Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wendy is the STAR STUDENT!

Last Thursday, Linc and I picked Wendy up from school, and in her backpack was a special kind of homework! She would be the Star Student the following Tuesday! So, yesterday, after I put Linc down for a nap, she and I worked on her homework together, making her collage for the bulletin board and filling their brown paper bag with some of her favorite things. We filled the bag with one Zhu Zhu pet, "Sweetie," the bunny with the tutu, her three Wonder Pets, a princess doll, a bracelet that lights up, a Dora book about sharing. She was SO EXCITED. As we walked her into her classroom this morning, I asked Miss Kristi if she'd be so kind as to take a couple picks during Wendy's show-n-tell. She did so cheerfully! She's so sweet. And when we picked her up today, Miss Kristi said, and I quote, "During her show-n-tell, she held up her Wonder Pet figurines and SANG the whole song to her classmates! Then, she walked in the circle, to each kid, and showed them her toys. She did so well!" I am so happy about this boost to her budding esteem. So fantastic. I wish I could've stayed without her knowing I was there. Stalkerish.

Zooming in on her bulletin board shrine to Wendy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Super Fun Weekend!

"Is it my perfume?!"We just got in last night after an eventful and joyful weekend in La Vernia! Saturday evening, we headed to Seguine for a baby shower for Scott and Kim, who are expecting their first, a girl. I got to catch up with my sweet friend, Melanie, and her family. She has two boys, and the baby is just 10 days older than Linc and is about the same size. It was so fantastic to get to meet little Andrew. I already loved this cutie before I even met him! It was so delightful to see Andrew and Linc making the same babbling noises, the same grunts, the same facial expressions and spastic movements. Babies are so dang-darn precious!
Kim looks radiant as a mom-to-be.
Dad-to-be, Scott, Jason and Andrew and James and Lincoln.
The party was in full swing as soon as Wendy got a TREAT BAG from the gracious and thoughtful hostess!
3 4-year-olds doing what 4-year-olds love to do!
Somehow, and no, I did not witness this, Wendy managed to spill her bubbles. And the other two little girls' bubbles as well. Thankfully, the hostess was able to give the other girls new bottles. Wendy.
Sunday was the Duelm family reunion. The day before, I had fun making signs on poster boards and the night before, J's folks and I decorated the hall. The morning of, I wasn't sure Linc or I would make it because I'd been up all night with a fussy, not-at-all-right Lincster. He'd fussed at 1:30, 2:30 and at 3:30 barfed---James helped me by giving him a bath at this time, and he nearly got sick himself, dealing peeling his onesie off his gooey body. I had, however, just given him that organic squeezable baby food-fruit, thinking he must be super hungry. I guess it's not wise to force food down a baby in the wee hours of morning. I think the culprit was his teeth.
One half of the hall. There were twice this many at this year's get-together.
Yeah, Linc's been rather irritable lately, which isn't his nature, so we think it's the teething.
Wendy loved swinging, and for the first time, the weather outside was rather cooler, so pleasant!
My gorgeous mother-in-law and her likeness in male and baby-form!
Wendy won a centerpiece and as you can tell, was tickled!
Me and my fuzzy-wuzzy lovey-head.
Three generations. Mighty fine men.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Moments I Love~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mommyhood, and Daddyhood, is HARD! It never gets easier. "It just gets different." True, true. As of about a week ago, Wendy decided she is afraid of going to bed! Perhaps our neighbors here on Fraternity Row had a late night party outside her bedroom window, which faces the parking lot of our row of town houses. Perhaps she truly had a bad nightmare and is terrified of reliving it! We were totally surprised by this new routine of hysteria at bedtime, the 1 am trek Wendy makes down the hall to our bedroom to tell us she had a night-mirror, and our frustration due to not knowing what to do to fix it. We tried a flashlight--a princess flashlight. Despite my telling her to turn it off before falling asleep, and hanging it on her bedpost so that it doesn't get lost under her blankets, we wound up having to replace the batteries after night #1 and night #2, we were repeatedly awakened when she lost it under her pillow and when it wasn't working right. It was more trouble than it was helpful. We did away with that and got a nightlight. My mom came two days ago, from Houston, to help us figure it out. She came up with a new routine of the usual things (tee-tee, pjs, teeth brushed, stories, prayers, noise machine), but followed now with 20 slow, relaxing strokes of the hairbrush accompanied by 20 pleasant thoughts to dream about and..the nightlight. Oh, and sitting on a tiny Wendy chair outside her bedroom door for a while. Last night it was back to just me and James. I did the whole routine and after she sprang out of her bed, about 5 times, I told her I'd have to take her gorgeous new chandelier nightlight back to Target if it's not working, and ---she stayed put. Until morning. YAY! These truly exhausting ordeals are part of mommy and daddy-hood, BUT so are the precious moments below...
"A playmate for my bathtime at LAST!"
Wendy seems to bond with her brother when I plop them both down into a warm, bubbly bath filled with toys. I LOVE it that my mom first did this and we discovered where her love for Brother blooms!

