Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

my sheep in their jeep
Maybe I should say unhappy halloween?  Judging from the looks on their faces, I would say this isn't their favorite holiday.

However, they let me put their costumes on them- including the hats!- and didn't rip off the fur or the hats.  They let us cart them around to some neighbors' houses to say hello.  I can't ask for anything more at this age!

I gave them a snickers to share, which they seemed to love the taste of.  Unfortunately, Asher didn't chew it well and started to cough, and I knew I was about to see that snickers bar again.  My mom and I caught the start of it in our hands, and while we were inside washing our hands, my dad got the rest of it in his hands. Anything to save the white sheep costume!

Otherwise the night was uneventful.  We had our neighbors over to share dinner and our candy.  We had Halloween with them two years ago when I was pregnant, then last year took a picture of our boys with their then 4-day old son!  This year my boys were both running circles and their son was crawling and pulling up all over the house.
an attempt to pose all 3 boys. only 2 out of 3 cooperated.
want some candy?
I can't believe I came up with an idea, and made their costumes.  I don't consider myself especially creative, or crafty, so I am impressed.  Of course, big thank yous to my mom and mother-in-law for helping with crafty ideas and some sewing, and Eric for making the jeep grill and headlights.  Overall, a good Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

19 months, and boo at the zoo

beep beep! sheep in a jeep!

Oh my goodness, 19 months!  We have been having a lot of fun.  This past weekend, we had a visit from Eric's mom, which was great except for the trip to the E.R.

On Sunday we took the boys to "boo at the zoo," as an opportunity to get them in their costumes.  You may notice that Asher is in a fuzzy sheep shirt and Benjamin is in a plain white shirt.  That is because Benjamin wouldn't have anything to do with the fuzzy shirt, and the second I pulled the shirt over his head, he began pulling the fur off and throwing it on the ground.  You may also notice that Asher has a sheep hat on, and that Benjamin's head is bare.  That is because Benjamin refused to wear his hat, and kept ripping it off.  He did all the costume-tearing-apart in front of the long line of people waiting to board the shuttle to the zoo, and boy, did they get a laugh out of it.

uh oh! the jeep won't go!
sleepy sheep
Asher got a lot of compliments on his costume.  Unfortunately, the zoo was a zoo, and we didn't actually get to see many animals.  Daddy-Eric got tired of towing the "jeep" full of sheep, and I got overheated in my wintery clothes.  We didn't stay too long!
Bear-sheep and his mommy
Benja-sheep and his memere
While Eric's mom visited, she and Eric rented a carpet-cleaner and Eric shampooed all of our carpets.  No visit from memere would be complete without her leaving the house a little cleaner than when she arrived!
Memere with Asher in his Maine shirt
Serious Benjamin in his Maine shirt
Now the boys won't see Eric's parents until Christmas, which I know is hard for them, but will be here before we know it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

1st ER visit

Smiling after the fear had passed
On Saturday, we were having a lovely visit with Memere.  At her request, we went to Ikea to look at all their wonderful organizational tools and furniture.  The boys loved playing in the kids' furniture section, and were jumping on the bed playing "night-night."
Asher on the bed, Benjamin beside him, and Daddy Eric coming through the wall
Benjamin mid-bed flop
Right after swiveling themselves dizzy on their desk chairs, Benjamin tripped over his feet and fell on the floor.  He started to cry, but I assumed he was just tired- they had not yet napped.  I picked him up, and he cried some more, but calmed down.  I was carrying him, and every time I shifted him he cried some more, which started to worry me.  Then when we got to the car and I went to change his diaper, he got hysterical.  I tried to see if he was hurt, but he was just crying and crying.  We strapped him in to the car seat, but was sitting stiffly, looking like something was definitely wrong.  I offered him a sippy of milk, and he only moved one arm to push it away.

So I said, "Something's wrong, let's go to the hospital!"  On the way to the hospital, I decided that he had suffered some serious injury and was paralyzed.  Unfortunately, I am not kidding and I actually am that crazy.  He wasn't moving his legs, or his arms.  When he was still, he wasn't crying, and actually fell asleep in the car.

I was losing it, asking Eric and my mother-in-law if they thought that he was paralyzed, and I started playing through scenarios in my head about how we would take care of him if he were paralyzed, and all kinds of terrible, awful things.  After about the 10th time I asked, I think Eric was ready to punch me.

At the hospital, I rushed in and stood there, panicking while other people registered.  When I told the woman at the desk what was wrong, I said I was worried because he wasn't moving his legs or his arm.  Well!  Apparently that is the way to get immediate attention at the ER!  I swear I never said "paralyzed" to them, but obviously the implication was bad enough.  We got a room, and nurses right away.  Eric took Asher and my mother-in-law home. Benjamin stayed snuggled on my lap the whole time, and was quiet unless anyone touched him.

It became apparent that he was only having trouble with his left arm.  I put some music on, and he was bouncing both legs to the music, and tapping my arm with his right hand.  Benjamin got his arm x-rayed, and he just screamed!  It was heartbreaking for me.  I held his hands and kissed his head.  He looked so small on the big x-ray table, and so vulnerable.

I started to suspect that maybe it was just his elbow out of the socket.  That happened to me all the time when I was little.  Benjamin only cried when someone moved his arm, and then was quiet when he was still.  I asked the x-ray tech if that might be it, and she said that often when that happens, it will pop back in when it's manipulated for the x-ray.  And wouldn't you know, just a few minutes after the x-ray, Benjamin perked right up and started moving his left arm, and even putting weight on it.  What a relief!  I went out to the nurses and told them that he seemed fine, and they got us on our way shortly after that.

It was exhausting to worry so much about him (even if a lot of the worry was self-inflicted).  I just feel lucky that it wasn't anything serious, and that we got such prompt treatment.  I hope we don't have to go back anytime soon, either!

Monday, October 17, 2011

never say never

After reading a post on one of the online boards I frequent, I started thinking about all the things I've done as a mother that I swore I wouldn't do before I had kids.  I can't even think of all of them, but here are a few:

* Let the baby/babies sleep in our bed.  When they were not sleeping through the night, this was the easiest way for me to get some rest and still nurse them.

*Forget to pee or shower because I was taking care of the baby.  Whenever I heard new moms say that they hadn't had time to pee or shower, I thought that was ridiculous.  Who can't find time to pee for 30 seconds?  And then I had a baby who needed to be held constantly, and who would get hysterical if I put him down, and there went the showers.  Oh, and I learned to pee while holding an infant in my arms.

* Continue to breast feed after the babies are able to ask for it/walk up to me and start touching my breasts.  Yup.

* Use food as bribes or rewards.  Sometimes I need to do something like, say, buy food for the family, and the boys are cranky.  So they get snacks while we shop to make the experience more pleasant for all of us.  And now I am trying to teach them to say words to get food, and it works.

* Let the TV "parent" them.  If it keeps them in one place for long enough for me to make them breakfast, and no one is tap-dancing on the kitchen table, then it works for me.

* Eat food off their tray when they're done eating.  I don't know what to say, sometimes I'm hungry, and cold macaroni and cheese is somehow appealing.

* Drive a minivan.  Eric and I agreed, what would we get in a minivan that we couldn't get in a station wagon?  Minivans are for soccer moms, right?  Well, you try squeezing your behind between two convertible carseats in the back seat of a small station wagon so you can entertain your kids during a 6 hour car ride; and then try packing 2 pack n plays, a double-stroller, diapers, baby clothes, and oh, right, your own suitcase in the back of that station wagon.  I hate driving a minivan, but I love having one.

* I also thought it would be no problem for Eric and me to take time for ourselves and our relationship.  I always thought that we would have lots of date nights or time to focus on our relationship.  Ha.  We both focus on the boys, and then when the boys are in bed at the end of the night, collapse.  Date nights are few and far between!

In other ways, I am definitely the total cliche of a "mom."  I wear yoga pants most days I don't have to work, and forget makeup or doing anything special to my hair.  I drive around in my minivan full of cracker and cheerio crumbs, say "excuse us!" in the grocery store aisles, and am grateful someone invented the hot dog.  It's a long way from my former life, but I am loving (almost) every minute of it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

apple picking fail

"Do you see any apples?  I don't see any apples..."

On Sunday, inspired by all the adorable pictures of our friends at apple orchards and pumpkin patches with their cute kids in wagons, we set out to pick apples at a nearby orchard.

Well, their website said picking was good.  Ha.  Late Sunday afternoon of a beautiful weekend in October meant that there was nothing left!  The trees were completely bare!

We trekked up and down the orchard, in 80+ degrees, with the sun on us, hauling over 50 pounds of baby, and found nothing.  I am sure that the orchard's store had already-picked apples and other things we could have purchased, but Eric and I were so disappointed that we just got in the car and left.

The only plus from the whole thing was that the boys didn't know what "We're going apple picking!" meant, so they weren't so disappointed when their big adventure was just rolling around an orchard in a wagon.

Next year, we're going in September.

Friday, October 7, 2011

18 month well visit

Beep beep!  Cute boys coming through!

Today we had the boys' 18 month well visit at the pediatrician.

Benjamin is 33 inches tall, 24.6 pounds, and his head is 19.5" around.

Asher is also 33 inches tall, 25 pounds, and his head is 18.5" around.

Eric and I really think that Asher is taller than Benjamin, but maybe we are wrong?  Asher's legs are certainly longer than Benjamin's- those are Eric's genes, not mine!

They are perfectly healthy, and our only concern is their lack of words.  I am not sure how concerned the nurse practitioner we saw was, because I told her we had already scheduled consults for both of them for speech.  She said that would be their only recommendation as well at this point.  This morning Asher's physical therapist was evaluating him and said he is right on in everything except speaking, which she estimated to be at a 10 month level!  I don't think he is that far behind, he has some words and uses signs, and understands almost everything we say to him.  We'll see when we have his speech consult on Monday!

We also went back to the playground we had visited over the weekend, and the boys had a good time.  This time, I had room on the memory card for lots of pictures!  They loved the slide, and could not get enough.  What big boys, flying down all by themselves!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

big boy bed update

Monday night after I wrote that all was well, I went and peeked in on Asher.  Yes, he had gone to sleep without a peep, but he had gone to sleep in the middle of the floor!  I picked him up and put him in his bed.

We thought we would open the door to his room and our room, and put a gate at the top of the stairs so he could come get us if he woke up- which he did at 1:30 in the morning.  Then he was up for good around 6, and woke up Benjamin.  We tried to ignore them in the hopes they would go back to sleep, but Benjamin's cries escalated- he had peed out his diaper and his pj's were wet.

So we were up pretty early, and both boys were exhausted.  I tried morning naps and Asher would not get in/stay in his bed, and Benjamin also went crazy.  When I got in to Benjamin, he had taken his pajamas off and started to take off his diaper, and he was very unhappy.  So nap time was over.

Today things have been better- Asher got himself down for a nap in the morning, and after a little snuggle and some kisses, fell asleep by himself in his bed tonight.  Yesterday I was ready to have Eric put the crib rails back on his bed because I was having so much trouble with the transition.

Not only is it hard to have Asher cry, or bang on his door at 6 am because he is awake and wants to play, but the lack of napping is difficult for me.  Those 60-90 minutes in the morning allow me to shower, clean, get food ready for our lunches, or even just come online for a few minutes.  Without any naps, I get two cranky boys looking for trouble, and I get tired pretty quickly.  That said, I have been very happy to be a part-time working mommy these past two days.  I like the time by myself on the drive to and from work, and I don't worry about their naps, or whether they are cranky.

