Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kristen and the Bird

My parents have HUGE windows in their house. They let in beautiful sunlight, give us 180* views of the backyard (so we can make sure Jamison isn't escaping), and kill an inordinate number of dumb birds who try to fly through the windows.

Normally my mother notices these victims relatively quickly and quietly disposes of them. In the spring Jamison discovered one and my mother turned it into a "doesn't God make beautiful animals?" lesson. And then she got rid of it during naptime. Naturally, it was the main topic of conversation with the kids for the next week. They are enraptured by death.

A few weeks after that I sent Jamison into our backyard to play in the kiddie pool and burn off some energy. He came back into the house about 15 minutes later to inform me he was swimming with chipmunks. I was incredibly confused since I wasn't aware of any toy chipmunks that we had laying around. And then my heart stopped and I almost threw up. THERE WERE DEAD CHIPMUNKS FLOATING IN THE KIDDIE POOL.

I tossed Jamison into an almost boiling bathtub and scrubbed him down for 30 minutes. He was miserable and crying, I was freaked out, and Lily wanted to go see the chipmunks. Needless to say that was the end of the kiddie pool and the summer hadn't even started. I couldn't deal with the thought of my children swimming with DEAD RODENTS.

So when Kristen secretly waved me over to my parents back porch to see the dead bird I was not pleased and went slightly ballistic. I think I had a right to do that. She had to be the one to get rid of the thing since I was still pregnant and used that as an excuse not to get near dead animals. A very valid point, in my opinion.

Just do it Kristen, and get it over with!

I am slightly confused why she didn't put any shoes on to perform this task. What if the gross, dead bird had fallen on her feet? YUCK! (although it could be that she had a hysteric 8-month pregnant woman whisper-screaming to her to remove the bird from the play area immediately)

And that was the end of Tweety. Rest in peace somewhere in the weeds. I just wish he had stayed alive long enough to twitter to his friends to stay away from the windows at the Meeks house.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Strawberry Picking

Back in June my sister and the twins came up to visit and we took them strawberry picking. Strawberry picking is perfect for little kids - the plants are low to the ground so all they have to do is squat. Despite the labor laws that prohibit children from working, we set them to work in the fields. Strawberry picking is such a pain for adults - you have to bend down and hunt around in the leaves for ripe berries. Unlike apple picking, which is the opposite. You spend the whole time lifting the kids up into the trees so they can pick an apple. Or, if you're lazy but have enough attention to detail, you can pick up the ones on the ground as long as they're not mushy.

And that's my short dissertation for strawberry picking vs. apple picking in regards to child labor laws in upstate New York.

Another reason I love putting the kids to work at strawberry picking is that I really don't have to feed Jamison lunch that day:

Ruthie and Maddie refusing to look at the camera.

I took about 8 shots with the kids in the same pose. All I asked was that they all look up and smile....and this is the best one I got.

Kristen didn't want to carry Ruthie back to the car but it was either that or Ruthie would be picking strawberries until nighttime. And that is definitely against child labor laws. And probably some law about abandonment and endangering the welfare of a child.
If only the sign said "Pick Up Your Own", then it would be more appropriate. But this works, too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lost Tooth

Since I took about two months off from blogging I'm behind on a few things. I did keep up with taking pictures of everything, though.

Back in June Lily was convinced that one of her teeth was loose. She wiggled it almost as much as she talked about it. So one morning Brian decided to help her pull the tooth with dental floss. I had to leave the room at that point because this type of thing makes me squeemish. Just typing about it now makes my hands sweat and go limp. BLECH.

After 15 minutes of whines and hearing her say "ok, pull it. NO DON'T PULL IT", the tooth popped out. (Note-this happend so long ago that her adult tooth has already come through and is basically in).

I then spent the rest of the day thinking of ways that the tooth fairy can make her first appearance. The best suggestion I received mentioned glitter and a new toothbrush and toothpaste. I never made it to the store to get the toothbrush but I had plenty of glitter on hand to write her note. I sprinkled glitter all over her pillow and made a little trail to the window.

We had to borrow the tooth pillow that I used as a little girl since we were not at all prepared for a five year old to lose a tooth. Even though it was 28 some years old the tooth fairy still honored it and a dollar was left. Nana sewed Lily her very own tooth pillow for the next tooth....which might be any day now since she claims that she has four loose teeth, all on the verge of falling out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Snuggles, a bath, and more snuggles

I am thrilled that Lily and Jamison are crazy about Patrick. I would rather they be absolutely in love with him then jealous of him. Unfortunately, they have actual fights over who gets to sit next to me while I'm feeding him. Luckily, that argument is easy to solve since I have two sides. Then they fight over who has hugged him the most or who has given him the most kisses. And the whining. Oh my gosh. I don't even know how to type whining. "But I looooove him mooooooore." "No, I loooooove himmmm mooooooooooooooooore. Mama, Lily said she loves him more and she doesn't! I do!" That last bit is yelled with his face two inches from mine.

So I make a point of dedicating time for both Lily and Jamie to have snuggle time with Patrick. This does not stop the arguing and whining. But at least I can say I tried.

Jamison's snuggle time has to be very supervised. He has minimal concept of the following vocabulary words and phrases: be gentle, nicely, not so rough, don't pat so hard, remove your thumb from Patrick's mouth, and do not poke him in the eye. As he does this last one he is talking in high pitched, sing-songy voice - "hi cutie, how are you sweetie? i'm going to put my finger in your eye now, ok cutie pie?"

