Archive for April, 2010

I wanna do it

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Andrew has a fiercely independent streak. It shouldn’t surprise me, given the personalities of his parents. But Andrew must say “I wanna do it” at least 50 times a day. He wants to get himself dinner. Pour his own drinks. Feed and change himself.

One of Andrew’s favorite activities is making pancakes on Sunday morning with hubby. Andrew sits down on the floor in front of the big blue bowl, armed with the whisk. Hubby measures out the ingredients and tries to help Andrew with the stirring. However, Andrew sees it as his job and wants to take care of the mixing all by himself. He happily flings batter around the kitchen as he tries to stir.

Andrew begrudgingly turns over the bowl to hubby and waits (impatiently) for the first set of pancakes. Then he happily chows down on the first batch and races back into the kitchen with his empty plate for more. Several times, until he’s full.

Last weekend, Andrew and daddy decided to make cupcakes as well. Andrew had to be the one to open the mix. Fortunately, he let us crack the eggs. He worked the whisk and did a fair job working out the lumps. Andrew happily placed all the cupcake liners in the tins. Of course, he HAD to be the one to fill the cups with batter. What a mess!

Andrew let me frost the cupcakes, but had to hand each one to me and put it back. We had to convince him not to lick each cupcake he got his hands on. When all the cupcakes were frosted, he coated them generously with sprinkles. And the floor. And himself. And us.

Andrew loved his cupcakes. He proudly told everyone that he made them himself. It was a total mess, but sometimes you have to get a little messy to have a great time.

Tornado Warning

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

This past weekend was quite a show.  The weekend forecast was for very bad storms through our area.  Each day the weather reports seemed to get worse and worse.  With tornadoes expected, we informed Jack of just how serious and dangerous they can be.  He loves to talk about the weather, so he had some interest in what was discussed.  Although I’m not really sure how much he really understood.

I can remember as child we would do drills in school for a tornado, but I could never really imagine one.  As an adult, I’ve been through some pretty epic storms (including hurricane Katrina), but never a tornado.

Saturday morning the radar showed a big purple blob right over our area.  The weather reporters were pretty much screaming at the camera telling everyone to take cover and get in a safe spot, that we were going to be hit.  Outside, the tornado sirens were blasting extremely loud to warn all the residents.  I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening.  I grabbed a few important items and Jack, of course, and we hid in the safest spot in our house.  With technology these days, the laptop was in the room with us and we were able to watch the storm move past us.  As I sat in this tiny spot with Jack on my lap, and in between us my “baby bump,” many terrible thoughts ran through my mind.  This can’t be happening!

After about 15 minutes passed, the storm was over and we were all safe.  Luckily, the tornado missed our house.  There was one that touched down about 10 miles away which caused some serious damage.

My heart goes out to those who weren’t as lucky and lost everything. It was very scary for us and I can’t imagine the fear they must have felt.  Mother Nature is sometimes a beast, but thank goodness I remembered the tornado drills in elementary school and knew what do.  Jack now understands just how serious some storms can be and their outcome.  He will probably now be officially petrified of thunderstorms.

Boxes and Boxers and Boxing!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

When Brady was an infant and toddler, he LOVED to play with boxes. Boxes became tunnels, houses, coloring boards, and much more. We built forts, murals, and lots of fun items. It is funny because I would buy the nice presents and the BOXES were what excited him, not the gift. If only life could STAY that simple!

Now as a preschooler, he still enjoys boxes, but also boxers and boxing. As we are potty training (and having MUCH success), Brady has discovered the joys of wearing boxer briefs. Thankfully we found some favorite brands, daddy wears the same kind of underwear, and Brady thinks he is COOL in his boxer briefs. So Brady finally seems to care about pooping in the potty – halleluiah!

He is also really into the Wii that mamaw and papa got us all for Christmas as a family gift. He used to love bowling and baseball. Now he has moved on to a new “B” word – boxing. It is very “safe” and non-gory, so I feel comfortable allowing him to play with it (and even playing it with him). So we box together. It is cute, he is starting to sing that song “I’m Gonna Knock You Out” (with an added pow-pow). Then “Mama Said Knock you Out.” Don’t worry, I sing along and knock him out too. Virtual boxing is safe, a great workout, and a hoot.


Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Andrew is two years and four months old. You can probably count on one hand the number of days that hubby and I have spent away from our little guy. We’ve taken vacations, but always as a family.

It’s not always the most relaxing trip when you’re traveling with kids. I’m happy for any time away. But as I chase after Andrew or he wakes up multiple times in the middle of the night, I can’t help but think that sometimes these vacations are more work than being at work.

Next month, I have to go to St. Thomas for a work related thing. Our parents have generously offered to watch Andrew, which allows Hubby to come along. I’m so excited for our first munchkin free trip.

Of course, part of me feels a little guilty leaving him for the better part of a week. I wonder if our parents really know what they’re getting themselves into. But to them, I say thank you. And to everyone else, I say vacation, here we come!

Making room for baby…

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

This week marks my 28th week of pregnancy.  Officially marking the third trimester and that dreaded sugar test. (Okay, it’s really not that bad.)  This past weekend we made an attempt at clearing out and making room for our new arrival in July.  Jack’s new bedroom is finally finished and trimmed with wall decor.  We are now concentrating on the nursery and getting it cleared out and organized.

I asked Jack to help me go through all his “baby” toys and organize them in bins labeled by age.  His idea of organizing pretty much consisted of taking toys out of their bins and showing me that he can master all of them.  I was happy to see that he was having a blast, but not happy that it was taking us three times longer to finish the task.  Eventually, he managed to help me arrange everything.  He specifically told me he was going to share all his toys with his brother.  Just hearing those words made me so happy!  I didn’t care if stuff was everywhere at that point I was elated to hear him just once say he was going to share.  Lately, sharing has been a dilemma, and finding ways to correct it seems almost impossible with him.

As Jack sifted through the toys, I went through all the other things like bottles, nipples and how many to replace, clothes, blankets, etc.  It is nice to be having another child with the same gender and able to reuse most of the items we already have.  As I sorted through everything, fond memories lingered back into my mind of all those wonderful new baby experiences.  This time around I hope to recognize what cry matches what problem and take care of it right away.. Yeah, right!!  One can always hope!

As these last several weeks of pregnancy close in, I’m going to enjoy the time even if I’m hot and tired and unable to tie my own shoes.  I know what to expect this time around and can hopefully prepare myself, and Jack, for what the future holds.

Back In The Dating World

Monday, April 19th, 2010

A few months ago, I started to go out on dates with a man from my church. Our children have known each other for years, but I was hesitant to enter the dating world again, especially with a child. But here I am, 33 years old, back in the dating game!

We are taking things slowly, as we both have children (ages 4, 4, and 6). I have had mixed emotions about the entire dating thing. My son comes first – period. Is Brady ready for another man in his life? We have had several “family” dates with the five of us, and most have gone great. We recently started to “date” the kids – meaning we spend time with the three of us (Brady, myself, and him), and the four of us (me, Mike, and his two daughters). So far, we have had some “reality moments” where the kids fight (but who doesn’t). Overall though, all has been well.

Brady really likes “Mr. Mike” and asks to call him sometimes. As you know, we are potty training (still), and Brady asks to call “Mr. Mike” every time he poops in the potty. The children don’t know we are dating. We have told them we are special friends who really care about each other, but no holding hands or anything in front of the children – at least not for a long time. We are both new at this dating thing. He has been divorced for three years, and I am his first relationship. And he is my first also. It is a fine line as you decide how close you allow your child to become attached to this man in your life. While you hope that things last forever, one never really knows. And the last thing anyone would want to do, is to cause more drama in the little man’s life.

Nothing but the tooth…

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I dread the days where I pick Andrew up and see the white page on top of his lunch bag. Incident reports are the bane of my existence, even though most of them are pretty benign.

