Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And then my little boy grew up

The other night, I was in the bathroom with Tyler. It was time to take a bath, and I was playing "goalie" by trying to keep him in the bathroom. Just before bathtime is when he has his last burst of energy, and usually runs around the house, naked, just laughing and cracking up while one of us chase him. It's become routine, and it's hilarious!

So as we're getting in to the tub, he announces he needs to go potty. I beg him to just pee in the tub, like he has done for the last 3 years! He ignores me, and hops out. As I'm watching, he lifts the toilet lid, aims, and pees in the toilet! What??? When did this start? He's peeing standing up now? We never taught him this - he must've just watched other kids at daycare.

Wow, when did my little boy grow up. What else is left? It seems when they are little there are so many milestones that come so fast - smiling, sitting, crawling, standing, wobbling, walking, talking, etc. You get the picture. What's next after this? I guess I never expected this - but then after seeing him do it, it made me think really hard about how fast he's growing up.

This morning, he walked out into the kitchen at about 6:15. He usually wants you to hold him on your lap for about 1 minute after he wakes up - kind of like his own transition into the day. I love it, especially since Tyler was never a cuddly baby.

He soon whispers he needs to go potty, and takes himself to the bathroom. I don't need to help him at all anymore, so I don't bother to help him, and about 2 minutes later he comes shuffling out to the living room with his pajamas around his ankles because they got all twisted up. We get that fixed, and I go about my business. He's happy, I'm happy, and it's a start of a great day!

Right before I leave for work, I go into the bathroom to find.....


I think I'm really starting to realize that I'm outnumbered here. 3 boys vs. me in the house - and it's only the beginning!

Monday, February 25, 2008

As I sit here, I smile...

I'm sitting on the couch, just spent the last couple of hours catching up on some work that I'm too far behind on. The boys were both in bed by 8pm, and I think Tyler was asleep about when his head hit the pillow. So - it's been a quiet night for us.

When it's quiet, Kyle and I don't talk a lot - as I'm usually working and he's usually watching TV, and we even had a couple small disagreements tonight just because that's the kind of "edgy" mood were both in. He ended up watching the Golf Channel - which is so incredibly boring to me, it's annoying - even though I wasn't even watching it. Just hearing people talk about different golf drills make me cringe. (I'm sure he thinks the same thing when I start playing the Oprah's I DVR every day.)

But even when we're not talking, there is so much being said between us, it's scarey. Anyone that is married knows this. Sometimes - you say the loudest things when you don't say anything at all.

Kyle just got up to go to bed, and as I hear him go down the hall, I hear Connor's bedroom door open. That means Kyle went in and checked on Connor. Then I hear Tyler's door open - he went and checked on Tyler too. That used to be MY thing. I used to check on the boys before I got in bed, and then again, in the middle of the night. Kyle has assumed the "checking duty" before bed for quite a while now - and I don't even say anything.

Just hearing that for some reason, made me smile.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Daddy's Gang

It took quite a long time to get here. A L.O.N.G time. I have to say this, but my husband is pretty awesome. Okay - he has his momemts where I would rather kick him in the groin than deal with him, but those moments are becoming so few and far between.
Slowly and slowly over the last couple of months, I've noticed such a change in Kyle. I think he actually feels connected with Tyler - and Tyler prefers Kyle. Which is why Friday morning was so much fun.

I was awoken at 4:30 by my alarm clock, Connor. I got him back to sleep - took shower and at 5:15, Tyler came in to the bathroom. Excellent - he needs to pee. Tyler pees, and I start marching him back to bed. "NNNOOOOOOOOOO", he howls! "I wanna watch a show!". Are you KIDDING me? It's 5:15am!!! This boy needs at least another hour of sleep - if not two in order to function today. Okay, lose that battle so we don't wake up the rest of the house or neighborhood, and put on show for him and finish getting ready.

Cue Circus.

I go back to the bathroom to get dressed, start putting on make-up.
Hear things falling on the kitchen floor.
Enter kitchen - find Tyler with leftover macaroni & cheese and peas that he wants to breakfast. Fridge door open, things on the floor.
Heat up dinner for breakfast.
Give Tyler his food.
Go back to the bathroom, finish make-up.
Hear things falling on the kitchen floor.
Enter kitchen - find Tyler carrying 4 apples that he wants for breakfast.
Try to reason with Tyler
Lose battle, again- let him bring 4 apples in to the living room.
Go back to bathroom, try to dry hair.
Tyler comes in to bathroom, wants to watch Chicken Little.
Go back to living room, put on Chicken Little.
Back to bathroom, finish hair.
Decide since Tyler is up so early, I'll just take him to daycare.
Cue Meltdown.

