Saturday, December 31, 2005

Post Head Trauma Shot=Seeing if the lips work!

No smile....check
Lips working...check

Okay, Thomas, let's roll!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Our 2nd Christmas with Mom, Dad and Drew!

Tonight Mom and Dad, along with Drew, made it over a very snowy and difficult Cascades pass. I didn't know all day if it would happen, as the passes looked awful. They made it over and we enjoyed a quiet late afternoon together. Although everyone was tired, we decided that it would be fun for the boys to open their presents tonight so they could enjoy their toys for the duration. For the record....the Whipples played by the rules and stayed within the dollar amount. The Kings/Vankemsekes cheated and showered us with way too much goodness! It's embarrassing really, but Thomas loved his toys, John and I got exactly what we wanted, and Drew was enjoying setting up Shark Park with Uncle John when near disaster struck!

Thomas takes a HEADER out of his crib! Yep, there's a first time for everthing and tonight Thomas decided it was time to try out his climbing skills-despite the presence of an ever vigilant Nana and his father no more than 8 feet away on the floor. However it started (no one saw him climb up), John saw the ending and I heard it from the kitchen. Mom ran out of the room calling for Jesus and I rushed passed her to see what that thud was. Turns out it was the back of Thomas's head meeting Mr. Hardwood floor-head on-literally!

We haven't had much luck at the ER during the Christmas season, but I truly thought this one had passed us by without the mandatory visit. Four years ago we had to take a baby Drew to the ER with breathing difficulties. Three years ago I spend Christmas day being evaluated with what turned out to be my first (and only) migraine, despite my best prediction that I had to be dying of a brain hemorrage with the intense pain. Last year everyone was sick, including John's cousins that came to town, but to my best recollections, no one had to visit the ER. So, I actually had the nerve to remark to Brad that it looked like everyone was healthy this year, as he made his way up to visit with his family. Hmmmmm....great call!

The ER was slammed that night, but Thomas seemed to enjoy himself checking out the obese lady with the funny mask on her face sitting in a wheelchair, the old lady in her pajamas with her feet propped up on her wheelchair across from us (I couldn't help but think of Bird Flu), the baby being rocked on the other side of us, the water fountain with it's many disposable cups to play with, and the candy machine. He did not like the wrist band they wanted me to put on, and he did not like me changing him on that funny table in the bathroom. He liked playing "monkey" on his hospital bed as the man kiddy-corner to us moaned in pain, and he enjoyed running down the hall right before the doctor came to visit him-finally! What a very expensive popsicle we all shared tonight. And to make matters worse, the crazy woman at John's "favorite" KFC messed up our order on our way home, forcing me to call corporate office and report her for forgetting my chicken for my chicken salad and John's BBQ sauce for his BBQ chicken. Take that, crazy lady!

We missed the cousin's party that night at Punkie's and I felt bad that Drew missed out on a fun evening as he waited for us to return. He was such a great sport about it and I hope that sometime I can make up for his missed party. Bruce and Lil skipped the party to join us at the hospital, but once Bruce had talked it over with us and checked out Thomas for himself, they headed off to fill my folks in on what was going on. I was thankful they came and happy that they didn't miss the whole evening entirely.

As I rode with Thomas to the hospital, and again that night as I lay on my mat beside Thomas's crib, I thought of Jenny's story of Madeline's concussion this summer. Madeline was out of it and threw up after crashing on her head, and Jenny then had a hard time keeping her awake. I knew in my heart as I thought of those symptoms that Thomas was ok, and without that story running through my head as an example, I would have been in a world of hurt. I did sleep that night, checking on him several times, but I had a peace in my heart that all was well and the knowledge that this is certainly not the first time Thomas takes us to the edge.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Thomas, Pretzels and Putting on Your Game Face!

I sometimes feel just a bit guilty about it, but not enough to stop. I remember the pain of it as a child. Dreading the moment when it would arrive, and I would have to sit, sometimes quiety, sometimes with as much fervor as I could muster in my little body. And now, like a father passing on his family name and wealth, I shall too pass along the pain....the pain of weekend SPORTS! (Although with my father it was mostly baseball and M.A.S.H) Yes, Thomas may control the activities of our daily lives, with our schedules, our Nick Jr/Disney television shows, and our freetime, but he does not have much say when the Seahawks play this season. His only choice in the matter has been which jersey he wants to wear, and his choice is Hasselbeck or Alexander. And since his grandpa is NOT an Alexander fan, most often he has been seen wandering our hallway in Hasselbeck, aimlessly trying to distract us with trains, trucks and a whine here and there. He will learn....oh yes he will, and it is not like he is not rewarded for his patience. I have been known to bribe him with pizza and candy, pretzels and other treats. Sometimes it's even been our treat that he goes down for his nap....RIGHT BEFORE kickoff! How amazing is that! And so, yes, I do sometimes feel guilty that Thomas must suffer through a game here and there...but only for brief moments. After all, it's the Seahawks!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Santa Visit, 2005 (21 Months old)

Each time we've gone to the mall, we've taken Thomas up to see Santa, wondering if "this" would be the time Thomas would agree to go up and have his picture taken. Each time Thomas has been more than content to look at the lights and check out "fosty" and his little friends. Today we realized it was crunch time for getting this year's picture done, so we decided to take him to Yeager's sport store to meet Santa there, and if he wasn't into that Santa, we'd take him to the mall for one last shot at that Santa. Well, he wasn't diggin' Yeager Santa, so we tried our luck at the mall. It didn't look good, as just before it was our turn, the tape in the helper's machine ran out, prompting a longer than necessary wait. Yeah, Thomas was running out of patience. BUT, John pulled out the big gun....Thomas's Harvey train, and right then Santa called him up. With John gently coaxing Thomas to show Santa his new train, Thomas made his way towards Santa, and let Santa pull him into his lap. It was a great shot, too!

