Last night Logan had croup. I spent the night alternating between the front porch, snuggling him in a blanket while we made “fog” with our breath; the steamy bathroom, reading books on the toilet; and watching Super Why on the couch while giving him Albuterol “puffs”. And it felt like par for the course.
The past month has been some of the most stressful of my life. Who knew paying someone to do light remodel on a house would be so crazy?
It has been over a week since I wrote those two paragraphs, and not much has changed. After 10 days of little response with our home “for sale by owner”, we listed it on the MLS with an inexpensive flat-fee internet company, and also paid them for a lockbox. Here’s hoping someone sees it this weekend and likes it. Someday I’ll fully describe real estate adventures, but for now, let’s just say it’s been an education.
Gavin developed a cold, then a nasty cough, then an ear infection. Ben developed a cold, then a nasty cough, then an ear infection. Ben managed to wait until exactly six p.m. (the pediatrician’s office closing time) to start complaining of ear pain, and he has such a high tolerance for pain I took him straight to urgent care, where the DO on call pronounced his ear one of the “pussiest” he had ever seen. I’m glad we didn’t wait until morning.
In conclusion, we have a lot of sick boys around here, and we are all getting cabin fever.
Before this last bout of illness, though, we managed to escape to Great Wolf Lodge for a night. This was over our “second winter break” at the end of February. I had spent the first three days of break basically leaving the kids to fend for themselves while I ran down to Maple Valley and around town, working on the house. Finally, I asked Christopher if we could take them down to GWL, because they were getting bored of being at home and I wanted to reward Megan for all her babysitting. We went down on a Thursday afternoon, ate lunch at Dickie’s in Puyallup, and got to GWL around three. We spent a few hours in the water park before our normal energy kids (Logan and Gavin) were done. I bathed the boys and got them in pj’s. Gavin crawled into his log cabin bunk to read, and Christopher put Logan to bed. Megan and Ben, our high-energy kids, ran around the lodge with that magic wand, while I sat in the main hall by the fire and relaxed.
The next morning we ate oatmeal in our room, packed up, and hit the water park. After a few more hours we were done. Our kids were in constant motion, and Christopher and I tired quickly of making sure Ben and Logan, both completely fearless, didn’t drown. Megan and Gavin were allowed to go off together and had a blast. Around lunchtime we showered and changed into clothes. We let the three big kids play MagiQuest for another half hour or so before eating at Burger Claim on our way home.
In other trip news, Christopher and I were able to sneak away for a night. We attended a Portland Trailblazers game with our friends the Allens. We ate dinner in Chinatown and got dessert from Voodoo Doughnuts before the game, and enjoyed a child-free night of rest at a nearby Marriott before driving back to Seattle the next day.
We’ve enjoyed a pretty great winter here, and when we’re healthy, have taken advantage of every sunny day. We even discovered a nearby dog park. It’s kind of like having friends with boats. All the fun and none of the work!
Megan- Helpful, responsible, and a lot of fun. Some mornings, she gets herself up and out the door before we’re even awake. Had another orchestra concert on 3/11, and New Beginnings at the end of February. I can’t believe she’s turning 12 this year.
Gavin- Babysitter #2 and reading like crazy. A big part of my job these days is keeping both kids in books.
Ben- I read NurtureShock and decided Ben is a “bistrategic controller”. It means he uses both prosocial and antisocial behavior to get what he wants. While manipulative and sometimes agressive, bistrategic controllers are generally successful and well-liked. Another big part of my job is keeping Ben stimulated and out of trouble (failing most days) and directing his energy and intelligence into productive endeavors.
Logan- This kid has changed the most in the past month. He is climbing out of his crib AFTER I turned it around so the tall side is in the front. He’ll be in a bed very soon. He refuses to sit in a booster chair, and doesn’t like to wear a bib. And, despite the fact that I do not have time to potty train this kid, he seems intent on doing it himself, even removing his own diapers and using the potty himself. He also is trying to teach himself how to read, phonetically spelling most words he sees, and we suspect it will be Logan reading that will spur Ben’s interest, who patently refuses because “I want you to read to me forever, Mommy. Until I’m a grown-up.”
Very little has changed in my life. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted and wondering how in the world people function with four kids, but then I realize I’m also selling two homes and my husband isn’t home that much and BEN. And in the last month, Christopher went and got himself another job, for a Boston-based app-testing start-up. He’s excited, so I’m excited for him. Their small Seattle branch is in the same high-rise Christopher works in now, so it won’t be much of a change. The pay’s a little more, Massachusetts healthcare is excellent (thanks Romney!), and we are hoping the equity will be worth something someday.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, pictures and video: