31 May 2012

Oh Samn!

In my last post I honored Max. Now I feel compelled to honor Sam. There isn't as much to write about him yet because Sam mostly just poops his pants, cries, sleeps, and eats milk from mama's boobies (as Nana Judes taught him to say). But in the short five weeks we have had him in our lives, here are some things I appreciate about him:

- First and foremost - he sleeps better than Max! He started sleeping at night within a few weeks and he isn't as fussy at night. He usually sleeps his 2 1/2 to 3 hours, eats, then does it again. This is awesome and essential since Caitlin has two to deal with all day.
- Sam is ripped. There is no way he has torticollis (hooray!) and he already puts weight on his legs (something Max didn't do for about 11 months)
- He smiled his first groupings of smiles this week and of course they were with Dada.
- He takes a binki and a bottle. Yippee!
- he falls asleep on his own. This means you don't have to rock him until he is completely out, but can just put him down sometimes with his eyes open and he'll fall asleep on his own. This saves my arms and back from certain death. Bonus!
- his cheeks are soft and mad kissable

Oh Sam. Keep at it and each week you are going to get better and better, love you!

30 May 2012

A Max Quick Post

I feel compelled to write a quick post about Max. I wish there was a perfect way to capture him right now exactly the way he is so when I needed it, I could summon it up and smile my freakin brains out. He is perfection in a two year old and I love it. While I recognize that he will only get more awesome, there is something special about this age when they start to discover the whole world around them and internalize it to their naive and inexperienced minds. Everything is a funny warping of what they are seeing, what they have seen their parents do, and what they have seen in cartoons. The lines between those things blur constantly and its hilarious. Because I can't make a carbon copy of him at this age to reference forever, here is some stuff I love about Max right now.

- He doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He has toddler moments, but they never seem rooted in anger, malice or guile. And they are short.
- He knows how to use the word "love" and knows how to show love
- He is sensitive to sadness and pain, and is particularly protective of his animals and Sam. See photo above.
- When he is outside, he has to skip or run (unless he is tired from the beach)
- He likes to pretend. His obsession is monsters, dragons, giants and wolves. He finds them under rocks and in bushes, names them (things like tsotsot, nadio, and doda), puts them in his pocket, and then takes them home to give them a bath.
- He still idolizes me and his eyes/mind explode when I get home. I know that will end soon. Boo.
- He loves music, dances and sings any song he learns.
- He never wants to leave the house. Once he gets outside he never wants to come back in. He never wants to go to bed. I interpret this as a natural ability to be happy with what he has and where life places him.
- He says goodbye to people, church, the playground, museums, etc. Everything in his life has feelings and life...even buildings.
- He has nightmares or a rough patch at night and wants me to hold him and sing him songs. This is basically my favorite thing to do in the whole world. You can talk him through the nightmare (like, wolves can't get into a brick building like our house, so they can't steal his puppy dog or monkey), calm him, and then watch him fall asleep. I literally jump out of bed if I hear him cry because he is finally old enough that what I can provide is what he needs. Right now Sam needs mom, but Max is satisfied with me.

24 May 2012

MPM Explodes, Creating the Best Night of Max's Life

Last Friday night was an epic night that will always be remembered by many people. First and foremost, there is my homeboy Mitchell, best known as MPM. Mitch got to take a month off his last year in high school to do a senior project. His project? Create an entire electronic album and then put together a full launch party. Well, four weeks later we all began to gather at this park in Winnetka.

While it was primarily high school kids, a few of us geeky adults made a home for ourselves out of the way.

Mitch set it up with two opening DJ's who played to get the kids warmed up. One of them collaborated on one song of the album.

The next person who had the time of his life that night was Max. See this picture? This was literally the way he looked for three hours straight. He ran and danced and marched.

He did dramatic poses mid dance to add emphasis on beats and particular moves.

He co-danced with homies Owen and Leah.

He even break danced some...this being his most famous move. It was like 78 degrees and perfectly sunny. There was never a better environment for Max to feel joy. After each DJ would stop, Max would run up and tell Mitchell, "Mitchell...I want more music" without us prompting him. This is my son.

Finally, as the sun was beginning to set, it was time for Mitch to take stage.

And the crowd began to really come closer and get ready for an amazing hour.

Not just high school friends, but all sorts of friends from Mitch's life, including young men's leaders like Dan.

Newborns like Sam who also was so pleasant that night.

Brother Nick and other YM leader Trevor.

Friends from the ward, including younger and older YW.

YouTube Video

And the party was on. Just a flavor of how things got started.

One of the highlight tracks on MPM's album "Aural Buzz" is a track called "JMu's Birds" which is a song named and inspired by my love of the Diplo camp of high treble drops with thumping bass. MPM used to mock it, but now with all the positive deedback on this track he is starting to respect the bird droppings.

See the kids love it.

YouTube Video

Don't believe me? Watch them party their brains out to it. Yes, JMu's Birds is some hot tish my friends. Some hot tish indeed.

It started getting darker and, following the basic teenager rule that the darker it gets the crazier they get, the kids started upping the energy even more.

With hand claps.

YouTube Video

And huge moments of shoulder riding.