Andrew goes full throttle all day and often tries to run faster than his little legs can carry him. He also has the misfortune of inheriting my klutziness. He walks into things that are right in front of his face and trips over his own feet. It’s rare when he doesn’t come home with a new bump, bruise or scrape – and the incident reports tell me how the latest one occurred.

But the OTHER kind of incident reports are harder to take – the one where your kid was in some kind of altercation with another kid. Yesterday, there was a biting incident. A little kid was playing with a toy that Andrew wanted. The other boy didn’t want to share and my darling boy bit him when he turned his back.

I realize in confessing this bit of information some of you may be horrified. Some of you may also be relieved to know that your child isn’t the only one who, at one time or another, has had a biting incident… But let’s be real shall we? Every kid is either going to bite or be bitten at one time or another.

Allegedly, the parents of the biter are generally more horrified by the events than the one whose kid has been bitten. At least that’s what they tell me at day care. But I also know this to be true from experience.

So how do you try to explain to a 2 year old that it’s not okay to bite? Especially when you come upon the scene hours after the fact?

Our conversation went a little like this…

Me: Andrew. Did you bite someone today?
Him (looking sheepish): Yes.
Me: Why did you bite him?
Him: (shrugs shoulders) I no know mommy!
Me: Did he have a toy you wanted?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Baby, we don’t bite. You can’t bite someone because they have something you want.
(He starts bawling)
Me: Andrew, I’m not mad at you. I’m not yelling at you. But you can’t bite people.
(He stops sobbing but continues to sniffle pathetically)
Me: After you bit this kid, did you find another toy to play with?
Him: (puffs out his chest proudly) Yup.
Me: Was it cooler than the toy he was playing with.
Him: (smiles broadly) YES
Me: See. There were other toys you could play with. You didn’t have to try to take his and you REALLY didn’t have to bite. Promise me no more biting.
Him: OH-kay mommy.

I spend my days explaining complex commercial transactions to businessmen or the intricacies of legal nuance to clients who would rather just hear me say “do whatever you want, it’s cool.” Yet trying to explain to a two year old that he can’t bite another little kid stumped me. How do you really reason with a toddler? Does he understand what I’m saying? Is he going to remember what I said the next time someone is playing with the toy he wants?

I’m not sure. Masterful as that conversation was, there were no biting incidents today at school. I choose to believe that it was because what I said got through to him. I also hope that the next time a little kid has a toy Andrew wants to play with, he’ll remember our little talk…

No more naps?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Ever since Jack was born, his daddy and I have had him on a pretty solid routine.  Keeping up with the feedings, changings, naps, etc.  was like clockwork.  We went from two naps a day down to one and at that point I felt free. I was able to have the entire morning to do errands, exercise or meet for playgroups.   He would sleep a good 2-3 (even 4 hours at times) in the afternoon.  It was probably the best thing EVER!

Over the last several weeks he has been fighting his naps.  Selfishly, I look forward to nap time so I can have a break and relax, or get things done around the house without little fingers in the way.  He is an early riser, so getting that extra sleep during the day makes for a much more pleasant evening.  Lately, around lunch time Jack will tell me that he isn’t napping for the day.  I told him how the more we rest the better we feel.  I know eventually these naps will go away, but being pregnant and having a baby on the way just seems like the worst time for this to happen.  Now that the weather is beautiful outside, Jack and I have been taking advantage of it and playing as much as we can outdoors.  You would think all that extra burnt energy would make him extra sleepy.  The only guarantee to get him to sleep is riding around in the car.

The other approach I took was to let him play or read books in his room and enjoy some quiet time, hoping eventually he would fall asleep.  He isn’t a big fan of that unless I am in the room with him.  Usually one day a week his lack of sleep will catch up and he will be out cold for a few hours.

Around what age did your children end their naps?  I know the time is coming, and I will have to figure something out.  Soon he will start school and that will be a whole new schedule for him to get used to.  He has been having more meltdowns in the evening, and I know it’s due to lack of sleep.  Hopefully, we can come up with a plan to satisfy both of our needs.  Any suggestions are welcome!

