Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lil bits about our big girl

Alli is truly growing up before our eyes. I feel like we aren't able to keep up with blogging about all the new things she says and does because it's literally a ton of new things each day. We are trying to take it all in as we go, and cherish these memories. As much as I can't believe Aiden is going to be one in a few weeks, I really can't believe my baby girl will be two and a half soon too! We have heard from several people that she talks and acts more like a 3 year old... she truly is an amazing little girl.

I took some time to think about some of Alli's favorites at this age and stage of her life, hoping that someday she can look back on this and laugh at the funny things she said, did, and couldn't live without...

Favorite food: What doesn't she enjoy?? Her favorites right now though are circle crackers (Ritz), rectangle crackers (from Chesterbrook) (obviously you can see a pattern, she loves shapes right now, too), Popsicles, hot dogs, corn, "pink and white!" which are pink and white frosted animal crackers, "two fish" which are sweedish fish, and seriously anything else you put in front of her, she'll at least try.
Favorite book: One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish is her absolute favorite right now. She "reads " a lot of it from memory of Eric and I reading it to her, and she is also starting to do that with Green Eggs and Ham, and she still loves all Elmo books, too. She'll take a new book, which she absolutely loves, and "read" it to you. She makes up her own words, but uses voice infliction and everything on each page and really seems to know what the story is saying... in her own mind.
Favorite bedtime friends: Violet, Giraffe, Duck (which is actually a flamingo), bear, bunny, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Minnie Mouse, and of course, her #1, Pooh Bear. All of these friends need to be present. It's getting a bit ridiculous. Ha! When you go check on her after she's already asleep, every time she has Pooh over her face. It's so cute.
Favorite songs: Wheels on the Bus, Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Your Boat, Rock a by baby (with Aiden after they get out of the bath each night, it's so cute how much they both love it!), Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Baa Baa Black Sheep, & the ABC Song.
Favorite movies: Elmo's Potty Time. Hands down.
Favorite toys: She loves stacking toys and blocks, and we are amazed by her building, stacking and creative style. Pooh Bear goes everywhere with her, and lately, she's been totally enthralled by books. She reads them and then likes to show you the picture by holding it up probably like her teachers do at school. It's cute. She isn't big into dolls or babies or princesses, but does love to play dress up with her sparkly bracelet and shoes.
Favorite sayings: "I do it!!!!" "Mommy go take shower, okayyyy?" Lately, she's been calling everyone "Miss"... last night, I got a "goodnight, miss mommy!" it was really adorable. "Listen to daddy!" Then, we'll ask her what she's not supposed to do and she says, "Don't drink water in the tub!" "Don't take earrings out." "Don't hit bro. Or mommy. Or daddy. Or doggy."
Favorite activities: Anything and everything she can do by herself. She loves play dough, coloring on her easel/drawing shapes, reading books, stacking toys, and eating.

She can count to 20 in English, 10 in Spanish, knows all her colors in both languages, knows all the shapes in English and a few in Spanish (circle & rectangle). She can recognize letters, numbers, shapes and colors... and even when we drive by things that are certain shapes, she'll identify them. Every stop sign is "Hi octagon!", stop lights have circles in rojo, amarillo and verde!, etc. She knows so many animals and the noises they make. She can identify all the teachers, students, and parents at Chesterbrook. I'm not kidding... except for maybe some of the babies names, she seems to know everyone. When we're leaving, a mom could walk in and she'll be like, Maya's mommy! I look at the lady hesitantly and she's like yes, I'm Maya's mommy! Okay then. Just recently, Eric and I learned that she knows the days of the week and months of the year too.

Please, someone tell me what they're going to teach her in pre-school or kindergarten, hopefully long division or multiplication tables?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Life as a single parent... almost.

This past weekend, Mommy B took a little break from her motherly duties to join her good friend Gena on a much-needed mothers-only vacation. As Mommy B mentioned in her previous post, Gena’s husband had taken a week-long trip to Las Vegas for “work” and Gena felt that since he got a few days off from parenting, she deserved some too – especially since she’s a stay-at-home mom. So I (somewhat reluctantly) agreed to let Mommy fly to Playa del Carmen, Mexico and leave me alone* with the kiddos for five days. Hilarity ensued.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t completely alone. My parents finally sold my childhood home in Cincinnati and are renting a house two streets away while they build their dream retirement estate. Needless to say, they practically lived at our house for the long holiday weekend.

