Thursday, September 30, 2010

And Thank Goodness for Doctor Kits, Too

Thank Goodness for Matchbox Cars

I woke up with my achiness magnified 20 times (or so). The pain in my neck and shoulders actually woke me from sleep. Also, Nick was crying hard a half hour before our usual wake-up time. He seems to be having trouble today too and poor babe does not realize Mommy's patience is unavailable today. I didn't know how I would get through today.

Then Erik took Xander to school and I took a bunch of ibuprofen and things have started to look up. He will be picking Xander up and then making his own lunch. Nick is quietly playing with Xander's little cars and I am so grateful for that. One day he played with these cars for a whole hour! Nick will be having early naptime today. ;)

This day is shaping up to be manageable after all, but I'm not so sure about dinner...

Surely Xander can cook dinner. He's getting so expert at everything else.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Updating Nick's Loves

Soon I will be updating Nick's loves from the sidebar. This is what it says now:

  • touching people's faces
  • grabbing people's hair
  • squealing and babbling
  • standing up with support
  • walking with help
  • Leap Frog Musical Table
  • taking his toys out of the basket
  • laminated pictures of babies
  • Xander
  • Daddy
  • eating what we're eating
  • Little People Around Town lift-the-flap book
  • Reindeer Run
  • My Big Book of Animals
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, by Dr. Seuss
  • football games on TV
  • "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
  • "Hot Cross Buns"
  • lullabies

Nothing Much

Nick's sleeping. Xander's slowly eating a large lunch. I'm just about done icing my knee. And I really can't think of anything else to say!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brag About My Toddler

I had to go to a doctor's appointment right after dropping off Xander at school this morning. So, Nick was in the car for 45 minutes to drop off Xander and get to the doctor's office. Then we sat and waited at the doctor's for TWO HOURS with Xander's plastic doctor kit, a lift-the-flap book, a snack and water, and a zipper pouch full of foam letters. He did great! Toward the very end of the time, he cried a little, but it was barely anything. Especially for a 15-month-old at lunchtime who is teething. Then we hopped back in the car for 45 minutes to pick up Xander, go home, get some quick lunch, and go down for nap. What a champion waiter!

Xander is extremely sweet and extremely bossy these days. He tells us all how much he loves us and gives us lots of hugs and cuddling. Then when we tell him what he needs to be doing, he says, "Oh, I changed my mind. I don't think I need to do that. I change my mind every time I want to!" And proceeds to have a small fit when we insist. All very age-appropriate, but... And I can barely leave his sight. I understand his concern in light of our car accident. It's just very wearing.

Suddenly he can do small toy loom weaving, using the hook tool and everything. He can button and unbutton his shirts. He can assemble his toys even when Mommy forgets how to do it. It's been a huge leap in understanding and physical skills. I have to say he cannot quite skip even though he thinks he can.

He just now told me (about the doctor headgear he made at school), "Careful with this, because this will totally break. So we can't break it, because then I won't wear it."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family Days

Xander and I went to silent meeting today. He's been liking it a lot more now that Elaine's kids come and he can leave after 15 minutes to go outside with them. He brought his new dinosaur-robot and his Dinosaur Encyclopedia. Elaine's kids brought - gasp! - two shark books! Good times.

Yesterday Erik took him to the Museum of Science & History for Smithsonian's Free Museum Day. The exhibit? Dinosaurs. They met Justin and Rachel there. Xander was so excited both before and after the trip. He came back with a slow-hatching dinosaur egg from Rachel and that dinosaur-robot from his daddy.

He also had another soccer game yesterday morning. Two of his teammates scored quite a lot. The two teams were evenly matched, which was a relief. It was more fun that way.

In the evening, Erik and I listened to the Gator game while playing Pandemic. It was a busy day!

