Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

As this year comes to an end, I am reflecting on the good times we shared as a family.  We visited numerous different cities, towns and national parks.  Jack and I spent the summer  in Pennsylvania with family and friends. We moved across country to establish our new life here in Mississippi.  We saw interesting things along the way. We saw some not so interesting things, too.   This year has been more good than bad, and for that I am thankful.

Jack’s development has been amazing to watch over the last year. Like any two year old, it is a year of firsts. I don’t focus quite as much on the small stuff anymore, but I am always aware of language skills, motor skills and social skills. If anything, this year has helped him along the way. I don’t want to wish away these tender years, but I am excited for what 2010 has in store for our son and  family. I hope this year is as interesting as the last two (and a half).

Happy New Year!

Will it ever happen!!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

We are all parents here, I think. So I feel free to post this blog dedicated to a topic close to my heart: poop. My Brady turned FOUR years old on Christmas Eve and he is still pooping in his pants nearly daily. Now don’t get me wrong, there are those WONDERFUL occasions that he does go in the potty (maybe 2-3 times per month). I try to be patient, as I am told kids will go on the potty when they are ready. And let’s be honest, this little guy has had to deal with a lot of change this year. So maybe this is one thing he feels is still in his control.

I have a friend whose daughter told them (at 2); she would poop in the potty when she turned 5. Her 3rd birthday rolled around and the diapers were still on. She was even held back in the 2 year old room, didn’t bother this little girl. Then she turned 4 and told her parents that she would poop in the potty, but not until she was 5. Fast forward to a few weeks ago (the child’s 5th birthday), right after the party, she went sat down on the potty and pooped. Her parents mouths dropped as she came out of the bathroom and said “see, I told you all that I would poop on the potty when I turned 5.” And she has been going on the potty every day since.

So, like I said I try not to stress.  I have tried the rewards system, going pull-up free, punishing, etc.. And you know what, my little man is just NOT ready to poop in the potty. 2010 is a new year, right? So I hope it is the year of Potty Training Success!!

Happy…whatever you are celebrating today

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Yesterday was Andrew’s second birthday. He was so excited that he woke up at the insane hour of 4:30. I managed to get him back to sleep, quietly slipped from his room, only to have him to get up almost immediately after my leaving. Attempt #2 to get him back to sleep lasted about 10 minutes. Then he bolted upright in bed and screamed, “PARTY! PARTY! BIRTHDAY PARTY!”

That was the end of sleep. For both of us.

Andrew started off his first day as a two year old as a total crab, crying for no apparent reason. There were moments when he was his normal, cheerful self – but those were few and far between. Hubby and I juggled a screaming child while taking turns packing our bags and loading up the cars.

During the hour long ride up to Nana’s house, Andrew mercifully fell asleep. That was the only nap he got – and this is a kid who will sleep for almost 3 hours in the afternoon. We were worried that wouldn’t bode well for the rest of the afternoon, but when the party started and all of the Andrew fan club was assembled, he rallied, acting like his normal charming self.

This year he had no interest in eating pizza (did I mention that we severely overestimated the amount of food we’d need?) but he loved unwrapping the presents. With each gift, he got a stern look of concentration on his face as he tried to figure out the best way to attack the wrapping paper. This, of course, turned to pure joy as he unwrapped more Thomas the Tank Engine and Sesame Street toys that I can ever fit into my car to bring home.

He also loved devouring the icing on his Elmo cupcake and birthday cake. Sufficiently plied with sugar, he ran several laps around the house before passing out completely. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing he conked out at 6 but he can’t get up at 4 two days in a row, right?

Other than waking up hours before the sun, it was a great day. Any time that the family can come together makes for a lot of fun. That so many people were able to be there to celebrate Andrew’s birthday was nothing short of awesome. To our friends and family who may be reading this, thank you for making this such a special occasion.

So… Happy Birthday Andrew. Merry Christmas. And to those of you who are neither celebrating Andrew’s big day or Christmas, happy Friday. Have a wonderful holiday and great weekend everyone.

Special visitors…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

My last few posts have been building up to this very special week.  We have decorated, baked, wrapped presents, mailed cards and (hopefully) finished all of our shopping.  Now it’s time to enjoy all the hard work and visit with family.

Today, Candymum and Grandaddy arrive to spend several days with us.  We don’t have too much planned, but we are happy to have them.  Jack was lucky to have spent some quality time with them this fall while I went to visit my husband in Thailand.  My husband hasn’t really seen his parents in almost 2 years (except for about 48 hours at his sister’s wedding).  He is looking forward to catching up over the holidays.

