Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quick February Update

For some strange reason February always feels ridiculously short to me.  It's really only 2-3 days shorter than a normal month, but for some reason I can never get my mess together in February.  The month starts, it's Valentine's Day, and then suddenly before I have time to blink, it's March.

We've had a pretty awesome February.  

On Valentine's Day, Chad and I hired a babysitter and cashed in on one of our Christmas gifts when Chad's parents took all of the NC kids to see the stage version of Mary Poppins at Durham Performing Arts Center.  This show made its grand opening when I was living in London, and it is the last show I saw there, so it holds a special place in the sentimental corner of my heart.  Not to mention I adored the Julie Andrews version as a child.  And as an adolescent.  And OK, I still love it as an adult.  Anyway, we had a great time together.  We were a tad bit disappointed in Mary's voice (OK.  Severely disappointed.  I am still left wondering how the actress scored the LEAD and hopefully none of her family was in the audience, as we were quite vocal about our opinions during intermission), but Bert was beyond fabulous.  He didn't tap dance on the ceiling, though, like he did in the London version, and Mary didn't fly out over the audience.  Slightly less magical.  But I was reminded that this is a travelling production and is a bit more limited in what they can do with set design and special effects.  

For Presidents' Day weekend we went to Kinston to spend time with family and meet with a client for a wedding we are shooting in March.  It snowed like crazy on Saturday, church was cancelled on Sunday, and  on Monday we discovered the most amazing in-the-middle-of-nowhere restaurant run by Mennonites who make fabulous french toast.  I'm not kidding about the french toast. Oh, and that homemade butter syrup.  Best.  Stuff.  Ever. In between we also ate a fabulous steak and bang-bang shrimp dinner, and a Thanksgiving-esque Sunday afternoon lunch, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing.

Kaden lasted for about five seconds in the snow before he started saying, "I'm cold" and "I wanna hold you!"  He's definitely a Southern boy.

 Snow is so beautiful when you don't see it all the time, don't have to worry about driving in it, and know it will promptly melt before it becomes a hassle.

Kaden's Aunt Lauren bundled up and enjoyed the snow with him again later:

 I was in charge of one of our playgroup meetings this month, so I arranged for us to go to the fire station.  Kaden LOVES fire trucks, dressing up like a firefighter, and watching Fireman Sam on Netflix, so I figured he would completely adore the outing.  Not so much.  He wouldn't get anywhere near the firetruck.  Not to sit in the drivers seat, not to try on the fireman's hat, nothing.  He kept saying, "I'm just scared."  He threw the thank you notes he'd made at one of the firemen, because he was too terrified to hand them to him.  Oh, well.  I did manage to get a few shots of him next to the firetruck before eventually sneaking out early.

This is Kaden, keeping his distance, while some of the braver kids check out the firefighter and his gear:

This is Kaden's friend, Mark, and his little sister, Mia.  They were trying to show Kaden it would be OK to have his picture taken here.  It didn't work, but they are still cute.

 Kaden, next to the fire engine, in his firefighter rain jacket (he almost looks happy in this one):

 The looks I saw more often on the outing:

I wanted him to see the tires were bigger than he was:

We left some cookies I'd made for the firefighters, and Kaden had an emotional breakdown, because apparently he wanted the cookies.  Not our best day.

That night he told Daddy all about the fire station, though, dressed up in his firefighter gear, and kept saying, "I'm a REAL firefighter!" in his manliest voice.

I guess he wasn't too traumatized.

We've had a lot of cold days this month, and we've been going slightly stir crazy.  One day I found Kaden quietly playing like this with his trains:

Kaden's buddy Liam came over one day and at the sight of sunshine I threw those boys in the car with a picnic lunch and headed to the park.  They had a great time together, and I suddenly remembered that being a mom of a toddler boy is easier when you can get OUTSIDE.

Liam and Kaden both have very strong personalities, and it is shocking to me that they still want to be friends after all the squabbles they get in, but they really do love each other, and it's very sweet to watch.  After this park outing, we took Liam home, and Kaden went down for a nap.  When he woke up he was in tears and saying, "My Liam is missing!"  Janet and I are visiting teaching companions (we visit three sisters from our church congregation together each month) so these boys see a lot of each other.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We're Having . . .

A monster.

Or so Kaden vocalized, after watching his little brother wave at him during our ultrasound yesterday morning.

