Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Logan 10 Month Update

I realize this update is a little overdue being that Logan will be 11 months old next week, but this cold & flu season has not been kind to us. We've endured three rounds of the flu over the past 8 weeks, multiple runny noses and head colds, and now we've moved on to the itchy throat/respiratory gunk that seems to be never-ending, most of which happened while I was single parenting my way through rush in December and while Jake was out of town for work earlier this month. I cannot emphasize enough how ready I am for warmer weather!

But enough about that, what's new with Logan? Just this week he weighed in at 24 lbs. 6 oz., which is nearly the same amount that Taylor weighed when she was EIGHTEEN months old. This kid is solid in every sense of the word. He loves eating table food with his favorites being pasta, hot dogs, eggs, pancakes, mashed potatoes, and chicken. Clearly, this kid craves two things: meat and carbs (just like his father). He'll eat select veggies (mainly broccoli or green beans) but only if I mix them up with his meat or pasta. He shoves fists full of food into his mouth at a time, so if everything is mixed together he doesn't know what he's eating. #momwin His dexterity has greatly improving and he can drink out of a sippy cup on his own now. Although we limit his sippies to water, he has had the occasional taste of milk - and loves it! In fact, as soon as Taylor finishes her sippy full of milk in the mornings, Logan darts straight across the room, picks it up, and shoves it into his mouth, eager to drink any remaining drops. He would switch to cow's milk right now if we'd let him, but I'm holding out for that one year mark (even though formula is draining on the bank account). Only five short weeks left!

In terms of mobility, our wild child is always on the move (as evident by all of these terrible photos) - pulling up on anything sturdy enough to hold him, pushing his walker or Tay's shopping cart, climbing up and down the stairs, chasing after the vacuum, pulling all the books off the bookshelves, knocking over anything vertical, and throwing the play table and chairs across the living room. It's non-stop exhaustion trying to keep up, but it's great cardio (and free!).  He wants to do everything Taylor does so badly and will try his hardest to keep up with her (even though it usually ends in tears). He chases her up and down the hall and lets out a squeal of laughter when she stops to tickle him or give him smooches. If Logan wakes up from his nap before Taylor, he crawls to her bedroom door and sits, just like a puppy waiting for its owner. I'm not sure who loves who more, but one thing is for sure: these two would be lost without each other.

This boy LOVES to talk and be included in any conversation. If Jake, Taylor, and I are speaking, he screams incessantly until we stop and acknowledge him. When he's mad or feeling ignored, he shouts "Ma!" as loud as he can and sounds just like a little boy from Jersey. Imagine thinking your baby is sleeping peacefully in his crib then hearing "Ma! Ma! Maaaaaaaaa!" from his room. It's equally annoying and hilarious!  Logan has entered the attachment phase where he always wants to be by my side, either sitting at my feet while I'm cooking dinner or pulling up on my legs while I'm sitting on the couch. He is the sweetest little snuggle bug when he is tired and will curl up in my arms and lay his head on my shoulder, making me wish he would just stay this age forever. He is definitely a momma's boy.

And since Logan's first Christmas occurred this month, I thought I'd give a little recap on his favorite gifts and a few special memories. Although he was too young to actually open his presents, he had a blast eating all the tissue and wrapping paper he could get his hands. He didn't like waiting for his toys to be taken out of the boxes and assembled so next year we'll skip the wrapping and put everything together ahead of time. His favorite toys included a rocking horse (terrible music and endless neigh-ing included), a tee ball set made entirely out of foam (genius!), a Little People barnyard set and tractor, his walker, and the microphone to Taylor's Doc McStuffins boombox (which is constantly in his mouth). A few memorable firsts for Logan over the holiday season included his first taste of Christmas cookies (which went over incredibly well), meeting Santa Clause and not screaming bloody murder, and scarfing down Christmas dinner like it was his job. Overall, it was a very successful first Christmas - until the flu hit our house, again.

With the holidays (and hopefully the sickness) behind us, it's time to start preparing for Logan's first birthday! In just five short weeks, our baby will be one and we will officially have two toddlers in our house. Say a prayer for me, please.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Open Letter to My Threenager

Let's have some real talk about life with you at age three, shall we? I'm not certain why they call them the "Terrible Two's" when two is a walk in the park compared to three. We've only had the pleasure of experiencing this stage of life for about three months now, but so far it's basically been a nonstop emotional rollercoaster that I can't seem to get off of. To put it bluntly, you are insane.

