Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Water Table

What We Do With Ourselves

We are deep into the hectic phase with Nick. I remember this in Xander, too. He had a really easy period around 3 and 4 months old; other than that, Year 1 and half of Year 2 were just busy and breathless. I am having flashbacks to all that now. The good news for me is that the first year is almost over. Soon he will be walking (maybe? he has all the skills but hesitates to do it on his own) and even though that is exhausting, it will be exciting.

Nick is also going through a want-Mommy, want-Daddy, want-Xander phase. Everyone else makes him a little leery these days. Today he actually had fun playing with toys...because he was sitting on my lap. I believe he even said "dog" several times as we picked up his Little People dog! The other things that have made him happy in this fussy, screamy time are playing with Daddy, watching/helping Daddy play guitar, listening to music in general, and having Xander carry him or take him down the slide. (I "help" by doing the almost all of the holding during these activities, and had a little talk with Xander about what he cannot do with Nick by himself.)

This afternoon, Xander told me he was tired and needed to go to sleep. So I carried him to bed and he is sleeping. This is about the third time in his life he has EVER told me or admitted to me that he was tired. I think it's a sign of maturity. :)

We tried to go on a little walk before nap. I pushed Nick in the umbrella stroller and Xander took his scooter. Xander had to get used to steering the scooter and got tired out within a quarter of a block because of all the energy he used to do the scooting. He just needs practice. Luckily we left it on a positive note. Nick was jealous of the scooter, meanwhile, and tried to fall out of his stroller. We stopped in at a neighbor's house, the older couple a few houses down, when she flagged us down. They really love seeing the kids, especially the baby. Nick cried when she wanted to hold him and the rest of the time went after their breakables. Xander showed off a little bit, sensing he had a friendly audience. I think the couple enjoyed it, though. They say hardly any of the neighbors even say hello.

Speaking of neighbors, we also went across the street and played with the just-3-year-old Mason and his mom last week. We'll probably do the same this week. It's so convenient and at this time of year we can just play outside. (Their house smells plastered with cigarette smoke.) I can't remember Mason's mom's name right now but she was very pleasant and put out baby toys and blanket for Nick. Which he got dirty and she insisted on cleaning up for us when we left.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dinosaur Details

I CANNOT STOP WITH THIS! I am amused to no end. Xander brought out a pair of dinosaur pajamas that he's been wearing for over a year. The shirt shows two dinosaurs facing off--a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Stegosaurus.

Xander asked, "Is that a Hollowed Rex?"

I said, "It's a T. Rex, isn't it?"

He said, "But a Stegosaurus can't fight a Tyrannosaurus. Only a Allosaurus."

I said, "Well, just because you haven't seen it in a picture doesn't mean it didn't happen."

He said, "Triceratops can. A orange Triceratops attack a blue Tyrannosaurus Rex. His head is killed. Is it killed?"

He's on a new kick where he tells me something and then asks me to confirm it. "Probably" or "I'm sure you're right" or "I don't know" just do not cut it as responses around here.

A Conversation At Dusk

Nick's in bed, Erik's at work, I'm at the computer, and Xander is at the table eating crackers for a bedtime snack. He doesn't usually get a bedtime snack (ever) but Erik surprised us by coming home for an hour between jobs and we all ate dinner early. I'm not surprised Xander is hungry.

As I was reading emails, Xander was chatting nonstop about the shape of the crackers he was eating and what was in them and whether or not they were broken.

Then he said, "Never give up, Mommy."

I said, "Okay, I won't. Thank you for sharing that with me, Xander."

He said, "You're welcome."

It is a satisfying sight to see my little/big guy sitting at the table with his eyes closed because he is enjoying his food that much.

Okay, now I bothered him by looking at him too much. He made a noise at me. I asked if he wanted me to stop looking at him. He said, "Yes, you can look at me one time." What an annoying mommy I am. :)

Wait. The saga continues. I studiously avoided looking at him, so he made animal noises. I still didn't look at him, so he walked up next to my face with his mouth stuffed full of banana and made the noises in my ear. I looked at him. He was satisfied.

I just can't stop with the funny things he's talking about! This is the best part and the worst part about four-year-olds: their chatter and their insistence that you listen to them and respond the "right" way. Anyway, he started jumping around the coffee table on one leg until he fell over into the couch and hit his head. I asked if he was all right. He said, "Mm-hmmm. That needs practice."

Okay, just one more. Earlier he said, "I will be Iron Man," and flew around the living room with his arms out in a superhero fashion. I asked him where he saw Iron Man. He said it was the Iron Man commercial. Of course.

