Monday, December 18, 2017

Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Shows

Given all the craziness happening at our house right now, Christmas totally snuck up on us.  I can't believe we are 1 week out!! We have been packing in all the Christmasy fun we can handle!

Starting with the annual CHES Breakfast with Santa.  Eric was properly skeptical of the big guy....

Then we had the CHES Holiday Show.  This year the theme was "Toyland" and per usual, the teachers just carried the babies across the stage.  Eric was the first one out with his beloved Ms. Shatavia.  He didn't cry - just looked mostly confused.  I couldn't really blame him!

The day before the show I came to pick him up and saw this.  He was sitting in the hall with Ms. Shatavia - his favorite teacher.  He loves her and apparently she can't leave the room without him crying.  On this day she had to go work on decorations for the show and he was crying, so she just took him with her!

And various baby art projects decorate the hallway:

Then we had the Kinkaid Singing & Sharing show.  Olivia had been practicing her songs for weeks and was so excited for the show.  For the last day of the semester, they went to school for one hour - to perform the show for the parents - and it was free dress (no uniforms!).  She was thrilled!  Sadly, Matt couldn't join us but I tried my best to take pics and tape it all.

And finally, we planned a brunch with Santa & gingerbread house decorating at La Table and invited Mimi/Grandpa to come along with us. 

One old pro, one still skeptical baby...

I was SO SO happy when Matt woke up that morning feeling well and decided to join us.  It just wouldn't have been the same without him.


Eric was ready for a nap, but he hung in there like a champ!

And he perked right up when he saw Santa (as long as mommy was holding him)

Olivia was a little more shy around Santa than I thought she would be, but this toothless wonder perked right up when she found the chocolate fountain.  She went back at least 5 times, telling me one time that the previous trip didn't count because Mimi didn't lift her up high enough! (notice the 2 plates in front of her!)

The grandkids with Mimi & Grandpa...

Mimi & I helped Olivia with the gingerbread house:

While Matt, Grandpa & Eric watched some sports at the bar ;)

Monday, December 11, 2017

This & That

We have been trying to settle into life with a back-to-work mommy and a hurt daddy.  Luckily, the kids have been taking it all in stride!

Eric is by far the littlest in his class.  And being the only non-mobile baby is tough y'all!

He continues to love our daily "lunch dates."

Miss Olivia has been losing teeth like its her job.  This past Sunday was a two-for-one when mommy pulled out the top tooth in the morning and daddy pulled the bottom one before bed!

On Saturday morning I was organizing Eric's room (out with the 3 month clothes, in with the 6 month ones!) while the kids were playing on the floor.  In the spirit of true feminism and equal opportunity, I heard Olivia told Eric "Eric, you're a boy. You need to learn about trucks!"  (we have some work to do, clearly..)

And building a gingerbread house.  And by "building" I really mean eating all the candy/icing.  I don't even have a "finished product" picture because literally this is the best it got.  Once she realized these little balls were gumballs, it was basically all downhill for the house.

And on Sunday we went to Breakfast with Santa (and the Stephensons) at Westside.  

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow Day!

This week was a hard one.  Hardest one we've had in a while.  Matt tore his ACL really badly and had surgery on Monday.  He was sick and sad and in a lot of pain.  It was just a high-stress week at our house and hard on all of us to see poor Matt feeling so badly.   

So when we woke up on Friday morning to snow, I felt like it was just the boost we needed to get through to the weekend.  Especially for Olivia who has unfortunately borne the brunt of short fuses, a nervous mamma, and sick daddy this week.  She has been SUCH a trooper and a huge help to us.  She has been wishing for snow for a year now, and was SO excited to come out Friday morning and see our house covered in it!

There was enough snow on the cars for a snowman!

This is probably a once in 20 year event, but I'm glad she got to see snow!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

6 Months with Eric

This post is one I have been dreading basically since before Eric was born.  Although I was able to negotiate an amazing 6 month maternity leave that was gracious and generous - leaving my babies is never something I look forward to.  While I tried my best to savor every moment of it, this 6 month deadline loomed over me.

These pics pretty well sum up 6 months - chewing on everything, drooly, and happy


While they aren't twins, these 2 are definitely siblings:
Physically, Eric is doing great.  He can roll over both ways, he can sit unassisted, and he still loves the jumperoo and the walker.

Being able to sit has been a great thing because I can leave him for a minute or 2 and he will happily play with the toys around him.