Now don't get me wrong, we had our fair share of ups and downs when you were two, but since entering the world of three you have completely lost your marbles. You're basically the equivalent of me during the third trimester of pregnancy: lazy, impatient, and overly dramatic about absolutely everything. You are constantly testing your limits and will make the most dramatic scene over the smallest little scratch. (It should be noted that your legs are broken at least five times a day.) At just three months in, I'm ready to end this hell by any means possible. I could probably handle it if you were an only child, but making me endure this torture while I also have to keep up with your newly mobile and very curious baby brother has pushed me to my breaking point. Unfortunately, you don't understand what "take a chill pill" means (nor do you care).

I realize that as your parent (i.e., the person in charge), I am responsible for teaching you things like patience, proper manners, and not to interrupt grown ups while we're talking, but I can only listen to you repeat my name so many times before I want to pull my hair out. I understand that you feel the need to "tell me a question," but I'm trying to have an adult conversation with the babysitter about how many times your brother pooped today, okay?

But constantly needing my attention isn't even the worst of it. You refuse to do pretty much anything I ask you to do these days. It's a 25 minute process getting you out of bed in the morning followed by another 15 trying to get you dressed (or even upright off the bathroom rug) and then another 10 getting you to brush your teeth and stand still long enough for me to run a brush through your hair. Dinner time has become a whole new kind of battle where you refuse to eat anything except fruit and then somehow think you deserve a "treat" whenever I finally manage to force a bite of meat or veggies down your throat. I swear you would live on milk and applesauce pouches if we'd let you and, honestly, some days you do because I can only give a damn for so long.

And then, there is bedtime. You always need "just five more minutes" or one last drink or suddenly have to potty as soon as you're tucked into bed. Then once you are in bed, you need to "tell me one more question" or remember that we forgot to lay out your clothes or decide that you need your baby doll to snuggle with. Once those items are remedied, you resort to kicking your covers off and insisting you're unable to pull them back up (probably because your legs are broken) or telling me that you need just one more smooch before you can fall asleep (proof that you also use my weaknesses against me).

Then comes the holy grail of why I despise this age so much: you use potty training as a weapon whenever possible. I put you in time out so you pee your pants just to prove a point. You're basically saying, "You want to punish me? Fine, I'll punish you right back." How does your mind even work this way? You're only THREE! I'm equally astonished and impressed at the same time that someone so small could concoct such a devious plan. This makes me absolutely terrified of what your actual teenage years will bring.

Now, I get that I'm not the first person to ever parent a threenager. In fact, plenty of other people have successfully done it and lived to tell the tale. The reason that your actions affect me so deeply is because you and I are exactly the same. I know when you're going to listen, when you're going to misbehave, and when you're contemplating between the two based on the look upon your face. You know how to push my buttons unlike anyone else, because my triggers are the same as yours. We butt heads more often than not but also have the best inside jokes and endless fits of laughter. You are strong willed to say the least and I know that in time your sass will turn back into sweetness, but until then can you at least try to keep the crazy down? Because by the time you grow out of this phase, your brother will be turning two and I'll have to start all over. And we both know that he won't go easy on me at all.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas & New Year's Eve 2016

Is it just me or did this holiday season absolutely fly by!? I still can't believe that Christmas is over even though I spent the day putting our decorations away and vacuuming the last of the tree remnants. In an effort to save time, and since we are nearly a week out from Christmas, I thought I'd recap both Christmas and New Years in one post. So here goes...

As many of you know, December is a crazy time of year for our family with Jake working insane hours and me attempting to keep the tiny humans fed, bathed, and breathing. It didn't seem possible to pull off my previous advent activities this year (mostly due to a busy work schedule and a complete lack of planning on my part due), but we did display the calendar above Taylor's bed to give her room a little extra holiday flare. Although daily activities were out, we still managed to complete plenty of holiday traditions to get us in the Christmas spirit. We covered the house in garland and lights, wore lots of festive outfits, decorated Taylor's little tree with a slew of handmade ornaments, made (and ate) Christmas cookies, watched every Christmas movie on Netflix at least five times, and sang Christmas songs nonstop. Whew, it's exhausting just thinking about it!

