Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nativity

Our ward had "A night in Bethlehem" last night, and it was a blast. There were booths set up all around the gym with different items for sale for a penny. We were given a sack of pennies on our way in, so we had plenty to buy our dinners, after taxes of course. Benjamin was so excited to go and buy his cheese. Here's the little shepherd boy. We had to tell him he was dressing like David or Samuel from his favorite scripture stories for this to work.
And as the family with the newest baby in the ward, we were asked to be in the live nativity. I was dressed as a very Catholic looking Mary, and we all enjoyed gazing lovingly at our baby while everyone sang beautiful Christmas songs. Fortunately Peter slept in heavenly peace the entire time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two-and-a-Half

Benjamin is officially 2 ½ as of yesterday. I’ve been saying the spacing between Benjamin and Peter is great because we’re just lumping together all of the effects of having a new baby and all the joys of Benjamin being 2 ½ and getting it over with, but it really has been challenging. I feel guilty most days because I know how much our relationship has changed since having Peter, and I’m definitely not as patient with him as I used to be.

Benjamin used to be the perfect child who could do no wrong (second children are good for the firstborn as well as the parents, don't you think?). He was adorable, sweet, obedient and good. Now he’s obstinate and extremely independent, unless he decides that either Paul or I need to do something for him. I find myself expecting more from him because he’s “big” now, but I know it’s probably unreasonable for me to do so. I have to keep reminding myself he is only 2 ½. He’s regressed a little with his potty training too. This morning, I asked him probably 10 times to go to the bathroom before he finally wet his second pair of pants of the day, right in front of the potty.

As frustrating as my little Benjamin can be, he forgives and forgets all of my less-than-stellar moments. He’s a sweet boy with a huge heart, and I learn a lot from him. He is smart and so imaginative and fun. I feel so lucky to be the mother of this amazing little boy.

This morning as he was using all of his usual tactics to get us out of bed (i.e. trying to injure Peter), Paul finally said to him, “That makes Mommy and Daddy really sad when you do that. And it makes Jesus sad…And Santa Claus,” to which Benjamin quickly replied, “No, only Santa Claus.” We’re still trying to teach him to understand the real meaning of Christmas. :)

He is obsessed with this book we got at the library about Santa Claus called “The Christmas Bear.” It really does have fantastic illustrations and the story line is pretty cute, but I’ve read it probably at least a dozen times every day since we got it. This afternoon as we were reading it, he got so frustrated because he couldn’t “skidoo” into the page (if you haven’t ever seen “Blue’s Clues,” Steve and Blue “skidoo” into pictures and books on every episode). He was saying “Blue skidoo, you can too!” and jumping and making the right sound effects, but to no avail. So we had to pretend to “skidoo” into the pictures and play with all the cool toys.

Hopefully if he’s really good this year, Santa Claus will bring Benjamin a “fon-un,” or “fire engine,” in case you didn’t catch that. And if I’m good this year, maybe two-and-a-half will fly by!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Some Videos of the Boys

video

Here's a boring newborn video. We were trying to capture Peter's terrific gutteral goat grunt but couldn't get more than a couple of coos out of him.

video

"It's a cyclone experiment!" Benjamin saw this on Blues Clues, and was stoked when Paul brought two bottles home to try it out.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving...A Week Post-Date

I'm finally getting around to posting about Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful time. Paul had work off from Wednesday through Friday, so we drove up to Indianapolis on Wednesday morning to spend a few days with Paul's cousins and Grandma. It was a four hour drive, which turned out to be perfect. Benjamin was able to entertain himself almost the entire time, and Peter slept with one break to eat. It was great to get out of St. Louis for a few days and just take a break from normal life. Paul's cousin Adrea and her husband Josh were awesome and made their first Thanksgiving dinner for a group of eight, plus two toddlers. We provided our measly contribution by making the rolls and some pumpkin bread. Grandma was appalled that we threw out the neck and giblets...apparently they're supposed to be used in the gravy. But as far as I was concerned, everything tasted great! Thanks again, everyone!


Those are the satisfied faces of those who stuck around after the meal for a fun game. We all wrote one thing we were grateful for, and Grandma read them all aloud for us to guess. I was pretty proud of the fact that I stumped everyone with "gas heat." They all thought it was Josh, who had actually written "fossil fuels." Everyone guessed Paul's right away though. His was "proximity."

