Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kitchen Chaos

Ah, man. I was so motivated. I decided to make chicken fajitas for lunch, and I wanted to make that yummy mandarin orange cottage cheese salad too that I have been planning to make for approximately 4-5 months now - except I needed another pepper and more cottage cheese. So I decided to zip off to Krogers...and as usual got sort of sidetracked by all the pretty apples and the fresh baked french bread and the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread in the flavor of Honey Nut (mmmmm!)...and got home a mite later than I had planned. So then I was whizzing all around trying to get my beloved salad mixed up and the peppers and onions and cilantro sizzling and the ice tea made and the table cleared off, meanwhile making an absolute mess of the counters as I left everything right where it lay and now it's 12:19 and Tim has to leave for class at 12:35 at the latest and the baby is squawking loudly and Gabe is up on the chair in the dining room eating gingersnaps dipped in cream cheese....And then I am balancing the squawking baby in one arm trying to eat a fajita that keeps falling apart while Tim woofs down his food and Gabe squeezes the contents out of his mini-fajita....and then the baby is bellowing because HE wants a fajita to eat or at least some ice tea to drink and Gabe is screeching at Chloe at the top of his lungs and Tim is rushing out the door without even being able to eat any yummy salad. And Gabe zips off to the couch to drum on the arm and I put the baby in his swing and trudge back out to the kitchen to finish my cold fajita in the whirlwind mess of the kitchen. Yummy mandarin orange cottage cheese salad is just not as good all by yourself.

Ah well. At least Gabe's drumming put the baby to sleep. Check out the tummy pudge... :) Is that precious or what...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Elizabethan Snooch

Today our Snoochy Girl had surgery. She had a tumor on her back that she had to get removed. She waddled home with a funny little collar that I had to take a picture of before I took it off. :) The vet informed me, as I whined about the costs of taking care of a pet, that at least it is cheaper than a child. I beg to differ.

In other news. Someone in this household, namely those of us 21 pounds and below, decided it would be a great idea to be WIDE AWAKE between the hours of 2:45-3:30 AM. Let me tell you how thrilled his Mommy was about THAT. NOT AT ALL. It was one of those hours of sleep where you stagger out of bed, and can hardly stand up straight anyways. Ten minutes after I fed him at 2:30, I hear new noises, and went back in to check on him, and here he was all propped up on his elbows, his elbows tucked underneath him, his head cranked way up in the air, looking around with wide eyes. I tried to nurse him back to sleep about 3 times before I finally decided to let him cry a few minutes, and then he was out again for the night. Good-ness. That was a horridly miserable experience. Aside from the fact of seeing him propped up on his elbows like that. That was decidedly cute. That's the first I've seen him do that.

Here's a picture of one of the few moments I got to sit down today. (We're getting the house ready for a showing tommorrow.) My children have this radar for my spare moments. Gabe zones in with his blanky and his pacifier(s), saying "Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy..." "What, Gabe? (tiredly)" "Mommy mommy mommy, can you hold me, Mommy?" Or "Mommy mommy mommy I need a hug." This is pretty much a constant recently anytime I sit down. I love him dearly, but sometimes I want a break before exchanging the 20-pounder for the 30-pounder. It's like those little magnet dogs. I sit down, and....zooooop!! He's in my lap!

Gabe has another "fun" game that's called "Mommy, what su doin'?" This involves asking this question approximately once every 1.7 seconds, whether or not your activity has changed in the slightest, and despite whether you have just finished answering that very same question. This is closely related to to the beloved game of "What zat?"

