Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Faces

Hanging with Grandma, 26th of December.

Christmas Day at Natalia's (cousin's play area).

In a TuTu

Wearing a tutu has become a regular part of Kaitlyn's attire.

Kaitlyn wearing a pair of Nana's reading glasses while chewing on a snack.

Happiness Abound

He's all smiles when he is awake...Dylan is a joyful baby and I believe at the rate he is blossoming, he will be as joyful as Kaitlyn, but with a calmer and more cautious presence. I've been blessed with this one as he sleeps well, eats well, poops well, and even looks well! At two months he holds his head up with great strength, he loves to stand up and will lie in bed counting the specs in the air until he either falls asleep or gets a touch restless. If the latter the grunts start up and his bodily sounds fill the room-nothing outrageous, but enough to wake you from a deep sleep. He's chill...
This photo was taken by a friend of mine from a moms group I'm a part of and I must say I am fooling the camera tremendously. I actually look fit and trim (well, that's arguable, I know) when in reality I still weigh the hefty 190 mark and have an overstretched belly that gives me an award winning muffin top! All in due time as right now I've got smiles to enjoy and cooing sounds to entertain!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pee Pee in the Potty

It was quite the moment. After Kaitlyn's bath she hung out in the bathroom in her birthday suit while I bathed Dylan. She occupied herself with books and bath toys all the while talking and talking. I took Dylan to Kaitlyn's room (the next door over) and as I was dressing him I got this feeling that I should check on her. When I did, I found her sitting on her potty-a usual siting these days not to pee but to sit and read (yes, I do realize she will be one who grows up to use the restroom for not only the call of duty but also to read and seek respite). I went back to tend to Dylan when shortly after I heard a sound. That type of sound that makes you rush. When I got to the bathroom door she was shaking her potty upside down and on the floor was a puddle from what she spilled out. My girl went pee-pee...pee-pee in her potty!

We did a pee-pee dance, swapped a few high fives and said 'Awesome' a number of times! Folks this maybe a one hit wonder...or a start of a new chapter! I suppose potty training should officially start tomorrow!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Post Bathtime Charm

Life has never been so busy. Two children under the age of two should sum it up. Actually, for those of you who are not yet a parent, and quite frankly, for those of you who have one may be hard to relate. Allow me to explain:
Alarm clocks are overrated when you have a six week old who wakes you up every two to three hours to nurse. It just so happens when he finishes his last feeding of a night series, daylight has filtered into the room and as un-welcomed as an alarm, I get a jarring 'Mommy' from Kaitlyn's room. The day has officially began. Can I pee before I get her? What about getting dressed? If I don't do it now then I won't see my closet until mid-day. Oh well, 'Mommy' is even louder this time around and so off I go to get my little sunshine.

While I like to think mornings have become my favorite time of day with my children, it is truly the hardest part. Fortunately, despite any lack of sleep, within thirty minutes of Kaitlyn's 'Mommy', I'm fairly awake and consumed with comforting, cooking, feeding, talking, explaining, ... diaper changing, dressing, cleaning, playing, disciplining... the list truly goes on. Let's not forget the baby-he usually gets up and mind you he is upstairs while Kaitlyn and I are downstairs. If our staircase could talk it would request a massage. HTA (High Traffic Area) for me and the kids. Up and Down. Up and Down. One would think I could plan my day better to avoid the Up and Down, but the fact of the matter is that with two children, you can only plan so much. 16 steps. I know each one intimately.

Did I mention that Steve is sleeping during all this? Add that to the mix and it adds a slight level of strain as I try to keep everyone quiet-it doesn't work. Kaitlyn is ready for voice lessons as she warms up in the morning. You can find her often screaming a song or two. I haven't figured out the lyrics yet, but her range is quite elaborate. She also likes to whine and cry in the morning if the baby is awake with her. It's a jealous thing, but it's no quiet songbird. She is a broken record some mornings. I'm exhausted just writing this out.


By lunch I have reclaimed energy as I know quiet time/nap time is just around the corner for Kaitlyn and that means I will hopefully have some personal time-all dependent upon Dylan's decision to head for a nap, too. At a minimum, it will be one child to care for over two. Naptime comes and goes for me. On a rare occassion I slip into bed for a power slumber (with the exception of today...a blissful two hour nap beckoned me and I indulged) but generally naptime if both children are down means time for me to catch up on emails, surf the net for Christmas gifts, work on the MOMS Club newsletter and design birth announcements, baptism invites, holiday something creative. Then it's over, all too soon.

