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. 

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A Whirlwind Week 

This past week has been busy, fun-filled, and exhausting. I’ve laughed and cried. It was far from perfect. But it was filled with love and family and I couldn’t ask for more than that. 

Earlier this year my Aunt Barb decided that rather than coming home to Michigan at Christmas like normal, she and Eileen would make the trip out for a week in the summer. This excited me as it meant that she’d get to meet Colt sooner rather than later. And we’d be able to plan a few activities in the warmer weather. 

Warmer weather was an understatement. It may have actually been the hottest, most humid week of the entire summer. We did our best to beat the heat and still have fun.  

As a kid, my Aunt Barb was another of my mother’s goofy sisters. Only she lived in Boston so we didn’t get to see each other often. But that never stopped her from being a part of our lives. We frequently received colorful packages in the mail. She runs a childcare center out of her home and always related to us kids in fun educational ways.  

Since becoming a mother, I’ve reconnected with Aunt Barb. I love sharing Colt with her and Eileen through stories and pictures. It’s like my way of validating that I learned something about raising a kid from all the experiences of her kids she shared. Having her meet Colt for the first time was important to me. I hoped that she’d be impressed with how smart and well behaved he is. 

Of course, the trip back to Michigan ended up staying little more important and sentimental then we had planned. Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer after Memorial Day. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally and physically for her. I can’t imagine how difficult the trip had to be but I’m eternally grateful that she and Eileen did. 

Monday Colt had his 18 month check up. And aside from the long wait to see the doctor, everything checked out well. He’s a typical 1 and a half year old.  Mom, Colt, and I had breakfast after, did a little shopping, and then visited with Barb and Eileen at our house for a while.  

On Tuesday, Barb and Eileen took Mom, Colt, and I to the Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing. It’s a great little place for young kids. It wasn’t too busy, thankfully. Unfortunately, Colt is just old enough to want to roam about freely without the understanding that he needs to hold an adult’s hand.  He was a bit fussy, but overall I think we all had a good time.  

Wednesday Colt and I spent some mommy and son time in the morning visiting the Stage Nature Center in Troy. For being so close to home, it’s a nice little get away. It’s definitely a place I can see going back to frequently. And hopefully Colt will continue to grow and appreciate what he can learn there.  

Thursday started with some miscommunication, but ended on a positive note. Most of my mom’s family was able to get together for dinner at Olive Garden. Colt has been a bit of a fussy eater again lately so I was embarrassed that Barb and Eileen paid for a meal that went mainly untouched. But Colt was well behaved so I can’t complain. 

Friday was more visits with the aunts and grandma at our house. We kept it pretty low key, since we would all be up early Saturday morning. 

Saturday was our big family outing to the Detroit Zoo.  And of course it was the hottest day, with the most humidity, and of course rain. But most of the family headed out any way. It was great to spend time with my sisters, and my cousins Amber, Kelly and Valerie. As well as my Uncle Wayne, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Mike. Along with my cousin Tyler’s kids; Kenzie and CJ. It was a lot of fun and I hope that we can spend more time together soon. And thanks to a gift of a membership from my aunts, my family will be able to enjoy the zoo many more times. 

Sunday was a day of rest, in that I tried to rest as much as possible while also wrangling Colt. He’s really a lot of fun, but he seems to suck all the energy right out of you. It’s exhausting just looking at him some times. While I can’t say it was the best vacation, it was definitely memorable. 

Maybe next year we can all head out to Boston! 

Work/Life Balance 

Work/Life Balance is one of those key terms that keeps buzzing around corporations these days.  And it’s definitely something that I hear often where I work.  

I am grateful to work at a place that allows me to occasionally work from home. This is great for me, even though I still have to take Colt to daycare. It means I can sleep in a little longer, skip the shower, and just throw on jeans and a hoodie when I get up.  I can also do things like run the dishwasher and throw a load of laundry in.  And once I even let something cook in the crockpot for dinner. 

Unfortunately, the ability to work from home means that I pretty regularly log back in at night after Colt goes to bed. Though, I have to say I do this less frequently than before he was born.  

Today I was “reprimanded” in a way for letting a client know that a rescheduled meeting was technically outside my working hours, but that I would try to attend. My boss basically called it a lesson in professionalism.  And I get it. Just because my official day has come to an end, I should have stated it differently. I’m an honest person and I responded with an honest answer. I attended the meeting and all was well. 