He's got brains....and he knows how to use them! (Sing to the tune of "She's got legs..")
"Look, Lincoln! It SQUIRTS LIKE THIS!" "Wendy, not in his face!" "Like THIS I mean!"
"Wendy. NOT in his face." "Oh yeah."
Any attention from Sister is welcomed as far as Linc is concerned.
Happy, clean boy.

My two rascals, as squeeky clean as they can be!
Yesterday, Linc helped me with the laundry while Sister was at school.
"Mom, your hanger!"
Linc as he looks in his crib. I used my camera's night setting.
Lincoln James Tanneberger.
Transportation Day at school. We got to take her trike. She's not much of a peddler, so we'll have to work on that.
Lickin' his lips after a tasty treat!
The lovings, the laughter, the joys of parenthood far outweigh the rough patches, however, won't it be NICE when Wendy outgrows this new bizarre fear of sleeping? Yes, I agree.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How did I let this happen?!

Wendy, funny, silly Wendy loves her Zhu Zhu pets, and anyone who knows her well, knows this, as evidenced by her now, gulp, and I'm so embarrassed revealing this---14 Zhu Zhu pets, some of which had to be REPLACED! In my defense, I did not buy them all. Okay, that aside, one late evening, as James stood in front of the kitchen counter with a tiny screw driver, a mega pack of batteries and a small gang of juiceless hamsters, he said to me, in the sweetest of voices, "Honey, perhaps we should slow down on the purchase of Zhu Zhu pets as she runs them all over the carpet, which slows them down and makes them have to work harder, and well, batteries are expensive!" That was the moment my frenzied, eager-to-please mommy mind realized. I realized that it was quite excessive, her collection of these scurrying, squeaking annoyances. So, after her shots yesterday, while at Target for her courage treat, she wanted "Kingston," you know, the mohawked grey and white fluffy Alfa male Zhu Zhu pet---- because "I DON'T HAVE HIM AND HE REALLY WANTS ME TO BUY HIM AND LOVE HIM!" Wanting to break the cycle, I redirected her towards other toys, anything other than Zhu Zhu, cheaper toys, ANYTHING! Well, after hemming and hawing over Littlest Pet Shops, My Little Ponies, etc, we wound up with this adorable, lovable, adoptable, tiny kitten who, when you push the button on her tummy, PURRS and kicks her legs! When James got home last night, in his usual, kind and loving tone, he said to me, "Okay, that's cuuuute. Maybe we should start adding toys to her life that are not battery-operated and are not small and furry pets of any kind." Again, this frazzled mommy brain finally "realized" my mistake. WOOPS! I think I need my batteries changed! First Pic: Wendy's rogue newbie. Earlier this last week, we made a quick journey to Houston for my beloved friend's baby's birth! I packed in a hurry, remembering her noise machine, toothbrush, pj's, and pillow pet, but oh my! I FORGOT to pack even ONE ZHU ZHU! So, I told her Daddy had to take them all to the salon for sprucing up. That night, I e-mailed James and asked him to make them fancy for her return so she'd believe they were at the salon. Behold.....
This morning, Wendy declared that Nugget is not potty-trained. I had to rig this. Oh, and no, I could not forget to make a hole for his tale!
Occasionally her pets gang up on her and act out of line. That's when she puts them all in time-out. Last night, before bed, I had to do the customary Zhu Zhu-search. Here were several of the multitude, all humbly in their corners...

