Thursday, May 30, 2013

the picture you can't see

Kiddo wandered around the house taking pictures today. She wanted to take one with me and Babs, so we paused what we were doing so she could take it. I was glad that at least one picture would be taken where you could see my growing belly, and I surely love my little girl.

Then reality hit, and I deleted it. The task Babs and I were completing was to get her underwear changed after an accident. She was naked from the waist down.

two friends and the miracle

This has been a daunting move for us. First of course is the packing, packing, and more packing.  Kids have to be comforted that the thing you are packing, which she has not touched for three months, will be fine in a box for three days. (Then, because she has forgotten it again, you can leave it there for much longer, and consider leaving it there forever...) Then the actual stuff has to be moved.

A particular hurdle of this move that has never been a problem in the past was my life didn't stop for the move. There were still midwife appointments, and preschool, and swimming, and ballet, and church... And then while all the big stuff moved in a day, the little stuff (finally getting the last trash out of the old house, cleaning, getting stuff out of the yard, etc.) kept dragging on and on and on (a hazard of moving four blocks away).

On Sunday, multiple people asked how the move went/was going. I did not put on a happy face. A few made general offers of help, give me a call. Two did more.

The first told me to bring my kids over the next day to play with her kids. So I did, and, since it was Memorial Day, my husband and I had three hours to work without the children. We used this time wisely. With her good help, we finished up by the end of the day. We now only have one house.

The second said, "Are you generally home during the day? I'll come over one morning and do the lifting you can't because you're pregnant." She called me the morning of her visit at 8 am (earlier than this house usually runs), and came over. She worked for two hours straight, and we unloaded at least 5 or 6 boxes. This may not sound like much until I assure you that these were the "throw everything in" boxes, so almost everything in them went to a different place. My friend ran up and down my stairs all morning, a feat I am completely incapable of right now. (Oh, I can still go up and down stairs, but I can't do it repeatedly.)

We are out of the old house. The entire downstairs is not covered with boxes. It's been a the best week of our move, thanks to my good friends. (The best weekend of our move was when we actually moved, with my mom's help. Don't think I don't remember that. And don't think for a second my husband hasn't gone above and beyond this whole time. But he has a full-time job, and I just need a little more help these days.)

I want to do that: see a friend in need, and give a concrete offer of help that is helpful. I'm not sure with two kids at home, and one on the way there is much I can do in this direction, but I'm trying.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

we're okay

Let's be honest. I'm exhausted. My husband is exhausted. And these two kids just keep moving merrily along in their life, with enough energy to make me wonder...

I'm now almost 7 months pregnant, and he is a mover. I failed my preliminary gestational diabetes test, and basically fretted for two weeks until I heard back about  my longer test (which made me sick, sick, sick), and know that I do not have gestational diabetes. I am so grateful. During the interim I had my second ultrasound (since I'm of advanced maternal age and all), in which I was offered undeniable proof that he is a boy. Maybe someday soon he'll have a different name than "baby brother." All this does make me less functional than I wish I could be. But, I am meeting my primary goals of feeding the children every day, and that's all I can ask for.

My husband is wishing that this move would actually end. Because of Memorial Day, our physical possessions should be removed by the end of the weekend, so then we can just clean, and be done. Did I mention we found some mold, actually quite a bit, as we moved out? We're grateful that's not our problem. My husband is an amazing worker, and just keeps getting this project done. (He's also primarily responsible for the unpacking on this end, so that's energy sapping too.)

Kiddo is, of course, doing great. She seems absolutely fine that preschool is done (possibly because this week has been very, very busy) and play wells with her little sister every day. I've signed her up for swimming lessons, which she loves. She gave the spiritual thought in primary last week, and did a fantastic job. She even added a portion of her talk from when we practiced (not really a surprise) so she could show the picture that she had drawn in Sacrament Meeting. She drew a picture of "Brave CTR girl. It's me." She wrote that entire caption herself (I probably helped her spell brave), including the apostrophe. I love that girl.

This week we did kindergarten orientation. Kiddo is ready to go, and loved her whole experience in the classroom. I am not. First off, I don't worry like other parents (and of course, that worries me). But my real concern, and this is serious, is Who will entertain my three-year old while Kiddo is at kindergarten next year? Babs and I don't have a together time routine. I guess we should, because Kiddo has been in preschool for a year, but we don't. Maybe she'll be really good with baby brother...

And Babs. She has thrown significantly less tantrums this week. But, she's also had a nap almost every day, which means she doesn't fall asleep until 9 or 10 (which may be driving her father crazy). Because of the very busy week we've had she's been primarily in pull-ups (oh, and she's still reluctant about the 2nd half of the process) and we have seriously backtracked in potty training. I am giving us this next (considerably quieter) week to get things back under control before I give up again.

She is also signed up for swimming lessons. The first week she participated, but looked mad and betrayed most of the lesson, and told me afterward how scary it was. The next week she refused to even enter the pool. I offered a lot of bribes, none of which enticed her. (That child won't be bribed. It's just something about her.) So the manager and I discussed our options. We then took the kids to family swim that weekend. By the end of an hour in the pool, Babs loved the water. And, week three of swimming lessons went fine. She still wasn't sure about all of it, but at the end told me how brave she was to participate, not how scared she was. Plus, she got her "dunkin donut" so that also helped. (That would be the bribe that didn't work until she was ready for it to work.) (And Kiddo, ever a good sport, gets the reward if Babs earns hers. Kiddo asked if she got a donut after swimming lessons, and I had to tell her it depended on Babs, because I'm just not mean enough to stop and get a donut for one kid and leave the other kid out, especially when the first kid doesn't need an enticement to go spend 30 minutes in the pool.)

