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Posts Tagged ‘Behold The Awesome’

For me, each kid in my family has an age that I identify them with. An age that for whatever reason, gets stuck in my brain. For Keaton that age is 3-4ish so to wake up this morning and find him a whole SEVEN years old is really messing with my brain’s construct of what my world should look like. I honestly have no clue how we got here. How did that sweet, funny, pigtail-sporting, tutu-wearing, booty-shaking toddler morph into this hard-working, sword-wielding, ninja-rolling, BOY?

To quote one of his favorite movies: Inconceivable.

Keaton is no one thing. He is not a kid that you can put in a box. He loves swords and rough-housing, and nail-polish and his stuffed Crookshanks. He’ll happily watch a Barbie movie or Star Wars. He is sensitive and kind. He is mischievous and a fairly adept liar.

He is joy. He is love. He is ours and we love him so very much.

Happy Seven, Keaton Sir!!

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Listen. I know, Flashing Cursor. I realize I’ve been MIA from this blog for months. I am aware I used to take great pleasure in writing about all the ways my children outsmart me on a daily basis. All the ways they made me feel so loved and then so completely useless and then wait, nope, there’s the love again~ often in one breath. After briefly considering canceling my hosting when it came up for renewal a month ago, I decided I would give it another year and see what I had left in me for this space. I really don’t know. But for now, I am here and I promise not to make any promises about how often I’ll check in, because that seems to just guarantee I’ll never write again.

So this is what I can tell you now… In less than 2 hours, my two giant children will join the household for the summer. This is maybe a little scary and maybe a little awesome. I like having all my chicks with me for the most part. I love lazy days, jammies til noon, lunch when…ever, beach and park trips, art supplies strewn about the table and intricate figurine set-ups taking over my gardens. It makes me smile, it makes me sigh. It makes me miss being a kid.

Like all parents, I don’t enjoy the whining, tattling or the incessant arguing but unfortunately, it comes with the territory of multiple kids. We’ll get through, I know, but I definitely don’t have to be excited about it. Mostly I am nervous about Rowan’s insane dance schedule over the next two weeks. She has summer dance and nationals practice that leaves her at the studio from 10:45- 5:30 or later most nights. Then I have to kiss my little guy’s sweet cheeks enough to last me 9 whole days without him while we’re in Florida. {Clearly I did NOT think this through. I’m already panicking and searching for plane tickets for him, shhhhh don’t tell Bill. He’ll think it’s funny when Ez shows up in my carry-on, right?} The longest I’ve been away from Ezra is overnight. I’m legit freaking out right now.

But! If we can make it through June, and the first 4 days of July, we’ll be in the clear to laze around and enjoy Summer at our new house. It seems amazing to me that I didn’t write about such a huge life change when I have multiple {really, like DOZENS} of posts devoted to poop on this blog. I wish I could detail the simultaneously dawn-out saga/whirlwind this whole process has been, but the most important thing to know is that we are all so very, extremely happy to be in a beautiful new home that is just the perfect fit for us. Hopefully more on that to come {if I can get my shit together, so again, no promises}.

For now, I will leave you with these two…

Who completely OWNED 2nd grade and Kindergarten.. with nary a yellow or red light between the two for an ENTIRE year, like WHOA.

Who completely OWNED 2nd grade and Kindergarten, with nary a yellow or red light between the two for an ENTIRE year, like WHOA. So proud of them!

And these two, who melt my heart, pretty much on a daily basis…

I think lucky is the word I'm looking for. Yep.

I think lucky is the word I’m looking for. Yep.

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“We’re just doing a small family party for Keaton this year. Can you throw together a quick invite to e-mail out to the fam?”

“Sure! I’m on it.”

I should have known when I saw him smiling gleefully and maniacally rubbing his hands together as he opened Photoshop that this was coming, but alas, I just. never. learn.

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PS~ I would like my family members {and my son, for that matter} to note that there will be no pterodactyls, ninjas, or erupting volcanoes at this party. There will be a party sub and possibly a newly minted 6-year-old in a tutu, but that’s about all I can promise you.

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I want to take a minute to note the kids’ big art show and music concert we attended last night which was just as crazy as usual {massively over-crowded and chaotic} but at least now we know what to expect and can accept it for what it is, however horrifying it may be for a claustrophobic person.

