Monday, May 18, 2015

Dreamin' of Dada

Well, it's official. The boys are missing Daddy as much as their mama is.

Several times since Jeremy's been in Chicago (most recently, last nite and after the gym this morning), the boys and I will pull into the garage, and Jones will say, "Mama, weet (wait). Dada comin'." He'll then look towards the stairwell, where Dada always comes to help us get upstairs when he's home. 

Later today, Jones got up from his nap, and we sat in one of the rockers in his room to "cuckle" for a minute. I told him I'd just talked to Dada, who'd said to give him a big hug. Jones then gave me a bear hug. After that, I took him to the "room" to play. A few seconds later, I came back in to see him sitting on the floor, looking at this book. I wondered if he'd chosen it intentionally or coincidentally, so I asked, "What's that book about, JoJo?" 

"Dada," he responded. 

Baby, please come home! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Intentionally Busy Friday & Saturday

Mom and Daddy's house is awesome ... unless you're trying to keep 16 month old and his 2.5 year old brother from killing themselves. If you're trying to do that, Mom and Daddy's house is an 8,000 square foot cavern of potential calamity that requires matching your sons footstep for footstep to be sure they don't fall down a stairwell (Freddie) or jump into their beloved, slow leaking pirate sheep not realizing that "Mayme's beach" can be very hazardous to unsupervised toddlers (Jones).

Now that it's warmer and the boys are both down to one nap a day, my answer to this issue is to keep them out as much as possible. Either that or, when I'm lucky, have my sister's kids over to entertain the boys in ways I'm too old to do.

Yesterday, the kids weren't available, so the boys and I spent the morning at Cleveland Park where they have ... wait for it ... A PLAY TRAIN.

It was as big a hit as you'd expect it to be.

After a stroll further down the Swamp Rabbit Trail, we went home, and the boys napped. I thought Jones's newfound pool bravery may translate to other experiences, as well, so I asked Mom and Daddy (who's actually home, for once) if they wanted to take him and Freddie to the Fair at Heritage Park in Simpsonville. Off we went, arriving just after the gates opened at 4 p.m.

Our first stop was the Merry Go Round. Apparently, pool bravery does not, necessarily, mean park bravery. Jones screamed pretty much the entire ride. Since the little boats had a steering wheel, I thought maybe he'd enjoy that more - or at least that he'd be distracted enough by all the steering to be scared by the ride.

Wrong again.

On both rides, I kept waiting, assuming he'd settle into them, as soon as he saw that their slow circular motions weren't going to erratically toss him off or anything. He never settled in, just screamed the entire time, so we stopped at two rides, cut our losses, doled out the remaining tickets, and headed home, though Freddie, of course, could've ridden all day.

This morning, the cousins were here. That meant that, after breakfast, Payton, Lizzie Gray, and Lila joined the boys and I for a trolley ride through downtown Greenville. We told Jones it was a train (not to be confused with a merry go round or slow-going boat), and he rode for no less than an hour and fifteen minutes; he only stopped then, because we had to leave sometime. Freddie did great for the first, I don't know, 45 minutes or so. After that, he got a little restless. He still behaved well; he just wanted to be passed around from person to person.

Jones just sat there, holding on and sporadically saying, "Toot toot!" "All aBOAR...!" and "Train.Fass (fast)."

But before all that excitement, Bobo and Jojo got in some hide-and-go seek.

After the hiding and the seeking and after the riding on the trolley-train, we went back to Cleveland Park for some playtime, primarily because I needed to keep the boys occupied until nap time. Then we came home, topped off their tummies, and put them in the bed where they still are, because Mama - and company - have successfully worn them out.  All in a day's work.

Next up: some swimming to patch us through 'til bedtime.

Also, I am missing this handsome guy like CRAZY. Women whose husbands are road warriors (Mom), I applaud you for doing what, it turns out, I can NOT. I want him HOME!

As they say, "four more sleeps"...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Newsy Little Note

A couple of pictures and some quick little stories:

1) I'm really trying to make Jones feed himself with a spoon / fork more. When he does it, he does great. I just never make him do it, because, first of all, I never think of it, and second of all, I can feed him, like, TEN THOUSAND TIMES faster than he can feed himself. But the only way he'll get faster is to get more practice, so ...

Anyway, whenever I give Jones a spoon to feed himself, Freddie absolutely REFUSES to let me feed him. He'll lock his lips and turn his head, positively INSISTING that he feed himself in the same way he sees his brother doing.

This isn't a bad thing. He's gotta learn sometime! It's just an untidy thing, as Freddie's aim isn't exactly all that Jones's is. Here are some pictures as proof from this morning's breakfast of what the boys call "yo-yo."

