Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn in Chicago

Fall is arriving in my neighborhood. Gold and red and orange trees. Sweaters and boots and jackets. And Fall is actually a season here and not just a week that you'll miss if you blink like in the South. I. LOVE. IT.
And around here in the fall one fun thing to do is go to an apple orchard. Say what? Oh yes, you're about to see an episode of the Darby Family Goes to the Country. Are you excited? Because I was.
But first, introductions are in order. These are our sweet, sweet neighbors Wade and Bethany who live across the hall from us (they're holding Baby Mack. I'm letting them "practice"). I L-O-V-E them and so do Clint and Mimi. Thank goodness because you can't pick your neighbors, and it would really stink to live so close to someone who wasn't very nice. Especially when we have a very high-strung yippie dog and a crazy two-year-old who likes to totally invite herself into "Wabe and Bethy's" to play with their breakable coasters and expensive computer. So anyway, we all took the roadtrip together.
After totally missing our exit . . . and then realizing there was no exit from the other direction . . . we finally arrived in Woodstock at the All Seasons Orchard. And made a wonderful discovery . . .Apple Cider Doughnuts. Oh. Muh. Gah. Divine. And they were served warmed. Yu-uh-uh-mmy. Of course Mimi and I ate, like, seven.And another discovery that I need to share is the best apple in the whole world -- Honey Crisp. Have you heard of these? Me neither. It must be a Midwestern thing. I'm not really a huge apple fan but after one bite of these things I'm a believer. I bought several a few days ago and they are all gone now. We cut up one for Mimi last night and let her dip it in peanut butter, and she "lubbed" it. Maybe I'll remember to buy a "peck" (is that right?) to bring to Memphis this week.
Then off to the petting zoo which consisted of some goats and sheep. I was a little concerned and asked the guy running the show if it was safe for my little monkey to run wild with these creatures. Just to show me how tame they were he walked up behind a goat while it was eating and grabbed his hind legs. Hmm, maybe Mimi couldn't do much worse than that.
At first she was happy to look at them and pat their heads . . .
. . . and give them hugs and tell them that she "lubbed" them . . .
. . . but then the chase was on -- Mimi versus the goats! Woo hoo!
After finally ripping her away from the petting zoo, we went through a corn maze, which wasn't the easiest with a double stroller and crazy toddler, but we made it. Wade directed us and finally we made our own path and broke down some corn. I'm sure no one minded.

Mack seemed to really enjoy his day at the orchard, don't you think?

Oh, and a funny story. There were some fancy port-o-potties at the orchard with some type of handwashing station I had never seen before. I was struggling to find a way to turn on the water, and a lady walked over to help. She showed me how to pump it with my foot and then, get this, she said, "You must be a CITY GIRL if you don't know how to work one of these." Ha ha hahahaha ha ha. What's even funnier is Bethany, who has lived in NYC for the past 10 years actually knew how to work it . . . guess I need to get out more.

Playing Catch-Up

While my sweet baby boy is changing and growing on a daily basis, our computer charger decided to call it quits. Ugh. To all my family and friends who expect me to update every few days, I know I have let you down. So sorry, but now we are up and running again! BUT, I really don't have the time it takes to make quality blog posts since it is 10:30 on Monday night and we are leaving for Memphis bright and early Wednesday morning . . . and in between now and then I must do laundry, get the oil changed, pack, and finish the JonJon (the first I've ever made!) for Baby Banks, as Mimi calls him. Alert to Mimi: Banks is probably bigger than you are. Maybe we should drop the "Baby" part. And it doesn't help that this morning I decided to accidentally sew the lining to the wrong side of the fabric. Ugh again. No need to worry though. The seams have been ripped and I should have it finished in time. Well, maybe. But I digress. On to what you really want -- the photos.

So these were all taken around the second week of September, but I must post them so we can all see the changes -- and my goodness how he has changed. Fatty, fatty is all I can say, but we'll get to that in a post that I'll hopefully get to tonight or tomorrow. Even though I know you'll probably read them all at the same time, but whatever.
Awwwww. Don't you love? Such a pretty little thing. I have been sta--ruggling to find ways to entertain Mimi. Most other stay-at-home Moms would roll their eyes at the things I do or rather don't do during the day. I know, I know. You're excusing me and thinking that it's okay because I have a newborn and a two-year-old. Maybe I am hard on myself and I know Mimi won't hold it against me, but I still feel like I am failing miserably. So anyway, one of my attempts to entertain her was to throw a quilt over the dining/sewing/place to put junk table, and voila!! Entertainment for days (at least 2 days!). I couldn't take any photos inside the "tent" because that was our secret fort. Ruthie stood guard on the outside, and I had to knock and be asked by Princess Mimi to enter. So fun.
And this was what Mack did in the meantime.
Playing blocks on the bed with Mack. He was so interested and totally knows all his shapes.
Mack thinks his daddy is sooo cool. He even smiled at him first. Seriously. I mean, I feed him and change most of his diapers and wake up with him in the middle of the night and walk around with spit-up on my shirt. But he smiles at Clint first. Geez.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Before I Forget

