Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Josh Goes Psycho

Josh is teething, which is not fun. But on the bright side, at least I know it this time. Believe it or not, I failed to recognize the signs of teething in both of the other boys until we were WEEKS, maybe even a month or so into the process. It is one of the low points of my parenting career that I found my (pregnant with Drew, very morning sick) self screaming at a fussy 9-month-old Cade, "What is WRONG with you!?!??!" Only to realize a few days later that what was wrong with him was that he had two teeth simmering under the surface of his gums. Oops.

I didn't do much better with Drew and questioned why was waking up 15 times a night for two weeks before I realized that (duh!), he also was teething. I will say that teething manifested itself in different ways in each of the boys, so it's not entirely my fault that I didn't recognize it the second time around. But still, I felt pretty bad about being so clueless, especially since because they were so close in age Cade had just finished teething about 5 minutes before Drew started.

It turns out that practice doesn't necessarily makes perfect when it comes to motherhood, but it does hone your maternal instincts (even if it also dulls your intellect somewhat). This time around, I recognized the signs of teething right away and put Josh on a nice steady dose of Motrin to ward off sleepless nights and incessant fussing. Which is a good thing, because it turns out that one of his unique teething side effects is split personalities.

At his last feeding tonight, he was fussing intermittently, alternately refusing to nurse and then subsequently devouring the breast. I figured he might need to burp, so I propped him up on my shoulder. He then proceeded to go all Hannibal Lecter on me, grunting and clawing at my face, while trying to nurse on my nose and cheeks. It was so comical that I had to laugh. Really hard. So hard, in fact, that I scared him and he started crying again. I finally got him calmed down enough to begin nursing again, and he immediately went from being fussy to being Chatty Cathy. He would nurse for a few minutes, then "talk" to the boob, telling it (apparently) baby jokes and then laughing raucously.

All righty then, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. As long as you keep sleeping through the night, I don't care how crazy you are during the day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


at naptime today:

Me: Time for nap, guys - it's 1:00.

Cade (with his Thomas the Train backpack slung over his shoulder): Mom - I'm leaving for Baby Jesus's house - I'm going to Bethlehem.

Me: You can go to Bethlehem after nap.

Cade: I can't - the angels told me to be there at 1.

Hmm. Bummer. Looks like no naps today, but I guess having a prophet in the family could come in handy someday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Another Day in the Life....

Every once in awhile, the absurdity of my life really strikes me. Life today, for example.

Josh is teething and is a little fussy, so I've been wearing him the Baby Bjorn carrier pretty much all the time lately.

Drew is recovering from an ear infection so he is on antibiotics, which he HATES to take.

Cade's latest electronic obsession is disposable cameras. Every time he cajoles me into getting him one, he takes all 24 pictures in about 2.5 seconds and then refuses to get them developed because he doesn't want the lady at the drugstore to dismantle the body of the camera - he wants to keep it. So he just keeps taking fake pictures and watching the flash go off until inevitably, the battery dies. Then he places the dead camera in a giant Ziploc bag camera grave with the others that have gone before it. But recently he figured out that if you remove part of the cardboard covering, you can actually put a new battery in and bring the camera with all the film that is used up, but not developed, back to life!

Normally, none of these things would be related. Except for this morning when I found myself on my hands and knees, wearing Josh in the Bjron, pinning Drew to the floor to administer medication, and shouting, "Cade! Stop taking Mommy's Christmas gift batteries for your dead cameras!"

And I have to ask myself, once again, "Is this really my life?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Note: In an effort to be pseudo-green this year, we moved our Christmas letter online. As a lover of both giving and receiving of Christmas cards, I can’t quite bring myself to bring the entire card online. But the letter is a start. Some of you may be asking, “What Christmas letter?” If you are an in-town friend that we see frequently, we have historically spared you from our annual synopsis of the mundane details of our daily life, mostly because you were there for most of them. But you’re in for a treat this year – you, too, Atlanta friends, can have a rare glimpse into life with the Foxes…

Dear Friends and Family,

Hard to believe it’s that time of year again already. Lots of big news to report this year!

For those of you that we don’t get to talk to that often, we really fooled you by having another baby in between last year’s letter and this year’s. Joshua Quinn Fox joined us on July 24, 2008 and weighed in at 7 lbs, 15 oz and 20.5 inches long. A big boy, Josh boasted these stats despite the fact that he was 2 weeks and 1 day early. Our babies keep getting bigger and arriving earlier, so for those of you who are wondering when we are ever going to stop reproducing, we’re pretty sure this is the final chapter – lest we give birth to a 32-week first grader next time. Poor Joshie struggles with reflux (something neither of our two other kids had – what a pain it is!), so he evenly and skillfully divides his time between barfing up the entire contents of his stomach and cowering in fear from the unique brand of “loving” offered by his older brothers. Frequently, Josh can be found gazing at his brothers in disbelief, likely wondering how he had the rotten luck to end up in a family of such monkeys. At 5 months old, Josh has already mastered critical infant skills such as holding his head up, thumb sucking, rolling from front to back, and griping his brothers out when they try to take his toys.

