Saturday, March 24, 2007

What's Up, Buttercup?

We've had quite a busy few days here recently. Grandma D (my mom) was here Thursday and spent the night, and on Friday night Grandma S (Slipshod's mom) and Boopa came over and spent the night. That is an unusual occurrence because they only live half an hour from here, but my sister is coming this weekend with two of her kids and the foreign exchange student her family is hosting this year, and we weren't sure when, and Grandma S and Boopa wanted to make sure they got to see Sweet Pea and The Bug this weekend.

Turns out that my sister and the kids aren't coming until midday tomorrow, so I was thankfully able to get the laundry under control today (there were baskets and baskets of clean laundry in the living room and more piles on the couch, and a few more piles of dirty laundry upstairs - don't ask me where it all came from, I'm not entirely sure!). There is still so much more to do, but I am trying to be at peace with the reality that this house is not going to be spic and span when they arrive. However, having to grandparently playmates for the girls here all day today helped me to get a lot done, so I'm glad that it looks better than it did, at least.

I could yack a lot more, but really need to go do some more cleaning. Just wanted to make an appearance.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's Try That Again

Okay, I tried to write some stuff yesterday but never got around to hitting the "publish" button because I wasn't finished. Hit the button this morning and lost the whole thing. It was just a list of what's going on around here anyway, nothing exciting.

Before I get going again on our stuff, let me just give a quick twins update. One twin is doing beautifully and just needs to grow big enough to go home. The other twin is actually doing better as well. She will still need lots of care over the next year but things are looking somewhat better than before and hopes are high.

As for our household... the baby gates went up at the top and bottom of the staircase Sunday night, after The Bug spent a good part of the weekend trying to crawl up the first step. She's not even 100% on crawling, but just can't wait to try the next thing! Oh - I have noticed recently that she can roll from her belly to her back. Apparently she just doesn't have much occasion to use that skill, which I didn't even think she had for a long time. Lately she has been using it in bed when she rolls onto her belly and wakes up wondering how she got there.

Sweet Pea is having a great time trying to teach The Bug how to eat crunchies. The Bug loves this new dinner theater concept.

Just when I thought I might go so far as to blog that The Bug had begun to sleep better again, the night before last she woke me up nearly every hour. She followed that night up with a no-napping day yesterday. During the afternoon I noticed that she had cut her second eye tooth. I hope that was the problem. Last night she slept *somewhat* better, but anything would have been an improvement over the night before. By dinnertime last night she was so exhausted that once she was finished with her food, she very nearly fell asleep on her placemat. The only reason she didn't end up with her face in her food was that Slipshod was holding up her head.

Last night would have been a better sleep night for me, since The Bug slept better, except that Sweet Pea awoke at11pm and stayed awake for TWO HOURS. She hardly ever wakes up in the night, but when she does, for some reason it takes her hours to get back to sleep. Add to that Slipshod's snoring and The Bug waking during Sweet Pea's awake time, and you've got a recipe for me tearing my hair out and going to sleep on the couch. I should have. Bleh.

Oops, gotta go, The Bug doesn't want to be in the stroller anymore. Sweet Pea has been feeding her and playing with her while The Bug has been strapped into the stroller, looking out the sliding glass door into the back yard. It was Sweet Pea's idea.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Babies on the Brain *UDATED*

Last Friday was Slipshod's birthday, and from now on he will share his natal anniversary with a special set of twin girls who were born to very good friends of ours. I don't know how much detail it would be prudent to go into, since these are not my own children I'm blogging about and I don't want to overstep any boundaries. However, I thought it would be alright if I asked you all to send prayers, good wishes, happy thoughts, positive energy, and the like to the two little cuties. They were born early so they are in the NICU but are, as I understand it, good weights for preemies. The smaller twin is doing quite well and will hopefully be home in a couple weeks. The bigger one had some complications and things are still going on with her so please send good vibes to the Universe to help her get that tiny body and all its vital processes organized soon.

**Please redouble your prayers, etc. for the baby - she is critical and her parents are being asked to make an unbearably difficult decision.**
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Free the Clutter!

