Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meet Our New Friends...

Myrtle always leads the way... :)
We live in one of many developments in this area that have little ponds in the midst of all of these houses.  Our little pond is pretty well hidden and is not very close to our house...needless to say these ponds attract many feathered guests.  We have lived in this house for 3 years and, though there have been infrequent visits by pairs or small groups of ducks or geese into the central part of the neighborhood, this year has brought something new.  We have noticed a pair of mallards (I am assuming they are the same pair each sighting, only because this behavior is out of the ordinary) that have spent a lot of time just hanging out in random yards since early spring this year.  They made their first visit to our yard a couple of weeks ago.  The boys get EXTREMELY excited about this!  I think they would really like to love on these little friends, but Mac and Myrtle (yes...we named them today) don't share these same sentiments!

Awwww...come back!

Until today, every sighting in our yard has been out front...usually just laying together in the middle of the yard soaking up the sun.  Today, the sun has been MIA and a nice steady drizzle has taken its place.  I happened to walk past the back door and glance out to see them both in a wet corner of our yard, splashing in the growing puddle back there, happy as mallards in muck! :)  Myrtle then waddled across the yard, Mac willingly following, just checking it all out.  I love that they made a visit, just hope that they don't decide to do so when the dogs are back there on a nicer day! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mr. Gokey...

Dear Gokey,

I knew when I had kids that they would grow up, but it still seems to catch me by surprise when another year rolls around.  Today you join the ranks of the Terrible Two-year olds...though, I am pretty sure you have solidified your membership long before today! :)  So, in my annual tribute to my littlest man, let's take a little stroll down memory lane.

Ahhhh...two years ago today.  At this moment I was exhausted, I believe I was trying to sleep through contractions that just wouldn't go away.  They had started the evening before and I told your dad, though they weren't at all painful, that I just knew that this was it, so if there was anything else he needed in the hospital bag, he should pack it before bed.  We had a failed trip to the hospital in the middle of that night and we were sent home at 6 am because there was no progression, but I still knew I would be holding you in my arms before long.  Mother's intuition usually doesn't fail!  So...I was napping...kind of.  We had a short appointment with the OB later in the morning where there was a little progression and he commented that he would probably see us in the middle of that night...I still knew it would be sooner.  Around noon, Daddy came in and woke me up to eat some lunch.  He made me a sandwich and I sat on my Yoga ball at the table to eat.  That's when the real deal hit.  I forced my sandwich down between intense contractions, knowing this would be my last meal until you arrived.  After lunch, Dad helped me downstairs and filled our big bathtub so I could soak.  I sat in there a LONG time while he and your brother played outside the bathroom.  It was a comfort to hear X-man's giggles and squeals and I couldn't wait to add another unique laugh to my little brood.  After my super soak, Dad helped me out of the tub and I told him to call Grandpa Moose to come over and hang with X-man so we could go back to the hospital...I knew I wouldn't be turned away this time.  I was right!  I was admitted and after having to change rooms several times due to odd things like heavy machinery jackhammering and beeping right outside of my birthing suite window, we were finally settled in.  Aunt Adie and Nana came to keep us company, but mostly kept each other company as Dad and I walked up and down the hallways for a couple hours, only stopping to monitor your steady little heart beat.  Only took a couple of hours and a brief bout of pushing for your squirmy little body to slip into this bright, beautiful world!  Your daddy called it weeks ahead of time.  He knew you would be born on Cinco de Mayo because of all of the mexican food I ate during my pregnancy...he must have known what he was talking about! :)  You came out so alert, beautiful and HUNGRY!  There is truly nothing like the moment I got to hold you in my arms for the first time.  Though we had a room full of doctors, nurses and family who witnessed your arrival, for a few perfect minutes it was just me and you.

