Monday, February 28, 2011

So What's Been Keeping You Up At Night?

Drewey hit the 3-month mark a few days ago.  I've been holding out for that date.  It seems like 3 months was the magic date with Tess, when everything settled down and she actually started sleeping through the night.

Not so with Drewey.  In fact it seems that nights have gotten worse since he turned 3 months.  At night he's up every 3 hours and I'm growing tired of it.  Literally.

I don't know if he needs to eat more because he's going through a growth spurt, or what.  I've tried giving him more with each feeding, but he won't take anymore than his usual 4 ounces.

This kid is growing like a weed though!  He's over 14 lbs. and is well into size 6 mos clothing now.  Everyone comments about how big he is.  A mom at the gym had an infant about his size and she asked how old Drew was.  She was really surprised at Drew's age because her son was 6 mos old and not yet 14 lbs.

He's a very cute and sweet boy.  And a mighty hungry one too.  I just heard him crying.  Time to make another bottle!

February 2011 Tidbits

I love that Ryan will take Tess to play outside even when it's freezing cold.

Tonight at FHE, I read Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." I asked Tess if she ever does "good works." "Yes, I do! I do good work on my potty training!"

Ryan and I were talking during Tess' portion of FHE (she usually makes up a game for us to play). We were chastized: "No talking during Family Home Ebening!"

This morning Drew was wrapped in his swaddling blanket, but I'd freed his hands so only his legs were still confined. Tess' observation: "He look like a mermaid!"

New Tess phrase: "It's so 'dorable!"

I think Tess is pretty well daytime potty trained! We are becoming intimately familiar with the bathrooms of our community. (Oh, these are the bathrooms in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood!)

"Who made this?" After she watches a show or reads a book, Tess often wants to know who made it. I'm not always sure how to answer that question.

Whenever I'm on the phone with:
Dipsy...Tess asks...What Papa doing?
Nana...Tess asks...What Papa doing?
Meredith...Tess asks...What Lauren doing?
Maureen...Tess asks...What Xander Pants doing?

Tess has been running around, circling a ribbon in the air and yelling, "HEE HAW!" When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was a cowboy catching something. She said cowboys wear hats, shirts and cowshoes. She then corrected herself: "Oops, I mean horseshoes!"

Tess cracks me up when she tips her sunglasses and says, "Nice to meet you!"

Tess likes to put on my jewelry and play "get married."

According to Tess, anything that didn't happen today happened "yesterday."

Tess has been learning how to take a shower. After her shower today, she told me she'd just had a "warm, hot 'sauge" (aka "massage").

Tess informed us at dinner that tomorrow is Halloween. Tess and Mommy will be princesses. We will wear "crowns and beautiful dresses." Daddy will be a prince. He'll wear "nice hair, a fancy coat, shoes and bow on his neck." Drew will be a mouse, with "a nose, little bitty ears, a tail, two teeth and cheese." Tess will carry her little red pail for trick-or-treating. These plans are firmly set in stone.

Getting ready to brush her teeth, Tess climbed up on her stool, looked in the mirror and greeted herself: "Remember me?"

Anyone know how to teach a 3-year-old to stop backtalking?

Tess was watching Drew trying to fit both fists into his mouth. "Look like he playing a trumpet!"

Ryan and I went mattress shopping today. We had a computerized diagnostic test to determine our mattress preferences, which happen to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. Turns out we aren't as compatible as we thought.

I've never known anyone who can take as long to go to the bathroom as Tess. Honestly, by the time she's finished, it's time for her to go again.

On a walk, Tess and Ryan spotted two little dogs, one in a red sweater and one in a blue sweater. Tess told Ryan, "Together they make PURPLE!"

Tess excitedly told me that she was dressing up to play "Princess" with Daddy in her "castle." (Aka "the bathroom"--I guess they call it "the throne" for a reason.) "I be a princess and Daddy be a prince. Drewey, you can be...ummm....the mouse!"

