Monday, January 31, 2011

18 months!

I just cannot believe that Banks is 18 months old! He is just so much fun these days. He's really into books again...which is great, however, I am VERY tired of reading his favorites over and over again. He is also into music. And asks to listen to it. Matt has been dreading this day since before Banks was born, but I will say that Banks is just as happy to jam out to Kings of Leon as he is to his children's CD's! He loves animals and farmers and tractors. And Sesame Street. We have a few Sesame Street books and Banks managed to learn the names of all the characters. So I TiVo'd a few episodes and he loves them...you know, all five seconds of what he'll sit through. He's saying pretty much anything we ask him to say...just in his own little way. We were all under the weather last week and Matt told Banks he was supposed to say "bless you" after someone sneezed. Sweet thing says "bess you" now after anyone coughs, clears their throat or sneezes. He's got the bases covered!
I've made it a tradition to celebrate half birthdays! Last year, we had a big family get together to celebrate his first half birthday. This year it was just us but we made the day special.
Opening presents:
We got him a new pop-up book (his latest obsession) and a puzzle. He's totally mastered all his other puzzles so I thought I was buying one that was a little more challenging. Not so much. He got it right the very first time.

Reading his new book with Daddy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Big Day

Monday Banks had his first day of Parents Day Out. He's going where we go to church, so I like that his surroundings and even some people are familiar to him. I know it seems like a trivial thing. Mothers who are unable to stay at home with their children take their babies to day care at 6 weeks and most of my friends have had their children involved in some kind of PDO for months now, but it is a big deal when it's your first child and your first day...no matter how old the child is. I have been SO excited for him to start. So excited to get his little "report cards" each day and for all the crafts that I will likely struggle with keeping or throwing away. Excited to pack his lunch and "talk" about his day when I pick him up.

I was explaining to his teacher, as we were dropping him off, that he'd probably cry when we left. He didn't. He basically jumped out of Matt's arms and wouldn't even let me kiss him goodbye. All day I had the "oh-no-I-left-my-kid-in-the-car" feeling. Either that or the "he's-napping-so-I-need-to-be-quiet" feeling. Although, I will say that six hours never passed so quickly. It was great for both of us. I think he really enjoyed himself. His report said that he learned about "the Lord is my helper." How great is that??? I love that he'll go to chapel and have little lessons about Jesus. His note also said that he "slept" for almost two hours. His teacher, Ms. Brenda, said that he cried a good bit trying to go to sleep...poor thing was probably confused as to why he was having to sleep on a mat on the floor! Ms. Brenda is apparently the fairy god-mother of mat napping and can make the sandman visit any nap-refusing toddler. And boy, was he exhausted when we got home. All afternoon he kept lying on the floor asking "night, night?" Wonder how many times Ms. Brenda told him "night, night" to get him to go to sleep?!?So, all in all, I'd say his first day was a successful one. Until he woke up yesterday with pink eye. Guess it's the price I pay for a few hours of freedom. This picture doesn't quite do the redness justice. It's pretty pitiful looking.
But don't let the sad eyes fool you...it hasn't slowed him down one bit.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Family dinner = DEE-saster

When Banks turned one I decided that I wanted to start doing dinners together as a family. Usually, Banks eats at 6:00 and with Matt and I liking to eat later, we would put him down and then eat after he went to bed. It worked perfectly...why in the world I wanted to complicate that I'll never know. Soooo, we tried it. And it was miserable. I couldn't get dinner together in time, he wouldn't eat what we were eating, he was having to go to bed later, etc and it just didn't work. After about a week of that I let it go and we went back to our old ways. Now here we are six months later and we're trying it again. And guess what? It's a disaster.

I'm dead set on eating as a family because I feel like it's the "right" thing to do. We can pray together, talk about our days, maybe do a little devotional on down the road, and just set the tone for sitting and staying at the table. Sounds Utopian, right? Well, here's how it actually goes down.

The minute my big toe steps into the kitchen to start cooking Banks begins chanting "pate" (plate) and "nin-ah" (dinner). This lasts the duration. He also wedges himself between me and the cabinets and uses his head to push my legs back. I move, he moves. He enjoys bringing truck loads of toys and insisting "up" for each of them so that by the end of my cooking the little counter space I have is now lined with "marmers" (farmers), blocks, balls, and so forth. When he's not terrorizing me, he is trying to climb into his high chair which usually requires a rescue of some sort. Don't forget about the incessant chanting. Once I am finally able to finish cooking we get the table set and say our blessing. I will say it is precious to see him make his prayer hands and yell "amen" at the end of the prayer. Although he did yell amen at the end of my singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star last night...maybe it was a rather motivating rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Anyway, plates are on the table. Matt and I are struggling to get a word in among making sure Banks doesn't feed his food to Buford, getting him more "gook" (milk), crackers, and cleaning his hands. He's finished by the time I've taken three bites of my food. So, we let him down while we finish and he will play independently for about .3 seconds and then he's bringing toys into the dining room, wanting to play "hut, hut" (football), or whatever else might suit his fancy. Last night I had terrible indigestion because I was trying to scarf my food down before a ball got launched into my salad. Needless to say, it's just not turning out how I'd imagined.

