Every fall brings new and exciting times, and lots of changes. Maybe because I have an infant, or maybe just because, the changes seem to be coming fast and thick this fall. So, in no particular order...
Wesley is loving his johnny jump up. He's a good little bouncer.Both boys are playing soccer. Gabe is on Team Tsunami.
Wesley is a big fan of soccer. Except when he isn't. Here he is, wearing a hat I made for him.
Timothy got glasses for reading. He jumped about a grade level when he got them. This means that he's reading on about a third grade level. Smarty pants. Over-achiever.
Cute baby is cute. I mean, he's always been cute, but I think he's getting cuter.
Our annual picture outside the Grissom playground. This year I have three boys and two of them are Grissom students.
Wesley is growing and changing faster than you can even imagine. He doesn't quite have sitting up down yet, but he's getting there.
A week ago, Gabe graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Where does the time go?
Here he is with the ceremony team and his Arrow of Light.
...are a deep, beautiful blue, and they gaze with wonder at the world around him. However, after this week we finally have an answer regarding whether or not he has ocular albinism like Timothy, and it wasn't the answer we wanted to hear.
At almost eight weeks, he developed significant nystagmus (wiggly eyes, for lack of a better explanation) and we were pretty sure he did indeed have the disorder. A trip to the pediatric ophthalmologist confirmed our fears.
So what does this mean for our family, and especially for Wesley? Those of you who know Timothy will agree with me that he hardly "suffers" from ocular albinism. He's a very normal 5-year-old boy in many ways, and well above average in terms of intelligence. I know I'm his mom and I would say that if he were a dull-witted little twit, but trust me, he isn't. He's a sharp-witted little twit, in fact! When we compare Timothy's babyhood with Wesley's, there are a lot of significant differences. For one thing, Wesley's eyes are responsive to light. His pupils dilate and contract normally, and he flinches at bright lights. Timothy had extremely slow and reduced dilation and contraction of his pupils, and did not respond at all to bright lights when he was an infant. For another thing, the nystagmus developed much later in Wesley than it did in Timothy. Finally, Wesley smiles. Timothy didn't smile until he was much older because babies who don't see don't know to mirror their parents' smiles.
We think, and our doctors agree, that Wesley is seeing objects, if only roughly. He can follow toys or people with his eyes somewhat, and his smiles tell us that he does see us. We're hoping this means that he will be even less affected by his abnormal genes than Timothy is, and may have near-normal vision in time. And really, it is only time that will tell. We are full of hope for his future, full of joy at being given such a sweet, wonderful baby, and full of thankfulness for every single smile.
Today I was in Wesley's room changing his diaper, and Timothy followed me in to keep me company. While I was busy with the baby, he was examining my breast pump. I typically feed Wesley in the rocker in the nursery, and Timothy is typically pretty clueless even when I'm feeding Wesley elsewhere. So I was a little surprised to hear, "Mama, where does the milk come out when you feed Wesley?"
I considered this question for a while and then answered as clearly as I could. "It comes out of my nipples, Timothy."
There was a moment of stunned disbelief, followed by peals of laughter. Before I could stop him, Timothy ran from the room, laughing hysterically. "Gabe, Gabe, guess what?" he shouted. "Mama can squirt milk out of her NIPPLES!"
Throughout the course of the day, he shared this information with Chris and then with our waiter at dinner. I have a feeling come Monday, I might be getting a call from his kindergarten teacher.
My newest little savage, Wesley Joseph. OK, I know he's not very savage-looking at the moment, but I seem to recall both his brothers looking this sweet and innocent at one point and you see how they've turned out! I'm a little behind in posting...he was born June 29th at 10:01pm. He weighed 6lbs. 13 oz. and was 21 in. long. He'll be four weeks old tomorrow and he's still a little shrimp. He's up to about 7.5lbs. This makes him a few ounces under what Timothy was when he was born, and more than two pounds less than Gabe's birth weight. Yes, that's pounds. I keep telling him he'd better get to growing if he's going to keep up with the big boys!
Should you ever wake up one morning and stick your head into your sons' room on your way into the kitchen for coffee, and should you be forced to ask the five-year-old, "Son, why is the tip of your weewee sticking out of the top of your shorts?", you should be prepared that the answer might be, "So I can make sure no bugs crawl on it!"
You should also not be surprised if the five-year-old in question sees nothing odd about ensuring this little bit of peace of mind for his most prized possession.
I have to publicly admit something. My sister was right. She's been urging me to cut my hair. I didn't really want to cut my hair. But I did it anyway because I listen to my sister. Sometimes. Occasionally. Once every ten years or so. Anyway, today I went and got a drastic haircut.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it. It's very light, it'll still go up in a very small ponytail, and I've been told it makes me look younger. Also, Chris can no longer roll over on it and pin me to the bed in the middle of the night. I'm also pretty sure that for the next week or so, I'm going to use WAY too much shampoo when I wash it.
In case anyone wondered, this is also doubling as a belly shot. Here's the Dread Bump Wesley at 31 weeks and some change. Eight months. Gah!! I should be working on his room. Or his quilt! Or his...
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw, cute dog! Now I will take some deep breaths and calm down. Yes, this is Buster, resident Sheep. Oops, I mean dog. But doesn't he look like sheep? And the back yard definitely looks like a pasture!
Finally, my peonies bloomed today! I promised my dear friend, Wendy, who lives in Texas in a land of no peonies, that I'd post some pictures since they are her favorite flower!
Now, if only I could put the smell on my blog! Mmmmmm!
Timothy came to me in a state of great excitement today to say that he now knows that "peanut butter does NOT have the pee in it like when you go to the bathroom, it's a different kind of pea". I am now left to ponder the disturbing thought that he's believed that it does contain pee like when you go to the bathroom all this time, and yet he still ate it.
Just thought I'd share this disturbing story from yesterday. Timothy came out around bedtime holding a large sponge and looking sheepish. He announced to his father that he was done cleaning his shelf and could he please have dessert now. I looked up from my knitting and asked the seemingly innocent question, "What was wrong with your shelf?"
Timothy grinned rather wickedly and stated, "It was covered in poop! Daddy said I had to clean it up before I could have dessert."
My mouth dropped open and I turned to Chris. "You had him cleaning up poop? He's not old enough to do that by himself? What was it, cat poop?"
Chris said, "Nope, not cat poop."
This gave me pause. I finally worked up the nerve to ask, "Was it human poop?" I wasn't sure I wanted the answer to that one, really.
"Not exactly," was Chris' reply.
It took me a while to get the full story, but the long and short of it is that Chris had gone into the boys' room for something and discovered that Timothy had written the word "poop" no less than 20 times all over his white bookshelves in various shades of crayon. As Timothy later explained, "There was red poop and blue poop and orange poop...all the colors of poop."
It would be better if Timothy never knows how hard we laughed when he was safely in bed.
Mother confession of the day: five is not my favorite age. Timothy suddenly knows everything. It's all black and white, and surprise! He's always right. His favorite way to pass time is to ask questions to which he already knows the answers. This past week, we were over at Mom's house so I could do some sewing. He was coming into the sewing room about every 30 seconds or so to require that I choose the next color for his craft project. Finally, in complete exasperation at being asked for the 4,000th time what color of paper should come next I responded, "I would like the color of paper that means you won't come back into the sewing room for a long time."
He looked at me coldly and then said in his iciest tones, "Well, that would be pink!" before stomping off.
Spring has come to Oklahoma! Or...we thought it had. These pictures were taken the day before yesterday. Blue skies, happy birds, flowers blooming...well, we'll ignore for the moment what happened yesterday (snow!) and just enjoy these, shall we?
Here's a pair of finches on one of my feeders. It's hard to tell from the back-lit pictures, but they're purple finches. I've got lots of purple and red ones this year. It's really funny to see the males fighting over the feeders!
It's hard to get a good picture through the front window, but I tried.
My daffodils are in full bloom.
I just love these cheerful little flowers!
Point of interest: a female downy woodpecker has been visiting our feeder. Some woodpeckers do eat berries and such...but more perplexing still is the mockingbird! I haven't managed to photograph the mocker, but it's pretty funny to watch because he's HUGE. Much too big for the feeders!
Now, please stay tuned for today's pictures of Timothy building a snowman. ::sigh::
I also have a lot of cats. Please excuse the fact that the cats insisted on being part of my pictures!
Yesterday I got a mysterious box in the mail. It was a familiar address...I've ordered spindles from Jesh in the past and if you're in need of a spindle, she's who I'd recommend! But in this case, I hadn't ordered a spindle. I explained this to Chris as I opened the package. I explained it repeatedly. For some reason, he didn't seem to believe me...
When I opened the box, a marvelous sight met my eyes. The mysterious package contained a blanket. Not just any blanket, either. A blanket made by my friends from Ravelry, friends from all around the world, many of whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting! Here it is, the Love Blanket:
The pictures don't do it justice. Each and every block is amazing and unique and beautifully knitted or crocheted by people who care about me. As you can see, Boris approves.
Miss Mouse also approves. So do Moses and Jack. I'm having to fight for the use of my new blanket, but the upside of this is that every time I sit down, I immediately have a kitty or three on my lap!
Now, for the mushy part...to all of you who had a part in making me this lovely gift, THANK YOU!!! I can't even begin to put into words how much it warms my heart to have so many good friends scattered throughout the world. I will treasure this gift, and the thought behind it.
(Timothy, not unlike the cats, has to make his way into as many pictures as possible.)
The Dread Bump Wesley! Yes, as most of you probably already know, we're having another boy. And yes, his first name is Wesley, my paternal grandmother's maiden name. Middle name is yet undecided, but the Princess Bride jokes already abound. These ultrasound pictures are from today, at 21 weeks and 2 days. He's around 14 oz and looks healthy. He also looks an awful lot like Timothy, but maybe that's just me. Chris is pretty sure you can't see family resemblance in ultrasound pictures.
I've hesitated to post, but I'm going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room.Yes, because he's a boy, he has a 50% chance of having the same genetic disorder that affects Timothy's vision. We had a few hard days after we found out we're having another boy (we've known for about three weeks now) but I'm choosing not to worry about what I can't control. I hope that doesn't sound flippant. To put it in perspective, sometimes I have to choose this 8 or 10 times an hour. The good news is that the baseline vision for boys with ocular albinism tends to run in families. We have one high-functioning boy with the disorder. If Wesley has it, he'll probably have about the same amount of vision that Timothy has. For those of you who know Timothy, you'll realize this is great news. For those who haven't met him...well, let's just say that you probably wouldn't know he has a vision issue if we hadn't told you. And we also have another son with perfectly normal vision. That could happen, too. For today, I'm choosing to be happy about how much fun I had watching our healthy 3rd son wiggle around and give the ultrasound tech fits as she tried to get a clear picture of him. I'm choosing to giggle over Timothy telling her that it's a brother and that he gets to boss the baby around because he's the BIG brother. I'm choosing to stick to my firm belief that he looks like Timothy.
I'm also choosing to be absolutely in love with these little feet. Aren't baby feet the very best? I've already completed a pair of booties and a pair of tiny socks for this pair, and now I'm off to dig for yarn to start another pair. Every baby needs a pair of hand-knit socks for every month of the year, right?
Pregnancy hormones have kicked in and turned me from a relatively normal, rational person (OK, that's a bit of a stretch, I'll admit) into a Crazy Person Who Must Organize. Please note the capital letters. Why having a baby means I have to clean out and organize the entire house, I can't quite tell you, except that my friend Kat pointed out that afterward, I won't have time to clean or organize anything again for at least a couple of years. So I decided yesterday evening to clean out the Craft Cupboard. Again, note the capital letters.
After Chris and I got together, he was annoyed at the fact that I had weird, deep shelves in the end of my hall. They were far too deep for bookshelves (although that's what I using them for at the time) and we have a linen closet in the bathroom, so their original purpose remains a mystery. But since they annoyed him, he built cabinet doors for them, and the Craft Cupboard was born. For seven-odd years since, random items that have no other home have gradually accumulated there. My Scrapbook Habit lives there, as do my patterns, buttons, beads, glue, ribbon, glitter, fun foam and any other bit of leftover or clearanced something-or-other that I thought might be useful. Here I should note that my fabric lives with my mother. That is not, as you might think, so that Chris doesn't find out about it and die of the shock of my combined accumulated yarn and fabric stashes. I'm sure I have other reasons. I'll get back to you on that.
Anyway, the Craft Cupboard somehow managed to avoid detection during the Great Clean-out prior to Timothy's birth, so why I thought I could clean it out in one evening is a great mystery. Even greater than why my fabric lives with my mom. I spent six hours in there last night. That is how long it took for me to get one shelf cleared and organized, and to be able to find my bed again. Because when I opened those handy cabinet doors, the Craft Cupboard devoured my house. My entire house. No room was safe. We're still hoping the missing cats turn up before it digests them.
