Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Thoughts

Curtis had the most profound thought of the evening:

"Do you realize that when this campaign started, we didn't have any children?"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baby Circus as Circus Animals

It all started when Nonie found an adorable elephant costume at the goodwill. Then if Thomas had a costume, well, Ruthann needed one too. Then they needed somewhere to go in their costumes. So here they are at Curtis's HS football game on Saturday. Yeah, it was the day after, but when you're this adorable, it's o.k. to be the only people in costumes.

P.S. Ruthann's being held by a super-nice lady whose son is on the team.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Turning Japanese? I Really Think So

Here is my baby eating rice with chopsticks. Thomas and I were having dinner together and he wanted to eat my food just like I was. He had to have a pair of chopsticks for each hand and held both sticks together in his fist, but he did manage to get one grain at a time to stick to the sticks and go into his mouth. I've seen adults do about as well. To complete the scene, he also had some miso soup in a sippy cup. Babies are so cool.

At a consignment sale yesterday, I found a board book about sushi. I like this line "Miso in my sippy cup, tofu in my bowl. Crab and avocado fill my California roll." He does like tofu. Maybe a trip to the sushi buffet is in our future.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Would You Like Some Ham with Those Eggs?

Stupid Smart Baby

In the last week or so, Thomas has figured out:

* how to turn the fan off when it is hot and on when it is cold.

* how to lock the screen door when I go to the laundry room.

* how to shut the front door to keep any fresh air from coming in.
and worst of all
* that chocolate is really, really good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thomas's First Haircut

In honor of turning one and a half, I gave Thomas his first haircut. He got much blonder. Suddenly, he's looking more and more like a little boy instead of a baby.



Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Fun

Happy Rosh Hashanah! While I'm still not entirely certain what exactly it is, Curtis got the day off for it. Many of his students were grumbling about spending the entire day at Temple, but we took the opportunity to head to the Getty. They were having an exhibition of Bernini's Baroque portrait sculpture. It was a fantastic exhibit. I felt priviliged to have seen sculptures that hadn't been displayed together since the 1600's. Just beautiful. We also saw the exhibit on humor in drawing, which was just ok. We wandered into a building that turned out to house the decorative arts. Somehow I'd never been there in all my visits to the Getty. I just fell in love with all the gorgeous furnishings. There's something about wood and inlay that just speaks to me.

The best part of the whole day was the babies. They were PERFECT. Ruthann fussed a little, then slept through most of it. Thomas waved at people, played with a few toys I brought, and sang happy songs. The docents got a kick out of him. I shoved them around in the double stroller, and they didn't seem to mind the confinement as long as we didn't stop for too long.

It was a fabulous day out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Momtourage

I just got back from my weekly mom's meeting. The group meets at a nearby church for two hours with childcare provided in the church nursery. It's so great to have time with other women who are also moms. I can get advice and stories from the moms with older kids and give advice to the moms with younger kids. Today was especially great because there were two other women with little babies there. One of them I feel is my alter ego literally my other self because she has two girls who are each two months older than my babies. We even have similar lifestyles. I just love bouncing things off of her and going, "You mean it's not just me."

Thomas was a big boy today and played in the nursery the whole time. I think it helped that there were lots of snacks today. He looked so big walking back in with the group of other kids. When the kids come back, it's adorable to see the women and children interacting. I can tell that I'm not the only one who discovers that even though we were only apart for two hours, I missed him and find myself happy to see him again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Mini-Vacation from Deciding

Last night, we failed to learn from the horrible experience of taking the babies to a restaurant for our anniversary and went to Red Lobster. It was actually wonderful. Ruthann stayed in her seat, looked around, made cute baby noises and smiles, and then went to sleep. Thomas liked looking at the lobsters in the tank during the long wait and played and ate happily at the table. Most people would have hated our table. In fact two different families rejected the other table in the room. It was in a small, echo-y porch where there was a loud birthday party going on at the other end. It was great for me, though, since Thomas's toddlerness just blended into the other noise.

An odd thing about being a housewife is that I live an almost completely unconstrained life. The only things I need to do certain times are for Curtis: provide dinner, and for the babies: feed them and change diapers. Everything else is done or not done by my choice. And it turns out that decision making is actually mentally tiring. It was actually quite refreshing to have my options severely curtailed. To only have to decide between the limited options of the menu rather than the vast possibilities of the items in my kitchen and nearby grocery store. It was also nice to just sit and eat. I didn't have to prepare the food, serve the food, clear the table or wash the dishes. Because of the noise, I didn't even need to carry on much of a conversation. It really felt like a vacation.

