Monday, March 29, 2010

Hooray for Spring

I know old man winter is still teasing us each week with his bursts of cold and chilly winds, but I'm hopeful that Spring will win out soon. Last Wednesday was a perfect day and this week should bring another one. We spent our morning at the park with some friends and plan to do the same this week.

Yesterday was so cold and dreary. Once we got home from church, we enjoyed hanging out by the fire all afternoon. Jack even helped Sam with his milk. Most of the time, he thrives on his role as helper.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Word-free Post (well mostly)

The last few weeks have been filled with visits from family, birthday celebrations and enjoying the weather (both snow and sunshine!) Anyway, I finally put up some of the photos to fill you in. You can view them here.

How to Celebrate Your Birthday

In case you were wondering what exactly the best way to celebrate a birthday is, here are some tips:

First, recruit some really awesome people to help you celebrate (ie, adorable kids and beautiful wife)

Second, make sure bubbles are involved. I mean seriously...isn't everything more fun with bubbles? Thanks for the fun bubble blaster, Aunt Cindy & Uncle Roger!

Third, try to squeeze in some retail therapy. Yes, it was my hubby's birthday. And yes, he likes to shop. And yes, at places besides REI and Bass Pro Shops (although those are two of his favs). And yes, I realize you hate me right now.

Finally, make sure food is involved...preferably cake or ice cream or both. Side note, awesome people celebrating alongside you will help you with the consumption of said food.

Thanks for having a birthday, Josh. I think it's safe to say...we all enjoyed your special day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

33 years ago today

Happy Birthday, sweetheart. Today is your birthday, and I couldn't be any happier to have a reason to celebrate you and what you mean to me and the two little men we are raising. It may seem silly, but there aren't enough hours in this one day every year to celebrate you!

Thirty-three years ago today you were born. It wasn't for another two plus years that I would make my arrival in the world, but how incredible is it that God already knew he had a mate in mind for you. How thankful I am that mate would be me! I'm also thankful for the Godly parents we were each born to. Along with God, they certainly had a hand in preparing us for one another.

Did you realize that at 12 years and counting, we've been together about 1/3 of your life? I can only assume it's been the best fraction of your life...nevermind that four years of that was spent in medical school.

I can certainly say it's hard to remember what life was like before you were a part of it. I wasn't an unhappy person, but I can definitely say I didn't know just how much fun ordinary things could be. It's safe to say I've laughed many more hours, days and probably weeks of my life now that you are a part of it. Our boys are in for a real treat if they inherit our senses of humor. I hope and pray that they grow up wanting to be just like their daddy, and not just because you make me (and everyone around you) laugh. More than that I want them to strive to be caring, honest, hard-working, loving and Godly...just like Dad.

I know you won't really buy into all the hoopla and fuss that is your birthday, but this is my excuse to brag on and celebrate you!

I love you, Josh!

Monday, March 15, 2010

At Church?

We had an interesting start to our Sunday. Our family of four arrived at church. Jack was sitting up on the counter in the preschool wing waiting for me to fill out his nametag and then take him to class. Just as I picked up the pen, Jack started throwing up...everywhere. All over his clothes, the floor. Most of you are moms, so you already have a mental picture...but if you need a more vivid one there were half a dozen witnesses. After he had erupted three times, and we were pretty sure he was done, I got him cleaned up. He was crying mostly about having to take off his shirt and pants. Josh mopped up the floor and just as quickly as we had arrived at church, we were headed back out the door for home.

To be on the safe side, Jack had a mostly liquid diet the remainder of the day and we kept a bucket nearby. He acted completely normal all day and never showed anymore signs of illness. At one point, Josh was trying to talk to him about using the bucket if he felt like he needed throw up. When he thought he understood he began the review, "If Jack feels sick and needs to throw up, where do you throw up?" Jack looked at him matter of factly and said, "At church?"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Elephant Always Remembers

Well, it's barely been 2 1/2 years since I first did all this newborn baby stuff, so you would think it would all be fresh on my mind. I'm quickly discovering that there are a few things I had already forgotten.

