Blog Archive

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eddie at 25 Months: Morning Routine

I seem to be completely incapable of getting Eddie to daycare earlier than 9am. He's signed up for "full time" daycare/preschool so technically we are paying for him to be there from 8am-6pm. But that's crazy: no way am I going to sacrifice that much of my day to be without him and no way am I even able to get him there that early!

The minutes in the morning seem to fly by. The only solution is to wake him up earlier in the morning...but I don't really like waking him up. I prefer to let him wake up naturally so he's in a better mood. And it reinforces that he doesn't need Mama right when he wakes up. Most mornings he chatters, sings, and plays in his crib until I go in and get him. I like his independence in that way.
  • 6:30am: my alarm goes off
  • 6:45am: I get up, make the bed, feed the dogs, start the coffee, etc.
  • 7:15-7:20am: I emerge dressed and teeth-brushed from the bathroom after a shower
  • 7:20am: I set up our breakfast (eggs on counter, butter in frying pan, water and oats in pot, etc.) and pack the bike trailer with our stuff (diaper bag, stuff to mail, my backpack)
  • 7:35am (sometimes as late as 7:50am): Hear Eddie on the monitor, finish up whatever task I'm doing before I get him up and change his diaper (may or may not convince him to change into clothes yet)
  • Between7:40am: Eddie sits on counter while I cook breakfast. We watch the news.
  • 7:50-8:15am: Sit down for breakfast. It is our only true meal "together" because he's actually hungry enough to sit still long enough for us both to eat our food. I cherish this somewhat leisurely meal with him because by dinnertime he's more fidgety and often not very hungry after having snacks at I end up eating most of my meal alone.
  • 8:15am: Put dirty dishes in dishwasher, wash oatmeal pot, pack my lunch (leftovers from dinner) and put into bike trailer, dress Eddie, fill dog bowls for dinner that night and stash in cupboard, try to make Eddie brush his teeth
  • 8:30am: Prepare house for dogs to be left alone (Taters has been acting up recently, getting into loaves of bread, knocking over the garbage can, etc. so I have to "prep" now): put garbage can up on counter, move scented candles onto high shelf, stash all carbohydrate foods in oven, close bathroom doors, fill water bowl, etc.
  • 8:40-8:45amam: Convince Eddie that it's time to "go see Cassie!" We put sweaters on if needed, open the garage door, back the bike and trailer out onto driveway, convince Eddie to get into the trailer so I can buckle him and clip on his helmet, roll up my pants leg (lest it get caught on the gears), close garage door
  • 9am: Arrive at Cassie's
You'd think that 2.5 hours would be PLENTY of time to get all that done. But I can't seem to trim down ANY of it. I've tried getting up earlier, but as a person who seems to operate with the sun 6:30am is about as early as I can manage (unless I have a newborn who decides when I get up...thank goodness that's behind us). I've tried waking Eddie up earlier, as naturally as possible, by opening his door at about 7:10am and letting our ambient noise wake him. But it doesn't usually work. I've tried putting him to bed a full half hour early to see if that'd make him wake up earlier...but it doesn't.

I like to be on time or a little early for everything. But daycare isn't do-able. It doesn't REALLY seem to matter since the kids are usually doing a craft from 8:30-9am and then having a snack. (So no major curriculum or anything.) But I feel weird bringing him at 9 when I see on the sign in sheet that everyone else gets their kids there by 8am. And we're all either students or professors so none of us have super rigid work hours. Am I just feeling guilty that my child has a great sleep pattern?

Shifting our schedule would be an option, say to 9am-6pm at daycare, but Eddie is SO tired from playing hard all day that he's unmanageable by the time I pick him up. And then I'm just fighting him and we don't get any quality PM time together.

I'm seriously considering buying one of those daylight simulator things for my room and putting it on a timer so it turns on 30 minutes before I have to get out of bed. Maybe the light will trick my brain into thinking the sun is up so I can get up a little earlier.