Obviously the biggest news this time is that he started day care at CHES.  Of course it was easier this time since we had been through it before.  The teachers were all new but they are all very nice and welcoming.   My plan was for him to start at school about 2 weeks before I went back to work.  But, things don't always work out as planned, so I ended up starting a little early.  Here is our "first day" picture:

He looks a little happier than poor O on her first day away from mamma.

Socially, it took him about 2 weeks to settle in to daycare and the teachers.  Of course at the beginning there were lots of tears (from both mamma and baby!) but now he just sits and plays happily when I leave him.

The only bad news is his extreme dislike and refusal to take a bottle.  This stubborn little baby will go 6 hours without drinking a drop of milk.  We have tried it all -different bottles, different temperatures, fresh milk, frozen milk, different caregivers, different positions.  NOTHING.  He is strong-willed apparently.  So he is like a little bear - he nurses all night like a newborn baby - eating every 1.5-2 hours.  And stores up so that he can refuse the bottle all day.  He also refuses most solid foods.  He has tolerated a few bites of banana a few times but he certainly doesn't seem to enjoy food like his parents & sister.

Everyone assures me that it will come.  I'm hoping that being at day care and seeing the other babies will motivate a little Dean competitive spirit in him!  At the very least, I know that he is in good hands.  This was his welcome post on the class blog:

In addition to being particular about food, he is very particular about being restrained in any way.  Since he was born, he has hated his carseat or getting his diaper changed.  Recently, we have had to give him medicine for his ear infections.  I can't really describe the spitting, writhing, crying mess that he is.  It literally takes both Matt and I to restrain him and forcibly open his mouth to get the medicine in.  Then we shove his beloved paci in so that he will swallow the medicine.  At his 6-month appointment the nurse tried to give him an oral vaccine.  He wailed so loudly that the doctor came in to see what the problem was.  This is a picture before any of that started -- when Matt and the nurse were just trying to get him to stay still so they could measure how long he is.  Very opinionated, these children of mine.

That  being said, I have been struck recently by how loved this baby is.  Especially with the recent Thanksgiving holiday.  Three years ago at Thanksgiving, I was recovering from a minor surgery to remove a fibroid they thought was causing my miscarriages.  Two years ago at Thanksgiving, we were preparing for our first round of IVF.  And one year ago at Thanksgiving, we told Olivia she was going to be a big sister.  This little one has gone from being a wish and a prayer, to a fully formed little being that is truly a dream-come-true.  He is a happy, excited little guy who has spent everyday of his life surrounded by the people who love him most and gets told constantly how loved he is.  

Matt tore his ACL last week and was pretty down about it for a few days.  But one night as we were talking about it he made the comment that its hard to be upset when you look at Eric and everything we went through to get him.  All the sadness, angst, worry and disappointments led to this amazing little baby who has perfectly completed our family.  I am biased I know, but couldn't agree more.  Poor Matt may not be able to help physically around the house much because of his knee, but he's getting pretty good at being the baby whisperer:

But this picture is pretty representative of the hugs and snuggles we all get daily from this little cuddle bug.  Eric is VERY cuddly.  He has always loved being held and ever since he was little, picking him up and giving him a little love has been super effective to get him back to sleep. he gets older, the ability to put him back in his crib is becoming more difficult.  When Olivia was little, she would cry if we left, but as long as were in there, she would lay down and fall asleep if we rubbed her back.  Not Eric.  If we are in the room, he will refuse to lay down and scoot his little body up against the crib, arms out trying to reach you and sobbing until you pick him up.  The minute you get him, he immediately rests his head on your shoulder and gets cozy.  

As far as disposition goes, he really is the happiest baby on the block.  He smiles at everyone.  We were at Walgreens recently getting him some medicine because of (another!!) ear infection and he was smiling at some random woman there.  She came over and said "This baby is pure sunshine.  Just what the world needs right now."  Of course, I'm basically the most biased person on this subject but I just loved that description of him.  This baby is sunshine and I can't comment on the world, but I'm 100% certain he is just what our family needed right now.

And, I can't not comment on Olivia.  She loves him so much.  She was so proud to take him to CHES on her week off during Thanksgiving and was very worried about him crying at school.  She will bring her toys downstairs and play next to him, telling him all about what she is doing.  One of her favorite things to do is take the ornaments off the tree and play with them.  One morning I was making breakfast and caught this: "Okay Eric. This is Elsa.  She's a ballerina but she's late for class.  Can you say "Oh no!"?)