Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I decided to make an outline of the baby's 4-D shot so Caspian could see it better. I was showing it to him this morning, and we decided to add some hair to make the angle more recognizable. Of course, then Caspian said, "Give him a mustache and a beard!"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

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It's 9° here, with a windchill of -9°. (That's -12.7 and -22.7 for anyone in Celsiusland.) Charlie almost had a conniption fit when he had to pump gas. We said a quick prayer for all the homeless in our area, because tonight doesn't look very survivable.

Our small town has "Wilmore Old-Fashioned Christmas" every year, where they block off main street with fire trucks and all the businesses open for socializing, free food, and live holiday music (even the post office and city hall). This year, Charlie's office did free Christmas portraits for anyone who wanted them! We weren't planning to do it, but we were there for clean-up time and decided to sit down anyway. Caspian was so tired, he pitched a fit...until they handed him a jingle bell.

Click here to see our first family "Christmas card" ever:

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Drum roll please................
......................it's a BOY!

We are excited the more we think about it. God really knows what He's doing. Our littlest man is 13 oz and the u/s results were perfect, except for the fact that the little stinker would hardly hold still for anything (all the pics are fuzzy).
The only bad thing is since I've been sick for the last month and haven't been up to much of anything activity-wise, I gained nine pounds when I should've gained five. The midwife didn't harp about it because my eating habits are fine, it's just my darn sedentary lifestyle of the last four weeks. Of course, since being pregnant makes you tired, having a toddler makes you tired, being sick makes you tired, and not sleeping past 4am makes you tired, I don't have a lot of energy to do anything. I need to figure something out that will get me moving but that doesn't require energy. Any suggestions?

Oh, yes — Caspian is still sick. His cough is hideous, and he's very clingy but still bouncing around like a monkey. He won't nap unless he falls asleep in the car, so he's pretty by the end of the evening. I've gotten steadily worse, myself, and now Charlie is starting to get a tickle of it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Couldn't sleep. CuddleMan needed me on my right, but I reeeeeeeally wanted to lie on my left, so...couldn't sleep. Now I've been up for two hours and I'm starting to get hungry. PLEASE PRAY for him, you guys. He's got his first ear infection ever (saw ped on Thursday), and he is miserable. His cough is what worries me most. He's on an antibiotic and children's Tylenol, but his cough is horrid. It's dry, but it sounds like his lungs are going to strip away (deep and barky).

I'm only awake right now because he woke up coughing at 4:20am and I couldn't get back to sleep. What can I do for my pitiful little man? The ped told me Robitussin for the cough and decongestant for stuffiness, but HELLO, I'm not going to do that.

I've already scoured the internet for various ideas, but I'd like to know what actually worked for you and your toddler/baby. He has eczema, so we weren't sure if Vick's Vapo-Rub or Johnson's Vapor Bath would be okay for him.

Here's what I found that seems viable:
  • warm bath (with essential oil or vapor bath)
  • licorice tea with honey
  • 3-4 TB olive oil with 2 drops essential oil, rub on chest and back, wear tight shirt
  • humidifier (with essential oil)
  • breastfeeding
  • Vick's Vapo-Rub on soles of feet/chest/back
  • hot drink with honey
  • apples
We already run a humidifier in the bedroom 24/7, but he didn't take a nap yesterday at all. Poor, exhausted little man...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Does anyone know a book or movie or TV show that has a scene where someone cups someone else's face in his hands and says, "Tell me a story!" while looking deep into her eyes? Caspian just started doing that a day or so ago, but he always does it the same, like he's quoting something...?

We're pretty sure Caspian has an imaginary friend named "Tey-tah," who is red. Sometimes Teytah is an elephant, too, but it's always red. A lot of times, he'll ask to visit Teytah or go to Teytah's house, or he'll mention what Teytah's doing. Sometimes we'll ask where Teytah is, and it'll be sitting on Caspian's potty or hiding under a chair or hanging out on an empty patch of floor. It took us forever to decide that Teytah is imaginary, after running through every conceivable real-life person whose name sounded like "Teytah" (Caspian was very insistant and always consistent in his pronounciation). Occasionally, there's also another "person" named "Taddy," but Taddy is nowhere near as omnipresent as Teytah.

