Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sleep...What a Treat!

Sleeping was always a difficult area with Jaden when he was a baby. I'm not sure if he was colicky or just overtired from fighting sleep, but we had to go to great lengths to get that little guy to sleep - I tightly swaddled him, we played loud static on the radio, rocked him, played Anne Murray songs over and over, and held him while we bounced on a big exercise ball; and the second we would put him down..."WAAHHH!" Then we would try all over again. This went on for months before he finally started to fall asleep on his own. Elijah hasn't been quite as needy, but it's almost a guarantee that at 7:00 every evening, he is going to fuss and cry until we can eventually get him to sleep. So I definitely can't brag like those parents who say that their baby slept through the night at one month old (and I have to admit I hate hearing about it). But I am very excited to say that last night Elijah slept for four hours straight before waking for a feeding! We've gotten into a pretty good evening routine - we go for a walk, take baths, have story time, then I feed Elijah and put him in bed. Last night he was in bed and asleep by 9:00 and didn't wake up until 1:00am! So I did everything exactly the same tonight, hoping for similar results!

And something unusual happened this morning as well. I actually had to wake Jaden up! He is usually up before 8 every morning and I always hear him over the monitor yelling, "Daddy, UP!" (and much to his disappointment, I'm usually the one who walks in to get him up because daddy's gone to work, and I'm greeted with a "I want Daddy. Where Daddy go?"). But this morning, 8:00 came and went; then 9:00 and I still hadn't heard him. I finally went in to get him up at 10:00. He is usually talking nonstop long before I ever go in to get him, and then jumps up as soon as the door is opened. Today, he slowly got up when the door opened, and he just didn't look well. He looked exhausted, actually. I thought this was unusual after having well over 12 hours of sleep, so I checked the bed for throw up, then hurried to get the thermometer; but no throw up, no fever. I went to get him some water and by the time I came back, he was laying back down on his pillow, which never ever happens because he is always anxious to get up and play. I figured that the weekend's activities and many late nights must have caught up to him. So after going back to sleep, he didn't wake up until 1pm!

And yet another rare sleeping moment (all within a 24 hour period) both boys...and I...all napped at the same time this afternoon. Jaden usually takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoons, but I thought there was no way he would nap today after waking up at 1:00. So we played with just about every toy in his playroom, then played some more outside. When Elijah fell asleep, I layed him in his swing so that Jaden and I could do a craft activity. The next thing I knew, Jaden had decided that he wanted to lay down too, so he brought his big soft Elmo book into the livingroom to use as a pillow. It's not every day, or any day for that matter, that Jaden will willingly give in to his sleepiness and just rest. And I have to admit that I was exhausted myself, so I had to take advantage of this rare opportunity. I layed down on the couch too, and we all slept! What a treat!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Fun

Ribbon dancing with daddy.

Bath time.

Too much icing!

Enjoying the outdoors.

Fixing the family car.

Playing baseball with Gabriel.

Hot tubbin' with Aunt Maureen.

Playing ball.

Tummy time with Annie.

Art lessons with Aunt Mary.


Swinging with Aunt Melissa.

Just playing - what could be better!

We took Jaden to see Sesame Street Live at the beginning of April and I bought him a new Elmo shirt to wear, just for the occasion. He hadn't worn it since that day. So today, when I pulled that shirt out of his closet for him to wear, his eyes lit up and he look at me with the most excited look on his face, and said "I go see Elmo AGAIN!!" I couldn't say no to we are taking the next flight out to see Sesame Street Live, wherever it may be. Okay, back to reality, I let him watch Sesame Street on TV.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wine-less Wine Festival

Every year we go to the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival, and it seems like I haven't actually been able to have a drink at it for the past three years. And get this, you have to pay the full price for your wine glass, whether you're drinking or not (and it doesn't even include a free non-alcoholic beverage)! But that's obviously not keeping us from going because we love it so much that we went again this year, despite my inability to participate in the drinking festivities. And I take back my comment about it being three years since I've been able to use my $14 dollar wine glass...last year I think we managed to get to the wine festival at a time when I wasn't nursing or pregnant. But year after year, it seems like I've had my wine glass filled up with more water than wine, and I've come to love my job as the designated driver. But don't feel sorry for me. My bowl of chocolate covered strawberries more than made up for the wine I was missing out on.

Sam, Jaden, Papa Sam, and Bengy

The combination of loud music and a bumpy stroller ride put Elijah right to wine (or whine) for him!

Just water for Jaden. And later a snow cone - it was a special day!

But Bengy and Sam, on the other hand, got wine SLUSHIES! The very reason why I love the wine festival so much. They were sure to let me know what I was missing out on... I watched in envy, drinking my lemonade.