New Thomas moments

Thomas is changing every day, and never more evident than with his vocabulary. He is saying new words every day, and is quite the one word chatter box in the car these days. He loves to point out the Christmas lights, frosty, icy, snow, smooth, splash, mo-mo (Elmo), Jay-Jay, rain, mulk (milk) choo-choos, andy (candy), Santa, baa (bath), la la (salad), juice, drink, nak (snack) go-go (yogurt) Yesh (yes, which is said with a lot of vigor and was taught to him by his grandma while I worked!) Jesha (Jesus), coffee, and our favorite "wah-poo", which we believe is his Native American word for both fire and pretzel. Grandpa is bubba and Grandma Lil is mah-mah. Grandpa Darrell is Papa and Grandma Marion is Nana. I'm Mommy and John is Dad-deeeee, usually said with much enthusiasm. He loves to read in his crib, and we've had a lot of nights where we've put him to bed, only to have him sitting up in his crib half hour to an hour later "reading" his books and making tractor noises. John and I took him for a late walk through the neighborhood and up to the Pohlmans last night, and when we came back we visited the shop and Grandpa. While in there I noticed that Thomas has a block of wood with different sizes of screws and holes in it, and watched in amazement as Thomas picked out a screwdriver, fit it into the correct screw and then began screwing it into the wood. Call me ignorant, but they're selling huge wooden play toys for kids Thomas's age and here Thomas has the fine motor skills to work it out on his own with the real thing. When I asked Lil about it, she said that he didn't know how to do it last week, but has worked hard at it each time they go up to visit, and now this week he has it mastered. I'll bet money he'll be working the table saw next week at the rate they're going.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Waterfall Swimming!

Thomas waited all day for Grandpa to get back from Seattle today, and when he did come in, Thomas was up the stairs like a rocket to see his favorite buddy. They took off together outside, leaving Lil and I to catch up on the last few day's events. Within a few minutes, I catch sight of Grandpa hauling Thomas back towards the house, and by the sounds of it, Thomas is none to pleased with something. Thomas rarely cries, and and was really going after it, so both Lil and I head for the back door to meet up with them. When we got to the door, I opened it, only to find Bruce holding a howling and soaking wet Thomas, who was flailing his arms and lunging for me. I pulled his soaked body to me, and Bruce and I tried an attempt at stripping the boy, who thankfully was fully dressed but without a bulky coat. As we stripped him, Bruce told me that Thomas had jumped into the waterfall pond. Lil asked Bruce where he was, and Bruce said, "Right beside him." It was so funny, and even as I'm trying to calm Thomas down with soothing words and mama talk, I wanted to laugh out loud. The waterfall and ponds that Bruce build and beautifully landscaped have never been an issue for any of us. We just never let Thomas out of our sight, as you can imagine what a wonderful adventure they hold for a little boy. He enjoys them a lot, and we let him go around them, throw rocks at times, but we're never far away. We're constantly talking to him about them, though, as he'll still try and see how close he can get to them without us pulling him back. So, we'll see how Thomas addresses the ponds tomorrow after his little adventure today. Nothing a hot bath won't cure, that's for sure!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Costco Dog Times TWO!

We went to Costco tonight to get supplies and we had a great time checking out the toys, playing basketball with the display hoop, running down the aisles and eating! It was a good time had by all, especially seeing Thomas polish off a huge hotdog at 8 o'clock at night! I just knew he's sleep well with a belly full of hotdog and lemonade. So, now Thomas likes to hold my hand and take off running and squeals with glee as we run together. So, we took off across the parking lot, and of course, the cold air hits his lungs and by the time we got to the car he was coughing. As I put him in his carseat he's coughing so much he's gagging....and then the fun begins! Costco hotdog comes spewing forth, again and again. As Thomas pukes, I catch it with my hands (I'm trying to keep it from getting on him, me, his carseat or the floorboards.) As I catch the hotdog slime, I throw it out of the car into the parking lot and go back for more, as Thomas doesn't stop with just a few heaves. More and more, and then John gets into the act, as I'm having trouble with the lemonade/hotdog/stomach acids concoction we are experiencing. Finally, Thomas rids himself of all nourishment for the evening, I wipe things up with the spare box of wipies that I stashed in the car, and we're off! Shaking our heads and commenting about how only with your own are you able to handle a situation like that and drive away with a smile and a chuckle. God, can we get a break on the stomach experiences?!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Double trouble! Our most horrible weekend!

Saturday morning- This morning I was going to run the Jingle Bell Run, but I woke up a bit late, and decided it wasn't worth the effort with the frigid cold and all. Plus, John woke up and said he didn't feel well. I waited around a bit for him to get out of bed, and played with Thomas, all the while itching to go out on my own run. By 9:30 I'd lost my gumption to go out and the early morning coffee high had worn off, so I was content just to sit around and enjoy a lazy Saturday morning. John finally pulled himself up but he was really feeling sick to his stomach, so most hope of Christmas shopping and festivities quickly went out the window. AND, by 11:30 I was starting to feel a little funny. NO JOKE! By nap time, John had already hit the toilet for the 1st of several toilet competitions (whose turn is it to watch Thomas, who's got the can?) between John and myself. By mid afternoon I'd entered the puke-a-thon, and the race was on to see who could dehydrate the quickest! It's horrible to be's double horrible to be sick with a toddler who could care less if your insides are threatening to erupt out of your body and you feel like you're being run over by a diesel truck over a bed of stinging's most horrible when two parents are jockeying for toilet time while trying to keep a toddler content! What a nightmare! I hate throwing up! That's why I've never gotten drunk...because I HATE TO THROW UP! I willed myself to not throw up for my entire pregnancy, despite 9 months of sickness, except for that one time on our cruise when the foo-foo chicken and a high seas storm sent me running. Anyway, by evening, I was practically begging for Bruce and Lil to get back to watch him for awhile, because he really needed time to run around and go outside, and we just couldn't manage it. They did get home and took him off our hands for awhile and Lil cleaned our disaster of a house (God bless that woman!). We felt so sorry for him, as he'd been couped up all day long. I went to bed. I couldn't do anything else. John seemed to manage a bit better, but with two more bouts of can time, I thought I might just end up in the hospital from whatever plague we'd been hit with. Don't think bird flu didn't cross my mind, either. By morning, John and I were both feeling better, which was an absolute miracle, considering how the night went. The body still ached, but the stomach was intact. That was most important. It took John until Wednesday night to eat a small meal, and I finally ate a light meal on Tuesday night. Did I lose weight through it all....yeah, I wish I could have been so lucky for all my trouble. Not a chance! Shoot this one down as the worst weekends EVER! I can't think of one that was worse. And I hope to never write about one again!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Neighborhood fun!

