Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ian's trip to the ER

Last night, Ian was climbing into the chair for dinner and somehow biffed and smacked his lip on the chair.  He was bleeding pretty bad, so Bryan took him screaming to the ER.  He ended up with 3 stitches inside his upper lip and 4 prizes from the toybox there.  He also came home with 2 cartons of ice cream, and bags of gummy worms and circus peanuts (Bryan says that since they are soft, he can eat them while he is recouperating.

Here he is this morning.  I think it swelled up more overnight.  He looks pretty monstrous.  Poor guy!

Thankgiving Recap

We had Uncle Scott and Rachel here, Papa and Gaga, and Aunt Deb and Uncle Tom here for Thanksgiving.  There was lots of food, lots of drinking, and lots of games (and some injuries).
This is what Scott looked like after 3 nights of Maddex games.
Scott schools Rachel in several rounds of full contact SPOONS...Bryan was the ultimate winner, though.
Chase's favorite game to play with Gavin now is to give Gavin a bunch of toys and then take them away.
Chase didn't much like dinner, but he had awesome hair.
Proof that I was there.
Gaga's shoulder, Papa, Deb, Tom, Ian, Scott, and Rachel...before the meal commenced.
Ted the Turkey...roasted to perfection.  I used Alton Brown's brine recipe.  It turned out YUM.
Before dinner MarioKart tournament.
Ian drives better when he makes funny faces.
Even Papa played!

Good times :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gavin- 5 months!

In some ways, it feels like Gavin has been here forever, and in others it is hard to believe that it has officially been 5 months!  

At 5 months, you sit up in that Weeble-People way, no longer depending on the tripod stance, but holding onto toys while you sit.  Unfortunately, that also means that when you lose your balance, you fall all the way over :)

You eat lots of solids- carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, bananas, avocadoes, peaches, and applesauce.  You hold your mouth open like a little bird at meal times, and sometimes cry if we don't shovel fast enough for you.

You still wake up twice a night, usually about an hour after I go to bed at night and an hour before I have to wake up in the morning.  Hope you appreciate that, because, frankly, that schedule is not convenient for me.

Your brothers ADORE you.  Chase loves to sit next to you and put his face close to yours, nose to nose, and talk at you.  Ian loves to nuzzle you and make you giggle.  You smile every time you see anyone, and your little dimples are absolutely the cutest.  

Your hair is still wild.  You definatey have a mullet and I am contemplating what I should do with that.  Although, here in NC, you kind of fit in :)

We love you so much, Guy Guy!  You light up our family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crunchy Mama

This is a public service announcement:

I am being green and crunchy over here.  I have made all of Gavin's baby food (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, bananas and avocadoes, green beans, and baby peas) and it is soooo freaking easy.  Why did I not do this before?!

I just cook everything (steam or bake it), whirl it around in the blender, then freeze it in ice cube trays.  Who knew?

This site also has really good (easy) recipes and ideas.  Check it out.

You can do it, too!  But wait until you have kids, because pureeing food when you don't is cause for concern.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sex Ed.

ACK!  Help!!  

Every once in a while, Ian gets on a kick about wanting another sibling (today he wanted one so that we could 'fill up the van').  Some days he wants a sister, others he would "weally weally weally" like another brother.  Today in the car, he told me that he wanted a brother and could I "please think about having another baby so that he could name him Jackson William, or if it is a girl, she could be named Zoe?"

Several minutes into this conversation, it took a scary little turn, and all of a sudden I was dancing around a birds-and-bees conversation while doing 70mph in a packed minivan.   I tried to satisfy him with vague answers when he asked how the baby got into my belly.  "You need a mommy cell and a daddy cell", "When you are married you can decide to have babies", "When two people love each other very very much...".  But every time I tried one of those, he would answer back with, "But HOW do you get the cells together?"  I even tried the "Let's talk about this when you are a little older,"  but that just stirred up more interest ("Well, can't you just give me a hint...?")

So, my question is...when did you have the official real live talk with your kids about this?  I don't necessarily want to go into all of the details with him, because he is, well, FOUR, and also because he is a very inquisitive little boy.  I can just imagine the conversations he will have with all the little girls and boys at preschool when he is armed with this kind of information.

What do I do?  I ended tonight's conversation by throwing Bryan under the bus- I told him that it was something I'd have to talk to Daddy about, and we had to wait until he got home.  That buys me 24 hours.  Maybe he will just forget.  But if he doesn' there some book for 4 year olds that can explain baby-making in a simple, non-scarring way?  Oy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spotlight Stealer

I was trying to take a photo of Gavin in this outfit to show to my friend Jacki (hi Jacki!) who gave it to him.  But Chase had other plans.  He has just recently discovered that he LOVES the camera
 and has decided that no shot is complete without him.

I love Gavin's expression in the background- "What the WHAT?!  That was my frame!"

