Thursday, October 16, 2014

16 October 2014: Greta wins the playground and MJ learns to smile. And Teddy didn't fall down the stairs.

The third day in our week.

I head to bed at midnight (on the 15th), after finishing yesterday’s post and reading for a bit.  I’ve discussed my weird sleep schedule a bit.  It’s working for now, so I try to embrace it.  Greta starts crying at 12:30 so I go in to check on her.  She’s frustrated, and pushes me out of her bed, but then gets upset when I leave.  Weird.  We do this a couple times, and she finally calms down and goes back to sleep.  So do I.

Teddy wakes up at 5:50 in the morning!!  I think that counts as sleeping through the night.  That definitely counts as sleeping through the night.  We’ve made some progress!  I give him a bottle and he goes right back to sleep.   At 6:30 he's up again crying.  Husband and I debate a bit who will get up, but meanwhile Teddy goes back to sleep.  The next kid up is Greta at 7:10 and Teddy is awake shortly there after.  Hubs gets up with them for about half an hour and then I follow.  All in all, the best night of sleep the kids have had in a long, long time.  Now if I could just get it together.  

Hubs loves to wrestle in the morning.  I hate to wrestle in the morning.  So glad he fills that niche for them.

Tucking Dad in so he can get some rest before his shift.

Hubs plays with everyone for a bit, then heads back to bed.  He has to work late tonight, so he gets some extra sleep.  

I scurry to get everyone dressed, make coffee, pack my gym bag, pack the diaper bag, pack snacks for the playground post gym.  Dad never gets the kids dressed when he gets up with them.  No biggie, but they’re much more difficult to dress later in the morning because they’re so squirmy.  If they’re still in their sleep coma they don’t squirm so much.  We are in the car by 840, despite the fact that I’ve been moving non-stop to get out of the house for the past hour.  I thought we’d be early but arrive right at 9.  On the way to gym I listen to reporting about Ebola, and from the back seat MJ asks

“Mom, what is a True Love’s Kiss?”

Ugh.  More about the boy?  I don’t know.  I explain it’s when two people love each other and give each other a kiss.

“Did you and dad have a True Love’s Kiss?”

“Yes, sweetie, but we were 20.  You are 5."

The drop off at the gym childcare goes shockingly easy.  The kids are excited to be there, and no one cries!  I’ve been a member for a month and a half and have never had a complete workout and shower; I always get called back before I’m done.  Fingers crossed.

I can tell it's been a while since I ran because my playlist feels fresh again .  Though one ear of my new headphones is already busted, I can't make a pair last!  The insoles I got in August are feeling really good.  I thought I may have to stop running, but these have helped immensely.

There are so many of them.  Milling about, whining about the hand sanitizer, ready to leave.

I run for a little over half an hour, then do some push-ups and ab exercises.  Nothing crazy.  I don’t really stop to rest because I desperately need a shower.  I get a lightning fast shower, dry off, and throw on some makeup.  I’ve been at the gym for one hour.  When I walk back into the childcare center everyone is still happy!  It feels like an amazing day.  Teddy is clearly tired, but not crying.  I no longer feel like I’m torturing them bringing them here.

This girl can always be found on a swing.  Thankfully, she has branched out a bit.

Monkey see, monkey do.

One of the few glimpses I caught of this girl.  She's often plotting with some new friend on the playground.

I forced them to sit with their snack.  One of my few rules at the playground.

We are back in the car by 10:15 and drive to a nearby park.  A mom friend organized a playdate for today.  Nearly all the kids in Minnesota are off school today and tomorrow, so I definitely want to do some fun things with MJ.  The playground is new, and absolutely swarming with kids.  A picture of mom hood.  The weather is beautiful, everyone is trying to take advantage of this gorgeous fall.  When we arrive, I give each of the girls a banana and put Teddy in the Ergo.  I expect him to fall asleep, but he is wide eyed, staring at all the commotion.  He falls asleep for the last 20 minutes.  At one point, MJ is running around screaming at the top of her lungs because a boy is chasing her.  Greta is a bit hesitant at first, but quickly adjust and climbs everything with no fear.

