...sugar and spice and everything nice...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

more pics

Here are some more recent photos of Zaine and one of Lux I couldnt resist! I have to tell you how things have been going around here. Zaine has recently started "cooing" and smiling, which is so wonderful! It makes the tough times more barable to know that she actually has "happy" moments, not just blank stares/sleeping/crying moments! I had the best moment with her earlier today. She was sucking on her pacifier with daddy and he passed her off to me. She looked up at me, spit out her pacifier and cooed and grinned. It melted my heart! This is when the fun begins, because her personality will begin to emerge.

She is on a great eating schedule, but the sleep schedule is not in place. She sleeps great at night--which is most important if you ask me! She eats around 8pm, then I put her down (unfortunately she doesnt fall asleep here, not sure how to fix this), feed her again around 10pm, then put her back down. She sleeps until about 4am, giving me a 5 hour chunk of sleep which I LOVE, then I put her back down and she sleeps til 7 or 8am. I think night are going really well! Days are weird because instead of sleeping between each feeding she is staying awake between one, then sleeping the whole time between the next, and that repeats thruout the day. Not sure how to fix it. But in all she has been a real sweet baby.

Luxie cant decide if she likes having a sister or not. Sometimes they interact so well! Lux will kiss and hug her and the other day when Zaine was crying Luxie brought her some tissues and started wiping her eyes (although Z doesnt have tears yet!) Other times she informs me she doesnt like Zaine. This is usually to see what my reaction will be, or when she is ready for some attention herself. She is struggling at times with really wanting attention, even though we are giving her LOTS of attention already. It hurts me sometimes to see her so desperate--yelling/singing really loud, throwing really babyish tantrums, and acting out with bits of anger. Most of the time she is the sweet girl she has always been, but these little moments pop up at different times thruout the day. I know it is normal but I guess what makes it tough is that we cant really help her understand, she just has to learn to adjust. We just keep trying to give her lots of love. She's still my little sweetheart...umm... I mean "Squirt" : )

Zaine at 5 weeks last Wednesday

another one of Zaine at 5 weeks

Luxie at grandma's birthday dinner (she stole the crown)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Lord, please keep blessing us with all this neat stuff..." ~my wonderfully distracted husband...

These are the prayers that come out of a parent's mouth when his two year old decides to start talking in the middle of prayer before dinner. Of course I giggled the moment I heard him say it, then he giggled too, and I guess out of some sort of guilty feeling before the Lord he went on to say, "and please take care of the poor tonight, and bless the homeless..." while Luxie continued talking and I continued giggling. Not because we shouldn't ask God to take care of the poor and to bless the homeless, but because it was literally one of the oddest prayers we have ever had at the dinner table!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Guilty Pleasure MEME

I was tagged about a year ago by Meridith for this MEME (well, over a month ago anyway!) I love these things, but havent found the time to do this until right now. (Baby is sleeping, dinner is in the oven, pre-schooler watching tv....GO!)

1. FOOD. Specifically a heaping plate of nachos. I love, love, love, love, LOVE nachos. I love them. And I love macaroni and cheese, and ice cream. These are my absolute favorite foods, although there are many honorable mentions. (Steak, bread products, chips, cookies.) I love them all.

2. TV. I am with Andrea on this one. Nothing beats getting the kids to bed and sitting down to some mindless entertainment. I love LOST, The Office, My Name Is Earl, Arrested Development, Reality tv in the likes of Survivor, The Apprentice, and Project Runway. I also use tv as a guilty pleasure to occupy my daughter for a few minutes each day so I can sit down and do this...or get dressed, or zone out. Please understand, she only watches it a few times each day, but those moments are a treasure.

3. THRIFT STORES. I...can...not..get..enough..! I LOVE going to the thrift store. I love searching for a hidden treasure, whether it be a bamboo coffee table with color crayon writing all over it that I can bring home and clean good as new, or a pair of awesome brown and light brown Italian Pumas size 11 that my daughter will wear some day (she will!!) I love my Anthropology plum colored belted sweater that must have sold for close to $100 (I got it for $4) and my many pairs of Gap Long and Leans that sell for $70 in the store (I paid less than $5.) This is pure unadulterated pleasure for me. Especially because my husband is self-employed and I stay home.

