Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Peace was Restored

So we survived our trip! Okay, we more than survived it, we actually had fun. First off, let me just say the bride was BEAUTIFUL, the groom was handsome and the wedding was rockin’! It was sooooo awesome to be able to spend time with family. I got to meet my ADORABLY chunky nephew Max, see my niece Macy, along with my sister and brother-in-law all the way from Cali! And of course the rest of the fam. – aunts, uncles, cousins and my Nana! All totally worth it. Despite the downs of the trip, the ups were UP and I AM definitely glad we made the trip.

Our flight there was pretty good minus a mid-flight meltdown. It was all going well, when Chloe, who could reach the seat in front of her with her feet, decided to frantically kick the poor woman’s seat. She had previously been patting it gently with her feet occasionally, but for some reason, she decided it was time to go full force. Not wanting to make the poor woman suffer, I tried desperately to get Chloe to stop kicking and even resorted to holding her feet still. This in turn resulted in Chloe screaming a delightful sound. At this point, I had to choose – annoy one passenger or the whole plane. Then we had our ah-ha moment! My mom, who was seated behind our row, offered to switch with the woman, who graciously accepted. Chloe was now allowed to kick away (which of course she didn’t) and we were all much happier. During this time, my two big kids thought it would be an appropriate time to argue with each other, just to test my sanity, I think. But within a few minutes of a near complete meltdown on all our parts, they all fell asleep and peace was restored.

We thoroughly enjoyed reuniting with family and enjoying time with my new nephew Max. At 6 months, he weighs in at a mere 20 lbs! For those of you not familiar with baby weights, that’s the average weight of a 1 year old. You go on about your bad self, big boy. After dinner with the whole gang, I put Chloe down for bed while Max and the 3 big kids hung out in my sister’s room. The sitters arrived and we headed out for a rockin’ evening with the wedding gang. It was a great time. We returned to the hotel around 12:45 to find Chloe WIDE awake, along with Xander and Macy. Fortunately Sadie and Max were asleep. I moved Sadie back into our room, which totally disrupted her sleep causing her to completely freak out for the next 20-30 minutes while Chloe screamed as I tried to get her to sleep. Chloe eventually feel asleep around 2 am only to wake at 7:30am when she FELL OFF THE BED and onto a wrought iron table. She has a beautiful scraped nose to show for it. I was able to get her back to sleep and once again peace was restored.

The hotel was great with an arcade and kids water park. Everyone had a blast playing in the water area. The kids took full advantage of it both Saturday and Sunday. The wedding was Saturday night and the kids had a complete meltdown after the ceremony while waiting for food. When we discovered it would be passed food we decided to head to the burger joint next door to feed the kids. BEST move we could have made. Within 20 minutes they had smiles back on their faces and were ready to return to the festivities. I do regret not getting a sitter for the wedding, as the music was LOUD and it was late and too much for Chloe. The big kids were fine, but Chloe was a little over-stimulated and it was too hard for her to get around with all the people. But it all worked out in the end and we had a WONDERFUL time. The DJ was phenomenal and the bride was just so beautiful. And Sadie got to go to her first wedding ever. :)

After the wedding we had another evening of dealing with Chloe screaming and refusing to go to sleep, especially since she napped at the wedding. Xander rose to the occasional and spent about an hour with me trying to get her to sleep. He even pushed her stroller up and down the hall in his PJs while I rested in bed. After he got back, he set up the DVD player with Baby Signing Time, put her in her stroller to watch and said “Mom, you go to sleep, I got this”. He’s awesome. She eventually fell asleep and we moved her into the bed between Xander and me. Once again, peace was restored.

Sunday was the day –after party at the bride’s parents’ house, my aunt and uncle. We all had a GREAT time, despite Chloe waking up with a cold. My mom followed Chloe around most of the time, giving me some respite! The kids were great and we even got some alone time with my cousins and aunt and uncle after it was all over. I used to live near them when I went to college so they are a VERY VERY special family to me. After the party, we headed back to the hotel and now it was Sadie’s turn to have a complete meltdown. And we’re talking COMPLETE. Kicking, yelling, hitting. . . you name it, she did it. It lasted for what seemed like forever, but finally did end. And I was able to get Chloe to sleep without much fight AND put her in her pack’n’play. And yet AGAIN, peace was restored.

