Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Endless Love...

Wednesday Mar 24, 2010

My Endless Love...

And love, oh love, I'll be a fool for you, I'm sure
You know I don't mind, you know I don't mind
Cause you, you mean the world to me
Oh, I know, I know I found in you my endless love
-Lionel Richie, "Endless Love"

The cheesiest song I could come up with to proclaim my endless love to ... not my husband. Not my children. (All of whom already know that they have my endless love.) Nope, I'm declaring my endless love to MY PEDIATRICIAN. Yes, Dr. N., I love you. Want to know why? You, my friend, have given me the greatest gift that a new mom can get...

Six consecutive hours of sleep.

Yes, last night I got 6 hours of sleep. In a row. Luke is a wonderful baby - during the day. He sleeps like a champ, often 4+ hours at a time - during the day. The nights have been quite a different story. He'll get one nice long sleep of at least 3 hours, and then wake up every hour. (You know life has changed when I consider 3 hours a "long sleep!") He wakes up EVERY. SINGLE. HOUR. From then until the sun rises, at which point, he's happy to go back to sleep. Auggghhh!

When I went over to my friend L's house on Friday, the first words out of her mouth when I walked in the door were "Wow, Jen, you look really tired." Last week, I had started referring to my own child as "the parasite" because he was, quite literally, sucking the life out of me. Oh, man - that's so cruel! Poor kid. I feel bad having said that about my poor hungry infant, but sleep deprivation makes you crazy. And I am most certainly headed straight for Crazyville.

So, Dr. N suggested that after the long sleep, we give him a bottle. Because milk flows faster and easier from a bottle, he is more likely to get a full belly before he falls back asleep. And with a full belly, he's more likely to have another long sleep. Give him a bottle? It's not like I'm having trouble pumping out an extra bottle. But it seems silly to give him one when I'm right there with milk from the tap.

In my sleep-deprived state, I was in no position to argue with someone in authority. And you know what? It worked! (Thanks in large part to my wonderful husband.) I fed him at 8:30 and was asleep by 9. Derek had to stay up late anyway to get some work done, so he took the 11:30 feeding and gave him a belly-filling bottle and put him to bed. I was so tired I didn't even notice when Derek put him back in the co-sleeper and I slept like a log until 3:30 a.m. when Luke woke up again. (Notice I slept "like a log" not "like a baby." Whoever came up with that particular comparison never spent much time with babies.) But yes, I got 6 consecutive hours of sleep! Derek then got to sleep from midnight until 6 a.m., which means that BOTH of us got sleep! Miracle of miracles!

So, if I wasn't already in love with my wonderful pediatrician, I am now. That man is brilliant.

Posted at 09:37PM Mar 24, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[5]

Yeah! Sleep! I'm so happy for you! I hope the plan continues to work. :)

Posted by Amy G. on March 25, 2010 at 11:36 PM EDT #

Hey, I'm probably slow, but I just noticed that you changed your Blog header -- Love that CheezeDoodle got his name in there, too! ...oh, no! Now I have to do another math problem. Whew! I peeked -- it's an easy-ish one.

Posted by Amy G. on March 25, 2010 at 11:39 PM EDT #

Yay for sleep and happy healthy babies! So very very glad that you are getting a little more, and even more excited that we seem to be well enough that we can come visit next week! If you ever need a nap on a weekend-- call me, I'm happy to watch the boys for a bit so you can get some shut eye... how well I remember those days...

Posted by Erin on March 26, 2010 at 09:32 AM EDT #

I remember those days of 3 hours of sleep at night on a good night (when my in-laws came over they would stay late which meant an hour and a half of sleep on the 3 nights a week they came over). Don't forget to count your blessings for that healthy baby (although I know it is hard when you are running on no sleep)!!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on March 26, 2010 at 02:21 PM EDT #

Sleep is good...lots of sleep is great! Glad you have reached the superlative state!

Can't wait to meet Bebe Luke!
Dang math again...

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 28, 2010 at 12:24 AM EDT #

Monday, March 22, 2010

We're havin' a party...

Monday Mar 22, 2010

We're havin' a party...

Dancing to the music
Played by the DJ
On the radio
Sam Cooke, Having a Party

We had a family party on Saturday, and let me tell you that those Perrys do know how to party! My mom is one of 5 children, and she is without question the quietest, most reserved of the five. My extended family is big, funny, loud, loves to tell great stories, and did I mention loud? When one person tells a funny story, all other siblings are immediately inspired to tell a funnier story, and to tell it just a little louder than the last. And so it goes until the house is bursting at the seams, and we're all bursting our sides with laughter.

