Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Explaining Easter to the Littles

Holidays have become so much more meaningful (and fun) for me since becoming a parent. I enjoy teaching my son about the meaning behind the religious holidays my family observes and the traditions that go along with those days. Admittedly it is challenging to tie some traditions to the deeper stuff. Crucifixion and a large bunny that hides plastic eggs filled with stuff around your house? What? Anyway, after initiating a conversation with my 3 y.o. I realized how gory and scary the story would be to him and I went with the Easter-lite version. I've since looked up this guide recommending how much to share about the Crucifixion based on the age of your little one and thought some of you might be interested in this info as well. You're on your own with the bunny thing though. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


According to TB, this was the Best Day Ever. He's an effusive little guy. He claims dinner is the Best Dinner Ever! often, and Mama is the Best Cooker Ever!, not to mention each adventure is the Best Adventure Ever! I love it each time he says it though as in that moment he believes it to be true.

The day was getting away from us. I had told myself, "Self, today you MUST unpack the remaining boxes in the kitchen." But I don't like to be told what to do, even by my self. This is complicated. I know. Anyway, so I wouldn't let myself do anything fun because I hadn't unpacked the dang boxes but yet I wasn't unpacking boxes either. So, here we stayed doin' nothin'.

Have you hung out with a small child before? How about a small, only child? Only children expect their parents to PLAY with them...all the stinkin' time. If you do not play with them and cannot trick them into playing by themselves and refuse to turn on the babysitter t.v. then your precious child will start to cause trouble in order to get attention. In the biz we called this negative attention seeking behavior. So, the ornery was picking up and I decided to stick my tongue out at Self and get outta the house (I did not actually stick my tongue out at myself. I just imagined that I did.).

We packed a quick lunch, filled our thermoses with ice water, threw in a new kite and hit the trails via bike and trailer. Mama got some exercise, boy got to climb and throw rocks and eat a picnic, and then I put together his kite and taught him how to do it. This part of the itinerary was all his idea. There is NO wind today. None. And I told him this as we were packing up our gear, and I told him this again as I was demonstrating how to fly a kite, and I may have mentioned it again during his first attempt. But he was having fun and then I began to see it as a way for him to burn some extra energy so I may have actually encouraged a few more passes thru the desert just to be sure he really understood the mechanics of kite flying. I'm hoping for a solid night of sleep for both parties involved tonight. Is that wrong?

Our sweet ride.
My heart.

Picnic with my beautiful boy.

Winded and windless. Keep trying, son, you're getting it! Heh heh heeee.

Zoo Day

I need to tell you something but I need to whisper it so as not to jinx it, you know how that is, right? So, this sleep training thing? It's actually going ok. It might even be working and there's a good chance our night time routine is permanently changed. Dude, this is huge. Keep calm though. The universe does not like cocky. The horrible part is that separating my sleep habits from my son's really shows how messed up mine actually are. Hopefully once his are cleaned up mine will smooth out too. I go to bed anxious because I'm anticipating a bad night with the night he woke up 12 times and scared the heck out of me at least 3 of those times by already being in the room and right next to me before I knew he was there. And at 1 AM my eyes pop open and my heart starts to pound and I can't relax until 3 AM because that is traditionally his restless time and now instead of watching his bed I'm watching the door waiting for him to come in.

We're working on getting him to bed a little earlier, he's NEEDED a nap and I've been trying to do that earlier in the day too, and DH would very much like for it to be unacceptable for TB to get out of bed before 6:30 AM but I'm of the opinion if he sleeps 'til then it's a total win. We can tweak that later if it's still an issue. DH and I are night owls, always have been, so prior to this 6:30 was not our favorite time of day. We may actually have to adjust our schedule and annoying.

Since the night of 12 walk abouts in the hall, TB has only gotten up once per night to "check in." We take him to the bathroom then tuck him back in bed and leave the room. AND HE STAYS IN BED. It's a miracle. Truly. This morning he didn't come into my room until 4:20...probably because I was waiting for him until 3 AM. He's gotta have some control of the situation, right?

TB does not like this new way of doing things and he's needed some extra cuddles during the day and some space to be extra obstinate and whiny during the day but I get it and can give him that. He asks about the next bedtime as he's eating breakfast, wondering which parent will be on point that night and whether or not we are going to cuddle all night or sleep in our own rooms. I get that too. When he wakes in the night he says, "I don't want to be a-yone" and "This is hard" and sometimes his eyes water but that is becoming less the rule and more the exception. This IS hard buddy, for me too, but we can do hard things and I am so so proud of you. You are brave and I am proud of you.

