Four Years Later

Wednesday, June 10

Once upon a time it was 2011 and we were getting ready for our first PCS together. We traveled to San Antonio and bought our first house. On the day we closed, our realtor snapped a picture of us out front. It took about five seconds total to walk to the front, stand together and smile. Snap. That's it.

Now it's four years later and we are bidding adieu to our first home. It's sold. The new owner is happy to move in, and although I'm happy to leave Texas, I would be lying if I said I'm not a wee bit sad to leave the home where we've made so many memories. And so, we asked someone to take our picture out front. I thought it would be fun to compare our picture four years ago to one now. Just the two of us DINKS versus the two of us (decidedly not DINKs anymore) PLUS two kids PLUS two dogs.

But as it turns out, this picture took about ten minutes to get. And I think that pretty much sums up how much our life has changed in the past four years.

Aaaaand, this is the best we could do. Things change. 

But we love change, so it's good.


Friday, February 27

 I've been single mommin' it for a few weeks. Life has been exhausting but in the best way possible. 

The weather has been insane here. One day we are wearing shorts and sandals. The next day winter coats. 

We still don't know where we are going this summer, but we know we're going, so I've new trying to organize and clean. It's become abundantly clear that we own way too much crap.

Here are some other highlights:

Last week, Jared took Clark out to the yard to do yardwork. I went out to join them, only to watch Clark pick up a giant fossilized piece of Bunny poop and start walking across the yard with it, saying "Da Da" before violently throwing it into the pooper scooper and turning around to look for more. He was trying to help. I was trying not to vomit in my mouth. (And yes I stopped him as soon as I could sprint across the yard, and yes, his hands were sanitized.)

Henry currently weighs 15lbs 14oz. I know this because I got on the scale with him today, even though that meant weighing myself in the process, and by the way, I still have six pounds to go, but I ate a donut after dinner tonight probably seven now. 

But Donuts are just round cake so it's an acceptable dessert. 

Also, I can't believe how big Henry is compared to Clark. 

Don't worry, I will not get on social media and declare that my baby is superior because he is fat. Because it's annoying and untrue. Fat babies are just fat. Skinny babies are just skinny. 

But I might get on and declare that Clark is THE BOMB after he successfully identified and actually said five colors today. I swear it's the truth even though he refuses an encore show for my iPhone. He told me today that his shirt is ORANGE. His bracelet is PURPLE. His block is YELLOW. Henry's pants are RED. Mommy's pants are BLACK.

Backtrack! Clark loves bracelets. He has his own purple one that he wears everywhere. The other day I even got him some candy bracelets. Which leads me to my next point....

Don't get your toddler candy bracelets. I looked away for one second and when I looked back, the candy was eaten and the elastic was missing. I looked everywhere and couldn't find it. Panicked. Started comtemplating the possibility of a bowel obstruction and panicked more. Was just getting ready to page the doctor and/or go to hospital for X-rays when I found the elastic. 

Which brings me to another point:

Dog puke is nasty. Also. Dogs can't digest candy bracelet elastic. 

Meanwhile, this was the same day I had to call Poison Control because Clark drank an entire bottle of contact lens solution. And since it was my second time calling, they knew my name. And Clark's name. It's all in our "record".


On a related note, a few weeks ago we had to take Clark to the ER after he climbed up on the stove and put his hand directly on the burner. When we got into a room, the nurse said, "Oh hi again! I was your nurse last time, too!" 


As a results our kitchen is now entirely fenced in with baby gates that Clark knows how to open so that was a complete waste of $150 and the effort it took to make it look so ugly to begin with.

Moving on to happier things. You guys, Clark was such a good natured baby. He never, ever cried and was just so happy. Seriously. And everyone said it would never happen again, except...Henry is happier, if that's even possible. My boy never cries, EVER, unless he's hungry. He smiles at everyone and coos and coos. I don't know why I have such happy little guys but I feel so lucky.

Clark still loves his brother. Sometimes his loves comes out like a smack to the head or a little love nibble that leaves a mark, but mostly he just hugs and kisses him. He helps me change his diapers and helps me bath Henry every night.  He just runs over with his little step stool and puts it next to the sink, rolls up his sleeves, and rubs the soap in his hair. Rinses him off with me and dries him off, powders his bum and lotions his feet. He does it all.  If Henry cries, he runs over and covers him with a blanket and pats his head and sometimes even shares his toys. 

And actually I guess I lied about the crying. Last week I heard a commotion in the living room. I walked out and found Henry crying while Clark was sitting next to him, shoving his Kazoo INTO HIS MOUTH. And as I ran over to remove it, Clark just kept pointing at Henry and talking and talking, and I imagine trying to make him use the dang Kazoo.  My sweet boys. 

