Monday, March 25, 2013

More Quotes

I hesitate to post these next three stories in the same blog post because it makes Buddy seem like a monster.  In reality, he is the most tender-hearted person you'll ever meet.* But here goes. 

* * *

Buddy:  "I'm going to try to be perfect today.  Or is that putting too much pressure on myself?"

* * *

There is a rather large woman who is the crossing guard in the afternoon at Buddy's school.  I asked him what her name is.  He said he didn't know.  Then he asked me if i think she is ugly. I stifled a laugh (because she is-and because she seems really cranky) and said no, and gave him a mini lecture about how rude that is. I said she doesn't choose the way she looks, that's how God made her. In my head i was laughing at my own lecture. then I said, "And what if she goes home to her husband and says there is this ugly kid at school that wears Shaun White shirts and he has freckles and blue eyes. Wouldn't that hurt your feelings."  And without skipping a beat he said, "You sure she's married? I really doubt she's married."

* * *

Sambo was trying to convince me to build spaceships out of Legos with him today. I don't have a creative bone in my body, so I suggested I pull out some instructions and build a set with him.  He didn't want to do that, so then I suggested he build a spaceship and I just find him the right pieces.  He didn't like that idea either.   He said, "You just don't know how to put the pieces together?  I can show you how to do that."  I explained that I know how to put the pieces together, but I just have a hard time being creative and knowing how to put the pieces together to make it look like a spaceship.  And so it really stresses me out.

He said, "Mom, you just need to believe in yourself.  I believe in myself and that's when I get my good ideas."  What a great life lesson!

*Saturday I ran into a boy from Buddy's class at the grocery story.  He has autism.  Buddy adores him and is a really good friend to him, which is why I knew who he was.  We hear stories about him all the time!  I introduced myself to him and and his dad.  Later as I was checking out at the store, the boy came up to me and asked if Buddy would like to play with him at his house sometime.  I said he would love to.  He ran back to his dad cheering "Dad!  She said he wants to play with me!  She said yes!" 

Then today I had an interesting phone call from the babysitter of a kid in Buddy's class at church. I hardly know who he is (and certainly had no clue who the babysitter was or how they got our number) but she was calling to ask if Buddy could come over to play.  She said that since it is spring break, she asked the kid if he wanted to invite a friend over to play.  He suggested his "best friend."  I didn't even really know Buddy was friends with him.  Buddy was gone all day today, so when he got home I asked him about the kid.  He said, "Well our teacher at church told us that he didn't have any friends and feels lonely in our class, so I've been making sure he doesn't feel like that any more."

...So while the crossing guard story is really, REALLY funny, it's not an accurate reflection of his big heart. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rudy at Two Months

I have had a hard time sitting down to write about our baby because... he is just so amazing.  I know I won't be able to articulate my love and his awesomeness.  He has been so much fun and such a blessing.  But I wanted to try to detail his life lately.  I wrote emails to my older boys' birthmoms weekly or every other week when they were first born.  But Rudy's birthmom prefers texts.  I don't want him to miss out on the details of his early life, so I will try to document as much as possible here on the blog to preserve the memories. 

Rudy is 2.5 months, but people assume he's much older.  I get, "Oh, he's darling!  Is he about 4 months?" all day.  People at the store, the lady taking his picture, people at church, the guy at the Taco Bell drive-thru, even the pediatrician said he looks and acts developmentally like a 4-month old baby.  At his 2-month appointment he was 12 pounds (65th percent) and 23 inches long (45 percent) but he carries all his weight in his face (like my other two).  He is very barrel-chested and so he looks really, really big.  Plus he has a full head of hair.  And he is really interactive and will smile and coo at anyone who looks at him.  It all adds up to him seeming older.  SAD!  I really, really wish I could freeze time because there is nothing better than having a newborn.  And this little newborn is growing up way too fast.
Rudy is just so sweet.  I am surprised he has any cheeks left, considering how many times a day I kiss them.  I could just eat him, he is so squishy.  He has reddish-brown curly hair.  It gets less curly as I rub my hands and face all over it all day, but after his bath it is really, really curly and getting curlier with time.  He hasn't lost any of his hair yet, but it is considerably lighter then when he was born.  He has really pale skin, red-head skin.  Interestingly enough, he looks exactly like Buddy did when he was this age.  Same color hair, same eyes, same squishy cheeks, same chest, same fat legs, same spoiled milk smell.
...And same personality.  Oh boy, we are in BIG trouble with this baby.  Buddy was the most active baby, toddler, and boy I've ever associated with.  And this third baby of ours is just the same.  He loves to jump on my lap, he kicks his legs constantly, his neck is strong and totally steady on his head, he loves tummy time.  Plus he looks all around and is totally aware of everything.  When he wakes up from a nap and I pick him up, he turns his head back and forth, back and forth to look at everything to see if anything has changed since he went to sleep.  Buddy used to do that too.