The other day I was telling Tessie that there was a time when Mommy didn't know if she could have children, but then Heavenly Father sent me Tess and Drewey. Today she told Ryan: "Mommy had no friends, so Heavenly Father gave her me and Drew!"

While Tess was eating her lunch she said, "Mom, my face like a plate!" I assumed she meant that her face and plate were both covered with food, but still I asked, "How is your face like a plate?" Her response: "They both white!"

A favorite Tess line: "Mom, make him talk." Usually in reference to either her teddy bear or her baby brother.

When I take Tess out with no Pull-up I feel like an acrobat without a net.

New Tess phrase: "I wish I had that."

We've been checking out preschools for next year. We went to visit one this week and Tess was in her element there. When I asked her what she thought of it being her school next year she said, "I be beary brave. Mom, I wish I could stay here!"

For someone who really hates going to the gym, Tess sure has a good time once she's there. Wish I could say the same for me.

In other potty-related matters, Tess now calls her farts "little peeps."

"I have to go potty quick, Mom!' Music to my ears!

Ryan gave me a gift certificate for a massage for Valentine's Day. When I opened it I said, "Look, Tessie! Mommy gets to have a massage!" She turned around and tried rubbing her back against the paper. "How it work, Mommy?"

Tess stayed dry the entire day for the first time today! It was the best Valentine's Day present she could've given me!

Ryan was at a church training meeting when Tess went to bed last night, and he was at his early morning church meetings when she got up this morning. Tess asked where Dad was during breakfast, and I told her he was at a church meeting. Her response: "At meeting still? He gone LONG time!"

"Mom, know what 'leave me alone' means? It means I need privacy."

"Mom, know another word means 'hungry?' Another word is 'starving.' Mom, I starving!"

"I not doing that!" Tess' response whenever we tell her to stop doing something. Deny all charges.

Today Ryan offered to get Tess out of my hair for a little while and take her to the church while he did some work in the clerk's office. Her response: "I think I stay here." So, I sweetened the deal: "Tess, if you go with Dad to the church, you guys can go get a smoothie together after!" Her response: "How about I stay here? Dad, you bring a smoothie to me?"

"Mom, you know why I shake my hair? Cuz I'm so get-cited!"

Tess was thrilled to find new sunglasses in her heart pocket for Valentine's Day. She's been wearing them everywhere we go, and she often comments: "Mom, it's dark in here!" She tried them on her teddy bear and said, "There, Teddy. Now you look completelylike a movie star!"

Tess hasn't taken a nap in months. This afternoon Tess was so insistent that we not go to the gym I told her she could choose between that and taking a nap. She chose the nap, and she actually took it. If she hates the gym that much, I may have to start going at 6 am. Especially if I can get a nap in the afternoon!

My charming Tessie has taken to calling me "Big Bum." I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't such an accurate description. I told her that it was not nice to say and that I didn't like those words. She insisted it was nice and that she was just "being goofy." I asked her if there were others words she could use to be goofy, and she eagerly rattled off a bunch of nonsense words. Now she'll call me "Skalala" and then ask: "That better than 'Big Bum,' Mom?" Much better.

I have to be careful what I say around Tess--she's been getting me in trouble. Last night I was waiting impatiently for Ryan to get home from work so I could go to Enrichment. When I got home from the activity Ryan said to me, "So, Tess told me that I'm slow. She told me that Mommy said, 'Daddy too slow!'"

I have not changed a stinky Tess diaper in 4 days! She likes putting it "down the pipe."

Tess' description of her tricycle-riding skills: "I can go backways and right ways."

I (Ryan) often ask Tess about her dreams the previous night. This morning we had the following conversation. Tess: "What you dream about, Dad?" Ryan: "I don't remember, Tess. Did you know that people dream every night, but they don't always remember their dreams." A few minutes later, Tess, apparently unsatisfied with my response, asks me: "Dad, you dream about an elephant or cat?" Ryan, playing along: "An elephant." Tess: "The elephant ride a bike. Was it a big elephant or a little elephant?" Ryan: "Big." Tess: "That a funny dream."