I am not a good mother when it comes to filling out the Baby Book -- for either child. Whenever something cute or important happens, I find myself thinking I should dig through Mimi's closet to record it in her cute pink polka-dotted book, but that takes waaaay too much effort. Thank goodness for her sake I am an annoying blogger. So there are a few things I will record here before I forget about them tomorrow:
MimiShe has just turned into a little girl, and albeit a little dramatic it's still so fun. I let her choose between two outfits now when we are getting dressed in the morning. Honestly, she doesn't care what I put on her, but I want her to start voicing her opinions about her style. So I usually let her choose between a dress and a shirt and pants . . . and guess what she chooses. The dress. Always the dress. So I have decided to make more play dresses for her, and I came up with the cute little number she is wearing here. I think it will be a great dress for the fall by itself; for the winter with leggings, cardigan, and Uggs; and for next year as a shirt with skinny jeans and ballet flats. Versatility needs to be taught at a young age to keep her frugal. BUT as girly as she may be now, she REFUSES to wear a bow for longer than 5 seconds. Sadness. And she kinda has a mullet. I know, I know . . . it's time for a trim, but it curls at the ends, so I can't bring myself to it yet. I found some fun headbands for her and try ponytails and dogears, but she won't have it. So fuzzy blonde hair in her eyes, it is.

She loves to talk about Disney Princesses. My sister visited last week and bought Snow White ("No White") for Mimi and she is obsessed. During her prayers one night, she thanked God for "No White, Gopey (Dopey), and bubbles (I think Dopey and bubbles are somewhere in the movie). She loves her Sleeping Beauty (Seeping Booty, he he) wand and her new Tinkerbell Barbie. Okay, so you Disney dorks know Tinkerbell isn't in the line-up, but Mimi doesn't care. Tink is very princess-like to her. She has fun princess pajamas (jommers, as we like to say), and she loves her Princess coloring pages she received for her birthday. So I guess when she is being really, really good in Target one day (or when she's being really bad and needs some bribing) we will be in the market for Seeping Booty.

Some fun with the English language:

Delicious = Dewicious. She said this at Starbucks when a group of hungover twenty-somethings were talking about their delicious martinis from some bar I'll probably never go to.

Yes= YESH!!! and this is always said with much enthusiasm such as,
"Mimi, would you like to eat chocolate ice cream?"
"YESH!! I lub choc-oh-wit i cweam!!"

The Puppy Movie = 101 Dalmations

Woody-Buzz = Toy Story

Sometimes when I ask her a question she likes to answer with "Um, well, actually . . ." such as when I asked her what she was doing with her crayons in her room this morning, and she answered, "Um . . . well . . . actually . . . I draw a picture on da wall!" Thank you, Magic Eraser.

When she wants to persuade me to do something, she tells me "I got idea."
"Hey Mommy, I got idea . . . push Mimi strowwer and go get CUHCAKE!!" Of course cupcakes, I mean cuhcakes, are always a great idea.

When she hears a car horn outside (which is quite often on our busy corner) = "Oh no, Mommy! Whassat? A CWASH?? Wha' happened?"

She likes to put "All" in front of lots of phrases. If she trips then she will "all fall down" . . . I guess like "Ring Around the Rosies." If she sees a stain on her dress, she says she's "all dirty" or "all wet." Also, a few days ago I heard her call a waterfall a "waterfall-down." It all goes back to "Ring Around the Rosies."

Shoes and socks = "shoes and shocks." I think it's fun that the s's sound like sh. And sometimes her f's sound like p's like when she wants to eat some "pood."

When she wants Clint's attention she will sometimes say, "Daddy, Ohhh Daaa-dy!"

She sings everything. I have confessed recently that we are watching waaay too much TV, but she honestly is learning from some of these shows. If anything, she is building her memorization skills. For example, we rarely watch Mickey Mouse, but she was singing "Micka Mouse, CWUBHOUSE! M-O-U-S-E!" to Clint a few nights ago. Also, I noticed a new Yo Gabba Gabba was on a few days ago, and she was singing along with the songs. Okay, so maybe all the tunes are the same and they repeat the same phrases over and over, but whatever. I'm just happy girlfriend loves to sing.

