Monday, September 21, 2015

Canadian Voodoo

About two months ago I opened our front door to find several gently used children's books on our porch. At first I was puzzled as to who would drop off books, but then I opened them.

I don't know what gave it away first - husky dogs, hockey, Inuit children or Parliament Hill. And then there was the maple leaf on the cover of one. It had to be our thoughtful Canadian neighbors. Don't you love people who love your children? It was so sweet of them to think of Claire.

Claire immediately wanted to read her new books. Two of the books are counting based, one with a map of Canada and one is a book about a Canadian goose. Most of the content is along the line of "There are six hockey pucks." She thought the hockey pucks were poop. It's an easy mistake.

She loved the books. We read them several times throughout the day. I added them to the bookshelf and called it a day. Like most of her books, I figured she would cycle through these over the next few days since they were new and then they would most likely fall in with the rest of the books on our reading rotation. Not so.

These books have some crazy Canadian powers. One in particular, "the red one", we read at least once daily. She's started "reading" in her crib before she falls asleep and asks that "the red one" is in the bed with her during naps and at bedtime. Or "Goose", the one about the Canadian goose (not to be confused with "Duck and Goose", a delightful tale about a duck and goose who team up to find a pumpkin.)

Claire has been calling black birds "loons" and there's a good chance that she thinks football players play "hockey". She loves me to tell her the name of each Canadian province on the map. She's Canadian obsessed.

This may be why she also loves a book entitled 'Snow'. We like to read practical literature around our house - content that can be put into every day use around the streets and suburbs of Houston, Texas.

I feel the need to get her a few books with American symbols and maps just so she doesn't become disappointed when she finds out that she is not Canadian. And I better not tell her about their bacon. The girl loves bacon and she doesn't need to know that they have a variety all of their own.

In the meantime, I'm brushing up on my knowledge of Canadian provinces - every day - several times a day. Eh?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We Welcome You To Munchkin Land

At about 3 months after having Keats I felt like we were finally out of the Infant/Going From One Baby to Two Babies Coma. A few reasons for this:

For starters, we started getting sleep. We got a whole lot more sleep with Keaton during the first month than we did with Claire and overall we shouldn't even complain as both kids slept through the night fairy early. Shh...please don't tell anyone this. I know, there are some 12 year olds who still aren't sleeping through the night and there are so many parents who aren't getting ANY sleep. I am so sorry to bring up the 'S' word. I know it's a painful topic for many. Plus, I don't want any of these folks to kill me in my...not even going to say it. Seriously, I think water boarding may be a lesser form of torture than no sleep.

Talk about a game changer. One does crazy things without sleep. You may almost take a swig from your child's bottle out of delirium...and not know the difference. You may fight about ridiculous things with your spouse like what's the best way to stir a bottle - clockwise or counter clockwise. You may find non-perishables in the toothpaste. Like I said, things get crazy. Coffee can only do so much.

You know that scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy opens the door to Munchkin Land and everything turns from black and white to technicolor? That's how it feels the first time your baby sleeps through the night. 'Whoa! The world is beautiful! Has that water always been blue? Those are some ruby red slippers! Wait, that flower is really a munchkin's hat? What?!' I've watched the Wizard of Oz one too many times. I hope you have too because if not, that munchkin line may be a little strange for you. I can't help it, I never miss a good munchkin reference.

Keaton has been in his own room for close to two months now. We moved Claire into her room and crib a little after her one month milestone. We took longer with Keaton simply because we didn't want him to wake his sister in the next room if he woke up 3:00AM.

Do I love looking over at my sleeping baby next to me in his sleeper in the middle of the night? Yes, of course! Do I also like being able to sleep soundly through the night and if I happen to wake, look at my sweet sleeping babies in the monitor? Why yes, yes I do! Either way, I still get to look at my sleeping baby, but the second option gets us all better sleep and the odds of the toothpaste being in the fridge are a little lower.

There are a few other side benefits of moving Keats into his own room. Joey and I literally could not hear each other talk over the multiple sound machines located at each "sleep station" around the house. And at night we had one sound machine in our room for Keaton and Claire's sound machine blared over the monitor which we cranked up to hear over the in-room machine. Confused yet? We needed walkie talkies just to speak to each from one side of the bed to the other. 'What?! You want to go to the zoo? It's 11:00 at night! Oh...I love you too.' And heaven forbid the electricity blink out, startling us all awake with the default heartbeat setting. (Who uses that one anyway? It makes me feel like I'm in a horror film and brings my stress level up 500 notches.)

Another awesome thing is that I am no longer a hobo when it comes to getting ready. Prior to Keaton sleeping in his own room, one child was always sleeping near the place where you needed to shower or dry your hair. There was no safe zone. It was chaos getting ready. I couldn't remember where I left anything because I may have showered in the guest bathroom, dried my hair in the hallway, put on makeup in my bathroom and brushed teeth in the kitchen. It was the progressive dinners of getting ready. This may not bother some people, but I felt like I was losing my mind and all too often, my hairbrush.

We're also starting to settle into a semi-routine. I am learning how to juggle the schedules of a four month old and an almost two year old. Our house is beginning to look less like a bunch of babies had an all night frat party. For someone who craves order, this really helps my every day sanity. There are things that are still a whip, like getting out of the house and the bath/bed routine, but I feel like we have our head above water most of the time now. From what I can tell, there will always be tough stuff in each stage. We just started Keaton on solids and potty training for another someone is just around the corner (maybe, I'm still building up my own courage).

I have loved the last four months (Who am I kidding? I've been in a coma for the past year! Pregnancy does that to you.), but I am super excited about everything on the horizon. It's so much fun to have two kids in different stages because it doubles the excitment. One of them is always doing something fun. I wouldn't trade one sleepless night or coffee induced wake time for this. They make everything full of life and color and really, sometimes it's practical and doubly refreshing to keep your toothpaste in the fridge.