When we found out baby #2 was going to be a boy, Thomas walked around for a few days saying the phrase “Daniel is going to have a brother.” I was like “Ummm. Yeah. That is what having 2 boys means.” But to Thomas, the thought of a brother for Daniel was much more, for he came from a family of 2 sisters. I too came from a family with 2 siblings of the opposite gender, and although we both love our siblings very much, there is  something special about the bond between a same sex sibling that neither of us had the privilege of experiencing. Daniel and Wesley, however, will know that special love, and the thought of those emotions was exactly what made Thomas in a sort of jealous awe of our boys–brothers–my boys!!my boys 2

and yes, I do know one day they will fight like brothers do, but let me enjoy these precious moments now, while they are still too young to throw punches ;O)


Welcome Wesley!

After watching a “due date” come and go and thinking our little man had taken up permanent residence, Wesley decided to enter the world without further delay. Upon driving through a monsoon, we arrived at the hospital just after midnight with contractions just under 3 minutes apart, broken water, and according to the doctor at my appointment that day, dilated to at least 4. We were mistaken for a scheduled midnight induction, so we were kindly asked to wait. While Thomas attempted to prevent his blood from boiling, I could do nothing more than laugh. When finally given attention from the staff, they asked me to sign some papers and finally realized I was in labor. Despite other random events……power outages/system checks that knocked out every light and each monitor in the delivery room, an on-call doctor that thought walking to another building to get paper work instead of coming to catch my baby was a good idea…….Wesley entered our family without complication, full of sweetness, and quite nourished at 8 pounds 10.5 ounces, 21 inches long! Welcome Wesley!

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daniel sees wesley

Daniel came the day of Wesley’s birth to visit at the hospital. He cautiously peered into the container that held his little brother. When we asked if he wanted to see the baby more closely, he excitedly said “yes!”

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We’re so happy to be a family of 4. Thanks for all your love and prayers; please let it continue as we grow into our new size.


I’m proud to say it: Daniel is a bookworm! He loves to look at his books, and he will ponder each page and picture meticulously, turning to the next only when he is fully ready (I’ve told about this guy’s book reading before). Currently his favorites are the Veggie books that I bought him for 50 cents at a yard sale. We’ve been reading those basically non-stop for a week, until yesterday, when Daniel got a new book in the mail.

Typically a book in the mail means our newest Imagination Library book has arrived (be warned…..a train chugs onto the screen when you click on that link, and it can be loud). This is an amazing program for kids, for it is completely free to you as a parent. All you have to do is sign them up, assuming that the service is offered in your area. The TN musician, Dolly Parton, is the creator of this program, and it is her desire is to promote literacy by getting books in the hands of kids from birth to 5 years—all for free! Alas, this book from yesterday was not one of her books. Instead, it was a book from the book exchange in which our friend Dana asked us to participate. Knowing that the timing of this would coincide nicely with Wesley’s arrival, I put an age appropriate book in the mail for the first kiddo on the list, made the needed number of copies, moved Dana’s son, Owen, to the top, placed Daniel’s name at the bottom, and sent the directional letter out to a few friends.

In all honesty, I had forgotten about expecting any books to come our way, and you never really know how well things like this might turn out, for if a few people do not participate, it sorta fizzles out and away.

So, what book did he get? go dog go

Go, Dog Go!, which is a book we did not have! Turns out, it was also one of his daddy’s childhood favorites. We could not tell what book Daniel had gotten, for it was in an envelope, not a clear plastic sleeve as Dolly’s books are. Daniel scrunched up next to me as I ripped it open for him, and then he clapped and cheered once it was out. Immediately, we began to read it… Daniel’s pace……which meant very slowly, for each and every picture had to be thoroughly inspected and evaluated. reading go dogAnd if you got a letter from me to play along and you are reading this, I hope you were able to get yours in the mail, especially since I know your kid(s) will love getting the book. We should receive more, but I forgot how many are actually suppose to make their way to our mailbox. I am simply pleased with getting at least one for my little bookworm.

p.s.- Daniel is not completely naked, despite what the pictures tends to reveal. He is just practicing being a man’s man, sporting only his .Thomas. the .Train. undies!

Sleeping Beauty

I am a very finicky sleeper, just ask Thomas. The TV can not be on, no clocks can be ticking, no light can be in the room (which is why I almost always sleep with a Bucky Sleep Mask on), no other random things (e.g.-a ceiling fan slightly off its course) can be making noises, and no one can snore. Once I get to sleep, these things are not as much of an issue, but when falling asleep, they are of high concern.