It's very sad to think about, but our times playing with the Pohlmans in our neighborhood are dwindling quickly. They are leaving for Seattle some time next year, and although we have truly enjoyed all our time together since they've moved back, it is even more apparent how much they will be missed now that we know they are going. This morning Jodi called while I was out on my run and wanted to meet up for a walk. It is bitterly cold here, but after getting back home, feeding Thomas and getting him ready, we were ready to hit the hills of our neighborhood. It is a refreshing treat to chat with Jodi, and always fun to share stories since we last caught up. I try not to think about her leaving, as it is very difficult to feel like you're losing something, but as we go about our days, I can't help but think about how short our days are together. I want to really enjoy each and every time we just run up to their house, or she stops by with Lauren just to play, or we hang out up at their house together, or our jaunts around the neighborhood with the kids. I thought we would have many years together, watching our beautiful kids grow up together, but I guess God has different plans for our lives, and a different path for us to travel down. I trust that he will bring peace and happiness in this decision, and will ease the transition with their leaving.

This afternoon, Thomas and I walked up to Jenny's house and played, before leaving to make our way back home for dinner. Of course, Thomas can walk up to the house, but when it's time to go, he's all mama's boy and wants to be held "like a baby", or so he says. I look back and realize what a wonderful day is was, full of laughter and great friends. I couldn't ask for more from a day!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mommy and Tommy cooking together for the 1st time! 20 Months

Thomas helped me whip up a batch of strawberry dessert that is one of my favorites that both Mom and Grandma used to make. It was a lot of fun having Thomas help me hold the mixer as we added different ingredients. I look forward to having him help out with the chocolate chip cookies next!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cutting Christmas trees with Friends!

Today we headed out to Mt. Baker highway to cut a tree and hang out with our friends Carrie and Kevin and Kevin's mother Liz. We didn't want to cut our tree this early, but we wanted to spend time with them, as they live in Seattle and we rarely see them these days. Carrie and I used to be running partners, and since she left I have yet to find a running buddy who will meet me at the trailhead at 5 am, in the dark, with our headlamps shining, bundled up in multiple layers to keep the freezing temperatures from killing us. I'm sure Kevin is still heated about me bailing on our Frosty run this morning, I knew my knee wasn't up to it, and the physical therapist has yet to clear me for more than 4 miles. I hope he forgives me one of these days! We enjoyed our time running around in the trees and snow while looking for the perfect tree. The Santa in the shack didn't impress Thomas but the Quad bikes in the parking lot sure did!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Airplane Pictures from November 2005

Thomas was interested in the airplanes as much as any toddler would. He enjoyed looking out the windows of the plane and watching the construction projects going on around the Seatac airport while we waited in the terminal. The play areas scattered around help out, too, and the employees of the terminal were very kind and interested in helping. These pictures show just how interested Thomas was in the airplane adventure!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thomas's First Airplane Ride! 20 Months Old

After much agonizing, I decided to take Thomas to Yakima to meet the new baby. His cold appears to be wrapping up, and he's looking better all the time. It was difficult leaving John behind for many reasons, and the thought of all the "what ifs" is enough to send a person over the edge. At one point I even considered the clothing we were wearing in case of a crash landing in the Cascades and I had to walk Thomas out. Uhhhhh.....just a little crazy you might think! Aside from a very sick stomach due to nerves, the trip out of Bellingham was wonderful. We shared our area with a flight attendant stationed in Alaska and she was great to sit and chat with. I didn't even have to take out our new portable DVD player, as Thomas was very content to eat his snacks and watch out the window. He seemed to enjoy pointing out the ships that dotted the coastline as we flew to Seattle. Thomas cried pretty good during landing and clawed at his ears and face, but he made it through it all and pulled it together on the landing. You can try all the tricks to help on landing, but the drink, the binkie, the candy and the crackers-nothing worked this time.

Once at Seatac, a very intuitive employee read the look on my face as absolute confusion, and quickly hussled Thomas and I back down an elevator, down an outdoor tunnel and pointed us to the shuttle bus that we needed to take. Without her guidance Thomas and I would probably still be walking around the terminal wondering why we couldn't find our gate. I asked the shuttle driver where I should have looked to see that I had to go outside the terminal to ride the bus to get to another gate, and he smiled at me and told me that I could have also taken the inside tram. Uhhhh....that didn't quite answer my question, but I'll let my ignorance go at this point. Good thing for helpful terminal employees.

The flight to Yakima was fantastic. There was an open seat next to me and I was able to strap Thomas in to the seat and sit back while he ate his Goldfish and watched Elmo. Thanks God for Elmo. What a wonderful creature. The whole family met us at the airport, and that was a lot of fun. In 30 years I've never flown into or out of Yakima, and this was a fun experience. So much better than the 4 plus hour drive it takes to get there by car.

And Baby Grace! What a beautiful little girl she is, and I'm NOT one of those people who thinks every baby is cute. Oh, no! They are not ALL cute, but I think Baby Grace is Beautiful! And the rumors about her big toe are true. Sad, but true. Poor thing. It's gonna be rough!

