Monday, June 29, 2009

Blood. Everywhere.

This cannot be normal. My two year old son has deep scratches in his little cheeks. He has fingernail marks on his arms. My two year old daughter has a bruise on her cheek and a few on her head.

The fighting is out of control.

We're not talking about your normal sibling rivalry, anymore. I have to keep Figgy's fingernails trimmed every other day because she is scarring her brother. The Professor uses his cars and trucks as rocket propelled weapons on his sister. There is some sort of physical violence occurring in this house every single day and I don't know what to do about it anymore.

Today, the inevitable happened and I had the phone in hand to call 911.

They were fighting, as usual, and I was directing them to clean up toys so that we could go outside. My son started toward the side table to clean up his toys. Little Miss M was laying on the floor by the table with me laying next to her. As he started walking towards us, my daughter ran behind him and shoved him so hard that he nearly flew across the floor before smashing, face first, into the table. Gut wrenching screams echoed through the house. I lept to my feet and scooped my son up, realizing that he had also landed on the baby. With my son in one arm and the baby in the other, I ran to the kitchen to assess the damage. Blood was everywhere and it was oozing out of his mouth. My initial fear was that he had pushed a tooth up into his gum or even lost a tooth. I couldn't assess the damage, initially, because the blood was so dark and there was so much of it. Miss M eventually calmed down and I laid her in her car seat so that I could focus on The Professor. It took forever to stop the bleeding and I couldn't decide whether this warranted a 911 call. I should say this all happened in the span of about 10 seconds, though it felt like an eternity. In reality, I think I had the bleeding under control within three minutes and had put the phone down to focus on him. Once the bleeding was under control, I was able to pull his swollen lip up to see that his frenulum labii superioris (the flap of skin on the inside of the upper lip that attaches to the gum) was torn. His little lips were so swollen that he looked like a much thinner, younger and white version of Fat Albert.

I don't know what to do anymore, though, in all seriousness. The fighting is out of control and I really don't think it's normal.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Two minutes...

So, the popular phrase in our house right now is, "two minutes, okay?". Two minutes for time-outs, two minutes for mommy to take a time-out, two minutes for a potty break, two minutes until we get there...(you get the point).

In return, we hear the same from the kids. Today, for example:

Mommy: "Okay, guys. We're leaving the playground in 5 minutes." (We had been there for 2.5 hours.)
Figgy: "No, mommy. Two minutes, okaaaaaaaay?"

We got home and it was nap time.

Mommy: "Okay, guys. Let's change diapers and head upstairs."
Figgy: "Mommy, I'm busy. Two minutes, okaaaaaaaaay?"

Tonight, at bath time, Jason was corralling the kids.

Daddy: "Okay guys, it's bath time. Let's go upstairs."
Ethan (who was sitting and reading a book): "No, daddy. I'm read[ing] book. Two minutes, okaaaaay?"

I love this phase. It's all about negotiation. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Potty training and big kid beds.

Potty training sucks. Truly. I spent the entire day with Figgy trying, begging, cheering, leading by example...every 15 minutes I put her on the potty and do you know that little snot head peed in between sets? I left for an hour and a half to go to the grocery store, taking Miss Meghan with me so that Jason could focus on Figgy, and she peed while I was gone...but not in the potty. Not once today did she go in the big girl potty. The Professor? Yeah, well, he screamed and kicked because he wanted to go on the "big girl potty", too. Every time I put him on it? He screamed and arched his back and even hit me at one point.

You moms who are doing this potty thing make me jealous. Your kiddos seem to take to it like fish to water. This sucks!

We're struggling with sleep issues right now, too. Figgy has had a crib tent for a year now, I believe. She started climbing out of her crib just before 18 months and destroyed everything in her path. Hurricane Figgy. One of the dads from my local PoM's group sold us a crib tent for cheap and it saved our lives. Ethan never showed an interest in climbing out of his crib and I thanked my higher power for that. Well, sometime last week he decided he could get out of his crib on his own. Several weeks ago he started having serious sleep issues and would put himself into a full blown panic attack before bed. He quickly realized he could climb out of his crib to come find me and that's the end of the crib. In the last 48 hours, he has slept no more than a combined 14 hours. He will not nap. He climbs out of his crib and runs around his room. We put them to bed at 8:00 and he stays up (and keeps his sister up, in the process) until 10:30. He woke up earlier this week at 4:30 in the morning and would not go back to sleep. It's miserable. I'm miserable. All this time I've been of the mindset that I'd just shut the door and let him do his thing because, after all, he'll go to sleep when he's tired...right? Nope. So, I spend several hours (with Jason) going into their room and hollering at him to get back in his crib. Take off the crib rail to create the toddler bed and you get the same result. He will not stay put.

It's midnight and he's up. Meghan will be up in 20 minutes, or so. Mommy is going to lose her mind.

