Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve 2010: Where It Hurts

While I was doing dishes, Bryson was in the living room with the kiddos playing.  Just as I was finishing up, I heard a loud crash and thud followed by some intense crying.  I dashed into the living room to find Bryson scooping Baylor up off the floor.  My poor boy was sobbing uncontrollably, even squeaking in pain at one point.

As he calmed down a bit and he nuzzled into his dad, we asked him what hurt.  At first his answer was unintelligible, then he pulled away and said, pointing to each part,

"My head, my bottom, and my other bottom."

I had to turn away from them because I was laughing so hard.  Poor kid, he hurt both cheeks!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Apples to Apples"

Baylor read for the first time today!  Like all by himself, no prompting ... utterly spontaneous.  He was leaning over the back of my parents' couch.  The game Apples to Apples was on the table behind the sofa.  All of a sudden he pointed to a word and said, "Apples."  All our mouths hung open.  My dad hurried over to him and pointed to the word again.  He said, "Yeah," his current word for "I know it/I don't know it/I won't say".  We encouraged him a little and he said, "Apples."  Then my dad pointed to the next word and Baylor said, "to."  Then, "Apples."

It was truly amazing.  I am beyond proud of him!

Lest you think he is perfect, though, I'll share this nugget with you ... as we were putting him to bed tonight, he stuck a long, wadded-up string up his nose.  Not far enough that we couldn't get to it, but any string up the nose isn't a good idea.

But he READ!  Sorry, too proud to contain it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas with Two Kids: Christmas Eve Upheaval

Christmas Eve most certainly did not go as planned this year.  Days after he first spilled, Baylor ended up with a morning bout of diarrhea.  Two bouts, actually.  And with us scheduled to celebrate Christmas Eve with his cousins, we decided to hold him back for the festivities.  Since we only live three doors down from my mother- and father-in-law, my husband and I would be able to switch midway through the celebration so we'd both be able to see everyone.

I took the first shift with Baylor.  He stayed in his pajamas all day after the morning incidents, and he really seemed to enjoy it.  In fact, other than the unpleasantness of the earlier hours, he seemed like his usual self.  But, since we didn't know what was going on with him, we thought it best to err on the side of caution and keep the other kids from the crud.

So Baylor and I took pictures.  He took pictures of himself, I took pictures of him taking pictures of himself.

"Man, that flash is bright!"

It even made him go cross-eyed a little at one point!

He mixed things up a little with the Kenmore mixer his Aunt Christine got for him for Christmas.

Then he enjoyed Mama's special peanut butter and banana toast for Christmas Eve dinner.  It was delicious!

Then he took a few more pictures of himself.

After dinner we decided we needed to make some cookies for Santa, so I started whipping up a batch of sugar and spice cookies.  Baylor smelled all of the ingredients to make sure they were of proper delicious proportions.  Then I got a call from Bryson saying Mollie was breaking down and needed her Mama.  So he ran home, and I ran over to my in-laws a la Tom-Cruise-in-damn-near-every-movie-he's-ever-been-in.  Then my mother-in-law informed me my husband forgot the parcel of food she'd packaged up for him for dinner and could I run it back to our house because Mollie was doing okay.  Sure.

(Insert picture of me running back like Tom Cruise again, only wearing winter boots, a winter coat, fingerless mitten/gloves, and an adorable hat.)

By the time I got back to our house I was huffing and puffing and having some interesting chest pains.  But I was okay.  Then I jogged back to my in-laws.  (So sad to think that Tom Cruise is in such better shape than I am ...) And there I found sweet Mollie sobbing at the top of her lungs.


She'd gotten herself so worked up that she wouldn't stop crying unless I was holding her, so hold her I did.  I got her into her high chair for a couple minutes to feed her some more dinner and to scarf some down myself, but she soon tired of that and just wanted to be held by me.  Then the kids got down to play, and my mother-in-law asked to have Baylor come over.  So she called my husband, he dressed the poor boy in a ridiculous green flannel shirt/maroon pants getup, and they made their way on over.

Sadly, for all of this fun, I didn't have my camera.  So there aren't any pictures from the rest of Christmas Eve.  But I can tell you that we all had a lovely time.  Ooh, and my sister-in-law brought some delicious Oreo bonbons that I couldn't get enough of!

Oh, and when we got back home I found that my husband had completed baking ALL of the cookies for Santa and they were DELICIOUS!  Flat, but delicious.  (As it turns out, if you have baking soda that is several years expired, your cookies will be flat as pancakes.  Interesting.)

