Saturday, May 30, 2009

Breast is best, if you do it discreetly.

One of my friends recently posted this article on facebook. Well, its not really an article. It is a reply to an episode of The Doctors that she saw. I found it pretty interesting. I lie somewhere between this woman and "the doctors".

I use my breasts to feed my child. I don't think it is gross, needs to be hidden, or is something that should get nasty stares. I don't think that a woman should "have" to cover her child when s/he eats because that is what society demands either. I generally do cover up though out of respect for those around me who may not be comfortable with someone nursing completely exposed. But, I don't cover my baby on 90 degree days or when I am in my own house (be warned) or in a group of people who I know just don't care. I also know my state laws and would have a fit if someone told me I couldn't nurse somewhere. I love to talk to other moms about nursing and I like to provide them with help if they need it.

It frustrates me that women don't help each other learn to nurse either (I really feel this would increase the rate of success). I don't know why. I generally assume its because many of our parents didn't nurse and lots of us don't live near family anyway. But if you are my friend and you need help, I will come help you! I was glad that when I was nursing SM, I had a friend that was going through it at the same time and we could talk about it openly and give suggestions and tips.

Maybe I won't go as far as signing an indiscreet manifesto or anything but if we truly want breastfeeding to be what the vast majority of parents do in this country, we need to let go of the boob hangups. There are moms who won't nurse solely because they can't see around nursing in public. We are a knowledgeable group of people and the data is out and distributed and it proves that breastfeeding is nutritionally superior to any other food we can feed our babies so lets start encouraging women and helping them if they are willing to give it a shot. No more dirty looks, no more freaking out if you see boob skin, no more expectations of covered babies... just let a mom feed her child, the world will be a happier place.

Friday, May 29, 2009

And so it begins...

Hi, I am 23 and I am losing my hearing. Not a surprise to anyone who knows me. I have had ear infections my whole life and fluid basically camps behind my eardrums permenantly. I have very bad allergies that contribute to my ear issues. I recently saw my ent about my ears and there doesn't seem like there are many options to help me. It doesn't really matter though. I am accustomed to this and know that I will, in time, lose my hearing in my right ear and possibly both ears. Over the last year I have had significant hearing loss in my right ear. I am not angry about it or anything. Just life for me.

But, my baby is 4 mos old on Sunday and I just took him in for his first ear infection. I am okay with my own fate but I am really sad today that SR has an ear infection. An ear infection doesn't doom him to lifelong ear problems or anything but I often wonder if whatever is wrong with my ears is hereditary. Super Muscles didn't get his first ear infection until a month or so ago so I haven't really thought about it with him. SR also has a lot of ear wax that accumulates in his ears. I have noticed this and have talked to the ped about it but it was so bad today that the dr covering for our ped could not see one of his ear drums (we assume he has an ear infection in that ear too since he pulled his head back as soon as the dr touched his ear). So we have to keep an eye on that. Im going to ask the ped about it on the 8th when we go and see if his ears need to be irrigated (I have had this done in the past... I hated it but water hurts my ears very badly). Anyway, I guess I just wanted to share my frustration. Thankfully, we have a great ped, and I know he will make sure SR is taken care of.

Good news is, he should be feeling better in the next day or two and we may all return to sleeping okay again. Bad news is, refrigerated meds have to go on vacation with us. Good news is Daddy is 2 hrs from being home :) I miss him and look forward to him helping with the baby tonight.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Missing Mr. Wonderful

This is my first time doing the whole "Stay home with 2 kids while my husband is off at a conference" thing. Basically, I am not in love with this whole staying home with 2 kids by myself... thing. I don't remotely understand how single parents do it. I miss my husband so much but mostly I miss having him home in the evenings and nights to help with the boys.

