Adventures of Colt: Boston Edition  

On Thursday, June 22nd, Colt and I, along with my mother and sister, Jerrica, headed to Boston to visit my aunts. It was Colt’s first plane ride, along with his first extended trip away from home. I really wish that Mike could have joined us, but it was important that we took this trip sooner rather than later. 

Colt was very good at the airport, and on the plane. He had been excited to go “up there!”. Only after we got off the plane did he fuss much, and that was mainly his independent side not wanting to hold anyone’s hand. But that was short-lived thanks to our flight attendant offering him a Boston Cream donut. The car ride back to Barb and Eileen’s was long due to traffic. 

Once we arrived at the house, Colt was able to stretch his legs and burn some energy in Barb’s daycare play yard. We picked up Italian food for dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much Colt ate, but then again, we only had a chance to snack at the airport, rather than the lunch I had hoped for. 

Friday morning, Barb’s daycare kids were dropped off and we promptly got them all ready for a field trip downtown to the New England Aquarium. Five adults each holding the hand of one of the five kids under 3 years old, we walked a short distance to the bus stop. The kids had a blast singing and looking at all the other vehicles. From there we hopped on the Orange Line. “Choo choo!” They were all excited to ride a train, especially in the tunnels! We counted down the 12 stops until State Street and emerged from underground at historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. From there we could see the ocean in the distance. We made our way down the busy streets to the aquarium. 

The New England Aquarium is one of my favorites as it is designed with a large cylindrical tank in the center that houses all kinds of sealife. Around the edges are other various tanks. And they even have penguins and sealions. It was quite busy, but we let the kids see a bit before stopping for lunch. You would think I hadn’t fed Colt that morning. Of course, it’s not the greatest food health wise, but he ate french fries, pizza and mac n cheese. We checked out more of the tank on the way out, and the kids even got to watch the divers feeding the fish and sharks and the sea turtle. 

It seemed like a long way home, but once we were back the kids took a nice long nap and the grown-ups enjoyed a rest as well. As the kids woke up, they dressed in their play clothes and headed outside for popsicle and play time. 

Saturday morning I was not impressed when Colt woke up shortly after 5am. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to convince him to lay back down. I was awoken by the sweetest little hand on my face and a tiny, “hi momma”, at 8am. It was a rainy morning so we played indoors, Colt pulling out whatever toys he could find, as well as his new sea animals that his grandma got for him at the aquarium. 

After his nap, we loaded up the rental CAR, that we were conveniently upgraded to a – passenger SUV, and headed to Nantusket Beach. Colt’s first time seeing the ocean. We splashed around ankle deep in the cold water, collected rocks and seashells, dug holes and built castles in the sand, and ate proper boardwalk junk food. We rode on the Paragon Park Carousel, and walked along the boardwalk after dinner. I have to say I’m genuinely impressed with how well Colt kept up, only asking me to carry him the last few feet back to the car. And it took a bit for him to doze off in the car, but once he did, he was out for good, barely lifting his head off my shoulder as I carried him inside. 

Sunday we originally had planned to visit Downtown in the morning. We were thinking about visiting the Public Gardens and Boston Common, as I was interested in showing Colt the Frog Pond and the Swan Boats. But with all the walking we did the day before, we decided to do a Duck Boat tour instead. Unfortunately, no morning tours were available, so we chose one for later in the afternoon. 

Since we had no morning plans, we instead went to IHOP for breakfast and then to a local pool and spray deck where Colt had a great time running through the sprinklers. After lunch and a nap, we headed into the city, this time to take one of the famous duck boat tours. While it wasn’t the first tour for me, it was for Colt and my mom. Colt wasn’t really interested in seeing the sites and learning the history, but he was pretty excited when the vehicle drove into the Charles River. A little ways into the ride, the captain let the kids on board steer the vessel. 

On Monday, Barb had her daycare kids again. That afternoon, we walked the kids to Ron’s Ice Cream and 20th Century Bowling. Candlepin bowling is a little different than the bowling that most people are used to. The balls and pins are much smaller and perfect for a bunch of little kids. The kids were very well behaved. I’ve never seen kids so patiently take turns! After a half hour of bowling, we got the kids ice cream. 