It was getting pretty epic and MPM was really feeding off it.

Not to mention, who doesn't love some good lights? I know Max does. It was about this point that Max had come closer from the grass and started trying to get right in with the crowd. He was stamping and dancing and doin his moves and the kids kept cheering him on, which he loved. He also chased the lights all around the floor and screamed with delight.

And so did the crowd.

MPM ended his set with some solid shows toppers from a few popular artists. Everyone had a great time, most of all MPM. In a few weeks he is off to BYU to study music production and do those things that 18 year olds do. We will miss him around here, but he is off to bigger and better things. Thanks Mitch for all the amazing years!

23 May 2012

The Glorious Homecoming of Da Kid #2

Sorry guys, I forgot to post this one a few weeks back, but it's got some cute pics I want posted, so it's going up now. It's from when we got back from the hospital.

After two days in the hospital it was time for Samn to come home.

He got bundled up in his homecoming outfit, a snuggalicious little number sent to us by Kristin and Co in South Africa. He wasn't scared - he had his ginormous binky to suck on.

Top down view - so cute.

Max was SUPER excited to have his parents back at home and to be held by his mama! How could he not be.

While we were gone, he and Nana invented a new game called Beach. Because it was cold outside, they turned his peach blanket into a beach and shredded paper on it to be sand. Then he would get his beach toys out and his guys and BOOM...tropics paradise!

Sam gave Max a scooter as peace offering...Max accepted this offering and loved it. It seems to have worked because now Max loves Sam. It's amazing what a simple gift can do.

Brotherly Love

The love has increased each day between Max and Sam. Each day I feel he becomes more comfortable with him around and has begun to include Sam in his speech when things we are going to do as a family.

Max gave Sam a kiss to help him not be sad.

It worked!

Brothers, kickin it on a blanket and bonding.

Two peas in a pod these boys. Both with their hands in their mouth.

Our friend Lauren came over with her two boys. They are only a few days apart.

And William and Max are only 7 days apart! We were meant to be friends and apparently we are on the same baby creation plan. I swear this was not discussed and planned in advance.

21 May 2012

Guess Who's Here!!!!

I'll give you a hint: she goes by the name of Dama and she loves da keeeeds. That's right, it's my mom!

Dama swooped in from Idaho to save us from the craziness for 10 days of assisted glory. She is wise with children and scooped them up into her care the second she got there. It definitely helped that Clarkie, Sam and Max's cousin, was born only a few weeks before Sam...so she has been getting a lot of infant practice as of late.

Speaking of infant...Samn!

This trip has not been about going downtown and exploring Chicago. It has mostly been about surviving. This often develops into precious time watching a show and eating snacks. Sometimes it means bath time. Most often it has resulted in Dama carting Max down to the beach for a few hours.

One of the best things was that Dama was here on Mother's Day! I decided to make the second meal of my married life (don't judge me) and cook a polenta bouillabaisse with mojo chicken. Yes I followed a cookbook and yes it was scary and hard - but I did it! Maybe my mom helped a bit. (again, don't judge until you have walked in my shoes)

Mmm, I think it turned out awesome.

Pam agreed, though now that I am looking at it I don't think there was any food on that fork.

And then it was back to spending time with Max or Sam, who ever needs it the most at any given moment. This is a cute picture of Sam engulfing on one of his favorite activities...pulling Caitlin's hair while suckin on a fat binks. Who could blame him?

We still got Dama for one more day and we intend to take full advantage! Hooray for visitors!

16 May 2012

Fighting For My Sons' Right to Party

I am one more son and a few years away from being able to do something as awesome as what this guy has done with his three sons.  While watching this video, I had an amazing vision of my own sons forming a band and making their stamp on music history - and no I am not suggesting they become the next Hanson.  Watch this video and enjoy how he remade the entire "Sabotage" video with his kids.

15 May 2012

Trace Shows Her Face...Just In Time

We had a special visitor two weekends ago.

Trace Face!! She was a literal godsend as we had just gone through our first full week of being parents of two without anyone helping us. Tracy, a natural with da babies, grabbed Sam and quickly made Caitlin nap.

It was awesome having her in town. While we probably weren't as fun as we have been in previous trips, we did lots of bonding. We did take an excursion to the Kohl's Museum where Tracy had given us an annual pass for Caitlin's birthday. I trust Tracy to I strict Max about good music because she loves the Beastie Boys.

Hardcore beats at the children's museum...or classical I am assuming.

Now here she goes dropping science, dropping it all over....

Making mad beats together.

I also got to bond with Max a lot as we always do at the museum.

Putting up shingles on the wall and catching potatoes that fall from the roof.

Max gives new meaning to the term plumbers crack, in this case painters crack. Look closely at his pants.

Hmm. We may have chosen a pair that was slightly too large.

We did some face painting and got silly.

Mama! Max had been missing all that close time he used to get with his mama, but having Tracy and Dada around was making it bareable.

Learning about shapes and colors.

And me...a dad of two boys. Doing my best to juggle the kids. Probably failing, but thanks to Tracy we succeeded for another weekend. Thanks Trace for coming and bringing amazing cookies and fun with you!