Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

J is 27 months old

J was finishing lunch one day during the past week and I was getting the diaper bag ready and set it by the door. He says, "Where are we going? We're going on a trip." I told him we were going to get a gift for my nephew Blake's birthday. He said, "We're going to Toy Story?" I said, "No, we're going to Toys-R-Us." Then I remembered that morning I had been telling L what we'd be up to during the day and mentioned Toys-R-Us. So he must have heard me but got it mixed up.

We were going somewhere and were getting in the car and he saw a tiny spider crawling on the car. Out of the blue he says, "Go, spider go!" (He says that when he wants something to go away.) I told him he was just a tiny spider and it was okay. He said, "Go fly away spider. You can't fly. You've got no wings."

I've been limiting the use of J's blankie and nuk to nap times and over night. One morning, he was wanting to take blankie and nuk downstairs with him. I asked him to put blankie and nuk in his bed. Then I had to ask him two more times. Finally, he went to put them in his bed and I helped. Then when we were leaving the room he says, "Blankie go to sleep. Turn out the light blankie."

One night at dinner, J was asking for some M&M's. I wanted to see him eat some fruit before giving him a dessert so I told him no dessert unless he ate his apple sauce. He says, "No treat. That's funny." I said, "What's funny?" Then he starts this long list of no's saying, "No outside, no coloring, no milk, no treat..."

It's been so awesome to see J learning his manners. He is now regularly saying "thank you" when you get something that he asks for. This is so special to me....considering how many times a day I do get things for him!!! It's so nice to hear the thank you. He's getting better with "please" but often needs the hint "how do we ask?" Oh, and then one day this week I was walking upstairs with him and had a small burp and he says "excuse me!" I love that.

Tuesday's Musings

This morning worked out again to have alone time with L. I was really tired though. Some of our time today was spent on "housekeeping" items like talking about our volunteering at church this fall, what our options are for a small group within the church body, our schedules. It was hard to believe, but J wasn't up until around 10:30 this morning. Once he was downstairs, he was completely absorbed with exploring the new ABC floor mat I just got from EBay. We spent time playing with this a lot today, taking out the letters and saying what they are and naming something that starts with that letter. I'd say "J for Julian" and then he picked out a letter and said "K for mommy". Cute.

With him getting up so late, we had a weird schedule again. We didn't get out the door for shopping until around noon. It was my last day before I'm starting a 30 day fast from buying things. By "things", I mean anything beyond the essentials which would be groceries, diapers, cleaning supplies that run out. I got this idea from Living, Learning and Loving Simply. I totally agree with one of the things she said, to get my focus off of stuff and instead spending my resources on people. So I needed to buy J fall clothes since the weather will be changing during this 30 day time period. We went to a Goodwill-type store called Savers that I really love. J brought along his dinosaurs and fire engine that he kept dropping as he played with them in the cart. Then I found some great old books for him and he spent the rest of the time in the cart reading. This was such a wonderful thing that I might bring books for groceries and shopping in the future. He was completely content whereas this is the place he usually melts down from being in the cart too long. I confess, I did get a few long-sleeved shirts for myself in the process.

After this, we took a break for lunch at McD's where J wanted to play for a bit. I got into a neat conversation with a grandpa who was a 4th grade teacher and loved to talk. Our last stop was to get our groceries for the week. On our way out, it was pouring rain. I wasn't sure if we'd make a run for it, but then a really nice mom said she'd watch J in the cart for me so I got the car and pulled it up close. J kept saying after he heard me say it, "Mommy got soaked!" He took a really late nap (4:30-6:30) but that went along with getting up so late. Then daddy was playing with him using the letters from the floor mat. Oh, one more thing I remembered is that J has started a new habit. Instead of biting, he's licking me now. Gross! But it is much better than the biting thing so I'm not overly concerned about it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend in Chicago with family

We took a trip down to the suburbs of Chicago this weekend mainly to celebrate the birthday of my nephew which was on Sunday. Since we were coming down and staying at my sister's place, she invited us to a croquet and dinner outing she was involved in for a charity event. She's a board member for the Anima children's chorus who hosted. It was a little warm, but still great to be outside. We ended up playing 3 games of croquet (my sister Kelly and I were a team and my sister Laurie and brother-in-law Roland were a team). It took a while to get the hang of it again. I hadn't really played since I was a kid (other than one time after college). We had a set growing up but I don't think we were really into the rules. It ended up being really fun and one of my sisters will probably get a croquet set so we can keep playing. We had a wonderful dinner after that and a raffle too, although none of us won anything.

