Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Little Monkey



I love the little moments when the J-bird is playing happily and doesn't know I'm watching. Here, he's "reading" a book he got from my brother and sister-in-law. I love that a) he's singing it and b) he's actually paying enough attention to the pages to recognize when he's got the wrong number of monkeys! All that work on number recognition is paying off! ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday


"So...I get this branch for what now?"



"Ah! I see! I get to wave it around and yell 'Hosanna'? Why can't we do this every week at church?!?!"

Our Small Town Saturday

We love our little town! Yesterday morning, we all went to Maggie's Buns for breakfast. This started out as a Daddy/J-bird thing, but I like to join them sometimes too. The little dude eats something moderately nutritious before we leave so that he can pick whatever he wants out of the bakery case when we get there. Yesterday's choice was a giant brownie. ;) Often, he picks a cookie that has M&Ms on top...and then picks off the candies and leaves the cookie. Weirdo!

We did some chores around the house for the rest of the morning, then went across the street for a birthday party. After that, the three of us went to play at the park for a little bit before J's (and my) nap time. MAN, I'm tired lately!


J was thrilled to try out the "big boy" swing. He adores this "I'm going to be the big brother" shirt from my mom and has worn it almost all the way out. It's stained and getting too small, and he could care less! It's his absolute favorite.






J and Daddy also ran around the bases a few times in the baseball diamond. The shrieks of little boy joy were wonderful. The J-bird had fun too (hardy har har).



Aren't children fun?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just You Wait

I hear this phrase a lot - "just you wait", as in: "You have a nice, clean house now, but just you wait until you have kids!" or, "You're excited to be pregnant, and that's great, but just you wait until you have a screaming baby who's up all night!" or this constant one - "You think he's sweet now, but just you wait until he starts walking...or turns 2...or turns 3...!". Or how about: "Yes, you think he's potty trained now, but just you wait until a sibling comes along!" Then there's: "Oh, you think having children is great, but just you wait until they're teenagers!" And the list goes on, and on, and on...

And the thing is, as much as this irritates me, I get it. Life is full of challenges. Life has many phases. Marriage is work. Raising children is not a cakewalk. The other shoe often drops. Happiness is often preceded or followed by sadness. But why refuse to fly just because you know you'll probably fall? Wouldn't those moments of soaring be worth it? Jimmy never slept as a baby, but I lived. He inevitably started walking and getting into things, and we adapted. He turned two, had his moments, and we dealt with it and had a wonderful time. He's now three, definitely having his moments, and we'll deal and live through those, trying to focus on the good parts. There's a sibling coming in a couple of weeks, which will rock the boat considerably. Someday, my kids will be teenagers. Someday, they'll grow up and leave to have lives of their own. It's all coming, but it will be here in time, and I've decided I'm not going to just wait for any of it. I'm going to ENJOY it. I'm going to LIVE it. I'm going to roll around and luxuriate in it, because it's my life, it only comes around once, and it's the most wonderful, amazing, lucky thing I could have asked for. I am no one special, but I've been hugely, hugely blessed with an amazing, weird, quirky husband who loves me more than the world, a hilarious, sometimes naughty, delightful son who alternately makes me well up with joyful tears and want to tear out my hair in frustration but who fills me up with love and gratitude, and now a precious promise of a baby girl, who will probably refuse to sleep and give me all sorts of trouble and hate my guts as a teenager, etc... etc... etc... but who will complete a spot in our family that has just been waiting for her. I'm not going to cower in dread of any of it, no matter how many dire warnings come my way. I will throw my arms open and welcome it all - joy and pain alike, because that's the kind of life I was too self-absorbed to know to ask for but hit the jackpot and got anyway. I am so thankful, and I don't want to miss a minute just waiting.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I'm Doing Lately


Teaching about taking turns - this is J's new game, which he refers to as "Candy Landy".




Dealing with a naughty, defiant phase (he's supposed to be in time-out)




Teaching about numbers and letters




And how plants grow




Getting ready for Easter, which falls one day before V's due date




Organizing




Installing





Assembling




And waiting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reality And The General Plan

When our precious J-bird was born, it was traumatic. The doctor I had at the time severely mis-managed the whole experience, and, long, long story short, J came to us by c-section. That was disappointing, but more disappointing is that it definitely increased the chances of future babies needing to join us the same way. I'm currently 17 days away from my official due date (!!) of April 5, and if my body does its thing, we'll try to have V the way nature intended. If not, however, we have a c-section scheduled for April 9th. My mom will be here on the 7th, and we have backup, should things start to happen before she gets here. The nursery is completely ready, and I've started packing my bag for the hospital. Our house is, day by day, becoming the cleanest, most organized it has ever been.

All this is to say that no more than three weeks from today, we will have a daughter!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck O' The Irish

"Dear J,
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Because you are such a good boy, we are sharing some of our treasure with you!

From the Leprechauns"

Inside the bag was about 30 cents in pennies. He loves to get coins for his Harleypig!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's A Mystery

I just want to know,


...how it is possible and why it is necessary to wreak this much havoc and mess in a mere hour of play? Every item strewn around this room has been touched and played with this morning. And it will all be touched again when we put it all back in the cupboard. It just makes me tired to look at it ;)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beautiful Baby Shower

My sweet and wonderful across-the-street neighbor and dear friend, Wendee (how's THAT for a title!) gave me an absolutely beautiful baby shower this morning! She themed it around Vivi's nursery, and my friends showed up in force to honor Vivi. I was so deeply touched.







