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Stuff We Do Between Naps

2014 December 12
by Becky

How the heck do we only have one week before Christmas week?? Holy Moly the errands are taking their toll. It’s slow going with baby boy in tow, frequently needing a snack and diaper change. But we are just about ready for the big day. Well, two big days for us since we’re doing a Christmas morning here and with Stu’s family in California.

Honestly it’s hard to leave the house at all when I could just curl up with this dude.

FinnNap

He’s such a good boy, it almost makes the Mom guilt worse as I constantly have to wake up my sleepy baby for pickups and drop offs, errands, playdates. I never EVER woke Ethan from a nap at this age, but I’ve heard this is the woe of child number two. Finn really doesn’t seem to mind much. As long as food is near by, he’s good. He only gets upset if he has to wait at a super hungry moment but calms down very quickly.

And, since I’m pretty sure it will never happen again and I need to document it for when I get around to doing his baby book in four years (can’t wait to share Ethans! It’s finally done), he slept 8 hours straight last night. EIGHT HOURS!! I woke up to check the monitor at 2:30, 3:30, and finally at 4:30 he was making enough squeaky noises that I figured he was ready enough—I certainly was. Wide awake and wearing a completely soaked diaper (looks like we’ll be adjusting our nighttime inserts), he calmly ate and went back to sleep till 8.

We were shocked. Stu must have asked four times, “So he didn’t wake up at all?!” Trust me, he didn’t. It felt fantastic.

EthanRiceChristmasTrees2

Holiday projects, another guilty subject. Typically Ethan and I would be hitting every event, making lots of holiday themed things, and baking up a storm but this year…it’s been slow. I don’t want any baked goods in my house in an effort to someday feel like myself and fit into my clothes again, but I saw a picture of rice crispy treats shaped like Christmas trees and thought it’d be easy since we had the stuff on hand.

Mediocre is all I think of when I see the result, I followed no instructions and we ended up with very soft and kinda-green final product, but Ethan had a blast shaping and cutting the “Rice Christmas Trees”.

EthanRiceChristmasTrees

His favorite part was eating while working.

Speaking of eating, turning four is making Ethan an eating machine. He’s constantly starving, and not in his typically “I need a snack” kind of way, more in an “I’M STARVING!!!” kind of way. He wakes up hungry and comes home from school ravenous. He’s plowing through most meals at a rate I haven’t seen in ages. This week he’s eaten huge bowls of oatmeal, yogurt, orange juice or green smoothie, and fruit for most breakfasts. It’s a nice break from the usual “hour of begging him to eat” nonsense. He’s growing.

EthanClaireCakeClimbing one of the STL 250th Anniversary cakes at Schlafly

After many weeks apart, Ethan and Claire got a morning together. Little Fishes Swim School is doing “Daily Deals” for $15 and, since we are not currently enrolled, we stopped by for a quick morning swim class. It was great. Moms and babies hung in the play area while the big kids splashed in what can only be described as a huge hot tub before we made the poor judgement call of taking all four kids to lunch. We somehow made it through unscathed and these two had a blast together as usual. Nothing like trying to catch up with your girlfriend while the four year olds are being super silly, the one year old is screaming, and the baby is nursing.

Super relaxing. 

Rooster

We finally made it over to the new Rooster on South Grand for some brunch last weekend. Heaven. The window boards (leftovers from Ferguson protesting) were mostly down and light was streaming through the two walls of glass. The food was delicious, coffee incredible, kids menu superb, and service perfect. The decor is just enough to be stylish while still comfortable and the family-style seating very inviting. There’s a community feel throughout the whole place, perfect for our neighborhood. Dave Bailey knows how to please a crowd—and makes it look SO easy! We’ll be back…often.

And our Santa picture arrived…

SantaFamilyPic

Like my pirate squint? And Finn’s crooked head? And the way Santa’s glasses sit so he appears to be missing an eye?

This was the best Santa shot we got this year due to Ethan’s new habit of absolutely refusing to a) look happy and b) LOOK AT THE CAMERA!! I didn’t even order the one of just the kids…there were depressing. I’m all about unposed shots but OMG it’s impossible to get this kid to give us a normal looking face in pictures these days. It’s usually a faked smile, a grimace really, with dead-looking eyes…not great. This one was OK.