The kids have been talking about this a ton and were super excited to show us their art work and all the songs they’ve been hard at work practicing. Rowan has a strict “surprise” policy, which means she won’t sing us or even tell us the names of any of the songs her class will be performing ahead of time so we can, I don’t know, go in with a musically cleansed pallet? Whatever, she’s really strict about it, so much so that whenever Keaton would so much as hum “Little Miss Muffet” or “Jack and Jill” Rowan would FREAK, like GOD, Keaton don’t you even know about My Policy {TM}, how could you?

And that was just for his Kindergarten class songs, ones that she had absolutely no involvement in. You don’t even want to KNOW the tone her voice took with him when he started singing the big group number for me, oh lord, the curl of drama in her voice went to a whole ‘nother level as she spit “You are ruining this for EVERYONE”. Which is to say, he was ruining it for no one, not even her, despite her very righteous indignation. Regardless, we’ve learned to just not ask too much about what we will hear on concert night because of this quirk.

I did have a little parenting conundrum beforehand though. Their music teacher instructed Keaton’s class to “wear their best” so Keaton came home from school, very excited, and said, “Mom! Mrs. H said we should wear our best clothes! I’m going to wear my tuxedo from boys’ dance because that is the fanciest thing I own!” Now, if you remember the pictures I probably posted last spring of my second-born dressed to the nines in a tux, you will have noted that this was not a sharp, sophisticated 2013 tuxedo, but rather something more closely associated with a bad 1980s prom photo. Line-texured shirt, hunter green bow tie and cumberbund, lots of sharp, unnecessary waist angles and ridiculously pointy tails. Now don’t get me wrong, it was/is completely adorable up on a dance stage, but for a school concert? Yeah, not so much.

At first I said sure, without really thinking about it. Keaton does not get embarrassed or ruffled easily. This is a kid who will still regularly come downstairs with a ninja mask, bow-staff and one of his sister’s leotards on and he has exactly NO SHAME. He’s asked to wear one of Rowan’s jumpers to school {because they look comfy, mom!} and he still will sport nail polish in the summer with absolutely no inhibitions. I 100% do NOT want to change this aspect of him. It’s one of my very favorite things and it’s truly what makes my Keaton so damn Keaton.

But. I didn’t want him to get hurt feelings if one of the kids {or let’s face it, adults, who I’ve learned can be worse when it comes to stuff like this} laughed at him or made fun of his very fancy outfit. The last thing I wanted to have happen would be for him to become self-conscious and lose the ability to just not give a shit about what other people think. Rowan was never as care-free as Keaton, but she got much more self-conscious somewhere between 6 and 7 and look, if/when it happens, it happens and that’s fine… I just didn’t want some jerky kid to kick-start it over a John Hughs tux.

I tried to explain to him that he would be a little over-dressed and that we could have a fancy family night that he could wear it to instead but he had his mind made up. I ended up polling a parent group I belong to and all agreed that I should let him sport the tux but should bring a back-up outfit just in case he felt it would be better to change. Brilliant! I explained the deal to Keaton which he accepted but he never wavered in his desire to wear the tux.

When we got to school, I dropped Keaton off in a room full of plaid shirts, sweater vests and khakis. I approached his teacher and said “Yeah, about the tux…” and she said, “Oh, we know all about the tux. Keaton talked about wearing it allll week”. Ha! Turns out it would have been weird for him not to wear it, as his whole class had been briefed on the sheer awesomeness of it. And therein I learned a very valuable lesson about trusting this kid, who knows himself through and through. And when they marched in, he stood up front and center, so proud as he sang his little heart out. It was a really great moment to be his mama.

Rowan did super great as well, and we were all surprised {!!!}! by the songs she sang {well, except for the last one, thanks for ruining LIFE, Keaton}. She was also very proud of her artwork and beamed as she pointed out her pieces hanging on the wall. It was all around a very busy, but fun evening celebrating just how awesome these little people are.

"Jazz"

“Jazz”

So much style in one little body.

So much style in one little body.

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I have sat down to write this post eleventy times since Ezra turned the big Oh-Three last Saturday but I really feel like this is the one, Internet. This is the time I’m going to focus, write, edit and hit publish.

{Um. That wasn’t it. BUT THIS IS.}

{Or not.}

{Okay, for reals this time…}

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My baby? My awesome baby? Continues to be awesome. Except for the small matter of naps which is why it is so hard for me to sit down and write for an extended period. Gone {ALREADY WTF?} are the days of Ezra falling asleep while nursing so I can hunt and peck with one hand to cobble out a post. Now he eats a full meal very efficiently in about 15-20 minutes, barely giving me a chance to get through my e-mail. He’ll go down for three, sometimes four 30-45 minute naps per day which just isn’t enough time to focus so I can write a coherent, well, anything.