Second part of the day arrives and it's busy...but easier than the morning. It's pretty much focused on dinner, preparing it, eating it, cleaning it up. Then onward up the stairs for bathtime, storytime, clean-up and bed-time. Bathtime has come to be a cherished time for me as I place Dylan on a blanket and as he counts the bathroom lights Kaitlyn gets all washed up. Both are typically in their best form. It's lovely. It's not hectic. It's totally manageable.

Post bathtime, however, is another story. Kaitlyn is my bulldozer and that is her MO when she gets out of the bath. Naked butt and all she runs wild in her room. First taking her books off the shelves, tossing each one into the air like they don't matter anymore. Then it's a race to hide from me to avoid putting on a diaper and lotion. Sometimes a good bite occurs as I try to grab her and that just puts her into a timeout which results in the horrific screaming cry since she feels it's the end of the world. After a good timeout she's an angel child, obediently gets dressed and reads her books like nothing ever happened. Dylan hangs out through it all, patiently awaiting his next nursing session.

Once Kaitlyn is down then it's at least an hour holding Dylan before he is down for a good few hours. This is when I should crash. BUT, I don't. I embrace this time of the night as the only time for me. Well, it's not really for me until I finish up the dishes, tidy up the family room and keep some laundry going. When that is over, if I'm still standing, then I find some respite in my office before hitting the sack to only be awakened moments later by Dylan's grunts letting me know the cycle of night feedings, once again, has just begun.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Super Nanny Please

Photo taken at the Hodgkinson's home-Kaitlyn was dancing to the music while wearing these 3D glasses that were for viewing their Christmas tree! It was a sight to see...little miss spunky!

Where is Jo from Super Nanny? Can she come for a private session? Today Kaitlyn has bit me more times than I can count on one hand. She has tested my limits that I'm at the mercy of any advice. What I'm praying for now is a R E A L serious face. I believe she senses my nerves and strong desire to crack up when I'm scolding her. Knowing too well that if I crack a smile she will take a mile and unfortunately my emotions are worn upon my sleeve. I haven't cracked yet, but I've made a semi-smile frown and forced tears to compensate for my overwhelming desire to burst into a manic laugh! I think you would, too, if you were facing her mischievous temperament that is ever so present behind those big brown eyes.

Time out is catching on, but I'm beginning to think she likes the idea of time out, so much so, that she doesn't think twice about:
-climbing up onto the coffee table...
-dangling one leg over the side of the couch while staring right at you with her tongue peeping out the side of her mouth...ignoring my 'Kaitlyn, sit on your bottom please'...
-opening the techno cabinet (place where all our digital devices live) and ignoring any 'Kaitlyn close it shut, please'...
-biting my leg, pinching my arm, hitting my thing to the next in that order.
Will this end? It's a total game and I'm totally losing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


He is hairy. Hairy from head-to bottom-to toe, hence 'Wolf', and his 'Tank' is never full! Wolftank has a torso that exceeds a typical three month onesie allowance and hands that could grip a grapefruit. This child is big. He arrived big and has only grown bigger. What's to come? Will he be like his distant cousin and sport 18 month clothing by eight months? How about this hairy situation...I look forward to the hair loss to see if he does lose the trail that travels up the spine of his back and the extra coat wrapped around his ears. Shed, baby, shed! No matter, he is the world's most adorable boy. His grunts are being replaced with cooing sounds and his luxury stay in the family heirloom bassinet may come to a sudden end as conditions are projecting a crammed holiday season if he continues to sprout at such a rapid rate.

One week to the next his facial expressions change as well as his strength. Just today I noticed how long his eyelashes have become. Ladies, don't even think about it! Dylan is going to be a priest...really, his romantic future will be as heart pounding, anxiety driven for me as Kaitlyn's future will be with the guys. My palms are sweating now just thinking about it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Almost Three Weeks

He's big. He's expressive. He's got EYES that compete with Kaitlyn's! His temperament is cool, calm and curious-unless he's tired, that's when he cries and gets all stiff. When he's hungry, watch out if you are holding him, he's been known to suck cheeks, blankets, shoulders and comes pretty close to sucking your hair or thing to do is pass him my way as he doesn't like a pacifier nor a finger. He wants the boob. Blue, Yellow, Green and heck, even pink look great on him. Most of his blankets are hand-me downs from Kaitlyn so the pink is generally found in his swaddle!

Some other interesting facts about Dylan:

-He grunts and sometimes lets out a note or two when sleeping. Another musical child in the works, I think.
-He poops after every nursing session-clockwork!
-Dylan loves to be in the arms of anyone (assuming his tank is full and his diaper is clear).
-His eyes go cross-eyed OFTEN, it's pretty funny especially when he puckers his lips together and makes an 'ooooooo' sound.
-He has this magic time in the middle of the night that he likes to call 'DAY' resulting in a 2.5 hour play-date with mommy generally starting around 2:30am. Yes, this is tough.
-If you are lucky to witness an occasional smile, you will be lucky if you don't melt away. He's a total hunk when his dimples are showing...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reflections on Gray

I stare into the mirror and realize it's not the mirror, it's me. I'm aging. Fast.

When you are pregnant so much talk is generated around the question, 'do I get my hair colored or wait until after the pregnancy?' I caved in after the first trimester and did my typical, safe, no-drama, all over hair coloring and felt like a million dollars. Now that I'm post-partum and have been fantasizing for months about my makeover in body, fashion and hair I realize the hair makeover needs to happen now! If I were to chop all my hair off and go pixie, like I did for years back in college, I'd be more salt than pepper. I'm only 32....sad to say, it's genetic. Should the makeover be drastic and be natural? Ha! That may make me feel like I owe someone a million bucks!

I'll cope with the gray by covering it up with some copper and chocolate! I need to feel like a million bucks these days as lately I've been having numerous moments of feeling like a parental FAILURE! It's no post-partum depression folks, it's called being a mother of more than one child and dealing with the adjustment. It's tough, it's rough, it's exhausting, it's tasking, it's emotionally draining....and all the while, some miraculous force provides you with energy that gets you to tackle the escalating situations, one after another.

I'm praying more, I'll tell you that. Praying for strength to hold my cool, praying for diligence so I don't become a push over or overlook what needs to be seen, praying for joy so I can relish in the small moments rather than fester over the big ones...praying for my husband, praying for my support crew...praying for my children. Praying that I stop getting more gray hairs and that my tummy will continually shrink-but at an exponentially faster rate!

All in all, I wouldn't trade the stretch marks and saggy belly, my current fashion size of 14 plus, the gray hairs, or even the chalk on the walls, the blow-out diapers or barf on my shirt for ANYTHING ELSE. Two children (two babies, really) change your heart then change your reality...but thank God they change your heart first-your heart gives you the strength to manage the every-hour-on-the-hour breastfeeding sessions...your heart gives you the strength to put both feet on the floor each day...your heart gives you the strength to deal with spousal tension...your heart gives you the strength to have patience first, then compassion, followed with action.

I suppose since I can't blame my mirror for my reality of aging, my heart gives me grace to accept the things I cannot change.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


What I have learned....

Big Sisters can be Big Helpers if you include them on the task at hand.

Little Dylan likes to chill, spit up and grunt.

It looks flat ironed but Dylan's hair turns extra curly, temporarily, after a good wash.

I'm exhausted. The exhaustion I feel now is like no other.

It is ok to eat left overs for lunch and dinner and possibly lunch again when you have two children.

I'll never know why a baby's poop is like a jar of grainy dijon mustard.

Going up and down the stairs is fun with Kaitlyn if you count them out loud.

Sitting on the floor instead of the sofa keeps Kaitlyn more engaged with me and less engaged with mischief!

I love my children's arms around me, Kaitlyn's tender kisses and the unconditional love I feel toward them-it's grown drastically in the past week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Dancing Chicken

Our Home...

Introducing the Dancing Chicken!

...and away she dances...

Off we go to trick or treat!

Natalia (dressed as a fairy Princess, one of Tinkerbell's friends) with the Dancing Chicken and Grandpa!

We've had this costume for sometime and whenever we would pull it out Kaitlyn would light up and as if begging, require us to press the music button on the wing on the chicken so she could dance around. That's right, this costume played music-the chicken dance song!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kaitlyn meets Dylan


She was really first, especially at the hospital. At home it was the same feeling but then it became a tough encounter. She didn't know better, but after the few moments of tenderness she started her typical Kaitlyn bulldozing behavior. Her arms were everywhere, touching, grabbing, poking. It was a lot of 'No..', 'be gentle', etc...despite it all, she has grown to know there is someone else sharing her attention. Not something she's always ready to embrace, but each day more of her curiosity is entertained. She just found an area of the pack and play that she can look through and actually see the baby. She often peers through this mesh side when he makes some noise.

'Yes, he has eyes!'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October 28th, 12:27pm

Daddy Time

Check out those lips, cheeks and nose!

Chillin after all the probing...

Getting probed, temperature was being taken.
Look at those hands-they will do many great things in this lifetime!

He has arrived!
Dylan Carmichael Patterson

How to describe this birth story without smiling would be near impossible. Kaitlyn really paved the way for Dylan's entry into this world. Basically I was induced, and saying that translates to a 'waiting game'. I received a drug that would thin my cervix, as I just wasn't showing signs of going into labor - or perhaps, Dylan really didn't want to come out. I received two doses of the drug, each dose is a 12 hour process...on the second dose, about 2/3 into it, the drug was removed (it sits adjacent to the cervix) and Pitocin was started. Knowing full well that Pitocin brings about contractions, I requested an epidural at 3cm dilation. By 8am on the 28th I was working with both Pitocin and the epidural. The doctor came in at some point in the morning to rupture my bag of water and shortly after I fell sound asleep. I was awakened by the nurse, a few hours later, for an exam only find that I had dilated to 9.5 cm all while sleeping! Oh my, I began to cry thinking how surreal this all felt. With only 23 minutes of pushing and sleep during all the contractions...Dylan came into this world with ease! What a blessing.

His stats are:

20.5 inches
10lbs 5 oz
His head was 14.5 inches

Now he is happily breastfeeding, makes all sorts of grunting sounds when he's awake and generally only cries when he's hungry. Not bad...I'm hoping this continues!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Last Hours

Dear Sarphen, soon to be Dylan, Trent or Drew....
I am anxiously awaiting your arrival. Tomorrow, bright and early, like 5:30am, the doctor is going to induce me so you can wiggle your way out sooner than you probably anticipated. It's a brilliant plan as you have really begun to weigh me down. Today I sure felt you digging for gold and who knows what else as I have felt like a train crashed into my pelvis region at various points during the afternoon! You know if you are named Dylan, which means 'of the Sea', you sure have the power of the ocean behind you in all that you do (in utero and of course upon entering into this lovely world).
If you are to be named Trent, it's such a strong masculine name that means 'gushing waters'...yet another water related name. One day we will visit the River Trent in England in honor of your name! Your Daddy will probably want to see some NFL team play that has a player named Trent as he was often inspired by the athletes of todays time for your potential name!
Now, if Drew seems more fitting, 'wise' is the meaning and I already know that wise you will be. I plan on learning a great deal from you...from how you will view the world to how you will create your path in this life.
Well, the last hours approach before I arrive to receive whatever medicine they give to stimulate the process of your arrival. During these last hours I am savoring the moments of being a mommy to one precious girl, your big sister, while dancing with excitement for the new grace that you will bring into our lives!
I love you,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Simple Moments

Her personality is becoming stronger and stronger. Hats are a must, and now I'm realizing so are the shoes-even if they don't match. She has been known to wear one shoe from one pair and another shoe from another pair over wearing either the same shoes or no shoes. If a hat is lying around it's hers. Watch out, it could get ugly if you think it belongs to you. The other day our morning started with the desire for wearing a swimmer (diaper that is for wearing in the pool) as a hat. How could we deny her the sure enough she began prancing through her bedroom with this Finding Nemo swimmer tight upon her head like an odd shaped beanie! She truly thought it was the coolest since the introduction of ketchup on her lunch plate.

I've had a real difficult week with Kaitlyn. While I lightly declare that her personality is becoming stronger and stronger, it's not a light matter. Along with the strong willed behavior echoing throughout our day, she has become quite fond of convulsive like tantrums. Moms may not ever want to reveal this truth about their kids so they keep this shadow trait under wraps, but sorry, I know I'm not the ONLY one with a daughter who flings her legs haphazardly while knocking her head back and swinging her arms all simultaneously as she tumbles to the nearest floor surface. It's awful to watch, it's awful to cope with, and it's just as awful to try and understand it.

Yesterday one occurred when I told her I couldn't carry her down the 16 steps in our home (no matter that she didn't have a clue that my level of comfort with this pregnancy at 39 weeks, 1 day was absolutely non-existent and that some minor contractions were occurring)...the tantrum began and didn't end for what felt like an eternity. I was a breath away from sobbing over her when trying to calm her down....what finally saved the moment was my screeching back. Her whole body was startled. Then laughter set in and before I knew it, we were looking at the prism rainbows on the wall of the stairwell, formed by our leaded glass window, and inching our way down the steps. What just happened? It was crazy. I was exhausted over it. She carried on into her afternoon like nothing ever happened. Oh my.

Today was quite different. While we encountered a mild tantrum, today was a day that reminded me how incredible children are-the joy they can bring into your life, the stillness they can bring into your mind and the laughter they can put upon your heart. Kaitlyn loves chalk-she loves crayons, too, but chalk is a bit more exciting as we always do it outside with the elements of nature surrounding us. As I sat in the distance, looking up here and there from my mail, I would find myself in awe over her contentment with chalk. She makes her way around the concrete patio, marking lines over and over in one color then retraces her steps with another color, adding more lines to contrast the design. It's really quite a process to watch unfold. The entire time she is engaged in this, she is engaged in nothing else. Totally absorbed in the moment. I captured her as it brought me stillness and gratitude-something I was lacking after the tumultuous encounter of yesterday!

