Monday, March 29, 2010

Lessons Learned

1. When giving your 3 year old a whole apple for the first time (instead of slices of apple) explain to him the difference between the part he should eat and the core or else he will eat the entire thing (twice).

2. When letting your 3 year old "wash" the dishes after making peanut butter and honey cereal bars make sure he doesn't accidentally get a measuring cup wedged in the drain causing the sink to fill up and overflow like a waterfall all over the kitchen. If this does happen, DON'T panic and try to get the measuring cup out without FIRST turning off the water.

3. When trying to get your 3 year old (boys especially) to stand on a particular spot for a picture DON'T tell him to "smash" the leaf because you will never actually get the picture because he will spend the next 5 minutes trying to find the leaf to smash instead of looking cute for the picture.

4. When changing your 1 year olds diaper do not take your eyes off of him for a second or you will end up chasing a giggling, naked baby through the hallway with a diaper only for him to turn around and pee on you. You have to love the automatic sprinkler action of a boy.

5. If you have a secret, don't tell your 3 year old unless you would like that secret repeated to every single person he sees.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peanut's 1st Birthday

Today my Peanut turned 1. I am having a bit of a hard time reconciling this fact because I feel like he was just a tiny Peanut in my arms just last week. And let's be honest, he hasn't been tiny in quite a while. But boy did this year go quickly!

This morning Little Man serenading Peanut with Happy Birthday while Peanut squealed in delight. Then we headed off to the Bounce House to meet up with some friends. The Bounce House is about a 35-40 minute drive away, so I was hoping Peanut would catch a nap on the way but no such luck. We played and bounced and played some more for an hour and a half and then headed home. To keep the boys awake, I stopped for McDonalds. Little Man refused fries and went for the snacks I packed (grapes, egg whites and cheese) while Peanut polished off nuggets and fries. Naps were a non-starter for Peanut so he had a second lunch and napped a little later while Little Man and I baked Peanut's birthday cake. Dinner was enchiladas that were inhaled followed by cake that was demolished. Then Peanut got his Cozy Coupe Car and loved it. I mean loved it! Peanut got in and let Little Man push him and then he would get out and push Little Man in it. It was a great day and a perfect celebration of Peanut's first year!

First thing this morning - wearing his Birthday outfit!

Little Man "helping" make the cake!



Go! Go! Go!

Stuck in traffic!

Monday, March 22, 2010

3 is the new 2...Didn't you hear?

Terrible Two's - I thought I had escaped by my authentic and advanced parenting. (that was sarcastic) As Little Man's second year draws to a close I began to pat myself on the back (and Papa Bear too, of course). And then we had The Incident. And I learned the truth. 3 is the new 2 and that is not a good thing.

This morning while playing in the playroom, Little Man dumped out ALL of his toy bins. I told him that he wouldn't be allowed upstairs until he cleaned it up. I don't think he believed me. He. Does. Now. For 45 minutes he cried, begged, bargained, and guilted me while refusing to pick up his toys. I don't know what finally made him believe me, but all of a sudden he started picking them all up, put the bins away and announced "Mama, I am all done cleaning up". And then on the way upstairs he found a toy he missed and quickly put it where it belonged. Then he looked up at me with his beautiful eyes and said "Mama, I am sad at you". I smiled and said, "I know you are, but I am proud of you for picking up your toys and next time I hope you make a better choice." (I was really proud of my response because I was taking the high road after a really long battle of wills that totally drained me....well I was proud for about 5 seconds) He said "Mama, maybe next time you will make a better choice and not make me sad at you". Really? Really?

Oh and lucky us, Peanut is going break the mold and make a running for the terrible 1's!! He throws no less than 4 fits a day whenever I don't let him call 911 or Mee-Mom on the phone, steal my waterbottle, turn on the tv by eating the remote or pulling out all of the wires from the printer. And I am talking leg kicking, body throwing all out wailing fit. Really? Really?

So it is late, I should be sleeping and not posting but Papa Bear (with my supervision) has been assembling Peanut's birthday gift for 2 1/2 hours and I feel that I owe him my support even if it is just in laughing at him while the cozy coupe confounds him at every turn.

So here comes a year of Tantrum One's and the New Terrible Three's. Bring it on because at least it won't be boring :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Change is hard..even if it just the seasons

The temperatures are in the 60's, the sun is shining, the sky is the blue blue of spring and life is good! That means we are spending time tracing each other with chalk on the driveway creating our own little crime scenes, bike rides and time at the park. All of this would be perfect if Little Man accepted the changing of the wardrobe as easily as he is taking the changing of the seasons. He refuses to wear shorts or short sleeved shirts. He insists that shorts are broken pants and that short sleeve shirts are missing the rest of the sleeves. I have tried calling them short pants instead of shorts or just putting them on and hoping he doesn't notice. I put a short sleeved shirt on him and then put on a sweatshirt hoping that if he got hot he would take off the sweatshirt and not realize the shirt was "broken". We got through this every spring and again come late fall. Little Man just doesn't like change. Today after throwing a fit about the shorts I was trying to put him in, he pulled out a pair of pant and said, " these are perfect for me Mama and they go all the way to my feet". So the battle will rage for the next few weeks while I try to ease him into this wardrobe change. No one likes change, but for Little Man it seems to be even harder to accept.

Peanut isn't having and trouble with the short sleeves but the shorts are giving him a problem because he is getting rug burn on his knees from crawling without the added protection of pants. So I am keeping him in pants for now (which doesn't help the Little Man cause).

Oh and off topic - Little Man has sticky fingers. He went on a playdate down the street and came back with a watch on his wrist and a (play) cellphone in his pocket. When I emailed my neighbor she said that they even commented on how his watch looked just like her son's watch. Little Man just smiled and kept on going. So now we have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get sticky fingers at the wrong time :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing Dress Up

Sometimes I get the distinct feeling that I am just playing house, dressing up and in a world of make-believe. I don't always feel like a mature adult with a husband, two beautiful children, a perfect house (with an adult-sized mortgage), a minivan (read:Pretend SUV) and a sedan. I look at everything around me and think, this can't be real, it is too good to be real. I must be just playing house. Then I hear myself say things like "Little Man, you need to take off your kings crown before going pee-pee" or "No, shields and breastplates at the kitchen table, my little knight! Now let's eat breakfast" And I realize two things, I am an adult with this wonderful real like and it is my son that is playing house and dress up.

One moment he is a king and the next he is a knight. This morning he even put on my brother's baseball cap and said "I am Uncle Mark" then he slung my purse on his shoulder and said "I am Uncle Mark with a purse!" He will grab a briefcase and say he is Papa and is going to work or he puts a plastic bin on his head and says he is a ghost. (I know that doesn't make sense, but in Little Man's world it does). Sometimes he holds his hands in a point over his head and says he is a witch (the hands are supposed to be his pointed hat) or he puts on his cape and becomes SuperMan. He is a different character every hour and likes to be called by his character name. "Come and have lunch, Knight Little Man" or "Superman, let's clean up our toys". Then sometimes he just wants to be my little boy and says "I'm Littleman now, Mama. You say Little Man, come here now" And I do as I am told and he is happy. So this morning as I was trying to convince him that wearing his breastplate and shield into the bathroom was not the best idea I realized that I am not playing house. I am the mama and the wife. This is my house and my family and my life and it is as wonderful as it seems. My job now is to let my son be anyone and anything he wants to be. A knight, a doctor and even Uncle Mark.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What A Day!

