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Stumped (or maybe just slumped…)

March 12th, 2008

To state the obvious, I haven’t been blogging as consistently these days as I once did.   I keep trying to kick my rear into action, but I’m so tired.   I’m only 24 weeks pregnant, and I’m so tired that I haven’t cleaned house since we’ve been home from Florida.   I’m such a cleaning-freak, it would usually have been cleaned twice by now.   I see the dust bunnies (and the cobwebs and the crumbs by the toaster and the unfolded laundry and the toothpaste flecks on the mirror and… and…) and I just look the other way.   I’ve been so tired that the last two nights I have become a lump on the couch, not even with enough energy to walk two feet to pick up the remote from the counter and turn the TV station.  

A big part of it is that Kenny has all but given up on naps.   That is, unless I walk him in the stroller (and boy do I have energy for that… yeah…) or drive him somewhere in the car, he is officially no longer interested.  Waaaa.   I used to catch up on house work and computer work when he slept.   Now, it’s non-stop all day (he is doing well with an enforced quiet time, but that’s just not the same!   He can hear me, even see me because of the way his bedroom door is situated to look out over the downstairs living room and office door), and I can’t quite get anything done.   Least of all nap, which is what I most need to do.

Then there is the “what should I write about” – a conundrum that hasn’t really plagued me until now.   Kenny’s two and a half.   He’s cute, funny and smart.   Everyday.   And except for our potty-training battles, his firsts and milestones are not filling up the paragraphs like they used to.     And I’m pregnant, but you all have known that for almost 20 weeks, and with another 15 to go, how much can I really write about all that, except that I’m burping like an Irish barkeep and so tired I’m already ready for bed by the time I finish breakfast in the morning?

Did I mention that we’re house-looking, too?   We’ve been on the search since Christmas, and I feel like everytime I sit down at the computer, I’m researching neighborhoods and listings and on and on.  

Worst of all, everyone I know thinks that we were “on vacation” in Florida.   Yes, we were warm.   But Casey worked everyday, and most days I didn’t have a car, so for Kenny and I, it was business as usual, only the windows were open and we got to hit the beach on the three weekends we were there.   So people keep asking me if I’m “all rested up from vacation.”   I want to cry.

Here’s a question or two for you:  why don’t they let pregnant women have caffeine?   The least the American Pregnancy Association could do for us poor battle-worn pregos would be to OK caffeine during these times when  we’re the most tired.   Some afternoons I would trade the rest of the day’s food allowance for one ice-cold diet coke.   And mood-swings… why can’t I have a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day?   That would help my mood.   Or shopping?   No retail therapy for me…. unless I want to invest in even more polyester maternity clothes that look like they were stitched by the three blind mice.   Ok, I guess I could go buy a Gucci diaper bag or something.  

So I’m back to my ever-more-slightly sagging spot on the couch.   If only I could teach Dudley to massage my feet…

Tales of a Tickle Toothbrush

March 12th, 2008

Kenny had his very first dentist appointment today.   It couldn’t have gone better.   He sat in my lap first and watched the dentist clean my teeth, then when it was his turn, he was so excited, he did everything exactly as they told him, holding his mouth open for the cleaning and everything.   I was so proud of my little guy!

Hm.   A successful trip to the dentist with a two and a half year old doesn’t make for very exciting blogging, does it?

Home, Sweet (Chilly) Home

March 8th, 2008

We arrived home from Florida at about 4 PM today.   Kenny is a great little traveller, and Dudley wins the best canine-in-the-car-of-the-century award.   But boy are we tired!!

As we crossed over the Maryland state line, Casey and I did a little math, and figured out that of the 30 months of Kenny’s life,   we’ve been absent from our house for about 14 of them.   This includes the two winters in Arizona, all the vacations, the tagging along on work trips,  and the times we’ve been renovating and forced to sleep elsewhere… That’s nearly half of Kenny’s life!     No wonder he was so happy to run into his room when we got home today…

Keep the potty-training advice and stories coming!   I know that weekends are slow for comments, but we’re still open to more.   Crisanne, I loved the “cold turkey” story… I’m almost convicted to try it…

Target Practice

March 6th, 2008

This time last year, Kenny first became interesting in the potty.   So interested, that I thought he’d be potty-trained well before age two, and was ready to gloat about how easy it had been.

Then we moved from Arizona back to Maryland, and it all went out the window.

Since last June, it’s been hit or miss.   There are whole stretches of days where he bats a thousand, then whole weeks where the mere mention of “potty” sends him into shrieks and wails.   One of my goals for our time here in Florida was to have him completely potty-trained in the three weeks we stayed down here.   The reasoning was simple: 1) it was warm enough for him to run around in nothing but “unders,” and 2) we would have less errands to run and reasons to be in the car and could focus on the task at hand.

I would say that at this point, he is capable, but not 100% willing.   That is, today he wore “unders” all day and had three accidents… the first was a real accident, the second was a blatant whizz in in the boxer briefs just to tick me off, the the third was a case of almost making it, and just missing by a nano-second.   But unless I remind him every half hour (or drag him and make him), he couldn’t be bothered.   Arg.   Interestingly enough, he’s pooped on the potty the last five days in a row.     But he doesn’t seem to mind walking around with wet unders.   Or peeing on the carpet if he’s naked.   He LOVES peeing in the yard with Dudley.   But how to make it all come together?????

