Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dream Baby

Yes, I'm taking the chance that I'm going to write this post and completely jinx myself, but let's face it--Carter is fantastic and even if this bliss ends tomorrow, I need to note for posterity that there was a period in which he was the most amazing, sweet baby ever. 

That's not to say that he doesn't have his moments.  Even just this past weekend I'm sure there were a lot of people around us thinking, "Shut that baby up, already!", but who doesn't have those moments?  I'd bet that we've had a heck of a lot less with him than most people have had with their babies. 

The kid oozes pure sweetness and I can't help but swoon every time I look at him.  He's got those bright (but dark) eyes, those amazing cheeks, and the sweetest smile.  He is just the most "chill" baby ever.  Yes, when he's hungry, he is HUNGRY.  He will not let up until you feed him.  But the second that bottle is in his mouth, he is completely content.  He gets a little cranky when he's tired, but a few rocks and usually he's off to dreamland.  I won't say that he's the most patient if I leave him alone, even with toys, but usually I can get a few minutes out of him before I come back, pick him up, and do whatever it is that I need to do with him on my hip.  And most of the time, I don't mind, simply because he's so content while I'm holding him. 

He is very smiley and has a great laugh.  He's very easily amused, which is fun.  He loves peek-a-boo, he loves raspberries on his belly and tickles in his armpits, and just a silly face will get him giggling.  He's just a happy kid.

But what amazes me the most is that he's such a good baby when you most want him to be good.  He goes to bed without incident.  He sleeps through the night.  He wakes up happy.  He's a very content eater.  For the most part he's been very good when I put him in the Bjorn for certain outings, or even when he's stuck in the stroller for a while.  When we went shopping at IKEA over the weekend, I practically forgot he was sitting there in the stroller because he was so quiet.  And there were a couple times I looked at him, sure he was asleep, but no...he just sat there contentedly checking things out.  He's taken amazing marathon naps at ideal times, like the morning of Jacob's birthday party or Saturday morning when I was finishing packing.  We've had so few moments where he has been out-of-character miserable that when he does have one I'm almost at a loss trying to figure out what might be wrong or what to do about it.  I've certainly cuddled him a lot, but I honestly haven't had to actively rock him very much.  He's usually pretty predictable, right down to when he poops and when he's most prone to spit up...which, yes, he does a lot.

As I was thinking about writing this post, I figured I probably could have done a similar one for Jacob.  Turns out, I did.  Right around the same time, in fact.  I do remember Jacob being a smiley, sweet baby, but I also remember a lot of tough times.  He did have undiagnosed acid reflux, after all, but I'm guessing a lot of the tougher times were once he started teething.  We have yet to do that, of course, so it's a little nervewracking to know what could be coming.  Even still, I feel like there's an element of Carter's personality that is just so much lower key than Jacob (heck, I'm pretty sure he kicked a lot less in utero, too), so I'm hoping that we're not facing a similar future with Carter as we're dealing with with Jacob right now.  Maybe Carter just seems that much more chill because he's such a contrast to Jacob.  I didn't really have any frame of reference when Jacob was a baby, but now I know how blissful it is to have a baby that isn't old enough to get into anything, but is still old enough to smile and do a little more than just lay there.  My time with Jacob is so exhausting, but Carter energizes me and keeps me smiling.  He's such a ray of sunshine.
 
Carter is working hard on sitting up right now, and it's so cool to watch him improve.  I see him trying to curl up when he's reclining somewhere (working those abs!), and while he's still lacking balance, he's getting a lot less wobbly when I hold his hands or prop him up.  I forgot how rewarding it is to see your baby do things like that, particularly when they're starting from scratch, you know?  Jacob obviously has a lot to learn in the coming months, and I am looking forward to that, but the simplicity of baby milestones is just so heartwarming. 
 
I tell him how much I love him at least a dozen times a day, and probably kiss his cheeks twice as much.  I just can't help myself.  I'm so overwhelmed with love when I'm with him.  Everything about him just makes me smile.  I love his chubby but muscular thighs, I love that he seems to have gotten my dark eyes like Jacob did, and I love the perfect fuzz he's got on his head.  His giggle is contagious and everyone at daycare raves about how awesome he is. 
 
I tried to weigh him tonight (by stepping on the scale with and without him) and I think he weighed in around 16 pounds.  It absolutely boggles my mind that he's so big and that he's nearly six months old.  It was only a year ago that I was barely pregnant and feeling awful, and six months ago that I was suffering through the horribly uncomfortable stage of late pregnancy.  I can barely fathom that he's here and that he's so awesome, let alone that he's already such a big boy.  I looked tonight at some of his newborn clothes and laughed.  He's fitting into some 6-9 month stuff now, and he's so long!  He was such a tiny little peanut when he was born, barely six pounds and not enough fat to fill out his own skin.  And now he's this increasingly strong, super happy little boy.  The changes just boggle my mind.  I wish I could freeze all these moments in time because they're going too fast! 
 
Here are a couple shots of him from Monday night at Jacob's game.  The first one was sort of an inadvertent shot that I ended up loving, and the second one shows his happy face.  I love both!


 
Blessed indeed...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baseball, Lacrosse, and More Baseball

Jacob's t-ball has been going relatively well.  He's definitely a great hitter, even now that they're doing coach-pitch instead of using the tee.  He gets a lot of attention from the other teams, as we hear rumblings nearly every game about what a good hitter he is.  I have to admit, his form looks pretty good.  He definitely loves it and always wants to practice, but he still needs to work on fielding and paying attention.  He gets preoccupied by checking out the bases, drawing his own batter's box, and just generally trying to do things his way, so he needs to work on being a good teammate and making sure he won't get clunked by the ball.  He's definitely a good player in comparison to the other kids on his team and other teams, but they all have a long way to go!  It's hard to watch sometimes, since they're all all over the place, but it's fun to watch them learn and improve!  Here's a picture of our little player from Thursday...

Saturday we all took off for Hamilton, where Craig had to work a lacrosse game.  We had a relatively pleasant drive up--some rain, but no issues at the bridge!  We dropped Craig off at the stadium and the kids and I went to IKEA.  I had a few things I wanted to look for and ended up with a longer list of projects I'd like to do someday, if I could just have a master handyman come and do all the scary stuff!  I got four small things.  Jacob was a little all over the place at times, but generally wasn't too bad.  Carter was completely content in the stroller.  As we finished up shopping I knew we wouldn't have time for a full dinner before the game.  I was thinking we could have gotten food at the game, but decided at the last minute that it would be much cheaper (and potentially tastier) to get some snacks at the IKEA CafĂ©.  We got two hot dogs and a soda for $2 (!) and added a cinnamon roll to split ($1.50).  It was perfect and we headed out into the drizzly night to go to the game. 

