Saturday, June 23, 2007

More On Jesse

That's more on, not moron. Just thought I'd clarify.

My child... I'm not even sure what to say. Perhaps I should tell this announcement-style, like a headline. Here goes: SUPPOSED MENTALLY STABLE CHILD CONSTANTLY WALKS AROUND IN HELMET, POSSIBLE EXPRESSION OF BICYCLE APPRECIATION-
Says it all, really. Moving on.

Jes is currently perfecting his table dancing skills. Seriously. He climbs onto the end table in the family room and dances to any music you can imagine. He'll rock out to everything from CMT videos to the theme song from Cops. And boy is he talented. Matt likes to refer to it as the "one-legged jump," which is quite accurate, actually. Jesse is often overcome with rhythm and keeps one foot grounded while hopping with the other. It's very impressive.

In other news, J-man has developed a passion for all things chicken. In fact, yesterday he bit his dad's arm and declared, MMMmmm, chicken. Yeah kid, chicken. Whatever.

Sucky Gaberiel

No, he doesn't suck; he's awesome. But he, well, sucks. On everything. My house and its contents are perpetually covered in slobber. This is not at all abnormal for his age of course, but my tale doesn't end there. The other night we were all piled on Mommy and Daddy's bed reading books and being burped and going through the pre-bedtime routine, and Gabe happened to come into contact with Matt's chest, where he proceeded to "latch on" with expert proficiency. Matt let out a horrified squawk/bellow noise and wildly jerked about, yanking the kid off himself and throwing him into my arms. This of course was strikingly entertaining to watch, as you can imagine. It probably should have been somewhat embarrassing for ol' Colonal Chunkbutt, but remarkably Gabe showed no sign of shame; he strangely seemed almost amused at all the tomfoolery. The kid takes after me.

There seems to be no limit to the things Gabriel can't resist tasting. And as for me, he appears to be of the opinion that he can suck on any part of my person and/or clothing and expect milk to fly into his mouth. I've endured slobber attacks on my knuckles, elbows, chin, nose, and even foot in demand for immediate sustenance. He must hear my voice and see nothing but a giant milk jug, waiting to spray at his slightest whim. What an honor.

Hey, what do you know! I spelled his name right. A couple weeks ago I got some new things to decorate our house so it would look nice when Matt came home, and I took on a little project. I bought a fancy cream colored fabric place mat and stamped the kids' footprints on it in paint, then framed it and hung it on the wall. It was then I realized that I'd misspelled Gabey's name where I'd written it by his tootsie. (I had added an extra e, Gab-e-riel. Wow.) No joke- I actually did this. It was bad, even for me. And I ended up having to check the friggin' birth certificate to figure out the correct spelling! That's how mental I am. I decided to leave it on the wall that way, sort of as a monument to my own motherly stupidity.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Date With Myself

Today I was given a gift. My wonderful husband came home from work with a headache. (That part sucked, but it lead to something fun.) We got the boys down for a nap and Matt wanted a coke to ease the pain (from the headache, not the children- or maybe both). I volunteered to go out for one, and bonus- while I was in the car I could grab a sundae from DQ. I ordered my usual and waited very patiently for my dessert (I had no kids with me- I had all the time in the world). I talked on the phone with my sister while I ate. Alone in the restaurant. By myself. With a bowl of ice cream the size of a sheep's head. I'm sure it was a pitiful sight: a frumpy mom by herself at a table, shoving unreasonably large heaps of hot fudge and ice cream into her eager mouth. I had one ridiculously huge bite after another, after another, until the giant plastic bucket was scraped dry. Part way through the endeavor I realized I'd dropped a bit on my shirt, but I couldn't have cared much less. My once neatly ironed clothes were by this time wrinkled and sweaty (yes, I'm STILL fighting pregnancy hormones, FOUR MONTHS LATER), my hair was flat, wet and stringy due to the rain, my skin was blindingly white, my body overweight, my makeup running, and there I sat, eating my sundae. And you know what? I was smiling.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Portraits

These will be mailed out to grandparents, aunts and uncles this week. Love you all!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gabey's First Foreign Food

Introducing: Applesauce!

