Monday, December 29, 2008

Trains, Planes, and Treadmills

Christmas was very nice. The boys got way too many gifts, as usual. They got to open a ton of presents from Santa, Mommy and Daddy, and later, from Grandma and Grandpa (aka MIL and FIL). And of course, Gabe was more interested in Nick's toys than he was in his own. Toys like music rattles, a squeaky hammer, and little people arctic animals.

Of course, Gabe did get playdoh. Lots of playdoh. Way too much playdoh. Not to mention numerous puzzles, books, and games. My mom got him two of the games, the Lady Bug game looks really cute, but I'm not sure about the other one. It looks like it involves way too much effort on my part. But we'll see. However, keeping with tradition it is a bee game, and well my mother loves bees, and Gabe is good with calling her Grandma Bee. My dad got them gifts from a wish list I created at a local educational toy store. It was better this way. The toys are age-appropriate and mommy approved. My brother picked out his his gifts with the help of his fiance.

Oh and let's not forget the train set from Grandma and Grandpa. It's not the [super expensive] Thomas the Train set, but it is on the same scale. It was a [much cheaper] Target version. We got him a 120-piece set to go with it, that included cars, track, buildings and people. It's very cute. Nick thinks that the pieces are perfect for chewing on. However, my MIL makes sure that there are numerous age-appropriate toys nearby so that she can distract him when needed. He gets rather angry if you take something from him that he wants to play with or chew on.

I'm very excited - For Christmas (from my MIL and FIL, SIL, and husband) I got the Lose Weight and Bootcamp iFit cards from Jillian Michaels and am ready to finally not only lose the last of my baby weight, but also get down to my "ideal" weight. I have a NordicTrack Treadmill, that is wonderful, so the cards just make it even more so, since you don't have to think about the speed or incline. I also purchased Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred video.

I'm not going to start my new routine until next week due to the Seattle trip, but I will post stats and let you know how its going once I get started. I have high hopes. I just need to make time. Not sure where since Santa didn't bring me that 25th hour of the day like I requested, so I will have to make do with the 24 I've got.

As for Seattle, Oscar, Nick, and I leave tomorrow morning. Luckily the we have straight flights, unluckily that means LONG hours spent on an airplane. My MIL is spending the night so that she can drive us to the airport and then take Gabe to their country house for the week. She'll come back Friday to pick us up from the airport and take Nick home with her, so Oscar and I can get some sleep after our red-eye. Sounds like so much fun, doesn't it? I mean who doesn't want to travel cross-country with a 9-month-old on their lap?

Oh and for those that were keeping track Nick is 9-months, 5-days and still has no teeth, not even part of a tooth. None. But he'll eat anything, so he has that going for him.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Milk and Cookies

Yesterday, Gabe and I made frosted, sprinkled, sugar cookies. It's a family tradition, one I remember fondly from when I was growing up and want to continue doing with my family. However, unlike my mother I do not make my dough or my frosting from scratch. The dough was courtesy of Toll House and the frosting was courtesy of Duncan Hines. And you know what? It's still a lot of freaking work.

I still had to divide out the frosting and color it - I went simple only red, green, or white (also known as not colored). Then there's the dough, you still have to use flour so it does not stick and break out the rolling pin if you plan to use cookie cutters. I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen (mainly because I don't have a lot of time, partly because I have yet to have a decently sized kitchen), so I have a grand total of one baking sheet, which could fix a grand total of 6 cookies. So it took a while to just get the cookies baked.

Then of course there was the entertainment that was Gabe frosting and sprinkling the cookies. Also the mess (SPRINKLES EVERYWHERE - I'll be probably still be finding sprinkles at Easter). I'm not a patient person by nature, I've had to really try since becoming a parent. Gabe tests every shred of patience I am able to muster, and sometimes fail to muster. So cookie decorating was quite a trial, between my lack of patience, and his. Still it was fun, if messy, and he enjoyed it, which was the point, so I guess it was a success. He still needed help with the decorating as he managed to glob frosting on the center and dump way too many sprinkles on each cookie.

