the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blogging About Big Kids

I started this blog many, many years ago. The point in the beginning was to blog about our experience adopting Marcus. Then we adopted him it was about life as a family of 3 and navigating suddenly becoming a multiracial family. Then there was Will's adoption. For years I blogged about the lives of my two fabulous kids. Life was good. The blog was good. And then things took a turn. No more adoption talk and really not much blogging about the two big boys that made us a family and got this whole blog thing rolling. What happened?

There is the obvious. Sean and Aaron took over the blog. It is easy to blog about babies. They do something new every day. They are cute and cuddly and don't talk back. They lay around and let me take lots of pictures of them.

I haven't decided to replace Marcus and Will's place on my blog with two new little boys. It is just hard to blog about big kids. They are still growing at a rapid rate and doing new things every day, but the differences day to day aren't that profound. Marcus and Will don't stay still long enough to even take many pictures of. Most of my pictures of them these days are when they are eating, because that is the only time when they aren't running and rolling and kicking and attacking me with dinosaurs.

Plus, I am becoming more and more aware that Marcus and Will aren't just my kids, but they are little people with rights to make their own decisions about what they want to share and not share with everyone who has access to the internet. Lately there have been problems in their lives that they have worked really hard and started to overcome. I'm so excited about what they have accomplished, how far they have come, and the success they have had. But I wonder, do they really want me to air their issues online? And so I end up not saying much about them at all.

But let me tell you one thing. Marcus and Will are becoming some pretty good swimmers. About two weeks ago, Will finally figured out how to go under water. It is one of those things that I have seen other young kids do and wanted so much for my kids to do too. I wanted so much for them to break free of just going to the pool to splash around, and start going to the pool to swim. But they would be ready for full submersion when they were ready. Will was ready. And Marcus was not about to let his brother do something that he couldn't do. A little bit of positive peer pressure, and Marcus is an underwater swimmer too. This week Marcus learned how to jump off the wall of the (little kids') pool without having anyone catch him. Way to go Marcus and Will! You are so blog-worthy!!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Truth about a Tooth

Sunday I was hanging out with some of my girlfriends* and something came up about baby teeth. Someone mentioned that they might have seen something in one of my little kids' mouth, but no, they do no have teeth. I did a pretty thorough check yesterday morning and no teeth. Then yesterday evening Greg announced, Aaron has a tooth. Nooo!!! Maybe this is supposed to be exciting. But it isn't. First my babies will have teeth, then I'll be kissing them good-bye as I drop them off at college. Teeth will make them look so old when they are just little babies. I am not on board with these babies getting teeth at all. Greg suggested we can file the tooth down.

So I went looking for this tooth. There was no tooth. Greg is crazy. Greg informed me I was looking in the wrong place. Aaron indeed did not have any teeth in his belly button. He did have on in his mouth, way off on the side, almost in the back, and it kinda looks like a molar. Logic tells me that it really isn't a molar. It is probably just one of those normal first of the four bottom teeth that comes in but the kid's mouth is so tiny it is almost in the back.

Crazy. My baby has a tooth. Stop growing up already.

*Aaron gave one of my girlfriends a hickey. Go Aaron. First hickey and it was to an older, and married woman! What a stud.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #7

Lunch at the pool! Ham, colby jack cheese, Quaker Multigrain Fiber Crisps, and an assortment of dried fruit.



Monday, July 18, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #6

This served as an impromptu dinner at the pool. Half a turkey sandwich for the kids (adults had a whole sandwich), broccoli with ranch dressing dip, crackers and cheese, and Annie's Fruit Snacks.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Mostly Healthy Lunch #5

Cold Caribbean jerked chicken leg, Sun Chips (in a plastic bag since I packed this the night before and didn't want soggy chips), strawberries from the farmer's market, blueberry yogurt with blueberries and chocolate chips



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Times

Last weekend our family took a trip to visit the inlaw's, which is a lovely, rather boring, two hour drive. There was good food with our good family and good times were had by all. Evening was rolling in. I fed the babies, we packed up, and figured all our tired boys would be quiet on the ride home.

We figured wrong.

In hindsight, our plan was doomed from the beginning. We neglected to somehow remember that each and every night at home, there is a massive duel baby meltdown precisely around the time that we were leaving the inlaw's that can only be cured by cluster feeding.

The drive home was just fine, for the first 10 minutes. Then Sean started to wail. Like an idiot I thought that maybe if we just stopped, gave him a break from screaming, that he would be okay. I pulled off at the first rest stop. I got Sean, Marcus, and Will out of the car and we went for a little walk. Aaron was peacefully sleeping. As soon as Sean was removed from his car seat, he was happy. Sean, Marcus, Will, and I returned to the car to be informed that Aaron had woke up while we were gone. As soon as I began to lower Sean into his carseat to continue on our way, the lower lip shot out and the wailing started up again. By the time we were all buckled in and headed for the highway, Aaron had joined in on the screaming. Only 56 more miles until the next rest stop.

