Monday, February 25, 2008

Gym & Swim

Today was our first day of Gym & Swim at the Y. Bill took some vacation time for some house stuff, but took a break to go to their first day. He was so glad he did; it was just too cute! They are so lucky to have a Daddy that cares so much about their day to day happenings.

For gym time there are a few exercises and stretches, but it is mainly free play on the mats and these soft blocks, rockers, slides, etc. I was very happy with the way Reagan and Nolan interacted with the other kids. Reagan took right to playing and even crawled up to a mom she had never met before and tried to use her to stand up on. Nolan was interested in the kids to a point, but they put some toys out and he loved this one rattle so it consumed his gym time. When the teacher was taking attendance, she called Nolan's name, and he raised his arm to wave at I am!

After gym time, we headed to the lockers to get ready for swim time. Nolan was very nervous when he and Bill first got in the water. Lots of whining and some of his "fake" crying. Then some of the other kids started crying so it became contagious. Bill would stand up with him and reassure him and then they would go back to floating around. He calmed down and really seemed to have a good time.

Miss Reagan is going to be a water bug, like her mama. She only seemed to get anxious when the other kids would start (one had a complete meltdown and had to leave class), otherwise she was fine. She seemed to enjoy floating on her back, although instead of stretching her legs out she kept them straight up in the air. Synchronized swimming at such a young age!

Look at Nolan clinging to Bill!

Reagan's bathing suit is super cute. It has a little ruffle around the middle and has flowers on it. It is a bit low-cut so we have to watch the cleavage :-) She is still enjoying sticking her tongue out all the time.
I'll tell you, it was exhausting for all of us. They took a good nap and even I caught a few zzzz's. I usually use nap time to do my consulting work or catch up around the house, but not today!
One funny note that will amuse anyone that was part of our Brickhouse Days. For those not familiar, the Brickhouse was a bar in Willoughby (right across the street from the Y) that Bill was the DJ for every Thursday night. There was a whole crew of us that would attend--this is how we all met Bill-- and take full advantage of the ladies drink specials. One poor soul was the "shepherd" (our term for the designated driver) for the night, usually our friend, Pork Chop. God bless him.....he made sure all the "sheep" (our term for drunk girls who would do things to torment him on purpose) got home safely and didn't do anything too embarrassing (or against the law) for the evening. He also kept a quote book of anything "witty" (have to use that term loosely since we were generally pretty drunk) we would say. There was one night in particular that some of the girls went outside for some air and had a rather ruckus conversation and Chops pen was flying. Many of those quotes came from Tracy D. Fast forward 10 years (yes, 10 years!!!!!!) to today at the Y. We are getting signed in and the door to the childwatch center door opens (place you can drop your kid off while you work out) and out strolls Tracy D. She is the childwatcher!!!!! Oh, the irony. She is going to be my children's "shepherd!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Son Of A B^#@h*

I am with these kids basically 24/7. They cry, I comfort. Their bellies growl, I make food. They poop, I clean. They laugh, I laugh.

Thursday after work, Bill was on his way to a beer dinner at Bar Cento (his Valentine's Day gift from the kids and I) and he wanted to say good night to them. I put the phone to Nolan's ear and told him to say hi to Daddy. "Hi Dad-dee" flowed from his lips. Bill thought it was me joking around. Nope. From the mouth of the babe.

Friday morning Nolan pulled himself up on the blockade from the living room into the dining room and looked at Bill who was sitting at the kitchen bar working at his PC and said "Hi Dad-dee". Clear as a bell.

Early Saturday AM (4:05am to be exact) Nolan woke (we are guessing) due to teething pain. I know we are creating a monster, but we try to calm him and if that doesn't work, we bring him into our bed so he won't create a ruckus and wake his sister, besides we want/need sleep and he will just keep waking every few minutes crying. He settled into his boppy pillow in between Bill and I and commenced a conversation with his pacifier. Da-da? Dad-dee.....and on and on. I finally told him that it was ma-ma that got him out of his crib and maybe he could show me a little love........ SO HE DID! MA-MA, he said. FINALLY. I woke Bill up because I was so excited!

However, the rest of day has been all Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da.

On Monday morning when there is poop in his pants and hunger in his tummy, we'll see who Nolan's "Dad-dee" is!

*This post is all in good fun. I understand the lingual aspects of a child's development and that the "d" sound is one of the first they make, even those ours made a "K" sound first --Kitty Cat! But come on!!!!!

Pay no attention to the baby behind the curtain.

Miss Suzy Snowflake.

The baby jail.

(Bill adds: Actually, as Sam and some others could appreciate, I originally gave this pic the caption, "Boys, Avenge Me! Avennnnnggge Me!"*)

Nolan getting ready for his 9 month/Easter pics. I was going to delete this pic since he is not doing anything in it, but then I started thinking about what the photographer said when I mentioned something about his scar. She said she didn't notice it until she was really close to him and looking down from above. He is healing so well that as soon as he gets a haircut and evens things out, I don't think you will notice it very much at all. Let's hope he inherits my thick locks! Anyway, here is a shot of Nolan 6 weeks post-op.

