Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Commencing Operation Pottytraining

I'm feeling motivated this week to do all sorts of random things. I've organized closets and cupboards. I've registered for my first 10K in September.  I've worked on brainstorming for a new project that I'm going to be involved with. And I decided to give pottytraining Vivian a shot. 

Honestly, I don't know if she's ready. Vivian is a very hard child to read on things like this.  I know she's capable of going on the potty, but she's very strong willed, so it's a matter of making HER want it. And I'm trying to figure out that.  I'm a big fan of the cold turkey method of potty training, so right now she's running around in a diaper and having accidents on the carpet (and now no one who lives in Seattle will ever want to visit me again...).  I have found a method that works for getting her to sit on the potty, which is progress.

I was about 2 hours into potty training this morning before I remembered that potty training Ethan involved a bottle of tequila for Mommy.  As we are currently tequila-less, I'm not sure how well things are going to go. 

The best part about potty training so far (all 4 hours of it) was watching Daniel this morning when Vivian had her first accident of the day. He wasn't around for the early stages of potty training Ethan, and Ethan never had accidents after the early days, so he kind ]of freaked out a little and ran around saying "oh my goodness. She peed on the chair! Need a towel!"  (And I've just REALLY ruined my chances of local visitors with that comment...)  It was especially funny because Daniel is a very calm person and rarely gets flustered about much of anything. 

We'll see how it goes this week.  If Vivian hates it, I'll try again in a few months.  That's nice thing about the second kid- I know she'll get it eventually and I'm not going to freak out about it. Even though my mother-in-law is visiting this weekend and she's been asking for months about why Vivian isn't potty trained yet. I always offer to let her do the potty training, but she's yet to take me up on the offer :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've actually spoken to actual adults multiple times in the past week!

I was driving Daniel to work this morning and we were chatting about our upcoming weekend and what we wanted to do with the three days. And we got to chatting about social events and and what was on the immediate schedule, and I made the comment that, for once, I wasn't desperate to talk to people this week.  Then I got to thinking and realized that I met up with friends on Thursday for a zoo outing. And had lunch with my best friend on Friday. And went to our friends' house on Saturday for lunch. And on Sunday I had an actual girls-night-out with three of my favorite local bloggers. That's right, Miss Anti-Social had four honest-to-goodness social events in just four days.

I think I may have used up my full allotment of words for the rest of the month with all that socializing :)

We're still trying to adjust to our summer schedule here. Or lack of schedule, I should say. I'm loving the lack of rush and stress in the morning. It's great to have kids who are actually getting to sleep as much as they need and not have to drag tired little ones out of bed at 7 AM (my kids intensely dislike mornings).  But I am missing the quiet mornings with Vivian. Ethan makes things more fun, but SO loud. And there are SO many arguments!

On a related note, did you all see the study that says that whining may be the most annoying sound in the world?  I laughed when I first heard this- any mom could have told you that!

And once again, it's dinner time and the reality of dinner has failed to cross my mind all day (seriously, I am in such deep denial about cooking...) so I should probably be a good wife and go try to figure out something before Daniel gets home. Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy summer!

Ethan's last day of school was today and the sun is shining and it's apparently officially summer by all accounts.  We're celebrating by watching Pocoyo and not going outside :)  Actually, that's not true. We will be driven outdoors soon when the sun starts shining in our windows and maing it hotter inside than out.  This is actually one of my favorite times of year, because it's usually around 85 degrees in our living room/kitchen by the time dinner rolls around, and I can pretty easily convince Daniel that it's too hot to have the stove or oven on. And then we get sushi instead and all is well with the world.

This morning we went to school with Ethan to celebrate his last day of preschool.  A number of his friends are moving on to kindergarten, so there were lots of tears from those parents and the teachers about that.  We have two years left, so on our part it was just lots of being thankful for all they've done at school to help Ethan. Some amazing teachers and therapists and aides there, for sure. 

On a related note, I don't think that I ever mentioned the biggest miracle of the year- Ethan has started eating!  He's actually eating about as much as Vivian is, which is great.  He's so far putting it all into energy and not into pounds (he's still stuck at 28 pounds. 1.6th percentile! Possibly not my kid after all?), but my goal for the summer is to get some weight on him.  Since he is eating now, the topic of a semi-permanent feeding tube has been shelved again, at least for now. Which is nice- I was not excited about that thought of that.  Force-feeding ice cream and chocolate is much preferable to serious interventions.

Anyway- it's summer! And I have to try to remember how to entertain two kids all day! Much brainstorming must be done! Happy summer, everyone!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Girls versus boys. A random observation

I've been meaning to blog about this for a couple of weeks now, but I keep forgetting. Until now! I finally remembered! There is hope for my brain after all!

Anyway, I had a funny experience a few weeks ago- one that once again demonstrated for me just how different little boys and little girls can be.  One morning while Ethan was at school, Vivian and I had a friend over for a few hours. Vivian's friend is fairly close to Vivian's age (about 10 months older), so the girls were having a great time playing with all the toys in the house and snacking and doing whatever 2-year-old girls do. 

It was a nice morning, but at one point in time, they did something that absolutely blew my mind. The girls walked over to the table of blocks and sat down. And then they chatted about the blocks for a while, and then they decided to build a tower. So they did. They built a tower about 10 blocks high- and then they WALKED AWAY WITHOUT KNOCKING IT DOWN!!!  The tower stood on the table, undisturbed for the next two hours. Seriously, this has never happened in our house.  I thought it was just my son who was incapable of seeing anything stacked up without knocking it over, but when I told this story to another friend of mine who has two boys, she stared at me with such a look of disbelief and shock. 

I think it was especially funny and unexpected to me because usually Vivian is around her brother and when we see this little friend, Ethan's generally around then too. So he takes care of all the loud noises and knocking things over and I never noticed that the girls might have different ideas.

And yes, when Ethan got home from school and saw the tower, he immediately walked over and knocked it down.

Two

I can't believe it's mid-June now- and Ethan's last day of school is next Tuesday! We're all going with him on Tuesday for a party in his class, so that means were down to only two more mornings of getting up insanely early and waiting for the bus. The bus didn't show up at all on Monday morning and when Daniel took Ethan to school, he found out that the bus driver had been in an accident that morning.  We found out more details later- the driver was about 5 minutes from here and someone hit the side of the bus, full-on. Fortunately there were no kids on the bus yet and the driver was fine.  I'm at a loss as to how someone could manage to not notice a big yellow bus in an intersection. 


I'm also at a loss as to what I'm going to do with the kids all summer. We need to start planning activities.  Right now I'm more focused on the freedom from the crazy early morning rush.  No one in our family copes well with mornings, so they're generally full of whining and complaining and not getting along.  It'll be nice to have three months free of that!

Despite the early mornings, Ethan's preschool has been such a blessing to our family. He's grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to the therapy and the teaching that he's been receiving there. And he's loved the socializing and being a big boy and going to school.  He's got two more years of this preschool before he heads on to kindergarten, and I know it's going to be a great thing for him in the years to come as well.  It's really nice to have people coming alongside us to help him catch up and learn the things he needs to know.

On a completely different note- I got an email the other day from someone who reads my blog- letting me know that she saw me at the zoo in San Diego (Hi N!).  How crazy and fun is that? My first reaction was to hope that it wasn't in a moment when the kids were scaring the animals with their behavior- and my second reaction was to wish she'd said hi then.  It's really a small world, isn't it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home again, home again

We're back from our first real family vacation, and it was a success! It was an interesting trip- other than Ethan being sick repeatedly on the flight down, it was pretty uneventful and things went smoothly.  We were really happy with our choice to not rent a car, and were also really happy with our choice of hotel as well.  Riding the bus/trolley and staying out of the main hotel area definitely gave us a glimpse of the non-tourist side of San Diego, but that was interesting too. 

It was definitely different from our pre-kid vacations, for sure. Daniel and I kept joking that we barely interacted the entire trip. We each seemed to be chasing a kid or pushing a kid in the stroller or sleeping with a kid in our separate beds. We intended for the kids to share a queen bed and for us to share one, but that didn't happen.  Still, it was relaxing and fun and we liked everything that we saw.

The San Diego Zoo lived up to all of its hype- what a great place! The kids especially liked the Children's area of the zoo and we spent a long time there. I did finally get photographic evidence that my children are occasionally more poorly behaved than wild animals. Evidence below (note the monkeys in the corner of the picture who were clinging to each other and looking scared):


More zoo/post-zoo pics:





On Saturday we toured the Maritime Museum, which was fabulous, and then took the ferry to Coronado Island and walked across the island to the famous Hotel Del Coronado. It was the perfect way to wrap up our trip- enjoying some sunshine and sand in a beautiful little town. 









We were home by mid-morning yesterday and were unpacked soon after that. It's a good thing that Daniel and I share the need to clean/unpack/deal with everything right away. I think we'd stress anyone out who didn't share this particular obsession with order.

I'm happy that our first attempt at a family vacation went well- it makes me willing to consider the idea again for next summer!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Searching for sunshine

We're in San Diego and the sun is not (so far at least).  I keep thinking that I should be upset about this, then I remember (or Daniel reminds me) that I don't actually like the sun and when I get hot I complain too much. Then I smile at the grey sky and go on for a while longer, before again thinking that the sun really should be shining in San Diego.

Our vacation started super early yesterday. By 4 AM we were loaded up in the car and on our way to the airport. We actually got complimented by the security people at the airport for how organized we were with all of our stuff, which was entertaining and nice.  Everything was uneventful until we boarded our plane, when Ethan started throwing up before we even took off.  I had another (weird) proud mom moment as I held a bag up for Ethan to vomit in, while balancing a sleeping Vivian on my lap.  Daniel was in his seat across the aisle, but the seatbelt sign was on and the plane was starting to taxi, so he was limited to handing me wipes and giving moral support. 

Ethan was pretty much fine by the time we arrived here, so we're thinking that it was just tiredness/nerves.  We were in our hotel room by 10 AM, which was great, and off on the bus to the beach before noon! The kids were in heaven at the beach- their eyes were huge as they tried to take in the enormous expanse of sand- all waiting for them to dig! And throw! And build sandcastles!





We dragged the kids away from the beach after about an hour and a half, since it was pretty chilly, and time to get some food. Thankfully we didn't stay longer, since I had had a stupid moment earlier when I put on my SPF 85 and THEN changed to shorts, completely forgetting to then apply sunscreen to my legs.  So I have nice dark red legs today. Rookie mistake!

So it's been a little crazy so far, but it's still nice to be away from home and cleaning and cooking and the daily routine.  My break from laundry only lasted until yesterday afternoon, when a load of clothes had to be done, but I'm hoping that's it until we get home. Probably for the best- going cold turkey from laundry could cause some sort of mental damage. :)

We're off to the zoo today! Hurray!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

36 hours until vacation

My husband actually made this comment to me today: "Yes, I'm stressed about getting up at 3 AM to leave for the airport. That's definitely the most stressful part of the trip for me."  Okay, so I get that that's true for him, but his timing and audience for the comment were questionable. I've been making lists and piles and mentally going over our daily routine for three weeks and hoping I don't forget anyone's medications or glasses or anything else that we can't buy in California, and he's worried about getting up early.  I shouldn't complain- the man is 99% perfect, so it's nice to see a fault now and again.

Tonight I went to a Social Media gathering where I was 1) a foot and a half shorter than everyone else 2) 4-6 sizes larger than most people there and 3) not representing a brand or agency. The networking/chatting part of the evening was so awful that I wanted to vomit, but I ate cookies instead and tried to use my shortness to my advantage and blend in with the rows of chairs. I did talk to a few people, and I was proud of myself for that.  Still, I was thrilled when I got home and the kids were in bed and Daniel decided to go work out, because that much socializing with strangers left me really drained. I'm insanely out of practice at talking to people.

Overall the conference was interesting and made me think a lot about the whole point of my review blog. I've been around a lot of BIG bloggers lately whose blogs are a business. Mine is just a time-consuming hobby, and I think I like it that way. I need to think about whether or not I want a 5-year plan and strategic goals or whether I want to just continue replying to emails with comments like "why yes, you may send me candy! here is my address!" and not having a purpose beyond that.

On a completely different topic, I did part of a Pilates workout yesterday after running, because I have messed up my legs again (damn shin splints) and I'm hoping stretching helps to get me through until the 10K in September. I did the flexibility section and about 5 minutes of the ab workout and can barely move today. Methinks this show needs to be played on my Netflix queue again soon.

Vacation! In 36 hours! Whoo hoo!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Relaxing

We did something really unusual this weekend... we relaxed.  Poor Daniel would love to relax most weekends, but I have an unfortunate ingrained need to make plans and "do things" even on the weekend. Actually, especially on the weekend, since that's when I get to leave the house and do something outside of my usual 2 mile radius where I spend all week.

This weekend Daniel had church men's group on Saturday at 8 and I had the Susan G. Komen 5K on Sunday at 8, but our days were otherwise free. And we managed to keep them that way We fit in the absolute necessities, including my annual "oh crap, it's over 70 degrees and I have no decent pants/capris to wear" shopping trip. Other than that we kept the kids alive and mostly out of trouble and just loafed around the house. I even managed to sit in my quiet bedroom and read two books over the course of the weekend (I'm a speedreader, so that's not as time-consuming as it sounds).