Now, if you'll recall, I'm attempting to simplify. Sounds like it, doesn't it??? So, I've decided yet again to postpone the family dinner. Maybe at two we can make it work. For now, I'd like to be able to enjoy my food, for Matt and I to be able to talk, and for Banks to be asleep while all that happens. So there. Does that make me a terrible mom? I mean, I just don't get how other people make family dinners work. I must really be missing something. Maybe one day we'll obtain the allusive family dinner. Til then, it's lights out for Banks, enjoyable cooking for me, and a peaceful dinner for the grown-ups. Sounds pretty simple.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grandparents

There's something awesome about grandparents and it's not just that they're free babysitters. It's just amazing to see them love your child just as much as you do. They love them when they're screaming their heads off and they love them when they're sweet little angels. And, they're much more patient and give presents and candy which will win over ANY child I know. Matt's mom, known to Banks as Mimi, came to stay with us this weekend, and while she was here I realized that grandparents are just about the only people you can brag to without modesty, feeling guilty or like you're, well, bragging. And it's awesome. Grandparents will watch your child perform every trick he knows, say every word he knows and sit through hours of home videos without so much as a single yawn. Grandparents are every bit as proud as we are and that's just fun to watch...and something worth bragging about!!

Here we were able to catch a snippet of Banks' new trick, counting. He's really got the hang of it, I'd say...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back to Basics

Everyone is talking about getting back to the basics. Well, at least Ina Garten and Sandy Wilson (our Pastor) are, and two is everybody, isn't it? In thinking about this principle, I realized that while parenting is the most difficult thing I've done, all our children really ask of us are the basics: love, food, shelter. Should be pretty simple, huh? It's why our children prefer the wrapping paper and boxes at Christmas over their actual toys. Well, as anyone who's ever had a child, been around a child or parent, or been a child should know that it's not quite that simple. And why is that? Are we making things harder than they have to be? For me, the simple answer is yes. I have always been an over-thinker...able to read WAY more into a situation than was actually there. Unfortunately, this didn't stop once I entered motherhood...it magnified. If he's fussy I'm trying to figure out why...is he teething, is he tired, is he hungry (to which the answer would always be yes), etc. News flash: it's next to impossible to figure out. Why all my rambling? I've decided to simplify. I don't make New Years resolutions but in 2011 I would like to make things a little less complicated for myself. Like how vague I am? That way I can't fail. Anyway, enough contemplation and on to some pictures of Banks being just the way he should be: childlike and simple.
Playing peek-a-boo in Matt's shirts.

Nearly-naked and on a ladder...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Poo-poo. Bye-bye, choo-choo."

Davis Kidd, our local bookstore, has a fantastic kids area complete with two train tables and more toys than any kid could ever ask for. We love going there to play, however, we had quite a rocky start. One of our first visits, Banks had a dirty diaper. When I went to the car to change him, the poop smooshed all the way up his back. I gave him the keys to play with while I cleaned him up, stripped him down to his diaper and Keds and went to throw the diaper in the trash can. Little did I know that he had locked the doors and my purse, phone and keys were now locked in the car. Soooo, I had to take my little nekkid baby back into the bookstore and borrow another mom's phone to call Matt. Strike one.

After that incident, I was a little embarassed about going back so we took a month off and finally I had enough courage to try again. This time, we went and played and decided to stay for story time. Ms. Marjorie, the storytime leader hadn't gotten to page two before Banks PROJECTILE vomits across the room. I was mortified, you hear me? There was just so much of it and it was so smelly. Ms. Marjorie continued to read, the other moms inched their babies away from our mess, and everyone continued on about their business while I worked feverishly to clean it up. Thank the Lord a friend was there with his son and was able to help me out. Strike two. My mom said I'd better be careful or they'd put up a picture of us like they do the bad check writers.

Now, let me back up for a second. About a month ago, we started talking to Banks about tee-tee and poo-poo. I figured it couldn't hurt to start talking about that stuff early on. He's very interested in it. You can't go to the bathroom around here without Banks following you in there to say "tee-tee?, poo-poo?" And more recently, he started saying poo-poo to us either before or after he actually poo-pooed. I have been amazed...not that we're heading to potty training or anthing like that, but it's a good sign, right?

So, today we're back at Davis Kidd playing-they were having Kindermusik this week but we opted out today after Banks' disasterous performance there on Tuesday-and he tells me "poo-poo." My nose confirms it and I tell him we have to go home so we can change his diaper. No more car diaper changing...remember strike one...so he declares to all the other moms "Poo-poo. Bye-bye, choo-choo." Strike three? Nah. Another bodily function at the book store? Yes, but this one pales in comparison.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bossy

Molly, my friend who does not have a blog (ahem), tells me that I do not update my blog frequently enough. So, to please my readers I'm going to try to be more on the ball about posting. We'll see how that goes.

I'm not quite sure when the terrible two's actually start, even though the answer seems obvious. Some have told me the very day their toddler turned two he/she became a terror and others have said it starts around 18 months. Oh, it is nearing my friends. Banks has gotten very good at telling me what to do. "Mommy, gook (milk)", "mommy, sit", mommy, boot (book)". Every now and then he'll use his manners and say "up, peas" but he prefers to boss me around. It's pretty amusing to see him being so directive and whenever he does say "peas" I can't help but do whatever it is he's demanded of me. He hasn't gotten to the phase where he wants to do things all on his own or everything is "mine" although he has been going around the house saying "my daddy" lately. Most friends recommend time out for dealing with the terrible two's...well, that and a spanking spoon. You know, I just have a hard time seeing how it'll work...whether he'll understand why he's being put in a corner and if he'll EVER stay put but I guess I'll give it a try. Either that or he'll be bossing me around for the rest of my life. Not that time out will stop me from catering to him...he is my little bebe, after all.

A non-bossy moment this morning: creating his masterpiece.
He loves these little crayons that Santa brought.

I'd also like to take a moment to advertise for my new favorite product. Banks got some flash cards for Christmas this year that both he and I are obsessed with. So far he has learned "sir-kul", "heart", and "stah", can point out objects that are squares and can identify almost every picture. I'm convinced they're making him a smarty. They're durable and touch-and-feel so he has fun playing with, stacking and sorting them too. So for today's public service announcement: go to Borders and buy your kid some flash cards now!!!