Furthermore, SM is at the age where he is a crazy amount of aware that his dad is not home and he stands at the window every evening and tells me "But Mom, I just miss my Daddy". And my 4 month old (well pretty much a 4 mos old) has, what I think, is a double ear infection. So I called his pediatrician today. Crap, hes out of town on vacation. I called his fill-in dr and the office workers were just... stupid. No, I don't want to make an apt for Monday. If I had wanted to do that, he would be going to see his own doctor. Plus, who wants their baby suffering with an ear infection for an additional 3 days? And we are going out of town on Monday ourselves. All that to say, know who your dr. is filling in for and for how long so you don't have to annoy me next time. So we have gotten NO sleep in my home. And if Super Muscles doesn't stop with the screaming (he just woke up from a nap and is being a beast)... I might put him in the trashcan for the trash men to take in the morning.

Mr. Wonderful is a great daddy though. He helps me with the boys every evening and gets up with them when they are sick at night (we take turns). I am glad he is their dad... really, there isn't a guy who'd be better for the job. I am ready for him to come home and I am ready to get a little bit of sleep. Tomorrow evening won't be here soon enough.

Then, we get to prepare for vacation. 4 glorious days with that guy of mine (and the nursling) to celebrate 5 yrs of marriage. I can't wait. That is my focus point right now. Got to make it through til tomorrow evening!

Until then, I am missing him a lot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Toy Guns

I took SM to the store today to pick out a toy for his friend's birthday. I generally let him pick out gifts on his own because I want him to learn the value of giving gifts and everything that means. I want him to take his time and think about what his friends might like. He generally does very well with this. He is a very kind child and wants to please his friends very badly. But today, while we were looking through the store at toys... he asked me if he could get his friend a toy gun. I told him no for many reasons. First, I don't know if this little boy is allowed to play with toy guns. Also, I haven't ever let SM play with them. I am sure, at some point, I will decide it is okay but I just think he is too young to play with toy guns. It got me thinking though about what other parents do so I set up the poll to see what everyone's views are on the subject. You can vote but if you don't mind sharing, leave your rationale in the comments section as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Circ or not to Circ... that seems to be the question these days.

I live in a house with 3 boys and for 2 of them I had to decide what to do with their penis when they were born. If you have girls, be thankful. Deciding whether to circumcise your son or not is no easy task. Why am I writing about this though? Well, I guess the main reason is because I have a unique set of experiences and can offer a different way of looking at this topic.

Here is why I know a lot about circumcision. My older son IS circ'd and my youngest son is NOT circ'd and likely won't be (this is completely dependent on Slobber Rocket). Now... why on earth would I circumcise one of my children and not the other? I will get to that, I promise.

But first, lets discuss the pros and cons of this decision.

Pros to Circumcision
1) Uniformity within the family (some dads feel like their sons should look like them)
2) Religious reasons (Judaism and Islam are 2 religions where it would be culturally unacceptable to be 'in tact')
3) Some studies (though the validity of the studies are often called into question) suggest that the transmission of STDs, particularly HIV, is lower in circumcised men than in non- circ'd men.
4) Many people think that circumcision makes it easier to clean a penis (no foreskin to be moved in order to wash)
5) Decreased Risks of UTIs

Cons of Circumcision
1) The pain of the "procedure" (there are videos out there of circs being done on newborns... if you aren't horribly squeemish, it may be worth looking into but I have heard they are hard to stomach so I haven't personally watched)
2) Potential for infection of circ'd penis
3) Too much or too little skin removed (which can lead to such things as a curved penis when erect)
4) Hospital preference for the method can prevent urologists, peds, OBs, family doctors from doing circumcisions with the method they are most comfortable with. Most places around here like the plastibells (as in, they use that method on all infants and if you want their foreskin cut and sutured, you have to wait until they are at least a year old and can be put under anesthesia) and our urologist does not at all like that method of circumcision.

