Thursday, September 21, 2006

True friendship

18 years ago-
My best friend and I met on a bus, on our way up the coast. We were on a two week bus trip for our youth group, and have been inseparable ever since. We were 13 and 14 years old, comparing notes on our "experience" which was a really long conversation about nothing really. We both had big hair, lots of makeup, and had perfected our methods of getting the boys to carry our luggage.

12 years ago-
My best friend and I learned to support each other as we lost family members, holding each other through tears, without the need to speak. When the ground shook at 4:31am one January morning, we frantically tried to reach each other to make sure we were ok. The house could tumble around us, but as long as we could talk to each other, it was ok. (The only two friends I spoke with that awful morning was Tami and Fillip. Still, my foundation today.)

9 years ago-
My best friend and I were in serious relationships, finishing school and starting careers. It was a pretty moderate party lifestyle, but one we took for granted at the time. Sometimes we would see each other more often than others, but were more focused on all the other things in our lives. When someone was crying, it was imperative that we be there within 15 minutes, but barring that, weeks might go by where we just talk on the phone. We were excited for all the things happening in our lives, learning how to live on our own. Eventually, I moved out of state, and that phone became the lifeline of our friendship, with occasional visits every couple months.

7 years ago-
I was getting divorced and she was getting married. We were both at new beginnings in different ways. It was great to be back home. Adulthood was seeping in, but we could still party like it was 1999- because it was!!

3 years ago-
I got married and she was in my wedding.....again. We found out I was pregnant the day before. Six months later she was pregnant too! We supported each other through months of sickness, exhaustion and hormonal ups and downs. When she faced the scary possibility that her baby had Down's Syndrome, I assured her we would get through it. When she had to be on bedrest after the amnio, I came to baby sit her and keep her company. Her beautiful daughter is perfectly healthy, by the way. We would call each other to say "He is being completely Unreasonable, will not concede that I was absolutely right, and why would anyone argue with a pregnant woman anyway?!" The other would say "Come on over. You're right, he's an ass. I was just opening a new carton of icecream." It didn't matter if we really were right or not. The icecream was unconditional.

Together we worried over every early contraction, commiserated over the belief that this baby would never come, laughed at each other's labor stories, held each other and cried over the births of our first born children. We held each other's precious babies as we held our own.

Dinner times became a regular event for us, as we were no longer living the party lifestyle. Babies were always welcome and accomodated, even when that meant getting a very yummy steak, to go. Evenings usually meant at least one of us nursing, while the other got dinner together. There was often a baby sleeping nearby in the living room, while we chatted about our latest adventures- how was the pregnancy weight coming off, how often does the baby eat, still using a pacifier?, remember when we were just kids…. The husbands don't question the presence of the other one for dinner. Of course she is welcome! Having the babies there goes without question as well. They each toss each other's kids in the air like a favorite uncle, making them squeal and giggle, then going back to their manly pursuits- namely video games or tv.

2 years ago-
She reassured me that it would be ok when I found out I was already pregnant again. She brought the joy into my perspective of a very scary time. When I went on bedrest, she came to baby sit me so I would have everything I needed during the day. She treated my son as her own, and he knows to listen to her better than he does to me.

1 year ago-
Again, she held my newborn son in her arms, loving him as her own son. When I was overwhelmed by a newborn and an 18 month old, and the prospect of moving, she not only brought dinner and took charge of the toddler, but rallied our friends to come help pack.

Last night-
We had dinner together at her house. There are now three kids running around, chasing each other, giggling, giving spontaneous hugs, spontaneous pushes, some crying, and lots more giggling. My son knows when I say we are going to Tami's house, he will see Samantha, get dinner, and take a bath. It isn't questioned. Samantha lights up at the prospect of coming over to play with my boys, and is happy to stay with me if Tami needs to run errands. We are each other's "non-family" babysitting backup, and I owe her so many more evenings than she owes me, except who keeps track. Instead of getting together and having a few wine coolers, we crack open the cheese ravioli, a few sippy cups, and teddy grahams. She offers my son juice, and I offer her daughter chocolate milk, each one scowling and relenting to the other's mishegaas. The kids feel at home at either of our houses.