Thankfully, I found another crib tent for $30 and I'll be swiping that sucker up tomorrow morning. I know, I know...he's almost 2.5 years old and should be in a bed. Unfortunately, I need my sanity at this point more than he needs to be in a bed and we'll deal with the other stuff once I've got my wits about me (give me another three or four months, will ya?).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hell has frozen over. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won The Stanley Cup. Crosby has The Cup before Ovie. I am in shock. I've informed my husband that we will not be attending any games next season when we're playing them. On a normal day, a majority of Pens fans are rude, obnoxious and violent. After they've beat us in the playoffs and go on to win it all? Forget it. The last thing I need is to be carted off to jail because I've punched someone in the face at a hockey game. I'm passionate about my sport, what can I say?

On to a better subject, shall we?

We had the kids pictures taken last weekend. I had hoped for a great shot of all three kids for both my obstetrician and for our wall. This is all we got:

Ethan had the mother of all meltdowns in the studio. My preference would have been to have a location photographer come to us, but I can't find anyone here in the area that does that and doesn't charge the equivalent of a college tuition. Ellie cooperated for the most part, until the clothing change (we had another set of outfits for the 4th of July). These are the best shots we got and ended up purchasing:

A few other shots (not purchased, but on the disc we received for free)...

Such a lovely face! LOL!

The only way I can describe this is to say they look like aliens that have landed and are checking out the newest life form that they've discovered. LOL!

If only Ellie had smiled in this one... :(

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer fun!

I have been having bittersweet moments with the twins as of late. On one hand, I'm so excited that we've reached this stage of independence. They don't need me to help them up the ladder at the park. They don't need me to stand at the bottom of the slide, arms outstretched to catch them as they come barreling down at full speed, head first. They sit on the steps when we come home to take off their shoes. They remember to put their cups on the table instead of throwing them on the floor. On the other hand, though, they don't need me to stand at the bottom of the slide...they don't need me to help them up the ladder... I know, I know...I have Meghan and she'll need all of this in no time. But, the E's were my first loves. They're the ones that consumed my heart for two years. They are my babies.

My babies are no longer babies, though. We're venturing into the land of potties and underwear. The Professor has begun announcing that he has to go potty, so we're going to start with him. I know the belief that boys are much harder than girls, but we're going to give it a go, anyway.

We've recently discovered our backyard. Sad, I know. But, you must understand that we live in a large townhouse and in order to get to the backyard, you must go through the basement. Granted, it's a finished basement, but it still creeps me out. It is still covered with the old dark paneling and none of these townhomes were insulated in the basements. So, you have the cinder blocks and firewall, covered by paneling. No drywall, no insulation, nothing. It's cold down there, even in the summer. The fence is falling apart and the neighbor has vines growing all over their side of the fence on the left, so the fence has rotted and has fallen down. We've propped it back up and rigged it as best we can, but it still looks terrible. The concrete slab that serves as a patio is crumbling and has cracked. For some reason, when these homes were built, the concrete was ATTACHED to the foundation of the house. So, as the foundation has settled over the last 30 years, the concrete has cracked and is now slanted down. When it rains, that whole patio is under water and there is moss all over the place. There are no flowers back there. Only a giant azalea bush and some hostas. I've been playing out front with the kids for several months and I hate it because they both run in different directions and I end up yelling because they don't listen. It's not fun for any of us. So, last weekend I went and picked up some outside toys and set up their Kangaroo climber and slide outside. They've got t-ball and other balls, trucks and a few other items. This weekend, I'm picking up a pool and some plants and flowers. We'll do the best we can to make it feel comfy out there for all of us. I enjoy it because I can leave Meghan sleeping in the living room and spend time outside with the kids. Even better? They can't go anywhere so I'm not yelling to come back! We're really enjoying each other lately and I've noticed a huge change in behavior now that we're outside all day.

Meghan is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm sure my MOM friends will have a hard time believing this, but she is 10x more difficult and demanding than the twins ever were. She only sleeps for 2 hours at a time and screams from 6:00pm until 8:00pm every single night. She is inconsolable for that two hour period. We get small moments of reprieve if we take her outside and walk around the cul-de-sac. If she is not being held, she is miserable. If she is not attached to my breast, she is miserable. Even if she's not hungry, she just wants to suck and fall asleep attached to me. I do get a two hour window in the morning from about 9 to 11 or 10 to 12. She'll sleep in her swing while I play outside with the twins. Logistically, it is a nightmare and I'm failing big time trying to get all three of us ready in the morning and get Jason to work. As a result, he is taking the car most days to work and we stay here. If I had a chance to plan this, I would have waited another few years before getting pregnant again. I can't believe I'm saying that, either, since we went through so much just to get pregnant with the twins. Never in a million years did I think I could get pregnant AND sustain a pregnancy on my own. Who knew?!? She is a beautiful baby, though, and has begun smiling and staying awake a little longer in between sleep stretches. I love having this opportunity, despite all the rest, to bond with a single baby. In that regard, it is SO much easier. It's a piece of cake getting one baby ready to go to the doctor, running errands, etc... Mom and I went out on Saturday to do some shopping and I took Meghan. I can't even begin to describe how much easier it was. And the bonding is much stronger with her. I mourn that opportunity with the twins.

I am an eternally blessed woman.