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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Year Old!

I just can't believe my baby girl is a year old already! The time really does fly when you are having fun! And this last year has been so fun. Being a mother of two definitely brought new challenges to our lives...but also more joy and love than I thought possible. It is pure magic to form relationships with your children. Watching them form a relationship with each other...just priceless. Not to say they always get along, but Emma's smile is so genuine when Jack is around! And I love the way Jack talks to her. I think most of the time he is being a mimic to me. The other morning I heard him say "How you doing, Emma?" and when she cries, he says "Oh, honey!" Whenever Emma is off exploring the house Joel and I will say to each other "where's Emma?" or "what is Emma doing?" Now about 50 times a day, Jack will ask me "what's Emma doing?" even if she is sitting right in front of him. It is really cute.

To celebrate Emma's birthday on Saturday, we also made a point of celebrating Jack's anniversary of becoming a big brother. So there was a present and a balloon for each of them.

Jack did such a good job of singing "Happy Birthday to you" to Emma, and he even helped her blow out her one candle. I made birthday brownies with cream cheese icing and tons of sprinkles. I wrote "Emma 1" on the brownies...tried to keep it short because I totally suck at writing with icing...it looked more like Erman 1. Oh well, she can't read yet. So we put Emma in the highchair in just a bib and gave her a brownie. She looked at it, tasted the icing, and then just picked the whole thing up with her little fist and went to town. That poor brownie didn't stand a chance against her. She was simply adorable covered in icing! She went straight to the tub afterward and then fell asleep in my lap while she was having her bottle. Too much birthday fun for that girl! We got her a baby stroller that will also help her learn to walk as her gift. She looked just like a little mommy pushing her baby around the house. Jack got a John Deere tractor that pulls four animals. When you push the farmer's head, it plays "Old MacDonald". Jack thinks it is the coolest toy. What was funny was when Emma would take a break from walking her baby and come over to see what Jack was doing. She is so sneaky. She would snatch that farmer and then crawl like hell to get away with it. Jack would stand there and yell, "No Emma! That Jack's farmer!"

We had a wonderful little birthday celebration just the four of us that morning. Emma's party is this next weekend. It will be fun to see what she does with her smash cake. I remember at Jack's first birthday party when we gave him his cake...he was very slow to examine it, slowly tasting the icing, and then it was like a light bulb went off in his head and he thought, "What the hell am I wasting all this time for? Let's just get down to business!" And he leaned in towards his cake and using just his little mouth, destroyed it. It was classic. I am excited to see if Emma uses that same method!

So now I am the mother of two toddlers. Wow. I want the time to slow down! I love them little so much! I know I will love them as they grow up, too...but there is something so special about being able to pick up your child and put them on your lap. I love knowing that right now whatever problems they face I can fix, just by wrapping my arms around them. I wish it would always be that way. Having Emma turn one has made me such an emotional little mommy this past week! Not only that, but my 10 year reunion was also this past Saturday, and seeing so many old faces made me so nostalgic. I loved seeing how much people had changed, but also stayed the same. I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends. It was a great weekend...and then I got sick. Too much fun, maybe? Jack had a little cold and I am sure he just passed it on to me. If only he was so good at sharing toys! Like I had told Kristi, there is no such thing as a sick day once you are a mommy! Today, I think Jack and I are both feeling a little better, and Jack and Emma are both being perfect little angels...so far. Well, my big girl is now tapping my leg with a big old grin on her face. She is simply irresistible...I must go play!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What a week!

