Two Boys And A Hose

Best toy on the planet.

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Your Attention Please

Remember how I complained about what a pain in the ass it was getting Jamie started in speech therapy?  Well, I meant it.  It was a total pain in the ass.  But all of that aggravation was worth it.  We’re 4 weeks into  therapy now and today Jamie hit a major milestone with his speech.

He said not one, not two, but THREE complete sentences.

“More milk!” (and he signed it while he said it!!!!! Yes, that deserves multiple exclamation points.)

“Hi Mama!”

“There it is!”

I’m stunned.

I’ll be the first to admit that if you don’t live with Jamie, none of these things were clear or intelligible, with the possible exception of “hi, Mama.”  But because I live with him and I’m used to his patois of African click tongue, Central American Bush Speak, and Caveman Grunt these things were clear as day to me.

We’re also slowly building a vocabulary with him – downstairs, outside, stomp (we were playing in puddles), up, down, uh-huh (as opposed to uh-oh), and probably several more that aren’t coming to mind at the moment.  The thing that’s so huge to me is that he’s finally starting to string things together to make sentences.  It seemed so far outside of his reach when it came to language.  I thought it would take far longer for him to make that leap.

It also makes up for the fact that he spent the whole weekend shrieking and refused to use any language at all (but only a little bit because that sucked).

It feels weird to say that I’m proud of my kid for talking but it’s true.  I’m proud of the little bugger.  Keep it up, kiddo.

Happiness Is

Yesterday Liam came home with a gem in his backpack.

“Happiness is visitin my Papa.”
He’s talking about my Dad.  Now, it’s really “Puppa” but he doesn’t know how to spell it so close enough, ya know?
Also – no clue who the people are supposed to be but my guess is Liam and Puppa.

In The Words of Inspector Gadget, "Wowsers"

Saturday evening, I tweeted the following:

Sunday evening brought this gem:
I don’t even know how to describe what we’ve gone through with Jamie this past weekend.  He has displayed behavior the likes of which I have never witnessed in any child with which I’ve come into contact.  This is not my first rodeo when it comes to the Terrible Twos and this weekend was so awful that if I start to seriously contemplate how bad age three is going to be, I might get PTSD – Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Jamie spent the weekend screaming.  When he wasn’t screaming, he was squealing.  When he wasn’t squealing, he was sobbing.  When he wasn’t sobbing he was whining.  When he wasn’t doing any of those things he was asleep – which was hard won to begin with.
He refused to communicate with us at all.  If we didn’t have ESP, we might as well bend over and grab our ankles.  Seeing as we don’t have the ability to read minds, we were staring at our ankles a lot.  We couldn’t figure out what he wanted to do, what he wanted to eat, where he wanted to go – nothing.  We tried taking the kids out a couple of times and we had to run for the hills both times because Jamie was having epic public meltdowns.
Poor Liam got the short end of the parental stick all weekend long.  Scot and I were so frazzled at trying to survive what was happening with Jamie that Liam just had to sort of fit himself into the cracks.  This is one of the many reasons I felt like a failure as a parent.  Not only couldn’t I find a way to calm Jamie down and help him through whatever was upsetting him, I had to ignore Liam in the process.
I have theories about Jamie’s issues: teething, a cold, new neurologic patterns as speech slowly emerges, and hunger (due to his mouth hurting from teething and not eating as a result).  When I finally figured out that last item, I made him some easy to eat Kraft Mac n Cheese and the kid stuffed at least a half a pot of the stuff down his gaping maw.  
I hope this weekend was just some kind of perfect storm because I don’t know if I can do that again and again and again for weeks or months.  So far, today has been better.  He’s been in a better mood and he’s taking a l-o-n-g nap.  Here’s hoping…

San Antonio Memories

I have more pictures from my trip that I wanted to share but I decided to contain them to a separate post rather than overwhelm the previous one.

Somewhere over the midwest.  The clouds looked like snow to me.

Dallas from the air.

Coonskin cap at the Alamo.

Fish in the canal at the Alamo.  They were as long as my arm.

Part of a giant oak tree at the Alamo.  It’s grown around the pole propping it up.

Rest of the giant oak tree.

Cactus flower at the Alamo.
These next several pictures are all from the Riverwalk.  Despite it being a tourist destination, it was very pretty, shady, and restful to walk along.