Pros of being Intact
1) The AAP states that there is no medical reason to circumcise a healthy male...
Here is an excerpt from the Circumcision Policy Statement that can be found on the AAPs website. "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." It does go on to say basically that this is their position but it is a decision each parent must make in a way they feel is in the best interest of the child.
2) Foreskin protects an infant against diaper rash and penis irritation during the diapering years.
3) The foreskin protects the penis in general beyond the diapering days. It produces oils to moisturize the penis (the glans doesn't produce these oils without a foreskin). The foreskin also helps keep things the right temperature and helps maintain the appropriate pH balance.
4) It is a pretty common belief that has both been studied and has anecdotal evidence that intact men have more sensitivity in the penis and therefore enjoy sex more (this does not mean that circ'd men don't enjoy sex though... the research is based upon the nerves that are removed when the foreskin is removed)
5) It allows the person on whom the procedure is to be done to make the choice.
6) Penis care for an uncircumcised child is no different than penis care for a circ'd child. Trust me, I know... A baby's foreskin does not retract (nor should a parent try to retract it). You simply wash a baby's penis with soap and water at bath time.

Cons of being Intact
1) Increased risk of UTI, though UTIs in children are fairly uncommon
2) Possible increased risk of STDs, though this is definitely more a product of sexual behavior and practices. I, for one, hope my sons are responsible in making those decisions. Also can be prevented with the proper use of condoms.

There are even more pros and cons found by people more militant on one position or the other than I am. But that's the basic rundown.
Where I get a lot of my info...
1) My/Slobber Rockets Urologist
2) The Case Against Circumcision
3) AAP Policy Statement on Circumcision
4) To Circ or not to circ (one of the better articles I found that outlined both options)

I have read a lot about this subject in the past too but A LOT of the information came from Slobber Rockets Urologist.

So, why did we do it the way we did it? Because... lets be honest, its kind of odd.

Here is the deal. When I was pregnant with Super Muscles, I let Mr. Wonderful make the decision. I had no strong opinion one way or the other. I don't have a penis so I really had no tangible way of knowing what my son would prefer but I figured Daddy did. So, he made the decision to make Super Muscles look like him in that area. In Indiana, where his circ was done, it was absolutely no big deal. He was cut, no apparatus was attached to him when we took him home. He healed. All is well with his little penis to this day.

So why the change? Well, we moved to Illinois and had decided to have slobber rocket cut in the hospital. But when his pedi came in and told us he wouldn't do it (because SR had too little foreskin), we were sent to a Urologist for a consult. Come to find out, our pedi (who we completely trust and love and whose opinion we value greatly) does not do circs on any of his patients at all. What?! So, this led to us asking lots and lots and lots of questions. Because if Dr. Y wouldn't do it, there had to be a good reason. Apparently Dr. Y doesn't think any child's foreskin should be cut. He is Chinese so he is probably uncirc'd himself but I didn't ask that... Anyway so we talked to the Urologist who explained to us the methods used in the hospital and the problems with them. The plastibell is most commonly used. The incidence of problems is much higher with the plastibell than with free hand cut. Too much skin taken off, not enough (which leads to what he referred to as a 'hybrid' penis... not quite circ'd not quite not). They also sometimes use the gomco clamp which our Urologist also doesn't like. He says it is too hard to get it perfect and if he is going to do it, he wants it perfect. The Urologists preference for many reasons was to wait until our son was 1 yrs old and take him into the OR and do it free hand. He assured us that allowing him to get bigger would yield a better result if that is what we wanted to do going forward. Also, foreskin would protect his penis from irritation caused by diapers. And the kid already has seriously sensitive skin as it is. We decided that, after getting all this info and our pediatricians views, we would not have Slobber Rocket circ'd. My husband concluded our conversation with "I don't know any grown man who wishes they had it the other way, I just don't think its that big of a deal".

SR can get one up until age 3-4 without remembering and with better pain control and a free hand, cut circumcision (far fewer complications) IF, and only if, he shows signs of being uncomfortable with his body looking different than his brothers/dads. I don't anticipate this happening as we are a very very open family and we will explain it to them just like we do everything else.

