Friday, December 07, 2007

To Fin at Two Years Old

My Dearest Fin,

You're two, TWO! I can't believe it! How did you get so big? I feel like yesterday you were my teeny new baby...

We celebrated your birthday with all your baby friends at My Gym. It was a joint party with James and you had so much fun! Monika got Sprinkles cupcakes for all and I did the goodie bags for the kids. Turbo, Gran and Uncle Russ even came since it was close to Thanksgiving. Mommy really liked not having to clean up ;)

The last few months have brought so many changes that it will be hard to remember them all. Maybe if I go through the routine of our days I'll remember better. You're sleeping in your Big Boy room now and in a big bed too. I'm very proud of you for doing that. In the mornings, you get up and come into our room and crawl into bed with Daddy and I and snuggle for a bit. Then we get up and you and Dash have breakfast in bed. While mommy feeds Dash, you eat a Zbar and drink your milk. Then we get dressed and ready for our day.

Speaking of Dash, you're a GREAT big brother. You worry over him when he cries and always try and make him laugh. You help him get his pacifier back in his mouth all the time too. And you're a great help to mommy - how did I ever get along without you!

Back to your routine. On Mondays we usually do a walk to the park and a playdate in the afternoon, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we go to MyGym and on Wednesdays we have our preschool playdate. I still like to have you all to myself on Fridays and of course we have the weekends with Daddy. You have lots of little friends now - we still see Maya and James all the time, and Taylor too (who you have a special love/hate/smackdown relationship with) - and now you have good friends Lexi, Giella and Bridgette from MyGym. You like the ladies ;)

Your speech has grown by leaps and bounds and you seem to NEVER stop talking! You're speaking in full sentences and your vocabulary is fantastic. You know your name (and just about everyone eles' that you've ever met) and how old you are. You're mastering the alphabet and you can count to 15. When prompted, you can count the number of various objects put in front of you too. You know every color and almost all of your shapes. You can sing Twinkle, Twinkle like a pro and will try and sing every song you hear. You love music and dancing! You're starting to learn to use the potty and often come to Mommy and tell her you have to poop - but we're still a ways off of real potty training.

You like to watch TV to unwind and your favorite show right now is the Upside Down show - two crazy Australian guys who do an improv/mime thing. You have a great imagination! You like Max and Ruby too - about a bunny and her little brother.You're starting to have the patience to watch longer movies which makes Daddy very happy - I think he'd like to watch the entire Disney library with you! You also love to color and it's a good thing we got out to eat alot because then you get to do plenty of it. Speaking of eating, you're master of the straw and doing great learning how to use a fork and spoon. You still won't drink anything other than milk and water. You have learned all too well to order your own dinner and you love burgers and pasta - don't know WHERE you got that!

Well, that's all I can think of my darling! I love you more than words and I'm so proud of the little boy you're growing into. Happy Birthday and I can't wait to share many more with you!

All my love,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baby Dash Arrives...

Dashel Brooks Martin
7:52 pm
7lbs 9oz
19 in long

and DRUG FREE!!!

So apparently, whatever the Dr. did on Wednesday to "stir things up" worked! I started having a lot of "show" immediately and had a few good contractions Wednesday night. By Thursday morning they had regulated - just in time for Brooks to have to take my mom to the airport! I had him take Fin with them and I stayed at home to monitor things.

My contractions picked up a bit so I called Yvonne, our doula, and put her on notice. Then I called Jenny to come sit for Fin - and she had the FLU!! A quick call to Monika and Fin was taken care of for the evening. I finished packing my bag, packed a bag for Fin and had Brooks bring some lunch home. After we ate, things really felt like they were taking off so I had Brooks take Fin to Monikas and Yvonne came over. We all chatted while I worked through things at home from about 12- 3:30. At that point I wasn't sure about handling contractions in the car, so we headed up to the hospital.