- I forgot how many diaper changes accompany this new little one. And they are usually in quick succession (sometimes as frequently as one before eating, another between sides, another after eating...can mean 3 diapers in a span of 20-30 minutes)

- I forgot how hard it is to keep a newborn awake to get in a full feeding, especially in the middle of the night. Usually, I can't even keep myself awake much less Sam! But, the efforts pay off when he slumbers for another good 4 1/2 hours before waking again to eat!

- I forgot how much stuff you feel like you must tote around with your newborn. How quickly I got accustomed to the lightweight backpack with a diaper and a juice box in it! (Or if you are really trying to simplify tossing those things in your purse!)

- I forgot how easily poop can find its way onto your clothes and anything else in a 2 foot radius of a breastfed babe!

- I forgot how much laundry these little people require. It's very rare that Jack has to change his clothes mid-day, but Sam can and has worn 3 different outfits in a given day due to some sort of mess (erupting from the top or bottom).

- I forgot what an accomplishment it can be to get a shower during the day, and how it can make you feel like a completely different person. I usually dread getting ready. I hate drying my hair, picking out clothes...all of it. These days as rushed or hectic as it can be, this time is a reminder that albeit one of my most important responsibilities, I'm more than just a nurturer and caregiver to two little people and one big person :)...I'm still me too!

In addition to these revelations, there are a few things I don't want to forget!

- I hope I never forget how funny Jack is when he announces, "hold it." He sounds exactly like Javier Bardem's character in No Country For Old Men. (I know this is kind of a weird clip, but when he says "Call it" or "Just Call it" that is what Jack sounds like when he asks/demands to hold his little brother.)

- I don't want to forget that when Sam was a week old, Jack pointed to my belly and said, "baby." When I informed him the baby wasn't in mommy's belly anymore, but across the room in his nearby was so neat to see the wheels turning in his little brain.

- I don't want to forget the moment that Sam was born. About 2 weeks after Jack was born I broke down crying telling Josh I couldn't remember the minutes immediately following Jack's birth. Of course I was postpartum and an emotional wreck waiting to happen, he reassured me that it was completely normal. Because it was a somewhat stressful delivery with a prolonged pushing time, I was unable to formulate a long-lasting memory of it (or at least he explained as something like that...he's much better at explaining it than I am. Then again he was a psych major!) Anyway, a benefit to being the second born is a mommy with a much more experienced birthing body. I also made a conscious effort to formulate snapshots in my head of my first glimpses of this new life. I'm sure my memory will fail me at some point, but I hope I can hold onto this piece for a long time to come.

- I don't want to forget how overwhelmed I felt by the support we were shown by family and friends. I guess many of them knew how much help I'd need as a new mommy to two, but the phone calls, offers to help and the meals were abundant. My family feels truly blessed by those in our life.

- I don't want to forget what occured last week when Sam started accompanying me & Josh during Jack's bedtime routine. After prayers, Jack leans in and gives Josh a kiss and then me a kiss and then climbs under the covers. Without any encouragement he immediately leaned over where I was holding Sam and kissed him on the top of the head. Will he always be this sweet to his little brother?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vegas, anyone?

So, someone told us about this place, and I'm guessing we pretty much HAVE to celebrate Sam's first birthday there, right?

In case you missed it, take a look at the name above Fremont.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some words from Pop (Part 2)

As promised, here is part 2 in the series. I have some more of Dad's columns squirreled away and this is so much easier than actually coming up with my own blog entry...who knows maybe we'll make it a regular feature here at Garrett News!? In case you missed part one, take a look.

Welcome to grandson Sam

Sam, welcome little man.

This is your Pop writing. You can thank your older brother Jack for hanging that name on me. That's the privilege of being the first grandchild. Don't worry. There are a lot of benefits to being No. 2.

For one thing, Jack did a pretty good job of breaking in your parents. They've endured their share of late nights and early mornings. Your mommy, I call her Laura by the way, has mastered the art of transporting little people. If she's ever been caught unprepared, I've yet to see it.

I'd like to say that I can take some credit for that. But more likely she inherited that mommy gene from your Mema.

The more I look at you Sam, the more I see your mother's features. Folks say she looks like me. You can tell me later whether you consider that a compliment or curse.

I don't know what your future holds, but even just a few hours old you gave your Pop an unforgettable thrill.

Not a roller-coaster thrill. But a thrill that reaches down deep where the tender parts are and coaxes forth teary eyes and bliss and peace and utter joy. Thanks.