While there, we played a lot at the house, as the weather was quite cold. Drew is big into card and board games, and Jake and Thomas continue to play well together. Thomas isn't too thrilled about the dogs as he was rushed by a couple of dogs at the park the week before we came, and he is quite good at saying, "Go" and "Bite" whenever the dogs would come near him. Mother is not thrilled let me tell you, but neither was John as these two crazy dogs nearly took Thomas out at the park. I don't have a problem with this as the neighbor dog near us is a big Great Dane that bites, the gardener next door brings her Rottweiler with her and the neighbors on the other side of us have two out of control springer spaniels that have lost their minds. Of course, it's the Weener dog on the corner that gets called on. Go figure!

I am very impressed and proud of Andrea, as if she needs my opinions, though. Baby Grace is such a wonderful little girl, but Andrea is already out and about, going to church, going out and shopping, and while I napped and lounged around, Andrea was up cooking and cleaning house. I do believe I was in a hormonal, sleep deprived coma at two weeks post partum and that must have lasted for a good six months. I still haven't gone to church.....well, not quite true, but close! I take her for granted, as I realized when I left. I just expected she'd be like normal, and then when I thought about it and realized how remarkable it really is to me that life is running just normally for them, if a little bit more hectic. I could not do it, and I question whether or not I want to add another little one to my life. I really enjoy the peace and quiet of our day to day routine here in Bellingham, and in a family of 3 little children, life is anything but peaceful and quiet. Best birth control ever, let me tell you! We enjoyed busy trips to the store, to Sears to take pictures, a couple side trips to Starbucks to kill my caffeine withdrawal headaches and a fabulous lunch from Miners, my absolute favorite place to eat in Yakima. Thomas wasn't down with sledding behind the three wheeler, unfortunately, so I missed out on a little action. That's okay, though. Plenty of time to teach Thomas how to get down and dirty on the big toys!

Some funny events for me to remember.....sleeping in the Aerobed Taco, eating a bag of chocolates, Bronco ride to Ft Simcoe, watching the boys sledding with Dad, words with the grumpy santa in the Mall, Thomas throwing up pink chunks at the mall due to coughing, elevator incident (did I pass the discipline test, Mom?) showdown at the Sears portrait studio and watching Billy try to figure out if I was going to blow, Thomas sleeping in my arms on the plane from Yakima to Seattle

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

We have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! A beautiful new baby girl, quite a miracle if we consider how many years it's taken to get her here. We have healthy children, if you don't count Thomas's second cold in three weeks, Drew's broken arm and Jake's hives. We have warm homes, beautiful families, reality tv, McDonalds and a few double chins to spare.

This year found us taking an early morning run and some time down at the park, throwing rocks in the lake and watching the dogs play in the water. Last night, Thomas flew off the slide up at the Firs, and although it was hilarious to watch, we're trying to slow him down a bit today by wiping off the water first. Someday Thomas may be haunted by the slide as much abuse as he's had lately flying down the slide. I ran today only because I wanted to eat, and I made it around my circuit thinking about the cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pie I wanted to consume in large amounts later. It is amazing how fast I was today! Thomas lasted longer than I thought he would, with his cold and all, but we headed home to warm up and take a nap. After much debate, we ended up heading out to the Zenders to celebrate with Barb's family, and it turned out to be a fun afternoon, although I was very worried about exposing the boys to whatever Thomas has these days. Glad we went, though. We all had a great time.

This evening found us bemoaning the fact that we missed the afternoon football game. Family, good food and football....that's Thanksgiving. I'm not much into the parade and balloons but I enjoy a good football game on Thanksgiving.

I looked through photos from the last year and a half, and it amazes me how many changes have come our way. I am so grateful to be Thomas's mother this year, and I can't imagine life without my little boy. Every day is a treasure for me, however crazy and challenging it may be, and I can honestly say that I would not give up a single moment of my life for anything other than what we have now. I bellyache about not sleeping in, but my heart overflows when I hear my name called early in the morning, and I know that little head will be poking over the crib waiting for me when I get there. The big adventures are our trips to the marina, down to the gelato parlor, over to the fish store, our walks through the neighborhood to check out our usual spots, the tractors on the beach, the rocks thrown into the water, the jumps in the puddles, the visits to the Lawrences and Lo-Lu. I love to hear him singing, or playing a game of hide, or pretending to be a baby or feed his toys something. I love to clap and dance and watch him twirl and twirl to our song "Round and Round" and then say "dissy" and fall down. I love that he enjoys watching "mo-mo" (Elmo) these days, and enjoys painting with salad dressing that he's pulled from the fridge when mommy wasn't looking. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, and he fills my day with such joy. It is a beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

I'm Thankful I don't Look like this....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

But I'm VERY thankful for HIM!!!

This is my favorite picture of him, can you tell?!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wonders Never Cease! 20 Months Old (The funny things I get excited about these day!)

Today was a big day for us! I needed to get an errand done out at the mall, and after getting home from work and finding Thomas hungry, I decided to take him out to dinner at Red Robin before running over to the mall. I've found that Thomas does exceptionally well when I call in our food ahead of time, and it worked like a charm again this time. By the time we were walking to our table, the waiter was there with our food. In fact, it was on the table before I even had a chance to get him seated, which was great, as we didn't have to wait. We ate, met up with John, then hurried to the mall. Now, here's the "wonders" part. Thomas had a GREAT time at the mall. He walked with us, played with the toys, visited with Santa (he liked the snowman and fake snow better) and then walked with us some more. There was no running off, no tantrums, no fussing over things, just pleasant conversation and adventures into the stores we needed to go to. When it was time to leave the Target toy aisles, he quietly said and waved goodbye to the toys and we walked out. It was quite amazing.

