Monday, September 29, 2008

My New Dilemmas

If you would've asked me ten years ago what one of my biggest dilemmas would be when I was nearing 35, I probably would've told you "money" or "my job" or something silly like that. What was I thinking??? How could I have known what I biggest dilemma would be???

They discontinued my diaper cream. AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Seriously. When Tyler was about one, my sister turned me on to Dyprotex. It was only available at Walgreens, and wasn't cheap. It came in little packets with applicators to use (so you didn't get it all over your fingers), and was the BEST STUFF EVER INVENTED! I swear, neither of my kids ever had a diaper rash, and if they did, it didn't last more than one day. One night of a butt gobbed with Dyprotex, they would wake up and the rash would be gone, their skin would be healed, and we would all be happy. Not anymore.

Apparently, the company that used to manufacture Dyprotex was sold, and the new company decided not to keep making Dyprotex. I can't find it anywhere. Before Connor was born, I literally bought a case of it off of Ebay. $60 was a small price to pay for a perfect bottom, and a happy child. That case I purchased just about 18 months ago is now gone. I'm all out. None on Ebay, none on any drug store I can find on the internet, nothing. I thought I had some at once, ordered it off of an internet drugstore, just to have them cancel my order the next day because they were out of stuck. DANG IT!

I would seriously pay twice what the stuff used to sell for in order to have it. Connor's butt is so sore now from his pooping escapade over the last week (I think due to a flu bug and his teeth), that he won't sit down in the bath. It looks and feels like sandpaper, and he's miserable. I've tried all sorts of new creams. I've mixed creams with others. I've mixed them with Vasaline. I've tried putting them on in various orders, but nothing works.

Who would've thought. My biggest dilemma would be diaper cream!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

A) Connor is eating the Play-Doh in his hand.
B) Connor is wearing a pajama shirt.
C) Connor has just filled his pants and is wearing a Huggies diaper. (We provide Pampers to daycare)
D) All of the above
If you guessed D, All of the above, YOU'RE RIGHT!
So, I pick Connor up from daycare tonight, and notice that something doesn't look right, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. It quickly came to me. Kyle sent Connor to daycare in the pajama top that he slept in last night! Every morning when I change Connor, I change this diaper and put on his shorts/pants, but leave his pajama top on until after he's done eating, so Kyle usually changes his top before they head out the door. Apparently, he thought this WAS his top, so Connor bummed around all day in his PJs. Oh well.
For the Play-Doh, Tyler has eaten his fair share of it as well. I can't understand how that would taste good, but now I have to warn the girls at daycare to be on the lookout for yellow poop.
And about the diapers - I think daycare just grabs out of the wrong bin sometimes (they use small shoebox size totes above the changing station for all the kids with diapers and wipes. All lined up, and with a wiggle worm you're trying to change, they probably grab the wrong one sometimes.) Connor is still working through this stomach flu that was going around daycare, so his diapers have been HORRIBLE! 75% of his class was gone on Tuesday (that day he was as well) because of that.
I'm glad I'm capturing these stories - this will be one that will be fun to look back on - and the guilty look on his face just after taking a bite of the Play-Doh!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, I'm totally serious...

This is Tyler's hunting outfit. Complete with goggles in order to "see the deer better". I think the Hawkeye backpack carries his walkie-talkies.

Do you even believe me that he came up with this outfit all by himself?
Oh - and it was 80 degrees the day this picture was taken!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Tyler!

What a successful party at the Gym Nest!!! We started out:

Jumping around like crazy!
Then we jumped in the foam pit!

Then we ate some awesome cookies!

And opened some even more awesome presents!

Tyler had a blast, and so did we! I haven't jumped on a trampoline in years, and Connor was laughing so hard he could hardly breathe! I think everyone had a great time!

