Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Park

*NOTE* - I Added some pictures to a few of the earlier posts where I had previously forgotten them, so be sure to scroll down and take a look!

This afternoon the boys and I met our friends Danielle, Ella and Ben Castanza at Vaughn Road Park to play. The kids had an absolute blast, and Zack dissolved into a two-year old temper tantrum when we had to leave... at least that means he enjoyed himself !! I tell you, Zack goes NON-STOP and doesn't even "check-up" as Danielle put it when he goes to do something... he was scaling the "big-kid" playground equipment like Spider-man, and was very sure-footed in his climbing. Ella, who is much more cautious, kind of looked at him like he was crazy, but then once he had reached the summit, she usually decided that if a boy could do it, she could too.
Here is a picture of Zack going down the "swirly slide":
and here is a picture of Ella in "Jail":


You know, it's really fun to watch them bask in sheer delight while enjoying the simpler things, like a swing going way up high, or the stomach-dropping feeling you get when you go down the slide, or rocks. Just the plain old rocks they use on the playground to absorb shock when a kid goes flying off the big slide. Those kids get so excited about the rocks. And of course, Zack wanted to hug every kid he saw on the playground, which did not go over well each time. At least he's friendly and loving... it's just painful to watch him get rejected sometimes... and I know that will only get worse as he grows older.
The two Bens sat in their strollers and had a blast "talking" to each other. They were very animated and laughed at each other the whole time. What's fun about this is that my husband, Zack and Danielle's husband, Sam, were best buddies growing up from the time they were very small, and now their sons will grow up together. Here is a picture of them chatting:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where to begin....



Whew! The past few days have been CRAZY! The weather this weekend pretty well kept us inside, so the boys (and I) were getting serious cabin fever! Neither one of the boys have been wanting to sleep very well at night, so Zack and I have been tried from dealing with them, but then yesterday, the unthinkable happened...... NEITHER ONE OF THE BOYS TOOK AN AFTERNOON NAP. Oh-My-Gosh. They were screaming and disagreeable... I just wanted to run away! But thankfully, we all survived. Their Daddy watched them and put them to bed last night so that I could go to a Bible Study at St James Methodist with my friend, Shay Forbus! Let me tell you, that was the best Bible Study I have been to EVER.... the theme is Letting God make an Impact in your life.... and the biggest point last night was that it is not our responsibility to maintain the level of intimacy in our relationship with God.... we just have to be AVAILABLE. I am very guilty of being "too busy" to listen.... I walk around my house nonstop being busy and don't take time to really listen to what it is that God wants me to do. I needed that message last night like I need a million dollars.... priceless. Also, everyone keep your fingers crossed on this one, but I may have found a job writing with Montgomery Parents. I spoke with Jason Watson, the publisher, last week, and he says he thinking of starting a monthly segment called "Mom's Eye On Business" and is considering me to write it. Basically, I would be spotlighting Montgomery Businesses and their child-friendliness as well as what they have to offer. It would be a 3-page or so spread each month which is HUGE exposure for me as a writer. This is truly a prayer answered, whether it works out or not, because it shows me that there are things out there that I CAN do from home! I am also going to start doing spa prties in people's homes, so let me know if you are interested!
Zack got very excited this morning on our daily walk because a butterfly landed on him! And it didn't fly away immediately either... it just sat there. He was in amazement. He also got to see a gaggle of geese fly overhead and he tried to "honk" like they did for the rest of the walk. It is so incredible to get to watch him see these amazing things for the first time that we as adults take for granted, and it has made me appreciate their beauty all over again. Here is a picture of the boys in their stroller before a walk:
We are in the midst of trying to plan a 2nd Birthday party for Zack, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know! So far, I think we are going to buy a bunch of big bouncy balls and put them in the backyard and let the kids have a blast with those.... but then again that could turn into Toddler Dodgeball ( they will throw ANYTHING at ANYONE) so I'm not sure that's the best idea. We have also entertained the notion of putting multiple sprinklers in the backyard to let the kids play in and with....so who knows!
Little Ben has pulled himself up a couple of times this week.... this month has truly been full of milestones for him. He pulled himself up and was so excited he started to clap for himself and fell down again... buthe didn't cry! Tough little boys, they are.


Here is a Picture of little Ben playing in the tub:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ben's Coming Along!