Thursday – I dropped the kids off at school and took Mommy B to the airport on my way to work. My parents picked the kids up from school and took them to their house until I got home. Normal dinner, bath and bed time followed. No big change, except that night I had to thaw the breastmilk, prepare all Aiden’s bottles and ensure their clothes were laid out and ready for our early morning.

Friday – I got the kids ready for school and dropped them off just like every other morning. Again my parents picked them up while I made my way home. And again, another normal nightly routine. Two days down, only three more to go – I could do this, right? Well, not so fast. I knew that these had been the “easy” days… and that for the next three days I was going to have to be on full-time Dad-E duty from the moment they woke up until the moment they went to bed. So with a feeling of impending doom that was about to become my next three days, I thawed more breastmilk, prepared Aiden’s bottles for the next day, then went to bed.

Saturday – Alli actually woke herself up a couple times during the night, which she rarely does. Each time, I went down to her room, gave her a drink of water and she went right back to sleep. Naturally, I was a little tired from a full week’s work and having interrupted sleep that night/morning. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but was worried that she was missing Mommy B already. 5:30am rolled around, and Aiden was up and ready for the day. I got up with him, gave him his morning bottle, and proceeded to please his every whim while his sister slept in. These days, all he wants to do is walk around with someone holding his hands. He can walk for days, but the kid has zero balance at the moment… which means bending over and walking him around the entire time. By the time Alli woke up around 6:30, my back was already hurting.

We spent the early morning playing, coloring and walking Aiden around the room. My parents came over around mid-morning and made some breakfast for us – even though Alli and I had already shared a bowl of cereal and Aiden had had breakfast of his own and gone back to bed for his morning nap. We noticed that Alli just wasn’t acting like herself as the morning went on, and I could tell something wasn’t right. She would burst into tears for no reason and kept putting her finger in her right ear. I finally asked her if her ear hurt, and she said yes. I knew it – time to call the doctor. Luckily I was able to get an appointment that morning (on the other side of town) to get Alli checked out. There was no way in hell I was going to make her suffer through this long weekend (and make us suffer too) without Mommy B if she was really sick. Better safe than sorry, right?

My parents were on Aiden duty while I plopped my baby girl in the car and jetted across town to get her checked out. It took the doctor about 2 seconds to look in her right ear and say “Oh yeah, it’s infected all right.” No crap doc, send the prescription in already. The doctor sent the script directly to our pharmacy of choice – gotta love the Internet. Don’t you hate it when you spend more time in the waiting room than in the exam room? It’s my belief that once you have a child, you should get a free prescription pad when you have the next one. Or better yet, you should just be able to set up a Penicillin tab at your local pharmacy. “Hey Bob, good to see ya. Yep, another ear infection. Yep, liquid Amoxicillin. Nope, for the girl this time. Just put it on my tab. See ya again in a couple months.”

Frustrations aside, I buckled Alli into the car and went back across town to pick up her Amoxicillin. It probably took us 25-30 minutes to check out of the doctor’s office, get buckled in, drive across town, get unbuckled and to the pharmacy counter – and the biotch behind the counter had the moxie to tell me it wasn’t ready yet. “Look lady, I know it’s a rough economy and you’re probably understaffed… but I have a sick child who wants nothing more than to run around the store at full speed and you’ve had more than enough time to pour a little liquid in a bottle and print the pre-formed label off the computer. Oh, and you need to make a copy of my insurance card too? Why sure, let me just get that out for you. While you’re back there making copies, can you page my daughter for me? She seems to have run off somewhere because you’re taking forever.” Ok, I didn’t say that to her – but I was thinking it the whole time. Alli was late for her nap as it was and we weren’t even home yet. We finally got out to the car and I wasn’t about to wait any longer. I buckled Alli in her seat and gave her the first dose right in the parking lot. Down the hatch Amoxicillin, you’ve got work to do.

We made it home and after a quick snack, I finally got Alli in bed for a late nap. Aiden had been doing well while I was gone, but once I got home he wanted nothing else than to be held by Dad-E. After a little coddling, I put him down for a nap as well. Time to relax, right? Wrong. I grabbed a quick sandwich and headed back upstairs to begin folding the two loads of laundry I had started that morning. Then I made the biggest mistake of the weekend. I poked my head in Alli’s room to find her fast asleep. But, I noticed she had kicked all her covers off – so I snuck in to toss them back on her so she’d be comfortable. Bad move, Dad. The second the blankets touched her, she woke up. I dashed out of the room and closed the door hoping she would doze back off, but it was a futile effort. She was up for good (insert sad face here)… and she wasn’t thrilled about it. So I brought her downstairs and we sat on the couch for the next hour or so while she shoveled freeze-dried strawberries into her mouth and watched her favorite Sesame Street characters do what they do best.

The rest of the afternoon/evening went much better. Even though she hadn’t napped much, I gave her a dose of children’s Advil to ease the pain and it seemed to be working. My parents came back over and hung out for a while and helped me get them both fed, bathed and off to bed around 7pm. After being on the clock since 5:30, I was ready for bed myself. After I fold the two loads of laundry, of course. Oh, and thawing more breastmilk and preparing Aiden’s bottles.

Sunday – Alli only woke up once during the night, and managed to sleep in until about 6:30 the next morning. Aiden, of course, had other plans. He was up at 5:40am ready and rarin’ to go. The morning routine was pretty similar – up with Aiden to give him his bottle, walk him around until Alli wakes up, share some cereal with them and continue playing until Aiden was ready for his morning nap. Again my parents came over around mid-morning and made a big breakfast for everyone. Alli was like a new person – we could tell that after two doses of medicine and a good night’s sleep she was on the road to recovery.

Now it was Aiden’s turn to be fussy. Did I mention that he’s getting both of his top teeth at the moment? Oh yeah, the poor kid was teething all weekend... no big deal. While Alli seemed to be (almost) back to normal, Aiden had snot pouring out of his nose (a common side effect of getting teeth) and just wanted to be held by Dad-E. And with the weather not really cooperating, we had no choice but to hunker down inside to keep the sick/hurting children out of the elements. My parents and I swapped turns walking Aiden around and tickling Alli on the couch. After Aiden woke up from his afternoon nap, my mom took him to the grocery store to get him (and her) out of the house for a little bit. Naturally, he was a hit with all the ladies there – batting his killer blue eyes and big eyelashes at everyone he sees. And who can resist that toothy smile?

By that evening, we were all getting a little stir crazy. Nonetheless, we managed to get the kids fed, bathed, and once again off to bed at a decent time. Thank goodness my parents were there to lend a hand getting them fed and off to bed, and making dinner for me when the kids finally went to sleep. It was nice to have them there to commiserate with over a home-cooked meal. After we shared a few stories and I thawed more breastmilk, it was upstairs to fold another load of laundry.

Monday – This was it, Mommy B was coming home tonight! I knew we could survive one more day, I just knew it! That morning was more of the same – Aiden waking up at 5:30am and going full steam ahead, and Alli waking up closer to 6:30 feeling a little better than the day before. My parents came over again and made us all breakfast while Aiden took his morning nap. Alli was basically back to 100% as far as we could tell, and since the weather had gotten a little better we decided to make a family grocery store run. My mom came with us and helped me push both of them around in a shopping cart that looked like a race car – complete with seat belts and two steering wheels. They had a blast and it really helped kill some time.

The weather had improved enough by that afternoon that we decided to take a stroller ride to the neighborhood park. With my mom and Scarlett the faithful Golden in tow, we embarked on yet another time-waster to get the kids out of the house. Alli had fun showing my mom how many times she can go down the slide and Aiden just wanted to be walked around the whole area. The sun started going down and it was getting chilly so we headed back towards the house – at which time Alli demanded that we go fast. I obliged (after making her ask nicely by saying “please”) and popped a wheelie while jogging down the street with them in the double stroller. They both seemed to really enjoy it, and I was glad to see that both of their moods had seemed to greatly improve since the beginning of the weekend.

Just as we began our nightly routine of getting the kids fed, bathed and off to bed, my mom had to leave to take my sister’s dog to the vet. My dad had also been volun-told to pick Mommy B up from the airport during that same window of time. Well crap – I was really on my own this time.  Everything was going to be all right, we were just going to power through and do the best I could. As luck would have it, the kids were actually pretty cooperative that evening and I was able to get them both handled without severely disturbing their nightly routines. Just as Aiden was getting ready to call it a night, my mom walked in and was able to put him down for me. I then proceeded to get Alli in bed and get a few things straightened up around the house.

Then, finally, Mommy B walked in the door… and I couldn’t have been happier to see her. That’s when I broke the news to her that not only was Aiden’s first top tooth about to break through (she knew what that had meant all weekend) and the second wasn’t far behind it, but Alli also had an ear infection. After all, I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell her all that while she was relaxing on the beach with a fruity drink in her hand – what kind of a husband would do something like that?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aiden's Double Digits! The big 1-0 (months)

Aiden had his big 1-0 month "birthday" while I was in Mexico... I got home in time to give his little sleepy head a kiss while he was already sawing logs. He has made huge strides this month, and we can't believe how fast he picks up on things. One day, he was just sitting, content as could be. The next day, he's doing his hurdler scoot, moving from one spot to another in the blink of an eye. We definitely can't just plop him down somewhere now and think he'll sit there and behave. Nope. He hurdler scoots, does the "worm-like" maneuver, has really started to get up on all 4's and try to move but hasn't really figured that out yet... and strangely, I don't think he may ever truly "text book crawl". All he wants to do is stand and walk. You can't even try and sit him down on the floor these days, all he wants to do is stand and have you hold his hands and walk him around. Lately, he's gotten good at going from his seated hurdler position, to leaning forward, getting up on his feet and pushing himself to a standing position. If you see him do it, you'd know how really difficult it looks, but he makes it look easy... like he's been doing it all his life. He is getting great at "cruising" along furniture. I'm so impressed, in awe, and all around just happy for him! He seems to be such a happier baby now that he has figured out he can move and do things on his own. Although, that doesn't mean he still doesn't enjoy a long snuggle, being held (still his all-time favorite), and falling asleep on me (which will never get old!!!)

The Stats: weight, height or head circumference as we haven't been to the doctor or needed to this month (thank goodness!), but he's definitely growing like a weed!...

Diaper Size: 3's
Clothing Size: He can wear 6 & 9 month shirts, 9 month pants, but if it's a one piece outfit or any of his sleepers, it's all 12 month-ers
Shoe Size: 3-4's I think, he still really only wears socks though, or bare feet :)
Food: Still on all mommy milk bottles/cups... really trying to work on the cups these days and get off the bottles, 3 meals a day, even eats the "big kid food" at daycare, so he & Alli have the same breakfasts and lunches each day, and the teachers in Aiden's class actually give him two breakfast's because he's always hungry...
Naps: At home on the weekends, he still takes 2 naps, at daycare, he's starting the transition into one nap a day
Sleep: Asleep for the night by 7pm and up about 6am
Teeth: 3!! The top right one just broke through and the top left one is right there, too!
Sounds: Dada, mama! (only a few times though, but, it was great while it lasted, ha!), baba, and lots of squeals, squeaks, and grunts still... they are these really low noises and you can tell he's so happy when he's making the noise... it's so hard to explain, but so adorable.
Play: He loves blocks, cars, anything with wheels that rolls back and forth. He loves the doors on all the cabinets, loves standing on just about anything he can grab onto. He can wave bye-bye (when he wants!), clap his hands, and shake his head no, it's so silly and cute... and he's still the best snuggle buddy around.
New buddies: He loves everyone and anyone that will hold him... or walk around with him.
Happy 1-0 lil man, we love you so much and can't believe your first birthday is just a few short months away...


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mommy's first time away...

Well, tomorrow, I'm off to Mexico! After one of my best friend Gena's husband got to go to Vegas for a trip, he told her she should go on a girls trip, and luckily, I was asked to join her for some fun. After making sure it was all okay with Eric, and since his parents are here to help out, he told me to go, relax, and get some rest. I'm so excited to spend 4 days away in Cancun with Gena, but I'm definitely going to miss my babies... (and Eric too of course!). This will be my first trip away from them. I found this comic and had to laugh... I'm sure after a long weekend away, he'll be glad to see me come home Monday evening. And, I'm sure he'll tell me we're totally done having kids.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sleep... (Yes, someday I'll stop complaining about it...)