I realized this was probably the longest I'd been away from J in about a year and a half. I've had several Moms Nights Out and date nights, but none that kept me away for more than a couple hours. And it was great to know J did really well while I was gone. My sister's husband brought over J's cousins (ages 3 and 8) and they all had lots of fun playing together. They went to the park and also watched a Wallace and Gromit movie.

Sunday was the day of the party which didn't start until 2pm. We had a nice, relaxing day up until it was time to go. J fell asleep in the car so I carried him into the house. Of course, the minute I set him on the bed to continue his nap, he woke up. He says "I'm all done sleep mommy. I'm good." He bounced back quickly and was off to find Henry, his 3-year-old cousin. It was really hot and humid so we brought our swim suits and did some swimming. J reverted back to his clingy phase again. He did do a little bit of jumping to me in the water, but took a while to get completely comfortable with the swim time. Then the kids played together outside. He did so well and was the first time he could really be off on his own with his cousins Henry and Blake. I was able to see him from the patio and he only asked for me once or twice. On our way home, L and I had some time to really talk. We haven't had a date night in a while so we're a bit behind on going deeper into conversation with each other. There always seem to be things that are happening between us that we're not really talking about and we don't want it to get buried. So we started with a couple main things we'd like to focus on and in our alone time in the morning we'll be taking the time to explore, talk further and have ongoing prayer. J was pretty much awake for half the time sometimes quiet and sometimes playing, but then mid-way to WI he fell asleep. We seem to have a pretty good traveling system down with a variety of his things (dinosaurs, little people, cars, coloring book and books) so he isn't melting down like he used to.

L and I were up early again for our alone time. Today was really good. We are creating what we used to call "inner circle" in the house church we used to be part of. In our time, we'll be sharing areas that we're struggling, things that we're doing well and people we're praying for. I find it so healthy to have an accountability partner in my husband. We are certainly growing in this role, because it can sometimes be really hard to share things but it is really worth it. I see how taking care of J can really absorb me and I focus less on our marriage. So I look forward to what the Lord will do in these morning times. The day was already pretty humid at 8am so J and I did a lot of our playing in the house. He is taking more of an interest in his puzzles lately and spent a lot of time today doing that. It was cute, he was playing with his dinosaurs and then he said "be the baby dinosaur mommy" so I got into pretend-play with him. He liked doing whatever I did and enjoys it when I make up stories of what we're doing. Our outing for the day was going to the library. I had several things on hold to pick up and then was able to find a few more books. Three of them were about elephants, which continues to be one of J's favorites. We also went to the Y and it was extremely unusual that J actually fought me leading him into the play area. He went into the play area and laid on the floor calling out for blankie and nuk when we left. It turns out, the worker got blankie and nuk and he had no more problems the rest of the time. It was a rough night for him though, as he had a melt down at dinner and then a huge melt down when daddy did a diaper change for him before we left the Y. Once home though, he seemed to be fighting sleep and doing whatever he could to extend his awake time. After a big tickle fest kind of wore him out, he was ready for prayers and then sleep.

Tot School (Puzzles, ABCs, Counting)

***I forgot to put the 1+1+1=1 button on!!! Here it is!***

*J is 27 months old*
Tot School


J has been more into his puzzles lately. This puzzle was a special gift. His cousin Dylan spent a few days with Grandpa Bernie who does woodworking and this was one of Dylan's first projects. J could get most of them into the right place except for the last piece. He got frustrated when he kept putting it in backwards and asked mommy to do it. I held out encouraging him to finish yet he gave it up and moved on.

These are puzzles we got from my sister, Amy, whose youngest just turned seven. Even though I'm not that fond of Teletubbies, the puzzles have been really good for his fine motor skills. He's getting better at working puzzles in general. This one has nice big pieces and he was doing pretty well putting them in but then would get frustrated and move on.

Out of the blue one morning, J picked out his bowling set to play. This was great, since the weather was wonderful (the humidity had finally broken) and we took it outside to play. We hadn't used this yet so it was fun setting it up and watching J's fascination then explaining how to play. He had a hard time standing far back and wanted to get real close and throw the ball so after working with him he did it that way. He liked throwing overhand and wasn't keen on trying to roll it. We also used this as a counting activity. We'd count the pins together as I set them up. Then we'd count the fallen pins every time one of us knocked some over.

We did a little play with Mr Potato Head which is great for his fine motor skills. He doesn't yet know how to create the face and puts things all over randomly. When he put an arm where the nose goes I broke out laughing and got my camera for a picture. He shooed me away and wouldn't let me get a picture of that.

J was lining his fire trucks up in a row on the couch and was playing fireman with his little people. He started talking for the Little People saying, "I'm sitting in my fire truck. Everybody ready to go?" Then he answered with another little person, "Yeah! We're ready to go!" He did this a few times, it was so cute. Soon after, he came running to me asking to watch the DVD Mighty Machines. He wanted the fire truck segment. Then when that was over he wanted to watch the garbage truck segment again.

ABCs and Counting
I got this video idea from Carisa's (1+1+1=1) website. We watched the Letter Factory DVD by Leap Frog. This takes you through the entire alphabet one letter at a time using a story while saying the letter and making that letter's sound. When we got to the letter E, J went and grabbed his Leap Frog alphabet fridge toy and was playing the song on the toy whenever he heard that song play on the video. I did most of the interaction singing the Leap Frog song about the letter and then shouting out the letters while he watched it.

Next I got out what I call the ABC panels we found at the dollar store. In addition to learning the alphabet sequence, I'm working more on letter recognition. I laid these out on the floor and started pointing to each letter asking him what it was. For some reason, at first everything was the letter E. Then I showed him which letter was E and went back to A. I started this time using a pointer (our back scratcher) and then he wanted to try. He had a ball using the pointer and naming the pictures. I used the pointer to point to each letter as I sang the alphabet, trying to show him the ABC song (which he knows pretty well) follows the order of these alphabet picture panels. I took turns pointing and singing really slowly to reinforce it. He stopped playing so I started singing goofy songs in case things had gotten too serious. Then J went running down the alphabet panels and I said, "You're running down alphabet road!" He did this a few times and then moved on.

After the ABC panels, J saw the numbers poster and pointed to it wanting to do some counting. He was really in the mood for this and we went over many different numbers counting the individual items for each number.

Bible Stories
We're doing more with focusing on individual bible stories, like Jonah. We read this in his Jesus Storybook Bible. Sometime during the week, I was on the computer and J came over and wanted to see. I got the idea to look on You Tube for some bible stories and found Jonah the Whale. This video on You Tube was super cute. It was created by a 4th grade class. J had me go back and replay the part of Jonah getting swallowed by the whale over and over.


J likes to help me feed the birds and this is a good pouring (and nature) activity for him. Plus we get to be outside! I have J transfer the seed from the big container into the small one while I help fill it too. It's OK if he spills, since it's the garage floor and we can just sweep it up. Although, this time J wanted to be involved in the sweeping too. I love it when he helps with "chores" so I showed him how to sweep it out of the garage.

On the Go Fun
We went to Toys-R-Us this week to get a gift for my nephew's birthday. J couldn't wait to try this. On our way out, I let him do it and he was having fun climbing on and using the steering wheel. He didn't even realize it moved. So I put 50 cents in and he had even more fun when it was moving. Only problem, he didn't want to go!

For more Tot School ideas, visit 1+1+1=1

Tiny Tag Alongs
This is a new blog I'm also linking to.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Up before dawn and great night out with friends

Today ended up being an oddball day, at least for the first part. I heard J crying this morning and it turns out that it was 5:30 in the morning. I have to say I don't think he's been up that early since he was sick once in March. Otherwise, he's never up this early. (What a blessing too.) He wanted to get up and I was just exhausted. (I wasn't so good about reducing my computer "consumption" time last night, and wasn't in bed until around 12:30.) So the day got off to a very weird start where I felt half asleep and J was wide awake. I got comfy on the recliner couch and put a video in for J while I tried to read the newspaper. I was so tired I could barely focus and I think I was dozing on and off for a while. At one point J had gotten out his animal and dinosaur figures and started lining them up along my legs. The whole time he was doing this he was talking for them, but it was hard to capture what he was saying. I really wish I could've grabbed my camera to show this long line of animals on my stretched out legs! After breakfast, I noticed J was lying on the floor with his blankie so I asked him if he wanted to go upstairs on the big bed and snuggle with mommy. He wanted to bring his little animal figures, crayons and coloring book so finally I just grabbed a bin so we could put it in there and then he threw in a few books too. So J and I settled into my bed and he played while I caught up on some restful reading. I didn't end up showering until noon!