We were reading books at the library and Tess was ready to pick out a new book to read. "Mom, you stay right here and don't move. I be right back. You no get in trouble."

Tess and I were discussing what she should do if someone else takes one of her toys. "I have a great idea!" she said. "I get a net!"

"Mom, please call gym we not coming."

New Tess phrase: "But I really, really want.... I really, really do!"

Tess is becoming more aware and concerned about the order of things. At dinner, she'll often ask what we're doing tomorrow: "Mom, after I finish dinner and brush my teeth and do jammies and play with Dad and read book and go sleep--what next?"

Whenever Tess spits out her toothpaste in the sink she says, "ptooey!"

I love the names Tess comes up with for her dolls, such as "Claudee Sashee Pushda." As she says it, you can tell she's making it up as she goes along.

New Tess phrase: "If you say so."

Tess was drawing pictures of our family with Ryan last night. When it came time for my portrait, she asked: "Mom, you got glasses, or just eyes?"

I love baby kisses.

We're now working through the "I don't want to go to the gym" tantrums. (Tessie, not me.) Today she said she wanted everything at the gym to go away. "Mommy, you tell the teachers, kids, toys, ceiling, carpet and walls to go away! You say that, OK?"

"Mom, I have a question for my teachers [at the gym]. My question is, "You go away. You stay in bathroom, OK?"

I'm continuing to hone my skills as a race-relations mediator. Tess has now decided that she doesn't like the teacher at the gym "with black hair." She's an hispanic lady who is as nice as can be and loves Tess. And she has an accent. Tess says, "She talk to me and she talk different. She talk interesting. She say, 'Play with me' and that not nice!"

Tess and I were discussing holidays. I told her that Christmas was a celebration because Jesus was born and Easter was a celebration because Jesus was alive again. She started freaking out screaming, "What Jesus look like? I no want to see him! He no come to my house! I no see Santa, I no see Jesus!"

Tess was reminiscing about Christmas and I told her that Santa would come again next year. "OK, I sit on the couch and wait for him."

When we have to use diaper rash cream on Tess, we tell that the medicine is "doing its job" to get rid of her owie. Last night she told us the medicine "needed a hammer or something" to do its job.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Looooooooong Week

It's been a long week, this one.

We had Tess' playgroup here for the first time since Drew arrived.  It was actually really fun.  Drew pretty much slept the whole time and we did fun Valentine's activities.

The kids have all grown up so much and they get along so well together now.  Tess has gotten much better at managing her fits of impatience and jealousy.  I'm proud of the skills she's learned in dealing with others.

The other big change is that they're all potty-training now, so at least half of the time is spent on potty breaks with all the other kids cheering on their successes.  I think Tess' potty candy may have had something to do with all the prolific pee-ers in my house that day.

Tess was excited for her friends to play up in her new bedroom.  They had a pretty wild time.  The bunkbed was a hit.

Drewser's been a good boy lately.  He just keeps getting cuter and cuter.  I weighed him today and he's now 14 lbs.  He's well into the 3-6 month size now.  His night-sleeping is still in progress.  Usually he does about 4 hours at a time, but every so often he'll sleep a full 7 hours.  I'm ready for that to become more regular.  Come on, Drewey!  You can do it!

So, the first half of the week was going pretty well--until Wednesday night.  My back was a little sore when I woke up that morning, and when I went to the gym that afternoon, I knew I was in trouble.  By the evening, my lower back muscles had totally seized up.  This happened once when I was pregnant, so I knew what it meant:  limited, agonizing mobility.  I thought it was bad being pregnant, but with a newborn it's even worse with all the bending and lifting required.

By that night, I could also tell I was starting to get sick.  Thursday I woke up with a fever, a majorly swollen throat, and an incapacitated back.  Once the ibuprofen wore off, my fever would spike to 103 degrees. Ryan was able to come home an hour early, but it was a long day.

