Friday, February 26, 2010

11 Months

 11 months!!  That means that, in one month, I'll have a one year old!  August is doing so well.  I don't ever see him crawling anymore and now he is even trying to run, which causes some fantastic face-plants.  He just LOVES food and has recently been switched to whole milk which he also loves.  This means that for the next year or so I have to keep an eye on the level of whole milk in our fridge to ensure that wonderful husband of mine isn't sneaking glasses of the "good" milk for his cookies, cereal, chocolate milk etc. etc. etc.
 He didn't like the grass all over his pants.
A couple of weeks ago I tried for a whole day to give Gus formula in nothing but sippy cups.  I knew it was going to be a rough day, but that he would eventually give in because he was hungry.  Not so.  I finally gave in shortly before bedtime and put his formula in a bottle.  I had also resigned myself to the fact that he would just remain with the bottle until he mastered the regular cup.  However, my sneaky little Gus made a grave mistake this week.  John has been wanting to use a sippy cup because they "look cool" so he had a cup full of chocolate milk sitting on the floor and when I wasn't looking Gus came up and drank half a glass worth of chocolate milk.  I smiled at my little man, gave him a kiss on the head and told him it was all over when we got home because the bottles were going away.  You may wonder why I'm so persistent on giving up the bottle and my reason is quite simple.  Gus has discovered that if he turns the bottle upside down and presses the nipple onto a hard service the liquid inside will come flowing out, creating a huge puddle in which to play.  He does this at home, in the car, and at restaurants.  It has now become a game.  I don't like this game and I refuse to play.
Peek-a-boo is his favorite game.
John and Gus still play very well together...for the most part.  John is still genuinely concerned for Gus' safety except when it comes to putting his hands around Gus' neck.  Apparently I used to do this to my brother, which he says he remembers but, I assure you, he does not.  John says he is just tickling Gus, but I haven't quite figured out how you tickle while trying to pick up someone by his neck.   Gus does stand up for himself and has already mastered the art of hitting when needed.  The other day Gus was playing with a plastic microphone and John ripped it right out of his hand.  When John gave it back Gus grabbed it out of his hand and then hit John over the head with it a few times.  Boys.  I think I need a little less testosterone around here.
 EVERYTHING ends up in his mouth!
So, here's to my last month with a little boy under 1.  I feel like I just need to hold him and squeeze him tight because it is going by so fast.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Travels of Two Boys and Twelve Hours

I decided to make the trek to Texas with boys this past week.  I made this trip before a little over a year ago and, the first time I did it, I went the whole 12 hours in one day.  Since John wasn't potty trained then and I was younger and hadn't had Gus yet I was able to do that.  But this time I decided to stop in Amarillo for the night and boy was I glad to see Amarillo!  Gus cried the last 30 minutes of our ride that day and my thought was just to check into the hotel then find a place to get some food.  I'm so glad the hotel had a restaurant since Gus was going nowhere near the car again for a good 8 hours.  My $12 hamburger was worth every penny not to hear the kid shriek at the thought of getting back into his car seat.

John was very anxious to get to Texas.  I made the mistake of telling him we were going a week before.  He became very excited.  About every 30 minutes he would ask "Are we in Texas yet?"  When we crossed the border into New Mexico I told him that we had just left Colorado and were in New Mexico.  He said, "This is not New Mexico." I asked him where we were if we weren't in New Mexico and he said, "I don't know, but we're sure not in New Mexico."  I finally was able to convince him that we were indeed in New Mexico and then he just kept singing, "New Mexico, New Mexico, New Mexico..."  Then out of the blue he asked, "Mom, where is Old Mexico?"  These are things I just don't always have answers for.

While John is singing New Mexico over and over again, Gus has grown tired of voicing his displeasure about his car seat, so he decided to act out in other ways.  Having had all he wanted of his milk he decided to turn the bottle upside down and press it against his sock causing all of the milk to escape the bottle and empty onto his sock.  He ended up not being happy with his decision as he wanted the wet sock off of his foot, but no matter how hard he pulled the wet sock stuck to his foot it didn't budge.  This is when I turned up the radio.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Tales of John

The other day we were all in the car and Hans and I were having a discussion.  John must have thought that we were fighting because he started saying, "Guys, guys we have to work together.  We're on the same team." 

Yesterday, John was in timeout (Yes, again.  I promise this kid does not spend all day every day in his room) and wanted to know if he could come out.  I asked him if he could be a big boy and listen and he sighed and said, "I suppose so."

Often times, when John has had  a bad day, he will curl up next to me at night and say "Sorry Mom.  Sorry you got so mad at me today."  I always laughed when he said this because it was like he was saying, "Sorry you get so bent out of shape about everything.  And sorry you have a problem with me screaming, hitting my brother and throwing fits."  But I realized that he is really telling me he is sorry.  His conscience is bothering him.  The other day he had gotten scolded a few times, but I wouldn't have called it a bad day.  That night he came into my room, snuggled next to me and said, "Sorry Mom.  Sorry you got so mad at me today...over and over again."  It just melted my heart.

