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Friday, April 21, 2006

Bug Juice

Here is Dear Daughter proudly spraying her magic bug killing juice. I got her a new spray bottle and filled it up with the garden hose and suggested this to her so that she could spray the bugs and feel powerful over them instead of freaking out so bad anytime a creature flutters or creeps by. She calls it her "bug perfume." She can call it whatever she wants as far as I'm concerned, as long as it continues to serve its purpose!


Dear Daughter has to put on all her jewelry at once and state that she is a "Princess." Here she is sporting her new bunny necklace and bracelet along with the rest of the "Zoe Collection."



Egg Bubbles and Zoe-isms

Dear Daughter was enjoying her "egg bubbles" on Easter weekend. She had a great time with her new "presents" from various easter baskets. She is into "whirlygigs," which is what I call pinwheels. She got her first one a year ago from the treasure chest at the dentist's office and her second one a couple months ago on an excursion with me to the Dollar General. Her third one came in the Easter basket I put together for her. She likes to grab them all in one pudgy little first and announce, "I've got quite the whirlygig collection!"

And here's one on the slightly tackier side (I apologize in advance, but I can't resist repeating this one). Whenever Dear Son fills his diaper really well, I say that he had "quite the poop fest." Dear Daughter was perched on the toilet just before her naptime today and upon finishing, announced to me, "I had quite the poop fest!" Indeed.

News on Dear Son's side includes his newfound skill of rolling over back to front. He has only gone front to back a couple times, which I believe was probably on accident. But front to back tends to happen months sooner than back to front in most babies. Dear Daugther began the roll from front to back at 12 weeks, but was pushing 8 months before figuring out the other way. Dear Son has it the other way and most definitely goes back to front intentionally. Then he perches up on his elbows and looks rather proud of himself.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My Avid Reader

Here is proof of my avid little "reader." I found her like this when I went to get her up from her nap yesterday afternoon. You can see the piles of library books around her, and she apparently fell asleep "reading" this one.

Toes and Other Progress

Dear Son has found his toes. A couple weeks ago he discovered his fingers and began pulling at them and staring at them with fascination. Then it got really warm and I began leaving socks off his feet. One day he looked at his naked piggies for the first time and had that same look of fascination and seemed to be thinking, "How did those fingers get down there?" as he reached for them. I tried to get a picture of this newfound toe-thing, but he was too interested in looking at the little red light on the camera.

At Dear Son's four-month check up today, the nurse was trying to remember how old he is. I told her he is a four-month-old impersonating a nine-month-old. Indeed, he weighed in at a whopping 16.8 lbs and is now 26 1/4 inches long. He is actually in the solid 90% for his height, but somewhere between 75% and 90% on his weight. The doctor wanted to know what I was feeding him. I was tempted to tell him sportshakes, but I didn't. I think he will outgrow his infant car seat soon, which is probably just as well, cause I can hardly carry him around in it anymore!

That's our "Little Bubby!" Guess we'll have to start calling him "Big Bubby!"

Friday, April 14, 2006

Four Month Milestones

I neglected to post some of Dear Son's recent achievements in my earlier post. Last Tuesday he rolled over for the first time. He has also discovered not only his fingers, but most recently, his toes. He's been giggling for quite some time now, but the giggles come much more easily lately. He LOVES to "sing." He's also been doing a neat trick of spining completely around in his crib to have his head at the opposite end from which he was originally placed when put down for a nap or to go to bed for the night. And my personal favorite of his recent achievements: sleeping from 10pm to 6:30am. I've gotten a couple nights of 7 solid hours of sleep the past week. Life is good.

Bug-O-Phobia

I waited a long time for warm weather to be able to go outside with both the kids. However, 88 degrees is a little warmer than I wanted, especially in April. I suppose it sounds like I can never be happy. I am able to be happy though. In fact, I would be absolutely thrilled if it would be 68 and sunny, but not windy.

