Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Reuben has conked out in his carseat for what looks to be a semi-successful nap, so I'm going to take that opportunity to blog a bit.

My kids are both sick. This sucks. Rachel is a little better today, but Reuben is having a really hard time. To top it off, the night before this all went down I couldn't get to sleep for some reason so I only got about 4 broken hours of sleep. Babies getting sick basically just means they don't do anything like they normally do. So on Sunday at 11, when Reuben would usually take a nap, I went to nurse him down and he wouldn't go. Or, he did, but only for 9 minutes. It was like that all day. I would either nurse him or rock him to sleep but he would wake up 9 minutes later. I finally got him down around 2 and decided just to hold him as long as I could, so he slept really well for about an hour. It's amazing what that hour did. He was actually in almost a good mood for the rest of the day. But I was fretting the night...I nursed him down at 8:30, which is normal, and he woke up 9 minutes later. So I just stayed up with him for an hour and a half talking to Richard and trying to keep my little guy happy. At 10 we gave him some Tylenol and I nursed him again, but he didn't go to sleep. I rocked him for about half an hour and he was finally out for a while. If my groggy mind remembers correctly, he woke up just about every hour in the night. He would eat, then wake up an hour later just wanting to be held a little, then wake up an hour after that to eat again. I was worried I'd have to rock him back to sleep every time he woke up, but luckily that wasn't the case. So he slept all right, and I guess I did too, but man morning came way too quickly with Rachel wandering in looking for breakfast. Richard basically told her to go back to bed and instantly fell back asleep. When we finally got up we had no idea where she was lol. She had just been playing with her toys like the wonderful baby she is :)

So this morning went kind of similar to yesterday. I kept trying to get Reuben to nurse to sleep and he just wouldn't. He finally did, but woke up the second I set him down. I had no idea where Rachel was at that point, but luckily she hadn't gotten into any trouble while I was dealing with Reuben for like an hour. She really is a great girl who isn't too terribly naughty most of the time, so I wasn't too worried. Reuben finally fell asleep for about half an hour, so I was able to get some stuff done. It's funny how stressful a day can be when you have to get work done but you just can't do it. Yesterday I gave up before it even started and just planned to hold Reuben all day, and that's what I did. But when I woke up today and saw dead tissues and clean socks strewn all over the living room, I just couldn't handle it. So first chance I got I started picking stuff up. Now I'm on my second load of laundry, but there's still crap all over the living room.

I was feeling pretty good about this afternoon's prospects at lunchtime, until my dad called and asked if I could take Beau to the foot doctor. No problem there, except it took twice as long as I expected. Seriously, when you're appointment is at 1:20 why does it take until 1:45 for the doctor to show up? What is he doing that whole time? Anyway we got back from that and Rachel was actually ASKING for a nap! She's been kind of feisty about that lately, so I was rejoicing. Maybe I'll get a nap after all. Maybe I should be taking one now...

I wanted to share some cute stories about my kids or just some fun facts about where they're at right now, so here goes.

2 1/2
Spending time with my daughter makes me realize why people have kids. She cracks me up all day long. The littlest things she does are not only amazing but tender to me. Right now she's coming up with a million different ways to ride her rocking dog, including putting my flip flops on the handles and watching them fall off as she rocks.

The other day I took her to Reams to return a movie to Redbox. On the way she said she wanted to sing, so we went through all the songs she knows. Let me restate that: My 2 year old KNOWS over 5 songs! Most of the words, even! I love it :) After we sang all our songs she wanted to say prayers. That's when I realized she was doing her bedtime routine in the car. Makes sense, she hadn't slept much so she was probably tired. So she said a little prayer (again, she's 2) and then said "Mom, I go sleep now." On the way home from the movie dropping off she pointed out the moon. It always amazes me what she's able to see. She'll spot an airplane before I'll even hear it. Her game lately has been to ask what everything is and then what it says. So when she pointed out the moon she then wanted to know what the moon says. I've been trying to be as creative as she is when coming up with what inanimate objects say, so when she asked that I responded by howling at the moon. So now I guess that's what the moon says :)

Most recently Rachel has been learning to say "please" when asking for something. This is great, except when the answer is no. Then she'll try to convince me to give her whatever she wants by saying "pweeeze??" over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. This is annoying.

Today was fun...I was trying to keep Reuben happy until naptime (I'm trying to regulate his naps so that he'll sleep through most of my work shift) and Rachel pulled out an empty diaper box. She sat in it and asked me to push her to her room. So I stuck Reuben in there with her and pushed them both around the living room. I love these kids :)

Anyway Rachel is awesome. She now picks out her own clothes and can put some of them on by herself. Sometimes they even look okay :) She loves to wear skirts, but not socks. I think she got Richard's circulation, because whenever I'm freezing she is happiest in a skirt, t-shirt, and no socks. But she loves to try on her coats and have me zip them up and put the hood on. She has always loved doing this. She's getting so smart. She can recognize a few letters, even pointing them out in the credits of movies we're watching. She's learning to "read" one of her books, and we'll see if that ends up helping her learn to read for reals. The book only has about 4 words repeated over and over, and she's almost memorized them and the order. One of her favorite things to do is sit by the bookshelf and look through ALL of the books, one at a time, very slowly and carefully. When she sees something she recognizes, she runs over to show it to me (and to ask what it says). She is also big enough now that we've moved her to a booster seat at the table rather than her high chair. She eats with a big person fork, and today Richard taught her to eat over her bowl instead of spilling cereal all over the floor, so we'll see how that goes. Lately I've been trying to get her to eat more fruits and veggies, and she loves peas. Not as big a fan of butternut squash, though :) Rachel sleeps in a regular twin bid (she actually has two beds right next to each other, so each night she picks her favorite) and puts herself to bed. We read scriptures, sing, say prayers and give hugs, then she walks herself into her room, shuts the door, turns off the light, and goes to sleep. She's started to do the same thing at naptime, which is phenomenal. Sometimes she doesn't take a nap, but she still goes in her room for at least 3 hours so I can work. I'd love to let her run around while I'm working, but she's just so loud. Rachel also climbs into her carseat by herself, and does really well at walking with me so I can carry Reuben when we go places. All in all, my daughter is amazing :)

5 months
Super cute
I love this boy. He is such a happy baby! He wakes up smiling and stays that way for a while, until he gets tired or hungry. I was watching videos of Rachel when she was this age, and she liked being on her tummy more than he does, but I'm ok just holding him so that's no big deal. I wonder when he'll start crawling, though. Right now we're working on sitting, and he's doing pretty well at that. He likes the new perspective it gives of the world. He loves toys, but gets bored with them pretty quickly. One of his favorite things is to sit on my lap and smack the desk while I'm working, or to bang on the piano. He also likes to look over my shoulder while we're sitting on the couch and look at the bright colors of my afghan. He hates the stroller. He does pretty well in the car, especially with Rachel right there to keep him entertained. We're still figuring out the whole eating thing. I think he has a sensitive tummy. When I put him down for the night he always wakes up about an hour later just screaming. When I pick him up and rock him he lets out a good huge burp or three and maybe a fart, and then falls instantly back to sleep. He's been having a hard time at naptime lately for the same reason, and I think it's because I've been giving him solids at lunch instead of dinner. So I'm going to stop doing that. It's more important for him to sleep well at naptime when I work than it is at night, because I'm happy to rock him all night but it's kind of impossible to do when I'm working. But he does like those solids...last night he ate a ton of applesauce even though he was in a bad mood. He also loves taking baths and splashing around A TON. He wiggles all the time, and his new thing is to kick me rhythmically while I'm feeding him. I anticipate music to be part of his life :) Reuben loves it when I hum to him, and being wrapped up tight and rocked is his favorite thing in the world.

I love my kids :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Day in the Life

I have a lot to do every day. Who doesn't? But I've been using that as an excuse to not document a lot of really special moments with my kids. Today has been especially nice, so I wanted to record it. This is how our days usually go, and whether I get something good accomplished or not, I have a good time doing it. I've been doing a lot of realizing lately that being a mom is really about BEING, not about doing. Enjoying each moment with your child and indulging in THEIR desires quite often is where you find the most peace and happiness in this calling. It's true, it's kind of thankless and you spend most of your life changing diapers, being a cow, and doing laundry during not only your kids' naptime but yours as well, and by the time your kids are old enough to appreciate everything you do for them they're not really kids anymore, but come on. It's totally worth it, and you know it.

I've been super tired lately. Probably because Reuben has never been the best sleeper and has been waking up every 2 hours at night after taking 3 hours to go to sleep for the past couple weeks. But we're going on day 2 of him only waking up once before I do, and I'm getting as much enjoyment out of that sleep as possible. So today when my alarm went off, I let it. I don't know where my subconscious was, but it was not registering the idea that the alarm might wake up the baby. At least, not until that awesome Boston song was almost over. I don't know what happened nine minutes later, but we listened to most of that song too. I didn't even notice it was going off until Richard walked in to shut off the alarm so I'd just go to sleep and stay that way. That was at about 6:45. I figured I'd enjoy a little nap while he showered and then get up before the kids. My goal lately has been to get up earlier, but I think it's been later every day. Oh well :)

I woke up to my silly baby talking in his crib. He wakes up so peacefully and happy that sometimes it takes a while for me to register it. It took long enough that Richard heard him upstairs and was running down the stairs to hand him to me in bed by the time I got up to get him. I situated him to nurse him back to sleep in bed, and Richard came behind me and cuddled us both for a while before he had to go to school. Once Reuben was finally asleep I got that nice warm shower I dream about every night. It's always a mystery as to how long Reuben will sleep after that 7 am feeding, but today he slept very well. I was able to shower and get breakfast for Rachel and myself and then enjoy an extra hour of whatever before he woke up for the day.

Rachel is so funny. When I go to get her in the morning she either YELLS "Mom! All done sleeping! Me want breakfast!" or pulls me into whatever she's been doing in her room for the past half hour or so while I've been showering. Today was the latter. She was blowing spit all over a foam football trying to inflate it, and when I walked in the room she handed me an inflatable basketball and asked me to help her blow it up. Which was gross, because she'd been blowing spit all over that one as well. Once business was taken care of and the ball was inflated, we went up to get breakfast. Rachel always says "Good morning!!!" to whoever we see. Usually it's Aja or one of my parents, and I just never get over hearing her very loud exclamation of "Good morning, Grandma!!" Then she digs through the drawer where her dishes are kept and chooses a bowl and a cup (or water bottle). She hands me what she finds and I hand her "Charlotte's spoon". She has this weird fixation on her cousin Charlotte, who left a couple spoons here when she moved out. Anyway then I pour cereal and milk and stick her in her high chair, where she makes a huge mess. I eat my breakfast while catching up on Facebook, and then we both go downstairs to get her dressed and brush our teeth and all that fun stuff. Then it's play time until Reuben wakes up.

I'm never sure if Reuben sleeps as long as he wants or if Rachel's LOUD voice ends up waking him up before he's ready. Either way, he's always super happy when he wakes up. I usually send Rachel in to "get" him, which usually involves her coming up with some game on my bed with Reuben and the blankets. He's a good sport. Then we get him dressed and fed, and then it's off to run errands, go to the park, visit friends, or just hang out around the house. On the way out the door today, Rachel had to make sure she had her beanie and her purse. I wish I could remember what she was calling her purse, it was so funny. Anyway, today was park day, and the kids loved it. We go to a park in Springville with tons of toys where Rachel never gets bored. Today there was another mom there with her 3 yr old son and beautiful boxer. I commented on how pretty her dog was, and she commented on how nice it was that we didn't leave when we saw him, as some people do who have a prejudice against boxers and pitt bulls and the like. But that's another can of worms...

Rachel always has fun at the park. Today she went down the slide that I've always thought looked a little too scary for her, and she loved it. Then she climbed back up to go down the twisty slide, but first she had to throw her purse down. Then she decided she needed to throw her hat down as well, and waited for both to go to the bottom of the slide and for me to pick them up. That's about when I got tired of holding my 16 lb tub of a Reuben and decided to try him out in the swing. He loved it. Sat in it talking for about 20 minutes while I helped Rachel go down whichever slide she felt like. Then she wanted to get in the swing. They were way too cute in their matching hats, so I ran off to find my camera (phone) to get some pictures. When I came back, Rachel had once again tossed her purse and hat to the ground and was working on taking off her shoes. Whatever, child. You can be barefoot I guess. And she was, for the rest of the day.

Driving in the car is always fun with Rachel. She likes to point out everything she sees and either ask what it is or let you know what it is. She's constantly going "Mom! Moon!" or "Mom! Tree!" Every now and then she'll ask for tunes, so we'll pull out a CD of children's songs or one of my mixes from college. Sometimes she just wants me to sing, so she'll ask for songs by name. "Mom, sing spider one." "Mom, sing Jesus one." "Mom. Child of God." Yesterday she sat on my lap after lunch asking me to sing "star one" (twinkle twinkle) over and over and over again, until she could join in with me. I'm amazed at how quickly she picks these up. I think I've only sung Give Said the Little Stream three or four times, and she already knows the gist of the words. I love to sing, so this is a trend I'm ok with developing in my 2 yr old :)

When we got home it was time for Reuben to take a nap. I'm trying to train Rachel to be a good, quiet child during this time and to stay in our apartment rather than escape to the upstairs world. So I tell her "Rachel, I have to put Reuben to sleep. Can you be my good, quiet girl and stay down here? Play with your toys, okay?" which she interprets as "Mommy will be gone for a looooong time. That means I can get into stuff I'm not supposed to and she can't stop me!" I was almost finished with Reuben and debating joining him for a little nap when I heard a bell ding out in the living room. I had to think for a few minutes what would be making that sound that Rachel could get to. And then it dawned on me: Pit. She had gotten into the game closet, had probably spread the Pit cards all over the place, and was playing with the bell. That means the dominoes are next, and I HATE cleaning those up. So I decided Reuben was done. Luckily he actually was. Her damage was a bit more extensive than I anticipated. She had not only found the games, but had started digging through my random box of crap that's in there, which really isn't full of crap it's full of old art supplies. She found my baggie of charcoal sticks and had spread those around, and she had spilled all the Pit carts INTO the box. They fell down underneath a bunch of blankets and stuffed animals to land near my clay sculptures from high school. Kind of an adventure digging those out, let me tell you.

So then it was lunch time. "Lunch" and "Burrito" are synonymous to Rachel, but I was determined to get something good into her today. I sliced up an apple, and she ate almost the whole thing! That's along with the entire burrito! I was so proud. If only I could get her to eat some veggies, though. Lately we've been working on putting our dishes in the sink after lunch. Usually what happens is I set Rachel up to eat at the big person table rather than in her high chair, and then I head over to the computer with my lunch. She tells me she's done, and I ask her to put her dishes in the sink. The other day I didn't even ask her, she just said "Mom, me done" and then I heard her dishes fall into the sink! What a sweetie :) Then she sits on my lap while I finish on the computer and then we go downstairs to play a bit more. Usually Reuben wakes up from his morning nap right about then, and so we all play for a while until Rachel's naptime.

Today's play was kind of an adventure. Reuben likes to sit on my lap while I play primary songs on the piano, but today I thought I'd try him out in the spaceship walker, which he sometimes likes. So Rachel sat on my lap while I played the piano. This doesn't work as well, because she likes to bang on the keys. That's kind of why I got her her own keyboard. So I pointed her in that direction. Unfortunately, that meant listening to the demo song REALLY LOUD while I'm trying to continue my repertoire. Oh well, Reuben got upset about then anyway. I picked him up and continued through the Christmas section in the primary song book and figured Rachel was doing her thing and would be fine for a while. But then I heard "Mom, me wanna get out" and knew it was bad news bears. She had climbed into the spaceship. I HATE it when she does that. She's adventurous enough to climb in by herself, but too big to be able to climb out on her own. I'm trying to get her to stop climbing in just because I can't always get her out when she wants me to and I really hate games that involve me doing all the work (especially now that I have a newborn). Anyway, I had told her a billion times today not to climb into the spaceship and since she had clearly ignored those instructions I felt slightly justified in ignoring her pleas for help. I just let her sit in the spaceship for a while. She cried, she moped, she tried to get out, but I didn't get her out until I was good and ready to, and I told her so. We'll see if it worked the next time play time comes around.

And then it's naptime for Rachel! It's funny how I look forward to this time, because Rachel is the easy baby. Plus she doesn't usually sleep so it's more stress than it's worth, but it's a necessity right now. I work from 2-6 EVERY DAY this week, which is insane, but it's also $300. That means I NEED Rachel to sleep from 2-5 at least. Which she did NOT do yesterday, but I'm not really here to complain about how much yesterday sucked. Rachel actually did pretty well at naptime today. I think she may have slept, even.

I'm trying to get Reuben into a good nap schedule, which really means that I'm trying to figure out what HE wants his nap schedule to be. I've been trying to mold him into my schedule and it just hasn't worked, so I'm going with what he wants to do from here on out. Or, I'm trying to. Despite popular belief, moms really have no clue what they're doing most of the time. Anyway I figured he would get hungry around 3:30 but would probably get tired closer to 2. I wanted to see if he could make it to 3. I had my arsenal ready by my computer. A swing, the spaceship, his gym, two rattle toys, a binky, and a determination to keep the kid happy and get my work done at the same time. It worked pretty well, once I realized that I really don't need to be sitting to do my work. He lasted until about 2:45, which was great, and then he went straight to sleep. Work is SO much easier when both kids are asleep. I really need it to be pretty quiet, and Rachel is super loud. So is Reuben, actually. It's just better when they sleep. Which they both did, until Reuben woke up at 3:30. Seriously? I brought him back out and fed him and he went back to sleep until 5. Hallelujah!

