Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Remember our poop disasters last week?? That nightmare lasted about three+ days. The day after I blogged was NOT better and had its share of really, really gross moments. Thankfully that is mostly behind us. But today was one of those days that I felt like I was running the entire day. I write these things out because it very accurately describes the chaos of the busier days of my life right now, trying to juggle being a mom and running a business from home. I promise not to make the next post a timeline from one day :)

7 a.m. - forced myself to get out of bed and get myself and the boys ready to be out of the house at 7:30 a.m. to make it to a business networking breakfast sort of on time (it started at 7:30, but this was the best I could do at that hour). 

7:45-9:15 a.m. - set my kids up with some breakfast and a show on my iPhone in a cafe where I was meeting some other business owners from the community and told them about my photography, hopefully making some good connections for the future. I'll hopefully get to do some real estate photography in the next few weeks, which I'm excited about. The boys remarkably sat on the couch and were well behaved (probably because they were still tired!!). I really lucked out that they weren't fighting, running around, etc. I told them thank you about 10 times on the drive home. :)

 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - responded to emails, helped Eli put some drawings/pictures together to send to some friends that could use a little extra love while Charlie sat and looked at books, then raced us out the door to go to playgroup.

10:30-11:45 a.m. - Eli and Charlie ran around and played at the park with lots of fun kids while I talked to some of the other moms and enjoyed the nice weather. Felt a little anxious about what I had to get done in the afternoon.

11:45-12:15 p.m. - drove the kids to preschool and drove back home. I noticed when I dropped Eli off at school that he had a tiny wet spot on a specific spot on his pants. Wonderful. I made him promise he would go to the bathroom as soon as he got inside. Don't judge :)

12:15-1:30 p.m. - scrambled to finish editing images from a recent newborn photo session, dealt with my computer running slow because it's low on storage space, painfully/anxiously waiting for things to save, export, etc. and loaded it all into the software that I use to show clients their pictures, grabbled my samples and raced out the door.

1:45-2:45 p.m. - had an ordering session at a client's home (showed the mom the slideshow, went through some product samples, helped her design a wall gallery for her son's room with the images (on the computer, and got her order organized). Raced home to hopefully beat the boys (they had a ride home from school). Luckily got there before they arrived. Phew.

3-5 p.m. - played in the back yard with the boys ("What time is it Mr. Fox" is their current favorite yard game :) and worked on dinner - tortilla soup, homemade salsa, etc. and in the middle of that had a client call to talk about details for our session next week. Eli peed his pants two more times in those two hours. arghhhhhhh. Charlie helped me make the salsa and then ate a whole bowlful. (He is my buddy in the kitchen)

5-5:30 p.m. - bribed my kids to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things that we needed for dinner and the rest of the week (bribed with a fruit strip). It all went smoothly until we were in the checkout line and they were SO loud and crazy/silly. Saw a neighbor on our way out in the parking lot and tried not to look as frazzled/tired as I felt :)

5:30-6:30 p.m. - finished making dinner, Ben came home and we ate outside since it was such a pretty evening. Asked the kids to take some bites of soup about 50 times because they kept rocking on the chairs and exclusively eating tortilla chips.

6:30 p.m. - ran some dinner over to one of the girls I visit teach (she gets home fairly late, so I didn't feel bad eating before I ran over there...)

6:50 p.m.-8 p.m. - washed dishes, cleaned up dinner, helped Ben bathe the kids (Charlie pooped a tiny bit in the tub, which ended things quickly - what is up with my children???? oh my patience!! I told them tonight that I will give them a penny a day if they stay dry all day - we'll see if that motivates!!! I am desperate :), got them to bed and started a load of laundry. Wished we had a laundry chute to the basement. Ben left to go play volleyball.

Now - I'm catching up more on email and will blog the newborn pics from the newborn session on the photog. blog, edit images from a recent extended family photo session (while I mindlessly watch American Idol) and then fall into bed. It just started pouring rain and the sound of it on the family room roof is so therapeutic and relaxing. I love listening to the rain, especially at night.

Here are some pictures that I snapped today while the boys were playing in the afternoon (during dinner prep). They are at such fun ages right now. Tomorrow - we have a wide open schedule and I'm so excited to just focus on them.

 Charlie was less obliging about me taking his picture, but I still got a few -
Mr. Fake Smile :)
This is my favorite of Charlie from today. I love his long eyelashes, freshly cut hair and soft cheeks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the Stinky Throes - A Poopy Day

Today was one of those days that I kind of just want to forget about, but it was also so bad that it was a little humorous. Just a fair warning that there is plenty of potty talk below.

8:30 a.m. - I woke up to the sounds of the kids playing in their room. They are seriously so kind to me right now. I know I am spoiled that they don't come storming in the minute they wake up, but just enjoy playing with legos or making up elaborate stories with their stuffed animals. The day started off nicely... but that didn't last long!!


I got up, did the morning routine of getting all of us ready, the boys had breakfast and then played more with legos while I responded to a few emails. While I was doing that, I noticed Charlie squatting in the corner and breathing funny, so I ran over, scooped him up, and rushed him to the bathroom so he wouldn't go in his underwear. Keep in mind that he was yelling and protesting the entire time. He had gotten just a smidge on his underwear, but luckily had not pushed it all out yet.


10-10:30 a.m. Sat on the steps across from the bathroom while Charlie tried to go. He got mad anytime I said anything, so I just sat there in silence and tried not to gag at the smell. I had been giving him mineral oil with orange juice for the last couple of days with the hope that it would make going easier for him, but I think it all just backed up in his system and he was finally getting it all out. In a not very pleasant way.

10:30 a.m. - Charlie finally pooped, we did the happy dance and I rewarded him with a game on the iPhone. We left late for playgroup at a friend's house around 10:50 p.m.


11:30 a.m. - I am sitting near Charlie while he's playing with some toys and my nose gets a whiff. UH OH. I scoop him up once again, run him up the stairs to the bathroom and he starts kicking, screaming, wailing, going berserk in the bathroom. Will NOT sit on the toilet, has indeed started going because there is once again a tiny bit in his underwear, but he is so boiling mad that I took him from the toys and am making him once more sit on the toilet, that there is no getting him on that toilet. He screams for about 15 minutes, won't go to the bathroom, and finally I give up and say it is time to go (preschool was starting in 15 minutes). I gathered up our things and put the kids in the car (Charlie was still upset with me).

12:00 p.m. - Arrive at preschool, unbuckle Eli first and go around to unbuckle Charlie, where Eli is trying to push his way through Charlie's legs to get out of the van first on Charlie's side since the other side is the road (this is a regular problem as they are constantly competing to be first. At whatever we're doing. Going out to the car. Going in to a store. Whatever! It drives me crazy). Eli's forcefulness makes Charlie upset, so he's crying as I walk him up to the door. We get to the door and his sweet teachers are coaxing Charlie to come inside, but then Eli suddenly loses it and starts crying, says he's too tired to go to school, doesn't want to go, etc.

OH MY GOSH. The tears today. So many tears. I finally had to leave them both crying and wailing in the doorway (later Eli told me he didn't think school would be fun so he didn't feel like going. Which is silly because he always loves it when he's there). 

12:30-2:30 p.m. - Enjoyed two blissful hours all by myself. Ate popcorn, watched an episode of CSI Miami and worked on an album design for a client. Tried to not think about the crummy, stinky morning.


When the kids were dropped off, they were tired and wanted to watch a show. Charlie was in different clothes because he pooped a little in his underwear at school. We had to leave in an hour for visiting teaching, which I knew wouldn't make them very happy (it is so hard to leave the house in the late afternoon - one or both kids usually protest). So I said they could watch two short shows in exchange for being happy about leaving after they were over. Both boys agreed they wouldn't fuss when it was time to leave.


4 p.m. - It's time to leave. Charlie has once again gone a tiny bit in his underwear, so I give up and put a diaper on him so that if he has an accident at the park, at least it won't be in his underwear. I'm cursing the mineral oil by this point.


All goes well at the park until Charlie comes running by me and one of the other moms that I'm visiting with comments that it smells like dog poop...

Nope. Just my stinky child who has pooped in his diaper AND gone down the slide a few times, so it is all over his bum and elsewhere. Seriously, he reeked and it was disgusting. I had another diaper in the car, so I attempted to change him at the park and went through probably 20 wipes and still didn't get him entirely clean. I was trying not to throw up as I changed him because it smelled so rank. This is why 3-year-olds poop in the potty. Not in a diaper. It's disgusting.

It was getting really cold outside, so we finished up and headed home. Ben was home a little early to go to a dentist appointment, but he was kind and helped get Charlie ready for a bath, then headed out.


