Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Our State Fair is a Great State Fair . . . Don't Miss it! Don't Even be Late!"

We are in the process of cleaning, staining, and sealing our very weathered deck and fence.  It's a job. (They don't call it sweat equity for nothing.)  Chad spent two straight days just pressure washing the joker. We'd scheduled some much needed help from my in laws a couple of weeks ago.  Bruce was going to come help us start the staining, and Joy was going to help keep kiddos entertained and out of the way, so we could get some serious work done.  Except the forecast turned ugly on the day they were supposed to come.  So, being the generous, loving people they are, they offered to come the following weekend instead. There was just one problem . . . Kaden had already been told he was going to see Gigi and Poppy.  Enter massive tears and sad voice on the telephone.  Gigi and Poppy came anyway and treated us to the state fair instead.  

I grew up going to the Grant County Fair.  We have a killer good county fair.  Like amazing.  And I don't think I'm just saying that because I'm from there.  It really is pretty stellar.  And since I'm from a small town, it's pretty much the event of the year.  In elementary school I was a 4-H kid for a few years. I donned red cowboy boots, raised sheep, and showed them at that fair.  My siblings and I used to enter anything and everything we could come up with in the fair (artwork, cookies, flowers and vegetables we picked from my grandmother's garden--Bryan once won a grand champion ribbon for one of her flowers!  Too bad he didn't grow the darn thing!) and then collect the ribbons and prize money.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I love a good fair.

Probably what I love best about fairs is the food.  You know the kind I'm talking about--most of it straight lard battered and deep fried to perfection.  

In this regard the North Carolina State Fair did not disappoint.

In a few hours we managed to share the following caloric feast between the four of us, five if you count Kaden:

--Philly cheese steak 
--2 turkey legs
--Deep fried Snickers bar (I became a fan.  Just saying.)
--Elephant ear (half powdered sugar and half cinnamon and sugar topping)
--Hot dog
--Massive bag of kettle corn

Everett is finally starting to like the double stroller, now that he's a little bit bigger.  He was a dream the entire time.  Kaden was super good, too, especially considering he hadn't napped that day.

 Kaden LOVES his Poppy!


Everett, napping in his favorite spot:  The ERGO

 There were soooooooooooooo may people.  Although, I was a bit disappointed . . . too many normal folk. 

We didn't go on any rides, and amazingly, Kaden didn't even ask about riding any.  We never seemed to be near any kiddie rides, so maybe he just assumed they were for big people.  I don't know.  We went to story time at the library a few days later and it was a fair theme.  The librarian read a book about a roller coaster and had the kids pretend to be riding it.  After that he started asking why we didn't go on any rides.  Ha!  I guess next year we won't get off so easily.  

Kaden was in awe!  So many sights and sounds!

 We had a great time!  Chad vows we will never go back, but I've got fair blood running through my veins.  I think there may be more corn dogs and deep friend candy bars in my future.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Kaden,

I hope when I am old and gray, I can dig up the memory of you in my old IHOP apron, a souvenir from my poor college days.  That, in the recesses of my memory, I'll still be able to see the preschool version of you, my little sous-chef: shaggy, blond hair; gold-flecked brown eyes; chipped front tooth; still wearing pajamas in the middle of the day.  

 Your nose, eyelashes, and cheeks dusted with flour.

 Your little boy fingers gripping a whisk,

 steadying a glass bowl on the counter.

 I won't be able to remember if we made cookies or muffins.  If we baked bread or a souffle.  But that doesn't matter.

 I just want to be able to find that memory of you, standing on a dining room chair so you could reach the counter.  Dozens of memories really, of us creating something in the kitchen together.

I hope I can conjure those up when you are grown, and my heart is aching to feel like a mommy again.

I love you, buddy.


And Suddenly My Newborn Was Three Months Old

It feels like Mr. Everett Holden is growing up SO fast.  Here are a few thoughts about our Everett boy and how he's changed during the last three months:


We FINALLY have him sleeping in his crib at night, but it's somewhat comical how I have to maneuver his sleeping body into the crib.  I wish I could take a video of the process, but it would never turn out since his room is so dark at night.  I seriously lay my tummy against his tummy when I put him down, then slide my right arm from under his bum, move that arm to under his head, and then slide my left arm out from under his head.  Then I put my right hand on his chest (where my chest used to be) and slowly back away.  It's a ridiculous process, but it works.  At his last doctor's appointment, the doc (who I love, by the way) recommended letting him cry it out to fall asleep . . . I tried, but I just couldn't do it.  I'm all about sleep training, but I decided I like feeling the weight of a sleeping newborn in my arms too much to give it up yet. As a result, we kept letting him sleep in his bouncy seat (he's still napping there for the most part), until the crib method started to stick.  That bouncy seat was his favorite place in the world for quite some time.  We could almost ALWAYS get him to sleep by bouncing him in it (not just using the vibration button, but physically rocking the seat).  He's now so big that his bum skims the floor when he's sitting in it, and his feet hang off the edge.  Chad can usually still bounce him to sleep in it, but I don't have the same luck.

He CAN sleep through the night and has done so several times.  The first time he did this was the first weekend in October, and he slept for 8 hours straight for two nights in a row.  I of course woke up both nights, terrified that he wasn't OK/filled to the brim with milk (since I'm sort of a Moo Cow right now), so it was kind of wasted on me.  He then went back to waking up once or twice a night.  The last couple of nights he's done a great job again, so I think we're on our way to a more consistent sleep schedule.  Once he's eating solids, I'll be more comfortable sleep training him, especially since I know he can go all night without eating.  

