Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day in the Life, Fall 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

I am 33 years old.
Dan is 34.
Gus is 5.
Louie is 2 yrs 10 months.
I am 23.5 weeks pregnant with Baby Nubs.

It's been a long time since I've done one of these and I'm not sure where I mustered up the energy to tackle it this time, but I guess I started feeling all moon-y over the fact that this is the last fall and likely the last "Day in the Life" I will do as a family of four.  Being pregnant tends to make me look at everything as some sort of grand and meaningful life milestone or something.  ;)  

So let's just jump in, shall we?

Both boys are up around 6:30 or so, Gus comes down first and climbs in bed with me to snuggle.  Shortly thereafter I hear Louie on the monitor stirring and kicking around and eventually he starts yelling for me to come upstairs and get him. 

They request some morning television, as is our routine, and I turn on PBS.  Arthur is on and there is some grumbling but I threaten "It's this or nothing!" and they immediately quit with the griping. I am not a very pleasant person in the morning and I especially do not enjoy arguing over the TV before the sun is even up.  I go back to sleep for a while but am awoken by little hands and feet climbing all over me arguing and wrestling over who gets to be in the middle by mom.  Frustrated, I make the decision easy and just leave the bed altogether and go lay on the couch a bit with my phone.  Eventually, about half way through Wild Kratts, they start asking for breakfast and so I shuffle us all into the kitchen.  I give them both frozen waffles and half a banana, and then pour myself a bowl of cereal and head back to the couch.  23 weeks into this pregnancy and mornings are STILL pretty rough.  I'm talking overwhelming exhaustion despite what should be enough sleep, headaches, and mild nausea.  So it takes a bit for me to get going and usually I'm sort of a grouchy lump until about 10 minutes after I am able to get some breakfast in my belly.

Clean dishes from Lisa's baby shower yesterday that I left on the counter overnight to dry.    
Louie has eaten almost nothing, Gus has eaten his whole breakfast.  I just broke up a fight over that paper towel role.

The kids are very concerned and interested in shadows these days.  Random, but I think it's because it's so dark in the mornings, and then they've been watching too much Halloween-themed television lately.  Specifically, I'm thinking it's the Curious George Halloween special where there's an entire musical sequence about scary shadows and feeling nervous in your dark house and creaky floors and scratches at the door.  So Louie is freaked out by shadows and this morning Gus tries to help by closing all the curtains in the living room.  They're sheers, so it does next to nothing, but makes him feel better all the same. 

I basically end up lounging around with the internets until the last possible moment that will allow me enough time to get us all dressed (and me showered/primped) and eventually out of the house for Preschool drop off and ECFE.  We have to leave the house by 9:00.

8:12 - I hop in the shower in a hurry, can't believe I wasted this much time, I'm going to have to be quick. There is time to get clean and dry/straighten my bangs (blasted bangs) and not much else. 

Stand up straight girl!  Think core!

I run downstairs to our piles of folded laundry to find clothes for all three oft us, and then it's a mad scramble to get out of the house, but the kids are both really cooperative and excited to go to school today so it's all self-inflicted scrambling.  We almost forget Gus's bucket and the dog is going nuts.  (Not a true day-in-the-life without a reminder of how annoying our dog is when we're trying to leave the house.)

Louie complains about being hungry as soon as we start driving and since I knew he didn't eat breakfast I had actually anticipated this and threw a few granola bars in my bag.  Woot.  So both kids get granola bars.  I think about that cup of coffee that I didn't have time to make this morning and feel the sads.

Preschool drop-off goes well, his teacher opens the door and Gus races in to wash his hands, Louie and I follow to help him get settled for circle time.  He is "feeling fast" this morning.  He's having trouble focusing and just is sort of jumpy and jittery and clearly very excited to see his friends.  But he has trouble controlling his body when he gets "fast" like this so on the way in we stop in the corner of the room and take 5 long calming breaths, and talk about slowing down and getting ready to listen.  He heads over to circle time, says good morning to his teachers and waves goodbye to Louie and exclaims to his friends and teachers "That's my brother Louie right there!  Bye Louie!  Have a good day at school."


