Friday, April 26, 2013

The many faces of Matthew

Hard to believe my baby is 6 months old already. He is so stinking cute when he is happy. He loves his exersaucer. Still sleeping in the rock n play at night. (Ugh, I know that's not going to last much longer. Maybe next week we'll work on it.) NOT sleeping through the night. I have not started solids yet and honestly might wait a few more weeks because he doesn't seem like he 'needs' them or is particularly ready like Luke did by this time. (Or maybe this time I remember how much of a pain in the butt it is and just don't want to deal with it.)

In the 'mother of the year' files, I FINALLY got around to ordering his birth announcements today. I know. That's awful. I only even did it so our family would have newborn pictures of him and I can put one in his baby book (and pretend like they went out like normal..) To be fair, our photographer had a complicated pregnancy and I didn't get his newborn pictures back until after Christmas. By that point, he was 3 months old and so I wasn't sure how to go about sending them/giving them out and then life got/stayed busy and I just didn't think much about it. Since we are having Luke's birthday party on Sunday and some of our extended family will be there, that seems like a good time to give them to a few people. I only printed 20, and only printed them from Walgreens. Poor "second" child. Next up, I should probably work on making his room not saying 'Lucas' above the almost never slept in crib.

Anyway, Matthew smiles and laughs a lot. He loves sitting up in his exersaucer and watching everyone and everything around him. He loves everything Luke does, most especially when Luke offers him a finger to chew on. He is constantly chewing on his hands these days and I expect a tooth any day now if he doesn't already have one started that I've missed. He strictly adheres to a 7 pm bedtime no matter where we are or what is going on around him, he starts getting fussy and CONKS out at 7pm. It is funny since Luke was/is never that predictable and we don't really have much of a routine yet. He is up bright and early around 6ish plus once or twice in the night to eat. He can sit on his own but still a bit wobbly. We put him in the high chair and he thought that was pretty awesome, Luke did not look thrilled about it. He is very particular about me being in the room or near him, most of the time, and is going through a clingy phase that is tough.  He is nowhere near crawling and doesn't really roll over that much (probably because we don't give him nearly enough floor time, it's harder to give him floor time with Luke always underfoot swinging toys around and stuff.)

Anyway, I took several pictures of him today while he was happy in the exersaucer and then couldn't decide which one I like the best:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

2's and brothers

The other day I managed to get a decent night's sleep, the boys both clean and fed and happy, the house decent, and I was feeling pretty darn good about myself and like, holy cow, I have this all figured out. We could do this again and have another.

And then Luke turned into the hottest hot mess ever. On Friday I was feeling unusually brave and took both boys into Target by myself. And since I had no room for stuff with Matthew in his infant car seat in the basket of the stroller (FYI, infant car seats are not supposed to go on the top part of carts. Even if it seems like they snap in and most people do it.) I got one of the huge carts with a ride on part for Luke. Except Luke refused to sit on the seat of it-which was a little small and awkward- so I let him stand and he actually rode along pretty well until we checked out and I made the mistake of buying him some freaking M and M's as a reward and he had a meltdown wanting them RIGHT NOW as we were checking out which made everything chaotic as I was trying to cram bags of stuff around Matthew in the cart and keep Luke from running out the door/throwing himself on the floor/etc. Fun fun fun.

