Tuesday, September 24, 2013

School Days, School Days...

Up in the morning and out to school...

Sweet boys, the school year has begun! I can hardly believe we are in the swing of our new routine and I am sending a 2nd grader and Kindergartner off to school each morning.

To Miles: This picture was taken on the first day of school and as you can see, you were all smiles. The next 3 days of the school week, I had to put you on the bus in tears (at times, you weren't the only one crying!). It was a big week of change for you, and you just wanted to be home with your Mama. Who could blame you, really?

To Adam: As in previous years, you had a wonderfully positive attitude regarding the start of a new school year. A bit apprehensive about the lack of Best Friends in your new classroom, nevertheless you were ready to get back to the playground and the routine of a new year. Mrs. Roberts is lucky to have you in her class.

And me? I'm getting used to the silence. When I am struck by how quiet it is in the house, I quote a line to myself from the book "Duck in the Truck," where it says: "This is the quiet as they think what to do...". And it is quiet in here. Especially in the afternoons when Julian is sleeping. Like right now. No rustling of Legos in the bin. No slamming of the garage doors. No requests for popsicles, sprinklers, Wii playing, or snacks. Like the both of you, I am getting used to something new as well.

Onward, as we all wait (impatiently) until 4:05pm.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Julian: 18 Months

I'm late in posting about Julian's 18 month stats, but it's been a busy summer. Forgive me.

At 18 months, Julian tipped the scales at 28 pounds, and measured 35 inches long. I found it incredible that he gained 5 pounds in 3 months (refer to previous "cookie" post). Brother likes to eat. And eat. And eat. He wears his thighs well, mind you.

His language continues to improve. He says "shoes" now, as well as "hi," "bye" and "car-car." What he doesn't say, he manages to communicate with a series of points, grunts, and other body language.

His top and bottom incisors poked through without much fanfare, as did his molars. A slight slow down in eating and a few crabby days, but other than that, he wasn't much worse for wear.

This summer he's experienced having his first ice cream cone all to himself, swimming in pools (and jumping in them, which toward the end of the summer he much preferred doing as who wants to float when they can jump in?), playing in the sand, swings, and his favorite thing of all, pushing his toy lawn mower all over the front yard.

It's good to be 18 months old. So good.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cookie? Cookie? Cookieeeee?

Imagine hearing "cookie?" in various intonations as you are trying to get through the grocery store. Each item tossed in the cart was met with a heartbroken plea of "cookie?" After eating his two (mom-approved, packed at home) graham crackers by the time we were rounding the corner to the cereal aisle (translation: less than 10 minutes in the store), his pleas turned into a full on scream fest. No, no I won't give you a "cookie." Note: "cookie" means anything that he thinks he should be eating that is not a vegetable or Goldfish cracker.

Julian, sweetheart, this has got to stop.

I can't remember the last time I had a meal where you didn't start screaming at some point. It could be because your plate is empty (this is not shocking, given the rate at which you throttle food into your little mouth). It could be because you have set aside all of your vegetables in the cup holder and are without anything desirable. It could be because you want what I'm having. God help us all when it's time for you to get wiped up. Sweet son, you sure know how to wail when the "end of meal" signal (i.e. a washcloth) appears.

You are not starving, I assure you. On the contrary: you eat more than I do. You do not need to look in the trash throughout the day, looking for cookies. I'm sure that the first, sweet, forbidden taste of peanut butter via an old sandwich crust was delicious, but for the love of sanitation, please, stop this behavior.

I rue the day when you can actually open the door to the pantry. You can be found down there, trying to your hardest to get in. Should you hear the door open, or even *think* that I am walking down the hallway to open the pantry, I can be sure you will be hot on my heels, hoping for a little snack.

Please, Child.

I have given you things at this age that I did not give to your younger brothers, just for a little peace. Half of my turkey sandwich? Have at it. PB&J? Why not. Have a chip or three.

Just please stop screaming.

I'm running out of crackers.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Julian at 15 Months

It's been really fun to hear the pad pad pad of another set of feet around here. I still do a double-take when I see your little body round a corner, standing (albeit a bit unsteady) on two feet. You are such a big boy!

Last month you said your first word: "ca ca." Over the past two weeks, this has changed into a solid "cookie" sound, which means anything delicious to eat (crackers, cheerios, and yes, the occasional cookie!). The irony of this first word is not lost on us, because son, you love to eat. Other words you say are "nigh nigh" and "beebee" (baby).

You've turned into quite the cuddle bug. You love to take a break out of your busy day to rest your head on a shoulder and receive some loving. And yes, thumb-sucking is a huge part of this ritual. Your thumb is a big source of comfort for you at this stage of the game, and I'm wondering how long this will last...

Your dad and I think you have really big hands for such a little guy.

In the last months, you have shown a bit of a temper. This usually occurs when we take something forbidden away from you, or move you away from out of the fireplace. I know, I know: how could we? Those fireplace rocks sure are tasty, aren't they?

You are 33 inches long and weigh nearly 23 pounds. Big boy, you are!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Miles: Five and Fabulous

Oh, Miles.

