Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Almost 3-year-olds when they "help".

I think since having a baby, I was able to finally see Tessa as truly un-baby for the first time. Because there was always something I could see that would make me think baby. Not anymore! This paradigm shift has led us to naturally give Tessa more responsibilities around the house. And then she decides whether or not she will comply or act like a cat.

"And how helpful is a 3-year-old anyway?", I thought to myself last night as I watched Tessa pretend a fork was alive and crying because it wanted to go to sleep. And instead of setting the table, she puts all of the forks to "bed" under a dinner plate and then presses her face against the table and her lips against the plate and whispers things to them. She also insisted on bringing Daddy his glass of milk. (Yes, you read that right. My 34-year-old husband drinks milk at dinner.) She is smiling the whole way with pride so I can't, of course, take the glass away. But I can chart her course step for step by the white puddles on the floor. And who cares if her shirt got milk all over it and she will smell like stale milk later? Not me. I, for one, smell stale milk so often these days I would probably think something was wrong if my clothes, bed, hair, baby, toddler, dog, etc. didn't.

Besides the jobs we give her to do, there are the things Tessa asks to do. These requests always center around two activities: cooking and Jack. If I begin to cook dinner, Tessa will run into the kitchen and ask,

What are we doin' here, mom?

I'm cooking dinner.

Tessa want to try!


unh! (Me grunting as I pick her up and put her on my hip.)


Don't touch the pan--it's very hot, OK?


Tessa want to try it!

Then I hand her the spoon, and she stirs so ineptly and vigorously that half the contents end up on the stove where they sizzle and burn. And whatever you do--don't try to "help" her stir better!!!

She also LOVES to help take care of Baby Jack. She likes to "help" his swing by standing in front of it and shoving it as it reaches the apex of it's arc. And then Baby Jack goes flying back into what I like to call, The Conquistador. Those of you who ever grew up going to the Arlington Six Flags will know what I'm talking about. So Baby Jack gets a free exercise in inner-ear disruption rather than a relaxing nap. The same goes for the bouncy chair. Tessa loves to bounce it for me. Never mind that we have to strap Jack in first--just kidding, she's not that bad! Just look at Jack's face. Does this look like a worried little brother? He's actually waiting for the smell of his diaper to make it to Tessa's nose so she will go away...
BINGO!!!Just look at that satisfied little smirk.
It's like he's saying, "Nah-nah-nah-Nah-nah!"
"Hey, is she gone yet??"
"HAHAHAHAHA! It worked!!"
"Heh, heh, heh. Yep, pretty funny...." ahem
"Umm...A little help with my diaper?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2008! Wasn't it GREAT?!?!?

On several blogs, I have seen this clever idea. You take the first few sentences of the first post of each month of the year 2008 and write them down. Did you get all that? So here goes!!!

January 2008
I thought I would post a few of my favorite pictures of Anthony and Tessa. I am very blessed that my daughter has a daddy who loves the Lord.

February 2008
Well, I had to get up in the middle of the night last night and do that parental duty of hunting for the foochshu. That is what Tessa calls her pacifier. We have no idea where it started and what got her calling it that, but it stuck. So here I am feeling around in the dark for this thing in the general direction Tessa is pointing. Eventually I turn on the light and look in every nook and cranny. I eventually found it in the crib with her. I'm still rolling my eyes.

March 2008
The hair monster struck at our house with a vengeance today. I have not included my photo in keeping with the "non-offensive" rating of this blog. Trust me on that one.

April 2008
Our little family has been blessed by the Lord lately.

May 2008
Tonight, Tessa experienced her first thunderstorm. Well, OK. It wasn't her first exactly, but it was the first she really noticed. She was in the living room reading a book to her baby doll when a huge clap of thunder slammed the house. I have never seen a more scared little girl.

June 2008
I have had insomnia for two weeks now.

July 2008
This evening Tessa was looking at Anthony's armpit hair with a puzzled expression on her face. After a few seconds, she pointed at the hair and said, "Daddy's dirty!" I had to laugh...and agree!

August 2008
Well, we drove to Clement Park today for a little sit-and-watch-Tessa-play good time.

September 2008
Wednesday was Tessa's first day of preschool. She was so excited about it. I think she had a whole lot of fun. Her teachers said she didn't nap, but sat quietly on her palate and read a book.

October 2008
OK. I know it's been a while since I've written anything new. But to be honest, there hasn't been a whole lot going on.

