I figured I would make an entry for the purposes of recording some more mundane details of the Skinner life at this time. Just one picture (that Jeff caught last night), an accurate depiction of how I generally feel:
Jeff loves his job at Mosaic, although still demanding and challenging, yet I think this is, of course, part of what he likes about it. Generally, he is up between 6-7am, and leaves between 7-8am to go to work. He never comes home before 6:30pm, but he is bringing work home with him less and less frequently (though, that is in part due to the other work, Kim and Sven's house, that needs to be done at night). So, I guess he works a minimum 10-hour day, probably an average of 55-60 hours a week. He is still a bit frustrated that he can't fit more things into his day, like exercising (i.e. cycling, skiing, working out), time with his wife and kids, and more work on Kim and Sven's project (and in that order, I think). I believe that Balance will always be Jeff's unattainable dream.
Callum is still "so cute!", but he is also a 3 year old with significant independent thought and action. His current common phrases include "But I don't want to!", "Rrrgghhh!", "Mom, will you play with me?" (shortly followed by, "Ooohhh, but I want somebody to play with me", or "yes? that makes me happy!"), and "I love you, Mom, you know". I think he prefers playing cars, trains and with his figurines, (i.e. buzz, Star Wars guy, dinosaur, horse, etc.), than playing ball, but maybe that is just a winter thing. He has figured out the computer mouse and enjoys playing the CBC games or any Thomas the Tank Engine, Curious George or Pingu games. I am very proud of how well he shares with his friends, toys or food. Now that he is 3, he gets to go to his swimming lessons and gymnastics class without me. In swimming, it took him 6 classes before he would get into the cold pool without significant coercion, and he is still hesitant to join the group at gymnastics. I was actually a little concerned about his apparent shyness, especially compared to the other kids, but I can see the progress each week. He has a thing about people touching him (other than me or Jeff), if they try to hold his hand or pick him up, even his grandparents if he hasn't seen them for a while. He extremely good at expressing himself, though, and explaining how he feels and what he wants. I would say that he uses "please + thank-you" most of the time without reminding, and he is a very tidy and thorough eater. His favorite dinner is hamburgers and french fries, but he still enjoys our Thai, Indian, Chinese and home-cooked meals. For a while, I tried editing out his afternoon nap to add more night-time hours to his sleep schedule, but I found that he wasn't getting enough sleep. So, he usually wakes up just after 6am, has a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon (ex. 1:30-4pm), then the bedtime routine of pajamas, brushing teeth, stories then songs starts around 9pm, so he's usually not asleep until around 9:30. He really doesn't like getting his teeth brushed and getting his pajama's on is always a "fun" struggle, but once we get to stories, he is completely cooperative. I haven't really thought about night-time toilet training yet, so he still wears a diaper at night, but never any accidents during the day. I think he is a smart kid, who catches on quick and is very perceptive as well as pensive. Oh, and he never wants to leave home, but when he's out, he never wants to go home.
Ok, now Max. What a sweetheart - and a ham. He can be very funny sometimes. He is currently entertained by play-wrestling with Callum (until Callum gets too rough) and crawling around to chew on everything. I call him my little vacuum cleaner since he always finds the smallest thing to pick up and put in his mouth. I would say his favorite place is the front closet with all those tasty shoes, and he likes the bathroom, turning on his super-fast crawling speed when he notices the seat on the toilet might have been left up. On occasion he can entertain himself for significantly long periods of time, but usually I feel the tug on my pants as I am making dinner or trying to get work done on the computer. I have attempted to teach him that morning time is after 6am, but for the most part, he disagrees. He is up for the day around 5:30am, then is down for a 1-hour (or maybe only 1/2 hour) nap around 8:30am, another 1-hour nap in the afternoon, then bedtime around 7pm, so I guess he gets a total of about 12 hours a day. He still wakes up frequently during the night, maybe 3-4 times a night,(and almost always at 4am) but not hungry, just to get his soother or to have you hold him a second. I find this very annoying, actually, and for many months I have considered moving Callum's bed in with Jeff+I so I can just let Max cry it out, but for some reason I don't. At least is is almost always happy when he wakes up. He is a bit of a momma's boy (like his older brother), and will make strange with most people, though there are a few people he will accept. He seems to be growing out of his initial sensitivity to foods, like apples and peaches, though broccoli is another issue, and I think he has texture issues too since he still won't eat cut-up food without gagging or just spitting it out. He adores Callum and shows he's happy by smiling, shaking his head from side to side a lot and making this little squealing noise. And yes, he is oh-so cute, though, unfortunately, he does seem to be a bit overshadowed by his older brother in that respect. He seems very good-natured and a pretty relaxed kid, well, when he's not excited to play with his brother.
What about me? Well, isn't that the perfect question. I wouldn't really say I'm busy all the time, but rather I just don't have time for anything. That doesn't make a lot of sense unless you take into account all the time spent coercing, convincing, explaining, and waiting that is required throughout my day. This blog entry, for example, has taken me 3 days, so far, to write. I think I have improved a lot in the grumpy-when-I'm-tired department, though there are still relapses. I often look forward to days when I will regularly exercise again, sleep through the night, shower uninterrupted, go to the bathroom without an audience, go out without snot or soup on my clothes, or talk on the phone without hiding, but I recognize that these are not in my near future and that's Ok. I have to admit to feeling less and less confident in any abilities I may have had previous to having children, like at work or at socializing. I also regularly consider the idea of going back to work part-time, to have something of my own in my life and also just to keep up with my profession a bit. But I hesitate because of many reasons, but mostly because finding care for the boys that I would be happy with seems a daunting task. There may be many things I complain about, but actually, lots of great stuff too. I love cuddling with my kids, I love listening to the cute noises Max makes, I love hearing Callum's stories of the weird dreams he had, I love taking time to make a nice meal, I love taking my kids to the park on a sunny day and watching Callum make Max laugh in the swing, I love the big smile he gives me when I get Max after his naps, I love getting the big smooch Callum gives me before I give him a treat, I love where I live and how gorgeous this city is...
Ok, that's it for now. Journal entry over. :)