eggs for Jack's first hunt.  He didn't get the whole "finding" thing, but he did appreciate the fruit snacks inside the eggs.  They were all consumed within 24 hours.


Later, Lewis and Jack went to church.  On the way home, Jack decided he'd rather stay at church and made a break for it.


While they were on their way home, I dressed Poppy up in her Easter finest.  Yes, I got my newborn an Easter dress for going to not church.  It was adorable.


Then we went down to the grandparents' house for Easter dinner and an egg hunt.  Jack found all the eggs.  Maybe before they were hidden.


Monday

We went to the library.  Jack set his heart on an entire pile of books he knew he would love... because they were all books he already owned.  We managed to distract him by finding a Toy Story book.  I fear the meltdown coming on the day we have to return that book.


Tuesday

While at the store for groceries, we found the perfect chair for Jack.  We've been wanting to get him a little chair for a while, and we finally found one that fit him and our budget.  What it did not fit, however, was our car.  I squished in the back with two carseats while the chair squished in the front.  Thank goodness we live close to the store.


Also, this.


Wednesday

Lewis had school, so I decided to take Jack to Burger King for a treat while Lewis was gone.


Poppy was the best baby that ever existed.  She stayed awake and pleasant during our entire trip to Burger King, as well as throughout Jack's bedtime routine.  Love, love, love.


Thursday

Jack decided he prefers to sit in the jogging stroller rather than his new chair.


We spent the evening up at the Francis' cabin.  Burger and s'mores, doesn't get better than that.


Since I was (am) behind on the laundry, Jack wore one of my t-shirts to bed.  Cutest thing in the world.


Friday

Lewis played grad school catch-up.


Jack and I went to the store to get toppings for Pizza Night.  He decided he'd like to try our green pepper.  After he took a few bites, it became a ball.


Poppy was tortured with an oversized bow.  She'll grow into it.


Second Saturday

General Conference.  We might have each slept through some of it.


I tried to put Jack to bed while Lewis was at the priesthood session.  Poppy was less cooperative than Wednesday.  When I realized I didn't have any Jack-sized diapers upstairs, a naked Jack made an escape attempt, but changed his mind and went to try and comfort his crying sister instead.  Bedtime was scrapped and we watched a movie instead.  When Lewis got home, Jack hid because he knew it was time for bed, for reals.

Second Sunday

We went to Park City to watch the rest of General Conference.  When we were almost there, the car started acting weird.

Jack made faces on our favorite rock.


Poppy was a trendy pirate.


Jack and his twin cousin matched.


The car flipped out on us right after we left for home.  Lewis and his parents waited for the tow truck while his sister drove the kids and me home.


Jack and Poppy were hungry at the same time, so I let the former try to feed oatmeal to himself while I nursed the latter.


Lewis and I reflected on what an amazing week we had, even with car troubles.  And the pictures don't even show the half of it!  It turned out way better than if we made plans.  I have the best family.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Talented Poop

By the time Jack was a mere six days old, I published an account of his urine mishaps to that point.

With Poppy, I am happy to report that the rumors are true: little boys and little girls are anatomically different.

The only things outside of her diaper that Poppy has peed on are changing pads because we didn't get a fresh diaper on her quick enough.

While thankfully not soaking us in the urinary department, Poppy has managed to have one highly-skilled bowel movement.

It was Saturday last and I had just dressed the little darling up in her Easter finest so that we could attend a wedding reception.  Lewis was holding her while I tracked down everything we just had to have in the diaper bag.  It was time to go, so Lewis passed Poppy off to me so I could put her in her carseat when he discovered something wet and juicy across his midsection.

Poop.  Poppy had pooped all over him.

Considering her dress was brand-spanking new, I was pretty ticked.  Lewis went upstairs to change, while I set Poppy down to assess the damage.

The dress in question, along with snuggles from her big brother.

Except... there was none.  Poppy had managed to poop in such a manner that she completely missed her lovely dress, even missed the matching diaper cover!  For that matter, she mostly missed her diaper; there was very little inside.