I'm in love. 

The End.

Life with Two

Saturday, January 24

Alternate Title: Why it takes forever to go anywhere.

My tiny alarm clock named Henry goes off at 6:00AM.  He is ready for his breakfast, or final meal of the night, depending on how you look at it.  I roll over and pick him up.  Put him next to me in bed and nurse him until we both fall back asleep.  Around 7:00, I start hearing stirrings from the monitor in Clark's room.  By 7:15, he is wide awake and demanding that someone come get him.  I lay Henry back in his co-sleeper, and go get Clark, bring him back to my room, and stick him in my bed.  I then turn a Baby Einstein episode on the iPad, just so that I can lay there and snuggle Clark for a few minutes...enjoy the fact that he isn't in motion.  You know, sniff his head and scratch his back and all that.  I silently think through my day, and decide I will work out later in the afternoon, which means I don't need to shower this morning.  CHECK. About ten minutes into the movie, he decides it's time to sit on top of his still sleeping brother, so that's that. We move into the kitchen.

I turn on the Today Show, which, sadly enough, is now my primary source of news and world events.  I crack two eggs and start scrambling them for Clark while he runs laps around the house.  Literally.  Pumping his arms and running in circles.  I finally put his breakfast on the table, pour my Raisin Bran and coffee, and sit down next to him to eat.  I finish before him and decide to take advantage of the fact that he is still eating, and unload the dishwasher.  No go. Suddenly he doesn't want to eat.  I quickly realize that he will only eat if I continue sitting next to him.

So I spend the next 20 minutes sitting at the table drinking coffee while Clark thoughtfully chews each piece of egg, quietly inspects every single blueberry, and plays a few games with his toast before deciding to actually ingest it.  Finally. He's done and I can unload the dishwasher.  Except now this five minute job just became 15, because Clark wants to help.  And it's so sweet and endearing that I am not going to tell him no. So he unloads everything.  Each and every item, ONE BY ONE. And then I re-organize it all.  He breaks a wine glass.  I clean it up.  I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and he unloads those too.  So I load it again.  Finally, I close the door and re-direct him to the bedroom so I can get him dressed.

I lay him on the bed, and he starts to fight me, as toddlers love to do.   So I use my left arm to pin him to the bed while using my right arm to attempt a diaper change.  I get as far as the diaper and the shirt when I start to lose the power struggle, so I take a break.  Henry is fussing.  I pick him up and nurse him a little more.  Burp him.  Clark helps me get him dressed in real clothes, and we lay him back down.  In the two minutes I turn my back, Clark tips all the laundry baskets over and now there are dirty clothes all over the floor.  I realize that maybe this is a sign that I should do laundry, so I ask Clark to help me, and we head to the laundry room.

On our way there, I notice dog pee on my new dining room carpet and decide to ignore it for the next ten minutes because if I try to clean it, rage will well up inside me and I will yell at the dogs.  Seriously.  WHAT'S THEIR FREAKING PROBLEM?  Once we get to the laundry room, I falter for a minute.  There are clean clothes in the dryer, which means if I start doing laundry right this moment, I will have to put the clean clothes on my bed, and they will stare at me all day until I fold them.  I briefly consider taking the dirty clothes back to my room where they will at least be contained in baskets, but ultimately decide on laundry.  Before we can even get the washer going, Henry is crying.

We go back in the room and I pick Henry up to nurse him again.  Turns out, hunger is not the problem.  He spits up all over both of us.  I silently pat myself on the back for not being dressed yet.  I remove my shirt, and Henry is still crying, so I decide I don't quite have time yet to put a new shirt on.  I change Henry's clothes.  Get him settled.  Suddenly I smell poop.  Clark needs changed.  I silently pat myself on the back that he wasn't wearing pants yet.  I change his diaper.  Wrestle some pants, socks and shoes on him.  Henry is crying again.  He's hungry this time, so I feed him again.  But this time I'm not taking any chances, so I walk around the house with one boob hanging out and still no shirt on, following Clark around.  I watch him cleverly try to push the chair up to the counter four times so that he can eat sugar out of the sugar bin and remove sharp knives from the drawer. Poor Henry has to stop eating every time because, as talented as I may be, I can't keep a baby on the boob while simultaneously picking up a 28 pound toddler from the counter.  I silently remind myself for the millionth time to check our budget and see if we can afford to order those fancy magnetic drawer locks.  Then I reprimand myself because does safety really have a price?  I don't want Clark to get hurt.  I realize there's no time for arbitrary arguments with myself, and forget about it completely.

