Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the rice cracker eats rice

We call Sam our "rice cracker" because he's part white (cracker) and part Filipino (rice). (We're not classy people). Don't be offended...and, if you are, know we borrowed the term from Team Eddy. Anyway, Sam's been eating solids.

Frankly, it's more about entertainment than nutrition. And, it's really, really messy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the twelve days of Christmas (part one)

We began our prolonged Christmas celebration the Saturday before with a few days in Spokane. We celebrated early (on the 23rd) with all the Cletos (minus Lola and Uncle Noy due to bad roads) crammed into Team Eddy's teensy-weensy house. We had a fabulous prime rib dinner (made by Aunt Rissa, who is generally not a good cook, but did amazingly well on this...a Christmas miracle, perhaps? It's probably the best thing she has ever cooked in her whole life). Moka and Sam look expectantly at the dinner below.
We also unwrapped gifts and had some good visiting time, as well as our traditional game of Jeopardy (although Amy "Trebec" has now been replaced by Hailey "Trebec"). Our team, Sam and the Reindeer, won...although the categories of "Celebrity Trivia" and "7th grade social studies" gave us a little bit of trouble. Here is Aunt Becca with her favorite Christmas gift. Noah got a helmet and elbow/knee pads from his Lala. Notice he's not wearing pants.
Tancie and Lauren snuggled with Kate and Glory. It was a good day for them. Lauren became well-versed in changing cloth diapers.
Sydney played with Sam and his new drum (thanks, Eddys, for this loud, musical, really, thank you.)

Afterwards, the sisins (Tance, Lauren, Hails, Syd, Amy, Jen), Noah, and Joe headed over to a nearby hotel to swim and have some fun while Aunt Ris and Mom watched the under-one-crowd. The younger sisins stayed over night to play games and watch movies, while Amy and I headed home to take care of our respective broods.


Sam's outgrown his little bathtub, so as of this week, we're officially on to the big bathtub. Good-bye, wet kitchen floor! Hello, aching back!

As a farewell tribute to our little baby bathtub, I thought I'd post this picture.
Yep, our fat baby has man-boobs...or m'oobs as my cousin, Lauren, calls them. But, he does enjoy his bathtime!

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's the fourth day of Christmas...

...and we're back home. We had a fabulous trip (except for all the driving on bad roads) and have lots of stories and pictures to share. So, stay tuned! For now, let me leave you with this little nugget:

We celebrated Christmas with Team Eddy and the rest of the Cletos at Amy's house on the 23rd.

Jen: Noah, what day is today?
Noah: It's CHRISTMAS!!
Jen: And, whose birthday is it today?
Noah: Um...Santa's?

As his godmother, I was a little ashamed for falling down on his Catholic education. Fortunately, we had a little lesson and the next day, he proudly proclaimed it was "God's birthday!" and we sang Jesus happy birthday with a birthday cake.

Monday, December 22, 2008

the eternal cold

Ever since Sam started daycare in September, we've suffered from what seems like the eternal cold. The last 2 weeks have been especially miserable. Joe had a sinus infection, Sam's had questionable croup, and I've had some bronchitis and...get eye. (Yep, pink eye...thanks, daycare). In an effort to control the spread of plague at our house, Joe and I have taken some pretty drastic infection control measures.

During our road trip, I picked up some extra mints at a restaurant.

Jen: Look, Joe! I got us extra mints so we can have good breath when we kiss.
Joe: What?! Kiss?! Don't you ever want to get better??

Yep...the romance has been sucked right out of our life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

quick update

Hi readers,
The Kaufman crew has left southeast Idaho for the next week to celebrate Christmas. Roads were great through Montana (unlike my previous trip), although the residential streets in Spokane leave much to be desired! Probably won't get much posting done over the next week, but will make an effort to get some pictures taken and post when we get back.

Happy holidays, everyone! Sam is feeling better and his parents are slowly recovering.

the Kaufmans

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a perfect storm

Oh, the weather outside was frightful when Tancie, Sam, and I began our long trek back home from a weeklong visit with Team Eddy. I was exhausted from a week of trying to be a helpful sister, a good aunt to a challenging Noah, and a patient mother to a sick and crabby Sam. Fortunately, Mom and Kevin took Sam the night before (THANK YOU!) and, with the help of 100mg of Benadryl and some ear plugs, I got a good night's rest before our 13 hour drive home over snowy, icy roads. I'm an anxious freak about driving in the snow, but when you combine that with the new-mom crazies since Sam was in the car...I clutched the steering wheel so firmly for 13 hours that by the end of the drive, I couldn't feel my finger tips. Literally. I'm not exaggerating. Let me just say this: I hate Montana snow!

In the meantime, Joe was out exploring the snowy conditions around Idaho Falls when his hippie van decided it was a good time to die. Joe was stranded and had to walk a mile in 4 degree windy weather to a nearby truck stop while he waited for a ride home. He and a friend planned to tow his stupid hippie van the following day, but since it was snowing and the highway needed plowed, the city took it upon themselves to tow the van for us (and left us with a nice impoundment bill...thanks).

So, there we were. Down to one car...a good little car, but a car that is not that great in the snow. And, we're getting ready to head back up to northern Idaho on Saturday. So, last night, Joe and I got this:

It's a 2005 Honda Pilot...except ours is gold. It's got 4 wheel drive, seats 8, can hold 3 car seats (God forbid we ever need 3 car seats, but it's happened to unsuspecting couples before), and can fit the dogs, too. So, we'll be riding in style for Christmas.

Bring it on, Montana snow!!

(Ok, so maybe don't bring it on. I was just kidding.)

weekly wisdom: a spoon full of sugar...

...makes the medicine go down! Or, in our son's case, a spoon full of Hershey's syrup. The pediatric nurse yesterday gave him some Decadron in Hershey's syrup at the office and recommended we give him his remaining two doses in something yummy at home to disguise its nasty taste. Two spoonfuls of drug-laced Hershey's syrup later, he is feeling a little better and slept well last night. Still got that darn cough, though.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

sick kid

Sam has been sick and crabby for the last 10 days, which I was sure was just another daycare cold. After another hellish night, Joe thought it was high time to take him to the pediatrician, so I made him an appointment. Joe took him today and the pediatrician was puzzled, but concerned. He started him on steroids (there goes what little sleep we were getting!) and said if he's not better by Thursday, he needs a chest xray.

So, send prayers and good thoughts out to my miserable-feeling baby!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Joe's birthday

Here's a picture of Joe's birthday cake. This year, I made it from scratch. Last year, I was pregnant and slacked, making it from a mix. Ok, this year I have an infant and slacked as well, ordering pizza. But, the cake was delicious.Here's the birthday boy with the cake and all its flaming glory. That's what happens when you're only 2 years away from thirty. Did I mention Joe's OLDER than me?

Tancie was there to liven up the "party". I forgot to buy party hats, so they improvised. Sleep deprivation...I tell's better than drinking. And, in all fairness, Joe asked me not to post these pictures, but who can resist? So, I'll include my own party hat picture as well. (I got the giggles, as I frequently do, while posing. Again, sleep deprivation...cheaper than drinking.) Happy Birthday, Joe!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's great to be 28!

Happy birthday, Joe!

We celebrated Joe's birthday on Sunday (although we substituted Kaufman lasagna for pizza). And, then Tancie, Sam, and I abandoned him last night. We'd already planned to go to Spokane on December 9th as the girls were scheduled to arrive today. They arrived early, of course, but since I'd already taken the time off, I figured their tired parents could use a little help.

What a great husband/uncle/brother-in-law to give up his birthday so his wife/nieces and nephew/brother-and sister-in-law could get some twin time in!

Love you, babe! Team Eddy says THANKS.

Monday, December 08, 2008

if you think it's easy... get a picture of two parents, a curious baby, and 2 unruly Brittanies for your Christmas card...

....think again.

Thanks, Tancie, for your patience.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

weekly wisdom

I haven't been very good at keeping up this weekly column. Perhaps, I'm not as wise as I thought. Anyway...

