Friday, October 30, 2009

Sawyer Meets Sabine!

My friend Sarah from college came over with her babe, Sabine today. We both feel like we know each others' babies via blog, so it seemed like any other day with friends, not the first time. So much fun!

Riding the fake horse.
Sabine multi-tasking. Baskets are good for people too.
Sabine was trying to teach Sawyer how to roll. He forgot.
The four of us.
I love the little ones checking each other out.

No More Family Vacations

I haven't talked this through with Rob yet, but after this trip, I am pretty sure I never want to take a vacation with Sawyer again. He was a great traveler in the car on the way (fingers crossed for the way back) and adapts easily to new situations. He just jumps right into playing and laughing and making himself at home.

Except at night. Which makes for looong nights. Part of this may be due to his bottom teeth, which have been coming in this week, but I have to say it's much harder to deal with sleep issues when you're sharing a room with the little one. His sleep issues now become my issues. I don't remember feeling this bad mentally and emotionally for a long time, and it reminds me of why I've had a hard time on every trip we've taken with Sawyer, now that I think back. I never get good sleep, and it makes me cranky and impatient with him in a way that I never am otherwise. Ugh.

Also, his eating has been horrible. It's like being in this new place puts him on speed, so he doesn't want to sit in a chair to eat. We've almost given up trying, because as soon as we get him in the chair and hook on the tray, he's ready to get out and starts just messing with his food if you don't let him. So he kind of grazes throughout the day, but he wants to throw meals by the wayside. Often he'll start eating and then just chew it up and spit it out and then run on to play. It's hard to know what to do with this.

I just keep clicking my mental heels together thinking, Soon I'll be home, Soon I'll be home, Soon I'll be home. If I weren't having such a great time visiting the fam and friends during the waking hours, I'd definitely have left a few days early to get back to Rob and our own home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A New Take on Animal Sounds

Saw has quite the array of animal sounds. This week he added wolf and chicken (which he actually did in his sleep last night) and dolphin (this one definitely doesn't sound like a dolphin, but he thinks it does). Also added to the list: the sound of Uncle Geoff.

My brother Geoff has a cough right now that won't go away, and you can hear him all over the house hacking. This morning, Saw heard him in the bathroom and said, "Geoff." Then he proceeded to fake cough. It was hilarious. So now, just like we can ask, "Sawyer, what does the horse say?" for a whinny, we can also ask, "What does Uncle Geoff say?" and get a fake cough. Only my child.


There are times when I realize too late that I've taught Sawyer something that maybe I shouldn't have. Like throwing animal crackers in the car, or where his butt is, or saying "YEAH!" instead of "yes." I guess I don't really care about some of them, or will worry later. Rob would file this under what he calls Consequences--those moments when I do things without realizing the long run big picture.

In any case, I love it when Saw says YEAH because of his enthusiasm. Here are a few things he said "yeah!" to this week.

"Sawyer, do you want a mowhawk?" (asked by Uncle Geoff)

"Sawyer do you want to pray with Mommy?" (before bed)

"Sawyer, do you want us to start calling you Wee Man?" (anyone ever watch Jacka**?)

"Sawyer, do you want to come sleep in Mommy's bed?" (in a particularly late and desperate moment)

"Sawyer, are you pooping?"

The last is one he always says no to. And he's almost always lying. :)

Bad Habits, Don't Go Home

I swear, we have not had a good night's sleep since leaving Texas. The best sleep still involved waking up at least one time. The worst--about fifteen. I don't know what is going on, but I sure hope that all these bad sleep issues, and the bad habits I'm starting to help us both get a little shut-eye will stay here and not travel home with us.

The last three nights, Sawyer has wanted a bottle in the middle of the night. He hasn't needed to eat during the night in months and I don't know what is making him need or want a bottle now. Then there's the thing he does like last night, where he wakes up, goes back to sleep, but is up again two minutes later. Repeatedly.

