Friday, January 30, 2015

Welcome to the World Theodore Thomas

Theodore Thomas arrived January 13th at 2:43 AM. He weighed 8 lbs, 9 oz and was 20.5" long. His labor was fast, once it got started. We arrived at the hospital at 12:30 AM and had Theo in a couple hours....so as I said, fast labor. I think we were lucky to get there on time! Unfortunately (this word doesn't even cover how I feel) I deleted all the pictures from his first day of life. Me meeting Theo, Theo getting weighed, etc. Irreplaceable. I cried angry sad tears but they're gone - and Theo is still here. So I'm moving forward.


I've forgotten about the awesome newborn grunts and noises. Theo sounds like a mix between a dolphin and a pony. I also love his faces - love that he raises his eyebrows when he's trying to lift his head. Like he can lift his head by the power of his forehead alone. He was also born with a freakishly strong neck - which actually makes feeding him more challenging because he thinks he can do it himself.

This feels like a slightly awkward reintroduction to blogging. I haven't mentioned my pregnancy, or even talked about Eliot's 4th birthday this past June! But I want to talk about Theo and his arrival to our family. Theo definitely completes this family of 5. In other words I never want to be pregnant again, and we feel happy with 3 kids.

Eliot is amazing with Theo. Always hugging him and talking to him. He's always calling Theo a cutie and talking about what a sweet baby he is. It's pretty amazing. Malcolm is helpful too - bringing Theo blankets and diapers and saying he needs milk when he's crying. Every morning he asks where baby Theo is - already knows he's part of the family.

We are so in love with this new little guy, and he's already so lucky to have 2 big brothers to dote on him and teach him things. It's definitely crazier around here - three kids is more than two, that's for sure. One hilarious thing I've noticed - any time I take all three boys out of the house there are people who bestow blessings on me. Apparently leaving the house with three children needs blessing! It's happened at least 5 separate times. When I think of it, it probably does need blessing.

It's great to be so much more comfortable as a mom with the newborn stage. I take the sleepless nights with a little more grace, although honestly they're harder now than they were with Eliot because I have 2 bigger, yet still so little children who don't understand their mom needs a nap. I'm also just more confident with the baby and feel like it's easier to leave the house. I don't worry about Theo screaming or needing to nurse or having a diaper blowout...because honestly who cares? He's an infant - these are things that happen with infants. It took me a few kids to get here but I am happy to be this comfortable. I wouldn't mind having one more hand for parking lots and car loading, but we're making it work.

Welcome to our family and the world baby Theo. I've learned is that love only multiplies. We are bursting with love, even if we aren't bursting with time or money. We are so excited to get to know you!







Thursday, July 17, 2014

Well...Better Late than Never

So happy (belated) birthday Eliot. Did you know life has been crazy lately? Life has been crazy. Crazy in such a good way. I think this last year was the switch from you being physically difficult to parent to being more mentally difficult to parent. You are so much more physically independent, you can get dressed by yourself, go to the bathroom yourself, heck you could even put on your shoes by yourself if they didn't suck so much. You ask so many questions, why do we use our seatbelts? Where does dad work? What does mom do? Why do we have noses? And my personal favorite: Why can't we take our feet off?

You're awesome, you're still funny as ever, and you're so loving. You are so social, heading right up to kids and calling them friend and trying to get them to play with you. And you're so disappointed when they're too shy to do it. Hurt, actually. It's hard to see you put yourself out there and get shot down, but you don't stop. Which makes me so proud of you.

No video this year, I think 3 years is all I can handle. Can I just say you're awesome?  And I don't remember how I thought my life was complete without you? It's true. You are my light little guy, and I love you more than you'll ever know.

Happy 4th birthday Eliot.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In His Own Time

When Eliot was a baby our pediatrician was very pushy about getting him to sleep on his own. I always looked at her like she had two heads because the methods she talked about to get him to do this just wouldn't have worked with Eliot. They just....wouldn't. Eliot being my first I didn't know if I was doing it wrong or if she was just wrong. I never did push him, and I'm glad, because I see Malcolm and I know that she was talking about babies like Malcolm, who can sleep on their own with just a little push. With Eliot it would've been war, and truthfully he sleeps just fine now. I've learned to trust my gut.

