Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Little Travelers

I never realized how many steps are involved in travel until we had to be two sherpas carrying two kids, two carseats, two suitcases, and my diaper bag.  We started out in our car, then a bus, then a plane, then a train, then another bus, then a rental car; and reverse it for the trip home.  I'm just happy we came home with the two kids that are actually ours.  Bonus!  We have all of our stuff too.  Amazing, I know.

We had a great time celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha in Colorado with my sister, brother-in-law, my parents, and our little foursome.  The boys traveled well, and the only real challenge was the extensive hauling of people and things through various modes of transportation while dealing with the wills and slow, wandering feet of a two-year-old.   

We went to the Denver zoo, where Everett would look at an animal, then say "see different animal", which we are pretty sure he said at least a hundred times.  His verbal skills really blossomed over the trip, and he has a running monologue constantly.  On the drive from the airport to our house, "I see a truck!  Purple truck!  Need more toys!  Touch car!  See Grandma, Papa!  Go home!" and on and on.  He is also into counting lately, and knew how to count to 5 when we got there, 17 or something when we left.  We also did some other stuff, but I'm too tired to think straight right now...

Here are some pics that I love from our trip.

Ev was refusing to wear his hat, but looking good in Lauren's.
Equally amazed by an animal at the zoo.

It's hard to see, but they are standing next to a dinosaur made of scrap parts.
We were QUITE the spectacle through the airport.  Eric wearing the carseat and making sure Everett is staying with us.  Me wearing a baby who is wearing a helmet.  Both hauling other goods as well.
Ev looking irresistibly cute in his winter hat.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stunt Man

Decorating Paxton's DOC band tonight was so much fun for me.  I'm so excited to have something fun on his head now rather than the sterile white that makes people stare as if something is seriously wrong with my baby.  Half of them look curiously, and the other half look at me like I'm an angel to take care of this baby.  Oh, and let me say I love the folks that come up to me and tell me about their child who had a DOC band, and how it was really worth it.  I'll be one of those ladies someday.  So fortunately, it's not anything serious which is now reflected with a little lighthearted decoration.

You can see the Mod Podge drying on these pics.  Sorry - tried to do everything within the hour he gets to take it off.   Of course, I had to add a peace sign since Pax means peace.  :)  I just love how it turned out.  Now hopefully they all stay in place!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mama's Buh-day and Other Funnies

My birthday is coming up at the end of this month.  The subject of birthdays has come up a lot lately with Everett, so he knows that in our family, mine comes next.  So I found it hilarious today when he presented me with a square block with a long skinny block standing up on it - my birthday cake.  And later he wrapped a towel in his blankie and gave it to me.  I can't remember if he actually said "Happy Birthday" or "Mama Birthday".  Regardless, it was the best, most thoughtful present ever and gave me some much needed chuckles.  :)

When I put Ev to bed, we always say good-night to everyone we love before we say prayers.

Last night:
After (in no particular order) Mom, Dad, Pax, Grandma, Grandpa, Lauren, Sarmad, Frankie, Julian, Aida, Elijah, Johanna, and others...
Ev:  "Good night pockets."
Me:  "Pockets?  Who is pockets?"
Ev:  "Two pockets."
Me:  "The pockets of your pants?"
Ev:  (casually) "Yea."
Me:  "Ok, Goodnight pockets."

Now first an explanation - a friend brought her newborn to the park a few weeks ago.  I explained to Everett that her girls are big sister and little sister just like he and Pax are big brother and little brother.  He laid by her, looked at her adoringly, patted her head and called her leetle seester and baby seester, talking about her ever since then.  In the car once he randomly said, "baby seester so cute!"  It was funny because the other kids are playing on the playground, and Everett is laying with the baby.  It was really sweet and reminded me of how he used to look at Pax.  Ok, so...

Me:  "Good night Daddy" 
Ev:  "Good night little sister."
Me:  "Good night Lauren."
Ev:  "Good night little sister."
Me:  "Good night Grandpa."  (expecting him to say good night Grandma)
Ev:  "Good night little sister.  Little sister is sooo cute!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Photo Update

We've mostly been on survival mode over here while getting through a household common cold and Paxton not sleeping well with his helmet.  Despite all that, we've had a lot of fun and sweet moments together resulting in some cute photos I couldn't resist sharing. 
 It blows my mind that the fetal position that once resided in my body now takes up a laundry basket.
 What's better than a box?  Not much.
 Poor Pax is still trying to get some teeth.  Chewing on the papalilly (Everett-speak for caterpillar) antennae.
 It pays to be a peeping Tom when you sneak a peak at a very sweet moment between Daddy and son.
 Shenanigans in the kitchen after dinner.
I love pictures like this.  It really shows what 19.5 months will do!  (Pax is naked because he was wearing his dinner.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Paxton's New Hat

I was an unexpected basketcase today after we got Paxton's DOC band fitted.  More on that later.  First, let me say that Pax did really awesome.  He has tolerated the band extremely well so far.  He seems to fall asleep ok in it, and it is not causing skin irritation as of yet.  Staying asleep is another story, but I'm sure that will improve.  I have to take it off every few hours to check his skin until Thursday at which point he will wear it 23 hours per day.  The one hour off is for bath time, cleaning the band time, and lots of smooching.