We were all ooh-ing and aww-ing over his cute little feet, hands, and belly, and Kaden said, "Oh!  It's a monster!"

That's right!  We're having another boy!

I'm not going to lie, I was completely shocked.  So was Chad.  We both really, really thought it was a girl, but as soon as the ultrasound tech started moving that wand around, I immediately saw the evidence that proclaimed otherwise.  My mother-in-law came for the ultrasound, and she was surprised, too.

We are really excited about adding another little gentleman to our family.  We were talking about it last night and were having so much fun imagining Kaden with a little shadow.

Kade was a bit confused afterwards.  I guess we'd hyped up the ultrasound so much that he thought the baby would be coming home with us after.  He kept saying, "I wanna have him!"  Thankfully, we've got a few months to go.  We may have all the gear we need for Baby Boy, round two, but we're going to need all the time we can get to agree on a name.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Confessions of a Once Anti-TV Mom

I am kind of a stickler about how much TV Kaden gets to watch.  Like obsessive about it.  I was one of those parents who pledged their child wouldn't watch TV until they turned two.  Which totally didn't end up happening.  But we did make it to almost a year before Chad broke out Finding Nemo, while he was acting as stay-at-home dad, and I was teaching full-time.  I blame him for the lapse completely, but it was in a moment of desperation for him.  Anyway, probably because we monitor his TV consumption so closely, he is a TV junkie.  He begs for shows constantly.  It's kind of sad.

Then I got pregnant.  And sick.

And boy, howdy!  Netflix, Kaden, my bed, and I became serious buddies some days.  Wonder Pets, Pokoyo, Diego, Super Why!  You name it.  We've seen it.

You know how every parent has their personal niche of extreme?  I have friends, for example, that are amazing at monitoring their children's sugar intake.  Some of their kids have never had processed foods, where I have given Kaden fruit snacks as a bribe to be quiet in sacrament meeting for over a year now.  Some parents have extreme adherence to a specific discipline philosophy.  Some parents insist on homeschooling their children.  The list goes on and on.  All parents have their thing, and all parents (whether they admit it or not) think parents who don't do their thing are missing an important key to parenting.  TV was my thing.  I have nothing left.  I have intense guilt, but so far the justification that I only use it as a crutch in extreme situations, and that we never have it on all day, is winning.

This morning, I woke up with a killer migraine.  The kind where a smidgen of light makes everything start throbbing ten times worse than it already is.  The kind that Tylenol (which I sometimes wonder . . . IS this, the only pain reliever allowed to a pregnant woman, an actual drug???  I'm beginning to think it might be a placebo) can't even touch.

Kaden, who has a sixth sense that he should wake up early on the most inconvenient days possible, woke up at 6:28 a.m.

I tried the, "Let's look out the window.  See, the sun is still sleeping!" trick.  Didn't work.

"I wanna lay by you!"

"Lie by you, Buddy" . . . (Just kidding, I didn't correct his grammar.)

So, Kaden came to snuggle with me and my pounding head.  The rule is if he wakes up before 7 a.m. he has to try to go back to sleep, even if it's in my room.  He lay there super quietly for a good thirty minutes and then said, "Mommy, I'm hungry!  I wanna eat dinner."

And, because I'm a terrible parent, I told him if he stayed in my bed he could watch Diego, and I would bring him some milk and a cup of cereal.   And that is an offer he simply can't refuse, my friends.

I'm not sure how many episodes of Diego we watched this morning, as I was drifting in and out of consciousness until he would scream, "One more show!" and I would shield my eyes from the blinding light emanating from the television screen and push the play button again.

Here are some of my thoughts on Diego, which I have complied from the impressions I've gathered after watching multiple episodes over the last few months:

1.  In my anti-TV mom ignorance, I thought Diego and Dora were brother and sister. They are actually cousins, in case you were wondering.

2.  Why, Diego, do you constantly feel the need to scream everything you say?  You never talk in a normal voice.  Never.  You are always excitedly screaming.

3.  The songs, all with a slew of Spanish words thrown in there (to help parents like me think their kids are learning something) are extremely catchy.  I frequently sing them, with incorrect Spanish words, while washing the dishes, doing the laundry, etc.  I never mean to start singing them.  It just happens.

