Sunday, April 27, 2008

Catching Up

Seans_bday_party_08



Been meaning to post this since last week--- Sean had his first "friends" birthday party.



We kept it extremely simple, inviting his two best buddies and their big sisters. I love this age, when I get to pick their friends for them based on my friends:-)  Bri teased me when he saw Brie on the party shopping list (hey, veggie booty was on there too!)---it was definitely a mom-friendly party.



Three year olds are low-maintenance. We recycled Aidan's Star Wars pinata into a Planet Heroes theme, and Aidan lent his solar system model for decoration. Other than the pinata and cupcake feasting, we didn't plan anything, just letting the kids play. And Bri supervised while the moms chatted away!



Since this is where I record everything now ;-), let me just add that Sean was 32 lbs and 39" at his annual doctor appointment.



The doctor asked him if he knew his last name, and Sean promptly replied, "Sweet pie."



Oh so true.



Our parish has exactly four  five (I almost forgot Nolan) children who attend mass, so Aidan and Sean are big stars with all the grandmas there. Today Sean received a birthday blessing in front of the congregation, and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him as well.



The blessing asked that he receive the "peace that passeth understanding" in his heart. I can think of no greater birthday wish.



Vpy3d0ca4m3oeo I haven't been blogging or replying to emails this week, because whatever time I could find online has been spent putting together an ABC book for Sean on Shutterfly. It was extremely easy using the templates by Jessica Sprague (though typing with one hand while holding Nolan was a challenge---as was having the website freak out every now and then). You can check it out at the Shutterfly Gallery. I highly recommend it to moms like me who have lots of photos that have never been developed. Can't wait for this to arrive this week!



Now back to our regular program of talking mostly about Nolan;-)






Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sean at Three

03_months_old_smiling_2



When people tell him that he is oh so cute (and people do, constantly), he always answers, "Yeah."



Like he already knows it. I think he's known since he was an infant.



Sean_in_front_flower_bed



He gets excited about everything. Watering plants, taking a walk, bringing in the mail. The most mundane of tasks can cause him to break into a little jig of excitement. I love that.



15_a_kiss_for_grandma_in_chicago



I see much of my dad in him---the way he loves to tell stories, and has the most incredible memory, and enjoys life so much.



Love_something_about_this_one



Most of the time though, I see his dad in him. Same facial expressions. Same confidence. Same stubbornness. Same physicality and love of action.



Seans_3rd_birthday040 



Last summer we spent a lot of time at the nearby waterpark. Sean would walk up to the teens in bikinis and say, "Hi girls."  He's in love with his pal Tava, and at least three other girls. He is very generous with his affection, and can't go to bed without a hug from every family member, and giving us a kiss on each cheek.



Thehighlife2



Most of his sentences these days begin with, "Actually..." He loves to correct others (don't know where he gets that trait...), and no matter who says grace at dinner, he always has to add his own as well. Lately they go something like this: "Grace. Thank  You Lord for this yummy dinner, and for Aidan, and Spiderman. God is good. Amen."



Sean_serious



Because he is so enthusiastic and joyful, it's easy to overlook his serious side. His feelings are easily hurt, but he's also quick to forgive and move on. He's sensitive to tone of voice and others' moods. While he doesn't like anyone else to raise their voice, he's prone to yelling himself and he's very lucky to have a pacifist for an older brother.



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  He adores both his brothers, and imitates everything his big brother does.



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Yesterday he turned three. I'm trying not to hold it against him that he's growing up. He challenges me, delights me, amazes me. Happy Birthday, my little man. I'll forever miss you as a baby and at 1 and at 2, but I can't wait to see who you become.






Friday, April 18, 2008

Blessings & Random Notes

Sean_the_big_brother



Sean couldn't be a sweeter big brother, though he often could be a quieter big brother.



Brian_and_nolan



Brian went back to work on Monday, and I was surprised how many people called during the week to check in on how we were doing:-)  I am blessed with good friends.



We were incredibly lucky to have had Brian home for Nolan's first month. He made the decision to take off four weeks after the birth of each of our sons. Priceless. When I think of Aidan, Sean, and Nolan someday becoming fathers like their dad, I feel so good about humanity's future:-)



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Current nicknames for Nolan: cutie-pie, jelly bean, Nolie, and Hic-cup, because he gets them at least once a day.