We headed home on Monday after a lovely breakfast with my sister and her family. The flight home was uneventful, even pleasant. The plane was bigger so Chloe’s feet couldn’t reach the seat in front of her. She even slept. And although I spent the majority of the weekend having some sort of anxiety or another, especially when thinking about our family reunion TRIP to ND and MT this summer (anxiety about the trip itself, NOT the reunion LOL), I felt such a sense of accomplishment on the flight home. I did it. I survived. We ALL survived and like I said, even had fun! So even though we’ll be away for 10 days next time, I think I can do this. ;)

Pictures to follow in next post!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Confessions of a Playdate Host and A Big Thump and a Cry!

First we'll start with the playdate. I scheduled to have a playdate here at my house today. I was expecting 7 moms and their kids ranging in age from 4 months - 4 years (not counting the -0 -baby-in-belly). Leading up to the big day, all looked good. A forecast of beautiful weather meant we'd be able to play outside and have a picture perfect picnic. But then, days before the "big day" the forecast changed and each hour it seemed, got gloomier and gloomier. Now I tried not to panic, but I have to admit, I was actually a little stressed out about having everyone in the house! Well wouldn't you know it, it turned out to be one of the most wonderful playgroups. I have to say, I know some of the neatest women out there! I feel so lucky to have had such a great group here to play. It's days like this when I truly feel lucky. Granted, I DID have to stay on top of Chloe to keep her from "ROUGH LOVING" all the other little ones, but for the most part, even she did pretty well. And sorry I don't have pictures to share. I didn't even have time to get out my camera because I was on top of Chloe, but you can use your imagination for all the cuteness (Hess truck playing, baby caring, lunchtime together, piano playing and ABC sing-a-longs. . . you get the picture!) These gals even helped clean up. LOVE IT! Now one of these times I'll learn to be a better hostess and put out food and snacks, but I figured for my first one just having my house in order would have to be enough LOL.

Now for the BIG THUMP! After everyone left I put Chloe up in her crib for her nap - after some books, of course ;) I came back downstairs to clean and after a little while I heard a loud THUMP on the ceiling above me. I paused for a moment, as she will often bang the side of her crib quite loudly, then sprang to my feet as she let out one of those "I'm hurt" cries! I ran up the stairs, taking several steps at a time and bound into her room to find her standing there, OUTSIDE of her crib. She had put the pillow in the corner and either flipped or crawled out. She cried for a few minutes, but I didn't see any noticeable boo-boos and she honestly calmed down fairly quickly. I tried rocking her to sleep, but after no success, I simply removed the pillow and lay her back down. She is now resting peacefully. Phew. I tihnk it's time for ME to take a nap.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Lot on My Mind

Boy, do I have a lot on my mind. I’m not even sure where to begin or what if any of this is “blog worthy”, but as I use this blog as a sort of release, I’m going to write anyway. So let’s start with our upcoming big trip. Next Friday, a week from today, I’m flying with my mom and the three kids to Minneapolis, MN for a wedding (and as for my disclosing to the world when we’ll be away, my hubs isn’t coming and our big mean dog ;) will be home guarding our house, so I’m not worried). Anyway, so we’re having a family wedding next weekend and a good ol’ family gathering so OF COURSE I’m taking the kids, but then it dawned on me. . . WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I’m TERRIFIED. I mean, let’s not even get into the whole anxiety of flying (I just thought of THAT part of the trip – YIKES), but I’m thinking more of traveling with my wonderfully exuberant little two-year-old! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE her to death! She brings a joy I hadn’t even known existed. But I’m completely stressed about traveling with her. I picture her screaming in her car seat – no, not crying, but literally SCREAMING on the plane. And climbing the walls of the hotel. Shrieking during the ceremony because I won’t let her charge the alter. . . pulling plates off the table at the reception. . . destroying my aunt’s house. . . running every minute of every day that we’re down there. That’s what I picture. And I have to admit the worst part of all this is ME!!! I’m the one who doesn’t do well with change. I like my routine. I like to know she will have a place to play while I take a few minutes and (breath) check things on my computer or that she’ll take a nap in her crib while I (breath) shower and clean up. AACK. I don’t want to sound complainy at all or like I take my dear sweet Ms. Chloe for granted. I appreciate that there are those who have lost their precious little ones and would sacrifice anything to have MY problems. But nonetheless, I still feel the stress (along with the guilt) of traveling with my very “special” little girl.*

*Before I go on, it’s important for any family members who might be reading this to know that I am SOOOO EXCITED for the wedding and for everyone to share in the joy that is CHLOE. It’s just the logistics that are freaking me out!