On to Drew, who graduated to Middle Child status this year. We’ve blogged in the past about the perks of this position, but Drew seems to be taking it all in stride. Drew is our easygoing boy – he has simple needs and few wants. Drew’s primary interest is his cars, preferably of the Disney Pixar variety, which he calls “smiley cars” or “cars with eyes”. His second love is monster trucks, but in a pinch he will settle for an ordinary Hotwheel. Drew’s favorite activities include Playing Cars with Cade at Home, Playing Cars with Garrett at School, and Playing Cars with Whomever Happens to be on the Playground Next Door. Notice a theme? When he is not Playing Cars, he is working puzzles. He’s apparently some kind of freak puzzle genius (he’s pretty much up to 100 piece jigsaw puzzles), which is a bizarre talent that will certainly come in handy someday if his career in Working with Cars doesn’t pan out. Other big news in Drew's life includes the fact that it looks like he is a Lefty like his dad.

Believe it or not, our big boy will turn FIVE in February. It doesn't even seem possible, but he has grown up so much in the past year that it's definitely clear he's not a baby anymore. Cade has a long and deep-rooted love of electronics, and this interest continues to develop. He has graduated from Dustbusters, vacuums and CD players and moved on to oscillating fans and alarm clocks (he has 4, including the pink Hello Kitty one he asked Santa for last year) and computers. Cade never tires of disassembling electronics (hasn't quite gotten the reassembling part yet) or tackling "home improvement" projects with his dad, such as changing lightbulbs (the extent of Aaron's home improvement abilities). He also enjoys cooking with mom. Cade starts kindergarten in the fall and we are currently in the process of applying to private schools since our local public school "Leaves Every Child Behind", as Aaron says. We're hopeful that Cade will be accepted into a school that appreciates his pre-electrical engineering skills.

Aaron graduated from his MBA program in May (cue choir of angels). He accepted a job with Bain & Co. and is happily ensconced in the consulting world. His job didn't start until October, so we had LOTS of time over the summer to enjoy each other's company and bond with the new baby. For his part, this made Aaron doubly grateful to have an office to escape to come fall.

Cara left her job in March and now fills her "extra" hours by taking care of the baby, volunteering at the boys' school, and continuing her volunteer work with the Junior League of Atlanta. She also blogs for Baby Bunching, Atlanta Parent, and Deep South Moms. Lately, she has had to spend more time being a mom than writing about being one, so traffic is a little slow, but she hopes to get back into more frequent writing mode after the first of the year.

Noticeably absent in this update are the Fox cats. We lost our beloved Cuckoo a few years ago and last December, Jocko returned to Indiana to live with his original owner, Cara's cousin. We miss him, but know that he is much happier in her home than he was hiding out from our children in our attic.

All in all, 2008 was much kinder to the Fox Family than it is shaping up to be to the rest of the world. This year we are particularly grateful for the many blessings in our life, and we pray that God continues to bless us and you with health and happiness in 2009.

Love, The Foxes

Aaron, Cara, Cade, Drew, and Josh

PS Now that we're online, we can truly bore you to tears. Click here for a photo slideshow of the year's highlights. Warning - these are raw, uncut images of our life because, really, who has time to edit photos with three children under the age of five?.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Fashion Mind of His Own

Cade has always been a super-snazzy dresser. God forbid a collared shirt with buttons or a pair of dress pants should come within 10 feet of him. Like his father, he is most at home in something like a SouthPark t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants with the Lucky Charms leprechaun on them.

Today, as I slipped a Gap sweatshirt on over his head, he read the word and said, "MOM! Stop putting these Gap shirts on me! They're so Gappy!"

Do they sell shirts that say "Goodwill" across the front?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Josh in Action

Life has been pretty hectic lately. Fabulous, but hectic. It appears that I had forgotten how much work is entailed in having a baby in the house. It also turns out that having three children is twice as difficult as having two, not merely the 1.5 times as difficult I was expecting. But we're finally starting to get settled into thing, for real this time (I think I said that a few months ago). Josh is settling into a decent sleep schedule instead of screaming intermittently all day and then pretty much from 5 to 11 pm continuously. Mercifully, we've discovered his "off" switch - snuggling him up against a soft, fluffy blanket with a lamb head that Aaron's mom sent for Cade. Neither of the other boys really took to "Lamby" (Cade was already smitten with "Lovey" - I'm not sure what it is with my kids and blankets that have animal heads), but give Josh the lamb and a pacifier and he's good. Even better, he's finally reached the stage where when the pacifier falls out, he can find his thumb. Baby able to suck thumb=more uninterrupted sleep for mom and dad.

Our video camera conked out on us about a month ago and we are using an old-school one that doesn't allow us to get videos online. But I took this using my new Crackberry (LOVE IT!) and thought I would make my first attempt at getting video on the blog so everyone can see how big Joshie is getting! Apologies in advance that it is a little grainy and also a little too long for anyone except the grandparents to see through to the end. In case you're wondering, he DOES roll over before it finishes. Now for the show - fingers crossed that when you click on it, it actually plays...