The Wheels on the Bike Go Round and Round

The munchkin loves things with wheels – trains, cars, motorcycles, tractors, scooters, unicycles. They’re his favorite toys, and his favorite part of going to school this year was the drive there and back when he could see the trucks on the highway.

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Pairing this love of things-that-go and the hubs’ love of biking, we thought it would be easy to teach the munchkin how to ride a bike. Yeah…not so much.

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Getting the munchkin on a bike has been…a journey. He just freaks out anytime we try to put him on the bike or even bring it out of the garage. We have tried a normal bike with training wheels, bike without training wheels, balance bike, and letting him walk the bike around. No luck. The munchkin wants nothing to do with the bike.

I know he is not that old, so we are just taking a break from it since there is no pressure to ride a bike, but I do think it sort of bothers the hubs since he loves to bike so much. I am hoping that once bike racing season comes around again and we get to see the hubs in all of his racing glory the munchkin will feel inspired to at least get on his bike, but we will see.

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I was reminded of the hubs’ commitment to biking the other night when he was asleep. I was up late, trying to cram in a few more chapters of my book for book club the next morning. The hubs had rolled over to go to sleep some time ago.

All of the sudden, he started yelling.

Hubs: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

I looked over at him in shock. He popped his head up, blinking his eyes.

Me: What in the world?!?

Hubs: I was in a bike race. It was the final sprint, and I gave it a giant final push.

Me: Wow. Well, it was certainly loud…

Hubs: Yeah, I know. It was so loud I woke myself up.

He rolled back over to go back to sleep.

Hubs: And, you’ll be happy to know that I won.

He was right, I was happy to know that he won. And I was even more happy to know that he got his sleep talking done before I fell asleep!

Resolved

As we turned the calendar page to January 2017, I made a few New Year’s resolutions. Most of them are pretty attainable, and I have even already made good progress on my resolution to read 12 books this year. One resolution, however, has not had such good success, and that is my brilliant idea that I should wake up before the rest of the family.

It just sounds like such a good idea: a chance to start the day off in peace and quiet, and to get some things done before the craziness begins. And there is all this research about productivity being highest in the morning, and stuff like that. When I made this resolution, however, I neglected to factor in the fact that in order to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed early in the morning a person must get an adequate number of hours of sleep. This has just not been happening for me.

Take, for example, a night earlier this week. I had good intentions to get up early in the morning and went to bed at a reasonable time. Then I stared at the ceiling for awhile thinking about the merits of preschool versus homeschool versus no school, and how if I screw up this one decision it will probably be the first thing my son tells his therapist about his mother someday.

I know worrying is not helping anything, so I started my favorite white-noise app on my phone, and relaxed and started to drift off. Of course I refuse to pay for the upgraded version of the app that has no advertisements, so just as I was falling asleep a commercial for a very loud action movie interrupted the soothing ocean sounds, and I jolted awake to the terrifying sound of machine guns apparently in our bedroom.

Once my heart rate came back down to a normal range, I finally fell asleep. A few minutes later, teething baby girl woke up and needed a bottle and rocking before she’d fall back asleep. I wandered back to bed from the nursery and fell back asleep. It felt like I had just closed my eyes when the munchkin came into our room because he had woken up and was scared. I took him back to bed and prayed with him and tucked him back into bed.

I finally stumbled back to my own bed, tripping over a full laundry basket on the way. As I climbed back under the covers, the hubs threw his arm over to my side of the bed and started talking to me.

Hubs: You coming back now?

The hubs sounded sort of muffled and slurred, and I thought he was sleep talking.

Me: Are you awake?

Hubs: I am. I don’t think I was, but I am now.

Me: Are you sure?

Hubs: Yes, of course. Definitely.

He still sounded funny and like he was asleep, but I was ridiculously tired and did not say anything else.

Hubs: I love you.

