Flip Flop

For most of the last year, we have been dealing with what I have been referring to as the Tyrannical Threes. Island Boy was as three as he could be. And I am now mostly convinced that the "terrible twos" are the biggest fallacy in parenting lore. Three is MUCH worse.

Or so I had convinced myself.

Then Island Girl came along and started her terrible twos at, oh, about 21 months. She's always had a flair for the dramatic, but this is drama to the nth degree, lately! Tell her no? Screaming fit. Don't understand what she's saying? Screaming fit. Don't give her exactly the same thing her brother is having? Screaming fit. You get the picture. We've taken to referring to her as Linda Blair. She has the Exorcist impression down perfectly.

The thing is, we've been so busy dealing with her lately that, until today, we realized that Island Boy's Tyrannical threes are winding down and becoming much more manageable! The attitude is dying down a little, as is the blatant disregard for any type of orders. The biggest issue is the dawdling. And, to be fair, that is my pay-back for everything I did to my own parents as a kid. I could stall and get distracted with the best of them. Oh - and his desire to pinball off of every piece of furniture we own.

So, with second and fourth birthdays quickly approaching, it would seem that Island Girl is taking over the "difficult" role, while Island Boy is finally mellowing out.

I can't even imagine what Island Baby will add to all of this when he is able to get into the thick of things.


Getting back into the swing of things

As I said in my last post (about nine months ago now), the longer you put off writing a new post, the harder it seems to be to make yourself sit down and actually write the post!

We've been busy over the last nine months! The biggest happening, of course, would be the addition of Island Baby! We welcomed our bouncing baby boy a couple of days before Thanksgiving. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 8 oz., and measured 20.75 inches long (the smallest of all three kids, by birth weight, and tied with his sister for shortest birth length!). Now, at two-and-a-half months old, he is already fighting like mad to catch up to his brother and sister and be able to move along with them. I don't imagine that he will leave me much time to sit still! Thankfully, when he does slow down, he is a fantastic snuggler, smiler, and coo-er. That more than balances out being exhausted at the end of the day for me!

Other happenings: Island Boy is now in pre-school for a few hours each morning and is loving it! Island Girl is working her way quickly into full-blown "two-dom" and is extremely verbal as well as extremely active. I have caught her trying to scale the bookshelves on more than one occasion.

We have been thoroughly enjoying our time on the Island, and have taken advantage of some amazing travel opportunities that life in the middle of the Pacific provides. In May, Island Dad and I used a visit from Island Nanny as an excuse to take a "babymoon," and went on a long weekend to Osaka and Kyoto (Japan) while Island Nanny stayed with Island Boy and Island Girl. Then, at the end of July, we took a family vacation to Tokyo. We saw many wonderful sights (and it's always nice just to see the sights of a city, anyway!), and also got Island Boy and Island Girl their first taste of Disneyland with a one-day visit to Tokyo Disney. It's safe to say that they weren't the only ones among us who had fun that day. Island Dad and I did also enjoy learning much more about the history and the culture of the city. At almost two and almost four, the older kids already have more stamps on their passport than I did until the age of, well, 29!

All three Island Children and I have been on the mainland for awhile visiting family (the beauty of not having kids in school full time just yet!), and will be heading back in a couple of weeks. Our time on the mainland has been spent enjoying getting spoiled by grandparents (and believe me that it's not just the kids who are getting spoiled) and seeing family and places that we likely will not get to see again for a few years. We have enjoyed the zoo, the children's museum, the science museum, restaurants that we can't find on the Island, and, of course, Starbucks and Target!!

I'm going to try to get more regular about posting, especially once we are back on the Island (I know, famous last words, right?)  Here goes!


A Long Overdue Update

Well, it's been over a month since I posted. It turns out that the longer you wait to post again, the easier it is to find reasons not to. So, I think the easiest way to go is just person by person.

Island Boy: Turned three at the end of March. Three is looking to be more trying for all of us than two was. He has discovered independence, and so we have hit the age of "NO! I WANT TO DO IT!!!" And it's usually at that volume. I am working on my level of patience, which is low when we're trying to get out the door, and he decides that he wants to do the chest clip on his car seat, but takes 5 minutes to do it. At the same time, a large part of me is so proud of him for learning how to do these things. Speaking of things I'm proud of, we're finally on the road to potty training!! He goes most of the day in the same diaper that only gets slightly moist at most these days. I'm just waiting on him to be ready for big boy underwear. Pooping in the potty has been made fairly easy by the fact that he mostly goes once a day at the same time daily.

Island Girl: Is walking more than crawling now. She still walks like a drunken sailor, which is so sweet to watch. She's fearless as ever, though, climbing anything that strikes her fancy. Today I caught her trying to climb up onto our child-sized table from one of the chairs, which was about 2 feet away from the table. Later this evening, she figured out how to climb up both sides of our toddler slide, and how to crawl down the slide side. She is talking more and more now, too. She says "Mama," "Dada," "Hiiii!," and "Dat." She can also nod her head for yes and shake her head for no.

