Wednesday, January 29

Keaton at Six Months

Woohoo! Halfway to one! Man, that goes by fast. Every single time.

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It's been fun to do the monthly pictures in a new house--by bright new windows in my favie chair and with Vic's calendar--and this month we had a few new additions. The lovely red cast, of course, and Sol happened to be home so I snuck in a few with him. And Finley snuck in one too. In a sneakier way.

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Finley and Keaton have become buddies--Keaton thinks about everything Finley does is hilarious, and we've added "making Keaton happy" to Finley's list of chores, and he takes his job pretty seriously. In the picture on the right, Finley is trying to make the same face as Keaton. Silly boys.

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Sleep is still terrible--although I'm believing it's going to be a bit better. At his six month appointment they found another ear infection. So broken leg, ear infection--and then I found a tooth poking through his lower gums a few days later. No wonder he can't sleep. He just can't seem to catch a break--broken leg excluded. I'm going to consider doing some sleep training after next week--he should have the cast off and be done with antibiotics. After some VERY rough nights after the leg incident, things have gotten better (like he only wakes up four or five times a night...) but are definitely not great. Oh, sleep, I miss you.

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New developments--he's started to play with toys which is fun. He can keep himself entertained a bit longer and hopefully it's helping his little chompers feel better. He is less angry about the car, but still doesn't love it. Sometimes we arrive at our destination and I realize he didn't scream the whole way, ah, such a relief.

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I've given him solid foods a few times and he's kind of tolerating rice cereal. Meaning he doesn't push it all out with his tongue immediately... I think he's eating some of it. We did baby led weaning with Braden and I may go that route again--it's really nice to not be the one shoveling food into their mouths and letting them do the work for you!

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Somehow I didn't get his stats at his six month check up--although I suppose the weight was off anyways since he had a cast on. We decided to wait a few weeks on the shots since, you know, broken leg and ear infections... so I'll try to get the stats when we go back in next week.

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No scooting yet, but I've started to see him get up on his hands and knees (with the cast!) a few times, so he's ready to go somewhere. He's an expert ninja roller--he moves stealthily off his playmat quite quickly.

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I think his blue eyes are here to stay--he gets comments on them quite often, which he accepts with gummy, drooly smiles. He's a sucker for eye contact. I think he's got a bit more hair than his brothers did at this age and it seems to be more like Finley's than Braden's.

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Happy half birthday, doll! What kind of birthday party do you want? What's that? Doctor Who? OK!

Monday, January 27

I've Officially Watched ALL THE TV

One of my favorite things about having a newborn is waking up in the middle of the night to feed them.  Yes, you read that right. I like waking up because it's just me, a quiet babe and NETFLIX!!! I've done some serious damage to Netflix in the past six months. (Also, I started writing this post about two months ago, and since then I've become slightly less fond of waking up in the middle of the night. I'm ready to be a functioning human again... anyyyyy day now. K, Keats?)

One time I said something pretentious to Victoria about being superior TV watchers--because we've seen Freaks and Geeks as well as Firefly. RIP, shows. And some of the shows I've been watching follow that pattern... I wouldn't necessarily suggest them to everyone because they are kind of obscure. A few of them anyways.  But I've already watched most of the big binge watching shows (Friday Night Lights, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad...) so I had to move on to a few more creative series. Ok, brace yourself for a lot of TV and then some books.

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Sherlock -- I'm loving the BBC lately. While I loved (and continue to love) Doctor Who more than Sherlock, I think Sherlock probably appeals to a wider audience. The seasons (sadly) only have three episodes a piece, so they are quick to catch up on. Benedict Cumberbatch is like, so hot right now and Steven Moffatt has now surpassed Amy Sherman-Palladino and Rob Thomas as my favorite writer. Seriously, you should watch this one.

