That’s What You Get for Not Locking the Door

Calen just woke up from a nap and came to our room where I’m doing homework. Typically, our first question for him is, “Do you need to go potty?” His answer today was normal. “No, ummm, yeah.” So I instructed him to go potty. He walked to our bathroom and opened the door, only to come face to face with his Daddy. The following is the conversation, as I listened from the bedroom.

Daddy: Hey.
Cal: Hey.
Daddy: Whatcha doin?
Cal: I need to go potty.
Daddy: Well, I’m going potty. We can’t potty at the same time.
Cal: Nope.
Daddy: Well, what are we gonna do?
Cal: We can take turns.
Daddy: Okay. Since I’m already here, can I go first?
Cal: No.
Daddy: Please?
Cal: Yeah.
Daddy: Can you wait?
Cal: Yeah.
(Then, he apparently continued to stand there and stare at his father.)
Daddy: So you’re gonna wait right there?
Cal: Yeah.

By this time, Johnathan and I were both laughing so he figured he would just abdicate the throne to his son.

Saturday Morning Funny

I love lazy Saturday mornings where you get to sleep late. I just wish our kids felt the same way. Their internal clocks need a later setting for weekends.
It usually starts with Calen coming down and getting in bed with us. Then comes the inevitable, “Daddy [Mommy]…I want milk with chocolate and strawberry in it.” You can put it off for a little while in an effort for just a little more sleep, but it just keeps coming back…again, and again, and again…until your defenses have been shattered and you drag yourself to the kitchen and make the concoction with one eye open.
This morning, after fighting the battle, Johnathan decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. Cal was playing on my iPad and Johnathan started saying “Calen, I want some pancakes, make me some pancakes…” over and over. Calen’s reply, “No…I don’t bake.”

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

A tornado (or “potato” for those of you that have been with us for a while) has come through my house!! That is the only explanation for my life passing before my eyes. Where does time go? And how do I get it back? Just 5 years ago, we gained a silly teenager that wore a Mighty Mouse t-shirt, no makeup and a ponytail 24/7. My baby girl carries on adult conversations and starts school in a year and a half. And my baby boy is…well, a boy…with attitude, I might add.
Kylie came home over the weekend, and we stayed up until 1:00 am just talking. I was so tired at church…but I didn’t care. I would sacrifice many hours of sleep for the real conversation we had. It was awesome! She and I are so different that sometimes we just don’t see eye to eye. But there are those times where I realize I love her so much that I could just burst and my heart could just break for her. And then there are times (like right this second) where I realize how much patience she has with me. I can’t imagine what life will be like when she only comes home for holidays and such.
Calen is my teddy bear. I hope and pray that he wants to cuddle with us until…I guess, until it just gets weird. His little smile and laugh make me want to squeeze the stuffing out him. He is such a lovable child. But he is also the most stubborn child (I have no idea where he gets that). He is refusing to talk. That’s right! Refusing! He’ll say “ball”, “block” and “book”. Hand him an empty cup and a bubble wand, and he will dip that wand in that cup and walk around saying “bubble” for hours. If he wants to slide, he’ll point and say “slide”. Pick up something and hand to him, he’ll even say “thanks”. But ask him say “dada”, “mama”, “milk”, “eat”, “more”, “up”, ANYTHING, and you get a head turn and a “mm…mm”, as in “no way, Jose”. Knowing what we know, that he can actually talk, we have tried to force the issue. He will be standing there, crying his eyes out, reaching for the cup of milk and all he has to do is say anything that remotely sounds like “milk”!…heck, even give me the sign that is merely a hand squeeze!…and the child will walk away empty-handed. Seriously? Yep. He would rather do without than ask for it. Now before you judge (you know you were), we don’t let him starve. We just pick our battles.
Now, where to start with Mallory? She is at “that” age. That age where you cannot believe what just came out of her mouth.
“You stepped on my foot, Mallory.” “I’m sorry, Mommy. I didn’t realize your foot was there.”
“What’s going on, Mallory?” “Well, apparently….”
“Daddy, I know it all cause I’m a smart cookie.”
But tonight, she took the cake. We were having a particularly bad night with her. She was overly tired and Calen just wasn’t doing exactly what she wanted (that never goes over well for some reason). So she was whisked off to her room for throwing a fit. I went in to say good night, and she started asking about our small group that we host in our home.
“Mommy, when are my friends coming over again.” “Tomorrow night.” “Why?” “Because they always come over on Tuesday night.” “Well, I miss you when you go upstairs.” “Well, honey, we adults go upstairs to do a bible study and learn about God while you play with your friends. Isn’t that fun?” At this point, she started getting tears in her eyes and puckered lips like when you’re trying really hard not to cry and says, “But mommy, when you guys go upstairs and leave me downstairs with my friends, I really miss you. I love you guys and I like to be with you.” And she reached out to Johnathan with one hand and put the other one around my neck and hugged me really tightly. Oh my. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or cry. I looked at Johnathan, and he said, “Yeah, I’m just going to sleep up here tonight.” Wow. I think I’m going to quit my job tomorrow.
The second part was really funny. Somehow she decided to ask us to teach her how to drive a car. I said, “Well, you’re not quite big enough to reach the pedals and see over the dashboard at the same time yet. When you are, we’ll teach you to drive.” “Mommy, how are you guys going to teach me to drive?” “With a lot of patience.” She put her hands over her mouth and started laughing, “Don’t tell me that!” Which really meant “don’t say that!”
There are tons of cute things that just aren’t coming to mind right now, but I’m sure when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll have some great stuff to talk about…like a good conversation with Mallory and/or Calen while they were home from college…and some cute things that my grandkids from Kylie are saying.

