Thursday, February 28, 2013

I will devour your soul

Robbie's doctor's appointment went well today... although working at a doctor's office and living next door to one, has forever spoiled me.   Waiting 45 min for a weight check feels like a collosal waste of time.  All in all it took us 2 hours out of our morning to find out that Robbie did indeed gain weight in the last six weeks!  Yay.

Just for kicks and giggles, I weighed Robbie before and after he ate (you know, because it's pretty boring sitting in those exam rooms waiting for the doctor.  So while Jamie was spinning around the room on the swiveling doctor chair, and Charlie was wrapping himself in tissue paper, I was playing with the baby scale.).  Robbie weighed 18lbs 4 oz before I fed him, and after ten minutes of him wiggling around...not eating well....being super distracted...and basically not interested.  I weighed him again and he weighed 18lbs 12 oz.     So for any other moms out there, who get discouraged their wiggly babies aren't getting enough breastmilk:  6-12 month old babies are eating machines.   You may think they're "weaning themselves" but really they've just mastered the art of downing 8 oz in 10 minutes.

The boys helped me clean the house today...really clean it.  Jamie scrubbed groat lines, Charlie wiped down the wood burning stove.  We didn't make it to the bedrooms, but a clean house always makes me want to take pictures.    I think (my own) messiness stresses me out so much, I can't think properly until it's at least somewhat orderly.

(Robbie 9 months) 
Jamie lost his front tooth today!  Charlie bumped it, and it was hanging by a thread.  Jim told him it would come out soon, and Jamie asked if it would fall out while he was asleep and then get stuck in his throat.   I paused a little too long, as I mulled that over.  And I had to admit, he maybe did have a point.   I forgot though, that at the point I agree with one of Jamie's concerns, Jamie kicks up the anxiety level from "mildly concerned" to "OMG  MY TOOTH IS GOING HOP OUT OF MY MOUTH AND KILL ME TONIGHT".   After all, it would be silly not to use every little thing as an excuse to go nuclear-ly freaked out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crocodile Soup

Robbie is staging a revolt to protest his naps.   When he cries, he looks like a cartoon character.  His mouth is so huge, you can almost see his tonsils when he throws his head back and wails.   The nap strike is my fault.  Poor kid doesn't get any naps on Tuesday because we're gone all day, so on Wednesday he glares at his crib like it's an alien from outer space.  He's in there crying right now.  I'd laugh, if he wasn't so pathetic, because every time I go in to check on him, he's standing without hanging onto anything...he's that mad.   Also, that little tinge of red in his hair must throw him full on into ginger territory, because he turns a brilliant tomato-ish shade every time he gets upset.   Hence his nickname:  Robster the Lobster.   Although he looks a little less lobster-y these days, and a little more like a vengeful nephilim with his kinda curly hair sticking straight up, and his face so red, his eyes blaze almost neon blue in comparison.  Adorably terrifying.

Jamie and Charlie are completely different.  Jamie is watching Babar on the iPad and Charlie is watching National Geographic Dinosaur shows on the apple TV.   The only common denominator is they're both using apple products to watch too much Netflix.   This will be the conundrum for my generation of parents.  How much to limit my kids electronic intake, and how much will I screw them up if I go too extreme one way or the other.  When I was a kid, my parents got rid of TV and that was that.  End of story.   So simple.   For me to do that, I would have to not only get rid of our phones, iPad, computer, laptop, but I would have to make sure they weren't around any friends who have phones, iPad's, computers, laptops or TV's.  Which would leave us one.  Not that I even want to do that.  At this point, I try to make sure that netflix is just a low priority.  Something that can be done after school is over, violin has been practiced, and they've spent hours playing outside building Anasazi villages in the mud cliffs.   But even so, I feel guilty I'm ruining them for life.

Jamie is liking the violin...I think.  He definitely likes it a lot better than I do.  Irony's a bitch.  After hours and hours of listening to siblings screech away,  I swore to my mom that no child of mine would ever play the violin.  And yet here I am.  I don't even like the violin played well.  While I was listening to the Suzuki CD for the millionth time, I realized that I am probably going to be listening to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for at least a year.  Kill me now.
I made him a foot chart, in an attempt to help him stand still.  And while it worked somewhat, he still managed to destroy the poor thing with his wiggling, and at one point, he scrunched it up between his feet and hopped away (after all, I only specifically told him not to move off it).   He loves his bow most of all, and will happily play all kinds of bow games.  His favorite is to stir up some crocodile soup which has shoulder rests, frog tears, and rainbow drops in it. 