Yesterday was a marvelous day for us, and Ben accomplished several little milestones! First of all, he had Macaroni and Cheese that I made for his supper... I made it for Zack and I to eat at lunch, then saved Ben some and put it in the food processor. He loved it! I also gave him some Gerber "Puffs" to sample, just to see if he could pick them up and get them into his mouth... AND HE DID IT! ON THE FIRST TRY! I was so proud of him, and he was proud of himself...clapping like crazy! I also took the boys for a ride in their red wagon yesterday, and Ben did GREAT! He sat up and rode around like a little professional. (A professional wagon rider, that is.) I also took the boys to their first nail salon yesterday (their Daddy LOVED that) because I was desparately in need of an eyebrow waxing (I was starting to look like a cross between Unibrow and Sasquatch) and they behaved BEAUTIFULLY! They were very impressed by the cheesy decor and lights that were everywhere. It's nice to be able to finally take them on a few personal errands and not have to wait until I can get a babysitter to do so.
Ben has also recently started sitting well enough for me to put him in the Big People bathtub. He LOVES the bath! Here is a picture of him from last night:
Zack and I went to eat at Applebee's with Mandie and Jake last night and had a great time, but the service was AWFUL. I seriously have not had service THAT BAD in a long time... we were there for 2 hours, and Zack had to go to the bar to get a second drink, because our waitress kept sitting down to watch TV. Unbelievable.
Ben is also learning to stand while holding on to something, although he is not pulling up yet. Here is a picture of him holding on to the couch!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Biloxi.. Sick Kids (Again) and more!

Biloxi was a complete blast! Zack and I had so much fun just being "us" again and doing adult things.... like playing craps and eating supper without being interrupted to fetch a fork 6,000 times for little Zack. I played a new table game called "Mississippi Stud" and failed miserably, but still had fun doing it. We enjoyed getting to talk the whole way down and back, too. The boys had a good time with their "Sity" and cooperated well, at least that's what they told us :) It's good for them to stay with their grandparents and gain a little bit of independence from us, I think. Sity brought over lots of coloring books and Capri Suns so spirits were high around here! Little Ben pouted when we got home and wouldn;t look at me for leaving him, but that lasted for all of 5 minutes. He's a softie.
Well Mandie came over yesterday to hang out with me and the small sick people and brought her stethoscope to cheer them up! Here is a picture Zack enjoying it:














We have plans (Husband and I) to do something fun with Mandie and Jake Thursday night, so that should be great, as we haven't done something with them in forever!!
We took the boys to the doctor this morning to make sure they aren't coming down with something serious (the fever virus went away, and now they have the nasty upper respiratory junk that every kid in town has right now) and it turns out that she thinks their immune systems were weak after the fever virus and their allergies just got the best of them. They keep waking up at night hacking like veteran smokers and we have to soothe them to make them fall asleep... needless to say, we aren't sleeping well around here! Zack's thumbnail on his sucking thumb is falling off (I think it got a lovely fungus) so I also got the doctor to look at that, and she said to just leave it alone, and that he will lose the nail, but it will grow back. I sure hope so!
Oh, and Ben is now pushing himself to a sitting position, has learned to clap, and has tried to pull himself up a few times! Here is a video of some of his latest tricks!


video

Friday, August 15, 2008

Getting Ready To Go!

WHEW. Getting ready to leave your kids for a weekend is so crazy. I have made about a million lists, laid things out to make it easier and made a bunch of Ben's baby food so he will have a ready supply (he eats so much, sometimes I think I'm making it for TWO kids!). Thankfully, Zack's at an age where his instructions are easier.... basically feed him anything that won't send him on a two-week sugar high and that won't eat him first. I have been doing laundry and TRYING to make my house look like it's not a complete wasteland, although sometimes I feel like it is one.
I think I'm finally going to bite the bullet and start Zack's potty-training next week. He is wetting through every diaper I put on him (cloth OR disposable). I know he has control of his bladder because if I tell him to stop when he's wetting the floor, he can stop. He has also gone on the potty numerous times... he just happens to think it's funny if he sits on the potty for 10 minutes (smiling all the while) and refuses to go, then stands up and pees on the floor. How do you combat THAT??? Any ideas or tips are welcome. VERY welcome.
Can I just say that our dogs are escape artists. They have figured out how to back-up and barrel through the prefabricated boards on their dog pen. I have been out there multiple times re-nailing boards, then 10 minutes later, I see a black tail dart by the window, and Jack is slinging little Zack's Bubblemower around the yard. Insanity. Sometimes I feel like it's a 3-ring circus over here!!!! Am I absolutely crazy for eventually wanting more kids? Sometimes I wonder...
Today is the Holy Day of the Blessed Virgin's Assumption. Being that Mary is my patron saint, today is very important to me, and I am wondering when I will be able to go to church.... being that I can't drag my three ring circus to mass all by myself. Who knows... maybe we can go in Biloxi Tonight. Zack would just LOVE that :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Randoms Thoughts And Hurricane Zack


