Monday, April 30, 2012

He's playing us

Children are crafty, fickle little beings.  They are cute only so their parents feel the need to keep them around.  Well, their cuteness and our inborn, genetic desire to not want to harm something we worked so hard to protect for 9 months.
James can play Adam and I like a fiddle.  He's not even two, yet he knows how to get what he wants.  Not that he does...  at least not all the time.
On Saturday, Adam and I went to an Oriole's game.  We had free tickets, so even though it was raining, we left James with my mom and headed down to Camden Yards.  I was a little worried that James wouldn't go to bed for Grandma, he likes to put up a fight and lay in his bed making noise for awhile before actually falling asleep these days.  Usually, Adam or I give in and go up to check on James during these noisy times.  Adam tells him its time to sleep, not time to play and I usually repeat something like that and sing him a song or two.  Eventually, he falls asleep.  But not for Grandma, nooooo.  James got a story, had some snuggles, and then went to SLEEP.  No fuss, no noise.  NOTHING.  I mean, sure I'm happy he didn't make my mom's night rough.  We came home and were told of our perfect child and really, who can complain about that?
Cut to Sunday night...  we're on our third trip upstairs and he finally stops making noise and goes to sleep.
Either we need Grandma to come over every night or he's playing us.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The birthday list

Today I ordered invitations for James' second birthday party.  We're just having a small get together with family and a few friends, but I love personalizing invitations on  Then I opened my mailing list file to print labels out for them and there in the middle of the page was a label for Mary Lou Smith, my grandma.  A wave of pain and sadness came over me and there I was at my desk, having a good cry.  I know grief and mourning take time, but I never knew the little ways it would affect me.  Like a mailing list for a birthday party.
I can only take it one day at a time, but today was hard.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nippy Kippy strikes again

Well Nippy Kippy is at it again, wreaking havoc on the daycare children.  James was the victim of a biting attack yesterday.  Rhonda called me at work to let me know what happened and when I picked James up, she showed me the small bruise on his back.  It actually isn't that bad and Kippy didn't break the skin.  Rhonda also let me know that Kippy's mom had been called and that Kip was disciplined for biting.  I know its a pretty common thing for kids to bite and I know that Rhonda broke up the biting as soon as she could.  She told me that she wouldn't have minded so much if James bit back, but that she broke things up before it got that far.  I was glad that she did, because while I know James would have been defending himself, I still don't want him to think biting is ok.  I read a bunch of articles yesterday about biting, and while they didn't give me any new perspective on the incident, they did reaffirm my thoughts on it.  All we can do when James bites (and he occasionally does test his boundaries) is give a warning and follow up with a timeout.  We also need to make sure James remembers that it hurts when he is bitten and that he doesn't want to make others hurt.  James was actually pretty proud of his booboo, so I don't think he was traumatized too badly.  I think Kippy had a hard time adjusting to James being the "new baby" at daycare and now there is Baby Landon too, making Kip officially one of the "big kids".  He really is a sweet kid and while I would prefer he not snack on my James, I know he's not a bully.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mommy guilt

Mommy guilt is a concept that I've heard of several times through various blogs and parenting websites that I read.  I never have really felt a lot of this so called guilt that many mom's have talked about.  Sure, I have things or situations with James that I occasionally wish I had handled differently.  And while I am certain of our family's decision to be a "two working parents" sort of household, I do sometimes wish I was home with my boy, watching his every milestone occur in front of my eyes.  But really, for the most part I am comfortable with the fact that many of the parenting "plans" that we made before James came never came to fruition.  I had a unplanned, quasi emergency C-section 5 weeks early and wasn't able to breast feed mainly due to this fact.  We didn't really let James cry it out.  We didn't use an many attachment parenting techniques as I thought we would.  Some moms have gone on and on about their guilt regarding these things, but I really don't have it.  I also don't think C-sections are evil, but I won't even get into that one.
James and I are alive and really that's good enough.
But for the last few weeks or so, I have had some mom guilt creeping into my head.  Leaving James for 4 days to go to California for my Grandmother's funeral started it.  I felt horrible about leaving James and Adam, even though I knew it was for the best.  Travelling cross county alone with a toddler is not on my list of things to do...  Like ever.  A few weeks after I got home, I attended a party at Jackie's house, again solo.  Then I went to another friend's baby shower, again alone.  And tonight I am meeting a friend, Tisha, who I haven't seen in years for dinner.  James isn't left with a baby sitter for these events, Adam is more than willing to stay home with him, but its weird to feel so bad about it.  I know that Adam misses James when he attends football games during the season, but I don't know that he feels the same kind of guilt that I do.  And maybe that's the first indicator that I shouldn't feel this way and am putting pressure on myself.
I think the root of this is really the feeling that I do miss a lot because I'm not home with James during the day.  We try to make the best of our short hours together at home during the week and do fun things on the weekends.  That's not always possible, like this weekend when we will be going to get eye exams.  After work turns into a marathon of dinner, bath time, play time, story time.
There is a fine balancing act to this whole parenting thing.  I need to be near my baby as much as possible, enjoying every moment of his childhood, but I also need to maintain some inkling of who I am without being just James' mom and Adam's wife.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pants off

Last night, James was hell bent on getting his pajama shorts off.  From the time he got out of the bath to the time he went to bed, he wanted to take them off and then put them back on.  Except he had trouble getting them back on, so Adam or I had to help.  Around the 7th time I helped him put his pants back on, I was a little frustrated.  Bedtime rolled around, James was tucked in, and no less than 5 minutes later we heard him rustling around in bed.  He started to make more noise after that, but we tried to ignore him.  James likes when we come hang out in his room these days, so we're trying to let him figure it out on his own that we aren't going to come into his room every night.  Except we're really bad at this and that is why crying it out wasn't ever really successful in our house.
So finally Adam gives in and goes up to James' room.  As soon as he walked in, James stood up, handed his shorts to Adam, and said "Dad?"  He was awake because he wanted to put his shorts back on and couldn't.  He feel asleep shortly thereafter and was fully clothed when I woke him this morning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Being the daddy's boy that he is, James can sometimes blow off his mother.  Yes, that's me, his mother.  The woman that packed him around in her belly for 9...  wait, 8 long months.  The one who sacrificed her body and occasionally her forgetful mind.  But enough about her...  Because dad is the coolest thing ever.  Dad builds forts with blankets and plays the guitar and creates silly games that are far beyond the realm of mom.  And that's okay, but sometimes the boys club is a little much to handle.
But every night after dinner, dad leaves for 20 to 30 minutes to walk the dog.  And during that time, James is stuck with mom, whether he likes it or not.  Last night, as James and I sat reading a new book on the couch, he climbed onto my lap, faced me and wrapped his arms tightly around me.  He snuggled his head in and held on for a minute.  He crawled off my lap for a second and then immediately came back and did the same thing, wrapped his arms tight and held me for just a minute.  Then he let go, climbed down, and proceeded to destroy another area of my living room.
I told Adam about the hugging session later, after James had gone to bed.  Adam responded with a wink, "I like he kind of likes you."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

22 month milestones

Two more months until my baby is 2 years old!

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Kicks ball forward
Yes, James loves to play soccer, usually with the dog.
Follows two-step requests (e.g., "Get your doll and bring it here")
Yes, again, James is pretty good about following requests like bringing Adam or I something or getting his shoes and then sitting in a chair to put them on.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Does simple puzzles
James has a few Melissa and Doug puzzles that he loves to play with.  One of them has 3 bears that you can put different outfits on and he loves it the most.  Adam will make up silly stories that go along with Momma, Papa, and Baby Bear and when they're done playing, James will say "ni-night" and help them go to bed.  If that's not cute, I don't know what is.
Draws a straight line
Yes, but he isn't too into coloring yet.
Names several body parts
Yes, James can name his hair, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, tongue, teeth, arm, hand, fingers, elbow, tummy, knee, foot, and toes.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Puts on loose-fitting clothes
No really, he will try to help and knows where to put his feet or arms, etc.  He's still far more interested in taking clothes off.
Might be ready for a big bed
I'm not sure, he hasn't try to get out of his crib yet.  He has made the transition to a nap mat at daycare, but I think he's fine in his crib for now.
Understands opposites (e.g., tall vs. short)
Yes, thanks to his Sesame Street flashcards, James knows lots of opposites.  His favorite cards are up and down and he will signal each one when you say it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More notes on being a working mom

