Wednesday, February 26

"Teddy is 3 ears old"

That's what I've finally gotten TT to say.  I started a good 5 weeks before his birthday and about 3 days before he turned three he was able to tell us - how many ears he has.  Ha!!!

So TT turned three.  Hard to believe it.

We had his doctor appointment on Monday and he's 42.5-inches tall and 48 lbs.  Still growing along the 99.9% growth curve.

TT is probably one of the sweetest "little" guys out there.  He loves everyone.  He started preschool on Tuesday and when he went in on Wednesday morning, he needed to hug all of his teachers.  He gives hugs and kisses freely.  He really is a giant teddy-bear.

Some of TT's favorite things; at least what we see, TT isn't verbal enough to tell us for sure.

TV Show: Hole in the Wall, anything Mickey Mouse
Color: Green
Toys: Mr. Potato Head, play-doh, trains, cars, and anything with wheels, moon-sand
Books: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, How Big is My Bear, Bad Baby, Violet's House

Potty learning skills are emerging.  He's still going on the potty at home, as long as he has no pants on.  We can go on short errands out of the house with undies on.... he's getting better and better every day with his skills.

TT is probably one of the politest 3-year olds out there.  He says "no thank you" instead of "no"  all the time - this includes when he doesn't want to do something.  And the more he doesn't want to do it, the more he says it - "no thank you, no thank you, no thank you".  He has started saying "Yes, sir", even to me.... but as of today he's taken to "Yes, ma'am".  So sweet.

I think that is the one word I would use to sum up TT right now - "Sweet".


The other night I sat down and really looked over RR's lunch menu; and I was shocked to see that if he wanted he could be eating pizza THREE days a week for lunch.  That's a lot of pizza!!

I am slightly outraged by this.  Most weeks it is offered twice.  Some weeks only once and some weeks three times.

Not only that, but they offered FOUR different types of pizza.  Which according to RR are all pretty much the same - nasty.  But then again, he is going through an anti-pizza stage.

Whole grain stuffed crust pizza
Pizzeria pizza
Sal's whole wheat pizza
Personal pizza

15 days of school (not counting snow days) in Febraury.  On seven of those days they offered pizza.  That's just about half the month.  Wow!  Factor in a friend's birthday party and one family meal of pizza... I just can't get over it.

What does RR get for school lunch -usually option #3 - cereal bowl with yogurt.  He'll get a hamburger if they are offered (usually once a week), hot dogs, taco salad and or fish sticks.

Tuesday, February 18

The Best Laid Plans

Something happened the other day that didn't get documented on this here blog.

TT turned 3 on Saturday the 15th.

Turning 3 is a BIG deal for him.  It marked his graduation from Early Intervention (a birth to 3 program) and his entrance into preschool.

TT was very much looking forward to having a Mickey Mouse party.  Him and I would sit at the computer and look at "Mickey Party" as he would say.  He loved looking at the cakes, and decorations, and all that fun Mickey stuff.

I ordered him a Mickey Mouse birthday shirt off etsy.  I paid a little extra to have it shipped express to arrive in time for his party on the 15th.  Husband and I were totally psyched, we could celebrate his birthday on his birthday.  

Pirate Mickey - it doesn't get better in his eyes.

TT's last day of play-school, through Early Intervention, was the Thursday before his birthday (he only went once a week).  I had planned on making Mickey Mouse cupcakes.  They were going to be super cute - with Oreos with ears and red shorts.  I made the cupcakes on Tuesday with plans to frost them on Wednesday.

By 6pm Wednesday night the schools were closed on Thursday due to the snow.  ggrrr!!!

No last day of play-school for TT.  (And how am I going to get my Girl Scout cookies now.)

That was OK, we still had his party coming in a couple of days.

And then.... they started calling for MORE snow on Saturday (the 15th and party day).

TT started looking really green around the gills.  He had sick eyes.

Husband had been sick for the last week.

Then I seemed to lose all strength and motivation.

Husband and I talked and decided to move TT's party to next weekend.

Saturday, his birthday; started with me taking myself to urgent care.  I hadn't slept the night before my throat hurt so bad.

What a crummy birthday it was turning out to be for TT.

I wasn't going to let my boy down - granted he didn't even realize it was his birthday and his party had been moved, but still.

So after taking the first round of antibiotics and some pain pills I decided I was making him a Mickey cake.  My boy was having some sort of celebration to mark the day.  Husband got his one present out of the basement and set-up while he was napping.  It was a play kitchen.  We had plans to get him food and stuff to go with it while he was at play-school on Thursday, but yup the snow stopped that.

I made one of his favorites for dinner.  But he didn't eat much, he wasn't feeling well.

He did however enjoy his cake.