November 2008
The days around here continue to blend one into the next.

December 2008
Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything. I was kinda hoping to have my next post be a birth announcement. But it is taking FOREVER! I am sad to say, I am still pregnant.

All in all, a pretty good year! And I think it's funny how my posting gets more despondent as the time of pregnancy progresses. It's so much better now! Jack is sleeping for longer stretches at night. So at least there is hope for future sleep. He is smiling every time he wakes up and sees a face. He is also trying to talk. I think he may have found his fist recently and loves to wrap his mouth around it. Tessa loves making him smile and will get in his face and talk to him until he does. This produces lots of laughter and delight. I have caught Anthony ALMOST throwing Jack up into the air. When I told him he was scaring him, he assured me Jack was not the least bit scared. Uh-huh. We are just so blessed and one big happy family right now. Jack has turned out to be the sweetest, easiest baby. Maybe I feel that way because of how hard the pregnancy was towards the end, but I think it's true from an objective point of view, too.

Anyway, brag, brag, brag. Sorry about that. Have a great day!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daddy Chicken Video

Here is the little artist in action.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Denver Stock Show 2009

Can I just say that Anthony and I are pretty darn brave. We went with the kids to the Stock Show yesterday. We found out how stressful and difficult that is when one child is almost three and accident prone and the other is almost 5 weeks. We were exhausted by the time we got home!!!

We got to the place at about 9:30 AM. We parked in the family lot because it's cheaper. I nursed Jack in the front seat of our tiny car to "top him off" before we made our long trek to the shuttle bus.

When we got to the bus stop, we had to lift and carry the stroller holding Jack in his car seat onto the bus. Tessa was running around our feet picking up rocks and sticks to play with on our bus ride to the Hall of Education (the building where the exhibits and animals and kid area are set up). The bus ride excited Tessa to no end. She thought it was very fun and squealed over every bump exclaiming in a hi-pitched voice that I think only dogs could hear "Bus goes FAST!!".
When we pulled up to the curb we had to carefully get the stroller off. Enter Tessa's first accident. She totally missed the curb on the last step and slammed face-first onto the sidewalk. But there were too many people around for her to feel comfortable acting hurt. So she walked quickly over to Anthony and stood very still for a few moments--collecting herself.

The next several minutes went by smoothly. There were diaper changes, potty breaks, and lots forced hand holding. I'm talking about with Tessa (haha). There were so many people!! I didn't trust Anthony to keep a "mother's" eye on Tessa, so I did it myself.

We stopped at an indoor play area that was fenced off to let Tessa blow off some built up steam. If you didn't know, seeing exciting things like ponies and cows and ducks and chickens adds steam to an otherwise bursting child. Anyway, enter accident #2. Someone pushed Tessa down a rather steep slide which sent her careening on her hand and knees across the fake turf. She really let it go then.
We ate lunch at a nearby pit stop and then started the long wait in line for the pony ride. I was pretty excited about this because Tessa has never really ridden a pony. I mean, there was that one time me and Grandma held her on the back of an unsaddled miniature horse, but she was terrified and we had to stop.
The long wait ended finally, and Tessa could not have been more excited. She was grinning bigger than I have ever seen! Except for the moment her picture was taken. She is like those little girls from the 1800's whose faces always look angry or sullen in those black and white photos. Well, not quite that bad.

Yes, these are pictures of a picture. I had to get the photos from the pony ride people because I forgot my camera.

After the pony ride came accident number three! Tessa tried to push the stroller (I was in line getting the photo). She did something and ended up making the whole stroller dump over backwards onto her. Yes, Jack was in the car seat. Here's the kicker--he wasn't buckled in!!!! He was dumped into the back of the stroller (it was a soft landing and he never even woke up, thank God). Tess, however, screamed as though her arm had been cut off or something. She was perfectly fine, just scared. People all around Anthony gasped and stared. I, of course, rushed to the scene of the accident and made sure all was OK. Scared me to death for the second time! The first time happened a few days ago and is a story I promised not to tell. Sorry!