Eliot still uses a "nana" (aka pacifier). I see other parents taking their children's nana's away, giving them to the nana fairy, forcing the issue. We slowly dialed back on where the nana could be used over the last few years. We got rid of it in the car (oh, the week of screaming that caused), daycare got rid of it for naps, grandma "lost" hers. I stopped buying more. We were down to one last nana. One nana that had begun to break apart and crack where he had bitten down on it. I was a little worried he would swallow pieces, and he couldn't suck on it any more because of the crack. He continued to use it and ask for it. Last night he was showing me the crack and telling me it was broken:

Eliot: See Mama? It's got a big crack, it's broken.
Me: Yup. It looks like it might be time to throw that nana away.
Eliot: Why?
Me: Well, it's broken and they don't make nanas for kids your age. You're getting pretty big for nanas and when you're ready you can throw your nana away.
Eliot: Oh.
Me: It's okay, you can do it when you're ready.
Eliot: I'm ready.

And then he gets up to go to the garbage. I kept calling after him saying he didn't have to be ready and then I realized I was crying. I didn't let him throw it in the garbage. We put it up on the dresser in our bedroom just in case. He didn't ask for it. He fell asleep with no problems and slept in this morning.

I don't know if I'm ready.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy First Birthday Malcolm!

Dear Malcolm -

What did we do without you!? You are a ray of sunshine, a bit of laughter. You're funny, you're fun, and you fit so well into our family. It's been a year since you were born, a year since I met your tiny, beautiful, bruised face. A year since another little person has been out in this world carrying my heart with them everywhere they go. Looking back on the pictures and videos I took from the year, I found many from your first few months where I would record 5+ minutes of me just talking and staring at you. Those lazy maternity leave moments between just the two of us of you cooing and me trying to get you to smile. Oh how I miss my tiny newborn Malcolm, but I love the you that is right now. It's all my favorite. You are brave and brazen and ready to do whatever your brother does. You love to run away from me and look back with a big grin on your face to make sure I'm following. You do things you think or know you shouldn't and then look at me with a satisfied smirk, waiting for my reaction. I love watching you figure these things out. You like to cuddle with blankets, you like to jump on the bed (with my help), you like to scale things you shouldn't, and open cupboards and drawers and just explore! You love it when I carry you facing out and we chase Eliot through the house and collapse somewhere all together. I wish I could get that smile on camera, your wispy hair blowing up in the breeze, laughter and pure joy on your face. These are moments I wish I could bottle up forever. You can say "hi," "uh-oh," "dada," and of course, "vroom." You may have said "mama" but you weren't looking at me. Mama's can wait. Your laugh is contagious. I cannot believe how much love I have for you.You're in a needy stage right now. A stage I remember with Eliot at about the same age. A stage where I cannot even put you down to make dinner without you putting your head on the floor and crying in frustration. I hate doing it to you, but dinner must be made. You've started to throw little tantrums sometimes, head on the floor and laid full out, or throwing your head back and screaming. Tantrums are so cute at this age, they won't be in about a year so I'm enjoying it while I can. Not that I delight in your frustration, but I delight in the fact that you have an opinion and that you are developing normally. You are my second son, but you are your own person in every way. I don't know why I expected another Eliot. You are Malcolm, you are your own you, you do things like you and only you can. I love getting to know you more every day. Happy first birthday my little peanut. I look forward to many more.

Music by Devotchka, The Winner Is

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

11 months with Christmas thrown in for good measure


 
Couldn't get these boys to stand still for anything.
 
I will cherish this picture forever. This is what Eliot looked like all night.

 Christmas pajamas!
 

 Nice family...
 That's better. 

Malcolm is walking! He took his first steps this month, then a few days later decided to walk from thing to thing and gets the biggest, proudest smile on his face when he is walking. He is so...unstable! It's so different to have a 3 year old running around to accidentally knock into him this time. They have so much fun together though. Malcolm loves following Eliot around and sometimes Eliot even looks at Malcolm as a playmate, and not just a destroyer of whatever toy he's set up. Although I do call him "baby godzilla" because he does like to destroy whatever he touches. It's not cute if you're 3 and enjoy things like Legos and train tracks and things that are easily destroyed. Sharing is still an issue, and Eliot still gets angry when Malcolm is around sometimes. Eliot told me that he likes when Malcolm is sleeping, because then he can just play. But the day before he was asking if Malcolm could put on his boots and come play out in the snow too.

Malcolm is a good sleeper, loves to eat on his own, and is very busy. He's always exploring something. His latest favorite is the bathroom, where he likes to throw open the cupboards and play with things like a humidifier and tampons. I'm pretty sure he's said Dada and meant it. Pretty sure. But he says Dada a lot, so who knows. For sure his first word was "Vroom." Just like Eliot's. These boys and their cars. He finally got some teeth - 2 are in and 2 more on the way. It's fast and furious around here.
 
