Boy(s) of Rock and Roll

Here’s the thing about my kids…they are hilarious on a daily basis. I realize I have an incredible bias but I think even a casual observer would label them funny. The problem is they both have just enough of my shyness to give them pause whenever they know they are being watched and especially captured on film. It would seem though that Chase is coming a little out of his shell a bit. Lately he’s been willing to perform on cue, even letting me catch a few magic moments with my phone.

I recently introduced them to one of my favorite childhood movies, The Chipmunk Adventure. The first time we watched it they didn’t seem too interested but the next day they fought over the DVD at nap time, and have continued to fight over it every day since. We happened to be watching various clips from the movie on YouTube when Chase broke out in dance.

He tried SO hard to copy all of the moves but bless his heart he got his gracefulness and coordination – or lack there of – from me.

I’m suddenly very concerned about how I actually look during Zumba classes.

Five

Chaser,

Five. Last week you went and got another year older.Birthdays

Tomorrow you finish your first year of school (even if it is just practice Kindergarten). An entire year of drop offs and pick ups, packing lunches, school programs, awards ceremonies, class trips. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown this year. You went to school a timid toddler too shy to speak to anyone and today I watched you race around the park with all the friends you’ve made. A year and a half ago I was carting you to speech therapy willing you to speak and suddenly you’re on the verge of reading.NowandThen

I wish I could fully articulate what a funny little kid you’ve become. Your favorite thing in the world is to watch YouTube videos about Legos. We watch Lego toy reviews, Lego how to’s, Lego animations, Lego Movie clips, anything and everything that has to do with Legos. We recently visited a Legoland Discover Center and to be honest I was a little afraid that it broke your brain because of the sheer joy involved. You and your sister are quite particular about the music we listen to on any given day, mostly you go for whatever kids songs we have in the car but occasionally you request songs that you hear me play. Your eating habits haven’t changed at all, you still survive on chicken nuggets and shredded cheese.Chase5

I can’t lie, looking at pictures of how much you’ve grown makes me a little emotional. You’ve truly turned the corner from toddler to little boy. As much as that tugs at my heart, it helps that you’re still very much my baby. I get anxious when I think that we might be nearing the end of you wanting to hold my hand while we snuggle on the couch watching cartoons. I don’t care that you still want to sleep in our bed because I know that someday all too soon you’ll be too grown up for that.Us

Things I want to remember:

  • The look of triumph on your face when you get fully dressed by yourself
  • The way you sings two lines from The Lego Movie theme song at random intervals (Everything really IS awesome)
  • The way you miss your sister after only a few hours apart from her
  • The way you refer to plugging your ears as “putting your listeners in”
  • All the words you mispronounce, none of which I can actually think of at this time (I promise to start writing those down)

I love you with all the pieces of my heart little boy.

xo
Mama

Katelyn – Two Years Old

Dear Kate,

How in the world is it that you are two years old already? It’s so cliche but time really does seem to be moving at warp speed. In the last six months you have morphed into a full fledged person.

For such a tiny little person you have no trouble what so ever making your every feeling heard and/or understood. I could make a 500 page flip-book comprised of only your facial expressions. Your vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, every day I catch a new word or two sneaking in. All of your grandparents are completely wrapped around your finger and you know it. Rarely can anyone turn down a request, even if they do usually come out more like demands.

You do nothing halfway, and nothing at slow speed. This picture of you running frame by frame is a perfect portrayal of how you move. It’s an awkward but totally adorable combination of high knees, tip toes, and kicked out to the side feet. It goes pretty perfectly with your soundtrack of squeals and giggles.

Your brother, whom you affectionately and stubbornly refer to as Sissy, is your absolute favorite person in the world. Having the two of you so close together is one of my favorite decisions ever. More than ever now, you are his constant shadow, absorbing and parroting everything he does. I love that on any given afternoon I’m just as likely to find the two of you playing dress up in your room as I am to find you both “farming” in his room.

As much as ever you are still my little peanut, barely ranking on the growth charts. We routinely run into 15-18 month olds who tower over you. What you lack in size you more than make up for in spunk and sass. Your baby-fine hair is finally starting to grow and this past month we ventured into the world of pony tails. Most days you sport a wispy little tail on the top of your head à la Pebbles. If anyone asks you what’s in your hair you smile, flip the hair with your hand, and say “pre-pre” (pretty pretty).

