Friday, December 26, 2008

The 12 Days of Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great Holiday Season!

We have had a great Christmas so far. Our Christmases tend to go on for days - starting usually with my parents a few days before and ending with Hubby's fam for the week after. The inlaws and Hubby's sis and her Hubby are in town for a few days. We've had merriment and presents galore and are still in the middle of lots of good family time.

Christmas with my parents was wonderful! As usual, they spoiled the kids rotten. Our living room has been taken over by toys and clothes and stuff. I tried to clean things up a bit last night, but gave up after realizing I spent 30 minutes just pushing things around the room! We'll have to find a place for everything later I guess. Our own core family Christmas on Christmas morning we nice and low key. Santa brought Kiddo the Cars video game for the Xbox that he desperately wanted. He has been in Xbox nirvana ever since. Port is thrilled with his little singing mirror thingy - that goodness for good deals on Amazon. Santa did good despite the economic downturn. I guess all it takes is one good gift to make the day special. We did discover some sadness today though - Hubby got a new camera (we both needed to upgrade and I have been saving my session money for one for quite some time) for Christmas and so he was playing with it Christmas morning. I was dealing with Port and Kiddo and so Hubby was the official picture taker - his new camera has video capability; he thought he was video-ing the whole thing, but it turns out he wasn't. We don't have any pictures of Christmas morning. *sigh* It's pretty sad when a couple of photographers can't get one Christmas picture. Oh well. We may have to recreate Christmas morning so I at least have one of Port on his first Christmas.

Hubby's family will be here for the better part of the week, so hopefully I can get some images of everyone while they are here. Hopefully my parents got some pictures of the kids opening presents as well.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
Until,
D :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Magic Bus

Hey there! Yes, I am still here. Busy, busy - it's just that time of year. Last week we decided to join in a big ol' Austin tradition and take the boys down to the Trail of Lights. We've never been before, and now that Kiddo is old enough to appreciate something like that (or so we thought) we decided to make the trek down town and see what all the fuss was about.

We chose a nasty, dreary night to be out. The fog was thick and the air heavy. Traffic into the city was awful, but we made it out there and parked near the capitol so we could take the shuttle bus out.

Kiddo and Port LOVED the bus. I'm not sure why - I guess it was a big, car seat free adventure for them. It made me really nervous; the no car seat thing combined with a brake happy bus driver and molasses thick fog - but we made it there safely.

[photos courtesy of Hubby]
"Look Daddy! I'm on a BUS!"

~peek-a-boo!~

We discovered last week that Port enjoys riding in a backpack carrier we have. I assisted on a photo shoot one Saturday morning for Mollie and Hubby took the kids to the annual TORCH Christmas party. As the story goes, he put Port in the carrier and he sat there happily the entire time. So when we decided to go to the trail of lights, we took the carrier with us in the hopes that for once I could walk around and enjoy something with empty arms. Port sat in the carrier on Hubby's back for a little bit, but having Mommy close by was apparently too much and we eventually had to take him out.
~These lights are so cool!!~

Kiddo enjoyed the display for a little while, but about half way through the trail he figured out that there wasn't going to be a place to play and that the whole outing involved walking and looking. And then he was done.

We made it through though and walked over to the Zilker tree at the end. Then back on the bus we went. By then, Port's baby mohawk was totally rockin'. ;)

~gimme that camera!~

Kiddo decided it was story hour and entertained us by making up stories about "the sky".

"Once upon a time, there was... THE SKY!!!!!"
"And suddenly, pennies fell down"
{Us: And then what happened?}
"And the pennies fell down on top of the GIANT!"
{oh no! Then what happened?}
"Den, the Giant smashed up the pennies and smushed them into dollars."
{WOW!}
"And den he took the dollars and he bought a giant POTTY!!!"
*blink* *blink*

[Ok, so I guess I should give some back story here. Earlier that day, Kiddo had used the potty and had slammed the potty seat and the lid down pretty hard. I fussed at him and told him that he needed to do it gently next time and that if he slams it like that he might break it. I told him that if he broke my potty I was going to take all the pennies out of his piggy bank and use them to buy a new potty. So I guess that's where the whole buying the potty came from. The rest was, well, all him.]

We enjoyed the bus ride back and the walk to the car. I thought for sure both kids would crash out on the way home. We drove Hubby back to his office to pick up his car and the boys and I traveled home. Port screamed the whole way and Kiddo talked up a storm. So much for car naps!

Overall it was a nice night, and something I think we will enjoy in the coming years.

Until,
D :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Near the End

It's nine days till Christmas.

I am so not ready. eeeeeek!!!!!

Last Friday I took the boys to a mom-group play date where we made a Christmas Count Down chain. You decorate and attach links together to represent how many days are left until the holiday, and then you rip one link off every day until Christmas. When we got it home I attached a left over magnetic strip I had to the back of the top piece and we hung it on the refrigerator. I am pretty sure Kiddo understands the concept, but unfortunately the kid is so excited about Christmas that he cannot be satisfied in ripping off one link a day. Instead, he tries to be sneaky and rip off more when I am not paying attention and he thinks it will make Christmas come faster. Sometime yesterday he ripped off about 7 links and tossed them in the trash, so the chain had to move to the top of the fridge for a week until we can start counting down again.

*sigh*

I am so excited about this time of year. I love it so much. It is a bit puzzling to me though, how the happiest time of the year can also be the saddest. I guess with so much joy going around it highlights the sorrow too - and every year I struggle to keep my happy self floating on top of the water while the sad self is clawing at me and trying to pull me down. I've been having very vivid dreams of loved ones lost long ago, and often wake up in a sad mood because of it. Thankfully I have a cute little troll to cheer me up every morning -he greets me most days with his now 2 toothed grin!

"little troll" - did I ever blog that story? One night when Port was a few months old, we had been up several times. I was extremely fatigued from no sleep and I had just gotten Port back in the bassinet and was hoping to go to sleep myself. Just as I laid back down he started fussing again. I realized he was extremely wet and so I had to change not only his diaper but his jammies too. When I got everything situated I once again rocked him back to sleep and placed him gently in the crib. Not 5 minutes later he fussed again, and as I picked him up he urped and spit up all over me and the fresh clean outfit I had just put him in. He looked up at me, opened his eyes wide and grinned the biggest grin I had witnessed from him. My completely unintentional, completely natural, loving, half asleep, motherly response was saying out loud...

"you evil little troll"

Hubby snickered in the bed next to me. By then it was daylight and he happened to be awake as well.

Well, my Little Troll has hit a HUGE growth spurt. [and here is where I regret to inform the family that if they bought any clothes for Port for Christmas, they may want to locate their receipts. Sorry.] He has had the hiccups non stop lately. The other night I put him in his bath duck and was shocked! The last two baths he had were in the big tub with his brother, and so the duck hadn't been used in a couple of weeks. He went from having lots of room to maneuver around to hardly fitting at all in just that short amount of time! I am amazed, and hurting for cold weather clothes right now. I had to raid Kiddo's old clothes and pull the 24 and 36 month stuff because it is all we have long sleeved.

Port has learned his first trick. If you say "bang, bang, bang" he will slap or punch himself or anything in front of him. It is so cool because he totally knows what the word means!

I want to make sure I get this down too because I don't know how long he'll do it - but Port has this thing he does when he is really excited, tickled or about to laugh. He scratch his chest with his right hand. He has some eczema patches on the left side of his chest, and whenever he is really smiling and about to laugh or get excited he will reach over and scratch them. It is the funniest thing.

Anyway, that's the latest. It's 11pm now; this post has taken me all day to write. I am sitting here pumping and trying not to fall asleep. My pumping days are pretty much over. I am still doing twice a day, but my supply is about gone now and it has become more just something I do because I feel guilty about quitting; and sad, relieved, selfish, conflicted. I don't know what to do. I am waiting for someone to give me permission to quit I think, or for someone to tell me to not give up and keep it going. I don't want to make the decision for myself.

But that is another post for another day.

Until,
D :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Baby Face



Happy Friday!

