Gigi and G-Daddy arrived last night, so Gigi went to get E when he woke up in the morning.  He was so excited to see her.  They played for a while and she made his breakfast, and she did everything that needed done while I just sat and enjoyed doing nothing!  I read to E a little bit, but he was more excited to play with the grandparents for the most part.  Later in the morning, T and I took E out for our last outing as a family of three.  We took him to some gardens in town that are all set up for children to learn about gardening.  There were fountains, watering cans, dirt with rakes, a play house, a fish pond with stepping-stones, and all kinds of fun things.  E LOVED it!  It was really fun for us to be together as a family, and to watch E explore and play and jabber so excitedly.  We spent about an hour and a half there, and we took tons of pictures, including a family picture.  Then we came home for lunch with the grandparents, more playing and reading, and naps for almost all of us.  It was a great day of relaxation for T and I, after working so hard to get the house and the new bathroom ready to go.  (The bathroom did get finished!)  We had a  great dinner together, and then Gigi and I gave E a bath, and he splashed and laughed more than most times.

It was a great day, and lots of memories were made.  I am glad I’ve kept track of these last few weeks.  In later years, I am going to enjoy looking back to see the memories E and I made, and I know I made an effort to savor this time with him as much as I could.  Tomorrow is the big day, and I’m still nervous, but also excited.  I can’t wait to see what E thinks of his little sister!

This was our last week together just the two of us.  It’s been a busy week for me – all the nesting, of course, and getting the house ready for family arriving, and trying our very best to get our basement bathroom finished up.  But despite the busyness, I have also made time to play with E and enjoy some more memories with him.

Monday – While T worked on the bathroom, E and I ran some errands.  He discovered outside of Target a decorative wall with a hole built into it, and he wanted to climb through and around it forever and pound on the big concrete red balls, and climb on and off of the benches, and push the carts around.  So I let him.  And I even climbed through the “hole” too, which he found totally fun.  He was very obedient and happy throughout the errands.  The weather right now is perfect for having windows down in the car.  If anyone’s window is down, E wants his down too.  Then he turns his head to look out the window and just sits there and lets the breeze blow his hair.  It’s really sweet to watch.  Then we came home for lunch and his nap.

Tuesday – E wanted to play with the chalk in the bathroom, so I let him play while I got our lunch ready for a picnic.  When I went to tell him to be all done, I was surprised to see that virtually overnight he had progressed from drawing just some vertical lines to all-out scribblings all over the wall.  I told him how great the drawings were, and then we headed out.  We had to stop and buy paint for the bathroom before our picnic.  E thought it was super fun to move the quart-sized cans of paint around and stack and re-stack them, and then run up and down the aisles of the store.  But once again, he was very obedient and happy and we had fun.  The picnic was fun too, and he played and played on the swings and the slide and the see-saw.  Then we came home for his nap and I painted the bathroom walls.  My hamstrings and rear end haven’t had that good of a workout in years, probably!  We read lots of books after E’s nap.  He sometimes still wants to sit on me or next to me while I read, but he mostly wants to play with his toys while he listens.  I love that he loves to hear stories while he plays.

Wednesday – I was so sore from all of the painting that I nixed my to-do list for the day and E and I just played.  T told him to be obedient and nice because I was hurting, so randomly throughout the day he would stop and look at me and say, “Mama hurt?”  We played outside in his sandbox for quite a while, and he found some green tomatoes that he threw all over the place.  Then we played on his swing for a while and he told me story after story after story the entire time he was swinging.  It was a relaxing and sweet time with him.  After lunch and his nap, I turned on his songs for him and he actually was trying to sing along to some of them and do the little motions!  Then he read a lot and played with the chalk again before dinner and bed.

Thursday – E played with the chalk, and then we went to my friend J’s house and he got to play with G and A one last time before baby gets here.  He played on the slide and in their sandbox and with the t-ball toy.  He was so proud of himself for hitting the ball.  He really loves playing with those two kids.  I painted the corners in the bathroom while he was napping, so after his nap I had on a clean new outfit.  I don’t know whether he knows what it means, or whether he’s just repeating what T had him say a few days ago, but he patted my shirt and said, “Mama pretty.”  I hugged him and said, “Thanks Bubba!”  He got a huge grin on his face, and repeated it over and over and over and over and over, and every time I hugged him and told him thanks.  He did that for 3 or 4 minutes at a time for over an hour.  Melted. My. Heart.  I swear it’s now in a puddle in his room.  Then we listened to his songs for a while and then went to the church to meet T.  T and I went to a dinner/parenting seminar while E played with the other kids.  When we went to get him, they were playing the video of the songs from last summer’s VBS, and he was dancing and pretending to play drums and saying, “Bang bang bang! Kids dance!”  It was hilarious how excited he was.

Friday – E and I went to the grocery store to get just a few groceries to get us through the weekend.  He was quite happy and obedient and we played games and laughed all through the store.  I was glad to only get a few things though, because it wore me out!  When we got home we played with his toys and we read a lot of books, and then we listened to his songs while I made lunch.  I told him one of his friends was coming after his nap, so as soon as I entered his room after he woke up he started yelling his friend’s name.  He was so excited!  I really love that he truly knows who people are now and that he has genuine excitement about seeing his friends.  When his friend arrived, he stood at the front door squealing his name.  They wanted to play in the sandbox, so we let them, and boy did they get dirty!  After dinner we just gave them baths because there was no other way to get them clean.  The sand was everywhere.  Then we let them stay up a little bit late and play before bedtime.

