Saturday, March 31, 2012

Night One is Done!!

Well we got through the first night of sharing a room with very little sleep but also very little screaming so it should probably be counted as a victory.

We put the girls down early knowing that they would probably play and talk (which they did) and hoping that going down early would help them get to sleep at a decent hour.  They spent about an hour talking and playing, putting on slippers, reading books (which reminds me I need to take those out), and asking for milk.  Then Chopper and I left to go to a movie!!  We haven't had a date in so long and April is already packed with scout stuff so we took our chance and ran!  The babysitter said that they were up for about another 45 minutes after we left but gradually just quieted down.  And when Chop and I checked on them at 11:30 when we got back, they were each sleeping in their own bed, covered up and snug.  Very sweet.

And then 1 a.m. rolled around.  Mind you, the movie we went to see was The Hunger Games and while it was very good, I could NOT get my mind to settle so I was STILL AWAKE at 1 a.m. and here comes the patter of little fit and a sweet little voice at my bedside says "hey mom!  I need milk!"  That would be Abby.  When Megan comes in at night she's either crying or needing to go potty.  But Abby was ready for the day and taking advantage of being able to get out of bed.  So I got her a drink and put her back to bed and about 1:10 a.m. I hear the patter of little feet and "hey mom!".  So again we go and this time I turn off the flashlight and pull the door to, but not quite shut.  The third time it happened, I shut the door and she cried for 45 minutes.  Miraculously, Megan DID NOT wake up!  She does sleep like the dead -- thank you!

Megan never had this issue -- when we switched her to a bed she physically couldn't get in and out by herself!!

But this morning they were both up at 7:30, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Abby is currently taking a nap in her bed and I have no heard a peep.  I think she's pretty tired.

We also went to a an Easter egg hunt this morning before General Conference.  Actually they were just spread out on the field but the girls enjoyed it.  They had an Easter bunny there of course who looked EXACTLY like the Easter bunny in Steel Magnolia.   It completely freaked Megan out and she would not go anywhere near him and hid behind me most of the time.  Abby on the other hand kept seeking him out and then went right up to him, told him "I have eggs!" and smiled for a picture.  

They are so different!  It's actually so fun to see it too!
 A field of eggs.  If you lay them, they will come . . . 

 Concept very easily grasped.  Megan insisted on the smaller basket -- you know how she likes small things.  And eventually decided that she had enough eggs.  Fine with me!  There's were kids with piles and piles though.

Look at this!!  How funny is that?  Especially when I compare it to the ONE picture I have managed to take of Megan with Santa Claus and she is screaming her head off.  This just really makes me laugh.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Moments

As much as Megan and Abby fight and torture each other, there are moments when I have hope for a great sister relationship.  At least, I hope they will someday!  Last night was one of those.  These are long videos and not very exciting but they literally sat together for almost a half hour (they're not that long though) and read books to each other.  It was so sweet.

But right now I hear screaming!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Weeds Aren't the Only Thing Growing (Finally)!!

Happy Birthday to Abby with a well-child check!  And believe it or not, there has been a growth spurt!  We have now entered the realm of double digits which means that she is still really tiny but  at least she's growing!

Weight -- 23.8 pounds (14%)
Height -- 32.5 inches (17%)
Head -- 46.5 centimeters (24%)

Also, her 4 teeth kind've on the sides that have been missing for ages are finally coming in.  That partially explains why she wants ice all the time.  Her iron is a little low too and she loves to chew anyway but it's about time on those teeth!  We caught up on one immunization we were lacking and she hated it but is happy now about her Bugs Bunny bandaid.  Big difference from Megan who dragged herself around by her hands the last time she got shots.  (I haven't told her she has an appointment for a few shots next week too).

Megan's closet and dresser have been cleaned out to make some room for Abby's things so we can go ahead and move her this weekend.  I still haven't gotten her quilt back but it shouldn't be too long now and then I can take pictures of the finished room.  It's too cute!!  Then it's working on boy stuff!!  I'm actually really excited for that.  Boys may have boring wardrobes but there are cute ideas out there for decor!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

So Long, Farewell

I think this is our last Arboretum trip for a while.  I know, I know, you can't get enough of the posts that are 55 pictures long with all the bragging about how beautiful Texas can be in the spring (or fall).  Sorry.