I don't really have much of a post today I guess, I just wanted to share a picture with you.

It took me about 10 shots with a squirmy baby in low light, but I came away with one great image.
Isn't he a doll??!? Of course, I am a bit biased. ;)

Can you believe Christmas is only 12 days away!?! EEEEEEK!! I have so much to do! Are you done with shopping yet? I made my Amazon order yesterday - I certainly hope everything gets here on time. Otherwise our tree really will be bare. We only got a couple of things for each of the boys. I have to clean my house top to bottom, finish up some client proofing and figure out all the things I want to bake for the family that will be visiting.

My favorite part of the holidays, besides the music, is the food. I love baking and cooking. I have kind of unofficially put myself in charge of sweets - I seem to get carried away with them each year.

What is your favorite holiday sweet treat? Care to share a recipe?

Ok, so I guess I did sort of have a post...

Happy Company Girl Coffee!
Until,
D :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We Need A Little Christmas

Hello everyone! I know, I know, I dropped off the planet again. It tends to happen after NaBloPoMo - I think I've gotten into a blogging routine when the reality is I've been burned out completely. Then I feel resentful about the blog - like I am neglecting it or something (which, let's face it, I am) and then I start blogging in my sleep, in my head while I'm driving, in the shower, etc. and I have all these stories and things I want to put in a post or two or three and then it just gets all overwhelming and I am paralyzed to do anything related to blogging because it is Just. Too. Much.

Yes, I am neurotic.

But you still love me, right?

Hello?

Anybody there?

Yes, I know everyone is busy right now - who has time to check a blog that rarely posts anyway?

Ok, enough of that - for those of you still checking in, here are some updates on us.

Port cut his second tooth last Sunday. For those keeping score, that 2 teeth in a mere 8 days. Uh Huh. We have been in Teething H - E - Double Hockey Sticks!! ;) I need to buy stock in Tylenol I tell ya. He is also pulling up and cruising around the furniture, destroying everything in his path. And he is absolutely driving me nutso making me walk him around the house all the time. My back is killing me! Port also has signed "milk" about 4 times now - the first time was last week. I thought it was a fluke, but he did it twice in a row and has done it a couple of times since. It is so cool when he does it, but it's very sneaky - you have to really watch for it. I will be so glad when he is more consistent and can communicate a bit with it. Because right now he is a mess having entered into the "I shall scream bloody murder every time something isn't right and you must frantically throw things at me until you figure it out" phase. I have never seen a child get so MAD over stuff.

He is getting a little bit better about letting me put him down. He will usually scream for a bit but then find something to play with for at least a minute before he comes crawling for me. There are some things that will entertain him for a little longer than others - the singing ride-on car, the musical turtle, his favorite book and sometimes my keys. Daddy's laptop mouse is a great source of amusement, but often leads to him trying to pull the whole computer off the table.

Kiddo is, well, he has good days and bad. I am trying lots of hugs and cuddles and it seems to be helping a bit during the day. Night time is still a mess though- I think he may just be too tired at night to be in a good frame of mind. We have backed his bed time up to 9:30 most nights, but I am thinking it needs to be more like 8:30. Shower time is just a nightmare, because he knows bed time is right around the corner. I think I might try giving him his shower either in the morning or right after supper so that he has some time before bed and we don't end up with a scream fest every night.

As for me, well I guess I am alright. I am caught up with my photo shoots, have a new one to edit and also need to get my own holiday cards designed and ordered. Since for the most part Port is sleeping better, I am too and that helps things tremendously. We aren't going many places these days which makes for stir-crazy kids, but in all things are good. I have about given up on pumping. I am still doing it 2-3 times a day but my supply is going away fast and it is getting to be a nuisance to pump more than anything. When I sit for 30-45 minutes and only come away with 3 ounces of milk I have to question the value of it all. Part of me is screaming to keep it up; start pumping more and getting my supply back up - especially when I have to fork over the $ for a can of formula every 5 days or so. But part of me is also so very tired of it all and really wanting to just stop.


...if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all...

And, we have taken yet another financial hit. Hubby's company took away next year's bonuses a few weeks ago, but they promised they would come through with the last quarter for this year. Today they announced that the end of year bonuses are not coming either.

I understand, really I do. I mean, we are just terribly lucky Hubby even has a job in this industry. Things could be much, much worse. Things could still get worse. I just wish, well I just wish the hits would quit coming. I don't know how much more we can take.

BUT! [and this is a HUGE but] We have had some good too. We have been blessed with a couple of wonderful gifts - a very, very nice one from the inlaws and a wonderful, thoughtful, generous and kind gift for the boys from a my good friend Julia. The spirit of the holidays is alive and well. It helps me to hold on each day and remain positive of the future. When the people in my life show my family such kindness, it reinforces my belief that all things are in the hand of God - that he put all these people in my life for a very specific reason and that I can rest in the knowledge that He will provide for us everything we need.

We don't have a lot, but we have it all.

With that in mind, I wanted to alert you all to my photography blog. This year, a wonderful photographer, Kristen Kalp of Pennsylvania, challenged the photography community to give back in the spirit of the season. What started out as a simple idea has spread far and wide, and in less than a week more than 90 photographers have joined up and donated photography sessions to those less fortunate.

My friend, Mollie Kendall and I have decided to team up and offer an amazing package as well and we are looking for nominations for our giveaway. I encourage you all to go over to my blog, read the entry and think of someone you know that deserves a gift this year of complimentary custom photography. And if you are not in our area, please visit the Giving Is Awesome website and find a participating photographer near you so that you can nominate someone in your community.

Because even when we don't have much, there is always something we can give. I have been shown the generosity of family, friends and strangers and I am paying it forward. Please help if you can.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Eight Song (Song of Eight)

There is so much in my head right now. I woke up at 4am and stared thinking about blog posts instead of going back to sleep. Of course, Port wasn't letting me sleep anyway...

I thought of so many things to write and they were awesome! I couldn't believe what an incredible writer I was.

I can't remember any of it.

*sigh*

So often I wish I could record the thoughts in my head. They never seem to make it out sounding the same as they do rolling around in there. In my head I am so articulate, so inspiring, so interesting and imaginative. At my fingertips I am a worn out, tired momma with not even two brain cells to rub together.

I am so internally brilliant.

But enough about me.

Little Port turned 8 months today. Can you believe it??? Things are going so very fast. Just last week he started crawling and he got his first tooth. This week the second tooth is breaking through and he is standing and cruising and wanting to walk so very bad. He has become demanding - getting spit fire mad if I don't do what he wants me to. He is strong too and he will climb up my side as I hold him like I am some mountain he is trying to conquer. Our biggest argument now is that he wants me to walk him around the house all the time. It absolutely KILLS my back and it is also extremely frustrating. Often he will walk into Kiddo's room and then do circles around the perimeter until I am about to go mad. Lately he has taken to wanting to walk in and out the door; over and over and over.

He is eating and wanting to eat so much more now. Most of the time I am really at a loss for what to feed him. He wants to pick up everything himself. The only thing I can get him to eat off a spoon or fork is beans and avocado. He doesn't like most fruit save bananas and most other veggies are refused as well. He eats a lot of bread, crackers, puffs, beans, bananas and avocado. He'll eat baby food prunes if I dip pieces of bread into it. He LOVES chili - and made a royal mess with it the other night. He loves anything with Alfredo sauce on it, loves mac-n-cheese, most meats and usually broccoli. He drinks from a sippy cup and a straw like a pro and often fights me for my ice water. He holds his own bottle and has pretty much mastered holding it tipped up now.

He wears 12-18 month clothes now in just about everything. I am pretty sure he weighs at least 22 pounds. He loves his big brother, follows him everywhere and smiles whenever he hears his voice. When I put them in the shopping cart together at the grocery store they love on each other the whole time. Port will look up at Kiddo and plant kisses and hugs on him, and Kiddo will do the same. I love seeing them like that. I know soon enough it will be WWF all the time so I am trying to soak it up while I can.

