Category Archives: Toddlers

Almost Halloween

It’s almost Halloween, and I’m hoping not to have a screaming repeat of last year.  But really, the comparison of nearly-3-month-olds to nearly-15-month-olds?  No comparison at all.  This is SO much more fun.  Here they are, modeling the cute Halloween shirts we found at Target.  Later today we might try on the actual costumes… hope they don’t hate them, or at least allow them to stay on long enough for a picture!

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Filed under Holidays, Toddlers

Cranky pants

It’s been a cranky-pants kind of… day? week? month?  I don’t know.  As much as I love this age in that the kids really “play” a lot more and are learning neat new things, it’s also a cranky age.  New-ish walkers mean lots of losing balance and smacking heads.  Adventuresome climbers fall off of things.  Uncertain needs and spare communication skills lead to early-stage tantruming.  Nap transition plus weekend illness plus cold autumn rain = lots of screaming in my house.

Add to that today’s finally-rescheduled annual checkup… let me just say THANK GOD M decided to be a wonderful person and take a sick day so I didn’t have to bring the kids with me.  The office called yesterday (and you know I was sure they were calling to cancel when I saw that caller ID) to remind me of the appointment and ask me to come 15 minutes before the appointment.  Fine, I showed up at 11:30 for my 11:45 appointment.  So that I could… tell them nothing at all has changed with regard to insurance, address, etc etc etc.  Great.  Sat and read a magazine, and no one called my name for 35 minutes.  Finally went and got the initial blood pressure check and all of that with the nurse, then back to the waiting room for another 10 minutes.  All so I could have my 5-minute annual exam.  It took longer to check out and schedule next year’s exam (an exercise in futility) than it did to have the actual checkup.  I finally left at nearly 12:45.  Thank god I didn’t have screaming lunch-time kids with me.

And just to continue the rant (in case any of you are still reading), I’m trying to deal with the whole foot surgery issue.  I have it scheduled, but childcare during the weeks following is looking iffy. I can piece a few things together, but it’s minimal and I’m not sure it will be enough.  Enter the latest idea: fly to Chicago with the kids and have it done there, where the whole famn-damily can pitch in.  Good for childcare, not fun to be away from M for several weeks.  Plus, insurance is being a pain in my ass (or foot, rather).

But hey, the sun is briefly peeking out and the kids took at least a brief nap.  We’ll hit the new mall playspace so they can run around, we’ll get a tasty snack.  It’s not all bad.

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Filed under Illness and Injury, OB Appointments, Toddlers

Who Knew?

You know how sometimes you try and try and try to teach your kids something?  A word or a particular skill?  And they just aren’t into it.

And then there are the things that they just start doing.  That you had no idea they were capable of.  That you didn’t in any way try to teach them.

File this one under the latter.  Daniel decided yesterday that he was going to have an apple for dinner (and no pasta or anything else, for that matter). What’s funny is that I never gave him an apple. He went and found one in the bags from last weekend’s apple-picking adventure.  He grabbed it, and I saw him carrying it.  “How funny,” I thought.  “Maybe he thinks it’s a ball.”  Um yeah, and then he started eating it.  I didn’t peel it.  I didn’t cut it up.  He just straight-up ate half the damn apple.  That’s what I get for underestimating his mad skillz!

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Filed under Feeding, Toddlers

Daddy and Rebecca’s Hospital Adventure

Last night marked our first unscheduled trip to the hospital with one of the kids.  Around 9:30pm, Rebecca woke up crying.  She does that sometimes, but I knew her teeth had been bothering her and she was just having a rough day, and it was definitely no-kidding-around kind of crying. so we decided to go get her.  Immediately, M remarked how warm she felt.  She was bright red and warm to the touch, and the thermometer confirmed a temperature of 103 (all while mid-dose of Motrin for tooth pain), despite the fact that she was almost shivering.

