Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Help a brother out

One of our daily struggles is getting Nathan to brush his teeth. I sometimes wonder which is more damaging:  letting him go without, or pinning him to the ground while he screams and I brush.

We needed a new plan. Nathan loves to do anything we do - brush his hair, put on his shoes, apply deodorant :) So when he sees us brush our teeth, naturally, he wants to brush his too. So every morning and and every night, either Will or I, get our own toothbrush and start brushing. The second we hand Nathan his brush, he starts brushing his. Of course, he tends to just suck off all the toothpaste and not focus so much on the brushing but my genius husband has come up with new approach that works like a charm. "You brush mine and I'll brush yours."

As long as we let him brush our teeth, he happily opens up and lets us brush away, assuring his pearly whites get nice and clean. This has made life so much easier and I can't help but laugh every time I walk in on my favorite two men brushing each other's teeth - gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nathan's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My poor little munchkin had a rough day this week. We had to take him to the dentist for a cleaning which involved lying him down on my legs with his head in the dentist's lap. I then had to hold his arms down and Will had to hold his legs so he wouldn't kick or hit the dentist while he was thrashing with every ounce of strength his 24 pound body had in it.  As if that wasn't traumatizing enough, the doctor then inserted a Silence of the Lambs looking clamp into his mouth so he couldn't shut it, allowing her to reach all this teeth and thoroughly clean them. I think I cried more than he did. His eyes were the size of dinner plates and the whole time he was looking at me, it was like I could read his mind and his mind was saying "Why are you letting her do this to me???" In reality, this probably lasted about 5 minutes but it felt like an eternity. Once we were finished there, he got a balloon and all was well again.

Until we took him down the hall to had blood taken. We recently gave him peanut butter for the first time and he broke out into a rash so our pediatrician advised us to have a blood test done to confirm an allergy. Again, I had to hold him with his arms pinned down and his feet tucked between my legs. The doctor couldn't find a vein and I had to watch her dig around inside his tiny little spaghetti arm and eventually switch to the second arm. This time he had his back to me so I couldn't see his face, I don't know if that was better or worse. When they were done and had put a band-aid on both arms I let him down onto the floor and I've never seen anyone run faster than he ran, right out of the office and into the waiting room.

Having survived two terrifying experiences we decided to treat him to a popsicle so we stopped at a deli, got a him a frozen banana pop and headed over to a bench across the street from Lincoln Center. About 5 licks in, he dropped it on the ground. The poor kid.... he just couldn't catch a break that day.

Picking up the car and heading home after an exhausting (physically and mentally) afternoon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Nathan's been counting up a storm the past few days. He can count from 1-10 in English and Chinese! We've been trying to get it on video and partially succeeded. Here's a shot of his English version, still trying to get his Mandarin on video.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Double trouble

For a long time after Nathan was born, I really believed he would be an only child. I just didn't think I could handle more than one child. As time went by, and Nathan got older, I found my way back to my old mentality, of wanting 2 or 3 kids. We would love, someday, for Nathan to have siblings. Today, I watched my friend's daughter and for almost 7 hours, I got a sneak peek at what it's like to have more than one child. In a word... it's EXHAUSTING!!!

For the most part, it was fine. The kids entertained each other, often leaving me more free time than when I'm alone with Nathan. But there were moments when both kids were crying, both kids wanted to be held, both kids wanted to be fed, and the most overwhelming moment, when I took them outside to get some fresh air and both kids immediately ran in two complete different directions.

And when it was time to head home, and one child kept wandering toward the street, and the other kept stopping to touch every single leaf on the sidewalk, I scooped them both up and carried them back. Carrying Nathan on my hip is tiring at times. Carrying him on one hip, and another kid on the other hip... good god!

We all survived and while it certainly felt much calmer at the end of our babysitting duties, it also felt very quiet. I grew up in a house with 4 kids so there was always something going on and always someone to play with. Our house was always full of laughing, crying, playing, and screaming. I want that same craziness for Nathan...someday. Until them, I will savor my free arm and especially, my free hip!

Some of the ways we kept busy were:

Looking for ducks in the stream

Throwing leaves down the sewer grate, which is probably frowned upon

Pretending we were on Little House on the Prairie

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Identity Crisis

Most days, I am Mama and I carry a diaper bag.
On rare occasions, I get to be Karen and carry a purse.

Two nights a week, I am in class and on those nights, people talk to me about things other than Nathan. (As much as I love him, I love other things too!) I get to talk about books, current events, TV shows.... anything!
So I very much look forward to those two nights.

My classes don't begin until 7:00 and they last more than 2 hours so it goes without saying I need a coffee to get through them. So last night, on my way to class, I stopped into the Dunkin Donuts on campus and waited patiently in line. Very much looking forward to my Skim Cappuccino, I reached down into my purse and found... nothing. It was at that moment I realized my wallet wasn't in my purse. It was at home, inside my diaper bag.

Looks like Mama wasn't letting Karen have any caffeine that night.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Nathan's newest word is Please. Of course, it sounds more like Peas when he says it. We work very hard to teach our boy manners. He often says Thank You unprompted and there's a 50% chance he'll say Bless You if he hears someone sneeze.

There's nothing cuter than a toddler being polite but my little munchkin is definitely using this newest word to his advantage. The other day we found him climbing up onto the ottoman and jumping head first onto the couch. When we told him to stop doing it, and moved the ottoman further away, he grabbed my hand, pulled me towards it, threw his head back and shouted PEAS!!!! When it comes to his safety, I won't give in, but if he utters that adorable phrase next time he wants a cookie, I may just find myself caving in. Can you blame me??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I really, really wanted to make Nathan a homemade costume this year, like any "good mom" would. But this good mom barely has enough time to do laundry and cook dinner so sewing just wasn't happening. Instead I bought a costume (a dog costume, but whatever) and made some minor adjustments. The finished product looked liked this:

Pacifier required due to immediate meltdown upon putting costume on.

My thought was that we could do a fun, family costume. Nathan would be a hot dog of course, since anytime someone asks us why we chose the name Nathan, Will replies with "We really like the hot dogs." And Mama and Dada could be Ketchup and Mustard.... cute, right?? Nathan was not having it.

He wore it to our playdate on Thursday and then I ran to Target that same night and searched frantically through the desolate racks. Luckily I found an adorable replacement....

We took him to the town center Friday afternoon where they had blocked off Main Street and all the local businesses were giving out candy. When it came time to put on the Superman costume he loved it. What he did not love were all the other costumes.... in fact he was terrified of them!

Then Monday, when actual Halloween day finally rolled around and it was time to go to to another party, Nathan's reaction to the Superman costume (that he absolutely loved just 48 hours ago) was tears, kicking, screaming, and outright refusal to put it on. Nothing a few minutes of Sesame Street and a banana couldn't fix though. As soon as he was calm, I casually started putting his costume on as if this were a perfectly ordinary thing to do. He didn't seem to notice. So we managed to have a Happy Halloween and Nathan got to go trick or treating and even hand out some candy at Nana and Papa's. Luckily he doesn't understand the concept of candy and Mama got to eat a few of his pieces too.