22 January 2015

7 Quick Takes and TBT

1. In December I got a note from Abigail's teacher that the county was offering preschool parenting seminars (one a month for three months) for free and I was welcome to attend. I was pretty excited about them, especially the first one "Reasonable Expectations." Abigail is my first kid, so I have a hard time separating what's normal from what's a special need. I don't know what a 3.5-year-old should be doing, so I thought this class might offer some insight.

I do know that playing in a splits position is not normal.

It did offer some insight, in fact. Nothing blinding, but a few insights I hadn't heard before. But the thing? The catch? The class is populated by teachers who need to complete the classes as part of a continuing education certificate and poverty stricken moms with coach purses and bored-looking baby daddies trying to make CPS happy. "Ma'am? Well my son, he don't listen to me at Walmart. He just run [sic] across the parking lot even though I tell him, 'don't.'"

2. My apartment complex seems to take great pride in neither shoveling nor salting. Such pride that they just stick a plastic shovel in the foyer of each building and make residents buy their own salt. Sometime when Abigail is in a funk and refusing to cooperate, I have to carry both girls to the car at the same time, lugging along my diaper bag and any other items we might need at all once. (The carport is across the parking lot and I don't feel comfortable leaving one of the girls in the car alone to fetch the other). Anyway, when it's my job to play pack mule, the thought of slipping and falling is downright terrifying, so I've taken it upon myself this winter to keep the walk well shoveled. I have discovered that I love shoveling. And beating the snot out of ice with a cheap plastic shovel. It's a good way to get out some pent up aggression. I position my little night terrors darlings up in their high chairs and they watch me like an entertaining television show.

3. I am an extremely fair-skinned person with ample freckles who can sunburn in under ten minutes. I hate humidity. My favorite weather is 50s-60s and overcast. It took three years for me to learn to tolerate Florida's weather. I used to love cold weather. I never thought it could be otherwise. But Florida has honestly ruined me for winter. I just can't handle the freezing cold. I hate the dead-looking trees. And the snow? Who cares if it's pretty, driving in it sucks. Oi, I've joined the legions of winter-haters.

There is a pileated woodpecker in that tree.

4. Last week was kind of a long one, where Matt had to cover two bedtime shifts and I had the kids by myself a lot over the weekend. So on Monday we decided that if we could survive the week, we'd reward ourselves with a little "end of the weekend" bowling. We made it to Sunday night, and off we went.

And holy smokes, my friends, the cost of bowling has skyrocketed since my days in high school. They charge a three-year-old and an adult the same price and the cost of shoes is almost the same cost as one game. We had planned to eat dinner at the bowling alley - a super splurge of pizza - yet we paid the amount of money I had budgeted for the entire evening just on the shoes and the bowling. Yeesh.

But to end this take on a good note, there was this guy bowling next to us, a young dad with two kids. He was super concerned about the time, so I definitely thought he was divorced or a baby daddy who had the kids that weekend and had to pass them back to their mom. But his daughter was hugely flirting with Eleanor and volunteered that her baby (a brother) was at home sleeping with mom. So it turns out he's the kind of dad who takes the kids out for the evening to give mom and baby a break. Super sweet. And the best part? He looked exactly like a blond Daryl. Seriously, torn sleeves on a sleeve-less shirt and all. (And if you had to click that link, I'm somewhat ashamed of you. Get with the times, my friends ; )

Then the next day at Ikea, we sat in the cafeteria next to a woman who looked remarkably like a cleaned-up Carol.

5. The penance after my last confession was to take better care of myself. No joke. I had already signed up for a deep water fitness class (a local community ed class at the high school) and his words removed any guilt I felt about getting out for weekly me-time (even though the class is after both girls go to bed, I still felt guilty). The charge also renewed my spirit to keep plugging away at night.

Her bed is so cozy, why does she reject it?

The priest lent me to realize that I can't just will myself into being a loving and patient mother when I'm exhausted. I need to create an environment that fosters sleep so I don't flip out on my kids over little things during the day. Letting Eleanor rule the night at my expense is setting myself up for failure, flirting with temptation, what have you.

So after some more experimenting, we've come to a compromise that has worked for the last seven days (although I'm still not holding my breath). I put Eleanor to bed at 6:30pm with a full tummy after a bedtime routine. Sometimes she falls right asleep, sometimes she cries for a few minutes. When she wakes up throughout the night, I bring her to bed and fall asleep nursing. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I shift her back into her crib where she sleeps until she gets hungry again. We've done it enough now that she usually conks back out without much fuss.

She's happier, I'm happier, we're all more loving and patient.

I'm not a very good selfie taker, but this was such a cute face on Abigail's part that I had to post it.

6. Cat's real name is Belle, but I've always called her Baby Cat. Abigail shortened it to Cat, so now we all call her Cat. Cat gets included in the family line up, as does Car. "Daeee," "Mommy," "A-gail" (or "you"), "Eggnor" (or "Baybee"), "Cat," and "Car." She's says "Bye" to the entire lineup when she leaves for school, waving out the window do "Daeee" and "Car," since both are usually at "werk." 

7. Tomorrow is date night. Our second, technically. When Eleanor was four or five months old and we were up at Matt's family's cabin with his parents, we put the girls down and snuck out to a local restaurant for drinks while his parents stayed home. This time we'll be gone a little longer, dinner at a Mexican joint and then we are going to wander around a bookstore. Seriously.

It can't be anything too long yet (I'm not bringing a pump on date night), but wandering bookstores is something we both very much enjoy and is practically impossible to do with young kids.

I don't have a picture for this take, since date night is tomorrow, so I'll end this post with a little TBT, a pre-date night picture from our first year of marriage, pre-kids, pre-law school.

1 comment:

~Katherine~ said...

I'm so glad you've found a sleep solution that works for you! Rest--real, proper, deep sleep--is so incredibly important, and so often overlooked by our crazy world and its crazy expectations for moms.

Also, date nights are AWESOME! We don't get them very often, either, but ohhhhh, they are amazing! Have a wonderful time!