Saturday – E to got to play with T while I ran to the hardware store to buy a few supplies we needed for the day of bathroom work that was ahead.  I actually didn’t get to spend a lot of time with E because of wanting/needing to help with the bathroom so that it would get finished.  Some of our very dear friends came over in the morning to help us and stayed ALL day!  By the time they left the bathroom was complete except for just a couple of finishing details.  One of our friends wore a snow cap because it was really cold outside.  E found it and of course thought he needed to wear it all day because he loves hats.  So he walked around with it all day and made us laugh because it was too big for him.

Sunday – E was in quite a little mood.  He fell a few times between the vehicle and the church, which is rare for him.  But each time his crying took longer and longer to get over.  He was very upset anytime he didn’t get his way all day.  All of those things are very unlike him.  But he did get to see all of his friends at church, which he enjoyed.  He had a runny nose (I don’t know if it’s a cold or teething), so we didn’t put him in the nursery.  Instead he did “blanket time” during the sermon, and he actually did really well with that and was very calm.  After lunch and his nap, his friend M got to come over and play until bed time, which he greatly enjoyed, and his mood seemed better.  It was fun to watch him play and laugh with M, as always.

Overall, a great week.  I can’t believe it’s all about to change, but I really do feel ready.

Two weeks left (when I started this post)!  I can hardly believe it.  The most common question I am asked these days is something to do with how I’m feeling now about having a second baby.  Right now, the excitement of this pregnancy being done is overriding everything.  There is still a part of me that is quite anxious about taking care of a toddler and a baby, especially for those first few super crazy weeks and months.  And there is still a part of me that is a little sad about the time I will no longer have with just my sweet little E.  But most of all, I just want to be done with getting tired after picking up one toy from the floor.  Once little S is here, I’m sure those other things will come more into play, along with what I’m sure will be an intense love for her.  But for now, I just want to start feeling normal again (which will still be a while, since I’m having a c-section).

Monday – I went to my weekly doctor appointment and left E at home with his dada.  Then the three of us took a trip to Home Depot to get things for the bathroom that is still in progress.  E loves saying the word “Home Depot”.  He is also quite fascinated with tape measures, so when he saw dada had one clipped to his pocket, E insisted on carrying it and playing with it instead, and we had to measure EVERYTHING in the store with the tape measure.  He holds it up and stretches it out a bit and says “inches!”, and I say something like, “Wow, thirteen inches!  Awesome!” and then we move on to the next thing.  We also walked past a window at the back of the store, so sometimes in between measurements he would say, “winnow adain” (which means “window again”), and we would go look at the lumber and trash and trees and fence outside.  We went home for lunch and nap.  While E was napping, T fixed the rocking chair in our living room that was breaking a little.  He had it tipped forward so the glue could dry.  After his nap, E came downstairs and thought the chair looked funny and also like a ramp, so I showed him how to tip his little chair forward and use it as a ramp for his toys.  He thought that was absolutely awesome [and now does it many times per day], and he and I played with that for a while.  Then we all ate dinner and went for a walk (T fixed the stroller!!).

Tuesday – E and I played and read for a while, and then we walked to the park (again with the fixed stroller!) for a play date with one of my friends and her kids.  E talked all the way there about wanting to play on the slide and swing and see-saw, so we made sure to do all of those things while we were there.  We also had a picnic lunch there.  We came home for his nap, and then we read lots of books, ate dinner, and he went to bed.

Wednesday – Books and books and books.  That kid wakes up wanting books, wants books all day, and probably dreams about books as well.  He is getting more active and likes to play around and stuff while I read, but he’ll still sit for a while here and there, and he just loves hearing the stories.  I don’t mind if he plays.  I love that he is so in love with stories.  Later in the morning we went swimming with my friend B and her new little one again.  E did better this week and was excited to blow bubbles and kick and reach.  He was quite proud of himself [and has actually told me about it and practiced several times a day since then].  Then we ran to Wal-Mart to get more baby supplies (like newborn sized diapers, how crazy is that?!).  We ate lunch and both took naps, and then….you guessed it!  We READ MORE BOOKS for an hour because we had leftovers planned for dinner.  After dinner he played for a while and then went to bed.

Thursday – We often have Skype dates with my sister on Thursdays, so we talked to her for a while and he showed off his new favorite songs: “Superbass” by Nicki Minaj (he sings, “boom boom boom boom boom boom uperbass” – yes, he leaves the “s” off of superbass) and “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People (he sings, “wun and wun and wun”).  [Lately, every time we get in the car he asks for the “wun and wun song” over and over and over, which totally cracks me up.  And he has also started singing “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5.  He sings “moves like Jagger” and then does the ooo-0ooo-ooo part.  Hilarious.]  The rest of the morning and lunch was spent playing at my friend E’s house with her little boy M, who is one of E’s best friends.  E & M have definitely entered the stage of stealing toys and wanting the toys the other has, so this will be interesting as we both have new babies on the way and now even more ornery toddlers.  E got off of his bed twice to get toys before he went to sleep, which was a new thing.  Then he woke up and cried at the end of his nap, and got off his bed again to get toys.  But after that we came downstairs and I played his Wee Sing CD for him for the first time in a while (I recently fixed his songbook that was falling apart).  He actually seemed to understand a little bit that the songs were what were in the songbook, and he would yell his excitement every time one song ended and another one started.  It was delightful to listen to, and he even sang along for a few of them.  He especially got into the “If You’re Happy And You Know It” song.

Friday – We went to a little petting farm with some friends.  He heard cows moo and sheep baaaaa and chickens cluck.  He was apprehensive of the cow, but also fascinated, and let me hold him and get close to the cow.  He loved watching the horses, though, and loved playing with all the hay in the barn, and loved “driving” the tractor.  We came home for lunch and naps, then listened to the song CD again.  After dinner he got a much-needed bath, then went to bed.  We always pray with E as we tuck him in at night.  These days he prays too.  He climbs into his bed and just barely gets turned around to face us before starting the prayer.  He folds his hands together then nods his head and moves his hands up and down with every syllable and says “Dear Jesus, thank you Uncle Steve, Dada, Mama, nose, pants, arm, hair, Emery hair, eyes, sleeping bag” or some other random list of things and it is super adorable.

