Boys Only!

Last night Mike and I decided to clean out Adam’s closet in his new room. Until now it’s been a haven for our extra winter coats and linens. We figured if we were giving him the room he might as well have the closet too.

After we had it all cleared out, Adam wanted to see the inside. Mike crawled in with him and shut the door, declaring it their clubhouse. Even though he mostly just stood there, you could tell he was having a great time. I stood outside and knocked, and he would open the door and say hi to me.

After a few minutes Mike invited me in too, so I scooted in next to them. Adam looked up at me, then pushed the door open and invited me to come over to another point in the room.

“Oh you want to go play over here Adam?”, I naively asked my 20 month old boy.

As I looked back to get the answer to my question, I saw Adam closing the door and going back into the closet with Mike.

Yes, I was dismissed from the closet by my baby. Left out in the cold so he could have a boys only party with his Daddy. Mike and I couldn’t believe what had just happened! I was straight up kicked out of the club!

If it wasn’t already apparent to me before then, it was crystal clear to me: Adam is a daddy’s boy through and through. He loves that guy more than anything on this planet.

Don’t get me wrong, there is space in his universe for Mom, but I’m pretty sure a halo glows around Mike’s head when he walks in the room. The best part of my day is watching both of their eyes light up when Mike gets home. Adam sprints from whatever corner of the house screaming “Daddy! Daddy!” He throws his arms around Dad’s neck and hugs him so tight that Mike has had to figure out a way to ditch anything in his hands before Adam gets to him. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’m well aware that I’m gestating yet another boy, and I might not be the favored parent. I might just have another kid who follows his dad around with his toy tools and lays down next to him to check out wires, or the Christmas trees water level, or just to emulate the way he sees Dad lounging on the floor while they’re playing. And I don’t mind in the least.

Seeing this kind of love grow between my husband and my son is something I never expected, and it’s thrown me for a loop in the best possible way. Look how beautiful they are together. I can’t believe they’re mine.

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The Great Santa Claus Crusade

I don’t know if anyone noticed or cared about the Santa Claus tree topper we have on the top of the tree, but he’s new. And I went through quite a few emotional ups and downs to get him.

It all started Thanksgiving weekend, while Adam was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Mike and I went on a date and found ourselves stuffed full of Mexican food, and needing a place to walk it off. We went to a true hidden gem of a home store in Greensboro where we could have walked miles and still not seen everything. The Christmas section was extensive, and as we were perusing the aisles I noticed something I’d never seen before: a Santa Claus tree topper!

We don’t like angels as tree toppers, and all of the light up stars seemed cheap looking. Mike vetoed a big bow with pretty ribbons hanging down, and I wasn’t really digging a snowflake. This beautiful, pagan looking Santa with his lantern and bag of foliage was amazing! He didn’t even have the classic red Coca-Cola suit on. I fell instantly in love and wanted to buy it immediately. Mike did not.

So I agreed to try to find a Santa tree topper that lit up or something better to put on top of the tree. I looked around for a couple of weeks and everything was either over $50 or just didn’t work.

Last weekend when we were setting up the tree, I told him I had to have the Santa tree topper. He must come home with us do you mind if I go get him okay bye be right back!!

Off I went to the home store to get my coveted prize. As soon as I walked in I could see something was not quite right. The copious amounts of Christmas decor had been picked clean. Everything was on sale at almost clearance prices. It did not look good. When I got to the tree topper aisle my worst fears were realized: the Santa tree toppers were gone.

About a dozen angels were left standing, but then I saw something. A reddish coat sticking out from behind a skirt. It was a Santa! But not the one I wanted. This guy had a bright red coat, a horn and a bag of presents.

This is not the guy that I went there to find!

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Too red and white. Not forest-y enough. Just not the guy that I fell in love with! I took him off the shelf anyway because damn it I was leaving there with a  Santa Claus tree topper whether it was the perfect one or not!

