Tag Archives: superkid

for Gideon

An update on Our Mrs. Pat and her journey with breast cancer is HERE.

Thursday is Food(ed) Day. Don’t be late!


Gideon James.

This week you complete one trip around the sun.  Technically, you are 12 months old… though in a court of law I would be hard pressed to prove any of us lived well during your first 5 months.  I don’t remember the Summer of 2010.  It is a fog of screaming and puke and frozen dinners.  I claim 7 months of Thriving Life. 

Your life also started with casts and braces (2 months of casting and 7 months of bracing).  That seems like eons ago… with another family with another child.  The braces quietly faded out of rotation when you were 9 months old. Your legs did not fall off or re-curve.  In fact, it was like you never had a club foot at all.  Onward.  You wanted to MOVE and had no time in your life for leg braces.  I am preparing myself for a lecture from your doctor later this month, so get that winning smile ready.  I’m going to need you to smooth things over.

Your poor entry into this world has been more than compensated by the fact that you are now the funnest kid ever.  You are Jolly.  You are loud.  You are a remarkable eater.  You have 2.3 teeth and have been eating solid food since 7 months.  I was able to nurse you for 11 months, which is YOUR ONLY SAVING GRACE for adding 50 pounds to my frame during pregnancy.

You have just- like, last week JUST– started sleeping through the night as long as we sneak a bottle to you around 10:30pm.  Have I mentioned you love to eat?  You are an average 24 pounds, which boldy implies I am a liar about the whole eating thing… but I have fed you 2 jelly sandwiches for lunch and I have seen you scream for more. 

I’m kind of a lot in love with you, if that’s allowed.  While I questioned my ability to raise a boy (knowing so little about boys, myself), you have made me an expert in loving the opposite gender. 

You are a champion rookie circus flyer in this house.  How you have managed to stay out of the emergency room this long is beyond me.  I have found you on couches, at the top of stairs, in dog kennels, and deep inside dishwashers. You looooooove anything long… like brooms, wood stove pokers, rakes, vacuum poles.  This does not bode well.  For any of us.

  Your birth announcement one year ago blew up the blog stats- everyone was so very excited to meet you!   Most of the world calls you Gideon… it’s such a fabulous name.  I call you Gus Man.  Gideon is easier to sing.  Gus is easier to type.  Your girlfriends Emily and Lauren choose not call you Gus because, as they put it quite honestly, “It sounds like Mustard.”  You, with all your names, do not care.  You just want to be in on the action, whatever anyone calls you.  Gus.  Gideon.  Di-Gin.  Chuck.  Cheeser.  Gus Man.  Handsome. 

While I am your favorite, it is obvious that Rylie shares the other 49% of your heart.  You look for her.  You laugh for her.  You play with her.  You snuggle with her.  You copy her.  You love her.  It is a beautiful thing to watch, your relationship with your sister.  May you always be her biggest fan.

Gideon, thank you for having your own voice.  For holding your own amidst hours of doctors appointments, therapy sessions, and marathon car rides.  Thank you for that deep giggle followed by a Godfather-esque raspy plee with your hands outstretched to Heaven.  Thank you for helping Abe eat his dog food, for playing rough with Dad, and for giving your sister one more thing to love. 

You fit perfectly here, Son.  We love you so much and cannot wait to see what the next year holds for you.  May you attack your second trip around the sun with as much joy, as much energy, and as much ambition as you have your first.

We love you.

Me, most.  Always.



90 days

Gus Man,

Today, you are 3 months old.  Today is the finish line everyone told me to run for.  Today, the colic will end, the gas shall cease, and you will sleep 12 hours at night or I have every right to give you back.

I won’t give you back.  I may see what you’re worth on Etsy.com, though.

I feel our relationship is best explained by this first photograph.  Desperate.  Comical.  Hands-On.  Tight.  Slightly lopsided.  One sock on the floor. Oh, the truth in this picture.

