Thursday, March 29, 2007

Notice

My boys are starting to notice each other. Well, Holden is starting to notice his brother Jackson. (Jackson noticed Holden a long time ago) But its wonderful to see them catch eyes, or laugh at one another, or share a kiss. I love when Jackson hears Holden waking up from nap - he runs into his room, throws on the lights, turns off the humidifier and smiles and coos and hugs his brother tightly. And Holden - oh man - when he sees Jackson he busts into a grin to beat all grins. He adores his big brother. It makes me smile. It takes my breath away. And reminds me why we decided to expand our craziness to two kiddos in the first place!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

My turn

Everyone says Jackson is a spitting image of Shawn. They are correct. They're baby pictures mek them look like twins. And Holden has also been given the "look-just-like-my-daddy" seal of approval - everyone says he too looks like his Daddy. They are correct. The look like twins. But lately I'm starting to see a change in him. Holden I mean. He's starting to look more like me in small ways. I was caught off guard by this picture of him because it looked so similar to my own baby picture. At last. It is my turn to claim one of these two children. I mean, after all, I did grow them. And went through two grueling, though wildly different deliveries. And nursed them. And take care of them 24/7 (along with Shawn's help of course, but that is besides the point). I deserve to have something of "me" come through in at least one them, right??


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Sleep Fairy

Last night I was exhausted. It was an exhausting day. Period. I just wanted to sink into my bed and sleep. I did so, at 9:15. 9:20, Holden woke up. Now, he had just gone down at 6:30, and I knew he was not hungry so early. And I couldn't move. Could. Not. Move. I was that tired. So I let him cry. He fussed. That was all. Off and on for awhile. I don't really know how long because I fell asleep - so obviously it was a quiet cry. I awake to the sound of Jackson turning over in the room next to us at night, so it truly was a quiet cry. Shawn thought I'd gone in and fed him since he stopped crying. At midnight I heard him cry again - this time it was definitely for milk. I obliged; 6 hours is long enough for a breastfed baby to go without noshing. I fed him quickly. Went back to bed. Suddenly I looked at the clock. It was 5am. !!!!! I shot out of bed. Surely Holden had suffocated. Surely he was starving to death. He hadn't gone that long without eating since before his hospital stay. I laid there panicking. I couldn't go back to sleep. Shawn was in the other room sleeping because his snoring is driving me insane (that's for another post) - so he wasn't there to calm my nerves. I laid there waiting to hear a peep. I was so worried something was wrong with him. I had left his furry tiger Mr Growlers in the crib with him and surely he had choked on it. I slipped quietly in his room to check on him - I had to - and heard him sucking his hand. He was alive!! I slipped back to my bed. A few minutes later, around 5:45, I heard the cry. It was so soft. And probably I could have left him to fuss a bit. But I was so full of milk I could barely stand the discomfort. So I went to him. I nursed him and cuddled him. And when he was done I put him back to bed and sunk back into my own. A few minutes later I heard him laughing. Yes, laughing! I'm pretty sure he and the sleep fairy were having a good laugh at my expense. This went on for another few minutes. And then I heard silence. I drifted back into my slumber. At 7:45 Shawn propped Holden onto my lap. They'd been up since 7:00 playing. And my sweet little guy was in the happiest mood.

Thank you sleep fairy!! Come back again tonight and I'll leave you a box of Girl Scout Cookies!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I love that song

This morning, shortly after I put Holden down for his nap, I caught Jackson standing outside the nursery door. The gentle music from the little Fish Aquarium crib toy came quietly floating out of Holden's room. The same toy that Jackson used to listen to when he was a baby in that very same crib - not so long ago really. As I noticed Jackson standing by the closed door, I thought he was going to bound in there, waking up his brother with a mountain of enthusiasm. As he has done one too many times before. But he just stood there quietly, his ear sort of cocked towards the door, motionless.

"Buddy, what are you doing?" I asked.

He looked up at me, sort of startled out of his trance. A wondrous grin spread across his face. "I love that song Mommy!" he responded.

And I melted. His little brain had registered a memory from his own babyhood, and recognized that song as something special. Special indeed. Because I love that song, too, little man. Purely because it reminds me of you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What the kids are up to

I've been a whiny baby lately, and haven't really "bragged" about what the kids are up to. So here goes.

Holden Charles - aka Holden McFolden, or Boo-Two
  • Rolls over when the mood hits him (twice now)
  • Laughs out loud
  • Blows raspberries
  • Adores baths
  • Hates cereal
  • Gives wet, sloppy kisses
  • Grabs for toys, and tries to eat them
  • Recognizes Mommy, Daddy and his brother Jackson
  • Wakes at least twice a night to eat
  • Is a total Mama's boy
  • Takes great naps
  • Totally loves life!

