Fries are done

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One of Those Weeks

Chris came down with a very nasty stomach flu on Saturday, which made for a bummer of a weekend for all of us. We did our best to keep the rest of the family healthy. I shared a bed with the resident bed-hog, Dante, for a couple of nights and so far, so good, except for my back hurting from being pushed into a corner. Chris is just starting to feel better and he leaves tomorrow for CT. Let's hope we stay healthy this weekend.

I have conferred with a couple of friends lately and discovered that the attitude of this lovely, soon-to-be 3 year old, is not as bizarre as it seems to us. Dante is doing his best to pick fights just because he can. We will be playing, having a good time and suddenly he starts a fight over nothing; And will not back down. It is so bizarre. We thought we were pretty good about interpreting what sets him off - no nap, Carina getting into his toys, close to bedtime - But now, I'm just wondering what the aliens did with my son. I sure hope this doesn't last the entire 3rd year.

Along that thread, Dante has stopped taking naps. He doesn't seem to be cranky ( I guess I should say crankier) without one. Not so with Chris, who is definitely cranky without his afternoon nap. I have been taking the kids for walks in the evening to settle them down either before or after dinner and that seems to help. I'm also taking advantage of the last few evenings with a breeze. They are pretty cute in the stroller. Carina is always sleepy and leans completely into Dante. The other night, he sat her up so he could put his arm around her.

The highlight of last weekend was a visit to Aunt Laurie's house. She made us lunch out by the pool, which was yummy. Then Dante, Carina and I went swimming....We put a kid's life jacket with the huge flotation pads on Dante, got him some noodles and he went for it and swam by himself! Carina tried out a floaty thing as well. She would splash and get all wet and then squeal with delight. I signed Dante up for swim lessons twice a week this summer, which I hope he enjoys as much as he did on Saturday.

Work has been stressful this past week. Not all bad, just busy. I had one of those days Tuesday where my "to-do" list was so long that I was crippled just staring at it not knowing what to do first. This happens at least once (or more) a year. Usually I can go with the flow and constantly re-prioritize my tasks, but right now I have too many high priority items to get through and not enough time. That's what happens when you have a job that technically doesn't exist, but still needs to be done by 2 or more people. But, of course, there isn't enough money for that. I'm already daydreaming about the summer and all the things we'll be able to do. Only 4 more weeks to get through.

Carina has been trying her hardest to stand up this week. She pulls herself up and then lets go and tries to see how long she can stand without support. The cutest thing is that she giggles and throws her arms in the air (and waves them like she just don't care) as if she's yelling "GOAL!!!!" I'll try to catch a photo of it this weekend. She also started dancing and playing instruments with Dante and me. We did a rousing rendition of "Old MacDonald" tonight that I'm sure scarred the cats for life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

what a "Load O' Crap"

It was Saturday morning around our 'hood, and you could see the signs: "More crap than 2 people should have...", "This Way to Junk Nirvana!", "Chris and Jen's 4th Annual Load O' Crap Sale!", "Bric a Brac, Knick Knacks, Tchotchkes, Odds and Ends!" Lots of folks said they stopped by just for the signs. We did pretty well and sold quite a bit of stuff. Afterwards, however, we walked back inside the house, and it didn't seem any less cluttered! We just have too much stuff and not enough places to put it - isn't that everyone's story? Time for an addition!

We did sell off some toys and such, which made some people happy, and me a little sad. I know it's a chapter to close and I don't need to save every cute shirt that Dante ever wore, or the ball tower with the disco music, (okay, maybe keep the disco music), but it's still hard to see it go. Well, not really anymore now that we have that extra space in the front room......for more stuff!

Dante is trying to assert himself, and his opinion on things lately, much to our chagrin. However, sometimes, it's funny to trip him up on things he doesn't realize. Like "Dante, we are turning off the water in 2 minutes." "No! One Minute!" " uhh, OK." Or "Mommy, pick me up!" "Not until we get to the green car." "No, the blue car!" (The blue car is farther away than the green one.) "OK, that's a deal." It's pretty silly. Chris keeps trying to trip him up and get him to agree to what we originally said. It almost always works. Of course, as everything that we start to figure out with him, we know that it's short lived.

We were just discussing how Dante has always been a very analytical kid - observing, counting, trying to figure out how things work. We have noticed that even in his play patterns there is routine and order, not much venturing outside his comfort zone. When we go outside to play, he likes to go through the same activities almost like a checklist. It can get a little dull for us sometimes, but he always seems to be having fun. Hopefully, when he gets back into school he'll venture outside the box a little more often.

Carina on the other hand, is always outside the box. Then inside, then outside again. Then underneath....What a nut!
She is enjoying her new adventures twice a week with Ryan and Jen Palmer. She's meeting new friends in Jen's mom's group and stealing Ryan's pacifier and food with finesse. They are so cute together. The other morning they got into the double stroller and Ryan was alternately kissing and hugging her and then grabbing a toy out of her hand.

