Sunday, July 26, 2009

Earning Her Keep

She sure is helpful.

The Greatest Gift

Some people might say that the greatest gift is love, or some other intangible thing like that. Love is nice, but it's the wrong answer. The greatest gift is a bouncy chair. Even though I have just about crippled myself on this chair fifty times in the two weeks we've had it, I still love it. Tonight Alice hung out with me while I watered the lawn.

And she takes tons of naps in it--that's where she is right now.

And it's good for getting pictures of smiles.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

Alice's New Bed

We're not really a crib family. That freaks some people out, which I can sort of understand since everyone has their "freak out" things about raising children--mine are bodies of water and motorized vehicles. We are an "everyone needs sleep" family, and for us, this is how we can all get some sleep.

When Alice was born, I was planning to put her in the pack and play. You can see how that turned out. It looks like it's holding some laundry in this shot.

When we finally took it down last week, this is what it contained: diapers, a sling, dolls, socks, toys, etc. Handy.

We have a history of this. If you look to the left, you can see the co-sleeper we got for Jack. It was handy for holding my cell phone, books, and as a butt-ledge so I could scoot over further. It rarely held a baby.

When I was pregnant with Alice, my sister asked if we wanted to borrow their old crib. I asked Jay if he wanted to and he gave me a look like I was nuts. "Where did Jack sleep? Where do you think this baby is going to sleep?"

So we didn't take the crib. Alice and I slept on the futon and at some point in the night, Jack would usually wake up and come in and lie down at the foot of the futon. And of course Boris was in there, too, somewhere. Jay was spread out in bliss in our bed, all alone.

Since the house is going on the market this week, Alice and I have moved into the master bedroom and Jay will likely seek refuge on the futon. (Boris is now sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa's house.)

Here was the scene this morning. How are these kids going to survive going to college and having to sleep in twin beds?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five Great Things About Being Five

1. Figuring out how to swing yourself

2. Going to dinosaur camp without mom

3. No more long drives to speech (We did go visit Miss Melia one day, though.)

4. Somersaults

5. Clothes from the big kids' section

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Look Inside Yourself

In preparation for the big move, we're really trying to assess what we want to keep and what we can toss. This evening, Jay got out my giant box of posters from my classroom so we could see what we might actually use in a two student classroom.

When he came to the poster shown above, Jay used his best inspirational voice and said, "Jack and Alice, 'What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.'"

Jack looked at the poster and then looked at Jay and said, "Starfish?"

Jay tossed the poster.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just When You're About to Google "Baby Boarding Schools"

She takes a two and a half hour nap.

And starts working on her smile.

Here she is plotting her second dirty diaper in the fifteen minutes we were waiting for Jack to get out of camp. I think I'll keep her anyway.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Don't Need No Stinkin' Sleep

Did I say this baby thing seemed easier? I'm not sure what possessed me to say that.

Alice has turned out to be quite the scientist. This week she is working to disprove the theory that babies need sleep. She's getting pretty close.

And while she doesn't sleep, I don't get to emails (there are 687 in my inbox right now) or blogs (192 waiting in my reader) or blogging. I'm only blogging now because we tricked her with the swing. I'm sure there's payback for that coming tonight.

At least she's cute.

Thank You(s)

Last weekend my friends Brandy and Brenda hosted an awesome baby shower for Alice. Isn't the cake gorgeous? And it was coordinated with the invitations and everything. I would show you more pictures, but I don't have any and my mom doesn't know how to send me all the ones she took. So trust me when I tell you that many wonderful people were there and I had such a great time seeing everyone and Alice got all sorts of terrific gifts. Thank you so much to everyone! (You will be getting an actual thank-you note, but at the rate I am going the last few days, you may have to think a minute what it's for by the time it arrives in your mailbox.)

(And if you came to Jack's party, thanks again, and you, too, will be getting an actual thank-you note. As soon as I have them printed. Which will be when I finish Alice's baby announcements. You know, since no one knows we had a baby.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Five Weeks Later

A baby seems a little easier the second time around. Who knew?

A little progress report based on a previous post:

10. Wearing shoes that are not flip flops. This rarely happens in the summer even if I'm not pregnant, but at least I will have a choice. I'm still wearing flip flops, but the other shoes do fit. On the couple of occasions I have walked around the neighborhood, I wore my tennis shoes, but they gave me a blister and made my feet sweaty, so I'm sticking with flip flops.

9. Not panicking when I realize I left the Zantac at home. The last time I took a Zantac I was in the middle of labor. Jay told me if I chewed it up, it would work faster, It was horrible. I'm still wondering if he was serious when he said that. It's hard to assess a possible prank when you're giving birth.

8. No more itching stomach. No more!

7. No more planning around bathroom breaks--at least not for my bathroom breaks. No more!

6. Actually being tired when I am awake at 4:00 a.m. I'm rarely awake at 4:00. Whoever thought of cribs was an idiot. Go, co-sleeping! Rah! Actually, I think I am getting more sleep now than before Alice was born. Either that, or I'm just used to sleep deprivation.

