Catch-Up

Not much to say- were busy getting ready for Christmas and our trip to Florida, where Isaac will meet his “Poppy Cal” for the first time. Hooray! We’re all a little excited; we don’t get to see nearly enough of AJ’s family.

I’ve got new posts on Dandelion Daisy (my cards), Mommyhood Confidential and Adventures in Home Ecomomics. I probably won’t get a chance to post while we’re away, but I’ve got a few scheduled to post on AIHE on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.

If  i’m not back before then… Merry Christmas, everyone!

Potty Problems

Too much to think about. Simon is three now, and he’s not potty-trained. He’s not ready. He’s not dry in the morning, and if he has no pants/ diaper on, he doesn’t seem aware of when he’s going to pee. If he doesn’t know when he’s going to go, I can only see frustration in our future if I try to get him into “big boy underpants”.

Norah, on the other hand (his 2 1/2 year old cousin who lives here with us), is ready. She’s been working on this whole potty thing for about a week; she’s doing really well with it. She’s got peeing down to a science now. Poop’s a problem- she doesn’t want to do it on the can, and the rest of us don’t want her doing it in her pants, so it’s a bit of an impasse at the moment. She’s on day 3 of holding it… you may not want me to keep you updated on this one.

Simon seems to understand what Norah’s doing; he just doesn’t see how it applies to him- with one exception. Norah gets stickers when she goes on the potty, and after 10 stickers, she got a prize: a pink toy car. Simon wanted a car, too, but I told him that Noah got it for going poo on the potty, and he’d get a car when he went poo on the potty (I’m saying “poo” more these days than I ever have before- it’s sick). A few minutes later, he was standing beside the toilet, crying.

“Go poo potty get car! Go poo potty get car! GO POO POTTY GET CAR!”

It was worth a shot, right? I took his diaper off and sat him on the Go Diego, Go! potty seat. He grunted and groaned. “Gooooo poooo… caaaar pooooo potty! Get car poo pottyyyyyy…. arrrrrrrgh!” This tragic display went on for about 30 seconds before he gave up. At least he’s getting the idea of rewards for performance, if not exactly how to go about performing the required, um… movements?

If he doesn’t get it in the next 2 months, we’ll be faced with moving again, which I suspect will set back the clock on any progress we’ve made. We’ll be changing houses, he’ll be getting his Daddy back (good, but different), and losing most of the people he’s used to seeing every day. I can see how all of that would make a guy want to be a baby for just a little bit longer.

8:28 a.m.

Uuuuuuunnnngh.

How is it possible that it’s only 8:30 in the morning*? About an hour ago Dad said to me, “There’s car racing on TV at 8:00, if you think Simon would be interested.” I stared at him. I blinked a few times.

“You mean, like, 8:00 tonight?”

“No- this morning.”

I was shocked. Stunned (yeah, I know what “stunned” means in NL- both definitions apply here). Aghast. “You mean it’s not even 8:00 yet?! NOOOOOOO!”

It felt like it should’ve been about 10:00. I guess my first clue should’ve been that mom and dad were, in fact, still at home and not on their way to the first of mom’s 3 services for the day. My brain, she don’a work’a so good on’a no sleep. Friends, it’s going to be a looooong day.

Oh- as for the rest of last night: I eventually got to bed after Ike fell asleep on his own- stuck his pacifier in his own face and everything. How… odd. Not that there was anything normal about last night, of course. Simon slept until some unreasonably early hour this morning; Isaac and I were already up. Isaac, who still DOES NOT want a pacifier at night. If I give him one when he’s crying (instead of his beloved BOOOOOOB), he settles for a second, and then starts twitching… and kicking… and sucking harder. Then: WAAAAAAH! Mommy, you tricked me!

So yeah, I’m tired. The good news is that it is officially less than 5 weeks until I see AJ again! I miss him so much that sometimes it gives me a stomach ache. It’s been worse since I saw him in August, and I imagine it’s only going to get worse as we get closer to his graduation. It’s reminding me of what it was like to be a kid with Christmas coming, except that instead of baking cookies and putting out the Nativity scene, I’ll be starting to pack boxes and looking into address changes/ new health cards, etc. Whoopee.

*Note that I did not say “8:30 a.m. in the morning.” I kind of laugh when people do that.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden… Tiger

entropy  (ěn’trə-pē): A measure of the amount of energy in a physical system not available to do work. As a physical system becomes more disordered, and its energy becomes more evenly distributed, that energy becomes less able to do work… The amount of entropy is often thought of as the amount of disorder in a system.*

The house in in what could politely be termed “a state of disarray.” In my mom’s words, it looks “like a bomb hit it.” Either way, the place is a mess.

The thing is, we’re reasonably certain it was clean just last night. We tidied and cleaned before my grandparents came over for supper, and it looked quite good. But for some reason, over the course of a day, this house always (always!) manages to devolve into chaos at an alarming rate. I don’t want to point the finger at any innocent people here, but the amount of mess seems to have a direct correlation to the number of children present and the amount of time they spend a) awake, and b) in the house. I’m aware that correlation does not equal causation, but I’m sure the mess isn’t causing the children, and it’s no coincidence.

Tonight we’re looking at the same mess we have every evening: items from the play kitchen everywhere, items from everywhere in the play kitchen, dinky cars, books, crayons, dirt tracked in from outside, bits of cereal, abandoned juice cups, etc. Then there’s the mess that has appeared only in the last week or so, the stuff that Isaac dumps on the floor as he’s attempting to crawl around (usually succeeding in moving backwards or in circles). Today we had another mess (two, actually) relating to Norah’s previously mentioned refusal to poop on the potty- I’ll spare you the details. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one who had to clean it up. Eeeeewwww…

What amazes me is how, when everything seems to be out in plain sight, so many things can go missing. Let’s take Ta as an example. Ta, Simon’s stuffed tiger and very bestest friend, has been disappearing lately. We don’t tend to notice until naptime or bedtime are approaching, and then it’s panic time. Simon patters around, going “A where Ta? Where’d he go Ta? Where Ta go?” and calling, “Taaaaa! Oh TAAAAAAA!” Cute, but not really helpful.

Ta shows up in various places. A few nights ago, we didn’t find him at all, and Simon had to go to bed without him; the next morning, Mom found Ta in the refrigerator of the play kitchen. Why we didn’t think to look there, I can’t imagine… Tonight when bedtime rolled around, good old Ta was once again nowhere to be found. After searching the bedrooms, the living room, the bathrooms and the back yard, I headed downstairs. Downstairs is my brother’s territory- him and Norah, and his girlfriend Madelyn when she’s here. Dad watches TV down there, but that’s about it for the rest of the family. I didn’t think Ta would be down there, but, well, he’s a troublesome tiger at times. I found him curled up in a corner, beside the rocking chair in Norah’s room. Good hiding spot, but I won this round, my furry friend.

I came across a definition of entropy a few weeks ago- the tendency of things to move towards a state of chaos (or homogenization, either way), unless energy is added which will prevent this from happening. This has to be true- I see it every day. It happens in your house, too. Even if you’re the world’s most anal-retentive neat-freak, it happens; the only reason your house looks so nice is because you put energy into keeping it that way. Left on its own, your food would rot, dust would collect, and your pictures would all start to hang at funny angles for no apparent reason. See? Chaos. Mwa ha ha!

Madelyn and I were talking it over, and we think we’re going to open this house up to the public, charge admission, and call it “The Entropy Museum: Disorder InAction”. It’ll be a big hit with the tourists, I can feel it.

 

*”entropy.” The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 07 Sep. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/entropy>.

Sheesh!

OK, are we almost caught up now? It’s unbelievable what two weeks away from a computer does to a person’s writing schedule. Thank God for my “real” journal (yes, paper is still more real to me than this- I don’t trust that anything stored on this here interweb isn’t gonna just disappear. *poof!*).

Want to hear something eerie? I opened a fortune cookie last night (that’s not the eerie part- keep reading), and my fortune said, “A cheerful message is on its way to you.” Not 10 minutes later, AJ called. He and his troop had found out where they’d be going after graduation. Not exactly where, but the provinces, anyway. We’re going to… Nova Scotia! This is excellent news. OK, Newfoundland would’ve been a bit better, but since there weren’t any NL postings available, this was the best we could’ve done. Once AJ’s parents are in NL again, we’ll be about 1/2 way between his family and mine. And moving west would’ve been an adventure, for sure, but I love the east coast so much. Now we’ll wait to find out in a few weeks exactly where we’re going, and then we’ll have to figure out how to arrange housing and all of that fun stuff.

