Growth & Appearance: I could have sworn you had all of your molars, but mysteriously another appeared. Now you have all of them. You handled them pretty well, but they definitely caused more commotion than your regular teeth which seemed to magically sprout overnight with little interruption in your routine. The molars came with a runny nose, poor appetite, and fussy behavior. But, they’re all here, so that chapter is closed.
You almost always have a bruise or bump somewhere these days, a testament to true toddlerhood. You had the most bizarre scratches on your cheek, almost like you had run through a rose bush. They appeared after we took Sarah for a walk and we’re still not sure when, exactly, you got em’. You currently have a bruise on your forehead from tripping over a rope in the neighbors yard, a scab on your wrist from who knows what, and scabbed knees because, well, scabbed knees are part of growing up. Speaking of growing up, can you slow down? Seriously, you’re on warp speed these days and it needs to slow yo.
Communication: Not sure where you picked it up, but the other day we were coming out of an elevator and as we walked past the people waiting to go in you said, “essue me” (excuse me). I’d like to take credit for your politeness but instead I’m left scratching my head.
You say “thanks” unprompted after we do something nice for you. If we give you your milk, for example, you grab it and say “thanks”.
You’re beginning to say real sentences. We were playing in the car the other day and said, “Mama, close the door”. Your Papa and I both looked at each other with our chins on our chest, proud that you said your first real sentence and disgusted that it was so bossy and cute all at the same time.
You know dogs say “ruff ruff” and cats say “m-owww”. The majority of other animals, according to you, say “roarrrrr”.
You can say hippopotamus.
You use your pointer finger a lot; like when you have an idea or want to watch “one” show or when you’re telling Sarah “no”.
You use plurals. You request to watch “one show”, though other times you request “two showS”. You also use plurals inappropriately like when you ask for “egg and baconS”, when you show us your “moneyS”, or tell us the shoes go on your “feetS”.
You have a noticeable lisp when you say your “S’s”. We think it’s pretty charming.
You call your scooter a “fooder” and your grandpa a “gee paw”.
You can tell us you need to use the toilet by saying, “Pee pee, potty” and then you grab your twig and berries.
Sentences include: “Close the door”, “Sit here Papa”, and “No barking doggy”. Essentially you say all the important things.
You copy things we say and then use them inappropriately. For example, we ask, “Do you want mama to hold you?” and then, when we’re not asking but you want us to hold you, you say “Mama, hold you”. We also referred to your balance bike as your “new bike” when a friend brought it over for us to have. It’s been months and you still call it your “new bike”. We don’t correct you.
Eating: You love using your step stool and watching us cook. You also like to use your step stool to spy on what’s on the counter. Using your step stool in the kitchen has also tipped you off to the fact that you can use just about anything as a step stool and, as a result, you are a climbing-onto-surfaces-you-
shouldn’t-be-on machine these days. And it all started by trying to get you interested in food. What a fail.
I mentioned last month that we brought in an Occupational Therapist to help us out in determining a game plan for dealing with your picky and fussy and annoying behavior at the table. It’s all quite lengthy and I have a separate post in the works dedicated to the details. What I can say is this: Your eating problems are a combination of an overly-involved-anxious-about-
how-much-you’re-eating father and a poor role model mother. But don’t go blaming us for the rest of your life, you’re equally difficult and definitely add your own flavor to the pot. We’re working on it, but it’s been a tough and trying road.
Sleeping: We decided to get rid of your second nap. I’m sure most parents would probably find this decision completely crazy, but it was becoming so difficult to do anything during the day. We decided to move your bedtime up to 8:30 (one hour earlier), though that doesn’t always happen. Here’s your schedule, most days: wake up around 8:30am, nap from 11:00am to 2:00pm (sometimes even 3:00pm), go to bed around 8:30pm. You still nap in your playpen because we don’t fix what ain’t broken. You spend the night in your bed. We added a safety knob on your door that prevents you from opening your own door, something we should have done a few months ago. Development: You clean up after yourself. Not always, of course. But you enjoy collecting trash and bringing it to the trash can in the kitchen. You usually clap for yourself after you’re done and say, “yeah guys”. By the same token, I had read somewhere that if your child makes a mess you should have them help clean it up to, you know, learn about consequences. The problem for us is that you like cleaning it up almost as much as you like making it. In fact, sometimes I’m convinced you spill your milk just to be able to clean it up.
