Wednesday, March 30, 2011

snakes and snails and puppy dog tails

Yes, at almost eighteen months into parenting a BOY I am still learning and adjusting to the differences. 

Last week Josh had three minor accidents and one pretty major one.  On Thursday he was standing on my mom's bed and stepped on the pillow.  His foot slipped and he smashed his face on the iron headboard.  Mom called Jonathan and he took Josh to the emergency room.  He had to have four stitches in his lower lip and the area just below his lip.

Poor baby.

Took it like a champ though.  I am so thankful that he was surrounded by good people and I am thankful that Jonathan was able to sit with him at the ER.  I'm not sure how I would have handled my baby being strapped down to a table with a paper cloth spread across his face so that he couldn't even see.

He was on antibiotics for a week to prevent infection and we had to keep antibiotic ointment rubbed on his lip.  He didn't mess with it too much and fortunately didn't really seem bothered by the stitches that they left hanging pretty long.

He got his stitches out yesterday at the pediatrician's office.  He cried and cried while she cut them out.  Now it looks really good.  Everything seems to have healed pretty well.

I'm sure it will be the first of many hospital visits with our little boy, but I hope and pray that if we do have to deal with an accident like this one again it go as well as this one did.

Still being a total boy while big sister was trying to read him a book.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Dear Julianna,

It’s never really occurred to me how big of a milestone five is before. I don’t think I’ve ever given it much thought until now. I mean, it’s not thirteen where you’re officially a teenager. It’s not sixteen when you can legally drive. It’s certainly not eighteen when you’re allowed to vote or twenty-one, the legal drinking age. Nothing particularly special happens when you turn five.

Except that five is everything. Five is learning to read. Five is a whole new world of looking at books a new way and reading signs and captions of pictures, reading the writing on television commercials, reading handwritten notes and receipts.

Five is also riding your bike on your own, taking off on your own, and stopping on your own without putting your feet down. Five is crying when you fall, but getting right back on again without even a hug from Mama.

Five is talking like a grown up and using words like “perhaps” and “uncomfortable" and phrases like, "No, thank you."  Five is reciting the Lord's Prayer from memory.

Five takes showers on her own instead of baths with her little brother. Five can brush her own teeth in the mornings (and is willing to let Daddy or Mama do it at night) and five can get dressed by herself. Five is buttoning her own pants and shirts and still learning to tie her shoes.

It turns out that five is missing four baby teeth and cutting a permanent one.  Five is brave enough to not mind. 

Five is going to elementary school and possibly riding the bus all on her own (well, with other kids too). Five is learning to sit still almost all day in a classroom and eating lunch in a cafeteria. Five is being in a class of 15 or 20 instead of just eight or nine.

Five is adding and subtracting double-digit numbers and counting by twos, fives, tens. Five is no longer writing 3s backwards and five can spell her whole name, despite the fact that her parents gave her an obscenely long name with 14 letters.

Five is independent and no longer cares for the sports teams of her parents (NC State) or her grandparents (UNC) but instead cheers for the other evil school. Five is independent enough to go outside and get the mail by herself or play in the backyard while Mama watches from the window. Five is independent enough to no longer sleep with Lucy.

Five is beautiful.

So it turns out I was wrong. Yes, five is a big milestone. Five is special. Five is extraordinary. Five is still my baby, but five is such a big girl.

I love you, Doodlebug. I’m so proud of the five year old you are today.  I hope your birthday is half as sweet as you are.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

seventeen months

Dear Joshua,

Happy birthday, baby!  Today you're seventeen months old. 

The number of words in your vocabulary has grown exponentially this month. It's really amazing how many words you'll actually attempt to say now.  You'll try almost anything and most you don't get anywhere near the right way, but we can tell you're trying to say them.  The funniest thing you say is "banana."  We finally got it on video the other night after multiple attempts.  You say it the exact same every time so we know it's your word for banana, but it's just plain hilarious.

video coming soon

We went to the beach this past weekend to watch Aunt Whitney run a half-marathon and Nanna came with us. You pretty much said, "Nanna" non-stop the whole time.

You tummy is still chubby and your clothes are still 24 months but sometimes you can wear a 2T shirt and sometimes your pants are too long so we roll them up.  You like it when Daddy measures your height on the wall behind the door.  Your hair is still lighter than I thought it would be.  It's a light shade of brown and your eyes are dark, dark brown and beautiful.  Your chubby cheeks are irresistable.