Growing up with a big extended family like that was wonderful. Countless holidays and birthdays were spent at Appie & Papa's house on Oakland Drive, and they had a perfect place for entertaining a big crowd. They had a giant family room that opens up onto a big sun porch that opens up to a big backyard, perfect for us kids to run around in. Their dining table was as big as any corporate conference room table, which made for lots of after-dinner conversations filled with funny stories of the old days. Appie was truly the matriarch of the Perry clan, and she kept us all connected to one another. I can remember very few family gatherings anywhere other than their house.

Many of my loyal readers know that the past few years have been tough for the Perry Clan. Papa passed away in the fall of 2006 and Appie died a few short months later. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer during that same time, and those three events really turned my world upside down. For a long time after that, gathering with my cousins and aunts and uncles seemed so strange. We met at different places, and that felt wrong. We didn't always keep up with what was going on in others' day-to-day lives, so getting together felt like getting to know each other somehow. Grief from losing the "center" of our family wheel was fresh, and being together without Appie and Papa just reinforced that hurt.

This weekend's party wasn't for any occasion or holiday, and maybe that is part of what made it easier. The out-of-town siblings (one in Florida, one in Georgia) both came to town, and that seemed enough reason to gather as a family. And it was really fun! We told old stories, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the cute baby tricks of my little ones, and ate like the clan of locusts that we are. Everyone who wanted baby snuggles got as many as they wanted. The conversations flowed, and there was lots of inter-generational hanging out which, to me, is what makes having a big family so much fun. While we will never get together that I don't miss Appie & Papa, it really was a great party.

Posted at 02:33PM Mar 22, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[1]

Doing a study here...did you all line yourselves up in birth order on purpose?
Just wondering!
Happy to see smiles on all the Perry faces!

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 23, 2010 at 10:26 PM EDT #

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If you go down in the woods today...

Tuesday Mar 16, 2010

If you go down in the woods today...

You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.
For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
-Jimmy Kennedy (1932) Teddy Bears Picnic

Usually, I use lyrics to talk about my life, but this entry is all about the music. On Sunday night, Derek and I were listening to Back Porch Music on WUNC as we fell asleep. When this song came on, I nearly jumped out of bed I was so excited! He thought I'd lost my ever-lovin' mind (which is actually not far from the truth) and had no idea what I was talking about and why I knew the lyrics to Teddy Bears Picnic. I remembered the song from my childhood, but I had no idea why or how I'd heard it back then. A similar thing happened when Jay was a baby - I got "Animal Crackers in my Soup" stuck in my head and absolutely HAD to find the lyrics. That one was sung by Shirley Temple in "Curly Top." (Google knows everything.)

Well, after talking with my mom, she thought that Teddy Bear Picnic was off an Anne Murray album we had when I was a kid. After a little research (seriously, Google knows EVERYTHING), it turns out that Anne Murray released a Canadian album in 1977 called "Hippo in my Bathtub." That album was re-released in the US in 1979 (minus a few songs) as "Anne Murray Sings for the Sesame Street Generation." BINGO! That's what we had as a kid, and I must have listened to that thing a million and one times on my Fisher Price record player. You remember, the brown and orange one? (Can't tell y'all what kind of restraint it's taking not to buy that thing!) It's a fantastic album, and it was re-re-released in 2001 on CD as Hippo in My Bathtub. And no, I don't have enough willpower to avoid buying the album on Amazon. Free shipping! How could I pass that up?! It's also where I first heard "Animal Crackers" and has a ton of other adorable songs. Finding it makes me happy.

Lots of the toys we have are musical, too. One of our favorites is one we borrowed from my friend Bethany, and it played a variety of Depression-era folk songs including "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "On a Big Rock Candy Mountain." Of course, lots of toys sing the Lullaby song (Brahams' Lullaby) ... and I really ought to learn the words to that other than "Lullaby and goodnight ... la da da da da da da." :-) I have a feeling that's probably not exactly right.

