Friday, April 24, 2009

Photo..Shoot!

On Wednesday, Lucy turned 7 months old. I wanted to capture the day in photographs but unfortunatetly, the camera had gone missing. I found it yesterday in, I kid you not, the crisper drawer in my refrigerator. Who knows how long it's been there. Surprisingly, it was undamaged. I decided to take some pictures today instead. And seeing as we only live 5 minutes from the beach and it was a beautiful sunny evening, I took the kids to the beach after dinner to let them run off the sugar from 2 scoops each of mint chocolate chip ice cream and so I could get some great pictures of Lucy. I forgot, of course, that I don't really have a knack for photography. Here are the results of our photo shoot:



"Mom, are you sure you know what your doing, I feel a little silly with the Pooh ears and all, can we rethink this look?"




Okay, so the idea here was a really adorable sand between baby toes shot. I sprinkled a bit of sand and tried to capture the absolute cuteness of Lucy's little toes. But Lucy has unbelieveably smooth feet and the sand would not stick, no matter how many times I sprinkled it on. And, as I was focusing on the toe situation, this happened...



Lucy grabbed herself a heaping handful of sand. This is the after shot. After she opened her mouth and inserted the handful of sand. It all went down hill from there.

So, here they are, the 7 month pictures. A few days late, an little out of focus, and a little gritty. But, still precious. Because she's our Lucy, and she makes any day feel like a sunny, cool day at the beach.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Two different days.

Yesterday was the kind of day that I love. Up and out of the house for T-ball practice. (The whole way there Andy and I joked that it would not be so embarrassing to show up unshowered and with my pajama top on under a sweatshirt if the practice were earlier than 10am). Soon after that we took 3 of the Fantastic Four to a birthday party while Julia spent a special day with Grandma and Grandpa. We picked her up at 5pm, with just a little over an hour left to bathe and get the kids cleaned up before meeting my parents for dinner at a local restaraunt. Full, tired, and happy, we got home around 8:15 and everyone was in bed asleep within 30 minutes. It was a jam-packed day and we spent most of it outdoors, enjoying the warm sunshine.
Today is a very different day. The square on the calender for once is blank and there are no notes on the fridge of places we need to go or things that must be done today. Andy loves this kind of day. He left Lucy and I lounging in bed early this morning and took the big kids to town. I'm not sure where else they went but they came back excited about the free lightbulb from home depot and the chocolate milk they got on the way home. He looks at days like this as a chance to relax and tinker around, getting things done around the house and not worrying about where we need to be when.
On the other hand, these days makes me a little nervous. We can't waste this beautiful day, what if the kids get bored and end up watching 4 consecutive episodes of Spongebob? I should really do the mountain of laundry in the basement but I'd also like to take a walk. And with the weather getting warmer, should I look for good deals on new shorts? There are so many possibilities in that blank square on the calender and it is already 1pm and I haven't decided how to spend the day. Oh, the pressure. I think I'll go back to lounging with Lucy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

7 months and 7 years.

Hayley and Lucy both had check ups this morning and I'm happy to report that they are both healthy and growing well.
Lucy is a whooping 16lbs, 2 oz which puts her in the 50th percentile for weight. She is 27inches, the 90th percentile for height. This explains why she is already in size 4 diapers at almost 7 months. She shares diapers with Julia!
Hayley is doing great too, but I won't share her stats (she's 7 now and probably would appreciate me not publishing her weight on the internets!)
Besides a touch of excema on Lucy which won't even require medication, the doctor had no concerns about either of them which is exactly what I pray to hear at every appointment.

We're excited about a busy weekend of T-ball, birthday parties, and fun with Grandma and Grandpa and then a week of Spring vacation. No big plans for that but the library has some fun events, we have free admission to the zoo, and there is always the park if the weather stays as beautiful as it is today. We'll keep busy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby Boom

Along with anxiously awaiting the arrival of my newest niece, I recently found out that 2 of my very best friends from high school are expecting sometime in 2009. I am so excited for them, I can't even tell you.

In case you didn't know me way back when, I'll tell you that in high school I was, socially at least, a barely functioning idiot. And in college I added alcohol to the mix and added a whole new dimension of social unacceptability. Without my friends to be there to stand by my side, awkward moments and all, I would never have made it to become the fully functioning idiot that I am today. They mean the world to me and I treasure their friendship so much, even as time and distance has changed our relationships and I don't get to see them nearly as often as I would like. Now that I have the chance to maybe help them, even if it is just to steer them clear of wasting money on a pee-pee tee-pee or, in a few months, tell them that it perfectly normal to have a stomach that looks like kneaded bread dough for weeks after giving birth, I'm happy to have the opportunity to do so. But a big part of me knows that no matter what I say, they are both going to be naturally good mothers, they are just that cool. And really, after 7 years I still don't know what the beans I'm doing so I should keep my advice to a minimum.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We Are Family

