Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Compare and contrast

People around here are always saying how much Andrew looks like William. At first, he really didn't, but as he gets older, I can see more of a resemblance. They'll never be mistaken for each other, but you can definitely tell they're brothers.

Here is a Compare and Contrast for you.

Andrew, today, at three months (and one day):

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William at three months, July 22, 2006:

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I tried really hard to get Andrew to smile so the photos would be more comparable, but he wasn't interested. He really is a smiley little guy these days, but well, you can pose a baby but you can't make him smile on cue.

Looking at these pictures, they don't look that much alike here. I have some other photos of these two in similar poses and outfits in which they resemble each other more. I'll post those another time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three months

Today is Andrew's three-month birthday. Happy birthday, little man!

I'm not sure how three months passed so quickly. I guess time flies when you're not puking anymore.

We did not do anything particularly special today. I took the boys to the YMCA so I could work out. They both went to the children's area, which William adores and Andrew doesn't seem to mind. That's about the extent of our day. I did some work. William watched "Word Girl." Andrew slept in the swing.

Really, I can't believe that three months have gone by since I gave birth to Andrew. It seemed like William's first three months lasted much longer. But then, I was living in 29 Palms then, and it was summertime and blazingly, eyeball-searingly hot, and time just seemed to pass more slowly then anyway. These past three months have passed in a quick blur of hauling everyone back and forth to Westminster, honestly. Preschool, church, committee meetings, etc. I've joked in the past that I ought to have a cot set up somewhere in the church, and well, I'm only halfway kidding sometimes.

But seriously, three months just went by, snap, just like that. Andrew's outgrown most of the three-month clothes and is well on his way to wearing six-month outfits. He's been sleeping in his own room now for a couple of weeks. I'm about ready to return the cradle to Shab and all the maternity clothes I borrowed to their rightful owners. Three months, done. What's that expression about how the days are long but the weeks are short? The three months really did fly by.

Stay tuned. I hope to post some compare-and-contrast photos of William and Andrew soon....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

William's Word Nemesis

We have found William's word nemesis.

It's "ravioli." It has all the sounds that he has trouble with: R, V, and L.

It sounds like "wabb-ee-oo-wee" when he says it. He can get the "v" sound if he slows down and is careful, which improves it to "wavv-ee-oo-wee."

It's pretty cute, him enunciating as carefully as he can. He can get the "r" and "l" sounds better, too, if he takes the time, but he usually doesn't. I mean, why bother? Usually, he's only saying "ravioli" if we're having ravioli, so there's context working for him.

For the record, the school district's speech pathologist wasn't worried about these little articulation issues when she evaluated him earlier this spring through the gifted-and-talented program. She said it's pretty normal for a child his age, and she expects them to resolve as he gets older. I know that I had trouble with the "l" sound myself as a little girl; I used to call myself "JJ Warson." And I eventually outgrew it, so I'm not worried about William, either.

Maybe I'll just serve a lot of "wabb-ee-oo-wee" and let him practice...

P.S. I have a word nemesis, too. And I'm 35. My word nemesis is actually a phrase nemesis. It's "lawn mower." I can't seem to quite say "mower" right, unless I say it very slowly and exaggerate it. I say "lawn more." However, I think this may be a Southern thing. Sort of like "bold shrimp."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All things tend toward chaos

I was talking to another mom at the mall today, and when I was admiring her teeny little ten-week old baby daughter, I noticed something. Everything that the mom had for her baby matched...or at least all of it coordinated. The pink-and-white flowered (and monogrammed) diaper bag coordinated perfectly with the lace-edged pink blanket. The baby's outfit matched her hat. The outfit and the blanket and the hat all looked lovely and coordinated against the backdrop of the tasteful charcoal gray infant car seat and stroller. Even the mom was dressed in a lovely outfit that seemed to go perfectly with her child; she wore a really pretty white tunic, with dark jeans, silver sandals and silver jewelry.

By contrast, Andrew's set-up was a total hodgepodge. He was wearing a sweet little Kissy Kissy romper printed with sailboats, but it clashed jarringly against the brown, aqua, and cream polka-dot-and-stripe pattern of his car seat. Which in turn did not match the black Snap n' Go stroller frame. He did have a nice little white blanket, but geez, how hard is it to throw a white blanket on your baby? And then he had his pacifier clip, which is white-and-blue. He had everything he needed, but he sure wasn't going to win any style points. Or, should I say, I am not going to win any style points, since I was responsible for all of it. Oh yeah, we haven't even gotten to my ensemble. I was wearing an orange t-shirt, khaki cargo pants, and green sandals. Not even delicate pretty sandals, either. No, I was wearing my big old clunky Keens. And my glasses, which are scratched. Of course.

