I hate you and everything you stand for.
We are still here! Just buried under Cheerios. I had forgotten how pervasive those little o's are when they first start eating them. I would say one out of every three make it in baby's mouth and the rest land on the floor, or pile up in his shirt so that when I lift him, it snows Cheerios all over the place. Old Baby (H.) has renewed his interest in them now that New Baby's developing some finer buds. In the morning, I'll ask H., "Would you like some oatmeal with blueberries or some raisin toast with yogurt?" He'll answer, "Hmm. Or some Cheerios. In a bowl. With raisins. And milk. And a spoon. On the table." Yessir, coming right up!
H. eats approximately two breakfasts these days. He'll have one when he wakes up and the second about an hour later. He grazes all day. He will sit and eat just about anything. Mommy's pad thai is his favorite. "You want some noodles!" he'll say. "I want some noodles," I'll say to correct him. "You do want noodles!" It goes around and around until I just give him the noodles and he's content till the next feeding time. I don't know where it all goes.
W. is now just about 8 and a half months old, trying to crawl, frustrated that he can't, teething big time, and adoring his big brother. Big brother has definitely come around. Somehow he has private jokes with the baby that evidently crack both of them up. The latest is H. gets real close to W. and says, "Toy Story red one* pweeeeeeeeeeze?" over and over again. Heh. Guess you had to be there.
Okay, my break is over. The bigger one's asking for cake for breakfast.
*Toy Story red one = Toy Story 2, aka, "A Jessie One". And for the record, Toy Story and Toy Story 2 have replaced Finding Nemo. But so far nothing's replaced his love for sharks and sea turtles. And basically anything that has anything to do with the ocean.
The laundry never stops these days. The moment I get it all done, it's as if the two socks I forgot have procreated and given birth to another four piles. The baby must go through five bibs a day, between food, spit-up and copious amounts of drool. He is like the Niagara Falls of drool. I don't know where it all comes from. And once it soaks through his bib, it seeps out onto his onesie and so I have to change onesies four times a day. They should call them Foursies. I do. And then there are the pants. As soon as he starts to eat, his fists find his mouth and then it's onto his pants they go. The socks then get into his mouth because, hey, who doesn't love to suck on their feet, and before you know it, another load of laundry needs to get done.
The dishes. They have become best friends with the laundry.
The other day, just after the kids' dinner, I realized that my clothes were covered in baby food, formula, drool, spit up, and various other by-products of baby and toddler activity. I gave the baby a bath so that at least one of us could be rid of the persistent carrot-scented wet (I don't know how else to put it). And then I pulled him out of the water and wrapped him in a sweet baby blue towel and his soft skin smelled heavenly, like angel's breath and unicorns (they don't just look good) and before I knew it, my stomach was burning hot and wet. The dude peed on me. Which I guess is fine since I wasn't the clean one. Even though it had been a long day, I couldn't help but smile and think it was par for the course. I must have thought it really hard because I didn't bother to change my shirt. Didn't even occur to me. Several minutes and one diaper later, I threw off the shirt not because it was soaked in urine, but just because it was soaked. That's when the other one came running in and said, "Diaper off! Take diaper off!" And then he took it off himself and thought it hilarious to run away from me and into his clubhouse where I just prayed he didn't pee.
I say this not because I want sympathy or to commiserate, but rather to explain why I haven't posted all that often. For this is what my days have become. Some are harder than others and some are easier. I never know what kind of day it will turn out to be until it has already turned itself out. But the point is, I am tired. The little one doesn't really care for long jags of sleep at night and so I don't get a whole lot of it either. The days are full of urine-soaked shirts and diaperless escapades and laundry and dishes and formula-making and food-feeding and negotiating and tear-wiping and on and on. But it's also full of a lot of smiles and new discoveries and of getting to know each other and of the big brother warming up to the little one. And the big one has just started giving what he calls Tight Hugs which are very tight and very fulfilling. So if I have to get peed on every now and then, it's worth it if my two and a half year old decides I'm worthy of a Tight Hug. I could live without the piss but there's no way I could live without the tight hugs.
I've been trying--desperately trying--to find time to update...but there's a new baby in this house and Sleep is not thine name.
Let me start at the beginning.
