Tuesday, September 27

Let's Talk about Lucas

Lucas is changing before our eyes everyday and knocking down milestones like they stole something!

He is also teething ferociously and it makes for a sad, miserable baby some days and some nights.
He still needs a bottle most nights around 2-3 am--lucky me. Sleep training is going okay. About 4 out of 7 nights a week I can put him down totally awake and without fussing he knows what to do. Other nights he won't settle for anything less than holding him until we fall asleep together.  He is so different than Olivia in that department. Then and now she doesn't want to be bothered when she is tired or sleepy--just let her go and do her thing.

He says mama, bah bah, and dada--and it seems to be in context too! He loves screaming matches with his sister and finds her incredibly entertaining. Olivia can snap him out of any bad mood. She likes to rough play with him and I think his first words to her will soon be "stop"  or "no!"

He's trying to sit up on his own. Splashing and kicking like crazy in the tub. Grabbing and using his hands to put things in his mouth.  He's eating solids--but still won't open his mouth all the way for the spoon unless I play airplane with the spoon to get him to smile. He's also survived his sister shoving random food in his mouth at the dinner table (while we're looking away) that she doesn't like.

He is such a sweet sweet boy. Smiling and laughing all the time. Love him so much and feel so lucky to be able to experience parenthood a different way with another little one with a different personality.

Olivia 2 Yr Stats

O dressed as a pirate for her school's International Talk Like a Pirate Day celebration
Olivia had her well baby 2 year doctor's appointment last week.

It is amazing to think about the difference in her behavior since the last time I had her in the doctor's office just a few months ago at 19 months. She was so well behaved and easy to reason with--and bribery works like magic these days.

Here are her stats:
  • Weight: 30 lbs..89 percentile
  • Height: 36 inches... 95th percentile
  • Head: ? I forgot to record this...but the doc said in the 69th percentile.
She took her two shots like a champ too--only wincing. I gave her fair warning that the nurse was going to give her medicine but she would also give her band-aid too. Yay! She, like all kids, loves the band-aids. Then they had to up the ante and take her down to get two vials of blood drawn. Yikes.

In anticipation of the bloodwork, we stopped by the pharmacy on the walk to the lab and I let her pick out candy--gummi bears--for opening only after the blood. Hey get this, she actually complied with that request and sat like an angel in the waiting area with the gummies in her lap. Since she never gets candy--she knew I was expecting big things from her--kind of like potty training.

For the bloodwork she only jumped a little until the nurse told her the needle was a butterfly with a magic straw. She was amazed that she was making blood/red juice with zero effort!

I was SO proud of her. We opened her gummies when she got back to the car and she ate the entire package in about 15 seconds flat before we could exit the hospital campus.

Her budding personality is the best thing to witness. She sings the Barney song "I love you, you love me..." to Lucas all the time giving him the "great big hug" and kiss. It is so sweet.

She loves school--every minute of it. I was worried that she'd be tired of it after being there for 8 hours a day--5 hours more than most kids her age. But nope--and in fact she is thriving her Spanish classes on Saturday too. The child is a learning machine--a little sponge.

She also loves the grocery store---I mean she gets really excited about it which makes me get excited too and I HATE the grocery store. Now that she's potty trained and her bladder is stronger the short trips are actually enjoyable.

She's such a little girl now--a tough little girl but a little girl nonetheless.

Saturday, September 10

First Day of School

Olivia had her first (half) day of nursery school last Friday!

She only went in for 3 hours mind you. From 9am to 12noon--- just long enough to drop her off, complete one errand, feed Lucas, and turn around and pick her up again. We celebrated with family lunch out and she passed out in her carseat on the way home. Awesome.

I was a nervous wreck--had butterflies the night before--and kept obsessing over the list of things she had to bring in: box of tissues, art smock, change of clothes, everything labeled, rain boots, etc.

Olivia, on the other hand, was perfectly fine. Having gone to her school for her "admissions observation" and then again for the new student play date--she loves the place! It also helped that both of those earlier encounters with the school ended on the playground, so in her mind it is a wonderfully fantastic place. I wish I would have videotaped her excitement as we turned the corner walking up to the building.

She was jumping up and down and showing off her backpack "Look at my backpack! Look at Dora!"  to the school staff. It was hilarious.

Here's all of us--in front of the building on the rainy day.
I felt like I was the only one with a camera, and we were those parents. I was embarrassed to ask someone to take the picture--but really wanted it--so I got over it really fast.

I am so excited for her to get this exposure and specialized structured experience from age 2 through 6. She is going to thrive! It's become clear that she needs to learn to balance the social aspect of group settings with learning. Being with a nanny since birth means "playdates" and storytimes are the only times she gets to socialize with other children regularly--which makes focusing on tasks in group settings that much more difficult for her.You take for granted the basic rules like sitting in place and listening quietly without touching other children.