I rolled over to turn off my alarm clock, acknowledging that there was no way I was getting up in just a few hours. I did not answer the hubs, because I really did think he was sleep talking.

Hubs: Hey, I love you!

Me: I love you, too. Please let me go to sleep.

The next morning I asked the hubs about our conversation, and he had no idea what I was talking about. Not only did he sleep through this little chat we had, he did not even know that I had been up with the kids. I do not know if the hubs made any resolutions for 2017, but if he did and one of them is to be a deep sleeper and sleep talk, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

As for the status of my resolution of getting so much done before everyone else in the house wakes up…I’ll try again in 2018.

What Not To Wear, New Baby Edition

I used to love the television show, “What Not To Wear.” It was a show where they would give unsuspecting fashion challenged people a makeover. I thought the hosts of the show, Stacy and Clinton, were so cool, and so witty, and so stylish. Frequently when a guest was a mom and dressed in comfortable but not very stylish clothes, Stacy and Clinton would talk to them about their clothing choices, and say things like, “Having kids is no excuse. It doesn’t take any longer to put on pants with buttons than sweat pants.”

Or, “It’s just as much effort to pick out a cute blouse as a t-shirt, so go for the blouse! You have no excuse.”

And the moms would come away from their week of shopping in New York and look so chic, and so much better than when they left, and there was not an oversized t-shirt or yoga pant in sight.

At the time I always thought, “Stacy and Clinton are so right. It doesn’t take any longer to put on nice clothes. If I ever become a mom, I’m not going to dress in sweatpants all the time.”

Now ten years removed from watching the show and in a totally different life position, I discovered something. Stacy and Clinton have no idea what they are talking about.

As it turns out, those precious seconds it takes to button up actual pants, they matter. Do you know how much trouble a high energy 3 year old can get into in 6 seconds? Today I left the fully clothed munchkin in the living room, walked to the changing table with the baby, and looked out the window to see that the munchkin had walked out of the house and was running around the yard, naked. In 6 seconds he stripped naked and ran out of the house. This is why I like to wear pants that don’t require buttoning or a belt. Oh man, I don’t even want to think about how far he could get if I had to button my pants and buckle a belt!

In addition, when Stacy and Clinton sent these newly made-over ladies home with admonitions to steer clear of baggy cotton t-shirts, they weren’t considering the laundry situation. Baby is quite the spitter, and today has gone through 5 onesies, 2 bibs, and 2 tiny pairs of baby pants. I tend to be collateral damage to all this spitting, and am currently on my fourth shirt in 7 hours. Now, if I had been following Stacy and Clinton’s guidelines, the laundry situation would be quite complicated, with the buttons, delicate wash cycles, dry-clean-only tags, and lay-flat-to-dry directions. Thankfully, yoga pants and t-shirts have no special cleaning instructions, so I’m really not too perturbed at all the wardrobe changes I have to go through in a day. But it does mean Clinton and Stacy were very wrong: picking nice clothes does take more effort, especially if they get dirty every 45 minutes.

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Baby girl is such a sweetheart, I do not mind her messiness. Photo credit: Huisman Photography

The sleep talking hubs does not seem to mind the current state of my wardrobe. Actually, since we brought baby home the hubs has not been “the sleep talking hubs,” as he has not done much sleep talking. I think he is just too tired, and I am probably tired enough that even if he has talked I slept right through it. But last night he did talk some.

I was lying in bed when I felt the hubs jump in his sleep. As if he were gently scolding someone, he said, “No, no, no!”

I asked who he was talking to, and he said, “Oh, no one.”

I was so tired I let it go at that, and went back to sleep.

I am not sure what the hubs was saying, “No,” to, but I do know what I would say no to: anyone, even Clinton or Stacy, who tried to pry my comfiest yoga pants away from me.

Pants with elastic waistbands FOREVER!

Waiting Game

We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of munchkin-the-sequel in a few weeks. She is supposed to make her debut in 3 weeks, but the munchkin was a whole two weeks late when he finally decided to show up, so I am not holding my breath that 2.0 will be here anytime soon.

