My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

Have you seen THIS boy?

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Well, what about THIS one?





Can you tell the difference between these two boys? =)

Here...allow me to help you.

The gorgeous little boy (Good observation there Jessica!) in the top two pictures is a happy diaper-wearing 3 year old.

The gorgeous little boy in the bottom two pictures (Despite the horrible quality of the pics.)  is a happy potty trained, underpants wearing "Little Boy" 3 year old.
(The "Little Boy" is very important because it was apparently our tripping point on potty training.)
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Six Word Saturday #12

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Remember when "things" were much easier?

Well, Christmas has officially come and gone. There are now...what, 364 days to Christmas 2010. Or something like that. Thank God! No offense to Jesus or Mary or anything but I'm telling you what...every year the Holidays get more difficult to survive.

I had everything planned out this year. I was going to start preparing just after Halloween so that I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off come Christmas Eve. It didn't work. I didn't get any of the gifts made that I wanted to. I didn't get the kids all figured out etc so I could help them create their gifts for everyone. My Mom was the only one who's gift was completely finished in time to give to her. And I was running around up until 30 seconds before she came in the door to get that wrapped etc.

But it's not just the prep work. Or the decorating, which I can't even manage to find a way to get done anymore. It's all of it. It all seems so complicated. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not a Scrooge by any means. I just noticed this is all.

Take toys for example. You have the gifts that Gavin and Elliott Richard received, which were taped in and twist-tied in. Am I the only one who thinks this is complete and total overkill? But I digress...their gifts are protected with the strength that I thought only Fort Knox could offer. Then you have Mr. Emmett John's gifts. Most of his gifts were what I affectionately call "Old School" toys. He received the pull behind telephone, the shape block sorter and the little "bed bug bopper". None of those were taped or twist-tied. You opened the box and pulled them out. End of story.

Heck even if you compare video games! When I was a kid, the Nintendo was the "in thing". Everyone either had one, knew someone who did and/or wanted one so badly they could almost taste it. True, by today's standards the graphics are horrid. However, the controls were easy and straight forward. Up was up. Down was down. You get the idea. Nothing was overly complicated. Now there are 3 different major systems with beautiful graphics in their own right. Each specializes in a different type of game genre. And each seems to have their own unique way of making the controls complicated.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, I'm just over-whelmed from all the running and buying and wrapping and the going and visiting and whatnot. I still think it holds true though - things have gotten far to complicated over the years. At times, I really do feel that it's almost complicated simply for the sake of being complicated. But that's just me. =)

Aside from taped and twist-tied to death new toys (more pictures to come tomorrow), the Cheerios are doing well. We are exhausted and well-fed. We had a blast with family. And now we are all attempting to recover. Except the boys seem perfectly content to stay hyper and completely bouncing-off-the-walls. (lol) Our Christmas was beautiful and everything a Christmas should be. And we hope that you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

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Cheerio Family Christmas 2009

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Christmas Morning 9:00 am

After Gavin and Elliott Richard work us up for presents, we got ready and went to Grandma and PaPa's for Christmas Breakfast. Here's some of the family hanging out, drinking coffee and chilling while breakfast is finished up. (FYI we ate 45 eggs!!!!! OMG)

And of course, what is any picture montage without group picture of my Baby Boys - Daddy (not a Baby Boy), Elliott Richard and Emmett John. Emmett John had lost his patience for waiting for the 45 eggs by this point. (lol)

 

Presents!

After we after a huge breakfast prepared by PaPa and Aunt Kate, which was absolutely delicious! Then the guys did the dishes so Grandma wouldn't because she had to be at work at Noon. Once we were fed and cleaned up, it was time for presents!!!! =) lol

I took this picture of the bow on Jenna's gift because it was just the most adorable bow I have ever seen! Grandma made it herself too. And she says I'm creative. Pfth.



Family...ah who am I kidding...MORE PRESENTS! =)

Here's Mr. Gavin opening one of his gifts. He's always so serious. =) But even with very little sleep and so much going, he did really well.