We've been trying to cut down on feeding Sam at night, so we've been giving him his pacifier if he wakes up before midnight. And, I usually send Joe in to tend to him so I can get some blessed, sweet sleep before midnight rolls around.

One night, Joe came back after fumbling in the dark for twenty minutes or so. "We need to get some different pacifiers. Those white pacifiers on the light colored sheets...I can't find them fast enough.

I feel like I'm Helen Keller in there."

Wisdom here: Buy some brightly colored pacifiers. Or dark sheets for contrast. Or, just enjoy the image of your husband scrambling to find a pacifier with the Braille method.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

a different perspective

At our Cabela trip, we looked at all the animal displays. We saw an African scene with a lion holding down a wounded zebra. The zebra had a bloody scratch on its shoulder.

Jen: Look, Noah. That lion is going to eat that zebra!
Noah: No, Ninang, he's not.
Jen: He's not?
Noah: He's scratchin' his back. And, oooh! He likes it!
(He then wiggled like someone was scratching his own back, chanting, "Ooh, I like it! Ooh, I like it!"

(To see the picture, click on this link, go to Photo Gallery, and click through to picture 11.)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

the ericksons

Sarah, Wyatt, Peter and Luke came by the Eddys' house last Wednesday and graciously fed us all breakfast. Sarah, Amy, and I went to high school together. Bit of trivia: we were the Lewiston Junior Miss Court...our lives were different then. We slept as much as we wanted and had time to apply make up. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the present. We're now moms. And, Peter is four months older than Noah and Luke is one week older than Sam. It was fun to catch up with them and watch our kids play together.
Even if we don't sleep or put on make up any more.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

dog whisperer

Three dogs, 5 adults, a toddler and an infant in one tiny house for Thanksgiving! Noah likes to hug each of the dogs and say:

"Oh, Schatzi. You are my favorite."
"Oh, Doc. You are my favorite."
"Oh, Moka. You are my favorite."

I don't think he quite understands the concept of "favorite" yet.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Turkey Day

Hi, Sam here. We just got back home from my first Thanksgiving. We stayed at my Ninang's house. She said I was so fat I could be our Thanksgiving turkey. I don't know what she was talking about, but I did wear my Thanksgiving bib.
My Grandma and Grandpa Kaufman andUncle Jeff came up to Coeur d'Alene to celebrate Thanksgiving. I love my Grandma. She fed me sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie!

Here I am with my Uncle Jeffrey, Dad, and Grandpa. Mom says she loves "all her boys".
We ate dinner at Aunt Rissa and Uncle Mark's house. Afterwards, everyone played our usual game of Jeopardy. Mom's team won and, as a prize, they get to do a dance in front of all the losers. This is Aunt Hailey, Aunt Tance, and Mom doing the running man.
I can't wait till next Thanksgiving. I'll have more than one tooth then and can really dig in!

Monday, December 01, 2008

a trip to Cabela's

We took Noah and Sam to Cabela's the Friday after Thanksgiving. Noah had been to Cabela's before and kept saying, "Oh! Cabela's! Are we going to Cabela's?" over and over again.

While Joe, Dori, Fred, and Jeff shopped, the little boys and I toured Cabela's. Noah had a good time playing in duck blinds...

...crawling in dog tents....

...flipping boat seats up and down...

...shooting guns with uncle Joe.

Sam slept in his stroller, which made our trip a little easier. One active boy at a time!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the Sandman Chronicles: I've got him trained

We spent last night at Team Eddys' house, which made for a hard night with Sam. I think he woke up 7 times last night. Fortunately, most of the time, he just needed his pacifier replaced and sung to.

At one point, I crawled back into the warm bed and sang to him from there. Joe stirred in his sleep, noticed I was singing and began singing to Sam, too.

I don't think Sam noticed we were singing two different songs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

6 month baby check

Sam's 6 months and 1 week old.

Here are the stats:

He weighs 19lbs and 11 oz (75th percentile).

He is 27 inches long (75th percentile).

