Thursday, September 27, 2012

If I take another deep breath, I'm going to hyperventilate

When it rains it pours.

And sometimes it pours to the point that the flood zone seems comical in a hysterical, losing my mind kind of way.

That would be a fairly dramatic and potentially accurate way to describe Monday.

There was no poop in anyone's armpits (thank you, thank you, thank you) but there were, of course, many bodily fluids spilled in form of throw-up, pee, and tears.  Oh the tears.

Carter started the morning with an early wake-up that left him crying for oatmeal, Cheerios and grapes, simultaneously.  He wanted none of them, all of them, and please, for the love of all things good, let him stay in his dirty diaper!  He glared at me, ran from me, and pouted, demanding I let him sit in his filth.  He threw things and looked at me, waiting for my reaction.  He yelled to hear his own voice, pulled the blinds, jumped on the couch, and kicked toys.  Discipline, correction, choices...we were pulling them all out.

It as 7 am.

I can't have caffeine...I just think that's an important element to the story.

Finally, everyone was fed, dressed, and packed into the car for a walk in the park with our friends.  It was the last blissful hour of the day.  All the babies were happy for one dear moment...until Carter realized we weren't finishing with the playground like annoyed toddler and sleepy baby who woke up in the transition from stroller to car seat due to annoyed toddlers rants.

It's 9:20.

We jet to the pediatrician's office for Samuel's 4 month well-check.  I undress Samuel and wrap him in a snuggly blanket.  I get out a snack for Carter and we all cuddle close to read a book while we wait.  It would have made a stunning Wordless Wednesday.  Then the nurse came in to start checking Samuel and weighing, measuring, patting, etc.  She also brought with her a crazy pill that she stuffed down Carter's throat while I wasn't looking that transformed him into a tiny monster that acted like a two-year old.

Or something like that.

With my attention on Samuel and the nurse, Carter abandoned all the snacks I prepared, the books I packed, and the toys I set out.  He tried to crawl on the examining table to "kiss baby", spilled his grapes and Cheerios on the floor, and then slowly walked around the room, carefully crunching the fruit and cereal beneath his shoe with delight.  I am simultaneously trying to hold Samuel, give the nurse the details she needs, and considering how to tether Carter to the wall to maintain the room's basic construction.  I am calculating, creating, considering options for the rest of the visit to help Carter obey.

While we waited for the doctor, I talked to Carter about obeying.  He was all "OBEY Mama!" "Oh no, no throw!" and "I'mah help Mama!" while he laid on his stomach on the bench, kissing his brother's feet and laughing at the hilarity of that.

Then the doctor came in and the two-year old tornado blew right back into town.  At one point, Dr. Greene was hunched over my phone while I tried to explain to her how to get the video I had made of Samuel's weird breathing to play, I was nursing Samuel while he screamed because the ear check had made him super angry and Carter had thrown the last paci to the floor, and Carter was pulling off the paper from the exam table along with Samuel's clothes.  Samuel promptly threw up down my shirt as Carter shrieked for no apparent reason and Dr. Greene huddled over the phone, trying to hear the slight noises I had described.  Suddenly, I realized that my rear was getting cold and discover that Carter's water bottle has been slowly leaking in my seat.  As I put Samuel up on my shoulder to burp, I feel his spit-up travel down my shoulder onto my back.  Samuel almost never spits up.  He was saving that for this important occasion, I am sure.  As I contemplate asking for a place to shower, Carter opens the room door (hello, he can reach of this visit) and tries to escape.

When they were finally done with us, a fact everyone in the whole office, and maybe even this hemisphere, was grateful for, they sent us off to check-out and make new appointments for next time (which I am sure they prayed we won't keep).  I cleaned the exam room the best I could and loaded Samuel into the Ergo. I talked to Carter for a minute or two about what we needed to do to make it to the car and off we went.  He dangled from my arm, alternating between trying to lie down on the waiting room floor and escaping to Africa at the speed of light.  For some unknown reason, the nice appointment lady offered Carter a sticker which he promptly placed in his hair.

Wait for it.

 Yes, there it is.  The screaming as the sticker not only pulls his hair, but is not available for play because it is stuck to the side of his head.  We exited in a flurry of glory.

We got to the car and I strapped Carter to his car seat, questioning why I hadn't brought the whole thing  into the office to keep him tied to one location as I climbed into the backseat to feed a still angry and tired Samuel. Once he was fed, changed, and reloaded into the car, I unpacked Carter from his seat to change his diaper, discovering that he had overflowed it in the office with all the water he hand consumed with the plethora of snacks.  One change of clothes and a new diaper later, we were on our way home.

I fed Carter lunch and got Samuel down for nap.  I brushed Carter's teeth, read stories, watched one Elmo and asked Carter to lie down.  As soon as I closed his door, Samuel started shrieking and I realized he had thrown up in his crib.  Change the sheets, comfort the baby, change clothes.  By the time that was done, Carter was reappearing considering himself properly napped and, of course, highly ill because he was not rested at all.  In all the fuss, Samuel woke up again with spit-up all over him.  I decided my littlest smelled more like throw up than anything else, so I prepped the tub.  Carter insisted he also needed a bath, so off we went.  As I pulled a sweet smelling but still tired Samuel from the tub, I see cups and bath toys filled with water sailing across the bathroom.

My phone sounds.  Steven isn't going to make it home in time to watch the boys for my eye appointment.  I get to talk to the super precious receptionist to cancel for today and reschedule.  She apparently had whatever pill that nurse gave Carter and was having a rather two-year old moment herself.  It was beautiful.  (PS: This got even better when I was FIVE minutes late to the appointment the next day...and they had canceled me.  Because I was late.  FIVE minutes late.  I have never waited there less than 30 minutes.  Sanctificationnnnnnnnnnn.)

Samuel goes to sleep again...and I hold Carter.  We watch Elmo together because I need to breath and hold him and for him to not get in trouble.  He needs the same thing.

Finally.  Steven arrives home.  We had plans to go to Chick-fil-A to meet Elmo for supper.  Samuel wakes but after some rocking is finally sleeping in my arms, so we make the decision to bail and I get to rock Samuel for the longest stretch since his birth.

Big.  Deep.  Breaths.

Most days, I am stunned at how well things seem to go.  I know I have to allow tons of time for everything, the house is never, ever clean, and there is generally a low hum of activity at all times...but it's not chaos like I thought it might be.

However.  There are days like this one.  I want to remember all the fun days that we spend in the warmth of the sun in the park, the happy times we share with friends on play-dates, and the sweet memories of snuggling before bed, reading books.

I also want to remember those days.  The days were babies outnumbered and overcame me.  The dyas where I wore more food at varying stages of digestion than I ate, and the days I smelled like the non-Johnson and Johnson version of baby all day long.  The days where I took so many deep breaths, I almost hyperventilated.

These are good days too.  Mostly because they make for good stories.  And?  When someone else tells a story about their crazy day, I can mentally one-up them...every time.  I can use examples from this particular day...or the one in which I cleaned up poop from Carter's armpits...or the day Carter sneezed spit-up in my face...or the time I had a baby who didn't sleep through the night for two years and then screamed so loud on a camping trip we had to leave in the middle of the night.  

Jk, jk. I don't one-up your misfortune with my own.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Samuel: 4 months

4 months:
Weight: 14 lbs, 6 oz- 26th percentile
Height: 24.25 inches, 52nd percentile

Still almost the exact same as his big brother at the same age :)

Samuel was four months old yesterday.  Four months sounds close to six months, which sounds big to me.  This season is so fleeting.  That's what new moms say all the time, I know.  "It's flying by!  How does time go so quickly!?!?"

But it does.  It's both impossible to remember what it was like to not have this sweet boy in our arms and impossible to believe it has already been four months since we were running to the hospital in the middle of the night, questioning contractions and walking, walking, walking.

This is my favorite walking I do these days.  I love this picture more than any other right now because it is such a perfect picture of what life is like these days.  Wearing Samuel in the Ergo or Moby, stuff slung on my shoulder, smiling that I am so lucky to have my hands so full.  The only thing missing is the toddler that is ever jumping and running and holding the other hand.

