Monday, June 30, 2008

Little Lucifer

My dear Will - boy, can this kid give his mama the blues sometimes! I call him Little Lucifer on occasion because of the devil child he can become. The tantrums he can throw are ruthless. His screaming seems demonic sometimes. He's a hitter and sometimes kicker. And please don't laugh around him - he doesn't like that at all! As parents, we've done everything we can to try to "control" or manage his behavior - timeouts, spanking, etc. and nothing seems to work. So we pray - at least it makes us feel better about the situation, and hopefully God is somewhere up there listening and will help us out with this one soon!

Will has a had a pretty difficult time coping with Bryn's arrival. He is doing everything in his power to attract attention to himself. A week or so after Bryn was born, Will would focus on the adults in his presence. If she cried, he'd hit someone. He was usually indiscriminate - any adult in the room was fair game. A week or so after that, he focused his attention on whomever was holding Bryn - he would go after them. Finally, last week, he decided that Bryn was fair game and will actually go after her. One day the three of us were in Babies R Us when Bryn started to cry. Will turned around, pulled Bryn's carseat towards him, and grabbed her face. Luckily she seemed unphased, but I was absolutely sick to my stomach.

We're now at the point where we're always on pins and needles when the two kids are around each other - we've even resorted to taking separate cars to get to the same place because of the massive amounts of crying and stress in the car (not cheap with gas prices these days). Bryn will start crying, then Will will start crying, then they both scream and cry until we get to our destination. By then, I'm ready to cry! So separate cars it is.

I know this is just a phase. Will has gone through an unbelievable amount of change recently. Change is stressful for anyone - it's even more traumatic for a kid like Will who thrives in stable and consistent environments. We're doing our best to make things normal for him here. I've already had him evaluated for speech and physical therapy services here in Frisco. He'll start a three week summer camp soon. And hopefully we'll hear from the school district so we can find out what his situation will be in the fall. But in the meantime, we'll just keep praying that the devil child will learn to love his little sister and that this phase will pass soon!

In the meantime, my family comes to visit this week - um, he'll really be acting out then because of all the new people to get attention from. It's a shame that I feel like I have to warn my family that Little Lucifer can flip out at any moment and to be on guard!

Friday, June 27, 2008

5 whole hours!!!

Is little mama finding her sleeping groove? The last two nights she's been sleeping a bit longer. And last night, she went down around 11 and didn't wake up until 4! Woo! Hopefully she keeps it up.

Will is doing great with his sleep transition as well. His furniture isn't here yet, but his super plush full size mattress is. He's slept in his room on the mattress without a problem these past couple of days. Great news. I figured he'd transition pretty easily.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hilarious!!!

Did anyone catch "Wipeout" last night on t.v.? Ryan and I have been waiting eagerly for weeks for the show to come on because the previews looked so funny. Well, it was great. I laughed so hard last night I was crying. The commentary and slow motion replays make the show. Good times.

Hello Texas!

Well, we made it home yesterday without incident. Our plane left Buffalo on time, we didn't get kicked off the plane because our kids we're making too much noise, etc. Bryn actually slept most of the way, while Ryan was sitting towards the back of the plane with Will (where I think Will was raising his usual hell). We walked into our house at about 10 a.m. Not a bad deal.

The plane ride was tough - I couldn't help but to cry as I looked out over Lake Erie one last time. Ryan said he got a little emotional too, but then Will started flipping out so he didn't really have a chance to reflect on the moment.

There is complete chaos in our house - there's just stuff everywhere. And it's going to be like that for the short term since Ryan leaves tonight for Atlanta where his agent his holding a football camp. Being a single parent of two and trying to clean up aren't really compatible!

Pictures to come when the movers get here with my cameras!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Isn't it ironic???

I remember years ago when Ryan and I first came to Buffalo. We needed a television and met up with a chatty salesman at Circuit City. He asked where we lived and we told him Hamburg. He said, "oh, you're right by the lake." Naive as can be, I replied, "What lake?" He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said, "Um, lake Erie." Unbeknownst to me, the great city of Buffalo sat on one of the great lakes.

We drove by the lake a lot, especially over the ten months or so driving Will to and from school. The lake is just beautiful - expansive and majestic. It seems to go on forever. Funny thing though - we never actually went to the lake. In the five years we've been here, we've never officially visited Lake Erie. That all changed today. Crazy that we didn't actually visit this big ol' lake until our last day here.

After we said a tearful goodbye to Will's wonderful teachers, we made our way to the lake where we met up with Fred & Kathy Raines. Fred is the chaplain for the Bills and he and his wife have been incredible spiritual mentors for us over the years. We'd asked Fred if he'd dedicate our babies before we left and he agreed. Our little ones were both born here in Buffalo, and it was really a wonderful thing to dedicate their little lives to Christ here as well.

