Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December in Shorts

I feel like I should go to confessional for the gap between posts. "Forgive me Father, for it has been a week and a half since my last post." So if I ramble on, it's just to catch up for lost time...

Life at the Rutledge house has been really good these past few weeks. It certainly has had its challenges as raising two-year olds does for any parent. Thankfully for us we have been fortunate enough to have Amy's mom Elaine -- wonderful Nana -- here to help us out for the past few weeks. Elaine has been such a huge help -- with the boys, around the house, cooking, doing laundry, walking the dog, providing moral support for run-down parents. She has even mastered the art of getting Gus to nap, always a prerequisite for a good day.

Gus continues to really, really challenge us as he forges his own little identity. He definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer -- and often it is a march he performs while naked, wearing green lizard boots, sunglasses, and a firefighter cap. As parents Amy and I try to envision in the long run when his independence and his love for engaging with people will serve him so well. In the short run we try to keep our sanity as he challenges us on such minute daily details as what shirt he will tolerate for the day and what he will eat at mealtime. So we try to keep positive attitudes as much as we can through those trying moments. Gus's preschool teacher raved about how much he talks with the students and how much he loves to read books and role play. So he's on someone's good list if he is not always on ours. ;-)

Owen continues to come out of his shell. He is such the little observer, possibly in part because his brother dominates the attention around the house. Owen is turning out to be a thinker, surveying the mood of a situation and pondering how he should act. He is quite good at getting his brother's goat when he wants to. Owen picks at Gus sometimes just to get a reaction out of him like taking a favorite toy away and sprinting to another room. But his actions are not always malicious. This morning when Gus insisted on taking the little bell necklace that Owen had been wearing, Owen looked at Gus and simply took Gus's beloved firefighter cap and waited. As if Owen knew what the reaction would be, Gus made the peaceful trade. And along with that quiet, introverted personality Owen has developed an endearing little sweet streak that gives us reprieve in dealing with some of his younger brother's tantrums.

Of course the humorous aspects continue to spring up with the boys as well. Both Owen and Gus are testing the waters of potty-training, getting rewarded with M&M's when they do the deed (3 M&M's when they do the major deed). Gus has been known to sit on the toilet for 30 minutes at a time, refusing to leave until some bodily function is performed. Owen beams from ear to ear, proud as a peacock when he goes to the bathroom. It is a nice reminder of how we all learn the most basic things at this young age. Naturally the boys are interested when other people in the house go to the bathroom as well. We often have to sneak away while they aren't looking so we can have a private moment of peace. Inevitably they find us after calling for us from all over the house.

"You need M&M, dad? You need M&M?" Funny stuff.

Amy continues to hang in there with the pregnancy. She overdid it over the weekend as we were putting the finishing landscaping touches on the backyard. Amy loves to work in the yard so much, but she was really wiped out & hurting on Sunday night after doing too much. Luckily her doctor visit yesterday produced a good report. 31 weeks this Thursday....she's getting there.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here in North Carolina this week. We hit a record high yesterday and today as temperatures are creeping up to 80 degrees. Amy & Nana love the warm weather; yours truly becomes a bit of a Grinch in trying to get into the Christmas spirit when it is so warm. Last night I tried watching "White Christmas" on TV, and it just doesn't cut it to sing Bing Crosby with shorts on and the windows open. Snow, snow, snow, it won't be long before we'll all be there with snow....

Still despite the heat wave we managed to decorate the house for Christmas -- putting up our tree, the lights around the house, and various Christmas decorations here and there. The fun part about it this year was that the boys were really into Christmas. This is the first year where they are really anticipating it. They know Christmas is coming, they really get into the decorating, and they point out the Santa Clauses that are sprinkled about. Nana and I have been walking the boys around the neighborhood to check out all the lights. The boys love the choo-choo trains that are lit up, the polar bears and snowmen in people's yards, and even the random "Christmas alligator" (not quite sure what it was that Owen saw). Again, it's fun to watch these things through younger eyes.

So tomorrow is our final day here in NC with Elaine before she heads back to Paducah for a brief respite before heading off to icy Oklahoma to see Billy, who is working with a local college there on behalf of FEMA. We know she will be glad to see Billy and perhaps to slow down to a more manageable, relaxing pace. Still, Amy & I are truly appreciative of all the help and enjoyment that her visit has brought us.


30 1/2 weeks and counting...

"Just hold me Nana."

"Nana, we need to decorate the bottom fourth of the tree. All the ornaments need to be within my reach."

Elaine -- grandmother, mom, chef, and ladder holder.

1 comment:

Melrutl said...

Grandmas are the best! Hope the boys didn't wear you out too bad, Nana. Everyone looks fed and healthy, including that bulging belly of Amy's! Hang in there, Amy, not too much longer. You're looking great!