Archive for February, 2014

My boys

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It’s been such lovely weather here the past couple of days! We just made it through a really cold spell right around Valentine’s Day and actually got some snow… more snow than we’ve had in these parts in about 21 years! The last time we got a decent snow, Nathan was the same age as John is now. Only we only got about half as much then as we did this last time. So Paul and Nathan went sledding a few times, and when it was time to build a snowman, I bundled John up and plopped him down in the snow right next to the snowman. He spent the next 20 minutes excitedly slapping the snow around while making all those cute little baby noises he likes to make. It was precioius. Nathan helped Paul build the snowman and they even gave him eyes, nose, a mouth, arms, and a hat. The kids loved it! I don’t even think John knew what it was, but heck, he loved it anyway.

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Pure crazyness! Look at all that SNOW!! This was taken at night, before the snow had a chance to fall off the rails. We measured it at 8 inches. EIGHT!!

Winter-2014-140The next day, the boys had a blast playing in it. Even John loved slapping his multi-layered sock-covered hands around in all that lovely fluffiness!

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Nathan being an awesome big brother and taking care of “his baby” (As he likes to call John.) Nathan is wearing my gloves- they’re a little big on him, but they got the job done!

Winter-2014-144Nathan loved helping Daddy build a snowman. John diligently supervised.

Winter-2014-152Look at that sweet face!

Winter-2014-156The finished snowman. Nathan named him Anakin.

Winter-2014-157A cup of delicous hot chocolate and marshmellows to knock the cold from his little bones. Nathan’s not much on sweets, so he drank about 1/4 of it before declaring he was done.

So the weather has warmed up the past few days, and I’ve been taking the boys outside to play. Because we have a yard! A YARD! A big ole yard with lots and lots of room to run. Our last place didn’t have much of a yard at all, and it was dangerous because of how close we were to the busy road. So at any rate, John and I mostly sit on the deck while Nathan runs around and pokes sticks at random inanimate objects.

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Nathan is a brave little boy, however. He’s had a bad habit lately of trying to sneak out of the house to go outside and play without telling me. And just the other day, I gave him the ok to go out and play but while I wasn’t looking, he snuck out of the backyard. After just a couple of minutes of not hearing him, I knew something was wrong, so I ran outside but couldn’t see him. On a hunch, I ran to the front yard and lo-and-behold if he wasn’t walking down the street, waving a stick in the air and talking to himself.

That scared the liver out of me, as my mom used to say. Holy cow. After I brought him inside, I tried talking to him and explaining why he is never, ever, EVER allowed to do that. Anything could happen. He could be hit by a car or someone could try to take him. Paul also talked to him about it as well, but Nathan just doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation. He told me later that night that if an adult tries to take him, he would punch and kick and put the adult in Mommy’s car. Oh my sweet boy. The best I can do is talk to him about it over and over and over again, until it’s ingrained in his head that he cannot ever go anywhere without Mommy and/or Daddy, and especially nowhere with a stranger. No matter what. Anyway, I’m just thankful I caught him in time. And thankful for my Mommy Intuition that told me it was too quiet out there.

Boys. So full of life, wanting to explore and be independent. I love my boys and wouldn’t have it any other way! Life is good.

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The things kids say…

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Sometimes kids say the darndest things. When I pick Nathan up from school, we all drive through the front and a teacher walks them out and helps them get into the car. When I picked Nathan up yesterday, the teacher was helping him into his carseat and Nathan asked if Daddy was home.

“Not yet,” I replied. “He’s still at work.”

Then, with all seriousness and a completely straight face, he looked at me and said, “Is Daddy wearing clothes today?” The teacher busted out laughing. I told Nathan that yes, Daddy was wearing clothes today. Just like he does every single day of the year. (No one in my house, including the kids, walks around without clothes on. Well, come summer time, I may have the baby in just his diaper because let’s face it- naked babies in cloth diapers are only the cutest things ever!)

Through fits of laughter, the teacher told me that they’ve learned to not believe anything the kids tell them since they say the most bizzare things. Thank goodness she understands because that might have been a little awkward trying to explain to her that we do indeed wear clothes.