I didn't take any pictures, probably because I took some last year and had my hands full this year.  It rained once while we were out in the stands, but the umbrella did its job and the temperature stayed reasonable enough.  I had Carter in the Bjorn and we ended up sitting with Craig's boss and his wife for a while.  She loves babies and was happy to hold Carter for a while.  Craig came out to find us at one point, and eventually we headed up to his booth in the press box...and just in time, as it poured near the end of the game while we were up there.  After the game we headed to a hotel, where Jacob did his usual hellish hotel antics--not going to sleep, screwing around on his bed, throwing pillows, etc.  He didn't get to bed until late, though luckily we all slept rather well and woke up around 8:30.  Even Carter did well in his pack-n-play, aside from one barely noteworthy whiny spell that I shushed away. 

We decided to work our way back slowly, much like we did on our Hamilton trip last year.  We grabbed some breakfast and drove to Niagara Falls, where we strolled down Clifton Hill.  I fed Carter in a park across from the Falls while Jacob and Craig played, and then we walked up to the railing so Jacob could see the Falls...
Perfect day!
And then we worked our way back up the hill, stopped for ice cream and a game of bubble hockey, then headed to my parents' house for a little while.  Jacob played baseball and Carter was his usual charming self.  We took off a little after 4pm so we could hit up the Batavia Muckdogs game on our way home.  We last went to a game there when Jacob was two (!), and I took one of my favorite pictures of the boys ever, after Jacob ran the bases postgame.  It was a nice night, though it got a little chilly as the night went on, and the game was quite the barnburner (10-5 final, I think?).  The boys saw a foul ball break someone's back car window (UGH), Jacob met the mascot...

...and we tried to enjoy the night despite near-constant whining from Jacob (about any little thing you can imagine), and a little fussiness from Carter (not sure if it's teeth, or if he had just sort of had it with being ported around all weekend). 

The thing was, we had to stay until the end of the game so Jacob could run the bases...
That's him in the red shirt.  And yes, he's wearing his baseball socks with shorts (I forgot pants for him for when it got cool) and his cleats.
And, yes, we did a follow-up picture three years later to attempt to match the glory of the original.  Not quite, but it's still a great picture of the boys!

The hats have changed and Jacob is way bigger, but the smiles are the same!  Maybe next year Carter will join the crew :)
We had fun, but it was a long day.  I was so happy to get home, get the kids in bed, and get in bed myself...though I had way too much to do to get around to that early enough.  I'm still glad we got a chance to go to Hamilton this summer, but it is always hard to be gone for a weekend because I feel so far behind when the new week starts.  And this week we had t-ball again on Monday, and tonight Craig was back up in Canada for a work-related event, so I was on my own with both kids, including an overtired Jacob who was barely functional.  Oh, the whining.  Jacob, if you don't want me to yell, try listening and obeying the first time!  UGH.  So now it's nearly mid-week and I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water.  But I am too mentally spent to do anything except blog! 

We're home this coming weekend, thankfully.  We have a Red Wings game where Jacob gets to parade with other Little Leaguers on Saturday, and a birthday party for one of his friends on Sunday.  Craig is home so we should have some good quality family time in between all of these events.  I hope.  Summer is rapidly dwindling, and I feel like we've barely gotten to do anything, including swim in our own pool!  Oy...and I wonder why I'm stressed.  Hopefully another (happier) blog post coming up in the next day or so...


Friday, July 26, 2013

Napping: A Cautionary Tale

In case I haven't mentioned it, bedtime with Jacob has been downright horrible for a while.  He used to be so great at going to bed, and then at some point, he wasn't anymore.  Over the years he's gone in phases for sure, but this particular phase was extra bad and extra long.  I used to quietly gloat about how good bedtime was in our house whenever I'd hear about the kids who endlessly needed to pee, needed another glass of water, etc.  Jacob wasn't like that.  But then he figured out that if he had to pee, we HAD to let him get up and do it.  We could deny water because he pees so much overnight (yep, he's still in a pull-up (though the big kid ones now), and the doctor says his brain and bladder just have to figure it out on their own)), but when he's sick that's a little harder...so another crack in the armor.  And slowly but surely the excuses grew.  And certainly since he's been in his new room, we've had to contend with a lot more.  He's hungry, he's thirsty, he's scared, he's having bad dreams (did you know you could dream before you actually go to sleep?  Me neither.), his light looks like it's going to come alive, he can't find an animal, he needs Daddy, and on and on and on.  Sometimes he feels the need to tell us something random or discuss something unimportant at the most inopportune time.  Even when he leaves us alone, you can always hear him up there playing with his animals.  And yes, I know that he'd have less distractions if we took them away, but dude, he's only five and I know I slept with animals for years.  Should we penalize him because he's creative with them?  I dunno.

Anyway, he's constantly been out of his room and won't go back unless we threaten or physically take him back.  It's been ridiculous.  We've taken away animals and Legos, moved up his bedtime...you name it, and yet every night it's a challenge.  And to top it all off, it's been going on for longer and longer into the night, to the point that he's barely falling asleep before we go to bed, sometimes as late as 10:30! 

Given that his behavior is an issue most of the time, I knew this couldn't be good.  In addition, sometimes he was waking up as early as 6:30 or so, and I knew that even with an afternoon nap at daycare, that wasn't enough.  On weekends at home, he's refused to nap for a while now, probably since mid-winter.  While his behavior isn't too bad on non-napped days, there have been a lot of times where we'll hop in the car to go out to dinner and he will fall asleep on the way.  Then he's impossible to wake up and gets a little hyper afterward.  Ugh.  So while I know he's not quite out of the need to nap, he still can be relatively functional without it.  We just have to stay out of moving vehicles if at all possible.

His naps at daycare have generally been an hour or two each day.  I think a lot of that was peer pressure and force of habit, more than actually needing one.  My fear, of course, is that without a nap, being at daycare all day with all that activity and stimulation would turn him into a monster by the end of the day.  At least at home on weekends there's a lot of mental downtime--TV, video games, low-key Lego playing--but at daycare there's stuff going on all day, and there are a lot of kids to keep him going.  I just didn't want his teachers dealing with a crazy child at the end of the day if they didn't have to. 

The other issue, of course, is that Kindergarten starts in another six weeks, and he won't get a nap there.  Gone are the days of grabbing your little rug and taking a break.  Heck, we did that in half-day Kindergarten when I was a kid!  But I didn't see any sign of naptime on his daily schedule at orientation, so I was a little concerned about transitioning him out of it before September. 