Let’s see… we started your life in March with some major issues: me learning to nurse, your horribly bad stomach, and you feeding every hour on the hour.  Many tears flowed in the Mulder home.

A lot has changed in 90 days.  You eat every 2.5 to 4 hours (yes, an improvement though not ideal).  Your belly handles things m u c h better now and the gas is not so life-threatening 24 hours a day.  Unfortunately, it’s taken so long to get that under control (or within bounds) that you never learned to sleep.  You sleep for 4 to 5 hours at night, but daytime sleep is hard to come by in pieces longer than 30-minutes. You panic when you nod off, and then you yell.  Loudly.  Walking with a severe series of bouncing will always calm you down, but you find it nearly impossible to fall soundly asleep on your own. 

This is really our only issue now- the falling asleep.  Promise me one day you will love to sleep as much as the rest of the family.  Otherwise, you’re on breakfast duty.  I like dippy eggs.

Oh, wait.  There is one other thing: you h a t e the car.  While you and Ry have been opposites in every respect, this is the one thing you share.  I can’t remember when she decided to give it up and literally go along for the ride, but I hope your day is today.  Amen, and may it be so.

You are a stunningly beautiful child, and this has been your saving grace many a day.  You started smiling at 6 weeks, and, Child… what a grin you have!  Lordy.  It could end the World’s wars. 

I still don’t completely understand nursing, and I am sorry about that.  How do I know you’re getting enough?  Is 10 minutes enough?  Why is it different every day?  Do you suffer when I have a Hershey bar for breakfast?  You are thriving, so I think we’re ok.  I’m thrilled we’ve made it this far.   Nursing is hard and amazing… and also hard.

You are handling your leg brace very well… I don’t think you even realize it’s there. I am your favorite.  This may be due to the fact that I am the only one who can feed you, but it’s still fabulous for my self-esteem. You look good in orange, which is hard for a lot of people to pull off.  Well done.  I have learned to read, type, sew, write, answer the phone, cook, plant the garden, chase chickens, load the dishwasher, and sleep with only one hand.  Thank you for stretching me.  

Gideon James, you are 90 days old.  You are a very cute pain in the butt.  No family could possibly love you more.

Love,  Mom

new kicks

Well, I’m so glad y’all thought the Mass Longhorn Exodus was funny.  My linen pants are no worse for the wear, and my confidence in our gates is slowly building again.  I’m pretty sure it will never. ever. ever. happen again.

Or not. I was reassured serveal times by both neighbors and readers that it just happens.  No matter how good your gates are or how diligent a farmer you are… the cows get out.  Thanks for making us normal. Or, close to normal.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

You may remember that last Wednesday was a big day in Gus Man’s life… his final cast was removed!  I did write down each and every message you sent and took photos.  Have I mentioned how cool you are?  The nurse smiled so big when she saw his little leg come in all decorated 🙂 It was very sweet.


He was fitted with his Ponseti shoes at that same appointment, and we were on our merry way. The shoes look like baby Birkenstocks, I think.  Yes?  The feet are set at a specific angle and then clipped into the bar.  This keeps them from curling up and ruining all the work the cast did for 2 months.  He’ll be in this contraption full-time until the end of August, and then we’ll switch to bed-time only. 

I gotta be honest- the bar is a pain in the buns.  It’s awkward to hold him. He doesn’t fit in his carseat well.  Nursing is weird.  It’s hard to get him comfortable at night with his bad belly.    The bar bangs against your legs when you put him in the front-carrier. I explain at least three times a grocery-trip that he’s not a polio child…. though, I’ll take the braces over the Abuser stares I got with the cast any day.  Such a wild and wacky world we live in… seriously. So, it’s an adjustment, but hey.  We’re an adjustment kind of family.  Do what ya gotta do. Personally, I think he’s going to rock the Winter slopes at a very early age. 

Reality is: it’s only for a short time and we will certainly survive.   It’s hard to argue with such a sweet face.