A boy and his dog...
Fast forward two years's hard to believe you were ever that tiny!  You are still a little guy for your age, but you don't let that hold you back.  Afterall, you have to keep up with your big brother!  You are definitely a Momma's boy, which I am absolutely OK with, and you have a snuggly, affectionate side like no other.  You are a talker and, though it doesn't always come out like you want it to, you have very little problem communicating.  You are quick to hand out "I love you's", "please's" and "thank you's" to my delight.  You have big brown eyes that I could almost fall into...people comment on them everywhere we go, but you don't seem to notice or care.  Just like your momma, you have developed a true love for animals.  You are a little wary of the larger livestock type animals, but if it is canine or feline, you are magnetically drawn.  Your very favorite furry friend, though, is our Stella dog.  You love her and she loves you and the time you have spent in your short 2 years climbing on, snuggling with and lovingly torturing her most definitely outweighs the amount of time you have spent in slumber (not that that means a lot).  Your very best friend, however, is your big brother...I hope that it is always like that.  There is nobody cooler than X-man and you will attempt to repeat anything he says, complete any acrobatic feat he performs and get into any trouble he suggests...I adore the two of you together.

You told me you were just resting...
On the flip side, you have a stubborn streak rivaling nothing I have ever experienced!  At a mere two years of age I seriously think you have mastered the eye roll, and I expect I will see that expression for many years to come.  The attitude that you can wear is almost takes everything in me to remain stern when all I want to do is giggle at the little man that stands before me so defiant and a whopping 32 inches tall.  You are very emotional, and dramatic, but I love that about you...nobody can perfect the staggering fall to the floor, resting your forehead on the carpet in obvious distress like you have.  Your daddy may not be quite as dramatic, but one of the things I love about him is that he doesn't hold anything back...I hope you keep that quality as well.

I just helped your tearful little self into bed for a much needed nap and it took everything in me to make you stay there.  You don't know how much I wanted to spend the next couple of hours hugging you and reading you the same 14-word-total board books we have recited over the last couple of years.  But, alas, you must rest up for the celebrations to come.  I love you to pieces, little man.  Thank you for bringing your offerings of joy, chaos, laughter and love to this little family.  Happy Birthday!!!!
Such a little man...where did my baby go?


Momma :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Weekend Without Kids...

We are very lucky.  We have never struggled trying to find a sitter for a night out or special event.  We literally have family members who might duke it out to determine who "gets" to take our boys so that J and I can have an outing.  We have never had to pay a sitter and for the most part when J and I make our departure, the boys don't even notice our absence because they love their temporary caretakers.  So...over a month ago I asked my Mom (Gigi) if she and my step-dad (Papa) would be willing to take the boys for a weekend before Little Miss Chip arrives.  Turns out they had already wondered if we might be up for that and were thrilled at the idea.  They picked the weekend and we delivered boys. :)  This past weekend was that weekend.  Gigi picked X-man and Gokey up around 2 pm on Friday and off they went...we were left with a quiet household and a few dogs.

Since X-man came along our identities have most definitely centered around the titles of "Mom" and "Dad".  Turns out we have a hard time straying from that, even when the little hoodlums aren't around! :)  J spent Friday afternoon mowing the lawn and I put a 2nd coat of paint on the boys' new bedroom.  This was a project that I started on Thursday despite everyone informing me that I was insane to try painting with two little "helpers" as my figure is slowly inching in on the affectionate phrase "as big as a house".  It actually went very smoothly and aside from X-man helping me for a few short minutes, they pretty much stayed out of my hair and I finished coat number one without any spilled paint.  When the boys left, my goal was to have the room completely finished and put back together again so that they could start fresh when they got back on Sunday.  I should mention that this is a great milestone because Gokey would be moving from the nursery into big brother's room to share, in prep for itty bitty sister's arrival.  I should also mention that I have experienced a great deal of anxiety about this transition.

On with our day...we finished up our mundane tasks, got cleaned up and went out on the Red Lobster! Yes...we are exciting folks.  Had dinner, took a jaunt over to the mall to pick up a few things and then settled on a trip to Side Pockets, a local pool hall for an evening of friendly competition.  Well, the word competition should be used lightly...I really was not much competition at all.  We had a great time bantering, flirting and throwing back a few Cokes (the soft-drink, not the powder).  I think I pulled off one win out of the seven games we played...that was because J scratched on the eight ball.  Go me!  Then we very excitedly headed home for a FULL NIGHT OF SLEEP!

