Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sis's Visit

My wonderful sister came to visit last Sunday and just left a few minutes ago. She came for vacation and to meet my new baby Hank.

While she was in town, we did three big things that I can't do my myself right now: Go to the park, go to the zoo, and see the train exhibit at a local botanical gardens. It's really hard to chase a nearly 2 year old while holding a newborn. Once Hank can hold up his head and therefore be strapped to my chest, this will change (some). So for all these events, one of us would chase Quint and the other keep Hank happy.

So here's our photo collection from the last week. Please note the placement of the raisins.

Cedar chips are really cool!
Aunt D and Hank
Hank's standard look right now.
Kind of like a startled frog.
I'm confident that he'll grow out of it.
A little smile!
A little more smile!
At the zoo!
On the zoo train.
Giraffes! This is where I finally relaxed and
tried to let Quint run free without me completely
freaking out. There were fewer people near this
exhibit and Quint was running slower. The combo
let me let him wander free.
At the train exhibit the next day, my
"where is my kid!" panic had returned because
it seemed that Quint and I stayed on opposite
sides of the exhibit for a while. I finally chilled a little.

I finally got this picture of Quint after about 90 minutes.

The first good hour of this exhibit, Quint was running around shouting "TRAINS! TRAINS!" or "CHOO CHOOS!! CHOO CHOOS!!" about ever three seconds. By the time I could get a still shot of him, he was sitting where he knew the train would come right by him about ever 60 seconds. Then he would softly say, "train, train" every time it rolled by. Very worth it.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tightwaddery and tiny accomplishments

I've gotten a lot done lately, or at least I feel like that. I think this is mostly due to me lowering my expectations on calling a chore done. I've started to put it on my list as being "done" if I work on it at all. Today I spent 10 frantic minutes balancing the checkbook, did not get it up to date, but did get some progress made, and therefore I put it on my "to done list". Other things that took about the same amount of time, yet made my got-er-done list include making 3 phone calls, paying three bills and picking out books at the library.

I've been reading the Tightwad Gazette during middle of the night feedings and rockings. There are large chunks of this book that are seriously out of date. For instance, the tip that you can save on your phone bill by requesting pulse service instead of tone service. Also, she repeatedly suggests writing thoughtful letters instead of paying 9 cents per minute for long distance. I think it's been nearly as long as we've been married since we paid for long distance per minute.

On the other hand, some things are timeless like eat simpler meals, hang dry laundry if you can, shop garage sales and thrift stores, and how to find more storage space in your house. The last of which made me want to call my former neighbor to give her some space saving ideas. Then I realized that since she moved, and doubled their square footage, she probably doesn't need these tips any more.

Baking more from scratch probably wouldn't save me much money due to how much I might bake non-edible items. Also mixes and baked goods are extremely cheap! Can you really bake 2 dozen cookies for less than $1.29?

I have made a Tightwad Gazette grocery notebook this week. The Gazette, combined with the show Extreme Couponing, has encouraged me to at least examine if we could use coupons to save money beyond the Aldi prices. For several years, each time I've examined prices at non-Aldi stores, Aldi still has THE best prices and generally tastes better than Kroger brand. As a result, I've stopped looking at prices and don't know what things cost right now. The notebook will help me with this. The notebook is a portable listing of the place, size, cost, and cost per unit of products, listing one item per page. For instance, sliced bread has one page and I can list what Aldi, Kroger, and Walmart have for standard prices. That way I'll actually know a sale when I see one.


Since Hank was born, I've gone to the grocery store about twice as often for 3 items that I feel cannot wait. This is driving me nuts and, I'm sure, costing me more in impulse purchases. Also, I'm eating a TON carbohydrates and still weigh less than I did when I was 28 1/2 (AKA when my body decided to have a new, standard, larger number.)


Rechargeable batteries are great - EXCEPT IF THEY ARE SIZE D! We are very firm believers in rechargeable batteries. When I was like 12 and my dad realized that we teenagers were plowing through tons of AA batteries for our Walkmans, he bought us a charger and enough batteries so that some could always be on the charger and some always in our Walkmans. We basically stopped needing to buy AA batteries. Incidentally, just within the last year or two have I called my daddy to tell him that THOSE SAME BATTERIES from when I was twelve, have now officially died. Me and my husband agreed and we trashed those 4 batteries. Yes folks, that's 20 years.

We have also recently tried to use some size D rechargeable batteries from my husband's childhood. These would not run any of our kid's toys. We thought they were just dead. But then I read the actual batteries. Size D rechargeable batteries have a different amount of volts than disposable batteries. A lower amount of volts. Which means they will not run the baby swing, or the bouncy seat. Why did the battery mafia do this?!

Still, the single D battery that runs the vibrator part of the bouncy seat still only costs us about $6 per month. Gee, is it worth $6 per month to be able to get to sleep with a newborn in the house. OMG YES!!!


