Friday, October 28, 2011

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Spiff's vacation starts tonight, promptly at 5:00 pm. The kids and I are picking him up from work and driving to California to visit some medical school friends. I could not be more excited! Not only do I get to see our good friends, I get to spend time with my husband when he's not sleep-deprived and stressed out! Ah, what sweet relief a little R&R will bring!

Wish us luck on the drive, cuz we're out of here and spending Halloween in sunny CA!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To the Doctor!

This post is more for me than anyone else. I took the kids to the doctor last week, Gunner for his 3-year well-child check, and Hobbes for his 9-month baby check. You'll all be relieved to know that my children are growing just fine, and they're both as healthy as can be. Whew. What a relief. I know you were worried.

Gunner weighs 33.8 lbs., and he is 39.5 inches tall.

Hobbes weighs 19.2 lbs, and is 29.25 inches long.
He's in the 28th percentile for weight, with a 90th percentile head circumference. Gunner was always in the 70th percentile, so it's sort of strange for me to have a smaller baby.

Both of the boys got shots, Hobbes a flu shot, and Gunner a Hep B booster he should have gotten half a year ago. Gunner hasn't had a shot for a year, so I prepared him by telling him he was going to feel a little poke. I expected a little bit of a tantrum or a fight. Instead, he watched the nurse give him the shot, sort of flinched, and then said, "Hmm, why do I have a bandaid?" No tears or fears of any kind. He's such a champ!

Also, this doesn't have anything to do with the doctor, but just to update you all on the doings and growings of our sweet little baby. He has a tooth and is working on another. I loved his gummy smile, but I sure do love that little tooth. Super cute! And he can pull himself up on things. Now that he can do it, he spends all day long pulling himself up and grinning from ear to ear. He's so proud of himself! He still has a really awkward army crawl where he pushes/pulls himself around. It looks so uncomfortable, but he's just as happy as can be with it. And he's Fast! He can really get around, limping and lurching like a little lizard who has a broken arm and leg. Oh well. Whatever works, right? Other than the fact that he doesn't sleep at night, he is just the most awesome, happy and pleasant little baby in the world. Simply happy to be alive. Love him!

An Hour and Fifteen Minutes

That's how long my baby cries when he wakes up at night. When I hear him wake up at night, I look at the clock and know that we'll have to endure his pitiful cries for no less than an hour and fifteen minutes.

I'm so sad that I know this.

How long have we been sleep training? Three months, if I remember correctly. We have had to endure this for So Long. It's miserable every night, and I feel like the worst momma in the world every. single. time.

And I think the very worst part of it is the regret. We went through this with Gunner as a baby. We rocked him to sleep as a tiny baby, and I loved it. Only when it stopped working (around six months) did we painfully decide, as first-time parents, that we needed to let him cry-it-out. Spiff and I both decided that crying-it-out was so miserable that we would never let another baby of ours become dependent on us to go to sleep. We convinced ourselves that it was our fault that he didn't have any self-soothing skills, and that we caused that situation.

So when Hobbsie came around, we both refused to rock him to sleep. From the very beginning, we put him down in his bed to fall asleep on his own. With the help of a swaddle and a binkie, "we taught him self-soothing skills," and he was awesome at falling asleep on his own and sleeping through the night. Up until six months old, when just like Gunner, it stopped working.

And now I feel like I missed out on one of the most precious and wonderful experiences I can have with my sweet little child...rocking and holding him as a tiny baby. And it was all for nothing. And I will never get that time back.

I also have plenty of time to think about this awful regret...every he cries-it-out for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Neighbors

This is a picture of someone getting arrested right in front of our house. Sorry the picture is so crappy. I was taking it from inside my house (so as not to be such an obvious creeper), and the reflections from my window are terrible. But you get the gist, right?
Notice the guy on the right who has rubber "drug-finding" gloves on? And the black unmarked police vehicles? There were at least seven of them on the street. There were police milling around the house all afternoon, and even a Drug Dog that got in that white car and sniffed all around. Interesting to watch. Exciting drama at our place today!