Paul and me.
Paul's other cousin Maddy and her husband Seth decorated the table and came up with the game. Here's Seth making butter after salt was accidentally used in place of sugar in the whipping cream.
Maddy is an awesome photographer and took a bunch of pictures of Henry and Benjamin playing together. Henry is just two months younger than Benjamin, so they had a great time together when they weren't grappling over a toy or knocking each other down. I'm pretty sure they're both much more affable to lady friends. :)

Henry was so sweet to Peter. He even let him hang out in his beloved chair during our stay! Here's Benjamin pretending to fawn over his baby brother like Henry. Since we've been home of course, it's been a different story. Good thing we can use Santa as a discipline tactic now! I wish I could say that it works all the time, but I'm usually giving Benjamin "time outs" every 15 minutes or so towards the end of the day, when he's had just about enough of me nursing and holding Peter.
So anyways, I'm thankful for all of you! We really do feel blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. Happy December, or "kimmih-time" as Benjamin would put it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Monday's Child


Peter turned one month old yesterday! I took him to his doctor's appointment, and I'm astonished at how physically similar he is to Benjamin. He weighed in at 11 lbs. 4 oz., measuring around the 86th percentile. At 5 weeks, Benjamin was 11 lbs. 7 oz. We've been looking through Benjamin's baby pictures of him at Peter's age, and their faces are even little copies of each other. But As similar as they are physically, their personalities are totally different. Peter just seems more like a baby to me than Benjamin ever did. He's a sweetheart.
I'm not sure one month old pictures will happen though, at least not here. Monday's (induced) child is not so fair of face right now (Question: if a baby is induced, does the little rhyme still apply?). He has really bad baby acne, plus I think he has some sort of rash going on from our dryer sheets. He also has cradle cap flakiness all over his ears and eyebrows and scalp. Poor kid. It looks pretty miserable.
Benjamin is Friday's child, and legitimately too. He has been very loving and giving these past few days. I think he's gradually becoming less hot/cold and getting back to his normal self. He has been saying some of the funniest things lately. When I put him down the other night, he said to me "I want some... golden... golden... bread." Not really sure where "golden" came from, but he's also used it to describe the kind of "DOY-moke" (soy milk) and juice he wants.
I'm a Saturday's child, and I always felt gypped that I'd have have to work hard for a living. I had this old book when I was growing up, which is why it is so beat up. I lucked out when my Mom passed it on to me, even though I'm sure my seven brothers and sisters loved this book just as much as I did.
I looked up Paul's birth day of the week and his was Sunday. It makes sense. Paul sure is blithe. And winsome. And happy and gay. He makes me happy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I know, I know...

You've all been dying to see more pictures of the cutest baby on the planet. Well, here you go.

"I gotta get me some more of that!"

Thoughtful fellow


This kid has pears hanging off the sides of his face! Oh, those are his cheeks.


Woof.


"He made his first look!"

Hey! What's the big idea?

I love this mohawk!

"Get that corn outta my face!!!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Few Pictures for the Grandmas

Peter is three weeks old already! Hard to believe. The time has flown, and yet it seems as if we've had Peter with us forever. We've now been on our own for a week, and so far no toddler casualties...many close calls though. Benjamin has had some pretty trying moments, especially on Sunday when we got home from church around nap time. When he really wants a reaction out of us, he knows to jump on the bed around Peter's head or poke his eyes or soft spots. But he still says he loves him and gives him gentle hugs. I think this picture is funny. Lots of two-year-old attitude.

Here's his Halloween costume. He picked a dog costume this year at a second-hand store. He really enjoyed trick-or-treating in our mostly elderly neighborhood. There weren't too many other kids to compete with for the good stuff!

Devouring the spoils.
"I ludd a baby brudder!"
Three weeks old.
Benjamin was releasing some creative energy tonight. Here's my three boys!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life With a Newborn: Take Two

I have to say, life with a newborn isn't nearly as hard this time as I expected it to be, and it is SO nice to not be pregnant anymore! Granted, we've been totally spoiled this time with Paul's Mom coming to stay with us for the first week, and my Mom is here for ten days, but we're doing great. I've found I have less patience with Benjamin than I used to, but overall, he's done well at adjusting to life as a big brother. The key differences this time? First, Peter is a very chill newborn. He sleeps a lot, eats well, and has most of his quiet, alert periods during the day. I keep him in our bed, so most nights he sleeps, fusses a little, I feed him, and then he goes right back to sleep. So in the morning, I actually feel rested! I didn't think it possible to feel rested after a night with a newborn. And thanks to our Moms, I'm able to rest throughout the day and not worry about the house and cooking so much. Second, I'm less paranoid. I've been so much more relaxed about everything this time around, so I'm not constantly on the verge of tears. Nursing? Piece of cake. Bathing him? Not nearly so scary. Going places? Do-able. I feel so empowered having done this before!
Third, I have a two-and-a-half-year-old Benjamin around this time. This initially scared me, taking on two kids, but it's been nice (I should add that my Mom is still here, and takes him jogging every morning and reads to him, plays with him, and takes him places, so I'm probably speaking too soon). I'm not bored. I don't feel guilty about not engaging Peter every minute he's awake, and I have a cute little helper who actually responds when I talk to him. He's still adjusting of course and testing our limits, but overall he's been a sweetheart. He still gives Peter kisses constantly and tells us how much he loves his baby brother. His more trying moments usually come when he's over-tired or hungry (big surprise!), so we're trying to make sure his routine doesn't get too rocked. So life is good. It really is fun being Mommy of two.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome Home...