Today and always-
I know as the years go by, our living room will still be filled with each other's families. The kids will grow, and hopefully there will be more of them. Sometimes there will be other family or friends there too. Sometimes we will be too busy to get together as often as we would like. We will hold each other in grief again someday, as that is part of life. Throughout all the ups and downs, we are part of each other. Watching our children play together, I was so happy to see that we are passing on that love and friendship, even as we continue to build it ourselves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Ray of Sunshine aT the Unhappiest Place on Earth

I can't express strongly enough how much I hate going to the DMV. It is the Unhappiest Place on Earth. Just watch the people waiting in line as well as the people doomed to eternal government posts, slogging through senseless bureaucracy, with the sole purpose of making things as Difficult as Possible.

Now, I do recognize, that the process of renewing a driver's license, or registering a vehicle, does not have to be that difficult. After all, they send renewal notices by mail, and even have a conveniently located drop box in the DMV office, which, by the way, I have never, ever seen anyone put anything into. For some reason, we never quite meet the criteria for renewal by mail, requiring us to make the arduous journey through the lines of no progress. In addition to registering our cars, I am also in the process of getting the title for a car, a neverending process that will put me in a mental state for which the term "going postal" will not even come close.

My car is the byproduct of a marriage gone bad. We (me and the liar I formerly called a husband) bought this four door beige sedan with the idea of starting our family in the suburban utopia of Gilbert, Arizona. This is now the fastest growing community in the United States, in case you are interested, which most people are not. Well, like the scarecrow, I finally got a brain and left with the beige sedan packed to the gills with all I would need for my new fast track single lifestyle. This car has had endless problems such as needing new brakes every 6 months, an air conditioner that only works in the winter, when I am not pregnant, and blowing a headgasket, requiring a new engine at 50, 000 miles. Part of the divorce judgement, officially endorsed by the court, was that my ex was to pay off our dream car. I bet you will all fall over in shock to learn that he did not make even ONE payment, nor did I know this until the finance company called me threatening repo. I tried explaining to the finance company that I had a legal judgement stating it was the responsibility of that other guy to pay for the car, and although some of the reps were even sympathetic, they hounded me month after month, threatening all sorts of unpleasant action, until I started selling my limbs off one by one to raise the money for my car payment. Over the next few years I paid off this albatross so that I could officially call it mine. Now, I want the title so I can sell the piece of crap to someone who will appreciate the racy shade of beige more than I. I called the finance company to request the title and was told they had already sent it to the jerk who did NOT pay for the car, who I don't have info for, who even if I did, would not bother to send me what is rightfully mine. The rep told me I would need to request a copy from the DMV. Bad news indeed.

In April I went to the DMV, naively believing despite the odds, that it would be a simple process. I stood in the line that says Start Here for 20 minutes, to be handed a number by a surly employee who acted as if I had interrupted her birthday party with my request rather than someone put in a paid position of service to the community. The people there were literally walking slowly, stamping papers slowly, and making sure that nothing was going to happen in any timely manner. When I looked at my number, there were literally 75 numbers ahead of me, and it felt like the waiting room in the movie Beetlegeuse. An hour and 40 minutes later, I made my dazed way to the appropriate window, to be told that I needed a specific document from the finance company. Several months later, I have now acquired said document, and returned Friday to the DMV thinking naively, that this was the Golden Ticket to getting my title. I also thought I could get my registration taken care of while I was there.

Lo and behold I accomplished neither of those things. Again, shocking. Because my car is from out of state, I need to first acquire the title from Arizona, before they can convert the title to California. Could that have not been mentioned in April?! So I can't get the title. Let's just take care of the registration. Oh wait… I could pay for it, but needed some obscure documentation that would need to be dug up from the middle of the Negev Desert, so will need to come back another day to get that precious little sticker. Every little bit of bad news is delivered by a person who may as well be informing me that they have Pepsi instead of Coke, but doesn’t give a rat's ass that it will change the rest of my day.

Today was different. Today I was prepared. Today I had apparantly done something right in the world and been granted a special dispensation from having to wait forever in order to not accomplish what I took time off work to do. I was at the DMV literally less than 30 minutes, and….AND! left with not one, but two stickers for two cars!!! Not only that, but the man who helped me actually smiled at me and told me to have a nice day. And I think he meant it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

This took me all day.

Our weekend was jam packed with family fun.

Saturday we went to a community event hosted by the Boys and Girls Club. Two other families went, and it is so cute to see our little ones, ages 5 months to 2 1/2 years. It was a great event and best of all, everything was FREE!! There was inflatable play equipment, various activity booths and even lunch! The lines were a bit long, but it was nice to get out. Last year Hayden had a blast on the giant inflated slide so we stood in line for that. When it was his turn, he slowly, but steadily climbed all the way up, then sat down at the top to survey his kingdom. The other kids had to go around him to slide down. They each got to go a couple times, but he took so long to finally slide down, that he only got to go once. He didn't ask to go again. He loved playing on the fire engine and ambulance. He snuggled right up to the cute EMT, and gave her a sweet smile when she said he could go sit up front to "drive." He also loved the fire engine, and was adorable in the huge boots, jacket and helmet. Our friend had time to snap a quick pic before the uniform got too heavy and Hayden simply fell over from the weight of it. He was a little less amused than us, but good natured about it.