Out of the mouth of babes…well, our babe

Mallory is at that age where you wish you had a tape recorder tied to her at all times.  You just never know what’s going to pop out of that little mouth.  And the biggest problem is that you know she gets it from you.  Of course, Johnathan taught her stuff like, “See this elbow.  Right in your forehead, baby.  Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam.”  And the ever popular, “It’s time to crack some skulls, baby.”  But then, there is the occasional thing that you have no idea where it came from like, “Fine, mom.  Fine.” (yes, she’s only three)  I thought I would share some recent excerpts.

Just today, Johnathan was taking the kids to school.  Mallory likes to talk so he was asking her if she was going to have fun at school.  She said, “No.  I’m going to be shy.”  “Why are you going to be shy?”  “Cause when I’m shy, the teachers hold me.”  (I knew it!!!  Stinkin’ kid!)  “I’m going to be shy for 30 minutes.  Want me to count to 30, daddy?”  “Sure.”  “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 30.”  (Impatient too.  That’s my girl!)

Tonight, she asked if we could eat dinner while we watched Tinkerbell.  We agreed that was fine since we had said no last night.  The only problem is that she is her father’s child.  She gets fixated on the TV.  I mean, fully engulfed.  (I have carried on one-sided conversations with Johnathan for several minutes.)  She wasn’t paying attention to her food so Johnathan kept pushing pause to make her take a big bite.  She expressed her displeasure by saying, “Aaahhh.  Do we have to keep doing this?!”

I think my favorite though was one day when I picked her up from school.  She always gets a fruit snack for the ride home…provided she kept her pants dry all day.  This particular day, she finished it before we go to the red light, which was very fast.  I said, “Wow!  You ate that fast!”  She said, “Yeah…I’m an inja.”  (Those of you that know Johnathan well, will know exactly where that originated.)