At this point, it seems that the transition to toddler bed is not a complete failure, but it has been stressful! We're tired, and our nighttime sleep has been disrupted (last night Asher was up around 11:30), which we haven't had to deal with in many months.  I am not looking forward to doing this again with Benjamin!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bear in a big boy bed

What's that bed?  That's Asher's toddler bed- no more crib!

He started climbing out right after we got home from our vacation to Cape Cod, but after 1 day the novelty wore off and he stopped doing it.

Until this weekend, when he started again.  He's very good at it, and has great control, so I was not worried about him getting hurt on the way out, but then he would run all over the room, and disturb Benjamin.  And he couldn't get back in.

After nap time today, which was a bit of a fiasco, I told Eric it was time to convert his crib to a toddler bed.  Asher's verbal comprehension is not good enough to explain what we're doing or why, so I had some anxiety about making the transition.

We went upstairs before dinner time to explore his new room with him (we separated the boys so that if Asher decides to run around like a nut, he won't disturb Benjamin).  We lay on his bed, and he ran around the room, and we played a little.

At bedtime, he seemed very excited about the bed.  Here he is jumping off the bed on to the floor:
And here he is getting into the only trouble he could find in the room:

When it was time to go to sleep, I sang his goodnight song to him, and lay him down in his bed with his blanket.  He looked up at me with wide, surprised eyes, as if he were saying, "Wait, this isn't where I sleep!"  I left and he cried, so I sent Eric in.

Eric lay down on the floor and pretended to sleep, and put Asher back in bed and told him he slept there.  It took only a few minutes until Eric came out and I didn't hear another peep!  I hope it stays quiet the rest of the night, we could all use a good night's sleep!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

my first post-babies 5k

This morning the boys and I ran a 5k.  I have been taking them jogging ever since we got the jog stroller, but not any known distance or set amount of time.  Our neighbor, Amy, and I have been talking about doing a race since she was pregnant, and her son is now 11 months old!  Amy got it together and ran a half-marathon a few weeks ago, but this was her first event with the jog stroller.

We ran the 5k in 36 minutes, which is not very fast.  But we didn't walk at all (although I did stop to tie my shoe), so that was good.  The boys- my two and Amy's son, Paden- were a big hit.  There were lots of other mommies (and some daddies) with jog strollers, too.
heading to the starting line

and, we're off!

Coming up the final hill. Amy is smiling, and I am grimacing!

At the finish line

My two beautiful boys
Benjamin thinks mommy is #1
Yesterday Grandpa Nick and I took the boys to a big playground in Fairmount Park, in Philadelphia.  They had a huge wooden slide that we went down on burlap sacks.  The boys loved it!  I tried to take some photos, but our camera memory card was full, so I only got these two:
Benjamin on the tire swing
Asher balancing on the wall.  He balances better with his thumb in his mouth.
It was a pretty big event, and we heard some music and saw a tarantula.  They had Italian food, but the boys would not eat.  They seem too distracted when we are out, or in crowds, to eat well.

Eric and I have also been cooking a lot.  Yesterday we made homemade gnocchi, turkey meatballs, roasted acorn squash, and bok choy.  Today Eric baked bread and I made a pot of lentil soup with kale, which Eric liked even though it was healthy.  We haven't baked anything for dessert, so that's kind of a problem, but otherwise, our fridge is now full of delicious, homemade food.

This past week was also Rosh Hashanah, and we set out for synagogue on Thursday with the best of intentions.  But then the road we usually take was closed, and I told Eric to pull over so that we could get directions- and he pulled over into a wooden stake.  There was a huge popping sound and then I saw air gusting out of the back tire of our van.  Fortunately my mom was able to come get the boys and me, and Eric changed the tire, but skipped services.  Lucky for him, he'll get another chance this coming weekend for Yom Kippur!