Today we spent the morning at a park with my LC's weekly play group. She (my LC) had one of her sons there and he graciously offered to watch toddlers while the mommies (and a dad) sat in the shade and chatted about everything from latches to diaper rash to iPads. The kids had fun (as you will see from the pictures) and I did as well. We've gone to the group a few times, but I m going to try and make it more of a regular outing. The park has a great shady spot and they have swings and a play structure (for Sac area natives, it's East Portal Park).
The park also has a malfunctioning sprinkler head (or a drainage issue) because it was MUDDY.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
As you can see, Griffin spent much more time IN the mud. He required an outfit change and a good dose of water. Penelope just got her feet a little dirty.
I can't really complain, they were having fun and being supervised. A little mud (or a lot) isn't going to hurt and was most definitely worth it to be able and sit and have a conversation with adults without constantly checking in with the kids.
So everyone wins. Except Griffin's socks, which will never be white again.
Father's Day was today and it was pretty wonderful. Even though I had to work for a dew hours, we all had a really great day. We went to see a Rivercats game with my parents (local AAA baseball team, A's affiliate, playing the Giants affiliate).
One of the great things about Raley Field is the lawn seating. For $7 you can sit in the grass and watch the game. It's cheap, the seats are pretty good, and the kids can run around a bit. My parents, Bryan, and the kid got there early enough to get pretty good shade. I got there about an hour after first pitch and the kids did well enough to stay for the entire game. Griffin nursed the second he saw me and slept for most of the rest of the game.
Penelope made some new friends, most notably a little boy named Hunter who was 5 and with whom she had a few tickle fights.
Blogger has crashed twice on me and I think it's because I'm posting too many pictures at once. So we will try this one day at a time.
Saturday. Chloe's 2nd birthday party!
My mom reading to Griffin and Chloe.
Me and the "babies"
Piano playing toddlers!
I don't have any pictures of Penelope from that day. She spent 90% of her time in the pool with my mom. She was in love with the water; Griffin, not so much. I don't think he liked the cool water on his man-bits.
Everyone had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed spending time with family that I don't get to see very often, and the kids all had fun with each other. I have some really amazing cousins that I grew up with and I would really like for the kids to get to know their really amazing cousins. I applied for a job in Chico, so maybe they'll get a chance :)
I've actually been meaning to post for awhile now, but I've been caught up in reading during any spare moment. If you know me well then you'll know how...consumed I can become with a book. It doesn't even have to be a good book, I've spent plenty of time voraciously reading some really terrible books.
Last week I signed up for "Reading Adventure" at work, which is a summer reading program for our students that comes with a t-shirt and a pizza party at the end of the year. Under the guise of "motivating the kids" I signed up to read 8 books this summer, which is lower than my pre-child summer reading but much, much higher than anything I've been able to accomplish post-children. In fact, other than text books, I don't think I've had the opportunity to read 8 books since Penelope's birth. This is unusual for me.
Although having spent a good part of the day today trying to squeeze in as much reading time as possible, it's not hard to see why I haven't read much lately. The kids, of course, take up a lot of my time, but I also get reading tunnel vision and tend to neglect things when I'm reading. Things like eating, chores, and changing diapers.
I have read two books in the last three days, but the house is a disaster and the laundry isn't moving itself. Also? My kids would like to play with me. So no new book for a couple of days.
We did go out today, it was really lovely day. Not nearly as hot as it had been, and since Griffin decided 6am was the perfect time to wake up we were out of the house before 9. I took a chance on Fairytale Town, which can be kind of a crapshoot on Fridays. The zoo is always crazy-busy those days so FTT seemed like a slightly safer bet. It was pretty empty and the munchkins were able to run around rather freely.
Penelope made some new friends, one 4 year old and a pair of 6 year old girls. One girl taught her how to play duck-duck-goose and the older girls all pretended to be princesses in Cinderella's carriage (the carriage was real, this is Fairytale Town after all). All in all the kids had a good time and both took decent naps, which is good because the boy-child has been super clingy and I needed a break.
