Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Man

As my friend Katherine pointed out on her blog, the daddies/hubbies often get overlooked in the predominately mom-authored baby blog world, so here is a post dedicated entirely to my relationship with my man. (All of these questions are copied from Katherine's post of the same title.)

1. Who is your man? Dr. Marcus M. Wagner (the doctor thing is still new enough that I think its super fun!)

2. How did you meet? We probably saw each other for the first time in Athens, Greece in the fall of 1999 because our two study abroad groups spent a week there together, but the first meeting we remember is at a Bible study at Michael Lincoln's house in Searcy, Arkansas (January of 2000).

3. How long have you been together? We started dating in May of 2000, when we were both 20, so about 7½ years now.

4. How long did you date? We dated for two years and were engaged for four months.

5. How old is your man? He is 27 and he will turn 28 next month.
6. Who said "I love you" first? Two pregnancies have so addled my brain that I can’t remember for sure, but I’m 90% certain that he told me he loved me in a letter.

7. Who is taller? Definitely Marcus…6’3” to my 5’6”.

8. Who sings better? I used to, but my singing voice has declined since I'm no longer in choir or singing as regularly as I used to. I guess we're about even now.

9. Who is smarter? Again, I used to think I was, but four years of medical school has definitely given Marcus the edge in that arena, though we both still have our areas of expertise where we are inclined to defer to the other.

10. Whose temper is worse? We both lose our temper a little too easily in our own “pet peeve” areas, though we’ve learned to control that better in our five years of marriage.

11. Who does the laundry? I always do the laundry, though sometimes I leave Marcus's clean laundry folded in a basket for him to put away. Other times I just put it away myself.

12. Who takes out the garbage? I do. I empty all the little trash cans throughout the house and put the trash in the bin, and then roll it out to the curb on Wednesday mornings. Sometimes Marcus rolls the empty bin back to the side of the house.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I sleep to Marcus’s right, though that has switched several times during our marriage.

14. Who pays the bills? I do. I like paying the bills and keeping records in Money, and I have more time, so Marcus lets me do it.

15. Who is better with the computer? Marcus is way better with his Mac, but I am just as good if not better on the PC.

16. Who mows the lawn? Marcus. He also waters the grass and fertilizes, trims the shrubs, and takes care of almost all the outside chores.

17. Who cooks dinner? If anyone does, it’s me. Lately because of this second bout of morning sickness, Marcus has been scrounging for himself (poor boy), but usually I cook dinner.

18. Who drives when you are together? Marcus. I don’t like driving, particularly at night.

19. Who pays when you go out? Whoever isn’t entertaining or cleaning up Caleb at the moment.

20. Who is most stubborn? We’re both pretty stubborn about our opinions, but I’m more stubborn about day-to-day decisions, especially when the decision has anything to do with Caleb’s safety.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I am very quick to admit that I am wrong as soon as I see that I am wrong, but Marcus thinks it takes me too long to see it.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? I think we definitely see Marcus’s family more, since we’re in school in his home state and both of his parents and all of his siblings live here. Sometimes Marcus tries to argue that we see my family just as much, because during our 1-2 trips a year to see them, we usually stay a full 2 weeks, but I have no doubt that even if we broke it down to hours spent together, the scale would tip totally on the Wagner side.

23. Who kissed who first? I confess, it was definitely me, though after the first millisecond, we were both very involved in it :)

24. Who asked who out? That’s kind of a long story, but lets sum it up with the fact that Marcus pursued me in a variety of creative ways for about four months before we actually went on a date.

25. Who proposed? Marcus.

26. Who eats more? Definitely Marcus, though I give him a run for his money in my third trimester.

27. Who is more sensitive? Definitely me.

28. Who has more friends? Me. I keep in regular contact with several close friends from college and keep up sporadically with dozens more, plus I have my close group of girls here in Gainesville. Marcus is content with keeping in touch with his best friend from college, occasionally doing things with the guys at church here, and spending time with his family.

29. Who has more siblings? Marcus, who has one brother and two sisters. I have an older half-brother and a younger brother.

30. Who wears the pants in the family? We both wear pants a lot. I only wear skirts on Sundays, and Marcus never wears skirts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baby Talk

Caleb is 18-months-old and he is using about 25 words regularly (including animal sounds, which my speech therapist friend assures me do count at his age). His animal sounds are really adorable and amazingly clear. I guess he learned to emulate certain animals so well from the Baby Einstein videos, because the pitch and articulation of his owl, elephant and whale especially are very true-to-life. He also still uses his ten signs to aid him in his very basic communicative abilities. Just because I like to do this from time to time and because Caleb's grandmothers read this site, I've listed his current vocab here. I don't delude myself into believing that most of you are interested in the exact words that Caleb is saying, so feel free to skip to the next paragraph :) Words: home, park, mall, store, church, mama, dada, my, ball, star, this, no, shoe, vroom-vroom (car), choo-choo (train); animal sounds: owl, dog, cat, lion, tiger, elephant, duck, snake, whale, dolphin, bird; signs: sleep, eat, drink, milk, outside, watch TV, please, hot, more, all done.

