April 26, 2012

Easter clothes

This was the best they could give me . . . and while it's not the best picture, I can't help but love it.

Easter 2012

April 17, 2012

Pop-tart Art

The boys were "eating" their pop-tarts into shapes and then making the other guess what they were. Totally something my sister and I would have done.

Pop tarts

Only we would have done it with fig newtons. My mom didn't let us have pop-tarts very often.

April 15, 2012

How Hobart joined our family

Here's a story from back in January that I forgot to share . . .

The kids' well visits to the doctor have always been some of my favorite days . . . especially Claire's. Kyle and I always go together and normally have a babysitter for the boys. It's the closest thing to a date we get these days. Their doctor's office is 45 minutes away in Chelsea so we get at least 1 1/2 hours to just talk and sometimes we even stop for breakfast. It's glorious.

At Claire's 2-week check up, we made her 1 month appointment and I was counting down the days until January 26. On the night before I was giddy with excitement. I know it sounds crazy, but I was 4-weeks postpartum and had been stuck in the house with 3 kids, one of whom was a newborn, for the entire time.

That night was rough with Claire, so that morning, I let Kyle sleep and I was up with all three. I thought about waking him up when I sat down to nurse Claire, but figured that the boys were playing quietly, so I wouldn't bother him.

About an hour later, I was trying to get the boys dressed and Jack said, "I have something in my nose!" He'd been congested for a day or two, so I got some tissue and told him to just keep blowing until it all came out.

He blew his nose a few times and then started freaking. out. So I sent him to his room, thinking he was just being dramatic. After hearing him in there still crying five minutes later, I went in and said, "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!" Not my finest parenting moment.


Wait, what now?

I thought he was referring to snot. You know . . . something in his nose causing congestion. I was so, so wrong.

"I put a lego in my nose."


Let me back up and say that a week earlier, Ben had put a peanut in his nose. All the way up there. But with enough blowing and coaxing we finally got him to sneeze it out.

Side note: When I later asked Jack WHY he put a lego up his nose, he replied, "Because I was trying to smell it. It did not smell good."

I tried to look up Jack's nose, but at this point he was freaking out so much I had to call for Kyle. We had him blow and sneeze and did everything we could. We finally decided he needed to visit the ER.

This is about the time I started throwing my temper tantrum. The disappointment over missing our "date" was overwhelming. I just sat down and cried. Ridiculous, I know . . . but well, postpartum hormones don't always allow rational thought to prevail.

Kyle headed to the ER in Chelsea with Jack while I waited for the babysitter to come to stay with Ben. Then I left . . . alone . . . to take Claire to her check-up. Which was also in Chelsea. Two cars making the 45 minute drive separately. Not quite the "morning date" I had hoped for.

They tried to get the lego out, but the 5 people holding Jack down couldn't keep him still enough. So, they decided anesthesia was necessary. I'm so glad I wasn't there . . . I probably would have lost it at that point.

While they were waiting for the anesthesia, the nurse kept working with Jack, trying to get him to sneeze and blow it out. Jack had been crying so hard that his nose was running and she thought that might start to loosen things up.

She was right! Just before they were going to administer the anesthesia he blew his nose real hard and . . . viola! There it was. I received this photo while I was at Claire's check up with her:

Can you see the lego? No? That's because it's smaller than any toy labeled "Ages 3 and older" should be. Needless to say, we "lost" that lego set soon after this incident.

During all of the commotion, one of the nurses brought Jack a teddy bear, thinking it might bring him comfort. It did not. But it did provide a great show and tell item for the following week, during which Jack gave his speech on how to get a free teddy bear.

Aren't you glad your child isn't in his preschool class?

April 12, 2012

Dear Jack, Month 58

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I was in the car on my first venture out alone with all three of you. It was a success. You and Ben didn't fight, Claire didn't fuss at all, and you all obeyed so well. It was wonderful.

