Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not a Good Week To Be My Kid

Before I started laying down the hard law on these 2 kiddos.... they had a couple... accidents.
As if the confidence I had in my Motherhood wasn't dwindling enough right?

First.  Joey.
I was carrying him downstairs to make breakfast and I fell.
Down 5 steps. 
I was on my back and sliding and the baby came with me.
I swore (The "S"-word.) as I saw and heard Joey's neck bounce off his arm pit.
I was pretty sure I killed him.
He cried for like... an hour.
Nothing was injured.  I checked over and over and over again.  I didn't even take him in.
He was just really shaken up.
I got a couple bruises on my legs and back and right forearm.

Second.  Kole.
I was in his room nursing Joey. 
Kole was turning his fan on and off.
I tried getting him to play with something else.
Not working.
Then he unplugged his fan.
Playing with outlets isn't something kids should do.
It's not something anyone should do.
I stuck a wet paperclip into a light switch once and it knocked me clear over!
So, obviously, I immediately told Kole to stop and I stood up to go over to him to make him stop.
Not quick enough.
He put the plug in his mouth...
Oh the tears.
He wasn't hurt.
He was shocked.
And shocked.
Shocked by his shocking.
Shocked by his shocking shocking.
That's kinda a funny word when you think about/look at it.
He kept holding up his fingers and looking at them.  As if he was surprised they were still there and looked normal.  Instead of black and shriveled.  Like Dumbledore's in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. 
I bet Kole's blood was just zooming through his veins.
He kept asking, "What happened?  What happened?"
I explained that he got shocked and that's what happens when you touch plugs.

And then a light dawned on me....
"You can also get shocked if you jump on the couch, or smack the baby, or don't listen to Mommy."
He looked at me with his eyes real big and nodded.  Knowingly.

You gotta look for that silver lining.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Melting! Melting! Oh What a World. What a world....

Started Friday night.
Joey went to bed at his normal time.  After Arsenio Hall was over.
An hour later he was up.  Wanting to watch infomercials.
We don't have cable... or an antenna... but
3 hours later he was still up.  And screaming.  Screaming himself into rigamortis.
I propped myself up with pillows on the couch so I wouldn't drop him when his cries became my lullabies and I would fall asleep.
Around 4 AM I noticed between his wicked cries there was coughing.
Once the rest of the world woke up I called the pediatricians office and in we went.
On a Saturday.
The doctor made me feel like an idiot.
It was the "on-call" doctor not our normal guy.
Some of her ringers:
"Don't you have other kids that have been sick before?"
"He hasn't even had these symptoms for 24 hours yet?"
"Apparently, you've never heard of the common cold."
I wanted to punch her in her big buck teeth.
I settled for Joey doing an explosive dookie on her exam table after she put a thermometer in his booty.
One point Team Poulsen.
The rest of Saturday was a daze.  A sleep deprived, snot infested daze.
I fell asleep at the bottom of the bed as I was changing Joey's diaper that night.
Sunday me and the baby skipped church.
Kole skipped his nap.
*Lightning Strikes.*
Never is there a good Koley after a nap is skipped.
All I heard was "No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No."
In all different voices.  In every different pitch.  Occasionally with a toy thrown at me.  Always with tears.
I blamed it on the no nap.
Monday proved me wrong.
Kole took a nap and added smiles to all his "no's."
His aim was more accurate when he threw.  There was more force behind it.
At least he was smiling.
He tends to wait until I am nursing the baby to act out.
Like I've got a baby on me and he'll start jumping on the couch.  Or climbing on the piano.  Or hanging off the TV.
What can I do?
I'm basically stranded.
And he knows it.
Beyond that he seems to have found out that there is no consequence in this house for bad behavior.
Good behavior is well rewarded.
Bad Behavior... is....
... becoming more popular.
In a small attempt to feel in charge of something...
I did some rearranging in the house.
I wanted to do something to feel like the baby was taking over everything in the black lagoon.
So I moved the computer and desk down to the kitchen with the intention of moving the crib out of Kole's room and into my room.
I can get work done (you know Facebook, blog-gawk, read Post Secret) while Kole eats breakfast or lunch.
And the baby will be 15 feet away from me at night instead of 18 inches.
It ended horribly.
I only got as far as lugging all the computer wiry stuff down to the kitchen table.
I tried hooking it all up.
I couldn't get the Internet to work.
Neither could Ken.
We worked on it until 11.  Went through several customer service reps... who all told us to buy a new router.
Do they feel like failures when they can't solve a problem?
Or is that just me?
So after 2 trips to Walmart... we bought the stinking over-priced modem.
Ken bought some ice cream novelties on the last trip... because I had been sobbing for hours by this point.
Nothing seemed to be working.
Joey wasn't sleeping.
Kole wasn't listening to me.
I didn't feel like a good wife.
My grand DIY rearranging project was only half done.
The Internet went kaput-sy on me.
The good little girl from Kansas threw a bucket of water on me and I was certainly melting.
And then my mom called me. 

