Sunday, October 28, 2007

Birthday Bliss

Thursday was Holden's first birthday. We celebrated with a pancake breakfast and presents. Friday was Holden's well-baby check up. He received 6 (count 'em, 6!) shots. He was not happy about that. Our wee-one is a peanut. He sort of fell off the growth charts so we're going to work on fattening him up. Don't we all wish we had this kind of problem?? He's now downing a can of calorie-loaded Pediasure daily. It's not cheap, believe me, so we have dubbed it Holden's "Champagne." But I'm not worried about his weight (and neither is Dr E - yet...). He's really taken to eating solids in the last couple of weeks so we feel confident that by 15 months he'll have packed on some pounds and we can go back to regular milk.

On Saturday we had a little birthday brunch with family and a few close friends. It was a perfect day for our big guy. Grammy, Nana and Grandpa all made the trip down to celebrate with us. And the Pike's and the Weik's also joined us for the celebration. It was a perfect size party. All the kids had a ball. Especially the birthday boy, who didn't go to bed until 8:30 that night!! It was such a celebratory day. It still boggles my mind that he is a year old. It seems like yesterday that we first brought him home with us. But I suppose that must be how all parents feel, even as their children hit the ripe old age of 34.

I have nothing else poignant to add, so here are some pics of the festivities!

Polka-dot mayhemOhhhh, I get to open it!

Oh wow! An airplane - so cool!

A lesson in sharing

Happy boy

My 3 men

Birthday Prince

The Prince and his Grammy

The Prince and his Mommy

Daddy's boy

Ally, Holden's future bride

Nana, Grandpa, and Grammy....and a very uncertain Holden

The life of any party, Owen and Mr. Robb!

Jackson, showing Daddy how to put the toy together
(did I mention how many toys our baby boy received????!!!???)
Grandpa and Holden

Seriously Mom, this crown is ridiculous!
Please, please help me...please take this silly crown off my head

Owen, Lilly, Jackson J and Jackson G, chowing down on cake

Jackson, doing a little yard work

I'm so close to walking!

My boys, in their own little world. I love this picture.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One

Holden. You are one. I can’t believe how fast a year has gone by. You have brought such joy and love to our lives and to our family, and yet in so many ways it feels as if you were always here with us and a part of us. A year ago today I awoke and told Shawn I was going to have a baby that day, I could feel it. I was right. I just had no idea how crazy and frightening that birth experience was going to be! I also had no idea my heart could open up to so much more love so very quickly. Holden, I remember very little about your birth. I was not awake for you delivery. I missed your first breath on this earth. Your eyes seeing the world for the first time. I missed your first bath. Your first cries. I remember only vague moments of your first 24 hours, honestly. They come at me in fragments, even a year later. But I do distinctly remember your Daddy bringing you to me the first time, placing you in my arms, and you snuggling up for your first meal. I do remember that first moment I fell madly in love with you. And from then on, I have not missed a single moment since.

At one year of age you are a blossoming toddler. You are blowing a kiss good-bye to infancy and charging head first into toddler-hood. You have a wondrous zest for life and for our family. You love your Mama. You adore your Daddy. You worship your big brother Jackson. You know how to get your way by giving a commanding bark. You know how to pull my heartstrings simply by reaching your arms to me. You know how to melt your Daddy just by leaping into him at day’s end. You say Dadda often. You say Mama on occasion. You can sign “all done!” when your meal is over. You steal your brother’s toys and know that it riles him up. You love to hang out by the shower when I’m taking one so that the water sprinkles onto your face. You love the bottom bathroom drawer and all its many treasures. You walk the floor with your walker like the King of Siam. You do not dare try it solo though. You jam to anything musical and fancy yourself quite the drummer. You love Puffins cereal, strawberries, and vanilla, organic yogurt. You are learning, slowly, to at least tolerate cow’s milk. You just about sleep through the night. You love to snuggle with your barnyard quilt that Grammy made you. You favor my arms to most anything else…and that’s how I prefer it. You. Are. One.

Happy first birthday my sweet guy. Thank you for choosing us to be your family. We are blessed by your presence and can’t wait to see what the next year brings! Rock on little man, rock on!




...and you, one year ago...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Carv'n

Yes, it's a week until Halloween. Yes, we already carved our pumpkins. Yes, they'll likely rot.
What? Like this pumpkin can get any uglier....


Pumpkin carving with the Weik's

Jackson George, telling us all about the pumpkin...or was it the Transformers?