Port thinks so much is funny. I only have to look at him a certain way (and not even make a face or anything) and he cracks up. He is ticklish on his feet and his back and he tickles himself when I take off his diaper (boys! lol!). ;) He likes baths ok, but doesn't get near as excited about them as Kiddo did. He could pretty much take em or leave em at this point. I think he gets cold pretty easily, so I have started putting a space heater in the room while he is taking the bath and he seemed to like it better.

He said "mama" today but I think it was just babbling. Though I realize I may be biased, he is unbearably cute! I don't remember Kiddo being this cute. His gigantic smile just lights up the whole room. When he hears music he dances - bouncing on his bottom or rocking back and forth.

[side note: today Kiddo and Port were in Kiddo's room. Kiddo was dancing to this car he has that plays "Rock Around the Clock" (video to come!); he was playing it over and over and over. Port was sitting on a little Fisher Price push/ride on car that plays music and was dancing to the tune over and over and over. The song on each car was about the same length - they would activate their respective songs at the same time, dance till the songs were over and do the whole thing again. It was so cute!!]

Ports favorite toys right now are Kiddo's red sit/push car, the plastic Baby Einsteins book that came with his play yard, a soft ball that rattles, the singing turtle, any real phone (not toy phones - but rather the real thing) and most anything in Kiddo's room that he can chew on. He absolutely loves things that light up and play music.

He is doing better with sleep. Most days I can get at least one good nap from him. But if we run errands or his naps are broken the day is pretty much shot. At night he is doing better; staying in the crib, but unfortunately he is still waking almost every hour on the hour. Most of the time if I have my wits about me and leave him alone he will go back to sleep on his own, but half the time I am out of bed and cramming a bottle in his mouth before I even wake up and know what I am doing. We seriously need to move him out of our room. I think we would all sleep better.

That's about all I can think of. Happy 8 months Little Man!
Until,
D :)

[Eight Song (Song of Eight) comes from the series that aired on Sesame Street waaaay back in the day. Do you remember those??? At the end there was always a baker with some dessert that fell down the stairs - gosh that brings back memories. Check out this Wiki entry!]

Monday, December 01, 2008

What I've Done

Unbelievable. The past two years I have missed completing NaBloPoMo by one or two posts, but this year I did it!

Yay me.

Hmm, I don't feel the least bit excited. Oh well. At least I did it. At least it got me blogging on a regular basis again. At least maybe I picked up a few more readers. My content has greatly suffered though. Hopefully I can now get back to blogging more meaningful stuff.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Everything You Want

What a week it has been. Hubby is back from his motorcycle trip, the holiday is over and everything is supposed to go back to normal tomorrow. Now I have the task of keeping the green-eyed monster at bay while my preschooler is bombarded daily with commercials, sales ads and signs everywhere screaming at him about all the fun and exciting toys he should have. right. now.

Last year was really bad and I am anticipating that this year will be even worse. Every time I get a newspaper or a sale paper in the mail, Kiddo has to snag anything with toys advertised and he pours over the pages for hours on end. Then he comes to me to ask me for the things he finds, and over and over again I tell him he needs to put it on his list and send it to Santa.

Unfortunately for me the boy has an amazing memory, and if he even remotely thinks he will get any of these items for Christmas he is going to be one sad little boy come December 25th.

The concept of what we can and can't afford is far too much for him. I have tried explaining basic money and saving for things - he just. doesn't. get it. I can go over it and over it and over it and 5 minutes later he'll bring me a hand full of pennies from his bank and ask me to take him to the store because he saved enough money for some toy.

This is why 4 is so frustrating to me. He has the vocabulary. He can carry on a conversation. I think he understands things, based on what he says and the phrases he uses. But if you ask him enough questions you realize that he just doesn't understand. He thinks he does -which makes it even more difficult because once he thinks he has a concept he completely shuts down and won't listen to anything you have to say.

*sigh*

Port's sleep training is going pretty well. The No-Cry Sleep Solution is not a quick fix by any means, so we will be at it for a while. We will have good days and bad. Hopefully now that the first tooth has come out we can have a bit of a reprieve. I really need a few nights of solid sleep without small feet and hands pushing into me.

More tomorrow. I am too tired to write any more at this point.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Week

Sleep training night number 7:
The boy was up all night. And of course, Hubby wasn't here to help me so I was exhausted and cranky when Kiddo came bouncing into my room this morning.

This was one of those days - the kind that makes me seriously contemplate selling the kids off to the circus or running away by my self to Tahiti. Or Greece. Or Hawaii. Just somewhere far, far away.

I don't want to get into the details of it, but combine my sleepless night with a cranky mood and a four year old who doesn't listen, then add in for flavor a dash or two or three of spilled applesauce, chocolate milk and baby spit up and you have a recipe for disaster. (or the loony bin)

I am so glad this day is about over. Hopefully tonight is a better night. I promise my posts will get more interesting. I just need to get some sleep soon.

Until,
D :(

Friday, November 28, 2008

All By Myself

Sleep Training Day 6:

Well, things went ok the first half of the night, but at around 4 I had to bring him to bed with us. He was just too fussy and I was just too tired to deal with it.

Hubby left this morning to go on a motorcycle trip for a couple of days. I can't shake the feeling that it is Monday - I guess I am used to him leaving early like this for work. I feel like I've been beaten; whatever Hubby was fighting off yesterday he passed along to me and I feel like my cold has reverted back a few days. My throat is sore again, my sinuses are inflamed - ugh, ugh, ugh!

Thankfully the boys seem to be ok though Kiddo sounds a bit more stopped up than he was. Maybe it's the front moving through the area.

I was thinking I might take the kids out to the store and to rent a movie today to kind of lessen the blow of Daddy being gone after being home all week - but then I remembered it was Black Friday. Boo! I can't stand being out on days like this. Actually, I kind of wanted to go to a couple of stores to pick up the few things we have decided to get the boys for Christmas, but since Hubby is gone I don't have anyone to watch the kids so I can go. Oh well, I can probably find better deals on line anyway, and I won't get trampled in the process.

Can you believe what horrors occurred out there today? Some poor man was trampled at a WalMart and two people were shot at a Toys-r-Us. Seriously people, it is just stuff. Things. Toys and electronics are not worth taking a life, even if you did stand in line for two days.

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling `I've been on line since yesterday morning,'" she said. "They kept shopping."



Unbelievable.

Is this what the world is coming to?

Until,
D :/

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Enough

Sleep Training Day 5:

Another good night. I swear I need to wear ear plugs though. About 75% of the time when I got up it was for no reason. Every little squeak he makes sends me shooting out of bed.

But at least I got to sleep on more than a couple inches of bed.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful day filled with food, family and fun (or football, or whatever else you normally do). We had a very laid back day; Hubby wasn't feeling well so he was for the first time in his life like a typical male on Thanksgiving and he took a nap on the couch. I worked some, wiped some dirty booties, wiped lots of snotty noses (including my own), baked an apple pie and made a very yummy dinner.

We couldn't afford the traditional fare, so we opted for stuffed chicken and asparagus instead.
Thanksgiving turkey: $15-30 depending on size
All the extras: major $$$
~or~
Chicken (about 1/2 bag frozen boneless thighs) $3.50
Cream Cheese (1/2 block) $.50
Spinach $.69
Cheeses, crackers for breading and 1 egg ~ $1.00
Asparagus $3.00

So, around $8 for dinner with maybe another $3-4 for the dessert ingredients vs. $30+ just for a turkey - not bad if you ask me. It was really yummy; even the boys liked it. Port ate it all like a seasoned pro.

If only we had someone to share it with. Oh well, I guess there is always next year.

Some things I am thankful for this year:
  • my wonderful Hubby and beautiful boys, Kiddo and Port
  • the fact that Hubby still has his job in a time when so many have lost theirs
  • we are all relatively healthy
  • we have enough

Until,
D :)

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Walk The Dinosaur

Sleep Training Night 4:

ahhhhhh!

Armed with Tylenol and Oragel I doctored Port up and he passed out minutes later. Once I administered the Oragel I could literally see it taking effect by the expression on his face. He relaxed so instantly that he almost fell asleep sitting up!

