“I Like To Bounce!”

Houston has spent a lot of time bouncing lately. His neighborhood pal, Gracie, has a Banzai Bounce and she had Houston and Dixie over to her house on May 15 to play on it. Since Houston can’t yet walk (and therefore, can’t jump) and the girls are both about 10 months older than him, I thought it might freak him out a little, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. He absolutely loved it!

Houston having fun on the Banzai Bounce with Gracie & Dixie in May 2008.  

Houston spent most of his time being bounced by Dixie and Gracie’s boisterous jumps. He also enjoyed leaning against the netting, playing with the balls and acting as a landing pad when the girls would tumble and fall.  To see all of the Banzai Bounce photos (courtesy of Gracie’s mom, Jessica), check out the last couple of pages of Early May 08.

 Houston, Gracie & Dixie on the trampoline in May 2008.

Then on May 21, Houston made his first appearance on a trampoline, which belongs to Dixie and her family. Again, I was a bit apprehensive, but my boy thought it was a hoot! He took a particular liking to lying down flat on his back, while Dixie and Gracie bounced him horizontally into the air. He would laugh hysterically, while the girls did all the work … whatta lazy bum!After our daily walk and before making their way to Dixie’s trampoline, the kids spent some time in Dixie’s front yard, eating snacks, blowing bubbles and frolicking in the grass. To see the neighborhood play photos, plus some more current shots, click Late May 08. 

 Gracie & Dixie blowing bubbles in May 2008.

 Here are more highlights of Houston’s recent happenings:

  •  On May 15, Houston did his first authentic wave. It was a “hello” wave to Donni and Milton (Dixie’s older siblings), who Houston absolutely adores. Now you can’t stop him from waving hi and bye-bye to anyone and everyone.
  • On May 18, Houston woke up to Aunt Ashley (one of Mommy’s oldest and dearest friends) sleeping in our living room. She had visited from the her home at the beach the night before and they got to play for a while in the morning before Ashley hit road.
  • That evening, Houston was playing at Dixie’s house. The two were holding on to the bottom of a low window, looking out into the yard, when Houston lost his footing and hit his top lip and gum on the sill. It was his first real injury per se, so Mommy freaked when she saw all the blood. Thank goodness I had some reasoned friends with me to help calm the situation. He suffered a slight fat lip for a few days and had to avoid citrus and salty foods, but he’s in tip-top shape now.

Houston eating a snack during outdoor play with Dixie & Gracie in May 2008. 

  • May 20 was Houston’s final breast-feeding. Since he was biting and playing with my nipples more than actually feeding and seemed pretty much uninterested in the entire process, I decided it was time to make the move to formula for the next month and six days, when he can then start drinking whole milk. Sure, I didn’t make it a year like I had planned, but being that my breasts were killing me from my pregnancy, as well as the aforementioned actions of my son, I’d say nearly 11 months is pretty darn good. We are both much happier now: I get to take a little extra hiatus from breast-feeding before the twins come and Houston actually thinks his formula is quite tasty.
  • Houston had a third tooth pop through his bottom gum on May 21 and then a fourth today, making his total teeth count a whopping eight!

Two Heart Beats

Stephen and I went to my 12-week prenatal appointment yesterday and heard the twins’ heartbeats. They were both nice and strong: 160/minute and 155 respectively! I cannot use a midwife this time around due to my having multiples, so we met with one of the five doctors at the practice. I will eventually meet with all of them (there are four female and one male obstetricians) and then use whatever doc is on call when I go into labor. The doctor said everything is looking good thus far, although I’ve only gained a pound and am still not showing that much — all stuff to look forward to (yeah, right), I suppose! I told her that I thought I felt the kids move when trying to fall asleep on Mother’s Day night, but she said she’d be surprised if it wasn’t just gas, since they’re still so small. I’m telling you … it felt like the real “fluttering butterfly” sensation to me, so I’m sticking to my story.

Houston experiencing a post-food high in May 2008.  

Here are some May happenings on the Houston front: 

  • The family went to an outdoor neighborhood party on 5/3 and he had a ball playing with all the kids there.
  • Houston played in a sandbox for the first time on 5/4. It belongs to his best buddy, Dixie, and although he didn’t like it when his binky got tainted by falling into the sand, I think he enjoyed the new adventure. Plus, it’s good practice for our upcoming beach vacation next month.

Houston playing with Dixie in her sandbox in May 2008.

