Toddlers, Babies & Parents say funny things

Much of the day of mommyhood is processing and responding to funny, sweet, and weird phrases, conversations and requests from Henry and Owen. So many of these parenting gems have been lost to the abyss of noise that is forever constant from sunrise to sunset, but every now and then, I have enough mental clarity to recall from my working memories those little sillies and jot them down for posterity. And then add to this an assortment of the many socially acceptable behaviors we try to encourage and discourage the boys from doing in an attempt to socialize them to the cultural norms they are a part of.

From the parents:

No, you can’t lick your brother

Don’t touch your butthole or you will get pink eye

Eating a cake pop off the floor of Starbucks is yucky

Did you pee pee on the couch? Where should we go to the bathroom?

Buster doesn’t want you to ride on him

From the babies & toddlers:

Let’s play pretend tiger. What is that? It is when I roar at you and then you scream and then say wait you are just pretend.

Baby in thereas Owen points to my boob

I have an idea, how about I eat my dinner and then we go to CVS for a new toy?

Can we play hide the ball? I will hide it first….okay ready Owen runs over to the hidden spot and points to where the ball is. No, Owen stop it, be more fun.

Ce Ce Ja Ja? Puppy Ja Ja? Santa Pajamas or Puppy Pajamas what Owen wants to wear all day everyday.

Can we just do dinner and a show? Trying to have dinner small talk and Henry would prefer to do otherwise. Ha Ha nice try kid!

Hands mommy Hands! Any time we ride in the car, Owen gets his shoes off and slides his socks onto his hands. His proudest moment.

Henry Adam: Two Years

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Two years ago, a tiny (well not really) little naked boy lay on my chest and I met my son. He was so sweet, soft, fresh, and cried loudly for quite a number of those first minutes. I knew him and didn’t know him at all in that moment, but I loved him instantly and held him tightly while the room buzzed around us. Henry made me a mom, he made David a dad, and he made us a family. We left the hospital a few days later excited  by and deeply frightened of the new level of responsibility that commenced. While the first days and weeks and months were a blur of diapers, nursing sessions, and naps, they were beautiful and I love looking back on those memories. I wish so often to go back to those moments to cuddle him longer and smell his newness again.

Henry is now 731 days old  (2016 is a leap year!) and each one of those days was filled with laughs, adventures, tears, and playfulness. Each day I am reminded to let things go, put down the to-do list, and to just live in the moment, to get down on the ground and dig holes with my bare hands, and to just see the world a little more lightheartedly. When I caught myself saying “don’t go into the stream with your shoes on,” I had to pause and think, does it really matter if his sneakers are wet? And let him charge into the water to play and let his toes wrinkle. The days may be long at times but the years are short and savoring Henry’s childhood is my joy. This past year has brought about tremendous growth and development in Henry’s personality! His independence is growing by leaps and bounds. He wants to dress himself, feed himself, and climb in and out and over everything. He beams with pride when he accomplishes something like finishing a puzzle and claps with glee when we tell him how proud we are of him. Yes, he has tantrums and yes there are a lot of “no’s” but these do not take away from his sweetness. They are glimpses into the young boy he is growing into and I love the many sides of him.

Talking non-stop everyday and trying to copy songs on the radio fills our car. He loves to sing along to Adele, One Call Away by Charlie Puth, and Lost Boy by Ruth B. He delights in making us laugh and tries so hard to be a little clown. He is an observer of social settings and waits to let his hair down. But, once he does, he gives of himself openly and fully. It is a trait I hope he continues to nourish. He loves his little brother and constantly asks “What Owen doing?” and rushes in to kiss him or caress his head (we are still working on sharing toys with him, haha). Before bed he sings the ABC song while snuggling his Maggie Dog and rolling back and forth under his blue crochet blanket. Trucks are probably his favorite toys. Garbage trucks, cement mixers, bulldozers, and pick-up trucks entertain him for hours. He grabs his teddy bear and dances around the house when it is family dance party time. When he spies a puzzle, he plops down and gets to work. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and Henry loves to eat almost anything except carbs. While he is not a fan of macaroni and cheese or pizza, he loves his broccoli, chicken, berries, avocado, steak, yogurt, fruit leather, and eggs. When he feeds me cheerios, my heart melts as we sit side by side on the couch. When I shout, “Emergency Henry a blow out,” he drops his toys and runs to grab me a diaper for Owen. He is super cautious. Little hills and slides at the playground require some handholding before he will go it alone, and he is a stroller kid preferring to lounge with his sippy cup while being pushed around.  A little chef in the making, Henry sits with me in the kitchen during dinner prep and runs away stealing a pot to “cook” up a storm in his playroom. Henry wants so badly to communicate in full and complete sentences and if a word escapes him he makes up a gibberish filler and smiles ear to ear. After naptime, he needs a snack and cuddle because he is a bit of a crank but who could say no to all of his hugs? He calls himself peanut and Owen nugget and gathers books by the armful. He could read all day long and has a bin of books for the car that he gobbles right up.

