Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Testing Boundaries That Melt Hearts

Benjamin is in that stage where he is constantly testing boundaries. All day every day. For the most part we have firm boundaries and he knows them, or quickly reacts when we remind him that he has crossed them. Bedtime, however, is a completely different ball game.

We have allowed bedtime to drag on. Maybe because it is the end of the day and we are tired and willing to do whatever it takes to make bedtime happen at a reasonable pace, at a reasonable hour and without meltdowns. We try to keep boundaries through bedtime but we are just not successful, therefore the 32lbs little person has control of about 75% of the process.

Bedtime involves things like "I need to pee" "I need water" "I need water from special cup" "I hot" "stand at my door" "scratch my back" "I need to poop" "I no want socks" "my pull up-hurts" "turn my light on"...

Last week Norm went back to work nights, which means that I am on my own to feed two children (and myself), do bedtime, finish work, clean up the kitchen and try to catch up in whatever needs catching up (which is a whole lot lately). Therefore, I cannot allow Benjamin's bedtime to be a 2 hour process.

Tonight, we did our regular routine: brush teeth, pee, bath, read a story (which was the toy store Christmas catalog...), say prayers and good night kisses. I left his room and it started:

B: "Stand at my door"
F: "Benjamin, I am not going to stand at your door. I am going to be in the other room. It's time to go to sleep"
I put him back in bed and step away. 

He gets up:
B: "I need water"
I get him the cup that's on his night stand 
B: "I need water in special cup"
F with a firm tone of voice: "This is the water we have up here, so if you want water, you can drink from this one"
I briskly put him back in bed, kiss him and step away. 

He gets up:
B: "I need water in special cup"
Without saying a word, I grab his hand, take him to his bed. Almost like a robot. Give him the same cup from before. Put him in his bed, kiss him and step away.

He gets up:
B: "Mami, come stand at my door"
I don't say a word. And in my robot fashion again, I grab him by the hand, walk him to his bed, lay him down, kiss him and walk away. 

He gets up:
I see him in the monitor so I get up to meet him determined to keep putting him back in the bed with little to no interaction until the point is proven.
I get to his room and he slowly comes to me:
B: "I sorry Mami"
F: speechless................... I get down to look him in the eye and say "what did you say?"
B: "I SORRY Mami!"

Then my heart pretty much melted.

We had a brief chat about listening to parents and going to bed and staying in bed when it is nighttime. He said okay, walked back to his bed, I gave him a kiss and stepped away. About 10 minutes later, he was out:

Quick reminder that toddlers are not evil and that they do have a good heart. I say that now... we will see how bedtime goes tomorrow night ...  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Month 7

Crazy. We are at seven months already! This poor little fellow has been dealing with bronchiolitis for a little while now, which involves coughing and congestion. So his standards are to have his mattress inclined at about 45 degrees, the cool mist humidifier on while he sleeps and Vick's on his chest and feet over night. Earlier in the month he had not 1 but 2 ear infections back to back. So that put a delay in starting solid foods (which are actually far from solid in texture and consistency). We seem to have gotten the hang of eating though. Basically as long as what he is eating is mixed with vanilla yogurt, we are good. So far he's had sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and green beans. He loves green beans! For fruit he loves pears!

He is quite vocal... he makes all kinds of noises and carries on conversations. He loves making his big brother laugh! He loves to pull hair as well as anything else that's in hand's reach - which seems to be pretty much everything.

We got him a bouncer from a neighbor - he loves getting in there and jumping up and down, pressing all the buttons and chewing on all the surfaces.

We are still going to music class on Thursdays and he loves that too! His face lights up and he flashes that contagious smile the second he hears the music class songs!

He is sleeping in his bed at all times now and he loves it when his big brother comes and plays in the crib with him.

Overall Nico is a happy baby, he loves to smile when he makes eye contact with people. Although, when he is not smiling, he keeps a super super super serious face.

He hasn't gotten to crawling yet, but he's not far from it!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Entry Way

This is what I envisioned our entry way to look like:

This is what it actually looks like:

At least we have a pretty and custom cushion... and a custom bench that we inherited from the Gwinnett house that Norm painted and made pretty! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Working From Home Dilemma

Working from home can be a blessing and a curse, all at the same time. Some days, some hours, working from home is fantastic and some days, some hours I am really wishing I could go away to an office and get my work done. 

Working from home means I have the flexibility to go to the store in the middle of the day and avoid the afternoon crazies. It also means I need to have the discipline to actually and not get sidetracked by laundry, lunch with friends, taking naps, watering the flowers or looking out the window at the neighbors. 

Working from home, especially with Nico not being at day care full time, means that I am often times up working before 7am and - almost regularly, especially this time of the year - up working until 10pm after the boys go to bed. It means that I have to schedule calls around his "schedule" (I use that term loosely) and on the day of the call hope and pray that he cooperates with his "schedule" so that I can call the customer without a screaming child in the background.

I know I am very lucky to be able to do my job from the house. Thankfully I have the discipline (some days more than others) to stay connected to the office and to meet my deadlines. 

Working from home has allowed me to find the right family/work balance. Even if that means I sit at the computer on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Today, I was able to go to Benji's school for his Thanksgiving lunch!

Working from home also makes things interesting when your office doubles as a play room and guest room. This afternoon I opened my drawer looking for a paperclip. All my paperclip holders were empty. There was not a single one to be found. And I needed one. Badly. 

Then I remembered that Benji had found them and had been playing with them (while I was trying to get work done, in which case, if the paperclips are entertaining him and I can knock emails out, then I'll just let him keep playing with the paperclips) ... he was saying that they were "money" and would put them in the piggy bank. So I opened the piggy bank and found them all.... I rescued some and went back to my task.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Things He Says: 3

This afternoon Benji and I went to check the mail and therefore we had to take time and play on the new swings that were built by the mailboxes.

After pushing him for a bit, I took a break and stood in front of him with my hands in my pockets. It was so cold!

Benji: Mami, push me!
Me: I will, in a bit.
Benji: Push me! Take your hands out pockets and push me!
Me: (as I was trying to process the command my 2.5 year old had just given me) ............. I will push you when I am done warming up my hands.

Here's a (very colorful) visual:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Some Things are Not Taught

A few weeks ago, Benjamin started asking to change from his “wake up clothes” to his pajamas for nap. I didn’t think much of it, we’d just go along with it – because if pajamas is what it takes for him to take a nap, then we will go along with that.

Just the other day I remembered that my dad used to change into his pajamas to take naps too. He is the only person I have ever known, until Benjamin came along, to completely change out of the day’s clothes into pajamas and get in bed to take a nap.

It is so bittersweet to watch these little boys grow and show traits that are not taught. My heart breaks a little bit more every time I think about how my dad is not around to enjoy his new grandsons, however, my heart also smiles when I am surprised by my dad’s presence when I least expected it.

Here he is this past Sunday waking up from nap, in his pajamas! 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mr. Safety Man

Norm and I aren’t necessarily careless when it comes to safety, but we aren’t the safety police either. Certainly does not apply to me when it comes to driving at a moderate speed.

Figures Benjamin is turning out to be the Mr. Safety Man of our family… he tells us to buckle up if we are sitting in the drivers seat for more than 5 seconds. If you let go of the steering wheel, he tells us to “drive with 2 hands!”. If there is a stop sign remotely in sight, he will tell us to “Stop! Stop!! STOP!! Stop sign right there”. Same if he sees a red light.

The other day we were stopped at the red light and he could see the cars on opposite traffic going. Poor child couldn’t wrap his head around it “stop cars! Red means stop! Don’t go!” We tried to explain that they have green light and green means go, but his 2.5 year old brain could not wrap itself around that concept.

When we go too fast, he tells us to slow down. Although sometimes he becomes a rebel and tells us "go faster! go faaaaaassssssteeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr!"

At home he makes sure that the safeties are tied on the cabinets that have them (and by safeties we mean the rubber band that double loops around the cabinet knobs). He always likes to buckle up whenever he goes on the stroller and now does the same for Nico.  

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!