Samuel is still the happiest, dearest baby.  It gets on my nerves when people ask if babies are "good."  All babies are good babies.  They just are.  Some babies need more attention to keep them happy.  Some babies require less work...but they are all good.  You know?  Samuel  is one that "requires less" most of the time.  I spend a lot of my time just looking in his gray eyes and hoping I'm not shortchanging him because he doesn't demand a lot.  He reminds me of Steven in that way.  It's easy to overlook their needs because they don't yell and fuss and demand.  But it does make your heart that much happier when you can serve them.

Samuel studies us with this face a lot...and when you look back at him and talk...he opens his mouth wide to smile.  When he does this, I keep thinking I see his two bottom teeth starting to push through.  They haven't yet, so I could be imagining things...but maybe not. Who knows.  If this is teething's amazing.

We went on a train ride the week after Carter turned two in the park near our house.  Carter was ecstatic and...Samuel seemed pretty interested too.  He was so alert, watching the tunnels and bridges, trees and clouds whir by...listening to the choo-choo.  He was also pretty happy to be in his Daddy's arms. :)

These are the days that I have to take big breaths because I can forget to breath.  These two smiling at me while I hold the hand of my favorite heart can't comprehend how utterly satisfied I feel.

Samuel has only two things in this whole world that he does not care for.  The first is being disturbed.  He does not want to be flipped about, picked up from his comfy spot, or moved from his current position.  If he is happy, do not bump him, pat him or even touch him, thank you very much.  Also...the car.  It's a bummer.  He does NOT like it ONE BIT...and doesn't really like the pacifier enough for that to help much.  It kind of stinks.  I'm really hoping that will maybe some point.

Samuel loves kisses...especially kisses to his tummy and neck.  We love the giggles, so he gets these kisses all. the. time.  Carter loves to mimic...and loves getting compliments, so he gives Samuel lots of kisses too.  It's both awesome and terrifying....because Carter is still two...and he is rough both by nature and choice.  Samuel is a brave soul by nature...and necessity.

Samuel is still a dreamy little nurser....and now speedy too.  He still eats every 2-3 hours...but he never takes more than ten minutes or so.  It's such a different experience.  We finally tried giving him a bottle of pumped I would know he would be fine to leave if I needed to go somewhere without him.  He nurses so often that I'm always afraid to leave him with anyone...and he's so laid back, he's easy to just take along.  It was quite a bit later than they recommend trying a bottle for the first time...and he, of course, took it like a champ.  He seriously didn't even falter.  It was a relief.

Samuel is still sleeping about 13 hours every night and takes 45 minute naps between most feedings...with a good two hour nap, usually, every afternoon.  I am reveling in all his rest...and almost waiting for the the other shoe to drop.  Seriously?  Is it sometimes this easy?  He gets fussy, I lay him down, and he just goes to sleep.  If he's a little amped up, I sometimes rub his head a few minutes till he gets drowsy.  Sometimes he sucks on the paci awhile...sometimes he just goes straight for the thumb/hand.  When he wakes up, he talks to himself until we come get him.

Four months.  The more I know him, the more I love him. The memories of yesterday are so precious, the joy of today is indescribable...and the promise of tomorrow is more than I can imagine.  

Sweet Samuel, I am so glad you are my son.  Happy 4 monthday :)

**Samuel goes for his 4 month check-up on Monday...I'll update his stats then.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You tickle me!

We can make Samuel smile by looking at him.  He's easy to please.  In fact, I figured out he was teething (yes, already!  What!?!?) with all of his wide, open-mouthed grins he offers me all the time.
But this...this is the way to get a giggle!

I specifically remember what made Carter laugh out loud the first time.  Samuel and Carter are hitting this little milestone at almost the exact same time :)

*Title is an Elmo reference.  In fact, most of my references involve Elmo in some way...bless my soul.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Thursday

Don't worry...Friday is coming!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To the outside!

It was the first day of school.

All the seventh graders filed dutifully into the classroom and found seats.  The teacher, Mr. Whiteside, went through the class roll, checking to see who was there and putting names and faces together.  He'd been doing this awhile, so he stopped every so often to ask if the new student was related to a student he had taught in the past.  He got to Terry Hancock and stopped.  

