Welcome Ty Cannon!

One of my best friends, Audrey, and her husband Todd welcomed their first baby, Ty Cannon last Wednesday. They live about 2 hours away, so I wasn't able to get there to visit with them until the weekend, but here are the proud parents and their new bundle of joy...

Congratulations to the two of you! You are truly blessed!


We recently started Aiden on rice cereal and he seems to really enjoy the introduction of something other than formula (I stopped breastfeeding after my surgery 3 weeks ago and switched him to formula - which has made him gain weight like crazy!)

The first try was a little messy. He couldn't quite get the whole open mouth and insert spoon thing, he just enjoyed pushing it right back out with his tongue.

But the second try was met with great success. He scarfed it down! We're hoping it will help to get him to go longer in between feedings, and also to sleep longer at night.

Aren't they the cutest?

It's kind of a challenge to get good pics of Ethan and Aiden together - considering Ethan is 16 months old and doesn't sit still for very long. But we try. It usually ends up with Aiden slumped against Ethan in a fluffy chair for a few seconds until Ethan gets antsy and pushes him aside, wherein Ricky or I (whoever is closer and not trying to take the picture) quickly scoops Aiden out of harms way. Here are some of the better results from our many attempts...

Be sure to check out all of the latest pictures of our boys by clicking on the link in the sidebar!

Girls rule...boys drool...

Ethan definitely proves this one. He has drooled from the day he was born. First it was kind of a cute little baby thing, but now that he's 16 months old - enough already!

With 12 teeth firmly in place, he's got a few more that still need to come in. I am holding on to hope that once they make their appearance, the drooling will be a thing of the past.

His future girlfriends are going to love this!

House of Testosterone

This past mother's day, my sister gave me the wonderful book 'House of Testosterone' by Sharon O'Donnell. Having two boys, a husband, and a male cat, I can totally relate to the author's tale of living in a house lacking in estrogen.

Although I'm still holding on to hope that I will be blessed with a little girl somewhere down the road, it was a great read and Ethan thought so too :)

A quick trip to the hospital

The morning of July 4th, Aiden woke up coughing like crazy. As soon as we got up there, the cool Michigan air had given him a little cold and it progressively got worse. Because he was starting to sound like someone who smokes a pack a day - all raspy, wheezy and phlegmy - we decided it would be best to have him checked out to make sure it wasn't something more serious than a cold.
We called our pediatrician at home and asked for his advice on what to do and he suggested we make a trip to the nearest hospital or urgent care center. We squeegied his nose one last time (that's what I call using the bulb syringe), put him in his seat, wrapped the mosquito netting around the seat and got on the road.
The nearest hospital was in Holland, MI about 25 miles away. Holland isn't the biggest city in the world by any means, but the small hospital was very up-to-date, clean and quite pleasant. The staff was very nice and we knew we made the right decision to bring him in. It was not crowded - probably beating the rush they would get from fireworks accidents that evening.
They weighed him (13 lbs. 6 oz.!) and immediately heard how congested he sounded. After doing all the other pre-registration items, they sent us to wait for the doctor in an examining room. One chest x-ray, one phlegm collection and three breathing treatments later, we were sent home.
The chest x-ray was clear, the phlegm collection ruled out RSV and the breathing treatments dramatically improved how he sounded. They ordered a nebulizer to bring home with us and prescribed a steroid and the abuterol for the breathing treatments.
He's doing just fine - and seems to be shaking this cold more and more each day. It just has to run its course. He does really well with the breathing treatments. The hum of the little machine and the cool misty air usually calms him and puts him right to sleep. We will follow up with our doctor here sometime this week.

Maybe next year...

Ethan has once again proved us wrong. I thought our little adventure-seeking man would get a kick out of the 4th of July parade in Saugatuck, MI last week, but he wanted nothing to do with it. While all the other kids were squealing with delight as the clowns, cars and floats paraded past, rushing to pick up candy and waving to all the passers-by, Ethan ran off in the opposite direction.

Now, in his defense, it was hot and sunny and my little boy was pouring with sweat. Not to mention he had a cold (the same one Aiden had) so he was probably exhausted. He was kind of in to it for a few minutes, until the guys with the muskets shot into the air scaring the living daylights out of him. And the noise of the wailing firetrucks was just too much. So daddy walked him down to the more peaceful setting at the dock to check out the boats.

We were really excited to take Ethan to his first parade - especially since I had gone to this parade each year since I was his age - but maybe he'll enjoy it a little more next year. I'll probably be helping him pick up his candy while daddy has Aiden down by the dock...

The good old days

I was going through my old shutterfly account and realized that I had two separate collections of photos. One is obviously of the boys and another was from "the good old days" before we had kids.

I went through each album, quietly reminiscing about life before our kiddos came along. I was a lot thinner, a lot tanner and from the looks of it, a lot more fun - but I am being completely honest when I say the cliched "I WOULDN'T CHANGE ANYTHING FOR THE WORLD!" My kids are my everything now and although I had a lot of fun in the previous phases of my life (ie. single phase, carefree newlywed phase, etc.), I am enjoying my "family" phase the most and look forward to all of the new things to come!

Cakie the babysitter

While up in Michigan over the last week, I had the rare opportunity to get out of the house with my mom for some girl time. Our destination of choice? TJMaxx of course! We were fully prepared to take the kids along - which adds about an hour travel time with all the logistics involved (baby carseats, strollers, packing the diaper bag, etc.) but when my aunt, whom we call Cakie, offered to stay behind with the kids, my mom and I were out of there before she could finish her sentence (which probably would have ended with a "haha, just kidding!")

