When you're expecting or even thinking about having children one of the quesitons you'd like a concrete answer to is "no, but really, how is my life going to change?" For me, my relationship to advance planning has changed in a way i would not have anticipated.

Conventional wisdom (or a google search) teaches you that with children comes the shift from free-wheeling sprite to scheduling and planning commander. Laments about the inability to go out without advance planning abound. Maybe because i couldn't possibly make any more spreadsheets, i went the other direction once the bambinos showed up.

Whereas pre-children i enjoyed and was slightly frantic about having "plans" i now find entire weekends unscripted and they manage to pass enjoyably. Pre-children i enjoyed my share of downtime, but sitting around the house with just JT (no offense of course) got boring. I needed a weekend to have some solo-outings for me, shared stuff for the both of us and connecting with a friend or two along the way. If at least some of those didn't happen i felt unhappy and restless.

Because children demand a lot of work and also spontaneously produce entertainment, amusement and amazement, staying home all weekend might not be a cakewalk but i'm certainly not bored.

We are lucky and smart enough to schedule a babysitter every other week and this helps ensure we always have planned time for the two of us. Although i still love a good spreadsheet, scripted weekends and advance plans have slowly been replaced by impromptu painting sessions, wagon rides, tromps to the park and chores.


Glory Days

With JT down one-arm, there's an astonishing array of chores and parenting tasks that fall to me-- the able-bodied one. This temporary misalignment has given me a glimpse at what it would be like to be in a relationship where taking care of the house and the kids was entirely my job. I've got to say, it's not a place i'd like to be.

It's not just the sense that chores and household drudgery squash out the fun stuff in my day. I miss the sharing and the partnership that goes along with being jointly responsible for things. If i was in charge of the cooking, shopping, cleaning, kids (feeding, cleaning, discipline), and my sanity-- would JT listen as intently when i related an anecdote about a particularly crazy bath time or Silas making a beeline for the stairs as soon as i turned my back? Maybe, but now i know he's invested in our conversation because these things have happened to him and tomorrow (or in six weeks at least) it'll be his turn to keep everything under control.

I miss the help-- but i miss the camaraderie too. Some days, or really everyday from 6 to 7 pm, parenting can feel like fighting in the trenches and it's lonely without my comrade sharing the burden. I'm just thankful that normally this is a job we share.


Jungle Party

Henry and Silas' Oma and Opa joined us for a long weekend visit and were mucho help getting everything ready for Henry and Silas' birthday party. Especially with JT mostly down for the count, we took full advantage of the two able bodies. I have to say that i think the party was a success. The weather was cool and a little overcast, but nothing stopping little kids from playing outside some.

I had tried to prepare activities and organized games for the kids but somehow once most kids made an animal headband/mask free play pretty much ruled the party for the rest of the time. I did lead one round of jungle animal charades which was extremely amusing. I had cards with jungle animals on them and i would show one child the card and the idea is they would make sounds and act like that animal while everyone else guessed. Most of them would say the name of the animal outloud and if they needed help with the sounds and you whispered what an elephant sounds like they would repeat the sound in whisper form. Classic. After everyone had a turn-- and Henry had gone twice the kiddos were released back to playing. Guess we'll have to book a clown next year ;)

Henry got the cake i think he was hoping for-- chocolate with "lots of animals" and a dinosaur. It was huge, heavy and delicious. He was the recipient of some beautiful paintings, cards and drawings and one pass for hide and seek which he intends to cash in at his earliest opportunity. Although we didn't do gifts at the party, he got plenty of fun presents from family. He's already made use of his new paints (with drawings coming as thank-yous to many of you), he's been practicing spelling with his new magnetic letters and board-- playing grocery store with his scanner and shopping game, and reading the coolest pop-up books over and over and over that include sounds and tell you all about the ocean and night creatures. JT and I gave Henry and Silas a joint gift-- a wagon that seats both of them. Although it has seat-belts, i'm not sure Silas is ready for it just yet but i have a feeling by this summer he and Henry will be toodling around in it quite happily.

His presents were drawn out a few days and he received his wagon on Friday along with some additional gifts from Oma and Opa. He was very excited to say the least and immediately went out on a wagon ride with Opa bringing along his new curious George flaslight so "he could see." I think it was 6 pm but you never know when there's going to be a total eclipse.


Birthday Boy

We're mid-birthday but with the way things are going lately i figured i should take the 3 seconds i have and provide an update.

