Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Letter to My Boys

This month started out with a horrible rash that started on your cheeks and ended up covering almost your whole body.  At first, we thought it was an allergic reaction to the sunscreen we use on your face, but after it spread like it did, we (and your pediatrician) think it was probably Fifth's Disease, a harmless viral thing (minus the rash).  Thankfully, it only lasted a couple of weeks and you didn't seem to be too bothered by it.

In other news, I'm so excited to say that you're fully potty-trained now, including overnight.  You've been daytime trained for months now, but nighttime was still a little iffy.  But, you were keeping your pull-up dry every night recently so we tried undies and I can't remember the last time you had an accident.  The best part is how proud you are of yourself every morning.  "I went potty all by myself," you say most days from the top of the stairs, complete with toothy grin.  So cute.

Not so cute are the massive time out fits you've started throwing.  Gone is our contemplative boy who would sit in time out, think about what he'd done wrong, and then tell us he was ready to get up.  Instead, you get livid, screaming and kicking and losing your shit before you calm down and apologize.   We've discovered though that you only do this when both Daddy and I are home.  If it's just one or the other of us, you never throw a fit like that, or really even have to have a time out.  We think you're trying to play us against each other and we're hoping you discover soon that it's not going to work.

The other thing you've become the king of is stalling.  At bedtime, at mealtime, when it's time to leave, pick up, go potty, etc.  You name it, you try your hardest to stall.  At times, it's amusing, but we try our hardest to keep from laughing because it makes the stall THAT much longer.

We have just a few days left before Daddy goes back to work.  He's starting a new job so he's going back a little earlier than usual and I've decided to keep you home from daycare until the end of August. I've had so much fun with you that I wanted it to last just a little bit longer, and the bonus is it'll save us a little money, too.  I'm so glad I got to spend this time with you this year.  I wish I could do it every summer and I'm sorry I can't.  But, it makes this summer that much more special.

I love you more,

My little man, or not so little, I guess.  You're so, so big, and passing milestones by so quickly that I just want to yell, "Slow down!" all the time.  At your four month check-up, the doctor said, "Well...he's very advanced in motor skills," and then proceeded to say she wouldn't be surprised if you were crawling by six months.  See what I mean?  Slow down, child!

One of those motor skills is standing.  You love to stand.  So much so that I have tiny little toe-shaped bruises on my thighs from you standing on me all the time.  We just got out the exersaucer and it's your new favorite thing, probably because you can stand up and move around freely.

You also still love to be swaddled and just like I'm a little bit nervous about how you'll sleep once we can't fit you in the swaddle blankets anymore.  If you do wake up, it's only once a night, and that's not even every night.  Not too bad in my book!
You got your first hair cut this month because you were getting so shaggy I couldn't stand it anymore.  Now the Donald Trump-like combover on the top of your head is a cute little Cupie doll curl and makes me so excited for the day I can let your hair grow longer and see some ringlets.
We also had you baptized this month.  It was a beautiful service in the courtyard at church.  Shawn Franssens, who went to Russia with me when I was pregnant with you was the pastor to baptize you, and we chose our friend, Steph as your Godmother.  You wore the same adorably embarrassing outfit I put your brother in for his baptism, and looked equally adorable in it.
You've started the constant drooling that's typical for this age, which is worsened by your love of sucking on your fingers and putting ALL THE THINGS in your mouth.  It's made adorable though by your pointy little tongue that you stick out all the time.

We've finally officially started on your room.  There's now a beautiful shade of green on the walls and a new window has been installed.  Once we get new stucco on the outside to help seal where the window was leaking, we'll repair the sheetrock and you'll be moving in.  I'm excited to have our room back, but also sad that you're old enough to be moving into your own space.

So, the general consensus from this month...slow down, okay?

I love you more,

Monday, July 30, 2012

July Gavinisms

Ryan, from the other room:
"Gavin, go ask Mommy if she wants me to shampoo the carpet before Bennett's baptism."
Gavin, to me:
"Mommy...um...do you want Daddy to clean the floor with lotion and sanitize Bennett?"
Me:  "No thank you, sweetie.  Ryan, wait till you hear how that one translated."

After going potty:
Gavin:  "Mommy, can you help me pull up my underwears?"
Me:  "Sure, sweetie."
Gavin:  "No...not THAT far!  You're gonna be like Grandma!  Pulling my underwears up to my belly!"

Pondering a trip to Target where I bought new workout shorts:
Gavin:  "The last time we went to Target, you bought new dance pants."

On the afterlife:
Gavin:  "Heaven is a long way away."
Me: "You're right, buddy.  It is."
Gavin:  "Yep.  We'd have to drive there."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Toddler in Time Out

Earlier this week, there was a thirty minute period where it seemed my oldest child was a bit possessed.  There was crying, there was screaming, there was growling (oh...I'm so not kidding), there might have even been a short time where banging on a door and kicking a metal air vent were involved.

And if I remember correctly, the whole thing started when Ryan and I refused him a bite of a donut before he ate his lunch.  Poor kid.  He's got such awful parents.
Oh...don't let that sweet face deceive you.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Watch Bennett Grow--Four Months Old

Official Doctor Stats:
Weight:  17.4 lbs (89th percentile)
Height:  25 inches (56th percentile)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Little Fish

Gavin loves to swim.  He'd go to the pool or the lake every day if we'd let him, and when we do, he lives up to his Pisces sign, spending every second he can in the water.  With his floaties on, he's a little fish--with the exception of his face, which he almost always refuses to submerge.  As much as he loves the water, he's no daredevil when it comes to slides or "the deep end."

The last two weeks, we've been stuck inside due to what I've deemed "the rash of the devil"...official doctor diagnosis undetermined (either Fifth's Disease or an allergic reaction to sunscreen).