But that was my half hour

I wake up at 6am. I am dropping Colt at daycare by no later than 7:15. I’m at work by 7:30,and there for the next 9 hours. Then I fight traffic to pick Colt up and it’s 5:30 by the time we’re home. It’s dinner, playtime, baths and bed by 8pm. That leaves me 2-3 hours for me. And that includes eating, showering and if I’m lucky, logging back into work. 

That’s right, I’m spending 9 hours a day at work, plus 1 to 2 more a night, at least once a week. And I’m spending 4 hours with my son. 

4 hours that also includes arguments with someone who can’t talk yet. We don’t stand in chairs, don’t throw food on the floor, yes you need to wear pajamas,  yes it’s time for bed, and no 3am is not a good time for snuggles. 

I understand now why people choose to be stay at home parents. But it’s also very obvious why I do work. And it’s because I’m lousy at arguing with tiny people who can’t talk yet. 

So where exactly is this balance and how does one make that work? 

Edit: I should also point out that I get a lot of time off. It’s just remembering and figuring out when I can take it. 

Edit 2: I am also extremely grateful that I have a parenting partner in my husband that I can count on to help with Colt in the evenings and weekends. 

Thanksgiving

A little late but not any less grateful.

We hosted Thanksgiving in our home this year. My mom and sisters, as well as Mike’s mom, brother, dad and Linda all came over.  More so, I think, to see Colt.

And Colt loved all of the attention!

He’s such a little ham, and a turkey too! Laughing and giggling at every opportunity. Squealing in delight at his new toys, and the fun new games he got to play.

We had a wonderful feast; ham and turkey dutifully smoked by Mike. Potatoes and stuffing, of course. A verity of dips and crackers. Vegetables. And surprise pierogies made by Dan. Oh, and dessert! Bread pudding, pie, and cake!

It was fun putting together a plate for Colt, especially since he can eat most anything now. And watching him eat was a treat!

Coming together as a family. Laughing and joking. And genuinely having a great time. That is what I am thankful for this year. 

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Colt’s First Trip to the Zoo!

2 posts today!

Today I skipped work, and along with my mom and sisters, took Colt to the Detroit Zoo.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect, figured Colt would be comfy in his stroller and sleep most of the time. But the weather was perfect and he seemed to enjoy it.

We got there around 10:30, slathered on the baby sunblock and decided to walk around and see how far we could get.

We skipped the butterfly house and the amphibian/reptiles for things outside. And where we didn’t have to ditch the stroller. 

My family and I saw quite a few animals, but I think Colt enjoyed people watching more. 

We made it all the way to the back and took the train back. That ride might have been Colt’s favorite part. His head was darting back and forth trying to take it all in. 

We hit the penguins on the way out. It will sure be neat when the new penguin house opens.

All in all, I’d say it was a fun first time. Colt seemed to enjoy being outside at least. And he was still a load of giggles when we got home.

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Happy Father’s Day!

I know this is a bit late.

I think Mike had a pretty good first Father’s Day. I got him a mug with Colt’s pictures on it, that reads “Happy First Father’s Day, Love Peanut”. Not quite as cheesy as a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, but still fun.  Colt was having fun banging on the box it came in. 

Sunday, I made Mike breakfast after Colt let us sleep in til about 9am. Then we went to Mike’s dad’s for a cookout.  We had a pretty good time.

Mike is really a great dad to Colt. I love just how excited Colt gets when he sees his Dada. Even if it is distracting while we’re trying to eat. 

Daddy is also pretty great to mommy too. Mike paid off the rest of Colt’s hospital bill. He’s finally all ours! No risk  of the repo man coming, lol. 

Happy Father’s Day Mike! You deserve it!

A Long Weekend

Now that I got that off my chest (Defeated).

Our long weekend over the Memorial Day holiday was pretty nice.

Mike was able to get more done on the laundry room. We spent time with my sisters and mom, as well as Mike’s mom and dad.  And we even had a few hours of just the 3 of us.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As some plans were derailed. Some naps were missed (and paid for). But overall it was a good weekend.

Mike and I were also able to take Colt to his first parade. I’ve been going to the Auburn Hills Memorial Day Parade since I was a kid and it’s something I hope we can keep doing with Colt.

I’ve really become fond of the small town feel that my hometown has, while also being close to things and expressways.

I couldn’t ask for much better.