So, I installed a new security system on my ‘puter and it shut the whole thing down.  As we speak, the hard drive is being hacked by a 16 year-old pro trying to fix things.  I’m sweating.  I mean,  I’m a hermit… but I need the ability to stalk to rest of the world through the internet. I feel a bit lost right now.  Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

I’m not sure what the prognosis is or how long I’ll be without my love.  Just FYI.  I’m not gone.  Just crying in a bucket of viruses.

I don’t have anything fabulous to tell you about our last-minute vacation… we just needed to get away.  All four of us.  Out of the house.  New roads.  No cooking.  Someone else to make the bed.  I don’t even have any pictures save that sad iPhone one of Ry on the way home from the airport.  I am happy to report no one even came *close* to going to jail.  I did not embarrass myself, and Rylie only enraged one airline passenger… but that lady was 110% crabby anyway.  I’m pretty sure Pollyanna would have ticked her off.

Returning home, we were greeted by a Gross.  Sour. Yucky. odor 

Guilty Parties

  • a small bucket of compost on counter [note to self: organic trash still smells like trash… please take out after every meal]
  • moldy carrot under coffee table – Ry was ‘feeding’ her barn animals earlier in the week [note to self: lock fridge]
  • full dirty diaper pail [note to self: diaper genie is not all-powerful]
  • dirty dishwasher [note to self: putting soap in washer does not automatically make it run
  • rancid orange juice concentrate [note to self: it does not take 7 days for frozen oj to thaw]

So, we’re airing out a bit.  You may want to postpone your visit a day or two. You could make me feel better by telling me you’ve done the same thing.

Alright… so, signing off for now.  Hopefully will be back Monday. *sniff* I’m a little afraid.

Oh! PS!  It’s Gus’ last cast!  I figure, let’s go for it.  Locals, you have until May 18 to leave your mark.  Far-away friends, anything you’d like me to put on there for you? Let’s fill it up so I can take photos and put this memory away in style.  Whaddya say? No, for real.  What do you want to say on there? 🙂



People.  I need your assistance.  These jeans: girl only, boy only, or totally both? [edited to add: they are size 3 month jeans with a fleece hem, if that helps your decision process]

We have some Gideon Foot News for you: his last 4 casts have been cancelled!  This Wednesday, he’ll have heel cord (Achilles tendon) surgery to allow him to flex his right foot UP.  That same day, he’ll receive his 3-week cast. After the 3-week cast, he’ll be fitted for his shoes/brace and be cast-free!  This is huge news, as we were expecting a good 4-8 weekly casts before the surgery.  Gus’ foot came around in 3 casts.  He’s an over-achiever.  🙂  So, surgery this Wednesday at 2pm with local anesthesia.  All prayers accepted.

Finally, I need to introduce you to the new little ones on the farm!  We’re just waiting for one more mamma (Bonnie, sometime in May) to have her baby and our season is finished.  Our calf-crop is a bit lopsided this year: 4 boys and one girl (Barbie had a girl).  As breeders, you hope for more girls than boys, but obviously we have no control over that outcome.  The boys are gorgeous, though… and a couple of them will not be raised for beef, so not bad.  Not bad at all.  Let the names fly, Folks! Um, and please notice Belinda pawing the ground as I took photos. 



rainforest songbirds

When I become rich and famous, it will be because of my sound machine.  The sound machine I make will have the following options:

  • Dryer Load of Jeans
  • full-blast Bath Tub Faucet
  • dishwasher Pots and Pans cycle
  • old Hoover vacuum sucking up dry pasta
  • Car Windows Down on the Highway
  • automatic carwash from inside the car
  • Abe barking at UPS man 
  • Abe barking at kid coming home from school (very different quality than the UPS man)

Gus could care less about Brazilian songbirds or babbling brooks.  He’s hardcore.  Bring the noise.  Despite the froo-froo sounds on the machine, we have found that the kid sleeps well wrapped in a swaddle with a serious train-noise sound going. “Well” means 1+ hours… up to our record of 5 hours one glorious night. 