At this point, we just wanted to go home, but we had tickets to the Super Dogs show. What a bust!! Tessa had more fun trying to cheer at all the right places than actually watching the dogs. She was exhausted after 20 minutes and tried to go to sleep in her chair. We left before it was over and made the migration back to our car where we all sat silent the whole trip home. I must be getting old--that was almost too much! And I won't even go into the supposedly private "nursing area" set up at that place. Fun, fun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tessa Jane

This post will be about Tessa. Shocker, huh? Funny how having kids makes everything in life seem to be all about kids. Well, those of you with them will understand and cut me some slack since that's all most of you blog about, too. ;)

Anyway, when Tessa is in BIG trouble, I will call her "Tessa Jane" instead of just Tessa. She almost always understands the seriousness of this added middle name even though she doesn't know what a middle name is. Just the other day, she wanted to get my attention. She tried her usual "Mommy!!!". When that didn't work fast enough, she yelled out "Mommy Jane!!". It has stuck and that is all she calls me now. Oh, and Anthony is "Daddy Jane" if you were wondering.

This afternoon, we were able to capture the little artist in action. She even explained her drawings as she went. Here is a labeled picture (all labels were dictated to me by the little artist).

Click on the picture to see it bigger. The car at the bottom was Daddy Jane's contribution. The little creature in the car was added later by the little artist.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I am a list maker. Lists have always helped me to feel less stressed about what needs to be done. I enjoy crossing things off my list, but I mostly enjoy the relief I feel knowing I no longer have to remember what needs to be done--I can just consult my list. So I have been making lists of things to do, and things to buy, and people to email or call. They are starting to pile up. My lists, that is. But I have a few things I have set as goals for myself. This list is meant to help me get LESS done rather than more. I always tend to overdo things--especially right when I need to slow down the most. So here are this weeks goals:

1. Stay on top of laundry.
2. Cook dinner each night.
3. Go out to a public place at least once with both kids BY MYSELF.
4. Remember Tessa's baths and to periodically check her pull-ups.
5. Stay sane/optimistic.

Here is a list of things that I am using to help me accomplish my list of goals for the week:

3. SLEEP (hahahahaha)
4. ALCOHOL (jk--or am I?) ;)

I figure the list of goals will grow as my ability to do more things while juggling two kids improves.

Oh yeah, we took Jack to his two week appointment last week. He is perfect! We are proud of our bouncing baby boy. He slept his first 5-hour stretch a few nights ago. I am hoping this is the beginning of something wonderful and elusive called S-L-E-E-P.

Here are some new pictures thanks to my dad:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And Baby Makes 4...

Well, here we are on a Sunday night watching TV while the kids (that's strange to say still) sleep. It has been a very good two and half weeks of family fourdom. Jack had his two week appointment with our new pediatrician (our old one moved away). Not only was Jack an A+ in every way, but the new Dr. is a hottie!

Our lives are obviously very effected by Jack's arrival, but the change is not quite so dramatic as it was with Tessa. I feel GREAT!! Not being pregnant is a state of being I want to have for always and forever. I finally healed enough to feel more like my old self again--someone I haven't seen or heard from since, like, August '08. I have been hauling the kids all over town the last few days. I even had to nurse Jack while sitting on a toilet in the restroom of a restaurant we ate at on New Year's eve. Hey, you do what you gotta do!

A few nights ago, I discovered the wonders of the pacifier all over again. Jack hasn't been a paci kind of kid so far. But I finally "convinced" him to take one and he dropped blissfully into sleep. At 2:00 AM, this seemed like some kind of Red Sea moment that made me want to fall on my knees in thankfulness--which I would have done if I thought I would make it up again. That extra hour of sleep was like finding $50 in a pocket of some pants you haven't worn in a year. So when the next night rolled around and the pacifier was MISSING, I almost had a "moment". You probably know what I mean. It was 9:30 and I was tired and I just couldn't face the night without that little wonder. So we searched the house and the car for 20 minutes before we admitted to ourselves that it was gone. That's when my wonderful and beautiful husband got in the car and drove to the store and bought a package of paci's.

Getting to church has been an exercise in flexibility. And patience. And unconditional love. We just don't have things down yet. There is so much to do! And there is no real way to get out of the building quickly when people press in on all sides to admire the little cutie in the car seat. Plus, our car is TINY now that there are two car seats in the back. We need a bigger vehicle in a bad way. I am extremely against mini vans. For some reason I hate them. But I see the convenience--and I wish I had it! Maybe not in a mini van, but there are other options.

OK. Well, it's almost 9:30. I really need to go to bed. The nights are long. I look forward to sleep when it comes back around (what is it, like, 7 years?).