Friday, April 29, 2011

Molly is 6 months old

Molly June bug hit the half-year mark a couple weeks ago, so I think it's time to give a little baby update. I've been thinking about how Molly is different from how Tucker was at her age. So far what I've noticed is:

1) Molly is not as snuggly. She tends to keep her head up (not nuzzled into you), and she doesn't like to be held all the time. When she is held, she prefers to face outward so she can see what is going on.
2) She is a go-getter. She lunges for what she wants and is a persistent and clear communicater.
3) She doesn't like to be dirty. Tucker couldn't have cared less about messy diapers.
4) She is more physical than Tucker was. She turned over a lot earlier and the thrill of being able to do that herself makes her like tummy time a lot. I suspect she'll crawl way before Tucker did--she already manages to thump, thrust, rotate, and twist all over her crib (actually, I just ordered a breathable crib bumper so that she will stop getting stuck in the slats). She sleeps on her stomach now that she can put herself in that position.
5) She is less cautious than Tucker. She likes to be swung fast and thrown into the air... this is how to get her really laughing. Tucker was always a bit unsure about these things till he got used to them.
6) She loves to eat. Tucker refused solids till he was almost a year whereas Molly was drooling over our food by 3 months. She leans in and tries to get what we're eating. She has sucked the juice out of a broccoli twig, has gnawed on spiral ham for Easter, mashed up sweet potato fries and insists on three meals of solids a day (in addition to not giving up any nursing sessions). The funny thing is that even with her zest for food, she is much smaller than Tucker--she weighed in at 16 lbs 8 oz at 6.5 months, which is 12 oz less than Tucker weighed at 4 months.
7) I think Molly's not as smiley as Tucker. When she does smile, her whole face lights up; she has a truly beautiful smile that illuminates her. She's not stingy on her smiles, but my memory of Tucker is that he was always grinning.
8) She is not as good a napper as Tucker. Part of this is due to the fact that her naps have to work around our schedule, but Tucker was much more consistent.
9) She is much more focused on other kids. Obviously this is due to having a big brother, but if she has a slightly older child to watch, she will be entranced.
10) She loves TV. Tucker didn't notice TV till a lot older, but Molly has been craning her head around to watch for several months now.
11) She loves Ben. If Ben is around, she has a hard time eating because she just wants to watch him (and he loves to be around Molly during mealtime). I don't remember Tucker having this fascination with Ben so early.

Ways my kiddos are the same:
1) They are both stinkers with refusing bottles. We are trying with a sippy cup for Molly now because at least she enjoys it and doesn't scream.
2) They both love to be outdoors. This is the antidote to fussiness.

Ways Molly and I are the same:
1) We hum when we eat something we like.

We love you, Molly June Bug!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

Austin: I need a beer.
Tucker: You need a deer? Where is the deer?

The obsession continues....

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Cute Little Fella"

-Austin, talking about the four inch gecko/salamander-esque lizard that has gotten into our house.

I don't appreciate lizards inside my house. Let's rephrase that a little more accurately: I hate lizards in my house. But Austin has a point, and here's why:

I was downstairs on my computer last week and I heard Austin say "Oh, crap!" as he went up the stairs. Since he didn't call for me, I stayed put, wondering what was going on (if it was something about the kids, I was pretty sure he would've called for me). I heard a small racket for about thirty seconds and then he rushed down the stairs and outside.

At this point I got up to determine whether Austin was doing some sort of home improvement project and had severely injured himself. Instead, I found him coming back in with a bath mat, looking a little sheepish. Apparently, it was crossing his mind not to mention to his wife that he had just pinned a medium-sized black snake down in the upstairs hallway with the Swiffer, and then captured it and took it outside with the bath mat.

So, there you have it, the gecko (or whatever it is) is a lot cuter than a three foot long rat snake.

P.S. We suspect that the snake got into our attic by climbing the big trees that hang over our roof, and dropping onto the roof. It's anyone's guess how it got into the living space, but I am insisting that we get that investigated by a pest control somebody in the very near future.

And yes, we are

Friday, April 22, 2011

If one is good... six must be better

Tucker has some interesting dressing habits these days. He gets dressed in the middle of the night. He wears several different layers of socks or shirts or whatever else strikes his whimsy. His shirts often are on backwards. He likes his underwear backwards too because the big picture is on the back and he likes to see it.

Things got even more interesting this week when he decided he really wanted to be like his daddy, so he stopped wearing shirts to bed. It was pretty ridiculous to walk into his room to see a little bare-chested boy sprawled out across the bed (keep in mind our house is not especially warm this early in the season).

Tucker has also decided he wants underwear like Austin. Austin happens not to wear Thomas the train underwear, so Tucker has taken to wearing his old training pants that are a solid color to be more like his daddy. Today I made his little world when we bought real boxers for him. To celebrate he spent the afternoon wearing SIX pairs of underwear. Two new boxers. Two training pants. Two character undies. Surprisingly he had a difficult time going to the bathroom with all those layers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The most ridiculous bedtime ever

A few weeks ago Tucker had his first sleepover with his friend John. John's parents were going to a late-night event at their church so John came over to start his night's sleep at our house and be whisked away in the late evening when his parents were on their way home.

Tucker was beside himself with excitement. He ate a banana and about two bites of vegetables for dinner, and incessantly asked when John might arrive. I told him half an hour. He asked how long half an hour is. I told him about the time it was going to take Austin to come downstairs and eat his dinner. Tucker then started inquiring fervently about Austin's progress in the shower and what foods he was going to eat, as if rushing Austin through these events was going to make the time go faster.

