Archive for the ‘Xander’ Category

Flu Boy

John and I were watching TV on Sunday night when we thought we heard Xander give a little cough. But he didn’t wake up and it didn’t happen again so…meh.

We heard it again a few times on Monday night, and it was most definitely a REAL cough and not a “I’ve been on too many airplanes lately” sort of cough. Then Tuesday morning he had a medium high fever. He also started having a runny nose, so I thought it must be a cold.

But he didn’t really seem like himself, so I called the doctor. By the time we went in to the office, it had been 4 hours since I’d given him any Motrin, and his fever was 105.  (The quote from this experience is “Mama, my whole Xander hurts.”)

Poor Xander!

They swabbed him for strep, and he fell over (against me, not on the floor) while we waited for the (negative) results, so I let him rest his eyes on the bench for a few minutes.

Xan Flu

He has the flu.

His fever spiked again last night (106. SIX!), and I panicked and called the ped’s office back. They blamed my thermometer and said to pay more attention to how he was acting (very sick). But, we got it back down, he went to sleep, and as of right now he is fever free.

He’s still not quite at 100%, obviously, and I’m not positive that his fever won’t come back, at least in part, tonight. But he’s a bit chattier, and asking for crackers (and cupcakes), so it’s much better than yesterday.

I feel very badly because he’s the only one of us who didn’t get the flu shot; I even made an appointment for him to get one, but he had an ear infection (or something) that day, so the doctor and I decided to scrap it until he was better and I could come in with just him (instead of him and Luna). And then in all the holiday prep I just forgot.

So take note: get your flu shots!



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We somewhat quickly abandoned the Advent Activity Calendar.  It was proving to be a bit too much, for both me and Xander. He was getting overly excited and not having as much fun with it, and I was just getting cranky.

We’ve done some, and I’ll still break out some of the activities to do, but not in any official sort of capacity. His favorite so far was making the button craft. Though, he eschewed the idea of a button tree and opted for, as Jen put it, a Button Snowstorm. So.


Other ones we’ve done with moderate success:

  • “Cookie” baking. (Really: melting kisses on pretzels and topping them with M&M’s)IMG_0137
  • Ornament making. This was a mixed review. He kind of enjoyed it, but he also got mad that we weren’t just emptying the entire bottle of paint into the ornament.IMG_0048 IMG_0050
  • New book from our Elf on the Shelf (yes, we Elf; yes, I know, you hate it). I actually did this one twice. Not wrapped. Just the elf, hanging out by a book.
  • Coloring on snow was….not a big success. It was too hard for him to hold the bottles with gloves, but too cold not to wear gloves. Also the red food coloring just looked like we murdered someone in the driveway. (WE DIDN’T, NSA, DON’T WORRY.)
  • I tried taking him to see Frozen, but that was a complete and utter disaster.
  • Tree cutting and decoratingIMG_0019 IMG_0013
  • Trainhop and meeting Santa (this was a two for, which I didn’t know – I thought we’d have to make a separate Santa trip, so I was happy.)IMG_0068 IMG_0079
  • Instead of a Christmas movie, we’ve done a few Christmas episodes of his favorite shows/shorts of movies. We may watch one when we get to my parents’ house, though.
  • Foam gingerbread houseIMG_0082

I think that’s it. I’m actually really good with deciding to “quit.” It wasn’t going to be worth it, and I didn’t want fights over something that was supposed to be fun for all of us. Someone wrote (probably Moxie, it sounds like her) to always chose the relationship with your child over the memory making activity (I’m sure I”m butchering that, but the sentiment is right). Doing the other activities when we have free time is working out well, and it also lets Xander repeat the ones he’s liked the most without me stressing out about missing that day’s assigned activity.

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Christmas Babies

Now that my cards have been sent and (mostly) received, here are the pictures I ended up putting on them. (I’m sorry if I didn’t send you one, but I was terrible at keeping track of who had sent us cards and saving addresses, plus I’m cheap and only ordered, like, 25 cards. Next year I promise to do better.)

