Thursday, July 28, 2011

Waxing nostalgic, and a trip update

I'm finding myself looking back through old blog posts a lot lately-- both posts here on this blog, and the monthly letters I wrote to D up to his second birthday.  I'm fascinated by this curiosity, this need to look back and see what I was doing and feeling when D was a newborn, and infant, a young toddler.  I'm also struck by how glad I am to have this written record, because otherwise I wouldn't remember the vast majority of this stuff.  I look back on the joys and frustrations that I felt at all these different points of life as a mother, and it can be a little depressing (yep, I still felt debilitatingly exhausted at X months/years...) but most of all it feels very comforting for some reason.  Maybe because I know I managed to survive through it.

(By the way can I mention how adorable and sweet I think it is that Zach has been doing the same thing?  I love that he appreciates my blog as much if not more than I do)

I just looked at the calendar to realize that we are exactly halfway through our time here-- we arrived 2 weeks ago today, and fly back to California 2 weeks from now.  The trip has been both wonderful and kinda crap.  D's sleep always seemed to take a nosedive when we came to visit, and while he's been doing fine (other than a later-than-usual bedtime which is so hard to avoid), Q has taken up suit and is taking his turn to sleep like crap.  My mom is almost 3 weeks out from her hip replacement surgery and is healing amazingly (just today got the OK to drive, and may not need to use the cane to walk for too much longer.  Modern medicine truly is amazing, y'all), she's not quite able to be the SuperGrandma that she usually is.  I know it's been hard on her not to be able to help as much as she wants to.  All the other grandparents have been chipping in, too, and they've all been wonderful, and by now things are feeling a lot better.  But the first few days (especially the first days after Zach flew back alone), Q went through a serious bought of separation anxiety and just plain refused to be with anyone other than Mama.  He would literally start screaming as soon as he realized that I was not right there or that someone else was holding him instead of me, only to stop and smile as soon as I had him back again.  He's now getting used to everyone and doing a good bit better most of the time.  And let me tell you, when he's happy he is HAPPY!  All smiles and giggles and babbles and just the most ridiculously adorable baby ever.  As for D, he has his crab-monster moments, too, but has been having a great time hanging out with grandparents, playing with toys and baking cookies and all.

I do miss Zach, a lot.  I knew staying her a month would be a bit long, but it was either that or only stay for a few days. As the kids are settling down and getting used to everything and everyone, I'm getting more opportunities to get out and do things on my own (highly appreciated).  But, yeah, I think I'll be very ready to get back to California when it's time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Remember when I said D was potty trained? Um, yeah....

About a month ago I wrote about how Donovan was pretty much fully potty trained (during waking hours-- I don't expect him to be out of diapers for sleeping for a long time).

We have, of course, hit a few snags since then.

First, he went from being independently potty trained (getting himself to the potty for both pee & poop with no need for prompting, this lasted about a week), to suddenly losing that altogether... but then we reached a point where he'd have no pee accidents as long as I made sure he sat on the potty every hour or so.  His body seemed to know to save up for then, and he'd pee right away when he did sit on the potty.  Poop, unfortunately, would just happen in his underwear. I'd notice him straining while squatting, but always too late to do anything about it.  But, hey, he seemed to be doing really well and I even felt pretty ok with short outings in underwear.  This lasted a few weeks.

Then we came to Texas.  The first full day here, he had accident after accident, even though we had him sit on the potty frequently.  This was in the middle of a family reunion weekend with lots of people and activities so we decided to take a break and put him in pull-ups, still trying to get him to use the potty but not setting him up for so many accidents.

It's been a week now and that's still pretty much where we are.  I'm kinda stuck-- we've had a few catches on the potty, but nothing consistent.  I know that's partially on me, as it's been really hard to make sure to get him to the potty consistently throughout the day.  But even with that he doesn't have the same sense of either knowing about peeing or saving it for the potty, etc, as he did before (I also just realized, while typing this, that at home he always announced when he was peeing on the potty, and here if he does pee I'll only find out when he stands up bc he doesn't say anything about it...which also seems significant).  So I'm debating whether to try to make more of a push back to the potty, maybe even trying to put him in underwear again, or just give up till we get back home and hope that he'll do better again once we're in our own home again (which will be a while from now, unfortunately-- we're here another 3 weeks then go to Tahoe for another week after that...).

I'm trying not to get too frustrated about all this, but it's kinda tough.  He seems so grown up in every other way that it feels just plain bad to still have to put diapers on him.  It also doesn't help things that I'm getting absolutely crap sleep here, running on about 4-6 broken hours of sleep each night thanks to late kiddo bedtimes, frequent & prolonged wake-ups by Quinn, and their usual early mornings.  So it's not like I'm at my most patient or rational, either. Also, I miss my husband (he flew home on Sunday).  I'm trying to have faith that D will figure it out again soon, either here or once we return home.  It's my only option now, honestly, as thinking about having to push his school start date back AGAIN makes me want to cry.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Over the past 3 years I have been able to watch Donovan develop a very loving relationship with his cousin, Ryan. The way they love each other and are always so excited to see each other melts my heart every time.

