Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blue Goo

Ryan and I had fun the other day making a mess with my niece, Emma.
I mixed two parts corn starch with one part water and added a few drops of blue food dye. The result was a blue goo that looked like liquid, but when touched, instantly firmed up.
It was so much fun to play with! A perfect rainy day activity.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adorable Energy Drainers

I often sit down at night and think to myself, I should blog. About what we did today, Ryan's latest funny remark, a new recipe I tried, how Lucas' sleep habits have been....and then just thinking about it all makes me tired. These little boys can be a lot of fun, but holy heck, they sure drain the energy right out of me.
My job is so constant. I can't take my eyes off of them for a second, because if I do, someone will eat a blue crayon. Or someone will feed his baby brother popcorn. Or someone will crawl into the bathroom and try to climb into the toilet.
I think one of the reasons being a Mom is so tiring is because you always "On." I can't just sit down for a moment and let me mind drift or focus on something else. I have to be present and available for my boys all day (and night). Only once they are both asleep can I let out my breath and relax for a moment. And even then, I find myself worrying and thinking about them. Does that ever change?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Quite Contrary

For so long we were anxious for Ryan to start talking. Now that he is saying everything, he has a few statements that I am not so fond of.

"No ME do it!"

"I no want to go home!"

"I no want to go to the <insert anywhere we are going, even the park>"

"No buckle me!" (Booster chair or car seat or stroller)

"I no WANT a timeout!"

"No MINE!"

"I don't want to eat <insert any food that's not on his short list of approved foods>"

"Me no wuv you Mommy"

Ouch, that last one hurt.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Fights

I thought I'd write an update on how Ryan has been doing lately with eating. Anyone who knows him knows that he is a picky eater. Beyond picky. As in, the only fruit or vegetable he has eaten in the past year is a banana. And there are many normal "kid" foods that he won't even touch. Here's a quick summary of his likes and dislikes:

Likes: crackers, chips, ground meat, peanut butter, yogurt, sausage, bacon, bologna, cheese pizza, white rice, boxed mac n cheese, frozen taquitos, parmesan, chocolate.......I know there are a few more I'm forgetting.

Dislikes: all fruits, all vegetables, potatoes, eggs, soup, corn, grilled cheese, oatmeal, beans, tortillas, ice cream, anything too "mushy", anything too "crunchy".....the list is endless and I don't have time to type it all out.

A lot of this is just little kid pickiness, but two things concern me. One, the lack of fruits and vegetables in Ryan's diet. Second, his manners at the table. If he sees something he doesn't recognize or like on his plate, he will just pick it up and throw it. And sometimes he will angrily scream "I don't want " just to make sure he gets his point across. It's frustrating and I feel helpless every single time I feed him. I hate that mealtime is a battle.

Lucas is my dream child when it comes to eating habits. I know he's still young and has plenty of time to develop aversions like his brother has, but right now I'm so pleased that he'll pretty much eat anything. The below picture is him stuffing salmon and broccoli into his mouth.

In contrast, here is Ryan suspiciously eyeing his broccoli.
 And cringing when I suggested he take a little bite.
 And posing happily, only because I told him to hold it up and smile.
So where are we at these days with Ryan's pickiness? Well things have been getting a little bit better! We've been trying the approach lately of telling Ryan he has to take just 1 bite of the "offensive" food on his plate, which is typically a fruit or vegetable. If he cooperates and takes a decent taste, then he can have more of whatever else he is eating, or ask for a bowl of cereal. But only if he takes a bite of the new food first. I guess it's kind of like bribing, but it's the only thing that seems to work.

Over the past few months of using this new method, Ryan has tried raspberries, blackberries, broccoli, scrambled eggs, salmon, green smoothies, apples, and a carrot that he licked. (Seriously, we cheered when he licked the carrot. Such progress!) I didn't realize we were making much progress until tonight, when I made him try a bite of salmon. I told him he could have more rice if he ate a decent sized bite of fish. So he tried it. And loved it! He kept asking for more fish and stuffing it in his mouth. Between him and Lucas, they ate Adam's entire portion of salmon! I was so surprised, and it only confirmed what I have heard.....some kids have to see a food up to 20 times before they will try it or learn to like it. With Ryan it may be more like 50 times, but I won't give up!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Babbling Baby

Guess who started babbling last week?
I've been saying "Mama" to Lucas a lot lately, but he just responds by giggling. The other day he started saying "Ama Ama Ama" (Ryan's word for Grandma!). Eventually it turned into "Mama Mama".  Later that same day he started babbling "Baba Baba Baba" and now he says it all the time. My little babbling baby!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cutting Myself Some Slack

In an ideal world, I would always stick to our schedule, eat only homemade organic food, and never  let my toddler watch mindless cartoons. But one thing I've learned from motherhood is that  it's okay to be less than perfect. It's okay to take shortcuts now and then (or every day), particularly when I am extra tired (or have a migraine). In this season of mothering, I am learning to cut myself some slack and extend a little grace to myself. Here are a few practical ways that I do this.