I can't believe my toothless, gummy grins are almost gone! :( Oh how I will miss them.

My baby is growing up so fast!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Having Hubby home this week has been nice. He finally painted the door on the master bath - oh I guess I haven't told you that story yet, have I? The short of it is that the dog ate our master bath door the first day we were gone on vacation. Yes, she ate it. Yes, half of it. So anyway we replaced it when we got back, but we never got around to painting it and putting the knob back on. Hubby took care of that this week and so now I can once again lock the kids out of my bathroom! mmmmwahhahahahaaaa!

[just kidding, I don't really lock them out...all of the time]

Hubby also painted the trim around the arching window on the front of the house and he pulled out one of our front hedges. Yes! I can't stand those darn bushes, and the one near the door was such a mess. The front of the house looks so much better with it gone. Now we just need to find someone with hedge trimmers we can borrow and then we can tidy up the rest.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Something else Port has started doing this week is standing on his own. He has never really pulled up on much until now, but suddenly he really likes it if I will stand him up in the middle of the room and let him go. It is a hoot to watch him. He used to make it only a second or two before falling, but now he can go half a minute or so. He even picked up and put down a foot once without falling over. But more than that, he LOVES it when I walk him around the house. I hold his little hands and he will walk all over the house with me walking behind him. We go in and out of every room, and in each room we make a big circle and go as far as we can. It is hilarious walking him around that way. He leads with his head and chest and Hubby says he looks like a little t-rex with the way he walks.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tooth and Nail

Sleep Training Night 3:

No. Sleep. What. So. Ever.

*sigh**zzzzzzzzzzzz*

We were up all night. Port hardly slept at all, even in our bed. He fussed and fidgeted and kicked and punched and cried and looked around and grinned and made Hubby and I soooo very tired. Thankfully he passed out a little in the morning and then when he woke up for good Hubby took him out and let me sleep in some. What a miserable night.

I had no idea what happened. What did we do differently? Nothing.

He cut a tooth.

Gracious, this has been a big couple of days so far. First he starts crawling and now his first tooth is poking through. Poor little guy!

Tonight I will be armed with Tylenol and Oragel. ;)

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quiet Steam

Sleep training night number two...

Slept in his crib all night! woo hoo!

I was up I think 3 or 4 times just to pat of bottle feed a little, but I never had to pick him up.

Thank goodness.

On the other hand - Kiddo woke up in the middle of the night barking. Poor guy. He gets like this some times when he gets a cold - the congestion/drainage and the dry air do a number on his throat. It has been a long time since this happened to him, and it really scared him. I had to sit with him in the bathroom for a while with the shower running. We got him breathing normally and put him back to bed with a humidifier in the room.

I guess it's a good thing we aren't travelling right now.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rest for the Wicked

Thank you all so much for the response to my Friday post. I am so overwhelmed by the kind words, the prayers and the suggestions - you all have really helped me once again.

This is why I love blogging so much. The community and friends I have found here and invaluable to me.

I can tell you all are praying for and thinking of my family. I can feel it. Thank you.

**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~**

Well we didn't start sleep training Friday night. I forgot that I had to get up early for a photo shoot on Saturday so we just went with the flow and he was in the bed with us all night. It seemed kind of cruel to do that to him anyway considering how we were all feeling.

My shoot was great! Mom and I have known each other for a while now. We are in a mom's group together and her new baby was born about a week after little Port. It was great fun hanging out with their family.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Out of all of us, I thought Kiddo was handling this cold the best. He really hasn't acted like he felt bad in any way, other than the severely stuffy nose. He surprised us though when last night he was sent to his room for a time out at around 8:30. Hubby went in to release him a few minutes later and found him in his bed under the covers sound asleep. Poor guy was so tired he put himself to bed.

Our first night of "sleep training" went well. There wasn't much training involved; Port slept in his crib all night long. I think the boy was so worn out from this cold he couldn't wake up to fuss much if he wanted to. I think I was up 3 or four times because he made a noise, but he only really needed something twice. It was a peaceful night.

We didn't go to church today because of the sickness we are all fighting. We all needed a day of rest.

Port surprised us though when he, out of the blue...

started crawling!!

Yay!

It's not pretty, it's not smooth nor is it consistent, but it is crawling and he gets so excited when he gets it right.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Draw the Line

Kiddo loves to draw and he spends countless hours a day creating pictures and scenes on his magnadoodle. I love the thing, but sometimes it frustrates me because he draws the cutest or neatest thing and then erases it before I can do anything about it. So, I have tried to photograph as many of his creations as I can in the hopes of capturing something memory worthy.This one was kind of neat - I have labeled the characters for you. They were all fighting and webbing each other. I think "Spiderman's Boy" was originally Iron Man (notice the head piece) but when I asked him about it today he insisted it was Spiderman's boy. Whoever that is...
I thought the one above was particularly cute. He drew himself with glasses watching his Happy (his grandfather) work on his helicopter. I don't know where the helicopter is in the drawing, but it was pretty creative anyway if you ask me. (though Happy does look a bit frightened. Perhaps the helicopter is flying straight toward him...)

He drew this one of Tyler the other day. Only two legs, but cute nonetheless. He did remember to put her spots in there.
This one was hilarious to me. Tyler looks a bit like a reindeer or something. And I love the hole in Kiddo's pants. He has ripped a couple of pairs of pants lately - so it is very fitting.

Now this next one is one that I drew - I am no artist obviously. But Kiddo wanted me to draw our family. He wanted me in a polka-dot dress (I never wear dresses) and he wanted us all to have a beverage. Daddy had a coke, I had coffee, Kiddo had a Spiderman Cup with fruit punch and Port had his bottle.
What I didn't draw on here are the little lines coming from every one's backsides. Apparently we all had "accidents".

*sigh* oh the potty humor...

Today he wanted me to draw the family again - this time with Grammy, Happy, Port, Kiddo, Mommy, Daddy and uh, Madison the duck (and his little sister/sometimes Baby). So I drew us all, with Grammy, Happy and Daddy waving. At the top of the magnadoodle Kiddo wrote "Family" in bubble letters. Then he says to me, "everyone has their superpower."

Daddy had the superpower of Fire - and he drew flames coming from Hubby's head.

Kiddo had the superpower of Smoke - and he drew smoke coming from his hand.

Grammy had the power of Water - he drew a hose coming from her waving hand and water squirting out.

Happy had the power of...

Coke

?? I had to ask of course.

Kiddo: "he shoots it on the bad guys"
Me: "oh and they get all sticky and wet?"
Kiddo: "yeah"

Okay...

Madison had the power of Screaming and Crying and Pooping

[what a formidable foe!]

Port had the power of Pooping and Crying

(perhaps Port and Madison are the Wonder Twins!)
But I had the best power of all...

Mommy had the superpower of...
...
...

Putting Babies in a Box ?????

um

eh

hmm...

I don't know about that.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of our masterpiece. He erased it when I got up to get my camera.

It was probably for the best. No one wants to see a family on fire, doused with water, coke, and poop and no one wants to see babies in boxes either.

I guess.

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Decision


Is it Friday already? Well come on in. I have a cold, so I will try not to cough on you. The coffee is hot. :)

I hate being sick. It really is no fun. Not that I expect it to be fun per se, but I do sometimes wish it wasn't so incredibly miserable. I mean, why can't my body fight off the bug without making my throat hurt and my head ache? ugh.

And of course I can't just crawl into bed like I want to and take a nap. There is too much to do.

Like blogging. The important stuff you know. ;)

Anyway, we had to make a heart breaking decision this weekend.

I am all about people being honest and open about money and finances. I know I've talked about that here before. I honestly believe it would help people so much if it wasn't considered impolite to talk about money. I would love to know how some of my friends are affording the things they do. I would love to know how I can do better with managing our money, so that when things happen we aren't up the creek. I do the best I can, but without real life examples and honest, truthful information there is only so much I can do.

Suze Orman can't help me.

