I posted this to a message board today:

Am I the only mother of a genuine wild child?? Good God I want to strangle Josh sometimes (but in a Homer Simpson way, not in a real pyscho-mom way) with how he runs me ragged.

We went to Gatti's Town for lunch with a few friends and three times he ran from the table all the way to the back of the arcade. Despite me calling/yelling after him to stop each time, he just kept going. He has no regard for me when I ask him to stop it or come here or stop running. I finally had to hold him by his wriggling wrists to get him outside to the parking lot. (No alarm this time- Thank God!)

He skipped a nap. Oh that sucks.

At the grocery store this afternoon, he runs- again! -up and down the isles, around displays, he's dancing/jogging in place, scooping stuff out from under the shelves. But the running thing was what made me snap. I told him repeatedly to stop running and stand by me but eventually I had to put him in time-out on the floor right in the middle of the isle. After time-out, he does this dancing/walking thing while holding my hand. At the check out he's touching everything, climbing, crawling, grabbing for the phone- I smacked his hand when he took the receiver off the cashier's phone. This didn't faze him but he did stop the dancing walk thing.

One hour later, after nursing Elliot, I look outside to see this:

MUD!!!! OMG! All I could do is laugh and take a picture and refuse to let him touch me.

Taking care of Elliot is sooooo easy. Way easy compared to Joshua. I swear he needs one adult's full time attention and all I can give him in the day is 3/4 because Elliot has needs too. I know he's not the only hyper type child, but I feel like he's exceptionally high maintenance. Especially after today!!

And yes, I am drinking wine tonight and eating ice-cream night now!

Here's another picture of my piglet in mud:

I'm looking forward to tomorrow when Joshua is at school.

A mom: "Now that I've met your husband, I can see how Joshua- he looks a lot like your husband. And I think Elliot looks a lot like you."
Me: "You're saying I'm small, fat and have no hair?"

We got to escape to a party last night for a couple hours. Two to be exact. But it was a great two hours! Complete with a drink spill, cake and obscure references. Tommy and his girlfriend Kathy are getting married, or "rocking this world" as they put it, later this summer. This was their 'bout damn time party. The in-laws hung out at our house while Josh and Elliot slept. The idea was we'd go out until midnight or until the baby woke up- which ever happened first. If Elliot hadn't woken up prematurely, we would have seen the flame dancers and probably other epic party moments. But at least we got out at all and that was worth it!

Today we're working on building the neighborhood playground. The plan was we'd take turns doing our volunteer time while the other watches the kids. So far it hasn't panned out as such. I'm home with the kids and Rusty is working with the other dads on the playground. I'm not complaining though.

How to Lose Your Wife in the Night
-waking up five times in four hours-
  • First, wait until your overly exhausted wife passes out before 9pm.
  • Wait an hour then narrate some incident that she probably doesn't care about
  • Go to bed as usual while making noise in the bathroom. It's most effective to pretend to be quiet while closing drawers, running water full blast and dropping stuff.
  • After you climb into bed, wait a little bit for her to fully fall asleep again then gently rub your wife's back and thighs. Don't take her rejection personally.
  • As you doze off to sleep, prop your head in such a way as to produce the maximum volume of snoring. She may kick you or punch you in the ribs, so don't give up- keep your mouth open.
  • If all of this doesn't work, having your 15 pound cat jump on your wife finally will. She will leave the room grumbling and sleep deprived allowing you to hog the warmth of the entire bed for the remainder of the night.
Mission accomplished!

We had double doctor appointments. First I went to my midwife's office to get a Mirena IUD put in. No side effects yet, no bleeding or cramping. It was a quick and easy procedure.

Then right afterwards Elliot had his 4 month check up. He's 16.2 lbs. (75th percentile) and 25 inches (50th percentile). He'll start cereal soon, either next week or the one after. I'm not in any hurry this time to do solids like I was with Josh. Elliot's healthy and growing well.

But not sleeping much! The longest stretch he'll sleep these nights is 3, maybe 4, hours. Then he wakes to nurse every 2-3 hours after. It's making me real tired in the day!

I posted this to a message board today. The question was, "What does your husband do that annoys you the most?"