You know, I have been thinking... as a Mom, I have done some things, espcially here lately that I thought I would never do as an adult... When the days has been chaotic, and the noise hasn't stopped all day long, I take pleasure in making noise in the kitchen by banging pots and pans around.... it is truly a great form of stress relief, and I have NO idea why it is so refreshing... the kids stop whining and look at me like I'm nuts, and maybe I am, but dangit it feels good to bang pots and pans around. Another thing I caught myself enjoying this morning was Sesame Street. I was holding little Zack in my lap, and I was shocked to realize that we were BOTH very entertained by the Big Bird's Birdkateers meeting and The Letter of the Day ("O" ... We both kept putting our arms over our head in the shape of an O when it came on the screen).... It also never ceases to amaze me how nice it is to take a nap in the middle of the day and it surprises me that sometimes the most peaceful thing in the world is to rock your baby in a quiet room while they unwind to go to sleep.
So we all know that Little Zack is a Thumbsucking addict... it's not just a naptime or night-time habit.... he enjoys its soothing qualities all throughout the day... that is until yesterday when I noticed that his thumb was about to fall apart from overuse. Seriously, it looks like he might have an infection or a fungus of sometype growing under the nail, which is lifting up and trying to fall off his thumb. I called the doctor, who advised me to wrap it up like a mitten, so that he couldn't get to it, but I decided to try a different tactic.... Nasty Stuff application on the thumb. I bought a bottle of nail-biters be-gone and painted his thumb with it... let me tell you, he tasted that thing ONE TIME last night and I havent seen him use it as a pacifier since. It was bone dry when he got up this morning. I was thinking maybe he would switch to the other thumb, but I havent seen evidence of that, either. Could we have broken the habit this easily??? I'm still not sure that he's done with it, but I will keep you posted.
I am posting pictures of what my husband called "Hurricane Zack". Our Den that, which I will add, was completely clean this morning, now is a completely wasteland of toys, shoes, sippe cups, pillows, random kitchen utensils, and stuffed animals. Oh yeah and BOOKS .... books are EVERYWHERE.






He has also discovered the "fun" in using ANYTHING as a step to reach things that are too high for him, and taking his play broom (Thanks Sity haha) and trying to knock pictures off the wall. Seriously. NOT EXAGERRATING. I have done everything I can think of that's not cruel and inhumane to teach him to stop doing this....but he WON'T. I keep thinking it's the age, but I think it's the gender and the personality (he got my relentless tenacity and ability to be annoying at all costs) that makes him do these things. Crazy. Pray for me, Saint Monica (Patron Saint of Mothers with difficult kids).
Here is a great Picture from yesterday of Zack enjoying his Breakfast Yogurt:
So Zack and I are packing our bags and leaving town for a much-needed, overnight getaway to Biloxi tomorrow. He arranged for his parents to come take care of the kids, and I feel like I am writing an instruction manual on what to do with the kids for them to refer back to. I know they won't need all of the information (they did, after all, raise two well-adjusted, sucessful, happy kids themselves) but it makes me feel better to write it out, so I am doing it. Kind of like I am therapeutically writing it down to relinquish my control and not worry about everything while we are gone. I cannot wait to be alone in the car with my husband for 3 hours both ways, listen to music, eat great food, drink much alcohol (everytime I have been to a casino in the past two years I have been with child) and in general do what ever we feel like. We were going to see Jeff Foxworthy but tickets cost wayyy too much! We will be seeing Bill Engvall next month though, so it's all good.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Down, One to go