It's hard to believe that my baby, is 4 years old today. 4 years ago today, my life was totally turned upside down by this 7 pound 2 ounce (screaming) baby. There was hard days, and sleepless nights, and laughing because he smiled, and crying when he was sad. It's amazing to know just how much my life was changed by this little boy and that I love him even more every day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My New Favorite Book

I had heard about this book a while ago - and then happened upon it in a bookstore today. "I was a really good mom, before I had kids". It's awesome.
The whole premise of the book is that today's mom thinks she can have it all. We were taught that by our parents, and continue to push ourselves through this never ending marathon of trying to be the perfect mom. This stresses, "You can have it all, just not all at once".
At the beginning of every chapter there is a mini-quiz to see just how stressed out/burned out/macaroni and chessed out, you are. This one really hit home with me:
  1. You yell at your kids semiregularly.
  2. You look forward to going to work.
  3. You turn on Noggin so you can check your e-mail.
  4. You split a box of mac and cheese with your kids for dinner when your husband isn't home.
  5. You can see your bad mood reflected on your children's faces.
  6. You throw your kids at your husband when he walks in the door.
  7. You quit nursing because you felt like a cow.
  8. You let your baby scream to put herself to sleep.
  9. You throw away your kids' drawings while they're sleeping.
  10. You kids ask, "Why are you so happy, Mommy?" when you're having a good day.

Holy buckets. All of these have applied to me at one time or another (sometimes all at once), but I would NEVER, ever, admit that to anyone. I will clean up toys five times a day so my husband doesn't bitch about them being all over. I will attempt to make dinner even though I think we would all be happier with cereal. I will make perfect little goodie bags for the birthday party. Although, I have also forgotten treats for Tyler's birthday and sent Kyle to Wal-Mart at 7am to bring in cupcakes to daycare. I have forgotten to strap both kids into their carseats at times. I have let them watch WHATEVER they want on TV in order to get 2 minutes of peace and quiet. I have sat on the steps outside and drank beer while they played with their trucks.

Turns out - so does everyone else. The guilt we feel is self-manufactured, and we're making ourselves CRAZY trying to outrun it.

One of the last chapters in the book, properly titled "Oh My God, I don't want to color right now", starts out with these paragraphs:

"We've all managed to live in the moment at some point. We've lingered on the steps in front of daycare and talked to our three-year-old about the clouds. Or we've lain in the grass and looked at the flowers. Or we've sat on the floor with the mini kingdom set and played knight and princess like we had all the time in the world. Maybe we were on vacation, or we'd just wrapped up a major project. Whatever it was, that constantly revving engine inside us finally slowed down. The pressure subsided, the to-do list disappeared, and our child, who are always the most important things in our lives - in thought, if not always in actions - actually came front and center.

We've also all failed to do this, a lot. We've pushed the kids out the door to school. We've tried to make work calls in the bathroom while the baby's in the bath. We've spent entire Saturdays preoccupied with reorganizing our garage and told our kids, no, we can't play dress-up right now. And chances are, those days turned out to be a lot less fun. What's worse, those moments probably felt pretty normal - we all do these things all the time. Not just that, we all need to do these things all the time. We need to multitask. If we just focused on each single moment, one at a time, we'd need at least a seventy-two-hour day.

But consider what happens when we actually put other concerns at bay - for ten minutes, for half an hour, for an afternoon - and just focus on our kids. Yes, the dirty dishes stay in the sink, or the haircut appointment does not get made, but the payoff is immense. Those minutes spent playing fort under the dining room table are not only the best part of our children's days, but they're the best part of our days, too.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Ages and Stages

One thing I have figured out about my kids, is that just when I think I have them figured out - something changes.

I guess I so quickly forget how fast they change, and the various stages they go through, that when it happens it just smacks me in the face and says "wake up - your kids are growing up, right in front of you!"

Unfortunately, the age we're going through with Connor now is a new bedtime phase. This used to be our "lay me down and please just leave me alone" baby. Seriously. When he was tired, he just wanted to be left alone, put in his bed, where he would literally play with his aquarium or Baby Tad for a half hour or so before he'd doze off to sleep. Not now.

