Life with two

All my babies

I was an attentive, cheerful, doting mother today, as evidenced by the four - FOUR - puzzles still in their put-together glory crowding up my living room floor. I thank God for puzzles, people, as my kids love them and they are pretty much the one kind of kid activity that I can do without wanting to stab myself in the eyes. 

Speaking of, what do your kids like to do? Out of curiosity? Jack right now is super into glue sticks and scissors and markers and entire forests' worth of paper. He writes random letters and asks me what they say (and gets mad when, nine times out of ten, they don't say anything. Sorry kid.) He draws rainbows and planets and family and he LOVES cutting all of his little creations into small pieces. Occasionally he glues them onto another sheet of paper, but usually he leaves them on the floor for me to grumble over later. He's still into his Trio blocks and whines at me to help him build the marble run. Other than that he is making up games with his willing assistant, Mollymoo, and running around the house in costume or building houses or setting up picnics or putting the stuffed animals and babies to bed. He will also sit and read his human body books (SNORE) or play Plants vs. Zombies on the iPad. And THANK THE LORD ALMIGHTY we have moved on from Busytown Mysteries. The preferred shows are now Fishtronaut (?) and Blue's Clues, both of which were found through unfettered iPad Netflix access. Sue me. 

Molly does whatever Jack does. Mostly. She also plays with the iPad but she's more likely to play one of the gazillion kid apps we downloaded. She's more into puzzles than her brother, but she prefers an adoring audience while she does them. She colors and cuts too, but mostly she's either doing whatever Jack is doing (therefore making it hard to tell what SHE especially likes to do) or hanging out with me. She likes to help unload the dishwasher and fold wash cloths and help me make the beds. She picks out clothes and watches me do my hair and loves getting the mail. I'm looking forward to seeing what a few hours of preschool separation does for Molly. Not that I think it's bad all this copycatting of her brother, but it will be fun to see what kinds of things she latches onto. It's super fun watching them play "airplane" or "haircut" or "mommy and daddy" but these are almost always Jack's ideas and Molly is second in command. Her one talent at these games seems to be starting a fight, alas. 

ANYWAY. I think my nice mommyness was largely due to the fact that Nai Nai and Ye Ye came over around lunchtime and watched the kids while I went to yet another doctor appointment. (Where I LOST two pounds! Ha! But I think that has more to do with sketchy weights than anything else. I mean, my rule during Hot By Thirty was Naked Morning Weight Is The Only One That Counts. Right?) And I "extended" my appointment hanging out at the library for a good hour. Refreshing! As for the appointment, it was, yet again, a thoroughly boring and pointless and I flat out said, "Do I REALLY have to come back so soon?" And my doctor, because she is awesome, cancelled my next appointment. Because REALLY. NOTHING IS HAPPENING. I don't have to go back until the 12th. I plan to gain lots of weight in the meantime, OBVS. 

I know that must sound so snobby and/or obnoxious to many of you, but there is honestly nothing much to talk about with my doctor. There's no reason to go over any of my complaints because I know they are all NORMAL and there's really nothing you can DO about having baby feet jammed in your ribcage except HAVE THE BABY. Right? I don't have anything serious to mention and all she does is measure me and tell me everything sounds great, so, yeah. That's that. I acknowledge my luckiness! But I am also going to complain about the baby feet. And the fact that I can no longer breathe. 

Actually, I had to sort of sit down and tell myself today, "Self? No more projects. Do not even think about painting your entry way. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." I mean, perhaps I will get around to organizing the pantry and I really do have to find a place for new baby's stuff, but no more of these grand home improvement projects. (Well, grand for ME, anyway.) When walking up my one rinky dink flight of stairs is enough to wind me (see: baby feet in ribs) it's clear that I need to, you know, stop some stuff. I've been feeling bad about being tired or napping or even things like dreading helping the kids maneuver on the playground and making lunch, because all I want to do is SIT. But I'm trying to remind myself that even though I am a lazy lazy girl, I am not by nature a SITTER, this is not the real ME, I am 7.5 months pregnant and if there is any time when I should do more sitting it's the next several weeks. I think this is okay. 

I got to skype with my college bff today and her brand new baby boy and OH he was SO SWEET. It was making me very moony-eyed. He's beautiful. WANT. 

ANYWAY. We're just sort of stuck in these next couple weeks of Summer and Nothing Much To Do, which I've been disliking more and more lately. But then there will be Labor Day and after that, PRESCHOOL (OMG, must discuss preschool tomorrow, I have the shakes), and then the baby comes and maybe I should just APPRECIATE my days of nothingness right now? You think? I will try. 


Cake, fighting, husband lateness, etc.