Here are some pictures from the day.
Penelope on the stage... She insisted on going up there and "dancing". In this picture she's saying "look at me mama!" *sigh* I think shell be ready for her first dance recital this August.
Crawling in the cheese (from The Cheese Stands Alone)
On Jack and Jill's hill fetching some water
In other news, I've slowed down on potty training because I am lazy.
Griffin is sort of sleeping better; for two nights he's only been up once. I'm not holding my breath. The books did say it might take a month of new routines/techniques before they were consistently effective. So we'll see. As long as we don't get any repeats of The Night From Hell then we should be ok. I still really look forward to Saturday nights when my parents have the kids because I get a least 8 solid hours of sleep. I miss my babies in the morning, but I do not miss 2am wake up calls in the slightest.
One of my oldest and dearest friends turned 30 in February. Another one of my oldest and dearest friends turns 30 next week. And the third oldest and dearest friends turns 30 a week before I turn 29 (again). Where the heck has the time gone? I swear to you that it was just last week my mom and I were getting ready to go see NKOTB for my 10th birthday. (FTR I have exactly three oldest and dearest friends. I have known Amy since the 4th grade, Christina since the 7th grade, and Meagan since the 9th grade).
Oh! For whatever reason that reminds me of some funny Penelope-isms. She's has become rather obsessed with "princess music" and so we listen to a lot of Disney soundtracks, especially The Princess and the Frog since it's fun and jazzy, even Griffin likes it (I have video of a naked Griffin rocking out but I won't post it online, next time you see me, ask and I'll show it to you). Penelope is now fond of saying "mama, I'm almost there!" and "I got to dig a little deeper!" and "mama, I'm a princess." yes honey, yes you are.
There a lot of reasons why Penelope is the bestest daughter ever (even though she drives me batty sometimes). Here are just a few:
1. She is currently in bed (she was put to bed at 7:30, it is now 8:05) reading the Star Wars ABC book to herself and her "friends" aka Jessie and Woody. She is getting 90% of the words right.
2. When Griffin was crying earlier today she came up to him, gave him a hug, and handed him a stuffed dinosaur (Rex from Toy Story). When that didn't make him stop crying, she put the head of the Rex near his face and said "rawr" which made him laugh. She then kissed him and said "it's awright bubba, you gonna be ok".
3. Yesterday she came up to me, gave me a hug and said "I love you baby girl".
4. Everywhere we go she calls random strangers her friends and after introducing herself tells them "I love you!" or "thanks for coming" when we part ways.
5. Even though she fought me at bath time and screamed like she was being murdered when I tried to wash her hair, she gave me a huge hug and a kiss after I put on her pajamas and told me she loved me.
6. She helped me clean up the living room and her room...and was actually helpful.
I could go on, because she's really awesome. And not just in the way that a mom naturally thinks her kids are awesome. She's objectively awesome. Pretty much the best daughter ever, excepting me of course ;)
So we've started potty training. I've been meaning to do this for months, but Penny hasn't really been ready. And although I keep saying that I am ready, I'm really not. Because it's a lot of work. Like, a lot.
Saturday she peed on the potty 4 times, and it took a considerable amount of coaxing. Sunday, 6 times. Great, right? Yeah! But today? 0. Now, I know each day won't be a major success, but today has been frustrating. And I just don't have the energy (or the short term memory) to have her sit on the potty every hour to see if she will pee.
I really want her to be potty trained - at least day trained - and at least for pee.
But this is going to be exhausting. Mostly for me, and I'm not sure if I'm up for the task (although I'm 99% sure Penelope is). I guess parenting is less about what is best for me and what is best for my kids. But darn it, I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate potty training.
Ugh. This afternoon we'll buy some pull ups and go from there. I just need to suck it up and get this done.