Anyway, because the economy is in the toilet and every industry sucks right now, the company Hubby works for decided to stop all bonuses. That is a huge, huge pay cut for us. It is especially harsh though because Hubby took an offer for a bigger percentage of bonuses in lieu of a decent pay raise at his annual evaluation last year (which was several months late).

Because of this decision we are now going to be about $300 in the hole each month.

So, because this takes effect in January, we have decided the best thing we can do it go on a spending freeze until we at least have enough saved to pay for next year's property taxes and home owner's insurance. Our mortgage doesn't have an escrow account so we always paid those things out of pocket with Hubby's bonuses. Until now it has worked wonderfully.

The spending freeze means several things. Mainly it means that unless something miraculous happens we will not have anything for Christmas presents. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. There are so many things I wanted to purchase for the kids for Christmas. I know they will be ok without anything from us; Lord knows the rest of the family will spoil them rotten! But I just don't know what to do about stockings and Santa and of course the tree is going to look really strange with nothing under it.

And before you suggest it - I am not crafty. Making something is pretty much out. Because even if I could make something, I don't have the money for the supplies.

It is Port's first Christmas! I am so sad for him. I know he won't remember, and I know he would absolutely go ga-ga over empty boxes wrapped in shiny, crinkly paper, but still. It is the principle of it all I guess. I don't want to look back 5-10 years from now and tell him "oh honey we didn't get you anything for your first Christmas. We were poor."

I am a bit dramatic.

Anyway, aside from all that - the heartbreaking decision was this. We aren't going to see my parents for Thanksgiving.

Normally we go to their house for turkey day. It is a tradition that has been in my family for oh, maybe 34+ years or so. When my grandmother was alive and it was her house we all went there. When she passed away and my parents moved in, Hubby and I went there every other Thanksgiving and every other Christmas. When we had Kiddo, we decided that Christmas was for us to make our own and we now stay home. So, Thanksgiving we go to my parent's house every year. It is the one time of year that Hubby has enough days off that we can go and it not kill us getting there and back.

So this year - it is out. Not only could we not afford the gas, we can't afford the eating out expense on the road, we can't afford the very high possibility that something will go wrong with our car (like it does every year) and we can't afford to miss the opportunity to

SLEEP TRAIN THE BABY.

Yup. That's it. I am done with this no sleep thing. We are taking the week and we are going to hard core train this child to sleep in his bed. I have reread Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution and I think I am ready. Please pray for us - we are starting tonight.

Port is the main reason we are not going. I simply cannot risk taking a trip and screwing up his sleep any more. We are miserable, miserable folks here, and something has got to be done.

Of course, now we are all sick so I am being especially cruel thinking I will start sleep training him now. *sigh*

All of this decision making and lifestyle changing has made me pretty sad. It will just be us Thanksgiving, and I can't afford to make a huge, elaborate meal like we would normally have. What would we do with all that food anyway?

I need your help. What can we do on Thanksgiving to make it a special day? It has to be cheap (or preferably free), easy and doable with two small children. Plus, do you have any ideas for a fun, special dinner?

I need ideas. My cold medicine is clouding my head.

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Poo Song

Ok, so now everyone in the house is sick. I guess it was only a matter of time. This sucks.

What is it with boys and potty humor?? Kiddo has become a big fan lately - anything that has to do with potty or poopy or tee tee; he is all over it. And unfortunately, in his typical 4 year old fashion, when he keys in on one thing, something someone says or something he says that he thinks is funny, he has to say it over and over and over and over and over again until we are all absolutely INSANE and about to rip his head off.

Yesterday I made a mistake. I fixed Kiddo a drink of juice and I put some Emergen-C in it for him. I told him it was medicine because I didn't want him asking for it constantly. Well, if you've never had Emergen-C, the stuff is really good! He of course loved it, and later he asked for the other half of the packet that I didn't put in his drink. I told him he couldn't have it because "if I give it to you, it will make you poop a lot".

What is wrong with me? Why would I say that?

Well that was all he needed - off he went: "Poop a lot! Poop a lot! I can't drink that cuz it will make me poop a lot! hee hee hee! ha ha ha! Poop a lot!"

ad nauseam

Same thing happened today - I made him another juice with emergen-c and all I've heard all morning, "I am pooping a lot! poop a lot! poop a lot! Look Mommy, I am pooping a lot!"

Please tell me he'll out grow this soon.

Please.

Until,
D :)

ps. yes, there really is a poo song. Thank you Scrubs!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cold Song

Cold Song, Jewel
It's getting cold and I'm starting to sneeze,

I wipe my nose on my sleeve.
I've got the sniffles
I'd better drink my tea.
Oh do you do you wanna wanna catch a cold with me?

I'd catch a cold with you anytime,
I ain't just feverish, I ain't just lyin'
'cause when your nose is running it's a perfect time for kissing
And hugging.
Oh do you do you wanna wanna catch a cold with me?

We'll stay inside where it's nice and warm
Tell our bosses, we're caught in a sneezing storm.
We'll sniffle and snuggle and watch some more tv.
Oh do you do you wanna wanna catch a cold with me?

I'd catch a cold with you anytime,
I ain't just feverish, I ain't just lyin'
'cause when your nose is running it's a perfect time for kissing
And hugging.
Oh do you do you wanna wanna catch a cold with me?

Do you do you wanna wanna wanna wanna do you do you wanna
Do me yes indeed,
Oh do you do you wanna wanna catch/have a cold with me?

A plague has come over my house. Both of my boys (well, if I am honest here, all 3 of my boys) have seriously runny noses. It started last night, and as I sit here this morning holding the baby so he'll sleep, I am looking at his sweet rosy cheeks and cherub like face.

And it is taking every fiber of my being working overtime to keep me from grabbing a tissue and wiping his snot laden nose.

It would wake him and he would be oh so mad.

*arrrrgggggghh this is killing me! must. not. wipe. nose!!"

**~***~**~***~**~***~**~***~**

I think I am so tired from not sleeping theses past few weeks that I am no longer tuned in to my children at night. Normally I hear everything; every sigh, every movement, coughs, whimpers, everything. But last night I woke up to the sound of my Kiddo crying and Hubby rattling around in our guest bathroom. Kiddo had wet the bed (whoops! I guess he forgot to go right before bed time) and I am guessing he had been crying for quite a while before Hubby got up. It was even longer before I realized what was going on and got up to help. There's nothing like peeling off pee soaked jammies at 4AM. *sigh*

Thankfully Port slept through it all, and unfortunately he had taken over my side of the bed by the time I got back. I had to slither in on about 3 inches of space and hang on for dear life while I tried to get back to sleep. Eventually I managed to move him over a bit, but by then it was too late and I couldn't get back to a nice, restful sleep.

Oh well.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Super Tuesday

It's Tuesdays with Kiddo! [aren't you excited!?!]

I thought I would share some recent conversations and antidotes from my darling 4 year old.


Since, you know, I am always talking about the baby these days.

Anyway, as you know, Kiddo is four and well, let me just say that when I hear other moms say they can't wait until their child gets out of the "threes" I just have to hold my breath to keep from laughing out loud.

Maybe my Kiddo is the exception, but mercy, some days I long for terrible twos or terrible threes - anything is better than the frustrating fours. But, in all of this frustration, I have so many moments when he does and says things that make me smile with amazement and absolutely beam with pride. Kiddo is so smart - and I am not saying that he is smart in comparison to other kids his age because what do I know about that?? - absolutely nothing. When I say he is smart it is because he does things that I am amazed at because I have no idea how he learned them or figured out that skill. I mean, when you have a baby you pretty much have to teach them everything, and along the way you get used to being the source of all education in your child's life. From talking and walking and dressing themselves to potty training to social skills...the list goes on forever. But somewhere along the way they start to figure out things on their own and sometimes, or in the case of my Kiddo, many, many times they shock you with their knowledge.


In the past year or so Kiddo has had a fascination with writing numbers and letters but in the past couple of months his skills have completely taken off. He could write just about all of them before, but now suddenly he writes words all the time and in the past two weeks he has started writing sentences. The first one was "Kiddo not the jail". He spelled "not" o-n-t, and the "J" in jail was backwards - but I was amazed!

