A Year in Photos: Part 3

Tyson had his first day of school- now attending three mornings a week:
And is a major fan of rain boots:
Jake had his first day of Mommy and Me Preschool:
The boys have class at the same time on Mondays. There is often an overlap of outdoor play time with both classes and they always gravitate towards each other. And this bike:

Halloween was magically amazing this year. Trick or treating was so much fun with both of them. Neitherof them were at all shy. Jake got the “Trick or Treat” down. Along with the candy grab:

Train Conductor Ty:
Ninja Jake:
We carved pumpkins. Ty wasn’t a fan of the pumpkin guts:
With their little imaginations growing more and more each day, we discovered the dinosaur hunting adventures to be found in our front yard:

Rain boots, “noculars“, and rain coat- check:
Brotherly love over Santa Mail:
Turkey day crafts:
My little turkey’s turkey:
Bath smiles:
Jake got a big hair cut. Before:
After. Sniff, sniff. Miss the baby curls:
We made holiday wishes after a muddy but fun hike:
The magic of the season started with a surprise visit from Santa at a holiday party for the kids:

We started a new Christmas tradition as we met “Victor” our Elf on the Shelf:
We made cookies:
We visited with family:
The boys were thoroughly spoiled for Christmas and loved all of their amazing gifts. Jake LOVES this hat. He can never see where he’s going but he LOVES the thing:
Ty “fixing” our table:
Hours after hours were spent playing and enjoying their new toys:
Lots and lots of post Christmas smiles:
Told ya, LOVES the hat. And I love that he loves it:
Rainy day smiles and fun:

A Day in Our Life (Part One)

A fellow Mommy put out the challenge to photograph “A Day in Your Life”…here is our day today. I had every intention of waking up at 5:30 to run; however, Jake was up three times with a cold last night so the early morning run was out of the question. You will notice his never ending snot nozzle throughout the pictures. Our day was also defined by this lovely piece of paper hanging from my door. After 7 am, we would have NO STREET ACCESS. At all. Home bound. All day. My equivalent of a nightmare.
Having slept through my running alarm, I was startled awake by a three and a half year old poking my eye and asking to sleep in my bed at 6:05. Shortly followed by the cries of his brother…I walk into this sight almost daily. Jake + blankey + binky in mouth + one bink just in case:
Jakey takes a few minutes to warm up…
And then he was off to Lego at his table:
Tyson figured he would take his own set of pictures:
Good angle:
Breakfast. Scones and cantaloupe:
Jake’s signal he’s done with his meal = throws EVERY remaining piece ON THE FLOOR. Drives.me.crazy:
And is the reason I have a broom standing in my kitchen at all times:
After every meal, Jake will wait for Ty to walk away from the table. Climb into Ty’s chair. And eat whatever remnants of the meal suit him:
Having no street access for THE DAY. We were out, coffeed, and home by 7 am. However, I didn’t get more than a sip most of the morning. Into the microwave it goes…for the first time. I attempt to scarf down my now cold eggs and warm cantaloupe:
The boys start to hear the sound of the big trucks outside (our street is being repaved)…they are completely captivated:
More play time at the Lego table (the top flips over so it can be a simple table as well. The boys spend a LOT of time sitting at the table playing legos, cars, reading, drawing…). Jake is still carrying around two binks:
He’s recently discovered his Little People toys. I love watching him play with them and listening to the sounds he makes. He was “moo’ing” as he put the farmer into the tractor and placed a cow on the back:
Checking out his brother’s train set up in the window ledge:
Playing trains and keeping an eye on the work trucks outside:
Potty training. Nightmare. Thatisall.
While the boys play, I start the first load of laundry for the day:
And in my effort to multi-task, I put the camera down within reach of little hands. It drops. My nifty fifty breaks. I cry. Rookie mistake. An expensive one:
We get dressed in intervals here. I have to literally chase each boy around the house to get them dressed so I go in stages. Most important part accomplished:
We start our project for the day. I have one boy who LOVES to color with crayons and another who loves to eat/break/throw them. Tyson gets very upset when crayons are broke. Or unwrapped. Shocking, don’t know where he gets that from. So, today, I am going to turn all the broken pieces (added some) into bigger disks. Some by color. Some rainbow. Tyson helped me unwrap crayons. Jake broke them. Worked out perfectly:
Ty then helped me sort them and place the ones he wanted into the rainbow cups:
All ready to go in the oven:
Melted. Cooling. I then put them in the freezer for thirty minutes or so to help separate the paper cup from the new crayon:
Meanwhile, we headed outside where the boys had a front row seat for all the road work going on:
Pom pom. Rain boots. Brother. Check:
Watched trucks. Played trucks:
We have this area in our front yard, Ty calls it the “jungle”. I drew dinosaur footprints and he headed into the jungle on a dinosaur hunt:
No dinosaurs, but he found a LOT of mud:
Jakeyloves to push trucks around the driveway:
Tyson rode his tricycle:
The road workers were so nice to the boys. They honked and waved. Tyson couldn’t get over the REAL LIFE “Lightening McQueen” truck (from the scene were he has to repave the road and drag the big asphalttruck behind him):
Free, live entertainment:
Until the boys realized the fun, pavement trucks came with a smell. We headed to the backyard for some water table fun:
And I knew it wouldn’t be long before my little Nature Boy got his clothes wet and did away with them all together. I chalked it up to “helping the potty training” efforts:
While the boys played outside, I put away a load of laundry:
Jakey decided he had had enough. Came inside. I started to put lunch together. He found his puzzle:
Ty came inside and found his LeapFrogbook reader:
I took our crayon creations out of the freezer and took them out of the cupcake liners. They came out fabulously. SUPER easy project:
Peanut butter sandwich and cheez-its for Ty:
Turkey meatballs, cheez-its, and cantelope for Jake:
Salad for Moi:
Ends up on the floor. Tantrum. I saw it coming as I kept him up in hopes of a double nap from the boys:
And it’s nap time:
More laundry:
Potty training. Nightmare. Sense a theme:

