Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Letter to My Boys

Gavin,
Kiddo...have I told you how funny you are lately? You make me laugh daily with the goofy little things you do and say. You've started saying "NO. WAY." when you're excited about something, or I tell you something unbelievable. You're such a perfect mimic when it comes to a turn-of-phrase like that, that it makes me wonder if you'll be good at impressions when you get a bit older.

This month, I got to go on a preschool field trip with you to Paradise Park, one of your very favorite places. You were so excited I was coming with you, but I was a little disappointed I didn't get to spend more one-on-one time with you. We were in a group with 8 of your classmates and it felt like I spent more time corralling, and keeping track of everyone than really getting to play with you. I'm still so glad I went though. The proud, my-mom-is-here look on your face when you got off the bus made my week.
Being goofy with Dinosaurs (and your friend, Lucy) at Paradise Park.
You've been on a game-playing kick lately, partly due to the several games you got for Christmas this year. Your favorite though, by far, is Candyland. We've played at least a hundred thousand times in the last month (I may be exaggerating...but only slightly). You're learning not to be a sore loser, and insist that everyone shake hands and say, "Good game" when the game is complete. Well...you insist on doing that when you win, anyway.

You're already getting excited about your birthday, which is still more than a month away. But to tell the truth, I'm getting excited, too, because this year is your golden birthday (4 on the 4th) so I want to make it extra special.

I love you more,
Mommy



Bennett,
My little man...you are not so little anymore. I think I've been in denial a little bit. Some days, you still seem so very baby to me, but those days are numbered, I know, so I'm savoring them. You were so, so sick a couple of weeks ago with the stomach flu, and while I felt terrible that you felt so terrible, I was also loving the extra snuggles. Now that you've been independently crawling for a while, you constantly want down to crawl or cruise after something new, but while you were sick, you wanted nothing but to be held. We'd sit with you on the couch and you'd slump into us, laying your head on our chests. You were such a poor, little pathetic thing for several days. You're making up for it now that you're better though, eating double the amount and crawling and cruising twice as much.

I think you're cutting another tooth or two, also, but I hope they hold off just a little while longer, because your fanged grin is absolutely adorable. Your two bottom middle teeth came in first, but on the top, instead of the two front teeth, your two eye teeth came in first, which makes you look slightly vampire-ish when you smile or laugh. It's beyond adorable, so I'm hoping for at least a few more weeks of your quirky grin.
The pea-covered version of the vampire grin.
Another one of your quirks I keep forgetting to write about is that you pick at our cuticles. When you're nursing, you hold onto my hand, and pick at my fingernails or cuticles, and even Daddy has said you do that to him when he's rocking you or feeding you a bottle. Weird, I know, but just one of those odd little things, I guess.

I thought you might not have as much separation anxiety as your brother had at your age, but it depends on the day. When we take you back to daycare after a long weekend (or a week off because you'd been so sick), you are not happy to see me leave. You get upset, too, when we drop you off with a set of grandparents, though you do a lot better when your brother is around. But other days, it's no problem at all, which I'm thankful for, because it's heartbreaking leaving a room with you crying.

I've started planning your 1st birthday party, which seems impossible to me (see first paragraph about denial). But I'm excited, too, because I know the fun of toddlerhood that comes next. And I can't wait for that.

I love you more,
Momma



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Gavinisms

Playing with his new GI Joe he got for Christmas:
Gavin: "Army mens have kinda cool purses."

Learning not to be a sore loser while playing one of his new games:
Me: "I win!"
Gavin: "Well...I win the firstest. You win the lastest."

Preschooler excitement while riding in the car:
Gavin: "Mommy! I see a dandelion!"
Me: "A white one, or a yellow one?"
Gavin: "A white one, like when we go on a walk and pick one and blow all the stuff off."
Me: "Do you know what all that white stuff is? They're seeds, to make more dandelions."
Gavin: "No. Way. Mommy...you just blowed my mind away."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bleh. Times a Bagillion.

Sunday was the first day in five days that no one got puked on in our house.

Poor Bennett got a stomach bug and couldn't keep anything down. I don't think he's eaten a full meal in a week. Thankfully, Gavin and Ryan missed the puking, opting instead for a nasty, lingering cough. I wasn't so lucky. I'll just leave it at that.

But amidst the coughing, and puking, and feverish bleh-ness...there were cuddles, and snuggles, and "I need my Mommy" whines that almost made up for it.

Oh, who am I kidding? It absolutely made up for it.
Being sick sucks. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rough and Tumble

Gavin's favorite new thing to play is "roughhouse."

Because he's a boy. So of course it is.

He'll look at me with an ornery grin and say, "Let's play roughhouse!" and then charge me at full speed so he can knock me over. It always ends with an embrace and a fit of giggles, which makes it my favorite as well.

Technically, I guess, he's been roughhousing for a while now. But the fact that he now defines it as "roughhousing" and surprises me constantly with the sheer amount of force inside his tiny little body has made it seem so very "boy" to me.

