Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two Scoops

I just celebrated what may be my final day of nursing Peabody with a dish of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream.

Since I'll be away from my sweet boy for nearly 4 days straight, I'm thinking it's possible, if not probable, that my milk will dry up this weekend. But maybe not, and I'll certainly offer to nurse him at bedtime, as I have done for many, many months now, when I get home. He's been happy to go to bed without me a few times this month, which gives me reassurance that he's ready and going to be fine if we do end up "weaning" (for want of a better way to put it, really) now.

It has been a wild and mostly wonderful ride, and I will miss breastfeeding if it's over, but I'm also proud, so proud, to have made it to now - Peabody's second birthday (minus two days), as a nursing pair. And a part of me is ready to let it go if now's the time. I'm ready for my cycle to be more back to my own "normal" (it's been very iffy for 2 years!) and to have my skin and hair and weight go back to normal, too. But I will miss the closeness with Matthew. I hope he'll be okay with cuddling and rocking before bed, because I would hate to give that up, too. I love my cuddly, sweet, lovey little boy so much.

Matthew will be TWO when I see him after this weekend (I'll be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure). I will miss his actual birthday on Saturday which makes me so sad, but we will celebrate him next weekend as a family. I can't believe he's 2 already, and lately have felt really nostalgic for the days just before and after his birth. He was the sweetest little newborn ever and I'd love to just hold that tiny Peabody again just one more time. But oh, what a wonderful toddler he is these days. He is talking more than ever and he totally has me wrapped around his little finger with his larger than life, crazy, silly, affectionate budding personality. I can't wait to see him every morning when he wakes up, and lately I've wanted to linger in his room at night after I've tucked him in, just to marvel at his sweet "Nigh-nigh"s and tell him over and over again how much I love him. (He loves me too. So much. I love how he loves me!)

I will post more soon about my charming little man. For now I just wanted to get some thoughts down and mark this special occasion. Two years! Never thought I could do it, but I did. We did. And I am so amazed by and thankful for that!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Words and Sweetness

Peabody's vocabulary, both signed and spoken, is beginning to take off lately. I am (and he is, clearly, judging by the smiles and proud facial expressions he displays after he uses a new word or sign) so proud of my little boy. One of my FAVORITE parts of this stage in my kids' lives is watching them learn to communicate. It's always so enriching to our relationship and so maturing for the child, too. He seems so much happier and less stressed any time he has a communication success with one of us! It's miraculous to see it unfold, is what it is.

Right now, Peabody uses many signs to tell me what he's thinking - he knows EAT, DRINK, COLD, HOT, LOVE, GOODBYE, DIAPER (which I'm hoping he'll start using to tell me when he needs to be changed), I'M SORRY (I only showed his this one ONE TIME, and he used it correctly the very next day!), GET DOWN, PICK ME UP, FISH, BIRD, DOG and several others that escape me.

He is also adding new spoken words almost daily. As of today, he can say the following:

car (gah)
ball (bah)
eat (eeee)
cheese (eeee)
please (eeeee)
water (biddoo) - this is more of a tongue trick than a word. He mimics the sound of water trickling)
banana (badoodoo) - same here, really.
cocoa - caca
cracker - gaca
eeyew - Ew. (Yuck) - this is what he says when he has a dirty diaper or sees anything yucky.
nom nom nom - YUM! He also sometimes uses this for "eat."
weet - light
yaya - outside (also his word of choice for shoes and socks, which makes sense!)
nigh-nigh - Goodnight, but also his word for nursing. He's very logical!
eee-ooo - CheezIts
OOOOOOOH - Cheerios
woof-woof - dog

Peabody loves cars. A lot. They are, by far, his favorite thing. He loves (right now) to be ya-ya, running around exploring things, but even more, to be ya-ya and allowed to climb up in the gah to explore it, pretend to drive it, beep the horn, make varoom noises, turn all the lights on and off, etc. We are amazed at his love for cars at this age. He spies them on magazine covers as we shop, points out sports cars as we drive around town (they get LOTS of LOUD varooming noises!), and will sometimes just stand at a window or on the driveway and watch them go by on the road, saying, "GAH! GAH! GAH!"

It's very, very cute.

Yesterday Alex had dance class in the late afternoon so I fed Peabody his dinner of grilled chicken and broccoli at the dinner table. After we'd been sitting there together for a few minutes and he'd eaten a few bites, he lifted his plate off the table and tried to give it to me. He was smiling, so I wondered what he was up to! I said, "Are you all done?" and he shook his head "no" and said, "YAYA!" as he continued holding his plate up to me. "You want to eat your dinner outside?" I asked him. "YAYA!" he smiled back.

So I carried his plate out onto the patio and put it down for him at the kids' small picnic table. He sat right down and grinned at it, and gobbled it all down, happy as a little clam. I don't know which made him so happy, eating outside or just having been able to communicate his desires and have them met. All I know is it was a wonderful moment for the two of us. My eyes welled up at his happiness, and at the promise that moment holds for more and better and sweeter exchanges between us, right around the corner! I can't wait to learn more about him and I know this is when that knowledge finally comes along in great, long strides.

Peabody's been very affectionate lately, as well. He loves to give me long, passionate (I know, Oedipus!) kisses and is always running up to me throughout the day to hug my legs tightly (or give me a real hug when I get down on his level for one). He hugs Bean quite a bit, too, especially when she's crying or has been gone away for a little while. When we would go pick her up from preschool (school is out for summer now), he would run straight to her and hug her the moment he saw her. Today she was being mopey on the sofa, so he went to her and tried to kiss her. When she wouldn't let him kiss her, he brought a car to her and made it drive along her legs, as he looked into her face to see if she'd cheer up. He's very sweet to his sister, mostly, except when she plays with his cars without his having offered them to her!

