Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Post birthday post

Lucky for us, Matt is a kid who is pretty easy to please and entertain. This year however, his birthday wish was for a four-wheeler and a gun (nice, I know) and he was quite adamant about receiving these items. We tried on countless occassions to get different gift ideas out of him but he stuck to his guns...no pun intended...and continued to repeat the same wish list over and over. So we broke down and caved to the little shit.

We started the day out by letting him open up the smaller gift of the two...

And as I mentioned, because he's easy to please, he never thought twice about how this might be the only gift he was receiving. He was as happy as could be and off to the sitters he went that morning with the promise of birthday cake that evening.

When we arrived home, having no clue that something bigger and better was awaiting him, off he went to play while I emptied out diaper bags and back packs. A few minutes later he came into the kitchen with a funny look on his face as he announced the fact that he had found a "really huge present in the living room!" I know how badly he was itching to get his hands on that gift so I made him wait just long enough for Daddy to get home so that he could watch him open it as well.

No sooner did Bill walk through the door did Matt start tearing off the gift wrap on the coveted present...

(Yes, that's Christmas wrapping paper. So what? It's double
sided so only one side looked 'christmasy'.)
I wish that I had been able to get a picture that captured the happiness on this kid's face when he figured out what it was. After every stitch of wrapping paper was removed from the box, he proceeded to climb on top. After all...isn't that what you're supposed to do with a four wheeler?

We promised him we'd go out to dinner that evening so while I fed Robert, Bill opened up the box so that Matt could at least see the actual gift. Once it was out, he hopped on top again. Hey, who needs wheels and handle bars anyhow?

(Can you see the joy on this kid's face?)

So after dinner, we came home for some cake. Recognize this thing? Yes, it's the exact same God awful green smiley face cake that he picked out last year. (Honest, go back in the archives for those pics.) After that it was off to bed with the promise that we would put his four-wheeler together that evening after he was in bed and that he could ride it the next day when the battery was done charging.

Saturday dawns and with it comes torential downpours. Matt spent every available moment sitting on his ride and while watching the rain come down, he would occassionally look my way and tell me, "Mommy, I love my four-wheeler." Although we felt bad about the still charging battery, we felt worse about the weather outside.

(Can't you just feel the love?)

Finally! Around 4pm or so, the rain slowed down to a light drizzle and so we hauled the four wheeler outdoors so Matt could enjoy his new gift. And off he went...

Almost taking out the light post and stopping just short of my feet...
All in all, his 20 minutes spent outside before the rain came down again, was well spent. We brought it back inside for lack of a better storage spot for the time being and Matt spent the next hour wiping it down. The tires even got a good cleaning too!

The next day was the parade in New Haven for St. Patty's Day, which Matt still thinks is held for his birthday. We braved the 36 degree weather to sit on the street and watch a lot of drunk Irishmen and Irish-wanna-be's march up and down the street. A few hot chocolates and many full bladders later, we made our way back to Grandma's for his official birthday party with the family at which he made out like a bandit. It looked like Christmas all over again. But the funniest part of the day was the attempt that I made at making a fire truck cake for him. The concept was good but the final result left a lot to be desired. Bill said it looked like a bad Maco paint job. I think it looks like it got too close to a structure fire and began to melt. Oh well!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Bill and the kids and I went out to a local golf course 2 weeks ago (boy am I late on posting) for a little fun on the hills.

They began with the hike up....

Which turned into a ride to the top via the Dad lift...

Megan started things off with a trip down the hill in what looked like the best available spot...

Little did we know that there was a man-made jump directly in her path. (If you squint really hard you can a patch of very white snow in front of her.) She hit it square and went flying face first down into the snow. But she was a trooper, much to our surprise, and she continued on...

Next it was Matt's turn. He has quite the sledding talent in that he can twist himself around on top of the sled while hurtling down the hill and never fall off of the darn thing...

But for as good as he was on the big hill, he preferred the little odd slopes along the way that as Bill said, allowed him more runs in less time...

It was a fun time for all, even Dad, who managed to squeeze his rear end onto the teeny tiny plastic disk 'wanna-be' sled...

