Mall Babies

Phoenix is the one in the foreground in this picture, but Fawkes is in the background.

First of all, I would like to give a shout out to someone who seems to be a fan of the site. I got a text message from a friend who has been going through some tough times, and I was told that on more than one occasion, this person clicked a link to this site from Facebook, read it and kept clicking on other stories at the end of that one. They said, “your blogs, I think more so your writing itself, not necessarily the content, are very peaceful for lack of a better word…. Maybe it’s the distraction of getting lost in the stories but this is the second time I’ve done that and both times it left me feeling more at ease… so thank you!”

Ya know, I started doing this because I thought it would be nice to have a record of the little things in the goings-on in my family that my kids, and maybe even their kids, could look back on one day. I wish I had a record of the things, big and small, that my parents and grandparents did so I could see what life was ike for them and how they viewed their lives. Some people might think there’s a bit of narccisism in it, and there may be a bit, but I mainly do this for the memories. There are a number of times Milly has sat on my lap and we’ve clicked through some of these stories. A lot of them were just little things with her growing up, and it’s always fun to read those with her.

Anyway, it always surprises me how many people actually do read things on this site, and if someone can get something out of reading through it, I’m glad to be able lto provide that.

On with the day.

It was a bit of a rough one today, mainly because Fawkes, despite showing signs of being tired, refused to fall asleep for the most part. It started with their first nap. I put them down and Fawkes started fussing pretty quick. I was just about to pour the milk in my cereal when I decided  I should check on the fusspot first. I went to try to settle Fawkes down and saw that Phoenix wasn’t totally out, but he barely raised his head when I walked in. I noticed he had pooped, so I changed his diaper and put him in the pack & play in my and Tristen’s room then finally ate my cereal.

He was still crying a bunch, so I brought him out to try to cuddle with him a bit then took him back into the bedroom to try to lay down with him on the bed, figuring I could put him in the pack & play once he was asleep, or at least near it. The boys, however, like to, as Tristen and her mom call it, moil about on the bed. It’s fun for them, and the boys have both always seemed to really like the windows in our bedroom, probably because of how the light coms through them. Anyway, Fawkes was all hopped up on being in the bed, so I thought of a potentnial compromise to keep him happy. I put the pack & play on the bed so he woul dbe able to look at whatever he wanted to look at, while at the same time being constrained from falling off the bed.

That worked for a little bit, but by 9:50, both Fawkes and Phoenix were awake and crying. They’re usually up from their first nap between 10:15 and 10:30. They also usually have their bottle at or around 11:00, but there was a lot of crying going on and a lot of frustration on my end, so they ate early.

I had to do some running around, too. Namely, our insurance check had come in, but it was too big to deposit through the moble app on my phone, so I had to go to the bank. Fortunately, the boys like being out and about, so I loaded them up and wend to the bank. They were very good while we waited in line. There was a two-year-old girl behind us with her grandmother and she was very intrigued by the boys. She kept saying things like “baby” and “cute” and “precious.”

I had thought several times of taking the boys to this little play area at Independence Mall. It’s called in on all but one side and had soft, padded flooring and some small plastic things kids can climb on or around. Since we were right across the street, I decided to take them to that. There was another pair of twins there, a two-year-old boy and girl set of fraternals. Fawkes and Phoenix were a little intrigued with them and they enjoyed crawling around and climbing up on things. They got to go down a slide (I think that might be their first time doing that) and playing with mirrors, but after a bit all they wanted to do was play with the wheels of their stroller or to play with the mall-issued stroller the other kids had come in. The mom was very nice to the boys and kept reminding her kids to be careful around the babies.

I decided it was time to eat a little after 12 so I loaded them up and headed to the food court. On the way there I heard someone call out, “Get to work, Dotsey!” I turned around and saw Mike Nowak, who was off work for the week and had come to the mall to walk around a bit, basically  just like we had. I invited him to lunch, but he had some tasty leftovers, prime rib, I think he said, at home he was looking forward to. Still, we walked around a bit and chatted before going our separate ways. Pretty random running into someone I know at the mall, which I hadn’t been to in probably a couple of yeasrs (besides the time we went to get FEMA assistance, which was set up at the former Sears), in the middle of the day. Fawkes and Phoenix really seem to enjoy being out and just seeing things, and today was no different. They did a lot of looking around and never got bored or upset while we were out.

I got a chicken and ranch sandwich from Charley’s Philly Steaks for lunch. The boys mostly had Cheerios, but I also gave them a bit of chilcken, bits of fries, and some lettuce, which they liked more than I thought they would.

It was about 1:00 when we got back in the car, and of course both of the boys fell asleep on the way home. I took them in their carriers to the living room then moved them to their cribs. Both woke up when I took them out of their seats. Phoenix fell right back asleep, Fawkes, not so much.