"You the brother of Wayne Hancock?"

"Yes sir," my dad replied.

Mr. Whiteside looked my dad square in the eye and said, "You and me, we ain't gonna get along."

From that day forward, Mr. Whiteside came to school late.  As one would expect from seventh graders given any freedom whatsoever, things got crazy in the classroom with no supervision.  Every day, Mr. Whiteside walked in the room, surveyed the chaos of his entire class out of their seats, talking, and goodness knows what else, and called my dad out to the hall.

"Mr. Hancock, to the outside!" 

There Daddy received a paddling and when he and Mr. Whiteside returned, the rest of the class was, of course, settled and ready to learn.  Granted, Daddy was up out of his seat and deserved punishment...but perhaps not the only one due the wrath of Mr. Whiteside....every day.  This continued on until Mr. Whiteside stopped coming to school altogether and was released from his position. 

My dad told us this story hundreds of times as kids...we thought it was the funniest story because Daddy made it sound like getting this one paddling a day was kind of getting off easy and it always made us wonder what in the world Uncle Billy Wayne had done to get Daddy a paddlng a day.  I know Daddy certainly didn't deserve to be paddled every day by Mr. Whiteside...and I do think that teacher was a sorry excuse for a man...but?  Daddy did deserve a lot of paddlings he never it all probably came out in the wash :)  Now, every time Carter stands at the door, lamenting, "Ouuuuuuuuuutsiiiiiiiiiiiide!" I think to myself, "Mr. Castillo, to the outside!" and laugh at my own joke and the disparity between a seventh grader being unjustly paddled every day and the two year old who gets to play outside almost anytime he asks.

This is what a typical afternoon outside with Carter looks like: (PS: Steven totally photographed all of this one afternoon as he and Carter played while Samuel and I met a friend for dinner.  Yes...photographer and supervisor...he does it all! :))

He always starts in the garage.

He can now identify which key belongs to which car.  He can unlock the door, let himself in, and crank the car by himself.  Right.  Put your keys out of his reach when you come over please.  

While in the car, he will press every button.  This means that when we get back in the next day to drive, the radio is blaring, blinkers are on, windshield wipers engaged, seat laid back and pulled forward or back all the way, heat/ac on full blast, and radio settings changed.  It's a little harrowing every single time.

Then, he rings the doorbell several hundred times.

Then it's time to play with balls.  Soccer balls, beach balls, footballs, baseballs, wiffle balls, plastic name it.  They are all in this rubbermaid, which must be emptied every time.  All the way.  

 Even if he has to tip it over and crawl in to get the ones he can't just lean in and reach.

All balls are thrown or kicked down the driveway.  We stand waiting at the bottom of the driveway to keep them out of the road.  We toss/kick them back in the yard.  Carter retrieves them.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  

Push/riding toy is retrieved.  This may be his "mow mow," truck, or, as pictured below, Lonna the Lion.  

They will also be pushed up and down the driveway, into the grass, and through the flower bed.

The cape now makes its appearance and Carter surveys the cul de sac for any danger upon his dependable Lonna the Lion.

He pushes Lonna into the jungle...and saves her.  Repeat. Repeat.  Repeat.

Finally it's either lunch time, supper time, or bedtime.

Carter cleans up the  balls.  There is always one rebellious toss or kick of a ball to send one of us into the street to retrieve it...and ensure a few extra seconds of outside time.  Sometimes more than one ball "escapes."

All other assorted toys of the evening are collected.

And the happy boy surveys his yard till the next time.  

"Mr. Castillo, to the outside!"

Maybe he'll tell stories about how I always said this and about his grandpa who got a paddling every day of seventh grade.  Maybe he won't.  Either way, I'm glad we get to go outside almost every day...and glad it's not to get paddled! :)

PS: I'd really love to know what happened in Mr. Whiteside's classroom two years earlier with my Uncle Billy Wayne that warranted such a distaste for the Hancock name.  Aunt Tammie, Allie, Brady?? Any ideas? ;)