Dora is still your favorite, although any cartoon that your brother likes you’re happy to watch with him. Much to my dismay you aren’t quite ready, or interested in, Disney Princess movies, but I’m sure the time is coming. Peek-a-boo barn is your favorite game on the iPad and you will never be convinced that you have enough baby dolls. You know exactly where I keep my stash of smarties and there isn’t much you wouldn’t do for a drink of my fountain pop.

I couldn’t love you any more if I tried baby girl.

xoxo
Mama

Unsupervised

I am having a…week…with my children. I find myself seesawing between screeching at them with Kermit arms to laughing at the sheer ridiculousness that is toddler logic. Let’s be real, I only laughed to avoid having a full-on-high-speed-come-apart.

Wednesday night I put Katelyn to be a full 45 minutes early JUST to forcibly separate her from Chase. I was DONE with the fighting and hitting and screaming and crying. She was quietly watching Dora in her room and Chase was quietly playing the iPad in the toy room. Eventually he came out and asked to play in his room.

He played quietly with his monster trucks for 15 minutes or so before I heard him pitter patter down to his sister’s room. I was all set to go up and lay down the law when I heard them giggling together. It was such a welcome sound that I decided to let them have a few minutes. I continued cleaning up screwing around on twitter and chatting on Skype.

Then the noise got a little louder, and I heard a few squeals. I figured it was time to bust up the shenanigans and get everyone settled in bed but I scrolled through just a few more tweets first. By the time I got upstairs both kids were laughing like loons.

I walked in the room to find Katelyn in her crib –– which is a plus I suppose, she still can’t escape –– almost buried in stuff. This is not unusual. For whatever reason Chase finds it hilarious to go into her room when she’s supposed to be napping and filling her crib with toys. Clearly she has no problem with this game. (This photo is from several weeks ago)

At any rate, because this is a common occurrence I wasn’t overly concerned. As I got a little closer I noticed that this time Chase had decided to clean out her changing table as well. Her new stack of clean diapers, the box of wipes, a bottle of lotion, and a bottle of baby powder. Thankfully this time the baby powder was closed. I’m still cleaning baby power out of the wood floor crevices from the last time she got her hands on it.

Of course Katelyn was in the process of pulling wipes out of the box, one by one, sampling each of them. Why is it that no game is as fun as pulling out wipes? I reached over to pull a wipe from her mouth when I saw it. A pile of dirty diapers. My eyes flew across the room to where the trash can sits. It was empty. It was at that point that my Kermit arms returned and I started screeching incoherently.

And yes, I totally took a time out to get my phone for a picture before withdrawing Katelyn from the crib.

I’m *that* mom.

Let’s Talk About Cartoons Mmmkay?

There are a lot of things I should be talking about instead of cartoons — like how Katelyn turned 18 months (and then 19 months, and soon 20 months), how I’m currently updating my resume so I can start a job hunt (EEEK!), or how I almost totaled my car (I almost hit an Amish buggy, omfg) — but instead I’m going to give you a few of my lingering thoughts about the cartoons my kids are watching these days.

Look, I’m going on vacation starting tomorrow and I just flat out don’t have the brain power for anything more intellectual after washing every article of clothing and dish in my house. I DON’T.

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On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being BIZARRE) how weird is it that I’m considering learning the choreography to the Fresh Beat Band’s “Good Day”? Katelyn is mesmerized by those singing and dancing kids, lately she sits on my lap and let’s me help her dance. I think she would give me lots of cool points if I knew the routine.

I also really want to go to their concert. I wish she wasn’t so damn young so I’d have an excuse.

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Where ARE Max and Ruby’s parents? Seriously though, it’s not like we don’t see their Grandma. Speaking of Grandma, I saw the episode with Grandma’s special box again the other day. It’s just a funny the 900th time around in case you were curious. Go ahead and skip forward to 1:20, that’s where the magic happens, I’ll just be over here snickering.

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Have there always been so many suggestive/adult jokes in Scooby Doo? Some of the older episodes have some real zingers.

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I am constantly amazed by Chase’s viewing preferences. Through the magic of Netflix, Hub, and Cartoon Network he has been introduced to some old school cartoons and to my surprise he actually prefers them over newer shows. Since he is the only person who really uses Netflix, all of the suggestions are geared towards him. I started him out with several popular cartoons and from there he started exploring through the “things you may like” section. Here’s the weird part though, he’s managed to find all of Ryan and I’s favorite cartoons on his own, AND HE LIKES THEM. That’s right, I have a three year old who routinely requests Scooby Doo, Transformers, My Little Pony, and Strawberry Shortcake.

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Speaking of old school cartoons, in his Netflix browsing last week he stumbled on some SUPER old Spiderman cartoon. I’m talking made in 1967 old. You guys, I watched like 3 hours with him, it was HILARIOUS. I want to suggest that you all go look up some episodes but I’m half afraid that you won’t find it as funny as I did and I’ll just look like a loon.

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For reasons I shouldn’t have to explain, this is one of my favorite things on TV right now. Mostly because Chase and I sing this song to each other all day long.

Chase – Three Years Old

Chase,

Tonight I made your Daddy help me blow up 72 balloons so I could fill your room with them while you slept. He laughed at me but I would not be dissuaded. I suppose there is only a 50% chance that you will stay asleep all night and not ruin your wake-up surprise but my intentions are good regardless.

Tonight, I tucked in a two year-old and tomorrow morning I will pluck up a three year-old. As the cliche goes I can’t believe another year has flown by. I sat down tonight to look back at pictures from the last year and realized that pictures alone will never do you justice. You are far too much to be confined to a flat image on paper.

Everyday you wear your little heart on your sleeve, your emotions and feelings are never kept secret. When you’re happy you giggle like a maniac and when you’re upset it’s almost as though you’re certain the world is ending. You’re never shy with kisses although you continue to view hugging as a passive activity. Somewhere along the line you got the impression that “giving hugs” means you simply lean into the person and allow yourself to be hugged.

Your tantrums rarely fail to impress, even the short pitiful ones have a rousing spark. When you feel you’ve been unjustly reprimanded you stomp, but only with one foot. STOMPstepSTOMPstep, you march yourself over to the stairs and climb to the time-out landing. Sometimes the tears start before you ever get there, sometimes you just sit there stone-faced and give me (or your sister) the dirty eye. It’s usually best if I’m not within eye sight because sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face.

Your sister continues to be your favorite person, your biggest fan, and your most worthy opponent. Her need to be involved in what you’re doing, especially when you’re playing the iPad, is a constant source of frustration. Yet, whenever she is away, even for just a nap, you constantly ask me where she is. Whenever she cries you pat her head and say, “s’okay Sissy, s’okay”. I hope that never changes, I hope you’ll always be each others’ protectors.

Even though I’m quite certain that “three” is going to test every bit of patience that I have a small part of me wishes I could freeze time right now and keep you just the way you are. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all if you woke up in the middle of the night and wanted a snuggle. I’ll take as many as you’ll give me. All day, every day.

Love Mama

My Little Boy

Lately it feels like parenting is just an open book test that I’m somehow still managing to fail.

I literally dread going to well-check visits with my kids because I always feel awful afterwards. At our old office we would go back to the exam room and the nurse would pull out her little laptop and start firing questions at me. “Does Chase do this, does Chase do that”. It seemed like all they wanted was a yes or no but that didn’t stop me from trying to expand on every answer. We went for a well-check to get established with our new pediatrician a couple of weeks ago and when I checked in with the receptionist she handed me a form to fill out. I was expecting the normal insurance and/or medical history type form but instead I got a written version of the “Does Chase do this or that” exam.

Let me just tell you that when you’re filling out the form in the waiting room, the parent sitting beside you doesn’t want to here you expanded answers any more than the nurses do.

I panicked a little bit and decided then and there that Chase and I were going to start a form of toddler boot camp. I was going to start working really hard to catch him up. We were going to start eating better, learning to dress ourselves, communicating in 3 word sentences, and use the potty.

Boot camp lasted two days, more like a day and a half. We were both miserable.

I know that I have to stop judging Chase based on other kids his age but good god damn, it would help tremendously if everyone else would stop too. Just once I want an “expert” to say to me “he’ll do it when he’s ready and that’s ok”. I want to just sit back and enjoy him being a baby a little longer. I don’t need him to be able to get dressed by himself at 3 years old. I don’t care if he wears diapers for 6 more months, even a year. He says “I wuv you mommy” and I don’t need any other sentences.

Soon enough he’ll be grown and I’ll say stupid things like “where did my little boy go”. So I’m going to try to enjoy my little boy while he’s still little.

