Wednesday, March 30, 2011


After Mr. C and I put the kids to bed the other night, we sat outside on our amazing deck and enjoyed the brightest full moon the earth has seen in 18 years.  You can read more about the 'supermoon' here.  Tried to take a few pics, but my point-and-shoot camera isn't really designed for that kind of low-lit, far-away shot.  

The beautiful moon aside, it was the first time we've taken an opportunity to enjoy our deck in the evening.  We're usually trying to finish dishes, project or just zoning in front of the computer or TV.  It was so nice to unplug and sit with each other for a while.  The weather was amazing, and the candle light, wine, and conversation were wonderful - so relaxing and peaceful.  We definitely need to do that more often.

Couch potato

Hand in the snack trap and all...

Zoo day!

Took the boys to the zoo today all by lonesome.  I was very proud of myself.  Only regret was not bringing the ergo.  We took the wagon, but since the wagon isn't the best vantage point to see all the animals, I ended up carrying Jack all. day. long.  Ouch!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Picture day

Picture day at little C's school.  Got to wear a little of daddy's hair gel and his new crocs (which are a size too big, but there was no talking him out of it once he tried them on).  He's such a sweet and handsome little guy, I just wanted to hug him to pieces but he wouldn't let me because he didn't want me to mess up his hair.


Monday, March 28, 2011

I feel sick.

I was trying to take advantage of Mpix's 15% off prints deal going on right now, and ordering a few prints from Jack's first year of life for a scrapbook I had planned to do in lieu of a baby book (that clearly has not been done yet).  I was flipping through December 2009 and loading all of the pictures of his birth and NYE and of course his very first Christmas.

Jack's first Christmas was incredibly unceremonious.  I was still reeling from his early arrival, and while a bunch of planning had gone into that day for Carter (it was, in our minds, the first Christmas little C might really get excited about), pretty much no planning had been made for Jack...his stocking was there (thank goodness for my impatience to order it!), but it was presents under the tree for him, and in fact we didn't even have a tree!  It wasn't Carter's first Christmas, and since we didn't think it would be Jack's and didn't really want to be taking down a tree and coping with a newborn, we opted to skip the tree.

On Christmas morning we took tons of pictures of Carter receiving the present 'Santa' had brought and going through his stocking, but only one picture was taken of Jack...a joking picture where we stuck a cheap bow on his head teasing that here was another present for Carter.  It wasn't a great picture, but in hind sight it was pretty poignant.  I mean the most amazing gift our family received that Christmas was most certainly our precious baby boy, whose life was spared in that horrible car accident. 

As terrible as all that was, it isn't even what has me upset. This next part is the kick in the gut and what that has me crying as I type.  At some point I deleted that picture.  That one and only picture of Jack on his very first Christmas.  Either in the transfer process or in the process of clearing out some space on the camera to make room for other pics, I deleted that picture.  I have no idea what I was thinking. I probably thought we had taken other pictures of him that day, or maybe in my haze just didn't realize that it was his first Christmas morning when that picture was taken.  Who knows, but feel sick.

I am so sorry my precious baby boy...I'm sure as easy going as you are, you will just laugh and tell me it's no big deal when I apologize time and time again, just like your daddy would, but I want you to know how much I love and that you truly were the best gift we could have ever received that Christmas.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A little privacy?

When Mr. C is home to keep an eye on the boys, I get to enjoy a rare treat.  Closing the door.  It's a little thing, but since there is not much (see: 'none', 'never', 'pipe dream') alone time with kids around, closing the door is a cherished luxury.

In an attempt to set up a few boundaries, we've been working on the concept of "privacy" while potty training.  But, when I first offered Carter some privacy to do his business, it became clear he thought I was offering him some super special treat he was going to get in lieu of an m&m.  To no avail I tried to explain (in toddler-terms) that privacy is a state of being alone, not an object or thing, but it all went over his head.

So, when Carter waltzed into the restroom I was occupying this evening, I decided to seize the moment.

"Mommy would like to have some privacy" I told him before gently nudging him out the door and locking it behind him.

"Ok mommy!" he shouted through the closed door before running off.

"That was easy" I proudly (and prematurely) thought to myself.

Two seconds later the doorknob was rattling.  "I brought you some privacy mommy!" he was shouting enthusiastically through the door.

Finishing up, I open the door to see Carter proudly holding out a bouquet of colored pencils.
"Here you go mommy!  Here's your privacy!"

"Um, thank you?"  What else could I say? I'll take whatever privacy I can get these days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jack Jack and more Jack

I just love this little guy.  He just hit 15 months and it's blowing my mind how quickly the months are flying by.  Recent developments include, but are not limited to:  showing attitude (yes, my sweet easy going guy is giving me some major 'tude these days), babbling in THE most adorable fashion, saying "buh-bye" "hiiiii" and "uh-oh" and blowing raspberries with tremendous frequency.  He has cut three molars, bringing the teeth total to 9 soon-to-be 10 with two more bottom teeth poking through any day now.  We're cruising a little, but not as much as I would like, crawling or knee-walking is the main way we get around.  A trip to the grocery store is not complete without Jack flirting with and charming the pants off of every person he comes into contact with, and being called a 'beautiful little girl' at least once due to the fact that I refuse to cut his lovely locks (on top of the fact that he really is a beautiful baby).  He's a huge daddy's boy and cries when daddy leaves in the morning and shrieks with delight when daddy gets home.  I won't lie, it hurts my feeling a little, but I also love seeing the bond those two share.  We're about 70% weened off the bottle - he still takes one in the morning and after nap and occasionally one before bed.  He's pretty consistent about waking up at 7:30 (30 min before Carter), and I love our morning time together before big brother gets up.  He's a picky eater...dislikes include all vegetables, berries, citrus, and yogurt (staples in our house) so it's kinda throwing me for a loop.  He loves to swing, and his favorite books are currently 'goodnight moon' and 'I love you through and through.'  He's a paci-aholic and soothies are his drug of choice, and we take full responsibility as enablers of this addiction.  He can blow on a recorder and stack a few wooden blocks, and 'sing' into the toy microphone.  He likes playing with cars and the car garage. He's also a pretty good shot on his fisher price basketball game.  Turning the light 'on' and 'off' is a favorite pass-time, along with squirming during diaper changes to the point I've had to move things to the floor so I can pin him down with one leg to take care of business.  I'm sure there's more, but it's so late, my brain is barely functioning, and the cat just threw up on the rug, so here are a few of the many pics piling up on our hard drive.  

Just chillin' in the swing.
Love this little guy!!
See the attitude??  I'm not making it up!
Missing daddy.
Squirmy McSquirmersons
Playtime outside when dad gets home is our favorite time of day!
Sippy cup!
15 months already?!?!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Biting and Kicking

C is apparently very sensitive to mosquito bites.  This is not new information...a bite behind his ear looked like a goose egg before deflating.  Still didn't take the shock out of seeing this shiner swell up after getting bitten on the corner of his eye last week.  

Lovely, right?

In other news, there was a kicking incident at school.  After being pulled aside to discuss the afore mentioned incident with his teachers (can you say 'mortifying'?), I asked him why he kicked this poor child (repeatedly while she was trying to sleep).  His response?  "I kicked her.  Can I have my snack?" What?!  I was expecting my sweet boy to be so remorseful, but he seemed to be completely unconcerned with the fact he hurt someone.  With all the violent tendencies in teens making headlines, you can see where this whole series of events had me more than a little worried. When we got home, I started looking for resources on aggressive tendencies in toddlers.  I just couldn't figure out what was behind this.  Luckily, before I could hit the panic button, I came across this article on that discusses how parents should respond when their toddlers act aggressively and what it means. Don't get me wrong, this behavior is NOT something I'll be taking lightly, but at least I have a place to start, some reassurance that this is a normal developmental phase and a little insight into what might have been behind 'the incident'.  I can almost guarantee you he was bored and not wanting to take a nap and acting out for attention (which unfortunately he got in spades from both his teachers and me...sigh).

Here's a (not-so-short) summary of the of the article for my re-reading pleasure should the link above ever stop cooperating:

Q: My 3-year-old nephew is extremely aggressive and shows no remorse for harming people or animals. He yells, kicks, hits and takes toys from other children. He laughs about hurting others. His parents dismiss the problem as him being a baby but I’m appalled. I think he’s a meanie. What should be done? Is this kid likely to become a violent, destructive bully — or worse?
A:’s actually normal for toddlers to bite, hit, grab or otherwise act out aggressively. And, no, this doesn’t mean your toddler will become a teen who saves his allowance for the gun show.
...a study tracked 440 children and adolescents over seven years to determine what causes children to become aggressive and violent. They found that violence in the home, including physical punishment such as spanking, was the strongest predictor of aggression in children. Inhibited temperament — the reserved kids who "fly under the radar" — was the second strongest...
Dr. Robert Sege, chief of pediatrics at The Floating Hospital for Children at New England Medical Center and associate professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston says, “Toddlers are looking at the world and trying out many of their newfound abilities. One of these abilities happens to be aggression." Even though biting and other aggressive moves are developmentally appropriate, the behavior, of course, isn’t pretty — or acceptable. “When you see this behavior it just means it’s the perfect time for grown-ups to start teaching children important lessons about aggression." All children have a peak of aggression around the age of 2 and parents can help them make the transition from aggressive toddlerhood to socially acceptable kindergartener by laying down the rules for your child each time beforehand. “Tell your child here are things you can do and here are the things you can’t do. Give him the rules. Be concrete.”

When kids are successful at getting along, pay attention! Attention to a toddler is like money to an adult; they can’t get enough of it. “Toddlers will go to extremes for attention even if it’s the negative type, so make sure they’re getting plenty of positive attention. Give them a nod, wink or kiss on the head. Tell the child, ‘I love it when you play so nice with your cousin.'” It’s crucial not to just pay attention when it’s bad behavior.

When there is a slip-up, correct the behavior immediately, but don't give them too much attention for unwanted behavior. “Just tell them ‘no biting’ and do a short time out — one minute per year of age. Afterwards, make it simple. Tell them, ‘I don’t want to see you biting again, now go back to playing.’” 
As far as the 3-year-old having remorse, developmentally abstract concepts such as empathy and remorse don't start until around kindergarten age.  What you can do in the mean time is build a vocabulary for emotions.  Many children don’t have the words to express what they’re feeling, so they act out. Talk or read books like “C is for Curious: An ABC of Feelings” is one example — that teach the child how to identify and express complex emotions such as disappointment, confusion or frustration. “If children hurt another child, show them the child crying and ask them, ‘how do you think you made Suzy feel?’ Get them to start thinking about how their actions impact other people. That’s the beginning of empathy.”
Furthermore, don't just pay attention to the noisy, attention-seeking children...also look for the quiet, withdrawn and inhibited kids.  “Inhibited kids don’t connect with people or make friends easily,” says Fischer. “But with these kids one peer or one adult connection can often make a huge difference.”