I am loving my blog. Visitor stats? Daily hits? Don't know, don't care. I'm just so excited about the memories I'm preserving. I remember so little from my childhood, and I have very few pictures (despite the fact that my dad was EVP at a local photo business!). Sarah and Abby will probably criticize me for the VOLUME of pictures I've taken in their lives, but I hope they will thank me for recording the events, both big and small. My only regret is that I didn't start sooner. Which is why I'm starting Friday Flashback. I'm going to go back and post about some of the things that happened BB (Before Blog).
These posts will not be in chronological order. I'll just post a memory as I think about it. Starting today, with some Halloween pictures that I adore. They were 16 months old, and Perry and I had gone to Hawaii for a week in September, so I bought these grass skirts and coconut tops. Abby screamed most of the night, and Sarah's belly was quite prominent at that age. Priceless pics. And don't worry - once the costumes came off, they started opening candy and quickly realized that Halloween is a very cool holiday.
And, as long as I'm going to tell you that I left my girls for a week (me, the woman who has trouble leaving them for an hour, much less a week), let me entertain you with the document that I left my poor mom and sisters so that they would be able to take care of my girls. Yes, I am a freak. But this document, this three-page Word document complete with bullet points, well, it's a classic. Welcome to my dark side.
A Day in the Life of Sarah and Abby
Ramblings of an O.C. Mom
Lately, Abby has been waking up around 5am. I don’t know why, and (more importantly) I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve tried going in and laying her back down (she screams louder), rocking her (no way), dancing with her (nope), laying her down in bed with me (ha ha), letting her cry it out (30 minutes is my record so far)…nothing has worked. Usually I let her cry until it’s close to 5:30, then I get her up and bring her back to bed with me or sit with her on the couch, giving her “quiet toys” to keep her relatively calm until it’s close to 6am. Then I change her (which makes her cry and wakes up Sarah, if Sarah wasn’t already awake) and start the day.
6am Milk, Cheerios
Alarm: xxxx Off. Abby usually wakes first. If you’re lucky, she’ll wake up happy and just talk for awhile, which gives you a few minutes to get some things done before you go in there. I try not to get up before 6am, unless one of them is really crying, then I give up. But I can typically put them off until at least 6am. I go in, change one and then the other, leaving one in the crib with some stuffed animals. They might cry, but what can you do?! Then I take one at a time into the kitchen and put them in their high chairs with milk cups and some Cheerios. I go get the papers, then try to read and have a cup of coffee while keeping them occupied with milk and Cheerios. When they get fussy, I make sure all the gates are up in the kitchen and all the locks are on the cabinets, then I get them down and put the cups back in the fridge. Then I have my cereal. About 45 minutes to an hour after they got up, I start making their breakfast:
I make two bowls, about ¼ cup of oatmeal cereal in each mixed with milk, to about an oatmeal consistency. Then I add about a tablespoon of applesauce and a teaspoon of wheat germ. Lately I’ve also been adding about ½ teaspoon of karo syrup to help with constipation. Cook together for 30 seconds, then mix in 1ml of vitamins in each, and put ½ container of fruit baby food (usu. Prunes w/ apples) in each. I feed S&A together, out of 1 bowl and then out of the other. They like it when I sing – it doesn’t matter what, although they love “The Lord said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody floody” with the gestures.
After a quick clean up/wipe down, I move to the play room (I don’t care where you play, obviously, but this is easiest for me). I gate off the bathroom and the hall and shut their bedroom door. They usually play pretty well on their own and I can finish reading the paper, have another cup of coffee, etc., as long as I’m in the room with them. They’ll let me know when they’re tired and ready for a nap, usually around 8:30. You definitely don’t want to put them down before 8. On MDO days, I put them down around 8.
When I see the signs, I just say “are your ready for night night? Do you want to take a nap?”, and they’ll usually go to their bedroom door. I open that door and let them go in while I go get their pacis. I let them wander and explore their room for a few minutes and then put on their CD and put them in their beds. They usually go right to sleep. If they cry for more than a minute or two, they might be dirty (usually Abby) or crying for a paci (Sarah).
They’ll get up between 9:30 and 10. I try to make it till 10 if possible. While they sleep, I shower, get dressed, empty the dishwasher, etc. When they get up, I take them into the kitchen for yogurt. They split 1 container. I offer them juice, then take them back to the playroom to change them and get them dressed. Then we usually have an outing. Target, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, WalMart, Winn Dixie, the mall (if I’m feeling ambitious), Big Mama’s (Thursdays when Mimi is there in the a.m.). I take their juice with me, and also some crackers or Cheerios. I usually push the stroller and pull a cart, but sometimes I’ll be brave and put them both in a cart.
Lunch is usually a sandwich (mayo, a little Dijon, swiss cheese, and sandwich meat cut in bite-size pieces), tomato pieces, fruit from a jar, and milk. For a real treat, they love fast food cheeseburgers (who doesn’t?!).
After lunch, more play. This is pretty interactive time usually – I play ball with them, or read, or just play with their toys. I try to make it at least 3 ½ hours since they woke up, aiming for 1:30 naptime. Again, I just ask (encourage) a nap, and they usually head for the door.
