So Much to Say…

Hoo boy, we’ve been busy round here! It started with Craig and Susan coming to town to [among other things] watch G while Andy and I celebrated his birthday with massages, dinner out and an evening in a hotel downtown.

Glorious. All of it. I was so unbelievably relaxed. Like I said on my Twitter feed, I realized that – by the time we arrived home – it’d been a solid 18 hours since I’d last had to wipe anything down: faces, hands, counters, chairs, bibs, carseat, tables… nothing. I’m actually trying really hard to remind myself that this was *Andy’s* birthday present.

Other than that, beside the perpetual motion of our day-to-day existence, Graham is an official wordaholic. He’s been stringing together 4-word sentences that… sorry… will seriously put you in your place.

“NO Mommy… Daddy chair.”

Stuff like that, but that is just the beginning. I’ve got a… plethora… of little word stories for you.

  • Graham pronounces “text” (like a text on your phone) “sex”. In the restaurant for Andy’s birthday, I pulled out my phone to look at something, and Graham yelled, “SEX!” “What?!?!?” “Sex! Mommy! Mommy, sex!  Sex.. SEX!!!!!!!!”  (File this under a great way to get someone to put away their phone quickly!)
  • Don’t get me started on how he pronounces the word “flag”.
  • Big into coins right now, Graham is becoming a fanatic for “carders” (known to the rest of the world as “quarters”). It started with a coin-operated ride outside the Banana Republic Outlet, and has spun into a fascination with his “piggy bake” (piggy bank).
  • Graham now knows that the iPad does FaceTime. One of his favorite things to do is “Call Gamma”. Sometimes I forget myself and pick up the phone, but Graham will remind me, “No.. no phone, Mommy. iPad. Call Gamma.” And I’m all: yes I know this is how we old people *used* to call people, son.
  • He now exuberantly can say, “YO GABBA GABBA!” (instead of the simple “Gabba” requests).
  • We’re starting to get favorite color requests, but we’ve learned to wait for his second request. The first request never sticks.  Take this morning, for example. “Water,  mommy?” “Okay bud, I’ll go get you some water.” “Green one?” “Green cup, it is.” Then I shut the car door and hear him yell at the top of his lungs, “NO… ORANGE!!!! ORANGE ONE!!”  Hehehe.
  • Graham is saying “Sorry” now. (Halle-bleeping-lujah.) Last night, totally unprompted (this was unprecedented and may never happen again, I’ll add) Graham was playing on the floorwith Andy, did something that neither Andy nor I could recall, and said, “Sorry…Da-ddy.” Then he walked over, bent over at the waist, got real near his face and said, “MUAH” for a kiss. Andy and I both nearly dissolved on the spot.
  • One last one: Yesterday, I woke Graham up before the sun had peeked over the rooftops, so it was pretty dim, even when I opened the blinds. Graham opened his eyes and said, “Raining outside?” I fibbed and said, “I dunno buddy,” to which he replied, “Go look?” So I got him out of his crib, and he padded out of his room and into the great room. He tapped the blinds with a finger to indicate I needed to raise them. Blinds out of the way, Graham bent over a bit, put his hands on his knees and peered out side for a good, silent 10 seconds or so. Then he stood up, said, “Nope!” and ran back to his room. I called after him, “Nope? No what?” He yelled back, “Not raining!”

He’s also singing songs now.  This little clip, I took at the restaurant on Andy’s birthday. I, like so many other things, had no idea Graham knew this song.

 

Christmas Rush

I used to think people were silly for being stressed around the holidays. You make your own decisions. You can say no. Prioritize and destress! Mmm. What I didn’t consider was that these might be all things that you want to do, and – against your better judgement – you commit to it all!

My week wasn’t really that bad in retrospect. Kinda fun, actually. But there was a lot going on.

In addition to gift exchanges and office potlucks, we moms in Graham’s classroom at daycare decided to throw a Christmas party at lunch. We had a Secret Santa gift exchange, brought baked goods, and dressed the kiddos in festive gear. …

Need an intermission here to explain, feebly, that I haven’t taken a darn picture all week. Not a one. There’s maybe one on my phone, but certainly nothing of archival quality. I express my regrets over this. Will repent and redeem myself in the next week and a half, I promise.

*resume scene* So, Graham’s Christmas party. He wore a red and green plaid button down shirt and black corduroy pants. To keep the babies’ outfits nice, all the kids had lunch stripped down to their diapers. Graham apparently kept his socks and shoes on and, upon a run-in with his sippy cup, managed to completely soak his socks. As a result, Graham attended his party Huck Finn-style, completely dressed, sans socks and shoes.

An infant Secret Santa exchange was as chaotic as it sounds. The older babies helped each other unwrap their gifts and gave each others’ toys a thorough inspection. Graham’s girlfriend, Maddie, drew him in the Secret Santa and got him a ring stacker toy and a Dr. Seuss board book. I gotta say, the girl knows him! The remainder of the time was spent chasing down soggy bits of tissue paper and reclaiming stolen toys. It was a blast. Graham crashed and slept for two hours after the party.

