Thursday, December 30, 2010

Learning to Spell

Bug has been absolutely blooming in the language department as of lately. He is saying so many more words, and they are easier to understand...although most people still look at me and ask, "Do you know what he's saying?" Erm...sometimes I do.

Bug wowed the family about a month ago by showing off his counting skills. He can count to ten on his own about 80% of the time.

Recently, he has started "spelling" words. Whenever he sees letters (on Gizmo's shirt, in his books, on Crayola markers, etc.) he points to the letters and says "E, O, E, O, E, O..." Sometimes he uses "A" and "S". Sometimes it is "B" and "O"...which makes me giggle.

Today, Bug was standing behind me, pointing to the letters on the back of my shirt. And this time, he was saying "B, S, B, S, B, S..."

I love how innocently hilarious he can be!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Family Photo? UPDATE

Yesterday was probably one of the most stressful days -EVER-! It seemed like most everything was going wrong, and very little was going right. Add that on top of the Christmas busyness that we've been dealing with the past couple weeks...(sorry neglected blog)...and you get a mama that needs a chance to relax.

My mom got us tickets to see a Christmas show called Awaited, at the Crossroads church here in Cincinnati. Everything is free. Hot chocolate, cookies, play area, music cd, kid's activity book, the actual show....and family photos. I was so excited to be able to go and enjoy everything, get a family picture done, and all for free while enjoying a show that is all about the true meaning of Christmas.

Bug, unfortunately, didn't nap like we though he would. And he didn't want to stand in line for the picture. So, Grandma Marty took him to the play area. We would call her when we got close in the line for our picture, and she would bring Bug to us. Well.....the line moved much faster than we thought it was going to. And then the people in front of us stepped out of the line. We quickly called Grandma Marty, and we got our ticket (with our number on it, to get the photo off the Internet later). We were told that if our entire party wasn't there, they would just have to take the picture anyway. We said that was fine, thinking there was still time. Surely Bug would get to us by the time we were in front of the camera.

The people in front of us went and sat. Bug still wasn't with us. They got their picture taken. Bug still wasn't with us. They got up and left. Bug still wasn't with us. The photographer asked us if we were ready. Bug still wasn't with us. We went ahead and sat down. Bug still wasn't with us. We smiled. Bug still wasn't with us. And we got our "family" picture taken...But Bug still wasn't with us.

As soon as we got up and walked out of the photo area, Grandma Marty comes rushing along with Bug in tow. But it was too late. We had our first family of four picture taken with only three of us!

Merry Christmas!

(I totally didn't notice that deer head when we got the photo taken. It goes well with my patchwork skirt! hehehe. And I didn't know I was sporting the "I just recently nursed" shirt.)

And, here is a family photo WITH Bug.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Bib

I am officially one of THOSE mothers. You know, the one whose kid is always wearing a bib. Always. To catch the drool.

I don't know how I ended up with such a drooly baby. Bug wasn't very drooly. I mean, of course he did drool some. But, Gizmo. Oh, Gizmo. He is like the never ending faucet of saliva. A bubbling (literally) brook of slobber (which Bug finds hilarious, "Bubbles!")

My sister reminded me that Bug was a summer baby, and therefore, it didn't matter as much for his shirt to be perpetually full of spit. But, Gizmo, as a winter baby, needs to keep dry to keep warm. It's true. And the bib is actually AMAZING for keeping him dry and warm. I guess that's why moms do it. Whenever I saw a baby with a bib on (and no food being fed to him), I used to think, "Poor kid...being stuck in a bib all the time. That can't be fun." Now I think, :"Look at my super cute and stylin' baby and his rockin' bib that's keeping him dry!"

Gizmo is about 31/2 months old, and I can already see little white spots on his bottom gums, indicating that those first teeth aren't too far off. When did he decide to grow up so quickly?

Oh, and just a related note: Gizmo's teething has, along with the increase in drool, increased all other mucous. Which means his nose is stuffy. Which means he isn't nursing as well. Which means Mommy gets engorged (and leaks all over the bed at night). Which means Mommy pumps 10oz. in 20mins. in the morning (while still leaving milk to satisfy the little guy's hunger). Amazing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Single Mother Diaries: In the End

Today is the last day of my single mom gig. Hallelujah. But, since my last update, things have only gone downhill....which would be ok if I was walking or riding a bike. But I'm not. So it's not really ok.

