Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lock up your daughters!!

Lock up your daughters, Thomas is ON THE MOVE!! Thomas started crawling last night. He's been ooching, rolling, crawling backwards, rocking on all fours, pulling up to his knees, but now, finally, he is crawling forward in short spurts. And he's a manly man from an early age - he first crawled towards the TV remote.

The video is dark, but take a look

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A rare day of productivity!!

Here's my fabulous list for the day:
Neatened both living rooms (which stayed neat for about 15 minutes).
Vacuumed both living rooms while they were neat.
Vacuumed most of the hardwood floors.
Put on the attachment and vacuumed behind the fridge, under the stove (kinda) a lot of baseboards, under the 2 liter bottles, and in all of those kitchen crannies that the broom just doesn't get and the mop makes worse.
I got caught up on all the filing! Yes I said ALL!! (And then the mail cam 3 hours later so now it's not all done again.)
I even mopped with my wonderful spray mop. (And 3 hours later, I gave the baby a handful of chex in his high chair. )
I attacked the scratch in the wax on my wood floor with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and DID make the scratch look less like a scratch. Now it looks like an exceptionally clean lightening bolt through the middle of my kitchen floor. Hmmm... not sure if that's better or worse.

Also today, I enforced three time outs for spitting, two of which were directly at the cat.
Uncle Four volunteered to clean up the vomit off the carpet, much to my grateful surprise. And it was even oddly purple due to strawberry milk.

Hank is just nearly crawling and is occasionally getting really ticked off. Which will eventually lead to crawling.

One living room looks like a bomb went off again. Two kinds of flash cards, two kinds of building blocks, at least two puzzles, one sorting toy, three blankets, and one book, plus lots of other baby toys. All par for the course.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm not afraid anymore!

Words beyond price to a mother of two under three years of age. "Mama, I'm not afraid anymore!" And yes, this nearly brought me to tears of joy or relief, or something, I don't know what.

Oddly enough, all of this has to do with potty training. We had hit a wall. Completely. He would NOT go #2 in the potty. He would, however, bolt out of the room, hide in a closet, in the dark, with the door closed, to do his business.

I started promising the moon, almost literally. One day, after a success, we took the train to town nd back, very early in the morning, because I had promised a train ride ASAP if he would just go.

Then, nearly two weeks after that, I did something drastic. Knowing while I did it that he might be 35 and in therapy when it finally came out (no pun intended), but I forced him. He dashed off to hide and I kept promising fresh baked cookies THAT DAY if he would just put it in the potty. With him screaming "I DON'T WANT TO!" I shoved his little shoulders down to sit him on the potty until he finally did it. Yep, that's me. Super mom.

I did bake him cookies within 30 minutes of that traumatic experience (which was a fun thing that I'll tell you about in a minute). And promised to do that, or the train, or ice cream for lunch or WHATEVER ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WILL MAKE YOU GO IN THE POTTY!!!

Tonight. the breakthrough. And once again, it was his Papa who had the fantastic potty-training instincts. It was a very long process, and it started out with him screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO!!" But I managed to not even go check to see, because I knew what was happening. And since I was having absolutely zero success, I was happy for Papa to make a go of it. It took a very long time (about 40 minutes). I later learned that there was hand holding, singing, shoulder shoving, bouts of privacy, and minor rewards promised. In the end, his reward was two gummy bears. Twice the reward for going #1.

I made a huge deal of it, even waking up the sleeping baby I was holding when they told me. We all went upstairs to put on his PJs for the nightly ritual. I was still bragging on him and hugging him when he said, "I'm not afraid anymore!!" Papa was barely in the next room and darted back in. "What did he say?" said Papa. "I'm not afraid anymore!!" Dawning understanding between Papa and I.

We still have no idea what he was afraid of. He still can't answer why questions on any subject. I'll have to look up in my child psychology book when that starts happening.

So maybe we'll have better success with the potty training now. At least I'll know that singing and hand holding might be necessary. But it's so hard for me to be that patient when there's usually a baby crying in the next room.

