Why is this so hard? So many of my friends tell me that they just knew they were done with whatever number of kids they have, why don't I just know? Why can't I just feel done? Frankly even more frustrating for me is the fact that I am so ambivalent about it. One day I am 100% convinced that we will have another, and then the next as I'm struggling to buckle The Girl into her carseat in the freezing MN temps I swear that I can't wait until both kids can buckle themselves into their seats and that I'm crazy to start again with another baby. Or, I take both kids to a store and listen to them fight, and I *know* that we are done with two kids. Instead of making a real decision I vacillate between the two extremes almost daily. I'm tired of it. I want to come to a decision and make peace with it.
How did you know you were done?
The Halloween tricks began early for us, when the kids decided to decorate our door with sidewalk chalk. While it wasn't a fully santioned activity, it was too cute not to photograph.
Please note that I can't find the mask. The costume was in a pile of costumes in the basement play room, and as you know children don't always leave things in neat little piles. I suspect the mask is hiding somewhere in our 2-story plus finished basement house...I just don't know where.
The Shirt: this was made with green t-shirt material by my fabulous MIL. I found the logo on a coloring page printable from the PBS kids website, and then printed it on iron-on ink jet paper (you can buy the iron on ink jet paper at a variety of places including Target) and T ironed it onto the shirt. Baby Blog Addict posted a fabulous clean jpeg image that you can use for this purpose, so check it out - I was emailing it, but I'm burnt out!
The shirt with the pants: The pants were made with the same t-shirt material. My MIL is pretty resourceful and didn't need a pattern to make either the shirt or the pants. This is great because I don't even know how to turn on our sewing machine (it is really T's not mine).
The back of the shirt has two small velcro strips sewn onto it, for easy attachment of the cape:
The shirt with the cape attached: The cape was re-used from a very old costume from T's childhood when he was Batman. It feels like a nylon blend of some sort.
The little shorts: These were also re-used from that same very old Batman costume. Same material as the cape...
The under shirt: The Boy had this already in his closet. It is a size 4 Lands End plain blue long-sleeved t-shirt.
The total package (minus the mask):
The mask - If I remember correctly we used thin foam board to get the basic shape, and then my MIL wrapped the green t-shirt material around it somehow. She used velcro strips at the end of strings of the t-shirt material so it could be secured around The Boy's head.
If you have further questions I will try to funnel them to my mother in law! I hope this helps someone.
Note: I updated the link to the Super Why logo, this new link should work. I apologize for not being responsive to questions/emails, but my current job has me swamped and just unable to devote time to a blog anymore. Good luck with your costume making!
However, first of all I wanted to say that some things have changed in my life in the past few months. I got a new job. A new job that doesn't require any travel. My commute shortened, my work flexibility increased, and I moved completely out of the realm of engineering. It is too soon to tell if this is a good thing, but frankly for the sake of my family this is a very good change. I no longer have to live with the fear that I will have to travel next week or the week after, and dread those long trips away from my kids. It is all about them, and spending time with them.
So the thing I'm struggling with is that one of the strong and fabulous women with whom I've been in a buddy group with since The Boy was teeny tiny...she is going to miss out on all of the rest of the years with her kids. It is so completely unfair to lose a friend, but a friend with a 5 year old and a 2 year old is just too much. Every time I look at my kids and make plans for next week I think of her, and her battle to make it through just one more day.
Hug your kids, hold them tight. Cherish every moment you have with them.
I tried to imbed the link in this post, but it doesn't seem to be working...
Running is going pretty well for me lately. I made the decision a few months back to take a tiny step back from running so that I could incorporate more cross training. I've been doing The Firm DVDs on my days off from running, and I really enjoy them. Well that isn't entirely true, I mean the DVDSs aren't fun exactly, but I enjoy the results I've seen from doing them consistently. I'm now running 4 days per week, hovering between 20-25 miles per week, but I'm also doing The Firm 2-3 times per week. My leg strength has dramatically increased. I can now run up big hills on my routes without having the slightest (well there might be some) complaint from my legs. It feels great. My arms have muscle tone again. I've been wearing sleeveless shirts on occasion, and have had a few people compliment my arms. Honestly I thought that I had to give up on being buff after I had the kids, but it turns out I didn't.
I watched the Paul McKenna "I Can Make You Thin" series that was on TLC this spring, and it made a huge impact on me. I had gained some weight over the winter, and was feeling pretty depressed about it, and the show started at exactly the right moment to give me an extra kick. For once in my life I've been losing weight without feeling like I'm on a freakish diet that I will instantly stop as soon as I reach my goal weight. Weight Watchers taught me how to control my portions, and how to stay within a POINTS range, but it never taught me how to listen to the cues my own body was sending me to get me to eat and stop eating. I've lost 13 pounds since that first show aired in late March. I didn't use much of his advice apart from the 4 golden rules he drilled in. All of those thoughts I had that perhaps my body just didn't want to get back to its pre The Boy weight, were just excuses. I'm 2-3 pounds from that weight now, and it feels fantastic to have done it without counting a single point or calorie. I eat when I'm hungry, and I stop when I'm full, and I eat what I feel like eating not what I think I should. It sounds so simple, and like it can't possibly work, but it really does.