3:00 juice, snack
Many times they’ll wake up WAYYYY too early after this nap, like 2:30. Bummer! Sometimes I’ll just hang out in their room with them, maybe switch their stereo to radio and dance with them. If we’re not going anywhere, I’ll take them in the kitchen and offer them a snack and juice (Ritz, cheerios, Nutragrain, cookies, whatever). Then we play and pray that Mimi and Pop get there soon! If I know that Mimi is at Big Mama’s, I’ll try to get there around 3:30 and leave around 4:15. Take juice and crackers with you to entertain.
They eat whatever. Just cut into small pieces, and give them a small fork. Give them fruit too (from jar). If it’s nice outside, go for a walk or play outside for a little while.
They won’t drink much usually, but I always offer it.
Start the bath water. Careful, our water is REALLY hot. I fill the tub pretty high, almost to the ring on their seats. While it’s filling, close that door to keep them out, and go get 3 pacis each and put in their beds. Get their PJs out of the 3rd drawer. I bathe and wash hair every night. …I just kneel on the floor and wash one and then the other. Their toothbrushes are in the tub; if you hand them a brush and tell them “Brusha brusha brusha (to the tune of “Ring around the rosies”), they’ll brush their teeth (yes, I KNOW that I’m a freak!). I give 1 baby to Mimi to dry and dress on the changing table, and I get on the floor with the other. Lotion on both; if Sarah’s ankles look bad, use a little Elidel. (just a tiny bit, smaller than the tip of an eraser). Comb hair.
We read Goodnight Moon in the dark (memorized!) sitting on the daybed (many times they’ll start crying as soon as we sit down, so we skip the book and just put them to bed), then carry them to their beds, lay them down, put a paci in the mouth (and Sarah will put one in each hand) and a rag over the face, raise the rail (make sure you raise it and pull out on the bottom), and leave. Very very rarely this fails – maybe 1 in 100. If they cry, you can check and reassure, but I wouldn’t get them out of the bed unless you think you have to.
I get things cleaned up and run the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher every night or you won’t have enough cups. They might cry during the night, but it’s usually short. I have a five-minute rule, and rarely do they cry more than 2-3. Honestly, if I ignore them, it usually ends quickly, but if I go in there, it can last 2 hours. So I don’t go in unless it seems like something is really wrong (very rare).
· Baby Einstein
· Barney (10am), Teletubbies (11am) on channel 2
· Go somewhere. Anywhere.
· Build a tower out of something – they think that’s great.
· There are 2 good toys in the closet in the playroom that I’ve been hiding until they’re needed – the LeapFrog table and the piano. I think they’ll be excited to see those again.
Dangers not child-proofed:
· Nightlight in their room
· Chest of drawers in their room. I’m afraid they’ll pull it over, or pull a drawer all the way out.
· Very hot water
· Corner shelf in foyer
· Silver tray in dining room
· Rails on their cribs. You have to be sure that the bottom pulls out when you pull it up, so it locks.
· Their seats in the van: if for some reason you tilt it forward (maybe to let someone in the back seat), MAKE SURE that the van seat locks back in place. I’m speaking from experience, and it’s very scary: if that seat doesn’t lock into place, it will fly forward the first time you hit the brakes, slamming a baby into the front seat. Yikes.
· They’re both still struggling a little with constipation. If either of them has a “slow” day, without a good movement, I give prunes or prunes with apples as the fruit with the morning cereal. I also feed them straight baby food prunes with the afternoon snack if I think they need it. The Karo syrup seems to be doing the trick.
· Sarah’s pacis are white with yellow rings. Abby is everything else. You have to boil them or wash in dishwasher after each use.
· Pacis in the pot. They only get their pacis in bed. Sarah likes to collect them in the morning – often she’ll have 5-6 in her hands. When you carry them to the kitchen, tell them “put your pacis in the pot” while you stand by the pot on the stove. Usually they’ll just drop them in. Sometimes you have to do it for them.
· If you want to set the house alarm, it’s xxxx Stay (or Away if you’re leaving), and then xxxx Off to disarm.
· Dr. Cxxxxx– Children’s Medical Group – 639-xxxx. Our insurance covers all the Mobile hospitals except Providence Hospital (which unfortunately is the closest). Obviously if time is critical, take them to Providence, but if it’s not urgent, go to any of the others.
· They both have colds. They can have PediaCare and/or Tylenol. Abby can have up to 1.6 every 4 hours, and Sarah can have 1.2.
Tuesday and Friday - Mom’s Day Out
This is your call – you can take them or not, whatever you’re comfortable with. If you do take them, don’t leave them too long – plan on no more than 2 hours. MDO starts at 9am, but I just take them whenever they wake up. We usually get there about 10. I put them down for that morning nap a little earlier, say 8 or 8:15, and when they wake up, I take their juice and their clothes into their room and change them in the crib (both in the same crib) while they drink. I take the juice in the car with me, but not into school. Don’t dress them in identical outfits on Tuesdays; their teachers can’t tell them apart! Building A, Room 105
Wednesday – Storytime
I signed them up for Storytime at the library. It’s 10am on Wednesdays, and we haven’t been yet (last week was the first week). If you want to go, it’s in the room off the children’s room on the first floor of the West Mobile Library on Grelot. I think it sounds like fun.
Oh boy. Will you believe me if I tell you that I'm no longer OCD? I promise, I'm really not.