Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A pat on my back

As a stay-at-home mom it can be very difficult to know when I'm doing a good job. After all, what is my job? It's to raise my children and help them become good people. That's not exactly a goal that gives me weekly progress reports and promising statistics. It's very hard to quantify "turning someone into a decent human being."

Honestly, most days I feel like I'm doing an awful job. I let Ben play the iPad too much. Sam's clothes are always covered in spit up and drool. I'm not consistent enough in my rules and punishments. I never come up with fun games or projects or adventures for us to do. I yell and get annoyed too often. There's no boss to swing by my desk and tell me she likes my work (and I'm getting a raise!). So I take my solace where I can get it, if Ben says "Thank you" without a prompting, or if I make Sam laugh.

But sometimes I get a big thumbs up from the universe. Ben's been taking soccer classes all year and recently graduated up to the class without a parent. We get to watch and I've been utterly delighted. Not by his soccer skills, but because he's one of the best behaved kids in the class. He always listens to the teacher, follows directions and he rarely runs off to do his own thing. It makes me proud to watch him out there. Proud of him for being such a good student and proud of me because I DID THAT.

Friday, May 18, 2012

An experience I didn't think I'd have

Heath's brother Todd is getting married tomorrow, so Wednesday night I decided to get a pedicure with blue nail polish to match my dress. When Ben saw my toes he said, "You have such pretty toes!" Then this morning he asked if he could have his toenails painted. Not one to shut down a reasonable desire, even if it crosses gender lines, I said of course I'd paint his toenails, after school.

So, that's just what we did. Sam was napping and I painted Ben's toenails red. And in true Ben fashion after I was finished he said, "Your toenails are like Thomas [the train] and my toenails are like James." (Blue and red trains, respectively.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Half a year!

Sam is six months old today and he had his check-up:

Weight: 19 lbs. 11 oz - 90th percentile
Height: 28 in. - 95th percentile
Head circumference: 44 cm - 75th percentile

I thought for sure he'd be over 20 pounds. Though he has super chunky thighs, he still seems like a small boy to us. However, as the pediatrician said, we have a warped idea of what's normal. (At six months Ben was over 23 pounds.) I never imagined my second baby would be so much smaller than my first. It's just a reminder than even though it looks like I gave birth to identical twins three years apart, they are very much their own people.

Sam's doing great. He's starting to unsteadily sit up on his own, which is very exciting. This is my favorite time during the first year, this period from about six to eight months when he's interested in exploring toys, but still not independently mobile. Of course, Sam obviously wants to be wherever his big brother is, so he might explore locomotion sooner. He's not showing signs of it yet, but who knows. We may have a crawler on our hands in a couple months. Oy.

Now at six months Sam is going to enter the exciting world of food with flavor! First up are pureed veggies. I know we all went through this and just can't remember, but how amazing would it be to experience every food for the first time? Sam doesn't even have any idea how amazing his life is about to get. I think that's one of the draws of parenthood. You don't truly get to experience these things for the first time again, but watching your child go through it is almost better. It's all the excitement without all the stress.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I do not think it means what you think it means

Scene: For some reason Ben thinks the Nike swoosh symbol means "power." He went to put on his dark coat.

Ben: This is my black power coat.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I couldn't come up with anything remotely clever pertaining to teeth that I hadn't already used

Sam's first tooth popped through! No photographic evidence yet, as you can barely see it, but it's definitely there. The thing about baby teeth is that they're SHARP. He can't eat Cheerio's yet, but he could slice the flesh right off my finger with no problem.

The thing about teething is that IT SUCKS. Sam hasn't been quite as grumpy as when he was sick, which is good, but he still hasn't been his normal charming self. Charming people don't consistently wake up before 6am. Or, if they do, they don't force you to get up and make them breakfast. They make you breakfast. And bring it to you. At a reasonable hour. My mantra these days is, "It's a phase. It's a phase. It's a phase."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Picture round up

Future profession: Used car salesman

Carrying his bear in a pack like I sometimes carry Sam

So happy!

What cute boys we make

Our Easter Eggs

With Grandpa on Easter - If only Ben had been looking at the camera

Showing off our creations

This is Sam's natural position - He's going to take off at any moment!

Ben's new bike!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


In so many ways Ben is a Little Heath. They have similar temperaments and similar interests. However, every so often I see evidence that he's my son, too (aside from the fact that he CAME OUT OF ME). Ben has always been a very meticulous kid. He likes to line things up just so and if you mess with something he's organized he gets very perturbed. That is so me.

Lately it's been turning into perfectionism. He was drawing on his Magna Doodle and I noticed that one of the shapes he made looked like an uppercase "D." I pointed it out and asked if he wanted to try to draw it again. He did it a few more times and did it pretty well. So I asked if he wanted to learn other letters and he said "E". He did that one okay and then he asked to learn how to write "Ben." I was getting pretty excited because I was teaching him something and he was interested in learning. "N" went okay, but it all broke down with "B." Admittedly, it's a hard letter to write, with the two bumps, but when he couldn't do it perfectly the first time he got SO MAD. (That's more Heath than me. I'll usually give it a few tries before I want to give up.) He said, "I'm not good at this!" So we had our first talk about practicing and getting better. The interesting thing is that he didn't want to give up. He wanted to get it right. He tried it a few more times, but he was getting really frustrated so I made him stop.

I'm sad that he has this burden of perfectionism, because it's a hard road to travel, but it's a trait Heath and I both share so he had little chance of avoiding it. But at least this means he'll probably be a hard worker in school. I'd much rather make a kid stop studying and goof off than have to fight him to do homework every night.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Project Napless update

As you may remember, a few weeks ago I decided to stop making Ben takes naps. It hasn't gone... quite as I planned. After lunch every afternoon we have quiet time and it's Ben's least favorite part of the day. He hates being in his room by himself, so I've been trying to stress that we're both having quiet time and he can have fun in his room for an hour and then I'll come get him. Most days he starts bawling even before I close the door. And then...?

He falls asleep.

He would rather take a nap than be by himself (awake) for an hour. Intellectually I understand it (him being the extrovert), but it still boggles my mind. He doesn't take a nap every day and some days he accepts quiet time more gracefully than others. He's generally been in better spirits since we started this and he's going to bed pretty easily. So maybe he still needs a nap, but only a few times a week.

The nice thing is that now, for me at least, it's a glass half full situation. Before, I expected him to take a nap and when he didn't it ruined my day. Now, I don't expect him to nap, so when he does it's a treat. Win!