Thursday, January 29, 2009

The joys of a 2 1/2 year old

Life with Ian has been a roller coaster ride these last couple of weeks. Potty Training has gone surprisingly well. Other than the one accident he had last Thurs, he has had no accidents. That includes nighttime, and he is wearing underwear at night now. Of course, he wakes up at 4 o'clock in the morning asking to nurse when really he just needs to use the potty and does not fully recognize it. Now after a week of constantly using the potty he no longer wants to use his potty but the BIG potty. We have a toddler seat to sit on top of it that he feels so big using. The problem with this is that requires me to help him up on the toilet. And I'm not always in position to help. Meaning he and I have a verbal argument as to which potty he should use. The other struggle is getting him to pull up his pants afterwards. He can pull up his pants. He is perfectly capable. However he would prefer that I do it. I think maybe it's his way of saying he still wants my help. Sometimes I just give in and pull them up for him. Other times I talk him through pulling them up on his own. My internal struggle is that I want him to know that I'm still available to help him when he needs it. On the other hand, I want him to do the things I know he can do by himself. It's a struggle to find the right balance.

I've noticed the last couple of weeks that Ian really is more of a kid and less of a baby. His pretend play is becoming more and more imaginative. Just earlier this week we were eating phones. He would put his hand up to his ear and talk like he was talking on a phone then he would pretend to eat it. :) Strange and cute all in one. Last night at the church's Wednesday night meal, I watch Ian try to play with some of the other kids in the nursery. There were two 4 years olds and another 2 year old who is probably 6 mo younger than Ian. Ian so wanted to join in the game the 4 year olds were playing. They were playing house. But he didn't know how really. He would try to follow their actions but often they had moved on to the next part and he was left standing there. Poor guy. It was good to watch though. He does a great job of playing with kids his age. But I had never seen him try to join in a game that older kids were playing. Sure he'll play with older kids. But usually it's a one on one type situation. Sometimes it feels weird to think that this Fall Ian will be old enough for preschool. But lately it feel just about right.

The one thing this week that told me Ian really is growing happened yesterday. We had just gotten home from grocery shopping and I ran into the bathroom. As is typical (none of the doors in our house latch very well) Ian followed. As usual he asked if I was peeing. Then what seemed like out of the blue, he asked where my penis went. I'm pleased to say that it only threw me for a split second. I knew this question was bound to come one of these days. But somehow it still caught me off guard. After the split second of gathering my thoughts, I calmly explained that I'm a girl and don't have a penis. What was cute was Ian's response. When I said it didn't have one he asked, "Mommy only have a bottom?" "No" I responded. I then only briefly mentioned that girls have vaginas and boys have penises and that Mommy is a girl and Daddy is a boy. He seemed to be ok with my answer and hasn't asked about it since. Now my big fear is him telling his new knowledge to everyone else. :) I have a sneaking suspension that this will come to haunt me some Sunday morning at church. :)

Well other than the adventures of Ian's constant mood swings between being dependent and independent, life is ok. Cai is teething with makes for some fussy days and fussy nights. He also loves to sit up but can't without assistance. Thus when I try to prop him up he falls over he gets mad that he is laying down. He'll get it one of these days. :) Luckily he is still pretty content playing on the floor on this tummy or back. Which is good. I'm in no hurry for him to move. Unfortunately he wants to be around Ian and Ian can move. So watching him you just know he is trying to figure out how to move. In addition to rolling from stomach to back and back to stomach he is starting to try to turn his body in circles to get where he wants. He's growing so fast. They both are.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My toddler is wearing underwear!!!!!!

