Monday, January 29, 2007

Jingle Bells in January

Today we had a realtor come over to set up the eventual sale of our house for millions of dollars. Who would have known we would have hit the jackpot of houses? What can I say? Sure is nice to be the Millers.

Our realtor was here for 4 hours. Wow. That is a long, long time to focus on the house. We were both mentally FRIED by the time he left. So tonight I’ve been literally zoning on the couch, longing for peace and quiet and all thing bubble-bathy and quietly crackling fires and riveting books to read. Instead there is Chaos himself careening around with his truck, and Chewy gumming my sweater.

Gabe put on a Christmas CD, and as I sat there staring blankly at the carpet fringe, I felt endorphins start to fire off as the tinkling bells pealed forth from my January speaker. I LUURVE Christmas. Christmas songs give me such a warm fuzzy feeling. I was lost in the land of snow drifting gently from the sky; silent, flashing red Christmas bells above the paper nativity scene at Grandma’s house; joyfully bellowing Christmas carols in the cold, cold night air as I gaze happily around at my friends bundled up around me; getting all dressed up in velvet dresses to go to see people sing at me from a large Christmas tree; sitting in Grandma’s basement staring at unopened piles of wrapped gifts, delicious anticipation swirling, waiting to see which pile is mine (ahhh, the true meaning of Christmas); lying nose to camel as I carefully arrange the colored lights in the nativity scene to see which color makes baby Jesus look the most serene; hearing the crunch crunch crunch of snow under my nifty cool insulated boots as I trudge up the sledding hill, smelling the smoke from the fire at the top… thinking how it would be sort of interesting if my toes actually fell off from the coldness resulting from the ineffective insulation in said boots… Christmas to me is the happiness of winter, friends, family, and that previously mentioned delightfully anticipatory feeling in my stomach… So I sat there on the couch, feeling that same feeling, holding my son, listening to “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, and felt some of the stress ease slowly away. Holiday therapy, courtesy of Gabriel Toots. No crazy pills needed.

So, anyways, if you are interested in our house, I might give you a $900,000 discount. Now that, my friends, is a deal. What can I say? I'm just sharing the joy of Christmas!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Magnet Mommy

I'm beginning to believe that I have a giant internal magnet located deep within my vital organs that I never knew about. If, on a rare and wonderful day, I hand the wee one to Tim and speed off to the bedroom to lay down and stretch sleepily for a few blissful silent sunny moments...within about 45 seconds the door bursts open, with the dog waddling in purposefully to find out what I am up to...followed by the two year old, in hot pursuit of the dog, who is gleefully thrilled to find out that Mommy is in bed!!! WHHOOOO-HOOOOO!!! Let's all fling ourselves around in joyful abandon on the bed, giggling wildly, almost whacking our head several times on the footboard, and/or coming within a hairsbreadth of a full on catapulting off of the side of the bed onto a decidedly hard, and potentially quite painful cradle-landing. Dear Husband follows him by 15 seconds, with wee one in his arms, curious to see what all is going on - and since we're all here why don't we just stay and talk to Mom. Truly restful.

Same thing happens when I try to sit down on the toilet for a few presumably solitary seconds. The door flies open (the dog has the uncanny and highly irritating way of busily shouldering every slightly closed door WIDE open), followed by the boy, or vice versa, who are both drawn directly to the bathtub to see what toy treats await them there. Within seconds comes the husband, with baby in his arms, continuing a previous conversation. Sigh.

It makes one really appreciate the preciousness of a little alone time. Basically, the only time I usually get that is after all sweet boys are tucked all snug in their, oh, say...11:45 PM after the wee-est one finally goes down for good (as in, lays down at 10:20, and wakes up about 3 times before settling down). I have a very hard time putting my own self to bed at that point - free time is like a tall glass of cold ice tea for a very thirsty woman - I want to gulp it down, savoring every last drop.

So then I go to bed WAAAY later than I should...and the past several nights Israel has been waking up about 6 times a night, from either congestion, being too hot, or being too cold. Correct one and you cause another. Correct the chronic congestion with a warm steam vaporizer, and all of a sudden you have sodden pillows, dripping blankets, and mold growing in the corner. Nice. You can't win, is what I am saying.

In other, less crabby news, here is the little insomniac himself. Don't you just want to give him a squeeze and a kiss?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Happy Helpers

Gabe "helping" in the kitchen. He buzzes all over the kitchen with that chair. Just pushes it to where he "needs" it, and up he goes. He likes to help wash dishes, help cook, help push the Start button on the microwave, help eat chocolate chips...that sort of thing.

