Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Last night, Eric and I had a lovely date night at P.F. Chang's.  We began talking about the Chinese Zodiac, and handy wikipedia gave me each year's motto.  Hilariously, they fit extremely well...

Everett and Eric - both born in the year of the ox.  Motto:  "I persevere."  This could not be more true of both of them.

Pax - born in the year of the rabbit, or more accurately the hare.  Motto: "I relax."  We had a good chuckle at this, because Pax is definitely our relaxed baby.

Me - born in the year of the monkey.  Motto: "I entertain."  I don't know if this was really fitting prior to having kids, but it definitely fits me now.  I (and all moms, really) do nothing but entertain all day.  From singing Old MacDonald and the ABC's to doing silly dances and making crazy noises and faces...did I mention this can be seen in public?  I get requests.  I can't let my fans down.  ;)

This is the year of the dragon.  It's motto: "I reign."  I think this calls for some iron chef competitions.  The secret ingredient?  Gagoos!

"Aday Fly!"

Or it could be "Ehdjeh Fly!"  Everett says his name two different ways - Aday and Ehdjeh.  And "fly" is probably more like "fwy", but I didn't want the title to be too obscure.  :)  Needless to say, he was having a lot of fun yesterday evening...

Giant Ev sitting on the house.  Giant Dad: "Get down here right now or I'll get you down!"

I would like to be cheesy for one second, and say...

Go SOAR in life Everett!  We will be here to catch you!

Maybe I'll make a motivational poster for his room with that last one.  haha!  :)

Pax and I relaxing while all this was going on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kindness and Love Live On

At the moment I am struck at how our actions have repercussions through the lives of others during and after our lives in this world.  I'm pretty sure Eric's Grandmother Keahey just helped her great grandson, Paxton, just by living a good life.  I never got to the chance to meet her as she passed away at the beginning of our marriage and was taken by dementia already at that point.  She was a teacher in Temple, TX for many years.

So today I have been extremely frustrated trying to get a piece of information out of our insurance company.  I have called so many different places, and nobody can help.  A common story, I know.  Somehow I ended up talking to this nice woman at the children's hospital in Temple.  She decided against further transferring me and took down my name and number to find out who I need to talk to and call me back.  "I had a geometry teacher named Mrs. Keahey," she said!  "Yes, her name was Helen!"  We chatted a little, and she told me how much she was helped by Mrs. Keahey.  She came early, stayed late, and was devoted to her students.  I can't help but wonder if Helen's kindness and devotion to this student so many years ago is prompting her to take those extra steps to help her family now. 

Food for thought as we go through our lives.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Tonight I am grateful for my husband.  He is a cool under pressure kind of guy, which makes him well suited for his job as a physician in the ER.  You could say we complement each other; however, I don't think freaked under pressure is a complement exactly. 

So tonight, when Everett bounded around a corner into me while I carried a big foam chair and bounced right off it onto our tile floor in the worst way possible, I was first freaked, but then grateful that Eric was (a) home, and (b) cool under pressure as always.  I scooped Everett into my arms as quickly as possible.  If you are a parent, then you are familiar with the silent cry when a child gets hurt.  This would be the silent start to a very loud cry, and there is no breathing going on at this time.  It is the worst (non)sound ever.  This particular silence lasted longer than I have seen causing my panic to start.  He finally inhaled, started wailing, and then all of a sudden slipped peacefully into sleep.  Terrified and aware that this was very bad, I handed Everett to Eric, and after a few very long seconds he woke up and started some very pained crying.  A dose of Motrin helped I'm sure, but what eventually did calm him down was, of course, a game on the iPad.  Eric softly whispered to me, "what a great iPad commercial this would make."  Hah!