4.  The Rescue Pack has the catchiest song.  Even Kaden, who usually declines to dance, will rock out to it.

5.  How old is Diego supposed to be, anyway?  And why are his parents never concerned that he's gallivanting all over the freaking RAIN FOREST unsupervised?  On the Valentine's Day special, Sammy the sloth was so concerned they weren't going to find his friend to deliver her Valentine before night fall.  The sun kept slinking lower and lower in the sky.  Luckily, they found her in time.  As a parent, I was a little concerned about how Diego was going to make it home, however.  I'm all about cultivating independence in children, but really???

So.  My secret's out.  Do you think one can return to a state of extreme after a lapse as intense as the one I have described?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Updates of the Kaden and Pregnancy Variety

Every night while we lay in bed trying to fall asleep, I tell Chad at least one funny thing Kaden did during the day.  Last night, he said, "You haven't blogged in a while.  You need to write that down."  And he is right.  If you don't write it down, in about a month it's like it never happened.  Something else cute or funny takes its place, and POOF!  Just like that it's gone.  Forgotten.

So, without further ado, I give you . . . 

Kaden Updates:

Kaden took a super late nap on Sunday afternoon, so he was still up for the halftime show of The Superbowl.  I care nothing about professional football, but I love me some hot wings with blue cheese dressing.  Just saying.  Anyway, when Beyonce' sang "Single Ladies," Kaden went completely crazy.  He was jumping all over and at the end of the song he burst into applause and cheers.  He told me he thought it was a "funny song!"  

Yesterday, Kaden was wildly wielding his sword (a styrofoam pool noodle) in my bedroom, while I got ready to leave for playgroup.  Our flat screen television is still in our bedroom, because we need to hire an electrician to come install an outlet over the mantle downstairs, before we can hang it there.  Anyway, I pretty much let him hit whatever he wants with the pool noodle, because it's not like it can do a lot of damage.  Well, when he started attacking the TV, I figured it was time to step in.  "Kaden, buddy, you can't hit the TV, OK?"  He promptly gave it another good pop and looked at me.  "Kaden, if you hit the TV again, I will have to take your sword away.  Do you want to keep playing with your sword?  Or do I need to take it?"  He gave an exasperated sigh and said, "Just go ahead and take it!"  I couldn't help it.  I laughed right out loud.  "Are you sure?"  I asked him.  "You can keep it if you won't hit the TV again."  "No.  Take it!"  He handed it to me in a really sad, but calm way.  It was like he knew his limits and he knew he wouldn't be able to help himself.  I put it on top of the hamper (which he could easily reach) and he didn't touch it another time!  Later that day after his nap, he came and ASKED me if he could have it back.  Hilarious.  

Last night Chad bathed Kaden while I was cleaning up the kitchen.  Just as I was loading the last dish in the dishwasher, he yelled, "Katie!  Come see this, real quick!"  I went upstairs to see Kaden, completely in the nude, stomping all over his room in his "magic boots."  Chad is opposed to documenting full-frontal nudity on camera.  Some nonsense about it embarrassing your children in the future.  Good thing he called me.  I have no standards, and I promptly shot a video and snapped a few photos.  There was something too cute about that naked bum a few inches above a pair of rain boots.

At playgroup yesterday, the woman hosting read the story The Very Busy Spider and the kids made their own spider art project afterwards.  Kaden loved this activity and he has been carrying his artwork all over the house.  When Chad came home, he immediately told him all about it and showed him his "pretty" spider. He still has an affinity for arachnids.  Apparently it didn't end with Halloween.  

Here is his art:

The teacher recommended letting the kids choose where to put the eyes, the legs, etc, and just putting the glue on and letting them go with it.  I followed her directions explicitly.  At the end of playgroup, when we went top pick up his art, I noticed his was the only one with one eye on the spider's hind parts.  Either I'm the only mom who followed directions, or Kaden was the only kid who got creative with the spider's anatomy.  

I am really loving this age.  He is becoming a better listener each and every day.  When we left playgroup yesterday, he bolted down my friend's driveway, but he actually stopped at the end before the street and waited for me to hold his hand.  I didn't have to chase him, and it was divine.  Is he a perfect listener all the time?  No.  Is he the epitome of perfect behavior all the time?  Of course not.  He is still a toddler, but I feel like the progress he is making is such a huge accomplishment.  We went to the park as a family the other day and he started to throw a fit when we said it was time to leave the playground.  After a short, logical conversation on his level, he was still sad, but the tantrum dissolved.  It was such an awesome moment.  And it was nap time.  He was TIRED and logical.    