1) Paper plates - I don't know about you, but some days I feel like all I do are dishes. So I've started using paper plates every now and then (OK, like every other day). It's probably not great for the environment, but it sure makes cleaning up easier for me.
2) Pajamas - Changing Lucas can sometimes be like running a marathon. It's exhausting and nearly impossible. So sometimes I just leave him in his pajamas for a good part of the day. (I do change his diaper). I know I probably can't get away with this one for too much longer.
3) Baths - I don't give my boys a bath every night. Especially not in the wintertime. They don't get dirty when it's cold out, right?
What shortcuts do you take to make life easier with little kids?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pecial and New

Ryan likes anything "Pecial and New".

 No, not "special".


His face lights up when he discovers that something is pecial and new.

If I tell him a cup is pecial and new, he will more than likely drink whatever is inside of it.

He always wants to go to a pecial and new park.
He wanted to wear Daddy's "pecial new shoes". I tried explaining to him that Daddy's boots are not pecial or new. They are in fact dirty and really old. But to Ryan, anything that belongs to Daddy is special.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lucas' 9-Month Checkup

Lucas had his 9-month well check at the doctor's office earlier this week. Once again, his numbers are almost identical to those of Ryan's at this age, with the exception of his height. (Ryan was taller at 9 months) Here are Lucas' growth stats:

Weight: 19 lbs, 2 oz. (41%)
Height: 27.75 inches (27%)
Head: 18 inches (68%)

The appointment went well and I didn't have too many questions or concerns for the doctor. One thing that we did talk about was Lucas' lack of babbling. He said that at 9 months he should be starting to say simple sounds like "Dada, Mama, Gaga, Baba". Lucas doesn't make any of these sounds. Lucas has one sound, and it's a screech. I'm not concerned about it, though. If he's anything like his older brother, he might take a little longer to start talking.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Ryan's speech therapist told us that Ryan should be able to tell someone his full name by the time he is 3 years old. So we've been working on getting him to answer "Ryan" when asked his name. (Our last name is a bit more difficult for him).
This has led to him asking what other people's names are. So far we have taught him Daddy, Mommy, Baby, both Grandma's, Grandpa, the dog, and a few cousins and friends' names.

Today he told me that he "wanted Adam to come home".
I told him he should stick with calling Adam "Daddy". I guess it would be confusing for him to suddenly learn that people have more than one name!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lucas: 9 Months

Lucas, if I had one word to describe you this month it would be strong!! You amaze me with not only your physical strength, but also your vocal strength, and increasingly, your strength of will. Who knew my laid back, sensitive little Lucas would turn in to such a brave and daring boy?

Your strength surprises me every day, particularly when I am changing your diaper. It has become such a wrestling match it's ridiculous. You wiggle and squirm until you are upside down in a push-up position, with me holding your legs in the air, trying as hard as I can to turn you back over. It's nearly impossible. Holding you is really difficult because you are constantly trying to climb up me and leap out of my arms.

I'm feeding you a lot of foods these days right off of my plate. The other night you had tiny bites of salmon, quinoa, and broccoli for dinner. I still give you jarred baby food for convenience sometimes, as well as nurse you about every 4 hours.

You put everything in your mouth and drool like crazy, but still only have 4 teeth.

Your sleep has gotten a bit better this month. You still consistently take 2-3 naps per day, and you have been sleeping in 4 hour stretches at night. (Except for this past week. Sigh).

You are so great about playing independently. As long as you are well rested and fed, I can usually set you down with your toys and you will happily play without crying for me. Although your separation anxiety is pretty strong these days. If someone else tries to hold you, you let us know pretty quickly that you prefer Mommy's arms.
Your cowlick on the front of your head is more noticeable than ever, since it swirls your hair into a circle on your forehead. Your Daddy calls it your "Swoopity-swoop".
 Likes: Bathtime with Ryan, cheerios, crawling after the dog, standing
Dislikes: Being changed, being tired, having your nose wiped
When I asked your Daddy what word he would use to describe you right now, he did not hesitate before saying "Crazy".

I love you, my crazy strong baby Lucas!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Our Daily Routine

I love having a routine. I like knowing what to expect, and I think young children tend to do better when they are on a good schedule. So I'm happy that I can finally say we are following a good routine these days. Lucas is napping well, which is amazing, but it does mean we have to stick to a pretty strict schedule. I know it will likely change in the coming weeks and months, but here is what a typical day looks like for me, at home with a 9 month old and a 2 year 10 month old.

