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Monday
Sep042017

Drum - 22 months

A few days ago Drummy turned 22 months old. He's closing in on two years really fast! I'm not sure a whole lot has changed in the last month. He is still doing well at daycare. He still gets in trouble for pulling hair, but when I talked to the director about it, she had a great response. She said they don't "criminalize" kids for normal age-appropriate behavior, and they just want to be on the same page as us so we are consistent in regards to our response at home and daycare. They want to see him be successful as much as we do, which is a good feeling.

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Drum is definitely talking a lot more. His language caught up to what's "normal" for his age a couple months ago, and it continues to expand. I swear he picks up a new word every day. He strings a couple words together now, mostly things like "my shoes" and "Obie night night." Usually he's talking around a pacifier because he's now addicted to his "bida." He used to enjoy it and it was a good tool when we needed it, but now he NEEDS it just about all the time. I'm totally fine with it for now, but I dread the day we have to break the habit.

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He has been sitting on the toilet quite a bit. Still nothing happening there, but he'll even ask to sit on the toilet when he knows he has to poop. One of these days something will happen there, but for now he likes the novelty of the potty seat we put on the toilet, and ripping off the toilet paper. He actually likes to have a diaper on, which is interesting. Mo has always loved to be naked, but Drum doesn't like to have a bare bottom for too long. He'll run around in nothing but a diaper, but if we take the diaper off, he'll pretty quickly bring us a diaper to put on him. He hates the act of getting his diaper changed though. Go figure.

Drum still loves shoes. I bought him some new (used) sneakers and he's so proud of them! He likes hats too. He's suuuuper into books. We're at that stage where I sometimes want to hide all the books because I've read them all 1,000 times. But I'm actually really glad about it because for so long he hated to even be in the same room as a book!

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Oddly, his appetite has all but disappeared. Maybe that's not odd. I remember Mo was a great eater at first and then suddenly not. I don't remember when that happened, but maybe around the same age. He's not super picky, he still likes a lot of things, but he just doesn't eat much of it. Except candy. He'll eat the shit out of some "teets" (treats).

He's still nursing. I've been trying half-heartedly to put some parameters around it. If I'm around, he'll ask to nurse when he's hungry, thirsty, bored, upset. It's always been easier to just let him. What do I care? But in the interest of eventually weaning, I try to redirect him if he doesn't really need to nurse. For instance, he nurses when he first wakes up and thats's fine. But then he wants more milk 10 minutes later, and that's just not necessary.

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The last two weekends Mo has been out of town with family, so Bro has been an only child. In some ways it was nice because he got some special attention, and life is just easier with one kid. We even went grocery shopping as a family! But it was also interesting to see him try to figure out how to occupy his time. Not that they play together all the time, but his world is just different when we're home and Mo isn't around. I missed Mosie a ton (things just aren't the same without her around!), but I enjoyed a little extra (and rare) one-on-one with my baby boy.

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Tuesday
Aug012017

Drum - 21 months

My baby is so old! Twenty-one months now. I need that emoji of the face that's like WAH! 

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This is the age Mo was when I got pregnant for the first time after she was born. That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and I was laid up on the couch wallowing in sadness when I wrote Mo's 21 month update. I'm sure glad not to be in that state now!

Drum is a great kid. I joke a lot on social media about his grumpiness (#restinggrumpface), but truly he is spectacular. He's curious and funny and loving. He does this surprised face that makes me laugh every time - he'll make the face over the smallest things because he's so full of wonder. He likes to stand next to me on the couch and the trust fall into my lap. He never hesitates, he knows I'll catch him. He also likes to stand on my lap and try to balance for as long as possible, and every time he makes a face that says "Holy crap, look at this!"

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He recently "graduated" from his intervention services. We started that service because his speech was a little delayed (and it was free - I take anything free!), and we also discussed some behavioral concerns. But since his speech is now "right where it should be," he no longer qualifies for services. I'm proud of the progress he's made, and I love his little voice. Seems like he has a gazillion words now, but some of my favorites are his mispronunciations. He says bid-oo for birdie, byda for paci, nack for snack, bee for all bugs, wush for fish.

He also LOVES to read books now. He has four favorites and the thing they all have in common is flaps. He just loves a good flap. He's not at all into TV. I wrote in Mo's 21 month update that she would watch a lot of PBS while I was recovering from the miscarriage, and that surprised me because Drum has almost zero interest. And it's not for lack of exposure. Mo gets to watch some TV after school, so it's there for him to watch, but he doesn't.