4. GOOD HAIRCUTS. I only get two or so good hair cuts a year, because we just cant afford it, thus making it a guilty pleasure. When I spend the money I feel guilty, but I love it. Right now I need a cut desperately, and I will soon be making my Spring jaunt to the infamous Rudi (thanks to Andrea who introduced me to her hairdresser 6 years ago.) I cant wait because I always feel so good about myself after a good cut.

5. BLOGGING/being on line...There are a number of things I could/should be doing right now; cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the house, sweeping up the piles of swept up stuff I left around the house earlier today, washing dishes, or various other things. But before I begin any of those tasks I have to stop in and see what everyone is up to. At breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sometimes in between, I go to my favorite spots and see what's happening. It is my way of visiting with a friend, and sometimes my way of cheering myself up...especially when I get a quick comment from a friend. It's my way of staying in touch with the world.

Anyone who hasnt been tagged have any guilty pleasures too?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Baptism by fire

First of all, anyone else think its a little crazy that my "almost three year old" is in size 3 diapers at bedtime, and my 5 week old just started wearing size 2? Granted, the size 2's are a little big, but the 1's were getting too small! Her explosive bowel movements were no longer being contained by the 1's! They aer two different body types completely!

Anyway, on to my story...
Yesterday morning just before leaving for Bible Study with both girls, I had to change Zaine's diaper. Like usual the moment I laid her down she decided to go, so I waited patiently for her to signal me she had finished. And like usual the minute I had the new diaper on her she decided to go again! Finally it seemed as if I was in the clear I and started to change her again. About that time Luxie ran in the room pretending to be Squirt, "surfing her web", and just hanging around us. She loves pulling up the shade and staring out the window talking about all she sees outside in "Sunny Patch", but the window just happens to be situated right at the end of the changing table.

As I lifted Zaine's legs and bottom off the table she sneezed and as if it were in slow motion I watched a spray of poo fly thru the air and pelt the left side of Luxie's body. I let out one of those "AAAAAA" mom sounds as I watched Luxie jump away from the window. She then looked at me and looked down at her clothes, spotted with Zaine's "surprise". I began to giggle. Luxie looked at me again. "oh NO!" she cried. I tried to hold on to some restraint. "Zaine sneezed and poopie went everywhere!" I said, trying to get Zaine back in a diaper. "Poopie everywhere!" she said in dismay. I helped her get out of her clothes and slowly we began to giggle together about the experience. It appears Zaine has already learned that she may be smaller, but she can certainly hold her own!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Quote of the Week

"I want to listen to 'Hey Yawn!'" ~the one and only Luxie Lu

Yes, we've done it, our darling daughter of almost 3 years old is a hip hop head.

It started with demands for "Daddy's Music" whenever we got in the car, either Mars ILL or Deepspace 5, but now we are moving into uncharted territory. The other day Nate brought his IPOD along for a trip out to dinner and we couldnt resist listening to one of my favorites, "Hey Ya." Luxie was hooked. We must have listened to it 10 times on the way to Willy's. It's really great watching her "shake it" in the back seat (her head, hands, feet) while Nate and I are "shaking it" up front. Im sure other cars driving along beside us wonder what in the world we are up to! The funniest thing is the way she pronounces the titles to her favorite tracks. The "Hey Yawn" requests have brought out the giggles in all of us, and daddy has added his own fun to the song by breaking into the most obnoxious yawn every time Andre 3000 sings the chorus. One of her other favorites, the Deepspace 5 track "Hold Your Head Up" has been known in our family as "Hold Your Hand Up" and we do just that as we drive along to the music.

Ok, so maybe "Hey Ya" isnt exactly the proper song to have your 2 year old singing along to in the car, and maybe hip hop in general isnt what most parents would let their little ones listen to, (although those of you that read this are too cool to be stuffy about hip hop : )But I find it quite indearing watching her express herself to music!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Zaine at 3 weeks

Here's a more recent photo of the baby. She's now 4 weeks (will be 1 month old tomorrow) and I personally think she is chubbier and bigger already! Just for fun I dug out a photo of Luxie at 4 weeks and posted it to see the differences and similarities. Unfortunately Zaine looks a little worried in this shot, while Lux appears to be pleasant, but they both have really sweet dispositions. Zaine was on the verge of needing a nap when mommy finally got around to taking some photos!

