Monday, September 29, 2014

Four Months Old!

This was a big month for Alex!  His first flight, his baptism, his first class, and discovering that the world around him is so much bigger than he thought!

Height/Weight: I don't know exactly, a week ago or so he was 14 lb 1 oz.  We have a doctor appointment in a few weeks. He looks pretty big, but I know he's way smaller than Colin was at his age.

Clothing size: Six months, although some three months still fit.

Diaper size: Size 2

Eating:  It's been a rough month for eating for poor Alex.  First we had some supply issues.  We had plenty of milk in the freezer, but it was still unpleasant for everyone.  We were back to tracking all of his eating and diapers for a while (which we were still doing for Colin at this age, I discovered.  Man we had a lot of free time. :))  Things got back to normal and then Alex got sick and couldn't keep anything in his tummy for an entire day.  Luckily, we seem to be over that and I'm hoping we can settle back into a good groove.  In no time at all, it will be time for solids for this guy!

Sleeping: Alex has moved to his crib! Sort of.  We put him down at night in his crib and he sleeps there until his first waking, usually around one am.  After that he's been in our bed or the rock and play depending on how tired we are and how fussy he is.  He's still swaddled when he's in his crib and really prefers it.

New Skills: Dive bomb rolling.  Alex loves to push himself WAY up high and then do a dive roll.  Cute,but kinda scary.  Also, back floating!  We took Alex and Colin to a parent and me swim class and he LOVED it.  He floated really well on his back.  He is also interacting a lot with smiles and coos, especially for his big brother.

I am so in love with this little person.  I am constantly amazed at how his unique personality is already shinning through. I can't wait to see what's next!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mom's blinks: It isn't always roses.

Yesterday my poor baby (Alex) puked up everything he ate.  He was doing better, so we went to dinner for Grandpa's birthday and after nursing for not long at all, he puked up everything he had eaten and more all over me, the table, the floor, himself...

Daddy is traveling, and grandma and grandpa were with us for two nights.  After they left, mommy decided it would be best for us (Mommy, toddler, baby) to go to church together.  Colin kept hollering "Something different, home!" Once, after mommy whispered in his ear 'we are praying now' he shouted "No more prayer!"  He then begged over and over again to 'visit Mary' (who told him the statue outside was Mary??).  Meanwhile; baby, who had a major blow out on the way to church (it's like two miles dude, serioulsy??) refused to sleep, despite being super tired and instead just fussed and cried. Mommy tried to juggle both cranky children and debated in her head a million times if she should just leave.

I balanced my babies, as best as I could, while listening and participating as much as I could. I prayed with them when they were quiet and for them when they were not. I bounced, juggled and cajoled, Amazingly, I heard most of the readings and homily. Miracously, we all survived.  And instead of the admonishment I was expecting when I turned around to greet the people behind me, I was met with grace, a compliment that I was doing a great job and a reminder that there presence was important.  (She said something beautiful, and looked as though she would have said more, but alas, Colin started to take off and and I had my hands full again).

As soon as the priest announced that mass was over, and we should go in peace, my trio of chaos slipped out in as much peace as we could muster.  Colin immediately darted to the statue of Mary and found the roses.  I took a second to soothe the baby and Colin found out that roses have thorns... (no blood, but he was a bit upset)

So perhaps my title is wrong.  It is always roese, just not always the flowers.   It felt like the longest few hours, but even now, only a few hours later, with my back still aching and my headache only recently subsided, I already appreciate that these really are the moments I'll treasure forever.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ladera Learners First Field Trip: Mission Viejo Library

So I am really loving our preschool setting for Colin.  This week we had our first field trip!

We headed to the Mission Viejo library. We met in the grass out front for snacks and to get some energy out.

 The boys especially seemed to need to burn off some energy!

Colin made a new friend, too!

 Inside, the kids did fantastic!  We didn't realize it was story time day and there were A LOT of kids around, but our group did great.  They sat down and colored together for a while.  Then some of the kids read while others played in the kids part of the library. I really loved getting to interact with all of the kids in a new setting.  It was also awesome having the kids in matching shirts because it was super easy to tell which kids were in our group and keep an eye on everyone.  Many of the moms (myself included) were amazed to see our balls of energy sit down and focus on an activity.  I attribute this to the power of a group setting.

Yay for Pre-preschool!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Moms Blinks: Perfeclty Normal Day with my babies

Today was mostly a normal day, at least as normal as days are around here. Because of Gavin's and my weird work schedules, normal is a bit of misnomer.

I worked a half day from home, Gavin went into work, Colin had a field trip for his preschool (more on that later!)

But it was an awesome day for me.  I got to spend a good amount of time with the boys, both together and individually.  I got all of my necessary work done.  I even had a little bit of down time.

There weren't any moments today that stole the show, it was more like a series of really good moments.  Colin asking for pie for breakfast. Alex smiling at me from his swing while I made coffee, interacting with Colin and his friends at his field trip, feeding Alex, putting the boys down for their nap.  Alex slept during Colin's dinner so we had some mommy and Colin time making dinner (twice actually because Colin didn't end up like the eggs...) Because he had a late nap, Alex was awake after Colin went down and we cuddled and he giggled for me.

Today had it's difficult moments, there were a few minor tantrums, and even a minor injury, but it was still exactly the type of day I need to remember when I'm trying to find that balance of work/me/family time, and when I'm struggling through one of those certainly NOT perfect days.  Because these days are fleeting and there are only so many of them to be had.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ladera Learners

A few months ago, a mom in my Ladera group suggested starting a homeschool preschool program.  This idea fit perfectly in one of my and Gaivn's concerns for Colin.  We love that we are home with the boys, but we realize that Colin's getting to an age where he needs to be learning to interact with his peers on a more regular basis.  We talked briefly about sending him to preschool or some type of day program, but we aren't ready.  The idea of a homeschool environment seemed like a great solution!