Friday my back was feeling better.  That was a relief--that back pain is the worst!  But the high fever continued and my throat was still on fire.  Another long day.

The fever finally broke Friday night, but I still went to the doctor today because my tonsils look like golf balls.  My strep test was negative, the doctor still gave me antibiotics because she didn't want my tonsils to become infected.  She asked me, "Have you looked at your throat?  Have you seen how bad it looks?"  No, I frequent the doctor on Saturday mornings for fun.

But with a bend-able back and a normal temperature, I'm feeling pretty darn good.  Even if I can't really swallow.

So, what did the homebound kiddies do with a less-than-energetic Mom for 2 days?  OK, mainly watch TV.   A lot of TV.  But Tess did have a few creative moments in spite of her tube-induced coma.

Did I forget to mention that during these miserable two days, it just happened to be in the mid-70's outside?  I let Tess play in the backyard while I lay on the couch.  She came running in with this get-up:

Can you guess what she is?  A pirate, of course!  
Why the tools in her underwear?  She was in the backyard "digging for treasure."

Pretty bad picture, I know.  But I wasn't about to get off the couch in search of better lighting.  And no, her hair isn't brushed.  And no, she has no pants on because she already wet through a pair of pants that morning.  Plus if she had pants, where would she stash her pirate tools?

More storage in the back!

Tess was aching to go outside and play.  She made do with standing at the door watching all the other kids play.

Tess also entertained herself by constructing "little resting places."

One final source of entertainment came from Tess' decision that her kitchen needed "some decoration for after-Christmas."  This involved her taking down all my decorations in the living room and finding a more suitable place for them on her kitchen.  With each item, she'd look at me and say, "That fine, Mom?  That fine with you?"  And she was genuinely shocked when each time I said, "Sure, that's fine with me."  Because it was easier than saying no.  And she'd nod her head in agreement with me, "Cuz it's for after-Christmas.  I need my after-Christmas decorations."

So, back is better, fever is gone.  Kids are still alive.  Now I just need my tonsils back to normal size. I'd also like those 2 days of 70-degree weather back, too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

I REALLY want to go this year.  Really, really, really!

There's a stupid lottery system for tickets, so once it opens up, I'm going to be relying on each of you to submit requests on my behalf!

While looking for info on this year's event, I found this page:

I fell for it for a couple of minutes.  So did Ryan, so now I don't feel so dumb.

You have to check out the Secret Service Agent for a Week Program.  If we don't get tickets to the Egg Roll, we may give it a shot!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tess of the Higginbothams (and Drew, too)

Everyone is growing up around here.  

Drew will be 12 weeks old this Wednesday. He is so big I had to remove the infant head support from his carseat today.  I get tons of comments about what a big baby he is.  

Last night I was surprised to watch Drew reach out and grab one of the rings on his bouncy seat.  I thought it was maybe a fluke until he did it over and over again. (Sidenote:  Tess calls his vibrating bouncy seat the "shivering chair" and today she asked me if the shibering chair was cold.)

Tess has been making good potty training progress.  I haven't changed a stinky Tess diaper in about a week.  She can tell when it's coming and she runs to the bathroom.  

The rest is coming slowly.  (OK, that wasn't a good choice of words.)  I switched her from M&M's to Mike & Ike's because I couldn't stop eating the M&M's by the fistful.  She thinks Mike & Ike's are a special treat and they seem to be working.  

Maybe a little too well.  Today in the car she told me her hands were "all cold and hot," and I was surprised to see how chapped they are.  I think it's from all the potty handwashing.

A couple more pics of the kids' room.  I put up the matching car hooks and hung up their blessing outfits.  

Tess has been having fun with the table & chairs set from her Dipsy.  She calls that corner her "little house."  She likes to do "craps" on the table.  Recently been telling me that she needs to do her "homework" there, so I print out worksheets for her to color.

