Sunday, August 31, 2008

another year older

Happy Labor Day!

Since I'm behind in blogs I'll fill you in on past events ;)  Friday was my birthday.  It also happened to be Michael Jackson's birthday, a fact I used to be proud of way back when.  Now, not so much.  But I mention it today anyway because I can't believe he turned 50!  Which got me thinking... I'm 16 years shy of 50!  For some reason 34 sounds perfectly fine but 16 years from 50 doesn't.  Probably because I know just how fast 16 years can fly.  After all, it was 16 years ago I graduated from high school, and where did that time go?  I guess I'm smack dab in the middle of high school graduation and 50.  I sure hope the next 16 years don't fly as fast and I sure hope I do my best to take deep breaths and take everything wonderful about it in as I go.  And once I get there, to 50 that is, a whole new adventure will be waiting for me.  Sam will be graduating high school, Sydney will be getting her drivers license and dating (oh wait, no dating until 30).  Scary thoughts for sure, so I'll stick to living in the present and enjoying Samuel's big imagination (today he's a space man) and Sydney's slobbery baby kisses.

Grandma Sue (my Mom), the kids and I went to the state fair on my birthday.  Something I haven't done for about, well, 16 years!  Our state fair is arguably one of the best.  A good time was had by all but I think I'll be ok if it's another 16 years before I go.  Maybe I'll make it a once a decade event.  

The evening of my birthday was very nice, complete with a steak meal and super yummy chocolate cake courtesy of Tad.  And then...THE GIFT...  holy cow I am not worthy of this gift (but I will gladly accept it!).  I'm going to do my darndest to learn how to use this because it sure would be a shame to have such a nice gift wasted on people like me with no talent.

I really wanted to upload shots of the kids but I've been having a terrible time uploading pics to blogger recently, which is part of the reason I haven't blogged much. :(  I MUST get this figured out so that I can upload pics once my new camera comes in the mail!!!


Friday, August 22, 2008

shhhh... do you hear that?

No?  Neither do I!  Yup, BOTH kids are asleep - AT. THE. SAME. TIME.  Hallelujah!  And even bigger news:  Syd put herself to sleep TWICE today.  TWICE!  She hasn't done that in months.

So that's the good news.  The bad news is that preparation for nap was quite the event.  The following occurred while Sam was supposed to be falling fast asleep to dreamland:

A boy in just his pull up (I let him be).

Later... a naked boy with swim goggles on his head (I take away the goggles, put a pull up on him, and don't bother with the clothes).

Even later... a naked boy (where'd that pull up go again??) who snuck past me while I was putting syd to bed & I later found him by our basement door curled up on the floor asleep.  WTH?  Let me tell you my heart was racing while I couldn't find him!  So I pick him up and put him back in bed naked (screw the diaper... I'll hope for a dry nap).

Then, I hear crying coming from Sydney's room.  I look in the video monitor but the camera must have fallen.  I quickly realize Sam must be behind this.  I run upstairs and find:

A naked boy curled up in Sydney's crib.  Apparently she didn't want to be cuddled.

And finally, after one more return to bed, and some rocking for Sydney, both kids are now asleep.

It's much easier going to work.  LOL.


P.S.  I'm worried about Sam's disappearing tricks.  This is the third time this week he's snuck into other rooms without me hearing him only to have me find him curled up somewhere random.  I'm going to have to put a gate on his bedroom.  The gate won't stop him, he climbs it.  But hopefully I'll be able to hear his mischief more before I find the kid outside one day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the more things change, the more they stay the same

I returned to the workforce this week (part-time).  I vowed not to blog about work but since I just started, I thought I'd update you on some of the highlights.

Same Company I worked for 9 months ago before having Sydney.

Same hiring manager.

Different job responsibilities.

Less Stress.

New learning opportunities.

Same commute route.

Way more traffic.

Same desk.

New cube-mate.

Same difficulty getting to work on time.

New bigger vending machines (with only 20 oz pop) - just what I need.

Same security guy.

New security badge with a new ugly picture of me.

Same awesome new-mom benefits like a Mother's pumping room with hospital-grade pumps.

Same computer system.

New rules including no access to blogger or message boards (*sniff*sniff*).