Everyone says “Oooo the terrible twos” when I say Henry’s milestone birthday is upon us, but I am not nervous for this year. I cannot wait for it! I cannot wait to watch him play more and more with David and to take little adventures with his daddy. I cannot wait for him to play with his brother and to protect him and teach him. I cannot wait to see what he finds fascinating, what he wants to do, and who he continues to become. I hope he continues to build friendships, connects with others, remains curious, playful, independent, empathetic, excited, inquisitive, and seeks love, knowledge, and experiences with others around him. I want all the good things in life for him but also know that as he continues to grow he will need to learn how to confront, cope, and rebound from the things that happen in life that aren’t so great. But being this little kiddo’s mommy is the best role in life and I am so lucky and blessed to have it. He makes David and me want to be better, stronger, and healthier so we don’t miss a beat with him. Gosh, we love him!! He is full of mischief and his side smile proves it. It is going to be quite a year this year two, terrible or not, here we come!

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from 1 to 2

Everyone always says, “Going from one to two is the hardest” and…

They are right!

Of course most of the time being a family of four is just beautiful and magical. When Henry cuddles up to his brother or kisses his forehead or does “tummy time” with little Owen, my heart just explodes. When I am tucking Henry into bed and holding Owen in my lap for story time, I could stay in that moment forever.

The hardest part is the random times in the day when you just don’t have enough hands: Henry wants a cuddle or a snack while Owen is nursing. I keep telling myself it has only been three weeks and  not to get too worried about this dilemma. It will settle itself and we will find our family rhythm, but I just wish I had two more hands so I could be all things to both boys and then I wish I had one more set of hands so I could fold laundry and roast vegetables, haha!

It is amazing how these two boys come from the same momma and daddy and yet are already very different (I think). Henry is pale and Owen olive. Henry is slender and Owen rotund. Henry is sensitive and Owen seems to be made of tough stuff. Comparison is the fastest way to unhappiness, no? Yet, I promise that my comparison of the two little dudes in my life will stop here because I just want to savor and love and observe their unique personalities and see what paths they take in life (but, I am sure that desire to compare will show up from time to time).

What might be the hardest part of all is that Owen doesn’t speak. It has been a LONG time since we had a little one in the house who wasn’t babbling about all day. I just want to know Owen more and hear what his little voice is like, but we will have to be patient for a few months until we get a glimpse of that personality and see what kind of songbird this child is. Until then, when I hear “The Sound of Silence” on the radio by Disturbed, I imagine that that deep husky voice is Owen’s.

So while this period is full of unknowns and curiosities, it is also full of quiet moments (though brief), lots of cuddles, and lots of learning on this mommy’s part on how to develop and hone in on my patience and living in the moment.

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Potty Training Chronicles: Day 2 & 3

We are now three days into our “potty training.” It is going much better than I expected it to. Day 2 Henry and I stayed home and while this was the hardest part for me, he seemed to not mind at all. He played and played and told me when he wanted to use the facilities. The only issue I had was with the looming inevitable: how do we transfer this outside? It was “easy” to stay home and have the little dude run around the house bottomless and then hop on and off the potty as needed, but how do you tackle the world!?!  It felt very daunting on Day 2 and so even though every inch of my skin crawled to do something outside and to go somewhere fun with the little one, my fear held me back. It also helped that it was rainy outside and really where could I go? By the end of the second day, Henry had “mastered” shouting “poopie!” and running from whatever toy or craft we were in the midst of to the potty. It was hilariously cute. There was only 1 accident on day two because we got really involved into a puzzle and were working with color groupings and you know sometimes when you get TOO into something you just pee yourself, no?

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Day 3 was going to be the true test! We had registered for an Egg Hunt in the neighboring town. Could we go? Should we skip and shelter at home during this potty training storm? David and I went back and forth and finally decided “Hey, if he has an accident it is okay, accidents happen and it’s totally fine if this potty training experience is just the first of many attempts.” So we packed up our things and headed to the hunt. Henry used the potty before we left and while hunting for eggs, I asked him if he needed to and he said yes! WHAT? Where do I go? I raced him (as fast as my preggo body could) to the bathroom and Ta da he did it! Henry ate some snacks at the church and then we headed home. Upon arrival he did the potty again! Okay, MAYBE he really was ready for this. Of course during naps and at nighttime he wears a diaper because we don’t expect him to be able to hold it while he sleeps but I am really excited about having had our first venture out of doors! Hopefully as we head back to work this week, we can keep the momentum going even though we know that the arrival of baby 2 might bring about a big regression in this potty business, it is fine. We are trying to stay as casual about it as we can and just trying to follow Henry’s lead.  And, yes we might be using a little ice cream to reward this awesome work!

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Potty Training Chronicles: Day 1

My brother and sister-in-law have been sending their littles to Montessori preschool for a number of years now and the school’s facilities and education philosophy is totally in line with what I want for my little guy. So over this Spring Break, I started to visit some local Montessori schools to get a sense of what is available in our neighborhood. While touring the toddler rooms, I asked them about their potty training philosophy and each school said similarly that they support offering the potty to the little ones each day at school as part of the “curriculum.” This meant that the little ones had the opportunity to sit on the potty, play on the potty, and go to the potty throughout the day based on their interest and/or need. When I shared that Henry enjoyed sitting on his little potty (which has just been in his room since around Christmas) and that occasionally he will even go, the teachers all agreed that it sounded like he was “ready” to give it a real try. WHAT!?! You mean my little baby was ready perhaps for this BIG step. What if his mommy wasn’t ready?

Of course, David heard this and jumped right on board. He is always SO aware of where Henry is and is always ready to give things a try. I am definitely the more hesitant parent. David was the impetus behind the binky and bottle weaning and now he was all about the potty. We went out and bought a potty seat for the big potty, got some pull-ups, and some underpants and agreed that since I was home on Spring Break we would give it a shot. David tried to pump me up with praise and encouragement the morning he left. If he was home, I would have felt confident trying this, but as the hesitant parent, I was scared and wondered, “would David ever really know if I just decided not to do this?” Of course, my hesitation was all my own and it wouldn’t serve Henry any good to put that on him. So I grabbed the potty, kept him bottomless all day, and went for it. Besides, I have dogs so I am accustomed to cleaning up accidents. Worse case scenario he wasn’t ready and I would clean up some accidents and call it a day.

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, Henry did really well for Day 1. He didn’t seem to notice that he was bottomless and played like he usually did. We did lots of puzzles and lots of books and lots of trucks. I kept water and milk available to him all day, and asked him every 20 minutes if he wanted to go potty. About every hour to an hour and a half he would say “Poopie” and run to the potty. Sometimes he just sat there and sometimes something happened. The day flew by (probably because every hour something “exciting” was bound to happen). Even when our little friend Miles and his momma came by to play, Henry was still interested in sitting on the potty and even did something (wink wink). At the end of the day, he had 2 accidents but 10 successful visits and had left his mommy totally shocked that maybe he was in fact “ready.” Now the only challenge is committing to a few more days at home to keep supporting his successes. As a busy body this is the HARDEST part of potty training. I like to go go go and typically avoid being home. I would rather run from playground to playdate, but maybe potty training is coming at the PERFECT time. With just 2ish weeks until baby two joins the family, this “forced stay at home time while your little guy practices his potty techniques” isn’t too terrible after all.

I may have given him a pedicure with all our time at home! 

  

19 months: No longer a “Baby”

It is so hard not to call Henry a baby. Of course, he will always, ALWAYS be my little baby, but the definition of a baby no longer applies to him. Instead, we have this amazingly independent, creative, loving, curious, playful little boy in our home (and in our hearts). By far this has been the best of times. As he was working his way through his first year, I cried for how quickly he was growing-up. But now, now, I see how awesome it is!  He is just so darn FUN these days. It’s been a while since I wrote a little Henry update and felt like I needed to share some of the cute things that are going on with this little gentleman of ours. As I have come to find out, unfortunately, if I don’t write it down it fades away from my memory and since my iPhone doesn’t have the storage space to record every second of our days together, I better write it down!

