Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Weekend Without Daddy

Steve went on a guys' weekend to the beach, so the kids and I were home alone. Steve has spent many, many weekends over the past seven years taking care of the kids while I've been away on women's retreats, girls' weekends, and family events; but unbelievably, I have never spent a weekend with the kids all by myself. (I know.)

The kids and I had good times. On Friday evening, we got together with the other families whose dads were on the beach trip and let everyone pig out on pizza and race around the yard playing. It was a beautiful evening in the Carolinas and perfect for outdoor play.

The rest of the weekend was a different story: cold and rainy. Indoor activities only! In desperation, I took the kids to the mall. (Be silent. Take it in. I took the kids to the mall.) I don't know what it is about those places, but malls are unparallelled for bringing out my children's inner hyenas. I'm really not a "mall person" to start with, and over the years I have learned my lesson the hard way about taking kids there. The boys cannot take two steps unaccompanied by extreme horseplay. Libby wants in the stroller. No, out of the stroller. No, in the stroller. No... Everyone is suddenly hungry. And thirsty. And has to go to the bathroom. Adam is drawn to the stroller hood like a cat to catnip. updownupdownupdownupdown. Andrew insists that yes, we really CAN ride the escalator with the stroller. And he really sticks to his guns, determined to argue his point to the death (or to my admission to the asylum, which is surely not far off). All this while we're surrounded by the hundreds of other people who have brought their children to the mall to get out of the rain. But, as I said, I was desperate. I had to return a couple dresses -- which, ironically, I'd been putting off for almost a month until I could find time to do it without the kids. And I did manage to accomplish that -- just as Adam leaned into a rack of clothes only to find that *shock* a bunch of hanging sweaters could not support the weight of a small rambunctious boy. At that point I fled the mall with my gang of hyenas, clutching my return receipt and the shreds of my dignity.

Everything else was pretty uneventful after that. There was a trip to the McDonald's with the really fun playplace. Confirmation that Andrew has inherited my tendency to carsickness if I read in the car. Family game night. Further confirmation that Mommy Brain has killed off a lot of brain cells when I had to tell the kids that we would have to wait for Daddy to get home to read the Yahtzee instructions because they were just too confusing for me. Church.

All in all, we had a pretty good time, just the kids and I. But we were all super-excited to see Steve walk in the door this afternoon.

Now maybe we can play Yahtzee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Was Wrong

March = Termites.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March = Crickets

Clearly I haven't blogged in a while. We're still here; we're just hibernating. I've been feeling so guilty about not keeping up with the family journal, but then I looked back at the archives and realized that March/April is apparently the time each year that I get a little behind with this. So it's time to play catch-up. In completely random order, here's what's been going on:

Andrew is recovering from a nasty little bout of bronchitis. Fortunately we have terrific pediatricians and modern medications, and he is much better. Unfortunately one of the modern medications essential to his recovery is a steroid. If you've ever read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that is the story of Andrew on this medication. It happens time and time again with this stuff...our sweet, mild-mannered little boy becomes *crazed.* Back-talking. Running around the living room in hyperactive circles. Defiant. When he first had to take this steroid four years ago, we thought he had lost his mind and that we had lost our easy-going little boy. Now we know to expect "the change." We just write a note to his teacher begging for mercy and patience, and we know we will get our beloved Dr. Jekyll back in a few days' time.

Libby has discovered the movie "Cinderella"! She doesn't sit through the whole thing, but she has probably seen all of it in bits and pieces. Here she is with her friend Gracie watching it for the first time. Now she talks nonstop about "Gracie, popcorn, and 'Cinderella.' "

While Libby and Gracie were downstairs watching "Cinderella," Adam and Gracie's brother Aedan were busy watching "Star Wars" in their man cave.

Adam has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder. I cannot express what a relief this has been to find this out. He's always been our "wild one." Whatever the experience, Adam wants it faster. Higher. Harder. Crazier. We call him "Kramer" (as in Cosmo Kramer from "Seinfeld") because he never just walks into a room...he falls into it in some crazy way. And while he's one of the most athletic kids on the street, he can't sit through a meal without falling off his chair. These observations (and several others) gave me an uneasy feeling, but I kept chalking it up to his age: "Oh, he's just being two...Oh, he's just being three..." etc. But now he's five, and I realized there might be more to it. My sister Abby gave me a great book called The Out-of-Sync Child, and wow! There was Adam -- a sensory-seeking little boy. An evaluation with an occupational therapist confirmed what I had read. We're already seeing some progress from some of the new tricks we've learned to help Adam.

Regarding the was a relief to have a diagnosis, but talking with the occupational therapist also confirmed one of my worst fears. I asked her if therapy would extinguish Adam's sensory-seeking behavior or just give him ways to work with/through it. She said it depends, but most likely he will always have that need for the thrill. Read: I am going to be spending my old age chasing Adam around the continent and holding a giant rescue net on the ground while he dangles off every mountainside he can find. I have an "X-treme" child. (I have suspected this from the time he was a newborn and could get out of any swaddling I threw his way.)

Further regarding the above...he gets it from his father. People in my family just like to watch TV and knit. We could not be less "X-treme"...we're really not cool enough to be "X-" anything. But we know lots of the answers on "Jeopardy," and we make really great all-cotton washcloths.

In other news, Libby got a new nightgown! I think she has accessorized it beautifully.

And that, folks, is our March. We're back!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Can you guess yesterday's theme? Hair!

Andrew had Crazy Hair Day at school (part of Spirit Week). I think he qualifies for an award:

And yesterday after preschool, Libby went to the salon for a "real" haircut. She was looking a little scraggly, and we needed to address the home haircut she had inflicted on herself in January. Since her little experiment with the scissors, we have had many, many conversations about how only Mommy and Miss Karmen cut Libby's hair. So Libby was quite happy to climb up in the chair at the salon and sit nice and still while Miss Karmen made her look a whole lot better!