Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Cat Came Back and other Dr. Suess Tales

The Cat Came Back
Last time I wrote in the blog, a nice family had just picked up Sassy. We said our good-byes and I was so relieved.
Well, the lady emailed me to say that Sassy hadn't eaten, hadn't drunk any water, nor had he come out from under the couch unless their teenage daughter was there or to hide under a blanket. The lady said she wasn't too worried though. She knew that a cat can take a while to adjust to new surroundings and she "wasn't a quitter".
On one of the days, they put Sassy into the kitchen where there wasn't anywhere to hide and he started going nutso. This freaked out the husband. I had told the lady previously that if she was worried about Sassy, she could bring him back to me, but to do it by Friday morning because we were going camping.
Guess who came knocking on my door Thursday night?
The husband was really worried about Sassy, and wanted to bring him back. Darn!
Poor Sassy has spent the last 6 days trying to get his best buddy Toboo to stop hissing at him.
Now there's a new family that wants Sassy and I don't know if I can put him through this again.

C is for Camping
We arrived at Chehalis River campground for lunchtime on Friday. It was beautiful. Flowing river, sand for the kids to play in with buckets and shovels, our comfy trailer, a fire pit in the campsite and one on 'our beach'. There is a boulder fence which provides a nice visual barrier for the little kids to make them stop and think before heading down to the river. We went with Tarrie and Christine, and their kids Adam (gr 6), Matt (gr 5), Jenny (gr 3), Erin (gr 1), and Lauren (kindergarten) and Eric and Kelly and their kids Natasha (gr 8), Ashley (gr 6), Aidan (kindergarten), Zachary (3.5 yrs), and Christopher (1.5 years). AJ was delighted to get to hang out with 'big kids' all weekend.
One Rock Two Rock Small Rock Big Rock
After a brief explanation of how dangerous the river is and how he is to only be at the river's edge with Daddy, me, or one of the big kids, AJ, no lie, threw rocks into the river with Adam for 45 minutes straight shortly after arriving. I think he maybe could've done that and that alone for the entire camping trip.
It wasn't until day 2 that Adam realised that 2.5 year olds don't necessarily have great aim when they wind up to throw far and he got a rock thrown at his mouth by our darling son. Either that, or AJ has perfect aim!
Dex in Box
I like to come prepared when I go camping. We had a tent for storing stuff at night in case it rained and that the kids could play in (shaded) during the day (a great way to contain colouring stuff and books), a playpen for Dexter for some tummy time and crawling practice, and my little beach tent (like half a tent) for Dexter to sit and play with his little travel arc.
The kids had a great time entertaining Dexter whether he was sitting playing or stuck in his box of a playpen. Ashley the oldest of Eric and Kelly's was really great with Dexter. She could carry him around, liked taking him for walks in the stroller, and bouncing him for rides on her lap. All the kids took turns holding Dexter in a chair and/or entertaining him on his mat. I actually had time to read!!!! AJ pretty much roamed freely between our two sites with one of the kids, usually Adam or Matt offering to 'keep an eye on him'. He's not really a wanderer, so I wasn't too worried. AJ became really good buddies with Eric and Kelly's son, Aidan. They ran around, climbed rocks, and pretended to be super heroes. That was great fun for him too. All the kids were so wonderful. The 11 kids were either over playing with buckets and shovels in the sand at the next site, or were playing in our 'play tent' with puzzles and colours and books, or were throwing rocks down at the river. It was just so great. It was such a relaxing trip. Until....
Dr.Heckle's Sleep Book
I had fashioned a sort of crib out of AJ and Dexter's bed using a plank of wood for a wall. It had all of Dexter's comforts of home reminiscent of his nap times and bedtimes including 'tag blanket', 'star', 'Chunky Dino', 'Blankie', and a couple 'soo soos'. But he didn't want to nap there. And when it came to bedtime, he DEFINITELY DID NOT want to sleep. It was about 11:00 when we transferred him and he just started screaming. And Dexter is not a screamer. He wouldn't let us put him down!!! It was like nothing I've ever seen before. We ended up deciding that Richard would drive Dexter home and let him sleep in his crib, and then drive him back in the morning. Dexter of course, slept soundly until 8:00am. Thank you Daddy! And I got to sleep in until 8:00am with AJ!
I Can Sleep With My Eyes Shut!
The second night, Richard working some crazy voodoo magic and did some mysterious bum patting that kept Dexter calm through his little wake and freak outs the next night, allowing us to have a great sleep in the trailer (expecially me since Richard wanted the 'outside' spot in the bed). Thanks again, Super Daddy.
Go AJ Go
AJ was very excited to get his swimming trunks on and brave the raging rapids. Okay, no. We let him walk in the calm pooled area, sit on a rock, and throw rocks into the water with his water shoes on. He thought this was pretty special. I wanted him to have his life jacket on, but Richard wasn't having any of that. He's a firm believer in natural selection, apparantly, even if it involves our son being carried down a river to meet his demise. Okay, okay, I exaggerate only slightly, but nonetheless. Wouldn't you want your son wearing a life jacket in the edge of the river?
Green Eggs and Yams
Meals went quite nicely. I brought Dexter's homemade puree cubes which stayed nice and fresh in the fridge. In fact too fresh. Some were still frozen. AJ had his usual healthy meals, but it was probably on par with his intake of arrowroots, marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, granola bars, and even, oh yes, special 'kid pop'. I bought him one organic pop for each day made with cane sugar and real fruit puree. They tasted really good and the root beer one was amazing. He was stoked about the pop, and luckily hasn't asked for any more since coming home. I think he accepted that this was a special treat for camping. Things went pretty much how they would at home routine wise, aside from AJ's naps being a little later to help accommodate the staying up late at the campfire.
There's a Rocket in My Pocket
The weirdos two sites down decided that either gun shots and/or firecrackers are great way to enjoy an evening around the campfire. Let's not forget throwing alcohol and possibly gasoline onto the fire, yelling obscenities, and getting naked to hop in the river. Half the kids were in tears because of all the banging, and despite calls by Tarrie and I to the local police, no one arrived. We really thought the words 'gun shots' and '12 kids' would get the attention we felt it deserved, but alas no, evidently there are more important things to attend to. I was pretty disappointed. A forest fire would not have been a fun thing to wake up to in the middle of the night. We weren't exactly 'hook and go' as Richard would say.
Twelve Glow Sticks Up on Top
Auntie Christine brought out glow sticks for all the kids as a special treat around the campfire. The kids had fun making them into letter shapes, necklaces, and spinning them around. I think this was the first time AJ had seen a glow stick!
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky I Am?
This trailer is the greatest. We knew it was supposed to rain on our last day, so we packed almost everything into the back of the truck with a tarp over it, and made sure we had that which we needed for breakfast and for heading to my mom's house inside the trailer. We cooked up our breakfast the next morning inside the trailer for our first time ever, and ate breakfast at the table in there. How convenient. I don't know if I could ever tent ever again. At least, not with babies. I'm so lucky. I'm so thankful.