I think that this may be part of the reason that many people don't like to cook at home. It's too mentally tiring to make the decisions. Cooking at home from scratch saves huge amounts of money, but it requires a lot of decisions. The hardest part of making dinner every night and the part that takes me the longest is deciding what to make. Actually preparing the food usually takes under an hour. Without "convenience foods", nearly everything we've got at home needs to be combined with at least one other thing to be "dinner." But there are a huge number of possible combinations. If you've got pizza dough, you make pizza; a bread mix, you make bread. But if you've got flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk, you could make pizza crust, bread, pancakes, muffins, scones, pasta, crackers, pie crust, cookies, cakes, and the list goes on.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cute Family

I propped Ruthann against Curtis to do something for Thomas. Thomas decided he wanted to crawl up onto the couch and sit down with Gilgamesh (the bear). Curtis fell asleep and Thomas started petting his sister's fuzzy head.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Worst Wake-up EVER!

I was asleep at 4:10 a.m. I was not even consiously aware of the sound that woke me up, but when I opened my eyes in a panic, the cat was THIS close to me and it had that look in its eyes. I jerked my head back and snatched at my pillow, but was too late, as the cat unleashed a hairball that got my pillow and the bottom sheet. Curtis was not amused to have to wake up and move so that I could strip the bed. Oh, and did I mention that they were BRAND NEW sheets? That we were sleeping on for the FIRST TIME EVER! 'Cause what I really needed in my life was more laundry.

Ruthann's First Operation

In my last post, I forgot to mention that Ruthann had a "procedure" on the 3rd. Doctors inserted a catheter from her leg into her heart and used a balloon to open up the pulmonary valve. While scary sounding (she's so tiny!), it was actually an outpatient procedure and we got to take her home that evening. She didn't like coming out of the anesthesia, but after that she was peaceful and smiley. Now, more blood goes to her lungs to be oxygenated. With more oxygen in her system, I can tell that she feels better. She's been much more alert, awake, and smiley this last week and a half. She'll still have to have open-heart repair surgery sometime before her birthday, but now we don't have to rush into it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Growing Up

Last night, for the first time, Ruthann slept in her crib all night out in the living room with her brother. We also, for the first time, managed to get up at 5:15 and get to a 6:30 morning Mass. (A routine we'd like to get in to, but have been failing at the getting up part.) The nice thing about getting the babies up so early is that at 7:30 a.m., they're both ready for a nap (hence this post).

Thomas is up to 15 teeth. The top two canines came in around Aug 7th and the bottom left one came in Labor Day (9/1). Just one more canine (already a noticeable bulge in the gum), then he'll have his full complement until age 2.

Ruthann's getting better at finding her hand and thumb. She was sucking her thumb in her crib this morning. Hopefully soon she'll have enough control of her arms and hands to not need a pacifier any more. Thomas is supremely jealous of the pacifier and wants to take it as soon as he sees it, even if he already has one (or 2 or 3). He never uses a pacifier any other time, so it's just annoying. To quiet her fussing in public, I give her a pacifier, which causes him to start fussing (and he's even louder.)

Curtis is settling into a new school year. He's teaching only 4 of the 8 periods (physics, AP physics B, AP physics C, and freshman biology). I guess the football team is coming along well. They have their first game this coming Saturday. The circus and I will go, which almost guarantees that I won't actually see any of the game.

My birthday is this Friday. Since nearly everyone I know who's over 5 is significantly older than I am, it's fun to complain about how old I'm getting. After all, I'm "looking down the barrel of THIRTY!" I've decided that for my birthday, I'm going to splurge and binge on a huge amount of ice cream. I haven't decided how to ditch Thomas for this operation, since he eats more than I do. I'm proud to say that I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with Thomas. Since July 25th, I've lost 15 lbs. Now my jeans fit again, so I'm prepared for when it finally cools off. I'm not sure it's ever going to be fall, though. Yesterday, it was 101 and Saturday was 103.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School

Football moved to twice-daily practices. Teacher meetings run all week. And school starts next Wednesday. Fall must be around the corner.

