Tag Archives: Andrew

Oh the Irony

Last week I felt devoid of interaction.  It had been two weeks since I had complete access to the internet and my brain was degenerating from lack of use.

This week, my computer arrived.  Joy of joys!

Except, the endless time I had before–due to Ben’s studying schedule and the kid’s early bedtime–has dissipated quickly.  Poor baby Andrew has not stopped crying since 6 am Monday morning.  I thought it was his teeth, but upon further inspection it turned out to be something more sinister : hand, foot, and mouth disease.  Since there is nothing a doctor can do, Andy just has to wait it out.  Gah!

{On an unrelated note, how does he get these things?  I keep our place pretty spotless AND wash his hands, face, and anything he eats off of frequently!  I feel like the worst mom.}

I think this kid has had more strange viruses than anyone I know.  Like the rectal strep he concocted alongside RSV a year ago, and then, a few months later, the weird sores that appeared in the back of his mouth from another rare virus.  What makes things more difficult is he doesn’t develop normal symptoms, like a fever or fatigue.  As Ben says, he’s inherited my broken prosteoglandin pathway (I don’t know what that is either) as well as my sh***y immune system.

Anyway, I have my computer but no time to write so my brain is still going haywire from all the ideas sprouting.  If only it would veg like the rest of my body feels like doing all the time.

At least I’ve had one positive from this experience: a painful reminder of those newborn days.  I think I might be done with having babies.

{Please note the sarcastic and/or sardonic undertones.}

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A Time to Hold

I intended to write about potty training today until I picked up my little boy and felt inspired to go another direction.

My little guy needs me.  He needs me so much that he cries if any other person tries to hold him, including his dad.  This past week he has been sick.  Really sick.  This has only intensified his desire that I hold him all the time.   In a recent conversation with a friend, she remarked that it must be difficult to have a child who refuses to be comforted by anyone other than me.  I can’t remember my response but I don’t think I adequately expressed how I truly feel about this situation.   Call this my written response.

When Emily was a just born and tiny baby I knew I wanted to cherish every moment I had with her.  At that time, Ben and I were both attending school full-time.  Our days were filled with homework and parenting duties and I often felt I spent more time doing the latter rather than the former.  At one point, after bemoaning my situation incessantly inside my head, I felt it was time to stop complaining and truly enjoy every moment I spent with Emily rather than crying that I didn’t have more.  I also decided to cherish all her stages–good and bad–and not spend time wishing she were older or more mobile or could talk.

Embracing my new philosophy, I found delight in her day-to-day activities and did not despair as she continued to grow (mentally not physically) at an alarming rate.

This thinking has continued with Andrew.  Even though it does feel inconvenient at times to have him attached to my hip, I remember that he won’t always want me to hold him.  There will come a day when he might push me away.  When my importance will diminish as he enters that vast world of pre-teen and teenagedom.  And then he will grow up, move away, and find [a different] love in another woman’s arms.

So, right now I appreciate how much he loves and needs me.  I relish the moments I have holding him close and smelling his delicious scent.  I kiss his head, hands, and face and feel that familiar tug of deep and indescribable love for this child that my husband and I created together.

At the same time, as he continues to grow (he will be 2 this year!) I don’t feel sad. I recognize the importance of maturity. I also know my place is to raise him, and his sister, to be responsible, virtuous, charitable, and many other things so they can one day be mindful adults and citizens of the world.

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Filed under Non-judgmental parenting

How I Get Sleep

This week has been a monumental fail.  Parenting fail after fail after fail.  But, since this is supposed to be an upbeat post, I thought I’d talk about sleep.

For whatever reason, the babes have returned to their newborn schedules of waking up one to three times at night.  Which is why they end up in bed with us.  And this is what usually happens.

Sometime around 2 AM: Emily screams at the top of her lungs, I stumble out of bed, cursing, sure there is something dreadful happening and retrieve her from her room.  I place her in the middle of our bed and hope she sleeps.

Close to 4 AM: Andrew starts whimpering, than crying, then screaming.  Once again, I stumble out of bed*.  This time I go to the kitchen, prepare some milk, then pick him up from the crib.  I scoot Emily closer to her dad, place Andrew next to her, and hope he goes back to sleep.

Probably around 5 AM: Kids start rolling and jumping around, laughing, and alternate between sticking their bums on our faces and pulling our hair.  I grab them, grumbling nothing but sweet words under my breath, take them back into their rooms and hope they will sleep for AT LEAST another hour or so in their cribs.

Sooner than I wished: Kids wake up, yell, “MOM!” (Emily yells, Andrew babbles something like dadad mamama tyenah (Tylenol, his first word),  I stare at the ceiling wondering how long I can keep them in their rooms.

My sleep is less than optimal while they are in bed with me, and, rather than figuring out why they are waking up, I do what I can to expend the least amount of energy possible in the middle of the night.

It may not be the best solution, but it works for me.

*Since Ben is working two jobs, I think it’s best that he gets all the sleep he can. Still, there are many nights where he takes his turn with the kids.

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Virtual Hot Cocoa

Cathy suggested we have a cup of virtual coffee together, much like Corinne’s weekly series.   I think this is a wonderful idea and will only tweak it a little–by making mine a cup of hot chocolate.   Don’t worry, you can keep your cup of coffee if you’d like.

If we met for hot chocolate, we would exchange holiday stories.  I would tell you mine were perfect: Relaxed and guilt-free.  Ben and I decided on a new tradition that will take a couple years to get going, but we are very excited to see it come to pass.