He sits in front of his Magna Doodle and thinks of sentences to write. And in the process he sounds out the words to spell them. I am amazed at this skill - the thought he uses to make the words and how incredibly accurate he is most of the time. We were playing a game - I can't remember what - and of course he is all about who wins and who doesn't. He wanted to write "I didn't win" so he sounded it out and wrote "I dent win". Then he wanted to write "I won" and he spelled won "wan".

On the top of a page in his Spiderman coloring book he wrote "THE SAD MAN". I think he meant the saNd man, but close enough.

He is so smart. And funny.

A few weeks ago we were in the car on the way to church and he told Hubby and I that his head fell off.

"I'm gonna tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was me. My head fell off. And then... I picked it up and put it back on my shoulders. And then it fell off again!" The story went on from there; he had Hubby and I rolling all the way to church.

I wish I could have recorded his voice - so amazingly cute!

I love the way he says "commercial". It comes out something like "kuh-nersh-ni-nul".

He recently wanted to try a Mounds bar that I was eating (left over Halloween candy, sigh). I told him it was chocolate and coconut. He didn't like it - he thought it had peanuts in it. Consequently, the boy will not eat any kind of candy bar now because he thinks everything has peanuts. But anyway, later that evening when Hubby got home from work he exclaimed...

"Daddy I tasted a candy, it had Poke-a-Nut!!"

At least he keeps us laughing!
Until,
D :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gimme More

I am so busy with editing and such. Honestly it wouldn't take me half as long if I could just carve out a couple of hours uninterrupted to work. But as it is I get a minute here, a nanosecond there, and in all it takes me 3xs as long as it should.

And in the moments that I do have a free hand, I am bombarded with ALL the things I should do. I guess I need to work on prioritizing. Because in the process of trying to get one thing done, I attempt to do a little of everything and nothing gets done. I pick up a little, throw a load in the washer, pick up the trash off the kitchen counters, send an email, edit an image half way, make a phone call, pay a bill...

It sounds like a lot but what I don't get is a clean kitchen nor do I get the laundry out of the dryer, pay all my bills, finish editing my session or respond to all the emails. If I concentrate on one thing and finish it, then Hubby comes home to a messy kitchen/living room/whatever and dinner hasn't been started.

Or something like that.

I need help.

I need more time. I need more space. I need more, more, more.

And not in a good way.

Maybe I just need more sleep, more patience, more faith.

Or maybe I just need more caffeine.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peek-a-Boo

I really should be working...

but I am slightly distracted.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lose Yourself

Oh what a busy, boring, weird, stressful, life altering day today. So much to think about. So much to plan. So many fragment sentences to write... ;)

More on that some other time. One small thing for now - well, it's not small in my world, but probably in yours. I am officially back down to pre-baby weight! Wa-hoo!! 136 BABY!

It took me 2 1/2 years with Kiddo but a mere 7ish months with Port. Thank goodness. I feel good, I really do. Thank God for breastfeeding - that's all I have to say. Best. Calorie. Burner. Ever.

What do you think? This image is so me - baby on my hip, camera in my hand!

Until,
D :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Come On Over



Hello my Company Girls!

I don't normally do Company Girl Coffee - because well, I tend to forget these things until way past Friday, but today I happened to have a blog post ready so I thought I would tie it into our little get together.

Have a seat. I made pumpkin bread. mmmmm! There is always coffee here too. Do you like dark roast? I have some that has a hint of chocolate and cinnamon. I also have peppermint mocha or cinnamon vanilla creamer if you like.

So here is my thing today; I have no idea how to interpret the mind of a 4 year old sometimes.

What did I do???

Conversation between Kiddo and I this morning: He had been running around all morning with a baby blanket tied cape-style around his neck. He ran, he jumped, he fought and defended dinosaurs while wearing his "dinosaur black boots" (?? I don't know) and while I was in the shower his cape came undone. I offered to retie it for him, but he didn't want it to get wet so he declined. When I got out of the shower he came into the room and the following conversation took place.

Kiddo: very matter-of-fact "I'm not a superhero anymore"
Me: "You're not?"
Kiddo: "No, I not a superhero"
Me: I bent down, took his face in my hands and planted a big kiss on his nose "Well, welcome back my beautiful, normal boy"
Kiddo: turns, clenches his fists and starts to walk out "grrrrrr!!!!!"
Me: "What's wrong?"
Kiddo: walking out of the bath room, "I so ANGRY!! I going to my ROOM!!!"

????????????

Seriously, what did I do?

I will never understand the 4 year old mentality.

Thanks so much for stopping by. See you next week!

Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Make Some Noise

Oh my gosh - Thanksgiving is two weeks from today! Can you believe it? And you do realize that once we get past turkey day things will fly at warp speed to Christmas?!? Mercy.

The voices in my head are screaming! Work Me is telling me to quit blogging and get to work. Mommy Me is telling me to quit blogging and go throw another load of diapers in the wash. Wife Me is telling me to pick up the house some, turn on my scentsy burner and start thinking about dinner. Personal Me is screaming to get off Facebook and do something productive for all the other Mes. Holiday Loving Me is screaming "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town" in a very obnoxious singing voice.

My mental jukebox is playing Christmas tunes, AND a great song I heard over on Rachel Anne's page called Mighty To Save.

*sigh*

It's too noisy in here.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slow Down Sister

For months now Kiddo has been talking about having a sister. He talks about her as if she is real - they do things together, she is always somewhere else; at work with Daddy, at school, church, etc. At first her name was Mia (mee-ah) and then her name changed to DJ. DJ/Mia is older, around 10 or 11 on any given day. This morning Kiddo's sister changed her name to Madison. He has been drawing pictures of her all morning, and he is calling her his "little sister". I asked him if Madison is a baby and he says no. So I know she is older than Port, but not as old as Kiddo.

All this talk of a sister, while amusing, makes me very sad sometimes. I had always dreamed that if I ever had children, I would most certainly have a girl. I could and can still see her, feel her presence and imagine the things we would do. I would fix her hair and teach her to sing and share the things I love with her. We would have an amazing bond. She would be like me but successful in all the ways I have failed in my life - because I can see now where I went wrong and I would help her to not make the same mistakes.

I know these are things I can do with my boys, and I fully intend to - but a girl is different. Selfishly, I just want a little girl in our family. I love my boys, I really do. And I love having boys and saying "my boys" and "the boys" and living in a house full of stinky testosterone - I really, really love it. I know I will love it more when I get to see my boys playing sports and playing with each other and just being kids - but at times my heart just aches for that girl.

When we had the sonogram with Port that told us he was a boy...I was so glad everything looked good and he was healthy. But when I got back in my car to drive home I sat there and cried for a long time. I wasn't disappointed per se, I wanted a healthy baby and that's exactly what I got. I thank God for that every single day. But that day when we saw the package part of me just died. Most likely Port will be our last child, and if I get to thinking about it too long I start to get really upset.

Hubby was wonderful that day; we went out to dinner and he actually brought up and entertained the idea of being open to a 3rd child someday. But I know now that he is not really open to it and I completely understand. Besides there is no way for us to guarantee a girl the next time around anyway and most likely we would end up with another boy.

But that is really not what I wanted to talk about.

When Kiddo talks about his sister - I know it is probably because all of his friends have sisters and a "sister" is not an annoying baby brother that takes up all of Mommy's time. I know that is why he made up this addition to our family.

But sometimes it is just too much.

Until,
D

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Your Move

Ok, so obviously since this is NaBloPoMo I have to post every day and because of this my posts are not always going to be interesting - case in point, my last post.

Sorry.

I really just wanted to get caught up.

Anywho, not much going on here at the moment. I am busy editing a client session and also trying to get some good images from my own family session on Sunday. Port is still not sleeping very well - last night was our best night yet because he slept in the crib for a whole 3 hours. I put a big pillow under his sheet so he would sleep in a semi-upright position. I'm not sure if that was the magic pill, but he seemed to go down a bit easier. Hubby had napped him in the swing on Saturday when I was on my shoot, and it kinda messed up his naps. He hasn't napped for more than 45 minutes at a time since. I refuse to put him back in the swing; he really is too big for it anyway.