She also likes to sing "Winna da Pooh," "Maaaaa-ry had a witta wamb," and some made up songs, which are fun. One of her faves is "Mommy and Daddy, Mimi and Mack!" She also hums a little tune while she plays with her Little People that goes like this, "A dum, a dum, a dum dum dum."

Speaking of Little People, Mimi has really started "pretending" with them lately. A few days ago we built a tent out of the dining table (covered it in a quilt), and I had to knock to be let in. Once I got in the tent, we played with her Little People house and practiced adult-like conversations such as, "Hi, my name Mimi. Like to come in and play and poo poo on the potty? You get nima nims if poo poo potty."

One of her new favorite phrases, "I don like it." Ugh. This is usually said when I try to put a bow in her hair or put meat on her plate. This is always followed with throwing whatever it is that she doesn't like. I recently decided to join a MOPS group (thanks for the suggestion, Lindley) near my house, and as soon as we entered the church she looked around and said, "I don like it!" But then she saw a wild group of kiddos running around with bells and other noisy contraptions and she indeed learned to like it (she had no other choice -- I desperately needed to be with other adults!).

She fights a nap and bedtime, but goes to sleep instantly when I put her down. We read a book that she recommends -- some of her favorites are the Dinosaur book, the Mommy book, the Daddy book, Brown Bear, and Jack . . . and I know you have no idea what those are. Then we say our prayers, and this is one of the sweetest yet funniest times of the day. A few nights ago she thanked God for a big shark and then made a shark mouth with her hands.
Today we marched around the den in a parade. Everytime I walked away to fold laundry or check on Mack, she grabbed my finger, handed me a musical instrument, and said, "Mommy, wanna march in the 'rade?"
We also learned how to play hide and seek today. I think she saw the pigs on Olivia playing because she was standing in the middle of the den with her hands over her eyebrows counting to 5 then saying, "Ready or not, here I come!" She wasn't very good at hiding and couldn't figure out why she was supposed to cover her eyes because having her hands over her eyes was, "Too dark. I don like it."
Mack's normal routine: sleep, eat, sleep, eat some more, poop, then look to either the right or left for a little while . . . and then start all over. Occassionally he'll hang out in his swing, look at the mobile in his pack 'n play, or lie on his playmat. I know it doesn't seem like much, but I can't imagine how cool it is to take in this world after being confined to my belly for 9 months.
He tries so hard to focus on everything in front of him, and I can tell that he knows Clint's, and Mimi's, and my voices because he will stop fussing if he hears one of us.
Mack is so noisy. Anyone who has tried to have a phone conversation with me recently has gotten an earful of grunts -- I think he's part piggy. He grunts when he's hungry, tired, happy, or mad, and even in his sleep. He wakes us up several times at night grunting, and when I check on him he's sound asleep.
One thing I've learned about little boys is that they do indeed stink. Several people told me this, and I now believe them. It's a musky boyish smell, and we can't go too long without a bath like we could with Mimi.
And he's so, so sweet. I love how tiny he is and how soft his skin is. And I hate that this stage won't last much longer . . . for either of them. Mack won't be so fascinated by the pack 'n play mobile and Mimi will figure out how to cover her eyes when counting for hide 'n seek. So I don't want to forget.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So what am I supposed to do now?

Things have been just a little sad around the Darby house this morning . . . our Bebe has left us.After two weeks of helping wash dishes and clothes and clean bathrooms . . . and changing diapers and giving baths and reading books before bed . . . and consoling Mimi when she "bumped da head," Poppaw arrived to take Bebe home to Mississippi. Mimi was not happy with this and seemed to know what was happening even when Poppaw arrived a couple of days ago. Everytime he asked her to sit by him or to hug him or to let him take her to the park, she immediately shook her blond, fuzzy head and said, "No, no, Poppaw." She didn't want him to take her friend away. And, well, I didn't either, but I have to figure out this thing on my own. I guess the sooner the better.
So this is what we're doing now: And it seems to be working so far.
I know before long if I don't figure out something else to do Mimi will turn into this:So I have the play mat ready for Mack so he can do this:And I guess if things are really bad I can pull out the super-duper Princess coloring/sticker/water color set (thank you, Causey) . . . even though I find crayon on every window and cushion that Mimi can reach when I'm not looking. I'll make it somehow . . . people do it every day . . . but I do miss my Momma. Sigh . . .
To end on a not-so-depressing note, here is Mack at two weeks old with his friend, Blue. Not the best photo since I didn't remember to take it until late at night when the lighting was awful. I don't know if you can tell or not, but he's getting fatter (and I'm so happy about this!). He has a nice little fat roll forming under his chin and his belly is filling out . . . but those skinny feet and legs are still the same. Oh, and he totally has Clint's eyes. I noticed this last night when he was very alert and staring at me. The big eyes that are so unlike mine. So glad he might look like his handsome Daddy :).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eat, Poop, Love

I'm twelve days into being a mom of two, and I'm still alive.
I'm not just alive. I'm actually doing really, really well.