He screams, he throws things out of his crib, and will literally have a fit for what seems like hours (okay, it's never longer than a half hour - but it might as well be hours!) because he is so MAD that you actually put him to bed. At first I thought, "oh, he must just need to be settled down", to where I would go in, pick him up, and rock him to sleep.

Let me make this clear - I LOVE rocking him to sleep! Although, I loved rocking Tyler to sleep as well, until I passed the point of no return. If you have kids, you know that point. The point where they are old enough to know that if they either cry long enough, you'll come get them, and if they cry, you will rock them to sleep. And then no matter how long you rock them, when you set them down - the imaginary button on their back gets pushed and they bolt up. Then you rock again, and set them down, they sit up, then you rock again and put them down, then they sit up. Repeat 64 times until you are insanely tired and losing your marbles. I think that is where we are at with Connor. We did those steps 64 times with Tyler, and I nearly checked myself into an institution.

Last night he was awake 3 times in the middle of the night. This is very odd for Connor - although he does have a little cold - nothing to wake him up. What he wanted every time was for one of us to rock him back to sleep - because I rocked him to sleep after he woke up at 8:30 last night. I'm a firm believer in "however they fall asleep, is how they will want to be put BACK to sleep if they wake up".

Now here we are. I've unknowingly created a monster, and I have a miserable 16 month old that only wants to be rocked to sleep. Although each of the stages my kids go through are always interesting and usually a surprise, in some of them, they can't be over soon enough.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What is YOUR fate?

Here's mine. I think it's pretty accurate, don't you?

What is YOUR fate?
Your Result: To make people laugh and smile without trying.

You are a very funny person and have a way with people that makes them laugh. You are charismatic, fun, and usually pretty cheerful. You know that the best medicine in life is laughter.

To live the perfect family life.
To die while saving a life.
To become rich and famous for no reason.
To become the world's most poplular bachelor(ette)
To become a successful careerperson but live alone
To do absolutely nothing useful and love it.
What is YOUR fate?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

The many styles of Tyler...

We have many different "styles of Tyler" now. He insists on picking out his own clothes - although sometimes his choices are interesting. He's also developing even more a personality of his own.

Engineer Tyler (my favorite are the black socks!)

This is hunter Tyler. Since daddy got his bow out Friday, Tyler has been obsessed with hunting and is shooting all sorts of imaginary animals in our backyard. In this picture, he even has on his camo crocs.

This isn't about his outfit - but what he's doing. Every night he has to do his "homework" now, and takes it quite serious!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I don't know about you...

But this is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!!! Piper Palin putting a spit shine on her brother, Trig's, hair.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It was his idea!

Kyle called on the way home from his golf tournament on Sunday... "Let's go out to eat. Grab the kids. You, me, the kids, Mike and his wife, can all go out!". Kyle was thrilled.

"Are you kidding me?", I said. "You would have to be on drugs to suggest that!"

Kyle got frustrated, tried to plead his case, and eventually ended up hanging up on me, mostly because after Kyle knows he's defeated, he usually quickly gets frustrated. He KNEW that it would not be easy to go out to eat. He only had no idea...

I quickly decided "fine, if he wants to go, we'll go." He arrived home, and I had the kids ready to go, and we jumped in the car and headed to eat. I informed Kyle that I would happily go - but if anyone needed to be chased down, disciplined, or removed from the restaurant, it was going to be his job - to which he happily accepted. Kyle's friend Mike went along (withOUT his wife), and his buddy Doug that also golfed with him that day, and his young wife, Kate. (Doug and his wife do not yet have kids).

Here is a snippet of me and Kate's conversation at dinner:

Me: So where do you work?
Kate: At a dental office in Cedar Rapids
Me: Really, I work right down the street from there
Kate: Where do you work?
Me: At Ro...TYLER, TYLER, stop, STOP, Kyle, can you get Tyler, he's going into the women's bathroom.
Me: (forgetting the conversation): So, how did you guys meet? TYLER - SIT DOWN!
Kate: In the Quad Cities.
Me: Kyle, can you grab that fork for Connor. Connor, here - eat with your fork.
Kate: I worked at an ice cream store and Doug kept coming in.
Me: Aw, that's cute. OUCH! Connor - you're stepping on me!!! Kyle - Tyler needs more money for the machine. (Tyler was playing the touchscreen game at the bar).
Mike: Here, I'll go help Tyler
Me: So how long have you been together? Kyle, KYLE, can you grab Tyler's pop, he's going to spill it all over the floor.