Gus gets dropped off at 9:15 (and as is evident, it's not always a quick process) and ECFE with Louie starts at 9:30 at a school 9 miles away, so I'm basically set up to fail in getting there on time.  It's right down the highway but still... any little issue with traffic or too many red lights and we're late.  Thankfully, it doesn't really matter, because the first 30 minutes of class is just play time with moms and dads so that leaves a nice little buffer.  Despite the fact that we're late every week, Louie is usually the 2nd or 3rd kid to arrive.  These are my kind of parents. 

We pull into the parking lot at 9:30 on the dot.  Impressive.

Louie immediately heads to the animals, he is obsessed.  I am bored.  He does not deviate, does not want to play with anything else, despite the fact that there are some very cool little "stations" set up all over the room.  Nope, it's the animals, and then maybe the Legos (where we build a zoo), and then the barn animals if there's still time.  Every. Single. Week.

 My kid seems stinky, so we head to the bathroom for a diaper change.  False alarm.

I am not feeling well at all during play time, I think the lack of coffee this morning is catching up to me, I've got a raging headache and feel super nauseous.  I'm looking forward to the parent snack today, and just have to get through circle time.  I think I can, I think I can.

Circle time is absolute torture because we do like 4 different songs that involve having the children on our laps and lifting them and bumping them up and down and OMG Louie weighs 35 lbs and I am pregnant and I feel sick and can this be over? 

Louie LOVES it though, all of it, and I try to focus on his sweetness and not on how uncomfortable I am.

Finally it's separation time and we say our goodbyes and I am greeted by a box of bagels in the parent room, (YAY! Second breakfast is my favorite!).  Last week someone brought Caribou coffee for everyone and we were spoiled.  This week we're stuck with the instant coffee provided by the school and I am desperate so I give it a go.  Ick.  Should have had some tea instead.

We discuss Halloween and child temperament and do a little quiz, and it's a very interesting conversation, there are a lot of very chatty people in this parent group and I like it but it can be difficult for me to contribute.  I'm not good at jumping into a group conversation all quick like, and find myself waiting for natural pauses in the conversation that never happen.  I say very little today and feel like a bit of an introverted dork.  Kind of annoying because I have things to say and to contribute but I just can't get a word in.  Oh well. Group dynamics are always so interesting, last year I was one of the most vocal participants, it was such a different mix of people and if anything I often found myself filling the awkward silence.

11:30 we pick up the kids and Louie and I quickly head out, have to be to Gus's school for pickup by 11:45.  There may be a little speeding involved.

Gus had a great day.  It was ladybug day and the teachers both wore these bizarre lady bug hats all morning that I'm sure they loved.    

Heading Home!  I ask for happy smiles, Gus instead wants to give me a sad face.  He found that stick on the ground in the parking lot and just had to bring it home.

Both kids are begging to go to the park, but I have to pee like crazy (pregnant lady problems), Louie has a stinky diaper that is probably not a false alarm this time, and it's lunchtime and I don't want us to all eat crappy fast food at the park.  Plus we had a super busy weekend during which the kids barely had any time at home to just BE and PLAY.  It is a gorgeous fall day, and I have intense FOMO (fear of missing out) on beautiful weather days, but I cannot be swayed by the FOMO nor the pleading from the boys.  I know I'm right and we could all use a quiet afternoon at home. 

We get home about 12:10 and literally upon walking in the door Louie is begging for a muffin.  This is very typical, he is starving on Mondays by the time we get home from our busy morning, and I really need to probably start throwing a healthy snack in my bag so he can have a little something on the way to pickup at Gus's preschool.  We have no muffins, which I tell him, but there are containers on the kitchen counter full of pastries and cupcakes and cookies from Lisa's shower yesterday that I'm sure he's referring to.  I tell him he can have any of the above for desert after lunch, but we need to have lunch first. 

