Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breakfast Centerpiece

I wonder if Jack is amused as me to see the scene at breakfast these days. Perched on the table bobbling his little head, he studies his big brother. I don't think the gnawing on his blanket, fingers, or toy distracts him too much.

He sees Calvin in his highchair (ha-chi) with apple butter all over his face methodically eating toast. Each piece has had the center eaten out before being placed exactly where it started, but facedown. From high up on the table, this is his vantage point.
Then, there is the hair. Though I'd like to say this is only bed-head, it is not. We were at a party the other night, and someone meeting Cal for the first time tenderly said, "Aww, he just woke up!" Hmm... It's not usually quite this bad, though.
This is my favorite view! Two sweet boys with me. This morning the boys were particularly amused with their new toys from Uncle Sam and Aunt Abbey. Calvin's Choo-Choo delayed his eating quite a bit, and Jack's firefly provided many gnawing surfaces!

I like seeing Calvin peer back through the chair slats. I usually only see one eye since the other is usually covered by his milk cup like it is here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Ma-Chi-Chi

Given it's display of balls, "gucks" (trucks), and choo choo's (trains), I should have known that the Christmas tree (ma-chi-chi) would become Cal's new motivation to hurry downstairs each morning. He points out ma-chi-chi's everywhere...garland around poles, pine trees, random deciduous trees, and actual Christmas trees all qualify.

Calvin often asks me to let Jack "wash" (watch) the Christmas tree. Meaning he wants Jack to sit up facing the Christmas tree (with toys on the tray). So funny!

These ma-chi-chi's in our backyard looked so pretty on Saturday after an unexpected snow!
I'm glad that Calvin likes hats, but the gloves he refuses to wear might have made this experience a bit more enjoyable!h," but he was uninterested in touching, walking, or playing in the snow. Little Scrooge!

After watching Dan change clothes last week, Calvin asks to take off his shirt whenever Dan is home. Of course, his Daddy obliges. Dan might sarcastically try to attribute this to the temperature at which I keep the house, but from the strut it inspires, I think it's more likely that Calvin just likes to show off his sweet tummy!

While Jack is hardly amused by his time in front of the Christmas tree, he has been amused by anything he can chew on....thankfully he's starting to find his own fingers. I hope these teeth come in sooner than later!

And anyone giving him face to face attention. These giggles are pretty hard to resist!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coming Down

Today we are in a bit of a funk. Calvin is doing all the things he knows he's not supposed to, Jack is screaming instead of sleeping, and it is taking me three times as long as usual to accomplish normal tasks.

I think we're all just coming down from a great week with Grandma, Boppa, Aunt Abbey, Uncle Sam, and (weekend with) Daddy.

Calvin got to play ball and wrestle with his Uncle Sam and Daddy. He was in heaven when Sam and Dan were playing football on our walk the other day. I think he said "foo baw" about 50 times while watching and participating in the fun. Between each throw, Calvin did a little dance....something like a shuffle backwards with is arms stretched down then up together. All the while, saying something unintelligible.

He read his truck and bus books whenever he pleased.

And was carried around more than he used his own two feet.

In short, Calvin's been well-loved, and he's enjoyed every minute of it!

While awake, Jack enjoyed smiling at and talking to people who love him.

He also seemed to enjoy being held all the time. I'm noticing how much this attention helped him deal with teething now that I need him to be more independent today.

I'm so thankful that God has surrounded the boys, Dan, and me with people who love us so openly. Even if it means a couple rough days while we adjust back to life as usual.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Undivided Attention

Jack has received a good amount of attention over these first four months of his life, what with him being so darn sweet and all. However, a good majority of the time, he's sharing the limelight with his brother. Thus, he is still well-acquainted with his stroller.

However, this week we've gotten to hang out quite a bit, just the two of us, during Cal's nap time. Though I initially lamented the fact that they boys are on opposite nap schedules, it has been a blessing to have this precious time together.

I've enjoyed trying to elicit his toothless smiles...he gives them pretty liberally, and I love getting to drink them in when it is just us.
If Jack's recent bout of night waking, finger sucking and hand chewing are any indication, I think we'll see some chompers in that smile soon, though!

During these hours, I've definitely been more intentional about tummy time, picture taking, seeing if he'll roll over, and putting toys in his hands, too. But my favorite part of our time together is just getting to quietly appreciate how beautiful and sweet Jack is without interruptions, as much as I love the source of those interruptions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cookie Monster

Dan and I didn't know what we were getting into when he put this sweatshirt over Calvin's PJ's on Saturday night. With the hood up the whole time, Cal sported Cookie Monster for the next 37 hours....through 2 nights of sleep, church, meals, and play. In the name of cleanliness, I tried to take it off once, but I quickly decided it was not worth the battle when he insisted "off!" which really meant "on!" and then held his breath.

This giant excavator doesn't know how lucky he is to be chosen over Cookie! When I pulled out this shirt this morning, Cal said "off!" to Cookie and actually meant it. Now to the washing machine!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hats and Trucks and Smiles

I have no idea what Calvin will choose for a career, but I'm pretty sure it will include attention to detail, strong opinions, and hard work. He certainly knows what he wants, is adamant about telling you about it, and does not cut corners when working on his "projects" like building towers, cleaning up legos, and stacking...well, anything.

If the last week is any indication, I also have a feeling it might involve trucks and hats. Calvin has been wanting to wear a hat all the time. He enjoys his own (too small) hats until he sees one of Dan's.
This has been the scene the last few nights when Dan comes home. Dan puts on a hat, Cal takes it for himself, and I watch while Dan and Cal kick a ball back and forth. Calvin often says "oh!" after kicking, which is what he's doing here.
I'm thinking this career might just be in agriculutre. He sure loves this new "Jin Din" shirt and he's all set to be outside with his sunglasses (which he also wears all the time now).
Or maybe he'll be a baseball player who eats hotdogs at the ball park and drives a souped-up truck? This hotdog, by the way, says "wooof!"
Though all trucks have been exciting lately, dump trucks, fire trucks, and garbage trucks are definite favorites!

He's totally hamming it up for the camera here! A fire truck is a "ree" and it says.....

I think Jack will choose a career that involves people. He's a charmer for sure! Even when he's been crying, he smiles when we come get him. What a precious boy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Good Examples

As the big brother, Calvin loves it when Jack watches him. If I'm holding Jack with his back to his brother, Calvin will ask "waah?" meaning that he wants Jack to watch him. Upon turning Jack around, Cal says "yeah!, yeah!, giggles, and smiles. I'm pretty sure Jack seems to enjoy seeing Cal, too.
Calvin is really good with Jack. He hugs him, kisses him, holds him, tries to pick him up, and tries to undress him, wash him, and redress him at bath time. Calvin is sweet to him. I'm glad that he's such a good example since I'm sure Jack will try to imitate many of Cal's footsteps.
Jack took a big step toward becoming a big guy like his brother tonight by sleeping in Calvin's old crib. As long as he's swaddled up with a paci, he's pretty happy, so he didn't think this new territory is much of a big deal. If he were old enough to be anxious about this transition, I'd tell him that he is being a big guy like his brother. I'm sure that would make him happy!

It is a big deal for me to see Jack laying there, though. He is the sweetest thing I have ever seen in that crib...well, tied for the sweetest, but I don't like admitting what it means. Calvin seems so little for a bed, but it is time. He loved hearing that he gets to sleep in a big guy bed like Daddy. I'm glad that he has daddy's example to follow to help him through new scary things.

Calvin's other favorite "big guy" example is boppa (grandpa). Here he is playing with a replica mommy made of him one rainy day recently.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Dressed Up and Quite Pleased

I keep referring to Jack as a "beast" the most endearing way possible. At just 3 months old, he is fitting into 6 month clothes. That said, his personality is the opposite of beastly! Jack is sleeping like a champ, and he is so easy-going when awake. He loves to look in our faces with his trusting blue eyes and smile. He's even started reaching for the features on our faces! So, this sweet cow costume seemed fitting for our little beast of a buddy, Jack.
Calvin was none too excited about wearing his bat costume until he saw himself in the mirror. This is the little smirk he gave to show his satisfaction.
I think Calvin liked the ears and eyes on the top of his head the best. Though he was a bat, he kept calling himself a, "tep." I guess it is close enough! True to form, for Calvin and a bat, our little man hung out mostly by himself while at our Halloween party. He spent a lot of time watching from the outskirts, wandering around the pool, and scavenging for potato chips.
I thought his costume could be made a bit witty by having him carry a ball. That was pretty easy.....why be a bat when you can be a bat and ball?

In the spirit of Halloween, we went to the pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago. By "we" I mean Calvin, Jack, and me. Calvin had a lot of fun because pumpkin patch was, well, a whole field of orange balls! Here Calvin is pointing that out:

Jack seemed to have a fine time himself as he slept in the carrier. I, on the other hand, felt a little frazzled by the end. For some reason thought I needed to capture the experience, but that was a little too difficult with Calvin running from one pumpkin to the next while trying to keep him from getting lost in the crowd of people. This picture kind of sums up the whole experience for me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shalom Saturday

Pastor Chuck, from our church in Ann Arbor, used to always talk about "Shalom" as being the way "it" is supposed to be, the way God intended it to be. At the end of stretches where Dan has worked a lot, I can feel the "wrongness." I am exhausted and just feel emotionally fragile. Dan responds to the workload by becoming discouraged about the long road he's on as a resident.

Then, when Dan is home for a whole weekend, it just feels right. I think the boys can feel this, too. Calvin is generally a happy, content, and independent little guy, but when Dan is home, he takes it to a new level. His smiles are even brighter, his chatter is non-stop, and the pace of his walk becomes almost a run. Jack sleeps well and seems to kick and smile more while he is awake. I just feel more relaxed.

Dan was off this past weekend, and it was a little taste of shalom for all of us.

We went on a long morning walk to an office park near our house on Saturday. Jack slept the whole time while I pushed him in the stroller while Calvin walked with Daddy.

Calvin's little legs carried him for two miles next to Dan. Through the grass, over the bridge, around the lake, and down the paved trail. Everywhere he went, he found "balls." Anything round, light bulbs, pine cones, etc.

Cal claimed that the geese were "A Buddy's!" That means he likes them. We'll have to change that =)! Here he was watching one of the geese fly away. We've noticed that even when his eye is patched, he is able to see things like this from far away!

Calvin wore his new running shoes that he LOVES. He frequently points to them saying "dada" and "Bop-pa." I think he likes having shoes that look like Daddy's and Grandpa's. The only downside to these shoes is that they have laces. Hence, the stops to re-tie them.

When it was time to cross a street or walk through a parking lot, Calvin gave Dan the stick he was holding in his left hand to reach up to take Dan's hand. When back on the sidewalk, Cal waited for Dan to give him his stick back before taking off on his own.

That evening, we headed to the Duke Gardens to have a picnic together. We made burritos for the occasion, and Calvin surprised us by actually eating his. He sat on the blanket to have his burrito, occasionally interjecting a "dada" and pointing to Dan. I think he was excited to be doing and eating the same thing as Daddy.

Jack and I played on the blanket while Calvin and Dan did a little exploring after dinner.