...Peter Julian Cannon!

He is a wonderful newborn. He only cries when he is cold and will soothe himself by sucking his thumb.
Benjamin was excited to greet us when we came home from the hospital!
Here is Benjamin Wilcox Cannon holding his new brother, Peter Julian Cannon. I think they're both good, strong names for good, strong boys.

Benjamin repeated over and over again, "I like a new baby brother! I like Peter! I LUDD a baby brother!" As he mauled him with kisses and love pats. He says Peter's head feels like a caterpillar. We'll see how long this brotherly love lasts...
I couldn't resist putting this last picture in of Benjamin when he was barely born. I'm not sure this is the best picture to show resemblance between the two, but they do look a lot alike. The nurses kept commenting on how cute Peter's red hair was, and I was confused because I don't see it as red compared to Benjamin's. I guess it's a pretty auburn color. But he sure does have a lot more than Benjamin did!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's A BOY!!!!!


Well we're pleased to announce baby "tbd," Benjamin's new baby brother. This will just be a quick post with a couple of pictures, because we're still busy doing the new parents thing. We were greatly blessed that Grandma Cannon could be here to make our visit to the hospital worry free. Benjamin loves grandma and has been having a good time.

Sarah and I went called into the hospital early Monday morning and arrived just before 8:00 am. They began the induction around 10:30. Because she was being induced, Sarah thought she'd opt for the epidural. She did try to progress as long as she could naturally prior to getting the anesthesia; she was a rockstar. After the epidural I felt pretty useless, so she slept and I watched Cash Cab for a while.

Around 6:00 pm the nurses checked out how things were going and thought it was time to get the Dr. in fast. The baby was born at 6:40 pm after less than 5 minutes of pushing. Way to go Sarah.

"TBD" born 10/20/08 at 18:40
A whomping 8 lbs 12 oz.
We'll get back to you with the name ASAP.









Sunday, October 19, 2008

Final Countdown

I got a call from the hospital this afternoon, and it looks like they'll most likely admit me early tomorrow morning. Paul's Mom is here, and I think Benjamin understands a little too well what that means. She came in last night after he was in bed, so when he woke up and I told him she was here, he told me the was baby coming. He's been telling Paul and me to go away all day. We feel loved. :) No, we couldn't be happier that Grandma is here! She is wonderful with Benjamin, and they'll have a great time while Paul and I are at the hospital.

So in light of the fact that Benjamin could care less about my existence at present, I am posting a few pictures of the past week for your viewing pleasure!
Benjamin went shirt-less for a memorable spaghetti dinner. I accidentally dumped too much fennel in the sauce, and so we enjoyed picking out the 40 or so seeds from our plates. It wasn't one of those meals you could just hurry and eat!

One morning before I could even get out of bed, Benjamin had somehow climbed the shelves in our pantry and gotten out the yellow paint. He had poured a good deal of it in his paint tray, with only a couple drops on the carpet... We weren't too thrilled with him of course, but after breakfast, he got his wish, and we went outside and painted a big cardboard pumpkin with nice fall colors.

On Saturday morning, we went up to Grant's Farm. It's owned by Anheuser Busch, so all along the nice train ride through the historic grounds that were once owned by General Grant, were plugs for the once all-American beer. It also had an interesting variety of animals to see along the way, and of course near the entrance were the stables with the giant Clydesdales. The train takes you to a petting zoo area, so we thought it would be a lot of fun for Benjamin. I guess I should have anticipated a Halloween theme, but it was really creepy- especially for a toddler. There was even scary music playing throughout the park. Benjamin was uneasy the whole time, and begged to get back on the train. So we didn't stay long.
Our next post should bring some exciting news!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Baby Update

Paul just left for Detroit this afternoon. He'll only be gone until tomorrow night, but it's still a little nerve wracking that I could potentially go into labor while he's away. Luckily I have good friends who are willing to help if an emergency arises!

I'm hoping that this pregnancy will be much like last time, that I won't go into labor until my due date. But I am already at 3 cm, 50% effaced...I'm scheduled for an induction a week from today (October 20th) during Paul's Mom's stay with us. My Mom will come soon after she leaves, so we'll be well taken care of! We're so excited for both of them to come! It was kind of weird to set my induction date up though, knowing that a week from today I won't be pregnant anymore. I'm not sure why, since I could just as likely go into labor on my own tomorrow.

