Sunday, March 29, 2015

Did He Just Say...?

Carson is entering the phase of saying hilarious things 99% of the time. One day he was intently watching as I prepared to nurse Lincoln before he said with some concern, "Are you going to put Lincoln back in your belly?" 
I bought "The Book With No Pictures" by BJ Novak this week. It is a children's book that is exactly as the name implies. A book with just words. After reading the book -- which is full of silly words -- I asked Eli if he liked the book. He scratched his head for a second and said, "It was kind of weird. I found myself confused."


Eli kind of has the attitude of a thirteen-year-old girl sometimes. One day I made him turn off a computer game so he was mad at me and yelled, "Mom! I don't even know you anymore!"
Eli has a few speech impediments we should probably start getting checked out. Anyway. One of his trouble letters is "R." He pronounces his "R"s as "W"s.

One day in the bath, Eli said to Carson, "This is a wet woad." (meaning wet road.)
Carson looked at Eli and said, "A ret road?" (translating both of his pronounced "W"s as "R"s.)
Carson is our little jokester. He takes everything lightly and loves to make us laugh. One of his favorite games is when we call him silly names. So we'll say something like, "Hey, cutie pants." And he'll say, "I'm not a cutie pants! YOU'RE a cutie pants!" Giggle, giggle.

One day he wasn't eating his lunch and I was trying to get out the door, so I said to him, "Eat your lunch!" to which he said, "I'm not 'your lunch!' YOU'RE 'your lunch!'"

Love my funny bunch of boys!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Soccer, Swing, Scooters, Spring

Let's see what the older boys have been up to over the past couple weeks, shall we?

Now that I'm six weeks recovered from having a baby, I've begun to attempt kicking the baby weight.  Over the past few months I have completely undone all my hard work from last year. I justified all my reclaimed unhealthy habits on pregnancy and now I'm having to make up for it.

Enter white bean deep dish cookie pie. The perfect trick to curb your sweet tooth whilst secretly supplying your four-year-old-who-refuses-to-eat-any-vegetables a healthy dose of fiber. 
The trampoline is up and in use!
The trampoline is the perfect setting to defend the world against evil Moorbots under Dr. Morocco's corrupt command with high-powered kicks, punches, and lots of shouts of, "Power up and ENERGIZE!"
I signed Eli up for soccer in a carefree moment of pre-three-kid euphoria. After all, think of how cute it would be to see Eli chasing after a spotted ball amid a herd of fellow preschoolers? How great would it be for Eli to get his first introduction to team sports? How fun for Eli to have his own little activity to take pride in?

Did I consider the fact that March is Jeff's busy season, or that having two evening plans a week would be a big commitment, or that I would still be trying to manage life with a new baby before I signed Eli up for soccer? No. I can confidently say I did not.

I unintentionally thrust myself into the hard-core circle of soccer moms. Eli and I showed up to soccer practice on the first day severely ill-equipped for our evening. It wasn't until we got there and I saw EVERY OTHER KID fully decked out in soccer gear that I remembered things like shin guards and cleats exist. Eli was sporting some basketball shorts, a t-shirt and some tennis shoes while his entire team was head-to-toe soccer-ized. I took in a deep breath as I started coming to terms with the fact that this soccer deal was going to be much more legit than anything I ever expected it to be.

Meanwhile, poor Eli goes to try and kick the ball around with this group of die-hard soccer tots only to discover he doesn't know the first thing about soccer. His coach spent most of the first practice yelling, "DON'T TOUCH THE BALL WITH YOUR HANDS!" while Eli spent the evening frantically trying to figure out the ins and outs of the game. I spent the night giggling at Eli's interpretations of his coach's instructions while he tried to act cool and fit in with the rest of the kids.

My favorite thing that happened is Eli kept picking up the ball with his hands, so his coach finally said to him, "You got pockets?" Eli looked down and was discouraged to find his shorts were pocketless. The coach continued, "That's okay. Just pretend like your hands are in your pockets." Eli soaked up every word of guidance his coach gave him and then promptly glued his hands to the sides of his legs and loyally ran around like that for the next twenty minutes -- even when the coach had them all gathered around to talk, Eli was standing there with hands unnaturally stuck to his sides. It was so cute to see his valiant efforts to do a good job.

Eli got a uniform at the first practice, and then we promptly snuck over to the store to buy him the appropriate gear for our second attempt at soccer practice. Eli had a fun time and was so eager to go back that he wore his soccer uniform all day leading up to day 2 of soccer.
The weather! It has been so nice. Thank goodness because I wouldn't have survived the last month with all three boys had the older two not had an outdoor outlet.
A baby carrier has been my secret to success so far. It doesn't even feel like I have an extra little person to worry about when I have him strapped to me, allowing me to remain handsfree.

