Monday, September 24, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

Oddly, the dinosaur "beast" is painted on the nicer of these two boys. Oh stop it, I'm their mother - I can say that. And it's true! The cute little three-year-old with the monarch on his face is definitely the more beastly of the two. I adore him, but YIKES - what a monster he's been lately. I just keep telling myself - FOUR IS COMING, FOUR IS COMING.....because in this house, three is far more terrible than two.

He's a good boy though......for the most part. At least he behaved himself yesterday at the birthday party we went to. Besides the super talented face painter, there was also a jump house, hot dogs, and a beautiful cake! We had lots of fun and it was a great opportunity to see some friends that we hadn't seen in a while, and for them to meet the baby.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

SCHOOL, LIFE, ETC. - An Update.

I've been meaning to write an actual blog post for a while now - so we'll see if I can manage to remember everything that I've been meaning to write about! Please forgive uh - everything. Spelling, grammar, sentence structure - everything. I'm going on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep (not that I'm complaining! He's totally worth it!), and whatever coffee is left in my system. I'm at about four cups per day at this point.......well, four 12 to 16 ounce "cups."

Kindergarten is going really well. I'm very happy with our decision to send BB to this particular Christian school. The staff is very warm, loving, and helpful which is really fantastic. BB is a "late bird" which means that his school day goes from 10am-1:30pm. I pack him a lunch everyday in his (yes, I too jumped onto this particular bandwagon!) personalized Lands End lunch box. The exception is "pizza day" when he likes to get the hot lunch. I just send him with a snack for recess time on those days. Apparently, almost his whole class gets hot lunch on pizza day which is fun. Anyway, there are 12 kids in the Early Bird class, and 11 kids in the Late Bird class. They overlap for an hour or so everyday. They have their teacher plus an aide everyday. The really cool part, is that they have free on site (like......30 paces from the classroom) "daycare" (that word makes me cringe, but that's what they call it) from 8am until 1:30pm. The daycare room is where the kids are dropped off in the morning. We sign them in, and then the daycare lady (who BB loves almost as much as his teacher!) walks the late birds to class. We pick them up in the same manner - the teacher walks them over to the daycare room, signs them in, and then we sign them out. It's nice to know that I could in theory bring BB to school as early as 8am if I wanted to! He really likes the free time to play outside and/or inside with his school friends in a less structured manner, so I usually drop him off at 9:30am.

I was really impressed with our Kindergarten teacher at Back to School night. Right off the bat, she gave us her home phone number and told us to always feel free to call her with questions and concerns. So basically - "She had me at Hello." The room is really warm and comfortable - a science center, a math center, art center, etc. I like that there aren't desks or tables that the children sit in for the day. Rather, there are tables at the centers, or "stations" and the kids move from once center to the other - coming together for circle time. Sort of like preschool, but with more academic basics - reading, math, etc. They use the "Zoo-Phonics" reading program, and BB is doing really well with it. They children have PE on Tuesdays, Music on Thursdays, a special Art program on Fridays, and Chapel on Wednesdays. The kids only have homework once a week, and it is usually an "engaging" activity. Something that we have to do with BB which is actually really great. It gives me a reason to sit down with him, just the two of us, and do something fun together. I try to do that anyway.....but you know, it isn't all that easy. Especially now! I really love this school. I was concerned that perhaps it wasn't going to be academic enough ("academic" - another word that makes me cringe) but they didn't get the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence for nothing, right? So I have faith. It's great to be able to drop him off and feel really good about where he is.

LB has only been to preschool twice, and so far he seems to be doing fine. I asked one of the teachers if he was being nicer to them than he was to us and she said "Oh yeah, he's been great - they don't pull stuff here - they suck it up." We both had a good laugh....she has witnessed some of LB's finer moments over the last two years, so she knows what she is in for. LB is as wonderful as he is maddening. Sure he has a temper and is stubborn as hell, but he also has a great sense of humor, is very enthusiastic, and will run up with hugs at the ready. Totally different than his big brother who mostly keeps the peace, but isn't all that friendly or outgoing until he really knows someone.
I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy Tuesdays and Thursdays. From about 10am until 1pm, I'll only have the baby. So....totally....wonderful. I'm looking forward to not only doing errands that are easier without the big boys in tow, but to just laying on the floor with my baby and playing with him! Little honey baby...I'm so excited to be able to have him all to myself without the big boys pulling me away. And lets be honest. Maybe I can put him in the bouncy seat and scrap! Or read a magazine! Or watch The View! Lovely.

As I eluded to in an earlier paragraph, LB has been an absolute nightmare. Mouthy as all get out (don't know where he gets it) and just BAD in general. The great thing though, is that he LOVES the baby. He is super sweet with him. Kisses him, is really gentle with him, always asks about him, smiles at that's great. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him any further than I can throw him - but he doesn't seem to be jealous of the baby. BB is really sweet and protective over the baby as well, but isn't as interested as LB is. "He's sort of boring Mommy..." Over the last few days, the baby has been more alert for longer periods of time, and since then - BB has begun to show more interest which is nice.
The baby will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, and has gained just about a pound since birth. He's been to our pediatrician about 3 times already, because I've been paranoid about jaundice. It's mostly gone - his chest and extremities are clear - but his face remains just a tad yellow. It's gotten much better than it was when he was about a week old, but it worries me a little that it isn't completely resolved. Our Dr. swears that he isn't concerned, and I love and trust our doctor - so I'm just going with it at this point.
In completely unrelated news, we're doing an upgrade on our kitchen, and all of our new stainless appliances were delivered and installed today. We're officially done with BISQUE. YES! We already ordered our new counter top, now we just have to have it installed...which won't be for two weeks after the measure.....which is scheduled for two weeks from now. We had grand plans to knock out a wall, get new cabinets, etc. but we decided that we were just going to do an "upgrade" rather than a remodel since this isn't THE house. This is our starter anything we do is basically for someone else. It's going to be a lot better than it is now and I'll certainly enjoy it while we're here - but no bells or whistles.

Speaking of enjoying it, I've never before been excited about an appliance, but when I saw this double oven, 5 burner range at the Home Depot show room - I just knew I had to have it. I cooked dinner on it tonight, and it's as fabulous as I thought it would be. It's going to be great for the holidays....that's for sure. Damn turkeys.....a necessary evil.

Friday, September 21, 2007

If you love something, set it free.

Remember these guys? While I was in the hospital (almost 4 weeks ago) they were outside with the boys on one of their big adventures. When it was time to put them back into their tank, it seemed that they had taken off - you know - because hermit crabs are so speedy. The kids searched and searched and just couldn't find them. Big Al had all kinds of ideas about them plunging over the deck to their deaths, our Cat Sam tricking them into following him into a dark alley.......Anyway, when I got home I was informed that they were effectively GONE. What a bummer. No one was heartbroken or anything, but I was a little bummed because I had actually managed to NOT KILL these pets for months, and that's really saying something. should see what I can do to a fern. Anyway, yesterday the boys were out in the yard when I heard BB: "No WAY!! MOMMY!" Guess what? "Gary" is back. And he's just fine!! Luckily we still have his humble little if we can just find "Cool Swimmer............"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Day of Preschool!

Tuesday was my little boys first day of preschool. I think I'm still going to call him that for now! Anyway, it went great. He's been visiting this school for two years while his big brother was there, so this was more than exciting for him. "REALLY???? IT'S MY SCHOOL NOW?!?!? ALL RIGHT!!!!!" He was so ready. I sort of planned on staying with him for a little bit before it was time to get BB to school by 10am, but I really didn't need to! He gave me a kiss, found his cubby, had his buddy Mrs. Filey put his name tag on, and he went on his way! So my big boy, my baby, and I made our way back to the car.....and BB commented that it was quieter already! After making the trek across town to drop BB off at kindergarten, I got back into the car....with just the baby.....and about cried. It was equal parts strange and GREAT! I've never dropped LB off anywhere other than Grandma's. It felt strange, but I know that he's in a great place and it's only for 3 hours 2X/week after all! Anyway, I enjoyed the quiet. And LB had a great day at school.
(funny that there is a "closed" sign on the side yard gate behind LB! I can't believe I didn't notice that when I took the picture! argh....)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Giving a Hoot

Can you find the baby?

Here's my little guy, taking time out for a picture with a few of his little friends. A special "shout out" to Gymboree for having this bib. It's just too perfect. While I'm thanking Gymboree.....let me also send them a "$pecial" hello from my husband who hate$ them with every fiber of hi$ being.

"Seriously?? Are you really going to keep taking pictures of me and all of these owls? Can't you see I'm tired and I have a goopy eye that isn't going to medicate itself? I mean really Mommy....lets be reasonable."
Are we all in agreement that he looks exactly like BB/Big Al? Check out the "widows peak" hairline! Cute!
Such a sweetheart....this boy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Head over Heels.......... love with this baby!

A couple of pictures from this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Short but Sweet

Our new baby.....a very sleepy little newborn. He has gained 6 ounces since his one week check-up and is doing all the little things a newborn is supposed to do. He is sweet and easy and soft and he smells like angels.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Three of them actually! Yesterday was my Big Boy's first league soccer game. Watching him play was so much fun, and I was really impressed with how great the kids were in general. They really seemed to know what they were doing! Some of them (not mine obviously) were so small that they were just swimming in their uniforms - so cute. Anyway, my big soccer star scored 3 goals for his team. I was so proud of him and even better - he was so proud of himself. His team - The Lightning Bolts won the game 7-3. I'm glad that we all had so much fun at the game being that we will be going to them every Saturday until Thanksgiving.

