Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I need a vacation!

(*Blogger keeps eating my spaces so I'm writing them out)I am so completely burned out these days. I'm tired all the time, have no patience, have no motivation, and just feel mentally exhausted. I definitely need a break. Luckily, I'm getting one! I'm going to Utah this weekend to visit my family and celebrate my oldest brother's recent wedding. I hope that this weekend helps me unwind and return home renewed and remotivated to keep a cleaner house and cook dinner. (space) I also am getting ready for my first craft show, just a small evening affair at a preschool in Philly. It's a few days after I get home and so I'm trying to get all the preparations done now. I just got done making a ton of new clutches and business card holders and I feel much more ready now. Pretty much any sewing I get done between now and then is just a bonus. I also have all the packaging I'll need. Basically I just need to design my table! Many of my clutches can't stand up by themselves, so that limits my creativity. I have an 8-ft long rectangular table to work with. I want to have some different levels and not just spread out my bags on the table. We went to IKEA to get some inspiration and there really was nothing helpful. So I need to finalize that and buy anything I need before then. The best idea I have is cardboard boxes covered with fabric to create levels, but that won't help with my clutches that fall over. (space) Katrina's "school" is going about as well as I could expect with Daniel teething and getting an ear infection which means he screams a lot and contributes to that whole sense of mental exhaustion I mentioned already. I bought her a bunch of new craft supplies and a little end table at Walmart for her to use as her own little table to do crafts at. Then I realized that if she does crafts there then Daniel can get his hands on them too easily. Good thing it was only $12! She's been having fun with the playdough and tempera paints and other craft implements. (space) Tonight I was about to just cry and lock myself in my room, but then I got all of the toy food out of the closet and now the kids are playing happily with it on the couch. So I get a little respite. (space) When I get back from Utah I'll tell you how it all went. I'm taking Daniel on my lap, so it may not be much of a vacation. We'll see!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"School" and learning about mail

I have become tired of how much we watch television and how hard it is for me to do anything productive before noon each day. So I decided that it was time to start "school" with Katrina. I read some toddler activity books, got ideas from a couple of blogs, and set up an excel spreadsheet with lots of ideas of things to do with Katrina each day. Basically I just want her to have experience with some more structured activities and also for her to have the opportunity to explore and learn.

I would like to have three activities each day, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. I divided my spreadsheet into four groups: Crafts, Roleplay, Exploring, and Games. Each day we'll do a craft and something from two of the other groups. This week I had to pick activities that I already had supplies for, but in the future I'll need to buy supplies each week.

Yesterday we tried to have Library book time (failure), outside chalk time (success), and cooking time (failure because we never got around to it). One thing that frustrated both of us was that when I told her we were going to have school, she really wanted to actually leave the house and go on a schoolbus to school. I had to break it to her that it's school at home.

Today I planned that we would learn about the mail and then write some actual letters. First, I showed her a schoolbus I drew and told her that we were going to go on the bus to school. We "drove" on the bus around the apartment. (It wasn't quite as exciting as a real bus, but oh well). Then we went on a field trip to see our mail box. After that we played with a mailbox that I made for Katrina and some letters too. Then we wrote some actual letters to people. Daniel had woken up then, so we all went on a trip to the mailbox to send the letters (which meant getting out the stroller because it's kind of a hike). The kids really enjoyed that. Katrina wanted to go in the stroller too, so we brought the double, or as she called it, the W stroller. :]
This afternoon we will try to make dough together for calzones. I hope it works out with Daniel; I'll probably put him in his highchair and load him up with food.

I hope you don't mind if I share the things I do with Katrina fairly often. It will help give me some motivation to keep it up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My little prodigy

Here is some video proof of Daniel's ability to "sing." This is the way he most often sings, but he's starting to jabber sometimes so that it sounds like actually words.

