Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Katrina-versary?

Well today marks the 6th year since Katrina hit, and as expected, I haven't seen much in the way of publicity over this--and understandably so. In the wake of Hurricane Irene's destruction just this weekend, on top of the earthquake in the same area last week, I think it would be a shame to snub coverage of those folks in lieu of marking the anniversary of a DIFFERENT storm.

But this anniversary stands out to me a bit more because it's the first one where the calendar year lines up the same as in 2005--the first one where the 29th has been a Monday again. All last night when I'd wake up to feed Stella, I had the worst time trying to go back to sleep. My mind just kept racing back to the wee hours of THAT August 29th, when we were all hunkered down in our house, just waiting for Katrina to get there. At this point you knew it was too late to get out, so you just braced yourself for what you knew was coming, and I don't think our lives have ever been the same since.

This morning I was telling Jay about my rough night and he said "Well, at least it wasn't anything traumatic that you went through," comparing my experience to that of soldiers who watched people being killed. And true enough, we were quite lucky not to have suffered any deaths among our family and friends. Thank God for that.

But there is something profoundly shaking about watching the world you grew up in just start to crumble around you. And by this I don't just mean the infrastructure--I mean the crumbling of hope and of morality and general order. I'll never forget hearing people screaming for help from their rooftops in the middle of the night. I'll never forget watching people break into the CHURCH SUPPLY HOUSE down the road from us. And I'll never forget the fear we had that we just might not make it out of this alive and just how close we came to being the ones who would have been stranded on our roof should that levee have given way on our side!

However, this anniversary also marks some great things for me. Going through something like this helped me to re-evaluate what was REALLY important in my life and make that a priority. I was able to just let go of the "stuff" and be thankful for the wonderful friends and family I have. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that six years later I'd be sitting here with three sweet little girls in my care. If it weren't for Katrina, I'd never have met my husband, and I'd never have these wonderful babies.

Though I'm sure not true for everyone, at least for me, the silver lining far outweighs the cloud...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Getting so big!

Every now and then you catch one of the girls doing something more "mature," and you realize you've just witnessed them grow up just a teensy bit right before your eyes... It's a great feeling, knowing you're helping to shape them into the person you want them to be. And it's also a sad feeling, realize they're just one step further from babyhood.

For the last couple nights, Amber has started doing a lot of the things I would do for her all by herself--WITHOUT BEING ASKED--before bedtime. She took off her clothes, changed into some new underwear (we were skipping the bath because we hadn't even walked outdoors and I was pooped!), went to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and got her room all ready for the "bedtime routine," including picking out a book for us to share in her rocker. She was so proud of herself, and I was too, of course!

She's even been pretty good lately about picking up her room (or Audrey's room, if that's where they've been playing). And she never ceases to amaze me how she will help out her sisters--putting in a lost pacifier, handing over a toy, getting a juice cup, etc. She really is a big help to me, even at three! Who'd have guessed? But most anytime I ask her to get something or do something for me when I'm tied up (or hooked up nursing), she generally does her best to help me out. It really does make me proud...

AND YET, why does the thought of her growing up make me a little sad?? I mean, we raise our children so they can be independent and self-sufficient. And we CERTAINLY wouldn't want to be wiping butts and filling up snack cups for the next 18 years, BUT it still makes me just a little bitty bit sad. I guess it's because I just love them so much for who they are RIGHT NOW and am enjoying the innocence and sweetness of these preschool years. And maybe it's knowing that once this day is gone, it's GONE and there's no going back.

I just have to remember that tomorrow will hold joys and surprises (and problems) that I can't anticipate, so I need to enjoy today for what it is and be excited for the promise of the future. When Amber was a baby, I could never anticipate how much I would LOVE her at age 3, so who knows what great things will be in store for us both when she's 4, or 10 or 16?

I think this is one of the paradoxes of motherhood--wanting your children to grow up into great people but still always yearning to keep them as your little babies!


Ok, so sorry to anyone who left a comment for any of the last few posts. Like a big dummy, I didn't think to check and now realize there were several on there I hadn't read before. BUT thank you for your kind words, and now I know to check comments more often!!

Is there some way to get an email notification when someone comments? That would be great if there was...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Biggest Loser

It never ceases to amaze me how easily Audrey loses things. She loses small things, but it's the big stuff that gets me. For instance, she likes to sleep with two dolls, a stuffed duck, and stuffed monkey. AND I COULDN'T FIND ANY OF THEM. Seriously, how do you misplace FOUR stuffed animals? Well, you shove them into bags, ride-on toys, strollers, and the play kitchen.