Jack is hoping we also get another visitor this week.  He is constantly talking about Santa and how we MUST leave him cookies and milk.  He thinks by leaving out the cookies and milk we are guaranteed a visit from the jolly man.  I try to tell him that being a good boy and listening is a big part of it too, but of course that goes right over his head.  Don’t’ get me wrong, for the most part Jack is a good little boy  (excuse me BIG boy according to him) but like all of us he has his moments of insanity that need to be addressed.

Jack is so excited for all the festivities this week.  It is so much fun listening to what he has to say and how he interprets what Christmas is all about.  I can’t wait to see how his opinions change through the years and what is really important to him.

Merry Christmas!

The Winter Bugs

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I will be the first to admit, I am a bit of a germ-o-phobe. I have gotten better as Brady has gotten older. But still, I do cringe when he slides down the McDonald’s slide and then puts a finger in his mouth (or nose). This year especially, I worry about germs, sickness, and the holidays! On one hand, Brady certainly can’t stay locked up at home all day every day. But on the other hand, I don’t want Brady sick for the holidays.

For some reason, the holidays (and January) have always meant “SICK” in our family. One year I remember a few of us had the stomach bug about December 20th. More family members were sick by Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years. So, we decided we would wait it out and celebrate Christmas with my immediate family (sister’s family and parents) on January 25th. Well, the day came and we were all feeling great! About 30-minutes after we ate, my dad got a look of paleness over his face and ran. Yup, the stomach bug hit him also. It was kind of funny, since we all only had 24-48 hour bugs. We still talk (and laugh) about the Christmas of the stomach flu. While it is funny to think back on, I will do EVERYTHING possible to avoid a repeat.

So how do you (or I) protect our little guys (and girls) from all of those germs? If you have any ideas, feel free to share. Here is what we do. While we don’t stay in the house, we do avoid food places with play areas. I have rarely (if ever) seen our local ones cleaned up. Thankfully we have a kid’s gym nearby and a lovely (pay) child play area at one of our local malls. So I have bought us winter memberships to those places. This is because I have seen both of them going around with their spray and wiping off all of the toys.  They also have sanitizer machines located all around within the complexes. Of course we also wash our hands, wash our hands, and did I mention…. Wash our hands. I make a point of going outside (even in the bitter cold) for some fresh air every day. But what else is a mommy to do? A kid has to get out and about. Thank God for sanitizer wipes!

The Best

Friday, December 18th, 2009

At the end of a long day, I get to pack up my things and drive across town. As I pull into the parking lot, I laugh at the goofy inflatable nutcracker and reindeer (which is pronounced something like “ran-dar” in case you were wondering). I open the doors and smile at the wreaths. (There are two, one for each door. Andrew counts them every morning to make sure one didn’t disappear overnight.) I hastily sign the log book with the time I arrive and rush into the room, hoping to see Andrew’s face the moment he realizes I’m there. One of the greatest sights is seeing his little face light up as I come through the door.

No matter how bad the day was, no matter what nonsense I had to contend with, that little boy’s smile is magic. It can melt hearts and cut through the darkest of moods. You can’t help getting caught up in his enthusiasm for just about everything. His excitement at building block towers and knocking them down with a resounding BOOM is contagious.

And when he curls up next to me, his hand firmly gripping mine as he drifts off to sleep, those moments are just the best.

O Christmas Tree..

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Since the big move we have been very busy getting our house cleaned, organized, and painted.  It’s taken a little bit of time, but we were finally able to decorate for Christmas.  This year Jack has been really interested in everything Christmas.  My husband and I have told him what Christmas really means and how it’s a time to celebrate with family.

We were able to find a little tree farm near our town.  We took a sleigh (tractor) ride to cut down our tree, and hauled it home.  Jack thought that was pretty cool.  We set up the tree and decorated it.  I must admit it is a beautiful tree.  Jack helped hang ornaments and un-hang ornaments.  We also decorated the rest of the house with other festive trimmings like hanging our Christmas cards and decorating the outside of our home with greens and lights and baked some cookies.  I think Jack’s favorite part was picking out the right spot on the tree to hang his Thomas the train ornament.  Every day when he walks by the tree he points out his ornament to whomever is nearby.

We are looking forward to the holidays this year!  Jack’s grandparents are making a visit, and we can’t wait to make and continue our holiday traditions.  I wish you and your family best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Update Week

Monday, December 14th, 2009

You may recall we moved back “home” a few weeks ago. Things have gone VERY well. Brady even started to sleep in a big boy bed (the night we moved back). He loves his new bed. Now, of course his sleeping isn’t normal yet, but I am hoping the longer he remains in his bed, the longer his stretches will get. He “used” to do 12-13 hours per night. Yeah, it is more like half and then “hey mama, I am awake; is it time to play yet?” I don’t think he has realized that he has the option of getting OUT of that bed. And I will not be the one to tell him. He is quite the kid. And I am quite the TIRED mama.

