Friday, July 30, 2010

Too Lucky?

Today im sitting here watching my kids eat lunch, two different meals because Edie has decided she doesn't want Mac and Cheese with hotdogs, but would prefer a ham sandwich, and I'm suddenly struck with the knowledge that being this weirdly happy with every aspect of my life is not normal.

I have two great kids. Edie is such a sweet heart and could melt the polar ice caps with one of her beaming smiles, and Gabe has such a charm to him that he too could could bring on a bout of global warming. There is challenges, of course, to parenting a one year and a two year old, but I would say the challenges are pretty typical. Neither one of my kids are sick, physically or mentally challenged and although Gabe is probably speech delayed Im confident with some intervention he'll be speaking clearly in no time.

I have a really wonderful guy as my husband. Anyone who meets him always states what a sweet guy he is and I got tell ya, it's not an act. He really is that sweet, nearly 24/7. He spoils the hell out of me, goes on pregnancy craving runs whenever I ask, and is a really good father (even if he does tend to shower a little more affection on his daughter, and little more rough play on his son).

He has a good paying job, even if in the past it has caused me a lot of anxiety and worry, and because of it we have managed to buy our very first home and a nice new car. We don't want for anything financially even if we still speak longly about owning a "real" piece of property, and not a few feet of strata land, to call our own. Scott dreams of the day we can plant our own garden and have our own fruit trees, and can't wait until the kids are old enough for us to own a dog. Our dreams I suppose are simple ones; but we are united in them. We plan to die on the same day, sometime in our late 90's and wish to never live a single day in grown up diapers.

I love my life. I love our dreams as a couple and as a family. And I pray that life will always remain this sweet and that we remain as lucky as we have been. But I have to admit that a little part of me; the part that watched my parents divorce, and a custody battle ensue, and my parents struggle to make ends meet, I have to admit that part of me has to wonder if I've gotten too lucky? A little voice tells me now and then to prepare for a fall because no one has what we have for long. I ignore that voice the majority of the time because it ruins the time I do have that is nice, and sweet, and perfect. And if that voice is right and no one is as lucky as Scott and I have been than I'm going to enjoy what I have while I have it. And what I have, right now, is a damned, charmed life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chatty Cathy

Gabriel has been speaking a bit more and is becoming understandable to people other than me, which is definitely a relief. Unfortunately he still slurs his words, drops consonants or gets his sounds so confused that sometimes I just look at him with, I'm sure, the most confused expression on my face. Because his speech is so jumbled it always astounds me to hear Edie speak so clearly. She's not even 13 months old yet and she already has 6 words in her vocabulary and she says them more clearly than Gabe can (other than "mom" which Gabe has down to a fine science and which he insists on saying 25 times a minute).

Edie can say "mama", "dada", "hi", "bye", "done" and "down". When she finishes her food she states "done" and if you aren't quick enough to respond she'll then start to toss her food on the floor...such a fun stage that is! When she falls over or lands on her tush she and Gabriel both shout "down" and laugh about it. She also loves to say "hi" and "bye" while waving at whoever she is talking to. Her grasp of language so early is astounding to me, especially when in comparison to my son. Gabe will be caught up soon though! He has an appointment with a speech pathologist in September to assess how far behind he is; and if he needs some extra help then he can get it and be caught up before he starts preschool.

Although Gabe is behind in his language skills (especially when compared to his sister) his understanding of mechanical or hands on applications amazes me. You can show that kid once how to do something and he will remember. He loves puzzles and puts them together (sometimes upside down!), he has buttons, zippers, latches, door handles, locks, blocks, child safety devices, all figured out. I've also never met a kid who enjoys keeping toy containers and packaging so he can put them all back in the correct place he first received it in. His memory is surprisingly good!

I have no doubt that with a little extra help Gabriel will catch up on his language. I guess it is still surprising to me that kids raised in an identical environment can be so different. I can't wait to see what my new baby is like, where he or she will excel and how he or she will differ from my other kiddies! It's truly exciting to watch your kids take on their own completely distinct personalities and talents!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Running away

My son has a new, extremely annoying and worrying, thing he has begun to do. Whenever we are out in public he now thinks it's not only funny, but adventurous to just take off. You literally can't take your eyes off that kid for longer than 30 seconds. At my wedding, Scott's parents were in charge of my kids, or so I believed, but they became so busy with entertaining Edie and passing her around that soon they lost track of my son. It was only after coming back from pictures was I informed that my friend Alena found my son wandering by himself in the parking lot, next to a busy highway.

After that my family kept a close eye on him and I got to relax a bit, although my sister Michelle had to tell me more than once that they were handling it, and to stop chasing him and just enjoy my special day.