And Babs wears a silly hat (sometimes). You can see it in the picture above. My ever wise husband got it off before church by insisting that we don't wear hats when we pray. She is a funny little girl, with a real sense of humor, and uses it a lot. Which is good. We need to laugh.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

a tale of three screams

A week ago Saturday morning, we were 90% packed, and I knew we would just be in the way, so the kids and I (and my mom) headed off to the birthday party we had been invited to, leaving my husband to move our belongings from one house to the other while we were gone. My mom had heroically moved the kitchen the day before, so at least we could eat.

The party was fun, and Babs fell asleep on the way home. We figured out where the beds were (new house), headed there, and carried her to her bed. I laid her down, she sleepily opened her eyes, and then woke up enough to have a screaming fit, because this wasn't her bed. This wasn't her room. She needed to go to her bed in her house! There was nothing we could say or do to calm her down. But, I had promised my good, tired husband, and the two good missionaries helping him, pizza, so I strapped Babs (still crying and screaming) in the car and headed off to the pizza place. Somewhere along the route Babs calmed down enough for me to figure out that the real problem was her blanket and pillow weren't there. We brought the pizza to Dad, then went back to the old house to get the blanket and pillow. Crisis solved.

Bedtime of the first night of the girls sharing a room went just about as well as we expected, and around 10 they both finally fell asleep.

The next morning, the girls emerged from their room together, and came to find us (now next door as opposed to downstairs!). Babs immediately insisted that she needed to be carried by me. I told her no, walked with her to the bathroom (hey - I'm pregnant people) while she cried to be picked up. The cries were gathering steam. After the bathroom I asked her to walk with me to the couch so I could hold her. She wouldn't. She wouldn't go anywhere unless I carried her. So I left her standing and crying in the bathroom, sat on the couch, and waited for her.

Ten minutes of crying later, she still had not moved. My husband finally got out of bed to bring her to me. She wouldn't let him pick her up. She wouldn't let Grammy pick her up. She just stayed there and cried. Around ten minutes later, I got back up, convinced her to follow me to the couch, where she cried on my lap for a long time.

Monday morning, we dropped Kiddo off at preschool, and the plan was that we would go back to the old house (that still had a lot of stuff, and needed plenty of cleaning) and work. I was a little tentative about bringing Babs back, but we decided it would be okay.

It was not. She happily walked into the house, and immediately wanted to go to her bed. As soon as I said it wasn't there she completely flipped out again. She cried and screamed and fussed and was generally inconsolable. I tried to work around it for about 10 minutes (probably only 5, time seems to slow down when my child is screaming) then announced we were leaving.

I refuse to bring her back. Occasionally we stop in the driveway and I run in the house to grab something (although since my husband cleared out the rest of our stuff yesterday, that's probably not going to happen again) and I don't talk about the other house.

These three tantrums are not the only ones we've had in the last two weeks. Babs pitches two or three a day. It makes every day more interesting.

Our basement is filled with boxes. But we're here. And we plan on staying for a long time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

preschool graduation

Tonight was preschool graduation for Kiddo. I took a few pictures from far away, but decided that the pictures were definitely not worth experiencing her presentation through a screen, so I put the camera (phone) away, and focused on my delightful daughter.

Her teacher described her as perhaps the happiest child she has ever met. And I believe she might be right. I see her all the time, so clearly I know that Kiddo is not always happy, but she is mostly happy. (Even when her sister is sitting on her back insisting on a horsey ride, and making it so she can't breathe, she just smiles away.)

The children entered singing "It's a grand ole' flag" and I could see Kiddo's future as a parade queen. She waved her flag, and had a smile and wave for everyone. As they sang the four or five songs they had prepared, she performed all the motions with great enthusiasm, and sang her heart out. I could often hear her over the other children.

Throughout it all, she just made me smile. I was so happy that this amazing child was mine. I couldn't really describe the feeling as pride, because I couldn't see that I had done much, except bring her into the world. The smile, joy, intelligence, and happiness just came with her.

I am so glad to be her mom.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

this is my house

Here's the view from the street. And as I came to do the walk-through (an hour before we bought the house) I thought, huh, I don't actually like the front door. But, a door can be painted... eventually.
Here's our kitchen. It's still small. And actually doesn't have a microwave. But it has lots of light, and looks into the backyard. Plus, there's a screen on the window, so it can be opened! How exciting.
This will be the boy's room. For the next month or two I'm sure it will just contain a lot of unpacked boxes. (But I am determined to have no unpacked boxes - past storage - in my new home! If there's no room to unpack it, then we get rid of it.) See that lovely dusty rose/mauve color? The entire house is that color.
Except the girls' room. That's green. Or at least it was until this weekend. Now thanks to my good husband, it's pink.
We have what we call an explorer's back yard (if that explorer happens to be less than 5 feet tall). There are trees and bushes, a shed, a porch, a patio, and a groundhog. Plus an above ground pool. We will miss that extensive amount of open space that we have in our current back yard, but there's still plenty of space to run, and I think we will enjoy the pool. (If we don't, it's feasible to remove.)

We can walk to the elementary school (and we will - every day starting this fall). We aren't moving wards, or even really neighborhoods, so we can keep all our doctors, and stores, and everything that we like around here. We move next Saturday. New house, here we come.