Saturday, October 31, 2015

Not a Doctor (Halloween 2015!)

This year, Elijah was 100% sure he was going to be a train.  No amount of parental persuasion was going to change that (despite the fact that we realized how cumbersome a train could be for a little three year old).  While I was hoping for the three little pigs (maybe next year), coordinating outfits were not to be this year.  Theo, on the other hand, didn't really have a clear idea and vacillated from one costume choice to another.  After a fun visit to the dentist (and seeing his permanent teeth under his baby teeth on the x-rays), he decided on being a dentist and I jumped on board (loved the simplicity factor).  I knew that most people would think he was a doctor/surgeon, but we went with it anyway.  And my third child, became a spider for his first Halloween.  Mostly because it was super easy and Eli has always had a love for spider webs and has recently taken to saying, "Spiders are me friend!"  So, it was just meant to happen.
The train basically came together from two cardboard boxes, an oatmeal container, and lots of duct tape.  Eli was adamant that the train have a snow-catcher on the front, and a smoke stack with lots of smoke.  We used brass fasteners to attach the wheels, and my favorite part was the push light headlight, which was very helpful on this dark Halloween night.

Theo's get-up is simply a set of scrubs we bought on Amazon, accessorized with a doctor tool and toothbrush in his pocket, and his set of x-rays.  While we had also ordered a white coat, it was apparently lost in the mail so he did without.

Thomas's costume included a black onesie, black pants, and 3 pairs of black socks.  I stuffed some filling in them and safety pinned them in place.  So easy, and I can still use everything from his costume once I unhook it all.  I know I wasted the perfect age to make a fun costume using his carrier, but Halloween just came way to fast this year for me to get something else together.  And, he was pretty adorable.  His brothers were so excited to see him as a spider that they actually looked at the camera and smiled simultaneously.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Thomas Update: 2 Months

The second month of your life you got to spend a week on vacation with just mama and dada, and spent the other weeks getting into our fall routine: school drop-offs and pick-ups, church, library story times, MOPS meetings, grocery shopping (or more like getting covered with groceries since there is no room in the cart with your car seat) visits to farms, soccer, and going to the nursery at the rec center. 

Weight: 12 lbs, 6 oz
Length: 24 inches, 0-3 months (getting too tall for newborn), size 1 diapers (about to start cloth)
Feeding:  Still the same, nursing about every 3-4 hours, but often only for 10-15 minutes a time.  Much less frequently than your brothers nursed, which may be why they weighed a lot more than you by this time.  You do eat more in the evenings, and varying amounts at night.  Even less spitting up this month and less hiccoughs (though still a lot of them).
Sleeping:  You are still a pretty sleepy baby.  You will spend some periods of time awake now, mostly in the evening hours when everyone is home with you.  And when awake, you want to be held.  But you will spend some time looking at mobiles in your bed or swing, and laying under your jungle gym, as long as mama is nearby.  Your favorite places to sleep are the car seat/stroller, your rocker, or with mama.  I may have placed you near the running dishwasher or in the bathroom with the vent on to prolong some nap times.  White noise is definitely your friend.  At night you'll go 5 or 6 hours before waking, eat, and go right back to sleep.
Communicating:  You started cooing at us this month, and it's pretty adorable.  You like sticking your tongue out at us and promptly starting giving the best smiles at 6 weeks of age.  You've even given a few smiles to your brothers.
Likes:  You still love your warm baths, going for walks in the stroller (or anytime you get fresh air and sun outside), and cuddling mama.
Dislikes:  tooting, when your brothers get inside your personal space
Growth Milestones:  Holding head up during tummy time, and grasping anything "string-like".
Health:  You avoided the worst of Elijah and I's shared feverish colds, but you did come out with a pretty barking cough.  It is such a sad sound.

Week 5-8.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Old Becomes New: AZ Trip

Brian normally goes to a couple conferences a year, but I normally don't get to go with him.  We have discovered much of the Northeast when we have picked him up after conferences in MA and ME, but I've never spent the whole week with him at a conference.  Until, the perfect opportunity came up.

Brian was able to present a talk at a conference (on microbial electrochemistry) at none other than our joint alma mater, Arizona State University!  So, I tagged along and turned this into a "babymoon" for us, where we had an intense amount of time together for a couple with a newborn.  It was definitely a great way to reconnect with each other in a place we love, and spoil our youngest with mama's undivided attention.

While I normally love our road trips, there was definitely something special to staying at the same hotel (and a nice one at that) for four straight days.  Without a car.  Being able to just enjoy life for a few days without having to cook or clean or pickup after two boys was pretty relaxing in itself.  Doing it in the hot weather of Arizona surrounded by so many of my favorite places made it amazing.  (Though, it was pretty exhausting for Brian, as conferences normally are.  I found it relaxing though.)

Things I forgot about AZ:
1.  It is seriously hot.  By dry heat, we mean that it's the heat that basically sucks all the moisture out of your eyes.  Like when you open an oven door, every time you step outside. I went through about 3 shirts the first day we were there because I was sweating so much.  It was over 100 when we arrived.

2.  There is almost no better sensation than the mist of cold water from a patio mister in aforementioned heat.

3.  I love dining al fresco!  I forgot how much of it AZ has.

But mostly, so many memories came flooding back as soon as we hit campus.  But for everything that was familiar to us, there was something brand new next door.  Lots of large construction projects that we watched for years are now completed: the West 6th skyscrapers, Biodesign Institute, and the light rail (metro) to name a few.  And when walking down Mill Ave we were shocked at how almost all the restaurants and businesses have turned over... only a few we knew (and luckily our favorites) were still in existence (Slices, Rula Bula, Chuckbox, and the Phoenician Cafe are still going, as well as Oreganos, Nellos, Los Olivos, and Four Peaks in other parts of town too).  The hardest decisions on this trip were what restaurants to eat at.  We did get to see a few friends, which was awesome and grounding to see that some things hadn't changed in Tempe (though lots of our friends and colleagues from our time in Arizona have also moved on out of the area).

While Brian was at the conference, I did things I can not normally do with three boys under my care:  like going in the hot tub at sunrise, eating meals at restaurants without play areas at a leisurely pace, visiting the Phoenix Art Museum (which actually had a lot of great things for an infant to look at), having long conversations with my husband, and just rediscovering Tempe and Phoenix on my own.  It gave me so much time to reflect on where I am in life, and where I've been.  I kept thinking how I first set foot in Arizona 12 years ago, and in another 12 years Theodore will be finding his place on a college campus.

Once the conference was over Brian and I had a little time left to head to Scottsdale and up to Sedona together, and I dragged him out of bed at 6am so we could hike A Mountain once more before we flew back East.

We rediscovered how hard it is to take photos with an infant, who can't even be propped up yet due to lack of head control.  But, here are a few of our favorite photos from this fantastic trip.

This used to be my favorite fountain...
but at least the donkey is the same.


Thomas's first National Monument:  Montezuma's Well.

Thomas made two trips up A Mountain.

Now we just can't wait to return with the rest of our boys.