Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday High Five

1. Today has been busy.  I am tired.  
I was on call until 11:00 last night, worked this morning 8-12, go on call at 5:00 (until 11:00) again tonight, picking David and Al up at DFW airport here in a bit, and then work again in the morning.
I like to work.
I like to be at home too.
I love my job...
and the flexibility that I have with it.
I love that I work with some of my best friends.

(Mal worked with us today too!  But no pictures to prove it!)
...And I love when other friends stop by to visit!  (Sorry for the pokes Miss Harper!)
I love that they think highly enough of us to represent their company that they sent us to work the job fair.

We rocked it out... met some great FWP candidates and then I bribed Amanda into my long-lost craving... Golden Moon.
Unfortunately, she hated it!
But loved my parking job!! (sorry mom)
2. Maddox has replaced his bats, balls, tees, and clubs... with these.
He has a serious infatuation with "Buzz white-year" and "boody".  He never wants to watch the movie, but will not leave home without these little guys from the Ponce family!
He wants to wear his Toy Story PJs every single night.  (from the Morelands) and doesn't understand that they are dirty sometimes!
--And he's not against pulling everything out of our dirty clothes hamper when looking to prove me wrong!
Cars still tops his list of love however!
My cousin Amber got him some matchbox Cars from the movie and his Pop bought him the matching Lightening McQueen.  His hands are full, but they too, are never far from his side! 
Today he saw a trophy on TV and said, "look momma, Piston Cup!"
Like a bad mom, he gets to watch it once a day.  It puts him to sleep every time, toy cars in hand!

3. Maddox has been doing so good with his potty training.  Last weekend he went 2 days in a row without any accidents.  I am talking 14 hours in the same pair of dry underwear!  AND woke up dry both mornings following, went straight to the potty and tee teed!!  Day 3 brought an accident.  A poopy accident! 
He has been in a diaper for the last few days... we were on the go and  I don't think we are ready to tackle the undies in public yet.
But now that it is the weekend again, we will start anew.
Gigi promised to buy him some new Cars underwear when she got back, mommy's holding her to it because I saw they were 15 dollars at Kohls?!  
Lance gives me a hard time because he says some of my panties are just threads... and not in a sexy way!!!  I obviously hate spending money on panties!!

4. I love making breakfast for my family.  With Lance's schedule being so wacky, its really the only meal we can sit and eat together.
We made a big deal on his real birthday, since Lance wasn't around for the rest of the day...  And I think we may try to do a birthday breakfast tradition. 
I surprised them with homemade donuts like my step-mom use to make us when we were little, this week to celebrate such great pottying skills.  I made clear and chocolate icing and Maddox loved getting to dip them!
Breakfast, however, is just about the only thing I like with Lance's schedule!

5. My mom comes home in just a few more days.  I hope I go back somewhere near homeostasis when she gets back!  I don't think it is necessarily her being gone that is making me feel so off, but I think my need for control will be satisfied when she is back home, on US soil! 
I feel a little like I did right after I had Maddox, anxious as ever, but I can't tell you why?  Crying at dumb stuff, just feeling nutty.  My husband should not be as nice and understanding as he is, especially when sometimes I treat him more as my friend than my husband.  Blurring the lines of respect and holding my tongue.  I am just in a funk.
I think that is part of marriage.  Part of life.  Part of parenting.  Part of adulthood.
I have just been having some, "so this is it?"- type feelings.
That's normal, right?
I am not fair sometimes.  I know that... but I'll work it out.  And thankfully Lance is super-understanding.  Maybe he's been there too, but respected me too much to lay it out there, and possibly hurt my feelings? 
I took off Wednesday so that we could  spend some time together.  And I think it helped some.  Our schedules only cross each others a  few hours each day, and during that time there are a million things that need to be done, it is rarely about us.
This will pass.
This is life.

On a brighter note... my child has been back to his sweet self this week.  
Acting good as gold.  
Precious as ever!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A day in North Side

My mother-in-law came into town last week to keep Landry and Dane while Lance's sister and her husband celebrated their 10 year anniversary in St. Lucia.
Janet (my MIL) stayed the last 2 nights with us and today wanted to go walk around North Side.
So we did.

