Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holiday Haiku

Honey Optional
Nonfat dry milk and
Peanut butter. Mix and roll.
Save me from myself.

Oh, Prednisone
You help heal my poor
boy's pneumonia but how mean
he is now. 'Roid rage

Fried Rice
Pretty good made from
leftover turkey, ham, eggs,
garlic, celery.

The Plague
Jack is well, Freeman
dodges the worst of it but
head colds rule my house.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Three Months Old

I'll say it again: Time does fly.

Check out kiddo in the traditional overalls gifted by Big Dad.

At the mothers group I attend, I think I've become that lady whose kid always wears leggings. I hear a siren song emanate from the women's sock department at Target every time I'm on that side of town.

Little Bit loves to laugh and coo at faces. His laughs aren't sustained giggles yet, but they're getting there. He's about 14 pounds worth of silly baby.

He's also starting to unclench those tiny fists and hold on to toys and stroke the boobs as he nurses.

See the Brothers!

That's what we say (ever so brightly) when Jack loves on Freeman.
Of course, it's not all sunshine between the brothers all the time. There's a reason none of you will be receiving holiday cards that show the two boys smiling at the same time.

Or looking at the camera at the same time for that matter. I might have used this one anyway if someone had said, "Hey, Lady. Lose the burp rag." At least it was free.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We are frequently driving home when NPR's News and Notes is on the radio. Yesterday Jack heard talk about Barack Obama. He has no idea who (or what) that is. His contribution to the political discussion: "I like Barack-oli."

Sometimes Jack can be difficult with his toddler mood swings, but sometimes he completely cracks us up. This picture is from this morning. He kept saying, "This is a very nice hat I'm wearing me." His 'hat' is one of the Lincoln Logs tubs from his daddy's youth. He was pretty unconcerned about not being able to see where he was going.

Two Months Old

Big Bit continues to chunkify. He's become quick to grin, though I didn't get that in these pics.

Favorite pastimes include boobs, pushing himself to a standing position in our laps, and laughing when Mama yawns (which is quite frequently). He also finds the mobile over his crib pretty entertaining.

Building and Growing

...Or 'If I had a hammer'.

Daddy took Jack to one of those little Saturday kids workshops at Lowe's.

One upon a time when Melanie Glover and I were chemistry lab partners, we would pass the time making each other laugh by saying "I'm crazy goggle head...Give me some candy!" You really had to be there.

But you didn't have to be there to appreciate how cute Jack looks...


I still have to take good daylight pics of the boys in their costumes, but for now I'll hurriedly post the pics we did get. (Is there anything I don't do hurriedly now?)

Jack wore the clown outfit that Daddy wore when he was about that age. Mae Mae sewed that one and a new one for little Freeman. They sure were a cute pair!

Freeman pretty much slept through Halloween, but Jack had a lot of fun. We went to a nearby carnival where Jack didn't much get into the games. Instead, he ran himself silly in great circles. Also, he refused to trick-o-treat at other houses, insisting instead that he'd rather trick-or-treat at his own house.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

So how long do you think he'll be able to pull off this kind of look??

Funny how awfully this outfit would probably go over if he were fifteen or twenty.

The shirt -- compliments of Aunt Lucinda

The leggings -- Mama's crafty stab at the pricey BabyLegs that are so popular now. These are made from a pair of socks that cost a buck. I don't always fall for the latest fad, but I must say that leggings beat the pants off of pants when you have to change as many diapers as we do.

Notice that Little Bit is starting to model with a smile.

In other news...I made John take a picture of me doing something that I hope is part of an extraordinary moment in history. He voted early to dodge super long lines. I went for absentee so that I wouldn't have to worry about Freeman.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Out, damn'd Desitin! out, I say!

I'm paraphrasing Lady Macbeth to tell my faithful reader(s?) about that which occupies about 60 percent of my mind...diapers and diaper rash. Freeman has the phenomenally sensitive butt that his brother had at this age. Moreover, his little pooper soils his diapers with at least a dozen itty bitty squirts a day rather than a few substantial ones. Since we're using cloth, we also change quite a few extra peepee diapers. To keep his bottom shiny and happy, we use gobs of Desitin. Gobs. We put it on and then make an even thicker masque by adding in some cornstarch powder.

For the time being, Freeman's butt is beautiful, but the little grooves on my right index finger seem to be permanently stained white with Desitin...a parental twist on the yellow fingers characteristic of some smokers. I wash my hands dozens of times a day to no avail -- with a scrub brush even. Ah least Sweetpea's butt is smooth as...well...a baby's butt. And seemingly more Desitin-stain resistant than my finger.