4th Level of Hell

Something happened to my dear, sweet, easy going, laid back ERP the other night.

I can't quite put my finger on it.  But something changed.

We headed up to bed a little before 9pm, as we often do.  I turned my back to adjust something in his co-sleeper and he let out this cry.  It was a cry unlike any other cry, he has ever done before.  It was high pitched, it was loud.  It was clearly not the cry of a newborn.

I soothed him.  Nursed him.  And put him to bed like always.  I had work to finish up and planned on being up for several more hours.  But wasn't overly concerned.  ERP had taken to sleeping from 9-10 ish until 4ish.  It was heaven.

But it wasn't meant to be that night.

Before midnight he had woken up screaming and crying three times.

The screaming and crying only continued once Husband and I went to bed around midnight.  We tried everything - and we have a lot of tricks.  Nothing seemed to be working.

ERP was not happy.  He wanted to be held, nurse and cry - in no particular order.

The following morning saw Husband taking care of the bigger boys while ERP and I laid in bed, cuddling, nursing and crying.

We were in rough shape.  It clearly felt like we had entered the 4th level of hell; especially around the 6am mark when TT decided to get up way to early.  (And so did RR - what's up with that.)

The crying, whining, fussing, being upset at the breast continued on and off all day.  I looked to clues as to what was happening to my good-matured little boy.  Wonder Week?  No, too soon.  Growth spurt?  It didn't feel like one, but maybe.  Gas pains?  Maybe, but the gas drops didn't seem to be helping.  Husband suggested colic and I gave him the look of death (hey we were in Hell).  RR had colic, this was not colic.

The next night was bad.  Not as bad as the night before, but bad.  It harkened back to his infant days.

Did I mention during all this I have strep throat?  Which had made sleep the couple of nights before not possible for me.  So I missed out on sleep the last couple of days before ERP lost his way?

We seemed to have turned the corner on whatever is/was ailing ERP.  Although he does have a snotty nose now.  (le sigh... TT has been sick as well)  Today he actually smiled again.  It's a miracle!!  And he did engage in some playing.  I can hear the angles starting to sing.  I have hope... hope that we will leave this terrible place.

Saturday, February 15

Old Man Names

Someone once said to me, maybe it was my mother; "you can't name him that, it's an old man name."

Well, you know what, someone has to give their kids old man names; otherwise there would be no righteous old men with these classic names.

I had to take ERP to urgent care once and the doctor there came in proclaiming usually when he meets people with ERPs name they are over the age of 80.

Raymond Thomas
Theodore Wayne
Eugene Ronald Paul

All of my boys are named, in some way; after a beloved relative that has gone before them or a special relative we would like to honor.

All of my boys have names that are uniquely theirs.

They are all names of lesser known Catholic saints.  Did you know there were also four Popes named Eugene?

When I picked their names, none of their names were in the top 200 most popular.  This was done on purpose.  Yet, they are names we are all familiar with.  And they fit together, you can tell they were meant to be brothers.

All of these names have some sort of TV or cartoon character associated with them.  Some more endearing than others.

These are good strong names -
Raymond means Wise protector.  The perfect name for the oldest brother.
Theodore means Gift from God.  And that he is.
Eugene is Wellborn or Noble.  We think of his name as a tribute to his birth.

My boys, may they love each other as old men, just as they love each other today.

Monday, February 10

This is what....

This is what tandem nursing looks like.

You see that calm and relaxed look on my face - that's all the oxytocin being released while nursing.  Nothing relaxes me faster or mellows me out more than a tandem nursing session.  Especially after we have been out doing errands and running around like fools.  

Wednesday, February 5

2 Months

ERP is now two months old.  Every day he loses a little more of "the infant look"; and is starting to look and sound more like a baby.  His cry has changed and we can tell his different cries apart - I'm hungry, I'm bored, I'm tired, I'm wet.

He is loosing his hair and it's growing back in at the same time.  Some days the new hair growth looks blonde, other days a dark red and still other days it looks black; which is the color of the hair falling out.

His eyes are still a very dark and deep blue.  The other day I was looking at them and I swear there were the clearest blue.  I really hope and pray he has blue eyes, but they will most likely be hazel like both of his brothers.

ERP is still nursing all the time.  Some nights are better than others, but that's to be expected.  He is however starting to fall into a predictable daytime routine and  nap schedule is forming.  I expect him to be on some sort of self set schedule, by the time he's three months old (knock on wood).

We've started cloth diapering for him.  Some of TT's smallest diapers can be used when folded over a dozen times so I did buy a handful of newborn size diapers.  Honestly, I was getting sick and tired of buying diapers.  Those things are expensive.  When he does were the 'sposies he is wearing a size two, but that's because they were out of the size ones.  He is still wearing 0-3 month clothing.

