Monday, May 30, 2011

Thunderstorm Observations

Last week while driving Flik to pre-school one day, it was mighty stormy. The sky was dark and it was raining pretty steadily.

Flik observation #1:
Flik: Is it past my bedtime?
Mommy: What? Flik, it's morning. We're going to pre-school.
Flik: But it's so dark out. I thought it was night time.
Flik observation #2:
Flik: It's a good thing it's raining, right, Mommy.
Mommy: Um... why's that?
Flik: Because those trains (we are driving past train cars) are dirty and they need to be washed. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No Fun at Bedtime

Our Ideal Bedtime Routine:

7:00 pm

Mommy brings Z to his bedroom. Changes diaper. Rocks for 10-15 minutes. Z, goes into his crib (asleep or not). Z sometimes cries, but is asleep within 15 minutes.


Daddy brings Flik to his bedroom. Potty. Brush teeth. Jammies. Stories. Lights out. Daddy out of the room by 7:40.

This, of course, is the ideal. Lately, however, the little ants have not been playing along. Flik isn't falling asleep. Z does fall asleep, but then wakes up 20 minutes later. (What is with THAT?) Generally, we're drifting further from the ideal each night. And not for lack of effort. Which brings us to tonight:

Flik literally fell asleep sitting at the kitchen table for dinner. He had eaten his dinner. Was sitting there talking. I was feeding Z and I look over and his eyes are closed while he sat there. Once his head started bobbing like it was going to land on his plate, I woke him up. Kid acts like he's wide awake. But I told him that before he could go play with Daddy, he had to go lay on the couch for one minute. He protested, but eventually relented. He was out cold in under 30 seconds.

I thought I'd let him sleep for 45 minutes, because 5:00 as a bedtime is just too early. However, he would not wake up at 5:45 or at 6:00 or at 6:15. Nor would he let us carry him up to his bed. He'd wake up enough to kick and fight, but that was about it. *sigh*

At 6:45, I gave Z his bottle. Asleep at 7. Transfer from arms to crib successful at 7:10. (Yeah!) Then for no apparent reason, wakes up at 7:45. I let him cry for 15 minutes. I rock him for 15 minutes. No sleeping. Back in his crib for 15 more minutes of crying. Daddy rocks him for 15 minutes. Still not asleep, but now getting fussy. I give him half a bottle, even though there is no way he needs to eat again. He calms down. I rock him. He falls asleep. I put him back in his crib. Down for the night at 9:20. *sigh*

Head downstairs to try and bring Flik up to his bed. Lots of kicking, so I leave him on the couch.

At 11:15, Flik wakes up and notifies me that he fell asleep on the couch and that we forgot to "do bedtime". I bring him to his room, put on his jammies, and lay with him for ten minutes.

It is now midnight. I am now in my room. I can hear him in his. He is still not asleep. *sigh*

I'm thinking tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Popcorn & Peas

Last week I got in one really great stay-at-home-mom day. Our nanny took the day off, so I took the day off of work. Z took an amazing 3.5 hour nap, leaving plenty of time for me to play with Flik. Flik has a play kitchen, and we recently configured a couple small end tables for him to place his cash register on and use as a grocery store. This is all in our sunroom, which will be a playroom for the foreseeable future. Flik loves playing restaurant and/or store; loves setting up all the food in a display; loves asking you what you want; loves the cash register, collecting your money or swiping your card; and loves bringing you what you ordered. He also loves checking back to see of you've finished so that he can take the food away.

While Z was sleeping, I decided to add to this setup and also keep Flik occupied with a new project. We created a menu for his restaurant. First we chose the color for the menu. Next a name for Flik's restaurant. (Note: Flik chose the name, not me.) Then Flik picked out the items that would appears on the menu. Slight detour as we then created price tags for each of the selected items. Then I wrote each of the items on the menu with the prices. Keep in mind playing store often morphs into restaurant and vice versa, it may explain the menu.

