Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mowing the lawn

My in-laws have been out of town for the past week or so. They had a family vacation planned to take a trip to the Oregon coast. We were invited to go, but respectfully declined many months ago when we found out that Munchkenna’s birthday was going to coencide pretty closely with the vacation. A two-week old and traveling long hours in a car for mommy don’t really add up all that well.

Knowing that they would be gone for the week, and knowing that my father-in-law likes to meticulously manicure his yard, I hatched an idea. He would probably get up early the morning after they returned to mow the lawn, putting off the remainder of the unpacking process. I decided to mow the lawn for him the night before they got home to make life a bit easier for them.

Wifey planned to bring the kids over there so I could get clipping. When I got there, Munchkin ran up to me without any pants on. I learned that she had been a bit of a stinker that day—waking up shortly after 6:00 AM, having a couple of meltdowns, messing her pants a couple of times, taking a short nap, after undies had run out at the in-laws place, deciding to go on the floor. I could tell it had been a rough day all around.

Wifey suggested that I bring Munchkin out with me to mow the lawn, at least in the back yard. It is all fenced in, so there is no way that Munchkin could get out, so I was fine with that. She loves the trampoline, so we put her up on the trampoline to bounce around for a bit as I started getting the far side of the yard done while Wifey was still out there to watch her.
Wifey went in once I had mowed all the parts where I couldn’t see Munchkin, and I kept mowing.

After about one round, Munchkin stopped me and told me that she was done with the trampoline. Knowing that Wifey was feeding Munchkenna, and knowing that Munchkin had been a pill that day, and knowing that Wifey didn’t need any more creative “assistance” from Munchkin, I decided to see if she wanted to help me mow the lawn.

And this is what we came up with:

Munchkin loved it. The rest of the time I mowed the lawn, she held on to (read pulled) my hair as I completed the mowing. She was completely quiet and well mannered, even though it was hot and sticky out there. I think she was just happy to have a grown-up’s undivided attention.
Munchkin is still getting used to the idea of a little sister, and I’m glad that she doesn’t manifest her frustrations by poking Munchkenna or throwing things at her. That could make for a very unhappy family all around. In the mean time, I’ll continue to try to find ways to get Munchkin occupied once I get home so that Wifey gets a breather.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yesterday morning I was going through some morning rituals with Munchkin. We had just finished the morning potty ritual, and Munchkin was headed on her way to tell Wifey that she had successfully gone. Realizing that she didn't have her binky, she turned around to come claim it. It was sitting on the counter next to the sink. As she ran to grab it, she fumbled the binky and it ended up falling right into the toilet as the final swish was leaving our view.

And thus ended binky.

Munchkin asked for it a bit after it was gone because she likes to have it in the morning after she gets up for a bit. Then she goes and throws it on her bed until nap time, when she gets it again. After naps, she generally just throws it on her bed when she gets up and doesn't think twice about it until bedtime.

Nap time came and went without incident. She asked for binky once, and I reminded her that she had flushed it down the toilet. She didn't fuss or ask again, just wiggled a bit more before falling asleep.

So tonight we tried just putting her to bed without binky. She asked for binky when we laid her down to sleep, and we reminded her again that it had been flushed. As soon as we left the room, she started crying a bit. This is not uncommon for her to cry for a minute or two as she expresses her disgust that we are going to be doing something without her. But her crying continued, so Wifey went up to try to console her.

All was quiet through the monitor, but as soon as Wifey left the room, she started crying again. So then I gave it a try. I got her calmed down, but once again, right after I had left the room (after singing her two songs and telling her one impromptu story about a girl who happens to share her name who went to school), she started crying again. And hard.

We (like any sane parents) have backup binkies for emergencies. Last night was an emergency. We gave her the binky, and she informed us that her "purple binky flushed down the potty." Right after that, she rolled over and fell asleep.

Even though Munchkin is growing up, I still have to remember that she isn't a kid yet. She is still a toddler who understands a lot, but not everything. She will still have problems dealing with small changes. And I am willing to let her have her binky while she is handling the substantial change of being a big sister incredibly well.

I'll know next time not to set the binky so close to the toilet when she runs out of the room, and I'm sure that she'll make sure not to fumble it so easily next time she tries to grab her binky.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Bit of Validation

I recently put up a page on Facebook representing this blog. It was mainly because I was applying for a position that required some business Facebook use. If I created a page, I could legitimately say that I had done some promotion on Facebook for something besides myself.

A week or so ago, I got an email notification stating that someone liked the blog. A bit surprised (mainly because the name wasn't familiar), I went over to Facebook to investigate if I had any connections. There was no connection.

And even more surprising to me was the fact that there was not only one person, but three people with whom I've have no personal connection. It feels good to know that other people are interested in what I have to say, but more importantly, that you like what you see enough to claim it publicly.

So, to encourage some interaction, head on over to my Facebook page and let me know if there is something you want me to write about. This not only includes those three people who have publicly liked my page, but also anyone else who happens to post there. Or here in the comments, for that matter.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Reunions

My parents got unofficially done with their volunteer position a couple of weeks ago. July 9th, to be exact. On the 10th, one of my brothers came up with his family to visit my parents. He stayed one week, leaving on Sunday morning. That afternoon, my other brother came to visit, and wil be leaving tomorrow. My parents have had someone staying with them for aboutnthe past two weeks straigt.

Not that they haven't loved it. They haven't had the opportunity to play with their grandkids this much in quite a few years. Even though it makes them a bit tired, they wouldn't trade it for the world.

On a sad note, we are missing a family reunion for Wifey's side of the family. She has been a bit sad that we are missing the opportunity to dabble our toes in the ocean along the Oregon coast, munchkin would have loved being there and playing in the water, but we will go another time.

I'm faring much better than Wifey is. I think this is the first family reunion that she has missed in her 27 years in the family. Good thing she has Gilmore Girls to keep her occupied. Oh, and a little thing I like to call Munchkenna. She is slumbering peacefully right next to our bed right now, so I think I'll follow suit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Hello again. It has been a while, hasn't it? Things e starting to settle down again after some momentous occasions. The new job started getting busy, but it is still going well. I had the opportunity to start doing some things that I hadn't done before, but also done some things that I haven't done in quite some time. It has been a good challenge. I overheard from a colleague that my boss was worried that I didn't have enough to do. So far I have only had to ask him for more work once.

We also had a baby! Well, not me (naturally). We had the greatest nurse ever known to a woman in labor who was greater than I would have ever expected a nurse to be. I felt good that I only almost fainted twice.

The funny thing is, I didn't have the urge to faint with the parts that I thought might make me queasy. I inherited a bit of queasiness around blood from my father. But I was able to do fine with all of that. The things that got me were all the surgical tools. When they came in to give Wifey her epidural, I just stared at the contraction monitor, knowing that the big needle made me a bit light-headed last time. I didn't look, but started feeling my hands tingle after hearing the conversation about placing the needle. This guy did great, and wo Wifey's epidural didn't wear off this time.

The next time I got woozy was after Munchkenna (Munchkin II's official name on this blog) was born. I took a peek over at all the unused medical tools sitting out in case of emergency, and that got me again.

We had a pleasant surprise when a girl I sang with in high school choir came in to help out with Munchkenna after she was born.

All in all, Wifey had an exponentially better experience this time when compared to Munchkin's delivery. It was half as long, and much more enjoyable for all parties involved, despite my queasiness.

Munchkin has been doing great being a big sister also. There have been some very minor jealousy issues that quickly get resolved. You can see how much they like each other, take a peek at this picture.

I should be making more frequent appearances here, but if you don't find me here, know that I am busy holding a sweet little girl.