Friday, December 29, 2006

Two Months

Holden -- What I love about you at two months...

  • The way you bust into a smile when you see my face
  • Your sweet smelling head
  • How you grasp my shirt and my thumb when you eat
  • The dimple on your right cheek (just like your brother's)
  • Your chubby legs and fat belly
  • 10 tiny toes and 10 tiny fingers
  • Hearing your laugh
  • Watching you watching us
  • You are a good little sleeper
  • You love bath time
  • Those beautiful blue eyes that may just stay that way
  • You complete our family

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Catching Up

Despite the joys of the holiday season, it has been a difficult past week. My sweet Granny - my Mom's mother - passed away last Sunday evening at the age of 92. She was very frail, and it was a peaceful passing. But very sad nonetheless. She was a beautiful, intelligent and loving woman, and I know that my sisters and I, as well as my cousins near and far, are all so fortunate that we were chosen to be her grandchildren. The funeral was a lovely ceremony celebrating her life and what a good, dear woman she was. And she really was. There were a lot of shared stories, laughter and tears amongst our family - siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. It was amazing - my parents have been divorced for 25 years, Dad has been remarried for 23. But my Dad mourned Granny's passing as well. He adored my Granny - everyone who knew here did. I saw my parents embrace and cry together. My stepmother was so kind and understanding - even watching Jackson and my nieces during the service while my Dad sat with our family. What a testament to my parents and their strength. I feel honored they are all three my folks.

Me and my 2.5 year old and my 8 week old made the drive from Colorado to Texas for the service. It was a 10 hour car ride with stops for nursing, gas and food. I was a bit frazzled by journey's end, to say the least, as were the boys. But I was very glad to be in the embrace of family. I was so glad to see Mom, - who has been my Granny's caretaker for 20 years. As well as my sisters, nieces, Dad, stepmother, and many more. My mom is my hero, she was so strong during the week's events. I am in awe of her strength. I think she had made her peace the day Granny left us - she told her it was OK for her to go, that we would all be fine and that she taught us well -- and within a few hours she was gone.

Sleep for me and the boys was really difficult. I'm not all that certain I managed it all very well. I couldn't have done it without my sister's there to help me, that is for sure. In addition, because of the crazy blizzard in Colorado, we were not able to return to Colorado the day we planned. As much as I love my family, I wanted to be home. I missed Shawn. I didn't sleep more than a couple hours at a time every night we were there. Holden, Jackson and I are all in one room so when Holden woke up to eat, Jackson woke up, too. It was a pretty stressful week. My sisters, as I mentioned, were a wonderful help, but they couldn't nurse my newborn at night, nor comfort my 2.5 year old at 3 in the morning when he was unsure where he was. Top that with being in an unfamiliar environment for both of them, Jackson's lingering croup, and Holden catching a cold, and well, I felt like I was barely hanging on to be honest. This was my most challenging moment as a parent to be certain.

But eventually we were able to make the long drive home, just in time for Christmas. I said good-bye to my family, and a final good-bye to my Granny, and we were off. The drive home was easier for some reason, perhaps because the boys were both so worn out that they slept a lot. I came home to my husband and my father in law, who got to see Holden for the first time. We had a quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together, our first with our new son Holden. Jackson loved opening presents and seemed to really have a ball with it all. Perhaps he had too much fun - it was a little overwhelming for him by morning's end. The snow made it feel very snugly and Christmas-like.

Despite the craziness of the trip, and the very unfortunate circumstances that brought us all together, I am so glad I got to see my family before the holiday. I am glad that many who hadn't met Holden got to finally see hour precious boy. And they got to see our growing and rambunctious toddler as well. Despite all the challenges of the week, it was a lovely visit home. I hope my Granny was smiling down on us all together. I am sure she was.

My Granny with us 3 girls, sometime in the early '80's

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Can you put a price on naps??

Um, yes, you can. Approximately $150. That's the going price for a nap these days. A package of DD Batteries costs about $10. DD batteries are required for Holden's Nature's Sounds Papasan Swing, which cost about $140 when I bought it new for this baby - one of the few new items I purchased for boy #2. And I love that swing. Those DD batteries, in that amazing, snugly swing, keep my sweet son asleep for hours on end. He loves to swing in it, lulled gently to sleep. Oh sure, I've heard you should "never let them sleep in a swing!" or a bad habit will form. Well, I had to break the swaddle habit of my eldest born at 9 months - yes, 9 months and still swaddled - and that was the "recommended" way to get a baby to sleep by all the modern day experts! It was a rough addiction to break. So now, I say whatever gets my sweet little baby a good long, restful nap, I'm all for it. And besides, he sleeps in his crib at night, so he knows that place as well. But he's asleep within minutes in that swing. Which gives me peace of mind. Gives him a restful sleep. And gives Jackson a mommy who isn't constantly putting a baby to sleep. Win-win for all of us. So you bet there is a price for a nap - approximately $150. (plus additional batteries which will surely be needed in the next few weeks or so, maybe sooner). Best darn $150 we ever spent.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Better Days

