Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things that make me happy

There are a million things that I could list about my boys that make me happy, but there are a few that just make my day on a daily basis. The things that keep me going when everything else seems to be going wrong. It is the little things, someone else might now even notice, but as their mom I can't help but notice.

1. Peanut's wobbly, jiggly cheeks when he runs - I mean these things jiggle like jello as he stomps and plays. We play this little game I call "run, run" where he walks backwards until I say "run run to mama" and then he takes off at top Peanut speed (which isn't very fast) into my arms. I play this game so that I get to see his cheeks jiggle as he runs to me and it never fails to make me overcome with joy.

2. Little Man's spontaneous proclamations of love. It doesn't matter what he is doing or what he is playing I get at least 10 spontaneous declarations. They typically come when I am exasperated or exhausted and he just seems to know that it makes me feel better to hear his cute declarations.

3. Peanut's feet. I mean these things are just the chubbiest, cutest, sweetest little feet in the world. He holds them up for me to tickle or to pretend to eat and it makes me happier than gold.

4. Little Man's wiggly eyebrows. This kid is expressive both verbally and non-verbally but the best is when he gets his eyebrows in on the action. He will wiggle them to make a point or to be cute. He totally knows what he is doing and it just makes me laugh even when he is trying to manipulate me with them

So those are the things in no particular order that make me so happy on a daily basis that I can't even imagine my life without them. Peanut feet and wiggly eyebrows make my day. Some people might think that I am strange but then again, those people have probably never seen Peanut's cheeks jiggle as he runs on his adorably fat feet while Little Man wiggles his eyebrows in an attempt to get another M&M!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peanut's adorable vocabulary

Some of you may or may not know that Peanut has been undergoing speech and occupational therapy for the past 2 months. In July he was diagnosed with severe speech delay and a possible motor planning disorder. This was a very scary diagnosis for us and I haven't been able to blog about it. I remember hearing the speech pathologists tell me that while he was 15 months old, he was only at a speech developmental age of a 6 month old. I remember their words and their faces and what I remember most clearly is thinking, "No, you are wrong. My Peanut is perfect and happy and the most wonderful little boy so you have to be wrong". Well they might have been right at the time, but Peanut is a superstar and he is turning it all around and just for the record, he is more than perfect no matter what developmental issue he may have.

In the beginning of August he couldn't say any words and had hand signs for 3 and 2 months later he can say 9 words and has signs for at least 15 other words. I suspect he can say even more than he lets on but is impossibly stubborn and likes to do things in his own way. Over the past week one of his favorite words has been Mama and I just can't hear it enough! He also loves to say hi and peeks around the corner or out from a blanket to say hi at any and every opportunity. The speech therapist comes weekly and we work on prompting, articulating and just generally helping him figure out how to make the sounds that he wants to make. Some days he loves it and other days he hands the therapist her shoes and waves bye - but we just keep working at it with him. The most successful reward to getting him to talk is food - big shock there!

There are other challenges to overcome. He despises all of the occupational therapy that he has to do and making sit-ups fun for an 18 month old is difficult. He is near-sighted and may need glasses at an early age. We won't know the extent of his diagnosis for a while until he is older and can communicate a little better but I have come to the conclusion that as far as I am concerned, his diagnosis is easy : Peanut is a happy, loving and perfect little boy who enjoys torturing/playing with his big brother, running as fast as he can at all times and climbing to dangerous heights whenever my back is turned. He has the most beautiful little voice when he chooses to use it and the most wonderful way of getting us all to do his bidding no matter how he communicates. In my book, Peanut is everything I could ever want him to be.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of 3's Preschool

All I can say is SUCCESS! Little Man loved school, no tears, no hesitation, just purely loved school. He walked right into the classroom without even saying goodbye to me so I had to follow him in to get a hug and a kiss. When I returned to get him a few hours later he flew into my arms when he was dismissed and said, "Mama, I didn't cry!" Oh it was the sweetest, tightest most wonderful kind of Little Man hug. I didn't get a ton of details out of him other than he didn't want to paint because he didn't want to get his clothes dirty and he loved playing on the playground and with his friends. What a different first day from last year, refreshingly so! Below are his posed pictures of him on his first day and the last picture is one his teacher sent. He is wearing a motorcycle helmet and turned the chairs into a pretend motorcycle.

(And yes, I know he needs a haircut - but you know when you have a 3 year old, a 17 month old and are 33 weeks pregnant some things just have to wait for another day!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

All signs point to - YES!

