Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Day in the Life: 2.5 years

The last "day in the life" post was back in March!  Megatron was still so much a baby!  Now he's 2.5 and he's all toddler for sure!  That means it was even harder to take pictures because the kid is wild and I feel like all I do is chase him and clean up after him.  But I gave it a try a couple weeks ago(it's taken me that long to come back and type up everything!)  because I do want to record what our days are like because he won't always be this small.  Or this wild. 

I got up at 6:30 and came downstairs to feed the cat.  If I don't feed her first, she starts pawing on not just my bedroom door but if she's really angry, she starts pawing on Megatron's door and meowing in the hallway.  I came back upstairs and got dressed, skipping a shower because I had plans to run later.

I gathered up the laundry, hauled it to the basement and got the first load started.  I went back upstairs and cleaned the toilet in our master bathroom.  I straightened things up a little in our bedroom and watered the plants.  I headed back to the basement to gather up some things I had boxed up to donate.  I also straightened up the basement.  Out of sight, out of mind rings true and every couple months our basement ends up looking like a disaster.  I also gathered up a big bag of dead batteries that needed to be recycled.

I could hear Megatron starting to stir over the baby monitor so my mad dash to get things done before he woke up was coming to an end.  I got his meds ready (He's currently taking 2 liquid meds daily and one capsule.  Then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he takes an additional liquid med.).  I mixed up some formula and made a mental note to schedule his first dentist appointment for after the first of the year.  He's still drinking the hypo-allergenic formula and between being so sick when his teeth were starting to come in, taking tons of harsh meds and now the formula, I worry about his teeth.
I remembered that I ran the dishwasher before I went to bed the night before so I opened the door and pulled the drawers out to shake off some of the water.  I just left the door open so I wouldn't forget to unload it (I HATE when I do that).
I could hear him starting to talk to himself so I grabbed an egg from the fridge along with some red bell pepper and mushrooms and a pan so when I came back down I would have everything for my breakfast ready to go.
I got him up around 8:30 (which is a little later than usual for him, but it was nice to get so much done before he got up!).  When I opened his door, he immediately said "mama, hi."  I love it!  He's been in speech therapy for several months now and combining words into short sentences was where he was lagging but a couple weeks ago he seemed to figure it out and now I am hearing daily improvements.

I got him dressed and we slooooowly made our way downstairs.  Like most toddlers, he's very easily distracted.  He's also still mastering the stairs.  While it would be so much easier and faster to pick him up, I hold his hand while he carefully takes one step at a time.  We found out recently that he does know how to do it on his own if the handrail is low enough.  He proved it at a playground and then again at a physical therapy evaluation.  He still has some weakness in his torso/hips so he needs something low enough for him to reach so he can help himself push and pull to navigate the stairs.

Once downstairs, I threw a allergy friendly waffle in the toaster and worked on making myself a scrambled egg with veggies.  He requested "faafer" on his waffle which in his world means syrup.  I have no idea why or how but that's how it comes out.  Megatron is a very slow eater usually.  He takes his time so I'm usually chomping at the bit to get other things done.  Today he started saying "mow siyen nigh" which is obviously "more silent night."  He loves that song!  It's probably because it's one of the few lullaby-like songs I can sing off the top of my head without any music to prompt me.  I've been singing it to him since he was an infant.  Well now that it's Christmastime, he's hearing much MUCH better versions of it and has taken a liking to Kelly Clarkson's version that I found on YouTube.  So while he rocked out to Silent Night and ate his waffle, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  I stopped briefly when his immunosuppressant alarm on my phone went off. I gave him the capsule (which he still chews, and thus why I worry about his teeth).

Once he was finished, I wiped him off and set him down to play while I ran upstairs and brushed my teeth.  Once I came back down, I grabbed his diaper bag and my wallet and loaded the car with the bag and the boxes of things to donate.  I had to chase him down to get his shoes on but soon we were out the door.

I dropped off the boxes at the donation place and then we headed for the library.  Megatron recognizes the parking lot and immediately starts saying his version of "library" immediately followed up with "puppy, naanee door," which is "button, magic door."  Another one of those weird toddler things.  Button always comes out sounding like puppy.  Anyways, he loves pushing the handicap button to open doors and he's starting to remember which places have buttons.  So he knew just by the parking lot that he was going to get to push the "puppy."  We had a couple minutes to spare before toddler story time started so I grabbed a couple books for him and the he helped me "pay" for them (that's what he calls it at least).  