In fact, this is so true for me that Daniel spent very little time in our room when he was first born, for even though babies are tiny, they pack a mighty punch when it comes to making random noises. He was also sleeping in an heirloom bassinet that squeaked each and every time he twisted or turned. This most likely puts me in the running for “Mom who Kicked Her Kiddo Out at the Youngest Age” award. In fact, he actually stayed a few days longer than I really wanted due to the fact my in-laws were coming to visit and help us with the new little life and I did not want to walk across the house in my pajamas to nurse while my father-in-law slept on the couch. Once they left, however, so did Daniel to his own little crib on the other side of the house. And even though I know this sounds a little awful, it was all out of love, for each extra second of sleep and rest that I got made me a better mommy; trust me.

Now that we have a different house, Wesley’s bedroom will be on the second floor, not just across the living room, and I  do not imagine wanting to haul myself up those at all hours of the night, so I am guessing Wesley will stay a little longer……maybe……but I do have a plan if I am at wit’s end: I’m going to treat him like Harry Potter and put him under the stairs in his bassinet. The under stairs portion is not far, just  about 6-8 steps from my side of the bed. Don’t worry though. There is no water heater or anything dangerous under there. It is completely clean and fresh, holding our DVDs, so it is totally acceptable.

So, this morning, I woke up to use the restroom, and I thought I heard some extra sounds in our bedroom. Turns out, Daniel was in there, snoozing away on the floor next to Thomas’s side of the bed where we throw all the useless pretty pillows from off our bed when we are ready for sleep. It was 5AM, and my two boys were snoring away in bliss. I fell back to sleep off and on for another hour or so, but decided I was ready to get up anyway, so I got up and snapped a photo of Daniel sleeping: june 09. 003Even though he keeps dry almost every single day during the day, he is not yet able to stay dry through the night, so he sleeps in a “helper” as we call them- a.k.a : a pull-up. I figured he had peed through, thus explaining why he journeyed into our room to sleep. When I got to his room, I realized my suspicions were correct. At least he let us keep sleeping, albeit at his own expense of having to be in slightly wet shorts. Even in such a random location, he is still a sleeping beauty to me. Or insert something more masculine there, like handsome. Regardless, he’s precious!

A Monogramed Memento

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When going through all of Daniel’s baby items, I began to realize he had more monogrammed items than I ever really remembered him having. He was gifted some super cute burp cloths, a cuddly, and a blanket that all proudly displayed his name. I tucked those items back into storage as his little keepsakes, for with just a few items out of our stash, we still had plenty to supply Wesley with. The more I thought about it, however, I began to think how Wesley did not have anything with his name on it. So, when our friends, The Andersons, blessed us with this super soft doggie cuddly for Wesley (sans his name), it appeared to be a perfect item to have monogrammed. I do not currently know anyone that has a monogramming machine, so I just found a local store that could equip the gift with my little boy’s name. I am pleased and especially glad to know Wesley has a special item to call his own, complete with a marker/designation that should tell his big brother to stay away! Now, I just have to wait for him to get here to use it!

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

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If “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is a true saying, consider my son anything but spiritually sound. See, Daniel cares nothing for hygiene. I know he is a kid and appearances are not high on his radar, but he basically opposes any such activity that could quite possibly groom or cleanse. He will, however, let me wipe his nose, and that remains the ONLY thing I can do without major protest. He use to brush his teeth kindly, but recently even that has fallen by the wayside. This little purchase above, however, has turned out to be a bit of a lifesaver recently.When I saw this Thomas the Train music playing toothbrush on sale at Target last week for 2 dollars and 9 cents, I snagged it quickly, for I imagined that it just might provoke my little man to clean his teeth;  so far, so good. He will brush (often including some sucking of the ‘toothpaste’) for the length of the song, which is 2 entire minutes. Although he does not have the best technique, at least he is putting a toothbrush in his mouth without wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Since day one, bath time has basically equaled disaster at our house. He has never liked them. As of now, he will get in the tub to play with his toys and bubbles, but when the true purpose of the bath, the cleaning, comes around, he adamantly opposes. Tears, snot, and shouts usually persist from the first touch of the washcloth until we pull him out and wrap him in his towel, at which point he is happy again.

Today, I was firmly reminded of how much the kid hates getting his haircut. I would, in complete honesty, just forgo any haircuts and let his hair get shaggy, but he does NOT have cute beach boy hair. Instead, my son has several cow-licks and crowns in the back, compliments of his daddy, that simply require trims. Fortunately, I have been going to a lady from church that has a business at her house. She also has 5 kids to call her own, so I know she is use the the kicking and clawing that commences from Daniel at the first sight of the clippers. He had progressively been getting more relaxed with each visit, and I had high hopes for today, thinking he would finally be over the chaos. Instead, it was our worst visit yet, and I had to hold him in my non-existent lap, try to breathe as he hugged my neck ever so tightly, whisper in his ear that it was okay, get covered in hair, get kicked in the shins as he squirmed and squalled, and watch him gag as the hair stuck to his snot, open mouth,  and tear covered cheeks. At least the hairdresser did not injure herself, which has happened before at another store. Nothing helps to make a situation like that better than an added dose of blood from the professional. After it was all over, he ate the Cheerios she gave him and watched a cartoon on her TV like nothing had happened.