This Saturday, Andy and I had a sitter come watch Graham for a few hours and took off for the stores to do some Christmas shopping. Shopping at Toys R Us two Saturdays before Christmas was, again, chaotic as it sounds, but we – oddly enough – had fun. I have been so amped for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to get to a toystore in the thick of the hustle and bustle. After Toys R Us: the mall, after the mall: home. Exhausted.

Then about an hour later, we started getting ready for Andy’s company’s Christmas party. Graham’s second sitter for the day [insert pangs of maternal guilt], Rebekah, showed up and we were off! I found out later, from Rebekah’s boyfriend’s mom, that she was telling her boyfriend’s family at dinner Friday night that she was getting to sit for G and thereafter referring to him as her date for Saturday night. So adorable.

Sunday was spent at church. Andy played at church that morning and I performed with the praise band at the church-wide Christmas concert that night. Graham was a vision Sunday morning. He wore, and I quote: a red turtleneck, a knit Christmas sweater, green corduroys and reindeer shoes to church. I cannot believe I didn’t get a picture, but we were beyond rushed to get out the door for church and Graham fell asleep on the way home. Re-creation of this outfit is mandatory.

Ahh wait. I have some pictures on my phone. Not great, but something!

This is a series taken yesterday when Graham was playing in his playroom upstairs. We start just pulling up on the table and mugging for the camera:

Then take a bite.

Then we do what we always do when we get excited: bounce ourselves into a head bang and then inevitably…

… bite our tongue.

Owie.

I didn’t find out until after this series, but he’d actually drawn blood. ::shudder:: Did he cry? Nope. Just took a second and then…

Fine!

Hope you all had good weeks! We did here, and now we’ve got nothing on the books until Christmas!

Meandering Thoughts

I had a rough Sunday morning because it was All Saints Sunday, where they call the names of people who have died in the last year. Andy called out my grandma’s name. I love him for that. It’s because he knew I couldn’t. And that makes me love him even more.

Graham hates the church nursery for some reason. Every time I pick him up after service, he has initiated DefCon 5 on the nursery attendants.

Graham has three teeth now and he grinds them together. I love the kid but, people! AUGH!

We bought our first tub of animal crackers on Sunday.

I think this Saturday I want to go to a movie. Time to text our babysitter.

You text babysitters now. Or you message them on Facebook. Calling is sooooo 1998.

All of the sudden the carseat totally cramps Graham’s style. Whenever I strap him in there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. No, literally.

Pregnancy weight is starting to make its exodus again. Hallelujah, amen.

Andy and I have already been trading ideas for Graham for Christmas. It is so. much. fun.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and never went back to sleep.

Andy is at his friend Patrick’s right now installing shocks on his own car. I hope he makes it home without his wheels falling off.

I need more friends with blogs.

I think if my Grandma had been around long enough to get into the celebrity chef thing, she would have loved Paula Deen.

I see Fisher Price commercials now, and I start to wonder exactly how much the brightly-colored plastic content of this house will increase after a first Christmas and a first birthday.

Oh my gosh, Graham’s first birthday is under three months away now.

Graham had a full-on meltdown after we got home from daycare today. Went straight to bed. I’m going to go see if he wants another bottle before I let him sleep another 12 hours. :)

Packing it Away

Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday.

Andy played guitar at church, so Graham and I caught the 11:00 am service. After the sermon, while G and I were in the back so he’d be less disruptive, we had an opportunity to make our way to the front – as we felt led – and pray about this year’s upcoming stewardship campaign. While this was going on, Graham’s babysitter came over to say ‘hi’ to Graham with her mom and little sister. I handed him over to her and she asked if he could come ‘sing the last song’ with her. I said, “I think Graham would love that,” and smiling like I’d just handed her the keys to the car, she took the boy over to the youth section. (All our youth sit together in a self-proclaimed section off to one side of the sanctuary.)

There, singing the last song, I shot a couple of glances in their direction and every time I looked over, Graham was safely secure in a different girl’s arms. As I type it, I understand this sounds like risky behavior on my part, but rest assured, it’s a small family-like congregation, and Andy and I used to work with the youth. During that time, not only did we get to know those kids, they got to know us. So, needless to say, Graham had a lot of fun during church yesterday.

Sunday afternoon, Andy had opened up the house so everywhere the house smelled fresh. It was a little warm yesterday, but a nice cross breeze and added fans made it quite nice.

We took the opportunity to get into cabinets, closets and drawers to find all the baby equipment we don’t use anymore, pack it up, and stow it away in the crawlspace for the next kid. Amazing how much stuff you use for newborns, and even more amazing how fleeting a time you use it. But you know? I’d say that 80% of that stuff was pretty darn critical and I was glad to have the other 20% for the times we did use it.

For us, the bouncer fell into the critical category. That was Graham’s go-to. He really only liked the swing when the moons were aligned. The Bumbo was fine, but not when he was tired. No, for the most part, I could set Graham in the bouncer, and he’d be happy as a clam. He was a pretty simple kid too, because the vibration on the bouncer irritated him. It was hard for me to put that piece away.