Jackson James, aka Boo Bear, Punki'n

  • Talks non-stop, in absolutely complete and descriptive sentences
  • Puts on his own shoes and shirts
  • "Acts out" scenes from Bob the Builder
  • Winks
  • Loves to be tickled
  • Current favorite books: Duck in the Truck and Blueberries for Sal
  • Current favorite food: cheese, pretzels, milk
  • Loves to make his brother laugh
  • Loves to wake up his brother by screeching really loudly
  • Loves to play trucks, trains, cars, airplanes and helicopters
  • Recognizes just about anybody he's met more than once before
  • Is a total Daddy's boy
  • Takes OK naps
  • Totally loves life

Friday, March 09, 2007

My friend Laurie rocks

I have this friend. Her name is Laurie. She's a Seattle friend. She' s post-baby friend. Well, actually, she's a during-baby friend. Shawn and I met Laurie and Gary in birth class when I was pregnant with Jackson and she was pregnant with her gorgeous daughter Dylan. You know when you are in that type of situation, a bunch of strangers thrust together because of one common circumstance? Well usually you look around and try and find the FP's in the group. The "Friend Potentials." 'Cause you get stuck with a mish-mash of personalities and it is best to find FP's quickly so you don't get stuck sitting next to the couple who's husband takes his (smelly) shoes off every class, and who's wife always has a relateable story to every single birth-scenario topic that comes up (you know how I'm talking about Laurie!). So Laurie and Gary were our FP's from class. And as fate would have it, our children happened to enter this world on the same exact day just hours apart. (Dylan is the older of the two, by a couple of hours, which is why I'm convinced she's potty trained and Jackson is not). Anyway, after our kids were born so close together, it sealed the deal. We all became fast friends and watched our babies grow the first year of their lives. Then we moved. And we missed Laurie and Gary and Dylan and Mo (the dog). We still miss them.

So the reason Laurie rocks. She sent me a card the other day. It was a sweet, simple gesture. She'd read my blog about how I was having a rough day/week/month/life and she sent me a card to check on me. Sure we email quickly in between our crazy, busy lives. But this gesture just made my day/week/month. And it reminded me how lucky I am to have the great friends I have in my life. Even the ones 100's of miles away.

So thanks Laurie. You rock.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I am a good mommy

I've had a lot of self doubt lately. Taking care of 2 boys under the age of 3 is a lot of work (duh!) and I've been unsure of my skills and how I'm managing. Plus I'm totally sleep deprived. That makes for a cranky mommy. But as I have watched my happy boys over the past few days I've realized I AM a good mommy. The news lately has had some horrific stories of what I would term "bad moms." I can't even really talk about the stories without getting upset, but suffice it to say, the children I've read about recently are no longer living with their "bad mommies." I'm not one of those moms. I love my children unconditionally. I take care of them. I play with them. I do their laundry, make their beds, wipe their faces, change their diapers (yes, even Jackson's - he's still not PT'd!), do art projects and cooking projects, play trains and cars, slide at he park, do the itsy-bitsy spider, make up silly songs and dances, get up with them at all hours of the night, and kiss their sweet faces in the morning even if I've only had a total of 4 hours of sleep the night before. I am mad about these boys. And hopefully they are mad about me, too. Tonight I slipped in to kiss Jackson good night after Daddy put him to bed (thank you honey!) and he turned to me from his sleepy haze, wrapped his tiny arms around me, told me he had fun going to the home depot today, and most importantly, that he loved me. Oh man. That just makes my world.

I love you, too, little man. You boys are what make me a good mommy. And oh yeah, your Daddy is one great Daddy, too.

Holden doing the "Hiney Dance" (a dance we made up)


Jackson eating the "homemade ice-cream" we made last week

- frozen strawberries blended with yogurt - yum!


Holden, my littlest chap!

Jackson, "refusing" to nap...except that he eventually did


Two boys in a tub (sans water)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Live music

The Wiggles LIVE on Stage!

That was supposed to be my lemonade...


Sleepy Holden...


Daddy and Jackson after the gig

The first live music concert I ever saw was Helen Reddy in 1981. I was 8 years old. I begged my mom to get tickets because I loved Pete's Dragon and I also loved the song "Delta Dawn." I don't remember who else came with us to that concert - probably my sisters came - I just remember seeing her cross the stage in a flowy red dress and I was completely mesmerized. Over the years I really grew to enjoy seeing live music. My first concert solo (sans mom!) was "Cheap Trick." I was 14 and mom dropped me and my friend Shan off and picked us up when it was over. I can imagine she was sweating bullets the entire time. Over the years I continued to enjoy seeing live shows. In college we went to The Depot District and saw cheesy alternative acts like Deep Blue Something. It was cheap entertainment, all we could afford back then. When Ruth and I were living in London we were ecstatic to see Ani Difranco and Erasure (not together of course!), two of our favorites at the time. And when I moved to Seattle, well, you couldn't help seeing live music. It was everywhere. I went a lot to shows my first few years there - at The Croc, The Showbox, The Sit-n-Spin...all cheap gigs with cheap beer, but lots of fun. My favorite show I remember seeing at The Croc was "The Presidents of the United States of America" playing along side Sir Mix a Lot. Now THAT was a show! I don't remember a lot of the gigs from those days, but I definitely remember that one.


