Thursday, July 26, 2007

3 Years Old

Yesterday Back Seat Girl turned 3. I meant to write a post ON her birthday, but I was busy baking 56 cupcakes while holding a baby and trying not to make too big of a mess, and then I spent all night cleaning up because I was not successfull at not making a big mess.

OK, BSG, what do I say about you? You are something. I'm sitting here struggling to figure out what to write about you. How can I capture your personality in a few paragraphs?

Thinking is your game, that's for sure. A question as simple as "Which Diego do you want to watch, the one about the llama or the one about the river dolphin?" makes you actually stop and think. There are bells going off in my head as I try hard not to say "hurry up already, dinner isn't going to cook itself!",but I let you decide in your own time, because I know you well enough now to know that if I did you'd take twice as long.

You also think before doing anything physical. You are almost more cautious at the park this year than you were last summer, and I think it's because you have an even better grasp on what could happen to you if you fell or something bad happened. It's very hard for me not to push you, and when I let you do your own thing inevitably you wind up playing a cute little pretend game that you made up on the spot. You give me glimpses into that brain of yours and I realize for as much as you talk, there is so much more going on up there than we realize.

The other day on the way home from your daycare you asked where the Twins were as we were passing the highschool baseball field. You answered yourself before I even had a chance to chime in by reasoning that it must be school time. When I explained to you that those were highschool kids we had seen a couple of months ago playing there and the Twins played at the big baseball field we went to last year with Grandma and Grandpa, you went into a whole story about how the big baseball field was on the way to Dawny's special house. Apparently there are lots of kitties and puppies there. The Dalmation puppies had names: Belle, Tinkerbell, Princess Aurora, Home Depot, and Regular School Bus. Yea, that's right, two of their names were Home Depot and Regular School Bus. The girl dalmation puppies had pink spots, but Home Depot was a boy so he had black spots. I tried hard not to drive off the road, because that was hilarious.

You can recognize letters in words, and I actually think you are much better at this than we think you are. Driver was wearing his Bear's t-shirt and you recognized the 'E' and the 'A', and you can even tell some upper and lowercase letters apart. You also were coloring the other day and said 'C' is for washable markers, which confused your father until he realized that they said 'Crayola' down the side. You love to find things with words on them and then point to them and tell us what they say. Amazingly they usually say things about you getting something you really want. When you open up books to read you always go to the copywrite page and say emphatically "this book was written in 19**". Lately 1968 seems to be a popular year.

You also do some simple math, like adding 1 to 2 makes you 3 years old, or taking one monkey away from 5 means there are 4 monkeys left (I knew that book was going to teach you subraction!!). The problem with you is, you are also very stubborn, so if we ask you "what letter is that?" or "how many cookies are there on the table" you will only answer if you feel like it. This makes it hard for us to know exactly what you can and can not do. It frustrates me to no end, but as I'm sure my mom would say, like mother, like daughter.

I guess since I've talked about your brain I will also mention your gross motor skills. You are about the least physical little girl ever. You have just recently started to demand to walk up and down stairs by yourself, and when you do you have to hold on to the railing for dear life with one hand. Many times you still opt to slide down or crawl up, and when I ask you to please stand up and do it like a big girl you look at me like "why would I do that when this is so much easier?",and then proceed to ignore me and do it your way. You have just recently learned how to jump, that is actually jump and your two feet leave the earth ever so briefly. Tonight we had to leave the house for a showing so we went to walk around the mall, and for the first time you jumped a couple of times in a row and jumped from point A to point B. Did you hear me? You actually covered ground while jumping. Driver and I were very impressed.

You are going through a stage now where you have decided that if we are telling you something you don't want to hear you just don't listen. It is exceedingly frustrating to me. I know it's what a 3 year old does, but I can't stand to be so openly disobeyed. You also try to rationalize WHY you didn't just listen to me, and since you have such a great command of the english language sometimes I find myself I actually giving your rationalization some thought. You always end up in the naughty chair when you disobey, and now you crawl on up all by yourself, sit there resolutely with puppy or Pork Roll or both, and when your time is up I ask you "why did mommy put you in the naughty chair?". Sometimes you remember, sometimes you don't. I always remind you and then tell you you have to listen to mommy. Then I make you apologize, which you do, with a bright smile and a big kiss and hug, and even though I know you aren't going to listen to me the next time I can't stay mad at you as you skip away to play another imaginary game.

You have the greatest habit of sining songs now. Most of them you make up yourself. They can be songs about stuff we have done, stuff we are going to do, or things we are currently doing. Tonight at the mall you were walking along singing "we're going home, now". Of course you weren't looking where you were going and you weren't walking in a straight line, which made it even funnier.

I just realized I haven't mentioned your talking, and I think it's because it's such a part of our daily lives now Idon't even think about it. You talk all day long, every day, only pausing to nap and sleep at night. You talk in full, adult sentences, using words that I'm pretty sure Driver can't spell. It's just a part of our life. The sun will rise, BSG will talk. and talk. and talk some more.

See, I knew I couldn't summarize you in a few paragraphs. There is so much more I could write--your penchant for running into walls and falling down (you came home from camping with a black eye and also had your first bloody nose the first day we were gone), the fact that you recently realized you can open your bedroom door, your love of pink and dresses, the fact that you have no fear of bugs or spiders, the way you think everyone at the playground or beach would like to play with you, no matter how much older or bigger than you they are, how you like to look under the stalls in public bathrooms to comment on people's shoes, or the way you have started interacting with your brother, but it's getting late and I need to go to bed.

