Monday, September 26, 2011

Do you think she looks like her mama?

11 Months of Spunk

Sweet Pea is 11 months old today and full of spunk.  I found her splashing in the toilet this morning when I came downstairs (Papa Bear must have left the door open...sigh).  She heard me coming and splashed with more gusto knowing that I was going to pull her from her fun immediately.  She let out a peal of laughter as I grabbed for her and then had an equal amount of fun getting soaped up and washed down in the sink.  Then she toddled back and forth across the kitchen as I try to get things done in the morning and her high arches created the cutest little suction on the tile floor so she sounded like a baby octopus moving through the kitchen.  Everything about her is fun these days as she is starting to really be able to keep up with the boys and play with them.

She is still taking 2 naps a day for about an hour and a half each and is sleeping from 7:30pm- 6:30am with occasionally sleeping in until 7:00.  She nurses first thing in the morning but is taking bottles for her other 3 feedings during the day and she has 3 meals a day with an occasional snack.  She loves self-feeding and prefers finger foods to purees now.  She is walking and takes anywhere from 2-10 steps before falling down and crawling the rest of the way.  But when she ca, she will cruise and then walk a few steps to the next object and cruise again.  She goes everywhere using those methods so it rare to find her crawling.  When we catch her just standing her balance is amazing and in just a week has become really steady.  The only problem is that she tends to lunch for her last step which has caused a few close calls.  As I was writing this she grabbed something she couldn't have off of the table and when I went to get it back from her she scurried away in what I can only deem her "baby run".  Girl can move fast.  I think we are in for it.

Things I don't want to forget about Sweet Pea at 11 months:
- her booty shake dancing moves
- her kitty cat mew when she is not happy about her circumstances (not to be confused with her unlady like shriek that she does at any time for just about any reason)
- she adorable "uh-oh" and "this" first words
- her love for her biggest brother and their adorable way of playing together

Stay tuned for a video of Sweet Pea's first few steps!

Slowing it down for some hugs

Weekday mornings are always busy and we move a sprint like pace to get everyone fed, dressed, bathroomed, groomed, re-bathroomed and re-dressed and out the door for school.  Mondays are the worst.  The kids have to say good-bye to Papa and are loath to let him go after two days with him here and it just takes a little more time to get used to and fall back into our schedule.  Plus we have to get Little Man off to school and then race back home for speech therapy so it is extra important that everything get done on schedule.

This Sweet Pea sat in her high chair covered from head to toe in blueberries, bananas and teething biscuit crying her little head off.  I was trying to wash the morning dishes before attending to her because loading the dishwasher is impossible with my newly walking little monkey who thinks it would be fun to climb up into the dishwasher.  Little Man and Peanut were alternately coming in to show me their creations from the playroom (bowls of pretend soup with the same bowls I would need to prepare dinner...sigh).  Little Man came in and told Peanut to come quick with him and as they both tried to run from the kitchen at the same time Peanut ran smack into the door frame.  Now I had two crying.  Setting dishes aside I gathered up a sobbing Peanut and held him tight.  I sat in a chair near Sweet Pea trying to reassure her with my closeness that she was next for hugs.  Then a cry came from the playroom and Little Man came running in crying.  He had "tried to sit nicely on the couch" and bonked his head.  My theory is that he was trying to jump on the couch and bonked his head.  So I gathered Little Man to my side and pulled him as tight as I could with Peanut still on my lap and Sweet Pea pulled close to the chair.  Peanut calmed down and Little Man climbed up to get his hugs.  We hugged and counted to 100. Then I picked up a very messy Sweet Pea and stuck her under the sink to clean her up.  I left the dishes that weren't washed and decided that maybe we needed to just slow down for a second.  As soon as I stopped trying to be productive and get everything done, amazingly enough everything that needed to get done got done including hugs for everyone that needed one.

-side note: I got everyone ready and saw that they were playing nicely so I could sit and start writing a quick post.  Then Peanut had an accident and peed in a plastic bin, Sweet Pea tried to attack the computer when I put it down quickly to deal with the accident and I had to change my clothes because I am not sure if it was just water or pee that somehow covered my pants.  So everything I had gotten done - just got undone. I think I might be the one that needs a hug by the end of this day.

Happy 11 months to Sweet Pea today.  I will write her update later today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Pea Joins the Party!!