Well...the other night it hit me that perhaps he's not just trying to be difficult (though I'm sure that's part of it), but that he's simply not tired.  Even though he might seem tired, he's not tired enough to sleep.  So, I decided to ask at daycare for him to skip naptime.  A lot of other kids do it, and it's fine--they have other activities for them and it's all good.  And what happened?  Well...the first day he almost fell asleep standing up at Wegmans on the way home.  He kept sitting on the cart bottom looking pathetically tired and insisting he couldn't walk around the store.  But once we got past that, he was fine.  And after one or two excuses at bedtime, he was asleep within 15 minutes of bedtime.  Yesterday was t-ball, so I'm sure he had adrenaline on his side, but after 30 minutes at most, he was out, practically doing a face-plant.  Both mornings he's actually slept in much later than usual, giving credence to that whole "sleep begets sleep" theory, which I already wholeheartedly agreed with. 

So...yeah.  Turns out that naps are great things...until they're not anymore.  We'll see how this goes in the long run, but I'll admit I was pretty proud of myself 15 minutes after bedtime a couple nights ago.  It's nice to have one of those, "Hey, I actually figured out parenting for a split second" moments.  They're few and far between so it's great to get one when I can!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Busy

Sorry, I know it got a little quiet here over the past few days.  Things have been crazy.  Or maybe I'm just extra tired and thinking about and/or writing blog posts just isn't happening.  I'm way behind on so many things--going through mail, writing thank you notes, cleaning, etc., and this weekend didn't help, as we were busy Saturday and Sunday seemed to turn into a recovery day.  I meant to do all sorts of stuff yesterday afternoon with Carter in tow, leaving the big boys home to play, but I got sleepy right along with Carter and never made it.  So Craig and Jacob swam and I tried to nap, and then we ended up all going out together in the evening and cramming in as much as we could.  We had some hiccups (like a dumped full cup of ice water at dinner and not making it to the last place I wanted to stop at), but we survived.  We exchanged Jacob's new table, bought a can of formula and team snacks for tonight's t-ball game, and I still managed to use the coupon for the last stop we didn't make (Kohl's) by scoring a pretty awesome online order that took me most of the rest of the night to figure out.  It was a 30% off coupon that was expiring, and I didn't want to let it go to waste since there were things I was eyeing up for myself and Carter is rapidly outgrowing a lot of his summer clothes.  I'm quickly realizing that this four-month shift in birth months is a weird one.  I had hoped that the stuff that was big on Jacob during his first summer would at least get Carter through the hot weather, but slowly but surely I find myself throwing outgrown clothes into the bin in the closet.  Boo.  He'll actually need a handful of stuff that fits him when he's a full seven-month-old baby because we'll be in Florida for a week in September, and I'm hoping that anything I get him now will fit that bill.  Otherwise we're going to be doing a lot of laundry.  But I'd rather get stuff now that he can get some good wear out of, particularly before summer clothes start disappearing.  Hopefully by next year the larger six-month sizing interval (12-18 months) will work a little bit better with what we already have.

As I said, Saturday was busy.  Actually, the busyness started Friday night when I left the boys home with Craig and headed to Geneseo for a reunion of sorts.  During my college years I spent the vast majority of my time involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.  My roommate found out about it, and we both got involved early in our second semester.  It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to us, as we met a ton of awesome people.  We both rediscovered our faith in new ways, and it really made those 3-1/2 years more fulfilling than we ever could have imagined.  Well...it's now been over 16 years since that discovery, and over 13 years since we graduated.  There have been a couple reunions since, but this one was mostly to celebrate our college pastor, Dave, who is retiring.  He's got his reasons, and I am happy for him, but those kids won't know what they're missing without him.  He's an incredible man and was a second father to so many of us.  In the years since I graduated, I can't even tell you how much I've loved popping into Geneseo from time to time and seeing the look on his face when he sees me.  A couple years ago when I stopped into town to buy a baby shower gift for a good friend of mine, I randomly prayed on the way down that I'd love to somehow run into him while I was there, and sure enough...who do I see walking down Main St. but him!  The odds of it were slim, and yet...there he was.  Made my day.  Anyway, Friday night was a throwback to Friday nights of old, with the same kind of meeting we used to have...some music, a speaker, and lots of time to catch up with old friends.  It was nice to go without the kids (though they did have childcare, that just seemed like a battle I didn't want to fight) and just enjoy myself for a night.  Even though I catch up with everyone over Facebook nowadays, it was so nice to see them in person.

Saturday there was a picnic.  It meant another trip to Geneseo, and this one was with the kids.  Craig had to work up in Canada, so it was all me.  All things considered it went well.  Jacob was a little difficult at times and didn't want to be social with the other kids during craft time, but we survived.  I got more time to catch up with friends, the food was great, and it was generally a lot of fun. 

From there we headed back north and east to Victor, to visit with more friends.  I've blogged many times about our visits with my parents' friends' daughter Laurie and her son Colin, along with their more recent addition Kelly.  The last time we saw them Kelly was just a few months old...and now she's two!  I guess we've all just been a little busy in the interim when they've been in town!  We've kept up online, of course, but it's still amazing to realize how much time has passed.  Once upon a time we were both pregnant at the same time, and now not only do we both have two kids, but both of those first babies are on their way to Kindergarten.  We discovered during this visit that we possibly enjoyed their time together more when they ignored each other, as they were quite a handful this time.  I'm not sure who influenced who at which time, but they got into a lot of mischief, including throwing balls into trees and gardens, going too far out in the yard, and touching things they shouldn't have been.  They were both equally stubborn during dinner, as well, and finished off the visit purposely crash landing on the grass from riding scooters around the driveway.  BOYS!  I think they both felt like they had found a suitable partner-in-crime, or at least someone else to pin the blame on, so they just did whatever seemed like fun at that moment.  Oy.  Definitely easier when they just laid on a blanket and stared off into space!  Kelly is quite the adorable little girl, though she's definitely got some spunk!  I forgot how cute that phase is where they can talk just enough so you know what they're saying, and where it's cute when they say or repeat certain things, but before it turns into a constant stream of elaborate questions.  Those days will be here again for us soon enough, and I'm sure I'll remember the tougher side of that as well!  But despite the troublemaking, we had a nice visit.  Here's a shot of all four kids, three of which are enjoying their ice cream sandwiches...

Still, I was happy to get home after so many hours away, but I definitely felt like I accomplished something after surviving that long of a day away alone with both kids!

