Saturday, October 31, 2009

Outsourcing the potty training

Have I mentioned that the secret to having a peaceful mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is having a major language barrier between the two parties that makes them not even really attempt to communicate?  I'm so not kidding about this. I like and respect my mother-in-law. She has survived more horrible life experiences than I could ever imagine surviving. She instilled in my husband most of the values that I respect in him. She is a truly great woman.

But, she is (I'm pretty sure), a 70 pound thinner, Chinese-speaking version of myself. (If you're new here- that means a type A, VERY strong-willed woman).  Which means it's definitely for the best that we communicate through Daniel, who conveniently forgets to pass on any potentially controversial topic.

I have known for a while that my mother-in-law has been making comments about Ethan not being potty-trained. Again, for any new readers, Ethan is almost 27 months old, doesn't talk in any way that I can actually understand, denies having a dirty diaper even when it can be smelled from outer space, and has expressed nothing even remotely approaching interest in the potty. Oh, and he's just like me and his grandmother, incredibly strong-willed. Therefore, I have opted to not start potty-training yet.

Then came the plans for me to go visit my parents with Vivian, in January. Daniel can't take off work and I can't travel alone with Ethan and Vivian, so Ethan is staying here and Daniel's parents are going to come down from Canada and stay with him while Daniel works. And soon after that plan, Daniel's mom made a comment to Daniel (which he passed on to me) that Daniel and his brother were both potty-trained by their first birthday.  So I suggested that maybe his mother would like to use the time that she spends with Ethan in January to potty-train him.


As I see it, this is mostly a win-win situation.
1) Ethan gets potty-trained and I am happy because I don't have to deal with it and Daniel's mom is happy because she potty-trained him and that silly daughter-in-law didn't.

2) Ethan behaves exactly as I expect, and refuses to do anything on the potty, and maybe Daniel's mom will stop talking to Daniel about the fact that Ethan is too old to be in diapers.

What I fear is that Ethan will go in the potty for the time she's here, and then will refuse to do so when I get back, because he's in a giant power struggle with Mommy. Then there will be comments like "well, he was doing just fine when I was there" and such.

I've decided it's worth the risk, to just let her try, and if it doesn't work, I'm going to just ask Daniel to NEVER translate anything she says about Ethan's diaper status ever again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another pathetic blog post

If you opened your browser hoping for a cheerful, funny post from me, this is NOT that post. Hopefully I'll have one of those tomorrow, complete with cute pictures of kids! In Halloween costumes!  We still have no idea what Ethan's wearing tomorrow night to trick or treat at the mall, as he will not put on his lion costume. And we really don't want someone to call CPS on us if we're trying to get him dressed in the mall or parking lot and he's having a fit. 

Sad today. Mom and Dad left last night at about the kids' bedtime. They did make it home by late morning, after a long night of flights and then driving. So now they're home and sad and we're here and sad.  My poor dad could hardly walk by the time they left- he's two weeks from having back surgery, and hanging out with Ethan and doing all the walking we do around here did not help him.  Hopefully the next two weeks will pass quickly!

And it's full-swing rainy season here in Seattle, so that's why all the Seattle blogs that you read are full of doom and gloom. Lizzie was over here today for a while and we were talking about how the first month or so of the darkness and rain is the hardest part, since we still remember what the sun was like! Soon we'll aclimate and remember how to self-medicate with coffee and chocolate, and all will be well again.

So that's all my whininess from here. Must go convince Ethan to nap so that I can catch up on some review blogging. Hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm feeling really conflicted right now about the whole review blogging thing. The problem is- I like it a lot. It gives me that all important something-concrete-to-do in my day, while also being flexible time-wise and a lot of fun in regards to getting to try out new things.  It's brought me WAY more enjoyment than my time spent on my actual job.  Because toxic substances are just not as entertaining as baby gear.

But then there's the fact that I'm new at this, so to get products to review I have to send out lots of emails begging for products and I get messages back that say things like "we're sorry, you don't have enough readers or a high enough page rank (it's a new blog- it doesn't have a page rank) and I feel about 1 inch tall and I'm then sad all day. Because someone said no to me reviewing something that I could buy for $5. I have serious self-esteem issues, can you tell?

But again, I really really like blogging and I really really like review blogging, and I enjoy writing in general.  I like putting my opinions out there for the world to read (or not read, I realize that).


And today I bought my domain address for the review blog and neither I nor my web developer husband can figure out how to make my blogspot stuff go to the new address. Annoying. 