M asked if we should call the doctor, and I said not to bother and just go straight to our local ER. Honestly, if we called the doctor, that’s all they would have told him to do aside from Motrin/Tylenol and lukewarm baths. Might as well go straight there.  There was a brief moment of debate as to which one of us would go, or if both of us would (our friend happened to be visiting from out of town – Hi M.C.! – and offered to stay with the soundly-sleeping Daniel).  I made the quick decision that M should go, helped him pack a little bag, and off they went.

I had a few reasons for wanting M to go.  For one, he’s much more of a worrier than I am. I probably would have been OK with keeping her at home and doing the bath and the Tylenol, but I know he’d just be worried that something serious was wrong.  And if I took her, he’d be equally worried because he wouldn’t know what was going on, since we’ve discovered there’s zero cell phone reception in our hospital.

Plus, I sort of wanted him to have the opportunity to be the Daddy in Charge.  Being the full-time stay-at-home mom, I’m generally the boss when it comes to all things kid.  And while he’s a perfectly capable and certainly devoted Dad, he still tends to ask me what to do in most situations.  I wanted this to be all him, since I obviously trust his judgment and thought it might be good to gain a touch of confidence and experience.

Anyways, after a few hours and a very thorough examination, infections were ruled out and every parent’s favorite vague diagnosis was issued: probably a virus, treat the fever with Motrin and Tylenol, call if the fever stays high even on the meds.  Sleep was (and is) restless, little girl is cranky, mommy and daddy are tired (Daniel’s just peachy, thank you). Rebecca’s first late-night trip to the ER was a pretty uneventful one.

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Filed under Hospital, Illness and Injury, My beloved, Toddlers

I’m all out, try again tomorrow

Of patience, that is.  I ran out today.

It started fine.  They’re starting to sleep slightly later (knock on everything), we had a fine morning.  They took a short AM nap, but that’s also fine.  We went to our Tuesday drop-in play space, and the parachute was a huge hit.  They ran back and forth underneath, tons of fun.

It started to go south at lunchtime.  I suppose they were hungry, since they had largely refused their snacks.  So there were hunger-related meltdowns.  Then, naptime, there was some unusual serious screaming.  Finally they went down, slept for a respectable amount of time.

Rebecca woke up crying.  Not a good thing. We came down, more picky snack stuff, Daniel didn’t want his milk or his graham cracker. An errand was nixed, as were my plans to play in the yard when I realized it was raining.  So we were inside.  And there was screaming.  And toy stealing.  And head-butting. And oh-my-god-more-screaming.

As much fun as this age is, and it really is, we’re also going through some annoying stuff.  Sudden toy posessiveness, quick to get frustrated, and the introduction of purposeful aggression (mostly Rebecca pushing or head-butting Daniel if he dares come within a three-foot radius of whatever she’s playing with).  I even put on the Sprout channel this afternoon, but that only held their attention for a short period of time.  Since they don’t generally watch much TV, it doesn’t seem all that interesting to them, I guess.  By about 4:30, I was just plain out of patience. Daniel was following me around, screaming.  Or sitting, and screaming.  Rebecca was bringing me book after book, but leaving after one page to get a new one, and going ape-shit if I didn’t immediately switch stories. Ugh.

On the one hand, I know this is a phase.  Kids go through cranky phases.  But it also suggested two needs for surviving this winter.  For one, we are going to need some real snowsuits and boots or something, because I cannot let a little thing like snow keep us inside.  Being cooped up for a single afternoon was enough to demonstrate that leaving the playroom is key for all of our sanity.

For another, it reminds me that I’m about to enter the age where I actually have to think about things like behavior and discipline.  They’re a little young, yet, but it’s coming.  Anyone have suggestions for techniques and/or books regarding the young toddler set?  I don’t know that they’re quite ready for time-outs and everything, but I feel as though it’s time to start reading up…

Perhaps tomorrow I will wake up with a new store of patience for the day.  And maybe it’ll even last through dinner.  I can hope.