Zaine at 3 weeks (2006)

Lux at 4 weeks (2003)

I think they have very similar noses and chins. Luxie's eyes were much darker at this stage than Zaine's are, which makes me think her may be lighter brown or hazel or even a little blue? Zaine has lots more hair and it is darker, although I know hair changes drastically in color over the next year. And Luxie has fuller lips that are more heart shaped, while Zaine's lips are a little thinner. Interesting to notice the way each child takes on their own look, but still carries certain familial traits. Who do you think they look like? In our opinion Lux has her own look and is a mix of both of us. We havent figured out who Zaine resembles yet!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

4 weeks

Four weeks?? I cant believe today marks 4 weeks since Zaine's birth. I have to say that things are going much better than they were at 2 weeks, and my hormones are leveling off a bit. I say a bit because I still have occasional melt downs and cause the whole house to become unbalanced, but thankfully these outbursts are happening less and less! But it is tough--a lot of the time--and I am prone to freak outs!

For example, yesterday I was trying to share a simple story with Nate but at the same time Luxie wanted me to play with her. I explained that I wanted to tell daddy the story and then we would play, she would have to wait a moment. She decided she just couldnt wait and instead decided to throw a tantrum, breaking down into a sobbing mess. I know this is normal for a child who is learning to share attention with a sibling, but it was such a big tantrum that it woke the baby up! So then both Luxie and Zaine were crying! I scolded Luxie because she knows not to throw tantrums anyway, and then she ran to Nate for coddling. I asked Nate not to coddle her because I was trying to teach her about tantrums, and this caused us to begin to argue! So Luxie and Zaine were crying, Nate and I were bickering, I went to calm the baby, he went to his studio, I then went to calm Luxie, I never finished my story and I ended up a mess! And this happens every couple of days or so!

But no, it has also been a wonderful experience. Zaine is a beautiful, good little baby, and she has already changed so much. She follows Nate or I with her eyes and responds to all of us--even Luxie when she hears our voices. She is on a pretty regular routine--I am establishing an 8am wake up time and try to stick with that no matter what. That means that the first feeding each day is always around 8am and that sets the tone for the rest of the day with feedings every 2.5-3 hours. So she follows that real well, and then at around 8pm I feed her and put her to bed. I feed her once more around 1030 and then let her sleep until she wakes up in the night. She has been going 4 hours between feedings at night which has been wonderful because most nights I get two 3hour stretches of sleep before morning for a total of about 6 hours. I can live on 6 hours, even though I'd prefer it to be straight thru! What makes it so tough is not having any chance to rest during the day. With your first you can sleep when they sleep. Unfortunately Luxie and Zaine kind of rotate schedules now so one is up when one is down and there is no time for sleeping!

Luxie has suddenly taken on new identities and has created a sort of pretend world for herself. I find it interesting that this happened literally the week after I got home with the baby, so it must be a result of having the new little one around! She loves the cartoon "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch" and spends the greater part of each day in "Sunny Patch" as "Squirt" her favorite character from the show. Occasionally she will switch it up and be "Dragon" or "Shimmer" (these are all bugs) but most of the time she is "Squirt." Squirt will only answer to Squirt, and if you ask Luxie to do anything as Luxie you are quickly corrected as to just who she is. The pretending has evolved to include Nate and I, who are no longer mommy and daddy but "Miss Spider" (the mommy spider) and "Holly" (the daddy spider.) Zaine is "Wiggle" the younger brother spider. If I tell her I need to feed Zaine I am quickly corrected "She's Wiggle. She's Wiggle." If I say "Mommy needs to eat something" I am told, "No you're Miss Spider." If I say "Please go tell daddy dinner is ready" she corrects me "No, Holly" and then calls out "Holly! Time for dinner!" This is not periodically but EVERY time. At church on Sunday I warned her teacher that she has been pretending to be Squirt and may only answer to that. And I warned Luxie that her teacher may not remember to call her Squirt like we do, and she still had to listen and obey regardless!

It has become her world. I am very thankful that "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch" is a cute cartoon and the characters are very lovable! And I know this will end soon, or maybe Zaine will grow up with the nickname "Wiggle"...but in a small way it kind of hurts my heart because I know it is some way she is trying to deal with the situation! Actually it is funny because it has become a good way to explain things to her. When the chaos broke out the other morning (the story I shared above) I was able to say "Miss Spider cant spend all her time with Squirt. Sometimes she has to take turns and spend time with Wiggle or Holly or the other buggies." She seems to grasp it better that way!

