Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer bummer

I hate this time of year.  It's no secret that I'm not a fan of living in Las Vegas and temperatures of 110+ are a part of that reason.  Humans should not be capable of surviving in such heat.  It's like baking in an oven.  But I hate this time of year for another reason.  It creeps up every year and as much as I prepare myself I still hate it.  Jim normally travels for his job.  But this time of year, it goes from "so are you going anywhere this week?" to "oh, it's Monday?  See you Friday."  It sucks.  

I started this blog to keep track of our lives and Jim is such a huge part of our lives.  Obviously - because none of the kids would be here without him - ahem.  When I started this blog I wasn't sure how he would feel about it.  I wondered if he would think that I was sharing too much personal information with the world.  But he loves it and that makes me really happy.  Jim is a fantastic dad and husband.  All of us girls are so in love with him.  I tend to write mostly about my day to day interactions, but I want them to remember all the things they do with Jim as well.  So here are a few...

1. Jim takes one or both older girls with him on almost every errand he runs.  And he runs lots of errands.  Including doing 90% of the grocery shopping.  This is because I absolutely suck a grocery shopping.  I can go to the store and spend an hour and half and come home with nothing of use.  He can go to the store and spend less than an hour and have meals with multiple components for the week, plus stuff to freeze for later.  So anyway, he always takes the older girls.  Sometimes he'll ask just one of them to go, but the other one ultimately always wants to go too and he just can't say no.  Which also gives me a nice little break.  And even when he has a ton of work to do before he leaves, he goes to the store for me so that I'm set up for the week. 

2. He's fun.  He takes them swimming.  He lets them watch movies.  He makes them fun snacks.  He lets them stay up late.  He gets us out of the house to go and do things.  If it were up to me we might never leave the house.  To get everyone ready and get everything ready to go is a pain.  Plus someone might be near nap time or something.  But his famous saying is, "Relax!"  Which can be infuriating at times, but he helps us get ready and after we're out I'm always glad he encouraged it.  We wouldn't go out much if it was just me and the girls wouldn't have nearly as much fun.

3. He has such a great relationship with the girls.  He's a very grounding presence.  I worry too much and try and control everything (I'll admit it).  He's more of a go with the flow kind of guy.  And thank God for that because these girls would already be in therapy if they didn't have him around to basically keep me in check and lighten up life for them.  I'm amazed at how easily he can turn a tense situation with Olivia into giggles.  But he has that ability.  It's one of the reasons I fell in love with him.  He can make us laugh.   He also has a very sweet, loving side.  He's always there for the girls with a hug or a kiss if they get hurt.  He always has encouraging words for them.  He encourages their imagination.  He listens to them - really listens to what they have to say.  And even when he gets mad and yells, he always apologizes for yelling and has a conversation with them about what happened. 

4. He makes us dinner (actually most meals) when he's home.  This isn't just about cooking (which is fantastic), but more about the time he can spend with us.  He is gone a lot.  And when he's gone its 24 hours out of that day.  But when he's here - even if he's working in town - he's home in the late afternoon or he's working from home.  Which means we get to sit down together and have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Which sounds like our lives revolve around food (um, well, mine does sometimes) - but really it's just time.  Time that he's around and we're talking and hanging out as a family. 

I knew Jim would be a great dad.  But I didn't know that he would help me be a better mom.  I thought I'd be stellar all on my own, but he helps me everyday to see how incredibly awesome this family is and to enjoy every minute.  He doesn't let me beat myself up when I think I've "messed up" somehow.  He helps me focus on the positive.  We miss him desperately when he's gone.  Every time the air conditioner kicks on Emily thinks its the garage door opening and her eyes light up and she looks at me and yells, "Daddy?!"  There is a definite emptiness in this house.  But we'll get through it and it just makes us enjoy the weekends that much more.







Highlights:

Olivia started swim lessons this week. She's doing great and loves it.  At the end of class the teacher throws some weights into the little shallow end of the pool and the kids have to go and find them.  I guess the teacher tells them to keep their eyes closed while she's "hiding" the weights in the pool.  When they turn around they are supposed to open their eyes to find the weights.  So Olivia - my sweet, little, literal - Olivia.  She was crawling around, with her eyes closed, feeling for the weights.  It broke my heart and made me laugh at the same time.  She seemed a little annoyed when I told her she was supposed to find the weights with her eyes open.  "But why?"  she said.  Maybe she thought it was too easy that way.



Abby rolled over from front to back yesterday.  Which is great, because she was getting stuck on her stomach and I'd have to roll her over all the time.  She's also starting to wiggle and try and launch herself when she's on the floor.  This is terrifying - she's just that much closer to crawling!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Relax!