Speaking of brave, I took TB to the zoo yesterday. It was a spontaneous trip. We needed out of the house. We needed to be outside and we needed to get some exercise. TB likes to look at the map and figure out where we are and where we are headed next. He wanted to eat his picnic lunch near the monkeys...well, mostly he wanted to eat his banana in front of the monkey exhibit. He thought that would be hilarious. Across from the monkeys were the Dik-Diks and he thought their name was hilarious too and must have repeated this 50 times during the day. His interest in the name was based purely on the repetitive sounds, he doesn't even know Dik vs Dick. I whisper my curse words, thank you very much. The brave part comes in when he asked, nay insisted, on riding the train. Historically he has deemed it "scary" and we've had to forgo it. (He also does not like heights, loud noises, bridges that shake, water in his eyes (unless he's the one dunking his own head in the tub after screeching at you for letting a drop get in his eye whilst washing his hair...*cough* where was I?) or carousels. We are fun at parties.) His energy level and mood were fading by then, we'd skipped nap and it was around 3 PM, but he enjoyed the train ride and mocked himself for ever thinking it was scary.

Monkeying Around


There was promise of an ice cream sandwich prior to leaving the zoo so after the train we found a couple of frozen treats and planted ourselves in the shade to eat our snack with the giraffes. There is an elevated look out point next to the giraffe exhibit; you climb up a few flights of stairs to get to an enclosed platform that allows you to be at eye level with the giraffes. TB was interested in the lookout point but wasn't sure if he wanted to climb the stairs. I shrugged it off telling him I'd go with him if he wanted me to but we didn't need to go up there to see the giraffes, we had a great view from where we were. He decided he wanted to try the stairs. He stood at the base forever watching and trying to screw up the courage to climb. He went up a couple of steps and then changed his mind and came back down. He did this a couple of times before asking me to go with him. We got up two steps and then he noticed one section of the stairs was connected by chains instead of boards and they seemed to wobble a bit when people were on them. This was unacceptable. He was indignant: "Why did they make it like that!? Why do they have to be like that?" My heart hurt for him. I offered to carry him or hold his hand. He came undone. He so wanted to be the kid that could take the wobbles in stride but just couldn't get there. He sat down on the bottom stair, crossed his arms and said, "Yeave me a-yone!" He needed to leave or go on his own terms. We did not climb the stairs that day. He will get there and I will continue to try to let him work through his fears at his own pace. Besides, we DID conquer the train, that's a big deal.

My baby.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Unpleasant Baked Goods

It was early morning, my countertops were clean and I had a surplus of lemons in the fruit basket so it just made sense to whip up a batch of lemon scones. Rather than face the mess of an office to dig out my recipe binder I searched google for a basic recipe and followed it.

My suggestion: Avoid this recipe. It tasted like a mouth full of flour with a sour aftertaste. Not good and definitely not worth the calories. We tasted and then tossed them.

Since having my son baking has become my creative outlet. I used to enjoy arts and crafts but if I sit still now he is up in my space wanting to help or pleading with me to "pway shomeshing" with him. To everything there is a season. I will be able to curl up in a corner and crochet or embroider soon enough. For now I bake and stockpile craft supplies.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


We worked hard to make today a good day. TB and I putzed around in the yard this morning: Mowing, watering plants, picking strawberries, unwinding and rewinding hoses, and "poisoning" ants with our top secret solution (water, dish soap and baking soda...shhhh.). TB took an early but long nap (which I may regret tonight?) and was his energetic and chatty self when I finally woke him up. I took him out for frozen yogurt and then grocery shopping. For him the grocery store is almost as fun as the mall as he loves to investigate all the different fruits and vegetables and look over all the seafood behind the butcher counter. Today's big discovery is green squash looks very similar to cucumbers but you can tell the difference by their stems. Riveting, I know but he eats that kind of info up.And then the best thing ever happened...DH came home from work and took TB outside to run around while I unloaded groceries and made dinner! Woot! Another adult in the house! Sooo nice to have him home. Soooo nice to work on a grown up task without having to say, "I'm almost done, give me 10 more minutes and then I can look at your lego guy," or some such thing.

Little dude is super verbal but he still has trouble pronouncing some sounds like L's, Th, and R's. And he has some creative toddler speak too which I love. I want to start writing some of it down as I know it's just a matter of time before he starts correcting my grammar. Words to remember: Whep whipe. As in "I have shomesing on my figh (thigh) and I need a whep whipe to cwean it off."