I am feeling good, basically back to normal aside from occasional tenderness in the scar area. And I am so glad I had another, for Luxie's sake and just because. Things are hard now, but I know they will get better and I look forward to seeing what is to come.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Looking Ahead 2006

Here we are! I still cant believe it is 2006...I cant believe I am in my 30's, that I have two kids, that I am no longer a kid myself. It is amazing how quickly time really does pass. In 2000 we left the Midwest and moved down South--six years ago! And now in 2006 we will be celebrating 14 years together; 14 years since the first kiss, 12 years since the first break up, 10 years since the beautiful engagement, 9 years since the lifelong commitment, 9 years since the trip to England, 8 years since the move to Indy, 7 years since the trip to Africa. 7 since the beginning of Mars ILL, 6 since the move to Atlanta, 3 since the birth of our first, and now the birth of our second. What a blessing to know such an honest, even, encouraging, terrific father and loving man for so long, and to know that I will spend the rest of my life with him. I look forward to what this year holds for us. A wonderful 9th wedding anniversary, Luxie's 3rd birthday, a vacation with your family, a July 4th reunion with mine. The release of a long awaited album, your 33rd birthday, the beginning of preschool, Zaine's first birthday, and maybe, a trip to celebrate Christmas at Papa and Mimi's house. I know there will be lots of crazy times too. Unexpected frustrations, difficult moments, and even possibly some sadness. But there is no one in the would I would rather go thru another year with. You're my man, and I love you. Here's to another year, my love.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year?

Ah, well, there have been better Eve's to the New Year, this is true! Like the one spent at Nate's parents with our favorite couple, Ward and Andrea when we got so caught up in blowing the horns that we started a "train" and formed a band of sorts. We danced our wat thru the house, everyone blowing their horn to their own rhythm and laughing absolutely hysterically with each other. Unfortunately there werent many horns blowing or many laughs spent as we said good-bye to 2005 and hello to 06. The laughs came later, after we could stop and re-evaluate what exactly happened!

It all began with Luxie waking up an hour early on New Year's Eve, crying, looking for her favorite toy. After an early start things went from bad to worse when she fell out of a chair and smashed her face on the ground, causing Nate and I to erupt into an argument over how it happened and why, all with Luxie crying hysterically. Thank the Lord she wasnt injured! As the day progressed we realized one way to salvage the holiday was to take naps and come back together in the afternoon refreshed and ready to celebrate...but the kids had other ideas. Luxie took FOREVER to fall asleep, and Zaine basically woke up every 20 minutes crying hysterically until I put her back to sleep. By 4:00 Nate and I were both exhausted and still frustrated with each other over the argument we had had earlier in the day. Nate decided to take Luxie to the park and let me rest--which was a great idea--except Zaine still wasnt ready to rest.

Finally we called it a day around 10pm. I took Zaine and put her to sleep, then went to bed myself. And that's when the rest of the world decided to begin to celebrate the New Year...by shooting off guns. Yes, in our neck of the woods they dont just shoot off fireworks, they stand outside and fire their guns--hand guns and automatic weapons. Around midnight I began to freak out, something Nate just wasnt in the mood to deal with after our ridiculous day. Unfortunately this lead to another disagreement about my overreacting, and Nate went to watch the countdown to the New Year in his studio! But the story doesnt end there!

At 2:30am we suddenly lost power! It was a calm evening with no storms or wind, but that doesnt matter in our neighborhood! Five minutes after that Luxie was up, worried about how dark it was in her room. Nate had fallen asleep in his studio, so I carried our girl out to him, made it back inside just in time to feed the baby and call the power company, who claimed our power would be restored by 3:30am. Around 4 it was back on, and Nate, having been unable to get Luxie to bed before the power was restored, finally got her back to bed and we all went to sleep.

The next morning all we could do was laugh. What in the world had happened? It was like we had celebrated "freaky end of the year day!" New Years day was also a bit exhausting, but today has been a great recovery and we are over the huge hurdle the end of the year tossed at us. It may not have been fun, but it was definitely memorable! And we will most certainly laugh about it as we share the story with our kids when they are older!