A month or so ago, Caspian started a new aspect of play with his "pirates" (what he calls his assortment of Fisher-Price figures, which includes pirates, dinosaurs and cavemen, circus, and vacationers). He started having the baby blue dinosaur ask the mommy blue dinosaur to nurse! The weird thing is, the mommy says "no" most of the time.

His current choice of skill development is jumping, which he will be more than happy to show you if you ask. He'd turned over the little Rubbermaid-type box in which we keep his "pirates" and was jumping off of it over and over (always barefoot and holding one of my hands). He landed wrong on one jump and started crying and limping, but he was over it after a few minutes. He climbed back on the box and announced, "No hurt self anymore" repeatedly as he executed his next jump.

He loves telling people they're doing a good job (including himself, if you don't do it when he thinks he's performed especially well — see "jumping" above). For example, we were blowing into his pinwheel and he said, "Good job blowing, mommy!"

Part of his nighttime routine is reading a story in bed. It always used to be Goodnight, Moon, but he's been rotating a variety of books for the last few months. One night last week, we were getting ready for bed and he kept insisting, "Maggot rice! Maggot rice!" He never varied what he said, but we could not understand what he wanted! We tried interpreting it as "magic rice," too, but he never seemed satisfied. Finally, I realized he was saying "Margaret Wise," as in Margaret Wise Brown, the author of Goodnight, Moon! We laughed sooo hard.

He loves to read and recite. We were reading a Sesame Street Golden Book, "The Together Book," and (on a whim) I asked him which word on the cover was "book". He pointed immediately to the right word. When I asked how he knew that was the word "book," he said "B". My smart monkey. He'll read books aloud to himself and spontaneously recite poems or songs (ABCs, Little Miss Muffett, Row Your Boat, etc.) all the time, although his OBSESSION is the VeggieTales theme song. Who knows why, but he has latched onto that song! We only have the first two VeggieTunes CDs, and he asks for VeggieTales every time we get in the car. Sigh. Usually, he specifically requests the theme song. He even sings the "bmp, bmp, bmp" for the tuba intro. It's pretty funny when he switches to falsetto for Junior Asparagus' parts. We have to sing "The Bunny Song" to get him to brush his teeth, too. I love hearing him sing that one, especially the part where Mr. Nezzer is reprimanding the backup singers as they're singing (Caspian does both parts). He even sings "bun-neh" instead of "bunny," just like Mr. Nezzer.

Last weekend after dinner, I asked Charlie if we were going to eat the J-E-L-L-O he'd made (I spelled it so Caspian wouldn't be disappointed if Charlie said "no"). Caspian cried out, "You want Jell-o!" (he is "you" to himself, since that's how we refer to him). So much for spelling secret words.

Merbaby is a KICKER! For the last two weeks or so, we have enjoyed "Happy Hour" — a kickfest that starts around 7pm and goes until about 10. I LOVE having that constant reassurance. Funny story, though. I got to take a nap the day after Thanksgiving (thank you, Charlie), and when the boys came to wake me up, Charlie leaned down and said, "Hi, baby" in a deep voice right into my belly. He must have startled the baby awake, because as soon as the first syllable came out, Merbaby kicked HARD and suddenly. S/he has only done really hard kicks one other time, and that was on Saturday evening at my parent's house. We weren't doing anything special, but after some normal kicking, s/he gave four walloping thuds right into my belly over the course of 5 or 6 minutes! I don't know if the kicks were just in a weird place or if they really were harder, but man, it almost took the wind out of me.

13w 2d and 17w 5d bellyshots

I had only gained 2 pounds at my last check-up (between 10/14 and 11/13). The heartbeat was 147 this time, and that stinker doesn't like to hold still very long for the tech. I'll be 20 weeks on Thursday, and our big u/s is next Tuesday. ing for another exhibitionist!

My biggest pregnancy symptom right now (other than getting kicked around) is not sleeping. Grrrr. My knees and hips ache and I can't get comfortable. After a few fitful hours, my REM sleep ends sometime in the early morning, and then I try to deny it off and on until I give up and get up. It had been holding steady around 5:30 or 6, but it ended at 4:30 and 3:30 on Sunday and Monday. It's hard to have a lot of energy, but I'm trying for Caspian's sake.

There is one other pregnancy symptom I'd forgotten from last time that may be uniquely Hilary: a tanking game mojo. I am what one might call a board/card game nazi, but when I get pregnant, apparently all my gaming prowess goes toward nourishing my baby. For example, I placed dead-last in 3 separate rounds of a WORD GAME we played with friends on Saturday. If you know me, you know that is a big deal!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The final pose is my hands-down favorite moment of all time.

(In case you're wondering about Charlie's skintone, I think we all know he has a farmer's tan.)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

I have been flat out since Tuesday night with a sinus infection AND an ear infection. Charlie took off work Wednesday afternoon and Thursday because I couldn't handle being vertical with a toddler.

Our external hard-drive is offline, so I don't have any pics of Halloween or Caspian's very first haircut (10/29), but here are some others:

What it's like in our bed:

The only two men I ever want to see naked:

Caspian's first photo shoot (thanks to our camera's flip-out viewer window):

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Attention, anyone who is busy or hates wasting gas/time waiting in line or in traffic: Shipping and gift wrap are always free, so let me know if I can help you get a jumpstart on your Christmas shopping (or a "thank you" for your Thanksgiving hostess).

Speaking of MK shipping, I have the most ironic story. A friend's two year-old got into her mascara and smeared it all over her face, so she had me send her a new one. Well, last Monday morning, I laid out her items on the bed and went into the office to get a shipping envelope. In that short interval, Caspian opened the replacement mascara and smeared it all over his face! I made sure he didn't get anywhere near the new replacement tube. He's not nearly as distressed in that second picture as he looks. I think he was mid-sentence when I snapped it.

We started Caspian an Amazon wishlist, but haven't thought about what we're getting him ourselves. Maybe puppets — my hands are so sore (no joke) from all the "talk hand, please" in our house. Why, oh why did I ever show him that hands can talk? The only thing not on the wish list is a play kitchen. There are so many to choose from!

I'm feeling better now that Charlie has reminded me that sleeping is important. We've been taking walks almost every day, which also feels great. I'm starting on my autumn round of seasonal update facials/makeovers, and some clients have even started their Christmas shopping! It's so much fun getting to play "personal shopper" — shopping for other people and giftwrapping has always been my favorite part of gift-giving.

Charlie and I are trying to eat out free as often as we can this week. His birthday is on Sunday, so we both have a bunch of e-mail coupons.

Caspian is still brilliant and gorgeous. He "reads" so many books, and I love play-acting with him. Two year-old creativity is such a blast. Don't you just love conversations with 2yos? They are so much fun!!! I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He is so exceptional. I can't believe we get to have "another one"!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We had our 12½ week visit today, and heard a gorgeous 153 bpm heartbeat. Next appointment with the midwife is 9/13. A lot of the nausea and tiredness are gone, but man, it's tough being pregnant and having a toddler! I'm also in physical therapy for my back, so prayers would be appreciated!

Caspian is thrilled to be a big brother. We pray for the baby and he sings to it and kisses it.

He loves taking apart the vaccuum attachments — especially the two long hose extenders. He pretends they're a violin and bow and "plays" them. Or sticks them together and rides them like a toy horse. Or uses them as a rifle to shoot bad guys.

