Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ben Quotes

Ben is my sweet, quirky, imaginative child. He says things that make me laugh all the time. I'm sharing these because I'm his Mom and that's what us Moms do. This blog is also my journal to my kids, so sometimes you will have to deal with silly sappy posts like this one.

The other day he came up to me very frustrated holding his superman cape and said, "My cape won't sit still." Obviously, meaning that it kept falling off. He has a way with words.

He will often say to me, "Mom, mom, mom, I have something important to say." When I ask what, he will say "um, um, um". Well, the other day he added a phrase and said, "I may be quiet, but I have something important to say." The poor kid has already learned between his sister and myself, he can't get a word in edge wise.

We were watching Olivia a few days ago. We like this cartoon. It's based off of the books which are some of our favorites(thanks aunt Pam for buying them for us). Olivia is a pig who is many things. In the episode we watched, she was an artist. She finished her painting and said, "I think I'm done with my blue period."
Obviously, an adult joke as a 3 year old doesn't know about a painters blue period.

Today, Emily insisted on painting when she got home from school. So, I got the kids set up at the island and off they went. Ben finished his and I asked him if he wanted another piece of paper. To which he replied: "No, I think I'm done with my yellow period."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raindrops On Roses

and whiskers on kittens...those are nice, but not my favorite things. My new favorite thing is this Graco Sweetpeace swing. It was a gift from my sister in law and I don't know how I lived without it for my first two kids. Oh, I do remember how I did it now...I hid in the closet and called my husband to come home from work early. Seriously, I did this.

Looks like a comfy swing right? It is. But wait, there's more...

I started exercising yesterday. Definitely not one of my favorite things but necessary. Today, I got on the treadmill for 30 minutes. At least 10 of those minutes were spent hopping off and taking care of the kids...Ben needed another episode of Lazy Town, Noah lost his pacifier, Ben wanted peanut butter pretzels (yes, at 8:45 in the morning...don't judge), etc. Thank God Emily is at school or I'd never get anything done. I finished my 30 minutes and fed Noah. Then, I decided I would venture outside with the boys. Isn't that fun to say, "the boys". I have 2 now. Crazy. Anyway, Ben rode his bike wearing his superman cape of course, and I had Noah in the stroller.

This method was slightly more successful than the treadmill, but I also couldn't combine the walk with hand weights like I do on the treadmill. They both have their pros and cons I suppose. And it really doesn't matter as long as I'm moving.

Back to my favorite thing. I had just fed Noah, so I put him unbuckled in his car seat. Graco makes a great stroller/car seat combo, so the car seat fits right onto the stroller. This way he could sit up more and digest his food without spitting up. We get home from our walk which he slept the whole way and he's out cold. In the olden days (meaning 5 years ago when I had Emily) we had two options. Put the sleeping baby in the car seat on top of the dryer and turn it on (seriously, she'd cry as soon as we stopped moving, so I did this many times...don't judge). The other option is to actually move the baby. This option is rather risky and comes with a huge set of consequences that could ruin my entire day should the baby wake up (which they almost always do).

Apparently, Graco must have been a Big Brother in my house because they invented this swing.

Look at it. It's a thing of beauty. The comfy seat comes off and you can put the car seat right on it and turn it on. If I could find the person who made this, I'd kiss them. Seriously. I don't think my husband would even mind because lately when he comes home, I'm smiling instead of crying.

Friday, September 25, 2009

7 Weeks

Noah is 7 weeks old tomorrow. He's been doing a lot of sleeping over the past month that we've been home.

David's Auntie Barb sent us this adorable blanket that has a measuring chart on it. I was wondering how tall he had gotten as I've actually started a bag of clothes he has outgrown! So, here he is at a very full 20 inches long. He's grown over 3 1/2 inches since he was born. At this rate, he'll be taller than me by 6 months. He'll also be taller and heavier than both Emily and Ben by his due date of Oct. 2.

He's finally starting to have periods where he is awake for 30-60 minutes before or after he eats. I was able to have a little mini photo shoot with him, but he hates the flash and always makes a startled expression for most of the photos.

I'm including this last deer in headlights photo, so my MIL can see his eyes. Emily and Ben came out with very brown eyes, but Noah's are that bluish-gray. I'm sure they will turn brown, but it's interesting for now.

