Friday, May 31, 2013

Daddy's Helper, Vol 2

Elliot has long since demonstrated an interest in Grant's tools and projects.  Grant bikes to school every day and as such brings his bicycle in every few months to maintain it so that it functions at optimum efficiency.

One evening he asked me if it'd be okay for him to do this and my only hesitation was that Elliot was still up.

He didn't cause too much of a problem but he certainly was fascinated...


This winter, I've had my hands full.  And my lap, too.  (Who am I kidding?  This scene played out often through the spring and is still going strong as summer comes up from around the corner as well...)  My cuddly baby, Elliot, is an excellent big brother...but as far as he's concerned, he still has an official, marked SPOT on my lap.  Paxton is just going to have to scoot over sometimes.

But it's certainly not all shoving around for the prime real estate for Mommy snuggles.  Elliot is a downright doting big brother, and is so sweet to Paxton.  He even takes it upon himself to test all the toys to make sure they're working properly...

I was worried about bumping him out of the Family Baby spot so quickly, but he seems to love having Paxton around.

But I can't say I'm all that surprised, he had a good model of what an older sibling should be.  Kendra has always treated Elliot well, and while she admittedly gets frustrated with him and his lack of respect for personal boundaries (and other traits of being a toddler), she always handles her frustrations so well and more often than not, can be found playing with (or at least near) him.

And she's pretty great to Paxton also.  One day, Paxton started crying in a pretty distressed way while I was changing Elliot's diaper when he suddenly stopped.  I called out to Kendra asking what had happened while I was in the bathroom with Elliot and her reply was, "I'm just making Paxton happy!"  And when I stepped into the room a few moments later, sure enough, I found her standing by his swing and he was smiling and cooing with delight.

She's an awesome big sister!

It can get crazy around here, but all in all, I think they have a pretty fun time together.  Scenes like the following are my favorite.

I don't get the camera pulled out for them all, but I get to witness them just about every day.

Because I am the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Elliot's bedhead

We cut Elliot's hair with a pair of clippers we own.  We're cut-our-hair-at-home sort of people.  I hold off as long as I can to cut it, because the buzzing of the clippers really upset him and I just don't have the heart to put him through it very often.  But that means that when he's due for a haircut, he usually runs quite a bit overdue, and the hair starts sticking out at every little angle all over (though that cowlick in the front was the first thing I noticed about him when he was born and it's likely going to plague his hairline as long as it's that far out onto his forehead).

And the best part is that his personality is as adorable as his face.  He is just a super fun, super sweet little guy!

Capturing Paxton

We've been trying really hard to make sure that we're photographing Paxton at least somewhat comparably to as much as we did our oldest child when she was a baby.  It's hard though, because we have two other subjects hanging around.

I think we do alright for our cause, though.  He's got dozens of shots of the first months of his life.

Sometimes we get the camera out after the others are in bed and he's hanging out with us late-night style...

Other times, I get down on the floor and try to capture life on his level.  This involves lots of barrel distortion, but I think the shots are still pretty cute.

And of course, sometimes there are just super memorable moments happening right in front of you that you want to make sure get recorded.

Like these demonstrating the adorable way he tended to suck on his bottom lip for extended periods of time.  SO.  CUTE!

Then there's these from one of the many times babywearing came to the rescue in our house.  He is pretty much out of it now (though it is almost five months after these pictures were taken...), but after the very beginning stage was over, Paxton could get REALLY fussy in the evenings.  But if we put him down, he'd just scream on end...wouldn't eat, wouldn't take a pacifier, was was nerve wracking because he'd start doing this when I needed to be cooking dinner and otherwise filling that homemaking role I love so much of helping the rest of the family with the evening routine.

Finally, I'd strap him in the Moby Wrap.  Immediate silence.  And, as I'd go about my business, he would never last long before he'd just suddenly set his head against my chest, fast asleep.  Poor thing!

And lest he look through our archives and start to think that Daddy never played with him, we have evidence of that, too...Daddy is quite fond of each of his babies.

I remember telling Elliot the day he was born (I'm pretty sure that I've already explained that I talk to my infants as if they can understand me perfectly--especially on the their first day out here with me), "It feels like you're going to be this small forever, but I know you're not..."  And it's so true.  They grow SO fast!  Most of the time, I'm relieved of that and think it's a great thing.  But there is a sweetness to having a child in your care who's so small you can wrap him up in a blanket and hold him in your arms...

It feels like these nights last forever when you're in the middle of them...but it's so crazy how one day you wake up, and they're over.  These pictures are only five months old and he's already a very different baby now...

