Monday, March 22, 2010

Deja vu

I am tempted to repost what I wrote a week ago. Talk about deja vu. I went to bed just before midnight. Alyssa, my dear sweet Alyssa, came to bed with us at 12:30 am. Here we go again. She is wide awake and wanting water. Not a sip, mind you, but a gallon or so. She drank almost my entire glass. More. I got her own sippy cup full. More. Filled it again. More. I’m pretty sure she drank her weight in water. One-thirty rolls around and Zachary, who normally sleep until 7:30 am, wants to eat. I came back to find Alyssa wide awake and still playing. Finally, enough is enough at 2:44 am. She goes back to sleep in her own bed! Exactly five minutes later, Jake comes to our room. Why not? It’s a party in the Leaf household in the middle of the night. Zac eats again at 4:30 am and has soaked through his clothes. He eats and soaks through again at 7:30 am. (You’re starting to question my diapering abilities, aren’t you?)

These are not every day occurrences. I’m starting to think that it’s a Sunday night/Monday morning thing. Or maybe they just want to make sure I have something to write about. Well, they better come up with some new ways to drive me crazy because I really don’t want to say the same things next Monday. I’m sure they’ll think of something.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Saga Continues...

So I checked the clock earlier and figured it was another time. It’s Alyssa’s second birthday, to be exact. Hard to believe that two years ago today at 4:46 in the morning a precious little baby girl took her first breath and immediately began tying an unsuspecting father around her itty bitty finger.

THUD! That’s the sound my chest made when Erika woke me to tell me that she needed a towel. Having been beckoned from a dead sleep, I again leapt from the bed. I got the requested towel from the linen closet and chucked it at her. She immediately chucked it back at me and said, “NO, a rag towel, my water broke!” How am I supposed to know that? You woke me up at 3:16 am and asked for a “towel”, so I got a towel. Now that she had her towel I decided to climb back in bed and see if I could get a little more sleep in before I had to set up the pool. (Oh, did I mention we had Alyssa at home, in the living room, in an inflatable pool.) “What are doing?” I was asked. “Going back to sleep.” “Aren’t you going to set up the pool?” “There’s plenty of time.” “Go set up the pool.” At this point there was no arguing. I set out for converting our living room into a homemade birthing room. This consists of a sheet of 3/4" plywood, plastic, inflatable pool, more plastic as a liner, water, and whole bunch of towels, rags, and other miscellaneous little things. While I’m frantically trying to do this, the laboring one is attempting to clean the bathroom. Yes, I said clean the bathroom, and this is only after she had already made the waterbed. She’s in active labor, contractions and everything, and she trying to clean house. Halfway through the bathroom, while already making plans to dust the living/birthing room she finally realizes that she’s progressing a little bit faster than she did with Jake. Mind you she had not had any contractions prior to her water breaking. She decided to sit down in the living, I mean birthing, room and try to stay calm. This baby is obviously coming in less time than it’s predecessor; who, by the way, actually sleeps through the entire birth.

There are so many details that I could throw in here to show just how much more work goes into a home birth, but then I think you might not care to read it all. Just remember that not only do I have to stay with Erika as she is trying to give birth to a baby, I need to set up everything for the birth. It is a very busy time. Shortly after the wake up, phone calls were made and at this point the midwife and both of Erika’s parents were at the house. Eileen, the midwife, tells Erika to get in the 2/3 full tub and prepare to have a baby. “But it’s only been a little over an hour.” “This baby is coming soon!” She wasn’t kidding, the hose was removed from the tub and full out baby birthing went into gear. Ninety minutes after her water broke Erika bestowed upon the water a 6 pound 4 ounce 18 ½ inch whopper that we named Alyssa Mae Leaf.

Then to end the early morning activities, seconds after Alyssa was born Jake emerged from his room and asked a simple question, “Mommy, what ya doin’?” And again our lives were changed forever once more.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

"As is the mother, so is the daughter."

Today, the five of us celebrated Alyssa’s second birthday. Jacob helped wrap presents, Alyssa helped bake the cake, and they both helped lick the bowl clean. Birthdays are definitely exciting! Watching kids open presents is the best part though. Seeing their eyes sparkle as excitement bubbles over with anticipation ensures the fact that “it is better to give than to receive.”

Alyssa, like any other child, was very eager to open her gifts. Unlike most children though, she was very particular about it. She would pull a piece of paper off the package and run to the garbage to throw it away just to get another piece and do it all again. While I appreciate that she wanted to keep things neat, it would have taken forever! So, we explained to her that she didn’t need to worry about the garbage. Alyssa, being so much like her mother, resorted to placing every single piece of paper in a pile. God forbid she make a mess!

It is humorous to me to see what traits of mine she has picked up. It reminds me of Ezekiel 16:44, “Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.” So true. I’ve mentioned how the women in my family are very alike. So many things my mom did when I was growing up I thought were pointless or a little extreme. I now do those same things, such as cleaning the entire house before leaving on vacation, loading the dishwasher a certain way (and rearranging it after someone else fills it), and placing everything in the pantry in their respective places. I also have a lot of the same pet peeves like cupboards being left open, clothes hanging out of drawers, and things being a mess.