Less than two months til the October Half Marathon, means no skipping runs. Even though the LAST thing I want to do is run…I do. Nap time date with the dreadmill:

Run: check. 3.5 miles. 30 minutes:

A Day in Our Life Continued…

After my run, I shower. Check e-mail. Facebook. And then hear my Baby Jakey:
Who doesn’t wake up on the right side of the crib:
Takes a few minutes and then discovers his brother left out his bin of cars:
We play outside. Chalk. Wait for Ty to wake up:

Once Ty wakes up, Mama is in SERIOUS need of a second coffee. I rarely stay home all day. Can’t do it. The roads are done. We have the free and clear to drive. Off we go:

And Mama is a happy camper:

We stop by the little produce market, SO YUMMY, and pick up the makings for guacamole and more cantaloupe:

The boys are having taquitoes for dinner. I am going to make them some fresh guacamole:

Jacob is VERY excited. Ty is watching Wonder Pets:

We wait for dinner to cool down and color with our new crayon creations (have no idea what to call them):

While outside on our dinosaur-mud hunt, we picked up some leaves to do leaf prints:

Jakey had fun coloring too:

Tyson’s leaf. He is in a MAJOR green phase right now. Everything green…he loves:

Dinner time. Jake tears up the guacamole as I thought he would. He left a little for Daddy:


“Wha…me. I didn’t throw anything.”

I clean up the kitchen. Again. The boys run up to the playroom. Jake Lego’s again. Ty jumps:

Train fun:

And then we hit 6. Witching hour. The whining. Tantrums. Hold me NOW. Begins:

So, we look like this for the majority of the time remaining until bath:

We read. The boys LOVE I Spy books. Awesome time taker-upper-er:

“Jake, do you see the water can?”

One last slide session in the playroom…

Potty time. Jake has to do EVERYTHING his brother does. EVERYTHING:

Bath. I wish I could capture the VOLUME level. It’s LOUD. Very LOUD:

My LEAST favorite time of the day. Pajama time. Chase each boy down. Get them dressed. Not fun or easy:

And tonight, while chasing down Ty and getting him dressed Jake decided to PEE in the corner behind the chair. Awesome:

Get the boys dressed. Kung Fu Panda time. Jakey is super sleepy:

Jake down. One more to go:

Finally, Daddy walks through the door:

While Daddy changes and eats dinner, Ty and I play Candy Land. He cheats. I lose.

Books. Brush teeth. Ty goes down. It’s 9:13 and I am finally sitting down. Kicking my feet up. And picking up my book for the FIRST time all day:

NOT EVEN CLOSE to what I imagined the life of a stay-at-home mom would be. Not even close. And a potty training overall update: TODAY = no accidents from Ty. Just Jake’s little after bath situation. Go figure. So proud of Ty. We are getting there SLOWLY but surely.