Coincidentally, our niece had a soccer game across the street, so we wanted to go watch. Fillip and Logan went over first, and I met them a little later. Logan spent the afternoon in his stroller as we had the misguided impression that our exhausted little guy would fall asleep. Silly parents. He didn't complain about being in there, but didn't go to sleep either. He enjoyed visiting with Grandma Mickey and Grandpa Herman, and his cousins. Once I arrived, he was happy to scarf down an infinite number of grapes, nicely bit into small pieces, as I sat in the sun doing my Mamma Bird impression. Hayden kicked a soccer ball around with his cousin while Fillip helped his brother at Sideline Coaching the game.

At the start of the day, I was so happy to feel the change in weather. It was almost cool, with a strong breeze and the smell of brush fire in the air. Fall! Well, it was just a tease, as by the end of the afternoon, I was sweating and parched from the summer sun. At least I know cooler weather is on the way. I just won't tell my sweaters yet. By the end of the day we were all exhausted and hungry. The kids slept on the way home. We all devoured our delivered pizza, and most of us were in bed by 8:15pm.

Sunday we met some friends bright and early at the zoo. There was an event for zoo members, which apparently is not such an exclusive club. It was nice to see the animals more active. Usually, we see them in the afternoon when it is blazing hot and they are just laying there like big furry lumps. Well, except for the giraffes, but they are apparently "hot" all the time, if you catch my drift, wink wink. Every 20 minutes there was to be a presentation at various habitats, and we started the day, dutifully following the crowds to each one, catching a glimpse, then making the kids wait some more until the next one. Just as the elephants were about to come out, Hayden told me he had to go pee pee. This announcement in public results in us making a mad dash to the nearest restroom, carrying a tensed up toddler, out of breath and sweating profusely from the exertion and stress of making it in time. Sunday was no exception, but he did not disappoint. Despite going through the same routine with Fillip 10 minutes earlier, I was rewarded with that tiny trickle and his proud announcement that he was all done. We got a fleeting glimpse of those frisky giraffes on our way up, but headed right back down in time to see the elephant devouring a sapling. Aww, how cute. After a little while, Hayden's fever started rising back up from the night before and he was asking to go home. Considerate parents that we are, we took him out to breakfast where he sat slumped over in his high chair until Logan finished eating and we got our meals to go. Hayden didn't eat his sausage, and we didn't even call 911.

I had an afternoon on my own since my book club had a Sunday meeting. The book we read this month was written by a member's great aunt. It was her first hand account of escaping Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. She was 5 years old when the pogroms began, saw unspeakable atrocities and came across the world with just her mother. The author was kind enough to let our book club come to her retirement home to talk about her book with her. She is a delightful lady who was so happy we were there, and especially happy with the icecream cake we served. It is truly an amazing account of a horrible time in history. To meet her now and hear of her life in the United States, you would never guess what she has been through. She has seen the best and worst of humanity, and somehow remained intact through it all. It was such a unique opportunity for all of us, and through our discussion, an inspiration to write down family history as we know it.

Returning home brought back the routine craziness that is our house. Hayden wasn't feeling great, but well enough to bounce off the walls. The boys are having a great time with Logan's birthday gifts, which we have been slowly rationing to them. Fillip's parents gave Logan a Tow Mater Riding truck (from the movie Cars) which is just adorable. It is low enough to the ground so Logan can push it along. We didn't even have to show him what to do. It makes all kinds of noises, lights up, and parts move around. It even has a cell phone that rings when you put it in its holder. Even Logan picks it up, puts it to his ear and says "hiya!" They were having such a great time exploring all the new stuff. It won't be long before they are racing up and down the halls on their trucks.

