Saturday, October 31, 2009


Why have one costume, when you can have two? (One was for Daddy's office and Grandma's house Friday, and one was for Saturday neighborhood trick-or-treating...Olivia's choice both times.)
Pretty Princess

Cutest little witch

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Olivia has spent the past several weeks expressing her fear over all things Halloween. "The pumpkin scare you, Mommy!" And when asked if she wanted to go trick-or-treating, she would say, "No, it scare you!

Over the past several days, we've seen commercials of kids going trick-or-treating, and we watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Now, she wants to "go to Halloween! Go to trick-or-treating!"

Last night, Daddy and Olivia went shopping (to give Mommy some sanity quiet time) and picked out a costume. She was so excited to model it for me when they got home. I think she's really going to enjoy the process of getting candy...almost as much as the candy itself.

And, to celebrate my new camera, I'm posting a new video on our photo site. Go there to see the cutest almost-2-year-old singing about the monkeys jumping on the bed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Randomness, plus celebratory musings

I'm "in town" today for various appointments and such, so I'm writing this yesterday as practice for NaBloPoMo, because I intend to participate and this is pretty much the only way I get a post in write a bunch at once and then schedule them to post throughout the week. I don't know if that's cheating, but since I don't have one of those internet-phone gadgets, it's pretty much my only option.

I'm "off" from babysitting today because of these appointments, which is nice except I feel like I have to cram everything into this one free day since I won't have another one for awhile. *Sigh*

I'm thinking about Olivia's birthday. We are going WAY low key this year, just inviting local family to an evening meal with cake because, you know, she's TWO. She doesn't know she's being shafted on the big party thing yet. Plus, her birthday falls a week after our anniversary and less than two weeks before my birthday, which is followed quickly by Thanksgiving, and, well, there's only so much celebrating we can tolerate in the gloomy month of November.

Also, who picked November to be NaBloPoMo? Did you not realize that it's my BUSIEST month of the year? Sheesh.

So, anniversary. It's the first Friday in November, and it's our FIFTH Anniversary. I know that way back when we got married, I must have been thinking something like, "well, maybe we can do a big vacation for our fifth anniversary or something." (Which means a cruise, something I've been dying to do with my husband since we got married. Because cruises...ROCK. All you do is lay around and eat and sightsee. ROCK!)

But, yeah. Enter kid, exit second income. No cruise. BUT, we're spending two nights in a hotel in Nashville, TN, while the kid entertains the grandparents for the weekend. And I'm disproportionately excited about this little weekend getaway. We haven't done a weekend away alone (except for leading Engaged Encounter, which is entirely different) since Olivia was born. So, yeah, it is kind of exciting.

Also, speaking of Engaged Encounter, I found out recently that the EE national convention is going to be in Seattle next year (Oct). And even though I've never really had any desire to attend this convention before (um, expensive, plus touchy-feely couples who like to share their feelings with complete strangers = not really our thing), I kind of want to go to this one. Why? To meet my internet friends, of course. Except that I'd spend all of my time visiting with all of you and would miss the whole convention. My husband would probably not be OK with that. Except that he hates the touchy-feely more than I do, so maybe he'd be relieved. Hmm. Well, if someone drops a load of cash on us unexpectedly, maybe we'll consider it.

Monday, October 26, 2009


We were outside this morning. I'm down one kid today (her parents are on Fall break), so I thought it would be easier. It was, until Olivia came to me with a handful of "dirties" (dog poop). We don't even own a dog. But there are two in the neighborhood that run around unsupervised and assume that our playground is their bathroom. So we all came in because I can't handle one kid with dog poop on her hands while trying to keep the other kid out of it AND keep everyone's dirty hands away from the baby. Sheesh. Addie was the one with dog poop on her clothes last week, so I have a feeling that we are going to have to think long and hard about whether it's worth the trouble to try to get outside during the day knowing that it might end with everyone's clothes in the wash and frustrated kids locked back inside.

