A big milestone

15 Jan

IMG_1301Fletcher – The pace of life has meant that I’ve missed opportunities to tell you about so many firsts in your world. First words, first time you clapped or waved, first Christmas, first birthday. But I am not letting it prevent me from telling you about the first time you walked. Because that – more than anything else – is a sign that you’re transitioning from a baby to a little boy.

It happened yesterday when I picked you up from school. We had seen you take a step or two here and there, but they didn’t seem coordinated or deliberate. It was more like you got lucky that your legs moved under you as you fell forward. But yesterday, Fletcher, you did it and you meant to do it.

I had you in my arms as I collected your jacket and cups and everything else. You saw one of your favorite ladies, Ms. Sunti, walking by the classroom. I don’t know if you motioned to her or if your eyes just drew her in, but she put down her stuff, opened the door and came in to see you. She knew you were right on the cusp of taking real steps, so she stopped a few feet short of us and held out her arms. I set you down on your feet, and you weebled and wobbled until finally finding your balance. Then you found your courage and took one wide-legged step after another all the way to Ms. Sunti. Five steps! Then she turned you around and you took four more back to me before crashing at my feet.

Ms. Sunti, Ms. Anysia (your afternoon teacher) and I celebrated like you had won Olympic gold. I swear Ms. Anysia almost cried; she has a soft spot for you, and I think she felt almost as proud as I did. It was such a special moment, and it was just so cool to see you in control of your body.

Of course, now I’m planning to discourage a repeat by sweeping the legs every time you try again. I might be able to keep up with you, but I’d never be able to keep up with the destruction you create as you move from room to room. You literally leave a path, like a tornado, as you navigate through our home. I cringe to think at how that destruction will be amplified when you’re a full walker.

And for your one-year stats:
Weight – 24 lbs, 14.5 oz | 92nd percentile
Head circumference – 48.25 cm |95th percentile
Length – 28.5 inches | 7th percentile

One of those things is not like the others!

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7 months, 2 kids

14 Aug

Just a shade under two weeks late with this; not too shabby!

This month was awesome. Really fantastic, and Katie, you get the credit for that. Your attitude has improved so much in the last month. Your tantrums are reasonable (as reasonable as a tantrum about such things as your skirt being twisted can be), and they are short lived. When you do get revved up, we have plenty of patience and energy left in the tank to deal with the situation. I feel like you enjoy being around us right now, and we enjoy being around you. I know so many people who have said three is worse than two, but you seem to be doing better, and we are all so grateful. And obviously a little apprehensive.

You had a three-year checkup, and the doctor said you are perfectly healthy. You’re meeting all of your development milestones, including flirting with the doctor. Kudos for picking a doctor to flirt with; if you keep that up, it could really work out in your favor. You were 34 lbs and 36.5 inches tall, with great vision and killer reflexes.

You also ratted me out. The snow cone truck was arriving at school right as I had to put you in the car to take you to your appointment, so I did what any desperate mother would do, and I bribed you. I told you I’d give you a lollipop after your appointment. You have maybe had four lollipops in your whole life, but you talk about lollipops nearly every day, so I knew you’d go for it. You accepted the bribe, and we got through the whole appointment without you mentioning it until the doctor was leaving the exam room, and you shouted, “Mommy’s going to give me a green lollipop when we get to the car. It’s in her purse.” Crap, now this esteemed medical professional probably thinks my kid has too much sugar in her diet, and he knows I resort to bribery, which I’m pretty sure isn’t condoned by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Oh well.

You’ve also become more independent at your soccer practices, and you’re following directions really well while we’re there. Some of the other kids get pretty distracted after the coach gives a directive; they’ll stop and pick at the turf or just start rolling around on the ground. But you almost always do exactly as you’ve been told. You could be the first kid to score in every drill… except you always stop to really think through the situation. What’s the best way for me to get the ball to the goal? What if I turned my hips this way and pointed my foot that way? No, maybe I should use this foot instead of that foot. Or maybe if I got a half an inch closer to the ball before I kick. And by the time you’ve thought through all of that, a half a dozen kids are whizzing by you to the goal. It’s really interesting, and your dad and I have gotten some good laughs out of it. One day you’ll learn to trust your body and your instincts.

Same birthday dress in 2013 and 2014.

Same birthday dress in 2013 and 2014.

plasticbins

Fletcher, month seven was good for you, too. You’re such a charming little guy. We’ve noticed a hint of a more assertive side this month, but we think that’s a good thing. We don’t want you to be a push over, and being the little brother, you’re gonna have to stand up for yourself.