Saturday – I turned calendar to the new month during breakfast.  It’s a calendar with family pictures on each page, and since it’s October, this month has pictures from Halloween last year.  E was excited that the two pictures were one of his uncle D and aunt S, and one of himself.  He  noticed before any of us did that both he and his uncle D are making the same open-mouthed warrior face, since uncle D was dressed as a knight with a sword and E was dressed as Paul Bunyan with an axe.  He is now even more obsessed with uncle D than he was before, and tells me many times per day about the fact that they are both making that face in the pictures.  How very observant and funny!  Then he and I went grocery shopping, and he got to sit in the big part of the cart at Wal-Nast.  He had so much fun playing with all of the stuff, and I was trying to decide what he should and should not be allowed to play with or do back there.  I decided that for now I will just choose the battle of making sure he sits rather than stands.  He was actually quite obedient about that, but I did have to remind him a few times.  I figure that with baby coming, he won’t be able to sit up front much longer and he needs to start learning to sit back there.  We came home for lunch and then played in the sandbox for about 30 minutes before his nap.  He was so happy!  He babbled and scooped and dumped and had a blast.  He got off his bed for a toy once before falling asleep, but stayed on his bed when he woke up.

Sunday – I actually had very little time with E today.  We got up and got ready for church, but we didn’t go early with T, so we were a LITTLE more leisurely about it than normal.  After church I had two baby showers that took my entire afternoon, so I brought E home, built a tower with him, then gave him his lunch and dashed out while he was eating.  I got home right at his bed time, so I did spend a few minutes with him to pray and tuck him in.  I enjoyed a day of not much child care and no real work, but I’m glad I still have a week to spend with him and make more memories!

I only have three weeks left [as of the start of this post], and I am starting to feel a time crunch for things I’d like to get done before baby S arrives.  I’m also feeling even more desire to spend time with E and savor my time left with him.  I do feel like I’ve been able to enjoy a lot of time with him, and I’m glad I’ve taken the time to make him a top priority and take notes and make observations and memories.  I think I’ll really be able to look back and know that I did my best to make this time special and to enjoy our time together.

Monday – We were still at Oma & Papa’s house.  Neither E nor I slept well all night.  E and I both had colds and he woke up several times in the night.  Still, he seemed happy and pretty normal all day, and I actually felt pretty good too.  All of us went for a walk in the woods around the property and explored rocks and trees and moss and grasses.  E loved it!  And he tried kinnikinnick berries and apparently enjoyed them despite their bitter and pithy flavor.  We were all pretty hungry by the time we got back, so we made lunch and then all the boys took naps.  All the boys  played together for the rest of the afternoon and evening, then we had dinner and drove home.  Normally E falls asleep within about 30 minutes of the drive home, but this time he didn’t sleep at all.  Funny kid.  He mostly just sat there and kicked his feet and babbled softly to himself.  I didn’t give him any toys because I wanted him to sleep, but apparently he was able to entertain himself with his surroundings.

Tuesday – T, E, and I hurried out of the house to get our car registration done.  E and I read books on the floor of the county clerk office and people thought that was cute or funny or something because they looked at us strangely.  Then we dropped T off at work and went to my weekly doctor appointment.  E was very curious but obedient.  He talked and talked and the midwife asked when he turned two.  I told her he would be two in January, and she was shocked at how smart he is.  I agreed about the smart AND the shocking.  When we got home, we read lots of books, built towers, and had lunch.  Several months ago, I gave E a squirt of whipped cream on his finger.  He discovered a new can of it in the refrigerator today, although I have no idea how he remembered it from that long ago.  He asked for some, and since he had been so good during the doctor and everything, I decided to try letting him have it straight into his mouth.  I told him to sit on the ledge inside the fridge and look up and say “aaaahhhh” and I squirted some in.  He thought that was just about the best thing ever!  [Now every time I open the fridge he comes running as fast as he can saying, “Ip-team! Ip-team!” and he sits down on the ledge.  I give him a squirt once a day now.]  E took a nap and woke up quite upset again.  E and I packed up dinner stuff and took it to my best friend’s house for her birthday.  G, A, and E played and played and laughed, then went to bed while the adults chatted for a while.

Wednesday – E counted to 8 while eating breakfast, totally unprompted.  I was shocked!  We played, read books, talked to Gigi, and then went swimming with my friend and her new baby.  E was less ok with swimming than he has been in the past.  He just wanted to sit on the edge and play.  Lately he is very into “all done” for anything he doesn’t want to do or doesn’t want others doing.  He kept saying all done about things in the pool – “all done kick kick kick”, “all done reach and reach”, etc.  When we got home we read more books and had lunch and E took a nap.  He woke up happy so I went to get him right away to try to reinforce that behavior.  He played and played while I cooked dinner, and he read a ton of books to himself and I was completely amazed at how many things he knew in his books.  I just kept listening to him and smiling and shaking my head in wonder.

Thursday – I had a fairly busy day of things to get done, and didn’t feel like I got to spend a lot of quality time with E, but he was around me all day and that was fun too.  He did get to have a friend over because that friend’s mama volunteered to clean out my bathtub for me since it’s hard to bend over it and really clean it anymore.  How nice!  So the boys sat at the table, each with a bowl of dry cereal, and had fun.  There was quite a mess on the floor when we came back downstairs, but such is life.  Their squeals of delight were hilarious from upstairs.  E mostly read to himself and played with his toys for the rest of the morning.  He did learn to stand on his push-and-ride toy (which we call his vehicle) and then jump down with one foot on either side of it.  Good thing he’s got those fat cloth diapers as padding!  He’s pretty good at it though, and he really thinks he’s got himself something.  We did also make time to read some books and make a tower with his Duplos in the afternoon.