In light of the warm weather and overall mild winter, we have a troubling issue on our hands: BUGS! Anyone who knows me at all knows that I've never been a big fan. I am, in fact, a cockroach-phobic. And anything resembling a cockroach sends me into crazy, freakish emotional and behavioral symptoms. My skin tingles and crawls with the willies, I feel lightheaded and panicky, and I suffer PTSD like flashbacks if faced with one. But that's only with cockroaches and anything resembling them. Don't even get me started on those gosh-awful flying coackroach-like creatures that will begin their annual hatch and infestation oh too soon. I have, however, met my match with Dear Daughter, who is going through a phase (I hope it's only a phase) of bug-o-phobia that applies to anything and EVERYTHING that remotely resembles a bug. It includes tiny pieces of fuzz or lint on the carpet, flecks of dust in the air, and of course anything outdoors that moves. It's driving me absolutely buggy (ha)! Lately, if we are going to go outdoors and finally enjoy the spring weather, I have to get Dear Daughter all pepped about being "brave" and try to convince her the bugs won't hurt her (while inside I feel a twinge of hypocrisy as I consider my own issues with certain species of bugs).

Yesterday I felt like I was torturing Dear Daughter with cruel and unusual punishment for insisting that, like it or not, we were going for a walk. She was all excited about the walk until a tiny gnat crossed her path before we even got out of the driveway. She had a major freak-out complete with the little dancing about maneuver that was oh-so-familiar to my own little jig when the flying, buzzing, beetle was stalking me in my bedroom last year. Nonetheless, this was a gnat. A tiny little fleck of nothing. Dear Daughter got on her seat in the sit-n-stand stroller and faced me with her little hands wrapped tightly around each of my hands the entire time for comfort. Whenever a breeze brushed her skin, she had a repeat of the freak-out response.

I really am hopeful this phase passes so we can enjoy the warmer months a bit. And I really am not looking forward to the self-control I will have to exhibit, myself, when those flying cockroaches start to appear. I did pretty well last year whenever Dear Daughter was around, but last year she wasn't bug-phobic. She will be extra-extra-sensitive this year. Hmmm...maybe I better go hang out those flying beetle bag traps today.

Four Months

This is actually Zoe's 5 month picture, but she has the same expression as Zachary in his 4 month picture, and I couldn't believe the resemblence.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hanging Out and Being Silly

No time to post any tidbits, but I thought it was high time for some new pics, especially of "Little Bubby," as he has affectionately become nicknamed at our house (thanks to Great Aunt Pat). Be sure to scroll down for more of "Little Bubby!"

Little Boy Blue




If I say I have the cutest little boy on the entire planet, would it be a biased opinion?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tattletale

On the way to Grandpa and Grandma's house last Tuesday, I found myself driving behind someone who apparently thought the speed limit was 20 rather than 50. I was extremely irritated as this particular stretch of road is not one on which passing a vehicle is easy. So I puttered along for several miles at 20mph behind this woman who was slower than a seven-year-itch. Apparently I was saying out loud the commentary that was going on inside my head. Fortunately I am not prone to four-letter words (unless you count "crap," which I did not say this time).

When we pulled into Grandpa and Grandma's house, Grandpa met us in the drive way. He barely had the door open on Dear Daughter's side of the family-mobile when she said, "Grandpa, we were behind a stupid lady! And Mommy was saying, 'Oh, come ON!'" Note that Dear Daughter had all the voice inflections in exactly the same places as I had uttered them. Of course, Grandpa got a good laugh out of my little tattletale.

Several days ago, Dear Husband told Dear Daughter that our neighbor's dog, "Skeeter" is a "little rat dog!" We've never been fond of the little yapper who can hardly be called a dog in the first place. He has kept us awake on many an early Saturday morning and several late nights. I didn't know Dear Husband called him the "little rat dog" in front of Dear Daughter until one day Dear Daughter was outside with me and heard Skeeter yapping. She announced, "Skeeter is a little rat dog!" I prayed silently that she would never tell this to the owner. When Dear Husband was on the deck with Dear Daughter having a conversation with the neighbor across the fence lines this weekend, Skeeter was yapping away as usual. I was just sure that Dear Daughter would use the most opportune moment to inform the neighbor of this opinion. Fortunately, she was being too shy at the moment to spill the beans. And fortunately the neighbor and her little rat dog are moving next week anyway.