We had lunch at Riscky's BBQ and then headed down to TCU to get my little man a new baseball cap.  (He's sporting it in the 1st picture)
We bought an array of cookies from McKinley's bakery, rented a couple of movies, and then called it a day.
A good day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday High Five

One.  I made no-bake-chocolate-oatmeal cookies yesterday.  (I half the recipe so that we don't eat too many) Maddox and I ate about 1/2 of them and then I covered them up and put them at the back of the stove until Lance got home.  I was entering calls (I was on call last night) and Maddox got a little too quiet.
That boy.....

two. My mom is still in London.  I think she is enjoying her time there.  She bought the As-see-on-TV Magic Jack so I have been able to talk to her most days.  The 6 hour time difference is still a little difficult to adjust to, but she is managing.  My dad and sister leave tomorrow to go see her for a week and then she comes home on the 29th.  I am ready for her to come home.

three.  Maddox also got his first toy gun on Wednesday.  Janet had bought it for Dane and Maddox really liked it so he gave it to him and Janet promised to get him another!
I'm not sure how I feel about it just yet.  He was bred into a family full of guns, so I might as well embrace it now!  There are already a few in a safe or two with his name on them!  I guess this plastic one will be okay... as long as he understands it is a toy!
four. Maddox woke me up the normal way.  With a millions kisses and I love yous.  (mornings are my favorite) but then he asked to go poopoo on the big boy potty.  I took off his diaper and he went on his way. 
No poop, but he did tinkle!! 
I wasn't in there to help him tuck his peetie in so he actually peed on the seat in the floor, but this was kind of a big deal.  He loves to wear his underwear, but I usually have to ask him if he needs to go.  Today he told me!
I'm still not ready to go full- force... because I honestly don't think he's ready.  But I think we are getting closer.

five. I think I am going to send these in lieu of Thank you cards.  Is that impersonal?  I have not had time to get them written out and addressed, since I have worked more these last 2 weeks than I usually do- so I thought that I would send these instead.  Is that tacky?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

are we onto something?

Maddox had his 2 year old check up on Tuesday.
I went horrible.
They were running about 40 minutes behind and Maddox was restless.

He weighed 28.8lbs and was 35" tall.

He started out WAY bigger than all of the other kids his age... but he's leveled out along the way.
I made this at:
(but I can't figure out how to get the chart on here... so I took a pic with my phone!)

He screamed and threw a fit the entire visit.
I cried the entire visit.  Embarrassed and defeated.
Lance listened, and I think came away with some plans of his own.

I work night clinic 3 nights each week and 19 of our doctors rotate through it.  Over these last few weeks I would pick the brains of different doctors rotating through there to help me develop a plan of attack for Maddox.  

The night before our check up I worked with Dr. Hayward (Maddox's pediatrician) and were were dead at NC so we had an hour or two to consult.
She gave me a lot of advice that I had not thought about (I should have taken notes) but I am not sure that her and I have similar views on parenting as a whole.

*For instance:  At Maddox's check up, once his fit was over, I said, "would you like to tell Dr. Hayward that you're sorry?" and Maddox said, "NO!  I no sorry Dr Hayrrrd" and she stopped me before I could speak.  She told me that I gave him an option, "Would you like to..." and his choice was not to apologize.  So I had to accept that.  If I had told him TO apologize and he hadn't, then I could confront the issue there.  I realized I do that a lot.  So that is something I can work on.
*A thing that I didn't like: she said I should let him throw his tantrum without any communication with me, because he truly doesn't know what he is doing during the fit... ignore him if he hits or disrespects, but once it is over, explain to him what he did wrong and then put him in time out for 2 minutes.
Sometimes fits last 30 - 45 minutes.  Though her plan is understandable, I can NOT restart a fit once it is over.  I am exhausted and overwhelmed after a fit of that magnitude.  He knows when he is disrespecting me, that's why he says he's sorry afterwards without me asking, and its also why he pokes me during the fits now because he knows hitting me is an automatic spanking.  I remove him from his environment during the fit, and make him finish it in his room or away from me.
Which works well unless we are in public... then I'm lost.  Overwhelmed.  Embarrassed.  And pissed.
I hate taking him into public.  The anxiety of the fit that could happen, is almost worse that the fit itself.
She told me that when people are really mad and act immature, they try and make the person they are upset with feel as bad as they do.  And since I cried the entire visit, he was getting exactly what he wanted.  
I need to change me.
I need to stop being so emotional about it.
She tried to assure me that he is exactly on key for his age and that this is normal.  Normal.  NORMAL.
But she also said that my need for perfection and my anxiety were my worst enemy. She said, "he's not going to alphabetize his toys Holly.  He's 2.  His speech and mannerisms make you want to treat him like a 3 or 4 years old but he's 2.  He needs 2 year old expectations." 
She asked me what percent of our day was this stressful.
I said, "well we don't have a fit every day,  but there are days that he has two of these, maybe 3?..."
She said 70% is passing.  We are passing.
I need to breathe.
But that is soooooooo difficult for me.

After the visit, we went to lunch with Amanda.  I told her about our visit (and Lance had to take him to the car during our feast for his bad behavior) and again got sappy.  How can I be this bad at parenting?  
She too tried to assure me that he is normal and that all parents go through this at some point or another and that I am not bad at it...
but I couldn't accept it.

