Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our little Jokster ( Is that even a word?)

OK, so I should be watching LOST right now, but Boyd is stuck at work, and I tried watching it without him, and it just wasn't the same.. So, I'll have to wait another day to find out what happens with the "Oceanic 6." So, I thought I would write about our little jokster.

Our first indication that he was going to be a comedianwas when he started changing the words to " Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." He would start singing Twinkle Twinkle and then he would say thinks like "little Mommy" Or Twinkle Twinkle little Eli. He would just butst out laughing, getting a kick out of it. Lately, he has been saying the opposite of what he knows to be true, like when we ask him to sound out a letter he'll do a sound of another (knowing full well the correct answer) and then just start giggling. Or, He'll call me a "big boy" instead of a "big girl". He thinks it is so funny. He just giggles and giggles and it makes me laugh. I hope he always has his sense of humor.

On a side note, Gavin is making progress in the potty training area. He pretty much went on the "big boy (or girl when he is joking) potty all day, except for when we were at the park. This is huge since he couldn't even get him to go near the potty a couple of weeks ago. It is amazing how they all of a sudden seem older and just change and try new things. I feel like Gavin "grew up" a bit this past week and it is showing. Now, I just need to try to get him to pee standing up, go in the toilet instead of the potty, and figure out what to do when we're at the park, since he will only sit on a little potty". Any ideas? I guess I can go buy the portable potty.

By the way, I looked up jokster since it was not passing the spell checker and it turns out it isn't a "defined word, yet", but it is in the "urban dictionary" for slang words. Does that count?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Near Perfect Weekend

This past Memorial weekend was spectacular. You couldn't ask for better weather and we got to spend the weekend together as a family. Here are our highlights.
FAMILY PICTURES:
We took family pictures on Saturday morning, which was a lot of fun since we took them in Central Park. Our photographer likes to capture the "story" of the family, so that is what she did on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, part of that story was that the kids didn't want to have their pictures taken after the first few! Click on the link to see a few highlights from that session..
OUR INAUGURAL FAMILY BIKE RIDE: Boyd bought a bike last year for Gavin's birthday. He put a child seat on the back and he and Gavin have shared many amazing bike trips together. Me, never.. It was fine last year because I was pregnant, but this year I started to feel a little jealous, so I finally got a bike. So, that just left Eli. Luckily one of Boyd's coworkers gave him a bike trailer for 2. So, Saturday we took our first trip and it was amazing. I loved it. We loved it.. We took another ride on Monday!

Yes I made the boys wear helmets!
video
BOYD PLAYED FOOTBALL.. He managed not to get too hurt, but he is extremely sore! I rarely see him play sports, so it was fun.
TWO SHARED MEALS WITH MON, ADAM , AND KIDS.. Our good friends are moving, but luckily they are only going to be 1 1/2 hours a way, but it is still sad to see them move a little further away. We are glad we were able to eat good food, play games, and enjoy fun times with them 2x this weekend. Hey, we had to make up for lost time.. We realized that there are 9 of us total when we were all together and how amazing that just 10 years ago it was just Mon and I hanging out in Paris! (wish I took some pics!)

PICNIC IN THE PARK WITH FRIENDS: A 5:00 picnic in Central Park on Memorial Day was the best way to end the weekend.
Eli's buds, Brandon and Jack

Bye Bye Book Buddies

Last Wednesday Gavin had his final "Book Buddies" class. Book Buddies is a class/workshop/preschool type thing he had once a week. It was his favorite day of the week. Boyd dropped him off in the morning and I picked up up right before lunch.

Here he is with the backpack he chose.. All set to go..

Time to jump in the stroller!



Here is a description of what he had to look forward to each week:
"Your little one will learn to love literature as we explore various themes of friendship, seasons, family, nutrition and others through stories and exploratory play. Stories will come alive through puppets, story scenes, and interactive play. Each week we will discover a new story through sensory centers, and with the hands on activities and play we will connect math, science, art and physical movement with literature. While your child is having fun, your child's thinking and observation skills, gross and fine motor skills, listening and language skills as well as social skills will develop and grow! Of course, the class wouldn't be complete without a special snack inspired by the story that week! "


So great, right? We have felt so lucky that Amy (his teacher and a friend from church, who is extremely talented with children) was willing to do this and at such an affordable rate. In Manhattan, classes like that go for 6 or 7x what she charged! So, Thanks Amy! Gavin sure adores her.