Lewis might not agree, but if such a thing exists, that was a successful blowout.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sorry World

As you may have heard, I recently had a second child.

I'm still having a little trouble believing that she is related to my first child.

Newborn Poppy and Newborn Jack could not be more different.  Jack was incredibly active and incredibly high-strung.  He didn't sleep well or eat well and if he was awake and not being held, he was screaming.  And if he was being held, he was constantly wiggling and shifting.  He didn't just cuddle.

Poppy, on the other hand, is totally chill.  She likes to be held, and she snuggles like a boss, but if she has to be set down, that's cool too.  She lets you know when she's uncomfortable, but as soon as you know, she's done telling you.  Example: last night she had some gas or something that was bugging her.  She would cry out once and then be done.  A few minutes later she would cry out again - once - and then be done.  Poppy was clearly irritated about the gas, but the expending energy of constant crying wasn't worth it to her.

My sweet little Poppy Jane.

Having a baby like this when you have an incredibly active and still rather high-strung toddler is a tremendous blessing.

I love both of my kids the infinity and beyond.  But I am so, so grateful that Jack came first.

But I have to apologize.  I've been judgy.  I would see people in their blogs or on the Facebook talk about how chill their baby was and how he/she would never/only occasionally cry and I wouldn't believe a word of it.  I've been around babies!  I know how they are!

Well as it turns out, babies like that do exist.  Cause I have one now.  So I'm sorry for judging you.

Now let's just hope I haven't jinxed things by writing all this.

Love my kids.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pop Rocks are an Outside Food

Fact: If you give your child Pop Rocks right before his bath/bedtime, he will love you forever.

Another fact: If you give your child Pop Rocks right before his bath/bedtime, and your husband is the one who bathes him and he maybe dumped most of the Pop Rocks over his head causing half to stick in his hair and the other half to coat the floor around his high chair, your husband will maybe not like you very much.

Sorry honey.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Evil Talking Tom

Having a toddler is an adventure everyday.  You never know how he is going to react to anything new.  Delight?  Wonder?  Pure terror?  It's an ever-changing mystery.

Many of you with children, grandchildren, or even just a penchant for time-wasting apps may be familiar with Talking Tom.  It's this cat who will repeat everything you say, except in a funny voice.  There are a whole variety of talking creatures out there (Roby the Robot, Gina the Giraffe, etc.), and Jack has been consistently amused and enthralled by each of the ones found on Lewis' iPad.


Except for Talking Tom.  Jack liked Tom for a while, mostly because he reacts funny when you tap on him; it's like you're beating him up and/or petting him all in one.  Tom and his app users seem to have a complicated relationship.  In any case, Jack was playing with Talking Tom yesterday when I said something with Jack's name in it (probably an innocent, "Hi Jack!"), and Tom, naturally, repeated it.

I haven't seen Jack cry like that since we watched his dad play hockey.

At first we weren't sure what set him off.  We just knew that he was upset, and that it took a great deal of effort to calm him down.  Could it be because Tom said his name?  Did that scare him somehow?

So we decided to find out.  As soon as Jack was consoled, Lewis whipped Tom back out and had him say something.  No reaction.  Then he had Tom say "Jack."  Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Tom has since been deleted, and this experience has left me wondering what else will Jack decided is horrific?  Hopefully not his little sister.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wisdom

We in the Young home are not good planners.

We have several projects going on right now, none of which are finished.

1. Painted ceilings.  The original owners of our home opted for two-tone paint, so the ceilings are the same color as the walls.  But not any more! (At least for downstairs.)  Now they are white.  If you've been to our house before and you come back and don't notice anything different, it's because ceilings are supposed to be white.  It should just look how it's supposed to look.

And it does!  Except for the spots that need to be touched up.  Lewis and his dad did a phenomenal job, but there are a few places that need another coat now that it's not dark outside, as it was when they finished.