In other news, I have the cutest kid ever, as evidenced in the following video:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Croup, Apple Pressing, and Mushrooming

Last week about half of the kiddos at Eddie's daycare got colds and/or croup. (Self-diagnosed, I admit, but what else makes all those kids bark like seal lions when they cough?). So I only went to school through Tuesday. Wednesday Eddie woke up sounding like a dog so we stayed home. He didn't seem sick or uncomfortable otherwise but illness rules dictate that kiddos stay home with icky coughs like that, especially when so many other kids at preschool were even sicker. The last thing I wanted was to infect MORE kids, especially the little babies.

It was actually a really nice change of pace to stay home with Eddie. Since March of this year I basically gave up my full days and then my half days off with Eddie. I had to TA pretty much every single day spring quarter and then I jumped full-force into my exam prep so there wasn't any time to stay home with him. I had hoped that I'd be able to take at least one afternoon off each week with Eddie this quarter...I haven't done it yet, but I think I will start that up again soon. Kids are so different at different parts of the day--depending on their energy levels, etc. And I miss hanging out with my bumkin by myself (I have to "share" him with Dave on weekends). So even thought it was a "sick" day we still got to do fun stuff like take a walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things and play outside.

Edward was still at our house and he noticed the van door was left open in the driveway. I'd let Eddie in there to find his sandals and forgot to close it before we walked to the store (oops!). So he texted me asking if I wanted it closed. When I responded I told him we'd wait for him at the corner of such-and-such streets if he wanted to join us on our walk. A few minutes later Eddie began waving and saying, "Uncle! Over there!" We meandered around the Grocery Outlet for a while and then I showed Edward the newish Chinese/dim sum place in the shopping center. He was suddenly craving dim sum so we ate lunch there. Most of it was "eh" but the steamed buns were SUPER good. We got the "student lunch special" for Eddie because I know he likes chow mein...apparently this special is only available from 12-12:2opm. How weird for the window of time to be so short.

I'd planned on driving up to Gualala on Thursday evening after school and letting Eddie sleep in the car. Dave had already taken all of Eddie's stuff up there so I'd just have to transfer a sleeping Eddie to his crib. Edward needed to get back to Livermore via train in time for an interview and I figured that we might as well spend our sick days up in Gualala so we could at least see Dave in the evenings. So we decided at about 1pm to depart ASAP. Edward helped me tidy the house, feed/water the chickens, and pack the van. I dropped him off at the Fairfield train station at 3pm. Eddie and I arrived in Gualala at 7pm since we stopped for a leisurely Taco Bell dinner in Petaluma. We sat inside next to the windows of the drive through. It was SO fun to watch drive-through-ers watch Eddie dance to the loud music playing inside the restaurant.

My MIL is in Arkansas visiting some family so it was pretty quiet and relaxing around the house while Dave and my FIL were at work. We played outside a lot, went to the park and the grocery store, played with the dogs, checked out the apple orchard, and did TONS of laundry. Boy howdy, do loggers dirty a lot of clothes. People say that when person returns to his childhood home he reverts back to his childlike habits. That is 90% true for Dave. He grew up in a household where only Mom does the dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. because that's how Mom wants it. So when we are there, he leaves his dishes on the table, throws dirty laundry on the floor, doesn't make his bed, etc. And his dad is even more that way. So since MIL wasn't there, I took up her duties. I was happy to do it most of the time. But I learned something about myself over the 4 days we were there: I don't like tending to other people's needs when they expect me to do it without any appreciation extended whatsoever. Dave and I always thank each other for everything: cooking, cleaning, putting laundry away, taking the dogs on a walk, etc. It is how we work. My FIL is not that way...and it made me a little grumpy sometimes. But it was totally worth it so Eddie could see Dave before and after work.The weekend was much more fun because we got to hang out with Dave, plus Edward and Jennifer came up for the weekend, too. Saturday we spent most of the morning hunting for King Boletus mushrooms. I hit the jackpot after an hour and found three. Dave found one and left another behind so Jennifer could discover it on her own. The ones we didn't eat were put into the freezer to use at Thanksgiving. Then that evening we all went into the orchard to pick apples. We found two trees with delicious apples that were virtually bug-free so we picked every last apple of each of those trees. You can tell what Eddie's thinking in this picture..."Mama, we have ENOUGH apples. Let's go inside and watch Spiderman or Bob the Builder now." A couple of days before, Eddie and I discovered a bunch of bear prints and poop in the orchard, along with two damaged trees. You could clearly see where the bears, one big and one small, came in through the fencing. We played phone tag all weekend with the Department of Fish and Game, the Warden, and Animal Control to get a trap set to catch and relocate the bears. Of course, with budget cuts there doesn't seem to be anyone available to help out.

Saturday night my FIL agreed to stay home with Eddie after he went to bed so us kids could go out for dinner. We went to Bones Roadhouse for some smoked brisket. It was so good that Dave and I ordered a second plate of it at the end. Mmmmm.

Sunday morning we got the garage set up with all the apple pressing equipment: tables, press, knives, cutting boards, fan, food processors, garbage disposal, etc. At 11am, Jennifer and I filled a coffin-sized cooler with 4 boxes of washed apples and used the wagon to haul it into the garage. By 4:30pm we were hauling all the equipment back to the sink to wash up. Edward and Jennifer left at about 5:30 so they could drive home with a nice view of the ocean. We ended up with 21-22 gallons of cider this year. HOLY CRAP, that's a lot. Last year we had like 20 people working on 7 boxes and it took 8 hours. This year it was just 4 people doing 6 boxes in only 5.5 hours. We put it all in canning jars so I could can it to be shelf-stable so we don't have to take up freezer space. That canning process took hours, but at least I could watch Netflix while the pots boiled. Dave and I were totally exhausted Sunday night (and yesterday). We need to limit ourselves next year. Maybe only 4 boxes? It was so hard to stop picking apples when they were so good and bug-free!

(Oh, and Eddie's cough was gone by Sunday evening so our Gualalan respite seemed to do the trick to get him healthy again!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learning by Imitation

Isn't it adorable to watch your child learn how to do things by watching...and copying you?

Here are some of my favorite instances of our little man trying so hard to be a big boy.

-Wearing his backpack, like a big boy (this is our backup diaper bag that we keep in the BOB stroller):

-Helping Dadda with any shoveling or pitch-forking needs:

-Pretending to text and chat on the phone (complete with rambling conversations about everything from having poopy diapers, to what he did that day, to what he wants to eat for a snack):

Yesterday and today we've been home sick with what I think is croup. Eddie sounds like a LOUD sea lion when he coughs and his voice is getting hoarse, but he really doesn't have any other major symptoms at this point--and I hope it stays that way! He cries when he coughs (mostly morning and night and after a nap) but I can't tell if the sound scares him or if it actually hurts. Several kids at Eddie's daycare have croup or bronchitis or something. His energy level is still high enough that he wants to ride his bike, help wash dishes and do all the other stuff he normally does at home. Cool air is supposed to help reduce swelling in the larynx so I figure playing outside is fine as long as we avoid other kiddos so we don't spread the virus around.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mommy's Surprise Party!

About two months ago Jennifer and I decided to plan something for my mom's birthday. We talked about various options and then settled on treating her to a massage and manicure. I thought it'd be fun to invite some of her friends along, as a surprise, and then follow it up with a surprise luncheon at a Livermore restaurant.

Before I knew it, it was only 2 weeks before her birthday and we hadn't planned anything. THEN, in the blink of an eye, what I envisioned as a ladies-only day morphed into a full blown, 20-person surprise dinner at Casa Orozco.