See the blue tape on the floor?  Kids aren't supposed to cross that line so there are always parents fetching little ones who are standing right under the librarian's toes.
He did great at story time but he did NOT want to get back into the car. And getting a toddler into a car seat who doesn't want to be in a car seat is like a round of  WWE.  We press onward.  We stop at Batteries Plus to see if they can replace the battery in my car key fob.  I didn't realize how dependent I was on that thing to lock and unlock my car until it quit working.  And after only making a couple stops and circling the car about 12 times to get the kid in and out, I was annoyed that Batteries Plus was a priority.  While they worked on my key, I sorted the dead batteries into their recycle bins.  All while trying to keep Megatron from eating any batteries or knocking over any displays.  We had to wait what felt like an eternity in toddler minutes so he was restless.  And then he started to swing at me to show his frustration.  While I fully understand his hitting is usually because he's frustrated and doesn't have the self control or vocabulary to manage his frustration, we have a zero tolerance policy for hitting.  It didn't matter that we were in the middle of Batteries Plus but home boy got a time out.  He had to sit down against their front windows for 2 minutes while he pulled it together and told me he was sorry.

Once that fun was over and my key was working (thank you, jayzus for technology!), it was back in the car.  I had one last Christmas gift to buy and the only place I could get what I needed was the mall.  Boy do I hate the mall.  But it couldn't be avoided so I planned it for a weekday morning with hopes that it would be a very quick trip.  We ended up entering the mall right were Santa was and there wasn't a line so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone.  We walked up and a lady showed me a laminated card and asked me which package we'd like to purchase.  $24.99 for the cheapest package which only included 2 prints?  Hell no. I asked if Megatron could just say hello and she said "of course, it's always free to just talk to Santa.  But no personal cameras or cell phones."  Well Merry Christmas.  So Megatron walked up, gave Santa a high five and started screeching about the "yayayo," which he caught sight of behind Santa.  Santa was obviously confused so I translated, "He wants to ride that escalator behind you.  In fact, that's probably all he would like for Christmas is to ride the elevators and escalators all day."  "Ho, Ho, Ho."  And we went on our merry way.  The mall was dead so I left the stroller at the bottom of the escalator and I made my kid's day by riding up and then right back down the escalator.  Oh to be so easily entertained.  We busted through the mall, picked up the gift and got the heck out of there. 
Eehrmagawd, mama!!!
On our way home I realized I still needed to pick up all of his meds from the pharmacy and that I really didn't want to have to go back out after his nap.  So it was off to CVS, our second home.  I'm usually there twice a month still.  They know us well, except for the newest pharmacist, who even though he's been there for several months, still doesn't know us and always forgets to put the stoppers in the med bottles.  Without them, I can't accurately dose his meds.  I go bat sh$# crazy if I make it all the way home before I realize they aren't in the bag.  After double checking everything before we left the counter, it was BACK in the car and we headed for home.

It was fairly late so I was in a rush to get lunch on the table.  And in the time it took me to reheat some leftovers for both of us, Megatron received not one but TWO time outs.  The second came as I tried to put him in his booster seat and he hit me for no apparent reason.   Sigh.
Time out with his bib on. And no, he doesn't always just sit still.  I'm often putting him back where I sat him and biting my tongue so I can keep with my Super Nanny time out method.
We ate lunch without incident and once we were done, he ran off to play while I cleaned up the kitchen and sorted through his meds and put them away.  I gave Megatron a warning that we would be going upstairs in a few minutes so he knew that nap time is imminent.  Yeah.  The warning didn't work because a few minutes later, he was very uncooperative when it came to heading upstairs (usually he goes right up).  He hit me yet again and that was enough for me.  I was over him completely.  I wrestled him in his SleepSack (a wearable blanket for those don't know) and put him in his crib without reading a story, which sent him over the edge.  He carried on screaming and crying for probably 10 minutes (Which for him, is a long time.  His hissy fits are usually very short lived) before he fell asleep.

I took a breather and checked my e-mail and Facebook before getting back to my to-do list.  First I noticed something in the living room.  The LittlePeople school bus was in the ball pit and it reminded me of The Magic School Bus and my imagination took my back to 3rd grade and I wanted to see if Ms. Frizzle was driving.  Who's with me??

I snapped out of it and went to the basement to deal with the laundry again.  I also cleaned the litter boxes while I was down there.  I headed back upstairs to clean up a LittlePeople doll house that my brother's kids handed down to us.  We were planning to give it to Megatron for Christmas (taking full advantage of the fact that he has no idea what new or used means).  We decided it was going on close to 10 years old so it was due for a whole house scrub.  Armed with hospital grade antibacterial wipes and q-tips, I went to it.  I did stop at one point and realize how odd my life has turned out.  I was scrubbing a LittlePeople toilet with a q-tip.

