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!