Anyway, once we had our menu ready, I sat on the couch and Flik brought me the menu. I pointed to an item on the menu and said, "I'm having trouble reading this one. Can you tell me what it is?"

Flik sounded it out (despite my smushed writing): "p-o-p-c-or-n. popcorn."
Mommy: Oh that sounds good. I'd like that. 
Flik: Um, sorry. That's one of our desserts. 
Mommy: Oh. Can't I order a dessert? 
Flik: No. You have to eat your dinner first. 
Mommy: (smile) Oh. I didn't know that. Well then what about this. (I point to another item on the menu.) 
Flik: (sounding out) ppp-ě-ă-sss 
Mommy: Oh yeah, that one's a little tough. The E-A says "eee." 
Flik: (sounding out) ppp-eee-sss. Hmm. I don't think we have any pieces. (coming out of character) Mommy, pieces of what? 
Mommy: I think that's in your basket of fruits and vegetables, why don't you go see if you can find something it could be. 
Flik: (huge gasp) Hey! Are you trying to get me to learn something? (Look of outrage on his little 4 year-old face.)
I of course denied any effort to teach him anything. I claimed that I was just playing restaurant. He was able to find the peas, by the way. Next week I think we work on adding up the prices for multiple items. Shhhh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Momma' Pride: My Reading Rock Star

Today was supposed to be my first time as a field trip chaperone. Flik's pre-school was going to the zoo. Instead, we had a torrential downpour, so the field trip was cancelled. When I dropped him off at school, I asked if there was anything else I could do to help out since I had already planned to have the day off. Flik's teacher asked if I would like to supervise reading time, which I agreed to.

So here's how it worked: Five kids were reading today. Each one had a different early reading book picked out, based on their reading level. This was their first time reading their books. The kid would sit next to me and read the book, then I would put it in a Ziplock bag  for them to bring it home and practice. Here's how it went:

Child 1: Sweet little girl. Good reader. The only word she had any trouble with was "yellow." But she barely spoke above a whisper, so I was straining to hear every single word. It was tough.

Child 2: Was hopeful he'd be a little louder. He was, but just barely. And he was easily distracted. (He was four years old.) But every ten seconds he was looking at his friends, or under the table, or scratching his nose, etc. It took a long time to read the book.

Child 3: Ssssssoooooo ssssssllllllloooooowwwww. He sounded out every word so slowly. He did do a great job of sounding every word out though. Good job, kid. It just took a really long time.

Child 4: Completely not interested. We'd turn the page and he'd want to read the right page and skip the words on the left page. "We already read that," he'd say with a cute, little smirk. So we took turns reading. It was the only way I could get him to even attempt some of the pages.

Child 5 (Flik): Sits down. Reads the title. Opens the book. Reads every word like he's read the book a hundred times. He stumbled over a couple words (actually, he occasionally just guesses words instead of actually reading them, resulting in "has" becoming "had" or other similar errors) and gets easily distracted when a little girl nearby wants to hear the story. But overall, he speeds through the book like a reading superstar.

I had previously thought that my 4 1/2 year old was a pretty darn good reader for his age. It's hard to compare since one of my best friend's son is five months younger than Flik and can read like nobody's business. (Can sound out "neptune" and can recognize "could" and "should.") I also thought, "Yeah, but how many four-year-olds am I around? This is probably average, or maybe a little above average." After today, I think my kid is a reading rock star.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Big Day for Z

At 8 1/2 months, it appears that Z is finally starting to crawl. He is not quite up onto his knees, but he is definitely using both his upper & lower body to move forward, as opposed to just rolling himself to the nearest toy. I'm thinking that in a week, there will be no stopping him.

Another minor development today, Z's favorite sound, "aaaaaahhhhhhhhh" has transformed into, "ba ba ba ba ba." (It sounds adorable.)

So a big day for Z!