And has been since Sunday. This last Sunday when I was trying to put on Ian's diaper as we dressed for church I got a terrible fight. He squirmed and kicked to the point I was ready to wring a neck. So finally I said, "Fine, you don't have to wear a diaper. But you'll need to put on underwear." He quickly agreed. And that night did not like getting into a nighttime diaper. So every day since we have allowed him to wear underwear during the day. The first two or three days was a struggle. While Ian did not want to wear a diaper, he also did not want to use the potty. So he would wet his pants and flip because he was wet. While I have some cloth training underwear that has extra padding to absorb more, he does not like these as much as the fun Elmo underwear we also have for him. Which really is ok with me. Sure I had to do laundry just about every day but now he's staying dry and using the potty. Wednesday things started to turn better. When he was busy he didn't always want to use the potty or sometimes would not make it there on time. But he did start letting me know he needed to use it, rather than waiting for me to ask him. The big success was Thursday. The day started out great. He got me up in the morning to tell me he needed to use the potty. I helped him out of his pjs and he sat down on his little potty. He then told me I should go back to the room to nurse Cai. (I had just been nursing him) Afterwards he comes running back in my bedroom beaming. H was so proud of himself. In fact, the whole day went well. We only had one accident the whole day!!!!! Today has been accident free thus far. It's exciting. By the end of the day yesterday he was basically going potty all by himself. Pulling down his own underwear and pulling them back up when he's done. Of course, sometimes he doesn't want to pull them up and goes walking around the house with them around his ankles. Cute but sorta dangerous. I'm always afraid his going to trip and fall. My biggest problem is he is so skinny that many of his pants don't fit very well now. No bulky diaper to keep them up. Plus we went and bought another package of underwear for him yesterday. He picked out Car's the movie theme. And they are too big. They sag so much :D So now it's just moving to night time training. He seems to be staying dry. It's just a matter of putting him in underwear at night and dealing with it. In fact early this morning he woke us up because he needed to use the potty and didn't want to wet his diaper. So that alone says it might not be that bad of a transition. Of course I'm preparing for many accidents and wet sheets. The sad part of this is now all his cute footed one piece pjs won't work because of the hassle to get off. :( Oh well. This is worth it!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Car and the case of early rising

So for those who have not heard via another outlet, we are down to one car (plus the motorcycle). Before we left for our Christmas vacation to see Mark's folks, I broke down in the Prism outside of Hays. I was headed to Hays to hear my best friend from high school sing in her senior recital. By the way, she was amazing. The recital sounded beautiful. And she looked as lovely as she her voice sounded. :) Anyway, I had taken the Prism (normally Mark's work car) so that Mark could pack the Elantra. We were headed out the next afternoon after he got off work. He was only working the morning that Friday. Well the Prism was known to burn oil. My thought was Mark would have been on top of keeping oil in it. Anyway, long story short he wasn't due to a hard to remove cap and the engine seized. We had to have the car towed the rest of the way to Hays (I was maybe 15 miles out) and Mark had to drive the 3 hours to Hays to pick me up and then 3 hours home. UGGG!!! There was a whole other mess of picking it up. A coworker of Mark's bought the car from us (which even with gas costs to get it transported back and other costs turned out to be a better deal for us than selling it the the salvage yard in Hays). Thus we had to transport it back to Hesston. Thank goodness for a car mechanic step-father who loves me so much to help. :) So presto we are down to one car and the motorcycle (which I'm not licensed to drive, although one of these days I will probably try to learn to drive and get licensed)

