Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Smunch is the new everything

A family night out recently--Theo couldn't help but come outside to make Margot laugh. Also, Margot has started screaming a lot lately. Happy screams, but loud screams.
Theo has entered an age that I am much more comfortable with--reasoning and conversation! It is very exciting to me to be able to tell him why something happens and he gets it. Or I ask him how he feels about something and he can tell me. Even though he's not a docile little infant, I am relieved already by the ways he can help and listen, and most importantly that I can listen, believe, and validate the emotions and feelings he has about something. I also love that I now have a remote that opens the minivan door next to his car seat as he quickly runs inside and climbs aboard, only one buckle assistance needed. (I love minivans. Love love love them.)

Theo loves Cat Stevens probably more than me right now. We have plenty of other kid friendly records, but Cat is the favorite. We used to try and prevent Theo from touching the record player, but since it's a toy version anyway that we bought for $10, he has eventually learned how to work it, including moving the needle back to play his favorite song over and over. Theo also loves pink, and he has a new pink guitar that he strums along to the music. He also loves to dance, and basically it's a very cute thing to watch.

Theo has made up a new word recently that has quickly become one of my favorite words of all time--"smunch." I'm pretty sure it's a combination of "smoosh" and "crunch." Or "scrunch." It was introduced by Theo yelling, "I'm going to smunch you!" Followed by a body slam.

Theo can of course be as unruly and tantrum prone as any three-year-old, but he can be surprisingly polite, always saying "bless you!" after a sneeze and if that phrase is said to him, says "thank you." He's stopped napping completely--it's been several weeks since I read him to sleep in the afternoon, but he will fall asleep in the car.

He loves to look at Jon's old anatomy book, he calls it the "skeleton book" and will sit and look at it, asking what things are and describing you how food travels down the body until "the bum." He's starting a small preschool in a few weeks and I think he will love it. He also loves anything Margot does now and wants to do the same thing, which means he sits in restaurant high chairs again. Not a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mar 14 months

I can't tell if this is a terrible picture of Margot or an amazing one--but it makes me laugh. Most of my pictures are like this, as she would rather try and grab the camera than patiently look at it.

Margot started walking this past week at 14 months, and has about dropped her morning nap. She has decided that this baby business does not suit her anymore, and would like to be as wiggly as possible. Theo and I play a game where she walks back and forth to us, and when she gets to Theo he wraps her up in a hug and drags her away until she wants to walk again. She loves to slide down slides, and has learned to climb up our little mini one at home. She says "mama," "dada," "wa-wa," (water), "k-hee," (kitty), and signs "all done." She loves to be friendly with anyone, until they try to hold her. But she went willingly to a friend who was staying with us recently, which is pretty amazing to me. She usually eats more than Theo and loves to eat our food when we go out. I am counting down the days until Christmas until I can give her a baby doll. To see her lovingly hug something is one of my greatest joys of my life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Here's to the meaning of life, and discernable triceps.

We were at the beach with The Goonies rock--Thanks to my friend Vanessa who told me later. I had no idea.

Boathouse on the Willamette River.

I was told recently by a friend that your late 20's to early 30's are prime "figure yourself out" time. My reaction was, "Crap." Because it's generally true. While my early twenties were devoted to discovering I liked wearing the cast offs of nursing home patrons, this point of my life seems to be all about figuring out my inward emotional stuff I avoided for ten years. It probably comes with being a mom. Children can bring your best and worst qualities to the surface, and once you see them they must be dealt with or accepted. Also, you actually have to divide your time efficiently among your interests/chores of life. But what are they? Will I fail? Why am I suddenly upset at things I used to not care about? Why do I have so much anxiety and shame and embarrassment when a lifegaurd yells at me? (It happened to me yesterday when I tried to go down a slide with Margot that was too small, and I wanted to shrivel up and pretend I wasn't born.) Life was so much easier when I was childless and self absorbed to the point that I was in complete denial of myself!

But while I don't have many answers yet, (just potential therapy bills) I have discovered how much I love water. It may have been living a year in a state almost completely devoid of it, although living above a beautiful but far away lake view often spared my sanity. This summer I love being in and around the water. I've been taking rowing/crew lessons, which I am loving and may always be a part of my life now. It gives you such a zen feeling while giving you a great workout. I've realized it's kind of the chess club of water sports, with speed boats towing wakeboarders zipping around you in circles and college boys chanting "Row! Row! Row!" And that somehow makes me all the more enamored. I've also tried paddle boarding recently, and I'm not very good but I like it. We also went to the beautiful Oregon coast this week and it felt so amazing to be there. Mostly because I love wearing a sweatshirt in the summer. Being on or around the water somehow dilutes (har) all that busy thought in my head that keeps me on the edge of a panic attack lately. It sorts my life into priorities, and makes the drama less dramatic. It's not a new tactic, I know, but it works.

I know I can't row a boat continuously until I'm 35, but while I'm in the middle of figuring out if I need to let go of a few old lady dresses (already know the answer to that--NO) I will take advantage of my four hour weekly water therapy. And Jon will take advantage of being able to run on the treadmill while watching his favorite zombie shows that I hate.

Now, what do do when the rain comes back? Maybe I'll take up seed bead necklaces or knit a huge blanket. Suggestions are encouraged.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh, Disease. You didn't!

I have no picture to post with this. Because if I did it would be of a house that looks as musty as it likely smells, with three of four sad people in it all suffering from a summertime enemy called Hand Foot and Mouth disease. It isn't quite as bad as it sounds, we got a version that gave us all sore throats and fevers. Which is pretty bad and painful, but the name implies something you would get in medieval times when you drink from a communal water bucket, skin covered in blistering sores and turning green. Our communal germ factory was (I'm guessing) the library, when we saw a magician perform with about 60 other menacing illness-breeding children. I missed both my rowing classes, Jon gave up his only full accrued day of time off when I was incapable of getting out of bed, and we have basically missed a whole week of Oregon summer--almost impossible to make up. Water, yogurt, crackers--anything but pure whole fat vanilla ice cream and pudding makes Margot cry when it passes her lips. So ice cream has been on the menu for breakfast and lunch today. And Theo had some for lunch. Theo's feeling fine now, but just try to put a bowl of ice cream in front of your baby without your toddler noticing and throwing a giant fit. I had ice cream for breakfast too, then a hot dog for lunch. Ice cream does actually get old eventually, and I needed something extremely salty but equally unhealthy to balance it. It did sting a bit, but I'm an adult so I can power through.

Last winter we were hermits and our illnesses were infrequent and conveniently spaced. I think this is my first true experience of sickness with more than one kid, and it was not fun at all. The first day when Theo cutely cuddled on the couch watching shows was dear and heart warming. That night when he woke up screaming and writhing in pain and going to urgent care at midnight--not so much. I think I have watched every episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood at least three times. Mind melted.

However, I think we are on track to have a healthy, event filled weekend. But we might spend most of that cleaning our apartment and throwing away empty ice cream buckets.

It's not fun to continually stay home when you're sick, but sometimes you have to do it for the good of mankind. (Hear me, moms who take your sick kids along with your healthy kids to the library?!)