After my wedding the family reunion was still going on so Scott and I took the kids to the Enderby campground that my family was staying in and while Scott was gone (picking up some things at my grandparents house that we had forgotten there) my mom was placed in charge of Gabriel while I attempted to put Edie down for a nap. I was talking with my sister in law Mandy when I noticed Gabriel wander behind one of the tents. When he didnt come back out again a few minutes later I asked her to go grab him. Mandy came rushing back blurting out that he wasnt there. She ran to the path where the river was and said he wasnt in that direction either. That's when I began to panic.

My family was everywhere but no one was hearing Mandy and my's announcement that Gabe was missing. Finally I screamed at the top of my lungs with my voice breaking, "MY SON IS MISSING! HELP ME!" then everyone jumped into high gear while I fought back the rush of panic that threatened to collapse me into a puddle of tears. A few minutes later (the scariest of my life) a nearby neighbour came carrying my son as she heard our shouts for him. He was crying because he had tripped and fallen but otherwise seemed unharmed. After that little family panic session EVERY person in the camp kept their eye on him.

At this point I know not to take him out without someone directly in charge of watching him, whether that be me or someone else, and other than a multitude of time outs, im not sure what I should be doing to stop this behaviour.

Any mom's out there have any suggestions? Im at the end of my rope!!

Shout Out!

For all those who helped during my wedding and the week before, Scott and I really appreciate it. Some of the biggest help came from my maid of honour Lynsey, who not only took a week off so she could help with arrangements, but helped to save my sanity when I was at the end of my rope. She was awesome with the kids, and they really liked her, and Scott really appreciated how helpful she was with running messages back and forth for us. My step mom Teresa even commented on how nice it must be to have someone so proactive to help with the wedding! Thanks Lyns, you have no idea how much help you were to us! We won't forget it and Scott and I look forward to visiting with you again sometime soon!

I also want to say thank you to Teresa and dad for being so helpful with lending us their room to get ready in, for my dad who watched the kids so Scott and I could have a bachelor/bachelorette party, and for the pictures they took that will always remind us what a special day we had.

My sister's helped to make all our bouquets which was awesome, even if mine bit the dust in the fridge! And I'm glad Michelle was there to cinch me into my dress! My nephews were also of great help to watch my son during the reception (he was found wandering further and further from the reception hall by a friend of mine..that kid has issues with staying put!) By the way, thanks to Alena who recognized that my son probably shouldnt be running around on his own and brought him back for me!

My brother Jared stood up for Scott as a replacement for his best friend who just couldnt manage to get the time off work and I know Scott really appareciated that! We also want to thank the rest of the wedding party's help during our special day (Shaun and Krissy).

Finally I want to thank my mother and Jefferson (her husband) who made our invitations, set up the reception hall, and babysat my kids quite a few times, and who walked my daughter and son down the aisle. Without those special moments handled, our day would have been woefully incomplete! So there's an extra special thanks to you guys!!!

Thank you all for your time and effort, the day would not have gone as nicely or as smoothly without your help!


Carrie and Scott.

Wedded Bliss

Getting married to Scott was one of the best decisions of my life. He is such a good guy, I'm not sure how I lucked out in being the one to snag him. Now we are married and although it is business as usual, I no longer feel fraudish calling him my husband (something I have done for quite a while). Now I just have to go and get my name changed and the marriage will take on that little extra meaning. It will be nice to have the same last name as my kids.

Speaking of which I'm so happy how well behaved my kids were for the multitude of babysitters they had. I was hoping that my mom would be able to take them all of the time (so they wouldn't need to be shuffled from person to person) but with the heat and the family reunion there were days she just didn't feel up to it. At the time I was more than a little annoyed, but in the end my dad got to spend some quality time with them and so did Scott's parents and grandparents. So it all worked out for the best.

I won't lie, the day before and the day of the wedding, I was a little more than stressed out. I had a rehearsal that more than half my wedding party didn't attend (because they forgot, were sick, or just didn't make into town yet) and then I was bombarded with questions just before the ceremony about how it was all supposed to go down. Soon after explanations to everyone we discovered the music we had burned to CD hadn't actually burned at all (Ahem...Scott) so my cousin (Shana) who was supposed to sing during our reception, ended up singing our first dance song as the wedding march (Adele's "Make You Feel My Love"). And she did it all without music. GO Shana!! Everyone really enjoyed the impromptu performance and again, it turned out to be for the best.

We had many compliments after the ceremony about how beautiful, funny, and nicely short it was. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. The reception was held outside and as will all outside venues people had to contend with some bugs, and with the weather which was crazy ass hot, but there was so many kids there I wouldn't have had it any other way. All the kids really enjoyed the toys and baby jail we brought, and loved to run all over the place. I know my kids had a blast and I think everyone else's did too.

All in all the wedding was beautiful, Scott looked awesome in his serge, Edie was adorable in her dress, Gabe was a heart breaker in the little serge we got for him, and everyone really loved my dress and said they couldn't even tell I was pregnant. The best part of the day, for me, was hearing our minister Stu pronounce us husband and wife. Best words EVER!

As for wedded bliss...with two kids and another on the way, I'm probably as close as a mother can get to any sort of married, honeymoonish bliss! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Loving you is wait...

Two. Year. Olds. Must I say more? Gabriel has been testing his boundaries like never before and with most things I'm patient, calm, and nicely reiterate that "no, you aren't allowed to climb on the counters, if you would like a cracker just ask me". "No you can't go out and play right now, it's too hot, just wait until the yard is dark (shaded) then we can all go out in the pool". With most things he wants and can't have I can give him an explanation and he usually readily accepts it. But there are a few things where his attitude and tantrum comes through full force. The main problem I'm having is his lack of consideration when it comes to sharing his favourite toys. He is so possessive over his balls and cars that any child (including his sister) who attempts to play with them, promptly gets a shove or slap in the face. He always ends up in a time out but it seems to do nothing to phase him or divert him from doing it again. Then I started to take away his toys, which only seemed to turn his aggression towards me. I was getting to the end of my rope when I realized that he was always punished but never praised.

Yesterday I decided to try a completely different approach and instead of giving warnings and time out threats I started to layer on the praise whenever he did something nice, or even semi considerate when it came to Edie and his toys. Additionally, I have been trying to turn his aggressive energy into doing something courteous by making him believe that being nice was his intention all along. For example, If he wants a toy Edie has and I know hes going to try and snatch it from her I say something like "oh what a good boy you are for letting Edie play with your toy" then he looks up at me smiles, and says "yesh" like it was his plan all along. Even though it has only been a day there has already been a lot less time outs and crying kids in my house.

Twos. I imagine it can only be rivaled by Teens and I'm still young enough to remember and recoil at the thought that my kids will be that rebellious one day...But I'm getting ahead of myself, he is only two after all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Imaginarium of Gabriel Smart Assness

Gabriel has always had quite the imagination but it's taken on whole new levels recently. His pretend play has gone beyond his toys to include the use of his sister. When I say use of his sister I mean that in every literal sense of the word. It's not so much that he'll sit beside her and include her in a game of cars, or working at a puzzle. Instead he uses her as a prop in his pretend play (and shes rarely happy about it).

Some of his favourite games begin with the cushions on the red couch. He likes to pretend that hes not allowed to touch the floor and will jump from pillow to pillow with them. Edie loves this game because then she gets to climb on something nice and soft but it never turns out how she plans. Often she will become just another pillow in Gabe's play. Many times I will find Edie screaming beneath Gabe as he runs over top of her; foot squarely in her shoulder blades, her face mashed into the floor. I will tell Gabe to knock it off before he ends up in timeout and he always points at Edie as though she were the one causing all the ass.

Other times he uses the pillows as a place for pretend sleeping and if Edie gets too close he will insist she play with him. He will pick her up and force her to lay next to him. Her kicks and screams are completely ignored as hes laying the blanket on top of her, shushing her screams and pretend snoring in her ear. When I ask what he thinks he's doing, he runs to the light switch, turns the lights off, and tells me "don't" and shushes my apparent rudeness. Edie's trying to sleep after all...Smart ass.

The last game he has begun to play with her, I call "Charles in Charge". Often times Gabriel decides that he needs to help me discipline Edie. If I ask Edie to stop touching the dirty dishes, or to stay out of a cupboard, or if she wanders into the bathroom to unroll some toilet paper, I will inevitably find Gabe trying to discipline her. His imagination dictating that he is as responsible as any adult...enough, at least, to be in charge of his little sister. If I tell him that it's inappropriate to discipline Edie, he shrugs as if saying "well you weren't doing anything about it"...Smart Ass.

As much as I look forward to hearing my son speak, I don't relish the day when his smart ass actions, turn into smart ass remarks.

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I've just turned one and I have a few requests for my first birthday year. Yes, as your little girl I intend on milking my birthday for an entire year. The first thing I would like to request (for the summer months at least) is that you stop treating me as though I were a premature infant. I promise daddy, that when I sleep at night I will not develop hypothermia. When It's 20 degree outside, I don't need my room to have the heat on. It's hard for me to sleep in a sauna. And may I point out that with it being the summer, and having my heat on (often turned to 20) I don't need three blankets placed on me. I think I'm at more danger of heat stroke than freezing to death. So I beg you to refrain from treating me as though I could turn into a human popsicle at any point during my sleep at night.

The second major request I have is that you stop flinching every time Gabriel comes running out of nowhere in my general direction. Sometimes I like to be tackled into submission while he gives me raspberries. It's really fun. I promise I'm not as breakable as you think just because I'm a girl. Pretty soon I will be bigger than Gabe and beating him up. You just watch and see. I'm one tough cookie.

Finally I would like to request that even with another baby on the way that you continue to spoil me. I have to admit I will be very jealous and will need lots of attention from you. After all, our relationship is special and I don't want it to ever change.

I love you daddy.

Your daughter,