5. Walking for more than ten minutes without having to go to the bathroom. I can do that!

4. Sleeping on my stomach. I'm not sure why I posted this one. Between nursing and co-sleeping, sleeping on my stomach just doesn't work. But a girl can dream.

3. Wearing jewelry again. I haven't tried this yet, mostly because the only jewelry I usually wear is my wedding ring and maybe a necklace. My wedding ring is still on my necklace and even though most of the swelling is gone, I am waiting until we are out of the heat of summer until I try putting it back on my finger, just in case.

2. No more weekly doctor appointments. Just one more appointment!

1. Feeling my hands again. This was a major disappointment. I was thinking that I would have the feeling back within a few hours. It's been five weeks and I still have numbness. Compared to what it was, though, things are much, much better.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Yum

Ice cream + blackberries = delicious.


Did I say we were doing school this summer? Ummmm....'cause we're not. But I did take him to one of the elementary schools this week to try out a school lunch. Does that count?

I had such good intentions about starting back up with school in July, and then reality hit. Jack was still gung-ho, but thankfully he has simmered down, because it's just about impossible to get a house ready for sale, adjust to a newborn, deal with 100+ temperatures, and come up with all the different stuff a certain five year old wants to do. At least it's impossible for me.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and I think that after we have the house prep done I will be ready to think about planning for the fall. At least I *think* I'll be ready.

In the mean time, we're spending lots of time playing with friends, going to the library, and trying to visit all of our favorite places before we move. Next week Jack has dinosaur camp all week, so he's getting some educational stuff, too--and I'm glad to hand that responsibility off for a week!


Four years ago today we moved into our first (and current) house. Today I started calling realtors to put the house on the market.

We've been decluttering slowly for a while, but we have kicked it into high gear since Alice was born. Last week I finally approached the refrigerator.

Jay and I have a good marriage. We are highly compatible and agree on most things, with two exceptions: eyebrows and refrigerators. He can't understand why I get my eyebrows done, and I think he must have some kind of brain defect if he can't tell how much better they look after a trip to the salon. He likes a nice, bare fridge, and I think all sides should have at least one layer of pictures, receipts, and mementos, all held down with various clips I've won at Jazzercise or magnets I bought on vacation. I got my eyebrows done Tuesday, so we are both winners this week.

There are a few things left for now:
A card I bought myself when Jay was deployed, along with a magnet I just couldn't pass up when I was Christmas shopping for others...

and one of my most favorite pictures ever of my boys. I really need to scan this one in.

I also did some major decluttering on my closet, which contained enough different sizes to qualify as a department store. I realized that if I ever again approach some of those sizes, I deserve all new clothes, so I pulled out a ridiculous number of items to donate. One of the cruel ironies of life is that after nursing a child for fourteen months, you are not rewarded with a small, perky bosom, so if you live in my area, you may want to check out the new influx of tops at the Goodwill on the south side.

Although I'm excited to move back home and I'm enjoying my new spacious closet where (almost) everything fits, I think our house looks a little sad all decluttered. It's like we've been erased from it while we still live here--well, except for the toys spread all over the living room floor and the mounds of baby clothes waiting to be sorted. So now I'm trying to ignore the bareness and concentrate on how nice it will be to clutter up a new house with all of our things (neatly, though, of course, dear) and memories. In the mean time, if you want to buy a house, let me know!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Berry Picking

This morning we went berry picking--back to the same place we've gone each summer since we've lived here. I wasn't sure about how this would go with a little baby, but it actually went quite well.

Is there anything better than a nap in the blackberry bushes? Not according to Alice.

Taste-testing some of the berries.

Running off a little energy after he was done picking. Of course there was more left over.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One Month

Where has the time gone? Alice is one month old already!

She spent much of the day like this.

And like this. She's a real party animal.

Jack is still mostly enchanted with her. Jay and I think she's okay, too.

I do feel like a bad mother, though, because I don't know what color her eyes are. It's not that I haven't looked at them plenty, it's just that we were sure they were brown a month ago, but now they look kind of blue sometimes. We'll let you know when we figure it out for sure.

Happy One Month Birthday, Alice!

Happy 4th of July!

This year we kept the festivities really low-key. The kids and I were home all day and made these cupcakes--I'd had the cupcake liners for at least a year, so I decided we were using them now or tossing them.

Jack played a lot of his new Madagascar game.

Alice did a lot of napping, which I paid for last night (and probably will today, too).

About the time we were going to go throw some poppers, the rain came in. We'll do them today sometime. Instead, we watched the fireworks on TV.

Jack in his new shirt from Grandma and Grandpa. He thinks these are "fancy" shirts.

Alice in Jack's first Fourth of July outfit.

I hope you had a great day!