  • He spent time all alone with Daddy from 5/10-5/11, so that I could go to a wedding in Wilmington. They enjoyed having some quality guy time together, without having Mommy hovering around. Stephen says it went off without a hitch, although he was exhausted from the experience.
  • Houston said “Mama” for the first time on 5/13. I don’t think he has put it together that I am indeed his Mama, but it’s fun to here him say it nonetheless.
  • A fourth tooth popped through his upper gums on 5/14, so he now has six total. The teething sometimes really gets to him when the drooling and runny nose seem to occur at a nonstop pace. But other than those few bad days, Houston has handled what I can only imagine is intense pain like the big, strong boy that he is. We’re very proud of him.
  • Houston is still into sniffing fabric and often carries around a burp cloth with him while he’s crawling about the house and yard. He must find comfort in the scent. But he has also taken to holding out his arm into the air and then looking at it with great pleasure. Sometimes the gesture is flat-handed, as if he is Caesar and has just made a declaration of some sort; other times, he will pump his fist, like he is leading a “Power to the people” chant. Our Houston Lee is a strange bird, for sure!

Houston doing the

As you can see by the photo above, Stephen finally decided to chop his hair, which he has had long since his high school days. Looks fine, don’t it?! Houston was a tad concerned about the change at first, but has now gotten used to it. And Stephen is loving how easy it is to manage. 

To see all the most recent photos from May, click here. 

Stephen and I just started watching a reality show on TLC called “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” If you’ve never seen it, Jon and Kate had twins (now age 7) and then four years later had sextuplets (now age 3). The show documents the family’s day-to-day activities and gives us a glimpse into how the parents cope with having eight young kids. Kate is type-A and extremely organized, so she comes up with lots of innovative ideas that I think help out parents of multiples and other stay-at-home moms in general. But she is also not Super Mom and has her occasional breakdown, just as every parent will do, so the show provides that reassurance that parents so often need: moms and dads should never strive for the unattainable perfection, but should only aim to do the best they can with each day. Sometimes we’ll fall short, while other times we’ll far exceed our expectations. But as long as we do everything out of love and what’s best for our children, we cannot fail. Moreover, I figure if Kate can handle eight youngins, I can surely handle three. For more info on their amazing family, visit http://www.sixgosselins.com/.

Houston & Mommy Hit the Road

Houston poses with Gramsey & Papa in late April 2008.

Houston and I went up to Virginia to see family and friends for a few days in late April. We missed Daddy a bunch, but we had a great time seeing Gramsey and Papa, Aunt Lisa and Dina, and cousins Casey, Rick, Meredith, David and Kara.

Houston with family up in Virginia in late April 2008.

We also got to see Mommy’s oldest friend, Ingrid, and her children Quinn, Ellie and Mia. Houston immediately loved Ingrid and had a blast swinging with her and playing with the kids. We hope to see all of our Virginia loved ones again soon. 

Houston with Quinn, Ellie, Ingrid & Mia in late April 2008.

Use these links to see the photos from our Trip To Virginia and pics of Houston crawling in Late April 08.

Speaking of crawling, Houston continues his crab-like crawling using the one knee. However, other times he uses no knees and both feet instead, looking more like a monkey than a crab. His speed has improved, too, wearing out Mommy and Daddy in the process.

Houston crawling like a pro in April 2008. 

Houston is busy practicing other skills, like trying to stand from a sitting position, standing with no hands once up and just increasing his all-around balance and agility. Seriously, he will be walking soon, which will make me happy, since crawling is such a dirty thing; it’s as if he’s a little mop, picking up every speck of dirt and goo on our floors, no matter how clean. 

Houston showing off his 5 teeth in April 2008.

Houston has sprouted another tooth on his upper gum, so he now has three up top and two on the bottom. He enjoys showing them off with his dazzling snaggle-tooth grin, as well as biting on anything he can get his hands onto and ripping the item through his pearly whites. And he can usually get his hands onto anything he sets his mind to. We like to call him Stretch Armstrong, since his arms and hands seem to reach well beyond their tiny dimensions. 

Meeting baby Matthew in April 2008.

Houston’s spring has been full of fun. He still likes taking walks with the neighborhood mommy brigade and their respective kids; he plays with Dixie as much as possible; he got to meet baby Matthew, the newborn of our pals Alan and Beth; he looks forward to going nuts at the church nursery every week; and he just adores being outdoors, like during a recent impromptu cook-out we had with our next-door neighbors (click here to see those pics), at an annual party our neighbor Kay threw on Saturday night or just when Mommy attempts to get some yard work done.

Houston & Heather having fun grilling out. 

And to view all the updated images in Early April 08, including lots of new crawling photos, click here.