Today was Simon’s third birthday. Can you believe that? Three years old! Three years ago tonight they’d already taken him down to the NICU (as a “better safe than sorry” measure only), and I was alone in my hospital room, probably asking for another one of those magical shots in the arse that make the pain go away. I had good c-sections, but the first night was rough both times. I look at pictures of that day and I can hardly remember any of it… so why doesn’t it seem like 3 years have gone by? How can it seem like he’s growing too quickly, but I can’t remember what life was like before him?

To be honest, I’m scared of three. The lead-up hasn’t been promising: tantrums, random screaming, testing limits, rules and boundaries. Now, I should say in his defense that Simon on a bad day is still better behaved than some kids on a good day. Still, it’s a shock when I encounter this strange new person who seems to have taken over my baby’s ever-growing body. Help meeee!

We’re spreading the presents out. We met his GiGi (my wonderful mother-in-law) at the airport today as she was passing through on her way to NL to visit her parents, and she gave him a few things: a remote-control Mater (he was in heaven!) a little “Cars” toy, another dinky car, and a “Cars” outfit for the fall- too sweet. He also opened the cars (Cars) that AJ sent back with me, and the “Gordon” train we got him. Tomorrow’s the family supper for his birthday (mom had to do a funeral tonight- not good for parties), so he’ll get his presents from my parents, my brother & co., my grandparents and Isaac then. I may or may not have helped Isaac out on that one by selecting, purchasing, hiding and wrapping said gift… 6-months old aren’t good at that kind of thing, you know?

OK, I have to get to bed. Goodness knows someone will have me up at least a few times tonight. I’ve been trying to get him back into his own bed after he comes to bed with me at night, but he won’t have it- he starts wailing as soon as his back hits his crib mattress. He’s fine there at the beginning of the night, though… too weird. It’s flattering that he wants to cuddle me, but really, this needs to stop soon.

One final note: I apologize to anyone who’s noticed that my writing has been less gooder than it normal is of late. I barely have time to write, and editing is a luxury I just can’t afford right now. Also, thinking is often not something I have energy for, so… I’ll try harder soon, OK? Don’t leave me… DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!

The Twos Weren’t So Terrible. The Threes, However…

God save us all- he’s turning three next week.

I never understood why people talked about the “terrible twos”. I had a great year with Simon. He was usually happy, he was learning new things every day that he wanted to share with me, he was learning how to speak a language I could understand. Sure, he had his meltdowns and his cranky days, but don’t we all?

But the Threes, they are approaching. It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on my baby’s fourth year in this world. If the last few weeks have been any indication, we’ll be calling this year “the Tempestuous Threes”. “The Turbulent Threes”. “The TDKS$&^^HSHBF!!!!!! Threes”. (That last one was the sound of me pulling my hair out by the roots and screaming into a pillow). We’ve been having more meltdowns over smaller things than ever before, and in the last two weeks he’s had a few MAJOR tantrums- screaming, slamming doors, throwing stuff. A few days ago he was screaming and crying ALL DAY LONG… and then he was just fine, a perfect little sunbeam between supper and bedtime.

The poor little guy’s been through a lot in the past few months, and I’m trying to be understanding. After all, we left St. John’s and moved here at the end of April, when we knew AJ was probably going to be heading off to “the Depot” for RCMP training, and poor Simon hasn’t seen his Daddy since then*. He’s had to get used to a new home, new family, new bedroom, new routines. Before we moved, he had to deal with the stresses of a new baby brother and having Mommy and Daddy all stressed out about moving. He seemed to really enjoy our trip to the cottage that we took over the last two weeks, but that was another change of scenery- plus me leaving for 2 days to visit AJ. It’s a lot for the little feller to handle.

But Good LORD, if the child doesn’t stop screaming and just TELL ME WHAT HE WANTS, I’m going to put my head through a wall.

Next up: Potty training! Yeah, wish me luck on THAT one…