I can't help but wonder how this would have gone if Eric was working (2.5 hours away in an ER in which he is the only doctor present, thereby unable to pick up and leave in an emergency.  I mean, that would kinda ruin other people's emergencies).  I imagine first freaking out, then calling 911, then waiting for treatment for hours with an upset Everett needing to be held and a tired baby that obviously also needs to be held, and getting imaging done on an upset and tired 2 year old.  And after all that, I'm sure it would be "watch him, wake him up periodically, give us all your money" with two babes that haven't slept and a tired and frazzled mother.  Don't misunderstand me -- I am not advocating not seeking treatment.  It is just incredibly helpful to have a home assessment from an ER doctor.

We are blessed with a good outcome.  I hope I never see Everett pass out again, though I'm sure with his personality, it will not be the last time I see him get hurt.

This is one of my favorite pictures of these two.  March 2011, Ev is 16 months.

Yesterday when Ev fell while outside, I heard him say, "Am I kokay?" before he got up and kept running around.  Haha!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Many Properties of Shaving Cream

Ooh, today was fun.  Everett and I had a messy good time in the backyard exploring shaving cream.  I'm on a messy kick lately.  I figure as long as I already have to clean daily, we might as well really get in there and have fun making our messes.  He got to experience the meanings of the words squishy, foamy, slippery, messy (he knew that one I'm sure), etc.  He got to feel it between his fingers and toes, and then all over eventually. 

We started out with our trusty clear box.  He would tell me a letter of the alphabet, and I would draw it with the shaving cream.  I would have used the cheap really foamy white stuff, but Eric has a bunch he is no longer using, so we went with the blue that turns white, which was actually pretty cool to experience as well. The whole project smelled really manly.

He was a little hesitant until I got my hands in and suggested putting it on the slide.

It wasn't long before he was having a blast.  Shaving cream on a slide makes it extra slippery! 
After the shaving cream was exhausted, we added some water.
I accidentally bumped into him while his hands were in front of his face.  Hah!
It was really fun to watch him go.  His creative juices were flowing, and by the end he was playing with shaving cream, water, grass, and dirt.  He also was more creative in his play for the rest of the day.  Overall, a success!

And folks, if you're going to have this much fun with a 2 year old, it is imperative that you have an exit strategy.  You know, bribery.  Today's bribery came in the form of a freshly baked whole wheat, banana, blueberry, coconut, pecan, applesauce muffin.  "Nummy, nummy" says Everett.  :)
And during this entire playtime, clean up, and muffin, Paxton was taking a fantastic nap.  Couldn't ask for more.  After all, shaving cream is not a suitable play item for a 7 month old.  Our next project we will have to make baby friendly. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gotta Turn This Day Around!

Whew!  What a day!  We started out with three tantrums from Everett within the first hour of him waking up.  Then Ev spilled his cereal while I was making Paxton his breakfast.  Later, Pax spewed avocado all over me while Everett was getting into something else (I don't remember what now).  Everett burst into Pax's room while I was putting him down for a nap.  As Pax was in the sweet spot, asleep and about to lay down is when Everett burst through the door to give Pax his blanket.  Sweet and well meaning, but ruined the morning nap.  He also burst in on another occasion today after Pax was trying unsuccessfully to go to sleep saying "HI PAX!  SLEEP GOOD?  YEA?"  Very cute, but note to self: get more doorknob covers.

Frustrated with how the first few hours were going, I decided I either needed to exercise Everett's brain or body.  Since it was in the thirties and windy outside, I decided to start with his brain.  I have a really crafty and awesome friend who blogs about the projects she does with her daughter.  So I got this idea from her. 

First we squished rice, food coloring, and rubbing alcohol around in bags.  I really would have expected Everett to enjoy this step more.  He really was not into it. 
Then we laid it out in a clear box.  So pretty.
Everett's thing for awhile now is putting things into different containers over and over.  So I equipped him with some things to scoop and different containers. 
The problem is I used too much rubbing alcohol, and it really stunk.  Hah!  And it was kinda wet.
But when it dried, I found a way to make the rice safely enjoyable for Paxton.  And Everett enjoyed it too.
So after exercising his mind, it still wasn't quite enough.  The fail proof cure for a moody Everett?  Playtime with Julian of course!  Aida was nice enough to let us come over so they could burn some energy before nap time.  So wonderful.  Turns out while Everett cries when the dog gets near, Paxton cries when the dog goes away.  He was fearless and loved the kisses from GaZoo. 