As for the milk, I really I am getting tired of pumping. I like breastfeeding my baby, I really do. Especially our cuddles before bed, but the pumping is getting old. I'm working at a different location this week and don't have my office or the spare office to pump in. So I am having to pump in the locker room, in the basement. The only bench in this locker room is on one side of the room and the only plug is on the other and my cord is not long enough to stretch between the two. However there is a little closet just big enough for me to sit in right next to the plug. So that is what I have resorted to - sitting in the closet on the floor while I pump.

I am starting to introduce some formula, just so that Nick is used to it when there are times I don't have enough milk pumped for him. I still hope to have him partially breastfed until his 1st birthday, but foresee formula becoming a little more frequent. However he was still completely breastfed up until his 8th month and has had very little formula since then, only the occasional bottle. My job is starting to get more demanding of my time, so if the time comes I don't want to cold turkey breast milk without him being familiar with formula.

I love nursing Nick in the evenings and I will miss it when we stop. He is so warm and cuddly and content when he is nursing. It's hard to believe he's already 9-months. Time has flown by so quickly and before I know it my babies will be graduating high school, and as eager as I am to see what kind of men they grow up to be, I can't help but ache for the babies they will leave behind. Gabe is already almost 3 and a half and it just breaks my heart to think of how quickly he has grown. That's part of the reason I can't completely rule out a third child, since I am not yet ready to give up my baby days.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morning Observations

5:55 Gabe wakes up and calls for Daddy, who is already at work. After getting no response he then calls for Mommy. Mommy is in bed with Nick, who she brought in with her when he woke up at 3:30. Mommy carefully moves Nick to the middle of the bed and surrounds him with pillows before going to check on Gabe. Gabe wants her to sleep on the floor with him. Mommy says no, she is going back to her bed, since she has to get up soon to get ready for work, tells him it's too early to get up, gives him a kiss and goes back to bed.

6:00 Mommy's alarm goes off. Mommy hits the snooze button.

6:05 Gabe calls for mommy again. Mommy turns off her alarm (clock, not preschooler) and goes to see what Gabe needs. Again he asks her to sleep with him. Mommy tells him she can't, she has to go get ready for work, but please go back to sleep, it's too early for you to be up.

6:10 Mommy brushes her teeth, and rinses with mouth wash.

6:15 Gabe comes into the bedroom. Mommy gives up hope that he will sleep or even rest any longer and turns on Playhouse Disney. Usually the TV does not get turned on until 6:30, when Johnny and the Sprites comes on.

6:16 Nick tries to attack Daddy's laptop, which is sitting on the floor.

6:20 Nick tries again to attack Daddy's laptop. Mommy goes to get him. Realizes he has a smelly diaper, so she changes him and gets him dressed.

6:25 Returns to bedroom to try and get ready. Gabe hops up and tries to launch himself at her, so Mommy gives him a hug and then decides to dress him too.

6:30 Mommy finally gets dressed

6:35 Mommy removes Nick from Daddy's laptop yet again (why is that darn thing still down there?)

6:40 Mommy realizes that doing anything "fancy" with her hair is not happening and pulls it back into a ponytail.

6:45 Mommy picks up Nick and takes him downstairs with her while she turns on her coffee and brings her lunch and the boys bags (Nick's diaper bag and Gabe's Handy Manny back pack) to the car. Mommy turns on the car so it will be warm when they leave.

6:50 Mommy takes Nick back upstairs and brings Gabe his banana.

6:55 Mommy finally has on some makeup (concealer and mascara) and puts Nick in car seat.

7:00 Mommy, Gabe, and Nick go downstairs. Mommy pours her coffee and everybody goes out to the car. Gabe gets his shoes and the Christmas lights get turned off.

7:05 Mommy pulls out of the driveway. Gabe asks Mommy (as he does EVERY morning) why we turned the Christmas lights off. Mommy replies because it is morning. Gabe then states that its still dark out. Mommy replies that we have to leave when its dark out, so we unplug the lights before we leave since we will not be home when its light out. Gabe then states that those people over there (pointing to whichever random house with lights we happen to be passing) still have their lights on. To which Mommy replies, well they are probably still sleeping (which is what Mommy still really wishes she was doing).