While I make lunch he proceeds to have an epic tantrum, and essentially sobs at my feet the entire time I make lunch, screaming for the mythical almighty muffin.  I cut up some grapes for him to eat while I fry up some eggs but he won't even look at them, and continues doing his 2-yr old thing, refusing to listen to reason, just screaming intelligibly and asking for a muffin over and over and over.  (Sigh.)  I am annoyed but am doing better these days staying calm during these meltdowns, which have become somewhat typical for Louie.  He's hard-core pushing boundaries and I am very much a "pick your battles" kind of mom, but crap food right before mealtimes is one of those battles I choose.  And the more consistent I am about this, the shorter and less torturous these tantrums are getting.  A few weeks ago at this exact same time (noon on a Monday after school while I tried to make lunch), he had a 45 minute tantrum because I wouldn't give him more goldfish crackers when he still had goldfish crackers in his bowl.  He never even ate the crackers still left in his bowl, too focused he was on the additional crackers that I wouldn't give him. 

Anyway, Gus is sitting patiently at the dining room table, drawing pictures on a tablet, and I get both kids' hastily thrown-together lunches on the table.  Louie has a bagel with butter and a fried egg, grapes and red peppers.  Gus gets the same, minus the egg, add cream cheese to the bagel.  Lunch is always a little more catered to the likes & dislikes of everyone. 

Gus shows me the picture he drew of Louie crying, and then another very realistic one he drew of me. ;)

These look very rudimentary, I know, but if you know my kid, you know that it is HUGE that he is starting to branch out and draw and paint and use his imagination with art.  He has a wonderful imagination which comes out in his play, but he has always been very resistant to drawing or coloring, and we have heard "I'm not good at it" or "I don't know how to draw that" more times than I can count. But now he's showing an interest, unprompted.  He filled up an entire notebook drawing robots during church the other day and those little pencil drawings and his animated explanations of them pretty much made Dan and I lumps of proud mush. Trust your kids, encourage them but don't push.  They'll get it and it will be so worth the wait when they do.

So while the kids start to dig in I throw together a salad since I have lots of leftover fixings from the salad I made for Lisa's shower yesterday.

This lunch was heaven.

As we eat, Gus has a hilarious realization and says to me, "Mom! Louie stopped crying!"

I noticed.

I clearly never brushed Gus's hair this morning.  

Gus is always done eating before everyone else, so he asks to be excused and asks for a cookie for Lisa's shower, which I agree to.  Then he proceeds to literally hop around the living room while Louie and I finish up.  Louie asks for more bagel and against my better judgement I comply and go toast him half a bagel. 

Louie is the slowest eater ever, for realz.  Gus has gone and found a few throw pillows and is sliding around on the floor on the pillows, jumping from one to another, pretending they are his mud rafts, and the hardwood floor is a mud swamp.  He requests that I use them to get from the dining room rug to the kitchen where I start cleaning up lunch and doing dishes.  Oh, and sure enough, Louie only ends up eating one bite of the bagel he requested, and that is only when prompted.  Having avoided another tantrum is worth the wasted food.  Still declaring that one a win.

Looks like someone wants that bagel.
Louie joins in on Gus's mud raft game
While I continue cleaning the kitchen, the boys engage in some seriously cute play.  More mud swamp stuff, at some point they are both puppies, then they are foraging for eggs that are going to hatch and they fill one of Gus's crocs (before moving on to my boots) with these "eggs". 

I feel proud of myself for saying no to the park and forcing the kids to just go home and play, because they are at it for an hour and it's lovely to see them being so imaginative and exuberant and playing freely and peacefully together.  It lasts long enough for me to empty the dishwasher, fill it, wash a few dishes by hand, and put away all of those clean serving dishes and vases and things from the shower yesterday.  I even sweep the floor.


I feel energized by the happy calmness that is going on in our house and consider not napping Louie.  He pretty much always naps, but can go without if needed, which he did yesterday.  I get the thought that I could get so much done if he doesn't nap, we could go to Costco and go somewhere to get pumpkins (which we will need to carve later this week) and then both boys would go to bed super early and I am sooooo close to making this decision.  I hold out until almost 2:00 and then my thinking changes.  What am I doing?  I want nap time!  I have to proofread and edit a paper for my mom and I want to sit and have coffee and not parent for a little while and shit will surely hit the fan as soon as Louie gets tired enough, there is no way this happy cooperative playing will last the rest of the evening... no no no.  It's nap time.