I push the playdate as long as I can.  It’s beautiful outside I’m actually getting to chat with some friends.  Before I realize it, I look at my watch to see it’s 11:20.  Greta is laying down on the play equipment and humming to herself, which she does when she’s trying to put herself to sleep.  Shortly thereafter another boy runs into her and she melts down.  I pile everyone in the stroller and we head to the car.  We’re in the car by 11:45, and as I start the car MJ says

“You didn’t say ‘We survived’  You always say that when we all get in the car after a crazy morning”

Hmm.  Didn’t realize this was such a regular thing to leave my mouth.

Some post nap cuddles with the skeleton on our front porch.  This picture wins the day.

Food.  Everyone's favorite activity.

The one who didn't get a nap yet.

Another MJ portrait.  Her height is not helping the double chin situation.  Also, this shirt was clean 2 hours earlier.  These children make me filthy.

We've been trying to teach him how to wave, but this was totally an accidental shot.  He was probably throwing food on the floor.

I was teaching MJ about fake smiles and real smiles.  So I took a shot of G, and a shot of MJ. 

All day she kept trying to give me a real smile.  

Her finished bat chandelier.  So proud.

Since we haven't seen what he's up to in a bit.

On the way back home, Greta falls asleep in the car.    When we stop, I pick her up and carry her up to the porch. I drag everybody inside, but leave a bunch of stuff in the car for now.  Quick and easy lunch, peanut butter and jelly and frozen peas.  Everyone plays after lunch, and I finish MJ's bat chandelier.   

Meanwhile, Greta takes one of the Nerf bullets, chews it into tiny pieces, and swallows half.  I'm done, I take the gun and all the bullets away for good.  I put her in timeout in the bathroom.  It sounds barbaric, but when she’s being destructive or dangerous to Teddy and I don’t have the hands to deal with her, I put her in the downstairs bathroom.  This way I can still hear her, but I can fix the situation before I let her out.  While she’s in there she decides to go potty and is successful.  She asks for a treat, and I tell it won’t happen until later, which she’s okay with.

Potty training has devolved into a lot of naked Greta time. 
My naptime selfie.  I love that he's almost 10 months and still loves to snuggle.

At 1:30, we all head upstairs.  Greta goes down for a nap first, followed by Teddy (easy this time!) and MJ.  I lay down next.  I read for a bit and do some other internet errands.  I love my bed.  It is my relaxing spot.  I close my eyes for about 10 minutes but don’t actually fall asleep, then I hear Teddy.  I go and get him and bring him into my bed at about 2:30.  He falls right back asleep on me, and now I am somewhat obligated to do the same.  I don’t think I fall asleep, I feel almost hypnotized, but I must at some point because Greta stirs at 3:50.  Oh my, the kids slept late!  Awesome!  Teddy wakes up next, and we go wake up MJ.  G is a total mess, likely because she’s hungry, but she refuses to do anything other than scream.  We go downstairs and eat a snack of yogurt and who knows what else.  I am losing it a bit, with Greta’s constant screaming and crying.  She begs to go outside, to go bye-bye.  At about 5:00 I acquiesced.  My kids usually eat dinner really early, so a 5:00 trip to the playground seems risky, but we troop down the block.
This.  For the next hour.  Terrible twos.

Again, trying to give me a natural smile.

These two will conquer the world some day.

There’s a group of older neighborhood kids there.  Not the best behaved neighborhood kids.  We live in a very nice area, but go a couple blocks away and it can get dicey.  We’re at the edge of the gentrified boundary, and these kids are some of the evidence of that.  Most of them appear to be between 7 and 10, but there is also ~4 year old girl there, presumably with her brother.  Hearing a 4 year old say “Shut up mother fucker!!” is alarming.  She also said a couple other things I won’t even write in my blog.  Not to us, to her brother, I think.  She was actually a very nice little girl, but clearly not in the best home situation.
A bit tough to see what's happening here, but I didn't have the balls to whip out my good camera.  G is nonplussed, waiting for them to move so she can climb on.  Eventually they do, and are very nice about making sure she's safe.  Even the surliest youths have a soft spot for little girls.

