Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Three Amigos

Z, like many children, sleeps with stuffed animals.  Unlike many children, however, his go-to friends are not teddy bears.  Instead he has Mr. Penguin, Mr. Beagle (earlier in life he saved time by referring to this pair as "Pengle"), and Fuzzy Froggy. The intrepid trio:

Three Amigos
(shown here in the "chairs" made for them using waffle-blocks)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Puppet Master

Friday we were signed up to go see a puppet show at an area library with some other kids and moms we know. It was supposed to start at 11 and be about an hour.  Great, I thought, that should work perfectly with N's nap schedule, he'll be up from nap #1 in time to leave and be back in time for nap #2.  And we'll still be able to go to the gym at 3:30 again.  HAHAHAHA said Murphy.  N got up at 7:20.  Not too bad, though it would make naptime at 9 a little more difficult.  Nine rolls around and he's not even remotely tired.  9:15 and still no go.  At 9:30 I put him down regardless, because he's been up for two hours and that's usually about his limit.  Now I'm thinking we might have trouble getting to the show on time, because he usually sleeps for about an hour and a half.  Wrong again!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hello, gym!

The gym we belong to was chosen entirely because it has on-site childcare, which means I can drop the boys off and forget about them for an hour or two.  Before N was born this provided me with a sanity break every day, where I could hop on a bike and read a book without having to worry about a toy bashing me on the head.  Or being deafened by the ABC song being "sung" at the top of the lungs.  The side benefit of losing weight was nice and all, but if I'm being honest it was really about the break.  Once N was born, though, it became muuuch more complicated.  Infants have to have “appointments” to ensure the baby to staff ratio doesn’t get out of whack, which means I have to PLAN.  That’s a four letter word around here.  I make plans and Murphy just laughs at me.  So prior to today, N had only been to the gym once…and on that occasion Z just about flipped out when he saw the PARKING LOT, screamed the whole way into the building, and apparently screamed anytime someone came near N.  And then screamed when I came to pick them up, even though he’d been fine right up until he heard my voice.  So between the scheduling and the freakouts, it hasn’t been worth the effort to try and get out there, so it’s been a good four months since I’ve been.  Today, though, I decided it was time.  N has been doing pretty well on his new sleep schedule, so it was possible to make an appointment with a fair amount of confidence.  Zach is pretty well adjusted to the fact that he has a brother, now, so he's less anxious about that kind of thing.  And I had a new book that was interfering with my ability to do anything not related to reading it.  So I made an appointment for 3:30, figuring that N would get up from his afternoon nap around 3.  HAHAHAHAHA…I finally woke him up at 3:25.  Luckily the gym isn’t too far, and they give you a 15 minute grace period on these appointments.  We get there, Z is still okay.  We walk in and the lady at the front desk remembers him by name (warm fuzzy feelings ensue) and he’s okay.  Walk into the kid zone and the ladies get all excited to see him, ooh and aah over N, and we’re doing okay.  In fact, despite all my worries, there’s only a little bit of a pouty “I want to cry but I’m holding it together” expression as he walks back to the playroom, and otherwise it’s no big deal.  Hallelujah!  What was I so worried about?  He's a big boy now.  Let the regular gym-going re-commence!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please don't stop the Musik

Today the boys and I ventured out in the downpour to attend a Kindermusik class.  And let me just get this right out there:  my son is THAT KID.  The one that wanders all over the place and gets into things that he shouldn't.  Like the name tag stickers, and the markers to write on the name tag stickers, and the pens next to the registration forms, and the hand sanitizer, and other people's bags, etc etc.  Though he somehow managed to take the water bottle directly to its owner without any guidance that I could see, so maybe he just caught her brain waves and deduced she was thirsty.  Anyway, he spent most of the 30 minute class walking about the room looking for things to examine.  A little back story:  this kid loves toys that play music.  We have three of those Munchkin Magic Cube thingsyes, three...two Mozart that manage to play in different (and discordant) keys, and one nursery rhymesand Z will sit there playing all three of them and bask in the cacophony.  He loves his little electric piano that plays a different song for each key and has been playing it non-stop all weekend (it's been missing for several months and we just found it again).  And he's quite content to just dump all of said toys, along with the mundane non-electrical items, in a heap on the living room floor while he plays.  So you would think, given that information, that in this class Z would be fascinated by the musical activities and content to let all the musical toys lie wherever they happened to fall.  And you'd be wrong.  This child pretty much ignored the activities completely, except where the toys were concerned.  The teacher would bring out a basket of, say, shaker eggs, and distribute them to the kids, leaving extras in the center of the circle and putting the empty basket back on the table.  Z would play with his assigned egg for, oh, 10 seconds, then promptly retrieve the empty basket to start collecting all the eggs again.  Even to taking them away from a couple of parents!  And then again with the rhythm sticks.  And with the castanet-like thingies.  And the little hand drums.  The only thing that finally captured his attention was the big "sharing" drum, which he joined two other boys in enthusiastically pounding.  And then the class was over, and he'd done almost nothing musical in nature.  And I was very grateful that I hadn't had to pay for this class!

(You might be wondering where N was during all this...he was right there with me the whole time, perfectly content to practice his pre-crawling exercises, watch his brother, and slobber all over his shaker egg.  He had a grand old time!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Likes & Dislikes

The current tastes of the Ellerboys:

Z - the ABC song (and Twinkle Twinkle and Baa Baa Black Sheep, but they're all the same song, really), bananas, breakfast bars, iPod Touch and iPad, Hop on Pop by Dr Seuss, helping Mommy unload the dishwasher, giving N his bottle (with mixed results), baths (except for the hair rinsing, but that's getting better!)
N - watching Z do just about anything, learning to eat solid food, looking out the front window while standing on the sofa, anything chewable, petting the kitty, blowing raspberries, being held by strangers, getting his eczema baths

Z - eating the food he's given (vs the food he asks for), wearing clothes, timeouts, the Orkin man
N - sleep training, being left alone for even a split second, bananas (so far, anyways!), being held by family members, getting his eczema vaseline treatment

Quiet time

About a month and a half before N was born, Z stopped taking naps.  Any naps.  Oh, he'd fall asleep in the car if he was in it at that time of day, and for a while if you weren't careful he'd fall asleep on the living room floor while waiting for dinner.  But no naps.  That week was pretty rough...I'd put him in his crib, he'd cry for 30 minutes and I'd take him out again.  By Wednesday, if I so much as stepped towards the crib while holding him he'd start pitching a fit.  There wasn't any problem at bedtime, just naptime.  His timing was impeccable...just as I was really starting to get worn down by the pregnancy, he took away MY naptime.  Lately, though, it's just been too much having both of them all day.  So a couple weeks ago we started afternoon "quiet time" for Z when N has an afternoon nap.  Sometimes I take a nap too, and sometimes I just listen to the chaos emanating from Z's room.  The times when he naps are vastly outnumbered by the times when it sounds like he's picking up his furniture and throwing it out the window...


I just went to let Z out of his room from his afternoon quiet time.  He opened the door all happy and bubbly and talking in Z-speak, which is to say lots of unintelligible words with a little English thrown in for seasoning, but buck naked.  I interrupt Z-speak to say, "Where's your diaper?"  His response, perfectly clear, appropriate tone of voice and everything: "Oh.  Took it off." as he went and got it for me.