Our membership expires on the 31st and with everything coming up for us, I won't be renewing right away.  Maybe when the children's discovery garden is finished.  Or next fall when I get a hankering for pumpkin.  But today will be it for a  while and it was a beautiful day to spend there -- 80 degrees and sunny with a fantastic breeze.  Which I so needed.  80 degrees may actually be my pregnancy limit which is a bad thing since I'm pretty sure it won't stay 80 degrees for the next 3 and a half months . . . 

 A puppy dog face today -- a little different from usual.  And then she kept asking me if I could paint her whole body brown!  I'm not exactly sure where this is coming from really.

This little pettiskirt is the cutest thing ever and at only $10 I might have to go back to Target and get one for Megan.  They are so much fun with all their bounce and twirlyness.

In other news, we are experiencing major potty regression with Megan.  It started as one accident a day and culminated (I hope anyway) with Megan not using the potty AT ALL yesterday.  I have been so emotionally drained by this that I snapped and put her in pull-ups -- not snapped in another way unless you count the crying.  Looking online it seems that this happens when there is stress in the child's life.  So I might have to experience some potty regression.  Ewwww.  Anyway, everyone says just let it go and give them ownership and praise when they're doing it right but don't punish them for not and it'll eventually end.  I really hope so because I hate this.  Thankfully, I got a good deal on carpet cleaning that I will be using as soon as the issue is resolved.  But what stressers can Megan possibly have in her life?  Maybe the new baby coming?  I have no clue.  I wish I could see inside her head.

Abby is going through a crying streak -- this morning she melted down because she missed seeing the garbage truck.  Thank goodness the second one comes around in the afternoon.  The other day it was because she wanted her swimsuit on.  Complete meltdown and I can't understand what she wants!  By the time I figure it out I'm tearing my hair out and then when I do figure it out she's completely fine.

Things have been very draining lately, can you tell? 

But then I feel bad because I'm trying to keep life in perspective.  It's really not all tortuous.  Abby tried to say M&M's today and that was good for a laugh and Megan has actually not thrown a single fit today so there are good times.  They sometimes just get swallowed up in the not so good.  But that's life I suppose.  Ok, I'll start being more positive -- I think I've done quite a bit of ranting lately actually!!!  Sorry!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Abby!

Ok so it's not quite official yet -- Wednesday is her actual birthday -- but we celebrated Abby turning 2 today!!

There are a few reasons for that -- most of them having to do with the fact that scouts is on Wednesdays and the last thing I want to spend my single-mom night doing is putting sugar-high kids to bed!!  Besides, Abby doesn't really know anyway.
Ahh, the fuzzy headed birthday girl with a breakfast of pancakes and strawberries.  A nice way to start the day!

Since I pretty much ate an entire peach cobbler this week and am looking remarkably plump around my pregnant middle, I decided rather than making cupcakes (and having 24 of them around for my consumption), I would buy this stinking cute cupcake arrangement that I saw at Target a few weeks back. 

 How adorable is that?  And it wasn't ready when it was supposed to be so I got it for 60% off (gotta love that) and the pot and sticks and butterflies are all reusable plastic so I'm very excited for future birthdays.  I had told the girls when I left I was going to pick up birthday cake and when I walked back through that door about 11 a.m. they both came running and screaming "birthday cake!"  It was so nice to be loved!! :)

 After lunch Abby had some play time with daddy while Megan had a tantrum in her room.  Then we were finally able to get to presents!!

 I am not kidding when I say that even last Christmas Megan needed help opening presents.  Abby on the other hand, tore through those things like there was no tomorrow and then asked for more.  Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have wrapped like objects together . . . 

 Nope -- no toys.  The girls have so many and Abby isn't quite to the point where she has specific toys that she adores.  Instead she got lots of books (Jane Yolen dinosaur books and Karma Wilson bear books which I love and yes, she loves them too -- oh and an Elmo lift the flap from Grandma), cute sandals from Grandma (and Grandpa -- I don't mean to leave you out!!), movies (Backyardigans and Olivia), and 2 "ballerina" skirts which is code for nice and poofy.  When she wears them, there will be pictures!!
And yes, Megan has already confiscated everything and declared them "mine and Abby's presents" and asked me when she gets her skirts (because Abby's don't fit her -- Easter maybe?).

