Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting outnumbered

I had to wake up a little bit earlier than normal this morning, but it was for a very, very worthy cause.

Cus I got to go spend over an hour chatting with a really nice ultrasound tech and gaze at this awesome person coming into our lives:

This one didn't automatically offer as much information as the one we had with Elliot, but she was super willing to answer my questions, and after I started asking so many she started telling me things without my asking.  Since we have two kids now, and while Kendra is rocking her potty training, it's still not even been a whole week and it seemed pretty soon to ask someone else to watch her, I went by myself and Grant stayed home with Big Brother and Big Sister.

The technician was really nice and just asked me straight up as soon as she put the device on my belly if we wanted to know the gender, which was awesome to not have to wait for, and I eagerly replied that we did.  "Are you sure?"  I guess sometimes people change their minds...?  Weird.  But yes, I was sure.

Aaaaand, the answer to the $64,000 question...

So Kendra and I find ourselves in the minority, but we all think that's just fine.  We don't have a single boy name in mind (there were a few leftovers from our list when we decided on Kendra's name, but Elliot's was one I had my heart set on, so I kinda think Daddy gets the major vote in this one.

Now that we know, things are a little more real--it's not just a baby, it's another sweet little boy for our family.

We can NOT wait!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friends and Enemies

Now that Elliot is older and more interactive, Kendra enjoys getting to actually play with him on a regular basis.

This was the scene that played out one afternoon while I was in the kitchen taking care of some things:

She really seems to get a kick out of making him laugh, which is endearing to me.  Not to mention a huge help as you wouldn't believe how much of our housework gets done with this guy either sitting on my hip or hauled around in our backpack baby carrier.

Twice a year there are a couple of community consignment sales where I stock up for the kids' clothes and whatever toys I find that strike my fancy for cheap.  I walk out with at least my big Ikea bag full to the brim and more and I've never spent more than just over $100 for nearly full seasons' worth of wardrobes for both kids.  I find a lot of great stuff and can really stretch our budget (seriously, there are going to be some ca-YOOT pictures on this blog this summer)--I wouldn't even be able buy more than a handful of outfits for each of our kids at Wal-Mart for that price.  Coming home with so many clothes, however, I always have a giant pile of hangers that the clothes were hung on for the sale.  I was surprised to see what happened to them:

But, it's not just all fun and games around here.  For all intents and purposes and in spite of the fun they sometimes have together, Elliot is still Kendra's baby brother.  And sometimes, curious baby brothers can be downright annoying, amIright?  So I do understand that he frustrates her sometimes (sometimes a lot), and I think that's pretty normal.  But her instinctual way of dealing with those annoying moments can be rather...physically aggressive in a way I'd rather she temper.  So I've been teaching her alternatives to just pushing him down and yelling at him.

If he has a toy she wants, she knows that she has to give him something else before yanking it out of his hands.  If he approaches her while she's playing with something that she wants to play with by herself, she knows that she has to take the playing up to a level he can't reach like on the couch or up to the table or to a room where she can shut the door and play by herself.

But sometimes, she finds herself in a situation that she can't resolve on her own.  For those cases, I've taught her a phrase to get my attention so that I know she needs some help.

Yep, you heard us right.  I've totally taught her to say, "Mom, Elliot's buggin' me..." so that I know to come intervene, mostly because the alternative is usually a form of violence, and that I prefer to avoid.

And I reckon that those words are actually a fairly accurate way to articulate what she's feeling in those moments...

I guess learning how to deal with siblings is just part of life, and I'm actually really grateful that it's part of their lives.  Even though he bugs her sometimes, Elliot clearly enriches her life and our whole family dynamic with his sweet personality.

I sure am the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world...


I wasn't sure if I would do it, but I totally did.  I got laaaaazy with the second baby.  With Kendra I followed the recommended schedule and immediately introduced solids--rice cereal at 4 months, fruits and veggies at 6 months, etc.  Well, while we did give Elliot some cereal at 4 months, it was really a rather isolated occurrence (and a video with extremely muffled sound, for some reason).  And then the times I pulled out of lazy-2nd-time-mommy mode to give him more solids, he totally did not respond well at all.  Every single time we tried something, he gagged.  And if we kept trying, the gagging morphed into...something more disgusting.

I got reeeeally resistant to giving him any more solids after this happened three or four times in a row, and the result was he was a milk-only baby for quite a while.

But we did eventually find a way of giving him solids that was effective and didn't result in grossies.  Just give him a bite of what we're eating.

This kid eats a LOT of bananas, but we also just put a spoonful of whatever we're eating for dinner onto the tray of his high chair, and he does really well with it.  I don't really blame him...that jarred food looks and smells pretty gross, I can't bring myself to taste it.  He chokes on baby food peas but he gobbles actual ones.

I know that I comment often about how fascinated I am by how different our children are, but it's sort of a recurring theme in our lives.  They are both so fantastic but soooo different from each other.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that they both have the same parents!  It'll be very interesting to see how those things develop throughout the years...

In other news...
I don't have any pictures ready yet, but Kendra started potty training this week.  After a rather rough end to the first day which had me in tears--not out of frustration with her but rather my being convinced that she was having a hard time because of my horrible parenting-- things have progressed really well.  She's graduated out of being nekkid from the waist down to wearing the Big Girl Panties.  She actually only wears them if I stick them in the pants and put it all on her as one package, but whatever works, right?  She's pretty pleased with them once they're on her, it's pretty cute.  Though it was sad at first, I happened picked a week with a nasty cold snap and she begged for pants the first couple of days because it was so cold.  Sorry kid, it's the first stretch on our calendar in months where there hasn't been some big event marked that would have interrupted us basing our lives around this, so I felt like I had to jump on it.  She's also moved from us setting a timer and sitting on the toilet every 10 minutes to letting her figure it out (while she plays in very specific areas of the house).  She's doing really well, I am SO proud of her!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Passing the time

**WARNING! The following account contains mentions of bodily fluids and gross elements that may disgust some audiences.  Reader disgretion is advised.**

It has been a rough, rough evening for the Farnsworths.  At about 11pm on the dot, we suddenly heard a terribly sad mixture of coughing, retching and sobbing from Kendra's room.  She had started and continued to throw up as we found her and tried to comfort her while also guiding her to a place where she could finish.  Within minutes, just as Grant got her cleaned up and while I was working my way through the mess in the room, we heard frantic screaming from the room Elliot was in to find him also covered in sick.