I've been meeting a pregnant friend to walk around the lake about once a week. It's not an official Thing or anything, we just did it once and it was nice and we decided to do it again... and then I realized that that was pretty much all the exercise I've been getting lately. Which I think is okay, seeing as how just climbing the stairs in my house makes me breathless and all the painting-near-the-ceiling I did recently about made my arms fall off in addition to making me breathless... in other words, it feels like Life Itself is enough exercise for me lately. But then walking around the lake made me feel, you know, VIRTUOUS. So we've kept it up. 

Except tonight, when I texted her to say: can we meet for cake instead? 

I mean, WHY NOT? I'm feeling sort of crabby anyway and cake is guaranteed to make me feel better whereas a walk around the lake will just make me bemoan my Increasing Girth and future inability to lose it. ALAS. (Oh yes that IS a Future Post Topic!)

The kids were awesome the first day post-vacation, but they've been sassy and snippy and fighty ever since and I! Have! Had! It! My dad was talking about how he bought new DVDs when my nephews visited last week because he just needed an hour when they weren't fighting and I am all I KNOW THIS FEELING. My "favorite" is when J and M are playing some sort of little chasing game and then Molly suddenly decides she doesn't want to play anymore and runs to my side in a Fit of Sweet Innocent Baby Girl Is Being Tortured By Her Nefarious Older Brother and expects me to hold her and protect her and GAH. This happens approximately fifty thousand times a day and as much as I want to, I can't keep Busytown Mysteries going from eight to six. (Right?)

Also I am crabby because my husband is late coming home from work and... ATTENTION HUSBANDS EVERYWHERE: Your wives can usually get behind the fact that you are late. It happens. We understand. The bus schedule is off, traffic is bad, the boss needed something, there was a fire in the server room, whatever. However! When you clearly have advance notice of the Being Late, it would be MOST WISE of you to share that information with us. As in, if you are supposed to be home at six, do not send me a text at six-fifteen saying you've been waiting for a bus for 25 minutes. What can I infer from that text? That you knew you were going to be late A LONG TIME AGO. 

This is why meatballs and corn on the cob and other various random food particles I decided to turn into "dinner" are congealing on my counter as I type. Not that I'm ANNOYED or anything. 

Also! My parents visited this morning and took us to Denny's for lunch. Now, the Cheungs are city folk and we are [rightly] made fun of by others for being sort of snooty about our eating establishments. As in: we live in the CITY. Why eat at a CHAIN. Why eat at Denny's, EVER? But secretly the Cheungs sort of LOVE Denny's, especially because the kids actually EAT things there. Special!

So we went to Denny's and even though Jack was a total pill and didn't want to order anything and Molly only wanted doughnuts or something, when their food came they ate ALL OF IT. And our food too. Jack is getting better about eating and Molly has always been ready to try anything, but neither of them eat very MUCH and it's always a struggle getting them to eat enough so they won't be hungry in an hour. But today? At lunchtime? DUDES. These kids packed it in and I had a whole afternoon without begging for snacks. They didn't eat dinner till AFTER SIX. AMAZINGNESS. Seriously, is this what it could be like? Can I take them to Denny's EVERY DAY?

Oh wait, Phillip is home now and apparently he CAN'T tell me he's going to be late earlier because he's waiting in the bus tunnel and there's no service down there. Okay fine then. But the timing seems sort of off to me... well. I won't pick it apart. THIS TIME. HARRUMPH.

Did I tell you I'm choosing cake over exercise tonight? SO SMART OF ME. 

In other news, I have a post up at Parenting tomorrow about all the ways my kids (mainly Jack) are identifying their half-Chineseness, and most of those ways are just plain bizarre. Well, it's not really HIS half-Chineseness I guess, but just NOTICING Chinese (Asian) things in general... and some of those things are clearly NOT Chinese, but merely associated with Chinese grandparents. Stuff like that. Anyway, I'd really appreciate hearing from other parents from bi/multi-racial kids. I mean, it's not a problem or anything I'm fretting about, but it's just sort of WEIRD, the stuff Jack comes up with, and I don't really know if I should just go along with whatever or try to guide him. I mean, he's FOUR. We have plenty of time to get all racial reconciliation talky talk with him. Bleargh.

It also occurs to me that this website has been seriously devoid of house decorating talk for, like, DAYS now. Unacceptable! Tomorrow: FABRIC! 


I think we're getting one day of summer tomorrow, then back to sixty-two and raining. Of course.

