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    So when does that “tact” thing come in?

    October 28th, 2012

    Lemme tell you about an exchange with G this morning:

    G: Mommy, why is your tummy so big?
    G: Is there something in there?
    Me: Yeah! Bad calories and little exercise. Thanx kid!

    As I say this I look up at S, who is in his office chair covering his mouth, while giggling in silence.

    Yeah, so is this an age thing, or a guy thing?

    Teeth. Finally!!!

    October 26th, 2012

    I am bouncing for joy over here. ‘Cuz S2 is growing some new chompers. Despite all the crankiness, drooling, biting, wake-ups in the middle of the night, our little man has gone for 5 months without a debut of any new teeth. I was actually really starting to worry that he might be missing a tooth or two (or more). Missing one tooth can be OK, but after looking at baby tooth growth charts, and seeing his peers show off full mouths of pearly whites, was really starting to concern me. Kids without baby teeth usually are people without adult teeth. Sure he looks cute now, and still baby-ish with only 11 teeth, but an adult with 11 teeth made me sad for potentially inviting ridicule. Especially if you can’t get prosthetic until your jaw stops growing, in your late, late teens. ACK!

    We talked about it briefly with his dentist, and she confirmed that 1) she will X-ray him when he turns 3 to see what’s going on in there; 2) even if we do the x-ray, no matter what it says, she can’t do anything for him either way.

    So I was feeling generally in the dumps about his future smile. Would it have any impact on his eating? On his facial formation? And then… finally… this week in another (internal) pleading attempt as I inspected his mouth at night, I saw them. The little white nubs finally poking out of his gums. Hooray! Monkey is growing in 3 new teeth at once. 2 are the canines (ugh — not a fan, remember G’s experience), and at last, his final incisor. You know 8 months “fashionably” late, but who’s counting ;p

    And here is S2’s latest tooth chart. I feel SOOOO much better. Really, really.

    Foto Friday

    October 26th, 2012

    We did some pumpkin painting last week-end. Our pumpkins from Bob’s Pumpkin Farm needed some love, and with some time FINALLY on my calendar, it turned into our Friday activity. I’ll say that I probably spent as much time preparing our table to do this, as it did to paint the orange things, but hey, kids had a good time. Why paint? Well, will you trust these mini-nuts with carving utensils?

    Hard at work!

    This was when I realized when S2 probably shouldn’t be around water-colors. Drinking the water? Yeah. Uhmn. No. Moving on to markers.

    The finished product. As you can see, S2’s a bit of a minimalist. Or perhaps it was the fact that he was FAR more interested taking the caps on/off the markers than actually doing anything with them 🙂

    I made a pumpkin too. My first actual carve. But I didn’t take a picture of it, and I quickly discovered that within 3 days that thing grows hair. Literally. So I guess these lanterns need to be done only 1-2 days ahead of Halloween to fight off mold. Bummer!

    So what IS reasonable?

    October 25th, 2012

    I had the boys to myself tonight. S was at a conference, in the city tonight, and I was left fending for the rest of the R-crew on my lonesome. As I was cooking dinner, and trying to get the kids to NOT trip me over as they played in the kitchen, I started asking myself what it was that I REALLY expected of G at this point in time. Specifically his behavior. I asked myself this, because this afternoon he was throwing a mini-tantrum. Actually, by previous standards established by this kid is was more of a micro-tantrum.

    I won’t go to say that our problems have been “fixed”, because surely they haven’t. I won’t even go so far to say that the therapy G has been going to on a regular basis has even done anything either. But this afternoon’s behavior was inline with, what I guess, would be my dream goal. G had booked his seat on a whine tour, was occasionally swatting in S2’s direction, whenever little bro would get in his space, and threw the top of his monkey barrel when he got mad that he couldn’t close it shut. Ideal behavior? Heck to the no! But, in comparison to what I could have written 2-3 weeks ago? Major improvement! His response was “milder”, shorter lived, and as soon as dinner was on the table, over.

    That’s when I had to really stop and ask myself what I truly considered reasonable to ask for. He’s 4. I can not expect him to have the same responses to his emotions S and I do. We internalize a lot, and vocalize only after we process our own crap. I won’t speak for S, but I can tell you I didn’t get to this point until I had graduated college. If it took me 21 years to get here, so why in the world should I assume a 4yr will match me?