Brady has loved to watch the shades of green, red, and tan paint go up throughout the house. The new carpet adds a new feel to the place. There is still a lot to unpack and figure out. But so far, everything is great. Most importantly, Brady is fine. I guess he has had time to digest the facts. And I hate to say it, but daddy wasn’t that involved when we lived here together, so for that I am thankful.

He sees daddy 1-2 times per week, as before. He hasn’t asked anything about why daddy wasn’t here. Of course we talked about it MONTHS before we moved back and I would answer any questions he asked. But Brady is really okay. So as usual, this mama worried about something that never came to fruition anyway. Either way, my son is thriving and that is all that I care about.

Now onto the fun stuff…. Magnetic wall in the playroom, sticker decals, and more! I haven’t decided if I am brave enough to try the chalk walls. That would make for a lot of chalk dust on the playroom floor. Now don’t think I am a neat freak, because I am not. I have an entire sand table full of moon sand – yup, I am C-R-A-Z-Y. That purple stuff goes everywhere. But I am still not sure if I can stand the dust. We have nice cheap vinyl in the playroom and love it. It is so easy to clean up paint spills, playdough, and other crafts. Great for car races, ride ons, and more. We shall see about this chalk wall, it would be fun (am I secretly still a kid – hmmm). Any other fun ideas out there?

Oh another update (this is big for me). I have finally decided that I am going to sell all of Brady’s baby items. I have literally kept every bib, shirt, toy, etc.. for the past FOUR  YEARS! I always planned to have more children. But you know sometimes life just doesn’t work out how you plan. And that is OK. Brady turns four in a few short weeks, so I think I am ready to let go of all of his old stuff. It is time for a new stage, a new chapter, in both Brady’s life and my own also.

It is bittersweet, but these little people grow up. And our job as parents isn’t to hold them back and keep them little forever (although if I were honest, it would be fun to keep him 3; I really do like this age). Our job is to prepare children to be productive adults in our society. So this is the first step for this mom. Have a great week!

How Much is Too Much?

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Andrew’s second birthday is coming up in a couple weeks. He’s a Christmas Eve baby. Since that isn’t our holiday, the only celebrating we’ll be doing is for his birthday. But the question is – how much of a party do you really throw for a 2 year old?

I have friends who have gone totally gung ho, hiring clowns, petting zoo animals and carnival-like rides. I know people who have invited over 100 people to their child’s party, renting out entire restaurants for the festivities.

On the other hand, I know people who didn’t do much of anything because what kid remembers their second birthday?

I don’t know the answer.

But I think we’ll do something pretty similar to last year. We’ll invade my parents’ house and decorate with a Sesame Street theme (Andrew’s current obsession). It’ll be mostly the family who is in the area and a couple close friends.

Andrew has insisted on having Elmo cupcakes and my mom was kind enough to find a bakery who would fulfill his birthday demands. Cupcakes, pizza and family. (And lots of presents, of course) Sounds like the recipe for a perfect birthday party to me.

Hopefully, Andrew will agree!

Potty Training???

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I never knew that being a Mom would mean so much talking about poop.  It used to be as simple as asking my husband if the baby pooped. Then it was questions for the doctor about poop and diet. After 2 ½ years we no longer dwell on the frequency, consistency or mass of our son’s dirty diapers. Now Jack tells us when he has pooped, which means he knows when it is happening and can control it. The frustrating thing is that he seems to understand how his body works, but he still chooses not to try the potty. We have spent the last several weeks asking him if he wants (needs) to use the potty.  I haven’t officially told myself that potty training has begun, but the more frustrated I get with it the more I think it has.

I have heard it takes boys longer than girls to catch on or feel comfortable using the potty. I am nervous because we are looking at preschools which require potty trained students. We still have several months to figure out this new and important step. So I can only hope that with time and encouragement,  he will take more interest in the potty and his new big boy underpants.

I know every child is different, and I’m not one to push something too hard. I would just feel better if he at least took an interest in maybe trying to sit on the toilet.  We really JUST began talking about using the potty so I haven’t used or done all the tricks in the books.  For now he will inform us that he has gone in his diaper, but he is scared of the potty and won’t go near it.  I bought a special “Thomas the Tank Engine” seat thinking that would help and unfortunately it hasn’t so far.  I am going to read up on the subject online this week, any links, tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for all the “poop” talk, but I’m sure being a parent you know just what I’m writing about.