Once we were through admitting etc., I got a room and was checked - I was at a 6! Great to hear since I felt like that was where I would be. Our nurse was amazing - super supportive of my drug free plans and full of nothing but encouraging words. She didn't make me have an IV or a heplock which was fantastic! The Dr. stopped in briefly, ok'ed all my birth wishes and said he'd see me later. By about 5:30 I was in some serious pain. I'll have to put more details in here later when our doula gives us her version of the birth, since it's all a blur to me. One nurse said I was at 10 around 6pm with just a small lip, then another nurse came on and she said I was only at 9. My bag of waters was bulging and they knew that all I needed was to have it broken and baby would follow, but the Dr. was in with a difficult delivery and unavailable. Finally, the nurse checked me again and "Oops, I broke her water" :) What an angel! Unfortunately there was meconium, although it was "thin" I was still freaked out. The next few contractions were unbearable and all of a sudden I was totally out of control. It was like my body was totally not my own and I almost laughed when told not to push yet! By the time the Dr. came in, he was looking into Dash's eyes as I had half his head out already! He caught the babe just in time and all was well! He put Dash right on my chest, which they didn't really do with Fin, and that was pretty amazing.

Dash nursed right away, pooped, and passed out :) We went right into a recovery room and were able to get some sleep before they brought me an early morning roomate (the hospital was SUPER busy!). Brooks spent most of Friday with Fin - they had an early morning visit and then came back to get Dash and I at 3pm. It was SO GREAT to get home! The girl sharing a room with me was electing to stay until Sunday. That would have been such a nightmare for me!! Dash wasn't so into the whole "sleeping" thing last night, so here's hoping that gets better, but he's so cute I can't complain. I'm recovering pretty well, no stitches or tears which is great, but the "afterpains" the second time around are NO JOKE! I'm seriously regretting telling my Dr. I didn't need pain meds before leaving the hospital. Other than that all is well! I posted pics over on Fin's blog - check out the new brothers!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Plantation Shutters!

The quest to upgrade the house continues - of course we left the family room as the last unimproved space! But we got our new shutters this week(family room, stairway and a slider for the back door). They're BEAUTIFUL! Now, if only we had non-college furniture :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Monstrosity

Apparently baby Spanky is giving mommy too much testosterone because she agreed to use all of her (and daddy's) birthday money to do this. You should see how big the Wonder Pets are! - Love, Fin

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Great Disneyland Adventure

Your Dad and I decided a little while ago that we wanted to go on a trip just the three of us, before it becomes the four of us! We originally planned to go to the beach for a weekend, but with your recent interest in all things Disney, we changed our minds and decided that it was time to take you to Disneyland! Now that we're home and unpacked, I thought I would take a few minutes to tell you all about your first trip to Disneyland. Your Dad and I both have great memories of our first trips to Disney and we hope you'll never forget yours :)

We got off to a great start by hitting the road almost an hour early Friday morning. Mom would like to think that was all because of her stellar packing/planning in the days before. Our second great surprise was that it only took a little over an hour to get down to Anaheim. Our plan was to ditch our bags at the Disneyland hotel (they'll hold them for you until you can check in at 3pm) explore Downtown Disney and then hit the pool. As we went to check in, we found out that it really was the happiest place on earth - our room was ready and we were able to get all settled in by 11am! Yay Disneyland Hotel! After unloading all of our stuff into our spacious and very clean room, we went to Downtown Disney where we got lunch at ESPN Zone and did a little exploring. We were back at the hotel and down at the Peter Pan-themed pool by 2. They had little life jackets for kids and you LOVED it! You and dad swam around for hours and they had a little waterslide that you went down fearlessly many times. Mommy was so impressed!! Not wanting to miss anything, we spent some time in the other "cove" pool too, which was also nice since we had the whole pool to ourselves.

After a nice nap, we all headed down to Goofy's Kitchen for dinner. I think this restaurant may have made your whole trip! You were so excited to see Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale that we had a hard time getting you to eat - which was amazing since it was a buffet that had just about everything a kid would ever want to eat. They interrupted the dining every 15 minutes for a dance or game in the middle of the restaurant and the characters wandered over to the table every few minutes too. You had so much fun! We ended our day walking around Downtown and watching the fireworks.

We got up early Saturday and had breakfast in bed - Mommy's favorite - before heading to the park. The park opens at 8am on Saturdays, but as Disneyland Hotel guests, we were able to get in at 7. We hopped aboard the monorail, which you loved, and were in the park by 7:30. We went straight to the new Finding Nemo submarine voyage and got in line - it was one of the few lines we would have to wait in all day and because we were so early it was only about 20 minutes - a few hours later people would have to wait 3 hours! The ride was well worth it and we all had a great time. From there, we went on to do the Buzz lightyear ride (one of your favorites), a rocketship ride, Peter Pan's ride, Alice in Wonderland's roller coaster, Pinocchio's Ride, Mr Toad's Wild ride, Dumbo's flight, the teacups, It's a Small World, Snow White's ride, Pirates of the Carribean, Winnie the Pooh's ride, King Arthur's Carousel, and I'm sure a bunch more that I'm forgetting. You were up for anything and everything and Mommy and Daddy were so proud! Around 1ish, we were all getting tired so we went back to the room for a quick nap.