Together, we looked like the Before picture in a Before-and-After photo spread for a makeover feature in a women's magazine. Some editor would be slapping little black bars across our faces.

This might have bothered me a few years ago. However, at some point, I had to come to terms with reality. And for me, reality is the fact that I am just never going to be all perfectly turned out. I'm never going to be one of those women who never has a hair out of place (good Lord, no, not with this hair). I'm never going to be one of those women whose clothes are always neatly pressed, without any wrinkles or strings hanging off. I may start out looking nice and neat in the morning, but eventually my true self wins out, and I start looking a little frazzled.

I am about to do something fairly unusual in a parenting blog. I'm about to talk about physics. My reason will be very clear, however. You see, in physics, one of the laws of thermodynamics posits that all things tend toward chaos. That about sums me up in a nutshell. Really, I'm okay with this. At some point, you have to accept the truth about yourself. The truth was out there. And for me, the truth meant wild hair and the odd Diet Coke stains on my shirt.

And for better or for worse, I am passing this little, er, characteristic on to my children, too. For example, I have big messy hair. William has big messy hair. Probably, Andrew will have big messy hair. I tend to spill food on my clothes. William tends to do the same. I'll hazard a guess that Andrew will eventually do it, too. You can see where I'm going with this. My poor kids never had a chance. David may be all nice and neat and orderly most of the time--and he really is, it's pretty amazing--but in the universe, chaos tends to win out over order, and that's how it seems to be developing for our offspring, too. Granted, Andrew can still blame me for anything right now--he's not choosing his own outfits, after all--but I think the handwriting is on the wall, just the same.

No, I'm just never going to be perfectly turned-out, no matter how hard I try. And neither are my kids. Luckily, they're boys. People seem to have lower standards about these things for boys. And whew, I'm kinda glad. I'd feel a little bad about setting a daughter up for that life... at least, until she was old enough to come to terms with it for herself! Maybe people will think that it's charming in my boys. Or maybe they'll marry someone one day who can reign it in...a little bit.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

School's out

Today was William's last day of three-year-old preschool. Wow. It doesn't even seem possible that the school year is over. And it really doesn't seem possible that he's through with his first year of preschool.

And yet, today, when I picked him up, he climbed up into the minivan with all this end-of-the-year stuff. His spare set of clothes. His school photos. A large envelope of art projects. A little treat (bubbles) from his teachers.

I guess my having a baby in February is probably responsible for my feeling like the year just sped up all of a sudden. I mean, Andrew is twelve weeks old today. How did THAT happen? And yet, he is. And William's finished with three-year-old preschool. He has a two-and-a-half week break before summer day camp starts.

Insert cliche here about time flying, yadda yadda yadda.

Somthing I've started doing recently is musing over what I remember about being William's age. My memories are rather vague between the ages of three and four; undoubtedly some of what I remember is probably just things that my parents have told me. But I can remember a lot more about my life, more clearly, starting at about age four. I remember moving to Birmingham, just a week or two after my fourth birthday. I remember racing into my new room and bouncing on the bed. I remember starting kindergarten at our church a few weeks after that.

I wonder if William will remember all the things that he's experiencing now. Will he remember what it was like when he visited me in the hospital and met Andrew for the first time? Will he be able to tell Andrew one day what life was like when Andrew was a baby? Will he remember the flood? Will he remember playing Batman on the playground with his buddies in preschool? Will he remember the bouncy house at his birthday party? Or will his memories be supplemented with my memories, with the stories that we will tell him, and with photographs?

I guess that's why I write these things down.

Speaking of writing things down, I posted this little exchange on Facebook yesterday, but I thought it was funny enough to preserve for posterity here...

William: "Do you know what tofu is?

Me: "Yes."

William: "It's a Presbyterian's favorite food."

Me: "Oh yeah? Tofu? Are you sure?"

William: "Yes, because Presbyterians don't eat meat."

Me: "Hmm. Are you sure you don't mean vegetarians?"

William: "Oh. Yeah. Vegetarians."

Me: "What do you think a Presbyterian's favorite food is?"