Birthday Pictures Part 2 - Family Party

This is Xander's family dinner and birthday party with gold decorations for his golden birthday.

He had a magnificent place "card", the framed picture that Mom made him. He got to wear a gold crown to be a prince...or princess, as the mood struck him.

Golden treasure in the form of presents! Great-Grandma even gave him a little bottle of real gold flakes!

Thanks for the decorating and the pictures, Mom! We wouldn't have had anything like it if you weren't there.

Grandma Bonnie was part of the kids' party and the family party. So were Daddy and Nick, of course.

His Majesty is ready for the dinner he ordered, which was tri-colored noodles with spaghetti sauce. I added in meatloaf and applesauce after asking his opinion.

Things are definitely going his way today.

Opening some fantastic dinosaur books from Great-Grandma.

Loving his CarAnimal from the Coons, which he insists is "a tiger-robot, Mommy!"

Mommy and Daddy gave him Lincoln Logs but I think he will still want our help with these for a while.

Some of us are posing for the picture, but you can see that Nick is getting down to the business of dinner.

Xander is wearing the dragon pajamas from Grandma Bonnie and Erik is showing the real tackle box he gave to Xander along with the fishing pole. They recently got to try it out while we visited Bonnie with Leslie and the kids. It was a neat time, even though Leslie was recovering from surgery for half of it. We got to have all four kids to ourselves for a little bit!

Happy Golden Birthday, Baby Boy! Okay, sorry, Big Boy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Return of The Chronicles of Narnia

Xander's reached the age of listening to chapter books! I've been waiting for this phase since before I had kids. You may not believe me, but I bet my mom and my husband do. :)

I let Xander watch Narnia today and he was really into it. He's seen it before (my dad gave it to him two Christmases ago), but I had to hold it back for a while because he got too excited watching the battle scenes which led to havoc in the house.

After he watched the movie, I told him there was a whole series of books about the lion Aslan called The Chronicles of Narnia. He wanted to read them. I explained they had no pictures and if I read them to him it would only be listening for a long time, not looking. He was still eager, so I read to him for 15 minutes while he finished his lunch. He loved it. I read Chapter 2 to him before bed.

When I was a kid, I think we read through the series three or four times, and then as I got older I read them to myself another who-knows-how-many times.

Xander's first run through The Chronicles of Narnia has begun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Birthday Pictures Part 1

So Xander had a birthday on Easter Sunday. Here's a start on the kid party pictures.

Xander liked his mastodon cake.
Now the mastodon can see, and walk in the grass.
We had Dinosaur Dip, Baby Jaguar Paws pb & j sandwiches, Alicia's Tortillas w/ dips, Jungle Fruit, and of course cake. It's hard to see the dinosaur dip holder and jaguar paws sandwiches so maybe I'll post more pics of them later.
Some table decor for Diego's Dinosaur Adventure Party; there were lots of green streamers and grass and balloons, too!
Xander's dressed in our version of the Diego outfit.
Awww, she is so happy for him blowing out his 4-year-old candles.
Daddy teaching Xander how to cast his new fishing pole.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Happens When...

Something amazing just happened. Nick was about to drop his roll onto the ground again and I said, "Nick, if you drop that again it's gone." He looked at me, made the "aaaaawwwwww" sound, and set the roll back on his tray.

As I typed this, he threw it on the ground again. Yep. Amazing.

I Love...

I wrote this in response to a wonderful woman's group email today:

"Along with almost everything else about him, I love that my 4 year old loves his little brother. He likes to tell him what not to do, and when I told him Mommy and Daddy will take care of teaching Nick what to do and what not to do, he asked, "What can I take care of?" I told him he can take care of making Nick laugh when he feels like he wants to, so Xander took on that job yesterday. It was so sweet how he remembered to do that throughout the day. 

I love how I turn to Nick and smile and he smiles a big toothy big-baby smile at me, like we're sharing a joke. I love so many, many things about him. Even though it's frustrating sometimes, I love his determination. And how he bounces to music--in rhythm!--and hums when I sing to him."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Giveaway on Chronicles of a Babywise Mom

My online friend Valerie is having a giveaway on her blog for a company that designs and makes vintage graphic tee-shirts. The company is called Nostalgic Graphic Tees by Elizabeth Horton Design. I'm telling you about this because it's cute and because I get a chance to win one of the tee-shirts by posting about it. :)

One of the ones I really like is the little fisherman which goes with the birthday present from his dad: a Spiderman fishing pole and real tackle box! It is sadly not a cute vintage Spiderman pole but a brand-new one. However, Xander loves it madly.

I will post birthday pictures and tidbits as soon as I can get photos together.