He loves to brush his teeth, and to pretend to wash his hair. He wants to do and have anything Bean has, no matter what, except he hasn't shown any interest in getting on the potty (which is fine, I'm not planning on starting all that for another year, probably). He loves reading books and his favorites are Curious George Rides, My First Book of Trucks, Good Night Moon, Baby Words and Baby Colors, the Pigeon books, and an Elmo Valentine book, but he will gladly sit and listen and look at most any book I read to him and ask for another when it's over. This is a relatively new thing (maybe 6 months?) and it's run concurrent to his interest in learning words to speak or sign.

Naps are still a huge battle with Peabody. He is just not willing to miss out on anything during the day, which means he has an early bed time. He can get through a day fairly well without a nap, but some days he does take one in the car if we're out running around or on the floor in the office if I'll lie down and nurse him for awhile to get him to sleep. Occasionally he'll just fall asleep while I'm holding him and then I can put him down on the sofa and cover him up. He rarely naps longer than an hour under any circumstances, though. I'm okay with it, as I suppose I have to be.

But at night? Oh this boy LOVES to go NIGH NIGH! Right now, Bean and Peabody have dinner (tea) together at 5:30. Then they both go upstairs and take their clothes off and run around for awhile while I get their bath ready, gather the pajamas and straighten up their rooms. Then they take a bath with lots of toys and splashing, and while they are in the tub, their Daddy usually comes home. We bathe them and then get them out and dressed in pajamas, and then we all sit on the floor in Peabody's room to read books and snuggle. Peabody usually ends our time together by telling Bean and Daddy NIGH NIGH and climbing into my lap. This is his sign that he's ready to put on his sleep sack and have milkies. So Bean and Daddy say goodnight and give him hugs and kisses, then they leave and I get Peabody cozy in my lap and nurse him. As he nurses, I tell him that I love him and that we had a great day and that now it's time for him to get his Puppy and lie down in his bed and go NIGH NIGH. I put him into his crib on his tummy and cover him with a blanket while he reaches for Puppy and pulls him close. I bend down and blow a kiss through the bars of his bed and he giggles (every time!). Then I tell him I love him and to have a gooooooood sleepy, and I walk to his door. Just as I open the door, he lifts up his head and says, "NIIIIGH NIIIGH" to me, and I say it back and close the door. It's just SO SWEET that he loves going to bed so much and has established his own little way of settling down for sleep.

I SOOOOOO love my little boy. He is sometimes such a handful, but he makes up for all of his mischief with such sweetness.

Pretending to go NIGH NIGH in Bean's bed, 10 o'clock in the morning, May 15, 2010.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eighteen Months - Nursing and Growing


Eighteen months and still going. Nursing is so smooth and easy and comfortable for us both now. Peabody would nurse as many times a day as I'd let him - he's a milky, milky little boy. But we are busy and I DO turn him down on occasion. He's guaranteed mornings, naptime and bedtime and sometimes he'll get a short little session in the late morning if we can fit it in. Peabody signs "milk" for any drink, but not often for nursing - to communicate that he usually climbs into my arms and lies down or sidles up and starts trying to pry my shirt up.

Peabody naps once a day now, for only 40 minutes if I put him in his bed, but up to two hours if I hold and rock him. I'd have told another mother two years ago to NEVER do that because "he'll never learn to nap on his own" but I really tried everything else and the 40 minute naps weren't enough to keep him rested, so I've learned/taught myself to never say never. When you have a sleepy boy and you need a break in your day (even if you spend the break nursing, rocking and nodding off yourself!), you do what you have to do. And once I surrendered myself to the idea of it vs. resenting how it impacted ME and MY NEEDS, I actually began to enjoy it. I think I'll look back on this time with him as times I gave myself to my child and to God and enjoyed them both immensely. (I get to pray a lot as I rock that sweet boy in our big red chair, and I think the prayer time has really been some of the most significant and meaningful time I've had with God in my life.)

He is not much for talking other than a few signs (eat, more, cookie, help, love, drink), Ah for Hi, na-na for night-night and a few others that are so rare I can't think of them. But he loves to sing and can mimic a tune very well, matching it note for note. He is as big a fan of Elmo as Bean was at this age, maybe bigger, and whenever he sees a picture or other image of Elmo, he hums "Thaaaaaat's Elmo's wooooorld..." He also hums it when he knows he's gettin' into trouble with Al or me, for some reason, probably because he knows it goes a long way to diffusing our anger to hear him hum his favorite little tune.

I've been reading some books specific to raising little boys, as with each day that passes I feel a little more in over my head with this small dynamo we've created. He is FULL of energy and has his own opinions about everything - he's as headstrong as the day is long right now, as he has been since he was born, practically. And I don't think that's a bad thing at all, I just have had no experience with it because Bean is and has always been more of a pleaser. SoI'm trying to get educated on how to harness my boy's energy and use it all for good and in his own benefit without totally doing in his MOTHER.

I have so much more I'd love to write about my sweet little man but both kids are awake and needing me so I'll go now. Just wanted to document our 18 month milestone since I missed one year, and get this picture (taken during today's naptime) posted for posterity.

Quick stats: Peabody weighs 23 lbs on the dot and wears a size 18 mos. clothes and a SIZE 6.5 (US) SHOE. His feet are still very, very long and very skinny and they look exactly like Al's. He got his first real hair cut (by Daddy) the first weekend in February, right before he turned 18 months old (I'd cut it a little here and there a few times myself but this was an all-over cut with the clippers). He hated the cutting, but he looks absolutely adorable - a little bit more like a little boy, but still with those blue eyes and soft cheeks, he's still very much a baby.

Love my little boy! Love him, love him, love him!

My Lil Family