A Year in Photos Part 1

**It absolutely blows my mind that I sit here days away from Christmas. This year is a complete and total blurr. I blogged. I photographed. I videotaped. But it is still surreal. I VIVIDLY remember this time last year, and yet here we are again…and things have changed immensely. While I had hoped to keep up with scrapbooking…finding the time has become next to impossible. So I decided to do the next best thing and make a photobook of our year. Here are some bits and pieces of it…enjoy.
It wasn’t until I looked back at blog posts and photos that I realized I started the year out pregnant. In all honesty, it is impossible to remember our family with Jacob at this point and it feels as if he’s always been a part. This was about two weeks before Jake was born. Of course, looking at this picture brings back many memories of pregnancy…many of which I don’t miss:
*Jacob William was born:
*Brothers met for the first time:
*2 weeks old:
*A favorite outing of ours became searching for Lady bugs. We found a park where they were EVERYWHERE…Ty LOVED it. He was so gentle and kind:

*Again…we did this often:

*We discovered the local airport viewing area and it became a weekly family outing:

*Ty discovered his brother’s swing and officially sat in it longer than he ever did as a baby:

*We had a very unusual and very HOT heat wave:
*Big brother kisses:

*Little brother smiles:*Big brother tickles and little brother giggles:

*”I do myself” became a household phrase…sometimes good and VERY cute:

*J-dub loving his exersaucer:

*4 months:

*Big boy haircut:

*Ty learns to say “CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE” for the camera:

*We dabble in cloth diapers…and it wasn’t nearly as awful as I expected:

*Silly, happy boy:


2009 in Review Part 2

* Jacob sits…and makes raspberries that cause his brother to laugh in ways no one else can:
*Jake goes from back sleeper to butt-in-the-air-on-his-tummy sleeper (love how he crosses his feet as well):
*We took the boys to Marine World:
*Where Ty rode an elephant with Daddy. He smiled the entire.time:

*Jake’s six month photo…it only took about 50 shots to get this one:

*He enters a whole new world of baby food:

*Ty enters a whole new world where hair cuts age him tremendously…when did he stop looking like a baby and become such a BIG BOY:

*Trains, trains, trains…Ty LOVES trains:

*J-dub cuteness…he finds his feet:


*My boys:

*Ty is old enough to do CRAFTS. On this day, we made a stepping stone for our front yard…he had SO much fun and loves to point it out when we walk down our pathway:

*Brothers can play together now. Jake LOVES to watch/play/be near Ty:

*Tyson has his FIRST day of preschool:* 7 months old:

*Took the boys to the Pumpkin Patch. Ty had so much fun in the seed pools:

* While Jake enjoyed the hay stacks:

*I discovered how much fun our wagon is with both boys now able to sit comfortably in it. Tyson loves to pull Jacob around…and Jacob grins from ear to ear the entire time:

* I trained for and completed my first 1/2 Marathon:

*Ty brings new excitement and magic to each holiday now…Halloween was incredibly memorable. Both boys looked adorable in their costumes: Jake was Frankenbaby and Ty was a doctor:

*We took the boys to Pixieland’s Haunted Halloween…Tyson as always LOVED the rides:

*And we discovered that Jacob does TOO:

*Dr. Ty all ready to trick-or-treat with his Thomas treat bucket:

*Jake wishes everyone a Happy Turkey Day:

*Ty discovered Daddy’s ties. And belts. And shoes:

*I finally take the boys to the Train Museum and the both LOVE it:

*We also went to the Oakland Zoo with friends. Ty has become very sweetly protective of Jake…he immediately put his arm around him when I sat him down:

*I don’t know if it was the attention from his big brother, the train ride, or a combination of both…but Jake never stopped smiling:

*Somewhere along the way Ty graduated to big-boy-solo-riding status:

*We got SNOW:

*10 months old:

*Brother fun:

*Making Christmas gifts:

*Our family 2009:

Babies, Husbands, and Marriage

I recently visited with a friend who *just* had a baby. Her first. After discussing all the normal new mommy topics: labor story, breastfeeding woes, baby poop…she mentioned she had no idea how much the baby would affect her marriage. All I could do was give her *the smile* and think…just wait til you have another one.