We tried every swaddle technique known to man, and the most successful by far was the Miracle Blanket.  I couldn’t drag myself to the store one. more. time. for another $30+ purchase, so I watched their video and copied the blanket.  I wanted to be sure it would work.  Thankfully, he loves the arm-binding of this style, and it seems to help him sleep a bit longer. 

So, some victory in a long month of darkness.  It’s good for the soul.  There are still a lot of tears in this house for those under the age of 30, but we seem to be handling life with a bit more grace.  Amen.

Today: cast #3 and a large group dinner- not at our house.  Please, Lord, let us last more than an hour.


excuse me whilst I sort some things out

My God does not speak to me in neon.  There have never been any signs or writing in the sky.  No ‘hallelujah moments’ with angels singing and clouds parting.  I have battled uncomfortableness all my life.  Uncomfortable in crowds.  Uncomfortable in my skin.  Uncomfortable falling asleep with my brain constantly racing.  For me, God speaks in the quiet.  When things feel good, when calm prevails, when there is no hesitancy, this is my go-ahead.  This is my Yes. 

We were so ready, so happy for Gideon to be born.  It was a very natural, normal progression into a family of four.  It felt right, and that’s all I needed for affirmation.  I did not worry about having enough love for two children or enough money or enough time.  I knew that it would work out… bumps, bruises, and all.

There have been lots of bump and bruises. 

Gideon is past 2 weeks now and over his birth weight.  I assume this means he is eating.  This is really my first time nursing and it’s been hard to get used to ‘just knowing’ when they’re full.  If his diapers are any indication, the kid is eating too much.  We change a diaper about every 30 minutes.  My hand to Heaven.  It’s amazing how different kids can be.  I have really struggled not to compare, but it’s impossible when you have only one other experience to draw on.

Ry slept.  Gus doesn’t.

Gus eats.  Ry didn’t.

Ry  went straight to a 3 hour schedule.  Gus eats forever and then sleeps forever, or doesn’t.  And then, starts all over again.  Except, when he doesn’t.

Ry was calm and still.  Gus is crazy mover throw yourself off the couch kid.

Ry was quiet.  Gus’ screams can empty Target on a busy day.

Gus loves to be held.  Ry was fine to watch the world from her own seat.

I expected him to cry in the car, but I was unprepared for how upset it would make Rylie.  Now that I think about it, though, sure.  Why wouldn’t a screaming baby sitting right next to you for 45 minutes stress out a 3 year-old who has trouble with loud sounds? [photo: Ry covering her ears in the car] I may be able to tune it out, but she simply cannot.  SuperKid is stinkin’ L O U D.  He just is, well, fussy.  Ry was not fussy.  She was a little more fun to be around, honestly.

Ry has been an amazing sport abut all this baby stuff, but it’s certainly been an adjustment.  We rally from tantrums and discipline to hug fests and back again on an hourly basis.    And, no matter how rough our mornings are (and people, they’re baaad), she is always happy to see me when I pick her up from pre-school. I am continually amazed at a child’s ability to spring back.  When do we lose that?  When do we start holding on to grudges and pain?  I am so thankful she is managing… and has forgotten about yesterday… or this morning, for pete’s sake.She’s getting quite a few more cookies these days, but sometimes you need to buy peace. 

So, we’re emotional around here… loving a new kid, loving an older kid, missing out on regular life, celebrating Spring, trying to get Ry to talk to us, watching the cows, changing diapers, rocking and walking and soothing.  And crying.  There’s lots of crying.  We are trying to figure out a rhythm.  God bless the comfort that comes in knowing [and repeating repeating repeating] THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  God bless the sweet, quiet, calm times that deflate the defeat and frustration. 

I am clinging to the previous signs of peace.  I know this kid, this warrior, is meant to be here. It will work out.  Bumps, bruises, and all.

[this dang post is just all over the place… it’s not coming out right… I blame this on A&M and Baylor losing]



It’s possible that by the time you read this Monday morning I will have died.