Holy Lord! You would've thought I was trying to take blood from this kid. He was crying, kicking, screaming, spitting and anything else he could do to no-so-politely tell me that he DID NOT want to get ready for daycare. I fight him, I wrestle him, at one point I have him pinned down and I'm trying to jam his shoes on his feet. Now I'm sweating, he's crying, and it's 6:20.

Tyler is crying and sobbing, and wants his dad. Daddy takes Tyler and Connor to daycare 99% of the time, so that is what Tyler prefers. Daddy is fun, and daddy is cool.

I lose it - and give up. Tyler has kicked his shoes off for the second time, so I have H.A.D. I.T. I carry him to our bedroom and give him to Kyle, who is just about to get out of bed. Tyler gets in bed with Kyle and immediately calms down, cuddles up to Kyle, and I leave for work.

Kyle called me later and lets me know Tyler was absolutely PERFECT after I left. PERFECT. Thanks. I was beginning to think I was a decendent of the devil or something the way Tyler treated me, but for daddy, he was fine. He is perfect for Kyle every morning. And Kyle loves being able to be the "preferred" parent in the morning, and so do I. I have to be out the door pretty early, so I usually don't even see Tyler in the morning, which is probably why he was so pissed when I was messing with him that morning.

As the boys get older and older, they are becoming the cutest little "gang". Tyler pretty much goes everywhere Kyle does, where he can. They go to the hardware store, grocery store, the mall, Kyle's work, etc. Everywhere they can together.

I spent months bonding with my boys, nursing them and sitting with them in the rocking chair until I could've sworn it was literally growing out of my back, so to see this now happening with the boys' relationship is so fulfilling.

Kyle is experiencing the same love and joy that I've always known.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ever been jealous...

of the Ambien commercials? I see those commercials, and sometimes just want to reach through the screen and strangle the nice people that are getting their "at least 8 hours of rested sleep", just to feel some satisfaction.

Ever since Tyler was born, I was quickly introducted to the fact that I have no control over the amount of sleep I get anymore. This being Jenny - the person that used to be teased about "turning into a pumpkin" if I didn't go to bed before a certain time. I've always been a fanatic about getting enough sleep, and I have no idea why. Even on the weekends, if given a choice (pre-kids) of staying up until 2am and having fun, or having a so-so night and being in bed by 9pm, I would've chose the latter.

Tyler FINALLY slept through the night when he was 8 months old. It was SO hard before that - he was always sick, and generally, just a bad sleeper. After 8 months, he started sleeping through the night, but still woke up at the butt-crack of dawn, which I then got used to.

Then Connor came along, who is a totally different kid than Tyler in so many ways, especially when he started sleeping through the night at 3 months old. Seriously - I didn't have to do anything. He just did it. He would go to bed around 7pm, sleep until 5 or 6am, then take a bottle and sometimes even go back to sleep for an hour or so. It was heaven, but didn't last more than 2 months or so when he started waking up about once a night. By that point my body was used to getting a whole night of sleep again, and the change was torture.

Lately - our house is NUTS at night. It seems like bedtime goes on all night long. Then when they finally ARE asleep, I want to spend at least 20 minutes doing something for myself, like logging in to work (how sick is that), so I can stay somewhat caught up. Then I get in bed around 9:30ish, and am usualy trying to go to sleep around 10pm. Then the circus starts.

Connor has been waking up at least twice a night - I believe because of his ears. After his surgery yesterday, I hope this subsides. The new phenomenon in our house is Tyler waking up in the middle of the night. Two nights ago, he was up three times. Finally ending up in our bed at 3am, which means you might as well give up trying to get any sleep yourself. He finally peed all over our bed around 6am (glad I was already up) because I think the last time he got up he really needed to potty, but was too tired to realize that. So, he peed the equivalent of his weight through his pull-up and all over our bed (and Kyle, ha ha). Although I am thrilled that Tyler is taking his potty training to the next level, I could do without the being jolted awake at 4am with someone standing over me whispering "Mommy, I have to go POTTY!".

