Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mixed blessing

Roo can now sign AND say, "Cookie." It is probably his clearest word. He likes to practice it. A lot.

This, my friends, is the very definition of a mixed blessing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ode to Target

Roo and I ventured out to Target this morning. Here is what we found...
  • Two pairs of shoes for Roo
  • One pair of shoes for me
  • One movie ("Night at the Museum"--it was $5!)
  • One Lego set for Monkey
  • One football for Monkey
  • Two sets of sippy cups (They were buy one, get one 50% off, and most of ours have somehow disappeared between Monkey and Roo.)
  • Toddler snacks (since Roo was SO over shopping with me)
  • Color-your-own placemats like they have at restaurants (Love the dollar spot!)
  • A cute Valentine decoration for my kitchen
What was actually on my Target shopping list today...
  • One of the cubical storage systems
  • Open baskets for winter hats, gloves, etc.
Notice that neither of those items are on the first list.

Well played, Target. Well played.

Friday, January 25, 2013

You guys are warriors!

One week ago today I shared a post on my Facebook page about Roo's eating--or, to be more specific, his LACK of eating. I think everyone knows by now that this kid has never been easy when it comes to food, but it was really getting to a point of frustration and maybe a little hopeless for me. For the past several months (maybe even a year), I have been able to feed him graham crackers and yogurt any time of the day or night, and try to sneak in other foods as he would see fit. But then he started to refuse even those favorites... and he was hungry... and I couldn't find what foods he DID want to eat... and he's two... and he doesn't have a lot of words to express himself... and, well, the end result wasn't pretty. Let's just say that I still loved him, but I wasn't sure if we were still friends.

So on Friday, I mentioned it on Facebook. I told you all, in brief, what I just said here, and I asked if you would pray. And you did. And you encouraged me and emailed me and generally helped lighten my load.

And if I ever need prayer for anything again--make that WHEN I need prayer again, because we all know that "if" is not the right word there!--I am coming straight back to you. Because you people rock. You are PRAYER WARRIORS.

On Friday, it seemed hopeless.

On Sunday, he ate everything in sight. EV.ERY.THING.

We went to lunch at Rockne's (a local chain). I ordered him applesauce, which came in a pastry bowl. He ate all of the applesauce... then he ate all of the bowl. I got soup with pita bread. He ate two pieces of pita (something he normally rejects). I gave him a bite of my soup--mushroom and brie bisque!--and he gave me a look that said, "HOW LONG have you known about this deliciousness??? How have you never told me about this before???" He ate close to half my bowl of soup! He ate a bunch of Lamb's potato chips (no real surprise there), then part of her hot dog (something that he normally HATES). We finally stopped feeding him because we were just out. of. food!

This trend has continued all week. In fact, this morning he ate a great breakfast of Cheerios and yogurt (which he insisted on feeding himself). He got down and played for a while, then started to sign "eat" again. He sat in his high chair for over an HOUR, eating! He ate a piece of toast, several bites of a ham and cheese omelet, a bowl of applesauce, and as many Cheerios as I would feed him! And he also tried a bite of celery, which he decided he didn't care to finish--but he TRIED it. Normally he wouldn't let something like that cross his lips.

This week he has been eating bread and egg salad and ham and spaghetti and French toast and... just so many things that he normally would spit right out--IF he let them get all the way to his mouth in the first place. No, still no fruits and veggies on that list, but we can generally sneak them into other things, so I'll take what I can get for now.

And we had ANOTHER victory this week! Although we have been trying both at home and school to get him away from the bottle, he has not been interested at all in an open cup or sippy cup. Tuesday, though, his school sent home a note (backed up with photos!) that he was drinking from a sippy with no problem. I decided to try it at home, and refused to give him a bottle for the rest of the day. To say that he was unhappy is an understatement. He cried and cried and BEGGED for milk, then screamed when I handed him a sippy instead of a bottle. But the next morning, he signed "milk", I handed him a sippy, and he took it like that was perfectly normal--and he hasn't given me a hard time since. Not even once.

So yes, he's eating. But that's only part of it. He's also understanding more. If he's eating yogurt and decides he doesn't want it any more, he'll arch his back and cry. But if I say, "This is what we have right now. You can eat something else when you've finished this," he'll eat it. This is NO. SMALL. RELIEF. Yesterday, he was trying to feed me some of his applesauce, and I said, "No, thank you. I'm all done. Are you all done?" And he smiled and said, "No!" And went back to eating! For real? I had no idea that he would answer my question. NO. IDEA.

I know that the better eating might be a phase--that he may just be going through a growth spurt, and he'll get rid of some of his "new" foods. But he probably will keep some of them, too. And the improved communication is HUGE. I am so, so thankful.

So thank you, prayer warriors. You are fabulous. And God is amazing. When I say that we have learned to celebrate even minor milestones in this house, I mean it. Even hot dogs and sippy cups are cause for joy.


Thursday, January 10, 2013


I'm in a little bit of a funk. It's not terrible, and I am thankful that I can recognize that it's just a funk and that life isn't really completely overwhelming and hopeless. In the meantime, though, I'm feeling overwhelmed and run-down and just... blah.

