Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh, the Joys of Motherhood!

I had a decent day at work today and went to pick Jonathan up at school just like always. And just like always, he ran across the room, arms flailing, as soon as he saw me through the glass window I pass just before I get to the door. I picked him up as usual and asked him if he had a good day. He answered yes, sort of hesitantly, and looked at Ms. Darla, the lead teacher in his section of the Twos.

So I, too, look at Ms. Darla and she proceeds to tell me that at lunchtime today, as she was passing out their meal, Jonathan leaned across the table and pinched not one but two little girls. When Ms. Darla asked him if he was supposed to pinch, he apparently answered "No, but I bite!!" Luckily, Ms. Darla nipped the biting in the bud before it could come to fruition.

While we were speaking about this, Jonathan had a look of what I took to be two-year-old remorse on his face. I learned I was obviously mistaken when Jonathan reared his fist back and punched me directly on my right cheek bone. As my eyes welled with tears, I sat him down on the ground where he immediately started crying for me to pick him back up. I was pretty much in shock and must have looked at Ms. Darla with a somewhat helpless look as she tried to reassure me that it's completely normal, that all children Jonathan's age go though a stage where they exhibit this type of behavior.

The crazy thing is, even though I totally know that is true, days like this cause Mommy Guilt to rear its ugly head. I've tried to rationalize around it because I know stay at home mothers who have the same problem, but it's still really frustrating to be greeted in such a manner at the end of the day.

Luckily, his disposition improved greatly when we got home and I, of course, could not feel bad too long when presented with this precious face:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Ick, a Raise and a Vacay

I came down with the ick today, feeling much like Andrea described in her post last week. It meant a day on the couch for me resting with good old Arthur the Faithful Chihuahua and consuming as many Slo-Melt popsicles as humanly possible in an attempt to quelch my burning throat. I'm pretty sure it is just a cold as Jonathan had one this weekend but it is definitely no fun regardless. There is always something about having a cold in the middle of the summer that just seems not right!

But on to happier news. Just recently, my boss came into my office and asked me to tell him my annual salary. I did and and he left my office. About thirty seconds later, he returned and told me that he was really happy with the work I've been doing, taking on extra responsibility and all that jazz, summing up the whole thing with a raise. It is actually a decent raise, too, and I am pretty pumped about it since I always love more money and it was fun since it happened randomly.

Happily, one of the things this raise means is VACATION. That's right, folks, in just over a week, we will be heading to the Outer Banks for a week of fun in the sun. And hopefully no hurricanes or the gazillion frogs that accompanied us on vacation last year. The opportunity just fell into our laps and we were fortunate to be able to take advantage of it. I am SO looking forward to seeing Jonathan on the beach! As I have been lax on my picture taking for the last week due to being in Nashville (which was awesome, by the way) and then being sick, this is the perfect opportunity for me to post a pic or two of our vacation last year, pre-blog:

We have our own pool this year rather than having to drag all of our stuff to the community pool, so I hope for more photo ops like this one...

...and less rain so we will have less of this:

And, since I have not posted for a while, some random thoughts:

Last week while in Nashville, I found the absolute cutest boots for Jonathan. As he will not hold still long enough while wearing them for me to get a picture of them actually on his feet, this is what they look like. I wanted to buy him "real" boots, but I just couldn't see spending $70.00 on them. Besides, Jonathan is a Toddler Size 6 at best and I'm not sure they make the real deal quite that small.

While I was home sick today, I was watching the news and saw a story about a mother in Indiana reunited with her 15 month old daughter. As you would imagine, there was a lot of crying and God-thanking but then the newscaster cut in with the story, explaining that the toddler was locked in a vacant building and this happened because the mother and father do not live together and were confused. Huh? Was that really supposed to make sense? You can read the story here.

Kimberly completely inspired me to get onboard with the Halloween costume decision making and I think Jonathan is going to be Elmo. Jonathan, in addition to his love of Thomas and a renewed adoration of The Wiggles, has developed feelings for the somewhat irritating red furry Sesame Street character. As I feel very strongly that he would LOVE to dress up like Elmo rather than wearing one of the really cute costumes I was eying at Gymboree (he was a skeleton last year, just like they have this year), I think I'm just going to go with it. I really like this costume, but I think I will go with this one since it is not as expensive and, more importantly, because I suspect my child may catch on fire if he were to wear the full body version. I'm hoping to find one on E-bay!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He's Baaaaack!!!