 

Family Time

Elliott Richard loves this Pokemon game that Grandma and PaPa got him. There are little marbles and Pokemon cards. You shoot the marbles and they hit these triggers which causes the cards to *pop* up. Anyway, he adores it and Grandma was brave enough to play a few rounds the "Elliott way". Gavin was just kind of chilling and watching.

 

Relaxing

Here's Aunt Jenn kicking back and reading her gift, The Postcard Secret book. (Or whatever it's called...I'm too tired to go looking for it.)



Passing Out

After breakfast we all went our own ways for a bit, then we met back up at Aunt Carol & Uncle Rick's house for lunch/dinner (so what is that called? Linner?). It was huge and delicious - turkey, cheesey potatoes, brocolli cheddar rice casserole, salad, stuffing, ham and a whole bunch more. It was so, so, SO good! Some of us wished we could pass out afterwards with full bellies surrounded by family. Then there were a few of us, *cough* Kate *cough*, who did. (lol)



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Christmas 2009 at Home in photos

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Just a quick Christmas 2009 at Home recap in photos...okay, sadly these are the only photos I took with my cell phone. The rest are on my camera and I haven't had the chance to pull them over yet. Thoes will come tomorrow. =)




Elliott Richard and Emmett John just after we decorated the tree.
(If you look carefully you can see that we only used candy canes to decorate this year. That way if they fell off and broke there wasn't any harm done; we could just eat the carnage. =) Also if you look again, you'll notice that the candy canes only cover the top half because I was trying (in vain) to keep Emmett John from stealing candy canes.)



Our sad little yellow "golden star" on top of our tree.
Elliott Richard kept asking so sweetly for a "golden star" to put on the top of our tree. Unfortunately, the ecomony being in the lovely state that it is we just couldn't get one this year. So I made one...sort of. I made this one, which isn't gold and it fell apart the day after I took this picture because the glue gave way. No matter. For a day or so, I was able to give Elliott Richard the star he wanted. =)




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Tuesday Toot

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My Christmas shopping is finished.

Okay, at least as far as the Boys are concerned. I might have a few things for others left to pick up. But the main things are done. Now the gifts that need created by the Boys, yeah, let's not go there shall we? (lol)

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Speaking the language of Emmett John

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I can't believe Emmett John is 17 months old now. Time is going by way too fast for me. Geez, in 11 days he'll be 18 months old. I can't believe everything that has changed with him. Everything he's been up to.

His nickname has taken some interesting and unexpected turns. What used to be small and cutsie and bug based, is no more. (lol) Although I'm not sure why I'm so surprised. If you remember I went through the evolution of my Boys nicknames a while ago and it's crazy what happens. Mr. Emmett John now goes by either Jack-Jack or Indy, which is short for Indiana Jones because he tends to get into/find dangerous and troublesome situations. Jack-Jack is from the Disney/Pixsar movie "The Incredibles". And just for the record, dangerous and troublesome are entirely accurate descriptions.



(Okay, so while I absolutely adore my layout but it isn't exactly the widest layout ever in existance. If you really need to have the "volume control". Or the option for "full screen". Or the entire *waves hands frantically in the air* RIGHT SIDE OF THE CLIP! Then fine! Just double clip the movie or click RIGHT HERE to watch it on YouTube. If you really want to be that way.)

Anyway, moving right along. (lol)

Since I've brought up his dangerous and troublesome activities, I feel I should let you in on his new "Kid Tricks". Which aren't nearly as dangerous as the actual Jack-Jack, by the way. Let's see...what our Jack-Jack's been up to lately? He runs and sometimes I swear there are more than one of him (hense the "Jack-Jack" nickname) because one second he's climbing the back of the couch - like the flat back, not the cushion to back. But then as soon as he's there, he's on the stairs and then *BOOM* as up the stairs and down again. Then *BOOM* he's pushing Elliott Richard on a push toy. It all seems to happen within seconds and I swear there are more than one of him and they all move at super-human speeds!

