Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beautiful Day!

I'm so thankful that Thomas is transitioning to no nap now that I'm feeling better, and although today wasn't one of my stronger days, we had a full and fun day together. With the sun shining, we headed out to get a treat at Starbucks and then off to Fairhaven Park. Thomas remembers that this is the "fountain" park, and we talked about how great it will be when the weather changes to summer and the fountains come on again. It was 38 degrees as we walked to the playground. Very chilly for any extended time out, but enough to run around, do some climbing, get some swing time in and play a little Diego and baby Jaguar together. From there we dropped off paperwork at the doctor's office and headed out to find Drew a birthday present at Mt. Baker Moto Sports. It was so fun to see all their new quad bikes and Thomas enjoyed climbing up and testing them out, as I enjoyed watching him get to much out of sitting on them, turning all the switches, playing with the levers and testing me on my knowledge of engines. "This is cool," he said, bouncing on one seat and reaching for the clutch, or something that resembled one anyway. When did my baby start saying "cool"? I could only chuckle and agree with him, wishing and taking an extra glance at the smaller kid-size version on the floor of the showroom. How I'd love to get him one! It was a good thing that it didn't take me long to find the BMX shirt that I wanted to get Drew, because on the way to the clothes we spied a mini snowmobile, just waiting to be checked out. Thomas wanted nothing to do with clothes at that point. Having our fill of the snowmobile, the mini quad bikes and the big quads, we filled our hands with candy from the machine and headed out. I get such joy out of hanging out with him and I'm so proud of him at times like this. He didn't whine and fuss about leaving. He didn't throw a fit to stay longer. We simply said goodbye to the bikes and headed out. No big deal. It makes it such a treat to take him out and about. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the toddler in Walmart that we've all seen, working up a big fit in the busy aisle.

In saying that, there are times when he will press me. When I say no, he's apt to respond with, "Ah, man!" and "I can't?" in this unbelieving voice. There are also times when he'll go to the other parent, saying, "Mommy says no," with big tears filling his eyes. Or he'll say, "you want to play" or "you want to" do this or that, what ever it is he's trying to do at the time. Who can deny that? I may be in the middle of something, but when I hear the words, "Mommy, you want to play with me" followed by "come on" I'm a puddle of mush.

As we drove away I heard the call for O'Donell's from the backseat and we quickly stopped in for a fry. When we got home we made a quick lunch for the beach and headed down, delighted by the actual warmth in the sun. It was great to sit down by the beach and enjoy our time down there once again, leading me to believe it's actually not that far off until we can truly be back down on the beach spending out time outside instead of cooped up figuring out which Tractor Tom we have yet to watch today.

Jenny and the kids came down to play at the beach, but by the time they got here a freezing wind was blowing across the lake so we stayed inside as well. By 4:45 it was time to head out to soccer, although I wondered if Thomas would manage to stay awake for the short car ride. I literally had to drag him off the couch and into the car, his eyes drooping the whole way. John met us there, and although he made it for about 40 minutes, it wasn't his most attentive soccer day ever. He did a lot of running around and laying on the ball today.

Funny Comments for January 07

Just last night, when I was trying to wrestle, Thomas squirms away and says, "No mommy, daddy wrestles." I snuggled up to him again, tickling and smooching on him, only for him to yell, "No, no mommy, daddy wrestles me." I asked, "Well, then, what do mommies do?" Without missing a beat, he replied, "You cook." After a moment digesting this, I burst out laughing. How funny that he should think me, of all mothers, cooks! Has he not noticed that I HATE to cook? Has he not noticed that John and I eat the same meal again and again and struggle to make sure we're feeding him lots of different stuff, however much it wouldn't be our choice? My feelings were a bit hurt, considering I think I spend a fair amount of time playing, taking him on outtings, trying new activities with him and even wrestled him before the belly got too big for it to be safe. John mentioned that he should feel hurt, considering he does a lot of the cooking around this place, including many breakfasts, coffee breaks and dinners for all of us. I just had to think about the professional mothers everywhere who would be aghast at his innocent comments. Maybe in the 50's but certainly not NOW!!!

"Take my Bi-per off, please!" when he's got to go potty or he thinks it's wet. "My Bi-per is wet, by bi-per is wet," he'll cry out, still refusing to wear his underwear or pullups. The other day, when John told him he could he could go poo in his toilet just like he goes potty, he says, "No, put on my bi-per. I go hide in my room." He likes to hide behind things, like his door, in the closet, behind the plant or in another room when he does his business. We've made progress, though. Just today he came out of his room with his diaper on and told me he needed to go to his bathroom. That's the first time he's told me he wants to go even with his diaper on. Still refuses to wear the pullups or underwear, but at least we're making small baby steps.

"You okay, mommy. You not sad."

"Mommy, look at the boats racing" while watching swimmers in the pool doing laps in their lanes. When a rather large woman came into the pool area and started for the stairs to the pool, Thomas says to me, "Mommy, look. Super, super, super big ship coming."

