Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Christmas Saga Continues...

I am so tired tonight that I feel like someone has tied bricks to my limbs. I forgot how exhausting it is to keep eyes on a crawling baby who has every intention of finding only the choking hazards and coffee tables.

But today was a great day, a perfect day.

This morning we had Peanut's 9 month well visit. His official stats are :
26 pounds 6 ounces (greater than 100th percentile)
30 1/4 inches long (95th percentile)

Unofficially, he is a fatty fat rolly polly adorable chunk-a-chunk

He checked out and wowed the doctors with his feats of strength, many many teeth, and ability to crawl, pull up but not roll over. (The doctor said that there is nothing to worry about with his lack of rolling over - apparently he is just past that, doesn't need it and has decided that he is just too much of a rock star to bother with rolling over).

When we arrived home, Mee-Mom (my mom) and Mommom (my grandmother) were already there. Oh and Simba (or Dumba as Little Man calls her), we can't forget Simba the entertainment with 4 legs. Little Man was already in the throws of being spoiled as Mee-Mom was providing him with his second (yes, second) round of Christmas presents and Simba was doing tricks for him. Peanut did his best to impress our guests with his crawling abilities as he chased Simba around. The dog didn't even know he was chasing her as he isn't super quick, but there were a few times we thought he was going to get a handful of fur. Little Man had " a job to do" as he "worked" at his new workbench (a gift from Mommom), sawing and cutting foam wood and building things, Peanut tried to eat the foam pieces and after deciding that they didn't taste so great moved on to trying to chew on all of the tools. Simba might have gone back to DE a little ill from all of the treats Little Man insisted on feeding her. We had a great dinner (yes, I made it and yes, I am bragging - but it was my first Chicken Pot Pie and it was fabulous). And the night ended with Peanut stealing Mommom's heart as he reached for her to hold him and then stared into her eyes. (He is a bit of a lady's man)

What a way to end 2009! I think Mee-Mom's 2010 resolution is to cut down on the toy purchases for the boys and like most resolutions won't be kept at all!! As for me and Papa Bear, well our 2010 resolution is to get more sleep.

Stay tuned for Tot Clocks, the return of "The Chicken by the door" and Little Man's man bag.....all to come in 2010!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Not me! And not Little Man! He loves wolves and Giants and even monsters. We have conquered our fear of all of those things. But chickens...well that is a different story all together. Chickens, my friends, invoke such fear that screaming and running down the hallway in shear terror at 1 am occurs. Or rather occurred....last night. Sometime after 1 am (I didn't have my glasses on so I saw the 1 but the rest was blurry) Little Man came running and screaming down the hallway straight to my side of the bed. I scooped him up as he huffed and puffed and whimpered in my arms. I comforted him and asked him was scared him. I was ready for the Big Bad Wolf attack or a Giant tried to eat him - things from books we have read that in the day time didn't affect him but at night, well, I thought that may be an entirely different story. So I was shocked to say the least when he says "The chicken." The Chicken?? So asked again about what scared him. And he again said "The chicken by my door". So Papa Bear diligently got up and shooed "the chicken" out of the house and Little Man agreed to go back to bed in his own room after being reassured multiple times that "the chicken by his door" was properly disposed of by Papa Bear. I guess one kid's monster is another kid's chicken.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Manic Monday

The combination of sugar, holiday spirit, having Papa Bear home for extra days and household projects have left us all in a state of disarray, but in a very good way.

This morning we went to a soft playroom to let Little Man literally bounce of the walls and Peanut have freedom to crawl and explore without the typical bumps and bruises. It meant skipping morning naps for Peanut and a snack in the car while on the go for Little Man, but it was worth it. Then home for lunch and an impromptu instrument band created by Papa Bear and Little Man with water bottles full of rice (shakers) and jugs with a rubberband (guitar) and my tupperware and spoons (drums). Yes, I know we technically own all of these instruments for real, but they had to much fun making their own band (just like Curious George did in an episode Little Man watched recently). Peanut laughed and played and tried to eat the coffee table until we dragged him away to take his nap.