As anyone in the Columbus area knows...wind can be one hell of a bitch when she wants to! That wind storm on Sunday took out the rest of the tree in our front yard that had been struck by lightning only a couple months ago, and it also beheaded my lilies. Guess I won't have to cut those back this fall, as Mother Nature has already taken care of that. Keeping things in perspective, though, the damage done here was so small compared to what we have seen and heard of happening to others. I feel blessed that we all remained safe and still have a place to call home! We did lose power Sunday night...and it did not return until Wednesday! Poor Joel...Sunday was his 30th birthday...what a way to celebrate! We spent Sunday night here. Getting two small children ready for bed by candlelight was a bit of a challenge...for all of us! I was a nervous wreck having so much open flame around my babies, and we only had one stinkin flashlight! And I am one of those people that must sleep with a fan blowing on me...oh, it was so hard to sleep that night with the only noise being the snore of the birthday boy! I hoped and hoped the power would be back on by Monday morning...no. Joel had already gone to work and I was thinking I would just roll with the punches. I would go with the whole 'when life hands you lemons, make lemonade' way of thinking. I thought we could have a nice quiet day coloring and doing little projects that don't require electricity. Then I realized that I couldn't make coffee. Big problem! Screw lemons! I need coffee! Especially because I had slept horribly, Jack woke me up at 7 a.m. and I had to go to work that night at 7 p.m. and stay up until the next day! I went to call my mom to see if we could go over there and found my land phone was dead and I had no signal on my cell phone! So I packed up some things, put the kids in the car, and headed over to my parents house...of course, stopping for coffee on the way.

My parents live only about 7 miles from us and they never even lost power! Good thing, since we invaded on them and stayed til Wednesday! Everyday, I would come back home and pray for power. No such luck. When I came on Tuesday, though, I did find a whole lot of standing water in my kitchen from all the ice that had melted in the freezer. That was a super fun surprise. It was easy to see that Jack, too, was getting frustrated and also missing home. I had asked him, "Do you miss our house, buddy?" to which he replied, "No! I miss my bed and I miss my fingset!" That was the cutest comment! Thankfully, the 'fingset' had not been affected by the wind storm!

Wednesday morning was when Joel came home to find the power restored. Yay! So we packed up again...our three loads of laundry, our 7 bags of refrigerated food, our two kids, and what was left of our sanity. I know my mom loved having us there, but I am sure she was quietly dancing inside at the thought of peace and quiet as we left! In the short time we were there, Emma had pooped in her bath tub, splattered macaroni and cheese all over her walls, and had some fun in diet coke that had spilled all over the kitchen floor. Jack found her bottle of Oxy-Clean and soaked himself and their leather ottoman within minutes of our arrival on Monday! All the chaos did provide much laughter for my mom and I, and it was really fun doing everyday mommy things with my mommy.

After coming back home on Wednesday, it was back to the usual. I love electricity, and I love my house! I had to work last night, too, so tonight is really the first night I have spent relaxing in my own house since last Thursday! I also had worked last Friday and Saturday nights, and then Sunday was when the wind bitch came. Whew. I am very happy to be sitting here blogging, knowing that soon I will get to go to sleep in my own bed with my hubby, with my fan blowing in my face, and that tomorrow when Jack wakes us up, no matter how early, we can make coffee!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trying to keep that kid in his bed...

...is proving to be quite difficult! The first few nights Jack slept in his big boy bed, he actually stayed there. I knew it could not be that easy. Maybe it just took him a little while to figure out that he is not confined by the four sides of a crib anymore. I imagine this as his thought process: "Holy shit! I can do whatever I want in here and as long as I'm quiet they won't have a clue! I can finally turn this room upside down! Hooray!" And off he goes. Yesterday I put him in his bed for a nap, as is our routine, and he got all snuggled up in his bed like he was going to go to sleep. I shut his door and went down to my room so I could put clean sheets on the bed. After about 10 minutes, I heard hangers banging together. So I go into Jack's room and find him in his closet, using a box of diapers as a step stool, taking all his shirts off the hangers. When he saw me in the doorway, he held up his little hand and waved at me and said "bye!" That's his way of saying "get the hell out". I told him it was nap time and to go back to his bed, and he looks at me all confused and says, "oooohhh, okay." He was playing like that was new information to him. So he gets back in his bed and I told him to stay there, and he agreed. Five minutes later, I hear more noise...I go back to his room and find him taking all the dirty clothes from his hamper and piling them into one of his dresser drawers. All the clean clothes that had been in that drawer were now on the floor. Again, I put him back to bed and I said, "I don't want to hear any more noise, you need to take a nap." Sure enough, I did not hear anymore noise! After about 15 minutes, I went back up there, thinking I was going to find him asleep. No. I go to open the door slowly and knock over the laundry hamper he has put in front of it! He thought he was going to keep me out of there! I had to stifle my laughter, because that was just so funny, but I didn't want him to know that! So I find him laying in the corner reading a book. I figured that was fine...at least he was quiet and not creating another mess. So I told him to finish his book and then take a nap. And he did...when I went in a couple hours later, I found him sound asleep...on the other side of the door.

Last night, I thought we would go through the same thing when bedtime rolled around, but we didn't. I think he was so tired...his short nap on the floor must not have rejuvenated him much, that he went right to bed and we didn't here a thing out of him. Joel's alarm went off at 5:30 this morning and I was a little worried when, after hearing Joel roll out of bed, he came over to me and said, "Lauren, I'm sorry to wake you, but you have to see this." I got out of bed and followed him to the doorway of our bedroom...where a little boy slept, using his teddy bear as a pillow. It was so cute. We nudged him a little and said, "let's go back to your bed", and he picked his head up and said okay. He went to back to sleep in his bed until 9:30, which was a nice treat for me! Luckily, we have been putting a gate at the top of the stairs so if Jack gets up in the night, he can't come downstairs to party. Well, after he wandered last night, I started worrying that he would wander into Emma's room one night and scare her. So tonight when Jack went to bed, we put the gate in the doorway of his room instead. I told him "when you wake up, or if you need something, just call me." And he practiced for me..."I call mommy, MOMMEEEEE!" So he totally understood what I said. Well, about a half hour after Jack 'went to bed', Joel went upstairs to brush his teeth and I heard him say, "what do you think you're doing?" Oh, that Jack is so smart. He had pulled his little rocking chair over to the door and already had one leg over the gate. Never underestimate the intelligence and creativity of a two-year-old.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Look at all my new teeth!

Emma only had those two little teeth on the bottom for months, and now she has six more making their way through!! It is no wonder she has been drooling like a fountain and chewing on anything she can get to her mouth! Thank goodness these are only baby teeth that will eventually fall out because they sure aren't growing in very straight! It is so funny how different babies look with teeth...suddenly she doesn't look so much like a baby anymore. I cannot believe Emma will be a year old in just a few weeks. I was telling her last night as I gave her a bath that this past year has really been the best one of my life so far. What could be better that Joel, Jack and Emma? I am one lucky lady...and, oh so thankful!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My baby boy in a big boy bed.

I knew the day would come...the day when I could no longer doze in my own bed and listen to my children happily play in their cribs as I slowly woke up and mentally prepared to start my day. Yeah...those days are over! After learning that Jack could, and had been climbing out of his crib, we converted it to a toddler bed. So once he wakes up he doesn't have to wait for me to come get him! He just walks his cute little butt into my room and tells me "get out your big bed." Still a nice way to wake up...but, oh, I do not do well getting up before 8! Emma still sleeps til around 8:30 or 9, but Jack wakes up with the sun. He always has, but when he was still in a crib it was like he knew he had to stay there until I came in to get him, and smart person that he was, he would entertain himself til about 8:30. I would wake up to the sound of him talking to his teddy bear or singing a song...and he would patiently wait for me to get my sleepy self in there. Well now, he knows that he doesn't have to wait for anything...he just gets up and is ready to party! Today he even brought me my pants that were on the floor, and said, "here your pants, get out your big bed, mommy." He really is impossible to resist. I am happy I have at least made him understand that Emma needs to stay asleep even though he is awake. A couple of days ago, he went in and woke her up at 7:30 and then came in to get me! Emma was not pleased. And neither was I...waking up from a dead sleep to a screaming Emma and a Jack who was already bouncing off the walls! Emma was a total crab all morning til I laid her back down at 9. I was so jealous of her that she got to go back to sleep!

Now that Jack and I are up at 7 together, it does give the two of us more special time together that we did not have before. As tired as I am...I am grateful for that.