William: "I don't know. [Pause] Carrots?"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Big Kids

When I was pregnant, I optimistically thought I'd give the whole baby-wearing thing a shot, at least some of the time. Knowing that I wanted to try out a couple of different kinds with my soon-to-be-second-child, a friend sent to me a couple of her slings. She'd given up on using them with her daughter and wanted someone to get some use out of them.

Now, I did try carrying William around in a ring sling for a little while when he was an infant. But he rapidly got so heavy that it hurt my neck and shoulders. By the time he was about three-and-a-half months old, I'd given up on the fabric sling altogether and only occasionally deployed the (sturdier) Baby Bjorn.

But I figured that my second child might not be as big or as heavy as William, so why not give it a second try?

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha!

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See, even Andrew's laughing at that! Ha, ha, funny Mommy! She's so naive and optimistic!

Just for kicks, we weighed our younger child last week. In a diaper and onesie, Andrew weighed...wait for it...15 pounds and four ounces. Now, David is quick to add that Andrew had just eaten and may have had a slightly wet diaper. But still. I know people whose babies didn't weigh 16 pounds until they were a year old, and our kid's going to weigh 16 pounds (or possibly more) by the time he's four months old.

Good grief.

So naturally, people look at Andrew, see his (admittedly quite adorable) chunky little body and chubby arms and legs and figure that he's older than he really is. They tend to ask me, "How old is he?" and seem to expect me to answer, "Oh, he's almost six months old" or something to that effect. (He also holds his head up better than a lot of babies his age. He's so Advanced! He's so Above Average! Call Garrison Keillor!)

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So when I say, "He's eleven weeks old," they tend to blink. "Really?" they say, with a slight shake of their heads in disbelief. "Wow..." No one has actually said, "Are you sure?" to me yet, but I can hear them thinking it. For the record, I'm pretty sure how old he is. I was there, after all.

Yes, I grow big kids. I don't know what it is, but I grow big kids. You might not know it to look at David and me, but we have Big Kid DNA in us somewhere.

I took this picture of Andrew snuggling on his daddy's chest for a nap this afternoon,
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and it was not lost on me that they may not be able to do this too much longer. He may be too heavy pretty soon. He's already about too heavy now for me to do this. When I was pregnant, I had a belly full of baby compressing my lungs. And now that he's on the outside, if I have him lying on my chest, he compresses my lungs that way, too. Ooof. I'm not sure, actually, how David managed to sleep this way.

Aw, but Andrew's such a sweetie pie, I promise. There's just more of him to love.

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Speaking of big kids, you all know that my actual big kid turned four last month. But with all the other stuff going on (hello, massive flood), we just got around to taking him to the pediatrician for his four-year well-child appointment. He is wonderfully healthy, fortunately, and doing just fine.

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And yes, William is big, too. For the record, William is a little over 41 inches tall and 42 pounds. That puts him in about the 75th and 90th percentiles respectively for height and weight. Which is about where he's been most of his life, albeit a little higher up on the curve in both categories this time. No surprises there.

Me and my gigantic, albeit adorable and wonderful, boys:
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But all joking aside, I'm glad that both my boys are healthy and happy. I may joke around about how big they are, but I'm really lucky that both of them are thriving. Too often, I hear about babies who aren't so big and healthy, and I always have a moment where I think about how thankful I am for my children's good fortune. I could be sitting by an isolette in a NICU somewhere, and thank God that I'm not. If I get a little backache from carrying around a heavy baby, well, that's just not that big a deal in the greater scheme of things.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Yes, we survived the Great Nashville Flood of 2010. Yes, we know how extremely lucky we are. Our little subdivision somehow escaped the floodwaters, even though most of the rest of our suburb was underwater. On the whole, Nashville will never be the same, and after seeing what the flood did to this whole region, I don't think I will be quite the same, either. I've never seen such devastation in person before.

More on that later. (Or if you want to read more about it now, go over to my other blog.)

For now, I just wanted to wish all you mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day, with a special heartfelt wish to my own mother. (To Judi: Happy Mama's Day. I love you. Thanks for being my mommy and putting up with me all these years. Love, me.) And to my mother-in-law, thank you for doing such a good job raising your son so that I would have such a terrific man to marry.

Me and the boys today, in front of my dogwood tree, which I've decided is going to be the official Mother's Day photo spot:

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And a quick shot that I got before we left for church. I wanted to make sure I at least attempted to get some pictures of them while they were both still relatively clean:

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