In other news, the trees are beautiful. Last year was so dry that they all turned from green to brown, but this colorful. Olivia likes to point out the colors when we are driving or walking outside. It's a joy to see them, but mixed with a little melancholy because I know they'll all fall soon, leading to the most depressing few months of stark brown everywhere. It's a time of the year when I NEED to get outside whenever possible, but with the kids...well, we'll see.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Toddler piety

We have been saying prayers with Olivia on a regular basis for some time. She's the master of rote, able to sing back large parts of songs after hearing them once and always repeating things she hears. So, at almost two, she has memorized large portions of our meal prayers and bedtime prayers.

At meals, she's usually too hungry to comply with our request to "wait to eat until we pray". So she usually doesn't follow along before meals. But then, somewhere around the middle of her meal, she'll fold her hands and say, "Can we pray now?" So, of course, we pray AGAIN, and this time she follows along with 80% of the words.

For bedtime prayers, even though she knows most of the words, she'll usually just sit and listen. When I conclude the prayers, she'll pipe up and say, "Night-night, Jesus" or "I love You Jesus!"

At Mass, she's getting...better. But she has, on occasion, done some really cute things that tell us she's paying attention. When the priest carries the gospel book to the lectern, she'll pick up her hymnal with both hands and hold it above her head. When we kneel and pray, she'll kneel (even though she can't see over the pew) and fold her hands above her head. Not always, but when she's feeling particularly good.

It's sweet to watch.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We all went outside today. It is sunny and around 70 degrees today...a nice change from the crappy weather we've been having, and I just couldn't bear to keep the kids in. And you know what? They did GREAT! They played nicely and came in when I told them to, taking off their shoes and leaving them by the door as they went into the house. Wow.

I think Jake is a balancing force with the girls. He almost makes it easier... easier than just Olivia and Addie alone. Olivia is an instigator, always trying to cause trouble and explaining it away when she gets caught. "Mommy, I just trying to (insert seemingly reasonable motive here)." Addie is an aggressor and retaliator. If someone has something she wants, she grabs or pushes to get to it. If someone takes something away from her, she bites or hits in response. So, the two girls together just play into each other's games and irritate me all day.

Jake is a helper and a peacemaker. He likes to play with the girls, but he just wants everyone to be happy. So he will share and ask if he can help and look to me to correct wrongs when someone takes something away from him. If one of the girls steals his puppy (like his security blanket), he comes to find me and tells me what happened. He doesn't hit or push.

I'm SO not used to this type of kid, but he's so refreshing.

The girls seem to be following Jake's example, a little at a time. I think that playing together daily is teaching them all a little more about healthy conflict resolution, and I'm hoping that their behavior patterns will all be improved by the end of the year. (Jake's fault, in case you were wondering, is his timidness. If he's not over that after several months of dealing with these girls, I don't know what it will take.)

Also, Luke has been here three days, and he has not spit up on me...not even once! He eats, he burps the moment I put him into burp position, and he never spits up. I didn't even know that was possible.

Let's just say that it's not easy, but this is definitely easier than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Today is going better than yesterday, so far. The kids played nicely together for 80% of the morning. I was able to put Luke down on the floor without him being trampled or smothered. Luke did not throw his "I'm so tired but I can't fall asleep" crying fit until after the kids had fallen asleep and I was able to move him to another area of the house. They are ALL asleep now. So far, so good.

There was that moment when the baby was screaming because he couldn't get the bottle to work (I had to switch bottles) and while I was calming him, Addie took a nose dive off the recliner because she was rocking recklessly (even though she's not supposed to be doing that). I was dealing with screaming toddler and screaming baby and Olivia insisted that she have more lemonade RIGHT NOW and Addie wanted ice and I was just waiting for the phone to start ringing because wouldn't it be PERFECT timing for THAT to happen. I was dealing with one issue at a time and willing myself to sprout a few more arms and thinking that my house was just, well, loud.

I'm struck today by how incredibly unreasonable little children are. No, I can't get up to get the remote to rewind the show to watch that song again while I'm feeding the baby. Olivia, put your shirt back on. Addie, give Jake's puppy back to him. And release your death grip from the baby's leg. He doesn't like that. No, I can't get you a snack while I'm changing diapers. Would everyone please just sit down and shut up for two minutes? PLEASE!

