Saturday, January 28, 2012

Regression?

"Mama! Wap Henny bankie yike Maggie. Henny wap up in bankie! Peeeeeeeeeeease."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gah!

When taking pictures of your adorable newborn daughter
decked out in a handmade knit cap & sweater get-up from her Nana Williamson
you may have trouble
knowing when
to stop.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Those Williamson Genes

Maggie is SO LONG. I don't know if you can really appreciate it in this picture, but girlfriend is like Stretch Armstrong. Looooong and skinny. (Also, love those highwaisted little leggings right?! Look at her tiny butt!)
It's totally the Williamson genes. She certainly didn't get that from me. She'll probably be one of those people who have to TRY to gain weight. I might hate her.

Then again...

probably not.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Henry Update

Henry speaks.

A lot.

He speaks whole sentences. Multiple sentences together. He tells about his day. He can tell us that he is sad or tired or scared. He remembers details. A few days ago, I told him we were going to the grocery store for milk, whipped cream, and bananas. When we got there, we got the bananas first. As we walked away from the banana display, he said, unprompted, "milk, cream." Whaaa? Ok, thats it. He's in charge of the grocery list from now on.

He loves books still. In particular, he loves 'The Monster at the End of This Book, starring lovable, furry, old Grover." David and I can both recite the book, verbatim, from memory. We are awesome.

He also loves to 'read' books to himself. He sits by himself, flips through his books, and says a few key words from each page. It's AWESOME. I keep trying to get it on video, but he's such a camera hog, that as soon as he sees me trying to video him, he tosses the book aside and runs at the camera yelling CHEEEEEEESE. I have like, 12 videos of CHEEEEEEESE.

He loves TV, 'toons' as he calls it, and loves Sesame Street above all else. However, in the dicatorial spirit of mothers everywhere, I'm pretty stingy with the tv, preferring to reserve it for times when I most desperately need a break. So... almost every day at about 5:30.

He is still super, super, cuddly. He gives his kissses and hugs freely and likes to snuggle up next to me on the sofa and say 'cozy mama.' Melllllltttt.

It's a good thing he's so cute & snuggly, because although he has not yet turned two, I do believe he has entered 'the terrible twos.' He has discovered his own independence and says "Henny do by self" about a million times a day. He's also fond of running in the opposite direction when called, and yelling "nope!" to any request, regardless of whether or not he means it.  We're... working on it.

He's also become bizarrely creative in his mischeviousness. He likes to play with my food processor- pull it out of the cupboard, take it apart, put it together, etc. (Not the blade. Duh. I have that hidden on a high shelf.) Yesterday he figured out that if he stood on it, he could sneak food off the counter while I was fixing dinner, without me noticing. His previous method of theft was to push a chair over to the counter. This is MUCH stealthier.


It's been hilarious to see him mirroring our speech patterns back to us. For example, I have a tendancy to say "okay. okay. okay." to myself when assesing a situation or problem.  Like, I'll stand in front of the 17 million loads of clean laundry piled on my dining room table, waiting to be folded and say "okay. okay. okay." It's like a pep talk for myself.

Now, HENRY DOES IT TOO. He'll dump out a bucket of toys, put his hands on his hips and say "okay. okay. okay." before starting to pick them back up again. Ha!

He also climbs up on the sofa next to me, clasps his hands together, and says "so." with an intonation that EXACTLY matches David's voice, when David sits down next to me on the sofa and says "so." As in, "So, what do you want to do tonight" or "So, what are we having for dinner."

And songs. He loves to sing, and be sung to. His favorites to sing solo are the ABC's, Jesus Loves Me, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I do have him on video singing some of these. (I have GOT to learn how to upload & link to videos.)

To close, here is a slightly random list of things that Henry loves at the moment: tickling, fire trucks, chasing and being chased, playdough, his play kitchen & play food, anything involving being outside, his blankies & his cribbie (his crib- seriously, the kid ASKS to get in cribbie at naptime), the set of Elmo books with a reading pen that my parents got him for Christmas, and of course, his baby sister.