Mack is such a sweet, sweet little thing, and I had completely forgotten how much I love the newborn stage until I met him. I love the soft, fuzzy skin and tiny hands and feet that spontaneously move around. I love the rare moments his eyes are open and are trying to focus on my face. I love how he melts on Clint as soon as he's placed on his chest.
It's so crazy how much I have forgotten from Mimi's newborn stage. How they look drunk after they eat, how strange the colors and textures are of their poop, and how low-maintenance they are at this stage. All they need is to eat, sleep, and poop . . . and a little love. But no one could tell me that the first time around. I tried to be a calm mother, but I was so nervous on the inside. Was Mimi eating enough? Would she stop breathing in her sleep? Was she having enough wet diapers? This time around there is very little worry, and it is making for a very peaceful home.
And here is Mr. Mack after one week of being out in the world. I may try to occassionally snap some shots with him next to his friend Blue to chart his growth.
We've caught him sucking his thumb several times, and it is so stinkin cute. But what about this guy? Who is this little devil?
And I just realized I never posted any photos of Mack's room. Well, it's not exactly his room yet because Mimi is still sleeping in the crib and he's in a bassinet in our room.
The bed is still at the lowest level, so you can't get the full effect of the really awesome crib skirt made by me:). I had someone else make the bumpers because I was way too nervous about those.
BUT I did make the mobile . . . well, some of it. All of the really cool mobiles I found to match his room were ridiculously expensive, so I decided to tweak Mimi's old mobile a little. I made the little canopy and found the fun animals at Ikea for 50 cents each. Oh, how I love an Ikea bargain!Let's talk about this pillow for a minute. I know that pillows are supposed to be one of the easiest things to sew. I mean, it's usually what's taught in beginning sewing, but I was sooo frightened about it and left the fabric on the table for weeks before I attempted. The cording was what was making me so nervous. So about a day before Mack's arrival, I finally dove in, and I thinked it turned out quite nice.While we're talking about sewing . . . well, while I'm talking about sewing because I miss it so much since I haven't really had the time . . . here's Mack in a fun little onesie I appliqued for him. And I've found that the 5-8 lb onesies and the 3-6 month onesies aren't really much different in length. For more fun photos (am I getting close to my maximum limit yet?), here's Dr. Evil Darby.We are trying our best to continue giving Mimi the attention she deserves, but most of this is falling on her Bebe's shoulders. God couldn't have made a more selfless woman than my mother. I'm convinced that she drinks about 4 Redbulls every morning to give her the energy to do as much as she has been doing for us. But the love and attention she has shown Mimi doesn't come in a can, so I would like to know where I can get some because I know I'll need it after she leaves. Of course Clint is doing a great job of putting her in just a little bit of danger every day. Here I guess they are practicing lifts for when she will be on So You Think You Can Dance. So exactly how is Mimi doing, you might ask. I think she's okay with all of this. Occassionally she will ask me to "Put baby down and pway, Mommy," but she doesn't get mad if I don't put him down to play with her. He can be included as long as she's getting attention. So far all of his toys are her toys, so things will probably change when he's old enough to enjoy them, too. She ignores him for the most part, so I get really excited when I do see some interaction. On our way to dinner a couple of nights ago, Mimi leaned over to check him out and play with his toes (and, yes, this is the most fantastic double stroller ever! So glad we splurged for my "pushing present!").
Such a Daddy's girl. They were having a lot of fun this morning singing while Clint was playing his Playstation. Last night I heard her reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? to Clint with more enthusiasm than anyone should have because she really wanted to impress him. And, of course, she did.
And Baby Mack just chills while Mimi runs around him like a mad woman.
Today was the first Ole Miss game of the fall, and I was so excited to see Mimi sporting her cute little cheerleading outfit. Clint taught her the 2 Bits cheer, and then he and I together taught her the "What, What, What" cheer. You know, the one where you put your hands on your hips and say, "We got spirit, yeah, yeah." You know the one. Of course she LOVED it and I'm sure Clint and I looked like a set of crazy people demonstrating this for her.

And one last photo of the peaceful baby. With a paci of course. Hey, whatever gets me through the day.