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Doctor Who -- Where to start with this very special show? I think it's very intimidating to people because it went on the air in 1963, so there's just a lot of show out there.  My dear friend Christina helped me navigate the show because it's kind of ridiculous to think you would watch all of it--especially because many of the episodes are actually missing. The basic premise of the show is there's this alien (The Doctor) who can travel through time and space and so he does, and he saves the world over and over and when he dies, he regenerates with a new body, making it possible for the show to keep going. My favorite summary of the show: It's about being bigger on the inside. The show rebooted in 2005... and has gotten better and better every season (in my opinion.) If you were going to watch it, this is what I'd do. Watch (the new) S1 E1. If you like it, keep watching. I didn't like it in the beginning because it looks kind of low budget and I wasn't a fan of that particular Doctor. So I stopped and picked up at Season 2. And then it got awesome and then even awesomer.  There's a new doctor in season 2 and he's my fave. And then the next doctor comes when Steven Moffatt (remember him from Sherlock?) becomes head writer and then it gets REALLY good.  Instead of the low budget, cheesy sci fi show it looked like in 2005, it's turned into this movie quality adventure. I actually went and saw the 50th anniversary special in 3D at the movie theatre--alone like a big weirdo. Kids, it's amazing. I promise. Christina and I would be happy to help you figure out how to best love it. Even Finley loves it. He's seen about two episodes and loves to pretend to be the Doctor and talk about time travel.

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The Walking Dead --  I feel like this is one of those shows that everyone is watching. We were a bit late to the party because... well it's about zombies and that didn't really sound like my jam. But it is. Oh is it ever my jam. And Sol's jam, even though it freaks him out. For some reason it doesn't freak me out quite as much even though it is GROSS. We love it. The second half of the season picks up in February--plenty of time to catch up with the first 3.5 short seasons.

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House of Cards --  Man, this show. It is awesome. I tend to not like political shows (I couldn't get into the West Wing. Sorry Kristin.) Watch it.

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Orange is the New Black -- Also awesome. Netflix is kind of killing it with these original shows.

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Wilfred -- What? You haven't heard of the show where Elijah Wood's best friend is a dog--who he sees as a man in a dog costume? What a surprise. This is not one that I would recommend to everyone--it's fairly offensive but also, all the time hilarious.

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Twin Peaks -- And I would barely even recommend this one. I really liked it--but because I'm a fan of TV. It's one of those cult shows that apparently hipsters watch. Whoops. It's from the early 90s and kind of awesome. It's a bit sci-fi, a bit cheesy, and pretty fun.

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Last Man Standing -- After giving Victoria a really hard time for loving this show, I literally reached the end of Netflix and started watching it. And it fills me with nostalgia--reminding me of Home Improvement and the glory days of JTT, and also of my dad. When I emailed him to ask if he had seen it, he replied, "It's filmed at our house. I am the writer." And I almost believe him.

Seriously, I watched all those seasons since Keats was born. Impressed? In between all that I've been keeping up with my current favies... Trophy Wife, GIRLS, Parenthood, Modern Family, New Girl, Mindy Project, Cougar Town, Community, Parks and Rec and Downton Abbey. Which is actually a shorter list than the average TV season.

Eventually I got tired of watching TV and read obsessively for a few weeks until I ran out of things to read on the Kindle. I don't want to read a real book made of, like, PAPER because then you need a light when you are feeding a baby in the middle of the night. But here's what I read.

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Well, this series was kind of touted as the next Hunger Games and so I read it. They were ok. Don't get me wrong, I still read all three in less than a week, but its more because I'm a junkie for media and less because they were awesome. It's another dystopian society type book with a strong female lead--although I kind of found her annoying and got a little tired of the author describing her middle school  appropriate love interest. They were interesting though. And there's movies coming out, so if you want to be hip, you should read them.

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These two were both awesome. I'm a sucker for anything JoJo Moyes writes because its all awesome and because the typography on the cover kills me. Both books were about stolen/recovered fine art and were really interesting. Although be warned about The Goldfinch--because I read it on my Kindle I did not realize its like 700 pages long. It's a doozy, but totally worth it.

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These two were another set I greatly enjoyed. Shauna Niequist feels like she could be your pal and writes in such a relatable way. Bread and Wine was short stories that had recipes to go along with them--the whole book rotated between making me hungry and making me miss my friends. I read Cold Tangerines a few years ago--all three are great books!

