Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Haircut



I know it might seem a bit early to be cutting his hair, but I have a thing about straggly baby hair. I don't mind if other people's kids have straggly hair; I just get tired of looking at my own kid's straggly hair day in/day out.

As I was trying to take his picture, he kept getting inundated with love from his siblings and Emma. This poor kid never gets a minute to himself (except when he's asleep).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

J is for Jester



The letter of the week (in preschool) is J which is why my son is wearing a jester hat.

As I sat in the car today (with a sick kid and a sleeping baby whist another kid was in the dentist's chair), bored out of my mind, kicking myself for leaving my reading materials at home even though I had them in my hand when I was walking out the door, I came up with an acrostic poem for JESTER that pretty much sums up my day/week/month.

J is for Jester
E is for Everyone is sick
S is for Strep
T is for Tired
E is for Ear infection
R is for Ready for the germs to go away

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Contract

My oldest daughter loves to hold and sing and coo at her baby brother. But when she's had enough, she's ready to hand him back to me. Except that sometimes I'm not ready to take him. Maybe I'm cooking dinner or checking email or ironing sheets. (Ha, threw that last one in there for laughs.) So I tell her to put him down. But she won't. She doesn't want him to cry. It's more than that -- she doesn't want to be the one responsible for causing him to cry (by putting him down). So we've developed a system: when she's ready, she hands him back to me and then I put him down. That way, if he starts to fuss, she doesn't fell guilty about being the one who put him down.

But during the summer (before the system was in place) she was very frustrated with me for not taking him and frustrated at herself for not putting him down. So she typed-up a contract and presented it to me. I was laughing so hard that I thought I might start to cry. I printed it out and put it in her baby book. I'm cutting/pasting it below. I'm not changing anything (except for the names). I'm including it, typos and all.

The contraket

If I hold [the baby] I have the right to give him back to you. On any a kason. If you are making breakfast, doing make- up or on Face Book chating, or E- mail or any thing eles.
When I say take [him] please take him.

From,

[daughter's name]


What do you think? Could she have a future as an attorney?

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Grampy



My dad was concerned that the Langans were becoming Eagles fans, so he bought this outfit to remind us that we should be rooting for the Steelers. (Personally, I always root for the Steelers.) The best thing about this outfit (besides being a Steeler outfit) is that it's the same color as sweet potatoes!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys, Part I



And I've got three of 'em.

And although I did not blog much during the summer (oh, you know, kinda busy changing diapers, nursing, cooking, doing laundry, all on about 2 hours worth of sleep) I tucked away some summer memories to share with you when I could think straight (i.e., getting regular sleep).

My boys. Ages 4 & 6. They were pretty much left to their own devices this summer. We didn't make it to the pool once; we didn't have many playdates; we didn't even venture out of the house unless it was into the yard. What's a boy to do? Well it turns out that a little bit of benign neglect is a good thing. (Check back for Part II on when benign neglect is a bad thing. But for now we will focus on the positive.)

My boys pretty much entertained themselves this summer. I don't think they minded being homebound. Afterall, they have a plethora of toys; a trampoline, a treehouse, bikes, baseballs, etc. Enough to keep them busy.

As busy as little ants.

They became fascinated with ants. My 6 year old spent lots of time examining anthills using a magnifying glass (and also just watching, sans magnifying glass.) He thought it would be great to have his own anthill so he attempted to gather ants and place them in his bellybutton so that he could have his own ant farm, 24/7. He was pretty successful at gathering but not-so-successful at getting the ants to stay in his bellybutton. He kept at it though, trying for about 20 minutes but those darn ants would just march right out of his bellybutton. So he came to me for help. I then had to explain to him that although his bellybutton seemed like a good home, the ants would prefer their anthill. He's very much interested in animal "habitats" so I explained that ants have their own habitat and they do not live inside bellybuttons and I explained that they need to gather food and store it in the anthill, etc.

(Tangent. Speaking of habitats. We went to the Baltimore Aquarium one day in August. [I know I just said we didn't go anywhere but this was the ONE day that we ventured out of the house.] My 6 year old was fascinated with the electric eel but was concerned that the habitat was too small for such a big eel. He was so concerned that it was keeping him awake at night. He kept trying to figure out if maybe the aquarium workers could move the eel to a different tank. So then he was worried that maybe the fish in the new tank would be enemies of the eel so I had to google eels and sharks and puffer fish to find out if they would be compatible and could possibly share a habitat. This went on for a couple weeks and then he seemed to lose interest. However, he asked me about the eel again YESTERDAY and wants to write a letter the aquarium about it! Except he asked me to write it since he is still learning his letters.)

Tangent over.

So after discovering that ants preferred anthills and not bellybuttons, my boys decided they would experiment with ant habitats. (I had no idea that they were doing this until afterwards.) They took some ants from the anthill in the front of house and deposited them into the anthill in the back of the house. And vice versa. They came to me later and told me this and I (probably) overreacted. I freaked out a little bit (sleep deprivation will make you do strange things) and told them that they can't move ants from one anthill to another, and that the original ants would attack the new ants, and how could they do this, and what if you separated a momma ant from her baby ants, and those poor baby ants looking for their momma who is probably dead now! They were looking at each other with raised eyebrows, as if they both knew I was crazy but maybe I didn't know myself.

It did cross my mind (at the time) that maybe I shouldn't worry about ants getting dumped into foreign anthills. There are far greater injustices in this world and the boys didn't realize that they were doing anything wrong by messing with mother nature. I'm gonna blame my reaction on hormones and lack of sleep. A new mom can get weepy over just about anything, including defenseless ants.

P.S. The picture of my 4 year old dressed as a hula dancer has nothing to do with this blog posting. I put it there because postings are always more interesting when accompanied by a photo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From Orange to Purple



Now that he has a tooth, he is not at all interested in baby food. He wants to chomp and mash food with his gums. It's been challenging trying to find food for him to eat that will satisfy his urge to chomp without choking him.

Frozen blueberries seem to be a hit. My fingers are stained purple from popping them into his mouth. I am sure his face will eventually get stained as well. (As you can see in the photo, his face is still very orange from the sweet potatoes.)

My baby is growing up!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Baby of the Family

When I had just four children, I worked really hard at not "babying" the youngest.  I think I did a pretty good job at not babying him.  He tries really hard to keep up with his older siblings and was thrilled to be a Big Brudder so that he wouldn't have to be the youngest anymore.

But now we have another baby.  And as hard as I try not to baby him, there are four older siblings who just love to baby him.  At the slightest whimper, one or more kids will run to his side to see what's wrong or what he needs.  Many-a-nap has been interrupted because he'll make a noise in his sleep and one of his siblings will immediately go into his room to get him up, thinking he's signaling that nap time is over.  (I'm really trying to get them to come to me first before just going in and getting him up from his nap.  Because when an 8 year old decides that nap time is over, it is usually not time for the nap to be over.)

I realized the other day that this kid (see, I'm not referring to him as The Baby) has not one, not two, but THREE vices.  How can a baby have a vice?  Well, he sucks his thumb, uses a pacifier AND uses a "lovey".  (Sometimes he tries to suck his thumb while using his pacifier, which is pretty funny to watch.)  I can't possibly have both items with me at all times (thankfully I don't have to worry about packing his thumb into the diaper bag).  So I'm trying to leave the pacifier and lovey in his crib so that he gets used to having those items at nap time and bedtime only.  BUT he has siblings who think it is so-very-cute to watch him cuddle his lovey.  So this lovey (who is affectionately called both Lamb Chop and Pork Chop, named by my older children) is rarely in the crib.  

If anyone reading this has ever had a child with an attachment to a toy or blanket, you know that it can be difficult to wash the item, let alone deal with the fall-out should said item get lost.  So I decided I must purchase a few more loveys. BUT the lovey he loves was given to us six years ago when my first son was born.  (And yes, it's been hanging around the house for six years but has never been loved so it was in good shape.)  Fortunately, the manufacturing tag was still on the lovey so I was able to locate the company that produces loveys by combing the internet.  And I managed to find two more loveys.  So now I have one in the crib at all times and have a back-up should we lose one or need throw the lovey into the washer.

And I promise, no matter what, to never throw away his lovey. Even if he shoves it under his bed when he is five and it gets caught in the vacuum cleaner and gets ripped to shreds. I solemnly swear to repair the lovey and not blame him for "putting it away" under his bed. Because a five year really does think that it's put away if she can't see it. And a five year does not know that her Be Bear (I called him Be Bear because "he be my bear) could get caught in the vacuum. And a five year old does not know that her mom would throw away her most prized possession. And a five year old turns into a 39 year old who has issues and thus buys multiple loveys should one of them caught in the vacuum cleaner.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Part II

An update on The Great Pumpkin. I thought for sure the gig would be up when he went into school and told his teacher that the seeds she gave him grew into pumpkins. But she didn't.

Whew. 

He told me the other day, "Mom. I is still waitin' on one punkin'. One of the seeds hasn't growed into a punkin' yet." 

There is no way I am going to locate that one seed and recreate the Great Pumpkin patch. I told him that sometimes seeds just don't grow. I was secretly patting myself on the back for finding all (but one) of his seedlings! It was especially difficult because it had rained a lot of leaves had started to fall so I really couldn't tell where he had planted his pumpkins. And who knows? Maybe the seeds will take root and he'll have pumpkins next year?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge



Revisited.

Long time blog readers will recall our 2007 trip to GWL. (Also, my husband took the kids in January of this year -- a day trip. I didn't go because I was pregnant and unable to use the water slides.)

Everyone had fun, except for me. I think the highlight for me was getting a People Magazine and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I am not joking. Remind me to NEVER plan an overnight again until the baby is at least 1 year old. Trying to share a room with 4 kids and a sleeping infant was not easy. The baby is used to sleeping in his own room, in his crib. It was not a good night's sleep for anyone for all of us to be in the same room.

Would you believe that there is not a diaper changing station ANYWHERE, at all, in the ENTIRE facility?! This is, afterall, a family resort. Babies are part of the family.

Secondly, you had to take the elevator if you were pushing a stroller. No ramps to get from place to place. The elevators were REALLY slow and crowded and it seems that no one took the stairs. Why people would choose to wait 3-5 minutes for an elevator when they could take the stairs in about 30 seconds is beyond me. So I was stuck trying to maneuver the stroller on/off a crowded elevator. Continually.

It's not like I can take a baby into the waterpark. I mean, I COULD. But why? So I didn't even get into my bathing suit. I spent the whole time either in the room OR (once we had checked out) trying to find a place to sit to feed him and change his diaper. Which brings me to my next point. They charge you an arm and a leg to get into the place. If you stay for one night, you get a 48 hour waterpark pass. This means that you can use the waterpark the day you arrive as well as the day you check out. SOUNDS like a good idea. But this means that for most of the day, people are sitting around the lobby either waiting for their room to be ready OR they check-out and sit around waiting for their kids to finish at the waterpark so they can go home. As a result, there is no where to sit because people literally sit in the same seat for HOURS. I know this because I had to try and find a seat to feed the baby. After circling like a vulture, I finally swooped down onto the couch in front of the fireplace. Only to lose my spot when I went in search of a diaper changing station (which was non-existent). After that, I had another 3 hours to kill so I ended up sitting on the hearth of the stone fireplace because it was the ONLY seat in the whole place. (And later I lost my hearth seat when I got my cup of coffee.) There are a gazillion rooms at GWL but not much common space and nothing else if you're not using the waterpark.

Back to the price goughing. $2.50 for ONE doughnut? Come on. $80 for dinner? You MUST be kidding. We learned our lesson the first time. (Our first trip was in 2006, before I was blogging. Of the four times we've been, it was our best trip. Minus the price gouging, of course.) Not to mention that all the food available is fattening and highly processed. (Unless you spend $20 on a salad for dinner.) Starbucks oatmeal was the healthiest thing available in all of GWL.

They ran out of towels. On a Tuesday afternoon. SURELY they are busier on weekends and should have the laundry-thing figured out by now.

You get the idea. I could keep going but I think that's enough negativity for one day. I'm going to file memories of this trip in the Note To Self part of my brain to remind myself:
a) Not to travel with an infant again. Ever.
b) Not to return to GWL unless they are giving away rooms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First Tooth

The baby got his first tooth yesterday!!! No pictures to post though, the tooth is so small that you can't really see it unless you pry his mouth open.

Lots of milestones! Within 24 hours he moved from the baby tub to the bath ring; got his first tooth; moved from the infant car seat to a rear-facing convertible car seat AND had his first mini vacation. More to come on the vacay.

Monday, November 2, 2009

First Big-Boy Bath



My little baby has outgrown the baby tub and had his first bath in the bath ring. When I put him in he started to cry but after about 10 seconds he was all grins. His siblings cheered him on and helped to bathe him. The little guy gets a lot of love and attention from his brothers and sisters.

I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture or not but his skin has an orange hue. He will only eat sweet potatoes. For a while he'd eat a variety of pureed baby foods but for about 3 weeks now he has refused anything that is not sweet potatoes. I try to be sneaky and add other foods to the potatoes but I have to add them in small quantities so that the overwhelming taste of his food is sweet potato. He eats about 12 - 16 ounces of sweet potatoes every day -- he really is turning orange!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween

A good time was had by all. Everyone was healthy enough to participate in the festivities (a party and then trick-or-treat).

First, the party. Dorothy & the cutest cow ever.

The cow costume has been worn by each one of my children so of course I was not going to buck the trend and dress the baby in anything else. The funny thing about this costume, however, is that ALL of my other children wore this costume when they were 18 months old (+/-) !!!!! My husband was getting the baby ready and said, "This is NEVER going to fit!!! No way! It fit everyone else when they were toddlers!" I told him to just TRY it . . . and guess what?! It fits. He is a big, big boy. For a Langan, that is. Oh, and the costume used to "Moo" when you'd press the nose but the moo hasn't worked in quite a few years.

Paging Doctor Langan:

She had planned to be a farmer but changed her mind about 15 minutes before leaving for the party. She borrowed the stethoscope from Mr. Phil and a pulled a face mask out of the basement, and viola.

Dorothy, this time with Toto (instead of with a cow):


The Clone Troopers (and their super hero friends). One trooper pooped out after about 30 minutes of trick-or-treating but the other kept going until almost 8pm. Lots and lots and lots of candy in our house this morning.


Speaking of candy. A couple of my kids came home with Nerd Ropes. I had never seen them (or tasted them) before but they are my new favorite candy!!!! They are similar to a necklace. The rope part is made of something sticky, kind of like Swedish Fish (another favorite candy) and then the sticky part is rolled in Nerds. So, so, so yummy. I am on a quest to buy more.

A couple of kids got these freakishly cool eye patches while trick-or-treating. Ghoulish, don't you think?



Now that Halloween is over, official Christmas preparations have begun! (And I'm counting the days until Thanksgiving, my favorite meal of the year.)