Sunday, September 30, 2007

Life as we know it.

It has been tough having two kids under the age of three. Everyone keeps telling me "it will get easier." I try to believe them, but it is hard. I see why many couples stop at one or two kids. I got a taste of having three kids this week. Jeff was immobile and on he had diarrhea of the mouth (much like a small child). I found myself running between Reili, Maya, and Jeff. It was hard. I worked for four hours just to get the dishes washed! I mean, there were a lot of dishes, but not that many. I would change Maya's diaper, feed Reili, and then take Jeff his medicine and ice packs. I did manage to start exercising nonetheless.

I have two months to prep for this half marathon. I'm hoping it will also help me lose those last *ahem* few pounds. This is one of the only times I wish I was rich. I wish I had a personal trainer and a personal chef. I hear celebrities can lose the baby weight in 1-2 months with that cool trick.

Yesterday, my friend Crystal came to visit me. She and her husband, Jed, moved to KY and passed through here on their way to Niagara Falls. It was fun to see her and her family and to hear her say that that she struggles, just like me. She has kids roughly the same age as my kids. Her youngest is about 3 months older than Maya. She told me it really does get easier. Crystal is one of the kindest, happiest people I know. I can't imagine her getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, but she said she was at first. Now she feels she's getting the hang of things and is even thinking about having more kids.

Today has been nice, though. Reili is angelic (as usual), Jeff is feeling better and moving around a bit more, and Maya has a cold. Colds always seem to humble her. I've been hugging her so much because I feel like the demon that was possessing her has been exorcised. My sweet Maya is back. I guiltily wish she were sick more often.

She said that she wanted some "LMNOs". I didn't realize what she was talking about. There is this cool video, one of the few children's videos I can tolerate, by They Might Be Giants. It's called "Here Come the ABCs." There is a song about "LMNO" and how it's four letters, not one word. Maya was talking about M&Ms instead. I thought that was awfully cute.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Odd Day

For all of you who wondered how Jeff's surgery went, I just wanted to let you know it went very smoothly. The doc talked to me when Jeff was in recovery and showed me some pictures that were taken of the inside of the knee. Jeff's ACL was completely gone. They had to graft in a new one. Crazy. I couldn't believe he had been walking around for a month without one. His meniscus was torn and they cut off about 40% of it. I asked the doc if Jeff would be fine with only 60%. He said yes but that Jeff will probably have arthritis in 10-15 years. The meniscus is sort of a shock absorber for the knee. Who needs one, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stuff and Junk

I was beginning to feel like my brain was turning to mush because I watch children's videos and communicate with a two year old all day. Today I went back to work, kind of. I worked at an employee health fair doing body fat composition and BMIs for people. I subcontracted with a health and wellness company. It is a part-time gig that pays well, so I thought 'what the hey' and told them I would work for them. This is the first time in years that I was working with people and not cardiac cells. It was nice not to be at a lab bench or behind a microscope, but rather telling people that they have a high amount of body fat because they sit at a desk all day.

I enjoyed the people I worked with. I needed that adult interaction. I could talk about politics, science, and stuff like that... but I really ended up talking about Maya and Reili and how I'm trying to lose baby weight. Nonetheless, I felt smart again.

Tomorrow Jeff is going to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Please keep him in your prayers. He will have cadaver ligaments used to replace his. I hope the cadaver was a fit young person.

I promise to write more amusing posts after tomorrow. More to come...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Mental Status, Part 2

Maya is going through the terrible twos, she has a new sister, and we have recently moved to another state. I would say that she is having a bit of a difficult time.

At the end of my pregnancy, I ached too much to be sociable or go outside to play with Maya or do anything of the sort. Poor Maya was cooped up inside with me with only the occasional trip to the library to get more DVDs and books for her. She got really comfortable hanging around inside and would often get hot and take off her pants and just walk around in a shirt and a diaper. I figured there was no harm in it because we were in our house and no one would see her. I just told her that she had to wear her pants/shorts whenever she went outside. Whenever she would come home from somewhere, she got to the point where she would immediately take off her shoes and then her pants. She thought that was just what you did when you got home.

