Friday, November 30, 2007

A Baby's Perspective

One of my friends got this e-mail and shared it with me. It is too good not to pass on! I really hope that Justin doesn't talk with this baby!

Baby's Perspective on Sleep Training
OK, here's my situation -my Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great-I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night).

At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months. Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep – they just don't need it anymore.

So, I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this:
Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.
Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3--every hour. Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights.

Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night.

I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work.

My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with: My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears (I hadn't eaten pears since lunch - what's up with that?) The dog said "woof" (I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.)

Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks. P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, NO milk will come out! Trust me.

Can you spell egg?

I love the conversations that we have with the boys in the car and especially the ones that they have with each other. This is one of the reasons that I opted to not have a DVD player in the car. I would have missed out on this great conversation because my kids would have been staring at a screen like lifeless zombies.

Brian - "Sean can you spell egg?"
Sean - "Yes, p-o-o." - oooh so close
Brian - laughing, "No, that spells poo!"
Sean - laughing harder, "Poo, ha, ha, ha, poo! Like poop!"
Brian - "It is spelled e-g-g."
Sean - "Oh, e-e-g."
Brian - "No Sean. e-g-g."
Sean - "E-e-g-g-e."
Sean - "E-e-e-e-e-g-g-g-g-e-g-e!"
Brian - "No Sean. It is e-g-g."
Sean - "Okay. P-o-o!"
Brian - "Mom Sean is not listening about how to spell egg!"
Me - "If Sean doesn't want to learn then leave him alone."
Brian - "SEAN it is e-g-g!" - why did he even ask me?
Sean - laughing and laughing, "S-f-h-b-v-q!"
Brian - " NO-O-O-O-O!"
Sean - still laughing, "Mom what does s-f-h-b-v-g spell?"
Me - "Um let me think, ss-fuh-buh-vuh-guh."
Sean - roaring with laughter, "I spelled a word!"
Brian - "Mom that is not a word!... is it?"
Me - "Not a real word but sometimes it is fun to make up words."

Now they keep shouting out crazy letter combinations for me to sound out for their new 'words'. Luckily, we were not too far from our destination! If this keeps up we might need our own dictionary!

On the ride home the spelling continued.

Brian - "Mom there are different ways to spell Brian."
Me - "Yes, there are."
Brian - "You can spell it like me or B-r-y-a-n."
Me - "Yes, that is right."
Brian - "Can you spell it B-r-i-a-n-e?"
Me - "No, not really."
Brian - "Well, can I start spelling my name B-r-y-a-n for a change?"
Me - "No. That is not your name."
Brian - "Yes it is. It still spells Brian."
Me - "Yes you are right, but not how we wanted to spell it when we named you."
Brian - "Oh. How about when I am 47?"
Me - "Well, when you are 47 you can spell it how you like."
Brian - completely satisfied, "Okay!"

Secretly, I had to laugh. My Mom is proabably already laughing. I went through a period in high school when I wanted to change the spelling of my name. I told my Mom and Dad that I would be Kym and not Kim and that I would be Kymberleigh and not Kimberly! They were such good sports and played along. They wrote my name on cards, and such, the way that I wanted it to be spelled. I still have an envelope to a card that has Kym on it in my Mom's handwriting! So, wanting a 'Y' in his name was too funny to me. He is my son!

When I was young, I used to babysit a boy named Danny every Wednesday. He went through a time when he wanted to be called Snowball and that is all that he would answer too. At that age, I thought that it was so crazy. Now I am finding that it is pretty normal. Well, whatever normal is anyway!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What a great banana!

Sean - handing me a banana, "Mom can you peel this for me?"
Me - "What do you say?"
Sean,- "Please Mom, I love you!" (I have trained him well, pat myself on back)
Me - "Sure, buddy."
Sean - as he inspects the banana I hand him, "What a great banana!"

He is referring to the banana as 'great' because it is free from brown spots and strings. My kids won't eat bananas with brown spots! On the peel or on the actual banana. They like to look at the banana and hold their throats and make choking sounds. They act like spotted bananas are poison. If they only knew that food can be so much worse than spotted bananas!

I cannot begin to count how many bananas I have eaten for them. If my peeling reveals a hidden brown spot, they hand them right over to me. It is like returning damaged and defective goods to the store. I wish I could slap a red sticker on them and ship them off for a full refund! I wonder if I can get a recall on brown spotted bananas?

Sometimes I can hide them. I turn the banana so that the brown spot faces out when I hand it to them. Or I tell them I will give them a dollar to eat it as fast as they can - this way they don't have time to notice the brown spots! If the spot is close to one of the ends, I just break the banana off.

As they get older, though, they are catching on to my sneaky ways. Brian and Sean will now rotate their arms around in freakish ways just to get a look at the back side of the banana. I think that their wrists are part barn owl. But they have not won yet - I am still smarter. Well, sometimes.

My trick is to take a perfect banana and act like I am trying to hide a brown spot. Then when they twist their arms and hands around in every conceivable way, there is nothing there! I figure that if they check, and find nothing often enough, that they will go back to not checking. Maybe, just maybe.

I have to say that I can't really blame them, I don't like spots on my bananas either - nor do I like spots on the outside. I like bananas barely ripe- even with a little green still on the peel. I think the spotty ones are only good for banana bread or muffins - or maybe for baby food!

Did you ever notice that baby food bananas really taste nothing like bananas? But, yet, there they are, listed on the ingredients - fully ripened bananas, citric acid and ascorbic acid. And there is a picture of bananas on the front. So it must be bananas. But the bananas on the front have no spots. Doesn't 'fully ripened' mean the ones with spots? I guess old brown spotted bananas pictured on the front wouldn't sell much baby food. But it would explain how it tastes!

I told Sean " On a banana, the brown spots are bruises - like you get on your legs from falling down." He asked, "How do bananas get bruises if they can't run?" Hmmm Let me count the ways. I told him, "Bananas get bruises when you throw them into the cart, when you put a two liter of soda on top of them, when you step on them while trying to be first out of the car, when they get flung across the kitchen because you are mad, when you use them as a ramp for cars, when you hide them behind furniture, or when you pretend they are laser guns!" He smiled and seemed satisfied with that answer. He then said, "Well. I'm still not eating them!"

My kids also don't eat bananas with the 'strings' still on them either. I am not sure if their is a technical term for banana strings. There probably is, but for now I will go with string. They scrunch up their faces and point to the pieces hanging from the banana. Eeeek! It's a boogie. It's a bug. No, it's a banana string!

