Pink Puffy Hearts

I’m feeling awful warm and snuggly about my kids these days.  Yes, they drive me to the brink of sanity DAILY, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love ’em more than my luggage.

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Liam has been talking more and more and the things that come out of his mouth just charm me again and again.   He may be an ornery turd on many occasions, but you can’t deny that he’s cute.  And when he’s requesting his third viewing of “Cars” that day… well that’s kinda cute too.  And so is the little dark look and stomped foot when I say, “No way, Jose.”  With his newfound vocabulary, we’re having a much easier time getting our requests, demands and reprimands through to him.  Sure, he doesn’t listen 100% of the time (what kid does?), but to see him actually DO something we tell him to?  Well that’s just plain awesome.

The other day, he had a little pan of cereal, much like the one pictured above.  He loves me to put his cereal for breakfast into one of the bowls or pots that came with the play kitchen he and Evie got for Christmas.  He had it over on the “counter” in the play kitchen and was having himself a little feast.  Evie determined that someone was eating something and since she is all “FOODNOMNOMNOM” these days, she booked over there to share in the fun.  Liam’s instinct was to push her aside and thwap her on the head.  I reprimanded him and then, not hoping for much, asked very nicely if he could share a little with her.. let her have a little too?  At best, I figured he might portion out a few kernels of cereal in front of her and keep the rest to himself.   But, bless his heart, he passed over the whole pan full and let her have her fill.

Of course, then she up-ended it all over the floor.  But seriously, for a minute there, I thought my heart was going to burst from pride.

He’s been doing that more and more lately.  Listening to requests of mine and acting on them.  And I’ve been very sure to praise him heavily every time he does something kind to his sister or does something for me when I ask him to.  So far, he seems to really like the praise.  So I’m hoping this means we’ll see a lot more of this “Nice Liam” in the future.

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They still don’t play that great together, but it’s coming, little by little.  Right now, they’re both sitting on the couch (sans cushions because that’s the only way Evie can climb on it is when the cushions are removed), eating some graham crackers for snack and watching “The Backyardigans”.  Evie will kick her feet and Liam will do the same and much giggling ensues.  Moments like these are golden.  They are golden because they are RARE.  More often than not, Evie has grabbed one of Liam’s cars that he has lined up so dutifully on the back of the couch (see above photo) and this earns her a shove and a thwack on the head.  She cries, I yell at Liam, lather, rinse, repeat.  So I make sure I enjoy the golden moments that much more.

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Evie is knocking on the door of 15 months and is growing up before my very eyes.  She is WALKING.  Did I mention that?  In the last week or so, she has gone from cruising around furniture, to taking a step or two here and there when she thinks no one is watching to flat out walking across the floor.  Is her technique flawless?  Oh heck no. It’s a good thing this girl is cloth diapered because otherwise her rump would be black and blue from all the times she has plopped down on it.  But seriously.  WALKING.  God help us all.

She’s also getting better with the sippy cup.  Just today, in fact, I gave her some water with a splash of apple juice in it and she has downed that sucker.  This is amazing progress.  Now if I can get her drinking milk reliably out of a sippy cup, maybe she’ll decide to wean.

That’s a slippery slope right there.  Weaning.  I’ve never nursed for this long before and I think it’s actually pretty awesome.  I’m loathe to shut the door on our nursing relationship because it will also be shutting the door on nursing altogether.  At the same time, I know it’s natural for her to grow up and away from me as a source of nutrition.  And the nursing has been taking a toll on me health-wise because DUH, I am The Lame when it comes to things like taking vitamins and making sure I keep myself healthy.  But I don’t really want it to end.  At the same time I know that it has to.

*cough* Anyhow.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  My little girl.  With her wispy-curly hair (Fuzzhead, I often call her).   And her dimpled grins.  And her tendancy to turn really, really cranky if she’s not fed on time.  This girl loves FOOD.  She will eat ANYTHING.  And a lot of it while she’s at it.  She’s Liam’s polar opposite in the eating department, which is kind of a breath of fresh air.  In fact, if anything, she’s liable to steal your food from you.  I guess if she flashes that dimple at you while she does it, that makes it okay.

Okay, well Liam is trying to sit on Evie and she’s rubbing her eyes and acting tired (a whole two and a half hours EARLY!) so I guess the golden moment is over.  Time to return to reality.  Thanks for joining me on this rose-colored love-fest though!