BAD Zhu Zhus!

I think for her 5th birthday, for Christmas, for Valentine's Day, we'll register her for batteries. Just kidding!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Opening My Vault

Maybe my nightly 3/4 glass of wine while blogging "just don't mix." But sometimes I relax and can see things just a tiny bit more clearly. It's totally psychological.
Anyway, today was loooong. I got up early in order to wash, dry and style my hair for my new Texas driver's license photo, which I have to live with for the next 6 years. I had to get the kids up, dressed, fed and out the door in time for Wendy's school day, which started at 9. Struggled with Wendy to get her hair pulled back in a cute 'do, wrestled with her to eat her honey toast and juice, sped-fed Linc, it was a whirlwind. Once she was settled into class with her school cargo on her back, I dashed off to the DPS for my driver's license. With Linc in tow. As you know, those places make you wait, and wait, and wait. So, on top of everything else I'd done early in the a.m, I'd packed water for Linc to keep him hydrated, snacks for him, his diaper bag, and TOYS along with my social security card, birth certificates, registration, inspection report, WA license, insurance, yadda yadda yadda. I pulled number 91. Number 77 stayed on the screen for--------------30 minutes. Wendy's school is from 9-1:30. I was starting to feel concerned. Blessedly, a woman in uniform ushered me ahead in line, along with two couples each struggling to manage their baby girls. Linc was absolutely agreeable, I might add, as per usual . And by the way, the comments I receive all the time are 1) that he's BIG and 2) that he's quiet. Wendy, at this age was 1) a mighty fine boy, according to elderly gentlemen and 2) very verbal. Okay, anyway, after all the documents were processed and my pic was taken, t'was time to pay. I offered my card. OOPS! Cash or check only. No ATM in the building. WHAT?! Argh..You see, getting all those other documents proved time and time again to be that never-ending, CRAZY saga of "We don't accept that as proof of identity," "We can't give you THIS piece of paper until you get THIS piece of paper," etc, etc, etc. SO! Back into the hot-as-Hades car with Linc and out again for the Exxon's ATM, and back in again, and back out again to finish the job. License will arrive in 4-5 weeks. It has been months of standing in lines only to walk out with nothing in hand because something was missing. I mean it. TOUGH to get this accomplished! Well, I am so ecstatic that this is DONE!
Next on today's agenda: Pick Wendy up and take both kids to UPA for Wendy's 4-year shots. Y'all, she knew she was getting 'em. She's too old to lie to--or distract. She was all about it cuz I promised her an ICEE and Target toy afterwards, but as soon as the nurse came in, WOAH BUDDY! SCREAMING! LEGS A' KICKING! While holding her, she jerked her knee up and it hit my chin, and my teeth clicked so hard, I thought they'd break. Linc was crying cuz Sister, his beloved, aloof-towards-him (most of the time), sister was frantic! Three of us held her down while four shots stabbed her cute lil' 4-year-old thighs. She sat up and said, "It's okay now," with big ole crocodile tears in her eyes. She got a sticker and lolly. In the elevator, she pushed # 1 for us and # 2 for a lady and her daughter. Then she asked about the star next to # 1. She asked aloud, "IS THIS STAR BUTTON THE ALARM CLOCK?!" The lady exited laughing so hard she was crying. It was pretty funny. Especially with Wendy standing there with this ernest tear-streaked face, short play dress on and two Tazmanian Devil bandaids on her thighs.