My house is loud.  Really, really loud.  Sure, you say, with 3 kids it's probably a bit noisy.  No.  My kids are cover-your-ears loud.  Even Abby has started to really throw her voice around;  I guess she has to if she wants to be heard.  I shouldn't be surprised.  Jim and I aren't exactly quiet people.  And lately I've become a major yeller.  Mostly because they shriek so much.  When they are happy, excited, sad, mad, fighting, etc.  I know they most likely yell at each because I've been yelling so much.  But I feel like it's mutiny lately.  I throw out threats that I don't follow through on, or are so ridiculous that they know I won't follow through.  At least Olivia does humor me and gasp in horror at the thought of me actually throwing all of the tv's out of the house.

I'm not sure how to regain my footing and actually parent appropriately, without yelling.  I think I need to take a parenting class.  Or read a parenting book.  Or drink more wine.  Or maybe just relax a bit.  Some of this frustration I'm feeling lately is stemming from me freaking out that everything I do or don't do will somehow mess them up.  For example - I contemplated not taking Emily back to a gymnastics class (at a real gymnastics gym) that she clearly enjoyed and is asking to go back to.  Why?  Because I'm afraid it will lead to an eating disorder - and if you weren't sure - she's 2.  Yep.  I can be a bit of a head case.  And I'm fully aware that obsessively worrying about my effect on these kids is what would probably cause more damage then if I would just relax!

But to actually relax?  I think I need a vacation.  Sans kids.  For more than one night.  Because if you go away for one night it's not even that great.  You have to be home the next day and you may be dealing with a massive slight hangover.  And it's going to take more than one day away for me to relax.  For sure.  

Conclusion:  For me to stop yelling and be a great mother...I need a vacation.  Obviously the odds of that happening are not in my favor, so I'll just start planning and daydreaming about a vacation.  And of course, try to relax and realize that I have great kids that I'm sure will end up perfectly fine, despite my neuroses and maybe a bit because of them.


Highlights:

Emily-isms:
Hang-a-burr = Hamburger
Angle muffin = English muffin
Cheryl (our amazing babysitter/nanny) = Chey - o
Stusghetti = Spaghetti
Blanda = Banana
To - moyo = Tomorrow
Puppo = Purple

Olivia is into superheroes.  This morning she wandered into our room at 4:30am and "reminded" me that she was supposed to be allowed to watch Superman after Emily went to sleep last night, and then proceeded to pass out at the foot of the bed.  See - we tell Olivia that if she is quiet while going to bed then after Emily goes to sleep she can come out and watch some of the movie.  She has never stayed awake to come out.  But - she doesn't fight us on going to bed.  Is this a mean trick?  I hope not.  I would totally let her do it if she could stay awake longer than Emily, but she is usually asleep within 5 minutes.  She also likes wearing her goggles...because they give her superhero powers.  When she wears them we can't guess things, for example, what she would like to eat, or what her favorite song is, etc. (even though we do actually know - wink).

Superhero

Unmasked!

Enjoys the goggles as well.

We went to a buffet for Father's Day and replicated a picture we took 2 years ago.  Oh - but with another kid.



As noted above - I took Emily to a gymnastics class.  She was so cute.  I of course, did not take a picture.  I'll take one next time.  She did a great job.  She bounced down the trampoline and then jumped into the foam pit (although I had to get in there as well).  Then they did this little obstacle course and she had a lot of fun with that and did well.  Now she can't stop talking about how she wants to go back "to-moyo."



Random pics

A carrot as entertainment.



Skyping with Momo & Pop-pop.  My eyes are probably closed because I'm so tired.

Monday, June 13, 2011

6 months...yesterday

Perhaps I will always be just one day behind on acknowledging big events.  Abby turned 6 months yesterday.  6 months!!  I mean, she's almost grown really.  Everyone says kids grow up so fast, and I know I've said this before, but it's happening really, really fast. But if I had actually posted yesterday then I wouldn't be able to write about how Abby rolled over today!  Twice - back to front.  But she doesn't really like being on her tummy too long so I had to flip her back over.  Yay!


I've said it before and I'll say it again...Abby is an amazing baby.  She's so genuinely happy and relaxed.  Thank goodness, right?  Otherwise I'd probably be in the loony bin.  Her new sound is currently - nah (on repeat).  She often sucks on her bottom lip - sounds weird - but is cute and I'm making a mental note to take a picture (this poor child is seriously lacking in pictures). She's still getting up in the middle of the night, but I don't really mind since she goes right back to sleep.  I still swaddle her - is that crazy?  She gets out of it almost immediately, but it's kind a sign to her that it's time to go to sleep.  She loves watching her sisters and laughing at them.  She has the most infectious smile and will smile at everyone.  She's truly a joy to be around.

Highlights:
  • My dad came out to visit.  Jim was away so it was nice to have someone around.  And the girls love having him around, because he's super nice to them and he lets them play with his iPad.  On Friday, we went to his hotel pool and swam and had pizza by the pool.  Which was great, until Olivia started her relentless "I don't want to leave" routine.  We also went to our pool the next day.  I bought the girls these new life "jacket" things called puddle jumpers.  They're pretty nice, they're Coast Guard approved, but they give kids a lot of mobility.  






  • Emily is sick again, or still sick, whatever.   She currently has a double ear infection and bronchitis.  So maybe my inability to get out and meet up with friends lately has actually been my intuition telling me that I shouldn't be taking her out.  Or it's just that I can't get my act together these days.  One or the other.  But it looks like a trip to an ear, nose, and throat doctor is in our future.

  • Olivia's favorite songs right now: "Rolling in the Deep" - Adele and "Who Says" - Selena Gomez.  She knows most of the words to both of them.  It is so cute/hilarious when she starts singing and getting into it.  Mental note to get this on tape too.

  • I finally broke down and had someone come and clean the house.  It.was.awesome.  For about 10 minutes and then it was a mess again. 

Me: Olivia, who do you think you're going to marry?
Olivia: I think I'll marry Jack (her best friend).
Me: Em, who do you think you're going to marry?
Emily: Ummmmm, ummmmmmm, Yesyie! (Leslie - my sister)

Monday, June 6, 2011

stolen posting

My cousin shared this on facebook today and it just really resonated with me.  So I want to share it - since eventually these posts will become a book for our family.


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."  
- Steve Jobs

I can relate to this so much right now.  I think it's so easy to discount your heart and intuition.  Especially for me, because I've been worrying about what other people think of me my whole life and am finally starting to not care.  A wise lady (my mom) recently told me, "what other people think of you is none of your business."  So I think I'm going to frame this and hang it in the house.  Along with Desiderata, because I love that as well.  

Not just for the girls, but to remind myself that I'm helping these little people navigate the world and become wonderful big people.  So it will be nice to have these reminders to encourage and support them.

Oh and I should also probably update the pictures around the house, since there are no pictures beyond Emily at 8 months old.  And she's now almost 2 1/2.   So, new project!  Update pictures and put up poems/sayings.  Because I really need more on my plate right now.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

growing up

Olivia informed me last night that she wanted to be alone.  I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but then she explained that she didn't want anyone looking at her or bothering her.  I asked her if she wanted to live here in the house alone.  And she said "No, no.  I want you guys to live here in the house, but I want to be alone."  Still unsure as to what she actually meant, I kept asking questions and finally determined that she wants her own room. 

She had her own room up until about 8 months ago.  We moved Emily from the small room into the big room with Olivia since the baby was coming.  They were both pretty keen on the idea and have seemed to enjoy themselves.  But, Olivia has always loved her own space.  Even at only 2 years old she would go to bed at 7:30 and quietly read her books until she passed out - but never got out of her bed. 

So I'm a bit torn.  Jim is away, so we'll have to discuss when he comes home.  But so far she isn't wavering.  And I do understand her desire for her own space.  But there are things to consider.  Will she change her mind after we go through the effort of changing everything around?  Will Emily feel sad and abandoned?  Will Abby wake Emily up when she gets up in the middle of the night (still!)?  We actually have a 4th bedroom, but it's now an office and I'm not putting a kid downstairs.  Plus the room the girls share right now is huge - seriously - it fits a queen bed and a full bed and still has room for them to play.  So there's no reason two of them shouldn't be able to share.

Highlights:
  • I was telling Olivia how she has lived in 3 places since she was born and Emily has only lived in 1.
    • Olivia: (choked up) But, I don't want to grow up.
    • Me: Why honey?
    • Olivia: Because I always want to be Daddy's girl.
      • I reassured her that she always would be, no matter what, even when she was as old as mommy!  But heartbreaking nonetheless.

  • We're starting to wonder if Abby is actually ours.  Not really of course, that's one birth I will never be able to forget.  But she is not a big fan of eating food.  And well, the rest of us are.  So we're still working on it.

  • Emily's favorite saying is "Me do yit," meaning "Me do it."  For everything - she wants to do everything on her own.  She's said "me" for a long time now.  "Me go outside,"  "Me want apple juice," etc.  But I've noticed in the past few days that she is starting to use "I."  Which is great - gramatically - but kind of sad too because it's just proof that she's growing up!

  • On Monday we all went to the movies to see Kung Fu Panda 2.  I wasn't sure how it would work with Abby - but she blissfully fell asleep as soon as the movie started and stayed asleep for most of it.  I fashioned a set of ear muffs for her from a headband and cotton balls. 
                                         
    Olivia did well, as did Emily, but it was nearing naptime at the end so she was a bit antsy.  All in all a great family outing AND I even had my first (in 3 years!) famous person sighting.  David Copperfield.  Not the most thrilling, but he sat right behind us in the theater.