Here's what's happened. On Tuesday i took Silas to the Doctor because a strange lump appeared in his groin. When you google "baby groin lump" everything is related to a hernia-- so off to the Dr. we went. Thankfully (Hallelujah!) it was not a hernia and simply a swollen lypmh node. She said that if he had had a GI thing that led to diaper rash that the nodes will often swell to keep out intruders-- basically to fight off infection. She told me what to look for with lypmh nodes gone bad but said that in this case we knew they were fully operational.

Then Tuesday night Henry woke up throwing up and with the lower GI stuff Silas had awhile ago. He ran a fever and was generally off his game yesterday and stayed home with me-- mostly laying down which told me he really wasn't feeling well. By the afternoon though he seemed to be doing better-- no fever, getting his energy back, so we had expected he would be able to go to school today. But alas, he woke up this morning and was okay but felt warm and as the morning went on and he got hotter we could tell he a) definitely had a fever and b) did not feel well. Jt made him birthday pancakes and he only ate 1 bite-- this was the confirmation diagnosis.

We're hoping that by Saturday he'll really be better so that he can enjoy his party. Although the forecast isn't great (thunderstorms and 60) we're hoping the weatherpeople are wrong and the kiddos get to play games outside.


Busy Bees

Thanks to all for the well-wishes. I owe several of you a return message but i wanted to get a post out so people didn't start to worry. We're really doing fine. My toe is healing-- at least to the point where it's just achy and not painful and it isn't really keeping me from doing anything.

This past weekend was testament to that. Even though the weather was less than ideal(rainy and 40 or overcast and 40 with strong winds) we had a good weekend and i managed to make some serious progress on my outdoor projects. As i like to say "there are only 2 days in the weekend and 2 hours in naptime," so regardless of the weather i was out there doing crazy things both days.

Saturday i moved the leaf compost pile from the back yard all the way around to the side yard. Last year i didn't get around to blowing/shredding the leaves until the very late fall and i was rushing around because by the end of my leafblowing it was snowing-- hard. I wound up making a leaf pile right next to the ac unit which i knew would have to be moved before we could use the ac this year. Let's just say that moving partially composted, water-logged leaves into a wheelbarrow, then wheeling it 3/4 way around the house through thick soft mud (i just turned over the entire front yard) dumping (and repeat) made me feel not so bad about not getting to the gym during the week.

After that craziness i transplanted some of the hostas from the front to the side and capped off my chores by using a sledgehammer to break apart this strange concrete ring the previous owners made in the garden. It was so ugly and i've been dying to get rid of it. I'm only about 1/2 done but that was more than a good day's work.

I won't go into as much detail on Sunday-- i tried to do lighter stuff that day but i still worked for the 2 hour solid naptime lasted and was EXHAUSTED last night. The only downside to working during naptime is that i come in and the boys are fresh and rested and i'm ready for a bath and bed with 4+ hours to go.

Anyway it was nice to make so much progress. Henry's party is at our house on Saturday and i'm trying to keep my expectations reasonable for what i can get accomplished, but it would be nice to have a few more big projects completed in the front yard by then. We actually have sunny nice weather predicted this week so i'm going to see what i can accomplish during lunchtime.

Henry and Silas are both doing great and are anticipating their grandparents visit this week. Henry knows his birthday is coming and is quite excited about both it and Oms and Opa's visit.



You know i'm not a morning person. Becoming a mom did nothing to change that fact. I managed to last three days after JT BROKE HIS WRIST of getting up with him when the kids woke up. After that each day i would stay in bed just a little longer until i was summoned. The other day the summons was particularly memorable. I had dreamily fallen back to sleep after JT got up and went downstairs to the boys. I was awoken by Henry standing, naked, next to my bed saying "Wake up Mommy, Silas has monkey-rita!" He was naked i was trying to make sense of monkey-rita and then it clicked-- of course, Silas had been struggling with a lower-GI thing and must have a terrible diaper, which JT can not take care of one-armed. I set the naked thing aside and focused on getting Silas taken care of. Thankfully Silas' affliction is gone because in addition to calling it "monkey-rita" Henry also referred to it as "margarita" and i could just imagine the conversations at daycare when he was telling Brenda that Silas has margaritas.

Henry has been potty-trained during the day for quite awhile now (a couple months i guess) and he has been pretty consistent about keeping his pull-up dry at night. So, this past Friday, we started putting him in underwear at night and so far so good. I expect to have some wet sheets at some point but i've been impressed that since last Friday he's been dry everynight. He does however wake up and have to go to the bathroom and on Monday after getting his pajamas off to go to the bathroom he just wasn't ready to get dressed yet. Rather than fight him-- JT sent him up to wake me up and tell me about Silas-- even though he was in his birthday suit.

