Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby Names, Part II

Part of a plow we saw last weekend.

Wanna know what Oliver could have been named?

The close second was.....


Not really after Gilbert Blythe, of course. Just 'cause we like the name, it isn't too common but it isn't weird, and Gil would be a great nickname. My main hesitation with this name was that it started with a G, which isn't that common of a letter for names, and we already have Gabriel, and I thought it would be kind of odd to have those two names in a row. In the end Chad just liked Oliver better, so that gave it the winning edge.

Now for the name I really really really loved, and Chad just couldn't warm up to....


I like it because it is unique but still a familiar word, so I don't think the sound of it is jarring at all. In my mind it is a little artsy and kinda granola, but still manly at the same time. Also it kind of reminds me of the name "Measure" from the Alvin Maker books, and I really love that name, but it is too out there for even me. I still think Carver rocks, but Chad is never going to like it, so feel free to use my wonderfully-creative-without-being-too-weird name if you want it. If you don't like it, go stand in the corner with my boring husband.

If you missed Baby Names, Part I, here is it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Props to me (oh, and Colin too)

A couple of weeks ago, Colin got to visit the library at school to check out a book for the very first time. He came home with tips from the librarians - always turn the page from the top corner, always wash your hands before you read your book - and the book, "Are You My Mother?"

He sat down with Chad that night and read until page 38, all by himself. He had never heard that book before.

Ladies and gentlemen, he is officially a reader.

During the summer we never got past lesson number 80 or so in our book. He started getting somewhat frustrated with reading aloud and resistant to the lessons, and I didn't really mind giving it a break. I figured that he was already way ahead of where he needed to be for kindergarten and he would be spending the next 20 some years with lessons, so he could take a break.

Sometime not long after that, it all really clicked in his head, and his abilities just soared. Colin started shocking us with the words that he could figure out on his own. He started out being able to sound out words, but of course not all words can be sounded out, and that's when I started to realize he could figure out even the "funny" words on his own because of the parts that he can sound out, plus their context.

It is really bizarre to have him ask, "Mom, how did Wall Street sell out America?" because he was reading the cover of TIME, and I just love seeing him sit down with Gabe to read him a book. I love leaving him notes in his lunch box, knowing that I can throw in some words I have never taught him and he will still be able to read it. Chad and I are pretty tickled by it all, and so is Colin. He actually enjoys reading aloud now.

I have been wondering if it was kind of pointless to teach Colin to read when he is going to learn in school anyway (and definitely not for awhile - they haven't even covered writing the whole alphabet yet), but last week at Back-to-School night, they kept emphasizing that they only teach in Chinese, with a 45 minute English class every day, so it is really important that we work with them on their English (reading, writing, spelling) at home. It made me really glad to know that we have already made great strides in that area, plus I know that Colin just has more confidence in himself as a learner and thinker because of what he is already capable of. I love that!

The Mountains

It rained. A lot.

Colin ate a lot of marshmallows

Gabe ate a lot of apples.

Oliver slept. A lot.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Off to the mountains

Here is a picture from the last time we went in July.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We went to Copperhead Island yesterday. Then to Petsmart (just to see the cats) and McDonald's.

I'm getting used to it, this whole infedility thing. It doesn't really weigh on my conscience as much as it used to.

Not long after Oliver was born, we went to Quizno's for lunch as a family. Only Colin was in school, so he wasn't there. It was such a weird feeling, doing something fun without him. All I could think was, "Anyone watching us right now has no idea that we have another son." Like I was denying Colin's existence, just by doing something with everyone but him. It felt so wrong. This is a very new experience for me.

Since Chad is still on paternity leave, we have done many activities sans Colin, and everytime we do, I try not to mention it to him later. I feel bad for the guy. Working hard at school while the four of us are together, having fun.

But he always notices if there is a new McDonald's toy in the house, and he also likes to ask us what we did that day, and Chad, who thinks I need to "get over it," feels free to rub it in each and every time.

That's okay. I really am getting over it, and I think Colin is too.

Tonight's the night!

Are you excited?

We got chicken wings and diet Mountain Dew. It's gonna be a real party!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby Faces

Oh no! I'm losing my hair!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Betcha' didn't notice

The cemetary in back of our chuch. Try explaining that to the nursery kids when you take your walks.

And So it Begins

Oliver is three days old and has just finished nursing. He is laying quietly in my lap when suddenly he spurts out a river of projectile vomit. It is so forceful that it streams out of his nose. After spending half a second concerned about my sweet baby, the next thought that enters my head is "Oh CRAP!"

Because an hour earlier, in a fit of early-nursing starvation, I scarfed down two (yes, two) of the most delicious strawberry ice cream cones (Breyers). Dairy= barfing? Oh please no. I have been down that road before, with Gabe, and it is a bumpy, windy, ugly road with weeds growing over it, that I never desire to travel again.

I try to stay in denial. Hopefully it is just a reaction to overactive letdown (TMI, I know). After all, kellymoms says that true milk protein allergies are actually pretty rare (has anyone told my boys that?).

I cut back on the ice cream, try not to eat my favorite snack (cereal with cold cold milk), and think twice before slopping on the sour cream, but the evidence continues to mount. More vomiting sessions occur, always shortly after milk products are consumed (curse you, delicious chocolate pudding pie!!) Oliver has watery, explosive green poos, a raw behind, and he is always snorty. I can't ignore it any longer and cut out all obvious milk sources, and for the time being, any soy-heavy products (often a shared allergy). If that doesn't do the trick, I will start scouring labels to knock out all traces of dairy.

I have dairy-heavy eating habits, and while I figure out how to satisfy my ravenous appetite, I am always really really hungry. Which makes me kind of grumpy. I fantasize about Reese's Puffs and nag my husband.

One night I am awake at 3:30, Oliver has just finished a very messy nursing session, my breast pad has leaked in my sleep, and both of us need a clothes change. Again. My whole world is wet lately. My tummy growls. Everything I own smells like milk (breast, not that cow's stuff that I want). I think I really don't want to do this anymore.

Yes, even women who have breastfed two boys for over two years each still have those moments and those thoughts.

But because of those years of experience, I also know that it will get easier (MUCH easier). It won't always be this messy. I will be able to eat ice cream someday.

And I know the satisfaction of looking at a roly-poly pair of baby thighs, or of finding out that he has gained another pound, and knowing that I am solely responsible for his healthy chub. Go me!

That sole responsibility is why breastfeeding can feel like such a heavy burden at times. I am the only one who can feed him. I am the only one who can decide what goes into that milk. I am the only one who can make those sacrifices for him.

But isn't that what makes it all so wondrous at the same time?

And when you think about those sacrifices and that responsibility, isn't it a beautiful representation of motherhood itself?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I love these pictures

Someday I will have the energy for words again, but until then...

Enjoying my view

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


...sometimes even a mommy has to go.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Interesting article about names

Here is an article about Sarah Palin's kids' names. It talks about name trends in "blue" versus "red" states.

By the way, the female Colin in Colin's class never appeared. We noticed on the first day that there was no longer anything in the classroom with the other Colin's name on it and Colin says that there isn't another Colin in his class. So we shall never know if there actually is a female Colin out there. How many times can I type Colin in one paragraph?

Oh, and Riddek seems to be Colin's new best friend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oliver's blessing day

Oliver looked quite dashing in the blessing outfit that my mom made for him (and his daddy looked as dashing as always).

My mom flew in on Tuesday and we have been enjoying her company all week. Then my dad surprised us all and decided to buy a ticket to come at the last minute. He came Saturday afternoon and has spent the last two days surrounded by grandkids.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I love self portraits

Oliver, see? This is how Mommy looked just a couple of hours after you were born.

NOT like this.

Seriously though, most of you know that I used to practice my "picture pose" in the mirror. I still practice it, but with my camera. Some call it vain, I call it smart.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You know you are in North Carolina when.....

Your dinner in the hospital automatically comes with Sweet Tea!
(and breakfast comes with grits)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008