Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, April 30, 2010

Christina & Steve's baby shower

Feeling ambitious (perhaps overly ambitious), I thought it would be fun to throw a baby shower for Christina & Steve's baby, who will make his or her arrival in late May. Luckily, Mom Kaufman and Misty (Steve's cousin) agreed to help, which made the shower a huge success. My friend, Deanna, made some cute invitations and thank you cards and we were off and running. Let me say this: If you ever have to throw a baby shower, ask Misty to join you. She's super organized, creative and fun to work with. She came over one night to help make farm animal cupcakes for the shower. (The cupcakes were harder than they were supposed to be, but we had a good time).

A fun time was had by all. Christina looked like a beautiful pregnant woman and Amy & I both marveled at her lack of cankles. She got some awesome baby gear from the whole Kaufman clan, including a soft white blankie that I would love to snuggle with anytime. Several little Kaufmans stood by to help open presents. All the Kaufman aunts and cousins shared their bits of parenting advice (I listened closely, hoping to learn something!). My favorite advice I heard that day: If your kids see you fight, make sure they see you make up.

I took a million pictures, so I posted some of the highlights below.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

those Crazy Eddys






During our week in L-town, Mom Kaufman had a workshop in Spokane, so I loaded up the kiddos and tagged along for a day with those Crazy Eddys. Amy even managed to get a day off of her neurology rotation to hang out with us (maybe since she had Guillian Barre last summer and already is well versed in neurological disorders).
We spent the morning at Mobius, which was a crazy good time. (Most times with 5 kids are crazy, though). And then, we headed back to Team Eddy's house for naps and some more craziness that afternoon. I wish we lived closer to these guys.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dinner with the Poxleitners

During our Lewiston trip, we ventured up to Keuterville to have dinner with the Poxleitners. It was a relaxing, restful time after our whirlwind of baptismal events. Loretta made a delicious dairy-free meal and the rest of the gang played with Sam & Andie so our tired arms could have a rest. We didn't manage to get any pictures of Glen, who held a crabby Andie during dinner so we could eat in peace...but we really, really appreciated it!

Here's the crew:
You know Ellea, who loves babies. She still likes Andie, even after Andie had a blow out while Ellea was holding her. ("Mom, why is my hand wet?")And this is Nicole. She also took a turn bouncing Andie and chasing Sam. She likes babies, but likes dogs and horses even better. Who can blame her? Dogs and horses sleep through the night and that makes me like them better at this point, too.And this is Morgan. Morgan was so good to Sam. He shared his toys and was really patient when Sam wasn't very good at taking turns. Sam LOVED Morgan and Morgan's toys.
And, if that weren't enough fun and excitement, Loretta and Nicole brought out their horses to show Sam, even though it was raining. Sam both LOVED and FEARED the horses (most toddler emotions are pretty strong, even if they are opposing). Loretta showed Sam the horses tongue and teeth, which was probably the coolest thing he's ever seen in his short life. All the way back to Lewiston, he kept saying, "Mom? Tongue! Teeth!" and then making a horse sound. Sometimes, he would say, "BIG tongue! BIG teeth!" just to change things up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Andie's 2 Month Bear Pictures


a farm lexicon


Sam had a great time on the farm. The weather was beautiful and there was plenty of time to play " 'side" [outside] during our weeklong stay. Sam learned a bunch of new words.
  • 'Side: Outside. Asks to go outside about 500 times in a row, stops for a breath, and asks another 500 times. Grandma and Grandpa got a new front door that Sam can easily open. If it's suddenly quiet inside, that means Sam has made a break for the great outdoors alone.
  • Key: Kitty. The barn cat followed us on a long walk one day and by the end of the walk, she'd decided Sam was likeable. She rubbed on him enough that he fell over and he said, "No-no, Kitty." We had to trek down to the barn several times a day to visit her.
  • Pil: As in, Uncle Phil. Sam's new favorite person (more about that later).
  • Loud 'lello truck: Uncle Phil's yellow truck. He took us for a ride to fill it up with water. It was a big hit.
  • Wock: Rock. As in, the kind you throw in the water to make a big splash. Also a new game taught to us by Uncle Phil and a topic of conversation for the entire 10 hour ride back to Idaho Falls.
  • Du-tee: Dirty. Trucks are dirty, tractors are dirty, dirt is dirty. And this kid loves to get dirty.
  • Bee: Bees, yellow jackets, wasps...things that hide in old equipment and fly out with a vengeance. Sam's a lot more excited about these new friends than his mama is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

