Monday, December 29, 2008

... (sigh) ...

Well, I made it. I survived the Christmas break and at 4 am on Monday morning I'm anticipating going back to work. How many people would say that if they woke from their dreams right now? I love my job! It is a wonderful place to work, fun work for me to do, and a peaceful retreat to recharge from the insanity of home. Yes, even during catalog season!

I do love my boys - all 4 of them (James, Nathan, Evan & Niles)! But it sure is a crazy (and demanding) house these days. With New Years next week, I guess I'm feeling a little reflective and a lot of anticipation for a new year. If you know me well, you know I never make resolutions (I hate them as much as goals) but I am looking forward to the next year. It will be fun to do so many things but most of all I cannot wait to be done pumping! I will miss the early morning time on the computer - really. It's a pain to get up in the middle of the night and tiring but I get so much done and do get a quiet hour most days. I love the quiet and miss it sometimes. As quiet as the hum of my pump and occasional meowing cats will allow. Still, I am SO ready to be done pumping. It has been so very hard to do this time around. The yeast infection, struggle to make enough, technical problems with pumps, being so tired I ache inside, making the world stop every three hours to pump for 45 minutes, struggling to find privacy, pumping during almost every meal, having to tell Nathan & Evan - not now I'm pumping, eating and drinking as much as I physically can and stressing over how much milk do we have today, not to mention it just plain hurts. If you know a woman who is breast feeding, give her praise and encouragement - often! She needs it. I think this is the hardest thing I have ever done because it is so long term, all consuming and I feel like I am fighting my body! With pregnancy, my body did stuff whether I was "there" or not. Most of it was out of my control. With birth the doctors were in charge, my body was numb and it went pretty quick. With this, if I lose focus for just a moment - miss suppliments, eating, drinking, sleeping or a pump time I significantly lose my milk and have to fight to get it back. All that with a hungry baby crying. AHHHH!

But Evan turned 9 months old on Sunday! Such a blessing, and it means that I only have 3 more months to do this! (That's every day, every three hours for 3 months without fail...but I've come so far and I will do it! Good thing I'm stubborn and determined.) It's hard to believe Evan is 9 months old. That time has flown by in some ways. He's such a healthy, happy active little boy with a beautiful smile and big eyes that strangers comment on constantly. He can make me crazy when he refuses to nap, spins circles in your arms and cries like his heart is breaking but I love him lots! He's so sweet and funny.

Sits up with a perfectly straight back, crawls with a purpose and determination, is very busy and one serious player, loves the TV - don't get in his way!, and smiles/laughs with his mouth with his mouth open wide - teeth sparkling brightly.

He had a really nice Christmas and handled his first really well. He was a little overwhelmed by the number of presents and I think got a little tired of opening them. But he loved the wrapping paper and ripping it to shreds. Plus he got some great toys and really made out like a bandit - a car transporter with 4 cars, a musical walker, cool rolling ball that sings the abcs and songs, squirter toys a fire truck that is yummy to chew just to mention a few toys.

Nathan had a blast this Christmas too. In his mind everything came from Santa. He loved opening all the presents and there is never enough of them for him! He has spent two days playing with the new Thomas trains and track! There were lots of cars, trucks, lizards and a cool remote control spider!

He got a fun big wheel type tricycle called a Road Monster but he's a little too small for it right now so it is not as fun as it could be. Just wait, he'll be tearing up the sidewalks this summer!

He also got a really great scooter from Grandma & Grandpa Beebe which he is already an expert at!

A much loved stuffed Meerkat is being clutched right now as he sleeps in his big boy bed

and he's had enough candy and cookies to send anyone into a sugar comma!

All in all it was a good break. We had a few mornings to sleep late, an occasional nap, lots of good food and the house is a wreck but we couldn't ask for more. Except for the family we missed seeing. I wish we could travel more! One more reason to look forward to the end of pumping (it makes any activity a logistical nightmare when you have to pump at 7, 10, 1, and 4 around the clock). And a reason to save our pennies.

Well, time to scoot back into bed for an hour of sleep before getting up for work. I'm so out of my routine after a week off that I'm not sure I'll remember everything I need to do. Hopefully Evan is back to sleep enough that James will come back to bed too. Evan's been sleeping through the night most days during the break but will still have that occasional waking for a bottle and will often do that for a few nights in a row. It will be so nice when he is sleeping like Nathan who almost never wakes and when he does goes back to sleep on his own. But we're getting there...trying to savor every moment and anticipating easier days (and nights).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas To All!

Well, 3 days to Christmas and there is still so much to be done! I know at this point a few details will get missed, we will do our best to get what we can done and the boys will have a good time and never know the difference! Still, I am grateful to be off for Christmas break. One of the great benefits of working at a college is the week off at Christmas. I will need it to get anything done! I'm feeling so behind in all areas of life and it's starting to show. Anyone notice that you haven't gotten our Christmas card & letter yet? Yeah, working on it right now. I'm babysitting the printer at home so the letter will print without taking the whole day and we are waiting for the package from Winkflash to arrive! I've never been so late on it. If all goes well, the package will arrive on Monday, we can stuff them all on Monday night and I can rush them off to the post office Tuesday morning. When's Christmas?!?

Oh well. The card and letter will arrive, be read and enjoyed, commented on and maybe create some smiles. The only thing we will really miss out on is a few days of display with the other cards that arrived. We will try to do better next year!

We worked a visit to Santa in last weekend that went better than expected. Nathan had a great time, he's much more savvy this year and was ready to ask Santa for what he wanted. He also brought along his "Christmas" lizard to show Santa.

When we went to Julie's party we finally got to meet her friend Summer who also has little boys. She saw Nathan's lizard (a favorite toy to bring on errands) and told James about a book called The Christmas Lizard. It's very good and lots of fun for little boys!

I was concerned about Evan and how he would do with Santa. I hate the photos of crying children on Santa's lap. James thinks it's funny, but I think it's sad. Santa should be fun and if it's not then it shouldn't be forced on children. Think about it, we teach our children to avoid strangers but then once a year we run them up to a strange man and plop them on his knee to take photos. To a young child that probably doesn't make a lot of sense.

We got there early, were third in line and Evan was fast asleep. Nathan and James ran off to the play area while I stayed in line to think through the logistics, ponder the day, avoid a sun beam that kept shining in my eyes and chat with an older Mom who was discussing why her son would not get a blackberry for Christmas! It was my hope to get a photo of Santa with Nathan (probably not a problem), one with Evan (questionable since he is starting to get seperation anxiety) and one with both the boys (highly unlikely if Evan wasn't on board with the whole event). The prices were outrageous for one 5x7 but I was paying for the opportunity to take as many photos as my little camera would snap while the sales lady bugs me to look at what she took - usually not as good as mine. Before we knew it, Santa arrived and we were next in line. I started my paparazzi act while James juggled the kids. Nathan first - looking good, smiling great and showing off the lizard. Then plop Evan on Santa's lap for a group shot. He did amazingly well. He was very curious, looked Santa over very intently and gave him a big smile and then even smiled for the camera. Then Nathan hoped down and we got some more really great smiles from Evan with Santa. (note the Christmas Lizard shoes!)

In the morning, I am off with the boys to Grandma's house and we are all going to the mall for a train exhibit. We took Nathan last year and he really loved it (in fact, he went twice) so we didn't want to miss it this year. I think Evan will be pretty fascinated by it too.

Then we just need to bake a few Christmas goodies, wrap all the packages, stuff the stockings and we'll be all ready for Christmas! I hope everyone else has as much fun as I think we all will. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and I had no idea how much more fun it would be with two little boys. Nathan's excitement increases each year and I look forward to the days when the boys run down to our room to wake us for stockings!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (hope you are sleeping more than I am!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Family Traditions

I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday for so many reasons.

And with this holiday comes I think the most family traditions, at least with my family. Today I found that my children are going to be adding to those family traditions in a unique way.

There are traditions that have always been around - divinity and fudge made from Great Grandma Devore's recipe, making a human assembly line to get the decoration boxes from the closet upstairs to the artificial tree downstairs, mom's special strawberry drink, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, the smell of turkey baking while we opened our stockings...the list is so long I don't have time to put them all down. But as soon as the giant wooden box is opened each year to reveal the tree at my parents house, a flood of traditions come together and to life to establish that familiar feeling of Christmas.

Some traditions have defining moments that create them and establish them into the old routine. I will always remember the year my sister and I named my mom's old fashioned stuffed Santa "The Ho-Ho" and then fought over who wanted him. And some traditions are just the way things are done.

Every year we have put together the artificial Christmas tree at my parent's house. It started before I was born and they still have the same tree, with tattered instructions that we lost one year. Then we photocopied it when we finally found it so we would never lose it again. Now a copy of tree instructions can be found in various boxes filled with ornaments. You can count on that tree and every step that leads to bringing it to life. It happens the same way every year, no matter who is there to participate.

Dad drags the big wooden box into the house and unscrews the top.

We dive into the box stacking branches by size and colored ends. Once the piles are finished, Dad starts at the bottom of the tree and calls out for colors until the tree is complete. It has to almost fall over at least once and a few branches have to fall out before we are done.

Then Dad strings the lights with much fussing and fuming. These lights are the best. I have never known anyone to have this kind and they are part of the old-fashioned look of our tree that I love. First Dad strings the wires that have sockets for the lights to be screwed into. Then we all gather around a box of lights that are big round balls each a different color with almost candy like crystals glued to the outside. We used to have some that were bell shaped but I think those finally all burned out. We have also added the older fashioned styled bubbling lights - which Dad will call bubblelioushus over and over until we take the tree down. We struggle to screw in all the lights - which makes the sockets come unhooked from the branches, refuse to screw in straight, you can't have the same color next to each other even though there's only about 8 colors and after the lights are all in and we turn on the tree then we have to search for the ones that aren't lit to replace the burnt out ones with new - but not the same color that is near by. Then comes more fussing and fuming from Mom and Dad as the silver garland is added. Then all the ornaments you can pack on go on the tree. And finally my favorite part is the icicles that have enough static buildup to make them stand out straight from the tree and stick to everyone's feet and butts.

Last of all we crawl around under the tree putting together the village and then sit back to see how pretty and colorful it has all turned out.

And all of this happens each year on or near my Mom's birthday.

Today was no different except that I think Nathan added to our tradition. Take note, from this day forward, in my parent's house, those wonderful old fashioned lights will be known as dummies...

It started the same as every year - big wooden box, human assembly line, putting together the tree... Nathan had so much fun with every part and was anxious to put on the ornaments. He's very fun, animated and funny to watch on a normal day. What makes him really funny is the constant stream of consciousness babbling that starts from the moment he wakes up until he finally falls asleep and sometimes even in his dreams! Our boy never stops talking. Really, Never. Not at all. If he's not talking to you or asking questions, he's talking to himself or singing.

He was running around, in the middle of everything, I was pumping, Mom was giving Evan a bottle and getting him off to sleep, James was trying to help my Dad and Dad was stringing the lights on the tree...with much fussing and fuming. Mostly fussing because the tabs that are supposed to hold the lights to the branches don't work or have broken off, It's his own kind of stream of consciousness commentary about how much he hates the lights and how badly they were made. Finally, all strung he sat on the floor trying to get a bulb screwed into a socket and grumbling "...and now if these dummies would just go in..." My sweet little Nathan picks up a bulb, goes to the tree and says "I want to put a dummy in."

And so a tradition is born. The rest of the bulb screwing in portion of the tree was spent with Nathan saying "here's a dummy for this spot, I'm going to put in a dummy here, Daddy where can this dummy go, I've got another dummy..."

James and I are laughing, Dad's so tickled he can't get the lights in straight. What has always been mounting frustration that leads to the hanging of the garland, transformed into giggles and smiles. I finally ran and got paper and pen when Nathan said "When a light won't go in straight, you call it a dummy." It was just too Nathan and too hilarious to risk forgetting a word.

When the tree was done, Nathan got a big high-five from Dad and a lot of laughs from us all.

Little Evan is a little too small still to enjoy all the craziness of the tree and decorating and he missed most of it for a much needed nap. But I know he will enjoy the challenge of the next couple of weeks when he tries his best to get a hold of the village, an ornament, icicles and the tree!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Feeling Very Thankful

Well, haven't posted in a while, guess I've just been overwhelmed. And now Chirstmas feels like it is racing towards me at break neck speed.

We had a good Thanksgiving weekend: Evan turned 8 months old and is teeting something fierce.

Nathan got to run around and have a lot of fun. The house seems to be well - Evan and James caught Nathan's cold last week. The Vicks trick worked well on Evan and I got him to the doctor for antibiotics before he started coughing so I think he recovered faster than Nathan. I have a lot of Christmas shopping to do and need to finish the Christmas cards/letter so I can get them in the mail before New Years! We ate a ton of food between James's Grandma's house and my Mom's house. And we got most of our Christmas decorations up.

So we have a lot to be thankful for. Most of all, I was able to keep my job. They had to have a layoff at my work because the economy problems have hit us hard, giving is down and so is enrollment. It was a pretty scarey couple of weeks while we waited to see how much could be done with just budget cuts and how many people would have to be let go. It was also a very sad couple of weeks as we watched people we love leave the office for the last time. I am surprised to still have my job and more grateful than words can say. I have loved this job so much since the very first day I started. That's saying a lot. Graphic Design is a fun job. Getting paid to be creative and play with photos all day is amazing to me. But to be able to do it in a good, healthy, not stressful, Christian environment is almost unheard of. I've worked for some real doozies since I graduated college in 1994. An "ad agency" where I was the only designer and the owner was a little bit crazy, new yorker type hippie with big dreams; part-time in a real agency with long hours, no hope for full-time, little money, employees cursed at each other and I got no respect; a printshop where the owner wanted me to do every job in 15 minutes or less cause he charged by the hour, everything was my fault even if it was physically impossible for me to have messed it up, real sweatshop environment where I was expected to be there all the time; a magazine company where the sales manager stood at the time clock and bullied the other departments, the other employees were petty and back biting and I gaged on my first taste html; a crazy publishing company where most employees were stealing from the company in some way, I was doing an insane amount of work, juggling up to 4 200 page magazines at once, management was a joke and any problem with an ad was my fault until the company went bankrupt; and finally a telemarketing company with a crazy gay art director who yelled at everyone, work was slow and they went bankrupt too. It's been a wild ride that ended (for now) at the college - a wonderful place that still seems like a dream. I work with great people who have become more like family than even just friends, I get to do the most creative work I have ever done, people really like me and are so nice to me, it's the least amount of stress I've ever had, I have a nice large office, we get lots of time off, I've been there five years today, and I just plain love being there. I've never had a job where I look forward to going to work and enjoy being there. It has been a wonderful place to be pregnant and have to pump twice. It's often my resting place from our crazy home life now that we have the boys. I can't say enough good stuff about this job and best of all, I get to work for God in a way that really is touching the world. I feel so blessed to be there and now even more blessed to still have my job. Things will be a little sad around the office for a while - lots of good friends will be missed. But we are hopeful that these cuts will make enough of a difference that we won't have to face any more job losses. If we do, I'm really afraid I won't get to stay this time. But it's all in God's hands and I know He's in control. Where ever he wants me to go, I'll be there. But enough about me.

Thanksgiving day was as crazy as always. 19 people packed into James's Grandma's house for lots of food and an insane amout of pies - I think maybe I heard 13 at the last count but I'm not sure. Nathan had a blast and enjoyed everyone. His Great Uncle Tim brought him a slinky (the old fashioned metal kind) and he has loved playing with it all weekend! There was also a crazy mixture of tinker toys in Grandma's back room that become a goldmine of rocket ships.

Nathan also loved the ham. Evan went into the event with a 20 minute nap and got overstimulated way too fast. I wasn't surprised but was disappointed because I wanted him to be able to spend some time with everyone and to get some good photos.

As it was, I spent probably an hour in the back bedroom trying to calm him down. From there we went to the quieter dinner at my parent's house where the boys could run around and play with their toys while we got dinner ready and sat down with Mom and Dad. It was a nice calm end to a busy day.

The rest of the weekend, I struggled with my pumping. Not sure what the problem is but I will be so glad when Evan turns a year old so I can stop!

We pulled out all the Christmas decorations and got the tree up, nativity scene out and a few other items around the house.

It was nice to hear Christams music as Bing Crosby filled the house.