In a last ditch effort to find the one I wanted, I wandered around the Christmas displays at the front of the store. There were four giant wooden platforms with various Christmas decorations, trees, statues, etc on them. I remembered seeing some of the toppers there so I thought I’d give it a try. I went through the first one. Nothing. Second, still nothing. By the third one I was steadying myself to buy the second-best Santa and be happy that I could even find one. It was like the giant room of knick knacks that Dorothy has to go through in Return To Oz to find Tik-Tok. (Bonus points if you actually know what I’m talking about.)

Then I saw it. Just like Dorothy finds her beloved Tik-Tok, my beautiful Lantern Santa was staring at me from the platform! And at the exact same time, a sweet old lady started reaching for something in its general vicinity. Noo!!!!!

I seriously wanted to do a Die Hard action move and jump in front of her to grab that Santa. Then I’d jump up, shout obscenities about it being MINE! All mine!!!

I didn’t though. It turns out she was reaching for an angel just above Santa’s head. Heck yes nice lady!!! Thanks for leaving my Santa alone! I kind of, um, lunged at Lantern Santa at that point, and held him just a little too close to my chest.

“I can’t believe I found him!” I exclaimed, to nobody really but Sweet Old Lady was still right there.

“Oh that’s nice. I’m glad you did.” replied Sweet Old Lady, very nicely making no mention that I was a crazy lady hugging a Santa Claus tree topper in a home store.

I returned Horn Santa, bought Lantern Santa, and off we went so he could take his rightful place at the top of our tree.

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He rode up front with me because he’s family now.

And he looks awesome at the top of our tree:

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Christmastime is HERE!!!

Ok so I might just be a little bit too excited about Christmas this year. I can’t help it though. Even though it’s not Adam’s first Christmas, it’s the first one where he’s aware of things around him. Far from being a tiny terror ripping apart our pretty things, he’s completely embraced them and loves having them around.

Last Saturday was Mike’s birthday, and we celebrated with family decorating day. We haven’t had a real Christmas tree since we move to England, so we went out to a tree farm to pick one out. It was cold, dreary, and Adam was sick, but that’s nothing a good carry in a wrap can’t fix.

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Adam was so comfortable, it was a shame that picking out a tree was so easy. After Mike tore me away from a lady asking about baby wearing (a slippery slope that I can talk about for HOURS), we had a tree in less than ten minutes. Paid for it, had it put in the bed of Mike’s truck and off we went.

We got the tree set up and lights put on Saturday, but waited until Sunday to decorate it. Adam felt that it needed some water first though.

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Then let the decoration commence!

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Adam was a very good decorator. We bought kid friendly (AKA non-breakable) ornaments so he could help us, and he took to it like he’d been decorating trees his whole life. Notice a few, um, extras at the bottom of the tree. Apparently his snowman bag really needed to be up there.

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Oh, and then he serenaded us with his harmonica.

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In the end, this tree is gorgeous and Adam doesn’t feel the need to rip stuff off of it. I’m okay with that.

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And Adam seems pretty proud of his work.

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You did good, kid. Merry Christmas.

My (First) Baby

Last weekend Adam was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. To celebrate, Mike and I cleaned the house, painted Adam’s new dresser, and organized the boys’ rooms. We really wanted to get Adam into his room as soon as possible so there’s minimal change in the months leading up to baby Tater’s arrival.

In all of the organizing and cleaning, I found this impossibly tiny hospital bracelet.

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Like, impossibly tiny. Not only is this thing smaller than I ever remembered, but it’s not cut because it slipped off of Adam’s wrist before we could get to it. His hand was smaller than this tiny wristband.

This kid is so not a baby anymore. It takes finding things like this to remind me that he’s gained 15 pounds and over a foot in height since he was born. He definitely doesn’t fit into the 0-3 month clothes we just pulled out of the garage, and there’s no bottle or binkie to continue the illusion that he was just born yesterday. “Mama down peese” is his request of choice when he wants me to get on the floor and play cars with him. “Up. Cook.” when he wants to make dinner with me. And so many more that I can’t even keep up with the words coming out of his face.

