Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The highs and lows of our day

No eloquent prose (not that you'd expect that from me anyway), no photographs, just me putting my thoughts on "paper".
We've kept so busy these past couple days that even Sam was getting confused about what we did when. Lest I forget the craziness that is life with two small children I'm gonna ramble on about what we've been up to. Then I'm going to collapse in bed to rest up before Brianna arrives bright and early tomorrow at 7am.

Yesterday it was early naps, LONG snuggle on the couch (I'm talking 2 hours of pure bliss with my still, quiet, warm three year old.), errands at the mall including 10 minutes of play at the VonMaur train table, a long drive to the chiropractor in terrible traffic due to an inch of snow, and then a detour to my mom's house, and an even bigger detour to pick Brian up from work.
Today we were out and about even longer. Tuesday Tot-Time at the gym for two hours. I remember weeks when we'd only last 45 minutes there before we had to bail. I suppose not having 4 children to tend to helps in that department. Then it was off to the library to score another free pass to the zoo before retrieving my milk order. I had arranged to pick up a free dehumidifier in a southeastern suburb which happened to be 10 minutes from the zoo. I'm trying really, really hard to make each trip out of our town worth every drop of gas - hence all the stops along the way. So, we picked up the heavy dehumidifier and ventured on to the zoo. One point for Mapquest (which unfortunately fails me more often than not) because we made it to the zoo without any trouble.
Once inside Sam ran ahead to the dolphin tank. "LOOK! THERE'S SEMO. HE'S THE ONE WITH ALL THE SCRATCHES!" That boy doesn't miss a thing! He learned that at the dolphin show the last time we were there. It also probably helps that we were there twice in December. (Once with the library pass before we knew that my cousin would be celebrating her birthday there at the end of the month.) No dolphin show today though. Instead we took our time in Discovery Bay. Sam enjoys learning the names of the fish. (Today we learned the spadefish, porcupine puffer, and grouper.) His favorite was seeing the Mora eel sticking his head out of the coral. We ate lunch by the Snow Monkey exhibit and then Sam pretended to be a veterinarian in the play room. It was really cute to see him with the stethoscope around his neck, a pager attached to his doctor's coat, and him working so carefully on the sick (stuffed) animals.

The Sun bear exhibit was open today, the Kamodo Dragon was on top of a log (I didn't know those things climbed stuff!), and the adorable otters were playing in the water. slight tangent: If I could be an animal, I'd be an otter. They are so happy and cute.
The kids do pretty well staying close to me and not going in different directions. It helped that the zoo is practically empty in the afternoons. We spent some time in the tunnel looking at more fish and sharks until I put my hand in some water...water seeping from the seal of the tank. Yikes! We braved the Minnesota Trail for a few minutes. Man it's cold out there! I touched an armadillo a volunteer was showing to visitors. God sure created some unique creatures!
The we made a mad dash for the car. The kids fell asleep 10 minutes before we got home so I drove around a little bit, but not too much to defeat the purpose of cramming so much into one trip. The night was more of a low point in the day because Sam was so tired and refused to eat dinner. I feel like I can't win this mealtime battle or at least I suffer no matter what. I only make one thing for everyone to eat for dinner. If Sam doesn't eat it, that's his prerogative. I set the timer after a while so I can use a L&L principle called "enforceable statements". I feel like I've talked about those before. If not, the gist is that you don't want to keep telling your kids to "eat your dinner! There are starving children in bla bla bla...." You want to say something that you can enforce like, "Dinner is served until 5:30" or what I say is that I'm setting the timer for 15 minutes. If you haven't eaten by then there are no treats or tv the rest of the night." That I can enforce. Where it comes back to bite me (other than a ton of whining during dinner) is that in the morning he's so gosh darn hungry that he doesn't sleep in. He's up and wanting breakfast before 7am.
Sam and Brian played downstairs while I took Julia up for a soak in the tub. I think she's getting eczema like Sam so she's taking soaking baths each night before I smear lotion on. (Thanks for the tip on Burt'sBee's, Brittany. I already had some, but will stick to only that kind from now on.) I put Julia on the potty before getting into the tub. It's simple, convenient, and the chance to praise her if she happens to go is why I do this. No, I'm not potty training her yet. Two minutes after I put her in the tub.....I don't have to finish this story because every mom already knows that this bath didn't end well. ish..
Both kids are sound asleep and after two nights of coughing bursts, Julia is sleeping peacefully. Sleeping peacefully....that sounds nice and is probably what YOU are wanting to do after reading my ramblings.
goodnight everyone.


MerrandaVK January 22, 2008 at 9:57 PM  

I can TOTALLY RELATE with a picky eater (my Justin). we do the same. i only make one meal, and if he doesn't eat it, then its too bad for him.. He still after all these years complains FOREVER about it, and is up at the crack of dawn the next morning wanting to eat. But God blessed me with a WONDERFUL eater in my daughter who will honestly, pick broccoli over a cupcake, and will seriously sit and eat green beans until I eventually cut her off. She use to go in the garden every morning and eat all the new beans.. Anyways I am posting here to tell you that I answered your post on my post. Did that make sense? I too am very tired.

Anonymous January 22, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

You guys are funny...that was a funny comment, Merranda!

Oh, it was fun to catch up with your day THIS way, Carrie! Glad you had a great Zoo day...sorry things fizzled and pooped at the end (ick, sorry) of the day, but there's always a fresh start (early) tomorrow!

Carrie January 24, 2008 at 8:15 AM  

Our kids sound very alike Merranda. Julia's my good eater (beans, veggies, grainy bread...) but Sam? That boy could eat yogurt, cereal, and cookies for the rest of his life.

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