All of this lack of sleep makes for some really crabby parents. I really don't remember what we fought about tonight, but it was typical of an "exhaustion fight", as I've started referring to them. When you are so tired that everything bothers you, you want to fight about everything, and everything is WAY worse than it really is.

People remind me that "this too shall pass", so I try to keep that in mind. You know how you take baby pictures and keep a journal, etc., so you can remember those moments when they are gone? That's one of the reasons I started this blog - so I can go back to it later and go "oh, yea, I remember being that tired...". Until then, I'm just going to loathe the Ambien people and their smug little smiles.... someday that will be me...... someday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Connor's First Surgery

Okay - so it's not something you want to put in the "book of firsts", but I'm glad this was done. Connor has basically been on antibiotics since New Years Day, and had just finished off his last round of Omnicef on Sunday night, which is why I'm glad our appointment with the ENT was Monday.

I'm glad we could have the appointment right after finishing those meds, because he was able to see that even with those still in his system, his ears were horrible. He said they were full of puss, which would explain why Connor woke up with, yet another cold on Monday morning. With all of that fluid/gunk in his ears, there is no place for it to drain to.

I was expecting to have him write us a perscription, and say, if he gets another infection, call us and we'll schedule surgery. Instead - he said he'd be back in a minute. When he returned, he said "We can either start another round of antibiotics and schedule the surgery for next week, or I have an opening at 7:45 tomorrow".

Holy Crap! We weren't prepared for that, and especially since we both missed work that Monday due to the weather, another day out of work seemed out of the question - but had to keep the little guy's health in mind. We just want him better.

What a trooper. Connor and I arrived at the hospital at about 6:15 this morning and he did fantastic! He couldn't eat or drink after midnight, but never fussed a bit. We rode in the push car and wagon on the surgery floor to pass the time, and he just smiled and flirted with the nurses.

The surgery itself took about 10 minutes, maybe. I went to the bathroom, got a drink, grabbed a cup of coffee, sat down, looked at the cover of the magazines next to me, and Dr. Capper came in. He's wonderful. He said the ears were full of puss again, so it's a good thing we did this when we did - or we would just be fighting another infection for a week.

Connor is a fantastic baby - such a great personality. Believe me, he has his moments, but I get him. He's just like me! =)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Brain and the Heart

Last Saturday night, Kyle and I went to Meskwaki Bingo & Casino about 60 miles away with his Business Networking Group. Kyle is the president of this group, and had coordinated this event and was SO excited for it. We had 2 limos to take about 35 of us there (these limos were huge!), and had lots of alcohol to help "pass the time" during the trip. Of course, all alcohol had to be either gone or throw away before we entered the Indian Reservation - but that wasn't a problem.

About 20 miles into our trip, the roads got REALLY bad. The snow we had received the days before were blowing over the roads, and with the temps outside at about 0 - this caused black ice everywhere. It was SO scarey! As we continued, we went slower and slower, until we were practically at a crawl, watching people behind us go in the ditch, and people coming at us literally stop in the road because they couldn't go straight anymore.

I finally turned to Kyle and said "You have to make a call here, are we turning around or continuing on?". Kyle - being the "party spirit" that he is, kept insisting that things were fine. He finally went up and talked to the driver, who advised him that if it was his call, he would turn around. We finally stopped along side of the road and waited for the limo behind us to catch up, while our limo driver and his boss (the other limo driver) talked.

As Kyle was in the front of the limo, I was talking to his friends in the back. One girl about our age had heard our conversation, and asked what I told Kyle. I explained to her that sometimes I have to be the voice of reason for Kyle because he is just so passionate about things that any sense of reality goes out the window. She responded with this comment:

"So, you're the brain and he's the heart?"

I had NEVER heard our relationship put that way, but she is exactly right. I am always the one saying "we should probably turn off the TV now, you should probably come home now, we should go to the bed now, we should go see your parents now", etc. Kyle is more concered about everyone having a good time, keeping up with his networks, in general, playing, either with his friends of the boys. The boys are golfing in the living room as I type this right now.

That statement by her made me put everything in our relationship into perspective. This totally makes sense now.

The Brain and the Heart made an excellent compromise that night. We did make it to the Casino, but only stayed until 9:30 just in case we had any problems going on, and made sure both limos were together at all times. It was a good time, and we made it home without incident.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Challenges in Character

I've watched Oprah for years now, and have heard her say hundreds of time that the older you get, the more you love yourself, the more complete you are. I always wondered what that means (It always sounded like some shallow cliche to me), but I think I'm starting to figure it out. I'm starting to figure me out. I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary with the company I work with, at 34 years old. I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment, but have gone through quite a lot to get there.

Work has been difficult for me lately. Well, not just work, but my whole life in general. I would consider this one of the most trying times of my life so far, the second most trying being when Tyler was 9 months old. For some reason, that age is very difficult for me. Maybe it's not the age, but just what is going on in my life when they happen to be that age. Right now I'm 6 months into a brand new job that I was asked to assume while I was on maternity leave. I would consider it a promotion (without the raise), or at least a "nod" from my management that they trust that I can do this job. I sometimes wonder what they were thinking - or what I was thinking when my boss called when Connor was 8 weeks old and offered me this job, and I answered him before he even completed his sentence.

One of the things I'm having a very hard time with is still being who I am. I often worry that, as a manager, I actually care too much. I care about the thoughts and feelings and desires of the 17 people that work for me, and instead of raking them over the coals every month due to an unacceptable scorecard, I ask myself "do they have the right tools and training to do this job right?", and I usually come up with a resounding "no". They DO NOT have the tools, the training, the where-with-all to even know that they are making mistakes. I am asked to hold these folks accountable for these unacceptable metrics, even though it is far beyond their reach at this point to even grasp various concepts. The "new sherrif" wants to hold everyone accountable for everything - and if they fail, well, document that and bring it up in their review. We'll get all these "slackers" out of here soon. That is NOT how I work.

I received some very good advice a couple of weeks ago from a previous mentor I had, and that is "concentrate on what you can control, and do that well - then have FUN!". Okay - much easier said than done, but those words run through my head 100 times a day. I also received some really good advice at one time that was "Don't do anything that feels wrong inside".

So, I made a vow to myself. I will respect myself and know my limits, as well as respect the people around me. I will be nice, I will laugh, I will even buy bagels every once in a while - sometimes for no reason at all. I will not be so busy making a living that I forget to make a life. I will be happy when I am away from my desk, and make sure it is all kept in perspective.

Seriously, for me, there is no promotion high enough, no salary large enough, no alternative reward cool enough that it is worth sacrificing my ability to look myself in the mirror and like who I see. And THAT'S what Oprah meant. As you get older, you know exactly who you are, who you have become, and that you created that reality for yourself. That's deep.

Who are you?

One day of clean roads, maybe?

I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY looking forward to possibly driving to work today on clean roads. Or, at least, the interstate. I swear to God there is some conspiracy going on, and we actually live on the North Pole right now. I've watched the Discovery Channel, I know what it looks like up there - and what we have now looks WORSE! 2 more inches of snow and you won't be able to see our mailbox, and the 2 foot tall Santa that I had stuck in the ground next to the mailbox - I haven't seen him since December 27th! Did I mention it's supposed to snow again tomorrow? I can't wait!

This weather is really starting to wear on me, and my body. I think ALL of our bodies. Tyler, I'm not worried about. He has the immune system of a tank - although it took us about 2 years of being sick every 14 days to get there. I swear they could bring in the Ebola virus, and he wouldn't blink an eye.

My wonderful bronchitis has settled so deep in my chest, it hurts. I went Saturday and got the heavy-duty antibiotics - but I know my body. All that will do is shorten this crap to about 1 week instead of 3. It just has to run its course. When I cough I sound like I have TB, sure must be wonderful for my co-workers that get to sit next to me all day long in meetings. If I were them, I would carry a can of Lysol around.

They just announced on the news that this is the beginning of Flu Season! The beginning? Are you KIDDING me??? I'm starting to feel like a hibernating bear - and this is the BEGINNING?

Okay - enough of my whining. Connor is getting cuter every day now. I picked him up from daycare yesterday, and he couldn't get to me fast enough! In the past, I've seen him scoot "army crawl" style around, but had never seen him high-tail it in an official crawl. Yesterday, he was BOOKIN'! It's so nice to see that when you pick them up from daycare. Tyler was happy to see him - told me all about his day, and he proceded to ask me questions the whole way home.

Well, better go warm up the car. It's a whole -8 outside right now. HEATWAVE! It looks like it's supposed to get to 29 today. I'll have to break out the bikini! (On second though - I won't torture anything with that!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lessons to be Learned...

Tyler and I went out and did some running around tonight, just us. It's always so fun to just have conversations with him while we're driving. The questions he asks are hilarious, but sometimes so deep.

As we were about halfway to the store, we passed a building. One we had passed literally thousands of times before, but this time he asked what it was.

Tyler: "Mommy, what's that building?"
Me: "That's the Goodwill Store"
Tyler: "What's the Goodwill Store for?"
Me: "That's a store where people bring extra stuff that they don't need anymore, like toys, and then kids that don't have toys can get them there for really cheap." (Hey - it's the best I could do on such short notice!)
Tyler: "Why do the kids not have any toys?"
Me: "Because they don't have a lot of toys like you."
Tyler: "Why?"
(I'm realizing I'm either going to have to start lying to telling him the whole story...)
Me: "Some kids don't have toys like you do because their parents don't have money to buy them toys."
Tyler: "Why don't they have money to buy toys?"

(Oh Lord, is this going to end???)

Me: "Some people don't have jobs where they can buy extra toys. Would you like to give some of your toys to those boys and girls that don't have any toys."
Tyler: "Yea, everybody needs toys."

At this point I teared up, and made a decision. The next time we're cleaning his room, we're going to take all of those toys that he just doesn't ever use, and are just the ones that usually get dumped in the middle of the floor and never played with - and we'll take them to the Salvation Army or to the Battered Women's Shelter in town. If there's anything I want to teach my kids, it's compassion for others, especially children. It breaks my heart to know there are children out there, just like Tyler, without toys, without parents, or without homes. I would call myself a Conservative most of the time, but something happened in my brain when I had kids, and have never looked at it those situations the same way.

Over the next week we'll start collecting toys. If another little boy or girl Tyler or even Connor's age can smile or laugh while playing with their toys, it's all worth it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

Okay, so I know I'm their mom, but...

Check out their eyes. The doctor mentioned today when she was doing Connor's 9 month appointment that he has so many colors in his eyes. I guess I never paid too much attention to it, because Kyle's eyes are much like that also - but check out the pictures below.

Also - in case you're wondering, we have a monster 9 month old. 25.5 pounds and 30.5 inches. He's over a pound bigger than Tyler at that age, and 1/2 inch longer. We always remind Tyler, "Some day he's going to be bigger than you - and just WHALE on you when you pick on him, so keep it up!"

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Risk Mitigation

Have you ever had one of those colds where if someone offered to chop your head off, free of charge, you might actually let them? Your head is so full of crap that it is actually heavy and you feel like you're spinning if you move too fast? And you blow your nose expecting 20 pounds of gunk to come out and nothing comes out because it is so caught up in your head, just beyond reachable in your nose? Yep - that's me right now. Oh - and Connor too.

#3 Ear Infection. Dr. Miller said Connor and Tyler are obviously related. Tyler has had more ear infections than I can count - somewhere around 8 or 10 I think. He had tubes put in the first time when he was 6 months old, and again at 18 months old. The tubes worked MIRACLES! He was a totally different kid after then. Thus - my Risk Mitigation Strategy...

I have been so caught up in "Risk Mitigation" lately, it's not even funny. Between teams at work, applying for more life insurance, and our new 'wellness' program at home (Feingold Program), I am turning into a risk mitigation expert. So my plan..... 2 days ago I called the ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat Doctor for those of you lucky enough not to know one) and made an appointment for Connor. I made this appointment while I was home with Connor during one of his pooping escapades that was a result of the Augmenten - for his 2nd ear infection. That Augmenten just tore him up, and I swore at that time he was NOT going to have a mutitude of ear infections before I did anything, so I set up an appointment.

Connor woke up this morning with gunk literally coming out his eyes. This is Connor's #1 sign he has an ear infection. Totally disgusting. I cleaned him up, and took him to daycare where I told them I'd be back later to pick him up, just after I could call the doctor to get an appointment.

Sure enough, ear infection #3. This time he's on Omnicef, which doesn't cause him to poop a ton, but apparently could cause his poop to turn red. I remember Tyler being on Omnicef at one time, but I don't remember red poop - this should be interesting.

