Dean Family Blog

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Death by Diapers
Death by chocolate sounds like more fun, but that's not the stage of life we're in. I am amazed at the number of diapers Gracie can go through in a day. She's still too small for the smallest cloth diapers we have so we're filling the landfills one size 0 diaper at a time. At least we know her GI system works well.

To combat the diaper takeover, and because when we brought Gracie home I realized just how big Josiah's hiney was (any hiney that big should be wiped by it's owner), potty training has resumed. Monday morning the kids and I headed out to the store for training pants and M&Ms. Josiah likes his new big boy pants (that are MUCH easier to get out of quickly than cloth) and will do anything in his power to pee in his potty so he can get M&Ms. We're keeping them in a glass jar on the dining table as a reminder for him and every time he walks by them he gets excited about his 'pee pee Ms.' So far we've had quite a few successes and it's actually helped me a lot because he'll sit on his potty watching Thomas the Tank Engine while I feed Gracie. As long as Josiah continues to be this enthralled with M&Ms, we're fine.

Because I rarely do things the easy way, I also decided it was time to get Gracie on her schedule. She was already doing really well with the one she came with, but I started working out again this week so I needed to be able to get to bed at a decent hour so I could get up at an undecent hour. So far she is much easier than Josiah was. I like to think that we're just that much better at it this time around, but I think it has more to do with just being blessed with a good baby.

I also want to take a moment to brag on Philip a bit. He's always been a great dad, but he's really shining now. He and Josiah have been spending lots of 'guy time' together and it's made the transition so smooth for the little guy. Josiah has come to love his wrestle time with Daddy each evening and Philip has been going out of his way to find little things to make Josiah feel special. It's obviously working. Good job P!


'Hot on Hiney'
Josiah got to try out his swimming pool for the first time today. After being forcibly dressed and plopped by the pool he finally started to think this might be kind of fun...and then he wouldn't get back out. The thought that he got to bathe in the front yard and could stand up in the bath tub were really cool. But since we had a high UV index today, he only got to stay in for about an hour before I made him come back inside. When we went back out later to wait for Philip to come home he talked me into letting him swim naked. Playing naked is a rare occurrence around here because, in my experience, things that should be in a diaper end up in places other than a diaper (like my carpeting or couch). Josiah loved it, except when he tried to sit on the driveway to color with sidewalk chalk and decided it was 'hot on hiney.' I enjoyed it because we got some great pictures that will come back to torture him in about 15 years!

Dad Here: Speaking of torturing him in a few years... This is a video of Josiah, pre breakfast Monday morning. How can you have a bad week when your Monday starts like this? Enjoy!!


'Your Baby Has So Much Hair'
I remember Philip saying something about if we had a penny for every time we heard that comment with Josiah, his college would have been paid for by the time he was a month old. If Grace were on the same savings plan, hers would already be paid in full. I'm not sure why we make such hairy babies, but it seems to delight our friends and family. We do what we can.

As several friends mentioned in church today that they read the blog I cringed because I know too often this becomes my way to vent and I forget to put some of the funnier/more light hearted stuff up here. So, let's see what we can do about that...

The kids are sleeping well and have been taking naps at the same time the last several days (which means I get to as well!). Grace is still waking up 1 to 2 times a night and that's pretty great for someone who's not quite 3 weeks old. Josiah still loves Gracie and continues to look for ways to show that love. He enjoys petting her head and telling her 'it's ok' when she's upset and sharing his blanket (he's learning not to cover her head with it). He tried showing her his love by spiking a basketball in her face yesterday and was genuinely surprised when I started screaming and Gracie started crying. After allowing him to give her a kiss (that makes things better for him all the time) he calmed down and I could take care of the totally freaked out infant who'd just been wakened by a ball. Thankfully, Josiah isn't usually the reason for Gracie's crying and he asks to pray for her when she's upset (like when she pulls her own hair until it hurts and doesn't seem to understand she's the one doing it).

We've been continuing to work on sharing and Josiah seems to think it's a bit of a game and likes it (whatever works). We saw one of his good buddies yesterday at the city wide garage sales and I asked him to share his goldfish with her. He likes Becca, so he didn't have any problem with this and apparently neither did Becca. He continued to put crackers in her mouth, one at a time, until she couldn't close her mouth anymore. The funny part was that she didn't stop accepting them. I think she would have kept this up until she choked if we didn't ask Josiah to stop sharing.

I have learned that although I've got twice the work to do this time around, I also have someone (other than Philip) to occasionally tell me I'm doing a good job. When Josiah was an infant I'd move his lips and pretend he was telling me what a good mom I was being when I had a hard day. Now I have Josiah, who tries to help out, like when I got a 'Mama, good job' while I was in the restroom this week. Not exactly the kind of encouragement I was looking for, but I appreciate the thought.

