Friday, February 29, 2008

Good News/ Proud Mamma

I just received what I thought was the dreaded principal phone call. The kind of phone call that makes your stomach drop the second you realize who you're talking to. But Mr. Bacon called just to say how much he enjoys having Will at Lemme! He said he's made it his personal goal to call 5 parents every day with good news! He said that Will is a great kid and every time he sees him he's always being kind to other kids.

After getting off the phone I told Will that I'd just talked to Mr. Bacon. His eyes got big. I told him what his principal had said and told him to come over and get a hug. He asked me if it was going to be quick, (he was on his way out the door to play outside.) I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him how proud I am of him. He said, "I'm so glad that I have two parents who have a kid who does good in school." I thought I almost heard a compliment in there about my superb parenting skills, but no, it turned out to be more about the kid!

Ummm....

Just look at the stuff they do to me! I actually kind of like it. The holes are fun to hold onto.

"Frends" Forever

Will had the day off from school yesterday, so I set he and his brother loose with some of my craft supplies and this is what he came up with, a friendship bracelet for Sam: Now if they'd just act like friends...

Sick of Snow

We've got so much snow around here that the icicles have nowhere to go except UP. Actually, things are starting to thaw around here a bit on through the weekend. One way I know this is because we have a new leak inside the house this morning. This time water is coming through the basement light fixture above the downstair's shower in a steady drip. Luckily the water is going right down the shower drain. Unluckily, there's a new dinner plate sized water stain on the ceiling around the light. I suggested to my sweet hubby he might want to get home and clear off the roof, but for some reason he's not too concerned about it. Evidently the damage is already done. How in the world water is making its way from the roof, down two flights to the basement I have no idea. If he's not concerned I guess I won't be either. It's not like I'm about to climb up on the roof.

On the plus side, maybe spring is coming and we'll actually start to see some pavement again!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why Sit When You Can Walk(er)?

Out of all the contraptions we have in the house to put Max in, he seems to like his walker the best. He's even managed to get it moving more and more lately. And soon he'll be getting into trouble with it.


Who me?!
This is his new "shy smile."



Pay no attention to my dirty bib.
How do you open these things?

Warning: this next picture is not for the squeamish.
"Catch-all" bibs with a pocket - the greatest invention ever. Do you suppose its intended use is to catch spit up?


Getting into trouble, already?!

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Feeding time:
Mmm, that was good. I'm so full.
Hey! What's this rascal doing?!Fun with Daddy:

New favorite game - peek a boo:
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I know, I know! I've got some fierce camera skills!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Round Two

Will stayed home from school today and we went in this morning to confirm what I already suspected: Will has strep throat again/still. Round two of antibiotics.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleepless In Iowa City

Here's how my night went (and this is pretty typical):

11:00pm - went to bed, but laid awake for close to an hour, thinking about when Max was going to wake up.

12:30am - Max cries, just as I'm starting to sleep good. Husband chivalrously goes in and comforts him - not sure if this was the pat the back method, or the pick up and hold method. In any case he's back in bed in 10 minutes or so. Or at least it seemed like 10 minutes, from my snuggy vantage point. :)

3:00am - Max cries, I go in, he's on his back - not how he wants to sleep - roll him over, pat his back until he stops squirming and goes back to sleep, applying just enough pressure that even though he tries to roll back over, he can't. I'm back in bed in 10 minutes or so.

4:30am - Will is crying in his bed. I go in and his arm has fallen asleep. I rub his arm, hand and fingers until the pain stops. I stop at Max's door, and listen for any sign that he's woken up. I hear nothing. I tell him "I'll see you in half an hour, when you wake up." Ok, I didn't really tell him that, but I sure thought that.

5:00am - sure enough, just as I'm sleeping good, Max is crying, this time I know he's hungry. Feed him a bottle. Curse the fact that there is NOTHING on TV between the hours of 3-5am except infomercials. Max falls asleep. Lay him down, spits up in his bed, rolls over and is awake. Pick him up, burp some more, lay him down asleep. Spits up again, pick him up, burp some more, this time rock in rocking chair awhile. Contemplate whether or not there is a puddle-free area of the bed to lay him on, or whether to wake Damon up to change the sheet. Decide to let Damon sleep - you can thank me later, honey. Actually you can thank me tonight, when YOU get up with him, instead of me!? :) Lay him down, asleep....he's still asleep....yep, still asleep. Contemplate why I get hungry in the middle of the night when I've been awakened. And yes, 5-6am is still the middle of the night, no matter what you early risers say. Have a cookie. Ok, and a glass of milk. Back in bed at 6am. Look at alarm. It's set for 7am. Start to cry. (Not really, but I wanted to. It would have been too much effort.) Reset alarm for 7:30.