Oh &@$%. Here I am sitting down to write the Evening Blog Post and I just remembered that we [ME] totally spaced on the Last Day Of Preschool Teacher Present. Blast! Not that we were going to do anything Fahncy, I was just going to have Jack make cards. But Phillip is putting him to bed now... Okay, what if I get out my collection of nice, blank notecards, write my own little note and transcribe a Jackson note over breakfast? And if there's time have him draw a picture? Is that okay? I think the teacher presents get sort of ridiculous... and I, personally, would prefer a note over a Starbucks card... AFFIRM MY DECISION, INTERNET.

So Jack's last day is tomorrow and I realize this seems to be much later than everyone else's last day of preschool. My top theory is that, due to the preschool renting space from a synagogue and therefore taking off all the Jewish holidays, they make them up towards the end. Yes? 

And now we are facing a preschool-less summer and I won't lie. I'm a little intimidated. I've counted on two mornings a week of just Molly and me, which isn't always necessarily a breeze, but at least there is no FIGHTING. And there are two mornings a week where I definitely know what the plans are. You know? And now... Phillip REALLY wants to get them into swimming lessons, but I'm thinking that will be a Saturday thing because I? Am not doing swimming lessons. I am 1) pregnant 2) would rather die than be pregnant and swimsuited and 3) I don't know how to swim. Perhaps that last reason is a good one for me to GO? But no, my Biggest Fear is drowning (actually, drowning because my PLANE crashed into the OCEAN) and, well, I am an adult and I have made my peace with not knowing how to swim. But I WOULD like my kids to be a little more normal than me and yay for their dad taking the initiative. That still doesn't help me figure out my summer weeks. 

I've been perusing the local community center summer brochure and there are all manner of weird little classes to take. I might sign them up for one or two of those, here and there. I don't know. We also have a lot going ON this summer, so maybe it won't seem too empty. A friend of mine also passed on some info for a girl whose nanny job fell through at the last minute and is looking for childcare hours. I can see things working in my favor. 

One thing that is LAME and that I sort of forgot about is Phillip's class next week. In order not to kill ourselves with work, school and travel this winter, Phillip put off a single class for the summer. And he picked a class that is only one week long, but EVERY DAY all week long, with a lot of homework and group work hours afterwards. So yeah. It's one week and if I can survive a week-long business trip I can certainly survive a week-long class. BUT STILL. WAH. 

What are you doing with your preschoolers this summer? 

I had an OB appointment today. It's been... a while. I scheduled my ultrasound sort of late-ish, and then I kept putting off this appointment. I swear, every single one of these appointments has been pointless. They take five minutes. Listen to the heartbeat, then off I go. Not that I'm complaining about things being so NORMAL, HARDLY, but I wish I could SKIP all this stuff and head directly to Labor and Delivery. What would they do to me? Make me give birth in the parking lot? 

(Also, yes, totally looking Gift Horse in the Mouth, etc. etc.) 

The thing is, I adore my doctor. She is just... ADORABLE. She's cute and WAY friendly and remembers everything about me and my family and actually she's so chatty and remembery that I get sort of stuttery and weird around her, because, uh, AREN'T YOU JUST MY DOCTOR? WAIT, ARE WE FRIENDS? I need my boundaries clearly defined. Anyway, she doesn't hassle me about a single thing and when I told her that I did NOT want to see the Original Nurse Who Gasped At My Previous Pregnancy Weight Gain for a refresher on breastfeeding (OMG CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?) she waved her hand all, "TOTALLY."

Overbearing super doctory doctors seem to be the exception rather than the norm amongst my Seattle friends, and I always feel lucky when I compare my situation to stories I read about on the internet. My experience has been that the medical professionals are a lot less interventiony (how many nouns can I turn into adjectives in this post?!) than others in other parts of the country. As you know, I am not the type to have my baby in a tub and I am a big fan of pain meds, but I prefer to be poked and prodded as little as possible, and that's the sort of doctor I have. At least, she has ALWAYS given me the choice, when available, and when I ALWAYS opt out, she never makes me feel stupid or bad. 

But I stil have to show up to [Mostly] Pointless Appointments. Alas. Of course, today I was handed my vial of Revolting Orange Drink for my NEXT appointment, so I suppose there was that. 

Today I also started to think about actually HAVING the baby. I had conveniently blocked this part out. WAH.

Well. That was pretty tangenty, wasn't it (AGAIN! WITH THE ADJECTIVES! AM ON A ROLL!) I need to be writing these NOTECARDS, people. Stop distracting me! 

 


Wanted: Routine

I marched my delinquents to a friend's house this morning, and as they played with her delinquents and my friend I discussed our collective Rage, things slowly got better. Misery loves company, for one thing, but maybe we all just needed a change of scenery. 