I have almost given up on potty training her right now also. She has gotten to the point where she will pee or poop in her diaper, take her diaper off, and then tell me about what she did. I told her many times that this is just not what we do. This is probably one of those times I tell her that she is going to drive me crazy.

I didn't mean to make Maya socially retarded because of my semi-hermit status in late pregnancy. I figured she would bounce back and be the normal, sweet kid she once was after I had the baby.

So, yesterday the neighbors' boys asked if Maya could go outside and play. The boys are 3 and 6. I love that Maya has some friends to play with. Maya went out and played for hours with them. She played on their swing set and ran around with them. At one point, I heard a knock on the back door. It was Maya. She was standing there in a t-shirt....only a t-shirt. I rushed her inside and went next door. I found her shoes, shorts and diaper lying in a pile near the swing set. I apologized to the boys for the odd display.

After Jeff scolded her and we discussed the importance of clothes, we made Maya apologize to the boys. The older one didn't seem to care but the younger one looked like he was still in shock. Maya said, "I'm sorry, Jayden." Jayden just kept staring at her. Maya then said, "I said sorry Jayden. You say, it's okay." Well, Jayden didn't say it was okay. I don't think he wanted to talk at all. She gave him a lollipop and they were friends again.

My Mental Status, Part 1

When I was a little kid, I lived on an Air Force base in Montana. The neighborhoods were safe and parents didn't have to worry so much when their children went outside. I remember playing in my yard and with the other kids in the neighborhood without parental supervision. This was the late 70s/early 80s, back when we felt kind of safe in the world.

Even though we could play freely outside, I remember often hearing my mother say to us, (with a thick Japanese accent) "You're going to give me a nervous breakdown!" Maybe it was because we would climb on things we weren't supposed to, or we'd come home with scrapes and bruises, I'm not really sure. I just knew that my mom was going to have one of these and my brother and I would be the cause.
I honestly thought my mom would fall down on the floor (what I interpreted as a literal 'break' 'down') and either pass out, start shaking (what I thought 'nervous' meant) or something of the like.

Growing up, I always thought there was actually a time where I gave my mom one of these 'nervous break downs'. I was about four or five years old and I went somewhere to play and one of the Security Police officers picked me up in the police car. He said to me, "You've given your mom a nervous breakdown."
I don't really recall much else about the situation, just that I finally did it.

When I had grown up, I asked my mom about that time when I was a kid and the police officer picked me up because she had that fateful nervous breakdown. She told me she never had a nervous breakdown and was never in the hospital. What happened was that I decided to travel on my own somewhere in the neighborhood and my mom couldn't find me. She had to call the police to help her. They found me far away down the street playing, and so they picked me up and brought me home. All these years, I thought I had driven my mom to her mental breaking point. And all this time it was just a figure of speech!

While we were on our recent trip, Maya and I were playing and she said to me, "Mama, you're driving me crazy!" It was a bit random and didn't make a lot of sense. I told Jeff about it because it made me laugh. He said, "Where did she get that??" and I realized that she was just repeating a phrase that I must be saying pretty often.

I guess this is my watered down version of my mom's 'nervous breakdown'.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ikea Rocks!

Ikea is a wonderful, magical store. I have been raving about Ikea ever since we got one in Atlanta. It is a home goods store that originated in Europe. The design is sleek, tasteful, and simple and the prices are amazingly cheap. As a professional bargain shopper, I feel that Ikea is a paradise for those like me.

Jeff had a class he had to take for his job. It was in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He asked if his family could go with him since he would be driving. They said, sure. On the way home from the business trip, I asked Jeff if we could go to Ikea. He had never been. He even suggested staying in the car with the girls so I could shop. I said, "Oh, no. Ikea is not like Target or Wal-Mart. It is huge. There is a playland, a cafe, a restaurant and three stories of products. It will take us hours to go through it!" Of course, like any husband would, he cringed knowing he would be shopping for hours.

Well, I converted Jeff. He loved the store, he loved the prices and he loved me for finding a table with four chairs (marked down from $120 b/c it was a floor model) to $70!!! Nice. Ikea rocks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Rebel with an Unknown Cause

Maya is in the midst of the terrible twos. I don't know how to handle it. I never raised my voice to her until this age. I never had to punish her. I never wanted to give her away to the first person who would take her. She is too smart and thus she is mischevious. Look at this face.
I'm up at 1am right now just so I can take a shower and have some "me" time. Do I sound like I'm going crazy? I'm not going crazy. I'm fine. Being a mom is a cinch. No, really.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Baby Blues

"The Baby Blues" is the phrase used to describe sadness after a woman has a baby. It is a pleasant term, almost a euphemism, for the roller coaster of emotions that immediately follows birth. Basically, a ton of hormones leave your body once the baby is born. On top of the huge dip in the hormone level is the lack of sleep, body image issues, pain, and fear that you will somehow screw this child up, permanently.

I feel that my blues are finally coming to an end. It is a good feeling to finally get some sleep, fit into regular clothes instead of maternity clothes, and not have to take ibuprofen on a daily basis. As far as the fear of screwing up my children goes... that will always be with me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Pictures

Here are some updated pictures of Reili and Maya.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Case of the Missing Keys

Dora the Explorer is a kids' show on Nickelodeon. Maya has become a big fan of Dora. She has even learned quite a bit of Spanish from Dora. I thought watching Dora DVDs would be a good thing until Maya starting becoming more like Swiper. Swiper is a fox that Dora befriends. He has a bad habit of stealing things and then hiding them. In each episode of Dora, it is often a goal for the viewer to help find something that Swiper has swiped. He says in a sneaky voice, "Ha ha ha... you'll never find it now!" once something of Dora's has gone missing.

Maya starting "hiding" things at a very young age. Once, Jeff seemed to misplace his driver's license. It went missing and he eventually had to go to the DMV and have it replaced. I decided to clean out our dog's kennel one day and I found Jeff's license inside along with various other items that had disappeared. Maya was about 18 months old.

When we moved to Ohio, I was very pregnant and so I didn't unpack (and still haven't unpacked) everything. Maya's sippy cups seemed to become more sparse by the day. I knew I had unpacked a few of them at least. One day I opened up the drawer to the buffet and found all kinds of goodies, including some very yucky sippy cups.

When Reili was born, Maya started taking her little sister's pacifier and hiding it. One time we were in the car and she took the pacifier out of Reili's mouth and said, "Ha ha ha! You'll never find it now!" and then proceeded to throw the pacifier on the car floor, out of my reach. I couldn't believe what an evil sounding voice was coming from my little girl's mouth! Where did she get such an idea? Why did she think it was fun to hide Reili's pacifier? Ah, that darned Swiper!!! After that, whenever I would leave Reili alone with Maya, I would often come back to a crying baby with no pacifier.

The other night, around 10pm, Jeff told me he couldn't find his keys. I usually will look somewhere obvious, smirk, and hand Jeff whatever it is he is looking for. I said to him in a know-it-all kind of voice, "I'll go in the living room and find it for you." Well, my search for the 'obvious' item was fruitless. We started backtracking everything Jeff did when he got home. We went through cushions, looked everywhere possible until it dawned on me that our little "Swiper" had spent some time playing alone in her room earlier. I went into Maya's room, opened a cabinet where she likes to hide, and Voila! the missing keys were found.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Maya's Potty Mouth

Jeff served in the US Navy when we got married. Living a sailor's life is hard and thus the language reflects it also. Jeff had to change a lot about the way he talked when we got married. He is working even harder to clean up his act since we had kids. He tends to replace curse words with some harsh slang words. You will often hear him saying "dadgummit", "Judas Priest", and various others. Maya watches Jeff like a hawk. If he says the word, "stupid", she makes him to stand in time out.