Friday – I had two small errands to run, and no other plans, and I kept it that way so that I could have lots of time with E.  We ran to the bank and to the fabric store, and then came home to play.  He wanted to swing because it was really nice outside.  So I pushed him in his swing for about 40 minutes!  My arms were really tired.  But he just swung away the time and talked to me about all kinds of things – the zoo we visited and the carousel he rode, the fireworks we saw on the 4th of July, the thunder that woke him up last week, the crab apples in the tree, the time the swing got going crooked and his shoe hit the tree bark, and several other things.  It was really fun to just watch him relax and enjoy the little breeze in his hair and have a very real conversation for a child his age.  Then we had lunch and he cleaned up his blocks while I cleaned up his books.  He was quite defiant about cleaning up the blocks for some reason, and it took about 30 minutes instead of his usual 5.  He woke up crying during his nap, but I calmed him down and he went back to sleep, and he woke up and followed the rules really well once his normal wake-up time rolled around.  Then we read lots of books and made dinner, and T put him to bed.

Saturday – E discovered sitting on his knees rather than his bottom when he’s at the table, which is fine because it helps him sit higher and see his food better.  Today while sitting on his knees he wanted my pen, so I got out his coloring book for him and he colored several pages with the pen.  He concentrated very hard and told us all about the pictures – “bunny”, “doggie, woof woof”, things like that.  Then E and I went grocery shopping and he was in a really great mood.  At one store I had to buy nutmeg and he was very attached to that for some reason.  He held it all through the store and all the way home.  T was working on the bathroom in our basement, so we went to visit him for a bit, and then we played with the drum kit that is being stored in our basement.  E was hilarious!  He banged with those sticks as though he were in a real rock concert, and he concentrated really hard on it all.  He loved the snare especially, it seemed.  After lunch he took a nap and woke up happy and followed the rules!  But he was all sweaty, so I gave him a bath.  Then we read books, had dinner, and he went to bed.

Sunday – We all got up early for church, where he ate breakfast and then played on the window sill and ran around with his friend G.  Afterwards we went out to lunch with friends and he entertained himself with a foil ball and did a GREAT job.  He woke up crying from nap again, but on the bed at least.  Our friends P and J and their littles, G and A, were here for the afternoon and evening, so E got to go outside and play in the sandbox and the swing with G, and we even went for a short walk.  While I worked on dinner, they played in the sandbox again while J stayed outside and watched them.  E poured sand all over himself – covered his feet/shoes, covered his legs, poured it down over his head and down his back, everywhere.  He wasn’t throwing it, and he was having such a great time dumping it all over, so I just let him even though I knew the cleanup process would be extensive.  I had to just strip him down to his diaper for dinner, but I think kids in just their diapers are cute, so that was fine with me!  He sang and laughed with G and A during dinner, which was very loud but very funny.  He had to bathe to get the rest of the sand off, and I had to run the water out of the faucet onto his head to get it all out of his hair.  He screamed and fought, but it had to be done.  And there was at least 1/2 cup of sand in diaper and caked all over his bottom.  Totally worth it to see his enjoyment though!

Monday – Oma, my sister-in-law H, and her son W were here.  H and W live in Texas, so we were excited to just let the boys play all morning.  They spent a fair amount of the time in the sandbox and water bucket and they were really cute and fun together.  After their afternoon naps we took them out and played in the parking lot with a ball.  They ran and laughed and kicked the ball and threw the ball, and it was really fun to watch the cousins start to know each other.  It was also cute to hear E say their names and be excited to see them.  The only downside to the day was that E woke up sad/distressed during his nap once and after his nap.

Tuesday – I felt completely exhausted from the day before, so E and I played with Duplo blocks and got dinner started and that was our entire morning.  That afternoon we went to my friend’s house, where E played with his friend M for a while and then took a nap.  He woke up sad/distressed during and after his nap, meaning he did not get much of a nap.  It was, however, fun and funny to watch him play with M even though he was emotionally unstable about things.  We played in the sandbox for a bit when we got home, and the second I turned my back he climbed into the bucket of water with all of his clothes on and made me laugh.  The water was shallow, and he knows how to climb in because that’s how we rinse him off before coming inside.  He was sopping wet and laughing, and it was just such a moment of child-like fun.

Wednesday – We read some new books from Nie-nie.  He loves the one about policemen and firemen because he loves the page with the bell that says “clang clang”.  He now explains back to me that the bell says “clang clang” and then the man goes down the pole and then the fire engine goes by and says “wee-ooo-wee-ooo”.  He tells me over and over and over!  Later as I did laundry, he got into my socks and put some on over his jeans like he was ready to go snow-playing.  He wouldn’t let me take them off all day, and he looked hilariously like a little kid.  My friend J and her kids G and A came for lunch.  Emery all out yelled with delight at seeing G’s face!  He did a great job of waking up after his nap – happy and on the bed.  He came downstairs and played with play-doh with J while I chased G and A around in the kitchen.  Then we all read lots of books and he followed G around marching and stomping and making noises and repeating everything she said.  I really love watching their little friendship because they each adore the other so much.

Thursday – T, E, and I went for a drive in the foothills just outside of town.  E read what he calls the “bell book” (the one about policemen and firemen) the whole time.  It was a nice relaxing time of good conversation, and E has finally started to watch out the windows and notice things like trees and water and clouds.  When we got home, I sewed new handles onto my diaper bag (made by Ragamuffin Totes) and E wanted to watch.  I was fine with that, because I knew he would find the machine fascinating.  I gave him a bobbin of yellow thread and showed him how to wind the thread around it.  He just waved it around saying he was winding it, but was really just getting more thread everywhere.  Then he got down to play with a toy, and when I cleaned up it took me 5 minutes to undo the maze of thread!  It was wound around chairs, the gates on the stairs, his legs, his toys, everything.  It totally made me laugh.  He did a great job when he woke up from his nap again.

Friday – I took E to the toddler sing-along again with some friends.  He still just wanted to stay on my lap and not join in, but had fun playing in the plaza after lunch with his friends M and C.  He woke up from his nap happy and said “mama” a few times just like I told him, but just a few minutes later I heard him crying and when I went in he was not on his bed, but was standing by his toys trying to play with them but with his sleeping bag all tangled around him.  So I took him back to his bed and we talked through the rules again and he settled down.  We read lots of books, had dinner, ran to the store, played out front with leaves, then cleaned up toys and went to bed.  I enjoyed our entire day together.

Saturday – The three of us went grocery shopping together.  E asked for apple juice all through the store, so when we were done we bought him a juice box again, which he sucked down in record time.  When we got home we had lunch, naps, and dinner, then played and went to bed.

Sunday – E and I slept until our normal times while T went to church early.  E and I packed for a trip to Oma & Papa’s house, then went to church.  During the worship time, E climbed over the back of the church pew and fell.  I was singing and keeping only one eye on him, but I heard the clunk and the crying.  I thought he fell off the front, but by the time I realized what had actually happened, the guy from across the aisle picked him up for me and told me what happened.  E was ultimately fine, but I’m sure it hurt and scared him, and he cried quite a bit.  After lunch we picked up our friends C and B and their son C and drove to Evergreen.  Our boys got to play with E’s cousin W while we all made dinner.  The boys were super tired from all the playing, so they went right to sleep at bed time and we all relaxed all evening.

Monday was Labor Day, so we got together with our best friends for a picnic at a park that is just a little way into the mountains.  Before heading to the park, we stopped at the store to buy what are apparently the only snack foods my husband likes anymore – Oreos and goldfish crackers (news to me!).  E has probably had goldfish crackers about five times in his life, and the last time was quite  a while ago, so I have no idea why he got so excited when we mentioned them.  But when I picked up the box in the store, he wanted to hold that box all the way to the car, and he couldn’t wait to eat them.  We played on the playground, “hiked” around  the paths in the park, I chased the kids around some trees, we ate our lunch which included goldfish crackers, and then headed home.  It was a gorgeous day outside, and we had a lot of fun.  That night was E’s first night in his big boy bed.  I left his door cracked so that I could see what he was up to.  He rolled off (the mattress is just on the floor for now) and slept most of night on floor but got back on the bed in the morning like I told him to.  I was thrilled that he did so well!

On Tuesday E played by himself upstairs while I cleaned the bathrooms.  It’s been fun for me that he is at an age where I can leave him to play while I do things around the house.  I just listen for him and check on him every so often to make sure he’s not getting into mischief, and he seems very much like a little boy at those times and definitely not a baby anymore.  Then we walked to my friend’s house who has three little ones.  E rode a scooter – he pushed with one foot and stood on the other and I just helped him steer.  I was pretty impressed at how quickly he learned that skill.  I pushed him on a trike as well, which he liked a little, but found frustrating because the pedals kept hitting his legs or his feet.  He took his first nap on his big boy bed, and he did great at being obedient and going back to his bed after he woke up on the floor.  He did a great job that night with his bed too.

Wednesday was a very rainy day.  We had some things to do that day, and as I mentioned before, he outgrew all of his shoes.  I wasn’t about to carry him everywhere we went, so we needed to buy some shoes.  With no shoes on his feet, I carried him to the vehicle and then into Wal-Mart.  He was very opinionated!  The first pair of shoes I tried on him made him throw a small fit.  I calmed him down and explained that, like it or not, I was going to try shoes on him.  The second pair I tried made him laugh out of pure joy.  So I held the two pairs up for him to choose from and he very emphatically pointed to the second pair and said, “Dis one!”  I put them both in the cart until we were ready to check out, then asked him again.  He was emphatic again about that pair, so that was the pair we bought.  We tried to go swimming with our regular swim partner who just had a baby, but the pool was closed for maintenance.  E was disappointed, but we went home and built a Duplo tower instead.  He had his second nap in big boy bed that day.  He slept well but did not get back on his bed when he woke up.  Instead he came to the door and cried very loudly and sadly.  When I went up to his room, he looked very distressed and I have no idea why.  He did go back and lie down for a few minutes when I told him to, and then he did a great job again that night.

On Thursday I had to go to the doctor for my weekly pregnancy checkup.  E played and obeyed very well and mimicked the baby’s heartbeat sound.  When we got home, we played outside in our parking lot with a car that his uncle A made for him.  He loved how it would go fast and ka-boom into things, loved when it would tip over, loved when it went up onto the sidewalk or down off the sidewalk, and was thrilled at copying my “one, two, threeeeeee (and push)”.  He napped on big boy bed, and woke up sad and desperate just like Wednesday.  I was still puzzled about why he would feel that way.  He played while I made dinner, and I noticed that he would answer some of my questions (and sometimes his own) with “sure” (which comes out more like “sheer”).  I don’t know exactly where he got that – I don’t THINK I say that all that often.  But it cracked me up once I realized what he was saying.  He also started ending some of his sentences with “mmmm” with a little upward lilt.  I know I do that a lot – I ask him a question and end it with “hmmm?”  That made me laugh too.