 Jim is working from home this afternoon, and I'm not sure I like it.   Normally, his arrival home is the carrot on the end of the stick...spurring me on to clean the house, get a tasty meal on the table, and finish all my projects up.   My goal is to be the happy, smiling wife every guy wants to come home to (peacefully and sincerely happy...not manic, hysterical, fake happy).   When he's already here, the incentive is poof...gone.  I hate not having a finish line.  If I'm going to motivated to do something (i.e. clean the house before my husband gets home), there has to be a decent chance I can WIN, otherwise I won't try at all.  Stupid firstborn tendencies. 

 We went to the symphony on Friday, and accidentally didn't pay for it.  Not just me...but I didn't pay for our whole school.  And I'm the one in charge of that.  Ho hum.   I really try to be a responsible person, but I don't have a naturally structured brain, so I have to tediously build warning systems and shelves in a brain that's like wet banana peels.   Sometimes (clearly) they fail.   Today I called the symphony education director and begged for forgiveness, she was truly sweet and understanding.  For what it's worth, The San Diego Symphony is awesome.  Everyone is super friendly.  The music is amazing.  And they couldn't be more agreeable to work with (and I thought that before they were so gracious about an entire school group attending for free... ((no worries though, I am sending them a check...which crap, I still need to do today))).   Sigh.

While I'm sitting here confessing my failings, I might as well get it all off my chest.   I lost my paycheck from CC too.  Where did I lose it?  In the bank.  Yes, I tore apart my whole house and car, pestered my director while she was on vacation, generally acted like a crazy person, and the whole time my check was in the bank.  Right where I deposited it.   Also, I accidentally triple booked my Friday, thanks to my google calendar not syncing between my computer and phone.  What was I saying earlier about relying too much on electronics?  Maybe I should apply it to myself and not just my kids.

Aunt Patti got a pony named Geronimo.  Jamie is learning how to saddle him, so he can go riding more often.  Pretty much the gentlest horse ever. 

Charlie's got a fever again.

Jamie's front tooth is about to fall out...but in the meantime he looks like a hillbilly.

Robbie has a weight check and shots tomorrow.   Ugh. And double ugh.

(also, notice he's at the stage where diaper changes are like trying to wrestle an orangutan)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Channeling Arrested Development

I am pooped.  For Classical Conversations I sometimes put on a huge rockband-esque wig, and a white lab coat.   Transforming me Clark Kent style from plain ol' Mrs. Ramsey into the incredibly crazy Professor Garfunkel.   Throw in a fake Russian accent, and some wild hand motions.... and you've got a hopefully non-boring way to learn science.  Up until today, Professor Garfunkel only made his appearance for five minutes occasionally.    But since we're gearing up for Memory Masters (where the kids try to recite ALL their lessons at one time...perfectly) I thought I'd go through and figure out they were getting stuck.  Turns out science is a weak spot in my student's recitations, so Professor Garfunkel had to make his appearance today for an extended amount of strict science instruction.  

Consequently I hopped around like an amphibian, roared like the mighty mitochondria, and threw myself against the wall every time I said "golgi bodies".  I felt like I was doing an aerobics workout, Jillian Michaels meets Albert Einstein. 

The kids have been really bad about getting in the car lately.   I tell them over and over to get in and buckle up, but they disobey.  They wander around or keep playing...each waiting for the other to obey mommy first.  It's a dangerous habit, because they have a tendency to meander in parking lots like the naive mountain boys they are.   It's hard to snatch them by the back of their t-shirt while I'm juggling a bag of potatoes, a cart, and Robbie.    So this morning I told them they had to listen and obey when I ask them to get in the car, or the next time they will find themselves without the continued nagging to get in the car, and I will just leave.    Jamie grinned, calling what he thought was my bluff, (he should know better by now).  

