Monday, March 31, 2008

Quiet Time

Dear Jackson
The reason you have "quiet time" every day is because you do not take naps any longer. Since you seem to think that at the ripe age of 3-almost-4 you no longer need a midday siesta, I need you to have "quiet time" so that I can get back a small amount of sanity before jumping back full force into our day together. And you need that down time to recharge, rejuvenate, and learn what it means to not be entertained by someone else for an hour or so. I am not forcing "quiet time" to be a mean mommy, or to "not be nice!" as you told me earlier. I'm doing it for the sake of our relationship. Because I love you and want to enjoy the time we do spend together even more. Even Daddy and I need a break from each other now and again. It keeps us happy.

In addition, when we officially changed "nap time" to "quiet time" I have to wonder if I did not make the description clear. "Quiet time" does not mean "jump from your bed onto the floor over and over again making loud thumping noises as you try and wake up your brother" time. It also does not mean "get up and go to the potty 5 times in an hour" time, or "take all your books off of your shelf and pile them into a leaning tower of Pisa until they crash to the floor" time. "Quiet time" means you sit in your room, quietly reading books or playing with one or two toys, quietly!" Emphasis on quietly. Thus the name is "quiet time."

I hope this letter helps clarify why I send you to your room by yourself every afternoon for an hour or so. And I think that in, say, 15 years or so, you'll be wishing you could have this quiet time back in your life again. By then it will be too late my dear. But now it is two-four-five, the time in which I told you you could get up from quiet time today, and your are staring me in the face begging me for milk as I type this, so I'll wrap things up. I'm glad we have an understanding now. I love you buddy.

love
Mommy

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wee

The thing about having a wee child is - we are constantly worrying about what Holden is, or rather, is NOT eating. In a society were the emphasis seems to be on worrying about the youth of our country who are overweight and/or obese, we worry about our very much underweight child. At 17 months, barely 20 pounds, and still in 12 months pants, I suppose we have something to worry about. I mean, there are 4 month olds who weigh that much! I try and take into consideration that he was a breastfed child for his first 14 months of life (and honestly, I'm pretty darn proud of this fact). I try and take into consideration that neither of his parents are on the "above average" size of things. I try and take into consideration that at least I'm not worrying about heart disease in a toddler...

But at the end of the day, the fact of the matter is -- our son just does not eat. Or rather, he eats very very very little. His day will often start with approximately 11 Cheerios and a cup of milk. Snack at Kid's Club (my gym) usually consists of something he adores so that he will not cry while I try and Zen out in yoga -- Veggie Booty. (Hey, its made with Kale, it has to be healthy - right??!!) And a cup of milk. Lunch is 1/4 a slice of whole wheat bread, 1/5 of a pear or apple or 8 blueberries, 4 goldfish crackers, and a cup of milk. Snack is 1 cracker. Dinner is 1 cracker, 5 raisins and maybe a bowl of oatmeal made with 1/2-&-1/2 if I can force it on him. He finishes his day with a nice, fatty Pediasure for calories and nutrients. Sounds satisfying doesn't it?!

Now keep in mind that this maybe what he eats during the day, but I prepare for him a great deal more food which usually ends up in the garbage. Wasted food stresses me out, too. I was in the 5th grade when "We Are The World" came out and I've never forgotten about the starving children in Ethiopia. I have read plenty of books that say do not offer your child a buffet -they will eat when they are hungry. But if you had a pea as wee as ours you would be scrounging through your pantry for anything, and I mean anything he would eat, just to pack on some pounds -- or even just ounces! We have also tried slathering on butter, cream, cheese, etc. He will have nothing to do with that. He does not care for the fatty foods. He likes his sweets but we obviously want to keep those in moderation. So it is a struggle. Daily. I know it may seem silly to some. There are definitely kids out there with more "real" issues. But for us this is real issue enough. He is below the weight charts and that stands for concern. And every day it is something we trudge through with him. By day's end it almost feels like a comedy act with Shawn and I offering a variety of choices for our tiny babe:

"How 'bout some pears? Crackers? Peas? Wouldn't you love some cheese or ham? I know you would like raisins! berries? potatoes? jelly? pizza? beans? tortilla? croutons? yogurt? applesauce? oatmeal? celery? pork rinds??!!?"

And to each option he furiously shakes his head no, clamping down his mouth. Until we reach utter desperation and yell out:

"Booty! Here, have some Veggie Booty! Please, eat for the love of Pete!"

And he squeals with delight and gobbles up the green puffed Cheetos-like-food. And our guilt both swells and subsides momentarily. Yes, it is not the healthiest of food options. But he eats it dammit, every last bite. And that has to count for something.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Get ready...

Get set...
Go!

Stud
One should always concentrate whilst driving
...or pushing
True freedom
Life is sweet.
A few little sparklies coming up in our front yard. Love it.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Asparagus and Backpack

Last night Jackson tried asparagus. And didn't vomit. I placed a single spear of delicious (IMO) roasted asparagus on his plate. I then proceeded to bribe him shamelessly:

me: If you try everything on your plate you can have one of your Easter treats.

whining ensued

Then as Shawn and I were chatting about our days we noticed Jackson nibble a small bit of his spear. Then he had 2 bites. Then 3. Then 4! I'm not kidding. He ate 4 bites of asparagus. Didn't gag. Didn't vomit. He then proclaimed:

J: Hmm, that's pretty good!

I am not making this up. He then ate everything else on his plate. Everything - grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, strawberries. Wow. We grabbed a bag mini M&M's for him lickety split. That kid had earned them!


