Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We live with a teenager

So Alli doesn’t technically turn 3 years old until October 27th, but I feel like I live with a teenager most mornings. She already raids the pantry like she’s going through puberty, which Mommy B has mentioned in This Space on more than one occasion. Well, she pulled another adolescent move this morning that I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with for another, oh, 13-14 years.

I knew something was going to happen last night, but I wasn’t prepared for this. Mommy B and I had a meeting yesterday afternoon that ran a little later than we expected. This caused us to get the kids home late and subsequently pushed back the whole evening routine. We tried to get them down to bed as close to their normal bed time as possible, but we couldn’t help running behind schedule. We thought they were both asleep when around 8:30 or so I hear a voice coming from upstairs. I went to go investigate and it was Alli asking for a drink of water. I complied and she seemed to go right back to sleep. However, about half an hour later Mommy B went up to get their clothes out for today and noticed that Alli was still somewhat awake. She’s usually asleep by 8pm at the latest, and here it was getting past 9 and she still wasn’t all the way out yet. I told Mommy B when we climbed in bed that it was going to be a rough morning for not-so-sleeping beauty – now that school is back in, we have to leave the house earlier to avoid the awful traffic… which means waking them up earlier than they’re used to.

They both slept great the rest of the night (finally!) and Aiden was up first as he normally is around 6am. After I got him out of bed, I opened Alli’s door so that she could come down when she was ready. She typically hears us making noise and comes down on her own, closing her door behind her. At 6:20 or so, I called up to her as a first wake-up call. She didn’t come down right away (which I figured would be the case, given the night before) so at about 6:30 I called up again to make sure she was waking up and getting moving. A couple minutes later, I heard her door close. “All right, we’re in business… she’s on her way down” I thought to myself.

Well, after a couple minutes of her not appearing at the bottom of the stairs I figured she might be waiting for me at the top landing. I went up to make sure she was ok… to find nothing. I checked the other bedrooms and hallway to no avail. I finally opened her bedroom door and turned on the light to find her cuddled up in bed with her blankets pulled up to her chin. She had literally gotten out of bed, shut the door, climbed back into bed and pulled the covers back over herself… just like a teenager!

I couldn’t help but to laugh when I walked into her room to find her back in bed with her eyes closed as if she was trying to go back to sleep. All I could picture was a teenage version of Alli shutting her door, climbing back in bed and pulling the covers over her head while saying “Ugh, just leave me alone Dad! I’m trying to sleep!”

I was eventually able to talk her out of bed and got her downstairs with me, all the while Aiden was waiting oh-so-impatiently at the bottom of the stairs for us. She was fine the rest of the morning, but I have a feeling could be taking a pretty decent nap this afternoon. I guess we’ll see about that one. They sure grow up fast, don’t they?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

Aiden "turned" sixteen months about a week and a half ago... and he has turned into quite a little man with his own strong personality.

His vocabulary has taken off... let's see if I can remember everything he's saying these days... "dada, mama, outside, up, down, hot, daww (dog), octaaa (which could either be octagon or Octanauts the show, depending on what circumstance it is), more, all done, uh oh, moon, bye bye..." I think that may be it, but, each day he surprises us with all that he knows and all that he pretends he doesn't know. (We're on to your sneaky ways, buddy!!)

He loves to give kisses (mouth open, sloppy kisses, but they are too adorable to turn down!), hugs, blows kisses, fake sneeze (or laugh hysterically when you sneeze), turn the lights on and off, turn the fans on and off with the remote, and his all time favorites are still the broom and dustpan. He has a play one, but he has also discovered my hand held one that we keep in the garage and he always wants it to play with as soon as he spots in when we step out into the garage. Today in fact, he took it in the car with us on the way to school.