Developments

Sorry to keep you all hanging, waiting for pictures of Kile’s new toy.  Yesterday was a Knit Knit Knit day for me since Sunday and Monday were so busy.  That meant that blogging took a back seat.

Believe it or not, I posted a little hint about this toy the other day in one of my picture posts.  I’m surprised no one picked up on it.  Anyhow, here it be:

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I know, right?  It’s a SCOOTER.  Albeit, it’s a fairly souped up scooter.  But it’s a scooter.  It actually belonged to my brother in law.  Their whole family had scooters and he didn’t like to ride his so he gave Kile a VERY good price (and payment plan!) for it.  It’s nearly new (despite the dirt on it, which it received in the back of my sister in law’s truck on the ride down on Sunday) and in great shape.  Kile is out in the garage as I speak giving it a bath, removing the stickers (not his style) and doing an oil change.  To say he’s enchanted by it is probably putting it mildly.  It came with a nice helmet but we got a small helmet for Harry the other day to go with it so he could go on little rides too.  Kile is looking for a pink helmet for me. Heh.

The plan is he’ll drive this to work during the summer months since it gets like INSANE gas mileage.  He might have to put gas in it like once a month.  It’s more gas efficient than a motorcycle even.  Kile would still like a motorcycle someday, but this is a good step in that direction.

Oy, huh?

***

In other news, Evie pulled herself up on the couch for the first time yesterday.

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At one point I looked up at her and there she was, standing.  She had been on her knees, playing with her pushcar/stroller (birthday present!) like she likes to do.  I’m guessing she got it pushed over to the couch and she decided to branch out and pulled herself up.  She did it another time or two later that day and went so far as to get “stuck” once (the stroller got away from her and she couldn’t figure out how to let herself down easily).   Look at that face.  Does she look proud of herself or what?

Of course this is the beginning of the end.  This will morph into cruising, standing up in her crib, and eventually walking.  WALKING.  So not cool.  First she has the audacity to turn one and now this?  She and I need to have a talk.

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And, cuz that’s how I roll, here’s some other pictures to share with ya’ll.  Happy Hump Day!  Enjoy “Lost” tonight! (You know I will!)

Skirty Girl

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Breathtaking Sunset

Addiction

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To Her Royal Highness, on her first birthday

Dear Evelyn, (also known as my ONE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. GAH.)

You may recall (or not) that your first birthday was on Friday.  This was largely the reason we went to visit Elko last weekend.  The prospect of celebrating such a huge milestone in not only your life but in ours as well here alone at home with just a store-bought cake between the lot of us was just plain depressing.  You know, because we have no friends.

I think it’s the leprosy.

Anyhow.

We emerged from the cozy cocoon of our abode and ventured forth to a foreign land (Elko) to break bread with our family there and I’m so glad we did.  Not only was it nice to see and hang out with everyone there, it was nice to get away from home and the rigors of daily life (otherwise known as your brother Liam… not that he wasn’t there but that dealing with him in a new environment was… refreshing).

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You were darned cute in your birthday outfit that I worked so hard to scrape together.  Though I wager you could have worn a paper sack and been just as adorable.  I think it’s that dimple in your cheek.  It makes you instantly edible.  You were the center of attention and not jut because it was your birthday (though I’m sure that helped), but because you just flourished under the attention.  You would play shy, covering your eyes with your fists or turning into my shoulder, but it wouldn’t be long before you would flash your dimple and smile with your pearly white teeth and hearts were broken all over.

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You had a great time at your party.  You got to eat pizza for the first time and it was a huge hit.  Though we do have to work on either a) me cutting you smaller pieces or b) you actually chewing and swallowing one piece at a time or c) both because you also had a great time gagging on the pizza and giving your poor mother a heart attack.

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Yet again you enjoyed being the absolute center of attention and enjoyed everyone’s reactions more than you enjoyed your first taste of chocolate cake.  I think this can’t possibly bode well for us in the future.  I am thinking I should enjoy your rather silent nature now, while it lasts.  Though you’re not entirely silent.  You are saying a few words, FAR sooner than either of the boys.  It all started with “pretty” and has expanded steadily since.  What can I say?  You’re a smart girl.

