November 30, 2011

Oh, what fun . . .

Kyle captured this little gem as we were leaving the park after attempting to get family photos last week. This one photo pretty much sums up the whole experience.

I'll bet you can't wait to see more.

Family photos . . . oy.

November 27, 2011

At least I'm not on fire

This summer, when people complained about anything, we got our staff in the habit of saying "Hey . . . at least you're not on fire." Because really? Being on fire would have been worse than anything else that was going on.

I spent much of the last two weeks muttering "at least I'm not on fire" under my breath.

I was NOT sleeping well and this recent cold beat me up more than any other illness ever has. I don't ever remember feeling as crummy as I did. I was so, so tired . . . and when I'm tired, I become snarky and cranky. The cough that kept me up all night made my entire belly ache and I wondered all the time if it was hurting the baby (although google assures me she'll be just fine). I was coughing so hard and so much I thought she might just shoot right out from all the pressure. The worst part is not being able to take any drugs that might help.

The pain from this pregnancy is intensifying, just as predicted. During the week after my last appointment, I really wondered if the doctor had just been exaggerating. YOu know . . . making it sound worse than it is just to help me prepare for the worst? She wasn't.

It doesn't help that I'm not taking it as easy as I should be. The whole "stay sitting or laying down" thing seems impossible. And Ben has become ultra clingy . . . I think he senses that change is coming and I remember Jack doing this during the month or two before Ben was born.

Speaking of Ben . . . oy. The terrible twos have descended and have Kyle and I feeling a little bit like we've been hit by a truck. While there are still moments of sweetness, the moments of defiance and disobedience far outweigh them. His speech has taken off and you'd never know that three weeks ago I was concerned about it. It's like something clicked. But with that development has come his ability to tell us exactly what he's thinking . . . for better or worse.

There are some things that make us laugh . . . for instance, when he does something he knows he shouldn't, he'll just stomp to the time out chair and climb in grumbling "MIME OUT!" under his breath the whole way. I can't NOT laugh when he puts himself in time out.

When he gives us an inappropriate response to something we tell him to or not to do, we repeat the correct response until he says it too. And I don't think there's anything cuter than hearing him say, "Otay, mom."

I've mentioned that we've moved Ben and Jack into the same room, and that's totally ruined his sleep. He was SO amazingly good for bedtime, naptime and slept all night. Not so much anymore. Right now, they're sleeping on mattresses on the floor, but their beds come on Wednesday. I hope that being in a real bed will help him a little bit. Maybe.

The good news, however, is that I'm feeling so much better. I still have little coughing fits every now and then, but they're definitely fewer.

November 21, 2011

Speaking of . . .

While perusing my blog posts from right before Ben was born, I found this little gem. It's funny that it was more than 2 years ago, but some things about Jack just haven't changed. It also made me glad that Ben isn't quite as verbal as Jack was at this age. I'm not sure I could handle it.

Nonetheless, Ben's speech has taken off. We had his evaluation with the speech therapist a few weeks ago and it went well, and she took my concerns seriously, but she kept emphasizing that he was ahead of the game in every area but expressive speech and I got the feeling that she wanted to say, "Calm down and don't worry." She was very nice and really professional though.

It didn't help my case that he literally started using two and three word phrases 18 hours before she came. I'm not even kidding. He repeated me when I said "Happy Halloween" and then just took off from there. She repeated almost everything she asked him to. I was proud, but a little bit embarrassed that I had just finished telling her that he won't do that at all.

Now he's pretty much saying everything he wants to and repeating anything we ask him to. He still has a lot of pronunciation issues, but even those are resolving themselves without much intervention. When he wanted a cup of water, he would always say "Wa-Gee" instead of "water." This morning he walked into our bedroom and said "Water in big cup, pease." And then he stood there unsure of what to do as Kyle and I cheered and asked him to say it again. His love of books (and attention span) is growing and there are many that he'll "read" to us. Something just seems to have clicked for him.

He's come a long way in just a few weeks.

So, while maybe I jumped the gun with speech therapy, I don't regret it. I'd rather be a little too proactive than not proactive enough, I guess. The therapist is making a return visit tomorrow to evaluate his progress, and I'm pretty sure his progress will confirm her feelings that I'm a little bit overprotective. Oh, well. There are worse things to be, I suppose.

November 17, 2011

Say cheese.

Does this kid have the cheesiest picture face, or what?

cheese face

How can you look at this and not smile?

November 14, 2011


I did a lot over the weekend to get ready for Claire. I washed and put away her clothes. I washed and stuffed cloth diapers. I made a list of things I still need to do and there are quite a few, but at least I'm making progress.

I can definitely tell I'm nesting . . . not only because we've replaced all of the floors . . . but also because I buy some sort of new cleaning product or tool every time I'm out - whether we really need it or not. It just always seems like a good idea.

Home Improvements

I can say without hesitation that the last 4 - 5 days are probably some of the most stressful I've ever had.

On Thursday we had new carpet installed in all of the bedrooms. I mentioned that Kyle and I installed wood flooring throughout the house in August/September and this was the last piece of the flooring updates. I'm telling you . . . it feels like a brand new house! I love it!

The carpet that was installed by our builder was considered "builder's grade." The installation person we were talking to told us that it's normally only expected to last 2 - 3 years while the owners figure out what they really want. It's been 7 years, so we were way past due and it showed.

The stressful part of the whole thing is that we had to move every piece of furniture and every item into our living room/kitchen on Wednesday night (thanks to the help of Kyle's cousin Brian). We slept on the floor and couches on Wednesday night and it was miserable. When we moved things back in, we moved all of Ben's stuff into his and Jack's shared room and cleaned out the nursery for Claire. This involved buying more shelving and drawers for the boys, assembling it, sorting through things, etc. We couldn't really prepare meals so there was a lot of eating out and a lot of television for the boys while we tried to get everything going. It was chaotic.

But like I said, I LOVE the new floors. We still have finishing touches to add, but I think we'll have those done in the next couple of weeks.

Some good news: Claire will actually have a girl's nursery! I was worried that we might just have to make do with blue and green rocket ships, because I wasn't sure when we'd have time to change things up. But I'm happy to say that the blue walls have been replaced by gray walls and the rockets have been replaced by zinnias.

On top of everything else, I developed a nasty cold on Saturday night / Sunday morning. Sore throat, congestion and the worst achiness I've ever experienced with a cold. I haven't had a fever or anything. I've just felt crummy. I thought it would be over quickly, but I couldn't even pull myself out of bed this morning, other than to go sit in the bathroom and run hot water to help clear my congestion. I'm so thankful for Kyle and how he takes care of me.

November 2, 2011

Big shoes to fill

A day in Jack's shoes

Do you notice anything weird about this picture? The size 12 shoes, perhaps?

A day in Jack's shoes

This is the second of this exact same pair that I've purchased for Jack since September. Did he outgrow the first pair? Nope. Were they ruined? We're not quite sure.

You see, Ben likes to wear Jack's shoes around the house. The last time we saw Jack's first pair of these was about a month ago . . . on Ben's feet. We've searched the house high and low for those shoes and cannot find them anywhere. So today, I broke down and bought another pair.

Ben, of course, had them on his feet within minutes of me walking in the door.