The Stats:
Weight: 24 lbs 4 oz (we just visited the after hour's clinic on Sunday after some pretty awful bug bites that we wanted to make sure weren't anything else or infected or anything, poor little guy has been a trooper with quite a few bug bites this summer!)
Length: Not sure, but he's gaining on Alli!
Head: Same, not sure, but when he & Alli are in the bathtub together, Eric & I comment all the time that they look like they have the same head size! He's growing on her there, too!
Diaper Size: 4's
Clothing Size: 12-18 months
Shoe Size: 5
Food: Anything and everything. Every morning he likes to have a few Krispy Kreme donut holes, milk, cereal, etc... then gets to school and has breakfast, lunch, snack there... then gets in my car and they are like scrounges, wanting crackers or snacks for the drive home... then once we get home they are both asking what's for dinner... usually running up to the kitchen table to get in their seats, or lately, sitting on their picnic table out back, banging on the table while I hurry to get something together... the kid loves to eat!
Naps: One 2 hour nap, 12:30-2:30ish
Sleep: Bed by 7, up by 6ish still... ugh
Teeth: Eight. Eric has given him the nickname of Ocho, because we're convinced he's just going to have eight teeth forever. I looked back at Alli's 16 month stats, she had 16 teeth at 16 months. Sixteen! Oh little Ocho, when will you get more teeth??
Play: Outside, broom & dustpan, any and all push toys, chairs (he loves to pick up little chairs and sit in them, then rearrange them and sit in them again, it's really cute!), up and down the slide, swim, and of course... being held!! :)
New Buddies: He played with a lot of Alli's classmates this past weekend at the pool, and Harper has been down to play quite a bit lately, too!

He has truly become his own lil person, and he knows what he wants, when he wants it, and how he wants you to get it for him.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It’s Always Something…

It’s official Followers… I can’t remember the last time I had a full-night’s sleep. Usually our kids are pretty decent sleepers, but every night for the past couple of weeks there has been something that has interrupted Mommy B and I’s sleep pattern. It’s bad enough that we don’t really get much sleep as it is, but to have that little bit of sleep interrupted on a constant basis – we feel like we have an infant (or two) in the house again. Here’s a short list of what has woken us up recently:

  • Alli waking up due to a bad dream (we think). Luckily all it usually takes to get her back to sleep is a sip of water and a hug from one of us (usually me).
  • Aiden waking up because of a bad dream (again, we think). He’s a little harder to get back to sleep, usually because he wants to be held and rocked back to sleep – even though he’s almost one and a half. Our forever baby…
  • Aiden waking up because he’s sick. We thought he was just getting more teeth, but they have yet to appear so we’re assuming that he just caught a little bug of some type. So into the bathroom he came for his usual dose of Tylenol or Motrin… a couple nights in a row.
  • Alli waking up due to a low-grade fever. We’re pretty sure that she was just overheated from playing outside that day, so we gave her some medicine to make her fever go down and luckily she ended up sleeping pretty soundly the rest of the night.
  • Aiden waking up because he’s hungry. That night I picked him up out of bed and he kept pointing towards the bedroom door. He had been coughing a bit before he woke up, so I walked him downstairs to get him a drink. He wasn’t having any of it – but he kept pointing towards the kitchen counter. Directly at the bag of mini Krispy Kreme donuts. I took one out and gave it to him, just out of sheer curiosity. He shoved the whole thing in his mouth and cuddled back up onto my shoulder. I swear he was back asleep by the time we made it upstairs to his bedroom. Well, OK. What can I say, the boy loves to eat.
  • Fireworks being set off on a random Saturday night. It wasn’t even a holiday but apparently the neighbors at the end of the cul-de-sac had something to celebrate. OK, so these didn’t really wake us up, but they kept us awake later than normal… especially because I was nervous they were going to wake up one of the kids. There we were, trying to get settled in for the night and all of a sudden I’m hearing the explosions of Roman Candles coming from less than 40 yards away from my kids’ windows. And these people have young kids of their own! Jerks.
  • Thunderstorms. Anyone who lives in a southern coastal city knows what I’m talking about here. Thunderstorms can pop up at any time and anywhere, typically without warning. Leave it to Mother Nature to have a few pass by our house while we’re all trying to sleep. Luckily the kids could have cared less and slept soundly through them, but that didn’t stop the dog from barking right beside our bed at 1am.
  • Speaking of the dog, she decided that Tuesday night’s dinner (or something she found outside and ate afterwards) didn’t sit well with her stomach. So at 3am yesterday morning I was awoken from a dead sleep to the lovely sounds of Scarlett regurgitating the contents of her stomach onto the carpet at the foot of our bed. Not once, but twice. Anyone with a dog knows what that sounds like. Mommy B had slept right through it, so I had to wake her up to help me get everything cleaned up and disposed of. Thanks dog… the one night both of the kids sleep soundly through the night, you have to screw it up. Not to mention Mommy B had to get up at 4 (and I at 5) to head to work.

I think youse guys get the picture. As Mommy B and I crawled back in bed last night (technically it was this morning since it was around 2:30am after Aiden woke up crying for some ungodly reason,) I joked that the worst part about it all was that it seemed like they all had agreed to take turns depriving us of sleep. Like a conspiracy of the little ones – as if they had sat around and agreed to it one day while we weren’t looking. Because it’s always one of them or the other, never both.