Cakie survived raising 3 kids very close in age so she knows very well how trying it can be. But, now that her kids are all grown, I don't know if she was quite prepared for the demands of my boys...

Ethan is definitely a hand full. The sweetest boy you'll ever meet, but he just goes goes goes leaving destruction in his path. And Aiden is a baby that loves to be held and talked to which always makes it difficult to stay on Ethan's heels.

Anyway - mom and I headed out without hesitating, crossing our fingers that all would be well on the home front while we were away. After 2 hours, I decided to call to check in. No answer. I hang up and press redial, fearing the worst (Cakie dead on the floor from exhaustion while Ethan once again locks himself in one of the bedrooms on accident and tears all the clothing out of the dresser drawers, Aiden screaming in the other room). Fortunately, she answers. Here is the conversation:
  • ME - Hello, how are things going?
  • CAKIE - ...Ethan give that back to me...things are great...Ethan, no no, don't touch. (Aiden crying in the background)
  • ME - Are you sure you're okay?
  • CAKIE - (with a hint of panic and desperation) Yup, ummm, where do I find the stuff for Ethan to get in the pool?
  • ME - Trunks in the drawer with the boys clothes, swimmy vest in the sunroom, sunscreen out by the...
  • CAKIE - (cutting me off) Okay great...Ethan, Cakie said NO...things are great - don't rush home. Need anything else?
  • ME - Can you check to see if we have any more Little Swimmers diapers? I think you said you saw some left up here from before. If not, I'll run back in to the store and grab some and we'll be on our way home.
  • CAKIE - Sure, hold on...you stay here Ethan, I'll be right back.
I hear her put down the phone (which is another one of Ethan's favorite things to play with) and leave the room, shutting the door to hopefully keep him contained as she's checking in the other room for the diapers, with Aiden on her hip. I hear the pitter patter of Ethan's feet getting closer to the phone, and then his chatter and some static as he's playing with the phone, probably upside down. I attempt to instruct him to put it down - but that doesn't even work when I'm visible to him, like he's going to listen to me when he can't even see me. It comes and goes and I'm also hearing what sounds like certain destruction of other objects he is not allowed to play with when finally Cakie re-enters in the background. I hear a few expletives at whatever Ethan has destroyed and she gets back on the phone, cheerily saying "Nope, didn't find them, got to go!"

I'm now a little nervous. Maybe it was a bad idea to leave so hastily. I should have been more organized and helped her find the things she would need before I ran out the door.

Luckily, I get home to find two happy babies. Cakie's holding Aiden and Ethan is waddling around in his swim trunks. Wait a second, not his swim trunks...Aiden's swim trunks!!! Somehow, she managed to squeeze a 16 month old into the wrong trunks - a size 0-3 months! He's completely unaware, and raring to get in the pool despite the fact that the elastic waistband is cutting off his circulation. I then take Aiden to change his diaper, thinking she probably didn't have a free minute to do this with chasing after Ethan. But I was wrong, she indeed did find the time. It wasn't the fact that Aiden was dry that gave it away, it was the fact that he had on Ethan's diaper (a size 4 - Aiden wears a size 1-2).

"Hey, they're alive and walking right?" Cakie said defending herself as we all had a good laugh. I can probably scratch her off my list of "babysitters crazy enough to offer to watch my kids". Regardless, I enjoyed my time out with my mom - so THANK YOU CAKIE!

Michigan mosquitos and memories

Last week, we loaded up the car to take a trip (I cannot call it a vacation anymore - see below) to my family's house in Michigan - also known as Poppy's Place.

Pre-children, I would be anxious to get up there to enjoy the cooler summer weather (no 90+ days like at home)! We would spend a week or two hanging out by the pool, walking to the beach, or shopping in the quaint little town of Saugatuck. There would always be a ton of family up there to hang out with and even though the sleeping arrangements are dependent solely upon if you get up there to snag a room with a bed before someone else does, it was usually very relaxing.

Fast forward to now...2 kids under two, 2 pack and plays, one who sleeps through the night, one who still gets up once to eat, and a house full of family who have never been - how shall I say it - a quiet group...not so relaxing.

The days of waking up, putting on your swimsuit and heading outside to lay out by the pool are long gone. A day in the life now goes something like this:
  • wake up with Aiden at 3 AM to feed him a bottle
  • hold and settle Ethan who woke up when Aiden began crying (side by side pack and plays contribute to this problem)
  • wake up at 6:15 AM when Ethan gets up for the day - while trying to keep him from waking the house full of sleeping relatives
  • chase Ethan around until I can finally get him to sit still long enough to eat his breakfast
  • feed Aiden who wakes up crying usually right when I sit down with a piece of toast and some tea
  • get the boys dressed and attempt to put my own bathing suit on when someone is not in the bedroom where your stuff is or when there is an open bathroom
  • slather sunscreen on a wriggling Ethan who is anxious and screaming to go outside (or "side" as Ethan says)
  • find an adult who can keep an eye on Ethan while I make another piece of toast for myself (Ethan usually eats my first one) and reheat my tea left sitting on the counter when Aiden woke up
  • finally make it outside to enjoy the sunshine - but spend most of my time chasing Ethan and pulling him off the tractor in the garage
  • decide to drag Ethan back inside after being eaten alive by the dreaded Michigan mosquitos - which always results in an Ethan meltdown
...and that's just the first few hours of the day!

So as you can see, it's a far cry from what I used to know as a vacation. But I will say that I still love to be at the house and look forward to going there year after year with my kids just as my parents did with us. Poppy is no longer there to see us enjoy the place, but I know he's always watching from above with a big smile.