I've talked about enjoying and needing to be a working mom before on the ol' blog.  I, for the most part, enjoy work.  I like making money, I like what I do, and most of the time, I tolerate my coworkers.  Actually, this bunch of coworkers are a cake walk compared to my former position in downtown Baltimore.
I think I'm more well rounded, more sane, and a better mom to James because I work outside of the home.  This is 2012, people!  I'm a working, career AND family oriented woman.  I juggle a lot, I wear many hats, and I honestly believe can have it "all".  I want it all and I make no apologies.
Ok, that's starting to sound like a rant, but perhaps that's what this is.
Over last weekend, I was asked by a family member of Adam's if/when we have another baby, if I will then "get to be" a stay at home mom.  This question implied a lot of things - namely that my husband and I should be sharing our sex life/procreation plans with our families (which is just weird on so many levels), that for some reason I am currently not able to be a stay at home mom, and finally that I should WANT to be a stay at home mom.  The question itself made me feel like the woman's movement was set back a hundred years or so.
When I replied that I could be a stay at home mom now and that I don't want to, I got a look like I had seven heads.  Why on earth would I not want to be home with my precious baby everyday?  And when its put like that, of course I would like to be with my kid as much as possible.
I stumbled out some answer about how I still make more money than even 2 daycare bills would cost, but I wish I could have put into words what I was feeling/thinking a little better.  I think ultimately I was just trying to get off the subject of more babies because it was making me feel extremely awkward.
Can I sigh now?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keeping up

Everyone told me how quickly James would grow up, from my parents to coworkers, I have heard so many times about how quickly time flies.  I have certainly found this to be true and more than anything, I want to capture as many of James' special moments as possible.
But I have to say, its really hard to do.
James does so much everyday and learns something new everyday.
Right now, some of his favorite things are:
Looking at flashcards
Looking at picture books
Pointing out objects and asking "Dat?" when looking at story books
Playing with computers (hitting the keys and/or turning it off while an adult tries to use it)
Trying to give Mac commands
Chasing the kitties yelling "MAO, MAO!" (is there another communist revolution coming?)
Having someone put food in his mouth for him because he's too busy to do it himself
Trying to put his own socks on
Sitting on his potty fully clothed
Leaning in for snuggles when asked
Saying "No, no, no" in what kind of sounds like a French accent (too much Calliou?)
Saying "Go, go go" when riding on his scooter
Putting trash in the trash can or handing an adult trash that he finds
Those are a few things James is up to and I wish I could remember and write down every little thing that he does.  But I have to realistic!  I also have to remember to put the camera down and enjoy my little boy with 100% of my attention from time to time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Naps are required

Yesterday, James didn't take a nap.  He desperately needed a nap, but he didn't nap.  His mother desperately needed for him to take a nap.  But he didn't nap.
I guess I should back up.  James has been doing this weird thing lately.  He wakes up at 4:45 AM and wants a sippy of milk.  He'll have the sippy and a morning snack and then want to go back to sleep for like 3 hours.  We've let him on occasion sleep for an hour or so.  When he slept longer in the morning, Rhonda reported that he wouldn't nap (obviously).  So we've been limiting his morning sleeping time.  Which is what we did yesterday.  Even with limiting his morning quasi-nap, he still didn't sleep at his usual nap time.  
By about 5 PM, James was the captain of meltdowns.  He kept running into things and crying (he normally won't even blink when he hurts himself).  He was super grumpy and wouldn't let anyone comfort him.  His usual happy. gleeful "NO!" was a moody, I really mean it this time, absolute NO kind of no.
Luckily, he went to bed promptly at 7 PM and slept for 12 straight hours.  I'm hoping this means we're starting the week off on a good foot and his regular schedule can commence.