If I were to ask you five things you like to do, you would say:

1. Lego
2. Watching Star Wars
3. Coloring
4. Playing with Adam
5. Swimming

If I were to ask you five things you do not like, you would say:

1. Eating dinner (breakfast and lunch are fine)
2. Reading books
3. Going to preschool
4. Vegetables
5. Leaving the house (you love to be at home)

If you were to ask me five things I love about you, I would say:

I love your creativity. You have the ability to make incredibly elaborate Lego creations in the blink of an eye. It's really impressive. The other day you made a creature from Star Wars and it involved turning light sabers into articulating legs (like a spider). Really, really cool.

I love how you love Adam. I know your relationship with him will change as the years go on - you will love him, you may hate him, but hopefully you will love him again as an adult. For now, you know that the bond between you and your brother is strong. Not to say the two of you don't fight - because you do, and it usually ends up in you punching him - but for the most part, the two of you are best buddies, and it's wonderful.

I love spending the afternoons with you. Knowing that you'll be in Kindergarten next year, I have been cherishing the time we spend together in the afternoons. Just you and I, while Julian takes a nap and before Adam gets home from school. Some days we spend time on the couch, you looking at Lego Star Wars book, usually. Other days we do some coloring. And yes, other afternoons I let you watch a few cartoons all bundled up in a blanket with a snack. You're only 5 once, right?

I love to hear you laugh! You have the best belly laugh in town when tickled. Or when laughing at fart jokes. Or other things boys your age find funny.

I love your zest for life. Always up for something new, something fun, something that burns of energy. You are in it to win it, and do (almost) everything with a happy attitude. You are so much fun to have around, Miles Andrew.

Happy 5th Birthday, Smiley Miley. Mama loves.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The break up.

For the past 13 months, Julian has called all the shots with regards to breastfeeding (and let's face it, lots of other things, too). He never took a bottle, so it was just he and I. He and I.

He and I.

It shouldn't surprise me that he also decided that he was done nursing all on his own. No warning, just a "too busy to be bothered with this thing you're peddling" attitude. No thank you, Ma'am...we're all done here.

Who does he think he is?

I feel sad.

And a little offended. What do you mean, you're done? Don't you realize that you're the last baby I'll ever nurse? That there is usually slow weaning process that helps both you and I? Clearly, he missed this important memo.

But mostly, just sad. The kind of sad that makes you lose it and have the ugly cry.

Onward and upward, they say. Heave Ho. Carry on.

To my boobs:

Thank you (again!) for a job well done. You are small, but very mighty. This time around there was nary a clogged duct, for which I am grateful. You will be rewarded in due time with new bras (under wire, even!) that will give others the illusion of what you once were. Perky.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February update.

Greetings on this very cold, very snowy 3rd day of February. We finally received what we have been waiting for all winter - snow, and lots of it! The boys have been sledding, playing football in the snow, and more sledding. I am thankful for a decent sledding hill in our backyard that the boys enjoy, either by themselves or with the neighbor boys.

Julian continues to eat us out of house and home. At 13 months he just started waving and saying "ba!" for "bye." He also says "ba ba ba" and "ga ga ga" all the time. If I hold up a car and ask him to say "car" he says "ca," but I think he's mimicking what I'm saying as opposed to putting any connection between the two. Regardless, I love hearing his sweet little voice. When his thumb isn't in his mouth, brother has a lot to say.

Miles has been enjoying swimming lessons this winter. He is fearless in the water, which is a blessing and a curse. He can swim lengths underwater, but is unsure how to come up for air. He needs to start with the basics and learn how to tread water. He would be ready for a more advanced class if it weren't for that one little piece of the swimming puzzle. I plan to ask his teacher this week how we can get to that point. Maybe a few lessons one on one will do the trick. In addition to swimming, he's doing well at learning his letters at school. He can write his first and last name, which I think is rather impressive.

Adam also takes swimming lessons, and is learning about diving in from the side, stroke refinement, and breathing techniques. I hope he continues to like it, because I think his long and lean frame would be perfect for swimming competitively. We shall see. I'm hopeful he will be able to move up to the next level at the Y soon. He is doing well in school, and I couldn't be happier with his report card that was sent home on Friday. He tries his best, and it shows. :)

The Lego obsession continues. Both brothers can look at a set of Lego instructions and put sets together faster than I can. Where I am still looking at the picture, Miles and/or Adam is often steps ahead of me, waiting to turn the page. Oh, to be young and quick! Aside from the sets, I have been impressed with the creations both have come up with. Their imaginations know no bounds, it seems.

Last weekend we took advantage of Adam's winter break and headed out to Chicago for a few days. We toured the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium. Miles and I braved the Chicago wind and cold weather to track down and buy popcorn at the infamous Garret Popcorn. It was worth the walk, and Miles enjoyed having his OWN bag of caramel corn. Yum. The boys enjoyed Chicago style pizza, as well as the in-hotel breakfast bar. Their favorite part of the whole trip, however, was the pool, hot tub, and sauna in the hotel. They would have stayed there all day if we would have let them. Note to self: keep it simple with regards to future vacations.