Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

To a Daddy (and hubby!) that we love, who is far away this Valentine's Day, we send a Valentine's greeting! Can't wait to see you again!

Love, LOVE, LOVE you!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daddy's Doppleganger

Here's Daddy and his mini-me, complete with matching "Go Eagles" jackets!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Gang's All Here

In addition to the usual Tummy Time crew (Iain and Burzah), Mr. Lion, Big Lion and Mr. Armadillo joined Liam today as well.

In other news...look who's back on the pacifier again after a two week break.

And this guy seems to be having a static-y day again!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Just realized something CRA-ZY!

N is for Neil-the man in our life
E for Elizabeth, Mama and wife
I is for Iain, our oldest son
L for our Liam, the littlest one

Nope, we didn't plan our kids' names based on this! But it's pretty cool eh?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tummy Time

Tummy Time (or as Iain calls it "TummaTime") is a big event at our house these days. Every morning Iain asks if he can "show Baby Iam howtado TummaTime", and even "burzah" gets in on the action. Liam doesn't mind it one bit, although I don't know that he's accomplishing much besides getting a good snooze. Here are a few shots from our daily "workout".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sneaky Snow...

Well, the "blizzard of 2011" has come and gone, and although I don't know that I would use the words "disastrous", "crippling", "deadly" or "monstrous" to describe what we got, what we DID get was a lot of snow. And a lot of wind! Which meant a lot of snow blowing (for Neil) and shoveling (for me) and a lot of fun (for Iain). Grandma and Grandpa came over to loan their snow-blower and Grandma took Iain out to play in the huge banks and drifts. He loved it! Here are some photos from our snow day!

Iain Update...

Alright Mr. Iain, now it's your turn! Even though you've been on this earth for waaay more than a month, and today is no special day in the grand scheme of your life, I thought that you deserved your own update post too! I wish I'd thought to do this every month when you were a baby, but alas, I was too busy learning how to change diapers, feed a baby, put clothes on little flailing arms, survive with no sleep and figure out the territory that comes with a new baby! It's much easier this time around, so I guess I will just have to start now.

You are just over 20 months old, and you are the cutest little boy that ever drew a living breath! Here's what you look like right now: AMAZING photos are (of course!) courtesy of your Uncle Graeme and Pitman photography. Check out more of them here!

You have beautiful big blue eyes (with a little brown spot in the left one), and LOTS of silky blonde hair. In fact...drumroll please! I think it is FINALLY time for your first haircut! It's still not too long in the front, (I think Baby Brother Liam has almost as much!) but the sides are getting a bit long, and the back is a big, nappy rat's-nest! You also have the best smile. It can melt a Mama's heart, even when you're being a trouble maker. You are tall, tall, TALL and skinny-it's hard to find clothes that fit you right, because they hang off your waist and are short in the length. I am looking forward to shorts season again!

What are you like at this stage in life? Well...let's see. Unfortunately, it's kind of a 'good, the bad and the ugly' stage right now. Luckily, there's LOTS of good stuff about you right now Iain James! Here's some of it: You are smart, smart smart. You listen and observe EVERYTHING we say and do, and only need to hear about something once to remember it, identify it, talk about it, and understand it. You have a HUGE vocabulary, and we are constantly amazed at the words you know. I can't even guess at how many words you know...I would say at least 200? You will repeat just about anything, and actually understand most of what you're saying. We just can't believe how much you know! You know all of your manners, and say please, thank you, and excuse's so cute! Right now, you are learning your colors...but you mostly call everyhing "Buh-llllack!" or sometimes "BLUUEEE". You love to play with your blocks and build things, and to play with any toy that needs figuring out. Your love monkeys right now too, because you love the "monkeys jumping on the bed" song. You still like Mr. Lion, but "Burzah" is your best snuggle buddy. You know how to count (up to ten), and can sing about a million songs. You love to listen to music, and to have songs sung to you. You LOVE to read books, and your favorites are by "Docky Suess". You even think your Bible is by "Docky Suess". You love to talk about and look at pictures of your family, and to "talk on skype" to Grandma and Grampy. You love "your people" and are very affectionate and loving. We love to hear you say "I lub youuu!!". You like to watch a hockey game with Daddy, and even more, to go downstairs and play hockey or putt. Grampy made you an awesome play area down there, and you ask every day to go "doon" to play. You love guitars, and got your own for Christmas that you love to play. But you still covet the ones at church. sigh. You got a little brother about a month ago, and you LOOOOVE him! You would hold him all day if you could, and you love to help take care of him. You give him his bottle, get his blankets, tell Mama if he's crying or has a spitter, and show him how to do all kinds of things. You are generally a good helper, and like to unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, put away toys and clean up. We are SO thankful for all the things that you can do, and all the ways we've seen you grow and develop! God has really taken care of you, little boy! Overall, you are a good little man, and very winsome and likeable. But, you're not on to the bad and the ugly.