Drewey's been busy with his cooing.

My Aunt Trea sent us her college copy of Tess of the d'Urbervilles when Tess was born.  For a long time now, this has been one of Tess' favorite books.    She knows it says her name on the front and she calls it her "T-S, Tess" book.  She is mesmerized by the map of Wessex in the front of the book.  She also likes to look at the picture of the "guy who made it" on the biography page.

Lately, she's started reading the book aloud to us.  It's an incredible story of Tess, her baby brother, her mommy and daddy and how she goes to school, has friends and plays with toys.  

The other day she asked me to read her the words in the book.  So we lay on the bed together, and I started in on the story of Tess' father, John Durbeyfield and his dusty, noble d'Urberville lineage.  Tess kept stopping me and asking, "Where's Tess?"  I told her this part was about her dad and Tess was coming later.

The next morning, I snapped this picture of Tess before breakfast.  She was explaining to Ryan:  "This part Tess' daddy.  She come later."

 Too bad poor Tess Durbeyfield didn't have a dad like Tess Higginbotham's.  Her dad likes to have "blower battles."  

Another picture of Tess Higginbotham's daddy.  "He have long legs."  And a tie.  When drawing the portrait, she asked Ryan:  "Dad, you got polka dot tie or blue polka dot tie?"  The polka dots are under the blue part.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Sunday was a special day as Drew was given a name and blessing by his dad.  There was an incredible spirit in the meeting as Ryan gave baby Drew his blessing.  Drew is a lucky little boy to have a father who can give him blessings and who loves him so much.

Drew's Nana and Papa came for the day, and Keith joined in the blessing.

A recap of Drew's blessing:

Ryan blessed Drew's body with health and vitality.  He blessed Drew that his senses, organs, and limbs will function and develop in a way that will serve him throughout life.  

Ryan blessed Drew with an active and curious mind.  He blessed Drew with a thirst for knowledge and wisdom—that he will find joy in learning about the world and obtain appropriate education for fulfillment in this life. 

Ryan blessed Drew with a desire to draw close to Heavenly Father through study and prayer and that Drew will seek out the ordinances that will enable him to return to Him.

Ryan blessed Drew to recognize and develop his talents and use them for good, including by sharing the gospel.  He blessed Drew to serve others and seek to bear others’ burdens and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.   

Ryan blessed Drew with happiness in his family life.  Ryan blessed him with an appreciation of the tremendous love that his sister, parents, grandparents, and other family have for him.  He blessed Drew that he will find the same happiness in a family of his own, that he will find a compatible mate to marry and with whom he can have children, and that he will have a long and fruitful life.

Drew looked so special in a beautiful white blessing outfit that his Nana picked out long before he was born.  He wore the same white shoes that Tess wore for her blessing, with the addition of a couple blue bows.  He was a good boy and cooperated during the blessing.

Yes, I know there are a lot of bows for a little boy.  But no little boy has ever looked as sweet as my Drewey did that day!  You only get blessed once, you know.

After church, Nana and Papa joined us for lunch and cake in Drew's honor.   We have much to celebrate and be grateful for.  It was a special day we'll always remember!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It's been more of the usual around here lately.  

That's fine with us--we've had our fill of excitement the past couple months.  

We'd rather have our days filled with more...


Tess spent a day making Valentine's crafts with her Nana.  Or as Tess calls them, "craps."  
It's so funny, I haven't been able to bring myself to correct her.  
She calls Michael's the "crap center."

"Let's make some craps, Mom!"


We're getting pretty good at these.

And Play-doh men.  

The Play-doh Higginbotham Family.  Notice baby brother's spiky hair.

Tea Parties

Tess gets upset when I disturb her tea parties.  
Unfortunately, she set this one up on top of where I stash the diapers. 

Cooey Drewey

Only a couple hundred pics.
If you double-click, they blow up life-sized.
 You know you want to.
Or is it just because I'm his mom?