I really couldn't tell you when was the last time we just relaxed. Pre-kids, probably.  I so rarely am able to put aside my mental to-do list and just "be". And I really don't have the personality for relaxing- usually it actually ends up making me more stressed, because I feel like I'm not using my time wisely. But this weekend we managed and it was divine.

And now we're less than three days away from flying off to California and I'm utterly unprepared and tomorrow night I have to go to a scary blogger/marketing conference and possibly talk to strangers! (insert horror movie music here), and I'm way behind on the to-do lists.... but it was worth it! I may have to schedule this "relaxing" thing in again for another weekend, sometime this decade :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rockstars!

I love Friday mornings- no school for Ethan, which means no early morning wake up for us and no schedule to stick to.  We eventually have therapy to get to, but that's still a while off, so there's time to just hang out. I, of course, should be doing laundry, but what else is new.

The kids are being particularly cute this morning. They discovered some sunglasses in their room, and are running around wearing them and yelling "rockstars!"  It's pretty darned adorable :)




Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday night

It's almost dark here in Seattle (at just before 10 PM), the kids are asleep (hurray!), Daniel's asleep (thanks to the Tylenol PM that he took for his headache), and once again I'm relishing the solitude too much to sleep. Even though I'm tired and today started before 6 and was very busy... alone time is worth so much more than sleep sometimes.

And I'm drinking some seriously yummy peach juice from the Russian food section of the Asian grocery store that we FINALLY dropped in to on Sunday and are now madly in love with. It's huge, with everything Asian that you could imagine and Russian foods and Mexican foods and Turkish foods and lots of our regular American food too. And not insanely crowded, unlike the other Asian grocery stores that we have visited.  I love finding places that combine all of our food needs like this.  Daniel spent a long time looking at the shelves of Asian snacks while I perused the Russian food section and reminisced about picking up the same products from a babushka at a food stall in the open air market in Ukraine (I was in Ukraine pre-grocery store arrival).

I need peach juice and solitude tonight- it was a long day.  After a bad morning and not-great day yesterday, I decided last night that running this morning was preferable to dealing with the pre-school routine, so I headed out for a run.  And I got caught in a fairly massive rain, which only lasted for the first 5K loop.  So on the second 5K loop, I would pass a bunch of people who were totally dry, then the occasional person who was as drenched as I was, and we would smile in sympathy with each other's sloshing shoes.  I also managed to hit "end workout" twice, while trying to change the song on my iPod, so when I got home, the program helpfully announced the results of my last run to my Facebook friends (Carrie ran 0.9 km!) and I looked like an idiot. In reality I ran 10K again. All in the hopes that I'll start thinking of 5K as a short distance and will no longer want to die for the majority of the races I run.

On that note, we were in downtown today and I saw how much of the city streets they are going to block off for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure run that I'm doing on Sunday, and I realized that it's going to be a run right down the middle of the city. With a massive hill at the end. Fun!

Sorry, I realize that this blog post is completely random and not even vaguely interesting. Only one week until I'm in San Diego though- with sunshine and interesting blog topics! We're almost ready for the trip, other than the whole packing thing and still trying to decide about using public transport versus renting a car.  And semi-annoyingly, Seattle has decided to drop this 50 degrees and rainy stuff and have sunshine next week, which makes escaping to San Diego slightly less exciting. :)  Just slightly though- our first family vacation couldn't possibly be unexciting!

And on a Vivian note, her 2 year appointment went well today. She, as usual, is very healthy and doing great on developmental milestones, and it was the fastest well child appointment ever.  It still cracks me up though that we think of Vivian as such a little chubby baby, when she's just at about the 10th percentile. When you have a kid who's in the 2nd or 3rd percentile and only has body fat in his toes (seriously, I need to post a picture of Ethan's toes), even a little bit of chub is so exciting!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy birthday, Vivian!

I'm sitting here at the computer, watching Vivian play with her new dollhouse and trying to believe what I know to be true- my baby is two years old today! Two! How did that happen?  My baby is a little girl now- a little girl full of plans and opinions and conversation.  And still as cute as the day we first met her two years ago :)

Today's going to be a pretty low-key birthday for Vivian. Even though Ethan tried to convince me that he needed to stay home from school since it was Baby's birthday, he went anyway, and Vivian and I are just hanging out and watching the rain this morning. (On a side note- June? Really?) We'll have cake tonight- left over from the early celebration that we had with Daniel's parents on Saturday. And there's one more small present in Vivian's future tonight.  Mostly though it's just a day of snuggles and taking pictures and feeling grateful for how blessed we are, with two great kids.