Then, tonight, after changing his diaper, I reminded him that he didn't have his diaper on and that if he needed to go potty he should tell us and we'd take him to the potty. He immediately said potty and they raced off down the hallway to the potty. He sat momentarily on his little potty, then hauled himself off and raced for the big potty. John put him up on the potty and he went. Then he wanted his bath. After a long bath, we again reminded him that he was running around without his diaper, and he said potty again. Again, he raced off to the toilet, and again he hit the mark! It was so funny to see this little boy. John and I are both left wondering what's up now. I haven't read anything on potty training yet, haven't looked into it at all, so I'm really just letting Thomas dictate this phase of his life. We'll see how it goes, but for now I have to sit back and marvel at my little boy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can Time!

Stop now if you don't want to read about potties and such....

Okay, so I guess you've decided to stay! Did you hear about the theory that a baby can be trained from birth to be potty trained, and that if you are just aware enough of their physical cues, then your six month old should be potty trained? Of course, in the same article, they talked about how they themselves gave up in frustration after having to time and time again change clothes and clean up mess after mess. Well, although I try to read parenting books, articles and other parents advice with the mindset that I can pull some out and discard what I don't like or can't use, this article was worthy of Thomas's playtime, and I enjoyed watching him rip it up in utter glee. I think some of it even dissolved in a pile of drool. Although like any good mother it is in the back of my mind, I only care that Thomas is out of diapers by pre-school, which is a prerequisite at most schools around here.

So, with that, we have noticed that Thomas is increasingly interested in the toilet. Although he has tried to put some items into the bowl itself, he is most fascinated by flushing and opening and closing the lid. He knows pee-pee and oop, and point to himself when he thinks he's going, has to go, toots, or anything remotely associated. We don't think he's quite grasped the concept, but he's getting there. One recent scenario is this...Thomas says pee-pee and pulls at his diaper. We take it off and let him go amuse himself down the hall on his potty chair. He sits there, hangs out a bit, I go and try to help him aim downward, he giggles and then climbs off, racing for the computer room. Once there John and I get distracted, only to hear him making some noise over by the speakers. Of course, he's pee-ing. A LOT! We laugh it off and chat about how nice it would have been if he'd actually been on the potty. Not more than 2 minutes later, just after I've gotten it all cleaned up, Thomas says pee-pee again. I say, "No, Thomas, you just went" but he heads for the potty down the hall. I slowly make my way down there, only to find him sitting happily on his potty, PEE-ING! Yep, both into the potty and all over the floor, but that's not the point, right?! He made it...his first CAN TIME! Now, he still may be 4 years old when he finally gets it down, but I'm trying to find the humor in this new phase, and how funny it truly is!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Baby Is HERE, Baby Grace is HERE!!!

Baby Grace presented herself to the world at 1 :54 pm this afternoon, in very typical "King" fashion, I might add. "Nothing can be easy, by golly"! Face up and two wraps of the cord, but she is here and healthy, and that is all that matters! God is so wonderful, and we thank everyone who prayed for both mom and baby through this journey. Andrea did a great job, in my opinion, and asked for drugs early on. Kudos to the epidural dude for getting there in under an hour, as I think my guy took about 3 hours just to walk into the hospital. (Man, I'd still pay him a chunk of my hide for saving me, though!) Mom called with the specifics, but I don't recall the exacts....she's 7 pounds, 4 ounces, I think, and 21 1/2 inches long. Huh!!! Where did that come from.....certainly not Billy!!! Dark black hair and Billy's feet. That's what mom gave me. I'll update later when I've had the chance to chat with Andrea, which shouldn't be too long now as she was giving birth to Jake when she called me while I was in Miami on vacation. I'm hurt she didn't call for this delivery!!! What's up with that? Of course, this coming from the girl who was pretty much out cold from epidural. I'm thankful I was conscious for the delivery of Thomas...there was nothing close to using the phone during that delivery!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Thomas Moves OUT!

Yep, it was time, although I don't quite know what sparked this as THE day, but it just seemed right. For weeks now...okay, let's be honest...months now, we've talked about it, debated it, and procrastinated about it. This coming from a girl who said she didn't think Thomas would last 6 months in our room, and even argued with my father about why it's not wise to keep a baby in the same room as the parents. (My physician laughed at me when I told him, after he asked how our marriage was, and I still haven't told Thoma's pediatrician that he was still in our room. I squirm under the knowing smile of Jodi when she asks if I've made the move, and I avoid mentioning it to anyone other than Jodi or Jenny, or my father, who probably thinks Thomas should sleep in our room, safe and well tended to, until he leaves for college.) Boy, was I wrong! There were several times when we were so very close to moving him out, but then he'd get sick, or someone would come to visit, or his room wasn't done, or....You'd be amazed at how many quality excuses you can make when you really have no backbone.

It was difficult for US, not him. It took him a little longer to go to sleep, but nothing serious, and I was the one stressing as I went to bed. Would I hear him if he needed me? Would he wake up scared, not knowing where we were? Would he wake up in the morning sad that he couldn't peek his little head over the rail of his crib and call out to us, or wake us up by turning off the fan and turning the light on? Oh, the misery!

Nope, nothing spectacular happened, besides the fact that I slept soundly and woke up before Thomas. We even made it until 7:30, and I didn't stress about the bed squeaking as I pulled myself out to go for my morning run, and I didn't jump out of my skin to reach the alarm before it woke him up. I walked out to see if everything was okay, and he was sound asleep, content as ever. It was a good feeling to know that we apparently did no damage in holding us in our room too long, or booting him out with no warning. This morning John reported that before Thomas even got to the bedroom door, he halted and turned around and headed to his new room, in search of his ever-missing dubbie (binkie). He didn't even need to be reminded that his crib was no longer there. No tears, no worries! I was anticipating him walking in and needing to be reminded that he'd moved, but I truly believe it's no big deal to him at this point. And that is a bit amazing to me. I was with him all day today, and not once did he go to our room.