This staycation while Papa Bear is technically on-call for work but doesn't have to go in is already shaping up with a perfect blend of family fun events and home projects. Later to come in the week is a visit from Mee-Mom, Mommom and Simba as well as an indoor water park at the rec center!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pockets Full of Peanut Contraband

Traditionally we have our Christmas decorations up for a full month, but this year they came down a few days early due to life in a post-Easy to Find Peanut world. This morning we realized that we could try to keep the halls decked in the holiday way and go crazy trying to keep Peanut safe or we could buck tradition and take the relaxing way out. So while Peanut napped and Little Man and Papa Bear played in the playroom I dismantled it all. I felt a little like the Grinch as Little Man looked up at me with his trusting eyes and said in his sweet little voice, "Why are you taking the Christmas tree down Mama? Why?" But even with his increasing anxiety about Christmas disappearing we pushed on. Ahhh, sweet more tiny ornaments for Peanut to choke on! Except that we found out that our house is not nearly as Peanut proof as we thought it was. What we thought was up high enough, is now in reach. What we thought was safe in a bag was quickly dumped out. So Papa Bear and I followed Peanut around all day collecting pockets full of contraband. Choking hazards. So in a post-sitting still, post-holiday decorations world - well we still have a pockets full of Peanut contraband.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

The morning came early today! Papa Bear was up into the wee hours of the morning putting the finishing touches on the "Giant" mural for Little Man so when he waltzed into our room around 4 am we were just not having it. He tried a few more times and around 6:30 we dragged ourselves up and started getting ready for the day. We delayed Little Man as long as we could by letting him play in our closet while we showered and try on my high heel shoes (he walks in them better than I do). We were trying to avoid having to wake Peanut up but we just ran out of delay tactics and Little Man could see the presents under the tree from the top of the stairs. So at 7ish we woke Peanut and started our Christmas morning with Mee-Mom on the computer via Skype.

Little Man surprised us by insisting Peanut open a present first and we were amazed at his control around all of the presents. He didn't go rip roaring into them as we had feared and listened to our rules of opening one at a time, taking turns and playing with each gift as we got it. He loved his puzzles, books, trampoline, hobby horse, toolbench, and other toys. Peanut loves his Laugh and Crawl House and played with it most of the morning. Of course, Peanut started really being able to crawl just yesterday so that made things more interesting as he attacked the Christmas tree, coffee table, wrapping paper and numerous other things he isn't supposed to have. We are almost sure we got all of the paper out of his mouth before he swallowed it but seem to be missing a part of a crayon.

Papa Bear got to have sausgage for breakfast (I don't make pork products, so this is a once a year treat for him) and then we had a fabulous Christmas dinner of prime rib, sweet potatoes, asparagus and oreo pudding pie for dessert. Then down to the playroom we went to enjoy more of the toys and expend oreo pie energy! Bath time was extra fun because of new bath crayons and bath toys given to the boys by some good friends. The boys are snug in their beds and Papa Bear and I are settling down for some (more) oreo pie and a movie.

This will go down as one of the most relaxed, easy going, fun Christmas's of all time. Merry Christmas!

The Giant Mural

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy 9 Month's Old Peanut!

It is so hard to believe that 9 months ago today, Peanut came into this world a whopping 9 pounds 3 ounces and 4 weeks early. I can remember eating sushi with 2 of my friends while having contractions that were getting closer and closer, but I was in denial that they meant labor. And then my beautiful baby boy made his appearance and my life changed completely. That tends to happen when you fall head over heels irrevocably in love with a little Peanut.

His unofficial weight (taken when the doctor wasn't looking at a sick visit last week) is 26 pounds 10 ounces. His official weight will be taken at his 9 month appointment next week. Peanut has been getting from place to place for some time now, but has really started to shuffle/crawl longer distances. He loves to push up from his tummy into the sitting position and then pivot, get back down into crawling, shuffle, crawl, push up to sitting and pivot again. It really gets him where he wants to go even if it seems like a lot of effort! He is a joy to watch and boy, do we have to watch him now. Just yesterday he made it over to a painting project that Little Man and I were working on, pulled the newspaper down off the coffee table, paint and all. I didn't think he could get all the way there without me noticing - but I won't make that mistake twice! Just today he crawled all the way across the room in one slick motion. I should note at this point he still can't roll over due to his well, let's call it, plumpness. He rolls from his front to his back on accident and then gets stuck there. Papa Bear has exclaimed three times today "We are in for it now! He is everywhere" and our post-Christmas purchase is going to be gates :)

His smile is so infectious. I have seen grumpy old men be swayed by his toothy grin. When he smiles his eyes scrunch up and he shows his 8 teeth off and his little jaw kind of goes crooked. He knows he is a charmer and uses his smile to get what he wants because it so often works.

He says Mama, Papa and Ba Ba (for his brother). Mama is definitely his most often used word as he babbles it from his crib, high chair or jumper trying to get my attention. His favorite activity is to take all of the books in the cubby or shelf and pull them out one by one, toss them to the side and go for the next one. He loves to play with toys and can entertain himself for 20 to 30 minutes just playing and getting from toy to toy.