And then, because clearly this motherhood stuff has killed some of my brain cells, even after the meltdown, I decided, hey, let's go to Chik Fil A for lunch and let him play and burn off some energy since it was cold outside. I ordered our food and made the mistake of sitting next to the play area. Luke is cautious enough that I was okay with him playing while I sat there and ate if he didn't want to eat, since I could see him and he usually just plays with the toddler stuff. BUT OH NO. It couldn't be that simple. He wanted to play, but he wanted me in the room watching. The little benches in the room were already full of parents plus I would have had to juggle our food and Matthew in there, so it wasn't happening. So I told Luke it was okay and waved to him through the glass (I was literally sitting right against the glass where our table was) and tried to get him to go play, I even walked him in there and went back to our table and waved, he kept coming back and grabbing my hand and trying to drag me in there with him. I tried to get him to eat instead and said I'd go in there when we were done eating. No no no. After having the same discussion over and over and over again we were each getting increasingly irritated and as Luke started having a fit I had had enough. I managed to carry him kicking and screaming out, while also carrying Matthew in his car seat, and also our food shoved into Luke's kid meal bag. (Okay so I had to rest our food on sleeping Matthew's lap. I had my hands full.) Once I got us all out to the car which was a work out by itself, I had the pleasure of wrestling Luke for 10 minutes into his car seat. AWESOME DAY.

Today we had a similar experience. Joe had to work all weekend so we went shopping. I learned my lesson and brought my stroller with both kids strapped in and happy. Luke got a little whiny wanting to look at the books I was browsing but OMG, SO MUCH BETTER. He tried to wiggle out of the stroller seat and even said "Stuck! Help! Stuck!" It was my turn to smirk at him and say, "You are supposed to be stuck!"  But we survived it without too much incident. Then we decided to go to the park and because I am dumb, dumb, dumb, I left my stroller in the car and decided to wear Matthew in the baby carrier. Luckily I thought to bring the car seat with us and set it on an empty picnic table just in case I had to wrangle Luke. He happily held my hand and walked to the playground like he was going to be perfectly good. And he was good and played happily for an hour. But then Matthew started getting hungry and it was time to go, and he didn't want to go, and luckily I managed to get Matthew into his car seat (wrestling an angry almost 2 year old while having an almost 6 month old strapped to your chest just doesn't seem like a good plan) and then had the fun of carrying a squirming and angry toddler in one arm and the infant car seat in the other hand into the car. Again, had to wrestle him for a good 5 minutes into the seat. Ay yi yi.

On a happier note, he has started talking like crazy and is coming up with new words and phrases every day. This weekend, out of the blue, he started saying "Nick!", he says it SO exuberantly. Since Joe has been working 12 hour days since Friday, we've spent a lot of time at my mom's this weekend, so he's had plenty of time with my brother . On Friday when he first said it, he wouldn't say it in front of Nick, even though he said it in front of my mom and I unprompted 5+ times. We tried to get him to say it when Nick was there, and over the phone, and he just stared at us. Then all of a sudden Nick was sitting on the couch playing on his phone and Luke starts yelling "Nick! Nick!" Any time Nick stopped paying attention to him, Luke would start yelling his name. Of course this started some jealousy with my brother Tim, so most of the day Saturday we kept trying to get him to say Tim, then all of a sudden, all on his own, unprompted, he started saying Tim. We also tried to get him to say "two" and he wouldn't, then while we were shopping I asked him to say "two" and he repeated it several times. That kid. He has been saying "Brooke" for about a week but it sounds like "book". This is the fun part of 2.

The boys are so fun together. Luke has wanted me to put Matthew on his lap, so I have, and they both sit there and beam at each other. I'm pretty sure Luke is Matthew's favorite person in the world, when we sit at the table next to Luke with Matthew in my lap, his face just lights up watching every move Luke makes. I remember in the early days being emotional because I was afraid I had "ruined Luke's life" since he wouldn't get as much attention from us, etc., and he had such a hard time with the change in the beginning. But the hard early days makes the time now even sweeter. We have decided to buy a wooden playset/swingset for our backyard. (OMG, the options are overwhelming.) I can already picture the two of them outside playing together on it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter 2013

Last Easter, Luke was only 11 months, he was taking a step here and there I think but not really walking entirely on his own yet and definitely too little to get most of the Easter stuff. We did go dye eggs.
My baby! Easter 2012

Same baby, same place, Easter 2013`

Oh, how fast they grow.