I think what's going on is that I'm trying to establish The How We Live In The New House Routine and the kids are just not going for it. We've spent the last couple of months doing whatever is easiest. I mean, Phillip was away a lot, I was constantly getting calls from realtors wanting to see the rental house, we had to find a NEW house, then we had to pack and move and then we all got sick and yes, the kids have gotten away with many things I'm not proud of, simply because I had other stuff going on. Bedtimes were fluid, naptimes were flexible, television was always welcome. Now I'm trying to make things happen at specific times, trying to make Jack play in a specific place and on his own, trying to get them down for bed without hours of clowning around. And they're all "WHAAA?"

I have two things on my Killing Me Slowly list: bedtime and naptime. Ha! Could I pick two harder things? They're related, of course. Jack naps as an absolute last resort, when he positively cannot help himself. Molly cheerfully naps, for hours at a time. So at bedtime, which we would PREFER to be around 8pm, we have one incredibly cranky, nasty, sassy, whiny kid and one who is just not sleepy at all. Put them in the same room and they FEED off each other and it's AWFUL. So the idea we came up with was to separate them- put Molly down in a makeshift bed in our room, put Jack in his own bed, move Molly once Jack has fallen asleep. (Which he does quite quickly when he's tired and by himself.) We were going to start this last night. 

However! Yesterday Molly did not nap. So we put them down super early and they fell asleep and wow, if only it were like that every night. 

And today! They both napped! So... we put them down together and they are STILL awake. I keep hearing Molly drop books on the floor. She's not so smooth. 

So even when we have a PLAN, the kids find a way to RUIN IT. 

I guess we'll just keep trying. There's nothing else to do. Another thing I'm hoping for is Creating Spaces... like at nap time, Jack drives me crazy because he immediately wants to watch a TV show (he's not allowed until a certain time) or he wants me to play with him (a no no, this is QUIET TIME for BOTH OF US) and it's so frustrating. He used to be good at quiet time! And I know it's only because we've lost the routine and he's not sure what's available to him. I've just been storing toys here and there, he doesn't know where the art supplies are because I keep changing my mind, stuff like that. We are going to Ikea this weekend and I'm hoping to come home with a few things to help me sort out the space next to my kitchen, where I hope to put a lot of the kids' art stuff and Jack's quiet time things. Then he'll have a PLACE, you know? And I can say, "Here, go do all the things over THERE, because you are supposed to spend this time over THERE" etc. 

Will new furniture solve one of my problems? WHY NOT?!

Anyway. We shall power through. If I need to buy MORE furniture, so be it. 

P.S. I wrote about babysitting other people's kids at Parenting. I don't know. Sometimes I have good ideas there, sometimes I'm all, "well this happened, maybe that would make a good post, oh wait, not really, well, I already wrote it, ta da!" 

P.P.S. Did you guys know that there are almost twice as many people signed up for the Blathering as there were last year? And the year before? !!! I can't decide if this makes me sadder or happier than I can't go this year. On one hand: AM MISSING OUT BIG TIME. On the other: I would probably spend all my time hiding in the closet, and every so often passing a note under the door asking for someone to bring me a drink. 


Early risers

Because of Twitter I know that everyone else's children are waking up Unacceptably Early, just like mine. I think it's the early morning light, right? The kids have some pretty big windows in their room, and even though they're covered with shades and curtains, you can still see the light around the edges and it'd fool me too. If I wasn't a grown up who didn't highly value sleeping in. 

Anyway, it's usually Molly. Around 5 or 5:30 or 6 if we're lucky, she'll pitter patter into our room, blankie in tow, passo jammed in her mouth, and stand next to you all creepy-like until your eyes flutter open and see that The Princess has arrived. You are then expected to haul her into bed next to you and let her play with your phone or the iPad until you are capable of functioning. Which is NEVER before The Princess starts demanding breakfast. 

The KICKER to all of this is Jack, who we've always KNOWN to be a Sensitive Super Volatile Waker Upper. The first time he started bawling at six in the morning, when Molly had already been in bed with us for an hour, we had no idea what was up. And you know we were pleasant about it too. But seriously, who is capable of dealing with Full On Outright Temper Tantrummy BAWLING at six in the morning? When we finally got him to calm down he stammered, "I don't want Mollymoo to get up BEFOOOOOOORE MEEEEEE." 

FTLOG!

The next morning was the same thing, only this time he said, "Daddy I want you to wake me up before Mollymoo!" Like it's a competition? Or something? Or maybe he just doesn't like waking up and seeing that he's alone? WHO CARES! HOW STUPID!

A week or two later it's standard fare in the Cheung household. Children invade the bedroom unpleasantly early, we sleepily tug them into bed and ply them with electronic entertainment. On occasion I stumble out of bed and turn on the television in the living room. But they STILL start demanding breakfast before I'm ready to deliver, and I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: Come on, woman! Do your job! Your children are hungry! But did you know that I can fix a beautiful, healthy breakfast and watch the kids have exactly three bites before declaring they are no LONGER hungry? I can even give them sugary cereal and doughnuts and they will still do this. And then demand lunch at ten. AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!