Tim carrying Little Sweetheart around in a carrier. Isn't he adorable in that carrier? He looks like such a cuddly little munchkin. Which he really is. He still has his fussy moments sometimes, but overall, he is a very happy baby - very quick to smile when you look at him. He has been very observant recently. I have noticed when I put a blanket over him in the bouncer his eyes will really examine the blanket, and he seemed to be using his fists to sort of check it out. I thought that was interesting - it seemed like he was still young for that, but maybe not.

My 4 hours of work went well. Everybody survived very well at home. I'm doing 8 hours tommorrow.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy Cup

This Sunday in my Sunday School class, our teacher had us pass around a styrofoam cup and indicate on it how full our "cup" was. Mine was actually the fullest in the class - a little over half full. The teacher was surprised, she said she figured I would be "running on empty" with our life being as chaotic as it has recently, but actually, I'm happy! I enjoy my babies, and I enjoy being home. Life is admittedly stressful, but it is a happy stress. Tim said he agreed. He rated his cup at 85% full.

One of the things that makes me feel slightly down, though, is the fact that I have to go back to work sometime this week.

The other night I dreamed that both sides of our families came to visit, and I fed Israel and then laid him down for a nap, and then we all went out to eat at some nonexistent restaurant in our neighborhood, leaving Israel sleeping at home, alone. At the restaurant, I got caught up in conversation and lost track of the time, and all of a sudden I realized that I had been gone for 3 hours, and had never gone back to get Israel, who had been in the house alone. Knowing that he often only naps about 45 minutes at a time during the day, I became frantic in my dream, imagining him waking up and crying and no one being there to pick him up, and escalating into screaming, and nobody still being there. I rushed out of the restaurant and started running across lawns and streets, trying to get back to the house, only to be stopped by fences or other things in my path, until I finally got home to find out that everyone else had gotten there before me. Mom was carrying Israel around, and I searched his face so anxiously for traces of hysterical tears, thinking that it was just so unlikely that he had remained sleeping the entire time we had been gone, but his face had none of that tell-tale puffiness that follows his crying rants, and Mom said that he seemed fine. I could see he seemed alright, but still there was this pit of dread in my stomach that he might have woken up and cried and cried and cried, with no one to comfort him.

This dream contains the basic core of my anxiety of leaving him - fear of him crying and crying and crying and wanting his mommy, wanting to nurse for comfort, and I'm not there; feeling emotionally abandoned. I know that in reality this is not going to happen, since he has a very capable and loving daddy, but I can't help fearing it anyways.

I have see-sawed back and forth on how I feel about going back to work this time; with Gabe, I didn't have to go back until he was about 5 months old, and so I felt ready. And having done it once, it generally doesn't hold the same anxiety for me as it did the first time. I learned, with Gabe, that he would be fine, that he wouldn't cry the whole time I was gone, and most importantly to me - I would still fill the "mommy" role.

I have actually missed aspects of my job from the beginning of maternity leave. I love being a nurse. I love the challenges of time management, efficiency, prioritizing, and problem-solving. I love to have bunch of figurative balls in the air that I am stragetically juggling. On the other hand, I like being the one at home all the time with my kids. I like having more time to get my house in order, which is a challenging thing for me. However, reality is that my husband is a full-time student for another 5 months.

With Israel being physically bigger than Gabriel ever was at that age, he seems more sturdy and not so fragile as Gabe did, and that is another thing that makes it easier. But one thing that makes it harder is the fact that he is much "needier" than Gabriel ever was, and that he likes to nurse for comfort, and if I'm not there - then what?

It has helped for me to leave for an hour or two over the last week, leaving Tim here alone with both munchkins, and see that they are fine, even with an occasional hysteria from Israel. The good thing is that he drinks fine from a bottle, and calms with both that or a pacifier. After one or two successful 4 to 8 hour absences, I think I will have a lot of reassurance about leaving my baby. I just don't want my child to feel alone. The truth is that Tim will probably feel much more alone than the baby ever does! :) Even though I'm only working part-time, some of those 12 hour days will feel pret-ty loooonnng at home....

Who, ME??!!

Today for lunch, I was making a recipe that had chicken, rice, yogurt, paprika, and tumeric. I had made the rice, added the tumeric and paprika to the yogurt, when Israel started fussing and needed to be fed. I pushed the rice pan back, so Gabriel couldn’t get it, and left Gabriel happily playing in the silverware drawer. When I was nursing Israel, I noticed that the kitchen was very, very quiet, with the exception of a few highly suspicious noises that drifted out. I decided not to worry about it, since usually he was fine, but after laying Israel down to sleep, I hustled out to the kitchen to see what I could see. Gabriel had pushed a chair up to the counter where I was working, had taken my paprika and tumeric containers and liberally spiced the rice, then took a nice helping of yogurt and added it to my paprika jar. So basically my recipe contained now approximately 6 times the amount of spices called for. He looked up at me with a slightly guilty smile and said “Gabw’l’s eyes?”, and pointed to them. “Gabw’l’s eyebrows!” My child, the diversionary genius.

I went ahead and made the chicken. We shall see how it tastes…

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Growing Boy

I think Israel is having a growth spurt. He seems to have been eating more, and he took a 4 hour nap today! I actually woke him up, because I wanted him to also sleep tonight! He is also having a drool spurt. Man, can that kid drool.

He is more alert than he used to be - he really looks at things. Yesterday he sort of fussed until I placed him so he could examine his surroundings, and he immediately quieted and checked things out, his little head bobbing around, his eyes alert and focused. He looks at pictures in books, too, when we show him them. He seems to enjoy it.

For a week or so, he has been giggling/laughing, too, when we play with him - tickling or peek-a-boo. He is such a sweetie-pie. He has been happier recently for the most part. It seems like his fussiness comes from gas when he is fussy. Or if he wants to go to sleep or eat or wants to be held. He gets his needy little fuss on in those cases. :) It's sort of cute. When he is getting ready to eat he does this little "nenhhh-nenhh-nenhh" bleat. "Need, Mommy, need."

Time to go drink some chamomille tea and eat some Twix! Good night, dears!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Israel, age almost 3 months.

Huggin' buddies.

Below: Gabe with his BELOVED football, preparing to go "ow-side"

Gabe peeling paint off of the basement door. I thought it was kind of a cool picture.

So that's life around here. Post-Christmas.

Speaking of post-Christmas, I seem to have left my lull-Israel-to-sleep abilities at each place we visited over Christmas. Before we left, he would fall asleep while I nursed him or when Tim held him. When I went to VA, he would fall asleep with either the pacifier or breastfeeding. When I went to IN, I had to add lots of calf-muscle-straining-bouncing to the pacifier, and then when I got home, I really felt disoriented as to the appropriate means. Something about changing surroundings keeps throwing me off. I had to reorient at each location. Since we've been home, he will mostly only fall asleep in the bouncer. And late! Like, 11 or 11:30. Just what I want to stay up doing, tending a fusser. But a sweetheart fusser.

Today, he had a caffeinated appearance about him all day. Arms whirling out to the side, eyes wide open, quick to smile, but his smiles wavered on the edge of fussy, and he was equally quick to cry. Just sort of agitated. So he didn't nap the best and then fell asleep at 10 PM in the bouncer. (Insert Hallelujah Chorus here.)

In other news, I am currently in molting season. The infamous post-pregnancy hair loss. A gentle breeze blows and 43 hairs waft off my head. The next time you see me, I will probably have 7 hairs left. You can braid them for me if you wish. That leaves me one for bangs...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Busily Quivering Arrows in my Quiver

If children are the arrows in my quiver, mine make my quiver tired and want to sit down for a while.

So here is the never-ending refrain around this house:

Gabriel, be careful!! You are going to fall and hurt yourself!! Gabriel, you are going to hurt the baby! Gabriel, the baby is not a drum! Gabriel, stop that! Gabriel, no more running. Ok, no more football right now, it's time to calm down. Oh, can not kiss the baby, you are sick - Gabe!! You can't stand over the baby and cough directly into his face, either, although you have no concept of this... (bury face in hands and sigh deeply)

Seriously. The combination of these two wear you OUT!!! Gabe is a dear boy and a sweetheart, but he needs some good active playtime outside, and the way Tim and my schedules have been crossing, this simply is not happening enough. And he loves his baby brother. This morning, he was hovering over Israel who was in the bouncer and saying "Awww baby! I love you baby! Gabriel give the baby kisses!" It's very sweet, but the problem is that his current kisses are excessively germ-filled. Then this evening, when Israel was again in his bouncer outside the bathroom door as I scrubbed the floor (I'm getting stuff done around here, FINALLY!!!), Gabe had to hustle off to get his new handy-dandy tool box from Grandma and Granddaddy Beery that has all sorts of cool little boy tools, and bring it back so that he could use his tools to drum on the bouncer and on his box and of course, on the baby.... Not hard, but the problem is that he can get really worked up with all his "deet-deet-deet"-ing and his "dot-dot-dot"-ing and his "BISH!!!" (that is the cymbal, for anyone who has not witnessed this activity), so he must be watched very carefully.

At the end of the day, I seriously feel like I have run a marathon and can just collapse in a chair and huff and puff once they are FINALLY in bed. And I only have TWO CHILDREN. TWO.

I guess I better go rest up for tommorrow. The other night Tim said "Hey Carrie! You want to go to Barnes and Noble and browse slowly through the books and take our time and get coffee? Or do you want to go to Sam's Club not because we need to, but just to look around and eat samples? Or do you want to go out to eat and have a nice long relaxing dinner?" And we both chortled merrily (with a faint twinge of wistfulness) at the lucridity of that question and the sheer impossibility of ANYTHING REMOTELY like that happening anytime soon. Kids certainly change things. For the better, overall, but sometimes you just gotta miss relaxing. And just think. Lord willing, there could be another one coming along in a few months. Just kidding. :) Give me a few hundred months or so. And then there will be three. Heavy silence. Let us all pray.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I love this picture. It is pure, undiluted, 100% Gabe.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


1. Israel has the cutest little fattest little pudgiest little squeezy sausage feet with his little fat toes splayed out the end, and the thing I find the most hilarious is that they already smell like feet. I like to kiss them, feet smelling and all.

2. Gabriel is Danger Child. I tell you what, the way that boy hurls himself around, I pray that he has double-duty guardian angels on high alert. Today I almost had a heart attack, because I was changing Israel on our bed, and Gabe climbed up and had both feet on the footboard, and was just swaying in the air when I launched myself through the air and pulled him towards the bed. Today at church, he decided he wanted to get into the "baptismal trough" :) (the cattle watering thing that we use for baptisms) and simply dove in over the side onto the hard ground. Someone saw him and rushed over thinking he would be hurt, but up he bounces like a spring and off he runs. He also is inadvertently dangerous to Israel, because he loves to be next to him, but will take flying leaps that can land much too close for comfort, or decide to go into a happy kicking frenzy on the couch while I'm feeding Israel.

3. Israel is now in 6-9 month clothes. At 2 1/2 months of age. How funny is that. I am having to go and buy more 6-9 month winter clothes for him, because when Gabe was in 6-9 month clothes, it was summer. He has lost most of his baby hair, except for a tidy little mullet/rat-tail in the back. Kentucky born, and Kentucky grown, that's how we like to keep 'em.

4. Today was my 29th birthday. To celebrate, I had Walmart Teriyaki Stirfry Chicken for lunch. From a bag. It For supper I cleaned some random items out of the freezer, and had Chicken Cordon Bleu from the microwave. Life is on the up and up, as you can tell. Tim gave me extra breaks by holding the baby while I stared at Journeys shoes on the computer. 29 is apparently the year of Boredemness. Ah well. I enjoyed it.

5. Gabriel has this nice little cold he obtained over Christmas, that he apparently generously shared with his cousin Tyler. He has this delectable phlegmy cough that at times makes him gag and then vomit. It's not that it is that bad of a cold, but rather that we have a gaggy child. He seems rather intrigued with the reality of vomiting, and we have to keep hastily fetching his hand out of his mouth where he seems to want to help along the process. Our lunch the other day was seasoned with the sight of watching Gabe cough, retch, and then vomit into the fresh plate of lunch in front of him. Made one look rather dubiously at one's own fresh plate of lunch.

6. Gabe seemed to hit another verbal peak over Christmas. He often seems to improve verbally after spending time with family, for some reason. Today he was encouraging the baby as I was getting ready for church - "Good job, baby!! Good job!" He also enjoys singing "Jesus Loves Me", and other songs he hears. He is saying so many words right now - it's just fun to hear how his brain works. Tonight Tim was praying with Gabriel and went through "And God bless Mommy and God bless Daddy and God bless Gabriel and God bless Israel!" Pause. Gabriel says "Ennnhh - God. Again! God. Again!" So Tim continues, "And God bless Aunt Melody, and God bless Tyler...." on down the family tree. When he gets to the end, there is a pause, and Gabriel says "And God bless Chloe!" :) Good ole Chloe, the unforgotten Jack Russell Terrier, Beloved of Gabriel, appropriate ending to blessings.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Scenes of Christmas Past

Christmas is over, and we made it in one piece!! We left VA on Dec. 22 and traveled to IN to spend time with Tim's family. We had a great time there, and came home on Jan. 1. The boys actually did great traveling, and we learned a little trick of leaving early in the morning. I am already SORELY missing both families and all of their baby help they gave. Thank all of you so much for all of your help - you were such a huge blessing! Here are some pictures from VA and IN....

Pippin the Christmas Elf

A result of a napless day is falling asleep in the chair while Granddaddy rocks.

Time with the "fam". :) (Blogger is being dumb and not letting me comment between pictures...)