They inspect the bananas closely and make me peel off every last one. I am surprised that they haven't broken out their magnifying glasses! Again, guilty here because I do that for the ones I eat too! Maybe I should just stop buying bananas. Or tell them that if they don't eat the ones with the spots that I wont buy anymore. Maybe I will have to save that for later if the 'pretend there is a brown spot' conditioning doesn't pay off...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Smurf Baby

Justin was playing on the floor and when he rolled over we noticed that he had a blue spot on his head. I did what any mom would do. I went over to him and wiped some off with my finger. I rubbed my fingers together to feel its consistency. Then to getter a better clue as to what it was - I of course had to smell it. It was blue, after all so I wasn't too afraid of a bad smell. I was guessing blueberry? To my surprise it wasn't sticky or greasy and it had no smell at all.

I had no idea what it was. I looked around on the rug and soon found lots of little blue spots On the rug. There were about ten total. I quickly cleaned them up so that no one else got dyed blue. I got the baby cleaned up and went to search for clues. I checked every one's shoes and socks - nothing there. I looked under the couches and cushions - nothing but a stray fruit snack and matchbox car. Much better than I expected there! I looked ont he tables for markers or pens - none. I searched the boys' room and even under their beds in case they tried to conceal evidence - nothing found.

This happened about a week ago, and we still haven't found out what it was. I was saving the post to show off my detective skills and tell you that I had finally cracked the case. But, the truth is that the case remains unsolved - for now! I know I will have one of those "oh that's what happened or that's where that went" moments in a few months - or years! From the color my bets are on some kind of marker - but for now it is only speculation. I don't have enough evidence to hold anyone....

Justin with a blue head

two of the spots
another spot with a wipe to show the color

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Santa the Crook

Brian had two friends over after school today - Jerry and Zach! The boys were all so excited to have a group play date. I have to say they were absolutely wonderful and there was not one fight or even a disagreement! They played outside almost the whole time and when it started to get dark, I called them in. There was about twenty minutes left until pick-up time and the guys were talking about Santa.

It started with Jerry asking, "What do you guys have on your Christmas lists?" Brian said, "MP3 player, cell phone - a real one, video games." Zach said, "I want a credit card, a driver's license and one for my sister." Jerry said, "I want some Game Boy games, and a lifetime supply of chocolate!" They all agreed that chocolate and credit cards were great choices!

Then they started to swap stories about how each had snuck out of their rooms on Christmas Eve and saw Santa! Zach was the first to say,"I woke up and very, very quietly went on the steps and saw Santa!" Brian said, "What did he look like?" Zach replied, "Um, Santa. You know with a white beard." Brian said, "Yeah, I looked out my window and saw the reindeer - even Rudolph, he is real." Jerry asked, "Did you see Dipson too?" Brian and Zach looked at him puzzled. I had to jump in and save Jerry. I said, "Jerry, I think you mean Blitzen." He said, "Okay Blitzen." Brian said, "Yup, I saw them all."Then things got a little strange. I asked, "How does Santa fit all the toys into his sleigh?" There was a general consensus about a "big magic bag that can even hold a house."

Brian then said, "Do you know where Santa gets all of his toys?" He waited for a response and then said, "He steals them!" Zach said, "I know - from Toys R Us. Because Santa has no money." Jerry said, "Yup, either that or he makes them." Brian said, "I want a real Eagles game football." Jerry said, "Well, Santa can't steal that from Toys R Us! He will have to steal it from a quarterback!"

By this time I was about to be rolling on the floor laughing my butt off! Then when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did! I asked them how big they thought an elf was. Brian said, "Oh about the size of a baby like Justin." Zach said, "Yeah - but the elf can build toys better than a baby!" Jerry said, "I think elves are about Sean's size." And then he went over and measured Sean against himself as to check his answer! I said, "Ooooh Sean you can be an elf for Halloween next year." The boys all said they wanted to be real elves so they could visit Santa and make themselves whatever toys they wanted.

Then, Brian said, "I want to be Santa for Halloween! Sean can be a reindeer and Justin an elf!" He looked at me and said, "Mom what will you be?" I said, "Mrs. Claus." They all laughed. Then I said, "No, I will be Santa's Mom." Jerry started to laugh and said, "Santa doesn't have a mom. I have never seen her in any book. Santa made himself, so he doesn't have a mom." Wow Santa is even more magical than once thought!

Next, I asked them, "Does Santa have any kids?" They all replied, "NO!" I asked why and Brian said, "Because then he would have no time to make toys, his kids would always want him to play!" So true, so true! I love kids at this age. I was so sad when Brian started growing up. But as much as I miss him being a chubby little baby, I like finding out who he is and what he is thinking even more!"

UD Polar Bear

Brian's school is decorating the school in a winter theme this year. Each student brought hom something to color or cut out or make. Brian brought home a polar bear on white paper and the directions said to color it and cut it out and then return it to school. He looked at the paper and then looked at me and said, "Mom polar bears are white, and this one is already white." I said, "I know - use some imagination and color it however you want." He smiled and looked at his box of crayons to choose a color. I went to the kitchen to see about dinner.

When I returned, the polar bear was now dyed blue and yellow like the University of Delaware. It had a UD tattoo on it's rear end! I told Brian what a great job he did. Then Brian Sr. came over to take a look. He loved it and told Brian that it was missing a football. Brian thought that this was a great idea and added a football! I thought it was really creative of him!

Move over YouDee Blue Hen!


Monday, November 26, 2007

The Naked Breakfast!

Here is Sean enjoying his breakfast. He has a bowl of raisin oatmeal - with extra raisins added! He is reading one of our favorite books, The Great Fuzz Frenzy, by Janet Stevens . If you have kids, or even a nephew or niece, I recommend buying it! It is about prairie dogs and what happens when a tennis ball falls into their burrow! The boys have been hearing it for years and they still ask for it and laugh out loud!

Also, in case you didn't notice, he is naked! Like I said, he will use any opportunity to take his clothes off. He took off his pjs and before getting dressed, he decided to eat in the buff! He did sit on Blankie because the chair was cold on his bottom! He is going to really love this picture one day! I downloaded a free trial version of Adobe Photo Shop and was able to, um, let's just say, get rid of some of him that would have not beeen suitable on a public blog! The Photo Shop is amazing - I might ask for the real version for Christmas!



Sean doing what he does best -
being himself!



Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ligers and Tigons

I saw something about a Liger on TV the other night. I wasn't familiar with the word, so I glanced up at the TV from my book. It seems that a Liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. So, I Googled it and found information on Wikipedia. You can also have a Tigon which is a male tiger and a female lion, but today it is not as common. A female liger is called a ligeress. I never knew such a thing existed! Apparently, documentation of a liger dates back to the 19th century!

liger

tigon

Ligers, both male and female, are almost always bigger than adult lions. One male ligor was said to weigh over 900 lbs which is about double of what a male lion would weigh! Male ligors and tigons are sterile but females, are fertile! So, a liger and tigon cannot reproduce. Tigons do not get as big and are usually about the size of their parents. Also, male tigons do not get a full mane but may have a little scruff.

Ligers have a tiger-like striping pattern on a light brown lion-colored background. They can also have some spots like baby lions have. But most of the markings depend on the markings of the parents. White tigers and white lions can produce very light or white ligers. White tigers and lions are a result of genetics and most often occur with inbreeding between parents and cubs.


white tiger

A female tigon that is mated with a male lion is called a li-tigon and is very large like a liger. There can also be a ti-tigon which results from a female tigon and a male tiger; it is like a light colored tigon. So, I guess li-liger and ti-liger too!

Then I went down to the bottom of the page on Wikipedia and found other hybrid animals. The cross between a female leopard and a male jaguar is called a jagupard, a jagulep, or a jagleop. The offspring of a female jaguar and a male leopard is called a leguar or a lepjag. Again only the female hybrids are fertile and when one mates with a male lion you get a lijagulep.

There is also the jaglion or jaguon which is the mating of a male jagaur and a female lion. A liguar is the offspring of a male lion and a female juguar and more common than jaglions/jaguons. I find it interesting that there are no successful matings of a male jaguar and a female tiger or a female tiger and male jaguar. A male leopard and a female lion make a leopon, which is very rare. A reverse leopon is sometimes called a liard or lipard and is a male lion and a female leopard.

A male leopard and a female tiger is called a dogla - I really don't understand this one! A tigard is the offspring of a male tiger and a female leopard - all know such mating have produced stillborns. A pumapard is a hybrid of male puma and female leopard or a female puma and a male leopard.

The you have other animal hybrids - a mule is from a male donkey and a female horse, and is usually infertile. A hinny is less common and the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse. There has also been cross breeding of zebras to get zorses or zonkeys. A wholphin is the result of the cross breading of a whale and a dolphin. A yak and a cow produce a yakow.

wholphin


I just think stuff like this is so neat - I guess it is the biology background in me. I did know about the mule being from a horse and a donkey - but the rest are just fascinating to me! I searched for some photos of some other of these animals but came up short! Enjoy - and maybe you too learned something new today! I guess I should have know breeding of different big cats was possible - just look at the growing number of labradoodles and borderjacks and cockapoos and don't forget the maltipoo! Our dog is really a cross breed too - but of unknown origin - so he is a mutt!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Arg!

Brian and Sean went to a birthday party today. There was a pirate theme and they handed out eye patches and hats and even gave the kids their own pirate names! It was at an indoor play place that had an ocean theme. They boys had so much fun and another good thing is that they expended a lot of energy!

When we got home, the boys were ready to get their pjs on. Sean took off all of his clothes and went upstairs to get his pjs. He came walking back down with his pjs in his hand and said, "Shiver me timbers!" I guess he was cold and caught up in the whole pirate theme! We laughed and laughed!

Then, they boys got out their Peter Pan and Captain Hook swords, their pirate maps and even some gold coins and a bandanna! Are you catching a theme yet? What ever is going on that day is what the boys get totally involved in! Baseball, football, parties, holidays - you name it and they will try to play it!

Which is great, don't get me wrong, but also annoying at times. Brian, especially, has to have everything as authentic and real to life as possible. And when he can't have everything just right, he gets mad. Sean seems to go with the flow more and can be a pirate in an army outfit. He will just say he is a pirate army guy and improvise! All of these costumes also make a lot of wash - but there is also no shortage of imagination around here!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

When Thanksgiving draws near I obviously think about the great turkey dinner we will have and I take time to give thanks for my family and friends. But I also cannot wait until Thursday morning when the newspaper comes with the sale ads for Black Friday! I go through the ads and write down each store that I want to go to, what I want to get from each store, and the hours that the stores are open! I go to the stores and don't really shop. I get what I came for and I get in line!

Best Buy had a Sony laptop for $399 that usually sells for about $750! I really wanted to get that! So, after we had finished dinner, I sent Brian out to drive by and see how many people were in line. He came back and said that there were almost 100 people in line already with tents and everything! Wow! My chances of getting that computer were not even slim- they were just none! I saw on the news at 11pm that there were people camped out at Best Buy stores all over the area. At 11pm the first few people in line had been there about 18-20 hours already! Yikes!

So, I gave up on my laptop deal and concentrated on the other stores. Almost all the stores had long lines and many were in search of the Wii gaming system. I am glad that my kids aren't old enough to want the latest gaming system yet. But I guess there will come a time when I can no longer shop at Toys R Us for Christmas! Luckily, where we live Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods are right next to each other - one stop shopping for all four of my boys!

This year Kohls was opening at 4 am! Yes, I set my alarm clock for 3:30 am and I was at Kohls by 4am! Then, I went to stand in line at Toys R US which opened at 5 am. When I was finished there, I made it to Walmart which also opened at 5 am! Next on my list was Target and it opened at 6am - I was there by about 6:15. My last stop was at the mall which opened at 6 am! Then I was home by 7:30 to nurse Justin when he woke up! So from 4 am to 7:30 am I got just about all of my Christmas shopping finished! I did run out a little in the afternoon too!

I love shopping and Black Friday is a great excuse to shop all day - and get good deals too! I was lucky enough to get everything on my list! I really don't mind the lines and all the people. I love the spirit of the season and the holiday music blaring through the store's speakers! I have been going out on Black Friday for about the past twenty years or so. It first started with me joining my Mom and then as I got older, I went out on my own. I have even shopped early in the morning and then gone right to work by 9 am!

One of my favorite things about Black Friday, besides the good deals, are the first timers. I love looking at the shock on their faces when they see all the people. Or when they show up to a store that opens at 6am and expect to walk right in. They get such angry glares from people who point them to the back of line - that line that stretches through the parking lot! I would hate to see what happened to someone who tried to butt in line! Then the best look of shock and horror comes when they see the line to checkout which begins all the way at the back of the store! Happy Shopping!

Army Guy and a Pedwecker

The boys were so excited to see the soldiers yesterday, that they wanted to play army today. They were both dressed in all gray and brown and had Power Ranger Swords for weapons. They kept diving into the house through the back door like they were taking cover. I think that they spent most of the day dressed up!