I think one of the most terrifying things about being a parent is making decisions that will shape your child or start them down a particular path. How do you know you are making the right decision? We talk about it, pray about it, debate about it, change our minds a zillion times and then once the decision has been made I will spend hours a day torturing myself over and over hoping we did the right thing. Sometimes we get signs that reassure us we have made the right decision and that makes our hearts feel a lot lighter (until the next decision has to be made). I am a worrier, there is no debate there so these little signs are very beneficial for my blood pressure. Today we got one of those signs.

Little Man starts back to school on Tuesday. I know he is ready and will have a great time. I know that it is the right thing for him. But deep down I will miss my Little Man for those 3 hours a day and I worry that he would be happier at home with me (even though quite the opposite is true). I think I am traumatized by last year's first week of school when he cried for over an hour and they had to call me to come and get him because he was wearing himself out crying. I know it was just one day and a day that he doesn't even remember but walking away from my baby who was yelling "I want my mama" felt awful. So I sent an email to his new teacher letting her know that he had a bit of a rough transition last year and that I was going to be the first in line to drop him off because he has an easier time going into an empty room than a full one. I also told her how much he loves the dinosaurs in her classroom in case he needs a distraction. And her is what I got in response...

Having him come first sounds great....He can come in a little early if you think that will help. I can't image him being sad. He seems so excited and ready...but we will see. Please know that with two other moms i can give him a lot of attention if need be. I will go get one of my dinosaur books right now and put it in my bag for Tuesday.

So there is just no doubt in my mind that he will be in good loving hands, we made the right decision and he is going to have a great time at school. I think it is going to be harder on me to say goodbye at the door than it is for him!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Forts and Bridges and Couch Cushions

Yesterday, Little Man woke up from his nap a little cranky (probably due to his 5:30 am wake up time for the past 4 days) and he started in whining about wanting to make a bridge. Yes, he wanted me to create him a bridge to be able to walk from the coffee table to the couch. I explained that I didn't know what I could do for him and that is when he decided that Papa Bear should cut a tree down from our backyard to make him a bridge. He even went so far as to call Papa Bear at work and tell him that he stays away too long at work and to come home as soon as possible to make him a bridge. Yes, 3 year olds are very egocentric. But I was able to appease his need for the creation of the bridge by making him a fort using every couch pillow in the house, his Thomas Tent and Peanut's car. It took me back to the hours that my brother and I would spend creating and playing in forts when I was little. Having a place of our own that was small and comfy and ours. He played with his toys in the fort, spied of me and giggled the whole time. I see a future of my couch cushions used as motorcycles, walls of forts, bridges and all of the things that fill my children's imaginations. There is a part of me that cringes because I didn't buy those couches with forts in mind, but then I hear my Little Man's giggle as he peeks out his spy hole in his fort and I realize that I will buy more couches in this life but I can't buy giggles like that for any amount of money.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School

Next week Little Man starts back at his pre-school. This week will be filled with orientation with his teacher for me and Papa Bear, a one-on-one meeting with Little Man and Mrs. C, play dates at the school and other preparations. He is so excited to be starting back, at least in theory. I am really praying that the first week goes more smoothly than last year. Right now his main concern is that his teacher from last year, Mrs. H is going to be sad that he isn't in her class anymore. I have assured him that we can visit her and that she won't be sad. He told me today that he can't be in her class anymore because he is 3 and she could only be his teacher when he was 2. So I am glad that he is kind of getting it and I am hoping that he will love Mrs. C just as much as he adored Mrs. H.

Today we prepared a treat of edible crayons (that I found on a blog) to give to his teacher and some friends in the neighborhood. As soon as Little Man got up from his nap we set about doing our project. We melted some white candy melts in a bowl and added food coloring to it. A LOT of food coloring went into the first batch and had to be redone :) Then we took medium sized pretzel rods and dipped the ends of the rods into the chocolate and let it harden. Last we took some pre-printed labels I had found on the internet and wrapped and taped it in the middle so we had edible crayons. It was so much fun. Little Man told me it was hard work and he was zausted (exhausted). I think he ate more chocolate and pretzels than he actually dipped but I let it go considering that is half the fun of a project like that! ( I will upload a better picture when I get them off of my camera, this one is just from my phone)

I never thought I would be one of those parents that said they were looking forward to school starting again - so I will chalk that up as one more thing I never thought I would say and of course find myself saying. It is just that Little Man is such a social guy and every morning I hear "Mama, what are we doing today? Who is coming to see me? Can we go to Kate's/Evan's/Pru's house today?" So it is a bit of a relief to know that 3 days a week from 9-12 he will be spending time with his friends, learning and having a great time. It also will give me some much needed alone time with Peanut before Baby Girl arrives.