Over the years I have come to realize that I am somewhat of a packrat. Due to being a sentimental soul, I have a large stash of letters saved, starting from the time my family moved across the country (age 14). Due to moving across the country (and back) again after graduating college and not being able to take all my stuff AND then not getting back to it later, I still have lots of clothes and other things at my parents' house. In my own house there are many, many things I do not use. Some of them I save for sentimental reasons, some because "I might need them later," and some just because for some reason I am not ready to let go of them.

Here I am at my parents' house this week, and while it is a neat and tidy, they have a lot of stuff as well. But the real eye-opener to my packratty nature did not come until the second day we were here.

Sweet Pea had been running around outside playing, but came back in because she was looking for Grandpa and thought he might be in the house. I told her I thought he was down by the barn, hooking up a sprayer to his tractor (turned out to be his itty bitty tractor mower instead) so he could spray his fruit trees. I told her I would walk down with her and show her the barn and she could see what Grandpa was doing.

As we walked by the back of the house we heard a noise and looked, and there came Dad, walking out of the garage. Sweet Pea pointed to the doorway and said, "I want to go there, to the dirty place!" Dad and I both had a good laugh and then I took her in and showed her the tiny, extremely cluttered and dusty bathroom that is in the garage (it has a toilet, a big wash tub, and a tiny window, all in a corner of the garage, closely surrounded by primered drywall, with a sliding wooden door). Then we looked at Mom's car and Dad's car and some of the things in between.

Her curiosity was quickly sated in the garage so we went back outside and walked down the hill to the barn. The garage door on one end of the barn was open so I asked if she wanted to look inside. She nodded and we walked in about two feet and looked around. She wanted to know where the animals were. I laughed. That is what you would think would be in a barn, wouldn't you? But no. "This barn," I told her, "is for... stuff." I had never really thought about it that way, but it is true.

We looked around. Dad's old pickup truck (which was already old and run down when he bought it 10 or so years ago) sat rusting amongst my grandmother's furniture, which is covered but still just sitting, unceremoniously, abandoned in the barn. My dad's seafoam green 1963 Pontiac Catalina, scene of many a family vacation and squabble and singalong (imagine 6 of us on 2 hot, vinyl-covered bench seats, often driving 8 hours per day at the start and end of a trip) sits gleaming, beautiful for its age but not running, amongst the cobwebs.

There is a huge orange tractor which I have never seen my dad use. I'm sure he got a "good deal" on it and figured he'd use it around his 5 acres, but I don't think it has seen the light of day since it got abandoned with the rest of the memorabilia in the barn. The old red Troy Built rototiller is stashed in as well, along with the ancient green shredder, old 2x4s, and a large wooden garden cart with bicycle wheels.

Upstairs - yes, there is an upstairs over half the barn, but it can only be reached by way of a very long ladder - there is more old furniture and lord knows what else.

Sweet Pea took a look around but once she saw the cobwebs, she turned and ran. She is petrified of cobwebs - I have no idea why. Slipshod and I do not react to them, so she didn't learn it from us.

I walked away with a little forgiveness for myself. How can I help but collect clutter when getting rid of it was never modeled for me? Obviously we have to take personal responsibility at some age for these things, but if you don't grow up with a behavior, it can take you many years to figure things out for yourself.

However - my mom has been going through the house and the garage for the past few years, sorting through things cabinet by cabinet, box by box, and getting rid of stuff right and left.

I have been trying to at least do a little bit per day at my house, though some days are better than others. It's a long process, since some of this stuff I have from childhood.

Today I think I will work on the things in "my" closet here at Mom and Dad's.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I Think Spring is Creeping In

No, that statement is not based on the weather. While it was sunny today, just a few days ago it was cold and blustery and POURING rain outside, and I hear that more rain is expected next week.

But inside the house, things are changing. Rooms are getting cleaned up and rearranged. The Bug is too big for her co-sleeper, so I'm putting it away. She's too able to sit up for the bouncy chair to be safe anymore, and she doesn't want to be in it anyway, so I'm putting that away too. The swing also very suddenly lost its magic over her and she is also trying to sit forward and get out of that when I put her in it, so yep, I'm putting that away too.

In a small way I am a little sad that The Bug is already too big for these things, that she is growing so quickly and - yes - crawling (more on that later). But in a very large way, I am practically having a party to celebrate being able to get these things out of the way. The swing in particular takes up so much space, and there is no really good place to put it. The bouncy chair has been out in the hallway at the top of the stairs because we used it in different rooms and that was a good middle place to put it so I could pick it up on my way to whatever room it needed to be in.