Tuesday was the last day of our adventure. And of course that was even quiet the experience for Colt. After breakfast we headed out walking to the bus stop to take that back to the Orange Line, which we took to the Blue Line and then to the airport shuttle. We said our goodbyes to Barb and then got settled into a long line at Security. We had just enough time for a bathroom break before boarding. The flight was quick, and Colt was able to catch a nap. It was good to be heading home. 

I really enjoyed experiencing the city again with Colt. I am looking forward to many more trips out there. There are so many historical places that I think he will appreciate as he gets older. 

Colt was also so well behaved. It really couldn’t have been any better. I’m glad that we got to share time with my aunts and I hope that we get to do it again soon. I always appreciate the time I get to spend with Barb and Eileen. They are genuinely good people who enjoy spending time with friends and family and it truly shows. I just hope that I can someday reciprocate their hospitality. 

Potty Training PT 2

So after last month’s failed attempt at the 3-day potty training weekend, I decided to hold off on the whole idea for a while. Of course, not everyone had that same idea. “Helpful” family members kept suggesting he use the potty, which I couldn’t really blame them for trying. Anyway, I hadn’t put much effort in it, and was happy to see that at school they were having him sit on the potty at every diaper change and after meals and naps.

And then one day, I am working at home and I get a notification on my phone from Daycare, “Went Potty”. Wait, does that really mean he used the Potty?! I called and talked to his teacher. Confirmed! Colt used the potty at school!

That night after dinner I decided to make up a sticker chart. I thought that perhaps we can start encouraging him to go again. I got out some paper and some crayons and drew a crude chart, and as a reward, drew a tractor. Colt is obsessed with tractors and trains right now. I showed Colt the chart and let him pick out a sticker for his potty success earlier in the day. I told him he needed to go pee-pee in the potty 10 times and then he would get his new tractor. This was later revised by Dada, to just 5 timesIMG_20170509_085007

For the next few days we had no other successes. We would occasionally sit on the potty, but it ended up just being the wrong time and we would get no pee-pee or poop. Just a lot of stories read.

I decided that what I needed to do was get him used to having his diaper changed first thing after waking up. Since our morning routine is pretty rushed, if Colt didn’t have a bulging diaper when he got up, I would usually let him eat his breakfast first and then change him while getting dressed. No more of that. It was going to be straight up and straight to the changing table.

And wouldn’t you know it. Monday morning comes around and I get him up out of bed, lay him on the changing table, take off his pants and a dry diaper! Quick! what do we do now? “Do you want to try sitting on the potty? Do you have to go pee-pee?” “No!” Crap, ok. I put his diaper and pants back on and went and took him to the table for breakfast. I just knew he was going to go pee while he ate and I was disappointed in that missed opportunity. He finished his yogurt and banana and surprise, as we are going to get dressed I notice his diaper is still dry! “Do you want to sit on the potty while you eat your waffles?” “Ok” Internal Cheers! 

And we sat. And I read him his book on bugs. And we sat. And suddenly! Pee-Pee! Just as Mike was about to leave the house, he had to come back and do a quick hi-five and hugs, and whoo whoo! We dumped the pee-pee in the toilet and let Colt flush, and then we let him pick out a sticker for his chart.

Of course that was about the only successful part of that morning. The rest of the morning was spent trying to not get stern with a “Big Boy” who is goofing off rather than putting on his shoes and coat to get out the door.

This morning, again Colt woke up with a dry diaper. Poor little guy did not want to get up this morning and had to be coaxed out of bed. I asked him if he wanted to use the potty, “No”. I asked him if he wanted to drink his smoothie while sitting on the potty, “Ok”. So today we had breakfast on the potty. He drank his smoothie, still no pee-pee. He ate his Nutragrain bar, still no pee-pee. At this point, I had to get up and start getting ready for work. I handed him his banana, and he sat. And I checked in on him as I was looking for my pants (I am not good at laundry). I stopped in his room to check and sure enough, he had gone pee-pee! (And really emptied his bladder this time, yesterday he was too shocked by all the excitement that he stopped apparently and finished in his pull up shortly after).

We cleaned up the banana, and went and flushed his pee-pee, and then we got to put another sticker on the chart. And we got dressed and I let him have a sticker to wear on his shirt. His shirt, by the way is awesome. 