7:20: Will comes in, wakes me up from my puddle of drool and says, "School's cancelled today, right?!" Tell him no! Look at clock and start to cry. Take 5 seconds to mourn the loss of 10 minutes of precious sleep. Tell Will to get dressed. Promptly fall back into deep sleep.

7:30am - alarm goes off, wakes me from deep dream. Seriously! Hit snooze. Don't care if Will is dressed or not. Promptly go back to sleep.

7:39am - snooze alarm goes off - ahh! Nine extra minutes of sleep made all the difference in the world! Not really. Decide I'd better get up and see what Will's up to. He's in front of the TV - in his pj's.

7:40am - it's time to make a mad dash to get ready for school!

8:20am - Will is out the door. No problem! Debate with myself whether I would have had time to hit the snooze button again.

8:21am - Ahh! What do I do now? Can I go back to bed? Depends on if Max is still sleeping. I don't hear him. Good! But first I need to check my email, and then see if Pioneer Woman picked my entry for her latest "name that photo" contest (she didn't), and then I'll just write this blog post. THEN maybe I'll crawl back in bed. Ohp! What's that on the monitor? Sounds like Max is awake. No sleepy for me.

Do you see why I'm always so tired?
Do you see why nothing creative is coming out of my brain?
Do you see why my house looks the way it does?
Do you see why Damon's always getting sick?
I could go on, but I won't. I have a baby to go get.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sam and Max's First Fight

Yep, you read it right - their first fight - not a fist fight, thank goodness, but a fight (although totally one-sided) all the same.

Sam was pushing a small toy car and having it run into Max's exersaucer, causing Max to laugh - a small laugh. Somehow Sam fell over and hit the door frame, banging his head, and he yelled "OW!!!" Which caused Max to let out a BIG laugh. Sam yelled, "It's not funny!" Which caused more BIG belly laughs from Max. Several times Sam yelled "It's not funny!" each time getting madder and madder and getting more and more huge laughter from his baby brother. Finally Sam yelled "I hate you Max! For real!" and stomped off.

So I had to do something I've never had to do before - act as mediator between my 4 year old and 6 month old. I explained to Sam that Max didn't understand- he wasn't laughing at his pain, that he just liked the sound of his yelling. I had to make Sam apologize to Max for his hurtful words, and I'm pretty sure that Max forgives him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What in the World?!

This is how we found Max the other night - he'd rolled himself over and taken the blanket he'd been laying on with him, and somehow gotten the burp cloth rolled up in there too! Just his mouth was peeking out. He was happy, still kicking and playing, but it looked very strange! I don't know how he manages to do these things. I think he's going to continue to be a very busy boy from here on out.

video

We Survived

Yay! Will is back to school! Whew! Those kids were starting to drive me nuts after 5 days of no school. Friday was a conference day, Monday was President's Day, Tuesday was a snow day, and today we had a two hour delay. But we made it! I am, however, dreading Spring Break and summer vacation. How will I ever survive the bickering, the whining, the obnoxious TV shows, the "I'm bored's" - and that's just me?!

Lucy kindly offered use of her services to give you all a little perspective on how much snow we've got at our house. Yes, the snow is taller than she is:

Damon routinely has to dig out the mailbox. He's been known to have to get on his knees and kneel on the snow pile to get the mail out.


Here's our street - still VERY icy. I don't know what it is about our patch of street - further down it's much smoother. But right here it's extremely bumpy with ridges of ice. You feel as if you or your car are going into convulsions. It's fun the first 20 times, but after that it gets old. Must be something about the wind or the drainage in our little "valley."

The snow fort, with the new and improved secret back entrance.

Sam wants to know when he can ride his bike. Not for awhile buddy, not for awhile.

