Sunday, July 31, 2011

it's awfully quiet out there...

The other day we had one of those moments.  Eric and I were in the kitchen trying to get food together to bring over to my parents' house for dinner, and I noticed it had gotten quiet in the living room where the boys were playing.  I went into the living room and saw Benjamin near our pappasan chair (yes, we still have one.  Eric wanted to throw it out but I am very attached to it and won't let him).

But where was Asher?

Asher was behind the chair, and he had somehow managed to get a big tub of diaper rash cream from the windowsill, and had opened the diaper rash cream.

He was massaging it into his leg, onto his shorts, his shirt, his hair...

I called Eric in to come and see, and when Eric saw what Asher was doing, he laughed.  And Asher burst into tears, which set Benjamin off!  We had two crying, diaper rash-creamed babies, and were already late to leave for dinner.  Earlier, I had commented to Eric that I didn't think Asher's shorts and shirt matched (the sitter had dressed him), and Eric had told me there wasn't time to change him.  I guess I got my way on that one!

It was just such a little boy incident, that they are not only exploring new things, but that Asher knows to rub lotions/and creams on himself, and that both boys knew they had done something wrong without us saying a word.

I only wish I had gotten a picture before the tears started!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2nd conceptiversary

Today is two years since my boys were conceived!  One year ago the memories of my IVF still felt so fresh, but now they feel much more distant.  I almost want to laugh when I think of all that time I had to myself, and how I was able to actually rest in bed for bed rest.

I am so thankful for the miracles that brought us our little guys.  My life is so much more full with them in it.  Two years ago today I felt hopeful that I would conceive, get pregnant, stay pregnant, have a child.  I don't think I could have imagined what life would be like today!

So happy 2nd conceptiversary to my 2 little boys, and to the 9 frozen embryos we have hanging out on ice somewhere!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

16 months old!

Sharing a chair
Today the boys are 16 months old!  It feels like every month goes by more quickly than the month before, and while the boys do change rapidly, the change is much slower than it was in the first months of their life.
Doors? Who needs doors?

Everyday we have fun together.  Both boys adore getting attention and will ham it up when they know they're being watched.  They are clearly starting to understand when we say things to them like, "bedtime!' and "do you want to nurse?"  Asher says "good good," and Benjamin will say "mama" when I prompt him.

Asher has stopped nursing before bed, and is picky about when he does nurse.  He may be ready to wean, or getting there, which is hard for me to handle.  I definitely have an emotional attachment to nursing.
"Hi, I'm Asher, and I'm 16 months old today!"
We've been going swimming a lot, and I don't know if it's them getting accustomed to swimming or the fact that the hot weather has turned all the pools into bathtubs, but they never make a peep of protest now.  Asher loves to splash and kick, and Benjamin likes ducking his head into his float and playing peek-a-boo.
Asher enjoying the slide
Last night we had dinner at my aunt and uncle's, and the boys were being especially cute.  First they loved my aunt Jane's blueberry soup-- who knew? They each ate an entire bowl, and were quite demanding when we didn't feed it to them as fast as we could.
Benjamin with his soup

Asher with his soup

Benjamin getting hot

Nice and cool!
Benjamin must have gotten hot from all that cold soup-eating, and at the end of dinner he took his shirt off!  No dinner is dull with them around.  Fortunately, my aunt and uncle are good-humored about it and don't expect dinners to be all adult conversation and good manners.

We have more family coming later this week- my cousin is coming with her husband, whom we have not yet met, and my uncle (her father) is also coming to town.  We're having a small celebration of their marriage, since we could not attend the wedding, and she will finally get to meet the boys!

I cannot believe that 2 years ago at this time, I was in the midst of the IVF cycle that would bring me these boys.  I also cannot believe that we have made it to 16 months without any major illness or grave concern.  We are so lucky!  Everyday I kiss my boys and hope they know just how much I love them, and how grateful I feel to have them in my life.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Asher's first hair cut

Today we took Asher for his very first hair cut!  I was not convinced that a hair cut was necessary, but his hair was getting long in the back, and it would get tangled easily.  I agreed to a small trim, although I told Eric that I felt pressured into it-- he would solicit opinions from everyone about Asher's hair, trying to get them to agree with him that Asher needed a hair cut.  Regardless, I said we could get him a very small trim.
An attempt at having a cape on to keep the hair off
 We decided he would sit on my lap for the trim.  This seemed to work well, because he wasn't scared at all, and only seemed curious at the woman behind his head.

Bear in a cape.  Moments later, he threw it off.

snip, snip

snip, snip some more
 The whole thing went very quickly.  I'm happy with the hair cut because he still has plenty of curls and hair, it is just a little shorter in the back.  I showed my mom (who is just home from Vietnam) the above pictures, and she asked, "Where was Benjamin?"