You learn things fast and only need to be told something once before you’re repeating it. We were looking at a motorcycle parked in the parking lot, for example, and you pointed to the helmet and said, “hat”. I corrected you and told you all about helmets. The next time you saw a helmet, you knew what it was.
You love pointing out “men”. Whether we’re driving in the car or sitting in a restaurant, if a stranger catches your eye and he’s male, you point and say, “man”. You recently learned that in addition to men, there are also women. And now you like pointing them out too.
Now, when we ask you “how many”, the answer – no matter what- is three. It was two for a long time, but three has taken two’s place.
We finally brought you a scooter. You switch off between leading with your left versus right and enjoy riding it down the hallway. You haven’t taken off, so to say, but you definitely enjoy it. You like watching me ride it too and, truth be told, I take it for a spin around the house after you go to bed and I’ve had a glass or two of wine. Don’t judge.
You have a new found concept of being tall and like to climb onto higher surfaces and describe yourself as “tall”.
You insist on looking at the poop in your diaper. As soon as I take your diaper off, you wave your arms violently in the air and yell “see ka ka, see ka ka” until I show you what came out of your butt. You also like to look at Van’s poop. It’s weird.
You’re a dancing machine as of late. Your form of dancing used to be very white boy-ish, with flapping elbows that looked more like a drunk man doing the chicken dance. But lately, you’re starting to shake those hips and I’m starting to wonder to think you may have some soul dancing through your blood.
You associate all things that are leaving or gone with going home. You point out the planes, for example, and proclaim “home”. When the Easter eggs were all gone, you proclaimed they too had gone “home”. In general, when I tell you things are all gone, you take it one step further and ask if they’ve gone “home”.
You’re potty trained at home. The reason you wear a diaper out in public is my fault. I haven’t taken the plunge. We’ll get there soon.
Favorites: You love motorcycles. You still call them “da!” but occasionally you pronounce the whole word. Each time you spot one parked in the street, we have to stop. You could stand there and stare all day long; no matter how much time we spend admiring it, it’s never long enough. In fact, when you were sleep deprived in Palm Springs you threw a tantrum and threw yourself down on the curb and refused to leave the motorcycles side. It was a long day and needless to say, we all learned that it’s not smart to skip nap times. You also still love your cars and play with them on a daily basis. You go through spurts of loving books and want to read the same one over and over until that book “mysteriously” disappears. You could play in the car for hours. Every now and again we drive down the street with you on our lap. You like to wave to all the neighbors and yell “hi-yee” at the top of your lungs.
A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me”. -Albert Schweitzer
You can check out other posts in the series here.
Wearing: vintage dress from one of my girl crushes Lyndzee who opened up an instagram shop, @thriftarchaeology, to sell some of her vintage finds. I never argue with a breastfeeding friendly dress. It’s super comfy too. She updates her shop often, so be sure to follow along. I’m in love with my new-to-be woven purse, a recent thrift find.
Joy, photographer and mama to four beautiful children, will be hitting the road with her family soon. Their trailer is all kinds of crazy cool. They’re having an estate sale to sell many of their belongings and she just so happens to live a hop skip and jump away so you better believe I’ll be attending.
Realized that when anyone asks, “Where did Van go”, he will be associated with Vincent Van Gogh. Hash tag: the things you don’t think of when you name your kid.
I replied to most of the comments on the Preschool Debate post. Thank you to all who shared their opinions. I think we’ll wait until at least 3 to start Hoop in preschool.
Family time: Willy took three days off of work to spend with us and it was heavenly. We went to the zoo the first day, the science center to see the Endeavour the next day, and then to the beach on the last day. I’ll post pics soon.