Phillip left on another business trip yesterday afternoon, so I was on my own this morning when Molly flounced into my room and, on cue, Jack started howling at six. And I decided: THIS IS IT. 

I forced Molly back to her room. So then I had two kids crying. I sat on Jack's bed and explained, in detail, how HORRIBLE he is when he hasn't had enough sleep, how he is CRETIN-LIKE and UNBEARABLE and TOTALLY UNREASONABLE. That his "wrong side of bed" is SO MUCH MORE WRONGER than anyone else's. And that he was staying in bed until seven. AT LEAST SEVEN. Both of them. I didn't care if they slept or not, but they were NOT coming out of that room until seven. I put the tiny digital alarm clock next to Jack's bed and told him they were not allowed out until the six turned into a seven. 

AND IT WORKED. !!!

Well, not without a lot of, "MOMMY, I NEED A KLEENEX!" and "MOMMY, I HUNGRY!" and "MOMMY, MY NECK HURTS!" and CERTAINLY not without my phone and the iPad to keep them entertained. But at seven, when they were allowed to get up and demand their frozen waffles, they were, dare I say it, halfway pleasant. And I'd had a good forty-five minutes of Time To Process before I had to get up and do anything. 

It's an ugly win, but a win nonetheless. 

They are now on their second frozen waffle and shouting - YELLING - at a fly stuck in the kitchen. As if they hope to scare the fly into submission. Well. They are no longer yelling at ME, and that is an improvement. 


The 'Mighty' now refers to 'Not Sick! Yet!'

The good thing about sick kids is that you (well, perhaps I should just speak for myself) WANT to coddle and spoil and baby and placate them.* They're whiny and miserable, but you know WHY. You UNDERSTAND. When one child begins to wail because the other child is singing the song that HE wanted to sing, at least you can say to yourself, "Well, he's just not himself today." This phrase has the benefit of being true, while also totally ignoring the fact that, actually, this sort of argument IS a daily occurrence, stomach bug or no stomach bug. 

Poor Jack woke up scandalously early, was in a horrible funk all morning - enough for Phillip to apologize before leaving for work. But then he fell asleep on the couch sometime in the morning and basically did not leave that spot all day. And I was content to leave him there, fetching him glasses of water and ordering Netflix to play as many Busytowns as his little heart desired. Jack can be lethargic and spacy and whiny when he wants to Get Me, but otherwise he's a pretty active, giggly, shouty, energetic little kid. So seeing him passed out on the couch all day just turns me into the most permissive mother in the world. TV all day? Cheez Its for lunch? A ride in the car just to RIDE IN THE CAR? Sure! Why not! 

Molly, at least, is herself again. Mostly. I fear the Potty Situation will never right itself, but at least SHE wasn't passed out on the couch all day (although her version of "passed out on the couch" is "glued to my lap". Much MUCH worse.) 

The big disappointment tonight is that we had to skip Jack's preschool open house. I knew they were working on art projects and I love hearing them tell me how awesome he is, so I'm just bummed. I'm bummed that we won't go there next year, I'm bummed I'm missing out on Jack showing off his stuff, grumble grumble grumble. Damn you, Emotional Attachments! I hate that our whole family is on this sort of downward slide towards mid June, when grad school will be officially, though not technically, over (he still has a week long class to finish in July). It seems there are a dozen different special nights and appointments and last days of various things that I, in particular, just have to power through. There are all these things I want to do with the house, but there's no time to do them, not until school is out. So I'm just waiting around, waiting for preschool to be over, waiting for Phillip to have time to talk about Where To Put The Bookshelves, that sort of thing. But then summer is never calm, not when you have twelve zillion people visiting your family (this is a GOOD thing, just a BUSY thing) and all that to say you are never going to see pictures of the inside of my house. I still have a carpet hole in my living room, for pete's sake. 

AAAANYWAY. Today I found some leftover Easter candy, so, score! Also I've discovered, via my equally-fixated-on-British-wartime-mysteries father, a fabulous new detective series (by Charles Todd) (a MOTHER/SON WRITING TEAM) AND I found out that Downton Abbey is on Netflix. There was a time when everyone was referring to Downton Abbey on Twitter and I KNEW it was my kind of show but I didn't have the ability to watch it and NOW? Now I have 1) a comfortable living room and 2) Netflix working on my TV again and I am in Turn Of The Century British Heaven. God bless Netflix and God bless the Kindle. 

