Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bouncing Baby Boys

When Eli was in his first year of life, Jeff would often bounce Eli on his knee and say, "Bounc-ing Ba-by Booooooooooy!" I thought it was adorable.

And thus we see where Eli's love of bobbing up and down comes from. You'll forgive me for basically only taking pictures of my kids on the trampoline, right? I can't help it. They are the cutest and the happiest and the most eager to pose for pictures while they are trying to defy gravity.
I need to give an update on the boys. Our lives have been a little hectic lately. I kept feeling like we were in transitional phases of life so I kind of lost our routine, schedule and rules over the past several months. Between busy season, babysitting for a friend for a few months and learning how to split my time between motherhood and my calling, everything kind of went crazy.
I kept getting frustrated because Eli seemed to be turning into a nutcase. Then I realized it was probably because he's always been on a really good schedule and we've been flying by the seat of our pants lately. I expected him to be unaffected by all these changes, but that was not the case.

I've instigated a Baby Bootcamp this week. Jeff and I sat down and came to a consensus on a few family rules so that we were both on the same page and could work on getting our lives back to where we once were.

The new rules are:

  • Eli only gets his binky in his room. If he comes out, he has to give us the binky. He can have it as much as he wants in his room.
  • The time that we put Eli to bed is going to be more concrete. 
  • No more milk for Eli at bedtime because we are *drumroll please* FINALLY potty training Eli completely. Meaning even at night and nap time.
  • Toys must be picked up in the backyard. It was kind of becoming a junkyard back there.
  • If we say no or yes to Eli, that is final, so we are going to be more thoughtful when telling him no or yes.
So far so good! Sure, we're only two days in, but Eli already seems to be appreciating the structure that has returned to our house. 

I realized I never gave an update of what Carson has been up to at his 1-year mark, so here are a few of Carson's milestones lately:

  • He says "dada" and even "Daddy" all the time. He will say "Mama" on rare occassions like when Eli is nearly strangling him to death but he usually limits his Mama usages to life and death situations. He said "Bye, bye" the other day and he is starting to blab a lot of nonsense.
  • He has been sick most of his life. I just went to the doctor and found out my asthma flared up which made me wonder if Carson has actually had asthma all this time. I plan to take him to the doctor to find out more about that.
  • He is on a funny sleep schedule. He goes down for the night around 8. Wakes up around 8. Back to bed at 10:00 sharp and lately he's only been taking one super long morning nap. So he wakes up from his 10:00 nap around 2-3. It's crazy. The little boy who never slept is finally catching a little shut-eye!
  • He loves to stick his hand into the toilet.
  • He follows Eli around all day long and will cry in the morning until he sees Eli.
  • He looooooves to be held. He is a very clingy boy. He's content to sit in my lap and watch Eli run around the house all day.
  • He has started hitting. He has quick little hands, too! He thinks hitting is hilarious and I think it's a game for him right now, so I'm trying to fix the problem before it becomes something more.
  • He is a great traveler. We just switched him into a new carseat (convertible that's currently rear-facing). He seems to like it.
  • He switched over to cow's milk no problem.
  • He still wakes up once at night. I will probably do sleep boot camp with him after our lives are in order from baby boot camp.
  • He can do the motions to the popcorn song. He loves singing nursery songs.
  • He is very sensitive. If he falls down or if Eli nudges him as he walks by, Carson has a come-apart.
  • He loves bananas, chocolate chips, watermelon, carrots, broccoli, cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pasta, eggs and green beans.
  • He chipped his front tooth! I don't really know what to do about that.
  • He's such a goof. Jeff and I love to watch him roam around the house because he does the funniest things. He brings us so much joy!

Next up: Eli!

  • Here's Eli's big news -- We decided to night potty train him. I hesitantly put him in underwear the first night, expecting to be up several times with a wet, screaming toddler. We all woke up the next morning dry and happy! He went all the way through the night without wetting the bed first try! It was so awesome. The next night he woke up around 11:00 crying. I took him to the bathroom and then he woke up dry again. Now if we can just figure out his refusal to go #2 in the potty he'll be officially toilet trained!
  • He goes to bed around 9:00 right now. I want to work on making that closer to 8 though. He still takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.
  • He loves trains, cars, trucks, tractors and airplanes. He has also taken an interest in fishing.
  • He was afraid of dogs, but has warmed up to them since Jeff's parents got a dog. He and Barkley are now good friends and enjoy playing "Blankie Chase" together.
  • Eli loves cereal, mac and cheese, yogurt, strawberries, lunch meat, eggs and sandwiches.
  • He just started doing this thing where he scratches his head and says, "My don't think so." When we say something he disagrees with.
  • The conversations between his toy cars have become very advanced. He's got a whole soap opera going on between them.
  • He loves doing anything and everything with Jeff. They are the best of buds.
  • He loves books. Curious George and Dr. Seuss are currently his favorites.
  • He is great at going to nursery, and he has had a few successful play dates with a couple of his nursery friends.
  • He is so smart, persistent and stubborn. If he wants something, he will find a way to get it. My dad tells me to appreciate it because he's a leader, but it does get hard to parent such a strong-headed little boy! I do love his cleverness, and he's good about keeping me on my toes.
  • To go along with his strong-headedness, he has recently started running out our front door every chance he gets. As soon as he's out, he runs around the corner of our street, completely out of eyesight. I have to chase him down anywhere from 3-7 times a day. We're working on getting a lock to put at the top of the door. 
  • He is so active. Loves to be on the trampoline, running around, jumping, skipping, or throwing balls around the house. 
  • He loves to color, do stamps, play with play dough or write with chalk.
  • He also completely loves our phones, the computer and TV. His favorite shows are Thomas, Mickey Mouse, Super Why and Mater.
  • He has so much energy, confidence and resilience. I am always surprised with how much information he can soak up and all the funny details he remembers. He is so fun to be around and we love having him in our family!
Now here's a slew of pictures. We'll start with Eli getting a gardening lesson from Jeff.