Somehow, they all think that their individual needs at this very moment are the most important ones.

Also, I've discovered that I have another sling-hater. Luke tolerated it yesterday. Today, he will scream at the SIGHT of that thing. I'm beginning to wonder if those things have any use at all. I've certainly never met a child who was particularly fond of them.

It's not bad, it's just...busy. I can't do a load of laundry or wash some dishes or even pick up a few toys in the morning. I just have to sit and keep my eyes on everyone. And that's OK. The kids are adjusting. It will get easier. I will have to resign myself to the fact that the whole house is just going to look like a tornado blew through every day. I have to pick my battles and just let some things go.

As long as I can get my quiet time, like right now, I'll be OK.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My hands are FULL

Three toddlers=totally do-able. One infant=no problem! Three toddlers + one infant = Pass the valium, please.

Today is day one in the great childcare experiment, in which I am not just babysitting a neighbor's kid, but caring for a whole houseful of children five days a week. Lunchtime was a screamfest for the baby, while the toddlers demanded this and that in turn. Naptime was precarious and I was seriously doubting whether it could be accomplished at all.

But it was, and all three toddlers are now sound asleep while the baby kicks happily from his bouncer on the floor next to the computer.


I think I forgot how much work babies are. I mean, they sleep a lot and lay around a lot, but they need something every 20 minutes (or so it seems). It's easy when that's all you have to do. But when you have to balance a baby's needs with a toddler's needs (or three toddlers, in this case), you are CONSTANTLY on the go. And what, I ask, do you do with the baby when you need both hands to tend to a toddler? Put him in his bouncer? Not unless you want him to be smothered by another toddler. It is like placing the poor kid in a war zone.

So, I got reacquainted with the sling today. I never used it much with Olivia because she wouldn't tolerate it awake and always slept on the floor/in her crib/in the bouncer...rarely while held. Now I see the need for helps you hold sleeping babies while there are other kids in the house. I have a feeling that Luke will sleep in it almost exclusively for awhile.

The other kids...Jake (the other toddler) is adjusting well, and is such a delight. Sweet kid. Addie is being downright mean. She has been pushing and tackling all morning, bringing Jake to tears at least once. She's extra defiant too. Olivia is overly curious about the baby and doesn't understand the meaning of "gentle". She's a little more needy than usual, but she's responding to discipline a lot better than Addie. All this activity made it hard for her to fall asleep at naptime. I'm hoping it will get progressively better on all fronts.

Luke is babbling adorably and filling his pants, so my "break" is over. After I say a quick prayer that the kids sleep for AT LEAST two hours. Please, God!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The perfect "day off"

Addie had a doctor appointment yesterday, so Olivia and I had a free day. I was determined to find something active for her to do since we've been cooped up all week due to weather. So we ended up meeting some friends at the local Children's Museum.

It was perfect. We spent two hours chasing the kids from room to room where we knew they could play to their heart's content without causing destruction (at least unexpected destruction). Olivia's favorite area, I think, was the rice a sandbox with rice. She had so much fun and was in a great mood by lunchtime.

We had lunch with a couple of friends who were former co-workers of mine. Olivia behaved very well and I had a great conversation that was long overdue. Luckily, these are the kind of friends who are easy to talk to no matter how long it has been between visits. While we caught up on each other's lives, Olivia played the trial version of Ms. Pac-Man on my friend's phone and also took a couple dozen pictures of her hand and the table with my camera.

The poor kid cashed out as soon as I put her in the car after lunch, so the next stop was Grammy's house for nap while I got my shopping done. We finished up the day by meeting my parents for dinner and then heading to Grandma's house for a couple of hours of play.

I know part of the reason that the day was so much fun for me was that such outings are rare now. But I was also struck by how effortless (relatively speaking) the whole day was. Many, many of my day trips "to town" have been an exercise in frustration for me and Olivia as we fight a constant battle of wanting to accomplish a set number of things and her wanting to get down and explore on her own as much as possible. Those two ideas are not compatible, so we always end up frustrated and exhausted.

