Monday, August 30, 2010

by the numbers

My last two weekends, by the numbers:

loads of laundry washed, folded, and put away: 8
number of mornings I left the house at 7 am: 2
dollars made at the consignment sale: $41
small group meetings for church: 3
dollars spent at Lowe's on home improvement junk: over 200
dollars spent at the grocery store: $260.74
trips to Wal-Mart: 4
hours spent cleaning the house: must be at least 40,000
triathlons finished: 1
lesson plans completed: 2
posters created: 2
books finished: 2
movies watched: 2

= exhausted x 150,387

Saturday, August 28, 2010

my big, big girl

Anyone else have a four year old that can ride a bike?

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

You can thank Joshua for the horrible video footage. I had to keep getting him to stop pulling the cat's tail so it's shaky. Then he started clapping for Jules so I tried to get that, but alas, no such luck.

Two Saturdays ago she asked Jonathan to take the training wheels off her bike.  She spent five minutes trying to learn on Saturday and Sunday and then she quit for a few days.  She got back on it last weekend and pretty much just figured it all out in four days.  She still has trouble getting going but once she's on, she's fine.  I'm simply amazed.

Mom says I didn't learn to ride my bike until I was like, eight.  Really.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ten months

photo credit: sedonya

Dear Joshua,

Yesterday was your ten month birthday. I was at a consignment sale on Saturday and it made me so sad to look at the little baby clothes you used to wear and think about how you’ll never be that little again. But I also look forward to all the things that we’ll get to do together as you get older. I am eager to go hiking with you and ride bikes along the greenway together. I can’t wait to see you run around the yard with the dog and climb trees with your sister.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the ten month old you are now and I'm so excited to see the boy you'll grow to be.  So while it's a little sad to see the baby days go by so fast, it's also fun to imagine the future with you in our family.

You are all out walking now. I mean, like the length of our kitchen walking. You do this hilarious zombie walk where you hold your arms out in front of you to help you balance.  Sometimes you also twist your tongue sideways and stick it out the bottom of your mouth, rubbing it along your bottom teeth while you walk.  I suppose walking takes a lot of concentration.


And you adore your sister, oh how you adore her.  Of course you do.  We all knew you would.  It's fun to watch her light up your face by just paying you one little minute of attention.  She can make you giggle like no other.

At the same time, you have developed a very strong attachment to me this month.  I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that you’re a total mama’s boy. You reach for me but not really for anyone else. You climb my legs to get me to pick you up and I have to peel you off of me to get you to go to the church nursery now. Fortunately you don’t cry, it just takes a little more effort than normal to hand you over to someone else since you cling to me so tightly.

Desperate for more sleep and tired of being bitten, I decided to start weaning you this month. You have taken a bottle of formula before bed pretty easily ever since you turned eight months old.  I decided to start weaning you just before you turned nine months old and after about two weeks you were already down to only nursing two times per day.  I was kind of thinking I would try to keep it that way for a while but somehow that twice a day quickly turned in to you only nursing first thing in the morning and my supply dwindled.  I could tell you were no longer getting very much milk so just this week you finally gave up and just refused to nurse one morning. It was fine with me.  It’s much easier this way and you do sleep a little better at night (usually 8:45ish - 6:15ish). You also still bite me but fortunately it’s no longer while you’re breastfeeding.

You have six teeth and have been trying to cut two more bottom teeth the past couple of weeks. The drool has come back full force and you’ve been slightly warmer than usual.  You're still a much pickier eater than your sister ever was.  You like almost every fruit and hate almost every vegetable.  You love all kinds of bread and dairy products.

At your nine month check-up you weighed 22 lbs 2 oz and I’m sure you’re over 23 lbs now. You’re still wearing mostly 18 and 24 months clothes and size 4 diapers.

It’s quite different for me to have such an active baby. It’s not that your sister wasn’t active; it’s just that you are constantly on the move whereas she would only go when she wanted to. She would sit and look and listen as I read her a story but you will have nothing of that. You won’t sit to take a bath and you must be standing and going at all times now. There’s never a minute of stillness. You climb the stairs, climb in the fireplace, open all sorts of kitchen cabinets that we somehow managed to train Jules to stay out of without baby locks. You throw yourself out of shopping carts and strollers (literally you threw yourself out of the stroller onto a very hard floor one day when I neglected to buckle you in). You climb out of the car seat the second I place you in it and if I don’t get the tray on the high chair within two second of getting you in it then you’re climbing out of that at lightning speed. It makes me dread the day that we decide to take down the crib and put you in a real bed.  Maybe by then I’ll be up for a crazy big challenge…?

One thing I know for sure is that no matter how challenging life has become since you were born, it's all totally been worth it.  You are my precious, precious baby and you always will be.

I love you, Buddy.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

we've got to stop and take some time to eat the apples

As Joshua has begun crawling and then walking he's naturally after everything of Julianna's that he can get his chubby little hands on.  She of course, is less than thrilled with his developing interest in her stuff.  She has learned to keep her prized possessions of the day on top of the mantel, the TV, the bookshelf, whatever is too high for him to climb at this point.  But for the most part throughout the day she stays frustrated beyond what she's accustomed to.

The conflict between the two of them has created new problems for me to deal with as a mother of two and I had no idea I would encounter this amount of sibling competition so early.  As I put Joshua down for a nap Julianna barges in and wakes him up, as I try to prepare dinner I hear the two of them scream violently from the other room as he grabs at her markers and paper, and as I see him grab something tiny off the floor and push it towards his mouth I see her rush over to him and grab it while shoving him out of the way.

I don't blame him.  He's learning.  He's exploring his world.  He adores his big sister and all that she can show him, teach him, give him.  There is no one more exciting for him to watch, no one's voice he is more eager to hear.  Of course he is going to want to be everywhere that she is.  Of course he is going to want to play with the things she gets to play with.