Brian found a brown camouflage GAP hat and was wearing it. Brian and Sean came over to me and Sean said, "Mom we are real army guys, look at Brian's hat!" I looked at Brian's hat and said, "Yes, I see. You do look like real army guys." Then Sean said, "See Mom, G-A-P spells army guy!" Brian took off his hat and looked at it, he said, "No, G-A-P spells GAP, Sean!" I said, Brian is right it spells GAP." Sean didn't want to hear it and over and over he said G-A-P army guy!" We both gave up.

Then later, Sean got out a book that we use to identify birds. He found a picture of an eagle and was excited because he likes the Philadelphia Eagles. The he found a picture of another bird and got excited again. He said, "Brian look! It's a pedwecker!" Brian just looked at him like he was crazy. I asked, "Sean let me see the picture." He showed it too me and I then knew what he was saying. I said, "Sean it is a woodpecker. He said, "Yeah a pedwecker." Again I gave up!

Then we watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. They boys really liked it and laughed the most at Snoopy and Woodstock! Then when they were served dinner, Sean says, "Do you remember when we ate turkey?" I just looked at him. I said, "Sean we only ate about an hour ago, of course I remember." I expected some smart remark about all the things that i do forget but thankfully go no reminder of my short term memory loss. Long term memory though, not a problem - my gym locker combination from high school - 12-18-0. See I still have some brain cells left! And my regular locker I had to think about for a minute but it came to me, 36-18-5! I am on a roll, better stop while I am ahead!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is how our Thanksgiving started off :
I was in the kitchen preparing the turkey to go in the oven and Sean walks in.
Sean -while pointing with a scrunched up face, "What is that thing?"
Me - "It's the turkey for today."
Sean - "Well, I'm not eating that!"
Apparently he doesn't recognize turkey unless it is walking around on a farm or cut up neatly on his plate!

After I got he turkey safely into the oven, we went to a local hotel. The hotel was sponsoring a group of Army National Guard Soldiers that were preparing to be deployed. They were from Connecticut and Ohio and were far from home. The hotel was having a big turkey dinner for them and volunteers even included a few local sports celebrities. We gathered with a large group of people to wave flags and show support for the soldiers.

It was a really amazing sight. The soldiers were totally surprised. There were tears of appreciation on more that one of the soldiers and most were shaking hands and even giving the little kids high-fives. There was a fire truck with a huge American flag waving form it's extended ladder. There were many different kinds of people and of all ages. It was very emotional and the tears of the soldiers were contagious.

I think it was a good experience for the boys and they seemed to enjoy themselves. Brian looked up in amazement at the soldiers. I was talking with another mom, who also happens to have three young boys. We were talking about how we want our kids to appreciate and support our soldiers, but we feel bad because we don't want it for our own kids. I really cannot imagine what the parents and loved ones of these brave men and women are going though right now.

Sean waving his flag

Brian with his flag

Sean
Brian watching the soldiers
really taking it all in


Next, the big boys went with Brian Sr. to our high school's football game. They saw many of their cousins and even had a football game of their own. Our team won the game! I guess some people don't know that Brian and I graduated together from high school but were just friends then. After we got married, we bought a house in the same town each of us grew up in. His parents live less than a mile away and my Mom lives a little over a mile away. It is nice for holidays - no fighting about whose side of the family to see - we can do both all the time!

We had a very nice dinner that started a little late - but that always seems to happen when I cook a big meal. My Mom came over and helped too! For dessert, I made apple pie and tried a new pumpkin mousse pie! I used to think that apple pie was my favorite, but this pumpkin mousse blew me away! I might have to share the recipe...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Covered in Shoes

Me - "Sean why is the front door open?"
Sean - "I wanted to go out front."
Me - "Did you tell anyone you were going outside?"
Sean - "Nope."
Me - "You cannot go outside unless you tell Mommy or Daddy."
Sean - "Okay."
(can you tell he was watchign TV while I was talking to him?)
Me - turning off TV, "Why were you outside?"
Sean - "I needed to put the sign out front."
Me - "What sign?"
Sean - "You know the sign that's yellow with the stop sign for cars."
(we have one of those "Slow, Kids Playing" signs)
Me - "It is still wet out from the rain last night. Did you get you socks wet?"
Sean - "No, they're dry."
Me - "Did you take them off and then put them back on?"
Sean - "No, they were covered in shoes. Then I took the shoes off!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Belly Button Coughs

You may ask yourself what do coughing and your belly button have in common? If you are Sean, then they have a lot to do with one another. He has this thing lately about wanting to be naked all the time. He will wear underwear and sometimes socks but he doesn't want to be bothered by the rest of it. He only does this at home and luckily doesn't fight me when we go out or when he goes to school!

So, it was about 45 degrees out and chilly in the house too. I walk into the living room and see that he has taken off his shirt yet again. I tell him to put it back on because he will get cold. I even try to bargain with him and say he can wear a t-shirt instead of a long sleeved shirt. No dice. His response was, "I can't have anything covering my belly button." I say, "Why is that Sean?" He says, "Because it makes me cough." What can I say? This kid just pulls things out of no where.

So, as you might of guessed, I help him put his shirt on. Well, maybe help isn't the right word. I wrestle with him and try to pull the shirt down over his big head. All the while he kicks and screams and tries to pull the shirt back off. Dressing a kid that wants to be naked should really be an Olympic sport, or at least involve some specialized training. It can be on right after getting a toddler buckled into a car seat against his will and diapering a one-year old! Ooooh and my favorite would be cleaning up a diaper blowout!

Okay, so his shirt is on but socks are now off. I can't win it all in one day! He looks at me and is very angry that I made him put a shirt on. He is making eye contact with me and wearing his the meanest face he can muster up. Then he gets a smirk. You know that "I am trying so hard to be mad at you and now I am going to do something to show you how mad I am" smirk. Sean then coughs and coughs and coughs. I have to turn away from him because I cannot keep the laughter from escaping. You know the "oh my gosh you are so darn cute and so darn funny and so-o-o bad" laugh!

He says, "See Mom, when my belly button is covered I have to cough." I looked at him with a smile and he smiled a cute little smile right back at me. He knew that I knew he was lying, so he was going to bat his lashes and smile his heart out. I say, If you have a bad cough, I should call the doctor and get you an appointment." He asks, "Will I get a shot?" I don't want to totally lie so I say, "Hmmm. I am not really sure, but maybe. I don't know how serious belly-button-covered-coughs are." He looks at me with a fear in his eyes. I stare back at him with victory in my eyes. And what do you know - the coughing stopped!

I know, I know so mean to use the doctor, but hey it worked. Another score for Mom! I am still way behind but I will take every point I can get.

"Be All That You Can Be!"

Justin has officially made purposeful forward movement on his belly - otherwise known as the army crawl! He was so proud of himself! He was really close to doing it yesterday but not quite getting it. Justin was on the floor playing and Brian and Sean were playing a board game. Or bored game depending on how many times you have been forced to play Candyland!. He was about two feet away from them and all of a sudden he was right there grabbing the game board.

Beware Legos, game pieces, food, dog toys and everything else on the floor! Justin is now on the move! I was so proud of him and it made my eyes tear up. It is so happy and so sad at the same time to watch them grow up. Brian and Sean were about nine months before they started crawling up on all fours - I bet he will beat them by months since he isn't even seven months old yet! Go Justin!


eyes on the prize
almost got it
yeah Justin
Did you see me, Dad?

video

Monday, November 19, 2007

Daddy Does a Diaper!

Now Brian has proof that he changed at least one diaper! It is getting more and more difficult to change Justin - he doesn't want to be held still - he tries to roll over and kicks his legs like crazy! Justin can be screaming at the top of his lungs but if you lay him down and take his diaper off, he is all smiles!


Distraction

Justin was playing in his exersaucer and started to get upset. He want out and it started with some yelling and showing the "boo-boo" lip. Which is so darn cute! The he started to really yell and cry. Brian got up and put a football on his tray! And what to you know - instant fix. No more crying. He banged on and looked at the football for maybe five more minutes before he got upset again.

It is amazing how little kids can be so easily distracted by new things. He has such a short attention span but if you change things up often enough, he is happy for a long time. He gets rotated through being held, the play gym, the swing, the exersaucer, the jump-up etc. The boy has a fuller schedule than I do!

boo-boo lip
really mad
oh, what is this?

Two Dogs and A Hippo

This morning started off with me tripping over a whole huge box of Honeycomb. My kids love to eat cereal right out of the box. I figure it saves on washing dishes and milk! Most of the box spilled out onto the floor and the dog raced for the spilled cereal like his life depended on it. It is funny how he goes crazy for the littlest crumb. Brian and I have moved furniture for him because he paws and whines at, only to discover one lonely Cheerio! We laugh at all he goes through to get one little scrap! And it's not like he doesn't get fed every night and then tons of table food too!

Well, today the boys decided to join him in cleaning up the mess. Brian crawls over to the spilled cereal and calls for Sean, "Hey Sean, let's be dogs like Roc!" And of course Sean says, "I want to be a hippo!" So, he crawls over with Brian and they begin to lick cereal up off the floor. I laugh a and in my mind I try to remember the last time the floor was vacuumed. Oh well, a little dirt will never hurt them! I timed them - they got it all up within the five second rule time allotment! So, no worries! Maybe Santa should bring collars and leashes and food bowls!

The funny thing is, I remember playing dog with my brother. My Mom used to put out bowls of water in he kitchen and we would crawl around and drink the water. We would brush up against her legs and want to be scratched behind the ears. Man kids are weird! Can you imagine going into the office crawling and rubbing up against your fellow coworkers. I think the men in the van with the white jackets would soon be called! But when kids do it, you take pictures and put them on your blog!

Roc was first on the scene

Brian and Sean get there nextBrian Dogbig bites!Sean Hippo

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Foohy to Phooey!

Since I cannot spell, I Googled Fooey when I was looking for Foohy the other day. I came up with things for Phooey too. And you'll never guess what I found! Hong Kong Phooey! If you were a kid in the early 70's then you know who I am talking about! He was a janitor that ran into a closet and changed into a villian fighting super hero with some crazy karate moves!





When this carton was on, it was so different from today. There were not cartoons on 24 hours a day - and let alone 30 channels to watch them on. Now there is Nickeloedon, Nick Toons, Nickelodeon 2, GAS, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network etc. I don't think the major networks even play cartoons all day on Saturday anymore. We only had Saturday mornings, PBS and maybe and after school special or two! Maybe that is why we played outside so much more than kids do today. Although I have to say, my kids spend a lot of time outside. And when they don't want to go outside, I send them out anyway. I think fresh air is good for them, and so is time away for me. They sometimes protest but quickly find something to do and forget that they even wanted to watch TV.

I was trying to think of some other shows from my youth. Scooby-Doo. Tom and Jerry. The Great Space Coaster. Captain Kangaroo. The Electric Comapny. The New Zoo Review. Smurfs. Gummi Bears. Fat Albert. Looney Toons. The Muppets. Land of the Lost. Woody Woodpecker. Heckle and Jeckle. Mighty Mouse. Sigmund the Sea Monster. Josie and the Pussycats. The Monkees. The Jetsons. H.R. Pufnstuf. The Pink Panther. Mr. Magoo. Space Ghost. Casper the Friendly Ghost. Super Friends. He-Man. Popeye. Romper Room. Maggila Gorilla. The Great Grape Ape. Lassie. Little House on the Prarie. Johnny Quest. Brady Bunch. Dastardly and Muttly. Dudley Do Right. Yogi Bear. Flinstones. Gilligan's Island. Gumby. Huckleberry Hound. Growing Pains. Our Gang. Lone Ranger. M*A*S*H*. The Munsters. Punky Brewster. Rocky and Bullwinkle. The Three Stooges. The Banana Splits. Greatest American Hero. The Mighty Heroes. Speed Buggy. Jabberjaw. Pac-Man. Speed Racer. Super Chicken. Wonder Woman. Six Million Dollar Man. Batman. The Hulk. Babar. Snaggle Puss. Webster. My Two Dads. Head of the Class. Small Wonder. Just the Ten of Us. Eight is Enough. Mr. Belvedere. Love Boat. Underdog. Perfect Strangers. Blossom. The Partridge Family. Good Times. The Facts of Life. Different Strokes. Mork and Mindy. Fantasy Island. Bosom Buddies. CHIPS. One Day at A Time. Alice. Happy Days. Laverne and Shirley. Magnum P.I. Night Rider. MacGyver. The A Team. Family Affair. Dennis the Mennis. That's Incredible. Ultra Man. Captain Cave Man. Let's Make a Deal. Harry and the Hendersons. Alf. Leave It To Beaver. I Love Lucy.