Jesse in a Nut Shell

I've made a few recent observations about my first born that bear mentioning, so I thought I'd share; perhaps it will remind you of a two year old you know.
First. Children at this age seem to come with only one volume. It's like living with the OxyClean guy. Every word out of Jesse's mouth is a valiant effort to spread the handicap of hearing loss, perhaps in an attempt to help the public develop empathy for the audibly impaired. And if over time you develop an immunity to his disabling ventures and manage to achieve the skill of "tuning out," he only stiffens his resolve to attain your attention. This is often done through a fine technique known as screeching. Jesse has become a master of the art of shrieking with a voice so shrill it makes your fingernails grow faster, which is not an unmarketable skill. Perhaps he'll grow up to become an NAACP spokesman or some other liberal representative. Surely his overbearing eagerness would earn the respect of many in that field. I can only dream...

Those who speak with me fairly frequently may be old hands at discussing the topic of Violence in the Nursery. Now I firmly believe that Jesse's dad is to blame for this lovely aspect of my son's charming disposition. Every week at church I, like many parents, take my child into the nursery for a feeble attempt at a gospel lesson, but mostly for the social exposure. At this point Jesse might as well be a neglected only child as far as playing skills go, which I admit is my own fault because he certainly doesn't get as much practice as he deserves in this arena. So now I'm making a real effort to help him become better adjusted through recreational experience with other kids his age. Now, don't get me wrong; a child with more enthusiasm for other kids does not exist. Jesse's very comfortable in that environment. It is the comfort of the other children that concerns me, and quite frankly, concerns others as well- (such as nursery leaders). When he's not forcing his exuberant expressions of love (given in the form of suffocating hugs) upon the other kids, he is attacking them in other, more violent ways. Jesse's learned through almost daily conditioning that the way to enjoy another's company is to maul them into physical submission. It's an act of affection, truly, but somehow it's rarely read that way by his victims. He also tends to throw an occasional love punch or sentimental slap, thanks to his father's encouragement. All this is delivered with a genuine smile, mind you. He's a good boy, if perhaps a bit poorly trained. I make a habit of referring people to Jesse's dad for any explanation. As for now, my son may not be a top runner in the popularity contest among his peers.

He does have more endearing qualities. For instance there is almost never a more lovable moment in time than when he cries out a helpless round of "Mama!"-s after a hilarious attack on his father turns against him. And there's no sweeter an annoying habit than a midnight return from the bathroom only to find that your son has climbed into your place on the bed, apparently in a state of sleep. Or when you lean over in the middle of the night to check on the baby and a little, bed-headed, heat-seeking missile has rolled into your spot and plastered himself to your back side, steeling from you the privilege of comfort. (My good friend, Michelle first coined the "heat-seeking missile" term in this context, a perfect fit, I think. And allow me to acknowledge the fact that when she reads this I'll be endlessly ridiculed for my weakness in caving to Matt's insistence that J still has a right to occasionally sleep in our bed.)

But Jesse's idiosyncrasies are not all so innocent. He is a master of the atrocity of pre-noseblow humor. No one can laugh and fill a kleenex at the same time, and it is a painful endeavor to attempt. Those who have been victimized by this particular burn understand exactly what I'm talking about. And to them I issue this warning: my son is an expert perpetrator of the crime, so leave the room if you wish to successfully clear your congestion. I'm having to accept that in our home, this is a recurrent cruelty that's here to stay.

Whether it's his tendency to apparently conduct the music of his dreams- (we call him the "Sleeping Maestro"), his infatuation with any type of cookie, or his appreciation for, -no- preoccupation with common flatulence, our Jesse Michael can be counted on to bring you a smile, or at least a severe eye roll. Sure makes a mother proud.

P.S.- I can't finish without at least acknowledging Sweet Gabriel's fine skills. This guy has a certain unique appeal. He somehow is able radiate love while simultaneously giving you a look that says, "Hey. Jugs. Shut your yap and open your blouse, I'm hungry." Surely that is something to be admired.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Proud Recipient of the "Bad Mother of the Year" Award.