Rachel also woke up at 5, which is fantastic. I can put on a movie for her and she stays very occupied until I get done with work. Today she wanted to watch "flying one" (Fern Gully). This was great until about 5:30 when the bad guy showed up. Apparently he's really scary, and she kept freaking out every time he came on the screen. It took me a while to figure out why she was crying, because she wouldn't say anything. Clearly very little sleep actually happened in that room of hers. Once I figured out the problem I asked what movie she wanted to watch instead, and she held up the Muppets. I asked her to hand it to me, and she threw it instead. She REFUSED to pick it up, and I refused to indulge my spoiled child. Sorry. She kept crying and wouldn't get the movie, so I gave up and went back to work. She kept crying and eventually I got "flying one" out of what she was crying about, so I turned Fern Gully back on. Which was fine, until Hexxus showed up again. At that point I just turned it off. And Rachel flipped out. You know when kids get to that point where they can't even breathe because they're crying so loud and so frantically? Yeah, that's what she was doing. She only does this when she doesn't get a nap. After warning her, I set Reuben down and walked her to her room, where I explained that she was out of control and needed to calm down. She let me sit her on her bed and I told her she could come out once she was calmed down. I still had a few minutes left to work, but I left the door open for her. Once I was done, I changed Reuben then went in to talk to Rachel. I went to change her and discovered she was poopy. Also that she had pulled out ALL of her wipes. I felt bad that she was poopy, which was probably a big factor in why she was so upset. I always hate it when she's poopy and I don't know it. Anyway once she got cleaned up and ointmented and re-dressed, she felt a lot better. She just takes a while to wake up all the way and feel ready to face the world again after naptime. Especially when she didn't sleep long enough.

Then it's time to make dinner. Reuben was so funny today. I set him in his little chair facing me but across the room while I cut up fruit for a salad. He would squawk really loud and I'd look up at him, and he'd stop. Then I'd look back down at the kiwi I was cutting and he'd immediately start squawking again until I would look at him. That kept him pretty entertained most of the dinner-prep time. Meanwhile my amazing siblings run through and help with one or the other of my kids while I cook. Today Camary took Rachel outside to play with her new camera for a while, and they came back right when Reuben was DONE sitting in he chair, so she held him while I finished up with dinner. Meanwhile Rachel was playing hide and seek, sitting somewhere and counting to 6 while Cam would hide and then switching roles. She's such a nut.

Reuben is currently experimenting with pears. Sometimes he likes them, and sometimes he doesn't. Today he didn't. But Rachel ate all of her fruit! She also said "Good morning" to my brothers as they emerged for dinner, which got everyone laughing. After dinner we play some more before bedtime. Richard reads to us from the Bible while Rachel finds a book to look at and I keep Reuben happy. Then we sing, say prayers, and go to bed. Rachel is the easiest baby to put to bed. We do our routine then tuck her in and say good night and she's gone. I hope and pray that Reuben will be the same, but he's definitely not yet. He goes to bed sometime between 8:30 and 10 pm. I try to wait until he's ultra tired and then nurse him to sleep. Inevitably he's up an hour later to burp. Last night he got back to sleep on his own, but not tonight. I ended up feeding him again, which I hate doing because now he'll be up in another hour to burp again. Maybe. I never know with this kid. Is it bad that I'm eagerly anticipating weaning him? Nursing has never been easy, and I just want him to learn to sleep.

All in all it's been a pretty fun day, one filled with really great moments with my babies. I just wish I could capture each moment on film to save for later. I'm going to try to write in here more often to preserve these precious memories, but no promises :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My kids are cute

I'm trying to get better at writing down these super cute stories right when they happen so I don't forget.

Today Richard stayed home all morning, so he was around for lunch. Afterwards he and Rachel played the "I'm gonna get you/You're gonna get me" game. It's so fun to watch. Rachel will stand there and say "Dad. Run." and then chase him around the couch screaming. After that he put her on his feet and walked around with her, and she loved it.

At one point I was holding Reuben and asked "Hey, do you know what your sister loved when she was your age?" and stared eating his tummy. He didn't think it was THAT funny, but he liked it. Then Richard chimed in with "You know what else she liked?" and had me sit down so he could zoom Reuben into my face like he used to do with Rachel. Well then she wanted a turn, so he grabbed her to do the same. She had a LOT more fun with it than Reuben did, which meant her mouth was open the whole time, and at one point a glob of spit flew from her mouth and landed in mine! Yuck! hehe :) After that bit of awesomeness Richard felt she deserved not only a high five, but bones and elbows as well. Then he threw in knees for good measure, and Rachel's next move was to stick out her foot. For "toes" I guess?

After Richard left I pulled out the applesauce to get Reuben some lunch, and got some grapes out for Rachel so she'd stop asking for the applesauce. She was carefully pulling the grapes off the stems, then picking off the last bit of stem before putting them in her mouth. I guess I looked hungry, because she started putting them in my mouth too. So I fed Reuben while Rachel fed me. I love my kids :D