I go to retrieve Louie to bring him upstairs and he and Gus are playing some other game that involves pretending to sleep.  Louie is a puppy and he's under those pillows on the floor "sleeping".  Okay.

Louie goes with me willingly upstairs and Gus asks if he can watch a show while Louie takes a nap.  I agree to it, and tell him that when I get back down I will start a show for him, but for now he should play quietly.

Upstairs in Louie's bedroom we are getting organized, searching for "Jokie" (his stuffed puppy) and getting a book ready, when Gus knocks on the door and comes in, asking if we are going to read Otis, and if he can sit with us and read it. 

Of course you can sweet child.

All three of us lose our upper lip when we smile.  Definitely get that from my mom.

So Louie and I pile on the rocking chair and Gus moves the footstool next to us so he can sit there and we read Otis, which is what Louie wants to read before every nap.

When the book is over, Gus goes back downstairs and then Louie and I snuggle.  He falls asleep in my lap in literally 3 minutes, love that he still lets me do this.  I put him in the crib, which is becoming increasingly difficult due to the size of this large and in charge 3rd-baby belly, cover him up with his duck blanket, and head downstairs. 

Gus is super excited to watch the Jake and the Neverland Pirates movie special that we DVRd a few days ago, so I get him set up with that in the basement family room and go tidy up the living room a little.  I also make our bed so I am not tempted to climb into it and take a nap. 
Removing the "eggs" from my boots.

 Then I make some coffee, my first real cup of coffee all day which is some sort of record (we're not going to count the half cup of instant) and get myself set up in the bedroom to finally tackle the paper my mom has wanted me to edit for the last week.  It has been an INSANE week, and she made the mistake of telling me that it wasn't due for two weeks when she sent me the paper last Monday, so I prioritized it accordingly and she has been twitchy and bugging me about it at least once a day since them. I am very excited to get this off my plate and stop her nagging.  (Kidding mom!)

I proofread my mom's 11 page paper about implementing a scheduling system that allows both 8 and 12 hour nursing shifts within a hospital unit.  I turn on an episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix but I can't focus on the paper (which is, shall we say, a little dry) with the distraction and turn it off almost immediately.  When I finish the paper I send it to my mom (Huzzah!  I can finally cross that beast off my list!) and then surf around on the internet a little, reading blogs and checking instagram.  I read Laura's Day in the Life post (we are getting very meta here) and actually comment because I am reading a blog on a real computer and this is a pretty rare occurrence. 

Gus's show is over but he is happily playing with his Jake and the Neverland Pirate toys in the other room, which is the perk of owning a bunch of crappy plastic commercial toys that correlate to TV shows.  Today it officially lengthened the "quiet time" I got out of a TV show by an extra 30 minutes!  Ha. 

The coffee has officially hit the baby and she(!) is bumping around in there like crazy. 

More computer time and I can hear Gus jumping and panting in the living room, but other than that he's quiet.  So cute.  He has so much energy it is insane but amazingly he has come up with ways to exert his energy on his own, i.e. jumping around the house like a freaking kangaroo and doing gymnastics on the ottoman.  I am quite proud of him, actually, for learning and having the where-with-all to find ways to cope with his extra energy.  I should take him out to the backyard to play but I just spent half of Louie's nap time proof reading a paper and he seems happy so I'm not going to screw with that.     

He comes in to my bedroom eventually to talk to me and we decide to do something in the Thomas activity book he won at a local TPT event we went to this weekend.  I sit with him and we chat while he does his workbook, and I work on finishing the page from Louie's coloring book I started a few days ago.  I need something to keep my hands busy while I sit with him, otherwise I'll be tempted to mess around with my phone and not really engage with him.  (Learning to hone my own coping skills to deal with the things I struggle with.)

Dan calls at 3:45 on his way from work to his Chiropractor appointment, and I tell him I plan on waking Louie at 4:00 and running to Costco before dinner.  It will be tight, because the kids are usually hungry by 5:00, but we need to get this errand done today if it's going to get done at all this week.  Tomorrow begins my work week and then it's just pure craziness for three days straight.