Here he is just after his third goal.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of Kindergarten!

What a day. All five of us were at school bright and early for Big Boy's first day. New backpack? Check. New outfit? Check. New shoes? Check. The parking situation was a nightmare - making me really thankful for the fact that starting tomorrow, we don't have to be there until 10am as oppossed to 8:45am when the whole entire school arrives. At first it was all excitement and smiles, but once I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him we'd be back in a few hours, he started to tear up.....and then so did I. To make matters worse - LB was absolutely falling apart at the thought of being separated from his brother. "NO!!! (sobbing) I MISS BB!! I MISS BB!! What will I DO?!?! GO GET HIM!!!! WHERE IS HE?!?!?!?" Anyway, I did my best to keep it was more than traumatic for me to leave my big-on-the-outside, little-on-the-inside gentle boy there while there were tears streaming down his face. I have to give him credit he went inside, clearly fighting back the tears, he sat down with some other little boys and began to play with blocks. What a strong boy. When we picked him up, he seemed happy and said that he had made a new friend. When I asked him whether he was going to be ready to come back to kindergarten tomorrow he said "Oh, sure I can!"

Consoling his brother---------->
<-------Trying to be strong for his Mommy...note the red eyes.
Anyway, overall I'd say it was successful. Now *I* just have to get used to the fact that he has somewhere he needs to be every single day!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

7 Days Later

Our new little guy is a week old today! So far, he's a really sweet, easy little baby. He's on a pretty steady schedule - he sleeps for two to three hours, gets his diaper changed, has a bottle, and then repeats the whole process. We love it when he's awake and looking around - wide eyed and making "o's" with his tiny little lips. He's mildly jaundiced, but nothing to worry about. It hasn't gone any "lower" than his neck, and it's getting lighter each day.

(**I should mention that these pictures were taken without the flash - sort of a so/so result. Sometimes flash pictures just look so plastic. I'm experimenting with my newest subject!)

This baby is the most gorgeous, wonderful, sweet- smelling, cuddly, adorable little baby in the world (said his mother). We are so totally in love with him - even Little Boy! He likes to hold his bottle for him and kiss him on the head while very gently rubbing his tummy. He's constantly checking on him to make sure he's okay. He's of course really curious about his belly button "owie." I'm really surprised at how well he's adjusted to having a baby in the house. The fact that the baby (so far) isn't a screamer helps of course. Big boy has been wonderful too, but that sort of goes without saying.

You know....the thing about babies (for me anyway) is that they make you want to have 15 more! I've already caught myself thinking....hmmm #1 and #2 are SO CLOSE. #3 seems SO much younger than them. He won't have anyone to play with! Maybe we'll wait a year and I'll talk Big Al into *another* little brother! I know. Have me committed. I get so worked up about the surgery, and the discomfort of the latter parts of pregnancy, but then once it all works out - all I can see are the totally wonderful parts of the whole process. The total miracle of it all.

Having Big Al home has been great. I do all the nighttime feedings, but once the clock strikes 5AM - I'm off the hook for awhile. I've been able to sleep as late as I need to in the morning (usually until about 8:30 or 9) which is WONDERFUL. I'm weeping in advance for when he goes back to work - only because of the sleep part of it. Every time I get up with the baby, it takes about an hour to go through all the motions - diaper, bottle, burp, rock to sleep, etc. He'll sleep for an hour or two if I'm lucky, and then it's time to do it all over again. Anyway, the 4 solid hours of sleep I get in the morning are priceless. Starting next week, we'll have Kindergarten drop off every day, and two weeks after that - preschool drop off twice a week. Mornings will be hectic. Thank God for coffee. LOTS and LOTS of coffee.
So that's the update! Things are going well. When I look at my big boys (all 3 of them) playing in the yard, laughing, running, chasing, holding hands....and my little baby slipping me unintentional smiles in his sleep - I feel so completely the luckiest woman in the world. Life is good.

The Coolest Grandma in the World

It has been SO incredibly hot this last week. As a special treat, my Mom surprised the boys with an 18-foot-tall water slide parked in our front yard. She rented it for the day, and the boys made sure that she got her money's worth! They climbed and slid and splashed and swam for about 4 hours - only stopping for a piece of pizza. The man who dropped it off and set it up asked what time the party was to start....uh...."no party - just two spoiled little boys" we told him. Anyway, it was a fun way to spend the last Saturday before Kindergarten starts on Tuesday! Last Friday was Kindergarten orientation. Talk about information overload, I haven't even had time to sit down and really process it all! Anyway, that's another post.

Stay tuned for a baby post.......

Here's a preview - he's PERFECT!