And the newest offer on the property we've been trying to sell fell through. Which is okay, because we're not planning on moving anymore anyway, but still. Oh, and our septic tank has a major issue and we just signed a $6,000 check to install a new system. On top of the $3,000 we put into it on our anniversary. And we get to drive 1.5 hours each way on Sunday to check on the new installation. I do NOT like owning investment properties.

And I'm still trying not to think about Mom and Dad leaving tomorrow to head home. It's just too hard.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why I live on the opposite side of the country from my parents/brother

On Thursday night my parents are going to once again pack up and head back to their home in Virginia.  This gets harder every single visit.  Even I, the person who rarely gets emotional, get choked up when they leave. It's awfully hard.

You see, I'm actually a rare native Pacific Northwesterner. There aren't too many of us, pretty much everyone you meet who lives around here was born somewhere far away. I was born in Portland. My mom was born in a town a few hours from Seattle, my grandmother on the other side of the state and my great-grandfather in Seattle, in the same neighborhood where my son was born.  My great-grandparents were here in the early days of Seattle (and in the days when Seattleites were driving the Chinese out of town... but hopefully my relatives weren't involved with that).  I grew up in Washington State, and lived there until I was 12, when my dad accepted a job as an associate pastor and we moved to Tennessee.  Where I lived until I was done with college. After that I lived in Ohio (where my parents were at the time) and in Ukraine (where I was working as a missionary) and Pittsburgh, PA (yet another church for my parents).

But through all these moves, I never ever felt at home. And so when I was applying for grad school, I knew I wanted to get back to my family roots, and I applied for two schools out on the West Coast, both near all my miscellaneous relatives. And got accepted to both. One was a lovely school full of people who wore birkenstocks and ate vegetarian foods. And the other was in Seattle. And if you've met me, you know that the first school, while perfectly nice, is not a match for me by any stretch of the imagination. I love wearing heels and makeup and pearls. I have actually vacuumed my house while wearing pearls and high heels. Honest truth. 

So I ended up here and spent a lot of time reconnecting with all my relatives. And then when I was done with grad school, I tried to move back to Tennessee and I just couldn't do it. Because, for the first time in 26 years of life, I was home. And so I stayed and got a job here and then met Daniel, who also loved it here, and we stayed. And now we have lots and lots and LOTS of relatives close by to dote on our kids because I managed to marry the one person who actually has more relatives in the area than I do. But we don't have my parents close by. Because they have not been able to find a church out here and so they stay at a church that they love, but that's far away. And my brother, who always loved the West Coast and also planned to move back ended up at the same college in Tennessee that I went to, and then he married someone who was from that area and they stayed.  So lots of relatives here for me, but no immediate family.

Moving a lot and having friends all over the world makes saying goodbye fairly easy, especially in the modern age of Skype and internet and email and Facebook. But nothing can ever make it easier to watch your parents sobbing as they say goodbye and walk away from their beloved grandchildren.  It just gets harder every visit.

Thank goodness Vivian and I are headed out to Roanoke in January. Tickets have been purchased!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I let him go out of town alone for one weekend

Sigh. And he loses his wedding ring.  :(

Daniel is in Denver this weekend with one of his best friends. The friend has an 8-year-old daughter and they were out flying a kite with her this afternoon when Daniel's wedding ring fell off. He said he felt it slip, but no matter how much searching they all did, they had no luck finding it. Given that he can't find things in the fridge after I tell him exactly where they're located, I'm not surprised.

When he called to tell me, I had to try really hard not to be upset. It's not his fault that he's lost so much weight lately and that the ring is loose. It's more my fault for stressing him out so much that he doesn't eat enough!  And I really don't want him to obsess about it and have this ruin his fun weekend away.

But I'm still sad.  We can get him a new wedding ring, but it wont be the one I gave him at our actual wedding.

Oh, and tonight his friend's daughter is staying at her grandparents, so Daniel and his friend are going out to a bar to hang out and play pool. Good thing I trust him, given that he is now sans wedding ring. 

Anyway, my free weekend is almost over- Ethan and my parents will be back in about an hour from their trip and things will get busy and the house will get messy again. But that's okay- it's been a nice break, but I'm ready for my Ethan to get home again.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My free day

Okay, I'd just like to say that I am truly sad and pathetic- having a free day today sent me into a total state of confusion and stress. I have 36 free hours. WHAT TO DO?

Daniel and I got up at 4:30 this morning and got ready. My parents showed up (they stay at my uncle's house since we don't have enough space) to watch the kids while I took Daniel to the airport. When I got back Ethan was in his bed whining, since his sippy cup (he sleeps with one sometimes) had leaked on him and he was all wet. So we got him dressed and loaded up in the car and he and my parents were on their way to Portland by a little after 7 AM. So it was just me and Vivian. I managed to get a bunch of reviews done before Vivian woke up, thank goodness, since I was way behind on things for the review blog.

Then after she napped, I loaded Vivian and I up in the car and went shopping. We struck out at the clothes store and Target, but wasted a bunch of money at Cost Plus World Market. LOVE that store. Then we went to Safeway and rented movies. Then home for another nap for her while I did laundry and vacuumed. We've watched last week's Glee and Monk and two episodes of Pushing Daisies (the second season) and the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic and now half of The Proposal. I feel like a total lump. I have eaten Taco Bell and sushi from SushiLand and my sodium intake for the day is probably what it should be for the year... and I'm going out again in the morning! 

I just find it so amusing how totally easy it is to just have the baby around. Especially since I remember clearly being all freaked out when Ethan was this age and not wanting Daniel to be gone for two nights. How would I handle a baby for two nights? Now the baby seems like nothing! She has just hung out and/or slept all day. Once you've spent any sort of time with a two-year-old, a baby will always seem really easy to deal with! 

Ethan and my parents come back tomorrow late afternoon, so I will be on my own with both kids tomorrow night, but my parents will be around for a lot of it. And then Daniel will come back Monday afternoon. So far it sounds like he's having fun in Denver, so I'm really glad he went. We all genuinely like being together, but absence definitely does make the heart grow fonder!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My husband is randomly watching the Home Shopping Channel

And the letter "g" is barely working on our computer. I have to stop and slam the button down to get it to work. Weird. Perhaps I should stop eating while typing on the computer...

Mom and Dad arrived safely yesterday afternoon. They haven't seen the kids since June so were SO excited to see them. And my kids randomly decided to both be napping when they arrived. Yes, these are the kids who rarely ever nap at all, much less at the same time. We ended up waking up Vivian while standing over her and staring at her cuteness, so the grandparents were slightly appeased.  Ethan woke up about 30 minutes later. He came out, saw my parents, realized who they were, gave them hugs and then ran to the drawer to get a book and brought it over for them to read him.  Thank you Skype!  Thanks to the wonders of the webcam and Skype, Ethan talks to my parents every week on the computer and Mom usually reads him books, so he not only recognizes my parents, he knows that they are FUN PEOPLE!! It's so cute!

Today Mom and Vivian and I went downtown so that I could have part 2 (of about 45) of my whole tooth removal/implant saga. Things look good, and it's all systems go for the implant stage of things, except for the minor detail that I have already maxed out my dental insurance for the year. So I'm going to continue to run around sans molar for a while and will have the next part of the surgery in January.

Then we headed to the International District to have tea at the teahouse at the Panama Hotel. This hotel featured heavily in the story of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which Mom and I both recently read and loved. And we are seriously picky book people. I read 4-5 books per week and don't actually hardly own any, because I hate rereading most books. But I'm getting this one. Go read it if you have any interest in a good story or Seattle history or Asian history.

And we got to make an emergency run to Trader Joe's when I got dinner halfway made and then realized I was lacking the main ingredient. Fun!

We're having a great time- Ethan is wearing his grandparents out, but they're tired with a smile on their faces.  And Vivian is having great fun flirting with her grandparents and doing lots of smiling and laughing.  It's such a blessing to see so much happiness from all of them.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thinking about the possibility of maybe trying to think about losing some weight

Yeah, I'm so not actually motivated enough to get back into the whole diet and exercise thing yet. But I think I'm getting closer. I know myself well enough to know that there's no point in doing it unless I'm ready to go for it 100%.  I was doing pretty good about exercise- walking up hills with the giant stroller and doing the Wii workouts, but then it got hot this summer and exercising in here was just not a possibility. Now I am too busy with work and the blogs and the kids not napping to workout at home, unless I get up early and do it. I suppose that's a possibility.  We're also thinking about joining the Y, then Daniel and I could both work out on the weekends, since the Y has child care. Seattle people- any suggestions? No, I do not run, that is not an option. I have bad knees.

The thing is, I'm at the weight that I always seem to end up at. This is the exact weight that I was at before Daniel and I got engaged. Then I did Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds in a little under a year.  Then I got married and then I got pregnant. And I lost half of what I gained during Ethan's pregnancy. Enough to get EXACTLY back to the same weight. And then I got pregnant again and didn't gain as much, so pretty quickly lost all my Vivian weight, and now am right back there again. Seriously, the exact number. My body apparently likes this weight. But it's not a healthy weight for someone of my height and not a good idea given my family history of heart disease. So something must be done.

But not quite yet. Mostly because I have big plans for junk food this weekend :) I think that I'll probably do Weight Watchers again when I get to it though.  Any other suggestions for what's worked for you guys? Anyone want to be in charge of yelling at me? I'm married to a thin person and my only child eating solid food is a non-eater, so no support there...

Monday, October 19, 2009


Whoooooosh. That is the sound of this last weekend dashing by. Seriously- where did it go? I think it lasted about 30 minutes total. We are not amused.

I already blogged about Saturday, so wont bore you with that.  Saturday night was the first test of the new toddler bed- it took several hours, but Ethan eventually fell asleep in it and slept all night. Daniel, however, apparently was awake most of the night, listening worriedly to the baby monitor to make sure he didn't hear any sounds that would indicate Ethan had gotten out of the bed and into something he shouldn't be playing with or that he hadn't fallen off the edge of the bed. Or something like that.  Can you tell which of the two of us is the worrying parent? 

Sunday was church- which I again missed most of, since Vivian prefers to eat during the service rather than sleep, and the speaker in the nursing room hasn't been working lately.  We went to Red Robin for lunch, since Daniel and I are both addicted to the new Chicken Caprese burgers. SO good.  It's dangerous when Daniel and I both get hooked on the same food- usually he's my voice of reason in food-related matters. We randomly ended up seated at the table next to Maggie and her family, but they were just leaving when we arrived, so we only had a brief time to chat.

Other activities included going over to the new Whole Foods nearby to check it out. Seattle folks- it's nice, but teenytiny.  And an outing to the Pacific Science Center.  And then we wonder why we're so tired at the end of the day on Sunday...

Now I'm just counting the days until this next weekend.  My parents arrive on Wednesday and then will be going to visit my grandmother in Portland this weekend. Since my car is full of carseats, we would have to take two cars if we all went, so we decided that just they would go but that they could take Ethan down with them. And, as I mentioned before, Daniel needs a break, so this weekend he's going to fly to Denver to see one of his close friends. So it's just going to be me and Vivian at home! Once upon a time being alone with a baby would have sounded stressful, but now it sounds like a wonderful vacation. I don't have to be home alone, but Vivian's so low maintenance that I can actually sit around and watch movies and eat junk food! Heaven!

In the toddler bed update- Ethan did not sleep in his toddler bed last night. Currently he is hanging out in his bed, but is not napping. Vivian is napping in the crib, and seems undisturbed by his talking while she sleeps, so that's good. I think this is going to be a transition that takes a little while, but we're getting there!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Go visit this blog to help out another blogging mom

Cascia from Healthy Moms is going through a really rough time right now. Please go visit here to see how you can help.

What my family was up to while I was at the Seattle Mom Blog event

So, tonight I had a great time hanging out with Seattle Mom Bloggers at a fun tour/meal at QFC. Go here to read about it and enter to win a $25 gift card!

While I was gone, my family was very busy! Daniel picked up Ethan's toddler bed today and they assembled it while I was gone.


Still working on Ethan actually sleeping in his new bed- it's almost 10 PM and he's still up.  Hopefully it'll be a fairly quick transition! 

It was so great to get a break and hang out with other bloggers tonight. But it's so nice to come home to my wonderful family too!

Forget the alphabet, where's the train?

I have to admit, I have no clue as to whether my son can identify any letters of the alphabet other than the letter o. He's fascinated with the letter o and points it out everywhere he sees it. But that's about it for letters.  Same thing for numbers and fruits and body parts and animals and all those other things that he should know by now. Except apples, he also knows apples.