Not surprisingly, Bennett is learning quickly that roughhousing = FUN. Last night, I was putting his PJs on in my bedroom and Gavin was entertaining himself stacking pillows on the bed. His stacking easily turned into free-falling onto the pillows, and Bennett followed suit naturally, crawling after Gavin and throwing himself into the fun. Bennett climbed on Gavin, Gavin feigned being knocked over, and they giggled and giggled, and did it over and over again.

It was the first time they "roughhoused" together (as much as a baby can roughhouse, anyway), and I couldn't help thinking that this is what my life was going to be like with boys.

A little "rougher," but with lots and lots of love. And probably fighting. But let's hope that's a few years away.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Letter to My Boys

Boys,
I was so consumed with both of you over the holidays that I completely forgot to post your monthly letter until today. I'm sorry, but frankly, I'd much rather be wrapped up in my moments with both of you than writing about those moments. The break from work was wonderful, and recharging, and a reminder of what's most important in my life. I'm glad that we all got to spend it together as a family, and I'm already counting down the days to our next family day off. Now...on to your updates!

Gavin:
I had so much fun with you this Christmas season! You are still so full of wonder and awe at all things Christmas that it's absolute joy personified to be around you. You loved giving gifts almost as much as you did receiving them, and I pray that's something we can continue to cultivate in you as you grow. Don't get me wrong though, you really loved opening gifts, and especially that you got more gifts at every one of our many, many Christmases.
We started a "reward" system of sorts for you a few months ago and it seems to be working well. If we catch you being extra good (picking up without being asked, sharing with your brother, etc.) you get to put a cotton ball in a jar. When it's full, we get to go do something fun together. Your first choice was going to the new aquarium in KC, and just yesterday, you got to go see Monsters, Inc. on the big screen. You're so proud of yourself when you reach your goal, and I absolutely love watching you go out of your way to do something sweet so you can get a cotton ball. You've already decided that the next reward is to go swimming at the indoor "froggy pool" at Legacy Park.
Grandma Clifford joined us for your trip to the aquarium.
One of your new favorite phrases since we've started your little reward system is "Oh, yes." When we ask you if you can help us clean up dishes, or pick out an outfit by yourself, etc., you respond (most of the time) with an enthusiastic, "Oh, yes!"

On the other hand, I'm glad we've implemented the system because now that Bennett can crawl and grab your toys, you're having a harder time sharing. We've seen you snatch things from him and be more aggressive than you've been in the past. You're learning how to handle it, though, and we're learning how to keep Bennett safe from your big boy toys, while also ensuring you're sharing appropriately. We intentionally bought some gifts for Christmas that you have to share for that very reason.

You've also learned to whistle recently, and you are beyond proud of yourself for it. You kept asking us how we did it and finally, in the car on the way to daycare one day before Christmas break, you did it! You immediately wanted to call Daddy and let him know, and he still has the adorable voicemail you left him. I don't think he'll ever erase it.

Keep up the being awesome, buddy.

I love you more,
Mommy



Bennett:
Now that you've been crawling successfully for a couple of months, you're starting to even out on the weight-gain scale. Good for us, because it's getting back-breaking to carry you around.

You're also starting to stand on your own for about 10 or 15 seconds at a time, and the walk-behind toy you got for Christmas is your new favorite. You're zooming all over the house, and getting mad when you pull up on something that you can't force to move. I've seen you push stools, laundry baskets, boxes, etc. to get to where you want to go. You're a bit of a daredevil, actually, and have already scraped your nose and bruised your cheek in the pulling up/falling down process.
Pulling up inside the not-so-sturdy new cardboard train playhouse.
You fell and scraped your face about 3 seconds after this photo was taken.
Since we've moved you to your room, you seem to be sleeping better again, minus any bouts with sickness and/or teething. Speaking of sickness, you had RSV this month and were pretty miserable. We ended up having to give you a few breathing treatments to help stop your coughing. Thankfully it didn't last long and was over before our circus of Christmas crazy.

You did awesome during our Christmas marathon, by the way. We've learned a lot in past years about how to manage going Ev.Er.Y.Where!, which helped, but your generally happy and laid-back nature was appreciated even more during the rounds.

You also tried meat, puffs, and other small finger foods this month. It took you no time to get used to them and you screech for more when your tray is empty. So far, our teachings of "More, please" in sign language don't seem to be phasing you. You also learned pretty swiftly how to feed Daisy from your high chair. She's now in heaven, also known as "under your chair" at every meal.
You've learned to wave "bye" when you or someone else is leaving now, though it mostly happens once we're actually out the door and not a moment before. We think we've also seen the occasional wave of "hi." I'm certain your first real word will be coming soon as you constantly babble and stare at our mouths while we're talking. You're trying hard to figure it out. Just don't figure it out too soon, okay? I am so enjoying my baby Bennett. Don't grow up too fast on me.

I love you more,
Momma