Wednesday, August 02, 2006

8/2/06: Julian has his first accident-free day!

Yay! Julian did it! He made it from morning to night in the same pair of underpants and shorts! Good for you, little boy!

It wasn't a particularly challenging day, as he was at Tonya's all day, but that has its own distractions and challenges too. Still, as became clear in the first few days of underpants, this has been swimmingly easy. It's only taken him a few days to learn when not to go, to wait and to consolidate. He goes far less often now than he did just a few days ago, and when he does go, there's a lot more to it. I thought Gabriel was pretty easy to potty-train, but Julian has made it downright trivial. (Of course, half of dealing with Gabriel was his typical resistance-for-the-sake-of-resistance.) Hmm...I hope I don't jinx anything by speaking in the past tense (of course, setbacks are to be expected, but no more diapers for Julian, just Pull-Ups for sleeping).

Gabriel made a teensy bit of progress last night in night-training too. Mostly, night-training has meant us getting him up late at night to pee, and then he's still wet in the morning. In the almost 3 weeks that we've been trying, he's only had 4 dry mornings. But this morning, he came downstairs in a new pair of pajamas, and Dave remembered hearing activity upstairs around 4am. Apparently, Gabriel had woken up wet, and then changed his pajamas, taken his wet sheet and piddle pad and put them in the washer, then got the clean piddle pad and a clean sheet from a shelf, put them on his bed, and went back to sleep! The big breakthrough there is that he woke up at all. I think he's a long way from night-training, but this was an encouraging baby step.

I'm so glad Tonya is open again this week, I've really needed the time off. Partly, I'm getting to the point where all the bending, standing, getting up off the floor, lifting, etc, in taking care of two little kids is pretty hard, and makes me heavy-headed and dizzy. But also, I've needed, and wanted, time to catch up on remodeling and financial things, and the concentration and focus is a huge relief. I don't know, maybe I'm just not cut out to be a full-time mom, I really go crazy without being able to really think. A fine time for such an insight!

This week has brought about some schedule changes too. Gabriel's been going to a week-long sports camp from 9am to noon, skipping pre-K and skipping swim class, which is now at 10:40am for 3 weeks. So, I've been leaving the house around 8:30am with both boys, giving Dave a much-needed morning break (and a rare peaceful breakfast), then taking Gabriel to sports camp. On a swim class day, I then take Julian to the Y so I can squeeze in a short workout (but no swim since the pool isn't open for lap swim at that time), then zoom to swim class at 10:40am.

Next week, when Gabriel doesn't have sports camp, I'll take them straight to the Y, then to swim class. I like that better than what I was doing, which was swim class first, then the Y; it's less exhausting for me. The one downside is that I don't get to swim at the Y, but I'm starting to really dislike swimming there anyway.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, when the boys are in childcare all day, I've been going to the CA Sports Center in Sunnyvale, which has a huge pool for competitive swimming, and lots of lanes open for lap swim at lunchtime. I absolutely love swimming there, especially compared to the Y: I never have to circle swim with 5 or 6 poor swimmers as I often have to at the Y, the water is clearer, cooler, and deeper, and it's outdoors. It just feels SO much better. No matter how much I'm dragging, I swim there any day I get the chance.

Today, I had a headache, I was really tired, and feeling like I could barely move, but I forced myself to go swim. But the moment I dove into the water, I was instantly cured. It was like a cleansing bath, one that revitalized me, made me feel strong and mobile and made every movement enjoyable, and worked through stiffness in my back, sciatic stabs in my leg, massaged my tricky sacro-iliac joint, and even solved my headache. No, I must never EVER miss out on a swim if it can be helped at all.

So what about Gabriel's sports camp? He's learning soccer, basketball, and baseball, though really most of what I've seen are little exercises to get the kids learning to play in groups and on teams, take turns, follow instructions and such. For example, the first day, he stood in a circle with other kids while they kicked a ball to each other. Today I watched for a while as they did a sort of tag game: the kids in the yellow jerseys ran around and tagged other kids, who then had to freeze when tagged.