Children's museum. All his wildest dreams coming true.

 Carson's blurry chipped tooth.
 Bouncing. Always.
 I told him to smile at me and he did this.
 Carson was not harmed in the taking of this picture:
I laugh when I think back to not so long ago when he would try so hard to jump but could only get one foot off the ground. He's come a long way.
Crazy kiddo.
Here's Carson in the trying-so-hard-to-jump phase. Soon enough, my dear.
Eli found some cool shades one day.

Carson's pre-dinner meal. If dinner is on the table when Jeff gets home, you can bet this is the only way it happened.
I sang Thomas's theme song incorrectly. Eli was appalled.
The trampoline alone no longer suffices Eli's adventurous side. He now has to put a ball on the trampoline, jump onto the ball, which sends him flying every which way. I'm fairly confident we will be visiting the hospital this summer.
Eli often "accidentally" crashes into Carson. This was one of those attempts.
With Mother's Day, I've been thinking a lot about being a mom. I'm so grateful to be the mother of Carson and Eli. We have a lot of craziness. I have a lot of learning. But it really is the best, most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have done with my life.

My friend Kenz came over to my house for dinner on Monday. Eli was screaming the majority of the time. Carson had food splattered all over him and smelled like a dirty diaper even though he didn't have one. My kitchen sink was piled with dishes. There was food sprinkled about my floors. Toys strewn in the living room. Basically, we were in our true form. Hiding nothing for Kenz.

I fear the situation may have scared her away from motherhood. It's easy to see the dirt, mess and chaos that comes with child rearing. It's easy to complain about how hard it is. It's tempting to throw your hands in the air in defeat and say you actually don't really know how to raise the little ragamuffins. 

After joking with Jeff on a particularly rough evening, one of us said, "Why did we do this to ourselves?!?" That made me think. Why do we do this? Why do so many people have kids when you know they will bring with them the horror stories of diaper-smeared rooms, screaming through the night and tantrums in grocery stores?

If so many people are willing to put up with the tornado of raising children, it makes you realize there must be something super special about it. And to Kenz and anyone else who may be momentarily overcome by the craziness of motherhood, I want to make sure you know that it is special. 

The moment you hold a new, innocent, perfect little clone of your husband (let's face it, they usually look just like the husband), you fall in love. That little baby can do no wrong. You love every breath they take. Every sneeze is journal worthy. Every snot-faced kiss can melt your heart. 

And then they turn into toddlers.

But that's okay, too because suddenly they're talking. And you get the pleasure of hearing every hilarious thought they've been storing up for the past two years. They are so full of life and happiness and a perfect naiveness about the world. My kids are the best examples to me. My kids have taught me selflessness like no one else ever could. They are unintentionally molding me into the very person I want to be. 

I have come to learn about myself that I am not even very good with kids. I'm just not. I've tried to be but it does not come very naturally to me. Even so, I love being a mom. I am a kid person with my own kids because I know exactly what they need. I can see myself in them every day which is humbling and rewarding and makes me gush over their every move. Even with the screaming and the dirty diapers and the sink full of dishes.

So Kenz. And everyone else. Please don't be afraid of having babies. They are worth every moment of frustration. At Girly Girl weekend we talked about our moms and how they have influenced us. It reminded me that my job is so important, and that I will have a huge influence on my children. It is such an honor to be their role model and to teach them the things I know. I love being a mom. And I just wanted everyone who has seen how crazy my boys and house can be to know that I'm glad I "did this to myself." It is hard work. But that's how you know it's worth it.

End of stereotypical motherhood rant. Happy Belated Mother's Day. :)


Rebecca said...

I thought that post was about to end three times before it actually did. Not that I'm complaining, though! I love me a nice, long Lucky Number 8 post!

Loved your reflections on motherhood. And my girls will love that your trampoline is now up and ready to use. Now when can we come up?

Glen said...

Nice blog post Sarah. I might suggest, being a parent is really fun especially when you see your children have children and the cycle continues.

If you think being a parent is cool, being a grand parent is even better.

Kim said...

I always love to read your dissertations on motherhood. This was another great one. I think you are one of the best mothers I know and you deal wonderfully well with the hand you've been dealt (meaning two very active little boys).

Love the first picture of Eli jumping high on the trampoline. Also love the picture of you holding Carson. You are so beautiful. The picture of the boys digging in the dirt is very sweet--especially Eli's hand on Jeff's shoulder. I always love Eli's expressions. He has so many and they are all hilarious, but I especially love his look in the dark glasses.

LC said...

Love this Sar.
Breez should read it. Im always scaring her out of having children.

Kenzman said...

Sarah!! You didn't scare me. You freaked the living day lights out of me. See you tomorrow??