Saturday, March 5, 2011

Six Months and then Seven--Where does the time go?

Wow! Beckett is seven months old already! I feel like it was just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time! The last two months have been crazy! I had planned on posting at least once a month with an update, but life got the best of me.

I used to really look forward to January because it felt so calm and restful, but being stuck inside with two sick boys for so much of January and February has certainly altered my opinion! Both boys had fevers for several days at a time twice in the last month. It was miserable! In between the fevers, Maclain tripped and fell down the stairs. That resulted in his first concussion. I can only assume he'll have more in the future given how active and fearless he is!

Beckett has been knocking out the milestones since Christmas! In January he started sitting up. I swear he went from tumbling over every few seconds to sitting solidly in just one day. A few days later, he started eating solid foods. The kid can really pack it away! One night, in particular, he at 2 servings of sweet potato, 1/2 cup of rice cereal, and 1/2 of a large avocado! I think he would have continued to eat if I'd let him. So far, Beckett has loved every food that has crossed his lips. I even found some gluten-free puffs, and he loves feeling like a big boy when he gets them in his mouth.

This week Beckett started crawling. Yep, crawling, at seven months! At first I was cheering him on with Maclain, but then I started thinking about what that accomplishment means for my life. It was SO great to plunk Beckett down and have him stay sitting in one spot with a toy for those few weeks between sitting and crawling. Now, he's everywhere, and the boy is determined! He loves Hot Wheels in particular, and I've come to realize that just about every one of Maclain's toys poses some sort of choking hazard. So, as my best friend put it recently, my primary job these days is to spend 24 hours a day making sure that Beckett stays alive.

Here are Beckett's 6 month stats:
Height: 27.5 inches (75-90%)
Weight: 16lb 9oz (25-50%)
So, Beckett is more than 1 pound heavier than Maclain was at 6 months. His thighs look so chunky to us, and he feels really dense. Yet, he's below average in weight. Crazy!

Being Three

Maclain is SO inquisitive. At times it drives me mad, especially when he asks questions I can't answer. He won't accept, "I don't know," as an answer and often responds with, "Just tell me!"

Here are a few of our recent conversations that were memorable...

Maclain: "Mama, does God glue our hair on?"
Katie: "No, it grows out of your head."
M: "How do we get it off?"
K: "Well, you can cut it to make it shorter."
M: "But Babu doesn't have any hair."
K: "No, his fell out."
M: (a little shocked and scared) "Is my hair going to fall out soon?"
K: "No, that happens to Papas sometimes when they get older."

The other day Maclain walked up to me and said, "Mama, you are my pride and joy." He said he learned that from Cory. Talk about melting a mama's heart! It's those out-of-the-blue, unsolicited comments that really get me! Another comment that melted my heart was when he looked up from coloring and said, "Nana, you look awesome!" He was right...she was all dressed up for her 50th birthday party and really did look awesome, but for a 3-year-old to interrupt his coloring to say that really touched me. I love getting those glimpses of his heart (and God's shining through my sweet little boy). Then I know I must be doing something right.

One last quote that still kills me...Our house rule is that no-one goes downstairs until after 6 AM. Wednesday night, Maclain was up from 12:30-2:30 for no particular reason. I thought we'd all get to sleep in a bit, but at 6 o'clock on the button I heard him hollering at us from his room. "Papa! It's six-zero-zero. Papa! It's six-zero-zero. Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Seriously! You can't make this stuff up!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Good Ride

Yesterday my best friend called as I finished up riding my horse Libby. She asked how my ride was. I answered that it was just okay. Her response was, "What makes a ride good?" I tried to explain to her what it is I do when I go out to ride, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I decided to try thinking on 21st Century paper and blogging about it. For those of you who've ever wondered about my passion for horses, here goes nothing...

Have you ever had one of those workouts, be it yoga, running, a team sport like basketball, where some day everything feels natural? Movements flow smoothly from one to the next. Your body is in sync, and it responds just as you tell it to. Nothing hurts, at least not in a negative way. Your team is playing as one?