Friday morning we went to a berry patch with Oma and my husband’s sister (H) and her little boy (W).  E was pretty good at obeying the rules with the strawberries (like not picking the green ones and not stepping on the plants).  He ran up and down the rows laughing and squealing and asking me to “mama gishoo” (mama get you).  He loved eating the raspberries while we picked them and clearly remembered doing that at Oma’s house.  He didn’t want to stay in the row with me though.  He wanted to pick with Oma (which was fine with me), and Oma showed him how to hold up the branch with one hand and pick with the other hand.  He had some quality play time with dada that afternoon when we got home, which he really enjoyed since it doesn’t happen very often.

On Saturday the three of us went grocery shopping.  On our way out of the house, E ran to the vehicle in the driveway and said “go ah-self” (go yourself) instead of holding my hand, which was a first for him.  Again with the growing up!  We gave in and bought him a juice box at the store and he drank it in about 3 seconds which just made us laugh.  I don’t blame him though – I love apple juice too!  When we got home, he played with play-doh and kept putting the male anatomy on the man I made (even though I just called it a person).  Kids really do the darnedest things I guess!  That night we gave him a haircut that was shorter than we intended, but it ended up making him look pretty darn dashing.  He spent a lot of the day laughing about things and it’s really fun to see his sense of humor developing.  I’m pretty curious to see what his humor will be like as he grows up.  He woke up from his nap very distressed again, and we still have no idea why.

Sunday we got up early and went to church.  When the kids were dismissed from the service to go to their Sunday school rooms, he didn’t want to hold my hand like normal.  Instead he just took off and made his way through the people without looking back for me until he got to his room, and even then it was just a glance – he didn’t break his stride one bit.  It was very cute and just one more moment of seeing him grow up.  I love seeing his independence blossoming and showing through.  He had several more instances of “ah-self” – which makes me and T laugh because when I was little I said “I do it”.  For now, it warms my heart to see things from me in him since he looks just like dada and acts a lot like dada.  I enjoy the moments when I can see that he is indeed my son too!  As I lay him down for his nap, I spent several minutes reassuring him of how to go back to his bed and say “mama” when he woke up and that I would come and let him know when he could get up.  I reminded him that he didn’t need to be sad or scared or throw a fit.  I don’t know if that was the reason, but he woke up from his nap perfectly happy and just babbling away on his bed.  I was happy to see that.  Then he got to play with his favorite friends G and A.  He laughed with G a lot, as usual.  T and I have also had several laughs at the fact that he says “mama hep-oo” (mama help you) when he actually does want help with something.

I can’t wait to see what the next four weeks hold for us!

This is the first of my six weeks left with just E around!  I’m definitely feeling more cumbersome and moving much slower, but this is really only helping me to slow down and enjoy life and not rush around and do too many things each day.  I really get to observe E and spend time playing with him, which is exactly what I should be doing right now.  This week has had fun moments, some not-so-sweet moments, and some periods of just normal life.

Monday started with me and my husband lying in bed wondering why E was still so quiet.  When we got up at our normal time, we found Oma and Papa in his room playing and reading with him (they had been here all weekend to help work on our basement bathroom).  It was quite cute.   A lot of the morning E spent with Oma in our garden.  He just followed her around, picking things, eating things, exploring, talking with her, and just generally enjoying life outside.  I stayed inside and just let them be, and it was adorable to watch their little relationship.  They left while he was napping that afternoon, and our evening was fairly normal.  I made dinner, we all ate, and then we read and played a little bit and he went to bed.

Tuesday I needed to do some grocery shopping, so E and I went to Target and patted the big red ball out front.  E likes to take my list out of my hand and then I playfully snatch it from him and say, “That’s mama’s list!”  and he laughs really hard and does it about 382 more times.  He does the same with my pen.  He threw my pen though, and I told him not to do it again.  He did, so he got the privilege of holding my pen taken away for the rest of the trip.  He was so good about it though, touching the pen and saying, “All done pen”.

Our best friends have a daughter, G, who is three and a half years older than E, but she loves him almost uncontrollably.  And he loves her just as much.  They have a son, A, who is one year older than E, and they like each other too.  Some days E wakes up and says their names over and over and over all day.  Tuesday was one of those days, which was lucky, since we were going to their house later!  He was so excited to be there.  He copied everything G did all afternoon, and laughed with her at all kinds of silly things.  We even went for a walk around the block, and he walked the whole way.  He was quite slow and worn out by the end, but he did it, probably because she did it.

Wednesday was mostly just a normal day, although we did have a lunch date with a former co-worker of mine who is a good friend.  We got to visit some of the people I used to work with, and I got to show him off a bit.  E and I did laundry together and we built a tower with all of his Duplo blocks.  He likes to describe where he puts each block with “up heew” or “wite der”, and he’ll crawl around looking at each side of the tower for any gaps that need to be filled in, and then I help him lift off any blocks that are in the way so he can fill the gap.  It’s really funny to watch him analyze his tower so much.  We also read a LOT of books and went for a walk after dinner.  I had fun spending time just letting him be himself.

Thursday found us with Oma and Papa here again to do more work on our basement bathroom.  E was so happy to see them.  Oma taught him a little song that repeats the word “amen”, and he sang it all day with her.  He wanted to swing in the morning, so we spent time in the backyard swinging and eating crab apples.  It was such a sweet and fall-like visual: him swinging while munching on crab apples, Oma pushing him and singing and talking, and me gathering crab apples for the pie we would make for dessert that night.  They spent a lot of time reading together all day too.  I was struck with two realizations that day.  One was that E has a different energy about him when Oma is around.  He is calmer, he sits and listens to stories even longer than usual, he eats better (and he’s already a good eater), and he will play by himself more creatively.  I’ve noticed it the last few times he’s been around her, but I think it’s finally time to call it an actual trend, and not just a coincidence.  The second realization was that, I assume due to the beach ball that is my belly these days, E no longer sits on my lap to read stories, but he will still sit on others’ laps.  He will snuggle in right next to me, but I miss him on my lap and I’m a little jealous that he’ll sit on other laps.  But I don’t really blame him – I don’t think my lap seems comfortable either.  But I hope that when the belly is gone he’ll sit there again.

On Friday E and I met one of my best friends and her little boy (whom E adores) at a toy store downtown for a kids’ song time.  The bad part of my day happened then – I left my amazing umbrella stroller with the adjustable handles behind the car and backed right over it.  Uuuugggghhhhh!  I was NOT happy about this, and I was already not in a great mood for the day (pregnancy hormones?).  But it was time to go, so there was no time to sit and stew over it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from E during the song time, since I can’t tell yet if he’s an introvert or an extrovert (though my guess is introvert).  He was excited to see his friend, but when we got to the room of kids singing, he just sat down in the hallway and set his face into “I’m thinking and observing” mode, and stayed there for the entire 30 or 40 minutes.  They sang some songs he knew, and I asked him if he wanted to do it with them, and did the actions for him, but he just stared at me with that same look.  I found it hilarious and sweet all at once.  When we left, we walked down the street to some fountains for a picnic lunch with our friends, and he was his normal, playful self once it was just him and his friend.  They ran around and climbed and splashed and squealed and had a great time.  I really love watching him play with his friends.  Again, I had a realization that day.  I didn’t know that kids his age had personalities developed enough to have different play styles with different friends.  With this friend, they just play and play from the moment they see each other.  They chase each other and make noises and do very boyish things.  But we have some other very dear friends with a little boy his age, and while they like each other, they are both happy to just play by themselves and not really interact until they need to.  If we put them both in a wagon for a walk, they will make noises and laugh and be silly and play with each other really well.  But once they’re out of the wagon, each one is off to do his own thing.  I found that very interesting.

Saturday morning, E woke up in a very cuddly mood.  He spent the first couple of hours continually hugging my leg and saying, “Hi honey”.  It was so sweet.  I don’t know what got into him, but I was happy about it!  We had planned to spend the day with the same friends as the day before, due to some noisy things going on at the house.  But I realized that we didn’t have much food around and needed to get my grocery shopping done, since the rest of our weekend was full of plans too.  So I had to cancel hanging out with friends and we went shopping instead.  E was a good sport about it, and I tried to make it fun since he was disappointed to not see his friend.  He ate a huge lunch when we got home, and then we read some books.  He snuggled extra close, which again, I loved!  And I sang the “Ring Around The Rosie” song to him, which thrilled him to no end.  He kept singing, “Hashy, hashy, fall down!” followed by, “Oh no!” because that’s what he says when things fall down.  Then he’d laugh and do it again.  When I put him down for his nap, I could hear him singing it and I assume falling down in his crib and laughing for about 30 minutes.  It made me laugh.

Sunday was a normal Sunday.  We woke up and went to church, but E and I got to come home after the first service instead of waiting through the second one for T.  So E and I built a tower with his Duplo blocks again, and sang a lot more “Ring Around The Rosie”, and read several books.  After his lunch, he usually gets to play for a bit before his nap, but he was very cranky.  So I took him to his room to get him changed and ready for a nap, and discovered he had developed a painful-looking diaper rash.  I don’t know what it is with that kid and diaper rashes this summer!  But once I got some ointment on it he seemed fine, and he went right to sleep.  I discovered that morning that he has outgrown every pair of shoes he has, so perhaps there’s a little growth spurt going on too, making him extra tired.  That evening we went to some friends’ house for dinner, and his little friend M was there, so they played and laughed and ran around until they both were about to drop.  We came home and he went right to bed.

All in all, it was a nice week.  I’m glad I made some memories with E, and that I took a lot of extra time to just be with him and play with him.  I’m looking forward to this for the next few weeks.

Upcoming Series Of Posts

August 28, 2011

I realized a few days ago that I have six weeks left before little S arrives.  That means I have six weeks left with just little E around.  After that, our relationship and our life together will never be the same.  If you’ve read my blog posts in the past, I still have the same feelings about the upcoming arrival of little S.  I am scared out of my mind at some moments, excited to meet her at other moments, and in the rest of the moments I feel terribly dumb for getting myself into this.

During these last weeks I have with just little E, I want to chronicle and remember our happenings.  I want to remember the little games we play together and the things we see.  If I had started last week I would tell you about the day that he slipped on the spilled water on our hardwood floor and it looked just like a cartoon!  His little feet flew right out from under him and he landed on the back of his head.  It looked hilarious and painful all at once.  (He was totally fine, by the way.)  And I would tell you about him sitting on my lap and finding my salt shaker, and then finding the plug at the bottom.  He pulled the plug, and a huge pile of salt ended up on the counter.  I would tell you how my gut reaction was to say, “Oh, Bubba, hop down now.  Ugh.  Now I have to clean this all up.”  But instead, I held my tongue for a moment and then laughed and showed him how to draw pictures in it like sand and how to lick his hand and get the salt to stick to it and fun things like that.

I want to remember his funny words and his habits.  He is very into books again these days, and so he’ll grab anybody’s hand that he can get a hold of and drag them to the couch and say, “weed, teez” (read please).  But when we’re all busy, he’ll sit and read to himself and it’s amazing to see what he remembers on the pages!  (By the way, he can’t say “k” sounds, so book is boot, except rhymes with foot; and milk is moot, and also rhymes with foot.)  He has one book that ends with the line, “I love you so much. I want you to know.”  And now every time we say, “Love you!” he will respond with, “Uh-voo.  O much.  Eh know.”  So darling.  He knows the difference between his high chair and our normal “low chairs”, and at meal times he likes to choose between them.  He likes anything associated with the word “new”, so he loves his new spoons even though they’re a few weeks old now, and he loves his new room at church even though he’s been there for a couple of months now, and he loves our new car.  He likes to say “ka-boom” after he falls and then re-enact the fall, showing us how it happened “wite der” (right there), and mimicking how he cried.  I can’t get him to understand that “ssshhh” means to actually “ssshhh”.  He thinks it’s just one more thing to copy and laugh at – very ineffective!  There is a song on the radio right now – “La la la whatever.”  Emery loves it and sings “Lalalalalalala ee-lev-oo” and his tongue sticks way out of his mouth.