I'm not sure how much you weigh; Daddy would be better suited to tell us that.  He's been the last one to take you to the doctor a time or two since I've had to work.  He took you just yesterday since we thought you had another ear infection but it turned out to be just a cold/virus.  You've been really congested and had watery eyes and a low fever.  Not to mention the fact that you're cutting more teeth so it's hard to tell when you're sick or when you're just experiencing normal toddler growing pains.  But we'll know your actual physical growth numbers next month after your well-check.

And while I'm thinking about it, I want to make a note for myself to stop clapping for you so much.  One night this week when I went in your room to give you the next dose of Tylenol I picked you up asleep and I roused you a bit and asked if you would take some medicine.  Once you seemed willing, I gave you the medicine dropper and still with your eyes closed you lifted your head off my shoulder and clapped for yourself enthusiastically and then promptly laid your head right back down.  It gave me a good chuckle in the middle of the night. Apparently, we clap for you a lot.

Josh, I don't really understand why but you are still a finicky eater. Sometimes you eat all fruits and dairy products willingly and other times you pretty much refuse to eat.  I've kind of given up the battle and will just let you eat what you will eat when you will eat it.  Some days you may eat a couple of green beans, half a slice of cheese pizza and a banana.  Other days you'll eat a few goldfish and just drink your milk.  What's a mama to do?

When we're riding in the car and the sun gets in yours eyes you get madder than Mark Zuckerberg when he first got his iPhone.

You fuss and cry and rub at your eyes constantly until we turn or get out or whatever takes the sun away.  You're not really a high maintenance kid. Except for those certain times when you are.

One of your favorite things lately has been taking a bath.  It's helped that your sister decided she wanted to start taking showers at night instead of baths with you.  Now you get the tub all to yourself and you have a blast!  You love taking your spoons in the tub and you love splashing.  You especially love when the water is still running and you get to play under the faucet.  We're going to have great fun chasing you all over the pool this summer!

Each day I see more and more of the little boy in you coming out.  You've begun to love school buses, dump trucks, fire trucks, and any vehicle that's either loud, has a siren, or is just big.  You ask for more when you see an airplane fly overhead and you eagerly go out to wait for the babysitter's kids to get off the bus each day. 

If I get you out of the car in our driveway and then I turn my back to grab other things, usually you are gone in a flash and I find you already digging in the sandbox out back.  You LOVE to be outside and I am grateful that the weather is warming up quickly around here so that we can spend more time together out there.  You ask to ride on my bike plenty and you love following Jules through the neighborhood with the wind blowing your hair.  One of your biggest recent accomplisments was learning how to climb the ladder at our swingset and go through the tunnel and down the slide all by yourself.

Actually, I realized this month what a truly tactile person you are.  You touch and stroke and feel everything.  When I'm holding you, you love to hold on to my bra straps.  You've shown lots of interest in those baby books that let you feel different objects.  You still have your beloved Baba and I think you love the textures on it.  Sometimes out in public I have to keep you from putting your hand down in my shirt because you like to feel my skin.  When we're eating dinner you're either kicking Daddy from your high chair or your rubbing your bare feet on my legs. 

Somtimes Daddy and I call you Mr. Floppy or Floppy McFloperson because you literally flop all around whenever someone is holding you.  You throw your body in different directions and you head butt us all the time.  Sometimes it's like a mini-temper tantrum in our arms/laps but other times you're just doing it to be silly.  It's definitely silly.

Jules remains your favorite person in the whole wide world.  Anything she does you want to do as well.  Somewhere along the way you started calling her sissy although no one prompted it.  I definitely wouldn't because I've always hated that expression, but now you've gotten me saying it all the time in reference to Jules.  Anyway, anything Jules gets, you want as well.  If she has stickers, you want stickers.  If she has m&ms, you want m&ms.  It's hard to make you understand sometimes why you can't always be exactly like sissy.  I know this won't last forever though, so I'm enjoying watching you imiate her while you still do.

Because when your seventeen years old I don't think you'll want to imitate your sister anymore.  We'll see.

I love you, Joshua.  More than you know.


Monday, March 21, 2011

you wanna know what's neat?