Before we get to my opinion on the matter, I want to include that I do NOT think that Christians have a religious reason to circumcise children. In the Old Testament God makes a covenant of circumcision with the His chosen people, the Jews. Check out Genesis 17 for information on this covenant. The Gentiles (all non-Jews) were never given this covenant and furthermore Paul argues that Jesus blood covers ALL including those who are circumcised and those who are not 1 Corinthians 7: 18-19. You can do an in depth search about Paul's teachings on circumcision if you are really interested though.

So what is my opinion? It is complicated. I basically think ALL parents do what they feel is best just as we did, in each case, what we felt was best for our children. I don't think that anyone who circs or doesn't is a bad parent. I just think there is a lot of misinformation and I KNOW that before Super Muscles was circ'd I was not given enough information and medical advice from the medical personnel around us at the time. I did my own research but meeting with a Urologist was infinitely better for our family than anything I had read. So, if *I* had it to do over again with SM, he would NOT have been circ'd. That is just me being honest about it. Do I feel bad? No. At the time, it is what we felt was right. Now, I have changed my mind. It happens. Super Muscles penis is fine, his circumcision went perfectly.

So, there you have it. The pros, the cons, my decisions, my opinions... hope you enjoyed a probably new perspective on the subject. And I hope this gives someone the tools to make a more informed decision, no matter what their decision ends up being.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The B-I-B-L-E

Super Muscles saying is Bible Verses hes been learning in Sunday School and a shout out to Mimi and Grandma.

ETA... There are all kinds of fabulous things you can memorize with your children. Try working on your favorite poems with them or cool songs or fun stories. Pick something you value and go for it! You may be surprised what your kid can pick up and how quickly s/he can pick it up ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rolling over

Slobber Rocket has been rolling over for a long while now but we just only recently caught it on film. So for all the grandmas and uncles and basically family friends out there who haven't yet seen such feats of babyhood, here you are!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Car Seat Police

Most of my friends know that I am somewhat of a Car Seat police lady. I think it is of extreme importance to make sure your child's safety seat is installed and used correctly. I was checking out one of my favorite blogs of all time today and MckMama posted a great link to a very in depth blog post on car seat safety that I thought I would pass along. The author is Laura Bower who is the executive director of the Kyle David Miller Foundation. Anyway... here is a link to the blog post. If you have small children, please please read the entry. It contains really awesome information on how we, as parents or caregivers, can keep our children as safe as possible in cars.

Car Seat Safety

It is a lengthy read but well worth it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spattering of pictures of small children for my momma

Random request

I don't mind if people use my name in the comments section. I have a fairly common name and a google search of my name won't lead directly to my blog. But please do not use my boys name in the comment sections of this blog. I do not want a search of their names to lead to this site. My boys have slightly uncommon names so if they are put up on this blog, it makes it very easy to find them/me/information about us. Thanks :)

The "D-word" is the new "F-bomb"

Before we got married almost 5 yrs ago (in two weeks... wow), we made a pact to one another. We would never ever drop the "D-word" on one another. It is a promise we have taken very seriously. In fact, I have a hard time thinking about typing the word in order to tell you about it. It is not a word that is in my vocabulary.

What is the "D-word" and why do we need to eliminate it from our vocabulary? The "D-word" I speak of is Divorce. I can tell you how eliminating this word from my thoughts and the way I think about relationships has helped my own marriage. The idea was that we would not allow it to be an option for us. Since it is not an option, we would not say the word let alone bring it to the table.

Maybe it seems a bit extreme to actually eliminate a word from your vocabulary. I, myself, typically think that making words "bad" is a ridiculous notion. But it is not about eliminating a bad word, it is about eliminating a poisonous thought process within our marriage. Our culture has taught us that marriage is not something that lasts. It is something we do when we are "in love" with someone and later on, if we fall out of love or something bad happens we just get the "D-word" and go on about our lives. Basically, in our culture we operate on a mating system called serial monogamy. This is a system that says that it is okay to have as many partners as you wish as long as they don't overlap. So, don't cheat but if you fall out of love, go find someone else because that is socially acceptable.