So I will be purchasing a Vtech Tractor with trailer from Amazon today. And we will keep working toward filling up our sticker chart. I am hoping that now that he sees the rewards, he will start being interested again. Though, I am nervous about getting to far into this and then having him regress when we go to Boston. My saving grace is that we will be visiting my aunt who runs a daycare, and who is used to potty training little boys.

IMG_20170509_100915

“No Cheese” he says as I ask him to smile

 

 

Potty Training PT 1

This weekend was supposed to be our first stab at potty training. Some will say that at just over 2 years old, he’s still too young. However Colt has been showing some good signs. 

We’ve had occasional success putting Colt on the potty when he’s woken up dry from a nap, or after his bath. This last week especially, he’s been telling me when he has a dirty diaper. He has also started insisting on wearing his pull-ups rather than diapers.

Since he’s now in the Twaddler classroom at school, I wanted to jump start the idea with him. See if I could make him more aware. Fully going into it knowing he may not be ready. But of course secretly hoping. 

We woke up this morning, and like every morning this week Colt’s asked to get out of his wet diaper. I put a pullup on him and then we ate breakfast like normal. After breakfast he told me he went pee so I took off the diaper and told him that we were going to try to use the potty today. I let him play naked from the waste down. I told him he would get a sticker every time he pee-pee’d in the potty. 

I set an alarm on my phone to go off every 15 minutes. At first Colt was pretty receptive. He had a juice box. I read him books as he sat. But it was about 2 hours later and he still hadn’t pee’d. I gave him a second juice box and he finally had an accident. We cleaned it up and went back to sitting on the potty. 

For the next 2 hours, it seemed every time Colt got up from sitting after a while he’d have another accident. We tried putting him in underpants to try to make it a little less comfortable and he just didn’t seem to be bothered by the wetness. 

Admittedly, my patience was not in an ideal place. Colt’s been testing me lately. Doing things he knows he shouldn’t and working to get a reaction. So paring that with potty training just caused battles between Momma telling Colt to pull up his pants, and him defiantly pulling them down. 

I didn’t have a great mindset going into this morning. I wasn’t sure if Mike was going to be a willing partner, he’s not good at not staying busy. I started coming down with a cold and my period was starting. But I didn’t want to be the reason we held back. I kick myself for not being better prepared. I know it will happen. And that it can’t be rushed. 

I’m choosing now to focus on having fun during the great weather this weekend. We’ll try again another time! 

Growing Boy

Colt is growing into a little boy so fast. While I have accepted for a while now that he’s a toddler, it’s becoming very evident that we are way out of the baby stage now. 

In April, Colt will be moving into the Twaddler class at daycare, meaning that they will now be focusing on group activities… And potty training. Mike and I have decided to work in conjunction with daycare and start being more focused on potty training at home too. 

Colt has been showing signs of being ready. He generally goes off alone to poop (at least at home). He occasionally let’s us know that he has gone, or needs to “go poop”. He’s been fighting his diaper changes lately. He is very interested in watching (and helping) Dada and I go potty. Offering TP and to flush for us. He’s willing to sit on his potty for a while, and has even used it a few times. 

I’ve read a lot about the 3-day or weekend method of potty training where you basically have potty training boot camp. It either seems to work right away, or it’s a great jump start. Either way, I think we’ll be trying it, along with using pull-ups during the day. I know it can be a long process. 

Today, since I had a surprise day off, Colt and I went to Babies R Us and we picked up a few things; new sheets and blanket for his bed, big boy underwear, a seat for the big potty, and a book about going potty. The plan is to swap out his crib side with the toddler rail this weekend and hopefully get him used to a big boy bed before we start potty training. 

I know it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to take it one day at a time. This will be all new for all of us. I’ll keep you posted. 

Colt Turned 2!

I’m super late writing this post, I’ve just been really busy with work and we’ve been fighting colds as well. 

On February 1st, Colt turned 2 years old! Since it was a school day, Colt brought cupcakes in for his class. His classmates all made him a card, drawing pictures and stamping their hand prints. 

In addition to celebrating with his class, we also threw him a “grr-rific” Daniel Tiger birthday party that following weekend. It was just a small gathering of family. I’m not sure if Colt liked the balloons or cake better.  

