Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chatterbox

For the past few months I had been worried that Ryan wasn't talking. I have videos of Nathan reciting his alphabet and counting to 10 at this age but other than Mama and Dada, Ryan wasn't saying much at all and even those two words were few and far between. I wouldn't be concerned except he seemed so frustrated, sometimes even angry, that nobody could understand what he was saying. He has been babbling for a long time, the problem was that nobody knew what he was trying to actually say. And since nobody could understand him when he babbled, he started hitting and scratching to get his point across. And that's just not fun for anyone.

But in just the past couple of weeks, he has started saying so much more. He is a different kid now, happier and more carefree and now I can't get him to stop talking! At night when I put him to bed, I can often hear him upstairs for up to an hour, "talking" to himself in his crib.

This blog serves as a baby book for me so occasionally I like to list "stats" that I don't want to forget. So, at two days shy of being 20 months old, I've compiled a list of his current vocabulary.

Waffle
Apple
Thank you
All done
More
Eat
Help
Doggy
Woof woof
Ducky
Quack quack
No
Up
Mama
Dada
Nana
Papa
Nai Nai (Grandmother in Mandarin)
Ye Ye (Grandfather in Mandarin)
Ge Ge (Big Brother in Mandarin)
Choo choo
Book

And a few that aren't quite there yet but so damn cute I had to list them...
G-fish - goldfish crackers
Beesh - toothbrush
Tuck - truck





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

School Pictures

I don't think these pictures could sum up Nathan and Ryan's personalities any better.

Nathan, perfectly posing with a stack of Encyclopedias?!?! Yes!!
Ryan, deciding to lay on the ground and not sit at all?? Yes!!

They are all so cute, how do I choose?







Back to school

I accepted a maternity leave coverage at school this fall so I'm back in the first grade. I went from being the student teacher in a class with two other adults to the lead teacher in a class by myself. The adjustment has been... challenging. I barely survived the first day of school and by 2:45 felt like Id been hit by a truck. (I may have even cried in the bathroom during my lunch break, wondering by I ever thought I could do this.) We're almost two months in and things have definitely settled down in the classroom. Our routines are set, the kids know what to expect each day and I have grown to love them... even the "difficult" ones. I love, love, LOVE being in the classroom.

As a result of me working though, life at home is crazy. I wake the boys at 6:15, get them dressed and fed and out the door by 7:30. I drop them off at daycare then head right to school. After teaching for 6 hours, I usually stay 2 hours late to prep for the next day. This means I don't get back to the boys until 4:30, sometimes 5. This gets us home just in time for dinner, baths and bed. Once they're in bed, I clean up the dishes, pack the lunches for the next day, shower and dry my hair then crash into my bed at 10:30.

I struggle everyday with whether or not I'm doing the right thing. I feel like I'm failing at both jobs. I can't commit fully to the teaching because I have to get home and take care of the boys. And I'm not fully committed to the boys because I'm not with them all day!

I have exactly 5 weeks left at this job. I have been looking for something to do next but there's not much out there.  Part of me is relieved because being able to wake up and not have to go, go, go sounds amazing right now. But part of me is getting anxious because I know I want to work, and that I will go crazy if I'm home full-time.  Should I work or should I stay home? It's an internal question that I still don't know the answer to. A question I'm sure most moms ask themselves everyday.  For now, I am trying to enjoy my time in the classroom and learn as much as I can and then enjoy my quality time with the boys in the evenings and on the weekends. Only time will tell what my next step will be.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mr. Sun

Every morning on the way to school, we drive down a long windy road. Every morning, as long as the sun is shining, it shines right in Ryan's eyes for the entire length of that road. And for the entire length of that road, Ryan screams and shrieks and shields his eyes from the sun.

I am starting to think he is part Vampire.

And I am also starting to consider taking a detour.


Good night little boy

Every night before bed, I read to Nathan. Lately he always chooses his big Curious George collection and even though it's full of stories, he picks the same one to read each night. Curious George and the Pizza Party. He loves this story so much I designed his birthday party around it. We curl up in his bed and he snuggles next to me. Usually I read the words and he narrates along, pointing out things he notices in the pictures and sometimes showing his stuffed Curious George all the adventures he's having in the book. "That's me!!" George says over and over while we read.

Lately Nathan has been twirling a piece of my hair in his hands while we read together. A tender moment like that is quite typical for him. He has always been a sweet boy. Never one to push or shove, he has always been more timid and gentle. He is more likely to cry than to yell. He is very emotional and aware of people's feelings. He has always been good at sharing, except with his little brother of course. He's just a really good kid.

Moments like this remind me what a sweet boy he is. I treasure spending a few quiet, peaceful minutes together before he drifts off to sleep. Years from now, I will more than likely call goodnight through a closed door, wondering if I was heard over the music blaring from inside his room.

But for now, I will gladly snuggle up with him at night, reading the same story over and over, night after night. Just me, Nathan, George and a lock of my hair.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A word from the wise

If I could offer one piece of advice to a first time mom.
One thing I wish I had known back then,
A small change that would have altered my life drastically.

It would be..... skip the cute socks.
Buy only plain, solid color socks.

This pile of unmatched socks sits in my bedroom, taunting me everyday.
With every fresh load of laundry that comes out of the dryer, I gather at least 2 or 3 lonely, single socks and run to this pile. Naively, I frantically search through, hopeful that I will find at least one match.

But I never do, and so the pile just gets bigger, mocking me more and more each day.

For your own sanity, I beg you to grab the bulk pack of boring white socks. If you're feeling adventurous, you might choose another solid color. Blue? Green maybe. Just make sure it's a plain, solid color with no detail or design. Do your best to ignore the polka dots, the stripes, the cute "I Love Mommy" phrases, the geometric shapes and whatever other adorable designs the cruel sock companies have come up with to tempt you.

Will your child's feet be boring? Yes. But will you spend hours searching through a basket of single socks, desperately trying to match a single stripe to a double stripe, a thick stripe to a thin stripe? No. And as someone who has been through it, someone who made the mistake of buying the adorable socks, I can assure you, it's better to have boring feet and a sane mind.








Friday, August 1, 2014

First cut deserves first pop

It's always a bittersweet moment for me when my babies have their first haircut. Ryan's hair was getting past the cute crazy phase and was looking just plain crazy so a couple weekends ago we took him in for his first snip. I was surprised that they told me to sit him in the seat alone since I held Nathan on my lap for his first cut. At first he was fine but then they placed the giant smock over his body and he looked up at me, his eyes welled with water and he let out a blood curdling shriek.

The hairdresser had a suggestion. So along with his first haircut, he also had his first lollipop that day. Problem solved, he didn't make a peep the entire time she was cutting his hair.

I wanted to keep some of his baby curls so we left it on the longer side but what a difference it made. The shape of his face looks totally different and he just seems so much less of a baby and more of a toddler now.

In a matter of minutes he went from this....





to this...










Baby makeover success!