There is a children's book for adults called "Go the F**k to Sleep". Our local library has one copy. There are 14 holds on this book. That means that 14 people have requested this book when it is available. That has made me laugh many times in the last 48 hours. Sooz, I really wish you and I could snicker over this book. I do miss you on a regular basis!


We got to go to story time at the library today for the first time, and then play on the playground with the help of my local grandma. Yes, going to the park requires two adults for me, right now. Later, when Quint is better trained to public playgrounds and/or stopping when I say STOP, I'll be able to do this alone. But right now, I cannot chase a toddler and make sure no one steals Hank at the same time.


Hubby got his lap-band adjusted the other day. He had mentioned that he wanted to start eating better when he had that done, but he failed to mention that he would also be going hard core low carb - except for cookies. I had dreams of soon being able to make meals that Quint, Hubby and I could all eat - and therefore we all stop eating separate things at separate times. But no. If I don't eat a metric ton of carbs per day lately, I literally get dizzy while moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Protein is great. But carbs are a must. So the dinner I spent 3 days planning (this is a crock pot recipe that says it takes 20 minutes to prep) was eaten this evening by just me. I was not at all hurt that he didn't want to eat my cooking (how can you dislike something you haven't tried?) but was just more frustrated that I had planned for three days to prepare supper for my husband and I, to no avail. The primary ingredient was potatoes.


When you're home all the time with a toddler, you REALLY have to mop more than once a week. Otherwise the ants go marching one by one, horrah, HORRAH!


DING! is what my family says during our marathon phone conversations to indicate a complete and total subject change.


Why is it that when I ask my husband to help me with the kids I sometimes get the question, loaded with contempt, "Did you get a nap today?!" Indicating that he didn't get a nap today so he shouldn't have to do something. Sure I got a nap, but I also got up 2 hours earlier than you for the day and was up a total of about 2 hours during the night with feedings. Who is more oppressed here, WHO I ASK!!


My husband is wonderful and helpful and after I answer the above question in the affirmative, we split the current duties down the middle and get to work.

Speaking of which, he's trying to comfort our upset newborn without the aid of mammarys. OK, when you misspell mammarys, the suggested corrections are stammering, menageries, hammertoes, and miniseries. That's just funny. And I still spelt it rong. Gotta go.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sitting up - not really

We've been taking walks with Quint and Hank in our double stroller. We can lay Hank flat and Quint can sit up in the front. The last couple walks, Hank has just cried the whole time and I wind up carrying him for most of the walk. Which will really do a number on your back!

This morning, I took the boys on a walk by myself (first time I've tried that) and sure enough, Hank started to cry about the time we hit the jogging path by the creek in the next neighborhood. It's the most peaceful part of the walk - except if you have a screaming infant. I had noticed that Hank screamed more when I had the sun shade covering him completely up. So I tried sitting his seat up so he could see out. He immediately shut up! I had enough blankets with me to prop him up so his little head wouldn't flop around. He was quiet the rest of the walk and even was asleep when I got us home!

Hank is one month old today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First smile?!

Last night, I think that Hank smiled at me for the first time!

It was somewhere between 1am and 5am, who the hell knows when. He had just finished nursing and burping and I held him close to my face, said Hi and smiled really big. He looked at me like I was nuts, and then gave a little grin! I sat there for a minute thinking, "am I just imagining that? Isn't this way too early?" So I waited a couple minutes and did that again. Once again, he looked at me like I was nuts, and then gave the same little grin!

Now begins the circus type antics to try to get more smiles out of my four week old baby!

I looked it up, and first smiles can be expected between 4 and 6 weeks old. So maybe it was the real thing! I'm counting it! SO THERE!!

In other news, I had the (non-female) annual physical today including an EKG. Yes, I'm 33 and had an EKG. That's because my blood pressure is being managed. Everything turned out fine, but have you ever tried to get a comprehensive exam from a doctor while you've got a 21 month old and a 4 week old?! I took a friend with me to help with the kids and she brought her son with her - who was a big help too! But that made 6 people in a room the size of a walk in closet. And of course the infant had a blow out diaper and needed a whole outfit change. Quint was great if a bit all over the place with his toy trucks. Thankfully, my doctor has 4 girls, including a set of twins and was able to block all that stuff out and concentrate on me. My friend handled dressing the infant and was the proud recipient of vomit on both of her shirts.

I've managed to fill out the birth announcements today and they only lack postage.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Coming home from the hospital.

Coming home from the hospital. Quint had pink-eye on Hank's second day of life, so I didn't see Quint for like 36 hours straight. Which was hard. So here we are leaving the hospital and Quint seeing me and Hank for the first time in a while.

Friday, June 10, 2011

More baby video

Here's another video that shows Hank's face better.

And a cute one of Quint...