Things have been so busy lately, and so baby-focused, I don't want to forget all the new & funny things that Henry's been up to also. So, two birds with one stone, now I've recorded them for all eternity AND shared them with you.

Ta da!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Maternity Leave...

is over.
Is SO over.

I took 7 weeks off from our childcare/preschool gig after Maggie was born, and let me tell you, they have been blissful. They've also been crazy, because, you know, newborn, Christmas, newborn, 2nd Christmas, newborn, New Years, newborn, weddings, newborn.

But, honestly, mostly blissful.

Today, my house flooded with children again. Chatty, needy, sweet, cuddly, messy, independent, dependent children. And you know what?

We made it! Me and five children. We made it pretty well actually.  The biggest disaster was that Henry peed on the floor. But, you know, that happens on a good day too, so no biggie.

After everyone left this afternoon, Henry & I snuggled on the sofa to read and have 'cozy time' (his words, not mine) together. And then Maggie nursed, and we had 'cozy time' together (my words, not hers.) And then I turned on Sesame Street and Maggie is on one side of me and Henry is on the other and we are cozy and we are tired.

But, in a few minutes, we'll pull it together and eat leftovers for dinner and go to bed. WAIT, no- baths. It's Bath Night. Actually, bath night was 2 night ago, so tonight is No, Seriously, Bath Night. But then they'll go to bed.

And I will most likely fall asleep on the sofa beside my long-suffering husband. Wake up to feed a baby a few times, and then wake up for real in the morning and do it all again.

I'll be tired. I may be permanently tired. But, I'm also pretty thankful. Thankful for two healthy, sweet children. Thankful for three extra children. Thankful for a job that allows me to be at home and spend my days with my family.

So, I guess in  way, I'm thankful for being tired.

I think. I'm too tired to tell for sure.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Maggie Update

Miss Margaret is 5 (almost 6!) weeks old now. I simultaneously can't believe it's been that long aaaaand sort of feel like she's always been here. Time, you're a sneaky thing.
Frank wrapped her up in a lambskin rug for this picture... move over Anne Geddes!

Maggie is a Very Good Baby. I can't decide if she just has a super-chill personality, (my mom says she has a 'generous spirit') or if I'm just noticing the difference in having a full-term baby, after having Henry 5 weeks early.  Either way- I'm not complaining. 

She's a great eater, about every 2.5-3 hours during the day, but at night she'll go 4-5 hours between feedings. Yeah, you heard me. FOUR TO FIVE HOURS. It's amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing. Once, she went for six. (SIX!) I usually feed her at about 9:30/10 before going to bed, wake up once to feed her in the middle of the night, and then she's up around 6:30-7 to eat again. It took Henry MONTHS to get into a routine like that- Maggie did it the first week.  Seriously, I'm better rested now that I was for the entire third trimester- what with the endless midnight trips to the bathroom and the pregnancy insomnia- I'm actually getting MORE sleep with a newborn. Go figure.
Maggie is most alert & happy in the mornings. From about 7-9 she is wiiiiiiiide awake and checking things out. Girlfriend absolutely LOVES to be swaddled, talked to, and held upright. She has bizarrely good neck control for such a little baby, and loves to peer over my shoulder with her little bobble head.
Bobblehead!
I was a pretty big fan of babywearing with Henry, I had a Moby wrap and used it a ton with him. I now, however, consider babywearing an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY FOR EVERYONE'S SURVIVAL.  When Henry was a newborn, if he needed to be held, I just held him. No big deal- everyone loves to hold a baby! And I could accomplish lots of tasks with one arm.

I not only need BOTH of my arms these days, but about 6 or 7 extra arms as well. So Maggie spends a fair amount of time during the day strapped to my chest. This is great for me, because she's so darn cuddly. Great for Maggie because she wants nothing more than to be close to a warm body. And great for Henry because it means I can do essential tasks for him, like cut up apples, fill cups with milk, get the Good Toys off the high shelf, tickle him, etc.

I still use the Moby all the time, but I also have a ring sling that a friend gave me, and it's come in superhandy for just popping on real quick and wearing around the house. It feels too flimsy to wear when we're out & about (I really love the security & ease of positioning with the Moby wrap) but it totally wins in terms of being easy to slip on & off.

