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Thursday, August 23, 2012


I sit here tonight a little bit choked up as I watch my son drift off to sleep.  We are listening to the same lullabies that Molli and I spent countless hours rocking and listening to.  In the same way a certain smell can remind a person of a specific memory, these songs have brought me right back to Molli’s baby days and I can’t help but reminisce and be a little emotional. I have been so enormously blessed through these two children and the immensity of my love for them is inexpressible.  The idea that my memory of them during these precious stages will certainly fade breaks my heart.  It is a fact that they will grow but I do not want to forget all the sweetness that they are right now. 

Gavin:  You are such a sweet boy.  You’re only six and a half weeks old but already I can see how different you are from your sister.  You love to be cuddled and bounced on my exercise ball.  You’re a pretty serious little guy so far, offering smiles only on your own time.  You don’t make a lot of sounds yet, unless you are sleeping.  When you’re asleep you’re like a little puppy, grunting and snorting all the time, especially as you wake up.  You prefer to sleep in the bouncer, so you spend most of the night on the floor next to my side of the bed. The basinet is there too, but generally you’re more content in the bouncer, which is just fine by me. You eat pretty consistently every two hours and your little figure is proof of your frequent feedings!  You’re a chunky little guy!  I have a hard time thinking about you and Molli looking alike because you have this adorable little pudge that she never had. Be prepared for a lot of cheek pinching in your future!

Molli: My goodness what a remarkable little girl you have become.  I think the most notable thing about you at this age is your intelligence.  You are a problem solver and a do-it-yourselfer.  You’re brilliance is most obvious in your vocabulary.  You speak exclusively in sentences now and are working hard at learning how to express yourself verbally.  Sometimes you get frustrated because things don’t work the way you want them to and patience is not your strong point.  You are a very expressive individual, for better or for worse.  For the most part you are kind and thoughtful. Your biggest struggle lately is listening to correction and responding nicely.  You copy most anything you hear or see us say or do (again, for better or for worse). You love your family, but Grammy is your first pick most of the time. You love playing with your dollhouse and the little people that go with it- you call them your “guys.”  Every time you finish a meal, you want the washcloth to go “wash the guys.”  You like to eat turkey dogs, beans macaroni, spaghetti, peas, yogurt, ketchup, chickpeas, French fries, cottage cheese and you do not like meat and you make terrible messes with cornbread and muffins. You adore your baby brother but sometimes have a hard time staying out of his face.  You love to touch his face and have a strange obsession with his eyes.  If he is awake (or grunting) you shout that his eyes are open and immediately go touch him.  You ask to hold him with your hands out like you’re holding water in them.  You’re a fan of Elmo, big time. You are learning your colors, to go on the potty, to count, and to clean up after yourself. 

The lullabies are still playing, but my darling baby has fallen asleep.  Sometimes I just stare at him.  I hope these moments will be etched deeply enough in my memory that I will never forget.  Tonight I will simply enjoy the gift of love and will thank God for trusting me with these two precious treasures.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

oops (x4)

Yesterday I had a moment of panic.  You know that sinking feeling you get upon realization that you’ve locked your keys in the car?  It was like that, only a little worse. Like that because the keys were, in fact, locked in the car.  A little worse because not only were the keys locked in the car, so were my children, and there’s no spare key.  Really awesome scenario, eh? Add to it that little 5 week old Gavin was 25 minutes passed the time he would typically eat.  I had been expecting a “starving baby meltdown” the entire duration I was at the store.  Relieved to have avoided a public vocal reprimand by my son, I put him in the car, planning to rush home and hope to beat the meltdown.  With the key disaster at hand, I was definitely sure it was going to get ugly. 

Thankfully, nothing got ugly and a cab company was prompt to respond and rescue us.  Gavin, uncharacteristically, squirmed around in his carseat and fell asleep, while Molli thought it was hilarious that she and Gavin were in the car and I was looking at them through the windows.  So, naturally, she took off her shoes and dumped her water all over her legs, sprinkling her crushed up snack on top- some of her favorite car activities. 

A few minutes and $25 dollars later, we left the parking lot.  It was definitely one of my more uneventful keys-locked-in-car experiences.  Would you like to hear about some of my other idiotic experiences of this nature?

The following experiences occurred while I was working as a child and adolescent outreach therapist in a town 45 minutes from where I lived at the time.  This job required me to travel all over the fricken place, mostly to schools and client’s homes. 

1.) I was fairly new at work and was feeling pretty good about having four solid sessions with clients at one particular school.  I went to leave, couldn’t find the keys in my coat pocket, backtracked through the school and eventually walked back out to the car (company car #1) with impending dread and realized that, of course, the doors were locked (because I’m responsible), the keys were in my purse and my purse was in the car (because I’m actually not responsible).  <insert sinking feeling here>

I went back inside and realized along with the keys, my phone was also in my purse. I asked to use the school secretary’s phone, called the office to talk with, Rose, my boss (who had the spare set).  She was out so I got her cell number.  Unfortunately, it was long-distance so I had to get the school secretary to help me.  She instructed me to dial “9 and 1” to get an outside line.  She must have taken me for a fool or something because I did as she instructed, then proceeded to dial the cell number, beginning with “1” and before I could even finish dialing, three people ran into the office, full speed and freaking out.  Apparently I dialed 911 and the cops and fire trucks were on their way.  Mortified by my idiot self, I hung up and slunk out of the office, with sirens in the distance.  Don’t worry, I had to face my fault.  “Conveniently,” the cops arrived and were able to unlock my car door.  