Picture aside, I’m still so proud of Ethan for practicing what he’d say to Santa and then delivering the line perfectly. That conversation, the one I knew he was looking forward to this year, was what counts. Now “Santa” just needs to get in gear on that Lego table “he” has absolutely no energy to make.

PS, in an effort to get a blog post done in this century, I edited all my photos (taken on my iPhone because I’m too lazy to haul around the big camera) in Afterlight. I forgot how much I love that app.  

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Holiday Prep

2014 December 7
by Becky

EthanChristmasTree

Right now I should be sleeping while the baby sleeps, but really, who does that?

These pictures just couldn’t wait…if it weren’t for the blog I would have 484,345 pictures waiting in the wings to be edited, and that’s something nightmares are made of. Someday soon, I keep telling myself, this stuff won’t be so difficult to do.

It’s been all holiday, all the time around here and the boys are loving it. Well, Ethan’s loving it, Finn just wants to eat. Ethan has been enjoying his daily christmas countdown surprise which the exception of day 5, which Dewey ate. So much for including a few chocolate coins in the bags! Ethan has also enjoyed repeatedly moving each ornament on the big tree as well as his little tree, and  he talks about how Santa will be bringing a Lego table and “baby fighter jets.” And some RescueBots, but which ones he wants varies by the day.

EthanTreeBasket

EthanTreeSmile

Seriously, how could Santa refuse this face?

(Good thing Santa can’t hear Ethan say, “Nope!” every time he’s asked to do something. Pretty sure coal would be on the gift list…)

What exactly are “baby fighter jets?” Ethan’s buddy Max has a whole bag of them and on a recent play date Ethan fell in love. The toys are actually “vintage” Micro Machines (here’s the commercial to jog your memory) that “Santa” spent hours finding and bidding on via eBay since they aren’t made anymore. Between these and a few childhood puzzles and games my parents brought on their last trip here, Ethan will be opening quite a few throw-backs to the 1980’s this Christmas.

EthanTreeSmile2

Along with our holiday prep, we’ve been watching Finn grow by the minute. He hits the six week mark on Tuesday and last week’s clothes are too small this week. He’s heavier by the day. His awake time is increasing and we’re seeing a little personality in those dark blue eyes.

EthanFinnChristmasPJs

Brothers

The matching Christmas jammies are from Hanna Andersson, I couldn’t resist. Finding matching clothes in sizes 3 months and 4T proved remarkably difficult.

Stu’s mom spent the weekend with us to catch up with Ethan and meet her new grandson, so we scheduled breakfast with Santa at the Zoo on Saturday morning. Ethan was ecstatic about the characters and, of course, Santa, but Finn got in on the action too, staying awake the entire time.

We’d never seen him so alert.

LindaFinn

And while it seemed totally ridiculous to attempt an interaction between an almost-six-week-old and a giant Frosty the Snowman, after this happened…

FinnFrosty

…this happened.

FinnSmiling

HUGE, non-gas related smiles. We were dying. It must have been Frosty’s giant carrot nose that got Finn going, it was absolutely adorable. After two days of wondering if those really could be happy baby smiles already appearing on our tiny guy’s face, we were convinced.

Both boys enjoyed lots of Grandma snuggle and play time. Ethan dragged Linda to his third floor lair play room countless times to show her his masterful Duplo Lego building skills and they broke out my old New Kids On The Block cassette for some jams.

LindaEthanFinn

I love how much Ethan loves his family. His genuine affection and attachment is priceless.

At this rate, I’ll get around to posting again when Finn is crawling. Our schedule has been very out of whack with Ethan sick and missing two days of school last week (rough) and Finn’s nursing needs constantly changing, but I hope this week is better.  We have doctors appointments, holiday cards and birth announcements to mail out, gifts to pick up, and some friends to catch up with plus Ethan’s birthday party prep and our yearly video to complete (I’m not even close), all before we travel to California…good thing I have about five minutes of non-nursing, child-free time in my day.

One thing I won’t be doing this year? Holiday baking. I strangely don’t even have the desire.

Hope everyone is getting out and enjoying some of the awesome holiday events in St. Louis (or wherever you may live!). Here’s a great list I’ve been checking often.

I leave you with my favorite holiday lights display to date…it’s worth a watch.

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