Oh the Things You Can King
Tuesday Night I had told AJ we could go to the park after dinner. Well, it started raining, so what's the next best thing? I offered to take him to the Burger King playplace, even though I know full well, that he will not go in the tubes and play. However, he does enjoy meeting and talking to the other kids, steering the steering wheel, rolling the tick tac toe tubes, climbing the poles, and watching all the action whilst sipping apple juice in his socks. It was going to be a late night anyway, as we were awaiting Auntie Kimmy's arrival at our house for a sleepover so she could watch the boys the next day while I went into my school to pack up my stuff.
AJ got to take home a crown and kept saying, "I'm the King! I'm the King!" and then he'd put it on our head and say, "You're the King!" Richard was trying to teach him to say, "I'm the whiz" like the episode of Seinfeld and to swing his arms in the crazy way that the character does. Too funny.
Another funny thing about that night is that the parents next to me asked how old AJ is and when I said, "Just about 2.5", they said, "Wow! He's huge! He's so tall!". That was weeeeeiiiiiird! Almost all AJ's peers have at least 2 inches of height on him, and at least, 6 lbs on him! I always hear the opposite. 'He's slight' or 'he's a little guy'.

Please Try to Remember the First of September
Kim watched the boys while I went to my school to pack my 'crap' out of the way for the teacher who would be in our class until Erica and I return from our maternity leaves. Thanks Kimmy!
Kim had a good day except that AJ woke Dexter early from his first nap by playing his recorder outside of Dexy's room, and AJ was having his second "I don't want to eat anything" day in a row.
AJ continued his word explosion and new found love of the phrase 'How about....'. How about you play cars with me? How about we watch a movie?
AJ has started calling Kim, Kimberley all of a sudden.
Kim also stayed even later to accommodate Richard and I catching a movie for our anniversary tonight. (Thanks to all who sent well wishes!).

Mrs. Mom's ABCs
I brought home the Alphabet Jive from school today. I thought it would be a fun chant to do with AJ. (A says a, A says a, Alligator, Alligator, a a a). I discovered while reading it with him that he knows even more sounds than I thought. He knows a,b,c,d,e,f,i,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,x,and z which is around 7 more than I thought he knew.
If you haven't bought your child a Leap Frog Fridge Phonics, I HIGHLY recommend it.

In a School House
We finally got our butts to preschool to sign AJ up for his once a week (no mommy), 3 hour class, and Dexter's music class. I think he charmed a few of the ladies there with his brown eyes and adorable, stare, or, eh, I mean, glare. He's really excited to start. Next Friday is a meet and greet with the teacher, and then he starts on Monday! Dexter's music class starts a little later in the month.

Too tired to edit. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catching Up Again

I'm getting a little bit bad here.

So, originally, when I started this blog, I started because it was a substitute for a baby book. I found I was really bad about writing in a baby book, but I didn't mind keeping track on a calendar and then writing it in here. Hence, all the milestone stuff.

Lately, I've been telling stories of our day, but I should be keeping track of how Dexter's 'coming along' shall we say. The regular daily doings of our family follow this checklist which you can feel free to skip.

So here's your run of the mill check list for my 7 month old second child, Dexter...

feed himself a cracker - check (but I think only half makes it in his mouth)
blowing raspberries - check (heck ya, for a super long time now)
bear some weight on his legs - check (oh yes, he loves standing and would walk if he could. He's always been a lover of standing)
sit without support - check (youbetcha, for about 2 or 3 weeks now)
object if you try and take a toy away - check! (watch out AJ!)
work to get a toy out of reach - check (I find this kid all over the place!)
pass an object from one hand to another - check (he's done this for a long time now
look for a dropped object - check (I'll talk about this in depth later)
rake a item of food and grab in fist - check (for quite a while now)
turn in the direction of a voice - check (for a long time now)
babble, combining vowels and consonants - check
play peekaboo - hmmmm, he enjoys it, but I don't know that he 'plays' it per se
stand holding onto someone or something - check (oh heck ya, for a while now)
pull up to standing from sitting - if I were to put my hands out in front, he'll hold them and pull up to stand, but he wouldn't grab a table and think to do that on his own, and I don't think he could yet anyhow
reaches with one hand instead of two - check
can hold a spoon - check (but isn't accurate that's for sure. It's just for play/practice and because he really wants it)
pats and strokes people/toys to show affection - check (this is adorable)

Looking for Lost Items
Yes, so I couldn't help but notice that for a really long time now, like a REALLY long time, he's looked for things when he's dropped them. It's normal for this age, but I think this is one of those things he was doing way early. I can't remember a time when he'd drop something and act like it disappeared. He always looks over the edge of his high chair.
Running Laps
Too funny. When Dexter's in the Jolly Jumper in the kitchen doorway, he'll start somewhat of a 'running laps' type circle. He also loves to get a good swing going and picks up his feet with his hands.
Food Introduction Continued
Well, I was taking it slow because of the whole milk allergy thing, thinking he might be allergic to other stuff too, but alas no. So, I've stepped it up, but he's not near where AJ was at this point in what he's eating. I think AJ was eating casseroles and such by now. Dexter's working on the finger foods. Sometime since the last time I posted, Dexter's had bananas, potatoes, papaya, parsnips, lentils, and peas if I didn't already mention that.
Eating a Slice of Apple
Dexter was just begging for the apple slices we were having for dessert the other night, and literally, reached over, grabbed the plate, tried to eat the plate, and then grabbed the apple slice and just started going to town! He's really into 'big person food'. He wants it, but he not used to it quite yet.
Close to Clapping
Dexter has discovered hitting items together to make sound. He is in extacy when he does this!
Weighing In and Measuring Up
21.5 lbs, only 2.5 lbs lighter than AJ. Or at least since the last time I weighed AJ. I'll have to reweigh him.
Second Child Enjoys an Arrowroot
Had I read the ingredients? No.
Is there wheat in them? Probably.
Has he been 'introduced' to wheat yet? No.
Is there sugar in them? Heck ya!
Are they a total choking hazard? You bet!
Did I give one to Dexter anyhow? Oh ya.
Did he love it? uh huh. There were no leftovers.