So at 4:00 we do just that, and go wake the beast, who of course isn't super happy to be awoken.  It's understandable, I would be annoyed if someone woke me up from a nap and said we were going to Costco immediately.  That sounds like a nightmare.  ;)

In an effort to cheer him up and ease the wake up process a little, we play "Criss-Cross Applesauce", which is a little chant thing from ECFE that involves me doing things like tickling his back and squeezing his shoulders.

Criss Cross Applesauce
Spiders crawling up your back
Spiders crawling down your back
Elephants marching up your back
Elephants marching down your back
Tight squeeze
Warm breze
Now you've got the shivers!

Gus requests the same be done on him, so I oblige, and then we all head downstairs to get our shoes and coats and head out.

For some reason the transition to leave the house causes Gus to have this sudden crazy burst of manic energy and he's hyping up Louie and making the dog bark like crazy, and we have to try a few things to get him to calm down.  He takes some breaths but that does nothing, and amazingly it ends up being that giving him a job to do (helping Louie get his shoes on) does the trick immediately.

Whew.  Sometimes the transition from nap/quiet time to an errand does me in too.  By the time we get to the car my patience is shot, (mostly due to Louie's irrational and frantic requests for me to go back into the house and find his bison, which I refused to do), but I need to all I can get because we are going to Costco for goodness sakes, which is like the ultimate in patience-requiring errands.

On the way to Costco for some reason we discuss the difference between a mouse and a rat.  I don't know how we get on this subject, but the kids are super interested and ask a lot of questions and we talk about both species of rodents for much longer than I would like.

Costco is fine, I forgot my list so as we get to the checkouts I call Dan to read off the list to me to make sure I got everything.  I forgot like 6 of the 10 items on the list (but of course had added like 10 more), so we do another loop around the store.  Ugh.

During this second loop we pass by a sample lady giving out apple juice.  I let the kids have some, which I will regret later.
The most thrilling Costco chore, grinding coffee beans!

Out in the car, the juice is hitting Gus.  Like, whoa.  He is so hyper. won't settle down, kicking my chair, being crazy, yelling out bizarre things and noises, it is like he is possessed.  I know people think I'm crazy, or that I'm exaggerating, but I swear to god, this is what juice does to him.  Sugar as a whole does affect him, we know this, but juice is like this whole other beast, and I am just flabbergasted that 2 ounces of apple juice could have such an immediate impact.  Is it the concentration of sugar?  I just don't know.  I'm sure it also had to do with it being 5:30, him being tired (bedtime on non-nap days is 6:30-7:00), and him having a relatively empty stomach. So frustrating.  Of course, in the moment I don't really put all this together as clearly as I am able now, and I get so angry at the craziness and kicking of the seat that I threaten that if he kicks my seat one more time he will not get the cupcake (more shower leftovers) that I promised him he could have after dinner.  Of course he just can't stop, it's like he has no control over his body, and the kicking continues and the threat is carried out and he is just DEVASTATED.

He comes down from the crazy juice thing, it's like a light switch, by about the time we get home.  So that's about 15 minutes later.  Dan is home, and we manage to get the groceries all put away and dinner on the table in about 10 minutes.  I make some quick grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches, cut up some strawberries and throw the carrot sticks Dan had cut while we were out on some plates, and we all scarf down dinner. I have prenatal yoga at 7:00 and Lisa is picking me up at 6:15 to go get a smoothie and have a some buddy time before class.

I get changed and the kids are pretty pissed to find out I'm going to yoga.  Gus in particular really wanted me to put him to bed tonight, and he's totally reeling from the no cupcake punishment now that we're done with dinner and we really aren't going to give in.  (I really want to, so badly I just want to make him feel better because he feels terrible and is so sad.)  So I leave two tearful kids waving at me from the front door when Lisa gets there and Dan is left to do baths and pajamas and bedtime on his own.

Whew.  Peace out.  (Joking, I feel pretty crappy about all this.)