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And these ones are kind of random. I haven't quite finished The Astronaut Wives Club, but its a fun story of the wives of the astronauts. (Yes, that's basically what the title says, but its a really accurate title.) Seating Arrangements was a New England story taking place within a wedding weekend. I mostly like it because I fancy myself a New Englander deep in my heart. And Okay for Now is definitely juvenile literature, but it was still a fun read.

And that's what I've been doing since July in the middle of the night. I only wish I had more arms--or better yet, a second body!--so I could do slightly more productive things while nursing Keaton. Folding laundry... filling Etsy orders... dishes... showering...

Now go watch Doctor Who. And if you have suggestions for things I should binge watch next, let me know. I'm almost done with Last Man Standing and (no offense, Vic...) but I kind of feel like I've hit rock bottom with regards to quality television. XOXO.

Thursday, January 23

Finley and Margaret Sitting in a Tree

I try not to be the mom who marries their kids off to their sweet little peers, but these two kind of came up with the idea on their own. Margaret is one of Finley's favorite friends for Virginia, and we were lucky to get to have their family come stay with us this weekend! It was so fun to watch these two play so sweetly and creatively together--quite a departure from the fighting and crying and button pushing that we fought for so long. They were adorable, inventing little games together, "reading" books to each other in the bunk beds when they were supposed to be sleeping... (And how much do you want to pinch Margaret's little cheeks!)

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I think this is about as good as a group picture as you'll get with kids under five. Margaret and Abby are getting a new baby sister this summer--both of our families can apparently only make one kind of baby! If I can't have girls, I'm glad I have friends who let me love on their girls from time to time.

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We're kind of in denial about not living in Virginia anymore and love to find excuses to travel there or trick our friends into coming here. We're so blessed to have such great friends in Virginia and to still have them close enough where we get to see them every so often.

Tuesday, January 21

A Five Month Old with a Broken Femur

Not to be outdone by his brothers, Keaton has a broken femur and an awesome cast. I fell down a few stairs while carrying him on my hip and his little leg got crunched behind me. It's an incomplete break, luckily, so he'll only be in (an adorable) baby cast for another two weeks. But in case you weren't sure, it's heartbreaking to have broken your child. Like so sad.

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But how cute are little baby hospital gowns?? Much like when Braden fractured his leg on the slide--it didn't take long to figure out that something was really wrong with my baby. He cried for about 20 minutes (sad, panicky cries) and then was ok as long as I was holding him. But if I tried to set him down--oh, the look of betrayal on his face and the heartbreaking cries. I eventually figured out it was just the right leg that was bothering him--I couldn't get him to nurse all day because it hurt for him to be on his side. So we went to the ER, where he proceeded to charm and grin at all the staff.

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Also I started cloth diapering again because I could not handle how much poop was exploding out of his diaper. Come on, baby! The x-ray showed a break in his femur--and so he got a baby cast. Which was not as traumatic as it would be for the average mother since Finley had a dozen casts in the first few months of his life, thanks to the clubfoot. I didn't take many pictures of Finley's casts, so we had to have a little photoshoot with K's to remember it. He's now been upgraded to a softer red cast that he'll have for the next two weeks. Everyone keeps telling me how fast babies heal, and I'm grateful God made them that way. And how quickly they forgive--he loves me as much as ever. (I am worried he'll hold this over me in his teens--that his mama broke his leg...)

But all in all, he's doing well. He's pretty much back to his regular self--he's rolling around on the floor and being a champ. He hasn't been sleeping well (and he wasn't in the first place, if you scroll down a post) and I can't bring myself to think of sleep training a kid in a cast. So he gets another two weeks of hanging out with mom all night. I'm not sure how the cast has this power over him, but for some reason he just wakes up in the middle of the night and is ready to play, rather than eating and quickly going back to sleep. I keep reminding myself: this too shall pass.

Wednesday, January 15


Keats. Much like Finley, Keaton is a stinker about sleep. You wouldn't expect it from that sweetly dozing guy, but he is. He naps for about 30 minutes unless I lay with him--which is why he's in my bed in the pictures. Fine, twist my arm, I'll cuddle with a little baby. Geez.