When Shawn and I got together we saw a lot of bigger shows that came through. The Gorge Amphitheater was an amazing venue to see the likes of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. We saw Dido, David Gray, and Dave Matthews & Friends at Key Arena (also not all together, of course!). In fact, I was 6 months pregnant with Jack when we saw Dave - he rocked in my belly the entire time. We also loved going to hear jazz at Jazz Alley. That was always a treat to get dressed up and listen to some great scatt'n. There's just something wonderful about seeing musicians play live, feeling the rhythm, and enjoying the atmosphere.

But alas, our days of going to live music gigs came to a screaming halt after the birth of Jackson. We no longer had the time or the energy (or the money) for such frivolities. We stayed close to home and enjoyed the time with family. That was until Today. Today we saw our first family-friendly live show -- 4 grown men jumping around, dancing and singing, in brightly colored t-shirts. I'm talking about The Wiggles Live of course! Now that trumps all live music experiences ever, simply because of the look on Jackson's face seeing his beloved Wiggles live. It was enough to bring me to tears. He actually seemed to clam up at the experience. As if seeing this kid-like-royalty live was too much to bear. In fact, he kept sucking his hands throughout the show, something he's never done before. Then I noticed the kids in the row in front of us were doing the same exact thing. It was obviously a coping mechanism for dealing with the shock of seeing these guys live and in person! But the minute a song ended he would erupt into applause, screeching YAY! and waving his electric light Wiggles stick that Daddy shelled out $15 for. It was a wonderful experience. Even though by the end he could barely keep his eyes open. And even though Holden sort of fussed through the whole show - obviously too much to take in for a 4 month old baby. It was worth it because maybe, just maybe, he'll hold onto this memory just like I did with Helen Reddy. I know I will.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Red curtains

This afternoon I was trying to put Holden down for his nap. He wasn't really in a napping mood. I was nursing him and he kept looking up, slyly smiling at me, and then he'd bust into a giggle when he caught my eye. He was totally playing a game. Finally I just said "ah forget it!" and pulled him up to my face to smother with kisses. He was cooing and ahhing all over the place. Then his eyes caught a glimpse of his curtains and he was instantly mesmerized. They are red denim curtains and they cast a sort of rosy, pink glow in his room when they are closed. He stared so hard at the curtains, then reached his hand to touch them. Obviously the most luxurious fabric in the world! He touched them, pulled his face into them, fluttered his little eyes as they caressed it. It was such a priceless moment. I never knew plain old red, denim fabric could create such a perfect little moment. But it did.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

8

When did my little boy turn 8?? Seriously, he acts like an 8 year old sometimes, not a 3 year old. He surprises me a lot these days with his maturity. Or maybe not maturity, but silliness that "makes sense." Before he would act silly and I had no idea what it meant or why he was acting silly. Now it seems to make perfect sense and be appropriate. I'm not even sure that makes sense.

Tonight we had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. I amnot a huge fan of that place. It is stimulation overload. But fortunately it is a weeknight so not quite as busy / crazy. It was Jackson's buddy Jack's 3rd birthday. Jack has a 6 year old brother and there were a lot of other 5-8 year old kids at the party, besides all the 3 year olds. All the toddlers are sitting, calmly eating their pizza. The older kids are all on the mini-stage dancing. Jackson looks at me wide-eyed, and asks if he can go dance. At first I said "No, eat your pizza." Then I thought, why the heck not?? Let the kid dance! So I sent him up to dance. He jumped up and down like he was in a mini-mosh pit. He was laughing and jumping and dancing and having a great time. Suddenly all the other toddlers noticed his antics and before long the stage was filled with kids of all ages. Everyone of them was dancing and yelling and jumping up and down. It was priceless!! At one point I was talking to another mom who I'd just met and Jackson came over and asked HER if she would dance with him. Not me. Her! She declined, but it made me realize I have worrisome future ahead of me. The girls in his life are gonna love this guy, seriously. And it won't be 30-something moms he's asking to dance.

Ho-hum, he's growing up way to fast.

Oh, and PS - Chuck E. Cheese + 4 month old = beyond over stimulation!!!!!!!!!!