Tomorrow, Mommy is chaperoning her first field trip. Flik's pre-school is going to the zoo. Should be fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Text Messages of Parents

The other night I was rocking Z to sleep. Daddy had fed Flik dinner and they were sitting at the table talking afterwards. I received the following text:

I'm filing this under the category: Text Messages I Would Not Have Received Before I Became a Parent

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Defining Jazz

I was driving Flik home from pre-school. I was flipping through the stations on the radio, having not yet found anything appealing. I rarely do this with Flik in the car because he always hears something he likes and begins insisting, "Wait! Go back!" Today, his choice was Blondie's Call Me. I put it on.

Flik: I like this song. I like jazz. (He says "jazz" as though it's spelled "jaaaaazz".)
Mommy: (giggle) Flik, this isn't jazz. It's rock. (At least I think it's rock. Punk rock, maybe. Whatever, it's not jazz.) 
Flik: Yes it is. It know what jazz sounds like. 
Mommy: Sweetie, it's really not jazz. It's rock. 
Flik: Stop it! It's jazz. You're gonna' get my brain all mixed up. And if you do that, my brain will end up where my heart goes and my heart will go where my brain goes because they'll be all mixed up. 
Mommy: Really? Because that's what happens when your brain gets mixed up? 
Flik: Yeah. (pause) I know that this is jazz. It's not rock. Jazz, because jazz is loud. This. Is loud. 
Mommy: Nooooo. That is not what makes something jazz. 
Flik: No! I know jazz is loud. 
Mommy: Yes, jazz can be loud. But rock can be loud, and blues can be loud... 
Flik: (fervently) Hey! You're gonna' get my brain mixed up. I told you. Now stop talking about this.
So we did. He then proceeded to tell me how I would end up in time out when we got home for mixing up his brain. But for the record:

Blondie is jazz because jazz is loud.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Z is Sleeping

On Sunday night, Daddy asked before going to sleep, "When was the last time Z woke up in the middle of the night?" It had been a while. Several weeks. At least three. We were ready to call it:

Z is officially sleeping through the night. 
(This is where you imagine trumpeting horns and big smiles on the faces of Mommy and Daddy.)

Guess who woke up extra early Monday morning? *sigh*

But I am not ready to reverse the ruling. While we did go in and feed him, rock him, and put him back in his crib, there were some extraordinary circumstances. A) He didn't wake up until 5 am, which is earlier than his normal 6:30, but is not anything like waking up at 2 am. B) When we woke up to him crying, the house was freezing. We had turned the heat off now that it's spring, but apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo, because it was 60-some degrees in the house. So Mommy is hoping that it was a fluke. That Z was simply saying, "What the heck, Mommy and Daddy. Turn on the heat!"

Let's hope so, because these 10-12 hour stretches of consecutive sleep are SWEET!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

52. It's the New 89.

For weeks, Flik has been obsessed with the number 89. Some examples:
  • Mom, can we go to the fire station? Please! I haven't been there in 89 months!
  • Can I have more cookies? Can I have 89?
  • Is it far away? Is it more than 89 miles?
Lately, 89 has been replaced by 52. Examples include:
  • (While playing store) Would you like to buy these cookies? They're 52 bucks.
  • How long is it going to take to get there? 52 minutes?
  • Mommy, how much longer will you be working? More than 52 hours?
He's cute.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Impossible Expectations

Tonight the whole family was in the car driving to a restaurant, Daddy & Mommy up front, Flik & Z strapped into their car seats in the back. We did not hear the offending sound, but we did get the official announcement:
Flik: (In the sing-songiest voice you can  imagine. Almost like na-na-nana-na.) I ju-ust fart-ed. (giggles) 
Mommy: (In an exasperated, but Motherly tone) Flik, I'd really like you to stop doing that. 
Flik: (pauses for a moment, then sounding confused) You don't want me to fart anymore?
Mommy: No, Flik. You can fart. I don't want you to think it's funny.
I look at Daddy and we both start laughing at the absurdity of the non-sense I just uttered. I asked my four-year-old son to stop thinking farts are funny. How about I start with getting my 36-year-old husband to stop thinking they're funny first. Ah well, parenting is done on the fly. Sometimes the words come out before your brain can think of the optimal response. It happens.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Z is Eight Months Old

Z turned eight months old a few days back, so it's time for his monthly progress report. So without further ado, according to the authors of the What to Expect... book series, our baby Z...