Peanut and I are going to have play dates with his friends, go to parks and play rooms and try to really make the most of the next 6-8 weeks. I think he will probably miss his brother, but I am hoping to keep him busy as much as possible. Papa Bear will also be staying home with him when it is my turn to co-op in Little Man's class so that will allow them to have Papa Bear/Peanut bonding time. Something I know that the both of them treasure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Day with Mommom and Mee-Mom

Today was a fabulous day because my mom (Mee-Mom) and grandmother (Mommom) came for the day to visit with the boys (and me and Papa Bear, but let's be real - it was mostly to see the boys) Little Man and Peanut were in spoiled heaven! Between games of chase and knock down with Mee-Mom, getting new presents, having books read by Mommom, bike rides, water fun and just general monkeying around - I think both sides are wiped out! Little Man can not get enough of his Mee-Mom - their bond is very strong and very special and it is great to see Peanut starting to develop a bond of his own with her. Early in the day instead of playing knock down with her when it was his turn he chose to just hug her and not let go. The boys see her like I saw my grandmother when I was their age - an over-indulgent incredibly loving and fun playmate, teacher and friend. I can't ask for anything more!

Mommom told Little Man that she was almost 100 years old and that she was very old. He told Mee-Mom that she needed to get a new Mommom because the one we had was so old. But you know what, there is only one Mommom like her on earth. Growing up she was a second mom, a friend, a very very indulgent grandmother - I mean the Mary Poppins of Grandmothers. She taught me table manners and would wake me up in the mornings with a hot wash cloth to put on my eyes. She would leave a few pieces of candy by my bed before bedtime and teach me how to plant a garden and do paper mache. And today, she read books to my little boy and let him pretend to be a crocodile that was eating him up. Life doesn't get much better!

Papa Bear and I were spoiled too with subs from Capriotti's and a chance to go out by ourselves to run errands and even get some yard work done. So no worries, we were not left out of the fun :)

The Boys with their new trucks!

Peanut saying "Thank You"

Little Man being read to by Mommom (his Great-Grandmother)

Silly Peanut!

Little Man Lifeguard

Friday, September 3, 2010

Peanut's Curiosity and other fun stories

We had a playdate this morning with Little Man's friend E and his baby sister M. M is 3 months old and adorable in every way. Peanut took one look at her and let out his most excited squeal usually reserved for puppies or other small furry creatures. I should have known we were in trouble as soon as I heard that squeal. He spent the next few hours attempting to peek under the nursing cover to see what was so fun and then to try to lift my friends shirt to see what M found so obviously delicious. He tried multiple times to steal her binky and touch her head/eyes/face or whatever he could get his hands on. It was constant redirection to keep her Peanut free and I quickly saw what our life is going to be like when Baby Girl arrives. He was very sweet and gentle, but very very curious. It is going to be a journey, that's for sure!

Little Man has never cared for fashion. He has a difficult time with transitions between seasons, but other than that has no interest in what he is wearing. Except when it comes to white shirts and crocs. His friends down the street love to see what combination of crocs he picked out that day. He rarely will wear two of the same color. He will say "Mama, I think it is a green and chocolate day" and then he goes in search of one green and one brown croc. His other apparent fashion issue is white tee-shirts. Just regular white undershirts. If I put them on him he screams and freaks out about not wanting a "just white" shirt. He claims that he doesn't like just white and will cry and scream until he gets to take it off. It doesn't matter if it is the middle of the night or during the day, he refuses to wear them.

We recently went to an ice cream party in the neighborhood. Peanut wasn't feeling well so he stayed home with Papa Bear and Little Man and I went to eat and play. He had so much fun. He ate/drank his melted ice cream and candy and then ran around and played for the next 2 hours with 11 other neighborhood kids ranging in age from 3 to 10. They played Red Light Green Light, Tag, Freeze Tag and climbed trees. It was eye opening to me how much easier these events are with Little Man. I got to sit and talk to adults, eat my own ice cream and relax. I am looking forward to the next 3 years with all of my children and I will never take for granted or wish away the days I get to have with them. But there is a light at the end of the "can't converse with other adults, chasing early walkers from danger, can't eat my own food" tunnel. In about 3 years, all of my children will be running around playing tag and other fun games and Papa Bear and I will be enjoying our own ice cream before it melts!!