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Stretch Marks
We're not even going to talk about the physical stretch's the mental ones that are getting me right now. I remember this feeling of being stretched a couple years ago when I had to figure out how to get used to my life being dictated by someone who was more selfish than I was (he had a good excuse, I still don't). Thankfully, everything isn't so new this time around, but I've still got a lot of learning to do and it's making me very tired. It takes me an hour and a half to get both kids fed, changed (and re-changed several times), dressed, packed and in the car. By the time we get there I'm ready for a nap and they're both hungry again. Pushing a double stroller has proven to be an amazing workout, which I suppose is good because I haven't figured out when I'm going to find another time to work out right now. I did actually set the alarm to use the elliptical this morning...and then laughed when it went off. I'd just gotten back to sleep from feeding Gracie and wasn't about to get back up right then. I suppose I'm just getting my first real taste of what life will be like for awhile and it's a bit overwhelming, but we figured it out once and I have faith we can do it again.

Ok, time to put Josiah down for a nap and hopefully take one myself. Gracie already has an uncanny ability to stagger her naps with Josiah's...grrr.


First Day Alone...For Real
We made it and (I think) I won! One major poop blow out, one child who refused to nap and threw the contents of his pants drawer around the room and 6 Curious George band aids (or baynd dains as Josiah calls them) made for a busy day. All in all, I was pretty proud of myself. I made it to bible study at the park and besides Gracie exploding yellow poo all over herself and her carseat we did really well. She even managed to get it in her does baby poo manage to defy the laws of physics and ignore gravity? Thankfully, I know to travel with a ton of wet wipes so she just got a wet wipe bath on the picnic table. Mom 1, kids 0.

Josiah decided not to nap...I have no idea why. He stayed in his crib for the full time, mostly just talking to himself. I was listening to him on the baby monitor, wondering what some of the noises were and trying to ignore them so I could get a nap. I got a call from Mama, who was watching him on the nap cam as he joyously emptied his pants drawer around the room. I figured the damage was already done and I'd leave him alone so I could have a little time alone. He had to help me clean up the mess after nap and he amused his grandmother, so I think we'll call this one a tie.

J's legs are covered in bug bites from Tennessee and I have to keep them plastered with band aids or he'll scratch them until he bleeds. Every time we go anywhere in the car he pulls them all off and hands them to me when I come to get him out. Ewww. I haven't run out of band aids yet, so I'm claiming victory here. Mom 2, kids 0.

Not bad.


Getting Back to Normal...Whatever That Is
The boys are back from Tennessee and I sure am glad. This house is really quiet (and a bit cleaner) with both of them gone, which is nice for a while and then gets weird. The only thing on TV here is about the flooding so I've been watching movies from the library when I need some noise. I haven't watched this many movies since Josiah was born. It's a little strange to be able to sit down and actually watch a whole movie without interruptions.

I hear the funeral went well and the whole family spent the day out at Pawpaw and Mawmaw's old house. Philip said it was just like he remembered it from childhood, with everyone sitting outside talking and the kids riding around the fields on 4 wheelers...except this time he was an adult and had to keep up with a kid. As I put Josiah to bed last night when they came home he kept telling me all the people he had played with and the tractor he got to drive (I'm hoping he meant 'ride'!). Philip said they actually had a really good trip, especially considering it's about 8 hours from here to there. Josiah loved watching the cars and trucks and had a DVD player for his Veggie Tales when he got bored (thanks Janice!).

Some of the flooding is starting to go down in Cedar Rapids. What little I've seen on TV has shown that major parts of downtown are starting to resurface, but with huge damage. It's going to be a long time before all of that gets back to anything close to normal.

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Our First Day Alone...Sort Of
Ok, Mama headed home this morning and Philip is back at work, so today was supposed to be my first day alone with both kiddos...except Philip just took Josiah and they're headed to Tennessee for Papaw's funeral. We decided it just wasn't smart to take Gracie that far from home and into so many people when she's so young. I am grateful I got left with the kid who is happy (Josiah was REALLY fussy today and I love him, but I'm not so upset to have a break right now). So I guess I'll get to see what it's like to have 2 kids by myself next week.

We were sorry to see Mama leave this morning. She's been a tremendous help and I can't believe a month has already gone by. Sometimes the distance doesn't seem so bad because of email and the blog, but we're all feeling it right now and it stinks.

The flood here continues to get worse and many areas aren't even expected to reach the crest until late this weekend or next week. The hospital we delivered in is evacuated, so it's a good thing Gracie didn't make it to her due date. Multiple bridges are down and downtown Cedar Rapids is unrecognizable. More roads close every few hours so I'm just staying close to home because I'm afraid to get stuck somewhere. This kind of weather makes me feel very small and out of control and I'm so grateful we are staying dry and still have power and water.

On a lighter note, I had Gracie sleeping in her chair yesterday while I was cleaning the kitchen and Josiah was playing with the box Allison's gift had come in. I realized he was repeating, "Where's Gacie?" and looked to see what he was up to. He'd put the box on her head (she slept through all this) and was pretending to look for her with a big, goofy grin on his face. At least he likes playing with her.

Big thanks to the gifts from Texas...the clothes are adorable and it means a lot to know you're celebrating with us.

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