I'm home alone with the circus. So far, things are going well. Thomas has been extra-loving with lots of hugs and head-rubbings (his version of a kiss). I think he misses Curtis. Today I took the circus out to do some shopping. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to get salt. It was getting close to lunchtime and Thomas demanded a treat. He pointed and fussed until I gave it to him. I let him munch on it up to the checkout. I think I must be doing somthing right with this kid though, because the thing he really wanted was a red bell pepper. The cashier got a big kick out of the pepper with the bite out of it.

Two Months Old

Happy to be two months old!


Curtis taught Thomas how to eat corn like a big boy.

Thomas tries to make friends with Bex. The cat is indifferent.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sleeping Through the Night

It's SO not fair. Ruthann slept from 11ish to after 8am today. However, Thomas woke me up at 4:30am and Curtis's alarm went off at 5:30. Fortunately, they both took a nap and I got a little more sleep.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


We took the Baby Circus on the road to go see Gramy in Fresno. She enjoyed seeing her only great-grandkids and the grandparents were very excited to see Thomas (and Ruthann, but she just doesn't do much at this stage.) Thomas had lots of fun stomping on the kitchen floor, eating everything in sight, and playing with his grandpa and the garden hose.

(Max is such a good dog. He didn't even try to take Thomas's cracker.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baptism Pictures

Lots and lots of baptism photos here on Willowlaughter's picture site. Here's some of my favorites.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Quick Update

Thomas recognizes that Ruthann is a person. Yesterday, he was imitating the way she was chomping on her finger. He also likes to grab her nose (something he also does to Curtis and I, apparently noses are funny). Unfortunately, he also likes to poke her in the eye to watch her wince (wincing is also apparently funny). We're trying to discourage that one.

She's still not sleeping through the night, but at least she's now sleeping in the night, so conditions are improving.

We had Ruthann baptized last Sunday (the 20th), but I only got 3 pics with my camera, none of which were very good. Once Ruthann's godmother posts some of the pictures taken with her awesome cameras, I'll link to them. Ruthann didn't cry at all, and just looked kind of confused as the water was poured on her head.

I had my 6-week post-partum checkup today and got a clear bill of health. I'm also back to around the weight I was when I got pregnant with Thomas. So now's the time to lose that 15 lbs that's keeping me from wearing my favorite winter skirts. I'm not the only one in a health-conscious mood. Curtis is checking out gyms. Today he's starting Bally's free trial period to see if he likes it. We should be lean, mean, baby-wrangling machines by Christmas if this keeps up.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Month

Ruthann is one month old today. On one hand, it's hard to believe that she's already a month, but on the other hand, it feels like she was born forever ago. I was trying to figure out why the last 30 days seem like a fog and came up with the following list.

In the past 30 days, we:

* spent 5 days at the hospital.
* went to 5 different doctor visits.
* had visits from my mom, Curtis's parents, the kids' godparents (twice), Curtis's dad, one of Curtis's students and her mom, and 10 meals delivered by various members of my moms group.
* had two babies in diapers who both want to eat any time they're not asleep.

AND I rarely get to sleep more than two hours at a time.

I need a nap just thinking about it!

The Reunion

The Babi-kini

The kiddos with their great-grandparents

The aforementioned 86-year-old great-grandfather going down the highest, fastest slide at Curtis's uncle's water park

Great-grandma being helped out after her (second) turn down the slide

Thomas splashing in the kiddie pool

The Yoghurt Goatee

Thomas's first attempt at eating with a spoon (actually, one for each hand)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Thomas Update

Poor Thomas has been neglected on this new blog. All the mandatory baby pics and me being too busy and tired to post mean that he's got a whole list of back news to impart. He's now 15 months old and has been very busy in the last 3 weeks or so.

* He's now officially a walker. He gradually worked up to it while my mom was here (6/6-7/2). He walks back and forth across the living room, carries toys, and can climb up on the couch and the green chair all by himself. This weekend, he's getting his first pair of real shoes so he can try his new skill outdoors.

* We are finally done with teething of molars. Last week, I discovered that his top right molar (the last one) was about halfway revealed. He's still drooling, but not as badly and he's definitely less grouchy.

* His new way to flirt is to try to bat his eyes at people. He blinks very deliberately at you repeatedly until you bat your eyes back. Very cute.

* He's continuing to get better with toys. He's been exploring how things can fit inside of each other and the magic of lids (they fit on top, but won't go inside the object even if you scream at them). He's also (at long last) figured out how to turn his pushtruck so that he's not stuck once he runs into something.