 Then it was on to cake -- hooray!!!

 Notice two things here -- one, the fascination on her face as Chopper lights the candles, and two, the distance between her and those lit candles.  She kind've likes fire.

 And she COMPLETELY knew what she was supposed to do!  Couldn't quite accomplish it but I tell you what, she really was trying to blow those candles out.  And I love this look on her face!
 Even from above she couldn't quite get it and Chopper had to help.  Oh well, because the real fun is next . . . 

 Oh yeah!  Like all store-bought cupcakes, there was a ton of frosting on top and they were overly sweet for my taste but hey, they're all gone!!!  That's a bonus!!  And they were tasty.

 Fun for us, after 2 cupcakes both girls were covered in green frosting and cake crumbs.  But they both really enjoyed themselves.

It really was a great birthday for a 2-year old!!  We all really enjoyed ourselves actually.

I took several videos -- I kept trying to get Abby to say the things that she says ALL THE TIME because it's really cute to hear her little voice but as you'll see, she didn't stick around too much to tell me.  But, her favorite phrases include: that's so cute, look a cute baby!, that's mine, wha'jo do (what did you do? -- she asks me this ALL the time), it's my turn, watch a movie?, read books, I'm a ballerina (when wearing a poofy skirt), c'mon Megan.  I'm trying to think of what else -- she talks all the time and some of it is legible, some of it is momable (because even Chopper doesn't understand her) and some of it is gibberish.  But she has a really sweet voice.  She also loves to sing -- twinkle, twinkle little star, ABC's, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, popcorn popping.  A friend of mine watched the girls the other day when Chopper took me to urgent care and she distracted Abby with the piano.  She said Abby sat down and started "playing" and then all of a sudden was singing along!  I would have loved to see that!  Oh well, I get her cuteness 24/7 really right?  And she is a sweet 2 year old so far.  She has her moments of course but generally is easy-going and cuddly.  And likes to throw fake tantrums which are really hilarious and don't get her anywhere!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another step, hopefully, in the right direction

Chopper and I went to see a psychologist today about Megan.  We were there for nearly 2 hours talking about her behaviors and her background.  On the one hand, it felt really good to talk to someone and just lay it all out on the table.  On the other hand, no answers yet.  The doctor did say she really felt that it's not autism (which I agree with) and that it could possibly ranger from Asperger's to gifted.  Obviously we need to have Megan's evaluation and some other testing and paperwork completed so that she can get a better picture of Megan than what one conversation with the parents can give her.  In the meantime I feel like the best I can do is cope and escape.  And I hate feeling that way.  But I'm so frustrated with things not working right.  I guess, what did I expect as a parent you know?  It's not supposed to be easy but right now it feels impossible.

I have 3 1/2 months until this baby gets here and I'm starting to be scared.  Transitioning to 3 children will be hard enough as it is without all this crap (sometimes literally) happening.  I need a vacation.  I need a full week where I can study and read and figure some of this stuff out and come back armed for battle.  I feel like that level on Warcraft where it gives you 10 guys and a catapult and you have to defeat an entire enemy village and there's a way to do it but you get beat about 15 times before you figure out the strategy.  Except that I never had much patience for that and I'd either use a cheat code or go online and find the answer.  Huh, maybe that's why things are so difficult now . . . I never learned my lessons from Warcraft!!!  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

We're So Glad When Grandpa Comes!!

My dad's company has a plant just south of Dallas and so he comes down a few times a year to check on it or do something -- I don't really know.  Anyway, he was able to fly in yesterday and be here last night and the girls were so excited to have Grandpa here!  In fact, we didn't even pull out the treats until almost bedtime (thanks Grandma!)!  Megan was showing off with all of her acrobatics and Abby was running and chasing.  He played with them, gave them piggy-back rides, and tickled.  But the best thing I think was the fairy dust.  Megan got all dressed up in her Tinker Bell outfit and sprinkled fairy dust on Grandpa so he could fly.  And he did!  Complete with sound effects too.  Then they all three would fly through the house (they'd get to the dining room and Abby's yelling "stop Grandpa!  It's dark in here!") and then they'd fly back and he would run out of dust and then start all over again.