Though at home, I would handle this differently, when I'm sharing a room with the little guy, it's survival mode. Yes, you get the bottle in the middle of the night. Yes, you can come sleep in my bed for a few hours. I honestly just want some sleep. But I am definitely hoping and praying we can go back to our amazing schedule we had going when we get home, because I can't take much more of this...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


One of my favorite places to visit in Richmond is Maymont. Geoff took the day off from work and we had a great day with Saw, who basically ran around like mad instead of riding in the stroller. Then we both may or may not have fallen into the Japanese pond. What a beautiful day for it!

We told Saw to kiss the goat. He does open-mouthed kisses these days. Thankfully it's not the goat flu we're worried about... Feeding the goaties.
It was bright!
Me and the little man.
G and the special Sauce.
The fox got him so excited, he started stripping. (Really he just ran by it while removing his sleeve.)
I'm glad the fox sat under his sign. Otherwise I would have thought it was a bobcat.
Big hill! Bright sky!
Saw learning to roll down the hill.
Now being dragged.
Sawyer, meet the bear.
Stairs to the bamboo forest.
Being chased through the Japanese Gardens.
Stepping stones! (This isn't even where we fell in...)
Still dry...
STILL dry...
Now, not so much. This doesn't really do justice to how wet we are. I like the big spot on my baby belly though. That's hot.
The view down from the Italian Garden. Did I mention I love Maymont?
Fall leaves! And two of my favorite guys.

Fun with Other Pregos

I love hanging out with other people who are pregnant at the same time as me! I got to see Owen and Diane for coffee (decaf) the other night and it was great! Here's our cheesy prego pick.
Owen and Diane.

For Those of You in Texas, Let Me Introduce: Fall

Fall in VA: also called autumn. A season after summer and before winter where temperatures cool and leaves change colors and fall to the ground. See below photos.

Fall in Texas: a period of time known only by dates where the temperature may or may not cool and trees look the same as they do the rest of the year.

What Is Christian Childbirth?

I'm reading a new book from my midwife called The Christian Childbirth Handbook. She hasn't read it yet, so I'll be doing kind of a review for her. I'll make sure to post one here as well, but I am really impressed so far with how they've handled the reality of being a Christian and how it relates to birth.

Because our country's history and culture is so saturated in Christianity, I think that most people have a sort of general picture about it, whether or not they would call themselves Christians. I think that because it's so familiar, in many ways it's easily misunderstood, even by people who go to church. I think often Christianity is seen as a religion that centers around Jesus and church and basically trying to live a moral life like the Bible talks about. Christians look a certain way, dress a certain way, vote a certain way, and live in certain neighborhoods. That picture misses the point. Here's what Jennifer Vanderlaan says in the first chapter:

Being a Christian is not a mandate on your outward appearance, but a manifesto about your heart. There is great freedom in Christ, freedom that stems from the fact that you cannot earn your way into heaven. Freedom that grows when you realize that God does not need the little you have to offer him. Freedom that, when applied by the hear loving God and seeking to do his will, blossoms into a life which demonstrates God's glory to the world around you. (p3)

Ultimately, she states that being a Christian doesn't mean that you look a certain way, live a particular way or in a particular place. Because being a Christian is about the heart and moves outward through the actions, there is a lot of room for freedom and diversity. It doesn't start with trying to be moral--it starts by realizing there's no way we could ever be moral enough, and that Jesus both lived that perfect life we can't, and died to take the punishment we deserve for all our failings.

Vanderlaan then ties this to childbirth: in the same way that Christianity starts in the heart and moves outward in ways that may vary some from person to person, Christian childbirth starts in the heart and allows room for freedom. She states that "Christian childbirth does not require a strictly defined birth place, a preset number of people in attendance or the environment in which a woman gives birth...Christian childbirth exists when a woman chooses to live out her faith in Christ in labor, and that cannot be identified simply by the actions you see taking places." (p4)

Well said! I have barely gotten into the book, but I feel challenged in my faith and to look at the decisions I'm making in terms of preparing for birth, taking care of myself and baby during pregnancy, and just in my life. We'll see how the rest of the book is, but I am thankful for this clear articulation of the relation between birth and faith!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In My Pregnancy Dreams, I'm Blonde

Last night I dreamed that instead of the moon, the earth rose. It was such a beautiful night to watch the earth rise, that I went out and took pictures and was trying to get one that showed North America, but it was spinning so fast, it was really hard.