And last, but most certainly not least, Hans and I were just discussing that fact that there has to be a contractor support group for all the men who have done work on our home.  John loves meeting new people and will often times sneak away to go watch them and ask TONS of questions.  The funniest thing however is that every contractor that has been in our home has seen John streaking through the house.  John often times comes out of the bathroom with out any clothes.  By the guys' reactions, you can immediately tell who has kids and who does not.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Things That Make You Go EWWWW

We've been house hunting for a few weeks and have taken the boys to look at the houses.  Most of the houses are vacant and not cleaned very well.  Gus and John just run all over the vacant houses exploring every nook and cranny.  After looking in a house that was really dirty (so dirty that John's hands were black from putting them on the floors) we saw Gus was chewing on something and Hans pulled a gross piece of candy out of his mouth that he must have found on the dirty floor.  I thought I was going to throw up.

Speaking of throw up, John had a little bout of that this past week.  He has gotten sick before, but he wasn't really sick.  It was more of the 'I ran around too much and now the coughing makes me throw up' sickness.  In those times we know he is going to vomit when he coughs then shakes his hands around and does a little dance.  By then it is too late to get him to a toilet, or even a tiled floor.  This week was different though.  We were able to get him to the bathroom and at 1 in the morning Hans was teaching John the proper way to throw up in a toilet.  Evidently for boys peeing standing up and throwing up standing up have two completely different techniques.  One requires you to arch your back so as to get everything in the toilet and the other requires you to lean forward to accomplish the same task.  Mixing up the two creates quite a gross mess.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Cookie Monsters

Gus is only 10 months old and he already knows what a cookie is and that he wants one.  I blame this on Hans since I'm not much of a sweets person.  Hans showed John the world of cake, cookies and ice cream and now John is passing along his knowledge to Gus.

Magically, the other day, there appeared two boxes of girl scout cookies on my kitchen table.  I think they were left by some friends of ours.  Hans and John spotted the cookies right away.  John, such a caring brother, always tells me that Gus needs a cookie too.  I don't mind if the ladies at church want to give Gus a treat, but I don't want him eating cookies everyday at home.  Today, I was on the phone and John and Gus were playing nicely in their room...or, at least that is what I thought.  I went to check on them and this is what I found...
Do you think he could fit anymore cookie in there?
Gus just loves his brother.  It helps that his brother can reach the cookies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Tales of John

John is getting a little more bold in his statements of displeasure.  John is a smart boy, but he just can't seem to control his emotions when he is frustrated or angry.  We are constantly working on  patience...this is such a hard lesson to learn.  The other day he was very displeased with his father for something.  I'm actually surprised he didn't bring back the "Daddy, are you stupid?".  Instead he decided to mix it up and picked up his shoe, reared back and said "I'm gonna throw this shoe at you!"  He immediately saw the error of his ways.

Since the door to John's room does not close, I put a piece of blue painters tape across the threshold.  John was told that he was not to cross the blue line while he was in timeout.  This worked for about a week then, one day, John came out of his room holding the blue piece of tape and said, "If it isn't there I don't have to stay behind it." All I can say is, what a punk!

Things that John often screams when sent to his room:
  • "You come back and get me out of here right now."
  • "I'm never going to listen to you again.  Ever, ever.  Do you hear me?"
  • "Big boys don't like being sent to their rooms." 
We are also working with John on what is a question and what is a statement.  Many times he will be trying to tell/ask us something when we are trying to do something else.  Or, he asked something and heard your answer, but doesn't like it.  This is always followed by, "But, but, but Mommy (or Daddy) I'm just trying to ask you a question!".  So, we ask him what his question is and response is usually, "I'm  hungry" or "I'm thirsty" or "I want to watch my shows."  At which point we will tell him that is not a question, but a statement, and then we give him an example of a question.  Today he was supposedly really, really hungry and I told him over and over again that we would eat as soon as his dad came home.  "But, but, but Mommy, I'm just trying to ask you a question."  In a moment of frustration I told him that I knew what his question was and that the answer was that he could eat when his dad came home.  He glares at me and yells, "That's not a question, that is a statement.  And I don't like your statement."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Aside from giving the boys a buzz cut, I know nothing about cutting hair.  And it isn't like I have non-wiggly boys to practice on.  I tried cutting Hans' hair once in Fort Wayne.  The goal was to buzz the bottom and cut the top with scissors.  It was going pretty well until Hans told me that it still looked a little bushy on the sides, which I agreed with.  Since the cut had gone pretty well so far I decided to try a technique I had seen hairstylists use.  Boy, was that a mistake...I got too cocky.  The technique I am referring to is when the hairstylist takes a comb, combs up the hair and then takes the clippers, at the lowest level, and swipes it across the comb.  The goal is to cut just a little bit of hair.  This is not what happened.  I think I held the comb too close to his head and pushed a little too hard with the clippers.  When I had finished Hans looked like he was losing his hair because there were several little bald spots all over his head.  I cried and cried.  I felt so bad.  Hans had no choice but to use the clippers, at the lowest level, all over his head.  I think it was the shortest his hair had ever been.  He was so good about it and didn't even tell people it was my fault.  But, it left me saying I would NEVER cut hair again.

Time goes by and, after spending a ridiculous amount of money on haircuts for a kid whose hair seems to grow a half an inch a day, I decided to try again.  This time I could blame the owner of the head for the horrible mistakes I made since John was no where near still.  The first few times I cut John's hair it came out horribly, but John looks cute with a buzz cut so it didn't really matter.  Just the other day I succeed in trimming John's hair with scissors, a comb and my fingers.  It isn't perfect, but acceptable.

My success brought me to my next subject.
Gus has needed a haircut since the day he was born.  John has been asking me for months why August can have hair over his ears.  Having hair over your ears is a sure sign you need a haircut.  August's hair was way over his ears, starting to get in his eyes and went a little too far down his neck.  This boy didn't even  remotely stay still.  My goal was to trim the front, the back of the neck and over the ears, forget going through everything else.  John helped out quite a bit.  He kept trying to get Gus' attention focused on something long enough for me to take a few snips and when Gus would start fussing and batting at my hands John said, "It's OK Gus, just let her do it.  You'll learn you can't have hair over your ears."

When the whole ordeal was over, Gus enjoyed looking at himself in the mirror and brushing his hair.
I know it doesn't look a whole lot different, but we have to take baby steps.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Comfort Items

Everyone has some sort of comfort item or activity.  These items change over time as we get older and discover new things.  My comfort item of choice for the past few years has been coke.  As my last post stated, I'm trying to lose weight, so my comfort item has been thrown out the window...just when I feel like I need it the most.  But, this isn't about me, it's about the boys.

Both of my boys have taken pacifiers, which have been a great comfort item.  After John turned 1 we put him to bed one night and then scoured the house for hiding pacifiers and threw all of them away.  I was pretty sure I had unleashed the wrath of John on us all, but to my surprise he never seemed to miss them.  Gus loves his pacifier, but he also loves his bottle and I've had a hard time transitioning him to a sippy cup of any sort.  His bottle has proven to be a great comfort for him as I could just put water in it, but the act of drinking from it usually comforts a devastated Gus.  So as not to take two comfort items away from him at the same time I've decided the bottle goes first.  I have a feeling I will have a grumpy boy for a few days, but he may surprise me just like John did.

Another comfort item for both boys have been their blankets.
John had two, his wooby and his blue blanket.  The wooby was given to us by Hans' cousin, Katherine, and the blue blanket was made for John by a friend from Messiah, Kelly.  John just could not go to sleep without these two blankets.  I remember traveling once and forgetting one of the blankets; it was a rough trip with little sleep.  This past year he has not needed or asked for them so much, which is sad for me as it is further evidence that he is growing up.  But, when he is sick he still likes to snuggle with his favorite blankets.  He also still remains protective of his blankets as Gus is not allowed to even look at them.
Gus only has one blanket, for now.  This blanket was made by my Aunt Diane and given to him the week he was born.  He was swaddled in this blanket a lot as an infant and now sleeps with it every night.  We've never had a night without it and I don't intend to try that anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Working Out

I am not one of those people who loves working out.  I will admit that I feel better after a few days of working out, but I don't get this fantastic high that everyone else seems to get.  I can promise you, I will never be addicted to working out.

Up until I had kids, I've never really had to workout.  However, the first time I became pregnant it was as if every Chick-fil-A sandwich and order of fries I ever ate permanently attached themselves to my outer thighs and midsection.  I was finally able to get back down to my original size about a 20 months after John was born.  I hit my goal weight and, the very next day, I found out I was pregnant again.  Despite being pretty food-and-exercise conscious during this last pregnancy I still managed to gain quite a bit of weight.  Feeling pretty good after giving birth (the second is way easier) I started using our elliptical about a week after Gus was born.  I tried to have regular workouts and eat smaller portions of healthier food.  Regardless of my efforts, I only managed to lose 10 pounds in the 9 months since August was born.  So I needed something else....

So, here is my workout product endorsement.
 Debbie Siebers' Slim in 6 is a great, low impact, cardio workout.  The 2 disc set comes with 3 core workouts that are to be done if phases.  The goal is to not move onto the next phase until you feel you've mastered the beginning workouts.  The first phase consists of a mere 24 minute workout.  The second phase is a more intense 48 minute workout and the third phase is a 60 minute workout.  I just started the last phase which will last about 4 weeks.  I still hate working out with every fiber of my being, and I find myself cursing Debbie as she seems to get through an hour of working without feeling the burn, but I'm getting results and that is all that matters.  In the 2 1/2 weeks since starting this program I've lost about 2 1/2 inches off my weight and gone down a pant size.  I still have a long way to go, but I'm pretty determined to hit my goal.  The things we go through for our children!  I'm sure I'll manage to shed the rest of the weight just in time to be pregnant again.

So here's to all of you on the weight loss train.  Keep your goal in mind and keep those workouts going.  In today's world of immediate gratification this journey you're on won't seem fast enough...but stick with it.  And remember, you don't have to like working out to workout.  I haven't gone a day without saying 'I HATE this', yet I keep coming back day after day.