I went through all the same routine: pack & play, tried to settle him down, let him cry it out a bit, and eventually gave up and let him hang out with me. He was fine for a few minutes, but he kept crying. And then he was messing with my track pad. I kept telling him no. Between trying to keep them from messing with my work equipment and trying to keep them from messing with the Christmas tree, I figured it’s time to start telling them no, and we’re getting ample opportunity to practice it. Anyway, I kept getting harsher in telling him no, and he would look at me and his face would melt a little. I could see him being unsure of what I was telling him, being kind of confused by it and realizing it was a negative feeling. It made me a little sad, but I’m also really tired of them constantly messing with my work stuff.

On a side note, if I haven’t mentioned it before, my computer is set up on a trunk in the living room next to the recliner. The office area is still in what could be considered a bit fo a construction zone, although there’s no renovation going on currently and there won’t be until after the New Year. I’ve thought about moving my desk to the living room because while working out of a recliner might seem nice, it’s really not. Plus like I said, I’m getting really tired of the boys reaching over and messing with the keyboard or track pad.

Anyway, Fawkes started getting really fussy again, so I put him back in the pack & play, figuring if he was going to cry regardless, he might as well not do it right in front of me. He did eventually fall asleep this time, but it was at about 2:35. They usually have a bottle at 3, so I was expecting Phoenix to wake up before long. Instead of getting him up at his normal time though, I let him sleep. Somehow they both woke up at the same time, about 3:45 or :50. I gave them their bottles and they were pretty good for the rest of the evening.

I was talking to Tristen when they woke up. Her key fob wasn’t unlocking or starting her car, so she got a ride home from Colette. We’re going to have to go get new batteries tomorrow then pick up her car.

Tristen told me later that she and Jenna had been chatting about getting together and Jenna had invited her to get a mani-pedi. Tristen turned it down, telling her that I was absically daycare and that it was time for her to pick the kids up from daycare. I told her that on most days, I wouldn’t mind if she went out to do something like that, but if she had asked, I’d have told her that I needed the relief today.

The boys were just finishing their bottles when their mom got home. I had given them both a smell check when I got them up before giving them their bottles and there had been no sign of poop then, but when Tristen was changing their diapers she discovered that Phoenix had had a blowout. It had gone up the back of his diaper and had messed his onesie. I carried him to the bathtub so she could rinse him off, but then Tristen decided to just go ahead and give them both their baths right then.

Until recently our shower/bath prcedure was that one of us would take a shower and the non-showering parent would hand the kid off to the showering parent then collect the clean kid and swap out the next one. Recently the boys have become too big and squirmy and too intrigued by things like the shower curtain and shampoo bottles. Combine that with holding a soapy baby, and cleaning time had become dangerous and complicated.

My mom had bought us a mat back when she stayed here for a while shortly after they were born, but it got pretty gross and difficult to clean. We tried giving both boys a bath at the same time a few days ago and the ywere slipping all over the place, partially because they’re obsessed with the faucet and the drain (anything shiny). Tristen bought some duck-shaped pads to put in the tub and they do a pretty good job. Last night was the first time they had a bath with them in, and while they still spend to much time going for shiny objects, they’re not slipping around so much.

Tristen took care of the boys from bathing (I did help get them out of the tub) to eating. We gave them their bottles and they were in bed around 6:45 I think.

I tried to spend most of the evening working. There’s this one very large project that has been dragging out way longer than it ever should have that I was hoping to get finished up this week, but that’s not looking too likely. She convinced me to eat the last slice of a black olive pizza for dinner. I’m not a fan of black olives, but you really couldn’t taste them that much. I guess I’m just not a fan of the feel or texture of them and their slight aftertaste. I took one bite and discovered that I was hungry though, so I ate the whole slice.

I did end up snuggling up with Tristen on the couch for a bit. She had put The Wizard of Oz on just to have something on, and I realized I had a number of questions towards the end of the movie that I’d never really had before. Among them:

  • Where did the Scarecrow get a gun from, and why didn’t he shoot any of the flying monkeys with it?
  • Why did the Tin Man get a giant wrench when he already had an axe?
  • Why didn’t Dorothy get a weapon? Even the Lion had a net.
  • After Dorothy accidentally throws water on the Wicked Witch, the tells the guard that she didn’t mean to kill her. Girl, when you guys set out from the Wizard’s room y’all were talking about how you’d have to kill her to get her broom! You may not have meant to kill her, but don’t act all innocent, like that’s not what you set out to do in the first place!
  • Dorothy clutches Toto really tight through a lot of the movie, so how did she let him jump away from her when the hot air balloon was taking off?
  • Why did they continue to loose the ropes holding the balloon down even after Dorothy got out of it. The Tin Man in particular was still untying it and could easily have tethered it back down.
  • The Wizard really is full of it, isn’t he? He talked about doing great things with a hot air balloon when he left Kansas, but then he said he didn’t know how to make it land as he was floating away.
  • Why did the group have their emotional goodbyes after Dorothy missed the hot air balloon? Wouldn’t you think they’d have already gone through all of that?
  • At the end, isn’t it a little creepy that Professor Marvel happens by and sticks his head in Dorothy’s bedroom window unannounced? The dude’s a stranger to the family, and while he may have been concerned, shouldn’t he have knocked on the front door instead of just walking up to a girl’s window?