Poor Nick is sitting in bed crying. It's those teeth, or being overtired, or both. He is acting like a bigger boy and feeling like one, too, when I carry him. He's truly becoming a toddler.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nice Happenings

Xander had a great time at school showing-and-telling about his knights. He brought them in in his Winnie the Pooh backpack and made sure to tell Ms. Valerie two knights which did not have shields. When they asked where he got the knights, he said he didn't know, they just appeared.

What a nice life.

Nick did not scream in the car today. He was quite calm and happy. The ONLY difference was that I bought speakers for my iPod so he could continue to listen to Raffi in the car even though our now only car does not have a CD or working cassette player. Raffi does the trick.

Yesterday I picked a couple of miniature roses from our bush to display in the house, then a couple of marigolds to go with them. Nick picked me a marigold flower bud and a small green pepper, so I thought, what the hey, and got a sprig of rosemary to go in with all the rest. Since it is now officially fall (although still quite hot here), this will be my little "true NE Florida fall" centerpiece.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Xander's Loves

I'm updating the sidebar under "For a moment in time, Xander loves:", now that he is almost exactly 4.5 years old.

So this is what it said before:

  • the book Mythical Beasts
  • the book Magical Creatures
  • Dinosaur Valley
  • Dinosaurs, by the National Audubon Society
  • Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire
  • Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis
  • My Very Own Name
  • Dora the Explorer
  • Go, Diego, Go!
  • Nature specials
  • "I Love You, You Love Me"
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
  • "Pop Goes the Weasel"
  • playing mythical beasts and "magicanal" creatures
  • playing dinosaurs
  • pleasing Mommy and Daddy
  • having books read to him
  • school
Now go check out what he loves now! It's on the right-hand side of the page.


This is what Xander wanted for lunch today: One rice cake spread with peanut butter and cheese on top, and the bottom of it spread with jelly. He enjoyed it.

Nick ate a portion of leftover lasagna, leftover dry cereal, a rice cake with cheese on it, some water, and some milk.

They are lacking in vegetables because our sink fell in; therefore, we can't do any dishes unless we use the tub or go out to the water table in the backyard; therefore, I'm trying not to get utensils dirty... Oh boy, this is a very thin excuse. I need to get some vegetables in them!

Good news is that Erik fixed the sink last night. He said "fixed" in terms of doing the best he could do. He's not 100% convinced that it will work, and if it doesn't we are calling in the professionals. We'll test it tonight.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Water Painting

Here are the boys having fun painting with water on the sidewalk. Part of the problem with my pictures is the boys moving around so much! A larger part is my (in)ability. Oh well. Here they are:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Xander Doing Yoga

It was his idea to put in the yoga DVD and do it on his own. I didn't know he could do these moves!

Now he is using the yoga strap to tangle up my arm and neck. This is more like the boy I know.

Today he was outside playing at school for half an hour, outside playing at home for half an hour, doing yoga for a few minutes, and has soccer practice tonight for an hour. This might be the right amount of exercise for a 4.5-year-old boy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dream Angus

I started singing a certain Celtic lullaby to Nick when he was about five months old - or so. It's been about ten months of my singing it to him every time I put him down for nap and bed.

Not too long ago, I started singing it to Xander, too, before his rest times and bedtimes. Tonight he sang the whole song with me. Sweet.

This is the song (with my adjustments):

"Oh, can ye no hush your weeping,
All the wee lambs are sleeping.
Birdies and beasties nestled together,
Dream Angus is hurtlin' o'er the heather.

List to the curlew crying,
Faintly the echoes dying.
All of the birds and beasties are sleeping,
My bonnie bairn-ee is weeping, weeping.

Dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell,
Angus is here wi' dreams to sell.
Hush now my bairn-ee, sleep without fear,
Dream Angus will bring you a dream, my dear.

Good night, good night."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In the Very Best Way, We Are Not Perfect

Xander's second soccer game today. Every kid showed their strength at some point during the game. The parents were quite interactive and helped me coach, at least the kids on the bench. But it was hard to field even three players! I won't even go into it here. Suffice it to say the rest was all challenges.

I have had a hard time staying upbeat since our accident. After the challenges of the game, I felt down again. Went grocery shopping for the week, which was useful but not a huge spirit-lifter. When I get home, I made "homemade" trail mix into snack bags and banana pudding. For some reason it was making the banana pudding that lifted my spirits. I think Xander and Erik were quite happy as well.

Ever since Xander started school, he's been saying, "Oh wait, Mommy, I changed my mind, I don't want to rest now, I want to play instead." Or, "I changed my mind, I don't think I have to finish my chicken to get dessert." You might be able to imagine my responses.

Xander just came up to me as I was typing and said, "I got to get more Mommy." (He and Erik have been playing a game about who gets to hug me. Very nice, subtle way for Erik to cheer me up. That and him cleaning the WHOLE kitchen will turn any day around!) I told him he could come over here and hold onto my arm. He did and said, "Then I have to go watch Daddy." I gave him a kiss and off he ran.

Nick's working on four molars, so sometimes life is tough. He screamed almost all day on Thursday, but has been happy for the last two days. I can't believe how easily he switched to one nap. No trouble at all. He has learned (again) how to kiss (with open mouth). He thinks it's hilarious. He also copies Xander very carefully. Usually that is nice because it keeps him entertained. I can think of ways that it's going to be a challenge, too!

I am ending the day very happy, very blessed, very lucky, icing my knee while blogging about my lovely (but not perfect) ;) family.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Car Crash

Xander is playing with his figures in his room. I hear him talking in a robot voice.

I wonder if he will play a car accident. He and I were in one on Sunday. It was rainy, a car in front of us lost control, and we were unable to avoid the crash. Somehow our two cars crashed and then both hit the guardrail. It would take dozens of pages to write about how shocked and scared and weepy I was, so I won't do that. I remember about four seconds after the crash wondering what had happened to Xander before he spoke up. The horror for me was knowing I could not avoid this accident - thus a reminder that I cannot really keep my children and family safe. Luck and seatbelts kept us safe. Maybe even a divine presence. But not me.

We are doing well. Much of my shoulder and neck stiffness is gone. My knee swelling is going down. Xander never really acted any differently than normal. We still have to keep a sharp eye on him in case he experiences nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain in the next few days, but other than that everything is going well.

Xander asks, "So what does happen when a car crashes?" He asks all kinds of questions about the white car and how it's crashed and where it is. He told me, "Mommy, you can't have owies all over your body!" I think I know exactly what he means.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Expressing Ourselves

Every once in a while Xander mentions one of his favorites by saying that it is his "best." Today he got to go back to school for the first time all week. On the ride home, he told me, "Mommy, everything is my best today...all day long!"

Nick, in the bath, just asked me for "Ma ba-ba," (more bubbles) and did the sign for please. He's talking so much to us now. His yeses and noes can pretty much be depended on. He is much easier to communicate with than Xander was at this age - I attribute it mostly to having an older sibling and being taught baby signs. Not only does he hear Xander speak and see Xander do signs, too, he also hears me speak more than I spoke to Xander as a baby. I remember being kind of quiet around the house with Xander.

Nick looks up at me with this wide-open mouth of delight and I recognize it from Xander. But I also recognize it from a baby picture of me when I was about 14 months old or so. Strange to see that it is my old expression, too.

When Erik got home today, after rest time and naptime, he helped Xander put together a nice little Lincoln Logs western town. It looked so pretty and neat and perfect. From the bathroom, I hear a large crash and a delighted squeal. This is what happens to Erik's hard work when he's playing with Xander.


Nick has an emphatic new word for yes: "Teh!" I think this started yesterday. I'm finding it easier and easier to understand him and he enjoys saying things like "Teh!" and being understood. I really think if you all had been here this morning you would have agreed that he also said, "Mmm, mmm, I yike 'at, mmm, mmm, I yike 'at," when I was pouring his cereal and raisins. I was shocked at the way it sounded exactly like a regular sentence! Then I was shocked again when he said exactly the same sounds again!