You love the new view you have of the world from the sitting position. In fact, I think being able to sit up has made you even happier because you feel like you’re a part of things. You’re eating real food now. We’re still mainly doing purees, but the last few things I’ve made for you, I’ve given to you in pieces instead of as a puree. You don’t have any teeth, but you’ve got a strong jaw and a big appetite, so you’ve been able to chew your food pretty well. Your favorites have been sweet potato “fries,” zucchini strips and baby crackers, along with pureed peas, carrots and mashed avocado. You’ll eat anything, but you haven’t been quite as enthusiastic about green beans, broccoli, squash and cauliflower. I don’t blame you. Next up? Beets. I’ll have to warn the ladies at daycare about beet diapers.

Speaking of daycare, they’ve been telling me that you kiss their cheeks. You’ve never done this for me or your dad, and honestly, when they told me about it, I thought – oh, he’s probably trying to nurse on their cheeks. But then I handed you over the other day and watched you open mouth kiss your teacher’s cheek. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen, and she was so tickled by it. She said you do it all the time. It makes me feel good to know you’re happy to be with your teachers. Oh, and they say they can just heat up a bottle and hand it to you now. You sit up and feed yourself. That’s crazy to me! Only grown up babies can do that, and you’re still a brand new baby. I’ve never witnessed it, so I’m going to pretend like it’s not happening.

You ended your month with sores in your throat and a three-day fever. You did so well through the illness. A bit pitiful, but never fussy. I got the virus after you were finished with it, and I’ll admit to being fussy, so hats off to you. Thankfully it didn’t spread to your sister or dad, but two other babies at daycare went down.

7 months

Since I’m two weeks late with this, I will say that the next month is off to a great start for both of you. Maybe we’re finding a groove?

Katie says…

7 Aug

You have recently become aware that you used to be a baby, Katie. When we feed Fletcher it’s, “When I was a baby, I had to eat baby food because I didn’t have any teeth.” If he’s crying it’s, “When I was a baby, I cried a little bit, and mommy and daddy picked me up to make me feel better.” And it goes on and on.

Apparently the concept of time isn’t the only thing you’re wrapping your little kid brain around. Last weekend I was changing Fletcher’s diaper on the living room floor, and while peering over my shoulder you said, “When I was a baby, you had to change my diaper when I got wet.” Then there was a pause, and I could just feel it coming. “But I didn’t have a teanuts.” “Uh, umm… a… penis,” I asked trepidatiously. “Yep, a teanuts,” you said with confidence. “Only Fwetcha and Daddy have a teanuts because they are boys.”

“What do girls have,” your dad shouted from the kitchen.

“Ponytails!”

Good answer, Katie Bug.

Happy Birthday! Boohoohoo.

29 Jul

Katie, today is your THIRD birthday. I can’t even believe it. And apparently neither can you; you asked all morning, “Am I three?”

Today has brought on all kinds of emotions that I wasn’t expecting. Kind of like when you potty trained, and then I regretted the whole thing because if you’re still wearing a diaper, you’re still a baby. Or the time we took the paci away, and then I immediately wanted to give it back to you because if you’re still using a paci, you’re still a baby.

I know that I’m supposed to swell with pride when you reach milestones and birthdays, and I do. But I also just want to put my hand on top of your head and squish you down and make you stay a baby forever because time is moving so fast. You hear people say that all the time. I used to roll my eyes at those people. They’re old and don’t have a good sense of time, I thought. But now I am those people.

Like this morning when I was reflecting on how fast the last three years have gone and then thought that three years from now you’ll be six. SIX! A first grader. That is not OK! Because the next step is a training bra. And then girlfriends who are like sooooo much cooler than your mom. And then prom. And then college. AND THEN YOU DON’T NEED ME ANYMORE.

See how quickly that can spiral out of control? Just think about how much your dad loved that conversation this morning.

Ultimately, Katie, I want you to grow up and not need me anymore. I want you to be strong and confident and vivacious. But there will be times along the way that I ache for you to be a baby again, and it turns out that today is one of those days.

Happy Birthday, Katie Q!

#3

#3

#2

#2

firstbirthday

#1

Birth day.

Birth day.

 

 

 

6 months, 2 kids

14 Jul

Month six brought us a few things: a healthy house (!), a baby sleeping through the night (!!), a baby who proficiently rolls both ways and our first (and potentially last) vacation as a family of four.

