Monday, February 28, 2011

The park with Nannie

While my mom was here last week, we took Quint to the "big" park by the library. There were lots of kids, and two huge jungle gyms, one of which was age appropriate for Quint and the other was just a little out of his league. That didn't slow him down for long, though.

Since the photos are pretty much self explanatory, I'll just have this be a photo blog.

He was asleep about 30 seconds after this puzzled little look. We had spent an hour and a half at the park and he was moving fast the whole time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Counting and the creek

We wanted to go to the park yesterday. Actually, Hubby wanted a big huge walk that my pregnant self just isn't up to these days. So we were going to walk to the local park and play with Quint. But when we went outside, he wanted to play in the yard. For quite a while now, he has wanted to explore the usually dry creek bed just behind our property. I haven't taken him down there because it's steep, there are sticker bushes, and I'm a little uncoordinated right now.

But Hubby had none of those reservations!

AND the big rain we had 3 days ago meant that there was actually water trickling by! Loads of fun for a little boy! Or a little girl, for that matter. The water was about a half inch deep, so we let him walk in it a bit. We pointed out the water fall, showed him how things float downstream, named all the objects nearby (moss, rock, leaf, mud, gunk), and let him feel of the water with his hand.

But most importantly, we sat his little butt down on a flat rock, put his feet toward the water (not really in the water) and handed him a stick! This alone provided at least 45 minutes of unending entertainment! And yes he got filthy, and one leg got soaked. And half of his coat, and some of me, which seemed to be the most fun of all.

It may look like he's not happy in these pictures, but he was laughing his little heart out every time I shrieked from getting splashed.

And then awe at how the cloudy mud he just made would quickly dissipate and the water would look clear again. Tons of fun for all of us. When he started looking board, we took him back up to our yard where he played with moss and the cold fire pit for a while. We started teaching him the joy of gathering sticks, and patting the soft, carpety moss that covers our yard.

We all had a lot of fun, and it was about 20 minutes after he confirmed that his wet feet felt icky that he actually wanted to go in and get out of his wet clothes. It was 62 degrees out, so we certainly didn't feel bad. We kept asking him if he was cold and he was too busy to answer. He spent the next hour in the house running around in his diaper and T-shirt, much to his delight.

Also yesterday, there was quite a bit of throwing the baby on the bed with lots of begging to do it again. Especially after I positioned the enormous pregnancy pillow just right and threw him into that over and over. This was accompanied by counting to three and throwing him on three.

Later on in the evening, we were playing with a toy that turned inside out. While I was doing that over and over, I would count to three and pop it out on three. After a while, we noticed that he was saying "none, twoo,..." and then pausing for me to say three. We locked eyes in settlement and encouraged him to count with us. He didn't right then, but a couple minutes later, he was crawling around his blue recliner and was saying, "none, twoo, tree, (pause), none, twoo, tree". SO MY LITTLE BOY IS COUNTING!!! AT 17 MONTHS!!!

Ok, granted, he has no idea how many three is, and this little display really only proves that he understands the concept of "ready, set, go". But he knows what order those words go in! And gosh darn it, I'M COUNTING THIS AS COUNTING AT 17 MONTHS OLD!

He does know the colors yellow, green, and red. Blue is a bit more confusing since there are several shades amongst his toys and flash cards. And why should sky blue and navy blue be called the same thing? Maybe I need to work on light blue and dark blue. He has said the word purple at daycare, but not really at home.

So of course I have the most brilliant little boy on the planet! Doesn't every mother say that!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's the little things in life...

Priorities shift as you get older, and they also shift when you realize that your regular paychecks are about to dry up with no real replacement in sight. As my birthday approached, I realized there were several things I had been wishing for around the house that certainly fell into the category of non-essential. Of course the non-essential category has greatly expanded recently.

While trying to cut our budget anywhere we can, some regular purchases have started to seem extravagant. My favorite food in the whole wide world is the Aldi brand of microwave macaroni and cheese. A whole meal of this wonderful goo costs a whoppin' $0.87. Sometimes it's $0.99. But a blue box of mac and cheese is only $0.35 and you get twice the food. So one third the price and twice the food means that my favorite cheesy goo costs 6 times more than another mac and cheese that's still pretty good. The slightly smaller loaf of honey wheat bread is sometimes double the cost of the whole wheat bread.

