Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Our little ragamuffin is a bit more respectable today! At least when it comes to his hair. It was finally time for another haircut; although we loved his long, shaggy, surfer locks, the combination of mullet and rat tail was getting a bit much. It went very smoothly...Mikaela is a hair-cutting magician, wielding suckers and robot capes, and Iain climbed right up onto the booster seat and was let her work her magic without protest.

Here's the ragamuffin pre-haircut , ready for the adventure.

Happy Haircut!! Don't you want to get your hair cut by Mik too? She's awesome! I don't know if she gives out suckers to adults...but maybe if you asked very nicely!

...And after! Not the most flattering shots! The little imp wouldn't make a normal face or sit still long enough to let me snap a good one...but trust me. He does look more presentable!

I've always thought hair cuts make kids look older, but this time around, I actually think Iain looks younger! I'm not complaining though...he was getting big a bit too fast for me, so I'm not sad to be reminded he's still my little boy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We're Still Here...

The past few weeks have been slightly hectic, to say the least. Although it's my favorite season, autumn has always been our busiest time of year as well. Coaching volleyball takes up most of Neil's free time and I spend the majority of months that end in "er" running around like a madwoman; doing double-duty with the boys, trying to get to as many of Neil's games as we can between naps, meals and bedtime, and inventing things to keep the boys occupied when Daddy is away. This year, we had the added bonus of our nasty bout of sickness, so it's been an insane month.

The boys did test positive for whooping cough, so we were sequestered at home until their antibiotics were completed. Even when they were no longer contagious, we still didn't stray to far, as we could never tell when a coughing fit would hit someone. I think everyone is finally on the mend, although I hear that the coughing can still last a few months. It was no picnic, that's for sure, but we're very thankful it wasn't worse than it was!

As a result, the boys and I just got to our first volleyball games of the season last weekend. We headed to Chicago with the team, and the boys had a blast! Iain actually watched some volleyball this year, and he was a great cheer-er! But what he really liked really liked all the girls (especially because they let him play with their computers, phones and cameras, shoot video and play with the volleyballs!). Liam just loved having so maybe people too hold him, talk to him and love him! I was excited to finally get to see a the girls play, and to visit with a certain wonderful Loyola University student! The weekend wasn't without its pitfalls (two coughing boys in one small hotel room, a late night, and an early morning, a towed van, lots of traffic, and a cell phone with no signal) but overall it was a good time! The girls did a great job, and Iain and Liam loved their new fan club!

In other news, we got to meet our new nephew, Rowan Eliot Pitman, at the beginning of the month, and he's awesome! We've loved holding him, and seeing him change even in just a few weeks. I truly can't believe that our boys were that small not even that long ago! He looks a lot like Iain did as a baby, so it's very nostalgic! He's the cutest little snuggle-bug! (As an aside, Neil and I had our first "date" in months at the Mercy hospital cafeteria, while we waited to meet Baby Rowan. Those folks are not out to make a buck! We both ate pie and had coffee and tea for under $4! So if you're looking for a cheap date, check out your local hospital cafeteria!)

Although we've been having fun making soups, stews, bread and all the best fall goodies, we've also been enjoying the last of the summer bounty. In typical Iain fashion, he discovered an undying love for corn-on-the-cob right about the time it went out of season.

We've had lots of fun with the Pitman crew; it's so nice to have Becky and Stu back in Iowa! The boys and I are getting excited about our trip to Canada next week to see the Patterson crew! Other than this, we've just been sticking around home, trying to get everyone back to good health...trying to get caught up on sleep...trying to get caught up on...laundry.

That about sums it up!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Arrival!

Rowan Eliot, a baby so dear
Has made his grand entrance...he's finally here!
A nice big boy for the Pitman clan,
And for Graeme and Ashlee, a new little man!
Black of hair and blue of eyes,
He's bound to be creative and wise!
September the 7th, exciting day,
For bringing a new little nephew our way!

