Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fire Trucks!

In an attempt to wear Aiden out in an educational, family-oriented way, we've tried to find ourselves some interesting things to do around town. Most recently we were told of a fireman's parade that was being held--so we went. It was cool except for the fact that the parade consisted of fire trucks driving by slowly with sirens blaring--all of them. Jocelyn cried despite my attempts to keep her ears plugged and I'm half-deaf these days after that.

That's what happens when men plan things. I'm sure some guy thought it'd be so cool to have every firetruck drive by with the siren on, but there were no moms around to point out the danger of having such high-decibel noise around young children's ears. Ha ha ha--boys never grow up do they? It was fun though once the sirens went off.

They gave the kids a chance to climb on the trucks and learn about how fires are fought. Aiden loved sitting in the driver's seat, but he was all business once he was up there--he was so nervous.

Note that the balloon accompanied him into the truck. He loves balloons. Unfortunately he lost this one because he couldn't control the balloon in the car and kept bopping the driver (aka Daddy) in the head with it. So this balloon saw a quick demise.

It was a lot of fun seeing the trucks up close. I'm so thankful for the men and women who selflessly serve our community. And of course it's fun being able to take Aiden to small events like this and see his eyes light up with excitement. The joys of parenthood!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting the Energy out.

Aiden has energy...only in our house it is known as Energy. We even have a chant that we say: "Energy, energy, Aiden has energy!" This is because Aiden's Energy is like an entity of its own. He is up at the crack of dawn and spends his naps bouncing around his room playing--despite the fact that I've removed every toy from the room. Although the removal of toys has coincided with a burst in imaginary play. So the Energy is a constant topic of conversation in our house.

Aiden: My energy told me to wake up.

Aiden: My energy is hungry. He wants food because it's all the way empty to there (pointing at his toes).

So I try to use his energy in constructive ways by encouraging him to play in the yard and taking him on walks. Unfortunately, with a baby up in the middle of the night, mommy's energy isn't quite as abundant as Aiden's. One day I hope to keep up with him, but for now I trudge behind his Energy trying to make sure it doesn't get into too much trouble.

Thankfully one of my children is still immobile:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Buckeyes are out

Fall in our house means football season. We're slowly indoctrinating our kids. At this point Aiden refers to our team (either the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Washington Redskins) as the good guys and the other team as the bad guys (and Michigan is a bad word).

In fact, since we've been watching football I noticed that he was pushing kids on the soccer field from behind if they had the ball. I wasn't sure where he got it from until we were watching football this weekend and he said he's not allowed to tackle people. Suddenly I put two and two together. He's been watching football and thinks that's how he's supposed to play soccer. Oops. We quickly explained that in the sport of football there is tackling, while in soccer you're not allowed to tackle.

Mike also took the opportunity to ask Aiden if he wants to play football. He said yes--making Daddy proud...but my guess is that once he's on the receiving end of a tackle he'll have a different opinion. But I've been wrong before. We'll see.

Pictures from Aiden's First Game

Here is the sequence of Aiden's first goal--we actually caught it on camera!

He was one excited little boy! He kept yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes!" the whole way back. After his second goal (not the one you see above) he told a little girl on the other team, "that's two!" She indignantly replied, "no, it's one!"

He had fun--and that's the most important thing at this age.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Soccer Daze

Reading the comments from my last post brought a smile to my face. Thank you so much for your encouraging words about pumping! I am so glad that we've made it this far, and to be honest, I'd love it if she would just start nursing one day, but unfortunately she just has a very poor sucking ability and no latching ability anymore. So it'll be bottle feeding for us :-) It's not very convenient, but it's not as difficult as it was during the early weeks.

On to another first for Aiden:

From the time I first saw the pink line on the pregnancy test, I've been looking forward to going to sporting events and cheering for my kids. To me, that's what motherhood is about--being my kids' biggest cheerleader, no matter what they want to do. I love just standing back and marveling at the people that God is growing them into. Today was Aiden's first soccer game and it was an absolute blast!

I anticipated being the mom of the kid who was doing cartwheels at one end of the field while everyone else played soccer at the other end. Instead Aiden took to the game like a fish in water--although there was one child on the team who was spinning around in the backfield totally oblivious to the ball--and his mom's desperate attempts to get him to join the game. He scored three goals today. Two for his team and one for the other team--he wasn't the only child to score on the wrong goal--which is what makes it so fun to watch. It's like one great comedy routine. I love this age! I keep telling him I'm going to put bricks on his head so he stops growing, but he doesn't like that idea. In fact, the other day he started crying and saying that he didn't want bricks on his head, so I think I need to stop joking with him about that :-) Poor kid!

As for Jocelyn's first sporting event, she chowed down on a bottle and napped in the Baby Bjorn carrier. What a trooper!

I'll try to get some pictures up later--I don't know how to get them off of Mike's camera...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to School

The summer is over. Usually this makes me sad, but this year it was a lot to handle with Jocelyn's arrival on June 19--3 weeks early and Aiden's subsequent cabin fever which lasted the whole summer.

Now that school is back in session (he goes 2 days a week) and Bible study has resumed (which also has a children's program for Aiden), he is a happier camper and so is mommy. It doesn't hurt that Jocelyn's feeding issues are getting figured out.

We had trouble with nursing, so after many emotional days, two visits to the best lactation consultant in the area, and the discovery that formula (even the hypoallergenic kind) made her very fussy, we decided to pump and bottlefeed exclusively. Not an easy task with a 4 year-old wondering out of the house, torturing the dog, and getting into every kind of trouble that he can think of just to get some attention from a very busy mommy. And we won't even mention the baby that would scream in the bouncy seat as I was stuck on the pumps for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours. But she is worth it.

I couldn't have done it without Mike's help. He gets up with me at night to feed Jocelyn bottles while I spend my 20 minutes (and sometimes more) pumping. Many times I wanted to give up. Many times I decided to give up. Each time I just didn't feel like it was the right decision--especially with Jocelyn's reaction to the formula bottles that she had. So we stuck with it. I'm going on 5 weeks of straight breastmilk. I'm very proud of that. It has been a long, long road.

So fall is in the air and I couldn't be happier. Life is easing into a comfortable routine. Feed Jocelyn, pump, put Jocelyn back to bed for her morning nap, get Aiden's breakfast ready before his alarm goes off.

No, he isn't asleep until the alarm goes off at 7:30, but he does have to stay in his room until it goes off (his "energy" tells him to wake up well before 7 each morning). Aiden's interpretation of this rule is that he scrambles back to his room when he sees me come down the hall--or, more recently, tries to creep quietly up the stairs after he realizes that mommy is now downstairs and he isn't supposed to be in the playroom yet. In fact, this latest incident is what made me realize that he truly doesn't know how to tip toe. I wondered prior to this if he stomped around the house on his tip toes because he was TRYING to wake the baby, or if it was truly that he was incapable of being quiet. So I guess he's actually incapable because if he could've avoided my wrath the other morning, he would've.

More to come...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Aiden's Adjustment

I've had lots of questions about how Aiden is adjusting to his new sister so I thought I'd answer that here. Aiden has adjusted rather well considering that he has been an only child for 4 years now. He has always been the type of kid who loves playing with other children. This quality is evident in the way he adores Jocelyn. He loves to pet her head, hold her, and bring her his stuffed animals to "play" with. It's adorable.

The difficulty for him is that Mom and Dad aren't readily available to meet every need. Breakfast happens later in the day, help with difficulties doesn't happen the moment he needs it, and Mom and Dad think it's funny when Jocelyn snorts, but not so funny when Aiden clears his throat 100 times in a minute to mimic Jocelyn's sound.

He also loves taking baths with his new sister despite the fact that the second time I bathed her with him she projectile pooped all over the outside of the tub (and me). For a minute he panicked that there was poop in the tub, but when I started laughing I think he was more concerned about why mommy found it so funny. Of course my darling husband thought that projectile poop on mommy's pants and the tub were cause for a photo opp (no, I won't post those pictures) and he made me stand there holding a screaming baby over the toilet while I was covered in poo so that he could run and find his brand new camera...Classic.

We've also seen some acting up. You know how it is, negative attention is better than no attention. We've implemented a chore chart and he gets paid and praised for doing a few extra jobs around the house with a good attitude. That has helped curb some of the negative attention-getting behavior. My mom assures me that he is doing extremely well with the change and the acting up he has done is to be expected.

So overall he's doing very well coping with two overtired parents, being stuck in the house all summer (instead of at the pool), and not being the center of attention anymore. We're so proud of him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jocelyn Myra

In every ultrasound we saw, we couldn't get a clear view of her face because her hands were up by her chin...True to form, she keeps those hands right there--but it is dimpled like Daddy's :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On His Way to the Big 0-4: The Fourth Year

A year in review. Aiden didn't have a 3rd birthday party. We did a small celebration here at home, but after the loss of Chase in late March we just weren't up for a big party. Thankfully, he was too young to notice that he didn't get one. This year would have been different. He started planning his birthday party in February!

We got him a bike for his 3rd birthday...and it took him a few weeks to get the hang of it:

I think this was the year that I really started to see the Daddy's boy come out in him. He LOVES daddy :-)

We spent most of last summer at a local pool, dubbed by Aiden as "blue slide pool" because of the massive play area (and yes, there is a blue slide involved) at the children's pool. We bought season passes and enjoyed actually sitting down and talking while we kept two sets of eyes on Aiden playing blissfully by himself or with any "friend" he could find in the pool. We didn't have a summer vacation because we had planned on having a baby that summer, so instead we quietly healed from our loss.

On the 4th of July, Mike was introduced to the game cornhole...Our life will never be the same.

Mike made his own set of boards and I became a cornhole widow when I got too pregnant to join the fun. Aiden was utilized to pick up bean bags after each throw--but he soon caught on that picking up the bean bags wasn't as fun as riding his bike--so Mike lost his little lackey after a few weeks.

In September, we joined my side of the family for the annual beach trip. That was a lot of fun. Aiden adores his older cousin, Meghan and she kept him entertained. It was the first year that Mike and I had a pretty restful vacation...until I got violently ill...thanks for sharing Uncle Joel! ;-) And Aiden had his first throw-up experience on the way home from the beach...Yes, I made it 3 years without having a vomitting child, but when it did happen, it was a doozy--and he did it in the car on the way home from the beach when we were still about 2 hours from home. So I guess you could say that fate caught up with us finally.

We bought a tractor (finally--we have a LOT of yard to mow and Mike was using a little push mower to do it until late last year)...and Aiden discovered the joy of riding with daddy (note, his ear is sticking out thanks to a mosquito bite.

Aiden started preschool in the fall:

And in late October we found out that Little Sister was on the way:

We went apple picking--momma was feeling nice and ill by that time, but Aiden enjoyed learning that apples grow on trees BEFORE they come to the grocery store:

The holidays came and went in a blur for me--probably because of the morning sickness and preoccupation with our new pregnancy. We began decorating both kids' rooms. Aiden tried out the new crib to make sure it would be comfy for his little sister:

Preschool was a great thing for Aiden. His classmates were so sweet and he was always so excited to go to "school"...not so excited to come home and take naps. What a mean mommy! They had a Valentine's Day party and Aiden was very excited about the candy. Mommy...Not so much!

We've figured out how to brush our teeth on our own:

And finally had a REAL birthday party!!

Happy Birthday Little Man!!! What a blessed 4 years it has been!

4 years with Aiden: The third year

After two years of colic, the terrible two's weren't terrible at all. Oh, we had our moments, but it was nice to finally know why he was screaming :-)

We had a busy year! We kicked off our summer with Aiden's birthday:

Then we took off for the beach:

And as if that wasn't enough excitement for one summer, we moved to our current home that year just weeks after returning from vacation! Aiden spent the rest of the summer helping us nest in our new home:

We also added in a trip to Ohio that summer. We were all very busy. Maybe that's why the two's weren't so terrible--there was no time for that! I think all in all, once my busy little guy had hit his big milestones the crying diminished. Today we have a helpful, cheerful, silly boy who loves life...But then, that's all part of the fourth year.