We also went completely through Graham’s closet and took out all the clothes he’d outgrown. All the newborn hats and blankets went away with the newborn clothing. The swaddle blankets too. We made sure to double-check every size and make sure we were putting away like sizes together. Each size in its own box (for the most part, I think we combined 0-3 and 3-6 months clothing) and each box clearly labeled. Everything sealed and in the attic now. Crazy.

With that though, we have more space for the inevitable progression of Graham gear. No more newborn hats, but now we have shoes to deal with. No more activity centers or special chairs, but certainly those will be replaced with big plastic toys in the near future. Ready for the next step. I feel like I’m being redundant with the theme of these posts, but it’s a common topic round these parts these days. :)

Boats and Babysitting

HUGE milestone in our house today. Huge! Ginormous! Epic!

Graham stayed at home with his very first babysitter, who wasn’t a friend or family member, today. Yes, that’s right. We had a girl from our church – a sophomore in high school – come and watch the boy.

I felt supremely confident that this would all work out… until I woke up this morning. Then I started making a mental list of all the things I had to remember to show the girl. Then I started making an actual, physical list of things I had to remember to show the girl. I started feeling like I couldn’t take anything for granted. Does she know how to make a bottle? Probably not. They’re all different. Does she know how to change a diaper? To suck out a nose? (Graham has The Boogers again. Seriously… kid’s a germbag.)

No, I had no idea what working knowledge of babies Miss Rebekah was coming in with. I knew she’d watched babies before, but that’s it. When she walked in the door a half hour before Andy and I needed to depart for our destination, I tried to figure out where to begin. So I started with a tour of the house. We talked in the kitchen for awhile, and went over bottle-making and how to make a bowl of cereal (for Graham, not her). I showed her the pantry and fridge and welcomed her to take whatever she wanted.

We talked about bibs and the fact that the boy is a drool machine. We talked about how Graham is sitting up and thinking about crawling. We talked about how to work the high chair. We talked about how to turn on and operate the TV. We talked about how to open the web browser on the Mac. Then we went upstairs and talked diapers and wipes (of the diaper and booger kind). I showed her his closet and where extra supplies are. Then Graham woke up from his marathon nap and greeted his new friend with big sparkly smiles.

And they were off.

We left Rebekah with Graham to feed him his oatmeal, and we got in the car. I said, “I feel like I forgot to tell her something.” Andy said, “Trust me… you told her EVERYTHING.” And so, we left for Lake Lewisville and spent the day on a speedboat with friends.

We had our phones handy the entire time we were on the water, but – being on a motorboat – we didn’t hear my phone when Rebekah called it. Not until we checked 20 minutes after the call had come through did we realize that we’d missed it. Panic. (Kinda.)

We checked voicemail and Rebekah’s voice came over the phone. “Hi Miss Debbie, it’s Rebekah. Everything’s fine! …” and then the boat motor started up again to take the next person skiing. What a blessed, blessed girl for that being the first thing she said on her voicemail. Once I finally caught the rest, I found out that she’d called to ask if she should wake Graham up for his next bottle. She came to the conclusion on the voicemail message that she was just going to let him sleep because that’s what I’d told her to go ahead and do, but please call her back and let her know for sure.

I got a text about 30 minutes later, apologizing for interrupting us again, but saying that she couldn’t get Graham to burp. :) I texted back (after about a 10-minute attempt, because texting on a speedboat is HARD, people!!) and said not to worry about it. I expounded of course – because, well, I’m me – but that was the general message.

Andy and I were absolutely floating after those phone messages. If she’s calling for those reasons, then we knew it was all going to be okay. We knew we’d hear if something bigger came up. We got home, after being gone for 5 and a half hours (yes, seriously!), and the house was a mess, but the baby was happy. So momma was happy. (I actually liked cleaning up after the day, because I kind of got to trace the series of events.) Rebekah told me before she went home that she never did get Graham to burp, but she did call her Grandpa to get some advice because, she giggled, he always prides himself on being such an expert burper.

I about folded in half backward, I laughed so hard.

Sounds like a big day, doesn’t it? Well, not quite big enough! Because about an hour and a half later, Brian and Michelle showed up and dropped off Charlie with us so they could enjoy a deferred anniversary date together. So we got to hang with the little munchkin and remember what it was like to take care of such a dink.

I swear, it felt like babysitting. I don’t mean that in a ‘duh’ kind of way. I mean that it was really striking how less stressful it is when a) it’s not your kid, b) you’re only doing it for a couple of hours and c) you’re really super well-rested. I was so worried and frazzled when Graham was a month old. People told me I handled it all with such stride, but I didn’t feel that way on the inside.

Another thing that helped this evening go smoothly is that Graham is so wash and wear now. You can practically just plop him in the crib now and he pops a pacifier in his mouth, nuzzles a thin blanket and throws you a quick salute as you flip of the lights and leave the bedroom. We don’t hear a peep until 6:00 am the next morning.

With that said, Charles and his mom and dad are headed back home. Andy’s in bed, and I’m headed there now. What. a. day. Good night!