Island Dad: Is busy as ever at work!

Island Mom: I'm busy trying to keep up with the kids. Some days are more trying than others. Those are usually the days I feel like our house has been run through by a tornado or ten. Some days the tornadoes win, but darned if they aren't sweet, adorable little torandoes! ;)


Island Girl

My Dear, Sweet, Active, Wonderful Daughter:

One year ago today, I first held you in my arms and looked at your chubby, pink face. And rubbed your oh! so soft baby hair (most of which fell out and has now been replaced). You were not a teeny tiny baby. You came out looking more like a two-month-old. And I LOVED it. Big babies are awesome. Never forget that.

Very shortly after we brought you home, at less than three weeks old, you started smiling at us. Willingly. Although you have always been a decent sleeper, that smile made those few times you would wake me up at night so much easier! It still does. Only now, your smile has so much more emotion behind it than it did when you were not even a month old.

Shortly after you began to smile at us, you also began to laugh at us, and with fairly little effort on our part. You still laugh easily, and I hope you never, EVER lose that. You especially love laughing with your brother, and he loves to make you laugh. I hope both of you hang onto that!

You did not mind tummy time, because it meant you could watch your brother buzz around the room more easily. You still think he is absolutely the coolest thing in the world, and now that you can play with him and take his toys, you relish doing both! He has always loved you, but now he genuinely likes to be around you and to play with you, too. And he's getting used to having his toys and food snatched. Most of the time.

You are nothing, if not determined. Island Dad worried, the other day, that you are impulsive. I disagreed quickly. You are completely the opposite. Every thing you do, ever move you make, is completely calculated to further you towards your goal, whatever it may be. I really hope you never lose that (though, please, don't be ruthless!) Determination like yours will get you very, very far in life. It will get you wherever you want to go, really.

You LOVE to eat. There is very little that you won't touch. Although, you prefer meat over almost everything, and almost anything over carbs. Clearly, you did not get my appetite. You got Island Dad's!

You also love "babies." You got two for your birthday today. You love to hug them, kiss them, and then hold them back and giggle and giggle and giggle at their faces. It is so much fun to watch you take delight in something, because your laughter is infectious, and it only makes me want to make you laugh even more!

You are so, SO very close to walking. You stand up completely on your own, with nothing to hold onto. Or you hold on to something, stand up, and let go. And I can see the wheels turning in your head, trying to figure out how to take that step. But you get frustrated and crawl instead. I know you'll get it eventually. You always do!

You are nearly done nursing. Twice a day is all, most days now. I can tell you're ready, so it's more than fine with me. But please, Island Girl? Don't stop cuddling with me!!

Happy Birthday, to my dear, sweet, no-longer-a-baby girl. I love you so, SO very much!


Not What I Imagined, Part 1

I did not grow up in a military family. I did not grow up anywhere near a military installation, and so military culture was (and often still is, though less and less) very foreign to me.

I grew up in a family where the mommy and daddy both went to work every day. Because my parents were both teachers (now both retired), education was always top priority for my brother and I, and it was never questioned that we'd go to college. It was also almost never questioned that I, too, would be a mom who worked outside the home. And there certainly is nothing wrong with that. I hope to one day be back in the work force in some capacity.

Island Dad and I met the summer immediately after we had graduated college and right before we both went off to our respective graduate schools. He was not yet active duty at the time, but I believe the possibility of his joining the military came up even in our very first conversation. Now, given that we met at a summer camp and I was pretty sure it was just going to be a six-to-nine week "summer fling," I thought to myself "Cool, but not for me." Oh, how very very naive of me!

As it turns out, the fates had something different in mind for my life than what I'd always imagined. I mean, I was going to GRAD SCHOOL. I was on my way to save the world as a Social Worker (again, naive)!

By the end of my intended six weeks at camp that summer, I couldn't leave Island Dad so easily. So I stayed on for the remaining three week session of camp. Turns out, we couldn't give each other up at all. So we did a long distance relationship.

About six weeks into our first semesters, he came to Ohio to visit me. About five weeks later, just before Thanksgiving, I went to DC to visit him. Over Christmas break, we each met the other's family. The topic of "the future" had never come up with regards to our relationship until this point. One night, after Island Dad had made an off-hand comment about not letting the grass grow under his feet, I had had enough. I NEEDED to know where it was going, because I very much wanted to get married and have kids, but if he wasn't looking for the same thing, I was not about to waste my time (much as I did NOT want to end it with him!) So I asked him point blank. Given that we've been happily married for five years and now have two kids, you can pretty much guess that we did not break up as a result of his not seeing a future for us, lol.