You can consider those as teasers of the kinds of things I’ll be telling you about in the next several weeks.  So if you want to follow along, I hope you enjoy it.  What kinds of stories and memories do you have from the last bit before your second little came along?  What ideas do you have for special outings or special moments for us to share?

A Long Time Coming

May 26, 2011

This post has been a long time coming.  My last post was February 1 – before I knew I was to become a reluctant mama to baby number 2!  For several weeks, every time I sat down to write (or anything else) I fell asleep.  I’m finally able to stay awake again, and so here it is.

This post has been a long time coming for a second reason though.  I was reluctant to become a mama the first time around, partly because I knew that, for me, becoming a mama to one kid would most likely mean becoming a mama to at least two kids since I didn’t want an only child.  As it turned out, I didn’t love the newborn phase with little E.  But the older he gets (now 16 months), the more I love and enjoy him.  That made me decide that I wanted to have another pipsqueak before I got too far removed from the newborn phase and couldn’t bring myself to go through it again.  And it also made me want to get all the newborns we’re going to have over with as soon as we can.  I also have hopes (and I realize they are just hopes) that these littles will be buddies as they grow up.  So now I have number 2 on the way.  By far the most-asked question, after inquiring whether we were planning this baby (which we were), is how I feel about the prospect of two kids.

I do feel excited, but like last time, I think most of my excitement will come after the pipsqueak is born and I really start getting to know him or her.  Mostly I feel nervous on the good days and downright frightened on the bad days.  I’m sure most people can understand that, whether they have children or not.  I’m about to have a newborn baby and a 21-month-0ld toddler at the same time.  I don’t know how I’ll find time for enough sleep.  Right now I can’t even imagine how I’ll find enough time for food.  I’m anticipating a couple of months of being nothing but a feeding machine: get up and feed the baby and get breakfast for the rest of us at some point, then feed the baby again not too long after cleaning up, then figure out lunch for me and E and feed the baby again, then feed the baby again and try to get dinner going, and then feed the baby again and go to bed.  That’s how I imagine my days going.  Where does one find time to nap or shower or eat, let alone play with a toddler who needs and wants his mama’s attention?!  Which brings me to the really bad days.

On the really bad days, I feel as though I am ruining three separate lives simultaneously.  Little E has no idea what is coming in five months.  There is no good way to explain to him that he will have a little brother or sister, and that he will need to be understanding and patient and that his mama still loves him.  And so I feel like his life is about to be devastated, even though I can follow logically (on the good days) that this will ultimately be better for him.  The pipsqueak so far has received a mere fraction of the thought time and prayer time and interaction from me at this point that little E had received at this point.  And if you know me, you know that’s not much since it was hard for me to engage with my pregnancy with E for other reasons.  I feel like this little one is starting out with a deficit of my attention, and that he or she may never be able to catch up because I will want to spend as much time as I can maintaining the relationship that I have worked so hard for with E.  And so I feel like I am ruining the pipsqueak’s life already.  And my fears of being simply a feeding machine pretty much sum up why I may be ruining my life as well.  Actually, now that I think of it, my husband’s life might well be ruined too, when I think about the state of mind he might come home to find me in every day.

I don’t like to admit these things.  I want to be able to say that I am overjoyed and excited and I just can’t wait to hold that little babe and introduce him or her to E.  I want to be able to say that I can’t wait for all the lovely moments I’ll share with this pipsqueak, just like I did with E, even though it will be a very different experience.  And I do have those feelings, for sure.  But the closer it gets (and I’m only half way there), the more those feelings are mixed with the fear and the anxiety.  This is where you readers and friends come in.  I have five months before pipsqueak arrives, and I want to begin to battle some of the fears so that I can live in more of a state of joy and hope and excitement.  What ideas or experiences do you have for me to try?  And if you have more than one child, what were your feelings as you prepared for number 2?

60 Degrees in January

February 1, 2011

It was supposed to be just a spontaneous trip to the park.

E and I had a few small things planned for our day, but I rearranged them when a friend called and said we should take advantage of the gorgeous day by meeting at the park.  “No problem,” I thought, “We’ll pack a lunch, play a little, and come home for nap time.”

We met up for lunch, ate, and had a generally wonderful time in the sun.  It was warm enough for no jackets.  The playground was alive with squeals and shouts from parents and kids alike.  We played on the swings.  We played on the slide (a first for little E, and a big hit)!  We played in the sand.  We visited with my friend and laughed at the antics of her two little boys, one of whom climbed most of the way up a very tall tree to “look for his brother” who was not lost.  We basked in the warmth of both the sunshine and the feelings of joy and play.

When it was nap time for all the boys, we packed up and went our separate ways.  E and I strolled home, and he played for a little while before he actually took his nap.  When I came downstairs, I saw IT.

My first sand pile in the house

I found more of IT when I went to put E to bed that night.

My first sand pile in the bed

Good thing I always wanted a boy.  I have a feeling I will be seeing a lot of IT in the years to come.

It was supposed to be just a spontaneous trip to the park on a 60 degree day in January.  It ended up a surprising and life-changing two-hour tour from baby-hood to boy-hood.

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