The Dreaded Potato

Mallory has become quite the storyteller these days. A couple of months ago, I noticed on her paper from school that they had studied about Jonah. When I asked her about it, she confirmed that he was swallowed by a big fish…that “spit him out on the sand and he had sand on his pants and he had to get it off cause he was all dirty…” It went on, but you get the picture.
For reasons that I won’t go into, we have been carpooling this week. Well, yesterday Mallory was talking about “The Big Pickle”. This was in reference to a VeggieTales video about David and Goliath that I think she has only watched once. Today, she started talking about potatoes. (A food that she doesn’t like…I’m not really sure she’s related to me). It went a little something like this, “When a potato comes, we go hide in the closet.”
“When a potato comes?”
“Yes. And they’re scarrrrry.” (insert really cute face with wide eyes during the “scary” part)
“Is a potato a monster?”
“No, mommy, it’s a potato.”
“It comes and it picks up cars and houses and swings.”
“It picks up cars and houses and rocketships…?”
“I didn’t say rocketships. Cars and houses and swings. Airplanes and rocketships are too high up.”
“Okay. Who told you this?”
“Parissa.”  (her teacher)
“We eat potatoes.”
“Yeah.  Well, I don’t.  I don’t like potatoes.”
“…and the potato trail…”
Johnathan felt the need to chime in, “Potato trail?”
“Yes. It picks up cars and houses and big swings.”
Then, without realizing it Johnathan mockingly said, “Oh, the big, bad F3 Potato!” And I fell out laughing…tears streaming from my eyes. Suddenly, it hit Johnathan. “That’s what she’s talking about!”
We spent the next few minutes trying to teach her how to say “tornado”. They’re learning about weather at school. Who needs a TV when you have this kind of entertainment?

Week 8

Well, we’ve made it to the 8th week. It’s funny what you forget. Like, I can’t remember how old Mallory was before I got enough sleep to feel human again. My mom seems to think Mallory was easy, but I remember having to put her in the “sleeper hold” on occasion. At any rate, Calen is a pill. His fussy time is at night. It varies between just after the 8:00 feeding and the 11:00 feeding. I prefer the nights where he is fussy after the 8:00 feeding (like tonight). And after a week of a full house, he has decided that he is a lap baby. (great) Now, not only does he not want to sleep at night, he also doesn’t want to sleep during the day. . . unless he’s being held. ugh I’m working on him.
Saturday night, he kept me up until about 2:30, but then he slept until 7:30. Last night, I fed him at 10:30, and he slept until 5:30. Unfortunately, I woke up every 2 hours checking on him. We are hoping the extended sleep is a trend. . . and my anxiety is not.
Other than that, things are pretty much as you would expect with a newborn. We’re tired. But now that he is starting to open his eyes and smile and coo, he’s irresistible. I can’t wait to see what his little personality is like. I look at Mallory and see that it goes so fast. I have to say that the first milestone I look forward to is him being able to hold his own bottle. Wow the freedom!
Kylie is doing well at school. . . we think. It depends on the day. All we can pray for is that she does well enough to keep her scholarships. I do think she is getting a lot of life lessons though. The first year of college is all about figuring things out anyway, right?
Then, of course, there’s Mallory. I wish we carried around a video recorder with us at all times. Some of the things she comes up with are hysterical. We were coming home one Sunday and were discussing taking a nap. She said, “We get in mommy/daddy’s bed and watch Mickey Mouse. . . how bout dat?” What a little negotiator. By the way, we’ve tried that before thinking that we could sleep while she watched tv, it doesn’t work. The last time we tried she told Johnathan to turn it up because she couldn’t hear. He did without saying a word, and we heard a little voice say, “tick you”. She surprised my mom over the weekend. They were up in the bonus room and the sunlight was disappearing. She said, “It dark in here. Turn on lights.” Mom did and Mallory said, “Dat’s much better.” But, the latest was Monday morning. Normally, if she doesn’t get a bath at night, she takes a shower with daddy in the morning. Well, Johnathan asked me if I thought she needed to take a shower since she didn’t really do anything on Sunday. She said, “No. . . I just take a baff tonight.” I’ll try to keep track of more. There are just too many to remember.
She is moving up to the next class as school. The teacher says that she is more mature than some others that have already moved up. Her biggest obstacle is using the “big girl potty”. She is resistant. She says she wants to, but she just doesn’t do it. Over Thanksgiving, we tried something that was suggested by her teacher. We set a timer, and every time it went off, we took her to the potty. Well, the little snot started using the bathroom in her diaper when the timer went off. We even tried putting on “big girl panties” (training pants. . . wait till you see that video). She had an accident. She cried because she had pee’d on the floor. We tried that a couple more times, but she started refusing to go sit on the potty. By Saturday afternoon, I had given up. I know that she can do it. She is just being stubborn. I figure that once she is in this new class full-time, peer pressure will get to her, and she will want to potty train. Then, maybe we’ll get somewhere. But I will say that she pooped in the potty for the first time tonight. That was an experience. Very exciting! I’ll keep you posted.