Jaden's First "Benjamin"

Jaden was so excited when Uncle Mike gave him his first Benjamin...we won't tell him it's only a Washington! Actually, when Jaden asked Uncle Mike for a Benjamin (Jaden, of course, had no clue what he is asking for), Uncle Mike opened his wallet and told Jaden if he could pick out the Benjamin, then he could have it...Jaden picked the Washington. We'll have to work on that one.

And he couldn't believe all of the money that was in the fountain. He was tempted to jump in and start filling his pockets!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Have Money?

I'm a little embarassed to admit that my 2-year-old goes around asking people for money, but he does. And I swear I didn't teach him this (although I will admit it's nice having the extra income)! His obsession with money started when he discovered the pockets on his clothes. I'm not exactly sure how or why he decided that it was money that he needed to fill his pockets with; but once he discovered that the pockets didn't come already full of money, he knew what had to be done...and he's good at it. He very simply and honestly asks, "Mom (or whoever the lucky person may be), you have money?" And while it initially catches most people off guard, it's impossible to resist the adorable innocence that he displays when he's asking. We all fumble through our pockets, purses, even piggy banks just to find a coin for Jaden to fill his pockets with. Its amazing how it works. I've tried to tell him that it's not nice to ask people for money, but of course he doesn't understand the concept of money or why it's impolite. So meanwhile, he continues to fill his pockets with pennies, nickels, dimes, Chuck-E-Cheese tokens, whatever - he accepts all kinds. And he is so attached to the money that it becomes part of his play routine everyday; it even makes it into the bathtub every evening. We jokingly told him to ask his Papa Sam for some "Benjamin's" - then we may eventually be able to take that trip to Disney World that we've been hoping for!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elijah's 1 Month Old!

Happy 1 Month Birthday Elijah (on the 17th)!! It seems like just yesterday we saw your precious face for the first time (and I was thanking God for epidurals)! We are so blessed to have you in our lives!

It's quite the rough life you have, little guy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shoo Fly!

I got the boys packed up in the car this morning for an errand and as I started to back out of the driveway, Jaden announced that there was a bug on my seat! Slightly nervous, my first thought was that there was a huge roach crawling on the back of my seat, headed right for me. I tried to remain calm and asked Jaden where the bug was. He was looking and looking and then said "I don't know. I not see it now." I then had two thoughts: either it was nothing, or I should pull over and make it isn't something! Then Jaden yelled "There's the bug! Look mom!" As I was driving, I was desperately trying to see this bug. I finally saw the big scary bug in the rearview mirror as Jaden giggled beause it was on him! I should have known it was only a pesky fly. For the remainder of the car ride, Jaden was either asking me where the bug was, or was showing me where the bug was (and was insistent that I look every single time that he spotted the thing, all the while, driving, mind you). I tried to act like I was even the slightest bit amused by this bug, just to support his obvious fascination with it. But eventually, I coudn't take this fly flying around me as I was trying to drive, so I rolled down the window a couple of times and said "shoo fly," trying to get the annoying fly out of the car. Apparrenly Jaden thought that when I said "shoo fly," I was calling the fly by name because when we got back in the car after our errand, he asked me "Where'd the shoofly go mom? I like shooflies!" He then proceeded to name all of the other things that he also likes, "I like horses...I like tractors...I like sharks..." The list went on and on. And he ended it with his new favorite, "...and I like shooflies, mom!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hi Baby Brother!

Jaden just loves his baby brother, and he has definitely been a great big brother! Every morning, he can't wait to go see baby Elijah! He asks, "Where baby Elijah go?" He is so sweet and gentle with him. His favorite thing to do is softly pet Elijah's hair and kiss his head. And he gets so excited when Elijah looks at him or if Elijah's hand or foot touches him. He giggles and says, "He touched my arm!" So sweet!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally...A Yard to Play In

Just last week, Jaden and daddy were flying a kite in a backyard full of dirt and weeds! Now Jaden finally has a yard to play in (and to help daddy water)!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let Them Be Little

Today my older preschoolers "graduated" to kindergarten. It was a very exciting and emotional day for all of us! I've had some of these students in my class for a couple of years now and have had the amazing privilege of watching them grow and develop during what I feel is such an important developmental stage in their lives. I remember some of them crying and clinging to their mother's legs on the very first day of school (and every day for a week thereafter for some). And today as I watched them during their graduation program, I was amazed to see and really refelct on how much they've grown and learned!

Every year, when I welcome the parents to the graduation celebration, I thank them for allowing me the opportunity to work with their children and for allowing me to be a part of their child's life. Not only do they teach me new things every day, but I also think it's very important that the parents know that their child is special to me. And although their children come to me to receive a special education services, I feel like as a parent, there must be a tremendous amount of apprehension when entrusting the care and education of your child to another person, whom you barely even know. And during this year's graduation, I felt even more passionate about this because I was thinking of my Jaden. I know he's not in school yet, but it won't be long before I am dropping him off at preschool (wiping the tears away just thinking about it) and I definitely want to know that he is being cared for and is being provided the best education possible while I am not with him, which is the reassurance I try to give to my preschool parents.

