Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bathtub Picasso (attempt 2)

Some of you may remember the time I made Oliver foamy bathtub paints using shaving cream and food coloring... and he hated it.  Well some time has passed and he has had more interest in coloring so why not try again?

After scrubbing the boy down I handed him a tray of watercolors.  A little backwards?  Should I have given him the paints before cleaning him? Perhaps.  Whatever, the paint rinses right off.

He enjoyed it.  Yay!

Usually Nate handles bath time.  He took over when I was big and pregnant and it's become Oliver's preference that Daddy does it.  Well daddy wasn't home so I got to wash the monkey.  I have such great memories (and awesome pictures) of bathtimes past.  Some of my favorite memories are of his bathtime.  He really loves splashing around in the tub.  It's so fun.  So I'm happy to add another element of enjoyment.

There are more pictures with better smiles... but they need some censoring... so here is what I am able to share.

I totally recommend giving your kids watercolors in the tub.  Super fun.  Cleans up in seconds.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank Goodness

So my frustrated post yesterday was upsetting to some family.  And to any one else who found it disturbing let me be clear: I'm not bashing my kid.  I love him to itty bitty Tiny Toons Elvira style love.  OK just googled it and her name is ELMYRA,  oops.  Anyway its still the same obsessive, sometimes a little too rough, eat him up because he's just so cute, I kinda want to hurt him (but I won't) kind of love.  Make sense?  Is EVERYONE disturbed now?  My work here is done.

AAAnyway... I wasn't putting him down yesterday, I was venting some frustration.  And I'm not worried about him one day reading because it's a real part of raising him.  Being a mom is not all butterflies and rainbows.  Also... he napped for 3 hours after those videos were taken so part of his frustration was him being tired.  And, I hope you see that whenever I post something like that I wrap it all up with a little moral.  Yesterdays moral came from the book quote I mentioned.  "Thank you for being the you that you are."  Reading that reminded me what a wonderful kid Oliver is and how thankful I am for every little part of his personality even when it drives me crazy, and reading that calmed me down and reminded me to just enjoy the ride with him.  And I know he is a genius and will get there.  It's not like I'm worried he won't speak, I just get a little frustrated because I am his mom and know what amazing things he is capable of.

Today was a MUCH better day for both Oliver and I.  He was in a very good and helpful mood all day, and I was well rested and enjoying all the love he had to give me.  It was a great day for reflecting all my "Thankfuls" in preparation for tomorrow.

1.  First and foremost I am thankful for my perfect children.  I am so thankful for their health.  For their perfect eyes, and noses and mouths.  Their perfect lungs and bronchioles and alveoli.  Their perfect hearts- atria, ventricles, valves.  For their kidneys, for their livers, for their spleens and duodenums.  Every little blood vessel, every single nerve, every gland doing its job, every synapse firing its fire.  I am thankful for every messy poop diaper and soaking pee diaper because it means everything is functioning in just the right way.  When you're pregnant you think: OH THIS TAKES TOO LONG! But really...can you believe 9 months is what it takes to build a human being from scratch!?  Considering the millions, billions, trillions, zillions of little itty bitty part in those itty bitty bodies, that they are born with all those parts working just right is a blessing I am so very thankful for.  Especially knowing there are others who didn't fare the same.  Still blessed, perfect in a different way, but with maybe a few more tears and hard days.

And if I ever forget to be thankful for this... here is my reality check: Notes from a Dragon Mom

2.  I am thankful for two easy conceptions for my two healthy pregnancies.  Apparently I have PCOS, but I'm not sure how confident that diagnosis was, especially two pregnancies later.  I thought I'd have a hard time, have to try a while, maybe need some treatments...maybe not be able to.  I am very thankful I was very wrong.

3.  I am thankful I get to be a stay at home mom.  It's really hard sometimes.  It's emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging on top of being financially restricing.  But both Nate and I are happy with our choice.  Like Nate has said, he never thought of himself as old fashioned and that this would be our lifestyle, but he can't imagine me working now and our children in daycare.  And I am certaintly greatful he feels that way, especially with how hard that means he has to work to keep things that way.

4.  I am very thankful for my parents.  Each of them can drive me B-A-N-A-N-A-S but call me a glutton for punishment I love being able to be with them.  I'm so greatful they don't mind the1.5+ ride to come see us, and that they do it so often.  I am so happy when I see how much they love their granchildren. And so happy they get to spend so much time with them.  And all the support they have given us helps make our lifestyle doable.  I remember telling Nate I wanted to wait on getting engaged until we didn't have my parents giving us money for anything anymore.  Well we are now married homeowners with two children and I will take a few bucks whenever they are offered!  Thanks mom and dad!

