The Artistic Mind of a Three Year Old!

Not long ago I spoke about the dead silence that most mothers know – the silence that alerts you to the antics of your 2-3 year old child, sending you leaping from your task to see what sorts of shenanigans your child is up to.   I can’t remember exactly what i was doing at the time but last Friday I recall doing something with Violet (my best guess is feeding her) and after a few moments I realized that all sounds were gone from Jacob’s room – I shook the fear from my face, nestled Violet into her pack and play and hurried upstairs to find my son sitting cross legged on my bed with two books he had received for his birthday.  I’m sure you’ve seen these books before, the ones that come with markers – yeah, brilliant idea for toddlers – whomever came up with this oh so brilliant idea…you suck.  I had placed the books on my tall dresser, the one that I thought Jacob could not reach and the one we had previously used to keep items out of reach from Jacob – darn those growth spurts.

Ever since we started potty training weeks ago my son has developped an interest in being nude all the time ….I guess it takes too much effort to unbuttong your shorts, yank down your drawers and plant your rear on the toilet seat so 80% of the time at home I am trying to get him to put his underwear back on.  So……there he was my son, buck naked, sitting on my bed with my beautiful white duvet……covered with black marker from head to toe……including genetalia!  Good gosh!  I can’t understand the young child’s mind!  The whole first I’m going to write in this book, then I’m going to write on my face, then my body, oh heck lets color the penis and testicles too thing just astounds me – I don’ find anything interesting about it at all – but there he was all wide eyed and proud of his creativity.  After some much needed time in “naughty land” and a scrub down in the bath we were good to go again – I’m pretty sure he knows that if he ever does that again he might never see another marker for the rest of his life….ever.

Here is a sampling of his artistic talent…

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Sunshine After a Difficult Day

After a day like today, where at the end of the night I am left feeling utterly exhausted….there are no words that can make me feel comforted but always….yes always, photos of my children can make me smile and bring me back to what mommyhood is all about.  Tonight the sunshine after my day came when I uploaded these pictures of Violet – how could they not make you feel all warm and cozy inside.

Three Year Old Flattery

As my efforts to get the kids out of the house every single day this week, I found myself needing a shower to get all the heat and sunscreen off my body and since my son (who has had showers with me before) was also dirty we hopped into the shower quickly together to rinse off.  I’ve often wondered when I would know it was time to start being more discreet around him in regards to body parts and other normally private things.  My son is pretty educated, as far as three year olds can properly be educated (boys have a penis, girls have vagina’s) when it comes to the usual sex organ stuff – so I never thought much about it I suppose….that is until today when in the shower, Jacob loudly proclaimed as I laened forward to wash his face…..

Mommy, your boobies are wiggling!

Mmhmmm, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh or have that straight face on where you’re not sure if someone is making fun of you or not so I simply responded that “yes that did seem to be the case”…I continued to wash him up before he could make any honest, from the mouth of babes, coming about body parts down south.

Today marks the day!  No more showers with Mommy!

And Then He Peed Where?!

I made a decision this week that no matter what, if the weather permitted it, I would get out of the house every day with the kids from now on. I’ve recognized that all the stresses of the past months were weighing heavily on our shoulders and the way that I’ve resolved to get the stress out of our lives is to spend more time together doing fun things. I have drastically reduced my internet time and moved on with the plan to get outdoors and enjoy the summer! For the past couple of days we’ve been enjoying the nearby park that has a small splash pad and quite honestly its been quite a treat! It’s been hilarious to watch Jacob experience it all – I totally pegged him for a sprinkler lover because he adores the pool and has a blast in the bath rub but nope! I watched him squeal in frustration every single time a drop of water touched him and then he’d run screeching from the splash pad towards Violet and I shouting NO SPRINKLER NO! as if he were throwing profanities at it….heh. I’m going to assume that if we keep going he’ll eventually get used to the idea of giant sprinklers but if not then I guess he’ll always be that weird kid hanging at the sidelines too afraid fo get wet for fear he might shrivel up if the water touched him!

Today we took a walk to our local sandwich shop as a part of our outing, picked up a few sandwiches and made our way back to the park – Jacob really enjoyed sitting on the grass and eating. It wasn’t too long after we had started eating and playing that Jacob hollered that he needed to go pee. I started to pack up our things to head off to our house to use the bathroom when he suddenly exclaimed that he no longer needed to pee and that he was going to play. I had not had to deal with the “I need to pee!” in public yet so I asked him if he was certain that he did not need to pee and he gave me a sweet smile and responded that he was no longer in need of a trip back home – I totally should have trusted my gut instinct because a few moments later I looked up to find my son standing in the splash pad, legs spread wide apart, and a look of horror on his face as he shouted “oh no mommy I peed in my pants!”….outings are always an adventure I tell you! Thankfully, the water always washes down the drain and it wasn’t a big deal but I think next time we’ll take off running for home when the urge to pee comes on! I will not teach my son to pee in the bushes because I wouldn’t teach my daughter to pee in the bushes so I think that it should work that way for both children, regardless of their gender!