Logan went to bed early and I took Hayden to the store. He still wasn't feeling better and his stomach got upset. He is fully potty trained during the day, by his own efforts. On the very rare occasion he doesn't make it to the bathroom, he tells us he had an "assident." Well, that's what happened last night in the store, right there in the baby food aisle. He literally had an ass-ident, requiring us to go out the to car to get fresh clothes. It happened again when we got home, so I gave him a quick bath before bed. I feel so bad for him when this happens because he gets so upset. He tells me it makes him mad or sad, then apologizes or even cries. We aren't sure where this pressure is coming from. We have never scolded him for this and always tell him he is doing a great job. We don't make too big a fuss over the success, just so he won't feel like everything is riding on it. He was still talking about it this morning, and I tried to reassure him that it isn't a big deal. Since his tummy has been betraying him, he is in pull-ups today. He doesn't get upset about going in those. He seemed to understand he is only wearing them because he is sick, and will be back in "underwears" when he feels better.

Well, it's Monday and we are back to the grind. I woke up late. Traffic was bad, so I was feeling a bit surly by 8am. My day quickly turned around though. This morning two of my bosses (#1 and #4) headed down to the coffee cart and offered to grab me a cup. I gladly accepted and enjoyed 10 minutes of knowing my boss was getting me coffee. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Last Call Has Come and Gone

Logan is weaned. He doesn't seem to mind and doesn't ask to nurse. I'm not as content about this.

For the last couple weeks, Logan was only nursing in the morning. I would wake him at 5:30am so we could spend a few minutes together before work. On Sunday I had Fillip get up with him, then haven't woken Logan all week. He isn't wild about cow's milk, but drinks it when he realizes that is his only option. Once he is used to this new routine, I may wake him to spend time together and give him cow's milk before work. Right now, I don't want to upset him, then have to leave, so I have been letting him sleep in.

Despite the fact that he was only nursing once a day, this has been quite uncomfortable for me. Last night I manually expressed some milk into the sink to alleviate some of the pressure in the two rocks on my chest. It was so hard for me to waste that milk, instead of getting Logan to take care of it. After years of making sure I kept my production up, drank Mother's Milk Tea when it was low, pumped morning and night, and watched everything I ate because it would get passed on, it was a mental leap to just pour that milk down the sink. However, I just felt that we would have to go through this process all over again if I gave in and nursed him to alleviate the pressure. When Hayden weaned, it was because I had lost my milk due to pregnancy, so never had to deal with the discomfort. Since I haven't been producing much recently, I am surprised that I am still so full after several days, and look forward to my body adjusting.

Although it is a relief to have my body back to myself, I am also very sad. I love the closeness and bonding of nursing a baby, and am so grateful to have been able to share this with Logan for his first year. Since we don't know if we will be having any more children, it is possible that I will never nurse a baby again. That is hard to digest. Despite my sentimentality and difficulty in letting him grow up, I know I will always fondly look back on this time and feel good about having the wonderful opportunity and ability to have a successful nursing relationship with my sweet boy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hayden at 2 1/2

At two and a half, I think Hayden now embodies all that is wonderful and terrible about two year olds. He is such a precocious little guy, drawing conclusions that surprise us, using new phrases all the time, being endlessly sweet and difficult and emotional.

Hayden has such a sweet heart. He is very affectionate with everyone around him, often giving hugs and kisses out of nowhere. He is very aware of who his immediate circle is, asking for people we haven't seen in a few days. He knows what they do, such as going to work or the store, and remembers seemingly trivial things, like the name of a little girl we met in the checkout line a couple weeks back. We are seeing the affects of his peers as he tries to use different expressions or pronunciations. He has told me "You say ok. I say K. K? K." As if that settles it. Although he uses words I consider pretty advanced like obnoxious and disgusting, he is also experimenting with baby talk like calling his stuffed frog Baby Rawa instead of Baby Robby. He crawls sometimes when playing, but makes it a point to tell me he is being a baby, asking for a baby cup or a baby spoon.The other sign of regression is his spontaneous bawling. It is exactly like Logan's when we tell him no, and there is absolutely no reasoning or talking with him when he melts down this way. So, he has to go to his room until he calms down. This is really obnoxious! This weekend the phrase of choice seemed to be "Should I…?" As in "Should I come out now?" "Should I eat my breakfast now?" "Should I hit my brother?" All said in the same impish voice, with a little smile and twinkle in his eye, like if he says it cute enough, we will always say yes, no matter what he is asking.

Hayden adores Logan, playing with him, bowling him over with hugs and kisses, bowling him over because he can, taking his toys, waking him up, and as of this weekend, getting him out of the swing! "I woke Logan. I got him out." What?! And, here comes Logan down the hall, still looking like he isn't quite awake. We are often telling Hayden to get off his brother, leave him alone, stop touching him, give that toy back, mind his own business, etc…. He reports everything Logan is doing, and mimics our encouragement and discipline of Logan, whether it is in walking or not touching the cat's water. Logan is his best audience and Hayden loves to get his brother giggling. In the car, we are already hearing "Stop! Logan's touching me!" We will look back to see that Logan barely has one tiny fingertip on Hayden's arm, or just the carseat, looking at him like "What? I'm not doing anything." And so it begins.

