Monday, January 21, 2008

Lowering the Bar

Hello Everyone,

Jackson is in the midst of his second all-day nursing marathon in three days. Add that to the fact that he hasn't slept for more than two hours at a time for the past 24 hours and refuses to be set down without fussing and I'm in absolutely top form... yep, you can imagine how extraordinarily tidy my house looks right now. (OK, please say this takes a little bit more imagination than you are currently using.) I guess this is my payback for finally deciding towards the end of the week that Jackson had ironed out all of his eating issues and was finally settling down into a reasonable feeding routine. =] Actually my house doesn't look all THAT bad right now because last night I finally insisted that Dave and I needed to do enough of the dishes to at least unearth the location of our kitchen sink before we went to bed. So between the two of us (with Jackson in one hand) we managed to at least cut down on the dish part of the disaster.

Despite Jackson's recent fussiness, we've been doing pretty well. I didn't talk a whole lot about our Christmas in my last update (maybe that's for the best). I guess I will suffice it to say that after weeks of worrying about what to get the kids that would be perfect for them, they liked whatever they ended up getting. Camryn got "a princess money bank with real money in it" from Santa, as requested. Jared got a car race track from Santa and, mysteriously, Auntie Megan got a note from Santa asking her to give Jared the Rubik's cube that he requested (apparently elves don't know how to make Rubik's cubes). Jackson got the one gift that a 4-week-old baby could actually appreciate and enjoy... a wipe warmer. Unfortunately, Santa's reign at our house may soon be coming to an end. A few weeks after Christmas, a very upset Jared came home from school one day, pinned me down and asked, "Mom, did Santa get me the race track for Christmas or did you?" Not being one to lie, I sheepishly answered, "Well, I guess I did." Jared started to go through the possibilities that maybe Daddy and I had eaten the snacks that he left for Santa (which is tantamount to stealing) and concluded that maybe Santa skipped our house this year as a result. Fortunately for me, this uncomfortable subject was changed before I was forced to get to the heart of the matter, but I'm afraid this might have been our last Christmas with a Santa that comes down the chimney.

Jared got a transformer and the entire old cartoon series on DVD from Uncle Nate. Jared is now "totally into" transformers and Camryn has followed his lead and is "very into them" too. Last week Jared and Camryn were playing transformers and daddy and I were drafted into their game. We were each assigned to be "Autobots" or "Decepticons" and given a sign to wear (made by Jared) to show our loyalties. Camryn was excited because she got to be "Optimus Prime," the Autobot leader. I'm not quite sure how, but this eventually evolved into a family Marshmallow Shooter war, using the Marshmallow guns that Camryn and Jared got for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa Rogers. If we find marshmallows in random locations when we go to move furniture, I guess we'll know why.

Jared's other new hobby is reading the comics in the Sunday paper. He faithfully reads every single one and finds them remarkably funny. Today he read the Garfield comic from yesterday's paper about 5 times in a row, so we could hear how hilarious it was: "Garfield, you need to lose weight." "Correction: I SHOULD lose weight. I NEED a cookie." They both saw an ad for the Simpsons movie on TV and they thought it was the funniest thing ever. Now about every 10 minutes I get to hear: "Spider-pig. Spider-pig. Does whatever a spider-pig does." He and Camryn also anxiously look forward to whenever daddy puts them to bed because then they get to watch road runner cartoons on Dave's phone. Speaking of which, Dave is on his 5th cell phone in two years.... should I be worried? The RAZR was the perfect size, but it got cracked and didn't ring loud enough. The next one had mp3 capability, but didn't have good reception in his office. The next one worked great in his office but wasn't NEARLY as cool as his new phone which is also a planner, has email, video and mp3 capability. He keeps asking me if I want to upgrade my phone, but I don't see much point in that when I haven't even programmed the auto-dial funtions....

On New Years Eve we went to a party at our friends, the Christie's house. He grew up in the other Milpitas ward, so we knew their parents who were visiting. I made my New Years nacho dip, Aunt Joy's Cereal Crunch and Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares. When she sampled my yummy treats his mom exclaimed, "Is this Jane Lovell's nacho dip? I haven't had this in so long!" and then, "Are those Charleen Tyson's pumpkin squares? They are so yummy." I'd been found out. Instead of being the one with all the great recipes, I'm actually the one who has stolen everyone else's great recipes.... =]

With the new year, we have church at a new time. I figured that now that it is at 2 pm we really don't have any excuse for being late, so I determined that we WERE going to make it on time. Despite my careful preparation, Jackson needed a last minute feeding, so we were still rushed to get out the door. I told Jared and Camryn to get their shoes on and go out to the car while I put the baby in his car seat and grabbed the diaper bag. Even though we made it on time, there were no seats to be had except in the overflow-- apparently everyone else had the same New Years Resolution that I did. Not until we were sitting down in our seats did I realize that Camryn, although obedient to my request, had paired her lovely burgundy Christmas dress with pink sparkly tennis shoes.