 Poorly composed but I could totally see Carl and Ellie Fredrickson taking a rest here.
The river entrance of the Art Institute.  “Ars longa vita brevis.”

Challenge Accepted

Oh what a difference a week makes.

Last week the planets aligned, the angels sang choruses, the Lords of Kobol looked down upon me with smiles, and I escaped rainy Pittsburgh for sunny Texas.  I proceeded to have a fabulous time.

The planets, the angels, and the Lords of Kobol (those farggin’ sneaky bastiches) had a meeting while I was gone and decided that I was going to have to pay for their magnanimity.  “You want a vacation?  Fine.  But you’re going have one hell of a week when you get back, sister.  Enjoy!”

This week has been something of a challenge.  Play dates went awry when we suddenly lost power for several hours due to a thunderstorm.  Parent-Teacher Conferences were hectic and fraught with last minute childcare plans.  Jamie spent most of the week feeling like something he normally fills his diapers with.  I had to pick him up early from daycare on Tuesday because he was running a fever.  This fever, though low grade, held on all week and prevented him from going to daycare on Thursday.

Last night, I saw every hour of the night save for the 2 o’clock hour.  Jamie couldn’t and wouldn’t sleep for beans (or any other enticement, including begging) because he was feeling liked a filled diaper.  Today has been somewhat of a challenge with the sleep deprivation and all.

I did take Jamie to the doctor today and he has nothing that they can treat – it’s likely a virus of some kind – so they sent us home to wait and watch.  I had mixed feelings about this only because I really don’t want a repeat of last night.  But useless antibiotics won’t change that so we wait and watch.

He did not take a good nap this afternoon.  He didn’t eat a great dinner.  We had to hypnotize the raging toddler with Phineas and Ferb.

He was cranky right up until bath time.

I took his temperature right before bath.  Guess who was spot on normal?  That would be Jamie.  As if this news was just the moment he’d been waiting for, he turned into happy toddler.  He played in the tub and had a good bath.  He giggled and giggled and played and chased his brother during the rest of bedtime routine.  He was happy reading a book with me before bed.  He was feeling fit as a fiddle.

Just in time to go to bed.

He’s in there now, talking to himself and, without doubt, cuddling with his board books.

The planets, chorus singing angels, and the Lords of Kobol have taught me my lesson.  Don’t go out of town unless you’re prepared to pay the price.

This week was hard, but getting away was still worth it.

The Diet

Ladies and Gents, it’s week 9 and things are NOT going well.  At this point I should have lost 15 lbs.  I have lost 6.  I feel better, yes, and I can tell that I look better but I really need to look a lot better than I do.

I know I’ve had a very stressful couple of weeks.  I went on vacation for the weekend and then promptly had to come home and weigh in but the sad truth is that I’m failing the test here.  Again.  For what seems like the millionth time.  Clearly my commitment to this is lacking.

Do I have time in the day to focus on this?  Yes, I do.  But I don’t use that time to exercise.  I think about exercising but I’m tired and I don’t feel like it and it’s hard and I’d really like some cheese with my whine.

And then there’s the time of day when the kids are in bed and I’m ready to chill out on the couch.  My brain immediately tells me “you need a snack.  In fact, you need LOTS of snacks.”  I handle the problem much better on some days than on others but I bet I’d be more successful at all of this if I could just flipping STOP eating at night after dinner.

It’s becoming more and more clear to me that this is going to take more “me” time than I hoped.  I am going to have to set aside the time to be good to me by torturing myself at the gym – at least metaphorically because I can’t afford a gym membership.  So, my gym is going to have to be my living room and, well, blerg is all I have to say about that.  The gravity well that resides on my couch is ever so comfy.

I only have 3.5 weeks left on the 12 week online program I paid for through Weight Watchers.  If I don’t make better progress here I don’t know what I’m going to do at the end of that period.  Meetings are a pain in the ass and not scheduled at times that are convenient to me so I’m tempted to stick with the online program.  But, well, see all of my complaining above.

I guess I’m just feeling frustrated and stupid and lazy and every other bad adjective in the book.  Sigh.  I work hard at a lot of things in my life.  Why does this have to be so hard, too?