Two cute things. Gabe is asking if we can "scootch" (move) something - "Can you scootch? da chair? Can da baby? scootch?" It's cute. Also, the other day we were looking at an alphabet book with a capital D and a lowercase d, and he said "That's a Daddy D, and that's a baby d." :) He just got a haircut the other night, and it was the first one that I didn't have to hold him through. He has never been too sure about those buzzy little clippers.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

5 Months Old

Israel is 5 months old today.
He is the snuggliest little kiss'im man ever. :)

He's not really doing anything new at the moment, besides possibly drooling even more profusely, which one could not previously have known was possible. He's added spit bubbles. Basically he still lays around and waves his arms and legs. He occasionally looks like he could possibly be interested in trying to turn from his back to his side or stomach, but hasn't followed through yet. He is in a few remaining 9 month clothes, but mostly 12 months, with some 18 months. It's just so funny, because some of these are clothes that I just put away from Gabe wearing them.

We feed him solids occasionally, and he does pretty good with them. He loves to jump in his Johnny Jump Up thing, and really bounces around. He doesn't do much "standing" yet either when you try to brace him on your legs...but if you lifted the weight of his torso, you may simply understand why. :) I need to weigh him - I'm sure he's around 20 pounds. He's straining the edges of his car seat - we really need to get a new one.

Sleepwise...well. Sometimes he does better than other times. Sometimes he wakes up 3 times a night, sometimes no times a night. Of course, then I wake up and stare worriedly at the ceiling, reassuring myself that he's fine. :) Whenever I get worried and go check on him, I always wake him up, so I try to restrain myself.

He continues to cry 10-15 minutes when we lay him down to sleep. Sigh. I was thinking that after a few nights he would get the hang of it and not cry anymore. The ironic thing is that now he can't really get to sleep without crying. It seems to be his new, learned "sleep association". For example, unless it is the middle of the night, nursing won't put him to sleep. Crying, and then nursing, will, or just crying. The other thing is that when he cries, he sleeps like a log. That part is really quite nice. :) I notice that especially if I have been working, I have a hard time letting him cry, and have to get him back up to nurse or cuddle.

He continues to love Gabe. When we are eating, I set his bouncer so that he can see Gabe, and that is much more helpful.

Apparently, however, there is another wee baby in the house that I didn't notice! Gabe thinks these baby things are great.

Gabe in the bouncer.

Gabe in the exersaucer.

Brotherly love.

Tub time. This is Gabe with all of his "dudes".

And now it's time for bed...


Quote of the Day: "It'z a. hoppa-gwassy!" (Gabe, when Tim pointed to a picture of grasshopper and asked him what it was.)

Questions of the Day:
1. Why is it that by the time you are old enough to appreciate a nap, it is not really an option anymore due to protesting children who decidedly disagree with the concept as a whole?
2. Why don't I live in a siesta country?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


So I was recently "tagged" per dear friend Angela Mae to list 6 weird things about myself. Here goes...:)

1. When I was a kid, two of my favorite foods were beets, cooked or canned, and fried liver. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm. :)

2. Every once in a while, during the odd show on TV, I will catch myself nostagically thinking that if I had to do it over again, I would probably be a professional figure skater or a backup hip-hop dancer. :)

3. "I see dead people." Ok, not really. :)

3. Sometimes, at random places doing random things, I play the following game with myself: If it was 15 years ago, and I was wondering what I would be doing at (insert current age here), and I was transported into the future into this specific moment and was allowed to look through my eyes at what I am looking at now, what could I tell about myself? My husband thinks that this is very weird indeed. :)

4. I often read while I brush my teeth.

5. Whenever I trim my fingernails, I say a prayer over them and bury them in a small box in the backyard. Ok, fine, just kidding about that one too.

5. Somewhere in my possessions, I have a Jean Nate perfume stick that I got when I was, like, 6 years old that I get out and take a whiff of every now and then just because it reminds me of being little.

And, finally, only one of the following is true. See if you can guess which one.

6. I have a textbook case of recurrent, multi-drug resistant head lice. (May I come visit?)

7. I am an undercover agent for the CIA and have lots of cool pens that might kill you if you accidentally bite them or point them in the wrong directions.

