Thursday, June 27, 2013

3 years and 3 months old

looking at our family friend's model train set-up
I thought I would do a little update on my sweet young men.  They are amazing little boys!  They are both really talking now- tonight after I tucked them in (for the first time) I stayed in my room and listened to them talk.  I wasn't 100% clear on what they were saying, but they were having a conversation, and it was adorable.

the sign of a good summer night: filthy faces and water ice

There are 2 things I cannot stop laughing about:
1) I make Benjamin's turkey sandwiches with dijon mustard.  We ran out and I substituted French's yellow mustard. He took one bite and became incredibly upset, saying, "What this in my sandwich?  This BABY POOP?!?  There BABY POOP in my sandwich?!?" Eric said, "No, that's mustard."  Pause.  "No like mustard!" I just think it is hysterical that he would think we would put poop in his sandwich.  And I have to give him credit- baby poop does look a lot like yellow mustard.

2) We were getting ready to go to the Please Touch Museum and apparently Asher thought Benjamin was mispronouncing it.  He took him aside and said, enunciating clearly, "No, Benjamin.  Peese Touch NEW-ZEE-MEN.  New-zee-men, Benjamin."

And another funny one, which happened a while ago, Eric was drinking a beer and Asher told him, "I no like beer, Daddy. I like wine."

I love their mispronunciations- Benjamin puts a "g" in front of random words, so we have goghetti (spaghetti), gamorrow (tomorrow), Gomanda (Amanda, our neighbor who babysits), and Gokea, where we get cinnamon rolls and ice cream cones.

Asher has a hard time with barbecue- it is "gaba-coo."  And obviously he has a hard time with "museum," too.
panicked kitty cat

And they have both started to really enjoy imaginative play.  I love watching them, and it reminds me of when I was little and felt that I could make something real if I imagined hard enough.  Tonight in the tub they took a shampoo bottle top and Asher said it was his wine cup (like the small kiddush cup we use on Shabbat).  They were pretending to share wine, and Asher said, "I like wine A LOT."  Oh geez.

Asher also has a tendency to exaggerate (wonder where he got that from...), so things are "big, huge" in size, or he hasn't been somewhere or seen someone in a "long, long, long time."

Benjamin likes to sing, but he is a little sketchy on the words still.  Another favorite is "rain, rain go away, DON'T COME BACK!"

Asher has the cutest "hello" that he greets us with in the morning, with a big gap-toothed grin.  He may be waking me up early, but I'm happy to see that face.

And, big news- today Benjamin asked to go on the potty and he pooped on it!  A major milestone!  I was so thrilled and I hugged him and kissed him and he asked for a popsicle as his reward.  Asher then had a meltdown because he didn't get a popsicle. My fingers are crossed this keeps up and I have one child out of diapers for good!
at the park with their friends
The boys have friends whose company they enjoy, and who seem to enjoy them.  I'm so proud of my guys for being good people so far.  Of course they do their usual toddler trouble-making, but in general they are thoughtful and sweet.  They hold doors open for others, they say thank you, and they love to help me (when it's their idea, not when I ask them to do something they don't want to do).  They're turning into such wonderful people.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

first day of camp

Here is what happen when I ask the boys to stand next to each other and smile for a picture:
I'm not sure why I kept taking photos when it was clear a cute photo op wasn't on its way.

It may look, from those photos, like Benjamin was in a good mood, but he didn't want to go to camp.  He kept saying he wanted to stay home with me, and I kept telling him that camp would be more fun.  Eric dropped them off, and Benjamin had to be carried in kicking and screaming.

I'm not sure what else went on, but the boys weren't given their lunch, and the counselors had them down for a full day and not a half-day, so they weren't there when Eric came to pick them up.  I had to call the counselor tonight and she told me that the boys had a great time, so I know she is a liar, and I don't trust her.  But I'm sending my kids back there tomorrow.

When I got home from work the boys had just gotten into bed and I went up to kiss them goodnight.  Benjamin told me he had a bad day and was sad all day.  Waaaaah!  I swear I could feel my heart breaking.  I feel terrible, sending him off to camp when he doesn't like it.  I want their life to be like I always imagined Care Bear land was- fluffy clouds, rainbows, and nothing but fun.  It hurts me to think I am making them do things they don't like, and which make them unhappy.  I know that it's part of life and that it "builds character," but my instinct is to protect them from any unhappiness, and so it's difficult for me to force him to go to camp.  I'm hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Charlotte: 6 months

With Daddy tonight at the park

How did my baby get to be 6 months? Half a year?  She is so big and grown-up.  Over the past month she's been doing so many new things.  She definitely thinks she is a real person now- she wants to sit with us at every meal, and wants to eat when we're eating.  So now she sits in a high chair or booster at meal time and gets something to eat.  She also recognizes that other small people might be her friend- she smiles at other babies, and sits and plays with other babies. She is absolutely a social creature!