Despite what is normal, expected behavior, a tantrum will never be something I like to think is normal, expected behavior. It's grueling to be around and even harder to soothe. I must say patience is truly a virtue. It takes great patience to set aside your own emotional distress and remain calm for the little one. I now face the question why? Why does Kaitlyn have such BIG outpours of frustration? It could be for no other reason than it's 'normal and expected behavior' to a litany of other off the wall ideas that all could have weight! I just know it's 'lets test mother out' time and it's tough. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right? Please remind me of this when three weeks from now, Steve returns to work, Grandma and Nana are back into their own routines and I'm flying solo around here with a newborn and a strong-willed toddler. I am anticipating some extremely difficult moments, I might actually sob a few times...I can almost sob thinking about it.

One day at a time. Savor the delight of today as tomorrow who knows what it will bring!

Friday, October 16, 2009

B I G Boy Patterson

My sweet boy, I feel you all the time. From the foot in the rib to the head in the pelvis and lately, all the extra sensations that seem to come along with each of your moves. Apparently you are getting quite hearty and with that there isn't much room for you to do your pilates and strength training. Your head is certainly stuck in the downward facing dog position-if it moves any further into my pelvis you will be entering into this world so hang on tight, your arrival may come sooner than you anticipate. I understand you are already about 9lbs 10oz and quite frankly, can only get larger, so please may the bribing start in utero? What can I do to get you to arrive before week 40? I think it will be easier for you and easier for me if we can partner on this process and plan to have a 'welcome to the world' party around the 22nd! Sounds good, doesn't it?
In any case, since you will be coming home within the next two weeks, I have a few things to tell you about. First, you have an older sister! She's an absolute doll and while she may find your arm tasty like a chicken leg, or your eyes intriguing enough to put her finger in them, she means well and within no time will be my little helper changing your diapers and ultimately teaching you the ropes about independent play and hot dogs with ketchup. I'm sure you will resent her sometimes, wish she would sleep outside at other times, but most of the time I know you will adore her and look up to her as she is a great being to witness!

Secondly, you have a dog. He's a huge love once he settles down and believe me, he's super excited about your Homecoming. In fact I think he may have known you were on your way before I even knew. He has a keen sense of competition-as he knows he will be placed on the back burner for a couple of months until we can all go walking as a family: you, Kaitlyn, Cosimo and me! Yes, believe me, these walks will be something you will look forward to!

Finally I want you to know how proud I am of you already. You have been doing so well inside my womb, frolicking around, maintaining a strong and steady heartbeat, absorbing my many nutrients, and of course, thriving quite well. My prayer for you is that as you enter this world your first breath of air will give you an abundance of gifts. Gifts of great character, integrity, faith, perseverance, tenderness, compassion, strength and wisdom. You will only grow up from this point on and these gifts will be required of you throughout your many years to come. May you inhale them with vigor!

I patiently await your arrival despite my aches, pains, sleepless nights, and memorable emotions.....I love you already and know my love for you can only further blossom.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brie-Kaitlyn's new friend

Nana came over with Brie-her new puppy. Kaitlyn was in love, actually, it was love at first sight. She grabbed that dog with such zeal that if you listened closely, the dog actually squealed! They were pals the entire day causing Kaitlyn to fight nap time and forget bedtime. Who wants that when there is a puppy in residence!
Brie-you can come over anytime!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our little artists

Sticks seemed to be the hit of the afternoon after the painting lost its appeal!


Looking at a plane flying by!

The cousins after finishing their projects!

Our creation for Daddy-the ghost is a cut-out of her foot! So clever!

Working on the pumpkin...

Cousin Natalia all dressed and ready for some painting fun!

The Sawdust Factory has got to be a fabulous place for imagination and creation! Children of all ages let their creativity run free and these darling wooden trinkets turn into masterpieces! The cousins had a great time diving into the paint, eating it, touching it and occasionally actually painting with it!

Pumpkin Patch Days...

The 100+ degree heat has finally tapered down and a chill came upon us this past Sunday. Feeling the need to embrace the seasonal spirit, Kaitlyn and I left Steve to be a total boy for the afternoon (hours and hours of football on HD, Guitar Hero and who knows what else...) and ventured east to the Glen Oak Pumpkin Patch where live blues music was going on, pony rides and pygmy goats were to be loved and fed, and pumpkins galore where harvested to purchase! Our little gem wore her purple polka dot shades the entire time! Such personality!