Thursday, June 30, 2011

My dirt collection

It has been hidden away for years, tucked into a paper-box at the back of the basement cabinets. Oh, I would think of it from time to time, always meaning to scrap it in some way. But I just didn't get to it. Until this past May, when I saw this cool shadow box from Tim Holtz and these little glass jars and everything started to come together in my brain. It was time to liberate my dirt collection.


It's a far cry from my complete collection from back in the day - from 1994 through 2000, I received dirt from people who would travel, I would collect it myself, I would even get dirt from friends of friends. But I went through it all, saved the most memorable or thoughtful, and have put them on display.

I stopped collecting in 2000 when my canister of St. Andrews golf course dirt opened in my suitcase. I figured that was a sign... plus, as newlyweds we just didn't travel that much! But putting this display together has inspired me again. I go to DC once a year & I would love to collect some Pentagon dirt. And we'll start traveling with the kids more often now that they're bigger... this could be a lot of fun once again! (& no worries - I left lots of room in the display for the future!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Training, day 2

The dreaded training... potty, that is. Just like when he was a newborn, I am now talking about Charlie's pee and poop all the time. Whatever nice words my parents taught me for these bodily functions have gone out the window. Whatever works, baby.

Yesterday was our first true day of training. Decided to go without diaper outside and C. notified me immediately when he had to go. Success! Decided to go inside without a diaper, and he went another 4 times throughout the day. No accidents. Great success!

Today we started out well again, with C. requesting "to go nakey like before." Continued to do his #1 when at home in the toilet, with warning. This afternoon we were playing (him nakey) when C. said, "Poop!" I said with some urgency, "go to the bathroom! Go! Go!" He stood up... and it was already done. On the carpet. Easy to clean, luckily. After dinner he said his tummy hurt, but he gave us warning, and did his first #2 in the toilet! Woohoo! But I should have paid attention to the fact it was loose.... he wasn't back in the living room more than a couple minutes before he yelled again, "I'm pooping!" I ran out to see.... oh yes. Himself, the carpet, just a mess. He was upset, too, as he had a panicked look on his face. Word from the Daddy: No more running around nakey. So tomorrow we will wear underwear with severe warnings that he cannot get them wet.

He's really pleased with his reward - M&Ms - and tries to use the toilet even when he doesn't need to, just to see if he can get a few more M&Ms. He's definitely old enough to do this - now let's hope his stubborn side doesn't appear.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A very vivid dream

Two nights ago I had one of those dreams that you swear you were there for real. Me - I was in Moscow again. This time it was me, Doug, my parents, and Roman, although it was only my parents and me in the actual dream. I was playing tour guide, clearly knowing Moscow better than I do in real life. We checked into our hotel and I realized we were just a couple blocks from Red Square. So we went out to walk it, and I was pointing out shops like the McDonald's and Tiffany's, talking about the bookstore - yes, people, my geography was spot on.

We crossed the street and I was pointing out buildings and identifying them by their rooflines; where Gum department store was, where the Communist Museum was, churches, St. Basil's. Talked about Lenin's tomb. You guys, it wasn't a regular dream. I was RIGHT THERE in Red Square with my parents.

I have dreamed of Russia before, but nothing as vivid as this. I was so sad when I was awoken by Charlie - I knew I wouldn't get back into my dream, and I so wanted to. I think it'd be so cool to show my parents the land of Roman's birth. It's such an intensely personal experience between just Doug and I, that none of my descriptions can do it justice. And Doug and I have talked often of taking Roman back someday. Perhaps this is a sign that I should pull out his baby book and finish it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Eve

Tomorrow marks the first real day of summer for me. It's also when my kids become my only job for a little while. That's good and bad, of course. I'm not sure about those moms who have the best kids and can't wait to spend summer with them. I always have an ounce of dread when I think about summers home. Perhaps because my 8-year-old can't hold his attention on anything for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Summer is like the starting of a new job. I am their primary entertainment & disciplinarian now, not school or daycare. And where at school I can get a new set of kids every 55 minutes, I'm stuck with these 2 all day every day! We will have some awesome times, no doubt - Ro already wants to go swimming, have lots of playdates, go to the zoo, etc. - but there will always be those "long dark tea-times of the soul," for us usually around 4:30-6pm, when they've played everything they can think of, and I just want to get dinner started... ooh. Just got dread-chills thinking about it.

To start our summer, we will be going to K-Mart for a new pillow for Roman & birdseed for the feeder. If we're all in a good mood, I may attempt a Costco shopping trip. Pretty exciting stuff, huh? Most of Roman's friends have both parents working and are in daycare or with babysitters, so it will be interesting to make playdates. But I'll start calling people tomorrow!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Let's not do that again.

For a calm and planned-out Saturday, today turned into one big emotional crazy day. It was supposed to be easy - errands in the morning, Charlie naps, buy Ro's birthday gift, grandparents arrive, dinner, etc. Nice, right? Well, errands got done. Then Charlie's naptime came but he was not pleased. Long story short, he ended up whacking me twice in the head. He's lucky I didn't throw him into his bed. Instead I just sort of... tossed him. I ended up brushing off Roman because I was so angry, so he got upset thinking I was pushing him away when he wanted to give me a hug, and HE started crying. I started crying because I just wanted to be by myself for 5 minutes!!

So my parents arrive in the midst of this. Roman had calmed down so he went to entertain them, Charlie was no longer screaming but just kicking the wall, and I calmed myself down. Then it was my Dad's turn to cause a ruckus. He voiced a concern that he needed something sweet to help his sugar. We gave him a cookie. A few minutes later he got up to get a drink of water, made it into the dining room - and passed out. Just collapsed onto the floor. So 911 was called, Roman was scared out of his wits so my mom consoled him, then I tried to console her... my Dad's okay now. He was responsive within seconds of hitting the floor, no physical damage done. The rescue ambulance AND fire truck showed up, that was exciting. They gave him some glucose and he got balanced out again.
The EMTs were awesome with Roman, too. They could see how panicked he was and so the lieutenant took him and Doug out to the fire truck and let him turn on the siren, blow the horn, crawl all over it... then they gave him a hat, stuffed bear, sticker, all kinds of goodies. Poor Charlie slept right through it (well, thank goodness he did) and so didn't get a stuffed animal. He was a little jealous.

So we did go to my parents' hotel where they were staying, Ro and Doug swam in the pool, we ordered takeout & ate in the room and watched the Belmont Stakes. Boys in bed at a reasonable time, because tomorrow is Roman's birthday! And another possible round of emotional responses. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Birthday, basement, & boys

The new carpet is coming today. I love when you discover you know people who "know people." This time around, a coworker's brother owns a carpet & tile shop in Dearborn and he cut us a great deal on new carpet. We're going with a darker shade of tan/taupe/brown whatever. It's a soft berber, with a design in it to hopefully camouflage soem of those spills that occur. Concrete floor makes the basement just such a depressing... hole. I haven't been down there except to quickly flip laundry.

Roman's birthday is coming quickly. He will be getting a new bike from us, probably Saturday morning. he went to the dentist today and got a filling and was a really brave boy. I was very proud of him. Charlie has been just charming, wanting to help outside. He loves filling birdfeeders, playing in the dirt and plants, and both boys covet watering the plants so they can play with the hose. In 1.5 weeks summer will be upon us and I'm lining up ideas in my head of things to do. Charlie still needs naps, so it will be time-sensitive summer. He also needs to be potty-trained, so I've got my work cut out for me.