* Last night we allowed him to feed himself with a spoon for the first time. He did shockingly well. I think less food ended up on the floor than normal. Later, I'll have to post a picture of his yoghurt-goatee (the applesauce didn't drip as much).

* While he's not talking yet (at least not in English), he does have two sort-of-words. He will point to objects at say "Whazzat" in his cute baby-voice. He as also decided that the cat is "zha." He will say zha whenever he sees the cat and has also said it while pointing to a picture of an orange kitten in his book (meaning that it's not context-specific).

More Pictures

The women who cared for Ruthann before she was born: me, my usual nurse, and my OB (who is ironically named Dr. Little)

Thomas ignores Ruthann, but likes the toys on her bouncer and carseat. I wonder if he remembers when they were his toys?

Thomas displays his musical skills on the drums

Now that he's a walker, we had to test out his monkey-backpack harness to see if he minded wearing it. Not really, and it looks too cute.

On Monday, Ruthann's cord fell off, so on Tuesday she got her first bath. Remember when Thomas used to fit in this tub?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Days at Home

Ruthann was born on Grandpa Jim's birthday, so we all got birthday ice cream cake. Yum-ola!

Ruthann and Noni

Everyone loves Thomas

Ruthann and Grandma

A moment of bliss. Thomas asleep in his crib and Ruthann asleep in the bouncer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Birth Day Story

When my OB said, "You know, once your water breaks, you're going to have this baby in an hour," I started thinking about how long it takes from the time you arrive at a hospital till you are actually seen by someone. We decided to schedule a time to break my water at the hospital. My doctor gave me two choices, Friday or Monday. Since Monday was the day that Great-Grandpa had put a $500 incentive plan on, I said Monday.

The Before Picture

Monday, June 16th, at 7:30 in the morning, my entourage showed up at the hospital. Mom and I went to admitting, while Curtis drove Thomas to the sitter's. He was back in plenty of time, since it took an hour and a half (9 am) for the hospital to get things organized and start the I.V. with the Pitocin (to start contractions). Those contractions were SO easy that even though they were 5 minutes apart, I would not have realized that they were the sign to head to the hospital. At 9:30, my doctor came in and broke my water. Now the contractions were definitely painful and it was only about 15 minutes before I was in enough pain that I would not have been able to walk or really do much of anything. If not for the induction, I would have had this baby on the bathroom floor.

Pretty soon, I'm in transition, which means SERIOUS pain. The nurse asks me if I want something for the pain. "YES!!" I gasp, but she just leaves the room. Confused, when she returns, I try to remind her of her offer. "At this point, anything we gave you would slow the baby's heart rate too much." Incredulously and in MAJOR pain, I gasp/shout, "Then WHY did you offer?!"

Another nurse decides that the baby's heart rate is dropping too low, so I get to lay on my side and get oxygen. This is good as my hands and feet had been tingling and going numb. I keep asking (begging) the nurses to let me push (since I remember with Thomas that all the transition pain goes away once you start pushing). They haven't checked me in a while, but couldn't believe I could possibly be at 10 cm yet (HA!) and besides, I should wait for my doctor. I try not to push, but it just hurt too much not to. My secret pushing was revealed when my doctor arrived, helped me roll to my back to check the progress and found that the baby's head was already there. I didn't have to even push for her to be delivered. It was 11:02 am, two hours after they started the I.V. and only an hour and a half since my water broke. (I think it could have been even faster if only they had just let me push.)

Getting Examined After Delivery

She came out screaming (which is good), but with the cord wrapped around her (not a problem, since the doctor just clamped and cut it right then). She was cleaned up, but was very white. They were worried that she might be anemic or something, so took her to the NICU to be examined. She pinked up after about 10 minutes, but they kept her for a "four-hour observation." Eventually, she was cleared by a doctor and allowed to go to the regular nursery. They had to do yet another examination and paperwork, while I was making phone calls trying to track down what had happened to my baby, who I had not seen since she was born over 5 hours earlier. At last she was brought to my room, just in time for two cars of visitors to arrive. Car 1 brought Thomas back to us and the second car had Ruthann's godmother and her sister. We all had a good time for an hour or so before visiting hours ended at 8 pm. (Well, all except Thomas who got scared by my reaction when he yanked on my I.V. and then was bored and tired.) As my visitors left, Ruthann was taken back to the nursery to get checked out by her pediatrician. This is getting long, so what happened the rest of the night will be taken up in the next post.

In My Room, At Last