So, I mentioned things were a little hectic around here and I think that is actually putting it mildly. This time of year is always busy - busy with work, busy with life - but it seems particularly daunting. I know the time between Halloween and Christmas passes quickly, so I am trying to avoid the usual pitfalls and stay organized and on top of things, and so far it is not working out as I had planned.
Maybe it will make some of you feel better to hear that I still have not figured out the weekday schedule. No matter how hard I try to keep it straight, I confuse Daisy Scouts and ballet days. I forget to look at the 'master' calendar on the wall in the kitchen for the reminders about what is happening in Christian's work world. I let events slip by unnoticed because I haven't calendared them correctly (or sometimes at all) and I still haven't figured out how to sync Google calendar with my Outlook calendar at work. On top of all of that, I have not bought (or even considered buying) a single Christmas present, I just remembered that I never sent thank you notes for all of my lovely birthday presents (received well over a month ago), and we cannot even seem to schedule a time for the alarm repair man and heater repair man to come to the house (yes, they are both broken). This is all just to say that I am rather disappointed about how disorganized I have been lately and I am feeling scattered.
Now, on to the more interesting things around here and a brief focus on some of the magic...
1. We no longer have any bottles in the house. Yes, James is officially off of bottles. It was heartbreaking because it was the only tool he had to calm himself - no thumb, no lovey, no nothing. It was a long time coming and it just took my friend, Jennifer, reminding me that her dad (our awesome pediatric dentist) no longer does the 'capping' procedure that children have to undergo when they have bottle rot because he does not like to use anesthesia. Enough said. I am happy about it and I genuinely do not think James misses the bottles - though it took about a week of asking about it and crying.
2. Luz no longer sucks her thumb. I am not going to lie, I bribed her, but she was ready. She told me she wanted to stop. She was no longer sucking it during nap time at school (and hadn't been all year) and was starting to understand that it was babyish and gross. This was another heartbreaker because she had a thumb in her mouth during her ultrasound picture. It was tough but we used band aids at night, sticker charts, tons of positive reinforcement and the big bribe (she gets to pick out any toy that she wants when we go to Disney World - did I mention that we are going to Disney - see #6 below). I am still a little worried about the implications of removing the thumb from her life.
3. James is learning new words every day and is incredibly curious and still totally fearless. He can repeat just about any word, identifies most objects, can tell us (for the most part) what he needs, and is finally grasping that he doesn't always get what he wants. His disappointment when told 'no' is unlike anything I have ever seen. He has two responses - 1. throw himself on the ground and scream or 2. cradle his head in both hands shaking it back and forth as if to say, 'how could you'. It is both incredibly entertaining and annoying at the same time. He is also constantly working on potty training with the lure of skittles and big boy underpants. He still doesn't totally get it but I am optimistic it will click for him soon. In the last week he has had two pretty intense falls precipitated by climbing on something he is not supposed to climb on. His mouth filled up with blood on both occasions and I thought he knocked out teeth. Do you know how tough it is too look inside a toddler's mouth for the source of an injury. My fingers are crossed that he did not do permanent damage.
4. Luz is no longer the shortest kid in her class, she has become slightly more adventurous (I think this is thanks, in large part, to James), she loves school and learning (it has to be different from when I was there), and is a most patient and loving older sister. I try to recognize that she needs space and time to play without James following her every move but I am not always good about providing it. I have started to let her skip her weekend naps so that she can have an hour or two of playing and/or uninterrupted time with me and Christian. She sets a beautiful example of how siblings should behave and is a lovely role model for James. I hope this groundwork is the foundation for a close bond all of their lives. And one more thing, she loves chores and helping me - wiping down the table, clearing the dishes, unloading the silverware from the dishwasher - this is a dream come true for me...someone else around the house to help with housekeeping!
5. It is November and both kids have had their flu shots, so has Christian. I am working on it.
6. We are going to Disney World between Christmas and New Year's!
7. I ran a 1/2 marathon, my 3 one, and I think I am ready for another full but for all of the reasons above am not confident I can add the incredible training regiment to my life.
8. Daylight savings time has ended (I am one of the few people that actually appreciates the time change - I like that it is actually light outside when I wake up at 6, at least for a little while), the temperature has cooled off substantially and I am starting to see Christmas decorations in stores and commercials on tv. I am not going to lie. I LOVE the holidays.
So, even though things are crazy, I am trying to be mindful of the beautiful stuff and not get bogged down in the details. True, James desperately needs a haircut (okay, there may be more behind this one than a logistical issue), I haven't packed a cold lunch for Luz in 2weeks and, yes, the house is not really as neat and clean as I would like it to be (don't even get me started with the interior design), but none of those things are matters of consequence, right?
This stuff is the important stuff:
Luz and James feeding the ducks in Audubon Park
Post duck-feeding picnic on the porch