Yeah, pregnancy dreams are great. And realistic.

Sawyer at Almost 18 Months

Since being in Virginia (and actually just since starting this trip), I've noticed some things about Sawyer's development that I hadn't before. Maybe simply because we were at home and I got used to the environment, or because the new settings and people are revealing new things about him.

One huge thing that astounded me was how well he did in the car. I had a DVD player, but used it as a very last resort, and most of the time in the car, he was awake. Ginny and I sat up front, and he would really entertain himself. He could reach the toy bag I packed and would take out a toy at a time (or sometimes dump them out everywhere) and play with that one toy--spinning the propeller of the helicopter (reminding me of his cousin Caleb) or making the people do things or driving a car up and down his legs. I was really impressed with that ability to entertain himself.

I was prepared to be stressed out when we got here simply because the house isn't used to having children. I figured Sawyer would be into everything and it would be quite the task to watch and keep up with him, as it can be if I take him to non-child homes sometimes. So far, we have yet to put up the baby gate. We do keep many of the bedroom doors shut, but the living room and dining room are totally open, and he hasn't seem interested at all. Bonus! He has mostly gone back and forth between the two areas with toys, and for the most part, stayed out of trouble. That is really a huge step for him, as for months it has been a really hard job to keep him away from things he's curious about that are best left off-limits.

I knew he'd been talking more and more, but have also just seen how exponentially his vocab has increased. Ginny and I saw him repeat things like a parrot in the car, such as "Where are you?" which I said while on the phone with my parents. He doesn't pick up on everything, and most especially not the things you necessarily try to teach him to say, but this little story illustrates how sharp he is and how short that connection between brain and mouth is becoming.

We call my Dad Grandpa Turkey, though he goes by Rick in real life (except for a few family friends that do call him Turkey). He leaves lovely comments on here sometimes--thanks, Dad! We've been working on Sawyer to say both Gammy and Turkey, which he hasn't picked up as easily as Gigi or Geoff, for whatever reason. But the other day he walked into the kitchen where my Dad was and said, "Hi, Rick." Several of us heard it, so I know I wasn't imagining it, and it was hilarious! Those little wheels are turning....

Sawyer's First Post

yhcccccccccccccccccccc yyyyyyyyyyyyn gggghhhhhhhhbb vr9888888888888888n m9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 b bvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv b ttttt

Sometimes Tylenol Is My Favorite Person

I had an epiphany yesterday when I happened to notice something in Saw's mouth: perhaps the reason he's not sleeping is more teeth. And yup, the bottom canines are just under the surface. What do you know? So last night when he woke up for the first time, crying, I gave him Tylenol. (Funny enough, after the tiny does he's allowed, he said, "More?") And...he slept all night. Which means Mommy slept all night. Though we're up and it's early, I got more than one consecutive hour of sleep. I think I got like six or seven!

So maybe I'll be a little nicer if some kids' show wigs me out today... :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Preachy Children's Shows

This morning, being really grumpy, I was especially annoyed when Sid the Science Kid decided to take on vaccines. And, okay, I know that the majority of people are vaccinating their kids, so watching a cartoon friend get their shot might be helpful or something. I just feel like every time I turn around, the cartoon shows have some kind of adult agenda they're pushing, and it's not always one I'm on board with as a parent. Maybe my favorite cartoons did the same when I was a kid, but I sure don't remember learning any life lessons from the Smurfs. I don't like Sid anyway, so maybe I'll not complain and just keep the TV off, as it should be.

This Does Not Bode Well...

[If anyone can tell me about the episode of Arrested Development where Gangy says uses the quote from my post title, you'll win a prize. I don't mean a literal prize, more my respect...]

I am learning things every day as a parent. This morning I learned that if you don't want your child to eat or drink something, it's not a good idea to let them take a bite or sip, thinking they'll hate it and this will deter them.

