Friday, January 27, 2012


Still trying to catch up on my laziness over the past couple months. Seems like Christmas should be worth recounting, but as I'm sitting here at the end of January mulling it over, I'm having a hard time even remembering the memorable... Of course presents abounded. And of course the dink wanted every single item for himself that Santa Claus had given to Baby Keane. (Luckily, Santa Claus had some foresight and brought Keane things that were much too old for his age like a basketball, a stool, and a movie, since after all he has all of Declan's old toys already to play with and still only wants the item that Declan is occupied with at the moment.)

Anticipation was a major component of this year's excitement. Starting the week after Thanksgiving, daycare craft and music activities centered on reindeer, Santa, and baby Jesus. By the end of December, the dink could sing all of Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph from start to finish, if not with the exact correct lyrics, with dead-on vim and vigor. Although I got tired some days of the dink asking me if tomorrow is Christmas and begging/crying to open a present already, I do think the waiting is good for a kid. And it also gave me a chance to plant the seeds of excitement in his mind for the gifts that were sure to come. (Gosh, D, your slippers are too small! Maybe Santa will bring you some new ones...) Naturally, I shopped my heart out for most of December, pleased with my efforts in buying the dink both things that he could use or would serve a purpose, as well as things he'd enjoy. In the final weeks leading up to the 25th, people were continually asking the dink what he wanted for Christmas, and his consistent response was of course something I hadn't even considered purchasing: a robot. But he told anyone who would listen that that's what he wanted, and when he sat on Santa's side at the mall and told him too that all he desired for Christmas was a robot, I knew I had more work to do. And needless to say, his lime green Radio Shack robot that my mom ended up finding at the mall was his favorite Christmas present. I just found out last night that  the darn thing already needs new batteries.

Keane was just happy for Christmas to be spending time with his family, in the middle of chaos and excitement. His most prized possession was a gift he didn't receive, but one we gave to his cousin Ellie--some wooden pots and pans. He spent an hour on Christmas Eve just putting the lid on the pot and off. I didn't feel too bad for not realizing the poor kid was dying to play cook because it gave me an idea for a gift for his birthday, only a week after Christmas. So Keane got a remarkably similar set to Ellie's for his first birthday, which of course he's hardly played with since.

And me, I got a new job for Christmas, complete with a two-week paid trip to Sweden for my initiation. That's coming up in only a few days now. With a start like this to the new year, I can't imagine what adventures 2012 will bring.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two Chickens

Just for fun!

Declan, Halloween 2009:

Keane, Halloween 2011:


I don't know where I've been, neglecting to record the excitement and the cuteness of November and December! I've been making a real attempt to savor the moments, reminding myself in every frazzled event that one day the dink won't pronounce "l" like "w" and baby K won't stick his hand down the front of my shirt at every opportunity, and even more likely, I will actually get eight hours of sleep in a row sometime in the I need to soak it up now.

So what's been happening? In November, the dink turned three, an event that we probably told him was upcoming way too far in advance because the anticipation nearly killed him, singing Happy Birthday to himself before bed at night for weeks. Halloween was a great distraction leading up to the big event, a night that probably ranked as "best day ever" for the dink, since he got to dress up in his cousin (hero) Caden's old Mickey Mouse costume and chase after Caden trick-or-treating all night. He was so intense about keeping up that he didn't even fuss once about his costume--actually kept the ears on his head and enormous white mittens on his hands all night while he jogged behind the big boys with his little plastic pumpkin. I don't think he even asked for a piece of candy until the next day!
And of course cousin Caden was an integral audience member in D's birthday celebration when it finally rolled around. We incorporated Declan's birthday into a Saints-watching and chili-eating Sunday afternoon with just a family crowd, which is all it takes to thrill the dink. I think his favorite presents were a bag of old Legos given to him by Samuel and Caden (and a box of new ones) and his very own baseball bat and tee, given to him by Papa and Maman. He also loved his little blue piggy bank that his Nana and Pop got him, although, like the Legos, he is only allowed to play with when baby Keane is asleep or otherwise distantly occupied for fear that he'll ingest any dimes or little plastic men.
We finished out November with a trip to Nana and Pop's for Thanksgiving, where we visited with the Nashville Womacks. On one of the nights there, we were supposed to have a get-together with Jon's cousins and their five kids who  the dink has met in the past but doesn't necessarily remember. Still...he was looking forward to the event. Unfortunately, he woke up from his nap sick that day, ran a high fever for a few hours and threw up all over the porch (and my lap). So our visit with the crew that night was reduced to a quick rendez-vous in the front yard, for just long enough for us to say hello, exchange a few gifts, and blow kisses goodbye. At some point when they all arrived, we told Declan he couldn't get up close to the visitors because he was sick, and it just broke his heart. His tears poured and he was just crying "I want to see my cousins." He ended up being held by Pop on the outskirts of the crew, and that ended up being okay. But it cracked me up how desperate he was to see anyone that might be labeled family--whether he knows them, recognized them, or not. Sometimes I wish that Jon and I had more siblings, especially that lived near, so that D could grow up like I did, with fourteen "cousins" to play with at every birthday party, Father's Day crawfish boil, or Easter egg hunt... But at least I think I can count on him always making the most out of what he has. He's pretty good for that.