I got a letter a few days ago from a reader with a similar problem…

I am struggling to potty train my 3 & 1/2 year old son.   He can use the potty
when he wants to, which is rarely.   He says he does not want to potty because he
is a “baby”.   He does not mind being in a wet or dirty diaper for hours!   He
also does not seem to mind if he sits in wet underwear (even if it’s Thomas the
Tank Engine underpants) or pees on the floor.   HELP!   Any advice out there?
He has a 2 year old sister, who is more eager to use the potty than he is.

So – PLEASE send me (us) your advice on potty-training these stubborn little cowboys!   Believe me, I’ve tried the “naked day,” the “you can pee on any tree you want to,” the “target practice,” and rewards of candy, stickers and the lot.     Let me here your victory stories!!

Bedtime Story Editor in Chief

March 5th, 2008

Every night, after the books are read and the prayers are said, Kenny wants a story or two (or ten).   He has gone through phases…. Hector the silly monkey, baby-Dudley, “Little Casey,” Hoodwink that rascal monkey, and on and on.   Until recently, he was fairly satisfied with whatever tale we conjured.   Occasionally he’d say, “That one again!” or “Not that one – another one.”   But lately, he’s gotten more and more specific on exactly what he wants his story to entail.

For example, last week, we started saying things like “Hoodwink by himself” if we started mixing too many characters in the story.   Then a few days ago, he started specifying plots: “Hoodwink by himself not being a rascal, being a good boy.”   Tonight, though, this is the intro he gave me:

“You tell one about Hoodwink by himself being a good boy, not making cookies and not going to sleep; Hoodwink at the park playing.”  

I started, but he quickly interrupted when I mentioned that there were other monkeys playing at the park: “No, Hoodwink playing by himself eating bananas.”  

Ah, for the days of silent submission.


March 3rd, 2008

Dudley is starting to rub off on us.

He gets up anywhere from two to ten times a night, occasionally because he has to pee really bad, and more often because he’s bored and wants to see if there are any squirrels out who want to play.

Because of this, Casey is also often up two to ten times a night.   I sleep like someone encased my skull in concrete, and nothing (aside from Kenny’s faintest cough or sniffle) wakes me up.   Dudley could be playing conga drums on-top of me, and if would still be Casey who gets up to either let him out, or drag him by the ears back to bed.

Recently, though, we have all been up half the night.   Casey and I are used to our deluxe king bed with a feather top at home, and here at his parent’s house, we are in a full bed.   Kenny is used to his twin-sized bed made of baseball bats and his menagerie of stuffed animals; here he is subjected to a queen-sized bed and only two or three stuffed furry friends to keep him company.   (Don’t ask why he’s in the queen and we’re in the full… it came down to room placement and furniture… or Casey chose the rooms…)  

So Kenny has been getting lonely at about 2AM, and crawling in with us.   At which time Dudley decides that the floor is too degrading, and he tries to jump in as well.   Couple all that with my increasing need to pee every few hours through the night, and you’ve got a nocturnal circus.

Last night I was up for over an hour, listening to Dudley snore and the delayed-timer dishwasher whoosh, wondering if I would just wait to see the sunrise.   Does this prod me into bed earlier, you might ask?   Yeah, right.   When else do I get to use the computer??

Photo Recap

March 1st, 2008

After several days of technical difficulties, I am finally back online…. I also finally found my usb cord, so I figured that now would be an opportune time to offer a  photo-tour of our last two and a half weeks here in Florida…

Though I haven’t managed to catch an alligator on film (or the endangered panther, for that matter), the Sand Hill Cranes are so tame that they make it a spot to have a photo shoot…

florida-006.jpg  … these were nearly as tall as Casey, and they are standing in the middle of the fairway behind my in-laws’s house, happy to make the golfers wait.

Casey and Kenny have had a few chances to see some major league baseball Spring Training…. Last Saturday they watched batting practice, and went to a game yesterday…


Dudley has enjoyed the dog-friendly beach in Venice, and has become quite the swimmer, despite his mortal fear of the water, up until now…


Casey has been throwing a tennis ball as far as he can into the waves, and Dudley jumps gamely in, even body-surfing a little on his way back to shore.   I need to get some footage of that on video…

With twice-a-day walks in the Florida sunshine and runs on the golf course and the beach, Dudley has been a veritable couch potato.   He has even succumbed of late to Kenny’s deisre to play hide and seek (in which Kenny both hides and seeks his opponent)…


… then hides himself and waits for someone to realize that he’s ready to be found…


 Then of course, there is the beach!   We have spent several afternoons there when Casey has had time off work…

florida-062.jpg  (notice the almost 23-week belly!)

  Kenny and Mama love the ocean!       florida-088.jpg

In spite of all of his outdoor activity,  Kenny has not been napping very well.   In fact, there have been but a few days that he actually has taken a nap (without me having to walk him in the stroller).   I guess he’s afraid to miss any of the fun!    But he has managed to find times and places to catch some z’s when least expected…


As of now, our plan is to return to Maryland at the end of the week.   The sunshine rocks, but there’s no place like home.   It’s not easy living in someone elses’ house this long, and we are eager to get back to “real life.”   Casey has had a very productive time of work here, and our February tans are all the reminder we need to say it was worthwhile.

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