Thursday, May 20, 2010

Knowing When to Let Go- I'M NOT READY!!

I am NOT a helicopter mom. I encourage independence in my children. I always make them try something first before I leap to help.

I'm also not a germ-a-phobe. In fact I love germs!

My personal philosophy is if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you stronger. I don't wash binkies that fall on the floor and believe in the 3, maybe 5, second rule for eating food off the floor.

Now that no one will ever leave their child in my care . . . I do have one issue.

Apparently I am a closet helicopter-germaphobe because I have retained full control over bum-wiping.

If you've followed our family blog, you're familiar, much too familiar, with Carson's crazy poo problems.

It takes some patience and a lot of TP to keep Carson clean. It has never even crossed my mind to let him wipe himself.
In fact, Dr. M told me it was okay to keep TP control for awhile longer. However I am very literal and take specific direction. He didn't give me an end date. I thought it was open-ended.
Our lives were clean and co-dependent. Then Carson started his new school.
First day, I pulled Teacher J aside to explain our poo issues. She looked at me with great sympathy but little flexibility and firmly said, "The children here must wipe themselves. We don't go there."
I almost ran screaming out the door. Noooooo!
That's when Carson looked up at me and said, "It's okay Mommy, I wipe myself at my old school."
HUH? I've been wiping your dirty derriere for more than a year when you can do it yourself???
The light bulb then slowly brightened over my head. I'm off the hook! I'm free! Tushie doodie duty is gone!
Now back to reality. Here we are almost three weeks later.
Relinquishing control over the TP has been a struggle.
First, I watched Carson's technique and vomited a little in my mouth.
I dearly, dearly love his old teachers but someone, somewhere along the way, taught Carson to wipe his bottom from the front.
Picture a 3 year old with a wad of TP reaching from the front, under his hangy parts, dipping his knuckles in the pee/poo water, and scraping poo forward onto his hangy parts. 

I'm no expert. I've never taught a child how to wipe his bum. But OMG how did this happen?
I quickly demonstrated the correct technique. Reach around the back and pull up toward your back!
No germ-filled, drippy knuckles. No poo encrusted testicles.
Sadly it's not that easy. He threw his hands up in the air and refused to wipe anymore.
It's been a struggle.
But we're getting there.
I'm letting go of my BKM for BM cleaning in favor of letting Carson do what he is comfortable with.
We've compromised. I sometimes wipe once first to remove the, so sorry, majority, and then let him finish.
Tonight he did it all by himself. I went in afterward for the reconnaissance mission to ensure no itchies before bed.
I really don't recall this chapter in the "So You Think You Want to Get Pregnant" book.
I'm going to publish a new book called, "All the Things about Parenthood Nobody Ever Tells You"
It's going to be the top rated birth control method for 2011.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

9 months! And we don't have a clue!

Keaton is officially 9 months old today! Don't know how it happened so fast but then our lives have been a blur for about that long with everything going on!

His stats . . .

Length/Height: 28 inches or 40th percentile (borderline average)

Weight: 19 1/2 lbs or 30th percentile (borderline shrimp)

Head Circumference: 77 percentile! (HUGE GIGANTIC NOGGIN')

Now that we've confirmed why he falls over a lot, no seriously though, at least he has a huge brain!

Speaking of brain and development, I had a very red faced moment with the pediatrician. Thankfully he is very kind and very patient.

Dr. M: How is Keaton doing?

Me: Who?

Dr. M: Your second son.

Me: Oh that one, he's great. Eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, sleeping.

Dr. M: No, how's his development? Did you fill out the motor skill questionnaire?

Me: Huh?

Dr. M: It's okay, I'll ask you the questions. Can Keaton ......

This is the part where I wanted to sink into the ground and was again nominated for Terrible Mother of the Year. Because I didn't HAVE A CLUE as to what my son could do.

Chalk it up to the massive remodel, living with my parents, having a crazy four year old, switching companies, switching daycares for Carson, managing 2-3 different sitters for Keaton... Am I still whining??

Poor Keaton is a super sweet baby that plays with his brother's toys marked "3 year & older -SMALL DANGEROUS PARTS". 

Poor Keaton showed up at the sitter without socks yesterday. I didn't notice until they fell out of my lap when I got to work.

Poor Keaton often wears bits of breakfast behind his ears because I'm rushing out the door in the morning.

We both work a lot and forget to practice certain skills with our super sweet baby.

It's called "Second Child Syndrome".

I had to repeatedly answer "I don't know" to each question of "Can Keaton do this?"

My face couldn't have been any redder.

Dr. M is a saint and instructed me to first, NOT feel badly and STOP apologizing. He said his fourth child practically had to raise itself. Then he gave me back the list as homework.

On the bright side, when Dr. M asked if Keaton would give away an object when asked to (again, I had no idea), Keaton happened to have a huge, soggy wad of paper in his grubby mitt.

Dr. M put his hand out toward Keaton and said, "Can I have that?"

Keaton looked coyly at him, pulled his precious wad a bit closer, slowly raised his arm completely over his head (as if to say, I'm thinking about it) and then carefully extended his hand and dropped the gooey mess in Dr. M's hand.

PHEW!! I was so relieved we both burst out laughing.

For the record, Keaton is doing the things he needs to. I know I'm not supposed to compare and actually have been so busy I really did stop checking when Carson did things. Carson was always doing thing early. Keaton is still playing a little catch up but working hard and is very successful at a lot of things!

I just need to focus more on him and less on getting the dishes done, the laundry put away, and toy wrangling.

But if I don't, it will be okay too. Balance is a hard thing to achieve, and I'm not just talking about Keaton learning to walk, but balance in our lives.

On a fun note, I normally agonize for days/weeks about the yearly family/kid portraits outfits. I struck GOLD today at Gymboree! Not only did I have a 20% off coupon, it's also Gymbucks! And I found the PERFECT outfits for the boys for their pics in August. That's a whole 3 months ahead of schedule!

Now the challenging part... keeping those outfits under lock and key for 3 months. They're so stinkin' cute. Could I scotch guard them? Bubble wrap them? They're too cute not to wear all summer. Dang it. I think my plan is going to backfire.

Here are a few cute pics of Keaton at his friend Avery's 1st birthday party!

What is this chick doing ma?

I do like her but she's kinda clingy. This little house tastes interesting.

Oh boy, she tastes even better!

After seeing this pic, I begged and pleaded for our very talented photographer to take more pics of Keaton. We have virtually no pictures of him (yet I took Carson in every 3 months) and his blue eyes are just too pretty not to capture. I lucked out and she said yes. Woooohoooo!

Carson.... still doing awesome in school and tantrums are getting better. Seeing the light at the end of the 3 year old tunnel. Faint but getting brighter.

A few momentous things:

1. Carson is in an odd speech phase. For 2 syllable words, he inserts "ree" as the first syllable. Takes some interpretation. For example:

Reepano = Piano

Reeputer = computer

Reetar = guitar

If it keeps up much longer, I'm going to email my speech therapist friend but I'm sure it's just a phase.

2. Recent conversation in the car.

C: Mom, I say Nosa

M: Oh, what's a Nosa?

C: It's the place where boooogers live in your body and come out

30 minutes later

C: Mommy, why do we pee?

M: Our bodies use up what we need of the food we eat and then it has to get rid of the rest.

C: Mommy, poop comes out our bottoms and if you eat corn, you get to see the little pieces again.

3. Carson has begun asking for a baby sister since we went to two little girl parties this past weekend. I politely explained that hell would have to freeze over before that would happen. Shop is closed.

However, I have absolutely horrible posture. And while I weigh even less than my pre-baby weight, unfortunately my abs have not quite recovered yet. They tend to pooch out and my terrible slouch just accentuates it.

C: Mommy, you have a fat tummy.

M: Uh, ya well, thanks a lot. No honey, see! (this is where I sucked it in, tucked it in, and pretended there was a flat stomach).

C: No Mommy you have a fat tummy. This means we can have another baby!

4. Tonight. The final pee before bedtime.

Carson normally stands at the toilet, thrusts his  parts forward, and pees.

Only not tonight.

Tonight he reaches down and stretches out his parts.

My brain races for the appropriate thing to say. If I make a big deal, it will become permanent.

So I choose to act casual.

M: Watcha doin'? How come you're holding your penis?

C: Cause my new friends at school pee like this. I'm going to pee like this from now on.

M: ................... uh ...........................

C is now making swirly patterns of bubbles in the toilet bowl getting dangerously close to the edges.

M: .......... uh............. are you sure?

C is now madly giggling as he "shakes" off the last drops. God only knows where they landed!!

I make a mental note to tell the house keeper to pay special attention to the commode. We now have heated tile floors. Is this good? Does it make the pee drops evaporate faster or will our son's bathroom eventually just smell like hot pee??

Just when I think I want them to grow up, I realize I just want them to stay small and innocent.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Posts in Two Days!

Too cute not to post! Keaton's buns ate my shirt!
Just a taste!
Carson's "Inja" face... that's Carson for Ninja

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Big Move

The Rader's lives are truly chaotic right now. Two weeks ago we moved back into our home after nearly 6 months of construction. We couldn't be happier with the results and LOVE our new and improved space.

Right around the same time, I moved my business from John L Scott Real Estate to Keller Williams Realty.

As if we didn't have enough change going on, Carson had to move to a new pre-school with Keaton following close behind in June when they'll have a spot for him.

So I apologize for my brevity and lack of details but time is still short. Unpacking with two children takes about 1000% longer than without children. I don't know if we'll ever be truly unpacked before they go to college.

Buddy is army crawling like a champ and we expect him to be up on his hands and knees within the next few weeks. He is "eating" everything we put in front of him but only about 10% of it ends up in his belly. The rest creates a sticky, nasty goo around his neck, behind his ears, and often a layer on his thighs. He is an extremely picky eater and appears to be leaning toward the constipated side of poo. Fortunately we already own stock in Mirilax.

Carson is loving his new school and the transition went much smoother than I anticipated. Phew! He is still battling the demons of being 3.5 but we think we may be over the hump. The tantrums are less violent, the language is cleaning up, and he spends more time with us than in time-out. He is incredibly imaginative and always has us laughing with his dramatic abilities.

Here are some recent pics!

Mother's Day Morning
Enjoying his newly discovered piano!
Running out in the buff to help Daddy!

Yummy! Look at those blue eyes!
I'm cool ma, just chillin'
Learning how to hang on and stand up!

How Old is Carson?

How Old is Keaton?