Us in March

How different a first and second child can be. We don't have a good sense of Dean's personality just yet, at least not in the way we know Kent's, but the sleeping thing still blows me away. Dean sleeps for 2- and 3-hour stretches all night, nursing for a few minutes and then going right back to sleep, and he takes several long naps throughout the day. He's especially good at falling asleep in the car on the way to something and then sleeping throughout our errand while strapped to me. When Kent was a baby, on the other hand, he slept for short stretches at night and took one or two very short naps each day (after much struggle on my part), sometimes as short as 20 minutes. We kept a sleep log for a week because I was so concerned about Kent's sleep, back before I knew it was okay that some babies just don't sleep, and he logged between 11 and 12 hours a day total. Newborns are supposed to get an average of about 16 hours. So Dean is definitely doing what he can to make up for that, probably sleeping at least 16 hours. I'm not sure, because I haven't logged his sleep at all. Why would I? Anyway, I feel very rested most of the time, which is odd considering I thought I would still be "adjusting" at this point.

Dean will sleep in the BabyHawk carrier for a long time, but he has to keep moving or he calls the whole thing off, so I don't get to sit down very often except to nurse. I've been doing a heck of a lot of dishes, laundry, and other chores since I'm on my feet so much. And I haven't seen much of the internet, because I kind of need to be still to blog, check email, post photos, etc. So continue to bear with me, at least until I have children who are old enough to play outside for long stretches while I lounge deliciously on the sofa.

It strikes me every year that March is the very best month to live in Louisiana. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and I just want to be outside all the time. Not surprisingly, so does Kent. This is spurring some serious backyard ennui, though. We can only blow bubbles, draw with chalk, work in our little sprouting garden, and throw balls for so long. I'm bubbling over with ideas of what to put in our yard to make it more fun for little boys. A tire swing, perhaps, hanging from our huge live oak. I need to find out if our mechanic can give us an old tire (for free). I would love a hammock, but we'd have to have a stand for it, and it's not a huge priority, just a nice "someday" item. I also want one of those Little Tikes basketball hoops so Kent can work on his heretofore neglected athletic skillz. And my super-duper-uper-schmooper big idea, which is slowly coming together, is a golf ball run, kind of like a marble run but made for outside, and without the choking hazard that marble runs present. The golf ball run in my head is like a giant physics lesson for my kids, modular so they can rearrange pipes, connectors, and funnels. It's fantastic in my mind. I just can't quite figure out how we can make something that Kent can put together himself in different ways. I've looked at PVC pipes and connectors, and other kinds of flexible hoses, and I'm sure the materials exist to do what I'm thinking of, but my main problem is figuring out how to support it. We can start it on our carport fence, which is the perfect height for Kent to reach up and drop a golf ball into a tube, but the pieces would just kind of fall if we tried to set up tubes from that height unless we put them on some kind of posts... which makes it hard to keep the whole thing modular. The modular part might have to go. Googling the project idea hasn't yielded much useful information so far, but Jack thinks he may be able to find something if he pokes around.

Our weekends have been really productive lately; this weekend's big excitement was getting a toddler seat for the back of Jack's bike so that Kent can go on rides with him. So far, they've been around the neighborhood twice, even going to the park for a while today while Dean and I hung out at home and made dinner. I have visions of relearning how to ride a bike myself, then biking around with our boys when they're bigger, but for now, the bike outings are a nice divide-and-conquer technique that lets the toddler do something toddler-ish with his dad while the baby does something baby-ish with his mom.

One last funny picture. Kent will reach over absent-mindedly and touch Dean when he's asleep, nursing, or otherwise next to him, and it's the cutest thing. A few days ago, Dean was sleeping in the Boppy pillow on the sofa, and Kent was next to him, watching a movie. Kent had his hand on Dean's head for about 20 minutes, just resting it there. When Kent got up to get a new diaper, Dean woke up within a few minutes, so Kent had apparently been doing everyone a favor by helping his brother stay asleep. Today in church, Dean was asleep in the BabyHawk with one little arm hanging out, and Kent kept reaching over to hold his hand.

So life is peaceful at times, crazy at others, and wonderfully sunny right now with our windows open and the fresh spring air washing away my humdrums.

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1) Can you hold that March weather for an extra week or so?

2) I immediately thought of a "Habitrail" gerbil / hamster habitat with tubes that are just the right size for golf balls. However, they're probably MUCH more expensive than what you need. Can you just get a big round ball for Kent to run in? ;-)
The picture of Kent and Dean is a summary of what I think the best part of being a parent is. Seeing my children love each other. :)
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