7:08 Drive by "Secret Squirrel Road" (nickname Mommy gave an alternate route to Grandma's and really wishes she hadn't) and have Gabe ask why can't we go that way. To which Mommy replies we are leaving early enough that the normal way will be quicker (the normal route is a shorter distance, however if you don't leave at the right time, it gets backed up and takes much longer than the alternate route).

7:10 Drive by local farm. Gabe asks why we can't see the lights on the windmill (which are faint and can only be seen when it is really dark). Mommy replies because it is getting light out. Gabe then points out that he can see all the other lights at the farm (which is decorated to the nines).

7:15 Arrive at Grandma's (a.k.a. Mommy's MIL) and drop off Nick while Grandma gives Gabe some juice and feeds him some apples.

7:20 Arrive at Gabe's preschool. Drop all his stuff off in his classroom and get his cheerios and and water cup out of his bag. Also his snack, which Mommy leaves at the front of his cubby and reminds him that he has. Mommy has Gabe help her fill up his water cup and then they go in the "eating room", which is what Gabe calls the room where his age groups sits if they arrive before 8.

7:25 Mommy kisses Gabe goodbye and drives to work.

7:32 Mommy arrives at work - is it time to go home yet?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cuddles and Conversation

If it were up to me, I would not get out of bed until 10 a.m. on most mornings. That would be followed by a leisurely breakfast consisting of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and some coffee, preferably a latte from Starbucks. In fact, that was pretty close to my routine on the weekends before I had children.

Now I am lucky to be in bed past 6:30 a.m. on any given day. So I am probably not the best person for Gabe to have a conversation with on the way to my MIL's in the mornings. But I am his only option since Nick hasn't quite mastered the fine are of comprehensible speech. Still, he does try and I do try my best to answer.

Many of our conversations revolve around Grandma and how she does X,Y, and Z better than Mommy. These conversations ultimately end in, "Well, I'm not Grandma." And sometimes, "Well I'm not Daddy." This may indicate where I stand on Gabe's list of favorite people. In all probability Grandpa, Nick, his six-year-old female second cousin, his aunt, and my in-law's two Chihuahuas probably rank higher - most of the time. Occasionally he wants me above everybody else, but those times are few and far between. Mostly I just hear about Grandma.

This morning he decided to complain about his car-seat (which he has been in since he outgrew his infant carrier) and how it was "scratchy" (it's actually very soft and plush, almost like an easy chair) and how it wasn't like the one in Grandma's van.

We also had a conversation about school buses. He wanted to know why the buses had a blinking light on top. I believe my answer was "those lights are to make sure people notice them even when they are not stopped to pick up children because they could stop at any time to pick up children."

We also usually have to talk about the local farm (or rather local flower-stand/Halloween extravaganza/Christmas tree merchant), as I think it stopped being just a "local farm" years ago. It is currently selling Christmas trees and has just about everything covered in Christmas lights, to include an old rusted truck and their windmill. Yesterday he asked me why the old rusted tractor didn't have lights on it. Oh and why don't the trees have lights on them? And why are the lights over the trees on?

The entire time Gabe and I are talking or attempting to talk Nick is either talking to his reflection in the mirror on the front of his seat or yelling about being in his car seat and not having anyone entertaining him. Luckily it is only a 10-15 minute drive to my MIL's, so even if he does decide to yell the whole time, we don't have long before I am at my MIL's and can get him out. I am rewarded with a nice cuddle when I do. He dislikes his car-seat with a passion and feels betrayed whenever he is put in there especially when I pick him up at the end of the day.

Nick is a very cuddly baby. I think he would happily sleep a lot more than he does if only he could sleep on me. Last night, for example, he fell asleep on the way home from my MIL's, and when I went to get him out at dinner time, he promptly buried his face in my shoulder and went back to sleep. He is also more than happy to sleep on me after nursing or with me in the bed in the morning. It's nice sometimes, as I didn't have that with Gabe.

