Tuesday, November 18, 2014


At least 3 people have asked me recently if life has gotten easier as my kids are growing up. I initially answer a resounding "YES", but then feel the need to temper the enthusiasm with "but its still not easy, of course!"

B will be five in about 5 weeks. Over the past few months he's gotten infinitely more self-sufficient. He finally is out of pull-ups at night and hasn't had a single accident since late September. He can, and does, dress himself completely (including those pesky shirts he always had trouble getting over his head) and brushes his teeth by himself (though he still likes me to do it sometimes). He knows when he has to use the bathroom and takes himself there, not requiring frequent reminders or even forcing as he did not even a few months ago. He even started trying to clean himself up (this is HUGE, right?) He can get on his shoes and boots by himself and can don and ZIPPER his coat. When he's hungry, he eats, and understands what foods are healthy vs. treats and can monitor himself pretty well on that. He can tell us when he's feeling sick, and describe what's going on. He knows that when he's sick, he needs to nap and go to bed early, and does it without complaint. When he feels the need to throw up, he gets himself to the toilet. He can walk a mile or more at a good pace, and can go the 2.2 miles to school on his scooter at a brisk/too fast pace. He can order for himself at a restaurant, carries on conversations with his hair dresser, and can generally ask for what he needs from his teachers or other adults. He has also become way more social, and will fly off with his friends at a birthday party or the park without a backwards glance.

Of course, these are all little things, but its those little things that make getting out of the house or getting to bed just that bit easier.

B also still has tantrums about the silliest things. He hits & fights with his little brother constantly. He wants everything L has, and had tantrums and sulked for hours on L's birthday when he saw that L got gifts and he didn't. He is always distracted, so while he CAN get dressed by himself, many times we head upstairs to check on him after he's been gone for 5 minutes and he's lost in some game or song or daydream with his shirt half over his head.

L is just three, he needs hands-on help with pretty much everything, still wakes at night and comes upstairs most nights, pees through his pullup most nights requiring clothes/bed change, sucks his thumb constantly, subsists mostly on fruit, sugar and white carbohydrates, and can walk about 10 steps before "carry you!" begins. He usually starts most fights with B and goes straight for the face/hair pulling. He has gotten in trouble at daycare more than once for hitting, throwing toys or the like. At home, he refuses to clean up, despite threats of throwing toys away, time out, etc... He has daily potty accidents because he just won't stop what he's doing and/or is being stubborn about NOT NEEDING TO GO (as he goes, in his pants).

He is, however, now capable of entertaining himself for up to 15 minutes at a time, without needing me to be within 2 feet of him. This is also pretty helpful for trying to get stuff done around the house.

So yes, things get easier. But we haven't gotten to "easy" yet...does that even exist?

Monday, November 17, 2014


I just finished reading Jojo Moyes's "Me Before You" which is probably the most depressing book I've read in recent memory. I finished it on a Friday night and it haunted me all weekend. I'd forget about it for a minute and then I'd remember again and my chest would tighten and tears prick my eyes all over again.

One line that really got me was uttered by the mother of a grown man, whose life did not turn out as expected or hoped. I no longer have the book (it disappeared back into the cloud when my library checkout ended), so I can't quote directly. The gist: When you look at your grown son, you don't see him solely as the man he is right now. You smell his sweet baby smell, feel his sticky toddler hand, hear his schoolboy jokes, and his rebellious teen years. It all blends together and you see all of it at once.

I'd counter that you don't have to wait for your children to be fully grown to witness this phenomenon. And I'd add that in addition to the past and the present, you also see the future selves of your children.

B still has tantrums that remind me all too vividly of him at 2-3 years old. He still plays with the tub animals and chews on his blankie, and has trouble using a fork. There is a lot of baby and toddler still there. But he also runs off with his friends without a backwards glance at birthday parties, and asks questions about planets and how the body works. He helps his brother learn how to share, and do puzzles, and get dressed. I see the smart, sensitive kid he's becoming.

L still needs frequent snuggles and sucks his thumb constantly. He needs his teeth brushed and his clothes changed and isn't 100% with the potty-training. He is still in frequent tantrum-mode (he's 3 after all). Definitely a lot of baby there. He also makes up funny dances and songs, and cracks us all up with his antics. I see the clever, light-hearted kid he's becoming, too.

I reminisce about the past, revel in the present, and very very much look forward to the future.

Friday, November 14, 2014

We were ON A BREAK

But I guess I never mentioned it? Took a break from the blog just to see how I felt. Missed it, now I'm back.

Things are good. Spending lots of time with G and the boys. Good and bad stuff going on at work. We all got sick and then I got sick again. Still in the cult of high intensity interval training and haven't missed a single Tues/Thurs 6AM workout. Gearing up for the pressure cooker of "the holidays". Reading some real page turners---just finished "Where'd you go Bernadette" and now devouring "Me Before You". Going to therapy and getting some ideas. Some work, some don't.

Realized that "date nights" involving sitters and dressing up and wining/dining are no longer my thing, nor do they do anything to really strengthen our marriage. What does help? Sitting on the couch and talking about our days after the kids are in bed. Laughing. Sharing our thoughts and feelings. Being thoughtful.  Letting many things go. Not letting certain things go.

Did I mention G was going to therapy? It has turned his attitude about parenting around 180 degrees. He says he is finally starting to truly appreciate on a day to day basis the wonder and privilege of raising these unique and amazing creatures. It shows in how he treats them, and talks about them, and handles the tough situations. In fact, he is helping ME cut back on some of my recent issues with frustration/yelling at L.

Our weekends have been ridiculously busy lately but so full of fun for the boys. I am wrung out and spent by Sunday evening, but can look back on the fun things we did (and the fridge stocked with home cooked food for the week, and the drawers stocked with clean clothes).

Be back soon.