Your bad things are mostly summed up in two words: eating, and sleeping. Both are getting better, but neither is great. You eat a good amount, but you are the pickiest little boy I've ever met. You won't try ANYTHING new, and won't eat a fuit or vegetable to save your life. Mostly, your diet consists of mashed potatoes (which Mommy sneaks sour cream, cheese and other goodies into without you knowing!), "chocolate pudding" (which you call ANY pudding, and which Mommy sneaks yogurt and fruit into without you knowing!), any bread product, crackers, dry cereal, chicken, bacon, "spicy meat" (Grampy's venison jerky!), "yummy pizza", muffins (which you call cake!), any kind of junk food (like french fries and chocolate, but we try to limit that!) and Ovaltine. I don't know how you survive! We got you vitamins in your Christmas stocking, but...surprise surprise, you won't eat them! You won't even try yummy things-the other day you rejected a popsicle! At least you are polite though, and always give it back with a lovely "No thank-you"!

Your sleeping has ALWAYS been a challenge. You started "putting yourself to bed" without a peep at about three weeks, and "slept through the night" at six weeks, and Mommy and Daddy were thanking our lucky stars! But then...the teeth started coming. And since four months, you have been getting teeth on and off to this day. And you've been a bad sleeper until this day! You go in phases, and you'll be GREAT for a month or so, and then bad again for a few weeks. About a month ago, you were waking up in the middle of the night, EVERY night, for hours on end, sometimes crying, sometimes singing, sometimes talking, sometimes screaming. And about two weeks ago, you were crying EVERY time we put you to bed. This was pretty tough for Mommy and Daddy, espeically since we had a brand new baby in the house. But we just kept our routine, and prayed hard that you'd get over what was ailing you, and right now, we're in a fairly good phase. You go to bed (usually) nicely for Daddy after your bath, a story, a couple of songs and a drink of milk, at about 8:30, and can most often be counted on to sleep until about 8:30 or 9am. But there are still nights when you won't go to sleep without crying, and other nights when you wake up in the night screaming. And there are some morning when you wake up too early (8am or before) and are a grouchy bear all day. You are getting your back molars right now (your last four teeth to come!) and I think that's the cause of your troubles. When you have medicine, you're usually a pretty good sleeper. As for naps, for the last few weeks, you scream EVERY TIME Mommy puts you to bed. But you can't fool me...after you fall asleep, you sleep for over two hours every day, so I know you're not ready to drop your nap. I think you just don't like to miss anything.

As for the ugly, I am not sure how much of this is "terrible twos" (a little early!), how much is getting used to sharing Mommy and Daddy's undivided attention with Baby Liam, and how much is your mouth hurting from teeth, but you've become a terrible tantrum thrower. You scream if you don't get what you want, you hit, you push, you do things you know you're not allowed to's not much fun for anyone! We have a time-out chair that you have gotten well acquainted with ("No thank-you, no timeowshair....") and you've gotten more spankings in the past month than in your whole little life thus far! Mommy and Daddy are doing our best to be patient with you, to teach you right from wrong, and to train you and help you to be a good boy, but some days it's a tough battle! We know you'll come through this, and it won't last forever, and we know that you're USUALLY a good boy, so we're just praying for patience while this phase lasts!

No matter how hard any day is though, it doesn't change how much we love you! We love you so, SO much Iain James! And we're so thankful for you, and so glad you are our son! You're a lot of fun, you're bright and wonderful, and we think you're great. We are glad that Liam gets to have you as his big brother. You are totally going to be his hero!

