Sunday, February 28, 2010

What would you call it?

Me: Owen, do you want to come help me take the clothes out of the dryer?
O: Are these wet?
Me: Well, feel them and tell me what you think.
(Digs around in the dryer)
O: They're dry!
Me: That's right, the clothes coming from the dryer are dry.
(Pulls out Josh's bath towel.)
O: Mom, this is a towel. It's not a cloe.

What else would you call a single article of clothing if you're 2 years old.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Building Blocks

I am always impressed with Scott's craftsmanship and ability around a project. Sunday afternoon, he said, "I've been thinking about making a set of wood blocks for the boys." One trip with Owen to Home Depot, Seven Dollars, and a couple hours in the garage later, we have a full set of solid wood building blocks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Four Fast Months

Four, four, four months!?! I'm stunned how quickly the time has gone. Baby Josh is growing so fast. The last month has flown by, but it has been filled with some great milestones for the littlest Maxwell.

Josh is now verbal - cooing, squealing, and generally exercising his voice. He loves to "sing" along with Scott's guitar and "talk" to me when he's on the changing table.

Josh is an observer. He is pretty happy watching a mobile or the toys hanging from his baby gym, but his favorite, by far, is the mirror. I love holding him up and sharing smiles with our reflection.

This has been a month of baby giggles. Our first baby belly laughs came when we put Josh in the bath with Owen. He and shrieked with joy and the laughter was contagious - all 4 of us giggling.
Josh has settled into a predictable night sleep pattern... sort of. He's down at 7:30 and up at 6:30 or 7:00, but don't let that lead you to believe he is sleeping through the night. Oh no. He's up to eat twice and sometimes awake and needing to be settled down another 2 or 3 times. I am so, so, so glad we have him in our room, so my awake time is fairly brief (but also wondering if having him in another room might help him sleep better...)

Naps are a whole other ball game. But it will come.

We were thinking that Josh might be getting my brown eyes because his have been super dark since birth, but last weekend I looked at him and realized they had turned steel blue. It's hard to tell in pictures (thank you winter lighting), so you'll have to take my word for it.

Unfortunately, Josh's reflux has taken a turn for the worse over the last few weeks. His meds seem to be keeping him comfortable, but the bibs and burp clothes are back in force around our house. I have discovered that an advantage of having a second reflux kid is that Scott and I are experts at predicting when the spit-up is coming. As a result, our clothes are MUCH cleaner than they were when Owen was this age. Big brother has also gotten quite adept at calling out "He's spitting!" at the appropriate moments, which helps. (Though I had to giggle the other day when Josh spit up and hit Owen in the foot.)

I'm interested to see how big Josh is at his Dr appt next week. He just feels solid. And he has gotten so much stronger. Almost overnight, Josh is now happy to do his tummy time and sits happily holding his head up and looking around. Last week, Scott thought he had a fluke roll over, but since Scott, I, and the gals at daycare have all seen him lift his head and push his arms to flop over on his back (and Owen and I actually cheered for him to do it 3 times in a row), it must not be much of a fluke.

During today's tummy time, I got some pictures that finally came out looking like the Josh I hold all day. For some reason, I just feel like our camera hasn't been catching what he really looks like. Maybe because he has such a round head and it always looks flat on film? Either way, I was glad to capture these, as they really show Josh at 4 months:

Happy 4 months Joshua, Josh, Joshie, Josharoo!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's Working

I hesitate to say that I am getting the hang of having two kids, but I will say that we are settling into some manageable routines. It's funny how the things I was concerned about are working themselves out.

For example, I was pretty stressed about how Owen would do being stuck in the house for long stretches. Before Josh was born, we pretty much left the house for a walk, play date, activity, park, or just to run errands at least once (usually twice) a day. Now, thanks to my activity books and a rapidly maturing 2-year old that can focus on a project for more than 4 seconds, the thought of sticking around the house doesn't send me into a panic. In fact, Friday morning, I CHOSE to stay home with both kiddos rather than pack them up to meet our friends for a walk. I realized I went two whole days without getting in the car. What's gotten into me?