TB watering random stuff. He went outside with pants on but
decided they were unnecessary for today's tasks.

Daddy's home! Woot!

Sleep Training Update

Last night was a rough one. I must have walked the boy (here on out known as TB on the blog) back to his own bed a dozen times between 1:45 and 3:45 am. I tried so hard to stay neutral, boring and not engage but there was definitely more conversation than is suggested by the well-rested experts. I walked him back to choruses of "I don't want to be a-yone", "Mama, this is hard (to which I agreed)", "What time is it now?" as well as "I have to go potty (I helped him try to go twice during that time)."

The good news is:

1.) I was able to stay consistent (Instead of pulling him into my bed or laying down in his which holy cow I so wanted to do that. To just give up for the night. One night of going back to the old way wouldn't be so bad would it? Yes, yes it would. I know but man I wanted to convince myself otherwise.)

2.) He did not like being put back in bed each time but he did lay back down each time and at least fake an attempt at trying to settle down.

3.) Around 3:45 he finally decided I was serious about this ending with him asleep in his bed and me asleep in mine and he gave up and fell asleep in his own bed by himself. This is a major victory that we can refer to and build up from here on out.

4.) He is learning to tell time. He has a clock that glows green at 6:30 am letting him know it's morning and ok to get up for the day. At 6:30 this morning he came barreling into my room and whacked me awake with his Spiderman cuddle buddy.

5.) DH (dear husband) is back in town and he can give it a go tonight while I try to catch up on some Zzzzz's.

Oy Vey, this is going to be a two cups of coffee day.

(Celebratory cinnamon rolls. We are going to milk this paltry success for every ounce of motivation possible!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

We Have Been Busy and Now We Are Tired

This sleep training stuff is kicking me in the head. I hope we are getting somewhere. So far it doesn't feel like it and I'm forgetting why I started this in the first place. The boy plowed into my room this morning at 5 am and said forlornly, "Mama, I don't want to be a-yone (alone)." Meh.

My little guy is on spring break from preschool (He only goes twice a week for a whopping total of FIVE hours a week...why does he need a break from that?) so we were able to attend a little 5 y.o. buddy's (and his two sibs) birthday party today. My boy was too nervous (and sleepy) to eat his lunch or dessert but he enjoyed playing with his friend. By the end of the party he had the blind stares and crawled up onto my lap to watch the kids open their presents. He's young and hasn't been to a lot of parties yet so the concept of giving someone else presents that you yourself want is a bit of a challenge for him. I had explained several times in the days prior to the party that we give the birthday kids the presents and then when it's his birthday he'll get presents and they won't. Every once in a while he'd ask, "But what are they going to give me at the party?" "Lunch! and cake! and you get to play games! and maybe they'll have a gift bag for you at the end? but this is for your buddy, not you, your turn will come." When his friends (3 siblings) were opening their gifts the boy was watching intently. Each of the 3 kids thanked him for the cards he'd made and for the presents. He piped up, "You're welcome! I made dem myself!" and then he went back to staring off into sleepy space. The kids continued to open presents and would exclaim "thank you!" to the other gift givers and each time my boy would pipe up "You're welcome! I picked out da stickers!" or some such thing. He thought they were thanking him each time. It was comical. He rallied just long enough for some nunchuck whacking and then we had to head home for a nap.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How it Goes

Last night the boy stated he needed cinnamon toast for breakfast and he wanted to make it himself. This morning he did just that. Then he cried because he didn't get to put the cheese on his eggs.

(that's a lot of cinnamon, son.)

He never did rally. The boy was fit to be tied from morning 'til night. I tried all manner of things to distract him from his mood. In the end there were a couple of smiles while playing in the yard this evening and he forgot himself for a few minutes during dinner when I played his current favorite band's CD, Maroon 5.

(he needs to work on his bubble blowing technique; he blows on the wand thru clenched teeth so the force of air is too weak to make a bubble. one more thing not going his way today. poor kid.)

(thank you, Maroon 5, for encouraging this impish smile on my cranky boy today.)

Here's to days you just can't win. Tomorrow will be better. I'm sure of it.

Testing, testing. Is this thing on?

Once upon a time a girl married her jr high sweetheart. They then moved away from home for many years, had a baby in a far away land (fine it was only a few states away but if felt really far away), and then she begged her sweetheart to move them back to their home state so she could once again be closer to their family.

This blog is her attempt to capture details from her days and reinvented life...