He takes two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon when Little Man is napping (ahh, the blessed silence). He goes to bed at 7 and sleeps mostly through the night with an occasional diaper change or lost binky waking him up briefly. It is a sleep miracle for us!

He did break my heart a little by deciding that he liked eating from a bottle better than me. So he has decided it is time to be done nursing about 3 months before I wanted him to. He loves the ease and quickness of his bottles and takes about 25-30 ounces of formula a day on top of his 3 meals of pureed vegetables and fruit. He goes to town on cherrios and demands them at the end of every meal by banging on his tray until you put them down. He is getting quite good at picking them up in the pincher grasp and at least 3/4 of the cheerios now make it into his mouth rather than his lap or the floor. He still gives us evil looks as we eat our dinner so I slip him pasta and other goodies when I can. I don't think he will be eating baby food for much longer as we move him to more and more table food. He eats every meal as if we have starved him for a week and practically inhales all that we give him!

We are all so in love with our Peanut. He is sweet tempered, easy going, fun-loving with a little mischievousness mixed in for good measure. Happy 9 months baby boy, you are loved beyond all comprehension!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Who Looks Like Who??

From the day Little Man was born, I have been told by friend and stranger alike that Little Man was a mini Papa Bear. Then Peanut came along and the doctor took one look at him and said "well, there is no doubt who he looks like!" and looked right at Papa Bear. But as the days went on some few (and very wonderful people) would tell me that Peanut looks like me. Oh how I rejoiced! Until today...when I put each of the kid's 9 month picture next to Papa Bear's picture from when he was roughly the same age. Not that I mind that my boys are so handsome that they look like their Papa, but I would just like a feature or two to look like me. They all have blue/green eyes (the recessive gene I might add) and they all have the same nose and smiles. Oh wait, what am I complaining about...they are all the cutest boys in the entire world! What do you think? Who looks like who?

Little Man Papa Bear Peanut

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It is snowing here. Well, that might be an understatement. We are being buried in snow here. We have at least 16 inches so far with more coming down. Mee-Mom is snowed in with us and we are taking shifts trying to clear a path outside.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A little bit of humor in a very tough day...

Today it is a stretch for me to find anything funny or cute to blog about. Today was a very tough day. Today Little Man was diagnosed with RSV after I found him in his bed, limp, grey and not breathing very well. Today I am thankful for the "mama instincts" (aka - nudge by God) that sent me up to check on him, today I am thankful for a doctor who ordered all the tests he could think of so we could know what we are dealing with, today I am thankful for my beautiful boys, who are beautiful even with dark circles under their eyes and red noses. But during all of the emergency inhaler treatments and nebulizer treatments and constant doses of tylenol and motrin and coughing and steroid hyperness - Little Man still had me laughing.

The doctor came into the examination room and Little Man sat on his chair with a combination of lethargy and hyperness - a tough combination to pull off. The doctor said "I am going to listen to your tummy, ok?". Little Man replied, "I think you should use your stethoscope to listen to me breathe instead, ok?" The doctor said "How old are you?" Little Man politely replied " Two, how old you?" Smiling, the doctor said "You are really smart for 2". Little Man nodded his head wisely and said " Ok I breathe for you now, listen carefully". I couldn't help but laugh at my 2 year olds precocious answers.

Even on the worst of days, my boys light up the world. Now if they could both just stop coughing, breathe easy and stay out of the hospital.

- A very tired Mama Bear

Monday, December 14, 2009

Parent Teacher Conference

Last week, Papa Bear and I attended our first of many parent/teacher conference. I didn't know what to expect, but I thought that what I wanted to hear was that he is the smartest, fastest, cutest, best behaved kid in his class. I couldn't wait to brag about whatever fantastic review the teacher provided us. But I walked away with an entire different kind of elation and something closer to my heart to brag about.

Mrs. H told us that Little Man is all of the things I was hoping for. He always listens and responds to verbal direction, he plays at all three levels (did you know there were 3 levels of play?), He is gentle and not aggressive, he respects the rights of others, he has good inner control and quality of knowing what to do. He has a wide vocabulary and displays a lot of knowledge in different areas. He loves music and science and movement and art. He reads books and paints often. I can go on and on. And please don't get me wrong, all of this was wonderful to hear. But the best, most important thing that the teacher shared with us is that Little Man can often be heard singing spontaneously while playing, doing an art project, or looking at the science table. She went on to tell us that singing spontaneously is one of the biggest signs of happiness in a 2 year old. The bragging I could do regarding his language acquisition skills all of a sudden paled in comparison. My son is exhibiting one of the best signs of happiness on a regular basis.

