Thursday, October 9, 2014

Life in a snapshot

This week is the week of kitchen flops, apparently. Two days ago, I spent at least two hours peeling bags of apples that were on sale at Meijer, then promptly scorched the bottom of the stock pot FULL of my hard work. I carefully poured off the apples, spent easily twenty minutes scrubbing the worst burned-on mess I've ever seen, then poured the apples back in and seasoned it. Then, after peeling even MORE apples, I gave it a taste and discovered the whole pot tasted of bitter burned apples. Rats! Then yesterday, I grilled our elk steak, let it rest, and then sliced it to find it quite, quite rare. A rookie mistake! I cook venison ALL THE TIME. It emerged from the microwave, stiffly overcooked. Rats again. And today, I decided to "get ahead" and make up a big pot of chili at 7 in the morning. It simmered all morning while we played outside and at lunchtime, I gave it a taste. Very, very spicy! How the heck did THAT happen? I checked the label of the Ro-tel "Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro" (a new ingredient in this kitchen) to find it contained chili peppers as the second ingredient. Triple rats! I should have known - Ro-tel? Come on, Maegan. So now there are TWO pots of chili simmering on the stove next two each other, the second very hastily whipped up because while I LOVE spicy food, Brian hates it with his very being. I hesitate to taste it. What will go wrong now?

Tonight is the very first Bi-Weekly Ward Family Game Night. That's why I've got chili cooking - easy prep and easy cleanup. I've always imagined having a game night with our kiddos - Brian and I love games. And it occurred to me that besides dinner (which is usually the opposite of relaxing), we really don't spend a whole lot of time as a complete family, enjoying each other's company. So Brian and I decided to start Game Night while they're young. EXCEPT, it's an absolutely GORGEOUS day and I am very tempted to spend our first Game Night out, raking leaves into a huge pile and tossing William in.

For the first time, today, we played in the leaves. Not sure why I didn't do this with Will last year, but we had a blast. Will and I threw leaves at each other. We made leaves rain down on us. We pushed them into a pile. Then I took Barrett out of the carrier and sat him down in a pile. I thought he might eat the leaves, but he didn't  - and he LOVED it. He splashed and flailed happily for at least 30 minutes. Then we played hide and seek, picked some apples off the ground (they're too high to pick from our tree), then walked to the bottom of the hill to check for wild grapes (Will's idea). They were there, and they were good! Brian must have taken him to pick them recently, because Will knew they were by "the hill" - though he couldn't take me there, so we had a bit of a search. Barrett, back in the carrier, fell asleep with his head tilted fully back, mouth open. We call it the Grandpa Makuch sleep.

Will has zoomed ahead in his development again. Brian noticed it when he came back. "He's saying and doing things he wasn't doing when I left," he tried to explain. He's running more and he's definitely more physically active, wanting to climb and bang and throw and march and jump. He's more vocal with his opinions and he's asserting his will MUCH more forcefully. Sometimes I miss my easy, compliant kiddo, but truthfully, I wouldn't change him back. Give me a kid who's bouncing off the walls, telling momma "NO", and snatching his toys away from his brother. Those are normal things, and I think we can deal with them. And I very much love that every time he enters a new phase, his understanding and comprehension grows as well as his little personality. Teaching him and reading to him grow a new layer of enjoyment for both of us. He loves repeating new words and phrases. I have to be careful how I say something because it seems he's always turning it around and saying it back to me. I might be a little obsessive about this, but I hate when I hear myself use bad grammer and I find myself always correcting myself because darn it, he's learning English right now and I don't want to teach him the wrong version. Today I heard myself say, "Let's go down there and see if there's any grapes." Grr! ARE grapes. ARE.

Barrett is doing better, finally. Last night, I was completely blessed by both kids sleeping through until morning. I took full advantage, too, having fallen into bed at 9:15. NINE FIFTEEN! I wanted to read but was too tired. And then, a full night's sleep! Amazing. I don't expect it to happen again anytime soon, but I will take it. One encouraging thing is that my milk supply seems better. I feel terrible that this happened while he was lately sick, but my milk supply had dropped dramatically. I was almost never having a letdown and I never felt full anymore. I started to wonder if I needed to supplement. Well, the answer was as simple as could be. I was very dehydrated. With the boys sleeping less, and me being tired and sick myself, I was drinking a lot of coffee and almost no water. Bad momma, BAD. I feel just awful that I had little milk for him when he really needed fluids, but oh well. Life goes on. I've started drinking at least three quarts a day, shooting for over a gallon, and instantly - problem solved. Rookie mistake again, Maegan.

Still putting off potty training for now. Will hasn't had a poop accident since August, and that was a fluke in itself, and I am starting to hope we're beyond that for good. I will take that, too. We'll deal with pee in another couple of months. I've started to withhold "cool" things by saying, "You can [chew gum] when you are a big boy and wear big boy underwear! Do you want to wear big boy underwear?" He keeps telling me "no", so I'm just going to hold off for now.

Barrett, in a word, is persistent. He knows exactly what he wants to be doing and where he wants to go. The other day I was wearing long, dangly earrings - questionable choice, I know, but I felt like getting a bit dressed up - and I was nursing him in the rocking chair. He wanted to play with those earrings in the worst way. He kept reaching up and turning my face away so he could get a better reach. I'd turn my face back to him and smile, moving my ears out of grasping range. He'd just push my face away again, and over and over and over. He did it the entire time, for about fifteen minutes. He never did get to play with the earrings, but that didn't stop him from trying. Family worship is hilarious, too. He wants to be 'playing' the piano so badly, and out of the corner of my eye I see him wrestling Brian, trying to escape his arms, the whole time. (It didn't help that the instrument William picked out for worship last night was the kazoo, and so between Barrett's furious squirming and Will's bursts of discordant notes on his "trumpet", I laughed more than I sang.)  If Barrett sees a toy on the floor, he twists and turns directly for it, and don't even get me started on diaper changes. The upside of this is that he's very, very happy to contentedly play on the floor with toys for a long time. He still spends a lot of time in the Ergo, too, and so between that and his floor time, I can truthfully say he's almost never fussy. What I would do without that carrier, I have NO IDEA!

I would say that lately, my biggest challenges are teaching Will to share, getting Barrett to eat enough so that he gains weight and starts outgrowing some clothes, and learning to be joyful no matter my circumstances. The first two, I'm sure, will soon become things of the past, but the last is sure to be a lifetime goal. I keep reminding myself that EVERY life has challenges, and this is the life I'd pick out of every other one in the world. This is the life I want, and the sleepness nights and the cranky times are just part of this wonderful day to day.

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