*It just occured to me that my HUSBAND will read this and think, "Why doesn't she want to coddle ME when I'M sick?" I'm going to have to think up an answer to that. Something along the lines of, "Well, you aren't FOUR."


Miralax will now sue me for defamation

Upon hearing that Molly's Intense Intestinal Distress was on its fourth day, the doctor frowned and said, "Nah, that's something viral. Something viral and bad timing with the Miralax."

So now my guilt over making my baby sick has been replaced with guilt over how many OTHER babies I've made sick, because I thought Molly was just reacting to the Miralax and not ACTUALLY sick.

Today was marginally better. Even though she woke up at five and had to take a morning nap for the first time in forever, she woke up from her super long afternoon nap a mostly different girl. Cheery, interested in toys, interested in food, interested in her grandparents who came to visit. Still kind of clingy, but we stayed away from The Facilities and I felt like the worst was over.

We were going to meet some family friends for dinner (YAY for Big Chinese Celebratory Dinners!) and the kids and I went to pick up Phillip on our way downtown. Then, right as I was parking the car behind Phillip's building, Jack said, "My tummy hurts!" And you never really know with him. He's a bit of a whiny baby at times, and I thought maybe he was just tired (he was) and tired of his sister getting all the love (that too) but THEN he barfed all over himself.

I wasn't able to haul him out of the car until the third wave of barf, and by that time he was covered, the car seat was soaked, and I was not smelling so great myself. Phillip arrived with towels and plastic bags and brand new company t-shirts and we mopped things up the best we could, cancelled on the grandparents and drove back home. I put everything in the laundry, Jack in the tub and left the car to Phillip.

And Jack barfed a few more times. So. Apparently it is something viral.

My kids don't get sick very often, and when they do it doesn't REALLY faze me. I mean, it sucks and it's hard work and no sleep and your babies are sad pathetic little blobs for a few days, but whatever, people get sick, life goes on. THIS TIME, however, I am TERRIFIED of when it will be my turn. I just... I cannot deal with that. I can't. Not on top of everything else. Not when my house is still a moving-in-disaster, when there are potato chips ground into the carpet, when I still have loads of preschool and moving paperwork to take care of, when Phillip has all his end-of-the-program school stuff going, when I've JUST NOW reentered Life and made plans with all of my people. I can't get sick. WHAT WILL I DO???

Phillip says he'll stay home, but... UGH. I'm sitting here praying that the cramping I feel in my own stomach is simply from being pregnant, or the smell of barf that still lingers. I can't do that. I cannot take three or four days off from everything. Even if I DO get to lay in bed that whole time.

So anyway, there ends the Mystery Miralax Episode. LAME, huh? SUPER bad timing. I'm supposed to wait a few days until I feel sure about Molly being past this stomach bug, then start again with a half dose, or even a fourth. I hope that this becomes routine eventually, because I'm really hoping for her to be trained in time for preschool in the fall. And right now that seems impossible.

Right now Jack and Molly and Phillip are on the couch watching (what else) Busytown Mysteries. Jack holds a bowl in his lap, Molly munches on a peanut butter sandwich and Phillip had to give up his fancy Chinese dinner for my leftover omelette from yesterday's brunch. We're shooting for an early bedtime and then draping the kids' room in plastic, the better to quarantine whatever it is that threatens our desperately needed productivity.

In the meantime, my laptop is the only internet-accessing-device that is not accessing the internet. Something ELSE to cry about. SEE YOU TOMORROW.

ETA: I forgot to mention that the "best" part of the barfing is Molly flapping her hands, looking grossed out/worried and going "oh! oh! oh!". And then turning away. Because "I don't like that noise."


How this turned into a sleep post I have no idea

Phillip is coming home late tonight. I should:

do the dishes

put the folded laundry away

pick up the toys that were left when I got tired of barking at kids to put toys away

take out the garbage

clear the dining room table of: broken knick knacks, Jack's laptop, contact paper, scissors, a book, a clippie, cloth napkins, a dirty bowl and dish, a stack of receipts, last week's grocery list. 

BUT I'M NOT GONNA. 

I think I'm going to lay down on the couch and watch the latest episode of The Good Wife, the only TV show I've kept watching post-cable and post-move. Oh Kalinda. How could you!

I WOULD watch it in the bedroom, while I am in my bed, perhaps with a cookie, but for some reason our fake wireless works better in the living room and I hate hate hate waiting for shows to buffer (and then crash, then you have to start all over, GAH.)