He's still eating every 4 hours and we are keeping to that schedule. It's too good to mess with for now. He's also up to almost 3 ounces per feed which is enormous for a "newborn". He's a great far.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Knights and Knives

David got a vasectomy last Friday. While David was under the knife, I took Ben and Noah shopping (Em was at her friends house). We went to the dollar store to kill some time which means we have to spend a few bucks on toys that will break within an hour. Ben found these awesome knight helmets and swords that light up and make noise. I'm happy to report that they are still in tact.

Introducing Sir Bencelot and Lady Emevere!

The other day my Mom asked what Ben thinks when he holds Noah. Um, he's never held Noah. Emily asks five times a day. Ben never had and it never even occurred to me to ask him if he wanted to hold Noah. So, I asked and he said yes.

This poor little guy went under the knife today as well. They don't like to circumcise preemies. Our doctor wanted to wait until he was between 5-6 pounds and 6-8 weeks. So, today was the day. David took him and actually stayed in the room and helped hold his arms down. The retelling of the story made my penis hurt, oh wait, I don't have one, but it was like sympathy pains. They did numb the area and he's been on tylenol ever since, but it just looks so painful.

Our little man also weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds 12 ounces. He was one ounce short of gaining a pound in the last 11 days. Ben was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 2 days past his due date. Em was 7.7 and on her due date, so Noah will definitely be bigger than both of them on his due date, which was October 2. It's hard to believe he wouldn't even be here right now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

That's Better

We had our second soccer game last Saturday. David and I were both a little anxious awaiting what the kids would do. They both understood that we just wanted them to try and not give up so easily (or at all).

We played a team that was almost all boys who could've easily starred in the pee wee version of Bend It Like Beckham. They were scoring on us left and right. It would've been easy to get discouraged, but the kids hung in there.

Ben needed a little more coaxing, but he stayed in the game when asked for the most part. He tried and that's all we expected.

Our girl scored 2 goals. Yes one was in the other teams net, but it still counts (well maybe for the other team but who cares, we don't keep score). Here she is scoring a goal in our net.

She didn't even flinch or cry when one of the Beckham boys gave her a karate chop to her jugular. These boys were vicious. It's 3 and 4 year old co-ed pee wee soccer for the love of God. Emily held her own though and I am so proud of her.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Salamander or Sloth?

This is the funniest picture of Noah. David said he looked like a salamander and I laughed for about 10 minutes. Then, I thought he looked like Sid the Sloth from Ice Age. What do you think?

It was just a bad picture. He's not that funny looking. Proof in the picture below, but I couldn't resist as was too funny.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

After our soccer morning from hell, we decided to go shopping. Yes, it was only Walmart, but it still made me feel better.

We head for the center aisle to avoid the toys. They always want to look at the toys. We don't buy them any, but it still is a 30 minute process of looking. But, now the center aisle is filled with Halloween stuff. Crap. Next time I'm heading straight for produce.

I've learned a few things with kids and Halloween costumes. You have two choices, buy early or late. They both have their own set of perks.

If you buy early, you get your pick of best costumes and sizes.

Buy late, and your kid won't have time to change their mind like Ben did last year. Emily was Dorothy and Ben was the wicked witch. Until Halloween Eve, when Ben decided he didn't want to be a witch and wanted to be a superhero.

We browsed the costumes. Ben wanted to be Batman, but the Batman costume was no where near as cool as the one my Dad and Suzy had just bought him. So, we convinced him to be Buzz Lightyear. What I have now is one costume for Halloween and one back up just in case.

Emily picked out Thumbelina which is Barbie's cousin with wings. The costume is super cute.

We get them home and David is a bit miffed at me for letting the kids try them on before the big night. True, they will probably be hanging by a thread come Halloween, but why save them just for one night? Come to find out, Emily's was hanging by a thread within about 5 minutes. The velcro came unglued in the back, so it no longer held together. And two of the cute green ribbons on the shoulder just fell off. I was going to sew it and safety pin the back, but the costume was $20. It should last for more than 5 minutes. We are taking it back and buying a better quality Thumbelina from Costco.

Sometimes, it's helpful to break the rules and prevent a wardrobe malfunction on Halloween night!

P.S. While Emily is at school Ben dresses up like Buzz Lightyear, makes me call him Buzz and watches Toy Story three times. Don't tell David!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yea Soccer! Or Maybe Not...