baptism brunch

After Andie's baptism, my mom hosted a brunch at her house and we also celebrated my Lola's birthday. It was quite a party. Team Eddy, Joe and I commented that it was the most relaxing afternoon we'd had in a long time. Everyone kept our kids entertained and we actually got to enjoy some adult conversation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

tutu

There's nothing like a tutu for Easter. Unless it's a tutu on a boy. Then it's even better. Thanks, Team Eddy.

a dog Sam's size



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the news from Casa Kaufman

We've been back from our wonderful L-town adventure for a few days and had a wonderful time. And here's the news from Casa Kaufman:
  • We got back late Sunday night and woke up Monday morning to find that a) we forgot we left our other car at Joe's office, b) Sam had his first sliver...removing it was a wrestling match, and c) Sam had a dentist appointment. It was a crazy homecoming.
  • Andie's been sleeping better for the past 2 days (knock on wood!). We've been putting her down at 7pm and she's been sleeping till about midnight with a "dream feeding" right before I go to bed around 9pm.
  • I went back to work yesterday. It was relaxing and I realized work is pretty slow-paced, especially compared to being at home with two little ones. Andie did okay with her first day at daycare, although it took her awhile to accept getting a bottle and she was kind of crabby about the whole thing.
  • Sam has been loving the warm weather. He learned so many new words after our week on the Kaufman farm, including " 'Side?" (outside). He stands and points at the door while repeating " 'Side?" about 500 times.
  • We took over 900 pictures last week and just got them uploaded. So, get ready for some blog posts...once I get all of our laundry done and put away.
And that's the news from Casa Kaufman, where the dad is still sleeping, the mom is enjoying the early morning quiet and the children are above average.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

confessions of a slacker mom: pumping

I used to really hate pumping. Really.

It felt like time wasted. I'd sit there and try to think about my baby so I could have let down. I felt a little nauseated every time I pumped. Then, I had to wash and sterilize all my pumping equipment and let it dry. I'd really hate pumping when I had to go pump 2 hours later and came back to find my pumping stuff was wet and cold. Then I had to put cold shields on my warm body. That was a major drag.

Now, life is different. I love pumping.

I pump every day so Joe can give Andie a bottle for one night time feed. (This was a more successful operation with Sam, who didn't care how he got his food as long as he got fed. Andie is more particular about, well, everything and doesn't really like the bottle. Anyway, I digress). So, for ten minutes a day, I get to pump.

It's time to myself. I hook up the pump and open my laptop and have ten minutes of peace and quiet. Joe is on double kid duty for those ten minutes while I speed-read blogs and check email and Facebook. (This is why all my status updates and comments have typos and poor punctuation; I'm typing them one handed while I pump).

My new mantra has become "Sorry, I'm pumping."

As in, "Jen, where's Sam's shoes?"..."Sorry, I'm pumping."
Or, "Jen, when did Andie last get changed?"..."Sorry, I'm pumping."
Or, "Mama! More cookies!"..."Sorry, I'm pumping. Ask Dad."

It's the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La la la...I can't hear you."

It's bliss. Really.

Monday, April 12, 2010

the Kaufman-Eddy Parent/God-parent Co-op: Andie's baptism

Another child baptized by the Kaufman-Eddy Parent/Godparent Co-op.
I remember baptizing Noah about 4 years ago and how chaotic it seemed to keep one baby quiet and happy for an entire Mass. Now, as we sat in the front pew with our collective brood of FIVE children, that seemed like a vacation in Maui. We looked like a poster family for good fertile Catholics...or a three ring circus, I'm not sure which.