Somehow, yesterday, we were both in sync. It was nice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dreary fall day, with moods to match

This week has been rough. The girls were tired and whiny and mean to each other all day Monday, a behavior trait that has re-emerged today. I know Olivia is tired. She went to bed too late and got up too early. I don't know what Addie's excuse is, except that her nap was too short yesterday, so maybe she's still affected. I try and try to keep Olivia on a good sleep schedule, but if a bad dream or a noise or something wakes her too early, there's nothing to do but go on with the day. She will rarely go back to sleep after 6 a.m.

So this morning was one long whine fest for Olivia, which was exacerbated by Addie's need to aggravate. Addie kept tackling Olivia to the ground and would just lay on her. Though Olivia is taller and stronger than Addie and could easily take her down, she opted to just lay there and whine louder. No matter how many times I separated them, the cycle would repeat itself.

All I can say is that the nap had better be a long one.

My husband will be home late tonight and tomorrow. I have plans to keep us occupied tomorrow. Addie is not coming tomorrow, so Olivia and I are going to do some fun stuff "in town". I don't feel like I can justify going anywhere tonight, since we'll be out all day tomorrow. But it's raining. And Olivia is full of whine. How will we get through the evening alone?


I have finally started sorting through Olivia's birth records and mementos, placing them in plastic sleeves and putting them in a binder. I am creating a photo baby book (electronically, of course...I'm not patient enough to scrapbook this), complete with pics of Olivia's birthmother before and after birth in the hospital and the story of how we came to be her family. I still need to add text, but the photos are all there. I figure that the actual records plus the baby book equals a life book. I don't really know. I've never done this before. But I do feel better knowing that when Olivia is old enough to ask specific questions, the information will all be in one place instead of scattered between various boxes and drawers. And it's been really fun (if time-consuming) to scroll through the photo files from Olivia's first few months.

I'm off to work on my project-of-the-week. Happy Wednesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

End of season and Almost Two

Local Theme Park is closed for the season. Yesterday was their last day of operation for the year. We spent as much time there as possible yesterday, taking in Olivia's favorite show twice and riding all of her favorite rides.

And giving High Fives to the ride conductor.

Olivia's obsession with the kids' show is bound to lead to severe withdrawal in a couple of weeks. She sings the songs EVERY DAY...and does the dance moves. After the final show yesterday, her fave character let her come up on stage and practice her moves and her bow. Olivia was in heaven. I'm wondering if there's some way I can hire this character for her birthday party...

In other news, Olivia is 23 months old today. So I took her picture to remember her final month before she turns two. She's wearing the tie-dye shirt I made for her at the craft booth in the children's tent at my husband's college homecoming. Yes, I'm so talented.

I'm not sure what to call her anymore. "Toddler" just doesn't fit. She's so tall and so smart and so full of personality. She's growing up so fast...I feel like I can't keep up with all of the changes and the new things she's learning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The letter

On Wednesday night, we went to visit our newborn baby nephew, Carter. He was still in his newborn sleep coma, with eyes glued shut and making occasionally whimpery newborn noises. The nurse came in and unwrapped him from his cocoon-like swaddle, and he started making little sucking motions with his mouth, but he stopped as soon as she wrapped him up again.

I'd forgotten all about this newborn coma stage, which God must have ingrained in babies to give parents an appropriate amount of time to stare in awe at the tiny creation that has just emerged...before the screaming-of-unknown-cause sets in. As far as I can tell, that stage lasts 2-24 months. The jury's still out on that.

I had the amazing privilege of being able to be in the delivery room when Olivia was born. Her birthmother had a c-section, so I was sitting behind the curtain near her head and didn't actually SEE her emerge (um, surgery, blood, no thank you), but it was still an awesome experience. She was so new and wiggly with scrunchy-up hands and eyes squeezed shut...angry and thrashing around at whoever was responsible for making her leave her warm haven and end up in this cold, bright room.

I have often regretted that my husband couldn't experience this as well. And while adoption has been a blessing, I still harbor a deep desire to give him a child whose growth we can chart and observe from the beginning, and whose birth we can witness together.