One of the things that I reveled in the most in our Kid Free Weekend was the element of spontaneity.  The ONLY thing we had planned and scheduled far in advance was a couple's massage at a local salon for Saturday morning.  So, we slept in (until nearly 8...never in a million years would I have ever thought I would have called that sleeping in), puttered around, got showered and dressed and went to breakfast.  We were seated around 9 a.m. with just over an hour to spare until our massage.  At 9:10 my phone rang and it was an unfamiliar number.  I answered despite the roar of the breakfast crowd surrounding me to hear a receptionist at our chosen salon ask, "are you on your way to your appointment or do we need to reschedule?"  Huh?  I politely informed her that I had scheduled the appointment for 10:15.  She informed me that they had it scheduled at 9 and then put me on hold.  I walked outside as I sat on hold, trying to disguise the steam spilling from my ears in my fuming state.  A manager got on the phone and said something to the effect of, "I don't know if you just wrote it down wrong or what, but the 10:15 appointment we have scheduled has been there for weeks."  I not as politely informed her that I had called nearly 5 weeks ago to schedule the appointment and put it on my electronic calendar while I was on the phone with the person who screwed up, and KNOW that it was at 10:15 because I had to make a special slot for it since my calendar only goes by half hour increments.  GRRRRRRRR (I was tempted to roar into the phone).  She then back-pedaled a little and apologized and said she felt bad about the "miscommunication" (whatever) and would send some compensation by mail to be used in the salon at our convenience.  Yeah...thanks.  I sullenly made my way back to my poor husband who had been so excited to experience his FIRST professional massage and broke the news and then like a silly, hormonal pregnant chick had to choke back tears as I did so.  He, of course, wasn't phased...gave me a pep-talk and we enjoyed the rest of our breakfast and a necessary grocery trip afterward (I know you are extremely jealous of our exciting lifestyle now). :)

The rest of our weekend seemed to fly by.  We finished up what we needed to on the boys room, moved the furniture back in (J had to do a little handy modifying to make things fit like we needed it to after a near panic attack from me before he once again saved the day) and then admired our great masterpiece.  Since we had a big breakfast, we had skipped lunch so we went to an early dinner and then came home and relaxed in front of a couple of movies, I fell asleep on my honey's lap during the second one and then we retired for the night.  Got up, went to church where I thanked God that we were child-free that morning as there seemed to be something in the air that caused mass chaos among all of the children present that morning and for once, it wasn't mine causing the trouble.  We hung around a little and visited afterward without someone yelling for a cookie or crying because he spilled his lemonade for the 3rd time...and then I REALLY missed them.  We went to lunch on the way to Papa and Gigi's and spent most of it gushing about how excited we were to pick up the boys.

X-man and Papa posing with the biggest fish of
the day...X-man caught this one ALL BY
When we arrived to pick up the boys, I walked into the kitchen to find Gokey sitting at the bar eating lunch.  It took him a few seconds to realize I was there, but when he did I got the biggest grin and exclamation of, "MOMMY," as he leaned in for a big, gooey kiss.  I was barely inside the door when X-man grabbed my hand and started leading me to the basement to show me what they had been up to.  It was as I was heading down the stairs I heard Gokey yell to my mom, "I done now," eager to give up lunch so we could do some snuggling.  We hung around for a while, looked at the pictures that were snapped over the weekend and listened to their adventures before we headed home.  They both passed out on the 30 minute drive across town and contentment settled in as we pulled into our Home Sweet Home. There have been a few "reprogramming" issues in the 24 hours since, but we are settling back in.  I am also proud to say that the boys did great for their first night in their new room!  Took a little while for them to settle in and decide to sleep instead of party, but then they slept through the night without even a whisper.

Time away is always good, but it also always seems to serve as a great reminder that time together is far better... :)