Some of the ladies I talk to online on another board think that Port being in the same room with us could be contributing to the problem. I still maintain that he can smell me because pretty much every night when I come in the room to go to bed he wakes up. Last night we had clean sheets and I had on clean pjs, so I am guessing my scent wasn't as strong.

So anyway, I would love to move Port out of our room; I tend to agree with my friends that sharing a room with him is probably not ideal. I had a little talk with Kiddo to see if he would be open to sharing a room and he seemed positive about it. Of course, that may all change if we start moving his toys out of his room to make room for a crib. Our other options are to put a pack-n-play in the living room or to finally clean out our spare room. I think we are going to make our dining room into our official office soon so it could eventually happen. We just have to move some things around first.

Hubby finished our wood floors a couple of weeks ago (well in the living and dining room anyway) and I absolutely love them! The problem is, I am also loving not having much furniture in here, and so moving everything back in is going reeeeeeeeally slow. We do plan on getting rid of a few pieces, and we moved the placement of the couch and entertainment center. I really love it.

So, if we can actually get the office moved and the extra furniture sold we will have a room to put one of the boys in. I do think that Port will sleep better on his own, without the constant noises of two other people sleeping in the same room.

I certainly hope something changes soon. This is way worse than the newborn stage. He was such a champion sleeper when we brought him home. I wonder what happened.

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Box of Rain

Why is it that I can wrack (rack? wreck? what is the correct term there?) my brain for hours trying to come up with an inexpensive solution to my problem, come up dry and then go spend money that I cannot afford, only to walk out of the store and suddenly figure out the solution??

Why?

Why?

And why is it every time something like this happens I neglected to get a receipt for the items I bought and I cannot return them?

GAH!

Long story short - client order, expensive shipping, big box, only charged so much, spent half the payment on BIG box to ship, then walked out of the store, drove home and realized I could ship in several smaller (free) boxes and save myself a lot in shipping.

And now I have a $15, 24x24x24 box sitting in my living room.

Anybody need a box?

Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Talk About It

So we missed church today so Hubby could work on the van. Thankfully it didn't take too long to fix. I spent most of the morning trying not to lose what little sanity I have left. Port is still not sleeping.

Kiddo has become quite the chatter box. He talks CONSTANTLY. He talks when no one is listening. He talks over you if you are talking to someone else and he talks while you are talking to him. He wakes up in the morning and lays in bed talking to his stuffed animals. He talks to the dog and the cat and when he can't find anyone else to talk to, he picks up his Cars cell phone and calls people.

"Mommy I talking to Jordan. Hi Jordan! Yeah. I know. Well, it was here de udder day. Ok Jordan, I will see you Sunday. We're going to have a sleep over. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah (I'm not just putting "blah" here in place of words - he actually says "blah"). Ok Jordan. Ok. Talk to you later. Bye."

I never want to be the kind of mom that tells her kid to "shut up" but holy mackerel that kid drives me to it! I have bit my lip so many times recently. I know he is starved for attention and I would love to be able to give it to him - I try, but he is kind of like our dog right now. You give him a little attention and he wants more, more, more! It is never enough to play a game or talk to him for a while. As soon as I need to tend to something or take care of Port he has a melt down. I try to involve him in as much as I can; I make him my helper for a lot of things.

I am also trying to point out all the things he can do because he is a big boy and all the things Port can't because he is a baby. Sometimes it helps a little bit.

This evening we made attempt number two at the family photos. This session went better than the first, but I am still not sure we have anything for Christmas cards. I am thinking of making the card entirely out of outtakes.

Here is one I got of the boys though - so cute!I will look over the rest and share a few later.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Everything Breaks

Long day today. I had to get up early for a photo shoot - it was interesting because I had to get up around the time Port is usually waking officially for a diaper change and a fresh bottle of milk. Normally I can get him back to sleep if I lie still enough in the bed with him and he will sleep until 8 or 9. But this morning I had to get up and get ready to go, leaving Port in the care of Hubby.

As usual Port was not happy with Daddy duty. He was a bit of a mess when I left, and to make matters worse, Kiddo had a melt down when I left too.

I was very nervous to come back home over 3 hours later - but thankfully Hubby says it wasn't that bad. Normally I walk in to Hubby at the end of his rope and a screaming or hoarse-from-screaming Port about to lose his mind. Thankfully it didn't happen that way today.

My session was great - I have worked with them twice in the past and I really enjoy hanging out with their family. I waaaaay over shot the session, but with 3 young girls and mom and dad all trying to sit still and look pleasant for the camera - well, let's just say it takes a few more tries than normal. So I have a lot of work ahead of me in post processing. Hopefully I won't have to do much head swapping and can get it done relatively quickly.

When I got home, Hubby took Kiddo over to a fellow Torch member's house for a get together they do where everyone congregates at one home and they work on their bikes. Hubby wanted to take the van out because I had mentioned to him the battery light came on Friday when I was running an errand. Sure enough, he had voltage issues on the way there and made it home later just as the battery died for good. The alternator is gone.

*sigh* There goes another $200 bucks and an afternoon of Hubby working on a vehicle.

Until,
D :)

Long Past Midnight

Gah! 3 minutes past midnight! ugh.

Had a rough time getting Port down this evening. I think I finally fooled him for a little bit by putting him on a warm pillow in the crib. It smells like me and it's warm from me laying on it, so hopefully it will buy me enough time to finish pumping. I've already been interrupted twice.

Port discovered his voice today. It is like a switch has been turned on. He was eating some pumpkin bread and started babbling like a little kid - sooooo CUTE! He keeps saying this "phrase" over and over that sounds like "I love you" - kind of a "ah loh luh". Now I know he's not saying I love you, I mean he IS a genius, but I'm not that delusional. ;) It is kind of freaky though that he chases his brother around in his walker shouting "ah loh luh, ah loh luh"!

But this voice, it is so different than anything we have heard him do so far. It's cute and sing-songy; more of a conversation voice than an I-can-scream-and-you-can-hear-me voice.

We shall see how this progresses.
Until,
D :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Port of Lonely Hearts

mmmmmmm, nom, nom, nom....

Oh! Sorry, I was just enjoying some pumpkin bread. Mercy! Good stuff!

Little Port turned 7 months old officially on Monday. He is such the stinker. The first thing everyone says about him is that he is a happy baby, and for the most part it is true. Now, not including today which found him over tired, constipated and generally mad at the world, but yes, most of the time he is a happy little guy. And I find it interesting that everyone says that about him because his name actually means "happy". It's kinda funny.

nom, nom, nom.

[word to the wise, never make mini muffins out of the remaining batter when you make something as scrumptious as pumpkin bread - especially if it is right before supper.]

Anyway, at 7 months, Port is rapidly learning new things every day. He still cannot crawl however, and he shows no interest in it whatsoever. Kiddo was the same way; he crawled at about 9 months and walked at 10. I am not really worried about Port - he is just so happy and there really isn't anything he wants bad enough to move himself over to it.

He is eating much better now than last month. It really started about a week ago. He will not eat baby food, so I give him what we eat. It isn't the healthiest for him that way, but at least he is eating. So far he likes bread of all kinds, oatmeal, mango (I buy the frozen chunks), avocado, broccoli, chicken, pork, all sorts of beans, pureed cauliflower, tortillas, chocolate cake, and bananas. He was ok with pear for a while, but now will only take a couple of bites. The same is true for apples. I have to hide bananas from him - he LOVES them so much but one little bite and he is constipated for a week.

Just a couple of days ago he started picking up things with his fingers and his hand to mouth success is pretty consistent. Right now he is sitting in the high chair munching on pumpkin bread. He will eat a whole piece of regular bread if I let him, so I thought I would experiment with different kinds of bread and maybe get something a bit healthier in him than just regular ol split top wheat. I made fresh homemade pumpkin puree a while back and used it in the bread along with whole wheat flour instead of white. I am thinking of making a zucchini or carrot loaf next. If I can't make baby food, at least I can bake!