And I saw a rainbow.

I'm in control.
Joseph has started sleep training.  No more sleeping until noon and expecting me to just pick up after you. You little pip squeak.
Well, I'll still pick up after you because you're practically paralyzed at this age... but I'm serious about the no more sleeping until noon.
And Kole?
You've got rules now.
No more hitting the baby.  Even if you're just pretending.
No more jumping on the couch, piano, bed, or stairs.
No more sneaking into Joey's bouncy chair.  You're going to break it.
No more fighting the diaper changing.  When you stink, I will change you.
No more whining, crying over nothing, and no more throwing yourself on the floor.
You're gonna eat what the rest of us are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  (The rest of us... being me.)
Your days of open menu have just ended.
I'm not a chef.
I'm not your best friend.
I'm not interested in your excuses.
I'm your mother.
If you break a rule, if you talk back, if you yell at me....
...No trucks.
I know.  Major pressure point.
You are not a grown up.  You're 2.
I'm the boss around here.

Good luck getting used to it little cubbies.
Just try and stay out of my way.  Just try!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's Lurking

Today I was changing Koley's stinky diaper.  To get graphic there was a big lump of soggy stinky poop in there.  I made a big scene about it to make him laugh. 
"Ew!  Gross!  PU!  This needs to go straight outside! Yuck!"
Kole was laughing and when he stopped he looked at me with a big smile and said pointing down, "Turtles in 'ere?"
I was thrown.
"Turtles?" I asked, "In your diaper?"
"Yeah!  Stinky turtles out my bum!"

It all became clear. 
I think Dad has been using some interesting boyish vernacular.
And Kole hasn't quite caught up.

*shakes head.  raises one eyebrow. sighs.*

Monday, August 20, 2012

Laying It Out There

I turned 28.  Feels good.  As Andi said, "28 just SOUNDS elegant. Like you say it with a smile, nod, and with closed eyes."  So now when people ask how old I am that's how I respond "28" while smiling, nodding confidently, and with my eyes whimsically closed.  Of course, no one has asked me yet.  
I think people generally stop asking after you turn 10.  Like you hit double digits.  We can quit counting/asking now.   Ken made my all-time favorite cake.  Angel food cake with real whipped cream icing topped with Heath.  He surprised me with the candles.  Such a dearie.  And the good news is when I'm turning 82 we'll already have the candles for the cake.

As part of my celebration I took a trip back to Idaho.  Ken-mo had to work.  Boo hiss.  So it was just me and the little guys.  The car ride was great aside from all the screaming, whining, kicking, and food throwing done by Koley.  But we arrived.  A little weary... but in one piece.   I stayed at my Mom's which is as close to Heaven (aside from that birf-day cake) as it gets.  I napped.  I hot tubbed.  I watched TV.  I remember seeing my kids...but mostly Grandma Ginger had them.  She was either rocking Joey or driving trucks with Kole.  Or both.  All I had to worry about was whether I wanted Ranch or a Vinaigrette on my salad.  For my biggest news Joey suddenly snapped out of his devil-like trance and started sleeping at my mom's.  Sure he still had his fuss-bucket time but it was so much shorter.  And then he slept.  In the way that gives the phrase, "I slept like a baby" its validity.  From 11:00-6:00.  Oh, I am reborn.  He is reborn.  And he's kept it up too.  2 kids isn't so bad once you start sleeping more than 3 hours a night.  I'm borderline enjoying this.  

