Plomin Family Bragablog

June 23, 2009

Self-Medicating

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:49 pm
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With chocolate, that is.  I had two handfuls of peanut M&Ms and a Snicker’s today – and a giant Coke (I asked for a medium but I didn’t realize today’s ‘medium’ is yesterday’s ‘large’).  I’ve gone off the deep end!  

Actually, I’ve just hit the wall of sleep deprivation.  I haven’t gotten much lately, since I haven’t gone to bed before midnight most nights (my fault) and since Patty-poo wakes me up a couple of times a night.  And last night, Karol had a night terror again, for a solid half hour, and I always stay up and feel awful that I can’t do anything to help her the whole time.  I’m having a hard time distinguishing ‘night terror’ from ‘demon possession,’ so I say a few prayers just in case.  Invariably, she woke up this morning much more pleasant than usual!  

So, all that left me feeling more than a little run-down today.  I’m planning to go to bed with the kids tonight, I think.  I’d really like to take advantage of the sun and go to the playground with them, but I don’t know if I have that kind of energy right now.

Only four days til the weekend…

May 20, 2009

Army ATX

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 10:34 pm
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I haven’t posted in a while because I was at my Annual Training Exercise (ATX) for the Army Reserves.  Since Matt is in Turkey, I asked my mom to fly out and watch the babies for me.  It was a great opportunity for her to get to spend time with them, especially Patrick, who she hasn’t really had a chance to bond with until now.

Typically, ATXes are not as strenuous as this one was.  And really, it was for no reason.  Just poor planning, I guess.  I’ll spare you the details, but in retrospect, it was a really dumb idea for me to try to attend at all.  I could have told them months ago that it just wasn’t logistically feasible and I’d make it up at Ft. Meade, but I wanted to be Army Strong, I wanted to fulfill my duty, blah, blah, blah.  It was just stupid to put myself (and my kids) through all that.  Hindsight is 20/20 though.

Anyway, I wanted to upload a few pictures since it’s been a few days.  Here’s me, at the range, after qualifying with the M-16.  This was probably the one positive part of the ATX for me.

 Jill on the range

And here’s Patrick and Karol.  This is pretty much how they looked when I left in the morning and how they looked when I got back at night.

Karol SleepingPat sleeping

May 12, 2009

My Mother’s Day Angels

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 12:34 pm
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Karol and Patrick were perfect angels for me for most of the Mass at what will probably be our new Church, St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington.  I really liked the atmosphere, as there were plenty of families with children Karol’s age.  I got there a little late and the place was standing room only – 9am is a popular Mass time apparently.  

I saw there was a cry room so I made a beeline for it.  I’m usually anti-cry room, but with no Matt and an unpredictable toddler, I thought I’d rather be safe than sorry.  The cry room is at the back of the Church with huge windows.  You can see straight in and straight out.  To my surprise, the children in there were actually very well behaved.  There were some sitting on laps and others quietly playing with toys.  

Then I realized why they were so behaved — the windows.  Just because the people outside can’t hear your children, they can still see them, so parents still had to be accountable.  Matt and I hated the cry room at St. Michael’s because if there were other kids in there the parents just let them loose and ignored them.  Not cool.

After Mass I wanted to do something extra special with my kids, since it was Mother’s Day and all.  So we went to Georgetown.  At first I almost turned around and went home because of course there was zero parking available, but then I remembered a tucked away spot a couple blocks toward the river I’d found out about while making a video for work.  Yay, free parking and there’s one spot open!  

So I wrestled the monster double stroller out of the trunk and the three of us went on a walk on the boardwalk along the Potomac.  It was beautiful!  Here are an example to show you what I mean.

 STP80077

We walked all the way up to the Washington Harbor, halfway back, and then over to Georgetown.  I thought I would want to “shop,” but there was no way I was going to maneuver that massive stroller in and out of those tiny doorways, especially since I was only half-hearted about buying anything anyway.  I spotted a Ben & Jerry’s and thought that would be a treat for all of us!  So Karol and I got some ice cream and went back to the Potomac to eat it.  