I don't think I realized how much I still wanted this.

Yesterday, I received a letter I'd been anticipating since August. After discussion with some FertilityCare Educators, I was encouraged to submit my medical history and charts to Dr. Thomas Hilgers for review. I thought, at the very least, I was interested in finally getting some answers about what is wrong with my screwed-up fertility.

I don't know what I was expecting. I KNEW he couldn't diagnose me based on all that information. I know his reputation for finding and fixing such problems, and it is stellar. But I also know that, in most cases, it requires a trip to the Pope Paul VI Institute and extensive testing before you get to the bottom of the problem.

In retrospect, I suppose my medical history is spotty, at best. We did a lot of tests in our fertility fixing phase a few years ago, but not in the methodical, thorough manner that Dr. Hilgers requires. Most of those tests will have to be repeated under Dr. Hilger's, whose technique is more specific and directed at the causes of fertility.

I don't fault my amazing doctor at the hit-and-miss approach. In most cases, such an approach would have found the right cause and removed the problem. I have seen dozens of couples achieve and carry a successful pregnancy after just a hormone supplement, or a laparoscopy, or a round of Clomid. Or even a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)...a fancy name for shooting dye through the uterus and tubes and taking x-rays to see if there is any blockage. The radiologist who performed my HSG made small talk, asking about infertility since many women have this test for that reason. I remember, very clearly, that he said something like, "Well, I've seen a lot of women get pregnant after this test...the pressure sometimes removes a blockage from the tubes...with any luck, that'll happen for you." Yes, thank you, Dr. Insensitive, for the false hopes.

Dr. Hilger's evaluation phase is overkill for some couples because he likes to do testing for everything that could possibly be wrong, based on the charting and clues we already have. It's very, very effective, but more than some people NEED to fix the problem.

It turns out that I am probably one who needs the super thorough approach to get a diagnosis.

I read Dr. Hilgers' letter several times, even though nothing in it was a surprise. There are signs pointing to a half-dozen different possible causes of infertility. To pinpoint the exact cause, I need to repeat much of what has been done in the past and add another several tests, including hormone panels and an ultrasound series covering several days. Translation: Spend 7-10 days in Omaha to endure a lot of poking, prodding and evaluation, and we'll have a shot at a successful treatment plan.

My first reaction to the letter was to try to figure out how quickly I could come up with two weeks of free time to devote to this. Seriously. I didn't even think about the money that we will undoubtedly have to budget for such an out-of-network endeavor. All I could think about was fix the problem.

And then I took a breath. There are several factors to consider. There is no hurry. We can accomplish this in the summer, when I'm not babysitting. It will give us time to research the costs and save some money. Do I even really want this? It could fix my weird cycles, but there are no guarantees of pregnancy.

And there it is. All this time I thought that what was bothering me was this mystery of why my body does weird things and wanting to fix that. But what I really want, down deep in the core of my being, is to be able to conceive. And I think that really scares me.

This has nothing to do with being unhappy with adoption. I am thankful for my screwed up fertility to the extent that it has led us to Olivia. I have a great desire to adopt again. It is such an amazing experience, and I don't feel like any less of a Mom because my daughter did not spring forth from me. She is ours and we are hers and God knew exactly what we all needed when he led her birthmother to us.

But I teach FertilityCare. It has been a part of who I am for a quarter of my life. Appreciation for fertility and the possibility that it can lead to a whole new's ingrained in me. I want to pursue this evaluation not just because I want to fix a broken system, but because I want to be a part of what I have taught for so many years. I want to be on the inside of this fertility club...not just a spectator, talking about the blessings of fertility and the challenges of periodic abstinence when I really don't have any context for either of these things.

I don't know where this will go yet. I will research the costs, talk to the nurses, discuss with my husband, pray. We don't need to decide anything right away, and that is a blessing. But it will be in the back of my mind for quite a while.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Retail therapy

Now that I'm engaged in a full time gig that requires me to be attentive to demanding toddlers all day, I appreciate being able to do ANYTHING alone. So when I got the opportunity to go shopping all by myself for a couple of hours this past Saturday, I took it.