2. Living room and desk reorganization.  I'm proud to say that this one is actually kind of almost done.  We moved our desk to the opposite side of the room and used the couch to sort of split the room into different areas.  Instead of one big sloppy space, we now have the desk/office space, a reading area, and a living/meeting room.  All three areas could do with new chairs (arms chairs for the living and reading places, and a desk chair for the office), but other than that and the mess Jack follows me around making as I organize, it has actually come together quite nicely.

3. Moving Jack/getting the new baby's nursery put together.  This project is started in the sense that we have a plan for it/know it needs to happen very, very soon.  We'd like to move Jack with plenty of time before the baby comes so there is less of a potential for bitterness.  But this girl's coming in 27 days or sooner and he's still in the same spot.  So pretty much it's not started at all.

Other projects we need to start (and finish!):

- Replace the faucet on our kitchen sink.  It's terrible.

- Get new cookware.  A food blogger should probably have decent pots and pans.

- Kitchen storage/organization.  Again, food blogger.  Oi vey.

- Utility room organization.

And these are just the projects that we need to do.  We have an entire list of projects we'd like to do.
Wisdom: Do projects one at a time, start to finish.  Don't procrastinate until you're having a baby in less than a month.  In other words, be smart.  And sane.  And not like us.

Oops.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Clean Up on Aisle Toddler

Rice is the worst thing in the world.

Because it's sticky.

And it's difficult to clean up.

And because Jack loves it.

And he is messy when he eats.


We are currently waiting for the rice to dry out a little bit before we attempt to sweep it up.  I've stepped in goopy rice more times than I can count.  My brother went home in shoes but no socks because he stepped in it.

Like I said, rice is the worst thing in the world.

Jack would disagree.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Things are Happening

With everything that has happened in the past few weeks, I've made the executive decision to write this post purely as an update on our life.  Basically I'm going to gloat, so you should just go ahead and go deal with it.

Let's start with Jack.  He's adorable.  This much is obvious.  But did you know that he's also a little smartie?  We've been working on helping him develop language - he doesn't say much.  He will repeat some initial consonants of words when you ask him to, but not much more than that.  What he does do really well, though, is sign language.  Many of the signs he knows don't necessarily fall under the "official" American Sign Language umbrella, mostly because his mother doesn't know them, so I just make signs up.  But he can pick them up fast.  If you teach him a sign for your name, he will learn it and know it forever.  Lewis' brother taught him a sign for his name ("Dallas": a chest thump) and for his fiancĂ©e's ("Adrienne": place your hand on your cheek in the shape of an ASL "A"), and Jack does those signs enthusiastically whenever asked.  He communicates quite effectively using JSL (Jack Sign Language).


Then there's Lewis kicking behinds and taking names in graduate school and as a teacher.  In my head he is the favorite of all his professors (if this is not true, nobody tell me).

As for me, I actually have some significant updates in my life for the first time since, well, Jack was born.  I recently got several new tutoring students (my workload quadrupled, but I love it), and I'm creeping ever closer to my due date.  But the most exciting thing (sorry baby girl - you'll be most exciting in five more weeks) is the opportunity I was given to be a food blogger for a local cooking store.  I will be posting different recipes and talking about the tips and tricks I use to help me put food on the table every day for my family.  I will also be showing some of the products the store sells.  The job combines two of my favorite things - cooking and writing.  Pretty much it's going to be amazing.

Life looks like it will be pretty busy as we balance Lewis' job, grad school, my students, my blog(s - this one included), having a new baby, and well, Jack and all the greatness that he has.  But the future looks promising and I am excited!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Success in Life

Four years ago I wrote this blog post, which mentioned three things that I decided would determine my financial success in life.  Yesterday Lewis and his dad spent the day painting our ceilings white.  This morning Lewis turned to me and happily announced that we were one-third of the way there to that success, since we now had three-tone paint in our house (in half of the house, anyway) (the bottom half).

That got me thinking about that blog post and wondering how close we were to actually achieving the dreams laid out in it.  Thank goodness for the internet; it took me approximately .2 seconds to find out.

The answer is this: we are surprisingly close!  And as I reflected on those things selected for the post, I may have revised them a little bit in my mind, which got us even closer.