So, we have an appointment the 18th with Dr. Capper (maybe we can put the rest of his kids through college now. He has 4!). Dr. Capper has put tubes in Tyler's ears twice, removed his adenoids and the latest was when he took Tyler's tonsils out when he was 2. I almost feel like I should start sending this guy a Christmas card.

We'll see what happens on the 18th - and I'm SO looking forward to Red Poop! =)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

And the "Biggest Idiot of the Year" Award goes to...

ME! Because I am an idiot, I got in my car this morning and drove to work. It started snowing at about 3pm yesterday, and they were forecasting 6-12 inches of snow. Since they are usually full of crap and WAY off, I didn't take them seriously, and when I got up this morning, had already decided that I was driving to work - come Hail or High Water. (Did I mention it hailed yesterday?)

Schools were all cancelled, but Kyle had the day off since all of his appointments were cancelled due to the weather (clue #1), so I was definitely going to make it in to work. The decision was a) risk my life or b) stay at home with 2 crabby kids and an even crabbier husband. I didn't have to think too long.

So I get on the interstate going north - or at least that what WAS the interstate. There were no lanes, no shoulder, no median, just snow. Everything was white. By the time I reached the next exit, I'm halfway to work, so I might as well keep going. And I do.

I make it to work in about 60 minutes. That trip usually takes me 25. I'm pretty proud of myself that I made it in to work in this treacherous weather, and proceed to listen to the voicemail messages of about 80% of my staff that were obviously, smarter than me.

The weather got worse as the morning went on. Now they are forecasting at least 12 inches, and are saying the snow could continue until 6pm and will start blowing and drifting. Okay - 12 inches of snow isn't too bad - but 12 inches of blowing and drifting snow really sucks.

I grab my stuff and decide at 10:30 I'm going to head home. NO WAY am I going to be stuck at work because of the weather, or have to stay in a hotel or at someone's house in Cedar Rapids for the night because they close the interstates, which they could do.

Heading home - the roads were worse. It actually made me dizzy how much white there was all over the place. No lanes, we were all literally plowing the snow as we drove along, trying to stay in each other's tire tracks ON THE INTERSTATE! Seriouisly - 4 lanes of interstate were non-existant - there was one lane of traffic. Again, there is no median, no shoulder, no lanes, just snow. Luckily, every once in a while you would go under a bridge where there was about 2 feet where you could see cemet to re-baseline yourself as to where you were on the road. The rumble strips on the right hand side helped too - although since there was so much ice on the road, it eventually all sounded like a rumble strip.

I ended up making it home in just over an hour, and my hands were sore from holding on to the steering wheel. I was in one piece though (and my car too!)- and that was what was important.

Kyle and I spent a good part of the afternoon shoveling and blowing snow. Okay - HE spent most of the afternoon doing that. I helped with the blade shovel for about a 1/2 hour, trying to get all of the packed down snow on the driveway- then escaped inside when I got too sore. Kyle literally spent 3 hours outside blowing snow. I'm attaching below a beautiful picture of him saying hello while outside. (I think he was cussing - notice the snow is up to his knees. He had to walk through it before he could even get the snowblower through it because it was so thick!)

Next time they say "travel is not advised", maybe I'll believe them!

Monday, February 4, 2008

When did we become such wimps?

Okay - so it's February in Iowa, and it snowed. All of the schools are either cancelled or delayed. Will someone PLEASE explain this to me??? As soon as I saw it start snowing yesterday around 3pm, that's the first thought that entered my mind - schools are going to be closed. It had stopped snowing by 7pm, which would give the road crews a good 12 hours to plow - but not in our town. The first plow didn't venture down our street until after 6am today, leaving the snow to get good and packed down for 11 hours before attempting anything.

So our daycare has a rule that if the major schools 30 miles to the north of us, and just 10 miles south are BOTH closed, then they will be closed. Today, just the schools to the south were closed. So, both kids are up at the butt-crack of dawn - so off to daycare we go.

You can imagine my excitement as I rounded the corner to daycare, to see a completely dark facility. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! They made a judgement call this morning and closed, for the "safety of their staff and their families". Okay - not only does that NOT make me safer, but it pisses me off! Since I will still have 12 hours or work to do today, whether I go in or not, that means I'm going to try to make arrangements to go in later when Kyle gets home, and then I'll be working late tonight - driving home in what will likely then be, freezing rain. Yippey! I can hardly wait!