It's been a tough and exhausting day. I think I've gotten 10 hours of sleep at the most over the past 72 hours. It's really starting to catch up to me. Our plane leaves really early in the morning to, so I won't be getting much sleep tonight either. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on some zzzz's once we're home.

That song has popped into my head again - "Fine and Dandy" from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." It always pops into my head when I think about goodbyes. I just hate them. I had dinner with two of my closest friends here, and honestly, I couldn't think of a better way to spend my last night in western New York.

Okay, the clock is ticking - 4 hours until it's time to get up for the airport. Certainly Miss Bryn will be ready to eat soon too, so we'll try to get as much sleep as we can before we head to the Buffalo airport for one last flight out of B-town!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

48 hours

I woke up this morning in a local Residence Inn with my baby girl sound asleep next to me. I just laid there looking at her thinking how glad I was she wasn't old enough to understand everything that was going on right now. I wouldn't want her to be sad to leave like me. But then I thought about it - in less than 48 hours, we'd be home in Texas. The thought made me smile. Then I started thinking about how much I needed to get done today, and the smile went away.

It was a good thing to extend the garage sale today. We probably made an additional $300 and unloaded more stuff. The bad news is that I had to spend a lot of time bargaining with people, and that cut into my packing time. So here it is, about 9:41 p.m., and I haven't even touched the master bedroom yet. Scary.

Ryan and I are going to head back to the hotel in about 20 minutes. He'll relieve the babysitters who have been with the kids all day then I'll come back and finish up packing. I don't think this will be an all-nighter, but this will take a couple more hours to finish up. I'll put a time limit on myself - let's say by 2 a.m., anything that's not done will be left for the movers. Works for me.

We'll see how it goes...

Garage sale success!

Our garage sale went very well yesterday. We actually managed to make a little money while selling a bunch of stuff, especially big furniture items! We're going to be at the house all day packing so we decided to continue the sale today from noon until around 4. Might as well see if we can get rid of anything else.

So it's going to be a long day packing up all of our Buffalo memories. The babysitters are on their way to our hotel room to hang out with the kids all day so we can actually get something done.

It's crazy to think that in 48 hours, we'll be home. Watch out Texas - here we come!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

4 a.m.

Our big garage sale starts in about 5 hours and I'm still up getting ready for it. I resigned myself to the fact early yesterday that I'd probably be pulling an all-nighter to sort through and organize all of our goods. I figure I can make it until this afternoon when we check into our cozy two bedroom suite at a nearby Residence Inn. I'll sleep then while Ryan keeps an eye on the kids. But for now, I'm all business.

I'm taking a little break right now - I made about 30 trips up and down the basement stairs retrieving the mass of Will's old toys we plan on selling. Some of it is still down there because I've run out of room in the garage. We'll get that stuff when we open up the garage doors and see the minions of early birders who are sure to camp out to make sure they get the best deals even though my ads explicitly stated that we didn't want to see anyone before 9.

When this break is over (i.e. when I'm done pumping), I'll head back downstairs and finally sort through all of Will's clothes that I plan on selling tomorrow. That will be quite the task and will keep me busy for another couple of hours.

And wouldn't it figure that Miss Bryn is in la la land and sleeping like a champ?!? Of course...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Poochified!

So, here I am 5 weeks postpartum with a mushy belly (aka "The Pooch") and more cellulite than I ever thought I'd see on my own legs. I've had so many people ask if I thought I'd bounce right back to my pre-pregnancy body and I'm like "Heck yes!" I did after I had Will. I guess having baby #2 coupled with the fact that I had a c-section have done me in. It's clear that I'm going to need to hit up the gym to get back into shape.

The good news is that I'm only about 10 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. I also got the go-ahead from my OB (who I'm going to miss terribly because he's such a cool guy who delivered both my babies in Buffalo - I digress) gave me the go ahead to start working out again. I'll be taking it slow - heck, I still can't feel my abs at this point. Bryn and I can go for walks for starters. I'll do some swimming when we get back to Texas. But I'll be hanging out with my super fit skinny b*tch compadre Leslie who's like the world's most gorgeous and in shape fitness model, so she'll be my inspiration!

On a side note, it's quiet in my house right now. Bryn is sleeping. And Will is... WILL IS AT HIS BABYSITTER'S HOUSE TONIGHT! WOO HOO! Dear Karen offered to take him overnight so I can get a little packing done. She is a saint. I don't know what I'm going to do without her. She's been Will's surrogate grandma here in Buffalo and she will be missed terrible. She tag-team babysat with Janice the past couple of years and they were just the best - always there when I needed them. I think they should move to Texas. The weather is better!

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Mommy's Here!!!"