Our little chunk in September:

 This rattle was Chad's when he was little.  Both Kaden and Everett have both loved it!

 Kaden's buddy, Jack, LOVES babies and always begs to hold Everett.  This is him holding Ev after Joy School one day in September (I love that Everett's almost as big as he is!):

Does he look like Kaden?  

I get asked this question a lot.  I guess my answer is that they definitely look like brothers, but that Everett has his own look.  For starters, he has a lot less hair than Kaden had.  Kaden's eyes were also much lighter. They were a deep blue gray for a long time and even now are more of a golden brown.  Everett's eyes are straight chocolate pools.  He's going to have deep brown eyes for sure.  He's also chubbier than Kaden (not that Kaden was a tiny baby, by any means), so his face it a bit rounder.  Even so, at certain moments, and in certain photos, I look at him and he could be Kaden's clone.  And of course, everyone that sees him says he looks just like his Daddy, so Chad's genes have definitely dominated once again.

 We love his little elfish ears.  We have no idea where his pointy ears came from, since neither Chad nor I have this trait.

Everett woke up from a nap one day while I was finishing something up downstairs.  I asked Kaden to go comfort him for a minute until I could get there.  This is how I found the two of them:


I honestly LOVE this phase of babyhood.  Everett is so smiley and talkative, and it's absolutely adorable.  He is an extremely good baby.  As long as he's fed and rested, he is content.  He is SUCH a smiley baby.  It doesn't take much to get him to flash you a huge grin (it is hard to capture his smile on camera, however, since he almost always gives me a deer in the headlights expression when the flash goes off).  We were at the grocery store the other day and the lady at the checkout just peeked in his car seat and he was instantly beaming.  It's probably a result of having to compete for attention.  If anyone gives him one-on-one time, they're golden.  He also has the cutest laugh ever--right now it's that deep, throaty baby laugh that's more of a chuckle.

He seems to have a much more laid back personality than his older brother, which we are hoping sticks as he gets bigger.  (Not that we don't love Kaden in all his assertive, strong-willed, mini-me glory, but we're thinking maybe Everett can help balance things out a bit.)  He's much more patient and relaxed as an infant than Kaden was.  He's so easy going.  Sometimes I feel guilty that Everett's whole existence is pretty much shuttling Kaden from one adventure to the next.  Our schedule definitely revolves around his older brother. He takes it all in stride though, napping in his car seat, stroller, or Ergo when a nap at home isn't in the cards.

Everett LOVES bath time!  As soon as he hears the water running and start stripping off his clothes he starts to chuckle.   

 Pacifiers and Bottles

Everett's not interested in these at all.  We're still working our hardest to get him to take both.  I know there are a lot of anti-pacifier folks out there, but I would MUCH rather have him be attached to a piece of plastic that I can take away than this:
 The kid always has his fingers, thumb, or fist shoved in his mouth.  It's adorable now, but a hard habit to break when kids get older.  As for the bottle, I keep praying we're going to find a nipple that he'll take.  So far, he only wants milk straight from the source.  Don't get me wrong, I love the precious moments I have snuggling him while breast feeding, but it would certainly be nice to have another option when that's just not convenient.


Everett is so close to rolling over!  I think he'll be like Kaden though and be too lazy to follow through with it. He's just content to lie like this instead of pushing himself all the way over:

He can hold rattles and small toys now, and it's pretty awesome watching him to respond to these things. He's even semi-attentive when I try to read to him and Kaden together, especially if we pick baby books instead of Kaden's big-boy ones.  

He LOVES watching his big brother and thinks everything Kaden does is incredibly awesome.  Kaden can always get Everett to smile or calm down if he's fussing.  I can just see the wheels turning in his baby brain--he wants to be able to do everything Kade does.  I'm so glad they already share such a sweet bond as brothers.    

I can't believe my baby is already three months old.  I told Chad the other day that I LOVE this stage, but it makes me sad that he's already here.  That means he's going to be even bigger before I know it!  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hurricanes Game

My awesome brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave us tickets to a Carolina Hurricanes game.  They scored the tickets for free and were planning on going to the game, with Chad as a tag along.  At the last minute, they couldn't make it, so they let our family use them instead!  They were great seats, four rows from the ice, behind the goal. 

We were going to get a babysitter for Everett, but I chickened out since he is still so terrible at taking a bottle.  I wasn't sure how he'd do, but we put him in a sweater, beanied his little noggin, and threw him in the Ergo (BEST baby product EVER!).  He totally fell asleep in that thing for the entire first period.  He woke up ready to eat, and when I couldn't find so much as a bench to nurse him on, I commandeered the family restroom.  It was stocked with a padded folding chair. I felt kind of bad, but oh well.  He fell asleep again at the end of the game.  Long live the ERGO!!! 

We had a great time as a family and only had to pay $15 for parking (can we talk about how outrageous that is, though?!).  

Hockey will forever hold a special place in my heart, since so much of Chad and my early dating consisted of watching the BYU Ice Cats play.  Kaden became an instant fan, since there was so much obvious testosterone-induced aggression being displayed on the ice.  He even got a game puck, since he is adorable, and someone gave him one.  

I think there are definitely more Hurricanes games in our future.  
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