Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bumps & Bruises Before Noon!

Well, here I sit at almost 1PM on Thursday, and I've been up for about 8 hours now! Ian, my youngest son, has made the decision that it is his duty to wake up, and then wake mommy or daddy up, before the sun! Isn't that nice of him? What he doesn't realize is that since the sun isn't it up, mommy & daddy aren't very nice people to be with and if he'd just wait a few more hours to begin his day, life would be so much happier for everyone! Too bad you can't explain that to a 9 month old!

Then, there is my daughter, Morgann, that tried to get our day going before her brother did. Only, her attempt failed miserably! Let me start by explaining that her room is upstairs, our room is down. So, because she's only 2 1/2, I feel that allowing her the freedom to roam about in the middle of the night is probably not the most responsible thing I could do for her. That being said, I usually have a door knob cover on the inside of her door - in short, I lock her in - so that she has to stay in her room! However, because she's decided that it is her job to wake up her little brother from his nap, I've had to move the door knob cover from the inside of her door to the outside of his door - in short, locking her out! Up until last night (or this morning) at 3:30AM, the fact that I hadn't thought about moving the door knob cover back to her door hadn't been a problem! For whatever reason, she came downstairs a this particular hour and startled me out of a deep sleep - that I never found again! Since it was daddy's turn to get up with any child that woke up early, I kicked him to wake him up (since he was dead to world) and informed him that he needed to take HIS daughter back to her room. He very slowly sat up, took her in his arms, and started the long journey upstairs - at that hour, it's a long journey - all the while, telling her to 'shhhhh' so that her yelling wouldn't wake up her brothers - or the rest of the block! What he didn't hear, even though she was directly in his face and yelling at the top of her lungs, was 'I need potty!' (translation: I need to go to the potty). He closed her door and came back downstairs, crawled back into bed and pulled the covers over his head. At this point, I got up, went upstairs and took her to the potty, then, at her request, laid (or is it layed?) down with her in her bed for a little while. After what seemed an eternity, I kissed her head, told her to stay in bed, and came back downstairs to MY bed.

At this point, I was awake. I thought about doing something that one of my very dear friends did at almost this same hour a few weeks ago, but I had just mopped my kitchen floors on Tuesday, so I decided to just lay there until I fell back to sleep. An hour & a half later, I finally did. But, at this point it was 5, and that's when Ian decided it was his turn to be awake. Thankfully, it was daddy's morning, so I again kicked Michael and told him to get a bottle for HIS son. I must have fallen right back to sleep because the next thing I knew, Michael was crawling back into bed for the 2nd time - and it wasn't even 6AM yet!!! At this point, I should have just gotten up and done some laundry because I never did go back to sleep! Morgann came back to our room around 6:30 and successfully crawled into our bed for another hour of slumber, snuggled against her oblivious daddy.

Needless to say, everyone in our house - except daddy that is - was up by 8AM. I have to give Michael credit, he did get back up and give all of the kids their breakfast before crawling back into bed for the 3rd time! But, someone had to be up with the kids because they were all yelling, crying, or fighting, not to mention we were expecting the telephone repairman here between 8 & noon, so I figured since I was awake, I might as well get up and get my day started.

This is where the bumps & bruises part of this story comes in...

After Alex & Morgann finished their breakfast, they decided to play (nicely, for a change) with a freshly washed sheet that I had removed from the drier last night, but never folded. They were on the lower portion of the stairs doing I-don't-know-what with it when Ian decided that he too should be up there playing with the big kids. Now, since he's still new at this whole pulling-up thing, he's very wobbly and hasn't yet figured out how to shift his weight around properly, which basically means that when he tried to maneuver up the first step, he immediately fell backward, head first, onto the terrazzo tile floor. I saw this all happening, but couldn't move quite fast enough to save him from himself, so I was only able to console him by kissing and rubbing his head. His cries lasted for only a moment, so I put him down on the carpeted floor next to my desk and went back to reading my email. Before long, he was inch-worming his way back to the stairs to try again. This time, however, I was able to catch him before he fell over! Never-the-less, this did not curb his curiosity or enthusiasm for his new-found ability, which basically means that he's fallen quite a bit over the last few hours, hitting his head every time!