What I really wanted to say:
Just wait til you have another one. The “help” you receive now: the eager new dad who gets up in the middle of the night, changes the diaper, and brings you the baby. Sits up with you while you breastfeed. Offers to get you some water or maybe a snack. The same one who went out in the middle of the night while you were pregnant to curb your cravings or massaged your back in the last weeks of pregnancy…

The second time around. Not so much. The “helpful” new dad has now learned to sleep through anything. A train could roar through the living room and he’d be completely oblivious. If he wakes, it’s certainly not to change a diaper. Bring you water. Or get you snack. It may be to remind you that the baby is likely hungry. Because you couldn’t figure that out on your own. After all, the ONLY reason a baby cries is because he’s hungry. Which, coincidentally, if you are breastfeeding means that the Daddy “can’t do anything” anyway. At which point, you’ll be reminded that he would have totally helped if he had boobs. Right. Diaper changes you’ll be convinced are better if you do them because you are so much faster and more efficient. If you dare to test this theory, the point will be proven with the world’s s….l….o….w….e….s…..t diaper change resulting in an infuriated baby who takes ten times longer to calm down. Water. Snacks. You’ll stumble in to get them yourself and then hear a groggy voice ask if you brought enough for two. If your husband hasn’t firmly established a place outside of the “circle of trust” with the first baby, he’ll likely do so with the second.

There are, I am sure, a few couples out there who make the parenthood journey with few bumps in the road. However, I am sure there are MORE who travel over big bumps. Boulders at points. These couples, at some point in the parenthood endeavors don’t really like each other. The mommy is usually bitter. The daddy completely oblivious…because all crying means hungry- you must remember this. Here is an example of why:

Our household between the hours of 5 pm and 8pm:
5:00 – feed Jake
5:03 – explain to Ty that the high chair is no longer his. It’s the baby’s chair.
5:04 – deal with tantrum because Ty wants HIIIIIIIS chair
5: 10 – distract Ty with an episode of Little Einsteins. I now have about 23 minutes to feed Jake in a somewhat peaceful environment.
5: 16 – look at the boat on the screen after having ignored Ty’s yelling, “Moommmmmy LOOOOK, a boat.” “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMY, LOOOOOOOK a boat.”
5:17 – get up to wet a paper towel to wipe off the peas from Jake’s lap that were dropped because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing while watching the dang boat.
5: 20 – begin thinking about what to cook Ty for dinner
5: 33 – deal with tantrum because Little Einsteins is now over
* Ty has now firmly attached himself to my last nerve*
5: 36 – clean up Jake’s face, wash his hands, and clean high chair
5: 40 – try to persuade Ty to play with his trains in the play room
5: 45 – walk up to the play room after being dragged upstairs by Ty to see his trains
6:00 – start cooking Ty’s dinner
6:30 – feed Ty
6:45 – clean up the aftermath of Ty’s dinner, wash his hands, wipe his face
6:50 – give Jake his bath
6:51 – deal with tantrum because Ty wants to play with Jake’s bath water while Jake takes a bath
*losing my mind slowly….*
7:00 – dry Jake, put on his medications, dress in pajamas
7:10 – get Jake’s bottle ready
7:11 – the husband calls to say he is shutting down his computer and heading out of the office (read: may be home in an hour)
7: 15 – attempt to get Ty to play quietly…give up and let him watch another Little Einsteins show
7:20 – take Jacob to his room to give him his bottle and put him down to bed
7:25 – try to convince Ty that now isn’t the time to YELL…”BLLLAASTOFF” and to try to be quiet
*Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific*
7:26 – try to get Jacob to calm back down and ignore the yelling coming from the other room
7:40 – finally get Jacob to finish bottle and down in his crib
7:45 – time to give Tyson his bath
7:55 – out of bath and time for pajamas
7:56 – deal with tantrum because Ty wanted to wear his RACE CAR pajamas again. They are in the wash. Convince him that the dinosaur pj’s are the way to go.
* Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific*
8:00 – make his milk and grab books to read
8: 05 – sit down to read books with Ty while he drinks his milk
8:20 – put Ty down to bed
8:21 – the husband walks in the door and asks…”How was your day”
*!@#$!@#$ !@#$!@#$!@# !@#$!@#$!@ !#$!@#$@*

After a brief attempt to fill him in…”Maybe Ty was hungry”
At which point I want to kick him in the shins. Are you kidding me.
* Thirty three year olds are terrific. Thirty three year olds are terrific. Thirty three year olds are terrific*

What I’ve Learned- Six Week Check-in

Six weeks into my career as a Mama of two I have learned a ton. Granted, I have made many mistakes, laughed a lot, cried a lot, but I am definitely beginning to find a groove.