Gabe was not a cuddly baby, it's not that he didn't like to be held, he just didn't like to be cuddled, least of all by me. He was just much too fidgety to be able to cuddle. It was hard at night because often I was his only option, since Oscar was working nights at the time, and he didn't want me, he wanted Daddy or Grandma, neither of whom were there. I am tired now with Nick, since he still doesn't sleep through the night, but with Gabe I was exhausted. Nick I can easily get to go back to sleep. I would often spend half the night trying to get Gabe to go back to sleep.

These days Gabe loves to get hugs and kisses and wants either Mommy or Daddy to sleep with him, but no cuddling. He may want to hold your hand or your arm while he's going to sleep, but he doesn't want to be cuddled. He really just wants somebody there. And there are very rare occasions when he sleeps well in our bed, so usually I try to avoid it, since nobody really sleeps well when he sleeps with us. He also likes to sit in my lap during story time, and sometimes when he's watching TV. It's nice, as I like to have him close to me.

Progress Report

My three-year-old:
  • Is understandable when he speaks 95% of the time.
  • Uses long phrases when speaking
  • Can count to ten, and often to 20
  • Recognizes most of his letters when asked
  • Can identify the letters that words start with, even when looking at just a picture (such as a cat)
  • Knows all of his colors
  • Knows all of his basic shapes, as well as octagon (thank you Mickey Mouse Club House)
  • Likes animals, particularly monkeys and cats (but not kittens)
  • Likes cooking, especially when the result is something sweet, such as cookies
  • Likes building, either with blocks or "helping" with tools
  • Likes playing doctor, and really likes wearing band aids
  • Likes to play with play doh - particularly his Word World set that can smells fruity and comes with shape molds
  • Likes to put together puzzles and is pretty good at the large 30 piece puzzles
  • Likes to play games - the Cranium games for young children are a favorite
  • Loves to read, although he is not able to actually read whole words yet
  • Is a very picky eater (meals usually consist some combination of peanut butter either plain or on a bread, macaroni and cheese, plain whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cheerios, animal crackers, corn tortilla chips, plain hamburger without the bun, french fries, pepperoni pizza, bananas, strawberries, grapes, apples, orange juice, chocolate milk, apple juice)

My 8-month-old (okay 8 months, 3 weeks):

  • Can sit up (6 months)
  • Crawl (6 months, 1 week)
  • Pull himself to standing (6 months, 1 week)
  • Says something that sounds like hi (6 months, 3 weeks)
  • Says Dada (7 months)
  • Says Mama (7 months 2 weeks)
  • Clap (8 months, 2 weeks)
  • Wave (8 months, 2 weeks)
  • Loves to cuddle
  • Loves to "attack" his older brother (usually involves hair-pulling)
  • Likes red, particularly red furry things, such as Elmo
  • Likes Giraffes
  • Likes books, particularly touch and feel books
  • Is fascinated by electric cords, particularly those attached to laptops
  • Will eat anything (he has tried to eat pizza, hamburger meat, and pancakes - all courtesy of his big brother who abandoned them within his reach)
  • Still has no teeth

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Getting Better

First off, I am starting to feel better. The cold has settled mostly in my sinuses, so the fact that Nick really didn't sleep last night, didn't affect me as much as it would have a couple nights ago.

Sunday evening we took Gabe and Nick to see Elmo Goes Green. It was very cute, with a large cast of characters besides Elmo. The show was about where to plant Elmo's sunflower named Sunny, which had grown too large for its pot. While I am certainly not a huge fan of Elmo, my children are, especially my baby. There were lots of songs to dance to and the characters would regularly come out into the audience, much to the delight of Gabe (although he is more of a Playhouse Disney kind of kid).

Despite the fact that the show was an hour and a half, Nick was more than happy to stay on my lap the whole time. Sometimes he played with me (also known as bounce on mommy, bat at mommy, grab mommy's face, blow raspberries at mommy, and cuddle mommy), other times he happily munched on cheerios, and others he looked at the stage and giggle at Elmo.