After a week at Grams' and Grandpa's house, we got Jonathan back on Sunday. Besides being a bit off schedule, he's been his usual happy self. Our transition back to school on Monday was HORRIBLE (the child was howling when I left him. It was awful!), but he's back in the swing of things now.

Below are some quick pictures I snapped last night. Although he is two years old, he still fits in the Munchkin duck inflatable tub so I still use it because it's a ton easier than running an entire bathtub of water. He still likes, it too, as you will see:

He likes to put every conceivable bath toy in the tub which really does not leave a whole lot of room for him.

This next one is, obviously, after the bath. Jonathan decided to do some naked cooking. He was very serious about it, so much so that it was almost a half hour before I could get pajamas on him over his protests of "I cook nakey."

And, last, is Jonathan in full nakey cooking regalia, insisting that he have his picture with Arthur. As Arthur is overall less than thrilled by Jonathan's presence, this is the best I could do:

Just as we've gotten settled back into our regular routine, I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow until Saturday afternoon for work. It will be the first time I have ever had a hotel room all to myself and I am quite excited. It will also be the first time Bryan and Jonathan have been alone overnight together. It should be interesting!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where's The Baby?

Something odd has been going on in our house this week as Jonathan is no where to be found. He's not in his bed...

...or eating in his booster chair...

...or even playing with his toys.

How could this be? Did I leave him at Walmart after he insisted to be let out of the cart and I finally gave in? Did the proverbial gang of gypsies come by our house on a particularly trying day and I let them take him? Did we sell him on E-bay so we could take another tropical vacation?

OF COURSE NOT! Jonathan is actually spending the week in WV with my Mom and Dad. It's been relaxing for us and my parents are completely loving it. Jonathan is apparently having the time of his life if the conversations I've had with him on the telephone the past few days are any indication. And it has definitely been awesome to spend so much one-on-one time with Bryan!

BUT, I am ready for my little guy to come home! I meet my parents on Sunday to pick him up and I can't wait! I have realized that, even though my life has been completely hectic since Jonathan was born, I prefer it that way. I am happy to foster what I hope to be a strong bond between Jonathan and my parents and I am willing to let him go and stay with them again, but I miss his little smiling face, his boisterous laugh and his constant inquiry of "Mommy doing?" Luckily I have TONS of stuff to do over the next few days so I'm sure the time will pass quickly and that we'll have a lot of fun.

I am really looking forward to Sunday morning, though! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

So Crafty

It is still hotter than an oven here in the 'ville, so hot that it's over eighty degrees before I even get out of bed in the morning. While this is miserable for me, I am fortunate that I do not have to spend the whole day in a room full of two year olds, all of whom can see outside as they have an entire long wall of windows in their classroom and all of whom cannot grasp the concept of it being too hot to go out and play.

This is the situation Jonathan's teachers have found themselves in this whole week, but particularly the last few days. Assuming no extremities in weather, the two year olds go outside twice a day, once for a walk and once for free-style play on the playground. My child LOVES to be outside and I know it's just killing him that he's had to stay indoors all the time. Why is it that the heat doesn't seem to bother small children?

Regardless, I have noticed that the teachers have gotten more creative the past few days. I wanted to share today's creation as I thought maybe some of you other mothers could try it with your kiddos. They took a Ziploc bag, put some water in it and some glitter. Then they put in some foam fall leaves and created a snow globe of sorts. They then folded the closure and taped it to one side (for obvious reasons) and put each kid's name on it on a piece of colored tape. When I got to school today to pick Jonathan up, all of the kids had theirs and were just as happy as could be. Jonathan's actually lasted for some time until a particularly rousing round of "Ring Around the Rosy" when he fell on it and it sprang a leak. It was inevitable.

I was, however, able to snap a couple of pictures first. Not that you couldn't get the idea from the description, but visual aids are always nice. For the record, he is not wearing a dress but rather a onesie that is too big for him.