My husband, Rusty, does a handful of annoying things, but he also does a ton of great things, like cooking, cleaning house and fixing stuff. So before I nag, he's great to have around!

Here's what bugs me: he smokes, he snores loudly, he calls me then doesn't have time to talk or is distracted by work, he likes to be home (whereas I like to be out), he leaves his drinking glass on the floor at night which makes it prone to spills, he blows his nose loudly, and he repeats himself a lot.

I promise you, for everything that bugs me about him, I do something that bugs the crap out of him. Like me leaving piles of clothes on the floor next to the bed (ahem).

Josh has a minor cold today. His nose is running and stuffy. So far no coughing. Despite this, we took him to his first parade, the St. Patrick's Day parade on Greenville. He lasted most of the parade then got bored near the end. Elliot didn't have as much fun- he mostly slobbered on my shoulder and sucked his fingers and fist. The best part was having both boys fall asleep on the drive home.

I got the soundtrack for Juno: LOVE IT!!! It's exactly the type of music a gal named Inger would like. Quirky, simple, obscure and totally B side. I've listened to it repeatedly in the car since Friday. Kimya Dawson is a new favorite of mine.

Josh has a hard time pronouncing the 'L' sound, sometimes. He'll say things like, "I wose it" for lose. He doesn't say "Elliot", he says "Adderit". However, he does say ladder correctly and some other 'L' words: ladybug, listen, look-at-me! and lay down.

I'm hosting a play date tomorrow for moms with babies. It's the first time hosting with only Elliot. I opened my home to several moms in a local group but only three so far are expected to come. I think I'm too far west for most of the members. Everyone seems to live in McKinney or Frisco or Allen, sometimes taking 30 minutes of driving. I don't blame many of them for not wanting to come to my house, although I do make the occasional effort to go to their homes in wherever. I'm still looking for a group that's close to home, active and with children close to Josh and/or Elliot's age. I'm sure I'll find one eventually.

There's a story in the news of child punishment that's disturbing:

A mother who was videotaped while spraying her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with a high-pressure water hose at an Orlando car wash told authorities she did it because the child was throwing a tantrum. She told authorities she did not have the hose on full blast, and she said that it isn't as bad as it looks. www.wesh.com

I posed a question to a mom friend of mine today: if you witnessed this, what would you have done? After some thought, she said she would probably call the cops but not confront the woman in case she was a danger to her own children. I'll bet most people would do this. In fact, the owner of the car wash facility did just that and now there is an investigation of child abuse. But I just can't. I keep thinking about the girl. If the girl was me, what would I want? The poor thing is probably abused at home. I think I would either say something confrontational to the mom, maybe, "Hey, don't do that! She's just a little girl!" Or I would play innocent to give the mom a graceful way out, like, " Excuse me, is everything ok? Do you need help?" Maybe this way she can yell at an adult, and not her daughter. I totally get how a parent could get so mad and turn to force in an attempt to get results. There have been plenty of times when Josh's tantrums stress me out or when he defies my request to do (or not do) something that makes my temper boil. The difference is there is something in me that says, "Stop, chill, walk away"- or some variation of that thought. I remind myself that he is two and he's suppose to do this- make a mess, break stuff, resist rules, whatever it is. Perhaps this mom was so upset she couldn't hear her inner voice. Or worse, perhaps she doesn't have one. My tactic would be to somehow get her to pause and hopefully hear her conscience. It's probably not the best solution, but I know if I walked away without doing something, it would haunt me. And yes, I would definitely report her butt to the police and/or child protective services!

I got Josh his Easter basket today. It's early but I had time to kill at the store. This year we'll decorate eggs. I think he'll love this. I got him mostly small toys and a little bit of candy. This year we'll decorate eggs on Saturday to get him excited about the holiday and hide the plastic ones around the yard for him to find the next morning. I'm not planning on any mall Easter Bunny pictures. That's just creepy. I'll take pictures at home instead.

I remember making colored eggs with my grandmother when I was young. I remember the vinegar smell and mixing colors and dipping one side of egg in one color then the other side in a different color. I remember carrying them around all day being so careful not to drop the egg. I remember thinking how smart my grandma was to figure out how to make colored eggs and that they were so special because I made them. I hope Joshua remembers making eggs with me some day. Maybe it won't make the same impression but it will surely be a magical moment for even half a day.

What's in a day with a baby and a toddler? I recorded my day with most times as close approximations rounded up or down. I barely got any sleep the night before so my precious cup of black tea kept me going most of the day. Despite my efforts, Josh skipped his nap. At least he slept later than usual.

7:15 Elliot's up, I change his diaper
7:20 wake up Rusty, go downstairs
7:30 eat breakfast, watch news, check email
8:00 10 min. shower
8:20 check on Josh who is sleeping late
8:40 Josh wakes up
8:45 serve Josh his breakfast, switch from news to Sesame Street
9:00 nurse Elliot
9:20 Elliot takes a nap
9:30 I get dressed and dress Josh
10:00 I pack the diaper bag and prepare to leave
10:10 Elliot wakes up, I nurse him again
10:30 we leave for the mall
10:45-12:30 Josh plays at the mall then has a snack
12:50 back home, I serve/eat lunch and put on Shrek
1:15 Elliot wakes up, nurses
1:50 nurse Elliot again
2:00 clean up lunch mess
2:10 check email
2:30 change Josh's diaper, begin nap routine
2:40 get Josh into bed for nap, entertain Elliot
3:15 I give up on Josh's nap, he goes downstairs to play
3:30 Josh has a snack, Elliot begins a nap
3:50-5:15 play at a neighbor's house (6 moms, 10 kids), Elliot wakes and nurses during the playdate
5:20 home again
5:25 Rusty comes home
5:45 I begin making dinner for Josh & I
6:15 Rusty leaves for evening class, I clean up some dinner mess
6:35 nurse Elliot, he falls asleep
6:45 usher Josh upstairs to change his diaper and take a bath
6:55-7:15 bath time for everyone*
7:15 Elliot gets dry diaper and pajamas while Josh plays in the tub
7:20 Josh gets yanked out of the bath and goes into immediate time-out**
7:22 time-out ends, Josh gets diaper & pajamas
7:25 go downstairs, I serve a snack to Josh then nurse Elliot
7:35 Elliot falls asleep
7:45 clean up from snack
7:55 TV off, Josh & I brush our teeth
8:10 Josh & I go upstairs to read books before bedtime
8:40 Rusty comes home during the last book
8:45 lights out, Josh falls asleep quickly
9:15-10:15 Rusty & I talk about the day and go over notes from his class
10:20 I pick up some more then go upstairs for bedtime
10:45 I'm out!

* Josh wanted me to get in the tub too. I surprised him by doing just that. I sat in the tub in my underwear and bra. After a few minutes, I decided to include Elliot. He enjoyed sharing his bath with big brother and mommy.

** We have a rule: don't drink the bath water! Josh was busted drinking bath water from an empty shampoo bottle.

Thankfully warm weather is around the corner. Josh's pants are getting short. I put shorts on him yesterday. He's still a 2T waist and shirts are 3T so I'll be buying shirts and shorts separate instead of as a set.

Meanwhile, Elliot nearly fits into 6-9 sized onesies! He's at least 15 pounds already.

Sneaky Josh got out of bed last night nearly half an hour after he went to sleep. He stood at the top of the stairs watching us talk. We were rehashing the day and I happen to be bragging about how great of a lunch Josh ate when I caught him out of the side of my vision standing by the rails. I quickly ushered him back to bed. He claimed he lost his puppy under the bed so I retrieved it, kissed him goodnight then left. He didn't get up again. Apparently this is normal behavior for kids. I think I recall getting out bed to check on my parents too when I was young. This affirms for Rusty and I that our days of having sex in the living room are officially over.

In other news, Elliot is practicing reaching for toys dangling in front of him. His coordination is getting better. He still doesn't hold much for long unless he happens to have a death grip on it, which is reflexive and not a skill. He's fussing at night less- usually- though there are still moments or evenings when he's upset for no apparent reason. Starting this weekend he's 3 months and two weeks old (14 weeks).

We have a BBQ we're going to tonight. I told Josh it was a party- and it kind of is. The hostess and other attendees all have toddlers around Josh's age and babies around Elliot's age. I'm all over this! Finally Rusty can meet some of the moms (and their spousal counterparts) that I've gotten to know over time.



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