Friday, January 23, 2009

Living Life

It’s been a busy busy couple of weeks, not just with activities but with kid-maintaining too.

I took Addie to the pediatric dentist a couple of weeks ago. They were really good - they even have TVs in the ceiling so kids can watch movies while they get their teeth cleaned! They let Addison wander all over the office area, climb up in the chairs, and go into the office where a bigger kid was getting his teeth cleaned so she could watch. They kept telling me to not worry about her getting into stuff, that it was mostly important that she be happy and comfortable. To examine her teeth, she sat on my lap facing me and leaned back into the dentist’s lap. I couldn’t believe how good she was! Addie is not a very cooperative child when it comes to being held down or made to do something. But she let him put his fingers all in her mouth, and even scrape her molars and fiddle with her tongue and pull her lips back to show me the few thousand dollars worth of orthodontics I am going to have in a couple of years.

Addie has always had an underbite, and the dentist confirmed that it will definitely need to be corrected with lots of heavy machinery. Including a permanently installed something-or-other in her mouth with springs and such, that attaches to what he called a "catcher’s mitt" that she will have to wear around her head and face 24 hours a day for anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. This is to help pull her upper jaw forward some. Luckily, it is not something we will need to do for at least 2 more years, since she needs to grow and develop more, and needs to be more "cooperative". Her upper lip is also attached to her gums at the wrong place, and the dentist is very sure that sometime in the next couple of years she will fall and tear her frenulum, which connects her lip to her gums right between her front teeth (it's attached too low and makes a gap between her teeth). Supposedly it's a good thing for it to tear on its own, because otherwise we will have to have it clipped. Bleh!

We have had a long stretch of nice weather here and have taken full advantage of it. Last weekend we went to the park and Addison had her first experience flying a kite! We got one for $3 at KB Toys (they are going out of business) and it was a Nemo kite, so she was very excited. Actually flying the kite was not as much fun as the anticipation.



Matt took a half-day off work yesterday and we went to the zoo. Addie is coming down with a cold and has been sleeping late, but we woke her up at 8:40 yesterday so we could get going. Well, that was a mistake! She was miserable almost the whole time, and has developed a big aversion to going into any of the tunnels, caves, and even the indoor aquariums. The only time she wasn’t grouchy and whiney was while playing on the playground at the Children’s Zoo. It’s funny, because she loves to play with her toy animals and look at them in books, but she could care less about seeing them in real life. We took her to Sea World this summer, and she didn’t give a flip about the dolphins, seals, Shamu, horses, etc. Same thing at the zoo. We were literally 3 feet away from a huge lion, who was growling and being fed meat through the bars, and she just sat and played with her apple juice. Matt and I enjoyed the time though – he has been super busy with a stressful situation at work, and was glad to get away in the 75 degree weather.




Ryan has started rolling over now, which is neat, but this has created a new problem…. the second I lay him down, he will flip onto his belly and start yelling! Most of the time I leave him for several minutes so that he can learn how to work his legs, arms, and neck, but he gets SO mad. So I come in and roll him back, and 2 seconds later, he’s on his tummy again. We think he’s cutting some teeth, and he’s also sort of in a clingy stage too, so we literally have our hands full with him right now, which can get old very quickly, especially since Jabba (my brother’s nickname for him) weighs in at a whopping 15.5 pounds! He is starting to laugh more, though, and smiles all the time (when he isn’t screaming), and I am really interested in seeing what type of kid he will turn out to be.

Things have been the same-old, same-old for us. The days are running into each other and the weeks are over before we even know they’ve started. Another part of growing older, I guess! We’re having a Super Bowl party with friends from church next weekend, and we’ll probably be starting Ryan on rice cereal in a couple of weeks. I know that I should not wish for my kids to grow up quickly, because they will be grown before I know it, but I am not now, nor have I ever been, a "baby" person. I loved my time with Addison, and I do love Ryan in each stage, but to me, the best time comes after they start walking. The year from age 1 to age 2 is amazing, and after that the changes are come so quickly that you can’t keep up with them. Addison is completely, totally, absolutely 2 years old in every sense of the word. She is funny and silly, she is starting to play pretend and come up with silly games and songs, she finds everything fascinating and wants to copy every single thing that Matt or I do, from repeating "Oh my gosh" when I change a yucky diaper to walking down the stairs backwards like I do (when I’m watching her to make sure she doesn’t slip). She also gets EXTREMELY fussy when her routine is changed…. she knows exactly what to expect each morning, each afternoon, and each evening, and changes to her daily schedule are not welcome and result in much crying and unhappiness.

Examples:

-Must have milk and watch Dora every morning.
-If she has apple juice, she must always have Goldfish with it
-Her blankets must always be rolled up and secured with a rubber band (????)
-Baby Ryan must always be a) in his carseat, b) in the exersaucer, c) on his mat, d) wherever he once was and must now always be, according to Addison (on the couch, in his bed, whatever her whim is).
-Any toy that was once used in a certain way must now and forever always be used that way.
-Bedtime stories are the same 3 books over and over. If you miss a word, she knows and will call you out on it.

Simple distractions and refocusing are tried with very limited success. Sometimes, though, as with her blankets and the bedtime books, the routine can be changed to something new, as long as we stick with the new routine for a long period of time.

All of this is part of the normal developmental stages, and most of the time Matt and I find it very very funny. However, sometimes it is rather obnoxious, like when I take Ryan out of the carseat to change him and Addison bursts into a tantrum and tears demanding that he be put back. No amount of explaining will convince her that Ryan should be anywhere except where she wants him.