My little girl is already following tradition. She refuses to eat if there is even one crumb on the table. “Daddy, mess.” He usually replies, “Yes, Alyssa. It’s ok, eat your dinner.” She knows I understand though. “Mommy, mess. Nap-nap” Like so many things, Mommy rushes to the rescue and gives her a napkin. You can’t blame her . . . “As is the mother, so is her daughter.”

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Warm weather brings family walks.

The weather  in Michigan has gone warm. Today we peaked into the 70's, but wait Monday is suspected to bring us back to the 30's. I've even heard rumors of snow. Snow or not I'm sure Tuesday will warm us right back up to spring. It is this time of year that the rakes and yard waste bags get pulled out and the outside work begins with high hopes of summer projects and many days enjoying the great outdoors. Along with the warm weather work comes our family walks and bike rides. Last year we would pack Jake and Alyssa into the bike trailer and go for a ride. That is until Jake wanted to start riding his bike. We tried to ride with him one time.

Have you ever watched an experienced bicyclist stand still with there feet still on the pedals without rolling? It looks really cool and makes you want to try it. If you've ever tried it you find yourself repeatedly using lightning fast reflexes to keep from cracking anything important on the concrete. Well, I began to wish I was fully capable of this feat that marvelous day, although I did get much better at it that day my feet touched the ground a lot. Jake had really just begun to ride a bicycle last year so it was no surprise that he moved slowly and sporadically down the sidewalk. Needless to say we took up walking with Alyssa in the stroller and Jake remaining on his bike.

The walks were nice and leisurely through the neighborhood allowing us time to look around at our surroundings.  Today we went for a walk and nearly had to run to keep up with the speed demon on the pedals ahead of us. There was no opportunity to observe the landscaping to get ideas for our own, no observing who had started yard work or not, not even a chance to really see how many people were out. We had to focus on where Jake was. One minute he's flying down the sidewalk with the ease of a veteran with his parents practically running with the stroller to keep up. Then, out of nowhere, he's braking hard and Alyssa's almost able to tap him on the back since mommy can't stop the momentum of the stroller fast enough. Every once in a while in his hurry he would get the bicycle up on the front wheel and one of the trainers. This would either slow him down for a second or bring him to the ground giving us a slight reprieve from the running.

Despite the stop and go and Jakes frequent water breaks, riding a bike is hard work you know, the walk/run was nice. It is time for the  family to spend together outside in the sun and fresh air. And as soon as Zachary is big enough to ride in the trailer I'm sure we'll be back on our bikes pushing Jake to keep up with us.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March

I should have seen it coming. I should have known. Shakespeare warned me. "Beware the Ides of March."

My day started a little after 2:00 am when Alyssa insisted on coming to bed with us. Surprisingly, she went back to sleep after a few minutes instead of playing like usual. Just after 4:00 am, Leighton's alarm went off. Instantly, Alyssa wakes up and says, "Mommy, loud." The alarm continues to go off. "Mommy, loud." Leighton, on the other hand, is sleeping through it all. I hit him. He hits snooze. Seven minutes later the scene repeats itself. And again. And again. It's a little ironic that the only person who is supposed to be awake at this point is the only one still sleeping.

For the next 2 1/2 hours, Alyssa is wide awake. Playing, laughing, singing. She gets up to go potty. Five times. Maybe six. I lost count. She wants to eat. She wants to go back to her bed. She wants to come back to ours. She wants to watch TV. She wants to do everything but sleep. She did cuddle with me for a little bit before she told me, "Mommy, room. Move." How is it that one tiny child can completely fill a king size bed?

Eventually, I took her back to her own bed, turned on her music, and listened to her cry for maybe 20 seconds. Silence. Ah, wonderful sleep. An hour later Jake's up. Apparently, sleep is overrated.

Even after Will's warning, even after the morning's escapades, I did not foresee the coming day. Things like Zac wetting through his clothes, Zac pooping through his clothes and all his bedding, Zac spitting up on everything and everybody, Alyssa refusing to obey all day, Jake antagonizing his sister all day, amongst many others were not on my agenda. Next time, I'll be prepared. March 15, 2011, I'll be ready for you.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Here goes nothing!

Leighton has been talking about starting a blog for quite a while now. Me? Not so much. I really do not like other people reading what I write. I worry too much about how it’s written. I write and rewrite. Is the punctuation correct? Did I give too many details? Is what I have to say interesting enough for someone else to read? What can I say; I’m a perfectionist. I come by it naturally. My mother is a perfectionist. My grandmother is a perfectionist. Even my little girl is a budding perfectionist. Having three kids has taught me though that I can’t always be a “perfectionist”. Toys on the floor, clothes in a basket, dishes in the sink. Now mind you, the house is usually clean, but there are those days. I am learning to accept it, but I’m much happier when things are in order.

That being said, I will try to write about what I do and love most, if you, the reader, will try to overlook my quirks. Deal?
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