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Saturday, November 29, 2008


A few weeks ago, Zach and I took both kids to Charlottesville. Yes, we took a two-year-old and a two-month-old on a flight that connected through Atlanta. It is clear that being a parent makes you crazy. In reality, it wasn't that bad...certainly not as bad as I expected. The trip there was a bit of a hassle...we sat on the runway in Birmingham for over an hour, our plane in Atlanta was delayed several hours (but at least we were not sitting on the runway), and we had to change Julia several times ON EACH FLIGHT in the airplane bathroom due to her never-ending pooping. And the stuff...we brought SO much stuff: two carseats, two suitcases, Will's bag (all of that was checked), a double stroller, a diaper bag, a carry-on, my purse, and Will's backpack. But really, the kids were as good as they could have been. Julia barely cried at all, and Will watched his movie and kept the whining to a minimum. I think Will liked the adventure. He certainly enjoyed the Atlanta airport, particularly the moving sidewalks. It was great to be able to just let him burn off some steam.

The traveling back was much easier than getting there. We had no flight hassles, and again, the kids were great. On one flight, we even had a row to ourselves, so I was able to nurse Julia on the flight. So, during all of this travel I had my first public nursing and my first in-flight nursing! What an accomplishment! I had my nursing cover, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but it always seems like it makes other people uncomfortable, even though they really can't see anything. Oh well. Not my problem...I clearly had enough to deal with.

We had a good time while we were actually in Charlottesville, but I realized that, with two kids this age, you don't really DO anything when you go on "vacation". We basically just spent all our time managing our kids, just like we do here in B'ham...feeding, changing, bribing them to go to know, the usual. We did get to go to Bodo's and the Lawn, and Zach took Will to his first UVA basketball game. And of course, Will enjoyed seeing his grandparents, and they enjoyed spending time with both kids, which was really the whole point. So, overall, it was worth it. But, I have to say that I'm glad the trip is behind us, and I'm very glad that we're not going anywhere for a while. As much of a hassle as the travel was, it would be WAY worse over the holidays, so I'm glad we're skipping that. I think we're going to stay home for the next eight or so years.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ways My Two-Year-Old Cracks Me Up

Said to me while I'm putting on my makeup: "Mama! You no draw on yourself!!"

Said while he is lying on the bed kicking, which he is not supposed to do: "Daddy, I not kicking. I exercising!"

Said when he gets out of the bath: "I naked to the jaybird!" (He then sometimes corrects himself and says "AS a jaybird." If he's just wearing his diaper, he might say, "I naked to the jaybird to my diaper!")

Yelled across the terminal at the Atlanta airport: "MAMA! I got a DIAPER CHANGE!" (Luckily, he didn't elaborate. And, at least he gave other passengers a laugh.)

Said while driving past a fountain: "Daddy, let's go get in that fountain and take our clothes off and wash our bottoms." (Not sure what that's about.)

Said when we discuss that he needs to take a bath: "I take a bath, but you no wash my penis!" He then makes this statement into a song and sings it to himself for a while. Again, not sure what that's about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Years Old

Dear Will,
I've been meaning to write to you and document your second year of life for a while now...say, since you turned two over two months ago. But, as you know, things have been busy around our house with a new baby, and I just haven't sat down to do the writing.

Your second year was an eventful one. At the beginning of the year, you learned how to walk, had your first beach trip, your first haircut, and your first trip to the zoo. You were a monkey for your second Halloween, and we celebrated your second Thanksgiving in Monteagle, TN with all of the relatives from my side of the family. Also in November, you moved to the Toddler class at school, which meant you were doing more crafts, playing outside, and only taking one nap...on a cot! We never thought it would work, but you thrived in that classroom. For your second Christmas, we went to Charlottesville to see Coco and PopPop, which involved your third plane flight (and lots of adventures). (We had also been to Charlottesville for Coco's 60th birthday in November.) In January, Mama and Daddy found out that you were going to have a baby sister or brother, and in April, we found out that it would be a Juju, as you called her. (Although, Mama was worried about the ultrasound's accuracy until the day she was born.) This summer, we stayed close to home because Mama was so pregnant, but we did go to the lake several times and to the beach with the Petreys and the Taylors. Overall, our family has been very active this past year and you have loved every minute of it!

You're still a very sweet child (especially with your new sister), although now that you're two, you're becoming a bit more defiant and trying to assert your independence. But, because you're so smart and so verbal, I sometimes forget that you're ONLY TWO! Speaking of being verbal, you never. stop. talking. ever. If you are awake, you are telling us what's on your mind, what you want and what you don't want, and how you think we should behave. You are very articulate, and we can understand almost everything you say now. However, you're also in a phase of making up nonsense words, like poopy and bobo. You also love to sing songs, including some that you make up on your own. You will often sing to narrate whatever it is that you are doing at the time.