Before I go into detail, I need to mention this: three-tone paint is not on the list.  I know I talked lots in the past about wanting the ability to put some color, any color, on our walls (our first apartment was completely white), but it was never on the LIST from the aforementioned blog post.

Here is what was actually on the list:

1. In-house washer and dryer
Check!  We actually had that at our last apartment, which was wonderful, but the ones in our current home are even cooler.  The washer is high-efficiency which is just tremendous because I do laundry all the freaking time.  But on top of that we OWN our washer and dryer so when we leave this house they get to come with us.  Boo-yah.

2. The History Channel
We do not have the History Channel.  And I'm okay with it.  The History Channel has changed.  Gone are the documentaries with the narrators with the boring voices that I loved.  I miss them terribly.  Instead the History Channel shows Pawn Stars and American Pickers and Swamp People which can be fascinating in their own way, but they're not typically my cup of tea.  So... meh.  I think I'm okay without the History Channel.  Actually, we do have the History Channel app on our iPads, so we can still technically watch its shows easily if we really want to.  But I don't really want to.

3. More than two counters in my kitchen
Check!  Our kitchen is not huge, but it is significantly larger that the one we had at Wymount.  It can handle my bread maker, my stand mixer, my blender, and my toaster all out on the counter full-time, plus whatever other appliance (griddle, waffle iron, crock pot) I am inevitably using, PLUS still leave me room to prepare food.  It also has a dishwasher.  His name is Lewis.  No, I kid, but we do have an actual dishwasher.  It's not the kitchen of my dreams, but it is certainly a giant step up from the past.

Not bad, eh?  We have two of the three things on the list, and kind of the third, plus we don't want it that badly anymore, anyway.  AND we have three-tone paint.

Sometimes I like being a real adult.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why I Love Valentine's Day

I have pregnancy brain in the worst way.  It's a real thing.  Look it up.  I have to write everything down right away or else I'll forget.

I was reminded of this last night as I was brushing my teeth.  I suddenly remembered the whole reason I was inspired to write yesterday's post - which I had completely forgotten to include.

So here goes.  Just pretend you're reading this near the end of the post from yesterday:  Last night might have been the last straw for Lewis.  I woke up in the middle of the night, dripping in sweat, completely convinced that there was an extra blanket on the bed that very much needed to not be there.  I spent a good amount of time yanking and pulling at this blanket, trying to get it off the bed before collapsing back on my pillows, fast asleep.  When I woke up the next morning, tangled in the mess I had made, I discovered that the "extra blanket" did not exist.  Luckily Lewis had managed to sleep through all my shenanigans and was just mildly bemused at the state of the bed covers.  Phew.

***

I love Valentine's Day.  I mentioned last year about how my mom taught us to celebrate all kinds of love on Valentine's Day, not just the romantic variety.  I love to have a special day to express the love I have for everyone that is in my life.  Lewis is the beneficiary of the most material expressions (case in point, there's a white chocolate cheesecake currently baking in my oven), but I hope to take the time to express love to many of the meaningful people in my life today.

Every year I hear people express disdain for Valentine's Day.  It's just commercial! they say.  I don't need a holiday to tell someone I love them!

This is a fair point.  I don't need this holiday either.  But let me tell you about some other things I don't need.

I am grateful every day that I am a citizen of the United States of America.  I don't need a day to celebrate our independence.

I try hard every day to take care of the world I live in.  I don't need a day to celebrate the environment.

I am constantly reminded of the Savior.  That He was born, that He died for my sins, and that He was resurrected.  I don't need days to celebrate those events.

But I have those days.  And I love celebrating them.  These are all things I should remember daily.  And they've all, in some way or another, been commercialized.  But that's not going to stop me from taking a special day (or season, as the case may be) to focus on celebrating them more specifically.  And the fact that each year comes pre-packaged with these holidays, so I don't even have to think about celebrating them and then forget makes it all the better.  Why should love be any different?

This is from our very first Valentine's Day together, five years ago.

But I've always been cheesy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sleep Crime

My husband puts up with a lot.

