Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
In continuation of my last post, here is Benjamin being completely enamored of his big brother. It was so sweet to see them "reading" together. I just can't get over how much Benjamin loves Jonah already. It's so cute to see him light up whenever Jonah's around.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Benjamin is only four months old, but I think I've already been replaced as the most interesting person in his life. He thinks Jonah is hilarious. This is probably the hardest I've ever seen him laugh. These two videos are pretty similar, but I had to post them both because I thought it was funny how Benjamin gives me the same bored look at the end of each one. He cracks up at Jonah and as soon as he turns to me the grin is gone and he has this look like, "Yeah, whatever, Mom."
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The day after Thanksgiving we celebrated again at Paul's house with Dad and Elaine. Another huge delicious meal prepared by my sister-in-law, Vashti - her first time hosting a Thanksgiving meal. She did a great job! I contributed Jello and put together the green bean casserole. Lame, I know. Well, we're hosting everyone over New Year's, so I'll get my chance do more cooking then.
Every time we see Evelyn she's more fun to play with. Here she is being easily amused by Grandpa throwing a wiffle ball against an exercise ball. Who knew that this would be so utterly hilarious to a one-year-old!
Monday, November 30, 2009
While the "no-ness" of being two is a trying stage, there are also a lot of wonderful aspects of this stage of development. He's very affectionate and still loves to give me hugs and kisses. He even tells me I'm pretty and smart! His attention span is a lot longer now and he has no problem playing by himself in his room or in his highchair while I feed Benjamin. He loves to play pretend and we spend a lot of time as firefighters or ambulance drivers. He likes to be a helper whenever possible so I'm always trying to think of ways for him to do little tasks for me. Putting things in the garbage is one of his favorites.
He has gotten really into Christmas and likes to listen to Christmas music, read Christmas books, and talk about baby Jesus being born... and about Santa. We don't make a big deal of Santa, but it's really hard to avoid. I just try to put the focus on Jesus more than Santa. I know he's paying attention because he always asks what the Christmas songs are about. I told him that "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" was about the angels telling the shepherds that Jesus had been born and he said, "Not even a bed for baby Jesus." It so incredible to be teaching the Christmas story to him for the very first time. It's 100% fresh and new to him and that helps make it feel fresh to me, too. I'm paying a lot more attention to the words in Christmas carols, too, because I know there will be a quiz at the end! "What's that Christmas song is about, Mommy?"
Monday, November 9, 2009
If you read this blog you may have noticed that I've taken a sort of blogging hiatus - particularly since Benjamin was born. If you are my friend on Facebook you know that I have been putting up plenty of pictures and updates on that site. So, it's not that I've dropped off the face of the Earth (or really off the face of the internet) it's just that Facebook is so much faster and easier than blogging. Uploading pictures and video to FB is waaaay faster (ahem Blogger, maybe you could make some improvements in that area) and writing quick one-sentance updates is obviously faster than writing a blog post. But, lately I have been considering returning to blogging as my main mode of internet communication. I really enjoy reading the blogs of my friends and getting the whole story of what's going on with them, rather than just little blurbs. Plus, I'm realizing that the blog is a much better way to keep a record of the "baby book"-type things that I often write about like milestones and funny things Jonah says. Up to this point the blog has basically been my baby book for Jonah and it probably will be for Benjamin too.So, for those of you that don't know or can't make sense of all the Facebook blurbs, I'll try to give you a brief overview of the months since Benjamin was born. A week and a half after Benjamin was born we moved to a new house in a new town about 40 minutes south of where we had previously been living. Four days after the move Jon left on a trip for work for two and a half weeks. He came home for about 10 days and then left again for four weeks. So, Jon only saw the baby for two weeks of his first two months of life. To say it was crazy and difficult is an understatement. I flew to Chicago by myself with the boys to attend my dad's wedding while Jon was gone. It was wonderful when we could all be together again and really work on getting settled into our new place and into a new routine with a baby.
Here's my sweet smiler at three months. So far he seems pretty similar to Jonah. I think he might be a little smilier and a little wigglier, but it's hard to tell. He loves attention and does NOT like to be left alone for more than a few minutes. Even if we're all hanging out in the kitchen together he really wants you to look at him and talk to him.
It's very easy to make Benjamin smile and laugh. I was shaking my head to get him to laugh so I ended up shaking the camera too. It's a little wobbly, but too cute not to share!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So, I take back what I said about Ben not being as talkative as Jonah. You can see Jonah talking at the same age here. Jonah did more squealing and I think Ben talks in a more throaty "aaaaah". He keeps his mouth wide open - it's like he's saying "aah" for the doctor.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Here's Ben chillin' in the bouncy seat. See Jonah at the same age, in the same seat, in the same outfit here. It's still hard to see much difference in personality, but I would say Ben is not quite as talkative as Jonah was. (Big surprise - not many kids are as talkative as Jonah.) You can tell the difference in the videos. Ben's still a very happy guy, he just doesn't have quite as much to say about it as Jonah did!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!” The Doxology was running through my head soon after giving birth to little Benjamin. It was as smooth of a birth experience that I could imagine and we had a healthy baby and I just wanted to thank the Lord for his great blessings! Here's the story of Benjamin's birth – if you are not one of those “Birth Story” people, I totally understand! Feel free to just scroll through the pictures and skip the story!
I'd had encouraging news from the midwife on Tuesday morning that I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced. My midwife recommended trying castor oil to get labor started considering how far I'd come already. I decided I wouldn't try it until I was actually overdue on Saturday. As the afternoon wore on I saw further signs of impending labor (I'll spare you the details) and I started to get antsy. I asked Jon to come home a little early from work and we decided that maybe castor oil was worth a try. Yeah, not so much. Maybe technically it worked, but it was not worth it and I should have just sat back and relaxed because of all the other signs that labor was near.
I started the castor oil at 4:30, but didn't actually begin contractions until 2am. I waited awhile before waking Jon up – I wanted to let him get as much sleep as possible. At about 2:35 I gently nudged him and said, “I think we should get up and get all our stuff pulled together. No rush, but I don't want to suddenly be frantic.” He said okay and went back to sleep. Less then 10 minutes later I nudged again and said, “Okay, we really need to get up and go.” It ended up being maybe a little more frienzied than I had anticipated, complicated by the lingering effects of the stupid castor oil, but overall it went smoothly. Our neighbor came down from upstairs and camped out on the couch so we didn't have to wake Jonah. I left her with the phone number of a friend down the street who could pick him up around 8am. I think we made it to the hospital around 3:45 – having four contractions during the less than 10-minute trip.
I was quickly admitted and brought up to the maternity ward where I met my nurse and midwife. How refreshing it was to only have two people involved in the entire birth process compared to our experience with Jonah when countless people were coming and going all day (and all night) long. The only hitch in my idea of the perfect birth was that I wasn't able to receive an epidural as quickly as I hoped. The anesthesiologist was occupied in surgery and I didn't get my relief until about 7am. That said, Jon and I both felt that I dealt with the hard contractions fairly well. I used my breathing and “singing” techniques – deep inhale, then a long “ohhhh” sung louder and higher as the pain increased. Shortly after the epidural the midwife broke my water and labor continued to progress.
Once I was comfortably settled with my epidural Jon headed to the cafeteria for breakfast, which made me quite jealous as I was hungry and hadn't had much for dinner (stupid castor oil again). I flipped on the TV for a few minutes while he was gone and was easily reminded of why we don't have a TV. It did feel ironic, though, to flip past “A Baby Story” and watch someone in labor as I was in labor. By 8:15 some contractions were still bothering me enough that I couldn't rest, so I got a booster to my epidural. Man, I must have hit the epidural mother load! I catnapped a little bit and by 10am I was fully dilated and ready to push, but I couldn't feel ANYTHING. I decided to just wait and let my contractions do the work of pushing Benjamin out without wasting my energy on pushing. By 11 I still didn't feel the urge to push at all, but I could kind of feel contractions on my right side and I decided it was time to get the party started. Wow, what a “night and day” difference from my experience of two hours of pushing with Jonah! I officially started pushing at 11:06. I pushed through four contractions feeling absolutely nothing and Benjamin arrived (face up!) within 17 minutes. I didn't even break a sweat! It was unbelievable! I had three small stitches (still feeling nothing) while I held and examined our new baby boy.
In less than half an hour of his birth he was nursing and nursed well for 45 minutes before they took him to the nursery to perform more tests and give him a bath. He nursed again after that, but he was having some problems with low blood sugar. They ended up giving him a bottle of formula in the nursery while I rested.
Jon left at 12:30 to pick up Jonah and take him home for his nap. It worked out perfectly. They came for a short visit in the evening and introductions went very well. Jonah was so excited to see Benjamin and wanted to hold him right away and give him hugs and kisses.
The Taylor boys.