Nick wasn't really interested in what was going on unless Elmo was on stage. We had floor seats and Oscar sat on the end with Gabe so that he could make sure he didn't wander too far away. At the very end Gabe went up to the stage (with Oscar following) and was able to get hugs from both Cookie Monster (my favorite) and Grover. Nick was too busy being fascinated with the giant Elmo balloons that were sold during intermission.

We brought their pajamas with us, as well as a mini meal and toothbrush for Gabe, so that we could change them after the show and have them both fall asleep on the way home. I brought a couple of bottles of pumped milk with me so that I could feed Nick while we were driving and then pump after he fell asleep. It worked out well, the show was over at about 6:30, and we were on the road by 7:00, so they we kept them pretty much on schedule for bedtime.

Bedtime is really important as I try to ensure that the both get as close to 12 hours of sleep at night, minus night wake ups (rare for Gabe, regular for Nick). Naps are hit or miss. My MIL has a hard time letting either of them fuss for even a second, so usually that results in them not napping. Gabe gave up his morning naps at 6 months and his afternoon naps at about 18 months.

Regardless of my consistency with naps on the weekend with Nick, it will eventual be a futile task, as it is hard to enforce in two days, what goes unenforced the other five. It was the same way with Gabe. Not that I don't think he still needs a nap. Once we hit the 5 O'clock witching hour... watch out! Not a fun way to spend the evening. As much as I love him, it is hard to keep my patience when he is doing everything he can to test it.


After Elmo, we still had the fun of getting ready for work on Monday. I also had a lot of homework to do. The fact that I wasn't feeling well did not help my brilliance in responding to my classmate's postings. Why, I thought finishing my degree while working full-time, with two small children was a good idea, I don't know. Oh wait, I didn't. Oscar did. Not that I don't want my degree, I do.

I also started taking classes again a year before Nick was born, and thus three months before he was conceived, so my time wasn't as constrained when I started. I even planned Nick's birth around the last day of my last class for my Associates Degree. My class finished on March 23rd. He was born on March 24th (scheduled induction, which ended as an emergency c-section).


It has been so long since I have had the opportunity to read a book, but I have a break coming up over the holidays, so hopefully I can get through 1 or 2, plus get caught up on the pile of magazines I have on my nightstand. Although, I do have that trip to Seattle over New Year's for my brother's wedding. So that may curtail my plans to get much reading done before I start classes again.Yes, my brother is getting married on New Year's Day.

Yes, his wedding is on the opposite side of the country from where I live. Yes, I just found out about it the week before Thanksgiving. And yes, both Oscar and I are in the wedding. Doesn't that sound like fun? However, we are only bringing Nick with us, and staying with my mom. Gabe will stay with my MIL while we're gone. As much as he would like being in a plane, the length of confinement and the quick pace of the time in Seattle, just would unpleasant for him. And really unfair. So we decided to only bring Nick, since he is still nursing.

Oscar's consolation prize for flying on his birthday to Seattle for my brother's wedding with a baby is Jack in the Box - namely an Ultimate Cheeseburger and Mozzarella Sticks. The bonus prize for me is wearing a dress that I have never tried on, and guessed on the measurements, in the wedding. And no, I have not regained my pre-baby figure, so I am not exactly enthused about wearing a bridesmaid dress. But hey, new shoes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm Not Dead

So the fates conspired against me on Thursday. Not only did I come down with a very nasty cold courtesy of one darling baby, I also started my first post-pregnancy period. And, since I am still breastfeeding, and thus still on progesterone-only pills, it came complete with cramping and breast tenderness. The sore throat and coughing are so bad, that I am starting to lose my voice. So between the two, I feel like I was hit by a semi.

Unfortunately there is no taking a break to recover for me. I have homework to do and babies to care for. Also Elmo to see. Tomorrow. At 4:30. Yay... In a pre-child world I would spend all day in bed recovering. Unfortunately Gabe will be up no later than 6:30, and that's on a good day. And Nick will get up no fewer than two times between 10 and 5, also on a good night, and well he has a cold, so probably not going to be a good night.