Today was an unorthodox day in our house and it resulted in some fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants parenting. This morning our house was invaded by a nurse (to collect blood for a life insurance policy) and a guy to repair the surface of our kitchen table. Little Man was enthralled with his new audiences and told the nurse that she had bones and hair - he was sharing the medical knowledge he learned at school. Then he informed the guy fixing the table that "you a big big guy". To be fair, the guy was tall and broad and rather giant-like but I had to quickly usher Little Man away as he started to call the guy " the giant table guy". Then the method that was used to fix the table filled the house with the smell of 10 bottles of nail polish poured in each room. So we quickly packed up and headed out to Chick Filet for lunch and playing on the playground. No matter what we do, Little Man will not eat any form of fast food. So Peanut ate Little Man's chicken nugget and fries while Little Man at a fruit cup and ran off to play. Peanut flirted so shamelessly with a pretty 20 something that I actually had to apologize to the guy she was with. Home we went for early naps from 12-1:30 and then we were supposed to run some errands while the housekeepers that I splurged on for the month were supposed to be there at 2. So off we went to a friends house, doctors appointment and the park. While we were out Little Man kept yelling "I want to see Mee-Mom, I want to see Mee-Mom!" It took me almost a half hour and a ton of exasperation to realize that he meant he wanted to look in the little picture portal that Mee-Mom gave him with her picture in it. Crisis averted we headed home for dinner only to find out that the housekeepers were running behind and were still at the house. So a quick bottle was fixed and out we went again to go out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Little Man, again eating against the grain, had the cantaloupe and orange that were garnishes and a little but of cheese quesadilla while Peanut scarfed down the rest of the quesadilla, fries, avocado and chips. Stuffed and throughly exhausted we returned home to a very clean house just in time for pajamas and bedtime! Oh what a day!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Anticipation is Mounting!

Three weeks from today, Little Man turns 3 and two weeks from tomorrow, Peanut turns 1. It is so hard to believe that I will have a 3 year old and a 1 year old in the house. This year we have decided to have a joint birthday party. Let's be honest, we will probably do this for as long as we possibly come. So the invitations are in the mail. The Fun Bus has been booked and the theme has been chosen. Not that there was much choice, Curious George or Curious George. We still have to get the cake (it has to be a George Cake, Little Man has made it clear that he will accept nothing less) and the party bags are needed. I promised that I wouldn't get carried away, but really I have to admit it is probably way too late for that. My excuse is that Little Man got shafted last year because Peanut took us by surprise and made his early debut 6 days before Little Man turned 2. Oh and have hired a girl in our neighborhood to help host with us but really we hired her because Little Man is madly in love with her and he will be so excited to have her at his party. She is 9 and will be helping set up, clean up, serve food and bring the most gigantic smile to Little Man's face. Peanut is currently sick with some virus and quite a miserable person. Lots of good healthy thoughts over the next three weeks for my babies that aren't quite babies anymore.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Germs Vs. Mess

Papa Bear is a mess-a-phobe and I am a germ-a-phobe. These two phobias (real or perceived as they may be) can be confused with one another. Let me explain the difference.

I carry lysol in my diaper bag as well as insist on hand washing when we get home, before meals and have been known to open my door with hand sanitizer in hand to ensure too many germs don't get in the house. I don't touch door knobs in bathrooms if I can help it and wipe down grocery carts before allowing my kids in them. I get made fun of for this and I know some bacteria is good yadda yadda yadda.

Papa Bear don't like clothes to get dirty, hands to get sticky and so he has a hard time letting the kids feed themselves, play in the mud. He would wipe Little Man's hand each time he got some food on it and won't put the kids in their clothes for the day until after breakfast because he doesn't want their clothes to be dirty.

We each have our little idiosyncrasies and they have their affect on our kids. Little Man asks for a wipe to wipe down carts before he will get in it and washes his hands during dinner no less than 3 or 4 times when they get messy. But as with second kids, we all lighten up a little and that means a few more colds and a lot more mess!

Peanut is self feeding all the way these days. He either grabs big handfuls of the food and shoves it in his mouth or makes attempts with the spoon. The result is food in his hair, diaper and occasionally his mouth. I am so proud of my Peanut to see him so enthusiastically diving into his food and I am so so proud of Papa Bear for letting it happen. He is relinquishing some of his mess control and it is paying off in skills for Peanut. I am trying to follow his example and not be so crazy when it comes to germs, the jury is still out on that one!