One other wacky thing from the past week was a freak storm that hit our area.  Last Thursday Craig called me while I was still at work.  He had gotten out of work early and was getting ready for t-ball.  He said, "I don't know what happened in Greece, but it's a mess."  There were trees down, a road closed, and branches everywhere.  There had barely been a rainshower in the city, but Greece got hit with a major thunderstorm, and our neighborhood in particular (particularly the road we take to our neighborhood) got hit with a microburst, leaving lots of tree damage in its wake.  The road to our neighborhood had a bunch of large trees down, and there was this view across the street and two doors down:

What you can't see is that there are actually two arms of that tree down, and they just brushed up against the house where they fell.  That tree is now gone, not surprisingly.  We had no damage, but it definitely feels a little too close for comfort.  We've had a series of bad storms, including quite the light show I drove home through on Friday night.  Seems everywhere from here to Canada has had some sort of damage lately.

Today we were back to the grind, another long day of work and t-ball.  Jacob finally got his game ball tonight!  He was due since everyone else had gotten one, but he tried hard tonight, the long-awaited first night of coach pitch.  He had a hard time with his coach's pitches (he's good with Craig's), but the swings looked nice even when they didn't connect.  Still, he was excited to get a game ball.   
 
Amidst all of the craziness, I have had this picture putting a smile on my face all week... 
 
Technically it's a reject from the five month shoot, because it wasn't set up at the right spot to compare to the others, but I love Carter's face in this one.  He's just so sweet, so happy, with such perfectly friendly eyes.  I have it as my wallpaper at work, and every time I flip back to it, I just marvel at how lovely it is.  I feel so lucky to have him.  I know we're still in the honeymoon phase and we'll no doubt have our challenges with him, too, but for now I am just loving having him around. 

Well, here we go with another week...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Five Months! (A Couple Days Late)

Hard to believe that Carter officially hit the five month mark a couple days ago!  I know he's getting bigger, and I know he's getting to be a more interactive little boy every day, but the fact that he's a month shy of halfway to a year sort of boggles my mind!  Here is his five month shot...

I've been trying to capture as many smiles as I can, because his smile makes me so happy every single time.  He is such a goof ball! 

I'm pretty sure teething has begun, since Carter is constantly trying to chew on things.  He's been a little fussy the last couple days, which might be his cold, but could also be teeth given the ferocity with which he attacks anything he can chew on.  His fingers, bibs, toys, or toes are all he needs...
I love how he sort of looks like, "Oh, hey, mom...I wasn't, like, sucking on this or anything..."
I caught this smiley face on the way back to the car after Monday's t-ball game.  He was finding the bumpy ride very funny...

When we got home, I finally managed to clean and assemble the Jumperoo, which has been sitting in our dining room for a few days.  Carter had tested things out in one at daycare that day, and really liked being the big boy in there.  He loved ours, too, and even got some bouncing in! 
 
Here's some video, though sorry it's so dark.  I just love his happy feet!



It's nice to have another way to entertain him, though we have to strategically avoid post-meal times!  He's been enjoying sitting in his high chair when we eat dinner, though, which has been helpful.  As good of a baby as he is, he likes attention and it's hard to leave him anywhere alone for too long!

He's just so cute, though, and I couldn't have asked for a sweeter baby.  I know we're probably heading into a tougher period once those teeth really start bothering him, but this has been a lovely time where he's happy and sleeping, so I really shouldn't complain!  Solid foods are just around the corner, too, which is going to be a whole new ballgame.  But his smiles and giggles will get me through no matter what...they always do!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Reluctant Sports Mom

Most of the time I feel like I don't have enough time to do anything.  Every evening I barely have a chance to sit down until at least 9:30 unless I'm feeding Carter.  I cook dinner, clean up, wash bottles, and sort mail or do laundry.  Once I finally do sit and relax, I'm usually multitasking--catching up on TV, reading emails, blogging, cutting coupons, etc.  Before I know it I'm practically nodding off in my chair.  Weekends are a challenge as well, since Craig is often on the road and I'm juggling two kids and all of the stuff I didn't get done during the week.  Usually I try to fit in something fun, but sometimes "fun" is a quick dinner out somewhere in the middle of errand running.  Half the time we're off to Buffalo anyway, so even that catching up never happens, which puts me behind the 8-ball again when the new week begins. 

Now we have t-ball.  I've known this was coming, for many years, yet now that it's here I'm finding myself ill-prepared for all that it entails.  Craig has been great so far.  Since he's an assistant coach, he's totally on board with picking up Jacob, gathering his equipment, and bringing snacks and beverages when needed.  On game days I go pick up Carter and get to the field just as the game is starting.  But this is the setup two nights per week.  We're only a couple weeks in and I hate it already. 

Look, I love Jacob and certainly want to be supportive.  And I will be.  But even on the best of days I'm usually perplexed by what to make for dinner and I run around like a maniac once I get home.  Now I have to manage two days a week where we're not even home for dinner (plus the usual late dinner we have on Tuesdays when I work out) without turning us into fast food or concession stand regulars.  I try to limit how much we eat out--both for financial and dietary purposes--but I feel like this schedule is making it almost impossible.  We don't have a chance to eat beforehand (though Craig makes Jacob a PB&J before his games), and by the time we get home, it's Jacob's bedtime, then Carter's right after.  All of a sudden it's after 9:30, and when we're supposed to eat dinner in there is beyond me.  I either have to come up with a better plan for fast homemade dinners, or rely on takeout.  And before you launch into praises of the crockpot or premade casseroles, keep in mind I'm out of the house for 12 hours, which is too long for any crockpot meal, and any casserole is going to take 30 minutes to cook, which is too long when it's late and we're starving.  I can only plan for leftovers so well, and that still doesn't help the fact that Jacob might be eating PB&J twice a week (plus probably one other time over the weekend) for the rest of the summer.  I just feel stumped about what we should be eating and when.  I feel like with the right planning we could be fine, but I am at a loss for what those good ideas might be. 

Tonight's game was in 90 degree heat.  That weather would be tough no matter what, but it's extra challenging with Carter.  He doesn't like the heat, and when it's that sunny I'm hesitant to take him out of the stroller if I can't keep him completely shaded because he can't wear sunscreen yet.  Thursday's game will probably be more of the same.  I feel bad putting him through that, but I also hate the thought of missing a game because I want to be there for Jacob.  I'm torn between both kids...and I'm sure it won't be the last time that happens.

It's only going to get worse next year when his games are on Saturdays, which means we won't be able to go away for the weekend like we do now.  Now my Saturday mornings will be spent getting up bright and early and heading to the diamond.  I did that as a kid and don't really like the idea of it any better now.  By then Carter will be running around like a maniac, so I will definitely have my hands full.  And before we know it, both boys will be playing and I'm not sure what's worse--when their schedules conflict, or when they'll be opposite and we'll be spending every night at the field.  Oy.