To be completely honest we had be throwing around the idea of selling the Prism. Of course we were going to wait until the weather warmed alittle, thus making biking, walking and riding the motorcycle (Mark) easier. Instead here we are scrambling to try to figure out how to get everywhere we need to go. My current bicycle is in very poor condition. And while I have a kid trailer for the boys, Cai is way to small for it yet. And it is true that the weather today was wonderful for walking. But it being KS and winter that changes day to day. Luckily for us the mild winter has meant Mark has been able to ride to work some mornings. Plus he does have a coworker he can sometimes catch a ride with. Yeah!!! Anyway, this last Thurs it was so cold. Everywhere as you might remember. So I agreed to take Mark to work. Now he is supposed to get in at 7am. We didn't make it in till closer to 7:30 maybe even 7:45 but hey that's ok. His boss is pretty understanding as long as he gets the hours in, it's not a constant thing, and he is continues to do good work. So I was up at 6:40am that morning. This is early, extremely early for me. The boys and I don't normally get up till around 8am and some mornings I can lie in bed till 8:30, although Ian is usually awake and playing. The next morning I also took Mark in. Both mornings I was surprised at how awake and refreshed I felt (once I woke up completely, which was not until probably I got in the car to drive. I take a long time to wake up. Some of you know this all too well. LOL) Saturday I slept in till almost 9am and I dragged the whole day. So my conclusion is that rising early is actually good for me. Wow never thought those words would come out of my mouth. On top of all that it seemed to agree with the boys as well. Thurs. morning, once we returned home, Cai took at least a 2 hour nap in the morning. He usually only cat naps (several time). I think getting up earlier will mean he'll nap more during the day. Which will be good for all of us because he won't be so cranky come evening. Cai is a wonderful night time sleeper. But he hasn't been good at day time naps, especially for a 5 mo old.

Well, the plan is for me to continue to get up with Mark on week days. Even on mornings I'm not driving him to work. While I'm not looking forward to having to wake up, I am looking forward to hopefully feeling more energetic and productive (I got so much more accomplished waking up earlier) So I guess that means I need to head to bed. Have to get up early tomorrow :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sick of being sick

That's right. I'm sick. Have been since about Monday. But that's not the worse part. Cai and Ian have it too. On the one hand I should be grateful that we have bacterial infections that can be helped with antibiotics. On the other hand, sinus, ear, throat and chest symptoms are no fun for anyone. And right now, in my opinion just as bad as some stomach virus. So Cai got sick first. Poor thing. Last Friday night he started having a barking cough that only got worse as the weekend progressed. By Sunday I was worried and took him to the walk in clinic. I'm so glad we now have a clinic that is not only open in the evenings and weekends but works with my doctor. :) It's pretty nice. Anyway, he had an ear infection. So was proscribed medication and we were sent home. None of this addressed his cough. I was just told to call our doctor if I didn't see improvement in the next couple of days. Monday, my throat, head and ears were hurting. Luckily those first several days of Cai slept alot. So by Tues I was so miserable that Mark worked from home and both Cai and I went to the doc. Turns out I had an infection (never told what, my doc was so busy I had to see another in the clinic and Cai luckily got scheduled with Mark's doc, same clinic). Cai has croup. I hate croup. He sounds awful and during the coughing fits I feel so bad for him b/c other than taking him outside in the cold air or into a steamed up bathroom there is little I can do for him. :( He is getting better though. The cough is lingering but the fits are less often and shorter. :) Me, I'm doing better other than the drainage that makes me feel like I'm coughing up a lung. Now Ian is sick as well. His nose has been running and he has had a fever off and on since Tues, but wasn't prescribed anything till yesterday. In fact when I did call our doc she didn't even bother seeing him because he is showing all of our symptoms. I love our doc. The boys and I share a doctor and she is great about listening to my concerns and taking care of us even over the phone.

Anyway today has been tough. I feel just well enough to want to get something done and yet still tired and ache. Plus both kids have been fussing all morning. I want to comfort them b/c I know they don't feel good. And I desperately want to make them feel all better. At the same time I'm so tired of been clung to and having to constantly hold one if not both of them. I need a break. I did try yesterday to get out. We went grocery shopping b/c the food in the house was getting slim. It went fine till we got home and everyone melted from having spent too much energy. :(. Oh well. After the weekend things should look up. By then the three of us should all be feeling much better. Although now Mark is showing the early signs of getting whatever it is we are fighting. I hope if he does it doesn't linger. Wish us luck and good health for awhile. I'm so tired of being sick.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Year Already?????