I Stand Corrected

The exact wording that Sam insults Will with is the following:

"Awww, that's so sweee-eeet! You love your Mamma?! Awwwww!"

I know because this is what I woke up to hearing this morning.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do You Love YOUR Mamma?

I don't know where this came from, but Sam's latest thing that he says to Will is, "Awww, you love your momma?! That's so cu-ute!" said in a baby talk voice. Believe it or not, his intention is to use me as a putdown - ME! I know! I was just as shocked and appalled as all of you. This jab, coming from my Sam: my most demonstrative and affectionate child - who is always ready with multiple hugs and kisses and spontaneous "I love you's." Will, who is a little more reserved with his affections, can't stand the teasing, which is exactly why Sam does it I suppose. It's like his masculinity, what there is of it at age 8, is being questioned.

No one cares how all of this makes me feel.

So, since Sam is still just as demonstrative as always, when he comes to me for lovings, now I say to him, "Awww, you love your momma?! That's so cu-ute!!" and Sam just laughs, it doesn't deter him one bit, plus it makes Will happy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Snow Fort

Will and his good neighbor friend Alex built a snow fort today in the front yard. There was plenty of snow already piled up to make a good start. They packed snow up and around using our plastic wading pool as a roof, so that it wouldn't collapse. Side view:Room for at least two!Inside:

Now they're working on a back exit, and covering up the front exit. Not sure why. Perhaps so it can't be seen from the street/sidewalk?


The plan is to continue working on it tomorrow, since there's no school for President's Day.

Saturday Fun

On Saturday Damon was feeling better and ready to get out of the house for awhile. (He came home at lunch time on Friday and slept all afternoon due to a bad cold he's had.) He suggested we head over to the Iowa Children's Museum at the mall since Rockwell Collins was sponsoring a free admission day. Everyone else evidently had the same idea! Despite the crowds, everyone had fun. Sam liked the Pizza Parlor:


Care for a slice?
Will likes anything to do with building stuff: video
What you can't see in the video is when Will steps back and puts his hands together in 'prayer' that his ball will make it to the very bottom. He was not ready to move on until he had tweaked his ramps and gotten one successful run completed.
Max did a lot of hanging around, watching kids run past:
No one would go in the art studio with me. Maybe Max will someday.

There were some tables set up with engineers doing different experiments and building projects. Since we ran out of time to do the gumdrop/toothpick buildings, we decided to do our own version at home with Dots:You don't think they have an aptitude for . . . engineering do you?!
After each making their own buildings, they decided to connect them together . . . by one very important blue toothpick.

Then they decided to call it good and eat them. I'm still finding toothpicks laying around.

Showin' a Little Kindness

Kindness is the theme for this month's Sunday school at church. Will came home last week with instructions to take pictures of himself showing kindness and bring them next time. So I took a picture of him helping me carry in the groceries: There are several things remarkable about this grocery picture:
1. He had just been diagnosed with strep throat
2. I did not ASK him to help me, it was his idea
3. He made several trips up and down the stairs to bring up 2 or 3 bags.

This next picture was taken at lunch the same day. I asked Will what he wanted to drink in his Scooby Doo cup (I assumed I would give him the 'fun' cup.) He decided to let Sam choose which cup he wanted first. Of course Sam chose the 'fun' cup, which didn't bother Will at all.


One day Will wrote Sam a nice little note on the fridge. It says, "Sam is cool! Sam is neat! Sam is nice!" It got left there all week because Sam liked it so much. He came up to me several times throughout the week asking me to read it to him, just because it made him feel good!

This last one was a real hardship for Will: playing video games with his brother, when he "didn't even really want to." I didn't know that a time like that ever existed, but I guess it does.
Way to go Will, on demonstrating Kindness this week! And as he was quick to point out, these were just the times that were captured on camera - there were many more kind acts performed this week that were not documented.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm Not Sure We're Ready For This

video

'Nuff said.

I Don't Know Why He Doesn't Like His Bumbo...

My mother insists on sticking me in this Bumbo thing,
even though I've told her I don't like it.

In fact, it kind of bores me.
If only I had something to do... Hmmmm.....what's this black thing Mom's holding? That strap looks interesting...

Hold still, Mom... almost got it....


Please... no pictures:
I said, no more pictures! Help! Someone get me out of this thing and get that crazy lady who won't let me touch her camera away from me!