He loves his friends from Book Buddies!

Audrey, Jack, Jane, Sarah, Madeline, and Gavin

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It Happened Again

It is amazing to me how many people seem to think they know how to parent my children. As a New York mom I am constantly getting advice from perfect strangers on the street, on the subway, in the bus, and just about anywhere on how to raise my children, or if not advice, comments on what is wrong with my children. I have been told that my kids aren't dressed warmly enough, that I need to be careful because they will fall, that they are hungry and I should feed them. The list goes on and on.

My favorite story is when Gavin was a little baby. To preface this story, Gavin had a large bump called a hemotoma when he was a baby. It was quite large. Anyway, I was carrying him in the baby Bjorn and I was walking in the street and this lady who had to be at least 90 walked past me with her cane and as she walked past me she yelled and pointed with her cane at Gavin's head and said with scratchy, nasal tone, " You gotta get that head fixed." She said it very matter-of-factly. I have to say I laughed pretty hard about that after the fact, but at the time I was quite sensitive about it.

At playgroups the moms compare notes on comments we receive and what responses we should have given instead of the weak ones we usually give. My favorite response that my friend Amanda came up with was for us to say to the person giving the unwanted advice, "Can I get your number? Because I will need to give you a call the next time I need to know what to do with my child?".. I haven't used it yet, and I probably won't. I know that we should just smile and say thanks and move on, but it is hard to do that. As a mom, I am constantly second guessing myself anyway. We do our best and we know our children the best.

Anyway, yesterday, it happened again. I was riding the bus home after picking up Gavin and his friend Jane from preschool. Eli was with me as well. Eli woke up right as it was time to go, so I put him in my carrier, on my back and went on my way. I knew that he would be getting hungry, but we had to pick up the kids, and I knew we had at least 45 minutes before he got hungry. Anyway, on our bus ride home all was going well until about 10 blocks from our stop. At this point Eli started to get a little fussy. But, we were almost there and he wasn't even crying hard, just fussing a bit. A lady next to me in the bus proceeded to tell me that he was crying because he was uncomfortable. "Ummm, Thanks", I said. I knew that it was more that he was hungry, but she didn't know that I wasn't going to tell her that. I hoped that we would be done at that point. Nope. She continued to badger me and tell me that the carrier was uncomfortable and that "the carriers are practical, but that they weren't good for the baby." Ahhhhhhh! I tried to be nice, but at this point I started to get upset. I told her, "Please, I know my baby, please leave me alone. I say sarcastically, "I am sure you are an expert." She continues to tell me that she has children and 14 grandchildren and that "HER BABIES NEVER CRIED." I tell her sarcastically "WOW, a baby who never cries?" "I have never heard of such a thing." "That is amazing!" She continued to tell me that, "if I take care of them they won't ever cry." Ahhhhhh. I know I should have bit my tongue. I tried to just say thanks and move on, but she kept going. I know this won't be the last time I receive unwanted advice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An airplane

Sorry, I couldn't resist sharing this picture. Gavin was playing with a hanger and then came into me this morning and said, "Mommy, I am an airplane."

on his own

We learned that Gavin likes to take risks at his own pace and on his own. Gavin has always been a timid boy. One thing he has always been a little wary of is water. He hated his bath from early on. He screamed through most of his baths up until he was about 8 months. We spent a week on the beach last summer and he wouldn't go near the water until the last day. This weekend while we were on our trip to Boston we stayed at a hotel that had an indoor water park. We were so excited for Gavin to try it out. He was excited. He had no problem getting into the water, but he was very hesitant of doing much else. He screamed after he went down one of the small water slides. He wanted to be near his daddy and he didn't want to try many things out. We kept trying to encourage and push a little, but he wouldn't explore further. Our final hour there, we let Gavin go in the water on his own. It was as only a foot deep and we were close by. It was amazing to see him start to experiment with the water. He would put his cheek in the water and then his other cheek and then the back of his head until most of his went under. He got more bold with some of the water fountains. He just became more comfortable in the water and it was all on his own. I realized that I need to back off a little bit and let him try things on his own because I think he will be more brave and will eventually figure it out on his own. He is a risk taker when he is on his own. Maybe this will happen with potty training. :)