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The baby who routinely slept until 1 the first few months? He's gone. Replaced by a child who wakes up every few hours--not necessarily to eat, but just to get some attention. We did the old cry it out bit with Finley, and I may give that a try at six months. He's got a few weeks to become amazing at not waking me up. It's amazing how quickly your body can adapt to getting short chunks of sleep. Like, what would it be like to sleep four hours in a row? Can someone tell me? I don't remember. What I do know is that Finley sleeps now--so even if getting up in the middle of the night is terrible (which it is) it's going to be over one day, and I just might miss it.

Monday, January 13

Finley the Photographer

My shutterbug tendencies are rubbing off on Finley--we finally replaced the batteries in his old camera and he hasn't wanted to put it down since.

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I can't really blame him--we clearly both think Keaton is adorable. Someone needs be documenting every minute of his life, right?

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His favorite game to play with the camera is to have me give him a color and he goes and takes a zillion pictures of red or blue or orange things. And by pictures, I mean blurry shots of like a piece of green fuzz. And lots of chopped off heads. It's precious. But, hey, it's never to early to hone your craft.

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Friday, January 10


Sometimes I feel like Braden is a million things at once. He's my boy who loves to sleep and cuddle, and sucks his thumb when he's tired. He's also my boy who throws a mean tantrum when the piece of plastic wrap he found on the floor tears after carrying it around for hours. He'd eat chicken nuggets for every meal. And sometimes he does (chicken and waffles is a thing, right?)

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He loves trains. Fiercely. But he's afraid to watch the Polar Express and has no interest in watching Thomas. Reading about Thomas? Yes, all the time. In fact, he pretty much loves to read all the time. He has a steady of rotation of objects he MUST HAVE at all times. Sometimes it's a maroon train he calls the baby Polar Express, sometimes it's a train magnet or a lollipop stick, or a little cargo train with a Christmas present in it. Or sometimes it's a straw or bit of trash. He loves all things equally.

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Except for Mickey. He loves his new (seasonally appropriate!) Mickey hat an awful lot. He loves to sing Chim Chim Chirree, Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, the song from his Christmas concert, any song from Peter Pan and make up gibberish words to all of them. He loves to read. He loves to tell us what to do. He's articulate and sweet and stubborn. All the things that make up a perfect two year old.

Wednesday, January 8

Finley vs. Scissors

There's no better way to ring in the new year than with a hair cut. At least that's what my dear four year old decided. Sunday night, Sol and I were busy with the other two little boys while Finley colored... when I came over to check on him, he announced proudly, "I CUT MY HAIR!"

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And I was speechless. He sweetly showed me where he cut his hair and explained that he swept it all up and put it in the trash. Apparently, it was getting in his face while he colored. We had been trying to find the time to get a haircut for weeks--and he apparently took matters into his own hands. He kept telling me that he wanted to look like the Eleventh Doctor, which was ironic... because his previous hair was pretty close to Matt Smith's (the doctor on the right). His fascination with Doctor Who is a whole other post.

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These were the last pictures taken of his long baby boy hair--and could practically be worthy of their own post. He's quite fond of Keaton (finally!) and loves to play with him and make him laugh (finally!!) They are adorable.

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Luckily, the hair cutting happened about an hour before hair places closed--so Sol rushed out to get it fixed. The ladies at the barber shop fussed over him and generally made him feel adorable. He told Sol that I was not going to like it when I saw it--but how could I not love it? He's kinda adorable all the time. My baby. He tells me often, "I'm supposed to be the Eleventh Doctor with a triangle piece of hair in the front." He's still not a fan of the hair, but it's growing on him. (Pun totally intended.) I tried to tell him that his hair looks like the Tenth Doctor's (scroll up, on the left) but he's not buying it.

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When we took him in to show Braden his hair, Braden said,"Finley's got ears." Yes, he does. We were surprised about that too. We asked Finley what mom and dad said when we saw his hair and he thought for a minute and then exactly mimicked what we did--both speechless, Sol put his hands over his eyes and I put my hands over my mouth. I thought it was funny he remembered what we did! He walked around the rest of the evening telling us his hair was "cray cray" (note to self: saying cray cray ironically, like ONCE is still enough for it to become part of a four year olds vocabulary) and lamenting, "I HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR!" Thanks Charlie Brown Christmas.

Four year olds are delightful. I'll never get enough of that kiddo.
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