 

STP80090

After that we walked down the River again and back to the car.  This time, Karol walked.  And boy did she throw a royal fit when she realized we weren’t staying – but before that, I got this super sweet picture of her watching the water.

 Karol Water

Patrick was like this the entire trip:

 Pat Sleeping

So we headed home, had lunch, and a half hour nap – that’s right, too many catnaps in the car and stroller, none of which is really quality sleep – and read a few books.  Then we went for a walk around our neighborhood – Karol on foot and Patrick on the Bjorn.  Karol was getting tired and whiny until she saw the playground.  All of a sudden it went from whine, whine, to “SLIDES!!”  And she took off running!  Well, Karol running is just a brisk walk for me, but you get the idea.  

So we spent a full hour at the playground.  Karol did a lot of new stuff.  I’m really amazed at how much she’s capable of, physically and mentally.  She was climbing stairs, climbing up the slides without help.  She even went down the big curly slide all by herself!  That took more bravery on my part.  It’s very hard for me to stand back and just let her play, but as I get more comfortable with the surroundings, and more confident in her abilities, I’m starting to let her run free a little bit.  

Oh, I should note for Matt’s sake – she saw a lovely pink and purple bike with training wheels that she now desperately wants.  I told her that would be Daddy’s department and she needed to talk to him.  So there you go Matt.

After about an hour, Karol voluntarily (after I suggested watching Elmo and taking a bath – 2 of Karol’s favorite activities) left the park.  THAT’S how tired she was!  By 6:30, she was asleep on the couch. 

It didn’t last long though, she still needed to eat dinner and go through the bedtime rituals.  She really went to sleep around 8:30.  Patrick was out around 8, but I kept holding him because he’s just so cuddly and sweet.  After writing an email to Matt, I had to call it a night by 10.

I know it sounds stressful taking care of two babies under two years old all by myself – and it is – but I just loved spending the whole weekend with them.  I can’t imagine a better Mother’s Day. 

We are getting into a rhythm as ‘the three of us’ for now.  I will be so happy when Matt comes home though.  I don’t even want to think about how hard it will be – emotionally, that is – while he’s away.  This weekend aside, the days kind of drag without him here.  And though Karol hasn’t shown any signs of distress, she had a little trouble sleeping last night, and I just wonder if that’s because of the adjustment. 

Ah, well, on that note, I’ll leave you with this:

STP80107

May 5, 2009

Ready or Not-Here Comes the Future

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 2:32 pm
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We are 3 short days away from Matt’s trip to Turkey, and just thinking about it makes me a little queasy!  It’s not just that he’s going to be gone for 2 weeks, it’s that on top of that, Karol, Patrick, Granny (thank God) and I are all going up to Pennsylvania in the middle of that 2 weeks.  This is the one area where formula feeding really is easier – when I have to be gone.  I have to take off time from work, be in the car for 3 hours with 2 babies (twice) and while my Mom and the kids are having a blast at Hershey Park, I’ll be at Fort Indiantown Gap doing an SRP, weapons qualification, and all sorts of brush-ups on Warrior Training Tasks.  Some fun, some tedious, all stressful.  

I soon as Matt gets back, we are flying home to Indiana (yay!) for Patrick’s baptism.  He will practically step off the plan from Turkey and step right on the plane for Indiana.  That Memorial Day weekend will be too brief a visit and then we’re back in Arlington, I’m back to work, and Matt will have 3 short weeks before his internship in NYC starts.  I don’t even wanna think about what happens after that!

April 15, 2009

The Family Bed

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 11:10 pm
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So this morning Matt had to be in downtown DC by 8 am.  We normally leave around then, so I told him to have fun taking the train!  I was extra tired because we went to bed late last night – we’re still boxing stuff up for tomorrow – and so when Patrick woke me up at 4:47 am, I was not really ready to move. I got him settled back to sleep and thought, I should just stay up and get some work done…What am I saying?  I only went to bed 4 hours ago!  So I curled back up with Matt, who, by the way, totally slept through Patrick’s little episode.  