That is well and fine but I didn't say my vows to society. I said them to Mr. Wonderful and to God. And we (my husband and I) had already experienced the impact divorce has on children. Both of our parents are divorced and we knew many of the consequences of such a decision. We were in the middle of the consequences in our own families (just for the record, I feel my mother was completely justified in seeking a divorce as she was being abused by her husband). So, that is kind of what spurred us into making this commitment to one another.

Why it helps...

The threat is not a bargaining tool or a way to get what we want from the other person because there is no threat.

We are forced to think of a way to solve the problem, not a way to avoid the problem.

Our children never have to hear us discuss something scary and permanently invasive to their little lives.

We don't look for faults in each other when we are unhappy.

We can talk about hard things with one another with out the fear of this being a consequence (though, me crying or getting frustrated may be a consequence because I am quite emotional...)

Those are just some of the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I would encourage you to think about doing this in your marriage as well. Not because I know all there is to know about marriage (I can assure you, I don't) but because it has helped me a lot in the way I think about marriage and my husband.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Give Me Your Eyes

I never knew what poor was like. I mean, I did. I was raised by a single mom. We had NO money. I wore hand me downs. I ate from food stamps. We got very little for Christmas.

And, according to our nations standards,... my family of 4 is living in poverty now. But I had NO clue about poverty and I tease about being poor but I certainly have a deep appreciation for all that I have.

Maybe that is because I have legitimately seen poor. I mean, REAL poor. A place where a government won't get water treatment for its people. Where people live in homes that have dirt floors and cardboard stuck between the supports (cardboard made up the walls) that hold up the tin roof. A one room home for 4, 5, 6 people. A fire on the dirt floor. Absent father after absent father. A bed, a tv, a table and no drinking water. Trucks that come by to SELL water that the government had treated but wouldn't let the people have cheap access to. A place where we built water tanks so that families could catch rain to be able to wash their clothes, bathe and do other chores. And... though it is not safe to drink that water, I saw children dipping out of the water tanks for a cool drink of water that their parents could not afford. Families who were so thankful for us helping them that they sacrificed their own breakfasts to feed us in a way that MORE than showed their gratitude (they ate corn tortillas but prepared us special breakfasts). THAT kind of poor really changed my perspective. It gave me a heart for others. And it made me want to see in people what God sees in them.

Sometimes I lose sight of that experience. Sometimes I forget how God sees people. Sometimes... I see people who make bad choice after bad choice and I resent them instead of longing to help them. I was listening to the radio and a song came on today that just brought back memories of my time in Comitan (Chiapas, Mexico). And it really convicted me for not trying to see people as God sees them.

Give Me Your Eyes

Look down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work, he’s buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

I’ve been here a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well, I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You’ve seen the people all along

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten

Who do I think I am?

(me and SM,... I was trying to get him to NOT be afraid of the camera at sears)

That is a good question... most of the time I wonder the same thing.

I LOVE the color orange, playing sports, children, learning, growing, trying new foods. I have anxiety about my children and about driving. I don't trust many people because my past leads me to believe most people aren't worth trusting, especially not with anything as precious as my kiddos. I am compassionate and considerate, shy, hard to get to know. I am kind. If you get into my world I will do anything for you. I value education, kindness, and respect. I am non-confrontational most of the time but have a quick temper about a few things. I sometimes lack patience with adults but I am generally patient with children. I dislike rap but like most other music. I love to talk to old people. I think most people have entitlement issues and sometimes I fall into the category of "most people". I wish my hair was blue again. I can only think of 2 people that really know me well and I am married to one of them. I love being a wife and a parent. I prefer doing thing with my children over making sure the house is flawless which is why my house is anything but flawless. I really like mexican and I love cooking for my family. I love to plan surprises especially for my hardworking husband. We have a stupid dog who eats everything and even though I picked her out, she annoys me (Super Muscles tells us "the dog is obnoxious"). I am content with having my needs met 99% of the time which is good since we are poor. I am scared to put SM into preschool even thought I think he could use the social interaction. I miss my best friend all the time, she needs to move into the house across the street instead of living in another state. I remember very random information and it has proven handy a couple of times.

Random facts about me are great but they don't get to the heart of who I am. And that is something I struggle with figuring out daily.

I passionately want to be a great wife and mother. I want to raise my children in a home filled with love and God. I want to be an example to them of a woman who genuinely tries to put Gods will above her own. I don't want to force a religion on them but I do want to show them my principles and values in the way I act and speak with them.

I want to help others. I don't know how. I am not sure what that will look like in my life but my heart longs to be influential and helpful to others'.

I want to be a friend who can be sought for advice and who gives good, sound, loving, godly advice.

I deeply care about others and am a very empathetic person. I hurt for my friends when they hurt. I hurt for people I don't know sometimes. This is a part of myself I really like. It spurs me to pray for people.

I guess those are the biggest things I strive for right now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Sweet Baby of the family...

Last but certainly not least in the introductions of my family members is my sweet baby boy. I think, for now, I am going to call him Slobber Rocket (SR) because that's what we call him when he gets all slobbery and a big tendril of slobber falls onto the floor or my hair... hmm. So Slobber Rocket is my 2nd son and a complete joy to our lives.

We planned this guy and wanted him very badly as opposed to being surprised that we were pregnant with Super Muscles. I found out before I even missed my period that I was pregnant (but I don't advise taking tests that early but I had *that* feeling) and from there on out I puked and puked and puked and puked some more for 16 weeks. I was convinced that he was a GIRL and at my 1st ultrasound they could not tell. No peep show for us. The tech thought he was a girl so I hung on to my fantasy until I had another ultrasound at 35 weeks and we saw very clearly that HE was definitely another BOY. I was not sad, I was immediately excited for SM to have a baby brother. And a true buddy to grow up with. Someone he could relate to and build a trusting strong relationship with.

So, SR was a bit more stubborn than his brother in his delivery. I was finally induced 11 days after my due date. I had a quick and fabulous drug free labor. Doula, Sarah, by our sides. Really it was not a bad 4 hrs as far as labors go I guess. We did have problems with SRs heart rate bottoming out. It wasn't too big of a deal until he was crowning though. His heart rate dropped to the low 60s. We tried the vacuum to get him out quicker but when his heart rate would not raise from the 60s, even between contractions... we knew we had to get him out FAST. So I was wheeled off for an emergency c-section. Put under and everything. Scary but worth it for my healthy, sweet 2nd son to be born safely. I didn't get to see him for 4 hours but I fell completely in love with him right away. He, too, snuggled right in and nursed and nursed (my kids like to eat, what can I say?).

So, Slobber Rocket is still pretty young. He is finally starting to give us glimpses of what his personality might be like. He seems more "verbal" than his brother was and smiles and laughs a lot more than Super Muscles did. Not quite as serious in nature. He is also very snugly. He loves to eat and he likes to be in the Mei tai. He is a decent sleeper. He does eat a lot at night but he goes right back to sleep. He is the worlds FASTEST nurser. He nurses to his belly's content in a matter of minutes. 5ish-10 (if he is being lazy). His fist is a delicacy these days and he loves to grab objects.

He gets super grins around his mommy, daddy and brother and he loves to flirt with the ladies. He is small like his bubby. Almost 4 mos old and still very squarely in 0-3 mos clothes. He does have big ole honkin' feet though. And he was born with incredibly short legs. They seem more in proportion now :) but they made me laugh for the first few days of his life.

I really can't wait to see what kind of person he turns into. I love seeing more of his personality revealed to us every day. I am thankful to God everyday that we got him out in time and that he is a healthy little boy. And I am blessed for all the lessons both of my sons have already taught me. I love them both so much and so does Mr. Wonderful.

So, that is my family. Next... I guess it is my turn.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ah, now on to an introduction of the famed Super Muscles

I was 19 when I became pregnant with my little SM. We found out the big and scary news very shortly after our first anniversary. Oh yea, we got married at 18 and 19, we are cool like that. Anyway, we had no intention of having children before we graduated college. In fact, it was pretty frightening. But, that was when the adventure began. I had a pretty normal pregnancy I guess. I had preterm labor at 32 weeks with him (but we didn't know he was a him because we waited until he was born to find out... fun times!) and was on bedrest for quite a while until eventually I had a healthy, slightly small, full term baby.

There is no greater memory I have in life than when he was placed on my chest for the first time. MW right by my side and beaming with pride and SM trying to snuggle in and nurse right away. My whole life changed with the birth of that little boy. I know everyone says the same stuff right? But, there was just a monumental priority shift. There was a little life that relied solely on me and MW. Not only that, but we were YOUNG (both 20 when he was born) parents and we had a lot of odds to beat and we had to crush some stereotypes in order to raise our son. It was daunting and amazing at the same time.

From there life pretty much became about meeting the needs of a new human. Figuring out what makes him tick. His strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. And is one cool kid, I must say!

So, here is Super Muscles in all his glory.

He is generally a typical three year old that reminds me of his daddy nearly 100% of the time. He is SMART. He has a memory that freaks me out. He is a walking commercial and we don't watch hardly any tv at all. He knows cars by make because he memorizes commercials then recognizes their symbol (thats because there are a ton of car commercials on during sports). We drive down the road and he says "Mom, that is a Toyota. SAVE BY ZERO!!!"

He uses huge words appropriately thanks to his dad. He knows what a buckminsterfullerene molecule looks like and tells us that "the dog is obnoxious".

He doesn't like to try new things. He sits backs and waits until he has conquered it in his mind before he does it. Then, he can do it well on the first try (usually). He prefers playing by himself and I have to prompt him to play with others. I am not sure if he is shy or if he just likes playing by himself. He is incredibly kind to other children and talks to them just fine but won't play with them. Sometimes I worry and obsess about it but MW, was, apparently the same way.

He loves all things "CARS". He plays with his Lightning McQueens and Mac Truck more than any other toys he has. He would pee himself if I could find a bigger mater for him but I am too cheap. Sorry bud.

He doesn't like potatoes... weird right? He loves yogurt though and cheese and peanutbutter sandwiches. When we go to McDonalds he gets nuggets and a fruit and yogurt parfait because he generally won't touch fries (he is missing out!)

He isn't very cuddly but he does love his Mama. He is a total Mama's boy at this point and I will be sad to see that phase slowly grind to a halt but I secretly hope it never does.

And he is pretty much the best big brother ever to the little man. He loves is baby brother so much and takes good care of him. He is a very caring and compassionate child.

As usual, there is much much more to my little, er... big Super Muscles but I just don't have a lifetime to devote to writing about him. I have to feed him and stuff too :) But I am one blessed Mama to have such a child in my life.

He is my Super Hero... really, he is

Nickname # 3 coming at you... Mr. Wonderful (MW for short cause thats a fistful to type) for my hubby. I just thought I would start off by introducing my family to you starting with my Super Hero husband. The man I admire more than any other person I know. The guy who helps to make all my dreams come true and the father of our two very incredible children.

Loves Jesus, family, and science.
Strong, handsome blue eyed man who, hands down, give the best hugs of anyone I know... he is stingy with them though.
He is kind, funny, smart (most people put that first for him but he is SO much more than smart... so so much more), a decision maker, a problem solver, proud daddy, hardworking...

He is willing to help anyone anytime. Thats just how he is.

He mows the grass because I am more allergic to it than he is.

He coos at our baby boy and it melts my heart into a puddle.

He teachers Super Muscles big words like "buckminsterfullerine" and how to appropriately use them.

He doesn't like to argue and speaks softly 99.9% of the time.

Not too easy to excite, likes to keep his emotions in check.

Logical and practical.

The best person I know to watch football with and baseball and Seinfeld.

He generally doesn't laugh loudly... unless he is watching AFV with Super Muscles (SM). Then, I hear nothing but cackles from my two handsome guys.

He IS the grillmaster.

Forgiving and willing to sacrafice time and time again for our family.

Lover of all things nerd.

Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time) fan.

Hater of the sun (AKA "the death orb" in our home)

And so much more. A fantastic man who I am thankful to have in my life. I am so glad to share my life with him and look forward to every day we spend together and every night I get to lay down and snuggle into sleep with him.
We celebrate 5 yrs of marriage in a bit over 2 weeks. It has been a wild ride but there is no one I would rather go on this journey with. I love you Mr. Wonderful!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Introduction of sorts

I am a little behind the times on this blog thing but I decided to give it a whirl since my handsome husband is, one of these days, going to turn our extra desktop into a server and create our own family site. I am not sure when that would be but I am getting a head start. Grad students are notorious for not getting around to much outside of school/research.

Which brings me to such things as my username/nickname and my oldest childs nickname. Have you ever seen the movie Rudy? This is where my nickname stems. It is a slightly sad tale but says a little about me. I am a very competitive person. In fact, I love sports and games. I really like winning sports and games. I started playing basketball when I was in about 3rd grade. I went to summer camps often. I played on at least 2 teams a season throughout middle school. I loved the sport. It consumed me. But, as fate would have it, I am horribly undersized for basketball. Well, I am undersized to go anywhere in basketball. My dad played basketball his whole life and he is the one who taught me to play. He is a giant compared to me. He is almost a foot and a half taller than me! So if I wanted to score on him I had to shoot the J from the other side of the street on our home goal so I became a really good shooter. I could shoot a long ball (I had to get it over a man who was 6'4" with his arms up). I really wanted to play in high school, and I did. My sophomore year I played on the JV team but I didn't get much playing time. I was smaller than the other girls and I got into foul trouble all the time because I was a very hot headed kid. I could not understand why I never got to play when I felt that I deserved a shot. One day, I got my shot... the point guard got into foul trouble right before the end of the half with about 34 seconds to go in the half. We had the ball so I go in and in bound the ball and run to my position and receive a pass from my team mate and drain a deep 3! Crowd goes wild... So I get in my defensive position and begin to guard the person who received the inbound pass. We get to about half court and I steal the ball!!! *Cheers abound* I dribble up to the 3 point line and there are just a few seconds left so I take a shot and drain another 3 *more cheers abounding*. Half ends... into the locker room we go. Pats on the back, high fives, congratulations. I was a star for like... 15 seconds or something. We go back out for the 2nd half and I KNEW for sure that I had finally showed my coach that I could do it. I didn't see anymore playing time the rest of the game or much of that season. And that is how my likeness to Rudy was realized and how I got my nickname in high school. Not many people called me this, just a few guys and some girls on my basketball team. I finished out that season and realized I would likely never get anywhere playing basketball and I really disliked my coach that year. So I turned my focus to martial arts and changing my attitude which, as it turns out, is really what I needed to be focusing on.

My older son's nickname has recently, very recently, become Super Muscles. He is three and he says some hilarious stuff. He was carrying his elmo chair from his bedroom to the livingroom and his daddy asked what he was doing and he said "I am using my super muscles to carry my chair Dad!". Okay then! There you have it. So I have been calling him Super Muscles since then.

I do need nicknames for the baby and the daddy though so if anyone has one (you probably need to know them in order to assign one, though I am willing to take all viable suggestions). I think that is all for now... I have to go lay some ownage on another softball team this evening. Hey, I warned you, competitive :).