And this morning, I was marveling at how some things (okay, maybe just one thing) have gotten easier with two kids. Take my morning shower for example: With Owen, he was not content to hang out while I was in the shower. Other moms would put their baby in a bouncy seat or exersaucer, but Owen would scream bloody murder the second I moved out of sight. Consequently, for OVER 2 YEARS I always showered before he got up or while he was napping (or not at all). Now, with 2 kids, I'm finding that taking a shower is one of the easier parts of my day. I put Josh on a blanket on the (carpeted) bathroom floor. Owen picks out a couple of Josh's toys and then takes very seriously his "job" to entertain the baby while I shower. They're both where I can see them, it keeps Owen occupied, Josh giggles with delight, and I get 5 (okay 10!) minutes to get cleaned up and ready for the day.

A similar scenario also occasionally lets me clean up the kitchen after meals, set-up art projects, etc. I know it will be a few more years before the boys will actually play together, but it's nice to see that they can provide each other some brief moments of entertainment this early on.

I guess it also helps that Josh is such an easy going baby. Yesterday, he sat in the baby seat in the kitchen for almost 20 minutes watching Owen and I make cookies. And, when he does get fussy, he can go in the Moby wrap and be entertained by all the activity a 2 year old produces.

And the icing on the cake - two days in a row where both kids are taking their afternoon naps at the same time! I'm sure that's just a fluke, but it gives me hope for the future.

(Of course, not everything is peaches and cream around here, but it's important to embrace the little victories, right? Affirming the positive helps us persevere through the frustrations.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poor Cisco

We're not too creative around here. Apparently when our kids hit 3 1/2 months, the best we can do for entertainment is to plop them on the cat...


Thankfully Cisco remains the world's most tolerant cat. (And one of the fattest, as he nearly doubles Josh's weight.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Red Velvet

My parents were in town for Valentine's Weekend. While I got a ski day in with my dad, my mom snuggled Josh for the morning, and the boys at home surprised me with AMAZING red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting. That's a keeper!

Scott and I got a real date night - we shopped for running shoes, had a delicious dinner at Zydeco, and finished with a tour of the candy shop. My mom helped Owen make pockets and valentines for all of us and we added a truck Pez dispenser.

Between the cupcakes and the Pez, Sunday evening showed the effects of a sugar high, but good times were had by all!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To the Mountain!

As you might expect, the Olympics have taken center stage in our household this week. Owen loves watching the luge and the ski jump and wants to know the name of every athlete on the screen. Scott and I get a kick out of the inevitable moment when the announcers tell you how old the athletes were when they started their sport. Seems like a key to being an Olympic skier is to have your parents start you on skis at age 2 or 3. Check.

Last weekend Owen got to try out the skis for real. He and Scott did 4 runs on the beginner lift and I think Owen would have kept going all day long. He loved riding the chair, finished each run in near histarical laughter, and was shouting, "I want go AGAIN!" as Scott laid exhausted in the snow.

Josh also got to experience snow for the first time. It won't be long before he's chasing his brother down the hill.

As a side note: this is the first Olympics where I really feel OLD. Occasionally, you hear that one of the athletes is over 30, but the vast majority are so. much. younger than us. Sad.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Simple Living

Do you read Simple Mom? If not, check out the link on the sidebar or go here:
to check out the new and expanded "Simple Living Media" group. I have been reading Simple Mom for about 2 years since I found out about it from Cailean. The mom that coordinates the site does a wonderful job of providing helpful, down to earth advice, that you actually might have a shot at implementing in your own home. I find her articles inspiring, educational, and thought provoking. Tsh also writes for (in)Courage, which is another amazing site of inspiration. Now, Tsh has launched the Simple Media group and gathered a group of other moms to run sites like Simple Bites (from the gal that writes Under the High Chair!), Simple Kids, Simple Organic, and Simple Homeschool.