When I asked the kids months ago if they wanted to play soccer, they said yes and were super excited. We had a few practices to which they did okay. Ben is easily distracted. Today was our first game. They were so excited Emily was up at 6 AM. Our game was at 8:00. I couldn't believe I was up at 6:40 on a weekend, but I wasn't about to miss the first game. I almost wish I would've just slept in.

They started off positive enough. But, then other kids would take the ball. This goes against everything we ever teach our kids about sharing and taking turns, so they don't quite understand.

This is a pee wee team for 3 and 4 year olds, but the cut off was July 31st so Emily still makes it as well as the big kid on the other team in Ben's video. We have a few players on our team who have played soccer before, so they obviously were in control of the ball in the beginning. It took all of 10 minutes for Ben and Emily to get frustrated and come sit on our laps. So frustrating. I actually woke up early to listen to my kids whine and complain.

Had they stayed in the game and kept trying, the more experienced kids were sharing and passing and letting others score. But, mine gave up well before that. Emily was crying on the way out, Ben was pouting and I was doing both!

I don't want to be one of "those" parents who push and push their kids. I just want them to follow through. You said you wanted to play, so play.

We talked to them when we got home about quitting, practicing and how they will score a goal if they stick with it. They seem to get it and are on board again.

Let's hope next week is better. Or maybe I'll just add some Bailey's to my coffee.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Right On Cue

I knew today was going to be busy. I was feeling overwhelmed and the day hadn't even started.

This is why:
12:15 AM Noah wakes up crying? Put in pacifier...try to go back to sleep
1:00 AM Wake up, feed Noah, change diaper, pump milk, try to go back to sleep
2:30-5:00 Noah is cranky. He's never cranky. Check him, put in pacifier, try to go back to sleep (David has slept on the sofa for 4 nights because I have this horrible cough. Lucky for him, he escaped the 3 hour fuss fit)
5:00 AM David wakes up, takes Noah (thank God) feeds him, changes diaper and gets ready for the day
5:00-7:00 Get two hours of sleep, combined with my 2 hours from earlier, I'll barely get 4 hours.
7:00-8:15 Ben and Emily get up. Get Em dressed, fed, hair fixed and lunch packed
8:00 Pump milk (this takes about 30 minutes, so that's how I spend 3-4 hours everyday)
8:15 Drop Emily off at school (David did this)
8:30-9:00 Get Ben dressed and feed him a bowl of dry cereal (hey, don't judge)
9:00 Feed Noah, get him dressed for the day, change diaper
9:30-10:15 Take shower, get ready and pack up the kids
10:15 Drive to the YMCA
10:45 Ben's gymnastics class starts
11:30 Drive home
Noon (it's only noon?) Get Ben lunch, eat my lunch while pumping milk and playing scrabble on facebook
12:45 Feed Noah
1:00 David home (Thank God)
1:15 David takes Noah to Dr. appt for weight check
1:15 Unload dishwasher and reload it

It's now 1:40 and I'm blogging...the rest of the day will go like this...
2:50 Leave to get Emily at school (hopefully, David will be home to do this or I won't be able to make the 3:00 milking of the cow)
3:00 Pump milk
3:30 Leave for my Dr. appt for my 4 week follow up appt.
4:30 Get kids ready for soccer practice
5:00 Soccer practice...don't forget Noah's bottle as he eats at 5:00. Don't forget Noah either for that matter.
5:45 Home from soccer practice. Make dinner...Mmmm, philly cheese steaks. The kids get hot dogs (don't judge).
6:00 Eat and do dishes
6:30 Pump milk
6:30 David gets Em to do homework, hopefully without making her cry
7:00 Get the kids in the bath
8:00 Storytime, brush teeth, prayers and night night to Ben and Emily
8:01 Emily comes out of her room
8:02 Emily comes out again
8:05 She tries us one more time to see if we are serious about that spanking. We are (don't judge).
8:30 Noah bath.
9:00 Feed Noah and pump milk (it would be great to do these two things simultaneously the way nature intended, but I have to add a little formula to my breast milk for extra calories so it is what it is for now)
9:30 Collapse.

Seriously, no wonder we are so tired.