This evening's missing item: a pacifier. This is a frequently lost item. We used to have a bunch of them but she lost a bunch and chewed through the rest. So I wound up having to buy 2 more, but one of those is now missing. I've found them in crazy places before--the pantry, the dog kennel water bowl--so who knows where it is. And I've looked everywhere.... wonder how many times she's going to wake up tonight looking for it :o(

Now, I know she's getting too big for the "nu-nu," but with all the stress of the new baby, taking that away was the last thing I wanted to do. Only in the last week or so have I felt like we're FINALLY getting past some of that (specifically, the sleep issue and resulting major-league tantrums), so I'm only remotely considering weaning her from the pacifiers at this point.

But I sure do hope I don't end up having to buy a couple more in the meantime--though it sure would be nice not to do the "Great Nu-Nu Hunt" before each nap and bedtime!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Banshee problem solved?

Apparently the solution to the banshee problem was LOTS of sleep. At least, I hope that's the end of it...

Audrey was a good 2-3 hour napper during the day and almost overnight she started taking like 20-30 minute naps. AND night waking. AND getting up at the crack of dawn. So needless to say, she wasn't getting a whole lot of sleep for the last few weeks. And it wasn't for lack of us trying to get her to stay down. We did every little trick we could think of (or read about) to get her to stay down, but to no avail...

And like MAGIC on Thursday morning she slept like crazy. Woke up at 11, but was a banshee again (see previous post) and then napped again at 3 BY REQUEST! Well, I hesitated to put her to bed TOO early because I feared the early riser, but she went down by about 8:30 and slept till NINE this morning.

I saw the banshee rears its little head slightly around noon, and put her down again for a nice long nap. And like magic, no episodes today! I could SURE get used to this!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Late morning surprise

Audrey has been waking up around 6:15 or so pretty consistently these days. So when she and Amber both started sleeping past 8:00 this morning, I was stoked. Too bad I was up since 6 ANYWAY with itty bitty missy, but it allowed me time to keep reading the last Harry Potter book, which I could NOT put down!! Then 9:00 came and went. And 10:00, when Amber finally showed her face, Audrey was still sawing logs.

I took a quick peek into her room, trying to be sneaky so she wouldn't see me if she WAS awake and I could milk out a few more minutes of peace. It's dim in her room from the room darkening shade, and I was peeking around the corner of the closet... but I could have SWORN the kid was naked. "Oh no," I told myself, "she's just got on that light yellow pj that is looking flesh tone in this light."

WELL, when she finally woke up at ELEVEN, I went in to find her BUCK NAKED except for socks. All the animals and pjs and diaper were on the floor. Hoping she had just done this, I checked out the status of the sheet--sopping wet. Socks--could be wrung out they were so full of pee. Then I noticed that her hair was wet too :o( I guess she had been peeing in that bed all night and rolling around in it.


And of course she ratchets up her banshee yell (see previous post), making cleanup a complete nightmare. Good times.. We won't be wearing those jammies again, and if she wakes up like that again tomorrow, I'm going to start duct taping that diaper when I put her down...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, take me away!!!

Home of the Banshee

I always said that the terrible twos actually begin with the "terrible second year." Audrey was always so laid back and easygoing.. as my dad puts it, "she was smiling since birth!" And she actually did start smiling at only a few weeks old and NO it was not gas... But I'm hoping that this sweet easygoing nature will make a comeback once we get through this rough patch.

I still have people tell me all the time "Oh, you just never see that Audrey without a big smile on her face!"

Well, let me tell you what.. she must be saving it up just especially for me. The tantrums this kid has been throwing lately are OFF THE HOOK! The sound is above and beyond regular screaming... it is DEAFENING! And it sounds like it's coming from way down deep. I don't know how the kid isn't shredding up her throat, but she doesn't even seem hoarse afterward.

Once she starts, there is no comforting her. We've tried holding her down, whispering in her ear, distracting her, and ignoring her, and I'm not really seeing anything slowing her down. Sometimes she starts up as a reaction to being told "no," as in "No, you have to change your diaper now before we do anything else because it's dragging on the ground behind you." But more often than not she cranks it up when you go to get her out of the crib. And sadly, these episodes have been lasting up to an hour long.

I guess she's just been hit with a lot right now--a tough age, a new baby, and trying to find her place as the middle child. But I just wish she'd do it a little more quietly...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amberisms of the Day

Apparently I'm not doing well with trying to write up lots of little stories, so at least I should jot down a few gems when I can or I am sure to forget them.

While changing Audrey's diaper:
ME: Ooh, little girl, this is stuck on you like peanut butter!
AMBER (eyes wide): But mama, there's no peanuts in it!!

and then later during said diaper change:
AMBER: Audrey, your diaper is stinking up all the air!

And because of diaper change we had a bath... and Amber was washing her own hair.
ME: Amber, you ready for me to rinse yet?
AMBER: No, mama, I still workin' on it...

And my fave:
AMBER: Oh, come on, Mama! You can do it! You're the best!