Sunday, April 29, 2007

Holden at 6 months


My son. You are six months old. Six months. I can hardly believe that. I remember too well the day we found out we were pregnant with you - or rather, the night we found out, since it was 2:00 in the morning when I tested. But here you are, all 15lb 7oz of you, 6 months into your life on this earth. Your smile lights up the room, and your laughter is golden. Golden Holden. You love your Daddy and your brother. Jackson makes you laugh more than anyone. But I'm sorry folks, this boy is all mama's-boy. And I love that. I love how you watch me across the room, waiting to see when I'll come and get you. And if I don't come when you expect me to, you make it known that you need me that minute! I love how you hold my thumb when you nurse and look up at me with complete trust. I love how you squeal when I turn you upside down. I love how mellow you've started to become, after a few months of being on the fussy side. I love how you snuggle with me at day's end, and how I can put you in your crib with a kiss and a hug and you drift off to sleep on your own. You are a paradox of independence and co-dependence. During the day I call you my "extra appendage" but just when I'm comfortable toting you around in my arms or the sling, you mix things up and demand some solo-time. That is so like me. I thought, when they told me you were a boy, that it was going to be the exact same experience raising a 2nd boy. But boy oh boy was I wrong. You are an individual Holden. You are your own person. You are you, and there's no confusion in that. I anticipate daily how you will change and grow. I anticipate how you and your brother will interact. I anticipate a lifetime of your delicious smile.


At 6 months. My sweet little man. I adore. You.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anybody out there??

Recently I've received several emails or message board posts from friends and family who read my blog. I guess I'm always a little surprised and a little flattered when anyone takes the time to read about my sweet (or not so sweet- depends on the day) boys, and our hectic life together. I love getting these emails or posts because it's fun to compare and chat about our common connections. I really love it when I have an unexpected comment on my blog - it keeps the conversation going, and proves once and for all that I am in fact quite popular (this is a joke because if you look at the number of comments you will see there aren't many). ha ha. In fact this morning Shawn says to me "there's a comment on your blog." Huh? Really, cool! I ran as fast as I could to read what someone wrote to me. Cool. It was a post from another blogger who's blog I recently read and commented on. I guess that's sort of what the whole blogging community is about. Though mostly my blog is for catharsis and putting my cute kids pictures up in an easy format. It was still cool to see someone write to me.

If you are out there, give me a shout. I'd love to hear from whoever might be browsing along. I would also like to put to rest my still-lingering-20-years-later Jr. High School pains of being incredibly shy and unpopular.

-----------------------------------

Oh, and my kids were especially cute last night. Shawn was stuck in traffic due to this icky late April snow we just got. So I was desperately trying to get a fussy baby nursed and off to bed, while my almost 3 year old (who refuses to nap) was having an epic meltdown. Eventually they both ended up in my arms in the rocking chair in Holden's room. How I managed them both is beyond me. Holden nursed. Jackson snuggled. The both passed out before I got to the 2nd verse of "Baby Mine." Awesome. I loved that moment so much I cried. It was one I'll never forget. Both my boys, quiet and sleeping snuggled up in my arms. That is bliss.

Speaking of "Baby Mine..." So I have a college degree in theatre. Yes, a very useful Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing. Most people look at me quite puzzled when I tell them this because the natural reaction is "and what did you do with that degree?" My answer -- easy, I became a marketing-manager-turned-stay-at-home-mom, of course! Anyway, I think I was a fairly decent actress in college. I was in some pretty good shows (in my very humble opinion) and won "Best Actress" and "Best Acting Student" two years in a row at the theatre department's annual awards banquet. But I sucked as a singer. Seriously, I was dreadful. I could fake my way as a dancer, but the singing was horrid. I can admit that. As a result, I did very few musicals during my tenure. One to be exact. And believe me, there was no solo or duet for this off-key warbler. Nevertheless, at auditions each fall and spring of my University career I had to audition for each season's shows. That included a monologue (no problem) and a song (big problem). I dreaded that part of auditions. Probably the casting folks did, too. I remember distinctly my first college audition singing "Baby Mine" from Dumbo. I also remember, very clearly, all my friends making fun of me for choosing this song. And for my performance in general because, like I said, I can't carry a tune. But I was determined. I sang it with all my heart because I think it is a beautiful song... and I totally sucked. And a few of my friends reminded me of this sucking for years to come. It was that bad. But I loved that song and still do. When my first son was born I sang it to him all the time. It is sweet and gentle and even off-key, he didn't care. The Better Middler version of "Baby Mine" is on his nightly CD. He's listened to that CD every night since he was 4 months old. Now, 3 years later, anytime I sing any song from that CD he stops whatever he's doing, smiles at me, and sweetly says "that's my song." He doesn't care that I suck. He doesn't care that I can't carry a tune. I'm his mama. And he's my baby mine. And my college friends can bite me. Because the most important judges of my singing are my two boys. And they think my voice is angelic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Warmed over blankies

Jackson has two blankies that are his extra appendages. He doesn't make a move without considering them. They are his best friends. If he is feeling bad or sad or has just gotten in trouble, he snuggles them and says that they make him feel all better. I was a blankie girl myself, snuggling my own pink receiving blanket for far too many years, so I totally love this about him. Jackson's first blankie is a sweet yellow blanket with bears on it. My friends Monica and Chris gave it to us when we were several months pregnant with J. It was the first baby gift I allowed to be opened after I sort of passed the 12 week mark in my pregnancy. The second blankie is white with delicate blue stripes and cute little puppies on the flip side. It is so soft. My friend Christine gave it to me with a set of matching jammies at my baby shower. It's funny because Holden was wearing the matching jammies several months ago and Jackson sort of stared at him in disbelief. He got up very close to Holden and touched the jammies, looking incredulous and sad. I had to explain to him that they were not his blankie, they just were the same fabric. I had to physically show him his blankie was ok and had not been sacrificed to his baby brother for pajamas.

So these two blankies survived infancy, and bypassed all the other dozens of blankets that were given to us at the time of Jackson's birth, to become the blankies. Jackson cannot sleep without them. They are drug up and down the stairs all day long. They sit with him at lunch. The roll around the floor with him in the playroom. They snuggle with him in his bed. They are capes, make-shift tents, and parachutes. They are also stained, smelly, and gross. And he will not let me wash them. I repeat: he will not let me wash them. That isn't to say that this germaphobic mama doesn't wash them; it just has to be a very stealth, covert mission. I have to wash them first thing in the morning when he's hyper and running around and not in need of a nap or a snuggle (who am I kidding -this kid rarely naps or snuggles anymore anyway). I have to wrap them up in a disguise of sheets or towels, run with them to the washer downstairs, and dump them in and start the wash (on HOT) before he notices. If for some reason he does require said blankies while they are washing or drying, I have to distract him. I throw on his favorite video, or pull out the bubbles, or in desperate times - offer him cookies. And on the rare occasions I have been discovered washing and drying the blankies, a meltdown of epic proportions usually occurs. He wails and screams that he does not want his blankies washed. If they are in the dryer I usually pull them out -- even if they are slightly damp-- and thrust them into his tearful, heaving arms. Then he will usually cry and scream that he doesn't want warm blankies. He wants them cold!!!!!!!! NO WARM BLANKIES!! So I flap the blankies around until the delicious warmth leaves them, and they return to their cold, stained state. (oh yes, those stains are there for life -- and I'm a stain removal queen!) The tears usually subside within a half an hour or so, and life returns to status quo. Until the next covert blankie washing mission.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Family project