On the MK front, I was accepted into a program called Top Gun, which is an elite leadership training series. Only 10 consultants in our national area got accepted! Every week, I drive 3 hours each way to Dayton, OH to attend training at my national director's house. It's pretty rigorous, so it's only for people who are really ready to move up. We have assignments each week that help us get used to moving in the fast lane, and if we don't complete our assignments for the week, we have to drop out. I do not plan to drop out, even if getting it done kills me. If anybody wants a free eye shadow or ½-price item for giving me their opinion, just e-mail me! It would help a LOT! (Know what would help even more a lot? Letting me treat you and a couple friends to some pampering this month! You know you need it.)

I'll turn 30 on Saturday, and Charlie will turn 30 on the 26th. We're not panicking or anything, but it's kind of surreal to ponder.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Read This...It's Disgusting

Well, it's 4am, and I'm finally going back to bed.

I've been switching to the couch halfway through the night every night because of my back, so when I heard Caspian crying around 3, I assumed it was because I was gone. Instead of going in to take care of it, I decided to see how Charlie handled it. 10 or 15 minutes went past, and they had migrated into the bathroom, still awake. I was a little miffed that he hadn't just told Caspian where I was and explained why and maybe snuck in to "make sure" I was there...but I was letting him do it his way. Then I heard Caspian cry in a weird way I didn't recognize, so I got up.

I didn't recognize it because he's never had to use the puke cry before.

Oh, yes. While I was laying awake on the couch, letting Charlie fend for himself, Caspian had actually puked himself awake in bed. Poor Charlie. (But thank goodness we were sleep-sharing, or we might have woken up to a puke-crusted toddler.) Caspian had puked once on Charlie in bed, once on his own legs in bed, once on the bathroom floor, and several times into the bathroom trash can. He was so confused and totally distraught. That was the cry I heard.

In addition, Charlie was stuck on the toilet while Caspian threw up nearby. They apparently had contracted food poisoning from bad pizza (which I hadn't eaten, praise God). I sat on the floor an held Caspian while he heaved (mostly clear liquid, now). When he was finished, I got him to drink some water and eat two bites of saltine cracker. Which he then deposited back onto the bedroom floor. And the bathroom floor. And into the trash can.

I changed the sheets and his clothes, mopped up the floor, started a load of pukey laundry, and got them settled back into bed. Caspian was distraught for "boo", which doesn't surprise me, since he was so upset. I was hesitant to put anything else in his stomach, but he was going to make himself sick crying otherwise. A few minutes in — while he was asleep — he heaved and bubbled up again. I flipped him upright so he could "use" the towel we'd spread on the bed, and sure enough, out came more. Mostly mucous. Ew. That was new. Caspian was, of course, completely unsettled, having woken from serene sleep by being flipped around and then throwing up again.

After cleaning up a second round in bed, I held Caspian and rocked and sang and stroked his back. He was out and limp before Charlie could change the Boppy cover. I laid him down on the new towel, and he and Charlie are now blissfully asleep in bed. I decided to record this very first puke session for posterity while I waited for the first laundry load to finish. And now for round number two...

Monday, September 22, 2008

For those of you who are stalking this blog and haven't yet been informed by a real person: we're expecting!

Yes, it was planned (but the exact timing is God's.)
Our due date is April 23, 2009.
No, we won't know the gender until Christmas.
Yes, we hope it's a girl.
No, we'll still be thrilled if God wants us to have a boy. (Or as Charlie puts it, "If it's a boy, we'll just know that God wants us to have three kids.")
Yes, I've been tired and nauseated.
Yes, I'm already showing a little.
Yes, Caspian is over the moon about it.

From the creative team that brought you Tidbit, we present...Merbaby!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're cleaning out our storage room, and I found this doodle in one of the boxes (click to see close-ups). I was 15 when I did it. The top shows our family in the house across from the Luce Center (notice the garage/dojo and Stu's and my attic room). In this picture, we have (L-R) Duncan, Dad, Me, Stuart, Mom, and Eric, plus praying mantises and cats Simone and Maggie. Notice Duncan's long hair and his and Eric's muscles.