I would ask about your family then tell you about mine: How Andrew took his first steps on Christmas Eve among wild applause and shouts of, “Hooray!”;  that I finally conceded to potty training Emily because she is doing it all on her own. You would laugh as I describe how she marches right to her little potty when she needs to relieve herself, stands up and yells, “I go pee pee, Mommy!” when she’s finished and helps me empty the bowl it into the toilet.  Afterward, she instantly demands a treat.  Which I often agree to because she is just so big and I am just so proud.  You would ask about Ben and I would share how marvelous it was to have him work only one job over Christmas break.  We had so much fun together.

You would ask how I’m feeling.  A little rough emotionally, I’d explain, especially since some of my friends are having their babies right now.   It makes me hurt knowing that I won’t be holding mine in May, even as I take comfort in knowing she (I always knew it was a she) is being held by God in Heaven.  Physically…well I’d quickly change the subject because that’s a sore (no pun intended) topic right now.

We would swap resolutions lists.  I would tell you that I don’t expect perfection in my goals, just gradual changes as I continue to grow through my experiences.  You would nod your head at my wisdom and then we’d both collapse in fits of giggles because, let’s be honest, “being wise” isn’t my greatest attribute.

As our time ended, always too quickly, we’d stand and give each other giant hugs.  We’d promise to meet at the same place, same time next week with new insights to share and stories to laugh about.

Until then…

What would you share?

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Clothes Don't Make the Man, er, Boy

Can you guess which of my children this is?  Can you?

If you guessed Emily, you would be wrong.  It’s my little Andrew.  Wearing one of his sister’s outgrown pajamas.  One of her pink outgrown pajamas.

This type of dress isn’t unusual in our house, the most probable culprit being laundry holdups.  (I know, if Ben did the laundry a little bit more in between his two jobs we totally wouldn’t have this problem.  Sheesh.)

Anyway, the reason I showed you this picture is that I don’t care if my little boy wears pink.  Nor do I care if he wears frilly pants.  This might sound strange, but I highly doubt he is born favoring the colors blue and yellow.  I know what you are thinking, “This is crazy talk” but hold on to your gender stereotypes a little longer and let me explain.

A peculiar parenting idea Ben and I have embraced is to recognize just how much we socialize our kids to prefer certain things, like colors, over other things.  For example, Emily loves to wear dresses.  Often, I have to put her in some type of dress at night to avoid unsavory tantrums.  I made her this way.  Almost from birth did I place her in pretty, pink dresses.  I wanted people to know she was a girl so I dressed her accordingly.  I made this conscious choice while simultaneously understanding that one day she might only prefer dresses.  And I was okay with that.

With Andrew, I’ve always dressed him in blue and yellow.  Again, I wanted people to know he was my adorable little boy and felt very comfortable using typical boy colors.  Yet, when he started closing in on a year and was rapidly outgrowing his pants (you know, his 3-6 month pants) I decided to pull girl pants from my store of baby clothes.  I chose pants that were neutral enough, only a little frills, so nobody would know he was wearing girl pants.   After doing this a few times, I stopped masking even that and started including Emily’s old pajamas in his attire.   Hey, when you run out of clothes you use what you have, y’know?

Andrew now has plenty of boy pajamas so we don’t have to use his sister’s anymore.   But, when he’s older, I’ll make sure to show him this picture so he knows that it’s okay to like, and even wear, pink.  Because, frankly, color preference doesn’t make the man–it’s treating others with respect and compassion that make a man (or woman).

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My (Non)Thrifty Children

We have been on a budget for most of our marriage, but especially so after Ben graduated (hence the two jobs).  I thought I’ve taught my kids the importance of sticking to the budget.  Apparently I was wrong.

Just last week I explained to them that we needed to ration out our diapers and wipes.

“One diaper and ten wipes a day,” I said.

“Blahadadalelabladamamkama!” Andrew replied.

“I wanna drink!” Emily responded.

Alright, I thought, it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

Then they decided to get sick!  This more than quadrupled our diaper usage!  I couldn’t very well let them make messes on the floor, could I?  So I had to let them use more than their one diaper quota.

It’s even worse when we head to the store.

“Don’t touch anything!” I sternly warn them.

Before we are even down the first aisle, Emily has licked/bit on half the items.  I had only to buy milk, bread, and cheese, but by the time we head to the check-out stand, my cart is full from her diligent efforts at vandalizing my grocery budget.  Naturally, once I am loading all her groceries onto the conveyor belt, she grabs all the candy from the display, rips them open, and begins chowing down on her stolen goods.

Between my kids’ out of hand diaper usage and Emily’s expensive grocery trips, I’ve already spent my allotted allowance.  And it’s only the first of the month.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

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Filed under Offspring

My Other Guy

I have a guy on the side. Except he is more in the middle because he prefers to be sandwiched between Ben and me or in my arms.  He shows me daily just how much he needs me.

When I take a shower while Ben is home, he will start to cry, wiggle out of Ben’s lap, crawl to the door, stand up, and knock.  And continue knocking until I come out or let him in.

When I am kissing Ben, he will crawl over, climb onto my leg and look at us until we I pay attention to him.

When I am sitting on the floor, he will crawl over (do you see a pattern here?), pull himself into a standing position (by using my shoulder), and smother my face with kisses.

When I am trying to sleep, he will cry, standing in his crib, until I go pick him up.  Once I rescue him, he will snuggle against my chest while drinking his bottle and occasionally fall asleep.  (If he doesn’t fall asleep, he will jump all over me and Ben until we place him back into his crib.)

When I am trying to clean, he will crawl to the gate, pull himself into a standing position, and cry, “Mama!” until I pick him up.

When he is eating, he will cry if I try to leave the room.

When I am sad, he will hug me close.

When I feel that tug of sadness for our lost baby, he will look at me with his beautiful eyes, crawl over and demand that I pick him up.  Then I will hold him tight and thank God for a little boy who is still okay with being my baby.

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Filed under lessons from a rocking chair