Our new sleep situation is as follows: We have pushed our California King bed into a corner of our bedroom and all four of us are sleeping in it. In order for all of us to have enough room, we turned ourselves sideways on the mattress. Slipshod is the only one who notices any difference in length, but his feet aren't sticking out. Because he sleeps with his knees curled up a little bit, I think. But he seems to be sleeping just fine and isn't upset about the arrangement.

The Bug is getting used to sleeping with us all night every night now. At first she was not liking it much but I have now figured out that was because she didn't want our covers on her. She would kick them off and then get cold. So, back to the Halo sleep sack for her. We only had one in the small size so I have ordered a medium from the diaper service, which they will bring with our next delivery. Yay! For now she is in the small sleep sack and it is still longer than her legs, so it is working. She is warm and sleeping better.

Speaking of her sleeping better - I don't know how excited I should get about this because maybe it's just for a couple days - but The Bug has suddenly started sleeping well again! I am STOKED. The night before last she woke up a lot during the night but her last bunch of sleep before we all woke up in the morning lasted 5 hours. That's much better than things were going for a long time. And last night was even better. She slept for 8 hours from the time I put her to bed until 3:45am, and then she was awake for a little bit and nursed. Then she slept for nearly 3 more hours until we all woke up at the usual time. YEAH! I am not feeling the effects of longer sleep chunks yet, but hope to soon. Right now my body is still in crisis mode, I think, and can't quite believe that it has been allowed to sleep for 4-5 hours at a time.

Back to putting away baby things. Now we take the next step, and again I have mixed feelings. You see, we are done. I don't want to be pregnant or go through labor again, and I am at my absolute limit with two children. More power to the families who want and have more, but this is it for us. Because 95% of the parenting is on me, and I think I might actually go crazy in the throw-her-in-an-institution kind of way if I had three kids or more.

That means, goodbye baby things. I have already passed along the 0-3m and 3-6m clothing to some good friends who are expecting twing girls any day now, and the rest of the clothes will go to them as The Bug grows out of them. The baby swing was a hand-me-down to us, so I will give it away to another family who needs it. The bouncy chair was very cheap so I will give that away as well. I'm planning to sell the co-sleeper, but the rest of it can just go.

While I know we're done, at the same time it feels a bit rushed to be shooing these things out the door. But why wait? Somebody else can use them and they'll serve no purpose in our garage.

As for crawling... The Bug has been making new leaps every day in her attempts to move toward objects, across the room, etc. For the past month or so she has been able to push herself further and further backward, frustratingly away from the objects of her desire. These days, she also turns sideways when moving backward, so she's making the movements she can do work for her. For the past week or so she has worked very hard on getting her bootie up in the air and rocking. She made a few successful moves forward on her hands and toes, with a couple lip stands along the way. Now she is trying harder to get her knees under her, and tonight right before bedtime, she truly crawled a bit on her hands and knees. I had a feeling she would get the hang of this faster than Sweet Pea did. Sweet Pea was already moving across the floor at this age, but she was doing the "Army crawl," which I also called "swimming," from 8 months to 11 months. I think The Bug is going to discover true crawling any day now and just go from there.

Interesting note: She STILL does not know how to roll from her tummy to her back. Sweet Pea has tried to show her, but The Bug doesn't care - now she's mobile!

Sweet Pea LOVES to play peek-a-boo with The Bug, and the bug loves it just as much - maybe even more. It is so cute to watch and hear them play, and exciting for me to see them be more interactive, because sometimes I can actually leave them playing and go do something else across the room. For instance, last night while they were in the family room playing peek-a-boo in their play tent & tube, I walked a few feet to the kitchen and set the table and got dinner ready. Oh, how I have waited for these days - and I imagine it will only get better, though I know that with more mobility will come more screaming. Sweet Pea is not excited that The Bug can get to her toys now. She's good at sharing some of the time, but on her terms. She refuses to accept that we are not going to buy The Bug her own set of Legos, building blocks, etc. and that what has until now been hers is now theirs. But, I imagine that will come soon enough. And there will always be disputes. They are siblings, after all.