Luna christmas 13


X Christmas13

Cute, aren’t they? I rather like them.

(Xander was actually harder to photograph than he usually is, because he’s in that weird 3.5 year old fake smile sort of phase.)

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Gifts for the Kids

This is a blatant consumerism post, so if that bothers you, then you can go look at this instead.

Anyway, K just posted what she got her kids for Christmas, and I’m nothing if not a copycat.

Because we’re traveling for parts of the holiday, we’re doing some presents at my parents’ house and the “big” gifts will be waiting here for them when we get back.


1. Tractor

All Xander has asked for for the past six months is a blue digger tractor. Lo and behold? Ha! Not gonna happen. I can get a pink one, apparently, but he wants blue.

Thank goodness for eBay. I was able to procure this little beauty. It’s not huge, but it’s big enough to play with (like, not a matchbox car size), and it’s blue. It came all the way from England.

Tractor Pic

2. Trampoline

His big gift from us is a mini trampoline. He’s a three year old with tons of energy, and winter here is LONG, so I really wanted something he could do that would let him be active. I got it on a flash sale sometime around Black Friday/Cyber Monday/WhateverDay.  My plan is to have it in the basement where it’s carpeted and somewhat less dangerous.


3. Books

I went a bit Book Overboard this year, but he’s really getting into stories and reading and I wanted to ride the wave while I can.

I got him: Not a Stick, Dragons Love Tacos, and Journey

Not a Stick pic Journey Pic Dragon Taco pic

4. How to Train your Dragon

He’s starting to really enjoy movies (I love it when he anticipates something funny and starts laughing uncontrollably minuets before the joke happens), and I really liked this one. I think he’ll dig it.

Dragon Pic

5. Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

Because it was on Zulily.

Squirrel Game pic

6. Craft Supplies

Xander loves doing “projects” and especially projects that involve gluing weird stuff onto other stuff. This was also on Zulily. It’s actually much bigger than I expected it to be, so this will be waiting for him at home along with the trampoline (note: don’t shorten to “tramp” when referring to things you got for your children).

craft pic

7. Woody!

(Added later). I almost forgot about Woody! Xander has been in a MEGA Toy Story phase, so I got him a talking Woody doll. I got it from the Disney store, because its was ridiculously cheaper than on Amazon (like $15 instead of $40).

Woody pic

I haven’t really done much for stockings, honestly, but I figure we can hit Target once we arrive (OMG TARGET!) and get some crayons, candy, coloring books, socks…stuff like that.


Since she’s still so young, we’re not going for equal number of gifts/equal costs just yet. So.

1. Soft Rocker by Rockabye

I didn’t see this type of rocker with Xander until he was too old for it but I love them. They are so cute!  I got her the adorable little dino one.  This will be at home.

Rocker pic

2. Shape Sorter

Because why not, right? John and I both wanted to get her a few baby toys that are JUST hers, rather than ones that Xander still sort of remembers being his and thus grabs from her hands at first sight.

Shape Sorter pic

3. Books

Baby Pride and Prejudiced, because come on.

P&P PicI also got a few Sandra Boynton ones at Marshall’s.

For her stocking I was thinking of an empty roll of TP and some dog hair.

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Interview with Xander

I asked Xander a few questions this morning, and he’s a big ol’ liar. His favorite color is purple, and he won’t touch a carrot with a 10 foot pole. However, his favorite song IS “Little Talks,” so, whatever.

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I like to think that I would have been able to maintain my post a day for all of November had I not gotten sick. But, I did so…who knows. I’m on the mend (knock wood) and I’m hardly ever falling over any more, so that’s nice.

First I have a favor to ask. Xander, for months, has been talking about a Blue Digger Tractor, and how he Really! Wants! One! Really! Bad! Anytime I ask him what he’s going to ask Santa for, this is his answer. A blue tractor. Problem? Yeah, tractors don’t typically come in blue. Amazon has one, but it’s $40 and that’s just too expensive for this particular Santa Claus. So! If you see a toy tractor that is blue and it’s not amusingly overpriced, will you let me know? Thank you!

