Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Herding Cats

It's been so long - but two kids man. Love 'em, but I sit down sometime around 9:30 at night exhausted, not remotely interested in my as-yet-ignored to-do list, and looking to relax for a bit before snuggling with my pillow. I have no complexes about keeping my house clean, completing Pinterest projects, or anything even slightly beyond "fed and clothed." and that's just for me -- for my kids, it's really just "fed." since that takes approximately 85 percent of the day to begin with, ha. 

Levi has been getting more and more...independent, I guess is the right word for it. I expected the age of
three (a week away!) for him to be harder for us as parents. He's less attached to us, has a LOT more words and of course, more opinions. Really, with our genetics, we'd be concerned if anything else were the case :) He now uses words like ectothermic. While doing an alphabet puzzle (shout out to Susan!!) Levi pointed at the puzzle piece shaped like a W and said "look mom, Orcas!" Let me tell you, I learned the word Orca in what, 4th grade?? This kid. It's still so fun watching his imagination develop though, whether its pretending to be a crab in the tub and walking his feet up the wall, pretending to be a dinosaur, or setting his cars up in elaborate crashes. He "parks" every single toy before we leave to go somewhere. Always does things in an orderly fashion, that one. It must be a grandparent (cough cough British cough) trait that skipped a generation and carried through.

Theo is both becoming more delightful and more hard to handle. He'll interact with us with his voice -
laughing and waiting for us to laugh back, or making a sound and waiting for us to repeat it back. He loves to cuddle and play when he's in a good mood, and eat! But he also is practicing biting things - namely me, and it's a constant jumping game when he's nursing with me yanking him away if I think he might bite. ugh. He also has combined his "mommy is my favorite" with some separation anxiety, so if I leave a the building, a room, his line of sight, or stop touching him, he screams bloody murder and won't calm down until I reappear and pick him up.

He's learned to pick up puffs and small bits of food and put them in his mouth after a couple of weeks of trying to convince him to do that himself - he has great fine motor skills, but if I held a puff in my hand out of reach of his mouth, he would grab my hand and pull it to his mouth so he could slurp the puff off my palm.
Even if he got the puffs in his hands, he would just leave them there. For real, sometimes when he ran out of puffs by dropping them on the floor or because I walked away, I'd see him opening his hands and looking disconsolately at the puffs trapped in his grimy palm, but making no move to put them...in his mouth.

He's such a contradictory little person - even though he screeches when I'm around but not holding him and bites, he is the master of bedtime. I go upstairs, change his diaper and put him in jammies, nurse him while I
Yes, he sucks his thumb, against my wishes. Yes, his
face is dirty. Fed, but not clean, remember?
read to Levi, and go put him in his crib. No songs, rocking, mobile turning-on, nothing - and he doesn't fall asleep nursing, he's still wide awake and squirming around while we finish reading in Levi's room. I put Theo in his crib, turn off light, leave room. And he sleeps, every night. I'd say 80 percent of the time without fussing at all, the other percentage fussing two minutes, tops. I thought Levi was good because he would also go to sleep easily at this age, but there was a half-dozen step bedtime routine first. Although I should probably clarify that starting at 18 weeks, we're pretty strict sleep trainers as a rule - the kids are never allowed in our beds, we let them cry it out  after a quick check to make sure they're OK, etc.

And now, some fun conversations with Levi: 

Levi: that bridge had trains and cars.
Me: I like trains and cars. Do you?
L: Yes. They make me steam.
Me; They make you scared?
L: No. They make me steam.
Me: Like a smokestack?
L: Yes.
Me: Do you mean the trains make steam?
L: Trains make steam, but also I make steam.
Me: Oh I see. Does it come out of your head?
L: No. My fingers.
(pause)
L: Also, I not afraid. Of cars or trains. Or kitties.
Me: 
I think kitties are cute and nice.
L:My friend Mike has a cat. (we know no one in Levi's life who goes by Mike)
Me: ...Did you say Mike?
L: Yeah.
Me: ...is Mike a new friend from school.
L: No.
Me: Where did you meet Mike?
L: Mike winowski!
Me: Ooooh. (realizes he meant Mike Wizowski, from Monster's Inc. the movie) I'm not sure he has a cat.


Levi: Daddy, you have a big butt.
Tim: Well, you have a little tiny butt.
Levi: No, my butt is big and strong. It moves things. Like dirt.



Daddy got a Lego* set for (very late) Christmas



Herding cats, I tell ya. 







The Quintessential "I Have Two Kids" Photo.
Boogies. Food. Angst.

Hello Theo!


Levi's first Easter egg hunt!




*actual Legos, 100 percent real. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ah Family



I've been trying to email myself conversations with Levi, because they are oh-so-hilarious. 

Here's a sampling: 

Levi (at 1 a.m., after an upset tummy): Spicy things make me spiced and hot things make me hot.
Tim: What makes you sleepy?
Levi: Stuffed animals. But not snakes or big doggies or kitty cats. 

Tim: Levi, you're my best friend. Who's your best friend?Levi: trucks. 



(Prayers before bed)
Levi: Dear Jesusthank you for trucks
thank you for dinner
thank you for minions
thank you for cars
thank you for daddy
thank you for mommy
thank you for Levi
thank you for sleeps
thank you for jammies
thank you for books
thank you for sheepie

Levi: (throws legos in the air)
Holly: No throwing Levi
Levi: I was making a star!

Levi: (throws piece of paper after crumpling it up)
Holly: Levi, please no throwing. Please get down and pick that up, and go throw it away.
Levi: (holds hands up innocently) I not have anything to throw....!