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You have a great appetite, which is a refreshing change after Liam.  In fact, there are times I have to remind myself to let you try something new instead of writing if off like I have gotten used to with him.  Food you love: cheese puffs (the Gerber variety), graham crackers, McDonald’s apple pie, belgian waffles and yogurt melts.  Though, honestly, you’ll pretty much try everything.  Now if only we could convince you to try to drink out of a cup!  Right now, anything plastic is strictly verboten.  I’m hoping this will change soon.  Not that I am especially looking forwad to when you wean, but that it would be nice to have other options for getting liquid in your body.

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You finally got some toys that are YOURS for your birthday.  Most of them are obnoxiously pink/girly, in hopes that this will encourage Liam to leave them alone and let you play with them.  So far, it’s not working.  He’s a huge fan of your stroller/walker and often sets his dolphin and cup in it to take them for a spin.  But on the occasions that your naps do not overlap too much, I make sure you have a good opportunity to play around on the floor with ALL the toys, not just the ones that are specifically yours.  And I rest assured in the knowledge that some day you will be as big or bigger than Liam is and will be able to stand up for yourself a little better.  At least, I hope so.  Don’t be a doormat, my love.  Don’t let that bully walk all over you.  From what I’ve seen of your spirit so far, I don’t think I need to worry.

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You do tend towards dramatics from time to time, when the boys would not.  But so far, you generally always have a good reason for melting down; tired, hungry, smacked in the head by your jerk of a brother, etc.  For the most part though, you are very easy going and I never worry about taking you somewhere with me.  You did very well in Elko and while you would not stay in your pack n’ play all night, you don’t stay in your crib all night here either so I wasn’t expecting that.  You would nap there quite happily though and never seemed nervous or scared of the new and different surroundings.  I’m thinking this trait will come in handy this summer when we travel to Florida.  I’m already breaking out in hives just thinking about it.

All that said, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have you.  I always knew I wanted a daughter but I never knew just how special and wonderful it could be to have a girl in my life.  I’m really looking forward to the years ahead and what new things you will learn and do.  I hope we can always be close.  I hope you don’t hate me too much when you get to be a teenager.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  You are precious to me.

Love, Mama

On the cusp of One

Evie turns one in a week.  One week.  One.  Pardon me while I go freak out for a minute.

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How has one year passed by so damn quickly?  I’ve been dreading this birthday since I found out I was pregnant.  Since I found out I was carrying a girl.  Since she was born and I heard her lusty, vibrant cry.

She’s my last and while it’s never very easy to see your baby turn one year old, it’s even harder when you know you’ll never again have a little infant in your arms.

Okay, I can’t continue down that same train of thought or I’ll end up sitting in the corner, rocking myself and sucking my thumb.

The point is, the Big Birthday is coming up.  We’re going to Elko sometime this next week and will do the party there with members of Kile’s family.  I’m trying to distract myself with the minutae of the trip and party in order to not focus too heavily on the significance.

God, I love that little girl.

It hurts to acknowledge she’s growing up and away from me.

So, anyhow.  That’s what I’m thinking about this fine Friday night as I suck down a cold Hornsby’s, watch LaBamba on OnDemand, knit yet another pair of shorts and cruise my favorite message board for the latest gossip and jibber jabber.

Happy weekend, ya’ll.

Okay, so I went

Evie’s rescheduled appointment was today.  And, yeah, I went.  I wasn’t going to.  I was going to have Kile take her by himself.  But… circumstances arose with our monthly shopping trip, meaning we had to finish up most of it today which meant I needed to go along… so yeah.  I went.

I distracted myself so I wouldn’t run up to the receptionists desk and rip someone’s face off.

The important thing is Evie is doing great.  Which we sorta already knew.  But it was nice to get medical confirmation of that.  She’s weighing in at 18lbs 3oz (80-85% for her age) and measuring 26 1/2 inches (70% for her age).  So she’s right on target.  Chunky, to be sure, but not overly so.  Long, but not overly so.  Trust me, had you seen Harry’s measurements for the same age, you would realize that INDEED Evie is much more “average”.  Her growth curve is right on track too, which is good.  We can start giving her more solid food than ever, which sorta freaks me out.

