Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just what I needed

Something to Smile about

Friday morning at around 8 a.m., Jack was still sleeping, so I picked up Sam to feed him without getting out of bed. I turned on the news. Rick was just waking up, so it was just the three of us enjoying some lazy time before the day started. Sam is so alert when he finishes a meal, and he was getting a lot of attention from his parents when...he did it. He smiled! Once for me and once for Rick. Two smiles.

I have to tell you, after four long weeks of interrupted sleep, a girl needs a smile. Something to keep her going, you know. Well that did it. I should be good for another month or so, but I'm sure we'll hit another milestone before then.

Until then, thanks for the smile, Sam!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sam's Homecoming

A Ham for a Day

Sam came home from the hospital on Sunday, March 30th, 2008. He had been named only hours earlier. For months we had called him "Baby Brother" or "Knut Balsac" (don't ask).

So, as we settled in at home, we introduced Jack to his baby brother. Jack, this is Sam. He is going to live with us. He's ours. Jack came over to the red, wrinkled, little baby and said, "Baby Ham."

Unfortunately, and fortunately (because of the obvious Dr. Seuss allusions that could plague our youngest son well into the future), Sam was a "Ham" but for only one day. By Monday morning, Jack was kissing on him (rather vigourously) and calling him Baby Sam.

A Day in the Life...

Things Jack did while I was Breastfeeding Sam

Earlier today (11:30 -12:00 noon)
1)Tickled my toes
2)Stole my water bottle
3)Played with my "stars" (silicone nursing pads) that I had placed on the end table
4)Pooped his pants
5)Touched Sam's pajamas where poo had leaked through the top of his diaper
6)Ran, when I tried to sanitize his hands after #5 (Sammy still attached to booby)
7)Placed his Duckie in the baby swing, shut the tray and turned it on HIGH
8)Flew a little toy plane and gave one to me to fly, too
9)Proclaimed "Yuck! Sammy Poopy! Whoo-wee! Stinky!" over and over...and over
10)Pulled all the pillows and cushions off the couch
11)Pulled a milk jug out of the recycling and brought it to me
12)Squeezed diaper cream onto the tip of his finger and tried to stick it down his pants

Monday, April 21, 2008

Smartest Kid in the World

Stuff about Jack (I know this is all some of you care about)

Jack can now identify the following shapes: circle, semi-circle, triangle, rectangle, crescent, oval, star, trapezoid, heart, diamond, square. We're working on pentagon.

He can sing his ABC's (at times omitting the less-important letters:)). He can count to ten and is learning to identify the numbers.

Jack enjoys hanging out with his friends; library time; anything Wiggles or Barney; his cousin, Baylee; tennis balls; airplanes; the pond; singing; his new brother, Sam; and of course his DAD!

Funny Story About our Smart Kid

Recently, Rick purchased a bird feeder for our deck. Jackson loves watching the birds and squirrels eat the seeds, and he and I have been talking about all the animals we see in our backyard. Earlier tonight, during dinner, Rick called Jack's attention to the bird feeder with an excited voice, "Look, Jack, what color is that bird?" Jack responded simply, "It's a Cardinal." Rick, expecting to hear "red," asked him again, "What color?" Again, Jack said "Cardinal." I gave Rick a we're-so-beyond-colors look, and told him that our son was giving him the name of the species, would he like the genus as well?


Rick has Coffee with the President

Rick's former business professor from Asbury College was inducted as the College's first woman president earlier this school year. She is currently traveling the country holding regional receptions to encourage networking and fundraising among alumni. She invited Rick to coffee the afternoon of the reception. I thought this was a great honor for Rick. Later that evening, at the reception, Dr. Gray mentioned Rick--and even me!--in her speech.


Our First HALF Day
[Rick and I are done having children--unless some freak conception happens or God
has other plans for us--we're done. We've decided that as parents, we
prefer to play a man-to-man defense; playing zone is not an option. We
have our boys. It's two-on-two We're done.]

So, we enjoyed three whole weeks of paternity leave, and it was THE DAY: Dad was going back to work. It would be my first weekday on my own with the boys. I was feeling slightly hesitant, but I said a confident "goodbye!" as Rick left. It was just after noon, and Jack was in his highchair finishing lunch. Sam was napping. One confined, one comatose; it was a good start. Rick would be home in four hours. I could handle this. Jack would be going down for his nap in the next half hour...

And then the puking began. Jack had five minutes to play before naptime, and he was wheeling Ducky around in the back of a dumptruck when he began to cough. I knew that cough. "Ahhh, Mommy, Ducky wet! Ducky wet!" Sure enough, Ducky was "wet," but I was thankful that the dump truck caught most of the vomit. Cleaning crisis averted, but I still wasn't sure if I had a sick child or just a child with an upset stomach. I put Jack down for his nap with "Alternative Ducky" (or AD) and threw "Original Ducky" (OD) in the wash. Jack fell right asleep...

...for about 15 minutes. Cough. Cough. Crying, and then, "Mommy, Ducky wet!" I had a sick child! By the time I got Jack cleaned up, bedsheets off and in the wash and OD in the dryer, Sam was up. I grabbed Sam, Jack and a puke bucket and headed downstairs. Jack was not pleased that both Duckies were in the laundry, but he was lethargic and willing to sit with me and wait it out. The only problem was that Sam was hungry. So, I pop Sam on and ask Jack to sit NEXT to me. Well, he wasn't having that--he wanted ON mommy's lap. He squirmed on up--screaming--as Sam was pushed to the side--screaming--and for a moment time stood still.