Secondly, don’t forget about the Ornament Exchange! You have until Thanksgiving to enter, and I will send out assignments on Friday. You don’t have to be a blogger or a twitter-er to play.

And finally, I am wondering how you schedule/plan your housework? We have had a cleaning service come twice in recent months, just to get us to a good baseline (OMG the filth, you guys, it’s amazing and terrifying), but it’s not an expense we can afford on a regular basis.  When it was just us, or just us and Xander, I’d normally take a full day a few times a month and clean All The Things, but I don’t feel that this is a practical approach. So how do you do it? Do you take a room a day? Or break it down by chore?

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The Fafi Fairy

About a week ago, I decided that it was Time with a capital T for Xander to give up his pacifier (“fafi”). I’m not sure why I decided this. I mean, he’s certainly old enough, more than old enough. I think I was feeling frustrated because potty training is a bust (still) and  he’s just so Very Three and, well, SOMETHING had to give. (Oh, yeah, he only gets his pacifier at bedtime or during quiet time.)

So I came up with a plan. John and I told Xander that the Fafi Fairy was going to come and take all of his pacifiers away and leave him with a brand new toy! He could write her letter and tell her what he wanted to get (a tractor). This weekend he actually instigated it by repeatedly asking when she was coming and if she was going to bring him a Brand! New! Digger! Tractor!

And so we went for it.

(Do you get a sense of foreboding? You should.)

Bedtime was pretty hard, but he did eventually fall asleep without the pacifier. Yay!


He woke up around 11:00 or so. He woke up and was flipped the eff out. I think he was so tired and out of it that he could not figure out WHY he was so upset, which made him more upset. But I have never, ever, seen him freak out like this. He was sobbing and choking and screaming and arching his back and rambling nonsense and I honestly thought, for a while there, that he was having a fit. He was screaming NO! and It hurts! and I don’t feel good! and Make it Stop, Mama!  He asked me to change his diaper. He asked for water. He wanted a story. The light on. The light off. He whimpered, “I don’t understand what is happening to my body.”

But nothing was helping him, obviously.

John and I ended up in the living room with him, watching a muted TV show, just to calm him down enough so he could breathe. As the show wound down he started crying again. He didn’t want to go to bed. He was scared. And sad. And didn’t feel good.

So we gave him the pacifiers back. We told him that the Fafi Fairy said he could use them just at bedtime, until he was a Big Boy and ready. And that’s what we’ve done since Friday. They go up on a high shelf as soon as he wakes up, and he doesn’t get one until he’s going to bed.

Part of me feels…defeated. But mostly I feel foolish. I know Xander. I know that he’s sensitive and doesn’t take well to abrupt change. He needs to do things slowly, at his own pace. I know he won’t have a pacifier in college. And honestly, even the worry about his teeth isn’t that strong, because he usually drops it early in the evening and stays asleep. I pushed him when I knew he wasn’t ready because *I* wanted him to be ready and that’s just…stupid.

I’m not sure why I got such a bee in my bonnet about it, but man. Do I ever need to remember to listen to my instincts. To remember that John and I know our son better than anyone else. What will work and what won’t.

Last night he dropped the pacifier and woke up, scared and crying. “I don’t want to go to sleep! I want the sun to come up!” John gave him the pacifier and he was asleep in seconds.  I hope that he doesn’t remember this for long.


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Sleepy Time

Last week I got Xander out of quiet time early, while Luna was still sleeping, so we could have some one on one play time.  We came out into the living room, since his bedroom is right next door to the sleeping baby’s, and I asked him what he wanted to do. He cocked his head and looked out the window. 

“Oh, mommy! I fink it’sth getting dark! You getting sleepy, mommy?”

