Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes & Magical Elves

Things are changing quickly around our house, both with babies and their parents.

Allen stayed home with the boys after my maternity leave ended in December. He was home with them for almost three months but recently took a full-time subbing position until the end of the school year. Although we were both excited about some extra income, babies and Allen were sad their time together had to end. Allen was a marvelous stay-at-home-dad, but money to pay the bills is a necessity! Thus, Allen is back to work until at least the end of May. Thankfully, my family is watching the boys for us for the next nine weeks. For free I might add. Let me retype that: My family is providing free childcare for us. All week. My grandmas are watching the boys two days a week at our house, and then I am taking the boys to my mom's house three days a week. Can we be any more spoiled loved?

The boys are getting so big! Mason is rolling from his back to his belly in the blink of an eye. He is wearing 12-month onesies and sleepers and is "talking" every day. I need to capture his cooing on video because he is funny and so loud and makes the cutest faces when he does it. He loves men and responds better to men than women. So funny and interesting. His blue eyes have stolen our hearts, but his crying episodes have been keeping us awake at night. For some reason, Mason, aka "Chewy," has been waking anywhere from 2-6 times a night because he wants his pacifier, because he has an arm or leg caught in the crib rails, or because he is awake and wants to be held. Ugh! We went from both babies sleeping about six hours at a stretch to Mason waking about every 2-3 hours. I'm not going to lie; his sleep issues have us scratching our heads and pulling out our hair. I told Allen I felt more exhausted now than I did when we first brought the babies home. Thankfully, Chewy is a cutie, so we can't get too mad about our lack of sleep.

BrodyBoo hasn't been as fond of rolling over or talking as Mason, but he is in love with animals. He adores Moxie, and she is the kindest and most patient dog when he happens to grab a fistful of her hair or beard with his death-defying grip. He is wearing 6-9 months onesies and sleepers. He bounces in the jumperoo for long bouts of time and is a hard sleeper. He also scares easily; if you sneak up on him or talk to him loudly when he isn't expecting it, he cries. He loves to be jostled about and laughs and smiles often.

Both boys are now eating rice cereal twice a day but still take bottles every three hours. We started them on baby food about three weeks ago. They loved peas and carrots, but Brody had an allergic reaction to the carrots; thus we're back on cereal for another week before we try squash.

I've had some major epiphanies this past week about how fortunate Allen and I are to have friends and family on our side. Over Spring Break my best friend, Leah, and her family came to visit from Texas. Leah and her family are my second family. They love and accept me for the insane goofy chick I am, and I adore them for that. They love my husband and the boys just as much. I am so thankful for Leah and her brother (Travis) and sister (Elissa) and mom (Becky) and dad (David) and niece (Bailey). The whole family is genuine and amazing and fun. In fact, the relationship Leah has with her siblings and parents is one I hope I can use as a model for my own family. They all support each other 100% and enjoy being together. I didn't take many pictures of their visit, but it meant the world to me nonetheless. My bestest friend Peah, I love you and your family so much. Thank you for loving us back.

In addition to the love and support my best friend and her family show, my family is working triple-time! I was driving to work today thinking about how lucky we are to be surrounded by people who are more-than-happy to help us.

Last Monday my grandma Sandy and grandma Lucy were at our house watching the boys while Allen and I were at work. I left laundry in the garage in piles hoping they would get it done in case they happened to have some spare time.... Needless to say, when I got home from work, all five loads had been washed, dried, and folded and our bed made. It's like we have Santa's magical elves helping us daily. On Tuesday, Lucy and Sandy decided to make a wonderful Mexican casserole for us for dinner. My grandma wasn't too keen on my Pam.pered Chef hand-held can opener and called me at work for help on how to use it. Thank goodness I didn't tell her that she had to be smarter than the can opener. Instead, I tried my best to explain how to use it over the phone. Since she wasn't smarter than our can opener couldn't figure out how to work our can opener, we now have a brand spanking new chrome and black electric one sitting on our kitchen cabinet, courtesy of grandma Lucy. So, not only did we get free childcare on Monday and Tuesday, we were blessed by magical elves that took care of our babies, pranced around the house and did laundry and made our bed, flew to the store to get a new electric can opener that matches our kitchen (because matching is very important), and dashed around the kitchen to make dinner for us. And I also forgot to mention that we have more laundry detergent in our pantry because the elves thought we were running low. Thank you Sandy and Lucy; we can't wait to see what next week brings! HA!

Then today as I dropped my sweet little dudes off at my mom's house for free childcare, she asked if I had packed a lunch. I had, but it was a Lean Not-so-Cuisine. She had just finished making tuna pasta salad and packed some in a Tupper.ware container for me to take for a delicious lunch. I had already packed chocolate chocolate chip cookies she made the day before, so I had a fabulous home-made (not by me) lunch & dessert. My sweet mom can do it all. Really. She keeps my boys, bathes them, takes them on walks, and loves her grand babies. She is a miracle worker and goes above and beyond to help us every single week. Another day, another magical elf.

As I type this, I am getting teary-eyed thinking about how much love and support we are shown. We are blessed beyond measure to have people that can take care of our boys and love them and hold them and feed them and cuddle them and sing to them every single day. People that care. People with endless generosity. People that love. Most people have to take their kids to daycare and leave them. It is not necessarily what they want to do, but it is what they have to do. I make no qualms about saying that it is likely our boys will eventually have to go to daycare like most other kids have to do. But right now, we are soaking up the love and help and miraculousness of the magical elves that are making every day just like Christmas around our house.

Thank you, family, for your love, help, commitment, and support. There is not one day that passes that we don't notice or appreciate every single thing you do.


Lost in Space said...

You are living the dream, girl! What amazing people you have in your life.

Mrs. Dew said...

oh my goodness! These little guys could NOT be any cuter! You are blessed.

Kelsey Johnston Nuckolls said...

They are friggin' cuties, Ashley!! and getting so big!! You ARE blessed :)

uncomplicateme said...

You have two very loved boys on your hands - how lucky are they?! :) I can't believe they're already eating rice cereal!! How fast time flies.

genderist said...

This is an absolutely precious post, Ashley!! They're growing up so quickly and are burdened with being absolutely adorable and absolutely handsome. Soak up all of the love (and all of the help!) that you can get, and keep taking 8,000 pictures! Someday you'll have the time to go back and look at them. :)

Hales Family said...

Oh, man! After reading this, I love your family, too! I wish I lived closer. I'd love to help out with those stunningly beautiful baby boys you have! Did I mention how handsome they are? Seriously cute kiddos!