A good ride feels like my horse is an extension of my body. It's the most amazing thing to realize that a 1200 pound animal responds when little 100 pound me thinks, I should ride a circle here or change from trot to canter or let's take off for that jump right here. The even crazier realization is that I can't identify what my body did to make that happen. I've been riding for 20 years now, and a lot of what I do is automatic. I think, "Let's ride a circle" and we do it. I couldn't tell you, honestly, what made it happen. I know in my head how to ask Libby to do these things, but my body does it without my having to think "leg move back, fingers squeeze, etc." I've heard riding, dressage specifically, explained as dancing with your horse. I'm not a great dancer, but I agree with the analogy.

When I ride, we don't just make a big circle around the arena over and over for 45 minutes. Dressage, my sport, is French for "training." The horse is an athlete, just as I am, and so we train together. We always start and end at the walk to warm up our muscles and cool them down. I ask Libby for transitions, and we ride different figures (shapes or patterns) to get her really paying attention to me. It's mostly my seat that I use to communicate with her. My legs steer. My hands are soft and set boundaries. Sometimes I use my voice either to get her attention or to praise her.

Libby is my partner. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we're not at all on the same page. Some days, it's magic. Those are the rides I remember, the ones that keep me going back day after day, even when it's 20 degrees below zero. Riding makes me a better mom and wife and teacher and friend, and everything else I am, because it centers me. I hear God's voice clearly when I'm on Libby's back. I can let everything else go and just feel. It's work and play all rolled into one. Every time I sit down in the saddle after some time off from riding, it feels like coming home. It's where I belong.

I'm working on posting a 5 minute video clip from a pretty great ride I had on Libby last March for those who are curious.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Five Months

Beckett rounded out his first five months on this earth on the 27th. We're still having a blast as a family of four, and every day I'm amazed by how much Beckett loves and looks up to his big brother. Last night I wrestled on the floor with Maclain and tickled both boys for a long time. It was a blast. Then I put them face to face on their tummies. Maclain started making silly faces at Beckett, who then grinned from ear-to-ear and laughed. This is quite possibly my favorite picture of the two boys to date because it sums up their time together perfectly. I know it won't all be silly faces and laughs, but I'll sure enjoy them as they come!

A coworker of mine knit this sweater for Maclain because she was so impressed by the vibrant colors in Cory's hideous sweater. Of course we had to get a picture of Beckett in the sweater too!
Beckett has mastered rolling over this month, and he's getting steadier at sitting up. He seems to roll every so often to make sure he's still got it, unlike Maclain who just rolled over and over and over once he discovered the cool new trick he could do. I think that's a pretty good reflection of their personalities. Here are a few of my favorite Beckett pics from the last month. We had a fantastic Christmas with 4 fabulous days of celebrating...more on that later with great pictures of course! :)Beckett's response to everything these days is "I will eat you!"He slept through much of Christmas day, though napping was hard with such a fun crowd!
Beckett has the same flat grin Maclain had at this age. I love it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Four Months of Brotherly Love

Beckett rounded out his fourth month on this earth on November 27. I can't believe that in just four short months he's gone from this tiny little baby cuddling with his Nana...

to this smiley, giggly boy who sits so solidly in his Bebepod and lights up like a Christmas tree whenever his big brother is around! We love him to pieces!

In the last month, Beckett has started to giggle. His laughter comes out in bursts, like he's been saving the giggles up for a while. Just like his brother, he's quite ticklish. He rolled over last Friday, from his back to his tummy, and he's been trying for a repeat performance ever since. He gets pretty ticked when he gets stuck on his side, but we know he'll get there. Maclain, of course, rushes in to help as only a big brother can. I keep reminding him to be gentle, only to discover Beckett grinning from ear to ear. They can't seriously be ready to wrestle, can they???