Jackson J and Jackson G watching Shawn's technique

Holden gets into the spirit of things

Pretty pumpkins in a row...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hot Dogg'n it

I have no idea what "hot dogg'n it" means, but ever since Jackson woke up this morning to a fresh blanket of Colorado snow, he's been begging to go "hot dogg'n." We kept asking him what this meant and he just said "you hot dog it so you are hot dogg'n it!" Simple enough. He then alluded to "Higglytown Heroes" (a cartoon on Disney), and somehow I think they must go sledding on that show and they call it "hot dogg'n it." So we finally obliged. Dressed Jackson up to the absolute warmest we could manage and he and Shawn set out to "hot dog it." Last I looked they were kicking slushy snow into the gutter. Hot dog!







Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mushy

Warning: My baby is a year next week, so the following week of blog posts will likely be mushy, emotional, weepy and all around sappy. I'm in serious denial that my baby is going to be one. I ordered his cake yesterday (we are having a small family brunch with family and a few close friends) and I felt like a spaz. It took me 30 minutes to decide on a white cake with chocolate frosting. What a dork. And I'm a little disappointed in myself that I'm not making the cake, but since I'm catering a brunch for 11 adults and 5 children, I cut myself some slack and took the easy way out with regards to the cake. But I digress. I'm not ready to accept that I'm saying goodbye to infanthood and hello to toddlerhood. He's not walking yet but I could see it happen sometime in the next month. He's trying. And soon will follow all the things that make 12+ months so much fun -- walking, talking, running, learning, singing, dancing (he's already got this one down), etc. There's a whole new world out there waiting for him. And I'm just not ready to let him have it yet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pun'kin Patch






The boys and I took our annual trip to a pumpkin patch to pick out our fall pumpkins. As with last year, we opted to hit up the local nursery rather than traipse through muddy pumpkin fields. Good choice. Since it was a weekday, Shawn was working and unable to come. But we took lots of pictures so he didn't feel too left out (and he got to pay for the pumpkins, too!). My favorite moment was seeing the sheer joy on Jackson's face as he inspected each pumpkin and picked out his favorites. As a result, we got some really fun and unusual pumpkins this year -- including a "Freddy Kruger" pumpkin full of warts and bumps and imperfections. I can't wait to carve that one. . Holden just went along for the ride and had a ball checking out all the fall colors and the multitude of children who were there (we arrived just in time for a local school field trip).

Monday, October 15, 2007

In remembrance of angels...

October 15. Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I've been sitting here trying to think of what to type for 1o minutes and words escape me. I know too many women, or rather families, who have experienced a pregnancy loss. Too many. And our own loss, though 4.5 years ago, still stays with me. It will always be a part of me, who I am, and honestly, who my living children are.

Please take a moment today to remember all the angels whose time came too early.

http://www.october15th.com/

Friday, October 12, 2007

I lied (again)

I'm wondering if this is just the beginning of many lies I will tell my children over the years, for the sake of their health and well being, not to mention sanity within the household. After yesterday's veggie-lies, I am now onto lies of the calcium variety.

This evening Jackson asked for some yogurt after his dinner (scrambled eggs with a side of apple slices - don't ask). Sure, yogurt sounds good. Healthy, nutritious, filling. I drift into my brain for a second and quickly recall we have one peach and one strawberry yogurt left. "Pink" and "orange" to Jackson. Knowing he'll choose strawberry, his favorite, I give him a choice so he feels empowered:

"Do you want pink or orange?" I ask.

"Pink!" he cries out excitedly.

Of course I open the fridge only to discover I am mistaken and there are only two peach yogurts sitting on the shelf. Orange.

Now here's where it gets tricky. I can make a point of telling Jackson that I was mistaken, and that we only have orange left. Life is full of disappointments and the sooner he learns that the better. We don't always get what we want. Blah, blah, blah. BUT it is 5:30 on a Friday evening. I know that Shawn has a deadline at work and won't be home before their bedtime. Which means I still have another 2 hours to deal with two already over-tired children by myself. And I haven't eaten dinner myself yet. And I don't feel like putting up with the tears that are to follow if I tell my moody, oft-times temperamental 3-1/2 year old that we don't have any pink yogurt after all. And did I mention if is Friday?

So I lie.

I grab the Peach flavored yogurt from the fridge. With my back to my unsuspecting child, I hastily open my baking drawer, pull out the red food coloring, and squeeze in two drops of red. Stirring quickly, the light orange yogurt suddenly becomes a beautiful shade of pink. I walk the concoction over to my son and nonchalantly place it in front of him.