And Sis? I hear you want to see his face better so let me show you waaaaay too many photos. Look for that tomorrow sometime.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quint and Hank

Long overdue, I know, but I've been a bit busy. Here's the video of Quint first seeing his little brother. I think I'm going to call the new baby Hank on my blog here.

Quint kept touching his hands to see if he was real. Soooo cute!

Quint is handling being a big brother pretty well. Sometimes he also whimpers when Hank is crying, and sometimes he looks disappointed when I'm nursing Hank, but that's all.

I know I haven't talked too much about Hank yet, but Quint does more interesting stuff than Hank right now. Hank sleeps a lot, cries when he's hungry or wet, and then goes back to sleep. That's about it. He's getting cuter by the day. He likes a pacifier and the bouncy seat. He still has his froggy legs.

And he's crying now so my blog time is up!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Balancing Act

OK, I hardly ever post anything that makes my wonderful husband look dumb or silly, but this was just too cute. And sooooo something I would do. And actually, I have had a similar experience with Quint's winter coat.

Hubby and Quint were having a potty session (WHY is it that Quint just about won't go potty with me?!) when their speech became frantic. Quint was crying, Hubby was giving orders to stand up, and then Quint was calling for me. Suddenly, Hubby roars for me as well. Not good. Hubby was trotting toward me holding a crying Quint up by the arms.

"Honey!" Hubby says in a panicky voice, "he's lost the ability to balance! Quint, stand up!"

Hubby sets him squarely on his feet. And the boy does manage to balance for a minute, but starts to wobble badly. "MAMA!" he says pitifully. I sit on the ground in front of him, holding him up, and only then do I see the problem.

Both feet are through one pant leg.

Hubby is still looking panicked and like he's going to offer to take him to the ER any second. I try to suppress a giggle and lay the boy down on his back. I pick up the empty pant leg and flap it up and down. Hubby immediately looks relieved and starts to apologize to Quint for doing this to him. And then scolding him for not standing up as a result. Quint is still distressed and we both say soothing things to him while I fix his pants. As soon as he's on his feet, all is forgiven and forgotten.

If only all panic inducing episodes were so easily solved....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pop Quiz!

Alright, here's your pop quiz for the day! The next two pictures show Nannie holding a grandson. But which grandson is which?!
And here are two of the better family portraits from our most recent attempt.

Things are going well here! I feel great, Quint's nose finally stopped running, little Hank is still a relatively easy baby, and Hubby's work schedule has seriously improved.

The cicadas are still deafening outside our house and the little bodies are piling up in our driveway. There are enough of them in the front yard that it stinks a bit. They should all die sometime before the end of June

We've been on either two or three walks as a whole family. I was so dreading the 6 weeks of recovery from birth - that's how long it took for me to enjoy a walk with Quint. But at just under 2 weeks, this time, I'm enjoying our standard 2 mile walks. So far, Papa has been doing the hard pushing up the hills, but I'll get stronger. Having not exercised at all for about 4 or 5 months, I thought I wouldn't be able to do a 2 mile walk right off the bat. I lack some strength for pushing that heavy double stroller uphill, and I have to stop to catch my breath, but I'm easily able to do the walk.

Hubby took Quint to work with him yesterday and I got to have several hours with just me and little Hank. Wow is one baby easy! I got a lot of things done despite my 2 hour conversation with my sister (actually possible without a toddler present) and the two pieces of cake I ate as soon as Quint and Papa left.

Due to Hank's perpetual dirty diaper, he has a bit of diaper rash which I think might have been what kept us all up last night. It hurts when that rash gets wet! It also could have been that he didn't want to be alone. I've been trying to return to my own bed and (shocker!) actually sharing a bed with my husband. For these first two weeks, I've slept in the same room as Hank to make night feedings easier on me. The last several nights, I've started out in our bed, and for one reason or another, I return to the bed in Hank's room.

Quint continues to be a voracious reader! Not that he can read, of course, but he really loves books. I need to figure out a coordinated way to nurse one baby while reading a book to Quint. He can identify lots of animals (where's the giraffe) and can name a few. The same with shapes and colors. He has recently put together that the sound of an airplane goes with the visual of an airplane, and also that his Fisher Price Little People plane is an airplane. So for the first time yesterday, he pretended to fly the Little People plane around the room instead of just rolling it on the floor. For a while there, any vehicle with wheels was a choo-choo, but now he's starting to understand that this is a bus, that is a truck, etc.

Oh, and there he is awake, so my blog time is up!

(time passes)

OK, both boys are down for a nap and oddly, I don't need one.

Hank and I went to the doctor today to get his weight checked. He was
7 lbs. 11oz at birth,
7 lbs. 2 oz when he went home
7 lbs. 4 oz on day 4 and (drum roll please...)
8 lbs. 3 oz on day 16! No wonder those Newborn onesies seemed kind of small! So despite everyone around him being sick, he has gained quite well!