This is especially true when it comes to sleeping in the same bed as me, particularly with me being pregnant.

My current sleep arrangement involves two pillows under my head, one pillow on my right to support my back, and a body pillow on my left (and between Lewis and me), to support my belly.  Most mornings I usually wake up with one of Lewis' pillows as well.  Between the pillows and my extra bulk, I'm not sure how Lewis doesn't just fall off the bed each night.

And then there are the temperature issues.  I like to fall asleep all snuggled and cozy, with the covers pulled up to my chin.  Except the problem is that since I've been pregnant, I've overheated in my sleep very easily.  Which means that poor Lewis will either have the blankets from my side abruptly flung onto him in the middle of the night, or he will be cold in the middle of the night and not be able to pull any extra covering onto himself because I am passed out on top of them all.

Between my sleep habits and having to stay up late studying, it's no wonder Lewis is so tired these days.  I'm amazed that he still maintains such a pleasant attitude.  I sure lucked out with this one.

Jack and I both did.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Can't Take Him Anywhere

We in the Young home are in the midst of an intensely busy week.  Well, Lewis is, anyway.  My busy part is over, save for the fact that I have to attempt to keep house and wrangle the toddler without him.  The housekeeping thing isn't going great, but at least Jack is alive.

Of course I can't really take much credit for his well-being either, considering it seems I've done my very best to prevent it.

For those of you who are not well-versed in Mormon-dom, we have a thing called "primary," which is where all the kids under 12 go during church on Sundays.  I am a part of the primary presidency in our congregation.  Last night we held a training session for all of our teachers to make sure they knew all the rules and regulations for primary, as well as how to, you know, teach (good news: they do).

Since Lewis had parent-teacher conferences last night, Jack had to come with me.  The training included an appreciation dinner: soups, each of which Jack turned his nose up at, and desserts, each of which contained dairy or peanuts, which he's allergic to.  Jack naturally decided to scoff at all of the measly snacks I brought for him and instead subsisted on the gummy candies we had placed on the tables and which he at one point spewed all over the floor, just for fun, and a pack of Smarties I dug out of the diaper bag.

Jack was fine playing on his own until I started eating my food.  Naturally.  So I put him up on the chair next to me, which he promptly fell off of.  The combination of the impact and his subsequent screams caused him to choke on the Smartie(s) he had in his mouth, a problem which was solved by a little bit of vomit.  Thankfully, I was holding him over a drain when this occurred.

Back in the room where the dinner was going on, Jack decided that he wanted to be right back on the chair he had just fallen from.  He sometimes doesn't make much sense.  Eventually he went off to play with some other kids.  I kept an eye on him due to the food situation, but as far as I could tell everything  he couldn't have was out of his reach.  I got comfortable.  Too comfortable.

While I was in the middle of my training presentation, the daughter of another presidency member tapped my shoulder to show me how silly Jack looked.  With chocolate smeared all over his hands and face.  MILK chocolate.

In my achy and large 7.5 months pregnant state, I'm not one for moving swiftly.  But when I saw my chocolate-coated toddler, I swept him up in my arms and ran for the bathroom just about as fast as it is possible to move.  Usain Bolt fast.

As far as we have been able to tell, Jack's milk allergy causes nothing more than hives from direct contact.  But he's only ever had teeny amounts of milk on his skin before.  There was a lot of this chocolate, and it was everywhere.  Plus he started rubbing his eyes, probably because they were itchy, which only made the problem worse.  I had no idea what so much milk would do to his system.

The answer is still just hives.  Thankfully.  With a combination of soap, water, paper towels, and baby wipes once we made it back from the bathroom, Jack was fine.  Itchy, red, and bumpy, but fine.  And even that faded pretty quickly.

This is why we're homebodies.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sleep Gamble

Sometimes I fall asleep during the day.  I'm tired.  It happens.  Jack is usually pretty good about playing on his own and not getting into too much trouble while I doze.

Eventually, though, he will want my attention, so he will wake me up.  It's inevitable.

Sometimes he will wake me up very sweetly by softly saying, "Ma ma ma" and giving me a kiss.  A slobbery kiss, but a kiss nonetheless.

And sometimes he will wake me up by yanking my eyelids open with the sharp little claws at the ends of his fingers.

It's unpleasant.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gratitudinal

Today I am grateful for garages and Little Caesar's $5 Hot-n-Ready pizza.

***

It is beyond cold in my neck of the woods right now.  I have not seen the temperature above fifteen degrees for the past week or so.  It's usually been much closer to zero degrees.  If you know me well at all, you know that I hate, hate, HATE the cold.  I start to shiver when it hits the low sixties.  This weather and I are not getting along.

Luckily, I have a garage.  It's a separate building from my home, so I still have to go outside to get to it (someday that will change), and it's not exactly toasty inside, but it does stay warm enough that I don't have to scrape my car before I need to go somewhere.

On Sunday Lewis and I had three bags and a toddler (each of which weighed in at about twenty pounds) to lug to church.  Combine that with the frigid temperature and a kid that likes to take his mittens off at any possible moment and we decided to drive.  Lewis had to stay after for a meeting, so it was just Jack and me for the drive home.  When I opened the garage, I discovered that Lewis had parked his car the previous night in such a way that made it difficult for me to get my car in too.  I probably would have been just fine, but we were leaving for dinner at Lewis' parents' house as soon as he got home, and then Lewis could put my car away, so I just parked it on the street.

Except we didn't end up going to his parents' house.  And I had a doctors appointment the next morning so I couldn't just leave my car be until Lewis could deal with it.

I know it's pathetic of me to complain about having to scrape my car.  But to be fair, I have really poor circulation in my hands and am kind of OCD, so it's not like I could just scrape a little hole to see out of and call it good.  Don't judge me too harshly.

***

I like to think I'm a pretty good cook.  I prefer baking, but I can keep my family well-fed.  I really enjoy learning new cooking techniques and making as much of my food from scratch as possible.  What I'm trying to say is, I know my way around the kitchen.

Except when it comes to fried chicken.  I don't know what my deal is, if it's my pan, ingredients, or what, but quality fried chicken just eludes me.  It's not something we care to have very often, but every once in a while I'll give it another shot.  Usually I can at least come up with something edible.

The time was ripe for another kitchen catastrophe, so last night I put forth my best effort to smoke out our kitchen.  I fell just short of setting off the smoke alarms, but my contacts are still a little fuzzy from the work.  Dinner was ruined, in every sense of the word.

Thankfully I have a Little Caesar's just five minutes away, and a husband willing to venture out into ten-degree weather to save our supper.  Besides, pizza goes much better with the BCS national championship than fried chicken anyway.  I mean, if I had messed up hot wings... now, that would be a different story.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jack the Foodie

Jack in the pickiest eater in the world.

This is especially problematic because he has food allergies, so I'm already limited in what I can give him to eat.

If he had it his way, the five basic food groups would be:

-Rice milk
-Oatmeal (the baby food kind)
-Marshmallows
-Pez
-Whatever Mom is eating

It's a battle every day to get something healthy in him.  Most days I am just grateful that his milk and oatmeal are fortified with SOME vitamins.

Protein has been one of our biggest challenges.  Jack just doesn't like to eat anything that has any protein in it.  His usual source of protein is the ever-healthy option of chicken nuggets.

Friday night is pizza night in the Young home.  Lewis has perfected his own pizza recipe - dough, sauce, everything.  One of our favorite pizza toppings was discovered by chance.  When my mom was with us around the time Jack was born, she bought a large bag of honey-battered chicken nuggets, which she left behind when she left.  One Friday night found us without any pizza toppings, so Lewis cut up a few of the nuggets and tossed them on, just to see what would happen.

Ohmygoodness, so delicious.  I never would have thought that chicken nuggets - even high-quality-all-white-meat-kind-of-expensive chicken nuggets would go well on a pizza.  But they do.  So, so well.  Especially with bell peppers, Roma tomatoes, and mushrooms, if you were curious.

