Silly boy

Collin makes us laugh on a daily basis, so I thought I’d take a little opportunity to share some photos of him that always make me giggle (read: laugh hysterically). Enjoy!

He’s also starting to talk, and have likes and dislikes. This makes for an interesting time as he babbles to himself, spitting out whole sentences of (what we perceive as) nonsense, interspersing real words here and there. Or at least his version of real words. His recent favorite is “bubble,” which he says every time he sees the bathtub. Guess there’s something to be said for a boy who loves bath time!

Today’s link:
SuperheroStuff is a recent find of mine (how, I’m not sure), but they have tons of merchandise featuring DC & Marvel heroes, Star Wars, Star Trek, TMNT and other favorites for the geek in all of us. (And check out their Kids section for a ton of things to make you go “awwww!”) My personal favorites? The Wonder Woman bracers, and the kids’ Batman rain boots!

Busybodies

Phew! Has it really been two weeks already? Here are the highlights:

  • Collin is talking like crazy now, spitting out words like tractor (which also means car or truck), bird, ball, bubble, baby, duck, dog, hot, hat, monkey, moo (meaning cow), moon, star, picture, and many others, including his favorite characters, Elmo and Batman.

    Collin's also inherited a love of Star Wars. He just doesn't quite know it yet.

    Collin's also inherited a love of Star Wars. He just doesn't quite know it yet.

  • Brendan has gone back to seeing the chiropractor weekly as he began getting fussy again close to two weeks after his prior appointment. I’d been re-introducing dairy into my diet with no additional problems. Which leads me to…
  • I’ve quit breastfeeding Brendan. For whatever reason, my supply dropped to nearly zero and I wasn’t able to keep up with his demands, even overnight. Since he’s still waking up 2-3 times a night, him being hungry just makes things more difficult. I wrestled with this decision for many days, juggling my feeling of failure with the idea of what will be best for both of us in the long run. Brendan finally made the choice for both of us when he recently woke up every hour overnight due to hunger. He’s a happy formula baby now, and I can make changes to my diet and level of activity without worry. Though, I still feel that pang of failure.
  • Brendan’s getting a personality of his own, with his expressive eyebrows and his endless “ooh” and “gah” sounds. Baby talk is so much fun. He’s close to rolling over now and can hold his head steady while being held in a sitting position. Within a week or so he’ll be trying his first taste of solid food. I can’t express how fast time seems to have gone, even with all of our early frustration and setbacks!
  • I’ve acquired my first grown up vehicle, a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country. It’s a hideous color, but I love it. I feel good driving something that blends in on the road, rather than garnering looks of disgust from those around me. (Or maybe I imagined that.)

All in all it’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Today’s link:
I stumbled across this on Pinterest (follow me here if you like, I’m still new and don’t have much time for pinning so please forgive the emptiness of my page) and thought I’d share with fellow wine lovers out there. So many great ideas for recycling those beautiful glass bottles!

Best Buds

I often think back on how worried I was before Brendan came along… How I wasn’t certain how we would manage to divide our time, our energy, our love equally between the babies. And now I’m not certain how we ever managed without Brendan in our lives.

Collin has long forgotten his time of being the only baby of the house. He now alternates between playing by himself and attempting to play with his little brother, and soaking up attention when he can get it. He’s adjusted well. And so has Brendan.

Little bear gets to deal with big brother constantly trying to “help” him… We often find toys shoved in Brendan’s bouncy chair, stuffed animals tossed on top of him while riding in the car, and blankets strewn about everywhere. Collin also enjoys bouncing Brendan in his chair or rocking his car seat when he’s sitting in it. Brotherly love is emerging, at least from the one who can express himself a little better. Thankfully, Brendan is resilient. And durable.

Collin giving Brendan a hug

Collin giving Brendan a hug

Growing up virtually an only child (my brothers are 14 and 16 years my senior— by the time I could remember they were in college), I often wished I had someone nearby to play with. We lived in the country so my nearest friend was a mile and a half away… Not exactly walking distance when you’re young. I can only imagine the joy Collin and Brendan will get growing up with their best friend and eternal playmate just down the hall… They can learn together, play together, grow up together, and hopefully stay close as they turn from kids to teens to adults.

No one can say what the future will truly bring, but for now it’s looking pretty bright.