For example, we were reading "The Everything Book" the other day (great book by the way, you need it in your toddler's library!).  This book has it all, counting, letters, all the interesting things that we want our kids to learn.  The problem is that when I try to read to Ethan, it usually goes as follows:

Me: Look Ethan, there are the letters. Can you show me a letter?
Ethan: O! (pointing to O)
Me: That's great, can you show me A? 
Ethan: O! (pointing to O)
Me: What about E? Do you know E?
Ethan: O!
Me: Okay, let's look at this page of fruit
Ethan: Choo Choo! (ripping the book out of my hands and flipping to the page with the train)
Me: Yes, choo choo. Now look at this page, it has fruit, can you show me the orange? 
Ethan: (pointing to an apple) Apple!
Me:That's right, that's an apple.  
Ethan: (pointing to the pumpkin on the counter) Apple! 
Me: No, like I've been telling you all week, that's a pumpkin. Not an apple.
Ethan: Apple! Choo-choo! (ripping the book out of my hands again and turning back to the choo-choo.
Me: Sigh. Yes, choo-choo.

He does like to read on his own and look at his books in his bed, but he doesn't respond well to direct questions, so I really have no idea if he's learning anything useful. I'm praying that it's sinking in somehow.

In other news, it's dark and raining here and Daniel left me to run errands. He had to go pick up Ethan's toddler bed and go to the dentist, so we really couldn't go. But boy was it hard to let him walk out the door alone on a Saturday. I pretty much make it through the long days at home during the week with the thought of not being at home alone with the kids on the weekend, so it's hard when Saturday looks an awful lot like any other day of the week.

But, I'm heading out later this afternoon to a Seattle Mom Blog event at a local grocery store, so that should be fun. I'll write about that on my review blog later!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm trying to be patient

But I really really really stink at it.  And I hate how easily I get discouraged while trying to wait- even though I KNOW that God has a bigger plan and that he knows what's going on and has not forgotten us. But sometimes it is hard to remember that. I'm just tired of these situations that never seem to improve. And today we got news that our rental property is still not generating much interest in buyers, and that one of our tenants is smoking! and another paid with a bad check.  Fun!

Thank goodness for leftover Thai food and for lemon bars that I forgot to send with Daniel to work!  Those two things together can improve any day.

In other random blogging news, it's almost performance review time at work. Which should be interesting, given that I went on maternity leave at the end of April and was at home on bed rest for months before that. No one is entirely sure what I did all year, workwise, including me! I think I should start making up stories about the great things I did early this year and try to convince people that they are true :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What makes a good day for a stay-at-home mom?

What makes a good day for a stay-at-home mom?  A day in which almost no time is actually spent at home.  Seriously, SUCH a difference! This morning I had plans to meet up with Liz and Maggie at a local coffee shop. That plan turned into a giant disaster- I'm so sorry guys, I really liked the place when I went before, but there wasn't anyone else there that time and I apparently didn't look very closely at the toys :( Read Maggie's blog post here for all the details of today's adventure.

Anyway, I decided that I couldn't handle the idea of Daniel standing out in the pouring rain to wait for the bus and then walking from the stop to his office, so the kids and I drove him to his office and dropped him off before driving back to Seattle to where I was supposed to meet the girls. But first I had to run by Goodwill to drop some stuff off. Which turned into going in to shop for some jeans for Ethan and then picking up some other stuff. Hurray! Shopping! 

Then we ended up at Lizzie's house for a while, where Ethan laughed hysterically at everything Lucy did, and Lucy stared at Ethan like he was insane. After an hour and a bit of that, I figured Ethan was completely exhausted, so we headed home in the pouring rain, where I had great hopes of naptimes.

It did not happen. So after an hour of the kids hanging out in their beds and not sleeping while I frantically tried to get some actual work done for my paying job, I gave up. Seriously Ethan, 26 months old? TOO young to quit napping. We've had maybe 3 naps in the last two weeks. I am not amused. 

But, I had the car and was determined to take advantage of that, so we once again loaded up in the car and drove outside of Seattle, this time to the big mall down south.  Where Ethan, being completely exhausted, was actually content to sit in his stroller and be pushed around the mall while I shopped. Vivian's always happy with shopping, she's a girl, but Ethan tends to not go for it, so this was quite the exciting day for me.

We even took advantage of the mall's swanky family lounge, complete with nursing cubicles with individual TVs. Genius!  This is where my day got funny though- I walked into the lounge and the TV was playing Curious George. So I thought "Curious George is on, it must be 4:30."  I didn't bother to look at my watch, I just decided to tell time by the TV show.  Then we went to the play area outside the family lounge for Ethan to play, while we killed the last 30 minutes of time before leaving to pick up Daniel. What I had forgotten is that Curious George is no longer on at 4:30 here, it's only on at 5. Which I know, but slipped my mind.  So we were 30 minutes late leaving the mall to get Daniel. Lesson learned. Don't tell time by what children's show is on TV.