After lunch, we needed to go get a gift for my nephew's birthday. We'll be going on a little trip down to Chicago for his birthday party this weekend. I was starting to get ready and grabbed the diaper bag and put it by the door. Right away, J says "Where are we going? We're going on a trip." I said that we were going to get a gift for Blake's birthday this weekend. J says, "We're going to Toy Story?" I said, "No, Toys-R-Us." This made me laugh because this morning I was telling L what was on our agenda and how I wanted to go to Toys-R-Us for Blake. J must've been listening. First, we stopped at the Family Christian Store to look for part of Blake's gift. I prayed in the car since I had no idea what to get him, a 7-year-old. I ended up finding what looked like a really cool card game based on the stories of David, Moses, Jonah and Noah called Story Chasers. I hope it's something he'll like.

This was my second time going to Toys-R-Us with J and I realize it is not very fun. Unless I would blindfold him or something, it just isn't good to be in the land of temptation like that. He whines and cries and constantly asks for this, that and the other thing. It's also really hard for me (the temptation to buy). I see so many things that would be neat for Tot School and play time so I almost need to close my eyes too. On our way in, J saw the Bob the Builder ride and really wanted to go on it. I told him we'd go on our way out. I wanted to get a puzzle for my nephew and saw some really neat Melissa and Doug puzzles. They had a special buy one-get one half off so I got one for my nephew and then yes, got this really cool 24-piece dinosaur one for J. He kept asking to go on the Bob the Builder bulldozer so he wasn't forgetting about that. I kept good on my promise on our way out and he climbed in. I was starting to wonder if maybe it didn't move and then I finally saw where you put the coins in. J was so excited and surprised once it started moving but super let down when it was over and, of course, wanted to go again. Since I did want my camera, I made a deal that we'd go to the car and put the bags in and come back for one more ride. Then he just didn't want to leave, even after it stopped moving. I had gotten too close to nap time and I had to carry a crying J out of the store. He fell asleep in the car and I carried him like a baby into the house. I just love holding him like this the few times I get the chance.

After J's nap, we had a fun night out meeting friends at Red Robin for dinner. I've forgotten about this place and how kid-friendly it is. We used to go there sometimes before J was born, but tonight was his first time there. Once we sat down, he asked for his coloring book right away and got to work coloring. He is so intense and serious when he colors. He really gets into it. It was great catching up with our friends Hans and Sharon. Sharon teaches preschool so we had a ball talking about J and where's he's at and what he can do. She loved just watching him and our interactions. She always makes me laugh so hard and brings out my goofy side. I let J out of his high chair when he got antsy and I turned and he had this huge smile on his face like "I'm so proud of myself." So he had done the buckle on the high chair for the first time. We found out kids can get a balloon so J was really excited about that and picked out a blue one and played with that for a while. Then he was playing with the marketing display on the table which was a little stove (advertising a cook book). So we took the coasters and pretended they were pizzas and set them on the little stove. He loved playing this and starts walking out with it when we were leaving so I told them my son fell in love with the display and they let him have it. That beats having to buy an expensive kid's kitchen set! He did really well with very few upsets since we had a lot to keep him occupied. It was pretty late when we got home, but J was still rambunctious. Hard to believe after getting up at 5:30am. He is really good though, and all I had to say was, "It's time to brush teeth" and he came right into the bathroom and off we went into his bedtime routine.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Friday Favorites

This is a place where I'd like to comment on some of my favorites of the week. They might be my favorite story about J from the week, my favorite blog posts, also things that are J's favorites or anything else that just really stood out from the week.

Favorite animals
J's favorite animals have been a blend lately of elephants and dinosaurs. He became infatuated with elephants after seeing parts of The Jungle Book and now we found some elephant figures he loves to play with. He has a couple larger ones and one tiny one, which he calls the baby elephant.
One animal added into the mix this week is the owl. Daddy read him a book that had an owl in it and since then he is excited about owls. Daddy taught him how to hoot like an owl and he'll do this anytime you ask him (see video below). We also got some owl books from the library that he likes to read. He keeps saying the owl is scary and I think I've figured out he got that from the book Stellaluna, a book that he loves where the fruit bats in the book are chased by an owl.

Favorite Videos
A friend of mine recommend this to me and I really love them but J does too. They're called Little Einsteins. Did I say I really like them? If I'm going to let J watch anything, it's videos. We don't have cable (thank the Lord or I'd be in major trouble) and I really don't watch much on TV. The Little Einsteins video we got from the library was Our Big Huge Adventure. There is a real focus on the arts, particularly music and now I find myself singing their intro song.

Another one that he really likes is called The Big Race (Rainbow Valley Heroes).