Fingernails are clipped only when he is asleep, for he will not allow it to happen when he is awake. Cleaning out his ears only means screams of “OUCH!” expelling from his mouth, even before you get the q-tip in a general proximity of his ear. Attempts to tame the wild aforementioned cow-licks are met with full speed sprints away from the comb and gel while cries of “Hurts! Hurts!”  echo through the house. Visiting the doctor……well, I will not even go there, just know it is not fun in any way shape or form.

If you think I am exaggerating for effect, I assure you these are not hyperboles. This is my son, all boy, in contempt of all hygiene. Often we laugh as we continue with the cleaning;  other times we stop and try again later, not pushing our luck too far. Sometimes we, mainly I, will throw hands up in utter frustration.

Daniel, despite all the avoidance of cleanliness, does sleep quite amazingly each and every night. He naps like a pro. He pees in the potty like a big boy.  He eats like a champ. He listens well (most days/times). He plays hard and loves harder. He is generally a very good child…….just don’t ask him to let you scrub behind his ears!

Important Errands

Today I took time to run important errands, mainly ones that involved safety and law. For example, I finally changed the address on my license. That’s right, we’ve lived in our house since September and I have just now changed the address. I also decided to take my vehicle to the police station to have my car seats checked for proper installation. The Officer did a great job double checking, tightening, and adjusting Daniel’s and Wesley’s car seats, and I was very pleased with his knowledge. He also applied the LATCH system to Daniel’s seat. Thinking about the installation made me remember the first time I had an officer check out my car seat, and I also recalled the post from my old blog that described the important features of proper installation. Since there are new folks reading that might care/need to know, I thought it good to pass along that information again. So, enjoy a little car seat knowledge:

Although he’s already been in the world 10 months, I decided to go to the police station on Wednesday to check the status of Daniel’s car seat installation. I got the inspiration on Tuesday night from my 4 hours at traffic school, compliments of my speeding. For some reason, the car seat had a slight lean to it. He always seemed to be skewed a bit to the right, thus my initial reason for the trip.

Officer G. Ramsey performed the inspection. It actually took longer than I expected. This was the case for several reasons: 1-I asked several questions 2-The Officer talked quite a bit 3- The car seat was pretty bad

I learned much through my experience, and I figured others might need to know what I’ve discovered:

  • Make sure the the straps are really tight. Ours were somewhat loose. I think this was the case because it was just easier to get his little arms in and out if there was a little slack. Although convenient, it is not safe. Get those straps tight!! In fact, Officer Ramsey had them so tight, it was almost impossible to buckle the harness when his belly was taught after his meal.
  • The buckle needs to be across his chest, near his shoulders. Ours was in the right place, but the officer filled me in on the why behind the positioning. If the buckle is too low, the baby could actually just pop out the top in the event of an accident.
  • Make sure that the lap belt going across the base is completely straight, with no kinks. Also, when you go to tighten the belt, ensuring that the base is locked in correctly, be certain that you pull the lap belt portion first before the shoulder belt portion. If you do it in reverse, you will have the tilt that we had!
  • Always keep the handle locked in the laid back position when you are driving. Move it forward when you are ready to lift out the seat. We always did this anyway, and Daniel is beyond the hauling around within the seat stage, but it was intriguing to figure out the importance behind this. If left in the transport position, the car seat will not form the protective cocoon it is intended to create. When car seats are in the backward facing position, the protective feature is that they will fly forward, into the back seat, creating a little shield around the baby. Imagine: car seat flush with back seat. Baby contained inside, protected from whatever harmful things come directly towards the baby immediately upon impact. If the handle is not back, it will prevent the cup action and allow objects to encounter the baby.
  • Tuck away all loose objects. Officer Ramsey grabbed the wipe holder from within Daniel’s open diaper bag and held it up. He began to explain how items not latched down or secured become missiles, being that their weight is multiplied when the force of a wreck is applied. He then picked up some teething rings and said the same applies to them. Also, baby aside, the items can hurt other passengers as well!

Whew! See why it took so long!

Anyway, I left feeling like the best mom and the worst mom all in one. I mean, yes I know that my kid is really safe now—officer approved—but it did take me 10 months to do it. Geeze. I vowed to tell my friends expecting babies to get their seats checked out. After all, it’s completely free. It just costs you a little time, but what is that compared to your child’s safety?

I told the officer about feeling like a complete goof. He encouraged me not to be so hard on myself. He did, after all, attend a 40 hour training session to become certified as a car seat inspector.

If you want to find a location, you can use this site to identify a location, but almost all police/fire stations can help. Just be aware that not any officer can inspect car seats, for they must have attended the training mentioned above to assist, so you might want to call ahead to check on officer availability.