I look forward to years when I can also make Christmas goodies but we were just too busy again this year. Evan wasn't too interested in the tree, which was good. I am hoping he won't try to eat it.

Nathan was very excited and got to put the star on top this year - he was a little too afraid of heights to make it last year.

The cats have started sleeping under the tree too. Hopefully we will be able to get our new lawn decorations up this year - we got some really cute Charlie Brown lighted decorations last year but never put them out.

Now I just have to finish Christmas shopping, get the cards done, ordered and in the mail and maybe clean house a little during my week off. I'm tired already!

This year will be really tight and we've decided we will only buy for the boys and their cousins. I'm sad about that, but it's been a hard year on the savings account - even without the high gas prices that affected us more deeply than I expected it to.

Here's a typical meal scene at our house these days...everyone focused on the TV:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sleep Saver

Nathan woke us up not feeling well on Monday night. I thougth it was just a cold but it was the first time he has ever told us that his throat hurt. We did all the usual things for a cold and took shifts sitting up with him (around my pumping) and made it through the night. Tuesday afternoon Mom gave me a call that Nathan woke up from his nap crying with a barking cough! Very concerned, we went to the doctor that night and found out Nathan has croup.

The dr. said he knew right away from the cough that sounds like a seal barking for it's dinner. And he was right, that's exactly what Nathan's cough sounded like.

He had been doing breathing treatments all day which I'm sure helped a little. The dr. gave him two antibiotic pills in the office and sent us home with one for the next night and a package of pulmicort which was double the strength he is used to. We were to use that each night. The dr. also told us to expect it to get much worse at night and he would probably be up most of the night coughing. We weren't looking forward to that!

We made pretty good time and were home about 8:30 pm. James rushed Evan off to bed (or so he thought) and I got Nathan ready for bed. One dose of Dimatap before bath, a nice warm bubble bath, breathing treatment with the new meds and then a trick that Mary Nell from work told me about. I put Vicks on his feet and then socks. The vaporizer was already humming and a vicks plugin was working when we got ready to do stories. James came in during stories with a very awake Evan! When the floppy game started for Nathan, I took Evan, made another bottle and sat in the recliner with the really soft afghan that Julie's Mom had sent us. About 12 ounces of milk later and Evan was finally asleep.

We collapsed into bed a little after 11 pm expecting to be up again all night - I was thrilled to wake up at 4 am to pump and find that everyone was sleeping soundly (even James was snoring!).

Not sure exactly what did the trick - if it was all the medicines, the vicks, a very elevated bed, or the nosespray that James gave Nathan. But we were so grateful for a good night's sleep. So very grateful that we repeated the routine last night and here I am at 5:30 am pumping and everyone is asleep! Evan woke at 1:15 am wanting another bottle, but aside from that all went well.

We'll try the routine again tonight but we are out of antibiotics. So, I'm not sure what did the trick, but we will definitely keep trying the vicks. I actually found two sites on the web suggesting it and Mary Nell had sent me one of those circulating emails that said how good it works. Somethng is helping us sleep with the croup!

Now my prayer is that Nathan gets well soon and Evan does not catch it! But for now everyone is enjoying sweet dreams!

Monday, November 17, 2008


If you haven't heard me say it lately, I think I'm drowning again. It's my most common state of existence these days. Overachiever me is constantly creating new projects (this blog, a million photos that need correcting and loading to winkflash, new ebay sales) and time seems to be flying by (next week is Thanksgiving - when did that happen, I've been looking through photos for 5 minutes and 20 minutes have already past). My head is spinning - The house is a wreck, the kids need my attention, the cats are meowing and leaving hairballs everywhere, I need to steam/puree/freeze more food, is it time to pump again already!

Another weekend has come and gone. Here's a brief update because I need to finish this during my lunch hour or it won't get done:

Evan is eating better - he actually ate plums, apples and acorn squash over Saturday and Sunday without too much of a fight. Mom found that if you tap his nose he opens his mouth which is a big help. I also got a few times when Evan looked at me and opened his mouth like he was really eating. No sour faces and he's spitting out less of the food now. Maybe we are on our way!