To celebrate the fact that he is growing into a big boy, I let him pick out the new bedding for his toddler bed. We looked at different stuff online and he was so cute sitting on my lap telling me which ones he liked. We decided on Thomas the Train. It is very cute. I got his new bedding washed and put on his little bed on Sunday night. When we took him in there to see it, he was like, "TRAIN!!!" and he ran and jumped on his bed and did a little bucking bronco routine he was so excited!
When I go in to look at him each night before I go to bed, I am overcome with emotion that that sweet boy with the face of an angel is mine...that he was once my baby boy, and now is almost 3 years old...that there was a time when he didn't even exist in my world, and now he is one of my best friends. It has to be one of the most common things parents say, but seriously, they grow up too fast! I took this picture the other night, and it will be one of my favorites forever...easy to see why, don't you think?

Check out our new toy!

Needless to say, Jack is absolutely ecstatic that he now has a slide of his own in the backyard!! There are also swings, a glider, a climbing wall, and a picnic table on this cool new addition to our home! Joel started the assembly process in the garage...putting the different parts together and such. He would go out there during nap times and after the kids went to bed to work on it. Joel is great in the sense that he can figure out how to do anything! I can not learn how to do something from reading directions...Joel is great at it...and of course gets lots of practice since everything you buy for kids requires assembly! Anyway, everyday, Jack would ask to look at his new swingset...so we would open the garage door so he could look at all the parts and he would say, "wow, my new swingset!" He was so sweet and patient waiting for Joel to finish it. One day, he sat out in the garage with Joel and ate his lunch because he wanted to be with that swingset so bad (and probably his daddy, too)!

My Uncle Chuck and Aunt Susan were here when Joel was ready to move the swingset to the backyard, so they got to help! Susan hung out on the porch with Emma while Chuck and Jack helped Joel with the final construction. Jack was so funny...taking the screwdriver and holding it to a screw like he had seen his daddy do...it was priceless!

Jack's little friend, Brady, who lives behind us was watching out his window as they worked on the swingset, and you could tell he was so excited! He was yelling out the window at Jack, "you gotta new swingset?!" And Jack would yell back to him. It was so funny...and a conversation that I think only the two of them understood!
Having Chuck and Susan here to help and enjoy the new swingset experience was so wonderful!! Chuck taught Jack to yell "yee-haw" while he was swinging...and Jack does...every time!!

We are enjoying the new swingset very much so far! Brady came over last night to play for a little bit. He and Jack mostly just chased each other around, but they also spent a lot of time on the slide and they rode the glider together, too. When it was time to go inside, it was so cute to hear them say good-bye to each other! And on Sunday afternoon, Linda, Jeff, Janey, Gabe and Katie came over to celebrate Joel's birthday. It was a beautiful day, and Jack enjoyed sharing his new swingset with his cousins.

Please don't be blinded by the color of the chairs I bought for the patio...I ordered them online and thought they were butter yellow...not the seizure-inducing yellow they actually are! It looks like I bought them to match the swingset! Oh well, they are very comfortable!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From dirty...to flirty!

Emma is really into feeding herself now. It is great for Joel and I because then we can all eat at the same time. We just put her in the highchair, give her some little peices if food, and let her go! She smiles the whole time...so proud of herself. She does a pretty good job. It is so cute to watch her take her tiny fingers and use them to pick up her little food and put it in her mouth. And once she gets the food to her mouth, she giggles like eating is the funniest thing she ever experienced! I'll tell you one thing, though...that girl is a slob!!

This is what she looked like after she fed herself some cheerios and a little baby biscuit. I don't even know if she ate any or if she is wearing it all on her face, in her hair and on her clothes! Her hair is actually stuck to her cheeks! I had to take her straight from the highchair to the bathtub! After her bath, I thought I would play around with her hair...she actually let me put these rollers in her hair!! I tried to blow dry it so it would have more volume, but she was not a fan of that. You can see the finished product here at the end...so pretty, even in her hand-me-down jammies from Jack!

The joys of nursing...