So I know this was only our first parent/teacher conference but I have to say, it is going to go down as one of the best no matter how great the ones to come are!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa 2009

As you might remember from this post, last year's trip to visit Santa did not go as planned. Little Man was so freaked out that for months afterwards if you asked him about Santa he would make his whole body shake to show you how scared he was. I was determined that this year he would either love it or leave it. So this morning, combining a planned playdate with some friends with a trip to visit Santa, ensured that he would at least have fun at one activity. Papa Bear surprised us by taking off the morning to go with us. Little Man was so excited (in theory) and so we talked to him about his choices. He could give Santa a high five, sit on his lap, tell him what he wanted for Christmas or he could walk away and not see Santa if that was what he wanted. All morning, I ran through these choices with him. His answers changed from high fives to sitting on his lap and back again. But in the moment, he was enthralled by Santa and wanted to give him his impossible list of Christmas wishes. (yes, somehow I have to figure out how to get a Giant and a Giant Orange Dog for him under the tree).

Peanut, on the other hand, has moved firmly into the stranger and separation anxiety stage of infancy at exactly the wrong time. At the moment, he screams if I leave the room, throws himself out of people's arms to get back to me and apparently hates Santa. We were happy to get a slightly disgruntled picture of him with Santa as opposed to the straight up screaming ones. We even picked him up, comforted him, got him smiling and tried again and the best we could get was disgruntled baby about to cry.

Jump-o-lene and Swings Galore

Our playroom has turned into a fun house these days. To fight off some of the cold weather blues I have pulled out all of the stops. We re-hung the hammock swing that Uncle Mark and Tita Michelle got for Little Man when he was 9 months old and added a Jump-o-lene to the mix. Oh the fun we have had!

The boys have loved the swing and we have to use the timer because they both want to be in it constantly. Little Man gets 5 minutes and Peanut gets 2 and then we switch. Little Man gets to dictate if he spins or swings and he loves to help push Peanut.

The jump-o-lene is a large inflatable moon bounce type thing. I got it for free from my local freecycle and Papa Bear patched a few holes and ta-da! instant fun and energy burning for my little monkeys. Little Man (aka daredevil) likes to get up and jump from the couch into the jumpolene and land in a somersault flipping so that his legs flip up and out of the toy. (inducing quite a few heart attacks). But just look at the smiles on my boys. Totally worth it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Take a Guess!

Can you guess what part of the Thanksgiving Parade Little Man is watching and imitating in this video? (Mommom, press play down below because this is a video)

Did you guess?

Decking the Halls

The tree is up, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the wreath is up on the wall. It is such a fun and exciting time. Time to remember and reflect and also time to make new memories.

We have a tradition of putting the tree up on December 1st so that it is up for a full month. We only hang ornaments on the tree that have been given to us or have some kind of memory attached to them. Each ornament that goes on the tree evokes a memory, either of the giver of the significance of the ornament itself. A very good example is the ornament of a little beaver. Papa Bear gave this ornament to Little Man at his 1st Christmas. At the time, Little Man was 9 month old, teething and had taken to using his crib to teeth. He would gnaw on the wood of the crib taking off huge chunks of wood - thus the beaver reference. Then at Little Man's second Christmas when he was 21 months old that beaver ornament inspired Little Man's first complete sentence. He said "I tickled the beaver" as he reached over the tickled the ornament's belly. (Yes, the double meaning made us crack up laughing in horror/hilarity and Papa Bear remains proud of his son's first sentence)

A new December 1st tradition that we started this year was the use of an advent calendar. The kind with little doors that hide a chocolate treat for the 25 days before Christmas countdown. When will I learn to not tell him things in advance? 5:30 am Little Man wakes up and yells "It's December 1st time for Christmas Trees and Treats!" He was so excited to a part of the transformation for Christmas. He took his job of putting the window cling stickers up very seriously and rearranges them daily. He helped me make Christmas cookies but decided that we should use Rudolph, Snowman and Dinosaur shapes. He said that they are special Christmas Dinosaurs and really who I am to argue with his logic, if we can have a deer with a glow in the dark nose why not a christmas dinosaur. We have watched Christmas movies like The Grinch who stole Christmas or as Little Man calls it "The Green Guy movie" and The Curious George Christmas special otherwise known in this house as "The Monkey Christmas".

Oh and just so that Peanut gets a mention here, he hasn't really taken an interest in the changes in the house because he is so intent on working on crawling that all else pales in comparison. Boy does that kid want to move and I am kind of hoping he doesn't get it too good at it until the Christmas decorations go back in the box at the end of the month.

This is going to be a month of making special holiday memories and tons of sugar. I can't wait!!