Monday, April 26, 2010

for the love of rivers

In the late-morning on Saturday I started feeling a little cabin fever. My husband sensed my need for a break in the routine and quickly declared, "Let's get the kids in the car. We're going fishing." At this time of year my husband is in the throes of spring fever and dying to get out in a river somewhere, so let's be honest, it's not like he was doing me a favor, but it still was fun to just let him take charge and get us all outside. We dropped our Saturday chores, loaded the kiddos in the car, and headed south.

The little Pea is 6 weeks-- the perfect age for her first fishing trip, right? We bundled her up nice and warm (the weather was pretty nice, but a little windy), and she was ready to go. Do you die at how squishy she looks in this picture? She is chubbing up nicely for us :).

We strapped her to me in the Bjorn, and she was a happy little fisher. She slept the entire 3 hours we were out on the river.

It was heaven for me to hold my sleeping baby girl and then just watch my two boys together. Oh how I hope our G boy one day realizes how lucky he is to have the daddy that he has. Those two boys must've been made for each other, and it fills me right up to witness the bond that they have. I love this picture of them both holding their rods out in the river.

I double love this picture of G reeling in a fish. What he doesn't realize is that his daddy hooked the fish and then let him reel it in-- he just thinks he is the best fisherman in the world.
Oh! Love this. Look at the happiness!

Here is G with another fish that he helped reel in. He was so excited to scoop the fishy up in the net.

Maybe some people think it is gross, but I feel so much joy thinking about how much my little boy loves touching (and kissing) the fish before he lets them go. It's the same way I love letting him go in the backyard to build mud pies. Something about him getting his hands dirty and truly experiencing and loving nature and just being a little boy.

The other really incredible thing about taking G fishing is that he never gets bored or tired. When he needs a break from the fishing pole, he simply sets it down and goes to work picking up the biggest rocks he can find and throwing them in the water.

Riverbanks must be what this little boy dreams about-- they are full of wonders and treasures that he can throw into the water. Check out the branch he found and threw in. I just sat there watching (and taking pictures) from afar and couldn't help giggling. Such a little boy.

Besides taking pictures and toting around the baby, I was also in charge of helping G navigate the trickier parts of terrain while J walked upstream in the river (if you think I was going to let J carry G in the river you are crazy). I mostly did okay, but there were a few times that G was dangling somewhat precariously as I tried to not fall with my baby strapped to me.

This picture both cracks me up and makes me slightly nervous. J was busy trying to get his hook unstuck from something on the river bottom and had his rod in his mouth (the funny part), I was busy taking pictures, and before I knew it, G was dangerously close to falling in the river (the nervous part). I didn't even realize how close he had gotten to the water, but you can see him bending down towards the water. Right after I took this, he bent forward to try to grab something out of the water and really almost fell. Even though the water was moving pretty slow, it would have still been so scary to have my two year old fall into a river, so I decided to be a more responsible parent after that.

My little babies. I love the dirt all over G's face. He had fun.

This tiny girl really must love fishing, and lucky her, she was born into the right family for that :).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

this time of year means...

...dyeing eggs

G got in on the action with Ems and Rae Rae.

He quickly dropped all the eggs into the dye and then compulsively checked them to see if they were done.

He was very proud of his little carton of dyed eggs and carried it all around with him for a couple of days.

...searching for Easter baskets

This part was very exciting for G. He searched all over the house.

He found his baby sister's basket first, and she wasn't very fond of it, as you can see.

With a few hints, he finally found his basket in the dryer. Oh, he was happy.

So fun for this mama to have two littles to plan for and be with on these special days. I am loving all of the joy that comes with this brother/sister thing.

Nothing better than an entire chocolate bunny all to himself.

...warm-weather haircuts

We were trying to get this boy's hair longish, but I couldn't stand the awkward growing stage, so I gave in and let his daddy get busy with the clippers in the tub. J was so happy-- he has been wanting it short for months now.
 (Actual conversation:  J-"He looks like a little boy now."
 Me- "What did he look like before?" 
J- "A weakling.")

Love the hairy neck/shoulders he is displaying here.

Cleaned the hair out of the tub, and then let him take a "blue bath," which, according to him, is like the coolest thing ever.

After the bath, both the babes had their jammies on all ready for bed. Pea baby must not be a fan of her night cap.

