Sunday, January 30, 2011


What with one snow storm after another and persistent temperatures below 40 degrees for like...ever, the last time Quint got to play outside was in Texas in 2010. Literally, the last time he played in the yard, any yard, was last year. That's pitiful! When we leave Priscilla's, he will frequently point to the playground and obviously want to play. And I kept having to tell him no, because it was covered in snow, or 24 degrees out, or both.

Finally, Friday, it was warm enough and dry enough that the kids got to play on the playground at Priscilla's.

Saturday, it was a whopping 65 degrees! About lunchtime, I tell Quint that we need to change his clothes (out of PJs) so we can go outside. His face lights up and he starts laughing. I grab the big diaper bag with clothes and drinks and snacks for Quint and put him in the car. At first, he's confused because I tell him we're going outside and then put him in the car. The neighborhood park is a quarter mile away, but up a steep hill, coming and going (literally) that I'm not sure I'll be able to manage with the stroller. We get out at the park and play and play and play.

I let him run around everywhere and he loves to cross the bridge then walk back up the gully. When he needs help with a slope, he holds up his hand for me to hold, but if he doesn't think he needs help, he doesn't ask. We swing. We climb up the playscape and go down the slide backwards a gillion times. After a while, I feed him lunch on the playscape. I wonder why I didn't bring anything to eat for myself.

A neighbor comes out with his little girl and we have fun getting to know them. They have a son almost the exact same age as Quint who is home taking a nap. I'll have to look them up later, and meet his wife and son. Apparently, these folks first came to look at buying their house on the day of our house wreck in 2005. Nothing like entering a prospective neighborhood only to find an extra car through the side of a garage. That sticks with you.

Hubby came home from work and came to find us at the park. We play for a while, and I realize that we've been at the park for 2 hours! We ask Quint if he's ready to go home and he says no. But he's starting to stumble on flat pavement, so we take him home anyway.

Even after all that time outside, whenever he heard me say the word "outside" to my sister on the phone, he started laughing and raced to the door.

Sunday, we go for a big walk and play in our own yard for quite some time. Quint is very good about coming back closer when I tell him not to go far. It's so nice to be outside. We meet some more neighbors who have a 2.5 year old boy and a 9 week old boy. We've got a 1.5 year old boy and will have another in 4 months. This could be really fun for playdates in the next few years.

A friend recently encouraged me to try to make lots of friends for the boys to play with. She said that when her kids were little, she was way too picky about who her friends were and she was alone a lot as a result. Ten years later, she has lots of friends with whom she doesn't agree on everything. For instance, she and I have opposite political views. She's Catholic and I'm Protestant. She's learned that you don't have to have everything in common.

So we look forward to a lovely warm day again tomorrow when we can hopefully get outside again!

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Haircut

Sunday, we gave Quint his first haircut. He is 16 months old. It was a traumatic experience for all of us, but I think it looks mostly alright.

But first, we have the "before" pictures.

Front, and the atrocious back.
Quint's mullet has been a popular topic of conversation for quite some time now. We were both putting off cutting his wonderfully soft little hairs. We were finally both in agreement, at the same time, that his hair should be cut. All along, we've planned on buying clippers, and doing it ourselves. We figure we'll be good at haircuts by the time Quint cares what it looks like.

Since Hubby cut his own hair for ROTC all through High School, I asked him to take the first try at it. We used the longest guard possible. The clippers had a non-scary noise about them so Quint wasn't afraid of the actual clippers.

But like everyone on the planet, he hated having his head controlled and held still. So of course he started crying, which upset us even more than cutting his hair for the first time. Hubby strictly ordered me NOT to cry! "Yes, sir," I gulped.

The very worst and most pitiful thing about the whole process was where Hubby's mind went while shearing his young son. For some reason, he kept thinking about shaving people's unwilling heads before sending them to the gas chambers! "Wow, honey, I'm glad my mind didn't leap to Auschwitz."

Understandably, that severely rattled him, so I took over the shearing. When there were very few long or spiky parts, we picked him up and cuddled him. Once he stopped crying, I took him out on the porch to brush off his shirt. Poor guy had some hairs stuck to his lips, even. Finally, I just jerked off his hair covered shirt, in 41 degree weather, brushed off his face and neck and we headed in to the tub, where we finally got a good picture of the haircut.
After the trauma of the haircut, we probably spent an hour in the tub playing with cups of water. Where once again, our joyful little boy showed his shining face!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Words Each Day

Our little Quint is adding words by the day! Given, of course, if we can figure out what the schmo he's trying to talk about. The other day, when I thought he kept pointing at everything and saying "kitty cat", it finally dawned on me that he was saying "get that". Things made a lot more sense after I figured THAT out.

He's very polite and frequently asks if he can do something. He starts to climb the un-baby-gated stairs and says "can I?" I say no and he doesn't climb any farther. He may be disappointed or pitch a fit, but he doesn't climb any further. His recent fits have mostly been when I can't understand what he's saying even though it is SOOOOO CLEAR TO HIM!!!!

He was throwing balls the other day and would say, "readyyyyyy, GO!" on wind-up and pitch. He correctly labeled a cow the other day when reading the book This is the Stable and then found the same cow on each page thereafter. He LOVES that book, by the way, and we read it at least twice a day, if not 6 times a day. I've nearly got it memorized, which is not unpleasant because all the rhymes are so nice.

His love of kitties continues. He thinks of our cat Callie as our second child and I have to keep reminding him that she's an adult. Because she's an adult, she can go outside by herself whenever she likes, she can go upstairs by herself, etc. It's really sweet when he offers her a cheezit or his sippy cup to drink from. He's gotten to where he seldom hurts her with love or pulls her tail. We still watch Aristocrats nearly every morning for a few minutes.

Come to think of it, we didn't get stuck on Aristocrats until after I hid Mary Poppins for 5 days straight. Mary now makes guest appearances when I really need a nap or am at my wit's end. And he's always glad to see her. And it seems that he only really likes a movie after he's seen it 5 or 10 times. So perhaps a hiding of Aristocrats is in order. At least for a day or two until we can increase our viewing options a bit. And we've got such a lovely collection of classic VHS tapes with tons of songs in them, like 101 dalmations, Robin hood, Jungle Book, etc. And he loves all the VeggieTales.

And since we're stuck on only reading the same book each night before bed, maybe, when I get sick of that one book, I'll have to hide it for a while in order for him to read any other book. But it's such a nice book with beautiful pictures, lovely rhymes, and a great version of the Christmas Story without any hint of commercialism. I'm sure it will get old eventually, though. I did go to Goodwill today and buy him 10 new books today. It was their 50% off day so they only cost $5. You can't beat that!

A friend asked me today what was going on in my life that was exciting. I had no answer. I should have an answer, shouldn't I? They've let me do some tax returns at work, virtually by myself which has been exciting - in that awake at 2am wondering if she really qualified for the EIC or not, kind of way. (She did.) I've had to remind myself that EVERY time I start a new job, I have stress dreams the first couple of weeks. You know, the kind where you can't find your keyboard or rolly chair. This too shall pass...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mr. Articulate and book reading

This weekend has shown itself to be a huge milestone in Quint's vocabulary! On Saturday, while is Daddy was at the gubernatorial inauguration all day, Quint said enough new words that I had to start keeping a list so I could be sure to remember them all!

Here's a list of the words or short sentences he used correctly this weekend:
Can I?
May I?
rise up (there's a story)
table top
just a minute (which I seem to be saying to him all the time)

His daddy taught him how to open the tiny upstairs fridge and fetch himself a snack. This has good aspects and bad aspects, of course, but thankfully, he can't open the packages on the yogurt or the jar of applesauce. After I had fussed at him for opening the fridge when he wasn't allowed, he started putting his hand on the door and saying "Can I?".