A few days before Christmas, Jake was able to get off early enough to join us for a trip to Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro for our annual Santa photo. And wouldn't you know that after three years of failed photos, Taylor walked right up to Santa and sat on his lap without a single tear! I couldn't believe it. Logan was his usual calm and collected self, sitting on the strange man's lap, checking out his beard, and looking everywhere but at the camera. Overall, I was pretty pleased. No smiles but no tears. I'll take it!

Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, we planned to travel to my parent's house on Christmas Eve which meant that Santa made his visit to our house on Friday night. The kids had a great time opening their gifts Saturday morning while Jake and I drank coffee and continuously pulled wrapping paper out of Logan's mouth. Taylor is one of those kids that takes her sweet time opening presents, and since she did the majority of the unwrapping (since Logan was too little to grasp the concept) it took the entire morning to get through every package. But once they were open the kids went straight to playing, Taylor zipping down the hall on her new scooter and Logan chewing on every animal that came with his Little People barnyard set. But the best sight of all had to be Logan taking his first steps with his new walker! As soon as we gave it to him, he pulled himself up and took off as if he'd done it a hundred times before. 

Later that afternoon, we changed out of our jammies, loaded the car to maximum capacity, and headed south to my hometown. We attended the Christmas Eve service at church that evening then followed it up with our Christmas Eve traditions: making chicken pot pie for dinner, decorating a gingerbread house, and letting the tot open one present before bed.

Christmas happened to fall on a Sunday this year, so we spent the morning at church celebrating the true meaning of the season before heading to my grandmother's house for dinner (which is actually lunch, but everyone in my family refers to the noon meal as "dinner"). We ate until our bellies were full then laid the kids down for a nap so the grown ups could catch up and eat pie. That afternoon when my sister and her family arrived, we begrudgingly took family photos then dove headfirst into more presents (and another slice of pie). We all received entirely too many gifts and are so fortunate to have such a wonderful extended family!

The next morning, we headed to my sister's house for brunch and to have our immediate family Christmas. Taylor is on a-whole-nother level at my sister's house due to the abundance of kids, toys, and attention, so it was no surprise to see her bouncing off the walls as soon as we walked in the door. Logan woke up at 6:30 that morning which meant he was ready for a nap by the time we arrived, so we laid him down and let the kids open presents while he slept. We spent the rest of the morning playing both inside and out, and when Logan awoke from his slumber nearly three hours later, the little kids helped him open his presents as well. He absolutely loved that little rocking horse! We spent the rest of the day being lazy and enjoying each other's company, a welcome break from the busy weekend we had just encountered.

Jake and I were fortunate to have a few days off over Christmas, but we were both due back in the office mid-week. Since our babysitter was closed until after the new year, we left the kids with my parents for a couple of days. I'm certain our time apart was harder on Jake and I than either of the children, because when I went to pick them up on Thursday night Taylor cried and told me she didn't want to leave. I missed you, too. Late Friday morning we finally made our way back home, just in time to get things in order to celebrate New Year's Eve! We spent the evening with friends, enjoying appetizers and a cocktail or two, then headed home around 10:30 to tuck our overly-tired babes into bed. We rang in the new year on our couch watching "The Jungle Book," champagne cocktails in hand. As I get older, my desire to go out on New Year's Eve diminishes with each passing year, so I was perfectly content bringing 2017 in at home with my best friend while our two healthy children were sound asleep. Few things in life will ever top that.

Twenty-sixteen was memorable for so many reasons. We started the year by bringing Logan into the world, making Taylor a big sister, and adding the final piece to our family puzzle. Jake lost over 40 lbs and discovered a love for running, and I took a leap of faith and embarked upon a new career path. Taylor turned three, finally mastered potty training, and gained an enormous amount of independence. Logan said his first word, learned how to crawl, and experienced his first 10 months of life. All in all, I'd say that's pretty extraordinary.

Farewell, 2016. You were an incredible year for our family, one that I will always hold near and dear to my heart.