Rowan Eliot Pitman
September 7, 2011
9:27 a.m.
8lbs, 14oz
18.5 inches

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Two Little Patients

I've really fallen off the "blog about each boy's monthly milestones" train! With all the travel, fun and craziness of summer, (not to mention the sickness!) I've barely had time to keep up with the things we've been doing, let alone who the boys are becoming! Since the boys have been sick, they've been taking lots of baths, lots of naps and playing lots of inside games like puzzles, blocks, coloring and the like. So what better time than when we're all laying low, sticking around home, and I've had a good chance to slow down and see each boy for who they really are!

My two little patients (wow, what a difference spelling can make! Change a few letters, and you've got "my too little patience", which could be another post unto itself!) have responded to being sick in characteristic manner. Liam has been all smiles and sunshine between coughing fits; you'd never know anything was wrong with him, he's just so happy and mellow. Iain is his usual funny, silly, exuberant, temperamental self in between times, and responds with grave concern to his coughing. He has already figured out how to use being sick to his advantage; "Iain, please pick up your blocks." "Cough, cough...Not feeling good...!" What a guy!

It amazes me all the time how different these two boys are, but we already see glimpses of what good friends they are going to become. So in typical Pitman-catch-up-style, here are Liam's six, seven and eight month milestones, and Iain's last four months of life, all rolled into one! (Don't worry. I will do my best to make it the abridged version!)

First up, Mr. Liam Charles. Last time I wrote, a-way back in June, he'd just mastered rolling from tummy to back, and was working on sitting unassisted. Although I'm proud to say that he's now got both the rolling (in both directions) and the sitting down pat, it did take a fair bit longer than we thought it would. We've come to the conclusion that the other side of Liam's mellow, chill disposition is that he's slightly...unmotivated. Lazy. He's just as happy laying or sitting, on his back or his tummy, falling over or sliding's all the same to him. Iain was sitting at five months and trying to go, go, go at about four, but Liam really doesn't care. Now that he can sit, he does like it, but until he got it down, he really didn't seem to mind falling over. He'd just coo and smile and go on playing with whatever toy was in his reach at the time. I don't know why I'm surprised; he showed every indication of this from the very beginning, while Iain was bee-bopping around like a little bobble head from day one. He doesn't show much interest at all in crawling at this point, although he almost always will turn over from his back onto his tummy, and he's very adept at cranking his head around and reaching all the way behind him to get things that he wants.

While he may less motivated than his brother when it comes to physical exertion, he's leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to cooperation. He's been eating solid food for two months now, and it's been smooth sailing from the first. Cereals, fruits, veggies...he opens his mouth like a little bird and swallows it down without an ounce of fuss. He sometimes makes strange faces when it comes to new tastes and textures, but honestly, so far, we haven't found a food that boy doesn't like! He loves picking things up too, like puffs and Cheerios. I'm surprised at his dexterity! Since he's been sick, we've cut back on his formula and have been occasionally giving him Pedialyete, which he gobbles up like candy. In Iain's first year of life we tried him with this several times, and he wouldn't take a sip. Not. One. Most surprisingly, we decided to try Liam with a sippy-cup because he wasn't too fond of drinking cold liquid from the bottle. He drank from it without any trouble at all. Iain was at least a year before he'd even take an occasional from a cup, and it was much longer than that before he'd part with his beloved bottles. So far, Liam seems to be a very easy "transition baby". This is such a relief!

He's still a great sleeper, although being sick has disrupted his usual uninterrupted nights. He always goes down for naps and bed without a peep, and except for waking up to cough, sleeps around the clock. He's not a stickler for a strict bedtime routine, like Iain was (and is!)...he just goes to sleep. Anywhere. For anyone. He's awesome! He's still getting his arms swaddled, because he likes to be snug, but we're working on the sleepsack transition. Or at least we were, until he got sick. At this point, anything that keeps him sleeping is good by me! Speaking of sleeping, from about five months he rediscovered his love for the pacifier, and he often uses it to fall asleep. Based on his personality, I don't think it will be a big battle to get rid of, but I don't know how to figure out when is the best time to do it.

He's a good little talker, and is always expressing himself with coos, laughs and sounds of all sort. He's entered into the pterodactyl phase, which is always amusing! The things that make him laugh most? Tickles, kisses, Ella (who he just discovered recently) and Iain. Things that make him cry most? Loud sneezes, being hungry, and...Iain.

