Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Super Punk

"I am Super Punk!"

"I run away from my mama at incredible speeds!"

"My pants are too big; therefore, I shall discard the menacing things..."

"... and continue to run at incredible speeds, until my slippery socks fail me and I splat on the kitchen tile."

Super Punk's little brother is the best comfort after a super fall.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Egg Hunting and Trampoline Jumping

As the only egg hunter, the punk enjoyed exclusive access to the field.

He had plenty of guidance from 3 uncles, 1 aunt, 1 grandpa, 1 grandma, 1 great-grandma, and 1 great-great-grandma.

A two year-old egg hunter is marvelous entertainment for three bachelors.

And his aunt and uncles have more energy to play than his tired parents. It's great fun all around.

While growing up, my cousin, who hailed from the east side of the valley, always looked up when airplanes flew overhead. I never noticed them. They flew over our house about every 3 minutes. Now the punk is the east-sider who notices the planes.

Uncles are fun.

Happy Easter

The punk thought it was pretty cool that the "Mooster Bunny" brought him a "Mooster basket" filled with treats and 6 bottles of bubbles! Before church, I wanted to take a few pictures of my good looking boys. The punk thought it unnecessary to obey my commands to look at the camera and smile.

He just wasn't interested in being told what to do. I can't relate to that at all. Nope. Not one bit.

So my man told the punk that he had a treat for him, and look what happened...

Bribery. Sometimes it's the only option.

Happy Easter, folks!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Month

We have survived the first month of the basher's life!

He has survived his brother's suffocating affection and his mama's 3:00 am breath.

The punk has survived his change in status from "only child: isn't he sweet?" to "big brother: please bring me that burp cloth, and stop climbing on me while I'm feeding the baby!"

My man has survived living with Crazy Hormone Lady.

And I have survived being Crazy Hormone Lady.

One month in and doin' fine.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Peek Into His Mind

One of the punk's favorite pastimes is choosing words for his mama to write so he can name each letter. Here is our latest collection:

Oh, to be two years old and unencumbered with words like budget, responsibility, and calories.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rub A Dub Dub

The basher's umbilical cord finally fell off so we were able to give him his first real bath. Of course, the punk wanted to be in the middle of the action. It makes me so happy to see how much he adores his baby brother. He has a constant desire to be with his little buddy, and to softly rub his head or cheek. He has actually become quite good at helping me burp the baby, rhythmically patting his back until he burps, then looking at me with pride, like a puppy who just killed his first rodent. All of this involvement is lovely and sweet to watch, until he wants to be all up in my grill while I'm trying to nurse the babe, "helping" me adjust... ahem... the basher's feeding apparatus.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

12of12: April (Tuesday)

On the 12th of each month, I take 12 photos to document my day. This Tuesday in April was overcast, but warmer than the recent unseasonably snowy days we've experienced. My man is absent from today's photo shoot because he's in Boston for work. When the punk told my friend Becky where his daddy is, he said he's "at work in Barnes & Noble." At least he remembered the first letter.

1. My day began at 1:00 AM with the basher's first meal.
2. My brother in-law's girlfriend Ashley came over to watch the McBash while I enjoyed some one-on-one time with the punk.
3. Today will go down in infamy as the day this girl lost her car keys. I've never done that before. Ever. I only have one set of keys, which I have never lost, nor locked in the car. Until today. (It's 11 PM and they still haven't turned up.) So, Ashley let me borrow her car - which came with this key chain - for my outing with the punk.
4. The punk's favorite moment of the week: Kindermusik! Here, he and his fellow classmates enjoy story time on the story blanket.
5. Coconut shrimp tacos! These delicious creations are the special on Tuesdays at Cafe Rio, where we joined my friend Sarah for lunch. Happy 30th, Sarah!
6. "Give me your hand, Mama!"
7. Deep in thought.
8. Hello, spring! Please stay a while.
9. He asked for help to climb the wall, but did not need any assistance on the dismount.
10. Preparing for nap time.
11. Making use of the new double stroller.
12. My friend Becky brought Pawit's green curry with tofu and much-needed adult conversation. She also played with the punk, held the basher while I ate, and assisted with the bedtime routine. Thank goodness for great friends!

P.S. Yes, I am as tired as I look.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birth: A Photographic Story, Part 3

Part 3 of 3. Photos by Amy Gretchen

The most special part of the experience for my man and me was when the punk came in to meet his little brother.

He was so happy. (I have about 6 chins in this photo, but the punk's face is so precious that I don't care.)

He loved meeting his little brother. He is still as enamored by "Baby Asher" as he was at that first moment.

Two of my siblings came immediately to meet the basher: Rachel and David. I love you guys!

My parents were also there. They had been watching the punk while we were laboring at the hospital. They brought him to us and then my man's parents took him home to spend the night with them.

Isn't Little Sis beautiful?

This is Amy, my great friend and talented photographer. Thanks, Amy, for capturing this moment so beautifully!

Birth: A Photographic Story, Part 2

Part 2 of 3. Photos by Amy Gretchen.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birth: A Photographic Story, Part 1

Part 1 of 3. Photos by Amy Gretchen.

Watching my contractions on the monitor was so much more pleasant than feeling them. Hooray for epidurals!

The mirror's reflection.


I love my man's serene expression juxtaposed with mine. He is a man who knows his limits, and therefore did not even attempt to hold a leg or stand in the line of fire. I was happy to have his hand on my arm and know that he was beside me.

Here he is! This may be my very favorite photo ever taken. The fuzzy head, the chubby cheeks, the dark eyes looking right at the camera, his full lips. He's perfect.