I want to be supportive, I really do.  But right now I'm just not sure how to make this work.  I feel strained enough already, let alone with two nights of games.  The boys love it and I know this is just a fact of life, but until I start figuring out how to maintain a sense of normalcy in the middle of all of this, I'm not really going to like it.  Hopefully someday I'll have it all figured out and be an old pro at this, but for now, I definitely feel like a rookie.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

First Game!

Jacob's first official t-ball game was Thursday night.  Ironically, it was a year to the day after our visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  A year later, Jacob was starting his baseball career!  Fortunately the hot and humid weather we've had for a couple weeks had finally broken, so it was a nice, pleasant night in comparison...but still warm!  I rushed out of work, rushed to get Carter, and rushed to the game.  It had already started when I got there, but I think I saw Jacob's first at-bat...
Swing!  Sorry, there were a lot of people in the way!

Safe at first!  Of course, there are no outs...

Waiting on third to run home!

Scoring his first run!
The rules for this level of t-ball are a little crazy--four innings, everyone bats, no outs, only advance one base at a time, no keeping score.  It's all about learning the fundamentals and having fun.  He's got seven other teammates, all cute kids, and it's going to be an interesting season watching them learn.  One kid spends all evening crying, one girl is tougher than the boys, and the coach's son is just as distracted as Jacob can be, without the skills!  For all of his obsession with sports, Jacob can be terribly distracted.  I think at times he forgets that he has a lot to learn, and I think he's got his own agenda sometimes (what else is new?).  We knew that playing with teammates and any sort of structure would be a challenge for him after so many years of doing his own thing.  He liked the game a lot better than practice, though, and he did well.  His team was definitely better than the other team, at least. 


After the game we took a couple pictures...


And here's some video of his second at-bat.  It's hard to follow (sorry, lots of people in the way again and it was hard to see the ball in person because it was so sunny)...


It's going to be a long season since the rules make for a scattered ballgame, but like I said, watching the kids grow and learn will be fun.  The coach's son (who is adopted and has overcome some disabilities) and the kid who cries (we guess that he might have some social anxiety issues--poor kid) got the game balls.  Of course Jacob asked afterward why he didn't get one, but we told him those kids had the best game they could have had and he just needs to keep working hard if he wants to earn one.  That should give him something to work for. 

This could be the first game of many we'll have as sports parents, and I'll blog more about my feelings on that topic soon.  But for one night it was nice to see a "first", and it'll definitely be an adventure!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Trouble with Three

We're in a nice little sweet spot right now with Carter.  He's past a lot of the newborn difficulties, he's super smiley and sweet, and he can't run off or talk back yet.  While I can't even fathom having another baby anytime soon (or ever), Carter's been a sweet enough baby that if I could be convinced, he'd probably be able do it. 

But of course I know that not every baby is as sweet as him, and he's a prime example of how babies can bring about the unexpected (hello, $2,500 for formula!), so when I'm thinking logically, there is no way we're doing this again.  I'm not sure my body can take it, for one.  Jacob was 10 days early and Carter was three weeks early, so where would that leave another baby?  Yeah, probably two weeks late!  I was so uncomfortable last time, and so miserable that I didn't feel well enough to take care of Jacob the way I would have liked.  And if we were doing this again, we'd have to do it soon because of my age...but doing it with a challenging big kid AND a toddler?  UGH.  I don't want to go through labor again, because now we know these kids come out sunny side up and it hurts.  We don't have the money for more daycare, and I don't want to have to get another new vehicle to fit three kids after I just bought a new one (though Craig is lobbying for a minivan when he finally gets rid of his car).  I don't want to feel like we need a new house.  And while I love my boys, three of them might be more than I can handle.  I don't have enough time for the kids I have now, and I can't even imagine adding a third to the list.  Having another baby is just not logical.

But there's a tiny part of me that still wants a daughter, and if I could guarantee that next time we'd get a girl, I'd really have to think long and hard about it.  Of course we can't do that, so it's not an issue, but the mere fact I'd consider it says something.  I've really enjoyed watching Carter grow this time around.  I think the knowledge that this needy baby turns into someone (someone difficult, perhaps, but a real person) makes the entire ride that much more interesting the second time around. Part of me is simply curious to see what a third would be like, especially if it's a girl.  Also, there's just something about three kids that sounds pretty great.  It's just enough to make holidays and get-togethers that much more fun, without it being overwhelming.  I've heard things about how having three makes sure that one kid always has someone else to turn to when the other sibling isn't cutting it.  Of course, I've also heard that three is the hardest number since you have to transition to zone defense instead of man-to-man, and you no longer fit in a world made for families of four--restaurant booths, kitchen tables, cars, amusement park rides, etc.  But once in a while, it still sounds pretty cool if we could pull it off.

If it were to happen, it would probably have to happen in one of two ways--it would either have to be planned out to the day (like Carter), or it would have to be a miracle of epic proportions to overcome both the fact that I'm on birth control and my fertility issues.  So, unless something changes drastically, it's not happening unless God emphatically decides it's happening.  And sometimes I can't help but wonder how I'd react if that happened.  Fear?  Excitement?  Dread?  All of the above?

Well, the other day I read a couple really depressing blog posts by a husband and wife who have found themselves in a similar situation.  Read them here and here.  Their situation is a little different in that they already had one and went through fertility treatments for another, only to find themselves pregnant with twins.  They are completely overwhelmed and depressed about how their decision to up their chances of a pregnancy by implanting two embryos turned into something they are sure will ruin their family.  On one hand, their attitudes are pretty appalling.  They speak like the babies aren't real people, that they're merely a burden.  But on the other hand, I understand where they're coming from.  Heck, if we were surprised with an unexpected pregnancy, I think I might have some of those same feelings...though I'd hope I'd feel guiltier about my frustrations than they sound. 

I was on antibiotics for a few days following my hedge trimmer incident, and antibiotics can make birth control ineffective.  We took precautions, but it definitely got me thinking about how I'd feel if I accidentally got pregnant right now.  I would be absolutely terrified.  I'd worry about paying for more daycare and managing two kids so close together.  I can't imagine having Carter's birthday party while massively pregnant, or figuring out how to move kids into different rooms.  I can't handle all I have to do every evening right now as it is, let alone with another baby.  It would bring in so many extra expenses, probably make Jacob's behavior even worse, and in the words of those bloggers, possibly ruin our family.  I'd like to think we're stronger than that, but it would be scary, no doubt.  Still, if it happened, I'd have to keep in mind that God did it for a reason.  It wouldn't be easy, but I'd just have to remember that there's a purpose for it and hope that gets us through. 

