Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eight

John is so big. It's like he got the memo that he just turned eight months and just all of a sudden grew up so much.


He is:
-still army-scoot-crawling with punctuated instances of hands-and-knee rocking
-"clapping" (well, banging hands together) and getting so excited about Patty Cake that he can HARDLY CONTAIN ALL THE JOY OMG
- waving hello/goodbye
- sitting stably and smoothly going from sitting to army-crawling/scooting but not back.
- starting to pull up on things (!) onto his knees
- taking steps while we hold his hands
- ALWAYS moving. Always. Moving.
- finally feeding himself. He took his sweet time figuring out how to get the food on his highchair tray into his mouth, but now it's gangbusters.
- loving puff snacks and bits of bread and eggs and grilled cheese and, well, food. He's a fan.
- still teething. I mean, eternally, right? But I mean he still hasn't gotten his FIRST tooth yet.
- talking up a storm about some very important things. Like buuuuuhbah and boeuf and mmmmmafffffh.  BOEUF. And he can have an entire conversation with different intonations of "Ah"

The kids are:
- having more and more fun together. Like playing "Two babies" in which Lucy gets down on the floor and does whatever John does. It's usually riddled with giggles. They play "chase" too, where Lucy takes off and thinks it's hilarious that John follows her wherever she goes.
- still doing a great job sharing a room.
- super sweet to each other always giving each other hugs and kisses.


The Bubba and I are:
- enjoying the laughter and the very sincere "conversations" from the Little Little AND the Big Little
- always scrambling to "save John for the day!" (Lucy's version of "save the day") with whatever he gets into.
- so overwhelmed by how ridiculously sweet our children are; we can hardly believe how blessed we are.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Week Might Break Me

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving. I have my latest load of sick laundry clean and unfolded on the coffee table, toys are everywhere, dishes are piled high in the kitchen.

It has been the kind of week that other parents don't tell you about when you first have kids. Or else they joke about it and make it seem trivial.  We've been dealing with a Sickness around here.

It started Friday, but I was so certain that it was just a reaction from the flu shots the kids got on Thursday. And then the coughing started. And along with it the cough-barfing.  My kids are BLACK BELTS in cough-barfing. You know, how you cough so hard that you accidently throw up? Yeah, that.  And then the Night Coughing (and cough-barfing, pajama changing, sheet changing, etc.) prevents sleeping, and that makes everybody feel so much worse.  So Sunday, I felt sick too, and you know that a household doesn't run when the Mama's not feeling well.  But I was feeling human by Sunday night, so I figured that Lucy's cough was just the remnants of some bug she worked through over the weekend.

Tuesday Lucy had her preschool Thanksgiving performance. It was so cute! Except that my Star Performer refused to even move much less participate.

video

See her? In the white shirt and blue/purple jumper behind those other participating children? Wishing she were anywhere but there? Sad. I knew something was still up and that we should probably get things checked out before the holiday.

We spent the afternoon yesterday at the pediatrician's office and at the hospital getting chest x-rays for my poor girl. The doctor thought she sounded all lung-crunchy on one side so off to Swedish Ballard we went. The medical imaging place was the same place we went to get our last ultrasound the day before John was born.  But back to the point: it's not pneumonia.  We just have to suffer through.

It was the first time I've had to deal with all that doctor stuff on my own. I didn't want to bother the Bubba with it since he's already taking off Friday and Monday and his work is just insane. And it didn't seem like such a big deal that I needed to drive all over town trying to find someone to watch John. But that meant I was schlepping two kids all over Seattle dealing with the stress of medical stuff on my own. Which I didn't realize was a big deal until I got home and wanted to just sit and cry.

All this to say that I am less than prepared for Holiday-ing.  My house looks like a rat's nest. I need at least three more days to get myself, my kids, and my house up to an acceptable level of presentation.

Luckily we decided to just do Thanksgiving with the four of us, super low key. So at least the pressure's off  there and we can spend all day in our jammies eating cereal if we want to! (And after this weekend/the beginning of this week we might.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seven

Seven months is so big!


John is crazy active these days. We call him our Speedy Centipede because it sure does seem like he has a hundred feet under him propelling him along at top speeds.  He doesn't crawl with his belly off the floor, but he's gotten so good and fast at army crawling that he doesn't really need to experiment with other ways to get around. He just started sitting up. He never liked trying before because if he's SITTING he can't be MOVING so no, thank you.  He's still not the stablest, but he's good until he dives onto his head trying to go straight from sitting to flying. He's not really a Sit Still kind of kid!

Well, that is until it's cuddle time. I am so lucky to have a cuddly baby. Every mommy should have one for sure. Lucy NEVER cuddled. Not since she could help it. She wanted to be on her own and Stop touching me, Mom! Even now when I idly touch her hair when we're in line at a store or if I sit too close to her on the couch, she'll move away and ask me to stop touching her. It's hard on a Mama whose love language is physical contact! (Good thing she makes up for it in other ways. Like being awesome putting on dance routines and building stable yet very tall towers!) But John, he's a snuggler. He likes to just root right in here and find a comfy place under my neck and grab on to the shoulders of my shirt for dear life. He's a master of the drooly open mouth kisses and will often accompany them with an "AAAaaaaauuuuh!" So violently he loves.