But, if this were the only accident of the morning, this blog would not be worthy of the title it carries. Yes, this means that poor Morgann was the next victim of her own curiosity - or maybe it's defiance. Anyway, while Ian & I were upstairs getting ready for his bath, Morgann, who always visits us during this particular activity, decided that she needed to go potty. Being the conscientious parent that I am, I decided that she did not need to go potty, but only wanted to come into the tub/toilet area of the bathroom with us to disturb Ian. This disturbance always leads to mommy getting as wet as him (see my previous story about bathtime), so this is why I chose to keep Morgann out this time around! Well, since I told her to 'go play' without specifying 'in your bedroom' or 'in the playroom', she decided to climb onto the bathroom counter to play with whatever she could find. See where this is going yet? Since I wasn't actually watching her, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but my best guess is that she lost her balance, fell off of the counter backwards and landed, you guessed it, head-first on the tile floor! The head-first part I'm pretty certain of since I was only on the other side of the door and I not only heard her head hit, but felt it as well, through the floor! Now, what exactly was I supposed to do? I had a 9 month old wet, wriggly child laying the tub, covered in soap, and a 2 year old screaming on the floor. I did the only thing I could do...I yelled at the top of my lungs for daddy! Thankfully, daddy was awake at this point, so he came racing upstairs to hug & kiss my screaming baby girl, while I finished giving Ian his bath! By the time I got him dried off, dressed and back downstairs, Morgann's screaming had calmed to only cries that her 'head huuts'. Since the hugs & kisses that daddy & mommy were bestowing on her were obviously not helping the obligatory headache that follows such an accident, the Motrin I gave her kicked in within about 20-30 minutes and she's been fine ever since :)

Did I mention that this all happened BEFORE 10AM?!?!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Trying Times...

Since there is never a dull moment in this house, I thought I might share some of the goings-on for today. Forgive me as I ramble on, since it's fast approaching midnight. But, some things need be shared. I need some sympathy, or maybe encouragement, that 'this too shall pass'. Any advice you feel inclined to share might be appreciated as well...frustration is setting in.

It seemed that the progress my 2 year old daughter, Morgann, had made with regard to potty training was something to make me proud. Not only was she keeping her Princess, Nemo, or Shortcake (as in Strawberry) panties dry, but she was taking herself to the potty as needed! She was, for all intense purposes, training herself!!! I must be a good mommy, the envy of other mommies, to be sure :)

As quickly as that thought had entered my mind, it was immediately crushed by the realization that I had absolutely nothing to do with it. In fact, she has digressed about as quickly as she had progressed just a few weeks ago. In her defense, I think that the possible bladder infection she had - though the doctor said she didn't, so now I'm not sure what the complaints and cries were about - may have led to the digression (is that a word?). I am now bound to the idea that we will indeed have to return to the very expensive Pull-ups very soon! We have even gone so far as to request a Pull-up, and pitch a fit when panties are the only option given - I would be referring to her, not me. My fits are kept secret and well hidden - or so I hope anyway!

To say that I am the 2nd in command, to my husband, that is, is a joke. My children tend to take the lead more often that I'd care to admit. It didn't take them long to figure out which buttons to push, depending on the place & parent they are trying to over-throw. Sometimes it's Michael, sometimes it's me. Morgann seems to think that if she leaves enough puddles on the kitchen floor, living room sofa (thank God it's leather and easily cleaned), and even the office carpet, her request for a Pull-up will be granted. Boy, does she have another thing coming! It just so happens that I read an article about Potty Training Do's & Don'ts yesterday, and I've found my 2nd wind - and a few good ideas to boot!

For instance, the idea of wearing a dress, rather than shorts or a onsie, had never crossed my mind! Granted we'd been walking around with just panties or maybe panties & a t-shirt, but a dress? Gee, what a novel thought... Then, there was the suggestion that you have an extra potty chair in the car with you for those quick trips when "Mommy, I potty" is heard and you're 5 minutes from the nearest bathroom. Hmmm, I could just whip into a parking lot, and very discreetly allow my daughter the chance to 'relieve' herself without the fanfare of having to remove her wet clothes and carseat cover once at our destination...add a potty seat to the shopping list, Jenn! Although, always have at least 1 spare change of clothes, just in case...

See, I really am trying! I'm not scolding her when the inevitable accident happens, I'm rewarding dry panties & trips to the potty with 'treats', and I'm doing my best to be consistent. So what's the problem here? Why did we go through 3 pairs of panties today? I'm apparently missing something...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

But Why?

I'm sure that any of you with small children have heard that phrase more times than you can count. This particular phrase became the topic at dinner - meaning, that's about all anyone said throughout the entire meal!

My 5 1/2 year old son, Alex, has started asking ALLOT of questions lately, some that are just not answerable, but most of them being "But Why?". Now, as any parent knows, answering the "But Why?" question only leads to another "But Why?". It's a never-ending cycle that can drive any sane parent to the loony bin. My husband, being an antagonizer to anyone that he chooses to be worthy of harrassment, has grown very tired of the "But Why's" and decided to try a bit of reverse psychology on our oldest during our dinner conversation.

It didn't matter what poor Alex said, he was greeted with "But Why?" from Michael. After more questions from Alex and several responses from his daddy of "But Why?", it seemed that a lightbulb was suddenly turned on in his head. He began to grow aggitated with his daddy, and decided to stop talking. However, being the Chatty Kathy of the family, this silence only lasted for so long - about 3.5 seconds - before he decided to ask me a question. When I answered, daddy piped in with "But Why?". After giving him 'the look', I kindly suggested that he not try that with me, at which point I received another "But Why?", said with a smirk and then a giggle. Michael then said "Gee, you can give this answer for just about anything, can't you?". I just grimaced and decided to not say anything else so as not to elicit another "But Why?" from him. But, since Alex had observed that daddy was irritating mommy too, he decided that this might be kind of fun! The 2 of them banterred back & forth for a while, attempting to out "But Why?" the other one before dinner finally came to an end - a glorious end!

Needless to say, this was not really the peaceful, relaxing dinner I had hoped for!!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Milestone...

Well, as I live & breath, I never expected my youngest to have another Milestone Moment, but it happened this evening right before his going to bed! I guess referring to him as the "late bloomer" of the family might have been a bit pre-mature, but I dare not get my hopes up until a few more milestones have come & gone! So, this said, I am happy to report that... Wait, I should back up and begin this story at the very beginning - you need background on this to get the whole picture :)

Ian has determined that when the rest of the family sits down for dinner, he too should be at the table with us. Now, this might not be an issue for your family, but for ours, it is. You see, the table we currently use for our family meals is in the breakfast room. This table only has 3 matching chairs, which requires that we drag a 4th chair out of the formal dining room. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong! The 4th chair is considerably larger than the other 3 chairs, so one entire side of the table is taken up by it's enormity! Also, our breakfast room isn't very large, so the table & 4 chairs that currently occupy that space, occupy the whole space - there is no more room for another chair! Well, I guess that any other family might just move into their formal dining room, but that wouldn't be a good solution for us since it seems that my 2 year old cannot: (1) stay in her seat for the entire meal, (2) cannot keep her head over her plate while eating, and (3) cannot wipe her hands & face before repeatedly dismissing herself from the table! This little dilemma means that after each & every meal, I am forced to scrub the place mat she uses, the table space that she touches, the chair that inevitably ends up with food all over it, and floor that catches everything that hasn't already landed on & stuck to the place mat, table, and chair! And, since our formal dining room table wasn't designed for scrubbing, nor is the carpet underneath it suitable for sweeping & mopping, I find the thought of having a family meal in this room an unpleasant one - unless, of course, it's a holiday :)