Whew. That is all I can say. whew. Recently Shawn and I discovered new-found respect for teachers. Not that we didn't already have the utmost respect for educators since all of our children's grandparents, two aunts, and an uncle, are teachers. But we have now offically up'd our respect level. We attempted a family project the other day. I can't really go into too much detail about the project itself, as the project included gifts that might be received by individuals who read our blog. But let me just say that it involved two trips to Home Depot and a trip to the craft store. Both boys were less than willing to participate at first. That was the first step of frustration. Finally I just put Holden (aka Mr. Fussy!) down for a nap since he's really a little too small to even get what was going on. But Jackson loves crafts, so I coaxed him until he wanted to participate. Then he wanted to participate too much. Shawn and I were all over the place trying to keep him from spilling, wrecking, stepping on, smooshing, and over-decorating the project. This was one child! I kept saying to Shawn I couldn't imagine trying to do an art project with an entire classroom of students. And when Holden did wake up to join us, it added a new level of complexity because, well, let's face it, he's 6 months old. Glitter beads are not high on his list of fun. But finally, 2-1/2 hours into the "simple family project," we were done. And the outcome was adorable. But the rest of the day Shawn and I walked around in a total daze. That two hours put us over the edge. I'm not even sure the boys got anything out of it. But I will say this. When it was all said and done, Shawn asked me "is this what your every day is like?" "Yep," I replied, "that about sums it up!" I'm pretty sure he has new found respect for my job as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Papa's got a brand new car (and other musings)

Shawn's gone green. He bought himself a Toyota Prius - a hybrid vehicle. It's a pretty sweet ride I must admit. The coolest part is the entry and starting up. There's no key. Just a little key-fob that you carry with you. The car senses when you are near and you simply push a button and the car starts. I'm excited for him to have a fun new toy. His little Civic was a nice car - we just got it a year and a half ago new. But for a guy who commutes to work daily, it didn't have much power and it was really loud. So he decided to splurge on something he's always wanted (or at least always wanted as long as they've been around) -- a hybrid vehicle. Cool.

A rare picture of myself with one of my boys. Jackson and I goofing off after our zoo day yesterday. Oh man, I love this kid. (ps - still doing great on potty training - woo hoo!)

Holden, chilling out, eating some grub. I can hardly believe this little guy is almost 6 months old. I swear it feels like just yesterday I had him. He is becoming so fun and funny - he has as squawk like a pterodactyl. It's damn cute!

I call this picture "a plate full of choking hazards." OK, that isn't funny since he actually did choke on a hot dog a few weeks ago (he's fine, but scared the poo out of Shawn and me). But I noticed that almost everything on his plate is considered a choking hazard for small children - turkey hot dogs, whole grapes, mini carrots (and some tomatoes - those aren't hazardous).

Bad mommy!

And finally, Holden's first ride in a swing. He wasn't sure of it at first, then he just sort of chilled out and enjoyed the ride. Again, the squawking was outrageous.

I really think he looks a lot like a "Broome-child" in this picture. Our genes live on!!



peace out

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh my...





My smiley, sweet guy... you bowl me over daily with this smile. I no longer draw a paycheck. I no longer have a 401K. I no longer have leisurely lunches or coffee breaks or even go to the bathroom by myself. I no longer get to gossip with the girls or have cocktails after work (unless you count my glass of wine after you guys are in bed). I no longer wear anything that isn't wash and wear. But YOU (and your brother!) are all the benefits that I need. You make every day worth while, and every day count. I love you, my smiley, sweet guy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

3.5 Mil

I had a dream last night that I "won" 3.5 million dollars from my older employer, Real. Weird. I'm sure I had this dream because I was recently invited to join their alumni website. Also, I'm guessing, this dream was the manifestation of my "once upon a dream" of making a lot of money from my RN shares. Pan left to the bubble bursting. My fortune didn't happen. So there I was in my dream with my "won" 3.5 million. And in my dream I flat out told Shawn - "We're out of here! Let's buy our dream house in Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle) and blow this popsicle stand!" Now the reality is that I do love Castle Rock. I think it is a totally cute town, and a great place to raise our boys. But alas, obviously my internal workings have another agenda. They continue to miss the green, floral lushness of that town we once called our own. I don't know what our future holds for us, but obviously there is no real 3.5 million that are going to get us back there anytime soon. Plus, well, we do have a home and a life here now. Maybe if I plant enough tulip bulbs next fall I'll have my "Seattle-spring" right here in my own back yard this time next year. I'm thinking about 3.5 million bulbs ought to do the trick.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Potty progress UPDATE: II

Sorry to keep posting about potties, but I'm still on cloud 9! I didn't change one, single diaper today. Jackson went to the potty every single time he needed to go! He even managed to pull down his pull up and go poop in the potty during his nap time -- meaning I wasn't in the room to guide him. He did it all on his own! Wow. This is so exciting. I never knew I could be so excited about poop and pee!!