I searched on YouTube for the links! I cannot believe so many were on there - some I couldn't find the theme songs for - but I did the best I could! It brought back some memories and also helped me to think of some of the shows. No, I did not come up with all of them off the top of my head! Can you think of any more? I know there are more - I just thought of them now - no time to look for more links! - Rin Tin Tin, Benson...

I remember TV before the remote control! We had to turn a dial and then when you needed a channel after 12 you had to put it on the "U" and then turn the lower dial to get upper channels. My brother and I used to fight over shows and once we broke the dial off the TV! Then we had a cable box. It was a big box attached to the TV by a long cord. Ours could reach to the couch but we got in trouble for stretching it across the room! It had a long row of buttons and then a dial to switch between three levels to change the row of buttons!

Our digital cable has come a long way - we can now stop, rewind and pause live television. There are more channels than we could ever watch. I think Brian and Sean would think that I was crazy if I described the TVs I used to watch! And just think if they realized that movies were not available to buy two or three months after they were in the theatre! Can you imagine coming home after going to see a movie and telling the kids that you don't know when you will see it next? I can just hear the crying fits now! But, when I was a kid it didn't cost $75 for a family to go to the movies, so I guess we went to see it again!

It was such a special occasion as a kid when The Wizard of Oz,Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or The Sound of Music came on TV. We all got comfy as a family and made popcorn - it was a big event! Then there were the holiday specials - Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Peter Cottontail and don't forget Baby New Year!. Now kids can rent them, buy them, and order them On Demand! They watch a movie for a few minutes and then come back to it days later - our DVD player even saves from the last spot. So, they can put the DVD back in and watch it from the exact spot they left off days before! They don't know how good they have it - of course I bet my parents said the same thing!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some Sean Sayings

While eating his favorite Sloppy Joes dinner which Brian doesn't like:
Sean - "Brian just try it again, you will like it!"
Brian - "I don't like Sloppy Joes."
Sean - "That's okay, more for me and Daddy!"

While watching a football game:
Sean - "I don't want the "V" team to win."
Brian Sr. - "No we want Delaware to win."
Sean - "Yeah, I hope the fence team wins."
Brian Sr. "I hope they do well too - but it it defense."
Sean - "Nope. On TV I saw a fence that the people wanted
to win. And it had a "D" on it for Delaware."
Brian Sr. - knowing he will not win - "Okay Sean!"

Dressing up in Eagles uniforms to go outside and play:
Brian - "Sean I am Brian Westbrook and you are Brian Dawkins."
Sean - "Yeah, I am Sponge Bob Brian Dawkins!"
Brian - "Sponge Bob doesn't play football for the Eagles."
Sean - "No, but Sponge Bob Brian Dawkins does!"
Brian - just looked at him and walked away, he has learned when to give up too

Friday, November 16, 2007

Foohy Gum

Today, I was actually cleaning and the downstairs was to the point where I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone knocked on the front door. I say was because it was this way for about ten minutes and twenty-eight seconds. I know this, because this was the amount of time before the boys came in from playing out front. It is amazing how long it takes them to clean up but it is only a matter of seconds before they can rival any tornado.

Funny how life works that way with things. So hard to lose weight and so easy to gain it. (for most people anyway!) So hard for kids to listen and so easy for them to misbehave. So easy to cook and so hard to clean up. So easy to go out partying and so hard to get up the next morning. It seems like the fun things are hard and they not so fun things are easy. Life just isn't fair sometimes.

That is why straightening up the house drives me crazy. If I start upstairs, then the downstairs is a mess. Then I finish the downstairs and the kids have either retreated to the upstairs or to the basement and now one of them is a mess. So, I move to the basement and now the upstairs is a mess again! It is a never ending circle. The only time my whole house is clean is when all the boys and and the dog are gone all day! I love my clean house - but then I miss the boys - I can't win!

Okay, there I go again - just typing in completely the other direction! So where was I. Okay - I was cleaning. And what do I find? I have to add it was in the same place as the old banana that I found behind the TV cabinet. So Sean, I mean someone, has found a hiding spot. This time I found a big wad of gum with a Foohy stuck in it. What the heck is a Foohy? If you have school aged kids, I think you might just know.


Foohy Gum


Foohy is technically a brand name - they make erasers and markers and some other school supplies. These Foohy pencil topper erasers come in a pack of ten or pack of two large ones sell for about a dollar. My kids go crazy for the monkey head ones. There are also zoo ones and regular shaped pencil toppers that have fruity sents.

But the funny thing is, the teachers have banned these from the schools. The kids fight over them, and trade them, and throw them, and get mad if they don't have them! So, your kid begs you for these while shopping for school supplies, you give in since it is only a dollar and will keep them quiet for the remainder of the time in the store, and then they cannot use them at school after all!

a Foohy Family


I remember when we were back-to-school shopping for Brian. He said, "I need Foohys and you get them at Staplers." I had no idea what a Foohy was and thought Staplers was probably the office supply store, Staples. But no, he insisted that it was Staplers! When we got to the store I asked a clerk about Foohys. It was an older gentleman and he looked at me like I had two heads. I was thinking to myself that maybe there was a store called Staplers and I was just out of the loop. I then found a younger clerk and he knew exactly what I was talking about. They took us right to a big bin of them! Woo-hoo! Foohys!


our Foohy Collection


My post was supposed to be about a hidden wad of gum, and now it is about Foohys! Oh well, such is life. Well, my life anyway!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rub, a Dub, Dub...

...three boys in a tub! Justin just loves taking a bath with Brian and Sean - although the tub is getting a little crowded! He kicks and splashes and tries to eat bubbles. The older boys thought it was funny to put bubbles on his head. At first it was cute, and then there were too many bubbles and they slid right down over Justin's face. He got upset and started thrashing around - I think if he could talk he would have said, "Who turned out the lights?"

Brian and Sean thought his was very funny and they kept trying to put more and more bubbles on his head. I guess when you are an older brother that it is funny to see your younger brother tortured. Luckily, Justin had me there to rescue him! He has no choice but to be tough with two older brothers. I am sure this won't be the last time that they do something crazy to him and laugh! Note to self - hide razor, crazy glue, hammer, and duct tape.

I know it won't be long before they tell him to do stuff - "Justin, go get us the cookies form in the kitchen. And don't get caught!" or "Go clean my room and I won't beat you up today!" Brian Sr. says all of this is normal - I only had one brother and we never wrestled and fought like Brian and Sean do. But Brian Sr. had five brothers - and they were all older. So, I guess he is pretty much an expert on being a younger brother.