Gavin can't even be in the background, either, apparently.
Ho, hum.  It is tough being so fabulous.
Notice Chase's foot is in this one.  I guess it doesn't have to be his face in the picture, as long as there is some body part.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Guy is Growing Up

Guess who can tripod sit now?!  
This guy!  

BTW, have I mentioned Gavin's nickname yet?  Chase gave it to him.  He can't say Gavin yet, but he can say "Guy Guy!!" with much gusto and enthusiasm.  It is cute.  Very much so.


Ian wanted to make a giant ice cube yesterday.  This evening he and Chase experimented with it.  Okay, so mostly they just licked it and froze their little fingers off.  Cheapest 1/2 hour of entertainment EVER.

(This is the face that Chase makes when he says, "Coooooooold!"

Ian's Proposal

Angelle and I carpool for school drop-offs and pick-ups for our 4 kids.  She always drops-off and I always pick up.  When we get home every day, Ian walks Leah and Erin to their house 2 doors down.  

Sometimes Leah runs ahead because she doesn't want to be walked home.  Sometimes they walk together.  Sometimes Ian helps her carry her backpack.  They are really quite cute.

Anyway.  Today they walked to her house hand-in-hand.  I stood in the doorway and watched because 1) I am terrified that some psychopath is going to drive down the culdesac and snatch one of the kids, and 2) He is really really adorable to watch when he doesn't know you are looking.  When they got to Leah's house, she went inside and I heard Ian calling behind her:

"Bye, Leah!  I love you!"  She closes the door.  Ian must have been afraid she didn't hear, because then he put his mouth really close to the door-crack and yelled again, "I love you, Leah!"  Then, "I'm going to marry you, Leah!"

And just for good measure, he opens up the door and sticks his head in, and hollers again, "I'm going to marry you, Leah!"

Such a romantic, that boy.

Language Explosion!!

I knew that since Chase started walking that he has been more focused on developing his speech, but it wasn't until today when his speech therapist asked how many words he was saying now that I realized how well he is really doing.

I stopped counting the words that I could remember at 25!!  25 words!!  My almost non-verbal boy has more than 25 real words!!  O.M.G!

Granted, some are not all that intelligible to people outside of our family and therapists, but they are deliberate and precise for him.  I am so incredibly proud of him!   ...and relieved, too.  The thought of sending him to school 3 full days a week without any words was scaring me, I won't lie.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In Memory of Grandma Maddex

Grandma Maddex passed away this evening.  Bryan and I just took a walk through all the photos we have of the times that we spent with her in the past few years.  We were fortunate enough to see her a couple times a year at the cottage Michigan and her place in Hilton Head Island.  

We loved the time that we spent with her, and are so very happy that she was able to meet (and spoil) Ian and Chase.  Ian's middle name (Callaghan) is actually her maiden name, so he will always have a special bond with her.

RIP, Grandma.  Be at peace.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

Ian's class puts on a concert for "Feast Day" at his preschool.  He's been singing songs to himself like "You don't want to be a turkey on Thanksgiving Day."

He also informed me that his class will be dressing up like Pildrums.  I said, "Oh, do you mean pilgrims?"  He looked at me like I was a 2 year old, and said, "No, Mom.  It's pill-drum.  I will be a pill-drum."

I asked him what a pildrum was (you know, since he was such an expert and all) and he replied, "Um, I don't exactly know."

Can't wait for Feast Day :)  I'm pretty sure Chase will be dressing up as a turkey at school, too.  Should be some cute photos.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Chick or the Egg?

Aunt Debi and Uncle Tom are the proud parents of 10 baby chicks that hatched on Tuesday.  We went to visit them this evening and Ian totally fell in love with them.

On the way home he was telling me about how much he liked them and how good he was with them ("I held one and I didn't even break his bones!!")  and trying to convince me that he should be able to have a baby chick at our house.  He came up with many arguments for the chick (I could keep them inside in my closet!  I could put them in a cage!) and I countered them mostly with the fact that the HOA would frown upon it.  

Finally, he made one last ditch attempt:  Well, Mom, having a chick is much more fun than eating an egg.  

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Easiest Baby Ever. Not.

Remember when I said that Gavin was the most laid back, easiest going baby ever?  Yeah.  Sooo.  Not so much.

He decided that he wasn't a bottle baby a while ago...actually, he decided that he wouldn't take a bottle on the day that I was out for 8 hours on a girls-day-out wine tasting event.  He grudgingly took a couple ounces the entire time.  Since then he has taken NO bottles.

To top that off, Bryan's magic Daddy Power doesn't work on him.  Both other boys could be magically lulled to sleep in his arms.  Not Gavin.  Oh no.  Tonight I left for 2 hours to go see Angelle's new baby boy (welcome to the world, Adam!), and when I came home, Bryan was ready for a shot of Tequila and Gavin was screaming in his crib. 