Things I don't want to forget from this last month:
How the thick long hair on the nap of his neck is hanging on and not falling out
How the stork bite he has back there comes and goes
How he started says "ahh" around 6 weeks of age
The smiles.  I love those smiles.  They melt my heart and now I am crying just thinking about them.
How happy he is.  All.  The. Time.
How TT runs over to him and says "huggies" and gives him the biggest bear hugs
How RR asks to hold him
How much bigger he looks in his swing all of a sudden
How happy (happier) he is when he lays in his pack and play and watches the bear mobile
How he kicks his legs out of joy
How when he is mad and crying, he kicks his right leg, and only his right leg

Tuesday, February 4

Uphill, Barefoot, in the Snow

During dinner tonight my cell phone chirped with a text message, and then again.  I had just assumed it was one of the Big Boy's games telling me some sort of animal needs to be attended to or a new land was created.  But Husband felt the need to check it; and low and behold, it was a text message from the school system that school was cancelled tomorrow during to the impending snow storm.

Five minutes later the phone rings, and it's the telephone tree from the school system telling me school is cancelled for tomorrow.

And I bet you good money I have an email waiting from the school as well, telling me - you guessed it.

But I digress; the text message and telephone call turned the dinner conversation into a "back in my day".

Sure back in our parent's day they had to walk to school uphill (both ways) while barefoot in the snow - our tale of "back in the day" woh was a little more mentally challenging.

We told the boys about how we used to have to sit in front of the TV watching the news, hours before school began hoping and praying that we would see our schools name scroll by on the bottom of the screen announcing that we too had the day off.  Or worse yet, we had to listen to the radio and wait for breaks between songs to hear the list of school closings.  Then we had to convince our parents that we heard or saw our school name.  Sometimes said parents didn't believe us, or wanted to check for themselves - and this required standing at a snowy bus stop (back before buses picked you up at your house) waiting and wondering if the bus was ever going to show and how long until we could go in the house.  We had to explain to the Big Boy about how Netflix wasn't around and people all watched the same thing at the same time, about how the internet wasn't around and we couldn't look up school closing.

Ah yes.... back in the day....

Sunday, February 2

10 Years

The oldest boy is officially a pre-teen. He is 10 years old.  I've been a mom for 10 years.  HOLY COW.

So what is the 10 year old up to?

4-foot and 10 inches and 84 lbs to be exact.  Ha!!  He's had an interesting growth curve this year.  At one point he was 93 lbs and 2 inches shorter.  But he shed the weight and sprouted upwards.  I am guessing a lot of his teenage growth is going to follow this pattern.

RR is in 4th grade.  He started a new school this fall and so far so good.  He has some of his best buddies in his class.  He is still active in Cub Scouts and will be earning his Webelos badge later this month.  He's on track to earn his Arrow of Light next year; which is the highest award Cub Scouts can earn.  And then off to Boy Scouts (and a break for me).

He is a fun and unique person to be around.  He loves watching Nanny 911 - and not just with me; he'll sit and watch it on his own.  

He is a wonderful and adoring big brother.  He certainly lives up to the meaning of his name "wise protector".  Sometimes he gets a little rough with TT and has a hard time sharing, but that is to be expected.  He will read to his brother and let them play in his room.  And when he has friends over; he's OK with TT following them around and joining in the fun.

He loves to play video games on his computer and is getting pretty adapt at moving about on the computer and typing.  I'd like to get him a book on computer programing.  He still loves building Legos.  He also enjoys reading, writing stories and drawing.

Yearly interview:

Me: How old are you?
RR: 10

Me: What is your favorite subject in school?
RR: Math

Me: What is least favorite subject in school?
RR: Spelling

Me: What is your favorite color?
RR: Black

Me: What happened to blue?
RR: Things change.

Me: What is your favorite school lunch?
RR: Quesidilla

Me: What is your favorite dinner at home?
RR: Spaghetti with meatsauce, only.

Me: What is your favorite vegetable?
RR: Carrots are a vegetable right?  Carrots.

Me: What's your favorite movie?
RR: Indian Jones, the first one.

Me: What's your favorite video game?
RR: Mindcraft.

Me: What's your favorite book? 
RR: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, all of them

Me: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
RR: Play with my friends

Me: Do you have any best-friends?
RR: CJ, Conner and Ethan.

Me: What do you think about girls?
RR: Same as last year.

Me: What's your favorite holiday?
RR: Christmas
Me: Why?
RR: Because you get presents.  You were expecting that weren't you.

Me: How much do like Cub Scouts?
RR: A lot.
Me: How far are you going to go?
RR: I'm not sure

Me: Anything you want to add?
RR: No

Me: Oh hey, what is your favorite song?
RR: Enderborn, still.

To see last year's interview you can go here:

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