He knows the sign for "milk" now and uses it to mean "milk", but also "food" and "Mama." You know, because I'm just a cuddly milk bag. Although, I'm pretty sure he made the sign for "food" yesterday when he was whining for more cereal and fruit. He did it twice which makes me think it might have been intentional and not just shoving hand by mouth baby MO.


The kids are sharing a room now, which is working out just ok.  I mean, as long as I don't wait too long to put Lucy down and she's already turned into the overtired Monster Lucy that does whatever she can to wake up her brother. And then wake him up again and again every time he falls back asleep. John goes down around 7 and Lucy goes to bed around 8, and unfortunately John's kind of a light sleeper, so we have to go in there and quiet them down once or twice a night on average. But it's ok for now. And we have a basement bedroom for when it just isn't working at all and Lucy needs somewhere else to be. So, yeah. Ok. Not awesome. But ok.

John's sleeping is a little better these days, but nothing to brag about. Most nights I get 6-7 hours of sleep now, though, which is HUGE. 6 months of sleep deprivation does really funny things to a person. When Lucy's at school he'll sleep for at least 2 hours in the morning. When she's here with us? 40 minutes. It's like he has this internal alarm that wakes him up as soon as she and I are doing something fun together.

The bigger John gets, the more the kids can interact in some sort of meaningful way. Lucy's still the best at making him laugh, and she's getting good at figuring out how to manipulate him to be close to her and watch her play and yet not get her toys. It's a fine line. Now that he's pretty fast getting around, they play chase too, which is hilarious. Lucy will go on her ride-on truck or her balance bike around our circular floor plan and Johnny will just army crawl after her as fast as his little arms will take him. Peals of laughter ensue. Both of them think it's pretty much the funniest thing EVER.  Well, and really, so do I.



Two kids just keeps getting better.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Photo Update: Fall

I need to throw some pictures up here for posterity's sake!

Pumpkin patch:



 Pumpkin carving:

Creative juices flowing


Halloween!

John as a scary cute skeleton:



Lucy's three costumes!

 Lucy's always been more of a
dump truck kind of girl, so when she
was excited about a princess dress,
so was I!
 This is the Crayon costume MY mommy
 made for me when *I* was 3. 
She wore it to her preschool party.

(Trick-or-treating at Daddy's office)
The house from "UP" This was all Lucy's idea. The house took me about two nap/rest times and one evening to finish. I wish I had taken a close-up of it, because it's pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goings On


  • I started running again. Well, I had been running here and there whenever it worked out, but this weekend I started actually making it a priority again.
  • I remember now why I stopped making it a priority. I don't get enough sleep (JOHN!) to recuperate and I am ALWAYS TIRED.
  • The Bubba's work has been crazy busy (what else is new?) and between traveling to Chicago and just getting stuff done at the office his presence is somewhat of a rarity around here. The only day he's here for sure is Sunday and that's the day *I* work.
  • As evidence of the above, Bubba pulled an all-nighter last night because there was something he had to submit to the City of Chicago today.
  • Combination of all of the above: Tired.
  • Lucy changes her mind at least daily about what she wants to be for halloween. The latest suggestions: a balloon, a fire hose, a sandwich, a train, a grasshopper, a square.
  • I would like Lucy to wear the crayon costume that my mommy made ME when I was four. We'll see if that happens.
  • Lucy is almost over the Preschool Cough of Death, so of COURSE John just got it. And I was So! Careful! About containing and washing and disinfecting. Goes to show you.
  • There's not a whole lot more pathetic than a six-month old with a wet, phlegmy cough complete with a gag reflex. Especially at night when I'm sitting up with him in the rocking chair ready to catch the cough-barf.
  • (My life is awesome)
  • (Tired)
  • I made Lucy a princess dress for a dress-up birthday party on Saturday. Well, I bought a dress at the thrift store to use the bodice and then I made the skirt. I am thrilled with how it turned out. I'll post pictures at some point. 
  • This led me to complain to the Bubba that even though I've been asking for a sewing machine for Christmas the last three years, Santa has yet to acquiesce.  Bubba told me it's because Santa doesn't want to bring me something so "domestic" preferring to leave things like a new laptop battery and fancy salon massages.  So I suggested that maybe it should be a Halloween present. Point of long boring story that you don't really care about: I have a new sewing machine on the way. 
  • Let's end it on that note, shall we? Yay new toys!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jet Setting

Every time I tell people that we went on a trip, everyone's first question is "How did the kids do?" Which I totally understand. I mean, who doesn't want to hear the grueling tale of a five month old inconsolably throwing fits and then sharing righteous anger at comments from other passengers and flight attendants.  It's both a Better You Than Me moment as well as an I've Been There moment.  I was convinced that my kids would be a challenge on this trip, but they were complete and total angels and not even once was I stressed out about their behavior.

I prepared for the worst. I spent a small fortune on treats and color books and surprises for Lucy's backpack. I made sure I had half a dozen pacifiers and teething toys and two blankies for John. We didn't use half of it.  I blame it entirely on the ages of our kids. Lucy just turned 3, so she's able to entertain herself for longer periods, and John is young enough to be happy being held and easy to please (generally speaking).

