Today my boy is three years old. My baby boy with the blonde curls and the infectious laugh. The boy who put so much meaning and purpose into our lives in an instant is now 3. Our NOLA baby.
Happy Birthday my little man!
(Both photos taken today, on his third birthday.)
Bennett is about to turn three and he is at this amazing age where pretend play is getting very detailed. He can focus his attention on one activity for a longer period of time, and that makes for more detailed play. His imagination is running wild. It makes for hilarious conversation and a really fun playmate. Albin and I crack up constantly over the dialogue he has. Pretend play is something I can really get on board with too. We spent a ton of time in May immersed in various pretend scenarios.
An added bonus is that if I spend just a few minutes setting up and getting the game started , he will play solo for ages, completely involved in his little world.
Some of the fun pretend activities in May:
- We set up an office and had "performance reviews." Colette and the stuffed animals were all great sports. Bennett said "good job Clette."
- We played grocery store and worked on customer service and counting money. "Hello sir, here's your change!" "I need torn and mayos." (Corn and tomatoes)
- I found a space suit that came home with us one day, and that meant we had to build a space ship. You can't very well go into space without a ship, right?! He was really serious about this particular activity, as blasting off is a big theme around here lately. "One, two, five, seden, nine, twelve, sixteen, twenty, and blaassssst offffff!" I am still working on decking out the space ship and will be adding constellations to the inside that light up.
- We also took a field trip to the grand hall of pretend play, Pretend City, up in Irvine. The place is a children's museum on steroids. It really is a tiny pretend city with everything from a town square, grocery store, house, construction site, and everything else. I think I had as much fun watching him as he had playing there. If you're in So Cal, it is worth the trip.
Now June is here, and the sun is coming out. June is also Bennett's birthday month. Our theme may be a bit more outdoor focused, with lots of beach and a few zoo excursions thrown in.
I can't believe the boy who made me a Mom will be THREE!
She's four months old! Sweet and spunky, and about to have her first taste of solids this evening. Bubbling, squealing and giggling at her brother are her favorite past times.
She weighs 14.5 pounds and is definitely much smaller than her brother at this age. Tall and skinny like her Mama.
We love you Coco!
My sweet Colette is just over 3 months now. Naturally I think she's just about the loveliest baby girl who ever lived. She's definitely my little sidekick, and the perfect addition to complete our family. We are all crazy about her.
A few things about Colette right now..
- She started rolling from back to front at 12 weeks old.
- She smiles all the time and loves attention. I've even started making her laugh. Any parent knows those first laughs are life's greatest music.
-She babbles and coos. We have spirited conversations, especially in the evening. She's also majorly blowing bubbles, just like her brother did.
-I'm eager to get a weight check and see how she's growing. She was 12.6 pounds at 2 months, my guess is somewhere around 14 now. Bennett was just over 15 at this age.
Colette at about 2 months
Colette at 3 months
The last few weeks of my pregnancy, it seemed like everywhere I went people would glance at my ripe belly and my two year old boy and say, "You're gonna have your hands full." And I'd give them a terrified but smiling face and nod my head in agreement. I knew it. I already had my hands full. Adding the demands of a newborn to the rotation was certainly going to be interesting. Then you think about how it's only the beginning. Soon they'll both be walking and talking and then you're hands are really gonna be full. You just keep telling yourself that it'll all work out... which it totally does.
Yesterday my boy was sick. Sicker than I've ever seen him. He never moved and had a fever that hit 104. I was scared to death. He cried when I touched him and said his "body hurt." It was one of my hardest days as a mom. At one point I was on the phone with his pediatrician trying to cool him down but also take care of my nursing infant. She asked who I had here helping me. And I cried when I said "no one." It was a moment of weakness when I realized I am the one who needs to help these kids. This is my job as a stay at home mom. I'm lucky I get to do this. I'm lucky my husband has a job that provides for our family.
My hands are gonna be full for awhile. I am going to have many hard days. Yesterday was one of them. But last night the fever finally broke. My boy finally ate some food and drank some juice. I read him his stories and he said "I love you Mom." And my HEART was full. So full. In the calm of the night I knew it would be alright.
I know many mothers face much worse with their sick children or their out of control children. But we all have our days. Days when other problems are clouding our mind, where it's tough to focus. Days where our babies really need us. Days where we don't really feel like we were enough... Not enough mother, not enough wife. But one day, some years in the future, my hands won't be so full. Something tells me my heart will be aching for these full hands again.
Today the sun is out, and we are in resting mode. Tomorrow we are leaving for a family visit up North... And yes, my hands are gonna be full. I'm rolling with it.
Our Colette is over a month old now. Those first weeks flew by. I love that newborn time where we just lay low at home and soak in those newborn grunts and gulps. Such an incredible time.
She is such a sweet and easy baby. Albin and I joke that she's my best friend who ALWAYS wants to hang out. I don't get a whole lot of "ME time" right now. Haha. She is most happy when she's nursing or in a wrap on my chest. I think we spend about 18 hours a day chest to chest, and that is okay with me. It does make house work challenging, but I am coping. I know this time is so short, I won't wish it away.
