Thursday, April 30, 2009

Because we would starve to death if the Weber ever broke...

I love this time of year.  Daylight stretches past dinner time, the weather is semi-bearable, and the backyard provides endless hours of entertainment for Dane and Aidan.  A nicely sized, fenced in, green grassed, swing set bearing backyard.  And I can see it all from the kitchen window.  I love that Dane and Aidan can run in and out barefoot throughout the day, while I watch them from the lovely air conditioned confines of my house. 

Yesterday, the boys were playing outside as usual in the backyard.  They had been adequately bug-sprayed (you WOULD NOT believe the mosquitos here after the rains from earlier this week) and had taken a few of their Ninja Turtle weapons out with them to "play pretend Star Wars".  I was folding laundry at the kitchen table and baby Harper was sleeping in the bouncy seat.  I took some laundry upstairs, and was up there for about 10 minutes putting it away.  When I returned to the kitchen, I looked out to check on the boys, and subsequently vowed to never take my eyes off them again when they were outside. 

Aidan had climbed on top of Brandon's Weber grill, and as I looked on, jumped off of the grill onto the grass while clutching a Kung Fu Panda sword and screaming something about Storm Troopers.

I'm freaking out a bit, imagining in my mind the grill breaking/toppling over with Aidan on top of it.  Or of Aidan falling off the grill, onto the porch, and having to explain this to the pediatrician.

Then I asked a question I wished I had not asked:  "Aidan, how did you get up there?"

"I climbed on that grey thing, Mommy."

"That grey thing?  You mean the propane tank??"

Images of broken, toppling grills and falls were quickly replaced by mental pictures of gas explosions and little-boy bodies flying in the air.

I reamed Aidan out a bit, and we all had a talk about how we NEVER CLIMB ON THE GRILL (it's funny the phrases we say as parents that we never expect to).  He- in all of his easily distractible nature, went right back to talking about Clones and Storm Troopers (I think these are Star Wars terms, but since I am the only person on the planet to never have seen any of the Star Wars movies, I can only venture a guess).  Then Aidan points to the top of the grill and says in his excited voice, "Mommy, did you see my Jedi Flip??"

Could someone that has seen Star Wars please tell me what a "Jedi Flip" is?  Is it where Hans Solo climbs carefully and responsibly off his Daddy's Weber grill, avoiding the propane tank completely?  While singing "Jesus Loves Me" and thinking loving thoughts about his mother?

Because if my child actually FLIPPED off the top of the grill and onto the porch or grass in the few minutes that I was dutifully putting laundry away, I may have a heart attack.  Or contract a case of mild, rarely deadly, "much less dangerous than normal flu" swine flu.

At the very least, I think I can make a case for never putting laundry away again.

The Leaping Jedi and his sister:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful relaxing weekend.  Here are some thoughts on our weekend as listed in a numerical format in no particular order:

1.  Brandon had church related activities Saturday from 9am until 5pm.  

2.  And then again for 8 hours on Sunday.

3.  It was Baby Dedication at church this past Sunday.  Harper did great, sporting open eyes and no vomit in sight for her brief time on stage.  Brandon sang a song called "Safe and Sound", which, if I hadn't heard it about 97 times over the last few weeks, would have left me a weeping puddle on the floor in the middle of church.  Fortunately, by the time Sunday morning rolled around, both of us were immune to it's powers.

4.  A nice man at church who knows how to use his camera took family pictures outside after Baby Dedication.  Great idea on paper.  Factor in the gusting wind, bright sun, infants, and preschoolers, and it was not a picture for the mantle.  Dane had a look on his face that can only be described as "constipated" (I didn't think that asking the nice photographer to tell diarrhea jokes to get my boys to smile was appropriate on Baby Dedication day.)  Harper was covering her face with her hand, and my hair was a'blowin in the wind.  We were positioned with the pretty fountain in the background (see below), only in the picture it appeared that the fountain was sprouting from the top of my head. 
Like one of those complicated garden gnomes that's actually a water feature.  Or perhaps the headpiece of a Vegas showgirl.  Maybe we'll put it on the fridge, for comic relief.

5.  The quilting ministry at our church (I think I have mentioned this group before) had made a quilt for each baby (and there were about 20 0f them) and presented it to the families while we were waiting for pictures yesterday.  Ours is yellow with blue and pink, and I am continually amazed at people who can take fabric from Hobby Lobby and make it into something cute.  And then further amazed that they spend hours making a beautiful quilt and then give it away to someone they may not know.

