Friday, October 31, 2014

Maybe next year...

The little town of Edmonds puts on a BIG Halloween event every year. We decided to chance it with the rain and take Drew down to see all the action. I don't know if it was the costumes, or the rain, or what...but he was not a fan. Maybe next year?

Farmer and pumpkin
His first treat! 
The 4 main roads leading to the fountain are all shut down to cars. Good thing, as there are people everywhere!

All the business are handing out candy to the kids

And some even did mini haunted houses...
Not a happy pumpkin....
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce had a speaker system set up by the fountain.
They were playing music and people of all ages were dancing!

Drew with Waldo (Auntie Brooke). It started to rain and any patience Drew had left at that point was gone...he cried until he was safely home inside his cozy warm house. Then Nanna Jo came over and he had a blast playing with her until bedtime. Hopefully, he's forgotten all about his rainy Edmonds Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Drew: 15 months

Drew loves: books, cars, pushing his wagon up and down the driveway, slides, spinning in circles, somersaults, running, and doing stairs.

Drew hates: it changes day by day at this age, but today he hated lunch, his third diaper change, something in a book he was looking at, and 4-6pm (that last one is an everyday occurrence).

Milestones: He's doing great with walking, running, climbing, and stairs. He's saying a few words (momma, dadda, kitty, car, cool, ball, and uh-oh), and signing a few others (mostly "all done" and "please"). 

Drew is getting very toddler-y these days. Lots of exploring and intentional fiddling with things to see what they do. He's starting to get into the mimicking chores phase, so he wants to "help" load the dishwasher and he constantly pushes his mini-shopping cart around and puts stuff in the basket ( it too soon for vacuuming lessons?). Also, tantrums. Good glory, the tantrums.

Eating and sleeping is all pretty normal. He's seems pretty standard with his food: he doesn't eat much (or it doesn't seem like much), he eats a good variety of foods, and he likes to flip his plate when he's done eating (gotta be fast to catch that before it happens!). Sleeping is the same: 1 to 2 naps during the day, and 12-ish hours at night. For a while it seemed like once every two weeks or so he had a "bad night" where he had trouble getting to sleep. We decided he does better with his bedtime routine if just one parent puts him to bed (instead of both of us), so we made that change and haven't had any trouble since then (fingers crossed). Still so thankful we knew about Babywise/sleep training and were able to do that with him from a young age. It's really been great for the entire family, and I love not having to worry about how much sleep he is (or isn't) getting. I took a lot of heat for doing the "scheduled" method with him, but it's really worked out well and I fully plan to do that with the next child (if we could ever get pregnant again!).

He was recently cutting some molars which had catapulted him into a whiny season. I was mainly treating his pain with meds (and hugs), and then just generally attempting to ignore the whining. I need a lot of practice at this, as I am not a seasoned enough mom to be able to think clearly with a constant noise in the background. The ignoring the whiny is working to the extent that he knows that when he actually needs or wants something specific he will stop whining and point at the item and say "please" in sign language (which to him means clapping his hands...I plan to correct that some day but for now I'm just happy he understands that signing "please" is important).

He dropped his morning nap this past month (most days), so the mornings have gotten really long for both of us. Three days a week I take him to the gym where he can play with other kids in the Kids Care. I really like that he gets 3-4 hours a week of socialization with other kids where I am not involved. He really likes the gals in the Kids Care, and he reaches for them when I'm checking him in and then turns and waves bye-bye to me. See ya buddy! I recognize the amount of time we spend at the gym is a complete and total luxury, so we're just enjoying it for now until things change again at some point (because they always do!).

He's developing his fine motor skills at a quick pace, so I've added in table time in the morning after Kyle leaves for work. Previously we were doing table time in the afternoon, but I moved it to the morning as a way to "reset" Drew after dad leaves. This was my attempt to avoid Drew's MO of whining and basically hanging on my leg while I cleaned up breakfast. And it totally worked (praise the living Lord!). Table time started as 10 minutes, but now it's up to 30 minutes. During table time he plays with dixie cups, little pom poms, beans (sorts them in a muffin tin), or a reusable sticker book. After table time, he's much more inclined to play on his own with toys in the living room. Some afternoons we do an additional round of table time where I sit with him and show him how to use crayons (and not eat them). So for now, it's a win.

Now that the weather has turned, we've resumed Toddler Story Time at the library. It's a great outing, except he's the only kid who wont sit still during the story time! He's also the youngest, so I'm hoping he'll learn from the older kids that you are supposed to sit and listen during story time. Right now, he just walks up to the teacher and points at the doll she uses, says "please" (by clapping, of course), and then holds his hand out demanding the doll. So yes, I have "that kid" at story time. But at least he's having fun, right?