You love to play, and you've gotten very into trains (you now have a Thomas table), trucks, legos, and blocks. You also like to color and "write," which simply means coloring with a pen. For some reason, you always say that you are drawing a "BIG shark." You're not very good at entertaining yourself yet (again, you're only two), and you always want me or Daddy to "come play choo-choos." You've also started to understand the concept of "pretend" and now use your toys in new ways. For example, you like to serve me "food" on a tray...which is actually legos on the top of the box.

You LOVE to watch movies. Some of your favorites are Jungle Book 2--we haven't seen the first one yet for some reason, Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, The Aristocats, and Mickey cartoons. You have an impressive collection thanks to your over-indulgent parents and grandparents. Your dad and I have memorized many parts of these movies due to the frequency that we see them. But, it keeps you occupied, and at 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning, that's what's really important.

For the most part, you're a good sleeper and a good eater and generally pretty agreeable overall. (Note that I said GENERALLY.) You like almost all foods that most two-year-olds do, like chicken nuggets and pizza, but you also like some things that I never would have expected, like black olives and grapefruit. In fact, you pitched a fit this morning when we didn't have any grapefruit to give you. But fortunately, eating is not usually a battle, which is nice. For the most part, sleeping is not much of a battle, either, because you seem to know the routine. However, you've had a bit of a hard time lately. We're hoping you'll get through this phase soon.

I love writing this to you because I get to think about all of the wonderful things about you, but there's no way I can convey them all in these few sentences. I just hope that these letters and this blog will help me to remember all of the fun things about your young years. You're everything I hoped you would be...kind, funny, affectionate, articulate. Of course, everyone has their moments, but you are a joy to be around and we are lucky to have you in our family. I love you, William Steel Mather!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two Months!

Julia was two months old yesterday. She is still a super-sweet baby with a great temperament. She is sleeping pretty well, including sleeping through the night a few times (we hope that will become routine soon)!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Four Ounces

She's only gained four ounces in over two weeks. In general, you shoot for an ounce a day until they are four months old, so she's clearly missing that mark. All of the feeding, the growth spurt, the formula at night to keep her full...none of it seems to have made much of a difference. I was already worried, due to the copious amount of spitting and pooping that she does (Will was an under-achiever in both of those areas, so this is new territory to me). However, I thought that I would be reassured when I went to the doctor's office; I thought her weight gain would be normal, and I would realize that my worrying was unfounded. But, that's not what happened...I'm still worried. Luckily, Doctor Levin isn't. He says that she's probably just gaining weight on a slower path and that I shouldn't stress over the spitting and pooping and below average gain. I know that in the grand scheme of things, she's fine! But, it's frustrating nonetheless.

In other stats, she had grown half an inch in length (to 24 inches--tall and skinny!) and half an inch head circumference (15 inches). She also had to get four shots and one oral vaccine today. It was so pitiful...I hate doing that to my babies, even though I know it's the right thing to do. To add to the fun of the visit, as the nurse was giving the oral vaccine to her, she projectile vomited across the room--all over everything (I had just fed her right before). Needless to say, it's been a trying day for both of us. Now, she's asleep in her swing and I'm puttering about the house and things are looking up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Did It Happen

...that I now believe that 5:30 is a reasonable time to start the day?

This morning, when Will woke up at 5:45, he was so proud of himself. (He's been having a bit of trouble sleeping and has been saying that he's scared.)

"Daddy! I sleep SO well! I sleep so well, Daddy! I did it!!!"


Even though it's 5AM (or even 3:30), it's perfect. I watch her face in the half-light of her room as she's eating. Her eyes try so hard to stay open, but eventually succumb and close. She looks so peaceful. As she finishes eating, I bring her up to my shoulder, and she squirms and tosses and turns until she gets in just the right position and then sighs with complete contentment. I know I should put her in bed and go back to bed myself, but I can't resist rocking her just a few more minutes. During these nighttime feedings, we are free from distractions; free from the noise of the television, the phone, or her brother. I'm calm, not antsy to hurry up and finish feeding so we can move on to the next activity. So, even though it's the middle of the night, it really is perfect. I want to remember every thing about this--the way she looks, the way she smells, the coos and sounds that she makes. In some ways, I can't wait for the day when I can put her down at night and know that she will sleep all the way until morning. But, I know I will miss these special times, too. On one hand, these early days can't go quickly enough; but when they're gone, I know I will think they've gone too fast.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mather Version 2.0

Will, Halloween 2006:

Julia, Halloween 2008: