February 24, 2015

Things James says

I have a phrase that I use in lieu of more colorful language while driving. “Come on, guys!!!” Applicable in all sorts of situations, this is a handy stand-in when little ears are present.

James thinks this is hilarious, and has for months now. When I exclaim, “Come on, guys!!!” his immediate reaction is to say: “Mama funny!” But most often, it starts a progression:
“Mama funny?”
“Is Mama funny?”
“Daddy funny?”
“Is Daddy funny?”
“Zoey funny?”
“Is Zoey funny?”
And sometimes the answer is: “Yes!”
But sometimes the answer is: “Nooo! Cracker funny!”

Don’t ask me. We get the funny crackers.  
James has also gotten much better with his memory recall. So when I tell him what we’re having for dinner, or that we’ll Skype with Grandpa later… he remembers! This is a new and different dynamic, because now he holds me to my word! Tricky stuff, toddler of mine. On the other hand, it helps us with transitions. So when we’re dropping him off at Claire’s house for date night, I can prep him on the drive by explaining – “We’re going to Claire’s house to play! You’ll see baby James and play with his toys…"
James knows how to sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”… most of the words. Usually, when we start singing, he immediately bends over and holds his toes for the entire song. And I will hear him say “head… shoulder… toes… eyes… ears… MOUTH… a’nose… HEAD…” It’s pretty adorable. He also pieces together most words to “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and still requests the ABCs. And my favorite part is whenever we’re done with a song, James claps and cheers. Continues to do wonders for my confidence!
We thought James was saying “tuba” the other day, but that just doesn’t make sense. Turns out, he’s trying to say “super!” And according to Alan, he often pairs this with “away!” to create: “Super away!” while putting his fist in the air like Superman. This may come from a friend at daycare (Matthew) who seems to enjoy Superman quite a bit. J
James is definitely exploring his desire to do things on his own, so a new phrase is “hold it”, as in “I want to hold this item/drink/stuffed Olaf snowman at daycare”. I appreciate his learning to do things on his own, but it’s a little diappointing when the thing in question is unable to be held. (Like Olaf.)
And finally, he’s started saying fun stuff like a real grown up person. If something is surprising or big or cool, he’ll say “Oh man!” Too cute.

February 20, 2015

Why Mom jeans?

I used to wonder (way back when I was a teenager), WHY my mother wore Mom Jeans. Why ANYONE wore Mom Jeans. Yuck.

The thought of wearing them filled my lithe self with anxiety for being so fashion-backward.

But I totally get it now.

I have one pair of jeans that fit me now, post-baby. I have a couple more pairs in my drawer from my pre-baby days, that I’m pretty sure I won’t fit into again for awhile, or ever… but I’m not willing to part with them. Anyways. My one pair of jeans aren’t necessarily classic Mom Jeans – they’re American Eagle, a more modern cut… but a higher waist than I used to sport, for sure.

And I love them. I don’t love that I’m in a size twice as big as I used to be... Ugh. That's a topic to tackle on another day. 

But I love that these jeans offer me some support and comfort. My tummy is bigger and softer and looser than it used to be. And while I hope to address this sometime soon, in the meantime I’m WAY more self-conscious in low-waisted pants. I feel wiggly and uncomfortable. These magical jeans give me an extra dose of confidence and comfort. 

February 17, 2015

Thoughts on strength

So sometimes I hear other people’s stories and I think: Oh, I could never handle that. Or Gosh, she’s so strong – how does she do it?

And I think some of that is true – thinking about something on the outside, you have no idea what trials and tribulations the family/friends/loved ones are going through, or what kinds of reserves they are pulling from. Plus, I think I tend to forget that – I have exactly as much strength (and love) as I need, every day. It’s like I start from scratch every day… which is both reassuring and sometimes overwhelming. I’m not the best at taking care of myself, or sharpening the saw, or whatever the heck you want to call it, so sometimes I run up against a wall where I just feel tapped out. But that’s another story.

We were planning on going camping this past long weekend – Alan and I were eager to escape from the city, and just go explore. We had a spot picked out, all the camping stuff ready… and then when I picked James up from daycare on Friday, he had a 102 degree fever. L He was already sick earlier in the week, so a little bell went off in my head that something wasn’t right. He was already on antibiotics for an ear infection/pink eye, so I figured it couldn’t be another ear infection so soon. I decided to stay home with James, but Alan and his friend continued on with the plan to camp. Sure enough, when James woke up on Saturday, he still had his 102 fever, which sealed the deal. Something was definitely wrong, so I got him into the pediatrician. The first thing he checked was his pulse-ox, which showed his oxygen levels were low – he was only breathing at 85%. There have been a lot of kids recently with these symptoms who were then diagnosed with pneumonia or RSV, so all of a sudden James was fitted with an oxygen tank and scheduled for an x-ray at another office.


So now I’m confronted with the scary prospect of having a super-upset kiddo on oxygen, transporting him (and the oxygen tank) to another office for a scary, first time x-ray… solo. I held it together – not even a tear – because I didn’t think James would be able to cope if he saw me freaking out. I wanted to be strong and steady for him, and just reassured myself that everything would be okay no matter WHAT happened. I even called Alan with an update, and encouraged him to continue on with his plans to camp – because honestly? What would change if he pulled the plug and came home? James is usually better reassured by me (I’m the mama, and I have the milk, after all) at this stage, and Alan’s presence couldn’t CHANGE anything. But this is a great example of that thought – I have no idea how I’d handle that – coming front and center without any prep.

Holy cow.

All of a sudden, I DID have the strength, the courage, the love and support that I needed. I reached out to friends and family online for some support, and it just came flooding in, right when we needed it. But we (humans) are great at surviving. At taking that next step, even if we don’t know what that means, or what it looks like… or how we will manage.

February 5, 2015

Things James Says

I just can't get over some of the things this kiddo says. I'm so glad I get this opportunity to document these moments because I'm sure as new things come up, there won't be room to remember all of these.

James often asks for songs, and he's recently starting asking me to sing "ABS", which is his way of saying ABCs. And at the end of every song, he claps and says "YAY!" It's a huge boost to my confidence.

This one took me some time to figure out - but James' little hand motions helped me connect the dots. Itsy-Bitsy Spider!

This is his explanation of where we are going, or where something is (quite often it's how he tells us he needs to go to his room from the living room). Usually this is accompanied by "Mama/Daddy too! Zoey too!"

"Mama/Daddy too!" 
James definitely wants us to come with him, wherever that is - Away! The kitchen, bathroom, his room. He's gotten more interested in holding hands, or bringing us along with him. Very sweet.

"Every train on Thomas & Friends"
When I ask James who his friends are, or who he played with today, he'll start with his real friends at school - Matthew, Tyler, Mia. Then he launches into all of the trains - Thomas!! Gordon!! Emily!! Spencer!! Rocky!! Percy!! Henry!! It is amazing how much he retains, and how excited he is to rattle off the names.

And last but not least for this round, I was so surprised to hear him this morning - tell me that he had a dirty diaper and wanted it changed. Big deal, since he usually lives in denial when you can clearly see/smell a dirty diaper (yuck). But this morning, he grabbed my hand, led me into his room so we could change him and get "All clean!" Maybe this is a great first step down the road to potty training…

February 1, 2015

Toddler Fun: Rice Play

We don’t have easy access to a sandbox when the weather is so cold and snowy, but various sensory materials are a fun way to get that same experience pouring, molding and squishing. 

Today, we pulled out our sensory box (AKA a large, shallow rectangular storage bin) and filled it with some uncooked rice. I added in some scoops, measuring cups, spoons and trucks.

I definitely recommend laying out some kind of drop cloth – this way, clean up is way easier, and you can re-use the rice that falls to the floor. We ended up playing in the living room on the carpet, so the sheet I set out was incredibly useful – especially since James didn’t really “get” the idea of keeping the rice in the box.

Anyway, James chattered and narrated all of the fun things we were doing – especially pouring rice into the truck bed. Since he had a few instances of pouring the rice on the floor, he ended up with grains of rice stuck to his feet. He then discovered that he can see the bottoms of his feet if he stretches juuuuust right. Tons of fun, and I can’t wait to try some different sensory materials like play dough, cloud dough, and colored rice and pasta!