I have actually been thinking about posting something about our neighbors for a while. But Spiff informed me that the home teachers said that they would be moving soon, so I held my tongue. Until the drug bust today.

Gunner has made friends with the neighbor kids. One of the kids is an 8-year-old boy who is very nice and well-mannered. He comes over and brings his cool "big kid toys" that Gunner loves to play with. I don't actually mind when the big kid comes over because it keeps Gunner completely occupied for a couple hours.

I do mind it when his little sister (who is seven, I think) comes over, too. She knocked on the door the other day. I opened it. She said, "Um, is my brother here?" I said, "Yes, he is." She stared at me. Then she said, "Well, can I come in?" I let her in.

She's a decent kid, too, except that she's a big more negative than her brother. She says sort of mean things. And when she comes, her brother plays with her and not with Gunner. Then the two of them are playing with each other, at my house, with Gunner's toys, ignoring Gunner.

It's weird.

I have all these concerns, but they have mostly stemmed from the fact that I don't know the family. I worry that they'll teach Gunner behaviors that aren't appropriate for a 3-year-old because they don't seem to understand that he is a lot younger than them. I worry that he feels bad when the sister is around and he is being ignored. But mostly I worry that they will take him out of my house and across the street to their house without me knowing.

The other day, the kids were here, and I told them that Gunner, the baby, and I had to go run an errand. The boy said, "Well, can Gunner come to our house?" I said, "No." Him: "But I could ask my mom to watch him." Me: "Um, no thanks." Him: "But it's not a big deal at all. He could just come over." Me: (Letting out a little scream in my head) "No! I'm just going to take him with me!"

And then today. The drug bust. Gunner asked me, "Can I play with my friend?" I said, "Well, honey, he's probably going to be busy today." Gunner: "Why?"

Oh boy. How do I explain that one to a 3-year-old?

The kids are nice. I'm just uncomfortable with the whole situation. And I feel bad for hoping that they really do move soon.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Conference Weekend

One of the things I have realized about living in the Salt Lake valley is that it's sort of tricky to make friend here because almost everyone who lives here lives close to home. That means that they already have family and old friends around, and they don't have tons of room for new people, especially new people who are here temporarily. I'm lucky that I also have a small circle of family and old friends here (and even a new one), but they had plans with other family, and I found myself a little on the lonely side this Conference Weekend as I remembered several years of watching Conference, eating yummy food, and spending time with good friends on this weekend. (I will mention that some of my family members were nice and invited me their family functions, but I didn't want to intrude.)

That's why I was so grateful to be invited to a breakfast this morning with some of our close friends from Spiff's medical school who are doing their residencies in Utah. Our four families, minus Spiff and another of the husbands, ate a delicious breakfast together, and then let the kids play in the backyard while Conference blared on the radio. It was glorious! Perfect October weather plus happy and occupied kids means that I actually got to listen to a snippet of some of the talks. Thank you, Lindsey, for putting it together! I felt like I had a little taste of "home" today.

On a slightly related topic, I have recently given Gunner a job. I got tired of him getting upset with me when I forgot his cup of water (known as "Truck Water" because of the pictures of trucks on the cup) on an outing. So, I decided to let it be his responsibility. I tell him, "If you want your Truck Water, then you have to bring it with you." I remind him to grab it, but when he asks for it, I have loved being able to say, "Nope, I don't have it. Did you bring it?" And he loves feeling like a big kid with a responsibility.

In the few minutes of Conference I was able to catch on Saturday afternoon, Gunner sat on my lap and listened for about 30 seconds. The speaker talked about church callings and responsibilities. Gunner perked up at a word he recognized.

Today, Spiff asked Gunner if he listened to the prophet speak.
Gunner said, "Um, yeah."

Spiff asked, "What did he tell you?"

Gunner replied, "He told me that it is my sponsibility to bring my truck water."

Spiritual lesson...Check.