The back apparently depicts each of us in our "trademark" (to me, when I was 15) activities. Duncan working out (sweating) and doing martial arts (confident); Dad driving for Airborne Express (neutral) and drawing a cartoon (happy); Mom using the computer (happy) and singing/being with children (really happy); Me listening to music while reading with a cat (hey, I don't just enjoy one or two things) and singing/doing art/fashion design/being with children; Eric singing and writing (in a journal?) while sitting on his couch; and Stuart playing baseball (focused) and laying on the couch with the remote, watching TV (also focused).

Caspian leads prayer now! He says, "Jesus...thank you for food...love Jesus!...amen!"

He was playing on our electric keyboard tonight and specifically asked that the instrumentation be changed to "trumpet" then "guitar"...craziness! He is so freakin' smart, it blows my mind.

Our attempt to curb his "hit people" phase seems to be going well, by the grace of God. He still talks about Star Trek, but hasn't seen any for a couple of weeks. However, he did name his Cabbage Patch doll (at grandma's) "Kahn." Seriously.

I am so proud of him. He is very, very consistent about saying "Yes, please" and "No, thank you" all the time. What a blessing he is!

Recently, he's been practicing his "surprised" face, as well as "mad" and "sad" and "happy." He cracked me up on Monday, when he ran down the hall at my mom's, toward the mirror, came to a screeching halt, and gaped in surprise (hand gesture included). He always adds, "Surprise!" aloud just in case you didn't get which emotion he was demonstrating.

New obsession: potty books (Once Upon A Potty and 1, 2, 3, Pee!). Oh. My. Goodness. If he were only as willing to sit on the toilet as he was to talk about it...whew. He even tells us when he's about to go; he just won't sit on the toilet. We have got to get him a training potty...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Caspian had his 2 year check-up on Monday. He was 33½" tall and 27½ lbs. The four things we're going to start working on are self-dress, somersaulting, pedaling, and potty books. Caspian knows how to get his clothes on and off, he just isn't coordinated enough to do it. I've started letting him do more and try to do it alone first. He frequently "v"s on the bed (up on hands and feet, tush in the air, head down), but I don't let him push past "v" because it's always on the edge of the bed. We did some practice somersaults down the center of the bed this morning, and he cracked up. He doesn't have any pedaling opportunities, but maybe we'll find something at Goodwill or OUAC. He's mentioned going on the potty before, but he freaks out if we try to follow up on his request. He's very aware of his p*n*s and knows that boys have them (and this morning asked "mommy pee?" since I'm not a boy and don't have one — oh, my). His ped said we can start reading potty books to get him used to the idea of going on the toilet.

Star Trek is officially off limits at our house now. Caspian goes around shooting people with a "phaser" (stick, phone, finger, etc.) all the time. We explained that it's not okay to shoot people, unless they're "bad guys" but he's too young to grasp that. In the last couple of days, too, he's starting saying, "Hit people." That was the last straw for me. That is not the sweet, gentle boy I know. We agreed to completely censor everything he watches, even when we'd really like to watch Battlestar Galactica over dinner. Thank goodness for the Olympics — something for the whole family! Caspian is fascinated by gymnastics and swimming.

One of his newest occupations is driving his car. I was letting him play in an empty MK shipping box while I put away laundry, and he said it was his car. He was making car noises (below) and trying to put a key in the side of the box.

I cut a hole for the key to stick in, drew some console features, and gave him a round lid to use as a steering wheel (turning SO fast, below). The funniest thing was that after I was done, he said, "A C!" He kept saying it, so I drew an air vent and knob and labeled it "A/C"...and he was happy. He takes a drive at least once every afternoon now. See my laundry? :)

He's memorizing more and more books — most recently, Color Crunch. I let him finish the ends of rhyming lines or say a single line on a page.

He got to see Uncle Stuart again on Monday. Whenever we see a plane while we're playing on the playground, Caspian says, "Plane! Stuart. Fly plane. Happy [to] see ya!" We have no idea where he came up with "happy to see ya," but he says it every time he thinks of seeing Stuart.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I finally posted my Seminar pictures, but they haven't been captioned yet. Speaking of Mary Kay, this past week was my 7th $1,000 week! It always seems to happen when I have three classes in one week....