I can hear it now, as they’re sitting around the coloring table with Aiden taking point because he’s the worst offender: “OK girls, here’s how it’s gonna go down. I’m going to start things off tonight by fake-teething. Tomorrow night, big sis Alli you take over with some crying and when they come in to comfort you, mumble something about monsters coming to get you even though you haven’t seen Monsters, Inc. yet. I heard we were going to get some rain the next night, so when the thunder starts rumbling, Scarlett you do your thing. I’ll take over again the following night and pretend I’m hungry. Who knows, maybe I’ll even score a midnight snack out of the deal! Scarlett you come back in the night after – try to eat something really nasty in the back yard before they bring you in for the night. And make sure to really hack it up nice and loud around 3am… they’ll hate that! Alli, you’re up next with more crying and requests to see someone who you haven’t seen in a while and who isn’t even in the same state. Grandma C maybe? Or perhaps a long-lost aunt you’ve only met once when you were six months old. I’ll follow that up the next night with more crying for no good reason. Sound good? OK, Operation ‘Make Mom And Dad Go Batsh*t Crazy’ is now underway. Good luck ladies.”

Yep, I can totally see that happening. Or maybe the sleep deprivation is catching up to me…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taking a second to think about our second...

My friend Gena posted this quote the other day as she's getting closer and closer to expecting her second child... and it got me thinking...

"Second children are blessings. They bring comfort and confidence. They bring joy and chaos. They remind you about everything you love and hate about parenting. They also solidify that that is the most important thing you will ever do."

We have (possibly unfairly) deemed Aiden as our forever baby. He has gotten a little better here and there, but for the most part, he has tested us more than Alli ever did (that I can remember?), and he still holds on to that "I'm the baby and I know it" attitude. But just seeing that quote and trying to think back about Alli really got me wondering... is he that bad, or do I just have amnesia when it comes to remembering this age/these moments with Alli? I looked back to read blog posts about her at 15-16 months, and, it sounds eerily familiar. He seems to display all the same attitudes, drama, etc. that she did. Nothing too different in that department. So truly, I think there's some magic part of being a parent that makes you forget all the crazy moments (or just make them not so bad), and put the good moments at such a brighter, more permanent part of your memory.

Aiden loves to be held. And really, if that's the worst of it, is that really that bad? Someday, we're going to wish he wanted held again.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What’s up?

My apologies again Followers… Mommy B and I haven’t been great on keeping up with our blogging responsibilities in the last few weeks (ok, months). But you know how it goes – it’s summer time and lots of things are going on which means less time for jotting it all down. However, we must not let time get away from us… as I’ve always said. So here’s what’s been going on lately:

Mommy B is still working hard on her Master's degree. I honestly don’t know how she does it. The seemingly endless papers and online responses week after week… it’s enough to make my head spin and I’m not even taking the classes. There have been some rough patches with it, especially when we have travel plans or something else going on that forces her to get all her schoolwork done ahead of time. But she’s a trooper (as she always has been when it comes to school) and has made it work. And I keep reminding her that a year from now when it’s all said and done she’ll be really glad she stuck it out. If there was a “best” time to do it, now would be that time. Because before we know it, the kids will be in school and who-knows-what type of after-school activities… which means even less time for her to go back to school.

Now that I’ve completed the final wedding circuit and obtained my PMP certification, I’m ready to gear things up at work. I have a mid-year review with our Vice President next week (which will nearly coincide with my one-year anniversary) that I’m particularly looking forward to. I’m going to let him know that I’m ready for some bigger responsibilities and that I’m ready for whatever new projects he has up his sleeve. The more initiatives I can get my hand in (and have my name stamped on), the better. We’ll see where that conversation goes, so stay tuned Followers.

Alli is learning more and more every day. I know children her age have a better memory than most adults anyway, but I swear to Mommy B that she has a photographic memory some days. Alli will recall something random that she saw one time (for a minute) months later when she sees that object or place again. I learned all about associative learning in my Psych classes back in college, and Alli is just reinforcing those lessons on a daily basis. Now, if she could just remember to not steal whatever toy Aiden is playing with…

Another thing I’ve been amazed with lately is her understanding of spatial relationships. For example, she knows when something is on top of something else or when something is behind a larger object. For example, I asked her the other day after dinner where her Pooh Bear was, and she replied, “He’s over there on the table.” I know she’s almost three, but she not only recalled where she left said Pooh but also properly described his spatial relationship to where we were sitting at that moment. Or if we ask her to take an object and put it somewhere, she knows exactly where to go, how to get there, and how to place that object where we told her to put it. What really impresses me is that she not only understands where things are in relation to her, but she has the vocabulary to verbalize them to us as well. Gotta love that school they go to!