Someday...they're going to grow up and get married and start blogs of their own, aren't they?  Eek!

Angry Birds in action

For months before Christmas, Kendra was asking for, and I quote, "An Angry Birds collection."  Turns out, Amazon has just that, so I put the lot of them in my Wish List and waited and watched.  And I lucked out!  They went on major sale a couple of weeks beforehand.

She has a lot of fun enacting her own real-life games of Angry Birds.  I really love how this series captures the selection, the wind-up and the toss.

She certainly has herself some fun with this setup.  We have ourselves some fun watching her do it (and even playing with her sometimes).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sleepy little boys

The longer I'm a parent, the more I'm convinced, mortality is tough at any stage.  I spend a lot of time trying to empathize with each of my children.  This winter, I've pondered how exhausting it must be to be a toddler.

First, there was a time I took him out shopping with me.  Since he was the only child I had, I made a lot more stops than I normally do.  A few hours into our trip, he just clean passed out...

And then, the day after Christmas, he was just sitting on Grant's lap and the same thing happened...just out of nowhere, he was out like a light.

About a week later, he wasn't feeling well.  He found a towel and at first, he just carried it around.  But then he'd come up to Grant and ask him to arrange it just so for maximum coziness.

Then another week after that, he asked to watch something one morning after we got back from the gym, so I set up him with his favorite snack to pass a little time while I cleaned up the house a bit before we needed to take Kendra to school.  I found this less than ten minutes later.

Paxton, on the other hand...Paxton is rapidly developing a reputation for fighting sleep.  Someday, when he is grown, if he calls me to tell me how tired he is and wishes he could have time to take a nap I will be sorely tempted to inform him of how difficult it often was to convince him to take a nap when he was an infant.

There was one evening in particular when he just could not be soothed.  We ruled out all of the usual suspects one by one and he was still so distressed but unable to fall asleep for whatever reason.  I finally strapped him in the Moby wrap and there was immediate silence.  Less than ten minutes later, he just laid his head on my chest, totally unconscious.

I guess it must be hard work being our boys--just so exhausting when you're as cute as they are...

Snow much fun with cousins!

We took advantage of our proximity to Seth and Kristina right after Christmas and headed to see them.  There was lots of snow on either end of our drive there, and the kids decided to come out while Seth cleared the sidewalks.

And while we were inside, Alivia was quite taken with her little cousin Paxton, and we were delighted to see her be the very first one to ever get him to really laugh for us.

She is going to be a terrific big sister!


A picture is worth a thousand words, so we're up to like...a trillion words on this blog?  Give or take?

But this time I figured videos would tell the story best.  Even if I'm only getting around to tell it five months later.

First, the big reveal.

Then, we start with the stockings.  Stockings are getting pretty fun to fill.

And after everything gets opened, you go back to enjoy the spoils.

And that means everybody.  Daddies, too.

Consider that last one my belated Christmas gift to you all.  :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Christmas and May

I try to keep the "highlight" posts very evenly distributed--if one post focuses on one child, I try to make sure that I get another one up ASAP featuring the other two.  Call it a quirk that formed from childhood experiences.

But Kendra's going to have to share her thunder today.  Yesterday, I posted pictures of each of the boys while I let a video upload of Kendra...but then I forgot to post the video.  And when I went back to fetch it today, I found another video that I uploaded the day before yesterday and never got around to posting.

So.  About Kendra.

Grant's Sympathy Voice burst into existence during my first pregnancy, but over these years it has evolved and developed into new and equally delightful little "isms" between us.  However, now that Kendra has not been a resident in my womb for over four years (?!), she picks up on it and participates as well.

The words, "Musha, musha, musha," get used quite often around this place.

Monday was a particularly beautiful day, so when the boys and I picked Kendra up from preschool, I called Grant and we did something we've been talking about since we moved here.  We went to the Arboretum across the street from the business school.

And the tulips were especially beautiful--it's been raining every day since so I doubt they're in good as shape now, but all of us enjoyed them.  Especially Elliot.

Gah.  These guys are so much fun, words don't even do it justice!

Delicious Pineapple

First, here's an adorable picture of Elliot in a box that I haven't managed to slap into another post and think it would be a little silly to put in its own post.

This winter, I've been buying fresh pineapple and cutting it myself rather than buying it precut.  That means that sometimes, there are large pieces of pineapple around because a mother never knows when she's going to have to drop what she's doing to attend to her children.

One evening, Elliot managed to swipe one of them and dig in.