Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bwah-ah-ahhhhh

So this morning I was cleaning the kitchen from breakfast and I saw Drake go back to his room. Often he enjoys going back there and pulling every single book out of the basket in his room and "reads" them to himself. So when I saw him go back there and did not hear much noise I assumed that was what he was doing. I decided to go peek at him b/c it is usually an extremely cute sight to him surrounded by dozens of books while pretending to read them. But this was what I found...

He had crawled on top of his changing table and just gave me this laugh when I walked in! BWAH-AH-AHHHHHH!!!!!He knew he was up to mischief and loved every second of it! I tell ya, you cannot leave them alone for a second! Now I am terrified he will on top of the fridge before I know it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sleeping Situation...Loving it and losing it!!!!

So for those of you without children yet, or have small babies, you may not know the term "Family Bed" but you will hear of it at some point. It essentially is when your whole family sleeps in one bed. This is apparently very common in other cultures...just not ours. Or maybe I should say, not a common practice in America, but it certainly is common in the Armstrong household.
Even though we have a nice, comfy transportation themed big boy bed for Hunter and an adorable, plush crib for Drake, the only place anyone wants to sleep is in our bed...even the dogs who have their own monogrammed dog beds for heavens sake jump in bed with us about 5 or 6 am every morning.
Hunter stepped up to his big boy bed a few months after he turned 2 this past November. Ever since then he gets in bed with us in the middle of the night. Every night. However some nights it actually doesn't even wake me up anymore! I just look over and there he is sound asleep. So clearly it does not keep me from sleeping and i actually LOVE snuggling with him. It is wonderful to have that sweet, cuddly quiet time with my baby that I know will come to an end all too soon. There is nothing in the world like your baby cuddling right into you.
But then there is also Drake. He has been, for the most part, a pretty decent sleeper. Except he goes through phases of months of us not hearing a peep from him for 12 hours at night, to then all of a sudden waking up in the middle of the night screaming only to be calmed down once he is in our bed. SO during these periods, as you can imagine, when it is all 4 of us, then 5 or 6 beings in the bed by the morning, I am NOT getting quality sleep. But they are so sweet and love to be cuddled and snuggled so part of me just loves it! I know this will not last forever, so I just want to savor every snugly second. However, after repeatedly getting kicked in the stomach, or elbowed in the face, it starts to infuriate me.
Especially when I feel like I am have abandoned all alone time of my entire life. The past week I had ZERO alone time.
It was one of those weeks we were just out of sink. I couldn't get the children to sleep at the same time the whole week, or one (Hunter) refused to nap at all. Which left me with an awake child every second of the day...and then they were still there at night! This was from a few mornings this past week:

Looks reaaaaal comfy doesn't it! (picture that Kyle took while we were still asleep)

And another morning

This is the most room they have ever given me before (thanks boys)

But after these 2 pictures and mornings, I asked Kyle to quit taking sleeping pictures. It was getting to the point of not even funny anymore!
By the end of the week I thought I was going to snap. I mean if I want to take a shower, they are in there with me. If I go to the bathroom, they are in there with me. If I want to change clothes, or try and check my email, or get the mail, or fold laundry, or make coffee, or pay bills they are in there with me. If I need to cook, one is on my hip and the other is tugging on me, or asking me to come help find a toy, etc. etc. It just has not stopped for days now. I love my children with every fiber of my being and think I have the most precious boys in the whole world, but a woman needs a few minutes of alone time every now and then. A woman needs some sanity! A woman needs to talk about something other than poop, trains, Lightning McQueen, baby pools, Popsicles, potty, and naps (or lack there of)
Here are my 2 downfalls:
1. I have NEVER been the kind of mother who was ever able to let their child "cry-it-out" and not because I think it is wrong, but because it just goes against every inclination in my bones as a mother. I don't know why, but I just cannot do it. I don't feel right doing it. But that is totally just me.
2. I think this is karma slapping me in the face. I think I slept in my parents room until I was in 6th grade. (yes, go ahead and gasp in horror) In about 3rd grade they just started leaving a sleeping bag for me on the floor at night instead of me getting in bed with them which I was okay with...at least I could still go in their room!
This is me sleeping with my mom as a little girl

I was afraid of the dark and actually still am. I think that is partly where Hunter gets it because he always talks about monsters on his shelf, snakes in his bed, dragons in the hall and all other sorts of crazy things that I have no idea where he comes up with. For better or for worse, he has a WIIIILD imagination!
So, with all this said, beware of the family bed!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Make Your Cake and Eat It Too!

