Thursday, March 29, 2012

J is for Jude!

Jude has two favorite letters: J and F.  And when Jude spots one of these letters, he exclaims, "J for Jude!" or "F for Finnan!" His exclamations are so enthusiastic, one would never know he does it every day...possibly every car trip...He has been enjoying writing these two letters as well.  I love that he is equally as excited about the letter F.  He really does love his brother.

Another accomplishment of note is Finnan's first crossing of the monkey bars!  Here is a video of his second crossing.

video

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

According to Jude


I may have to keep a running series of conversations with my little charmer.  Here are two gems from today:

Jude (talking on his hand phone within earshot): Yes, doctor.  Yes, I have to read these two books.  [Puts the phone down]  Mom!!! I have to read these two books.  The doctor said so.
After we finished the books again, the doctor called back.  Apparently we had to read them again.  Someone is catching on to our game...


Jude: Can I have some seaweed please?
Me: Are you finished your cupcake?
Jude: No. Can I have some seaweed, pleeeeease?
Me: Jude, you are not finished your cupcake yet.  If you are all done, you need to throw it away and clear your plate.
Jude: Ok.  [Jude goes to throw away his cupcake that he has only eaten the icing off of.  I cringe as I open the bag of seaweed- it does not smell good and present him with a sheet of seaweed].
Jude: Thanks, Mom!


  

Friday, March 23, 2012

4.5!


Finnan reached the four and a half mark this week.  I admit, I did not remember, but I was happy that I was reminded.  Both me and the kids enjoy any excuse to make a cake, but more importantly, it gave me a chance to pause and tell Finnan just how special he is to me.

Almost daily, Atticus and I reflect on things the kids have done.  Over the past couple of months, we have been impressed with how much Finnan has grown, specifically, what a great brother, son and friend he his.  My mom told us that when she first told Finnan about Rory's arrival he looked very concerned.  While Jude was jumping up and down, talking non-stop about being a brother, Finnan was silent.  When he finally spoke he said, "Weggi, I don't think I can take care of both Jude and Rory."  The first couple of weeks he was tense around Rory and expressed similar concerns to both Atticus and I.  He was tense because he wanted to be the best big brother but didn't quite know how to do it.  Well, more weeks passed and he has figured it out.  He looks out for both Jude and Rory.  Trying to help Rory when he is fussy and trying to help Jude follow rules or play soccer.  He tells me he is Rory's first friend.  One of his art school teachers, who I hadn't seen in a while, came up to me and told me how sweet Finnan is with his fellow classmates.  And that she could see the effect being a big brother has had on him.

Finnan is still quiet and will even physically hide his eyes in awkward or new situations.  However, his confidence is growing.  Currently, his favorite things to do are riding his Razor scooter, playing soccer and creating scenarios for his Spiderman figurine.  With the songs of birds awakening us every morning, he has attempted to start bird watching.  On account of his request, we always bring a plastic bag with us on walks to the creek so that we can pick up trash.  He tries to surprise us with "gifts," such as stuffed animals wrapped in blankets or even baking something for Atticus when he arrives home.  With some encouragement he has started ordering for himself at restaurants.  He has caught the eye of many fellow gardeners with his stamina and work ethic.  He loves it when I read chapter books to him, even though I don't think he really understands what is going on.  He is quite concerned about what foods are healthy and why they are healthy.  He has said often, "I don't like chocolate. But I like hot chocolate.  That is good for you because it has milk, right mommy?"  Yes, he is still moody as well, but both of us have gotten better at dealing with these moods.  After his last tantrum, I asked him what he wanted me to do when he got that upset.  He said, "Make me a quesadilla and rub my back."

I love watching Finnan grow and change, yet stay the same and I will always be happy to make Finnan his quesadilla and rub his back.              


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My 3 at 3 (months)

Just for fun, here are pictures of each of the boys at three months.

Finnan:


Jude:



Rory:



And a picture of the two look-a-likes today...


As much as Finnan and Rory look a like as babies (and quite franky, still do), Finnan is rarely smiling in any of his pictures around this age...just a little different!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rory at 3 months

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Rory is now 3 months.  Within the past week people have suddenly stopped saying, "Aww...I forgot how small they are" and now are saying, "Wow!  He is getting so big....it goes by so fast."  They are right.  Time does go by fast.  Unfortunately, no matter how much I do to savor every minute of this time, I still feel like it is slipping away too fast.  Here are some updates on my baby boy:

- Rory continues to charm me every day with his smile and has now added chatter to his repertoire.  He "talks" quite a bit and while I would love to say we hold conversations, he doesn't give me much of a chance to contribute.  
- He seems to have completely given up the pacifier and is trying very hard to suck on his fingers or hand.  Because of this, his arms have been freed of the swaddle.
- We had a bit of a tough time putting him to bed for a week or so this past month.  We changed the bedtime routine (changed swaddle, put him to bed awake, and started singing his bedtime song, Toora Loora while laying him down) and endured a bit of crying and now he is going down easily most nights.
- I am up with him once or twice a night.  A couple of times a week he will sleep 7+ hours.  He takes 2-3 naps a day with at least one of them being a long nap.  He often will be in his crib or swing awake a while before starting to fuss.
- He does not mind tummy time but does not lift his head up too much.  When on his back he will roll from side to side.
- He is amused by his brothers (anything from games of peek-a-boo to watching them run circles around him), ceiling fans, and stretching.  He always prefers to be carried facing outward and stays awake and alert during outings.  
- He is ticklish along the inner side of his arm.  Changing his onesie will make him giggle.  It's pretty sweet.