I don’t really like to complain about his sleep in general because the boy is still doing fairly awesome at night. Between 5am-7am we have to get up and nuk him a handful of times but he rarely gets so agitated that he needs to be rocked or fed anymore. And he’s happy when he’s up for the most part. Lots of smiles, content to be held and kissed and snuggled or happy to stretch out and kick on his playmat or in his crib. So yes, the nap thing blows, especially because I usually am holding him for the last 20 minutes he’s up and do you know how many random things I see that need to be done with two hands in those 20 minutes? SO MANY THINGS. So once he’s down I’ve catalogued a huge list of to-dos in my head that I set to right away but by the time I’m done I’ve eaten up most of his short nap so that when I settle down to the keyboard he already starts making noise and the cycle starts again. Okay maybe this does sound like complaining but no, really it’s just really how things are at this moment in his development but if babies have taught me anything it’s that by the time you get used to one pattern they up and decide to change things by way of growth spurt, new milestone or I don’t know, just to fuck with their parents, so all said, things are pretty great.

So to sum up the awesome:

* Smiley. So big and happy. Except {as demonstrated by these photos} for when I bring the camera out. Like most babies this age, Ezra loves faces, so I will grin at him, and he will grin right back and the second I lift the camera up he goes all “WHAT THE SHIT? Why you blocking my smiley face, woman?” giving an expression of disapproval or one of perpetual surprise. So you’ll just have to take my word for it on the smile thing, case in point…

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* Fairly easy to please. Meaning, when he’s upset or fussy, there’s usually a reason and a quick fix. Evenings tend to be a little more fussy for him because the lack of quality sleep throughout the day is catching up with him which leads us to the game of should we/shouldn’t we when it comes to an evening nap. Mostly we get through it because he loves hanging out with his daddy. I don’t know if it’s that he can smell his dinner so close by when I hold him or that he already has me pegged for the giant sucker that I am, but he is definitely more content with Bill from about 5-7:30pm every night.

* Having a daddy’s boy is new territory that Bill is eating up. I worked when Rowan was an infant and when we were home I did not share that baby so Bill didn’t get a whole lot of one-on-one time with her. And Keaton? Well, he sort of hated Bill until he was almost 2. And that was hard for all of us. So it’s a nice, very welcome change and it makes me so happy to see Ezra and his daddy just hanging. {Except for when Bill is throwing my tiny precious sack of hard-earned baby upupup into the air to play and I don’t care if that baby is smiling ear-to-ear, babies are dumb and don’t know DANGER DANGER!!!}

*Gurgles and coos. Breaking the legal limit for cuteness daily. The conversations I have with this child may have no literal meaning but they are the most fulfilling interactions I have each day. Who knew that “cccccccuuurrrrrrrgggggguuuuugggglllllee” back and forth for 10 minutes could make one so insanely proud and happy?

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*As mentioned above, eating is going well. He is pretty consistent in needing 5 feedings, spaced roughly 3 hours apart during the day and none at night. The resulting spit-up is still not great, sometimes I feel like he throws up his whole meal within a half-hour of eating it and sometimes he barely spits up anything. He has not had many bottles of pumped milk this month, only 2 or 3. I had so much stock-piled milk at this point with both Rowan and Keaton but things regulated relatively quickly this time so I just don’t have the supply for extra pumping. When he does have a bottle, he eats about 7 oz {BIG FAT BABY} and still has had no issue with taking a bottle other than it’s not big or fast enough for his liking. The days {and nights} of grunting are long over which brings us too…

* POOP {What? You can’t write about a baby and not mention their wee little precious shits.} Ezra went from straining to get out one extremely hard-won poop a day, to pooping at literally every single feeding this month. We were so happy and relieved when he started going more because we were so sick of a constantly grunting baby but when he starting pooping 7 times a day we were sort of over it, like, seriously baby? We see that you can do it, now you’re just showing off. We are still solely cloth diapering with prefolds and covers, breaking out the disposables only for babysitters or during laundry emergencies {“emergencies” translating to “oh shit, did you run the diapers on hot again because I totally forgot”}. After outgrowing the newborn prefolds we only bought 2 dozen of the next size up, meaning we’ve had to do laundry every other day which BLERRRG NO THANK YOU. I’m getting excited to break out Keaton’s old pocket diapers, they’re definitely easier to deal with and we have a TON of them.

