Friday, August 29, 2008

Quick Stop

So... yeah... been busy enough here at work that blogging has fallen by the wayside as I've been working through lunch. D'oh!

Anyway, I thought this next incident was blog-worthy, so here goes!

Milo has been potty training. It has been an excruciating process for the poor lad -- he showed some early interest at 17 months or so and even pooped on the toilet then, but seemed to have decided that once was enough and the evil toilet monster might just gobble him up if he were to sit upon it again. We began to notice him running and hiding to poop a little after his second birthday -- about the time that Violet came around. My pocketbook was eager to reduce our diaper expense by half, so we gently asked our young man if he was ready to try the potty again.

"Nooooo - oooooo - oooo - ooo - oo - o!"

It wasn't as if we were asking him to sacrifice life, limb or Star Wars guys...

As the months rolled by, he continued to respond with panic every time we mentioned the potty -- as if some evil were lurking inside, ready and waiting for little boy bums as a delicacy. In May, Scott and I made a decision that we were not even going to say the word, that we wouldn't make the suggestion when he announced, "I'm pooping!" as he would do with great regularity -- perhaps just to tease our hopes, then dash them as he scooted around the couch, out of reach, so that we couldn't drag him to the greedy toilet monster.

We vacationed to Minnesota, dragging two whole boxes of diapers -- baby-sized ones for Violet, boy-sized ones for Milo. While in Minnesota, we asked our boy what he was going to do for his third birthday. I expected a pretty normal answer -- "Eat cake and open presents!" but was surprised and tickled when he sang, "When I am threeeeee, I am going to go on the potteeeee and give my binkeeeeee to the babieeeeeees who need them!" I recounted this conversation numerous times, but did not truly expect that he would do either as the binky was his comfort object and the potty his mortal enemy.

However, my sweet little boy surprised me when, about a week after his birthday, I asked him if this was the day he was going to give his binky to the other babies. We were walking into Target, trying to avoid the black stickiness of spat out gum, and he said, "Yes. I'm going to bed without my binky tonight." At bedtime, however, he firmly disputed my claim to his intent, though we decided that this was a great opportunity to teach him that you must follow through with what you say you're going to do. So we tucked him in and listen to him cry for about an hour that he missed his binky. Sleep snuck up behind him, though, and captured the night without further incident. And we were now a binky free household...

Emboldened by this success, he awoke one morning with an almost dry diaper. And, without warning or assistance, he marched into the bathroom, removed the diaper, lifted the lid and seat and tinkled in the potty. All by himself and without any suggestion, prodding, or help, for that matter. He flushed and washed his hands and came back out to join us in the other room. We were speechless as he matter-of-factly took his space on the couch -- as if he hadn't just cleared that developmental hurdle. Naturally, there was much cheering and calling of grandparents and hugging and kissing and such. Apparently, all he needed was to think that potty training was his idea, then he was off to the races.

It has been nearly two months and, due to lack of accidents (as in NONE), I feel safe saying he's potty-trained. He's been able to wait long enough to dash to a public restroom or drive the last five miles home. He's even torn himself from play to use the toilet without prompting. He seems to be a pro at this!

Until last night. We were out at Scott's parents and headed out the door to go to Joensy's for supper. Scott asked Milo if he needed to use the bathroom. Nope. I asked Milo if he needed to use the bathroom. Nope. He's used the toilet at grandma's house before, so, even though it's a dated blue throne, he's not afraid of it. He was confident that he did not need to use the bathroom.

Until we are about to turn onto the interstate. From the backseat we hear, "Uh-oh. I'm tinkling!" My head snaps around so fast that my hair swirls to catch up. "You're tinkling right now??"

"No. I have to go tinkle."

Scott sighs, "Milo! I asked you if you needed to go potty three minutes ago. You said 'no' so now you're going to have to wait until we get to the restaurant."

Milo groans, "I caaaan't!" Thirty seconds later, he starts whimpering and squirming in his car seat. Then he starts crying.

Scott and I exchange looks. We've never been in this position before. Milo begins calling, "I have to tinkle! I have to tinkle!" What do we do? We're five minutes from the restaurant, but I don't know if he can make it. We don't have another pair of shorts with us. Plus, I don't want him peeing in my car.