He's been begging to go swimming, but I couldn't oblige until today.  And you know what?  My little fish jumped into the water over and over, completely submerging himself, only to come up laughing and shouting, "Let's do that again!"  And even more surprising?  He went down the big slide all by himself and came up sputtering, but elated.

"You're my little fish," I told him, so proud I thought I'd burst with it.  "No, Mommy," he said.  "I'm your BIG fish!"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family of Four

We had Bennett's three-month portraits taken and when I first took a look at the pictures, I realized I'm still getting used to this family of four thing.  We have two children.  Ryan and I made two whole people.  Pretty awesome people if I do say so myself.

And I couldn't be more blessed to share life with these three guys.

Pictures of awesomeness by Jaime Russell.  Check her out at here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brotherly Love

It's been three and a half months since Bennett was born and to be honest, a part of me has been waiting for the other "sibling rivalry" shoe to drop.  So far, Gavin has been completely in love with Bennett and vice versa.
When they're apart, their faces collectively light up when they see each other again.  And today, when Gavin had a chance to buy a toy with a gift card he'd gotten for his birthday, he insisted on spending half of it on something for Bennett.  Now, I'm not naive enough to think they'll never fight, or argue over toys, or want to break each other's necks sometime in the possibly near future, but so far, there's only been this:

Absolute love and adoration on both sides.  They bring out the most adorable sides in each other, and until that other shoe drops...I'm lapping it up.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

First Family Vacation--The Other Stuff

Even though the mosquitos were gargantuan, and Galveston's beach left a little something to be desired, the town itself was lovely.  We went swimming, played miniature golf, ate delicious fresh seafood, snuggled on the couch and pretty much just had an awesome time.  Evidence below:
Ryan and his boys on Father's Day.
Little man all dressed up.
Bennett's first time in the pool.  He enjoyed it for a total of about 2 minutes.
Ben & Jerry's chocolate-faced coma.

Papa & Grandma enjoying a boat ride.  We even got to see some dolphins right next to the boat!

Gavin's first miniature golfing experience.  He beat Daddy!

The IMAX glasses were a bit too big.

Under the sea with Grandma & Papa.

Checking out the river otters at Moody Gardens.  It was their 3rd birthday!

Look closely for the scary alligator.
Swimming with Momma at Moody Gardens.
Staying cool in the shade with Daddy.
Gavin & Papa being silly.
Checking out the animals at Rainforest Cafe.

Aboard Galveston's tall ship, the Elissa.

Captain Gavin at the wheel!

"Look Momma!  A pirate ship!"

On our way home--a stop at the Dallas Aquarium to stretch our legs.

"Why are they orange, Momma?"

Monday, July 2, 2012

First Family Vacation--The Beginning and the Beach

We've been back from vacation a full week now and it's taken me about that long to fully recover. I have to preface this post by saying I had a great time and would go again in a heartbeat, but man...I was so not prepared for how the definition of vacation changes when you have kids.

Before kids, vacations were spontaneous, adventurous and uber-relaxing.  After kids? Well...not as much.  Oh...we had adventure alright.  This is the only vacation that I've ever had to make a stop at the emergency room after all, but that's not exactly the kind of adventure I look for on a vacation.

Let me just start from the beginning.

We chose Galveston, Texas because it's the shortest driving distance to a beach.  With a three year old, a three month old (with bassinet, bouncy chair, car seat, and all the other crap a baby needs) and a tight budget, it seemed that driving was going to be our best bet.  Now...I've been known to say "If it's longer than a four-hour drive, put me on a plane!" so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be driving 13+ hours with two children in tow.  But we planned to start the drive around bedtime to get the longest stretch out of the way while both of them slept.  And the plan worked fabulously until we had to slam on the brakes and a bag flew out of the back and hit Bennett at 4 a.m.  After Ryan and I completely lost our shit (him because he'd packed the car, and me because I was driving), we realized Bennett was completely fine.  He had the tiniest bit of a bloody nose, but we went to the ER anyway, because we're those people.  Better safe than sorry, right?  The good news about the Atoka, Oklahoma ER at 4 a.m.?  No waiting!  Bennett, of course, smiled and cooed and completely charmed the doctors and nurses who confirmed that yes, he was perfectly fine.  Perhaps I can send a video to the insurance company so he can charm our way out of part of the bill, which I'm sure will be a small fortune.

Even with that little nightmare of a detour, we only ended up arriving in Galveston about 2 hours later than we'd predicted.  We met up with my mom and stepdad who joined us for the week and pretty much ensured I'll never go on another family vacation again without the Grandparents in tow.  They were such a great help with the boys, and Ryan and I even got to have a movie date on vacation!

As soon as we arrived, Gavin wanted to head straight to the beach.  We'd been talking about going to the beach on vacation for so long that I think he'd just had enough waiting.  We were here now.  Let's go to the beach!  We headed straight there, and watching him look out into the vastness of the ocean for the first time was one of the highlights of the trip.  He was understandably mesmerized.
So mesmerized, in fact, that the next morning, we went again, this time with suits on so we could play in the water.  Unfortunately, when you're three, waves crashing into you isn't really that appealing...it might even be a little terrifying.  He did get more adventurous as the week went on, though, and terrified me when I turned around in waist-high water to see him wading in after me with no life jacket on.

Though the Galveston beach isn't the prettiest I've seen (sandy water and seaweed galore), Gavin could have cared less, which made the rest of us appreciate it that much more.
Bennett and Daddy snoozing in the tent.

Dancing in the sand.

Family photo time!

Aaaannd...a break from family photos to chase seagulls.  Much more entertaining.

Building sand castles.

Grandma's turn in the tent with Bennett.

Papa found a flag for the sand castle.

Bennett was more entertained with his beach hat than the beach itself.