We have had a pretty miserable week of sickness and doctors. I'm thankful that Xander's strep throat/scarlet fever doesn't bother him anymore due to the quick-working antibiotic, but our colds are weighing us all down. Xander will be going to school for the first time this week, and it's Friday. Tomorrow we will all go to his soccer game. I hope we make it and don't infect anyone else with cold germs! Yesterday I tried to disinfect everything Xander had touched while he had strep. It took all day! And thinking about how they used to burn everything after scarlet fever, I have my doubts whether I got everything. One thing I did throw away: the "beluga whale" that Xander got attached to. It's the body pillow I used when I was pregnant with Nick and for some reason he adopted it into his bed as a beluga whale. It had to be positioned just right. He was missing it and sad when I told him where it had gone, but the amazing part was he just accepted that it had to go because of the sick germs on it.

We've been transitioning Nick to one nap per day. He was taking two poor ones, or one nice long one in the morning and one short one in the afternoon. But we have to pick up Xander in the middle of a nice long morning nap, so I felt we had to make the transition pretty quickly. He gets up at 7:00 (I wish he would eventually sleep in a little more ;), sits in the car to drop off Xander, sits in the jogging stroller while I run, and then I try to do a little entertaining of him while cleaning a little. We're in the fussy stage (plus he got his 15-month vaccinations a couple days ago, a tooth a couple days before that, and he has a cold and cough), so it's a lot of work to entertain him right now. I've been using signing time videos and Yo, Gabba Gabba! sometimes. He loves to be outside, so that helps. So he's been going to nap at 11:30ish while Xander's been home, but he'll have to make it to 12:15 today since we pick up Xander at 12:00. Then I will try my utmost to keep him in naptime until 3:00, then we have learning activities and outdoor time and more independent playtime. He's been having to go to bed between 5:30 and 6:30 which I dread since there's the chance of him getting up at those times in the morning, but really he's been doing awesome and waking up at about 6:30. Okay, that's not awesome, but it's fine for now and I fully expect him to regularly make it to 7:00 when he's used to the whole thing. He's only 15 months and I kind of wanted the two naps still, but one long one will be better than trying to arrange everything around two short ones.

Erik had a chance to take a week of vacation and he chose this week. Unfortunately it was a rough week around here. He helped me a lot when I was sicker. I'm glad it started out with our birthday celebrations for him, but then there was sickness. He did get to go golfing with Justin one morning but it rained on them almost the whole time. He's been gone two nights at the Hostel in the Forest for some relaxation and reading and shoveling manure on their garden.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Xander, hanging around the back door: "There was no flash lightning when I shooted my eyes."

Xander, seeing me trying to take a nap: "Great job staying in bed without getting up!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sick and Reading

Xander's been sick for the last few days with a fever, sore throat, and cold symptoms, and that rash he gets all over his body with a fever. He has to miss school for at least a couple of days. I had to coach his first soccer practice without him.

When he's not in pain or itching, he's in good spirits, though. Last night after bedtime I caught him reading out loud from Hop On Pop. That book has lots of sight words as well as words that he can sound out. He's been read that book since almost birth and knows what it says. So he was able to sound out words and then adjust them to what he knew the word said, but he did all this slowly using the sound-it-out method first. Finally he noticed I was standing behind him.

"I know how to read this book," he said. It was a moment of wonder.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Picking Flowers

Today Xander showed me a flower in our yard. "Look! There's a pink flower, the kind that Bailey likes!"

How sweet that he "knows" what kind of flower his cousin prefers. We shall see if that skill remains with him to an older age.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Erik!

Happy Birthday to you! When you come home, you will find dinner, a wrapped gift from Xander, a couple of cards, and a few gifts that you must use your wits to locate. Oh, and cake. We love you!