Then we all went out for dinner. Thai food! And arrived home tired and happy at 8 PM. Total time spent at home today? 2 hours.  Sigh of happiness.  This kind of stay-at-home momhood is the kind I can handle! Now I just have to figure out how to get Lizzie and Maggie to trust me to ever plan an outing again :) 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daddy's girl

Apparently someone in this house other than me is head over heels in love with my husband. And she's cuter than I am. Way cuter.

It's just too sweet. She's happy with me all day, but the second Daniel walks into the room, she just stares at him and watches his every move until he comes over and picks her up.  The focus on her beloved daddy is just amazing, you can practically feel her trying to will him to come over to wherever she is.  Then when he does pick her up, she giggles and smiles and snuggles into his arms. It does my heart good. I am so blessed.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Things I like (and a few that I'm not so crazy about)

It's Monday, but so far it's been a good one.  The kids and I had a good morning- not moving too quickly today, but that's what Mondays are all about, right? We watched a great episode of Dinosaur Train this morning, then headed to the Pacific Science Center so that Ethan could say hi to the dinosaurs there.  He totally cracks me up- he'll just stand below the gigantic dinosaurs and say "hi" and babble to them in his language.  Maybe the dinosaurs understand?

So, things I'm liking today.

Other things I'm liking today- no pictures of these- Starbucks grande soy latte with sugar-free caramel syrup, and the fact that flu shots really don't hurt. AND- the fact that I'm going to get to review a diaper bag that, if it is half as cool as it looks online, will probably be my favorite thing ever.  Seriously, I've been giddy since the person emailed me on Friday night.  Daniel is so sick of hearing about it. And I haven't even gotten the bag yet. I'm that excited just from the picture!!!

And a few things that I am slightly less crazy about:

So that's life here on this Monday. Hope your weeks are off to a great start!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkin Patch outing 2009

It's really hard to believe that it's been a year already since our last outing to the pumpkin patch. I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Vivian on that outing- and feeling rather ill. This year was much better!  Ethan was excited to see the tractors and wagon and all the farm machines.  These things are very exciting to a city kid.

We had a nice time looking for our pumpkin and riding on the hay wagon.  Drinking yummy apple cider was also great! It made me feel like Autumn is really, truly here!

Here are the obligatory ridiculously cute photos of our kids. Enjoy! 


Friday, October 9, 2009

Would someone please direct me to the desk where I can turn in my resignation?

I am going to consider it a major accomplishment if I make it through this week without drinking before noon.  Ethan's in his crib right now, throwing temper tantrum 1,562,345 for the day.  We just got back from our Tot Bop class. Which we had to resign from because he, once again, screamed the whole way there, the whole way in, while we were waiting for class to start and when the teacher was trying to make them do something like walk in a circle. Apparently walking in a circle offends him. I just couldn't take it anymore, so I packed them up and left and we withdrew from the class, even though it's too late to get any money back. It's just not worth it, since Vivian is missing her morning nap for Ethan to have this scream fest in public and we're ruining the class for everyone else.

Then I called Daniel and sobbed over the speaker phone the entire way home. 

I know Ethan is 2 and he's teething and all that, but the constant battles are about to push me over the edge. And Daniel's been working late so it's just been me every day, all day until about 10 minutes before bedtime.  Oh and I have an entire OTHER CHILD to deal with. I feel like she's getting the short end of the stick for sure these days.

It's just so draining. From the moment he gets up in the morning, he's whining and throwing fits about something. He wants milk, he doesn't want milk. He wants a cracker but not any of the 14 choices I offer him. He asks to watch "Why" then throws a fit when I turn the TV to that channel. And that's all by 9 AM.  Then we battle all day about food. I know, he's a toddler and they don't like to eat, but he's also in the 2nd percentile for height and weight and we can't afford for him to not eat all the time.  When he does stop throwing fits enough to play, he just destroys things. He opens his books and rips out all the pages. He throws his cars at the baby or the cats. He smashes everything in sight.

I am so worn out.  And the thing is that he's all sweet and cute when we're out and around other people and I know they all think I'm crazy. Or they just think it's fun to be around a boy with so much energy, but they don't have to spend all day dealing with this.  I just don't know if I'm going to make it through the terrible twos. I don't have the energy left. I have never cried as much in my life as I have lately, just in sheer frustration and exhaustion.