Nathan and Evan had a fun weekend playing together. Nathan wants nothing more than to play with his little brother and he shares his toys with Evan so well! I just hope it lasts. Its fun to watch them running around the house.

Nathan is also becoming such a good helper. He even gave Evan a bath one night at Grandma's house. They both had fun and he did a really good job!

We made it to church again which I think might make 3 weeks in a row. Evan had fun in the cry room and really enjoyed watching Pete on the TV. Nathan loves his new class and really enjoys the big room that they get to run and play in. We are making it a habit of letting Nathan run around the room after we pick him up from class.

So, we had a lot of fun but didn't get much done this weekend. But it's all good - as long as I come up for air once in a while! :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Butter me up!

I love winter, but it sure is hard on my hands. My skin has been super dry this year with all the pumping and it just tends to be dry anyway. This time of year usually sends me running to Origins for their chocolate lotion (now discontinued) or their ginger lotion or anything with Shea Butter.

Well, Mom stumbled across a new Aveeno lotion that has shea butter!!

She tried it out on the boys and I liked it so much I went out and bought some too. Much cheaper than Origins lotions and really great! I have been using it on Evan and Nathan for about a month now and I can see a and feel a real difference! I was surprised. Their skin is super soft and the rough spots on Evan are now gone! Nathan’s bumps are also decreasing on his arms and legs and his face is looking better! I am really surprised at the difference. And this is only using it once a day right after baths!

So, if you have dry skin check this one out. It costs a little more than just generic cheaper brands, but far less than fancy designer places like Origins. I would say it's worth every penny!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Memories

We had a lot of fun this weekend - we packed in as much as possible and then I sent off two very tired boys to Grandma's house this morning. I am hoping they will nap well!

Another part of me would say it was also a pretty poopy weekend - that would be the "poke back" part!

We started Saturday with grocery shopping. I had Evan in a new sling because we washed and dried my favorite one a few weeks ago - they shrink in the dryer. Well, my new one is either a little smaller or I didn't get Evan in very good because he was pretty snug, but he also wasn't squirming so I went with it. The grocery store was pretty warm and I thought we were just building up some sweat, until I felt under the sling and realized no, that kind of wet isn't from sweat. I had not realized that Evan pooped and it went all directions in his diaper - thanks Evan!

Evan did get the best nap Saturday afternoon so I sent Nathan and James off with the wagon to the creek and across the street to see the new horse. I got peas and sweet potatoes steamed and did a little cleaning!

Sunday we actually got to Church and even arrived early! Yeah us! Nathan had a lot of fun in his class and was so happy to see us. When we asked him what they did in class he said "We talked about God again."

After church we went straight home to make lunch. While I was making manwhich and James was helping, Evan and Nathan actually played together! I was having so much fun watching them and was busy cooking that I didn't think to grab the video camera and only got a couple of photos. Evan was in his walker and Nathan was running around the kitchen and dining area - running laps! He would pass through the kitchen where Evan was and Evan would take off after him as fast as his little feet could go. The house was full of squeals, rattly walker wheels and the sound of the walker bouncing off the walls and furniture.

Of course, Nathan was so fast he would take off as Evan followed and then be around passing Evan again in a few seconds. Evan was doing his best to keep up or at least keep moving and they were both having such a great time! It was a vision of things to come and children to dodge when working in the kitchen. Finally Nathan got tired or wanted to change the game and climbed onto one of the cat perches where Evan couldn't reach him. That's when I thought to grab the camera. Nathan then turned into a swimming cat while on the perch! You can see in the photo that Evan's feet are just going!

After lunch it was off to the library. We haven't ever taken Nathan to the library but he's gone a few times with Grandma for story time. Grandpa bought Nathan some little dinosaur toys on Friday and of course I couldn't remember any of them so we decided to check out a book on dinosaurs. While we were there we also got a few books to have for the bedtime. It was a little frustrating because I couldn't find books like we have at home and most of them were longer than Nathan really has the attention span for.

We weren't in the library long when James pointed out that I had stains all over the front of my shirt. I had trouble feeding Evan at lunch time and must have gotten his barley and yams all over me when I picked him up. Of course I didn't notice before we left and there was nothing I could do about it then.