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Holden's choice new word is "backpack." He doesn't say a lot. Very little actually. But when I tell them it is time to take Jackson to school Holden runs to the laundry area and grabs Jackson's "Thomas the Train" backpack and starts chanting "Backpack! Backpack!" And running like a crazy kid in circles until I open the door to leave.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Sunday

Happy, cheery children


The Easter Bunny brought "Bob the Builder" toys!

Let the posing silliness begin!

Careful buddy!

Ah we're just play'n mom!

Sugar coma starting in 5, 4, 3, 2...

...1

Mmmmmuffins!

I made pumpkin muffins for Easter brunch. They were yummy.




recipe:
1 box cake mix (I use low sugar because, well, my boys got enough sugar on Easter!)
1/2 cup water
1 can of pumpkin puree (the real stuff, not pie mix!)

Mix together. Fill cupcake liners to the brim. Bake at 350 degrees according to cupcake directions on box, or until toothpick comes out clean. Delish!! (and pumpkin is a great veggie to boot!)

Handymen

My two handymen installing our new kitchen faucet. Jackson had to go get his tools from the toy room and help out. He kept complaining that there was no hammering that was needed. Thank goodness a simple faucet install did not require a hammer!


Before: el cheapo builder grade faucet (and broken sprayer)

Men at Work

Big Helper
(yes, that vase on the windowsill is filled with wine corks
- the next door neighbors are to blame - hi Lisa!)

After: so cute!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

M&M's

The Scene: Jackson and I eating a package of mini M&M's the Easter Bunny brought us.

Me: Jackson, which is your favorite color of M&M

Jackson: The red ones (between crunching - mini M&M's are very crunchy because they have a higher ratio candy shell)

Me: Which M&M tastes the best

Jackson: (thinking for a moment...) The one I just ate!

(and we both giggle uncontrollably)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hoppy Easter

We dyed our Easter Eggs last night. Here are some pictures of the adventures. One toddler and one preschooler handling egg shells is quite interesting. In the end we gave Holden an egg to totally smash to bits. And Jackson got the hang of what the word "gentle" means. Can't wait for the Easter Bunny to arrive and hide all these dreamy eggs for the boys to hunt down!

The Eggs

The Tools

The Set Up
(notice the pizza box in the background - I did not cook last night)

The Dip

The Dunk

The Elation

The Concentration
The Masterpieces

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So You


This picture is so you Jackson. Outspoken. Messy. A little disheveled. Having your say. With a slight bit of decorum thrown in (ahem, the turtleneck says it all). You.

This past week has had a lot of ups and downs for us big guy. I can see you are edging into four with grace. It will be here before we know it. But you are also struggling with giving up that side of you that is still toddler-ish. You aren't sure always how to express your frustrations or reactions to the world you live in. And honestly I don't always know how to help you through those struggles. It is challenging for both of us. All of us I should say. You are very strong willed my son. It is the single trait about you that I adore and worry about at the same time. But in the moments of darkness I also see your light. Your sweetness is addictive. Your thoughtfulness is genuine. You really do want to make others smile. I look to those moments when we are struggling to see eye to eye. And I know that at the end of the day there is only love there between us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grammy's Visit


**UPDATE: I originally titled this post "Bonding with the Dinosaurs" because we saw all the wonderful dinosaurs at the Nature and Science Museum. However, I changed the title because I didn't want anyone thinking I was calling my youthful mother a dinosaur!!!**

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Holden and Grammy reading books

Grammy and Jackson doing stencils and drawing
Dinosaurs at the Nature and Science Museum


Woah! Did you see that Dino?!??!



The foot bone connected to the -- leg-bone,
The leg bone connected to the -- knee bone!

Tiny Bubbles
A rare moment of cooperation

Grammy has come and gone and we already miss her. Fortunately she'll be back in April to celebrate the big f.o.u.r. We had a great time while she was here. Our trip to see "Disney on Ice: Finding Nemo" was fantastic (thanks Nana!)! The boys loved the colorful show and we all admired the costumes and choreography. Honestly, it was far more enjoyable than I expected. We sneaked in some shopping one afternoon and the boys were on decent behaviour. Mom is going on a 2 week long European cruise this summer and I'm going on a 2 day long cruise this spring. So we both needed to look for some fancy duds. Well, as fancy as you can get trying to shop with two small boys in tow.

The real highlight of Mom's visit was our trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. After 3 years of living here we finally made the trek out. It was awesome! I had no idea it would be as interesting or as hands on for the kids as it was. We'll definitely be back. Jackson's favorite part was the space exploration. Holden liked the dinosaurs and the animals. It was a delight. In addition to our time spent with the boys, I got to slip away for an uninterrupted pilates class and then Shawn and I got to enjoy a rare night out to dinner with our great friends Lisa and Tyler. It's so seldom we get out without our kids and enjoy a fun "grown up" night out. Thank you mom! Thank you all around for a great visit! We love you!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I can't think of what to title this...

My Mom is coming for a visit today. And Nana (Shawn's mom) is coming over as well. We'll have a nice dinner tonight and the grandmas will get to play with the yung'uns. Then tomorrow we'll had out all together to see "Finding Nemo on Ice." Grammy (my Mom) is staying with us for a few days. She hasn't seen the boys since Holden's birthday in October so I know she's ready for some smoosh'n. So I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog this week. I will either have heaps of free time because my Mom will want to relive her days of full-time motherhood and want to play with the boys, do my laundry, wash all my dishes and cook all my meals, etc (OK, not likely, though I know my Mom and probably if I asked her to do that she'd say "well sure, shall I start with a medium load and put in a brisket?") Or I won't have any time to blog at all because we'll be too busy running errands, playing with the kids, taking them to the zoo, going to lunch, shopping, spending my husband's money, having fun, etc. My guess is the latter.

Here are some pics of the boys because they are dang cute and I won't have time to post anything for a few days.