Memorizing His Lines for the Next Part in Toy Story
AJ really loves to watch the movie "Toy Story". There is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Woody is holding the microphone and is about to speak to all his fellow toys, when he says, "Can everybody hear me up on the shelf?"
AJ was playing with his microphone that plugs into his guitar, and he sits on the floor, and speaks into the microphone, looking up, and says, "Can everybody hear me up on the shelf?" I had a good laugh. It was super cute.
Bee Movie in the Park
Last Thursday, AJ, Auntie Erica, and I took the opportunity to see "Bee Movie" at a temporary outdoor theatre at Rotary Stadium. AJ got to enjoy a special treat of a slurpee, popcorn, AND a late bedtime. He was super wired near the end, literally running in circles in front of Erica and I. He had a really good time, and he's still been talking about the bee movie in the park.
Oh No....... Oh No!........ Oooooooh Nooooooo!
Well, he's definitely picked up some melodrama from 'someone'. I can't imagine who?! He's been sighing and saying this when I've said that he can't do something. Like, he asked for a cookie, but I wanted him to eat his breakfast first and when I said, "First breakfast, then cookie", he said, "oooohhhmmmmpppffff. Ooh noo, oh no, oh no." And he looks so depressed and walks away. It's pretty funny. It's one of those 'you had to be there' kind of funny things.

The Beach
Last week on one of those SUPER hot days, Auntie Kim and Uncle Paul accompanied the boys and I on an impromptu trip to the beach.
Dexter, upon entering the cold water screamed like I've never heard him before, desperately clutching me and burrying his face in my chest as though some evil monster were after him. When I finally calmed him in his floaty boat he just looked at everyone as if to say, "Why are you all laughing, smiling, and enjoying yourselves? You're crazy! This is the scariest thing I've ever experienced." He loves the bath, but the cold water, nope. We'll have to see what happens for swimming lessons in September.
AJ had big fun with his auntie and uncle. And of course, as always, about 20 minutes before it was time to go, AJ found a new friend, and they had a great time together. Why can't he find a friend at the beginning?
Have I already mentioned preschool?
AJ starts in September, once a week for 3 hours at the Fine Arts preschool. Dexter and I will get some mommy and me time at a music class at the same facility during that time and probably get some grocery shopping done too. The website said that kids can start at 30 months (2.5 years), but the registration form says 32 months. AJ will be just 30 months at the beginning of September. So I talked to the lady and said, "Well, if it helps, he can write his name (albeit only two letters, he knows all the letters of the alphabet and most of the lower case ones too, and a little more than half their sounds). Well gosh darned if she wasn't just blown away. All I have to do is fill in some form now to let him start 'early'. YAY.
Anyhow, he'll go once a week. I'd love him to go twice and I think it would be really good for his shyness, but it's just really expensive, and since I'd like to put him in gymnastics too, well, priorities, you know. Not to mention, paying our mortgage is kind of important too, right? Oh ya, and food. Well, Richard thinks those things are more important. I'd put food and mortgage just under preschool, gymnastics, and clothes on the priority list, myself. That's why Richard takes care of the finances. Phew! What a guy!

I think that's just about it!
AJ said "Good bye" to one of our cats Sassy tonight. After Sassy showed his jelous side again (all over my chair in Dexter's room), I decided it was time for Sassy to find a new family.
Sassy's new family came tonight to pick him up. Kind of sad, but a relief too. I'm sad for Sassy. He'll miss Toboo terribly. But I'm happy for me. AJ seemed happy that Sassy was going to stay with 'new friends'. Sassy was never one for being held, so AJ never got close to him.
So now with the passing of Barfin Marvin from Diabetes a few months ago, and Sassy finding 'new friends', the 'crazy cat house' has gone from 4 cats, to a 'normal' and respectable 2. Nice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hey That's MIne!