Evan slept in the stroller until another mom came in talking way too loud to her kids and had to stand right next to me and the stroller. Evan was awake before I could get away from her so I pulled out the sling to try to keep Evan quiet. I didn't really think through the whole take a baby to the library idea...Once in the sling, James and Nathan took off to find dinosaur books and Evan and I went in search of something we could check out. I finally found two Miss Spider books we didn't own and a Rollie Pollie Ollie book.

That's about the time I started feeling moist again...great. Just a little more to add to my colorful shirt. Thanks again Evan!

After the library we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Once there I was really mad I didn't bring the camera because Nathan was hilarious with his ice cream! We asked for a bowl and spoon in case Nathan had trouble with the cone. He was so excited to have ice cream and took the cone right away when we got to a table. And tried to bite the bottom end off! We had to stop him because of the paper wrapper and then showed him to start at the top. He enjoyed it but I could tell he was a little disappointed, so I took the paper wrapper off and told him to eat it anyway he wanted to. Nathan took it back and bit right into the side of the cone where you hold it! Not what I would have done, but okay. After a few minutes of watching him try to work around the ice cream and get to the cone, I asked if he wanted to put the ice cream in the bowl and he did. Then he enjoyed eating on the cone and using the spoon to eat the ice cream in the bowl. That's when it got funny!

They gave us a really long handled spoon and if you've had Dairy Queen soft serve, you know it's pretty thick - not dense like custard but firm. Nathan would stick the spoon into the ice cream and try to lift it out which would bend the handle over the side of the bowl. We thought sure he was going to shoot glops of ice cream everywhere like an ancient medieval rock launcher! When the spoon finally let loose from the ice cream, a few droplets when up in the air and landed on the table. By then James and I were giggling hysterically while Nathan was seriously trying to eat his ice cream! We tried to help him with the spoon, he managed to eat the whole cone and only lost one small glop that few into the air but we never found where it landed - I thought sure it was in my hair.

So, although my clothes suffered a little this weekend, the boys had a blast and we couldn't ask for much more than that!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not Quite Ready to Party

Well, it was an eventful weekend and the boys are worn out! We started with Halloween on Friday, a party for Julie on Saturday and ended with grocery shopping and naps on Sunday.

My inspiration Julie was in town this weekend and we got to see her at a party at a friend's place. She looked beautiful and it was so nice to see her smile and hear her laugh! I've been missing her so much! It was also a fun party because I knew most of the people who came - all also friends from work who I really love. It was nice to see them with the boys and James and get a chance to talk outside of work. I wish I could have spent more time talking with Julie, but I knew there wouldn't be time for that. There were so many people who wanted to spend time with her and we had never been out with the boys at someone else's place.

We got there right at 5:30 and I had hopes for a good visit. Evan had two really good naps but Nathan had not napped at all. He seemed fine, not too tired or too hyper. Well, Nathan started bouncing off the walls as soon as we arrived so James had to try to keep track of him. Then other friends of Julie's started to arrive with their kids and Nathan just got more wound up! He was really happy to see Julie, she had come to the house a couple of times so Nathan knew her, but he surprised me how much he wanted to play with the other kids. A few of them were also 3 yrs old which was nice. I worried just a little about how he was behaving but kind of tried to take cues from the other Moms as to whether he was doing okay. James did a great job taking care of him and keeping track of him.

I was on Evan duty. He started out well in the sling but too soon became just overstimulated with all the people and activity. That poor little head was just whipping around everywhere trying to see everything and then he started the headbutting on my shoulder. He was tired and ready to go and we just arrived! We did our best and he was soon struggling to get out of the sling. So I abandoned it and tried to keep him quiet and as calm as possible. I was soon sad to realize that he is just still too young for that kind of excitement but I knew everyone would want to see him. I spent the evening torn between wanting to be a part of the party and needing to get the boys home.

It was fun to see Ruth, Debbie and her kids Ryan and Lauren. It was also fun to "show off" the boys. I tried to take some photos for Julie and for the family scrap book. This was our first party out as a family! It wasn't until we left that I realized just how brave we had been to go on this adventure so calmly. It was hard to enjoy the party, the people or pay attention to anything with the boys there. I was constantly focused on Evan who was struggling in my arms and alternating between talking and crying. And then one eye was trying to keep up with Nathan and James. I was concerned that James might get frustrated with Nathan and not have any fun at the party. Every glance told me he was just trying to keep up.

But I got to talk with everyone just a little, eat even less, drink nothing and we finally left at 7:30 so I could pump in the car on the way home. My pumping was so messed up all day and now Daylight Savings Time was threatening to complicate things even more.

We got in the car, all ready to go and Nathan burst into tears. He had shown Julie his lizard (which was a big hit at the party) and his biplane but we completely forgot to show her the scorpions he had brought in the toy bag. It was too late to go back but James had a great idea that we could send Julie a photo of him with his scorpions - which we still need to do! Soon we were on our way. Nathan was calmed down, Evan had passed out and I was pumping while James quickly got us home. Evan woke up all too soon so I sent James and Nathan out to look for bugs while I tried to calm Evan back to sleep in the big reclining rocker upstairs. After Evan passed out, James got Nathan to eat come food and gave him a bath. He had eaten two small slices of pizza and 4 cookies at the party. Not enough food for him and way too much sugar! We finally collapsed at 11 pm (oh wait, make that 10 pm - thanks DST) at the dinner table to eat something ourselves and I pumped. There was a college game being replayed so I spent the hour ignoring TV and reading a magazine.

Evan woke up twice before I went to bed, once in the middle of the night and again around 5:30 am. Church was definitely out and we did our best to get Evan some naps and let Nathan have some fun on Sunday. I think we did okay. I got some food steamed for Evan and he's doing better at eating solids. Still doesn't like them but not protesting nearly as much.

It's 1:55 am and I need to get back to bed. I am praying that the boys sleep through the night. Especially Evan. My pumping is still a struggle and not going well so I really could use a few nights were he doesn't wake up wanting more milk.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight was a good reminder of what Halloween should be about. It was a glimps of what pure and simple fun a little boy can have when he dresses up like a cat and runs around the neighborhood getting free candy!

I was so glad that Grandma and Grandpa Beebe could come over for dinner and go out with us. It was so fun to share the evening with them and they got to see how cute the boys were.

Nathan wanted to be a cat again this year! Yesterday he told me he wanted to be Blackie for Halloween. Blackie was Grandma & Grandpa Beebe's cat. He recently passed away after an accident. I thought it was so sweet that Nathan remembered him and wanted to be him for Halloween. I didn't really know what to get for Evan or how interested he would be in staying in a costume at 7 months old! So I found a really cute lion costume. To my surprise, he didn't mind the costume and hat at all and was content to stay in it for the evening!

After getting dressed and a few photos, we were on our way. Nathan had a blast! He ran up to each house anxious to see if they had candy. He was very polite but seemed to be a little dazed when people would open the door. He would often stand there and forget to say "Trick-or-treat", staring at the people. And sometimes he would stay "thank you" on his own.

There were a couple of times when we were walking to a house and a group of people would be leaving. Nathan would tug on my hand just a little and speed up while asking "do you think they will run out of candy?" To his delight, most houses we stopped at had plenty of candy and often let him pick what he wanted.

When Evan got tired of being in the stroller, Nathan wasn't quite ready to stop so I was so glad we had Grandma and Grandpa with us. They were able to take Evan home with James for a bottle and play time while I took Nathan down one more street. Soon his bucket started getting heavy and Nathan agreed it was time to go home. He was hot and tired (thanks to our 80 degree evening!). I carried him the rest of the way home and his last trick-or-treat was at our front door.

Not only did Nathan have a lot of fun, but he ended up with a good bucket of candy. He enjoyed sampling several different kinds while Daddy handed out candy to kids who came to the door. It was a surprisingly busy night! After looking through the candy, I told Nathan he could have anything but the gum - still a little too young for that. I asked Nathan if we could give the gum to Daddy to give to the other kids that were coming to the door. He said yes and jumped up right away. He took the candy to the door and gave it to the kids! Then he rushed back to sit on the floor and decide which candy to try next.

It was so fun to see Nathan's excitement and joy throughout the evening. It was also a good reminder that Halloween can still be sweet and innocent for little children. It also turned out to be a fun way to see some neighbors we don't talk to nearly enough! Happy Halloween!