I wonder why we waited, and then I wonder if his second moving day with be different. I'm thankful I have many years until we deal with this issue again! Something tells me it won't be this easy.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Whistler/Montebello Nov 05 with the Pohlmans

Today, I had the day off and we headed up to Whistler after an amazing invite by Matt and Jodi. Our favorite place to vacation is Whistler, and we have eagerly been looking forward to this trip up with them. We have been up several times with Matt and Jodi, both with kids and without, and we really enjoy hanging out and relaxing together. They are one of those couples who you can play hard with or sit back at the house and do nothing with, and still have a blast. And now with Lauren and Thomas so close in age, it is great to be able to share time with them and watch the kids play and interact ( well, someday they may play "together".) They love to be together, and Thomas will call for Lo-Lu, wake up asking for her, and point to her road in our neighborhood, but it still takes the parents to help them along in the share and play nicely arena! On Friday, driving up I taught Thomas the snow dance, and he seemed to enjoy seeing Mama waving her hands around in the air when the snowflakes began to come down, but sadly, there was no snow in the village. We picked up groceries, toured the village, grabbed some dinner, then headed back to the house to wait for their arrival. Thomas and I couldn't wait, though, and headed to bed just as they arrived.

Early Saturday, Matt was chompin on the bit to head up the mountain, and they headed off very early to hit the slopes on opening day. Jodi and I took our time, relaxing, taking the kids for a walk in the neighborhood, and then made our way into the village for breakfast and coffee. The kids are a hit in the village and it's fun to see people interacting with the kids wherever we go. By mid day the guys returned and Matt and Jodi took us our for snacks at The Chateau Whistler over on Blackcomb, where the kids ran around the lobby playing with the dog and the bear statues. Jodi introduced me to the mojito, which may or may not be a good thing! Afterwards, we headed down to the main village to look around, shop and eat dinner. They treated us to dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Mongolie Grill. The kids are at a good place to sit and eat with us for a good amount of time, even though we had to bring out the big guns to get through the entire meal (big guns aka candy!) By Sunday Lauren was feeling under the weather, which I'm beginning to wonder if there is some sort of sickness curse in Whistler. Three trips ago, while staying with Andi and Julie at Nature's Door, I came down with a severe stomach virus that literally knocked me out for two days. This spring with Matt and Jodi, Thomas came down with something while there, and I stressed the whole time about exposing Lauren. Now Lauren was sick. Hmmmm....very interesting. We went to breakfast at the Club, and enjoyed our free time just hanging out together. By evening, Thomas was showing signs of sickness, and that was that.

We woke up Monday morning to what John estimated was 4 inches of new snow, and it was absolutely beautiful. We attempted to take Thomas into the Village for Christmas pictures, but he really wasn't feeling well, so loaded down with treats for the road, we headed out shortly after Matt and Jodi. Another fabulous Whistler trip, and I'm already wondering when we'll head up again. Oh yeah, couldn't forget the trip into IKEA on the way home! That was fun, too!

Bye-Bye Mullet Curl!

Today, November 4th, we finally bowed to pressure and cut Thomas's hair. It was very difficult to cut off his shiny, golden white curls, but the long mullet curl had to go. Unfortunately, I was too in shock to take a picture, but we did manage to save it for his baby book. John did a great job on the trim and luckily the curls, in shorter version, still manage to come out when we do his hair. I do not want his hair in any way to look like we cut it, and I love the messy curls that he has. When his hair is curly, he still looks like my little baby. With it short, he looks way too grown up and much more like a boy than a baby. I'm not ready to give up my little buddy just yet!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween 2005

It has been a great week of new words and lots of play time outside in the chilly weather. That has been hard on me, as I'd rather been tucked away inside than trudging through the neighborhood checking out all the fascinating things only a toddler would love. Just today I pulled out my very unflattering, yet very warm fleece lined jeans, the ones I bought when I was doing work crews with the probation kids. Thomas enjoys saying "whoa" to things he thinks are interesting, and he's also saying "wowwww" more and more.

Today, Jodi and I took the kids out to Donette Studio to get their Halloween picture taken. Lauren was Elmo and Thomas was a big furry bear. The kids did great, and it will be interesting to see "Elmo" and "Bear" together in their picture. We went trick or treating at Matt's office and then I raced over to John's office, then we headed back to Jodi's house to eat pizza and cupcakes with the Lawrences, Bruce and Lil, and Punky. Lil brought an incredible salad and a fruit plate, and it was delicious. It was quite the scene watching the kids race from all ends of the house (to greet the kids at the door, ofcourse!) when the doorbell rang, and I'm sure the trick or treaters coming to the door weren't sure what to make of six screaming kids jumping up and down meeting them at the door. Maybe they were a bit frightened! The pouring rain, thunder and lighting kept us at five neighbor house, and we came back to the house soaking wet, but it was a great time none the less! We had a lot of fun with Thomas's second Halloween!

Kids in the Photos

Dorothy- Sophia Lawrence
Spider- Matthew Lawrence
Monkey- Isaac Lawrence (1 year)
White Bunny- Madeline Lawrence
Elmo- Lauren Pohlman (2 years)
Bear-Thomas Whipple (19 months)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Geneva Fire House Pancake Feed 2005

Very early this morning Jenny called us up and we all headed up to the fire house to eat pancakes and check out the equipment. Thomas enjoys making this high pitched squeal as his engine sound, and he really liked climbing into the engine and checking out the buttons and other gadgits they have. The Lawrence kids, minus Isaac, took a tour of the fire house and learned about what to do when there is a fire, and it was great to see Lance pull himself from the "burning building" and down the ladder. I like to take Thomas down to Fairhaven to look through the shops, and as a treat we go have gelato. Tonight we took Daddy out and shared raspberry and chocolate. Thomas is quite the hit wherever we go, and it's always interesting to listen to the comments we get about him. I take him to the toy store and the ladies always comment on how he picks things up and puts them away so nicely. It makes me wonder what other children do. I would think that when children play with things they should also put them back, but by the way the ladies comment at the stores we go to, I wonder if other children aren't taught manners and the way to behave in stores and in public. I don't know why I'm surprised, though, considering I work with juvenile offenders.
Looking for things to keep busy on a cold day, we went to Lowes and climbed on the wee-wees (wheelbarrows) and lawnmowers and looked at the Christmas lights and houses. Thomas also enjoyed taking a tour of the bathtubs before I caught up to him and yanked him out. It was another good, quiet Saturday!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Wild nights-Canadian style! Dierks Show/Commodore 2005!