JT and i are doing pretty well. On Tuesday we had our babysitter come over and while she helped out with the boys we made several nights worth of dinners. I think we've almost gone normal house stuff back on track. My toe seems to be healing faster than the Dr. predicted (i'm almost not limping anymore) and JT is getting very inventive at doing things with one-arm. We still have some challenges on the horizon but i think we'll survive-- a more optimistic feeling than when this all happened last weekend.


Calamity Ensues

Let me start with the positive things about this weekend-- i managed to get both kids to take a series of individual and combined pictures in which their hair isn't too crazy and they are actually smiling. That is nothing to sneeze about. We had 60 degree sunny weather for both Saturday and Sunday which is also a blessing. And, i managed to make progress on my outdoor projects-- got the front yard turned over and all the grass pulled out by the roots. I also got about 1/4 of the parkway dug up which is where i hope to transplant the shrubs to once i dig them out of the front yard.

Now for the bad stuff. JT was hit by a car on his way home from work on Friday. The guy stopped which was good and JT only broke a wrist-- clearly it could have been much, much worse. He spent a good chunk of Friday evening in the ER (mostly by himself because i didn't want to bring the boys but thanks to Corey i did manage to get down there to spend about an hour with him) and got a temporary cast on his arm. He goes this afternoon to get a permanent cast put on hopefully for something like 3-4 weeks and not 6 weeks like we feared.

Then-- oh yeah the fun doesn't stop-- i dropped a big piece of plywood on my toes on Sunday afternoon. Here's a safety tip-- wear real shoes when doing any kind of work that might harm you-- house shoes just really don't offer much protection as it turns out. I initially thought they were broken-- and i'm waiting to hear back from my x-rays this morning, but now i'm thinking maybe they're just bruised. Bruised would be infinitely preferable because they should heal in about 7-10 days as opposed to several weeks for broken toes.

So, we're working through various Dr. appointments today and trying to figure out how we're going to make it through the week. We're calling in all the help we can get and our thankfully blessed with amazing friends that live closeby. The Smerry's came over last night and helped us make dinner and watch the kids. Tonight i think we're going to just order dinner and Tuesday our babysitter is going to come over just to be an extra pair of hands for the dinner/bath/bedtime rush.

So, clearly you'll forgive my lack of pictures. In a couple weeks i'll have some great professional ones to share. In lieu of flowers, please send positive thoughts to our family that no one else decides to cause any bodily harm :)


Silas One Year Checkup

We had Silas' one year checkup on Thursday. We mostly talked our Ped's ear off about Silas sleep issues-- great one night terrible the next and checked off the pre-requisite developmental concerns as well. He's smack dab in the 10-25% percentile for weight which he's been since his early baby chubby days. I think he was 19 lbs. 12 oz to be exact and 31 in. long which works out to 75% percentile for height-- long and lean as she said. I guess Henry really was small because Silas looks like a downright sturdy baby to me but i guess he still doesn't hold a candle to those 90%percentile whoppers out there.

I believe i've been remiss in telling you about the onslaught of teeth Silas is suffering. He had 0 for almost the first 12 months of his life and then on the 23rd of March i noticed the bottom two coming in. Then this past weekend we saw the bottom two coming in as well. Dr. P checked them out and said the top right one is really swollen and probably uncomfortable for him. She recommended motrin at bedtime to help him deal with the discomfort and sleep a little better.

Yes the sleep. She said his ear infection is gone-- although he does have fluid still in his ear and wants to see him back in a few weeks when we go for Henry's 3 year appt. Otherwise she said that most likely his freak-outs at night are developmental-- separation anxiety, night terrors- all kinds of things that are "normal" around this age but hard to deal with. She recommended a few concrete things to try and to keep an eye on so i'll let you know in future posts how that works out. We had started moving his bedtime back to around 7:15 on nights he seemed like he could stay up later but we've since decided that was a bad idea and moved it back promptly to 7 and possibly a few minutes before. He transitioned to just one nap a few weeks ago and over tiredness may actually be causing some of the problems.

We've got lots of outdoor projects planned this weekend so i'm hoping the weather is cooperative. I'm also attempting to have both Henry and Silas' photographed tomorrow so you might want to check in on me at the end of the weekend to see if we survived. Happy Spring.