I feel for those bloggers and pray for those kids--they're going to need it.  But as for us, as long as logic continues to dictate and modern medicine works the way it's supposed to, two is it for us.  That tiny part of me will always wish circumstances would have been different, but I think we'll be a happier family as a foursome. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Second Time Around

So...yesterday Carter went in to get an upper GI to investigate why he's still got a bit of a cough and figure out how problematic his reflux is.  I initially thought it was the same kind of test Jacob had done, but it was a little different.  Carter had to lay on a table, drink some barium, and they watched and took pictures as everything moved down his esophagus and into his stomach.  They turned him a few times to get different angles and see how things moved, and within about 15 minutes, it was over.  Jacob's test lasted a good half hour or so, and he had to remain as still as possible during the whole thing.  Carter moved a bit and it was OK, but we still had to hold him in different positions and he didn't really appreciate it.  Oh, and he hadn't eaten for three hours prior, so he wasn't a happy camper by the time we entered hour four.

And OF COURSE, they didn't see any refluxing.  Dude, the kid has reflux...or at least, he's got something going on that causes stuff to frequently pop back out of his mouth and onto his surroundings.  I know his spitting up isn't as bad as it could be, but it's annoying to have your kid spit up on you an hour after he's eaten, randomly.  I know that the cough was actually more of a concern from the doctor's perspective, and I get that, though Carter's cough isn't nearly what Jacob's was for a longer period of time. 

So...given that they didn't see any refluxing, I have no idea what the next step is going to be.  Carter is on three medications for it now--Zantac, Reglan, and Prilosec.  Each has a different function.  It seems like overkill, but yet he still seems to have issues.  I don't know if they're going to want to do more testing, or pull him off the meds, or what.  I think Jacob's history has led them to make some assumptions about what might be bothering him, but it's hard to say whether it truly is the same thing or something a little different.  I'm pretty darn sure that Jacob's cough was way worse than Carter's, and that Carter's spitting up is way worse than Jacob's ever was.  On one hand I'm glad they didn't see anything serious, but on the other hand I feel like we put him through all of that for nothing. 

Doing all this stuff for the second time around has been a little different than the first time.  The first time we obsessed over this testing and we agonized over his illness.  This time it felt a little more matter-of-fact.  It still wasn't fun to make him go through it, but I don't think we overthought the whole situation this time.  Heck, Craig didn't even go to the procedure.  We agonized over Jacob going on his medicines, but with Carter, we know everything went fine so it's much easier to go with the flow.

I guess with a second child you've "been there, done that" and you know things eventually work themselves out.  Rarely do your worst nightmares come true.  Of course, I have friends whose little girl is battling cancer right now, so I guess you always have that in the back of your mind.  But most of the time these sorts of things eventually resolve themselves uneventfully one way or another.  You have way too many other things to worry about (kid #1 included) to think too deeply about anything.  Going through this stuff the second time around is much easier, but I guess there's that tiny bit of risk you won't agonize enough and you'll miss something. 

I'm glad that Carter apparently isn't that sick, but I just wish we had gotten some sort of answer because I still know that something's off.  I'd rather not have my baby full of drugs if they're not going to help him.  But how do you know?  Ugh...perhaps I will overthink this just a little bit...

Monday, July 8, 2013

In other news...

Our busy weekend is over and we're basically in recovery mode.  The only problem is that it's going to be another busy week followed by another busy weekend.  This week officially starts Jacob's schedule of t-ball every Monday and Thursday, and as a bonus, tomorrow is our night to work the concession stand.  I may do it myself and let Craig stay with the kids.  However, I still need to find a day early this week to get my stitches out.  In addition, I just found out today that Carter is going in for his testing (the same test Jacob got) tomorrow morning.  Awesome.  This weekend we have a birthday party in Buffalo.  There are possible activities going on pretty much every weekend for the rest of the summer, so I'm wondering if I'm ever going to have a lazy weekend around the pool.  Ha!
 
Yesterday we were supposed to go to a lacrosse game.  Craig's team (Hamilton) was playing a road game in Rochester.  About an hour before we were supposed to leave, as Jacob was finishing his lunch, he suddenly felt sick.  At first he seemed confident it would pass, then suddenly he got panicked and ran up to the bathroom.  I sat with him, though he forbid me to talk, touch him, or leave.  I did have to leave a couple times, once to get a crying Carter and a second time to get Carter a bottle.  He cried and seemed very miserable.  I felt so bad for him, but I couldn't help but smirk at a couple things.  First, the whole thing of not letting me talk or touch him cracked me up.  I know how he feels because I'm pretty much the same way, but seeing him be so set on that sort of cracked me up.  That, and how ridiculous it was that I had to sit there silently and yet could not leave.  The other thing that made me smile was how he was literally willing himself not to be sick.  He kept whining and saying, "Don't puke," and "I don't want to throw up," almost as if he was telling himself not to do it.  It was so pathetic but so cute at the same time.  He was insisting that I should take him to the hospital because they could give him medicine to make sure he didn't throw up, but I told him they'd only give him medicine like that if he had already been sick for a long time.  It took a good half hour, but eventually his stomach chilled out and we exited the bathroom unscathed.  No game, though, which was just as well since Carter probably wouldn't have appreciated the heat.
 
Carter is adorable as ever.  Aside from his penchant to spit up on everyone and everything, he's insanely cute and very happy.  He's growing, too.  I had been suspecting that his size one diapers were getting a little small on him, particularly because he's been pooping out of them almost every morning.  So this weekend I went out and got size twos, and believe it or not, they weren't even really big on him!  And he pooped out again this morning.  The kid poops watery, but still.  Ugh.  I am really tired of cleaning poop.  My hands are getting raw! 
 
He's still a very good baby, though.  Everyone at daycare says it, and I know it.  Despite the fact that he's sometimes extra needy and wants to be held non-stop, he's still such a good baby when it counts most--at bedtime and at mealtime.  He eats and sleeps like a champ, and generally without a fuss.  I'm sure that won't last, but for now it's amazing.  Usually he's not the easiest baby to leave for a few minutes, but hopefully once he's more into toys and can grab things easier, it will get better.  Yesterday he actually managed to grab the toy on his vibrating chair that plays the music.  That was a big milestone!  I brought up his high chair yesterday so he can watch us eat dinner, because otherwise he just cries.  I also brought up the Jumperoo, but I haven't cleaned it or assembled it yet.  I don't think he's quite big enough, but just in case, I figured I'd check it out. 
 
Jacob had his second night of t-ball tonight.  His skills aren't bad, but he has a hard time listening and paying attention.  Some of the other kids don't have his level of skills, so it will definitely be an interesting season.  I'm not sure how to manage twice a week during dinnertime, but I better figure it out quickly!
 
Anyway, here's a few quick pictures from the last few days... 
He may not be smiling, but I love this picture.  It's just sweet and highlights his big eyes!

Happy boy!

In the pool!


Quality time with Daddy!

I can't even keep my eyes open, so it's time for bed!  Ahhhh.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Belated Birthday

Because of various scheduling difficulties, Jacob's birthday party with the family had to wait a couple weeks.  His birthday didn't seem quite official without it.  His actual birthday was pretty low-key, and there weren't even really any blockbuster gifts so everything just seemed a little quieter than usual.  And with two weeks before his actual party, it was even stranger. 
 
Finally the big day came.  The weather was hot and humid with a chance of rain, but it ended up being dry and a perfect pool day.  Of course, with my hacked up finger I couldn't go anywhere near the pool, but I had plenty to do in the meantime...I had a cake to worry about. 
 
After a couple near-disasters and one total disaster, last year's soccer ball cake was pretty awesome.  This year Jacob had gone back and forth between a few different concepts, including a hockey rink and a cowboys-Indians-type cake, but settled on a baseball diamond.  I wasn't sure how it would go, but I pinned a few versions on Pinterest and plotted it out as much as I could.  I baked the cakes Friday night and lucked out with a fantastic nap by Carter Saturday morning to get as much of the cake done as I could.  Jacob kept coming in to watch me do the first layer of frosting, and was trying to be supportive for a change, which was cute.  After I finished the grass part of it, I called him in to see it, and I asked him if it was okay.  He told me it was better than okay, which was really sweet.  As a kid that doesn't get truly excited about much, it was nice to get a good reaction from him.  In the end, I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out, which let me enjoy more of the party than usual...but more on the cake in a bit.
 
I was outside enjoying the day while everyone was in the pool, and at one point I walked back to the house to work on some food when our niece came out of the house and said, "There's a bird at the front door...", to which I responded, "What?!"  When I walked upstairs to the door and saw our houseguest, I immediately remembered--Craig had set it up to have the Knighthawks' mascot, R. Thunder, come to the party.  Jacob LOVES the mascot.  He has for years.  As a little bit of background...R. Thunder is an eagle who was added as a second mascot for the Amerks a few years back.  He also did Knighthawks games, and when the teams' ownership situation changed a couple years ago, I guess you could say that the Knighthawks got "custody" of R. Thunder.  That is how the Knighthawks ended up with an eagle as their mascot.  Jacob just calls him "The Eagle".
 
Well, when "The Eagle" walked into the backyard, Jacob freaked out!  He was SO excited.  He instantly started yelling to him as he paddled frantically to get out of the pool and go see him.  Here's a shot of him trying to paddle... 

And here he is once he was out of the pool...

Immediately Jacob ran into the house to get changed into his lacrosse stuff so they could play.  Now, as you look at this picture, keep in mind that it was about 85 degrees and humid...
Taking a break after the first round of lacrosse
And now think about how 85 and humid must feel inside this bird...

R. Thunder took a couple water breaks, but in between he played lacrosse like a champ...

I'll admit, it was really entertaining seeing Jacob and all his cousins playing with a giant fuzzy bird.  They had a blast and everyone posed for pictures at the end...

Shortly after the Eagle finished up his visit, it was time for presents.  There actually ended up not being a lot to open.  His present from Craig's parents (Legos) didn't arrive in time, one of my parents' presents wasn't wrapped, and godmother Lori ended up giving him money and offering to take him shopping to spend it.  He did have a lot of cards, and did open up some Legos from Craig's brother's family. 

The unwrapped present from my parents was a kid-sized table and chairs for his room. We had discussed getting him a Lego table, but all of the real Lego tables were surprisingly small (better for 2-3 year olds than for the big kids who actually play with Legos).  Just around the time we were trying to figure out other options, my mom stumbled upon a top of an old Lego table at my aunt's yard sale.  She scooped that up, had my very handy uncle work some magic with it (there was a hole in the middle that used to lead to a mesh storage bag), and got a taller regular table.  The good news is that instead of having to clear off the Lego side of the real Lego table to flip it to the flat table side, Jacob can just remove this topper...
What's this big one?

Lego table top!
However, we don't know yet exactly how it will work.  It has some felt pads on the bottom but may need some rubber pads too, to make sure it doesn't shift.  I tried to put the table and chairs together today, but there was a crack in the table top (ugh) so I put in a request with the company (after confirming that none of the Toys 'R' Us locations here have the right one to exchange).  I've had good luck with requests like that in the past, so hopefully this one will have a quick and successful resolution.  I can't wait to get it all set up and get all (or some) of the Legos off the floor!

Now, back to the cake.  As I said, I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  Jacob was a little critical of my original design, so I ended up grabbing an image of a baseball field off the internet and using it to map out where everything needed to go.  I also changed the orientation of the field at the last minute, but everything worked out perfectly...
There's a "5" behind the second baseman.

Those baseball guys were actually used as potty training prizes a few years ago.  They were a couple bucks at the party store (I had gone looking for them after he became obsessed with hockey guys that Craig still had from one of his birthday cakes as a kid).  He earned three of them before it must have lost its lure, because I still had three of them put away.  I found the other three in with his sports guys, and voila...a full infield.

Jacob really liked the cake a lot, which was great.  It's not often he shows gratefulness for anything, so to see him so excited about this cake made me so happy.  And it was pretty darn tasty, as well. 

All in all, it was a great day.  There were a couple minor hiccups (mostly related to Jacob's ongoing problems with obedience), but everything went well--from the food to the cake, from the weather to the entertainment, from the presents to the company, everything was really pretty successful.  We were all exhausted, though, and everyone slept well! 

Now on to another week...

Friday, July 5, 2013

One of these years...(again)...

I say it every year, but one of these years we will see real fireworks on the 4th of July.  It hasn't happened since 2007, but one of these years, we will.  I swear. 

Growing up, I have fond memories of the 4th.  We'd usually go to some sort of family picnic--most memorably at my grandma's house when she still had a pool.  After dinner we'd drive over to the local park along the river, park in long lines of cars, set up our lawn chairs and blankets, bring out some snacks and drinks (the best of which was often a container of cherries!), and people watch until it was dark.  I'd lust after the plastic light-up crap the vendors were selling, and no doubt I probably got bored after a while.  But eventually the fireworks would start...and most of the time, I'd end up hiding in the car in fear of the giant booms.  But the colors were pretty, and I liked that part.  Regardless...it was a "thing" and that's how our 4th of July usually went. 