In other news, Nathan had his first ear infection ever. Nathan was fine when I dropped him off at school on Thursday, other than a residual runny nose and cough from a lingering cold. However, when I picked him up from school that day, l could tell something was very wrong. He was crying and holding his little ear, tears streaming down his face like miniature waterfalls. The teacher who brought him out told me he’d been complaining about his ear hurting that day, but it had apparently gotten worse in the last hour or so.

I asked Nathan where he hurt, and he said (obviously) that it was his ear. I asked him if he put anything inside his ear and he said a balloon popped in his ear. Since he’s on the tail end of a nasty cold, I was worried about either an ear infection or a busted ear drum since he said a balloon popped in his ear. Nathan was screaming and crying so hard that he couldn’t talk, so I immediately called his doctor.

I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again- I LOVE their pediatrician. When I told the receptionist what was going on, she asked how soon I could be there and I said five minutes. We get there and waited only long enough for me to take Nathan’s coat off before we were called back. Nathan was screaming the whole time and his ear was bright red. He was so pitiful, in fact, that everyone we came across at the doctor’s office tried to offer him words of consolation. “Poor buddy, don’t worry we’ll get that ear taken care of,” “Aw bless him,” “It’s okay little man, we’re going to help you,” among other sweet things.

The doctor took one look at his ear and confirmed it was an ear infection. And while he was looking at his ear, Nathan asked the doctor to get the balloon out. Fortunately, there were no balloon pieces in there. Nathan’s ear drum was bulging from the ear infection, however, but the doctor said since we caught it so early, he was going to be just fine. Administering the numbing drops was another story. They know about his sensory issues, and bless them for being so accomodating. The nurse explained to Nathan exactly what she was going to do and what it would feel like, but he still panicked once she put them in.

See, his brain processes sensory information differently than that of a typical person. Sensory input (such as the wind in our hair, textures, sounds, etc.) that may be annoying or even pleasant for us can be excruciating for him. Even showers are painful for him. Because of his autim, he doesn’t (or can’t) tell us how it feels, but judging from his reaction, I suspect it feels like needles jabbing at his skin. So anyway, the feeling of the cold medicine dripping into his ear caused him to start shrieking and flopping around, but the nurse handled it perfectly. Ironically enough, he really enjoyed having the cotton in his ear, and even asked for another piece when the first one fell out. He was still reeling from the drops when the doctor returned with the prescription, but he was able to calm Nathan down and even solicited a laugh or two by giving high-fives and “missing” a few of them. After the numbing drops and some ibuprofen, we left to drop of a prescription for antibiotics.

After further questioning in the car, Nathan said the balloon popped by his ear at home. I remember that- it happened a week or so ago. When it happened, I remember telling Nathan that we have to be very careful with balloons next time because having them pop by our ears can cause ear pain among other problems. So apparently when his ear started hurting, he thought it was because of the balloon popping. My sweet boy.

Nathan’s on the mend now and back to his old self. I hated seeing him in such pain. This is his first ear infection ever- and after seeing firsthand what kind of pain it causes, my heart really goes out to kids who suffer from numerous ear infections. Sweet Nathan. I’m glad I got him in when I did before it got worse! And I hope he doesn’t have to deal with something like that any time soon!

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Our beautiful life

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It’s been busy, busy, busy around here. From still getting up 1-3 times a night with the baby, to driving Nathan to and from school, to cleaning and organizing, to reorganizing the baby’s room and Nathan’s room, and just about everything in between! Nathan finally got himself a big boy’s bed (as in, a regular twin-sized bed) so we took the toddler bed and turned it back into a crib for John. Nathan loves that John’s taking his daily naps in it! I cleaned and reorganized Nathan’s room from top to bottom and am in the middle of doing the same with John’s room.