We started meeting and formed a group of 8.  The Lil Ladera Learners.  After meeting a few times, I realized there were several other huge benefits to the group.  One of the major ones is exposing to Colin to the types of activities that I wouldn't think of or wouldn't have interest in doing.  Another is the idea of a better division of labor.  Gavin and I often prepare activites for Colin, but it's pretty annoying to spend an hour getting an activity ready that he spends 3 minutes on.  With a group, it's about the same amount of work, but more opportunity for it to be enjoyed.  Also, I've noticed that in a group, Colin seems to spend more time because he sees the other kids participating.

During our first week, Colin did way better than I was anticipating.  It's not that I thought he would be horrible, I was just concerned that the entire thing might be a little bit over his head.  It wasn't.  All of the kids seemed a little cautious at first.  The younger group, which has been Colin and two little girls, more than the older group.  Colin also participated really well in all of the activities.  He sat at the table and ate his snack.  He listened to the stories, he stacked blocks, painted, did puzzles and sang.  He 'shared' all of his blocks with one of his tablemates.

First moments of 'school'

First Classrom

Next generation Ladera Learners?

Did I mention we got T shirts? Cute!!

School Friends

Circle Time Board

Trying to stay clean and dry!

I am really excited about this opportunity.  I think it will amazing to watch Colin grow and learn with a group of kids his age.  I am so grateful that Gavin and I have the opportunity to be a part of this group.

Friday, September 19, 2014

In Illinois

I love where we live.  I love the weather, I love our home.  I (usually) love my job, our pets, our proximity to the beach, the mountains, the desert.  I even like being called a Californian.  I love our neighbors and the awesome people I've met in Ladera.

I miss being closer to family.

Our trip was fun because we got to spend so much time cuddling and playing with our family.

Aunt Faith and Uncle Craig

Aunt Cheryl

A very well attended bath
Swinging with Cousins

Reading with cousins and Buma


Baking with Buma

Sink Baths with Buma and Bupa

Bos with Buma
My favorite part of the trip was Colin with his cousins.  Several times a day he still tells me "Cousins, fun!"  Our trip renewed my commitment to making sure that Colin and Alex know about their family members who live far away and aren't seen often enough.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


It took Gavin and I a long time to decide when and how to baptize our sons.  Ultimately, our very wise priest gave me some good advice and insights so we loaded up the family and headed to Chicago.

Gavin's mom mentioned that they often invite godparents over to help dress the babies.  So we invited everyone over! Cheryl and Craig were staying with Gavin's family and Cori brought Patrick.

 Craig did a great job, although he did tell me after that he refrained from helping with the diaper because he thought learning on a child dressed all in white laying on a white bed was tempting fate.

When we got to the church, both boys wanted mommy snuggles.  My favorite!

We had met with the Parish Pastor earlier in the week.  I really liked Father Dennis.  He had some excellent insight for me and I appreciated his honesty and compassion for our family.

Because of our time constraints we had a private baptism.  It was a beautiful event for just the boys and our families.  He shared some beautiful words with us, encouraging us to be good examples to our children and reminded us of our solemn responsbility in raising them. He reminded us that we had the support and love of not only their godparents, but everyone gathered and the entire Christian community.

During the service, Father Dennis also included the babies we never met.

 Alex was not a fan of the actual baptism.  The water went in his eyes, but he quickly calmed down.

 Colin was fascinated and immediately after the baptism was complete looked at me and said 'Again!'.  Sorry Colin, we acknoweldge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. :)

 It was a beautiful ceremony and I was overwhelmed with the love and prayers surrounded our family.  We were so honored that both sets of godparents were able to attend.  What a beautiful day to celebrate our precious boys!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Come Fly with me!

Colin was very excited for our trip to Chicago.  He was especially excited about going on an airplane.  Mommy was slightly less excited about loading up the family for a plane trip, but I made a plan and we were off!

My preperation for the flight was pretty much all about Colin.  I assuemd Alex would either eat, sleep or cry and there wasn't really much else I could do.

I choose Sleep.
 For Colin, I had a list of twenty activities and I estimated that I could hope for about 15 mins from each (some more, and some less, obviously).  I bought a bunch of stuff  at Target and put it in bags to be pulled out one at a time.

I didn't have a great plan for the airport, but we did fine.  We ate and walked around and looked at the planes.

For this flight, we purchased Colin his own seat.  Colin in his big guy seat!

Colin ate and then fell asleep!!  It was awesome!  Meanwhile, super mom did it all. (If you can't tell in this picture, I have like an inch or two of my seat... oh well.

The flight was super easy.  We just kind of went along with Colin.  We also loaded up some shows on the iPad and I downloaded a few new apps.  I know it sounds crazy, but the flight was actually fun!

So I suppose I should have expected that our return flight (in the morning instead of during nap time) would be a wreck, but honestly, I just kind of went with it, and the boys did AWESOME!
 We had to wake up super early for our 8:30 am flight, but Auntie Cheryl went with us to the airport and through security.  Always grateful for a few more hands!

Colin fell asleep again!  It was fantastic!!  Infact, it was so peacefull, that I took a nap!  Pause and let the amazingness of that sink in... I was flying with two little people and I was able to take a brief nap.  Seriously, magical.
 I was nervous about the flight, and I know they might not all go so smoothly, but it was so great that the boys did so well.  I love my little guys!