Happy ONE MONTH Baby Liam!

Well Mr. Liam, you have been around for an entire month! (and one day actually, but who's keeping track?) I had the best intentions to post this yesterday, and I did get the picture taken, so that, at least, is legitimate! But I guess that is what happens when you are in a family with TWO crazy boys! And, as a matter of fact, I think that when your brother was born, I took a five month (or so) break from blogging! So compared to that, you're doing rather well!

What is going on with you at one month? you are...
You're a hungry little hobbit, who would eat all day if we'd let you, hence those big chubby cheeks! You are certainly a different model than your chicken-legged brother, (although he was a chubster too at first, if I recall!) and I am not used to seeing a baby with a big chubby tummy, rolls all over your arms and legs, and a double chin! It's really cute! I don't know what you weigh now, but you feel pretty darn heavy to me! You are still a VERY tall are have almost outgrown all of your cozy newborn sleepers; they are getting too short in the legs and sleeves. You are starting to lose some of your dark, thick hair (you have a bit of a receding hairline my sweet...!) and what you do have is getting lighter-almost a reddish brown. Your eyes are still dark blue, but we're not getting attached to them, in case they change. You are very expressive, but we still haven't seen any smiles from you. You have a cute little frown that you show us when you're bothered though. Everybody tells us that you look more like your Patterson relatives, and I think you look a lot like your Grampy and your Uncle Brett.

So that's what you look like right now...and here's what you ARE like. You've been a good baby, from day one. You only cry when you need something; mostly food, but burps, poppy diapers and being cold also provoke you. Also, about an hour and a half after you wake up, you start to get fussy, and Mama knows it's time to sleep, and you're crying for your bed. We like this feature! You nap very well during the day, and sleep well at night too. You usually go to bed with no problem at about 9pm, wake up to eat at about 2am and then sleep until morning. You don't like to go to sleep again after you eat at 6am, so we're going to work on that, because your family (even big brother) all like to sleep in! Your fussy time seems to be between 5:30 and 7pm every night, which is the only time you don't nap well, and want to be held. This is tough, because it's when we're trying to make dinner. You do like your swing though, and being carried close to Mama in the Baby Bjorn. In fact, you ALWAYS like to be close to us, and if we would hold you all day long, I think you'd sleep all day long! Because you're such a snuggler, and hate being cold, we've started warming up your bed with a heating pad. You like that a LOT! You also love a hot bath (just like your brother!) and you hate getting out.

You don't do much just yet, but you are a champ at holding your head up-you're very strong! You don't mind tummy time much, and have a very willing teacher in Big Brother Iain. The other night when you were laying on your tummy, you just about rolled over, which is very early to be doing that, so we think it was just a mistake. And we caught you too, so you didn't bonk your little head. You are very, VERY alert. We have always joked about your "shifty little eyes" darting all over the place, but now that they're open wider, they don't look so shifty! But they still look all are very curious! And you've started making some fun noises too.

Since it's in the dead of a long, cold winter here in Iowa (we just got 13 inches of snow last night!), we haven't taken you many places. You've been to church once, and to Grandma and Grandpa's house a few times. We have had a few trips to the doctor, and last weekend you went on a big adventure with Mom and Dad to go buy a new car! We were in the car for three and a half hours each way, and you slept the whole time! You love the motion! Mostly, we just stay cozy at home, and you are getting the benefit of hearing tons of stories read to your big brother!

By the way, that big brother of yours...I think he really likes you! He calls you "Baby Iam", or sometimes "LLLLLIAM!" He always wants to kiss you, hug you, hold you and snuggle you. He loves to show you things, like his books, and how to do things, and always tries to share his toys with you. He can sometimes be a bit rough with you though, so we're working on that. If he grabs you too hard, he'll say "Baby Iam. Cryin'." I think this might make you tougher in the end! He loves to help with your care, and throws away all of your diapers, gets your blankets, puts away your bottles, and lets me know every time you cry or have a "spitter". He is so proud of you!

We are so glad that you are here little man, and we love you so, SO much! We can't wait to see what the next month brings! Come on smiles! Come on coos!