Height and Weight:  We had Charlotte's six-month well visit today, and she is 19 lbs, 8 oz (93rd percentile) and 26.25 inches tall (60-something percentile).  I asked if there was any concern that her weight percentile is higher than her height percentile, and the doctor said no, that as a breast-fed baby there are no worries.

Clothing size: Charlotte is in 6-12 months clothes from Gap and Old Navy, and 9 months clothes from Carter's.
On all fours

Milestones: Charlotte sits independently, picks up and plays with toys, bangs things to make noise, and is starting to crawl.  She moves around, but not in a coordinated fashion.  It's no problem for her to get up on all 4's.  I think she might have transitioned from lying down to sitting today (she often goes from sitting to her belly), because I left her in the living room on her stomach and when I came back she was sitting up.

Charlotte has started eating some food.  She doesn't like to be fed- every time I try to spoon feed her, she grabs at the spoon and my hand to try to control the process.  I mostly give her finger food, which she happily feeds herself, or fruit in a mesh bag for her to suck on.  She's had oatmeal (my oatmeal ground finely, not baby oatmeal), carrots, broccoli, avocado, watermelon, mango, strawberry, apple, banana, asparagus, pancake, pretzel, and I can't remember what else.  She seems to like all of it.

She's also taking baths by herself in the big tub, sitting up.  She likes to play in the water, splash, and suck on the wash cloth (yuck).  She is happy in the tub and then cranky when I pull her out to get ready for bed.
Eating a strawberry
Outings and Adventures: Charlotte went cross-country on a plane! We had a great time in California, and she managed the change in time zones relatively well.

We went strawberry picking over Memorial Day, Charlotte had her first swim in a pool, and we went to the zoo earlier this week, where she noticed the animals there for the first time!  She was also able to interact with a couple of exhibits in the Kids Zoo.
In the Kids Zoo, riding a sheep

Routine/Schedule: Our schedule is very similar.  She likes to go to bed around 7:30 at night, and she gets a bath every night.  I just love the smell and feel of a clean baby.  She nurses and then goes to sleep.  She sleeps on her stomach, and likes to bury her face in things- she sleeps with her black and white kitty cat and sticks her face in it to go to sleep.  She usually then pushes it off and uses the tail or legs to soothe herself.

She's waking about once a night to nurse, and then wakes up around 7 or so in the morning.  She's still pooping herself awake most mornings.  At least she's consistent!

She does like to nap in the morning and if we're home or don't have plans, I will put her down to let her sleep.  Unfortunately, the boys have been with me everyday for the past 2 weeks, so she's gotten dragged around on our outings. She is usually pretty good-tempered about it and then naps in the afternoon.  She's totally over napping in the car seat and only sleeps in the Ergo when she is truly exhausted. I know how I was with the boys- always home for naps and never messing with our schedule- and I feel bad that she hasn't gotten the same pampering, but she seems to tolerate it all pretty well.  Even with a good morning nap, if we're home, she'll take another nap in the afternoon.  She's sleeping well for naps in her crib.

She nurses about 7-8 times a day, I think, and sits with us at the table for meals.  Her nursing isn't on a schedule other than her bedtime feeding.

Favorite food: I would say it's still breast milk, but she seems to like all food.  She wants to try whatever is in my hand, including turkey sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which she didn't get).

Favorite person: I think it's me.  She will reach for me when other people hold her.  She doesn't have any real stranger anxiety, but she prefers to be in the company of others and will cry if she's left alone in a room.
Love from her brothers
Charlotte's still a happy, smiley girl.  Her brothers love her, and she seems to like them, too.  I still can't get over how quickly time is passing.  It's all so bittersweet, taking such pride in her development and growth, and feeling sad that I won't get to do this again.  She makes it all so easy, with her easy-going temperament, ready smile, and delicious legs!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

one of those days

Yesterday was one of those very long, very tough days.  It started out fine- we went to the zoo and the boys spent a long time enjoying the new Kids Zoo U (I think that's what it's called) that they opened.  I was a little hot, but nothing terrible.  As time went on, I got more hot and the kids got more tired.  They didn't listen as well, whined a lot more... We left, they fell asleep in the car, but when we got home they perked right up and began making mess and trouble in their room, rather than nap.  Eric and I each have our hot-button issues with the kids, and nap boycott is mine.

I just felt DONE- I had the boys alone Saturday night, all day Sunday (with the exception of 2 child-free hours at the US Open with Eric), and then again for bedtime on Sunday night.  The boys have been out of school for 2 weeks, so I am with them every single day.

Anyway, I decided I couldn't play the no-nap game so I let them come downstairs, where they both wanted to eat.  Eric ended up taking them for a ride in the car and they fell asleep- at 3:30.  We woke them at 5:30 and they were crabby and miserable!  Tantrums over dinner, over everything.  The night ended with a beyond-exhausted Benjamin in hysterics- laughing, not crying- and kicking Eric so that he wouldn't have to wear pajamas.  It was just bizarre.

Typing that- it doesn't seem so awful; a day later my perspective has changed enough for me not to feel as affected by it.  It sounds like normal 3 year-old behavior, but I think I'm spoiled... In general the boys are just wonderful, and I'm aware of it everyday.

But it was days like yesterday that make me happy I work.  Crazy to say it, but in the past 2 weeks, with the boys home everyday, my job has been like a vacation.  I love getting out, no one whines, no one cries, no one pees in their pants.  I don't know how stay-at-home moms do it!  I have enormous respect for the moms who are with their children everyday, entertaining them and educating them.  It is far more work than my paying job.  And having a job allows me to look forward to the time I do have with my children, and put more energy into it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

potty training update

Benjamin is doing fairly well on the potty.  He's stayed dry in underwear for 3 out of 5 days this week, but can't poop on the potty.  Fortunately for me, all times except for one, he's asked for a diaper when he knows he needs to poop, and the one time he pooped in his underwear, I was at work.

He never asks to go pee on the potty, but can hold it well, and is cooperative about getting on the potty to pee when we ask him to.  Overall, I think he's doing great, and I'm thrilled!

Asher put underwear on once, on Wednesday morning.  I bought him a big stuffed dog at Ikea as a treat, and when he is peeing on the potty, he'll get his dog.  He wants that dog.  So on went the underwear, but he refused to sit on the potty.  He peed on the living room carpet.  He was pretty upset about it- he seemed embarrassed- but I didn't make a big deal out of it.  I just told him if he wasn't going to pee in the potty I needed to put him back in a diaper and take the dog away.  So he went back in a diaper, and the dog is up on a high shelf in their play room, where he can see it.  He asks for the doggy everyday, and I remind him he needs to wear underwear and pee in the potty- and as soon as I state my terms, he drops it.  For anyone who knows Asher, that means he doesn't think there's a chance in hell it will happen, because if he thinks he has a chance or can wear me down, he will repeat himself incessantly in the hopes that I give in.  He says he's scared of the potty because "it's deep," but the small potty we have in our living room is quite small, so I'm not sure.  I don't want to push, and I think it's probably easier for me to do one at a time.  He'll have to get the hang of it someday, right?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

changing so fast!

Things are changing here- my little baby girl is growing so quickly!  She's sitting independently, trying to crawl, and now very interested in food. I made some oatmeal for her and tried to feed her- she was grabbing my hands to try to feed herself!  Why does my baby want to grow up so fast?

She is also so big for a not-even-6-month-old, and so I have had to stop bathing her in the baby bathtub.  Tonight she had her first bath all by herself in the big tub:

Charlotte seems to love the water and was having a great time in there.  Tomorrow we're going to the pool at the boys' school and hopefully she'll enjoy splashing around in there, too.

And Benjamin woke up this morning asking to wear underwear!  He did a pretty great job of it- no accidents until about 6:30 pm.  He even stayed dry during his fairly long nap.  I kind of blame the accident on myself- I told him I thought it was time to use the potty, he said no, and I didn't push because I was getting dinner ready.  Regardless- first day in underwear and only one accident? Sounds pretty good to me.  We've been effusive in our praise and consistent with rewards.  Asher hasn't asked for any treats himself- I think he'd prefer to wear his diaper until college.

Today we went to Alex's "Original" Lemonade Stand.  It happens every year in our town, and I've gone every year since the boys were born (ok, except for last year, when I was in Bermuda).  The boys got so excited when they saw the bounce house go up at 9:30 this morning!  We had a good time there- Asher got to go on the fire truck:
They went in the bounce house, made bracelets, and saw lots of their friends.  I had invited people over for lunch, but by the time lunch time came, all the kids were falling apart. 