... should be able to:

  • bear some weight on legs when held upright
  • feed self a cracker
    check (We had actually never given him a cracker. He got his first today. He really dug it.)
  • rake with fingers an object and pick it up in fist
  • turn in the direction of a voice
  • look for a dropped object

... is probably able to:

  • pass a cube or other object from one hand to the other
  • stand holding on to someone or something
  • object if you try to take a toy away
    check - This is a recent development, and boy does he object!
  • work to get a toy that's out of reach
    check - This is fun to watch. He is still not quite crawling, but boy can he roll around and squirm to get across the room in any direction.
  • play peekaboo
    check - He really enjoys peekaboo now, but it still doesn't get him to stop trying to roll over throughout a diaper change.
  • get into a sitting position from stomach
    nope - He's close, but not quite there. He does have an adorable move that's close. He rolls onto his side and props himself up on one elbow like he's just chillin', waiting for the world to entertain him.

... may possibly be able to:

  • creep or crawl
    Creep? Sort of. Crawl? No. Not quite.
  • pull up to a standing position from sitting
    Um, no.
  • pick up tiny object with any part of thumb and finger
  • say "mama" or "dada" indiscriminately
    Again, no.

... may even be able to:

  • play patty-cake, clap hands, or wave bye-bye
  • walk holding on to furniture
  • stand alone momentarily
    No, unless you consider the time between my letting go of him and him falling to the floor "momentarily." (No babies were hurt during the assessment of this milestone.)
  • understand "no" (but not always obey it)
    No. And I'll also throw in that he's not doing calculus yet, either.
More about Z:
  • Z has two teeth (both on the bottom)
  • Z has been known to sleep through the night (from 7-ish pm to 6:30-ish am). Not every night, but often enough that we're quite hopeful.
  • Z has a pretty stable nap schedule, one in the morning at around 9 am and one in the afternoon around 1 pm.
  • Z is still eating stage two baby food.
  • Z has officially outgrown his infant swing. But he loves his Bumbo!
  • Z still has a pacifier when in his crib. Mommy is not happy about this, but is not willing to go to battle to take it away.
  • Z continues to be a clone of his Mommy, just like his brother is a clone of his Daddy.
Mommy (7 months) - Z (8 months)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Little Ant and a Tiny Ant

One of Flik's many toys is one of those punching bag Bozo's that you're supposed to be able to hit and it pops back up. Who on earth thought it was a good idea for children to beat the crap out of a blowup bozo doll is the subject for another day, but just know that I think the idea was not entirely well thought out.

Flik's Bozo punching bag does not pop back up when you hit it. In fact, it rarely even stands up on its own. This is because when you spend all of your time sitting on/riding the Bozo punching bag like a horse, it loses a little of it umph.

Anyway, Flik was playing with/sitting on Bozo the other day, when all of a sudden I hear a loud yell.
Flik: Aaahhhhh!!!!! Mommy!!!! 
Mommy: What's wrong? 
Flik: There's a bug! 
(Reminder here, Flik is a 4-year-old little boy.)
Mommy: (Walk over to Flik and Bozo. I am not eager about engaging with a bug, but must do my motherly duties) Where?
Flik: (Pointing) Right there.
He points to one ant. And it is one of those teeny, tiny, almost microscopic ants.
Mommy: Oh, buddy. That's a tiny ant. You don't have to worry about those. (I reach down and squish it with my finger.)
Flik: Because they're so small, we can just squish them?
Mommy:  Yes. You can just squish them.
Flik: OR!!! (Please note the enthusiasm.) We can just let them crawl on our arm.
Mommy: Um... sure, I guess. If you want to let one of the tiny ants crawl on your arm, I guess that's fine.
Flik: Can I put it in my nose?
What??? Seriously, why would that even occur to you?

No! No you cannot put ants into your nose!

Oh, heaven help me. I have TWO little boys.