She’s an Evil Genius

My house is in a total state of disarray right now. Trying to pack an entire house by myself with two toddlers underfoot is proving to be a bit difficult. It started out pretty good, I was packing boxes and containing the mess. Everything was orderly.

Today I lost ALL sense of order. I somehow ended up with a bunch of empty boxes in my living room, DVDs and books scattered about my kitchen, clothes and jewelry all over my bedroom, swimsuits littering my laundry room, and there were toys everywhere. Apparently while I was bouncing from room to room my kids were dragging out every toy they owned.

In an effort to start putting things at least halfway to rights I settled both of the kids into their cribs for a nap. Not 15 minutes later I heard a crash and then Katelyn started to cry. I wasn’t alarmed because she regularly has dance parties in her crib and ends up falling over, bouncing off the sides of her crib like a pinball. I poked my head in to check on her and lo and behold she was not in her crib at all. The little imp had somehow launched herself over the edge. Into her toy box.

As tempted as I was to immediately take a picture, I rushed to her rescue and spent several minutes checking her over before calming her down. As I sat in the rocking chair with her I started staring at her crib and pondering how exactly she had managed to get out.

This is what her crib normally looks like


It’s not like there’s a step stool in there but there IS a pillow AND a mesh bumper. I can only surmise that she managed to get enough of a lift to get herself over the rail.


This is where I found her after she fell. Of course she fell over the only side of the crib where there were sharp objects. The thing is I found her almost just like this (only sitting down and stunned, also clothed). Here’s the thing, if she was standing on the pillow and/or bumper, leaning over the edge wouldn’t you expect to find her on her head? When I got to her she was wedged in between the crib and toy box. There is no way she could have gotten herself right side up alone. She had to have landed that way.

HOW?

She was also facing towards the crib, almost as if she had been hanging from the edge and slipped down. I’m so perplexed as to how this happened. I thought I had the mattress as low as it would go, as it turns out I can lower it another inch but I’m not convinced that’s going to stop this child.

The whole ordeal left her virtually unscathed, only a small scratch and bruise by her eye.


I, however, am terrified that this is only the beginning of a long line of incidents. First thing tomorrow I’m ordering that child a crib tent.

The Day of the Taco

Last night my eldest child ate a taco, an actual-honest-to-god-whole-taco. Not only did he eat it, he did so willingly, I did not force one single bite into his mouth.

For those of you who know Chase, you understand how monumental this is.

It’s the first time he’s ever willingly eaten beef (outside that one time he took *A* bite of roast). It’s the first time in weeks that I’ve gotten him to eat something besides pizza, cheese, crackers or chicken. The child’s diet is just this side of insane.

It’s a constant battle in our house. At least once a week I find myself vowing to make him either eat what I fix or go hungry. I’m being generous when I say that I succeed in standing my ground 15% of the time. When he comes to me crying at 9:00 at night holding a box of cereal crying “eat, Mama. EAT”, I usually cave. Most days I avoid the situation completely, letting him choose what to eat or making him his favorites. Meal time is just generally not a pleasant time at our house.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal, Chase is happy, healthy, and loved. I realize that picky eaters and poor diets is not something I alone struggle with, it’s a battle for a LOT of parents. I don’t know though, somewhere in the deepest darkest corners of my mind there is a little voice telling me that this is just another way that I’m failing him. That little voice whispers that it’s my fault he won’t eat, that it’s something I’ve done wrong in the past two years. I know that’s not really true but trying being rational when you’re bone tired and having a battle of wills with a two year old.

When I somehow convinced him that he should just TRY that taco I felt like it was a breakthrough. It felt a lot like the day he finally decided to stop torturing us all and walk.

Of course my parenting-pride was quickly dashed today when he refused to eat anything besides Oreos and fruit snacks. I guess I’ll just have to hold on to yesterday’s win.

You’ve Got Mail!

Well you don’t really have mail so much as you’ve got me telling you to come look at my Christmas cards because chances are if you don’t share blood with me you aren’t actually getting one. I apologize but these bad boys were expensive, so even sharing blood doesn’t guarantee you a paper copy.

Anyway…..

Happy Merry Everything to all of you out there, you really do make my world a happier place.

The picture quality is a little poor because I had to use my phone as my *real* camera is currently refusing to take pictures (AHEM Dear Santa).

May you all have the very best Holiday season. Head over to Meghan’s place to check out all the other fantastic cards!