Today was the absolute worst day it could have been. Kids not napping, then waking each other up from naps, timeouts, screaming kids, me locking myself in my room for a few minutes to regroup, then putting both kids in separate rooms to calm down. They finally calmed down while eating sandwiched in front of the tv. Sigh. So glad everyone is happier now. The past few days have been hard sleep-wise and the kids are showing it. Daniel no longer wants to take an afternoon nap, but he's having some problems from lack of sleep, and oh yeah, the six or more teeth trying to sprout through his gums. I keep reminding myself that it's better that they come in now than in two weeks when he and I fly on an airplane together to visit my family. But it's so tiresome.

We're hoping Adam gets home soon. He hurried home, swept the kids away from me into the room, then had to come out minutes later to fix something on the computer for his boss, and then ended up having to go back to work while we dined on Jiffy muffins, Stovetop stuffing, and fruit cocktail. Ugh. It was kind of a stomach-turning combination.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Visiting with family

My brand-new sister-in-law was in town and visited last night! We had a delicious dinner and our entertainment was the children.
Jessica brought with her a bag of things that were my Grandma Kitty's. My grandma passed away a year ago. Since Katrina shares an initial with her, my mom set aside some fun things, like a purse with "K" all over it, and some K necklaces. Katrina wanted to wear all of the necklaces, so at first I put just a few on.

Then she wanted all the rest, and I decided to allow it. She went around the rest of the night (including dinner) with all these necklaces, bracelets, and the purse on her arm. And yes, she slept in it all too. In fact, today is her fourth day in a row wearing her bathing suit and she still has all the jewelry and purse and has added a ring on her index finger.

I snapped a picture of Jessica!

And I tried to take pictures of Daniel but he wouldn't stand still.
Adam is engrossed in his new phone. I'm excited because I'll be able to use it to accept credit cards at my craft show next month.
We really enjoyed spending time with Jessica!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fun with Elmer's glue

I thought I would document Katrina's first time independently using Elmer's glue. It's nothing terribly exciting, but for family who hasn't seen Katrina in awhile, I thought something live action might be more fun than just pictures.

These are the monster puppets that I mentioned yesterday. Katrina is having fun gluing eyes and noses onto some extra felt. Now that I know she can use glue without making a huge mess I will definitely be doing more art projects like this.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More about the kids!

This blog is in danger of becoming too much about purses and not enough about the kids! So here are a few pictures and notes about them.
Everyday Katrina pulls the pillows off of both couches, piles them on this couch, and this is how she chooses to watch tv. Or she piles them on the floor to make a mountain/nest/castle/whatever her little mind can come up with.
Daniel often looks like this:

And because this is how he looks after eating yogurt, I absolutely hate giving it to him, but he does love it so much, so I just suck it up and let him eat it:

Our childlocks on all of our cabinets have failed and so Daniel likes to rummage through the cupboards. This is one of his favorite things to play with.
The shortening makes an excellent drum.
Yes, he's covered in snot, but doesn't like me to wipe his nose (REALLY doesn't like it) so I let him drip until I can't handle it and hold him down screaming to wipe it off.
Daniel is skilled with music. I know that sounds premature to decide, but he has rhythm and a definite interest in all things music. He loves playing on the keyboard, can shake a little egg shaker thing to a regular rhythm, and likes to sing a monotone "da da da" to the rhythm of "Twinkle Twinkle." He also likes to sing "Uh-oh on no (what ya say)" from a tv show Fresh Beat Band. It comes out a monotone "uh oh uh uh uhhhhh," but I know what he's singing and when I sing it along or when he hears it on tv he gets huge smiles. He also likes to say "Ni-hao," which is funny, but he also likes to say "empty" and "happy," so I think he just likes the sound of those particular words. My attempts to teach him sign language have completely failed except for "all done," but he's starting to say "ahdun" as well as doing the sing, and today I got him to repeat over and over something that sounded vaguely like "hungry" when I was giving him a snack. His language skills are probably going to be better than Katrina's were.
I accidentally posted this post early, so I'm trying to type really fast but not miss anything. Oh, today we made some monster puppets that my sister-in-law gave us for Christmas but I keep putting off because our apartment is a mess and I know how hard it is to do fun things with Katrina. Well, today our apartment is nice and clean, and I decided to try it. We had lots of fun making monsters out of fuzzy socks and a bunch of fun things that were included. Daniel was in heaven while playing with the googley eyes. He also liked to pretend he was gluing things, and Katrina liked to actually glue things with Elmer's glue. But then, it had to be over because it was lunchtime, and Katrina had a knockdown dragout tantrum that ended with her first spanking in a really long time after she swiped at my face, causing me to snap my head back into the tv. Then during her nap she wouldn't stay in her room (and every time she comes out Daniel bolts out too) so I finally stuck her in the baby's crib and put him in the pack n play. After two hours in the crib (she normally would be playing for all this time, she rarely naps during "naptime"), when I was about to let her out, she fell asleep. Oh, and she had to pee literally four times while she was in the crib, so I had to let her out each time. Ugh.
Anyway, I need to start dinner and hopefully Daniel's angelic mood will persist so I can make it in peace!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