A very Happy-Mail week. A blanket from my sister Karen who celebrated her birthday this week too. She also sent her very first emails, with help from her speech-pathologist,  and they sounded just like Kay in person. Each one made mention of her birthday--totally cracked me up! 



I received a box full of yellow from one of my favorite people on the planet---a beautiful letter on beautiful yellow paper, with the world's best lemon bars and some yellow jammies, for me not for Nolan:^)



A few weeks ago I asked Molly, from Foothill Home Companion, how she made her pin cushion-in-a-cup.Foothillhomecompanion_2  Photo by Molly Dunham



Instead of just sending the directions, she sent me a cup of my own that arrived this week. Love the kindness of strangers:-) And the sight of this little cup on my sewing table is motivation enough to get all the piles of paper off of it and start learning to sew!



Someone asked where we got Sean's cute tie from this cute photo: Sean_march_08_copy



It's made by Dainty Couture. Check out her etsy store---they are made so well, and super comfortable (I'm going to have to order more because both big boys want to wear it). I actually won it as a giveaway from Kid Haus:-)



By request, I'm deleting the end of this post. So if you're arriving late, you missed out on a very cute photo of one very neurotic girl.










Monday, April 14, 2008

One Month Old

On Saturday, Nolan reached the one month mark.



2008_04_one_month



Some notes for my ever-vanishing memory: at this point, he...



*weighs 10 lbs and 12 oz



*measures 21 inches



*delights us with smiles



*cracks up his brothers by sticking his tongue out, "tooting," and looking anywhere close to their direction:-)



*loves staring at our bookcase (is he an O'Malley or what?)



*does not enjoy diaper changes or his bath (yet...trying the latter again tomorrow)



*sleep preferences in order are:



  1. Mom or Dad's arms


  2. Mom & Dad's bed, lying between them


  3. car seat


  4. swing


  5. anywhere but his crib or bassinet


That's not completely fair, because he has been doing better each day. I imagine some moms, who enjoy the shared bed, giving me that wide-eye look that says, "How can you expect him to sleep all alone at this age?"



And I imagine other moms, the ones who have their babies sleeping through the night by this age, giving the same wide-eye look, only theirs says, "It's your own fault for creating bad sleep habits."



I also think that is how the majority of the "mommy wars" happen---in our own imaginations, based on our ambivalence and guilt, which, regardless of one's choices, are always plentiful in motherhood.  We've chosen this middle road; so though I might complain about being tired, I'm relishing it too.    



Nolanonemonth_edited1



oh, and one more...



* gets even cuter with each day






Friday, April 11, 2008

Sleep & Scientists

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Overall Nolan is an incredibly easy-going baby.



He likes to nurse (a lot---he gained 2 lbs between his 2 wk appointment and his 4 wk), burp, sleep, gurgle, and slyly smile. He rarely cries, only if his diaper is being changed and oh--if he's not being held. Seriously. Super content guy, but he wants to be held 24/7.  He has been content in his swing or car seat at times, but he has wanted nothing to do with his crib.



And who could refuse him? I love snuggling with him, love the sound of his breathing while he sleeps on my chest, love that baby smell on the top of his head.



But, as you can tell from my last post, the lack of sleep was beginning to get to me.



Then, last night, Nolan slept four hours in his crib.



Of course, being the brilliant parents we are, we finally decided to go to bed ourselves about 3 1/2 hours into those 4 hours. But still, a huge improvement:-)



Meanwhile...I haven't forgotten about our other two guys. Here's my latest favorite photo of Aidan:



A4aidan_edited1



How did I manage to get a six year old to stay still long enough for a non-flash photo with an authentic smile (instead of a "cheese" smile)? By first taking a dozen of photos of him as a mad scientist:



A1_2 A2madscientist 






Monday, April 7, 2008

The Best of Times & the Worst of Times

Sleepybaby_2  That about sums up the newborn stage, doesn't it? So fleeting, you want to soak it all in and memorize every little roll on your baby's thigh, but you are so sleep deprived that you dream about the day all your children can buckle their own car seats.



Just deleted two very whiny paragraphs about my frustration in all that I haven't been able to accomplish lately. Fascinating details like the fact that I'm still in my jammies, that said jammies have spit up on them, and that these same jammies spent less than 3 hours in my bed last night. Time to let go of a lot of expectations, let the bathroom floors wait a few more days, etc.  I have an inbox full of emails to reply to, which makes me a little crazy. While holding Nolan, I definitely find it easier to read emails  than to type them. So bear with me if I owe you a reply, and keep writing. Feels like 101 things are on hold, which is how it should be...but knowing that doesn't always make it easier.