It was a fun afternoon of AJ and Jack playing, then fighting, eating lunch, then playing, then fighting,then whacking each other with pool noodles (sorry Erica), then playing and swinging outside.

When Erica, Jack, and Rya left, I soon settled Dexter down for his last nap and grabbed a snack for AJ and I (chickpea chocolate chip cookie and crackers with cheese).

As AJ nibbled on a cheese and cracker, I went to grab the last piece of cheese, and AJ whipped his head around to meet his eyes with mine and stated, "HEY! That's mine!"

You're Welcome
In the past week, I've been in conversations about our toddlers' manners a few times with other moms. One thing that we had all noticed was that the kids weren't saying, "You're welcome" yet.
Lo and Behold, AJ started saying, "You're Welcome" just today. He must've said it about 6 times after me saying, "Thank you, AJ".
Odd timing.

Sonja c

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Funny Stuff

Trials and Tribulations of Toilet Paper
This morning, whilst 'using the facilities', I realized that the TP had run out. I yelled to AJ, "Please bring me toilet paper from Mommy and Daddy's bathroom". AJ comes around the corner, not with a square of paper like last time, but rather a ribbon that trailed from his hand back into my ensuite bathroom. I said, "Thanks, but can you just bring me the roll? I need the whole roll. You know, the roll that sits on the cupboard in the bathroom?" (you see we rarely actually have a roll of toilet paper on the dispenser itself. I was shocked that he had found that or even thought to look there). So, in he comes again, this time as if rolling a snowball to make a snowman, rolling the toilet paper that he had ripped from the roll in the ensuite, thusly bringing me 'the roll' of toilet paper. And like music to my ears, the famous saying, "Here you go Mommy. Here you go."
"Thank you AJ. Thank you."

Dex Does Clapping
No, he's not clapping his hands yet, but he HAS discovered clapping my hands. He holds the outside of my hands/arms and pulls them apart and slaps them together hoping they'll meet and make a sound. He chuckles, chortles, and screams with delight when they meet.

Naughty Spot and Potty Time for Beaker.
Gram and Papa brought back 'Beaker' from the Muppet Show from their trip to California.
Today AJ had Beaker on the Naughty Spot for climbing the gate at the top of the stairs. (this is a big no-no at our house).
Following that, Beaker evidently had to go pee pee on the potty.
I'm glad to see him doing some make-believe.

Organic/Shmorganic, Home-Made/Shmo-Made
Dexy had his first taste of KFC tonight.
Richard brought home some wholesome and delicious KFC tonight. Dexter, as always, was watching the food like a hawk, or rather like a hawkling (is that a made up word?) with an open mouth begging for food. He kept looking bewildered when I'd pop his puree into his mouth as opposed to the delicacy he was observing being popped into my own mouth. I figured, he's had potato, so no harm in some french fry, right? He's had chicken, so no harm in some KFC, right? Well gosh by golly if this kid wasn't chewing. Sucks on Cheerios, and Baby Mum Mum crackers, but chews french fries and KFC chicken. That's a boy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More of the Good Stuff


Bye Bye Baby Bootcamp

The end of July marked the end of Baby Bootcamp. Twice a week, I was taking the two boys for a walk/jog around Mill Lake, and then stopped at the park for AJ to play while the bootcamp instructor ran the moms through rigorous exercises. Dexter was good as gold (as were all the babies) and would just sit and watch quite contently. AJ and his buddy Jack would play at the park with their trucks or on the play structures. Sometimes the boys would come over to where we were exercising and would start attempting to replicate the exercises we were doing. They would use the stretchy tubes, try the thigh toner, or roll around on the exercise ball. It was pretty cute.

Sad About You
AJ's been waking grumpy from a few naps, namely because I'm going in to wake him. He was really weepy one of the days and still really doesn't understand the word 'why'. So I can't really ask him 'why' he's sad. I can just offer options.
"Are you sad because I woke you up?"
"Are you sad because you are still tired."
Well later after 'calming down' in his room, I asked if he was feeling happy now. He said, "No, I still sad about you."

A Soapy Lesson Learned
After AJ goes to the bathroom, he hops up on his stool to wash his hands. He squirts the soap and everything.
He knows the routine. He knows that he's not supposed to stay and 'play' with the water.
I hear him from down the hall starting to cry and he's saying, "Ahhhh, Mommy! Help! Yucky! Blehhhhh!"
I get there to see that his mouth is just full of lather and bubbles. I'm not exactly sure what happened. My best guess is that he was washing his hands, and went to wipe his nose with his sleeve (unfortunately) and inadvertently got some soap in his mouth. He probably tried to get the soap out, but of course, used his soapy hand to do this, and it all just got worse. It was pretty funny. He sure didn't like the soapy taste. Makes me think it would be a good consequence for a 'sassy mouth'. Hmmmmm.

Crip Crap Cross
So, I'm watching AJ on his magna doodle and he's saying to me, "Crip crap cross! Crip crap cross!" I can't figure out what he's trying to say. He's trying to motion what he wants me to draw on it. Finally he says, "X and O". I say, "Oh, you want to play tic Tac Toe?" And he says, "Yes, Crip Crap Cross!"
Too funny.

Number Knowledge
Well, I didn't think that AJ knew his numbers by sight, like he does his letters. It came up in conversation with a friend and prompted me to ask him when we got home. He has a little thing on the fridge that you can plunk the numbers into and it tells you what number it is, but I never see him using the numbers, just the letters. Anyhow, I digress. Evidently, he does know his numbers by sight. He does confuse 6 and 9, and he did call 10 '21'. Interesting.
Speaking of counting. He's still about the same in the counting as he was the last time I wrote about it. His counting would usually sound something like
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 14, 16, 17, 14, 18, 19, 19, 20. When prompted, he'll do the 20s too. Like if I say, "Twenty.........", he'll say "one" and then he'll continue to thirty.

Come On and Crawl!
So, I thought he was going to crawl about a month ago. He was getting his legs up under him sometimes, he was loving the push ups, and he definitely wants to go places. I unfortunately do not give him a lot of time to practice crawling, as AJ and I drag poor little Dexter around with us everywhere. He will use his rolls to move a bit, and he can shimmy to where he needs to go, but it's a slow process. An actual crawl though.... not quite yet. He seems soooo close, but so far.
Dexter does love to sit and play though. I just love that he can sit on his own now. He likes to sit in AJ's room and watch him play too. It's pretty adorable. They've even fought over some toys. Dexter loves, loves, loves, Fisher Price Little People.


More Fun at Makenna's
We've had some more hot, sunny, pool days at Makenna's. This pic is one from a few weeks ago, but it gives you an idea of how much the kids are enjoying themselves.


Last time, we had the life jackets on them and they were hopping off the ladder to us in the water.
Where are the babies, you ask? On assorted equipment that Jen puts out under the awning. jumparoo, exersaucer, play arc, etc. She's quite the hostess. She even feeds the kids lunch. It's a great time for the kids, the babies, and for us.

Another Sleep Over at Gram's
My mom took the two boys overnight again. So, this is Dexter's second sleepover. He was a good sleeper for Gram. AJ woke at 3:00am probably having some sort of weird dream. Mom, being the true Grandma, decided to let him come out of bed and she turned on a movie for him! What? Crazy Gram!
The next day, AJ went out with Gram and Papa to go see his step-great-grandma for lunch and Dexter stayed home for naps and lunch with Auntie Kimmy. both boys had a great time, as always, and Richard and I did some clean up and organizing in the basement. They brought the kids back around 7:30pm. We were just going to transfer Dexter into his bed, but he wasn't having it. He wanted to party with everyone else.

I think that's it. I may have to come on again later if I remember what else I was going to write about. I should have more to say about Dexter, but not too much has changed.

He had his allergy appointment with the pediatrician and yes there's a milk allergy but it's not reacting very strongly. He thinks Dex will grow out of it by age 1 or 2. So, we're supposed to continue with the soy fomula.