Eliot had his first Christmas program at preschool and surprised us all by being the absolute star of the stage. He was funny, he was right in front, and I think he loved the attention. We had multiple parents come up to us and say how funny he was. At one point the kids were singing about sharing, complete with a hand motion showing how to share. Eliot screams out (have I mentioned how loud he is?) "No, mine!" Every time they said "Share." He had the crowd roaring. I asked his teacher if she set that up...nope! He ad-libbed that. I think that was one of my favorite days ever, it reminds me of how surprising parenting can be. It humbles me to think of the talents and needs that my kids have/will have that I feel so unprepared to help them with! Two of the biggest introverts in the world may just have made an extrovert...god help us.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

10 months...counting down to a first birthday here already




 
Malcolm is fully mobile. Malcolm is trouble the way his brother never was. He's curious, he's the reason baby gates and cabinet locks and all those safety implements we never really needed for Eliot were invented. He likes to laugh. If you start laughing at him he'll laugh right back. He's smart - he knows when to get out of the way of the big kids. He gets himself stuck in places. He tries to eat tiny pieces of who knows what on the floor. He insists on eating dinner with us. If someone is eating, he better be eating too. He makes a vrooming noise when he's pushing cars on the floor. He's funny, he's got a great laugh. I am enjoying the heck out of this little guy.

Although I have to say lately Eliot has gotten pretty darn brave.
 
This month I had to wean Malcolm. I'm having some health problems, but this post isn't about me. I nursed Eliot for 19 months. I am an emotional mess about having to wean Malcolm. I miss it. He has adjusted just fine. But babies are traitors. Since Chris has been providing most of his care, Chris is the one he runs to. It's awesome, those two, how much fun they're having. I miss our relationship but it is special to see Chris and Malcolm have such a special relationship. I hope to be better soon and keep up with these kids a bit more.

They're together and fuzzy and just putting up with us for a minute.
I forget about these moments sometimes. Good thing I have a camera.
 
Eliot is doing awesome. He loves preschool, tolerates daycare, and loves his grandma and his cousin Trenton. He can be rough with Malcolm sometimes. He takes toys, pushes, and screams at him. I'm not sure why he's so angry sometimes. We rarely yell in our house, but he's so angry lately. Ah well. I hope for a special relationship between Eliot and Malcolm. Maybe it's too early for them to get  along much, but it's mostly screaming when someone's taken a toy.

Eliot is so excited for Christmas. He really gets it this year. He helped us set up the tree, he's got an advent calendar he talks about all the time and he's really looking forward to presents! He's been having some trouble sleeping alone lately so I've been spending lots of nights in his bed. He's funny - and I think he's a bit of the class clown at school. His teacher is always talking about how funny he is. The other moms say their kids talk about Eliot all the time...Eliot almost never talks about school. Sometimes we hear about one friend, but he's very quiet about school to my dismay.

 
Everything is moving so fast, I'm having trouble keeping up with this blog! I write these posts and never find time to publish them because I haven't added pictures. I need to make more time!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eliot


He sleeps with his yellow construction hat. And a stuffed toy he calls baby jaguar and he still uses a pacifier. He’s almost 3.5 and he’s not potty trained. He’s headstrong and testing limits and can be mean and rude and dear god sometimes I forget that he is still such a baby. Sometimes I’m so hard on him. Sometimes I give him the silent treatment because I don’t want to yell at him. Because I’m angry. Because I want him to know I’m angry. He screams for a while. Repetitive, wants something, doesn’t matter what, just wants to win, just wants me to hear. Then he starts repeating “Be nice to me mama.” I still don’t talk. I can’t. I’m just so angry about the way he acted and angry that I have to be consistent with my punishment because dammit I wanted to go to Target and get a cookie too but he didn’t listen and I took it away and now we can’t go. How old am I? He sleeps with a construction hat and a stuffed toy he calls baby jaguar. He still uses a pacifier. He still wants me to lay with him when he goes to sleep.  He asks me to turn on his turtle light when I leave so it’s not so dark. He’s just a baby. Why do I want to yell at him like an adult? Actually I want to yell at him like I would never yell at an adult. Sometimes I want to be ugly. Sometimes I am ugly. When am I being too hard on him and when do I need to enforce even more? What do I let go? How am I going to let him go? “I like holding hands with you mama. I need a hug.” He’s still my baby. I’m trying so hard to be a good mom. He’s still a baby, but comes incognito as a teenager when I least expect it. But because he still needs to hold onto baby jaguar. Because he still needs to hold onto my hand. I will take more deep breaths tonight and not be ugly. I will hug and hold hands and be patient. I will be creative and find ways to make doing what we need to do fun and possible. I will love the stuffing out of that little boy for the rest of my life and I will not miss even an ugly moment of 3.5 because I won’t get it back.