We didn't wake up until 4 so we headed across the street to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. You had pasta - your favorite right now - and we were seated right next to a pair of loud elephants which you loved. After dinner we headed back to the park to ride a few more things and catch the fireworks. As it turned out, we were all too pooped to make it to the 9:45 showtime! We decided to call it a night, and on the way back to the hotel we were lucky enough to be able to ride in the front car of the monorail with the pilot - soo much fun!

We ended our short vacation Sunday morning with breakfast at Goofy's kitchen before heading home. You loved that place so much that I think we could have just taken you there and you would have been thrilled! You were so excited to see all your new "friends" again. Daddy told the waiter that it was almost Mommy's birthday and you got a kick out of hearing everyone sing to me. Then, as a perfect finish to our vacation, we made it home in an hour! Mommy was glad that she and you slept the whole way because Daddy must have driven VERY fast.

Well my dear, I hope that you enjoyed your first trip to Disneyland. I know Mommy and Daddy will never forget it! Just think, the next time we take you there, you'll be dragging your little brother around so excited to show him everything.

All my love,


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A quick update...

Just a quick medical update from our dr.'s appt this morning! My blood pressure was normal and no signs of pre-eclampsia, which is great. My iron levels were fantastic so no supplements needed. No real swelling which is amazing! I'm only up 25lbs for the pregnancy (although when I weighed myself at home a few days ago, I was 2 lbs heavier?) which is pretty good. Little spanky was right on growth target and had a great heartrate too. Yay! I go back in three weeks (should be two, but they were booked, don't get me started...) and I also have an ultrasound on the 12th of Sept to check on the baby's size (standard procedure because of the GD). Fingers crossed that things continue this smoothly!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

For Fin at 20 Months

My Dearest Fin,

Wow, what a few months will do! I can't even believe how far you've come lately! You are talking up a storm - you are almost never quiet anymore. You have mastered sentences and have no problem asking for what you want and telling Mommy and Daddy what you DON'T want. You're excellent with please and thank-you and you never forget to say bless you when someone sneezes. Over the past few days you've even got down excuse me and sorry - and you use them as needed :) Much to Mommy and Daddy's amazement, you've also managed to learn your colors! Orange and blue are your favorites and yellow and green still give you some trouble, but you'll have them all down in no time. I think the new development that makes me the most happy is that you tell me you love me. The other day, we were snuggling for a nap and you rubbed my shoulder and said "Oh Mommy, I love you." Wow. Sweeter words were never heard!

I should probably tell you what some of your favorite things are right now. When Turbo and Gran visited a few weeks ago, Turbo bought you a little bunny and you LOVE it. It goes almost everywhere with us. Which reminds me, you also learned big and little! Your favorite shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Blues Clues and Little Einsteins. You also still enjoy Sesame Street and Wonder Pets and a little Go Diego, Go too. You talk back to the TV (I'm listening to you do it now) which cracks me up. Your favorite books are The Hungry Caterpillar, I Love you Stinky Face and Hop on Pop. There are tons of others you like too and we're reading just about every day. You're eating some baby food veggies now, but I always give them to you with fruit. I'm glad you're tolerating those since you need to get some veggies and the real thing is just not happening! As for fruits, you'll eat anything, but you love grapes and bananas.

We're not going to the park much these days - it's been over 100 for a while now and the slide would burn us up - but we're getting to the pool almost daily. You've finally adjusted to being slathered with sunscreen which is a relief since it was becoming such a struggle to get you covered. You're kicking up a storm and I'm hopeful we'll have some real swimming by next summer! Other than that we spend our days in playdates or MyGym or doing things around the house and running errands. We have "school" once a week with your little friends and the Mommies take turns planning very short "lessons" so you're getting your first taste of preschool. You're still taking one nap a day - around noon - and I still try and sneak a nap for myself in there as well. It makes me sad to think that once Spanky arrives I'll have to surrender that luxury.