One of the most fun things about having kids is remembering my favorite things from my childhood. When we were kids, we would spend long car trips singing in our off-key, total-lack-of-musical-talent McLean way. And it was great fun. On Jay's first car trip to Asheville when he was a few months old, we sang all the verses we could remember of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" and made up a few of our own. And it was great fun too. Of course, all the singing in the world didn't stop his hysterical crying, but we tried! As a baby, Jay's favorite was "You are My Sunshine" (also done beautifully by Anne Murray on the Hippo album!) and so far Luke seems to be a fan of "Jesus Loves Me." Currently, Jay is a big fan of songs with hand motions including the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee. I know their favorites are determined in part by what we sing to them, but it is interesting to see that different songs settle each of them down. And once I have the Anne Murray album, my repertoire of songs will expand again to include some of my old faves. Everything comes back around.

Posted at 11:17AM Mar 16, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[5]

I don't have the album, but I have the song...along with several Raffi tunes, and Sammy, by Hap Palmer. I have made several cd's for my grandkids and will now make a new one for Jay's and Luke's and of course your's and Derek's listening pleasure!

Oh and I don't know if you had anything to do with this but I got a nice, easy math question this time! Loves,

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 16, 2010 at 11:34 AM EDT #

I had one of those orange and brown Fisher Price record players too!

Posted by Stacy Arrington on March 17, 2010 at 09:13 AM EDT #

This made me smile! I had the record player and the "tape recorder." The tape recorder is still at my parent's house waiting to be played with again!! Don't forget about the special pens and pencils from childhood! ;)

Posted by Lisa on March 17, 2010 at 03:54 PM EDT #

Isn't it wonderful to be able to share your favorites with little ones? Grace also loves "You are my sunshine"-- she aught to, I sang it to her almost every night when she was inside, and often when she was upset on the outside. She also loves things with dance moves, and I'm really impressed with her ability to mimic and repeat. Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane!

Posted by Erin on March 22, 2010 at 09:01 AM EDT #

How funny is this? Evelyn's favorite song is "You Are My Sunshine" and Jessica's is "Jesus Loves Me!"

Posted by Cynthia Spruill on March 27, 2010 at 06:52 PM EDT #

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We went out last night...

Thursday Mar 11, 2010

We went out last night...

One thing started leadin' to another
Out last night
Hittin' on everybody and their mother

Well the fact that I'm still breathing
Means that I must have survived
And that I'll live to go out with my friends again tonight
-Kenny Chesney "Out Last Night"

We made it out of the house!! Yes, these 4 walls will not contain me forever - it actually IS possible to take 2 kids out in public. We were not hitting on "everybody and their mother" ... we were at church. But we did it!

I have to be honest; I was kinda guilted into it. My dear friend JG told me the story that she was born on a Wednesday and was in church that Sunday morning. WHAT?! You gotta be kidding, right? Four days after my kids were born, I was in such a sleep-deprived fog that I didn't have the energy to take a shower, much less take them to church. I jokingly commented to her via Facebook that her parents were crazy or very creative in their search for babysitters. Much to my surprise, her mom commented back (you never know who's watching on Facebook, that's for sure!!) that with her brother, they went to church on the WAY HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL! Wow. I'm in awe. So, KG, know that you inspired me to take the boys out to church when Luke was 2 weeks old. And you know what? It wasn't as hard as I had imagined.

And that's not all! I took Luke out for TWO (not one, but TWO) outings on Tuesday. First, we went to lunch with my mom and her BFF Annie. I'm always up for lunch w/ my mom because usually she's buying. Just kidding, mom! I love your company! Mom and Annie became friends in junior high school (correct me if I'm wrong, ladies!) and have stayed close ever since. I used to be scared of Annie - not sure why because she's about as kind as they come. Maybe it's because she's a math teacher... Anyway, we had a great time and Luke behaved like the angel that he is.

Then we met my friend LJ and my 4 year old boyfriend TJ at the park. Luke wasn't impressed - he slept through the whole occasion. But it was fun for me to get out of the house and talk about grownup things for an afternoon.

Derek and I said from the beginning that we weren't going to let our lives completely revolve around our children. We would incorporate them into what we do, and really enjoy being together as a family. And for the most part, we have done that (or tried very hard to do that!). I was quite scared that once we had 2, it would become infinitely harder to go out and do things like we did when it was just Jay. And it is harder - it takes more planning, and it takes much more time to gather our stuff and get out of the house. And it takes 8 times as long to get 2 kids into carseats as it did with just one. Why is that?! But it's do-able. Sometimes I just need to prove that to myself.