Apparently the fact that the munchkin arrived 2 weeks after his due date is a bit of a medical anomaly. At one of my first visits to the doctor during this pregnancy the nurse who was updating my chart said, “Did you really go 42 weeks with your first baby? That can’t be right.”

Nope, it was right.

At this same visit the doctor asked, “Wow, you went 42 weeks with your first. Do you plan to do that again?”

At a later visit a nurse commented, “Hmm, 42 weeks…we don’t see that very often. Did you do that on purpose?”

More recently a different nurse was looking at my chart and said, “It says here that your first pregnancy you went 42 weeks. Can you tell me why you chose to do that?”

They give me way too much credit: I was not aware that I had that much control on when the munchkin showed up!

For now, we are patiently waiting for baby to show up. The hubs talked about waiting in his sleep last week, but I don’t think he was waiting for our baby girl. I was just starting to fall asleep when the hubs sat up and crossed his arms.

Me: Are you ok?

Hubs: Yep, just waiting for Thomas.

Me: Oh, ok. Do you think he’ll be long?

Hubs: Don’t worry about it honey.

Me: Alright. I’m going back to sleep then.

Then I rolled back over and went back to sleep. I’m not sure how long the hubs sat up, but I hope that whoever he thought was coming didn’t keep him waiting for too long!

Planes, Trains, and Vehicles for the Elderly

Recently the munchkin and I flew down to see my parents for the holidays. The munchkin does very well on planes, especially now that he is old enough to have his own seat. On our second flight of the day he happened to be seated right next to a lady who was obviously very nervous about the flight. I tried to keep him busy and distracted and not bothering her, since flying was already obviously not something she enjoyed. The munchkin did a great job during the flight, and his seat-mate seemed to calm down and be less distressed about flying.

And then we began the descent. As the plane nose dropped the munchkin threw his little fists in the air and yelled, “WE’RE GOING DOWN!”

At this outburst the passenger next to us became very agitated and began making the sign of the cross on herself; I assume she was praying something along the lines of that if we were in fact to go down that an excited toddler who would not stop kicking the seat in front of him would not be the last thing she saw. I hope she is able to fly again.

Shortly before we left for this eventful trip the asleep hubs was apparently also concerned with transportation. The hubs had a cold so he had gone to bed early while I was still up reading. All of the sudden he jumped in his sleep and started talking.

Hubs: The older people need the vehicle…or should they not?

Me: Hmm? What do you mean?

Hubs: Well, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s a vehicle for older people.

Me: Oh, really? That’s different.

Hubs: Yeah, just not a good idea.

Me: Yeah, can you tell me about it?

Hubs: It isn’t important, I don’t think I need to tell you. It’s about the elderly.

Me: You said that, but I’m curious about it.

Hubs: I don’t want to tell you about it. I already told you that.

Me: You can’t tell me anything?

Hubs: Stop asking about it. Please stop!

Me: Ok, that’s fine.

Then he huffed and rolled over angrily, never waking up. I was sorry to upset him in his sleep, but I also couldn’t help giggling about how silly the conversation was. I guess both of my boys have very serious transportation concerns!

Sleepless Nights

The munchkin has started waking up in the middle of the night and coming to get me…Every. Single. Night. I am trying to remember that this is a phase, and someday I will miss his little voice asking me if he can give me a “mama-pat-pat” on my cheek, but this is very difficult to remember at 4 am.

It’s made even more difficult by the fact that the hubs does not wake up when the munchkin comes in the room or calls for me. The other day after the munchkin got up twice in the night, the hubs said, “It’s so great that the munchkin hasn’t gotten up in the night for two nights in a row!”

A few nights ago I was settling back in bed from taking the munchkin back to his bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, yet again, when the hubs sat up and started to talk to me in his sleep.