This whole pretend play is so new, and so fun. I gave him a big yawn and stretch, and laid back on the rug. “Oh, Xander, I’m so sleepy.”

He put his little face right up to mine. “It’sth okay. I’m going to go now. You have good night.” He kissed my head and scampered off. “I be right back, little Mommy.”

Then it was morning and time to wake up. “Oh, it’sth getting light out! You can get up now! Don’t forget blankie!”

We played this for twenty minutes. What a sweet kid.

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The Loop

I know that it’s not unique, but every day, in the late afternoon/early evening, we struggle.

The exact situation varies, depending on who is working when, but the gist of it is:

It’s after nap/quiet time, so both kids are awake. I am sitting on the living room floor with Luna, while Xander runs in literal circles around the room, pausing , slightly, to torment the dog or the baby or both. (Torment usually means “accidentally” hitting or bopping them, then immediately saying “Oh, I’m sorry sorry sorry” if he thinks we saw him.) John is at work, or on his way home, or he is on the floor while I cook dinner.

This is very problematic for many reasons. The most obvious being that I cannot allow him to hit the baby or the dog. We have tried many things. Timeouts (Haaaaa no, these do not work. This is a whole other post for a different day, but we are finding timeouts to be counterproductive in most situations.).  Threatening and/or yelling.  TV. Reading a book together (the problem here is that I need to keep him away from the baby, so it’s hard to do something that requires him to be close to me and the baby). I’ve tried putting Luna in the jumper, but she screams. I’ve tried actively engaging him in a game or play, like “hey! let’s build a track together with your train set!”

But he is stuck. I mean, like, really. Stuck. He cannot stop running around in circles, singling garbled lyrics to Glee or something he learned in school, and accidentally on purpose hitting us.  Sometimes I can distract him for a few minutes, but he always comes back to it. I don’t know how else to describe it other than a loop, or like a record scratch.

I don’t want to spend the last part of the day scolding him or yelling at him. That’s not fair to any of us, and I don’t want it to be the last thing he remembers from the day. I want to find a way to engage him, to break him out of the cycle, but I really don’t know what else to do.

After dinner is similar, but it’s much shorter, because Luna goes to sleep earlier than he does.

Part of it, I’m sure, stems from wanting our attention all to himself, and we do try to give this to him each day in one way or another, but it is not always easy or possible. And another part of it is just that he has SO much energy. He’s three, you know? He needs to play and run and be wild. I know that he needs that release, but I haven’t found a way to let him have it without, somehow, endangering Luna.

I have had some success taking him and Luna for a walk in the later afternoons, but that can run into dinnertime, which I guess I could just work harder on preparing earlier.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for how to get through those late afternoon hours? Or, at the very least, commiseration that my kid is normal and not broken and that every three year old boy in the history of the world is a pistol at the end of the day?

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Today was predictably grim, what with the whole DST nonsense. We attempted to keep the kids up last night, and that failed. Also, Xander’s cold hit full swing around 11PM, so I brought his fevered, coughing self into our room, where he proceeded to thrash around until I ran out of bed space.  He really did feel quite miserable, though, poor guy, so I didn’t mind (too much) letting him sleep there.

I went to the store today, and I was lingering in the cold remedy aisle, as he is now old enough for some of the medications, but then I was scared off by all the warning labels “Parents, call this number for information about medicine abuse.” So I didn’t buy anything other than some hippie Hylands stuff that has no actual medicine in it.

I also bought some essential oils, though. I honestly don’t know if or how well they work, but I’ve seen them around a lot and did some reading about it and thought it was worth a shot. So I came home and mixed some of the oil (I got a mixture of different immunity boosting ones) into coconut oil to dilute it, and then rubbed it on the bottom of everyone’s feet. Except John’s. He can do it himself, if he’s so inclined.

He still had a fever today so I’ll keep him home from preschool tomorrow; he would usually be sad, but Mondays are babysitter days, and he’s in love with our sitter so I’m pretty sure he’ll be quite happy with this arrangement.

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