Monthly Archives: November 2014

Seven Months

Yesterday marked 2.0’s seventh month on the planet.
He’s mostly crawling at this point. It’s cool, but now that he’s mobile, keeping an eye on both kids usually ends up with me cross eyed.
He’s eating new foods pretty regularly, the newest foods being zucchini and egg yolks. He’s happy to try most anything, except sweet potatoes and avocado. Most nights he sleeps through the night, with a hiccup every few nights or so. I know so many people like the newborn phase, bit this age, for me, beats anything beforehand. I love seeing his personality. Mini Gwinn has come out of his shell more lately. He introduces himself to new people with his full name, and then usually a description of whatever it is that he’s doing when he meets someone. Today he took off his shoes and jeans at Target. I mean, there’s a time and a place. But his time and place are not mine, apparently.
They’re currently having a screaming match, so this us short.

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Foto Friday

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Dream Deferred

Thirteen years ago I started writing a young adult fantasy novel. Keep in mind, this wasn’t nearly as mainstream as it is today. The Hunger Games, Divergent – these books didn’t exist. A reluctant female protagonist wasn’t out there to resonate with moody introvert teens, like myself (at the time. I’m no longer a moody introvert teen, just a moody introvert adult). It was really good for a sixteen year old, if I’m honest with myself. The general plot was new and interesting, the world I created was different, and the driving message was something that girls weren’t being told in 2001.

Years passed. Once in a great while I touched it, brushed it off, reworked a sentence here and there, then left it again. My mom bought me books about publishing, I wrote a few concepts for children’s books (that still make me giggle from the humor), but time escaped me. Last winter I sent a copy to my best friend, an avid fantasy reader, and she sent back some ideas and notes to help grow the book. But my interest had been quelled. It wasn’t fresh and it wasn’t interesting to me, and if I didn’t want to read it, no one else would either. In 2014, the idea from 2001 was blasé at best.

Two weeks ago I was lying in bed and my thoughts trailed to the old book. My mind reread passages that were lending themselves to an entirely different main character. And I got excited. The next morning my Bestie and I texted for hours on this idea. I fleshed it out for her, and at the end of the conversation she said, “I’m not saying this as your best friend. I’m saying this as a fantasy reader. Write this book. You gotta start this right away.”

Ah, but time, my old nemesis. With two kids, three dogs, and a house to unpack, when will I find the time? Our computer is on the bottom level of the house. The kids’ rooms are on the top. Maybe this is just the dream deferred, again.


Three Year Olds Say Funny Things

In the past couple weeks, mini Gwinn has been entertaining Captain Laser Pants and myself with the things he’s said. Here are some gold nuggets of three year old musings.

“I just have to keep moving!”
“Our new house is wonky.”
“I need a haircut.”
     “Do you want to go get one?”
“…No.”
“I’m building a poop tower!”
-he flips through a jeep parts catalog-
me: “Are you eating your dinner?”
             “No, I’m looking at things.”
“Poots are stinky.”

In other news, 2.0 slept through the night. Cue the Hallelujah chorus. I had a full eight hours of sleep for the first time in almost a year.

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We are settling into the new house. Mini Gwinn’s walls had several pink splotches and marks, so they had to be covered. My short term solution: paint robots over the spots.

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They’re done by hand so they aren’t symmetrical or anything, but they’re cute and match his stuff. Then my mom and I found this great chair for $35 at an outlet store.

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I finished painting the chalkboard wall in their playroom, but now have the other three walls in that room to tackle. And the baby’s nursery. And our room. And the basement. Oy.


Why I should lie to my pediatrician

This past week the boys had their pediatric checkups. They are just a few days short of being exactly two and a half years apart, so the timing worked well to have mini Gwinn’s three year visit and 2.0’s six month visit together. That, and our pediatrician is now an hour from our new home. Don’t worry, we are looking for a new one closer to the house.