She also reminded me that I am PMS-y and it is kind of controlling my life.  And it is.  I never had PMS like this before Maddox and it is unbelievable now.  She encouraged me to go back through my blog and try to see if the last time things felt so out-of-hand was during my mother-earth!
I haven't yet, but I think she may be onto something.
Amanda has zero mean-bones in her body and she is an awesome mom, so I appreciate all the time she lets me pour my heart onto her plate.  She too has PMS issues now, that she didn't have before kiddos, so she can relate.  I just don't know what to do about it?

Last night I worked with Dr. Shaw.  She is the newest doctor of our practice.  Her husband is an emergency medicine pedi guy too so I thought she may have some better strategies for me.

We literally had TWO patients last night so we had plenty of time to talk.
One of our patients was 2 and was acting "terrible" as well.  I could see from the outside what the mom was doing wrong... she counted to 3, 3 times, got to 3 every time, but did nothing.  When he still wouldn't come, she tried to reward his bad behavior with a sticker...  I told Dr Shaw, after they left, that it was very clear to me what she could change... I don't do either of those things-- so why can't I see so clearly what I can change? 

She told me personal stories and books that she has read and different things that she liked from each program.  She told me about her kiddos-- and their hard stages.
She told me about an old friend of hers that talked to her kids just like the books.  Never raised her voice, went through the steps just-as-the-book-lays-out... but seemed so fake to her.
She said, "these guys don't have it right either, they are all just ideas.  I don't think you can live by any of the books but each of them have a little something to store in your brain for a day that nothing is working." 
For the first time in a while, I kind of felt okay.
She's right.
I can't change me.  
I would be fraudulent.  He would see right through me.
I am high-stress.  I am high-anxiety.  I am highly emotional and I lay all of my cards on the table.
She's like that too.

She told me she came from a very emotional family.  (as did I)  Her dad is Italian, so when he was mad-- He was really mad.  She said that she feared disappointing him because she knew the response could be harsh.  She said he did everything big.  Not only did he react big, and discipline big; but he loved big, praised big and was proud big too.  She said she can honestly give her dad the praise for being the person who made her so confident, independent and passionate.  
So that's not a bad thing either.

My mom is an emotional being herself, and I can say the same for her as to making me who I am.  
She's passionate.   
At times, as her child, I hated it; but in the big picture, I appreciate it.
I think I am that parent too.
And that's okay.
I am me.
And thankfully, Lance is not me.
He is close to opposite of me.
And that's good too.    
A friendly balance, we create.

I felt fulfilled when I left NC last night.  I am sure Daphne has no idea that she made me feel okay again.  
But she did.
For now.
I do love big.
Big sloppy kisses, tickle time, belly laughs, splashing together in the bath, learning our flash cards, crying watching his baby videos, making sure his baby book is completely filled, taking pictures of every breath, blogging our every milestone... that's me.  
Passionate parenting.  
That's my thing.  
I shouldn't care so much that this emotional person that I am is full of anger and tears too.  

That's all part of the package.
That's me.

****I am going to try to hang on to this new outlook.
I can not continue to cry everyday feeling beat.  It is not healthy.
Today has been a really good day.
Tomorrow may be bad...
But I am ready! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

birthday shananagins

I thought I would post some pics of the party... before it was a long lost idea.

I had him a shirt made especially for the big event and I let him pick his shoes...
you see he went with the frog boots.
I thought it was a nice choice!  ;)

I spent a couple of days making everything 4th of July festive!  Flags were everywhere!
Lance got up at 6 in the morning to get ribs and chicken and brisket and sausage and corn on the cob and... whatever else on the grill.  My mom made yummy potato salad and 'sauced up' my beans.
Between the 3 of us, we made a ton of food, but had barely any leftovers, so I guess we had just enough!
We had a great turn out (more than I expected on a holiday weekend) and we had a set of twins and a set of triplets... How's that for a party!!  ;)

I had to cancel Lisa, the cake lady that I had booked 6 months ago since we changed the date, but luckily my friend Stephanie was able to take my spot for her son's birthday party this Saturday.
And our Sam's club cupcakes were just fine!

We borrowed my mom's whale water toy and she rented the kids the slide...
Which was awesome!!
The kids slid over and over and over again.  They loved it!

...and maybe us mom's played a little too!  ;)

He got more loot than he needed, and most of the kids got to go home with a goodie bag, that they filled themselves, of red-white-and-blue pencils, sunglasses, tattoos, candy, poppers and other business!
A few special kids (including my own) went home with a runny nose followed by a case of hand, foot and mouth a few days later!  But that is okay, it was more than worth it!

A few of our friends stayed for the "after party" of fireworks and adult time.  It was so good to hang out and chat with everyone.  And the kids of these families were POOPED!

The next night, (July 4th) I was on call so my sister and I took Maddox out to some friend's house in Decatur.  They drop a lot of money into fireworks and food so it was a fun time.
I am way too frugal to ever celebrate like that, but I am not against watching someone else splurge!