Things that make my life easier:
* Having two bouncers for solo night time duty. I am still on the hunt for a travel swing of some sort.

* Sit and Stand stroller- don’t know why I thought I could survive without a double stroller. Tyson is surprisingly willing to sit or stand in his “chariot”…he loves to play peek-a-boo with the shade and check on his baby brother.

*My plethora of baby carriers…though I definitely favor my Beco and Ergo- I discovered yesterday, after the urging of a few mommy friends, that Jake can in fact ride safely in the Ergo without the insert. I think this will make my life immensely easier as I can carry one carrier in the car and it will easily work with both kiddos.

* Moving Ty back to his old seat position in the car. He is much happier now that he can see me and I can pass back food/snacks/water/toys to him.

TIPS I’ve learned thus far:
* I keep lollipops in the car in case I have to feed Jake while out and about. The lollipop buys me a quiet feeding session in the car while Ty eats his treat.

* When I go to get Ty from his nap (or when he comes in from outside at class) I always make sure to go to him empty handed and spend some snuggle time with him (even if Jake is protesting). Going to him with Jake in my hands always made him jealous/upset. It really is amazing how five minutes of one on one time can change his mood.

* I always try to spend at least five minutes of one on one time, when possible, with Ty before I feed Jake. If we are out and about, Ty gets a special lollipop in his car seat (so far it works wonders). I am also considering carrying around our portable DVD player in the car in case I have to feed Jake while out and about…will have to try this.

* One of the kids will inevitably poop right as we are about to leave. I always try to aim to get somewhere 20 minutes before hand and because of this we are almost always on time. EVEN with two.

* Things really do get easier everyday…though I lose my mind on a daily basis. I still haven’t quite learned how to truly stay completely calm with both kids are screaming and demanding my attention/time/energy.

* My day basically consists of the following: change one, feed one, clean up, play…change other, feed other, clean up aftermath, play, pick up toys…run to the bathroom for me keeping door open so to keep an ear out for disaster. Start over.

* The boys have yet to synchronize their sleeping but have managed on multiple occassions to synchronize their poops. I find this oddly amazing as it’s such a complicated process, pooping is, and yet they manage to do it at the EXACT same time all the time.

Current Challenges:
* Ty has regressed and started hitting again. He is also showing more jealousy and acting out for attention. We have started a new discipline routine and I hope it works. We’ll see how it goes…

* Staying calm while both boys are screaming for me- usually during Ty’s bath time.

Only two that I can think of…not bad.

A Tale From the Breastfeeding Trenches

If you are breastfeeding or have ever breastfed…you’ll likely understand.

The first few weeks of breastfeeding are hard. Plain and simple. It can be lonely as no one can help. Unfortunately, husbands were not graced with boobs rendering them utterly useless…which brings me to my point.

There is no image worse than looking over at 3 am and seeing your husband sound asleep…lying there comfortably while you are breastfeeding your baby for the fourth time that night. Your boobs hurt. Your back hurts. Your nipples hurt. Everything hurts. You just want sleep. Not broken sleep. Sleep that can be defined in hours in-a-row. Should you be *blessed* with a husband like mine, you may even get him to roll over and tell you that the baby is likely hungry. As if the loud screaming didn’t give it away- the husband thinks his announcement in some way is helpful…when really you just want to smack him.

After uttering one such phrase and receiving the look of death from me, the Hubs asks what I want him to do. To which I responded, and meant, “I want you to get out of bed, wash your hands, change the baby’s diaper, and then sit up in bed and pinch your nipples for twenty minutes per side.” It sounded like a great idea to me, of course the husband promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. At least I got a good laugh out of it.

So, as I see it. Someone needs to invent an empathy belly that puts pressure on your bladder, a contraction simulator, and a nipple pincher so that men can really really understand a little bit what we go through. Everyday. Oh and for good times, throw in a day with a two year old after a sleep deprived night…