 Lucy spent most of the trip to Chicago enthralled with the window and the headphones she could plug in and control the music channels in her arm rest.  We just had to make sure that she didn't put it on the movie channel.  They showed Pirates of the Carribean Whatever Number They're On Now and I couldn't prevent her from seeing bits of it on the screens in the aisles, but I didn't want her to get interested with the audio too.  So! Headphones! Buttons to push!  And then we read some of the books I stocked up on from Goodwill.  The a portion of the other flights were eaten up with a Dora no-mess reveal-the-colors type picture book that was also sort of a seek-and-find. Lucy had never seen one of these, so it was pretty magical to see the objects she was looking for "appear" when she colored. She also did some dot-to-dots from an activity book.  Things we didn't need: new matchbox car, tiny color book and tiny markers, half of the frillions of snacks, favorite trains.

John is old enough to be interested in playing with toys and young enough not to NEED to be down and moving around on his own. He ate, played with some toys, slept. His favorite thing was ripping the pages out of a magazine and crumpling them. This entertained him for at least 40 minutes. He was so easily taken care of, fussed very minimally as he was going to sleep and then charmed everyone around us with his smiles and coos.

Best part: Lucy singing "Life is a Highway" at regular volume as she looked out the window and then later hearing some guy three rows back whistle it softly and some lady humming it as we were landing.

Worst part: Delays out of Wisconsin on the way back so that instead of sleeping on the plane, John had his nap in the airport. I was so worried for that entire hour and a half that he'd be crabby on the plane and that we'd miss our connection in Chicago. Both ended up being totally fine.

This is why I'm thinking about doing the trip again in a few weeks except without the Bubba. I'm not in love with the idea of having a layover with both kids - in Chicago I was able to run around a little with Lucy while the Bubba took care of John to get some wiggles out - that's definitely something for the "cons" column...



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Six

As in months old. Six of them. I don't know if the math will back me up here, but that's so many more than five.

I haven't written anything since the 5 month post, and quite a bit has happened since then.  Well, nothing BIG, but you know, stuff.  Like: we went to Wisconsin and John met something like 19 of his 25 first cousins. The kids were ANGELS on the plane trips and it couldn't have been easier and now I'm thinking about making the trip again soon with both kids ON MY OWN. I may talk myself out of this.

I've also been meaning to write about how much Lucy loves preschool and how we're both meeting new friends through it.  I've meant to write about how we're all sort of relaxing into fall and school and work again.  How my tutoring work is awesome, and the Bubba's work is busy busy. How I'm accidently the chair of a church commission. How time is flying and I don't even know where the last six months went. Because oh my goodness, I thought time flew with Lucy, it is ten times faster with John in the mix.

But writing all that all takes time and energy. And I don't have much of either of those lately.  We are currently fighting the sleep battle.  He gets up at 10/10:30 for is last feeding around when I go to bed (normal) but THEN he is also getting up demanding to be fed at 2:30/3 and then up for the day at 5:45/6. Not. Awesome.  So for the last week I've  really been working on getting him to go back to sleep without nursing.  Last night was a step back, though, because he was up and insisted on eating. BUT: progress sneaks along! Soon it will be 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and I will have the energy to take over the WORLD. Mwah haha haha!


John is so fun right now.  I am just so enamored with 5 and 6 months. Love.  This stage is all cuddly baby and interested learner and smiley friend and slobbery kisser and grabby player. He learned how to blow raspberries and he lets out this playful screechy yell that says "Look at me, I'm over here!" He's not quite crawling yet, but he scoots around enough to get where he wants to be.  He does the two arm drag where he kind of grabs at the floor and pulls his body along, or he does this inchworm thing where he goes up on his feet with his arms and head against floor and he scoots along ON HIS HEAD.  It's pretty comical. He's almost sitting up, but he gets way too excited about reaching for things and ends up throwing his head at the floor in pursuit. So really, sitting up is dangerous.

He started eating solid food in the last two weeks.  So far he's tasted avocado and banana and pear and applesauce and today he tasted carrots. Little dude's a fan of the food. He likes it from the boob, he likes it from the spoon, he likes it here or there, anywhere, etc.

We had his six month checkup at the doctor today and he's back on his growth trajectory.  He weighed in at 15 pounds 5 ounces (not even double his birth weight yet!) which is in the 10th-25th percentile and he's 27.5 inches long which is the 75-80th percentile. It's really funny to me that these percentiles are so different than Lucy's.  I mean, she was almost an inch taller and two and a half pounds thicker at six months.  John's just so SKINNY. He has blowouts all the time because his skinny little legs just cannot fill the leg holes of the BGs I have. No matter how I put the things on.  He's got a good, average sized head, too, which is nice.


He LOVES his sister and would do just about anything for her attention. And she loves him too - she'd do just about anything to make him laugh. I so hope that lasts.


Monday, September 12, 2011

5 Months

FIVE MONTHS OLD ALREADY!