But her brother sure is a fan of kissing her little face. It really is hard to keep him away from her sometimes, and she is not always grateful for all the affection :).

...riding dump trucks around the neighborhood

We have the best neighbors in the world. Honestly, I never want to move away from the kind, generous people we are surrounded by here. A family that lives across the street gave G this PowerWheel dump truck, and he LOVES driving around in it. He is very good at pushing the pedal down with his foot, and has even mastered putting it in reverse. Steering, however? We are still working on that.

...planting the garden

Oh, I can't wait to start being able to grocery shop in my back yard.

G collects shovels. Okay, he only has 3, but he loves LOVES to be in the dirt digging.

Pea joined the party, too. She started out happily in the Moby with me,
but eventually wanted to stretch out.

She was happy there until she decided she was hungry. There were a few warning cries,
and then there was this:
My cue to go in and relax (aka: nurse the babe) while the boys finish up the manual labor outside. I love being the mama!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

holy pictures, batman

I warned you about the billion pictures, right? Well, here we go-- a little (okay, more than a little) look at what we have been up to.

G meeting his baby sister for the first time in the hospital. From this first moment he has been so tender and sweet with her. He was so worried about her umbilical cord ("Does it hurt her?"), and is not a fan of when she cries ("Baby is loud!" while covering his ears), but there has not been any jealousy or feeling replaced (that I can tell). If anything, I have to be watchful that he doesn't smother her too much when he hugs and kisses her and I have to remind myself not to get upset if he wakes her up because he wants to touch her and be close to her so often. I am so happy and grateful that this transition has been so smooth thus far-- it is almost like she has always just been there (to him-- her parents have had some adjusting to do for sure :)).

We had planned to stay in the hospital for two nights (they wanted us to since I had been Strep B positive), but after the first night of being woken up constantly by well-meaning nurses, we decided that we would all do better in our home. We got the okay from the doctors, got our little Pea (get it?) dressed in an impossibly tiny outfit that was still baggy, and were on our way.

We spent the first week at home, pretty much without leaving the house. We loved, LOVED having J with us for all that time, totally uninterrupted. We didn't get a whole lot of sleep for the first few days, but here are a few things we did do:

kick tiny legs
stick out tongues
pucker little lippies
sleep (mostly during the day, naturally)
get bundled
squint eyes shut
suck on a binky
take out the binky
play with mama

play with daddy
use opposable toes
bite long fingernails
have pretty eyelashes
get drowsy while taking pictures

be wide awake while taking pictures

play in baskets (this is actually her bassinet)

this one is an actual basket

take real baths now that her umbilical cord is off

This little guy has been busy, too. Besides being a happy big brother, he is loving wearing hats right now. He only likes to wear them sideways, and goes around saying, "I'm a cool guy!" with a little drawly accent.

He is still such a delight to me. I think it is normal to go through a little bit of irrational emotions right after giving birth, and mine came fast and hard one night when we were getting ready to put the babies to bed. I'm sure it was a mix of sleep deprivation, hormones, and feeling a little overwhelmed by my new responsibilities (I truly believe all new mamas can relate to these feelings-- I remember them when Baby G was a newborn too. Luckily for me, they seem to only last for a few hours one night when the baby is a few days old), but I handed the baby off to her daddy and told him I was putting G to bed. I had been so busy with my new little girl at night that J had been putting G to bed, and I was feeling so guilty and sad that I hadn't been spending that time with him. So my little boy and I went in his bedroom, and I am sure he was entirely puzzled as to why tears were rolling down my cheeks as I put him in his pajamas. He kept asking me why I had tears and all I could think to tell him was that it was because I loved him. That was the only explanation I had for myself, too. As much as I adored my precious new bundle, there was no denying that my time was now, by necessity, divided and I was missing my boy. He is so dear to me.

And his little sister? Oh how she fills my heart, too. Each day we are getting to know each other a little better, and I find myself bursting with gratitude that I have two precious little souls to care for. One night after putting G to bed, I walked into my bedroom where little Pea was sleeping. I started to feel a little anxious thinking about the long night we had ahead of us, and immediately knelt down to say a prayer that she would sleep better so that we could all get a little rest. As I started to pray, the words that I had thought I would say did not come. Instead I found myself pouring out my soul in thanksgiving that I was blessed with a healthy baby, and that I have been given the opportunity to be a mother again. What a sacred privilege it is to have been trusted with these two special little people.

Love these babies.