As I got older my parents no longer wanted to go, and I think I went to at least a couple displays with friends.  I worked a game on the 4th as a Bisons intern.  Once I was on my own I went to a sporting event or two and saw fireworks there.  We spent one in Vegas on our honeymoon, watching fireworks from our hotel room.  And back in 2007 we came down to my 16th floor office downtown and watched from the best possible vantage point.  But since then we haven't really done anything specific to celebrate the day, and that bums me out a bit.  Despite all that's happened in the years since those picnics and trips to the river, those activities still feel like what I should be doing on the 4th of July.

There are a few reasons why we haven't done anything.  Early on, the logistics of having a baby made the outing a little daunting--late night, loud noises, unknown comfort level--and that's the case again with Carter.  In between, and even now, we've just had stuff going on.  This year it was getting ready for Jacob's birthday party.  In the past it's been yard work and running around and catching up on sleep (or at least, not wanting to make things worse).  It never seems worth the effort...until I see everyone's Facebook pictures and realize that we didn't do anything to make the 4th of July special and unique.  And while I know Jacob's only five and Carter is even younger, I know so many of those good memories I have, the ones that compel me to feel like we should be doing that stuff, started when I was that little.  And so far we've dropped the ball. 

Also, to be fair, Jacob doesn't like fireworks.  He's slowly but surely warming up to them under certain circumstances--he liked them last year at the Bisons game but still doesn't like them at Red Wings games--but it's a bit hit-or-miss.  Carter may not like them for a while yet, but maybe by next year we can see if he's at least interested in them.

Another issue is that our town doesn't do a display anymore.  We live in a rather large town, but fireworks were apparently part of budget cuts somewhere along the way.  They did them up until a couple years ago, and then they stopped because the privately owned park that hosted them couldn't get enough volunteers.  So, in order to see them, we'd have to venture to another town, most likely in an area we're not familiar with.  It's not that we can't, it's just that right now it's still a bit awkward if we can't get a comfortable spot or know how early we have to go or what we might do when we get there.  This year it did occur to me that we could come downtown early, walk by the river, and then walk back to my building for the fireworks, but again--exhaustion and other busyness took over, so maybe next year.  But inevitably something else will come up that will keep us away again. 

But at some point I really do want to start a new tradition and at least mark the day with some activity that will remind the boys why the day is special.  And I'd rather that activity not be watching fireworks on TV in our living room.  One of these years...

Monday, July 1, 2013

News & Notes - Fickle Finger Edition

Well, 24 hours later my finger is hanging in there.  It looks ridiculous.  It doesn't hurt too much, thankfully, and I feel like whatever pain I do have is more just strain from holding it up out of the way when I'm doing things.  I can type pretty well, and it turns out I can still use it to click my mouse, but it does get in the way of my scrolling wheel on the mouse and does make typing certain letters a little more challenging.  But I'm glad it doesn't hurt and I'll be happy to get this bandage off tomorrow and just use a nice waterproof Band-Aid instead.  It's just annoying to not be able to properly wash my hand.  I did manage to figure out how to pre-treat laundry, so that was a plus. 

Speaking of laundry, Jacob is still having his pooping issues.  He's been on Miralax (or at least the Wegmans generic of it--that stuff is pricey!) for a couple days now and we've had a few poop in the butt incidents.  I can't tell if the poop is now too soft, or if it's just making it impossible for him to hold it in.  He's insisting he doesn't have to poop, but we tell him that if that's happening it probably means he does, even if it doesn't feel urgent.  He does the same thing sometimes with peeing--he'll admit to a drip in his undies but insist he doesn't have to pee.  So...I'm not sure if it's him being stubborn, or there really being some sort of mental block there that he can't get past.  Either way, it's getting annoying.  Guess I'll have to add that to my "Jacob" list of questions I have for when I take Carter to the doctor on Friday.

We're definitely still having issues with Jacob's behavior in general.  I am making a concerted effort to only yell when necessary and keep my cool at all costs.  It's not easy, but I feel like if I keep calm, there's a greater likelihood he will, and he'll get the message if I do have to yell.  Even still, he will fly off the handle for no apparent reason, and he doesn't always change his behavior when I threaten to yell.  It seems like sleep helps, but no matter how early we put him down he doesn't fall asleep until he feels like it.  Ugh.  And he's been waking up extra early lately to play Legos in his room.  I like how he plays when he does it and leaves us alone, but I'd rather he be getting sleep.

Baseball practice was canceled tonight due to rain, and because of the holiday he doesn't practice again until next Monday.  He's insisting he wants to be a catcher, and he NEEDS a catcher's mask, but we don't even think t-ball uses catchers.  Even once they transition to coach-pitch mid-season, we're still not sure anyone plays catcher.  So even though we tell him he needs to wait another year or so until they give kids the chance, he's insisting he wants to do it now.  Ummm, no.  Weird enough that he already has a cup.  That's enough for one season.  Lacrosse starts in the fall, by the way.  And I'm sure he will insist he wants to be goalie.

Carter is still ridiculously happy...
...but we do have our struggles with him, too.  Despite being on two medicines for reflux, the kid still spits up a considerable amount.  Sometimes it doesn't seem to phase him, and sometimes he seems upset.  He's still growing fine and is generally happy, but it's hard to manage when your kid is constantly spitting up something.  His poop goes between watery and a sort of dry mush, but I haven't seen mucus in ages, which is making me hope that the sensitivity is slowly but surely working its way out.  Maybe in a couple more months we'll do a test.  He's been a little extra needy at times lately, but I don't know if something's bugging him or he just likes being held.  He's drooling like crazy, but I think teeth are still a while away.  He seems to have rejected the pacifier now if he's upset, which is a bit of a bummer when we need it, but a relief in the long run.  He's still sleeping well, eating contentedly, and smiling a ton, and those are the most important things. 

The 4th of July is coming up, and I'm pretty sure we're not doing anything festive...again.  We pretty much haven't since Jacob was born.  It's a bit of a bummer, but dealing with crowds and traffic late at night just doesn't sound appealing.  But I miss fireworks and all of that.  Instead we'll spend the day prepping for Jacob's party and the boys will probably hang out in the pool a bit if the weather's decent.  I have a lot of cleaning to do, and the usual shopping and prep work.  Jacob wants a baseball field cake, and I've pinned a bunch of doable ones on Pinterest to give myself a guide. It's going to be interesting.  I hope I can at least do it respectably.  I want to get a "grass" tip for the frosting, and I'm nervous about having enough frosting...as usual.  But I'm looking forward to the challenge.  For now.

It's going to be a busy week, for sure...and in the meantime, don't mind my freakishly large finger!