Gabriel claims he doesn't like it, but the instant he's there, he runs to join the group and doesn't stop smiling or running. His pal Gina is there too, though to my surprise, it's taken her a little more getting-used to; Betsy says she can be hesitant in new situations. I've never, ever seen Gina hesitate!

One thing that really struck me the first day was the difference between the girls and the boys. The boys all joined the group and ran right away, but the girls were far more reticent, and stood and watched, holding hands in pairs! One Dad told me that he had no idea whose hand his daughter (pink hat) was holding; apparently the two girls just met and found instant comfort in standing together. Of course, some boys can be reluctant too (like Julian), but none in this group.

Gina wasn't quite like the other girls, as usual, and did join right in the running (that's her in the gray shirt chasing Gabriel in the orange shirt). By the time we pick the kids up, the girls are running around and playing equally with the boys; it just struck me how it took them so much more warm-up time. There are also quite a few more boys than girls in this camp. Gabriel has mentioned that he made a friend there though, McKenna. Naturally, a girl.

Music to any mother's ears: "Mommy, can I please have more fish?".

Julian ate the better part of a trout filet tonight, himself! I made broccoli, rice and fish for dinner, and just didn't have the energy to make the boys chicken (and wanted to save my get-out-of-the-kitchen-free card, of Trader Joe's frozen chicken nuggets, for another time). I put a few bites of fish on the boys' plates, anticipating complete rejection, but to my amazement, Julian gobbled it down. He ate most of mine, and twice as much as Dave did. Even Gabriel ate his bites of fish, but probably only because he heard my carefully engineered comment to Julian that trout was Gabriel's favorite. Just goes to show: if you really don't want to make kid food, don't! (Of course, I often do want to make kid food: it's fast and to tell the truth, I like macaroni and cheese!).

A few other photos of general life here. It seems that they're mostly of Julian, perhaps because he does more varied things. There are only so many playing-with-train photos I can take of Gabriel! (Also, some of these photos of Julian were taken while Gabriel was in his room being punished for...oops, nowadays we don't do that, we say "cooling off" (oh please)....for a nasty new habit of spitting at me. And not in play, in clear defiance when he's been told to do something, or not to do something. A very obnoxious new behavior, and infuriating -- never do you want to smack someone so much as when they do that sort of thing, but I'm sure it'd be lost on Gabriel.)

I should break down and take a picture of myself; it's downright shocking how huge I am. My belly sticks out so far it looks like a shelf, and it's even more uncomfortable than it looks. Funny thing is, when I'm standing in water, I'm really not all that big, but without the water to support my belly, it just hangs right out. (In the water, I now absolutely have to wear a maternity bathing suit that Steph sent me -- and thank goodness for that! I just can't get away with a regular suit anymore, I'm too big.) At least my stomach proper isn't tormenting me as badly. I still have bad tastes in my mouth, heartburn, general sick-to-my-stomach feelings, sometimes pain, but it's not unbearable anymore as it was the first four months.

On an unrelated technical note, I'm actually starting to think about sending out email updates again and terminating this blog. There are many reasons for this idea, none of which by itself is compelling, but in total makes me think about it. I like having the kids' lives archived in email, on my own computer, in a format I can control. Readers seem to prefer having the updates pushed to them, rather than having to check the Web site. I prefer the look of inline photos, but blogspot seems to have a problem with uploading multiple pictures at a time, and I have to do some crude HTML editing to put the photos inline, so the photo part is actually more time-consuming and error-prone. Finally, I'd kinda rather that "Gabriel and Julian" not show up on a Google search, though I can't pinpoint exactly why. The one good thing is that I'm not making myself do this every day, and seem to have settled into something akin to once a week or two. Of course, this could change tomorrow, as I'm never sure how I'm going to feel at any given moment.

Ouch! One thing I can say about #3, he or she is one bony baby! I am constantly getting prodded and poked from inside, and it's getting downright painful. It's bizarre and weird even to me to see limbs sticking out from my poor overstretched belly, but it happens all the time. Gabriel was a kicker (lots of rapid knocking movements from one place), Julian was a stretcher, and this one is a poker. And verry busy! I wonder who this little person will be.