"Ohhhh, this is piiiink!" he exclaims happily. And enthusiastically he digs in. And eats the entire container. And there are no tears. And no whining. And only smiles. And we are all happy. And nobody got hurt by my lie. And red food dye has saved the day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mrs. Seinfeld got it half-way right

The other day I caught Jerry Seinfeld's wife on Oprah. OK, yes, that is a very housewife-ish thing to do, but it was our sick day so cut me some slack. Anyway, Mrs. Seinfeld was talking about her new book, Deceptively Delicious. The whole concept is sneaking veggie purees into your children's meals so they get their veggies in disguise. Clever. I have tried sneaking veggies in a variety of ways but usually Jackson is on to me, because, well, you can see the tiny pieces of veggies (he calls it "grass") in the meals. So the purees had an appeal to me -- they would be perfectly hidden.

I thought to myself, "OK, self, I can do this. This is easy!" And so I did. And it was. This morning while we played I steamed some zucchini and some squash we had in the fridge. Then I pureed them easy-peasy in the blender. So easy. I then made Jackson's favorite Mac & Cheese, and slid in 1/2 a cup of squash with the milk and powdered cheese. I served it up to him and waited for the squeals of delight and praise....

"What is this?" he proclaimed within the first bite!

"Mac & Cheese" I replied. "Just noodles and cheese, like you asked for."

"There's no grass in it?" he innocently asked.

I paused. I have lied, innocently to my child before, and this was in the interest of his health, so I very calmly replied, "No honey, of course there's no grass in it!" (Which was the truth, there was no "grass" in it)

He timidly took another bite. Then another. Then another. And pretty soon he'd finished the entire bowl and asked for more. I obliged. Happily. And I felt like a "good mom" because I'd gotten my son to eat a veggie. A single veggie. Hooray!

So yes, Mrs. Seinfeld, you got it half-way right. My son was not fooled completely, but he did eat his veggies and the meal was deceptively delicious. I'll just have to see how the spinach brownies go over before I can really commit to buying your book.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Minnow


Jackson recently completed his first set of swimming lessons. He graduated magna cum laude from the Minnow class and is now ready for Guppy. OK, maybe not magna cum laude. But he sure had a lot of fun!


Monday, October 08, 2007

Family fun

Want to know a really fun and bonding family activity?!? A massive stomach bug! Yes, nothing brings a family together like mutual yakking. Really, it is a must for creating solid family time!

It all started Friday afternoon when Holden took an unusually long afternoon nap. I was so excited he slept so long that I called Shawn and told him we were going out to dinner. It is rare that we ever go out to dinner because Holden goes to bed so early. But I assumed, since he napped so well, that we could manage a quick meal at our favorite French cafe. It was a fairly enjoyable meal except that Holden was fussy, despite his nap. I even ended up nursing him in the bathroom at the cafe just so we could finish our meal in moderate peace. Fast forward to my getting Holden into bed later that evening. With little warning he projectile vomited all over me. Amazing that if anyone in the world vomitted on me besides my own child, I'd probably want to up-chuck as well. I guess it is a bit like changing poopy diapers -- my own kids' diapers don't bother me (much). So we threw both boys into the tub and gave Holden some Tylenol because he felt a little warm. Still clueless, I blamed his odd demeanor on teething. He has upwards of 6 teeth coming in so I assumed that was what was making him ill. (I should add - at last, our two-tooth-McGooth is getting more teeth!) I then got him into bed without struggle and he slept through the night.

Saturday Holden was still a little feverish and moody, but again I was thinking teeth. We gave him Tylenol and some extra TLC hoping it was still teeth coming in and that the worst would be over soon. We got through the day with a rather fussy baby but little further incident. I even went out with my girlfriends for a delicious meal at Sienna at the Courtyard downtown. We had a great evening, and when I got home both boys were sleeping great. Hooray - well done honey! So off to bed I went. Shawn fell asleep on the couch watching the Rockies game, and I snoozed happily upstairs. Until around 3 AM when I proceeded to yak my guts out... for the next 15 hours. Yes, 15 hours of unbridled yakking!! About 10 hours into my journey Jackson felt the need to join in. Then a few hours into that, Shawn felt left out so he joined the fun. We were all a completely miserable bunch, competing for our turn at the trough. 7 loads of laundry later we all fell into bed at 6PM on Sunday evening. Fortunately Holden's illness was pretty much gone, isolated to his single incident Friday night. He slept fine in his room. Jackson, Shawn and I holed up in our bedroom and managed to make it through the night incident-free.