What could be better than two screaming babies in the car?

Give up yet? How about two screaming babies in a car and a seven mile long traffic jam on a stretch of highway with no exits that completely put Will over the edge and caused him to start crying too.

I acted logically. First, I put down all the windows so the cars around us in the traffic could enjoy the sounds of my children. Next I attempted to reason with Will, while I drove, empathizing with his exhaustion and earful of baby screams. You would think that after 4 years of being with a child who has never been able to be talked down from the edge with reason or empathy once in his life, I would have known that this wasn't going to work. Finally, after making it through the traffic and to the next exit, I exited.

Parked at a Burger King, I headed for the passenger's seat while Greg piled babies on me to feed. I don't nurse the babies at the same time in public. I have tried a few times in emergencies and it was just a disaster and I never managed to get them both latched. I almost exclusively tandem nurse at home, using the football hold for both babies on this massive nursing pillow that is made for such an activity. The nursing pillow was at home. I was in a parking lot at a Burger King. I recall seeing a picture in a book I have about nursing multiples in this position in which each kid is diagonally across your body in a cradle hold with their legs crisscrossing each other between the mother's legs. I think it is called the cross-cradle hold. How perfect. In theory. With Greg's help, I did manage to get both babies latched, but it wasn't the happy nursing trio that the pictures in the book showed. Instead it was a tangled mess of babies and boobs. I was very thankful that Pennsylvania has a law that excludes breastfeeding from indecent exposure. Sean and Aaron looked about as uncomfortable as I did, but they were just happy to be fed. Greg and Marcus abandoned me, stuck in that strange and somewhat compromising position, and went into the Burger King to use the bathroom. Greg left Will to hang out in the driver seat of the car. (Somehow getting the chance to sit in the drive seat completely cured Will of his meltdown that had been occurring a few minutes earlier.) I couldn't move without dislodging a baby or two so I sat there as still as possible saying, "Don't touch that," and "Please stop doing that."

Babies had full bellies. Big kids got some french fries. Greg had a headache because he walked into the car somehow while we were in the parking lot. And I got to drive the rest of the way home in relative silence.

We were back on the highway. Eventually. After making our way through some winding back roads attempting to find an entrance onto the interstate since there was no signs or detour posted for the ramp to the interstate that was closed.

Not bad. A two hour trip home only took three and a half. Good times.


Friday, July 08, 2011

Six Months Stats

Today was the little kids' 6 month well baby visit. Both are extremely healthy and the doctor said, and I quote, "Those two just keep getting cuter each time I see them." Their cuteness is a medical fact now.

They are growing great, but that still doesn't mean they have made it onto the growth chart for height and weight. Actually I think Sean was in the 1% for something (too lazy to check what) but has now fallen off the chart. It is really no surprise since they were premies and the gene pool they had to draw from didn't have any big and tall genes available.

13 lbs 3 oz
23 1/2 inches long
head circumference 41 1/4 cm (3%)

11 lbs 10 oz
23 1/4 inches long
head circumference 42 cm (6%)


Saturday, July 02, 2011

My Sweet Potatoes

To celebrate Sean and Aaron hitting the ripe old age of 6 months, we let them get their fingers into some sweet potatoes. This was our first experience at introducing food to babies since Marcus and Will had already broken into the world of non-milk products before we got to meet them. I've been hearing a lot of buzz about baby lead weaning and thought we would give it a try. (Baby led weaning involves skipping the purees and instead offering chunks of super soft foods that babies can pick up and explore and hopefully eat themselves.)

Aaron's first reaction to sweet potatoes was that they were interesting to squeeze, interesting to lick, and five minutes later all he was interested in was getting that stuff off of him and to be held. So far, he hasn't been very successful at really eating any food. I don't think he is really ready for solids yet. He is still behind in a lot of areas, and eating has always been his biggest obstacle. We will keep offering and keep looking to him for signs of when enough is enough.

Then there is Sean. That kid has always loved to eat and sweet potatoes is just one more thing for him to get into his mouth. He sure loves his sweet potatoes! I wasn't sure if he was actually getting any in his mouth or if he was just squishing it up and smearing it all over his face. Based on his... umm... output... he has really been eating those sweet potatoes. His meals have all ended in tears of frustration. He just doesn't have the fine motor skills down as well as he would like in order to get those yummy treats into his mouth. There comes a point in each meal when it is evident that the frustration isn't worth the trouble and it is time to clean up.

I think mostly Aaron is just holding out until I stop offering the veggies. Something tells me he has a sweet tooth... somewhere under those gums.