As I was cuddling with Everett before bedtime, I recognized that, though it was a hard day, it turned out well.  It's always good when it ends on a sweet note.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Food (It's Not) Friday

Yesterday Pax got a taste of bananas for the first time.  He liked them so much that they wouldn't stay in his mouth because he giggled gleefully with every bite!  Hah!  He had Everett and I cracking up big time!  I considered jumping up to get my phone and record it, but decided instead to just enjoy the moment.  My apologies folks...cause it was hilarious!  :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Besties Take on the Capitol

In the aforementioned glorious afternoon spent at the Texas Capitol, Everett got to run around with his best friend, Julian, eat snacks galore, feed imaginary squirrels Cheez-Its, laugh, kick balls, etc.  They had a blast with each other as always.  And Pax finally got someone to play with too!  Johanna and Elijah came to play, and we all had such a fun time together.  Elijah was so sweet toward Pax, and they interacted as much as a 7 month old and one year old can.  I look forward to seeing that friendship grow.

Everett is always happy when "Ju-ee" is around.

Aida has the cookies power.

Pax and Elijah trying to ingest more grass and leaves than their moms would like.

Ev and Julian, the alphabet scholars, pointing out letters in English and Spanish.  Everett learned at least 3 words in Spanish today.

This is why it took us forever to leave.  We had to stop and look at every who-knows-what and leaf on the way out.

The Many (Fun) Faces of Paxton

I ended up getting some fun shots of Pax today while spending a glorious January afternoon at the Texas State Capitol.

Hey, You!

He speaks Italian.

Yee-Haw!  My little Texan chewing on the grass.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thoughtful Everett

I know I have mentioned this once or twice before, but I am more and more impressed with Everett's thoughtfulness.  He touches our hearts, and I hope so much that we can foster this amazing attribute into adulthood.  Here are some examples that I'd love to read about in years to come...

-Today as Everett and Dad were sitting down to cuddle in front of a show, Ev got his own Gee (blankie) and then got up saying "Da Gee, Da Gee," repeat, repeat, repeat.  He came back in the room carrying the blanket Eric's Grandma made him as well as Pax's Gee.  He had trouble figuring out what Mama's Gee would be.  :)

-We try to play often with his best buddy, Julian.  On one occasion when Julian was sad to be leaving the park, Everett patted his back, put his face in front of Julian's, and said "issokay Ju-ee, issokay" a few times.  On another occasion, he brought Julian his water - here's the amazing part - without drinking it himself!  haha!

-When Pax is upset he likes to pat his head and say "issokay Pa".  He also asks "okay Pa?" when Pax coughs. 

-Today he brought Dad his Gatorade, looking all through the house for him saying "Da Drink!"

-He loves to help and volunteers by saying, "Help me!" which actually doesn't mean that he needs help, but rather that "me" is going to help.  Pronouns are a little backwards right now.

And my favorite:
-Yesterday during a tantrum, Everett threw his head at mine.  I involuntarily yelled a loud "OW!" when his head hit my nose, which caused him to scream louder and an octave higher.  Dad took over from there.  When all was calm again, Dad explained that Mommy has an owie because he hurt me while he was upset.  He replied, "Get Band-aid, Mama!"  So he brought me a band-aid with the sweetest look of concern and melted my heart.

Here is a video or Everett feeding Pax.  I did not suggest or encourage this in any way.  He just took the initiative and did it.  Luckily, it went well, and nobody got gagged.  haha!

And here is my narrative/translation if needed: Ev says "Mmm! Good! Pax." On the second bite, Pax attempts to grab the spoon, and Ev says, "No, no, no, no." Then "Eat, Pax." The Uh-oh is because of the food on Pax's face, and he is running to get a towel.  :)