John arrived and Tucker was ecstatic. We let them stay up an hour playing, and Tucker achieved new levels of hyper. He wanted to play with everything, with John at once. John was a little overwhelmed by Tucker's attentions, but held his ground pretty nicely except for when the ferry operated by Tucker was attempting to knock out John's train on the train table, and when the dinosaur came to attack him. A timeout helped Tucker regain a sliver of composure, but not much.

Both boys were in their beds in Tucker's room by 7:30 pm. As I walked out of the room, I wondered if they would fall asleep before John's parents came back to pick him up (at 10:30 pm). For awhile it was in question, but they did end up falling asleep at the reasonable (in such circumstances) hour of 9 pm. In the intervening hour and a half, Austin and I were treated to quite an earful. I don't know if I've ever heard such a long conversation between a two year-old and a three year-old boy. I wish I had had a recorder to immortalize their soliloquies.

John: My parents are gone.
Tucker: They're at church.
John: But I can't see them.
Tucker: Let's look out the window and check.
John: But we just looked out the window.
Tucker: But we haven't looked out the window again now.
John: Okay.

Mostly they talked about whether the lights should be off or on, and whether it was night-night time or not. But most of the time it sounded more similar to a "Who's on First?" skit than a conversation. One child would be speculating about whether Austin was in his office, and the other would be talking about the lights. Then it would shift and one would muse on whether it was, in fact, bedtime, while the other narrated what they were seeing out the window. Tucker is very sad he cannot have sleepovers every night. But don't worry, we read about Froggy's sleepover every night instead.

Quote of the Day

#1: "Remember, babies always cry!" -Tucker

Tucker reminds us of this several times a day, when Molly's crying, when Molly's not crying, when Molly's asleep, when Molly's awake--it really doesn't matter. I feel like my three year-old is trying to give me sage parenting wisdom. Hmmmm...

Austin [to me]: Dear, could you...?
Tucker: Where's the deer???!!

Tucker and I are on the couch in the living room, snuggling under an afghan
Tucker: Do you think a deer will eat this blanket?

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, which is the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, with the crowds of people around him waving palm branches, and putting branches and cloaks down on the road for Jesus to pass on top of.

Tucker was pretty tired and not at his best during the service today. I was relieved when the recessional was playing and we were done with managing our three year-old in the pew. And then I looked over, and I found Tucker wildly waving as many palm branches as he could find and laying them down in the aisle for everyone in the recessional to walk over (choir, altar boys, lay readers, deacon, priest). Just when I think he isn't listening at all. How does that boy know how to melt my heart?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tucker at Three and a Half

I have just gotten out of the habit of blogging lately, and I apologize especially to the grandparents who are suffering from a severe lack of grandchildren stories.

Tucker helped Austin and I both celebrate our birthdays recently. I think possibly he was more excited about our birthdays than either of us were. That boy certainly does not lack enthusiasm. I think Tucker has been around adult women too much because when we opened a present or a card he would say "Awwww" as in "Awwww, that's so cute." He sounds like a middle aged woman meets three year-old.

I've mentioned before that I feel like Tucker is smarter than I am. This Sunday in church he spent the service trying to get my attention the whole time by blowing kisses and/or hugging Molly. Those gestures would be adorable if the whole point of the activity wasn't Tucker trying to see how much he could control the situation, how much he could get away with, and what my personal boundaries are as a parent. Couldn't he pick something a little more overtly hostile and disruptive to test the boundaries with?

On the subject of church, Tucker continues to be fascinated by our priest, Father Glenn. He says things like, "Father Glenn, I love that guy!" and sometimes does the hand motions that Fr. Glenn does and repeats parts of Fr. Glenn's part in the liturgy. A month or so ago he spent the whole ride home from church asking questions about Fr. Glenn, mostly where he lived, and if he has a playground in his backyard. Now when we pass Harris Teeter, Tucker says, "Fr. Glenn lives around here!" Tucker is also obsessed with the process of extinguishing the candles at church. He is pretty sure that when I grow up I will become a big boy and can extinguish the candles at church. This Sunday Austin was the layreader so he was up at the altar and apparently Tucker was very upset that he wasn't the one putting out the candles. He is already wondering when he will be old enough to put out the candles.

Tucker is also obsessed by teeth falling out. A six year-old friend from church was showing Tucker where he lost a tooth, and introduced Tucker to the idea of baby teeth and adult teeth. Tucker is very interested. He has clarified with me and with Austin numerous times about who has baby teeth, who has mommy/daddy teeth and what kind of teeth Molly will be getting. Tucker is not a child who is afraid to dissect a subject to death and this is a case in point. Of course, a new book about Arthur losing a tooth hasn't helped the situation.

Speaking of books and obsessions, currently Tucker is into the Froggy series and it's driving me nuts. I think I would prefer to shoot myself than to read more Froggy books. FYI.

The biggest development in Tucker's young life lately is that his incessant talking has becoming more incessant. Right now he must ask about 1000 questions a day. If he doesn't have a new question to ask, he asks a question he has just asked. If he just asked a question, he may as well elaborate on it with another question. Our discussions go something like this:

Tucker: Will my raincoat blow away in the wind?
Austin: No, it won't
Tucker: How won't it blow away in the wind?
Austin: It's too heavy.
Tucker: How is it too heavy?
Austin: The wind isn't strong enough.
Tucker: How is the wind not strong enough?
Austin: Go ask Ben.
Tucker: How will Ben be able to talk?
Austin: [No answer]
Tucker: Will my water blow away in the wind?
[Repeat entire conversation about water.]

I love my exuberant little boy, but by the end of the day I'm really channeling that oldies song: "Silence is golden, golden...."