She’s been on a Lion King bender lately, which means this DVD gets played over and over in Mommy B’s car anytime she’s in it. Luckily my car doesn’t have a DVD player in it, so they’re not completely spoiled every time we leave the house. It’s a good thing too, because Mommy B’s car had to go into the shop this week to have some work done. It was only for a day, but I don’t mess around when it comes to my children’s safety. If there is something that risks putting them in danger – like bad brakes or balding tires – it gets done right away. The funny part was when Alli got into my mom’s car to head home she didn’t waste any time pointing out the obvious. “Tatsy’s car doesn’t have Lion King.” You’re right, Alli, it doesn’t. But it does have a huge sunroof!

She’s memorized all the songs from that movie, and naturally we’ve had to do the same because she wants to sing them every night before she falls asleep. Really? I have to memorize the Lion King version of Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” No wonder I can’t remember where my keys are sometimes. She’s taken things a step further in the last couple of weeks, though. She’s started to memorize other random parts of the movie and spurting them out to us at random times. For example, she was sitting at the dinner table the other night with her brother while Mommy B and I prepped and cleaned the kitchen. All of a sudden she looked over at Aiden and in a raised voice said, “You can’t change the past, Aiden!” Very philosophical, she is. Aiden just stared back at her while he shoved more food into his mouth.

And that brings me to my little man, Bubby. Aiden is catching up to big sis in more ways than one. He went in for his 15-month checkup a couple weeks ago and got weighed, as did Alli just for fun. She’ll always be about 18 months older than him, but she only outweighs him by about 6.5 pounds at the moment. We’ve said it countless times, but the boy loves to eat. He’s pretty good at making a mess while he’s at it (typical boy), but the overwhelming majority makes it into his mouth and into his belly. And even though he’s our little hip-hugger he loves running around the living room with his big sister. He can’t quite keep up with her sometimes (she’s getting pretty darn fast these days), but he tries hard and it’s cute as can be watching him watch her.

And I know we’ve said it before as well, but the boy absolutely LOVES being outside. It doesn’t really matter what he’s doing as long as it is not within the confines of any structure. He loves riding around in the Cozy Truck or pushing his mower that Grandma C got him, wandering over to the neighbor’s yard or just pushing the broom around the sidewalk. It doesn’t matter how tired he is or how crappy he feels – the guy just wants to be outdoors. I’m crossing my fingers that he keeps this trend up as he gets older. I was always an outdoor kid growing up but I know boys are more inclined to hit up the video games these days. I’m not saying video games are evil, I just know how much I learned being out and about playing instead of glued to a TV screen. That being said, he may not have much choice on some of these South Carolina sweltering summer days.

His vocabulary is starting to pick up a bit too. You can tell he knows what he wants, but he doesn’t quite have all the words down yet. He’s also really starting to learn (and remember) where certain things are, as evidenced when we say “OK guys, time to go upstairs and take a bath!” he’ll dart towards the baby gate and start pulling on it. As we were walking into school the other morning I noticed he wasn’t following me right away. I turned around and saw him pointing up into the sky as he said “Moooon!” Good job buddy, you found the moon in the sky during daytime and pointed it out to me. Where were ya on that one Alli?? Just kidding…

We’re trying to get them both used to riding around on my parent’s boat as well. I mean, you can’t live in a coastal city and not have a boat around, right? With just like everything else, you gotta get ‘em started early. This past weekend we decided to go tubing – which I haven’t done since I was in middle school. And by tubing I mean my parents bought a giant inflatable contraption called Big Mable, which basically looks like a big lounge chair with straps to hold on to. Seriously, the only thing it’s missing is a cup holder. We took both kids for a spin on it to get started, taking it easy so as not to scare them too much on their first time. After a while Mommy B took Aiden down below into the air conditioning to take a nap. Which he did – for 2 hours while the rest of us partied. Alli had a blast riding it up and down the river off my parent’s dock. In fact, she had so much fun that she actually fell asleep on it during a straight stretch. Who falls asleep while tubing?? My kids, apparently.

Anyway, there you have it Followers. I know there’s probably a ton of other little things I didn’t go into detail about – like Alli’s love for Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” because she can sing the colors along with the song. I won’t say how she heard it the first time… But now when we get in my car she requests it by name and she and Aiden bob their heads to the beat. Yep, it’s just a laugh a minute with these two kiddos.