Saturday night, I threw a party. It was supposed to be me AND the Hubs throwing the party, but you can't help throw a party in Ohio when you are in Ecuador. (Poor guy, he really didn't want to miss the party.) I think the party was the only thing keeping me together all of last week. I had things to do (erm, clean) to get ready for having guests over at my house. It kept me distracted. And I was excited for the party.

Before I knew it, the party was over. And it was Sunday.

Sundays without a husband are hard. Really hard. Especially when you have a kid like Bug. I brought a pack of Skittles to church to keep Bug sitting still and quiet throughout Sacrament meeting. (We'll just ignore the fact that I had to let him run around unsupervised before church started, while I printed all the programs.) The Skittles worked....until the closing hymn. Then, Bug decided that he needed to chuck a Skittle five rows ahead of us. So, I took him out. And then I took him to nursery. *phew!*

The next two hours at church were great. But once I picked Bug up from nursery, he decided to not cooperate. Imagine: baby wrapped in a blanket held in one arm, huge diaper bag on my back, dragging a tantrum-ing toddler by him arm with my other hand, then trying to keep said toddler from running away by "holding" his arm in between my legs, while I try to get our coats on before going out into the freezing cold. Luckily, I had some help with caring church members.

I went straight to my parents' house after church, and once I got there, I felt incredibly lonely. And I missed my husband more than I had ever missed him before! And I cried. Then my sister gave me a hug, and I cried some more. Then my mom gave me a hug, and I cried even more. (I swear, when I'm emotionally fragile and people hug me, it's like they give me permission to completely lose it.)

And, I've pretty much been weepy ever since. Busy (I would like to add to my "what I did these past 10 days list": go to high school choir concert, hang out with mother-in-law, work even more on that Nativity with my sister, go to Jungle Jim's, make yakisoba and gyoza, do my visiting teaching, more laundry, dishes, another shower or two) but weepy.

I'm pretty much done being a single mom. Not just because the Hubs is going to be home tonight, but because I emotionally can't handle it anymore. I think Heavenly Father knew I could only handle 10 days. Or maybe, I suppose, he has given me the strength to get through it....and if it had been a full two weeks, or a month, or even a year...He would have given me the strength to get through it. But you better believe it, I will be at the airport tonight at midnight, wide awake as can be, and beaming from ear to ear!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Single Mother Diaries: In the Middle

I am now officially half way done with the single mom gig. Yesterday, I went over to my parents' house. Both boys were asleep when I got there. I chose to carry in the baby first, I dumped him on the couch with my sister and went back out into the cold for Bug. When I got Bug laying down in a bed, I came back to the living room and flopped down on the couch. I felt that things had finally caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED!

Of course, that was kind of part of my plan. I wanted to go go go and do do do the whole time that Hubby was gone. Really, I only had to choices: stay as busy as a one legged River dancer (I've been dying to use that saying!), or sit around the house all depressed-like while eating massive amounts of sugar. I chose River dancer.

And my schedule doesn't really let up over the next 5 days. But, hey, the past 5 days, I've gone to Relief Society, had a play date, made wool booties for Gizmo, done screen printing shirts for the boys, worked for HOURS with my sister on a felt Nativity, read 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon, written 5 entries in a journal for the Hubs, done laundry, done dishes, made meals, made a pie, wrapped gifts, paid bills, watched 15 episodes of Backyardigans, skyped with Hubby, showered (4 times, I think), done hair and makeup 4 times, written blog posts, finished the program for church, straightened up the living room, gone grocery shopping...twice, made recycled wool sweater leg warmers, filled up the gas tank, played a few card games with my family, changed over 50 diapers, and nursed over 60 times.

And I don't even think that is all! Is it worth it? To have the Hubs gone (not like we've had much choice if we want him to have such wonderful employment) and keep myself busy? I'm telling myself "yes", and here is why (in a short story):

Before the Hubs left, we decided together on a strict NO PHONE CALLS rule. Because, international calls are really expensive, and we have other means of communication (Skype, email). We were to only call each other in a dire emergency. Let me repeat: DIRE EMERGENCY. I'm thinking that means dying in a Latin American alley, lost limb, plane going down, broken neck, blood transfusion. You know...dire emergency.

