Sunday, April 24, 2011

Egg-stravaganza

Barrett wasn't old enough to hunt eggs last year, but this year, he was ready to go!  We attended three Easter egg hunts to give him lots of practice.
First up, the sorority alum egg hunt at the DZ house. 

This was Barrett's first true Easter egg hunt, and he did well!  He picked up the eggs and put them in his basket, although we carried the basket around for him. 
It was too much to walk, pick up the eggs, AND hold the basket all at once.

We tried to get everyone together for a picture, but that is kind of like keeping puppies in a basket...someone kept wiggling away.
Barrett is on the left sucking on an orange egg from Anna Grace's basket.  Oh well.  What are you gonna do?
Charlotte came along to snooze observe and we even got a picture of both babies with the Easter Bunny.
 I'm not sure what this pose is about, but Barrett was leaning across the bunny's lap onto Charlotte in every shot.  Hm.  Protecting her from the bunny?  Trying to get in the middle of the bunny's lap?  Not sure.

Next up, we went to the neighborhood Easter egg hunt and had a great time hanging out with our friends and neighbors and all of their sweet kids.  The very best part about our new house is the neighborhood -- we love it!  Barrett has so many playmates and we are lucky to have so many neighbors as friends!

On Easter weekend, we had an Easter egg hunt for all of the little cousins at my parents house, complete with designated areas depending on age group, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and Easter goodies for everyone (my mom is SO organized!). 

Are the eggs ready yet??  Can we go outside and start?!

Oh!  I found one!

Basket full of eggs
We found them ALL!
Charlotte and Grandmom snuggled inside while all the kids hunted eggs outside

Hanging out with Aunt Jessica

Easter is such a fun holiday for children and I can't wait for Charlotte to participate next year too~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Failing: Mommy-style

Just add it to the list of things that Charlie Sheen and I do NOT have in common:
He's "winning" and I'm ... failing.

I haven't been too shy about displaying the fact that Barrett is a pretty easy-going little boy.  I am very lucky.  In fact, he is so fun to be around that all of his playfulness, expressions, and words are truly the bright spot of my day.  But something seems off lately.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on early terrible twos or the fact that he's cutting his molars PLUS the back teeth beside his molars all at once, but trust me, something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

This morning, right after I put Charlotte down for her nap, Barrett started an epic tantrum.

It was triggered by the fact that I made him put on shoes before he could go outside.  I am SO unreasonable.  Tantrum ensues, and so I try to ignore the bad behavior instead of rewarding him with lavish attention or going outside, like he wanted.
...
We tried Tylenol (no fever, but potential ear infection? teething pain?), playpen time to "ignore" the tantrum, and during brief 5 second respites from the screams -- intermittently playing with Sassy, riding the tricycle, reading books, etc, etc, and nothing would do.

After 45 MINUTES (not a typo....forty-five minutes) of crying, flailing about, and being generally inconsolable, I finally surrendered and turned on Blue's Clues. 

Barrett: 1
Mommy: 0

Before you judge me, think about that in your head.  A 45 minute tantrum is a loooonng time.  Especially when you add in the simultaneous mental olympics of "I know I'm supposed to ignore a tantrum, but should it last this long??  Am I psychologically scarring him if I don't console him??  Okay, when I console him, it seems to get worse....what's his heart rate now?  Why won't he let me listen to him with the stethoscope???  Agh!  Okay, obviously whatever I'm doing isn't working..."

Anyway, with the Blue's Clues theme song chirping in the background, Barrett is instantly entranced and consoled.  Great.  I'm out-Mommied by a cartoon dog.

Plus, apparently, my child is addicted to TV.  Awesome.  Please, don't all stampede at once to get my Mom of the Year autograph.  Pfft.

Adding insult to injury of my crippled sanity, I suddenly notice that in my haste, I had clicked on a new Blue's Clues episode from the DVR line-up -- it's the one where Steve AND Joe try to solve Blue's Clues together!!  Cool! 
Jazz hands!
I always wondered about the Steve-to-Joe transition, so I briefly consider watching this one, until I realize how crazy this sounds when I'm in the throes of a mini-breakdown, so I immediately go to the kitchen to self-medicate with Easter cookies and diet Sunkist.
ps:  Those Easter cookies were meant for the neighborhood Easter egg hunt on Saturday.  Now I have to get new ones.  Just add it to the list of mommy fail!

Ironically, the doctor's office calls at this exact moment to tell me the results of my recent battery of heart tests -- the EKG and echocardiogram were normal, so apparently my recurring chest pains are not related to heart malfunction or early heart attack, as originally feared, but stress related

Who knew?!  (dripping with sarcasm)



The very best part of my job is that the only people who don't think I'm overreacting are the people who have had my exact job.  The rest of the world thinks "stay at home mom" means I'm too simple to have a real job, nevermind the fact that I do, in fact, work from home in addition to mommy-ness. 

Thanks, world.  You're awesome.

Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't trade my time with the kiddos for ANYTHING in the world.  Barrett's health journey has taught me, in no uncertain terms, that you can never take a single second for granted.  I want to be around for everything -- the good and the bad.  It's just that life isn't always cupcakes and sunshine.  And that's fine.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Girl

 I think beauty sleep really agrees with Charlotte, because guess what?? 
She is sleeping through the night! 
She first slept through the night on March 14th and had success off and on since then, but I was afraid to say anything about it until now because I didn't want to jinx it.  I'm not normally superstitious, but call me what you will because I was NOT willing to take any chances on bad juju vibes that would mess up her sleep. 

Never.  Wake.  Sleeping.  Baby. 
Write that down. 
This mantra seems more important now than ever.

With Barrett, I would obediently wake him to keep him precisely on his schedule...  these days, I've learned to let her catch those zzz's when she can (sorry, BabyWise). 
Don't worry, I haven't morphed into a different person or started wearing her in a sling 24/7 dressed in hemp clothes.  I still wake her if she sleeps past a certain time in the morning, so our days can have a predicable rhythm, but I'm past waking her up just for the sake of a schedule.  I guess I got over myself on that point.  Funny how a second baby can do that, huh?

These days, she almost always responds with smiles and coos when you talk to her, especially when you call her by name.  I honestly think she is already starting to respond to Charlotte! 

In other news, Barrett has also started saying "Charlotte" but still prefers to call her "baby."  He particularly likes to introduce her to people we run into when we're out and about.  Unfailingly, we run into a kind stranger in the grocery/taking a walk in the double stroller/anywhere we go, really, who stops to speak to Barrett. 

Kind Stranger invariably lavishes Barrett with attention and asks about his baby sister.  As a preemptive strike, now he immediately starts patting Charlotte and saying "baby."  This "introduction" gets him even more attention from Kind Stranger. 
Mission accomplished.  
Would you like to meet my sister?
But really, Barrett can't get enough of his baby sister and Charlotte seems to adore Barrett too, as exhibited by her patience for his silly shenanigans and endless attempts to "ring" her belly button. 
(Kristopher says "ding dong" whenever Barrett pokes his belly button or honks his nose, which always gets BIG laughs.  Only now, Barrett can't pass up the opportunity to ring anyone's belly button.  You've been warned.)

She has a belly button too!!

Ding dong!