For the past few days I've been able to "fake it till I make it" and just push through. I've gotten my Christmas decorations down, gone grocery shopping, folded laundry, kept my house reasonably clean, fed my family good, healthy meals, and even done some writing. These are big accomplishments for me, because it wasn't long ago that I would wake up feeling this way and spend an entire day laying on the couch weighed down by a toxic mixture of depression and guilt. So yes, even in my funk, I'm feeling a little victorious. And darn proud of myself.

And this morning I was determined to do it again. I was up at 5:00--my goal for every morning, but lately I've been hitting the snooze a couple of times--and hit the ground running. I was able to do my Bible study AND be productive until I got the kids up for school. And their morning routine went smoothly. I was proud of them.

But then they left for school. And it was just me... and Roo. My sweet, loving... strong-willed... destructive... high-energy two-year-old. And I knew. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get anything done. And the list of things that NEED to be done was going to pile up on me. And I couldn't work around the house without being frustrated with Roo. And I couldn't play with Roo without feeling guilty about the things that weren't getting done.

So I decided to run away.

Yep, I packed up my baby, his diaper bag, my laptop, my Kindle, my smartphone... just a general ridiculous amount of technology... and I ran away. To my parents' house. We escaped our house and just went to play. I played with Roo, talked to my folks, played the piano, had lunch. I ran away from my problems today, and I am just fine with that.

So here's to small victories. And small escapes. The funk will pass, the work will get done, the two-year-old will not always be two. And tomorrow I'll fake it till I make it a little better than today.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The one in which I overshare...

I don't think any of us are surprised anymore when I get behind on blogging. Am I right? So yeah, I need to catch you all up on a few things, like Christmas. And I will. I will. But for now I have something far more... interesting to share. Or overshare, as the case may be.

So... a few days after Christmas, I put Roo down for a nap, and about 15 minutes later I could hear him still talking and having a good ol' time. That's not uncommon for him, so I went in to check his diaper, give him a binky, and tell him to go "night, night." When I walked in, though, I found him completely naked. And I mean COMPLETELY. No diaper, nothing. Fortunately, he was dry--and so was his crib--so I just redressed him and laid him back down. He went to sleep. End of story.

Or so I thought.

(Have you guessed where this is leading?)

On Saturday, I put Roo to bed and then went downstairs to read with the big kids for a while. I could hear him upstairs talking to himself, but Mr. Fantastic and Monkey were getting ready to run some errands, so I thought I would wait until they left (because the reading time has taken the place of Monkey's nap time, and I was trying to keep him still and quiet for as long as possible). After 20 minutes, though, I couldn't wait any longer--I wanted this kid to get a nap! So I ran up there, threw open the door...


And Mr. Fantastic said, "I'm coming!"

I have never seen anything like it, friends. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I'm going to share it anyway.

Do you see all of the brown stuff all over? I'll give you a hint: It's not chocolate.


The "good" news is... he pooped in his diaper.
The bad news is... then he took it off.

The "good" news is... Mr. Fantastic was still home to help.
The bad news is... it still took us about an hour to get everything clean.

The "good" news is... he wasn't crying or upset.
The bad news is... well, I'll let you see for yourselves: (Ummmm... this particular pic? Not for the faint of heart. Or weak of stomach. Just sayin'.)

Oh this boy.

So Mr. Fantastic got a bath going, and I got to scrubbing the crib. And then disinfecting it. And the Little People toys on the floor. And the window sills.

And yes, THIS is how I discovered the cleaning powers of the Woolite Pet Stain Remover on window blinds.


Never a dull moment, people. Never.

So... gross? Yes. Probably too much to share on the internet? Yep.

But I just couldn't keep this one to myself. I can't believe I made it 5 days, actually.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to melt a momma's heart

School is over for the day. My big kids are home. My baby boy is up from his nap. We made popcorn on the stovetop and hot chocolate for an after-school snack. Our weekend is surprisingly (and beautifully) empty, so the big kids were sent upstairs to clean their rooms and shower while I clean the kitchen, so that we can spend the rest of the afternoon/evening playing.

And then suddenly, Monkey was back. With a concerned look on his face.

"Mommy... I want to pray for Andrew."

I don't think he could have said anything that could have made me more proud. I didn't know who Andrew is (he knows a couple) or why we suddenly needed to pray, and I didn't care. The answer, of course, was "yes." Let's pray. Right now.

I. love. that. boy.

As it turns out, Andrew is a boy in his class who "can't breathe so good after recess and soccer and stuff"--or as we grown-ups would put it, has asthma.

Here is (roughly) Monkey's prayer: "Dear Lord, I just want to pray for Andrew. Just take away his sickness, Lord. I don't know if you know this, but here's how it works: Your heart beats, and then a second later, you breathe. But that's not how it works for Andrew, God. Please fix it."

OK, so he doesn't have the science down, but I don't think that's going to confuse God.

Thank you, Lord, for his sensitive heart. May he always be so responsive to Your leading.