Maggie & Henry are still BFFs. He still loves to kiss her, hug her, tickle her, hold her, burp her, give her pacifiers, sing her songs, you name it. He also has taken to announcing that she needs milk whenever he is having milk, which is highly amusing to me. He gets upset if he doesn't know where she is- like when he gets up from his nap, he immediately goes and looks in the bouncy seat, cradle, swing, etc until he locates her. He also does NOT like it when she cries- he says 'Uhoh, Maggie cwying! Maggie fwussing! Uhoh!' and then starts to FAKE CRY himself. Which was funny at first, and now is incredibly annoying. I have a strict one-at-a-time crying policy around here! (Yeah, right.)

I do kind of think we hit the sweet spot age-wise though. Henry is still such a little guy- he's not even two yet, he's still in diapers, he still needs Mama for... you know... everything. But, he is old enough that he's able (and willing) to entertain himself more, and even able to help in little ways, like toss a dirty onesie in the laundry basket or grab a new diaper for me. But he's still young enough that there's absolutely NO HINT of resentment or jealousy about bringing a new baby into the house. I was a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle nervous about having them so close together in age (Henry was 22 months old when Maggie was born) but it's been... pretty okay so far. (OHMYGOSH I hope I didn't just jinx it.)


In summary... I think we'll keep her.


Ha, I just uploaded this picture, and then realized you can't actually see Maggie in there. She's in that blanket! I swear! She really is!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Photo Update!

Here's what happened:

Maggie was snuggled within an inch of her life by cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Seriously, this is only a tiny smattering of the pictures I have where someone is holding her, and grinning like a fool. New babies make people crazy. It's awesome.





Henry tore into presents as if his life depended on it! Stuff, stuff, and more stuff!  It was actually really fun- he was old enough to be really excited about the gifts, but not really old enough to get what was actually happening... so he was basically in a constant state of surprise.






David & I rang in the New Year at a friend's wedding, courtesy of David's parents, who babysat Henry. Maggie attended with us, and she has never looked more fabulous.
 Side Note: This is how baby photo shoots devolve these days...
 That pose? That face?
Totally unsolicited, totally hilarious.
 Also, check out that bow! It's as big as her face!
And of course, we failed to take a picture of ourselves, but David and I were there too! And we didn't look half bad!

In conclusion,  I'm enjoying a few extra special gifts from Santa this year. None of which came in a box...

A toddler who is learning to entertain himself,

a supercute baby girl,

and a really, really, over-the-top-awesome husband, who ALSO happens to be a great Dad. Despite what this picture may lead you to believe.
I'm sorry.  I just really, really, like this picture of him best.
And in the TRUE spirit of Christmas, my favorite gift in a box was... A VIDEO CAMERA! And as soon as I figure out how to upload & post videos, I plan to bombard you with them!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TwoThousandTwelve!

Hey 2012! I know I'm a little late, but I just had a baby, and I plan to use her as an excuse for being late and/or behind on everything for AT LEAST another 5 months, and YOU, New Year, are no exception. So, here they are, two weeks late: my lofty goals for 2012, made in a cloud of January euphoria and postpartum hormones! (So, you know, probably don't take them too seriously. I'm rather unreliable.)

1. Ditch the postpartum body
Yes, please! Mary Catherine is getting married in May (!!!!!) and Annie & I are the maids of honor, so I'm using the wedding date as my weight loss/fitness deadline. Nothing like wearing a fancy dress in front of lots of people to motivate you, eh? I'm not setting a particular amount... I tend to me more motivated by how I feel energywise, and how clothes fit than I am by the scale. But, I'd like to end up about 10-15 lb below my pre-preg weight, not have a marshmallow tummy, and have slammin' arms. (Slammin!) For me, this means counting points again, being a hard-ass about saying no to proccessed foods, white flour, & sugar, and finding someeee way to exercise... I'm thinking at-home workout DVD's. Anyone want to lend me some??