Well, either died or am sitting on the basement floor with one sock on weeping.  Rylie is probably dragging Gideon around in her wagon while he screams for food.  If we got the WB channel, I’d have old re-runs of 90210 on, too. 


It’s not been that bad, but Lordy I am spent.  Tired.  Confused as to which day it is.  My parents left early this morning, leaving us to our 4-person family self and I am a little nervous.  How the heck do I get Ry to school on time?  Do I have to be clothed?  Does Ry have to be clothed?

This kid- this Gus– he eats.  That’s what he does.  He eats.  Ry, Ry didn’t eat for the first 2 months.  We used to beg and plead with her to finish 2 ounces.  Gus, Gus will nurse.  Gus will take a bottle.  Gus will take ounces upon ounces of anything you put in front of him.  He poops it out immediately and then asks for more.  He’s crazy.  He’s amazingly handsome, but he’s crazy.  I was thrown into the world of cluster feeding– which NO ONE EVER TALKS ABOUT because it is a deep and dark hole of early baby life. 

Ry comforting Gus

The first week, Gus would eat for 5 hours and then sleep for 4, eat for 5, sleep for 4.  This weekend, he seems to be evening out a bit but can still marathon the tar out of a session.  Fortunately, his longest periods have been at night.  I move into his room at 11pm.  I feed him.  And then we sleep.  If we sleep for 6 hours, rock on.  If not, I feed him.  For now. I know every doctor and website out there says not to let a newborn sleep longer than 5 hours, but this kid is eating and gaining weight and so for now it’s how we roll.

The hardest adjustment has been sweet Rylie… who has not been jealous or angry, just sad.  She wonders where I am.  She wonders when Gus will give her a high-five.  She wonders why I am always feeding him.  She misses me and I miss her terribly.  Sometimes when I am nursing, she’ll crawl up on my lap facing me and hug me so tight… and I just smile and cry.  She’s amazing.  She’s had my parents here for the past week, which has been invaluable.  Lots of field trips, lots of laughs, lots of attention.  But, as I said, they left his morning and real life begins, um,  immediately. To you who have sent Rylie cards and letters and photos- thank you.  Truly, so incredibly sweet. The kindness of others during this time has been overwhelming and so greatly appreciated.  May I just say that I love all of you… in a hormonal, post-pregnancy, tired but very happy Mom kind of way.  I do.  I love you.

We’ll make it.

It’s just going to be really sloppy for awhile.

[photos: So, they’re obviously siblings, right?]


So, we are just barely home. 

Gideon is an Old Testament name and story of a King that we love.  It also gives us the chance to call him Gus for short, which comes from the Lonesome Dove books.  Robert Duvall made Augustus ‘Gus’ McCrae famous in the tv miniseries, which you absolutely must see.  He’s awesome.  Rylie can say versions of both Gideon and Gus. It’s very cute. [Katie, I think this means you won!  Y’all help me if I’m missin’ someone else, but KatieohKatie guessed a ‘G’ name for a boy in the blog contest. I’ll send out your bag soon :)]

James is Curt’s middle name.  And, James in the Bible?  He’s pretty awesome. 

Rylie is doing very well.  She has been so loved this past week.  The Mulder grandparents took care of her while we were in the hospital and now the Sebeck grandparents are here for a week.  It will be a nice transition for her, I think, to have some attention and fun while figuring out this little guy.  It’s obvious she takes her role as big sister very seriously.  Don’t get too close.  She’ll give you the look.

From the bottom of our hearts and with all sincerity, thank you for all the prayers and well-wishes and visits and messages.  Truly.  So kind.  It will take this TexasNorth village to raise our family, and we are so blessed to share the Little Guy with you.  Thank you.

He’s adorable, right?  I mean, seriously.

SuperKid is here!

height •21  inches

weight • 7lb 13 oz

crazy foot status •minor




HI   Everybody …….Kates Dad here ……………………………