Gretchen (holding Jaimey's new baby, J) and Wendy from DOWN the street - I like friends named Wendy/Wendee!




My next-door neighbor, Marsha.

Pattie.






My friend from high school, Erica.





Jaimey, Darla, and Darla's baby, K.





Shelly, who will have her baby girl in May!




And instead of games, Wendee had her lovely sister-in-law, Anna come to the shower and...




...give massages! She was fantastic - and SO nice!!




I am truly stunned at the number of gifts. When I got it all home and looked at it, I was so moved by the generosity of my friends toward a SECOND baby that I almost cried.







As an added creative touch, Wendee had everyone wrap the gifts in fabric and ribbon and craft supplies. Wasn't that thoughtful? Think of all the hair bows I'll be able to make with all that ribbon (of course, V will most likely be bald as can be until she's a year and a half ;) )




J was not so sure that the gifts weren't actually for him - you know, an extension of his birthday, but...pink?




He liked the piece of cake Wendee brought him the best!!



So, to my sweet and wonderful across-the-street neighbor and dear friend, Wendee - thank you. You are fantastic! And to my friends who made it out to celebrate this little girl who is about to join us, I'm so honored. Thank you, too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Privacy

In general, Jimmy does not respect privacy in our house. He's 3 and doesn't understand why anyone - including guests! - might want to, for instance, use the potty by themselves with the door shut and without a little child patting their knee and solicitously offering to roll out ten feet of toilet tissue for them. (This would be why we warn all our guests to lock the bathroom door!) He's fairly amused by our attempts to introduce him to the concept of staying out when someone is using the restroom, but he's a good-natured kid and will mostly go along. I really don't mind, but in the spirit of teaching, I went into our little downstairs powder room this morning, and I asked him to go play for one minute and shut the door for me (just to see if he would). He cheerfully shut the door, then peeked back in and said,

"Bye bye, Sweetheart! I love you very much!"

Then, off he ran to hide in the toy cupboard. ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Birthday Castle


...from his father...



...that ate Elmo.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Birthday To You, You Live In The Zoo...

Well, we had the pirate party yesterday, but today was the J-bird's actual birthday, so we set out to do some of his very favorite things as a family, starting with a trip to the zoo.

I think that most parents of toddlers find themselves saying this a lot:

"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon! Hurry, hurry, hurry!"

We're grown ups and want to move things along, and I think we (I) forget that our little person is seeing everything from a few feet lower down and for the VERY FIRST TIME. It's so exciting to discover every water pipe sticking out of the wall and each drain in the floor...and it's hard to do that when your grown up is constantly hurrying you along.

So rather than sticking J in a stroller and trying to make him go at our pace, we figured that, today being his day, we'd go at whatever pace he wanted to. It took us at least an hour longer to get through the zoo than we normally take, and we didn't see every animal in residence, but J had an absolute blast, wore himself out completely, and James and I saw aspects of the zoo we'd never have seen through our own, much taller, much more hurried eyes.




J had his binoculars at the ready and was thrilled to get started.





Dad...is that a real squirrel?




Are you sure?




Good morning, squirrel! Today's my birthday!




The zoo here has tons of fun things for kids to do and look at. The J-bird inspected every one, I think.



In the eagle's nest.




Going down a log tunnel.




Fish viewing bubble.




Duckies!



He did get a wee bit tired halfway through. Not impressed with the new lion exhibit...




Though Daddy and I were - it's awesome!




He perked up for the giraffe though!




But he was tired of walking.




So we went for a ride on the train, which thrilled him and gave us all a little break.


After the zoo, we hit one of the J-bird's favorite restaurants, Red Robin. He likes it because of the balloons and because of all the cool stuff on the walls. He and I split a sandwich and some fries...



...and then our waitress came out with some others and sang to him with balloons and an ice cream sundae!




She tied the balloons together and put them under his chin to make...balloon ears!




That's a happy birthday boy!




We parceled the gifts out throughout the day, so he could actually enjoy each one. He got a few DVDs of his favorite shows and an Elmo puppet in the morning, and a couple more DVDs and a book when he got home before his nap.


Then, he completely, utterly and blissfully passed out for almost three hours. I finally had to wake him up. :)



to open his last couple of gifts.




His first Transformer!



I'll show you how to do it, Dad!

He also got an awesome castle, which I need to get some better photos of. It was a wonderful day, a wonderful weekend, and it's been a wonderful, life altering three years with our precious, precious boy. As I was cuddling him in his bed this evening, I sang him a couple of his baby lullabyes and, I'll admit it, a tear or two (or five) slipped down my cheeks. Jimmy, who was cheek to cheek with me at the time, said,

"Mommy, I am not crying."

to which I replied, "I know you're not, sweetheart."

"Then why am I wet?" said he.

Which just made me giggle. I explained to him that Mommies are silly sometimes and have so much love and happiness that it fills us up and spills out our eyes. He answered with his typical, "But HOW?"....and we wrapped it up from there. :) Silly birthday boy!