Friday, August 27, 2010

Not this time

If I was granted three wishes, one of them would be the ability to sleep anywhere, at any time. I think Jude has learned that skill. In his 15 months he has had three different "rooms" and is about to be moved again. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to move Jude from Finnan's room, back into the pack-n-play in our closet. As much as I wanted it to, room-sharing was not working out. Over the course of their 4 months of sharing, they learned to sleep through a lot, but they were also both sleeping less. We did not want Finnan disturbing Jude with reading/playing in his room before he fell asleep, so Finnan was going to bed later. We did not want Jude's early morning cries disturbing Finnan, so we would go and get him. As we went in to get Jude, we would hold our breath that we would not wake Finnan. That only worked half the time, so we would often be up with two tired boys before 6.

Now that Jude is back in our closet, Finnan is going to bed almost an hour earlier and neither one of them gets up before 6:30. I no longer have anxiety about every peep coming from their shared room. I am hoping to move Jude's crib to our guest room and that he will finally have a nursery, or at least a little corner nursery. I wish I could have figured out how to keep them together, but we are all much happier with a little bit more sleep. I will try a shared room again and, in the meantime, I am soliciting any advice on room sharing!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The bike trailer

Finnan has been cruising around with Atticus for about a month with a single seat attachment we borrowed from a friend. He loves riding with Atticus. With the offer of a bike ride, he immediately becomes attentive, finds his shoes, and waits at the door. However, since I am not that skilled of a biker and did not want to attach a seat to my bike, we couldn't go anywhere as a family. Jude and I would drive to the destination while Finnan and Atticus took the bike. Amazingly, they often beat us. So we decided to keep our eye out for a double bike trailer and last week we found one that fit our $50 budget. This morning Jude took his first ride. They only went the two blocks to Ms. Gabriela's and back, but according to Atticus, he enjoyed it, and Finnan was thrilled to have Jude riding next to him.

I couldn't get over seeing Jude in his helmet- fittingly a monster helmet for our little Jude-monster. I am looking forward to a Fall full of rides...that is assuming I can manage the hills out of our neighborhood. Urgh!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A few more minutes

"Stay with me, a few more minutes. Mommy, stay with me." I hear this incessantly at nap time, bed time and during our special time. Finnan's need to be with me seems to have increased in intensity over the last month. Today was his first day back at Ms. Gabriela's and this was no exception. He did not want me to leave and sobbed when I finally said good-bye.

Despite his excitement about going this morning, I knew this was coming. However, I also knew that after a few minutes he would be fine, be happy all day and not want to go home. But, it still does not make it any easier. At least this year, I know I am doing the right thing. I know he is well-taken care-of and loved at Ms. Gabriela's. I know he develops mentally, socially and physically while there. And, most importantly, I know he is happy there.

To another year at Gabriela's play group...or as Finnan call's it, "toy school."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jude at 15 months

Jude is a happy toddler. I hear it often and every time that we go to the pool. Jude is a water baby. He has no fear and heads straight for the deep end. He seems happiest when the water is covering his bottom lip and is rarely upset when he goes under. He is both a force to be reckoned with, and a 'lump of love' (to quote Atticus' mom). He is still consistent in his temperament, and it's typically easy to determine what may be bothering him: he's hungry, tired, getting smushed by his brother, or he just wants to take off his clothes.

Our favorite things about Jude:
-He always wants to grab a book, climb on your lap, and sit still while you read to him (his current favorites are: Chugga, Chugga, Choo, Choo, any Eric Carle book, Ten Little Ladybugs, Wheels on the Bus, and Birds of Florida: A Field Guide)
-His high-pitched squeal of laughter any time he sees a live animal, any animal will do
-His relentless and one-sided affection for Roux (our grumpy, old dog)
-The way he lays his head on your shoulder when he's ready for bed
-His willingness to confront any obstacle head-on, with gusto
-His wave, a backward-facing hand with only fingers moving
-He plays an excellent harmonica and train whistle
-His delightfully pudgy belly
-His 'kisses,' basically an open slobbery mouth unwavering toward your face
-When playing at the boys' toy train table, he needs to sit on your lap, no questions asked
-His love for the train tunnel
-His dancing (arms side to side, also with gusto)
-His durability

Jude's challenges
-He is definitely a morning person [sigh]
-We haven't measured, but we'd guess Jude's cries are in the 200 decibel range; though you can interrupt almost every crying session with "Jude, look, a bird!"
-When it's time for bed, it is really time for bed
-Though improved considerably, he's still not the best traveller
-His bravery in the pool or as a climber occasionally warrants an RPR (rapid parental response)
-As with every animal excluding Roux, mosquitoes love him

Still in the works:
-He's started signing a little bit, 'more' (usually used in reference to tickling or reading) and 'eat'
-His vocabulary now consists of Momma, Da Da, Choo Choo, Uh-oh, and That
-He is close to adding a booty shake to his dance repertoire
-He's refining his baking skills (see below- it's too bad the recipe didn't call for hand-stirring the batter with every blackberry added)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It's been four days, so I guess it's official, Jude has been weaned. I wasn't ready, but apparently Jude was. I nursed him twice on Friday and left early Saturday morning for a wedding. I had intended to continue nursing him when I returned, but with reports of a happy, easy-to-bed baby and a 3-night girl's trip less than two weeks away, I gave in and I stopped. Since stopping, Jude has not fussed once about going to bed (something I could not even get him to do with nursing). I, on the other hand, continue to feel the need to nurse and consequently "I sad." I guess that's what happens when you wean cold turkey.

I had assumed I would only nurse Jude about 14 months, which is the time when Finnan weaned. Although Finnan's weaning was also a bit of a shock to me, I was ready for it and happy about it. But, no matter how hard he tries to prove me wrong (and often awes me in this quest), he is still my baby. So, for the first time since 2006, I am not pregnant or nursing. I'll have to celebrate with a girl's trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore :)

"I sad."

This statement marks a victory in our house. Our whining and tantrum-throwing two year-old has started verbally expressing his feelings. We responded to Finnan's tantrums in countless ways: avoidance, distraction, time-outs, comfort, car rides, etc. Ultimately, I was still always left on the verge of an emotional break-down myself. A couple of weeks ago, following a suggestion from the book, Positive Discipline, I created Finnan's special place. When Finnan starts getting whiny or it seems a tantrum is imminent, together we retreat to his special place, at the foot of his bed. He needs to be on my lap, two pandas in hand, and have a sippy-cup full of chocolate milk. He tells me he is sad and I recognize that, yes he is sad and that I am sorry he is sad. Going to his special place almost immediately calms Finnan down and we just sit together talking until he says, "I happy now."

Yesterday, after a week at my parents house, we drove home from Florida. The boys had a great time. He also seemed thrilled to be home, but he started to melt-down in the bath tub. Neither Atticus nor I could find a suitable toy car and it went downhill from there. He was laying down in the tub and screaming. It took a while to coax him out and calm him down. But he was still sad. Finally, I asked if he was sad because we left Paw-paw and Weggi's house. The poor thing just started sobbing. Yes, that was why he was sad. He wanted to go back "tomorrow." We spoke to my parents on Skype and his lower lip quivered. As sorry as I was to see him so truly sad, it felt really good to actually understand his emotions.