Scott hits the hazard light on the dash and slows the car as he pulls onto the shoulder of the highway. He glances over his shoulder into traffic and hops out, opening the passenger door behind him. He unbuckles our son, then directs him to climb into my seat so I can help him tinkle in the ditch. He's not wearing shoes and I notice a streak of mud on the side of his leg.

I help him unsnap his jeans shorts and pull down his underwear. I grasp him around the waist and set him into the ditchweeds, noticing how sinewy he feels -- that his baby-softness has about evaporated into the muscle-y hardness of a boy. I remind him to not hit my shoes or his clothes and he unleashes a hot stream that instead hits the frame of my car door, then is redirected towards a large yellow flower. Target practice.

The ditch is full of life, spiders and crickets scramble away from us, Liliputian next to Milo's feet. It smells of wild mint and deep grass. Cars scream by behind us, their view of my naked child blocked by the bulk of my husband.

When he's finished, I duck him back into the car, but he is more interested in seeing the spiders, so he protests as Scott packages him back into the safety of his car seat.

As we climb back into the car, an ambulance pulls up behind us, lights flashing. The driver bounds out of the vehicle and approaches our car, his query, "Is everyone OK? We saw you doubled over and wanted to make sure that you weren't hurt or sick."

"No," Scott admits, sheepishly, "We're potty training." The driver smiles knowingly, nods, and heads back to his rig. It was really nice of him to check on our welfare.

But we weren't hurt. Not really. Not if you don't count growing pains.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I got so dang busy yesterday at lunch defending myself online to post a blog. That's pretty bad...

What is is about the internet that brings out the crazy in people? I was (admittedly) a little snippy in a response, but with all the intensity of a fly and the reaction I got was a tank -- not a flyswatter. Whatever...

Violet is walking now. Milo has a cold, boo hiss.. Poor kid coughs himself silly every time he gets a runny nose... His little voice is hoarse and it's kinda cute, but I hope he feels better soon. And Violet is walking now. Like 8 feet across the room when no one's looking. Did I tell you the Violet is walking now???

I did get on the elliptical yesterday and can feel it in my legs. Not today, though, as I went to the sitter's to watch the kids while she took her son to preschool for the first time. Good gravy... I managed to get two to sleep, but not Milo. Oh, no... he kept asking me "Are they asleep yet? Can I get up yet??" Made me bonkers... The sitter put Violet down and the 14 month old boy. He screamed from the time she left until I went up and got him, then he settled down in my lap, so I took him up again and MORE SCREAMING... this time he woke Violet. Sitter came home and Milo, Violet and the 14 month old boy and I were all in the kitchen, trying to be quiet while the others slept. Guess I'm not cut out for daycare... It seemed pretty obvious that the 14 month old has been rocked or snuggled to sleep -- he was calm resting on me, but the instant I made for the steps, he lost it. Zoiks!!

Violet nursed a bit, but she looked pretty sleepy... hopefully the sitter got her back to sleep. She'd had a stinky little poop when she woke upstairs -- I think that's what got her fully awake when the other toddler was screaming -- I think without the stinky poo, she might have slept.

What does this mean? I really, really like my own kiddos... and don't need to watch other people's kids for too long, LOL!

Monday, August 18, 2008


SO it is completely clear to me that blogging on the weekend isn't gonna happen with any sort of regularity. Too much going on and, honestly, I don't wanna spend any more time away from my babes, even if they are in the room and playing while I type away. Yep, only lunch-time blogging for me.

Today my entire building smells like ammonia. The college has subcontracted a different cleaning service and they came through, guns a-blazing this morning. They vacuumed outside my office door for an eternity, though they didn't come in to my office to clean. As soon as they were done, the grounds crew took up mowing outside my window. It has not been a quiet morning around here. My supervisor took a quick peak at what I've gotten done on my assignment for the week and likes what I'm doing, so yay for that! And I'm now making popcorn as a mid-morning snack.

I had a very sleepy weekend. Very -- as in took a nap with Milo on Saturday afternoon -- very nice to snuggle him for a while. And then took two naps yesterday -- one shortly after waking, and one after going to the pool. My vertigo was acting up and I just couldn't keep my dang eyes open for anything. I sure felt like a schmuck when Milo came bounding into the room to tell me that he'd pooped on his little potty and I almost opened an eye while I hugged him tightly for congratulations. I don't know what was up with me, but I clearly needed all of that sleep as I had no trouble falling asleep either Saturday after one nap, nor last night after two naps.

Violet took 5-6 steps between myself and Scott, and as many as 12 steps later. She is very skilled at righting herself from sitting to standing without assistance -- she doesn't pull up to get to standing, but stands on her own. I don't remember Milo doing that before he'd been walking for a while. She's got really, really good balance and will likely run as soon as she has the confidence to walk across the room. She runs when she walks holding you hands, so I think she just thinks she needs to be FAST always.

Milo woke Scott twice last night to use the toilet. Which is good. Well, good that he used the toilet, not that he woke daddy. Daddy doesn't do very well when he hasn't had a full night of sleep. Neither does Milo -- daycare drop off this morning was rough. I really don't want him to get into the habit of rough drop-offs... Hopefully he'll take a good nap this afternoon and perk up. I think we'll all go to bed early tonight...

I had a crazy ice-dance lesson on Saturday morning. I re-learned the Dutch waltz pattern and can almost get it on the rink at the right size -- if I'm skating on two feet. The first time we were set to skate it to music, Barb, the lovely older ice dancer, came whizzing up to me and grabbed me to partner. Well, I wasn't expecting it and didn't want to, but she wouldn't let go of me -- d'oh!! I stumbled through the dance, mostly on beat, but not on pattern. My legs are longer than hers and I was totally afraid to commit to an edge for fear of tripping her. She'd flattened out the pattern a lot and I was majorly frustrated. My coach told me she was actually impressed because I didn't go to pieces and got most of the steps in, even though I was flummoxed.

Well, now I've spilled popcorn on my office floor -- so much for clean....

Friday, August 15, 2008


I think I'm lazy.

Really -- I sort of start a bunch of stuff and never really quite follow through. I'm not saying I LIKE this about myself, I surely don't, but I think I am lazy. My house is never clean, my projects are never quite done, and my yard is an appalling mess. I can't even remember to water the flowers daily, so I start every spring with lovely hanging plants and, inevitably, by my birthday they look like dead spiders.

In fact, I'm stalling today. I've got work to do and an idea of how to do it, but I just don't feel like it. I want to be hanging out with my kids, teaching Milo to read and Violet to sing. I want to go to a movie, go skating, swimming or take a nap. Instead, I'm blogging and eating soup.

I am the only one of my siblings with just one degree. I am working the lowest paid job of any of them and I seem to have lost momentum. I think I want to go back to school, but I don't really know what I want to study. The things that interest me (theatre, developmental psychology, family law, counseling) are pretty time-intensive pursuits. And I just don't know that I have the time right now. I don't really want to spend any more time away from my family and think I would grow to resent another commitment, but I want to do more... I think... Or maybe I want to do nothing...

That's the trouble with laziness -- the ambivalence that goes along with it. Like if I required less sleep I'd be able to keep a clean house, make organic baby food, and weed the yard every now and then. But I don't particularly care to weed and I also don't get that much sleep as it is. I think I understand why some moms choose to take their kids' ADD medicine instead of dispensing it to the child -- there's just so much to do and not enough mom to go around.

I think this is part of the reason I decided to blog -- to try and find my way back to, well, me... I just wish I'd left myself a better map.

Oh -- I did get to the gym, 30 minutes on the elliptical and stretching. Not bad for a first day back.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


They are replacing a swath of sidewalk outside the building where I work. When I came in this morning, the were plopping bobcat bucketfuls of wet cement into place. The workers were standing about, watching with trowels drawn for battle. When I came back from lunch today, the pathway was halfway completed, the cement stands idle, curing in the shade.

My first impulse was to rush home, grab my daughter and plunk her little feet into the cement, Hollywood Style, and carve Violet, 11 months above her footprints.

Today was my last lunch for Violet.

Since I returned to work a mere six weeks after her birth I have been escaping at lunch to walk to the sitter's to nurse Violet. I look forward to this the minute I close the door at the sitter's, turning my back on my babies as I trudge to the car and head to work. I welcomed the respite that was my lunch break -- seeing both of my children mid-day and nursing my daughter.