And she got her shots.  Which always sucks pretty hardcore.  We added on a flu shot because if there’s anyone I don’t want getting the flu this year, it’s her.  Liam, I think, is old enough to withstand it pretty well.  I’m not looking forward to the sore legs in her future, but… you gotta do what you gotta do, right?   After Harry had shots, I would just make sure he had Tylenol for the soreness and he would pretty much just sleep the whole day.  Liam, interestingly enough, had no change in his demeanor.  Knowing him now, I’m not surprised.  So far, from what I can tell about Evie, is it makes her a little more prone to crankiness.  Right now, though, she’s playing in her bouncer seat and being very mellow.  I imagine here in a short while, she’ll be very ready for a nap.

As will I.

Am I glad i went?  Meh.  But at least it’s over with.

Delay

I feel a day late and a dollar short today.  I’m drinking a Rockstar (Juiced, with mango, orange and passionfruit to be exact!) hoping that it’ll give me the kick in the pants that I’m needing.  My mood seems pretty stable today (honestly, from day to day, I cannot tell if I’ll have an “on” day or an “off” day until I’m having it) so that’s a good thing.  But I am getting sick.  I’ve been anticipating this.  Liam had a fever last weekend and was under the weather.  Before that, Harry had a slight cold.  I was worried that Evie would get it but so far so good.  Better me than her, right?  I just hope that I don’t give it to her.  Right now it’s a sore tickle in my throat, a tickle in my nose that makes me sneeze, a headache and a general feeling of uckiness.  Bah.

Still, slow as I’m feeling today I do have two niggling little worries pecking at the rear of my mind. First is Liam.  His speech delay.  We’re canceling with his speech therapist again so that’ll be two weeks in a row that we’ve begged off.  Not good.  But this month is just insanity around here.  Kile is uber-busy at work and I just don’t feel as if I could handle both children at that appointment by myself.  I need Kile there.  Plus, I feel like butt.  What I would like is if we get could get in with Early Intervention and find a program that would come to the house and work with him.  That would be ideal.  But dragging the entire family out and across town every week to pay a copay and watch a lady try to get Liam to say “milk” for an hour just ain’t cutting it.  I’m sorry, but NO.  I can do that at home.

Speaking of speech, the speech therapist at Harry’s school wants to work with him too.  He’s got a slight impediment that should have resolved itself by now but hasn’t.  I spoke to her on the phone and told her that, yes, by all means, work with him!  But she needs me or Kile to go down to the school in person during school hours to speak with her, possibly fill out some forms.  As you can imagine, this hasn’t happened yet?  Why?  Because it’s AUGUST and Kile is busy and I have two small children at home.  Harry takes the bus for this very reason because I can’t leave the house.  I read a phrase on Baby Bunching yesterday that describes it exactly.  I’m in the Nap Trap.   The Nap Trap happens when one or more child is sleeping virtually all day long, trapping you in the house.  She mentioned coming in before school starts at 9 or after it gets out at 3:30.  Well, at 9, Evie is in the middle of her morning nap and at 3:30, both Evie and Liam are taking their afternoon naps.  And, I’m sorry, but I don’t mess with the naps.  You mess with the nap, you throw off the ENTIRE day.  With Kile working late because he is UBER-busy at work, I’m not going to throw off my day.  YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO IT.

So in the meantime, I look like a neglectful parent because I haven’t come in yet to sign some stupid paper.  So sue me.

Then there’s Evie.  Because my life isn’t complete until I have something to fret about concerning all of my children, right?  For the most part, she’s just perfect.  And, as far as I know, she IS perfect.  I don’t even know if this is something I should be concerned about or not.  But she turned 5 months old yesterday (sob) and she has yet to really laugh.  Sure, she has done a low chuckle, she has squealed with delight and she smiles at us almost constantly.  But no baby belly laughs.  Don’t they usually laugh by now?  Should I worry about this?  I want to hear her laugh.  But nothing I do seems to do the trick.  Ideas?  Suggestions?  Feel free to tell me I’m a worrisome nitwit.

So there’s my Thursday.  Full of child-related fretting and a few sneezes and blinding headaches thrown in for shits and giggles.  Don’t you wish you had my life??

I'm so not ready for this

What is with these children thinking they can just go ahead and grow up right under my nose?  Frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Every time I turn around, someone is having a birthday or surpassing some milestone or something and I’m going to start feeling Winnie the Pooh here soon.  You know, like how Christopher Robin grew up and outgrew him?  Isn’t that how the story went?  ANYHOW.

So here’s Evie doing something that I’m SURE she’s far too young for but that her pediatrician actually said was a good idea to introduce: eating rice cereal.