8. I like the smell of gasoline and fingernail polish, I have eyes that are slightly different colors, and I routinely eat chocolate for breakfast.

Off to sort my pen weaponry and comb out the bugaboos...

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

70 degrees, and the livin' is easy...

Can't forget about the Snoochy Dog...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Singing the Hallelujah Chorus

Last night, after crying for about 15 minutes, Israel fell asleep at 10 PM, and slept until 6:00 AM. Up again at 7:30 AM, then back to sleep, then up for the day at 9 AM. He took an hour and 40 minute nap this morning, after crying for 14 minutes. Compare this to the day before, where he woke up about 5 times between 12 and 7:30, when he got up for the morning, and took naps of 45 minutes apiece. Wow wow wow. YAAAYYYYYY!!!!!! He is just as happy as ever.

This was Gabe "helping" with Israel this morning. They certainly do like each other. Israel is always interested and ready to smile when Gabe is around. He is surprising tolerant of all the aggressive bear hugs and head drums that Gabe can dole out.

This is Gabe, Tim, and Israel running around outside today. It is sunshiny and WARM!! 62 degrees. What a nice change!

I keep forgetting to mention. My husband has joined the blog world, after talking about it for long enough.

And to end. So I am basically bouncing around in self-congratulatory disbelief. I, techno-dummy, have successfully edited my html. gobbledy-gook to fix the Blogger stupidness that I have been tearing my eyebrows out over (I don't have ANY hair left on my head from my post-pregnancy hormone crash, so now I'm going for the eyebrows). What a woman I am, what a woman.... :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wanna House?



Today we had two house showings. Now we just need to see some money, people. Come on, now.


Yesterday morning I went and crawled into Gabriel's toddler bed with him when he woke up and did his "Mommy, Mommy! Where's my Mommy?!" routine that he does in the morning. I just had to laugh, because the expression on his face was so dumbfounded when I laid down beside him; he kind of reared back and just stared at me in sheer disbelief. His Mommy had never been in bed beside him before!! Then we had to read a book. While I was there, and all. :)


There are some words that I persist in repeating so Gabe keeps using them. When I point to a picture of a pig I say "Piggie." And Gabe says, "Piggie" with his cute little voice. I also talk about things being "warm and cozy", just to hear him talk about "cozy" socks. I have to seriously hold myself back from saying "Do you want another one book?", since that is how he talks - "Can I have another one pac-ey?", and I think it's adorable and I don't want it to stop. :)


On the topic of crying babies. I think I have figured out a routine that works for me. Today, I have laid Israel down awake for every nap. I wait until he is literally right on the edge of sleep, eyelids drooping shut, usually after I have nursed him, and then I lay him down at the head of the crib. Which wakes him back up, but that's fine. I'm fine laying him down as long as I know that he is ready to go to sleep. Before, I felt like I was guessing when he was ready, and I hated the thought that I might have been laying him down before he was ready. Then I go in and check on him and pat him every 3-5 minutes, and each time, I pull him down a few inches, so he doesn't have to fall asleep in a pile of crying drool.

He's cried about an average of 10-15 minutes, but it has just not bothered me like it did, since I know for sure that he is ready, and I know I can go give him some pats and kisses, and I know that he isn't having to fall asleep in a pile of wetness. So I'm feeling much better about that. He had 2 45-minute naps today, and then had to be awakened from his evening one since we had to leave for the evening showing, but he was a happy buddy anyways.

I fed him more food today, and he did much better with his rage management issues. :) He is swallowing well, and would quite happily down about 3 jars of food, no questions asked, if Mommy participated in such a gorge-fest. I gave him a bottle of water this evening, and he thought that was pretty nifty, too. My kid is just pretty much pro anything food related. :) As one can tell...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yay! Relatives!

Grandma Edith and Granddaddy Charles came to visit this weekend, much to the utmost delight of everyone here. They brought a toddler bed for Gabe (that his Great-Aunt Betty found for $5 - how do you like being considered a Great-Aunt? :) Sounds like you should be doddery and peering blindly through spectacles. :) )who was extremely delighted, and he made the switch with absolutely no trouble at all.

Grandma Edith also brought him his very own bed cover, made with love, and also with little pockets that had toys and books in them. This child is well-loved.

Sigh. It is just indescribably nice to have extra people around to help with the wee ones. Moral and physical support. A breath of fresh air blowing through the house.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

So I am currently feverishly plowing my way through "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber, and am finding it very informational. Basically, Israel needs to learn to fall sleep without assistance, ie. nursing, holding, etc., so that he can fall asleep again without those things. I have been letting him cry 5-10 minutes for a few naps for a few day, and he is only waking up once a night now. Each less time he wakes up during the night equals me feeling that much better in the morning.

The only problem is the CRYING part. :) When I look online about babies crying themselves to sleep, there is HUGE reaction on both sides. Some people are like, "Absolutely!! I couldn't have survived without the end results of a few nights of my child crying as he relearned how to fall asleep!" Others are like "This is you turning off your instincts, hardening yourself to the only way your child has to communicate with you - his cry. Why did you even have children, if you think you have the right to sleep? This is just teaching your child that you won't come when they need you!!"

So as he is wailing away in his crib, I am standing in his room, with a head that is telling me that he will be just fine, that he is just going to have to cry a few times to relearn this, and that lots of kids do this and they are fine and they sleep great, and then there is the other reaction of my ENTIRE BODY that is quivering and tense and totally agreeing that I am going against my instincts and wondering if I am truly doing the right thing. And then that next night when he only woke up once, I was pretty sure I was.

People say "Go with your instinct as to what is right for your child." Which I totally agree with. The problem is that when he is not crying and not sleeping and I am worn to a frazzle, my instincts say that he needs to relearn his means of falling asleep. And then when he is crying, my entire body and nervous system is frazzled (as designed) and I just don't know what to think. Sigh. The tired cry is no big deal. It is the tired cry that turns into the enraged, hysterical cry that makes me break. Which I do. So sometimes he cries and goes to sleep, and sometimes he cries and...then I pick him up. Stay tuned for more riveting followup... :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Little Man

"Oh! My shoes!" exclaims Gabriel as he sees them on the kitchen floor. "I put on. My shoes!"

"Are you putting your shoes on?" asks Mommy as she eyes him from her kitchen chair.

"Yeah. I go. To. Chuch! (church)"

"You're going to church? Honey, there isn't any church today."

"I go. To. Wok. (work)"

Mommy grins at him. "You're going to work, huh?"

"Yeah. I go to wok." He shuffles past her busily, with unfastened sandles. He pauses with a brief thought. "Luff you!"

Laugh. "I love you, too, Gabriel! Very, very much."

Almost out of the kitchen, his hand goes to his waist. "I got. My. Telwefone." And shuffles on out.

What a little buddy.


I worked with a woman recently who told me that she had to work to support her “kid habit”. I laughed and told her that I had to remember that. Tonight, as I look at the soft, sweet, sleeping, snuffling bundle in my arms, I know that this is true. I too, am an addict.

Aside from all the sleep deprivation and the numerous frustrations, there are the soft, chubby hands that reach out to stroke my arm or pat my neck as he eats. It’s the leg kicking belly laughs, it’s the sweet soft skin, it’s the hands that reach out to grab my face and bring it near to kiss. It’s the arms that hug my neck, the head that tucks under my chin, the legs that circle my waist. The sleeping weight in my arms, the child that leans in trustingly, that I want to squeeze into my heart.

I love that my children want to be near me, that I can scoop them close and inhale them, dusty powder scent (Gabriel) and sweaty baby (Israel) and all. I can hold them tight, and for a while, be their world.

They are the pull that makes me long to experience their every moment; in moments, they are my heady rush.