Spring Break 2010

Monday Zoo Day:

Exploring brambles

Proudly scratched up

Waiting for Carousel

Why is it moving?

Tuesday Art Museum:


Building together

Wednesday hiking and painting:



Dueling Picassos

Which is the masterpiece?

Thursday… I messed up my schedule requests and had to work, so the boy went to the office with Dad and the girl stayed home with a sitter.

Friday, we went to the Dino Museum in the morning (sorry, no good pictures) and then, in the afternoon, I was so exhausted from the week I just put Sesame Street on and sat on the couch with the kids, intermittently nodding off until the girl sat on my face to wake me up, which she thought was a hilarious game.

Hats off to the stay at home parents–while it was really fun to be home with the kids, it is a lot of work and I was tired by the end of the week.  I worked on Saturday and Sunday, and that felt like a break.  Still, sometimes I feel guilty that we both work and aren’t home with the kids more, but the truth is I get a lot more quality time with my kids than a lot of working parents, and for that I’m grateful.  I also have the advantage of having a lot of weekdays off, so I can use that time to do errands and have time to myself so that when we are home with the kids we can just hang out with them and not have to get a lot of work done.  All I’m saying is I’m pretty lucky to have so much flexibility.  Eric would probably prefer if I didn’t have to work so many weekends (two out of four every month) but you can’t have everything, no?

Today I took the kids to school for the first time in nearly 2 weeks.  I was prepared for tears, a struggle, leg-clinging. Instead, I had two children who happily picked up their lunch boxes, ran into their classrooms, smiling and happy to see their friends and teachers, and ready to start learning again.

Old Man Winter’s Last Stand

Yesterday, at 8 am, our street looked like this:

Like the rest of us, this little red-breasted robin below thought that it was supposed to be Spring.  Undaunted, he scampered among the snowy branches.  Robins are a hardy sort.

So are the kiddos, who had a ball with this (hopefully, right, winter?!) last snow of the season.

Okay, so the girl had a bit of a rough start.  She must be from my school of thinking when it comes to winter, which is this: If we were meant to live in cold, snowy weather, we would have been born with thick fur.  Like yaks.  (I cannot claim originality for that line.  It came from a college roommate, who may have stolen it herself.)

Like the robin, the girl is a hardy sort and soon found her footing:

A VERY serious shoveler, there.  Note the pink and purple sparkly scarf, created as requested.  I held one strand of Cotton-Ease with one strand of some cheapo acrylic sparkly yarn and just knitted garter stitch lengthwise until it was wide enough, and attached a sparkly fringe.

Here’s a closeup:

Back at the snow day, after a few finishing touches, came….FrankenSnow!!

You know what’s great? Frankensnow is wearing the itchy mohair scarf that I had made for Eric! He didn’t seem to mind.  Sadly, he was not long for this world, as here is what our street looked like at 5PM THAT EVENING.

The best part of the day, though, was that some of the other kids and parents came out in snow gear and we all played together.  That’s one of the things I love most about my neighborhood–it’s a very porchy, neighborhy, impromptu playdate sort of place.  Everyone seems to hibernate in the winter, and then come spring and summer we’re all  out in our front yards and hanging out.  Much like the return of the robin heralds the beginning of Spring for nature, I hope that this gathering signals the beginning of the outdoor season for those of us in Denver, even if it did take place in almost 2 feet of snow.

Girl, Uninterrupted

See this?

Looks cute, doesn’t she? Sweet, pleasant, cherubic even.  She is–as long as you give her whatever she wants.

Here is a typical response to a request denied:

Her language overall is improving, and for the most part we (meaning Eric, the boy and I) can understand what she means, but not other people.  Honestly, this has been tough for Eric and I since the boy was so verbal and so clear from a much younger age–even at 18 months you could understand everything he said and he consistently used 2-3 word sentences.   The girl….not so much.  She is completely normal and hitting all milestones and such, but the boy just has great language skills.  Everyday I’m amazed by how they are two completely different people, with different personalities and abilities.  The girl, for example, is much more adventurous at the playground than the boy was at her age, tackling the “fast slide” with aplomb.

Back to the language–she is loud. Here’s a relatively typical morning, where we try to figure out what she wants and largely fail.  Turn up the decibel level in your head by about 10 and you’ll hear what she actually sounds like every day.

Musical Beds

Last night was great.

We had put the girl to bed around 6:30, her usual time and she seemed to fall right asleep as per usual.  We finished with the boy’s bedtime routine around 8 pm, also as per usual.  A bit later Eric went to bed earlier than usual because he was really tired.

Shortly after that, the boy yelled downstairs “Can I sleep in your bed?” “Fine,” I yelled back.  He crawls into bed with Eric.

Then the girl wakes up screaming, so I go comfort her and then go back downstairs.

I hear intermittent grumbling from our bedroom as the boy is probably kicking Eric in his sleep.

Then I hear the boy start to scream, and hear Eric call my name.  I run upstairs and find the boy shuddering in fear and crying, almost inconsolable.  “What happened? Did you have a bad dream?” The boy nods. “Can you tell me about it?” The boy shakes his head and starts shuddering anew.  “Was it that scary?” “Yes.” “Were you in it?” “No.” “Was I in it?” “Yes.” “Was anyone else in your dream?” “No. Just you.” “Can you tell me what I was doing?” He starts to shudder again and shakes his head, “No.” He calms down and then I put him back to bed and go downstairs.

The girl wakes up screaming AGAIN, and I give up on the evening, pick her up out of the crib and go to lie down with her in the boy’s bed, thinking at least this way we’ll all get some sleep.

Then, Eric enters the room carrying the boy, who had been snoring and kicking him, hoping to put him to bed in his own room.  Finding us sleeping there, he says, “What the hell is going on here?” and walks out, deposits the boy back into our bed and heads downstairs to sleep in the basement.

At this point, the girl and I are in a twin mattress on the ground, the boy is alone in our king size bed, and Eric is in the basement on the couch.

Now I realize that I’m cold and need another blanket, which is, of course, in the basement.

I sneak out of bed and head downstairs trying to be as quiet as possible, sounding for all the world like a prowler, and scare the living daylights out of Eric who’s asleep downstairs. I’m thankful he doesn’t sleep with a gun under his pillow.

I grab a blanket and head upstairs, and try to get comfortable.  The girl is farting and crawling on my face in her sleep.

I take the girl and bring her into my bed where the boy is, where she continues to crawl on my face and generally squirm around.

A few hours later, the boy sits bolt upright in bed and exclaims, “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” “Take what?” I ask. “Sleeping in this bed with the girl!” “So go sleep in your own bed, kiddo.” He takes off and goes to sleep in his bed.

Then HE starts crying saying his tummy hurts. I go into his room, rub his belly.  “Maybe it’ll help if you try to poop,” I offer. “Okay,” he says. Sleepily, we walk to the bathroom where he does his business, says he feels better, and then heads back to bed.  I think it’s around midnight at this point.

The girl continues to fart and roll onto my face all night long.

So not only did I not get a wink of sleep, but apparently I’m so terrifying I give my own son nightmares that are too scary to talk about.  Parenting FAIL.