May 27, 2009

La la la-la la la

What is funner than dressing your newborn as a smurf?

Um, pretty much nothing.

Especially when he gets to meet auntie for the first time.

Jess and I used to build Lincoln Log homes for our rubber smurf figurines. We would  get so excited to buy new smurfs for $1 at pic'n'save. Ah, those were the days. 

I remember using dove soap boxes to makes stoves for my little smurfs.

And now I have a real live smurf of my own to play with.

Yup, I have a little grumpy smurf on my hands. Have I mentioned that we are single-handedly keeping Mylicon in business with this boy?

May 26, 2009

4 girls and 4 boys

As I was driving around town yesterday, I was struck by the reality that in less than one week, my younger sister Lindsay would be getting married. Crazy! (Speaking of which, did anyone watch that Newlyweds show on tv last night? Whoa! 2 words: Train wreck. My favorite player was the larger guy who complained that the other couples were too skinny...he complained "doesn't anyone here eat burgers?" and "am I the only one who has to hide his stomach with his pillow"?). I digress.

In honor of Lindsay's wedding, I was driving to purchase my first pair of spanx. They do help some, but less face it. I still look like I just had a baby. And that's ok, at least for now. I feel better that at least I am trying to look presentable for Lindsay's big day.

And my sister Jessica and her family drove in from out of state for the big wedding. Jessica and her girls were able to scoot up here for a quick visit.
Here is a photo of us last summer. 4 girls & 3boys

And less than one year later...4 girls &4 boys.

The main difference being Twain... and my couch!

This was Auntie Jessica's first time meeting Tweetle.

Except that instead of calling him Tweetle, she kept calling him Twinkie! I thought that was cute, considering how teensy he is.  So take your pick--Tweetle or Twinkie.

Here is Emily with my candy machine.

Tacy is drawing me a beautiful picture of a bird. She's quite the art-eest.

Little Ansley is playing with Ollie. They are 4 months apart in age.

I bought a new slip-n-slide for them all to play on. I wanted the kids to have the best time ever. 

Precious little Kate kept insisting that Calvin was her brother. She's quite the little spit-fire.

While I was feeding Twain in my room, she came in and sat cross-legged and started making conversation. She is SUCH a character. I tried to convince her to come live with me, but to no avail. She has quite the unswerving devotion to my sister. I tried to bribe her to stay with candy, but she said politely replied, "no thanks, you only have yellow candy in your machine."

Goodness. I knew I should have re-stocked my candy machine.

The worker at Target convinced me to buy this sprinkler/ball popper.

I must say, it's been a BIG hit around here.

We had so much fun Jess! We can't wait to see you all again in just 4 short days.

scrabble cheez-its

Has anyone seen these nifty new scrabble cheez-its?

I love Calvin's chubby little hands.

I think these new cheez-its are ingenius.

And they are not only fun for kids. Can you imagine how much fun YOU could have playing scrabble with these bad boys at your kitchen table?

May 22, 2009

mike & gretch visit

Mike and Gretchen are among the loveliest friends I will ever know. They are beautiful inside and out. 

I could hang out with them for hours talking. On the couch, or on the floor. They are just that type of friends.

They moved away last June and I was so sad.

But they came back for a visit!

And I was so thrilled to see them and their dear son Elijah. Unfortunately, Ollie was a'napping, so I did not get a photo of them together. 

They got to meet Twain for the first time and it was precious.

Gretchen immediately requested to hold him. She is amazing with babies.

Gretchen reminds me of a young Nicole Kidman

When Twain started fussing, Mike volunteered to hold him. I don't know many guys who willingly volunteer to soothe a crying baby, but that is Mike for you. He rocked Twain in the yellow chair and gave him the binky. I wish I had a shot. It was so cute.

And next time I see you Gretch, I will hopefully have lost the baby weight...and then I will steal your dress and boots:)

Thanks so much Mike and Gretch, for giving Twain all of your love. It was so special.

And next time, hopefully Ollie will be awake to play with Lijah!

May 20, 2009


Ollie's diaper came undone so John taped it back up with some masking tape.

when does one officially cross the line between resourceful and just plain cheap??

well, regardless, i found the whole thing pretty amusing.

ollie bummin'

and not because of his ghetto diaper...or the new baby.

poor thing got his fingers slammed in the door tonight by accident

May 16, 2009

the name game

This post is for those of you who inquired about Twain's name.

First, it was Gus. Like waaaay back when I first got pregnant and was haphazardly throwing around names. And personally, I still really do like the name. And it helped that I knew a trim, tall, handsome Gus in college. However, I was not sure how my child would fare in grade school...and the rest of life. 

Would they call him Gus-Gus like the mouse on Cinderella? 

or Fussy Gussy?

What kind of image does Gus portray? Is it rolly polly?

These were the questions plaguing my brain. So as much as I liked the name, I just did not love the name, so I was reluctant to actually pull the trigger. 

So I kept looking.

and  looking.

Then came Hansel.

Yes, as in Hansel and Gretel.

I do like the name and interestingly enough, the name means John.

Perfect right?

Well, the problem is that some accused the name Hansel as being too feminine. Boo. I thought it would look cute on a shaggy-haired boy. But I could see where they were coming from.