Okay, so as if I haven’t said enough already… my other big stressor is the old cheery job-search. I don’t know WHAT to do with myself. I’ve worked in Early Childhood and Early Intervention for 20+ years now and that’s where my passion lies, but I don’t know what to do now that it’s time for me to return to work. I haven’t “worked for someone else” in over 10 years. I’ve opened and run 3 different businesses and loved doing it. My last two I ran out of the home and would so love to do again, but we moved and our new location is not conducive to running a school out of. And I’m pretty sure it’s too expensive to do it out of the home. Too many expenses. And honestly, as much as I want something outside of Chloe and my other two kids, it’s hard to take that step away. I know, I shouldn’t think of it as taking a step AWAY, but that’s how it feels. I think this fall is a good time because Chloe will be starting preschool, but then I worry it won’t be a good time, because she’ll “just” be starting. I’m hoping if I put my feelers out there that things might just fall into place. I really love running toddler programs that are fully inclusive. But my big dream is to have a fully inclusive family play center with drop-in play as well as high quality babysitting and toddler / preschool programs. Someday hopefully I’ll find my way back to my dream. Too bad it always takes money. . .

Phew. I think that’s enough delving into my psyche for one day. I’ll end this post saying how thankful I am that we’re all healthy and for the most part doing well. Despite the stress that comes along with raising a child with special needs (traveling with and the financial strain caused as a result) life couldn’t be any more beautiful. Of course we feel as though we could “do without” these challenges, but lessons will be learned, new joys will show themselves and we WILL prevail in the end. Thanks for bearing with me in this long picture-less post. I promise to share some photos soon (by the way, I might be getting a new camera for my birthday so if anyone has any advice for a new camera let me know).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Little Rock Star

Scroll down to pause the blog site music and watch Chloe rock out with her PaperJamz guitar!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Today was Chloe's BIG DAY! She went to her new preschool for a visit this morning! She did great. The teachers and staff all seemed to LOVE her and told me how impressed they were with her. She greeted everyone with hellos, sat (well sort of sat) for circle time, danced during movement time and participated in centers (rice table, playdough and table toys). She was a busy little beaver. Unfortunately our time was cut short by a fire drill, but she seemed to do really well with that - she just went with the flow. Although it was hard to see my little baby surrounded by all those big kids, in the fall, she'll be quite a bit older and she won't be so much "the baby". And she may be small, but her personality is BIG so I'm not too worried about her. And most importantly, the program seemed good and a place I will be comfortable sending her.

Here are some pics from the last few days including one of her just after she got back from "school".

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Trifecta

Chloe's got a trifecta! A nasty toe nail infection, a cold and teething. Wait, if you throw in the persistent rash on her face and butt, what does make it then???? LOL Anyway, we went to the doc yesterday and he gave her some oral antibiotics for the toe and recommended 2ce daily soaking of it in hopes of avoiding a trip to the podiatrist where they would have to dig out the nail (ewwww). Hopefully we can avoid that! I'm including a picture - don't look at it if you're squeamish. Chloe remains in unbelievably good spirits considering she looks like a mess. She's a trooper.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Pheonix

That's what I feel like. A phenonix rising from the ashes! Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but I've been sick for the past 3 days and life has felt like. . . well. . . hell. My hubs is not able to take days off in the spring season (he works in lawn and garden) and in fact, works a mandatory 6-days-week, so I was left to care for the three kids while sick as a dog. And sometimes when you're sick your kids can be GREAT - understanding and supportive, but not MINE. At least not this time! They were demanding and bored and just plain old rotten. Oh, and my mom was away through all of this, so although she lives "with" us, she wasn't able to help either. And all this on my birthday weekend. And just when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore, I was woken this morning to breakfast in bed, made by the hands of my 10 and 5 year olds. A handmade bouquet by my 5 year old and a beautiful handmade card accompanied by a beautifully sung mother's day song. I was delivered straight from the bowels of hell into heaven. It was THE BEST mother's day/birthday I've ever had. We continued the day by snuggling in bed, me and the big kids while they gave me alternating back rubs! :) Then we played the Game of Life (because that's "my favorite game"). We followed that up with a nice relaxing bath and then I enjoyed reading all my Facebook birthday wishes. Now we're on to swim classes and more celebrations, as my mom gets back VA. It's a grand day!

Tomorrow I think we're off to the doc as Chloe seems to have an infected toe! It doesn't seem to bother her, but it looks nasty, so I'm suspecting a little antibiotic might be in order. She's also got a bad cold, as does Sadie, but they don't seem to be getting what I had! Thank goodness!

Hope all my mommy friends out there are having as special a day as I am. You ALL deserve it! We work hard for our families. :)