Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Nothing says summer is here like corn on the cob.
We have been enjoying a humid and wet Alabama full of sudden thunderstorms and downpours, which means we have had to be creative to keep the little ones entertained.

Yesterday afternoon, Gabriel and Uncle Ben took Liam and Grace on a bike ride during a lull in the rain. Along the way they found a big puddle that called for some splashing. They came back wet and muddy, clear indicators of a good time.

Today, Liam and Grace had some more water time under the shelter of the screened porch. Cousins sure are a lot of fun...

While Grace napped in the afternoon, and Liam refused to do the same, Ben took us to a fantastic playground at a nearby park. Shaped like a castle, with plenty of secret tunnels, bridges, and towers to explore, this playground kept Liam entertained for quite some time.
And River has been a little doll doing what he does best: lots of sleeping. A little doll? Why, yes. He has been perfectly snug in Grace's doll bed:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

to Alabama

We left our house way before the crack of dawn this morning and were on the road to Alabama by 1:00 am.

While this seems kind of crazy, we're convinced this is the only way to travel with small kids. We were over half way to Alabama before Liam was awake for the morning.

We stopped every 2 hours for River to nurse, so he stayed content for the most part, and we made it to Ben and Carolyn's by 10:00 am.

So far so good.

Friday, May 28, 2010

one month later

We have been a family of four for an entire month. It is hard to remember what it was like before River joined our family. What did I do with all of that free time?

River is doing great. He loves to eat and it is beginning to show. He also really enjoys tummy time. He'll often lay like this for long stretches without complaining (Baby Liam thought even a few seconds of this was torture...which might have a lot to do with his not crawling until after 12 months).

He sleeps great at night, just waking up twice to eat. We're still working at establishing a napping schedule. Some days he naps great. Other days he doesn't and I almost go crazy between his overly-tired crankiness and keeping up with Liam and his antics. But we're dealing.

Liam still hasn't shown even a hint of jealousy towards River. He loves to come upstairs and say good morning to his little brother, he gets upset when River cries, and he lets me know when River has dropped his pacifier. He seems to genuinely enjoy looking out for him.

But Liam isn't exactly an angel. We power-struggle much of the day, and today he threw a book which bounced off River's head. River almost didn't even notice (he was nursing...), but Liam knew he'd be in trouble as soon as the book left his hands.

Tomorrow early early morning, we'll be loading up the car with both kids and all of the necessary gear and driving to Alabama where we'll visit Ben and his family. On Tuesday, we'll join them for their trip down to Destin, FL. We plan to come home the following Saturday.

Either we are very brave or very stupid. Or both. The return trip is a 14-hour drive. It could be interesting with a newborn...

But we are looking forward to the visit with Ben, Carolyn, and Grace and a week on the beach. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

a week of Grandma love

We spent the last week having a great visit with Gabriel's mom. She came out to meet River, play with Liam, and give Gabriel and I an extra pair of helping hands.

On Friday, we made the big trip out to the Tulsa zoo. This was River's first big road trip, and he slept through it just fine.

Liam enjoyed the zoo, especially since Grandma was there to share it with.
He walked most of the time and really enjoyed looking at the different animals (here is looking at gobbling turkeys...).
He really liked the snake.
The petting zoo was a highlight, and so was the little lamb.
We had a really good time. The week was fairly low-key. A lot of sitting and chatting, digging in the sandbox, a bit of gardening, and a lot of taking of turns holding a fussy River (I'm learning what foods he just can't seem to take right now. Thai is obviously out).
Last night was pizza, salad, and a side of scrumptious baby. It was special for River to get to meet his Grandma. If only California weren't so far away.

more brotherly love


Monday, May 17, 2010

long johns for everyone

When I was little, every Christmas my mom brought out a teeny tiny pair of red long johns as part of the holiday decorations. She hung them on a little hanger up on the wall. I'm not sure where they originally came from, but they became a Christmas staple. That is, until Liam was born and it was determined that he needed to wear them as well.

He was so big when he was born that he only fit into them while we were still in the hospital (click here to see).

River, of course, also wore the long johns in the hospital, and even though he is definitely growing, he can still barely squeeze into them.

Molly ordered Liam a pair of big boy long johns because the picture possibilities were just too cute.

When we were finished taking pictures, it was time for Liam to go to bed. He was really excited for River to hang out for the bedtime story and really disappointed that we wouldn't let River sleep with him all night.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tia y Tio

Molly and Andres spent Monday through Wednesday of this past week visiting at our house. They were excited to meet River, and Liam was thrilled to have his Tio and Tia for a few special days.

Molly spent a lot of time with River in her arms, and Liam had a lot of fun playing with Andres. He is still talking about their visit, reminding me of things we did with Tia Molly.
I didn't take many pictures, but Molly took a few at the park (which you still need to send me, sister...)

We had a really good visit. I'm sure it won't be too long until we see them again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yes, I can do this.

I went on my first solo outing with Liam and River today. I figured I had put it off long enough.

We went on a walk down the hill and around the corner to the cafe downtown. Liam rode in the stroller; River in the mei tai wrap.

Liam had a cookie. I sipped a decaf Americano (I have discovered that River is a much happier baby if I keep the caffeine out of both of our systems...ditto for broccoli, too).

We sat in the chairs outside, watching the cars drive by. Liam gave a running commentary on the comings and goings of downtown Siloam:

Big truck
Whoa, BIG truck

Then he was back in the stroller, and we headed home.