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  • Henry is talking up a STORM! Every day from the second he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed he is a little chatter box. And we can have little “conversations” with him too. For example,
    • David: Good Morning
    • Henry: Morning
    • David: How did you sleep?
    • Henry: Good, puppies?
    • Later in the day:
    • Me: How was baby school?
    • Henry: Good.
    • Me: What did you play with?
    • Henry: Blocks
  • Some of our favorite words these days include: Moccasins, Cucumber, and Puppies because he says these words with various intonations. Sometimes high, sometimes deep and low, and sometimes laughing. He is really playing with sound and repeats the last word of every sentence you say to him. #parrot
  • Running around is the best way to get from  point a to point b these days. He loves lapping around the first floor, running in the park, and diving into his Yogibo  bean bag. He is ready for a tiny tumbler class for sure!
  • He eats like a champion which is fantastic. He has finally started to eat starches although they still remain his least favorite food items. Give this boy fruit, veggies, and meat though and he will tank up!
  • January was a BIG month. Henry committed to his New Years Resolutions and gave up both his nighttime bottle and his binky. Way to go little man!
  • Blocks, blocks, blocks all day every day
  • Play-doh, Play-doh, Play-doh, he cannot get enough of carrying round his little plastic play-doh cutters and slicing and dicing that stuff.
  • Hanging out with friends and exploring our neighborhood has been so fun, as well. Henry can really play now, call his friends by name, and is working on his sharing.
  • SNOW!  Last year when we took the little one out into the snow, he would cry and fuss. Clearly being immobile and placed in a bank of snow was not pleasant. Now though he can run around, kick and carry the snow, and try out a little sledding in our front yard.
  • There are SOOOOO many more updates going on of course, but let’s leave it as, this is such a fun time in our family!!

I now just hope that the transition to adding our new little boy to the family goes well!

 

the end of the era of binky

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There is a name that cannot be mentioned.

Binky.

As long as we don’t say this name out out, fingers crossed, I think we did it. We successfully weaned Henry of this binky ways.

Obviously, he shouldn’t head off to college with a binky habit, but the idea of getting rid of the binky seemed like a fate worse than death. We were all sleeping SO well. After dinner, was pj time, followed by stories, a kiss and a hug, and binky in the mouth, and off to sleep Henry went from 6:30PM to 6AM. During this magical time, David and I had the place to ourselves. We wildly would hang out, snuggle, make dinner, catch up on “Making a Murderer” or the “Bachelor” and get some much needed uninterrupted shut-eye. Why would we ever intentionally end this?

At Henry’s 18 month appointment on January 2, our pediatrician recommended weaning the binky before the new baby arrives in April. I sat in that appointment and sheer panic rose up inside of me, what?!? I thought you were going to listen to his heart, weigh and measure him and let me continue to just be this stellar parent (haha)! You are telling me, that the thing that has gotten us to sleep beautifully is now the enemy. Say it isn’t so! After the appointment, I contemplated  whether to share this information with David or withhold the pediatrician’s recommendation in order to secure my bedtime. Obviously, I had to tell David, but I knew he would bite the bullet before I could and move us toward binky removal.

And, he did.

David was ready to start right away with “Henry’s New Year’s Resolution” to be binky free in 2016. I begged to wait for a long weekend. At least then we could salvage some sleep because we both knew HOW in LOVE with his binky Henry was. And he not only had one binky but he had 8 scattered about his crib. A complete smorgasbord of binky for the little man. The one thing to our advantage was that Henry mostly kept his binky habit to the crib, we had stopped letting him take it all day long and reserved it for naps and sleep. Thank goodness.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend arrived and David had a dream that Henry would go cold turkey on the binky. I was hesitant and sweaty and scared to say the least.

Day 1: David is home alone with Henry for nap time. Removes said binky from crib. It is a struggle. Henry calls for his friends, begs for his friends, but the sleep monster finally takes him. At night, we battle for an hour. Every 10 minutes, David or I go in, pat his back and listen to our little baby call out for his binky buddies.

Day 2: I am ready to crack. Naps don’t seem to be too horrible, but this night is atrocious. From 6:30PM-8:30PM Henry is inconsolable. His binky has forsaken him. In 10 minute shifts David and I rotate in. I talk to him quietly and pat his back, he will lay down and settle and close his eyes, but the second I leave the room he is up and crying again. Have we created a new sleep issue? I am BEYOND second guessing myself. David holds firm, reminds me that it will get better and takes over the shift work.

Day 3: What is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Instead of two hours of utter sadness, Henry is asleep (probably because he is so darn tired) after an hour of back pats and quiet mumblings every 10 minutes.

Day 4: The habit is “kicked.” This is the first night he doesn’t mention the word binky as we lower him into his crib, this is the first night he doesn’t cry out. Instead he stands in his crib and stares at the door (we can see him on the monitor). He watches the door and rests his head on the crib rail. Then after 20 minutes he lays down and goes to sleep.

Day 5: We all sleep.

My fingers and toes are crossed that this is indeed all it will take to be purged of the binky. I worry though that there could be a regression, but mostly I am really proud of Henry. He went from a little dude surrounded by binky love to a little dude who no longer needs his beloved to fall asleep and that is no easy task for such a little guy. I am also really impressed with David. He totally understood what to do, stayed calm, loving, and supportive. He helped Henry and me. Maybe I was more attached to the binky than anyone else in the house. David deserves all the credit on this transition. He kept me sane, and truly comforted his son without ever wavering in his intention or his love. It was a painful 5 days, but now we are sans binky!