Lisa and I just go to McDonald's because it's right around the corner from yoga, and we share a small smoothie.  Neither of us really wants something all that heavy right before yoga but it's not like we can hang out at my house with all that craziness and actually have a conversation.  We need to find somewhere close by that we can get a quick cup of tea or something.

So bizarre that this fake indoor plant right outside the yoga studio has a "For Sale" sign on it.  But if you're in the market, $69.  FYI.

I meant to take a less stealthy photo after class but completely forgot.  Class was pretty yoga-lite tonight, even for prenatal, because there were just three of us and one of the girls is nearing the end of her pregnancy and having some issues and pain, so I think the teacher was being sensitive to that. Whatevs though, she walked around and gave each of us foot massages during Shavasana.  Two thumbs up for that kind of "exercise".

8:10 - Lisa drops me off at home and these two greet me with their cute faces watching baseball. (Or was it football?  I didn't write that specific detail down.  SPORTS!)

Louie smiles, says, "Hi mom!" and then "Where's my cat, play dollhouse with me".  Kid does not waste a moment of time.  Dan goes to get a workout and Louie and I play for a minute before going upstairs to get him to bed.  (He is exhausted.)

I really should be cropping out my finger smudge there, shouldn't I?

I change his diaper before bed and give him smooches and tell him he's all clean and yummy and delicious from his bath, and he says, "Mom, don't say you're going to eat me!  You're not going to eat me!"  We read Mr. Messy in the rocking chair and snuggle, take a few selfies ("Make sure Jokie is in the picture!") and when he has sufficiently snuggled long enough he tells me I can put him in his crib.  Kisses and goodnight. 

I go downstairs and notice the mess in the living room and decide to ignore it and leave it for future Alicia.  (Or even better, future Dan!)

I head downstairs and check in on the husband, take a few embarrassing workout pics of him and choose the least embarrassing to post here.  (Always with the sweatband, good thing he works out at home.) (Just kidding, I tease because I love.)

I check on the laundry situation and realize this load is still sitting in the washer.  This will be the third time I wash these clothes as they had sat too long before I remembered them a few days ago as well.  This time I tell Dan of my laundry ineptitude and know now that because I've brought it to his attention, he will make sure it gets into the dryer tonight before bed. He is much better about laundry (and other tasks that require you to keep things going in the background) than I am.

It's 9:15 now, I settle in to watch the DVR'd Part I of Death comes to Pemberly, the latest Jane Austen-inspired Masterpiece programming.  I text back and forth with Lisa a bit as it's starting, to see if she watched it (we are Jane Austen/romantic historical fiction brothers-from-another-mother), but she didn't even know about it.  Glad I could provide her with such valuable information, but Part I of this here programing does not turn out to be my favorite. 

I snack on pretzels during the viewing and of course fiddle around with my phone a bit, adding a few reminders for things to take care of this week while at work. 

I consider giving up on Death comes to Pemberly a few times but I am not usually one to do that (I have finished watching some of the WORST Hallmark movies, it is a sickness), and here is the review I gave Lisa the next day via email:
"It was... okay.  I'll watch the 2nd part for sure, and it's definitely a mystery, so not at all "Pride and Prejudice"-esque, other than all the characters.  I think I would have liked it more with a better Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.  Both actors were VERY meh for me."
So that's that.  But I stayed up until 10:45 for that meh!  Time to join the rest of my family in dreamland.

Busy, full, good day.  Lots of joy and plenty of struggles but both this life and this family are a work in progress.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Dan and I both admitted to each other yesterday that we had each noticed a distinct… smell coming from Louie in the last 24 hours or so and that led to a realization that we hadn't bathed our children in an entire week.  I mean, come on.  That is pretty bad, even for us.  So now, our kids are the "smelly" kids and we are "those parents" and the situation was thankfully remedied last night, after a day when both of our stinky children were in a civilized school setting.  I wonder if there's an app for that, with some sort of reminder when it has been more than 48 hours since you last bathed your child? I would pay $0.99 for something like that.  

I can't believe I put stinky kids before "It's a Girl!" but I guess I did.  

But you guys!  It's a girl!  