I made Maddox another video this year for his birthday, but I stepped it up a notch by adding videos.  It was really cool because I was able to make the music quiet some so that you could hear the videos but I made a big mistake by syncing the video to the music without omitting the videos... SOOO only about the fist few seconds of the video would play before it would start fading back into music.
Here are a couple of new-er videos.  (from about a month ago)  That I never posted to my blog.  (the first video is his letters, the second video is his shapes)

Colors are still a no-go.  So don't expect any videos on that soon.  :)
Everything is green.  --Occasionally he lucks out, and it really is green...  but he doesn't know the color.
He gets brown.  If I hand him a white towel, sometimes he'll say, "no momma, I want brown towel."  Or laying on the couch, he'll trade me his red pillow for the "brown pillow"... but only in these 2 concrete episodes.

I have to say, however, we went to our jeweler a few weeks ago and Maddox was counting magazines at a table.  11 magazines.  (11 is as high as he can count-- occasionally he'll go to 12, so there probably was not 11 magazines, but that's the number he stopped at!)
A lady working there said, "that's smart, what's your name"
*she looks to me for verification
I say, "Maddox"
She says, "oh, I guess I could have read his hat."
Maddox pulls off his hat, points to his name stitched on the side and spells his name to her letter by letter. (except reads her the X before the O and only reads off one of the Ds)
She looks impressed and said, "How old is he?"
He says, "I most 2" (almost 2)
She says, "good grief!  What school do you have him in?  Your money is well spent"
my mom, before I can respond: "none-- that's all him momma!"

Moral of the story:  I fight back in forth with myself wondering if I am doing the right thing, keeping him home with me.  I tell myself that my child will be in a school environment for 13 years... and we still have four years before that starts.  He is super social and smart... and we stay WELL.  So I think this just verified that for us (I realize every child and situation is so different) but for us, this is right.  It made me want to tell everyone who likes to drop their opinion on the benefits from a school... and likes to list to me all the things that he is missing by being here...that I think we are fine. 
He got sick from a birthday party... and I HATE for him to be sick.  I am not ready for a weekly illness.
We will do a MDO at some point, but probably in a few years.

Another thing that makes me giggle... a couple of people bought Maddox nice flash cards so that we could trash our homemade 3X5s!! 

I found a teacher store in Keller that is AWESOME!  I bought a gift there for a friend's kid...  I can't wait to go back and get Maddox some stuff too!  I want to find a curriculum for him.  But all of the ones I have looked in to online are thousands of dollars... I am hoping I can put together my own from that store!

Crazy enough, I think that Maddox learns a lot from my phone.  He loves to play his games and a few are really good!  So if anyone has any good learning apps for Maddox to add to our list, let me know!

 I have so many videos of him playing these games.  But I will spare you! ;)

The rest of our week was filled with me working A LOT, it  and I am pumped for that check. 

We spent his actual birthday Saturday with a big breakfast, a gift from his gigi (a big bubbles kit) that she left for him to open before she headed to London, and TWO birthday parties.

I did not take any pics at Harper's 1st birthday Luau, but it was very very cute.  And thankfully, Maddox was on his very best behavior around all of the babies!  I'm sure Autumn thought I was 1/2 crazy saying he is being so difficult these days-- he played me for a liar!  But I was thankful!

I have a billion pics from Colin's 5th birthday at the Arlington water park.  It was a blast.  Stephanie and another family rented the entire park.  I think we may copy next year if I can convince my SIL to go in with me!!
Maddox played and played and would occasionally squat in the water and start blowing bubbles and get out of the pool just to jump back in.  (swimming lessons in action!!)  I was very thankful for Uncle Kaleb, who filled in for daddy while he was at work!

Cambrie was sleepy and didn't care much about swimming... but it  didn't stop her from showing her love to Maddox.  I wish you could see them in action.  It is seriously hysterical.  They are like magnets!  At one point she walked over, sat in his lap and he didn't push or whine, he simply kissed her on her back, right between her shoulder blades!
Then, later, he walked over for a hug, and she threw her leg around his side!
Then here, in this kiss, notice her closed eyes!
It is the cutest thing ever!

Here is a pic of the Lisa cake.  I'm glad Stephanie was able to use our date.  No one should have to miss out on her work of masterpiece!  ;)  Stephanie has used her a few times in the past and she is doing her wedding cake too! I can not wait to see it!

Yesterday Vanessa brought over her gift to Maddox.  It was WAY too much, but he loves, loves, loves it!
He wanted to ride it before we could even get it together!!  He wanted to wear his cars underwear, drink out of his Cars sippy, while eating his Cars fruit snacks in his new Cars bike!  Thanks Aunt Ness!  This Cars obsession is madness!