Here's the highlight reel:

28. Certainly a Peak of life.
(Those old lady arms are really photo-shopped on.  Mine are trim, sleek, and muscular.)

Loves loves loves tucking his shirt in for church.
And standing on the counter certainly was a treat.

Monkey-Watching with Granny Sheri

Such a playful, fun, doting Granny. 
Kole La-HOVED being back at the Tautphaus Park Zoo.
Especially with a Granny to play with.

After an hour or so of swimming in the Hot Pool at Gramma Ginger's, Kole needed some nourishment.  Via Lunchables.  Eaten in the nude.  Kole threw his inhibitions and propriety to the wind and snacked out.  With it all out.

A needed and joyous reunion with Natters.

Koley at the Splash Park back at home.
He likes going in mouth first.

Dad making it a leetle more fun.  As usual.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Be Not Mad

This is one of those "Smile for the Picture" photos.  I'm not really this smiley and carefree about having two boys to tend to. But I do think my eyebrows look good.

I think the secret to this Mom Thing is the old "Take Time For Yourself."
But not in the way it's always advertised.
I mean, get real.  Going to get a pedicure is out of the question with a 2 year old and a new born.  Heck, getting ready to get a pedicure is basically out of the question.  Spending time reading in a bubble bath... that's silly.  For two reasons.  One, I think baths are gross.  Just sitting in water made murky by all the dirt and mulch pieces that stuck to you from the playground with your toddler and all the puke/poop/drool from the new baby.  Eh eh.  Gross.  Second,  the warm water would activate le ol' milk ducts and I'd have two lactating fountains.  Again.  Eh eh.
All those glamorous "Me Time" ideas are ridiculous.  And even with a helpful partner, which I have, the time is still so limited.  I mean Joe Joe likes to eat.  A lot.  I haven't taught him to tell time yet but feeding every four hours is practically starving him.  So he's attached to the boob most of the day.  (Maybe that's why he's gained almost 4 pounds in a month.)


I have come to this conclusion.  I have to do something for me.  Every day.  I've spent a couple days paddling in the boat with the moms who don't and I know what it's like.  I end up resenting the kids.  Having thoughts of how mice life would be without them.  I think about hiring a kidnapper.  Not listed in the Yellow Pages. Hmph.  I swear at them in my head.  And sometimes out loud.  Anytime Joey starts crying I think "Where is the closest wall?  He's going through it!"  It's awful.  I feel possessed.  But, any mom who is doing this a-round the clock knows the feeling.  Like there is no escape.  Drowning.  Drowning when you weren't even having fun swimming.  Drowning when you were like... paddling on a treadmill or something.  Life feels heavy.  Awful.  And unhappy.

I think this is why some moms end up looking so upset.  And wrinkly.  Not to mention have perma-angry eyebrows and frowns.  Even when their kids are grown up. 

So- here's my secret.  First.  When Koley is going through a fit or tantrum or anything that involves yelling-  I walk away.  I'm not going to give in to him so why do I have to stand there and listen to him whine about it.  (Whine is not a strong enough word.  What is the word for whine times a million?)  It's little.  But it helps me.  I also have started reading my Oprah magazine when I am nursing the baby.  I started with my current book but there are a lot of interruptions when nursing a new born.  Burping, puking, Kole grabbing him.  I could get through 2 sentences over and over and over.  Frustrating.  So I switched to a magazine.  The first 5 or 6 times I browse through it I only look at the pictures anyway.  My biggest help has been movies.  Joey is still putting me in the Circle of Pain every night starting at about 10.  And carrying on until 1 or 2.  Only once until 3.  (In his defense it is getting better.  He told me I had to write that.)  But instead of pacing my bedroom and bouncing him and crying with him and watching Ken sleep and wishing I was in bed and praying for the strength not to harm this baby... I put in a no-think movie.  Movies like "The Devil Wears Prada"  or "Eat Pray Love."  A movie where the dialogue is not really that important.  That way I never get mad when Joe Bo amps up and I can't hear.  The time goes so much faster.  I feel like I did something fun.  And I'm not mad.

I figure I'm going to be tired anyway.  I might as well enjoy myself.

Does anyone else have a suggestion for me?
A trick you used to keep sanity?
Ken says adoption is not an option.