Well, this weekend we had even more cousin-related heart-melting, as we got to meet my sister's baby for the first time (I'll use her web nickname for him, Monkey Boy). I gotta tell you, I nearly teared up when I first saw this gorgeous cherub of a baby, he is just that beautiful. He and Quinn are 2 months apart in age, but are nearly identical in size and are doing all the same things (new crawlers, pulling up, etc).

Needless to say, it's been pretty incredibly awesome to watch them together. It's also pretty awesome how my sister and I have babies this close in age, and are both breastfeeding, cloth diapering, doing "baby-led weaning" for solid foods, etc. It's just all too fun to put in words.

Better pictures will come soon, but here are a few from my phone:

Going after Uncle Greg's shoes together.

Sharing some bread the other night.

Seriously, the cute. It's kinda hard to handle. ; )

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brain dump

My mom had a hip replacement today. Reports are she's doing awesome and has even already gotten up and walked a bit on it. Was very glad to hear it, as I was more than a bit nervous about the whole thing (even though I knew she'd be fine).

Quinn's rolling out all sorts of milestones all of a sudden. A couple days ago he started crawling. Like ACTUAL crawling. It's still a bit slow and awkward, but he's fully, officially mobile. This is awesome bc being able to crawl towards toys, etc, means he's less frustrated about stuff.

Then today he pulled himself up to standing for the first time. He did this repeatedly throughout the day...and fell and hit his head at least 3 times as a result. So the happiness gained by crawling is getting cancelled out by falling over from trying to stand.

He also might be teething.

I'm blaming all of the above for why his sleep has been kinda crap lately. He's waking a bunch at night, taking longer to fall back asleep, and resisting naps. Fun stuff. Here's hoping it passes soon.

We leave for Texas in 3 days. I'm a bit stressed about the flight, but excited to get there. Trying to settle my brain enough to get everything ready. When I saw Quinn pull himself up today I realized what good timing this trip will be. I remember this being a challenging time with Donovan, as he wanted to pull up on everything but was still so unsteady, so I had to be within arm's reach ALL THE TIME to try to catch him when he fell. With Quinn I'll have some backup.

Still no clue what's happening with our computer files. We spent 1.5hrs on the phone with Carbonite this morning talking to tech support. The first guy was a jerk, practically insinuating that I was either lying or clueless about whether I had the files on my computer. Thankfully the next guy was much better. We restarted the restore after un/installing the software, it's been going ok all day but now starting to show errors. Needless to say, I will be canceling my Carbonite subscription after this is all over.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Technology: can't live with it, can't live without it

A little over a week ago our computer broke.

*gleeful laughter erupts as Apple-haters rejoice at the thought of an iMac not working, HARDY HAR HAR*

We had a short power failure and I don't know if that did it, triggered another problem, or was just a coincidence, but right after that our iMac would suddenly freeze up completely after being on for 5-10 minutes.  Nothing worked, the only thing that got a response was to turn it off.  This was on Friday.  Saturday we called Apple, tried to do some troubleshooting, and when nothing worked we then took it in to get fixed. Turns out the hard drive was busted, and we needed to replace it.

So they kept my computer for several days, and we finally got to pick it up on Thursday with a brand new hard drive but no data recovered.  Thankfully, I had convinced Zach to sign up for Apple Care when we bought the computer 1.5yrs ago so we didn't have to pay anything for the repairs.  *whew*

We've been using Carbonite to back up all our files.  We have an external drive, too, but we've been terrible at keeping it updated.  So, we got home and immediately started running a restore via Carbonite to get all our files back.  At first it was going well... then after a day and a half it seemed to have gotten stuck, with no data being transferred.  This led to a bit of a panic attack by yours truly, as I pondered the possibility of not being able to recover our data, meaning losing the past year's worth of pictures (we're already out the videos, since Carbonite doesn't automatically back them up and I never got around to changing that least I have them all uploaded to Smugmug so they're not totally lost).  Also, I'm already over a week behind on sorting and keywording photos, and on Thursday we leave for Texas for a month away from my computer and will amass even more pictures that will need to be dealt with when I get back.  My pictures are the ONE thing that I make sure to keep on top of, so the thought of being nearly two months behind on it all is a bit anxiety-producing.

This morning things are looking a little better-- the restore is moving along again (though will take several days at its current pace, running 24hrs a day).  I also went ahead and installed Lightroom again, using a 3-week old backup of the catalog that was on our external drive.  None of the pictures are there, but I can at least upload and handle the pictures on my camera so I can be caught up before leaving on our trip.  I'll probably still have a lot of fiddling to do with it all when I get back, but I'll figure that out when we get to it. (BTW big thanks to Benjamin for his advice last night, I'll also be picking your brain about the best way to transfer catalogs/pics as the last time I tried it was a bit of a mess).

You can be damned sure that as soon as we get all this figured out, we're setting up an automatic ghost backup to run from our computer to the external drive.  I'm hoping Carbonite will still have paid off here in the end, but if we'd done better with our backups all this would be going a lot more smoothly.


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