Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Sunday, September 26, 2010

cheeks McGee

Hi, Cheek fans. I have some news to share.

I think...I think my cheeks might be shrinking.

But, then again...maybe not.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

off in Lala land

Mom's always been critical of our appearance. On a recent trip to Lewiston,
Joe and I were getting ready for church.

Lala: (Looking me up and down)Is THAT what you are wearing to church? Joe,
you should have let me iron that shirt.

Me: Nevermind. We're late. Let's go.

On the way back from church, she's still griping about our clothes.

Lala: I mean, at least iron them. You're going out in public.

Me: (frustrated at this point). Mom! Joe and I are adults. We have 2 small
children. Honestly, this is as good as it's gonna get. We know what we look
like and have obviously decided we're okay with that. We manage to get
ourselves dressed and to work every day without your help. Leave it alone!
So, unless there's blood on our clothes or something, I don't want to hear
about it any more.

Lala: (pauses). Well, there IS blood on your clothes.

Me: Oh.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Filipino fun times

These are late, but I wanted to share some pictures from our last visit to Team Eddy's house. The Jacksons, Aunt Becs and her Ellas, Auntie Chols, and Lola made for a great visit.







Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brittanies and babies

Watch out world. I'm mobile.More specifically, watch out cogs.


Monday, September 20, 2010

fashionista (part 2)

Another clothing battle: Stocking caps and long sleeves in 80 degree weather.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

scary times

Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm not gonna sugar coat it. You knew it was coming.
I'm going to start crawling any day now.Yep. Things are going to get interesting.

Love,
Andie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

fashionista...farm style

On my weekend alone, I did a little missin'-my-kids shopping. I was nostalgic for Sam's cute fat baby days when I used to dress him in overalls and ended up snagging this pair for a screamin' deal.
Sam's face lit up when he saw them and he yelled, "Farmer pants! Farmer pants!"

We put them on immediately. He wore them to "school".
Problems started when bathtime came that evening. He didn't want to take them off. "Farmer pants!"

I finally gave up and let him wear them to bed. "Farmer pants! Farmer pants!"

In the morning, he wouldn't take them off. I would have given up, except there was a noticeable wet spot (and, um, smell) where he'd leaked out his diaper the night before. So, we had to peel them off forcibly. There was a lot of screaming and crying involved....mostly Sam.
Luckily, the Farmer Pants were washed and dried and he got to wear them the next day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

7 month bear pictures


In all our recent life chaos, we missed Andie's 6 month well child check...and the bear pictures. Here are the stats.Weight: 18lbs 6 oz.
Length: 27 inches.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Andie

Dear Andie,
You are 7 months old and your babyhood is flying by. There just aren't enough posts on this blog devoted solely to you and your mama is trying to do better. Soon, your babyhood will be a fuzzy memory as I chase after your busy crawling self, so I need to jot down your new developments--both the wonderful and the scary.
  • Wonderful: You still love to nurse and I love this, too. (Although you are so, so distracted it's a wonder we accomplish this at all in the daytime). But, with me being at work 4 days a week, we had to add some formula. Soy seemed to help, but you especially like this fancy Nutramigen formula. At $25/can, I'm wondering if we'll have any money left for your college fund, but you seem to be happier and sleep better on it...and that's priceless!
  • Wonderful: You are finally, FINALLY sleeping better. The last week after cutting your first tooth, you've been waking up only twice at night. That gives Daddy and me each a turn at getting up with you and we're both enjoying more sleep.
  • Wonderful: You are so happy to be with your brother and to watch his craziness. You get a big grin (you have such a great grin) whenever you watch him. He loves you, too. Last weekend, you were tired and sad while I was gone and Sam got down on the floor with you, rubbed your back, and said, "Ok, Andie. Mommy soon. Mommy soon". [Dad had been telling him I'd be back from McCall soon].
  • Wonderful: We're on to finger foods and sippy cups. Whatever you lack in motor skills, you make up for in enthusiasm and effort!
  • Wonderful: You give the best kisses and giggle after. They are sloppy, opened mouth, drooly kisses and I love 'em.
  • Wonderful...and a little scary: You've found your voice. It's great to hear you laugh and coo, but most of the time you yell. YELL. LOUDLY. Like Uncle Kevin, who is a Loud Talker. Louder than Sam. I guess you have to have some volume to be heard above the chaos at our house, but really...you are the loudest baby I have ever heard. Maybe you'll be an auctioneer when you grow up...or a swim coach.
  • Scary: You are mobile. I've been looking forward to you being able to sit up and play in one spot, but you've sailed right through this milestone. You're a little wobbly while sitting, but can roll quite proficiently to track down whatever shiny new thing you have your eye on. And today, Daddy and I caught you trying to crawl. Stop it. Seriously. You're only a baby.
Love you, my Pudge-girl. You are still the best surprise of my life.

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

from the mouths of babes

Dad: Sam, what did you do today? How was school?

Sam: Good. Play friends.

Mom: What happened?

Sam: James throw dirt.

Mom: James threw dirt?

Sam: (serious) James throw dirt me. (pointing to his chest)

Mom: Then what happened after James threw dirt at you?

Sam: (big eyes). TROUBLE. James TROUBLE.