I seem to remember something about hanging him from the bunk bed by his underwear and always making him the hockey goalie - his pads were couch cushions secured with a belt! Yikes! I don't even want to know the trouble they will find together when they are older. But I still say that it has to be better than my grocery bill will be!

Below is a picture of Brian that I have labeled "scary." I really had to laugh when I saw this picture - it is the exact crazed lunatic face that our dog makes when he is eating a good snack. He gets that psycho "show the whites of your eyes" look when he is trying to get the last drop of milk out of a glass or is licking the empty ice cream carton. So, is Brian starting to look like our dog? Do owners really start to resemble their dogs? Brian thinks he looks like Dracula - I say not enough teeth!

Sean laughing at Brian
boys in the tub
Brian relaxing
Did Santa come early?
studying the bubbles
a little taste with a bubbly wig
uh-oh! Where is Justin?
scary
Sean strikes a pose

Santa, the Bunny, and the Fairy

Brian's tooth fell out today while he was on the playground after school! He said he was just running in the mulch and it fell out. Luckily he caught it, because I cannot imagine searching for a tiny tooth in a playground full of mulch and kids! Well the searching might be okay - it's the tears that would get to me. But it would be a good "I told you so!" If he had just let me or his Dad pull it out - he would have it safe at home and probably have the money in his pocket. I know that it would probably make him cry harder. Maybe just maybe he would let me pull the next one out! I do believe the rule is that if you cannot find your tooth and have made every reasonable effort to find it, that the Tooth Fairy comes anyway!

We brought it home and put it in his plastic tooth for the Tooth Fairy. Then he changed his mind. He wanted to take his tooth to school for sharing the next day. So, this meant that he didn't want the Tooth Fairy to take his tooth - but of course he still wanted the cash! So, we wrote a note asking the Tooth Fairy to please leave his tooth so that he could bring it to school the next day! He was very happy to wake up in the morning and see that he had three dollars from the tooth fairy! He told me the night before that he thought he might get three dollars since it was the third tooth that he lost. The Tooth Fairy must have been listening!

Then he showed me on the back of his tooth holder that there was a little picture of the Tooth Fairy. He says, "Mom, I think this picture is on here so that if kids get up at night to go potty or something, that the Tooth Fairy can just go here and blend right in. I think the kids will never see her and that is how she can hide." What great thinking! We have come a long way from his first tooth where he wanted his it in the bathroom because he was afraid of her "poofing" into his room at night.

A few other parents and I had a discussion about his fears on the playground the other day. It is funny how we tell them to be wary of strangers, not to talk to them and to never accept gifts from them. Yet it is okay for the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus to enter our homes in the middle of the night and leave gifts for the kids.

We shove them crying onto Santa's lap. Here kids sit with this strange man with a beard in a funny suit. Get on his lap and let him put his arms around you! We bribe them to smile with the Easter Bunny. Let's go - there is nothing to be afraid of - except for a six foot tall bunny that walks on two legs and doesn't talk! Just take one picture and smile, then I will take you to the toy store. I would think that they have to get a little confused sometimes!

Brian has always been a little afraid of these icons - Sean, on the other hand, seems to like them. Neither have ever been afraid of mascots or other types of costumes but then we have never asked them to get on their laps either. Plus, Sean did have Brian to go with when he was younger and Brian was all alone.

Minute Details

If you are Brian Jr., you are something different on any given day. Maybe a football player, or a golfer, a fire fighter, a police officer, a chef, a construction worker, an astronaut and even an FBI agent. Over the last year or so his imagination has become closer to real life. Before he would be Batman or Spiderman or Buzz Lightyear. Now the characters that he portrays are usually not fictional.

Most days he drives me crazy - the outfits/costumes have to be just right. We laughed last weekend at the Delaware football game when we saw Joe with black ankle supports on. Brian had been dressing up in his Delaware uniform and put black sweat bands around his ankles. We thought he was crazy because we had no idea why he had sweat bands on his ankles! But he knew better.

He tries to come up with imaginative ways to be as realistic as possible. He even wears a few layers of clothes under his astronaut uniform - He says, "To make it look big and puffy like it does in space!" He has to wear cleats with baseball and football uniforms, work boots when he is using tools and rain boots when he is a fire fighter! Sometimes even Sean gets fed up with Brian's pretending -

Brian on the way to CCD (religious education), referring to his cousin Joe who plays football for the University of Delaware -
Brian - "I am Joe going to church school."
Sean - lets out a huge sigh
Brian - "Sean you can be another Delaware player."
Sean - rolling his eyes - "Brian, I am just a kid going to church school. Can't you just be a kid today?"

Both of the boys pick up on such minute details because they are seeing many things in life for the first time. Most adults take for granted what we see. We have all seen a football uniform and just skim over it - but kids see the exact pattern on the helmet, the color of the stripe on the pants, the color of the socks and cleats - and even ankle supports! They amaze me on the things that they can remember. Sometimes I can barely remember the event, let alone the color of the collar on the dog we saw at a park six months ago! But they can!

I remember one time they wanted to go to a specific place for dinner. They were describing it as the place with the black and white squares on the floor, the red seats, and the motorcycles that were in the parking lot. Brian and I had no idea what they were talking about - we thought that they were making it all up!

Then a few months later we returned to that diner. I walked in and immediately knew this is the place they were talking about - the floor was black and white tiles, the booths were red, and last time we were here there were a few motorcycles parked out front. I felt so bad for not believing them! But the last time we where in the diner was almost a year before this!

My father- in-law has always said, in reference to children, "Be careful, they are smarter than you!" He said his father told him this when he had kids - I think they might be onto something!

Chocolate Fun

With Sean now allowed to eat eggs - we can make him real cupcakes! Not those lactose free, wheat free, peanut free, egg free, might as well be cardboard ones. Well, they were moist, so maybe cardboard left out in the rain! Sean liked them because he didn't know any better. Poor kid probably didn't understand all the hype about cupcakes!

After he had a taste of the good stuff, he will never go back! I am hoping he will soon outgrow his dairy allergy. Sean has never had milk or ice cream or milk chocolate, can you imagine? There are a lot of great substitutes out there - soy cheese and yogurt and milk. But they just aren't the same! Luckily there are a lot of great products out there for kids with food allergies. I bet when I was little there was no such thing as soy cheese!

Sean had so much fun helping me make the cupcakes. He liked using the mixer and thankfully all the cake batter stayed in the bowl. Believe me, I had visions of him quickly lifting the mixer and spraying chocolate all over my kitchen. I really did think it might happen, because in my mind I was trying to remember where the camera was, just in case!
cheesy chocolate smile!

armed and dangerous with chocolate beaters!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Loosest Tooth Ever!

