Sunday, July 24, 2011

Taming the Tantrum

For some reason, I think it will be interesting to look back in several years and reflect on my hardships now versus then.  And so I shall describe the current challenge in our household.

Poor Everett.  There just aren't enough snacks in the world to keep this guy happy.  He is really quite predictable.  When we watch Sesame Street, he inevitably wants crackers at the end or near end of the show.  I try to prepare for this by having dinner ready; however, often there are a few more minutes on the clock before it's ready.  Today, as expected, he ran to the pantry, hand wiggling the doorknob, and demanded "gagoo?!  gagoo?!" (cracker?! cracker?!).  I look at the timer for the rice.  Ten minutes!  Oh dear.  There is an eternity standing between Everett and happiness.  Or near happiness as it is not a gagoo that he is getting, but rather a real dinner.  Well, the end of the world came as he screamed, kicked, thrashed, and screamed some more.  Paxton and Everett were both crying at this time.  I did a quick risk/benefit analysis and determined Everett to be in need of my full attention.  I put a mildly crying Pax down, reminded myself that Everett is too young to understand or control his emotions, resolved to put my pointed finger back in its holster, and calmly asked him to stop screaming.  As I watched him I wondered, "did I give birth to a wild animal?"  We had a time out to see if he could cool down.  He did not.  I took him to his room to have some quiet time.  He ended up laying on the floor, poor pitiful thing, screaming a little quieter, grunting, and groaning, snot and tears covering his face.  I kneeled down and stroked his hair while saying "shhhh".  He seemed to need this attention and did calm down.  I kissed him and told him I love him to which he started crying again - hard.  It was a cry that broke my heart.  It was instantly recognizable as the kind of cry one does when it comes from deep inside, from a pained soul.  This was no longer just about gagoos.  I held him in a tight embrace trying to impart all my love as I heard the timer go off for the rice.  Hard to believe this all took place in ten minutes.  He asked to color, which he did while I fed him dinner.  He ate happily.  We had a lovely rest of the evening.  We ate, we played, and my heart melted when he took my face, a hand on each of my cheeks and gave me a kiss goodnight.  I love him so much.  :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paxton at 5 weeks

Paxton has been doing so well!  He has been mildly fussy with some colicky symptoms lately.  Let's be honest, that's just a nice way to say he has gas.  :)  May I now apologize to the 18 year old Pax reading this if you're embarrassed...but again, let's be probably still have gas.  ;) 

He has been sleeping really well these days.  I'm afraid to say it for fear it will never happen again, but he actually went 9 hours between feedings last night!!!  We managed to get about 7 hours of sleep in a row, which is just amazing.  Thank you Pax.  We needed that.

He is starting to have more alert time during the day, and I so enjoy looking at that wide eyed adorable face.  I also enjoy looking at that sweet sleeping face.  He is filling out, and is about 10.5 lbs at this point.  Such a cutie pie!

My friend, Lea, did some great newborn photos, some of which are below. 

Everett at 20 Months

Everett has obviously had a lot of changes in his life lately.  He has dealt with it pretty well.  He gives his new brother nothing but love, but does display some added frustration in general.  He has been forced to practice patience, which is usually not easy.  He has shown a little bit of jealousy when people come over and get excited to see Paxton or if he wants the attention of the person holding Pax.  And the biggest challenge is in his excessive desire for snacks!  No is not a word he likes to hear...though he really likes saying it!  ;)

His communication is getting more extensive.  He has more words in his vocabulary and we have been able to have conversations recently, which has been really exciting.  We have to fill in the blanks, but we always ask him if that's what he meant, and he's good about saying yes or no to help us know if we get what he's trying to say.  Here's a sweet conversation Eric and Everett had before bed last week:

Eric:  "Did you have fun at the pool today?"
Everett:  (nods yes)

Eric: "Do you want to go again sometime?"
Everett: thinks about it for a few seconds, then says..."Pa!"
Eric: "You want Pax to come next time?"
Everett:  (nods yes)

Heehee!  There are more extensive conversations, but that's one of my favorites. 

Oh, and a fantastic accomplishment - he is much better with a spoon and fork now.  Many thanks to Grandma who worked with him on that while we were in the hospital after Pax was born.  That has made life a little easier around here. 

His loves lately: dinosaurs, Sesame Street, and socks.

Brothers of One Month

Everett and Paxton's relationship has been off to a very special start.  In the five weeks that Pax has been with us, Everett has doted on his brother immensely.  Ev loves it when we lay Pax down on a blanket as it affords him an opportunity to be really close to him.  He tries to hold him, pick him up, roll him over, lay on top of him.  I can say that he is learning that Pax is a little fragile at the moment, and is starting to give him a little space.  He immediately lets out a sympathetic "oo-ooh!" when Pax cries.  When Everett goes to bed, after bath and jammies, he comes out to say goodnight to Pax and myself.  He says "Pa!" and gives him a sweet kiss on the head.  And in the morning, he comes into the kitchen where Pax is usually on the table in the bouncer and says "Pa!" and waves an enthusiastic hello to him.  Paxton has started watching Everett and follows him with his eyes interested in what is producing all the activity and squealing around him! 

Trying to pick him up.  This is when we step in!

Probably just got a flailing fist in the face.

Sweet brotherly love.  :)
Grandma and her boys.

Love this one.  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The New Out-to-Eat Norm?

Oh my goodness.  Tonight we were THAT family.  You know the one.  There's a screaming toddler that won't stay in his chair.  Two frustrated looking parents.  You ask to be seated as far from them as possible.  The infant was calm, so we had SOMEthing going for us!  haha!  I was mortified when the neighboring table asked to be moved.  Eric made me feel better when he brought up that Everett did not start misbehaving until the woman at that table started ogling over him and distracting him from his meal.  Ok, good point.  But still...mortified.  In our defense, we did go at 4:00pm on a kids eat free day, when families are at the least risk of ruining other people's meals.

Before having kids I would have sworn we would never be that family.  We would *make* our kids behave.  Uh-huh.  Sure.  Six months ago I would have said the same thing, perhaps a little less confidently.  Parenting is humbling.  And that's a good thing.  Shame on me for passing judgement on something I had no idea about.  Lesson learned.

So we survived.  We ate fast, and despite Eric fielding Everett's behavior while I breastfed Pax in a booth in which me holding Pax barely fit, we did get to eat most of our meals.  Everett refused to eat his dinner - well, he did lick the ketchup off his home fries if you count that.  However, on the way home he did request "mooore", and I gave him some of his packed up meal.  *sigh*  We also met a nice Grandma who came over to offer advice and try to help us comfort Everett. 

Perhaps next time it will be take-out.  :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Two Weeks Later

We are all doing great after two weeks of being a family of four.  Everett loves his baby brother (still).  He checks on Paxton, strokes his hair, points out his eyes, ears, and nose (perhaps it would be best if he didn't touch them though - hah!).  He asks about him and waves at him every morning when he wakes up.  I don't sense any jealousy yet - I mean, he's not trying to play with Everett's toys or anything! - I think the tantrums that are thrown are just the same ones that would have occurred anyway.  Ev is getting much better at independent play, and has gotten really good with a spoon and fork. 

Paxton sleeps a lot.  When he's not sleeping he's eating or requesting to be held.  A good friend, Lea, took some absolutely beautiful photos of him this past weekend.  I've included a few here from our sneak preview.

I'm feeling great.  I'm so happy to be among these four people, and I feel so blessed over and over.

And on another note, Everett has made me feel like a bonafide mom now - he has decided that he doesn't like boogers on his hand so they should be wiped on times when my hands are full and can't dodge it.  Let's face it, that's part of the job description - receptacle for boogers and trash.  *sigh*