After CC today, they would not get in the car.  I was loaded down like a pack mule, trying to get everything off of me and into the trunk, and they were running around a tree collecting pine cones despite my frequent requests for them to get in the darn car.   The parking lot was safe and empty, so I got in the car and started off.    Pine cones went flying everywhere, as Jamie and Charlie let out unearthly caveman yells and came tearing after the car.    A mom dropped everything and came running...I'm not sure what she thought, but what she saw was a madwoman clutching the steering wheel with a gleeful grin on her face, with two little boys running behind hollering "I'm so sorry mommy, coooome baaacckk".    I stopped the car, and tried to give her an "it's all cool" hand wave.  She looked a little confused, but the boys climbed in and promised to always get in the car when I asked. 

We ran a few errands, and I must say...they learned their lesson well.   Let's hope it sticks. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Daddy's boys

I saw this idea on pinterest, and on a whim, I asked Charlie the questions.  Then of course we had to do Jamie as well, to see if/how his answers were different.    After listening to their answers, Jim and I concluded that Charlie must think Jim is a giant, and Jamie thinks he's a 2x4 or something. ;-)

Daddy from Charlie’s Eyes.
What’s Daddy’s name?   Jim
How tall is he?  Big
How much does he weigh?  285
How old is he?  I don’t know
What color is his hair?  Black
What color are his eyes? Brown.  My eyes are brown too.
What does daddy like to watch on TV? Motorcycles and Daddy movies.
Where does he like to go? Work
What’s his favorite food?  Sour Cream
What does daddy like to drink?  Orange Juice
What does he do for fun?  Work on his motorcycle
What does your daddy do with you?  He tells me jokes
What’s your favorite thing about daddy?  Sometimes he gives me candy

Daddy from Jamie’s Eyes.
What’s Daddy’s name?   Jim Ramsey the Third
How tall is he?  20 feet
How much does he weigh?  30 lbs
How old is he?  Old
What color is his hair?  Black   
What color are his eyes?   Brown
What does daddy like to watch on TV?  Lord of the Rings  
Where does he like to go? To Fred’s Burgers
What’s his favorite food?  Hamburgers
What does daddy like to drink?  Rootbeer Freeze's
What does he do for fun?  Go to guys night
What does your daddy do with you?  He plays baseball with me
What’s your favorite thing about daddy?  He’s fun!  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

One Short Day

I have been so glad Robbie doesn't have any teeth yet, that I freaked out a little when I realized the little nubs on the bottom are just starting to break through.  Noooo... Out of the three of my babies, he is the biter.   Although, I wouldn't call it biting necessarily, it's more like he doesn't realize his personal feeding apparatus is attached to a human, so when he clamps down and whips his head around to see what everyone is doing....physics don't allow my 100+ lb frame to "whip" around with him.  Yowch.   I can only imagine how much worse teeth will make it.  I worry that I could actually lose a nipple this way, but I'm afraid to google it to see if it's a valid concern. 

My sister Lydia was in a production called "A Taste Of Broadway" and Robbie, Liz and I went up for it last night.   Liz had her wisdom teeth taken out the day before, so I thought she was going to be comatose.  Instead she was totally back to normal within twelve hours of having them out.  No swelling.  No pain...nothing.  When I had my wisdom teeth out, I sat in the lazy-boy for days, in my sweats, sobbing, while blood and drool dribbled down my chin.  Life is just not fair.

I assumed Robbie would sleep through the performance.  Which goes to show you how naive I can be.  The word "assume" should be stricken from a parent's vocabulary.    I wasn't sure if they would allow babies in the theater, but there wasn't really anything I could do with him, so I wore him in the ergo, popped the hood over the top and wore a big jacket to disguise the fact I was smuggling in a human.  I ended up looking like a large shapeless woman with a very wriggly belly, and occasional eyeballs that glared out from the depths of my "outfit".   I finally gave up.   He was so tired, he would fall asleep in between numbers, only to sit bolt upright and become totally mesmerized by the next song.   If points were given for fascination and enthrallment, Robbie was the biggest fan there last night.  He doesn't quite have the coordination to clap yet, but he would have given a standing ovation if he could.