Each day, my favorite time with Rory is in the late evening.  After dinner and clean up and after the older boys are in bed, we usually just lay down on the floor together in his room.  There is something so calming about this time.  We smile at and talk with each other.  I get to just marvel at him.  And, although it seems impossible, each evening I fall a little bit more in love with him.    
   

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daily negotiations


I am going to guess that the world's best negotiators have siblings close in age.  With the three boys, the after-dinner, pre-bed time can be hectic.  But about a month ago, I figured it out.  In our house, the answer is simple: television.  Every night, after the boys are excused from dinner we make an agreement.  They will be allowed to watch one show if they go upstairs, put on their pajamas, brush their teeth and then promise to go straight to bed after the show.  Although one of us will often go up with them after the show, they have to be prepared to do it themselves.  If there weren't enough "ifs" in this arrangement already, they also have to agree on which show they watch.  Yes, my children really like watching TV.

Sometimes we'll hear whining about it being too dark upstairs or Jude will have trouble with his pajamas, but every night there is a debate about which show they are going to watch.  Finnan is always vying for "Mighty Machines" and Jude for "Dinosaur Train."  This has literally not changed since they day we started doing this.  

Finnan: Jude, let's watch Mighty Machines!
Jude: How about Dinosaur Train?
Finnan: Jude, I think that is too long.
Jude: No, no it's not.  Let's see what dinosaur they are going to meet!
Finnan: How about we see what machine they are going to use.
Jude: How about we watch two shows?  Mommy, we're going to watch two shows.  (This usually doesn't work.)

Somehow most nights they agree on one of these shows.  Occasionally, we will step in and tell them they have to pick something different.  But, the negotiations pretty much always include the same sets of arguments.  Tonight, however, Finnan surprised us with a twist.

Finnan: But, Jude, trains are machines, so let's watch Mighty Machines!  
Jude: Oh, ok.  Yes, Let's watch Mighty Machines!

We'll see if Jude comes back tomorrow.  In the meantime, I am enjoying doing all sorts of things during this process...dishes, laundry, cleaning, nursing...but at least I get to collapse in front of the TV as soon as they go to bed.

      

At the garden


Saturday, we were back to work at the community garden.  At the old plot, we finished staking the sugar-snap peas then planted turnip, onion and brussel sprout seedlings.  We did our best to remove all of the grass and weeds from the recently tilled new plot, added new dirt, re-tilled and then created a few raised beds within the plot.  In those beds we planted arugula, lettuce and collard seeds.

Fewer people were able to make this work day, but it was nice to work with a smaller group.  I see many of my neighbors frequently throughout the week, but really don't know anything about them besides where they live and their dogs' names.  This weekend I got to learn what incredible people they are.

With only a small group, the boys, especially Finnan, ended up helping a lot.  They dug out grass from the new plot, spread dirt, and helped with the beds.  Jude got a little sidetracked and created a stick "forest" in the bed, but started helping again once he learned he could dig for rocks (ahem, fossils) in the plot.  Apparently, Rupert Rd. was the site of a prehistoric baby T-Rex death.


With Atticus' back in bad shape, I was able to help this time and he took over Rory duty.  But, yes, by the end of the day, I, too, was reaching for the bottle of ibuprofen and mimicking his back stretches.


In the end, Atticus found a job and prepared the soaker hoses.  As soon as Finnan saw the screwdriver, he found a new job and started helping Atticus.  Atticus stayed late and finished placing the hoses through all of the new beds and repaired some of the existing hoses.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Dinosaur habitat


Yes, our lives, in particular one of our lives, revolve around dinosaurs.  I imagine this will be the case for some time.  Jude's fossil collection, which includes bones from T-Rex, Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Allosaurus, will soon span the entire railing of our front porch.  So when I heard about a dinosaur habitat craft, we started the next day.  

The boys have been working on the habitat for a couple of weeks.  Finnan is always looking for a reason to use his hammer, so he constructed the base.  Over time, clay and water was added.  And, today, the foliage was added.





Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today


Today, my winter baby's toes were free to wiggle in the warm breeze.  Jude, very seriously, corrected my pronunciation of Ankylosaurus.  And, Finnan gave me my favorite painting yet, a Monet inspired water lily.  He later proclaimed his favorite artists Da-LEEEE and Andy Warthog.