Max is On a Roll

Not only can Max roll from his tummy to his back, (a feat he accomplished a few weeks ago) now he can roll from his back to his tummy as well! I'm hoping that the better he gets at this, the better he'll start sleeping. Theorhetically (how do you spell that word?) he should be able to get himself into (and out of) any position he wants to, right?! video

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Doctor Loves Us

I had two kids at the doctor's office (our home away from home) today: Will and Max. Lucky for me, we got them both in at the same time. Max had his 6 month well visit - and all is "well!" His height: 27 1/4 inches. (75th percentile) Weight: 18.3 pounds (70th percentile) and head circumference: 17 3/4 inches (85th percentile). His doctor says he's "very well proportioned." He did not get that from me. There's no sign of his earlier ear infections. So now there's concrete proof that there is no excuse for this not sleeping at night business. He got 3 shots - it was so sad. He gets all red and blotchy - it's very upsetting. Both the other boys sat with their ears covered for that part. They tried to leave the room, but I wouldn't let them.

Will was along because he hadn't been feeling well since last night - sore throat, stomach ache, headache, all the classic symptoms of yep, you guessed it, strep throat - our first experience with that particular virus, with any of the boys. He did great with that awful swab test. He loves taking his antibiotic - the weirdo. Hopefully he won't be passing the fun along to anyone else. If he's feeling up for it, he can go back to school tomorrow. It would be a bummer to miss out on the Valentine party.

Damon is on a whirlwind trip to Toronto. He left out of CR around 1pm today for a meeting first thing in the morning, then flies back home in the afternoon. He'll hopefully be home by bedtime, maybe even in time to pick up the boys from AWANAs. He's got a cold, so hopefully flying didn't bother his sinuses too much. We're glad he's only gone one night, but he sure will be tired when he gets back.

Everyone's in bed here and I'm headed that way myself.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cousins

Cousin Carrie, Me and Cousin Gretchen

We are way too old to be drinking from baby bottles, so what's going on?!

Even back then, from the day she was born, we all wanted to be like Laura.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Max's Latest Accomplishments

Max has been doing lots of new things lately. He had his first experience sitting in a high chair out in public - at Panchero's. I stuffed my coat around and behind him, and he was so happy and excited to be upright and with everyone else at the table (instead of in his carseat down on the floor) that he screamed happily and waved his arms and legs for most of our lunch! So I realized it was time to get out the booster chair with the tray for at home, instead of feeding him in the blue baby chair we had been using. He seems to like it, but today he was really sleepy. (He doesn't normally insist on having us hold his head while he eats - he's not that spoiled!)

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He really does like it, I promise! A guy just gets sensitive when he's sleepy.

Another new thing Max has been trying is babyfood. He's been doing rice cereal for awhile, but recently he's tried sweet potatoes and bananas. Those bananas went down nice and easy! Now we get to look forward to interestingly colored baby spit-up instead of just plain old white spit-up. The recent additions to Max's menu are all in an effort to get him to sleep better at night. I figure that maybe if he can get his fill during the day, hopefully we can start to eliminate the 3am-5am bottle that has just recently become his frustrating habit.

So now that he's been doing so good sitting up (with assistance), we decided to get out the bath ring and eliminate the baby bathtub. He really seemed to enjoy himself:
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Did you notice that Max seems to like putting his feet up on the edge of the sink? Maybe he's developed some muscle memory and knows that bath time means kickin' back and putting your feet up - like he did when he was in the baby tub.

One of Damon's coworkers offered to loan us a bouncy seat that her son loved but has outgrown. And since we don't have enough baby contraptions sitting around the house :), Damon agreed to bring it home. Of course Max loves it!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Will is a Star

This is Will's new and improved video. Isn't he handsome?!

Cub Scout

Look at this kid:
Isn't he the cutest little Cub Scout you've ever seen?

Sam is a Star

Isn't he cute?!

Beautiful Sister

I have two beautiful sisters. They are both very photogenic gals, but there is just a certain "something" about my youngest sister, Emily - a certain je ne sais quoi - as you can tell from these pics we captured during a recent video web cam visit.











I know you all will find this hard to believe, but that last one is all natural, baby - no special effects added!