Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 7: Body Pump

In February of 2012 I headed to Buffalo for two days of intense bodypump training.  I was way out of my league and way out of shape.  I came home so sore I couldn't sit on a couch without hurting.  A couple of months later, I started teaching at Darwin's Health Club, a local gym.  I taught until I was 37 weeks pregnant with Caleb and started back six weeks after he was born.  As a stay-at-home mom, getting out of the house a couple of times a week to lift weights is a welcome change.  I love learning new choreography, lifting weights and hanging out with members of the community that I would never have met.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ben and Caleb Part 2

Today Caleb is ten months old.  It is so hard to believe that in just two very very short months he will be a year.  While I remember life before Caleb, it is hard to imagine our family without him.

Stats:  (on October 24th)
Weight:  19 pounds 8 ounces (25%)
Height:  29 1/2 inches (80%)
Head Circumference:  18.5 inches (97%--shocking, I know)
Teeth:  still just 2
Clothing size:  12 months
Shoe size: 2-3
Personality: larger than life!

Caleb still nurses 5-6 times a day but he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES solid food.  He would rather eat solids than nurse so I think he may wean earlier than Ben.  He wants to eat whatever we are eating or cooking.  He devours his breakfast lunch and dinner every day.  He loves bread, pasta and meat.  He likes vegetables over fruit.  He enjoys water from a sippy cup (or whatever he can find in Ben's sippy cups that seem to be scattered all over our house).

Sleeping:  Most of the time he is up by 7, naps at 9:30 and 1:00 and is in bed by 6:30.  From 6:30 p.m.-7 a.m. it is anyone's guess.  He sleeps really well some nights and not so well others.  He goes to bed easily on his own in his crib.

Communication:  He babbles and laughs all of the time.  Rarely does he cry.  He will cry if he is really tired and his crib isn't nearby.  Other than that, a good way to see him cry is to have someone around him get hurt or feel sad.    For instance, a couple of weeks ago Ben fell over and not only did Ben burst into tears, but Caleb did the same.  Last night we were watching the Jimmy Kimmel Halloween candy clip and the kids were scooting around.  When Caleb heard the sound of the kids on the clip crying, he joined in the tear fest. (We turned the clip right off to keep the distress at a minimum.)

Favorite Things:  He is ball obsessed, which makes Andrew incredibly happy.  He is also Ben obsessed.  Anything and everything Ben is doing, Caleb also wants to be doing.  I feel a little bad for Ben sometimes because as he would say, "Caleb is always in my business!"  He enjoys listening to books but doesn't really sit still for very long.

Skills:  He pulls himself up on everything and is walking holding onto hands or push toys.  He moves along furniture and is getting a little more daring as he tries to let go.  He claps his hands, gives high-fives, and reaches his arms up to show he is "SO BIG!"  He likes to turn pages in books, rolls cars back and forth and chase after balls.  He gives really sweet, really wet open mouthed kisses.

His personality is all sunshine.  I love getting him out of his crib in the morning because I am always met with a huge smile.  He is a little snuggler and I like to think he brings joy to others with his big grin.

Days 5 and 6: Ben and Caleb Part 1

I always knew that I would love my kids, but I didn't really realize how deep that love would be until I held each in my arm.  I could easily post a thing each day about both Ben and Caleb that I am thankful for but will try to reign it in a bit.

We'll start with Ben:
At almost 33 months old (or nearly 3!) he is a joy every single day.  From the moment he explodes into our room asking, "Is it daylight?" to the end of the day when he wants, "Just one more snuggle," my heart feels so full it could burst.  Over this past year we've watched him go from only child to big brother and even though at times he has some not so nice moments, he is developing into a very caring sibling.

Ben is an incredibly thoughtful, smart and kind little guy.  I know, I know, every parent thinks that his/her child is bright and we do as well.  He can sit for hours "reading" to himself.  He knows the street on which he lives and the names of the streets where his buddies live.  He loves when people come over, especially his Heather and Kevin.  He loves to sing songs, he remembers everything we say and do.  He takes care of Caleb by moving the dog water out of Caleb's way, taking crayons out of his hands and feeding him food off of his plate.  (He also does his fair share of taking toys, knocking over and generally trying to teach Caleb that Ben is the boss).

Every single day he learns something new.  It is fun (and a bit tiring at times) to answer the endless series of toddler questions as he discovers the world around him.  The other night he asked Andrew what salvation is, which led to a long conversation.  His imagination is continuing to develop as he builds houses with blocks, fireplaces with cardboard boxes and construction sites with whatever he can scrounge up. He loves to do puzzles and play with playdough.  He is my right hand man in the kitchen and can tell you what each mixer attachment is used for.