15 month stats

I took Daniel to the doctor today for his 15-month visit. He is perfectly healthy (except for his current cold) and extremely wiggly. Unlike Katrina, who insisted that her finger was hurting and so that meant she needed a shot (and the nurse was nice enough to give her a "shot" on the tip of that finger), Daniel does not like shots or the doctor and nurse touching him. Katrina loves to pretend to be "Doctor Nina" already, so she was in her element with the measuring tape, pretending to check me and Daniel. Daniel almost successfully dove off the scale and turned into a rototiller during his checkup. To get the shots into his thighs I had to hold both his hands, trap one leg in between my legs, and then the nurse trapped my knees with her knees because he was still wiggling so much.

Daniel's stats are interesting:

Weight: 21.5 lbs (11th percentile)
Height: almost 30" (11th percentile)
Head: 18.35" (32nd percentile)

When I saw those first two numbers I was a bit taken aback. He's gained less than a pound since his last visit. That makes sense; he's started walking since then. But apparently he has shrunk almost an inch! Both the doctor and I agreed that one of the measurements has to be wrong, and it's most likely the 12-month measurement. It's funny: I've had several people comment to me on how Daniel is big/small for his age (everyone has different perceptions) and I commented with variations of, "Well, the doctor says he's skinny and tall, but he looks pretty tubby and normal to me." So now I know my observations were true. He's completely normal weight for his height after all. It was thrilling to have a tall child for a few months though!

The only concern I have about Daniel is that he doesn't sleep through the night. The doctor said (and I agree) that once he's fully weaned, he'll probably stop waking up. I had planned on letting him wean himself, but I'm pretty determined now that I'm going to have to be forceful. Right now Daniel doesn't nurse during the day very often. Mostly it's just at nights and when he first wakes up. I decided that for this next week I won't nurse Daniel during the day at all and I will also stop nursing him in the mornings. I'll be honest; I mostly just nurse him then because it means I can lay in bed a few more minutes. I think he'll be happy enough if I just give him breakfast right away. Then in a week I will start really trying to cut off the night feedings. We usually let Daniel scream for five minutes when he wakes up and sometimes he'll stop after that and go back to sleep and if he doesn't I feed him. We'll have to work on other solutions. Methods that worked on a younger baby don't work the same on a toddler; they have learned persistence at this point. Letting him simply cry isn't an option for various reasons. Daniel has slept through the night in the past; I have full faith that he will do so again.

Adam is quite busy these days with his work, studying, and a part-time gig he has taken on writing a test prep manual. We are taking the piano keyboard in our room down for the meantime and setting up a little office for him there. Only having one computer has limited him in that he really needs to be at home to study or work. One exciting thing is that it's getting warmer so he can start cycling again soon. He cycled today even though it was still pretty cold so I could have the car. I'm hoping that I can take the kids to the playground again soon; right now it's still too muddy.