Sunday, April 28, 2013

Taming a Jungle, Coping with Toddler-Onset Bibliophilia, Fostering Attachments to Stuffed Zoo Animals, and Other Adventures

We had a nice, project-filled weekend.  I'm officially in "nesting" mode, so heaven help anyone who doesn't cooperate with my mass cleaning, renovating, and organizational efforts.

A few weeks ago, when it became clear that Spring had officially sprung, Chad went out to mow the lawn, only to discover that our mower (purchased brand new last season) wouldn't start.  Great.  A friend recommended a small engine repairman, but he was swamped fixing the mowers of everyone else in the same predicament, so for the last couple of weeks our lawn has been the eye sore of the neighborhood.  I know people have been driving by saying, "What IS it with that house?  Whoever buys it never does ANYTHING to their yard."  Our next door neighbor let us borrow his mower, which Chad used to cut the front lawn once, but the backyard was a jungle.  Unfortunately, we inherited TERRIBLE grass from the previous owner, so it was pretty much a knee-high forest of weeds.    Well, Friday we finally got the mower repaired, so Saturday morning Chad set out to tame the jungle with help from his adorable assistant.

He had to take a break to repair his mower on the deck (which is still on the renovation project list, along with the fence--both need to be stained BADLY).

We spent the rest of the day working on organizing the garage, while Kaden washed his toy car, tricycle, and anything else that would stand still, while he slapped it with a washcloth soaked in water.  He was so good the entire day.  He LOVES to be outside, so he was in heaven playing in the driveway and front yard while we worked.  He often tells me, "I'm a good worker!"  I can only hope we can make the work ethic last.

Then, we had a fantastic dinner!  We grilled shish kabobs and pineapple, and even Kaden was begging for seconds and thirds.  So delicious!

By Saturday night we were all exhausted.  We tucked Kaden in with his usual three books and Chad and I watched Wreck it Ralph before we zonked out, too.  When I went to check on Kaden before I went to sleep, his bed was covered in a mountain of books.  He's sleeping in a big boy bed now (we've moved the crib into the nursery) and he'd only reserved himself a few feet of space at the top to curl up in when he finally fell asleep.  I took photos of what it looked like when he woke up this morning.  There were even more books that had slid onto the floor that you can't see in the picture.  As Chad says, "Well, at least he likes to read."

This is him demonstrating how he slept amidst his bed-time library.

Tip Top is still Kaden's good buddy.  

He had a massive meltdown the other day because I told him Tip Top HAD to take a bath in the laundry.  I don't know what kind of trauma he'd exposed the poor giraffe to, but his nose was covered in something that didn't look too pleasant.  Finally, we compromised and Kaden agreed to let Tip Top take a bath after he went to the store with us and took a nap with him.  It was hilarious because the first thing he did when he woke up from his nap was run and find me and say (in his manly-I'm-giving-orders voice), "Mommy!  Do NOT go in my room.  Tip Top cannot take a bath.  Do NOT put him in the laundry.  He is still sleeping.  He needs 5 more minutes!"  Too funny.  Eventually, he made it into the washing machine after a tearful goodbye, lots of hugs, and Kaden promising him he would be OK.  You should have seen their reunion later that night--he had to have been the happiest little boy in the entire world. He kept saying how much he loved him and squeezing him so tight.  It was unbelievably cute.  

Tip Top had to go to church with us today, because Kaden insisted he wanted to show him to his teacher.  (As an aside, he LOVES nursery now!  He runs right in without any hesitation.  So wonderful!)  During sacrament meeting, when we told Kaden it was time for a prayer, he kept saying, "Close your eyes, Tip Top!  Close your eyes!" and helped him fold his arms, too.  Very funny.  Then he said, "AMEN, Tip Top!" at the end.  

Other fun Kaden moments lately:

--I can't remember if I ever recorded this, so I'm writing it down just in case:  he knows the sounds all the letters make (thanks to all of that Leap Frog Letter Factory he was watching while I was puking during the first trimester) and points out letters and their sounds everywhere we go.  

--He LOVES to pretend to drive the car and is constantly asking to do this before we go anywhere.  

--He memorizes books like crazy.  He's done this for a while with books we own that he's read over and over, but a few times lately he's surprised us by reciting entire books we get from the library word for word, when we've only read them a few times.  It's amazing to me!  One of his favorites is I Want my T-R-U-C-K. It's about a little boy who loses his favorite toy truck.  Kaden LOVES this book.  He couldn't part with it when we went to return it to the library, and he had to check it out a second time.  

--He makes up random songs about anything and everything.  He might start singing an ode to his sippy cup, sing a song to the bath water, or sing to his car seat on the way to the store.  It's so adorable and I need to capture more of it on video, so we can always remember it.  

--He has become much more social and likes having a playmate now more than playing alone.  He is constantly telling me, "Mommy, let's play together," or "I need you to play with me," and talking about his friends.  He's even gotten very uncharacteristically brave about approaching kids he doesn't know and making friends.  I am so proud of him for this!  We stopped by the park on the way home from the store the other day and he made an instant friend with one little boy in the sandbox.  When that little boy went home, he ran over to the jungle gym where a little girl was playing and said, "Let's climb together!"  Pretty soon they were chasing each other all over the playground. 

--He loves to cuddle and will often give me a big bear hug during random parts of the day and say, "Mommy, I love you big much!" or say, "Let's cuddle together," while he is watching a show.  Melt my heart.   

--He loves to say "Dang it!" thanks to Chad's moment of frustration trying to get the lawn mower to start.  I've tried to convince him that is a strong word for a little boy.  We've tried getting him to say other phrases instead, but he always says, "No!  I say dang it!"  Great.  At least Chad didn't choose the full-on cuss word.  

--He is no where near ready for potty training and still hates having his diaper changed.  So not fun.  

--He is so aware of what we are feeling.  More than once he's asked me, "What's wrong mommy?  You're frustrated?" 

--He is obsessed with the "waterfall" behind our house (there's a stream that runs through the woods that drops down a few rocks) and begs to go there a million times a day.  Everywhere we go he collects rocks to take and toss in the waterfall.  

I've had quite a few sleepless nights lately, with Everett spinning around in my tummy 24-7.  Last night, Chad couldn't believe how much he was moving when he put his hand on my tummy.  We both decided he probably felt Everett move more in 10 minutes than he felt Kaden move my entire pregnancy.  The kid's a mover and a shaker for sure.  The whirling around isn't so bad, but he often feels the need to elbow me hard in the ribs, which doesn't feel too delightful.  I can't imagine what's in store as he gets bigger!  

Here we are, Everett and me, at 28 weeks and 1 day:


  1. Best blog title ever.

    If you are thinking potty training I would highly suggest the potty train in a day book. I got it at the library. You train a doll together half the day and then the kid the second half. His love for his animals would make him the perfect candidate I bet. And changing two diapered bottoms is the worst!

  2. How fun - is it cheesy that I am kind of looking forward to stressful nesting things when I finally get the chance to do them too? :)


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