New parking ramp (that cost me $20 today - doh!) - I will promptly return to the old ramp, which costs $10/day. *sigh*

Same kids.

Mom has new appreciation for kids.

Same Mom.

Kids have new appreciation for mom.

Overall so far this seems to be a very good thing for us.  There have been some "glitches" and I'm exhausted.  BUT, I think it's going to be a good thing.  The nanny is doing well getting up to speed.  I feel rejuvenated getting a change of pace in our week.  And what I didn't realize would be a benefit is that I think the kids are rejuvenated by the change-up too.  The last 2 nights Sam has been extraordinarily well behaved.  I think maybe he appreciates me more in smaller doses.  LOL.  So rather than spending an entire day disciplining him (which is no fun for either of us), he spent the day with the nanny (she reported good behavior) and a few hours of QUALITY time with mom that consisted of very little discipline (it just wasn't needed!)!  Tonight we ate dinner as a family, played outside, ate dessert outside, visited 2 neighbors, and read stories - all before bed.  I don't recall having that much fun in such a short time in a long while.  And great news, Sydney is doing well too, staying relatively happy and she's taking the bottle - YEAH!

P.S.  The sleep wrap seems to be helping Sydney.  Maybe it's coincidence but she's now taking MUCH longer naps (think 20 minutes before to 2 hours now) and sleeping longer periods at night.  One of these days she might sleep through the night again!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

return of the reflux

You may have noticed that I've been MIA these days.  Bottom line is:  I'm exhausted.  Utterly, totally, and completely.  It seems all heck is breaking loose in this household over the last 2 months.  I've been busy planning a return to the work-force and interviewing child-care candidates.  Meanwhile, Samuel is giving me a run for my money where it seems disciplining him is a full time job and then some.  And Sydney, well, she has 4 teeth coming in and her reflux has been kicking it in high-gear.  Until the last few days, she's been sleeping less than when she was a newborn!  Anyone who knows me really well knows that I require A LOT of sleep.  I mean, a lot.  10 hours would be ideal.  I know, I know, who gets 10 hours sleep unless you are a teenager?  Well, I'll settle for 7.  But I'm getting about 4 - and it's interrupted sleep at that.  At a time where Sam needs me on my toes the most I'm lucky if I can get out of bed.

Back to the reflux... Sydney no longer physically "spits up" like she used to. But I know the reflux is still an issue because she has sharp cries of pain that is much different than simply a baby needing attention. She also clears her throat, has an occasional horse voice, and is often congested - all signs of reflux. You don't have to "spit up" to have a problem with reflux.  What's referred to as "silent reflux" can be a problem too.  But reflux doesn't even have to be a problem.  Almost ALL babies have reflux. It becomes a problem if it's either causing pain or if it's causing a failure to thrive. Sydney is NOT failing to thrive by any means. In fact, she eats more when her reflux is bothering her (out of comfort). But she is clearly in pain, and it's affecting her sleep a great deal.  So it's a problem.

It's been difficult to talk to too many people about what we are going through with Sydney's reflux. I think people assume my concern is that she "spits up", but that is far from the case. I could care less if she pukes over everything I own. I just hate to see her in pain. It doesn't help that apparently reflux is a common diagnosis these days so when you say your baby has reflux I think people aren't sure if you mean your baby spits up (duh, all babies do), your baby is in pain, or your baby is failing to thrive. It seems reflux is the new colic.  Many babies that were once described as being colicky are now better understood to have reflux.  

To help control the reflux, Sydney does best when sleeping at an angle.  But since she's such a mover and a shaker, she rolls down the bed. Therefore, I've invested in the following sleep wrap designed to hold her in place while the bed is at an angle, based on a recommendation from my friend Jennifer W.  So far I think it's making a real positive difference.  I don't really like the fact that having the mattress upright at an angle causes her neck to kink to the side, but her chiropractor didn't seem concerned.  Yes, my daughter has a chiropractor.  I'm willing to try it all to get more sleep.

We've also moved on to a more aggressive medication and I'm more serious about eliminating dairy from my diet (I'm still nursing). Often reflux is aggravated (though not caused) by sensitivities; both Sydney's doctor and I believe she has a sensitivity to milk-products.  Occasionally she has blood in her stools, further evidence of allergies.

All in all, I'm starting to "see the light", which is why I can hop back into blog land.  We're not yet back to sleeping through the night, but we're doing much better.  I feel the reflux is more under control now.  I'm not sure if it's the sleep wrap, the new meds, my diet, the chiropractor, or her age that is helping, but I guess I'll continue with our current plan because something is working.  Now, if I could only do something about these 4 teeth coming in for poor baby girl!


P.S.  turns out you can save a good chunk of cash and make a sleep wrap.  Why didn't I think of that???

Thursday, August 7, 2008

there's a new sheriff in town

And his name is Samuel.

Sometimes I've wondered if our 2.5 year old Sam doesn't understand the concept of rules because he breaks them all the time.  There are certain rules he breaks so often in fact that we have to run through a list of reminders before play dates.  It goes something like this:

"Sam, we're going to play with Tyler today.  Won't that be fun!  Can you play nice with Tyler today?"


"Remind me what playing nice means.  What are some of the rules?"

Sam runs off the list:  "No hitting, no biting, no kicking, no pushing, no pinching."

"Right!"  And then I add, "And we share too, right?"

To which Sam says, "It's hard for me Mom."

"I know it is.  But you're such a good kid you can do it.  Try really hard, ok!"

Often he still breaks a rule or two even after our "pre-game pep talk" (or three or four or five broken rules on more challenging days).  But there is no denying he knows what a rule is as these days HE'S the one giving US the rules.  Here are some rules that have been turned around on us the past few days:

"Take your hat off at the dinner table Mom.

Grandpa Bruce didn't pick his bed up.  Maybe he should do that when he comes back.  (You were busted Grandpa Bruce for not picking your blankets up before you left.  LOL.)

Don't talk mean Mom.  We don't talk like that to family.  You go to time out Mom."  (for the record, I wasn't really talking mean, but I was being stern - handing out more rules I suppose) 

Yes, this new sheriff comes armed with time-outs and all.  So watch out and mind your Ps and Qs when he's around!



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

because charlene asked

I've been MIA.  More on that later.

For now, I'll leave you with this...

Hey Char!  Glad to see you visited my comments and thanks to your question I'm going to post about my all time favorite toddler toy:  The Imaginarium Train Station.  Yes, it's pricey at $150 (I bought it for $120 on sale, but before tax) and yes it can be an eyesore in our family room (what toy isn't?); but it's by far our most used toy.

I'd post pics of Sam at the table but I'm having trouble uploading pics to blogger today!

Anyway, what do I love about it?
  • It's at the right level for toddlers.
  • Both the table and train set that it comes with are great in my opinion.
  • It makes noises as the train goes through tunnels and over bridges.
  • It's a high quality set at the best price I've seen compared to similar sets.
  • "Thomas the Tank" trains designed for the Thomas set of this size also fit on this set!
  • It has 2 great drawers to store extra trains, another track set - whatever you wish!
  • It's a great toy for multiple children to play with and offers less sharing disputes.
What do I not love about it?
  • I do not recommend it for kids under 2.  When Sam was younger than 2 he just wanted to destroy the tracks.  Now that Sam is older he rarely takes the set apart (once every 2 months?)
  • When Sam does take it apart, it is a pain to put the tracks back together in the right order - we almost always have to consult the directions.  At one point we had thought about screwing the tracks to the table but I wanted to have the option to replace with other sets, though I have yet to buy another set and doubt I ever will.
  • The set comes with one battery operated engine.  Well, that "little engine that could" is the "little engine that couldn't".  It has such a hard time going up one of the hills.  We don't mind though, Sam is always talking about helping it up the hill.  And frankly usually we have that train without batteries anyway because they always run out.
  • The drawer sometimes sticks on the table platform, making it a bit tricky to close all the way.
P.S.  Toys 'R Us is not paying me to recommend this train set.  LOL.  And for what it's worth, I'm not being paid by Amazon to recommend products I've mentioned in the past of theirs either.  Should a ton of people buy from amazon via my links I could eventually get a small kick-back but I don't expect that will happen.  It's not a goal of mine and the incentive is small, very small. ;)  The short of it is, I blog about products that I believe in.