At work last night I had the pleasure of precepting Heather, a new nurse who totally rocks at nursing already. She took care of all of our patients and I just floated around helping out and keeping myself available to answer questions for her when she had them. Precepting Heather made my night a breeze. The best part for me was that I had more time to really take care of our patients on the floor who were sad, confused or just in need of a little extra TLC. One of our patients was very confused...talking to people who weren't there, and making no sense whatsoever. He was incredibly hard of hearing, too, which also complicates a converstaion! When I went in to introduce myself to him at the beginning of our shift, I said "I'm Lauren, I'm going to be one of your nurses tonight." And he gets this big grin on his face and he goes, "No, I'm not married!" I think he thought I was hitting on him...so cute. As I was talking with him...and by that I mean that I would say something and then he would say something back that totally didn't make sense...I held his hand, as I usually do. His fingernails were soooo long and there was so much shit (literally, as in poop that was once on his butt) under his nails. Ewww. In the hospital, we are not allowed to cut patients nails....so I thought I would just have to give him a manicure. So early this morning, when all the patients were staring to wake up I took in a basin of soapy water, some little sticks to get the poop out with, and some toothbrushes to clean under his nails. My fellow nurse, Katie, who is one of my absolute favorite people in this world, was also precepting a new nurse so she had some extra time on her hands, as well. She came in as I was cleaning one hand and asked if I wanted help. So she took the other hand of my patient and got to work. So the two of us stood there, one on either side of this sweet man, scraping old poop out from under his long nails. It was thouroughly disgusting, but definitley necessary, and I was glad we had the time to it. Katie and I were so into our new roles as manicurists that it totally caught us off guard when from the other side of the curtain, the patient's roommate ripped the biggest fart you ever heard! Katie and I looked at each other and cracked up as quietly as we could! Nursing is such a glamorous profession. But, glamour aside, I wish I could spend more of my time at work doing things that make patients feel more like people, and less like patients.

Once we finished up his pretty manicure, I put lotion on his nice clean hands and then we had other staff members come in to see his pretty clean nails. This patient was just so cute...he sat there with a big grin on his face putting his hands on display. In those moments I felt so much satisfaction as a nurse. Anyone can understand how it would be satisfying to do CPR on a patient who is crashing, or get that IV that no one else can get. It's being satisfied to do something so simple as to clean an old man's hands that lets me know I chose the right path professionally. It is how I know I was meant to be a nurse....and why I'm so happy I am.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My big helper!

Jack saw me get out the Swiffer the other day and he just thought it was the coolest thing ever! He walked right over to me as I was sweeping the floor and said "can Jack sweep?" I thought it was a great idea...he could have fun and sweep up crumbs in the process!! He was so cute....just sweeping the same area of floor over and over. I kept asking him to go around the whole kitchen, but he really liked that one spot! And he kept saying, "I'm a good boy! I your big helper! I sweep up crumbs!" I let him sweep for about 10 minutes...until he went for Emma's head with the crumb-covered Swiffer...and that was the end of that. I just love how sweet he is in this little video!

If You're Happy and You Know it...

Here's a little story...for the past couple of months or so, Jack is really into singing songs. He sings all day long (like his mommy), and especially likes to sing at bedtime! Anymore though, when bedtime rolls around he prefers to sit and listen while Joel and I perform for him. He smiles so big and just claps his little hands and cheers like we are the coolest people he knows. We always do a medley of "if you're happy and you know it", "you are my sunshine", and the ABC's, and when we finish all three songs, we do jazz hands and say "ta-da". Jack seriously thinks we are so cool. He applauds so loud! I can't blame him...we are quite a treat for the ears and the eyes! :) Tonight, Jack was so excited to play with his little train at bedtime that he practically dove into his bed. He barely looked up as we said our prayers because he was so into playing with his trains. So Joel and I were both thinking we were going to get a night off from our concert tour. We had just walked out the door when we heard Jack whine, "sing happy and know it!" So we went back in, stood together next to his bed and performed our medley. Jack did not look at us once!! He just sat there and played with his train and we were just background music for him!! I think we probably look silly doing our medley with an audience, but when no one is even paying attention, I am sure we just look ridiculous!! We do 5 verses to "happy and you know it"...clap your hands, stomp your feet, give a hug, give a kiss, do all 4. So I am sure you can just imagine Joel and I...ahhh, sweet parenthood!