It sounds like the title to a children's book. Hmmm, maybe I should write one... I could use these pictures of Brian Jr.! His tooth has gotten so loose in the past few days that it is all I can do to keep from yanking it right out of his mouth. It is hanging by a thread on the middle side of the tooth! He can bend it forward and back and even twist it around - but he will not pull it out or let anyone else touch it.

I have to say I cannot blame him - I remember the same feelings as a kid. My parents, especially my Dad, would beg me to let them get in one good pull. He was afraid that it would hurt and that it would bleed - I was too! I told him that it was a like taking off a band-aid - it might hurt for a second but once it was out there would be no more pain. And then he could eat normally! He wanted no parts of it and was content to just let it fall out on its own. All I can do was sit back and wait - and urge him to keep wiggling!

his top left - even hangs lower than his other tooth!
watch it wiggle...
Sponge Bob impersonation!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Peace

I guess, for those that don't know, I should start by saying that I have had six early miscarriages and one second trimester loss that was Justin's twin. They all hit me really hard, but I guess losing Justin's twin was the worst. Before Justin, I would see babies and feel upset and even jealous. Why me? Then I would feel guilty because I had Brian and Sean, they were healthy and I was grateful.

At times, I have been more upset than I think I have let anyone know about my miscarriages. It gets easy to forget when you are wrapped up in life. But the losses were always there, just waiting to appear and bring me to my knees. It is funny how life works like that - good one day and horrible the next - often with no warning. Luckily, I have the type of personality that "rolls with the punches." It takes a lot to shake me up. The losses did devastate me, but I am the type to keep my chin up, no matter what. Life goes on. And what did I have to be sad about - I had a wonderful family already.

But after each loss, I knew that I still had it in me to keep trying to get pregnant and to carry a baby full term. I was not going to give up, I wanted another baby. I don't know what it was, but I knew that I still had fight left in me. Two of the three doctors at my fertility clinic were ready to tell me to stop treatments. One doctor believed in me and trusted that I could and would get pregnant. I will never forget him or his support and truly believe that he is part of the reason that I have Justin today. I am so glad that I kept on fighting.

I don't know if it has just been time that has helped me to heal or if it is Justin becoming older and more of a "person" than a helpless infant. Sure, some babies do cry more than others and they have different sleep patterns, but for the first few months most babies are very similar. Basically, all they do is eat, sleep, and poop.

Anyway, I was holding Justin yesterday and we were playing. He was laughing and cooing and thinking I was funny! I could see that he thought I was the best thing ever. He was so happy and it really warmed my heart. He laughs differently and at different things than Brian and Sean did, he smiles differently, he makes funny faces differently, he hits milestones at different times etc. Justin stretched his arms out and placed both of his hands on my cheeks, he then looked into my eyes and smiled.

At that very moment it hit me - if I would have carried any other of those babies to term, I would not have this one. It brought tears to my eyes. And for the first time ever, I didn't long for those other babies - I wanted Justin just the way he was! I told him I was glad that he was here with us and that I loved him very much. I know he didn't understand my words, but he was looking at me and listening intently.

He was the baby for our family and the baby for me. I love him just a little more than I did the day before - and I never thought that was possible. Not only do I think he is special, but he helped me to heal in a way that I never thought possible. I am no longer bitter or resentful that I had to endure the miscarriages.

Yes, they were hard and painful and I will never forget the babies that I lost, but I am at peace with what has happened. I am even at peace with losing his twin - if his twin would have survived there is a chance I might have lost them both of them. I feel like I am walking taller and a huge weight has been lifted from me. It seems that very often, things, good and bad, hit you when you are not even expecting them. I hope that anyone else that has ever suffered a loss will find the peace that I have.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chicken Feast

Brian had his friend Alexis over and they wanted to jump in the leaves. Brian Sr. told them if they wanted a leaf pile that they had to rake some leaves. So, they all got a rake and went to work! Alexis knew what she was doing - you could tell that girl had a rake in her hand before! Brian had the right idea, but Sean needed a little teaching. They did a good job - with a little help, and had fun jumping in the pile. It was a little early in the season to get a huge pile of leaves, but they still had fun!

Then, Alexis said that they should go to neighbor's houses and ask them if they could rake their leaves. Brian thought this was a terrible idea until Alexis told him that they would get paid money for it - then he was all in! We knew they needed help, so I sent the kids and Brian Sr. up the street to our friend's house.

She answered the door and said hello to the kids. Alexis asked, "Can we rake your leaves?" She told them, "Okay" and then Alexis added, "For money!" My friend couldn't do anything but laugh and then agreed. They kids raked a little - I think Sean lasted about two minutes. So Brian Sr. had to help out a lot. They finished and walked away with some cookies and a few quarters each. They were more than happy with their earnings! Brian told our friend that she didn't have to pay the kids and she said it was worth a few quarters to her - she will let her husband think that she raked the leaves!

Then they came inside to get ready for dinner. Alexis wanted to eat over and called he mom to ask. While they were getting ready to wash up for dinner, Alexis says that she needs to go to the bathroom. Sean says, "It is hard work to go to the bathroom in this house! First you have to flush, then you have to jiggle (the chain inside to flush sticks sometimes, so we have to jiggle the handle to keep the water from running and running), and you always have to pee only in the water!" Oh what mean parents we are - flush and only pee in the toilet! How can he live with us! He did forget to add "put the seat down" - but it sounds like he has enough to worry about for now!

We had hamburgers on the grill for dinner - Alexis told us that she loves cheeseburgers. She gets her burger and is not too happy about it. She says, "I don't really like burgers too much, but I do like cheese. I wanted to stay for dinner, so I said I liked them!" This girl is a piece of work!

Later, she asks a question, "Do you know that thing when the whole family likes chicken?" I say, "Do you mean when they don't like chicken or meat?" I thought she was trying to say she was a vegetarian so didn't want to eat the burger. She says, "No, when you eat chicken." We all take a few more guesses and nothing is right. Then she says, "You know, the big feast where you have a chicken as a family." I say, "Oh, Thanksgiving. And I think you mean turkey." She says, "No chicken. Wait. No. It is turkey!" And she laughs at her mistake. Then Alexis says, "Yeah. we are going to have Thanksgiving with my family." Okay, it only took ten minutes and totally confusing everyone to tell us that she will eat a Thanksgiving meal with her family! We had to laugh!

Sean smiling in the leaves
Brian and Sean raking
Sean, Brian, and Alexis
silly friends
leaf monster zombies!