Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Devon: March

Devon, Devon, Devon.


Where do I begin?

Let's start with this .... the terrible two's are in full swing at our house. Even though Devon is still his sweet, little self most of the time, it would appear that periodically throughout the day a demon takes over his mind and body and he has crying tantrums, dangerously climbs on furniture, says "no" to everything, gets up from sleeping 5-6 times at night and sits on the floor by the stairs yelling,"Annie, get up here now!" and refusing to ingest anything except milk and candy. Thankfully, he is not like this all the time.

In fact most of the time he's well behaved and when we go to my parents' house or on an outing he does really well, but I think he just gets tired of keeping all the energy bottled up in his tiny, polite little body all day that it all comes out when we get home. It is a lesson in patience that I work on everyday.

The upside to his latest "personality shift" ;) is his language skills have improved dramatically from last month. Total strangers comment on how well he speaks and can carry on conversations with him. When he is open to listening, it is possible to reason with him. Like, when I had to explain that I had to put a gate on his bedroom door so he wouldn't climb on top of the dresser at night and turn the TV on and off and scare me half to death because Mama thinks someone is in the house ;)

I hate to gender generalize, but Devon loves all things that a typical boy would love. Tools, rocks, hanging out in the garage, building stuff, swords, spraying the water hose, digging in the dirt, guns, robots, super heroes, space, astronauts, rocket boots, transformers, spitting, burping and farting.

To his two-year-old credit, when he does burp/fart he says,"I burped/farted. Excuse me." At least he's polite about it ;) He will turn anything into a gun or sword. My hair dryer, a butter knife, a plastic pipe, a screwdriver, you name it and he will fight you with it. And watch out because he seems to have some natural ability with fighting. He has drawn blood more that once.

I love this picture. It's me, Audrey in the pouch and Devon out for a mid day walk. Devon was pointing at the moon with his stick sword.

I am continually amazed at the imagination of this little guy.

He can walk by a pile of gravel and say,"I want to go look at that pyramid." and then proceeds to tell me everything he knows about Egypt.

I read him a book about space and told him about Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and planting an American flag. 15 minutes later we were taking a walk through our neighborhood and the gas company had marked the ground for some work that was going to be done in the next few days. He walked over to this flag and said,"This is a flag from the moon."

Joe was showing Devon how to dig for sand rubies and they collected them in a little cup. I had a little cup of beads that I left on the table that Devon dumped onto the floor and I had to literally dig each one out of the carpet. Devon called them "mama's sand rubies."

When Joe lets him get on the computer Devon asks to see happy faces. Like, pages of smiley faces. How sweet is that?

He loves to "show you a good trick" and have you show him one in return. Balancing a spoon on your nose, handstands, curling your tongue and fish faces are very good tricks. His cool trick is to take a plastic/paper sword and spin it in the air. And when I say "spins it" he throws it in the air and it spins like a propeller on a plane. It's so fast! It's a pretty good trick.

He loves to make cookies on a weekly basis and I even taught him how to make home made noodles. He was more interested in swinging the handle around like a sword than the noodles, but he did like it for a few minutes. I like how he stopped putting the noodles on the rack and just globed on dough.

Devon loves to watch Monster's Inc (he calls it Monster's name fink), Bolt, Transformers, Tangled, Yo Gaba Gaba and The Incredibles. He frequently asks to be referred to as: Incrediboy, Mr. Incredible, Prince Charming, and when he's carrying a sucker like a magic wand ... Fairy Godmother. He asks to watch the History channel so he can watch shows on Egypt and "mommies".

Devon loves to eat nectarines, Pokey, marshmallows, apples, cheese, suckers, broccoli, noodles, pizza, fish and watermelon. His new favorite condiment is steak sauce. Move over ketchup!

If you ask him what he thinks about smoking he will give you various answers:
"It's grossy."
"It's disgusting."
"It gives you cancers."
"It's only for the fireplace."
"It could burn you. Blah!" (sticking out his tongue)

That last one he came up with on his own.

Devon is starting to be helpful around the house and will often tell me that he needs to pick up his toys before bed. He will empty the silverware from the dishwasher to the drawer and picks up food that he spills on the floor. He is very good at calming Audrey and they are genuinely interested in playing together. Except in this picture where she swatted at his sample of peanut butter pretzels and he was devastated that they spilled onto his shorts. He is quite a tender kid.

Devon constantly says,"I love you so much" and gives out hugs, kisses and monkey kisses. A monkey kiss is an Eskimo kiss, but he calls it a monkey kiss. He loves to snuggle up with his blanket, papash (pacifier) and his sock monkey when he goes to sleep and insists that mama and daddy lay down with him each night.

Audrey: March (8 months)

Little Miss Audrey is such a fun little girl. She can sit on her own now, but I can't put her down and walk away since she's not 100% steady 100% of the time. I leave a pillow behind her just in case she tips backwards. She loves to play with Devon's toys and wants to be included in all the fun. Devon would not have it any other way. He brings her toys and tries to soothe her when she fusses.

She has started to "worm" her way across the floor, but mostly spins around in circles. It's startling to set her down, leave and come back and she's in a different spot. She's too little to be so mobile!

She has started eating real food like cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. She attacks Cheerios. I'm not kidding. I put them on the tray and she goes at them with both fists spraying cereal everywhere. She puts handfuls in her mouth at once and I have to sweep the floor after every meal. She loves to crunch them in her tiny, front teeth,

I definitely call her by her name, but her nicknames include beauty, lady girl, la la and little squishy. She has settled into her 9-12 month clothes and even some 18 month stuff since pants tend to be short on her because she has gotten so tall.

She takes a nice long nap in the middle of the day and is in bed for the night by 7:00. She is a dream sleeper.

I never have to rock her to sleep, which is sort of sad, but nice that I can just put her in her bed when she's wide awake, give her her blanket and she just goes to sleep. If she cries for more than two minutes that means that she's not ready and I'll keep her up an extra half hour.

Although she hates to be put in her car seat she is a sweet little girl to run errands with.

It is so fun for me to take her shopping with me or to the grocery store and have that one-on-one time that I cherish.

Audrey loves to laugh, watch cartoons with her brother, sing and click her tongue. Since her teeth are really starting to descend, she is doing lots of raspberries and sucking on her lips.

She sits while I do her hair and style it into little curls. I have started making little hair clips for her and I'm sure in a few months she will have a clip for every outfit ;)

It delights me to no end to go into her room after she has been sleeping. When she sees me she kicks her legs and waves her arms wildly all the while she is giggling and cooing. It makes me happy that she is happy to see me. I adore this little lady and I live to make her smile.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I just don't have time ...

I hear this phrase all the time.

"I can't (fill in the blank) because I don't have time. I really want to (fill in the blank), but there are not enough hours in the day."

What people really mean is they don't MAKE time. If something is really, truly important to you you WILL make time for it. Plain and simple. You will make time for it and you will follow through. If you don't do it then it's not as important as you say it is.

I have been saying this about getting the the gym for the last several months. I have a new baby, I have a toddler, I don't have time, I'm too tired, I can only go in the early morning or late at night and I can't do either of those (because I don't want to), I can only work out once a week so I won't go at all ..... I was so full of excuses I was annoying myself. I finally decided that I had had enough. I decided that I would suck it up and go in the morning before Joe goes to work. I figured that I needed to go early enough in the morning so I could be home to get the kids ready as well as get myself showered, ready for the day and breakfast eaten. Audrey gets up around 6:30 and Devon around 7:00.

Yesterday I got up at 4:50.

That's right.


I got my bum to the gym at 5:00am and worked out for an hour. I thought it would be empty at that time, but it was positively full. It felt so GOOD to really work out. When you get up that early you tend to really push yourself to make sure that getting up was really worth it.

I got home a little after 6:00am, showered, got ready, ate breakfast, made Joe breakfast and did two loads of laundry. Audrey got up at 7:00 and soon after Devon was up. It was such a different experience because I wasn't rushing around trying to get ready while holding Audrey and Devon begging to play. I wasn't scrambling to clean the breakfast dishes before we could leave the house and I wasn't stressed. We had a perfectly pleasant morning and the kids even got down for naps early and slept 3 hours .... at the same time. In those 3 hours I was able to clean the house and make dinner. Since I didn't have any cleaning to do after dinner I was able to read and make some jewelry .... something that I really enjoy, but haven't done in a while. I was somehow able to keep my energy up all day and had to force myself to go to bed at 11:00pm.

I went again this morning and it was even better! I am pleasantly sore and know that I am getting benefits from my hard work. I have never been a morning person, but I have a new appreciation for getting up before the sun does. I feel so much more productive, I feel healthy, I've done something good for myself that, in turn, benefits my family.

It's amazing how something like going to the gym can make me feel like the me-before-I-had-kids. I want to get back to going five days a week and I can't wait to get my body back! I was this close to loosing all the baby weight (I literally had one pound to go), but then I gained back five pounds. Ughhhhh. I only have two pounds left at this point so I don't think it will take me any time at all to reach my goal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Devon: February

Me: What are you doing Devon?
Devon: Licking the wall.
Me: What does it taste like?
Devon: Ketchup.

Devon reached two milestones this month: potty training and getting a "big boy bed".
I have been agonizing .... AGONIZING over when is the right time to get Devon a bed. He loves his crib and will even ask to stay and play in it after his nap is over. I felt guilty about "kicking him out" to give it to little miss Audrey. I felt guilt over her turning six months old and still being in a pack 'n play since they aren't that comfortable. Ahhhhh a mother's guilt!

Fortunately, Devon made the decision himself. One day, during nap time, I heard on the monitor,"Devon riding a horse!". I knew what that meant .... and it wasn't good. I ran upstairs and he was straddling the front of his crib. Yes, I ran and got my camera before I asked him to get down ;)

When I asked him who taught him how to ride a horse he said,"Prince Charming. It's from Shrek." OK, thanks little man! ;) He usually does this on the couch or on arm chairs, neither of which are in his room. I had him lay back down and climbed in there with him. I held him tight and he wrapped his arms around me and fell back to sleep. I just stared at him. He is so beautiful and it is so sweet to be so close to him while he sleeps. I knew that it would be my last time to snuggle in his crib and I soaked up every minute of it not wanting it to end. My little baby is growing up.

Since he could officially get out of his crib, we went that day and got him a bed.
I ended up going with a trundle and It. Is. Awesome. It's like having another closet only better because it can be an extra bed at some point if we need it to be. It can slide out on either side so I can store stuff right ....

and left. It also slides so easily that Devon can move this huge trundle all by himself. The sheets glow in the dark. How cool is that?

The first night he was so excited and kept talking about how soft his big boy bed was.

The second night he climbed out and fell asleep on the floor at the top of the stairs (yes, the baby gate was up).

The third night the inevitable happened .... he fell out. He yelped when he hit the ground, but he was totally fine and went right back to bed. He loves his new bed and wants to play toys in it all day. He seems to go to sleep faster for naps than when he was in his crib and also sleeps longer. I am so happy that he likes it and that it was such an easy transition. My only complaint is that he does get out of bed several times at night before he falls asleep. It is starting to get a little tedious and I don't know how to keep him from doing it.

I have threatened to take away his blankie (that always makes him cry at the mear thought of that happening) and that works, but not every time. I'm sure it's one of those things that will just have to work itself out.

In the beginning, he would head over to Audrey's room and climb into her crib. It woke her up, but I would always know he got in bed with her because I would hear giggling over the monitor. It's difficult to get upset that neither child is napping when they are being so sweet to each other. Needless to say, I started locking her door ;)

There were four huge boxes of materials to put this bed together. Our living room was covered in cardboard. My husband is a genius. Have I mentioned that? I came home from teaching yoga and this was in my living room.

My husband built a castle out of card board and duct tape. It's amazing! It is big enough that Devon, Audrey and I (and probably even Joe) can comfortably fit in it without having to hunch over. The next day while Joe was at work I added the draw bridge. It works, too. It's an engineering marvel if I do say so my self .... and I do ;) Devon will stay in there for an hour a day lifting and lowering the draw bridge while I color on the walls and Audrey plays toys. It's fun to play together and be so close at the same time. The best part is when Devon is done playing with it we can recycle it!

One day I realized that I was getting low on Devon's diapers. I am feeling comfortable with the whole having-two-kids-thing, I feel like I can handle the extra work of potty training and I think Devon is definitely ready so I decided that once the size 5's were gone I wasn't going to buy more. I have had a box of pull ups for months and potty training was going to happen. I took Devon with me to the store and let him pick out some underwear. It's so fun to see what he picks out. He went for the super hero assortment, Pixar multi pack and his latest favorite Yo Gabba Gabba. I have given him stamps and stickers as a reward, but suckers and marshmallows worked the best since he pretty much never gets either of those.

It took him less than a week! It is so awesome to hear those six little words. "I have to go potty, Mama." I still ask him if he has to go in my attempt to avoid an accident, but it is exciting (in a lame Mom sort of way) for him to understand what his body is doing. It is so great to have one baby out of diapers and he's only 2 1/2! Of course he has accidents, but extra laundry .... I can handle. But rushing out to stock up on diapers when I'm running low, the smell, the garbage, the expense .... I am SO over it. One down and one to go! By the way, his other favorite phrase is,"Ca ca means poop, in Spanish." Giggles ensue. Sigh. Such a boy.

One of Devon's favorite phrases right now is,"Want just a tiny, little bit more milk, please Mama." The kid loves milk. He would drink it all day long if I let him. He gulps down an entire sippy cup of it in one sitting and then asks for more. He also loves rasins, pizza, dumplings, rice, watermelon and cheese.

Devon loves to cook and be a little chef. He regularly asks to make cookies and I have finally figured out a way for a two year old to have fun and actually be helpful in the process ;) I fill the measuring cups and he dumps it into the mixer. I scoop the dough and he puts it on the cookie sheet. I bake the cookies and he eats them ;)

Devon is quick to give out kisses, hugs and I love you's.He loves his baby sister and actively includes her in play time and makes sure I bring her with us where ever we go. He drags her car seat out of the closet and brings her toys for the drive.

It is the sweet, innocent moments that make being a Mom SO, incredibly worth it when you are able to watch your children grow and learn. Devon knows the President, Vice President, First Lady, who is on the $1, the $5 and is starting to learn letter sounds (T-ta-truck) as well as basic math problems (1+1=2). It is amazing to understand how kids grasp language.

Joe was teaching Devon about George Washington. The next day Devon pointed to a dollar bill and said,"George Bath time!" Get it? He knows the word wash, but bath is more accessible for him. I think that is SO amazing! My current favorite word of his is "yester-night". You know .... like yesterday, but at night. It seems like it should be a real world.

And finally, if you ever want to know what the world of a small child looks like ask them to look at a picture and tell you what they see. Joe showed this to Devon and asked him what it was....

He said,"Monkey." Such a sweet imagination I almost cried!