Speaking of Spanky, he's kicking like a wildman and you seem eager to meet him. You talk to him throughout the day and whenever you see an ultrasound picture you scream "Spanky, Spanky!". I hope that you're as positive when he finally does arrive!

Ok, I'm off to get your snack ready. I love you and I'm so proud of you!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Reality Check...

I'm on a message board for mom's due in October. And just this week, I was feeling like October is creeping up on us faster and faster every day (nevermind that I think this babe will arrive in September anyway). So today I got quite the wakeup call.

The first baby on our October board has arrived and is thriving.

I'm both terrified and relieved. I'm sure I have a good amount of time before Spanky joins us, but at the same time it's so nice to feel like he could arrive now and do just fine.

In other news, I'm doing well. No swelling of note yet, still wearing my rings and my feet haven't even had a bad day so far - which puts me WAY ahead of where I was with Fin as I had been without my wedding rings for months already by this time with him. That's a big relief. I'm definitely feeling the lag of the third trimester set in (I can't WAIT for naptime with Fin!) and Spanky is taking up more and more space. He's also moving like a maniac and everyone can see through my clothes now. It has me a little worried that he's going to be larger since I can't remember Fin doing that this soon. Other than that, nothing new to report! I'm sure I'll have plenty to complain about in the coming weeks though!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

New Cages!

The Chinchillas finally got their new cages!! Brooks has become quite the craftsman - as you can see. We went a tad dark with the stain, but it still looks fantastic. No more sheets for these babies!
Hammie and Boo, enjoying their new surroundings.

Willa, hiding :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Brooks' New ManSpa!

We continue our quest for whole house remodel with Brooks' Bathroom
I present before...I could explain the decor, but I just don't have the energy to type that much, just use your imagination and toss in a few drinks.

A work in progress. The color is called "Clouded Vision" and is acually a little darker and greyer than the camera captures.

Note the artwork behind the mirror. We added Fin's initals to be sure we all left our mark.

And Tadaa! New paint, fixtures, and accessories make a ManSpa!

Friday, April 20, 2007

For Fin at 17 Months

My dearest Fin,

It's taken me SO long to write to you. You've been keeping me so busy lately! Of course the biggest news in your life lately is that you're going to be a big brother! Spanky is set to arrive in early October, so hopefully by then you'll have some idea of what you're in for :) We had a Dr.'s appt today and when the nurse used the doppler to project Spanky's heartbeat, you said "Baby, Baby!" very excitedly. It was adorable.

We just got back from a visit to Chief and Nanny's - it was just you and me since Daddy was in Vegas for a conference. We had a great time, but boy were you a hellian on the planes! We had a flight attendant that I think has shared 9 out of the last 10 flights with us. She was laughing at my lack of control over you, and I told her that this was the LAST time I would fly alone with you! A few minutes later I realized it was totally true. We're off to Topsail in June, but Daddy will be with us then, and the next time we will fly to DC is at Christmas time and Spanky will be here so Daddy BETTER be with us :) It made me a little sad. I like to travel with you, I like that we can pick up and go - even if you do get us kicked off a flight, or not even let on it since your name is on the do not fly list.

Your language skills are picking up daily and you repeat just about anything Mommy and Daddy say. My favorite new additions to your vocabulary are "please" and "thank you". You use them often and appropriately and the glee from other adults does all the reinforcing so I don't have to.
You still don't want to eat veggies, but that's one of the few things you won't eat - you even had some calimari a few weeks ago with Mom and Dad. You're enjoying books more every day, and some of the stories you like so much you actually read them to yourself when I'm all done. You really are quite the smarty pants!

We're back on a summer schedule, with visits to the pool and the park most days. You're getting bolder with your swim skills and you're nuts for the parks' slide's. We see Maya and James often which is great for all of you, and we all just joined MyGym. Every Tuesday we go and you work on tumbling, swinging, hanging, jumping on the trampolene and all kinds of neat stuff. The first week you were very unsure of it all, but now you really love it! It's so amazing to watch you grow and learn new things. Speaking of new things, you're also very into coloring right now. So far, you keep it on the paper and it's so great to watch you work. You're playing with the chinchillas as I type this - you know their names and they come right up to the bars so you can give them "kisses". You know where their treats are kept, so it's no secret why they like you so much!

Well, I better go get you some dinner. I love you more than you will ever know!