Jonah and Benjamin's first moments together.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Here he is getting checked out in his first few moments of life in the outside world.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Of course we had to get the obligitory "cousins in the tub" shot. Hopefully this won't be too embarassing to them later in life. (I cropped out the bare bottom.) Jonah and Evelyn had such a great time together - as much as a 7-month-old and a 21-month-old can. She loved watching him and cooing at him and he was very excited about her, too. He always wanted to know, "Where's Baby Ev-wyn?" And he had to observe and comment on everything she was doing. Baby Ev-wyn sleeping. Baby Ev-wyn eating. Baby Ev-wyn crying. Shhh, shhhh, no cry Baby Ev-wyn. Baby Ev-wyn sneeze. Bless you Baby. I share (with) Baby Ev-wyn.
"What do you have in that sippy, Jonah, and how do I get some?"
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
It's only been a month since I last took a video of Jonah doing the ABC's, but I couldn't resist posting another video because he can now do the entire song without my help. Okay, he may mush a letter here and there, the "LMNOP" is more like "ahbababa P!" and he doesn't make much effort at pitch, but still, I think it's pretty good for a one-and-a-half-year-old.
The stuff he says continues to amaze us. He's constantly observing life and putting things together in his mind. He'll say things that we don't remember teaching him or comment on something that's happening that we don't do very often. He'll watch me putting in muffins and say, "Mommy open the oven." Or he'll observe, "Daddy making juice." We get a kick out of how he greets us with, "This is a Mommy!" or "It's a Daddy!" or "Here comes a Mommy!" as if we're just these generic parents and not actaully his mommy and daddy. This week he started to pick up his books and say, "I'm 'onna read it you." and he'll turn to a page and correctly recite a phrase or two from that page. This week he also started to say, "It's mines." I'm actually surprised it took him this long because many of his friends run around saying little else but, "Mine!"
Monday, June 1, 2009
When do toddlers learn to choose things? I often try to get him to pick one thing or another and he can't do it. "Do you want Cheerios or Kix?" "I want Cheerios. I want Kix." "Do you want to wear sandals or flip-flops?" "Sandals or flip-flops." But I guess I should enjoy the non-decision making while it lasts. I'm sure the time will come when he will have very distinct opinions on breakfast foods and footwear.
I'm also eagerly anticipating the day Jonah gets to the point of really being able to feed himself with a fork or a spoon. It seems like many kids his age can eat quite well with a utensil, but Jonah really hasn't gotten the hang of it yet. He really enjoys trying, but most of the food ends up on his tray, down his chin, and all over his shirt. He invariably gives up, dumps the food onto the tray and digs in with his hands. I sometimes try to enforce the "no dumping" rule, but what's the point if he really can't effectively use the fork or spoon? To Jonah the most best part about having a spoon or fork is pretending it's a bat. You can guarantee that at some point during a meal he will pick something up and pronounce, "This is a bat. I hit it." A grape or a Kix functions quite nicely as a baseball or basketball. He'll even stick his finger in the middle of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and say, "This is a baseball glove!" That's not as messy as when the PB&J becomes a phone or a hat.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Here's Jon's ride pre-race. He put a straight axle through the front wheel so he could put his feet on it without the pedals going up and down.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Checking out Mommy's necklace...
Here's a video of Jonah bringing me my Mother's Day card. It said, "Hey Mom, words can't always express how a son feels about his mom... That's what burps are for!" It was perfect! He even "signed" it in crayon for me. As for a gift, I wanted new sheets for our bed so I got them myself last week. Maybe not that exciting, but we really needed them and I was excited to have them.
In the past I've always thought of Mother's Day as a day for Moms to be pampered and appreciated. While I did feel appreciated this year, more than anything I just felt so thankful to be a mom to my precious son. He delights me every day and I am so thrilled to be blessed with another son in just a few months from now. Of course I wonder at how this new little boy could ever possibly be as wonderful as Jonah, but you always hear parents say that they have just as much love for each child. Mother's Day is also another one of those times when I especially miss my mom. I want to thank her for being such a good example of what a mother should be. I want to see her interact with Jonah and spoil him like I know she would. I want her to know what a great little boy he is and to see how much he is loved. I guess I just wish I could share these greatest moments in my life with her.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Ever since I knew we were having another boy I've been excited about getting matching brother outfits, so here they are. Don't worry, I'm not going to be one of those moms who gives all her kids "J" names and dresses them in matching clothes wherever they go (no offense, Duggars). We don't have a name for this baby yet, but I can tell you it won't start with J. I promissed Jon I'd stop at these two outfits. There's an old picture of Jon and his brothers in matching lederhosen, so maybe he doesn't want our boys to have an embarassing picture to look back on when they grow up.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Okay, so he's not exactly singing, but this is a start. Jonah loves to sing and I'm glad I know a lot of children's songs so I'm not just singing the same ones over and over. He makes song requests, especially in the car. He often asks to sing something that isn't really a song, in which case I know he wants to sing that word to the tune of "Jingle Bells" like they do on Elmo's World. That gets old after a while. "How 'bout... sing shoes and socks?" "How 'bout... sing juice. Sing milk. Sing applesauce."