Back to the drawing board.

The whole name game was driving me crazy. There was one night I stayed up til midnight searching through all of Mark Twain's literature for a fun character name. 

The name Twain stood out to me and so I did a google search on "baby names and Twain", to see what popped up. Here is what I found.

"The boy's name Twain \t-wain\ is ofMiddle English origin, and its meaning is "divided in two". Made famous byAmerican writer Mark Twain, who got his name from the calls of river boatmen. His original name was Samuel Clemens.

Twain is a very rare male first name and a very rare surname (source: 1990 U.S. Census). "

I was pleased to see that the name was acknowledged as an actual first name(though rare) and not just a surname.

I was definitely interested. I liked the way it went with my other boys' names. So I emailed myself the name, so I would still remember it in the morning(keep in mind it was late and there have been numerous times where I came up with a name and drove myself crazy because I forgot it).

That night I also came across the name Orion, who was Twain's brother. I know, I'm a nut. But I just couldn't resist a name that starts with the "O" sound.

Over the next few days I mulled it over.

Gus Orion 
Twain Orion

I ran the name "Twain" by the peanut gallery and did not get any "yucks" or "ews".

As the days went on, the name Twain increasingly grew on me. I could just envision his stuff with the name embroidered on it. So fun.

Tweetle Beetle Twain.

I think it suits our little bug perfectly.

Twain here. Sorry for hogging the blog lately. My mommy just can't help herself because I'm her last baby. She keeps muttering something about how spoiled I am going to be, but I have no idea what she is talking about.

May 12, 2009

4 kids later...

...and there are still times I do not know what I am doing.

Last tuesday was the low point. Twain would scream hysterically every time we put him down. My arms were tired and I needed to rest.

In my entire career as a mom, I have only purchased one baby contraption: a little swing. Everything else was a gift or hand-me down.

So when I urgently sent mom out to babies 'r us to buy a hideously blue-colored boppy bouncer, you know I was desperate. I had previously vowed that only tan or grey neutral items would step foot in my house. But this bouncer came recommended by a friend. She said is was very snug and made it feel like someone was holding the baby. And did I mention my desperation???

I think Finn and Calvin were more excited about it than anyone. 

$54.99 later and the boy is still screaming.

Mom, John and I were completely outnumbered. We needed back-up. Heck, we needed back-up for the back-up. 

That evening, Twain was screaming again. I had just fed him. Mom and I were delirous at this point and had no idea what we were doing.

Is Twain hungry?


Is Twain gassy?

Do we give him a bottle?

Or will this make him even more gassy?

On and on we went. You'd think he was our first.

By now, my tiny newborn is screaming and kicking like a wild little donkey. It was really something else to witness such fury from someone so small. Finally we caved and gave him a little formula, which he guzzled.

My child was starving. Starving, I tell you.

Normally I have no qualms about giving the baby formula, especially in the beginning. But it can be a slippery slope--some babies get lazy, and I feared this was going to be the case with Twain.


he was quiet. And calm. And happy.

and he loved his new bouncer.(above photo by Lorie)

I pretty much thought my nursing career was over. I'm kind of melodramatic when it comes to nursing. I always vow, each pregnancy, that I am not going to be as neurotic.

But when my baby is hungry and unhappy, then I am unhappy. And every cry starts to sound the same to my sensitive ears.

feed me!

Feed Me!


Even if the baby was crying for no good reason at all. Which we all know that babies do from time to time. 

I decided that if Twain was going to quit on me, then I was gonna go down in a blaze of glory, trying to increase my milk supply.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do.

In all of 10 minutes,

I ate 2 steaks
and a hamburger
and guzzled half a gallon of water until I was dizzy.

I ate like a pig for the rest of the night. It helped some, but not as much as it should. My milk supply was still kind of slugglish. Which was odd for me.

I suspected that my pain killer Darvocet was partly to blame. One of its side effects is drowziness. If it could slow my brain down, who knows what else it was slowing down?

So even though I was not entirely ready to bid the Darvocet goodbye, I switched to Advil, to see what would happen. The next day my supply DRAMATICALLY INCREASED. 

That sneaky Darvocet. Or perhaps it was just coincidence. Or the combination between Darvocet and not eating enough. I will probably never know for sure. 

And the Twain boy is a new baby. He has been downgraded from a category 5 tropical storm to a gentle breeze of wind on a warm sunny day. Well, not exactly, but in comparison to what he used to be...

Now that he is no longer starving, he actually SLEEPS. He sleeps a lot. Dare I say he is mellow after all? And he can go at least 2.5 to 3 hours between feedings. Sorry about all my ramblings, but if this helps anyone to hang in there with the nursing, then it was worth it:) It can be so hard in the beginning.

And the best part is, I have been able to rest so much more and so my incision is healing much better. I am still on Advil, but am gradually decreasing my dosages. I am still recovering and am not back to my old self(ie. I still can't sew yet). But day by day I am able to do more and more, as I putz around the house. I am very pleased with the overall progress of my recovery. And to spur me on, I even ordered some fabric online for when I can sew again.

In the meanwhile, I will just hang out on my deck and dream of all the little things I will get to make Twain someday.