Jamie started violin and baseball this week.    I thought violin was going to go over like a lead brick, with baseball being the obvious winner, but no.   He cried during baseball practice and rocked his violin lesson.  He will definitely be eligible for "Most Improved Player" at the end of baseball season.  He's so bad right now it would be amusing, if he weren't so cut up about it.  The coach says "alligator" and Jamie picks up the ball with the wrong hand.  The coach says "eagle" and Jamie turns sideways the wrong way and spreads his arms out in the wrong direction.  Then the coach says "hop hop throw" and an entire line of 7 year olds hops forwards while Jamie hops backwards.  And they practice this over and over and over again, with Jamie doing it backwards every. single. time.  I think, just maybe we need to work on listening skills and following directions.   But hopefully in the end it will be good for him.  He still wants to go back, it just isn't as easy as he thought it was going to be.

Charlie hangs out on the playground and makes unlikely friends.   A kid who was a dead ringer for Harry Potter (I kept having to stop myself from looking for a lightening bolt scar under his hair), taught Charlie how to pump on the swings.  A couple of girls talked him into doing gymnastics with them, and some older boys played chase and hide-and-seek with him for ages.  As we were walking across the field to leave, we kept hearing "bye Charlie"  "see you tomorrow Charlie".    I'm glad someone is finding Charlie's antics charming these days, because I certainly am not.   He was fooling around on the kitchen stool yesterday, fell off and yelled "MOMMMMY, why did you push me?!?!" when I was standing ten feet away peeling potatoes.   Nothing I said, convinced him I hadn't somehow magically and intentionally pushed him off the kitchen stool.  Clearly he would never do that to himself.  It had to be someone else.  He thinks pretty highly of himself these days, Friday he told me "I wish there were two of me so we could play together."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Montezuma reruns

I'm so blessed to have amazing, sweet, deep, meaningful friends. 

Today was awesome.  Sure, there were moments of un-awesomeness where I had to take a deep breath, but after seven years and three boys, I think I'm finally learning to get a clue (knock on wood).   I'm learning little things, like I no longer care about the lack of sleep, and I don't clean my house very well anymore.  And big things, like I have finally figured out that when Jamie is yelling "I HATE MATH!", Charlie is eating puzzle pieces and Robbie is spitting up like Yellowstone on a particularly volatile day... there's no need for me to freak out.  It will all pass and go back to normal in a few minutes.  It's kind of like surfing.  A wave will catch you wrong, and your board goes one way while you go the other way.  And as you're channeling your inner sock-in-the-washing-machine, you realize this is not a sustainable life cycle...but then you pop up out of the water and everything is sunshine and serenity again.    Motherhood is pretty much like that.


Our history this week is on the Aztecs and wouldn't you know, the one thing my children latched onto was the human sacrifice part.   They've been playing Hernan Cortez all day, taking turns ousting the evil Montezuma.  The Spanish weren't exactly smelling of roses during that whole section of history, but I don't seem to be having any luck convincing Jamie that Montezuma didn't deserve everything he got.   History is messy, and definitely not PG rated.  

Charlie had a high fever last week, which is always followed by the appearance of his evil twin.   He is testing everything at every twist and turn.  There is nothing insignificant enough that he will not wage battle with me, his dad or his brothers on.  The other night, Charlie was praying, and repeating after me " me learn to hold a pencil...and give me a good night sleep..."  but when I got to the part where I said "and help me to be an obedient boy."  Charlie said "and help me to be an obed---.  Wait a minute! I don't want to pray that.  I don't want to be an obedient boy."  Jim and I exchanged glances that only parents can give to each other.  The "I-cant-believe-your-child-actually-said-that" look.   So yeah, I'm not kidding when I say Charlie is determined to be bad.  He isn't all naughtiness though, there's repentance going on too.  Slowly but surely.

I forgot to nurse Robbie enough yesterday, and now I'm paying for it today with a plugged duct that is trying its best to turn into mastitis.   This is one of the downsides of demand feeding.   Since I don't watch the clock, and instead wait for hunger cues, I tend to go through a period of breastfeeding forgetfulness when they start solids.    Thankfully, Robbie is cooperatingu today with "operation nurse a lot".      I guess the rest of the Salvation Army sorting will have to wait until tomorrow morning.

No CC tomorrow.  A welcome break!   I celebrated by making a video of Latin Declensions for my students. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Water stop

I feel like this week has been a marathon... I've got lots I want to remember about this week, so this is just a preliminary reminder to my future self.