If you're ever in Lewiston and need a child baptized, Fr. Les does a great job. I love that the baptism is part of the liturgy and the whole Church family gets to welcome this new little member. It's really beautiful. He baptized the twins (and was a co-celebrant at Joe and my wedding almost 7 years ago). This postpartum mother was moved to tears several times during the baptism...when she wasn't distracted by the other 3 toddlers and preschooler we were collectively wrangling.
Amy & I managed to confuse most of our church family by wearing almost identical black dresses. Joe & Kevin also dressed like twins in matching black suits. What can I say? Great minds dress alike. :) I thought it made us look like professional parents and godparents (which we should be after our 5th baptism together).

Andie did wonderfully. We managed to squeeze her almost-13lb body into the same gown that I wore at my baptism 28 years ago. She looked so angelic. I was finally successful at getting a bow to stick to her head, a project I have devoted WAY too much time and energy to since she was born. She slept through most of the Mass and didn't even cry when the water was poured over her head. (She cries every time I bathe her. Maybe Fr. Les could come over for her nightly bath...maybe that would help).
All day long, she smelled sooo good. That chrism makes you never want to bathe her again, but inevitably, they spit up or have a blow out and all good smells must come to an end.

I think this may be the last baptism for the Kaufman-Eddy Parent/Godparent Co-op...at least for a good while. We have a pretty efficient system in place right now, but our hands are pretty full with keeping these 5 hooligans on the path to righteousness. Maybe once they are all potty-trained, sleep through the night, and can sit quietly throughout Mass, we'll consider accepting other candidates into our co-op.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the Sandman Chronicles

We're reviving this column since we are embarking on another journey to get a child to sleep through the night.
For the past 2 weeks, we've started a bedtime routine with Andie. It's simple: spongebath, jammies, diaper change and a boob. Sometimes, we get a real bath in. Sometimes, she's happy enough to add a book. It's a little less regimented than Sam's early bedtime routines.

Our progress so far: she's starting to sleep longer chunks at night! Nothing ground-breaking, but some progress.

7pm: Bedtime
7-9pm: Typically, we put her down, she sleeps for 20-30minutes and then we bounce, nurse, cajole her for the rest of the time. Sometimes, we get lucky and she'll sleep for the whole time.
9pm: Nurse her and then hand her off to Joe so I can get some sleep. Joe will feed her a pumped bottle of milk.
12am: Joe brings her upstairs and I nurse her and we go to bed.
2:30am: Nurse her.
5:00am: Nurse her.
7am: Up for the day.

Much, much better than nursing her every 30 minutes! Not as great as Sam, who sleeps 12 hours a night, but we'll take it for now.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

slacker mom

It's true. Andie's become a victim of second child syndrome. Joe says I have a whole lot less of the new-mom-crazies than I did with Sam; I see myself as sort of a slacker mom.

It's different when you have two. I realized this the other day. Joe noticed Andie had been wearing the same sleeper for 3 days. Instead of cringing that I hadn't bathed her or changed her clothes in 3 days, I marveled that it had survived spit-up and blow-outs for that long. Whoo hoo! One less outfit to add to the omnipresent pile of laundry.

I was religious about not nursing Sam in bed. I didn't want to share my bed with a baby; I wanted to sleep! Sam was in his own room by 6 weeks old and I'd go nurse him in there unless it was a really, really hard night. Now, Andie sleeps with us for several hours a night. Her bassinet is in the hallway outside our room. I just can't muster up the energy to trek downstairs every 2 hours to nurse a hungry child. I go up and down those stairs enough in the daytime. (It's part of the diet).

I was a fanatic about tummy time. Sam regularly had tummy time every day for 10 minutes. I'd get down on the floor with him and talk to him while he cried...he hated it. Andie's tummy time is the nap she gets on her dad's chest every night. I'm hoping this won't be too detrimental to her developmental milestones; I don't want to have to 'fess up to the pediatrician that, yes, my baby gets almost zero tummy time because I'm afraid her brother will run over her in his daily activities.

Sam drinks endless chocolate milk and watches shameful amounts of TV while I nurse Andie.

And there you have it: the true confessions of this slacker mom.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

a day in Salt Lake

We had a bad case of cabin fever in Idaho Falls, especially when it started to snow in April (April? Really? I'm SO over winter!!!), so we thought we'd escape with a day trip to Salt Lake City, where it was rumored spring weather abounds.

It didn't. It was cold and windy for most of the day, but at least it wasn't snowing. We took a trip to my all-time favorite store, IKEA, where Sam loved trying out all the toddler beds. We got some Easter goodies for our kids and the Eddy clan and then moved on to REI.

After picking up some long underwear for Andie, we decided to live life on the wild side and skip naptime. We visited the Museum of Natural History since it was too cold outside for the zoo. Sam had a great time looking at dinosaur skeletons and was especially enchanted by the woolly mammoth (he kept signing elephant) and a display of an allosaurus biting a stegosaurus. He repeatedly said, "Bite! Bite!" while looking at the display and then reminded us of the dinosaurs by saying "Bite! Bite!" all the way home.

We only got one picture of the day. Chasing one busy toddler while bouncing his newborn sister kept our hands full, but Joe managed to snap a shot of us just before we loaded up the car to go home.

happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! We celebrated Easter with some snow (thanks, SE Idaho). Living close enough to walk to church makes you complacent about getting there early for Easter mass, so when we got there, it was standing room only. Fortunately, a nice man gave up his seat for this nursing mom so I wouldn't have to stand and nurse Andie in the cry-room. I'm just not that coordinated.After Mass, we loaded up the kiddos and drove to Pocatello, where mom-friend LeAnne had prepared a wonderful ham dinner for us. I ate like a Kaufman since I'm a breastfeeding mom. It was awesome. We had a great time visiting with Wiggly Papa (Jimmy) and her daughter, Rachel, while Sam raided all the toys at LeAnne's house.
Everyone took turns snuggling Andie, so she slept most of the time. LeAnne bought Andie her cute Easter dress, so I thought a picture of Andie with her benefactor was appropriate. Look at these adorable shoes. Unfortunately, Miss Chunky Monkey will probably only get to wear this cute dress one time since she is growing so fast.It was such a relaxing day, Joe even fell asleep during our afternoon. It's a blessing to have "family" away from home. We come, we eat, we don't do dishes, our kids play with their toys, we nap, and then we go home. What could be better?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

weekly wisdom: dyeing Easter Eggs

In honor of Easter, I had the brilliant idea of dyeing Easter eggs with Sam. So, during naptime, I boiled a dozen eggs, set out the dye and vinegar, and got a smock ready. I remember dyeing eggs in our 70's orange kitchen as a little girl, the air filled with vinegar, my sister and I gently dropping eggs into brightly colored cups of dye. How hard could it be?

Well, a little harder (or more exciting, depending on how you look at it), with an exuberant toddler and crabby newborn thrown into the mix.

Andie cried the whole time. She was not pacified by bouncing, nursing, or shooshing. Later, I opened a window and she hushed right up. I guess it was the vinegar fumes.

Egg lesson #1: Open windows and turn on fan when you have six cups of vinegar sitting in the kitchen. Also, maybe get a baby-sitter for the baby next time.

Sam insisted the dye cups were filled with "juice". After many warnings that the liquid was not for drinking, I left to get the camera and came back to find him gagging on a cup, having sipped straight vinegar for the first (and probably last) time in his young life. (Notice there are no pictures with this post; I won't make that mistake again).

Egg lesson #2: Don't drink the dye. Mom is being honest when she tells you it's really not juice. Really.

Also, Sam did not gently drop eggs into the cup. He got so excited about the process that he had to THROW! the eggs into the cup with a YELL! of encouragement/excitement/boychild zaniness. He doesn't know his colors yet, so he would just excitedly YELL! whatever color came to mind. "LELLO!" "GEEN!" "BLUE!"

We ran out of eggs to dye, so we dyed the same ones over and over again. Somewhere along the way, Sam decided he'd rather try pouring the dye over the egg instead of dipping the egg in the dye. While I was cleaning up the yellow vinegar that was running down his high chair tray, over his chubby legs and onto the kitchen floor, my perpetually hungry son decided it was time for a snack.

Egg lesson #3: Don't eat Easter eggs with the shell still on.

Good lessons learned..all learned the hard way. I like to think that next year's egg dyeing will be equally fun and less eventful, but if there's one thing I've learned as a mom of young children:

Lesson #4: The challenges change, but never really go away.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Andie video

video
No jokes today. We all know how they've turned out in the past. Just a video of Andie to keep you entertained.