He loves to play "tag". He'll play with just about anyone. With Maggie Sue. With Elliott Richard. With Rob or I. The catch is that most of the time we aren't playing. In fact, Maggie usually doesn;t even realize that she's playing tag. (lol) Basically, he chases her from the living room to the dinning room. Once there he "sqees" and runs away! Maggie hears him "sqee" and assumes something must be wrong, so she follows in hot persuit. And so goes the game of "tag" according to Emmett John.

The other "kid trick" he does that I just love, is when he point to you and runs. Every once in a while he will stand up and look around trying to decide who he wants to be held by. Once he decides, he'll point both index fingers at them "horns of a bull" style and run as fast as he can at that person with a huge grin on his face. I just love it. (lol)

I know I'm a horrible slacker mother right now. I'm not keeping up with what the kids are doing. For the most part, Emmett John is right on track. For the most part. There is just that one little thing. That one nagging little bit. Well, okay maybe it's a big bit. I can't decide.

He doesn't talk.

My gut. My mother's intuition. My inner-me. The inner-mommy. They all say that this is a Big, Huge, Waving, Warning, Look-at-Me Red Flag. Then I have well-meaning family members who tell me that Uncle Rick didn't say his first word until he was 2 and 1/2 years old. Uncle Rick is a wonderful, very intelligent man. He's one of my favorite uncles. Heck, he's Elliott Richard's Godfather so clearly he isn't a slouch in my book. And no disrespect to Grandma Gene but Uncle Rick isn't my Emmett John. I wasn't her. I don't know what her inner-mommy was telling her. I only know what my inner-mommy is telling me.

Problem is that even Dr. H is on the "everything will eventually be okay" train. First, he said "if he doesn't talk by 15 months then we'll worry". But Emmett John technically talked by 15 months. He said 2 different words. He said "cookie" maybe 5 times and "cracker" 1 time. He's never said those words again. He understands when we talk to him. He doesn't talk back. You can see he's clearly frustrated. Our faces bear the marks of his frustration. He's a pincher. Yesterday, he and Elliott Richard were standing at the baby gated enterance to the kitchen talking to me while I made snack. Well, Elliott Richard was talking. Emmett John wanted to talk. You could literally see it in his face but he couldn't get it out. Finally, he became so frustrated with the whole situation that he screamed and reached out and pinched Elliott Richard's face all in one swift move. It breaks my heart!

Now don't get me wrong he communicates some. He babbles. He makes what I call "pitch noises", which is where he does like the Tim Allen in "Home Improvement" guy "Arrrooo" thing at different pitches. So it isn't that he's mute because he isn't. He just doesn't speak in words or sentences. We've also heard that it could be because he's the youngest, perhaps we are speaking for him so he doesn't need to speak. We don't and he does. At times Elliott Richard will say, "Emmett John says..." and finish the sentence with some silly little 3 year old hilarity but very rarely to we actually speak for him.

In an attempt to communicate with him, some how I've been trying to teach him Baby American Sign Language. I only know a few words right now. But it's a start. I'm hoping that it will help Emmett John once he learns the signs for himself and he is finally able to tell us what he needs or wants. He "said/signed" his first word yesterday though, which was a pretty big deal around here. He signed "Daddy" to Rob. Then I asked him if he wanted to "sleep with Daddy" or "movie with Mommy" and he went with me. He went to the living room. Now when we sign to him, we say verbally what we are signing so he puts 2 and 2 together. In my experience, and it may just be wishful thinking, he seems to understand the conversations better this way. Only time will tell, I suppose.

I just hope he is able to finally find a way to communicate so he isn't frustrated any longer. It is one of the saddest things in the world to see your baby struggle that way. Knowing he has something to say. Seeing that he is trying so hard to say that and getting so stuck that he ends up striking out in anger when he can't. Something has to change for him very soon before this mama gets angry and starts to lay the smack down.
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If Comments could talk, what would they ask Santa for Christmas?

4:29:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »

Wow. I'm not sure if I should feel flattered or irritated. Given my present state of mind, I feel irritated. Although deep down, I really feel flattered. (So take that you comment bots!) Anywho, I've had a few comments lately to this effect:

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Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:22:00 PM EST
And since I just received another one I'm going to have to do something. I just need to decide what that something is.