Those LittlePeople live like animals!

Once the house was spotless, I moved on to wrapping Christmas gifts.  The cat decided to join me.  Sometimes she also takes advantage of the kid-free time and will follow me around, stealing head scratches along the way.  I took a quick break and ran to the basement to deal with laundry and cursed the dryer because for some reason it was taking forever to dry.
Enjoying the quiet before the next round of toddler tornadoes.
Megatron woke up and after a diaper change, we went downstairs.  Sometimes he perks right up after a nap and is back to running at full speed.  Sometimes he's not and today was a day like that.  So I took advantage of him not trying to hit me and cuddled with him on the couch while he had a snack. I even turned on a show, which probably only happens a couple times a week.  Or when I've been alone for 5 days straight, at my wits end and need a break and the TV buys me 10 minutes of quiet.  Yup, 10 minutes is about all the TV is worth.  Megatron just doesn't seem all that enthralled with TV.  Now watching videos of himself on an iPhone, he will do just about anything you ask if watching  iPhone videos is the reward.

Even though I didn't want to skip out on cuddles, no one else was going to make dinner for us so it was up to me. I mixed up more formula for him and then I made myself a veggie pasta with zucchini and feta and then made him a allergy friendly veggie pasta with chicken.  It's still a pain sometimes and it's always a lot of work, but I've been cooking Megatron's special meals for a year now so it's just part of the routine now.  I try hard to have a couple meals that we can all eat but that doesn't happen often.  I portioned his out and put most of it in the freezer to pull out on busy days.

While making dinner, I had to chase both Megatron and the cat out of the kitchen multiple times.  I hate having either under my feet while I'm cooking.  Both must have sand in their ears because neither of them seem to get the point. 

Yeah, don't use the mesh strainer at my house without washing it first.
We finally sit down to eat, which was uneventful.  Megatron was taking his sweet time and while it might be "better" to just sit with him and let him finish, I'm a single parent more days than not.  If I want to get any sleep at all, I have to be efficient.  I feel like the pace slows down significantly when The Pilot is home.  I start cleaning up my cooking mess and get the dishwasher loaded while Megatron and I chat about "noonoos" (noodles) and "mow mee" (more milk).  Once he's done, I put his dishes in the dishwasher and then let him turn it on.  He loves when I point to the buttons and then he is allowed to push them to turn it on.  Since the kitchen is already cleaned up, I sit down with him in the family room and play with him for a little while.  

We hear the dryer buzz so he comes down to the basement with me and "helps" me by taking everything out of the dryer and about 1/4 makes it into the clothes basket.  We head back upstairs with the clean kitchen laundry (we hardly use paper towels so we have small towels that I made out of terry and flannel that we use to wipe counters down/dry fruits and veggies, etc).  And for some reason, he starts to meltdown again.  More hitting.  More time outs.  While he is in his various time outs, I fold the kitchen towels and start downloading a video on the iPad so I can watch something while I run on the treadmill.  And by that point, I am counting down the minutes until he's in bed and I can go run.  So much so that I take another breather and run up and put on my running clothes.

I got him into his pajamas and then had to pin him to the floor to brush his teeth.  Sigh.  Some nights he sits and lets you brush his teeth without issue and then other nights you would think I was trying to pull his teeth out one at a time the way he screams and carries on.  He calmed down once that was over and was sweet as pie as we go to his room and read some books.  I put him in his crib without any trouble and then I'm off and running again.  Literally.

I swapped out the laundry again and then jumped on the treadmill for 4 miles.  And man did I need that run!  Between dealing with him and his hitting all day and having been on my own for a couple days, I was drained.  The run helped clear my head.  I took a quick shower and dealt with laundry one final time.  I managed to get it all done!  Three baskets full of clean clothes are sitting in the hall way, which is the adult equivalent of getting a gold star.  I'll wait until tomorrow to put everything away, as one whole basket goes to Megatron's room.  Before bed, I dropped all of the pictures I took for the day into this blog post.  And then it took me 2+ weeks to come back to it and write everything up.  :)

So that was what a day looks like now that Megatron's is 2.5.  It's busy and exhausting.  Which ultimately how most days have been since he's been born.  Just with each stage, it's been busy and exhausting for much different reasons.

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