I've always hated shopping. I've never been a big fan of wandering around looking at things that I have no need for but somehow want anyway because of marketing and clever product placement and all other such tricks that retail stores employ. I have always had buyers remorse after indulging on shopping trips such as this, and the remorse outweighs any fun I was able to have. I much prefer those trips where I go in with a purpose and a list and buy pretty much what I expected to buy when I walked in the door.

Now that ALL of my regular shopping trips are classified as purposeful shopping and are usually rushed because of the toddler-who-refuses-to-sit-still-and-constantly-throws-things-out-of-the-cart, I appreciate the opportunity to browse. It's a weird change for me, the non-browser, but I REALLY love browsing now.

So, Saturday I visited the card shop, Target, WalMart, Lowe's and Aldi. And I spent a total of $28.00. I bought one or two things from my list at each store, and spent the rest of my time browsing. I browsed at Halloween costumes, new baby gadgets, laminate flooring, and even some Christmas decorations. (The last thing I need is MORE Christmas decorations. But it's fun to look!) And I didn't buy ANYTHING in any of these categories. And you know what? I HAD SO MUCH FUN. I used to hate this kind of shopping, but now I enjoy it. I think it has more to do with spending alone time than it does with the actual shopping, but still.

What do YOU do with your alone time?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sleep and babies

Olivia's cold has made it harder for her to fall asleep, and she's been playing some of those games kids play to keep themselves awake in bed. It's maddening. And last night, she woke up twice and came to our room. The first time was to find another pacifier, since hers went missing in her bed, but the second time was because she couldn't sleep.

I'm finding that I'm getting really good at falling asleep in her bed. I try to lay awake for awhile to see if she falls right back asleep, but more often than not, I'll fall asleep while she's still rolling around in bed and I'll wake up an hour or two later to find that she's sleeping peacefully next to me.

I'm hoping that this skill serves me well with baby #2, whenever he or she may arrive. It took me a LONG time to settle in when Olivia was little, waking at every little sound and checking on her when she wasn't making sounds at all just to be sure she was breathing. I don't think that will be such a problem the second time around.

Today is my Dad's birthday, and we were going to have family dinner at our house to celebrate. But it looks like we'll be celebrating at the sister-in-law is in labor to deliver my newest nephew. Looks like Grandpa will have a birthday-buddy grandson.

We talked yesterday about Grandpa's birthday, so when Olivia woke up this morning, I asked her what today was. She answered, "It's Grandpa's happy birthday time!" Yes it is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Today Olivia is sniffling and sneezing and speaking with a gravelly voice. Addie has a sneeze, and I'm sure the other symptoms are not far behind. Thank you health department flu clinic.

And it's raining. I'm sure that has at least a small effect on my mood.

Since I can't think of anything productive or cheery to say today, I'm going to leave you with a picture from Saturday's Buddy Walk. I have more to say about the event itself, which was wonderful, but I'll say it another day, when I'm in a better frame of mind.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two hours. Standing in line. With toddlers. I KNOW.

My husband's office has a health center where we usually get the basics of health care, including flu shots. This year, they couldn't get the juvenile dosages, so they recommended a free county flu shot clinic that was coming to a town near us today.

Addie's parents were fine with the plan for me to take the girls together and asked that I try to get her vaccinated too. I was happy to have this done before my two new babysitting charges start in a couple of weeks.

We arrived at the flu shot clinic a few minutes after it opened (9:30 a.m.). There was a line. Knowing that it takes about 4.5 seconds to administer a flu shot (including the time it takes to undress/redress the child), I figured that it wouldn't be long until we were out of there.

I was wrong.

For an hour and a half, I grabbed this girl and then that one as they kept trying to run into the road. I told them over and over to stop putting gravel in their mouths. I had to remove numerous cigarette butts and other miscellaneous trash from their hands as they continued to explore their limited area of ground. I had to hold this one and then that one when they refused to obey the command to "stay next to me". It was hard.

About an hour in, the county workers announced that they were out of the adult vaccine, so a few people stepped out of line and we ended up behind a woman who had three young children. This was our saving grace. It also made me thankful that we live in the friendly Midwest, where strangers are just friends you haven't met (name that TV reference). This lady's oldest child was a boy about 10 years old, and he was so cooperative in keeping the little ones happy. He played "ring around the rosy" with Olivia, Addie and his two little sisters while his Mom and I had to fill out paperwork. Olivia decided that he was her new best friend and insisted that he hold her for awhile. He was an angel to comply.

When we FINALLY got into the building, there were toys. It was so helpful in passing the time during the next 25 minutes that we waited INSIDE the building. But so many kids handled those toys today, and I am convinced that both girls will have a raging cold by the end of the week. But at least they won't get the flu. Sheesh.

A neighbor spotted me as I was called in to the vaccine room and went in with me to hold one girl while the other was getting her shot. And her daughter followed me back out to the car carrying one of the girls so I wouldn't have to struggle with both. Angels, these people.

The least painful part of the whole morning was the actual shot. The nurse was super fast, and Olivia didn't even cry (this from the kid who screams bloody murder at the mere SIGHT of a nurse). She pouted when I handed her off to my neighbor, but I think she was so surprised to be finished that she forgot about it almost instantly. Addie acted as if nothing had happened at all.

I rewarded the girls' impatience by taking them both to Denny's for lunch. In reality, this was my strategy to make sure that they would get fed before nap, because I KNEW that Olivia (at least) would fall asleep on the way home. After the morning I'd had, I couldn't risk a short nap because of hunger.

So, it's over. And next year, we'll be paying for a doctor's visit, because I'm NOT doing this again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Seven progress-related takes

1. The projects? They are underway. I have two more kids (toddler and infant) to babysit in a couple of weeks, and I needed somewhere to PUT them. As in, naptime. So, I took the "baby's room", which had become the storage-for-all-things-we-don't-want-to-deal-with room, and turned it into something useful. I moved the elliptical to the garage and threw out a bunch of other stuff and ORGANIZED. All while the girls played without destroying property or hurting each other. I have skilz. I was going to post a picture, but it is rather boring, so let's just say that all the furniture is along a wall and the floor is clear and the closet door shuts and there is SPACE. Also, the top of the changing table holds nothing except a changing pad. This is crucial since I will once again be changing an infant, and I'd rather do it standing up instead of sitting on the floor while trying to keep three toddlers from trampling said infant.

2. I am going through junk, bit by bit. I am in Fall clean-up and throw-out mode (the one good side-effect of the failed yard sale), and I'm trying to make the most of it. We are GOING to find room in this house. It's not too small, we just have too much junk.

3. I managed to vacuum most of the leaves out of the playset area while the girls played yesterday. This was not an easy task, but I managed it. Of course, it needs to be done again and probably again every couple of days until December, but at least I'm on top of it.

4. On Monday night, while my husband mowed, I moved some landscaping rocks. They are 80-100 lb limestone landscaping rocks, and they used to sit around the tree in front of the playset. Now they sit around the landscaping burm on the other side of the backyard, and they look better there. We are going to grow grass around the tree. Why? Because the girls found the rocks around the tree to be irresistible and came very close to tripping and falling into one of them. So there.

5. The weather has turned seasonably cool, so we fished out all of Olivia's warm clothes this week. She has a lot, and the ones that fit are mostly 4T. The kid is tall. Anyway, a large portion of the summer clothes have been stored away to make room for the winter clothes, and I'm looking forward to dressing Olivia in all her cute "new" stuff.

6. I'm getting ready to start my 6th load of laundry for THIS WEEK. We're catching up here.

7. I've been so busy with all of these projects that the week has FLOWN by. I wonder if I will be able to accomplish as much when my new babysitting charges start coming. My guess is no, unless the baby is good with being in a sling all day. In my experience, babies don't much like to sit in the bouncer all day by themselves. Of course, Olivia didn't like to sit anywhere for long, so I have a skewed sample.

Happy weekend!