Rudy rolls over all the time.  I still am not sure if it's on purpose or what, but he's done it probably 30 times now.  He first rolled over at 8 days old and hasn't stopped.  But he only does it when his clothes are off. 

He is just like his older brother socially too, but more so.  He is very interactive.  He smiled and cooed at 5 weeks.  He makes eye contact with anyone that looks at him.  He tracks us as we walk around.  If he can hear us, or if the kids are wrestling or loud nearby but aren't playing with him, he tries to get their attention and has been doing that for several weeks.  He kicks his legs and yells out for them to notice him.
I'm not sure if he laughs or not.  He squeals from the belly and coughs as a giant smile stretches clear across his face, then he gets the hiccups.  It's not a true laugh like what you normally hear from an infant, but he's been doing that for a few weeks now. And it is so incredibly cute, I can hardly stand it.

He has no interest in toys yet.  Not even the mat with hanging toys that my other two boys LOVED at this age (and earlier actually). He does, however, love being held.  He loves being sung to.  His favorite songs are "Wheels on the Bus," and "Old McDonald."  He also likes to be played with any which way.  Toys are no fun.  Big brothers that rough-house and adoring mamas are VERY fun.
So yes, he is held a ton.  He is pretty much incapable of laying on the floor or sitting in his seat by himself.  I know this is normal for the age, but I think we've also contributed to the problem.  Oh well.  The "I want to be held constantly" window is so short for babies, I don't mind.

He sleeps wonderfully.  I'm not going to brag too much because I've learned people don't want to hear it... but he sleeps through the night from 10pm until 7am, sometimes later if the older kids are quiet.  He has been doing it consistently since 8 weeks, but was hit or miss since 6 weeks.  Of my three, he was the hardest to train because he loves his binky but it wouldn't stay in.  Plus it was hard to be up all night training him and have to be up early to take the older kids to school.  But I stuck to my guns even though I was so tired I was seeing stars most days and nights.  And it paid off.  He has never once "cried it out" during the night.  He was sleeping in his bouncy seat until this past weekend because he chokes in his sleep and I wanted him upright.  But he seems to be getting better about that, so we moved him to his crib without any trouble at all.  In fact, I think he sleeps better in the crib.  He was so wiggly, he would slide down the seat and almost fall out sometimes. 

Three babies.  Three different personalities and sleep patterns.  All sleep trained early enough that they didn't even know what was happening.  I have seriously considered selling my sleep-training services.  I know how tired I was for 6ish weeks, and I would have paid good money to have someone else do the dirty work.  (But honestly, I'm not going to judge you if your baby doesn't sleep.  I can't get my oldest son to do things most 9-year olds do easily, so I have my strengths and weaknesses in my parenting.)
He loves to be swaddled and doesn't really try to get out like my other two did.  (We called/call Sambo Houdini for good reason.)  Rudy is my first baby that has been sleep trained with my special swaddle-velcro-straight-jacket-blanket.  My sister told me about it when Sambo was three months, so we started him on it then.  But it has been wonderful to have from the start with this baby.  What a brilliant invention!

He is a pretty good eater too.  His birthmom nursed him constantly in the hospital for two days, but luckily he had no issues switching to a bottle and formula.  He eats 4 ounces every three hours.  I have him on a very strict schedule because it stresses me out to be trying to get out the door for school pickup or whatever, and having him cry because he needs to eat.  So I worked out a plan that fits with our day and it has been great.  He knows when it's time to eat and wakes up and starts smacking his lips.  I feed him at 7am, 10, 1, 4, 7, and 10pm.  Sometimes (usually) he takes a really long time to eat... like 45 minutes.  He wiggles quite a bit and shakes his head around and isn't the type to just sit there, relax and eat, but it's not too bad.  If I need him to hurry up, I use a bottle with a faster flow and he eats quicker.  I save those bottles for times I day I'm busier.  I'm a freaking genius, I tell you.  He burps at least twice, sometimes up to four times each bottle.  