2.) It was winter and I had just gotten over a pretty solid seasonal cold.  Apparently I had shared the cold with everyone in the outreach program and I was the only one back at work, besides the intern, Christina, who became a very good friend.  I met with a client at his school, then had 15 minutes before my next appointment.  I had to use the bathroom but was definitely not going to go at my next client’s house, for sanitary reasons.  I stopped at a cycle shop to go, quickly.  I finished up a phone call in the parking lot, got out, and in one graceful motion, slammed the door and immediately placed my face up to the window.  Yep, keys in the ignition of company car #2 still.  Crapola!  At least this time I knew the police were capable to getting locked doors open.  No problem, I figured I’d go to the bathroom, call them and be at my next appointment just a few minutes late… no one at work would even have to know. Ideally that would have been the case. I don’t do “ideal” very well. 

I only had to freeze my butt off for a few minutes before the police did arrived.  I’m not sure if it was just bad luck or if I deserved it, but this officer was not able to pry the door open enough to move the lock.  “No problem,” he said.  He got a slim jim out of his vehicle and shoved it down into the depths of the car door and jiggled it around for a while.  By now, I’m super cold, and also late. He pretended to be my hero for a while, then informed me that his slim jim was stuck and if I could please return it to him if I could get it out, he’d “really appreciate it.”  He left and I was still locked out, now with a ghetto piece of thin metal jammed in and sticking out of the window.  I called Christina, she got the spare and came to rescue me.  She and I tried to pry the darn thing loose, but in the end we contacted the guy who did maintenance things and I had to fill out an incident report.  He wound up taking the entire door apart to set the slim jim free.  I still have it and consider it a gift for future trouble.

3.)  Future trouble came soon, but this time was fairly simple.  (Too bad the slim jim was locked IN my car, with my keys.)  I stopped by Target to buy a journal for my next client and had the classic “oopsies, I locked the keys in the car” moment.  I had the non-emergency number saved in my phone by then.  I used it, and was saved pretty quickly.  That’s how it should work.

*In my defense, the remote start/lock thing has been having issues lately and locked the car itself at no fault of my own during this most recent incident when the kids were in the car.*

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Early Weeks

We are wrapping up what parents can fondly remember as “the early weeks.”  Those weeks that are full of internal chaos initiated and perpetuated by days that turn into nights and nights that turn back into days without any separation besides pajamas. Which, if I’m going to be honest, doesn’t necessarily involve any change for me, considering I remain in pajamas day and night, unless I leave the house.  Then again, I’m not above going out in my most minimally offensive pajamas. I digress.  We are four weeks into life with our son and I think we’re stepping out of “the early weeks” and into real life.  This is not to say that Gavin and I are sleeping through the night (HA!), or that we’ve got everything figured out, but we are getting into the swing of things and I’m learning what it means to be a mommy to two. 

Molli, the poor girl, has been in unusual form for the past few weeks.  The cards are definitely stacked against her.  Between Mommy and Daddy bringing home a new baby for everyone to look at and hold, cousin Jackson visiting for a couple weeks and bumping her aside for some of the spotlight (along with sharing toys, space, food etc.) and being a very nearly two year old, she has every right to be having a rough time.  She spends much of her days engaging in forbidden activities, glancing at me with sideways eyes to make sure I’m watching.  Attention, it seems, is welcome in any capacity.  Unfortunately, she’s received more than her typical share of negative attention. She’s mastered fit throwing, ignoring, toy hoarding, biting, and occasionally throws a bout of starvation on me. She’s definitely becoming more proficient at timeouts. (Granted, it’s that time of life where such behavior is expected, and some of it was certainly provoked.)

Simultaneously, she has been incredible.  She’s a fabulous big sister and really loves her baby Gavin.  She wants to be close to him at any opportunity (more often than not, way too close!) and she likes to be a big helper.  She’ll bring me things I need, watch diaper changes and baths, and offer to “hold him” (which is really more like she sits still with her arms down by her sides as I hold him over her lap).  She is also talking in full sentences most of the time and is practicing using the big girl potty.  She’s not awesome at it, and still wears diapers, but we’re slowly getting there.  I am proud of all of her new accomplishments! 

Gavin is such a sweet little dude.  He hasn’t shown as much personality so far as Molli did at this age, but he’s working on it. He is a snacker and a napper, typically not really into great long feeding sessions and doesn’t care to sleep for long periods of time. And when he does sleep, he’s LOUD.  We thought Molli was noisy, with her squeaks, grunts and whimpers, but this is a whole new level of sleep noise.  This guy growls and grunts, big time, especially when he’s trying to wake up, poop or has gas.  It cracks me up!

We had a bit of a rocky start with nursing.  Almost immediately out of the hospital we both developed thrush.  What a major bummer!  If you’ve had it, you know how awful it can be.  We have been trying medical and homeopathic remedies and finally, after being treated for a solid 3 weeks, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  Like I said, a major bummer.

Gavin is one whole month old today.  Time is flying by.  He’s 1/12 of the way to his first birthday.  It’s been a fabulous month though! In addition to Mommy and Daddy, he’s already had the opportunity to get to know his sister, Grammy and Papa, Uncle Zach, Aunt Rorie, Uncle Brian, Uncle Nate and Aunt Tamara, and his cousin Jackson!  That’s a lot of people, and more to come!  One of the hardest parts about being in Illinois when Molli was born was not getting to have family around to help and to be part of that experience.  While We’re not around everyone, I feel very blessed to have had the help of my parents.

Happy One Month birthday, little man, we survived the early weeks!