So, our fat baby is not SOOO fat. Guess that's what happens when you become more mobile.

if you've ever wondered...

...what it would be like to drive 600 miles in your husband's crappy hippie van with a newly immunized, cranky baby, just to hold your new twin nieces with your twin sister...'s the most amazing experience ever!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

it happened in a dream

It was a rough night last night. Sam was running a fever and couldn't sleep or nurse. And, he didn't even want his dad to look at him. He'd cry whenever he saw Joe come into his room.

So, it was mom-duty all night long. From 11:15pm to 4:21 am this morning, when I finally decided to call in Joe, in spite of Sam's wishes.

When I finally fell asleep, I thought Sam was falling off the bed and reached out to grab him...

...only to find I was desperately clutching a pouting Schatzi, who'd been sleeping on my feet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm an aunt again!...and again!

You've probably heard the good news, so I thought I'd share some comparison pictures of the cousins. For identical twins, I think the girls look pretty distinct. And, I don't think they look much like their brother or cousin.

We're heading up north tomorrow to see these two little cuties.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

half birthday

Yesterday was Sam's half birthday and we celebrated by taking him to an open house at my office...great food, great visiting, great wine. Unfortunately, our overtired boy turned into a pumpkin before too long and we headed home around 6:30pm to put him to bed.

Sorry about the lack of posts this week. Our laptop got a virus and is in the shop.

Friday, November 14, 2008

what do you call it?

My nephew, Noah, was a champion nurser. He loved nursing, which his family calls "having a boob". I thought this was a cute phrase until Noah started talking and, instead of calling Amy "mama", just began referring her "Boo". Later, as his language skills progressed, he'd shout, "Have a boob?" in public.

Because of this, I swore I'd never refer to nursing as "having a boob" to Sam. My mom meticulously refers to it as "breastfeeding", which I find cumbersome. We used to say, "Do you want to nurse?" but it never came naturally because I always associated nursing with my profession and not really with attaching an infant to my boob. We then tried, "Do you want to eat?" but now we're using "eat" for eating solids. Someone suggested "num-nums", but I felt stupid saying that.

So, in our sleep-deprived state and subsequent lack of creativity, we have fallen back on "having a boob." Tancie will call me and say, "Sam thinks it's time for a boob." Or Joe will say, "Your boy needs a boob." Or, I'll tell Sam, "Let's have a boob and go to bed."

I'm sure his first word will be "boob".

He'll probably say it in church.


What do you call it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ten ways you know you're starting to get enough sleep

  1. Instead of staring blankly after being told a joke and then feigning a look of comprehension with a fake laugh, you start to really understand why the joke is funny.
  2. You take the time to brush your teeth, pee, and get a bedtime snack before going to bed instead of just jumping straight into bed fully clothed to get as many minutes of sleep in as possible.
  3. You start staying up until 9pm...instead of going to bed immediately after putting the baby down.
  4. You start reading/watching the news to catch up current events. You realize a lot has happened in the last 5 months!
  5. When talking to your husband, you stop referring to the baby as "your son" and start referring to him as "our son".
  6. You stop nodding off while waiting in line, reading, or talking to people.
  7. You have enough energy to get up and start walking the dogs every morning.
  8. You start thinking about having baby #2.
  9. Your husband starts to say, "Why are you in such a good mood all the time?".
  10. You begin to treasure the few times you wake each night with your baby, knowing he won't be a baby much longer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sandman Chronicles

After almost 2 months of bedtime/sleep training, here is our progress:

1. We've survived a few bouts of teething, his first daycare cold, learning to roll over (and getting stuck and frustrated) and Daylight Savings Time. (Oh, there are so many ways to ruin sleep!).

2. We do our bedtime routine, I nurse him, and put him down wide awake with his pacifier and mobile. Then, I leave. In fact, last night, I was hoping he'd fall asleep nursing so I could cut his nails, but he wouldn't. Dropped him in the crib and when I snuck back in 10 minutes later, he was out.

3. For the past three nights, I've only fed him at midnight and 4am.

4. He's been sleeping longer and longer stretches, which is oh-so-glorious! Friday, he woke up at 11pm, I gave him his pacifier, then he slept until 3:45am! And, then till 7am!

He fusses periodically, but I'm so glad I never had to go through the whole crying-it-out process.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lola visit

Lola spent last week in IF. She really wanted to spend some time with Sam ("and hold his fat body"). She's always willing to hold a baby:

"Here, Jenny-fair, give him to me so you can fold laundry."
"Here, Jenny-fair, I will hold Sam so you can make dinner."
"Jenny-fair, here, give me Sam and you can do the dishes."

I guess when you're 80 years old, you've earned the right to hold babies while your granddaughter waits on you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

a new resident

My cousin, Tancie, has moved into our basement. She's job-hunting, but in the meantime, she's a great cook and Sam LUUVS her. And, she doesn't mind sleeping on a crappy futon.
Welcome to Idaho Falls, Tancie-Pants!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

a house divided

Joe and I typically cancel out each other's votes. He is a conservative Republican and I like to think of myself as a liberal-leaning independent. Yesterday, we cancelled out each other votes in the presidential election.

Joe stayed up to watch the results come in, but I went to bed early. Around 11pm, he came to bed. I asked him who'd won the election.

Joe (sadly): Your guy. Tomorrow, we'll wake up and all be socialists.

5 months (a little late!)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

generation gap

My 80 year old Lola was visiting us this week and enjoyed playing with Sam and visiting my office. One morning as I was leaving for work, she said, "Jenny-fair (that's what she calls me with her Filipino accent)...Jenny-fair, you look very nice, but aren't you going to comb your hair?"

Since I've had Sam, I've stopped flat-ironing my hair and I just wear it curly. I didn't think it looked that bad, but my other grandma said the same thing last time I was in Lewiston. ("Oh, Jenni must have got up late and didn't have time to do her hair.")

Is it really that bad?

Monday, November 03, 2008


Sam celebrated his first Halloween in style. He started the day in his Halloween jammies to get in the spirit for his party at daycare.

Then, Tancie and Lola picked him from daycare, got him in his chunky monkey costume, and brought him trick-or-treating at my office.

Sam wasn't the only clinic kid to come trick-or-treating; Aselin (a nurse's daughter) was a cute witch. When Aselin came to my baby shower (thrown after I went back to work), she saw Sam and asked her mom, "Can Sam be our baby?". What can I say? The girl's got good taste.

Here's some weekly wisdom: Take your baby trick-or-treating. Then you can eat all their candy.

stay tuned

Sorry about the blog silence. I canceled our phone line and somehow, that messed up our internet as well. So, until that issue is resolved, I can't upload any pictures.

But, have I got some good ones for you!
  • Sam's first Halloween
  • Lola's visit
  • A new resident at Casa Kaufman
  • Sam's belated 5 month pictures
  • Sam's new trick of pulling Joe's goatee

Hang in there. I'll post as soon as I can.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

sweet sounds (part two)

And, Sam has started making conversation with his loyal buddy, Doc, too.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sweet sounds (part one)

Sam's babbling has taken on some new sounds...and a new level of earnestness, too, especially when he talks to this blue toy.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

a surprise visitor

Saturday morning, we got a call from Joe's good friend, Brandon. He was home on leave and was planning to arrive in Idaho Falls in a few hours. It was a whirlwind trip, but it was great to see him. That boy changes diapers, bathes babies, and does dishes!

Sam fell in love with his Uncle Brandon, who knew all sorts of fun games and could read a good bedtime book or two.

That evening, Joe and Brandon headed out for a few drinks with some of Brandon's cousins. Joe got home shortly after midnight, claiming he was too old to party much any more. Brandon proved that we were now old and lame as he stayed out all night and still had the energy to go duck hunting early the next morning (I knew he was out all night because Sam was sick and I was up all night, too...although, I think Brandon and I had very different experiences that night. :)Brandon's trip was all too short and he had to head back to Oregon to spend some time with his family before he ships out to Pakistan.

Come visit us again soon, Brandon!