When I took him in for his 2 year check up, he was measuring 35 inches tall (75%) and weighing 27 pounds (50%). All of the items on the checklist for what he should be able to do were right on track. 

He’s a jumping, running, climbing crazy kid. He tumbles, and falls just to get a laugh out of you. He loves to be tickled and tickle you back. He’s very fond of his cars, and his new toy tools. 

He’s pretty good at climbing up into his booster seat for meals, uses utensils pretty frequently, and occasionally drinks from an open cup. His favorite foods seem to change from week to week, but he’s still quite fond of oranges, strawberries, bananas, cheerios, gold fish, waffles, and cereal bars. 

Colt is becoming more independent insisting on doing a lot for himself. Getting ready in the morning is now taking a bit longer than before. Once he’s dressed, there’s a lot more fighting to get shoes and coats on. But he’s getting pretty good at the velcro on his shoes, the zipper on his coat, and putting on his hat. 

Colt is still quite the singer, adding in the Alphabet song to his catalog. Although he doesn’t really get the letters right, he is recognizing a few. He can find the letters of his name when you play with his magnetic or foam letters. He also knows D is for Dada, and M is for Mama. 

I’m also impressed with the way he’s moved onto more complex puzzles. He’s quite good at those that just have the holes for the shape without a background picture, and his one firetruck puzzle that does not have individual holes for each piece. He’s also pretty good at his one magnet toy where he uses the pen to sort colored magnets. 

Colt has gotten a ton of new books. And is starting to finally let me read a few more than the standard dozen. He’s been very interested in a book about a panda using the bathroom to brush his teeth, take a bath, and go potty. We had one successful use of the potty recently, but haven’t been as lucky since. I’m planning to get more serious hopefully this summer. 

I’m continuously amazed with Colt’s language development. He had taken a bit of a break from signing when he started to be more verbal. But recently he’s starting to say more words both verbally and with signs. He doesn’t repeat back many words for me, he tends to just surprise me by saying something new. But if I ask him to sign something he will. He says more phrases; more please, go sleep, where at, what happened, there it is. He’s been saying more descriptor words; hot, cold. Lots of the use of the word mine, or “I do it”. He signed cereal and hot for me yesterday. 

He seems to be doing very well in school. I know they are studying ancient cultures right now. He’s still in the Tod B classroom, but he occasionally visits with the Twaddlers. I’m not sure if there’s room for him to move up just yet.  

Otherwise, he’s a pretty funny kid, loves to play with his Mama. Always wants to know where his Dada is. He exhaustes his grandparents when they visit. He’s nearly on the go from the time he gets up, until it’s time for bed. He’s an excellent helper, has a wicked memory and a caring individual. I’m pretty proud of him. 

Goodbye to 2016

I know many people are considering 2016 a dumpster fire of a year, and I get it. There were many reasons it was hard to get through it. But tonight I’m trying to focus on growth. 

I had turned on the  Netflix original series Beat Bugs for Colt since I knew my mother enjoyed the show and she was stopping by for an impromptu babysitting job while Mike and I had dinner with some friends. When we returned home it was just before Colt’s bedtime so we finished up watching the episode and I remembered that Netflix had created mini cartoons to let young kids ring in the new year, so I tuned it to the Beat Bugs. Colt and I danced along to The Beatles song It Won’t Be Long and then counted down to 2017 (it was midnight in Dubai). 

After that Colt climbed up onto the couch with Dada and we all talked about all of the things Colt had learned during the year. From walking, running, and jumping. To speaking and signing new words and even phrases. Counting. Eating with utensils. Coloring. Singing and dancing. 

We went to a few new places. Splashed in puddles. Swam in the lake, went for a boat ride, played in the sand. Jumped in leaves. Bundled up to play in the snow. 

It really is amazing how much kids grow in such a short period of time. And I have to say that I think Mike and I have done a lot of growing as well. I continue to be grateful that he and I share many of the same parenting beliefs. We both of course want whats best for Colt, and value independence and imagination, and strive to make every day a learning opportunity. 

I am looking forward to a new year with new experiences, new travels, new perspectives and new challenges. Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!

Happy Holidays! 