She is also knocking off a few Milestone Prereq's - stood up by herself this week a couple of times. She didn't bother to take any steps but she seemed pretty stable on just the two feet. Chris predicts she'll be walking by the end of May. God help us....
She also succesfully used a straw for the first time. It took a couple of tries but she got it. One thing we've learned; don't get in the way of the girl and her food!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Discovering Eggs and What's Inside

We had our usual Easter Egg Hunt around the yard at mom's house on Sunday, which I look forward to every year. We actually managed to not lose any eggs this year! Carina and Dante looked super cute in their "nice clothes". Dante did a good job hunting for eggs. This year, he was also excited about what was inside...

Fast forward to Tuesday evening, no nap, been a handful all day, "Mommy, help Dante open eggs?" as he proceeds to try and eat all the chocolate that he sees in the basket. Even as we continually deny him the chocolate before dinner, he just keeps grabbing the eggs and trying to open all of them to find more! Note to self - hide the basket next time! Maybe he figured out what he needed to stay awake and not nap. Which he hasn't done for a few days now.

We have never really given Dante candy - we just don't have a lot of it around and never thought to give him any. Aunt Laurie was probably the first one to introduce him to "nem-anems" and the rest, well, is history. The kid LOVES them. So, we have occasionally indulge him in trail mix that has some m&m's, as well as raisins and peanuts ("see, it's not so bad for him, with the nuts and all...right?!"). But, to find eggs with some m&m's in them? Holy crap, I thought his head was going to explode!

Tonight, Dante read the Elmo potty book to me. He is so cute how he memorizes the books but certain phrases are fuzzy to him, so he just makes something up. We're not having much luck with the potty thing. He just doesn't want to sit there. He thinks he's missing out on something else. Even if we are in there with him alone. He had been doing OK and trying sometimes, but the more active Carina gets, the more Dante regresses to get attention. He has taken to making up nonsense sounds just to sound like her. It's very frustrating, because at the same time, he has started to talk in full sentences and has figured out his pronouns for I, me and you pretty well. I can't believe he is going to be three next month!

We need to get Dante into a speech and language evaluation, and then back for another hearing test soon (the Cisplatin chemo has the added side effect of significant hearing loss - Bonus!). I have noticed recently that when Dante is pronouncing certain things or reading and concentrating more that he seems to strain or have trouble with his mouth making the sounds. Hard to describe really, and only a parent would notice, so I'm wondering if it's just developmental, or related to the hearing loss.

Carina had her 9 month appointment last week. (She turns 9 months old tomorrow!) She's growing well, although much smaller than Dante was. She is around 25-50th percentiles in growth, whereas Dante was always 95th or more. She got her shots and the girl didn't even flinch! She was almost like, "Is that all you got?" Everything looks good. Dr. Patranella was telling me I could start feeding her more solids and I told her that we already were because Carina has been basically demanding to eat what we're eating. Today, she ate an entire waffle! She is crawling so fast lately, that she might not actually walk soon, like we thought, because she's figured out she can get there much faster by crawling. She is cruising around the coffee table and such, very proficiently now and nothing is out of reach. When we child-proofed the house for Dante, we didn't actually do much. He was one of those kids where you said, "No" and he left it alone. As long as you were playing with him, he didn't care to get into anything. Carina's not buyin' into that. "Are you kidding?! Look at all this stuff! I gotta get into that! and that! oooh, and that! hey, what'ya got in yer hand there?- lemme see it...."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Life is Full of Surprises

Some of you might have figured it out from our not so subtle hints in the last post, that indeed, Chris and I got married last month. We had an intimate ceremony at Ft. DeSoto Beach with just a few of our close friends. Dante read one of his favorite books, "I Love You Through and Through"(Thanks Aunt Margie!), and almost stole the show. Our good friend Laurie officiated, as she has been offering to do so for years. She wrote a beautiful ceremony that was perfect for us. I even snuck a line into our vows that I promised to "not ask "what's for dinner?" at least one night a week." That should keep me free for the other 6, right? Of course, little did we know when we planned this that it would be the coldest day in March. Due to the super chilly winds, we didn't get a ton of photos of everyone, but it was still beautiful nonetheless.

Carina is all of a sudden changing in leaps and bounds. She's comfortably cruising around the furniture, eating spaghetti, giving kisses, and showing more interest in books. And she certainly doesn't go anywhere without her "happy birthday duck". Luckily, we have some backups, and even a pirate duck or two that work in a pinch. (Thanks Nicole!)

We all went to out for Mexican food one night this week, Dante having a taco and rice, while Carina lunged for my plate. I finally started putting some rice in front of her and she was eating it like a champ. We have a wonderful video of her making a smacking noise as she tries to get the rice off of her hands.
Dante is big into "making words" and learning to add and subtract. He loves to stand at his easel and put letters together and ask us if they're words or not. He knows how to spell some basic words and is sounding some others out. The adding and subtracting is a new thing that he's trying, although he's still not clear on the concept. We were driving home from the beach this weekend and suddenly, Chris and I realized that Dante was counting..."45, 46, 47..." next thing you know, the kid is up to one hundred! He continued until 111, and then got confused. Or bored. Not sure which. I think the cutest thing is that he's now trying to make sentences all the time, correcting himself and trying to figure out the correct pronoun to use for himself. I can't believe he will be 3 next month!

This next week will be packed with friends and family gatherings for Easter, and our annual neighborhood garage sale the following week. We hope to clear out the house at Chris and Jen's Annual Load O' Crap Sale!