After this ordeal, we all got back into the blazin' hot swagger wagon and headed to Target for her promised bravery treats. I noticed Linc's pink eye is now in his other, previously unaffected left eye. Ah, me. Thank GOODNESS I requested a refill on his ointment!!!!!!!
I got the kids inside our rental town home, told Wendy to tinkle----3 or 4 times, nursed Linc, who, by now, was ravenous yet never fussed, poor sweet thing, settled him down, and "tucked Wendy in" for her quiet play hour.
Now I sip my 3/4 glass of wine and examine myself and endeavor to search the will of God. I'm 32 in November. James is 35. Our plate is full with Wendy and Linc, especially cuz Wendy's highly spirited self is the equivalent of 2 kids. So, what's next? One more child? The reason this is such a hard decision, and I know, not one I have to make RIGHT NOW, but it does weigh on my mind, is because, unlike the two kiddos we've got, the third is the biggie question mark. Having two was a given, Lord permitting. I always desired 2-3. My pregnancies were brutal, health-wise. My kidney stone-production is in high-gear with each pregnancy. I was hospitalized with Linc and risked losing him. Every family member and friend who visited me in the hospital cautioned against another pregnancy. Still, most close to us advise against another. And, we have our girl and our boy, and praise the Lord, they're both healthy! And, as you can read above, days like today are hard with two. I ask myself now, before we let time fly by:
Can James and I afford three? Can James and I manage three? Will there be any time for each other after three? Will it undo us? We both like a measure of order, peace and quiet. Will we ever have that again if we add another baby? Do houses come with more than 4 bedrooms (one will have to serve as office and guest room.) Will my right kidney hang on for another agonizing stone-burdened pregnancy? What about my severe morning sickness, would it be too much to lean on our moms for child-care during those horrible 2-3 months? Could we afford day care for those months? It's SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED, the third one. Everyone but me knows what to do. Everyone says, "You're good. You're done." I, however, don't necessarily disagree with everyone. The problem is....I am not sure yet. My question is WHEN does a mother KNOW she is done having children? Is it a decision she makes with which she LEARNS to become comfortable over time? Does she pursuade others whose feelings truly do matter, based on her heart? Or, does she use her head? I'm the first to admit that I get FRAZZLED, OFTEN with the two I've got. I thought before that I might wait until they're both in school full-time and then have our third. However, I'll be considerably older then and at risk. My mind tells me that if I am to have a third, by golly, it's got to get started some time between Linc's first birthday and his second. And I'm agonizing over this decision, believe it or not. So much is hinged on that third baby. I want to work when the kids are in school full-time. A third would push that back as well. Anyway, I know that my readers are Christians. I ask for your prayers re. this big choice, which is not mine alone to make. I pray that we won't make a choice we later regret, one way or the other. My mind and heart are on a fence. I want to know what to do so I can plan. I ask for your prayers. I love you all!
Okay, that's it. Vault closing now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Linc Update