We're marveling at the wonder of this Christmas season, trying to balance the Santa chatter with talk of Baby Jesus and the joy of giving. I'm loving the fact that for this year, at least, the Christmas tree isn't in peril! We're gearing up for an after-dark drive to check out the beautiful lights, and I can't wait to hear Maclain sharing his awe at those beautiful lights with Beckett!

Beckett's 4 month stats:
Height: 25 1/4 inches (75%)
Weight: 14lb 8oz (50%)

At 3 years Maclain weighs 29 pounds and is 37.5 inches tall, which means his BMI is in the 5th percentile. He's truly a Rutledge!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


October 27 was a big day in our house! Maclain turned three and Beckett reached the three month milestone. We've done lots of celebrating with friends and family. Maclain is really into Hot Wheels these days, and he was thrilled to get lots of new Hot Wheels toys. We gave him a trampoline because he has so much energy these days, and we don't have a yard for him to burn it off. (If only the dog could also burn energy on the tramp!) The trampoline is a hit, and he's getting so coordinated now. It took him all of a day to master seat drops, and now he's perfecting his puppy drops. Did I mention he is loving soccer and gymnastics? Clearly he inherited Cory's athletic ability and not mine, which we think is fantastic. I've noticed Maclain is getting so much more confident, and at his conference, his preschool teacher shared that he is really separating well each week, which is huge! I'm so proud of him!

At three years old, Maclain is fully potty trained, even overnight. He's got a great vocabularly, and he tests out new words regularly. Right now he's working on using the word "serious" appropriately. He seems to think it's a synonym for "silly." We've got some work to do. :) Maclain is loving being a "big brover" and tells us how excited he is regularly. He's so sweet with Beckett. When Beckett gets worked up in the car, Maclain tries to soothe him by saying things like, "It's okay, your big brother is here." or "It's okay Beckett. Take a deep breath."

Maclain is also starting to ask some tough questions, like "Where is God?" Yesterday, he was hung up on why the sky changes colors at sunset. I tried all sorts of explanations from the simple, "Because the sun is setting" to the complex, "Well, when the sun moves lower on the horizon, it's rays bend and produce the different colors we see." When none of those explanations satisfied him, I finally said, "God paints the sky different colors in the morning and at night to remind us that He's there and He loves us." Apparently that was what he was looking for because Maclain responded with, "Oh, okay. Thank you God!" How sweet is that? He was satisfied with similar explanations for rainbows and the changing of the leaves this Fall.

Beckett, at three months, continues to grow like a weed! I can't believe how long he's gotten and how great his trunk control is. He can sit upright in the Bebe Pod now, and he loves being able to sit up, look around, and play with toys! Just in the last two days he's really begun grasping things and interacting with toys more. It's so fun to watch him learn and develop! He has started sleeping through the night sporadically, which I find awesome! Beckett thought the whole Halloween thing was a bit much, so he slept through trick-or-treating in his cozy dinosaur costume. He grins from ear to ear these days, and he's working on a chuckle. It's low and throaty and adorable, of course! This past Sunday was his dedication at church, and it was beautiful to celebrate that with family.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Many of you know that I had a really hard time adjusting to the idea of parenting two boys. Cory and I have always known we wanted two kids, so this is it. After the ultrasound I grieved the fact that I will never get to shop for prom dresses, braid my daughter's hair, be the mother of the bride, and share the amazing bond that mothers and daughters share. I had 20 weeks to get used to the fact that my life wouldn't be quite as I had envisioned. Now, I'm setting my sights on being the energetic mom of two boys who cheers at all of their sporting events, takes active outdoors vacations, and plays trucks and dinosaurs.Since we first found out we'd be having another boy, so many moms have told me how much they've loved parenting two or more boys. I have heard over and over how special the bond between brothers is. I'm starting to get a glimpse of it, even at this early stage, and I'm really excited for the years to come. My life might not go just as I had planned, but then again, was it ever going to? I know I'm in for quite an adventure with these two!