Henry is now fed.  He's in his swing.  Clark wants a snack.  I give it to him.  He spills applesauce on his shirt and I decide it's not worth the effort to change it quite yet.  I look at the clock.  It's now 9:30.  We are out of bananas and milk, and I need to go to the store.  I need to be there by 10 to avoid any potential meltdowns due to impending nap time.  I look in the mirror.  Realize I still have no shirt on. My eyes drift down to my belly and I decide today is the day that I need to really get serious about losing these last few pounds.  Pull on jeans and a shirt and a pair of flats.  Pull my hair back and tease the roots so that maybe people will think I'm intentionally going for the messy look.  A tiny bit of makeup and then I start the car loading process. First Clark needs a jacket.  CHECK.  Then Henry needs strapped into his seat.  CHECK.  Now Clark has removed his shoes.  CRAP.  Put his shoes back on.  Now Henry is crying.  Give him the paci.  Put a blanket around him.  Tell Clark to bid the dogs goodbye.  I notice the pee on the carpet again but now that we are walking out the door, it's going to have to wait. Again.  

We go to the car.  Clark cries because he wants to drive.  I force him into his seat.  Get Henry in.  Turn the car on, and go back into the house to get my diaper bag.  Come back out and remember that I forgot a snack.  Go back in for a snack.  Come back out.  Realize I forgot my water. Decide to hell with it, we are going to the store now and I don't care what I do or don't have in my diaper bag anymore. 

We get to HEB.  Someone in a two person convertible is parked in the CUSTOMERS WITH CHILDREN Parking.  Say a swear word under my breath, because SERIOUSLY?  I park the car elsewhere. Get a buggy.  Get Henry out.  Go around to the other side, and get Clark out.  Finally we can shop.  Once we get in there, Clark suddenly is dying of thirst and keeps telling me "WA-WA". We make a detour down the water aisle so that I can give him a bottle to drink.  A man gives me a look and I tell him DON'T WORRY I WILL PAY FOR IT.  When I'm in the milk aisle, I discover that in the ten seconds I looked away, Clark opened a banana and ate half of it.  I actually CAN'T pay for something he already ate, since it's charged by weight.  I hold out hope that the cashier has a solution for this dilemma.  As I'm walking by the bakery, I realize they have sour cream donuts.  THEY NEVER HAVE SOUR CREAM DONUTS.  I put three in a bag. I split one with Clark right there in the aisle, because...WHATEVER. 

We pay for the groceries (including our already eaten donut).  I get two scratch offs on my way out, because I'M FEELING LUCKY TODAY! We get home.  It's five trips to get back in the house.  One with Henry.  One with Clark.  One with my diaper bag and miscellaneous sippy cups I find under the seats. And two with groceries.  By now Henry is crying again.  Clark is hungry.  I make Clark a ham sandwich and sit down to feed Henry.  Clark doesn't want his ham sandwich.  He is standing at the counter crying and signing "PLEASE" and pointing at a can of green beans.  I open them and pour some in a bowl.  He eats and eats until he's eaten the entire can of green beans.  I put Henry in his swing.  It's now 11:30.  The groceries aren't going to put themselves away, so I do that.

Clark disappears in the middle of this.  I go to find him.  He's standing at the toilet in the spare bathroom sticking his fingers in the toilet water and licking the water off.  His pants and one sock are now missing.  I decide it's time for nap, so I find him new socks.  I turn up the amp on Henry's swing.  Eat an entire donut in two bites in the kitchen, completely forgetting about my earlier vow to start my diet today, and head back to Clarks room to get him put down.  He's sleepy and he goes down quickly.

I go back.  Get Henry.  Look around my house at the mess and all that needs done.  Calculate how many more days until the cleaning lady comes.  Decide most of the serious cleaning can wait, and walk Henry into my room.  I pull back the covers, and get in bed with him for some snuggling and a nap. It's not even noon and I'm beat.   And as I'm laying there, I start to think about the blessing of my life.  How lucky I am to have it so good.  How much fun I've already had this morning.  I think about what a good boy Clark is.  How sweet and helpful and fun he is to be around.  He is such a complete joy.  And Henry.  He's so sweet and snuggly and smells like delicious baby.  And then I think, TWO UNDER TWO.  It's not so bad.  I remind myself again about how much easier the second baby is than the first.  And it's true.  Henry is a breeze.  I feel more confident with him.  Less stressed. More prepared.  I think I can keep doing this. I'm enjoying every single moment.