Mama's memories:

The fresh baked cookie story. After a successful (and probably traumatic) potty episode, we baked sugar cookies for breakfast at like 7:30am. I had a mix packet that needed water and an egg. He helped me stir them up while standing on his stool at the stove.
I let him eat the dough raw (my favorite part, always). He giggled and grinned.
We baked them and watched them change through the oven door. He giggled and grinned.
We pulled them out and ate one while it was nearly too hot. He hesitated at first, but ate the second half of my hot cookie.

Then I got out my glass of milk for the coup de gras. He reached for his usual milk sippy cup. I said, "oh, no. This is the best part. Let me show you how." We sat down on the kitchen floor. I dipped the still warm cookie into the milk and fed him a bite. His little mouth made an O shape, his eyes rolled heavenward, his little hands flexed open, and he pressed his fingers to his neck. Absolutely priceless reaction that I hope I never forget.

We all had cookies for breakfast that morning and I nearly gave myself a tummy ache. Sooo much fun!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Tonight, when I got home from a grocery run sans kiddos, Hank was crying in his crib with Quint nearby in his own crib. It took me a minute to realize that Quint was singing to his brother, trying to calm him down. How sweet!!!

Hank, at nearly nine months old, says Mama, Papa, light, and tried to say "brother" today. It came out more like bud-dur, but he was pointing straight at Quint. I've got to get in the habit of naming everything around me again, like I did when Quint was a baby. Things like, table, chair, carpet, cracker, spoon, food, hungry, thirsty, drink, tired, hug, kiss. I say kiss all the time though. Every time I tickle and kiss the boys I say something like "I kiss your sweet cheek", "I tickle the baby boy", "I kiss the little boy".

Quint has been much whiney-er the last nearly week. I've been working to jerk a knot in his tail to fix that, but his Nannie is in town, so knot jerking is a bit difficult. He also seems to be a little jealous of his brother lately. Each time I've had to say that he must wait until I'm done doing whatever for Hank, he gets grumpy. He has started wanting us to rock him for a long time at night, and frequently spoon feed him. He's been more disobedient and doesn't listen as well lately, too. On the other hand, perhaps the big problem is that he's two. And gee, if I have to put up with a little disobedience, not listening, and whinyness, I've got it TONS better than lots of parents of two year olds. And I'm equally rewarded by him coming up to me to tell me that he needs a kiss, or brings me a drink, or any of the other amazingly sweet things that he does.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Tricks

Ok, so I've only been meaning to write this blog since Tuesday, and here it is Friday.

Baby Hank continues to delight and charm (as long as I'm within three feet of him). He sprouted a new tooth, right next to the first on the bottom front row. He said "light" again in reference to a light. Quint was playing with light switches, as usual, and as he turned on a light, Hank looked up, pointed to the light and said, "light". He also has said Papa and Mamama. He communicates on a regular basis if I'm tuned in enough to notice. For instance, if you combine this cry with this particular cuddle, it always means that he's tired. If you combine this cry with this wiggle, he needs to burp.

For breakfast, he will eat about 12 ounces of applesauce and oatmeal. For lunch, he usually has about 6 ounces of veggies with meat. For supper, he has about 8 ounces of veggies and 4 ounces of fruit.

I finally figured out a great way to have a toddler paint!!! I've got two clip boards with lots of paper on each. I used a paper plate for a pallet. I put him in his high chair, took off his shirt, and put a clip board in front of him. I held the pallet. I gave him a paint brush this time, instead of just finger painting. After he'd painted for a while, I asked him if he wanted another page. when he said yes, I traded clip boards, moved the wet paint onto the table, leaving a fresh clip board ready to go. In this way, he painted about 12 pictures on Tuesday. And none of them went for so long that they were just solid brown paint. I had fun later looking at the blobs and trying to find pictures there.

A friend commented on facebook that it was funny how I called my cousin Larry, Cousin Larry, and not just Larry. That goes way back to quoting the show Perfect Strangers. Here's the fantastic Dance of Joy!!

And the Bibbi Babka song:

Fantastic show with ridiculous physical comedy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Counting! And counting blessings.

Yesterday, I told Quint that if he ate two nuggets, then I would give him some strawberries. "Ok, Mama." So I made three nuggets and cut them all up into four pieces. So he had twelve pieces on his plate. As I set it down in front of him, I said again, "Ok, you need to eat two whole nuggets to get strawberries. That's eight of these little pieces." "Ok, Mama."

In a short amount of time, he said with a full mouth, "I ate two nuggets, Mama!" I went over and counted the remaining pieces. Sure enough, there were only four left! He had eaten exactly eight. So at the very least, the boy can count! And if we really wanted to stretch it, we could say that he understood some pre-algebra concepts of one nugget equals four pieces, two nuggets equals eight pieces, twelve minus four is eight, and so forth...

But I had further confirmation today that he understands counting quantities (as opposed to simply saying the numbers in the correct order). He was playing in the other room, and brought me a curvy string of magneatos. He said, "I made a seven!!" This curvy thing looked more like an S, 5, 2 or Z depending what side you were on, but I stopped and counted them. There were seven! I told him very good and that I was proud of him and everything, and then said, "there are seven pieces, but what does it look like?" It rotated in his hand for a minute and he said with excited eyes, "A Five!!" Awesome!!

So I think that in the last couple days, his brain has put together that putting numbers in order is also how many there are! That may have never occurred to you that those are different, but I had seen evidence of that in my son for quite a while. Especially when he would "count" things starting at three. For a while there, he could count from one to three, and from three to eight, but not from one to eight. When he gets above ten, it's really cute. It's eleven, twelve, furfteen, furfteen, furfteen, sixteen, etc.

Elevators and escalators are still all alligators, and I just can't correct that one yet. He loves to go downtown and see the big buildings. Lately, he's been begging to go to the big zoo, or the real zoo. Instead of the pet store, or an online zoo. He really wants to ride an elephant and was really disappointed when I told him that they don't let kids ride elephants. They don't even let adults ride elephants.

He has also started a new level of pretend play in the last few days. He will pretend to be a dog and crawl around barking. Then he will slide around on the hardwoods on his belly, propelling himself by hands and toes, and say he is a turtle.

We've been working on small talk including "what's your name" and "how old are you". The full name thing is harder to teach than you'd think. "Hey George, what's your name?" - seems kinda silly. I'm trying to teach him his address and his parents' names. Yesterday at the store, when I had a lady ask him where he lived, he said, "at our house." Well, of course you do. "Where is your house? "Ooo Hope Meaduh" DARN CLOSE!!!

He is constant entertainment and only really frustrating for under 60 minutes per day.

Now Hank! Hank is moving around better and better each day. He will ooch, roll, and wiggle around the whole living room. He can crawl backwards a little bit, and gets really ticked off when he runs into a wall. I think he will start crawling any day now, but I'm hoping he will wait until my mom is in town next Saturday. Because he's always in footed sleepers, he stays on the carpet because he slides too much on the hardwoods. But he thinks belly sliding is fun on the hardwoods. I can totally see him learning to do a one person wheelbarrow move go get round on the hardwoods. He eats more than a cup of food at each meal, three times a day, with countless cheerios and chex mixed in for snacks along the way. He loves the magneatos and figured out that weebles are magnetic in the butt. He has just started drinking out of a sippy cup, and still does it best when he's laying down. Perhaps the full sippy cup is too heavy for him to lift high enough to drink from.

His first word was light, which he hasn't said again, but when I ask him, "where's the light?" he will look right at it and sometimes point. He has said "ba" to a ball, and frequently will say, "Mama" and then grin when I say, "yes, Hank?"

Friday, February 3, 2012


George: Thomas! NO!! Stop Crying!!
Me: George, yelling at Thomas to stop crying will never work. Why don't you try patting him, or holding his hand, or singing to him.
George (with ticked off look on his face): Woah, woah, woah you boat, dada stweam, merr-ry, merr-ry, (pause) dweam.
Thomas - stopped crying.
Me: (trying not to laugh) see, honey, it worked!