Dear Daughter did tell on me, inadvertently, at the library one day though. Let me preface this one with some background information. There is an obnoxious 12 year old who lives across the culdesac from us. Dear Daughter is scared of him (for good reason, if you ask me). We consoled her by saying that he's just a goofy kid. He has since been deemed "The Goofy Kid" by those in our household. Whenever he is out in his yard or playing in the street (as he frequently does), Dear Daughter says, "There's The Goofy Kid!" We are not typically in earshot of him. On our weekly trip to the library to get Dear Daughter her 14 new books to read (that's the number that usually satisfies her reading fix for a week), Dear Daughter ran to play with a wooden train set in the children's section. It's her favorite attraction right now. A boy about 4 years of age was standing by the train behind a pillar, hidden from Dear Daughter's sight until she got close enough. She continued to run toward the train until she saw him. Then she stopped short in her tracks. At this moment, the library was completely quiet (not a frequent event in the children's section). She loudly exclaimed, "Oh! There's a goofy kid!" as his mother stood nearby looking on. I think my face turned a couple shades of red as I said, "Sweetie, that's not a nice thing to say!" and I inside I thought that indeed he was goofy looking and that we were going have start being a lot more careful what things we say out loud to Dear Daughter since explaining the nuances of what is not appropriate to repeat would be lost, even on our little precocious one.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Different as Night and Day

The first days and weeks of Dear Son’s life are a post-op, sleep-deprived blur. But the thing I remember well is about three weeks into his life when he hit that fussy, fussy, fussy stage where he was unable to burp after night-time and early morning feedings and saved it all up until he was a screaming, uncomfortable gassy mess by 4:00 am. Then, when his little body was unable to contain it anymore, he would finally “toot” for the next four hours before finally calming down. Believe me when I say you could never imagine that a three-week-old baby could break such powerful wind! The Gripe Water did help, by the way. I did more research when we first began using it, and learned that Gripe Water originated in Europe, where it is a staple in any home with a new baby. “Gripe,” incidentally, does not mean “complain” as I thought it did. It seems that is a European term for “wind,” or a polite way of saying you-know-what. Now that I think of it, “Gripe Water” does sound a lot better than “Fart Water.”

But, I am digressing. What I am really after with this post is making a point that in the beginning I worried that we would have another high-maintenance one on our hands. When Dear Son refused to nap in his crib for several weeks I was sure this worry was confirmed. Now, however, I have had several consecutive weeks of a different experience, and I believe it is safe to say that I think we may have a laid-back one this time. I frequently breathe a silent (but sometimes audible) prayer of thanks. Having a laid-back infant sure makes life with a high-maintenance toddler easier. Though I do have to give Dear Daughter credit for becoming less and less high-maintenance as time passes and she learns better ways to communicate, develops patience, and accepts that the world does not actually revolve around her 24/7.

Dear Son seems to enjoy being rocked to sleep, but never requires it. At times he seems to prefer just being put down in his crib. He rarely cries before nap time and never before bed time. When he does cry, it’s really only a few whimpers and then he’s out. Lately he’s been taking a long four hour nap in the middle of the afternoon, and then when he finally wakes up, he is hungry but does not even cry about it. He sleeps through the night, waking up once to be fed sometime between 4:00am and 6:00 am. He then either goes right back to sleep or lies awake in his crib for awhile before falling back asleep. Never ever does he cry at this time. When he awakens later in the morning, he never cries. He just looks around wide eyed, sometimes chattering at the morning light streaming in his window, other times silent (presumably pondering the meaning of life or perhaps other much more primitive thoughts that infant brains are capable of producing). When I peek at him over the rail of his crib, I’m always greeted with a big smile and sometimes a happy squeal.

These days I can hardly believe this is the same baby that got all riled up at an ungodly time each morning for weeks on end while he blew the air out of his pipes for a few hours. To say that I am greatly relieved (pun intended) that this was a brief phase is a severe understatement.

I’ve often heard people say that all babies are different. Indeed. When I first learned about Dear Son’s existence, before I even knew he was a “he,” I agonized over how I was going to love another as much as I loved my first. I couldn’t imagine how my heart would be able to swell to accommodate two, and I was sad about having to divide my attention. And now, mystery though it be, I am discovering that my heart is big enough for two “babies,” and that each of them (though different as night and day—save for their physical appearances) by his and her own right fills up the spaces in my heart that I didn’t even know were empty before they each arrived.