Sure, it was a small trip, but it was still a trip.

I think I just might be able to handle the two of them by myself.

all spiffied up

My brother, Forest, went to prom in San Diego last night. See how well he cleans up:
He went with his girlfriend, Estella.
My little brother really isn't little anymore.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

two weeks

This is what River does best:
He is one good little sleeper. He wakes to eat and look around for awhile, and then it's back to the snoozing. He prefers a leaisurely nap in someone's arms, especially mine, but he doesn't discriminate against his crib, carseat, bouncy seat, or snug against my chest in the mei tai wrap.
And he is sleeping well at night, waking to nurse 2 or 3 times.

I'm soaking up all this newborn-sleepiness while I can.

Liam is still adjusting to the change of pace at home. He loves River. Loves to hold him. Loves to talk to him. Loves to help me burp him.

But he has been quite the handful. Extra whiney. Extra fussy. Extra testy.

Good thing they're both extra cute.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

Saturday morning we visited the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.
The last time we had been there was just after Liam was born, so it only seemed fitting that we visit again with a brand new baby River.

The morning was beautiful. Sunny and just warm enough. Liam had fun walking all of the trails.
A picture moment...
Another one with Daddy
The BIG SHOVEL! This was very exciting...
The garden is divided into different themed "rooms." The children's room is particularly awesome. Liam thought so, too.
In the bird's nest.
Going through the tunnel.
Pointing out the view from the train.
In the fort.
In the hollow of the tree.
Admission is free Saturday mornings, and Liam thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I have a feeling it won't be another two years before we visit again...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I can hardly stand it

Oh, the sweetness.

Friday, May 7, 2010

sponge bathing

We gave River his first sponge bath last night. It was a hot day, and our house was uncomfortably warm...which meant it was just right for stripping him down and washing him up.

He seemed to really enjoy the whole experience.
All clean

the sandbox

On one of the afternoons before he went back to work, Gabriel helped Liam build a sandbox for the backyard.

Liam was a great helper. He even pulled the trigger on the power drill to screw it all together (he has a very trusting Daddy and a Mama who has learned to just not watch while they are building things together...).

He is loving the sandbox. When they first finished building and then filling it, Liam wasn't sure what to do; but as soon as Gabriel started digging in it with a shovel, Liam caught on quickly. He kept saying fun, fun, fun!

He wakes up asking to go dig outside. It has been a great diversion for Liam, and a sanity-saver for me.

You may be wondering, why no pants?

We are still working on the potty-training. If he has a bare bottom, he goes on the potty every time, without any assistance. But as soon as I put any kind of anything on his lower half, he forgets all about the potty.

Just letting him run around au naturale from the waist down is making the day that much easier...

No diapers to change, no messes to clean up. Maybe someday he'll figure out how to stay dry in his underwear, but until then, he's going native at home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

first week and first day

Yesterday marked both River's first week with us and Gabriel's first day without us.

Like all milestone days, this one was bittersweet.

the sweet
River had his one week check-up with the pediatrician, who pronounced him still healthy. He weighs 8 pounds, 3.5 ounces (just an ounce-and-a-half shy of his birth weight). Considering his initial feeding issues, this weight gain is great.

He is now waking every 2 hours, wanting to nurse, and sometimes even more frequently. Since he is doing so great with the daytime feedings, if he wants to sleep for a 5 hour stretch at night, I have been letting him.

Liam loves to hold River (with lots of assistance on my part...), and is still reminding me often that he is the big brother. He seems to genuinely enjoy River's presence and likes to say Hi and I see you, River.

the bitter

I woke up with a hideous monster of a cold sore on my lip, a parting gift from the mild cold I picked up at the hospital. This is really more of an annoyance than anything else, but it really doesn't help with my post-baby body blues...

And then I stepped on a nail in the backyard. A big framing nail. It went straight through my gardening crocs and into the sole of my foot. Getting the protruding nail out of the mulch, convincing Liam that we had to go inside, and taking care of River while trying to clean my injury was not a fun experience. And now I'm hobbling around like a gimp while trying to carry a newborn and take care of a toddler. Still not fun.

And then the crowning moment: I was sitting on the couch, holding a sleeping River while Liam napped, when I noticed a snake slithering across the living room rug. It was just a small prairie ringneck, harmless, but still it was a live snake. Thank you, Coleridge.

I grabbed the broom and whisked it out the front door.

Let's just say I was not calm and collected super mom by the time Gabriel came home from work.

But we made it through the day, a lovely friend from church brought us homemade bread and potato soup, and we barely made it through the latest episode of Lost without nodding off.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

savoring the Daddy time

Yesterday was Gabe's last half-day at work before going back full time. We decided to make the most of it and spent the afternoon at the park.

River zonked out strapped to my chest while Liam played on the playground.
While Gabe entertained Liam on the playground, River and I crossed the creek to the library for some perusing sans toddler. We came back and discovered the guys down at the creek. Well, with Liam actually in the creek...
He had a great time throwing rocks, splashing, and throwing more rocks with Daddy.
Later that evening, we had a family movie night, complete with pajamas, popcorn, and the three of us snuggled on the couch in front of the computer (River was cozy in his bouncy seat beside us). Liam watched Disney's Cars for the first time, and seemed to really enjoy the whole experience.
We were all sad for Gabe to go back to work today, although he probably saw it as a relief after so much Liam-duty.