Several weeks ago he taught himself to drink from a straw and now no one's drink is safe! He loves ice water - he'll try to drink it so fast that it just pours out of his mouth all over the place.

He is beginning to have issues with riding in the car now. Most of the time he will sleep, but if I get stuck at a particularly long light or do something like go to the bank and the car has to idle a bit he wakes up and has a fit. We've tried since day one to get him to take a pacifier; he took it occasionally at first but he has dropped it completely now. He'll chew on them if he's teething, but otherwise he won't even entertain it.

Port gives the best open mouth gummy kisses! He'll grab a hand full of hair on each side of my head and just attack my face. Sometimes he will even suck on my nose and while that is cute and all, it's kinda gross.

He loves his big brother so much - and they actually play well together. It is hard for me to not step in when Kiddo tries to play with Port. He is actually very gentle but I see them playing and it gets me all wound up ready to spring into action.

This is going by so fast. He won't be my baby for much longer.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Family Affair

Ugh, I don't want to complain but I need some sleep people!!

Yeah, we had yet another bad night. This has got to end soon.

I can say on a positive note though that the crib napping is going remarkably well. Of course, now that I've said something I have probably jinxed it.

He went down for two naps yesterday in the crib and slept for over an hour each time. That is not quite as long as a normal good swing nap, but I'll take it. The upside was that last night when I was ready for him to go to bed I just laid him down in the crib and he sucked on a bottle for a couple of minutes, rolled over and went to sleep.

Of course, he was awake an hour later just as I was crawling into bed.

And then he was really awake at 4am after sleeping with me in the bed. From then on he would not go back to sleep. I finally changed him into a lighter onesie at about 7am and he passed out for an hour.

On to bigger and better...

Last weekend Hubby and I decided last minute to throw on some clothes and run out to a park for some sunset family photos. We do this every year for our annual holiday card, and after thinking about how few weekends we had left to get some images we decided to try.

As these things always go, it was a disaster to say the least. There was tension and angst about what to wear, then some settling on my part (I'm still kind of in between sizes and for whatever reason I got it in my head that we should all wear shades of green - don't ask me why; I don't even have a nice green shirt). We tossed all our camera gear in the car, grabbed the boys and raced out there. Kiddo fell asleep in the car - HARD. We had quite the time trying to wake him up. Unfortunately we got to the park a little late and after a failed attempt at getting some shots on a park bench, we drug ourselves over to a cool fence and barn. The light was a bit better there, but fading fast. I thought I was taking the pictures and Hubby (a photographer too) thought he was taking the pictures. More tension; Kiddo running amok and throwing rocks at donkeys; confused donkeys thinking Kiddo was feeding them - it was madness. Hubby got his gear all set up and we took a few shots - I am not sure how they came out; he hasn't shown them to me yet. But I am pretty sure we will be making another attempt. The kids were not exactly cooperative and the light was going and apparently my hair style choice according to Hubby, "looked like I had just done housework". *sigh* - he was right.

Then just before the light was gone completely I snagged my camera (and broke my tripod - grr) and grabbed a few images of my boys. I just looked at them for the first time today and though they are grainy and blurry I love them so much.

My boys:
The always sassy always vein-y headed Kiddo...
The undeniably adorable no-sleepin'-rascal Port...
(with handsome Hubby)
And oh my how I love, love this picture. It is not perfect, it is not all in focus and it is quite poorly composed, but it is of the loves of my life and I adore it. Da Boys - Even if we try again to get some family shots this coming weekend, even if we get our acts together, and even if the shots turn out better - I will still love the above image wholeheartedly. Just looking at it makes my heart swell.

Thanks for looking.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sleep Well Little Children

Ok so things last night were not much better. I swear the kid can smell me when I come in the room to go to bed - he always wakes up almost immediately after.

I put him in bed with us and thought I would do that just until he was good and asleep. However apparently I was pretty tired and I didn't wake up until 4 hours later. Good I guess, but co-sleeping in our bed always leaves me in a lot of pain. Either I sleep funny and mess up my back or I sleep tense, fearful that I am going to drop the baby or roll over on him. So I woke up at around 4 and tried to put him in the crib, then the swing and since neither worked I gave up and took him back to bed. We both slept fitfully until Kiddo came in the room with a full tub of fresh raspberries and made me get up so I could put some in a bowl for him. I told Kiddo not to come back in my room until I got up. For once he minded me!

So now I am being a glutton for punishment and trying to nap Port in his crib. He normally naps in his swing - but I really want him to get used to sleeping in his own bed and I figure during the day is probably the best time to force it. I just don't have the resolve at night when I am half asleep and trying not to wake the whole house.

So far he's been out for about 30 minutes. We'll see how this goes.

Thanks Katy for suggesting the benadryll - I LOVE me some benadryll! It works so well for me but I am trying not to take it very often right now because it really dries up my milk supply. I would love to be able to give it to Port as well, but unlike his brother who begs for medicine, Port absolutely HATES any kind of med. We pretty much have to trick him or force him to take it. Last night I was able to get some Tylenol in him and I think that is what allowed him to get to sleep, but unfortunately it didn't last long. I want to try Motrin, but I am going to wait a couple more months on that.

And speaking of milk supply - I know some of you were kind of following my pumping saga. Well, I am still pumping, though several weeks ago I dropped it from 6 times a day to 5 for a couple of weeks and then down to 3-4 times a day most recently. I finally came to a place where I was able to give myself permission to quit if I wanted to, so I guess in a way I am slowly weaning. Surprisingly, I am finding it more difficult to keep up this schedule that I did the 6xs a day schedule. More time in between pumps gives me more time to forget! But I am proud of myself that I made it 6 months pumping full time and am still giving him about 20oz of breast milk per day.

Of course, the formula he is now consuming is eating into our budget, but that is another story all together.

[parents and grandparents may want to skip over this part - I am about to talk about my bewbs]

Oh and the other night Hubby, Port and I were sitting in bed trying to get Port to sleep for the night and he was in no mood. So I had him in front of me, on his hands and knees facing me. He was being so cute and giggly and for the first time in a while it caused my milk to let down - big time. Since I was no where near the pump or any kind of collection receptacle and since I didn't really feel like leaking all over the place, I offered a breast to Port to see what he would do. Now keep in mind this is the kid that never latched on, and I only offered the real thing to him maybe twice when he was really little. He was very intrigued and excited. He kept letting go and giving me these huge gummy grins.

But then

he decided

to bite.

OUCH!

And then he wouldn't stop biting.

I couldn't get away from him. Little vampire.

So, needless to say I won't be doing that again any time soon.

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Don't Wanna Cry

Tired baby, tired momma.

*sigh*

Well we have good nights and bad nights - after a few good in a row last night was pretty bad. We started out pretty early on the couch, and after Port rolling around and wiggling and squirming most of the night I managed to get him down in the swing for the last couple hours of the morning.

Kiddo was up with the chickens. Oh how I love daylight savings time. [did you catch the sarcasm?]

To make matters worse, Port has decided to not nap today, even if I wear him, even in the car, even when I hold him in his favorite sleeping position.

I am seriously considering purchasing a bottle of whiskey.

I kid, I kid. I think.

For the past few months, Ports version of fussing involved mostly yelling as loudly as possible until he worked himself into a screaming, red faced frenzy (he very closely resembled the Simpson's Screamapillar). A few days ago he learned to scream at a higher pitch than Mariah Carey ever thought possible - and so we have a Screech. It's not fun hearing the Screech all day long when you have a headache from allergies and no sleep.

I believe now that a lot of this is teething. He is chewing on everything, drooling uncontrollably and sometimes he will refuse the bottle; which he never did before. Of course, that in of itself could be a sign of ear infection too. But judging from the way my allergies have been bothering me, how Port's eczema is acting up and how he has been scratching his patches and ears and rubbing his eyes - I am guessing this is probably a combo of allergies and teething.

But who knows. I hope whatever it is, it goes away soon.

Until,
D :)

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