Oh, and just so Holden doesn't get left in the cold -- today he burped so loudly that both Jackson and I jumped and shrieked with surprise. It was SO loud! My little guy is growing up so quickly.

Ah yes, I definitely have a household of men!

Potty progress UPDATE!

WOW! I am in shock. Jackson has gone pee-pee 3 more times, and even POOPED in the potty! I'm totally stunned by how quickly this has gone. I know we are nowhere near being "Potty Trained" but he is definitely "Potty Ready!" I'm beyond proud. Of all the things my son has done in his 3 long years on this planet (and 9 months to the day in the womb) -- this is the thing I think I'm most proud of! Woo-hoo!!

Potty progress

I don't have time to write a bunch. I just want to remember the exhilaration of my eldest son going pee-pee in the potty for the first time. It was a joyous occasion, followed by cupcakes, a potty dance, a new car, and an M&M. Then he went 3 more times! I'm so excited. I hope we are on to something good. He's now running around the house bare-bottomed .... and I have to say, he has the cutest little tushy ever!

(oh, and we have also had 2 accidents...but Rome wasn't built in a day!)

Way to go little man!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Emily

This is Emily. My youngest niece (so far!). And my blog's biggest fan. According to my sister Debbie, Emily reads my blog daily and loves looking at the pictures. Sometimes she'll have to look 2-3 times before she'll let my sister off the hook. So I thought I'd surprise her with her own picture! Cheers to you my littlest fan; thanks for reading!! xoxo Love you, Aunt Amy

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter 2007

Some pictures from our Easter. Hippity Hoppity!
Brunch at Uncle Al and Aunt Janis's -
Holden and Mommy
Shawn and Aunt Janis

Holden and Big Brother Jackson laughing at each other

Nana and Jackson


Holden, showing Uncle Al who's the boss


Easter 2007 (continued)

Some pictures from our Easter weekend. Hippity Hoppity!!


Egg dying is messy!

Fancy Eggs.

Daddy and Holden

Leaving Carrots for the Easter Bunny

Hunting eggs inside due to the blizzard outside!

Friday, April 06, 2007

EBF

I am blessed that my second child nursed perfectly the first time he latched on. I cried because it was so easy with him. With Jackson I struggled a lot in the first month or so, and never imagined I'd make it 3 months -- I lasted 9. But Holde was a champ nurser from day one. Woo-hoo!! He also took bottles well since we introduced them early on as a supplement. Then, suddenly he stopped taking a bottle a couple of months ago while he was in the hospital. It was a rough transition for me because it was nice to have one feeding a day that Shawn could help out with -- especially in the middle of the night. But alas, all the trying of different nipples, bottles, formula, pumped milk, etc, proved the kid is a total breast-man.

So I have let go of my anxieties and frustrations about it all, and have embraced being an "EBF" mama. EBF = Exclusively Breast milk Fed. It's a term used widely in breastfeeding circles. I have a few friends who are EBF mamas, mostly from my uber-fabulous mommy-message board that I belong to. I always sort of looked at them in both awe and confusion. Awe that they could be the sole provider of sustenance for their child. And confused -- Why would you want to be the only one feeding the baby? Why wouldn't you want your husband to help? Why wouldn't you want to be able to leave the baby for a few hours without worrying that the baby was going to starve? Now that I have sort of been forced (for lack of a better word) into this position, I look at it all very differently. I am a proud EBF Mama! Aside from 1/3 serving of baby food that he currently gets per day (minuscule really), I provide 100% of my sweet boy's nutrition. That is amazing to me! The female anatomy amazes me once again -- in its ability to nurture a being from birth to one year with almost all necessary nutrition! And free nutrition at that. That rocks.