One day I was trying to come up with something - anything - that Jack would eat.  Or even just taste.  So I popped a couple of chicken nuggets in the microwave and, miracle of miracles, Jack ate them!  All of them!  And then even asked for more!

Except these were high-quality-all-white-meat-kind-of-expensive chicken nuggets that Lewis and I happen to really enjoy on our pizza.  And if I'm resorting to feed chicken nuggets to my kid, what difference does it make if they are cheap or expensive?

The next time I was at the store I picked up another bag of chicken nuggets.  Lower-quality-animal-shaped-cheaper chicken nuggets.  No fancy honey batter, but why should that matter to a one-year-old?

Well it apparently matters when your son is a chicken nugget snob.  He completely turned his little button nose up at these chicken nuggets.  They were decidedly unsatisfactory.

But you know, sometimes Jack loves something one day and completely abhors in the next.  Maybe this was one of those cases.  Maybe it wasn't the lower-quality-animal-shaped-cheaper chicken nuggets.  Maybe it was just chicken nuggets.

We tested that theory by giving him a few of the high-quality-all-white-meat-kind-of-expensive chicken nuggets, with a single lower-quality-animal-shaped-cheaper chicken nugget mixed in.  Each chicken nugget was cut into three pieces.  At the end of his meal there were three pieces left sitting on his high chair tray.  All three of them put together made a complete rhinoceros.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bits of Tid


See the watches in the picture above? Lewis bought me the one on the left for Christmas 2011. It was lost within a few months (based on the time it showed when we found it, it went missing sometime after daylight savings started). So Lewis lovingly bought me the watch on the right for Christmas 2012. We found the missing watch not one week later, stashed away in our storage ottoman as we were cleaning it out. This is why my watches are purchased at Walmart.

***

Christmas break makes me even more grateful that Lewis is a teacher. Having him home for two whole weeks? Divine. Jack, however, did not appreciate having his dad around as much as I did. The last few days of the break found us with a whiny Jack that needed to be in his mothers arms AT ALL TIMES. Talk about exhausting. I was not at all looking forward to Lewis going back to school and leaving me with alone with our precious little imp.

But back to school he went. And something amazing happened: Jack and I had the best day! We played lots of games, read a bajilion books, he ate all his food without a fuss (and some of it even leaned towards healthy), he took a decent nap... Oh, it was the greatest.

Until Lewis came home. Then clingy Jack was back. Clingy Jack likes to scream when Mom and Dad are near each other and have a complete melt down if they actually touch each other. Forget about hugging and kissing.

Clingy Jack hung around until I left for a church meeting. Then happy Jack was back and had a blast with his dad until bedtime. We are pretty sure that Jack, the world's biggest Mama's boy, thinks he has to compete with his father for my affection/attention, especially since Lewis was around all the time for break. But if it's just him and Mom, he has all the attention he needs and he's fine. If it's just him and Dad and neither of them have Mom's attention, he's fine, the little stinker. Heaven help us all when his baby sister arrives.

***

Jack loves football. His first (easily discernible) word was, "Go" which he yells repeatedly at the TV screen whenever football is on. Obviously our commitment to keep the TV off around the kid does not extend to this, the greatest sport of all the sports. And with the college bowl season in full swing over break, Jack got used to watching football (which he lovingly calls, "go, go, go") all. The. Time.

Well, with the bowl season winding down, football is not on nearly as often as it was before. So when Jack brings me the remote to the TV, asks for "go, go, go," and I have to tell him that it's not on, bad things happen. Tantrummy things. Which escalate when, not five minutes later, he hands me a sock, holds up his foot, and I put the sock on, which was apparently very much not what he wanted(?).

I was at just about my wits end when I had the inspiration to pull out a bag of marshmallows. Jack goes wild over marshmallows. Like, peepants wild. Good thing he's still in diapers. I put a little bowl of them out on a kitchen chair, he gave me a snot-nosed kiss, and has been running back and forth between the bowl on the chair and his sound-light-table thing with a big, silly grin on his face ever since. So today I thank you, Jet-Puffed. You saved my bacon.


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