Hope your weekend was great, as well!  (I'm off to recover from the 7 inches of rain my little town has gotten in the last 16 hours or so).  


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Harper at 4 Weeks

Here are a few more pictures of Harper, that only her grandparents will find even remotely interesting.  She is 4 weeks old now, and growing like a weed.  Over the last 2 weeks, she has gained almost 2 pounds and outgrown most of her newborn clothes. She still eats and sleeps like a champ, and we are hopeful that she will start consistently sleeping through the night this next month.  She usually makes it until at least 4 or 5 am before waking up for a bottle, so we have reason to be hopeful.  This may be the last time you see her in these little bows.  Apparently her head is also growing (she is her father's child, after all), and these bows leave sad little dents in her scalp when we take them off.  

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Favorite People

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last 5 Days: In a Nutshell

For the last few days, I have been meaning to sit down and blog a bit, but I've been a bit busy feeding Harper for 6 hours every day.  Seriously.  The girl takes an hour to drink a 4 ounce bottle.  But the good news is, I am all caught up on my Law and Order.

Brandon's birthday was this past Sunday.  The big 3-1!  I guess 31 is not as exciting as 30, because there was no surprise birthday party with custom t-shirts this year.  We celebrated our old age by overeating at Salt Grass for lunch after church.  Is it possible to go to Salt Grass and not overeat?  We didn't even get dessert, and still managed to skip dinner because neither one of us was hungry for it.

Dane's first swim practice was delayed from Monday until this afternoon because they had to "shock the pool".  Apparently, shocking the pool has less to do with electricity (as I had thought), and more to do with abundant amounts of chlorine.  Brandon was very disappointed to learn that Dane would be expected to wear something that looks an awful lot like shiny bike shorts to swim in instead of his usual swim shorts.  Really, really tight shiny bike shorts.  They try to make them sound cool by calling them "jammers".  Needless to say, I will not be tempted to bore you with pictures from Dane's swim team experiences over these next couple of months.

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, and not just because of the hungry little infant waking me up in the middle of the night.  I have been having recurring nightmares about tornados and hurricanes hitting our house that are waking me from my slumber.  And last night I lay awake in bed trying to remember if, in the "Hymnal" version of "It Is Well With My Soul", if the men echo the women in the chorus, or if it is the other way around.  (Fresh on my mind, because we just sang this in church Sunday.)  I lost precious REM sleep over this last night.  Perhaps it's time to increase my dose of sleeping medicine.

We had parent-teacher conferences at Dane and Aidan's school this past Monday.  Brandon went to the school, while I was with the kids staring at the "shocked pool" that Dane wasn't going to get to swim in.  The conferences went about as expected.  Dane's teacher commented that he was very ready for kindergarten, but that he was having trouble remembering body parts like "thigh" and "shin".  Thanks to his Daddy, the boy knows where his obliques and lats are, but he's not sure where his thighs and shins are.  (Hey school teachers, does this actually matter??) Don't worry, he knows now.  Aidan and his teacher have very different personalities, and his conference was as expected as well.  Ms. W. loves Aidan, but he can be very difficult in the classroom.  One of her positive comments on him was "Aidan has very strong vocal cords."

On the way home from the parent-teacher conferences, Brandon calls me and says, "I looked like the most white-trash parent there.  I went to the conferences barefoot."  

Fan.Tastic.  My baby-daddy attended parent-teacher conferences barefoot.  He may as well have stopped off at the K Mart for a new wife beater shirt and a 6-pack of Bud on his way home.  When he got home we coulda decided which end of the single-wide to hang Junior and his brother's school pictures on. 

(Reality:  Brandon played frisbee golf before the conferences and stepped in mud up to his ankles, necessitating the removal of his footwear, which was explained to Dane and Aidan's teachers.  He does not wear wife beaters or drink Bud.  Or live in a single-wide.  However, the school pictures are our reality.)

Yeah, kindergarten should be interesting next year.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Brain is Has Turned to Mush

This has been a relatively boring week here as we continue to settle in to our new routine with a new baby in the house, so here are some thoughts...

--Harper continues to be the Best Baby Ever.  She has been letting me sleep 6-7 consecutive hours at night, and is pretty sweet during the day, too.  I didn't sleep this well before she was born.

--Brandon has been reunited with his grill after a long absence.  He has cooked 3 of the last 4 dinners, and we have been rejoicing in the wonderment that is grilled chicken.  The weather has been beautiful (until today's much needed rain), and the boys have been having a great time playing in the backyard before dinner while Daddy cooks, and then after dinner until it gets dark.  And by "playing" in the backyard, I mean "peeing" in the backyard.  Every time I look out the kitchen window, one of those boys has his pants down.  But not Brandon.  I think the grill is too hot. ;)

--I got Dane's birth certificate today.  He is 5 years old, and now I finally have a birth certificate for him.  Why now, you ask?  Oh, because I'm going next week to SIGN HIM UP FOR KINDERGARTEN.  Holy cow.  I can't believe he is going to kindergarten next year.

--Have you seen Susan Boyle on youtube?  Have you??

--It has taken me no less than entire week to almost finish my to-do list, which was only supposed to take me a day and a half to do.  My brain has turned to mush, and I seem incapable of forming an intelligent thought.  I think I will need to go back to work in some capacity to remedy this, but the combination of HE IS GOING TO KINDERGARTEN in the fall and the knowledge that this is our last baby and she'll never be this little again, etc., etc., will make it very hard for me to go back to work.  So I think I will probably stay on maternity leave until the money just completely runs out, leaving me with no choice in the matter.  We'll see if I change my mind when the hospital bills start rollin' in.

--Monday will mark Dane's first day as a member of one of the local neighborhood's swim teams.  After our less-than-impressive experience with YMCA swim lessons last year, we've decided that this is the most efficient way for him to learn how to swim.  For the cost of a 2-week lesson at the YMCA, Dane will have 5 practices a week offered with optional weekly swim meets for the next 3 months.  We do not actually plan to go to swim practice 5 times a week, but we will probably take him 3 times a week until school gets out, then we'll see.  We will not  be a family whose schedules and lives are overwhelmed by a 5 year old's activity schedule, but I do want him to learn how to swim this year.  

--Guilt has motivated me to take more pictures of Harper.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how to take good pictures without the flash, so these are a bit blurry.  (And as you can see, she is enjoying her loaner swing and bouncy seat from her cousin Joel!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter, Day 2

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.  As I referred to yesterday, ours continued into today.  We ran out of time Sunday for all of the traditional festivities, as we were too busy eating yummy brisket and swimming with some dear friends.  Dear friends who know how to cook a mean brisket on the first day since Lent started that Brandon could eat meat.  Fortunately, the kids don't get too hung up on semantics as long as there is candy and goodies involved.  We did Easter baskets and an egg hunt in the backyard this morning.  Harper really enjoyed her basket filled with diapers, a pacifier, and new blankie.
Yes, I did make them pull their Easter clothes out of the laundry basket and wear them this morning while they did "Easter activities".  Not the first fake Easter pictures, and probably won't be the last.

And yes, Dane is wearing a blue yarn headband.
Aidan just realized he could see the Easter eggs out the kitchen window.
Under their baskets was a set of Star Wars figures for the boys.  They were super excited, and the toys have already paid for themselves in the form of 3 hours of quiet play time upstairs. :)
Dane considers Easter egg hunting a competitive sport.  He sprints around, finding as many eggs as he can.  Meanwhile, Aidan meanders around, looking for eggs, running to us and showing us each one he picks up.

Check out my pretty grass in the backyard!  The hot guy that laid the tile in my shower is now our new yard man.  He's multitalented...
Aidan appears to have found the levitating Easter egg.  
I could make a far-reaching Jesus/Easter analogy here, but I'll pass.

Here are the faces Dane and Aidan make when their Daddy is making potty jokes while taking their pictures.

With potty jokes:
Without potty jokes:
Here's Miss Harper yesterday before all the screaming started when we were attempting pictures with all 3 kids.  

She still looks a little distraught.  
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Day-After-Easter as much as we are.  (Did I mention the hours of quiet play time??)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Did everyone have a Happy Easter?
Everyone except for Harper, that is?
We have had a great Easter Sunday.  Harper was a bit tired after her church debut this morning, and she was not in the mood for pictures after church.  After pictures, we ended up having lunch at some friends' house, then Brandon and the boys took a dip in their heated pool.  Um, the Easter Bunny will be here tomorrow morning before Brandon leaves for work.  The Monday after Easter is also a very important holiday this year, and will be celebrated with Easter baskets and perhaps an Easter egg hunt if the backyard is not still wet and muddy after this morning's rain.  So hopefully more pictures will be here tomorrow of our extended festivities.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Cookies with Aunt Lindy

My sister, Lindy came into town Sunday to help me out for a few days, and we had a great time with her here.  It was nice to have an extra set of hands around to help with Harper and help keep the boys entertained.  The boys helped her make Easter sugar cookies on Sunday.  

My job was to move the cookies from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack.  That's it.  That's all I had to do.  Should not be that difficult, right?  And look what happened:

Yeah, that's the cross-shaped cookie.  I couldn't have accidently broken the bunny or the dinosaur cookie (yes, dinosaurs are Easter-y at this house).  

Dane enjoyed helping make the cookies.  Here is the yarn headband he has been wearing that coordinates with his yarn armband (the one that reminds him of Jesus).
The cookie decorating was fun as usual.  I just noticed that Dane looks very grossed out in both of these pictures.  I promise he had fun making cookies.  He ate most of what he decorated as he went along.

And the finished products:
See that green one at the top of the picture?  The one that looks like it used to be cross-shaped?  I had just gotten over the trauma of breaking the cookie and wondering if I needed to pray for forgiveness or not, when Dane asked me "What that green one is".  I told him it had been cross-shaped before I accidently broke it, and he replied, "Oh.  I thought it was a gun."

Because nothing says Easter like a cookie in the shape of a gun.

On a different note, I am already falling behind on taking pictures of the third baby.  In the last week, Harper has met for the first time her Aunt Lindy, G.G., numerous aunts, cousins, spouses, and second cousins, and I have not taken a single picture of any of them with her.  I think we took pictures of Dane with everyone that walked in our door the entire first year of his life.  Sorry, Harper.  We'll undoubtedly make it up every time she has a pretty little dress on, starting with Easter Sunday.  We are planning to go to church Sunday, and I CANNOT WAIT to go to my church and see my people.

Harper is 2 weeks old today, and I am actually starting to believe I may actually recover from my c-section.  Dane had his 5 year old check up at the pediatrician yesterday, and I was making sure all our t's were crossed and i's dotted for kindergarten in the fall.  His immunizations were all up to date, and he had a vision and hearing screening done yesterday.  His hearing is perfect (so he has no excuse for not cleaning up when I ask him to...), but his visual acuity tested at 20/50.  So off to the pediatric opthamologist we go!  Looks like Dane got his Daddy's blind eyes.  

Maybe that's why he thought that green cookie looked like a gun...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kisses and Ramblings

Please excuse the lack of posting lately, and the lack of content in this blog.  I have been home from work for almost 4 weeks now, and my brain has officially turned to mush.  I have been on house arrest now for almost 2 weeks, and I am bored out of my mind.  I got out to take the kids to McDonalds yesterday to play, and it was one of the highlights of my week.  Sad, I know.  I am actually volunteering to do other people's laundry, that's how bored I am.  Harper is still only waking up once at night for a bottle, so I have not yet reached exhaustion.  I am tired, yes, but still functioning quite well.  

So my days are now filled playing dress up.  Because cute clothes are one advantage baby girls get over baby boys.  Dress up with baby boys is just not as fun.  "This shirt with a truck on it, or this shirt with a football on it?"  Of course, this onsie she has on here was Dane's Valentine's shirt when he was 2 months old.  She's earning her keep around here.
But Dane never wore it with rainbow legwarmers and mary jane socks.

By the way, Brandon HATES these legwarmers.  He makes 1980s references every time he sees them.  But they're so cute!  And they help add a little bulk to her still-skinny newborn legs and wrinkly knees.

I attempted to take a picture with all 3 kids in it, and it did not go so well.  (See:  top of blog).  Hopefully in the next week or so, I can get a better one.

The new big brothers are still enjoying their baby sister.  They love to hold her and kiss her, and are working on being quiet while she is sleeping.  I think we will be working on that one for a while now.

My sister Lindy is here for a couple of days helping me out with the kids.  I'm still not quite 2 weeks post c-section, and among other restrictions, I can't lift anything heavier than the baby, can only climb stairs once a day, no laundry, dishwashing, or vacuuming, no driving, and limited car riding.  This makes chasing my boys around a bit of a challenge, to say the least, and I am very grateful for the extra hand.