Our days are pretty predictable and routine, so I try to be intentional about doing one "special outing" each week, like swimming, an indoor play gym, pumpkin farm, petting zoo, etc. Drew is very brave (or naive?) and usually takes about 4 seconds to assess a play area before he leaps out of my arms and immediately immerses himself in playing. Other than at home, of course. At home, if I try to contain him in his room at home for independent play time, it's meltdown city and he's the mayor. We had success with that a while back, and then somewhere along the line it fell apart. So I've given that a break for a few weeks, and will try again soon. This past weekend we just did some upgrades on his bedroom to make it more toddler friendly. His room is now more of a nod to the Montessori approach (minus the whole bed mattress on the ground thing). His favorite part of his "new" room is the reading nook I created (complete with blankets + stuffed animals), which makes my heart happy!

When he finally slows down and stops moving, he loves sitting in laps and reading books/cuddling. He often falls asleep for his nap in my arms during his pre-nap song, and it takes everything in me to not just sit there for his entire nap staring at his sleeping face. Little boys are just darling, that's for sure!

Playing with the waves
We had a nice extended summer this year 
Picnic at the park with dad

I got him this backpack that has a leash on it, and he just loves romping around with it on

Drew and Nanna Jo playing in the waves (and my annoying finger in the way)

This kid is always moving!

Drew has cried every day of his life for one reason or another.
These particular tears are from me making him leave Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe's has a little tiny bench the kids can sit on, and
apparently 5 whole extra minutes of bench sitting just wasn't long enough for him!

Following me around the kitchen and crying - am I a bad mom for taking a picture of this?

That little pouty lip!

Can you just hear him saying "mom, I hate you!"

Bless the hearts of stay at home moms everywhere...this happens every day around 4pm.

Like I mentioned above, the table time really helps avoid the meltdowns. 

Organizing dixie cups
Playing quietly on the floor - by himself, without crying - after table time.

More playing by himself! This is in the living room (not his room), but it's still awesome.

Reading books with Aunt Sissy
More book reading with dad

And with mom!

Boys only club meeting (that's Kyle, Drew, and Scruffy the Bear

Husky Game fun

No one told me that my shorts were all "mom shortish" in this photo...but it's still a good family pic!

Drew was not so thrilled about the he and I went back to the camper

Pushing his buddy baby Keller (who I nanny for) in the stroller

Zipping around at the indoor play gym

Ball pit joy

Play area at the mall!

Went to the pumpkin farm last weekend. Drew loved the petting zoo!
I could tell that he recognized the animals from his books (more so
than the last time we were at a petting zoo) and just loved the whole thing.

His favorite part of the pumpkin farm was the tractor. We spent roughly 20-30 minutes
with him just sitting on the tractor and waving to people. Then, it started to rain so I tried
to take him toward the car. He threw such a fit that he leaped out of my arms,
hit the ground, and then started running toward the tractor. In the rain. So, I totally
caved and just let him get back on the tractor. He resumed waving at people, and was
pretty much the happiest he's been in a long time. So, tractor in the rain was a win!
He decided to explore the pumpkins for just a few seconds before we left.

This isn't a picture of Drew. It's a picture WITHOUT Drew,
because Kyle and I were in Leavenworth celebrating some friends
getting married...and we left Drew at home!
It was our first night totally away from him, and it was oh-so-glorious. 

This is our family picture for Children of the Nations,
an organization that we sponsor 2 children through.
They were doing a sponsorship drive over the summer, and were the 365th family
 to come forward  (they were asking families to take pictures and send them in).
This is an organization we really love!
This 2nd year of Drew's life, we've been praying for Drew to have joy (John 15:11). As he continues into Toddlerhood, his emotions are all over the place. He spends a lot of time frustrated, as he learns more about life (and how to control his emotions). We have a long road ahead; I'm sure I don't even know the half of it right now. So we've been praying for joy, and the Lord has been answering that prayer. In between bouts of tears, there has been so much laughter, giggling, and snuggles. When he is happy, he is truly a joyful little guy.

On Friday night, Kyle and I were doing our monthly fast and prayer night, and Kyle found this verse for me: He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113:9). I felt like it is perfect verse for me right now, for two reasons. The first being that, as the "joyous mother" of a child I have the opportunity to show Drew joy on a daily basis...what better way for him to learn joy than from his mother? The second reason being that in this unexpected struggle to get pregnant again, I've had days or weeks where I have admittedly lost my joy. And the Lord has really been pressing on my heart what a blessing Drew is, and reminding me how happy I am to be a mother of one. I am learning how a mother's heart works: that I can be joyful in my whole heart to have and love Drew, and yet I can ache in a whole separate heart for our next child. The aching heart is the one that will (hopefully) go on to love another child as wholly as I love Drew. There is room for both, and they do not crowd each other out. Lastly, we took heart that in this verse the Lord talks about making the woman the mother of children (not singular child, but multiple children)...we're still praying that will happen for our family!