*For those not in the know, that comes from the 1984 classic Red Dawn, starring Patrick "nobody puts Russkie in a corner" Swayze

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Me Too!

Reagan has been working really hard to pull herself up and she did it!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Next Iron Chefs

Move over Michael Symon, there are some new chefs in town.

We met some friends at Bar Cento for Tuesday kids cookin' night. Kids get a chef's hat and they get to pick all the toppings and create their very own masterpiece pizza. The creation Maddie made looked wonderful.....fresh mozzarella & nice pepperoni. They had all sorts of toppings to choose from, all local or organic. While Reagan and Nolan were not up for making their own 'za, they did enjoy the hat. Perhaps a little too much as there is a bite out of the top of it. It is a very creative way to get a "bar" packed on a Tuesday night. The best part is pizza night starts at 4p, which is great since by 7p we are ready for bed! Loads of familes having a great time together with GREAT food option for the parents.

Anyway it was fun and we finally got to meet some folks we have been corresponding with on the food forum for a long time. They have two little ones (3 yrs and 6 weeks) so it was nice to not be the only ones in the place juggling two kids! We'll be back, I'm already craving the bianco pizza I had and the bite of Bill's burger was divine. The pumpkin ravioli is calling my name for our next visit.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Doctor, Doctor, Doctor

The week of doctor visits is over, and all is well, big sigh of relief.

Monday we saw the neurosurgeon. He is very pleased with the results and he said Nolan doesn't need to see him anymore, unless we feel a need in the future. So, bye-bye Dr. Luciano. He is a nice man and a skilled surgeon, but I hope we never need his services again!

Wednesday we saw Dr. Papay, the cranial-facial plastic surgeon. He is still 100% pleased with the way Nolan's surgery came out. We need to see him in 5 months to take some "after" pictures and to touch base and then we will be done with him, unless we feel a need. Woo-hoo!

Friday was the 9 month checkup. The new doctor was very nice and the kids seemed to really like her. They are such hams though. They know to smile for the flash of a camera, so when she turned the light on to check their eyes, they put on their biggest, brightest smile. SAY CHEESE! They didn't need shots, but did get a blood test to check for anemia and a lead test. In hindsight the shots would have been easier. Taking blood from a 9 month old just sucks. Plain and simple. Plus the kids seem to have "deep veins" so the tech had to literally dig around in their elbow for a vein. Very traumatic for Reagan, Nolan, Mommy and Daddy.

Can you guess which stats belong to which kid*?
19lbs 13.5 oz, 28"
19 lbs 10oz, 27 1/2"
* hint-they have flipped size-wise since being born

No more doctor appts until May when we set up surgery to remove the cyst on Nolan's neck, the follow-up with the ophthalmologist for his astigmatism, and the dreaded 12 month check up with the ped where we will discuss delaying the MMR vaccine. Yes, I am one of THOSE parents that is still not convinced autism is not linked in some way to vaccines so we are taking a cautious approach to them.

Here is a short video of NOlan's latest..... he learned to shake his head NO. I'm trying to get one of Reagan saying 'kitty', but as soon as she sees the camera she stops what she is doing to smile. HAM!

Some pictures from the last few days:

Uncle Sam & Aunt Deb brought the kids cookies with blue frosting that turns your lips and tongue blue. Of course, this is the one picture Nolan has taken his whole life where he isn't smiling to show it off. He does have some blue in the corner. Reagan was just being silly.

They went to their friend, Isabella's, 1st birthday party on Sunday. I don't know if Reagan is just getting used to her new car seat (no more carriers-Mommy is so sad) and didn't want to nap during the 50 minute drive, but once she got to the party she was tired and commenced screaming every once ina while in tones that only dogs should hear! Not super-stellar behavior. Seriously, she wasn't that bad, but just not the exceptional behavior I am used to. Anyway, here they are all dressed up. (thanks for the hand-me-down dress Bobby & Jenny!)

Playing nice together

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Would You Be Our Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day, Love Reagan and Nolan
it is so hard to get a good picture of them together, they are on the move!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Look Ma, No Hands!

Well, almost no hands. Look what Nolan can do!!! He is pulling himself up to standing on EVERYTHING. They both act like they want to walk at any minute. Then my biggest fear will be realized. Picture it..... It is a summer day and I take Reagan and Nolan to the baby pool. They get out of their stroller to go into the water and decide to take off on me, in opposite directions. One is headed for the water and one for the parking lot. WHAT DO I DO? I never thought much about those backpack leashes until now. If you care enough about a dog to protect it from running into harm’s way, why not do the same for your child-especially when there are more of them than you!

This is the week of doctor appointments. Neurosurgeon on Monday, cranial-facial on Wednesday, and 9 month pediatrician on Friday. It is a new pediatrician so I'm not looking forward to that visit. I just can't trust the kids previous ped after he basically admitted to me that he dropped the ball with Nolan's craniosynostosis diagnosis and should have ordered x-rays at 3 months of age as a follow up to the ones he did at 1 month. If it had been caught then the surgery could have been done endoscopically. It is hard for a parent to hear the words "It doesn't help you, but now I'll know for the next kid." I know the other 2 appointments are going to go well since Nolan doesn't look or act like he had his head cut open just 4 weeks ago AT. ALL. I'm more worried about getting to the appt on Monday morning. We have severe wind chills and blowing/drifting snow. At the moment, I can't see the houses across the street.

Both the kids have colds, but I guess we'll have that now that we are back to being out and about. Germs are everywhere and strangers insist on touching Reagan and Nolan. I was never a toucher of a stranger’s kid, so I just don't get it. I don't know you so why would I want your hand on my kids cheek or touching his/her hand. I don't know where your hand has been and as soon as you leave they are going to stick that hand in their mouth!!!!!! I digress.

I had a nice evening out with some girlfriends on Friday. We ate at the Grovewood Tavern . GNO's (girl night out) are always so fun and don't happen nearly often enough. After a few glasses bottles of wine, I was waxing poetic (not sure if it was out loud or just in my head), about my 'circle of friends.' Now, if you've ever been to a 4th of July party at our house (well, I guess you've never been to one at our current house just yet) you know that we have a very eclectic group of friends.

Some of our friends are our relatives, others are people that share our common interests of food and wine, others we know from back in the 'bar days', some are internet friends, some are friends that we've met because of work, and others are those that we've known for many years from college, grade school, and even as far back as toddlerhood. Age 1 to be exact (we moved to the 'burbs on my 1st birthday.) It is so important to take the time from the craziness we call life to stop for a few hours and catch up with the people that we hold dear to our hearts. I think it says a lot that we have such a collection of wonderful people in our lives and now in Reagan and Nolan's lives as well. They are so blessed to have some many aunts, uncles, cousins, and even extra grandparents! They don't know lucky they are.....yet!

Here they are laughing hysterically because I was fake sneezing. They love that. It is funny though, if Reagan is over tired and you sneeze, cough, or make any sudden loud sound, she will scream as if you just beheaded her favorite teddy.

I just love these smiles so much!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Paczki Day

Following the tradition, like a good (half) Polish girl, I had a paczki today. I shared a little with the kids. They did NOT like it. Neither did I. LOL It was one of those from the white and red box from the grocery store. Not a real paczki at all.

Here they are checking it out......YUCK!

Bill adds: Not that I blame them. I think that "paczki "is Polish for "stale". I've never liked these.
Yuck, indeed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears..... OH MY!

Reagan and Nolan were invited to a birthday party at the zoo today. It was inside the Rainforest, so it warm and humid. It was a slice of heaven in the middle of Cleveland winter. Why haven't I been there before? Maybe 5 times a week during the winter doldrums!!!!!

Reagan and Nolan seemed to have a great time. We got to hang with "Uncle" Ed & "Cousin" Nate which is always fun. The kids didn't make a peep as we strolled through the "jungle," they just took it all in. I'm sure Reagan was happy to see one of her favorite things; leaves! They enjoyed the birthday party part and got their first taste of ice cream. Once they got beyond the temperature (they both dislike cold stuff) they seemed to like it just OK. Reagan would much rather eat yogurt and Nolan goes for veggies. Fine by me. Maybe me taking the time to make their baby food and keeping them away from processed stuff for their first tastes is paying off.

Nolan has become quite the ham. He knows to smile for the camera.... or do other faces :-)

Reagan hanging with Daddy at party (and giving him a left hook!) She was so excited to be enjoying the leaves!

Party Hats!

I had a good time too. Bill pushed the kids around so I could take pictures. I'm not one to brag about the things I think I excel at, but I took some really nice pictures today. I'm hoping to use some of them around the house. We really need to get some stuff hung on the walls and I consider some of my photography worth displaying. Hopefully some of the shots I took today will print nicely.

On Friday we met friends, "Uncle" John & "Aunt" Jan at Cowboy for dinner. We used to really enjoy this place when it was under the previous ownership. It is just OK now, but it was still a good time because we shared time with friends. The kids tried out their Fisher Price Booster Seats for the first time. They did well in them, but I just can't believe they are big enough for them.

Nolan and Reagan perusing their first "kids menu" from their new booster seats.

They are both crawling..... Nolan at break-neck speeds and now Reagan following behind, slow but sure. I know she would rather be walking. Reagan definitively says two words. "Kitty" and "OK." Kitty is obvious since we have three of them running around the house. The cats are all very good with the kids and hang around them until they get grabby. The "OK" is funny because both Bill and I will be talking to the kids and we almost always end a sentence with OK? As if looking for affirmation the we are doing something the kids are happy about. Guess she can't help but say it! She uses it at appropriate times too. We were taking a walk the other day (the only day in the past 4 months that was warm enough to do that) and she was looking up at trees longingly and I told her we would be going to the zoo on Saturday and she would see leaves then. She answered with a sigh and and "OK!" Nolan would rather make raspberries than talk..... just a warning if you plan to sit near him any time soon!

I look back at pictures from the day they were born and I just can't believe they are almost 9 months old. When they were born I swore I wouldn't let time go fast; that I would savor every day. I have done that, but time still just seems to get away from me. These kids will be driving the next time I turn around! I've already begun to think about their 1st birthday party, so take this as a Save The Date for May 10th!