To celebrate the launch of all these sites, they're doing some great giveaways (and I'm entering by blogging about their sites). Now, I'm not normally one for entering contests, but the things that Tsh gives away at Simple Mom are simply (get it?) faboulous!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

It's Apparent you're a Parent

Scott and Owen have been doing swim lessons on Fridays after work. Today, Scott got home early and we decided that I would get a chance to do a lesson with Owen. Unfortunately, I think I drew the short stick somewhere along the line...

10 minutes to go in our lesson. Owen's in the corner of the pool, insisting that he wants to watch the kids in the big pool. When I ask him if he'd like to come play on the noodles with the other kids, he announces (loudly), "No. I'm Pooping!" Okay, out of the pool, grab our bag of clothes and towels, and shuffle into the locker room. Wet swimsuit off, swim diaper off, keep the soggy poop off my feet and the floor, wipe off the naked bottom and send Owen toward the shower. Success. Few.

Not Quite. Turn around and notice there are 15 middle school girls overflowing out of the shower area with Owen standing naked and shivering in the middle of the locker room. Okay. What to do? Wiggle the wet swimsuit back on Owen (nobody will notice if he pees while he's dripping wet, right?). Grab our clothing bag and towels and head for the family changing rooms. Shoot. Our shoes and jackets are still in a locker. Add those to the pile that is already falling out of my arms. Maneuver Owen back out into the pool area, so we can walk across the building (past all the parents watching lessons, all the kids in lessons, and all the adults doing deep water fitness while still in a make-shift, 3 months post-partum, I guess this fits as long as I stay under the water swimsuit) and over to the family changing areas. One is open! Drop the pile of gear on the bench and send Owen toward the shower. Success. Few.

Not Quite. The shower won't turn on. Seriously? Okay, gather up all the gear that is now more out of the bag than in and head down the hall. Next changing room looks like a disaster area. Move on. Third changing room has people coming out of it. That means the shower must be functional! In we go. Dump the pile, Turn on the shower. Cold. Cold? Wait... wait... wait... Hot! Yes! Owen warms up, we clean up and manage to have dry clothes for both of us (at this point, I was pretty much expecting to be missing either underwear or socks or something). Success. Few.

Not Quite. I drop an earring back an have to rumage around the changing room floor to find it. Have you ever looked under those grated mats? I don't advise it. Let's just say that earring back got a throough washing and some peroxide when we got home. Bleh. And... we... are... out the door and home, where Scott was already working on dinner. Success!! Yes!

The part that surprised me was that it wasn't until I was in the car, driving home, that I even began to realize how flustering the whole experience should have been. Instead, I was a sea of calm through it all. Taking each setback in stride and just moving on to the next logical solution. Quite the change from those first few months of parenting! The first time Owen did swim lessons (at 8 months old), I felt like I would never be able to even get the two of us dried off and dressed by myself. Now, I'm hoping to get both kids in lessons at the same time this summer, so I will regularly be juggling two wet and potentially smelly kids at the same time - Ha!

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Little Young

My dad has subscribed to Sports Illustrated for as long as I can remember. In fact, he gave Scott and I a subscription when we got married and continues to renew it for us every year (thanks Dad!). I don't think I read as faithfully as he does, but I do like to flip through and try and stay on top of the world of sports. I used to read the back page editorial every week, but it's just not the same since Rick Riley stopped writing it. But I digress...

Owen and I were putting together a picture book the other day. He was flipping through old magazines to find pictures of things he liked. I cut them out, and he glued them into the book. Parenting magazine netted us some pictures of a lego helicopter, a truck, and Elmo. From Sunset, he chose a plate of food ("I like cooking!"), and coffee ("I like mom and dad have coffee.") And, from SI, he chose pictures of Chauncy Billups with his basketball, Shaun White on a snowboard, a car from one of the advertisements, and this:

I even tried to quickly flip past that page, but he was insistent... "I like THAT girl!" So be it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

3 Months!

Josh hit 3 months last week. What's new baby?

Both Scott and I agree that Josh has really transformed from a newborn into a full fledged baby over the last two weeks. He now has solid head control, core strength, and generally just feels more substantial in your arms. We finally put the newborn clothes in the box and are moving on to bigger sizes.