Fletcher, I think this has been my favorite month with you. I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more, but then you started sleeping through the night, and you eked out a little extra love. I know “sleep training” is a really controversial topic, but after getting both of you to sleep through the night using this process, I’m a true believer. In fact, you’ve gone from a baby waking up three times a night to a baby I have to wake up in the mornings to get ready for school. It’s blissful! There’s one difference between what we’ve done with you and what we did with Katie; with you, I go into your room before I go to bed, quietly remove you from the crib, feed you and put you right back down. You don’t even wake up for it, but that one extra feeding is buying us some really good time in the morning. Thanks, kid!

You’ve also started rolling over easily both ways. When you figured out how to roll from back to front we did have a couple rocky nights of sleep because you’d get on your belly and then not remember how to get to your back again. Your dad would have to go in and flip you over, and then you’d go right back to sleep. Baby tipping. But now you seem to prefer to sleep on your belly, which we’re fine with now that you have good head and neck control.

You’re trying to use that control to sit up for a few seconds at a time, but you topple pretty quickly because of your big head. We took you to your six month checkup, and the doctor said, “His head is tracking at the 80th percentile or above, but I didn’t have to tell you that. You’re the one that’s gotta get a shirt over that head.” But don’t worry, it’s a perfectly adorable big head that fits well on your big frame. You were 19 lbs, 2 oz (80th percentile) and 26.5 inches long (35th-ish percentile). I’m thinking you’re more than half of your sister’s weight now and she won’t be able to call you her little brother for very long.

6months

Goodness, Katie. You are still really trying to assert yourself with us. I get it. It’s a phase. It’ll pass. But holy shit. It is NOT easy. You made our 3.5-day vacation feel like an eternity, and there were two nights that your father and I would (finally) get you to bed in the hotel room and then go sit on the balcony (with a bottle of wine) and discuss why we’re failing as parents. We were sure we were doing something wrong. We’d watch these other kids your age listen to their parents and follow directions without a fight, and then we’d watch you explode because we suggested building a sand castle. It was insane, and the only saving grace of that whole trip was the elevator button. We could manage most of your tantrums by promising that you could push the button. We gave serious consideration to installing an elevator button in our house. Might be worth the expense.

Your nasty attitude continued for a good week after we got home, but these last few days you’ve been strangely agreeable. And polite. And funny. We can’t figure it out, but I guess there is no figuring it out. You’re a toddler, and toddlers are, apparently, just batshit crazy.

Your attitude for most of the trip was horrible, but it was a joyful moment to watch you see the beach for the first time.

Although it was a difficult trip, it was a joyful moment to watch you see the beach for the first time.

You woke up in the morning asking to put your bathing suit on.

You woke up in the mornings asking to put your bathing suit on.

The front of your dress - where "choc-lick" ice cream cones go to die.

The front of your dress – where “choc-lick” ice cream cones go to die.

 

Sometimes it’s OK to lie to your kids

27 Jun

Like when they ask you about any of your college experiences outside of studying or if it helps them get through the whole bed time routine efficiently and without tears.

Here you are admiring Buzz Lightyear on Christmas morning.

Here you are admiring Buzz Lightyear on Christmas morning.

Katie, you have a certain infatuation with Buzz Lightyear. Must be the strong jaw. You have inherited several pairs of Buzz PJs, you use Buzz toothpaste and you’ll run full speed to the swing in the backyard, dive across it and yell “to infinity and beyond!”

You also happen to believe that Buzz lives in your brother’s baby monitor. He has a video monitor, and you can not only use it to see and hear what’s happening in the room, but you can also use the screen unit to talk back to the camera in the room. You’ll periodically go stand in front of Fletcher’s crib, where the camera is mounted, and yell “Hey Buzz! Buzz Lightyear! BUUUZZZZZ! LIGHTYEEEAAAARR!”

One night last week you began to talk to Buzz right at bedtime. Your dad took the screen unit and in a Clark Kent-becomes-Superman kind of move talked back to you in his best Buzz voice. “Katie. It’s Buzz Lightyear. It’s time to get ready for bed. Be a good space ranger and go put your PJs on.” You did an about face and sprinted to your room. Your dad ditched the monitor and went to help you put on your PJs (Buzz PJs, of course). I could hear you talking to him excitedly. “I just talked to Buzz.” “Oh yeah, what did he say?” “Ummm put on PJs. Can I talk to him aaagaaaaiin?”

And the whole night went like this. You’d run back to Fletcher’s room and get your next directive from Buzz, never noticing your dad’s absence. You used the potty. You brushed your teeth. You picked out a book. All without any fighting or any tears. It was… incredible.