For example, today at storytime (which she's being going to since birth) she walked up to each of the other children there and individually "roared" (loudly and obnoxiously)  in their faces after the storyteller asked the audience what sound a lion makes. At first I laughed (with pride--the other kids were mute!), but when her third victim flinched a bit and when O started going to adults I quickly snapped out of my fog and jumped up and snatched this little rude (hilarious) child of mine.

So---school will be good for her.

Oh..and here's what she should have worn---I ordered all of her school uniforms way too big. Mom FAIL.

Sunday, September 4

Makes Me Laugh

Olivia loves loves her undies---6 times over.

I woke up to this sight one morning when Olivia got into her underwear drawer. I preferred this morning over the one where she found the lotion dispenser in the bathroom.

Friday, September 2

Potty Training Boot Camp: Wrap Up

I think this potty training saga could go on and on for the next year, so I think I'll just wrap it up here.

Olivia understands the concept--and even went a couple days without an accident, but we are still trying to master the dreaded number two. Dun. Dun. Dun.

She's just too impatient when it comes to number two. We read books. Sing songs in the bathroom and she still gets gun shy.

The potty training manual says--"stay positive don't scold" but when Olivia told us she had to go "caca" and Charm City Daddy sat her down on the potty and she commenced to prancing and pooping all over the bathroom (diarrhea cha cha cha)--we lost it.

I was amidst the post-bath routine with Lucas in another room when I heard a big SPLAT! "That can't be good," I thought. I slowly peeked in--afraid of what I might see. It looked like a crime scene, people. There she was sitting on the potty at moment in time, of course with a very fitting "oh, shit" look on her face. I gagged--then we lost it.

And that was on Charm City Daddy's Birthday! Happy Birthday daddy!

Anyway..I'll wrap up this experience with a few lessons learned as well as gear that helped us out.
  1. Stock up on undies. I started with just 5 pair, but later went to town in Walmart and bought at least 30 more. I bought ten Dora, Disney Princess ones(added incentives--"don't pee on Dora!")--and the rest were Hanes, FOTL generic. I haven't used them all yet--we do laundry quite often--especially when bodily fluids are involved. I have extras everywhere--diaper bag, car, grandma's house.
  2. Portable Potty. At the suggestion of a friend, I got the Pottete Portable on the go potty. It has great reviews and I love it's versatility and it's small enough to fit in the diaper bag or keep in the car. (and get additional liners!)
  3. Seat Liners. For the public potties--these liners are adhesive and worth and peace of mind. I keep these in the diaper bag.
  4. Carseat Saver- Piddle Pad. Yes! Many swear by carseat covers for this reason alone.. We haven't had any accidents yet but better safe than sorry.
Other thoughts:
  • Constant reminding and nagging--not asking worked well for us.
  • Positive reinforcement DOES work. Olivia loves saying "I so pwoud of you" all the time now.
  • O's reward was a single gummi bear or sing fruit snack for every successful droplet in the pot. It's quick, tasty--and unlike the popsicles her daddy wanted to give her, don't get messy--take forever to eat or contain water.
  •  Have old rags--in our case gym towels--mop, and cleaning supplies on standby. 
  • Consider rolling up your rugs if you can--or staying in rooms that have no floor coverings during the training period.
  • I sat Olivia down with my laptop on Day 2 and we went through all the YouTube videos I could find about potty training for kids--singing her songs--watching cartoons talk about it--seeing other kids do it. And I think it helped.
Finally---COMMIT and DON'T GIVE UP! Your partner must be on board too! Good Luck!

What worked for you Mamas?

*I was not and have never been compensated (in any way) for my baby gear suggestions on this blog.*

Thursday, September 1

So we had a Earthquake and Hurricane...

...in the same week!

I feel like I need to mention these two things, because they were kind of big deals.

First, the earthquake...

-I was at work.
-Olivia was at home sleeping (it was naptime) and remained sleeping through the whole experience.
-Lucas was in his baby swing sleeping and also remained unimpressed with the earth moving.
-Charm City Daddy was standing in the front yard talking to a neighbor.

Later that week, Hurricane Irene came through and surprised us all with her overnight winds and rains which uprooted nearly a tree on every street of our neighborhood--which is filled with big, old trees. A tree came down over a power line in our next door neighbor's backyard that left our side of the street without power for 4 long, days.

One tree came down (never heard a sound) in our yard just feet from Olivia's room and miraculously missed it---and somehow bent around our sun porch. Only God.