MJ was intrigued a bit.  I decided to stay for a while, largely so I could talk about it with MJ when we left.  Greta ran around, oblivious.  At one point Greta decided she wanted to play on the balance beam they were all hanging on.  She stood next to them for a while, about 10 of these older boys, just staring.  Not the least bit intimidated by them.  Finally she decided to try to climb on, since they weren’t getting off.  The boys actually made a point to move off so she could go on, and were very nice about it.  I read somewhere that the presence of little girls makes boys and men more empathetic.  This seemed like a perfect example of that.  When we left, I talked to MJ about the behavior of the kids at the playground.  I asked her what she thought, and she said she thought they were “rambunctious”.   I told her I didn’t like their language, and they were saying things that neither kids nor grown ups should be saying.  She asked, “Like what?”  I couldn’t even bring myself to repeat it.  I can’t decide whether that was the right decision, or whether I should have specifically told her the words that were bad.

A rare October sprinkler.  Greta could not pass it up.

These photos taught I should be using the Sport setting on my camera more often.  

The toddler convinced the big girl to join in.  These photos just justified the entire cost of my camera.

And finally, a real smile.  It took all day, but we got one.

The view from here.  Poor Teddy never gets to join in the fun.

My classy socks with flip flops trend.  These shoes feel better on my feet than any others, so sometimes you just gotta rock it.

Wall walking.  Not my favorite activity.  

Our own personal dirt pit.  MJ decided she's building a "dirt castle".  Hopefully the city puts a tree here sometime soon.

We played outside when we got back home.  Teddy crawled up the stairs like a pro.  I don’t even have to worry much about him anymore.  The girls walked along the retaining wall and befriended some ladies out walking their dogs.  I sometimes think, if we moved these incredibly social girls out of the city, which we sometimes discuss, they would lose their minds.  It was so incredibly nice outside, and it supposed to be chillier starting tomorrow, so stalled as long as I could outside.

Caught drawing on each other.
It was already 6:30 when we went inside so I made nachos for dinner.  I love nachos.  Before having kids, I used to eat nachos for dinner on an embarrassingly regular basis.  I fix them real meals 95% of the time, but sometimes I want nachos.  Seems not much worse than pizza.  And I made some guacamole, and there were beans.  So maybe it’s better than pizza.

After dinner, Teddy crawled around a bit and then melted down.  I gave him a bed and he was still totally restless.  I rocked him until he calmed down some, then I put him in his crib and he fell asleep.  I came downstairs, where the girls had gotten some halloween candy in my absence.  It kept them quiet, so okay by me.

At 7:15 G told me she was ready for “Night night”.  Wow.  With such a late nap I thought she’d go to sleep late, but it was actually earlier than usual.  I put a couple things away, and knocked something off the top of the fridge which hit me on the nose.  The pain was excruciating, and I at first thought I broke my nose.  I curled up into a ball on the floor.  MJ asked if she should press the emergency button on the alarm and I said no.  After I calmed down, I explained that would have been a perfect idea if I hadn’t responded.  And then I showed her how to also call 911 on my cell phone.  Without a home phone, these are the tools we have.  I will be curious to see what  my nose looks like tomorrow.

I took G upstairs.  She tried to go potty but nothing happened.  She brushed her teeth, we put on pajamas and read a few books.  After she piled dolls, legos, books and a wood alligator into her bed she climbed in.  Easy peasy.  I thought she was down for the night.

I came downstairs and MJ and I lit the jack o’ lanterns for Dad to see when he comes home.  MJ helped pick up the living room, and at about 8:00 I told her she could watch something.  I cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, and called it a day.  At 8:45, I read a story with MJ and sent her to bed.

However, when I went upstairs I heard G yelling.  I went in and she had taken her pajamas off.  That girl.  She refused to put them back on, and wanted to come out and play.  She looked as though she had fallen asleep, I have no idea what woke her up.  She was not happy that I made her stay in her room.  I left her, naked except for a diaper.  She yelled a little then quieted and went back to sleep.  In the middle of this, MJ went in, but G didn’t seem to care.  9:40 MJ came out again.  These naps cause her to stay up late, but she’s so much happier so we work with it.  Since I get a nap, too, I can stay up a bit later and the math works out.  

At some point, I may go back and read through these posts.  I'm sure I'll be appalled by the grammar situation happening.  Right now, I just need to hit publish.

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