Speaking of things I am grateful for, have I mentioned how awesome my church is?  Since I have been home from the hospital, I have not been in charge of a single dinner.  A friend of mine at church decided that we should have meals, and almost every night someone different has brought us yummy dinner, with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.  Speaking as someone on an unpaid maternity leave right now, I am very thankful for these meals and the little bitty grocery bill that has accompanied them these last couple of weeks.

On a completely different note, Brandon just dropped the boys off at school and called to tell me that once again, we have forgotten that it is picture day.  Dane and Aidan are both wearing slightly-too-short blue jeans, t-shirts (Dane's is a grey jersey, and Aidan's is orange with a monkey on it), and hoodie sweatshirts.  Their arms are freshly adorned with Spiderman tattoos, Dane is wearing a piece of yarn around his wrist that "reminds him of Jesus" (??) and Aidan has no less than 3 visible scabs.  These pictures could very well rival the New Orleans pictures from a couple of years ago.

Well, I'm off to go run a few errands with Lindy and baby Harper.  Please don't tell my doctor that I will be riding in a car today.  It is, after all, the MOST EXCITEMENT that I will have this week.  

Unless you want to bring me your dirty laundry to wash.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Mythical Baby

Harper and I came home from the hospital this past Sunday and things are slowly returning to a "new normal".  Here is the outfit we picked out for her to come home in:

It's a "newborn" size, and it was almost too small for her.  The clothes were almost too small, not the bow.  The bow is JUST THE RIGHT SIZE.  She's just a very long, lean baby so far.  A trait she undoubtedly gets from her mother ;)  Please admire the nice golden tan on her face.  Jaundice is the only time my children ever get to "have a little color".  She'll be pasty like the rest of our family before too long.
Brandon wanted a picture of the first time we brought Harper home.  I love this picture because of Brandon's shirt.  Yes, that is Carlton from the Fresh Prince of BelAir.  This shirt is nice and big and soft, and I actually wore it the Saturday evening before Harper was born to go hang out with a bunch of friends from church.  The last couple of weeks of my pregnancy, wardrobe options were somewhat limited.  And Brandon was not crazy about me wearing his Carlton shirt.  He was afraid Harper and I were going to stretch it out.  (We did not). I think the phrase, "You're making Carlton look like Warren Sapp" was even uttered.  As you can see, Carlton survived.
Please note the CAR IN THE GARAGE.  My sweet husband cleaned out the garage enough to park a vehicle in it a week or so ago.  

Of all my husbands, he is my favorite.

We have this same picture of Brandon at the hospital with each of our babies.  The boys' pictures are framed on their dresser, where this one will end up as well.
Dane and Aidan came home yesterday after their Week of Visiting Fun Places.  They spent one night at a "slumber party" with a friend from church, then onto Cousin Camp at Aunt Val's, then off to Dallas for a few days at Camp Pappy with my parents.  It's been a nice few days of rest and taking care of Baby Harper for me and Brandon, but we were sure glad to see our boys.  We have missed them, and they are very glad to be back home.  So far, they are very sweet with the baby.  They love to help get diapers, help hold bottles, and hug and kiss their new sister.  Aidan's a little blurry here, but you can tell how proud he is of his newly acquired Big Brother Status:
Harper is so far proving herself to be perhaps the best baby in the world.  Every new mother in the midst of the first few weeks with a new baby hears stories from other moms about their own babies.  War stories are swapped about how the baby is sleeping at night, nighttime feedings and fussiness, how often they wake up, etc.  Moms talk about the endless weeks, and sometimes months, of sleep deprivation and delirium.  

And there's always one annoying mother in the group who talks about her baby, and how her baby slept through the night when they brought her home from the hospital.  And about how perky and well rested the whole family is.  The Mythical Baby.  The one new moms hear about, but no one actually believes exists.  Sort of like unicorns or the Loch Ness Monster.

We have The Mythical Baby.  

Since we brought Harper home, she has only woken up once at night to eat, she takes a bottle, and immediately falls back asleep until we wake her up in the morning for another bottle.  Brandon and I are both sleeping.  Harper is sleeping.  It's a beautiful thing, and we're really hoping that it lasts.  Last night she slept from 11 pm until 6:30 this morning.  Yes, she is a week old and slept through the night.  And her mother is rested and showered and has energy.  Still very sore and recovering from a c-section, but not delirious with exhaustion.  We are praying this continues.  The boys are home now, and I know my days of sitting on the couch holding a sweet baby while watching NCIS re-runs are numbered.  I'm going to need all the sleep I can get to keep up with this brood.