Monday, December 31, 2012

Tater Tot 1 year

Dear Tater Tot,

Being 3 of 3, of course you're going to have a late birthday blog post, sorry.  Got it in under the wire, technically you are still 12 months old for another 2 days.  Please forgive your sometimes frazzled mama.

You came into our lives on a single day's notice, and during one of our last regular date nights, we frantically tracked down preemie clothes and diapers for you, marveling that any human baby could fit into anything so small.  They were all too big.  The Nugget came with me to the hospital to pick you up, and the nurses had to run a test to, "Make sure she can breathe in a regular infant car seat.  If not, we'll send you home with a car bassinet."  You passed.  I was terrified.  You were under medical orders to be fed every 3 hours, no exceptions, and when I fed you a half ounce under nurse supervision, they breathed a sigh of relief, "That's the most she's eaten in one sitting so far."  The pediatrician said you absolutely had to be in our room until you were at least 12 months old, because your size put you at a higher SIDS risk.  Did I mention I was terrified?  You screamed all the way home, but for that I was thankful because I knew you were breathing.

A year later, you are still petite, still about the size your brothers were when they couldn't yet hold up their own heads.  But you are as strong and feisty as can be.  Like a Chihuahua attacking a Labrador, you playfully chase your brothers, grabbing Spork around the ankles to bring him down with a whump or grabbing the hem of the Nugget's jeans to make him squeal.

When you came home, we didn't know what the future held for you, what it held for US.  We are so so grateful you are here to stay.  You are our sunshine.

Love, Mama

Top 10 Challenges at 1 year old
10. Not sleeping
9.  Not falling asleep easily.
8.  Not staying asleep.
7.  Taking forever to go back to sleep.
6-2. Not sleeping.
1.  You get the picture.  Mr. Sandman, you missed one over here.

Top 10 Things I love at 1 year old
10. You entertain yourself.  You are content to play with toys, with parents, sibs, or visitors.
9.  You rarely fuss, only when you need a nap, diaper change, or food.
8.  I can scarcely believe that you don't barf or drool constantly, I've never had a baby who could wear the same bib for a whole day.
7.  You are so playful.  You always want to engage us with a smile, an invitation to chase or smooch.
6.  Your burbley laugh.
5.  You wake up smiling.
4.  You adore your big brothers.  You are not afraid to get all rough-and-tumble up in here.  You hug Spork tight and walk around with him until he goes too fast for you and you both topple.  You save your biggest smiles and laughs (and first steps!) for the Nugget.  You remain the calm in the storm, no matter what temper fits those boys are throwing, you stay smiley and serene, observing them with a bemused expression or even unable to contain your giggles.
3.  Because you are so tiny, it's hilarious to see you walking around like a toddler.
2.  Even when you don't sleep, you are mostly pleasant at night, cooing, laughing and smiling, even if we don't always find your 3am smiles entertaining.  Last night, Daddy tried singing you a lullaby and instead of dozing off, you gave him a big smile and a round of applause when he finished.
1.  You have this incredible wisdom, strength, calm, and sense of humor locked into your tiny body.  The new name we've chosen for you means calm and wisdom, and it fits you to a tee.  You're going to move mountains, little lady.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Hope your Christmas was merry.  Santa came early to our house, then we hit the road for Grammy and Grandpa's house.  Got the official word that Tater Tot still can't be visual blog fodder until finalization (which kills me because she takes the funniest pictures that I just can't share yet).  Rest assured, she was there and smiley.

 The Nugget tries out a new toy.

 The boys having a typical moment.

 The Nugget and Cabbage deep into the Christmas melee.

 Baby Bean rocks his formalwear.

The Nugget and Cabbage (and Pinkie Pie) chilling on the Snuggler.  The Snuggler is an extra small loveseat/extra large chair that reclines and is covered with a safari print, which is pretty bizarre but ridiculously comfortable.

Anyway, what can I say?  Cousins reveled in each other's company, babies repeatedly went for breakables, chargers were left behind, too many cookies were eaten, the children were obscenely spoiled with was exhausting and wonderful.  We are happy to be home, sorting through piles to give away to Goodwill to make room for the new, buried under a mountain of laundry despite doing several loads in Grammy's laundry room.  The Nugget has cash money and a gift card eating a hole in his wallet, so probably this week he'll be off to spend those.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deck the Halls

The Nugget loves him some snow, and yesterday afternoon, the flakes fell fluffy and soft.  It wasn't the first snow of the year, but it was the first one that "stuck" or counts at all to a child.  The Nugget declared it, "A winter wonderland!"  Here are some more pictures of our holiday-ing, as Eloise (another kindred spirit to the Nugget) might say.  (Still waiting to find out if we can share pictures of Tater online, so for now, blog visuals are still boys-only.)

 Trimming the tree.

 "May I please cut the netting with the purple zizzors, and I'll be so careful.  Oh, this is just so much fun, I could cut this netting all day."

St. Nick came and besides the gift of a little sister forever, he also left the Nugget a whoopie cushion.  

After Tater Tot's birthday party this weekend, we took Grammy and Grandpa downtown for Santa, the trolley ride, chocolate, and cookie decorating.

 The Nugget shows off his finished cookie.

Spork makes a break for it.  

Spork enjoys the snow.  He does not, however, enjoy cold-weather accessories.  He immediately wiped out on the kitchen floor in his snow boots, and he abhors mittens.  Still, the sight of a chunky toddler in snow bibs is really top notch.  You can spy a bundled Tater in the background, enjoying her birthday sled.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I have a favorite saint...

Last year, St. Nick brought us a perfect 4 pound, 10 ounce baby girl to love.  One year later, he gave us the gift of a lifetime of moments with our little Tater Tot.  The judge signed the TPR papers on Dec 6, and now the adoption process begins.

For those not familiar with state adoptions, they take a lot longer to finalize, but TPR is irrevocable at this point, and anyone else bidding to adopt her would not be considered (unless we do something like rob a bank or go on a murder spree).  About a year down the road, a judge will rubber-stamp finalization papers which will let us legally change her name and get a new birth certificate.  In the meantime, we'll have a new paper trail to work on, and check ins with the caseworker, but that's it!

It's been a long year full of uncertainties, which has given me the impetus to carpe diem.  Tater hasn't been sleeping well this week; I wonder if she sensed my anxiety about this last big hurdle.  But the night before her permanency hearing, she slept soundly and peacefully; perhaps St. Nick came to her in a dream and whispered what was in store for us.  Feeling immeasurably relieved, blessed, and thankful that we'll be able to stay a family of five.  In the Nugget's words, "Oh yay!  I'm so glad she's staying because I love being silly with her!"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My future grandkids

Recent Nugget Quotes:

(totally out of the blue) "I'm going to have 2 sons and 2 daughters.  My daughters' names will be Lily and Daisy.  My son's names will be McKinley and Lewis."

"I love this (stuffed) mosquito.  He's going to be my helper today.  His job is being my friend.  Every day I have to check his legs with this wrench to make sure they're ok."

"Before there was the earth and the universe, there were purple cars." Somewhere James Earl Jones is shaking his head.

(while I was rushing around last-minute packing for Indy and simultaneously trying to dress and feed 3 children) "Mommy, it looks like you're having some big feelings right now."

Truth: The Nugget grew so quickly that he wore both of these bear coats within his first winter.  The little one is 6-12 months that we bought in October 2007.  The bigger one is 24 months that he wore starting in January 2008.  They give me great pleasure when I push my baby bears into preschool to pick up that big boy.

 Nugget 3 months in bear coat #1.

Nugget 7 months (looking a little Spork-ish) in bear coat #2.

Recent Baby Mischief:

The babies have discovered the tunnel.  Tater likes to go in and giggle.  Spork prefers not to go inside but likes to run around it and peek into each end.  Spork will see it folded up neatly in a corner and beg for it, "Eh, eh, EEEEHHHH," until someone sets it up for him.

I forgot to latch the dog crate tonight and found both babies inside, happy as clams.  The Nugget joined them and laughter ensued for the better part of an hour.

Whenever Tater finishes her dinner before the boys (which is most nights), she darts straight under the table to find her Nugget, much to his dismay.  The Nugget, like a dog, requires personal space while he eats.  So the rest of my meal is spent trying to shoo her away from the Nugget while still feeding Spork and delivering the zillion things that are requested during the course of a meal - more ketchup please, more milk please, seconds please, I need a new napkin, Spork needs a washcloth, I could go on.  I now understand why my mother ate all her meals standing up at the kitchen counter.

Both babies are at the stage where they dart from one forbidden item to another.  Having 2 babies complicates this matter for me.  Spork is slow and deliberate, at least.  Tater is swift and silent as a ninja, it's truly terrifying.  I was loading dishes in the dishwasher one evening while she played in the other room with the boys and Daddy.  I turned to shut the dishwasher, and she is poised on all fours, on top of the open door, never even heard her come in the room.  I'm about to end my open bathroom door policy, because when I let them follow me in there, Spork heads right for the toilet paper, and Tater tries to climb in the bathtub or eat things out of the trashcan.

Spork sets booby traps in our bedroom.  We sneak in, fumble to plug in Spork's monitor, and hold our breaths, hoping Tater will stay soundly asleep every night when we're ready for some shut-eye.  But lo and behold, if we haven't done a sweep, Hubby will stub his toe on something that squawks, "7-8-9!  Siete-ocho-nueve!" and that will be the end of that!  Lately, Hubby has been taking pride in showing me the traps Spork has set for him, "Look at this one!  A tin and a tambourine!"