Posted at 12:08PM Mar 11, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[7]

You go, girl!! An outing with two kids 2 and under!! You're doing great - what a great mom and dad you guys are - I'm so proud (as if I had anything to do with it whatsoever)!! LYTB - AJ

Posted by jeannette johnson on March 11, 2010 at 09:09 PM EST #

By the way - my best birthday present today was the phone call from my buddy, Jay - that sweet voice saying "Happy Birthday, I love you!!" It doesn't get any better than that!! Thank you ~ AJ

Posted by jeannette johnson on March 11, 2010 at 09:11 PM EST #

I'm so glad you made it out. I really needed that wonderful cuddle time I got with sweet little Luke. What a bright spot for my week!

Just one more note: Let me tell you how thrilled I am to finally get an easy math problem on this thing. 0 + 18. Now THAT's math I can do!

Posted by Amy G. on March 11, 2010 at 10:26 PM EST #

Thanks for the mention. I loved seeing/holding your beautiful little snuggler. And what's all this fuss about the "math problems"?
Love you, Annie

Posted by Annie on March 12, 2010 at 02:11 PM EST #

Thus sayeth the Math Teacher? LOL LOL LOL!!!

Calculator time....

PS I have quit previewing since that gives me an additional math problem. So typos on the loose!

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 13, 2010 at 01:54 AM EST #

Great Job! Going out with 2 is a real accomplishment and it gets easier when you have the routine down. We got to take the babies(2 boys) to my older son's show & tell, that was a big hit. Keep up the good work!!

Posted by Debbie Gilland on March 15, 2010 at 09:26 AM EDT #

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to you...

Monday Mar 08, 2010

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear Jaa-ay (*This song really works better with 2 syllable names, huh?)
Happy Birthday to you!
(Who do you credit the HB song to, anyway?!)

Dear Jay,

I can't believe that my Baby Jay is already two. Can't really call you my baby anymore, huh? Where does the time go?! It seems like we just had your first birthday party, playing baseball in our front yard and watching (helplessly!) as you grabbed the burning candle off your cake. (Big mom oops there.) I beat myself up for that one for a while, but you know what? I eventually decided that it's just one more reminder that we're BOTH learning as we go along on this crazy ride called life.

I wish I could say that I've been a perfect mom these past 2 years, but we both know that isn't true. I've probably let you cry sometimes when you just needed a hug. And I've probably laughed and let you get away with things when you needed a little discipline. I've probably spent too much time posting your pics on Facebook and not enough face time with you, hammering at your tool bench. This mom thing is a tightrope that I'm still learning how to walk. And you know, just when I think I'm starting to figure it out, you go and do something all grown up and I wonder how I'm going to handle the toddler years, much less the teenage years.

But now and again, I stumble on something that works. Last week, when you wouldn't take your medicine, I showed you how to give medicine to your Cow Lovey, and then it didn't seem so scary for you. And we've continued giving Lovey medicine every morning and every night since ... and you've been so stinkin' adorable helping him get well. You've become such a good helper, wanting to help burp your baby brother Luke and show him your toys. You help clear your plate after dinner, and you help Daddy with anything he does. You're growing up into such a happy little boy, and it makes my heart melt to see your personality, your giving spirit, start to emerge.

I'm so proud of you. And I trust that I'm going to keep learning right along with you as we figure out this parenting thing, now times two. Thanks for letting us learn on you. Thanks for teaching us patience, compassion, appreciation for life's many little blessings, and more patience. You're an amazing kid, and we love you the best.

Mom & Dad

Posted at 04:35PM Mar 08, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[4]

I don't think I could have summed up parenting any better! It truly is a journey in which both parents and children learn valuable lessons from each other! I can't believe our babies are growing up so fast! So glad your family is adjusting well with Baby Luke! Hope to see you all soon!

Posted by Emily Moore on March 09, 2010 at 09:12 PM EST #

Happy Birthday, smiley little J-man! Don't worry -- you're doing a great job teaching your mommy and daddy to be parents.

Posted by Amy G. on March 09, 2010 at 10:56 PM EST #

What a sweet,sniff sniff, blog entry for the birthday boy! He is such a handsome young man...still your baby, and first born special little angel. I hear that Luke is quite the little angel himself...very snuggly! I am SO thankful that you have Jay and now Luke they are a blessing to your whole family!
Congrats to all,


P.S. More pictures!

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on March 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM EST #

That is the best picture of our big boy!! Can you believe it has been two years since he came into our lives - what a ride it has been!! and now two of them!! Can't wait to spoil Luke like I have spoiled my buddy Jay!! Thanks for sharing them with me. Love, AJ

Posted by jeannette johnson on March 11, 2010 at 09:05 PM EST #

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You gotta keep 'em separated...