Now, there is a teensy bit of total elation knowing that I am the only one in the whole world that can make this baby boy happy (he will magically quiet down as soon as I hold him- literally.  It is kind of funny)...but at the same time, um, hello?  I have to leave him behind sometimes!  Not to mention, Bryan feels totally inadequate watching him.

I liken it to when I had to leave my 4th grade class when I went on maternity leave for Ian.  They were my best class ever.  But they almost *ALMOST* ran the sub off.  I actually had to come in, on my leave, to yell at them.  I feel like that.  He's a good kid, really.  He is just a holy terror, whiny mama's boy when I am not around.


The boys were super cute as my skeleton crew on Halloween.  We were still in NY and the plan was to go out trick-or-treating, then load the car and the kids and head for NC.

Ian was WAY excited to go out.  I think this is the first year that he was more excited than I was to beg for candy.  Chase didn't care that much, except I think he liked the skeleton costume.  He was especially interested in wearing the gloves, for intervals of 3 seconds.

The best part of trick-or-treating (except reveling in the knowledge that my skeletons were the cutest in the whole upstate NY area) was that we went to my old house.  After we told the owner that we built her house, she invited us in for a tour.  It was really really neat to see the house (I lived there from 2-12 years old) and to see how it has changed.  Her little girl has my old room :)  We also stopped in at all the old neighbors' houses (no one we knew is left).  You know, even though I haven't lived there in 17 years *holy crap* it still feels like home.  

On a related note, I think it should be socially appropriate to knock on people's doors and ask for a tour.  Even if you haven't lived there before.  Because seeing other people's houses is fun.

The funniest event of the evening was when I pointed a skeleton sitting in a van out to Ian.  As soon as Ian looked over, the guy (probably a dad waiting on his kids) wearing the skeleton mask turned abruptly and stared at him...and then Ian shrieked and jumped about 5 steps ahead of us.  Total high-pitched-screamed-like-a-little-girl shriek.  SO funny.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I call you Mommy.  But my friends call you Laurie.  And Daddy is the one who calls you Babe.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Aw Shucks!

Our annual trip to Aw Shucks!

Say, "Hi Mom!"
I love Ian's face here.  And the fact that he is hugging Chase and not tackling him...
Chase loved jumping into Bryan's arms off the giant haystack.  Well, not quite jumping- still working on that milestone, but he loved stepping off the hay bales.
Awww :)  The happy brothers in the pumpkin pile...
It was pretty chilly out.  Gavin stayed tucked in the sling, tucked in my sweatshirt...and I made him wear that ridiculous hat.


Ok, we survived the trip to NY and back.  The drive really wasn't all that bad, you know, if you like The Incredibles enough to watch it 8 times in a row, or if you enjoy driving bleary-eyed through the mountains at 3am.  

Really, though, it wasn't all that bad.  The kids were mostly quiet for the ride, and the company once we got there was very, very good.  The weather was beautiful for the first 3 days, then slightly rainy after that.  We got in some good park time, a trip to Lollypop Farm, some good cider and fresh fry cakes, and visited with family that we only got to see a handful of times throughout the last 3 years.

We visited with my grandparents (that's Big GG and Little GG to the boys), Aunt Sue and her husband Dahni, my cousin Chris (who has been in Japan teaching for 3 years- I think- ) and his girlfriend Sakiko, my other cousin Mike and his wife Jessica, and my other cousin, Jonathan.  We also paid a visit to my great aunt Babs and great uncle Bob, who were completely charmed by Chase.  Big GG, unfortunately, ended up in the hospital for the last few days of our trip.  We didn't put him was a nasty bout of pneumonia.  He is being well taken care of now, though, and is on the mend.  So, yeah, ups and downs, but I always love going back there...and it is always fun sharing my guys with all the northerners.

Bonus:  there is a new Goodwill store close to my grandparents' house.  It was so clean and well organized.  I went there like 3 times.  Ian got a new pair of Lands End boots for $2, 2 pairs of pretty good fake fuzzy Crocs for $3,  and Connect Four for $.99, I got new jeans and a sweatshirt, and Chase got a new book.  Gaga got a pumpkin carving set with neat light-brite like lights and a puzzle to do with Ian.  We scored big.  The only way we made it back home in the van was due to my dad's amazing packing power, otherwise someone would have been strapped to the roof.

And now, too many pictures:

Cousin Chris hanging out with Chasey at the good BBQ place.
Little GG was an excellent baby sitter.
Ian digs into his Abbott's frozen custard.  I am kind of glad that there isn't an Abbott's in NC, because I would be 300 pounds.
Ian and Gaga at the park.
Gaga, Ian, Sakiko, Chasey, and Chris at the GG's house.
Chase is such a big boy now, navigating the entire playground on his own.  I only occassionally get freaked out at how close he hangs over the sides.
Who's job was it to rake up the baby?
Gaga and Ian on the slide- young at heart, that woman is.  And young on the outside, too, of course.  (Hi Mom!)