We were even able to put him into his new room this week and it wasn’t even a thing. Adam was just like, okay cool this is my room now. No big thing.

This week he started sleeping for more than half the day. Then he got a slight cough that today erupted into congestion and a fever and a cough. Despite being miserable, Adam’s personality is still there. He wants to read and play and go outside as much as possible, stuffy nose be damned.

There is that time, though, when my first baby needs to get on my lap with Bear and Little Bear and cuddle the crap out of me, and I’m so there.

Because my first baby is still my baby and always will be.

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A Thanksgiving Miracle!

It was a good day yesterday. Rainy and cold, but really good. My in-laws came over, we cooked Thanksgiving lunch (not dinner because my husband is weird), and I ate until Tater ran out of room in there and started kicking my ribs in protest. Adam had a great time. He tasted sparkling apple cider for the first time, played in the rain while Dad and Grandpa cooked the turkey, and then didn’t touch an ounce of his dinner. Granted, we gave him a bunch of vegetables and crackers beforehand so that’s probably why.

The kid even took two naps, which is weird in itself, but it isn’t the miracle I speak of. No, we put Adam to sleep without his pacifier. WITHOUT his pacifier. And it’s been happening for three days now! A couple of nights ago Mike put Adam to bed. When he came down he told me something unusual had happened so he went with it. Adam didn’t ask for his pacifier, so Mike didn’t give it to him.

I had no idea how to react to this because I had been expecting the fight of our lives. Adam loves that thing. Sometimes I hear him stir in the middle of the night and suck on it so loud that it turns on the video monitor. Surely something that gives him that much comfort would be fought for?

But no. He went to sleep without a fuss and he’s been just fine for the most part. There have been a couple of nap time fits, but that’s not because he’s asking for the binkie and we won’t give it to him. It’s because he doesn’t want to go to sleep. My Peanut sure is learning how to try and stall. He wants a book, or “num nums” (food), or anything he can point at really. The fact that Mike and I have flat out refused to give into these stalls has left Adam a bit, um, upset. Okay it’s left him screaming at the top of his lungs in the cutest fit ever.

This is the first bump in the road that I think I haven’t really wrung my hands over. He’s not in pain or scared or anything like that. It’s a good old fashioned fit, and that is something that I not only don’t worry about, I think it’s kind of cute. So he can scream in there for a few minutes and then pass the heck out like he always does until he gets the idea. I’m just going to thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to add “Mom and Dad took away my binkie” as a reason he’s mad at us.

And as for my second son, he’s getting huge. He’s a bit neglected lately in the doting over him department. I realized I haven’t taken an official “pregnancy picture” in quite a while. I did take this one though:

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The green ribbon was part of a baby shower game while I was pregnant with Adam. That’s how big I was at 26 weeks when I went home to California. It fit me perfectly yesterday, at 24 weeks. So baby is bigger now than I was at 26 weeks last time. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask my little Tater to be healthy but please don’t come out of me at 10 pounds or something. Cut mama a little slack huh? To make up for neglecting you, I’ll give you a binkie that’s all your own!

Anatomy of a Toddler’s Bath

Adam had peanut butter and Jelly for lunch today, with a side of fresh mango. Either some or all of it ended up in his hair, so afternoon bath time it is!

Step One in giving toddler a bath: ask him for the thousandth time if you can lean him back to wash his hair. (This is greatly preferred over chasing him around with a cup and accidentally pouring water in his face when he won’t keep his head back.)

Step Two: try not to fall over when he not only says yes, but doesn’t freak out when you actually do lean him back.

Step Three: since washing is done in an unprecedented five minutes, pull out the phone and let him mug for the camera.

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And love on frog:

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Step Four: remove child from bath and put towel on baby (also known as the cutest he ever looks. Ever.)

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Oh and there he goes.

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Step Five: chase child down and watch him so he doesn’t pee on the carpet.

Step Six: Hang out while baby contemplates life in the nude.

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And checks out his toys.

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And puts last winter’s boots on before diaper or clothes.

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Step Seven: wrestle child into submission in order to lotion him up. (Don’t take pictures because that would be like taking pictures while holding down a greased pig. It’s just not happening.)

Step Eight: Diaper on! Success! Then watch him as he does…whatever this is:

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Oh and he’s off again!

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Step Nine: make feeble attempt to dress your child before saying, forget this he won’t freeze.

Step Ten: realize your child will always be one step ahead of you. Like when he requests you put his pants on right after you resolve yourself to letting him run around in just a diaper and socks.

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Well played, Peanut. Well played.

Vacation Breakdown

We’ve been home for nearly a week from our California vacation, and I’ve been trying to write a blog post the whole time. Life gets in the way, though. Adam and I came back with sinus infections and a cough, which we gave to Mike to fight off this weekend. My nephew Tyler graduated from Army boot camp on Thursday, so Mike and I drove down there to celebrate with him. This weekend was checking things off our to-do list, and cursing the cold weather that’s keeping us from checking things off our to-do list. But finally, at 8:45 on a Sunday evening, I can write down an abbreviated version of our vacation.

The Plane

So I’m not going to lie, this is the one part of the vacation that had Mike and I terrified. TERRIFIED. 5 hours on a plane with an 18 month old tornado? Turns out the trip there was awesome though.

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Reading the emergency procedures like a champ.

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And snuggling with his favorite person in the world (who recently was upgraded from Dada to Dad-DY!).

Halloween

We dressed up Adam and went to a pumpkin patch during the day. I put my red cloth diaper to good use to complete the Superman costume.

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And then he tried to kiss goats for half an hour.

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Good times.

I’ve wanted to do a baby wearing costume since I knew what baby wearing was, but last year Adam was six months old and could not care less about Halloween. He was asleep before sunset so no trick-or-treating there. Since Adam was Superman I wanted to make it look like he was flying, so up onto Dad’s back he went. I found a DIY cloud costume to make for Mike.

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I would have carried him but my belly makes it a bit difficult to wear for long periods of time. I dressed up like The Daily Planet newspaper logo, complete with the earth drawn on my belly.

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Adam did a really fantastic job trick-or-treating. He even carried his own bucket until it got too heavy for him, and got the “trick” part of trick-or treat down.

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Forgive the blurriness. They were walking, it was dark, and I was trying to get the right angle.

The Beach

An unexpected but amazing part of the trip was the weather, which made an impromptu trip to the beach possible. I’ve wanted Adam to see the ocean since he was born, so to have the chance to let him walk on the sand and feel the water was amazing. I’ll only point out once that his first ocean was the Pacific (OH YEAH!!). I had to get that in since his main ocean will be the Atlantic.

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It was a good day.

Seeing Friends

A really good friend of mine, Frankie, has a ten month old baby that we hadn’t met yet, so we trekked down to L.A. to stay over at their house. The trip was amazing. We had Indian food, the kids played like they’d been hanging out their whole lives, and even had a joint bath time to top it all off.

There were a couple of pictures with clothes actually on, but not many.

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Later that week we saw another good friend of mine, Jennifer, who I hadn’t seen in a good ten years. She also has a kid who is Adam’s age but they didn’t actually get to play together. When we got there, her son was sleeping so Adam played with his toys. Right as Clayton was waking up, Adam came up to us burning with fever, so Mike took him into the nursery to see if he would nap. That ended up cutting our visit short, but man it was a good one.

Courtney’s Wedding

The principle reason we were actually in California was for my little sister Courtney’s wedding. That morning, my sister Keely, Adam, and I went to her house and met up with (yet another) sister, Jill, to get ready with her. We had an awesome morning.

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The family with the beautiful bride. Then it was time to party!!

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Adam spent 90% of the time getting down on the dance floor. I actually had to walk away and have him look at the waves just so he would eat dinner. It was stressful running after a toddler, but still a really good night. We cut out early before Adam got so tired that he had a meltdown, and he slept most of the way home. That much partying will knock a kid out.

And Family

In between all of that stuff, was all of this stuff.

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Too much awesomeness to adequately capture.