The question Why? is apparantly punctuation, as it is asked after EVERYTHING we say. He now sometimes answers himself. "Why? Because that is the way it is." "Why? Because I asked for that." I've started teaching him the game Candyland, and although he doesn't quite understand the progression around the board, he does like drawing the cards and finding the picture spots. Double yellow! Candy cane! We play after Logan goes to bed so there isn't interference and Hayden gets some one on one time. He went to bed one night and told me "Mommy, I schooled you in Candyland." Sure did.

He is getting mostly good school reports, telling us he is nice to his friends. As the older Two's class transitioned last week Hayden was more aggressive again, but seemed to stop much quicker this time, maybe realizing life is better when he is nice. He talks about things he does at school and will often remember what he had for lunch and what songs or art they did that day. He seems to really enjoy the art projects and I am interested to see if that develops as he does.

Hayden is still a good eater, but doesn't eat big dinners. He tends to play until we are mostly done, and just when we are ready to wrap it up, he will start to eat. We now tell him he has just a few minutes left, or set a timer. When that beeps, the meal is over. When he is eating the whole time, he can take as long as he wants. Often on weekends, breakfast takes a really long time because he eats so much. This is fine, and we wait patiently until he is full. Eggs are no longer on the menu for him, but he does love French Toast. Sausage remains the favorite, along with fruit.

He seems to be daytime potty trained. He wore "underwears" all weekend and stayed completely clean and dry. When we went out, I would have him go before we left and there was never a problem. He is comfortable using public restrooms, so being at a restaurant is fine. He always asks to go and I think it is as much to see more of the restaurant and alleviate boredom, as a strong need to use the bathroom. He is such a chatterbox, having complete conversations all on his own, especially in the bathroom.
"I go pee pee? No, I don’t. I go poopy? Yeah, I did. I sit on the potty, go poopy. I wear underwears. I no go pee pee in my underwears. I no wear pullups. K? K."

On Friday, his 2 1/2 year birthday, he had a low fever and threw up all afternoon. At Shabbat dinner, he lay in the towel covered couch with a cool cloth on his head so he could be near us, got to say the prayer over the wine, but was asleep by the time we had dessert. So sweet and pitiful, poor little guy. By Saturday night he had the same rash as Logan, which would be Roseola. Weird that they both threw up, but it was consistent.

He will tell anyone who asks, and many people who don't "I'm two and a half!" I don't know who taught him that, but it is cute. He is so independent, needing to do everything himself in a certain order. There is absolutely no trying to rush him or it just takes longer. Getting in and out of the car is a whole process, as is getting dressed or undressed, washing hands, etc… If we even try to help we hear an ear splitting "NOOOO!!! I DOOOO IIITTTTT!!!" Ok. Geez. We have taught him to sneak down the hall as he usually stomps everywhere he goes and those floors really reverberate, waking Logan all the time. He likes wearing shoes, but we did catch him barefoot last week, sneaking on his tip toes. It was so cute.

He remains obsessed with opening and closing the garage. Pushing the button ourselves for any reason, causes him to immediately meltdown. We are well aware of the indulgence of this, yet figure it's a battle we aren't willing to tackle. He enjoys getting to push the button, and we enjoy the peace. My car has a button built into the rearview mirror, not a remote. When Fillip drives my car, he lets Hayden come to the front seat to push that button and "drive" into the garage. It is so cute to see his delighted smile at getting to do this, proud and happy on Daddy's lap.

He is still so absolutely gorgeous with big green eyes and an easy, friendly smile and quick giggle. He loves to be tickled and wrestled, but also loves to sit and listen to a story. He is such a sweetheart, and I can't believe how lucky I am to have him.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Spot Takes a Dive

Our evening routine during the week is usually a fairly rapid succession of dinner, bath, bed. Logan crashes early and can easily be ready to sleep the night by 6:30pm-7:00pm. Once we finish dinner, I get the bath going and gather towels, diapers and jammies.