Just know this, you are one in eleventeen (your favorite number) million, and we love you so, so much.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 7 Year Itch

On July 22, 2000, Driver and I got married in a little country church in Wisconsin where I grew up. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were surrounded by our family and friends. Who could ask for more?

On July 22, 2007 Driver and I woke up at Itasca National park to rain outside our tent. We ate breakfast in the tent with our beautiful children, packed our wagon full (and I mean FULL) of wet camping supplies, and headed for home. We had just enjoyed a great vacation surrounded by the little people we love the most. Who could ask for anything more?

Thank you, Driver, for giving me everything I have ever wanted out of life. Now I'll go back and clean up the kitchen like you think I'm doing while you unpack all of our wet camping supplies.

Monday, July 16, 2007

No, a pack of wild dogs is not really ripping off his arms

Over the weekend, Back Seat Boy started to roll on purpose to get things he wanted. We're not talking rolling over multiple times. Oh, no--this is the product of Driver and I here, and we only make one type of baby: pudgy, short-legged, tiny hands, finger toes, and no motivation to move on their own. No, BSB will be laying on his back, spy something to the side of him out of reach, roll over onto his tummy to reach it, and then roll back on his back to play with it. I know that this isn't a lot, but Back Seat Girl seriously never rolled over even once to get anything, she just refused to be on her stomach if she could avoid it. BSB has started sleeping on his tummy, so I guess he has decided that it's not all that bad.

Back Seat Boy also loves to stand. He (of course!) won't pull himself up or anything, but he loves to bear weight on his legs and stand on his changing table to look around. He's actually quite good at it. I, of course, have some low standards here, but you can just hold his hands and he'll stand for quite a while.

All in all it looks like BSB is showing more interest in moving around than his sister did (is it possible to show any less?). I was starting to get a little scared. Not because it bothered me that BSG took so long to move on her own, but because lately BSB has started to make a noise when he needs a toy he can't reach that would make me give him a set of steak knives if that's what he wanted as long as he would stop. I can't even describe what it sounds like, but he opens his mouth wide and gives it his all. He may be a basically content and mellow baby, but god forbid you sit him in his highchair with no cheerios on his tray RIGHT NOW, or the ball he was chewing on rolls away, or something with a tag is out of his reach, because it sounds like a pack of wild dogs is slowly pulling his arms off.

We're about to start a pretty busy two weeks around our house. We're leaving for vacation on Wednesday morning (if you're reading this and you're a burglar--we have a HUGE, MEAN dog), we're driving home from vacation on our anniversary, the following weekend we're having some family visit and hosting a birthday party for BSG, and after the party we're going to go out and celebrate my birthday. The whole while we are hoping (please, GOD) to have our house on the market. We spent all of this past weekend, with the help of Mam and Pap on Sunday, washing, fixing, painting, and yelling "Back Seat Girl, No--don't play with the paint. No, you can't help me, this is a big person job. I know you're a big girl, but...Hey--don't touch that. What did mommy say?". We have to be done with this now because Driver and I are exhausted.

We will be sure to post pictures of our trip as soon as possible. Also upcoming will be BSG's birthday post where I will try to capture the essence of BSG without going on and on forever and ever, amen, and a link where you can see some of the professional photographs we had taken last week in our front yard. I know you are all excited.

Updated: Our photos are up from the shoot last week!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The first and last post titled: The perks of working at the VA (besides the free parking for light rail)

Update: BSB has pooped the last couple of days in a row, and even managed to poop twice before noon today. He is very happy about it, but he did ask me to NEVER TALK ABOUT HIS POOPER ON THE INTERNET AGAIN.
When Back Seat Boy turned 7 months old, we had almost completely depleted the large cache of frozen milk I had managed to build up in those early days of nursing when your body hasn't figured out that your baby can't drink eleventy million ounces of milk a day. We started having to send him to daycare with bottles that were half breast milk, half formula.

Around this time pooping became a production for BSB. At first Driver and I thought it was kinda' funny. About every other day I would find a red-faced BSB, sitting on the floor and leaning forward ever so slightly, pushing with all of his might.

Things started to get more serious, though. Suddenly those episodes of pushing were producing the smallest of turds that I needed to pluck from between his butt cheeks. I couldn't believe that all of that pushing could only produce one tiny turd. After a few days of this, the pushing stopped producing anything, and he started to squirm and cry everytime he tried to poop. Now, if you haven't ever lived with a baby you should know that if the baby isn't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Driver and I made the decision that every parent with a constipated baby has made before and buy some prune juice to unplug his little pooper. The problem is that we kept forgetting to buy the stuff every time we went to the grocery store.

Then one day at work I sat down to eat my yogurt, and realized it had gone bad. I can't go a day without yogurt, so I headed up to the cafeteria to buy a new carton. That is when the fact that the majority of our "clients" (you're supposed to refer to them as clients, not patients, you know, because 'patient' is very offensive) are older people. There, next to the yogurt, were cans of prune juice.

Yea, prune juice!!

About 5 minutes after his first encounter with prune juice he pooped as much as a grown man. I got to watch the whole thing first hand since I thought he was done moving his bowels and started changing his diaper when he decided to just go for the gold and empty it all out right there on the changing table.

He's still not as regular as we (or he) would like, but that's OK, because now we have a huge jug of prune juice in the fridge for our tiny little old man.