So, all of that would bring me back to the original story! Since Ian usually eats his meal of strained foods prior to the rest of the family getting our dinner, he has, up to this point, been content to play happily in his Johnny Jumper which hangs in the doorway between the family room & breakfast room. He can see us, we can see (and hear) him. It's a win-win situation! But it seems that the situation has now changed and he would prefer to be at the table with the rest of us, and will not be satisfied (or quiet) until his demands have been met. So, in all of my brilliance, I figured out that he could sit & play in his walker (perched precariously under the bar that separates the kitchen from the breakfast room, and betwen the wall & the table), be near enough to the table that I can simply reach out and touch him, and his demand to be with the rest of the family would be solved! This has worked remarkably well up until this passed week, when he decided that if we are all eating, he should eat too - even if he's just eaten 2 whole jars of strained veggies & fruit! Well, since there has been no sign of teeth (until this morning), I've had to put off feeding him until we all sit down for dinner. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but when you have an infant that has decided it's time to eat, expecting that child to wait until the rest of the meal is prepared and placed on the table doesn't make for a quiet, peaceful environment. So, with much noise and fanfare, we all manage to get seated at the table while Alex (the older one) and Morgann (the 2 year old) simultaneously compete to say the dinner prayer at the same time, while having to scream it over Ian's demands to eat 'right now'. So this change in procedure means that I now have to shovel in the strained food to keep him happy, remind Morgann to sit down in her chair, hold her head over her plate, and (for God's sake) use the napkin, repeatedly tell Alex to stop talking (or complaining depending on the meal) and to be thankful that he has food that he should be eating during dinner because mommy & daddy will not sit at the table for the next 45 minutes waiting for him to finish up, and, oh yeah, eat my food too! Well, as you can imagine, this scenario wasn't working well for mommy, so I had to come up with another idea! Wait, I know! I'll buy some of those Gerber Biter Biscuit cookie-type things. He can knaw on that and be happy!

So, now we're back to this evening's events :) After eating our healthy dinner of hot dogs, served only on wheat buns, (like this is supposed to make the meal so much healthier), I have decided that my very happy almost 9 month old son requires a bath. He is completely covered in drool and soggy cookie remnants. It was everywhere. There was no getting it all off with the typical washcloth to the face & hands - the only way of solving this problem was to scrub him clean with soap & water. So, upstairs we head to the bath tub while Michael cleans the kitchen & table from dinner. Now, because I have yet to buy that babygate I mentioned earlier today, and Ian has already discovered what sliding down about 4 stairs on his tummy, head first, is like (no worries, by the way! I was standing there when it happened so he literrally was stopped when he smacked head-first into my leg), I decide that my best course of action would be to strip him down to his diaper and bring him into the bathroom with me. Now, this is where the milestone moment occurs, so pay attention! While I'm sitting on the side of the tub trying to get the water to just the right temperature, I turn around to find him propped up on his knees, hands on the side of the tub, peering into the the big box to see what exactly mommy is doing. I actually did a double-take before I realized what had just happened. My reaction must have startled him, because he immediately jumped, fell sideways, and began crying since he had just bumped his head on the bucket of toys. Of course, I felt terrible about scaring him like that, so I scooped him up, kissed his head, and re-assured him that he would be just fine. This illicited a smile, and slap to the face - mine - (his way of showing happiness, I guess), and an open-mouthed kiss to my chin.

The rest of the bath was a blur because I spent almost the entire time trying to hold down both of his arms & legs - he has also discovered that when you move your apendages quickly back & forth while in the water, the resulting splash soaks (and upsets) mommy! This new game is apparently loads of fun for him because he laughs and wriggles free from my grasp, awaiting me to catch his arms & legs again. This cycle is repeated over & over again, all while mommy tries to scrub his little fat body clean :)

I think it's time for bed now! Just re-living this whole event has exhausted me :)

Milestone Moments

Well, as things have gotten started here in our house this morning, it has come to my attention that my youngest son, Ian, has finally gotten his first tooth! This particular milestone is an important happening in his young life because he will be 9 months old tomorrow! My oldest son's first tooth appeared at only 4 months old, while my daughter was considered a slow-starter at the age of 7 months! As you can imagine, I was beginning to think that Ian might not ever have teeth, and would be forced to eat strained foods without lumps for the rest of his life! OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad, but you mothers can understand my point, right?

