Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby Blues

A lot of people assume that I'm the one that has the blue eyes that all three kids have. Believe it or not, my eyes aren't blue but are more of a grey-ish greenish hazel color. Brian is the one with blue eyes and all our kids have 'em.

Jamison's are by far the most blue out of them (so far) and up until about 6 months ago, he had beautiful eyes. And then he started to get random bumps on his eyelids. I ignored these since I was in my third trimester for Patrick and as long as Jamie wasn't in any pain, what were a few bumps?

And then another bump developed on the bottom lid of the other eye. I was starting to get suspicious but I was also starting contractions, so I ignored the bumps.

I should point out right here that Jamison was not in any pain and the bumps did not interfere with his vision. Most people didn't even see them until recently when they appeared to get larger with the change in seasons.

At Patrick's one week doctor appointment, big brother came with us. I think it is incredibly rude to try to combine two kids in one doctor visit. Doctor's have a tight schedule and do deserve a co-pay (I hate to admit it) for every appointment that they have. Trying to squeeze two kids in one appointment is just not polite. But I was dealing with our new addition, not sleeping more than 3 hours at a time, and those bumps were looking weird. So I did what I am against - I casually asked our pediatrician to look at his eyes and tell me what's going on.

She took a look and gave me the number of a pediatric optometrist. After that exciting visit where Jamison's eyes were dilated (fun to watch a three year old try to walk with eyes dilated) and poked and prodded it was determined that he had three chalazions. Chalazions are clogged eyelash ducts. Usually they go away with hot compresses but Jamison WAS NOT A FAN IN ANY WAY of warm compresses. Chalazions are common in those with fair skin (an understatement for my kids) and even if these go away, it's possible that they will happen in other eyelash ducts. GREAT.

So the only option to get rid of them is surgery. Surgery on clogged eyelash ducts. There are so many surgeries that make sense to me - appendectomy, open heart, and gallbladder to name a few. But really? Surgery on clogged eyelash ducts? Apparently yes.

At yesteday's pre-op the doctor noticed that another duct was clogged and a possible fifth. Awesome. He suggested that we give Jamie a teaspoon of flax seed oil everyday to try to prevent the clogs but that the oil isn't foolproof. Awesome times two. It is entirely possible that these clogs can continually happen and he will need multiple surgeries whenever they do happen. The clogs are not dangerous, they are just superficial, but if they are not drained then they can solidify and become hard, fiberous bumps that are there forever. My prayers have been that these are just random clogs and that the flax seed oil will prevent any future ones.

Jamie's surgery is scheduled for Monday, November 1 at 10:50am. Please keep him in your prayers. The surgery itself is not dangerous; the anesthesia is the biggest danger. But if you could pray that the anesthesiologist doesn't mess up the dosage in any way, that would be a big help.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spider-Man Basketball

If anyone knows Jamison, you understand why most of the time I say the following to Jamie:
"please don't do that"
"that's not safe"
"you are not going to like how this turns out"
"that is not a good idea"
"remember your broken arm? you're about to do it again. SO STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING!"

He hears all sorts of negative responses to his requests and/or demands. So if I have the ability to say "yes" to something I make the effort to do so. Recently, that meant that I was recruited to his team to play Spider-Man Basketball.
1. I am not a sports fan. Unless it's ice skating. Which is up for debate as a sport.
2. I have no knowledge in any form of comic books characters.
3. I don't like games.
So when I agreed to be his teammate (his words) I was really making a sacrifice.

First things first, roll up Spidey's pant legs so they transform into shorts. (see previous post about his shorts obsession)

Next, grab basketball that was randomly thrown into the front lawn.

Position yourself onto porch stoop. I was assigned the other stoop with the instructions to - "sit there and wait until I miss."

Make the shot!

Fist pump and celebrate!

Race to other porch stoop, ask me to move, crouch into sassy Spider-Man position.

Luckily, I did not have to find a mommy-sized Spider-Man costume for my turn to shoot. That would not have been pretty and I'm sure the neighbors would not have appreciated it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Pumpkins

On Saturday, we squeezed picking out our pumpkins between the windiest soccer game ever, Patrick's naps, and dinner. I was on a pumpkin-finding mission.

Have I mention Jamison's new fashion statement? Little did I know how much shorts meant to him. When I put all his shorts away because HEAVEN FORBID it's FALL and the temperature is in the 40's, it caused a tad bit of a disruption. After a few (few=a bigillion) temper tantrums screaming for the return of the shorts I had to come up with a compromise. The compromise is that he must wear pants, but they can be rolled up. Yes, he looks ridiculous. But surely it can't last forever. Definitely not all winter - right? I keep telling him his legs will fall off because it's so cold but I don't think he believes that's a good enough reason to unroll his pants.

Lily took FOR-EV-ER to pick out a pumpkin. She had some kind of weird requirement about the weight in proportion to the appearance. After about 20 minutes I had to tune her out.

While Lily was reviewing her pros and cons list for her gourd selection with Brian, I was trying to get some cute pictures of Patrick (fail). That meant Jamison was somewhat unsupervised. I turned around to find that he was running in circles in the parking lot.

And the first of my many attempts to get all kids smiling, looking at the camera, and minimal drool.

Patrick is still too squishy for this pose. He kinda rolled up like a pill bug every time I backed away so this was the best one. This is what I was doing when Jamison decided to use the parking lot as a race track.

And then they were done.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thumb Sucker

It took him long enough but Patrick finally found his thumb! Just like his daddy, mama, and big brother, he is following in the family tradition of thumb sucking. Lily's soothing technique is a bit abnormal and doesn't involve her thumb at all.

His method is pretty cute - he covers his entire right side of his face with his hand. Unfortunately, he still cannot just put his thumb in his mouth. He stuffs his whole hand in, and through the power of deduction, eventually finds his thumb. It is a messy, slobbery approach. But if it works for him, it works for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Money!

I am an unabashed fan of our local paper, The Times Union, but due to the fact that it is very much a local paper, I only get it on the weekends. If I need to be updated on any news outside of the Capital Region I go online because The TU dedicates about 10% to national and international news.

Two of my favorite parts of the paper are the obituaries and the birth announcements. Some of the obituaries are so beautifully written and I love when the family really invests in a good one with the whole life story. And as much as I enjoy them I'm not sure Brian agrees so much when I force him to listen to me read a good one. "Ohhhh - look! They met in high school and married right after WW2!" or "Listen to this one! This man immigrated here from Poland in 1939, do you think it was before or after the German invasion?" Brian - "mmm-hhhmmm."

Birth announcements aren't nearly as detailed but I like looking at how many births took place on a certain day (full moon?), how big the babies weighed (epidural, please), and of course - their names. For the past few weeks I've been waiting for the July announcements so I could clip Patrick's birth announcement.

When I opened Sunday's paper I saw that the announcements started with July 21. Grrrr. I missed July 20th somewhere. I was already all settled with my coffee so I read them anyway.

A certain one caught my eye....

Now this mom has high expectations. Not only is he reminded daily that he should live to be a Prince but also that he has to Get Money! Now how can this child NOT be a prince among men?!?! It's unavoidable. And with a middle name like that he is bound for success!

I did find Patrick's announcement in my mom's recycling bin in the Thursday paper. Alas, Brian and I did not choose a name with as much potential as Prince Get Money Forte and I can only hope that if we raise him up in the Lord and pray a lot that he will be a man we can be proud of. Why didn't we think of that name first?!?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Closet Space

Brian and I moved into our house in September 2002. We purchased it at a great price because it was a rental property and hadn't been updated since about 1984. Throughout the years we have done projects to update the house - installed wooden floors, put in new windows, gutted the kitchen, and lots of painting.

If there is one things Brian and I equally hate, it's painting. I walk into Sherwin Williams and I immediately tense up. I HATE being responsible for a paint color. There are too many to chose from and while paint is cheaper than other wall covering options it is not financially prudent to purchase 20 gallons of different paint colors because none of them look perfect.

We have both analyzed our aversion to paint color choices and we think it stems from the fact that we are both decision makers - me even more than Brian. When I'm presented with some options I can easily make a decision and stick with it. But you put me in front of a wall of paint colors and I am completely overwhelmed.

Recently we did a huge renovation involving our master bedroom and a portion of our downstairs. SIDE NOTE - if you're ever considering renovating your master bedroom, try not to time it with the birth of a child. It is not convenient. While I was glad of our idea to take on the project, the timing was not the best. Take it from a lady with experience on the matter. We put Jamison back into the toddler bed in the nursery and we took over his room since he has a queen sized bed. Patrick slept in the bassinet next to the bed; which he would have no matter what room we were in but he didn't have a changing table until last week. YES - as in the last week of September was the first time the 2 month old boy was not changed on the floor or our bed. Additionally, I could never find any clothes to wear since I packed them all somewhere in the basement. All I had were my maternity clothes. It was annoying; but I did it to myself by telling everyone back in May- "Of course we can do this! What's the problem with not having a bedroom with a newborn to take care of? What are we waiting for?!?"

This is a picture of our closets before the remodel. It's kinda hard to see since I (and by "I" I mean Brian) had already shoved a lot of our belongings to one side of the room to accommodate the contractors. But out closets are those two openings on the far wall. They were small-ish and the lighting was horrible. More than once I ended up wearing something black that I thought was blue.

So our plan was to make them walk-in closets by bringing them forward a bit. Once the contractors started framing I was (pleasantly) stunned by how much room that actually was.

Fast forward three months - this mountain of fabric and garbage bags is our wardrobe. Over a period of two days I dragged all of our clothes out from where we had stored them - in Lily's bedroom, in Jamison's bedroom, and in the basement. There was no order to this. My main goal was to just get the clothes in our bedroom.

This is what our bedroom looks like now with the clothes put away. And no, those chairs were not in the first picture - in case you thought we had that big of a mess. I'm still not sure how to arrange the chairs but that's where they are for now.

This is Brian's closet before the clothes were put back in.

And after....
I hung his shirts up according to style, sleeve length, and then color. Long sleeve button downs, long sleeve polos, short sleeve polos, long sleeve t-shirts, short sleeve t-shirts etc.. If you're like me, all your shirts face the same direction on the hangers and then all the hangers face the same direction. After I spent all afternoon and evening on his closet he decided to "help" and put some of his clothes away. He obviously did not catch my pattern of arranging the clothes. Or, if he did, decided to ignore it. As long as he keeps the door closed and I don't have to see the hanger facing the wrong way I can accept it. I'll just pretend they're all facing the correct way.

My closet before....

My closet after:
And I know I'm not crazy about closet organization since my cousin Erin organizes her clothes the same way - according to sleeve length and shirt style. If it is crazy, it's genetic, and I'm glad to share that gene with Erin.

The left side of my closet accommodates my long dresses and pants (which are never folded over a hanger, but are hung up with those clip hangers).

Two empty closets:
Two full closets:
If you like to organize (and who doesn't?!?!) this was a dream come true. I was so happy while I was doing this. Everything has a place and there is even some extra room for all those little odd things that I never had a proper home for. Some nights, after the kids go to sleep and Brian is watching tv, I go into my closet and shut the door. And I just look at the organization of it all. It's incredibly peaceful.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

60th Anniversary - North Carolina Trip

The last time we were in North Carolina to visit my grandparents we looked like this:

It's been a while. Jamison was 6 months old, Lily had just turned 3, and the twins were 4 months old. Now look at them!! L-R - Carter, Maddie, Ruthie, Jamison (looking very confused), Harrison, Madeleine, and Lily. The two babies, Charlotte and Patrick, are the only two missing. It probably wouldn't be safe to put the babies on a stone ledge anyway.

The Meeks side of the family all gathered in NC to celebrate my grandparents 60th anniversary. Mammy and Grandpops had four children, who all had two children. And now there are nine great-grandchildren. It was very crowded but so much fun to all get together.
We decided to drive from New York to North Carolina. In preparation for the trip I bought some cheap toys, some movies, and made special snacks. And then I wrapped them. Because who doesn't like to unwrap gifts?! I even wrapped rice krispie treats and banana bread. They thought it was great and I forgot what a mess wrapping paper made.

I spaced out the treats with the toys. Every hour I threw something from the front seat to the third row in the minivan and hoped that it would satisfy the beasts until the next rest stop. Note to anyone who likes the toys in the picture below:do NOT, I repeat - DO NOT, purchase the stupid wooden toy cup with the ball attached. It is not safe in the car - especially if you have a son named Jamison. He almost gave himself a black eye and we came very close to losing a window in the van.

The headsets for the DVD's created an especially unique hairstyle on Jamison.

I was determined that Jamison should wear pull-ups in the car so we wouldn't have to have as many potty breaks. Jamison was determined to not wear pull ups. As a result, we had to make a few emergency pull-overs.
When we all finally converged at my grandparents home we quickly discovered that shoving the kids in the motor home and turning on a movie was a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, it took about an hour to get the movie going. But eventually it worked and we had peace for almost 30 minutes.

On Saturday, we took advantage of this cute park with kiddie rides. There were boats, trains, and cars for the kids to drive. Lily and Maddie holding hands in line for the car ride.

All the cousins (minus Patrick-6 weeks- and Charlotte-7 months) lined up, in no order. Carter and the twins are a week apart and they were all about to turn 3. Jamison turned 3 in June, Harrison will be 4 in December, Madeleine turned 6 in July, and Lily will be 6 in December. Such a fun group! And Lily and Madeleine turned into best friends. We barely saw them when we were all together.

All of us crammed onto a very tiny train.

On the last night we took some professional family pictures before our big family dinner. This one was not professional. Lily was done smiling and I had to bribe her with gum.

And Jamison was REALLY done with pictures.

Patrick (thankfully) fell asleep and stayed that way for most of the night.

Until big brother came along to love on him....

All the kids were at one table and kept somewhat occupied.

Madeleine and Lily - I'm so glad that they bonded over the weekend. They were very cute together.

And this picture was randomly on my camera while I had left the room. Mark and Stewart - I hope you're proud of yourselves.

Mammy and Grandpops sat at the head table with their children and the spouses.

Mom and Dad
The head table from left to right - Aunt Vickie and Uncle Jim (Daytona Beach, FL), Uncle Nick and Aunt Kathy (Little Rock, AR), Mammy and Grandpops, Mom and Dad (Albany), and Uncle Paul and Aunt LuAnn (Albany).

I am so thankful that I was able to be there to celebrate my grandparents 60th anniversary. I love them so much and it was a beautiful way to honor them and their lives.