If Bryan and I ever have more kids, I am 80% sure we'll adopt, and 100% sure the child will be old enough to be potty trained already.
Last night was awful. Really, really awful. Griffin was up over four hours and I was so very frustrated that I had to take a break from him. I half hoped that letting him cry, safe and secure in his crib, would actually work and he'd fall asleep and stay asleep; that I would be proven wrong about CIO and have to eat my words. And you know what? I wish that it worked. I wish I would have had to come on the blog and admit I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
But it didn't work. And I've become even more convinced that CIO is not appropriate for Griffin.
I'm hoping last night was just some horrific fluke. Because I honestly don't know what I'll do if we have another night like that.
When you become a parent, you're never really prepared for just how much (and often how quickly) you fall in love with your child. But you are also equally unprepared for how crazy they can make you... how angry you can get. I loved my son last night, but I did not like him. I was exhausted, frustrated, and since he's not sick or teething, I could not (and still don't) understand why he wouldn't just go back to sleep.
He was just as exhausted. When he's tired his eyes get puffy and he gets these horrible dark circles. And yet there he was, alternately babbling and screaming, for over four hours. Four. Rocking did not work, nursing, bouncing, patting, singing... we even tried a bottle. He still.would.not.sleep.
I had some choice words for him, mainly "go to f*cking sleep already".
I'm not much of a curser, but holy mother of Oprah, I was fed up.
He finally let us sleep around 2am. Woke up again at 5:30 and (thankfully) went back to sleep and slept until 7am. He's asleep right now... And has been for an hour. Let's all hope he stays that way until at least 2 and then goes back down without a battle. I just don't know if I have it in me.
I owe you all a substantive blog, but I don't have the energy for one. So here are some pictures. Penelope is now taking ballet/tap once a week and my parents have set her up with everything she could conceivably need (and more). She loves her class. Loves. It's fun to watch. They're actually going to have a dance recital in August so there will be more pictures to come.
Getting ready to go
Drinking her smoothies before class
Her shoes (my attempt at any artsy photo... Probably would look better in black and white, but I don't have editing software on the iPad)
I haven't blogged lately, sorry. A lot has been going on and I have a backlog of pictures and video to upload.
But first? Sleep. As so many of you know, sleep has been a touchy subject in the Rodgers household since Mr. Griffin was born. I reached the end of my rope during our trip to Wyoming and was afraid I was going to have to resort to the cry it out method in order to get some sleep. But the book No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers seems to have been our magic bullet. By incorporating some of the strategies advised in the book (notably keeping the room cooler, blacking out he windows, and moving up bedtime), Griffins sleep has improved remarkably.
He now goes down around 7:30 and gets up once between 2 and 4, nurses back to sleep, and is up for the day around 6:30. This means that Bryan no longer has to get up with him and I'm only up once a night. once. It is glorious.
We've also instituted family reading before bed. Which is really nice. We all climb onto Penny's bed and read book for 20-30 minutes.
So the kids are usually asleep before 8 and I feel much more well rested (and sane).
Of course, now that I've been telling people how improved things have gotten, the kids decide to have a rough start to the night. Although it's probably not because I jinxed myself, but because they both took late naps. Oh well. Griffin took over an hour to get to sleep and Penelope is still awake in bed. Could be worse, right? Hopefully the rest of the night is not as challenging as bedtime was.
What else... Still applying for jobs. Have applied for over 20 teaching positions in a variety of cities (and States!). I'm hopeful, but I'm not going to hold my breath. The job market is pretty terrible for teachers now.
Ok, here are some pictures...
Penny feeding the ducks. I'm happy her hair is long enough for one pony tail.
We had quite a few ducks and geese show up, one of them startled Penny when it got a little too close. I really hate geese, but Poe loves feeding them.
My mom and Penny at the Memorial Day parade by our house.
Penelope and her friend Gabe. Same parade. So cute!