And now for the not-so-awesome:

*Cradle cap. OH MY GOD. It’s icky and awful and scaley and it will not go away. Granted I haven’t really taken any aggressive action against it because Dr. Google tells me one thing really works and then half of the internet shows up commenting that “no! that way sucks do it this way!” and then the other half says “no! THAT is terrible, do it like this” and then I get paralyzed with the fear that I’ll screw up his skin and give him baby leprosy or some shit so I’ve stuck to the pediatricians original advise which is to wash his hair daily, brush the affected area several times a day with a soft baby brush and apply neosporin and vaseline when and where I can. It has tamed a bit, but the angry red patches left after the scales come off give me the sads. It just looks painful, but Ezra seems happy enough so eh, I know he’ll outgrow it.

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*Naps aside, the main frustration we have is schedules, not the baby’s but everyone else’s; we’re slowly inching closer to having a regular schedule if life would stop getting in the way. Ezra’s natural rhythm would be to sleep from 8:30pm to between 5 and 6am, eat then go back to bed until 9-9:30am. This is a PHENOMENAL schedule! The majority of parents would KILL for it… unfortunately, it just doesn’t jive with our morning routine that great because on Mon and Tues I have to get Rowan out to the bus stop right when he’d be waking up and this baby? Wakes up hungry. MAD hungry. When he wakes up with an empty tummy is actually the only time he full on cries. For now this is what’s working:

5-7am: We’re doing the aforementioned nukking when he starts waking up. This pacifies him until…

7am: Wake-up, change, feed.

7:30am: Playtime

8:15: Starts to get tired. I carry him around until…

A) 9:10 after Rowan gets on the bus {Mon and Tues} or

B) 8:35 when we have to take Keaton to preschool. {W,Th,F}

10-10:20: wake-up and eat.

10:30-10:45: Playtime

And here is where things get tricky due to different daily schedules for preschool, school, dance and shitty naps. Typically every night he’s ready for a last meal and lights out between 7:30 and 8:30pm. We’re constantly tweaking things but it’s hard when the reality is that life with three kids has too many variables to have any sort of set-in-stone schedule. It just sort of sucks because on the days we can keep him to a schedule he seems a hellava lot happier and so do I.

Ezra, this month you showed us so many awesome new things. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since we’ve had a baby but when you do something new it seriously feels like you are the first baby ever in the history of babies to be so amazing, even though I myself have produced two similarly amazing genius babies. When you gurgle out a new octave of cooing I get lost in the cadence of your sweet voice. And my favorite is when you wave your chubby hands around, grasping at air and then surprise! you’ve grabbed onto my necklace, the confused but delighted look on your face is priceless, like you’ve been out fishing but never really expected to catch anything. You are so communicative {read: LOUD} just like your brother and sister, who I’m pleased to report still love you very much, even when mama says “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m with the baby” for the one-thousandth time. None of us can get enough of you.

In the morning when I nurse you it is still dark outside. We sit in the rocking chair and I pull up the shade and peek through the side of the curtain to watch the neighborhood go from black to deep blue to pink to light. Your dad is in the shower and your rowdy siblings have yet to wake and fill the house up with their giggles. I watch as you eat, you lift your hand up and rub your own head in a soothing circular motion, a mannerism all your own, or maybe, possibly, inherited from your dad. In the quiet it is just you and it is just me and the peace I feel both humbles me and swells me with pride. It is our time and I love it almost as much as I love you.

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The bestest, most smartest, handsomest, funniest, all-around-great-guy Baby named Ezra.

It's true. I'm pretty amazing.

It’s true. I’m pretty amazing. Also: MY EYELASHES. They will take over the world one day.

What did my genius of a baby do to deserve the highest honor of Best Baby, Like, Ever? He slept through the night two nights in a row, people. And not some lame ass sleep like midnight to 5:30 because you assholes out there claiming that is sleeping through the night are NOT FOOLING ANYONE with that shit HoooooooNoooooo. My advanced super-smart-genius-baby slept from 8:30 PM-at-night-o’clock to 7 AM-in-the-morning-o’clock.

Whoooaaaaa...

Whoooaaaaa…

We’ve been rocking a pretty good night routine all month. At the end of December Ezra was going down around 9pm, and eating at around midnight and 4am, with a wake-up time around 7:30ish. Then by the end of the first week in January he started sleeping through the midnight feeding so we just went with it and he was getting up anywhere between 3:30 and 4:30 to eat, once in a while he’d make it to 5 but that just messed up our morning routine because the 8 o’clock hour is go-time for the other two so I really had to try to get him up at four or wait until seven otherwise the mornings would be a nightmare. We figured we were in for at least another 2-3 months of night feedings and we still might be, but considering I haven’t slept soundly through the night since before I got pregnant? Two nights of uninterrupted sleep is HUGE and I will take it, thankyouverymuch.

That IS amazeballs. I AM AMAZEBALLS!

That IS amazeballs. I AM AMAZEBALLS!

Even if it is short-lived, he timed this perfect as I was smote with an icky cold that knocked me down for a few days, so good baby is good. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to start researching Ivy league schools for my clearly advanced infant, or, I don’t know, college is sort of expensive and not really necessary when you’re already the smartest so maybe I’ll just go ahead and have him apply for that Rocket Science internship I’ve had my eye on.

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So, yeah. Things look a little different around here. Yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet, deciding I needed to change the header to include Ezra. The thing is, because there is always a thing, Bill designed and built my blog back in 2010 having very little knowledge about blog coding and while he did a fabulous job, it was time-consuming and a giant pain in the ass. At the time it was worth it because I was blogging very regularly and had hopes in the future of putting work into promoting it and making it a bigger, maybe even income-generating thing.

After a little time and soul-searching, I decided that what I really wanted for the foreseeable future was a home to keep our family’s memories, nothing more. Not that you can tell from the posts I put up here but I’m actually somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing so when I thought about being read on a wider scale I knew I would drive myself crazy during the editing process, because time? We just don’t have it at this point in our lives. Life morphs, evolves, in the nearly seven and a half years of being a parent, the shape of our family along with its dynamic has changed so many times. One day I might get to a place where I want to do more with this space but for now I scramble to document the big events and much of the minutiae of every day life is lost to these pages now.

At the point we’re at now, I just wanted to strip down what I had by choosing a basic wordpress theme, throw up a picture of the kids as the header and call it a day. Only neither of us could figure out how to add a picture to the header which seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world and it probably is but when you have two sleep-deprived parents of three small children, well, basically we’re idiots. So after playing around with themes and trying to get the fuuuuuureaking header image up, we broke the Internet and my blog {temporarily, obvs.} then gave up and went to bed because our brain cells were starting to jump ship out our earholes. Being a lazy asshole, I’m just leaving it bare-bones for now, but if we can’t figure out how to fix it, I’ll probably end up putting the old site back up until we figure it out, so bear with me as my super kaduper life is going to be a bit bi-polar for a while. UPDATED: Bill figured out the header! Yay Bill! {I’d say I’m sorry for publicly shaming you, but you know, shame gets shit DONE.}

Now! To distract you from these boring surroundings, I will share with you my very favorite Christmas gift. Rowan was very secretive about the gift she had made in school but she was super excited, downright giddy, to give it to us. The little stinker even sneaked out in the wee hours of Christmas morning and put it under the tree for us, right next to her own presents which I’m sure she thoroughly {illegally!} inspected. Truth is I sort of cheated because the evening after the last day of school I was going through her bag and in it was a rough draft of her present. I didn’t realize what it was at first, it was just a little stapled book, but I’m so glad I was able to read it first out of her presence because tears were just streaming down my face I was laughing so hard which probably would have insulted her had she witnessed it. Thankfully, I was much more composed on Christmas morning.

Here is her book. The harrowing story of her mother. A mother who, against all odds, takes naps, goes shopping and drinks…

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I can’t decide if my favorite part is when I ditch everyone to take a nap or when I take my small child out on a shopping trip where I start drinking. A few people who read it tried to make me feel better by saying maybe I was just being mean and not letting her get a drink, that it didn’t necessarily mean it was alcoholic. So I asked Rowan why I wouldn’t let her have a drink in her story and she replied, “I can’t have those kinds of drinks mommy. They have booze in them.” You guys, I don’t even know what her teacher must think but for now I don’t care because despite the storyline, this was by far the best present I have ever received.

Also, just so we’re all up to speed, on the flip side was Bill’s story, in which he gave hugs, cooked her dinner and went to work like a responsible parent.

Now, Internet, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go make a martini, do some shopping and take a nap.

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