I am debating on whether or not I should go to urgent care in the morning. On the one-hand it is more expensive than just waiting to go to the doctor, and if it's just a cold, there is really nothing they can do for me. On the other hand, it is more convenient than my primary care, and my pharmacy is in the same shopping center, complete with a Starbucks, and it is possible I have an ear infection... Did I mention Starbucks?

If I do have an infection of some sort, it would be nice to get antibiotics. I have such fond memories of the bottle of pink-stuff (also known as amoxicillin)that seemed to have a permanent place in our fridge when I was a child. I guess I will see how I feel in the morning and make the decision then. Also, did I mention Starbucks?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Watching You

The relationship that is developing between my boys, is the reason I always wanted to have more than one child. They adore each other.

Nick just lights up when he hears Gabe or when he notices that Gabe has entered the room. He will immediately crawl over to Gabe and try to attack him, although I think he is trying to give him a hug and then engage him in play, but he's only eight and a half months old, and well, still working on his fine motor skills.

So it really just ends up being him lunging at Gabe and grabbing whatever he can - usually hair. And then giggling, because he's so pleased to be playing with Gabe.

However, one of the cutest or saddest, depending upon how you look at it, displays of his adoration of Gabe are when he is staring at Gabe playing in his playroom.

Originally the playroom was a place to keep Gabe, and his stuff, contained, even for a moment. Gabe quickly learned how to open the doors to the playroom, so that didn't last long. However, it is now a place to contain Gabe's toys, many of which would be hazardous to a baby.

Nick, however, desperately wants to be in the playroom playing with Gabe, and loves to watch him play.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tis the Season

Sorry for the gap in posting. I have been really busy lately - between decorating for Christmas and tons of homework. Also, I was sick for part of the weekend, but I'm better now.

Gabe is so excited about Christmas. In his opinion our outside Christmas lights and our Christmas tree lights should be on all the time. Then again he also thinks sleeping is only for dark time, unless it is like 5 in the morning and dark, then he's not tired anymore. Personally I'd happily sleep in until 10, maybe noon, and take naps.

Our tree is covered in ornaments, including small non-breakable ornaments on the lower branches that Gabe put up. What this means of course is that they are at the perfect level for one small baby child to pull them off the tree and stick them in his mouth, as that is where EVERYTHING must go. Not that he doesn't have plenty of age appropriate toys perfect for putting in his mouth, he does, I assure you, but his toys are not nearly as interesting as those hanging from the Christmas tree. Hence the gate around the tree. So festive...

The stockings are hung by the chimney (er gas fireplace, no chimney) with care. The Christmas movies are stacked next to the DVD player in the family room. The Manger scene is set up (including the inn, and the Three Wise men with their caravan) - very cute, its Fisher Price Little People, which translates into chewing for Nick and noise making to Gabe (when you press the angel on the manger it plays the tune to Away in the Manger).

We also put up a Little People Night Before Christmas set, which consists of the North Pole, an elf, Santa's Sleigh, Santa's toy bag, Santa, and nine miniature reindeer, the ninth of which, is most certainly not Rudolph (no red nose).

My advent calendar is hung, or rather the advent calendar my mother made when I was little and I inherited. It is by the front door, however, which is gated off from the living room and playroom. If it were too accessible, it wouldn't last long - between Gabe consistently wanting to rearrange the ornaments and Nick wanting to chew on the ornaments... so Gabe can only put up an ornament when I am with him and Nick can't get near it.

Our next trick will be to wrap their presents. We have them all gathered in the basement, along with the wrapping paper, and bows, and name tags, but not one has come anywhere close to being wrapped. I also still need to get a few more little things for Oscar, to include stocking stuffers. Not that he really understands the value of stocking stuffers. But it is a thing with me, as it was always important when I was growing up.

We, or I should say Oscar, have successfully sent out our Christmas cards, as well as the presents for my parents, my brother, and his brother. So that's one thing done. We also have the appointment made and the outfits bought for the boys' Christmas pictures. Although we did take a home picture for the Christmas cards. We have been going to the same place since Gabe was three-months-old, and I plan to continue until the boys are grown. They are more expensive than other studios, but I am always satisfied with the quality, and they allow us to digitally view our pictures and provide the prints the same day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If I Only Had a Heart

Gabe had an appointment with a children's cardiologist today. It was very convenient as he comes once a week to our pediatrician's office. Gabe had a heart murmur at birth, which resulted in many trips to the NICU during our three-day hospital stay.

However, we were told that it went away before we left the hospital. A couple months ago, however, he came down a really bad cold with a hacking cough and fever (not pleasant, poor thing, he was having a hard time sleeping). It got really bad over a weekend and a brought him into the local urgent care. The doctor there mentioned that he had a heart murmur and recommended we follow up with our pediatrician.

The pediatrician said he didn't think it was anything serious, but he recommended that we make an appointment with the cardiologist that visits every week just to be sure. They did both an EKG and an ultrasound and while he does have a heart murmur - three different ones, actually - none of them are serious and will not affect his ability to play sports, should he desire to do so.

Gabe was so good for the appointment. He wouldn't talk to the doctor or his nurse, but he was very cooperative, despite the fact that he had to be very still for long periods (a couple minutes for the EKG, about 15 for the ultrasound). He was rewarded with stickers, which are always a hit. I am glad we got him checked out and even more glad that it was nothing serious.


Today is also my birthday. Yes, I share the same birthday as Britney Spears, and coincidentally, I am exactly the same age. It was nice. I actually got the new Britney CD from Oscar (have you heard her Womanizer single, it's pretty catchy).

Oh, and Gabe made me cupcakes. Well, he helped my MIL make me cupcakes - chocolate, with chocolate frosting. We dropped him off at my MIL's after his appointment and they made cupcakes. It was so cute, they had me close my eyes when I walked into the house and then they put a party hat on me, Gabe, and Nick and had me blow out the candles (matches) in two cupcakes while they sang me happy birthday. I also got a present from my mom (pumpkin candy and candle, always a hit), a gift card from my dad, an e-card from my brother, a candle and Burt's Bees products from my SIL, and a nice card from my MIL and FIL.

We didn't go out to dinner tonight, but we are going out in a couple of weeks. Oscar's birthday is on the 30th. So we're going out to lunch, just the two of us, on the 13th and then that evening we're going out to dinner with his parents. The next day we're going to Elmo Live. I'll have to remember to tell you how that goes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bedtime Stories

My favorite part of my boys night time routine has always been bedtime stories, and not because it is the last activity before they go to sleep. Not that I don't enjoy the three hours between their bedtime and mine. I can spend that time exercising, doing homework, maybe relaxing, which usually involve watching TV or reading, sometime in a bath and sometimes with wine.

But I digress. Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine, so I was eager to share it with my children. I have been reading to Gabe since I brought him home from the hospital. Gabe also really enjoys story time. He will even stay up past bedtime sometimes and flip through his books. Not that he can read yet, but he still loves to look at the pictures. Nick also seems to be fascinated by books. And not just to chew on. He loves books that have things to feel, and anything that involves Elmo.

I always read them three books before bed. Two for Gabe and one for Nick. Gabe loves to sit in my lap while I read him his two stories. During this time Nick is roaming around on the bed. Sometimes he'll play with a toy, sometimes he'll try to attack Gabe or the book. Other times, if Oscar has the computer on the bed he'll try to attack that. It's amusing to watch. I compare him to a kitten. He likes to pounce, and he has claws (I'm terrible about not cutting his fingernails, he's so squirmy I don't want to hurt him and I never remember when he's sleeping).

After I read Gabe's stories, then it is Nick's turn to sit on my lap for his story - usually a short board book. This doesn't always work out well, especially if he decides he is so hungry he has to eat right now or else, then it involves a very squirmy, fussy baby. If he is in a good mood, especially if it is a touch and feel book, story time goes well. His current favorite touch and feel book is That's Not My Snowman. Very cute. Gabe loves most stories - Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is always a favorite, as is anything that involves Mickey Mouse Club House, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, or Curious George.