So I'm having trouble believing that a whole year has past and we are starting 2009. Where did the past year go? Of course when I try to answer that question I quickly realize it disappeared with all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Not that the past year was without it's exciting moments. In fact in many ways 2008 had more going on than I give credit. Looking back I realize I went though almost my whole pregnancy with Cai, while finishing my last class to graduate undergrad. I celebrated my completion of my bachelors degree, had a baby, watched my eldest turn two... and those are all the happy parts. All and all alot happened. Now my hope is that 2009 comes and goes as smoothly. As my baby begin to sit up and eventually crawl followed by walking, I hope I can meet raising the boys with the laughter and tears it deserves. As I sit here with Ian on my lap after his nap, I am realizing that despite the fact that I'm home with the boys and thus spend my entire day with them I don't always take the time to enjoy life with them the way I envisioned I would. I'm not saying this is totally bad. I mean there is only so much time in a day and lots to attempt to accomplish. And I do in fact spend time with them. However, I feel that I often miss sitting down and enjoying the stages the boys are in because I'm so focused on getting through the day so I can get through tomorrow. While I don't want to label this a New Year's Resolution due to the sigma of that concept, I do hope that this year I can learn to slow down alittle. Rather than trying to survive till tomorrow, I need to realize that my actions of survival are me living my life. So I just need to embrace this hectic feeling of life and enjoy it. I also need to tell myself that the actions I take to take care of my kids, whether feeding, clothing or reading a book, are indeed spending quality time with them. I often feel that somehow I'm short changing my kids by not being more purposeful in my interaction with them. However, I'm not supermom. Despite my desires to be. My children will and do learn from me even when I'm across the room from them folding laundry. I just have to let myself fully believe that.

Ok, enough of my babble about me and my feelings. :) Here is the update on the kids. Ian, now almost 29mo, is such a little kid. His vocabulary is expanding everyday. I'm constantly amazed at the words he uses. Of course "that" still sounds like "fat." But mostly I'm told he is pretty easy to understand, most of the time. :) Our big accomplishment lately has been the move to his own room. Previously he was sleeping on his own mattress on the floor next to our bed. In fact the room was wall to wall bed with his bed, then our bed then the crib with the rail pulled off and pushed up to ours. It worked out great. But it was time for Ian to have his own room. So last week we moved our bed and the crib into the front room we were using as a changing room. While after several nights he is still waking up once or twice I feel he is doing really very well. One of my hopes for his room was that he could have a space to claim as his own and take responsibility for. Ian is constantly wanting to help around the house and continues to try to claim his independence. My hope was that this could be another way for him to do so. So far I feel that this is happening. He has most of his toys in his room now and is very good about cleaning up before bed. We make his bed together in the morning and I even have his clothes in drawers he can open and shut so he can pick out his own outfit. The greatest part is we got him a rug with railroad track and streets. He loves driving his trains and cars on that rug. It is very cute to watch him. :)

Cai is now almost 5 mo. Wow! He is so alert and interactive now. It's really fun to smile and talk to him as he will smile, laugh and coo in response. He is still my active baby, constantly wanting to move, play, do. Luckily because he can now grab, hold, shake, and kick he is much easier to keep entertained and thus happy. Much more than Ian, Cai enjoys shaking and chewing on rattles, dolls, and other toys. Again I stress the active part of this kids personality. It is so funny to watch him flail his legs and arms when on his stomach. He is trying so hard to move, to get somewhere. Of course when he doesn't move he will often get frustrated very fast. We just started Cai on solids a few weeks ago. We started with banana, which he seems to really enjoy. He doesn't get a solid meal everyday, but that's ok. Right now it's the experience that's important. Yesterday we tried oatmeal. That too went over well. The funny part about feeding him is he puts his thumb in his mouth after a spoonful but then has trouble getting his hands out of the way for the next bit. In addition to that he tries to grab the spoon and shove it in his mouth. Guess I'm just not quick enough. All and all he is a pretty happy baby. We still have rough times. He tends to still have an extremely fussy time right before bed in the evenings. And he won't take very long naps during the day. He does sleep though the night so I try not to complain too much :).