Tonight, during his daily run around nearly naked time just before PJs, I asked him if he was ready for his PJs. He said, "just a minute" and then "may I?" pointing to the bathroom where his daddy was making a lot of fun sounding noise cleaning up from bathtime. I said, "sure! Go play with Daddy!"

At one point Saturday, he noticed all the tub toys in the dry tub and patted it saying "tub". Priscilla has a tub in her daycare bathroom, so I bet he learned that there. We usually call the bathtub.

At one point Saturday, he sat at his little table, patted the surface and asked, "snack?"

While holding and kissing his plastic goat, he said "goat".

While playing in our bedroom early one morning, I was laying on the floor far too much for his liking. Twice, he would stand behind me, try to physically lift my head with his hands and say, "rise up!" Gee, son, what exactly is it that you want?

Once, he had the pad and pen where I was marking down his new words and phrases. I asked him where he got it. He pointed at the kitchen table and said, "table top". This also indicated to me that he can now reach about 4 inches in from the edge of the table and can actually touch and retrieve things on the kitchen counter. Alarming news, actually.

Other cute things he has recently done: Today he lined up three cubes perfectly in a row along the edge of a shelf and coo-ed in happiness at the neatness of it.

He now recognizes cats in every form they take!
A friend gave us some Duplo blocks last week that included a tiny, Duplo gray cat. This started a wonderful kitty cat craze around here! Quint has always loved our cat Callie (sometimes painfully, but he's getting better). When he found the little cat in the duplo set, it opened up this whole other level of understanding. He can now recognize cats no matter how different they look. For the first time ever, he has realized that the Fisher Price toy is ALSO a cat. The photo in the book that's just a cat's head is ALSO a cat. The Aristocats are ALSO cats. The Lion King has LOTS of cats. Before he played with the little gray duplo kitty, he could only recognize other live cats as cats, and he wasn't sure if they were colored different or really fat. Now he really gets it. It's been really fun to see him searching for cats where ever he is.

He's also starting to handle book reading better. For a long time, he was impatient with the slow speed of my page turning, and I'm sure that's a very common stage, but something I was unprepared for when I first started reading to him. I hadn't realized there would be "book training", as in "how to act with a book", but how should he know otherwise. He would try to turn the pages quickly in the board books and never would sit still for more than a few pages. My next door neighbor told me to let him get down when he wants, but keep reading the story. Maybe the 10th time through, for EACH book, he might be really interested in looking at the pictures along with listening to what you're saying. This gave me some very useful, realistic insight on when to expect him to care about reading.

We've now graduated past only board books, to supervised-only hardback, paper page books. I still have to very firmly anchor the pages to make sure that we stay on THIS page the whole time we're reading the book, but he will now frequently sit through more than one book just before bed. When reading during the day, he will seldom sit through a whole book. But during the day, he will frequently bring me the book and then plop down on the floor to at least look on for a while. Serious progress!

Because Quint's going to be a big brother, we've been talking a lot about babies and what will happen once the baby arrives. We've got one book just strictly about becoming a new big brother. Baby on the Way by Martha Sears. It's a really great book about what's going on with mom while she's pregnant, during labor, and when the baby first gets home. It's written for big brothers or big sisters and you can modify the story for your family as you go, adding in doctors or doulas, hospitals or birthing centers, etc. We've read that a time or two so far.

More interesting to me was the book he wanted to read twice tonight. And he sat all the way through it twice! This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten. I'm not sure I even read it to him before Christmas, but there's no reason to only read Christmas story books only during December. In this BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED version of the Christmas story, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus aren't actually named. They're "the mother so mild", "the husband so wise", and baby. But as I read it and point out the pictures, I also talk about that we're going to have a baby, and we'll put it in a bed, and ours won't coo like a dove, but cry quite a lot, and other reality aspects of our baby brother. After we read it once, he wanted to play with turning the pages, which was fine. After a minute, I put it down and tried to pick up another book to read. He obviously wanted to read that one again. So we read the book and talked about baby brother again. Pretty cool!