Even more than that, Holden and I have a pretty special bond because of our circumstances. He survives because of me, and in a way, I survive pain-free because of him (if you've ever weaned a nursing child before, you know what I mean by that). It's truly a miraculous thing in my eyes. And to see my sweet little guy, warmly nuzzled up next to me, his finger curled around my thumb, happily eating away -- it melts my heart. The act of nursing a child is as old as time (they didn't have Playtex bottles 500 years ago!), but every time my child latches on I feel a bit like it's the newest, most amazing feat. And it makes me adore him even more. So here I am being an EBF Mama, and I couldn't be prouder or more pleased. My hats off to all my EBF mama-friends. Now I totally get it!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Storytime and Peas

Two BIG events in our house today:

1. Jackson sat through his first full story time at the library!! This might not seem like a huge feat to some, but for my wild-child, it's huge! We have tried doing story time several times over the past few years, but Jackson doesn't like to sit still. I can't blame him. A kid's gotta move! But I have always watched the other kids sit there so quietly and enjoy the story time, and wondered what it would be like to watch my own child enjoy that activity. I love books. My Granny was a librarian, plus all the educators in my family -well, it's ingrained in me to love books. I want my children to love them, too. And Jackson does love to read... at home. He'll memorize books after just a couple of reads. (My mom is amazed by this talent. I think it is pretty cute myself.) But get that kid in a group setting for story time and forget about it! He does not want to sit still! So we gave up story time last year and now just check out books and look for the dolphin statue when we are at the library.

Today we were there getting some books to take home with us. Jackson noticed all the other kids sitting in the reading room listening to stories. It had been over a year since I tried taking him to story time. He looked at me wide-eyed as if to say "What are they doing in there?!" I smiled and told him he could go in and listen if he wanted. He smiled an enormous grin and sat down on the brightly colored rug with all the other kids. He listened so attentively. And when it was time to participate - with songs or hand motions, there was my kiddo, happily joining in. He was the most excited child in the room. The other moms were giggling at how excited he was -- as was I. I was never so proud of him! When it was all over he jumped up and down shouting "Hurray!" and clapping his hands. He even looked confused that the other kids weren't all shouting and clapping as well. The librarian even stopped to tell me how good he did! I beamed! And called Shawn right away to share the good news. Maybe he won't get kicked out of preschool after all!

2. Holden ate peas today and loved them.

Big day, big day...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

bedtime battles

We are fighting a losing war with Jackson lately with regards to going to bed. He doth protest.

Every night Shawn and I put on our game faces. It's bedtime. There's no argument. Period. Bed. Now. Now! NOW! Then the yelling begins. Jackson screams and yells and throws a typical tantrum (at least I hope it's typical)refusing to clean up his toys, brush his teeth, put on his jammies, go into his room quietly, read a book, you get my drift. It's a war! And Shawn and I are so worried that if we give an inch - say, maybe not make him pick up his toys for one night -- he'll take a mile. We're convinced that if we don't stick to the routine, he'll end up as the class-punk whom all the teachers dread having in their classroom each year. We are convinced he'll be kicked out of preschool before he even starts. He's a strong willed child, to say the least.

Bedtime usually takes a good 30 minutes, when it should take 10-15. He's an expert staller. He wants water. His blankies. His red car. One more story. Mommy or Daddy, whoever is not in the room at the time. You name it, he'll ask for it. He will be an excellent debater when the time comes.

Then, when we do leave the room -- at last -- his pleas for us to return bearing gifts of milk, songs or snuggles does not end. It's a nightmare before sleep even comes. Then, eventually, the quiet comes and he sleeps. And he is peaceful and calm. I slip into his room and the face that was scowling at me in anger and frustration is soft and dewy. He's sweet and gentle and almost makes me want to weep with how innocent he is. And I fall madly in love with him all over again. And we wonder what the fuss was all about...until the next night when it starts all over again!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fart

Never thought I'd have a post entitled "fart" but it is appropriate - I promise Mom!

Today Jackson's foot made a farty noise when he drug it on the floor. He turned to me and said:

"That was my foot, not my bottom!"

That's too good not to write that one down!

(ps this picture has nothing to do with farting, I just thought it was cute!)