As a child, I think I remember missing maybe 2 or 3 days a season due to weather. Now they miss 2 to 3 days a month. Aren't buses safer now - aren't cars safer? Heck - we ever wear seatbelts now! And when they do cancel schools, where do all the kids go? To the mall! I guarantee they aren't walking there! I remember missing a day in high school and we all piled into my boyfriend's car and ran all over town - and had a blast! We didn't care that the roads were bad - we were 17!

So, here I sit. 8am on Monday, 86 unread e-mails at work, a project that was due last Friday that isn't done, and a 4 hour meeting this afternoon to cram for a presentation we give next Tuesday, and I'm watching "Little Einsteins" while Tyler tears apart the living room and Connor is growling in his Jumperoo. They have another beautiful storm forecasted to start Tuesday night, so they might as well cancel schools now.

Hey- maybe in the middle of June when the kids are still in school, I'll take the nicest day off of work, and drive by the schools honking and waving my arms! "Ha! Ha! I don't have to work! NA NA NA NA BOO BOO!" Just to get even!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Child-Proof Lock Hell!

Help! I'm in Child-Proof Lock Hell! Because we have one little boy just about ready to take off crawling, we've had to re-babyproof our house, since some of our "proofing" has broken or been taken down since 2004/2005 when we originally installed it for Tyler.

So, innocently as possible, I grab the "Baby-Proofing Tote" we have, that contains every baby-proofing item known to man. Most important was under the kitchen sink, where we keep our cleaners.

So, I remove the old hinges that have broken, and start to install the new ones. First of all, I'm doing this by myself. (Kyle and Tyler are at the store.) Do you have any idea how hard it is to put a screw through oak, with a HAND-POWERED screw driver? I'll tell you what - it's freaking impossible!!! I'm literally breaking a sweat trying to get this tiny f*#%ing screw through the cabinet door. Sure - I could wait until Kyle gets home and do this right with a drill and a power screw driver, but being the stubborn person I am - I keep going.

Okay - so I'm not as strong as I think I am. On the third door, I give up. I have dropped the teeny-tiny screw on the floor about 16 times because I can't even get it STARTED in the door! I wait for Kyle to get home, so he can help finish.

Looking around though, just thinking what we have had to change in our house after having Tyler as far as "baby-proofing" goes. Here's a list of the items we have bought/installed for that purpose:
  1. Door/drawer locks on every door/drawer that could be opened.
  2. 2 baby gates
  3. Door handle locks so Tyler couldn't get out of the garage door or front door. (My parents still can't figure these out!)
  4. A 4 foot pole that goes outside the sliding glass door so Tyler couldn't get out the backdoor without me knowing (I found him outside in his pajamas before - scared me to death!)
  5. Refrigerator and Freezer door locks
  6. Oven lock (Tyler's favorite game used to be holding on the oven handle and throwing himself down to the floor - slamming the door down with him. He has no fear!)
  7. Covers to go over the gas controls
  8. Outlet covers (I have so many of these it isn't even funny!)
  9. A spout cover for the bathtub
  10. We bought a special TV/TV stand that are connected together so he couldn't pull the TV over (this was after he broke our 55 inch projection television 2 years ago!)

Anymore, it seems that if we're going to buy it and bring it into the house, it has to pass our mental "baby-proof" test.

  • Could it be broken easily,
  • have a piece that comes off,
  • is it easily fixable and
  • could it be used as a weapon.

Four easy questions we ask ourselves. Seriously, we have a toy graveyard in our bedroom for toys to go that have become weapons. The most innocent toy could become a weapon, and then there are the obvious. Obvious are the toy hammers with toy sets and anything that looks like a gun or a knife, not so obvious are the vacuum attachments and blocks. For some reason, Tyler has never done well with blocks. I LOVED them as a child - he likes to throw them. All blocks are at the top of his closet - and he knows if he wants to play with them he can, but the first one he throws - they get picked up and put away immediately.

It's funny how things have changed, and now we're starting that cycle again with Connor. He has a huge fascination with remote controls, so he has his own from an old VCR. We let Tyler use ours to play with years ago thinking "what could he hurt?". Well - 2 buttons on the remote stopped working almost immediately, and the teeth marks never went away.

Connor seems to have a different personality than Tyler, so hopefully he's not as destructive as Tyler was. Our poor appliances can't afford too many more dents!!!