It's totally neat that my daughter has learned how to read.  What's even cooler is that her little brother has only just now taken an interest in books.  Unlike Jules as a baby, Josh would never even glance in the general direction of a book, much less sit in your lap for you to read one.  Now he'll bring them to me and say, "book!"  He likes me to read to him now.  He still has the typical attention span of a seventeen month old, but at least he'll let me start reading lots of different books several times a day.


The coolest thing of all is that we've sort of been swapping out all of the chapter books that we've been reading with Jules and moving the shorter, simpler toddler books back to the front of the shelves so that she can read them herself and Josh has begun to love them too.

It's the little things that make me happy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

that's my girl

Jules: Mom, I don't feel like reading a book tonight.  Can we just do math problems instead?

Monday, March 7, 2011

is it just me?

Do you ever feel like you are trying to do so many things at once that you can't possibly do anything well?  I've been having that feeling more and more lately.  Care to commiserate with me?  What's the best way out of this mess?

Let's look on the bright side, though.  At least I don't think a rhinoceros is a dinosaur like one of my sixth graders apparently does.  Really.

Friday, March 4, 2011


When I get behind on my blog it becomes like a downward spiral where I think about blogging something but suddenly it doesn't seem worthy of being blogged about when I have been MIA for so long now.  It's like it takes a major event for me to be able to bring myself back and write about it.  More often than not, I end up just having to bite the bullet and write some dumb summary post of everything that I've missed while I've been slacking.  So anyway, without further ado, I give you the slacker summary post.

Almost three weeks ago now Jonathan went to Japan with a guy from work to look at a machine. It was a whirlwind trip and due to the time change he really only got about three days there even though he was gone nearly a week.  Of course, while he was gone Julianna got a high temperature and started vomiting as she is wont to do when she has a high fever.  Let me assure you, it is no fun being a single parent, but it is even less fun being a single parent with a sick child who vomits in the middle of the night.

I tried my hardest to keep Josh away from her and my mom did a great job of staying with her while she was home from school and Josh was at school and I showed up for work. (I was going to say "while I worked" but that seems like an unfair statement.)

By Wednesday of that week, Mom called me to tell me that Julianna's temp had gotten to 105.3 and I took off the afternoon to get her to the doctor. Luckily Mom was able to go with me to help with Josh while we dosed up Tylenol and Amoxicilan in the Target parking lot after disposing of the puke-filled plastic shopping bags.

Naturally, by Thursday night I had chills and couldn't sleep. My throat felt as if someone had sliced it with razor blades a thousand quick times.  Friday I stayed home from work and that evening I made great efforts to get the kids dressed and in the car to drive to the airport and pick up my jet-lagged knight in shining armor.  I have almost never been so glad to see him as I was that night.

The following week was spent caring for Josh and Jonathan who developed similar symptoms as Julianna and I had.  Jonathan missed some work, Josh missed some school, my diet went flying out the window, and Julianna happily returned to the land of the living.

Somwhere in there I started getting slammed at work. I had observations and therefore teacher evaluation forms to fill out.  I had huge quantities of projects to grade, progress reports to get out, and had to find a quick way to get my head above water with my lesson planning.  I'm not the only one pining for June, right?

We went to the beach last weekend with our Journey Group from church.  It was fun, but it's always hard to go on vacation with a group.  Plus, Jonathan and Josh were still pretty sick for most of the time.  The weather wasn't exactly as great as I had anticipated.  Then of course we had to find creative ways to deal with the fact that on the way to the beach our spedometer started perfmoring mysteriously.  It would slowly stop working and then start back again the next time we started the car.  Our brakes started making that lovely grinding sound and Jonathan had to work on those one (long) night this week.

Yesterday I started to think we're finally getting back to normal and Julianna comes home with another tooth in a ziploc bag.  I don't want to talk about the ball of anxiety that turned my stomach into, but it looks like my child will have no teeth by the time she reaches her seventh birthday.  She has lost four since March two years ago (just before her third birthday).

My 33rd birthday is this weekend and I sent Jonathan an email with an hour by hour schedule of what I want to do each day of the weekend.  Nothing big, just like grocery shopping, church, and dinners at Carrabba's.  Mostly, I just long for an uneventful return to normalcy.

That and an extended tropical vacation.

What have you been doing?  Did you miss me?

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