****There is a lot more I am thankful for but this post has been interupted...I have to go be a mom and wash puke out of PJ's and sheets.....still thankful though, still thankfull****

Wordful Wednesday (Thankful edition) Link Up with Parenting by Dummies

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THAT is a four letter word.

Oliver, what do you want?
Oliver, what is that?
Oliver, are you hungry?
Oliver, where are you going?
Oliver, do you hear the baby?

"THAT THAT THAT THAT THAT" is about all I can get out of him.  I am extremely frustrated, bordering angry, with his lack of verbalization.  Here are 3 minutes and 45 seconds of frustration.  Look at what I'm dealing with.

He fights it so hard.  And I don't know what the right thing for me to be doing is.  I am constantly giving things names as he points them out.  We read.  He watches preschool shows.  I talk to him all day.  I try to hold out until he says the word but as you can see he is pretty stubborn... and if I insist for too long there is a tantrum and that is just no fun to deal with.  And in the end... he's going to get the damn cup, or whatever else he needs because I'm not about to deny my kid water, socks, or cheese (he did say cheese just before this actually in order to get seconds...but lets not talk about the socks, that was ugly).

Have I failed him?  Is it my fault?  Am I selfish in thinking staying at home with me was the best for him?  Should he be in daycare?  Because that's not going to happen.  We just can't do it financially or emotionally.

I do think part of the problem is that we got too into a routine and I know what it is that he wants.  And he knows I understand him.  Truth be told he is very good at communicating.  Just not with words.

So to keep from hating each other, we lightened the mood with a song.

See how stubborn he is?!  He says excuse me ("teetee") all the friggin time!!!  Whether the baby has a nice loud BM or burp, or daddy slips out a quiet burpish exhale, or he passes his own gas...Oliver is very good about calling it out and saying excuse me.  But tell him to say it and all of a sudden he can't?  Which makes me wonder if his lack of verbalization is a control thing.  He wants to make US do things.  He will clench his jaw and drag me where he wants me to go to get him what he wants me to get him, and REFUSE to say a thing, even if he has "words" or sounds for what he wants.  So is it part power struggle?

He said excuse me quickly with that one.  So see, he can do it... just wouldn't because I wanted him too.

So from these three videos you can see 1) How frustrating he can be, and B) How adorable he is.

From the table we went to his room to change his clothes and that's where we fought about his socks and slippers.  I don't even know why it was an issue, but he totally picked a fight over nothing.  And from there we sat down calmly together to read a book called The Yummiest Love by Lisa McCourt.  It's a very sweet little book.  It ends with: "I love you more than sunshine.  More than the moon and the million twinkling stars.  Thank you for being the you that you are" ....and with me in tears.

Ugh.  He is pretty damn perfect.  In the end that is just the him that he is.  He is Oliver.  That's just our Oliver.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golden Afternoon

"There's a wealth of happiness and romance
All in the golden afternoon"

Looking out the kitchen window at the suddenly yellow leaves (they were completely green the day before, I swear) I was struck by the beauty of nature in our own backyard. The sight of the sun shining through the yellow leaves is amazing, breathtaking.
I can't help but keep reciting "not all that glitters is gold," but I think it is the opposite sentiment I mean to express.  Not all that is gold glitters.  There can be precious beauty in simple things.  We just have to remember to appreciate it. 

My children help me do just that.  Seeing Oliver running through our yard that just seemed to glow in the afternoon light was amazing to me.  Just so beautiful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kidcity Children's Museum

Saturday was surely something special.  Seriously.

After our Music Together class we decided to check out Kidcity Children's Museum in Middletown.  It was pretty cool.  A bunch of different themed rooms for kids to run around and explore. 

Oliver did really well and I can easily see us visiting again on a weekday when it would hopefully be less crowded (not that it was bad even today) and letting him stay and play longer in each area.  I'm pretty excited to get back there again actually.  I think this may be my key to surviving the winter months.

Giant kaleidoscope.  Sea caves.  Piggy banks.  Space travel.
 Captain Oliver.  Walking the plank.  Train table.
 Postmaster.  Music maker. Sliding. Trainspotting. Car driving.

And of course...
Owen was there too... he just didn't know it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Boy is Crafty.

Oliver FINALLY showed some interest in crafting!  I am so happy!

It started with him sitting down on the living room floor with a coloring book and color pencils for longer than 10 seconds.  So I thought we'd give something more a try.

I had gotten these wreath kits from the mall halloween weekend.  They were being handed out for free!  I love free!  Really, they are very basic so I think we will be doing this again with materials we can pull together ourselves.

He had such a blast with this he didn't want to stop even after he had finished both wreath kits.  So I went into my scrapbooking supplies to find materials for him to make a collage.  I grabbed some thanksgiving stickers and paper and some leaf shapes I had cut out using my Cricut Expression. 

He was so proud of himself.  Just look at how he posed for his picture to be taken with his work of art.

(And by the way I can't get over his resemblance in this picture to pictures of his father at this age...crazy!)

The end results.  A wreaths for Nana and Mema's houses and a collage for mommy.

The past two or three days I have just been blown away by what a big boy he is becoming.  And this is just one more example of just how big he is getting.  Getting closer and closer to 2yrs there is just an explosion of awareness and development that has been so fun to see.  I am so excited to get creative with him and see what his imagination is capable of!  I have no doubt he will continue to amaze me.

Classified: Mom

Music Cave

Forts are for daddies...
Mommies make Super Duper, Fanciful, Fantastical, Uber Groovy Music Caves.

Owen scored an invite.  Oliver was very happy to share his cave with his brother.  Have I mentioned how obsessed he is with his baby?  Yeah he loves the kid just a little bit I think.

And then there was a rock slide and the cave collapsed.  Gee, Oliver... I wonder how that happened.  Cave or not, sofa cushions on the floor make for lots of fun.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for... cuddles.

I never thought Oliver would be a cuddler.  He gave us lots of big open-mouthed kisses but never a hug. He never layed in bed with us.  Never put his head on our shoulders.  I felt horrible whenever he was hurt or upset because he found no comfort in my embrace... that killed me.

I swore I would "ruin" my next child to make up for Oliver's lack of cuddling. 

Well Oliver has totally become a little love bug.  I don't remember exactly when it happened.  But he turned into such a sweet little boy.  His hugs make your heart sing, and he's very generous with them.  Back in July we went to a birthday party where we knew only 3 people, but he hugged EVERYONE there.  Yeah they all fell in love with him... they didn't stand a chance... his hugs are so genuine and deep you can't help but fall head over heels for the boy.

With his little brother here Oliver has become even more effectionate and loving.  He gives the baby lots of hugs and kisses and rubs his head gently.  I think he even says "I love you" but it's not at all clear.  And when he sees cuddling going on without him, whether it's either Nate or I holding Owen, or even Nate and I hugging each other, he very sweetly joins in. 

And at 5 weeks Owen is totally "ruined" and loves to be cuddled, carried, and to co-sleep.  I love it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not the Mama!

Who remembers this?

I do.  Not only do I remember this show, I remember all the words to the baby's song ("I'm the baby gotta love me, big purple eyes, I'm very cuddly...") as well as his catch phrase: "Not the mama!"

I think this is what Oliver would say if he could sometimes.  The only difference is that when the baby dinosaur (did he have a name?) said it, it was because the person he was saying it to was not his mama, and therefor unacceptable. 

In Oliver's case, it would be because he wants anyone but his mama.  Sad.

A few nights ago I gave Oliver his bath before bed.  Usually Nate gives him his bath.  But I thought, "Hey, I'm not pregnant anymore, I can handle bath time.  HEY! I'll put on a bathing suit and get in the tub with him.  How fun! We'll splash and laugh.  HEY!!! I'll make it a bubble bath.  He's going to have a great time."

Well he didn't.  He was so weirded out.  He didn't want me in the tub with him.  And then he wouldn't sit in the water.  He had goosebumps because he was cold but would not get in the warm water.  And when I asked him if he wanted to say bye bye to the water he couldn't drain the tub fast enough!

And then last night Nate gave him a bath... and Oliver DEMANDED he get in the tub with him.  And they laughed.  And laughed and laughed and laughed.  And I was going to go take pictures (because that's what I do) but I guess I was a little to offended to get there in time before the novelty wore off for Oliver.

Sometimes I really think he doesn't like me.  Like when he cried if I came near him on the swing in yard... but anyone else could give him a push.  Or when he freaks out if I make the move to get him out of his car seat.  But since having Owen, I've been getting back to being Oliver's not-pregnant mommy.  I love being able to wrestle with him again, chase him, toss him up, and even clown-roll around the living room floor with him.

So I guess he doesn't always hate me.  I do get plenty of moments like this.... when no one else is around.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Lions, 2 Tigers and a Bear... OMY

The boys got a visit from their Grandpa, Nana and Aunt Andrea on Sunday.  Unfortunately Baby Daddy Natey Poo was working and missed out on our lovely day.  We had some gorgeous fall weather, so we took a trip to Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.