Lincoln pulled himself up to standing yesterday at Mimi and Granddaddy's house--wanted something he saw on their glass-topped coffee table. He knows what Daddy means. We know that for certain because when he sees James, he says, "Da Da." He said, "KA!" when I tried to teach him "car" this evening. He loves to interact with me too--as in I hand him an object, do something goofy with it, he squeels with delight, and then hands it back to me for a repeat-amusement. He's learning! My lil' man is maturing, and it's fascinating!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Life According to My Cell Phone

At the dentist..............This evening, I wondered how to e-mail a photo I'd taken with my cell phone. Then I started thinking about the other pics on my cell, I thumbed through them and smiled as I remembered the many special moments, all stored up in my small, square, girly red cell phone. I decided to blog them. And as I waited for these pics to load, I thought of pics forever lost in cell phones past. I thought about how I had no clue how to free them from their digital vault deep inside my cell phone's brain. I didn't bother with it, I tossed the old phones and lost the images forever. I'd like to have some of those old pics back. I remember one I took of a bald baby Wendy, with our next door neighbor's Daughter, Anna, who at the time was a wispy-headed 2-year-old. I sat them up together in a large leather bomber chair and loaded it up with bald and wispy-headed baby dolls, which the two girls had gathered up earlier. It was an image very much like the one of Drew Barrymore, as a toothless cherub-faced child hiding among the toys in the closet in E.T. I wish I had that pic. And I think of one that used to inhabit my last cell phone---one of an x-ray of my hips. I'd waited for the surgeon to leave me alone, and then I eagerly snapped pics of my pelvic structure illuminated against a glowing lamp screen. Freaky but pic-worthy. It's gone. So, as you scroll down this eclectic collection of stills, I'll give you a bit of background for each. My challenge for anyone choosing to accept it, is this---blog your cell pics and give us a glimpse into the very moments you consider worth cell-shooting. Then, leave a comment on MY blog once you're done, with your blog address, and everyone will be delighted! Okay, so first, this is a pic I snapped on the way to one of our mother-daughter play dates. Wendy was in a particularly sweet mood, and this pic warms my mommy heart. Below-- James, at a country club in Vancouver where we took the folks for fish tacos. Those tacos were the BOMB and super cheap on certain days! We weren't members, but we went for the fish tacos!

Wendy's Mall Santa Pic. We've never missed a year, I don't think, of Santa pics. I don't just mean since having our kids. James and I, when dating, got our pic taken with Santa, then, when married---with our two cats. We took Daisy and Shasta to Pets Mart for pics with Santa. Yeah, it's a crazy obsessive compulsion now. When this pic was done, I was 9 months pregnant. I risked breaking my water walking that mall, but come Hell or high water, the Santa pic happens!

This was taken at the airport--it was to be Linc's very first plane ride to Texas to see family! He was such a newbie and he traveled so well. Didn't fuss a bit!

While visiting, we (he and I) stayed at Julie's, as did Nicole, and we girls, and dude, had a fantastic get-together!

Aunt Katie snuggling lil' Linc while we ate a delicious lunch outside. We'd shopped 'til we dropped!

Wendy enjoying a bribe toy. You know, the kind you grab at Target when a really big occasion comes up, and you don't have time to thoroughly, or properly, establish the expectation with the usual long, drawn out reasons for her future perfectly agreeable behaviour, which is absolutely necessary for this event----you tell her she'll be rewarded if she behaves like a big girl, and she does, and then she says, "MOMMY! Let's go get my REWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Linc's BIG toe was my screen saver.

Ballerina at Cafe Sip N' Play... Wendy, because she was only "stree" and because she's her, loves to just perform in the middle of anything, any group of adults, doesn't matter. She's "on!"


Love of Zhu Zhu under way...

Realizing for the first time that my Linc is BIG! A BIG ole boy!

A house James and I LOVED back in Vancouver. We took this pic hoping to make one like it here in Texas.

This is not my child. Okay, this is my child. On cola.

Children's Museum. Portland.

A frustrating drive. Wendy screaming, Lincoln fussing, traffic.

Tu Tu Zhu Zhu day at the park....

And Daddy napped...

My big ole boy gettin' bigger!

During the delivery of our shipment, I was frazzled by all the damaged furniture crossing our threshold, so I had to get Wendy out of the way, and we played at the mall. I was not a happy camper when I took this. Wendy had a great time though!

A Rainbow! Taken the other day!

The dramatic sky that night...

Last week, at the mall. I get to pick up the pics on Friday!

I find it so adorable when adorable kids think babies are adorable.

Watching Wonder Pets last night.

So there you have it. My life according to my cell phone. P.S. If you look at James' cell phone pics, you'll see one of me in the hospital bed holding newborn Linc on my chest and then about 20 pics of some truck's rims he was admiring in the parking lot. My goofy, cute James.