Tuesday Mar 02, 2010

You gotta keep 'em separated...

Hey man, you talkin' back to me?
Take him out
You gotta keep 'em separated
-Offspring, Keep em' Separated

Okay, not exactly the lyrics genre that you're used to on my blog, eh?! Sometimes, you just need to rock it out, shake your head around, and scream a bit. And that's pretty much where we're at today.

Not sure why we can't get 4 healthy Fosters at one time, but apparently that's just not in the cards for us. Jay is sick, and I mean really sick. What started out last Friday as a cold has morphed into an ear infection and pneumonia. Fantastic timing! Pneumonia in the house with a one week old!! Let the party begin!!

So, we're doing everything in our power to keep the boys separated. Jay of course is wondering why everyone who walks in the door is encouraged to hold Baby Luke, while he can't come within a 6 foot radius of him. Someone please tell me we're not creating some intense sibling issues with this! I feel so bad because he's so excited about seeing his baby brother. I want them to have a chance to bond, but I don't want them to exchange these really nasty germs quite yet. There will be many years of that to come ... but I'd like to wait until Luke has at least developed an immune system first.

Thankfully, it's not RSV (a very serious respiratory virus that often requires hospitalization in little ones) or the flu (also, really really bad for tiny babies). It's just a run-of-the-mill virus and it's just happened to hit poor Jay harder than it's hit me and my poor mom. She and I have both been sick with the nasty crud this past week, too. I had to ask my mother-in-law to bring me a gigantic box of Puffs Plus with Lotion to the hospital, since the only tissues they had at Rex were slightly more soft than wiping my nose with the USA Today. Geez. It's a hospital! No Kleenex?!

While we're on the subject of my MIL, I have to give a shout out to what a wonderful help she's been. She swooped in on Saturday morning and like the Laundry Fairy made the mounds of dirty clothes disappear. She's washed pumping parts, washed dishes, and done her best to entertain Jay ... which is a nearly-impossible task, I might add. He's feeling miserable, and is making that known in the way that almost-two-year-olds do best - with much crying and whining. Poor kid. She's a saint, and she's currently curled up with him on the sofa, rubbing his back and bribing him to take his medicine.

So, while the peaceful, quiet, and wonderful homecoming as a family of 4 was short-lived, it was nice for the one day that it lasted. We're now into the full-on chaos of having 2 kids, and that's wonderful as well. Exhausting, but wonderful.

Posted at 03:17PM Mar 02, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[5]

Hi Jen,

Just wanted to congratulate you on son #2, Luke! Hang in there, new Mom--this, too, shall pass! Hope all of you get well soon so you can enjoy those two boys. They will be so much fun! Thanks for all your hard work to keep all of us in the loop. You are such a great daughter and I know your Mom and Dad really appreciate you so much. Take care.

Pat Miller Evans

Posted by Pat Miller Evans on March 02, 2010 at 05:08 PM EST #

Yay for Jane!

Posted by Mindy on March 02, 2010 at 05:39 PM EST #

Gah, I don't know how you all do it! :-) I'm glad you're keeping your wits about you, though, and that Jay's illness isn't tooo serious. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by Brandi on March 03, 2010 at 09:43 AM EST #

Thank goodness Jay is healthy and loving Luke. When I brought Steve home from the hospital he was not enthralled with the idea of competition. One day I walked in on him holding a wooden baseball bat over the bassinet. Immediately called the Pediatrician who told me to put the baby in the room with his brother. I thought he was nuts, knew the Dr well enough to say so, but he assured me all would be safe and well. Thirty some odd years they are still speaking and no bats have been swung at each other. Can't say so for fists, unfortunately. But that even not very often and to no major harm. Just major grey hairs on my head. Hang in there and fasten your seatbelts! Boys are a bumpy but very very fun ride!
Now for the math...ARGGGGGGHHH

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 03, 2010 at 08:52 PM EST #

Hoping that Jay heals up soon and that you feel better too. Yay for wonderful mother-in-laws! Sending healthy, healing vibes and lots of sunshine... If you want some OJ and soup, just let me know! ;-D Can't wait for the day (when everyone is well) that we either a) get to bring Luke a present, or b) get to see him at daycare, if that's what you've chosen to do... Hugs from the Robinsons!

Posted by Erin on March 06, 2010 at 11:12 PM EST #