Oh boy, we have had some much better days the past few days. Whew! I thought I was going to have to retire to an island by myself, one laced with a Thorazine shuffle of sorts. But alas, the boys have redeemed themselves. Jackson's cough is still rough, but he's in a better frame of mind. He's not a royal pain in the tush. We've been building towers from blocks and Pop-Ons, and dancing a lot to The Wiggles. Today I showed him a video from when he was a baby and he kept saying "Baby Holden!" until I finally got him to realize it was him as a baby. Or at least I think he got it. Who knows. He also went "swimming" in the tub today again and had a ball. That may be our new ritual. It makes him happy, which makes me happy!

Holden had a great day yesterday. He napped off and on all day, happy as a clam. He's smiling more and showing a fun little personality. He's still a grump from about 5-7 (sorry Daddy), but once he gets ready for bed don't stop him, he's ready to sleep! This kid is very different than his brother. Hates the sling - Jackson loved it. Loves the Bjourn - Jackson hated it. Hates being swaddled - Jackson loved it. Loves his binkie - Jackson hated it. Sleeps like a champ - Jackson hated it (still does). Both boys - love the boob (sorry, but they do..they are males after all...).

So with that, I can rest assured that bad days will be mixed with good days. My boys are well cared for, well fed (do Cheerios count as lunch?), and well loved. I'm not jumping out any windows. And let me say, even with Holden being cranky during the dinner-hour, I'm SOOOO happy to see my husband when he walks in the door each night. It reminds me I'm not alone in this. He's got my back -- and even a few night feedings as well!

Oh yes, here's proof Holden's a happy fellow:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2 minutes

I have two minutes to myself. That's something. Holden's napping - due for a feed any minute now, but why wake a sleeping babe? My croupy (yes, CROUP again!) 2-1/2 year old is in the tub going "swimming." Yes, I can hear him and he's just next door. He's singing and splashing. So I'm taking 2 minutes to myself. And what do I do? I type my blog about my boys. Sigh...

It's been a rather rough week. Holden is very cranky lately. He is either eating, sleeping or fussing. I'm not sure we've seen a lot of happy baby in the past week or so. I've got about a 10 minute window between nursing and napping when he's a happy kid. Then he bunches up his sweet little face and cries. I know, I know, 6 weeks is the toughest age (or so my books tell me) for an infant. But this is hard with Jackson having the croup again. Luckily he manages it much better as a toddler than he did as an infant (and yes, I can still hear him singing in the tub - LOUDLY!). He sleeps through the cough, so that is a bonus. But he wakes extra early and he won't go back. So after a 5:30 feeding for Holden (his 4th of the night mind you), Jackson woke up at 6. So I guess we were all up and awake. I'm not feeling very functional to be honest. But I guess somedays you just have to survive, as T tells me. Some weeks you just make it through...

Ooops! 2 minutes up. Mr. Fussy-britches wants to eat. Well, at least Mr. Croupy-pants is still happily singing in the tub...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Little Man

Oh my little man. I know this is a rough time for you. You've been our one and only for so long. I know it's hard to share us, now that your baby brother is here. But hang in there. There are so many good times ahead for you two. For all of us, really. Know that we, your Daddy and I, adore you and love you as much as we always have. And we may not have as much one-on-one time as we used to, but you are still as important to us as you have always been.

You are asserting yourself more, especially in the last few weeks. You are "trying" us. You are pushing limits and pushing buttons. You want to see how far you can go to get just a little more attention. You want to show us that you are a "big boy" and you can do anything and everything "all by yourself!" But you are still our little boy. You still need help tying your shoe. You still need someone to make you breakfast, lunch and dinner (though you can get an apple from the fridge and wash it all by yourself!). You still need someone to buckle your car seat, get your sippy cup, read you stories, and tuck you in at night. And baby boy, we still need you, too.

Tonight, when I went to check on you before getting ready for bed I saw you all curled up, red-car in one hand and your two beloved blankies clutched in the other. It was as if the blankies represented your babyhood and the toy car represented your childhood -- the two at war with each other. You aren't a baby by any means, but you certainly aren't a full grown child yet. Give it time. You are our first, and that is a special honor. So hang in there my little man. Time if flying by and before too long you and that tiny little baby in the room next door will be joining forces to try and outwit and out-smart Mom and Dad (sigh...not even Mommy and Daddy by that point I imagine...). And you'll be so glad to have that kid on your side.