Monday, April 02, 2007

12 Week Shots

So I had started a whole new blog for Spanky, but I may just move all that stuff over here for easiness' sake. Either way, I'm cross-posting these for now.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

To Fin at Fourteen Months

To My Dearest Fin,

Ok, so you're almost fifteen months, but Mommy has been so busy with the office remodel, she hasn't had a chance to write to you. Our big news is you're WALKING! WALKING! I knew you could do it and it seems that you've finally figured that part out too. I'm so proud and it's very clear that you're proud of yourself too! You have twelve teeth - and getting those first year molars in was no fun for you. Speaking of first year, you celebrated your first birthday since I wrote you last, and I have a feeling that they only get more exciting from this one on out :)

You still nap twice a day and I am happy to say that you do it without your pacifier George. It was tough to part with him, but you were getting too big to be that child with a pacifier hanging out of his mouth. We've also moved on to whole milk and you only get a bottle at bed time. I'll be so sad to see that go, but I know you need to grow up and use only sippy cups. You're eating more adult foods now, although you still have yogurt and fruit every day. I try and sneak vegetables in at least once or twice a week, but you really hate that so I have to alternate between baby food veggies and fruit and this does NOT please you. Annies Organic Mac and Cheese is a current favorite, and if we're out, you LOVE to eat chicken or hamburger. When we go to our favorite breakfast place you will sit and eat a whole banana! You're not using utensils yet, but all the baby stuff says I should let you try soon - I think those people must have maids!

You're finally starting to enjoy being read to, but your tolerance is still only one book at a sitting and you will not let anyone other than you turn the pages. You're speech is improving by leaps and bounds, you always say "hi" and "bye", "Mommy" and "Daddy", "shoe" and "sock" and you can say and point out your "eyes" (as well as anyone elses!). You can point out your ears and nose and mouth too, but the words aren't here yet. You will point out babies, and say the word, although it sounds more like "Bobies". And you can repeat almost anything Mommy and Daddy say, which means we have to start being careful around you!

We see your baby friends, Maya and James, a few times a week and we try to walk to the park at least once. Other days we just have playdates and it's so much fun to watch you all play together. We're all looking at preschools now and I really hope that you can go together, and if not that you will still stay good friends. You call Maya by her name, but I suppose J's are harder since you haven't mastered James' name yet. Once a week our friend Jenny comes by and you love her (you call her "Enny"). She always sings to you and her voice is much nicer than Mommy's. We also see our neighbors Scott and Judy a few times a week. Scott makes you laugh and you love to give Judy big hugs. We have a new pet store up the street and I take you there once a week. They laugh at us because I told them that you think it's a zoo. The birds are your favorite and I think you could watch them for hours. But they let you hold the tiny baby tortise and you like that too. You still take two naps a day, and lately Mom has been trying to join you more often. You've learned that it's more comfortable to "spoon" with me and I LOVE that. You roll over with your back to me and scooch your bottom into my chest and wedge your head as close under my chin as you can get it and it seems like we're almost breathing as one person. Plus Mommy gets to be the big spoon for the first time ever. I'm so grateful that you are a cuddler! I was telling Jenny that if I had been allowed to design my own baby, I don't know what I would have done differently! Maybe made you whine less, but I guess you have to remind me sometimes that you are still a baby :)

Well, it's off to bed for me my boy, mommy loves you so very much!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Office Remodel

We've been hard at work remodeling Brooks' office (a.k.a. Baby Blogging HQ) this month. Here's a snapshot of our accomplishments thus far.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

You're Here! You're Here!

Well, kind of :) Welcome Spanky!!!

Brooks (daddy) is out of town, but I couldn't wait to take a test. And two lines! You're here! I bought Fin a t-shirt that says "Big Brother" so I'll have him wearing that when your daddy comes home. He will be so excited!

According to the internet, your due date will be October 14. But if you're at all like your brother, I bet you'll actually be a september baby :)

More after I tell daddy!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Quick Update

You learned to drink out of a straw today AND you put one of your toys in the VCR for the first time! Yahooo!

Also, "Six times a grandmother, now second in line to the presidency, Nancy Pelosi said her ascension to become the first female House speaker in history was the culmination of 200 years of struggle for women as well as a personal victory. 'For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling,' she said. 'For our daughters and our granddaughters now, the sky is the limit.' She arrived on the House floor Thursday with all six grandchildren in tow, including baby Paul Michael Vos, born to her daughter Alexandra in early November.

A big day, for you and for our country :)