We are around other 18-months-old who are more verbal than Caleb and have larger spoken vocabularies, but two months ago he hardly said anything, so we are happy that he is making progress. His favorite word, which he acquired during a disagreement with his 2-year-old friend Noah during our trip to Destin, is "NO". He almost always says the word very emphatically with a tone of, "What made you ask such a ridiculous question?" It really doesn't matter what the question is, the answer is "NO" 95% of the time.

"Do you want to take a bath?" (Caleb loves baths.) "NO!"
"Do you want to eat some grapes?" (Grapes are his favorite food.) "NO!"
"Do you want to go to the store with mama?" "NO!"
"Will you share your train with mama?" "NO!"
"Can mama help you read that book?" "NO!"
"Do you want to watch TV?" "Dah! Dah!" (his word for "yes")

And such is the usual pattern of our conversations. The only question that consistently gets a "yes" is the TV. Anything else could go either way, but the scales are definitely in favor of a negative. I've learned that if I really want him to do something, I'd better tell him that we're going to do it rather than give him an option!

In spite of this burst of vocal independence, Caleb has actually become more affectionate and cuddly lately. He often comes up and gives me a spontaneous hug or kiss, and sometimes just wants me to hold him while he lays his head on my shoulder. He hasn't done that (without being sick or tired) since he could hold his head up! Yesterday, we were at an outdoor Christian concert in Clearwater and Caleb was in an exceptionally affectionate mood. He was sitting on my lap facing me, and he kept hugging me, then kissing me, and then saying "my mama!" I would respond in kind with "Mama loves Caleb!" We went through this routine five or six times, and then he hugged me very tightly and said "Wuv mama!" It was truly priceless.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Back Among the Living :)

I apologize to those of you who have actually checked this blog in the past six weeks. I have been so sick with this pregnancy that even when I had time to update, a nausea-induced lethargy has prevented me from even attempting. Praise the Lord for this, but it seems that my morning sickness is waning and my appetite returning several weeks earlier than it did with Caleb. I am thirteen weeks pregnant and I have felt pretty normal for three days now (I was sick until seventeen weeks with Caleb.)

So here are some of the fun things that have happened in our lives in the past six weeks: Our anniversary was on Aug 31st, and I surprised Marcus by arranging for his mother to keep Caleb for the night and took him to Orlando for Arabian Nights and an overnight stay in a beautiful Hilton Garden Suite. The best part is that the whole thing only cost $25! I got a big discount on the Arabian Nights tickets and the hotel was free because my dad let us use his Hilton points. We had a great evening together, and thoroughly enjoyed our first opportunity to sleep in together since Caleb was born. (This was the first time we'd left him overnight.)

After our anniversary, we spent a few days at the beach at Marcus's brother Mike's new house in Melbourne Beach, Florida. Mike & his wife Gigi recently bought a beautiful house just a block from the beach, so we had a great time staying with them, swimming in their pool, and taking daily walks to the beach or the park near their house. Caleb had a lot of fun with his 2 1/2 year old cousin, Chase. This was the first time the two have been together and actually played together (rather than just tolerating each other's presence). They would run back and forth along the cat walk that overlooks the downstairs living and dining rooms, squealing and laughing, for long periods of time. They had fun together in the pool as well, though Chase, being older and wiser, was more apprehensive about the dangers of the water. We had to stay very very close to Caleb because he would literally just jump into the pool anytime he felt like it, regardless of whether or not anyone was there to catch him or help him swim. He went all the way under several times, but it didn't seem to phase him. Hopefully he'll gain some sense before we go again.

After our four days in Melbourne Beach, we spent one night at home and then drove to Destin to join three other families from church for a beach house vacation. This is the third year that we have done this trip, and it has always been a lot of fun. This year was different because the Peters' family was not able to come and because the Westfall's joined us for the first time. In some ways, this year was probably more challenging because all seven of the kids were old enough to need instruction and discipline, while last year the four youngest were just babies. With seven children who are all able to initiate conflict at any time, we did spend more time refereeing than we have in the past. Also, with all the kids being toddlers and preschoolers, it was a little harder to have whole families sleeping in the same room (i.e. it was harder to get them to sleep at bedtime). On the other hand, the weather was beautiful this year and I don't think we had any rainy days (maybe one rainy morning). The beach was not crowded at all and the kids had more fun at the beach this year than they have in the past. The "big boys" (Luke, Carson & Noah) were more creative with their play in the sand and braver in the water, and the little ones were just happy to be walking around and exploring everything independently (as opposed to on Mommy's lap or on a blanket like last year). Overall, it was a very enjoyable four days at the beach, and we are already looking forward to next year!