Liam is still huge. He weighs almost 22lbs, a mere six pounds less than his two-year old brother! They technically could share clothes (and sometimes do!), they wear the same size diapers, and people often ask if they are twins. (!?) He's got four teeth: two bottom in the middle, and one on each side on the top, like fangs. The two top middle ones are on their way through too, so it's been a rough week for this little guy.

Three words to describe Liam? The. Best. Baby. He's just great. He's so much fun, and so easygoing, it sometimes feels like we barely have two kids! Not to count my chickens before they hatch, but I imagine his "Terrible Toddler" phase is going to be somewhat of a breeze. He warms my heart every day, and he's the best snuggler in the family. I can't wait to see his little personality continue to develop.

As for Mr. Iain, he's a paradox! The funniest, brightest, most charming, loveable, affectionate little sweetheart. The most stubborn, difficult, frustrating, mischief maker imaginable! What can I say? He's two!

He's a really bright little guy; even objectively I can say he knows a lot for his age. I am constantly surprised by his memory; it's like an elephant. He remembers things we did months ago, or phrases he's heard us say once (sometime to our peril). He uses ridiculously big words, correctly and in context. He can carry on an actual conversation, with complete sentences, questions and answers, even using abstract concepts. He's learning his letters now, and he knew them all in just a few days by using his own little quirky mnemonics. Now that he knows them, he can't see a page without pointing out every letter he knows and what it stands for and wanting to read every piece of print he sees. He has a good sense of humor, and knows instinctively when someone is making a joke or when he's said something funny. He loves to read; when we give him the occasional special treat of a movie, all he wants to do is "Go to the library and get books about....(insert said movie here)!".

Unfortunately, this also means he's bright enough to be able to see how to get what he wants, smart enough to try to talk his way out of (or into) things, and stubborn enough to know his own mind! These qualities will serve him well as he gets older, I'm sure, but for his Mom, they can be somewhat frustrating! He loves to boss Liam and Ella around; "Don't chew on that Liam!" or "Ella, get down from there!", and tries his best to tell Mom and Dad what to do as well. He's not big on new or scary situations, doesn't much like being left by Mom and Dad, and is perpetually concerned about everything going on around him. And he's always got something to say. He's really is a "first born", and as such is a worrywart, a boss, a leader and follower all rolled into one. It's a lot of fun trying to figure out how his brain works, and it's always hilarious to hear him explain things. He really is a great little guy.

He's been eating and sleeping really well lately (until he got sick that is, the exception for everything...) and it's so funny to hear him say "Mommy, Iain loves pasta!" or some other food that he's resisted trying for the past year and finally jumped on board with. Just generally, he's kind of a bandwagon guy. No matter what it is, a food, an experience, a new person or place...he won't try it, doesn't want to do it, doesn't like it, won't go...until finally something clicks and he tries it, then he loves it, and then can talk about nothing else. His current obsessions are Curious George (still), and Thomas the Train, who he only knew from a pair of his pajamas. Last week Daddy brought him home a wooden Tomas, and it made Iain's whole week. He's now been added to the plethora of friends (Burzah, Little Lion, White Burzah, Dandelion, George, Baby, Owl Pillow, "Beaver" and Canada Burzah) who share his crib on a nightly basis.

Although these are all the things Iain's been doing lately, words can't capture who he is right now. And that's what I want to remember. I wish I'd taken the time to write down all his little quirks, his funny phrases, and his cute little "Iain-isms", because they disappear so fast. Already I find myself saying "When you were little, you used to call this a 'stoona'!" And it makes me sad to think how easy it is to let the moments slip by without appreciating them. He's a good little buddy, and we have a lot of fun together, every day.

Now that Liam can sit up and play, the boys have a lot of fun together. Iain loves to "read" to his little brother, to teach him things and show him things. They have a blast in the bath together, dumping water and splashing up a storm. They love to play in the pool, to take walks side by side in the stroller, and to do just about anything together. I love to hear them laughing, and to enjoy them growing up together.

Two little boys; One sassy, one sweet. One skinny, one chubby. One crazy, one mellow. Two babies. Two buddies. Two brothers. What more could a Mom ask for? Now, if we just can get through this season of sickness and back to normal, this Mama will be thankful indeed!