I know this blog is supposed to be about Thomas and his life, but every once in awhile the parents must kick up their heels cowboy style and blow out of dodge! That's just what John and I did! We ran out of town, but unfortunately this time we didn't have our steady concert partners in crime Erica and Brad with us, though. We had long moments of discomfort sitting in the car trying to make our way into Vancouver, and with a conversation from my co-worker Greg ringing in my ear about how Canada is better, I tried to figure out how five lanes of traffic merging into one to flow through a tunnel during rush hour makes sense! The beginnings of craziness! Since staying at the Ho-Jo downtown for John's 1st marathon this spring, he's a pro at finding his way around downtown and parking was a breeze. People seemed to be taking both the lineup outside and the rain in stride and the entertainment while we waited was interesting. We watched panhandlers roving in and out of the crowd, some sort of alternative bicycle parade roll by in costumes of some sort, a street musician camped out right by us who was happy to take requests, and the occasional hoots and hollers from the street. We even had a Bat Man in the city bus doing a pole dance for us all as the bus passed. I remarked to John that the big city scares me after seeing this particular bus scene! The best entertainment in the line, though, was when suddenly, out of nowhere, a man comes sauntering down the line. Yep, it was Dierks! Just walking along the sidewalk, nothing fancy about it, but as he walked and people figured out it was really him, you could hear the gasps and squeals begin to greet him as he went down the sidewalk and around the building. It was shocking to be standing there in line in the rain, chatting with those around us, only to the see the man himself taking it all in as he walked around.

Once inside, things took a stressful tone, as I missed the Will Call booth where I was to get my backstage pass, and then from there it was misinformation after misinformation. Knowing what the tour manager looks like, I caught his attention as he passed by me, and asked him where I should get my tickets. He was less than impressive, and I gathered by his attitude that he thought I was a scammer and he obviously didn't have time. When I mentioned that I was had been granted the pass through the fan club, his tune changed and he became nicer to me, but then repeated to me several times that if I'd only read the instructions through the fan club I would know what to do. Well, I wanted to tell him that any idiot could read the rules and such, but staff at the Commodore were less than educated and had given me some very bad info. I wanted to tell him that I thought he was a complete schmuck, but I held my tongue, passed up the opportunity to set him straight on my intelligence level, and raced off to find my elusive pass. At this point I figured the chances of tracking down this pass in the 2 minutes I had to fly downstairs through the crowd and outside the building, then make it back through security and the crowd again were very slim. I managed to run into John on his way in, and I think when he asked me what was going on I might have uttered a swear word...hmmmmm.....I'm not sure, but maybe! I did make it back in time, only to find that once inside this small backstage room with a kitchenette and the Simpsons playing on the lounge tv, I had entered in with the wrong people. I was with industry people, NOT fans. Another official guy that reminded me of a homeless bum approached me at this point and again looked at my pass sticker. At this point, Dierks has walkded into this tiny room and is making conversation. Someone asks him how he's feeling after 25 shows in 25 days, and he remarks that a certain beverage has been helping him deal with his lack of sleep. Anyway, back to this guy looking at my sticker. Blah, blah, blah, and I had officially been told I was in the wrong line. Imagine that! At this point, I thought they were either going to pull me out of line and throw me out, or I should just quietly tuck tail and leave then and there, and concede this just wasn't my night. I didn't like feeling like I was in the wrong here, and I was just a little frustrated, a bit scared that security was coming to get me, and more than a little embarrassed. It just wasn't worth it for the little picture I had in my hand. I quietly told the guy that I'd step out of line and room, and I made a move stepping back out of line, but he told me no, that it was fine, JUST as Dierks looked at me and beckoned me towards him. NOT the best moment for me to have to deal with pretending this was just a normal conversation with Dierks..after having to deal with something pretty anxiety-provoking.

After all that, I can barely remember what Dierks and I talked about. I remember showing him the picture (I just wanted to shake his hand and run at this point) and he remembered that it was in Seattle and so did Kai the tour manager, and although I was still harboring less that nice feeling about our earlier discussion, I pretended to be kind. After all, he was holding my camera in his hand and was about to take our picture. I asked him if he was going to stay after the show and hang out like he sometimes does, and he and I briefly chatted about the border and we mentioned having to get over it tonight. Apparently it's hard for them and their gear to get over without a lot of hassle. He signed my picture and in record time he'd pulled me in for a tight shot. Okay, let me say how weird this is! Suddenly you're being pulled into this hold by someone you barely know, and although I know there are a lot of women out there who've pawed and basically climbed all over him for their shot, this girl is not one of them. I know I'm supposed to put my arm around him too, but in the split seconds I have to ponder this, I'm also thinking how crazy this is. I did put my arm around him and he held on while my camera played tricks. Similar to what happened the last time I was this nervous (my previous meet up with him) my face muscles froze up and to smile took extreme effort. I could literally feel my cheeks quivering and prayed it wasn't visible. Then, just like that, it was over and I was walking out the door. I think he said it was great meeting me again. I think I said thank you. At least I hope I did. I don't remember, as I was practically running out of the room, well, not really because my legs were shaking, but that's what my mind was doing. Some dude stopped me outside the door to write on my sticker, which I'd stuck low on my shirt so it was weird having this guy write on me like that, but then I scrambled to my seat, shaking my head all the way. Oh, no. I may get entered again by this fan club if we ever see him again, but I may have to forgo this experience. Although it's a story to tell, it's a hard one to get through. Maybe if I was like a lot of crazy fans who go in there wanting him to sign their bodies, their clothing, their scrapbooks and gifts they've brought him, it might be an easier thing to do. But I don't want to kiss him, I don't want to tell him that I love him and want to have his children, and I don't have some fantasy that he'll change his mind about his girlfriend and move me to Nashville. So......I may pass the next time I have this unique opportunity. Later I talked to a great woman who I met earlier in the evening who told me she met Keith Urban and when she smiled she had this nervous twitch in her eye. So, maybe a nervous twitch in my cheeks isn't that crazy after all! Made me feel a little better, too!