If cloth diapers bore you, read no further. Here's a review.
We use a mix of disposable and cloth, but on the cloth front, I just gotta say that I am LOVE LOVE LOVING the bumGenius all-in-one cloth diapers. The materials in them don't take kindly to ointments, so I've actually been using them on Jack (who outgrew his tendency to rash). It is soooo cool that they adjust to fit both him and Freeman. Plus, the material really does wick moisture away almost as well as Huggies and Pampers. It's shocking to pull the inserts out after a heavy wetting night. They are soaked and super-heavy, but the moisture in the material against Jack's skin is barely perceptible. They seem like the perfect diaper for people who don't relish the idea of poopy diaper laundry, but whose kids have predictable poops. You could keep those types of kids in disposables around poop time, and cloth the rest of the time without your life changing that much. What a money saver. And they are super cute to boot. Jack thinks of them as his 'underwear', which I hope is a step towards the potty training against which he had been completely rebelling.

On Freeman we're using Kissaluvs, my favorite fitted, not-all-in-one cloth diaper. I use disposable diaper liners (which look much like a dryer sheet) to minimize their exposure to Desitin and to make for less poopy laundry. I don't trust the liners enough to keep the Desitin away from my more pricey bumGenius diapers, but they do a fine job with the Kissaluvs, which aren't as finicky about ointments in the first place. The Kissaluvs don't have a moisture wicking material, so that means changing with almost every pee, but with Freeman you pretty much get a poop with most pees anyway. What with my initial investment with Jack, some eBay and consignment finds over the last couple of years, and the kindness of family, I accumulated quite a stash of Kissaluvs. That means I don't have to do diaper laundry every day, which sure makes all the difference compared to our early days of doing cloth with Jack.

Back to Jack and underwear...a favorite game lately is dancing around in his 'yellow square underwears'. He pulls the zero and eight foam squares up around his waist and twirls around the house.

'One Month Years Old' ... Freeman's age if you ask Jack. I'm late in posting these recent pics of Little Bit. I'm late in everything these days. The light reflecting off the blue blanket makes him look a little smurfy. He's really a lovely shade of considerably-paler-than-Mama.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Touch a Truck Day

So, if you know Jack, you know he has a thing for vehicles. A couple of weekends back the county sponsored a Touch a Truck day at a nearby park that featured emergency, law enforcement, construction, and other county vehicles . Jack was terribly excited before we even got there. At first, he took 'Touch a Truck' quite literally. He'd walk up to each vehicle (index finger extended) and give it a good poke. He acted distressed every time we suggested that he could actually climb into the trucks. After about an hour, though, he announced that he was ready to drive the fire truck. Once he conquered that, he got brave enough to try out a number of vehicles.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Southern Boy

This is Jack going to town on some collard greens. He does his Daddy proud.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Freeman Pics

As babies go, Freeman has been an easy one so far. We've enjoyed two nights in a row with sleep shifts lasting 3+ hours. Seems like it took weeks and weeks for Jack to get his nights and days on track with those of us who are long time residents of the ex-utero world.

We had one rather rough night. Freeman slept all day his second day home, waking only to eat for 15 minutes at a time. At one point, John and I found ourselves with one kid at school and the other one snoozing hard. Instead of taking naps ourselves, we ate chocolates in front of the bazillionth episode of Law & Order that we've seen since getting satellite two years ago. I said, "Well, Dear. Welcome to parenthood of two. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop."

Drop it did. From about 10 pm to 3 am. Freeman wasn't fussy, mind you. He just needed company and approximately 300 diaper changes.

There is an extent to which I can't tell if Freeman is easier or if we are. Probably the latter. Jack was a good teacher, and experience has helped us avoid some of the things that were hard the first time around. To his credit, though, Freeman seems to be a pretty mellow kid.

On to the pics...

The shirt says it all.

Freeman's hair and face seem to come mostly from Daddy. It's not clear that he's got Mama's's only certain that he doesn't have Daddy and Jack's.

This is not Jack's first reaction to Freeman. Sadly, we didn't catch that on film. When they met, Freeman was sleeping peacefully in the hospital bassinet. Jack stood on a chair to view the baby. Freeman suddenly flailed his arms in his sleep, which caused Jack to pretty much leap out of skin in terror. It took a few days after that for Jack to really warm to the baby. Now (when he's not busy doing his own thing with his cars and Lincoln Logs) he's a most enthusiastic baby brother kisser.

