Monday, September 26, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One day I came home to find a jar filled with leaves, sticks and a very fat caterpillar.  My boys had spent the afternoon outside exploring and they came across the yellow and black creepy crawly.  Max was completely facinated with it so Dada taught him how to build the caterpillar a "house" in a jar.  I was impressed with Billy's initiative to turn it into a learning opportunity, but in the the back of my mind I was thinking that I didn't want it in the house and that it would probably just die in the jar, poor thing. 

They set it in the window and named it "Little Stinky Face" (after one of Max's favorite books).  Every morning Max would run to the window to look at it in the jar and Billy would report that it was still alive.  I didn't go near the jar.

One morning Billy noticed that it had spun a cocoon.  I couldn't believe it.  Now I was a little intrigued.  It was just a small cocoon that resembled a green pepper.  I thought it was probably just a moth or something, but after a little research we found out that it was a monarch!

I was now a little more accepting of the jar that had been living in my window for the past week.  Billy and Max continued to check it.  I loved seeing them both so excited about their science experiment.  It was definitely "their" thing.  

One morning about a week later Billy reported that the butterfly had "hatched!!!"  Max could barely sit still to eat his breakfast after this exciting announcement.  He wanted the butterfly "OUTTT!!!!", he kept telling me.  

So we went outside to say goodbye and good luck to Little Stinky Face as we watched him fly away... 

Butterflies became the subject of the day.  All day.  Max kept saying " 'flies bye bye??".  So we read The Hungrey Caterpillar a gazillion times and I dug out a butterfly cookie cutter for Max to use with his play dough.  

Monday, September 19, 2011


...mind-exploding cuteness pictured below:

He has so much love in his heart for his cousin Annabelle.

Family Photos

Max asks to watch these slideshows multiple times daily.  He loves to point out Dada and "Van" in the photos and kiss the computer screen. 

I'm glad we did each of their portrait sessions at 5 weeks old.  It's cute to see their similarities and their differences as newborns.

Sullivan Newborn Slideshow

Max Newborn Slideshow

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Max started at the Early Childhood Learning Center last week.  He's just going one day a week from 9-1:30, but by the way I reacted you would think he was going off to college. 

Here's Max in his classroom on "Family Orientation Day".  We got to meet his teachers and the other kids and parents in his class.  It seems like such a small, close community of people.  Most of the kids in his class have older siblings in other classes and everyone already knows each other.  Billy, Max and I were all the new kids on the block :)  The majority of the kids at ECLC will also be going to the same school Max will be attending when he starts Kindergarten which I think is pretty cool. 
Max headed straight to the reading corner of course.  He's obsessed with books.
The night before his big day we gave Max a little gift to get him excited about going to school. 
We read his new book, gave him a bath with his special Elmo fizzy tub colors and packed his monkey lunch bag.   By the time we were on our way to school the next morning Max was yelling "Schoooo!" with excitement in the back seat all the way there.
First day of school!
 And he LOVED it.  His teachers are wonderful and I think he's really going to learn a lot. When I came to pick him up he was busy with an activity at the little toddler sized table.  He looked so independent, but as soon as he saw me he yelled "Momma!!" and greeted me with the biggest hug.  I also have to boast a little...both of his teachers commented on how well he communicates and told me that he is one of the most verbal kids they've had in their class.   Yay Max!   We are unbelievably proud of you!!

I'm torn between missing the little baby he was and feeling excited about the little man he's becoming. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sullivan: 1 Month

I have a baby named Sullivan.  He is a giant.  He's in the 97th percentile at nearly 13 lbs and 23 inches long.  And he has sideburns. And his hair is getting dangerously close to being categorized as a mullet :) 

I'm head over heels for my squishy, hairy, wonder-baby....
This post is over a week belated and he's changed even since the above picture was taken at 4 weeks.  I swear I can almost see him growing in his sleep.   Also, Sullivan smiled for the first time today.  An honest to goodness smile at us.  I tried to get a photo because he was on a roll flashing his gums at us all morning, but this is the only one that didn't come out completely blurry....
I know all too well how quickly these months and milestones are going to come and go....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two under 2

Having two under 2 is both easier and harder than I expected. We've all adjusted pretty naturally to Sullivan's arrival. I'm amazed how Max has accepted his little brother with open arms. He seems so grown up to me now.  He makes sure I'm staying on top of my game by letting me know " cry"  when Sullivan starts to fuss.  He also offers helpful "baby eat?" he'll ask me when he sees Sully looking for his next meal. And I'll say, "yes, it looks like he's getting hungry..." Max then seems satisfied that he's helped solve the problem.  He's my little sidekick.