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We recently went to my relative's cottage in northern Michigan and had a lot of fun. Drum slept in a pack n play in a camper (the cottage is small and there were almost 30 people there, so we slept in a pop up), and he napped and slept through the night like he always does despite the late loud crowd of people. He enjoyed the hammock and visiting the little nearby lake. We also spent some time at a quiet beach on Lake Michigan. He didn't go in the water, but he played in the sand. We visited some big sand dunes and he had fun watching Mo climb and run down them (he wasn't interested in trying it himself).

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Unfortunately, Drum has been sick a lot lately. Recently he caught a virus that had him out of daycare for five days. Backup care is a real struggle for us, so five days in a row was not easy to figure out, especially because it was a week when I couldn't miss a lot of work. I guess he's still adjusting to the new germs at his new daycare, but man. And I'm still nursing him, isn't that supposed to help? So much for that theory. ;)

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Daycare has been going really well. He has bonded with a couple of his caretakers, which is a huge help. It's hard to drop him off not knowing what he really thinks about these people, but they have told us that he's gotten attached to a couple, and that they just adore him. And I can see in his interactions that he's feeling more comfortable now that he has "his people."

In three months he will two, and that blows my mind. I often forget he's not a baby anymore. It all moves so much faster than my brain can process.

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Thursday
Jul062017

Drum - Twenty months

At twenty months, Drum is mostly a joy. He still has some highly emotional moments, but I think part of that was related to some teething. Now that that's over (for now), he's in good spirits most of the time. In fact, he's really fun! He loves to explore what's around him, he loves to imitate his sister, and he has the sweetest laugh. 

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I was reading about Mo at this age, and she loved (and still loves) all people. Everyone is immediately her best friend. She'll talk to anyone, and will even crawl into someone's lap that she hardly knows. But Drum takes a little longer to warm up. Even with people he knows but doesn't see frequently. He's friendly, but shy. He prefers to hang close to me and smile at people from a distance. It's pretty cute. 

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Drum is still nursing, which is great, but it's getting a little ridiculous. He insists on having both of my boobs out and available, but he doesn't just get his fill and move on. He nurses, stops, looks around, does some gymnurstics, nurses a little more. It's fine when we're in the privacy of our home, but anywhere else and it's problemmatic. I admit I haven't really made an effort to change this habit though. He's (very probably) my last baby, and so I just let him nurse how he wants because it's the last time I'll be nursing a baby.

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He's been a pretty good eater. Turns out he doesn't really like vegetables. I know that's pretty common for kids, but as picky as Mo is, she likes most veggies. Drum is a good eater with most everything, but he'll eat all around the vegetables on his plate. He's still a good sleeper. With the Fourth of July on a Tuesday, we had about five days of late night fireworks, and he slept through it all like a champ. 

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Drum loves books now, especially those with flaps. His three current favorite books have fun flaps to open. He now likes to bring us a book (and say "book!") and then sit and read and open flaps and point at all the things he knows. It's awesome. He also likes balls and cars and his baby doll. He still loves to clean up and pick up.

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His talking is now pretty impressive. I think he's surpassed where Mo was at this age. I remember Mo's vocabulary exploding around 21 months, but reading her 20 month post, she was still pretty limited. Meanwhile, Bro's vocabulary has already started to explode. He's picking up new words all the time. No sentences yet, but it's crazy how he didn't have any words and now SO MANY!

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Lastly, daycare is going pretty well. He has been pulling hair and the teachers don't love it. I'm never sure how to respond when they tell me. Like, yep, he's not even two, that's what kids do. We're working on it at home, too. I always have the sense they want me to offer a solution, but all I can do is work on what's happening at home. I can't do anything about it when it happens at school. I'm sure they're just sharing information, but I always feel guilty I can't offer more than understanding. But they haven't mentioned it in a couple weeks, so maybe it's getting better.

I can't believe we're four months from TWO! I love how fun this age is and I love how much he loves me. I hope he always does.

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Wednesday
Jun282017

Teaching my kid to respect what others believe

Today I made Mo cry because I did a terrible job of explaining the importance of respecting others' beliefs. She goes to a Christian preschool and so she's learning a lot about God and Christianity. Some of it I take issue with and correct as straightup false (ie: that man walked the earth the same time as dinosaurs), but most of the time when she tells me about what she's learned, I just remind her that yes, that is what a lot of people believe but other people believe other things and it's all OK. I never make a big deal about it, but it's always part of the conversation, this idea that there is not one right thing to believe in.