6:15 p.m. - Charlie poops in the tub (NOT something he does often). I breathe through my mouth, scoop him out of the tub and gingerly pick out all of the bath toys that now need to be sanitized, cleaned out the remains in the tub and washed the tub. And tried not to throw up once again.

Moral of the story: Mineral oil + Charlie. Do not mix well. I give it to Eli on a daily basis because of the medicine he is on (that can make you constipated), but I think giving Charlie the same amount of mineral oil as I give to his older brother was not wise.

Both kids were in bed at 7 p.m. sharp. I was so tired from dealing with poopy day!! (I have to give Eli some credit though - he actually stayed dry all day, which hasn't happened in weeks). Ben brought home some tacos for dinner after his dentist appointment and that was the highlight of the day. Tomorrow has to be better :)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eli Update

Things I want to remember about Eli right now:

I've been thinking a lot about Eli lately as his last year of preschool starts to wind down and kindergarten feels like it is approaching wayyyy too fast. My stomach turns into knots when I think about him starting this next chapter in six months, but I know he will be ready. Academically at least. Emotionally... hopefully. :)

He continually impresses me with his creativity in building with blocks and legos. Yesterday he created his name out of Charlie's duplos (sure, ELI isn't that tough), but then also created the word, PUP out of the legos. PUP was for Charlie since he has his favorite stuffed puppy that he loves. That made me smile.

A few weeks ago, he created a few Angry Birds books with his own illustrations and then dictated to me what was happening on each page, so I wrote it all out for him. His stories are well thought out and creative. I love his imagination and his brain. He has continued his Angry Birds obsession in drawing and cutting out tiny little birds, pigs, etc. that are in the game and created his own game boards and pieces to use with his paper birds and pigs. Our office floor often has little scraps of white paper scattered on the floor from his many paper projects.

Tonight Eli pulled out a new sheet of paper and started drawing coins and writing the numbers in the circles. There were lots of pennies (writing the number one is very easy, after all :), then some other numbers too. Then he added them up and put the total number at the end of each line. Not every total number was right, but it was pretty close. The last line was counting by 10s, but he left out #50 and we had to add it on. I love seeing what he gets excited about learning each week. We're very casually working on reading (I'm trying not to push it too much or he gets annoyed), and it's fun to work with him on sight words and sounding words out.

The things that are more challenging with Eli are still the potty issues (still pretty much every day ends with wet pants despite that we're trying a stronger medicine for overactive bladder... it is very frustrating and he may have a cystoscopy procedure this summer if the wetting continues - just to make sure there isn't some physical reason that could be easily corrected). My pregnant nose does not appreciate the urine smell and it's hard to not react when I notice he's peed in his pants. It's been two years people. TWO years since we started potty training. Two years of pretty constant daily accidents. That definitely challenges my patience. Every single day. (And then Charlie doesn't like pooping in the potty... so help me!!)

Eli is also very particular and sensitive. Sensitive to loud people and sounds, sensitive to other kids messing with his stuff or saying things that aren't really true. I am constantly working with him to better control his emotions and reactions when things don't go his way. He is extra emotional when we're in his domain (his bedroom or playing with his things). Charlie usually just tunes him out and doesn't get flustered by Eli's craziness. I figure Charlie is learning great life skills from a young age dealing with his funny sibling... :)

We went to the zoo on Monday, but before we left, Eli got extremely sad because he was worried the zebras wouldn't be outside because it was too cold. (It actually was a decent weather day) He seriously cried and cried before going to the zoo because he was so sure he wouldn't get to see the zebras. Thankfully the zebras WERE outside and easy to go see. They were the absolute highlight for him. It's a challenge though to have everything go his way all the time - that isn't how life works after all.

I love this little boy (and Charlie too!) so much. I love talking to him, pretending and creating stories with him, and teaching him new things. He can be social and has some really sweet friends, but I get anxious thinking about him having to start fresh in school with a classroom full of kids he doesn't know, since none of his preschool friends will be there. I worry about him being in school all day (so sad for little kindergartners!!). He will eat up all of the information and learning, but may struggle with kids who misbehave or don't follow the rules, because he really likes rules and gets distressed when other kids are disruptive.

He will be five in May. I can't believe it. When I tuck him in at night, we always say the same things and he asks if I'm ready for a really tight squeeze. I shake my head no, I'm not ready! And then he asks, "Are you sure?" I say, "I don't know..." and then he puts his arms around my neck and squeezes me super tight. He is so dear! :)