Monday, March 31, 2014

Bits and Pieces: March

Spring! Spring! Spring! I know it is going to get cold again this week. I know we haven't seen the last of the snow. But 60 degrees this weekend felt amazing. It improved everyone's moods, even Christopher's. This month felt long, but now that it is over I am not sure where it went. 


It is official. Clare is potty trained. She has been for awhile, but I wanted to wait to say anything so that I didn't tempt the laws of the universe. (Write about it, and everything stops working, backfires, etc.) Speaking of that universe, though, apparently even when you think something the universe can step in to put you in your place. I was congratulating myself recently on making it through the whole winter without getting sick. So of course last week I developed a wicked cold.  I didn't even say anything out loud, but the universe knew. 


Clare has been taking very good care of her baby while I take care of Christopher. She even pretends to nurse her. The other day, she sat in her chair to nurse her baby, looked around, and said, "Where's my phone?" Oops. I guess I spend too much time looking at my phone while nursing. Darn you, smart phones!

She also likes to carry her baby in this homemade carrier when I am wearing Christopher. Don't worry, I have an actual carrier for him. Not just a shirt I tie around my waist.


We went to visit my grandparents in La Crosse a few weeks ago. I always enjoy seeing them. During the visit, Clare mastered her somersault, told my mom gracias means "a little bean up in the sky," and was convinced that the picture of my parents at their wedding was actually my brother and sister. She was also asleep before we pulled out of the driveway.


My mom came for a visit while she was on spring break. We went to story time, the aquarium, and visited Aunt Katie at work. Clare loved having her here. So did I.


Speaking of visiting people at work, we were driving in downtown Minneapolis to meet my friend Chrissy for lunch a few weeks ago and Clare and I were talking in the car.

Clare: Daddy goes to work, because he's a boy. You don't go to work because you're a girl.
Me: (Nearly swerving off road). No no no no! Lots of girls go to work! We are going to visit Chrissy at work! Aunt Katie goes to work! Meema Jo goes to work!
Me: (Frantically listing any woman I think of who works.)
Clare: Why is that sign spinning around? It is spinning around and around!
Me: Sigh.


Last night, I was thinking about how much easier my life was before I had two kids. How sometimes I prefer Christopher's company over anyone else's, because he doesn't talk back. How if I only had Clare, I would get so much more done around the house because she can be left alone to play.

And, as always, I thought about how I would never, ever give them up. Not for anything.

These two.

It is such a relief to be coming out of this long, long winter. Happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish By Marriage

I couldn't resist this:

My little Irish boy. I have never really cared about St. Patrick's Day (although I have consumed plenty of green beer in my day); but today we decided to take the kids to the St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Paul. This could have been a disaster, considering the last time Clare was at a parade she had a complete meltdown, but luckily we grabbed a spot in the skyway. It was relatively quiet, and Clare could view all of the parade antics from a safe distance. (Antics included: actual Irish Wolfhounds, a terrifying giant Irish Wolfhound costume, a marching band composed of miserable looking seventh graders,  and a man marching with his clan while carrying, and drinking from, a 24-pack of MGD . Ben was disgusted. "He should at least be carrying a 24-pack of Harps!" he said.)

It always seemed to me that Irish people were inordinately proud of their heritage. I do not have a drop of Irish blood. I do remember doing a genealogy project in Fourth Grade, though, and finding out that my friend Sarah and I were the only members of our class with Czech ancestors. I thought that was pretty cool. I also still think it is kind of neat that I could be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, although they might kick me out if they found out that I also have ancestors who were Hessian soldiers.

So I guess I kind of understand what it is like to be proud of your ancestry, even if we don't all have parades. Since I am married to a man with a significant amount of Irish blood, I think I'll continue to drink as much green beer as I please.

(As an aside, the last time I went out on St. Patrick's Day in the Twin Cities, I went to the Dubliner with a few friends, including my friend Scott. Scott picked me up in his ancient car and handed me an enormous flashlight. Floodlight, really. "My headlights aren't working," he said. "Shine that out the window." No one who knows Scott will be surprised by this story.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Five Months (And One Day)

So have you heard of the Four Month Sleep Regression? Yeah, that is actually a thing. I never noticed these sleep regressions or "Wonder Weeks" with Clare, but Christopher seems to be prone to them. I don't know why, but I guess development is harder for him? Clare apparently just slept right through it. Christopher slept like a newborn (meaning not much at all) for about a week. All of those brain synapses firing! He does seem like a much older baby all of a sudden. He plays with toys. He talks to people. He is interested in everything.

A few weeks ago, Ben was holding Christopher while we were having pizza for dinner. Christopher was fixated on Ben's plate. When Ben raised his piece of pizza to his mouth, Christopher opened his mouth as wide as he could, all "insert pizza, plz." A few days later, he was super excited at the prospect of a bite of my chocolate babka at ECFE. He was lunging for it. (He didn't get one.) Needless to say, I think he is ready for solid foods. I am going to make him hold out until 6 months, though. I do have one specialized talent, and that is the ability to produce copious amounts of breast milk. I have to use my talent while I can.

As I've mentioned before, Christopher is a generally laid back, happy guy. (Except when he is sympathy crying with Clare.) He is a charming flirt. He smiles at everyone. One thing he will not tolerate, however, is a drinking milk out of a bottle. This past weekend, my parents were in town. Their Christmas gift from my sister and I was dinner out at the Bachelor Farmer. We hired a babysitter to watch the kiddos. I was nervous, because I knew Christopher would not want the bottle (despite working with him to try to get him to drink out of one). I was afraid he would scream the whole time and poor babysitter would never come back. Luckily, he was fine while she was here. (He did not drink from the bottle.)

We moved Christopher to his crib earlier this month. Even though he is still not regularly sleeping through the night, it was actually a relief to get our own room back. I can read at night without tip toeing around, worried I'll wake the baby. His crib is on the same wall as our bed, so I can still hear him as soon as he stirs, but it is nice having him in his own room.

Christopher saw the pediatric cardiologist today. His heart looks great. He is no longer needs to take his blood pressure medication. He will see the cardiologist again in October, and after that he will only need to go every two years. I am so grateful that his heart is healthy, and that he is the jolly, pudgy little baby that he is.