Favorite Books
Safety First with Handy Manny
Elephant Families
My First Sport, Basketball

Favorite Posts

Blog: Sky Blue

Blog: Heart of the Matter
Little Eyes are Watching You

Blog: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
A Little More of Me

Visit Daily Dwelling, my inspiration for Friday Favorites

Visit Saturday Stumbles, where I linked my post

A day at home with lots to do

This morning L and I didn't get to have our alone time. J woke up crying at 7:30am, just as I was getting out of the shower. He recovered pretty quickly and was quite rambunctious too. We still had some prayer time but pretty constant interruption from J until I got him coloring. Some of the highlights of playtime were getting out Mr. Potato Head which J hadn't played with in a while. That really didn't last long. He wanted my help with getting his mustache and glasses on. We did some work with ABC's using these ABC panels I found at the dollar store. He asked for his numbers poster and we did some counting and naming of objects. (I'll put a lot more detail on this in my Sunday Tot School post.) Then I brought out his Teletubby puzzles and he worked on those for a bit. I got a good picture of him with a grumpy face while he was working on it. I think this was when he didn't want my help anymore.

I was doing something on the computer and J came over and wanted to watch. I decided to look on You Tube for some bible stories and found Jonah the Whale. This was super cute and J had me go back and replay the part of Jonah getting swallowed by the whale over and over.

Jonah and the Whale

J-likes to help me feed the birds and the feeders have been empty for a couple weeks now. The poor birds keep stopping by and there's no food. So we went out into the garage to get the seed ready. This is a good pouring activity for him. After we filled up the bird feeders, I checked out the garden again.

My (4) banana pepper plants are now producing and one is almost ready to pick. The cherry tomatoes are the only tomato plants producing out of 6 plants. This was such a weird gardening year for my little plot. When we came back into the garage, I was going to sweep up all the bird seed that spilled, but J really wanted to sweep. I got it started for him, then showed him how to push it out of the garage. It is great to see him eager to help with work! If only that will last. It was so beautiful outside (very low humidity) so we did some bubbles but I could tell J was getting tired. He didn't chase them around like he usually does, so he went for his nap.

We had a battle of the wills tonight at dinner. First it was J wanting to keep coloring when I called him to join us for dinner. Twice I had given him a heads up he'd have to stop coloring soon and he waited until I started the 5-4-3-2-1 count (I only had to say "5" and he came over). Then he ate maybe 3 bites of pasta and no meat and says he's all done. He's been doing this lately, only taking a couple or few bites and saying all done and refusing to eat. So I decided to try something to work with him on it. I set aside a few more bites saying if he ate that he'd be all done and we sat there.....and sat there....and sat there all the while he's crying and saying "all done" and me reading my book super calm telling him we needed to do just 3 bites. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore when he started to really cry and I wrapped it up. Maybe another time. Later, we all took a nice little walk around the neighborhood with J's car. It was a beautiful night. There is a hint of autumn in the air though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More words for Wednesday

This morning, I was able to have catch up and pray time with L before J woke up. He was up much earlier, around 8:30. Our big outing today was late morning we went to go get groceries. It did end up being a long outing (too long) I think since I'm trying to get all my main shopping done at one place. I used to get non-grocery things from Target but I realized every time I went, what should have been a $50 excursion was ending up sometimes at a $150 excursion! It was a good thing that I found a notebook in the start of shopping. I like to keep journals and this is a nice, smaller chunky one. J had to bring his crayons along but I only let him bring 2 so I let him color in the notebook. He was so content just coloring the whole time. Now his crayons did keep on dropping, but picking them up over and over was the price of peace in the shopping cart. After shopping we had some open play time. A couple highlights: He picked his Little People to play with. Then I noticed him getting out his fire trucks and lining them up along the couch. He started talking for the Little People saying, "I'm sitting in my fire truck. Everybody ready to go?" Then he answered with another little person, "Yeah! We're ready to go!" He did this a few times, it was so cute. Soon after, he came running to me asking to watch the DVD Mighty Machines. He wanted the fire truck segment. Then when that was over he wanted to watch the garbage truck segment again.

After dinner, we went to the Verona library. J ran over to the self-check out and climbed the stool asking for my help. He was talking about the pirate and then I remembered we used self-check in the past pressing the "pirate voice" button so the computer uses that voice to walk you through. I told him we'd use that when we checked out. We ended up getting a few more books; a couple on elephants, dump truck, handy manny safety first, and a basketball book. He took these and went into the library's kid castle to "read". At bed time, he grabbed all his new books to take upstairs with him.

