Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Break in the Weather

After days of rain, Monday was nice. Well, it was cold....but the sun was out and that was good enough for us. Big Al had taken the day off, so after N. got out of school - we brought the kids to the park. Much to their delight, the bocce ball court was flooded. Most of the other parents were yanking their children out of the water....telling them that they didn't need to get wet, etc. Not me! I'm a real stickler about some things, but the "puddle battle" is one that I never pick. Keeping my kids out of a puddle is much like trying to keep the white off the rice. It was great to get outside after being stuck indoors for so long. Plus, I had a great time taking pictures!

Baby Jack took his first real turn on a swing. He was thrilled! I love watching him experience new things. It never gets old, you know?

This one of the baby with his Daddy is my favorite shot of the day. It wasn't posed. My big tough husband is and has always been affectionate with the boys, but he's especially taken with this little guy. The feeling is mutual I think.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Recipe for Success

He hates plain rice cereal. Really, really doesn't like it. I tried mixing it with pureed applesauce. Nope, no good.

But! Pureed ripe banana (about a two inch piece), a few good shakes of rice cereal, an equal amount of already-mixed formula all put into my handy little "chopper" and VOILA! "Yummy" says the baby.

Rain rain go away

The weather has been horrible lately. More proof that I could NEVER live in Washington. EVER. Year after year, I survive the rainy season because I know that it will eventually END. The kids don't mind too much. They've had at least two trips to the store where I say "New crayons? SURE. You guys both want to get a new Transformer? YOU BET. A new video? ABSO-freakin'-LUTELY. Throw it in the cart, guys. Just throw it in the cart." Anything to keep them from bouncing off the walls at home.

Being stuck indoors, one of the things I love to do is bake. Cookies, breads, anything yummy and good-smelling is nice. But since I'm watching my diet closely these days, I just don't need the temptation.... much to the dismay of my children. They had to settle for hot chocolate - albeit the good kind, made with cocoa powder, milk, and sugar on the stove top. Topped with whipped cream and a few chocolate sprinkles just for fun, they didn't seem to miss the cookies all that much.

Big Al got called out to go work in the mountains at 2AM on Sunday morning. He got home last night at 11pm. 21 hours of double- time. I can't believe that it's even legal for him to do that! The company figures it's okay since the guys get to spend unlimited amounts of money on dinner (imagine a pack of cute, rain-soaked, blue collared guys walking into a white tablecloth restaurant. PRIME RIB ALL AROUND!) and then to sweeten the deal, their paychecks are heavily padded for the time they put in. I don't know. Big Al doesn't seem to mind. If someone (other than my children) called me at 2am and wanted me to get up and go to work, I'd tell them where to stick it. But that's just me. Thankfully, he saw this coming and scheduled a floating holiday for today. He oughta be able to catch up on some sleep and take a break from the crazy hours he's been working. Prince that he is, he just left to take N. to school and he brought R. with him. What a guy. On top of that, he got up with the baby at 5am because I have a terrible cold and he didn't want to wake me up. Like fine wine, he just keeps getting better and better as the years go by.

My goal for today is to start the process of getting back to scrapbooking. I haven't scrapped since WAY before 5-month-old Jack was born! I wish it were as simple as sitting down and starting on a page. But it isn't. I have to first go into my scrap room (which is now fairly clutter I have that going for me) and see where I left off. Then I have to get on the computer, pull up my pictures, and make a spreadsheet (a great tip from my friend Jodie) of all the layouts I have to do. Then I have transfer all of the pictures that I will be needing to one of my picture printing sites. Probably Then I order some. Then I wait. Once they get here - I can start scrapping! I should really resist the urge to scrap chronologically. It stresses me out, and forces me to do pages that I'm not in the mood to do. I'm not super anal about anything really (my family might beg to differ on that)....but for some reason I need some order when it comes to scrapbooking. I hate that about myself!

Another thing on my mind....I want to research sewing machines. I LOVE the look of machine stitching on scrapbook layouts. Besides that, I've paid for so many little appliqued and embroidered shirts, bibs, etc. ( my favorite cyber-place.) for Jack that I could have made myself if I knew how to sew. I swoon over beautiful fabrics all the time...thinking of cool things to make. I'm also sick of paying to have N.'s pants hemmed. I mean come on, I'm going to have to do that for YEARS as Jack is built just like him. Might as well learn how to do it myself. Another thing I'd love to do is make adorable girly things that I could sell on Etsy. It would be a great "girly" outlet for me!