Two years ago, this weekend, we were on a plane bound for Seoul to meet our first son, H. He was about 5 and a half months when we met him, a lean mean jumping machine. H. had the biggest smile of any baby ever in the history of babies. He soon became the love of our lives. Five million diapers, three kajillion viewings of Finding Nemo and nearly two years later, the three of us headed back to Korea to meet our new son, W.
And here I interrupt to bring you a public service announcement: when traveling on a 14.5 hour flight with a two year old, the thing you need more than toys, DVDs, cookies, crackers, etc. etc. is another version of yourself. A well-rested doppelganger to handle things on the other side. Because, sometimes--and I'm not naming any names--sometimes kids decide not to sleep until the descent of the plane and by then, well, by then it's just too late. Thanks for nothing, kid, and all that.
Korea was amazing. With our eyes pried open by toothpicks, we took in as many sights as we could the first few days we were there. When we traveled to pick up H, the trip was much shorter. This time, we spent nine nights there and got around. The first three nights, H. was jet-lagging big time. And thus, so were we. But after that, we got back on track and by then it was time to meet W. That meeting is a longer post for another time but suffice it to say it was everything we could have wanted.
Two days before we departed Seoul, we headed over to the Korean agency. There we were reunited with H's foster parents. It was very emotional and touching for all of us, and we hope it's not the last of such visits. After that tear-fest, W. showed up with his foster mother and her daughter. They really loved him and it was hard watching them say goodbye. But again, we hope to see them in a few years, when we don't throw up at the thought of flying that far with children again. We'll send pictures and keep them up to date on this 5-month-old's fine accomplishments as they happen.
W. was 4 and a half months old when we met. It's now just about a month on, I guess three weeks. But when you factor in the lack of sleep, it's more like six weeks, since we've been up and working doubles. The jet lag was not as easy to overcome this time since we had a toddler who needed to watch. Wonder. Pets. NOW. At 2 am. This lasted a week. From then on, it's been your basic, garden variety up-at-night with a baby sleeplessness. And we are tired. So very tired.
But it's all good. W. is a bundle of cute. He's very happy and loves to flirt. He smiles a lot and is so alert. He watches every move H. makes. H. is starting to come around. He's been very cool about having a new baby in the house, and his days of indifference get cancelled out every time he places one of his prized possessions in the palm of the baby's hand just to look at it there, and say, "Sharing."
When W. cries, H. says, "Baby laughing." I started asking, "Is he laughing or crying? What do you think?" Now every time baby makes a noise, H. says, "Baby laughing. Is he laughing or crying?" H. is talking a lot these days, repeating everything we say, like a parrot. When he's not saying, "To infinity and deyond," he's usually saying, "Daddy says, I love you. Mommy says, I love you. H. says, I love you." When the baby first got here, we'd ask, "What does baby say?" The answer: "Baby says, Goo ga ga." But now, it's "Baby says, I love you."
This post was interrupted by some early-evening-into-late-night-crying. Not mine, if you're wondering. But by midnight you wouldn't have been far off.
And now it is Thanksgiving, and time to end this, the most rambling of posts. I am out of practice and a wee bit scattered. Gooble gobble, as H. says. Enjoy everything that's good in your lives today.
We got some info recently that told us NB's travel call was imminent. As it turns out, when they said imminent they really meant, not for a few more weeks. Only we had every reason to keep thinking any day now. And so we watched the clock every morning, knowing that the call would only really come in the morning because of the time difference and every day around 10am, we threw in the towel as the phone mocked us from its cradle. Meanwhile, we had a sudden burst of energy after being thrown into Any Day Now status, and did all our shopping and room-readying. I did four loads of baby clothes on Sunday morning. I did a load of H's clothes as well. Do you know how many socks, sizes 0-6, 6-12 and 12-24 I had to fold? A LOT. I don't even know why we buy socks for our kid because he takes them off the first opportunity he gets. Anyway. I folded a lot of clothes, bibs, burp clothes, etc etc. And you know what? I almost sort of enjoyed it. Because it felt like our baby was within reach.
So now here we are today fairly certain that the phone won't ring for another week and change at the earliest. It's pretty upsetting. I didn't expect this time around to be as much of an emotional rollercoaster because we'd already been through it once. I should have known better.
Don't suggest shop therapy to make this any better. I've bought everything that can be bought (including the boys' sweet new ride, in apple green thank you very much) and then some. And we still need to pay for those plane tickets, so no more spending. I don't really like chocolate, so that won't work. The only thing that's of any comfort these days is hanging out with our new best friends. (Still in Season 2, so no spoilers please.)