Sam, you count on me to be honest with you, except in matters related to certain fanciful creatures of childhood (see Train, Thomas the). So I must confess that I was a little worried about our first meeting. Blame that on brother Jack.

I was unprepared for the overwhelming emotion that swept over me when I held young Jack for the first time, Nov. 28, 2007. I had officially become a grandfather. Hey, it happens to millions of people everyday, but it's still a special event.

Sam, I was just a little worried that holding you for the first time would not hold the same joy. I should have known better.

Particularly since I fathered three children, and that never got old. Already you are teaching me some things about life.

Sam, I am going to leave the heavy lifting of child rearing to your parents. They don't have all the experience in the world yet, but they seem to know what they are doing. I have a sneaking suspicion that they will be able to find the wherewithal to handle two boys in poopypants.

But, Sam, I am going to try to teach you some important truths.

Like how to make sounds like a barking dog (that would be Go Dawgs, sic' em, woof, woof, woof!) Maybe how to play a harmonica. How to hit a wiffle ball. And one of these days we might get around to golfshoes. It's a beach game, and that's all you need to know right now.

But really the thing that I want you to learn is that the greatest place in the world is Pop's and Mema's house.

One thing I have to warn you about, Sam, is the aforementioned Jack. Sam, I guarantee that he will exasperate you. Hey, I know it's a big word, but get used to it. Your Pop and your Mommy are a couple of wordsmiths.

Back to Jack. You are going to have to cut him a little slack. He has pretty much been the center of the world up there in Mt. Airy, Ga. And now you show up to horn in on things. It will be good for both of you.

Samuel Boyd Garrett, welcome. I am so looking forward to being part of your world.

Blake Giles is the editor of The Oconee Enterprise. Opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some words from Pop (Part 1)

My dad (or Pop as Jack calls him) penned this column right after Jack was born. Thought I'd share it with you all. My dad's quite a writer. In fact, most people think that's where I got my knack for it. I only hope to be able to one day move folks with tears, laughter and smiles through my words the way my dad always has. I'd like to think that if he had time to start a blog, these are the types of wonderful pieces you would read there. I read Pop's column welcoming Jack again for the first time the other day and cried as though I was reading it again for the first time.

Jackson David Garrett, welcome to the world

Hello, Jack.

Welcome home.

We’ve been expecting you.

Your estimated time of arrival was during the Thanksgiving holiday, but just like Delta, even the stork is late sometimes.

Besides, you were in no hurry to vacate your old digs. Plenty of nourishment, no interruptions and lots of sack time.

I suspect this new environment has been quite a shock to your system. That’s what happens when you discover such previously foreign elements as air and light.

But I promise. You’re going to love it here.

And if you think air and light are something, wait until you discover what else this big ol’ world has to offer.

Jack, maybe some introductions are in order. Things have been happening pretty fast since you showed up at 3:28 in the afternoon on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Has it been hard to keep up with all the new faces?

Remember this. I’m the good looking one.

Just kidding.

Jack, that’s what you call a joke. It’s meant to amuse and elicit laughter. I sure hope you experience a whole lot of laughter from here on out.

By now, I know you’re well acquainted with your mother. That was her heartbeat you’ve been listening to these past nine months. I’m your mother’s dad.

“What’s a dad?” you ask.

You know that other voice you heard a lot of, the deeper one, that came from somewhere outside your world? That was your dad.

Cut him a little slack, Jack, because this is his first go-round at this dad business. I think he’s going to do just fine. But do forgive him when he makes a mistake. It’s just in our nature.

Moms and dads, by the way, are different. Really, really different.

Moms are equipped with soothing voices, soft touches and instincts that can discern between a dirty-diaper cry and a feed-me cry. When you leave the house in a coordinated outfit that would look just right on the cover of GQ, well, that’s Mom’s doings.

Dads, on the other hand, are a little less civilized. You’ve already noticed that deep voice thing. He’s rougher around the edges, particularly if you brush up against him in the morning. See, overnight he sprouts tiny pieces of wire on his face. And fashion coordination? Forget it. Simply put, do the colors match? Can you see the stains? Does it pass the sniff test? Then we’re good to go.