So what do you think....have I made my case for buying a sewing machine? Also, any suggestions on what kind to buy?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Out with the old, and in with the new - the dental version

Check it out! N. has reached that adorable, toothless stage. He's lost a total of 4 teeth now (although the two bottom teeth have already grown back in!) and frankly, it's getting expensive. You know...according to the tooth fairy. Apparently, the teeth that he's lost were his "sweet teeth" because with every tooth he loses....he seems to be a bit less sweet. Grrr.
But that's another post.

And look at the baby! Two adorable little teeth have popped in on the bottom. You guys....seriously. This love love. I swear I'm going to end up with 10 kids (probably all boys!) because I just can't get enough BABY! Just looking at him makes me want to rush over to where he's sleeping and smell his head.....and nibble on his cheeks.

He's Out of The Will

N: "Mommy? Are you going to have another baby?"

Me: " I don't think so, why?"

N: (peeks under my shirt) "Well, because your tummy is still kind of....big"

This after losing 16.5 pounds since the first of the year. Great!! Just the encouragement I was looking for!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Baby's First Bronchiolitis

My little Jack is sick.
It started with the sniffles on Saturday, and was a full blown hacking cough, red eye'd, 102.8 degree fever by Sunday afternoon. I brought him to see Dr. McDreamy on Monday who was concerned with both the fever, and at how fast it seem to hit him - especially since he didn't "catch" it from any of us. Dr. McD is NOT an antibiotic pusher, which I appreciate. However....he wanted to give him some to be on the safe side, and I was fine with that. We left with instructions to have him sleep sitting up, and to call today if I felt like he had gotten worse. So last night, I slept on the couch downstairs so that Jack could sleep in his bouncy seat right next to me. As of this morning, he was officially "worse." Really grainy breathing....crying....I know...babies cry....but not this one! He fusses, but doesn't out and out *cry* as a general rule. He just seemed really sick to me. He sounded horrible. His breathing, his voice.......and he just wasn't himself.

I called to get Jack back in to McDreamy's today, and wouldn't you know it - he was booked solid. This angered me as I was under the impression that my children were his top priority in life. Anyway, I ended up bringing him to a different pediatrician in the same group. She was nice. Not as Dreamy as McDreamy, but what can you do? We can't have it all people, we can't have it all. She was glad I brought him in as his illness had definitely spread to his chest. She gave him a breathing treatment in the office, and sent us off with a prescription for a nebulizer machine and albuteral. We are to give Jack these 5 minute breathing treatments every 4 hours today, every 6 hours tomorrow, and so on....for the next 5 days or until he gets completely better.

It's scary, you know? This is my third child and seeing him sick like this (you know....something beyond a cold....requiring antibiotics and a breathing machine thing....) scares me to death. I know that he'll be fine. He's a big, healthy boy. But every time he coughs I feel like my heart is being pulled out of my chest.

Better go get my pillow and set up the couch.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Funniest Kid

While playing with Jack on the floor.....

Me: "Do you like your new baby?"

R: "I love him Mommy. He's daaaaarling."

While driving.....

R: "Mommy?"

Me: "What Honey"

R: "I *SUPER* need to go to three. AWESOME. places."

Me: "Oh yeah? Where?"

R: "Well - I need to go to Hawaii, and to the Rainforest, and to Chuck E. Cheese. See Mommy? Three AWESOME places that I *SUPER* need to go to. And Mommy - I need to go there TOMORROW."

Me: "I'll get right on that"

Has Anyone Seen this Man?

Because as you can well imagine, WE HAVEN'T! Ever since last Thursday night when the storm rolled in, he's been working NON-STOP with only 8 hour breaks between shifts. Just enough time for a quick shower and some sleep.

This picture was taken when he stopped in one night because I couldn't get our brand spankin' new generator going. That's it - chained to the tree behind him. Classy, right? Once we heard that the storm was going to be substantial - I sent him to Home Depot to get one. Living where we do - they're wonderful to have. Once the power goes out, you never know how long you'll be in the dark. Could be 24 hours, could be a week. We were lucky - 17 hours.