Jonah is very into sports right now. (Well, I suppose this could very well be a lifelong interest and not just a passing phase.) He spends much of his play time each day swinging his baseball bat or swinging anything else and calling it a bat. A golf club, a little hammer, a fly swatter, an air pump and even a spoon all qualify as bats. Thankfully he seems to realize that bats are for hitting balls and we haven't had many incidents of inappropriate hitting. He has also learned that baseball players and motorcycle riders wear helmets so he goes around the house most of the time wearing his bike helmet or some other hat and calling it a helmet.
One thing Jonah has not really learned is the idea of a baby in Mommy's tummy. We have a little book called "I'm a Big Brother Now" which he really likes, but he doesn't seem to connect at all that he will be a big brother. Whenever I talk about the baby in Mommy's tummy he just gives me a completely blank look. So I just try to point out babies when we see them. He does seem to really notice when babies or other kids are crying, though. He'll often notice the sound of a baby crying in a store before I do. He'll say, "Baby cryin'. Wah. Shh, shh, shh." (He learned this from "The Wheels on the Bus" when the parents on the bus say "Shh, shh, shh.")
But speaking of the baby in Mommy's tummy... I am almost 29 weeks along and feeling very good other than feeling big and fat. I gained 37 pounds total with Jonah and I've already gained 40 pounds this pregnancy. But, I started this pregnancy 15 pounds less than last time, so I keep telling myself that the 40 lbs. is actually just 25 from my starting weight with Jonah. I've been having some crazy mood swings that I don't remember having last time, but I guess you never know what those pregnancy hormones will do to you. I would take mood swings over the poison ivy-like rash I had with Jonah any day - they attributed that to hormones, too. I had my regular check-up today and my blood test showed good glucose and iron levels. Yay! No gestational diabetes or iron deficiency. Either of those would have been a bummer.
We also found out today that Jon will be gone for four weeks in June on a trip to Greenland. No, I'm not planning to go along this time! But this will be by far our longest time apart. I'll probably plan some road trips to visit family for part of that time if I'm still feeling up to the driving. I probably won't fly anywhere, though. I have to sit Jonah sideways on my lap to put on his socks and shoes and I can't read books with him on my lap at all. I can't imagine trying to have him on my lap on a plane at this point, much less in a month from now! So, aside from road trips I won't be going anywhere, but I would welcome any houseguests!
You may have heard me say (or read about) how we live in a country town. But now you will see that we seriously live in the country. We have cows in our backyard. Literally. We hear them mooing outside when our windows are open and we get to watch the baby cows shock their noses on the electric fence. Jonah loves it. I think it will be a rude awakening for him when we leave Virginia and we don't see cows and tractors every time we drive anywhere.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
There are many reasons why we enjoy having Jon at home, but one of the reasons Jonah is happy to have Daddy home is to build forts. Here's the fort Jon built for Jonah today. This video is also cute because it shows Jonah's new habit of saying "Yeah" to every question we ask him.
I have your hat. I am holding it for ransom until you come visit me and wrestle with me. Until then I will be wearing it as often as I want. Today I pretended it was my motorcycle helmet and then Mommy let me wear it to the grocery store.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
I wish I had more Easter pictures to post, but this was the only one we took on my camera. We took pictures with Dad's camera, but I forgot to put them on my computer before he left. Jon is still in the DR, so my dad came down to celebrate Easter with Jonah and me. We had a very nice weekend together. We even managed to pull together a pretty nice simple Easter lunch for just the three of us: ham, jello, devilled eggs, and homemade rolls. Meal preparation on special occasions really makes us miss my mom - she seemed to be able to put those things together with such ease and they were always just right.
We didn't do an Easter basket for Jonah and we skipped the community Easter egg hunt because it was so chilly out, but he did get a toy golf club and a swing to hang from our porch as Easter presents from Grandpa. We haven't tried the swing yet, but he's already been swinging away with the golf club. The only problem is that he insists on holding the club end and whacking at the ball with the handle end. Oh well. I'm sure he'll figure it out at some point.