After packing up the kids and making the hour long trek solo, we arrived a bit early and settled into the waiting area to fill out routine questionnaires for each kid. A little while longer and the three of us were in an examination room, being grilled about the usual stuff: how often does the baby nurse, what kind of solids is he eating, sleep, etc. Everything was acceptable for the baby, as in I told the nurse nothing to bring up a red flag.

Then she started asking about mini Gwinn. “How much screen time does he have every day?”
“I don’t know, probably somewhere between one and two hours a day.”

Eyebrows raise. Her fingers fly across the keyboard.

More questions. Measurements of height, weight, baby’s head size. The nurse left, and we waited for the pediatrician.

Normally, I think she’s fabulous. She’s not too high strung, she’s generous with her mom encouragement, and she’s gentle with my sons. But something triggered my motherly defenses at our visit.

“His BMI is a little high. You said he has one to two hours a day of screen time?”

I bristled. I should have lied. But I was honest. Less than patiently I explained that we had moved three weeks ago. There are boxes in twelve of the fifteen or so rooms still. We have three dogs and no fence on our property. I am alone between 10-12 hours a day with two children and three dogs and a house to unpack. Every time a dog needs to urinate, the following occurs: put on shoes for myself, put on mini Gwinn’s shoes, apply collars and leashes to all three dogs, strap on Ergo Baby carrier, place baby in carrier, find keys, unlock door, take all dogs out, battle a fit from mini Gwinn about opening the garage door for his wagon, take everyone inside, lock door, lather rinse repeat. This happens about five times a day. Then I reiterated that I am alone for about eleven hours a day. If my three year old, who was spinning in a circle as I regaled the pediatrician with my dog routine, watches some freaking Blues Clues for ten minutes while I nurse the baby or God forbid, go to the bathroom without an audience, report me to DFACS. I informed her that we don’t have cable, and that what he does watch is monitored closely.

She backed off some and apologized, and admitted that it sounded crazy at our house right now. We packed up, took the hour drive home, and I fed and leashed the dogs so the six of us could take a family walk before bath and bed time, which are also usually done solo. I let her know that his weight was the least of my concerns and it shouldn’t even have been brought up at this visit.

Out of curiosity I thumbed through the boys’ checkup records to see how mini Gwinn’s growth had been tracking. Lo, and behold, his BMI was the same at his two year check up.

She didn’t mention that he was completely day time potty trained, or that he eats raw green bell peppers for a snack, or that he can go through a quart sized clam shell of raspberries by himself in five days, or that he can talk her ear off, or that he’s figuring out simple addition in his head. When I said his pants were so big in the waist that the smallest tab adjustments were still too large, it didn’t seem to register. All she saw were the numbers, and not the healthy, active child standing I’m front of her.

If I were a negligent mother, or fed him kool aid and cheeseburgers, or if he didn’t go on multiple walks daily, maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much. I realize that our healthcare system is set up so that the worst of the worst parents are counseled the same as the best. If only I had a brain and reasonable ability to take care of myself and my children, I wouldn’t have to rely upon government mandated guidance from doctors.

Next time I’m asked about “dangerous” issues in my home, I’m going to say, “We only eat at buffets for every meal, preferably Shoneys or KFC. We have the television on constantly on Jerry Springer reruns. We keep several pistols in a decorative bowl on the kitchen table, so everyone has access to all firearms at all times, for safety.”


Third Birthday Carnival Party

We had a ball with our friends on mini Gwinn’s birthday last Sunday. The weather was colder than we expected, so we didn’t set up the duck pond game, but the kids enjoyed all the other games. We can can toss ( turned over metal pails from Target), ring toss (2 liter sodas and glow necklaces), bean bag toss, cupcake walk, punch a cup, and face painting.

Mini corn dog bites, popcorn ball bites, hot dogs, cotton candy, lemonade and cake rounded out the carnival food.

Thank you to all who made his day so special!