She weighed in at 10 pounds, 6 ounces at her one month weigh in. My boy was 11 pounds 11 ounces at the same age, so she's definitely my petite child. She is absolutely scrumptious.
My first born baby boy is two and a half years old now. I'll just get it out of the way and say that I don't know where the time went and that I get a little misty eyed when I look at pictures of him as a baby. He is just becoming such a child! Last night I was giving him his bath and couldn't believe the change in his legs. They are long and muscular, and have no more rolls or baby fat. They're still gorgeous, but different. I was proud and sad all at once. His language is developing every day too. I am constantly amazed at what he knows.
Bennett at 2 and a half...
- The biggest change for him recently is his new title as big brother. He kisses her and asks to hold her all the time. He also says her name so cute. "Clette." I know that sometimes he needs extra attention and to know he's still my baby right now. So I try to carve out as much special time for him as I can.
- We still have our nightly story time. We began this when he was just days old, and I plan on keeping it going for as many years as he will allow it. We have this book and this book on repeat, with a few others mixed in. He knows and recites a few of the books with me and it is one of my favorite times of day. He usually interrupts the stories with several tight hugs around the neck, a few "love you's" and at the end he says "Night night. Eat dreams." No matter what kind of day we had, any trouble melts away in those final moments we say goodnight.
- He loves trains, cars, play dough, construction vehicles, his playhouse, Legos, and art projects. We do a lot of painting and coloring around here.
- Sometimes he will mention "Scary monsters!" Or he'll tell me when we're playing in his playhouse that we are "in the woods." He also made me "pie soup" in the playhouse this morning. When I touched he said, "No! Hot!" And I dropped it in feigned pain. A couple minutes later he kissed my hand and said "feener better." (Finger better) Imagination. Love when he gets really serious about something like this.
- Recently he's been getting up in the morning and turning his own light on to begin playtime. When I come out and do my first sweep of the house, I'll see the light shining through the crack in the door. Then he usually peeks out and invites me to join the current activity. "Mom, show you." He's also done this a couple times at night though. Right after I tuck him in, I walk by and see the light on again and he's in there playing. Doing his best to make his own decisions.
Benny Boy, you are my heart!
We are two weeks in to this family of four thing. It hasn't been the struggle that I had mentally prepared myself for. In fact it's been a pretty seamless transition. I am navigating the waters of postpartum recovery with a newborn and a toddler, enjoying this wonderful newborn phase, and preparing for a fresh new year.
We are so thrilled to announce the birth of our daughter Colette Elizabeth. She made her debut on 12.13.14 at 9:43 am, weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches. Her birth was an entirely different experience than her brothers, and we are so thankful to already have her home. Birth story to come later. For now we are enjoying our newborn and adjusting to being a family of 4.
Oh there's no place like home for the holidays! And thank goodness, because at this stage in my pregnancy I am too worn out to leave the house. I'm nearly 38 weeks pregnant right now and besides waiting and prepping for the baby, I have a toddler to entertain. Lucky for me, Christmas time is one of the best times of year to cozy in and nest. Today it's raining in San Diego and feeling like the perfect December.
I've got a whole line-up of activities in rotation to keep my little man from going stir crazy. Of course we picked out a tree and decorated the house..but we've had to relearn how to do the holidays now that we are parents. It's funny because holidays are about the kids anyways, but after years of doing it "your way," it can be a bit of an adjustment to make it fun and relatable for babes.
Here's our activity list:
1. Deck the Halls:: Kid Style. We've added a couple little things to Bennett's room to enjoy. He and I made a construction paper garland to put on his tiny tree. He helped me line up all the colors and it was a perfect time to work on our color naming and sorting.
2. Make a special library trip for holiday books. We already go to the library at least once a week, usually twice. For one our trips, we had a scavenger hunt to find books with a Christmas theme. He is really good at identifying Santa and any Snowman so he actually did help with this. We've added a couple holiday books to our personal collection as well. It's been fun to add one or two holiday books to the nightly story routine.
3. Put up a kids tree. We are lucky enough to have a sunroom in our house (extra space) and we used it to put up a kid friendly tree. It's artificial, and filled with unbreakable, handmade, and toy ornaments. Yep, we put the toy cars on the tree. I knew once we got our pretty tree (which is also mostly unbreakable this year) that the temptation to touch the tree would be too great. Having the kid tree up has been a game changer. He knows he can rearrange the ornaments and point out all the special details. We will probably be "two tree people" forever. This has been so fun.
4. Make ornaments. I've decided to keep adding to the kids tree, so we've got a few different ornament projects planned. Today we painted clay ornaments. I've also got a couple handprint ornaments to do after the baby comes. These make such fun keepsakes to look at year after year. I can't wait to share these memories with the kids years from now.
5. Gift wrapping. No matter what I am working on, Bennett will come to me and say "Doing? Mama?" He, like any good toddler wants to be involved and help me with everything. So we've made gift wrapping a special event. We used white craft paper, paint, and stickers to make our own wrapping paper for some of our gifts. It actually came out great, and he was thrilled to help wrap up a present for Daddy with his very own handmade paper.
6. We've also got making a gingerbread house, baking treats, meeting Santa, town tree lighting, and driving around to look at lights on our agenda in the coming days.
How do you keep your toddler busy during the holidays?