We're still keeping Lincoln locked up, but Eli, Carson and I escaped one Sunday to go to my grandma's to celebrate Spencer's birthday with the coolest cake that ever was.
I caught Eli doing ninja moves in the kitchen. When I asked him what he was doing he said, "This is my sword and this is my shield." Well, obviously that's what those things are.
My grandma let Eli and Carson have all the candles to blow out to themselves on one of the cakes. Eli was so excited, he made this face in anticipation of his big moment for a good 30 seconds before he actually blew the candles out.
Spencer has sent two letters to Eli over the past few months which Eli has completely loved. The first included slivers of paper to make up the world's most challenging puzzle, and the second one was a birthday card that the boys found absolutely hilarious and made me read it to them approximately every half hour for the whole week after they got it. So Eli made Spencer a birthday puzzle in celebration of his big day.
These boys are so sweet. Seriously. We've come a long way from this post. The boys run off together all day long playing/crime fighting and periodically disclosing to each other, "You're my best friend" followed by laughs, hugs and pure brotherly happiness. Basically I only see them when they get hungry. It's so fun to see them developing the brotherly bond I always dreamed of them having.
The boys use our garden as a "sandbox" during its off season. One afternoon Carson kept trying to come in the house with a bunch of filthy matchbox cars pleading with me when I wouldn't let the cars come in that they needed a car wash. I resolved to giving him a bowl of water for him to dip the cars into to wash them off. It was the most brilliant idea I'd had all day.
 That bowl of water kept the boys happy for the next two hours. Boo yeah!
I can see a lot of myself in Eli's personality. One thing we have in common is that when we decide we are going to do something, there is no unconvincing us of our decisions. So when Eli persisted that we take him to a skate park despite us trying to tell him the skate park is kind of for bigger kids, I knew it was only a matter of time before he'd win out.
The night of Eli's third soccer practice, he started putting up a fight about not wanting to go. After 20 unsuccessful minutes of trying to coerce him into his soccer uniform, I finally bribed him with a trip to the skate park if he was cooperative for soccer for the week. That whipped him right into shape. Come Friday, he was sure to constantly remind me of my agreement and made me pay up. To the skate park we went.
Eli was pretty brave! And I have since invested in some helmets, so forgive me for my unhelmeted children in these pictures.
Carson quickly surrendered to any attempts at making it up or down a ramp on a scooter, so he used his legs and bum as his vehicles of transportation.

Spring! I want twelve more trees just like this one in my yard just for spring time. I love it with all the blossoms on it!
Here are a few more pictures of our lunch with David and Mary. This was Eli "smiling."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Six Weeks of Lincoln

I typically love the six week baby milestone. Six weeks seems to be the time newborns start developing a schedule. It seems to be the time they start sleeping slightly longer chunks at night. It seems to be the time when you start getting brave enough to take them out in public. 
Tis not the case for us. Lincoln's developmental schedule is about as whack as this face he's pulling.
I will be completely honest in saying I don't love the newborn stage. I love newborns because they are adorable and cuddly and smell like heaven. However, I am a complete wreck without a reliable schedule and a full night's rest -- both of which are impossible to come by with a new baby.
I feel like Lincoln is in a newborn time warp. He doesn't appear to be getting much bigger, he doesn't appear to be concerned about developing any kind of reliable schedule, and he doesn't give a hoot that it's 2:00 in the morning and he should be sleeping because he has yet to gain any kind of respect for a good night's rest.

So our preemie is acting his gestational age instead of his earthly age which means he's likely giving me 5 extra weeks of living with an unreliable night owl.
But he's tiny and adorable, so I guess I'll forgive him for his immaturity.
Despite the fact that his binky is still half the size of his face, he does seem to be growing at least a little bit. His belly looks a little more circular and frog-like than weeks past.
This is how we spend a lot of our days -- with a mess all over the table, sewing that needs to be done, and a little boy who I can't help but put off all my chores for.
I did have to loosen his carseat straps this week. More evidence of his chunking up.
My mom has had all sorts of teeth problems which is great news for me because her dentist is right across the street from me. Lincoln's enjoyed his grandma bonding time.

And I've enjoyed having someone around willing to snap a few pictures of me and Lincoln.

This is the only picture I took to document the strap Lincoln had to wear on his chest to monitor his heart rate and breathing. We never had any issues and he will officially be monitor free on Monday.
We ventured out to the trampoline one night. It turned out to be a very effective bouncer for Lincoln until we were attacked by beetles and promptly ran back into quarantine.
Lincoln has advanced from preemie to newborn clothes in the past few weeks and we promoted him to size 1 diapers.
Ever the comedian this one.

