Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hey Jealousy-

I had quite the experience dropping James off at daycare this morning.  Rhonda lives in a row home and there are 5 steps to get from her foyer into the living room.  There is obviously a gate at the steps (and everywhere else in the house, since she's a licensed daycare) and the gate is usually open.  Baby Landon, at 10 months, has started standing and walking a bit, so the gate was closed this morning.  When James and I reached the gate, I set him down on the steps and went to unlock it.  Well, Rhonda was in the kitchen and couldn't readily grab Landon, who was now standing directly in front of me.  So I grabbed Landon and proceeded to unlatch the gate.  You would have thought that I had broken James' legs, the way he wailed.  He was so appalled that his own mother would pick up another child.  He threw himself down at the top of the stairs and wouldn't move.  He just cried and cried.  I still needed to close the gate again, as to not have Landon hurl himself downstairs.  It took a second to put Landon down far enough away and then move James and re latch the gate.
So that was fun.  My boy is such a drama queen, with his fake tears and crying.  The second Landon was out of my arms, he stopped.  I didn't even have to pick him back up for him to stop crying.  My silly boy turned into a green eyed monster!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Egg Timer

Yesterday, the three of us went to Ikea to scope out some furniture for the back yard.  James was in an interesting mood, not quite grumpy, but a little clingy, so one of us had to carry him for most of the trip.  Despite that, we had a nice time, looking through furniture, testing out chairs, and for James, looking in the children's section.  We ended up bringing home a rocking horse, which James really loves.  Other than that, there were no toys that really struck James' interest.  Well there were no toys that James really had to have, but there was an egg timer.  He picked it up in the kitchen section and proceeded to carry the egg timer all over the store.  Being the loving parents we are (and not wanting a to cause a scene while attempting to take the egg timer away), we bought the boy his egg timer.  He sat with it in the car, fell asleep with it on the way home, and even took it with him to nap time.
After seeing the outdoor furniture that Ikea had to offer, I think we're going with the set we saw at Home Depot last weekend.  I really liked the Ikea set, but it is wood and the Home Depot Set is metal, which I think will last longer.  Also, Home Depot will deliver, so that is a bonus.  I'm pretty excited to have a nice area to sit in the backyard while James plays this summer, since we have nothing out there right now.  Between his water table and scooter, James is going to have a lot of fun this summer!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The scooter

In our St. Paddy's Day green
This weekend we ran a lot of errands.  Since I was in California last weekend and the boys were bachelors, we had a lot of things to do.  So Saturday morning we went to Sam's Club, Home Depot, and Babies R Us.  James was in a good mood, so we knocked all three trips out at once.  At Sam's Club we got diapers, at Home Depot we priced out some patio furniture (patio furniture didn't make it into our budget last summer, but we are finally getting some!), and we went to Babies R Us for a potty and some other little things.  Yes, James picked out his own potty at Babies R Us and has been carrying it around the house ever since.  He loves it.  Sometimes he will sit on it, but since we aren't actively potting training just yet, he mostly just plays with it and puts the bowl part on his head like a hat.
We also got James a scooter to play with outside.  It can convert from a ride on toy to an actual stand up scooter and James just loves it.  We played outside with the new scooter on Saturday and then brought it in so he could practice scooting inside.  Well after awhile James just wanted us to push him around on it.  And he kept whining and whining to be pushed.  He finally went to bed and I meant to put the scooter out of sight in the basement.
But of course I forgot.  So Sunday morning, James immediately upon waking up started to sit and whine at the scooter.  I picked it up and moved it to the basement and that is when all hell broke lose.  You would have thought I broke his arm the way James was crying.  He even woke Adam, who was sleeping in, up.  Oops, little bit of a mommy fail there.  He eventually got over his tantrum and we did play with the scooter later that day, but lesson learned for this mom, move the toy when he's not looking...

So happy on his scooter!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back to life

Well I am back from my trip to California.  It was a very quick trip and I think that I'm still pretty shell shocked from all of it.  For awhile there I wasn't even sure what state or time zone I was in, then you add in the change to Daylight Savings Time and all bets were off.  But I made it there and back in one piece.  I am so glad to be back with my family, but also so sad that now the reality of my Grandma being gone has to set in.  Trips with your family are always interesting events.  I'll say interesting for lack of a better (or nicer) word, but we all made it through a very tough day.
With the trip now over, I can say that I was glad that James stayed home with Adam.  The logistics of traveling with a 21 month old, coupled with the sheer emotion and devastation of the memorial would have been too much for us to handle.  I know that I will not be able to shield James from every hardship in life, but while he is young and I am able, I would prefer to not have him in situations like funerals or memorials.  Kids can really pick up on the emotions of those around them and something like life and death is all together scary at that age.  Adam and James had a fun boys weekend and then carried on with our regular work day schedule while I was gone.  I am very lucky that I have a partner like Adam who jump right into single parenting and do it so well.  Overall, it would have been selfish of me to take James along just so that I wouldn't be missing him.
Today is my first back at the office and I had a bit to catch up on, but nothing major.  I will be more than ready for the weekend to get here, even after only 2 days at work.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Something I love

The last 2 days have been beautiful here in Maryland.  Yesterday hit 72 degrees!  Amazing weather for March.  The day before yesterday was in the 60's, as it will be today also.  Since the weather has been so good, Rhonda has had the kids outside playing almost all day.  They do their preschool time in the morning, then go out and play.  After lunch and naps, they're outside waiting for the after school kids to join them.
Why do I love all this outdoor play?
Because the last 2 nights, James has gone to bed without so much as a peep.  I think its certainly helpful that his mouth isn't hurting and his cold is pretty much gone, but the playtime outside has been wonderful!
Now I don't want to jinx things just because bedtime has been less of a struggle, but I was so happy I had to share.  James also hasn't woken up overnight either, so we're all well rested, which makes for a much less grumpy family.

Reality Check

This week I have managed to stay positive and busy.  Not that its hard to stay busy with James, work, the pets, and home to keep me on my toes.  But I have been able to avoid all the upsetting things I have been feeling, at least to a certain extent.  I've managed (for the most part) to keep my crying in bed at home and not let it steep into the work place.  Adam has been there to comfort me when I'm upset and to offer his words of encouragement and humor.  I am so lucky that I have someone in my life who understands me and what I need in times like these.
But now, I have to go face all of it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing to do.  It is certainly a hard thing to do, to try to make peace with all that is going on in my family.  Our matriarch is gone and now we have to pick up the pieces and figure out how we as a family move on after this loss.  I know that we can move on with our memories in hand, but I also know that even in the most trying time, my Grandma was the voice of reason and the rock for my mom and aunt.
All of the grandkids (me, my brother, and our 3 cousins) have been asked to share a favorite memory of our grandma at the memorial service.  I am not sure what I am going to share yet, because its hard to pin point one particular memory, when I love all of them.  But something will come to me, hopefully before the service on Monday.
My plane leaves tomorrow morning at 8:30 and nearly 13 hours later I will be in lovely Medford, Oregon.  Hopefully the plane ride is a smooth one.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

21 month milestones

Mastered skills
Can walk up stairs
James is getting the hang on walking, not crawling up the stairs.  He is making progress, but usually crawls up.  His legs are finally getting long enough so that walking is an option.
Able to set simple goals (e.g. deciding to put a toy in a certain place)
Sure, I think James is doing this.  He's stubborn enough that when he decides he wants something, he's going to get it.

Emerging skills
Throws a ball overhand
Yes, he loves to play fetch with the dog
Kicks ball forward
Yes, he also likes soccer with Mac
Stacks six blocks
James can stack blocks, but knocking them over is more fun

Advanced skills
Names simple picture in a book
Yes, James can name pictures in a book.  We also do flashcards with him at dinner, which he thinks is so fun.  Some of the things he can identify are cat, dog, house, mouse, fan, block, ball...  There are more, but he loves his flashcards.  He will also demonstrate something about the card, either meowing for a
Can walk down stairs
Not yet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Keeping it light

My poor blog has been suffering lately.  Everything I want to write is rather dark and a bit depressing and delving into my inner philosopher.  For today, I'm not going to make you all suffer through that with me.  So I haven't been updating much.  With the passing of my grandma, I am really trying to hold onto happy thoughts.  So for today, I'm going to tell you a poop story.  Everyone has poop stories about their kids and James has some good ones, especially as a tiny infant.  But this is a more current tale.
We've been using "potty words" more and more often with James, in preparation of actually potty training him (one day, we're no where near actually training at the moment) so we ask him a lot if he's pooping or peeing, if he needs a diaper, etc.  He always responds no, because that's just the phase of life he's in.  Everything is a no.  So after he says no, I feel his butt to see if there is anything in his diaper.  As a result, anytime I ask James if he's pooping or needs to, he reaches back and rubs his butt.  Its pretty cute, if I say so.  But he'll rub his butt and then respond no, so maybe we are getting somewhere!  (Okay, this could be wishful thinking...)  We've also been practicing taking his own pants off, which is fairly entertaining.  I know we have a long ways to go before potty training, but a girl can dream!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Here in the Bednarczyk house we have ventured into uncharted territory (and I'm not referring to my father-in-law getting us lost in the wilderness over the weekend).  We have entered the Land of No.  Yes, the dreaded "NO!" phase has begun and less than a week or so into it, I'm feeling a bit spent.  James' response to everything is either no or some derivative of the word.  You can ask him if he wants something that you know he really wants and he will still tell you no.  He'll tell you no and then put his hand out for that very item.  I know that he doesn't really know what he's saying, but dear lord can it been frustrating.  Stop saying no, child, your mother is going to wring your neck.
Sometimes the no response is funny though.  We try to ask questions that have a positive outcome when the answer is no.  Or we just pretend that he's just said yes instead of no.  Or we ignore his response and continue on our way.
I've read lots of "solutions" on how to handle the whole no phase, but some of the advise didn't really apply to our current situation.  We don't say no to James a lot, we try to distract him still or use another word to let him know he shouldn't do something (like telling him to be nice and gentle with the dog or saying something doesn't belong in his mouth).  I keep reading about how to give either/or questions rather than yes/no, but when James says no its not because he doesn't want to do something (take a bath, go to bed, etc.).  Its more that he just likes to say the word no.  Although I'm sure he'll actually not want to do things soon enough.
Either way, we are working on discipline as a team, like everything else.  We take it one day at a time and enjoy the moments when James is agreeable.