For 08-08-08, the Cre8tive Group had a big Chinese/Olympic-themed celebration. We even had our own competitive events with prizes: the triathlon, the saltine contest (first to eat 6 in under a minute), and the cinnamon contest (eat a heaping tablespoon at once, no time limit). The triathlon consisted of corn hole (below), Wii Summer Olympics hammer throw, and an obstacle course. The obstacle course was shooting a basketball basket, running to the jungle gym, climbing across the monkey bars, sliding down the slide, doing four spins on a dizzy bat, running back through cones, and shooting another basket. Charlie and I had the top two scores on the hammer throw, and we both got admirable times on the obstacle course. Two people (at least) fell off the monkey bars — one of whom scored some hairline fractures in her arm. The Cre8tive Group's cake for the event ended up on the Cake Wrecks blog, which is awesome (if you want to laugh until you cry, you only have to read Cake Wrecks' May blog posts). All in all, it was a very fun night. Thanks, Chad!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As if we needed another time-waster...wanna be a piece of IKEA furniture? You get different results with different capitalizations, too!

Swedish Furniture Name Generator

And it's "blog-a-DEE-ya," if you were wondering.

They also have an Action Hero Name Generator, blogged Wolf Action, Treasure Hunter.

Freebie formal picture, from my Mary Kay Seminar awards banquet! Isn't my hubby a hottie? Rhetorical question.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Well, it's done. He's two.

First thing this morning, Charlie trained him to answer "two" when asked how old he is. He also tried getting him to show "two" with his fingers, but that didn't work as well.

His very first gift was a light-up Spiderman outfit from his Great-Grandparents Fraser. Boy was he surprised when it lit up!

He loves showing us how strong he is! That always makes for the funniest picture, because he sucks in his gut and shrugs up his shoulders. He looks emaciated!

He only had two requests for his birthday: cake and Star Trek. More specifically, he wanted to wear his Star Trek outfit. Ever since he and Daddy had their Trek-a-thon during my absence, Caspian has been obsessed. He asks to watch it first thing every single morning! He pulls his outfit out of the dirty laundry every day, asking to wear it, so we washed it last night.

You would not believe how difficult it is to find cake at a restaurant nowadays. It used to be that everyone served a free piece of cake on your birthday (there were two that immediately leaped to mind). When I called one such restaurant today, however, here was the conversation I had:
"Hello, I have a quick question about your dessert menu."
"Do you serve cake?"
"Ummm...yes! We have brownies and cheesecake, so, yes."
So, not only could I not find free cake, I could not find any cake. And Caspian wanted cake — as in cake. With icing. And cake in it. Praise God for O'Charley's, who not only serves cake on their regular dessert menu, but who was willing to give us a free piece of it instead of the standard free piece of caramel pie. And it was triple chocolate cake. And it actually tasted as rich and yummy as it looked. Woo-hoo!

Before the cake came, he enjoyed rolls, broccoli, and macaroni & cheese — three of his favorites!

We got video of him eating his cake, too. He was pretty excited about it.

After dinner, we took him to see Wall-E, since we had a movie gift card. He watched most of it standing up or trying to sit on his booster seat on the floor (not very effective), but he really enjoyed it!

Yesterday he said his first honest-to-goodness sentence: "Mommy, help me...please!"

Here's my loving little kissy man. Our favorite thing is when he grabs your face for a kiss!

Sometime today I told him, "You're wonderful. Do you know that?" "Mm-hm." "Do you know how wonderful?" "Two!" was his answer. LOL

He also spent time with his grandparents for dinner and cupcakes on Monday. He got a toy microwave and play food from Grandma Bonnie & Grandpa Kirk, and Horton Hatches an Egg with a plush Horton from Grandma & Grandpa Fiskeaux. He was so excited! He LOVES pretending to cook, and he LOVES elephants (the trunk is even poseable).