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Filed under Child Development, Toddlers

Fall in New England

We had a wonderful weekend with my dad and stepmom in town. They actually arrived Friday morning and left early today, so they got a full three days with the kiddos (and me, I guess, but mostly the kids… you know how it goes). Thankfully, neither of my kids has yet developed much by way of stranger anxiety. They sometimes get a little clingy if they’re feeling overwhelmed, but they were more than happy to play with their thoroughly adoring grandparents.

Sunday had to be the highlight of the weekend. After Meet the Press (my dad does not miss Meet the Press), we took the kids out for lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant.  I swear, that has to be their favorite cuisine.  They can’t get enough of refried beans and Mexican rice. And I’ve never seen Daniel put away so much food.  He ate a few chips while we waited, then almost an entire cheese-and-onion enchilada and at least half of the pile of black beans and rice.  And even though he looked like he was in a bit of a food coma, he still demolished the scoop of ice cream that comes with the kids’ meals.  Rebecca did about the same damage on her soft taco plate.  It was madness.

After lunch, we hopped in the car and drove out to Shelburne Farm, where M’s company was hosting their annual apple-picking outing.  Hooray for fall in New England!  It was one of those “attraction” farms with the pony ride and moon bounce and all of that.  Most of it, the kids were too young for.  But it will be fun to go back again later.  And, as it turns out, it was not just the kids’ first time apple picking.  It was also the first for my dad and stepmom!  It was a perfect, crisp, sunny Fall day.  We got our two bags of apples, and I’ll make plenty of yummy things with them.  But mostly it was just nice to be out there with the bright colors and fresh air and hot apple cider.

Sad again, of course, when the grandparents had to say goodbye at bedtime last night.  Hard to leave when you only see them a few times a year.  Yet again, the move to Chicago is pulling me… not that I’m going to even consider putting my house on the market right now.  But still, the dream remains.

Anyways, some favorite pictures from our weekend adventures:

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Filed under Family, Toddlers

Books On Demand

When the kids were really little, I worried that I wasn’t reading to them enough.  M and I both love to read, and I was an especially big bookworm as a child.  We definitely wish the same thing for our kids, even if it means too many batteries for the flashlight when they’re reading past their bedtime again.  But when they were, oh, eight weeks old, and someone in one of my new moms classes claimed that their child “loved books,” I about died.  Crap, now I have to find time to read to them, too?! In those crazy, survival days of the first few months, it was pretty low on my list.  But I felt guilty.  What if I don’t read to them enough, and then they don’t love books? Yeah.  Whatever.

Eventually we started reading more.  We worked it into our routine, they started to actually smile and laugh and enjoy it.  By 11 or so months old, you could find Rebecca sitting on the floor next to the shelves in the playroom.  She’d pull one book after another out of her shelves, and carefully flip through the pages of each one.  Daniel enjoys his stories, too (you should hear him go “sssssss” when we get to the quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’ in Goodnight Moon).  But Rebecca is our resident bookworm.

Now, though, she has figured out that if you bring a book to Mommy (or Daddy, or whoever is there), she will read it to you. It’s her new favorite thing.  She brings me book after book, and stands in front of me, bouncing with anticipation, until I start reading.  If I take too long (or am still reading the first book she brought me), she makes it known that she is quite displeased.  I have to remember to tell her to “sit down please” before I start reading, or I’ll get about two pages in and she’ll be off getting the next story.

Hand picks an apple, hand picks a plum. Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.

You’re too small for basketball, unless you play with someone tall.

I see a purple cat looking at me.

It’s quiet now, what do you say?

I’ve memorized them all, it seems.  And Rebecca’s getting close.  She anticipates some of the animal sounds, and gleefully points out the mouse on every page, or the monkey, or the dog, or the duck.  My little bookworm. So, for those who may be saying “are you kidding me? When would I find time to read to my newborn?!”  Fear not.

[And how many of you out there instantly knew which four books are the playroom favorites?]

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Filed under Child Development, Toddlers