Meanwhile...some things to make you smile:



A friend sent an excerpt from a book called "Porn for New Moms":



For_new_moms



Everything this guy does makes me laugh:



Hitchcockvf01



Finally, after mentioning my lack of "craftiness" in a post on favorite blogs, I received this sweet image from a friend. Totally cracked me up:



Il_430xn_8607640



I started writing this early in the morning; it is already after lunch. We are in our own little time-zone here. Already things look brighter though. I just have to choose where to look. I could focus on all the thank you notes that have yet to be written, or just be thankful for sweet gifts from family and far-away friends. I could worry about the serving dishes I have yet to return, or just be grateful for sweet friends that brought us incredibly good meals during Nolan's first week.



Instead of noticing how Bri does things differently than I would, or buys different brands/products than I would (I admit, I do and I comment on it too--but come on, OreIda Frozen french fries?!), I could just note that he has done all the grocery shopping this month, and usually taking Aidan or Sean with him as well. He's also made numerous meals, and done all the dishes. I hate doing dishes if I made the meal. He's doing more than I even realize, and I am grateful.



Still, that doesn't mean I don't send him dirty looks at 3 am if he's snoring while I get up again:^)



The key for me is seeing my perspective as a choice, as a "could" and not a "should."  Nothing makes me more stubborn than "should". "Could" means options. It means taking some time to whine isn't something I "shouldn't" do, but I could choose something much better.



Dancing_in_the_breeze 



Today I'm grateful for the bulbs blooming in our yard, for new tunes my sister Erin sent; for the brown-paper-package that arrived today from a recent book exchange; for crushed ice; for how thrilled Aidan and Sean are at the prospect of making smoothies; for how patient Brian is when I dissolve into tears at the slightest teasing (seriously, though, he should know better!); for wine on a patio with girl friends; and most of all for this:



Nolan_smiling



I didn't get the shot. It's out of focus. But the important thing is that he's started to smile. Spit-up jammies don't mean a thing when a baby starts smiling back at you.






Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Highlights

An abundance of good things to report:



Easter_eggs



1. Easter goodness is all put away. Monday both boys asked 192,394,375 times if they could have more jelly beans. Monday night Brian took both their baskets off the dining room table and put them in our closet. NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THEM SINCE! I don't know at what age "out of sight, out of mind" will no longer apply to candy, but for now, Brian and I are enjoying it, as well as their jelly beans;-)



Gramare_is_here_32. Brian's mom arrived Saturday evening. You can see their excitement welcoming her. Introducing_nolan_to_gramare



First thing on their agenda: introducing Gramare to their new baby brother.



3. Aidan planned several tricks for April Fools. I thought he'd enjoy being tricked as well so we packed him a lunch of wooden food yesterday. I peeked in the lunch room to watch him open it, only to see him go from an initial reaction of delight and laughter to a little despair and tears (at the thought of no lunch). All was well though when he learned we were all taking him to the diner for lunch:-)



Lesson learned: let them in on the joke at this age.



4. Gramare brought all sorts of crafts for the boys.



Crafts_w_gramare



And she's been great about letting Aidan's imagination lead the way, even when all he wants is a centipede, ala Franny-K-Stein, with shoes and all.



Aidans_centipede



5. Sean went poop on the potty!!!! Yes, this is why I have a blog---so I can share such monumental moments with y'all:-)  Thing is, he was outside playing and completely on his own announced he needed to use the bathroom. Then he repeated this feat later the same day. I was expecting him to revert a bit when Nolan arrived so we were all ecstatic:-)



6. I also have to mention, Nolan finally lost his umbilical cord yesterday. If this were Aidan's blog, you'd have been treated to daily photos of its progress. Both boys found Nolan's cord to be the most fascinating aspect about him (given he's not much of a conversationalist yet). Huge excitement when they heard the news this morning, and an immediate showing of Nolan's new and improved belly button.



Nolan was a bit less impressed.



Sleeping_on_daddy



7. CUBS had their opening game on Monday. Wrigwrigleyfieldchicagoillinoispo_2  More importantly, their first win will be today (right, boys?!)



This IS the year!






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