So dang exciting.  The ultrasound experience itself, was a little strange, the tech was a young-ish guy, maybe somewhere between 28-35?  (I truly have an inability to guess peoples ages once they are out of their early 20's, so really, who knows.)  This guy seemed like he was single, or at least no kids, and he was nice, jovial, had a great smile, but not at all like the ultrasound techs we've had before.  No extra info or tidbits, no, "So you must be excited to see this little darling on the big screen!", no little comments like, "Oh there's your baby!  Better get a new pair of running shoes because this one is active!" 

We asked questions, joked around with him, but mostly he did his thing while we stared at the screen.  He kept mumbling and fumbling and admitted that the baby was very low and he was having a really hard time getting a look between baby's legs.  He tried for a while, then said he'd get some more measurements/photos that he needed and try again at the end.  So we had to wait until about 40 minutes through the ultrasound until she finally cooperated, and then finally it was very clear it was a girl.

Then I asked him jokingly if he's ever gotten it wrong.  He chuckled and said "Not that I know of! But I don't know if we would ever know" and I think that REALLY threw him because after that he seemed a little nervous.  And then he proceeded to double check and triple check and then insisted that he really was positive it was a girl, and that he wouldn't tell us if he wasn't positive.  Then of course he threw in that if he was wrong, he really did want us to come back and tell him.  And I promised we would, and that he would owe us a beer.  (Or two, or three.)  

I'm not concerned, we saw with our own eyes, it's a girl, no worries.

We capped off the exciting day with chili and cupcakes for my dad's birthday.

I have already spent over $100 on Zulily.  I know.  BAD.  I am sticking to my claim that I had to get it out of my system. But man.  It sure is fun even just be able to browse the girl stuff and dream.  I haven't allowed myself to really ever believe we might have a daughter, sure I've got a list of names a mile long but that thing was started nearly six years ago.  ;)

 This was my view this morning on the side of 494 when I had to pull over because I had started vomiting into my water bottle.  Good times!  I can count on one hand the amount of times I've thrown up with this pregnancy, so this seemingly came out of nowhere, but I am pretty sure it was hazelnut coffee that did it.  I hadn't been feeling the best this morning, but that isn't really new.  And then I stopped for coffee after dropping the boys off at daycare and dared to dream that my beloved hazelnut would be okay again.  I had sworn off of it the entire first trimester after an incident early on very similar to this morning's.

Well, one sip of the stuff and I was deep breathing and sweating and starting to panic.  Taking swigs of my water I had the foresight to take the lid off and then I couldn't stop it, and had to pull over lest I get in an accident because vomiting while driving has proven to be just as dangerous as texting while driving.  Take it from me.


I am still stalling on the bunk bed/shared room situation, but we don't have much going on this weekend, so I may just give Dan the green light.  (Seen above, Gus on the top bunk, wearing his "Jason Mraz" hat and striking his "Jason Mraz" pose.)  If I don't give him the green light soon, he will just go and do it randomly when I'm out and oblivious some night.  It's the yin and the yang of marriage at work, people.  Obsessive worrying wife vs. rip the band-aid husband.  If it weren't for him, we'd still be sleeping on our sectional/ottoman make-shift bed in the basement.  

Louie is absolutely loving "school" after a few weeks of trepidation.  Experiencing ECFE with him after having done it for three years with Gus is so fun, and so different.  He really is a preschool teacher's dream, I swear.  He sits at circle time fully engaged, already knows every song, every hand motion, and yells out an answer to every question the teacher asks.  A little teacher's pet I tell ya.  He talks about his "best friend Ruby" at school and discusses playing with with the animals there basically every day during the week leading up to his Monday morning class.  He has the routine down pat and seems to be just basically delighted to follow along as is expected of him.

At Minnetonka Apple Orchard a few weeks ago

Man.  Now of course I love my first born so much, and he is really his own person and I wouldn't change who that is for a second, but I have no rose-colored glasses about his challenging behavior during ECFE.  He has come a loooong way since then, but during those years I really never knew what to expect of him, if he would cooperate, if he would sit during circle time.  If he would get too excited and too silly, and thus have trouble "keeping his body to himself" and using "kind hands" when we were asked to stand up and dance around to a particular song.  I always had to be on my game.  ALWAYS.

I don't have to be that mom with Louie and it sure is easier to have fun.  That is the truth.


That's not to say Louie has been a perfect little angel lately.  Jeesh the kid is so almost three it is killing me.  He he such a sass-a-frass, and over the last week or so has thrown some of the biggest fits I have ever seen him throw.  And he has started to hit me!  And kick me!  And throw things at me!  He definitely reserves his worst behavior for his dear old mama.  He told me he hated me the other day and I can't recall why but I think it had something to do with not giving him any more chicken nuggets?  I can't remember but that sounds about right.  And Dan's whole family got to witness the biggest epic tantrum he's ever thrown when he came back for more birthday cake after I had given it to his grandpa (who didn't get any cake when they ran out) because he insisted he was done (after one bite).  Louie really isn't the biggest sweets guy, rarely does he eat more than one bite of cake, in fact usually it's just the one lick of frosting and then he's done.  So truly, I don't think he really wanted his cake, but he was SO ANGRY that I had gotten rid of it, no sense could be talked to him.  He screamed and sobbed and threw things and hit me and kicked me and tried to bite me and smacked the ice cream treats his poor grandma tried to offer him right out of her hands... Epic.  It was like he had turned into some sort of caged beast, which is appropriate because he was wearing a velour tiger costume at the time.  

Still an angel when he's sleeping, at least.

What in the world has happened to my baby?

Sorry buddy, you can't wear your astronaut gear into preschool.

As for Gus, he has definitely needed some time to acclimate to the new schedule this fall, but I think he's getting it, and preschool is going really well. He has made so many friends and actually really gets excited to go to school on school days.  Despite a few bad days here and there, I'm getting really good reports back from his teachers.  And they are just such wonderful, loving teachers, again I can't say enough how thankful I am for this program that sort of fell on our lap through our daycare provider.  They really work so hard to get to know each kid individually, so as to do everything they can to help each kid thrive and learn and have a successful year of preschool.  I still have anxiety about Kindergarten next year but I have decided to try to shift my mindset about it, think positively.  I know that not every teacher we come across will be as wonderful as his teachers have been so far, but I have to believe and have hope that people choose to be early-childhood teachers because at the core of it they really love kids.  They enjoy being responsible for helping a child learn and grow in confidence and maturity, and that is their ultimate goal. And if as parents we are engaged in the education process and proactive about concerns or issues, we will get through any hiccups the school years inevitably throw at us.

I have to at least go in with that mindset.  Not blind faith, by any means, that school will be all roses and sunshine, but optimism about the goodness of people and trust in my kid and our judgement as parents to get through what the next few years will throw at us.  


(Back to my random asides, I feel like I got off track from my point with this post, which was supposed to be sort of pointless...)

This past Saturday was one of those mythical days in which the boys busied themselves playing together happily and cheerfully ALL DAY LONG.  There were no squabbles or screaming matches, no whining that they were bored, they just hung out, and laughed, and took out every toy we own (I DID NOT CARE), and made up silly games, like the one they were playing while I was making lunch which involved taking turns basically bowling with Rescue Bots and if one of them knocked over all of the robots he got to run to the table (that I was in the middle of putting lunch on) for a piece of some "special cantaloupe!"  Yes, the prize in this game was to eat melon.

We must have done something right over the years.


Almost no parental involvement was required all day, from the second they woke up until after nap time when we dropped them off at my parents house for a sleepover (date night!).  Gus was in his pajamas until we left the house.  We had to get him dressed to go to a sleepover.  It was truly amazing, and I was very much able to be present in the moment and see it for what it was, A GIFT.  (Unless you factor into the equation the fact that it allowed me ample time to surf around online looking at baby girl clothes.  If you think of it that way, it was an expensive gift.)


This is not a good picture (very dark) but I was sitting at the table doing who-knows-what (whatever I wanted!) and snapped a shot of them over on the couch, just lounging and giggling and being silly and being brothers.  Only picture I took all day but I'm glad I have something to commemorate a day of such awesomeness.