Jack stayed an extra hour at preschool today so Molly and I could buy his birthday presents (the family party is Sunday), and then I made him lay down in my bed for an hour. I INSISTED. The no nap thing is still really rough, even though it makes for a terrifically easy bedtime. But he's SUCH a whiny, antagonistic poutface in the late afternoon, especially lately for some reason, and I'm getting so upset with him. And with Phillip out of town it's just exhausting. So the last two days I've been saying, "Yes, you can watch Busytown, but not until the clock has a TWO." And there's anywhere from a half hour to an hour before there is a two. And he is NOT happy about this, but I pile him up with books and today I gave him my phone and I LEAVE. 

It sucks. He whines. I have to ignore most of it. Then he has to go potty. But he DOES understand that he doesn't get to watch his show until TWO. He respects the clock! So yesterday, when he only had a half hour to wait, he waited (impatiently) and then he got to watch his show. But today, when he had an hour, he waited (impatiently), then he got REALLY annoyed ("it's taking a LONG TIME to be TWO"), but I was Firm and Meanish and told him too bad, and about ten minutes before two I heard him snoring. 

I WIN. 

I think? It's nine and he's still not asleep, but he's not making noise or whining for me either. And holy cats was he PLEASANT this evening. Just, you know, HIMSELF. I know I know I know that 99% of his craptastic attitude has to do with being tired (or being woken up too early, sorry PRINCESS) but he WILL NOT go to sleep. He just won't. In order for days like today to happen, he has to be genuinely worn out (which he was because 1) he woke up earlyish this morning and 2) he spent an extra hour at preschool which meant extra time on the playground, thank you sunshine.) AND I have to have a fight with him. I can't just say, "You're really tired Jack, let's have a little rest, I'll leave you alone." No, there MUST be an element of arguing, because that's the THING that finally does it. I cannot remember the last time he fell asleep in the afternoon (at OUR house - my mom's house is a completely different and annoying story) without me getting in his face about it.

It's kind of like crying it out. Crying it out TOTALLY worked for Jack, even though we had to do it several times, through several transitions. It never took more than a day or two and while I hated it, I also realized that he was, as Moxie says, working it all out. 

(Molly, on the other hand, has never cried it out. Phillip wanted to several times with her, but I have this gut feeling about Molly. She has ALWAYS gone to bed easily and cheerfully, she often ASKS for her nap, and when she cries at night there is a PROBLEM. The one time we did let her cry, she just got ramped up and hysterical, just like Moxie says. Oh Moxie. She's better than any parenting book.)

But I HATE fighting with Jack. It is SO exhausting. It BOTHERS me. I do it, obviously, because you have to. But I think about what it would take for him to nap every day, and I just don't know if I could manage it. Even when he's REALLY TIRED, even when we BOTH know a nap would make the rest of the day so much easier, I don't always have the energy to force him into a quiet room for an hour until he DOES fall asleep. The whining, the negotiating, the complaining... I hate listening to it. I've tried getting REALLY mean about it, and then he cries. Which often equals a nap. But MAN I hate doing that. I HATE IT. I hate the me who is yelling and raging at what is just a very tired little boy. And then when he doesn't nap, Phillip loves how easy he goes to bed at night and then I think, well, maybe no nap is fine...

I wonder if I "made" him sleep for a week, would it turn into a routine? After more than a YEAR of no napping? And then sometimes I don't think he NEEDS a nap. He's not ALWAYS horrible in the late afternoon. It often depends on the weather, how much attention I'm giving them, whether or not we're going out, what time Daddy comes home... Sometimes it's totally fine. Sometimes he plays his computer and builds with his blocks and watches a show and helps me unload the dishwasher and pretends to build a house until Molly wakes up and everyone is happy. 

I don't know. I feel like a GOOD mom would suck it up and pick the fights and do what has to be done to make sure the kid gets what he needs. But an AVERAGE mom, such as myself, is not always SURE what he needs, and finds herself emotionally exhausted and/or angry and depressed after having to "fight" him into a nap. BAH!

What's clear is that I need a nap. After a lifetime of being Anti-Nap - for most people naps = refreshment, for me naps = feeling like I took drugs/lost my mind - it's now a requirement. I seriously cannot function past one. This is how Jack developed his deep and abiding love for Busytown Mysteries. I NEED TO REST. WITH MY EYES CLOSED. HORIZONTALLY. LEAVE ME ALONE.


You KNOW I'd rather be watching the Royal Wedding

I don't remember the last time I had a cold this bad. The kids were with my in-laws all day, and I spent my free time packing a box, then lying down, then packing a box, then lying down. 

I kind of freaked out when the movers called to say they were bumping up our move from Saturday afternoon to Saturday morning. I emailed Phillip to inform him he'd be taking tomorrow off. And then I emailed the friend who told me her daycare lady was taking drop ins. I wasn't going to do this. The kids are already so mixed up and out of it and getting shuffled off to various family members this week. But I still have so much to pack and there's nothing for the kids to do here and and and GO AWAY GUILT! The plan is to drop them off in the morning and... I don't know, do the daycare thing. I had to be schooled on lunches and naps and changes of clothes. This will be super new for all of us. 