Today’s link:
Child’s Own is a company dedicated to making custom stuffed animals (called “Softies”) from your child’s drawing. You send in a copy of the drawing, they quote you a price for it (if they think it can be done), and then you get a custom stuffed toy by mail, designed entirely from your kid’s artwork. Cool, huh? Well, here’s the catch… Their waiting list is immense. Hundreds. So to help you find someone to create your child’s new stuffed best friend they’ve collected links to many other Softie-makers. Their work is pretty amazing, and definitely worth a peek!

Fingers crossed!

After 3 chiropractic appointments and 2 weeks of my non-dairy diet, Brendan appears to be doing better. His daily fussiness has been limited, he’s been going to bed earlier at night (though not sleeping through the night yet), and he doesn’t seem to be nearly as gassy.

Our previously crabby little man is now happy, smiling and content with himself. Big brother Collin’s been cutting teeth again so he’s become the whiny one, constantly drooling, chewing and pulling at his mouth.

All in all life is getting better, day by day, though it’s still busy. The boys enjoy time with their grandmas during the week, then it’s suppertime, baths and bed when mom and dad get home. I’ve learned to let the dishes sit, leave the laundry ’til the weekend and spend as much time as I can lovin’ on the kids. TGIF!

Today’s link:
National Geographic Kids has a great site packed full of activities for little hands… From science experiments to craft projects. As a science nerd, I can tell I’ll be frequenting this site when the boys are a bit older!

Little bear

A few nights back, Brendan was screaming.

Not crying… Screaming. For hours. Finally he calmed down, ate and fell asleep. The next morning, he appeared to be fine when Dad took him to Grandma’s house. By noon, Grandma was calling me telling me to pick him up and take him to the doctor, he’d been screaming for hours. Again.

After frantic phone calls back and forth with the clinic’s triage nurse, Dad leaves work to take Brendan to the doctor. He picks him up, and he’s quiet for the duration of his visit to the clinic. Pleasant, even.

Doc says there’s nothing wrong. Have mom stop eating dairy for 3 weeks to see if he improves. I’m sorry, what? Mom. Me. No dairy? You stop breathing for 3 weeks and see how that goes.

A few days later, it’s not as bad as I thought… I now take almond milk in my tea, pick the cheese off of my salad (after I’ve mistakenly put it on there without thinking), and lament over not being able to eat pizza, alfredo pasta, or other foods I love.

But it doesn’t seem to be helping Brendan.

Brendan's first adjustment

Brendan's first adjustment

I took him to the chiropractor yesterday. She found one spot on his spine that was severely out of alignment, and informed me the right side of his neck was very tight. The area of his spine that is in need of adjustment encases the nerves that control many digestive functions, so hopefully after he gets straightened out his tummy troubles will cease.

For now, he’s still our little bear.

Today’s link:
An open letter to deadbeat parents (and the kids they left behind), check out this blog post by Serge Bielanko- A great blogger and (far as I can tell) a great dad.

Hear me roar…

Growing up, I was the girl who had all male friends. We played outside for hours, crafting elaborate video-game style stories in our heads. Tonka Trucks, Transformers, Army Men, Hot Wheels… Boy’s toys. You name it, I played with it. Except for dolls, that is.

The trend continued through my teen years and into early adulthood. You’d never see me in a skirt (unless it had pants underneath), or with my hair given any more attention than a blow dryer (and even those days were sparse). Even after obtaining my first “real” job I wasn’t much into my image. I was still a tomboy, at heart.

‘Til I had kids. Blame the hormonal shift, blame the “growing up” I had to do, blame my fiance’s daily compliments… I’ve finally determined that yes, I am in fact a woman. Imagine that. And for the first time in my life, I like buying pretty clothes for myself. I like feeling feminine. I like my hair to look nice (and if not nice, decent). I like having jewelry that matches my outfit. I like being a bit girly.

I am woman, hear me roar.

Hopefully when my boys are older I can relive my own childhood by playing trucks with them and going outside to play soccer, catch and tag. Even if it means mud on my jeans and a hole in that sweater I just bought. I’m okay with that.

Today’s link:
Reading this article, I couldn’t help but laugh as it all sounds a bit too familiar. Enjoy:
10 Signs You’re a Type-A Mom

Back to Work…

Sleepily I dragged myself from my cozy bed at 6 a.m. today. While on maternity leave I was able to sleep in as the boys did, usually ’til 8 or 9 a.m. Not so today, there were care instructions to write, two boys to clean up, feed and change out of jammies, and let’s not forget about my own caffeinating and cleansing routine…

In the hustle and bustle of this morning’s events, I neglected to bring my breastpump to work. For those of you who have nursed your children, you can understand my current discomfort. Lunch break cannot come soon enough so that I may rid myself of this excess baby food!

All in all it’s turning out to be a decent day, the boys are at home with their grandma keeping watch, mom and dad are both at work plunking away. Clock seems to tick a little bit slower without two little boys needing my constant attention, though…

5 o’clock will come soon enough. Then it’s back to snuggle up my boys, who I’m realizing I miss very much.

Today’s link:
Check out this very helpful article from KidsHealth regarding Internet Safety for Kids. It covers basic laws regarding children’s use of the web as well.

Doing Double Duty

Last week was my first (and only) full week of having both boys at home. While I still have all my hair (it’s not even gray!) it was an emotionally and physically trying week, and I give credit now more than ever to all who call themselves stay at home parents.

The first few days were the roughest, before Collin got used to playing by himself some of the time, and before Brendan got used to having constant noise around while he was trying to nap. By the end of the week they were taking an afternoon nap at the same time (hallelujah!), and I’m confident that things would get better were I able to stay home a little longer.

Collin is walking now and getting into everything, so the hardest part was trying to contain him within sight and keep him out of trouble, especially while I was confined to the couch feeding or calming Brendan. Thankfully Collin is a very well mannered little boy and can play well by himself. Though, on more than a few occasions he brought me a book, saying “ba-ba-tay” (which from my understanding translates to “read a book”), and cried when I wasn’t able to pay him immediate attention.

He is already a great big brother, helping to bounce Brendan’s chair when he cries, and trying to hand him toys when he’s awake. With some time at home, I was able to snap some new photos:

Collin got his first haircut this week with Daddy’s help (holding a 1 year old still while something buzzes against his head is nearly impossible). The photo above of him in the white t-shirt shows off his new look.

Starting Tuesday it’s back to work, back to the hustle and bustle of not having enough time to feed everyone, get baths in and tackle bedtime routines before it’s time for my head to hit the pillow as weWorll.

All in all my first real week with two under two was not nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. Life has this crazy way of just working out, doesn’t it?

Today’s link:
For those of you who are like I was up ’til last week (living under a rock?), Pinterest is something you’ve probably heard of, but never tried. I decided to give it a shot, to see what all the hubbub was about. It is fun, and led me to a lot of neat ideas. Basically you create pinboards for various categories (recipes, kid stuff, home decor, etc.) and, using a handy bookmark in your browser, add items across the web to your boards for future reference.  I’ve also found a use for it for work-related items- storing design ideas, photography samples and inspiration pieces. Definitely worth a look if you haven’t checked it out. (It is currently invite-only, if you would like an invite please leave me a comment and I’ll send one your way!)

Collin’s Birthday Party

After someone stupidly decided to plan Collin’s first birthday party the day after returning from a 2-day convention for work (uh, that’d be me), it was a success. Many family members were able to attend, and watching Collin try cake for the first time was fun. Big brother Connor and Grandpa helped him open presents, and then it was time for a nap. Big day for a little man.

Brendan enjoyed the afternoon in the arms and laps of various family members, and that’s exactly how he likes it. Loves snuggles, hates being alone. Discovering this has helped tame his fussiness… Even if just a little. We may try chiropractic soon, currently debating it. If anyone’s tried it with their babies, please leave me a comment and let me know how it worked!

Today’s link:
I stumbled across an article on Babble recently called “Let’s stop with the Mom guilt.” It basically goes over letting go of the little things that make us feel guilty and taking responsibility for other things, all while stepping back and taking a look at the big picture. As our family doc said to me once: “As long as you remember to love ‘em and feed ‘em, everything else will work out.”

Just another week

Thankfully, the past week has been pretty uneventful. Collin is just getting over a cold and got to experience his first bubble bath, Brendan is finally learning how to burp but is still a fussy little man. Today has been going quite a bit better, he was able to sit quietly while awake for around an hour. That may not sound like much, but that’s a HUGE improvement.

Starting next week, though, things should get interesting. The plan for now is to have Collin home with me, since I’ll be 6 weeks out from my c-section and able to lift again. We’ll see how life is with two little boys at home!

Since I have no exciting stories for you, here are some new photos of the boys.

Collin's Bubble Bath #1

Collin After His Bath

Brendan - 1 month old

Brendan Snuggling with Mom