Woo Hoo!
Okay. I'm trying to come to grips with it: I am officially a bad mother. That's right, I said it. Feel free to cry, gossip, even laugh at my expense. Really, I encourage it. I would if I were you. But I can't keep it in any longer; I've got to come clean. I'm ready to tell all.

I try my best, I really do! But every once in a while, say, six or seven times a day, I realize I've done something else that warrants some sort of accolade for my ingenuity in the field of child-ruining. For example, the other day I was gazing fondly at my first born's lovely smile when it dawned on me, it had been almost a week since I had BRUSHED HIS TEETH! Seriously, no crap! Like four and a half, practically five days. So, a business week. Eeeewww! So there, bad mom.

Another example? Let's see. Sunday evening we went fishing. Matt, of course, was focused on the technical aspects of the event, while Gabe and I were chilling a few yards away on a rock. As Jesse tinkered between his dad and me on the edge of the bank an inch or so into the pond (a prime example of fine parenting itself), one of his sandals came loose and flipped off his foot. Fearing the mud (curiously), Jesse insisted I retrieve the shoe for him and replace it on his foot. Fine. He'd probably slip into the water anyway if he tried to get it by himself, I decided. So I clumsily leaned forward with a ninety pound four month old on my lap and stretched forward and grabbed the shoe. By this time J was up on the rock next to me awaiting the reunion with his footwear so he could get back to his maternal heart attack-inducing games. Matt was too busy to care what was happening, so I did my best with my one free hand to shove J's foot into the sandal while keeping all three of us balanced on the rock, which I actually managed successfully. What I didn't notice was that while I was doing all that Gabey had lurched forward and grabbed a hold of Jesse's other shoe, and was conducting a study on how many different species of swamp-AIDS a human subject can contract from eating shoe mud. Great. See? The scope of my unique parenting skills reaches to both my children. Heaven help us all if we get a third.

I'm thinking of renaming Jesse Bruise-face. It's got a nice ring, huh? Besides, we're from Utah. We can call our kid whatever we want. We're naming the next one Thistle Rainwater or maybe Tropical Meconium. Umm. Sounds like a new Jamba flavor. Ooh! Exotica Vomitus. She could invent a fragrance and name it after herself. Anyway...

What the heck's up with this? Perhaps there's some preventive superpower I'm missing, but I can't seem to stop it in time. It seems like every time I change a diaper, the kid's hand is drawn strait to the... shall we say, contaminated portions. And my gosh, if it just stopped there I could live with myself. But good heavens, (That's right, I'm gonna say it) it shoots directly from that area into his freaking mouth! And somehow I never see it coming! It seems like by the time I can spit out a disgusted "Get your hand out of ther-" it's already inside his little yap, causing me to wince at not only the situation at hand, but also the horrific reality that in a matter of minutes I will have forgotten this whole thing and will be enthusiastically receiving my loving baby's kisses. On the lips. Oh man...

You know, maybe I should just call Jesse Crack-face, cause I just looked over and saw his nose burried deeply in his brother's naked butt crack, taking a big whiff. Furthermore, he proceeded to blow what I like to call a facefart (also known as a raspberry or zurbert) on the baby's ample tush. Uggghhh.
And YOU first questioned me when I got the award. Silly person.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Attack of the Drooling Brother!

Get him, Gabe! Holy crap, how could anyone not laugh at this? It's hysterical! Poor little Jesse got beaten up by his massive baby brother. This was our celebratory Daddy's Back dinner. (Jesse was a little tired.) Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!

Lots more to see!

Woops- it's sideways. Too late now cause I'm lazy. Check out these killer grins. Too charming for words... They've stolen my heart.

Again, More Pics From Sunday

My guys are stupendous, of course, but can you believe how beautiful this place is? North Carolina is such a wonderful place to live. These lakes/ ponds are everywhere! P.S.- Gabey's thighs are impressive, no?

More Fishing Photos...