At least it's Friday, right?  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I totally and utterly adore Fall in the Northwest

I'd like to start out this blog post with a deep sigh of happiness... I totally love Fall in the Northwest! We've been having sunshine all week, but it's not warm- a comfortable 61 degrees outside and 75 inside.  Perfection! I can go for walks with the kids and push the 60+ pounds of kids and stroller uphill and I'm not a sweaty mess at the end of my walk.  And I can wear cute cool-weather clothes.

We're off to the pumpkin patch on Saturday for our annual outing. Must get pictures of the kids and pumpkins!  That's one of the things that they don't tell you about in the prenatal parenting classes- the insane pressure you will feel to take your kids to a pumpkin patch and photograph them next to some pumpkins! It's practically a biological urge.

Things are going well here- I had a nice outing yesterday morning with Lizzie and Maggie. Ethan continues to be head over heels for Lizzie's 1-year-old daughter. He would run off into a section of the Children's Museum, forgetting that his friends were with us, then he would stop and say "where Woosie?" and run back to get her. She's fairly apathetic about him, but he is undeterred.

Vivian's still working on growing her teeth and figuring out this whole crawling thing. I told the doctor on Monday that Vivian was trying to crawl. The doctor looked at me like she didn't believe me. Then Vivian tried to crawl off the exam table.  She still hasn't figured it out though, she just lies on her tummy pushed up on her arms and pushing on the floor with her feet. Since she's my second child and I know just how totally over my free time will be once she starts crawling, I am not encouraging this behavior or helping her figure it out. :)

Anyway, just wanted to check in so that you all don't feel neglected. Things are vaguely insane with reviewing stuff for the review blog and with work and oh, yeah, the two small kids and the husband.  My parents arrive in a little less than 2 weeks, so we're looking forward to that!  Extra hands around the condo. Free entertainment! 

Have a great Thursday evening everyone.  It's the Office wedding episode tonight! From one of the commercials I saw, it looked like the office people were going to do the dance from that youtube video- the Forever one? If they do, I will probably die laughing.  I hope I'm right!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The really good thing about having kids close together

Having two kids in 21 months mostly has kicked my butt up and down the sidewalk. I've been worn out for a year now, through a tough pregnancy and recovering from a c-section and having a toddler and a newborn. And now I have two kids teething at the same time and all that crap. But you know what? There are times that make it all okay. My kids adore each other, and they're so young that they will never have any memory of life without the other one around. Tonight was one of those wonderful times when I caught a glimpse of how much they are fascinated with each other.

Carrie and the no good day

Yet another Tuesday saga. Seriously. What is it with me and Tuesdays? This morning when we were getting ready, I noticed that a box on the bottom of our closet was wet on the side. I ignored this until after we had gone out for a walk, intending to go to the Pacific Science Center. When we got to the Science Center, we discovered that it's closed on Tuesdays. So we went to the Children's Museum. You're shocked, I know.  We also went yesterday and have plans to go tomorrow.

When we got home, I started moving things out of the closet and discovered that our emergency supply of water had gotten squished by our Goodwill items and 3 gallons of water had spilled out.

That box is full of Daniel's hiking boots. Do you know what wet, moldy hiking boots smells like?

My condo was already a total disaster before the water incident.  I am behind on my reviews and am behind on my bible study and my work and my laundry and everything else, so things are piled up everywhere. Unloading an entire closet did not help the situation.

Cleaning the closet took all of naptime, so I'm still behind on everything.  Ethan woke up grouchy because his silly teeth are still coming in.  Vivian's also fussy, because she's still getting over yesterday's shots.  I'm not even going to admit what I saw when I looked into her mouth today. Not the beginnings of her first set of teeth. Really. Nope, no teething there.

I need a break. Just a little one.  Unfortunately, so does my husband, so it's not likely to happen soon.  I don't think I've ever felt so worn down in my life. At least it's 4:30, so the end of Tuesday is in sight. I just have to hang on for 3 more hours until Daniel gets home from work.  I can make it. Really!

Monday, October 5, 2009

We're on to their diabolical plan

Our kids- so cute. So totally wearing us down into the ground. By last night, both Daniel and I were reduced to quivering masses of exhausted parent jello.  Waving white flags of surrender. "We give up. We'll give you whatever you ask for. Please, just let us have 5 minutes of rest!"  We decided that the kids have been talking behind our backs, and think that they have been having conversations along these lines...

