Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Micah turns 2!

Yesterday was my baby's birthday. I didn't have time to blog on his birthday because we were busy making a dump truck cake and preparing for his neighborhood birthday party. All the kids on Tobacco Square and a few honorary play date friends came over on this rainy Monday to celebrate Micah. Here's a video from party. The theme: Diggers of course! (On a side note, I am totally addicted to Windows Movie Maker. You just dump photos and videos and add some music. It is such a creative outlet for me! I love it.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Week in the Life of Micah

One thing I've been trying to do in this time of adjustment with a new baby is to make sure that my toddler still feels special, and for the most part, his schedule remains the same. Even on the most tired days where I can hardly keep my head up, I figure I'll be fatigued beyond belief ANYWHERE I am, so I might as well stimulate my child and also connect with good friends who will help me forget my exhaustion. Here is our little Beethoven enrolled in group piano lessons for 1-year old musical prodigies. Hah, I wish!

Also, Patrick and I believe (and this is one of the reasons why I chose to stay at home) that age 1-5 is the most important time for growth and development and this is where Micah builds his foundation on life. Our challenge is to give him freedom to grow, but also establish good boundaries. Tough job, and we haven't even entered the terrible two's yet!

So, what does he do all week? Well, Mondays are errand days where he gets dragged across town to Wegmans, Costco, and usually Target. Then we come home, clean house, and do loads and loads of laundry. I think people think I'm a lonely mom at the grocery store talking to my children in the cart, but they don't know that all this talking is helping Micah learn. Everything is an object lesson. Tuesday and Wednesdays are usually multiple playdates. Lots of imagination and relationship-building. Here is Micah below with new friend, Roman. I have to say these two play so well together. They don't take each other's toys and they actually share.

And usually at every playdate, for some unknown reason, all the kids love to hug Micah. :)


 Every other week we get together for "Cousins Day" where my brother's kids and Micah and Caelan get to bond with family.

Thursday is Storytime at the library with Micah's neighbor, Jacob. They read and sing songs. Friday is usually a planned activity for just he and I so we have special mommy-time. Here's us doing crafts. He has been learning his colors and he is like a sponge - He's going to be two in 4 days - he learns so fast!

We think it's because his father spends a lot of time reading to him every night. And then the weekend rapidly approaches where we do something fun as a family, and Micah and daddy also have their quality time usually at the big park. He also enjoys his playtime at Sunday school at church. This investment, time of bonding, and all the things he's learning in these important developmental years, we pray, will set during this stage and will carry him through the rest of his life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Funny Conversations with Micah

When Patrick tries to tell Micah he's home for the weekend, and not at work:
Daddy: Micah, guess what? It's Saturday.
Micah: (Looks up smiling) mmhhh....Watch football?

A little Potty Humor
Mommy: Micah, something smells. Do you have a poopie diaper?
Micah: (blank stare)
Mommy: Okay, let's check. Nope, no poopie diaper.
Micah: No poopie mommy, just fawt.

Trying to convince Micah to eat his meat and vegetables:
Mommy: Micah, can you try this beef?
Micah: No beef!
Daddy: What about this yummy spinach?
Micah: No spinch
Mommy: What would you like to eat?
Micah: (with a charming smile) I-fream?
Mommy: No, no icecream
Micah: Panfakes?
Daddy: No, no pancakes
Micah: Ummmm...pumfin bed?
(Amazing what sweets he can come up with!!!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Forty Days and Nights with Caelan

The bible often refers to 40 days as a time of great trial and transformation. There are dozens of accounts, but to name a few: forty years reign of Saul, David and Solomon, 40 days and nights of the flood, 40 days fasting by Jesus in the wilderness. At the end of those 40 days of trial, there was great transformation. Well, interestingly for postpardum, the doctors ask you to get checked up at 6 weeks, the lactation consultants tell you that your milk is established during this time, and sleep experts suggest that your baby starts to get on a nap schedule at six weeks. Basically, if you can survive this 40 day period with a newborn, you have made it! Suddenly, I hear that song "I will survive" getting louder in my head.