Robbie likes baths now!  He hears the water come on, and starts flapping his hands around like a gay man at a Nordstrom's sale.   So hilarious.  I'm not sure what changed.  Part of the problem (or solution...depending how you look at it) is his love of food.  He loves food so much, he normally ends up not only eating it, but wearing it as well.   Consequently, he gets bathed a lot these days.  I guess in his mind it was either give up his precious food or learn to like water. 

Jamie has been sleeping a lot better too.  He made himself a list of things he needed to sleep at night, and every night we check each thing off.  I told him it had to be a short list, which in my mind was two or three things, and in his mind was eighteen to twenty things.  We compromised with six things:

A bedtime story
The fan on
A comfy pillow
His stuffed dog

He is trying so hard to be brave.  In the wee hours this morning, Charlie got up to go potty and Jamie heard the noise and freaked.  I heard his scared, little voice come wavering down the hall, "Who's there?"

Charlie, very reassuringly, poked his head out of the bathroom and said, "My name is Charlie Ramsey and it's ok.  I'm not a bad guy." 

It's ok people.  Charlie Ramsey's in the house.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Good mor---yawn.

While I'm still thinking coherently for half a second, I have to share this recipe.  We're not dessert people, but I made this deep dark chocolate tart for our anniversary last night, and it was one of those rare treats that are naturally good for you.  In other words, this recipe was not modified to be grain free, dairy free, refined sugar just is.  

 Even Jim loved it, and he's not a huge chocolate fan.

We're babysitting Liz and Curtis's puppy this weekend, and Liz assured me he would sleep through the night, and that he wouldn't keep any of us up.  She failed to ask us thoughif we were going to keep their poor dog up all night.   Barnabas is used to it.  At 2am I was stalking through the kitchen, slamming cupboards, and muttering under my breath about the injustice of the universe,  Nelson staggered sleepily to his feet and gave me those big baby eyes that said "What in the world is going on in this crazy house?  Didn't you wake me up just 30 min ago?"   Yes, Nelson, as a matter of fact I did.   Barnabas gave Nelson a patient, wise old look and explained, "Son, this family does this all the time.  You have no idea."

I don't know exactly what happened, but Jamie has gone from sleeping ok-ish, to not sleeping at all.    He's never been one for sleep.  Not in the NICU, not as an infant, not as a toddler.  We often joke that if we'd had Robbie first, we'd probably have at least six kids by now.   That's how little Jamie slept (and how normal we thought it was).    The last few nights we've been putting him to bed at eight (his usual bedtime), but he's not been going to sleep until one or two in the morning.  That's right, five to six hours of him freaking out:  There's not enough light, he's scared, where's Barnabas, where's mom and dad,  the music is too soft, can he sleep on the couch, is it morning yet, he saw a monster, he heard a noise, how many bad guys are outside his 

It wouldn't be so bad if he slept in and compensated for his midnight ravings.  But he doesn't.  He's up and bouncing off the walls at five-thirty the next morning.   Unbelievable.  How does he do it?    The less sleep he gets, the more wired he gets and the more zombified I get.  Something has got to give.  I just finished my third night up all night, and if he doesn't sleep soon, I'm taking him to the doctor.   That's right... the evil pediatrician.  That's how desperate I am. 

Jim and I both read him the riot act at various times last night.  Jim told him sternly.  "You will NOT wake up your mother again, if you can't sleep then lay there and pray." Of course Jim went straight back to sleep, while I lay there listening to the hysterical prayers of a exhausted seven year old, wafting down the hallway.   "Dear Lord in Heaven, Please keep the werewolves away, and the coyotes, and the bad guys, and pleeeeaassse help me sleep.  Amen.  Pleease help me sleep.  Amen.  GOD!  I CAN"T SLEEP.  I CAN"T SLEEP.  Can you hear me?  I caaaaannnnn't sleeeeeeep!!!".    Then he started quoting scripture, except that he kept mixing it up with his school work, so it sounded something like "Blessed are the peacemakers...Zaire River, Zambezi River...For God so loved the world....Olmecs, Mayans and the Aztecs.

I'd like to see anyone try to sleep through that.  It was impossible for me.  And Barnabas.  And Nelson.  And Robbie.  My confused baby was up half the night too, because hey, if his older brother is up and perky...then he should be too.  Right? 

Ugh.   I'm off to get more coffee.