A couple nights ago, despite being so tired, Logan was fussy and I thought a bath might soothe his rash and settle him for bed. I started the bath, and as always, both boys had to be right at the tub to supervise, checking the water, making sure all appropriate toys were accounted for and that there was nothing out of the ordinary to set off a screaming fit. I was about to go get the towels, but hesitated, thinking that Logan has been more than capable of getting himself out of the tub for awhile, and is therefore very capable of getting himself in. He stands there and lifts his little leg to the rim, then puts it down, then puts his foot up, then puts it down. It is really cute to see.

That night I turned around for a second, and heard the splash as he dove in head first, fully dressed. I immediately fished that sputtering baby out of the water so he could catch his breath. Once he realized he was fine, he just sat there with a self satisfied grin to find himself fully clothed in the bath tub. Although he looked really cute sitting there, I feel like it was a barely averted disaster. Had he waited just 30 seconds, I would have been out of the room getting towels. I am so glad I listened to my gut and hesitated a moment. Going forward, they will need to stay in their seats at the dinner table until I am ready for them.

I often consider myself paranoid about certain safety issues, but now consider it so much more justified. Part of our routine is that Hayden lets the water out of the tub before getting out, since I am so worried that I will be getting one boy dressed and the other will jump back in. Another concern involves Hayden's love of the garage. He often plays that he is leaving, grabs a bag, tells us where he is going, and heads down the hall.
"Bye bye!"
"Where are you going?"
"On macation."
"Where are you going on vacation?"
"To the castle in my car." or "To UncleStevieAuntieJoycie" or "To Papa Ahnie garage, ride cart."
Yeah, he has a lot going on. As we were getting ready to leave one day, we found him already in the car in the garage. Since that day, I always lock the deadbolt to the door, and often have the flat lock set on the bathroom door (which strangely leads to the garage.) The garage is often over one hundred degrees and I have visions of the worst. Although I can be diligent in preventing so much, what really concerns me are the things I don't foresee.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

See Spot Go!

Logan's birthday party was Sunday, and we were very happy with how it turned out. We called it for 10am, keeping in mind afternoon naptimes for all the little ones. It had a sort of beach theme as the invitation was a pic of Logan on a boogie board. We had a few decorations and hanging fish. The fruit bowl had a pineapple top in the middle with little drink umbrellas stuck all around by my 9 year old niece who had a blast doing it. We served bagels and fixin's, blintz souffle, french toast casserole, green chili and cheese egg casserole, fresh fruit and cake. The only appetizers were a sort of kid buffet with Goldfish crackers, Danimals yogurts and string cheese. I made a punch of pineapple juice, orange juice, ginger ale with frozen strawberries and pineapple as ice cubes. Everything was delicious! The casseroles were made by the grandmas and a girlfriend, so I didn't even have to worry about those!

Logan napped through the first hour of his party, but I woke him at 11am so he could enjoy. My mom stuffed him to the gills, then stuffed him some more. That kid can eat, and my friend's french toast casserole was a big hit with him and the rest of the guests. He played for a few minutes then we stripped him down and served the cake. It was a beach scene with water, sand, a beach lounger, surf boards, beach balls, and gummi fishes. It turned out really cute and was fun to put together. Unlike his big brother at the same age, Logan dug in with gusto. He was covered head to toe with blue frosting. He had so much fun with his cake. Just when I thought he had fallen into a nice food coma and tried to take his plate, he stuffed another handful of cake into his mouth, and one in his ear. Fillip said he looked like Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart when we took him out of the high chair.

Shortly after serving cake the guests started leaving as kids needed naps. We had about 45 adults and 20 kids and it was really a fun group. My MIL's bedrooms, filled with toys anyway, looked like Hurricane Kid had hit as instead of toys being neatly stowed they were everywhere! The front bedroom was a sea of toys with little heads bobbing around in there. I just love to see that and all the kids get along really well.

After cake he played for awhile and we went to open presents. He was so exhausted that it just seemed mean to try and keep him awake for gifts he didn't care about. He went down for his afternoon nap and Hayden had a good time opening Logan's presents. Well, at least the first couple until we opened a toy. Then Hayden just played with that. Logan got beautiful clothes, some fun toys and even Hayden got some presents. As party favors, each kid got a plastic bucket and shovel with their name on it in puffy paint. I got the buckets at a dollar store and wrote the names, and was so pleased with how they turned out!

When Logan woke from his nap he was pretty warm and fussy. His fever was about 102.5 and in a few minutes he threw up. It wasn't bad and only once so we figure he just ate waaay too much. Thank you Grandma Roz! ;) Poor little guy just wasn't himself and likely overwhelmed by the day. I think he was grateful when bedtime rolled around as he didn't make a peep before going to sleep.