Now that Jaden is almost preschool-age, I relate everything that I do at school to him. I take home songs, games, activities, books, even instruments for him to try, and he loves it. He's definitely like a sponge, soaking it all up! We have our own little preschool at home. And although I love for him to have these new learning experiences, I also don't want to rush things because he is still little and won't be for long. The most important thing that I remind myself, as I do for the parents at every preschool graduation, is to "let them be little." Every year, I play a recording of the Billy Dean song Let Them Be Little. The lyrics are so powerful and true...

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand.
You felt so good in it; no bigger than a minute.
How it amazes me you're changin' with every blink.
Faster than a flower blooms, they grow up all too soon.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

I never felt so much in one little tender touch.
I live for those kisses, your prayers an' your wishes.
And now you're teachin' me how only a child can see.
Tonight, while we're on our knees, all I ask is:

Please, let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

The so innocent, precious soul:
You turn around, and it's time to let them go.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give 'em praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let them sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

Let them be little.

Heart Ball

We had such a fun time at the American Heart Association's 31st Annual Heart Ball in El Paso!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

As this Mother's Day is coming to an end, I am sitting here, exhausted, waiting for Elijah to wake up for his next feeding so that I can go to bed (for at least 2 hours) once his tummy's full. Meanwhile, I can hear Jaden coughing over the monitor, sounding like he may be having some difficulty breathing. Eventually he began to cry, so Sam and I hurried in to check on him to make sure all is ok. Sam rocked him and I went to get the nasal aspirator, thermometer, and some allergy medicine. And I began to realize how important every aspect of this job is...the job of motherhood, that is! No matter how exhausting it may be; no matter how many times I have to wake up during the night for feedings, diaper changes, etc; no matter how terrible the "twos" can sometimes seem, there is no better job in the world than the job of MOM. And all of these little tasks that come along with the job are true blessings; something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I've never wanted anything more than to be a mom, and I owe a huge THANK YOU (and lots of hugs and kisses) to my two precious little boys for giving me the opportunity to do so...they've shown me true happiness and unconditional love! Motherhood really is, as my mom has always said, "the hardest job you'll ever love!" There's no job like it in the world. It's like a thousand jobs, all wrapped into one all-important title...MOM! It requires messy diaper changes; being loving, yet firm; kissing ouchies; setting limits; breaking up fights; answering never-ending rounds of questions; sanitizing toys; giving comfort; potty training; laughing till your tummy hurts; celebrating every accomplishment; singing and dancing; reading the same story a thousand times; hunting for dinosaurs; cooking healthy meals; listening to Barney songs over and over; teaching manners; teaching right from wrong; teaching colors, numbers, letters... The list is endless, and all are amazing parts of the job, with something new to look forward to each and every day. And what's even more amazing and rewarding is what my kids have taught me - they've taught me more than I ever imagined a two-year-old and three-week-old could ever know about love, trust, patience, family, and friendship!

Happy Mother's Day to all the MOM's! And especially to my own mother, who taught me by example what it means to be a mom through her selflessness, compassion, support, and love (she's an incredible grandma, too)! Thanks to her, I truly appreciate this tremendous responsiblity I have been blessed with! There is truly no greater, more enjoyable job in the world.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Proud Big Brother

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk

It was about 1:30 in the afternoon and according to my calculations, Elijah would be up in about an hour to eat. This gave me just enough time to pump a bottle of milk, shower, and get ready to go. I was taking him to my school to meet some of my teacher friends and to surprise my EA for her birthday celebration with the "girls." I was hurrying to get everything ready to go when Elijah started crying. I ran downstairs to put the bottle of milk that I had pumped into the fridge and on the way, I grabbed a couple of empty cups off the table and threw them into the sink. I fed Elijah and got him ready to go, hoping we'd make it to my school before the party was over (teacher's don't party for too long after a long school day...unless it involves alcohol :o). But I also was trying to plan my arrival so that most of the staff would be gone and Elijah wouldn't be touched by so many people. We got there just in time for Elijah to make a brief appearance, and didn't stay too long because we were picking up Jaden on the way home. The first thing Jaden always asks for after I pick him up is a drink. So when we got home, I grabbed him a cup and went right to the fridge to get him some juice. And the first thing I noticed when I opened the refrigerator was one of Jaden's almost-empty sippy cups sitting on the shelf - one of the cups that I had grabbed off the table and put into the sink earlier in my rush to get ready to go...or so I thought!I also noticed that the bottle of milk that I had pumped was NOT in the refrigerator. I'm sure you can guess where the bottle of milk was...yep, it was in the sink! I know the saying goes, "Don't cry over spilt milk," but believe me, I wanted to. There's something about a wasted bottle of precious breastmilk that makes a girl just want to cry. And if I wasn't laughing at myself, I definitely would have been in tears!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sweet Cousins

Aubrey Rachelle (7 weeks old) and Elijah Norman (2 weeks old)

Pink Eye Free (knock on wood)!!