So with these kinds of cuts in mind, here is the list of stuff that Mom bought me for my birthday which had been on my non-essential list. You ready?
Two more foot stools to scatter around the house.
Two more cheap face clocks.
Two new cheap napkin holders of the simple style that I like.
A slide for Quint.
Two new Teflon coated pans ($10 and $7 respectively).
A gallon jug of that wonderful softsoap handsoap.
Batteries - D, AA, & AAA those suckers add right up! And size D recharables don't have the same voltage and therefore don't run baby toys correctly.

None of those things are very expensive, but they added up.

Another thing I've shifted lately, is my diaper purchasing. I had been using, buying a million diapers at once in order to avoid shipping costs, and having huge boxes of diapers arrive at my house for about $0.22 cents per diaper. And that's my favorite brand too. Seemed like a pretty good deal since you can pay $0.30 per diaper if you're not paying attention at Target or Walgreens. Aldi sells diapers starting at size 3 (Quint's current size) for $0.15 each. Until recently, Aldi diapers had one slightly annoying feature that made me willing to pay more for my favorite diapers. Aldi diapers are just as good for Quint as my favorite diapers, they were just folded in an annoying way. But they've changed recently and aren't folded that way any more! So now I have absolutely no problem with cutting our diaper costs by 30%! So this means that I can diaper Quint for $20-25 per month.

Complete subject change:
I FOUND MY CELL PHONE!! It was in the front yard, covered in watery mud, and lit up and worked when I opened it!

Back to original subject:
It's amazing how much money you can save by just never, ever going into a store. I've noticed that I blow about $3 every time I go into Walgreens. Simple solution. Don't go into Walgreens. And when you need OTC medicine (thus negating the drive thru), walk quickly down boring aisles. Don't even think about walking into Hobby Lobby, Lowes, or WalMart. Only walk into the dollar store with a specific list and STICK TO IT! Also, I've got to start sticking to my Aldi list. The snacky-carb aisle gets me every time. On the other hand, I need to buy some better snacks for Quint.

Ok, so I don't have a good conclusion or wrap/up thought to this post, so you'll just have to make do with the fact that my brain has jumped to a subject other than this blog, and deal with it.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pregnancy pictures!

At least one friend (maybe two) wanted to see my current pregnant belly, so here we go! First, the baseline photo from last fall.

And now the current photo at week 26, 6.5 months.
When I first started taking these pictures, I worried that I'd get the two sets of pregnancy pictures mixed up. What was I thinking? There will always be a brightly colored toy if not my son in the picture that shows my belly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mom's visit

My mom left today, after a week long visit. This was brilliantly planned to coincide with a 3 day out of town trip of my husband's, so I had help while he was gone. It unknowingly coincided with the end of my illness and me remembering that with my last pregnancy, about now was when I realized that I hadn't felt really good in quite some time and am not likely to really feel good until after the birth. The birth THREE MONTHS from now. Only this time, add in worries about money, jobs, and a very active 17 month old. Plus some female issues that are simply a result of having two babies so very close together. Even my doctor said that if I'd waited another year or two, my body wouldn't have this particular problem.

Mom is really great at the whole tag team thing. Especially with zero conversation involved. As in, "hmmm, I'm taking your horizontal/drooling state to mean that I should take the baby upstairs/downstairs and let you rest for a while."

We also got a whole lot done! Here's our super duper list:
We picked out cloth and a design for Rastus's baby quilt.
Mom made me three pretty pillow cases to replace our mismatched/hideous/20 year old spares.
We finished Quint's baby book.
We put the finishing touches on two maternity shirts Mom made for me.
Mom vacuumed the whole house twice during the week she was here.
We cleaned out my car
Mom made a tuna casserole to freeze
I added to our scrapbook (including the article that put my hubby on the front page of the local paper!)
We bought and put together an indoor slide which is a HUGE hit with Quint.
We cleaned out the garage which involved just as much child chasing as cleaning.
We cleaned out and reorgainzed some stuff in the loft to make way for clutter that needs to be stored until it matters so little that we can toss whole boxes at a time.