Whenever Jamie approaches Patrick there is an initial look of fear but then he relaxes and just goes with the flow.

He really likes to be held and loved on. If he could cheer "AWESOME" he would.

Patrick had his first bath about two weeks ago. He wasn't phased at all by the new experience. After giving him more baths I'm starting to wonder if he can even tell the difference between being in a bath and being out of a bath.

Welcome to Patrick's social hour! Nightly from 8:00-10:00.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sacandaga "Vacation"

Our vacation at Sacandaga Lake was slightly interrupted this summer by the birth of Patrick, but I tried to get as many pictures as I could while I was there.

The same families were at the lake - over 20 of us - so there was always someone for the kids to play with.

Lily was excited to swim. Or what she thinks is swimming.

My mother found the perfect fly swatter - it had a fake flower on it in hopes to trick the flies to land on it. You would think a fly would be stupid enough to fall for this, but none of them did and I'm not sure any flies were killed. But Jamison had fun waving it around.

Jamison begged to go on the jet ski but once he was on it, didn't want to go too fast.

Lily, on the other hand, was all for going fast and even liked it when Brian went over the wakes and got some air.

On Sunday night (two days before I actually had Patrick) I decided a boat ride might jar the baby enough to put me into labor.

There are reasons why we joke, with some seriousness, about how dangerous Jamison is. He didn't like me holding on to his life jacket and would have preferred that I let him fly into the water.

And then this lovely shot was sent to me while I was in the hospital. Jamison made a diving board out of a lawn chair. Luckily, the water wasn't deep and there weren't any rocks for him to crack his head on. He's intuitive, we have to give him credit for that.

So, vacation 2010 wasn't exactly a vacation for me and Brian, but the kids had a good time while they were there. I'm very thankful that my parents took care of them while Brian and I stayed in Albany. Next year, Patrick will be able to splash in the water with Lily and Jamie.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patrick Brian - July 20, 2010

On July 19 Brian and I arrived at my OBGYN office for my 40 week appointment. Before the doctor even came in the room he called the hospital to schedule my induction for July 22. I thought that was as close to perfect as it was going to get - the whole family (and them some) were up at Sacandaga Lake for the week and that meant I could spend most of my time at the lake with the kids, and not at the hospital.

Unfortunately, Patrick was not pleased with that plan. I went into labor that night. Also unfortunate was that I had decided to spend the night with my parents and he kids up at the lake and Brian went back home (an hour away) to work in the office the next day.

I will admit, I had been having contractions all day long but they weren't organized and I had been having contractions on an almost daily basis for over a month. So I didn't see the big deal. My mother thought otherwise and was 100% convinced that I would have to have a water birth in the lake. So I was a little timid at 1:00am when I woke her up to say that I was in labor and needed her to drive me to the hospital. But, due to her foresight she claimed "I knew it!" and got dressed. She stuffed her curling iron in her purse and we were out the door.

Now, my mother has some minor problems driving at night and staying awake while driving. But I had to take what I could get in terms of drivers at 1am. By the time we got in the car my contractions were two minutes apart and she was driving like Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights) - going through red lights, going 10 MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT! and lastly, banging on the door of the toll booth on the thruway because the teller wouldn't take her 55 cents fast enough. She made it to the hospital in 45 minutes despite completely missing the entrance.

Brian met me at the front door where he had already checked me in. He's helpful like that. They wheeled me into the delivery room where I promptly notified everyone that I was ready for my epidural. NOW. And they let me know, in their kindest terms, that I had to finish half a bag of saline to make sure I was hydrated enough. Fine, I could do that. What I could not do was wait the 30 minutes it took them to get an IV in me. I can't remember what the problem was with my veins but I had nasty bruises for a few days to prove their efforts.

I was only 2 centimeters dilated when I entered at 2am, 3 centimeters when they gave me the epidural at 4:30am, and at 6:30 I was 8 centimeters. And when they told me I was ready to push this is what they saw:

only not so cute and not clothed. Patrick was rear-end breech. And due to health concerns about him intaking meconium in his nose or mouth I was forced to get a c-section. I was pretty verbal at this point about my displeasure of this policy. I think I told everyone who came in contact with me that I was not happy about the c-section - anesthesiologists, a plethora nurses, at least three doctors, and random people in the recovery room.

Patrick was born at 7:24am weighing 7lbs 15oz and was 20 inches long. I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to see him. I don't know if was exhaustion, the medication, or a combination of both.

This was taken a few hours later when I was still heavily medicated but at least conscious.

Later that day my parents brought the kids over to meet Patrick.

They are enamored with Patrick. They want to hold him, pet him, kiss him, change his diaper, be next to him, and smother him - ALL THE TIME. Granted, I'm thrilled that they love him so much but it's a little too much sometimes.

He was only a few days old and already had that "please help me" look.

I don't know why this picture uploaded vertical but I love how content Jamison looks next to Patrick. And poor Patrick is reaching out to me with his hand - Heeeeeeelllllp meeeeeeeeee.

And this is why we are constantly telling Jamie - please don't touch your brother without us in the room. It turns into a tackle.

But as always, Jamison has a sweet heart and makes sure that his sleeping brother gets a bla bla (Jamie's word for these special kind of blankets). Although I have had to remind him a few times that blankets do not go over Patrick's head, just his legs.

So we are all doing well (three weeks later) and with the help of family (my mother and father let us live with them for the first week after my c-section) and friends life is getting easier every day.