You get the point. Continue this conversation for about a 1/2 hour. I think we got about 5 minutes of substance to it - but we did it. We went out to eat, and Kyle got his wish, and I proved my point.

Although I don't like to sit at home and stare at the four walls, there are certain things that I won't do - and one of them is submit myself to torture (I'm sure this is a certified torture method in some obscure country!).

Next time, I'd prefer a picnic in the park!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why I Love our Daycare

Tyler has 2 new teachers in his room. Miss Amber and Miss Deborah. Miss Deborah is a Grandmother herself, and is very strict with the kids - something Tyler desperately needs. Miss Amber is in her 20's, and is the nicest and cutest blonde girl - and just LOVES all the kids!

Miss Amber told me the other day that she used to be a Preschool teacher, and considers the room that she's in now (3 year olds) to be a "Pre-Kindergarten" room. She is starting to do assessments of the kids and will be sending home monthly reports on what the kids are learning, need work on, etc.

The other day she stopped me as I was walking out with the kids. "I have something to show you.", she said. "Ugh," I replied, "is it bad?".

She showed me how Tyler had written his name about 20 times that day. They started out tracing their names for them (with the dashes) and the kids fill them in. Tyler did that over and over. Then he did the whole alphabet.

One thing I'm desperately lacking as a parent, is knowing how and what to teach them. I can play with them, but am not a very patient teacher. Getting all the crayons and stuff out for 2o minutes just isn't worth it sometimes (see my previous post), so I can play catch, baseball and football with the best of them - and recently beat the neighbor boys in a homerun derby! =)

Maybe I need to start paying more attention to their intellectual needs. Tyler surprised me the other night with this.... although he needs some work on the end (which we're doing every day now), I would've never known to have taught him this!!!

I give up, maybe...

I took this week off of work for a bit of a sanity break, and to get some stuff done around the house. I visited the dentist, went to my parents for the day (WITHOUT kids! YAY!), and am having new tires put on my SUV today. How Exciting!!!

On the top of my "to do" list for this week was "clean the house". By clean, I mean, organize. We have been living on the edge of insanity for the last couple of months. Seriously, I could not tolerate the mess at times, and am glad this summer was a nice one so we could get outside for at least a few hours and escape the aftermath of the tornado, which was the inside of my house.

I've made some good progress, but after the kids left for daycare today, I just wanted to scream. It was almost like everything was undone. Clothes everywhere (Tyler changes his clothes at least 3 times in the morning now!), dirty diapers on the floor, folded clothes in a basket in the middle of the living room, dirty dishes in the sink, wet towels on the floor, and unmade beds. AAAHHHHHH!

I often ask myself what is "normal". Maybe I compare myself to other people sometimes that don't have Tazmanian Devils for children, and can keep the floor without crap all over it for more than 5 minutes. Maybe it's just normal for most people to live in this whirlwind of mess, but I know this. I'm 2 minutes from grabbing a huge garbage bag and just filling it with all the random crap that is just sitting around!

And if last night is a preview to what this winter holds for us - God help us all! It was too cold and wet to play outside, so we stayed in. I should've taken a picture. Holy crap!

Maybe I will get used to the clutter that comes with having 3 boys and myself crammed in this ranch house - without a basement. At least with a basement, I could not have to LOOK at the stuff all day long!

Well, winter, here we come. I have a feeling, we're going to spending a LOT of time at the play area at the mall - instead of in our living room!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And you thought he was the sweet one...

My dad used to tease me that Tyler was going to be the little kid that would walk around and beat on things with sticks. I'm not sure if he did that more than once, but Connor does it every chance he gets!

This is Connor beating on the house...

Aren't I cute?