I don't blame her.  She's told "no" for something or other at every turn.  She gets very little individual attention and she is constantly reminded to be quiet, wait until her brother wakes up, and not right now.  Of course she is going to seek attention in less-than-ideal ways.  Of course she is not going to be happy with having to share toys with someone that she's never had to share with before.

Anyway, I have never before considered myself a screamer.  And I hate to admit this, but it's reality.  As Julianna has become increasingly difficult to get to follow directions and as I try to get her to make better choices around her brother I often find myself screaming at her just to get her attention.  It's like she doesn't hear me until I raise my voice.  Then I find my self apologizing more and more often to her each night for yelling at her earlier that day.  I try to explain to her that I just want her to do the right thing and that if she would make better choices then I would yell less.

I found myself reserving a copy of Screamfree Parenting to pick up at the library.  I certainly haven't read enough of it yet to really make a difference in how I control myself around my kids so I can't say at all that it will influence how I act.  However, as I read it I already feel like I'm becoming more aware of my own choices in interacting with my kids and hopefully that will make it easier to make better decisions.  One quote from the beginning of the book keeps going through my head. 

"Parents can tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach." - Arnold H. Glasgow, psychologist

Julianna and I read a library book the other day about a little girl named Halloweena (what you don't read Halloween books in August?).  In it there's a picture of some kids bobbing for apples and Julianna didn't understand what they were doing.  Even after explaining it to her she still couldn't grasp the concept.  I happened to have bought a bag of apples the day before at Wal-mart.  We got it out, filled a huge bowl with water, and took turns bobbing for apples.  I think she understands now.

Ten minutes later when she was watching an episode of The Backyardigans on Netflix streaming through the Wii, her brother accidentally knocked something onto the power strip and her show went off.  She suddenly began screaming, "Mama, get my movie back on now!"  You could look at her face and see the recognition come across it before I even had a chance to react.  It was not like someone flipping on the light switch but more like someone turning the dimmer switch to slowly brighten the room.  In the middle of her sentence-command her voice lowered and she changed her tune to, "Mama, will you turn my movie back on please?"

Suddenly I know we'll get there.  I don't know when, but I know we will and now I know we'll do it together.

Parenting is hard, y'all!

Friday, August 20, 2010

in case you can't read his shirt

it says, "nothing but trouble."

And how he squeezed himself behind there I'll never know.

Also, we have giant pumpkin vines taking over our bushes. See.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It kills me to not be blogging more, but I just can't come up with the time for it this week.  I already had one job interview and have another tomorrow.  School starts SOON and it would be nice to have one of these full-time technology jobs but if it's not in the cards then I certainly won't mind subbing again.  Plus, the triathlon is this weekend and I have totally neglected training for it.  Go me!  (I am however still losing weight little by little. Yay!) The boy is cutting more teeth IN PLACE OF SLEEPING AT NIGHT and we've had haircuts, fantasy football drafts, meetings at church, etc, etc.  Life goes on.  I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, August 16, 2010

summer vacation

Since Jonathan started a new job this summer he didn't have vacation days to spare.  I usually spend a month at the beach each summer and didn't want this year to be too different so I attempted a shorter beach trip with the kids by myself and here's what I learned.

Being at the beach by yourself with two small kids poses some interesting situations.  Take for example the time I left Julianna playing quietly in her room while I took Josh into the bedroom so that I could get a quick shower.  I cleared everything off the floor that he might be able to get into.  I put some baby toys on the floor just outside of the bathroom and since there's a clear glass shower door I figured I could watch him pretty easily from the shower if I left the door open.

Well, everything was going great until about halfway through my shower I felt the water pressure ease up a bit.  I glanced out the shower and there was Joshua flushing the toilet over and over again.

There was also the time that I took both kids in the single jogging stroller for a walk to the swash one morning so that I could get some exercise.  After an hour of Joshua pulling Julianna's hair and kicking her forcefully in the back as she sat on the front of the jogger I soon found myself in the local Target purchasing a double stroller.  Nevermind the fact that my oldest kid is pretty much too old to ride in strollers anymore, if I want to exercise while I'm here then I had to have something that she could ride in.

Or how about the time when I had finally given up on having a decent vacation and decided it would just be easier to put the kids in the car and head home at bedtime one night than ride home early in the morning when they were wide awake? 

Anyway, I'm home now.  Finally recovered and back to co-parenting.  I had a marvelous weekend thanks to help from my much-appreciated husband and it will be a long time before I go to the beach without him again.  And I've started my penny jar for a babysitter to go with us on our next trip.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I will never get a tattoo for lots and lots of reasons, but I still wonder... if I were to ever consider permanently marking up my body, what would I get tattooed and where?  What would you do?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

just keep swimming

We haven't had much access to a pool this summer and I was afraid that once we got to the beach this week I would have found that Julianna couldn't remember how to swim very well.  Yesterday was our first day and she took to the water like a fish.  Today, she's doing as well as she did at the end of last summer, if not better.  Here's a couple of videos of how she's progressing.


Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.


Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Monday, August 2, 2010

notes from Jules and Josh

Dear Jennifer and Samuel,
We had so much fun with you at the pool the other week.  Thank you for inviting us to come visit.  I hope we can come again before the summer is over.  It was fun riding noodles and eating oatmeal cookies with you.


Dear Aunt Whitney,
Thank you for keeping us a few days this summer.  We love to come to your house to play.

Jules and Josh


Dear Daddy, Nanna, Pap, Whitney, and Seth,

We're so sorry that it didn't work out for you to come to the beach with us this time.  We definitely hope that we can all come back again soon.  Don't work too hard while we're away!

We miss you guys!

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