Jackson still has his signature cradle cap and baby acne, although it's finally starting to clear up a bit. One night, Dave was giving Jackson his nightly baby spa treatment (giving him a shampoo and scalp rub) and I came back to the door closed to the bathroom. I opened it and Jackson was now getting the baby spa steam treatment... the shower and faucets were running with hot water and Jackson was in his diaper calmly and happily absorbing the warm air being held by his daddy. I guess this is why he smiles for daddy and not for me.

Jackson, although a very sweet and cute baby has determined early on that he DOES NOT like his car seat. This makes it quite difficult to get out and about. We have pretty much had to live off of a trip to Costco with daddy on the weekends. But this past week by Thursday, we were out of everything: vegetables, bananas, mini-carrots, eggs, bread. You name it. I decided that I really needed to go replenish our food supply. So that afternoon I decided that after nursing Jackson I would take the kids to Costco where we would get hot dogs and pizza for dinner. Although I nursed Jackson thoroughly before getting him in his car seat, he still was unhappy about it. By the time we started the car he was screaming. By the time we were driving down our street he was screaming his head off. So I pulled over the car, took out his car seat and bounced him, convinced that he would calm down and go to sleep. After a few minutes of bouncing, he calmed enough for me to put his seat back in and continue our trip. We got to the stoplight at the entrance to our subdivision and Jackson was again screaming, this time so hard that he could barely breathe. So we went through the light, went around the traffic circle and drove back home. (To give Jackson some credit, I attempted to go to Costco again on Friday after Camryn's preschool and he slept the whole time until we got to the checkout and then fell asleep in the car until we got home. Who says that prayers aren't answered?)

On Saturday, Dave met up with his brother Chris to go skiing at Mt. Hood. It took Chris several hours longer than anticipated to arrive because of some expert directions courtesy of the computers at Google maps (ah, memories of our off-road excursion/cliff jumping experience through Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument on the way to Albuquerque come to mind). Despite the great snow throughout the rest of the season, fate would have it that there were several warm days before they went so the snow was very icy. Then it got extremely blizzardy, creating better ski conditions if it weren't for the biting cold and gusty winds. Finally, just before they left the snow stopped and they got a few runs with decent snow and no blizzard.

Meanwhile, in Dave's absence the kids and I spent a very productive day playing video games and watching TV on the one hand or participating in a nursing marathon and playing Scrabulous on Facebook on the other. By the end of the day, although we were all alive and fed, I didn't have much else to say for myself.

Which brings me to my new discovery of the week. You would think that operating on only a few hours of much interrupted sleep and constantly trying to tame a disastrously messy house with a baby permanently attached to me I would be miserably depressed or at least deeply discouraged. I, on the contrary, have been remarkably cheerful and even happy. I don't want to bring tears to anyone's eyes here by being too inspirational, but my new mantra is: Lower Your Expectations. I only get depressed by feeding my kids chicken nuggets for every meal if I expected to feed them Homemade Lasagna with fresh steamed veggies. As long as my goal is for them to eat calories, then hey-- chicken nuggets are calories-- and protein! So not only am I meeting my goals, I'm going beyond the mark! Sure my house is a disaster, but who expected it to be clean? Maybe someone without better things to do. I may not be able to go anywhere or get anything done, but hey-- it gives me a good excuse to play Scrabulous or write excessively long updates. To be honest, I think Jared and Camryn like this state of things better. Not only does their mom not make disgusting meals like Cheddar Corn Chowder or Sausage Mushroom Polenta, they get to have Chicken Nuggets, Peanut Butter and Jelly or Spaghetti for EVERY MEAL (unless of course, we have frozen pizza, which is OK too). Beyond that, they get to play more Wii and watch Cyberchase multiple times in a row! After all, who likes a mom who limits you to 30 minutes of TV a day? Who needs folded laundry? Pulling it straight out of the basket conserves energy. The new mom is definitely an improvement.


Quote of the week:
Jared (As we're driving down the street, attempting to go to Costco with Jackson screaming): "Mom, just stick him on! Stick him on and feed him while you're driving."

Camryn: "I get to be Optimus Prime but Daddy is a Decepticon."

Jared: "So and so likes me again. He's totally into me now."

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