Ethan (to Vivian): Okay, Vivian. Here's the plan. I will be in charge of the running around like a lunatic and touching everything that they tell me not to touch over and over part of things.  I'll mix in some begging-to-be-put-in-the-crib whining, followed immediately by why-have-you-put-me-in-the-crib screaming. I'll also boycott all forms of napping all weekend and will beg for food, then will actually only eat food that has fallen on the ground during previous meals.
Your task is to look cute and sweet all day, but fuss every time they try to put you down. Also, you need to be sure that you look healthy all day, but that your cold suddenly gets worse in the evening so that you cannot sleep lying down and must be held all night on the couch in an upright position. While they're holding you upright, if they should doze off, be sure to lift up your head and headbutt them in the face.  We can't have any sleeping on the job."
Vivian: Gurgle. Goo."

We did survive the weekend, but it was a doozy.  One of those weekends when I am SO grateful and blessed to have Daniel around. If I had been doing it alone, I would have probably be curled up in the fetal position and rocking and humming by now. As it was, we're totally worn out today! I felt bad for Daniel, having to try to work and be intelligent today!

We did end up going out on Saturday night and had a nice date night. Love those gift certificates, we had another nice dinner on Saturday night for not too much money.  My sainted best friend had a good evening with the kids, she's great with kids, so we knew she could handle them, even in their current less-than-charming form.  Sunday I missed church, but did get out to the store in the afternoon with Ethan. It was so weird to be out with just one kid again. Totally easy to get around with just a toddler! I'd forgotten! And Vivian finally slept through the night, because it dawned on us that plugging in the humidifier might help. Seriously, you'd never know we weren't first-time parents sometimes. We've forgotten so much!

And today was doctor's appointments day. Ethan got a flu shot and a referral to the occupational therapist at Children's Hospital to look into his eating problems. He did gain a couple of pounds, thanks to the fact that we've been having him drink whipping cream with his whole milk, but he's still not eating well and isn't getting great nutrition, so something needs to be done about that. Vivian is doing great- she's up to a little over 12 pounds now. She's 12 pounds at 4 months, Ethan is 24 pounds at 26 months... yeah, he needs to start watching out for little sister! She's catching up fast!

Silly photo contest entry

Over at 5 Minutes for Mom, there's a contest going on for silly kid photos. Here's my entry!  This is a photo of Ethan from back in April.  He's wearing his coat, his pacifier, has the handles of his sippy cup on as his glasses and, of course, topped it all off with a fireman's hat! Such style!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday morning

We had plans to go out as a family this morning- plans that involved walking over and checking out the newest cupcake place in Seattle, one that is conveniently (inconveniently?) located within walking distance of our condo. Long walking distance, but still. Then Miss Vivian decided to stay up all night last night coughing and sneezing, so I didn't feel like taking her out in below 50 degree weather was a good plan. So Daniel and Ethan went off to the bank and the museum alone, leaving me home with Vivian and the laundry. It's kind of weird to be home without Ethan. I can actually tidy things up without him following behind me and tossing everything back on the floor! Weird!

Daniel and I are off on a date night tonight. Which I think is the real reason Vivian was up all night. Our kids have this sixth sense for when Mommy and Daddy have plans for a date or when a big trip of some sort is planned. And one of them ALWAYS gets sick the night before. We haven't had a date in years during which we haven't been on the verge of falling asleep. The glamorous life of parents of little ones, huh? :)

But last night we had a fun outing- we went and picked up Daniel at work, then went out to dinner (using one of our gift certificates- check out my post on my review blog for a complete rundown of the gift certificate experience).  Had a great dinner and then went to play at the play area of the local mall. So everyone had a fun evening.

Anyway, I should stop blogging and use my free time wisely. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vivian is 4 months old!

My little sweetie is already 4 months old! At this time 4 months ago I was sitting in my living room, trying to think of all the last minute things I needed to do before we headed to the hospital.

Vivian continues to be such a blessing to our family.  Ethan just loves her and anxiously waits for her to get up in the morning so that he can say "hi baby!!"  He's still a little confused as to why she can't play with him and hold all the toys he gives her. But she's growing up fast, so he'll have a play mate soon.

Vivian has become very opinionated lately- mainly expressing the opinion that Mommy should be holding her all the time, and that she cannot put herself to sleep without nursing to sleep. We're working on that one.  But most of the time she continues to be happy and good-natured, smiling at everyone around her.

We have her 4-month appointment on Monday, so I'll have stats then.

But, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of my 4-month-old.