Single parent duty is kicking my butt. Ryan left yesterday morning to drive the car and the cats to Texas. He'll be back Wednesday evening. In the meantime, I'm balancing parenting two children alone for the first time while trying to pack and it's tough! I'm absolutely whipped right now - just exhausted.

Ryan's been taking Will to and from school everyday this past month - this is one errand I've actually really missed since having Bryn. Will is fun in the car - he likes to sing songs on the radio. There's nothing like hearing him sing "No Air" or "Umbrella." It's music to my ears!!!

I got a special treat when I picked him up from school today. He was sitting at the table with the other kids eating pretzels when I walked in. He looked at me and shouted "MOMMY'S HERE!" before running over to me and jumping into my arms! Ryan said Will does this with him (of course, he says daddy and not mommy) but it was just so sweet and special. Again, this is a kid who just a couple months ago was practically nonverbal. I wondered back then if he would ever actually call me "mom." Well, he does, and it makes me happy. Treats like these are a refreshing departure from the kid I've nicknamed "Little Lucifer" because of his (sometimes) devilish behavior. He really is the sweetest kiddo in the world (when he wants to be) but boy can those horns come out!!!

I practically cried all the way to the car realizing again how far Will has come this year. He has just a couple days of school left and it's killing me. We're leaving this incredible school where he's receiving the most wonderful services to head home to a school district that doesn't offer any programs remotely similar to what Will is in now. It will be interesting to see what services we are finally able to secure for Will back home - I'm very, very nervous.

In the meantime, I've already got Will scheduled for a couple of evaluations next week so we can try to keep his services going. Ryan and I figure we'll take whatever the school district gives us then we'll supplement privately if we have to. Will is enrolled in a three week summer camp program as well, so we'll do what we can to keep him busy and in an environment where he'll continue to work on his skills.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Look out supermodels of the world!!!


Little mama was ready for her first bikini shoot today! My good friends Ce and Kat bought Bryn this adorable bikini. I was going to put her in the pool today but it cooled down a bit so we'll have to wait for actual pool shots for when we get down
to the 90+ degree heat of Texas.





Little Mama at one month old!!!


The sleepless nights and busy days of the last month have gone by so fast - at least it seems that way. Miss Bryn is doing awesome - at her four week weight check she weighed a healthy 9 lbs! I told you she was an eater. Besides having some puking problems (last night we had our first episode of projectile vomiting - I think she just ate too much and it ALL came back up) she's doing great. The ped's office even called yesterday morning to let us know that her newborn screenings all came back normal! YAY! That's good news. The state of New York tests for 40+ childhood diseases - another great reason for us to have both kiddos in this great state. I think Texas only tests for around 20.

Bath times are much better around here - Bryn loves the warm water. Baths are now a part if our nightime ritual.


Here are a few pics of Will enjoying the bounce house during our party on Thursday...



And finally, I'll get my first taste of single parenthood with two kids for the next couple of days and it's freaking me out!!! Ryan just left to head to Texas with the car and the two cats. He'll be back Wednesday. Until then, I'm riding solo. It'll be tough having to get Will to and from school everyday because Ryan usually does that. But we'll manage. Did I mention I have to pack this week too? Should make for an interesting and busy week!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Feeling the love...

Have you ever had those moments that you wanted so badly to capture for eternity, be it in photos or on videotape, but you're having so much darn fun that you forget to pick up a camera? Well, that happened to me today. We hosted an open house for our Buffalo friends - it was sort of a "come meet Bryn/say goodbye" type of deal. We had a ton of people come by, from Ryan's old coaches and teammates to Will's teachers. There was a big bounce house in the backyard for the kids, a ton of food - it was exactly how I pictured it would be.

There were a couple of emotional moments - I just don't do well with goodbyes at all. My dear friend Gretchen - she and I just kind of looked at each other without having to say a word and we just got emotional. We both agreed that we're kind of in denial that this is really happening - that the Neufelds are finally leaving Buffalo. It's because of people like Gretchen that it makes leaving Buffalo that much harder.

I was okay for the most part. It wasn't until I came upstairs into my quiet bedroom to nurse Bryn that I finally lost it - I could hear the laughter downstairs and it really made me think about how each and every person here had touched our lives. They will be missed. I just hope that they all know how much they mean to us.

So, 12 days and counting until we head home. I have a lot of work to do - hopefully I'll keep busy enough that I can hold off the sadness for a bit. It'll hit me on our plane ride home in a week and a half. I just know it. But today I was feeling the love big time - I know we'll be missed just as much as we'll miss our Buffalo compadres!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend ramblings

It's Sunday. I was sitting at the table this morning eating a bagel and sipping coffee when Ryan came downstairs ready for church. He and Will have been going the past couple of Sundays while Bryn and I slept in. Well, I was up. Bryn was up. And I felt like I really needed some inspiration this morning. We decided that today would be Bryn's first trip to church. We were out the door thirty minutes later and made it to church just a little bit late.

Isn't it amazing how some days, it seems like the pastor knows just what you needed to hear??? I've been struggling a bit lately with our impending move and with the fact that Ryan's career is still up in the air (in addition to other things that are stressing me out). Today, the pastor talked about perserverance and how important it is to seek God during the tough times. He suggested a simple phrase to use in our moments of weakness to get our minds back on Christ - "For this, I have Jesus." It really hit home with me and I'm glad I made it to church today.

So here is baby girl in the cutest little outfit for her first trip to church. Mind you, we've had Texas weather here in Buffalo this weekend and it's been hot and humid. Bryn was definitely ready for summer...




This afternoon, a miraculous thing happened - both my children decided to nap at the same time. I used the opportunity to tackle our basement - sifting through five years of stuff just piled up has been a real challenge. But I knocked it out and am ready to start packing up the contents of the house now that I have a place to store everything downstairs.

So take a look at this...



This is three year's worth of Will's clothes. Yep. I think there are 15 of them (there are some piled behind these two piles). While I was pregnant and nesting, I went through all of Will's clothes and organized them according to size. This is the aftermath - bin after bin after bin of baby boy clothes that I'll never use again. These clothes will be a main attraction at our garage sale in a couple of weeks - hopefully someone else will get great use out of them.

After I cleaned the basement, Bryn and I got dressed and headed out for a girls' get-together at the Melting Pot. Some of the wonderful women who've blessed my life here in Buffalo wanted to throw me a going away dinner. I love these ladies. They really are the best and they are going to be tremendously missed.



And I only cried a little bit. I hate goodbyes.

On to tomorrow - Ryan's playing in the Dipaolo golf tournament while I'm home with Bryn. Hopefully I can get some more packing done. Will will be at school which is when I try to get a good amount of the work done - oh, here's a great pic I got of him on Friday...


I love this shirt - totally fits his personality these days.

And because I know you just can't get enough, here are a couple more snapshots of Bryn. Or should I say BYRN - at least that's what her birth certificate says. That's right. So I'll be on the phone tomorrow trying to figure out how to get the misspelling fixed on her birth certificate.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tantrums and tummy aches

Ryan and I have had a crash course in parenting two kids over the past couple of days. Will's having a tough time adjusting to Bryn - when she cries, he goes ballistic. At first, he would just start crying. Unfortunately, his behavior is escalating and he's taken to throwing things. We've already had one glass vase casualty. If breaking things doesn't get our attention, he'll come and hit us. To say it's been frustrating is a huge understatement. We've tried everything we can think of but nothing seems to be working. We hope it's just a phase and that it will pass soon, but that's highly unlikely. Introducing Miss Bryn into the household was just the beginning of a bunch of changes over the next month or so, so things are going to be tough on everyone.

To make matters worse, Bryn is having some spit up issues. Within the past couple of days, she's started throwing up after every feeding. She's not been happy. And I don't even want to mention the c-word (the dreaded colic), but she's showing some signs and it makes me nervous. Can you imagine the chaos if baby girl starts crying on end every evening? Her crying is definitely the trigger point for Will's out of control behavior, so there would certainly be some unrest in our home. I don't even want to think about that possibility right about now.

So wish us luck as we try to get through these last couple of weeks in Buffalo. We've got our moving quotes and now need to pick a company. Then I've got to get my butt in gear and get packing!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Crunch time!!!

Three weeks from tomorrow, we're heading home to Texas! Woo! I'm so excited, but we've got a lot of work to do between now and then. For starters, we have to find a moving company. I have four companies coming over this week to give me quotes. I'm a little nervous about the cost of the move - no doubt rising gas prices will come into effect. Luckily, we're not moving a lot of furniture. When we furnished our place here, it was with the intent that most of the furniture would stay in Buffalo. We're planning on having a big garage sale where we get rid of most of the furniture and a bunch of Will's toys and clothes. Anything we can't sell, we'll plan on donating to local charities. The rest we'll pack up and ship home.

Thank goodness Will is still in school everyday. While Bryn naps, I'm packing boxes. I feel like I could be on that TLC show Clean Sweep. I'm totally doing the "sell, keep, donate" thing right about now. All of this while still recovering from the c-section. Good times around here I tell you!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Snapshots of Bryn

Our little girl seems to be changing by the day. She's definitely feeling heavier these days. She seems to finally be sorting her days and nights out. She's even managing to stay up for several hours during the day and is sleeping in 2-3 hour increments at night. I'll take it. Anyway, here are some pics from the past week.




My favorite - this is the face Bryn makes when she's about to leave us a present in her diaper.