Soooooo…. as you can probably imagine, Matt and I are ready for a vacation! By this fall, Ryan should be weaned and ready to be left overnight for a few days while we take a break. We will hang on until then!

Here are a few other pictures.


Chef Ryan and Addie brushing her hair with a whisk broom
See why he is called Jabba? To be fair, this is a doll stroller, but he sure bursts out of it.

Making cookies with Mama

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Two funny things Addie said, while I can still remember them:

1. She was chewing a little rubber ball and it had spitty bubbles on it. She took it out of her mouth and looked at it, and said "Ball is taking a bubble bath!". She also said that about Ryan's mouth when he was blowing spit bubbles.

2. She dropped an olive in the dirt, and I told her not to eat it because it was yucky. I told her to step on it, and she took a big step over the olive. I said "No, try again, you missed it,", and she said "I missed it SO much!" which is what she says to us when we leave the room for more than 1 or 2 seconds.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Aftermath



This is the kitchen that Santa brought Addison at our house before we left to go to Dallas. She wasn't nearly as thrilled as I thought she would be when she saw it, but I figure it will be a toy that both kids will use a lot over the next few years.



We are just now getting settled after the holidays. The Christmas stuff is all put away, and everything is unpacked and washed. We were up in Dallas for 3 days, seeing my mom, brother, and sister and their families. My brother has a little girl who is 3 weeks younger than Ryan, and she is tiny! Addie calls Ryan "Ryant", so everyone called him "Giant Ryant" while we were there. He’s in about the 75th percentile for weight, and my niece Sarah is only in the 3rd or 4th, so it was quite a difference in size. They did have a good time staring at each other though. We got some cute pictures of them together, and hopefully we can take more over the years as they grow up.



My dog Casey slept while the babies scaled Rhodesian Ridgeback Mountain


Addie was completely captivated by my niece Camryn, who is almost 5. I barely saw her the whole time because she was just following Cammie around and playing with her. They had matching Christmas pajamas and matching dresses, and played and danced and sang and read books.

Saturday the 27th was my grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration. He turned 90 in October, but the holidays were a time when out-of-town relatives could all come. There was a big party at his retirement home, and there were so many people there! It was really nice, and I know he was as proud as he could be. He’s still in really good health, and we look forward to more Christmases with him.


My grandpa, William H. Longacre, Jr.

My sister Caitlin and Addie at the party.


My beautiful niece Camryn


Addie did not take a nap the whole time we were up there, and she was about to crash and burn big-time, so we left on Sunday to come back home. There were several large tantrums and marathon naps over the next two days until she finally caught up on her sleep. She usually takes an almost 3 hour nap every single day, so that was 9 hours of sleep she was missing! Poor girl. It had been a busy couple of weeks and she needed to get back to her normal routine. I was sorry to have to leave my brother and sister and their families though….I haven’t seen my sis in 18 months, and only saw my brother and his wife for 2 days over a year ago. When I was pregnant with Addison, we knew that we needed to move back from Alabama to be here in Texas, closer to all our families and Matt’s sisters. It was so hard to not get to spend any time with them for the five years we were away. And with my siblings out of state, and high ticket prices, and now that we all have kids, it just seems almost impossible to do much more than a whirlwind meet-and-greet and then everyone is on their way again. It’s hard to build memories and enjoy each other’s company when you have to do so much planning and traveling. Oh well.


For New Year’s Eve, we went to a party at a friend’s house. We just stayed till 10, and then headed home – everyone there had kids and wanted to get to bed early! We played Wii and ate great food and I got to spend time chatting with the girls. We tried to get Addison to lay down in her friend Caroline’s room (they are the same age), but the two girls played and read books and generally made a big mess for the hour they were in there together! We could hear them on the monitor talking to each other (babbling, mostly) and it was really cute….Addison’s first sleepover! Needless to say, she got into bed very late again that night. We tried to go out for lunch the next day, and got as far as the front lobby of the restaurant before deciding the screaming, crying, and clawing fits were too much. So we gave up and headed back home and put a very fussy little girl straight down for her nap. I’ve decided that she’s like me – even in high school, I went to bed by 10 at the latest every night. I need at least 9 hours of sleep a night, more if possible, to function properly. I have not been getting my 9 hours a night for the past 3 months, so I am a lot more on edge than normal too!

New Year's Eve 2008


Oh, we went to Chuck E Cheese’s last year on New Year’s Eve. It was Addie’s first time, and we thought she would love it. Instead, she was terrified. She didn’t cry or anything, but she clung to the token cup for dear life and kept a very somber intense look on her face as we put her in the various rides. We got this drawing done in the machine, and you can see her holding the cup:
2007

I decided that maybe we could make it a New Year’s Eve tradition to go there, so we went again, and this time she had a blast. She wanted to ride everything and play all the games. She didn’t even want to eat her pizza! I got another drawing of her and me, and convinced Matt to get one with Ryan this year, so hopefully we can keep it up and get our drawings done every year. We also got a short video of yet another tantrum, when it was time to leave.


Playing Whac A Mole with Mommy

2008



Matt and Ryan 2008


video

Poor baby!


Matt and I are starting to really feel the stress of having two kids. At first, it wasn’t too bad, but now that Ryan is getting more alert and wakeful, he wants to be carried around more and have more interaction. And Addison seems to need/want more of our attention every day! It seems like all we do is entertain/take care of the kids. We barely even have time to cook or shower or anything, much less clean or do projects around the house. I know that once Ryan is just a little bit older and can start crawling around, he and Addison will play more, so we just need to tough it out a few more months. Although then we might be having to constantly police Addison with her baby brother….she is not the most generous, gentle soul on the planet.