When Freddie'd get fed up with the slow-going of the spoon, he'd stick his hand into the cup of yo yo and feed himself THAT way. At one point, Jones turned up his nose and said, in a very concerned tone, "Mama, Baby. Mess."

Yes, Son. I see that.

2) Walking around Haywood Mall today, Jones "toot-toot"ed like Thomas the Tank Engine pretty much non-stop. And when he wasn't "toot-toot"ing, he was jabbering in the same high pitch as his "toot"s. I thought it was kind of hilarious, but I'm not sure the passersby did. 

Oh, and about the "toot-toot"ing, a couple of months ago, I noticed Jones squinting and blinking this weird way, and I thought at first it was some kind of an eye tick. I wasn't worried about it, because Dr. Google said that was totally normal for toddlers, particularly of the boy variety. More recently, I've realized that he only does it when he "toot-toot"s. 

Well, a few weeks ago, I finally connected all of the dots when I actually watched an episode of Thomas, instead of just zoning out as Jones watches them. He's not twitching; he is making EXACTLY the same facial gestures that Thomas (and all the trains) make when "toot"ing. After seeing that, I was immediately amazed at how SPOT ON his mimicry is, which, I'll be honest, kinda reminds me of someone else I know who used to watch things over and over and over again until she could mimic them as perfectly as possible.

In a related story, he's also started repeating bits of dialogue as soon as he hears it on a movie. I don't know what it is that makes him repeat something, but when he does it, he's like a little parrot, trying to emulate timing and inflection.

Both of these - tooting with the Thomas face and parroting cartoon dialogue - are things that I want to get on video, but of course, when I ask him to do either, he won't (or he doesn't do it in the same way), so I'm just going to have to capture both by pure luck. Cross your fingers.

3) Earlier this week, Freddie did what should not be done in a bathtub. Though we've had a handful of number one accidents at tub time, we've not had a number two ... until Monday, that is. Funnily enough, the boys were in Mom's tub after their second swim of the day, and I was sitting in it with them, wearing my suit and washing them off. I was taking some video to send Jeremy of their faces transfixed on (of course) "Thomas" on the TV opposite Mom's tub. That's when I noticed Freddie's face looking a little unnaturally strained; I moved the camera back just in time to see ... you know. I won't post the footage, because ... gross. But if you're planning to be at his rehearsal dinner in about 30 years, look for it then.

4) Jones had his first wardrobe request today. Overnite, he'd worn the heavy equipment jammies his cousins Louci and Lila gave him for his birthday. When I started taking them off to put on his red, white, and blue striped t-shirt, he did NOT want to take it off. "Bull-boze," he said. I told him, he could wear that shirt, or he could wear his John Deere shirt to match the John Deere hat he already had on (of course).

Keep reading to see which shirt he chose.

5) Freddie likes ketchup, too. Jones wants to "deep" everything in "sauce" (including his cucumbers at supper last nite) - doesn't matter if it's salsa, ketchup, honey mustard, whatever. I typically don't give any to Freddie, because it becomes more finger paint than condiment. Well, after Jones had finished his chicken nuggets last nite, Freddie pointed to the bowl of ketchup and said, "deese" ("this"), as he does. I figured, "How much harm can he do?" He immediately put the bowl over his face and started licking its insides. 
6) Jones had some water gun fun yesterday. It took him a while to get the hang of the trigger, but as soon as he figured out he could pull it more easily with TWO fingers, he was on the money. Freddie LOVED being hit with the water, but he didn't have much interest in shooting it. Guess he's a lover, not a fighter.

7) Here are some pictures from tonite's swim. Unfortunately, the pirate sheep has sprung a slow leak, which means I have to blow it up every time we go out, and after towing around a two and half year old, it's completely deflated about ten minutes into the swim.

Also, I got Freddie a new little ride on thingie hoping it'd make him more at home in the pool. He's still not loving it. Tonite, he made it about three minutes (saying "I duck" ("I'm stuck") the entire time) before Mom took him back inside. Hopefully, he'll warm up to the water as the summer goes on.

After he went inside, Jones spent a lot of time running around the apron of the pool, while I pummeled him with an Aqua-Zooka. He thought this was hilarious.

8) Finally, I'm missing Jeremy like CRAZY. That is not an understatement. The boys miss him, too. Freddie lets me know he's awake by saying, "MA-ma. MAAAAAAA-ma!" and as soon as I walk into his room, he smiles and says, "DA-da!" Jones starts running around like he's got ants in his pants every time his daddy FaceTimes us. We are most definitely a family that works best when it's together.

Jeremy's been gone for five days. He'll be home in six more. If ever I wanted time to fly by ...