He was extremely gassy as a newborn.  He wasn't fussy because he easily got his gas out.  You've heard the term:  "silent but deadly."  His pediatrician was lucky enough to smell his gas and encouraged me to switch him to "gentle" formula.  His birthmom's older son also needed gentle formula, so it was an obvious decision.  He has not had a problem with gas since.  The funny thing about the gas, though, was nobody wanted to hold him at first because he smelled so bad.  I loved this, of course, because then I didn't have to share him.  He does spit up like crazy.  Our other two did too.  The first time he spit up, PTSD came on like a wave and that's no joke.  He is always soaked, he always smells like spoiled cheese, and our carpets, clothes and couches are destroyed.  He is a volcano!  But I actually think he is the least bad of the three.  He is the first that hasn't had to be medicated, so that's good.  And he is happy and chubby, so he's not bothered by it. 
He is a mommy's boy.  My first!  Buddy was everybody's boy and Sambo was/is a daddy's boy.  This little baby adores me and I love it!  He reacts so strongly to me and gives me the biggest smiles every time I look at him.  And he much prefers me to hold him.  I got the first smiles and coos.  I worked hard for this baby, so I think I deserve all the love he gives me!
A few other things:  he hasn't been sick yet, which is saying something considering he was born in the middle of flu season.  And considering he is man-handled constantly.  But me and Sambo are vigilantes about hand-washing, so I think that's helped.  I am so grateful because by this age Sambo had been to the hospital and doctor for stomach flu and RSV.

He loves to suck.  He loves his binky, but still can't keep it in his mouth.  He is no respecter of binkies either.  He gladly will suck on any type and we have three different kinds, trying to figure out which stays in his mouth the best.  He loves sucking on his hands now too.  I'm imagining a real challenge keeping all the kids' Legos, rocks, and other small toys out of his mouth in a few short months.

And he is such a squeaky little baby.  This is definitely his trademark, besides his big smiles.  We can hear him squeaking in his crib even with his door closed.  He definitely has perfected the response to "what does an elephant say?"  Unfortunately, I have noticed this week that he is squeaking less and less.  I'm going to miss his newborn sounds so much.  Fortunately, we've tried to get his squeaks on video as much as possible so we never forget. 

He was born with a point elf ear, which was perfect for Christmas.  It's starting to fold over now, which is too bad because it is really cute.  

Oh, how we love him.  We each kiss him approximately 7000 times per day.  He is perfect, precious, and so squishy. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Preparing For Easter

I find the following story extremely funny.  This one story tells you every thing you need to know about Sambo's personality and why I say he is so easy and crazy all at the same time. 

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to do some sort of challenge.  We have our "summer challenge" and our "reading challenge" and we did a Valentine's activity (it wasn't really a challenge, but sort of).  And this year we decided to start an annual "Easter Challenge" to get us focused, ready and excited for Easter.  At the end of our challenges we always celebrate with a family activity. 

Our Easter Challenge put simply:  we have a list of different activities we can do.  We put a marble in a jar for every activity we complete.  If we fill up the jar before Easter we will go bowling as a family.  We've been at the challenge for about 10 days and so far it's been really fun and good to focus on the purpose of Easter.  We are all really into it and we share what we accomplished during the day each night at dinner. 

So on Sunday during the sacrament I leaned over and reminded Sambo that by focusing on Jesus during the sacrament he could earn a marble.  He was glad for the reminder because he is VERY eager about the challenge.  I told him to go remind Buddy, who was sitting at the end of our row.  After reverently whispering to Buddy, Sambo came back and sat down by me.  He ceased his drawing he had been doing and bowed his head and prayed.  I sort of laughed to myself at how pious he was being, but he loves earning marbles, so I wasn't too surprised.

A little while later I got G's attention because Sambo was still being exceedingly reverent.  G informed me that Sambo had whispered to Buddy to remember to think about the Easter Bunny during the sacrament.

It caught me so off-guard, I literally laughed out loud.  He is such a contrast of sweet and clever and sneaky.  I hope I never forget this story.