Also inevitable, unfortunately, was Jonathan's first curse word. Since well before our little guy could speak, I have been the profanity police around our house. I was sure that his first curse word would be one rhyming with truck due to the fact that particular four letter word is my husband's favorite, especially when telling a colorful story. I am happy to report that I was wrong. It was actually a*s and was said this morning after someone pulled in front of me as I was driving Jonathan to school this morning and I said something like "Thanks a lot, a*s!" Definitely not a shining star on my motherhood record. Thus far, he has not repeated it, so I am hoping it is a one-time thing that I can later figure out some way to blame on Bryan...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Super Mommy Squared and Jonathan's Mommy--the Reunion Edition!

Jonathan, Bryan and I were graced with a visit this weekend from Heather and her precious son, Max. We'd planned the visit a few weeks back, but the timing could not have been better as it really helped Bryan and me get through our first weekend since Alice's death.

For those of you who read Heather's blog, you already know that Max is a complete cutie. He is also one of the best natured eight month olds I have ever been around. I was concerned about how Jonathan would react to having a baby in the house, but he was actually really sweet to Max. For some reason, Max found Jonathan hysterical, which Jonathan completely enjoyed, leading to much laughter from both of them. When Max would leave the room to eat or go down for a nap, Jonathan would look at me and say "mo mo (translation: more, more) baby." He even, overall, shared his toys and was OK with giving up his crib in exchange for a Pack and Play in our bedroom.

Most importantly, though, this visit gave Heather and I the opportunity to catch up. We've been quite busy the past couple of years having children and that has meant, for obvious reasons, that we have not gotten to spend hardly any time together. I've really missed that as Heather's friendship is one of the most valuable relationships in my life. So it was really nice to hang out, drink some beers and have conversation just like the "old days." We stayed up Saturday night until past 3:30 am talking about pretty much every topic you can imagine. Even though I was completely exhausted this morning due to lack of sleep and the fact that my son rises at seven on the dot, it was completely worth it. It was one of the best times I have had in a long time!

Unfortunately, neither of us took very many pictures, but I have a few to add here. The first one is of Jonathan sporting the faux-hawk Heather and I created for him after he decided to wash his hair this morning using his foam shampoo. It would have been very helpful as it needed to be washed, but he, unfortunately, did not use water:

I tried to capture it from the front but you can't really tell. Jonathan was pleased with the new style, though, as you can tell from the expression on his face:

And, despite all the catching up we had to do, I successfully potty-trained both children. Who knew all you needed was a book? Heather, tell Cameron he can thank me later...

OK, obviously, not really, but that would have been the only thing that could have made the weekend more perfect! Thanks for visiting, Heather and Max, and we hope we can do it again soon!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Rainbow Bridge

I'm not a sappy person by nature, but today has been a really difficult one and I'm feeling a bit sentimental. You see, Bryan and I had to have Alice, our female chihuahua, put to sleep today. It was an extremely hard thing to do, but we truly had no other choice as we found out that she had kidney failure. There was simply no other option as we could not stand to see her suffer. Her health had faltered over the last six months or so and we did not want to see her deteriorate any further. Although we are confident it was the right decision, we are both in a good deal of pain right now.

I was with Alice when she died and I recalled a poem that someone sent to me after my first chihuahua, Poncho, was irreparably wounded just over six years ago. Of course, I did not recall the exact words, but I remembered the gist of it and it brought me a good deal of comfort as I held Alice in my arms this afternoon as she passed away. I found it online and have reprinted it below:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Bryan and I are hurting so much right now. Although we suspected this day may come in the not-so-distant future, we had no idea when I took Alice to the vet this morning that the day we feared would be today. Alice was our sweet baby, our Chihuahua rescue who appreciated every little thing we did for her since she spent so many years in an abusive home. We loved her and she was truly a part of our family for the four and a half years that she spent with us.

This day has been so hard, but I am trying to draw comfort from the fact that we were able to give her a good life and that she knew she was loved. I just wish making the right decision didn't make me feel like such an awful person. I know logically, unfortunately from past experience, that this will get easier and that we will feel better, but I'm just having a hard time convincing myself of that right now.