Being a full-time mom with a full-time job is exhausting. I know a full-time stay at home mom is hard work, too. I can't decide which I'd rather be exhausted doing, but all I know is, I'm exhausted trying to do both.

I honestly took for granted all those days I got to sleep in, all those naps I took, all those quiet afternoons and evenings just reading a book, watching a movie, going out to a movie... or just staying up past 10. (Shoot, who I am kidding, past 9 these days.) It's not so much the staying up late that I can't handle anymore, it's the getting up early, or through the night, that is tough.

Thankfully, and finally, we have two great sleepers. It took Aiden a little while longer to catch on, but nowadays, we call him the light switch. As soon as we walk into his room, turn on his sleep buddies, he is all cuddled up and ready. He lays down, and after a few minutes of babbling, he's out. Alli takes a bit longer, but thankfully, it's not us that she needs while she's falling asleep. She sings, counts, reads, plays with her bedtime buddies (which is now up to 9 friends by the way... and she will know if one isn't present!), and finally, she'll fall asleep. She has even, on occasion, just gotten up out of bed, jumped on the potty, done her business, and hops back into bed. So usually, by 7:30pm in this house, every one's out. Except for us.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of things to get done each night before we're finally able to go to bed. And on the weekends, we'd like to think we are still somewhat "cool" and have a life, which maybe only consists of watching a movie together with a few drinks, but, it's still nice to just have some "us" time. Lately too, since Eric's parents have moved down here, we have gotten date nights. We're not used to this at all, and are still home by 10pm at the latest, because if it gets any later than that, I get too stressed and worried about the fact that the morning is going to come way too soon.

I can't wait for the day I have to go wake my kids up. It seems like this day will never come, and I can't wait to go in their room at noon and bug them relentlessly until they groan and complain. Paybacks are coming, sweet A Team, just you wait...!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

One of these kids is NOT like the other. -Dr. Seuss, kind of.

Aiden continues to amaze us, frustrate us, confuse us and make us proud each and every day. He's truly the epitome of how you'd describe a roller coaster ride... full of excitement, highs, lows, ups & downs (sometimes literally seconds after one another), and never knowing what to expect, but hanging on tight, smiling and enjoying the ride.

I really didn't think having a second baby was going to be hard. OK, I knew it would be hard, don't let me fool you into thinking I thought this was going to be easy... but I've been through all of this before, the unknowns are known now, and I literally just went through it all with Alli. However, I never knew how truly different two kids could be.

Aiden is now 9 & 1/2 months old, and he's finally starting to move around on his own. Mind you, it's not the normal way we'd expect him to, but he's doing it. He first perfected the army crawl... more like, a drag yourself across the floor while pulling with your hands manuever. His favorite has always been to have us hold his hands and let him walk all around. He has not gotten the whole "balance" thing down yet, so, we basically break our backs every afternoon while letting him walk around and explore. Lately, his new favorite is a little move we like to call his hurdler scoot. He sits with one leg out in front, one tucked behind, much like a hurder stance, and scoots his butt along the ground with help from his hands pulling him along. It's so humerous, but boy, the kid is trying.

His two lil teeth are starting to come in more and more, and they are quite crooked. At first, I was worried about it, worried what he'll look like, etc... but now, I can't imagine him without his little crooked smile. And after all, they are only baby teeth.

Finally, last night, he did something I've been waiting and wishing for. As I was walking him around his room, waiting for a burp and waiting for his food to digest a little, he cuddled in. He does this each and every time we walk in to his room and turn his sleep sheep on. He just knows it's time for a nap or time for bed, and cuddles on in. It's the sweetest thing. And last night, he cuddled in and started babbling. "Mama mama mama..." I was in shock. We've gotten a lot of nana, baba and dada's lately, but had yet to heard the big M. I ran quickly into Alli's room where Eric and her were singing their lil hearts out in bed, and tried to have him say it again. Unfortunately, he didn't, but as I laid him down in his crib, Eric heard him from across the house saying it. My heart melted.

I realized then and there that although it frustrated me to no end to not know what to do with Aiden a lot of the time, not understand why he is so different than Alli on so many things, etc... I am so happy that they are so different. It makes me appreciate each of them in their own special way.