"Mommy, I want to cuddle you."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sleeping in the boat bed for the 1st time-Nap

Today, despite a meltdown about having to take a nap (which re-enforced the need for a nap!) Thomas was able to take a nap in his new bed. Now, this might be the one and only time it happens, as he is letting us know he certainly has no plans to give up his crib, but at least it was entertaining to John and I. It was also a sobering moment of realization. By sleeping in a big bed instead of a crib, he truly takes that "next step" from the baby we have had. Seeing in his bed, I realized that I am in no hurry at all to rush this process along. If I have to buy a second crib for the new baby, so be it. Thomas can stay in his crib as long as he wants.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Upstairs Bathtime

Boat Bed Constructed

We kept a close watch on a much loved boat bed that Pottery Barn kids has had for several years now. It was our thought that eventually either John would make it himself in the shop or we'd break down and make the purchase. Lucky for us, Costco came out with a much cheaper yet just as nice version, and although we missed the first shipment, we called every day awaiting the next shipment. The work paid off, and the morning I raced to Costco found us buying the 4th of 6 beds....all before noon. I was so thankful, to say the least. They flew out of the store. Tonight John spent time constructing it, and it was the first time that Thomas even hinted that he might actually let the baby sleep in his crib while he slept in the bed. Of course, at bedtime, he was all about the crib, but it was fun to have the bed in the room and fits really well. It was also nice knowing we saved about $1500.00 on this purchase as well.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Next Generation of Cousins Gather

Lots of us Whipples, Pohlmans and Hutchesons gathered for Grandma's Memorial Weekend. Before the house passes into new hands, the game of Dark Hall was passed down, a boy band was created and time was spent enjoying each other's company and catching up.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Growing the Moose-6 months!

Today I went into the doctor's for the monthly checkup and he checked to see if my placenta has move up and away. Time has worked well in my favor and I don't have placenta previa, which would have been an automatic c-section. Although I fear the impending labor and delivery trauma, I wasn't relishing the idea of a six week abdominal recovery time, considering the level of activity there is with a 3 year old in the house. My insatiable hunger has resulted in a 22 pound weight gain at this point, though, so that's a bummer. He told me that I could gain 8-12 more pounds and still be at a reasonable weight gain. Good idea, doc, but then I reminded him that I gained 50 plus pounds with Thomas and told him that I hoped to just stay below that. So far I have about 30 more pounds to play with. My goal is to stay 10 pounds under that and I'll be proud of myself. Very proud. Bring on the moose!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Grandma Bernice Joins her Family in Heaven

Even at 96 years of age, it still comes as a shock when a loved one dies, and although there were small changes in the daily lives of Grandma, Bruce and Lil, indicating her time might be limited, it was still shocking to hear Lil's voice calling for me down the stairs, calling out that they thought Grandma might be dead. Of course I fell apart heading up the stairs, wanting to help out, trying to figure out what I needed to do but somewhat stifled by my tears and attempts to hide my sobs. Having to do nothing really, except somehow pull myself together as I imagined what was going on in the house next door, I tried to entertain Thomas, who said to me as I tried to hold back my sobs, "You ok, Mommy? You got something in your eyes?". No resuscitation was authorized, although there was concern that it would be forced, and in that was finality. Her body was still warm, but Bruce was certain it was over and nothing more should be done. With her feet still in her kitchen, heading towards her chair to watch the Christian programming for the evening, Grandma went to join her husband, son and daughter with the Lord. My last memory of her was on Wednesday as Thomas and I visited briefly outside her sliding glass door and marveled at the snowstorm blowing across the lake. It was a beautiful morning, the snow falling so hard visibility was very limited, and she was sitting at her table in her pink housecoat with Polly. She waved to Thomas, who smiled big and waved back, and remarked about how pretty it was. Polly thought it would be nice to make a snowman outside for her to see. We said our goodbyes and plowed through the deep snow, not realizing it was our last time with her. When John asked me if I wanted to go over that night, I most definitely did not. I did not want my last memory of her to be in death, on the floor. I would prefer to remember her smiling at us in the doorway, in her pretty pink housecoat, so warm and loving till the very end. Thomas loved her very much, and although a lot of his time spent over there was with Bruce and Lil on their trips over to visit her while I was at work, I remember Thomas asking to go visit Grandma Bee-niece. I was amazed the first time at their exchange, as they appeared to have their own communication worked out and their own routine established. Thomas would take a tour of the house, looking here and there, pulling things open, peering inside, then moving on, all the while Grandma would be fishing around for something. I was quite the stranger in this little dance, but I sat back and watched them, fascinated. Thomas ended up at the little table by the couch, pulling open the drawer and rummaging around inside. I feared Grandma would chastise him for touching any breakables inside, but she simply shuffled her way towards him, smiling, a box in her hand. The dance continued as he pulled out the bell and she set out the little figurines that she'd found. He would shake the bell, she would talk to him, then he would pull out the coasters, and she would line up the figures just the way it was supposed to be. "He likes to float them around," she explained to me, and I realized the coasters were the boats and the figurines animals in the boats. They then played together, words very brief, just time together. She didn't seem concerned about her stuff, didn't worry about his little hands on her treasures. It just seemed like they were enjoying what must have been their little ritual. My heart was touched at the gentle way she had with him, the love she showed towards this little boy. In all his life, there was nothing but love from her, even when he was rubbing her nylons up and down her legs, swinging around her cane, running naked across her lawn or launching himself full speed through her house. I'm so thankful for the time he had to know her and pray that the time he had with her, however short, will be as meaningful in the foundation of his life as it has been in ours.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dierks Adventure #3-Vancouver, BC

After much thought, deliberation and a bit of prayer, John's enthusiasm won out and we headed for Canada. Bruce and Lil once again corraled Thomas for the afternoon and evening, giving us a welcome night out together, which was such a blessing.

The night belongs to John, though. After braving the cold outside Pacific Coliseum, John raced through security checkpoint #1 (the body search) and was roadblocked at the stairwell leading down to the floor. By the time I caught up, he was racing down the stairwell and jumping the divider to security checkpoint #2 (ticket check #2) where he was FIRST to get a floor General Admission bracelet allowing access to the floor. I briefly saw him, but was trying to avoid falling after multiple pushes from the teenybopper white teeshirt brigade squealing and pushing their way to the front of the line. By the time I had my own bracelet, he had passed through security checkpoint #3 (bracelet check) and was FIRST to the stage, amazingly securing not only front row but CENTER STAGE, exactly where we were hoping to be. I'll tell you, this whole thing has been a blast to experience. After all the concerts we've been to, to be blessed with three front row shows has been unbelievable. To have John enjoying the whole thing made the night so much more great, and without his excitement, I would have baled and pushed Andrea to take the tickets. Being in the front row is crazy. It's the absolute best. It's great to be able to see all the action, to be that close to the artist, to see all that goes on up there. Unfortunately, it's also very strange. Although John and Dierks bonded over a shared Bud Light in Everett and a tossed drumstick in Vancouver, plus numerous high fives (some stolen from my outstretched hand), I really have no interest in actually touching the man, caressing his leg, petting his boots, collecting his sweat drips, or climbing the back of someone in front of me just to get a brief touch. Numerous times, as Dierks leaned over me to touch hands of those behind me, I was inches from his body, and could not dare look up for fear of looking directly at inappropriate areas of his body. John and I had to laugh as we hugged the stage to allow others behind us to reach up to the stage, letting those behind us get a chance that we were obviously passing up. I kinda felt guilty in a way for not participating in this love fest, as if it is somehow expected that I'd be swooning at his feet, which were inches from my face a lot of the night. John was busy snapping shots of his thumb next to his boot, turning around to get a shot of his body inches from Dierks, and the like. It was so much fun, and I have a hard time believing we will ever again have such a great concert experience. I enjoyed spending time with John without worrying about Thomas, enjoyed our time having fun at this show, and truly appreciated all the work he went to in making this a very memorable night with Dierks!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Funny Quirk #1 Developing

As Thomas nears three years of age, he is showing signs of little quirks developing. One of these came about while on the farm at Christmas. It is no secret that the Whipple kids don't like animals, particularly dogs. Big breaking news came through when Stephen and Barb convinced the kids that Gunny wouldn't hurt them. It appears Thomas may also carry on the family name in this way, as he's not too eager to get close to anything that isn't human and lacks much interest too.

He did show some interest in meeting the puppies, but as he neared them, he quickly started to back away, gagging as he went. "Too stinky!" he cried, trying to overcome the dog smell, inching forward, but gagging all the way. We erupted in laughter, not quite believing what we were seeing. Little Thomas, not used to the farm smells, was actually dry heaving at the smell of the puppies.

Since coming home, it appears his gag reflex remains super sensitive, and I've found him gagging from a dirty diaper in the car, gagging on a tomato that he didn't exactly like (he loves tomatoes!) and gagging when he goes into the bathroom to flush the toilet (one of the things he loves to do!)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Quirk #2-Noises

The second quirk that Thomas is displaying involves sound. Now, I write this trying to convey a sense of humor through it all. We find these little things about our boy pretty amusing at this point, and can only laugh at his antics. Now, if he's 12 and doing this, it won't be so funny.

Thomas refuses to let someone flush the toilet around him, and he only wants to flush the main toilet downstairs. Apparently the other toilets are too loud for his sensitive ears to handle. When we forget and go to flush one of the other ones, he's quick to cry, grab a hold of us, shoo us out and say, "That too loud, mommy, that too loud," at the top of his lungs, with huge tears threatening to spill from his eyes. He's very serious about this. A recent trip to the restroom at Macy's resulted in a meltdown in the stall, only ending when I covered his ears tightly with my hands and flushed it with my foot, praying that the loud sobbing wasn't prompting a call to Child Protective Services.

As demonstrated by the picture I posted above, when cooking, Thomas asks for his helmet (thanks Lily!) to put on because the mixer is too loud, and he was also photographed upstairs cooking with Stephen-helmet securely strapped on.

Just a funny little boy developing a very interesting personality.