At 5:42, Patty-poo stirred again.  He’s  way into sleeping and gets so frustrated when his little hands wake him up!  He refuses to even open his eyes, just struggles to go back to sleep.  This time I again thought I should get up; after all, my alarm was going to start at 6, but instead I just brought Patrick to bed with me (he’s been doing very well in his pack ‘n’ play recently though).

As Patrick and I snuggled up, I realized that Patrick wasn’t trying to wake me up.  He remembered Daddy had to leave early today!  So I woke Matt up and said something like ‘hey you should hop in the shower now, you have to leave early.’  He didn’t quite hop out of bed just then, though.  

Lucky for him, Karol woke up just after 6 and Matt went to go check on her.  She wasn’t ready to wake up (thank God) and so he brought her to bed too!  So the whole family of 4 was cozied up in bed together.  As soon as she was out again, Matt got up the will to go get ready, but I didn’t.  I decided since I wasn’t responsible for Matt getting in on time, we were going to sleep in!  And we did.  Matt did get out on time, I think, but not before snapping this photo:

The rest of us rolled out of bed around 7:45 and got out the door around 8:30 (not too terribly late, actually).  Sure, I was a little late to work, but no one noticed/cared.  The whole office is late and usually I’m actually there 1/2 hour before we’re open for business.  I figure being a punctuality rock star 80% of the time makes up for a day here and there of taking it slow.  

But after TOMORROW we will have a whole extra hour in the morning since our commute is gone!  We Matt is moving the vast majority of our stuff tomorrow in a U-Haul and then we’ll officially be Virginians!  We have the Silver Spring apartment until the end of the month, so we have plenty of time to clean and get the little things to the new place.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!

April 2, 2009

An Update

 

Karol is trying to make Patrick as addicted to the pacifier as she is.

Karol is trying to make Patrick as addicted to the pacifier as she is.

There really isn’t much to report right now, as everything is still very much in a state of flux. We’re waiting to move, struggling through our classes, and lovin’ our babies as much as we can.  

 

Karol seems to be reaching a ‘mommy-itis’ stage (missing mommy/separation anxiety, or, inflammation of the mommy…it works either way).  It breaks my heart if she gets upset when I leave but it’s a real boost to my maternal ego when she reaches her little hands up, wanting to be held.  How can you say no to that?

Patrick is just as content as ever.  He’s really strong, sometimes to his disadvantage!  When I rock him, he’s so tall that if he starts kicking his chubby little legs, he ends up basically standing on my lap.  I have to stand up in order to bounce him.  I’ve started reading Raising Boys and I’ll probably finish it in no time.  I have a pretty good grasp on what little girls are like (I have first hand experience, in fact), but I wanted some insight on what it means to be a little boy.  So far it’s a pretty fascinating read.

Matt is gearing up for his school trip to Turkey (yikes!) which is over the same time frame I’m supposed to have my ATX (double yikes!).  Next week is the last week of my current class, and Matt have FOUR exams on Monday!  Wish him luck 😉

March 23, 2009

Sunday Night Mass

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 3:25 pm
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Today is my first day back to work – yay!  I dropped Matt off at school, dropped Karol and Patrick off at Lori’s and got into work a little bit early today to catch up on old emails and find out all the goings on since I left.  However, I thought I’d recount the much more interesting events of last night, when Matt, Karol, Patrick and I all attended the 7p.m. Mass at St. Michael’s.

We actually got there on time, and I was glad to see Fr. Daniel there (he’s pretty much our favorite), but as it turned out he wasn’t doing the homily that night; the deacon was.  So here’s a little itinerary of last night that is pretty standard for our weekly worship:

7:00- Arrive at Church; find a pew that’s completely empty so we can take up almost all of it with our babies and baby gear; set Patrick (who’s hopefully sleeping) on the pew in his car seat; kneel to pray for about 2 seconds, at which point one of us has to stop Karol from doing something; Karol makes friends with the lady sitting behind us, who she will intermittently try to talk to throughout the Mass; we stand, me holding Karol, to sing the opening hymn, Karol entertains herself with the paper program.