2. Spend money on myself
I know- what the heck?!?! We can't afford resolutions like this!! Here's the deal: I am CHEAP, you guys. C.H.E.A.P. And, while this is great for living on a budget, it is not so great for maintaining one's personal appearance- espeeeecially if one is the mother of 2 small children and the caregiver for 3 OTHER small children.  It is really, really, really hard for me to justify spending money on things like clothes, makeup, and haircuts when I know that most days I'll be home all day, aaaand that whatever I'm wearing will most likely have poop, pee, breastmilk, spit-up, snot, playdough, drool, crumbs, and/or unidentifiable smears on it. I know, SO HOT, right?!?!
But, regardless of my lack of audience, I just FEEL so much better, on so many levels, when I 'Get Ready' each morning. You know, AS IF people might ACTUALLY see me and notice my appearance. Plus, IIII see me and David (poor, poor David) sees me, and we're worth the effort! And the money! I think! I also haven't really bought clothes since being pregnant with Henry, so it's high time. I'm going to try to buy one or two things for myself each month- shoes, clothes, haircuts, new makeup- that kind of thing. I'll probably be a supermodel by 2012. Look for me on the runways.

3. Read & write more
Holy cow, there's seriously no time, people!!! I'm aiming for 2 books a month this year- whatever book my book club is reading, and one other one of my own choosing. And, I'm including being better about setting aside time to read the Bible in this resolution too. I think my writing goals will be better lumped in with my next resolution, so read on! If you're not asleep yet!

4. "Teach me to number my days, that I might gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12
My women's Bible study group at church just studied Psalm 90 this week, and our table spent a while talking about what this verse means. What does it look like to 'number our days'? And, while I'm at it, what the heck does a 'heart of wisdom' look like? (And, can I just order one from Amazon? Etsy, perhaps??)  I'm sure there are a number of good interpretations, but here's what I'm taking it to mean, and how I'm making it a resolution.

For me, learning to 'number my days' means first of all, recognizing my own mortality. That the days I have are not infinite, they will not always keep appearing every morning, that I do, in fact, have a specific number of days left in my life. Even thought I don't know the number, that realization seems to give each day a little more worth. A little more value. A little more individuality. I'm hoping that trying to grasp this truth more will continue to help me give meaning and purpose to my time each day, and to help me avoid the 'survival' mentality that I so easily fall into. I don't want to allow my days to sort of mush together, one into the next, all a blur of tasks & moments that I rushed through in order to get to the next one on my list.  That survival mentality, the 'mushy days' feeling, is always easy for me to get caught in, and I'm ESPECIALLY prone to it with a newborn- the sleep deprivation and reptitiveness of routine make it really easy to just tell myself to just get through, just survive.  But, here's the thing- we plan on having a few more of these here kiddos. Which means, I will spend several YEARS of my life in the new baby phase, and even more years in the toddler/preschool phase, and I really don't want to spend that much time in survival mode, just letting my days & my heart get mushy. I want to notice this time, to appreciate it, to enjoy it, and to allow the Lord to use it to refine my own heart. I want to be able to tell my kids that even though they drove me ab.so.lutely bonkers, that I loved and appreciated every single day that I got to spend with them. That time with them was always considered a gift.

PLUS, according to this verse, if I learn to 'number my days' then I get a heart of wisdom. That sounds pretty good- I'll take one!

So, here are my mini-resolutions that fall under the umbrella of using 2012 to explore this idea of appreciating, noticing, and numbering each of my days.
A) Start a gratitude journal. I did this for a while last year, and really appreciated how it shifted my mindset each day. I want to do it consistently this year, and be sure to date it.
B) Blog more/blog less. I think one of the reasons I'm so inconsistent is that I feel like I have to have Something To Say in order to write a post. This year I want to try to blog more often, and use it as a way to record our days. (You know, since I'm NEVER going to scrapbook, perhaps the blog could act like one for me.) I'm thinking just a picture and a few sentences. So, I guess more frequency, less pressure to have significant content.
C) Get my butt out of bed in the morning, and make time to at least pray for the day, for my kids & for David before the craziness begins. Five minutes, self! That's all it takes! You can have coffee while you pray! A BIG CUP!

Bring it, 2012. It is on. It is so on.