I had a wonderful baby shower from my ward this past week, so I'll have a bunch of thank-you cards to write while Paul's gone. Since there's a difference in season between our two boys, I opted to have one. It's also fun to have a few new things that aren't filled with memories of baby Benjamin.

Benjamin has been really cute about the baby. He's been excited to see all the new clothes and things that we've taken out for his new brother. We signed him up for a "Tyke Hike" at the hospital where he listened to a story, learned how to hold a baby, saw the beds that the moms stay in, and looked at all the new babies in the nursery. He even got a certificate and a bucket with crayons and a little coloring book. He likes me to read the coloring book over and over to him. It talks about the changes that happen when a new baby comes, and helps the big brother/sister feel like an important part of the process. Benjamin picked out a present to give to his new brother. It's a blanket very similar to his beloved "Cuddles," so the baby can have his own. We've asked him if he likes several different names we have on our short list, and he has pretty strong opinions about all of them. He's chosen the name "Peter," and is very consistent in telling us (and even strangers) so. When I went to the doctor this morning and left him with Paul, he fully expected that I was going to go and get the baby out this time.

I think he'll be a good big brother, although I'm fully anticipating a rocky start (perhaps not until his Grandmas leave). I admit it's a little bittersweet for me too, that our relationship will never be quite the same. I just finished looking through the past year's worth of photos, trying to choose my favorite ones to print. It was so fun to look back and realize how much he's physically grown and how much his personality has developed. It's been a wonderful chapter in our lives, just the three of us. And before we know it, the next chapter will begin!

$2.95?!

Yeah, I saw gas today for $2.95. Crazy, huh? I've heard St. Louis has the cheapest gas in the nation, so living here has its' advantages! :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm ready...

I'm 25 years old today. A quarter of a century! Thanks, Mom, for bringing me into the world so many years ago. I know it wasn't easy. I was 8 lbs. 6 oz., and I know I caused her a pretty uncomfortable pregnancy. About a week before her due date, she refused to set up another doctor's appointment because she was having her baby! And she did. I came about a week early. I guess I've been reflecting a lot more on the sacrifices she made today as I prepare myself for our new baby.
The 37 weeks shot:
When I was pregnant with Benjamin, I seriously had no problem remaining in that state for nine full months. I knew how much a new baby was going to change our lives, so I was not at all "baby hungry" until I about three days before he was born. He came right on time, and our lives did in fact drastically change. We loved this new little stranger, but it was still strange that he was ours. I think it took me a few days before I really began to fall in love with my baby.

I guess I have had similar feelings this pregnancy. It's hard, for example, to pick a name for a person who I've never met. And weird as it may sound, I'm not itching to have a newborn again. I was so glad when the newborn stage was over with Benjamin! So, we're in for another adventure. Maybe I'll feel differently this time and wish he wouldn't grow up so fast.

Last week, my gestational diabetes consultant gave me a prescription for a low dose of glyburide, which aids in insulin production. Towards the end of pregnancy, hormones can actually make blood sugars continue to rise, so that's what we were seeing. Anyways, I thought it was no big deal. One pill every night. Well, it turns out, it also affects how many times I go in for non-stress tests at the hospital. Now I go twice a week on top of my regular weekly OB appointments. I also found out on Monday that they don't want me to carry beyond 39 weeks. That's only a week and a half from now! So, I'm done. I'm so ready to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I'm ready to have my body back. I'm ready to just lay low for a few weeks and not have to go to so many doctor's appointments. I've gotten to the point where I'm ready to face the indescribable new-mom exhaustion, and the turmoil Benjamin that will surely go through. I'm guess I'm ready for a newborn.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I love October

October is one of my favorite months. The air is cooler, the sky is bluer, and the trees are just beginning to change colors. I love General Conference weekend- I'm really looking forward to it! Especially after such an amazing Women's Conference. I love Halloween, although I'm becoming a lot more sensitive to all the disgusting, scary displays that seem to be everywhere. Benjamin is really curious about them and asks what they are, so I've had to divert his eyes several times and just tell him "those are yucky things." I also get to celebrate my birthday this month, and soon the birthday of our second child!
Benjamin and I went to a pumpkin patch today with a bunch of friends from our ward. It was a beautiful day, although a little warmer than I was expecting. Benjamin came home with rosy cheeks, but had lots of exciting things to tell Daddy when we picked him up at work.
The highlight of the day: an old fire engine that the kids could climb on.
He "drove" it for a long time. He was in heaven!
Here's a bunch of the kids who came.
The other highlight for Benjamin was the tractors.
This one was pretty cool.