Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Toddler Tornado

If I sprout grey hair tonight I know exactly who to blame it on.
This morning I thought it was cute when he threw every free standing object in Carson's room into his crib -- all in the five seconds it took me to switch out the laundry. If I only knew this morning that that super speed, high energy, mischievous attitude would continue full force throughout the rest of the day, this little number wouldn't have been so cute. But while I was still naive, I smiled and snapped a picture.
 Fear not. Carson was safe in my arms during the crib invasion.
There are few things I love more than having a baby sleep on my chest. As I was trying to capture a sweet moment, my little terror struck again.
Eli used to be sneaky in his binky thievery but now he shamelessly snatches binkies right out of Carson's mouth.
Carson's sweetness kept me sane in the morning.
Just make it to 12:30 I told myself. Nap time. I can handle anything until nap time.
"Nap time" is where our day turned from cute crazy to drive me crazy. A napless Eli is not a child you want to cross paths with. Especially when he is in the mood to test his limits already.

I fixed tomato soup for dinner. Eli gobbled it right up. He was still eating and jabbering while I cleaned up. It took me a few minutes to realize what he was saying was, "Hit the wall!" while he loaded his spoon full of tomato soup and flicked it at the wall with his teeth -- catapult style. How do boys instinctively know how to do these things?
The tomato soup fireworks show was followed by a bath. Eli was making huge splashes in the bath so I said, "Eli, do baby splashes like this." (Then I showed him how to do a little splash.)

Eli then did little splashes while saying, "Waaaa. Baby splash. Waaaa." Ha.

He has started this new thing where he climbs on everything. He will scoot a chair over to where he wants to be and the world is his jungle gym. After bath time, I was relieved to see Eli scooching a chair into the living room for a change because he's usually all over the kitchen and I was sick of yanking him off the counters. So I let him wrestle the chair over the carpet and around the living room.
After I did the dishes, I saw an empty chair and wondered why he was so interested in our shelf.
Then I realized Carson's binky was up on that shelf. The lengths that kid will go to for a binky.
Thank heavens for bedtime.

Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm drowning in testosterone over here...

But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Snip Snip

If there's one thing we learned with Eli about having children, it's to chop off that wild baby hair as soon as possible. I nearly shed tears when we cut Eli's hair for the first time. After going back to look at pictures of our whispy haired baby, I wish we would have rid him of his hair problems a good three months earlier.

Even though the first haircut tends to take away the newborn look, we knew it needed to be done sooner rather than later this time around. Before:
Still before...he's looking slightly appalled at the thought of us cutting his hair. Don't worry Carson, we know what's best for you.
Still before. Baby hair is impossible to style. So it ended up looking like this 99% of the time.
The first cut. Carson's still skeptical.
I think this is where Jeff started doubting his profession and began wishing he'd gone to beauty school. He's a natural.
I have to include a lot of pictures because I forgot to save a chunk of his hair. *cough* secondchildsyndrome *cough*
He hopped in the bath with his fresh new haircut and actually enjoyed the water for the first time.
Now his hair is short enough for a cute baby fauxhawk which I think you will agree is just about the cutest thing ever.
When I went in for Carson's two-week check-up I asked the doctor what I should be doing to begin instilling good sleep habits in Carson. The doctor said, "Oh! Just rock him and love him. You can't spoil a newborn. You don't need to worry about sleep habits until they're about two months old." Okie Dokie Doc.

I spent the next four weeks rocking and rocking and rocking Carson to try to get him to sleep. Nothing. We would be awake at least two hours for every feeding at night. Then, during the day he would only take 15-30 minute naps and look like he was up and ready to go again. It was ridiculous. I thought the boy just didn't need sleep, and I felt like I was spending half my life trying to put him to sleep.

In desperation, I turned to (perhaps the more trusted doctor?) the internet. I read up on laying babies down to sleep while they are still awake, but drowsy. I remembered doing this with Eli and he was such a good sleeper, but I couldn't remember when I started doing this. I decided to give it a try on Carson.

Carson laid there swaddled, with his binky, and began grunting. For some reason the grunting made me think he needed to be held, but I withstood the urge to pick him up. After about 5 minutes of grunting, he was out for the longest nap he's had since he's been home from the hospital.

Then last night I just laid Carson down after he ate and he calmly put himself back to sleep every time. Hallelujah!

Anyway, I wanted to document this because I tried to go back and read what Eli's sleep habits were like around this age and I didn't really say much. So for future reference, this is a reminder to myself to swaddle and lay the baby down because oddly enough, all my efforts to try to put Carson to sleep at night seem to be the very things that were keeping him awake.

Has anyone else had this happen with their kids?

Hopefully the past day of using this method hasn't been a fluke and my six weeks of sleep deprivation will all be solved by simply laying Carson down while he's awake. Hmmm. One can hope, right?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Smell Trouble

"Kids just get into things." Jeff told me after I vented to him that Eli's new found strength has given him access to the inside of the fridge and the top shelves of the pantry. And let's just say it was a fluke that his fine motor skills enabled him to finally twist a doorknob open today. Twice.

