Friday, February 25, 2011

Charlie is so awesome.

I know I should do a better job of recording Charlie's little sweet nothings, so that's today's post. Except I really have to bullet-point it.

One Liners:
Charlie, after this song it's naptime. Charlie, do you know what time it is? "Um... hide & seek?"

You can have one cookie. "One at a time?"

Funny words or phrases:
"Mugot" instead of forgot
"Actually, no."

But really, the funniest thing he does at the age of 3 is try to control his little world. He likes to tell Doug and I how to sit or lay down with him. He orders us what songs to sing at bedtime. He is also fighting for independence - we regularly hear "I'll do it myself!" He is putting his pants on but still gets tangled in his shirts. And when it comes to toys, it's anything with wheels or wings - planes, trains, & automobiles.

He is really sweet too, and shows affection we never got from Roman. I finally had to ask another mom if it was normal for Charlie to be so loving. He touches my face, strokes my cheek, plays with my hair, all kinds of stuff. Apparently this is all appropriate. I can't imagine that I dreaded Charlie's arrival at one point. Life would be so grey without him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I love that Army phrase. "Situation normal: all *$&@ up." That's pretty much life here at the VE household. While on a day to day basis everything is just fine, our kind of "fine" is much different than most people's. We've been tracking Roman's probable bipolar on a calendar and have found a definite peak & valley cycle. Now that we expect things on certain days, I think overall his larger rages are happening less and less frequently. So our weeks generally look like this:
Sunday: Emotional meltdown or rage. The buildup of fun/less structure. He will end up needing to be helped to calm down.
Monday: Very emotional, typically anger; occasionally needs help; still coming down from weekend.
Tuesday: Good day.
Wednesday: Emotional, cries easily. This is his "low" day.
Thursday: Good day.
Friday: Good day. Beginning to ramp up for "high" weekend.
Saturday: Will have a short and quick "high" in the a.m. which we can calm down. Continues to wind up (see Sunday).

Of course, if we go somewhere on the weekends or there is a major shift in plans during the week, this all changes. Ro holds it together really well when visiting grandparents or playing with friends - which makes his Sunday or Monday night meltdowns even bigger. But like I said, now that we can see the pattern (we've been documenting a little over a month now) we expect it and are ready for it - and we keep calmer too. Mostly.

Charlie either continues to be oblivious to his brother or accepts the snafu ambience in our home. He will play by himself when Roman needs our attention. He himself is a calming influence and when in the mood to play with Roman, can often be helpful. Of course, he's also 3 and getting into the "yank the toy away and if you don't give me what I want, I'll scream & hit you" phase. But because he's also in the "I want to help you and generally be a pleaser" phase, he will inform me when I need to put him in a time-out. He actually walked me through one yesterday. Told me to put him in time-out, then after it ended he said, "why was I in time out?" but it wasn't a question - it was like he was coaching me in what to say. It was pretty humorous.

So, when you ask how things are going, I'll say everything's fine. Nothing new to report, "the usual." But inside I'm thinking, "snafu!"

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lefties have rights, too!

I am proudly a lefty. In fact, I am dominantly left-handed - it is uncomfortable for me to do most things with my right hand. And one of the great things about having a biological child is that he's a lefty too! Charlie showed off his dominant hand very early on when he first started grabbing at spoons. Life is hard for us, sure - but it is pretty awesome to be left-handed.

I thought of this today, though, as I flipped over the paper towel roll for the umpteenth time - do righties have any idea what it's like to live in their world? Here are the things I encounter:

Notebook spirals digging into my hand/arm
can openers operated with my weak hand
had to train myself to use the computer mouse on the right
the number pad on a keyboard is always on the right
the paper towel always has to be flipped - it's on a vertical holder and I want the loose end on the left, whereas Doug wants it on the right
I put cards in envelopes upside down and backward
I change diapers opposite of Doug, so early on we kept moving the wipes around
Using scissors and knives? It's messy, let's just leave it at that
When nurses try to draw blood or I have to have an IV, everything has to be switched around to accommodate me.

I had to learn to golf with right-handed clubs, which I swear is the reason I'm not very strong at it. Although now when I try to do it left-handed, it feels weird too. And for my job, writing on the overhead screen? Forget it. But I am proud of it, and so glad that Charlie gets to join the ranks of those of us in their RIGHT minds.