First Cereal
She’s not quite sure what we’re trying to accomplish here

Not so sure about this
Okay, that was weird.

Another Bite
A little more interested now…

She likes it!
Hey, that isn’t half bad!

So eating rice cereal has proved to be a sucess, so far.  Of course, we haven’t been at all consistant about feeding it to her.  OOPS.  Doesn’t help that I’m not all that excited to be getting into this particular stage.  But it is something we need to start making more time for.

In the meantime, I’ll be over in the corner rocking and sucking my thumb.  Until the little men in the white coats show up, that is.

Doing so much better now

Thank you to everyone who commented last week when I was feeling bad about my relationship with Liam while we were away. I’m pleased to report that things are much more back to normal now.  I’ve found the joy in interacting with Liam once again and I am so happy for that.  From the day he was born, he’s been my special guy.  Perhaps it’s because of all the struggle we went through in order to bring him into our lives, but I’ve always been able to tolerate quite a bit of shenanigans from that child.  The little stuff doesn’t bother me so much anymore and I’ve always been happy that I can sit back and enjoy the mischevious glint in his eyes without worrying so much about what he’s going to DO with that mischevious glint.

I guess if we’re going to be honest, it wasn’t JUST our trip to Elko that caused a strain.  Surely, the birth of Evie has contributed.  I have less time for him.  Less opportunities for snuggles on my lap.  My days are more packed and more tiresome.

In the last week, however, I’ve mellowed out again and yesterday (and for the last several days) I was downright charmed by my middle child.  He was being especially sweet.  Or rather, I was noticing his intentions better.  What I was seeing as him pestering Evie was him trying to help out with her.  He wasn’t just throwing toy cars at her, he was giving her the cars to play with when she was being fussy.  He wasn’t trying to hassle her by rocking her carseat violently in the shopping cart, he was trying to soothe her as he has seen us do (though a bit more on the rough side, to be honest).

He’s still a sweet boy, with a wide, open face, twinkling eyes and engaging grin.  He wants love and cuddles as much as he ever did.  And I’ve been a lot more happy to indulge him in that desire.  I guess, in a way, being the only one around here who can lug him around these days has “forced” me to spend more time with him without Evie between us.  I’m directly involved in all of his activities once again.  It used to be that after Kile was home at night, he would take over with Liam and they would play together while I fed and cared for Evie.  Kile would put him to bed himself.  I never questioned it.

Now, I take a part in that.  I carry him up to bed.  I still leave so that they can have their time alone together, but on nights like last night where Liam needed extra assurance before bed, I was on hand to pick him up, rub his back and give him lots of loves.

This time is SO fleeting.  He’s already growing up so much.  I can’t believe his birthday is in just a couple weeks (two, I think.  Or less.  GAH).  Yesterday, he ran towards me, chattering “Ma-ma-ma-ma!  Mama!”  He isn’t what I would call a talkative sort, but he is saying more and more words every day.  And even if he isn’t saying it, he’s understanding it.  On “Blue’s Clues” yesterday (a personal favorite of his that I can’t help but indulge), there was talk of jumping.  Liam got excited by this and I asked him if he was going to jump.  And jump he did, a big grin on his face.  He loves to jump.

I guess this post is rather ramble-y and has no real point.  But I wanted to let you all know that your advice and shoulder-pats did help.  And I wanted to let you know that things are getting better around here.  And I had to chuckle at everyone who suggested our trip to visit my parents here in a couple weeks will SURELY be less stressful.  Only Michelle got it right.  She knows my parents and nailed it on the head.  It WILL be worse at my parents’ house.  MUST BRING BABY GATE.  And BOOZE.  (For me, not Liam, though I can’t promise anything.)

Tuesday Morning Sugar

Smiles

She’s getting bigger every day, growing up at alarming speeds.  She is all smiles this week, sometimes saving her biggest open mouthed grins for her papa.  She is napping better and getting more reliable at being apart from me.  The carseat is still detested, but is becoming tolerate.  Which, really, is all I can really ask for.  And when she gives me one of her smiles, which always start up in her eyes, turning them to half moons, it doesn’t matter how restless she was the night before or how often she wants to nurse in the afternoon when I need to be getting things done.  All that matters is keeping her safe and warm and happy.

Gosh, this is fun.  Who knew I would enjoy parenthood so much?