The changes are largely my "fault" because I couldn't bring myself to say "no" when guests asked if they could bring their spouses. Plus, my mom wanted a bunch of us to tour the David Glass House in San Ramon that morning and then go out to lunch. She invited a couple of friends to those activities so I had to rearrange the dinner and poor Jenifer was stuck finding a suitable spa that could accommodate 5 of us. Also a consideration was finding a spa that would do a scalp massage since my mom doesn't want to lay on her stomach for too long because of her chemo treatment portacath in her chest. Luckily she found a place called The Livermore Spa that offered to do a scalp massage for her even though they don't normally do them.

I got up early on Saturday morning to pick up an Austrian torte from a bakery here in Davis, then drove to San Ramon to meet Jennifer, my mom, Gayla, and Liz for the house tour. Of course, we got there just 1 minute too late for the 10am tour so we had to wait an hour. But there was plenty to do: tractor rides, a pumpkin patch, and a 4-H exhibit with chicken and rabbits. Jennifer and I spent a long time talking to some overly enthusiastic and dorky high school students about the animals. The tour was nice and it was cool to see how people lived in the East Bay back in the 1800s.

We drove to downtown Danville and found an Italian bistro with outdoor seating for lunch. This whole time I had the torte in a cooler in the back of the van so I had to make sure to always park in the shade, lest it melt in the heat. I called Edward and made him meet us for lunch...and to bring more ice packs for the cooler! After lunch I traded cars with Edward so he could get the cooler into the house while Jennifer and my mom went to the spa.

At the spa, Kateri and Liz met up with us. My mom was so surprised and happy that we'd planned for her friends to come along! The spa ladies opened a bottle of champagne for us, too! Kateri, Jennifer, and I got our toes done while my mom and Liz sat on the couch chatting. Later, my mom got her scalp massage while Liz got her fingers done. The massage lady came out to tell me that my mom was "purring" (snoring) and asleep on the massage table. Haha. I asked if it was okay to leave her there for a while since she'd had a long day and needed a rest. At about 5 I went into wake her up since we had to get home to change for dinner--turns out she was not asleep (for long) but didn't know if she was allowed to get up or not. Haha!

We'd told my mom that we were going to take her to a non-Emil Villa's dinner that night as a family. Of course she kept asking, "How in the world did you get DADDY to agree to eat someplace else???" I told her he agreed only because it was her birthday and that I had a Groupon for a free birthday meal, as long as it was within 1 week of their actual birth date. My lie worked since she has no idea what Groupon is and I told her it was an "online coupon." Yes!

All of us except my mom dressed up a little for dinner. I told her I wanted to dress up simply to wear one of my new Stitch Fix purchases. My dad, of course, only dressed up because he had a set of clothes he'd worn the week before to a memorial service and figured he "might as well wear them again before washing."

Lucky for us, my mom didn't recognize any of her friends' cars as we arrived at the restaurant. I left the cake in the cooler in the rear of the car so she never saw it. I told her we had a reservation so I asked where our table was and then marched us back to the banquet room.

As she walked in, most people stood up to welcome her. I loved seeing the look on her face when she realized what was going on! She first saw someone that looked like her sister-in-law, Bev. Then looked at someone else and realized it was her friend, Greg. Then it hit her--a surprise party! We had old neighbors from our first house, a high school friend of hers, her brother and sister-in-law, people from church, Dyani's grandparents, etc. It was awesome.I had told everyone to bring cash because I knew they wouldn't split up our table 10 different ways. But when the bill came, my dad offered to pay for everything! Amazing, right? (Yes, thank you Daddy!) We brought out the cake and sang happy birthday. I love it when other diners sing along, too.After we dropped my parents off at home, Edward, Jennifer, and I went to pick up Alex and then went to a few bars (clubs? I don't know...) downtown. I had only three drinks from 9:30-1am and it was plenty. We got some breakfast at IHOP and then went home to bed. My room was too hot and the walls so thin that I woke up at 7am when I heard my mom walking around. Ug....I did not feel well until I got my steak and eggs breakfast and coffee at Emil Villa's. Conclusion: I am too OLD to stay out partying until 2am. But I did have fun hanging out with Alex, drinking girly cocktails, and wearing my cute outfit.