We have noticed that Maya is picking up some of the things Jeff says nonetheless. Reili was crying and Maya said to her, "Take a chill pill, Reili!" We told her it was not nice to say that to her sister and Jeff made a mental note not to say that phrase again.

Sometimes we laugh on the inside and try not to make a big deal when Maya says some of the things she does. We realized that if you make it a big deal then she will just repeat it over and over.

One morning while eating her cereal, she said, "Daddy, this is my freggin' spoon."
Jeff replied, "No, I think that is your yellow spoon."
She hasn't said it since.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Well, That's a Huge Noggin.

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie, "So I Married an Axe Murderer" starring Mike Myers.

Stuart Mackenzie: Look at the size of that boy's heed.
Tony Giardino: Shhh!
Stuart Mackenzie: I'm not kidding, it's like an orange on a toothpick.
Tony Giardino: Shhh, you're going to give the boy a complex.
Stuart Mackenzie: Well, that's a huge noggin. That's a virtual planetoid.
Tony Giardino: Shh!
Stuart Mackenzie: Has it's own weather system.
Tony Giardino: Sh, sh, shh.
Stuart Mackenzie: HEAD! MOVE! Head! Paper! Now! Move that melon of yours and get the paper if you can! Haulin' that gargantuan cranium about! I'm not kidding, that boy's head's like Sputnik! Spherical, but quick pointy in parts. He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow!

Jeff and I joke about the size of Reili's (or any baby's) head in relation to their bodies. We were watching Reili stretch her arms to have them only reach the top of her head. If adults had heads that size with arms that short, we would look very strange, or possibly like a T-Rex or Matthew McConaughey.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

TV kills your brain cells...but what about DVDs?

I strive to be this hippie, earth-loving, vegetarian, no TV person.... I always admired my dear friends from Marlboro College. You see, I went to this very small liberal arts school hidden in the hills of Vermont. There was no television and most people didn't wear make-up, carry a purse, or eat meat. I wanted so much to be like that but if you know anything about Alabama or where I grew up, you would laugh at the thought of me being a hippie or even knowing any.

I tried the no makeup thing for a few years. I tried the vegetarian thing for about 6 months. I try to recycle, but now I have no easy way of recycling. I don't carry a purse anymore, but now I carry an over the shoulder pack of some sort. I do associate with lots of hippies, though... Oh well. Ah, but I don't have television.

Well, I do own a TV, just no TV reception or cable. I never liked the TV but it is nice to watch movies (documentaries and independent films, of course). Now that we have Netflix, we end up watching TV shows by renting them on DVD. Does that count? I mean, I'm not subjected to the consumerism and the horrible press and other bad things that TV has. Have I lost any brain cells?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Maya's First Joke

Maya: "Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Maya: "Peach."
Me: "Peach who?"
Maya: "Peach hunk."
....I didn't get it either

This is Too Easy

I remember when Maya was born, how overwhelmed I felt. I couldn't sleep even when she slept because if she was asleep for more than an hour, I would have to wake up and check her breathing. Ah, good, she's still breathing... now I can rest... well, I never rested and never slept more than a couple of hours in a row unless Jeff took Maya early in the morning and let me sleep. I remember that I would often take showers late in the afternoon after Jeff was home because fear would consume me during that 10-15 minutes that I left Maya. Did I hear something? Why don't I hear anything? Oh, good, she's still breathing...

Now, Reili is here and Maya is 2 1/2 years old. My mother-in-law bought one of those sweet swings that rock back and forth. I didn't have one with Maya. I had to rock her manually. :) We put Reili in the swing yesterday and I realized that we could leave her there for hours and she would just sleep and sleep. I didn't have to hold her and I didn't even feel the need to check her breathing...