He turns 5 on Saturday. I can't believe how fast this time has gone. In some ways it feels like he has been in my life forever, but in others it feels like he was just born and I was cradling him in my arms struggling to make breastfeeding work. He has a new love of nature, and is obsessed with catching bugs/frogs/toads, or whatever else he can think of at the moment. He is also in love with his bike. He rides as often as he can, and for as long as we will let him. He took to the bike almost immediately, and while he insists that the training wheels will stay on forever we think he is almost ready to ditch them now (he got the bike last month!). He continues to question everything he sees and everything we say, but I guess it shows he has a good thirst for knowledge. We plan to send him to full day Kindergarten in the fall. We worry a bit that he will be the youngest in his class, but in all regards he does seem ready. All we can do is go with what we know now, and be thankful that the neighbor kid who is a few days younger than him is also starting full day Kindergarten in the fall.
She turned 3 last month. She is nothing if not full of life. She recovered well from her stitches, although we do think there will be a lasting scar from the experience. She is not a shrinking violet, she lets the entire world know when she is unhappy about something. Just the other day T was driving her home from daycare and she threw up while sitting in her carseat. T tried to comfort her as he rushed her home by saying "oh baby, I'm so sorry." She stopped mid-puke to say "I am NOT a gurgle gurgle Baby!" She has no qualms about letting you know when you are wrong! There have been many days when I just give up on getting her dressed in the morning, and just send her to daycare in her jammies...it is just easier than fighting with her. I'd add that she'll likely be a handful in her teen years, but who really knows. She is a handful now, but she definitely makes our lives interesting. She has been spreading rumors at daycare that we have a new baby at home, but that it is teeny tiny. News to us! Perhaps she knows something that we don't (though really she doesn't!). She is actually sitting on the computer desk as I type this right now, she is asking me to read the invitation for her brother's birthday party that was sitting on the desk. Does this say Happy J Birthday? She is so cute.
We finally got new furniture for the house this spring. It feels nice to have real grown up furniture in our new space. Of course the remodel never really ends. We have plans to tackle the worst of the landscaping issues this summer...maybe if we make effort.
I'm not sure what else I should update my blog readers about. If you have any questions for me post them in the comments and I'll try to respond!
I can think of better ways to start off a birthday, but at least it is over. I will spare you the picture of my finger.
A few days after the snail question he came home from daycare with a glass jar filled with a few ants. Um, okay. We told him that the ants needed to live outside so they got some fresh air. He agreed. The ants were dead by morning. A few days later he came home with even more ants, and insisted that they had to live inside our house or they would die outside in the cold. We relented, how could we punish his ants to death knowingly? The ants were dead by the middle of the next day. The Boy is undeterred by the death of his much loved pets; he keeps trying to catch more bugs.
In a lack of reasoning I offered to help him get tadpoles from the pond when it gets warm enough. He received a bug/frog habitat for his birthday last year, and I told him it could serve as a home for his tadpoles. He was very excited about the prospect of having many frogs as pets; until I told him that we would have to let the frogs go when they emerged (I’m not really counting on frogs emerging given how much The Boy likes to alter the not-so-natural environment they would live in). He was still happy about the idea that he would get a pet though so I thought we had dodged a bullet.
Apparently I was wrong about dodging the bullet though. Upon my arrival to pick the kids up from daycare yesterday I was TOLD that The Boy (by The Boy) was bringing home FIVE snails. He held them up, in their sad little Dixie cup filled with water, so I could see them. I said NO. He threw a fit of epic proportions. He hit me, he pushed me, he tried to kick me. I put him in a time-out, and hoped that he would calm down. He did not. I ended up getting The Girl ready to go home and then physically forcing The Boy to leave with us. He sobbed uncontrollably until we got close to home. I managed to make him laugh, apparently all was forgiven.
I have a feeling that this story isn’t really over. Any guesses as to what the next pet will be?
I actually had grand ideas of starting a second blog devoted to the working/traveling Mom, but I seriously don't know how I would manage another blog since I can't manage this one. I'm on night number four of this business trip. It has been long. I miss the kids. I miss T. I miss my own home and my routines. The positive thought for tonight is that I get to go home tomorrow. I'll get to see the kids in person rather than through the grainy webcam Skype call. That thought gets me through, makes me smile, and makes me push through the trip. I think I need to travel again this month, but it will be a much shorter trip. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. I think I will find a way off of the traveling road eventually, but I'm not there yet.