For the past 3+ weeks, we've had what seemed like a pink eye epidemic in our house! It started with Jaden on Thursday, April 9th. He got over it pretty quickly. But by Monday the 13th, I woke up and I could tell immediately that I had gotten it. I panicked a little bit because this was also the day of my prenatal appointment to determine whether I would be induced this week (and possibly this day - due to health reasons)! I went to an urgent care clinic first thing in the morning to get something for my eyes. I was very fashionable, wearing my sunglasses to my prenatal appointment later that afternoon. Our midwife went ahead and scheduled an induction for that Friday, the 17th, so I thought that was perfect and would give me plenty of time to get my pink eye cleared up. After the appointment, I kept questioning whether I should have postponed the induction until the following week, just in case my pink eye didn't go away soon enough. Can you imagine...I never thought I would be "scheduling" my own child's birth. It seemed so silly to think in this way and to consider "postponing" it, like it was a casual business meeting or something. Not to mention that I could have easily gone into labor at any moment, with or without pink eye! Anyway, luckily after a couple of days, my pink eye cleared up...just in time for Jaden to get it again! I couldn't believe it. Sam went out and bought several bottles of hand sanitizer and Lysol spray and we kept one in every room of the house and were cleaning like crazy. Well unfortunately it wasn't good enough because on Thursday morning, I woke up with pink eye in my other eye. It was miserable. So on Friday, labor day, I was applying eye drops diligently in between contractions, worried sick that the baby might catch it from me. To make a long story short (kind of), this pink eye, or the "gift that keeps on giving," as the doctor called it, kept on giving. After Jaden got over it, I got it again; then he got it again...and yes...Elijah got it too! Poor baby, only 1 1/2 weeks old and we were having to apply eye drops to his goopy little eyes that were stuck shut! His went from one eye to the other and Sam obsessively reminded me not to clean both of his eyes with the same washcloth...not to touch my face...not to touch wash my hands.......And finally, after more than three weeks, we are all pink eye free (knock on wood)!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jaden's First Movie

Before Elijah was born, we decided it would be important to occasionally take Jaden out, just the "three of us" so that he is sure to still feel like he is a very important part of our family. Today was our first day out, just the three of us, and we decided to take Jaden to see the new Disney movie "Earth." He hadn't been to a movie at the the theater before, so we were not sure at all how he would do. We prepped him a little bit ahead of time by talking about where we were going and what it would be like, and Sam showed him a trailor of the movie on the computer. He seemed very excited because he LOVES animals and the thought of seeing a movie on a "BIG TV" really excited him.

We had to wake Jaden up from his nap so that we wouldn't miss the movie. Nana and Papa came over to watch Elijah and Jaden didn't understand why they weren't coming with us. We kept building up the fact that it was just going to be the three of us: him, mommy, and daddy!! I'm not sure who was more excited, us or him! Sam and I haven't been to a movie in sooooo long, I think it was probably us!

On the way to the theater, I asked Jaden where we were going, and he said "to see animals." I'm afraid he thought we were going to see real animals...oops. Should have explained that a little better. I also told him that there would be a lot of people there watching the movie and if he wanted to talk, he would have to whisper; so we practiced whispering. Haha. Even his whisper is not quiet. But I wasn't too worried. Sam and I had decided ahead of time that if Jaden lost interest, or it just wasn't working out having a 2-year-old at the movie theater, we would just leave - no big deal.

Once we got there, the excitement began when Jaden got to get a kid's movie pack, which included a drink, popcorn and a candy (as much as I hated this, I wanted him to have the whole movie experience)! He was thrilled. We purposely got there a little bit late so that we would miss the previews, so when we walked into the theater, it was dark and Jaden was aprehensive. He did not want to walk down the steps, so we just sat at the very top row. I was pleased to see that there were only about 10 other people in the theater. And as soon as Jaden sat down, he was so excited to see the animals. He kept saying "Hey, look at that!" while naming each of the animals that appeared on the screen. Although not in a whisper, it was very cute. He totally didn't get why he needed to whisper in the first place. I had forgotten how much he talks until we were in this quiet movie theater. He asked tons of questions, named all the animals, commented on how pretty the flowers were...And I have to admit that although it would have been nice if he had done that all in a quieter voice, I was very pleased with all that he knew and with the questions that he asked because he is very curious and constantly learning! He was very well behaved, sat on his little booster seat the whole time, and when I complimented the times that he did use a quiet voice, he said "high five mom!" It was great fun and definitely something we will do again!