Of course, Molly seemed to have a fever tonight and Jack was coughing. So maybe tomorrow we will just all sit around watching Phillip box up the rest of the house. That actually doesn't sound half bad. 

Wish me luck, Internet! Or, at the very least, the ability to breathe out of my nose. 


There was no possibility of taking a walk that day

Phillip comes home tonight. But I will probably be asleep when he gets here. A combination of Sick, Still Freakishly Tired, and Jane Eyre on the Kindle makes me float off before nine. 

This is not a knock against Jane Eyre, just that reading in bed helps me fall asleep. I downloaded Jane Eyre because it was free and I was tired of looking for books I wanted to read, yet weren't thirteen dollars. Also, I would have told you that of COURSE I've read Jane Eyre before, in high school AND college, but, um, so far it is WILDLY UNFAMILIAR. So much so that I'm very angry I already know about MRS. Rochester, because it's ruining what is a really awesome read. That I do not think I've read before. Oh dear. English major FAIL. 

My least favorite thing that happened this week is when the realtor who told me he was coming at six instead showed up at five-twenty. UNFAIR. I had given MUCH thought to how we'd be out by six and what we would do and when we would eat dinner. I was elbow deep in diapers and dirty laundry, trying to get the place fixed up. And he was all, "Oh! We're early! Don't mind us! We're fine!" Like I was worried about HIS experience. OOOOH I WAS FURIOUS. I think of all the frustrations I've had in the last several weeks, it's the rental house stuff that puts me over the edge. 

I called a moving company for an estimate today. It's been decided: we are too old to make our friends help. So I called, having no idea what to expect for an estimate, and, well, wowsers. That said. It was an overestimate, that much is clear, and also I was on the phone with these guys for nearly 45 minutes. I cannot do that with another set of movers. Yes, I am saying it may be worth hundreds of dollars to me just to not have to get another estimate. GROWN UP BUDGETING FAIL. But seriously, I had to list every piece of furniture in every room, PLUS estimate how many boxes I was going to have, in small, medium, and large. I did my best but dude, that's nigh impossible don't you think? I overestimated (I hope). Then I hung up and realized I didn't mention the outdoor furniture, or the closet full of musical instruments, or all the bikes and trikes. What we're hoping to do is pack everything ourselves and stack all the boxes in the garage to make it easy. They charge by the hour, so whatever we can do to simplify and streamline should trim some cash, yes? 

SAY YES.

It turns out Phillip doesn't have to go away for a third week (which would have been the week after next). He is, however, still going on a week long trip the following week. For those of you keeping track. I am in this strange place of being excited/relieved/thrilled that he's going to be home for two weeks! In a row! Er...

I forgot to post something for Parenting this week. Because, and this is true, I forgot what day it was. I always write something on WEDNESDAYS. And on Wednesday I found myself saying, "Oh good, I still have another day to think of something!" Which: not exactly. And you guys, this is the third time I've done this. All in the last three or four months. I am BEYOND MORTIFIED. I keep waiting for them to fire me. Seriously. 

I took the kids to the bank with me to get a cashier's check. For an ungodly amount of money. That I will never see again. I bribed them into behaving with granola bars. It only took 10 minutes. It seemed like it should take longer. And require a background check and calls to my high school teachers and Phillip's former employers. OR SOMETHING. I don't know. 

I also took them to Lowe's AND Home Depot to pick up paint chips. I hate painting (shocker!) and I hate picking out paint almost as much. But while I can hire painters, I can't really hire anyone to pick my paint for me. Well, I suppose I can, but have you met me? Control Freak Extraordinaire! A friend of mine just recently worked with another interior designer friend to repaint and redecorate her entire downstairs. It looks awesome! And the interior designer friend offered to help me out as well. But I just know - I JUST KNOW - that my style will not gel with his and that is how I will end up with taupe walls, because I can't say no. Especially to someone with AUTHORITY. But I do not want taupe walls. I want 'Gravity' from Valspar walls BUT I COULDN'T FIND THE FREAKING PAINT CHIP.

I bought Molly two more Easter dresses. Shut up. Sixty percent off! 

We colored eggs today. 

I've packed up half my dishes. I have a lot of dishes. 

I had Top Ramen for dinner, and woe, Top Ramen is the poor white girl's version of FIL-Approved Can-Only-Buy-It-In-Canada Ramen. Sob. 

We are signing all the papers at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. Kids in tow. Deep breath.