Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011's over. Once again it has come and gone all too fast. Time to pack up the projects that were only half-completed, the Advent calendar boxes that never got opened,the waaaay too many toys that Santa and the grandparents brought, and the bows that will need to be ironed again next year.

This year was the best yet. There was little money to spare, but we made sure the kids got the Christmas they deserved. Even if Anderson is still too young to remember (and Beck is too young to even know what is going on), there is such an amazing feeling when you are able to spoil your kids once a year. To have that one time of year where you don't think twice about the "usefulness" or the "educational value" of something, you just buy it because you know they will love it. I grew up in this kind of a house where Santa never let you down and it is the least I can do to provide the same for my boys.

It began at our house on Christmas morning:

The kids of course woke up incredibly early as usual. I think Beck was up by 5 because I had enough time to go downstairs and make Monkey Bread before the sun even came up. (No pictures of that as there were some serious problems issues. Easy as it is, you need to have more than one eye open when baking. It was A-mazing, however, even if it did look terribly unappealing.) 
When Anderson woke up the sun still had not risen and we told him that Santa's rule was that you were not allowed to go look at the presents until the sun was shining. Oh- and he pee-peed his matching Christmas jammies. Figures. At least we had a back-up hand-me-down pair. We went downstairs and he didn't even know which way to look. The kitchen? The race track? The bike? The books? Maybe Santa should have taken inventory and saved something for the birthday in less than 3 months time!
It was all over fairly quickly and we didn't get nearly enough of the "important" pictures. Family photo? Not this year. At least we all got to nap by 9 am. I love that we have nothing to do and nowhere to be on Christmas morning. Thank goodness for Christmas Eve mass. I always feel bad for people who spend their holidays shuffling from house to house trying to squeeze it all in.

Then moved to the Grandparents':
In the afternoon we went to Garndma and Grandpa's house to celebrate with the family. Before kids I would spend the whole day (and most of the night before) making a 3-5 course meal for Christmas dinner. The last 2 years we ditched the formality and opted for homemade soups and beef tenderloin sandwiches. This year I got off easy, only making a French onion soup and a flourless choclate cake.
Too many gifts once again. I'm thinking next year the cousins need to draw names.

And ended the next day with the other Grandparents:
"Palmer Christmas" is always celebrated on the 26th so the festivites just keep on going. This year was the first we didn't host and it weas so nice to not have to worry about getting the house in order. More toys, more unwrapping, more pictures. Seriously, what are we going to do with all these toys? For now I am going to keep most of them hidden and bring them out in rotation. I'm not so sure Anderson will fall for it.
On a totally unrelated note, Anderson I am so sorry about your bangs. You really need to stop moving when I'm cutting your hair.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chop Job

Anderson, please stop moving when I am trying to cut your hair. Your bangs are awful. Daddy says you look like one of those stylish kids who have super hip haircuts, but I think you look like I let you play with scissors. I am sorry. I truly am.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feeling Lousy

Beck, I took you to the doctor yesterday for your 8/9 month check up and it seems I have been failing you a bit. I am so sorry. I try so hard to do what is best for you, but clearly things aren't as perfect as I would like. It was like a punch to the belly.

Where you have been in the 10-25% percentile for weight, you have now dropped to below 5%. I just don't understand. You do nothing but eat all day long. You are up to 3 meals a day and eat about a pound of cheerios in between. I make all of your food so that I can control what is going into your body, but apparently you aren't taking in enough calories. Hopefully adding in higher calorie and higher protein foods will get you to where you need to be. If not, I'm just not sure what happens next.

And speaking of your diet, you are also anemic. They pricked your toe (you didn't even flinch, you are so strong) and within a minute let me know that your iron level is low. Again, it comes back to me. I have been so concerned about feeding you vegetables and grains that I have ignored iron rich foods and meats. I am now giving you a supplement (which you absolutely hate) and am adding tons of spinach to your diet. Soon will be red meat, though pureed steak just sounds horrendous.

Add those two pretty major issues to the "he seems to have some dry skin issues", "you might want to put some Desitin on this little diaper rash", and the concern over the fact that you just started sitting 3 days ago at almost 9 months and I just about died. Fortunately your doctor did not seem to think anything was of huge concern and is confident we can get it all under control. We'll go back for a weight check and an iron level test and hopefully all will be well.
I left with my tail between my legs. How could I have not known that there was something wrong? Am I not in tune with you? Do I not pay enough attention? There is nothing worse than the feeling that you are letting your baby down. I would do anything to make you happy and healthy. Even pureeing the steak. Just be OK. Please.

So many posts...

So many posts have been swimming around in my head, but somehow I haven't had the energy to write. Time to get my act together if this is the only record I have of the day to day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Claus

Anderson, for two years I have been waiting for you to finally "get" Santa Claus, and, while this year you may still not totally grasp the concept, you certainly have embraced it. Everyday you talk about Santa and every time we hear a bell, be it from the school, the church, or just a random car horn, you yell out, "it's Santa, mommy!".