Actually more like five and a half months, but it's just us here so let's go ahead and pretend that I posted this on September 12, ok?  Well, that's when I took the photos, so there's no faking you out there, but then I started getting ready for our two week trip to Wisconsin and things got away from me. 


In this pic, John started out on the blanket surrounded by toys, but thought my computer cords might be more interesting to gnaw on.  This kid is WAY more mobile than his sister was at this age. He can really get around on the hardwoods, and he's thisclose to crawling. 

Since the weight discussion at the ped's last month, I haven't started him on any solids since I think they fill up his tummy without adding much caloric value. I will, however, give him the random bite of banana or avocado and he cries when it's gone - he's ready enough...maybe after his six month weight check.  (Although I did weigh him this morning and it seems that he is not exempt from the gaining of vacation weight at grandma's house!)



Friday, September 2, 2011

Preschool

It's blustery and cool today and feels exactly like a back-to-school fall day should, and all of a sudden my little three year old is joining the ranks of school-goers.

We kind of fell into preschool this year.  I didn't sign Lucy up for anything in the spring when every other normal parent on the planet was getting on the waiting lists for their ivory-college-lead-to programs. I just wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure she'd be ready at just barely three.  I wasn't sure I'D be ready.  I wasn't sure it would have been long enough since John was home so that she wouldn't feel like we were trying to get rid of her or replace her or some other such sad thing.  So I waited.

I ended up signing Lu up for the co-op preschool since it was cheap and close to our house.  But then I started getting a thousand emails a day from these over zealous moms on speed who were ridiculously excited about signing everybody up for classroom cleaning and curriculum night and assigning jobs for all the moms for the year.  I mean, it'd be different if I were going into this with friends that would share childcare, but I'm not going to find a sitter for John when I have to work there. I was not looking for more work to do.  It turns out that I already HAVE a job. And a half, in fact. So, no, thank you, Crazy Co-op Moms, I won't be bleaching Duplos with you this year.

My backyard neighbors (who are crazy awesome) have a four year old who went to the Christian preschool down the street last year and didn't have enough nice things to say about the school and the teachers and the whole bit. I contacted them and everything finally clicked on Monday. Today was the open house and we took our registration fee and our paperwork and overly excited three-year-old to the school and met the teachers, saw the classrooms, and got the run-down.

It looks, well, so much like SCHOOL.  Bulletin boards and tiny tables and tiny chairs and gym time and drawing time and bins with safety scissors and names on coat hooks.  Lucy dove right in and never even looked up to make sure we were around.  She played with the train table and looked at puzzles and made sure the books on the shelves actually had good pictures.  She even made a couple friends and shouted "Excuse me!" the teacher until Lucy had her attention (at least it was pseudo-polite, right?).

The teachers are saccharine, the other parents seemed with-it and nice, the other children just as eager as mine to come and play.  Lucy will be there three hours a day for two days a week.  I'm happy with our choice.

I am surprisingly okay with all of this so far.  I had the epiphany that John will be napping while Lu's at school and I'll have time to DO things!  So the first thing I did was look for a knitting pattern for a Preschool Sweater.  I made sure that Lucy's drawers were full of clothes that actually fit her (SCHOOL clothes!), and when I saw her get busy being Lucy all over that preschool room, I knew that I shouldn't worry.  But there's a coat hook with Lucy's name on it in a little ante-room of that preschool, and my (tiny, sweet) little baby is going to hang up her jacket there on Wednesday and run off into a whole other part of her life without me.

She's going to have a great time.  I'M the one that's going to need hugs.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Check-ups

Both kids saw the doctor yesterday.  John for his four month well-baby visit, and Lucy for her three year visit.  Both kids are still healthy and awesome.

Lucy is 41 inches tall, which is still above the 98%, and she weighs 36 pounds.  Her weight is bumped up to the 90% this time after two years of being in the 50-75%!  At the three year visit, they start taking the kid's blood pressure.  It seems odd to me, but what do I know?  After the nurse took the cuff off and left, I asked Lucy what she thought of it.  She said "It squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezed but didn't hurt. Kinda like a hug."  They also start doing BMI at this visit; she's in the 25-50%.

Lucy also pulled out the "Excuse me, Dr. Sarah?  May I please read this book?" indicating one of the children's books in the exam room.  Dr. Sarah looked at me with her eyebrows raised saying something like "So polite and so smart. What an awesome combination." I didn't tell her that it might have been the first time I've heard anything like that out of Lucy's mouth before (sarcastic exaggeration).

John's doing well, too. He's drooling up a storm and gnawing on everything he can get his hands on, but no teeth coming yet.  He's got some early stranger anxiety (the kid's always been a big bad mama's boy) and he had big sobs every time the nurse or doctor came near.  He's rolling all over the place now, and he does this inch-worm crawl thing to reach his toys already. I had something like 7 months before Lucy deigned to move anywhere on her own; this kid is already planning mass destruction, I can just feel it.

