17 December 2014

Front-Porch Chatter

There are so many "versions" of tidbit-style blog posts out there ... Coffee talk, Tea Time, the list goes on and on. And they are all great: the best way to just "download" and talk about all the little things, the things that don't have enough to say for their own blog post. Well, here in North Carolina, a lot of our talking happens in a wooden rocker, with a glass of sweet tea, on the front porch. So what better than a little Front-Porch Chatter today:

* There are only 8 days until Christmas. My shopping may be done {unless I need last minute stocking stuffers} but nothing is wrapped. I should probably get that done ... but the problem is finding the time, when the kids are not awake, or when someone else is here to entertain them so I can lock myself in the bedroom and just do it. Not really sure when I'll see that "time" on the schedule.

* The next week or so is incredibly busy looking, and its almost all for my 5 year old. A Christmas party for school today. A dance performance. A play date. Taking the kids to see Christmas lights. A work Christmas party. Three days of church. Caroling with some friends at a local hospice center. Like I said ... trying to find the time to wrap gifts?! Not sure when.

* Weather lately feels uncharacteristically like December, even for North Carolina. The past couple of days, its been in the 60s, and yesterday, we had a massive rain storm, complete with thunder. If this were January, I would be expecting snow any day ... since its not "technically" winter yet ... I don't know if it will happen. I don't want it ... that's for sure.

* Sleep around here still is horrible. Lately, both kids have been acting like wild animals during "quiet time" and wearing themselves out. Which only means that by 530/6pm as we should be sitting down to dinner, I walk into the living room to find at least one, if not two kids, sound asleep. Waking them up only makes the house grumpy ... but I do it anyway. They have been sleeping a LITTLE better at night, only waking up once or twice ... but still up for the day sometime between 430 and 5am. Not sure how much longer I can take it.

* We're about to have a three year old, too. His birthday is all shopped for, the cake is in the works with a friend of mine, and we've decided to keep it small and just family this year, again. We wanted to do something big at the fire department ... but tried to think of which friends of his we would invite. And sadly, the only kids we could think of will actually be reuniting with their Dad that weekend after a six month deployment. So ... yea. No big kiddie party, but we can still spoil him with fun stuff.

15 December 2014

Weekend Recap

What a weekend! The closer we get to the end of the year, the busier everything seems to get! And this weekend was the same way! M spent all of his time out on a Wounded Warrior sponsored hunting trip, and the kids and I did a lot of errand-running. The weather was completely bi-polar, so one afternoon we watched movies indoors, and the next we were running around the backyard getting fresh air. L has gotten a typical winter cold, complete with runny nose and hoarse throat, which is always fun, especially when it comes to sleeping. He's been up even more lately than normal, and last night, tried to fall asleep on Daddy's lap at 6pm! We roused him awake with a fun bath -- but as soon as he was in pajamas and back snuggled with Daddy and a movie, he passed out quickly. This whole transition to no naps is wearing hard on our boy. The highlight of the whole weekend, though, had to be S's kids Christmas play at church. They did a story called "The Christmas Cupcake" and sang a bunch of songs. It was adorable, and S seemed to be a natural, performing in the spotlight for a crowd of people. While some other kids clammed up and didn't sing or do dance moves, our girl's face was full of smiles and animation, while she danced the day away! Good thing -- she has another performance coming up in just a week for her dance class!

And so begins the busy/crazy of the next couple weeks! 
How's everything in your neck of the woods?!

12 December 2014

Kiddo Cutes

December is already turning out to be quite a busy month for us around here. Between Christmas events, doctors check ups, school and church and dance, and playdates with friends, there's barely a day that goes by that we aren't on the go, somewhere. And the kids have been enjoying it. A lot. They get plenty of time to play and see and do ... and it helps them actually enjoy the down time at home when we do get a chance to just stay in. Finally ... we have an active social life! HA! And of course, mixed in with all the fun, are the funny things these kids randomly say:


at 4am:
l: get in my bed, mommy.
mom: no. just go to sleep.
l: you look tired. get in my bed! go to sleep.

while writing letters to santa:
mom: okay, s. tell me what you'd like to write.
s: dear santa, my name is s.
mom: umhmm.
s: i've been good -- just don't ask my brother, k?
mom: s...
s: because he isn't always ... maybe he needs a boring toy ...
mom: that's not nice ...

at bedtime:
mom: lets snuggle, l.
l: lets talk.
mom: okay. what should we talk about?
l: lets talk about ... poopy things!

at dinnertime:
s: i miss baby jesus ...
mom: you do?
s: yea. i want him to come back. don't you, mom?

in the car:
mom: l? did you take your shoes off again?
l: ..... yes?!
mom: why?
l: *giggles*
l: sissy ... smell my feet! *giggles*
s: no way. you smell your feet.
l: {smells own feet} ew. thats nasty.


How about you and yours?! Are they ready for the holidays?! 

11 December 2014

Dear Santa ...

Dear Santa,

My name is S, and I am 5. I've been a very good and nice girl this year -- you can ask anyone! Just not my brother, okay? I hope you and Elves are doing good ... I bet your vacation in Hawaii was nice and warm. For Christmas, please bring me a Lalaloopsy doll. I know I told Mom I wanted the Magic Dancing Palace Pet Pumpkin ... but really ... just the Lalaloopsy will do!


Dear Santa,

I am L. I am 2. I've tried to be good. I really have. But being 2, almost 3, is a lot harder than I thought. I get told No so many times a day, I'm starting to think its part of my name! And my sister?! Well ... she hit me first. I just returned the favor. Don't worry about the cat, either ... I didn't hit him hard! As for a present, please bring me a really big car. If it makes a lot of noise, even better. And maybe if you could sneak in some rocks or spoons, my hands would be grateful.


Dear Santa,

Victor the cat, here. Listen ... I don't care if you don't bring me anything. But please ... do something about these kids. One won't stay out of my face. She's constantly scratching my butt. And she brushes my hair in the wrong direction. I try to get her to stop ... but I have no claws, so she just thinks I am playing. The other one chases me, roaring like a dinosaur. I know they really are good kids ... so maybe at least you could bring them both a muzzle? They talk too much.


Dear Santa,

Hello from Daddy M. Its been a long year. Short, really ... but long. You know. Work is tiring. The prisoners are knuckleheads. The VA is a total pain in my butt. But what can I do, right?! It would be great if you could bring me a new job. You know ... a Monday through Friday normal job. No tie wearing, preferably. I promise ... whatever it is, I won't complain. Much.


Dear Santa,

All I want is a silent night. No, seriously ... these kids need sleep. This MAMA needs sleep. Something's got to give, right?! I'll follow the doctor's orders for behavior modification, discipline reinforcement, and nighttime routines ... can you just sprinkle your magic Santa dust over them, and make sure the plans work?! Its all I want. Really.


Dear Santa,

My name is House. Aka home. Casa. Humble abode. Dwelling place. Crash pad. Whatever people want to call me. Unfortunately, they haven't been calling me "clean" much lately. Care to see to it that something get's done about that?! Give the lady who lives here an extra set of hands or something ... one to tend those crazy kids that color on my walls and dump nutmeg all over my carpets, and the other set to clean up said messes. I may not look completely discombobulated, but I'm starting to feel that way. In return, I'll make sure you don't get hurt, tripping over lincoln logs or barbie dolls, on my watch.

Thanks Santa -- from the "C" Family

09 December 2014

Oh, Where Art Thou, Sleep?!

Its no secret that sleep is hard to come by around here. Neither of my kids have ever been good sleepers -- they came out of the womb boycotting the stuff, and nothing has changed in the years since. Sure, some nights are better than others, and some mornings, as well. But lately, its been getting worse.

And worse.

And worse.

It seems as though as soon as I get used to the current "situation", the kids switch it up on me. Throughout most of the summer, 7am was our standard wake-up time. Sometimes a little earlier or later, but for the most part, we were on a good routine. And then school started.

Suddenly, the kids adjusted really quickly to having to wake up at 630am on school days and started doing it every day. And if you know anything about these kids of mine, you know that once they are up, they are up. They hit the ground running. There is no slow wake-up around here.

Time change quickly approached, and suddenly the kids were waking up at 5 or 530am. Before the sun even thought about rising. Before I even thought about rising, most days. And nothing I could say or do would convince them to climb back in bed, or relax calmly with some books for awhile.

And suddenly, without warning, 5am became 4am.

Like I said, as soon as I would get used to one schedule/routine, they would switch it up on me.

On top of the earlier and earlier wake-ups, the kids have BOTH been boycotting naptimes, which I expect out of the 5 year old ... but my 2 year old? He needs that bit of sleep. And of course, it now means that if we get in the car any time after 11am, he promptly falls asleep and has a hard time waking up, leaving him grouchy and no fun for a little while.

And middle of the night is rough, too. Both of the kids wake up multiple times. Coming into our room, crying out for me to come see them, asking for snuggles, rocking, a simple hug and a kiss. Anything, really. I've tried ignoring it, and it only gets louder, for longer, until they get what they want.

I've tried a bunch of things ... melatonin, lavender, letting them sleep together, dark-out curtains, shutting their doors, leaving them open, making sure they are eating enough before bedtime so they are not waking up mid-night, hungry.

Thankfully, we have a routine well-check for S later this week, and I plan on talking to the doctor about BOTH of their sleep issues. Last year, I mentioned the poor sleep routine at L's appointment, and his only suggestion was "Maybe he just doesn't need a nap anymore ..." which only made the problem worse. Let's see what he has to say this year.

The only thing I can hope for? A few hours of uninterrupted sleep for Christmas!