Tuesday, March 24, 2015

All the Bears

My Grandma Smith had a huge teddy bear collection. One thing I remember from growing up was picking a different bear to sleep with every time we stayed with her. They all had elaborate names and back stories of where she had gotten them. They littered her couch and living room. There were old bears, like the original Smokey the Bear (always a favorite in the very fire prone Northern California) and there new new bears with tutus or cowboy hats. The fact that my dad's nickname is Bear wasn't something I thought of as a kid, but now the boys call him Grandbear and its so very fitting.  
When I was around 16, after her husband passed away, she made an effort to move the bears to one of the back bedrooms, but there were still a few favorites on the couch. 
After Grandma died and items were given out to my cousins, aunt and mom, I ended up with three of the newer bears, a momma and two cubs. Being pregnant with my second son, my mom thought I would enjoy the three bears. 
They have been well loved since they came to Maryland. The momma bear is now a daddy bear (don't worry, there's a smaller momma bear somewhere, I haven't been totally forgotten.)
James calls him Big Bear and he's been hanging out in our living room this week. My boys never met their Great Grandma, but I'm glad they have one last gift from her. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

He's a puker

Logan is a puker. Since the day (almost) he was born, Logan has vomited. A lot. When he was a baby, he ate a lot, and if he didn't stop to burp often, he would puke. Sometimes an entire feeding. Looking back, he could have used some reflux medication, but hindsight is 20/20.
He pukes when food texture isn't what he anticipated. He pukes when he's extra snotty, and he usually is or has been due to his ear issues. Even with the tubes in his ears, he still has a strong gag reflex. Sometimes when he's crying or tantrumming puke is the result of his dramatics. This week he managed to puke on himself and Rhonda at daycare. (I have mentioned that she's a saint before, right?) 
And my real favorite - Logan often forgets to chew his food, a skill you can't quite teach. And the result?
You guessed it. More puke. 
Just this morning, we woke up to find a bed that had been puked in and then slept in. I'm not sure how he managed to sleep like that, but he was out for 12 hours. Adam striped the bed and cleaned the wall while I bathed a very stinky toddler. Divide and conquer!
As time goes on, we've gotten used to the vomit and Logan gets sick less often. 
We joke that it's a good thing he's a second child, because if your first kid was a puker, you might not have a second. 
Two months old, original photo caption: I'm a puker

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Choosing words carefully

Today James grabbed a toy snake and as he held it to the back of his head he asked me, "Mom, do I look like a girl?"
I told him that he looked like someone with long hair.
He pushed further, "But do I look more like a girl."
I said yes, if the girl has long hair. 
He gave up on the conversation and ran off, not giving it a second thought. 
We frequently have a similar conversation about "girl toys" and "boy toys". And we are quick to reinforce that anyone can play with any toy. 
All of these questions from James lead me to wonder about many things, but mainly they remind me that it's important to choose my words well. I want to teach him tolerance and equality and love, but sometimes my admittedly more "liberal" thoughts aren't shared by everyone. This is one of the things that scares me the most about raising my boys. It especially scares me when I think about James staring school in the fall. 
I once had a coworker ask me what I thought of gay marriage and what I would think if James brought home a boyfriend. When I told her I would be happy that he'd found someone to love, she seemed shocked. That was one conversation that ended quickly! 
I know as the boys get older, we will have more conversations and lessons to be taught (and even more for us to learn as parents.) For now we will keep our message simple and accepting.