Maybe he'll be a tiny bit prepared when baby brother makes his grand entrance!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Rastus Cornealious Fudge!

(It kind of looks like God is holding him by neck/head. Can you see the fingers?)Who is, of course, a BOY!!!

With cute feet...
Other names we're not considering are Cleatus and Willie-Jack.

I am confirmed to be at 20 weeks pregnant and the Ultrasound predicted a due date of June 1st. Everything looked good and healthy! Lots of movement. I had to lay on my side and jiggle for a while in order to get him to turn and stop being shy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Videos from Christmas!

So here we go. I finally got around to downloading all the video from Christmas and here are some of the highlights.

Quint with Aunt D and her wonderful sound effects.

Quint plays ping pong with my Cousin L, who I hadn't seen in 10 years! When did we all stop being the kids?!

Aunt D and Quint and the pinchy playdoh video.

Aunt D and Quint with the Tupperware toy. I'm not the only person who was astonished that Tupperware MADE toys, and it was one of the classic basic toys from everyone's childhood.

Cute things Quint has done lately

When the phone rings, he distinctly says "Got It!" which is, of course what we say when the phone rings as we move towards a phone.

I caught him doing pretend play at nearly 16 months. He took a regular water bottle, mimicked pouring it into his sippy cup, and then drank out of the sippy cup. I asked him what he was doing and I really think he said "drinking".

This morning while I was cleaning upstairs, he gathered all the half used water bottles in the bedrooms, stacked them up on his little table with his two sippy cups and was obviously enjoying the collection. He was patting them on top and looking satisfied. Ten minutes later they were scattered to the four winds, but still...

While I was uploading videos to YouTube tonight (coming soon to this blog!) I found several where someone was making Quint laugh and laugh and laugh. I put Quint on my lap and played a whole bunch of them. He laughed at all the same jokes again and again. Very fun for me and him both! And he got to see Aunt D, too!

Then as I kept finding younger and younger laughing videos I started talking to him about the new baby. He got quiet but continued watching and didn't squirm to get down. I bet we watched video of him for 45 minutes!

Monday, January 10, 2011

first snow

First snow for Quint! Well, first snow he could do anything about. We walked around out front for a bit and he fell several times. He never could get up by himself which reminded me of the Christmas story little brother who couldn't get up in the snow.

I bent down and scooped up a fingerful of snow and ate it. He looked at me like I had just eaten pure snot or something! How gross mom! I offered him some but he was not to be fooled into eating something so vile!!

He was not impressed by "sledding" in a laundry basket.

In the backyard, for the first time ever, the stairs were unappealing because they were covered with that icky white stuff. I made us a few snowballs , very hard with such dry snow. I just threw them to make skid marks in the pristine snow. He tried to make one and at that point realized that he was covered in very cold snow! I think it was the cold more than anything else but he was DONE!!!!
By the time I got him hauled around to the front door, he was seriously ticked off!! We stomped our feet and went inside. I had wisely put him in a complete top layer of fleece jumpsuit which could be stripped off at once. Coat off, shoes off, fleece off. He was crying so hard that we had to cuddle on the couch for 10 minutes before he stopped those silent, tearless sobs. Pitiful!

We might try again later today, but only if he suggests it. Very amusing for me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Maybe, maybe....

My sister has worked in the 2 year old room of a daycare in the distant past. Because my little Quint will only be 20 or 21 months old when his little brother/sister is born, they will likely both be in diapers at the same time. Sis recently recommended that I go ahead and buy a potty training seat JUST IN CASE my son happens to be part of the 10% who can be potty trained by age 2. I don't remember if she said that ever happens with little boys, but still, it's worth a shot. So we bought a potty seat a while back. Sis said not to push him or stress that it's too big of a deal to use the pottyseat because he is only 15 3/4 months old. Just make it available and talk about it whenever I'm going to the bathroom. Can do!

We have a baby gate that separates Quint's play rooms from the staircase for obvious reasons. Yesterday it dawned on me that because this baby gate also keeps him from the bathroom by the stairs, he is very seldom around his potty seat or me when I use the bathroom. So there's some key instruction time being missed here. So today I moved the babygate to include the bathroom but not the stairs.

When he woke up from his nap, he went and explored the bathroom over which he now has free reign. He found the potty seat. He patted it and looked at me. After a series of questions, I realized that of course he knew what it was and had seen other kids use one at Priscilla's! He wanted to sit on it. Well alrighty then!!! We put him on it and of course nothing happened which was completely expected. But we told him that we would do this anytime he wanted to. The look on his face might have just been disappointment - as in "why do bigger kids do this so often? This isn't fun. This is just....odd". But we bragged and clapped some.

The other reason I have three tiny glitter specks of hope about this is that lately, he has been requesting diaper changes! Once, in Texas, he even grabbed my hand and firmly drug me toward the changing table. So he's starting to be aware that his diapers aren't comfy sometimes.

Wouldn't it be great if by some miracle he potty trained early?! On the other hand, which is more time consuming when you have a brand new baby - changing 5 diapers a day that take 4 minutes each, or dropping everything to patiently put him on the potty for the 45th time that day with little or no results? Hmmm... I'm probably doomed to the later anyway...

Lately, since I'm nearly halfway through this pregnancy, and the baby is kicking a lot, the reality of exactly how un-fun the next couple of years will be is really hitting home. I watch Quint play and see how much he wants me to actively interact with him and imagine nursing every 90 minutes for 30 minutes with a newborn at the same time. And those first 3 months with Quint, who has turned out to be a wonderfully easy child, were pretty much hell. Until he got his days and nights straight AND stopped having such amazing gas AND we figured out what the schmo to do with an infant, it was really, really not fun. I don't know how many times I said to him, "it's a good thing you're cute" in those first 3 months. He was 4 months old before I could take a deep breath and realize, "hey, it's recently gotten easier!" Maybe I'll retain some of that knowledge for #2's first weeks. Basically, it's going to be a fun summer!

Pray for me. And pray for my sister.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Ok, ok, ok. So I haven't blogged in nearly a month. So here's a short update on life since the last blog:

Pregnancy is going great. I'm 19 weeks along and feel it kicking and moving with some frequency. I'm still in my regular sized pants. This seems very odd to me, but my doctor isn't worried, so I'm not worried. I'm still either nauseous or just extremely hungry in the morning and my little wonder drug fixes the swimmy headedness within 12 minutes.

Quint is doing great. He's running and playing and still dancing to his daddy's bagpiping on a regular basis. He has started to throw some temper tantrums, which we're trying to nip in the bud. He is obsessed with Mary Poppins which was starting to slowly drive me crazy, so both the DVD and the VHS are currently hidden. He's slowly moving on to Veggie Tales and Yo Gabba Gabba is due to arrive Saturday via netflix. He loves going outside and exploring the world. He loves climbing stairs. He's gotten in the habit lately of waking between 10:30 and 11:30 and going completely nuts until he gets a cuddle and a some crackers. Not good with another baby on the way. So we've been breaking him of that. Which is fun. Yeah, right. But almost daily, we have a crawl all over each other tickling and kissing fest which is tons of fun. As are the sweet running and hugging my knees thing.

Lap-band update! Ten months after the lap-band was installed in my husband, and something amazing happened day before yesterday! Are you ready? It's never been done before! I saw my husband's upper abdominal muscles!!! He even flexed them to make sure that wasn't fat after all! He's lost 38 pounds total now. And he still loves it.

My new job at the tax office is going OK, though there are very few hours to be had at this early point. I had one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of phenominal proportions. It involved me attempting a return, by myself, before I was ready, with (as it turned out) some wrong information. And once the client left (mostly because of my wrong information), she talked to the LOCAL NEWS CREW THAT INTERVIEWED HER IN THE LOBBY!! So I spent hours terrified that I had not only scared off one client (which is not that bad really), but that my mis-information might wind up on THE LOCAL NEWS potentially scaring off COUNTLESS CLIENTS!! It all turned out alright in the end. She didn't say anything on the news which was incorrect or even negative about our tax business.

My Christmas was really great! We went to Texas to visit my parents for a week. The flight with the baby was good! He slept for an hour of the 2 hour flight and I managed to keep him entertained and mostly quiet after that. He loved it at my folks house, except for the one dog that licked his face so much that I think that's why his face broke out a bit. He loved the other dog, and played fetch with her. He loved their extra fluffy cat. He loved their enormous fenced in yard with six wonderful steps to go up and down on endlessly. He loved that he could see outside at all times and could almost always convince someone to go outside with him by finding his coat (where ever we had hidden it) and shaking it at them saying, "outside!" until someone finally said, "alright I'll go out with you in the cold!" It was cold in Texas at Christmas. That never happens! Usually it's 50 degrees at least! He loved having a doting aunt, nannie, and grandpa granting his nearly every whim for nearly a week straight. He handled the family reunion day exceptionally well and even played a little ping-pong. He got so many toys that the UPS box we shipped back home cost $40! I got a new camera to replace my broken one, which is why we've been short on photos on the blog lately. Hubby got a gun safe (which we really needed) and a HUGE bottle of his favorite cologne. We stuffed and stuffed and stuffed ourselves with all manner of sweets and good food. I napped at will because there was always someone to watch Quint. We got to see Quint's namesake for several days. We got to see my best friend and her husband for most of an afternoon. All in all, it was a really great Christmas!

Let's see, what else needs an update.... we've hit on Quint, pregnancy, work, lap-band, and Christmas. I think that may be it. Oh wait.

Depression in general: I've been having trouble with depression which unfortunately (for hubby) manifests itself as being really nasty to dear hubby. Usually, in the winter blues months, I'm employed, I exercise, I make sure to get extra sunshine, I keep a full spectrum light bulb nearby and have plenty of reasons to see friends most days. This winter, I'm unemployed, a bit direction-less in terms of what to do with my life immediately (for the next 6 months), it's been too stinkin' cold to walk outside, hence little sunshine, I haven't put in the full spectrum light bulbs, and I'm a bit housebound. Not a good combo. So. I've decided that at either 11am or 3pm each day, depending on when I'm working, Quint and I are going for a walk if it is anywhere near 45 degrees OR I'm going to get out my workout video in the living room. OR I'll make an effort to chase Quint around our indoor racetrack (kitchen, living room, entryway) until I've been out of breath for some minutes. Also, I'm making an effort to contact my friends by phone and set up lunch dates.

Also to combat the winter blues, I'm starting to make lists of things to do and then ACTUALLY DOING THEM!! It's amazing how now that I have more time, I get less business things done. Granted, I usually conducted my business type things done while at work which is not possible now, but really? It took me 3 days to actually obtain my last paystub and get it emailed somewhere?! There is no reason for me to fall behind on any bills due only to neglect. We are not UNable to pay any bills right now. Quint goes to bed by 8pm. I've been going to be at midnight. That's 4 hours a day to get computer stuff done. I've ordered the $10 do-dad that will let me plug my regular desktop keyboard into my laptop so that balancing the checkbook is quicker.

In light of the list effort, here are some plans for this weekend:
Take down the Christmas stuff and put it all away.
Store clothes that Quint has recently outgrown.
Clean off the dining table.
Neaten up the garage (one hour)
Clean out my car
Make out a menu for next week.
Clean up the edges of our bedroom.

And if I'm exceptionally ambitious:
File things
Find the bathroom counter and scrub it.
Wax the hardwood floors.
Examine last year's taxes.
Put the blue loveseat on Craigslist.