Woe is me.

Yesterday I spent the day determined to help Eli satisfy his curiosity by giving him fun, mom approved things to get into. It started with homemade play dough.
I didn't have much hope that a ball of flour and water would be able to entertain my toddler, but the smile that dough ball brought my child made all the effort worth it.
Here he is saying, "Squishy."
It didn't take long for the dough to end up in his mouth. He must be a salt lover because he had several tastes of the dough before deciding it wasn't lunch.
When I threw a few toy cars (and chocolate chips) into the mix, he was a happy boy and was entertained for quite a while.
Carson didn't take much entertaining yesterday. Soon enough though.
I saw an idea on Pinterest to fill a bucket up with water, throw it on your deck with a few toys and let your toddler splash the evening away to free up some time to make dinner (with close supervision of course).
That sounded like a good enough idea. Then when Eli started using the smaller cups to fill up the big cup, I patted myself on the back for giving him a learning experience.
Yes. He learned that you can put small things into bigger things. He was sure to fully test his hypothesis.
For some reason I was completely surprised when I checked on Eli and found him lounging in the bucket. I don't know why I didn't see that coming...
Because like Jeff said, "Kids just get into things."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Back to Reality

I may have intentionally not mentioned that Jeff got five weeks of paternity leave. I feel like a wimp that my husband was able to help me ease into being a mother of two for so long. Especially because my mom was sure to remind me every chance she got that she only had my Dad in the delivery room and then he was back to work the moment the baby was born.

So alas. I am a wimp. I've come to terms with it over the last five weeks though.

During Jeff's time off, he worked a lot on his garden. We have tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini and onions in the works.
We knew Eli's birthday present wouldn't last until June 4th. We spent an afternoon watching Eli prance around in the freezing cold water. Turns out 75 degrees isn't the best swimming weather.
Eli didn't seem to mind that the slide doesn't exactly work. We've already devised a plan to slather the slide in baby soap next time we have a swimming day.
One day we went to feed the ducks (and I left my camera in the car dang it). Jeff packed Eli's snack bag this day and found out why I never give Eli chocolate chips on the go. How do kids manage to get so messy?!?
Another Mother's Day picture. Jeff told Eli to tell me, "Happy Mother's Day!" last Sunday, and Eli's been randomly saying it throughout the week. It's the cutest.
I love his eyes and I love this picture.
Another project for Jeff this week was to paint our back door and trim.
I forgot to take a good before/after picture, so imagine our whole door being that purple color at the bottom all faded and ugly. And then the after picture is a beautiful, black, nicely painted door. Wahoo.
My summer trick to get Eli in the house after playing outside is to bribe him with popsicles. This trick backfired on me when he started begging for popsicles every time he stepped into the kitchen. Now I need a trick to deal with his whining for popsicles all day...and night. Eli woke up the other night screaming. As soon as I went into his room he whispered, "...popsicle..." He's a very strong-willed boy. When he wants something, he has a one-track mind.
Here was another one of Jeff's projects -- installing ceiling fans into the boys' rooms.
Since Eli thought it was a great idea to climb into Carson's crib this week, sometimes the laundry basket is the only place for Carson to find refuge from
When Eli takes a bath, sometimes he puts his face down in the bubbles to make a little bubble beard. Then he says, "Ho, Ho, Ho." What? I didn't even teach him this and it cracks me up for so many reasons. 1) How does he know he has bubbles on his face? 2) How did he correlate the bubbles on his face to a beard? 3) How does he even remember who Santa is when I didn't even think he really cared about Santa last Christmas? That kid.
Today we went to the zoo with a bunch of Jeff's friends from Cedar City. Eli was afraid of the monkeys. And only the monkeys.
I'm so mad Eli's eyes are closed in this picture because it had so much potential. He had just given me a huge spontaneous hug but my camera is about 500 years old and was too slow to fully catch the tender moment.
Can I just tell you how hard it is for me to hold hands with Eli? He won't do it. Ever. He throws a tantrum if I even graze his hand to try and guide him anywhere. But if Will grabs Eli's hand, Eli thinks he's the greatest. And when Jeff's friend Glen (who Eli had never met before) grabbed Eli's other hand, Eli was in heaven. I need the two of them to be Eli's personal bodyguards.
Yawning tiger. Awesome. And apparently less scary than monkeys.
On the way home I said to Jeff, "Eli's going to get slapped with reality on Monday." He's been so spoiled the last five weeks with Jeff catering to his every need. Then Jeff said, "We're all going to get slapped with reality on Monday." Shucks. He's right.
Eli's enjoying his last sugar rush for a while, I'm enjoying my last day of extra help, Jeff's soaking up his last hours as a stay-at-home dad and we decided Carson will have the smoothest transition to Jeff being back in the workforce.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cry myself to sleep.