Sadly, he left this morning before the girls got up but they enjoyed jumping on his bed and they know he'll come back.  I think that they think that Grandpa just goes to work and only comes home every 3 months!

Oh and this was cute -- last night Megan was in bed and I went in her room to get some twin sheets.  And we had a good conversation about Grandpa:
Me: Megan can Grandpa sleep on your stripey sheets?
Megan: Yes, I already slept on them. (side note -- they were clean)  Is Grandpa going to sleep in my room?
Me:  No, he's going to sleep in the office.
Megan:  But it's an office!
Me: I know but he has to get up early and he doesn't want to wake you up.
Megan: But I wanted Grandpa to sleep in my room!  (Big pouty face)

I know Grandpa looks tired -- but look at that joy on Abby's face!!!  

I don't know how much sound you'll get out of this, but it sure is cute!
(My video is NOT posting so if you want to see it, go to YouTube I guess and try this:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Family Time

After spending nearly two weeks cooped up with the plague, I insisted that we spend a day out and about together as a family.  Chopper's still doing pretty badly in the coughing and congesting department, especially at night, so we decided to skip the ward campout (which I was honestly really bummed about) and instead we went to . . . yep you guessed it!  The Arboretum.

But before we get started with that -- I forgot that I had taken these pictures of how we spent our time the past two weeks:
 In princess dresses and boxes 

 Or playing with pillow fluff.  Both activities that the girls really did love.  I don't know why I spend money on toys!

Anyway, back to our beautiful day . . .   
 We found the Georgia O'Keefe house this time -- very appropriate. 

This is what happens when I stage a picture:  always trying to get the girls to comply.  Abby just doesn't care, there's too much going on.  Megan deliberately turned her back and refused to look at me.  

 But was very happy when a flying apple blossom landed on her nose.  Sigh.

 Ah, the joy of digital photography.  Here we have picture #1 with me trying to get in with both of the girls and Megan skulking (yes, skulking) off.  Crop it and you get -- 

 A nice picture of Abby and I!  Someday Megan is going to wonder why we have no good pictures of her and I'm going to tell her it's really all her fault.  This is also why I spend a good deal of time taking as many pictures as I can -- every now and then I can surprise her in a happy moment.

 Like this one.

 Abby on the other hand doesn't look or cheeses out completely.  And she has strawberry juice all over her face.


 Ah, how sweet!  Ok it's not really a bench dedicated to Chopper's dad but it got darn close!

 Watching the fishes in the pond, and keeping Abby from going in after them.

 The secret garden!  Actually it's the poetry garden but it's so out of the way that the crowds of people that are at the Arboretum on the weekends typically don't go there.  It's one of my favorite locations.

 And a favorite of the girls because it has a pea gravel walkway that provides endless entertainment in examining, throwing, "feeding" the bushes, dumping on your sister, etc.
 See, feeding the bushes pea gravel -- very happy.  If I had asked her to smile she would not have -- this was spontaneous.

 Me being artistic.  Or trying anyway.

 We ended up by a gorgeous clump of azaleas in full bloom and the girls actually complied with pictures because I actually asked them to get in the bushes!  It was a dream come true for Abby.  Megan was trying not to get too poked.

 But I love this one with her head popping out of the back -- it makes me laugh.

 And Chopper got in on the action -- he's not nearly as cute in the azaleas though!

So tired she fell asleep on the way home and hasn't slept a wink since!  Which is a shame because I really need to mop the floors and clean the bathrooms before Grandpa gets here tomorrow.  We won't reveal how long it's been since that's happened.

One of the best things about these days out is that we have such a good time as a family.  Especially something like this -- there are no deadlines or places we have to be at a certain time, we have fun picnic lunches (which the girls LOVE because it usually involves snacky foods and juice boxes) and Chopper and I get to talk about stuff that's not important but fun to talk about.  Today we reminisced a little about the best trips we've taken as a couple or family.  I won't go through all the details now because I have an idea for later, but in 9 years we have done some really fun stuff.  And it hasn't even been "big" like going to Europe (haven't done it) or driving cross-country.  Oh wait, we have done that.  Four and a half times.  And since so much of that happened before the kids came, we want to go back!!  Hopefully eventually we will.  But I'm glad that we enjoy exploring and have the opportunities to do so.  And to enjoy great days like this at places we love.