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Eve!  (Yes, I realize it is way past Christmas Eve, but I'm just getting around to posting this now.  Bear with me, it's been a long couple days, peeps!)

(Yes, I just said, "Peeps!"  I'm good for a chuckle, what can I say?)

Christmas with Two Kids: Early Christmas Number Two

Because so many people would be at my parents' house first thing on Christmas morning, we had our family Christmas a couple days early.  There are only so many hours in the day for gift giving, eating, eating, eating, naps, bingo-playing, and the like, you know?

Baylor really got into the swing of things when opening his gifts.

Mollie needed a little more help, but she soon got the hang of things.

Dad seemed to like his record bowl, and Baylor enjoyed the kiddie dart board Oma and Grandpa E got for him.

There were a couple of big gifts under the tree, one for Baylor and one for Mollie, and they both took great interest in what was in Baylor's.  It made all sorts of fun noises and had flashing lights ... hmm.

A tricycle with real working turn signals!  Awesome!

Just the right size for the little man!

Mollie got a ride-on zebra.  While she wasn't too sure of it at first, she has since grown to love it and is endlessly delighted when we plop her on it.

I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but between wrangling the kiddos and trying to appreciate just being together I didn't take as many as I had hoped I would.  Ah, such is life with two little ones!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with Two Kids: Early Christmas Number One

For those of you that don't know, my brother-in-law is a paramedic.  As such, he often has to miss major holidays to work, so we usually end up celebrating with him a few days before or after the actual holiday.    

He and his wife now have three kids, so - combined with our two kiddos - it was particularly noisy this year.  But fun nonetheless!

Mollie got a Learning Farm from her grandparents, and she was very excited to be able to pull herself up on the box.

Bryson had some frustration over the screwdriver his dad gave him to put batteries into one of Baylor's new toys.  But he got it all figured out.

Since we didn't open the farm for her to play with, Mollie set to work turning the wrapping paper into confetti.

Meanwhile, Baylor played with a new kiddie laptop his grandma and grandpa gave to him.

Once all the gifts were opened, the kids ran around and shrieked and squealed.  Then they set to work giving their grandma's treadmill a run for its money.

It was a great beginning to the holiday season!

Gift Idea: Record Bowl

In case some of you missed it, Baylor loves playing records on the juke box in my parents' basement.  I wanted to get something special for my dad for Christmas to commemorate this particular past time of theirs, so - after much looking online - we decided to try to make a cool bowl out of an LP.  Yes, I realize the juke box plays 45s, but they have that giant hole in the middle that would allow anything you put in the bowl to slip through.

We bought a copy of Billy Joel's An Innocent Man album on eBay, and soon after its arrival we set to work turning it into a bowl.  First, we gathered the necessary tools and supplies: cookie sheet, oven-safe glass jar, the record, and a bigger bowl.

After warming the oven up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, we stuck the cookie sheet, jar, and record into the oven.  Once it started to droop significantly, we brought it out for forming.

It doesn't get too too hot, so my sister was able to pluck it off with her fingers and toss it in the bowl for me to form.  An important note: the record starts cooling the instant you open the oven door so you have to work quickly.  We eventually started putting the record directly into the bowl upon opening the door so it would have absolutely NO time to cool.

It took a few tries (think eight) to get it just right, but eventually we ended up with a lovely formation.

And after it cooled all the way, this is what we ended up with.  Pretty neat, huh?

Since we had the album jacket and the liner notes just sitting around, I decided to use them to create a fun package for the bowl.  I made some fun raffia-like material by putting the liner notes through a paper shredder then crinkling them up.

And I took an old Fiestaware box and covered it with the album cover.

All in all I'd say it came out pretty cool.

After getting it all wrapped up, I took the playlist off the back of the jacket and used that as the gift tag.

I think Dad liked it, and I certainly had fun making it.  It would be a great gift for any music-lover on your gift list!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas with Two Kids: OMG! He's Been Here!

Santa has been to our house already, can you believe it?!  Before bed, Baylor helped set out milk and cookies (made tonight no less) for Santa, as well as a note he helped dictate.

After the little ones were in bed, a special visitor came to our house, ate the cookies, drank the milk ...

... deposited appropriately wrapped gifts ...

... and read the sweet, albeit slightly weird, note left by the little man.

The magic is here.  And the warmth is most certainly here.

Have a very merry Christmas!

P.S.  In case you can't read the note, it says, "Dear Santa, Enjoy the milk and cookies!  Thank you!  Um, I want to sit by you.  Love, Baylor"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Read This!: My Heart Grew Three Sizes

You guys have to read this.  This is what Christmas is all about.  Try not to feel warm and amazed ... I dare you!