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Helpless

It’s official, I finally understand exactly what it means to feel helpless.

Colt endured his second stint with illness this past weekend. In 3 and a half months no less.  Blame the daycare? Maybe. Blame the up and down Michigan weather? Most likely.

We’ve seen temperatures fluctuate from hot and humid, to frost warning, all in the last week. I try to make sure Colt stays at a decent temp but it isn’t easy.

Either way, I was so excited that Colt slept through the night Friday, and felt so rejuvenated Saturday morning. But after he drank his morning bottle and went right back to sleep, I knew something was wrong. 

Sure enough, that afternoon we had a stuffy nose. By that evening, a fever and suspected sore throat. 

Sleep wasn’t easy for our little guy, but we made him as comfortable as we could. I unfortunately didn’t get much sleep Monday night.

Monday we went to the pediatrician, but there really wasn’t anything they could do. Just confirmed it was a virus and to keep an eye on him. I stayed home with him that day, and that evening his fever spiked. Through it all he was still such a happy baby. Playing and laughing, when he could.  Though, there has been some crankiness.

Since he still couldn’t go to school Tuesday, Margaret came over and watched him while I worked from home.  The two of them had a pretty good day, and you could tell Colt was starting to feel better. 

Wednesday I took him back to daycare. He was missed by all of his teachers.  They are so cute.  I called after lunch and he seemed to be doing just fine.  He’s still a bit stuffy, but you can see progress.

Not being able to do much for that stuffy nose, makes you feel horrible. It’s hard for him to sleep and eat. And when I do try to help, by giving him some saline, it breaks my heart how much it bothers him.  Time is really the only medicine at this point. 

It can be overwhelming dealing with a sick infant, but I’m so lucky to have Mike and the rest of my family available to help out when I need it.  Hopefully, Colt will be feeling much better for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Mother’s Day (pt 2)

I couldn’t really ask for a better first Mother’s Day.

In true Mike fashion, he didn’t shower me with gifts, instead he spent the better part of Saturday laying the foundation of our new laundry room. While Mike was busy with that, Colt and I bought some flowers and veggies and got the gardens planted. Later, we had lunch with my mom and Jer, and did some more shopping.

Sunday, I was up early with Colt. I know, I should have slept in, but someone’s gotta make the milk around here. It wasn’t bad though. After finishing my mandatory break, I crawled back into bed and rather than getting a few more minutes of sleep, I found an awake baby ready to start his day. Hoping for some baby snuggles, I instead had a happy baby that wanted to sit on my tummy and kick his legs.

Colt and I got dressed, and Mike was up soon after. We decided to go out for breakfast and miss the brunch crowd. After that, we did some shopping at Lowes.

Mike got a bit more work done on the laundry room before Margaret and her friend brought over dinner. Later that evening, my mom and sisters came over.

Colt fell asleep in my arms. I couldn’t ask for a better end to the day.
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Mother’s Day (pt 1)

A year ago Mother’s Day morning, I had a funny thought that it may be the last one I celebrate where I wasn’t a mother myself. Everything just felt like it was the right place, and the right time. 

14 days later, that funny feeling would be a reality.

This Mother’s Day I want to thank each mommas in my life that answered questions when I asked, shared their opinions and experiences, gave their reassurances, and shared in the excitement of motherhood.

I’ve never been so grateful to have such a network of people in my life.  So many different experiences and backgrounds but yet we were all able to relate to one another.

There are two amazing mommas that I want to call out and thank individually.

First, my mother-in-law, Margaret. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have the amazing husband that I have.  And besides that, she has been a second mom to me for nearly 20 years. Her support and kindness through this past year and more will always be treasured.  Thank you for being a great Mother, Mother-in-law, and now Grandmother.

And last but not least, my very own mother. My Mommy. A woman I looked up to, learn from, and leaned on. She raised me to be the strong, independent, intelligent, hardworking, caring, funny person that I am today, all by being an example I could easily follow.

From the days of walking home from school and enjoying a slice of pizza at Jo Angela’s just the two of us, to teaching me how to drive in the Kroger parking lot. From taking classes with me at OCC, to being my coworker at Edcor. She’s always been more than just my mom.

She held my hand as I held my breath during my first ultrasound. And she was there again, holding my hand when Colt took my breath away the day he was born.

Thank you for being my friend, my teacher, my classmate, and my coworker,and most importantly, my mom and Colt’s grandmother.