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 :)
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