Okay, so Ben seems to be back to his usual self!! Crawling up a storm, Cooing like crazy, Eating like a piggie...But the story is different for Zack. He is one grumpy little man... screaming at me, little Ben, his toys... smashing blueberries then crying because all of his food is smashed up... horrible stuff! He even threw Doggie, his favorite stuffed pal, across the room AND LAUGHED. Well, at least he's napping now. Hopefully, he will wake up in a better frame of mind! Their Gigi (my mom) came over this morning and brought Little Zack a treat ( he has not drinking much liquid, which he desparately NEEDS) which was a coke Icee! There has never been a smaile as big as the one he gave when he started slurping it... until he got a brain freeze... then he started morphing into the incredible shrieking hulk. We brought the kids Pop-up tent into the den today (this has been an "I'll do ANYTHING if you stop whining day") and Little Ben THROUGHLY enjoyed himself. You can see that here:
I am now taking a break, as both of them are sleeping, and oh how I love the sound of silence. If anyone has any great ideas on how to make a little extra money, let me know! I am looking to make a little spending money for us! Also, if anyone has any money-saving ideas, let me know...I am already cloth-diapering, making Ben's baby-food, couponing and making our menus in advance! I will write More later!

Monday, August 11, 2008

FEVER VIRUS ALERT!

Oh my GOSH the past few days have been awful! Ben woke us up all night Friday just wanting to be held, so I knew SOMETHING was wrong...but I went to the Footprints Golf Tournament, which was a HUGE success, by the way, only to get a call from Susan (who was watching the boys) that little Ben was burning up and wouldn't eat. I came home and took his temperature and it was 101. I called the doctor and she said she needed to see him... I was betting on an ear infection. After running several tests and evaluating him, she decided he has a fever virus akin to Roseola (he had also broken out in a measle-like rash) and that it would last for 3 to 4 days. Yikes. We started doing the advil and tylenol routine and trying to get him to drink pedialyte. He slept decently that night (THANK GOODNESS) but when we woke up Sunday morning, Little Zack was running a 103 temperature. Great. TWO KIDS WITH THE VIRUS. Yesterday was AWFUL for the most part....much screaming and wailing and knashing of teeth (or gums in Ben's case)but thankfully they were in a manageable state that afternoon because I had scheduled a Spa Party at my house! The doctor said this was a kids only kind of virus (that adults wouldn't get it) so I Lysoled the house from one end to the other, and Zack took the kids fishing at Dadoo's house (Sity aka Gerri came to the Spa party!). Those boys had the best time down there!Both of them got to touch the fish that were being caught...and little Zack did much cheering when one was was brought to the surface. Our ladies only Spa Party went great! We all got to do relaxation exercises while listening to soft music and be pampered by Deidre Ceman, the consultant. I also had wine spritzers, so those added to the fun as well! Well I had better go tend to things! I will write more later.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Post


There have been so many things going on around our house lately...especially with the boys! Zack is now 22 months old and Ben will be 8 months tomorrow. TIME FLIES. Zack is saying more words every day, climbing on everything, opening doors he shouldn't, turning lights off and on, then off again, and in general, becoming a very loving, independent little person with a great sense of humor and energy. Ben is crawling (well, it's really more like a scooching or creeping...but whatever it is HE IS FAST) as well as sitting independently and bounces violently on his back (in time, nonetheless) when we put on any kind of music, especially Led Zeppelin. I am so blessed to have the wonderful husband that I do, and two adorable, loving children.

I have recently gotten involved with the Footprints Ministry through Heritage Baptist ( no, I'm not the lone Catholic in the group!) and have never gotten so much satisfaction in helping with a project as I have in working with this great group of people. So much good is being done through this ministry, and we are hosting a Golf Tournament tomorrow at Lagoon Golf Course (nearly 140 golfers will be there! Hooray!) and it is clear that God truly has had a hand in this work. I have to be there at 6AM, but it will be totally worth it!!! Just pray that it's not too hot tomorrow!

We went back to playgroup this week for the first time in FOREVER ( it has been really hard to go places because the boys nap at opposite times from one another, and they HAVE to have their naps... but it's slowly getting better as Ben gets older) and had a blast. It was so nice to see everyone and let Zack play with all of his friends... although he did insist on opening the backdoor even though we told him not to, and he nearly led a mass exodus of toddlers into the backyard... much yelling and screaming resulted as the kids were heartbroken that we made them come back inside.

I am hosting a spa party at my house Sunday, and thankfully my sweet Mother- in Law and Susan are coming over tomorrow to help with the kids and to help clean so people won;t run screaming from my house... I try to keep it clean, but with two kids under two, the work never ends!