7:05- Karol is making too much noise with the paper program; I distract Karol and manage to hide the programs on the other side of me; I continue to use a variety of distraction methods to entertain Karol through the first two readings and responsorial, none of which I can hear or pay attention to.

7:15- Karol sees Patrick’s pacifier and takes it; replaces her own pacifier in his mouth, and his in hers; she realizes they are exactly the same, so she puts his back in his mouth; Patrick basically sleeps through most of this.

7:20- Gospel reading-time to stand; I need a break so Matt holds Karol, who is showing serious signs of tiredness; she squirms, squirms, and squirms some more; the homily-sit down again; Karol wants a drink (she signs), specifically water (a more recently acquired sign); I take Karol out the back of the Church and take her on a tour of the basement of the Church to hopefully appease her appetite for adventure and go back upstairs to the water fountain.  We spend at least 4 minutes going through this cycle- drink water, stick finger in water stream, water disappears (I stop pushing the button), I say ‘the water is for drinking, are you all done or do you want more?’; Karol signs more; repeat cycle 5 or 6 times.

7:30- I guess that the Liturgy of the Eucharist has started; at a point where everyone is standing (the Our Father, maybe?), Karol and I return to our pew and Matt takes Karol; Karol wants water again, I tell her Daddy will take her to go get more water the next time everyone stands up; Matt tries to convince Karol she wants to sleep; Karol doesn’t buy it and struggles.

7:45- Patrick is starting to stir, but stays asleep; Karol and Matt leave for more water; there is relative calm in the pew again.

7:50- Matt and Karol return just as the usher releases our pew for Communion; I carry Patrick and Matt carries Karol, both of whom behave very well for the walk down the aisle; Fr. Daniel blesses (or exorcises…?) our babies and administers Eucharist to Matt and I; we return to our seats.

7:55- Karol has reached her limit, is fighting Matt, and it looks like she’s winning; I quickly pack Patrick up in his car seat and whisper to Matt ‘I’m ready whenever you are.’ Karol turns up the volume as we sit through the announcements.

8:00- The closing hymn begins, Matt gives me the look and we struggle out of the pew with our babies and their stuff, making it to the back just before everyone else starts clogging the aisles.

As you can see, Mass is not a smooth process just yet.  We are working on a Church Kit we can bring to keep Karol occupied, but I hate to have one of those kids that crawls all over the pew with crayons and toys and food, so we’re looking for Church/God related stuff for her to do.  I may stop by the National Shrine’s book shop for some cheap Catholic kids stuff.  

Tell me, when does it get easier???

February 24, 2009

“Riding In Cars With Babies” or “This Ain’t No Walk In The Park”

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 6:11 pm
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Ah, the peaceful calm of a car ride in non-rush hour. There’s nothing more soothing to a mother of two under two. Somehow the gentle hum of tires rolling over road is like a hypnotic magic spell putting children into a deep, deep sleep. Now I wish we’d gone to the Costco in Columbia…(it’s 35 blissful minutes away).

So filling up the gas tank and picking up Patrick’s thrush medicine (yes he’s we’ve got it again) isn’t the Mary Poppins definition of an Outing, but it meets the number one criterion–getting the heck out of the house.  Not only did I get the kids into the fresh air, but when we got home I fed Karol a relatively healthy lunch, read the kids a book, gave them their medicine (Karol steals Patrick’s pacifier when she’s desperate–I’d rather be safe than sorry), and got both of them out for a nap!  And I managed to catch some videos in the process.

How do you keep a toddler’s shirt clean during lunch???

FYI, Karol is a sign language pro.

Patrick’s sleeping it off.

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