So, yesterday evening, I was sitting in the living room floor at my parents' house, sewing away at my recycled sweater leg warmers, when I hear my phone ringing. I run to get it....missed the call. And who was it? The Hubs. *duh duh duh duuuunnnnnnnn*

I could feel my heart rate rising, my palms starting to sweat. Was he attacked by some Ecuadorian thug, lying in a dark alley in only his underwear (and somehow his phone), bleeding, dying, calling his wife to say "I love you" one last time? (My sister later told me that I have an overactive imagination. She can be so insensitive.) I was in a quandary, was it really an emergency, and I needed to call him back? Did he mis-dial, and not even mean to call me at all? I figured a single text would be cheaper than a possibly long international call. "Did you just call for an emergency? What going on?"

Five minutes later...while my imagination is definitely being overactive...I get a reply. "No. I just needed your size."

WHA'!?!? Here I am, thinking he's dying, and he's strolling the marketplace looking for wearable souvenirs for me.

But, back to the purpose of me telling this story: is it worth it? I say, "YES!" But, only because one thing: a hand-woven, Alpaca rebozo (I think they actually call it an ikat macana in Ecuador) from Ecuador....FTW!

One more thing: last night, while playing cards with my family, Bug counted to ten with very, very, very little help. I was a little in shock! When did he learn how to do that!?! But, one thing is for sure, I have one smart little two year old!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Single Mother Diaries: In the Beginning

Monday: Take Hubby to his work building, so he can send a copy of his passport to his co-worker, who is already in Ecuador. In the elevator, Bug pushes the Emergency Stop button. I'm reminded how crazy it is going to be when I don't have a man to put the toddler on his shoulders....just to keep the kid out of trouble!

We get to the airport. After a long hug, and several kisses, I drive away.

I go grocery shopping. This is my first single parenting challenge. Grocery shopping with a baby and a toddler. Things go smoothly. We get to the checkout. Bug grabs a bag of M&M's while I'm unloading the cart. That's fine. No big deal. I don't even want to fight about it. I just make sure it gets paid for. (Right after the cashier swipes it, Bug yells, "Mine!" The cashier hands it to him. Bug is happy.)

By the time we got home, Gizmo was practically least that's what he told me. I grabbed as many groceries as I could, with Gizmo in the sling and Bug content with his bag of candy. I fumble with the keys, but manage to get in the door and dump everything-groceries, baby, scarf, coat. Why on earth was it like 70 million degrees that day, I will never know. I tell Bug to sit at the kitchen table and eat his candy. I left poor Gizmo complaining on our giant bean bag chair while I ran down to get (hopefully I can carry it all) the last load....and the mail.

I get back up the the apartment. Gizmo is really mad now, so I put away all the cold stuff as quickly as possible, swoop up the baby, plop down on the couch, and rip open the nursing bra. Suddenly, I realize I need to use the restroom. REALLY REALLY BADLY. Gizmo is swimming in my overactive letdown. Gulp. Gulp. Sputter. Gulp. I'm doing the "pee-pee" dance while sitting down, bouncing the baby on my lap as he dribbles milk out of his mouth. Once he drifts off to sleep, I carefully lay him down and run to the restroom. Phew!

Then, we all went and crashed at my parents' house. I got a call from Hubby, his flight to Ecuador was being postponed...for 14 hours (due to a volcanic ash cloud over the airport)! He was stuck in Miami. He would, hopefully, be flying out in the morning. Then, my family decided they were going to be too boring (well, that and it was getting really late). So, we went home.

I read out of the Book of Mormon to Bug for an hour before he fell asleep. It was after midnight. I crawled into bed with Gizmo and passed out. At around 3am, Bug joined us.

Tuesday: 6am, I get a call from Hubby. "I forgot to fill my prescription for the Malaria medication. I'm not sure if I will be able to go. I need to call my travel agent." Way to get my hopes up. Turns out, Malaria meds are only recommended, not required. He's going to Ecuador without them.

I decide to stay home all day. I take a nice shower (with Gizmo complaining the whole time). I take a nap with both boys. Around 4pm, I get on Skype with the Hubs. He is comfortably lounging in his hotel room in Ecuador. He told me a woman tried to hit on him on the airplane, and he didn't even notice until a couple minutes had passed, because he was too into the movie that was playing. (I love him!)

I make dinner, watch some Man vs. Food on Netflix, Skype some more, cry. Cry. Cry. Then fall asleep. I didn't even bother putting Bug in his own bed. I needed my loved ones close to me that night.

I'm falling a little behind on my list of things to do. Luckily, I should be able to catch up on Friday...because the only thing I have to do is "wrap gifts". But today, I'm going to Skyline for lunch.