Any advice? (From someone other than the spammers.)


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I Don't Wednesday ~ #6 KetZchup

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Its been a while since I've posted (sorry about that) but I felt like posting an "I Don't - Wednesday" today...and away we go!

I Don't Wednesday #6: KetZchup

I Don't ... Know why I haven't posted in so long.

I've started ketZchup posts but they are all so long and unfinished and the longer it takes me to finish them - the more behind I become. I hate being behind like this. So they are still waiting to be finished.

I Don't ... Know why I don't just start from the here and now.

You know...Say, screw the postS waiting to be finished and move on. To Hell with those damn wanna-be posts!

I Don't ... Know why I just wrote that "I Don't" because I do know.

I Don't ... move on because for starters, I'm suffering from some serious OCD. Secondly, someday I will publish this blog. Someday it will be added to the other journals I have that chronicle my life. And to cut those things out would be to remove large sections of my life.
As it is, I'm already not blogging HUGE, GINORMOUS parts of my life over the past 3 to 6 months because it has been made quite clear to me that if I chronicle those happenings:

A) I would be using MY BLOG against others. You know, because that's why I started it. Revenge. Spite. Viva la Revolution! And all that jazz. *insert eye roll here*
B) I would be hiding behind MY BLOG even though the thoughts, feelings, expressions, etc that are/have been/would be covered (if I were to cover said taboo topics) have already been shared privately (via emails and a very few phone calls) with the parties involved. So I'm not hiding behind anything. But whatever.
C) I would be discussing other people's lives and that isn't right. Nor is it fair.
Now I have not had a single complaint about my blog from people - except for a few loons who felt that I was being unkind to my dead-beat-dad exhusband once upon a time. So I stand corrected - by myself - that I have had a few complaints over that past 2 years or so. That being said, in case it has escaped anyone, I tend to discuss other people's lives on a pretty regular basis - when I can find time to blog that is. I discuss my own and those of my family (ie Rob, husband; Gavin, 9 year old son; Elliott Richard, 3 year old son; Emmett John, 17 month old son; Maggie Sue, nanny-dog; Cleo, cat). I discuss my sister, Trisha, my Mom, Mary. (See Mom, I'm posting again. lol) I discuss quite a few people. Yet no one else is screaming unfair. But don't worry ... I think I have come up with a way to discuss what I want without further pissing anyone else off. Hhhhhhmmmm........I'll have to think about that some more.
Anyway, I digress.

I Don't ... Believe how quickly the month of December is flying by!

I had it all planned out so that the boys could do our usual traditions - make ornaments, make Christmas gifts for Grandma & PaPa and now for Grandma Mary (who they are beyong super excited to include to the traditions this year!) etc. Plus there are Godparents to consider. Then while I get the gifts together for the 3 boys. I'm also putting together a group gift for the boys. Plus a few surprises. I've had it all figured out, planned out and ready to go on paper since mid-October.

I was so sure I had it all figured out. Then I forgot to take my Lyrica for 1 flipping day! Which has thrown me off by like 3 days! So I'm back to not being able to drive again; so unhelpful right now!

I Don't ... Know how to care for Gavin effectively all the time.

Sometimes its a breeze. Sometimes I see the damage others have done to him before the legal system finally got a clue. Before I finally got a clue. Sometimes that damage is more than I can deal with and I know that they knew what they were doing - whether they deny it now or not. Sometimes I wish for the chance to interrogate them about it, with the chance to only get honest answers and then smack them all silly in the end. Sometimes I wish for a winning Lotto ticket, too. None of those things is going to happen.

I Don't ... Know how to raise Gavin his way.

Elliott Richard his way. Emmett John his way. Without making any of them feel singled out. Without damaging any of them.

I Don't ... Know how to survive anymore.

Surviving is usually the only thing I know to do. It comes naturally. After a lifetime of various rings of my own personal hell. Surviving is as natural to me as breathing. Lately, I can't seem to remember how.

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Ah...true love...

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***My Baby Boys***

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You are *here* too!