1 Month Old

I have so much to talk about, and if my youngest child wasn’t screaming his head off right now, I might actually be inclined to blog about it. Calen has decided to fuss from about 10:00 pm until 12:30 or 1:00 (it’s 10:05 now). Why that time? Why not early evening like all other babies? Who knows. But it’s quite exhausting.
I did manage to upload some more pics today (you’re welcome, mom). In the family category, there are some in Calen – 0 Months, Calen – 1 Month, Mallory – 2 Years Old and a couple in Kylie (she’s not around much anymore). In the Events category, there are Halloween 2009 and Mallory’s First Dentist Visit (that was actually fun).
If I get some time over the weekend, I’ll catch everyone up. Enjoy the pics.

11 Days Old

While Johnathan and I were engaged, we talked about our future a lot, which of course included how many kids we wanted. He said he wanted 12. My response was, “You better find someone else to marry.” :) He said it so much that when we took the initial “test” for our pre-marital counseling, he was worried that I wouldn’t be able to accurately answer the question of how many kids my fiance wanted. I tell you this story because our first night at home, he looked at me and said, “Honey, I’ve changed my mind. Two is enough.” :) I have always said that man-to-man defense is the best.

In the hospital, Mallory was all about holding Calen. And the way she holds her hands out and cups them for you to put him in her arms is the cutest thing you have ever seen. But when we would take him and give him to someone else, she would get big tears in her eyes and say, “I want my baby back!” It was so sad and cute at the same time. We had no idea what to expect when we got home. It was one thing to deal with the baby brother in the hospital – a neutral location, but what would it be like when the baby came home with us? A couple of weeks before the birth, I bought Mallory a big sister gift. It included a baby doll, a high chair, a cradle and a stroller (her favorite piece). So when we came in from the hospital, the first thing we did was pile up in the bed and let her hold Calen for a few minutes. Then, I went to get the gift. Her attention quickly turned from baby brother to her new baby. Daddy and MeeMaw put it together…with some “help” from Mallory. She was so excited. Continue reading

Welcome, Calen Christopher Brandon!

Apparently, I have a knack for breaking my water at 2:00 am on a Sunday. Of course, this one didn’t create the same sense of urgency as the first one did.

As I told you last time, we were scheduled for induction on Monday (10/12). Well, true to form, our baby got impatient. There were signs all week that we were getting close. I think our children just like to give everyone a chance to gather. My mom flew in on Thursday, and my dad arrived on Friday. My preference was to go into labor on my own and avoid pitocin. My plan was to go natural, and it is my understanding that labor is more painful with pitocin (me and my big ideas). Once I knew dad was at least halfway, I started trying to coax the baby out. Mom and I ran some errands and went shopping. I had contractions but nothing consistent. On Saturday, I got out and walked the neighborhood a couple of times. Again, I had contractions, but they didn’t turn into anything productive. Over the course of those two days, I had moments that seemed promising, but they didn’t last.

We went to bed on Saturday night with a firm belief that we would be going all the way to Monday. With all of the anticipation that week, I was having trouble sleeping. I was awake every couple of hours or so. Saturday night was no exception. But at 2:00 am, my trip to the bathroom was a little different. I had a trickle that I was fairly certain was my water breaking. I wasn’t positive. It was a little different than with Mallory. I ate some applesauce, walked around for a little while and decided to go back to bed. I was up again around 3:30. This time, I decided to tell Johnathan. I was pulling my books out and reading, trying to determine if this was really it. We decided that we would wait a while to call the doctor since it wasn’t really an emergency…and she would probably appreciate the extra sleep. At 5:00, I was confident that my water was broken. Knowing that food would not be a possibility once I got to the hospital, I decided to eat. As long as I was vertical, there wasn’t much of a problem (apparently, the baby’s head acts like a cork). But when I laid down, my “output” got progressively worse. We finally called the doctor at about 6:45 (my doctor was not on call), and she told us to head in. We still didn’t get into a hurry. We both showered. Johnathan packed his bag, and I threw the last minute things into mine. We made the calls we needed to make and headed to the hospital around 8:00, where they finally confirmed that, indeed, my water had broken. This was it. Continue reading