He is such a fun little guy to hang out with each and every day.  He has his challenging moments (ask me sometime about what happened before we went to Dayton) but overall we couldn't be happier with how he is growing.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: Sleep

My babies don't sleep through the night at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 week or even 20.  I tried everything to get Ben to sleep when he was little:  cry it out, shorter naps, longer naps, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, wearing in a carrier all day so he didn't need to be snuggled all night, on and on and on...if someone said to me, "Have you tried...?"  I probably had.

Eventually, at around 15 months, Ben started sleeping though the night and didn't look back.  When Caleb was born I was prepared again to not sleep, but even though I was prepared didn't make it any easier.  I dug in my heels in and got ready for the long haul.  For the first few months of his life he did short stretches that eventually became longer stretches.  Right around six months he slept through the night for about a week straight.  Then we went on vacation in August.  He hasn't slept through again.

Typically he wakes up two or three times for about fifteen minutes for a quick snack.  He wakes up, fusses, eats and settles in for another stretch.  During the day he is on a really consistent sleep schedule, he falls asleep on his own and wakes up cheerful.

Last week however, was awful.  Really, really awful.  Throw the baby monitor across the room awful.  He wanted to be up, playing.   I wanted to be in bed snoring.  He was winning and I was very, very, very tired.  After three nights of not sleeping, I thought I was going to fall over from exhaustion (or at the very least punch my husband.)

But then, he slept.  Long, long, long stretches.  Only one wake-up.  ONE.

Last night he slept again andon this fourth day of November I am so thankful for sleep.  I am thankful for a Monday where I was able to stay awake all day without giving in and taking a nap.  I am thankful for every precious second where I get to snuggle into my pillow and close my eyes.  Tonight he might be up a lot again, who knows?  At least I can continue to take comfort in the fact that Ben is now an awesome sleeper and one day Caleb will be too.

Day 3: My Potty Trained Toddler

I started potty training with Ben at the end of April. I wanted it to happen in three days, but it didn't.  We had some good weeks, some awful days and some in between.  He had accidents all over Fredonia:  at the playground, at grandmom's house and his shining moment at the library during story time all over some cushions.  We started with a potty timer every twenty minutes.  Eventually he got the hang of it and started telling me so of course I got lazy and quit reminding him (and accidents started again).  Now with confidence I can say he is totally potty trained.  Ever since the summer, accidents are few and far between, he lets me know when he has to go and having one child in diapers is a HUGE blessing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2: Free Saturdays

Starting with the last weekend in September, either all or one of us was gone every weekend.  It was incredibly fun and incredibly exhausting.  We went to Dayton to visit Dan, Hilary and Lauren, I went to Houghton for my TEN year college reunion, Andrew went to Deerfoot for work weekend and we both went to Houghton for a 15.5 mile trail run.  Between weekends away, small group, night court and life in general we were all a little exhausted.

The second day of November however, was a Saturday.  A Saturday with endless possibilities.  The weather was dreary and cold, our schedule was pretty open and I'd planned our favorite dinner.  I started the morning with a short run followed by teaching Body Pump while Andrew hung with the little guys.  For the rest of the day we puttered around the house, cleaning, organizing, cooking and hanging out.  We ended the day with dinner with Andrew's parents at our house and as I spooned creamy risotto into my mouth I felt incredibly thankful for a Saturday to just be in our house as a family.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 1: Andrew

With eight years of marriage under our belts, my first thankfulness tribute post is in honor of Andrew.  As a father, he is an allstar, a hero, the tickle king, amazing story teller and gifted guitar player.  I love the way our boys' faces light up when he walks into the room.  I love when Ben tells his daddy to go to work so that he will come home.  I love when Caleb buries his head into Andrew's chest for a snuggle.  I love listening to Ben shout out the window, "I LOVE YOU DADDY!"  I love that last Saturday I offered to take Ben somewhere and Ben told me, "No mommy, it is a daddy day!" 

As a husband, he gives me time and space to exercise, empties the dish drainer, orders pizza when dinner doesn't get made (or is inedible) and even allows me to sleep in when he knows I really need it.  He is my helpmate in every part of our lives.  He works tirelessly so that I can stay home with the little guys.  He gives so much time to church and is truly an example of what it means to be a Christian father and husband.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel thankful for the gift I was given in a husband.