We took the kids to a nearby park that requires at least two adults to oversee our crew because it is a huge park and the boys always run in opposite directions making it impossible to take the kids on my own.  We went a month or so ago and Sweet Pea hung out in the stroller while the boys ran wild.  But today she joined the party!  She refused her stroller almost from the start and walked, crawled and played with her big brothers.  It was amazing to see all three of the kids enjoying an activity at the same time.  We couldn't play a zone defense because of the enormity of this particular park so instead we had a two-on-one and one-on-one approach.  Whoever had the baby was also responsible for Little Man and the other person had to be on top of Peanut.  Peanut has gotten fast and has absolutely no fear of strangers, heights or any other danger.  So one-on-one with Peanut is a must.  I just loved seeing all 3 kids laughing and playing together.  I feel like we are turning a corner on the type of family fun activities that we can all start enjoying.  It is perfect timing for all of the fall festivals, pumpkin patches and holiday activities that are just around the corner.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Look Whose Walkin'

Little Ms. SweetPea has decided that it is time to take some steps on her own.  When properly motivated (read: to get food that is just out of reach) she takes tiny little hesitant steps until she is close enough to lung and grab onto her final destination.  Her first steps were to move from a chair at the kitchen table towards her high chair where she had spotted some rogue cherrios.  The best thing about it was that I actually managed to see her do it and since Papa Bear had only caught the tail end of it we lured her into a repeat performance using a baby rice cake to motivate her.  Since then she can often be found standing all by herself with a grin on her face contemplating that next step.  She still only takes one or two steps before throwing herself down on the floor laughing to resume crawling.  It isn't going to be long before those tiny hesitant steps turn into full fledged walking and then running.  Let the fun begin!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Logan's Heroes - The Walk

These people are all heroes to our family.  We had a team of 23 people walk in the Northern Virginia Apraxia walk today and a bunch more who walked with us in spirit but couldn't actually make it this morning.  It was chaos and fun and exhausting and exhilarating.  The kids ran and walked and moved from stroller to wagon to stroller again.  We didn't walk the full 4.8 miles around the lake because we kind of thought that was quite a distance to tackle when 13 of our 23 team members where children and all under the age of 7.  Our team raised almost $400 for CASANA!  You are all Logan's Heroes today and forever.  Thank you all for the support and love that you showed our family.

And this guy, well he is the world's best biggest brother.  Peanut doesn't know it yet, but he has a protector, a friend and a teacher in his big brother.  Little Man ran and ran and ran and played and played with his friends and cousins while on the walk.  He was a champ about it not being all about him for a few hours and other than a brief fight over not getting to wear fancy clothes today he was an angel.

My personal hero is this sweet guy.  He walked and ran more than he rode in a stroller and was excited to finally be at his walk.  I don't know if he knew we were all there walking for him, but he knew that he was surrounded by people who love him.  He has so many words and has worked hard for each and every one of them.  He has the sweetest voice and an infectious smile.  Everyone that meets him walks away with a smile on their face because he is so genuine in his love for life.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Peanut's First Day of 2's

Peanut had his very first day of pre-school today.  He started in the 2's class with Mrs. H just like Little Man did two years ago.  But unlike Little Man, Peanut entered that class like he owned it.  This morning he was so excited to finally be able to use his school bag that he had his shoes on at 7:30.  I had to read books for 45 minutes just to keep him occupied so that we weren't an hour early for school.  When he got there he ran down the hall, picked up his picture tag, hung it on his peg, washed his hands and was off.  I had to force him to say goodbye to me and I only did so because I didn't want him to be surprised later if he looked up and realized I was gone.  We had established a sort of routine as we dropped Little Man off at his class over the last few days.  A quick hug and then "Bye Bye, see you soon" and so when I told Peanut that I was leaving he smiled his Peanut smile and said "see you soon".  I walked out and made my way down the hall with my ears pricked for his cry.  It never came.  He was fine.  I was shaking.  The director of the school went and spied on him for me over the course of 15 minutes.  Finally I got the picture that my kid was doing great, painting pictures and really enjoying himself. So I took Sweet Pea home and put her down for her nap.  Then I stood in my house, it was silent.  I quickly picked up toys and the kitchen and then I just sat.  I didn't know what to do with myself.

At pick up, Peanut was happy and all smiles.  He told me "Love school" over and over and he wanted to go back to school after lunch.  I put him down for a nap and he was out like a light.  The boy played hard.  Little Man told us that his favorite part of his day was getting to see his brother at playground time.  (The 2's and the 4's are on the playground together)  Tomorrow I get to co-op in his class so I will get to see my boy in action and even get to see Little Man on the playground!

Brothers with peekaboo Sweetpea

Hanging up his tag in the classroom
Painting his masterpiece
With his teacher at the water table

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Little Man Starts Pre-K

Our little 4 1/2 year old started Pre-K today.  He was so excited for school that he was ready with his shoes on at 7:30 and we don't leave for school until 8:45.  He carried his school bag around all morning and asked every 5 minutes if it was time to go.  We talked about all of the friends he was going to get to see and we talked about making new friends too.  I tried to talk to him about inviting other people to play with him and his friends especially the new kids to the class.  He promised that he would invite them to play with him but told me they would probably just say no until they saw how fun he really is.  (He sheepishly told me later that he forgot to invite new friends to play with him because he was so excited but that he would for sure remember tomorrow).  When I dropped him off Peanut gave him a huge hug and said goodbye, he gave me a kiss and he was off.  It was so different than his drop off two years ago and as I drove away I realized how much has changed and how much he has grown up.  I cried.  I admit it.  I cried because I am just not ready for him to grow up and even though it is only 3 hours a day, it is still 5 days a week and that is just a lot.  I didn't get much out of him after I picked him up.  Something about a big dinosaur that he got to play with and cupcakes for a birthday and not getting to go the activity room because the 2 year olds were getting tired.  The main part that I got was that he loved it and he can't wait to go back tomorrow. I don't think you can ask for anything more from a teacher and a school than to help your child love to learn.  When we got home and I got the little ones down for their nap, Little Man I got to spend some time together.  We read a huge pile of books, did some sounding out of words, made dinner and I pilfered a Christmas present I had bought for a fun art activity.  As cliche as it is, I still can't believe my baby is already in Pre-K.  Peanut starts the 2 year old classroom on Thursday.  You will find me crying in the parking lot but I can only hope that he loves school as much as Little Man.