However, today the conversation got a little more extreme. It started innocently enough:

Mo: Miss M told us that God made the whole world.
Me: Oh yeah? Cool. Like the people and the animals?
Mo: Yeah and even the trees and the flowers and seeds.
Mo: That's very cool. And that's what a lot of people believe, but not everybody.
Mo: But Miss M says the Bible is true.
Me: That's what Miss M believes and that's great, but other people believe other things and that's OK too.

But then I started talking about how she gets to believe whatever she wants, but she has to respect what other people believe too. And after 5 minutes of me fumbling through an explanation and her not exactly understanding and me at one point saying, "No honey, you don't get to tell people what to believe!" she suddenly welled up with tears and her voice broke as she tried to tell me something.

I felt terrible and quickly tried to understand what she was saying: "Why do I have to believe what other people believe but they don't have to believe what I believe?"

Turns out she didn't quite grasp the meaning of "respect" for others' beliefs. She thought I was telling her that she had to follow their beliefs and believe in something different just because another person does, and that's exactly the opposite of what I was trying to teach her!

#momfail

We talked about it more later and I think she gets it. Sort of. It's hard when your teachers are telling you this thing is TRUTH and not giving you the space to understand that not everyone thinks the same and those that believe differently are not inherently wrong, and then your mom is all "Respect other beliefs!" and you don't even understand what she's talking about.

Fortunately, I'm confident we'll have versions of this conversation a million times as my kids grow up, and even more imporantly, they'll witness their parents and other imporant people exemplify this ideal throughout their lives. Hopefully it won't always be this confusing.

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Saturday
Jun032017

Drum - 19 months

My Drummy is so awesome lately! He still has meltdowns, and he still challenges me in ways I continually try to figure out, but he is mostly fun and curious and funny.

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He had his 18 months appointment recently and he's still healthy and tall! They tried to measure him standing up for the first time, but he was not very cooperative. The nurse recorded his numbers, but when the doctor came in she said, "It says he shrunk. I don't believe that." So they measured again the old fashioned way (two marks on the paper that covers the examination bed) and sure enough, he's in the >99th percentile. He got one shot, but for the second time in a row, he didn't shed a tear. He made a "what the hell?" face and then he was fine. Mo came with us, and they had fun goofing around the exam room. 

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We did swim lessons for the kids recently. Just a 6-week class of 30-minute sessions. Drum was fine about it, but I wouldn't say he loved them. The water was really cold though, and twice he didn't feel great, so I consider it a win that he got exposed to the idea and didn't lose his shit.

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He has so many words now, it's incredible. I swear he adds one a day! Maybe not that extreme, but I'm constantly saying, "What did you say??" and sure enough it's something new. He even has a couple two word phrases (did it, no more). I love his little voice, and it's amazing that three months ago he wasn't saying any words.

A couple weeks ago we went to Niagara Falls for a short vacation. It's a 5.5 hour drive (or 8.5 when you have two kids and need to stop a lot), so we had two mostly travel days and two fun-packed days at Niagara. I knew Drum would be fine, but I expected him to be a little bit of a challenge, especially when it came to sleeping in a hotel room with three other people. But he didn't so, so good! He slept (and even napped) like a champ - no issues at all (except in the car, he hardly slept on either long drive), and he was so well-behaved the whole time. We had a really great time, and I'm so thankful we were able to do it.

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The week after we returned, he started at a new daycare. After a lot of thinking and a lot of research, we moved him from an in-home daycare to a daycare center. The in-home was no longer the right fit for him, and our hope is that he thrives in a learning center environment. I dropped him off on this first day, and I was so nervous about how it would go, but he surprised me. He was interested in what was going on and even asked to be put down before I was ready to let go. He beelined for a vaccum and was playing happily when I left. They said his first day went great, but I guess when Mike picked him up he broke down a little. I guess just a release of emotion after a long day. When I dropped him off the next day, he rocked it again. He held on a little tighter this time, but no tears. However, the next two days he cried at drop off, and when I picked him up at the end of his last day he was crying pretty hard. I think it was just a long week of something new, and I think he'll do well there. They have a livestream camera so I've been peeking in on him. He seems fine all day - I see him play and eat and sleep (on a cot, which is amazing since he's only ever slept in a crib or pack 'n play!). I hope this is the right place for him.

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My babe is so sweet with me lately. He is such a snuggler and a hugger, he loves to give me kisses and hold my hand. Today we sat in the rocking chair while he rested on my chest and played with my hair for 15 minutes, and it's one of those moments you try to freeze in your memory so you can go back to it a million times. He's not quite as affectionate with anyone else, but we have a special love for each other.

He's my sweet baby boy!

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