Morning alone time with L went well again since J was sleeping. We are getting close to having a place secured for our fall trip up north. I'm doing the searches on the internet so I told him I found what looks like a cozy 2-bdrm cabin right on the lake in the North Woods area. We invited a friend to come along but don't know if they'll meet us. Our outing today was to Pal Zone in the morning. We got there only to find out it was not meeting today. Thankfully, my friend Eileen had come with her son and so we brainstormed and ended up taking the kids to a library nearby to play. I had to give J a time out at the library. That's a first. He bit me again. That's an instant time out now. I found a perfect corner for his time out and he obeyed well by staying there the full two minutes. Since I've started doing instant time outs for biting, he does seem to be doing it less (went from daily to maybe once or twice a week). After an hour or so of playing and reading, the boys were ready for lunch. We went to Rocky Rococo's for pizza. J got bored when I was still eating so he started playing with his grapes. I usually don't let him play with his food, but he was lining up the grapes in different ways so I let him. We then spent time at a nearby park. It was just beautiful out. No humidity, low 70's, even a little cool with the breeze. This was such a great day for Eileen and I to talk since the boys were OK on their own a lot of the time.

J took an almost 3-hour nap today so I was able to have some time with the Lord. Today I shifted gears a little bit. I haven't talked about this on the blog for a while, but I'm still struggling with my weight. Over the past few weeks as I've kind of stepped back and watched myself and the eating decisions I'm making, it hit me that I really do not have this area surrendered to God. I went searching on the internet for a book that would help guide me in this. I think I found one. It's called Uncommon Vessels; a program for developing godly eating habits. I started the intro today. I really like the goal that she lays out in the beginning. She says that the goal is not mere weight loss and the fleeting joy of fitting into your favorite jeans. The goal is that eating would be done for God's glory. She referred to 1Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. So I want to learn what it looks like to live out that scripture in the realm of eating. For me right now, that's going to be focusing on times of overeating and too many sweets. It's funny how thinking about this in my time alone hit on another area of my life where there's too much "consumption" and that's in my computer time. I need to have more balance there especially in getting to bed at a decent hour. Another thing she mentioned that struck me was that our hearts are not changed by diets so when we are finished we them, we usually will slip back into the old eating pattern. It's when our hearts are impacted that an impact can be made for a long term lifestyle change. This program is set up to impact the inner man; our heart. Another scripture shared was encouraging: Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Tonight after dinner, J watched a Care Bears potty training video. He's not showing active interest in this, but often tells me when he has a bad diaper so that's a sign. I also have him sit on the potty whenever we're doing a bath. We'll see if this sparks more of an interest for him. Then we had our Wednesday night at the Y. I'm back to doing half walking, half running on the treadmill again to change things up. Once we got home, J had his first bubble bath. He loved playing with his dinosaurs in it, splashing around and making bubble beards. After all the fun, it was time for bed.

Picture credit to Elyse Fitzpatrick

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

J in his new PJ's that we just got from EBay. They are fall/winter PJ's but once he saw them he said "mommy, I want to put them on!" I tried explaining the idea of winter and how they'd be too hot but of course all he cared about was wanting to wear them. (Then he didn't want to take them off!)

J playing with his Little People.

At the library when I asked him to say cheese; his cheesy, but cute, smile!

Reading his new books in the children's castle (most of the books someone else had left).

J's first bubble bath.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

J is 27 months old

I had fun recording some of the cute things J said this week.

Fascination with elephants
One morning when J woke up, he was pretty excited and says "The elephant is singing." I wasn't quite sure where this was coming from and when I asked he pointed to the our valence. We have zoo animals on the valence including elephants. Then he said, "I see the elephants marching. They're marching from the Jungle Book." Again he points to the valence. Ever since I found the Jungle Book and let him watch parts of it, he has become fascinated with elephants. He has me play a scene of elephants marching over and over. It's made an impact I would say.

"I'm not sick."
I had dropped a little bottle of Children's Tylenol and J picks it up and says, "What's this?" I said, "It's medicine. You don't need it unless you're sick. J said, "I put it down. I don't need it. I'm not sick." Every time I mention being sick J remembers the time a couple months ago when he got sick during the night and several times the next day. It's funny how he responded when I told him what he picked up.

J learning to share
J was drinking his apple juice one afternoon and I was nearby and he looks at me and says "Go." That means he wanted me to go away and I told him no, I wasn't going away. So then he gives me his cup. I say, "Are you offering me your apple juice?" He said yes. I took a drink and thanked him. He says, "I want to share." This was precious! I gave him much praise for that as he often has a hard time sharing so we talk about it a lot.