(This is Peanut trying to put his leg up on the wall in a pose just like his big brother's picture above.  Boy cracks me up!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bad Dreams and a little advice

Peanut woke up really sad from his nap this afternoon.  Typically he is only sad if he is forced to wake up before he is ready so I asked him what was wrong.  He said "Bad Guy hurt me." It took me a second but then I asked him if he had a bad dream.  He snuggled into my neck and said "Yes, scared Lo Lo".  So I kept him in my arms and lugged his 40 pounds downstairs to let him wake up slowly in my arms and get over his bad dream.

Little Man wanted to know all about his bad dream and asked him a lot of questions.  "Did the bad guy eat you?"  "Did he cut off your arm?"  "Did he spitted you, chop you up and eat you?"  Peanut said "Yes Ja Ja" to each question and with each question I become more appalled at what Little Man was saying.  Where did he get these ideas.  The only tv he watches is Curious George and occasionally some Winnie the Pooh or Word World.  He doesn't watch regular tv, commercials or anything with any type of violence.  Then he redeemed himself by reassuring his little brother.   He said "Don't worry, it is all just pretend.  Sometimes I have bad dreams too but then I just waked up and look around my room and it is nothing.  No one is there.  It is just empty and it was just a dream."  Peanut said "ohhh Ja Ja, oh my" (his new favorite expression) and slid off my lap to go play with his big brother.

I am so glad that my kids have each other to turn to if there are bad dreams about bad guys or anything else that they might encounter.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Meeting the Teachers

Both boys got to meet with their teachers in preparation for school to start next week.  It was a huge success on all counts.  They were so excited this morning that they had their shoes on and were ready to go about an hour before we needed to leave.

Little Man's meeting with his teacher was structured a little differently this year.  The previous two years I accompanied him into the classroom to ease his nerves and he stayed and played for 15 minutes.  His first year he almost dropped the school fish and his second year he refused to paint his hand for a handprint because it was too messy.  I have no idea what he did this year.  I wasn't there.  I can't lie, that does make me equal parts proud and sad.  He walked right on in when his teacher invited him in and 20 minutes later came out and told me that he painted a picture and didn't get messy, tried to build a road but it didn't work and made something else but couldn't remember what.  That was all I could get out of him other than he hopes school gets to start tomorrow.

Peanut walked into his room like he owned it.  He got half-way in and turned to me and said "May Mama, May" which in Logan speak means "Come, Mama, come".  It was his only sign on unease.  I sat down on the floor and he relaxed and played for 15 minutes.  He got to feed the class fish and played mostly in the kitchen area.  He fought me when it was time to leave but didn't throw a full fit, for which I was eternally grateful.  I am also grateful that my good friend K will be co-oping on the first day which should ease Peanut's transition

And just so she isn't left out, Sweet Pea played in Peanut's classroom like she owned it too.  She can't start this year, but she will be able to start next year in the Step Into Preschool program.  I can't even think about that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Facing Fears

Little Man is our most sensitive child. He has had some typical childhood fears like the chicken behind his door or being scare the first time he was dropped off at school. But he also had a fear of the elevator at Home Depot. To be clear, he didn't have a fear of just any elevator, just the one on the roof of the parking lot at Home Depot. This is where Papa Bear has often taken the boys to get them out of the house, play on tractors and do manly stuff. Part of their routine was to park on the top deck and take the large service elevator down to the main level. But tragedy struck. One day they all got on the elevator and right before the doors closed Peanut ran off the elevator. Papa Bear had to follow him but Little Man didn't move fast enough and was stuck in the elevator. Papa Bear heard him crying and yelled to him not to move and it would come back up. He pushed the button and Little Man stayed put and when the elevator came back up they were all reunited. But ever since then, Little Man has refused to get on the elevator at Home Depot. Today the boys went to Home Depot while Sweet Pea and I went to a book store. The stairs they usually use were closed off and they were forced to use the elevator. Little Man bravely faced his fear and rode the elevator down without incident. I am always proud when my kids face fears head on even if they are forced by yellow tape barring the easy way down.

On a side note, he is still resistant to change as evident by his crying breakdown when he saw my new haircut. He says my hair looks crazy and he wants it back to the old way. Poor guy will just have to adjust to me with bangs.