I have several photos documenting what happened in between these last two images. Namely, THE BIRTH. They are so beautiful and intimate and incredible (and not at all scary or gross thanks to Amy's perfect camera position), and I am so happy to have them. However, they are too personal to post on a site like this. So if you are a close friend, I would love to share them with you next time you visit me at home. However, they will not be found on the world wide web.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Drinking His Milk Out

This afternoon, I decided it was time to dust off the old pump. A breast pump is a nursing mom's greatest frenemy. It gives her options - the freedom to be away from the baby for longer than 3 hours, or the ability for Dad to help with the baby's mealtimes. But let's face it. It is probably THE MOST UNGLAMOROUS tool she will ever use. Seriously. It makes me feel like a cow.

When I first started pumping after I had the punk, I felt hideous. I would hide out in my room so that not even my man could see me. If I could have smashed all the mirrors in the house and gouged out my eyes, I would have done so. I didn't even want my own eyes to witness the ugliness. I cried from shame the first time my man walked in and saw me pumping. My body had been permanently changed with pregnancy and childbirth, and now there I was, hooked up to a sucking machine like an animal.

Fortunately, I have softened on this issue. The process is not any prettier than it used to be, but whatyagunnado? However, I still prefer to pump in private. I mean, really. No one else needs to see me withdraw fluids from my body, no matter how nutritious and delicious they are. So, I closed the door and sat in my rocking chair to prepare for a pumping session.

The minute I began, I heard the punk's footsteps in the hallway, and then the door handle began to turn. I knew I was in for it. He waltzed in and then stopped dead in his tracks. His curious eyes were fixed on the contraption in front of him. His eyes widened and bulged, and shifted from the suction cups in my hands, along the plastic tubes, to the seemingly innocuous bag that was plugged into the wall and making a repeated pumping sound. He was transfixed.

"Calvin?" I asked.
More staring.
"Calvin, will you please go out and shut the door?"
More staring.
"Excuse me, I am busy right now. Please go out and shut the door."
No movement. No sign of life.

After several attempts to get his attention, and knowing what a silly and vulnerable position I was in, I just started laughing hysterically. He finally shifted his eyes to meet mine and asked, "What's that sound?" I tried to explain what I was doing. He confirmed, "You are drinking Baby Asher's milk out into a bottle?" Yes, something like that. He finally obeyed my request to exit the room, but only for a moment. He repeatedly came close to closing the door, but then would change his mind and came back in for another look.

Laughing, I called to my man and asked him to save me. "Dude, I'd like some privacy please?" Carrying the baby, he ushered the punk out the door. As they left, the punk asked him, "Mom drinking Baby Asher's milk out?"

Yes, ours is a fascinating and confusing existence.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Tuesday

"Is it worth it?"

This is the thought that repeatedly came to mind as I was preparing to get the two boys and me out of the house this morning. Yes, our outing to Barnes & Noble was going to be worth it. It would distract all of us for at least an hour and give us something to look at besides each others' faces.

We parked in front of the store and I made the necessary preparations:
  • I took my wallet, phone, and keys out of the diaper bag,
  • hid the bag under a blanket on the floor of the back seat (because I didn't want to lug that thing around with me; it's like having to keep track of a third child),
  • unbuckled a sleeping basher, stuffed him into the Snugli, and strapped him onto my front like a marsupial, and
  • went around to the other door to unbuckle the punk.
This is when he decided to tell me that he "has a poop." So I:
  • uncovered the diaper bag,
  • retrieved a diaper and the wipes,
  • laid a crying baby on the floor of the front seat in his Snugli,
  • reclined said front seat, and
  • changed the punk's diaper right there in the parking lot.
  • Then I sanitized my hands and the punk's (at his request),
  • strapped the baby to my person,
  • grabbed my wallet, phone and keys,
  • locked the car,
  • threw away the messy diaper, and
  • went into the book store.

I read a couple books to the punk and otherwise let him wander in the children's section. The basher made it known that he did not appreciate when I stopped moving, so I told my tired body to keep walking even though all I wanted to do was lie down on the floor and take a nap. A very long nap. A "wake me up in a few months" kind of nap. But since that wasn't an option today, I just walked.

The basher did fall asleep for a few minutes, so I sat on a bench while the punk made a mess (which we cleaned up before we left - my mild sleep deprivation hasn't left me completely devoid of manners). After a very short rest, I stood up to get the punk started on the tidying process, and a fellow parent noticed the bundle on my chest. "Wow, a brand new one!"

"Yes," I said as I started heading toward the punk.

"Don't forget your wallet," he said. So I turned around to see my zebra wallet sitting on the bench, waiting to be abandoned.

"Oh, thanks," I sighed.

"Don't worry," he smiled. "You'll sleep in about 9 months."

"Ha! Yes, I'm looking forward to it!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Singing The Blues

About a week ago, at the darkest time of night, I held my little basher boy and sniffed his head and smiled. Although I was sore and sleepy, I was blissfully happy, and I took a moment to have a conversation with myself.

I said, "Self: Remember this feeling. You have a wonderful thing here. A healthy, possibly red-headed baby boy who eats and sleeps and poops and loves you. If the blues hit you in a few days, you'll know that it's all hormones. The depression is an illusion. It's only your wacky emotions that will have changed, not your actual life."

Then, a few days later, I started crying and couldn't stop. Hormones, man.

The good news is, I am married to Super Dad. He is my support. He is the punk's wrestle partner and the basher's protector. He looks out for me and won't let me wallow in tears for very long before he sets a course of action and forces me out of my funk. He took the two boys to the basher's doctor appointment last week so I could go out for sushi with my girlfriends. He has been right in the thick of the mess with me for the past two weeks, removing his ear plugs every night at 3 AM (or after the basher's second nighttime meal) so I could put in my ear plugs and enjoy four uninterrupted hours of sleep.

I love this guy.

And now I'm crying again. Someone slap me out of this!

Photos by Amy Gretchen.
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