There's Jesse mid- "Cheese!" with a muddy mouth due to his grace on the trail, and Colonel FatFace, and some action shots of the fishing extravaganza. And of course, some rock throwing.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

We Went Fishing!

Here we are. Gorgeous, right?!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Alright, I'll Start With the Trip to Virginia

My internet was down till last night, but I'll do my best to cover the good stuff. Sorry, people.
A close relative of Jim's was having a semi-surprise bash for his 60th birthday at his home in Virginia. My mom was out visiting us just prior to the big event, so we decided to pack up the monsters and road trip up there. I hadn't gotten to know that side of the family very well yet, and besides, Matt wouldn't be home for a couple more weeks and the boys could use the distraction; it was only a six hour drive. Oh, my. How very wrong I was.
Entertainingly enough, Jesse is in his I-throw-the-toy-and-you-pick-it-up-or-endure-my-wrath phase. So in an effort to instill some sense of value in my son (and avoid everlasting arm cramp), we all got to enjoy the wrath. Cool. Luckily for us (my mom & me) though, Gabe is the perfect travel baby. Or, he was. An hour or so into the trip it became apparent he'd caught a bug that was going around and was NOT a happy boy. But you've got to give it to the kid- he doesn't do anything half-heartedly, which, unfortunately, makes for some vigorous and continuous car seat protesting. And so, we stopped for a break. A lot. You see, my darling little offspring tend to have unbelievably tender butt flesh, and sitting in a messy diaper for any amount of time in excess of, say, the blink of an eye tends to inflict their little tushies with extreme irritation, and often actual burns. Makes you wonder what's going on with their poop. (More than you wanted to think about, I'm sure.) So anyway, I had to be really careful not to risk sitting in any dirty diapers. Well, I had to risk letting GABE sit in any dirty diapers. When mine get soiled I'm pretty good about telling a grownup. But basically, we had a lot of pulling over to do because I could never be sure that wasn't the reason Gabe was screaming. And every time we stopped, of course, Jesse had to get out and stretch, and I might as well go potty cause I've been drinking gallons of water the entire way (how else can I truly fulfill my "Human milk jug" calling?), and since we were out anyway maybe I'll just run in and get some treats or more tissues or just stop really quickly to file my taxes. LLoonngg story short, despite the diapers, snacks, trips to the head, screams, feedings, hot flashes (yes, they're still there- lucky Donna) and speeding tickets, we made the first two-thirds of the trip in just twelve short hours. Twelve. I'm not kidding. So much for the day we'd planned for Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. After all this mess we wisely surrendered and spent the night in a hotel and finished driving the next day. We managed to make the last "two hours" in just under six. And by that time it was considered a success. We met up with Jim and stayed in a great hotel that had a hot tub and a pool, which we used every night to exhaust the rest of Jesse's energy before bed- (or, some of it). I was having a great time swimming with the boys till Jesse stepped off the seat in the hot tub and shot strait to the floor like a hydrodynamic boulder. After that I was a bit too worn out to handle any more swimming. I have a little thing about watching my children drown. I'm sensitive, I know.
Anyway the trip went well. Jes had a lot of fun playing with the kids up there, running in the sprinklers, etc. and beating up on kids three times his size. (Daddy is now working with Jesse on the non-violent approach to recreational activity. -At least while I'm looking.) And Little (okay, Big-) Gabey must have had his thighs nibbled on by seventeen different people up there. (Oh come on, you would too if you had the chance.) The days passed quickly and the trek home was a bit better than the one out there (how could it not have been), and we stopped near the airport over night to send Grandma back home to Utah. The last three hours home I was on my own with the kids, but our God is a merciful one and they slept most of the way. Many prayers of thanks were uttered that evening when all three of us arrived home without any instance of suicide OR murder. Sometimes mere survival is a gift. Praise the Lord.

P.S.- I'll put up new pics tomorrow, so quit nagging!!!!! I'm going to bed with my man. (Not like that, you pervert! Well, maybe... if I'm lucky.) Here's wishing you the fun I'll get to have. Goodbye.