(Seriously, not even as a joke.)
Over the weekend we got a wonderful little letter informing us that New Baby (NB) is approved to join our family. It was very exciting because for once, it felt like things were moving right along. And they are. Now all we have to do is wait for Korea to approve his travel and then our phone will ring and we'll be on a plane within a matter of days. No telling how long this could take but let's just leave it at soon-ish.
I am realizing how much we need to get done in the next few weeks. We got started yesterday by heading out to buy some furniture for H's room. We'll be moving the changing table/dresser to the room where NB will sleep. Also, H's toys are all over the place and it drives me nuts, so we got something to take care of that. Then we headed over to Buy Buy Baby, or triple B's as I like to call it. There I stocked up on nipples, pacifiers and onesies in every size. I have no idea what this baby's preferences are, and I don't want to come up short during a crying jag at midnight in Seoul. I also got a travel size Doodle Pro for H on the plane so we can draw sharks for him for 14 hours straight. Here's to hoping they let us bring it on.
I was looking at some old photos of H because I'm making a photo album to bring to his foster mother in Korea. There are so many of him that first winter all bundled up and I remembered how hard it was getting out the door. First I had to dress him, then bundle him, then shield him, then dress myself, then put him in the stroller, then the Bundle Me, then carry him down the steps, drenched in sweat. So now as we face another winter, I'm thinking about what it will be like with two and how we'll manage. And here's where I'd love some help. This is the stroller I think I want. We do a lot of walking, and I think it would be easier to have a single profile stroller. My only reservation about this stroller is 1. that the baby on the bottom will touch the wheels and 2. that it's hard moving the seats around. I guess that's two reservations. So if you have any thoughts I'd love to hear them.
I'm also thinking of giving NB the Britax carseat and getting one of those carseat to booster numbers from Graco. Anyone use one of those?
Tonight we shall attempt building the crib. Special shout out to Figlet for loaning it and LSP for disavowing it.
Remember when I listed my worst fears? Well, I forgot to include a very important one. Overflowing toilets. I often have nightmares about them. I think that if you were to look in a dream book, it would tell you a lot about my state of mind and all my weaknesses. But the truth is that I am afraid of overflowing toilets while I am awake too, so what does that say about me? (Please don't answer.)
Have you seen that commercial for the toilet cleaner that's a tablet you throw in and then your toilet basically overflows with suds? I get heart palpitations when I see it. And yet. It also plays to one of my other neuroses which is the need to keep everything clean and disinfected. What's a girl to do? I am intrigued and repulsed at the same time. I am reprigued. No. I am impulsed. I might just have to buy it and then shut my eyes and scream as it does its work.
While we were on vacation, H. used his cousins' Thomas the Train Training Toothpaste. Say that fast five times. Now every day he asks for Tommy Toothpaste, and I can't help but think he's a character on The Sopranos.
Today we spent a lovely morning at Jones Beach. The weather was beautiful and it wasn't crowded at all. Of course, there was the requisite Guy With G-String Bathing Suit, except calling it a bathing suit is extremely generous. It was more like a cul-de-sac. Shortly after arriving, he decided to lube up, which meant bending over to get his legs and ankles--and it also meant that we got a not-so-exclusive view of his kerbangers. Even the seagulls, who are always on the lookout for something meaty, were horrified.
We are still waiting on I600 approval, so I have plenty of time to fill my head with nonsense while I pretend not to obsess.
We're back from our three glorious weeks away, and I was all set to post a lot of photos but a migraine had other plans for me. Spent the entire day in bed feeling like my head was being assaulted by a jackhammer. You'll just have to believe me when I say that lots of fun was had, blueberry muffins eaten, outdoor showers taken, and walks on the tidal flats strollen. But the highlight of the trip can be summed up in two words: Guitar. Hero.
Suffice it to say, I rock. I mean, I really rock. And so what if my only groupie was a 4-year-old in pigtails and a Strawberry Shortcake nightgown? All that mattered to her is that I brought the licks.
Overheard at the store
Mother to child in shopping cart: Sit down right now.
Mother: Because you can't stand while I push this.
Mother: Because you could fall and crack your head open...and then my vacation would be ruined.
Overheard on the beach
My own son: Shark check email?
And finally, it is a sad, sad day in a
young woman's life when she no longer gets carded in Massachusetts.