First conversation related to death
One morning, J pointed at a collage of our cats Buca and Rio (Rio died in March) and said, "That's Buca." I asked him, "Who else is there in the picture?" He said, "Buca." I pointed to Rio and said, "Who is this?" He said Buca a couple more times and I said, "Do you remember?" Just then he said, "Rio!" I said, "Yes, Rio is in heaven with God now. She's not here." J said, "She's all done." I said, "Yes, she was all done here so she went to Heaven to be with God." J said, "I want Heaven." I said, "Yes, we'll go to Heaven when we're all done."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Learning how to bowl and other fun things

Daddy's back to his school year schedule working 9:30-6pm instead of 7-3:30pm. Over the summer, we had lost our routine of praying together so now I'm back to getting up earlier at 7am. We're hoping to have some time alone before J wakes up to talk and catch up and then pray together before L leaves for work at 9am. No more summertime sleeping in. J has been sleeping in lately and I couldn't believe it but he didn't call out for me until 10:30am! So I had a bit of alone time which was nice. Once he was up and going, he did lots and lots of coloring. When I was in my chair, he kept coming over with a crayon and asking me to color something. Then he'd watch with such intensity, pointing to things for me to color in the picture.

J was trying to pull something out of the toy box, but I wasn't sure what he wanted. He asked for help and it turns out he wanted to play with a bowling set he got for his birthday but hasn't used very much. We took it outside and I set it up and began teaching him how to play. He wanted to get really close to the pins, but finally listened to me asking him to stand further back. We worked together on how to bowl and he did move back further. Every time we knocked pins over J would yell "Yay!" and clap. I told J it reminded me of when we were down on State Street and saw some jugglers, then he said he wanted to juggle too. So he would hold the pins and just move his arms up and down saying "I'm juggling mommy!" After that, he wanted to walk in the grass and we went to the back yard and played in the sand box.

Whenever J goes in our bedroom, he always asks to "go up and on the big bed". I like to stack up all the pillows and then count to 3 or 4 and then toss him into them. We had a ball doing this today. I'd get done and he'd say, "Do again it!" (He mixes that up.) So I did this over and over until I was pooped. Then I laid down and pretended I was sleeping and as J came close I'd fling open my eyes and say "Oh, J woke me up." This made him laugh so hard. Then he'd pretend to sleep and I'd wake him up and we both were just giggling away. Before his nap, we read the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. He was very interested in this story and was pointing to various things in the pictures asking who and what they were. During J's nap, I had some cleaning up to do. The living room looked like a tornado hit and Monday is my "clean the bathrooms" day. Then I was able to have some devotional time (which I'll share about in Tuesday's post which I should have done soon.)

We went to the Y. When I picked J up, he came running over but then seemed to have second thoughts. I heard him say something about the dinosaurs and so he went back and started playing again. So I called him over and he came back. He had tons of energy when we got home. He was climbing all over me, trying to take my hair thing out. Running around. Throwing his blankie over my head. Later, while daddy was reading to him, I was cleaning his bathroom. Once daddy was done, J said he wanted to clean too and grabbed a little sponge. So I got his sponge wet and he started cleaning off the washable crayon. He was so excited. He'd ask for more water on the sponge so I'd rinse it out and he'd get right back to cleaning. He even got into the tub to help clean that too. We worked well together. This is the bathroom I neglect so it was so nice to have the satisfaction of seeing it all clean and organized. Then it was time for J to go to bed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A weekend being around home

Since I was going to meet up with my friend and her son later in the morning, I knew I had to get to the Y early-ish if I wanted to get in a workout. I had very little motivation but I remember saying a prayer for the will to go and I did get the motivation to go. It may seem like something small, yet it touched me and reminds me no matter how small, the Lord loves when we bring things to him. It was really crowded in the nursery but it didn't seem to bother J. I had a good workout and we got home just in time for my friend Eileen to call. We met at the West Towne mall and had lunch. Then we went to the kids play area. At first, it was a little weird being there since I had flashbacks to when J was an infant and I wasn't doing well (in depression) and this was one of the only places I got out and went to particularly during that summer. It sure was a reminder of how far I have come from that time. J is pretty cautious there so he stays out of the way of the bigger kids, but I notice how much he's growing up since I don't need to follow him around anymore. He'll come running up to me every once in a while and hold onto me for a bit and just "check in". Eileen's son was having fun too. It's amazing that he's about 9 mos. younger than J but taller and bigger. They do well together.

