We Love You, Beanie

Not much out of the ordinary going on in the last lazy days of summer. Although life around the zoo is anything but lazy.

Gabriel is cruising like a champ and will probably be walking very soon. Zeke isn’t much into the cruising yet, but I’m sure will follow suit with the walking as soon as he sees how much fun his brother is having.

Zeke flashes his sweet, squinchy grin.

Houston had lots going on last weekend. He attended a birthday party at the Natural Science Center on Saturday and got to see live tigers, lemurs, monkeys, meerkats, snakes, sharks and other cool beasts, as well as pet some goats, bunnies, turtles, sheep and other friendly animals.

Then on Sunday, Daddy and Uncle Greg took Houston to his first baseball game, which featured corn dogs, Gatorade, spazzing out in the kids’ play area and, of course, learning about America’s favorite pastime from Daddy.


Houston waters our outdoor pal, Paul the praying mantis.

I will turn 38 years old on Sunday. Crazy, huh?! Sometimes my body certainly feels that old, but I feel like a spring chicken otherwise. Having three crazy hoodlums surely helps to keep me young and zany!

Click the photo of Gabriel below to see all the recent additions to the August – Part 1 gallery. And the above photo of Houston to view all the latest photos.

Gabriel loves bubbles & taking baths w/ his brothers.

On a sad note, our 13-year-old cat Bean has been missing for a few days. She used to go off for days at a time when she was young and spry, but she hasn’t done that in about a year or so.

Also over the past couple of years, she seems to have aged an eternity, acting and looking much older than her age had previously shown. Goopy eyes, skin allergies, bad hips, major weight loss … she wasn’t in top form as of late.

Bean snuggling w/ Beeler back in early 2007.

We hope she returns home, but I have a feeling we might not ever see our sweet Beanie girl again. For those of you who know her, please say a prayer that if she has gone to kitty heaven, she passed quickly and peacefully in her beloved outdoors.

Walking, Bleeding & Puking

We really enjoyed Aunt Lisa’s week-long visit. She was a tremendous help with the kids and the housework, and did every bit of the cooking during her “vacation” at the zoo.

One day when she and Houston were at Target, Houston kept excitedly saying, “Man here.” (“Man” is what he calls Spider Man.) Lisa assumed that he had seen some cool Spidey products. Houston’s growing persistence paid off when Lisa finally spotted a kid dressed in full Man garb. They approached the young Spidey and his mom, and talked with them about Houston’s love of the super hero. Houston even got to high five Spidey, before he had to go fight bad guys.

Zeke, Houston & Mommy at the “Hands Off My Healthcare” event in Burlington.

On another shopping trip, Lisa allowed Houston to walk, instead of ride in the cart — a first for Bull. He would say, “Walking … walking … walking!” while gyrating in a contained sphere around her and holding her hand. Lisa said he did a surprisingly good job of reigning in the obvious thrill he was experiencing with this newfound freedom.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos during Lisa’s visit; it was just too crazy busy, even with an extra set of hands. However, you can click the photo below to view all the pics from one of the Patients First rallies we attended in back in early August.

Stephen, Gabriel & Miss Heather kill time in the shade before the rally begins.

Health flash: I started doing hardcore power walks with the kids in the stroller. I hope to do it at least three times a week for 30 minutes, and do one bike ride on the weekends. Although I’ve probably never been this strong upper body wise — yeah, little humans make great barbells — I’ve also never weighed this much in a non-pregnant body.

Houston has to ride, instead of walk, on these aerobic strolls, which was disappointing to him at first. But I explained that I have to be thin and strong to be the best Mommy I can be. He seems okay with it now and often cheers me on during walks, saying, “Mommy, thin … Mommy, strong … Mommy, go!”

This morning, Houston busted his lip (again), but this time it was on the coffee table. Our awesome neighbors, Shawn and Milt (Dixie’s parents), dropped by to make sure the bloody injury didn’t require a trip to the urgent care. Houston was very brave and let me ice his lip right after the injury. And I handled the stressful situation quite calmly, so I’m proud of the both of us!

Clan Dillingham in front of the Patients First bus w/ Dallas Woodhouse, NC director of Americans For Prosperity.

Other stuff:

  • On 8/15, we bathed all three boys at once. Nobody got hurt or anything, but it was still controlled chaos. We probably won’t attempt that again for a while, but at least Stephen took some decent video of the occasion.
  • On 8/16, Gabriel and Zeke turned 10 months old. I cannot believe they’ll be 1-year-old dudes in less than two months!
  • Gabriel and Zeke are cruising up a storm. I’m sure they’ll be walking (and talking) before we know it.
  • I cancelled the twins’ upcoming appointment with a gastrointestinal specialist, since their puking has improved. It surely hasn’t ceased, but I think I can handle this moderate amount for another month or two. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Puke Fest

I got to spend some quality time with Gabriel and Zeke today. Daddy took Houston up to the mountains to visit Granny and Grumps, so it was just me and the boys for the afternoon and evening.

They were also on a different nap schedule, which is not the norm, so I got to do some one-on-one bonding, as well. It was nice, although certainly not a vacation … turns out that all the Dillingham dudes are a challenge, even when hangin’ solo with Mommy.

Zeke says, “Look at what a big boy I am!”

The major stress of my domestic life these days is the twins’ puke. I’ve mentioned if before, but it is completely insane. So much so, that my pediatrician referred the boys to a gastrointestinal specialist. Yes, they’re gaining weight and seem healthy, but they pretty much puke nonstop, no matter how much I feed them, how often I feed them, what I feed them, if they sit up for a half hour after I feed them, etc.

I know there’s always going to be some issue to stress me out as a mom, but this constant barfing sometimes has me at my wit’s end. We even chatted with our pastor to see if he had any pearls of wisdom as to how to cope with the stress of the incessant vomiting and the subsequent chaos it creates. He said to pray and read the Bible daily. I’ve been doing the former and started the latter a few days ago. Hope it helps me deal.

Silly-boy Houston says, “I’m good at making Daddy laugh.”

Tending to the puke can totally suck up all my time, if I let it. Luckily, Houston helps me clean it up when he’s playing with brothers. I also try to ignore it when possible, but oftentimes the liquid mess is so dangerous that I must tend to it immediately. In fact, Gabriel smashed his nose on the floor, Zeke bruised his head, and I almost bit the dust when slipping in the expansive puddles that tend to cover the nursery floor.

It’s so crazy that I felt compelled to warn Auntie Lisa about the severity of the situation before she comes to visit. Fortunately for me, she says she ain’t scared. She’s heading to Clan Dillingham tomorrow to help out with the boys, as well as have a little non-kid fun with Stephen and me. I am so looking forward to having an extra set of hands!

Other highlights:

  • On 7/29, Houston had a check-up at the pediatrician. Now that he’s 2, we restarted his vaccinations; we picked up where we left off since putting his shots on hold after his 9-month visit last year. Houston the brave got three shots in the leg and is now to up-to-date on his vaccination schedule.
  • That day, Houston also weighed in at a whopping 45 pounds and measured 39 3/8″ long!

Gabriel says, “Trucks are sooooooo cool!”

  • On 8/1, Zeke’s two bottom teeth finally popped through his bottom gum. Now we have two snaggle-tooth babies!
  • On 8/7, Gabriel pulled himself into a standing position in the crib for the first time. I’m confident one or both of the twins will be walking soon … maybe the erect walking position will help to curb the puke fest. One can only hope!
  • Last week I began bathing Gabriel and Zeke in the bathtub at the same time. The real tub is so much more convenient than dealing with their little infant tub. Plus, cleaning both boys simultaneuously is a real time-saver for me and lots of fun for them.

A few new pics have been added to the end of the late-July gallery. Click the above photo of Gabriel to check ’em out. And click the middle pic of Houston and Daddy in the pool to view the August photos.