Everett was a perfect big brother today.  He had an innate sense to protect and care for Paxton more than usual today.  It was remarkable.  You can see this love in the pictures below.  During his appointment, Everett put his arm around Paxton in a protective way, and once we were home, he spent extra time caring for him.  I was really amazed, but not necessarily surprised by this brotherly connection because I feel like I share this intimate bond with my own sister as well. 

Also, let me say "Peaceful Pax" has been amazing through this process.   Through several evaluations, measurements, pictures, putting a sock over his head for a 3D image, etc...he hasn't fussed once.  Of course, we did not go with the facility that would have used plaster to make an image.  I'm not confident that he would have remained calm through that. 

Now for the basketcase component.  *sigh*  A few days ago I was really excited about getting this band, and I still am.  It was a hard decision to make, but once made it brought relief.  We are glad to have this technology available to help reshape his head and prevent any potential future problems.  We are extremely lucky to have this small and fixable problem when so many people have much larger problems.  We are also EXTREMELY (seriously, EXTREMELY) lucky to be doing the majority of treatment before it gets hot.  It started being over 100 degrees everyday in May last year.  Sweat and overheating are big problems in these things, and we will have to stay inside if it gets too hot.  Despite all of these positives, I broke down when I felt the cold, hard plastic in that perfect space between my shoulder, neck, and face where his soft, sweet-smelling head used to be.  He also tends to look down a lot with it on, and the band comes really close to his eyes, so I felt really sad to not be able to see his face.  I'm looking forward to getting a few more days under my belt and getting more comfortable with it in general.  Oh and stay tuned for the pictures of it decorated in a week or two!  That should be fun.  :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pax at 7 1/2 Months

So I'm between months, but I figure while I'm thinking of it is the best time!

Paxton has been doing so much lately.  He has a wonderfully calm demeanor interspersed with very quick screams of frustration if he isn't getting what he wants (dinner is gone, can't eat the grass, big brother took his toy, etc).  It's so short-lived that it's a little humorous and definitely cute (for now).  How nice that in comparison to the two-year-old protests, it just ends up funny. 

Pax is full of big peals of laughter (especially at the sight of Daddy or the bathtub), lots of crawling, pulling up, and a little cruising.  He has had so much tummy time trying to round out his head that his mobility is really amazing.  Unfortunately, despite all the activity, he still has a flat head.  He will be getting a helmet next week to help correct that.  I'll do a blog post with all that when we get it on him. 

No teeth yet.  Waiting, waiting, waiting, hoping that they will bring a better ability to eat (small, mushy) finger foods.  He does best with purees for now.

Paxton and Everett have been having fun together.  They have a really sweet relationship in which Everett is extremely caring toward Paxton and Paxton is very happy to see Everett.  Everett likes to say things like "happy [to] see you!", "[good] moooorning Pax!", and "issokay Pax" while rubbing his head.  I often find him rubbing Pax's head like it's a Buddha belly.  His friend, Julian, has picked up on this too, so when they're all together Pax's head gets a lot of love.  Or those two get a lot of luck. 

Fun with Daddy and Brother

Practicing wearing a hat before the helmet comes.

Actively participating in a family hike.

Storytime with Daddy.

Only one of us got out of our pajamas for an early morning grocery run.  He is such a great shopping buddy.  We had a lot of fun, and I was energized for the rest of the day despite getting up at 5am.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Resolutions: A month in...

If you recall, my New Year's Resolution this year is something like - being a better wife, mom, a better everything.  To be a little more specific, though it's still vague, I'm coming at it from a "you can only change yourself" attitude, working toward being really, really awesome and thus attracting the same.  For example, being my best Mom-self means happier kids, which benefits me which then benefits them, etc.

So the most wonderful opportunity fell into my lap recently.  It is a year-long program that addresses my resolution PERFECTLY.  It's called Evolve, and it is put on by Carrie Contey, parenting guru of Austin.  Check out carriecontey.com.  She is amazing.  I seriously became a better parent after watching just one video.  I am so excited to delve into this.  It explores parenting, partnerhood, personhood, and prosperity.  The prosperity aspect addresses the perceptions we (subconsciously often) hold about money and how to pass healthy attitudes about money to our children.  The rest is pretty self explanatory.  What I really love about Carrie is that she teaches you how to slow down, connect with your children and partner, and enjoy life.  I am so excited about this.  Eric is a little wary, but lucky for me, he is willing and open-minded.  I can't wait to see what 2012 brings for our family.

Oops!  I forgot to put what I've actually been doing.  I started running semi regularly.  It gives me some alone time whether I'm pushing a stroller or not.  It feels good to be exercising again rather than just lifting weights kids.  Taking care of myself definitely has a positive impact on my parenting.  We also had a date night in January.  Yay!  It's so nice to enjoy a peaceful meal with Eric.  Aah!  And I've been putting extra effort into planning educational and fun activities for Everett.  It'll be so fun when Pax is old enough to join us!  This morning we had a fun time fingerpainting. 

Some Awesome Workout Buddies
Do you think he'll be accepted to Hogwarts?
You wouldn't believe me if I told you he was hesitant at first.