Another milestone occurred for Ian just last week - he's finally sitting up on his own! I know what you must be thinking, because I've had the same thoughts from time to time...and, yes, I'll have to agree with you until he proves me wrong...Ian is definitely my Late Bloomer! Being the youngest of 3, he doesn't seem to be riled by much, as his older brother, and specifically his older sister, tend to do what I refer to as 'torchering him'. He's already learning how to defend himself, as anytime they get near him, he starts flailing his arms and yelling for my help! This occurs even when they only want to kiss or hug him - which then causes them to cry (always loudly - and I mean at the top of their lungs - so that everyone on the block knows that they're upset about something), as they have now gotten their feelings hurt - by an 8 month old! (This would be one of the more mild, noisy, chaotic moments in my house that I was referring to in yesterday's posting). At any rate, since he's the youngest, he has no reason to be in a hurry to do much since he ends up being the last on the totem pole of 'those that have a say in what we're doing at that moment in time'. I guess this layed back attitude has spilled-over into his abilities (or maybe desires) to try his hand at learning new tasks. After all, most of us tend to be content doing what we can already do, and see no reason to risk injury to life & limb so as to learn something new! I think that's what is commonly referred to as "Human Nature".

That being said, Ian's curiosity seems to be growing and his ability to get from room to room using his Inch-Worming skills doesn't seem to be enough for him any longer! I can see him stretching up to see what might be on the living room coffee table - "hmmm, what's up there that might fit nicely inside my mouth, that I can later choke on and eventually vomit back up?". And, yes, having 2 other siblings in the house - one that loves to play with leggos and army men, the other that loves to rip or cut paper into microscopic pieces - can be detrimental to any infant that explores mouth-first! Even I, a very careful mother, find myself racing to thrust my finger down his little bitty throat to retrieve whatever might be down there! It's a never-ending task, and one that doesn't allow me to stray too far away from him.

If I go upstairs, Ian goes with me! Uuuggghhh! Stairs! Guess his curiosity will eventually lead him to wonder if he's capable of maneuvering up those 18 steps of terror. Maybe it's time to go to Babies-R-Us for a safety gate :)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Posting from a Newbie

As this is my very first posting, please bear with me as my thoughts might be a bit scattered. I'm currently typing at the same time my older son is coming in & out of the office asking a variety of questions, and basically vying for my attention from my current task at hand, which is to type this blog. My primary reason for becoming a blogger is to allow my family & friends the opportunity to hear about my day or week, without my having to re-hash the day's events over & over again via email or phone call. My (real) hope is that this will be my therapy outlet :)

As the title so plainly states, my life is very chaotic - what house with three kids under the age of 6 years wouldn't be, right? Well, never in a million years did I dream that things would become so complicated! But I constantly find myself learning lessons from all 3 of my children, and sometimes...hold onto your seats because I'm actually going to say husband of 10 years!

Just as a matter of information for those that might be interested, I am a mother of 3 (as I stated earlier for those that might not be paying attention) and a wife of 1 (don't think I could handle any more than that, to be totally honest!). My children are Alex (5 1/2 - don't forget that half because he's very unforgiving!), Morgann (2 1/2, and every bit adept at trying my patience!) and Ian (a sweet 9 month old, official this Tuesday). My husband Michael (a brilliant IT professional) and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary - I can't believe it's been that long, yet, it seems like we've been together forever! I'll have to post more on our relationship at a later time, but suffice it to say for now that our lives have gone through a rapid change since the birth of our first child. As we've added to our family, life has seemingly become more & more difficult - not necessarily in a bad way! I guess saying 'difficult' is code for chaotic. At times, all 3 kids may be crying, talking at the same time, yelling for our attention, or just loudly playing and laughing. The latter usually ends up as crying because someone has either gotten hurt or just had their feelings hurt. There is absolutely never a dull moment in this house, and some of these not-dull moments I plan to share from time to time.

At this moment, it has come to my attention that I should sign-off. My older son is having some difficulty with the Shrek 2 game that he is playing on his Nintendo Gamecube, so he's beconning me to 'help him make the black birds explode' so he can move on from his current playing level. I know you're probably thinking that causing sweet little black birds to explode may not be the best thing for a 5 (and a half) year old boy to work at, but it's all very innocent if you understand the game :)