Freeman's build is not at all like Jack's at birth. Jack was a big pot belly plus a big head with tentacles for limbs. Freeman is our more 'husky' son so far. Those may be Mama's nascent thighs. I'm sure it was a fluke, but right after this picture Big Bit managed to push himself from belly to back. He was a week old.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Freeman joins the Family

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Freeman James Basham Chamblee, who was born on September 11, 2008, at 11:53 p.m. He is 20.5 in. long and, at birth, he weighed a healthy 8 lbs., 6 oz. Mom and baby are doing fine and Dad is the doing the blogging. Below are some introductory pictures.

Hello! from FreemanFreeman and MommaFreeman and Daddy

Pictures of Freeman with the rest of the family, including Big Brother Jack, are coming soon!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Geographer Jack

Dad writing here, for a change. Since Jack is only two and a half, we are never 100% sure what he knows and what he doesn't. However, we suspect that he knows more than he's letting on. What better way to get what you want, right? A few days ago, he surprised me with a little impromptu interactive geography lesson. The pictures below are of Jack (of course) with some foam houses I made for him. The houses aren't really as interesting as what they represent in terms of what he knows.....and what I don't.
When we got the blocks out, I asked Jack what he wanted to make. He said he wanted to make Carter's house. Carter is a little boy who lives next door in a white brick ranch-style home. So, I made Carter's house (which is in the top left of the picture) and then told Jack I would make Jack's house (shown in the top center). The next thing that happened is that Jack asked me to make "the brown house," which I took to mean the brown ranch-style house on the other side of our place. I built this house (shown on the bottom right) with some amazement since, as far as I can recall, he has never mentioned that house to me before.
Finally, just to see if he knew what I thought he knew, I built one more ranch house, shown on the bottom left and asked him whose house it was. He told me that it was Margie's house. Margie lives across the street and I was indeed trying to represent her house. Overcome with geographic emotion, I then started adding lots of detail. For example, it was I, not Jack, who cleverly parked the matchbox car in front of what would be our garage. I also put in lots of other round blocks to accurately portray the location of as many trees and shrubs as I could. Then, just to show me whose game this was supposed to be, Jack tore two contributions to my foam arboretum from the "ground" ..........and stuck them to his face (as above).

If there are any lessons to be had from our little reconstruction of the street's geography, they are:

1. Even at two, our kids have an inner world that is unknown to us and, as a result, know more than their parents realize.

2. No matter how hard we try to let them be themselves, we are still in danger of making a big fuss when our kids do things that remind us of ourselves (witness this entire post, for example).


4. See #2, above. Um, sorry about that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little Bit Goes to the Beach

Daddy and Mama went back to the beach at Sanibel (the site of some of our all time favorite pics of Jack) to see if we could immortalize the belly that Mama is carrying around courtesy of Little Bit.

Scrolling through the dozens of pictures Daddy took (you gotta love digital SLR's so easy to click away until you get a good one), it might be time to start calling the new baby Big Bit.

This is us at a little over 31 weeks. I'm happy to say that we continue to be blessed with excellent health. We've experienced only mild to moderate levels of most of the normal pregnancy discomforts. A delivery that doesn't involve back labor would be icing on the cake.

I've started trying to picture life after Little Bit gets here. I imagine the first thing Big Brother Jack will say upon meeting his sibling is, "Noooo! I DON'T WANT it!" He's sweet like that. He's two like that.

Backtracking 5 - It Ain't All Sunshine

For two straight weeks preceding the trip to Illinois, we all endured the longest cold of Jack's life. It skirted the edge of croupy for only one night, thank goodness. The buckets of post-nasal drip were not fun. Jack has his mother's touchiness about nasal discomfort, but he doesn't get how to really blow his nose.

He spent nearly the whole two weeks with this face. Every twenty seconds or so, he would pathetically screech, "I wanna blowyournose!"

Near the end, though, he finally started finding his Zen again...

Backtracking 4 - Two Little Monkeys

This is as close to a focussed shot as I could get of the frenzy of movement that was the boys at play together. Jack knew the words to the song 'No More Monkeys' before our visit, but I would say that Maddux taught him the song's essence.

Backtracking 3 - Katie + Chalk + Boys = Aunt Katie Rules!

Katie and the boys went to town with the sidewalk chalk. A month later, Jack is still talking about it.

Maddux is pretty into letters and math. Jack's more of a random scribbler. Katie had talent enough to entertain all.

Backtracking 2 - Maddux is a Kissing Machine

Maddux likes to share the love...

Here's an oldie but a goodie. Maddux was almost Jack's age now when they first met. Hard to believe how much they've grown...