Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bits and Pieces: March

We celebrated Easter here for the first time in nine years or so. It was our first Easter at our house, I just realized. It was really nice. The kids and I colored eggs the Friday before. Christopher only drank the egg dye twice, so I consider that a win. ("I like it this one, Mama!") On Easter morning, the kids hunted for eggs and their Easter baskets, which contained a few little surprises. They had a great time. Christopher keeps mentioning hunting for eggs, actually, and the fact that Clare cracked a few of hers. (They are hard cooked for a reason.) We went to church, and then headed to my friend Heather's for an Easter egg hunt and brunch. The adults got to participate in the hunt (we were looking for eggs with our names on them), and everyone got really into it. The fact that we had all had a mimosa probably fueled a bit of that competitive fire. Christopher found more eggs than Clare. A good time was had by all. We hosted Easter dinner here that evening. Ben's parents and aunt and uncle joined us. We ate kielbasa, warm potato salad, salad and French silk pie and lemon bars for dessert. It was a really nice day.

Carefully choosing colors.

Easter morning excitement.

Found it!

Don't bother me, I'm busy hunting.

Ignore the terrible lighting.


Christopher is speaking mostly in complete sentences now, although he is still working on his syntax. (See above. He also frequently says "don't like it this one!") I love listening to his little voice. The other day I asked him if he needed his diaper changed. "Actually not," he replied. He uses the word actually a lot. He also says things like "go see fishies today?" and really emphases the to in today. He does that with the word together, too.

He is definitely asserting his independence, as two-year-olds tend to do. He and Clare love to play together, but he also loves to antagonize her. The push and pull of the sibling relationship.

Clare had her follow-up appointment for her ears at the beginning of the month. Her hearing is perfect! The procedure was a success, for now. The next test will be what happens when the tube falls out.  She is still doing well in school. We had her conference a few weeks ago, and her teacher had nothing but good things to say. She said she is mature for her age, and has started reading a few words. The only criticism was that she is sometimes too loud when she is working with Chloe and Keira. Clare informed me of that herself, so it wasn't a surprise. She also attended her first birthday party with kids in her class. It was at the YMCA, and they rented a bounce house. Clare had a blast, and I got to meet some of the other parents, which was nice.

Clare also went to her first movie in a movie theater this month. She and Ben saw "Zootopia" with some friends. Ben said all of the kids were a little scared. Overall, though, she had fun, and says she wants to see it again.


I had some fun outings this month, too. I did a printmaking class at Indeed Brewery, which was a great time. I am not particularly artistic, but there was beer and I was with friends.  I also went to a friend's house to decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs. I have a bit of a collection of them now, because I've done it for the past few years. Again, I am not artistic, but the colors are so vibrant that it doesn't really matter that the lines aren't straight.

I also had lunch with my college roommates (except Chelsea, we missed you!), who I hadn't seen in many months. It was so nice. There is something about having that history with people. We may not see each other all that often, but as soon as we do get together it feels like no time has passed. I know we'll always be friends.

And best of all, I saw TWO robins this week. Dare I say spring is here? No, no I do not.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Daylight Saving Time Bites

I am blaming it all on Daylight Saving Time. My bad mood, the kids' inability to sleep through the night, Christopher's refusal to take naps. It has to be connected, right? Everyone just seems a little off. I am glad it is Friday, anyway. Even if my bracket was completely and utterly destroyed today. (Thanks A LOT Michigan State.)

We had to take Christopher to the dentist today. His face collided with a dining room chair yesterday. There was blood, but he calmed down fairly quickly, so I didn't think much of it. Then Ben told me he noticed some blood while he was brushing his teeth that night. When Christopher complained of pain while trying to bite into an apple, I pinned him down to take a look. His lower front tooth did not look quite right. And there was bruising on his gums. Uh-oh. Yes, you guessed it: the tooth is loose. The dentist wanted to take an x-ray to make sure the tooth is not fractured, but Christopher was in hysterics so that did not happen.  The dentist said that the tooth may firm back up, but if not, it might have to be pulled. That kid.

On the way home from the dentist, Clare asked me many detailed questions about Jesus, God, and death. Needless to say, I needed a drink.

As for my bad mood, I am just having one of those weeks. I am sick of looking at other people's poop and putting on other people's shoes. I am sure it is because I am tired due to the aforementioned children not sleeping through the night.

I take an ECFE class once a week, which I normally love. However, sometimes it makes me spiral. The teacher or speaker offers information about what we should or should not say to our kids, and all of the things we do need to tell our kids to keep them safe, and I start to think I am DOING IT ALL WRONG and my kids will be SCARRED FOR LIFE. Probably not, though, right?

And at least there are moments like this, however brief:

Also: this face. Face paint by Christopher, courtesy of the Minnesota Children's Museum.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bits and Pieces: February

Do you know what I miss most about my pre-children working life? (Aside from regular adult interaction, of course.) Sick days. I didn't take many of them, but when I did I was actually able to rest, sleep and you know, be sick. Now I just have to power through. The house is trashed. The kids watch an obscene amount of TV. It is not pretty. We are all recovering from a lovely cough/cold/fever combination that infected all of us last week. Fun times!

We switched Christopher to a twin bed before we all got sick. He sleeps fine in it at night. Naps are another story. He will not stay in his bed. It is preferable to nap here:

Or here:

I tried to explain to him that I wish I could still take naps and he should stop fighting it, but it hasn't worked so far.

When he is not fighting his naps, he is busy playing in the toy kitchen or feeding his baby. He is very nurturing and loving. He is very gentle with Clare's dolls, too, when he manages to get his hands on them. (Which is only when she is at school and or has let her guard down and forgotten to shut her door.)

He has several phrases of which he makes frequent use: "What doing, Mama?" "Wait up" "Are you?" "Snuggle couch" and my personal favorite: "Never!" He employs this one with arms firmly crossed.

He likes to say hello to everyone he sees, which most people find cute. The other day we were at the open gym playtime and he was yelling, "Bye people!" to everyone as they left. (We didn't know any them.)

Clare was happy because she got to celebrate her favorite holiday last month: Valentine's Day. She just loves opening all of those little cards. I am glad her school is not one that has quit celebrating it.

She also had a special day with her grandma - she took her to see "Snowy Day" at the Children's Theater. It was also a special day for me because I drove Clare to the play and then sat at the museum's coffee shop BY MYSELF. WITH A BOOK. It was amazing.

Clare is ready for full-day school. She spends a lot of time in the afternoon saying she is bored. It will help when she can go outside. I think we're all ready for winter to be over.

Clare has her follow-up with her ENT on Friday. Fingers crossed that her hearing has improved!

Happy March.

Catching up on the news at the Cuckoo House.


Fun at the Aquarium.

Yes, this picture was taken in February. In Minnesota.