Case in point: Sawyer wanted to drink my coffee this morning. Being a non-sugar coffee drinker, I thought, sure--why not? It doesn't taste good. Anyone who drinks coffee knows that it's an acquired taste, usually acquired through a gateway like the Frappuccino or the gas station cappuccino (my own personal gateway). So I give him the tiniest of sips. And then, a tiny little voice: "More?"

I guess I won't be giving him shots of tequila anytime soon...

Night and Day, Literally

I chose the title post just for Rob, who gets terrifically annoyed when people say "literally" but really aren't being literal. Example: "I just about went through the roof--literally." Unless you were wearing a jet pack, you probably meant figuratively.

In any case, I want to talk about night and day literally, and also how Sawyer's behavior is figuratively night and day when it comes to night and day. Confused yet?

I have a great little traveler and adapter. He walked in the door at my parents' house and immediately was having fun. He's been in great moods and having a great time so far this trip, both in the car and at the house. But, of course, that's the day time.

At night, he has been a disaster, and it's really starting to wear on both of us. (Which is unfortunate in his case, since his wonderful daytime demeanor is slowly rotting away into tired little boy attitude. I won't even mention my attitude...) My previous post about him waking up multiple times has continued, and this morning he woke up for good somewhere around 6am (which is 5am Texas time) and cried hysterically, wanting a bottle. In the end, I went ahead and got him one, but of course this didn't get him back to sleep. He did lay quietly in bed with me until like 7:30, but there was no more sleeping.

I just don't know why he's waking or what to do about it. Especially since we're sharing a room at night. There's always the basement...but I don't really think that's an option. Maybe I should just think of this as preparation for new baby in a few months?? I really just wish that I could say that he's an all-around great traveler instead of simply good at dealing with the daylight hours.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Kind of Parent I Want to Be...

One thing I love about my parents (and actually, Rob's as well) is that they're not afraid to do fun, silly things that other people might thing are better left to youth. I myself still like to climb a good tree, and I don't care if I'm almost 32. The day I stop climbing trees is the day I really will be OLD. So, here are a few pictures from today illustrating this characteristic of my parents. I love it!

Here is the best series of photos ever: Mom v the bouncy ball.

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me Some Sleep...

So, what I'm learning is that Saw adapts pretty well to travel. He's having a blast here and even did well in the car. It's been mostly easy putting him to bed. What has NOT been easy is keeping him asleep.

The first few nights on the road, he woke up two to three times, and just seemed to need reassurance that he had someone familiar nearby. He went back down easily with a word or pat or song. But last night, it was like he knew I was in the room with him and just wanted constant care. He slept for four straight hours when I put him down, but then when I came to bed, even though I didn't even turn on the light, he woke up every hour or half hour, crying. All. Night. Long.

I feel quite like a zombie today and was really frustrated during the night with the whole ordeal. He doesn't seem to have any issues with teeth or sickness, so I do really think it's just knowing I'm in the room. I'm not sure we can set him up in another place to sleep, so I don't know how this is going to work, but I can't have many more nights like this. Argh!

Fun with the Fam, Exhibit A

Hanging out with the Grandpa Turkey.Chilling with the horse that we all keep thinking is Tex. Right size, right color. It's creepy.
Trying on Grandpa Turkey's shoes.
And looking up to no good...

Road Trip Photos!

Our first stop in Bass Pro Shop--Saw drives four-wheelers. And kayaks.
Ginny and Saw trying to steal a boat.
Saw had to take over when Ginny drank too much. You never want a BUI.
My favorite random sign on the road.
Sawyer drinking milk out of a dog bowl. He has a thing for dog bowls.
Me, Saw and Sandy. Thanks for the hospitality!
Saw and Maggie dancing.
Both Gigi's are getting into it.
Saw then started stripping.
He likes the one-shoulder look, but I think it's so last season.
Trying to take a group photo doesn't always work.
The ladies!
At the end of the road--Gigi, Saw and me.
Ginny got reunited with her Markums! And then they drove some more.



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