Commentary on pitchable stuff and reorganization: I finally threw away several items that we have had for several years, if not NINE years, and thought they would be useful one day. If it hasn't actually been useful in the last six to nine years AND has no sentimental value, then it got pitched. A few boxes of sentimental things were thinned or combined or both to take up half the space. The 17 year old computer monitor that had been taking up valuable climate controlled space in our loft got pitched. The accompanying 17 year old computer box was nearly recycled, until I realized that both of our ancient computer boxes could serve a useful weighty purpose with our food storage (long boring explanation). Many boxes in the valuable climate controlled space got demoted to the garage. The trash pile on Monday included the box the slide came in (filled with trash), the box the new pack and play came in (filled with trash), the full trashcan, and a huge extra empty box filled with trash. It was great! The huge pile of clutter in the middle of our garage was cut in HALF! Sooo satisfying.

Mom got enough face time with Quint that she would also get spontaneous leg-hugs on the fly. He would sometimes call her Nana (she prefers Nannie) but would sometimes revert to calling him Mama. Nannie bought several new toys or DVDs which will be enjoyed by boy and mom alike. She took him for walks, stroller rides, trips to the park, exploration of the yard, and one trip to the super-duper park near the library. She developed the "RRRRrrraaaaoooorrrrr!" game which was a huge hit. She figured out why he had suddenly stopped liking chicken nuggets and he now loves them again. She would change dirty diapers without complaint or even comment that it had happened! She bathed him and did all the heavy lifting when baby #2 was traumatizing my body. It was wonderful!

The whole week Mom was here, the weather was exceptionally warm for February in Tennessee! The day at the super-duper park near the library, I had on a sleeveless maternity top and I never reached for my sweater!!

The only downsides of that week involved losing my cell phone (the same day as the big garage clean up - argh) and my hours drying up at H&R Block. I knew all along that my hours would be severely reduced about mid-February, but it seems to have completely stopped. Which means I'm not really hitting my placement agencies for temp work.

So please pray my employment situation. Also please pray for a wonderful new friend to move into the empty house next door.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Toddler diets and new language skills

I frequently read a blog from a mom who calls herself Amalah on this blog. She's the mother of 2 boys, pregnant with her third, and has a realistic perspective of when to be strict and when to be a push over. She has several blog sites, including the Advice Smackdown on Alphamom.

While being really frustrated with Hubby's ideas about Quint's diet recently, I wrote her a letter. SHE PICKED MY LETTER!! And wrote about it today!!

Go read it here!!

I am so excited to have tons of advice on this subject.

In other news, Quint is gaining new phrases and words every day!! Two weeks ago he had about 20 words, and now we consider him to be just talking. This morning, we were laying on a really fluffy bed with a four inch feather top mattress. He was face down on the bed, as was I, and I said, "yeah, it's fluffy..." Quint looked at me funny and said, "It's soft" as if to correct me.

When my mom was preparing nuggets for his lunch, he said, "you got it!" when she grabbed it out of the freezer. Then, after they were cut up and ranch dressing applied, he said, "ahhhhh, nuggets"

Recently he said he would help me mop. "I help you".

One grumpy morning, he didn't really want to play and he said "but I'm tired". I asked him if he wanted a nap and he said "uh-huh" and walked to the stairs, ready to go up to his bed.

He recently said "thank you" for a cracker.

It's getting to be so easy to communicate with him! And just two weeks ago, I noticed how frustrated he was that I just couldn't understand him. And I know that's what it takes for him to learn something new - extreme frustration leading to motivation to learn something new. Yay for my little guy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Let the good times roll!

Saturday, Quint started to seem sick. I hoped that I was just looking too hard since a lot of kids at Priscilla's were sick. He had a tiny cough Saturday. Sunday it was obvious that he was actually sick. The gooey cough had intensified and the nose faucet started running. Fever showed up Sunday as well. Monday, I was wiping his nose so often that I got NOTHING else done. It's now Wednesday and he occasionally still feels warm. He's eating a tiny bit on a regular basis and seems to be drinking enough. I'm also giving him a lot of applesauce as food/liquid.

Last night, I started to have a little tickle in my throat. Today I'm coughing up stuff and feel like crap. And Quint still needs his nose wiped on a regular basis. I couldn't sleep while Quint took a 3 hour nap this morning, but I couldn't keep my eyes open between 1pm and 2pm.

Also, baby #2 reacts strongly to tomato soup. Kicks in 3 directions at once. Thanks son.

I called Hubby to see if he could come home and take care of us. But he had meetings solid starting at 3:30. I really wish I could have used the Star Trek transporter to get my dad or Hubby's mom here to help out. My mom is busy this week.

Snow was predicted to start around noon. It didn't start until 3pm, but since it's been below freezing (like 20) for two days, it's immediately sticking. Hubby called at 4pm to say that he may already be stuck downtown. The roads are all slanted and sloped downtown. There is the train, but his office is about a mile from the train station. Then there's the problem of me picking him up in the same weather. This same storm dumped 19 inches in Arkansas. Hmmm...

So Quint and I are safe, warm, have plenty of milk, diapers, soup and applesauce. I have plenty of baby medicine. I have plenty of my feeble pregnancy medicine. What little good it does. Hubby is currently stuck at his office where he's plenty warm, has a narrow couch, plenty drink, but only a pack of hot dogs to eat. And whatever reduced rations we've put in his trunk. He may try to come home, but that's uncertain at 5pm.

Quint has been sleeping 12-14 hours at night with this illness, and he requested to go to bed at 7pm last night. So if I can make it until 7 or 8pm, I can go straight to bed.

Please pray for us.

Update at 8pm: Hubby made it home! And I am so glad! He hoofed it down to the train where the 5pm train left the station at 5:40. I jumped in the car and braved the roads to drive the 1.5 miles to the train station. The round trip took 30 minutes and we didn't slip around much.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Totally Awesome Sentence Son!!

Quint has been babbling away in whole "sentences" for some time. The fact that they are in another language is completely irrelevant to him. And clearly, if he's gone to the trouble to give me a long garbled answer, then I should certainly understand what he wants, RIGHT? Sometimes he looks at me like, "what are you stupid? I just told you!"

But tonight was totally different. I actually understood all the words in the garbled sentence! Yes it was probably a sentence that only a mother could translate, but

I was still eating supper, but he was out of his highchair and running around. He ran over to me, put his head in my lap and hugged my leg. I hugged his head and patted his back and said, "I love you, too, son." AND HE SAID "aahh wuv ooo...too!" And then he kept his head on my lap as if he hadn't just done something amazing! I made a big deal of it and said how awesome that was and he smiled and clapped, turned around in his little dance step, and took off for the living room again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

23 weeks pregnant

This first picture is me and Quint when I was 7 weeks pregnant.

And this is me at 23 weeks pregnant, earlier this morning. Our second little boy is kicking and moving and when I poke him, he kicks back. I haven't had any false labor for over a week now, but I have had heartburn and diminished breathing capacity. I've also been able to sing at least 2 notes higher than normal for me. So I've been helping the sopranos out with some of their high Gs. My choir director said that it was just because I'm pregnant. He sees it all the time. Wow! Learn something new every day! I still wake up at 3:19 most days, but last night, we went to sleep at 9pm and I got more sleep than I've had in I don't know when! As a result, I yawned all through the day.

I did the taxes for a woman today who is nearly the same age as me, is 23 weeks pregnant, and also had an especially traumatic few weeks surrounding when she found out she was unexpectedly pregnant. We had so much fun talking that I gave her my cell phone number on my brand new business cards. Her name is Mary, in case I forget her name in the next 24 hours.

It's peak week at the tax office so I've actually been working a lot of hours. Weird feeling after 6 weeks of not working much.