He LOVES to help, and there are times when this is actually helpful.  He will now request to clean up his toys by himself, and he does it.  And puts them in the right places.  This single thing is amazing.  In some ways, I think I've created a bit of an OCD monster.  The other day we were playing with his dinosaurs and I asked if he wanted to do some puzzles.  His quick response was, "Yes!"  He headed for the closet to get them, then stopped and said, "Oh! Need to clean up dinosaurs!"  I am loving this, because he used to just go from toy to toy and his room would be one giant disaster pit before nap or bedtime.  If he finds a random toy downstairs, he excitedly rushes it to his room to put it in the right spot.  It definitely makes the cleanup at the end of the day easier.  He helps me unload and load the dishwasher, which, yes, does make the job go a bit slower, but he's a champ at unloading the silverware into the drawer.  

I saw on a friend's blog that she had finished reading Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to her little boy, and I instantly started thinking about all the chapter books I want to read Kaden when he gets older.  I happen to adore almost everything Roald Dahl's ever written, so it triggered this intense excitement for me.  Then, in a moment of selfishness, I thought, "Wait.  Why not start reading them, now?"  I mean, they still have at least one illustration per chapter and the chapters are incredibly short.  So a few nights ago I pulled out my paperback copy of The BFG and tried a chapter at night time to see how it would go.  So far so good!  We call it his special story and we get to read one chapter before we read the other picture books he chooses.  The second night we read, he could actually remember some of what happened the night before, which kind of surprised me.  He frequently surprises me, this kid.  I need to give more credit where credit is due.

He LOVES his book of nursery rhymes that Gigi gave him for Christmas (although, as an adult, some of them are slightly disturbing .  .  . one of them talks about taking someone by the left leg and throwing him down the stairs?  Because he couldn't say his prayers?  A bit harsh, perhaps?)  Anyway, he has a ton of them partially and fully memorized, and it is darling to hear him recite them.  You haven't lived until you've heard that kid sing "Ba Ba Black Sheep" to your pregnant belly, so the baby can hear it.

In less charming news, he's taken to yelling, "NOT!"  For example, at dinner, I asked Kaden if his food was good, to which he shouted, "It's NOT!"  Nice.  We're working on this one.

Pregnancy Updates:

So today I am 16 weeks four days pregnant and I realize I started really blogging about my pregnancy with Kade about this point.  I don't want the new one to feel left out one day, so I figured I should document some of my pregnancy experiences thus far.  

This pregnancy has felt incredibly different from my first.  For starters, I didn't get sick when I was pregnant with Kaden.  I threw up one time my entire pregnancy.  Once.  I remember the moment vividly, and I'm pretty sure it had a lot more to do with how much junk I'd eaten all day and the extremely late hour, than actually being pregnant.  Pregnancy take two has been just the opposite.  I've felt extremely nauseous, and I stopped counting how many times I've thrown up.  Not fun.  I've felt sick in the morning, the afternoon, the evening.  You name it.  I thought I was finally getting over it, because I had a magnificent week last week, but then Sunday morning arrived and Baby Number Two vocalized that frosted flakes are not his or her preference.  I know I've got nothing on other women in the sickness department, so I know I need to get all grateful and stop complaining.  

I am showing a lot more at this point (and with a higher bump) than I was with Kaden, which I guess is to be expected, since this is the second time those abdominals will be stretched to capacity.  The other day I was feeding Kade lunch, and he looked down at my belly, pointed, and said, "It's getting big," with his huge grin on his face.  Leave it to the two year old to vocalize the truth, when your friends say things like, "You're not even showing yet!"

I am breaking out all over like an adolescent on steroids.  Or something like that.  Not pleasant.  So much for that "pregnancy glow."

With Kaden I craved Carolina-style, vinegar based BBQ constantly.  Oh, and McDonald's filet-of-fish sandwiches.  I haven't really had those kinds of repeated, intense cravings this time around so far.  I did really, really want Alfredo pasta one night, but that's the only burning desire I've had for a specific food.  That and Taco Time burritos, which are available only on the west coast.  So far I haven't had cravings for weird things I don't normally like to eat, though.   

I already feel the baby move a lot, which is one of the rare treats of pregnancy, in my opinion, so I've been enjoying that ever so much.        

I am so excited to find out the gender in five days!!!  If you haven't guessed already, be sure to cast your vote.  What do we think we're having?  We think it's a girl. (Future child reading this, if you're a boy, sorry our guesses were off.)  I guess we'll find out on Monday!    
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...