Oliver did really well.  He loves being a big boy and walking around.  He also loves his grandpa.  Put the two together and he had a great day!

He is at a great age for the zoo now.  He listens better when we let him walk, he follows our gaze and fingers so we can point things out to him, and he can identify animals now so he is impressed by seeing the real deal.

And, once again, Owen was there, too... he just didn't know it.

And Nana was there too...

 ...but she was behind the camera this time.  Which means Mommy is in pictures, proof to the boys in the future that I really did do things with them!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daylight Save Me!

Remember when "fall back" was a good thing? " extra hour of sleep!"  I remember.  That was before life with kids. 

As we changed to clocks at bedtime Saturday night, I realized... no one changed Oliver's internal clock, let alone explained to him that 7AM is the new 6AM... and Mommy doesn't do 6AM with a smile.

So yeah... Sunday was pretty much the longest day ever.  It was a good day.  Just long.  It felt like bedtime would never come.  Luckily Oliver was good-mood-goofy tired, as opposed to bad-mood-mommy's-gonna-run-away tired.

For anyone who doesn't know what goofy-tired is (but really, anyone with kids knows)...this is what it looks like:

This was all on his own.  Climbed up there and decided blowing raspberries would be fun.  Once again, I am thankful for a camera within reach. funny is that big mouth of his!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful for... this little face!

Look what I caught going on in my arms...

I was watching Oliver do something or other and looked down to see Owen making these funny faces and gassy smiles.

Thank goodness my camera is always right next to me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Part 2: Anniversary & Reality Checks

Monday was kind of special around here.  It marked 2 years of wedded bliss for Natey and I...AND... it was Owen's first halloween.

We kept things pretty chill.  Oliver had yakked twice the night before so we spent the day relaxing and keeping an eye on his behavior.  He seemed pretty normal.  Phew.  He was in a very helpful mood actually and helped feed the baby his second ever bottle (Nate gave him his first bottle the night before).

Oliver seemed to nap well that afternoon, but then he woke up whining... which is never good.  It usually means an antsy, hard to please, still tired mood.  So I brought him out to the couch, propped him on the pillows and cuddled him up with a blanket.  He loved it.  Too much.  If he forgot how comfortable he was and moved, he would get upset and need me to tuck him in again.

This made me nervous.  He was so not himself.  But I kept telling myself the mood was emotional, he must have had a nightmare and it through him off...not illness related (turns out the kid had a case of mud-butt on the way, gross!).  This mood was a serious threat to my perfectly laid plans.

I could only hope that Nate's arrival home would pep up our boy a little bit.  And it did.  A package from Mema and Pepere in NH helped too.  Oliver got an awesome Monster Mash sound book... he totally gets a kick out of it!  Owen got a giraffe... can you tell how super psyched he is with it?!

So here's what was SUPPOSED to happen. Well first of all, it was supposed to be warm. Not so much. Nate was supposed to get home early and we'd take Oliver trick or treating early, before it was too dark and too cold. He was going to love it, walking down the sidewalk like a big boy and going from house to house holding up his pumpkin bucket and saying "Cheek-chee" (trick or treat) and "Buh-bye." Then we were going to come home and hand out candy to adorable children in adorable costumes.

What did happen:
Oliver was mellow.  We were concerned.  It was getting colder and colder and apparently Halloween doesn't start around here until it's pitch black.  Doesn't anyone have young kids around here?  We couldn't wait that long to bring him out... but we also didn't want to be the only schmucks ringing doorbells at 5:30.  So right as we decided to stay in for the night and sit down to dinner the doorbell started ringing.  FINALLY!  It was only pitch black out!

Oliver had a BLAST running to the door when the bell rang and handing out candy.  He said trick or treat, thank you, and bye bye... a very friendly candy hander-outer.  Eventually he let us put on his batman PJs...his costume for the evening.

It turned out to be a great night...totally different than what we expected, but once again our toddler taught us a new way to appreciate and enjoy things on a simple scale.
And after Batman (and the stupid group of teens ringing our bell after the light was off at like 9:30...WITHOUT costumes! grrr) retired for the evening, Nate and I plopped down to watch a movie together.  He had stopped at a Red Box on the way home and surprised me with the new adaptation of Jane Eyre.  So not his cup of tea... just another example of how much he loves me and knows that hauntingly romantic movie would be perfect for Hallowedding Hallow-versary.  And of course being the old folks we are... we couldn't make it through the movie and had to resume it the next night.

(PS- I didn't love the movie...wanted to... but as always, book was MUCH better!)

This picture cracks me up.
Drinking out of a cup like a big boy, while sitting in a baby seat with the illusion of muscles and monkey socks....priceless.