Up, Up, and Away

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I recently experienced a pleasure that I had dreaded for MONTHS: Brady’s first airplane ride. We had a two-hour drive to the airport; security wasn’t that bad, Brady got the window seat, and all was well. I had done my research and packed lollipops to help his ears not pop during take-off and landing, I purchased an inexpensive DVD player and headset, a few travel games, and sticker books. It was about a four-hour flight, so I was quite worried!

Watching the airplane experience through the eyes of a child was like taking my own first flight again. Everything was “Mama, what is that machine?” “Mama, why is that walkway moving?” and “Wow, Mama look, the cars look like my little matchbox cars.” As we were preparing to leave the gate, Brady announced to everyone that HE was flying in an airplane. During take-off his eyes lit up as he watched the ground getting smaller and smaller and smaller. As we passed through the clouds he was amazed that he was looking down at the clouds. Although I had been dreading the experience, it did turn out to be rather entertaining.

About 90-minutes into the flight, Brady announced that he was ready to go back down to the ground. He thought we were now in Texas, I told him sorry – we had a while to fly still. I asked him if he wanted to watch one of his DVDs, Brady stood up and announced that it was time to relax and watch a movie (he announced it really loudly). So everyone around him was giggling.

Next, he had to go to the bathroom and loudly announced that to everyone also. We were on our way to a convention for work, and people saw us for days later and would always ask, “where is that Brady?” So our first flight was very memorable for me, Brady, and those sitting around us! He really was very good and so excited.

It is funny the gift we are given as parents: reliving the “firsts” of our lives. I remember being so excited the first time Brady took a step, the first time he peed on the potty, the first time he peddled his bike, and now the first time he rode a plane. He pointed things out to me, that as an adult, I would never have noticed. Sometimes it takes children to point out the “really” important stuff. Adults get so busy, sometimes we forget to take pleasures in the simple gifts of life.


Friday, April 9th, 2010

I don’t think Andrew will ever like sleeping. He is so into checking out everything. Boxes. Light switches. Toys. A leaf blowing across the yard.

He fights sleep until he literally can’t keep stay awake any longer. We promise him that if anything exciting happens, we’ll wake him up. I don’t think he believes us though…

We’ve had a problem with Andrew waking up in the middle of the night. Every night. Several times during the night.

It would have been okay if Andrew got up and just wanted to play in his room. Instead, he would get up and bang on the door while screaming at the top of his lungs. Once you get used to the banging, you can sleep through it. In fact, I often did.

That didn’t make hubby happy though. He’d get up with Andrew in order to stop him from banging on the wall and doors. We’re in a townhouse and thought it was rude to our neighbors who share a wall with us. (I was of the opinion that, as parents, they would understand the 2 AM wake up calls wouldn’t last forever.)

So two weeks ago, Papa and Grammy came to visit. Papa is amazingly handy… I can’t believe the stuff he can do. Granted, in my family, changing a light bulb is about as handy as we get, but that’s another story. Papa and hubby were determined to figure out a way to muffle the sound of the nightly banging.

They tried boards of foam. They used scraps of carpet. They tried other things which I can’t even describe because they knew better than to try to explain to me what they were doing. Finally, they took an egg crate (yes, the foam mattress pad) and duct taped it to the door. Satisfied that it sufficiently muffled sound, they called me upstairs to take a look.

It looks ridiculous. I know in describing this, it sounds dumb. But let me tell you something. It WORKED.

The first night, Andrew tried to tear the egg crate off the door. Hubby was not to be deterred and reinforced the egg crate against the door with half a roll of duct tape.

It looked even worse. There’s ugly silver tape wrapped around all sides of the door. I wasn’t hopeful.

I was wrong.

Because ever since that night, Andrew has actually started sleeping through the night. It was immediate. He’s been consistently sleeping until 7 in the morning.

For Andrew’s sleep deprived parents, this has been awesome. After two years and three months, he’s finally sleeping through the night. It’s amazing that all it took was a little bit of creativity and a really big egg crate.