At Buzz’s suggestion, your dad took you to your room and got you tucked in while I fed Fletcher. I was loving it. I began scheming other things we could get you to do. Until your dad sulked back into Fletcher’s room and told me about how “awful” he felt for lying to you.

It was a literal Buzz kill.

5 months (and 1 week), 2 kids

10 Jun

The other morning your dad told me he had a dream that we were at the hospital waiting on your arrival, Fletcher. But instead of me being in the delivery room, I was sitting in the waiting room with him, and you were coming into this world by some other means. Wouldn’t that be nice? He said that a rich couple approached us and asked if they could buy Katie since we were having another one. He said we talked about it for a few minutes, and then I got up to search for the rich couple because I wanted to negotiate and see what I could get for the two of you.

As he recounted this dream to me, I said, “What does that say about me as a mother?” He avoided that question and said, “Well, you’re a shrewd businesswoman.”

I’m thinking that maybe he dreamed this because month five somehow turned out to be worse (in terms of illness) than month four. Fletcher, since your four-month-milestone, you’ve had pink eye once, two ear infections, your first multi-day fever and  relentless congestion. Katie, you came down with a couple of week’s worth of crud, and although we never took you to the doctor, you had your fair share of up-at-night coughing fits. And your dad got in on it with an ear infection and sinus infection.

We’ve had 10 tough weeks, and I am definitely ready for a break, but I wouldn’t sell both of you. Maybe one of you, but not both.

But this month did bring two fun achievements for you, Fletcher P. You rolled over for the very first time AND had your first taste of solid food. You rolled from front to back and are soooo close to rolling the other way. Of course Katie got stuck going that way until she was 10 months old. No kidding. She was almost walking but couldn’t roll over. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if she ever got there? We might still be waiting for her to roll. I think the challenge for both of you is that you have big heads and big bellies. There’s just a lot of you to move. If you could figure out how to use your weight to your advantage it would be a cinch.

fletcher5months

Fletcher, your first solid food was sweet potatoes. We started Katie on cereals, but I didn’t really see a need to do that with you. I figured you’d either be spitting out cereal or spitting out vegetables, so why not let you spit out something with more flavor and nutrients? You didn’t love it, but I don’t think you hated it either. I think you just need some time to get used to the texture.

Here is a video clip of your first taste of solid food. I could watch this all day long.

And a picture of you spitting out peas.

peas

Sleeping is the issue we’re going to tackle next, Fletcher Man. You grew accustomed to waking up two (sometimes three) times a night during your 10 weeks of illness, but now that we seem to be on the other side of that, we’re gonna have to go with a tough love approach to sleeping. You’re so happy; I hate to hear you cry, but we’re going to start letting you cry for a few minutes at a time at night now that you’re healthy. I remember “sleep training” lasting for one, agonizing week with your sister. I’m hoping it won’t last any longer with you because my heart can’t handle it. And your dad can’t handle me not handling it.

Katie Bug! You had some really good grandparent time this month. You went to the zoo with Grammy and Papa and then spent a few days at Nina and PopPop’s house. The reports from both – she’s so smart and respectful! Now, they’re grandparents, so I’m sure they’re embellishing, but if you could display some of those characteristics with us more frequently your father might not dream about selling you. Hey, just so you know, when I went to negotiate with the rich couple, he sat there thinking, “But I like Katie.” So if the dream had continued, he probably would have called off the trade.

You’ve taken to putting on your shoes independently, and when you do that, you always ask in the silliest voice “thisonegoesonthisfoot?” It kills us. It is the funniest thing, and we spend more time than you can imagine mimicking the way you ask that question when you’re not around.

katiemouth

You’ve also started announcing to anyone who will listen that you will turn three on July the 29th. You can tell us the street we live on, and you even know MY birthday, which will really help your dad in the future. You are an impressive little kid, and it’s so cool to watch you turn into a real person. And speaking of turning into a real person, we signed you up for a real, big kid sport – soccer!

We found an indoor soccer league that hosts “Soccer Tots” on Saturdays. You’ll start playing with them in July, and I think I’m most excited about seeing you in that oversized soccer jersey. I can’t imagine anything more adorable. I showed you pictures on the website, and you seem eager to start. We think it’ll be good for you; we want you to know what it feels like to be a part of a team and have another structured place for you to listen and follow directions. Not to mention work out some wiggles, make new friends and have a good time.

So here I am… becoming a soccer mom.