Yesterday Logan had his one year checkup. His stats were good-
weight- 20 lbs, 4 oz (including his toy phone) 10th percentile
length- 29 inches 25th percentile
head- 17 1/4 inches

His growth curve has been consistent so no worries about him being a tiny little guy. When I undressed him, I noticed a spotty rash over his entire body. Since my girlfriend mentioned her daughter had a heat rash from the party, I mentioned this to the ped. He said that it wasn't a heat rash since that usually doesn't appear over the entire body. Given the couple days of fever, it was roseola. Fantastic. I will be calling him Spot for the next couple days. The doc also asked about the other little girl's rash and said that one sounds like Fifth Disease because of the red cheeks (it turns out it's not, just another virus). Neither of these illnesses are harmful, but they are both contagious. Those kiddos may have taken home more than a personalized plastic bucket from the party! Logan is meeting all the milestones for his age and hammed it up a bit for Dr. J. He walked a bit, gave Dr. J high five, and waved. The only concern I had was that he doesn't want to drink much. He recommended flavoring the milk a bit, as that tiny bit of sugar is not harmful, and the benefits of having his milk are so important. He also suggested that the very occasional nursing is interfering with Logan wanting to drink from a cup. Logan does like drinking icewater through a straw, but still needs his milk. It looks like I will be completely weaning in the next few days. Logan is more ready than me. As always, I was happy with our appointment, as I truly think we have such a great doctor for the kids. He comes off as a medical professional, as well as a friend and fellow parent.

At one year old, Logan is doing great. I am looking forward to another fun year.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Logan is Walking!

Just hours after that last post, he decided it was time. My MIL brought him into the kitchen and he just took off toward me, walking halfway across the kitchen! I was so excited, and tried to get him to do it again and again. After a couple more times he was so over it. Now he will do it now and then throughout the day. Even Hayden is getting in on the action trying to get Logan to walk to him. Logan still realizes it is much faster to crawl to what he wants, but humors us here and there. We have got to get this on video! It is so cute to see that drunken gait. Sometimes he gets off balance, swings his hips front to back with knees out to the sides in a rather hip hop dance kind of move, and stabilizes again. Other times he accidentally swings himself around 45 degrees, so just goes that way. Each time he has this gleeful, amazed expression on his face. So fun!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Logan at One Year

Time really flies. In two days, just two days!, Logan will turn One Year Old. He is still such a baby to me. Although it is not fair to constantly compare the two, Hayden seemed so much older to me at the same age. Likely, because I can now compare the two side by side.

Logan is such a character. His bright blue eyes show such intense emotions, whether happy, sad, or mad. His smile is contagious and spreads to his entire face. His eyes light up with a mischievous glint, especially right before he takes off. His favorite game is to have us chase him. He sits up, leaning slightly forward, poised for takeoff, looking back over his shoulder until we start to move forward. Then he races away with his half crawl, half scoot, giggling all the way. Sometimes, I can tickle his back a few times before “catching” him. Sometimes, he decides he is caught, and just rolls over. He loves when Hayden chases him as well, despite the guaranteed full body tackle at the end, with Hayden saying “tickle tickle!” His next favorite game is peek-a-boo. His little hands cover his face for a few seconds while we call “Where’s Logan?” then he puts his hands down, revealing an impish grin. He usually starts this at the end of a meal when he is done and looking to be entertained until we all finish and leave the table. He really had his Nana, Fillip’s Grandmother, going this last week. So cute to see that interaction. The boys play well together, and Logan is learning to hold his own. He is just as likely to grab a toy from Hayden as vice versa, and screams bloody murder when a toy is taken from him. There is no compromise on this as far as he is concerned. He still does his silly giggle, but not as frequently. It is easy to get him to belly laugh by nuzzling him, tickling, chasing him, or in Hayden’s case, just being nearby. He plays independently pretty well. He likes to put things in and out of other things. If I give him a pot and lid, he will put another toy in the pot and take the lid on and off. Anything remotely shaped like a cup or bowl, no matter how big, he pretends to drink from. Sometimes we see his head tipped back with a plastic bowl at his mouth that is literally bigger than his whole head! He loves to mimic Hayden, especially at meals. If Hayden is kicking the table or stomping his chair, so is Logan. If Hayden is screaming, so is Logan. If Hayden is making funny noises, so is Logan. This will be extra fun if Hayden ever decides to stick jellybeans in his nose or shave the cat.