Mother's Day Weekend

This mother's day weekend we took a little trip up to Boston to see Uncle Loren who is finishing his first year at Harvard and will be leaving for Cambodia to serve a mission for 2 years. We wanted to get up there and see him before he headed back west. We had a great time seeing Loren and seeing some other friends while we were there. We also stayed at a very "kid friendly" hotel that had an indoor water park. Here in New York we feel like we are continually getting scowled out for bringing our children to dinner, or bringing them shopping. So, it was nice to be somewhere where people gave us a sympathetic, kind smile when our kids were acting up instead of a snarl and a remark on how we're not raising our children correctly. Gavin loved the water park. All in all we had a great time. However, for future trips we will not leave New York on a Friday afternoon. Traffic was horrible. It took us 6 and 1/2 hours to get to Boston (normally closer to 4). Eli also had a hard time sleeping. He was up every hour both nights at the hotel. But, he does have his first TOOTH as a result!
The longer I have been a mother the more I understand and appreciate my own mom. While stuck in traffic listening to my screaming/whining child in the back, I had a flashback to sitting in the back seat of one of our old family cars looking at the back of my mom's head. I remembered all of the whining I did in that seat and it was like I finally realized how much angst and frustration that my whining caused my mom. Thanks Mom for putting up with all that whining and for loving me anyway. I hope that I can have the same patience you had with us with my boys.














Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Homecoming!

Boyd travels quite often. Most of the time is only for a day. This week he traveled for 3 days. He was down in beautiful Miami while we were here. yeah.. I wasn't so happy about it. I know he didn't get to enjoy the beach or anything, but I was still envious. To make matters worse, Gavin got sick with the hand-foot-mouth virus (nasty virus that causes blisters on mouth/feet/hands). Poor Gav. To say the least it was a rough couple of days...

Needless to say when Boyd returned, there were all smiles from the boys..


They love their dad. I love their dad. And dad did not disappoint. As a consolation prize to actually making the trip down to Miami and playing on the beach for 3 days, he brought the boys back some jelly beans. Gavin didn't even know what he missed. I, however, am still pouting. :)




Nature Vs. Nurture

Gavin and Eli have been different from the start.. Now, by saying they're different it doesn't mean one is better than the other.. JUST DIFFERENT. They both have a very unique look. They both have very distinct personalities. There approach to movement has also been very different. Gavin was fairly cautious (as mentioned previously) and didn't even start crawling until around 9 or 10 months. Eli started getting around by rolling at 4 months and was scooting by 6 and crawling by 7. He is already into to everything! I can't move things fast enough for him. He gets this light in his eye when he sees something and he makes a b-line for it as you can see from these pictures where he sees my camera!






The other day I started to wonder if they are so different because of the environments they were in when they were this age. Gavin lived in a 400 square foot apartment when he was this age. There wasn't anywhere for him to go. Not only that, he didn't have a sibling to show him that movement was an option. Eli is growing up in a 950 square foot apartment ( I know this is still small for many of you) and he has a sibling to show him what to do. I guess what I do know is that Eli is excited to explore the world around him. He is keeping me on my toes! But, as you can see from these pictures and videos, he keeps us smiling as well!



video

Monday, May 5, 2008

FINALLY!

I have planned on starting this blog for months, and like many other projects or goals it hasn’t happened. I have enjoyed reading blogs of friends and family and have been envious, but until now have lacked the ability to get it done. I think the concept is brilliant. It is a way to keep a journal and share with family and friends what is going on in our lives, all in one. I guess I have been a little hesitant to start one, because I have never been much of a writer, and now that I have been out of school for so long, I feel like it has gotten significantly worse. I also didn’t know what I would write about. But, ever since my friend Monica started her blog, I have thought about what I would write about that day if I did have a blog, and I am amazed at the daily experiences we have that I don’t want to forget. I have lived in New York for nearly 6 years now and I have very little record of my experiences here and it is so sad. So many things have happened here.. I got my first “grown-up” job. I met my husband. I had my first child and now I have two.. I have failed to record so many precious memories, so now more than ever I want to make sure we do it. No regrets just move forward, right? So, now you know my intention in attempting this blog. I want to look back and read about what we were feeling and what crazy experiences we had, and what funny things the boys did and said. It will be a record for our little family., but hopefully it will be something our friends and family can enjoy, especially since we are so far away from many of you.