Benjamin was entertaining himself with a mop and a broom.  His interest in anything with a long handle continues!  Unfortunately it extends to things like toilet brushes, too.  But he was in heaven at the salon when he found both a mop AND a broom to play with!
Benjamin with his two new friends
I asked if the salon was looking to hire some help with sweeping up hair.  If this interest of his keeps up, I will have him mowing the lawn and vacuuming by the time he's two!

Our day ended with a wonderful surprise- a friend of mine posted on facebook that he was in a town in New Jersey about 30 minutes from here, and I said if he had made it that close to our house (he lives in New York City), he should just come on over.  And he did!  It was so nice to see him again, since it had been about two years since our last in-person visit, and his first time meeting the boys.  The boys seemed to like him, and Benjamin was climbing on him and rubbing his bald head within minutes of his arrival.  Despite the lapse in time between our visits, it felt like no time had passed at all.  I am so glad I had left our afternoon and evening unscheduled and open for a little spontaneity!

For dinner we had chicken pad thai using a recipe from a new cookbook that I got from Border's yesterday.  I had $80 in Border's gift cards that I spent while there were still decent books left in the store.  I am so upset that Border's is going out of business-- we are a big book family, and have always loved going to the store, browsing, and often buying, books.  The Border's nearest us is about 1.5 miles from our house, and about .5 miles from my parents, so it has always been a frequent destination for walks.  Now we won't have any bookstores nearby.  Of course I have done a lot of book shopping online, so I guess I contributed to Border's demise, too, but nothing compares to a real live bookstore.  My heart also broke for the employees, running around like madmen with their jobs about to be taken away from them.  I remember when Border's was so popular that it put the small, independent shops out of business... things are always changing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1st trip to the zoo!

Yesterday we took our first trip to the zoo!  As a first birthday gift, our friends Cass and Walter bought us a family membership, and came down from Boston to take us on our first trip to the zoo.  We decided to forgo morning naps and go when the zoo opened, before it got too hot.

Here is Benjamin, excited about his first time at the zoo:
Here I am with Benjamin, and I think we are looking at a jaguar.  Or, I am looking at the jaguar and he is looking at his feet. A lot of the big cats at the zoo were sleeping.  One lion was so asleep that I wasn't sure he was even breathing!
 Here I am explaining to Asher about endangered animals.
Here is Asher walking with his daddy and his Grandpa Nick.  We tried out our harnesses on the guys and it worked really well with Benjamin- he enjoyed the freedom to run around, and I enjoyed not worrying that about him becoming lion lunch.
We saw many animals, and especially enjoyed seeing the gorillas and the golden-maned tamarins that are loose.  I love the primates, bears, and big cats.  I think the boys most enjoyed anything that moved, including the sea otters, who were having a great time swimming around.
A beautiful polar bear
Around 12:30 the boys started falling asleep in their stroller, so we decided to head home.  They took long afternoon naps (which I needed, too!).  The zoo membership was really a wonderful gift, and we will get a lot of use out of it.  I know my mom, who is traveling in Asia right now, can't wait to take them, too.

Monday, July 11, 2011

15 month well-visit

Making their cozy coupe even cozier
I think this is the longest I have gone without a new blog entry.  I have to admit that I am having some mixed feelings about blogging-- I still like the idea of my blog being like a pregnancy journal and baby book for my boys, and I do like that family and friends who are far away have the opportunity to see what we are up to.  But I am no longer entirely comfortable with the fact that this blog is public, and that anyone can read it.  I am thinking of making my blog private, but we'll see.

Today the boys went for their 15 month well visit at the pediatrician.  Asher weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces and they said he was 31.5 inches tall, but I think he is taller.  Benjamin weighed 23 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 31 inches tall.  They are both continuing to grow, which I like to hear.  The doctor told us again that they look very healthy.  Their physical development is great, since they are both walking (and running), and can climb everything in sight.  The doctor did notice their various bumps and bruises, which we have just become so accustomed to seeing that we barely see them anymore!

I still have concerns about the fact that they aren't talking, but the doctor said he is willing to wait a little bit longer before we call early intervention.  To be honest, my "gut" tells me that nothing is wrong- if it said otherwise I would be pushing for early intervention right now.  But both boys can clearly hear just fine, and can understand some of what we say.  They do communicate, and they both babble.  They are very interactive, and love to make eye contact.  We are trying to work on getting them to say some words, but it doesn't seem to appeal to them yet.  I think I would be more worried if all of their same-age friends were talking up a storm, but most of the other children we know their age are not really talking yet, either.  So we'll see.  We are working on getting them to say more, ball, cat, mama, and dada/daddy right now.

Other than that, we had a wonderful visit with Eric's family up in Maine, which will have to get its own post, with pictures.  We went swimming, ate ice cream, and played with family- the perfect summer trip!
Benjamin testing the water