(Amidst all the screaming)
This was my life, my new life. It was orientation through hazing. As I paused for that moment, I thought...if they could see me now! I didn't really think about who "they" were, but I realized that I actually found some humor in this awful situation. I think that's the difference between having just the one little guy and having two of them; I'm twice as busy but half as serious about the busyness.

Eventually, Jack had OD back in his hands. He threw up several more times that afternoon. AD/OD/AD/OD. Sam did not starve--and thankfully did not hold a grudge against his brother for denying him his lunch. I survived.

Rick came home on time. And we were back to man-to-man defense. It was our first half day.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Freakin' Birthday (a.k.a. It's my Pity Party, and I'll Cry if I Want to)

When one starts a blog, where does one start? Recently, our family has had some big beginnings --natural starting points for a blog: our second son, Samuel Cash, was born on March 28th, four days after his big brother, Jack, turned two (not-so-terrible, so far). But, I'd rather begin with my birthday...or lack thereof.

Our First FULL Day
Rick's sister and her family were in town, so all the guys decided to take a day and go hiking. This would be my first FULL day alone with my two boys (more later about my first HALF day--be warned there is puke involved). Speaking of vomit and other bodily fluids, our first FULL day together was okay. My good friend, Mistie, asked me earlier in the week if she could take me out for breakfast on Friday for my birthday. I cleared it with Rick; he had one meeting in the morning and one at lunch time, so if I could leave mid-morning and be back by noon, I could enjoy a child-free breakfast (what a treat!). Unfortunately, the hiking trip planned for Thursday was moved last-minute to Friday...and what happened to those meetings???

So, I packed up the two boys, picked up my friend, and the four of us headed to breakfast. Jack and Sam were very well-behaved--a great birthday gift--throughout our meal. As we prepared to leave, I picked up Jack and realized he had pooped his pants (not just ordinary poo, the big "D"). As I excused myself and Jack, I realized this royal mess was a bigger job than wipes could handle. I ended up taking off his shorts and rinsing them in the sink, only to put them back on him until we got to the car at which point he was allowed to go "nudie." End of birthday breakfast. (period)

We dropped Mistie off and headed home. The rest of the afternoon involved naps (Hallelujah!) and the good company of my neighbor friends and their kids. Like I said, pretty okay day (even with some runny poo).

That evening, the whole family was coming to our house for a birthday party (honoring the THIRTY-THREE years of my sister-in-law, Cheryl--she's so old:)--and my thirty two years) The boys had returned from hiking (smelling wonderfully of the outdoors), and my house was full with in-laws and my in-laws in-laws (does that make them outlaws?). Seriously, there were sixteen of us in the house. But where was my husband? As I ran upstairs to grab something, I heard my husband moaning from the bathroom. Are you sick? He doesn't feel well. Have you thrown up? It's just a matter of time...

Okay. OKAY. That's okay. I'm okay. Rick was not well. Sorry, Hon. Rest! I will take care of our boys and our half-dozen guests.

Thank God our guests were family. The party was a blur--there was cake, candles, adorable litttle home-made birthday hats (courtesy of my creative little neice), and cards and gifts. More memorable (unfortunately) was dinner and clean-up for my toddler, breastfeeding for my newborn, jammies and toothbrushing, good-night kisses for everyone. Jack was finally down for the night when my sister-in-law looked at me and said, "Um, was this child you handed to me done eating? Because he seems hungry." Oh, yeah, woops! I had pulled him off early to get Jack in bed. The next thing I knew, my guests were leaving! I ran out the door after them, "Thank you!" "Sorry!" "Thanks for coming!" "Sorry." I walked back in to a clean kitchen--everything in its place. Thank God for family.

Saturday my poor DH (Dear Husband) lay in bed ill and weak. It was to be my second FULL day alone with my boys as we quarantined Dad in the guest room. It was a loooooong day. I think I went to bed just after midnight. It was (technically) Sunday, April 13th as I turned out my bedside lamp--Happy Freakin' birthday.

We woke up early Sunday, my boys and me, as Dad slept in. We did check on him...well, Jackson went in and jumped on him until I could coerce him downstairs for breakfast. Within a few hours, we heard some footsteps on the stairs. Dad was up! Walking on his own two feet! We had weathered the storm, and my partner, the love of my life was vertical--once again able to relieve me, if just a little. "I didn't get you a card. Or a gift." That's okay, Hon. You were busy.

The next day, after I had complained over and over to anyone who would listen about my rotten birthday weekend, my DH came home with two cards. One said simply, "Sorry your birthday sucked." I looked at Rick with tears in my ears, and said, "It did suck." And then I gave him a big hug.

I am blessed to have such good friends and family who joined my pity party and eventually helped me realize a wonderful, belated birthday. In the week that followed: Rick took me out to dinner with our neighbors, Mistie and I were able to enjoy another breakfast (without poopy kids), my friend Angie took me to lunch and then out for a massage, and my friend Charlotte got me a gift card for a pedicure! Maybe 32 won't be so bad after all...