The bug was obviously a 24 hour stint, as today we were all much improved, though very weak. Shawn worked from home. I found calming activities for the boys -- including potato prints and tire painting. And Jackson was begging for a nap (yes, begging) at 11:30AM. He slept 4 hours before I went and woke him. I cleaned the house because, needless to say, it was disgusting. It still needs some major airing out. Shawn suggested we hire a cleaning crew. I tend to agree. It is that bad.

I cannot believe the destruction a little virus can do in less than 48 hours. Fortunately Holden seemed to fair the best. Poor Jackson was incredibly saddened by the whole experience. Every time he threw up he would cry that it hurt and that it made him feel sad. Oh sweet boy, it made me sad just seeing you so sad! But truly, it was a bonding experience for us all. One I hope not to repeat anytime soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Spiders on the brain

I'm feeling very creepy, crawly today. A few weeks ago my neighbor told me her husband found a black widow spider in their bathroom. YUCK! I was sort of shocked. But we do live near some undeveloped open space, so there are critters out there. But I don't expect them inside my house! Then last weekend my other neighbor found a black widow on their front door. Double YUCK! It was a baby, but the tell tale red markings were there. Then this morning as I was taking the lid off Jackson's sandbox I noticed a black widow clinging to the house! Triple YUCK! This really freaked me out. Now, granted, this one was dead. We had an exterminator out just a couple of weeks ago because we had ants feasting on all the food Holden drops during mealtimes. So I'm thankful the spider was passed its prime. But it certainly has given me the heebie-jeebies. Then, to top if off, I was getting some canned pears for the boys' lunch and there was a tiny baby spider on one of the canned pears! What the heck!?!? Is this some sort of pre-Halloween prank?!? Needless to say I did not feed the boys the pears. But it made me wonder about any other canned fruit I've given them as of late. Blech! And I keep feeling things crawling on me even when they aren't. YUCK! YUCK! YUCK!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Subtle

I have to make fun of my husband's subtlety for a moment. Today was a hectic day. I had more going on than usual and I was making a list of everything I needed to accomplish as we all ate breakfast this morning. I started rambling through my list, talking aloud:
  1. Go to the post office to mail my niece's birthday present
  2. Go to the grocery store
  3. Unload groceries
  4. Do the above with two small children, one of whom is refusing morning naps as of late
  5. Take Jackson to preschool
  6. Pray Jackson doesn't hit anyone at preschool
  7. Race home and put Holden down for nap
  8. Clean house for playgroup tomorrow
  9. Go back to pick up Jackson from preschool
  10. Take the boys to the library to return movies and get new books and movies
  11. Make dinner
  12. Re-clean the kitchen
  13. Put the boys to bed

So this was my list. OK, well, I didn't list all of this. But this was my day. It was non-stop action. After going through my list, however, Shawn says to me

"Yeah, that is going to be a busy day. I feel bad that you have so much laundry, too."

OK, I get it. Laundry was not on my original list...but it is now. Subtle dear, subtle.

Now, to Shawn's credit, he never asks me to do laundry. I just do it. He's pretty laid back in general about my housekeeping. But he did tell me he was out of underwear so I guess he was in the right to hint at my doing a load or two. And I did 6. By the way.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What I love about turning 34

At 34 I weight 40 pounds less than I did at 33

I have three men who fight over my attention daily

I still have my own, original teeth

My husband still can surprise me (thanks for the new earrings honey)

I got birthday cards and/or email from friends I knew when I was 4, 14, 24, and 34

I own my car, outright and clear

I don't miss having a "real job" (well, maybe I miss the coffee breaks and gossip)

I have sisters who I call my friends

I have a mother who I call my friend

My dad's birthday card to me made me laugh out loud

Cake

I have wrinkles and stretch marks and I've earned them

I'm young enough to remember when the Smurfs debuted on Saturday morning TV

I'm old enough to remember watching Wonder Woman on TV

Yesterday I wore a shirt I bought when I was 17...and it fits

People take me seriously if I make my "I'm and angry mom/customer/woman/driver/wife" face

I own a staple gun and I'm not afraid to use it

I no longer have to decorate with just twine and a few dried flowers (T and D will get this one)

Real furniture

I can laugh at myself daily

I'm not 40

I'm also not 35


Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sneak Peek

Sorry, I can't resist. Holden in his Halloween costume 30 days early...