It’s crazy how hard it is to get seemingly simple tasks accomplished when you have two little ones. Here’s a look into a small fragment of my day. Take mopping, for example. I am loathe to admit how long it’s been since I’ve mopped. Why, you wonder? Well, first I pick up all the toys so I can sweep. After I’ve done that, the baby invariably needs a diaper change or whatnot. After that, he’ll decide he’s hungry, so I feed him. In the meantime, Nathan’s dumped out his legos, brought me plates of food from his kitchen, and scattered clothes and an assortment of toys all over the place. Me telling him to clean up after himself turns into a battle of wills; he ends up getting sent to his room for refusing to clean. Out of principle, I refuse to clean it up for him. I start a load of dishes. Nathan keeps coming out of his room, whining about how he doesn’t want to be in his room, to which I remind him all he needs to do is clean up his mess and he can come out. He stomps out anyway and throws a fit, so I carry him back to his room. He tells me he doesn’t like me anymore. I tell him that’s fine and he can have his opinion, but if he backtalks again then he’ll get more time. He says he wants to be bad and not mind, and when I ask him if he’s sure about that, he screams yes so I give him 5 more minutes in his room. Then the baby starts crying because he needs another diaper change, then after that, John wants to eat some solids. After we’re done, I hear Nathan throwing toys in his room. I go in there and tell him to clean up his mess and he tells me he doesn’t want to mind. I add another two minutes to his room-time. John then starts crying because he wants to be held and hugged, so I spend some cuddle time with him. When he calms down, I go in the kitchen to do dishes, only the water has gotten cold. I empty the water and start over. So at the end of my day, it appears as if nothing has been done.. and it’s driving me crazy because I spend all day long going and going and going.

Don’t get me wrong, Nathan is still an incredibly sweet and loving little guy. He’s simply going through the same phase every single other kid on the planet goes through. It doesn’t make it any easier,  but I do know that eventually this will pass and he won’t be so damn hard-headed. Oh wait. Maybe that won’t pass… ha ha.

As for the baby, I can’t believe he’s is EIGHT months old already… where is time going? Oh, that’s right. I’ve spent the last few months in a sleep-deprived fog. Don’t get me wrong, John’s smile make it all totally worth it, but let’s face it. Getting up to take care of the little fellow 1-3 times a night is draining!

Guess what? He said Mama just the other day! No kidding. I walked into the room, held my arms out to him and said, “HI, JOHN!!” He grinned from ear to ear, kicked his legs and flailed his arms and said just as plain as day, “MAMA!” My heart may have melted considerably as I looked at his toothy grin (he has six teeth now!)

He’s loving solid foods. I’m still making them for him as well. Peas, prunes, and pears are his absolute favorites. He’s ok with green beans, can’t decide if he likes bananas, and so far he HATES sweet potatoes. I don’t know why- sweet potatoes are delicious! Hopefully he’ll come around soon. He’s sitting up quite well unassisted, only ocassionally flopping over backwards or to the side. He loves to stand up! He has strong little legs. They’re long and thin, but they can really throw a kick. He’s outgrowing his clothes faster than I can pack them up and get out the next size. Size 6-9 months doeslln’t fit at all, and he just started busting out of his size 9-months. We have a big boy on our hands!

I’m simultaneously looking forward to and yet dreading when he becomes mobile. It’s amazing watching him grow, but I am SO not looking forward to chasing him around, wresting objects he shouldn’t be playing with from his spit-soaked little hands, making sure he doesn’t chew on anything that could hurt him, and basically following him around everywhere, whisking him down from the tables and chairs he’ll attempt to climb, putting everything back into the cabinets that he drags out… oh there won’t be a dull moment for sure in this house!

Nathan is an AMAZING big brother. He really loves John and likes to help him when John cries. Anything from making silly faces to handing him toys to dancing and singing for him. And you know what? Everytime I see it, my it feels like my heart is going to just explode from all the love I feel. And Nathan being so sweet and doting to the baby (whom he calls “his baby”) makes Nathan’s backtalking totally bearable.

Even with all the chaos and a seemingly constantly messy house, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Paul and I really love our lives, and we feel blessed beyond measure. I love being mom to my two boys. And I can always catch up on the cleaning when they’re older… right? Right??

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