Levi's favorite activities these days involve drivign his hot wheels cars 9which he gets for using the potty) around and parking them in various places: on the wood stove, on a window frame, in the sugar bowl, etc. He also counts smokestacks. Of trains, boat, tractors or trucks in books, or anything he sees while riding in the car. 

Theo likes to chew on hardcover books these days, since he popped his two bottom teeth out within the past two
weeks. He is also very interested in playing with tiny things - tags, the little antennae on his butterfly toy. he's starting to turn himself around and scoot backwards when on his tummy. I can't say I'm looking forward to the mobility, I like that I can put sit him down with some toys and he doesn't get into anything while I work or do chores!




Levi gets himself into some pickles these days - he's started to try to pick things up from his chair at the table without actually getting down from the chair - resulting in some acrobatics. Once he got stuck upside down with
his head on the floor while he tried to reach a fork.  He also talks to his stuffed animals sometimes - we'll find him reading books to them or just conversing with them, which is adorable :)

We had some fantastic professional photos taken by Randy Litwin a few weeks ago, check out his website if you're in the eastern PA area - he does a really quality job, worked well with our tiny ones, was super easy going, and to be honest has a great philosophy about the price of professional photography. 


















Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tiny ones

We've all got a touch of a head cold these days, so just photos today!
















Monday, February 3, 2014

Hilarity amongst the mess








So while friends were over Saturday afternoon, we were having pasta with meatballs for lunch. Levi, predictably, couldn't manage to keep his little bowl on the table. Right after Matt noticed that it might fall,
splat. hit the floor, with a good dose of marinara sauce on the fabric-covered seat on the way down. So after Levi picked up all the pasta and meat, helped me wipes off the floor, and i scrubbed as much sauce as I could get out of the chair, Levi climbed back up. As I walked back to the table after putting the disinfectant spray away, Theo, who was lounging in Tim's lap, leans over and yukes all over the floor. And then Levi climbs down from his seat, because he was done, and left a big red pasta sauce hand print on the fabric that I'd just scrubbed. And while I love having two tiny boys, sometimes there just isn't enough soap.


Theo is working on starting to pronounce some consonants like baba or mama - he's pretty good at trying to mimic us. When he's not drowning in drool, that is. He's taken to sucking on his bottom lip....not sure why, but it's pretty adorable. He's also almost at the point where he can scoot backwards a bit - his daycare teacher was trying to get him to try going forward today. I told her to stop, he's only six months old, I need a couple more months of no movement before I have two precocious children climbing the walls :) He also had his first taste of cereal this past week, as he is six months old today. He LOVED the spoon...and managed to dribble 95 percent of the cereal back out of his mouth, of course. But he was ecstatic about finally being allowed to grab something that looked like it had to do with eating - he's been reaching for our water glasses, utensils, plates, napkins, placemats, and table plant, for weeks now! We're going to try with him tilting back a bit in his bouncy seat next and see if we can get him to swallow any of it, ha.




Levi is proving to be very imaginative, which often ensues hilarity. Some recent conversations:



Levi: Mommy, see you later!

Me: Where are you headed?

Levi: To the office!

Me: Oh - what are you going to do at the office?

Levi: Eat pickles!



Talking with Daddy after Levi slipped and bonked his head on the floor:

Tim: Careful with your head, buddy, it's the only one you have.
Levi: I want another head.
Tim: You want a second head?
Levi: I want to take this one off and put on a different one.
Tim: But i like this one.
Levi: This one hurts. (so matter-of-fact about it, too)


When looking up at the globe we have sitting on a shelf in our living room:

Levi: a ball!

Me: That's right, do you know what shape that is?

Levi: A wrecking ball!


There are dozens more. He likes to pretend to be a racecar, which first involves collecting random items from around downstairs and "stowing" them on Theo's playmat. then he sits next to Theo crouched under the arches of the playmat and makes noises like he's careening around curves and coming to a dangerous stop, while launching himself left and right and sometimes overturning the playmat and/or letting piles of random things fall on Theo....


He's also getting quite good at remembering words from books - we often leave blank spots and he fills in the right details. Recent favorites include the Little Blue Truck, The Very Busy Spider, and Frog and Toad are Friends.















Sunday, January 5, 2014

We had a lovely holiday season - a trip up to Tim's parent's house, freezing cold New Hampshire temperatures, and some fun times with family. The road trips were a bit grueling, but Tim's a trooper and drove late into the night/early morning each way. Theo - not so much of a trooper, but hey, I wouldn't want to sit in a carseat for hours on end either. We had some fun making ginger bread houses, cooking with Nannan, and playing endlessly with cousins. We went candle-pin bowling, a New England-specialty, and Levi had the time of his life :)

We spent New Year's as per our usual practice - in a nest of blanket's and pillows on the living room floor next to the wood stove, watching movies. We rented Turbo for Levi, who was hilariously named Theo, so now we call baby Theo Turbo occasionally :) We had delicious sushi made by Tim, and yep, I went to bed at 10 p.m. :)

Theo's becoming more engaging - he can hold grip toys and manipulate them into his mouth, and loves to hit and kick anything he can figure out how to reach. Or play with noisy things - I gave him a bag of ritz crackers that was mostly empty all rolled up and clipped, and he went to town on it the other night. He likes to play with his friends at school or church during tummy time - chatting and drooling together :)

Levi is starting to connect language he's heard elsewhere with new situations. He started saying "because" when he asks him why he is doing something, ha. he likes to give Theo toys....but he also likes to boss Theo around and tell him which toys to play with when. Ah being the eldest. He got some trucks and airplanes for Christmas that have little screws in them that he can take apart and put back together by himself - LOVES them. He also has at least two dozen new (or used) books from gifts. Two of them he has memorized already (Little Blue Truck and a Chuggington trains book).

And now for the pictures!