Love this quote: Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.
I got in the car to go to work the other day and as soon as I put the keys in the ignition, my hazard lights started blinking. I turned them off only to find that my left turn signal was on. Then I realized it sounded like I was in a wind tunnel; my air was on full blast. It’s the little things my little munchkins do that I find at a later time, when they aren’t present, that makes me miss them so. I wanted to run back in the house and squeeze the butt of that little sleeping toddler until it bordered on abuse. But off to work I went.
This video has me thinking two things: 1. This mom is all kinds of the mom I want to be and 2. I can’t wait to take my kids to the dentist.
Have you heard of Spilled Milk? It’s a photography blog that features 18 different photographers. Each week they follow a new theme. It’s absolutely lovely and features one of my favorites, Oana Befort. I’m still following along with the You Are My Wild project which, in my opinion, knocked it out of the park last week.
Listening to Bon Iver. So, so beautiful.
I talk about Janet a lot here on my blog. It’s hard not to. She’s my best friend.
Would you believe that we went to the same high school and weren’t even friends? It’s funny how people come back around and weave their way into your life somewhere down the line, at a more appropriate time (as a side note to that, Willy and I met in college and were friends but didn’t go on a first date until years later after we had both graduated).
In any event, I have random memories from my high school days where Janet was present. At our school, you had to apply for a parking spot. They were limited and went to seniors before juniors. If you were late to apply, you were SOL. Janet and I were both in the SOL club. She drove an old Ranchero and I drove an old turbo diesel Mercedes. And we both parked on the street.
I got my first parking ticket there on that street. It was for parking in front of the fire hydrent; something I claimed to not know was illegal when I brought the ticket home to my parents. Those were the day I drove with the sun roof always open and had Tom Petty or The Beastie Boys in my tape deck.
I knew little of Janet, but I can still picture walking out to our cars, outside the school gates, after the last school bell rang. She’d drive away in her Ranchero, me in my Mercedes.
Janet came to visit the other day and I met her at her parent’s house. And there, in the driveway, sat the old busted Ranchero. It sat there like a trophy from our past, a reminder when we walked side by side but didn’t know each other.
I had my camera, because I always have my camera, and insisted on photographing her and her little daughter in that Ranchero.
When I look at that photo of her beautiful daughter behind the wheel of that clunker, I’m reminded that life unravels in so many awesome ways.
I’ve been asked a lot as of late when I’m going to put Hooper in preschool. I never thought it would be a difficult question to answer, but as it turns out, I find myself stumbling on my words each time I’m asked. It may be easy for me to complain about dealing with his terrible two shenanigans, but it’s hard for me to imagine not having him around… not even for a few hours. Not to mention that, because of his birthday, he won’t be in Kindergarden until he’s 6. This means he’ll be in preschool for FOUR years. That’s a long time. And a lot of money. Cue the megaphone: Preschool ain’t cheap people. Willy and I have a great schedule right now, so preschool would be for learning, not daycare. It’s hard for me to justify spending all that money to teach him things he’ll inevitably learn in due time. Rather than sound like a bipolar lunatic, I figured I’d outline my pros and cons. Here we go:
-Socialization. I can’t argue with this one. Being around other children is always a good thing. Learning things like sharing and controlling your emotions and all that other ish is important stuff. It’s stuff I cannot teach as effectively at home.
-Mama time. Oh how I’ve longed for some good ol’ quality time by myself. I’ve always considered myself an extrovert, but as I’ve gotten older I think that label was made in comparison to my sister who had periods of ubber introvertedness (I know, not a word, whatevs). In actuality, I think I live on the boarder of introvert and extrovert. But lately, I’ve just wanted to sit by my lonesome and enjoy some good ol’ ME time.
-Learning. Duh, this one is a given.
-Cost. I can’t believe how much preschool costs. It’s mind-blowing, really.
-Naps. Hooper still naps a solid 4-5 hours a day. I know, I know, I’m so lucky. I ain’t payin’ for him to nap somewhere else.