We got home and my babysitter was waiting. She had beat us to the house. I'm glad I called her to let her know we'd be cutting it close. She watched J while I went to my doctor's appointment. When I got home, Karen had J show me what he had learned. He had been practicing on his kids computer and could find d, e, h and m on the keyboard! He was pretty excited about that. I could tell they had a great time playing. She is really good about doing activities that teach him something when she watches him. He was really tired and went right up for his nap. L worked later hours today and didn't get home until around 6:30 (versus 4pm). We ended up eating late and then before we knew it, it was J's bedtime.

We had a nice, relaxing day at home today. It was really hot out so we spent most of our time inside. J and I did some different learning activities together like puzzles, flash cards, alphabet. He got really cranky and tired earlier than normal and when he started crying and wouldn't stop I knew it was time for an earlier nap around 12:30pm. He slept for almost 3 hours and when he was waking up I opened the door and started talking to him with his horse puppet while I hid behind the door. He was answering the horse's questions. Then he asked for the horse in his crib and he lay the horse down and covered him up with all his blankets. It was so cute. Well, we barely left the house all day until we decided to go out to dinner to Culver's. J is always excited about this. We brought his plastic elephant and zebra which he played with while we waited. A few older folks made a point to stop by and talk to him about his little animals. He was shy and just said hi. After dinner, we headed down to State Street where we had a nice several-block walk to rent some movies at a video store we like there. We saw a white horse and carriage on the way and J asked to stop and pet him. He was talking up a storm as we did and the owner just laughed and said he was a little motor mouth. On our way back, we saw a black horse and stopped to pet her on our way home.

We volunteered at church this morning. On the way in, we saw my friend Heather with her daughter Wren. I pointed them out to J and he started talking about Joan and Olivia too. Wren and Olivia are his play date friends that we haven't seen for a while. J and Wren were together in the same room and he liked that. I barely noticed the time since we had 18 kids today in our room and I was involved with helping in a bunch of different ways. The time just flew and it was really rewarding. One of the girls sits alone in the way back and often plays with toys and doesn't interact much. I made it a point to talk with her last week and invited her to do things even though she didn't join in. I had no idea if I connected but then this week I was saying hi and talking to her again. During the bible story, I noticed she kept inching closer and closer to me until she was leaning up against me. I put my arm around her and then she laid her head on me. It was really sweet. After the service, I picked up J and we talked about what he learned. The focus is talking to God and prayer through the story of Hannah. J took in the story as he told me how Hannah was crying and wanted a child and then talked to God about it.

At home, he was playing and I noticed he put all his little people in one of the train cars a friend gave us. Then we colored together with some new crayons (which he was really excited about; we put them in the train car) but then it was time for his nap.

We went back to church later on for L and I to attend the service. J wasn't happy this time about going to his teaching room. He said "I'm all done churchy" and started crying when we left him. He ended up having a good time and was so excited to see us. He was running to me saying "uppy mommy, uppy mommy" until I could reach him. We continued in our series "Wired for Relationships" and this was a really good message on parenting. The focus was on Ephesians 6:4 and how Paul didn't write a manual for the Ephesians about childrearing, he gave them this verse. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. One of the main things he shared was that as we teach our children to follow the Lord and we include family devotional time, our children will learn from what we do (how we live) not so much from what we say. If they never catch us reading our bible or hear us praying, the teaching we try to do will seem irrelevant. I believe this deep in my heart and so my focus is on living what I'm telling J I believe. I also want him to see I don't do this perfectly and our pastor hit on this too. He had his daughter come up and talk about ways he discouraged her and also ways he made an impact and one of the things was he and his wife were quick to apologize and admit their mistakes. This is hard for me to do, yet I feel it's so important so I strive to do this. But a confession....now I need to bring that attitude to life with my husband! I find it easier to apologize and say I'm sorry for something, yet so much harder to say the words "I was wrong". Lord, soften my heart.

We had a late dinner when we got home and then J colored some more. I noticed he's starting to watch the lines and doing better at staying in them. I haven't been working on this with him much at all but I encouraged him when I saw how well he was doing. Later, I was working on the blog and J comes up and says "Who's this blog?" and it just so happens I was working on my blog which I've mentioned a bit. I told him it was mommy's blog and we went through several days talking about and looking at all the pictures of him. Then really unexpectedly he bit me (something we are really trying to nip in the bud) and he got an immediate time out. All I had to do was tell him he was in time out and to go there and he went right over to his corner across the room. He tried to peek once but turned back when I told him to. Once he was done, when I asked him if he knew why he was in time out he was quick to reply that he hurt mommy and no biting. I really hope this is training him for no biting. When it was night-night time he was whining and crying but it's so funny in about 30 seconds he was happy again and going upstairs for bed.