I’d say we had a pretty successful weekend celebrating Christmas with Colt.  

Friday, Mike and I were both off work and able to spend time with peanut and get some last minute shopping completed. Surprisingly, Colt didn’t take a nap, but was able to stay up and go to my Aunt Ronnie’s house that night.

It’s been quite a few years since I felt like a kid at my aunt’s house at Christmas, but I definitely felt like an adult this time. My mom and her sisters are grandmas now. Watching the next generation run around my cousins, sisters, and I brings back so many memories. I definitely miss my grandparents. 

Colt is still learning about opening presents, in that as soon as he opens something he wants to play with, he’s done opening gifts for a while. This was definitely the case with the toy vacuum he received from my aunt. 

Saturday was a busy day. We were up around 8am and opted to leave for Grandpa’s just late enough in the morning that the car ride would sooth Colt into an early nap. A few extra laps around the Gander Mtn. parking lot granted us a little extra time sleeping. 

Of course Grandpa got Colt a number of toys to play with. A few suggested puzzles from the Lakeshore Learning store were great. Colt also got a few new cars. 

After some lunch, we headed to Doug and Debbie’s house to celebrate Doug’s birthday, which has become tradition. Colt ate his weight in cheese and crackers, chased their pets, and gave Debbie a heart attack every time he ran up and down the stairs. The short nap didn’t seem to stop him. 

Christmas morning was spent at home. Grandma, Jes, and Jer came over for breakfast and gifts. We had a feast of Colt sized foods; mini pancakes, mini waffles, mini scones, mini cinnamon rolls, and mini quiches. 

It was a year of cars, puzzles, and household items (? He got a vacuum, dishes, and food, lol).I love that most of what he got required him to either think or use his imagination. 

Though, this week between Christmas and New Years has been a little difficult. We’ve been out of our routine, we’re trying to encourage more food choices, and Colt’s been a tad clingy. I’m wondering if there is a growth spurt coming. I’m sure by next weekend we’ll be better. And before I know it, it will be Colt’s 2nd birthday. 

22 Months! 

I’d start by saying time really flew by, but for the first time in a while it didn’t seem that way. 

Colt has learned the art of the tantrum. Though, I do count my lucky stars that they have all been at home and fairly brief. Usually it’s because I won’t let him play with something, or eat something. Tonight was an epic whine-fest because he was hungry but didn’t want to eat the dinner I served. Sorry kid, goldfish and oranges are not an acceptable dinner. 

Colt still loves to be read to and thankfully he’s bringing me more than just the same 2 books over and over. We’ve started playing games of “I Spy”  to make the books more entertaining. 

Regardless of what type of music I choose for Colt he still loves to have the radio on most of the time. He’s particularly fond of Mike’s “90s County” station on Pandora. He’s also quite the singer now. His song book includes; “Ring Around the Rosie”, “Frères Jacques”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. He also knows the hand movements to “Bringing Home A Baby Bumble Bee”, “Patty Cake”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. 
Colt’s communication style has moved to more spoken words and less sign language. When he wakes up, he calls for “mama” and “dada”. He now asks for “milk” or “fish” and I think today he tried to say “oranges”. He says “hi” and “bye” to most people and things, and recently started asking for “hugs”. Other favorite words are still “book”, “dog”, “duck”, “bath”, and “outside”. Very recently he started saying “go poop”. 

As a matter of fact, the other weekend Colt started saying “go poop” and looking around for his potty, which he drags all around the house. I asked him if he needed to go and he kept running around and occasionally sitting. Smelling the familiar oder, I asked if he needed a diaper change, and he ran into his room and grabbed a diaper. Not thinking anything about it, I took him to his changing table and was surprised to find no poop. I told him he went pee and that he can do that on the potty as well. I don’t think it was 5 minutes later, he sat on his potty while playing and actually pooped. I guess he was warning me after all. 

The following week, we came home from school and he started running around and proclaiming again “go poop”,  so I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty and he was very eager too. I was even able to pull down his pants and remove his diaper, he’s resisted sitting bare butt in the past. We waited for a while, but nothing happened. He was however not happy to put a diaper back on. And the same thing happened a few nights later, and then again. I’ve since decided that I’ll put him in pull-ups while at home in the evenings with him.  I’ll get into the habit of asking him frequently. If we have some success, then we’ll try to fully potty train over Christmas break. If he’s not ready, I won’t push it. 