But one of these days, your Dad will show you how to get a grip on bicycle handlebars, a fishing pole, a baseball bat, a football or a screwdriver. Sometimes he’ll help you get a grip on life itself.

But Jack, there is something that you must understand early in life. The two most important people in your world are, ahem, me and your grandmother.

I know, I know. You don’t live with us.

However, your grandmother and I have devised a careful strategy designed to absolutely capture your heart. We sure hope you will eagerly anticipate our comings and deeply regret our goings.

Jack, as the years go by, you need to show your parents a thing or two.

Remind them about frolicking in autumn leaves, about making mud pies, about chasing wiggly lizards, about catching lightning bugs at dusk and about building sand castles along the seashore. Come to think of it, you need to remind me of those things too, Jack.

I had a little heart to heart with your Mom a few days ago. I begged her to make sure you wear a lot of red and black. I said it wouldn’t hurt if she brags to you about her daddy. Daily. And I asked her to be sure and tell you about Jesus.

I hope your Mom was paying attention when a friend told her to treasure every moment, because those moments will be gone before she knows it.

And I could not help but think of that moment 28 years ago when I first held your Mom. Where did the time go?

Jack, just one last thing.

You’ve no doubt sensed the presence hereabouts of another elusive quality that is hard to define.

It’s called love.

We love you, Jack.

Sleep tight, little man.

Blake Giles is the grandfather of Jackson David Garrett of Mt. Airy, Ga.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of "Some words from Pop." A column welcoming Sam ran in The Oconee Enterprise last week, where Pop serves as Editor.

Two and Two

So, our house is home to a two year old and a two week old...both boys. So far so good. I'm still in one piece. I've learned that a lot of things that I normally wouldn't have thought twice about require a bit more planning these days. Obvious things like a trip to the grocery store and less obvious things like taking a shower. I've figured out if I can find a good program like Curious George or Elmo's World and a pretty involved snack...Jack is too distracted to mess with Sam while I'm grabbing a quick shower. We ventured out to CVS today...there were a few deals I just couldn't pass up. Jack behaved pretty well and I carried Sam in the baby bjorn, which worked wonderfully. I can see it coming in very handy!

With temperatures in the 60s today we ventured outside before lunch and again this afternoon when we returned from CVS. The sunshine was so good for my soul. Being holed up with a newborn is not so bad, but when you throw an active two year old in the mix things can get a little hairy. Anyway, there was much ball playing and various toy riding today. Here's hoping spring is just around the corner!

Monday, March 1, 2010

To Blog or Nap...that is the Question

I must admit that lately the nap has won out folks. I could definitely use Jack's naptime to catch you all up, but the last few days I've just found myself too worn out to put in the effort to actually form some sentences and post new pictures ! Anyway, things are going pretty well around here, except for my fatigue. I'm pretty tired in the late afternoons, which is probably when the late night/early morning feedings have caught up to me. My mornings (a term I use loosely to describe the hours between 9 am - 12 noon) are when I have the most energy. Anyway, I'm optimistic we'll be on a tighter schedule soon and the late night/early morning feedings won't be forever.

Jack is still in love with his little brother, although he makes it known he'd rather be held by mommy. He'll say, "baby bed" or "baby down," which both roughly translate to "ditch Sam and hold me!" The worst part is he usually says this while Sam is nursing. We've been overwhelmed by the amount of support and help we've received from our friends who have brought meals over the last week. It has been so helpful to not have to worry over dinner, especially since the 5:00 hour can be Jack's neediest time of the day.

Friday night we gave Sam his first bath at home. He wasn't a big fan of the sponge bath. He did enjoy the shampoo though. It was as if he were at the spa. Here's big brother trying to calm Sam down as he cried through most of the bath.

On Saturday, we went to Athens to visit our favorite photographer. Sam cooperated pretty well during his first photo shoot and Jack played his part pretty well...thanks to some small bribes (Granola Bites). Sue Ann has a sneak peek up on her blog. We had lunch with my parents and sister and then all went to the Georgia men's basketball game. Jack was in heaven. Despite refusing to take a nap at my parents' house before the game, he was a champ. The dippin' dots & popcorn might have helped. Sam slept through the entire hoopla. It was an exhausting day, but so worth it because we got some great photos of Sam, and it was pure joy to see how much Jack enjoyed himself at the game.