And about an hour later, as everything calmed down, they both did it again.

It wasn't even like they were setting each other off, they were in separate rooms both times and both times they totally barfed within minutes of each other, it was the craziest, smelliest, grossest thing.

A little more than an hour after that, Kendra did it one more time (Elliot had actually also been sick earlier in the day but we had just said, "Well, that's strange..." and Grant chalked it up to him getting too worked up but either way their score is even).  We have learned that she is unfortunately very averse to vomiting into baggie-lined bowls, tubs or toilets and prefers spewing onto carpets or all over Daddy instead (he literally got it in his eyeball).

I miss all our hard wood floors in Chicago tonight.

I had bathed them both before putting them down for the night so they'd be clean for church tomorrow, which they both HATE (Kendra enjoys it well enough once we stop messing with her head, but Elliot screams the whole time) and had to do them both again because they threw up all over themselves and smelled awful.  Though there's no way we're bringing these germs to church!  You're welcome.

Did I mention we'd let Kendra watch a movie in our bed after the first time?  And had laid Elliot down in his bed with clean towels and a clean pillow seconds before he threw up the second time?  There has been a LOT of yuckied up clothing, bedding, pillows, towels (because Elliot still likes to cuddle up with them) which also means a lot of laundry that I'm not willing to let wait to dry up and sit around and smell until morning.

So.  I have some spare time for blogging at 2:30am while I wait to cycle the last unfortunate load through.

**END Disclaimer**

We don't have many pictures from the last couple of months, but we do have a few.  Last fall, for some reason it finally occurred to me to move our changing table from the kids' room (at theory they share it though many nights Elliot ends up in the Pack 'N Play in the third bedroom) into our hall bathroom--since we live on the ground floor, it's big enough to accommodate a wheelchair so there's more room in it than in the bathrooms of other apartments in our building/complex.

And since we have two kids in diapers (I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of terrified of potty training, but it is around the corner), sometimes we need to stash the more nosy one somewhere out of the way so he doesn't get into the diaper we just peeled off of him while we deal with his big sister.

"Mom?  Have you seen this really, really ridiculously good-looking baby over here?"

We've also been really interested and surprised to see the differences between Elliot and Kendra.  She was always a very independent little thing, while she's always needed to be in the same room, she's never been too clingy or needy beyond that.  Elliot, on the other hand...well, I will forever remember his infancy like this:

"Um.  You're totally not holding me.  Not sure if you noticed that."

He pulls himself up to my chair or my pants very, very often.  Apparently, this kid's place is as close to me as possible most of the time.

 And in other news, after months of getting faked out with whiny days I was sure meant teeth were coming (in retrospect, I think he might have been getting headaches from his whacked out vision), he finally cut a tooth!

I know, it's barely visible, but it's there.  This is literally the first day we felt his gums after seeing a huge white bulge and there was a tooth there.  Since this picture was taken on March 1, he's popped out three more and is working through a fourth right now.

Have I mentioned that our local library is so awesomely kid-friendly it blows my mind?  They have an extensive play area set up in the childrens' section with a train table, a blocks/legos table (they rotate what's on that one), dozens of wooden puzzles, dozens more games and activities, and a playhouse with shelves full of stuffed animals and puppets.  We go there pretty regularly.  Sometimes Elliot naps while Kendra plays and sometimes he gets down and checks things out for himself...

And sometimes, Kendra even takes a break from plowing through one thing to another to play with him for a moment...

Back in December, we made some goals about some things we wanted to be doing individually and as a family and one of those things was reading the scriptures together.  So now, as part of our routine just before we put the kids down, we pull out a copy of the Book of Mormon we acquired for this purpose and Grant reads a bit (half a page each night) while I hold Elliot and Kendra has a special job of her own until she can help read, too.  We hand her a highlighter and she marks the verses we read together.  She often chooses to delegate this responsibility to one of her many little friends/helpers around this house.  The evening we took this picture, she chose her special lamb she's been sleeping with since she was a tiny baby:

It's become a neat and special thing we do together every day as a family.

And speaking of Kendra, of course, she had a birthday already two months ago.  Unfortunately, she was fighting a pretty nasty cold so our celebrations were simple, but we did take this video to talk to her for a few minutes about her big day.

Since then she's asked for "balloons, pet store, birthday party and presents" a time or two and also if we've mentioned anyone else's birthday, she's been pretty sure that person gets all those things, too, like it's the universal definition of "birthday".

Life is so simple when you're three, isn't it?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lazy Sundays

I haven't been a terribly efficient blogger the past couple of months, have I?  I'll pull the card, I just haven't been feeling well.  In fact, we've had a lot of Sunday afternoons when we've come home from church and just piled into bed like this:

That is, until someone notices Daddy behind the camera and it turns into this:


But not only am I feeling much better, having those two to snuggle up to during the Bleh was soothing since I knew the whole time that I was only feeling icky at the moment because a year from now there would be a whole other wonderful little person to fill up the bed and snuggle, too.

Not a bad light at the end of the tunnel, if you ask me...

Baby #3 due Sept 8th!

(Yes, we know what causes it.)