So my sister-in-law Elizabeth (my brothers wife), who has a baby girl, Anna WHO IS 1 TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET GIRL!!!!!!! and a little boy, Charlie, who is 3 1/2, has decided to bake and decorate cakes...I have no idea how she has time to do it but they are UN-FREAKIN REAL!!!! Check out her last post here
to see the cake she has made for Anna's birthday today, and this isn't even her birthday party cake! I cannot wait to see that!
As a side note, the last time we saw them was New Years Eve when we went down there for almost a week. We don't get to see them enough and it is too sad but the drive is just too long to go to for just a weekend when you are having to drive babies in the back which makes it so hard because we miss them so much! But the morning we left in January I was so so sad and it was even worse looking at Charlie and Hunter's faces as they heard the dreaded words "we have to go home now."
I always DREAD saying goodbye. I don't think I handle it well. I really wanted to burst into tears when we left but had to hold it together...for myself and my babies. They were so tired and i am sure if started crying they would have too.
I miss Anna's sweet toothless smile that melts your heart (though she has some teeth now and I cannot wait to see those in person!)
I miss Charlie's laugh and shy but extremely loving smile and hearing his voice calling me "Kiki" (it is what my brother called my growing up so naturally his little ones call me that too and I love it!)
I miss my brother who I do not get to see but a few times a year (which is what makes it so hard I think) AND who is the funniest person I know
I miss my sister in law, E, who I can talk to about anything and who is such a wonderful mommy (and fabulous writer...read "Stein Mart Mania" if you check out their blog!)
I miss hearing Hunter and Charlie running up and down the steps, playing trains, racing cars, obsessing over Lightning McQueen, and overhearing "conversations" they had over snacks at the counter
I miss watching Drake trying to keep up with the big boys and also trying to play with Anna (poor fella)
But, I laugh every time I think about the fun we had and smile thinking about getting to do it all over again hopefully soon!
So here are a few pictures from that trip...

This is Will tickling Hunter and Charlie (who you cannot see but they are laying on the ground) The 2 boys were entertained by this for quite some time and I think I was the only one in the room at the time watching but I was so entertained myself! How could you not be!

Uncle Kyle and baby Anna

The picture of the 4 adults on New Years Day (adult only pictures are quite rare these days!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boys will be boys

I am sorry I have been so bad about blogging. I have not been on any one's blog, including my own, for over 2 weeks now and I feel like I am so behind in everyone's lives now! But since we have been back from the lake it has been a roller coaster ride here! People that I run into who have children close together keep telling me it gets so much better and easier...and I am still waiting for that...Some moments it feels great, and then all of a sudden it goes south again. By the time Kyle gets home at 6 or 6:30 (or in Mondays case, 8pm) I am a wreck. Starting at about 5pm I go through every emotion in the book: I am having fun, then mad, then annoyed, then laughing, then wanting to cry, then irritated, then feel at peace, then irate, etc. That is how 2 WILD BOYS WHO NEVER STOP make you feel. I see them playing in the backyard having a nice time for a minute and it is wonderful and I sit in the chair and start to lean back and all of a sudden for no reason Hunter will throw dirt in Drake's face. Or Drake will pull Hunter's hair. And so here goes the constant crying, whining, nagging, fighting, scheming all over again. Can't a woman get a break? This is a pretty typical occurrence:

Boys are just wild. Period. They get into everything. Period. If you are about to have a baby boy and need to know what you need to put away, just let us come over and you will discover things you never thought could be used as a gun, or a trashcan, or whip, or a trampoline, or a swing. My boys can turn anything into anything and you cannot take your eyes off them for one second or you will be sorry. Kyle thinks I am over dramatic when he gets home from work because I am in such a crazy mood, but until you go all day by yourself with these 2, who are 1 1/2 and 2 1/2, not a word!!!!!!

Okay, now that i got that off my chest, I also have to say, that no matter how many "challenging" things they do, after one sweet thing, you forget everything that has happened... A few days ago I dropped a bowl, a nice bowl and it shattered all over the floor. It was about mid-morning so I was already exhausted by this point. I just sat on the floor next to it looking blankly at the glassy mess and Hunter came over, put his hand on my shoulder and said "Don't be sad mommy, it's gonna be okay, Daddy will fix it." And then he gave me a big hug. As much as I wish he could fix it, it didn't matter that I knew it was hopeless since it was in 1,000 pieces because Hunty was so sweet and made the awful situation so full of love.

Hunty has also really gotten into helping Drake do things, or correcting him when is is wrong which is hysterical to watch from the sidelines. For example this morning we had eggs and toast for breakfast:
Drake: "Eggs are HOT!"
Hunter: "No Bops, they are not hot, they are warm"
Drake" Waaarm"
Hunter: "Yea Bops, warm"

Or yesterday when I was putting more pine straw in the backyard and the boys were "helping me" Drake was laying some down and Hunter said "No Bops, you put it down like this" and so Drake re-layed the pine straw they way Hunty showed him and Hunty said "There you go! Good job Bops!" They just do all kinds of silly, genuine things when they don't know you are watching and it melts your heart.

And to end this post I have to leave you with a few funny things:
#1 When Hunty knows you are about to take his picture he always gives you this silly smile that looks nothing like how he normally looks (this is after post ice cream by the way)

So Kyle told him he did not have to smile if he didn't want to and this was the next picture:

Oh I just laughed and laughed when I looked at these back and forth over and over again!

This is a picture of a brief moment of playing nicely:


And last, this video where I have to say that this whole production came out of the middle of no where, was totally unprompted and we had NOT been talking about Christmas:
video
Okay, now to upload our photos from our fabulous lake trip that I will blog about next!