It was a pretty awesome day, even Violet got to enjoy some of the nice weather while laying on her blanket on the grass….too bad the only shady spot was on a hill and every time I put her down it only took a few moments before she was practically rolling away from me down the hill – sigh…like I said, never a dull day!

Daddy’s Day 2009

I’m not kidding when I say that I don’t believe in the idea of Father’s Day so much as I believe in the idea of Daddy’s day. I honestly don’t think that every man out there, simply because he is a Father, deserves a day devoted to their goodness and wonder. We all know that we live in a world where many parents, especially Father’s are not in the picture or not doing their parts to nurture and grow their children into adults – that’s why I’ve always said that to me there is a difference between being a father and being a Daddy. A father is someone who is simply so by the mere fact that the child has their DNA coursing their every genetic component of their body while a Daddy is so much more. A Daddy is someone who is there for his children, cares for them, loves them…..A Daddy is someone who is not afraid to get down on the floor, act like a monster, wear a tiara, or read the same story for the 800th time when its already past bedtime. A Daddy is someone who kisses owies, picks you up when you’ve fallen down, and comes to your sporting activities and dance recitals because he wouldn’t miss it for the world. I can not ever explain to you how fortunate and lucky I feel that my children are to have Mike as their Daddy so today and every day we celebrate him and what he means to our family because in my eyes he is the exact example of what it means to be a Daddy.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddy’s Out There!

Dear Violet: A Letter at 5 Months

Dear Monkey Girl….

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A lot of people wonder how often I have been writing these letters to my children and I’ve got to tell you Violet that there is no particular pattern except that I write them when I feel its the right time. It’s totally unbelievable that you are already 5 months old and quickly approaching that half year, 6 month mark that to me means you are creeping towards your first birthday. I know that I can not hold time back, even though many days I’d like for you to stay so small and so dependent – the truth is, I am excited for you to experience this world and thrilled that I get to watch you enjoy it for a while. I am pretty sure that I have not written to you in some time, perhaps it has even been 3 months but at this point I have not written to your brother since the day before you were born – as a result I suddenly feel an urge to write to you both and so his letter shall follow yours by a few days,

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So much has happened in the past few months and what I’m seeing blossom before my very eyes is a sweet little girl with a ton of possibilities for her life. I have noticed that you are quite the chatterbox and I wish I could understand the things that you are trying to say to me as you babble and squawk in various pitches and tones. Recently you realized that the toes attached to your feet are pretty great things to hold on to and I’ve watched you work pretty hard to try and successfully deposit one of those toes, I think your big toe, into your mouth – I’m happy to report that you have not had much success in this area which I’m sure is disappointing to you but kind of a relief to me since the idea of anybody sucking on their toes is sort of revolting to me!

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About a month ago I took you for a doctors appointment where you weighed in at 13 pounds and 25 inches tall and the doctor commented that we “had another tall one on our hands” and I’ve got to say kid, you definitely have some long arms and legs. I recently started calling you my monkey girl because of how often people comment on your long skinny arms – they remind me of the monkeys we saw at the zoo on our recent trip as a family. I did not even expect that this nickname would befall you because my own father, your grandfather, called me monkey as a child and I was not particularly fond of that – so if the nickname sticks and you ever get annoyed or bothered by it, I promise not to call you it ever again. You seem so much smaller to me then your brother at this age but that very well may be the simple fact that you are a girl and he is a boy but he out weighed you but nearly 4 pounds when he was 4 months old. You did so well at the doctors office that day – your face full of smiles as the doctor examined you and I’ve got to say this is probably something about you that is so significant to me. You smile so much Violet, and I’m pretty sure that you are not aware in the least about how much people enjoy this about you…..people simply look at you, your eyes look back into theirs and then suddenly you have this giant smile plastered across your face that reveals the deep dimple on your left cheek….everyone loves to be around you, because your joy is incredibly contagious.

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I’ve always hoped and dreamed that I could give my children the most normal life as possible – I have only the best of intentions for your life Violet and while in the past I have promised you that I would do my best to give your life a sense of normalcy and safety – it occurs to me this week that sometimes things are going to occur that are our of my control, things that are unpredictable and no matter how hard I try throughout your life there will come times when you are confronted with things that are maybe difficult to understand or things that make you feel sad or even mad. I love you and as your mom it is up to your father and I to make choices and decisions for you that hopefully will attribute to a safe, and loving family life – I apologize now if ever there comes a time where you feel that I did not do my best as your mother to help keep that safe loving feeling in your life. I know that through the years, especially as you grow to a teenager, there will come times where we do not see eye to eye but I want you to know that even if I do not agree with what you are saying I will always listen – and I hope that you will always have an understanding that I have nothing but love and a hope for good things for you.

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It occurs to me that the next letter that I write to you will be so different because you will most likely be doing so many new things like sitting up along, eating real people food, and maybe even crawling – I’m sitting here typing on the laptop and watching you roll around on the floor, giggling and holding tight to those pesky toes and while I watch you my heart is filled with warmth and love…..I want to always remember these days and I guess I want you to know of them to, which is why I write these letters to both of my children. I want to remember the times when the wipes package with it’s crinkly squishy sound was the coolest thing ever to you and the times that your big brother could simply look at you and you’d break out in a giant full faced smile. Mostly though, I’d like to remember the day when you’d simply let me hold you, and lay my head atop yours and just breathe you in – every inch of you so sweet and perfect – I know there will come a time when I will ache to have these days back, and so I take them now, when they are so freely given……

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I love you monkey girl

Mama

Crash, Boom, Clang Went the Easel

My three year old has a unique ability of figuring the exact moment that it would be best to go looking for mischief. I’ve often remarked in my blog that I felt my son was getting smarter then me and I really believe this is becoming more true as the days pass on. I am sure a lot of you mom’s out there can recognize the warning signs….you know the ones give you that “this can not be good feeling”. In our household it’s always been dead silence that gives the mischief maker away and we’ve had many moments where Mike and I in an exhausted state have suddenly realized that there is silence coming from Jacob’s room and one of us goes running upstairs to make sure our cat doesn’t have a hair cut or our walls don’t have new art…..thankfully the first of those tragedies has never happened, but you never know – he’s a smart smart boy that Jacob.

I have been in a sort of slump this week, despite the fact that Monday started with a smile on face and a feeling of hope for an excellent summer – but the series of complicated news that has transpired over the past couple of days has quickly filled both Mike and I with a lot of emotions that we are still sorting through – one of the things that has transpired is that my aunt was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and while I haven’t seen her in many years, it is news that is till capable of giving me a swelling pit at the center of my stomach. I’ve got to say that in the past my son has had an excellent ability to sense my emotions and as a result he always adjusted his behavior to a more quiet relaxed stated when he sensed that I was needed some time to think through some things….but this week, he’s not catching on and I’m probably doing a great job at keeping my feelings a secret from him.

It should have come as no surprise that the Dictator was up to mischief as the silence was seeped down to the main floor – Jacob always chatters when he plays…he chatters and he sings and so when the noise stopped I should have caught on but I did not. I was sitting on the couch with Violet in arms, I had just finished feeding her and I was just sort of staring at her as I pondered many things deep in my heart. I remember looking towards the stairs when I heard a sort of clanging noise coming from the hallway and quickly I shouted out to my son asking what he was up to in his bedroom…..the message I received was short but said in a very kind and sweet voice…..

“Nothing Mommy, Just playing!!”

It was only a moment after that as I was falling deep into my own thoughts again that a loud crash came from my stairs and hundreds of magnetic letters/numbers and side walk chalk poured down the stairs, followed by my son’s little tykes easel – I was so startled and I let out a loud “Oh my gosh Jacob what the heck are you doing!!” while I clutched Violet and got up from the couch bellowing for Jacob to get away from the stairs and wait for me in his room. With Violet snuggled in at my chest I weaved my way over plastic numbers and pieces of used chalk and somehow made a track around the upside down easel on my stairs, placed Violet safely into her crib and hurried to Jacob’s room to ask him what he was doing – his only reply was that he wanted to play with his easel downstairs. I lectured him about how unsafe it was for him to try and carry his easel downstairs and let him know that he needed to pick up every letter, number and piece of chalk that had fallen down. I’m pretty sure that he figured out my look of exasperation and exhaustion because he quickly apologized and hugged me before sauntering off and cleaning up his mess (after I had picked up the easel).

Thankfully we have all of the doors upstairs except his own child proofed bedroom sealed shut during the day with child proof locks – I can only imagine what other sorts of shenanigans he might get into while I’m changing Violet’s diaper or talking on the phone to the same telemarketing company that keeps calling us no matter how many times we tell them to take us off their list!

Never a dull day in our household! No Sirree!

Back To Work

It’s tradition at my work that after one of us has a baby whether you’re the new mom or new dad, we generally hold a little lunch where we can celebrate the new birth. I am quite fond of the way that my work celebrates all the little things like birthdays, goodbyes, and new babies to name a few – I think its great to connect with each other this way. It’s pretty common that a month or two after the baby is born the new mom’s will bring the baby by work to meet everyone but bad weather, sick children, doctors appointments, and other obligations have kept Violet and I away, until today.

I have to admit that I was not feeling too enthusiastic about making the long trek into downtown today with baby in tow, especially since Mike and I have been dealing with some pretty emotional news – the dreary rain didn’t make it anymore of a fascinating idea but I knew that if I pushed myself to just get there I would have a great time, and that I did. When I am not at work, I forget how much I love and appreciate my colleagues and that connection to the outside of mommyhood world that I love. It was truly a nice visit with them and I think the little Diva was able to convince them all that she is an angel baby with all her smiles, coo’s and lack of crying…..heh – show off!

It occurs to me that I am just 7 months away from the end of my maternity leave now, seems so far away and yet so soon. I was able to enjoy a nice lunch today, chat with colleagues whom I also consider friends, share the baby and have a nice day out with Violet while Jacob was at home with his grandmother. I remarked at one point that it felt great just to be out of the house doing something other then shopping for groceries or going to the park – it was as if I was feeling real again, breathing finally after the long winter indoors…..

Now I’m back in the reality of my home and my children…..dealing with a bunch of stuff I shouldn’t have to be dealing with, but through it all I’m enjoying some extra special guitar hero rocking time with Mike tonight…….

In my dreams I can actually play the silly game better then him!

Three Year Old Friendship!

I want my children to understand what it means to be friends with someone and I hope through the years they are able to make good friends along the way.  I have had the same close friend for 26 years this summer and I honestly can say that it’s awesome to be able to say that – I want and hope that my children will experience something similar.  Jacob thinks that everyone is his friend and every time that we see children walking down the street, shopping in  a store, or at a park, he will express that this kid is his friend and he should play with them.  I’ve been trying to teach him about what it means to have friends and what it means to be friends with someone.  Lately, we’ve been spending a lot of time with a little boy we know through my brother….Liam is 2 years old, born 2 days before Jacob on June 7th 2006 and it’s quite obvious that Jacob and Liam are becoming friends.

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Liam calls Jacob his “homeboy” from time to time and I think it’s the cutest thing – they love to spend time with each other and while they do have the occasionaly bought of not wanting to share or getting grumpy because the other person has a toy they want…..they get along quite well.  I am glad Jacob has someone his age to hang out with and they may both be going to the same Catholic school if we decide to send Jacob to the new school opening up in our area!  I think its quite funny that Jacob and Liam have become buddies because they are kind of opposite in a lot of ways….Liam is taller than Jacob by at least an inch (maybe more) and weighs a full 20 pounds more than Jacob too.  Liam has dark brown hair and Jacob is quite obviously blond…..Liam is packed full of energy and could easily beat out Jacob at any race – but Jacob is more cautious and slow…Liam is quite obviously a Mommy’s boy while Jacob is a Daddy’s Boy……

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Despite their differences they have many similarities too….they both like the Wonder Pets (kill me) and trains – and they both love to play outdoors, especially together!  I really really hope that over the course of the next couple of years they are able to become good friends and in the process maybe I’ll gain a new friend too, since I’ve been spending a lot more time with Liam’s mom!

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I’m hoping that next summer liam and Jacob can play on the same T-Ball team so that I have another mother to chat with while they play! Sometimes I can be purely self-motivated!  Heh

The Dictator Grows!

I have to brag on Jacob for a quick moment because I was so not looking forward to taking him to the doctor’s today – from about 2 years on, Jacob just became totally afraid of doctors and would freak out and cry every time so this time I spent some time with him last night and this morning talking about what happens when we go to the doctors for check ups and we pretended to listen to each other’s hearts, I looked in his ears and he looked in mine and we spent time being goofy and opening our mouths and saying awww awwww awwww……he totally bought into it and every time he’d listen to my heart I’d say, oh that doesn’t hurt Doctor….
He just marched into the office today and told our Paediatrician that he was not going to cry because he was three now and got up on the table and let the Doctor have a good check up!

The doctor laughed and said well I was going to ask you if he was talking well but I guess I don ‘t have to because he’s a CHATTERBOX isn’t he? I just laughed and say “I know!”……He asked some questions about Jacob’s social interactions then did all the usual check up stuff.

I was laughing so hard because Jacob’s head has always been sort of 50-75th percentile but now it’s in the 80th percentile and the doctor said ohh you have a big head probably for your big brain…he laughed and I said is that ok that his head is big and the doctor said oh yes it’s fine it just means he needs big hats! LOL Now Jacob keeps telling me I need to buy him big hats because the doctor said so!

Jacob is off the charts in height for age – above the 100th percentile at 42 inches tall.

Weight for Age he was at the 70th percentile at 33 pounds

Weight for Stature (height) he was not on the charts, below the zero percentile but the doctor said that this was not indicitive of anything, just that Jacob was tall and lean and probably really active which is very true – he is always outside and loves to play!

It was a pretty great appointment if you ask me!

I can’t believe he’s THREE!!!