Speaking of holidays, Colt got to experience Trick or Treating a few times this year. Once at the campground Doug and Debbie were staying at. That was just about perfect. It was at the beginning of October so the weather was still warm, it was during daylight hours, and we only had to walk a few feet between campers. Later, he got dressed again and visited the retirement home my friend Jessica works at, and Trick or Treated with the residents. And then there was his party and costume parade at school. Colt was a pro by the time his dad and I took him around the neighborhood. 

Thanksgiving was probably more about fun for him than it was about food. He had a blast playing with his aunts and grandparents. He snacked pretty regularly, but come dinner he didn’t want anything to do with what was on his plate. And apparently he easily forgets how much sweet potatoes don’t suck, which has been the reason for tantrums the last few nights. 

Patience continues to be something I work at. I’m getting better at choosing the battles worth fighting. I know dinner is going to be a long one again. We’ve been busy a lot and we’ve been too quick to offer up the chicken nuggets. I’ll be focusing on offering good dinners again. 

It’s also been very easy for me to get fired up about politics and my son’s safety lately. Watching the news is crushing. I won’t go into details, but if you are messing with my child’s safety,  the country he will grow up in, or the planet he will inherent, I will have words. I’m a momma bear. 

20 Months! 

From month to month I continue to see growth in Colt that I am still amazed at. Yes, he’s getting big, he can use a untinsil to eat, he loves to climb, he’s independent, he’s even talking and singing more. It’s his emotional growth that leaves me in awe. 

His teachers tell me that Colt is always friendly with the new kids in class. They appreciate also that he’s usually there early and that helps the new kids transition. But besides that, I’ve heard how loving and caring he is. Twice he’s melted my heart when he’s consoled friends when they were upset. Gently patting their backs, while quietly speaking to them in his little toddler gibberish.

It’s that behavior that makes me a proud momma. It also reassures me that I chose an awesome daycare. Besides an incredible academic experience that includes math, science, physical fitness, and language, his daycare also believes that etiquette and philanthropy are necessary for raising good people. The proof is in his behavior. 

In the past few weeks, other than the stories from his teachers Colt’s become more affectionate, he’s been very well behaved at dinner, he’s better at holding hands while we walk, and has overall just been well-behaved. That’s not to say he doesn’t throw fits. We’ve had our moments, Colt is still an independent toddler with selective hearing. 

With all the hate going on right now. The shootings, black lives matter, sexual assaults, Syrian refugees, and the presidential election. There is so much anger in the world. But looking at my son, innocent and unknowing, he reminds me that there are good people out there. And it’s going to take those good people to keep teaching our children to be good, kind, caring, and charitable. Colt is my reason for believing that we can be the change we need. 

A New Room

Well sort of… 

I didn’t have to work Friday, so of course that meant that Colt was wide awake at 6am. As I rolled over, rubbed my bleary eyes, and stared at the black and white image on the baby monitor, I watched as Colt stood at his crib rail. I laid there, trying to use some sort of telepathy to woo him back to sleep. He grunted out his usual commands to come get him. And then Click! The screen flashed, and like Dorothy waking up in the land of Oz, my son stood in full color on the screen. Click! And again a flash, back to the darkness and night vision illumination. Click! Click! Click! The light flashed in the hall. Time to get up.  

Colt’s newfound reach of the light switch only meant trouble. You can’t put a toddler to bed when he’s not tired, and not expect the light to get turned back on. It looked like I’d be reorganizing his room. 

And it worked out pretty well actually. I moved the glider we no longer sit in and rock out of his room. Moved a dresser to the closest, his changing table to the opposite side. His crib is now along the inside wall. His toy bins are now in the one corner along with his bookshelf, and beanbag chair. Giving him a little area to relax and play. 

It’s starting to look like a big kids room. I didn’t really miss the glider til just now. It’s so very true that you never know when you’ll rock your baby for the last time. Rocking and singing was slowly replaced with hugs and “night, night”. And tender kisses on the forehead with sloppy wet kisses back. For every memory of that tiny infant that you miss, there’s a new milestone to be excited for.