He's 26.5 inches long which puts him in the 85-95%.  This is a new thing for me; none of my babies were ever less than >98% for height before!  But all of his stats dipped this month.  In fact, he weighs 13 pounds, 6 ounces which puts him in the 10th percentile for his weight.  The doctor was a wee bit concerned about this since he weighed almost 13 pounds at his last visit two months ago and was in the 50-75th percentile.  I guess they like kids to stay close to their percentile projections.  But, I haven't noticed anything wrong with his eating, I haven't noticed anything wrong with my supply, and if I thought the poor kid was hungry I'm not so fanatical about breast feeding that I wouldn't make him a bottle of formula.

So, it's one of those We'll Keep An Eye On IT things.  Which of course means that it's probably nothing to worry about and now all I do is worry about it.  Don't bother telling me not to, I'm in Mama Bear mode. I'm guaging my supply every time he eats, listening for all of the wet, slurpy swallows. I want to feed him every time he cries, because MAYBE HE'S HUNGRY!  But really, I'm doing my best to keep dong what I've been doing and not worry about it unless it turns into something I need to worry about.

So!  In sum, my kids are both very tall and thin and healthy. I also got a copy of Lucy's immunizations while we were there. You know, like you do.  For SCHOOL.  But that's a whole 'nother post for another night.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Race Day

Today my family ran the Covey Run!

I was weepy ALL MORNING. The Covey Run benifits uncompensated care at the Children's Hospital, and we ran because a friend and colleague of Bubba's has kids with complicated health histories. There were teams of all sorts, of all ages, of all sizes. And I was weepy thinking of the kids whose lives are saved or made better by this and of my own kids who are so healthy. Why yes, I CAN push 80 pounds of stroller for miles for you. (I even saw an "In memory of" team t-shirt and shut it down, people, I almost did the ugly cry at mile 1.5.)

The Bubba ran the 10k and I ran the 5k with the kids in the stroller.

Lucy's debut race

And Lucy ran her first event: a quarter mile kids' dash. She got a medal and was SO. PROUD. (I heard "I ran SO FAST!" and "Look at my medal! I won the race!" approximately a million times. But it was cute even the millionth time.)

She is awesome.

It was a spectacular event. I'm so glad we did it.

(Look how much John enjoyed it!)
(This is my new favorite family picture.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Four



Didn't I just write a three month post? Yeah, well Johnny is four months old now. Time has sped up exponentially since John was born. I mean, the math might not back me up on this, but two kids is WAY more kids than one kid.

I like this picture because John and Toad are identical: slouchy body, vacant expression...

John found his feet yesterday. He's been watching his hands sail by his face for a couple weeks now with a curious Can I Eat These? expression. (He eats EVERYTHING.) But yesterday he got a hold of his feet. And, oh the joy of wrestling with something that wrestles back!

(Going for a Full Nelson on Toad)

This month I've gotten John on a predictable sleep schedule. I'll pause here for the appropriate accolades. Because all of a sudden? NO MORE FUSSY BABY. He's fun when he's awake! And giggly! And he plays and interacts! He rolls from front to back and back to front to reach for toys! I thought he might fuss me out, but as it turns out, it didn't last forever.

By far his favorite thing is sitting/laying somewhere and watching his sister play. Which is great for ME because it's Lucy's favorite thing too! From the other room I'll hear "Watch at THIS, Johnny!" and a train crash or a tower fall and then two sets of giggles. And I'm pretty sure that's what it sounds like when the angels sing.

Four months is FUN. All the happy with none of the fussy? I'll totally take it.

His new throne to better rule the family.

Also! I didn't tell you about his baptism! John Ignatius was baptized on July 31, the feast day of St. Ignatius. At our church we dunk the babies. I love this. I love the little naked babies splashing in the holy water.

There's just something about it; I always have to hold back tears.

And it was just such hard work being baptized, John passed right out afterward. The untroubled sleep of the newly forgiven, I suppose.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Because I'm Three

Or, more precisely, "Because I'm FREE!" is what Lucy says any time there are three of ANYTHING: signs, grapes on her plate, train cars - "There are free of dem buh-cos I'M free too!"

Saturday was a super fun party at a playground, and everyone was so busy playing that no one wanted to stop to open presents! I think that's a sign of a pretty good time. And Sunday, Lucy's actual birthday, we went to a little fair-type thing and Lu got to ride a pony. She was so thrilled, she kept saying "LOOK AT ME!" To whomever would listen.


I've been putting off writing about Lucy's birthday because I wanted to write about how Lucy is the person who has had by far the most imact on my life. The little baby that made me a Mama. The toddler who made me a Mommy. The little girl who made me a Mom. But it's hard to write that because I'm not a huge fan of Three so far. I haven't really wanted the record to show that This Isn't Fun. But then again, what is this space but a place to be perfectly honest with myself and drag you along with me for the ride?

So.

Thee is really wonderful! When it's not sucking my will to live. It's smart and cute! When it's not sassy and contrary. Three is interesting conversations! When it's not creative ways to talk back. Three is playing fun, intricate imaginary games! When it's not striking out with fists or feet. Three is having a real sense of humor and telling jokes and laughing hysterically. When it's not "Sorry Mom!" lip service and "I was JUST..." reasoning corrections away.

So far Three is about fifty-fifty, then.

I have to think that some of it is latent Get Used To Sharing Attention With New Baby. But some of it is just plain 'ole Willful Child Out To Get Me Testing Boundaries. On the one hand, I'm glad she's nobody's fool and she'll fully understand something before she's on board with it. But on the other hand, how do I keep a kid safe who wants to just maybe put her TOE out into traffic to see if it gets run over and what that feels like. It's frustrating for both of us and generally not the best time in our lives.

It reminds me of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem There Was A Little Girl: "There was a little girl, who had a little curl/right in the middle of her forehead/When she was good, she was very very good/but when she was bad she was horrid [...]" (Which, now that I think about it was how my mother described ME, so maybe this is just payback. I shake my fist at your mother's curse, Mom!)

I mean, Lucy can be so sweet and play so nicely and come up with the funniest things to say and do. I love having conversations with her because she actually has some sort of insight or pretend bit or interesting observation to share, now. She's always been so verbal and so smart, and right now is no exception. And when she decides that she's not down with something? She turns into a wild beast of evil intentions. Flip, aaaaand flop.

I don't know why anyone calls the Twos terrible when Three ensues. Has nobody noticed? Because everyone I've talked to says that Three is the challenging age, not Two. I mean, Two was all about pushing boundaries, to actually FIND them. Three is systematically pushing at each section of boundary to see if and when they give. (Hopefully Four is all about living happily within them. Wouldn't that be nice!)

Minutes old:

One year old:

Two years old:

Three years old!


My little baby girl. My heart aches it's so full of love and pride for her. Be gentle with me, Three.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Random Stuff

Since I can't put a proper post together this is what you get:
__________

I've been reading a whole lot of books lately. I have five or six out from the library right now and I'm racing to get all of them finished by the time they're due back. Some trashy YA fiction, some contemporary fiction, and, of course, Bossypants. I've been laughing out loud and obnoxiously saying, "Bubba, listen to this..." But most of all I can't stop referring to John's chub as "crotch biscuits" while giggling. She's obviously changed my life.
__________

We started Lucy in swim lessons for July and August. She LOVES it. It's something special that she and Bubba get to do together - they usually go out for ice cream afterward. She's great in the pool, follows directions, tries new things. But she still screams about getting her hair washed or her face wet in the bathtub. Sigh.

__________

John's started rolling both front to back and back to front. He's only 15 weeks old. I feel like Lucy took way longer to get there. I didn't have nearly enough put-the-baby-down-and-he'll-be-there-when-you-get-back time. That's not to say it's all intentional - he'll definitely roll trying to reach for a toy, but it's still a big surprise (to him!) as to where he ends up.

He's also started laughing out loud. It's the best thing since smiles.
__________

The Bubba has three projects going on simultaniously at work. That means that we hardly ever see him any more; he's working crazy hours (for the last two weeks he's logged almost 170 hours).

It's hard for a variety of reasons, the main two are 1)I'm worried that he's stressing too much and not getting enough sleep, and 2) I have to change my priorities. My house being clean has to take a back seat because there's only so much I can do with two Littles. Making healthful dinners has become more of a priority to make sure the Bubba at least has some good healthy food in his belly. It's hard for me to let things go, though. I am a prideful person and I think that I should be able to do it all at all times and when we're living in a messy house I feel like I've failed. So it's been a touchy time around here!
__________

Speaking of letting things go, I'm really sad that I haven't been training for the half marathon I'm supposed to be doing in September. Like in 7 weeks. Yeah. Don't think that's going to happen. Which totally sucks because I've been recruiting my and the Bubba's family to do it with us, and I HATE the idea of everybody doing it without me. Someone said "Why don't you just run/walk it?" and I wouldn't want to because I wouldn't be DOING it then, you know? Maybe not? I'm a nut job. Maybe there's still time to get some training in if John starts sleeping more consisitantly or if the Bubba stops going in to work at the crack of dawn so I could get a longer morning run in. Yet to be seen - but it ain't looking good. Again with the Being All Things At All Times. I mean I KNOW right now it makes sense that I should just concentrate on getting good sleep and doing what I CAN (workout videos). BUT. That doesn't stop me from wanting free time to go running by myself without children crying in the stroller.
__________

Lucy's been waking up dry after naps. Which is fantastic! Except that she insists on having a lollipop for a reward treat.


And even that wouldn't be a big deal, but she makes it last forrrevvvvverrrrrr by having the smallest tongue-out lick of it every few minutes. And THAT means that everything in her vicinity gets a shiny new sticky veneer. I've got to convince her that M&Ms can be good victory treats too.
__________

Yesterday there was a wicked thunderstorm that came through our neighborhood. A couple of times I was alarmed at how close the lightning was. The kids were terrified - we very rarely get electrical storms like that around here. And as I was marveling at some lightning/thunder that looked/sounded like it was right over my house, we lost power. For the ENTIRE MORNING. 6ish hours of no power. It was terrible. I felt imprisoned. I couldn't even use my cell phone too much because my battery was low! So we loaded in the car and spent the whole morning at the fancy mall with a bookstore train table and a covered play area.
__________

We've got some busy social things coming up, too. A friend's party on Saturday (I'm going OUT! on my OWN! to a PARTY! in a dress I don't have to think about NURSING in!) and then Sunday is John's baptism and brunch at our house with the godparents' families. I actually had a stress dream about the baptism last night. I dreamt that I came home to get John changed into the baptismal gown and forgot to change myself, so I was at the front of the church in my pajamas and I was super mad because I bought a new dress for the baptism. Huh. Anyway.
__________

We're trying this for dinner tonight. We can eat soup because it's only 60 degrees around these parts. I've got some salad too, and some bread rising. The perfect curl up in front of the fireplace with a blanket food! No summer for us! (That's not to say I'm not thankful it's not 110 degrees here... I've become such a wimpy north westerner in the last six years!)
__________

Lucy has been doing "exercises" (the Shred) with me in the morning. It's hard working out with her because she cracks me up! She made her own hand weights out of Trio blocks and she knows all the moves and the girls' names.

I have to really concentrate so that I don't laugh and lose what I'm doing.
__________

Well, PBS is babysitting my Big Little while my Little Little sleeps, and I need to go take advantage and shower.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three and Sleep

And then the child was three months old.


And right in the middle of his I-Could-Eat-All-Day!(And-Maybe-I-Will!) growth spurt. Basically every couple hours he's crabbing either to eat or to sleep. Which, you know, is awesome. Because crabby babies rule. Or something. At least I have something tangible to blame it on. Somehow that always helps.

I really don't have much to complain about in the sleep department. John is SUCH a good sleeper. He's been sleeping from 6 or 7 in the evening until 4 or 5ish in the morning, eat and then go back to sleep until 6:30. Every once in a while he'll wake up and cry at 2 or so, but I can sleepily put his pacifier in his mouth and he falls back asleep. He sleeps right next to me in his bassinet, so I don't even really have to wake up all the way to find the pacifier or to drag him into bed with me to nurse. And then by the time I've nursed him, I'm awake enough to get up and either burp him/swaddle him/put him back to bed or change his diaper or get up for the day or whatever. I love it so much. Especially since I never could sleep with Lucy in the room. I don't know if it was a First Baby Nerves thing or if she just made a bunch of noise in her sleep or what, but it never worked well. Maybe I'm just so much more tired this time around that nothing bothers me!

One down side to John's sleep is that I have a second light sleeper. Lucy still needs her white noise machine to fall asleep and it takes her forEVER to fall asleep. John doesn't take so long to fall asleep, but the littlest squeak will startle him awake during the day. He'll sleep in the baby carrier when he's exhausted, but one nap there, and he's ruined. He has a hard time for the rest of the day. But it does mean that if I don't want to deal with a crazy crabby baby, I have to plan on being home when he's tired, which isn't too predictable yet. At least it doesn't seem to affect his night sleeping.

Lucy has been very sweet with John. She's always excited to squeeze and kiss him when he wakes up. She loves making his toys "dance" for him, and that's usually good for a smile and a yell. He yells at her! Not this soft lovey "ggoooooouuuul" coo thing he does for the 'rents. Oh, no. This is a good "GooLUUuuuu" sent from his diaphragm. Like he knows who he's dealing with. And maybe he does.

The reality - barfed on, crowded and mad.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Wedding Pictures!

You guys, I don't need a whole lot of prompting! How about a whole post just to have an excuse to show you some more pictures of my wedding dress?!

The Bubba proposed to me on November 2, 2005 in France after having dated for all of 10 months or so. On the walk-up level of the Tour Eiffel, in fact (if you ask him). It was terribly romantic. Being the broke world travelers that we were, we went to the BHV (the Tar-zhey of Paris) and picked out a tasteful yet funny-to-us piece of bling for 25 Euro. We giggled all the way to the Eiffel Tower. When we caught our breath from all the stairs, he said "Well? Are you going to put it on?" So I did.

And then he took this picture.

I was living in Nantes, France doing a year-long assistantship program. The Bubba was living in Lund, Sweden doing a year-long fellowship program. We were trying to plan a wedding in Wisconsin for the following July. We did what we could over email and phone, and we left the rest to our parents! I wanted to elope and then just have a big backyard barbeque, but the Bubba was having none of that. So, my sweet mother planned our whole incredible wedding and we got to show up for the party and have a good time. It was awesome.

I did, however pick out my dress in France. It was the second one I tried on and I just loved it. I loved the original neckline. I loved the teeny-tiny little train. It just looked well on me.

My Bubba and I walked each other down the aisle.

I got such special treatment flying with a huge obvious garment bag with PARIS stamped across it in huge letters. The flight attendants always hung it in their baggage spaces for me and everyone oohed and aahed and congratulated me and generally caught a little bit of the romantic excitement of getting married and wearing a special French dress.

Me and my (big) sister

Dancing the night away

We were sent on our way with showers of sparklers in the parking lot of the reception venue. I love that we got married on the 4th of July weekend. A) It's easy to remember, B) we always have a 3-day weekend to celebrate, C) fireworks!

And then we lived happily ever after and had two babies and never got any sleep ever again.

The end.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Super Long Photo Update

Um, so evidently I'm only posting once a month now? Man, having a bitty baby and a demanding two-almost-three-year-old is really busy. Especially now that the sun is shining. We have this inbred need to be out and soak it up quick! before October comes and we don't see the sun again until next July!

So let me catch you up.

The Bubba ran his half marathon. This is the same one I ran last year just before we found out Johnny was on board. He (Bubba not Johnny) beat my time by 33 minutes. I love him anyway. (His time was 1:38.) Lucy dictated a poster for him:

and the kids and I went to cheer him on. It was kind of fun to be on the spectator side. Doing it with two babies was a challenge, though. Parking and strolling and finding space and herding the two-year-old and loading and snacking and peeing. And then Lucy was totally clueless when my Bubba actually ran by. Ah well!

Our 4th of July weekend was wonderful.

Saturday was our anniversary. The math tells me we've been married for 6 years.

Rehearsal dinner

I'd like to draw your attention to the Bubba's SMIRK here.
Me: Happy Joyful Him: Aw Yeeah.

I got caught up in a rabbit hole of looking at wedding photos just now. What a fun wedding we had! Seems like yesterday. And yet we look so YOUNG.

[Related tangent: I got fitted for contact lenses again a couple weeks ago (I've been wearing glasses exclusively since Lucy was born) and as I started wearing them, every time I looked in the mirror I was like "Where did all these WRINKLES come from???" My glasses were doing a good job of hiding them and convincing me that I still look 25 under there. HA!]

The Bubba took me out for dinner without our babies Saturday night. Of course we had to wait for them to be asleep, but by 8:45, we were at a fancy bar having a fancy drink and talking. Yup - we talked to each other. And then we had dinner at an awesome Puerto Rican place. It was heaven. We were out until almost 11 and I thought I might die of exhaustion. Big party animals up in here, people! But! John gave us a little gift and slept for 10! Hours! that night. Exclamation! Point!

Sunday, Lucy had her Very First Swim Lesson. Not a whole lot has made me feel more like a mom than signing Lucy up for swim lessons. And she was so excited that mere inches from the door to the pool, she took a huge digger and scraped up her knee and ankle. With blood dripping down her leg, I had to break her little heart and tell her they might not let her swim with an owie like that. However, one of the ladies was like, oh, here's a band-aid and if it comes off I'll get you another one. Nothing like being lax about open wounds in the pool, but whatever!

The Bubba was the parent in the pool. As if you needed me to tell you that. That's exactly what I need right now is to get in a SWIMSUIT in front of all of these moms of six month olds who can still wear bikinis. I have about 100 pounds to lose before I'll do that. Anyway - back to Lucy - she had an awesome time and blew bubbles and moterboated and kicked legs and she's been talking about it all week. So far so awesome.

We also spent some time at the zoo this weekend. It's always a special treat when Daddy comes with us.

Some random lady even offered to take our picture. I love how you can just see Johnny's eyes peeping out over the ergo. I also love how I mis-hooked my nursing tank and manage to look kind of skanky (sarcasm). But really, what are you going to do? I had to feed the boy child by the meerkats before running to see the orangutans. It happens.

That night, I asked Lucy what her favorite part of the day was. She said it was her ice cream treat that she got to eat at the park.

Can't blame her.

Elle est pas belle la vie!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two

Two whole months since we met you. And yet, it seems like you've always been a part of our family.

I mentioned to Lucy that it was Johnny's two month birthday, she was so excited, that she insisted we make brownies with sprinkles on top and sing happy birthday. So we did. Any excuse for brownies is a good one for Lu. (She didn't drag me into the kitchen kicking and screaming either, I suppose...)

The whole name issue hasn't totally resolved itself yet, but the Bubba and I tend to call him John/Johnny and occasionally Jack. Lucy calls him Jack or Jackie and occasionally Johnny. All of this is more okay with me this month.

Johnny is mostly happy and charming. He smiles and says "aaooooo" and "ggguuuuuuhoooo" and "iye-uuuh" and "kkkkkkkhhhh" emphasizing his points with swift punches to the air. He has a special place in his heart for his sister already - saving the best smiles and loudest coos for her. It melts my heart, really. He loves being outside already and he will back arch his way right out of my arms if I don't give him enough space to look around at everything.

Speaking of arching his back, he can already push up on his arms, arch, and roll from belly to back. Not every time, but enough that I'm saying it on my blog for posterity. He surprises himself every time and mostly isn't too happy about it. He likes being on his tum. Today at the pediatrician, he rolled and surprised her too. My Strong Man is already checking off 4 month skills.

2 month checkup stats: he is 25 inches long, greater than the 98th percentile for height, and he's 50-75th percentile for weight at 12 pounds 10.5 ounces. His noggin is 40 1/4 centimeters, which really doesn't mean that much to me, but I suppose it's pretty important that his brain is growing some in there. He had three pokes today and one oral vaccine, so he's slipped into that post-inoculation coma that I'd forgotten about. Poor baby.

Last night he slept from 8:30pm until 4:30am. All I can do is hope and pray it keeps happening, because ohmygoodness it was so nice. But really, waking up to such a cute little guy isn't the worst thing I've experienced.

Happy two months, Johnny!