Anyway, he was a little excited about egg dyeing last year but there wasn't much else about Easter that he really got. This year he was TOTALLY into it and kept saying "Again" "again" after every egg.

We decided to try a community Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter. It was at a park near us, was free, and had the Easter bunny and face painting too. I had a feeling after our Santa experience that the Easter bunny was not going to go over that well so I didn't want to bother going to the Bass Pro Shop or the mall to stand in line/pay for pictures. (Bass Pro Shop gives you a free picture but it's pretty packed.)

Anyway, we got there, "registered", stood in line for the bunny.

Waiting in line

Why are we outside so early?

Watching the bunny, not sure about this...

Luke was not impressed with the bunny....this was the "best" picture, disregard how crappy I look.
Nope, not going to happen! Note Matthew snoozing in the stroller next to us
 Anyway, once that was over, Luke was not too impressed with the face painting either, even after I had a rainbow painted on my hand, which was just as well because by the time that was done it was time to line up for the actual egg hunt. They were well organized and divided kids up by ages. Luke was with 3 and under which allowed a parent to go with them. They had PLENTY of eggs out, also, although perhaps in the future they should consider which eggs they are throwing in which areas (or at least the 3 and under area), b/c almost all of Luke's eggs had Jolly Ranchers in them, not really toddler-friendly candy, but it was fun anyway. My mom told us we should have "practiced" with Luke before so he would know what to do. HA. I stood there and told him, "See those eggs? Go pick them up and put them in your basket." He stood there looking at them while we were waiting for them to say go and I had to hold him back from starting.

Holding him back
The first egg

I think he figured it out without "practice"

"There it is!"

Then we came home and he decorated Matthew's face

And that evening we dyed easter eggs with Kool Aid which did not turn out as well as I'd hoped

Easter bunny brought a balance bike (part of his bday present from us too, I just didn't want to wait another month to give it to him while it's nice out), bubbles, and Hot Wheels for Luke, and an activity seat and some new car seat dangly toys for Matthew.

This rattle looks yummy

The boys Easter morning

Matthew is teething I think

We made it out to the cemetery and left flowers at Olivia's grave. Both boys slept in the car-that was Luke's only nap for the day- so we left them in with the doors open while we went to her grave which is only a few feet away. Luke woke up as we were leaving:

We had egg hunts at our house, my parents, and both of my gandparents' houses, he loved it every time and was the only kid there besides Matthew. Not even for the candy factor but just finding them and collecting them. After the last one was over my brother would sneak one out of his basket and throw it when Luke wasn't looking and Luke would go get it over and over again as enthusiastic as ever. Suffice it to say he LOVED Easter and it was so much fun to watch.

Easter is always a tough holiday for me without our little girl here. As we were leaving the cemetery I said to Joe, "I wonder how different Luke would be now if he had his big sister here". The first time I had pondered that one, which is a moot point because she isn't here, and if she had been, we most likely would not have Luke. So these sort of questions always end up going nowhere and yet I do wonder.

Anyway, even missing Olivia, this Easter was definitely the best since she died.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Oh my heart.

All of a sudden, Luke has gotten much more helpful with Matthew.  I cleaned our carpet (ugh-new floors coming soon, I can't wait!) yesterday and haven't put everything back together yet.

 Matthew was in the Rock N Play getting fussy so I said to Luke, "I think your brother wants to play on the floor."

 And without saying anything, Luke walks to the back of the room and gets Matt's floor gym and drags it to the middle of the floor where he usually plays.

 I said, "Oh THANK YOU! That was so nice!" and Luke replies, "Welcome, Matt."

It's not all cuteness and light, Matt has been conked on the head with the remote a few times, Luke was letting him chew on his finger yesterday which was not necessarily clean, etc. etc. etc. but there are more and more moments that are so so sweet.

If you are on my FB, you have probably seen this video already, but Luke makes Matthew laugh pretty regularly these days: