Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jacob has been saying some funny things lately! He had used a chair to climb onto the window sill and was sitting there repeating the same thing over and over. "Humpy, bumpy. Humpy bumpy." I was SO confused. What is Humpy Bumpy?!! I couldn't figure it out! Finally, when he said, "I'm just like Humpy Bumpy"... the lightbulb clicked. Ohhh!!! You're just like Humpty Dumpty! Be careful that you don't have a great fall buddy!
The other funny thing happened when we stopped at McDonald's (which he calls Old MacDonald's because of the song:) for breakfast last weekend. After finishing his pancakes and sausage and he said, "Mommy, can I have some more ostrich?!" Again, I was CLUELESS to he was talking about. Ostrich? What?! Until I finally figured out that he meant sausage. Sure, have all the ostrich you want. :)

Gavin has discovered the concept of communicating with us by shaking his head, "no". Let me tell ya, he is SO crazy excited about being able to show us that he doesn't want something. We will offer him something to eat and he will first smile this adorable, mischievous smile... then vehemently shake his head no. As hard as he can. With a huge smile the entire time. He LOVES it! Sometimes I think he really does want the food, he just wants to shake his head no a little bit more...
Another exciting thing happening in Gavin's world is that he has a new word and his first animal sound. Gavin says mama and dada all the time, so we thought it was time he learned his big brother's name. We were in the car and I was saying, "Jaa-cob. Jaa-cob." To our surprise, he started imitating, "aa-uhh, aa-uhh". Pretty cute, huh? ;) Then, last night at dinner, we were making monkey sounds with Jacob. Gavin listened carefully and mimicked, "ooo-ooo-ahh-ahh!" The perfect sound for him, lil' monkey!

Monday, May 28, 2007

A True Hero

Today is a special day, set apart to remember the heroes who gave their lives for our country. I was blessed to have known such a hero. I was young, yes... but I still remember him. Little Billy Meeuwsen. His mother and my mother were good friends and she took care of me while my mom was at work. I remember playing Operation with him. I remember chasing and teasing him. Little did I know he would become such a brave, heroic man who gave his life while serving our country.

I remember my mom calling eighteen months ago to tell me he was killed in Iraq. He was only 24. I remember being in complete and utter shock that this could happen to someone I knew. I soon found out that he had married his wife Lauren just before deploying, only four months earlier. I felt dizzy, agonizing pain for his family and thought about how easily I could've been in Lauren's place. Every time Adam was on a trip to or from Iraq, a part of me cringed when the doorbell rang. Especially if he wasn't able to contact me recently. I would stay up late at night, hoping and praying that he was safe. I couldn't even begin to imagine what my life would be without him.

For Lauren, this is her reality everyday. Although her husband that she had dreams of starting a life with is gone, she takes comfort that he is at peace in heaven... smiling down on her. I remember seeing her at his funeral, her eyes glazed in shock and her smile soft as she thanked me for coming. I was pregnant with Gavin and she smiled when she saw my tummy, placing her hand gently on it. I immediately felt sad, thinking about how much she would've wanted to have a baby with her husband too.

I would love for you all to look through the website that Lauren created for Bill. It is SO inspiring and gives an even deeper meaning to "Memorial Day." If you know someone who is in the service, thank them for what they do. Even though being married to someone in the military can be difficult and scary, it filled my heart with the greatest sense of honor and pride to know that my husband was making those sacrifices to serve our country. And I can't think of a more rewarding job than that.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It never used to be this hard!

We have been visiting family this weekend, which we usually pack up and do every other month or so. And it has never been much of a difficult task... until this weekend. Jacob has always been fine sleeping in a room and bed that isn't his own. Gavin had too at first. I don't know what it was about Gavin spending the night in a different bed this time, but let's just say mommy and daddy haven't slept much... :)

Gavin has been falling asleep right away, he just gets up a few times each night and doesn't want to go back to sleep. At our house, he almost always sleeps through the night and if he does wake up, we would probably just let him cry himself to sleep. But you can't do that at someone else's house without waking everyone up. So I would try to rub his back, stroke his cheek, and play with his hair. It was seeming to work, until I quietly tiptoed away and he immediately jolted upright with his eyes wide open. After what seemed like forever, he would fall asleep... only to wake up shortly and start the pattern again. Last night, Gavin's crying woke Jacob up too. While Daddy calmed Gavin down, Jacob was in our room full of questions.

"Mommy is a one and a one eleven?"
"Is a one and two twelve?"
"Is Gavin still crying?"
"What tomorrow we do? Are we going to Tiny Tots?" (which means church for him)

It was here when Daddy had finally gotten Gavin to bed so we told him that everyone was going to sleep now. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My little helper

Gavin has discovered his favorite new hobby, helping mommy clean! The swiffer, especially, he plays with more than ANY toy. Each morning, he rubs his little eyes, pushes himself backwards down the stairs, toddles across the hallway, and grabs... the swiffer! This simple cleaning tool will entertain him for hours. He pushes it back and forth across our tile, then takes a break to wipe the sweat off his brow. ;)

Actually, Gavin really just likes to imitate us doing anything. He will try to use a spoon with no luck for a long time, before he finally gives up and uses his fingers. As I type, he is trying to type with me. :) If we cough, he coughs with a mischievous smile. One of his favorite games is to clear his throat or make a high-pitched squeal and see if anyone will imitate him. Mommy usually can't resist. Gavin is also trying to imitate words we say. Which consists of, "Yeah." "Thank you." (Duh, doooo) "Love you." (Again... duh, doooo)

Although he loves to imitate, Gavin is also VERY independent. He can entertain himself for almost any given length of time (as long as we feed him somewhere in-between). Although Mommy can't go too long without "smothering" him (as Daddy likes to call it). He loves being able to accomplish feats all by himself, like opening doors, stacking legos, maneuvering puzzle pieces, and yes... using the swiffer.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A sad goodbye

Adam's grandma was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. It was a shock to us all because even though in her early 90's, she was the most energetic, vibrant, sharp woman you've ever met. She tried to undergo surgery in order to remove the cancer and was willing to accept the risks in order to do so. The doctors told her that they don't usually perform this surgery on anybody over 90, however, since she was so active and healthy they would try it. Unfortunately, after the surgery, things started spiraling downhill pretty quickly.

We went to visit her early in the week, which was difficult, but somewhat comforting at the same time. I was glad to be able to hold her hand, kiss her forehead, and see her smile as she gazed at Jacob and Gavin. I was glad to be able to whisper that I thought she was a beautiful, brave, and inspiring woman. It was agonizing to see her struggling to talk, sip through a straw, and even keep her eyes open. Yet, she still was using her last bit of energy to crack jokes. And when I reached to put my hand on hers, she quickly opened her hand and clutched onto mine.

Adam and I have never had to explain the concept of dying to Jacob before now. Adam told him that Great-Grandma had a really big owie... too big for the doctors to fix. To which he said, "Daddy, can I bring her a Curious George band-aid to feel better?" So sweet. It melted my heart to see Jacob give her so many hugs, kisses, and I love yous. Gavin flashed his adorable smiles and drooled some love on her too. There were precious moments in that room that I will always remember and hold in my heart forever. When we said goodbye, my eyes filled with tears because somehow I knew... that it would be the last time we saw her.

And it was. We received a call in the middle of the night that she had passed away. The next day, we had our first talk with Jacob about somebody he loves going to heaven. We told him that Great-Grandma doesn't have anymore owies now because she is in heaven. The sad part is that we won't see her anymore and we will miss her... but the happy part is that she is with Jesus in heaven. "In heaven?" he asked. Yes. The happiest place ever... even happier than Disneyland. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Learning new things everyday...

It's so much fun to watch Jacob grow through each cute stage of his life. Just when you think it doesn't get any better, it does. Then, when you're given the gift of a second child, you feel so blessed to be a part of those fun stages all over again. Sometimes, we think... I remember when Jacob did that! Sometimes we're amazed at how differently Gavin does things! I love looking back at Jacob's calendar and comparing what Jacob was doing and saying when he was Gavin's age.

Jacob is in the process of figuring out our crazy language still. He says things like, "Mommy, what tomorrow we do?" and "Daddy, I give my hippo to him." (Meaning mommy, but not understanding the difference between him and her yet.) I've recently noticed that Jacob almost always refers to himself in the first person instead of third person now. And he LOVES talking for Gavin. "Gavin says he wants this toy mommy." (Which, of course, is whatever toy he doesn't want.) "Gavin says he wants to go outside." (Even if he is nowhere near the door.) He is super sweet with his baby brother though and gives him lots of kisses and hugs... especially when he is crying, but really anytime. (He usually knocks him down in the process, so if Gavin is already crying, it's not the most comforting.) He offered Gavin some of his hamburger today at dinner, even though his highchair tray was already full. When Gavin was crying in his crib after I put him to bed, Jacob said, "Gavin needs his elephant to feel better" and carefully placed the stuffed elephant in his crib.

Another funny thing is that when we give Jacob a treat or snack, we ask him how many he wants. Not that we'll give him that many, but he usually only says two or three. He's caught on quickly though, because now he says ten or twenty. Smart guy ;) To which I say, "How about two or three?"

Jacob has suddenly decided he needs privacy when going potty. He'll say, "Please just leave me alone." or "Moommy, shut the dooor." A few days ago at the store, he ran out of the bathroom with Daddy saying, "Mommy! Mommy! I went potty on the 'air'inal! I get a donut!" Mommy just does not understand this whole boy potty training thing (especially the urinal) so she lets Daddy teach most of the technical aspects. Watch and learn is the key I guess... which he definitely needs Daddy for. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The biggest water balloon EVER.

Well... in our family anyway. :) We stopped at the dollar store yesterday and got water balloons, two kites, and two water noodles. All for four dollars! (How cheap is that?! We need to go to this store more often!) So we decided to break out the water balloons today, since it was SO beautiful.
It started with us playfully throwing the water balloons back and forth to each other. And somewhere in the middle, turned into Jacob and Daddy throwing water balloons at our fence.
Then we found giant balloons in the pantry and filled one of those up with water. The only problem was, Jacob couldn't lift this one. :) So Daddy had to throw it against the fence for him.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The sweetest thing

So I just have to add that as I write, my husband is in the pouring rain fixing our barbecue. The sweetest part about that is... he's fixing it because I was really craving something barbecued for Mother's Day. He's been out there for almost an hour now, trying to see if he can make it work without having to buy new parts. Because he knows I wouldn't want to spend money on that. I didn't even ask him to do any of this though. What a sweet gesture... that has more meaning to me than anything he could buy.


I am one of those people who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Sometimes even before that. As much as I try to stay up and watch a movie with Adam in our family fun room, I usually ending up falling asleep in his lap. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule... the night before the first day of school, the night before an evaluation, and when I'm super uncomfortably pregnant. Other than that, I am usually exhausted and asleep in seconds.

Jacob, however, is a completely different story. Some days he'll fall asleep not long after we tuck him in. Other days, it's hours (really not kidding, hours) before he falls asleep. We were really strict the first night he moved from his crib to a toddler bed so he doesn't ever get out of bed... he just lays there forever. I hear him softly singing to himself, having a conversation with himself, or sometimes nothing at all. I'll walk up there totally expecting him to be asleep and he's just laying there wide awake. I feel terrible and always go up to check on him, but I don't know how to help. He's not really taking naps anymore, so I know that's not a factor. Adam is a crazy night owl and can easily stay up all night if he wants too. So he just thinks Jacob is night owl too. Before Jacob goes to sleep, he always tells him, "Jakey, remember how to go to sleep? You have to close your eyes and wait." Unfortunately, that advice hasn't produced any sleeping miracles yet. :)

Here's an example of our talks when he up at night.

Jacob - Hi mommy! Did you just take a shower?
Me - I tell him yes and lay down to cuddle with him.
Jacob - Did you get the sweaty off? (Daddy told him that's why he takes showers :)
Me - I just laugh.
Jacob - Mommy, will you sing a song with me?

We sing Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children together. (Speaking of this song... I asked him the other day if Jesus loves him and he said, "No mommy, he just loves the little children.")

Me - OK Jakey, go to sleep for mommy...
Jacob - No, I just want mommy to cuddle with me.
Me - Mommy has to go to bed now too. I love you.
Jacob - I love choo too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

I am a HUGE fan of sunshine... and since we haven't seen sunshine in a while around here, that makes me a HUGE fan of the last few days. This time of year is definitely my favorite. I love that it's almost 9:00 and still light outside. I love seeing the sun peek out to tease us that summer is almost here. I love the smell of barbecues. I love being on a boat doing any kind of watersport. I love how fun and full of excitement the end of the school year is.

I have a good friend who is from here, but lives in California now. It was a beautiful day and I was longing to be outside. She was saying how in Washington, we feel really guilty if it's sunny and we're not outside. Now that she lives in California and it's sunny EVERYDAY, she has to re-train her brain not to feel that way. Because she would never get anything done. ;) Somehow, I don't mind waiting all winter for the sunshine to come out again. Then, when it finally happens, my whole world brightens and life just feels happy. We never take the nice weather for granted here, that's for sure!

Jacob and I love to sit outside on a blanket, read books, and eat popsicles.
Gavin might join us for a few seconds before toddling away somewhere more interesting. :) I was telling Jacob that I needed to put sun tan lotion on him so the sun didn't burn his skin and give him an owie. Today I heard him saying, "And then the sun comes out and she PINCHES and I will cry." I guess that's another way of putting it!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Got milk?

This is Adam's latest invention. Gavin is a BIG eater... and that's even an understatement. While Jacob barely eats a few bites of any meal, Gavin will clear his entire highchair tray in seconds (plus finish off Jacob's plate if we let him)! Needless to say, big eater = big drinker. So we thought we'd save the time it takes to fill consecutive bottles with milk. ;) Now... how do we get the sippy cup lid to fit?
These are Jacob and Gavin's cousins, Madison and Travis. They came over with my mom and sister to play for the weekend. You're probably wondering how FOUR kids are all entranced in this ONE toy. The answer, however, is simple. Gavin had jammed this toy with a plastic screwdriver two weeks ago and my mom and I had been working on getting it out all day. This picture was taken when we had finally (after almost taking apart the entire toy) gotten the screwdriver out.

Anyway, Jacob absolutely ADORES Maddi and wants to do and say whatever she is doing and saying. I guess the feeling is mutual, because they were working on puzzles when Maddi whispered giddily in my ear, "Do you think Jacob might marry me someday?!!" I couldn't help but laugh. One day, she'll discover what the word "cousin" truly means. I guess when you're five... if you love someone, you marry them. It's as simple as that.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Our Family Fun Room

This is our designated family fun room. As soon as we walked into this bonus room in the model version of our house, we had a vision. Well... really more Adam than me. I just thought... Wow! This is a big room! Adam thought... Alright, I'm going to need a projector, giant screen, in-wall speakers, surround sound, subwoofers, and whatever else is important to guys that we girls, don't quite get. When I saw him sawing the rectangles through our walls for the speakers, I admit to panicking a little. Somehow I didn't realize you needed to saw actual HOLES in the wall to put these in. But, I have to hand it to him, the end product was a success (especially since he has never done ANYthing like this before)!

So it became our family fun room, where we make shadow puppets on the screen, jump on the mattress, and most importantly, dance at the end of movies. Adam's family has a tradition of dancing to whatever music is playing at the end of a movie and we take great pride in carrying on that tradition. Even when friends come over.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Never seen anything like it...

I know all of you mommies have people who make cute comments about your child as you are out and about each day. Well, we were at Costco yesterday and this interaction definitely exceeded anything I've ever experienced before. There was a younger grandma pushing a cart with what looked to be her grandchild (only a few months old) in the front. Gavin squawked about something and she came rushing over with immediate words of adoration. At first, it was very typical... just stating that he was very cute. Then, it became not so typical anymore.

It was the craziest thing I've ever seen! She pinched Gavin's cheeks and kept saying the same things over and over. "Aren't you just the cutest thing I've ever seen?! Oh, I just want to squeeze you! (and more baby talk that I couldn't quite decipher)" Her daughter noticed Gavin being smothered and her initial response was to give Jacob some attention too, asking him how old he was and such. Meanwhile, her mother was now shaking Gavin's arms and kissing him all over his face.

The daughter - "OK mom, let's go. She needs to get her shopping done."
The grandma - "But just look at him!! Can't you see how cute he is?! I just have to squeeze him... look at the little BAABY!"

I'm thinking - Maybe I could understand all of this if her grandchild wasn't RIGHT next to her in the cart. Seriously... who gives another child more attention than their own grandchild?

The daughter literally starts to pull her mom away from Gavin.
The grandma starts to walk away, then runs back to Gavin and grabs his face, rubbing it next to hers.

Finally the daughter grabs and pulls her mother down the aisle (still baby talking to Gavin until she is out of sight).

Wow. Is Gavin really that cute or does her daughter have to pull her away from babies everytime they shop?