Friday, March 07, 2008

#4 for Matt

Four years ago today was the beginning of life with Matthew. I guess I instinctively knew deep down that something was going to happen as the weekend approached (or perhaps it was just wishful thinking). As I said goodby to the front desk receptionist on my way out the door that afternoon I remember discussing with her how adamant I was that she would not see me walk back through that door the following Monday.

Friday evening was spent at the wake of a family friend and my emotions were running wild. We made our way through the slow moving receiving line and no matter how hard I tried, I could not contain my tears as I watched the family grieving. I waddled back outside to Bill stating the obvious that "I'm sure that didn't help the family" and me thinking that I would liked to have unloaded more than just my out of whack hormones on him for thinking I would have reacted that way on purpose.

Saturday brought more running around as Bryan was with us for the weekend and by the time early evening and dinner time rolled around I had been having some "leakage" that could no longer be ignored. When my water had broken with the Megan the first time around, I had an initial small gush but was later told that her head had dropped into the birth canal and essentially "plugged the hole". So this time around, because I had been leaking all day with the occasional gush that could not be contained with normal methods, I was aware that I would have to let my OBGYN know what was going on in order to avoid a dry birth. Unfortunately this meant a trip to the ER as the office was closed on the weekends. So off we went... Two hours later, we were sent home with no news but to wait it out.

The following morning brought more of the same but I began placing calls to my family in PA in case they wanted to get a jump start on the 5 hour drive to CT in order to be here for the birth.

Around 2-2:30pm, with Megan already down for her nap, I decided to take advantage of the quiet time and get some rest myself for I knew these opportunities would be few and far between before too long. And no sooner did I get comfortable on the bed did I feel the first indication of contractions.

If you've ever gone through labor before, you'll understand when I say, it took 2 more contractions before I was convinced that things were happening. So I crawled out of bed and went outside to let Bill know what was going on. He decided to take Bryan back home early so that wouldn't become an issue later on and I called back to PA again with the update. Mom and Dad decided to hit the road then for the drive up here. Little did they know that they should have heeded my advice from earlier in the morning as there was no way they were making it up here in time at this point.

Megan woke up shortly after that and we decided to go for a little walk around the neighborhood. The weather was absolutely beautiful that day and it seemed as though every neighbor was out enjoying it too. After attempting to hold a few conversations through contractions that were growing increasingly stronger, I gave up and headed back to the house to call my in-laws to come help with Megan. They lived about 4 blocks from us at the time but by the time they arrived, I could no longer talk through the contractions and Megan was definitely noticing that Mommy was not "feeling well" at this point. So my father-in-law took her back out for a walk and my mother-in-law picked up where I had left off on packing my hospital bag. (Yes, my due date wasn't for another 9 days, yes I had procastinated the 2nd time around.)

Sandy tried convincing me several times to call Bill and tell him we'd meet him at the hospital but I wanted to wait it out. By the time he walked through door (only about an hour after he left) my contractions were on top of each other and I all that I could think about was getting to the hospital. Oddly enough, he chose that time to brush his teeth and change his shirt... hhhhmmmm... good planning Bill!

Finally, we were off to the hospital for the 2nd time that weekend and luckily I was already registered due to my visit the night before. By the time we arrived, I could barely stand up throughout the contractions so Bill ran off to grab a wheelchair. As I waited on the curb, another contraction hit and as I doubled over, hands on my knees, while concentrating on breathing through it, a security guard approached me. His first mistake was that he opened his mouth. His second mistake was shouting out to my mother-in-law and me that "hey, you can't park here! This is for labor and delivery only!" To which I replied in the most eloquent way possible, "does it look like I'm standing here for my f*cking health?" Probably fearing for his own safety, he wisely backed off and at that same moment Bill appeared with a wheelchair and assistance from someone with admitting and I was whisked inside.
I knew that I was already in transition because I had been shaking from the time we arrived downstairs. As soon as we got to the room, I quickly changed into a hospital gown, crawled onto the bed, was examined by a mid-wife (whom, again, I did not know - throughout all of my appointments and with 2 pregnancies, I managed to once again be delivered by someone I had never met) and was advised to start pushing! Less than 10 minutes later, at 4:30pm, Matthew Cole Baker made his debut into the world at 6lbs 15oz, 19 1/2 inches long!
Happy Birthday Matthew! Your smiling face, crazy antics and funny sense of humor add so much to our family. We love you buddy!