My favorite part of the trip, however, was a conversation that we had in the car. It went something like this:

"Mom, you know how I'm a superhero?"

"Of course," I responded.

"Well, I haven't had my first save yet."

"What do you mean?"

You went on to tell me that you hadn't saved anyone yet and that you weren't really sure you could call yourself a superhero until you did. You explained that you aren't really old enough to fly (which apparently you think is something that comes with age) or save people from fires.

So I explained that there are other ways that you can be a superhero. I told you that helping friends, loving enemies, comforting those who are hurting and putting other people before yourself are things that real superheroes do.

This explanation was met with silence. The conversation was over.

Fast forward to last week when our family went to Bob Evans for dinner. Ben ordered fruit dippers and you ordered french toast. Ben had eaten most of his fruit, and looked over to see that you still had french toast left on your plate. He kept looking back and forth at his plate and yours and finally said, "Me want french toast!" A meltdown was imminent.

I explained to him that you had chosen french toast and that he had chosen fruit dippers and he needed to eat what he had left. But you jumped in and said, "That's okay. Ben, would you like a piece of my french toast?"

Ben was overjoyed. Dad and I were relieved.

You looked at me and said, "That was my first save, Mom."

Yes, Jack. Yes it was. Your first of many, I hope.

I'm so proud of you.


April 10, 2012

Dear Claire, month 3

Dear Claire,

I love to rock with you as you fall asleep. You often prefer to just be laid down when you get tired. But every so often, you'll still let me.

Sleepy Girl

Don't tell your dad, but sometimes, I rock you longer than I need to. Partially because I like it. But also because there's typically chaos on the other side of your bedroom door. The kind of chaos that results from trying to get your brothers to bed for the night. On many nights, staying and rocking with you is so much more appealing than wrangling them into bed. I know that all too soon, you'll be causing that chaos at bedtime, and I want to savor the cuddle time you'll allow me while it lasts!

On those nights that you let me rock you, I sing to you. Even on the nights that you won't rock, I'll still sing one song after I lay you down. I'm not a great singer, but you don't seem to mind. I sing mostly hymns, because I suspect that bedtime lullabies might be your only exposure to those. There's a chance that you may have some of the words a little mixed up, because I'm a shaky on the lyrics when we get beyond the second verse. In a normal week we'll sing Great is Thy Faithfulness, It is Well, How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, And Can it Be, and a few more. We normally end with the doxology. You might not know "Jesus Loves Me" when you get to preschool, but you'll sing a mean "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

Why we sometimes call her "Bubbles"

You've started making your own joyful noises, with your squealing and your squeaking this month. Mostly you just have these soft coos and grunts, but every so often you'll have a run of squealing that makes us laugh. I don't remember you brothers every doing this. It must be a girl thing. We all really get a kick out of it.

You rolled over once this month. I left you on your back, went back to my desk and when I heard you fussing I turned around and saw you on your belly kind of bewildered as to how you got there. You like to roll yourself to your side, normally to see your brothers, or to find out what's going on behind you.

3 months old

It's been almost a year since we found out that you were on the way. Which means a year ago, I still had no idea that you'd be here right now. Your brothers were staying with grandma and grandpa for two nights and I was incredibly emotional that entire weekend. I couldn't figure out why. When we picked them up and brought them home, they cried the entire way and I remember being so overwhelmed. I had purchased a pregnancy test on that Friday before, and I can't even remember why. I think because of all of the heartburn I was having, and because of how out of wack my emotions seemed. I didn't really think it would be positive. I just wanted to put my mind at ease.

3 months old

When we got home that Sunday afternoon, I went to the bathroom while your dad made dinner for the boys. I saw the test sitting there and decided to take it. My jaw dropped when I saw the "pregnant" appear. I stumbled out to the kitchen and told your dad, and we struggled to keep our composure until after your brothers were in bed. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

I know that I've never done anything to deserve you, Claire. You're a gift. A blessing. It's my privilege to be your mom.