Birthday season rolls along in our extended R. family. Last weekend, my niece N. celebrated 3 years of fabulousity. I remember 3 years ago I was working at Hayley and Ace's preschool and I was cleaning up my classroom while the children were out at recess. My cell phone rang and I saw it was my sister, my heart started racing because I knew it was close to her due date and I expected to hear that labor was starting or they were on the way to the hospital or some update. Turns out sweet N was already here! I squealed and got some details and the ran down the hallway to share the news with coworkers and sneak into Hayley's classroom to tell her the news. It was about 2 months before Hayley and I made the trip to NC to meet her face to face. She was wearing this cute little green jumper and those socks that look like mary jane shoes when we first got to see her. So tiny and pink and huggable. My sister and brother in law looked a little tired but I don't think they felt the exhaustion, they were high on new parenthood. Hayley held N. for the first time and exclaimed "She's beautiful". Yes, she is.
In just a few short weeks I will become an aunt all over again, to another sweet niece (or so we've been told). Every time I look at the calender I count the weeks till May 4. Every time I talk to Katherine, I picture her on the other line, wonder how big her belly is, wonder what baby items are around her, what she must be feeling, thinking. It is a happy time, definitely, but a little sad because such a big part of me whats to be THERE, not just hearing about it over the phone. But, I'll have to settle for just calling incessently and demanding pictures and updates on a daily basis.

In other, much less exciting news, I introduced the Fantastic Four to Mad Libs yesterday. The ridiculous nature of Mad Libs made Hayley uncomfortable, she was upset when a sentence didn't make sense, even when I explained that that was the point, to be silly. Ace wanted to make every word butt or poop, even when we asked for an adjective or adverb. He now insists that buttly is a word. Julia just offered up suggestions of the few words that she uses often. If we asked for a noun, she would suggest 4. It kept things interesting, that is for sure.

Yesterday was also the first day in a long while that we've been able to go to the neighborhood park. It was still a little chilly but sunny and Julia and Ace had a chance to run around and play with a friend from Ace's school. Between the park, storytime, and the grocery store, we had a busy day yesterday, there was a lot of mud involved and changing clothes and fastening and unfastening seatbelts. When we got home Julia kept telling me "I had fun!" which makes it all worth it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The times, they are a-changing

Each of my children are in some sort of transition period which means a lot of adjustments and tweeking of our routines and relationships and one very tired mama.
Lucy is transitioning from newborn/infant to crawling monkey infant. She is not crawling yet but it certainly more mobile and interactive with the world. One example of an adjustment is during Ace's playgroup at the library. For the past 6 months she's been coming with me every Wednesday and while I sit with my friends at the table, she happily sits on my lap or snoozes in her sling. The past few weeks she hasn't been so thrilled to just sit. The library is pretty busy so there isn't a safe place to set her down since she would be likely to roll under some display or under the feet of a toddler. Instead I try and entertain her with toys or nurse her. The toys work for about half an instant and, if she will sit still long enough to nurse, that usually ends abruptly when she gets distracted and flings the blanket off, exposing my boob to the entire library. I'm not sure what we'll do but for the time being, I just lug her big carseat in and let sit in that with a toy and watch the other kids. Not ideal for either of us but better than indecently exposing myself or her getting trampled on.
I was hoping that by this point we may also be making the transition from nursing every 3-4 hours, day and night to sleeping through the night but Lucy apparently missed the memo.
Julia is in the transitional twos. Not terrible, but new. She is more independent, certainly but she is also more demanding of her fair share of everything. If her big brother or sister gets to do it, so does she. And if her baby sister is getting attention, she wants it too. It must be exhausting for her to keep up with both a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 month old but she does it.
Ace, now 4, is becoming so aware of life outside of our family. School and friendships are very important to him and he gets bored easily. 3 days of school next year is going to be a necessity and I'm already worried about keeping him entertained this summer. He is also becoming more self aware, which alternately makes me proud and breaks my heart. He cares very much about what his peers think of him, he makes such an effort to be a good friend and mind his behavior around peers so they enjoy being around him. On the heartbreaking side, he now also recognizes rejection, which I think before went unnoticed. And he is aware of his speech delay, which doesn't seem to affect him much, but makes me so glad that speech therapy and practice are working and he is making such great progress.
Hayley is in a similar stage to Julia, amplified a bit because she is so much moodier than a 2 year old. I think once we get adjusted, 7 is going to be an awesome year but right now we are both having a little trouble dealing with the emotional ups and downs of being a "Big Kid". She gets in these funks at least once a day where she does a lot of eye rolling and yelling which leads to me wanting to tear my hair out. I hear myself saying "You are too old to behave that way!" a lot which must be a crappy thing to hear. How would she know that? All of a sudden behaviors that were okay are no longer okay and I get why that would put her in a sour mood once in a while. But the eye-rolling? Yeah, that's got to stop.
So, yes, I'm tired. And many nights after they are all in bed I find myself wishing that I had shown much more patience. And the next day they wake up and throw me a new curveball (like Julia's new habit of only eating the top layer of any food we serve-only sauce off pasta, only the cheese of the pizza, only the peanut butter off the sandwich) and I forget about patience and just do my best to make it through the day. But I'm still lucky for the days, the transitions, and the routines.
Now I'm off to watch Bolt with the kids, because I promised them a rainy day movie afternoon if they cooperated on errands all morning.