But I won't lie...there has been an occasion or two when all three of us are crying at the same time. We all get a little overwhelmed with our new roles in life - momma of two, big brother, newborn baby. It's a lot to live up to for each of us.

Once the "moment" has passed I have to laugh at myself. I have two beautiful, healthy boys and a husband that is a true partner. I've got nothing to do but be with these little loves and mold them into the best people they can be. Yes, there's house work and bills to pay, but my number one job is to focus on these kiddos. That's a pretty great gig when I really think about it and there's nothing else I'd rather be doing.

Besides...the difficult moments, along with the best moments of being a parent, go by so fast.

Here's how we're managing day by day...

1) It used to really bother me if Max's pajamas didn't match.  I'd search the dresser drawers for the top that went to the bottoms or vise versa.  This concern now falls into the "things that definitely don't matter" category.
2) If I want to get a shower in while both boys are awake it turns into a family affair.  Sullivan goes in the bouncy seat outside the bathtub.  And in order to keep Max from poking Sully's eyes out or picking him up by his head I have to put him in the shower with me.  He plays with his bath toys while I wash my hair at record speed.

3) Sullivan spends a lot of time in the sling.  When both boys need me at once this little contraption keeps everyone happy.

4) This shopping cart is both my saving grace and my nightmare on wheels.  It keeps Max thoroughly entertained for however long our shopping trip takes and it leaves the front of the cart available for me to put Sullivan's carseat.  However, its impossible to steer around the store and when the time comes to get Max out of it when we leave I have to mentally prepare myself for the meltdown that will inevitably ensue.

5) We're lucky enough to have a lot of family on both sides living in the KC area.  This is such a priceless luxury.  It gives me a built in support system and extra hands that are ready to help whenever I need it.  Here Max is playing hide-and-seek with GG on the plaza after a nice lunch at Ingredient.

6) My double stroller is the bomb.  I credit it for giving me the courage to get out of the house with these two little misters without feeling too overwhelmed about how I'm going to juggle the both of them.  When they're both safely strapped in I feel like I'm actually in control of my life :)  And the basket in the bottom of the stroller has handled a Target shopping trip...that's pretty impressive capacity if you ask me.

7) I'm thankful that Sullivan was born during a time of year that we're able to spend time outdoors.  The fresh air of our early morning trips to the park keeps us all sane.  Again, using my trusty double-wide, I stroll Sullivan around the playground while Max runs from one thing to another. 

8) Humor always helps.  This little guy is truly one of the funniest people I know.  Two things that make me laugh...the fact that he's all about his "shades" these days and insists on wearing them during meals.  And his dancing (yeah, that's what he's doing in the second pic :).  This boy has some moves. 

9) The number one thing that gets me through each day is Billy.  He does so much to help.  He's my secret weapon for making it seem like I have it all together.  He cooks, cleans and lightens my load in any way he can.  I don't know how it all would be possible without him.

Monday, September 5, 2011

This morning...

The whole little family piled in our bed early in the AM. Momma on one side, Dada on the other, baby boys in the middle. All of us were in a half-awake, sleepy state. All of a sudden Max rolled toward Sullivan and gave him a big open-mouth kiss on the forehead complete with the "mmmwwaah!" sound effects. Then he took Sullivan's tiny hand in his and placed it on his cheek. Sully's little eyes opened wide and eagerly studied Max's face that was just inches from his.  The genuine love was so sweet to see between the brothers. They seem to know that they belong to each other. 

Billy and I just looked at each other and smiled from across the bed. My phone was sitting behind me on the nightstand but the moment was too precious to even glace away for one second so I didn't get a photo. Sometimes I have to force myself to just live in the moment rather than rush to capture it.

Here's a picture of the two of them on a similarly lazy morning a couple weeks ago...