Ok, but that wasn't my point at all. I was just trying to explain that it was a busy day today. My point was this.... Noah would've been 37 weeks today if he'd stayed inside me. That's considered term or a "normal" baby if he'd come out at that time. For us, our "normal" term babies come out kicking and screaming and don't stop for about 6-12 months. Apparently, Noah got this memo because this is what he did most the night.

Then in the morning, it continued.

It looks like he hates being swaddled, but he's even worse without it.
Let's hope it's just gas.

Sidenote: David just called after Noah's doctors appt. He's up to 5 lbs 13 ounces. That's an 11 ounce weight gain in a week! Yea!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Home Preschool

Emily just started Kindergarten and we've already spent $2,000 on her education. Two years of preschool at a little over $100 a month adds up quickly, and that's cheap for preschool.

We decided we would send Ben to preschool for one year when he turns 4. But, he's three now and I feel that he needs a little direction. Luckily for me, a few of the Moms that I know also have 3 year old boys and we are all in the same financial dilemma of trying to save money. So, we formed our own preschool. One of the other Moms (who used to be a second grade teacher) has really done all the work. I was unable to help get it started when everything happened with Noah. But, we modeled the "class" after Emily's preschool last year. We do a circle time with books and some crafts and play time. The boys, who are all 3 months apart, do really well. Ben seems to be distracted the easiest, but I was able to refocus him for the most part.

Each week is based on a theme. We've done camping and this week was the beach. We made homemade ice cream.

Boy, was it good!

We also made jellyfish out of paper plates and streamers and colored ice cream cones. Then, we made a beach in a bottle complete with sand, shells, glitter and water.

Everyone had a great time and I felt like I was doing something educational with Ben. Of course, I brought Noah. The funny thing is the two other Moms also have babies that are about 6 months old, so they'll all be in school together too. We'll have to keep all of the lesson plans for the next group of little ones!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Flower Child, A Month and Batman

My Dad and Suzy came home from Idaho this past weekend. They stopped here for the night to see the kids. They hadn't seen Noah yet. They spent time loving on Noah and playing with the kids.

I took Emily shopping (compliments of Grammie Gwynne) to get some fall clothes (although it's still 80 here). She loves wearing leggings to school, so she picked out 5 pairs. This pair must be her favorite as they were the first she wore. I think I had a pair just like this when I was 5 in the 70's.

Noah is a month old today. I can't believe it. It's hard to imagine his first 18 days were in the NICU. That's already become a faded memory. He's doing really well though and still on his 4 hour feeding schedule. He sleeps so much that I forget he's here sometimes.

Papa and Grandma Suzy took the kids shopping for Emily's birthday. Ben picked out a batman costume. Shocker. He's really into this superhero thing.

Ok, this mask cracks me up.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Week of Firsts

Noah went on his first outing. Technically, it was to the kids first soccer practice (Emily and Ben are on the same peewee soccer team for the fall)on Tuesday night, but that was a minute from our house so I'm not sure it counts.

Yesterday, I loaded up Ben and Noah and we headed to the YMCA for Ben's gymnastics class. It went well, except when Noah messed his diaper. At least I remembered to bring one. It's been over a year since I've needed to carry around a spare diaper and change it on the front seat of my van. This is going to take a little adjusting.

Noah looks less than thrilled to be heading to gymnastics.

Emily had her first open house at school. We weren't even planning on going, but she was all excited about singing songs in the gym. I decided to go with Em and Ben and David stayed home with Noah, too many kid germs.

Here's Emily's classroom. They have a learning system with the rainbow and when you master one of the skills, you get a ring on your rainbow. She already has capital letters and lowercase letters done. We are on to sounds of the letters, which unfortunately, I can't help her with. I just don't get phonics. I mean like circus. How does the first C sound like an S and the second C sound like a K? I can't tell you what sound U makes. Luckily, her Dad can help her and she seems to know the sounds better than I do. Hey, when it's time for numbers, Mama will be right there to help.

Ben wore his superman shirt and cape (pajamas) out in public. Who cares right?

Here's Ben doing his own thing.

Noah had his weekly weight check. He gained 8 ounces in one week. He's up to 5 pounds 2 ounces. Still a featherweight, but getting up there.

We've been working on tying shoes for awhile with Em. This morning she got it. She was so excited. I hadn't fixed her hair for school yet, but this smile is worth a million bucks.