Mom: Uh-oh. Did Sam throw dirt?

Sam: No. Dirt bucket. Sam dirt bucket.

I'm not sure I believe that Sam didn't reciprocate...but at least he knows there'll be TROUBLE :) with dirt throwing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

confessions of a slacker mom

Peace. Solitude. Quiet.

Rare experiences in the life of this slacker mom. And, as much as love my two loud, crazy kids (yes, BOTH are loud. Andie is going through a yelling phase. More on that later), sometimes I just want a little alone time.

So, this weekend I went to McCall for a GI conference...by myself.

That means I got two sleep for two nights...by myself.
I read a novel...by myself.
I watched TV...by myself.
I got a 90 minute massage...by myself.
I hung out with some other conference attendees and drank wine until the wee hours of morning (ok, ok...11pm, but that's pretty late for me) because I only had to worry about myself.

I ate grown-up food, took a leisurely bath, tweezed my eyebrows and listened to audio books during the drive.

It was glorious...but it got old after about 36 hours. I missed my loud babies, my wonderful husband, and the cogs.

I missed them so much I told Joe I'd take night shift my first night home...by myself.

Monday, September 06, 2010

crying babies

Babies cry. We all know this; it's a fact of life.

Filipino parents have a hard time coming to terms with this. As a parent, your goal should be to avoid crying at all costs. Zero crying time. None.

There is nothing like impossibly high standards to make you feel like a failure as a mother.

So, you nurse your baby whenever, wherever. You bounce them. You snuggle them. You give up sleep for 2 years until they finally, finally, somehow manage to sleep through the night (this happened to my mother; she really has no significant memory of our first 2 years of life).

Even when it's not your baby, the baby shouldn't cry. Ever. Filipinos will inevitably insist the mother feed the crying baby, even if baby just ate moments before. (Of course, this is related to Filipinos' need to feed everyone they meet. In fact, most will greet you with "Kumain ka na [have you eaten yet]?" But that is a topic for another blog post).

So, during our last visit to Lewiston, when Christina and Ben came to my mom's house for a visit, they got to experience some of this crazy Filipino-style parenting. Ben was fussy, tired, and had been having some struggles with reflux. I offered to watch Ben so Christina could pack for their trip to McCall that evening. But, she was a little reluctant because Ben was a sad, sad boy, so she strapped him in his carseat, preparing to go.

While she was cooling down the car, my mom and I swung Ben in his carseat to keep him happy until his mama came back in. Lo and behold, he stopped crying.
Mom: We should really watch Ben so Christina can pack.
Jen: I know. I think she doesn't want to leave him when he's crying, though.
Mom: He's not crying now. Look. We could keep swinging him.
Jen: Ok.
Mom: I mean, I think I could keep this up for at least an hour.

These are the depths of Filipino parenting! Between my aunt Becca, Mom and I, we swung Ben to sleep in his carseat for an hour. It was a good work out, especially if you count bouncing Andie on the other hip at the same time.

Christina and Steve got their car packed up.
Ben got a nap.
We got a work out.

And no babies cried.

A Filipino success story!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

some of my favorite wedding pictures


The beautiful bride, Amanda.
Her daughter, Jolie.My favorite sister and her son, conceived on their wedding night.

The significance of these pictures?
Mandi and Jerry are expecting baby #2!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

boy and sand

I wasn't the only one who really enjoyed the beach venue.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Mandi & Jerry's wedding in a few slide shows

Mandi and Jerry got married at Hellsgate State Park on the beach. It was beautiful to hear the sound of the water on the shore during the ceremony. After the ceremony, there was a potluck, swimming, and cake.



Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mandi's wedding: Getting ready

In honor of Mandi & Jerry's one-month anniversary, let me welcome you to our next blogging mini-series: Mandi & Jerry's wedding. (Yeah, we're behind. That's what happens when you accept a job offer immediately after the wedding and turn your life upside down.)

Mandi was a bridesmaid at both Amy & my weddings and graciously invited us to join her young, skinny, cute friends in her bridal party. (Seriously...does she not have any fat friends? Just twin cousins with post-baby bodies? And when I mean young, I mean none of them had been to a wedding before. Young.)
Jerry and Mandi decided to pledge their undying love for each other in the oppressive Lewiston heat on a Saturday in July. In their wisdom, they decided to have a morning wedding so the heat wouldn't be too overwhelming. I thought this was a brilliant idea...until she pointed out that meant my hair appointment was at 6am.

Whatever. Bring it on. I was probably going to be up with Andie at 4am and 5am anyway.
So, Amy and I left the sleeping household under the care of Joe, Grandma Dori, and Lala, grabbed a few Starbucks' and giddily enjoyed a couple of hours of early morning beautification with Mandi and her maid of honor, Kaylee.

Oh, and let's not forget the cutest member of the entire wedding party: Miss Jolie-Poly.





Then, it was a mad rush back to the house to wrangle all the Co-op Kids into their wedding clothes, finish up make-up, and slip into our bridesmaid dresses at the last possible moment.

Stay tuned for the next installment!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

happy birthday, Papa!


Happy birthday, Papa! We can't wait to eat birthday cake with you this weekend!

Love,
Sam and Andie