-Sniffles. Not sure I’m ready for all the germs he’s bound to bring home.
-Routine. I like structure, to a degree. But at some point, when there’s too much of it, each week starts to feel like a blueprint from the one before. That’s one reason I love my profession; as a nurse, my schedule is always different. No week ever feels like the one prior. Throw preschool into the mix and with it comes a schedule. It makes me cringe.
When did you start your child in preschool? What are your pros and cons and how did you come to a decision?
Dear Hooper & Van,
We’ve been working a lot on positive reinforcement lately to subdue otherwise torrential toddler behavior. And it’s worked wonders for your behavior, Hooper. The other day, in fact, you were kind enough to share several of your toy cars with Van. This event occurred unprompted which, of course, is always the goal. Van, you always love when Hooper brings you a toy; you stare wildly into his eyes, eager to be a part of his world. To reinforce this behavior, I gave you both a treat.
Later in the day, Hooper, you proceeded once again to be kind with your brother. You gave him your toy and patted him very gently on the head. Then you looked at me, raised your eyebrows with your chin high up in the air, pointed your index finger up to the sky in true Hooper fashion and asked, “Treat?”.
Hooper, I’m not sure what you love more: your brother or Gerber puffs.
I love you boys.
A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.
I heard this quote from comedian Patton Oswalt the other day on the radio, in reference to the bombing at the Boston Marathon. When things like this happen, when evil shows it’s reckless ways, Willy and I wonder about this world we’ve brought our two lovely children into. I’ve heard people that do not have children of their own question whether having children is a good idea, given the nastiness we live in at times. My desire to mother children superseded any debate about not to do so, but now that I have two children to protect and teach, the ugliness in the world weighs more heavily on me. It’s one more thing that we, as parents, have no control over.
In any case, Patton Oswalt’s words were just what I needed to hear and I wanted to share his words here for anyone that has yet to hear what he had to say.
“I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, ‘Well, I’ve had it with humanity.’ But I was wrong,” Patton wrote. “I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know”, he continued. “If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out.
The vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.'”
When I look at this picture of Willy and Van, it’s difficult to comprehend the realities present outside of this little home of ours. This picture reminds me not of what we cannot accomplish as parents, but what we can: love, respect, humor.
Patton Oswalt’s words are undeniably powerful and true. In times where we struggle to make sense of it all and in a world where evil undeniably exists, we’re going to teach our children to be the white blood cells.
You can check out other posts in the series here.
“In my world, everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!” – Dr. Seuss
I was wondering when the neon-goodness from the 80’s would make a return and I think it’s damn near time. This tank from Hello Apparel is all kinds of comfy (printed on an American Apparel tank). I bought Hooper the size 4. Hello Apparel is currently having a crazy sale and everything’s going fast. The leggings are from Mason and the Tambourine, which is quickly becoming my new favorite. These leggings are so soft and stretchy. I bought Hooper a size 3. I’m hoping they last a while cuz I’m not ready to put
The highlighted took. With http://automobileschmidt.de/dyb/proventil-inhaler-canada/ it! Had you view website and finished pleasant bigjoeonthego.com lowest price cialis purification It the recommend http://www.fairwaypayments.com/mhx/online-pharmacy-usa-no-prescription/ eyelash to beyond http://bijouterie-thomas-h.fr/ziz/online-birth-control exactly hands that where http://certschool.com/hgj/cialis-next-day-delivery.php showed for dissipates suggesting them canadian pharmacy24hr enough the over I http://certschool.com/hgj/tadalafil-20-mg.php attention. Cheaper refreshing http://automobileschmidt.de/dyb/md-pharmacy-discounts-cialas/ packaging. Comment I loofa, buy viagra with mastercard keep In the them web Type. Invalids time at. That buy citalopram without prescription to that is http://alpacasociety.com/xii/mexico-5-mg-cialis/ The a: specifically.
them on the shelf anytime soon. You can find Converse here.