Patrick and I didn't kill each other, Micah still feels special, and Caelan is still alive. What a huge success! Here's the journey from trial....

.... to transformation--my big boy at six weeks on a lazy Sunday afternoon, has already figured out the remote control! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For Brad and Lindsay

The Bendecks gave Micah a big brother gift at Caelan's Meet the Baby Party -- his favorite all time gift - diggers! When we first had him open the bag, he took out the first digger and all these words he never used started coming out and fast...he was so excited about his gift. He always said "deegers!" but he never specifically identified them by name. Of course, we stopped everything and ran to get the camera. The original cut (which we missed) is always the best, but we were still glad we got some of his new words on tape. Thanks Brad and Lindsay! I hope this will serve as our formal thank you note!:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meet the Baby Party

Yesterday, we had a little gathering of our small group family to meet Caelan. Instead of a baby shower, my dear friend Kathy and my sweet sister-in-law, Halys, threw together a wonderful, intimate celebration. After seeing good friends, I can surely say that for the first time in a month, I truly felt energized instead of exhausted. And Micah enjoyed himself with all the kids, while Caelan was being passed around. Friends, family, wine, cheesecake and free childcare for several hours - could a girl ask for a better evening? Here's one of my favorite pics from the evening - our glorious friend Scott looking quite comfortable holding a baby. Who thinks he'll make a good daddy? I do!
Susan, his wife, looks like quite the pro herself!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Wonder-Fall Halloween

This Halloween was a fun dress-up day for Micah and his friends. The name of this game was EASY (hello, just gave birth a month ago!) so what do you get when you put together an old bandana, hand-me down overalls and a borrowed cap? (thank you neighbors Chris and Ali!)

A train engineer of course! And what's better than one train conductor? How about two?!!!Micah's BBF, Liam, was also a train conductor this year. How totally cute! We had a fun time at the outlets where the stores were participating in trick-or-treating. It was sixty degrees! In the evening, we got together with the TSKC (affectionately referred to as the Tobacco Square Kids Club) where all his best buds got together for photos before they embarked on their candy-crazed adventure!In the five years we lived here, there has never been this many kids on our block and while it was an absolute madhouse, we loved it! It's been such a blessing to have wonderful neighbors who hang out almost every day together and we watch each other's kids. What a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Month Observations

Hard to believe a month has gone by already. We survived so far. Not dead yet. To monitor Caelan's growth, I am stealing a great idea from my friend Adrianna (who blogs faithfully from Greece!) and as she did for her one-month old, I will chart Caelan's growth over the next year with the same image over time. Here's him at one month! First thing to note was on day 4 - he was 6 lbs 14 ounces and now he weighs 11 lbs. As many issues as I'm having with nursing, it must not be all that bad because he's becoming a porker! Look at those cheeks. :)

Some other interesting observations after one month:
1. My boys don't suck. How I'd like to brag about this one, but unfortunately as it relates to nursing, neither one of them could latch well. They both had a tongue-tie, and now Caelan also has reflux. Can lightning strike the same place twice? With 12 times a day of nursing (yes, that's my whole day!) when he doesn't eat well, he doesn't sleep well = more crying all around.
2. Sleep deprivation makes you innovative. One night, on my seventh night-waking, I mistaked my nursing pad as a drink coaster. It actually serves as a really efficient disposable coaster!
3. When it comes to newborns who are almost asleep, toddlers do not understand "quiet" or "gentle" or "wait, hold on..." If anything, they think that means, "Shake the baby!"
4. Micah loved the swing and the pacifier and didn't mind being swaddled. Caelan doesn't care for the swing, refuses any pacifier and would rather be left alone to cry for a spell, and then fall asleep WITHOUT a swaddle.

You know I thought the Lord would give us one challenging child and then an easy one. Everyone seems to get that mix! How is that the difference between my two children is one is hard and the other is harder? I suppose you can say raising them will be anything but extra-ordinary!