He stands independently all the time, playing with a toy, turning to look at something behind him, even bending to pick something up and righting himself. He will take a couple steps here and there, but to actually get somewhere, he goes back down to the floor. His crawl is unique. One side of him does a textbook crawl, while the other has a leg tucked under him that scoots along or sometime puts a foot on the ground. Despite this crazy motion, he is VERY fast! He is talking more and more with a few consistent words. He is starting to say Ma to me, and I choose to believe he is now using it with meaning. He has been saying Dada for awhile for everything, but has a particular inflection when calling to Fillip. He approaches us now and says “hiya!” in greeting and I’ve been told he has a sound for Hayden, although I haven’t heard it. About 75% of the time we can get him to wave goodbye. Once he starts, he will keep it up for about 5 minutes, getting us to engage in the game by waving back. He navigates stairs with ease going, up and down. When it is time to go down, he backs up a couple feet until his little foot finds the edge, then slowly lowers it, descending very carefully and deliberately. He uses this approach to get off of everything, so that when we see him crouch and start backing up (beeeeep....... beeeeep....... beeeeep....) we know he is thinking to take himself down off the bed, changing table, out the cat door, etc… He doesn’t yet comprehend that some things are higher than others.

He wants to use a utensil at every meal and is getting pretty good with it. Often, he picks up a piece of food to place it on the spoon, before the bite makes the precarious journey to his mouth. This is usually followed by him shoving a fistful of food into his mouth with slurps and grunts. This kid loves to eat and it is an amazing thing to watch. He is so incredibly messy, but must have a hollow leg. At school his teachers brag to us about his efficiency with a spoon. We joke at home that they are celebrating the fact that they have one less baby to hand feed! Logan absolutely loves to eat and prefers carbs to anything else. He will eat meat, especially if we mix it into pasta or rice, but often spits out veggies, even when hidden. Broccoli is the worst thing we could give him, being spit out with a scowl, and him then carefully picking through the rest of the food on his tray. He does love fruit and will eat an unlimited amount of berries. Some days, that is all he wants until he carb-loads at dinner. Last night he ate about a full cup each of rice, beans and mac and cheese, along with half a chicken thigh. He points to various things on the table to let us know what he wants. Although he still nurses here and there, he now drinks cow’s milk, but isn’t too fond of it. At school he gets bottles, but seems ready for sippy cups all day as he isn’t too attached to a bottle. Rather than drinking something down all at once, he seems to prefer sipping at a beverage throughout a meal.

He is a good sleeper, but a light sleeper. At school, he takes a morning nap, but the afternoon nap is hit and miss. He now sleeps on a cot, rather than a crib as once the babies can stand up, they get evicted to make room for the tiny infants. He is in the process of transitioning to the toddler class right now. On the days when he naps in the afternoon, our dinner and evenings are much easier. Not surprisingly, when he misses that nap, he is cranky halfway through dinner and ready to sleep at 7pm. His teachers clearly adore him, bragging about his latest accomplishments and showering him with affection. He always naps at Mickey’s house, as she uses her Grandma magic to get him to do things he would never do for anyone else. While at Grandma’s house, he takes great delight in getting into everything he can. When Grandma says “come here” he takes off the other way. Each day when I pick him up I get reports of what a little imp he is. Bedtime routine starts right after dinner. The boys take a bath, get to play for a few minutes, then go to bed. For awhile Logan absolutely hated his bath, but after a few weeks of only showers, he is happy again in the tub. Once he starts pouring water on the floor or throwing toys out, he is done, toweled and jammied up. He nurses first thing in the morning and at bedtime. The tiniest distraction at bedtime, and he won’t nurse at all. The time for complete weaning is rapidly approaching. He gets a snuggle, then put in his crib. Half the time he goes to sleep without a fuss and half the time he cries for a few minutes before going to sleep. He loves to snuggle his face in his blankie, often waking with his head wrapped up. I hate this, but am unwilling to take that blankie away since that is his comfort. We peek in on him every night, but very quietly as he is easily woken by this. If he wakes up, it will be awhile before we get him down, with much screaming, and multiple wakings throughout the night. We go in very, very quietly, like Elmer Fudd hunting wabbits. Fillip constantly says "Don't poke the sleeping dragon!"

Logan is such a sweet little boy, often crawling over for hugs and snuggles, trying to kiss us and talk with us. He is still so Delicious, impossible not to respond to. As he grows we see more and more of his very distinct personality coming out, and it is such a joy to get to know him more everyday. His babyhood has passed quickly and I look forward to seeing him blossom into toddlerhood.