This past weekend marked our first official visit to Santa. The first year you were just too little and, well, I just didn't want to give you over to him (what were you going to say to him, anyway?). Last year we did a trial run on a weekday when there was nobody in line. You lasted about a second and a half and would not get within five feet of Saint Nick. We didn't force the issue. This year, however, was your year. You patiently anxiously waited your turn and when you got in Santa's house you could not have been happier (though the giant bucket of candy canes didn't hurt either). You posed for your picture and even told Santa that you wanted an airplane (what? where did that come from? all you've talked about are trucks!). A few more laps on the choo choo and off we went. Truly a more successful experience than I had anticipated. Now, about that airplane...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baby Beck : 8 months

Oh my, my little baby boy, eight months came so quickly that it was the tenth before I even took your picture (well, there was a little issue with a lost number 8 and trips to various stores to find a replacement, but I digress). I have decided that it will be easier for me to recall what's been going on with you in a more concise format so I am breaking things down into categories. It is amazing how much happens in a month!

Teeth: You still have none. Not a bump, not a bud, not even a little puffy spot.

Eating: You love to eat. Love it. I am still making all of your baby food so perhaps you have been a little limited in your offerings, but so far the menu consists of carrots, butternut and acorn squash, sweet potatoes (are those the orange ones? Or are those yams? Who knows, but you love them), green beans, peas, and recently yogurt. You eat oatmeal every morning and we are now up to three meals a day with Cheerios as a hunger suppressant in between.

Drinking: You are still nursing (or drinking pumped milk while I'm at work) 4-5 times a day. You seem to be less and less interested in nursing and I am pretty sure it is because you can get milk faster through a bottle. This is killing me, by the way, for multiple reasons which I will not get in to, but I am hoping when I am off the next two weeks we will get everything back up to a high production rate. I am not at all ready to give this up just yet. On a different note, you absolutely love to drink water and have even learned to hold your own sippy cup. Man are you cute.

Sitting: You're almost there. I am fairly certain you can sit, you just choose not to. You would rather stand which makes me tired because I am holding you constantly. Though I love that things are not flying by super fast, I am excited for you to sit so that I don't have to hold you every second of the day.

Crawling: Nope. You should probably learn to sit first. But oh how you love to roll! I keep putting you up on all fours, but I think we are a ways off.

Sleeping: You sleep like a champ. You are now asleep for the night by 5:30 or so. You sleep all night until somewhere between 4:30 - 5:30 when you sometimes (3-5 times a week?!) wake up and begin to play. I can usually go into your room and sneak you a paci and you will fall back asleep. Some mornings I'm not so lucky. I am sure this is my fault as I have let it happen, but really it is no big deal as I am usually up at that time anyway. The way I see it is that I can go in and re-position you (you wedge yourself into the corner) and give you a paci which takes all of 10 seconds or I could let you wake up which means we all have to be awake that early. I'd rather sleep a bit more, thank you.

Talking/laughing/babbling: Well, apparently you are not some abnormal prodigy child who begins to speak at 6 months, but you have really found your voice in the last couple of weeks. You have different laughs, squeals, and spontaneous outbursts, all of which make us giddy. You are truly communicating in your own language and it is so much fun to watch.

Crying: Thankfully you still don't cry unless you are overly tired or hungry. As I have learned with your brother, however, that is only temporarily. Apparently crying is not for babies, it is for toddlers.

Schedule: As much as people give us grief about it, we are pretty rigid with your schedule. You wake up, play, drink milk, nap 1-2 hours later, play and eat, nap again, repeat (though I never put you down past 3 and I do not let you sleep past 4), play, eat dinner around 4:30, bath, and bed at 5:30. I'm a stickler.

Toys: You want whatever Anderson has. You love his trucks, his trains, and his socks. Your current favorite thing to play with is a plastic bowl. You're easy.

Miscellaneous: You like to pull hair and grab teeth. You love to have your tummy tickled. You are very good at being left on the floor by yourself for a few minutes(does that make me a bad mom? Probably, but I can't hold you every minute of the day and you refuse to learn to sit!). You are still wearing 6-12 month clothing and you go through about 5-7 diapers a day. While I cook dinner you sit in your jumpy and watch me. You love for us to sing to you. You are so stinking cute and you are the most fun after your bath. My favorite time with you is between the time you finish dinner and the time you go to sleep. You are so happy, so funny, so sweet.

The Jewelry Tree

I suppose not everyone has a favorite Christmas decoration. That one thing that makes you anxious to speed through Thanksgiving just to decorate. I do. And I absolutely love it. The jewelry tree is special for so many reasons, not the least of which is that there was one hanging in my house every year since I can remember. That original tree could tell so many stories of Christmases past. Stories of so many gatherings, so many Christmas mornings, so many happy memories. Stories of so many times mom wanted/needed to wear an "ornament" that was glued to its sparkly branches only to rip it off and fill it back in with some other random earring who had lost its mate or brooch that had seen more stylish days.

For ten years and in four different homes this tree has occupied the most valuable piece of Christmas real estate above the mantel. It has been a constant as this little family has changed, grown, and developed its own traditions. Oh, the stories it could tell.

This year as the other jewelry trees in the family are getting an overhaul I am even more sentimental about my own. Though much of the jewelry on my tree was never worn by myself, all of the pieces on the tree either belonged to or were given to me by the women in my family. What better time of year and what better way to be reminded daily of the people who mean so much. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar

We never had an advent calendar growing up, but Gabe and I started making one back before we got married and it is something I look forward to every year. I used to try to come up a new and creative idea each year, but this year we recycled a version I made back in 2009 using match boxes and an apothecary jar (I have a toddler and an infant- I no longer have time for neither new nor creative). As a matter of fact, I didn't even open the boxes and swap out the papers yet (I found that photo from 2 years ago). Luckily Day One just said "snuggle". That's an easy one. Phew. Hopefully I'll be as lucky tomorrow.