7-8am: We typically get up around 7am after I've nursed Lucas in bed and I immediately change his diaper and put in my contacts. We head out to the kitchen where I fix breakfast while the boys play. We eat at the table together and usually finish by around 8am.

8-9am: I try to clean up from breakfast and do the dishes while the boys play nearby. This gets a little tricky since I am constantly stopping to play referee. Sometimes I get the dishes loaded and the dishwasher going and even have time to wipe down the counters and table. Other days I barely get anything done because Ryan is acting up with Lucas. I also change Ryan's diaper and get him dressed at this time.

9am: Lucas is usually ready for a nap within two hours of waking up. While Ryan watches TV, I put Lucas in his sleep sack and sing him a lullaby. I turn on his sound machine as loud as it will go and shut the door. He usually sleeps between 40 minutes and a little over an hour.

9-10:30am: I use this time to get myself dressed, do my makeup (sometimes!), finish the morning dishes, start a load of laundry, make the beds, and tidy up the house. I let Ryan watch a cartoon while I do this. If I have time I play cars with Ryan, give him a snack, or start getting ready for whatever we're going to do next.

10:30am: Lucas is awake and I nurse him. At this point we have a solid hour until I need to start thinking about lunch. We use this time to run errands, go for a walk, go to the grocery store, etc. It takes so much planning to get out of the house these days! Each boy needs a sippy cup, a snack, a clean diaper, socks and shoes, etc.

12:00pm: Lunchtime! Me and the boys sit together at the table and eat either leftovers or something simple I can fix while the boys play/fight. Yesterday I made Ryan a mini pizza on pita bread that I broiled in the oven, but most days it's something easier like a sandwich. After lunch we play a little bit before it's time for a nap.

1:00pm: Naptime. My favorite and most dreaded time of day. I put Lucas down for his nap first while Ryan watches TV in my room. (It's the only thing that will keep him safely distracted from trouble). Then I try to put Ryan down for a nap. Lately it's been great. It takes about 20 minutes for him to fall asleep with me next to him, and he's been sleeping between 1 and 2 hours every day. (Excuse me as I knock on wood with as much force as possible). Lucas naps for about 45 minutes, which means I have a solid 20 minutes to myself before he's awake. I spend the first ten minutes sitting down with my Bible. I try to ignore my To-Do list and just take a few minutes to relax and talk to God.

1:30pm: With my last 10 minutes of freedom I frantically clean up from lunch, put away laundry, and start prepping dinner. Lucas wakes up and I nurse him.

2:00pm: At this point Ryan is still asleep but Lucas is awake. And if you know Lucas, you know he's loud! So I try to keep him as far away from Ryan's room as possible. We play until Ryan is up.

3:00pm: Ryan is awake and I give him a snack. We now have an hour to get out of the house and go to the park or the store. Sometimes my Mom comes over at this time and helps me with the boys so I can clean or take a shower.

4:00pm: Lucas is usually ready for his final nap of the day. While he sleeps, Ryan and I play hide and go seek outside or find something quiet to do in the house.

4:45pm: This is a hard time of day for me. I need to start cooking dinner soon, but both boys are cranky and restless. I nurse Lucas and then try to occupy them while I cook, or sometimes I give them an early bath before I make dinner. They love bathtime together!

6:00pm: Dinnertime. By this point I'm pretty frazzled and the boys are usually yelling/screeching/crying/whining. It's a stressful time. If we're lucky, Adam is home to eat dinner with us. But that only happens about half of the time.

6:30-7:30pm: If Adam's home I let him play with the boys while I clean up from dinner. If not, we take baths and get PJ's on. Or run around the house screaming (Ryan).

7:30pm: I nurse Lucas and put him to bed. Adam and Ryan are usually watching TV while I do this.

8:00pm: We either lay down and put Ryan to bed at this point (which would take up to 2 hours) or wait until we go to bed later. If we wait, then I use this time to clean up from dinner, clean up toys around the house, sort mail and pay bills, put away laundry, or anything else that needs my immediate attention. If Ryan is still up he eats a bedtime snack of cereal.

9-10:00pm: We try to go to bed around this time because Ryan is really hyper and loud.

Lucas usually wakes up twice to nurse during the night, around midnight and 4am.

5:30am: Adam gets up for work and I'm usually awake to say goodbye.

And then we start it all over again! Probably sounds kind of boring, right? Each day is different, just a similar routine. If you have young children, are your days like mine?