Last week was really bad as far as him being awake at night. He was awake for about three hours straight at night, and then during the day I would try to keep him awake, and no matter how much I jostled him he was completely out of it.
We're slowly getting him used to being awake with the sun.
Jeff's parents were driving by our house over the weekend, so they stopped by and took us to lunch. It was fun to have them see Lincoln out of the hospital.
This was Lincoln's first public outing, and like a good little boy he slept perfectly through the whole thing!
It's fun to get to know our little Lincoln boy. We sure love him!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Our Acne Phobia

Did you catch my Mad Lib in the title? Say it three times fast and see if you catch it. Theeeeeere you go.

Our sweet little Lincoln.
And the skin that was once baby soft....
 Turned literally overnight into....
No, no. Those are not spider bites. That my friends is baby acne. It's a little disheartening when you turn to the internet for baby acne remedies only to discover that your child's pimples are worse than any and all of the Google Images that pop up.
Leaving me to believe Lincoln literally has the worst baby acne there ever was. And his face will probably now appear when Googling "baby acne."
So for those of you who found my pubescent baby prodigy on Google and are wondering what home remedies best worked to unsplotchify Mr. Splotchy, the answer is baking soda and water. I just put a little bit of baking soda in a cup of water and dabbed that on his face in the morning, left it on for about a minute and then rinsed it off with a bath, careful not to get any runoff in his eyes. Then I put breastmilk on it several times throughout the day for good measure.
The acne appeared seriously overnight. Right at his one month mark on this zit flustering planet. It started at his nose and sloooooowly migrated in a perfect circle to the outside of his face. It was the weirdest medical condition I have ever witnessed.
As it migrated away from his nose it got more spread out and lighter. 
And exactly one week later we had clear skin again. Whew! There is hope for all you Googlers. (Dear Lincoln, forgive me for forever making you the poster child of baby acne. And sorry I've already used up your 15 minutes of fame. On this.)
Just in case RSV threatening our well-being wasn't enough to keep us cooped up, Mr. Splotchy's face was extra security to ensure we minded our quarantine. It's taken quite a bit to keep three boys happy locked in a house all day.

Eli and Carson rediscovered our Legos the first week Jeff went back to work. They spilled and spewed Legos all about the house. I ordered them to clean the Legos before I would let them watch a show in the afternoon one day. Then I didn't see either of them for 4 hours. It's amazing how busy they can keep themselves when they're avoiding a simple chore and a strict mother.
Let's face it. This little guy has been pretty easy to entertain. He is on a funny schedule where he has two straight hours of awake time every 12 hours, but then he is totally konked out for the rest of the time. Unfortunately, these two hours do occasionally fall between the hours of 12-5 AM, and when that happens, he has himself a grumpy milk supply for the next 24 hours.
The older brothers are still constantly doting on Lincoln.

The hospital got Lincoln addicted to the ugly binkies. I swore I'd never have one of THOSE kids with the gigantic, ugly pacifier. But alas. You would think I'd learn by now to stop judging child rearing tactics because inevitably you always end up proving yourself wrong.
They are the cutest.
This is what a quarantine-friendly swimming pool looks like.
And this is what a quarantined Carson looks like. Begging for a second helping of chocolate chips and marshmallows. Knowing I'm going to say "no" and frowning in advance.
The worst thing that can ever happen before 7:00 AM is for the boys to realize it's snowing outside. Because who likes hunting down snow gear and bundling two rascals up all before breakfast has had time to digest? Not this mom.
I love this picture because you can see the plea in Lincoln's eyes saying, "Save me, Mom." Sorry bud. You're on your own. I'm on camera duty.
And I love this picture because Eli was chanting, "Fooooooooooooooooorkliiiiiiiiiiiiiiift" as he ignored all the discussions we've had on the importance of infantile neck support.
When you're too quarantined to go buy new toys, make your own! Eli's little brain got working one afternoon as he was playing with a balloon. I saw his wheels start turning and he got in the zone of figuring out a way to make himself a slingshot. With the help of a box and a certain little brother, his slingshot dreams materialized.
Carson is our imaginative player. Carson lives half reality and half fiction. I love seeing him play pretend because Eli's always been a little too logical to fully commit to pretend games. Here he was meticulously "cooking dinner" for an hour one morning while Eli was at preschool.
I kept feeling like Lincoln was still theoretically in utero since it was still pre-due-date. But we've officially made it past his due date, so I finally feel like he's officially been born and is a regular newborn. Well. Maybe when we get rid of those pesky cords he'll officially be a regular newborn. We've still got two weeks left with those. The good news is Lincoln has finally started gaining weight! He weighed in just below 7 lbs at his last appointment. And believe it or not, those chicken legs actually look chunky to me!
Once a week we break free and venture out to church. Today the boys broke out as they broke in their new bow ties.
Eli knows he's rockin' it.
Three kids!