All this leaves me wondering...is there a 12-step program for multi-crafters? Should I seek professional help? If I should disappear, you'll all have this blog to witness what will have happened to me. My craft habit will have eaten me alive!
Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved all creatures great and small...all creatures, that is, except possums. For her, possums were the epitome of horror. They were ginormous rats, R.O.U.S.es, even.And so she lived in peace, without any possums.
One day she ventured forth in the snow to take out the trash. In the driveway next to her yard she could see an animal. It moved oddly and appeared to be injured. So of course she approached to see if she could help. Only it wasn't an animal. It was a POSSUM. In broad daylight, a possum! Eeeeek!
So she ran for her life and called her husband at work and announced they were moving. And her husband was amused and told her the possum would not hurt her. Eventually, she worked up the nerve to follow the possum, along with her sidekick, Dynamite the cat. Thanks to a fantastic zoom lens, she got a glimpse of the possum.
If you look very carefully between the gate and the bottom of the house, you will see a little curl. That is a possum tail. ::runs away screaming in terror::
OK, I'm back. Anyway, the girl now lives in constant terror of possum attack. Especially since her dog has started spending his days trying to dig under the shed in the backyard, or sitting and growling menacingly at whatever is under it. And she is afraid to go out to dump the compost, which is behind the shed, or to let her children play outside.
The End...for now.
Let us hope this horror story doesn't have a sequal.
What does this very random grouping of photos have in common, you might ask. Believe it or not, they DO have something in common. All of these photos are ones I've promised various people I'd post. All but one. This first one. I just thought it was cute.
So, for Emmms, here's the advent calendar my mom made us. I couldn't get a closer one to come out clearly, but you get the idea! You could make one, I'm sure of it!
Next, here's a four leaf clover I found right before Christmas, while I was out cleaning the bunny cages. Luck of the Irish and all that.
Mom, here's the picture of the boys in their Christmas jammie pants. They're already asking if I'm making teeny pants for the baby next Christmas to match all theirs!
Here are the icicles from the snow storm(s). Pretty ironic when you can't take down your icicle lights due to icicles!
Have I mentioned that I LOVE my new camera? Timothy's class forced bulbs at school, and when I started to take a picture, my camera automatically went to flower setting. SO COOL!
Heather, here's a picture of how the Librarian is getting along with the rest of his furry family. Clearly, Miss Mouse has accepted him.
Last but not least, here's a bump picture for everyone who has asked that I post one. It was taken today, at 16 weeks. I know it's not much of a bump. Believe me, it feels a lot bigger than it looks!
I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures from last month. The good news is that now I not only know how to use the new camera (more or less) but I also know how to rotate pictures from my laptop. We'll all hope this means more consistent blogs.
Right before Christmas, we went downtown with our friends Javier and Sonia and tried out the ice skating rink. We picked a great night. The outside temp was in the low 50s, and we didn't freeze waiting in line for our skates! Here we are with the giant tree.
Chris figured out the timer on the camera! Group shot!
Javi and Chris put on their skates...
While Timothy waits, semi-patiently.
So here's where the score stood: Gabe and I are experienced ice skaters. Chris admits to having skated a few times in childhood, and later recalled that he stopped because he wasn't very good at it. Javier, Sonia and Timothy had never skated before.
Here are the boys, ready for action.
Javier and Sonia, on the ice. They look like pros, don't they?
Timothy wasn't doing so well skating with Chris. It turned out he needed a little direction. Once I told him to move his feet one at a time and not at the same time, he did a very good job skating. It was still exhausting, trying to keep him upright.
Gabe was much easier to skate with. We had an arrangement. If he fell, I was letting go of his hand to avoid going down with him. If I fell, I was going to try to land on him to cushion my fall. Luckily, we didn't have to test this arrangement.
Everyone but Gabe and me gave up before too long. It was pretty crowded and I didn't blame them.
The lights were really pretty.
Downtown lights and Christmas lights!
One last shot of the pretty blue trees
And of course, the giant Nutcracker!
We had a really good time and will probably go again next year, if they set up the rink again. But if we do, I think I'll make Chris bring a few pillows to strap on him for padding!
I'm a 29-year-old wife, and mother of three small boys. I'm blogging to chronicle the downward spiral of my brain cells toward extinction, as my children slowly hunt them down and kill them, one by one.