Josh is a calm, quiet observer. He's always looking around with these big eyes and absorbing everything. He will sit for 15 or 20 minutes calmly listening to Scott play guitar. He seemed to really enjoy our visit to a new church last weekend with the loud music, and he sat through a whole high school basketball last week with very little fussing.

Our daycare provider has declared him "so easy." and over the last few weeks, I couldn't agree more. He just isn't fussy - a sharp contrast to that other child of ours who was still reflux colicky well into month #5. Josh is slow to get mad and his cries are SO QUIET. He's still sleeping in our room, but his cries don't even wake Scott up at night. The few times that he has gotten really worked up or screamed about something, I am totally taken by surprise.

Josh is in bed from about 8 PM to 7 AM, though that does include two wake-ups for feedings (though right back to sleep), and usually a fussy spell around 5 or 6 when he needs some help getting back to sleep. I love having him in our room and the chance to get some extra snuggles when we pull him into our bed on weekend mornings.

Daytime sleep is still hit or miss. He's generally good for an hour nap in the morning and a mid day nap that will last as long as someone is willing to hold him. (Seriously, over the weekend, he fell asleep in the car seat, slept like that for 2 1/1 hours, and then slept in my arms for another hour after that. Crazy!) Just like Owen, he needs that third nap in the evening, though a 1/2 hour in the swing will usually suffice.

He still has the most kissable head... and cheeks... and tummy.

Josh loves being naked. I get the best smiles before his bedtime bath when he lies on the floor for a little massage and just wiggles, wiggles, wiggles. A few times, he's wiggled his way right off his towel or spun 90 degrees while I'm setting up the bath.

He's started sitting in the Bumbo seat, so he can join us at the table while we eat dinner or cook meals, but his little body is still a bit too small for the seat, so he's not always happy about the arrangement.

He's definitely the second child - we just don't have as many picture to post and share, he takes the big brother love in stride, and he often gets used as a prop in Owen's play. (In this picture, Owen had built a train track out of puzzle pieces and we needed someone to be the train.)

Josh loves his play mat with the hanging toys - I put him there every morning while we eat breakfast, and he's happy to kick the toys and look in the mirror.

He's lifting his head pretty well during tummy time. He's still not reaching for objects, but getting better at holding on when he accidentally comes into contact with something. Last night, I caught him staring intently at his fist, as if he was thinking, "Is that MINE??"

We love, love, love him!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Chop, Chop

So Colleen wrote a great post about her hairstyles over the years, just as I have gone and done the super chop on mine. This is definitely the shortest my hair has ever been. I'm not sure if I like it this short, but I do really like how easy it is and I finally feel like my hair has a style, rather than sitting like limp mop on my head.

Apparently I have the same pattern as Colleen of grow - baby - chop because the last time I hacked mine was January '08, when Owen was 6 months old and we were FINALLY coming out of the baby fog. Since that time, my old stylist moved back to Bend, and she does such a great job - plus has a 2-year-old, so we have great chats in the process. So...

Here's the before (seriously, I don't have any pictures of myself since Christmas!):

and the after:

Monday, February 01, 2010

Jack Frost

Our daycare is phenomenal. Stephanie's program is focused on letting the kids learn through play. They do tons of art and science activities, but don't wear aprons or smocks because then the kids aren't inhibited by the worry of "getting messy." Instead, our guidelines say that the kids need to come to school in clothes that can get dirty. This works for Owen.

During the summer, it was pretty common for me to pick him up and find 2 pairs of drenched clothes in his cubby. Stephanie would say, "some kids get REALLY into the water play..."

And last week, they had suspended giant balls of paper from the ceiling, so the kids could paint them as they swung around. Guess who though the best part was letting the painted balls smack him in the face?
Note, these pictures are after Stephanie gave him a thorough cleaning. I actually had to pick him up early that day because he was coughing so bad and Stephanie warned me that "the kids look like smurfs today."
(Oh, and yes, that's Owen testing out the Bumbo seat we are borrowing for Josh. We really didn't need any confirmation that he's got a skinny bum, but geez.)