As much as I love the Lemonade Stand, and look forward to it every year, it makes me sad every year.  I love that a little girl started something that is now so big, but it breaks my heart every time her parents get up to thank everyone, because their little girl is gone.  Today I noticed other children with cancer, birth defects, and physical problems.  I know I say it all the time, but I am so grateful for the health of my children.  Sometimes I feel as though, if I recognize our luck and express my gratitude, I will ward off any bad fortune.  I know that isn't true, but I don't think it hurts to take a moment each day to be thankful for the way things have gone so far.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Trip to Sonoma

My mom took my sister, Charlotte, and me on a trip to Sonoma over the weekend.  It was too short of a time in a beautiful place!  We rented a house in Sebastopol, and the views were gorgeous.  It was so quiet there that I couldn't sleep!

We left on Thursday evening, my first plane trip with a child. It was stressful to travel with a baby! I have great admiration for people who do it often.  We left around 6 pm and I hoped Charlotte would soon go to sleep, but no such luck.  It was ok when she wasn't crying, but the more tired she got, the more she cried.  Here she is, finally asleep:

I was so exhausted when we arrived, and then we still had 1.5 hours to drive to our house in Sonoma.  Ugh.  On Friday I was definitely dragging, although my mom did get up early and spend time with Charlotte while I got some extra sleep.  

Friday we had a lovely breakfast on our patio, and drank lots of coffee.  Then we got going, looking around at the little towns.  We bought fruit, and eventually ended up at the beach in Bodega Bay.  

Bodega Bay- the view from lunch
The beach was lovely, with a strong breeze.  Charlotte enjoyed her first feel of sand, and she kept digging and playing in it.  I went to take a picture of her sitting in the sand and she promptly fell over on her face.  So upsetting to me!  But she didn't seem to mind and kept on playing after I wiped her off.

Meema with Charlotte at the beach
We had lunch in Bodega Bay, and then began our wine tasting for the afternoon.  We went to two wineries- Merry Edwards and Dutton-Goldfield.  They were both delicious.  We bought food for dinner, then went home where Meema and Elana napped and Charlotte and I stayed up.  Charlotte went to bed around 7, and we cooked a big dinner.  Around 8 our cousins from Berkeley arrived- it was very exciting, because I hadn't seen them since our last trip to California 4 years ago.  

Friday was so hot!  We went into Healdsburg and visited the Farmers Market there, then wandered in and out of shops.  We ended up having lunch outside:
Elana, Jim & Jennifer
Then Jim and my cousin Sophia went home to Berkeley, and the ladies went to wineries.  We visited Mazzocco and Matrix, which were also good.  Meema got a little tipsy and everyone got the giggles.  Charlotte was jealous that she wasn't tasting wine:
Charlotte wine glass tasting
Every night, Charlotte took her bath in a tub with a view:
Gorgeous girl, gorgeous view
There is nothing like that out our windows here!

Sunday we had nothing planned and had a lazy morning.  Elana got anxious about our trip ending and wanted to drink more wine- we visited Hanna vineyard and another one whose name I can't remember. Here is Charlotte at Hanna winery:
Add caption
Jim and Jennifer got Charlotte a beautiful new romper, and we had a small photo shoot on the patio at our rental house:
looking gorgeous and all grown up!
The house had beautiful scenery outside, and was overall a very restful and peaceful place to stay.  It made coming home to my smaller, more crowded house in the rain a little sad.
the view of vineyards from the front door
the front yard
It is so beautiful there, I really wish it weren't so far away.  Every time I go out to California I wish that I could move there.  Imagine living in Berkeley, just 1.5 hours away from Sonoma and a quick ride away from San Francisco- it would be amazing.  

We ended our trip by going into Berkeley and stopping for a swim at the Berkeley Tennis Club with Jim and Jennifer.  Charlotte actually went in the pool- her first swim!  Here she is with Jennifer:

She seemed to really enjoy it.  This bodes well for the rest of our summer, since it is definitely heating up here at home.  I cannot wait for pool weather- I can't believe that summer is here.  We seem to have skipped spring this year, but as long as it stops being cold and rainy, I'll deal with it.

I was thrilled to come home to my 3 handsome guys.  I missed them all so much while I was away- the only down side to my trip.  Now it is back to real life- work for me, school for the boys, and all the household chores that didn't seem to disappear while I was away.