We really enjoyed the concert. I thought that maybe John wouldn't like it as much, as he doesn't like his music all that much, but he really seemed to like the whole concert. The crowd was great, our table was great, and everything ended up working out. We met some people from Langley, B.C. that we may stay in contact with, too, which should be interesting. I'm sad to see the last of my concert schedule come and go, but look forward to figuring out which ones will be on my spring list. We talked to Matt today about the evening and he told me that one more and I'll offically be a groupie. Hmmmm....maybe this will just be my new hobbie in life. Maybe it will be my mid-life crisis early. After all I'm thirty, right?!! I can do what I want!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More pictures!

Pictures from Jake's 2nd birthday weekend 2005!

Jake's 2nd birthday, celebrated early!

Today we left Bellingham and traveled over the pass to visit the family and celebrate Jake's 2nd birthday. Next week is looking very busy with a concert on Friday night up in Canada and Halloween activities, so we pushed it up a week. The pass was beautiful and Thomas had a great ride over, playing with his toys, reading his books on tractors and sleeping. We didn't need to make a stop until we got into Union Gap, where John stopped for Teriyaki while we waited for the family to catch up to us. I decided to wait to eat when we got into Toppenish, because I thought it safer to eat burgers at Pioneer Kitchen than eat Teriyaki in Yakima. I'm not too sure about Teriyaki in Yakima. Never had Teriyaki in Yakima before. Burgers...yes. Mexican food...yes. But Teriyaki?!!! I didn't want to have to visit the port-a-potty too many times out at Shell Farms, so I passed!

Turns out, the food was excellent! So was the little side trip down memory lane in downtown Toppenish. My, it was almost as if ghosts were walking around town. Very strange to visit your old stomping grounds and remember the old days. I was pretty darn close to the street where I'd take the old green bomb, full of friends, at high speeds, down the road and over a huge bump, and literally have that car flying. How I managed to not kill us all or end up in jail for all sorts of charges...I'll never know!

We had a great time out at Shell Farms, then traveled back home. We were all very tired. The boys had so much fun together. And my buddy, Drew, was indeed able to show me how to ride his bike without training wheels. He'd been so sad about breaking his arm and not being able to show me, but he was able to, cast and all, and I was so proud of him. He is such a ham, and so fun to be with. I even caught mom toodling around on my old bike that Drew found in the bushes and cleaned up. Now, wonders never cease. Flat tire and all! We celebrated Jake with a Thomas party set up that Andrea had put together, opened presents and had lime jello, a layer bar cake, cupcakes and other indulgences. They never fail to fatten me up when I come home, that's for sure. Jake and Thomas get along well, and Jake is so very sweet to Thomas. He'll just walk right up to him and try to hug and kiss on him. Oh, almost forgot to mention the puppy that Mom and Andrea saved out on the road. It's a boxer, but she's paralized in the hind legs, so she has to drag herself around. Beautiful little thing, but we're all hoping her spinal injury continues to heal and she can regain some of her feeling.

Sunday found me extremely lazy, and I'm thankful mom, dad and Andrea love me enough to let me kick back, eat and let them handle Thomas. I am so lucky to have them put up with me, as I literally sat my booty down in front of the heater or crashed out on the cough watching the Seahawks. It was bliss, but now I realize I totally neglected my nephews in my stupor. I'll have to make it up to the little guys when I go back for the new baby's arrival. I'm sure Drew planned much more for our weekend than me just hanging out, and I know it's getting harder for him that I live so far away. I have to try to remember that when I'm with him, because I tend to take advantage of our time together and not spend as much quality time with him. I kick myself now.....

Enjoy the pictures of the little guys from this weekend. We had a great time!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Lauren's 2nd Birthday, 2005

Today was a crazy day! Not only did I have to work, but I wanted to celebrate Lauren's birthday tonight with cupcakes and dinner, get a present for Billy's belated birthday, finalize Jake's birthday presents, go to an invitation only shoe boutique grand opening with Jodi and Jenny, and get ready to go to Yakima for the weekend. As Thomas now says, "Whoa!" It was a great night, and thanks to Matt picking up the pizzas, the night went a lot smoother than I thought. We celebrated with birthday cupcakes, much to Lauren's delight, ate pizzas, opened presents, then Jodi and I rushed off to the shoe boutique, leaving the guys to "babysit". Hmmmm...after the many nights the guys have spent hangin' out in the shop, Jodi and I are debating coming up with our own "project" to work on. Late night dinner and gelato seems like a good "project" to me! After returning from the grand opening (Jodi and Jenny bought shoes, and I bought a fancy belt), we relieved the guys to work on the studio wood project and took back the kids. Thomas went down shortly after getting back home, and later John called. Bruce agreed to listen for Thomas on the monitor as I raced up to sit and enjoy the Keith Urban video in the comfort of the big screen! Fabulous! What a treat!