My sweet girl is beginning to wean herself during the daytime. She is so curious, so active, so involved that taking a mom-break is less and less her requirement. It is still mine, however.

I studied her as she nursed on this, my last Violet lunch. Her little feet dug into the flesh of my thigh, trying to gain purchase so she could push to standing and enact a little disco-dance in my lap. She rolled away and sprint-crawled to the other end of the couch to grab the TV remote. I pulled her back to my breast; she pushed random buttons on the remote, the stations flipped by madly. As she waved the remote in her free hand, she plonked it onto her head. My eyes widened with concern and hers crinkled with laughter. "I'm OK mom, don't be such a worry-wart." I can read this in her expression already. Then she tried the trick on me, slamming my nose so hard it brought tears to my eyes.

I tuck a soft fluff of hair behind the petal of her ear and trace the thin dash that is her left eyebrow. Her eyes never leave my face. I don't know if she senses my sorrow, but she reaches up with her little index finger and touches my quivering lower lip. Again her eyes crinkle into a smile; so do mine.

To be fair, there is a part of me that longs for my lunch hour -- it was my gym time pre-pregnancy and I'm fat, so I need it. But the larger part of me is struggling. Scott doesn't quite understand -- his view on weaning is that if she'd eat less at night, I'd get more sleep and he'd get more sex. I'm just not ready to give up her nursing smile. This is something that she and I alone have shared since she was mere minutes old; seeing her sated, milk dribbling out of the corner of her mouth as she sighs into sleep has been more awe-inspiring to me than any landmark. I know that no matter how hectic the day is, I am going to start and end it wrapped around my little girl in an embrace of devotion.

I still need her infancy, even as she takes her first wobbly steps onto the sidewalk that will carry her away from me and into her own life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good idea from a friend.

So I have an old friend who challenged himself to blog daily for... I don't know how long. This challenge has apparently been sitting on the bench in my mind, waiting for a chance to play. And it would ask me, occasionally, "Hey, coach! Can I go in now?" My constant answer was, "Soon. I just need to..." Need to what? Need to get STUFF done. There is always STUFF.

Most of my STUFF is the routine of daily life. Truly, two parents, two jobs, two kids, and two dogs take up an enormous amount of energy. And is seems to me that my energy is just going out there -- not really impacting any one thing with any oomph! Kind of like the hissing dispersal of gas leaking through a broken hose in any movie that has a space ship. Not really enough of a leak to harm the ship, but also not really enough of a leak to move it in a good direction, either. You can't really move a starship with a fart, in other words.

Whoa -- didn't mean to bring out the "f" word in my first blog. I guess living with a three-year-old has rubbed off on me. He's quite the kid, too. Love him like crazy. He's a rather intense little fellow and I think he may be spoiled due to his daddy's lack of willpower when it comes to the toy aisle in Target. But at least he's using the potty now. He is a child of unusual humor. There are times that I watch him and he still takes my breath away.

I worry for no particular reason that I'm not worrying enough about my second-born. She's a true delight -- quite possible the happiest baby I've ever met. I sort of feel that she's not quite real -- that her little spirit is as ethereal as a wisp of fragrance, that she's almost too good. She has an uncanny grace for an 11-month-old. Nothing seems insurmountable to her and few things frustrate her.

My husband is my sanity. I cannot imagine how different life would be had I not fallen for him. I never expected to meet my other me at 19, nor could I imagine the growth I've had since I gave in and fell. He is so compassionate and caring, I love him for how he loves the people in his life. I am awed by his parenting and proud of his accomplishments in life. He's a good man, and I'm glad he's mine.

Still, with all of these blessings, I am feeling unfocused. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and, sad to say, I am grown up. I celebrated my 35th birthday this summer after a whirlwind tour to Denver for lil sis's wedding. My birthday was the last day in a job and a busy last day there. I'd had three hours of almost sleep and didn't really enjoy the day.

So, I've decided to let the blog challenge come into the game -- to see if I can rally and find my center again. Part of this is going to be a fitness/diet blog -- I think I just need to be more accountable to myself in how I'm caring for myself. So tonight is Synchro, tomorrow I'm going to bring my hand weights to the office and sneak in a few reps whilst waiting on the 'puter. Dietary changes are going to be harder to make. I understand that. I like exercise, I don't like to not eat yummy stuff.