Hubs: Hey! What’s wrong? Is something wrong?

Me: No, I’m fine.

Hubs: Well, you just keep moving around. You’ve kept me awake for 40 minutes!

Me: Oh, really? Well, I’m sorry about that. If it’s so bothersome, you can go sleep somewhere else.

Hubs: No, I don’t need to go sleep somewhere else.

Me: Well, ok then. Goodnight. Love you.

And then the hubs laid back down and didn’t say anything else. The hubs can sleep not only through the munchkin talking, but also himself talking. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can’t sleep through either of them talking!

Interpreter Wanted

The munchkin knows the words for his colors, but does not always use them for the correct color. For example, this morning the munchkin cried and cried and cried that he wanted a green cup…all while I stood there offering him a green cup. Eventually I had him show me what he was referring to and he pointed to his orange cup in the cabinet. Once I handed it to him he cradled it, and glaring up at me said, “My green cup.”

Oy. Sometimes I wish I had an interpreter to tell me what the munchkin is trying to communicate. The other night I could have used an interpreter for what the hubs was talking about in his sleep. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet when the hubs started talking.

Hubs: Hey, they really need more than that. I mean, they need a lot more for sure.

Me: Oh, really? What do they need?

Hubs: Tubes. They need a lot more tubes.

Me: Yeah? How many more do you think?

Hubs: Probably 3 or 4, at least. There just aren’t enough.

Me: I see. And that will be enough?

Hubs: You, you’re making fun of me. I can tell.

Me: Oh, ok. I just don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hubs: Yeah, me neither.

And then he went back to sleeping quietly. I guess maybe everyone in this house could use an interpreter sometimes!

Oh, the Irony

We live on an idyllic wooded plot in the country, and because the hubs, munchkin, and dog are all here, I happen to think it is the best spot in the whole world. We can hike to a lake, see owls and deer in our backyard, and off of our road is a small family strawberry farm.

Sounds just ideal, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest – it is pretty fantastic. But every year something happens in the summer on the aforementioned small family strawberry farm which makes my skin crawl. And that thing is the open-picking season. Scores of moms in mini-vans descend on our quiet street, bringing their small children to whine in the hot sun while they “make memories” and pick berries for their Pinterest projects. And these moms drive like crazy people, some speeding recklessly down the pot-hole rutted back road and others going so slowly that when I get behind them I contemplate leaning out my window and picking berries while we drive down the road.

A few even get really confused and drive down our long driveway, even though there are a plethora of signs pointing to the strawberry farm, away from our house. And then they have the audacity to look shocked when they happen upon the munchkin and me eating Popsicles in the front yard at 7:30 am. This is our house – we’ll eat frozen treats whenever we want, thank you very much!

Yes, I know: having the road get a little more busy for two months of the year is a first world problem. I will be the first to admit that this is barely even a mild inconvenience. I bring it up only to get a laugh at my own expense. You see, as I drove along on our street the other day, grumbling about the soccer moms in their mini-vans driving like maniacs, I was, in fact, a soccer mom in a mini-van. That’s right, I drive a mini-van, and stay home with my kiddo. And last year I took him berry picking. Oh, the irony: I am one of them! And I didn’t even realize it. Basically, my annoyance is completely misplaced.

There was some additional misplaced anger at our house recently. We had been gone for much of the day, and the poor little dog had missed us, so I let her sleep in our room with us, instead of downstairs where she normally sleeps at night. I was sleeping just fine, until well after midnight the hubs shook me awake.

Me: Hmm, what’s up?

Hubs: You’re snoring so loudly! I can’t even sleep.

I don’t really snore very often, so I kind of wondered if maybe he was sleep talking.

Me: Really? Are you asleep?

Hubs: No! I can’t believe how loud you were, it woke me up! UGH!!!

He was very annoyed. All of the sudden it hit me that I heard the snoring, too.

Me: Wait, do you still hear it?

The hubs sat still.