    So as a whole what I saw this afternoon was good. This afternoon, I can deal with.

    Would I LOVE for him to listen and do what I say 100% of the time? Hell yeah! It would make things like picture days (there won’t be a school picture of him this year, btw), soccer class, and doctor’s visits a lot better. But I guess that’s the “unrealistic” nirvana. Until then, baby steps.

    He’s doing play therapy twice a week now. Twice because, well, 1) it’s covered by insurance (save our co-pay); 2) if it’s actually doing something for him, I’d rather build on the momentum; 3) could it bring us some answers sooner?
    S and I will also be meeting with a parenting counselor next week. We’re kinda swarming around this situation from all angles. Perhaps then, this feeling of helplessness will be a little better.

    Movie Monday

    October 22nd, 2012

    Did you know G can do S2’s bedtime? He’s got the singing, reading and rocking part down anyway.


    Our burglar deterrent

    October 21st, 2012

    As I opened my front door today, it hit me that having two pre-school aged children roam the house is a great burglar deterrent. You see, when your house looks like this:

    it appears that it’s already been robbed.

    Sand, peanut butter and tomato seeds

    October 17th, 2012

    What do these things have in common? If you guessed that they were all found in S2’s hair, you’d be right.

    Hooray for bath-time!

    Pumpkin patch trip

    October 12th, 2012

    I’ve been hearing about Bob’s Pumpkin Farm on my local mom’s club, and made it a point to schedule a trip. We went last week-end, and I would definitely go back. It’s a mix between a conventional pumpkin patch where all your pumpkins are lined up for you, or you can mosey on up the hill and try to pick one out of the field (even those most of those pumpkins have been placed there too).

    G tripped about 2 minutes into our walk, so that set him off on a sour-puss mood, but I think he had fun none-the-less.

    My statement was “If you can carry it, you can take it”, but the boys sure tried and found their matches with some of these gourdes.

    I think he spotted one!

    Met his match

    Here piggy, piggy!

    Showing the pot-bellied piggies his belly

    Car games

    October 9th, 2012

    G and I have gotten in a routine now where we play word games while we drive to/from school. Our repertoire has mostly consisted of number swaps, guess the animal, and some rhymes, but today we expanded to “what doesn’t belong”. Today, as we did “what doesn’t belong” I just was blown away by how stinkin’ smart this kid is. I mean he is, but actually seeing it in action just makes me giddy happy and proud. Plus I get to high-5 myself, because I feel like I’m educating during our car-trips, and he’s having a good time, so it’s kind of a win-win.

    Our number swaps are when we alternate counting. He can go up to 33. I tried counting backwards once, but he doesn’t quite get that concept yet so we’re working on it. I also want to do alphabet swaps, but that one is a work in progress. He can sing his ABCs (with a whole lot of letters in random places) but when it comes to letter swaps, we get as far as B. Like I said, work in progress.

    He also likes rhyming. This isn’t something I taught him: he just started doing it on his own, but it’s impressive. We’re expanding vocabulary which is good, but lemme tell you, I can’t quite rhyme on the spot.

    Tonight I added “what doesn’t belong”. I would give him 3 items, 1 of which doesn’t belong, and he has to identify it AND tell me why it doesn’t belong. The kid is good, dude. I even started doing some tricky ones like “the color yellow, the sun, and lettuce”. He called out lettuce because it wasn’t yellow. He even stumped me with one and I had to give it to him “fire truck, dump truck and crane”. To me crane stood out, because it wasn’t a truck, but he pointed out that the dump truck doesn’t have an extending arm. He wins!

    G also asks some really great questions, which quite frankly leave me a little stumped… mostly because I need to find a good way to explain concepts to a level he can visualize. The other day he asked me how the sun rises. Not why, or when, but how. So explaining earth curvature along with rotation was a bit beyond what I was ready to discuss at 7:10am.

    S2 meanwhile so far is mainly absorbing. He plays “guess the animal” with us, but his repertoire is a little limited. In another few years car rides will be interesting, though, for sure!

    So tonight I’m going to bed thinking that my children are geniuses… mostly because no-one has burst my bubble by telling me all these things are common amongst the 4yr old crowd.

    Movie Monday

    October 8th, 2012

    And then moments like these make me want to give myself Hi-5’s.