A gassed up generator gets you about 6 hours of power, with enough plugs to have the coffee pot, the fridge, and the travel DVD player plugged in if necessary. I have found that 6 hours isn't very much. When your kids get up at the crack of darker-than-a-thousand-midnights, you need a good three hours of generator use in the morning. Then you turn off the generator and suck it up all day. Then at 5pm, you turn the generator back on and have a little light for the three hours before the kids go to bed. Then you're done. Well, not really. Theoretically, you can put more gas in it! But I don't do that. Big Al does, but in these situations - he's off saving the world so I'm out of luck. But again - we're lucky to have gotten the power back as quickly as we did. I have some friends who *still* don't have power!

Speaking of luck - we're lucky that a tree didn't fall on our house. Lucky that the precarious hill behind our house (we really need to put in a retaining wall) didn't collapse. That being said - I really hate being without power. See - I let my kids watch TV. There. I said it. Whatever - I'm okay with it. I mean, they don't watch TV CONSTANTLY or anything, but in the morning when things are nuts, and in the late afternoon when I need to get dinner started, and other things done - I let them watch a couple of kids shows. When the power is out, and they can't watch a show or two - they get whiny and bored and annoying. We can't read! We can't play! We can't color! We can't draw! It's too dark! I'm sick of play dough! I hate our yard! Blah! Blah Blah!
Having a house amongst the big trees is wonderful...but on a stormy day, it's really dark in the house without lights on - even in the day time.

Slowly, the residual storm mess is getting cleaned up. Broken power polls are being repaired and replaced. I hope it's all taken care of soon, because I'd really like my husband back now!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Weathering the Storm

Grandma was telling him a "ghost" story while the power was out over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

4.5 Months

Baby Jack is growing so fast!

At his four month check up, he weighed 17 lbs (less than what registered on my home scale) and was just over 29 inches long. 75th percentile for weight, and 90th percentile for height. Like N., he's all torso. As is standard for my babies at 4 months old, two teeth have broken through on the bottom. Little sweetheart that he is, he's taking it like a pro. I have given him grape flavored infant Tylenol a couple of times which he found to be absolutely delicious.

He is so, so, laid back. Smiley. Friendly. Cuddly. A really nice guy I'd say - which is wonderful for me as his brothers have been a bit of a challenge lately!

His sleeping is....well....that of a baby I guess. We run around so much during the day, he takes lots of little cat naps in his car seat. Poor thing has such a hard time taking a good nap at home while N. and R are around because they are SO LOUD all the time! It's weird. He'll sleep through the vacuum, the phones ringing, the occasional raising of my voice (read: yelling) at his brothers, but he can't stand to sleep through the rumpus of the big boys who are very boisterous and physical in their play together. Anyway, he'll go down for the night around 8pm and then wake up around 12am, 4am, and 7am for bottles. The 4am wake-up is really just to keep us on our toes, and make sure that we don't get to that *good deep sleep* as he never finishes more than an ounce or so, but INSISTS on having a bottle just the same. I was trying to hold out until the 5 month mark to start giving him cereal, but if a little snack before bed would get him to sleep longer - I'd be fine with that.

I'll start with the doctor suggests.....but if he thinks it's gross (and really, can you blame him?) I'll go with what the other boys liked: organic baby oat cereal mixed with formula, a little bit of applesauce, and just the tiniest sprinkling of cinnamon. Mmmm. Much better.

I love to hear him laugh. There's really nothing more adorable than the laughter of a little fuzzy headed, slobbering creature with twinkling eyes.(as an aside: his eyes are NOT BLUE! How fun! Something different!) Provided of course, that the creature is a baby. He thinks his brothers are hysterical, and the feeling is mutual now that he has started "speaking" in a series of high pitched raspberries. I have a hard time getting him to smile for the camera though. He's just too interested in the camera itself to laugh at his Mommy, who is inevitably making goofy faces and cooing at him.

So many mothers have wondered, when expecting a new baby, how they will love this baby as much as they love their other children. What can I say? You just do. So, so much. This little guy is wonderful. Everything I could ever dream to have in a baby.