Hubs: Yes! What is that?!?

Me: It’s the dog! You woke me up and can’t sleep because of the dog’s snoring!

And then I laughed for a really long time. I mean, really, I thought it was so funny. It wasn’t so funny for the dog, though, as she was banished from the room for the rest of the night. My trying to do a nice thing by letting her sleep with us meant that she was rudely kicked out of bed after sleeping peacefully for hours. Oh, the irony!

Packaging Problems

Packaging is very important in our house – both literally and figuratively. Literally, the hubs works for a packaging company. He loves his job, and I am very grateful for it, but it does make it difficult to go shopping with him. As we walk through the grocery store he gets distracted by mascara and air compressors and dry erase markers, examining their packages.

There is another not-quite-so-literal way that packaging is important in our home: how I package my morning coffee. In the morning as the munchkin and I get going, I have a nice hot drink in a mug. It’s either coffee, or tea, or chai, but whatever it is the munchkin can’t have any of it. He has learned this, and it only took two years of asking for some almost every day. He now associates mugs with something that he is not allowed to touch or taste. I definitely use this to my advantage. If I want some juice all to myself and don’t want to share, or maybe want to sneak a special little piece of chocolate on a long day, I just have to put it in a mug. As long as whatever I want to keep the munchkin away from is “packaged” in a mug, it is safe. It is magic!

Yay!

He’s so sweet that I am normally happy to share with him, but sometimes I just want to drink my own cup of orange juice. Crazy, huh?

This past week the hubs’ own packaging (aka, his clothes) was the subject of his sleep talking. I was completely asleep when all of the sudden I was jolted awake by somebody moving in the bedroom. I sat up, and saw that the hubs was standing next to the bed, taking off his hoodie.

Me (looking at the clock and seeing it was almost 2:30 am): What on earth are you doing?

Hubs (continuing to shed clothing): Getting comfortable.

Me: Really?

Hubs: HEY! Don’t be grumpy!

Me: Yeah, I’m not being grum…

Hubs (still shedding clothing, and interrupting me): Oh, don’t be grumpy! No grumpy!

Me: Fine, no grumpy. I’m going back to sleep.

Hubs (climbing back in bed with significantly less clothing on than when he originally went to bed): Yep, yep, no grumpy.

In the morning he had no idea what he had done in the night. Apparently sleeping hubs decided his original nighttime packaging was just too constrictive. Thankfully the hubs is a master at fixing any packaging problem, he can do it even in his sleep!

Lost in Translation

The munchkin’s vocabulary has just exploded over the last two weeks. Almost every day he has a new word or two that he uses. Some of them I can clearly tell what he is trying to express. Some…not so much. Some are just downright awkward.

For example, the munchkin loves to go down the slide at the playground, and he likes to try to say the word, “Slide.” However, he does not quite have the pronunciation down quite right, so what he says sounds exactly like the term one might call a donkey, or refer to a person’s rump. And this word is not considered a very nice word in society, although the munchkin does not yet know that. When we go to the playground the munchkin gets so excited, he runs towards the equipment yelling, “Slide! SLIDE!!” Of course, what he’s yelling doesn’t sound like, “slide,” but sounds like that other word. And I know that he means, “slide,” and he knows that he means, “slide,” but the other parents and children at the park are not so well informed. They stand there staring as my toddler scrambles up the steps of the playground, stands triumphantly on the top platform, and bellows a mild curse-word. We are working on it.

Like the munchkin and his slight pronunciation issue, the asleep hubs is not so great at pronunciation sometimes. The other night he started mumbling in his sleep, waking me up.

Me: What’s wrong?

Hubs: Slerpinscop…

Me: Hmm? You ok?

Hubs: Beecrews…sherish…

Me: Yeah, fine, go back to sleep.

The hubs was quiet after that and I am not sure what he was trying to say. Thankfully, both he and Rory normally are better at pronouncing their words!