There is hope for this world yet!

If I don't "talk" to you soon ... merry Christmas, happy holidays, and seasons greetings to you all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Equilibrium Day for Mollie

Miss Amalia Jean is officially nine months old!  Can you believe it?!  I know she was born a little early, but doing the math on this hurts my head so I consider this her equilibrium day (same amount of time in the tummy as out) even though it was probably a couple weeks ago.

She is turning out to be quite the little character.  Her smile has taken on a life of its own, nose scrunching and all.

Her crying is pretty epic, too.  Just look at those tears!

She is quite the hilarious little girl, always wanting to be part of the action.

And she's getting pretty good at sharing, too.  Her binkies are her current favorites.  Ooh, and they come with free drool and lots of it!

She loves her brother intensely.  Whatever he does is golden and if she can take part in it she will.  If she even hears him starting to stir on his monitor while she's eating breakfast, she will halt the meal so we can go get him.

She's gotten better at jabbering, too.  And, for better or worse, she does it quite loudly ... especially in the morning before Baylor gets up.

Now that she's mobile, she gets into all sorts of things.  Today she decided to move the mouse in our December pocket calendar on her own.

Oh, and her stats from today's appointment:

Weight: 20 lbs.  (72nd percentile)
Height: 29 1/4"  (95th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17 1/2"  (64th percentile)

She's growing well and is such a sweetheart.  Unfortunately, she's got a bit of stranger anxiety these days, so I am her favorite person when "strangers" (i.e., anyone else) are around.  It is a little tiring and difficult for some to understand, but it's actually quite typical for her age.

I can't wait to see her little personality develop more and more each day!

And in case you're interested, here is Baylor's equilibrium day post!

Read This!: A Trip to Target

You guys have to read this!  Seriously, it will warm your heart, remind you of what you have, give you an awesome idea, and maybe even make you laugh.

PLEASE read it!

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Confined to The Island

As I previously mentioned, my boy had the stomach flu this Sunday.  It was the first time I've had to keep him so quarantined and yet try to make his day as comfortable as possible.  We started off by turning our red couch into what became known as "The Island". 

He seemed to like it well enough at the beginning.

I remember my mom doing this for me when I was a kid, and it always made being sick a little easier.  Plus, it helps protect the couch from ... spatter, if you know what I mean.

I think Baylor really enjoyed the addition of the bed pillow, though he refused to lay down to rest.

The Island comes complete with an in-case-of-emergency bowl, which had to be used once.  After it was cleaned up, though, Baylor used it to store his feet.

Well, when he wasn't stretching, that is.

Amalia took her brother's illness as a chance to roam the house on her own.  She actually ended up doing laps around the downstairs and has become quite the crawler.

In her world, you never know what's around the corner.  So why not look?!

I mean, usually it's Mommy with the camera ... but still.

For the first few hours, we gave Little B a few teaspoons of Pedialyte every 15 or 20 minutes.  It was slightly arduous and our kitchen timer got a workout, but it was worth it not to overload his stomach.

In the meantime, Mollie finally discovered the stairs.  *sigh*

Once his spunk came back a little, we let him play with some of his more washable toys.

And Mollie continued her whirlwind tour of the house.  She's really getting the hang of pulling herself up.

Exploring is so much more fun when you're vertical.

Of course, until she figures out how to walk, crawling is still her main mode of transportation.

And sometimes there just isn't enough to hold onto to pull oneself up, you know?

And sometimes there is.

Miss Mollie had WAY too much fun with the wrapping paper.

I was trying so hard to get all the wrapping done, so we'd take her in the living room so she could hang out with the guys.  But determined little girl that she is, she'd always motor her way back to me.

Baylor tried to make a break from The Island.  He got all the way to the dining room before he was thwarted.

Soon Little B and his germs were back on The Island, safe and sound.

He made a break for it again later, and I got the boys to stop for a picture.  Aren't they handsome?!

Since he hadn't "spilled" since about 10:00 a.m., we decided to give him a little something for dinner.  He kept asking for "a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with honey in it" - his current favorite - but we decided to stick with something a little more bland.  Enter, the banana.

Mollie worked on her waving at dinnertime.

And when the banana stayed down, Baylor got to enjoy some applesauce.

He went to bed a little early that night and - knock on wood - hasn't been sick since.  It was an educational experience, to say the least, and I'm glad it went by quickly.

Hope your holidays are merry and bright ... and very healthy!